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12 in 12

This post is about 6 weeks overdue, but I think it’s worth it…12 in 12

As the calendar flipped over to 2012, I was resolved not to resolve; no resolutions for me! I haven’t had a successful New Year’s resolution since I was about 8 years old and resolved to stop biting my nails. But then I came across a brilliant idea from Fitarella: 12 in 12. Basically, take on just one goal (or resolution, if you prefer that term) each month for the year, 12 goals in 2012. Focusing on something each day for a month is likely to make it a habit, yet you’re making your goals much more manageable by taking on just one thing at a time. At the end of each month, you can choose to continue that goal while you move on to your next monthly goal, or not. Your choice. Either way, at the end of the year you’ll have completed 12 resolutions…when was the last time you can say you did that?

I haven’t planned out my entire year’s worth of goals yet, but I did complete January (floss every day) and have begun February (clean/organize for at least 15 minutes a day). I plan to also have months where I journal every day, go completely vegan, workout every day, etc. I love the variety, the possibility, the feasability. I think ahead to my month and choose a goal that I know I can achieve, regardless of my travel schedule, holidays, etc.

How are your goals for the year coming along? Would you be more likely to succeed if you break it down into smaller segments (monthly, weekly, quarterly)?

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Just a pinch

The wellness program at my new job is AWESOME! Yay for employers that take a proactive position in their employees’ health. This month’s challenge: track (and reduce) our sodium intake.

salt shaker

Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve gone OCD about lots of things in my diet and fitness life, from heart rate to ounces of water, carbs and fat, time of day I’m eating, and, of course, calories. But I’d never tracked sodium. This was going to be hard, because even though I rarely add salt to food, I crave salty snacks. Give me fries or chips or popcorn over ice cream any day!

Turns out, this challenge is even more enlightening than I thought. After only 10 days, my blood pressure had dropped from a normal 120/80 to 94/62! I realize lots of factors can affect blood pressure, so I probably can’t attribute it all to less sodium, but it was enough to motivate me to keep at it. I also felt like I was less…well, puffy. And it is amazing the sodium that hides out in foods, even those that you don’t think of as salty.

People do need SOME sodium for normal bodily functions, but most Western diets include many times the recommended amount. According to Mayoclinic.com, healthy adults should not exceed 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Our challenge is to keep it around 1,500 mg, which is very tough to do! I consider it a good day if I’m under 2,000.

If you’ve never paid much attention to your sodium intake before, try it out for a week. Or even a day! I think you’ll be surprised.

– albledsoe

Long time, no post

Hello everyone! It’s been much too long since our last post. We’ve missed you! We have a lot to catch you up on and we are looking forward to picking back up where we left off.  There have been big life changes for both of your F2BT gals!

It’s the holiday season – which means you are probably on the go, headed to parties and gatherings to spend time with family and friends. Also, it means we’re all doing our best to come out of 2010 without too many extra pounds and not find ourselves in a sugar coma for the next month. So gang, here’s to squeezing in some calorie burns in the midst of the baking/shopping/partying and trying out a few new treats this year that won’t require you to only resort to elastic waistbands by the time 2011 hits. Cheers!

-saralc

We’re planning a brunch wedding shower for my sister next month, and I needed some good food ideas (not that it’s a difficult task, brunch is my favorite meal!). Sara sent along this delicious recipe from Whole Foods that I knew I’d have to try. I did a test run recently on a rare Sunday when my husband was off work, and we both loved it.

Quinoa egg bake fresh from the oven

The dish was quick, simple, had few ingredients, and reheated well. I actually thought it was better the second day, and it was nice to have a fast and hot breakfast before work. Quinoa is a great plant source of protein, and eggs and garlic are superfoods as well.

...and on my plate!

We rounded out the brunch meal with Al Fresco apple chicken sausage (which I’d never have but highly recommend) and wheat toast with homemade apricot preserves (thanks, Eva!). Yummy way to start a Sunday, that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to serving this up at the wedding shower!

– albledsoe

Clean and Lean

What does a Type A foodie love more than good healthy food? An article about cleaning out your kitchen and making room for more good healthy food! The experts over at Active.com have put together some great info with tips on clearing the clutter in your kitchen and restocking your shelves with with goodness. You clean out and organize your closets and junk drawers every spring, so why not add the kitchen to your list of spaces to tidy up this year?

Thank you, Sara!

I got a great birthday package from Sara with an awesome workout gift…and after a month of half-iron training, I could use a little boost! Sara sent me an awesome SweatyBand for my hair. She included a sticky note telling me it would not budge, even on ‘our’ super fine hair. I tried it out while I was on my bike trainer and it really didn’t move. Then I sported the orange, yellow, and red band during a run; again, no slipping at all.

Zoe thinks I'm beautiful in my SweatyBand!

The bands are made of ribbon with a velvet-y backing and elastic that goes under the base of your head for a comfortable fit. I’m going to have to stock up on these, because I love wearing headbands during workouts to keep my hair off my face. Testimonials on the SweatyBands.com website include a girl whose band stayed in place even when she took a helmet on and off! Amazing.

– albledsoe

Temperatures are inching upward, daffodil chutes are beginning to peak through the ground, and the Louisville Triple Crown of Running has begun…it must be spring!

Nothing signals the end of winter in Louisville than the Anthem 5k. The race is the beginning of the Triple Crown and, to me, the beginning of spring. There are several thousand local runners who agree with me, I guess, since 8,525 of us finished Saturday’s race.

It didn’t hurt that we had gorgeous weather. While it was still quite cool at the 8 a.m. start on the Ohio River waterfront, there was a generous amount of sunshine and the promise of highs in the 50s. We were hopeful and eager after weeks of snowy, icy, frigid runs.

The Anthem 5k starts just north of Louisville Slugger Field in the second year of a new route. Like all of the Triple Crown races (and the Derby miniMarathon that follows in April), runners are packed in at the starting line and elbowing each other for a teensy bit of space. Even though the walkers are supposed to start behind the runners, the first mile at least is quite uncomfortable for everyone. The pack spreads out a bit after that, but it’s still a ‘cozy’ affair through to the finish line.

My training buddy, Valerie, and I met up for this race, as per tradition. I believe this is our fourth year of running Triple Crown races together. This was our best showing for Anthem, though, and we were proud that our track workouts with the group from the Ken Combs Running Store are paying off.

Although I know dozens of people that ran Saturday, I saw very few in the throngs of people. But I had no trouble seeking out the Panera Bread tent for my cinnamon crunch bagel (another tradition)!

Like all the Triple Crown events, the 2010 Anthem 5k was well-organized and festive. New this year was the timing device that replaced the chips: it was incorporated into our bib numbers and was disposable. That helped the bottleneck at the finish line quite a bit.

I feel like every Louisvillian should run (or walk) the Triple Crown races at least once, simply to experience the sense of community that comes with crossing that finish line. It doesn’t hurt to celebrate spring with a jaunt through the city with a few of your (literally) closest neighbors, either!

– albledsoe