Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

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!


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My mom and I were recently discussing how overwhelming it can be to try to be healthy, because there is so much information out there, much of it conflicting. Do you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, or half your body weight in ounces, or something else entirely? Is soy a great veg source of protein, or does it screw with your hormones? The influx of information can be mind-boggling and often paralyzing. Even if you have the best intentions, it can sometimes feel impossible to know if you’re actually doing and eating the right things.

Here at F2BT, we attempt to wade through the unreliable information, bring you the most up-to-date advice, and deliver our real-life results, good or bad. Here are just a few places I regularly turn for health-related info and ideas. There are hundreds of others out there, and we’d love to hear your suggestions as well.

Runner’s World and Women’s Health magazines. I’m a magazine addict anyway, and these two (both by Rodale) are high-quality, info-packed reads every single issue. Both have great websites as well. I especially love the Newbie Chronicles by Mark Parent in RW for it’s honest, hilarious take on being a beginning runner. Warning: Runner’s World may inspire you to do crazy things, like run a marathon.

MapMyRun.com. This site allows you to plug in any starting point and map a running route which you can save, share, etc. You can set up a profile to track your runs, search for other runs in an area and more. Sister sites include mapmyride.com and mapmyhike.com.

Dr. Andrew Weil. I’ve referenced Dr. Weil several times before, but this Harvard-educated physician has proven to be one of the most reliable sources I’ve found for all things health. He believes emotions and spirit play a bigger role in our well-being than most people acknowledge, and he believes some things are best treated by conventional medicine, and other things are better treated in a more natural manner. I always check out what he’s written on an issue before I take any action.

Self magazine. I had to include another mag, since Self has topped my pile for years. The print issue covers everything for cancer survivors to fashion and celebrities to the best new gear, and I love the editor, a triathlete and mom with a great blog of her own. We at F2BT also check out the Eat Like Me blog at self.com, where a registered dietician photographs and posts every single meal she eats. Great stuff!

iTunes. This isn’t very original, but I check out iTunes for inspiration for workouts, both music and podcasts. I love the sports mixes that include “coached” workouts. I own Lance Armstrong’s and Kara Goucher’s. It’s also inspiring to see the top Power Songs (“Eye of the Tiger” anyone?). And I’ve gotten some great podcasts with workouts, yoga and meditation, etc. Check out Mayo Clinic and Dr. Weil there for medical advice, and listen to interviews with top athletes to keep you motivated.

Ken Combs Running Store. This of course will vary depending on where you are, but your local running store is a great resource. For the most part, the people working there love to run, bike, or whatever, and they want to help the endurance community grow (read: free advice). All running stores I know of also get involved in putting on races, are very active in giving back to the community, and generally have ties to running groups (or coordinate their own). I love Ken Combs in Louisville as well as Swag’s and the Trail Store.

– albledsoe

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Growing up, I was always participating in some sort of sports: gymnastics, basketball, cheerleading, track, volleyball, softball, and the list goes on. Even in college, I participated in intramurals for my dorm. So there was this void that needed to be filled when I became an adult with a real job and a husband and a mortgage. That’s why I was so excited this fall to be on an indoor soccer team!

Adam’s played several seasons of indoor soccer, most recently co-ed. When he decided to organize a new team for the fall session including many people I knew from high school and college, I decided to try it out. Now, I never played soccer growing up, and indoor is an entirely different game, but I am in shape and knew from watching his seasons past that it’s always good to have extra bodies on the bench. Plus, I’m fearless at defense…and kicking the ball with your feet frees up your elbows to jab into someone’s gut!


Adam and Amanda before a game at Mockingbird Valley in Louisville

Here’s what I love about playing on an adult sports team:

– It’s social. I get to spend time with old friends (like my husband!), meet new ones, and be around large groups of people with similar interests.

– It’s exercise. Indoor soccer is fast-moving and requires a different type of fitness than running 8 miles does. And there’s at least one day a week I’m guaranteed a great workout and accountable to my team to give it real effort.

– Teams are fun. I love cheering others on, high-fiving my teammates, and the feeling of camaraderie you get from working toward a common goal.

– I get stress relief. Soccer is a GAME that you PLAY. It’s fun! Especially in a co-ed adult league, there’s no pressure and we can just be silly for an hour a week.

– There was shopping. I had to look like a real soccer player, right? So new shoes and cute socks were musts!

– It gets me out of my comfort zone. I have no idea what I’m doing out there, but I try hard, attempt to learn the rules, and enjoy the process. I’m proud to report that last week, I headed a ball (!), passed through a defender’s legs (not on purpose), and nailed a flawless cross-field pass to a teammate (on purpose). Small victories!

I’d encourage you to check out the leagues in your area; I know people who are in adult leagues for softball, bowling, and even kickball and dodgeball. Not able to make a commitment just yet? Get your friends and family together to throw the football around or get a game of catch going in your yard or a local park. Sweat a little, laugh a lot, and then tell me you don’t feel better!

– albledsoe

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I’m reading “Master Your Metabolism” by Jillian Michaels, and it inspired me to do a fall cleaning of my pantry. I decided to focus on just a couple of items at a time as I read through the book, and I started with hydrogenated fats and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I thought this would be easy because I consider myself a really healthy, natural eater, and everyone knows these things are terrible for you. But when you throw in a husband and god-daughter and the occasional cheat meal, I guess the crappy food accumulated without my even realizing it.

I had one issue with Jillian’s plan: She demands you throw the food away instead of donating it to a food bank, because “this stuff is poison, horrible for your own or anyone else’s body. Yes, you may have paid money for it, but cut your losses and also prevent anyone else from poisoning their body. THROW IT AWAY.” When you put it that way, Jill, how can I say no? So I tossed the junk and cut my losses.

First evil ingredient I tossed: hydrogenated fats. You’ve probably heard about restaurants in certain cities banning trans fats, and lots of food brands put on their labels “Trans Fat Free.” But the catch is, a food can still have a small amount of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and make that claim. NO amount of these fats is good for you, as they lead to heart disease and metabolic syndrome as well as high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Problem is hydrogenated or trans fats find their way into almost every kind of processed food imaginable, like chips and crackers and bread. Most surprising to me was microwave popcorn…I always thought that was a healthy snack (and the air-popped version is a great whole grain, high-fiber option). So I tossed anything in my pantry or fridge with any type of shortening or hydrogenated oil, and my arteries instantly felt better.

Next up: high-fructose corn syrup. I thought I avoided this for the last few years, but I found this stuff on the labels in all kinds of food at my house. From the off-brand raisin bran cereal in the cabinet to the marshmallows left over from camping and even the half jar of pasta sauce in the fridge, I was shocked at the amount of refined-sugar laden crap I was throwing out. It was a great feeling to get rid of it, but I was ashamed to find so much in the first place. So what’s so bad about HFCS? This inexpensive sweetener is added to so many foods, and aside from all the calories it contains, HFCS has been shown to increase your triglycerides and lead to overeating (because your body doesn’t recognize it as food and fails to signal your brain that you’re full).

Once I finished this purge, it was time to refill the kitchen. This time around, I read every single label instead of assuming I knew what was healthy and what wasn’t. It actually made my grocery trip much easier, because if a food contained one of these “antinutrients,” as Jillian calls them, I just put it back on the shelf. Piece of cake! Well, you know what I mean…

– albledsoe

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Shoe Shopping

My current running shoes are much older than I care to admit. The last pair of running shoes I bought were Nike+ compatible to go with my ipod Nano. I’m ashamed to say it, but two years later, I’m still wearing the same shoes for running, workouts, spin class, etc. Yep, I know how bad that is.

Seven weeks ago I kicked off the C25K running plan. After completing two of my training runs last week, I woke up with a sore ankle. By the end of the day my ankle was tender and swollen. What have I done?! I knew I couldn’t put off shoe shopping any longer.

Amanda, my go-to fitness gal and fellow F2BT blogger, suggested that I leave it to the professionals and go somewhere that would give me a proper shoe fitting. She said my ankles would definitely thank me for this. I knew she was right, but I was a little nervous about going to a store that specialized in helping runners. I don’t feel much like a runner. I’m just a newbie at this sport, and I was sure I would get laughed out of the store. Also, I was nervous that they would insist that I needed to buy a pair of really expensive shoes.

So, last weekend I hit the stores. I gave myself a budget of $100 and intended to embrace the help of some footwear professionals instead of just picking the prettiest running shoe off of the rack. I started out at Dick’s Sporting goods and I lasted about 5 minutes. There was a giant wall of shoes, about 10 other people browsing the shoe department and no workers anywhere in sight. I scoped out a couple of displays and realized I needed to head to a specialty store if I wanted to find the right shoes.

Off to Fleet Feet! Several friends recommended Fleet Feet for their service, and the promises on their website sounded nice and welcoming. “Whether you walk, run, or simply need a good fitting pair of shoes, the experts at Fleet Feet Sports will work with you to evaluate your foot’s gait and natural biomechanics to help you select a shoe that offers the best fit and function for you.” And, I must say that is exactly what they did.

The shoe expert who helped me took me through the fitting process step by step. He analyzed my foot and found out what my running goals were so I would end up in the right type of shoe. He really took the time to figure out what I needed and he came up with a match. As it turns out, I’ve been buying my shoes a half size too small for years!

My new gear and October event calendar.

My new gear and October event calendar.

After a test run around the parking lot, I was sold. Not just on the shoes, but the whole experience. I found out about some social running clubs available in my area and an upcoming midnight 5K run that sounds like a lot of fun. I left the store with new shoes (the Saucony Progrid Guide 2) and socks, the October calendar of events and a renewed desire to hit the trails.

I definitely recommend giving the professional fitting a try if you are looking for new running shoes. It was an experience that I unfortunately put off for much too long. I can’t help but think that all of my previous running endeavors might have stuck if I had found the right shoes years ago!

Do you have a favorite running shoe? Have you ever had a professional shoe fitting?

– Sara

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