Over 2 years ago, I wrote how I used to suffer from back spasms (which manifested themselves as stiff necks). After identifying what I thought were the causes, I reduced both the frequency and intensity of them. I’m knocking on serious wood here (karma bit me a few times after writing blog posts like this), but since adding 1 more thing to the list, I haven’t had one single episode.
Originally, I identified some causes:
1) Falling asleep on my couch, which is soft and offers no back support.
2) Drinking too much caffeine.
4) Being run down. From lack of quality sleep, or colds, or running around too much.
5) Being dehydrated.
Usually it would take a combination of some of those to trigger spasms. If all 5, I used to call it “the perfect storm.”
One of the many things that inspired my smoothie/juice endeavor was reading about kale (an ingredient in my “staple” blends). It is high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium. A smoothie/juice was an easy way for me to get kale in my diet regularly. Those three nutrients are important in preventing muscle spasms and cramps. I’m not sure if I was deficient of those nutrients before (I probably was), so with kale (and bananas) I think I’m getting enough and what I think has made a big difference.
6) Get adequate amounts of magnesium, potassium, and calcium (sodium too, which I definitely always got enough of).
Trying to concentrate on weight loss some more, I decided to cut back on the last version of my “staple” breakfast smoothie in order to make room for more food later. I’ve chopped it down to 465 calories from 870. Now instead of drinking it in thirds from 8-11 am, I drink it in halves from 8-9 am. I’m not missing the extra serving convenience wise (now I bring just one cup to work), supply wise (less trips to the store to maintain supply of ingredients), or hunger wise.
I simply cut everything except the greens in half:
1/2 cup cranberry juice (the real deal, not the sugary crap)
1 cup water
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 handful kale
1 handful spinach
1/2 cup mix raspberry, strawberry, blackberry
1/2 cup blueberry
1 tablespoon of crushed flax seed
1/2 scoop of whey protein
Here’s another simple juice/blender recipe I tried the other day. It was pretty good.
2 cups of water
handful of spinach
I can’t believe it was a month ago I wrote that I hit a plateau running 3 miles. Where my time wasn’t improving. I decided then to switch gears and up the distance and follow the bridge to 10 k program. Well tonight I hit 2 milestones. First, I ran 5 miles. That’s the furthest ever for me. Second, I did it in 45 minutes (adding up the splits, and subtracting the 2 minutes of walking). 9 minute mile average, which is the best at any prolonged distance. Actually my first 2 miles were 8:30 each.
This week of b210k was 3 15 minute runs with a one minute break in between. I really think I could have run straight through, but stuck to the plan anyway.
Way, way, way back I longed for the day where I can run a considerable distance with easy effort. I’ve achieved this at shorter distances (and wrote about it before), but tonight was the longest distance I’ve had that feeling. It was pretty effortless the entire way, and I felt I could have gone much further.
I think I finally have everything in my healthy living checklist down completely. I had most of it down before, but struggled with a few items here and there and never had it down consistently over a long period of time as I have been maintaining recently. The biggest changes recently is adding a ton more fruit and vegetables in my diet, and eating as whole/natural as possible. I’m completely buying into the theory of eating right for “clean and efficient burning fuel for the body.”
I even bought a book, Living Lean for some recipes which I’ve put some to the test already (I’m going to write a review soon). I think some of my previous downfalls were due to not having enough food options to rely on. Hopefully I can use the recipes in the book to avoid boredom and ruts and continue to eat uber healthy.
I will not sabotage this momentum this winter as I have the last 2. I know it. Though I’ll need to switch gears a little because I’m not running outside in the cold.
I’ve made a few minor adjustments to my “Staple” smoothie/juice/blend recipe. I drink it in thirds throughout the day.
1 cup cranberry juice (the real deal, not the sugary crap)
2 cups water
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 handful kale
1 handful spinach
1 cup mix raspberry, strawberry, blackberry
.75 cup blueberry
2 tablespoons of crushed flax seed
1 scoop of whey protein
sometimes about a cup of watermelon
In my last post about Google Plus I predicted a flop. I’m sticking with it.
The post, Google’s Management Doesn’t Use Google+ highlights one of the reasons why.
But also from my observations…
- It’s been reported that traffic to Plus is down considerably from when it was newly launched.
- Traffic and usage is down even given the tremendous push by Google.
- I know very few people who use it. And “use” it is putting it nicely. Even fewer people I know actually USE it at all (as opposed to just having a profile).
- I think I mentioned this in another post. Being in internet marketing I can sniff BS like this out. Google sometimes uses tricky figures when they brag. So while they brag about x million of users, like my previous point, how about usage? I bet most signed up and borderline abandoned, like me.
- I was at a Google Learn session Wednesday about Google advertising opportunities. When the topic of Plus came up, I got a good sense from the room that attendees didn’t want to be bothered. I think that sentiment was felt by the speaker, who then switched gears to another topic. I think it’s telling.
- It doesn’t look like even the active Googlers who I’ve followed on Buzz, Twitter, etc are eating enough dog food.
I know it’s a high priority, and Google is trying very hard to make Plus work. I just don’t see it happening.
I mentioned last post that I’d plateaued while sticking to running 3 miles every other day. My pace wasn’t improving and my motivation was getting low. And I said I was going to start the bridge to 10k program (b210k) to try to break through the rut.
There seem to be a few different versions of b210k out there. That’s unlike C25K, where there seems to be one single program/outline. Anyway, taking a look at the app on my phone, I decided weeks 1-3 would be too easy given my cardio level at that point. So I started at week 4, which is four 8 minute runs with a minute walk between runs.
I got through week 4 and 5 fairly easily, but nothing to write home about either. Average all around.
Last night, everything must have come together. The sun, moon, planets must have aligned, and I must have had my diet and energy levels maximized because I ran my best run (that I can remember) of over the last 3 years. Week 6 is four 10 minute runs with a minute walk in between. I know my route well, but having to guesstimate how far the 3 walks were I estimate that I ran 4.4 miles in the 40 minutes of run time (9:05 pace). That’s not only one of the fastest paces ever by me, 4.4 miles is one of the longest runs. I’m psyched.
I also mentioned in the last post that I was going to rededicate myself to my diet. I have. And there is no surprise that I’ve seen the results. I’ve been sticking to everything on my healthy living checklist, including eating a lot more fruits and veggies.
I still have a lot of work to do to reach my goal before the end of the year. My biggest challenge is going to be maintaining through the winter–which I haven’t done the last 2 winters. At least this time I have a membership to a gym, which I’ve been going to a few times a week.