Friday, March 23, 2012

Finding Your Motivation

Good morning, fellow people!

As I'm sure you can tell by my greeting, I am in a very oddball mood this lovely morning. I was lucky enough to come into work later than normal and that always makes a happier-albeit stranger- mindset for me. :D

I went for a nice, invigorating run this morning. Invigorating because there is just something surreal about running for miles at the break of dawn. Breaking from tradition, I didn't listen to my typical Jillian Michaels' podcast during my run, instead I put on my favorite workout station on iHeartRadio: Spin Cycle. I broke with my normal podcast routine because I felt the need to ruminate on a few things. Often my runs are the only time I get to spend alone and today that meant I needed time to think freely- something I cannot do while focusing on a podcast.

Lately, I have been focusing on what my motivation to live a healthy life is. Its easy to run down the list of perfect body, flat abs, etc., but trust me when I say  that is not enough. I know it is cliched, but it truely will not get you through the long haul. It might work for a while, but when you have a significant change in your life it is far to easy to let go of your good habits unless you have strong motivation in the first place. Motivation is never stagnant either. It will change as you change and grow as you grow.

My current motivations are a mix of old and new. While many are still evolving into distinct, substantial concepts, I want to share what is currently near and dear to my heart.

As a single woman my focus was very "me" centered. And while I strongly believe that women should always take the time to care for and nourish their bodies, it is unbelieveable how challenging this is once your focus shifts to include a husband. I can only imagine how much more so once there are children in the picture. I have realized that I have to create the foundation now to continue exercising and eating clean, healthy foods for the long haul.

For me being physically active and eating healthy foods isn't an option (although I often act as if it were!). I have food allergies/intolerances that make it necessary to eat clean and avoid trigger foods. If I eat crap, I feel like crap. Its a very simple concept. I also have asthma that is only controlled through diet (eliminating sensitive foods/substances) and physically pushing my body through endurance training (mostly running). The healthier I live the less I have to fight to breathe.

I want to live a long, healthy life. Living to be 100+ is not unheard of in my family. Most of my grandparents and great-aunts/uncles lived will into their 70s or 80s. I've seen some of them pass away still leading an active, vibrant life while others withered due to inactivity, poor diet, and disease. To see someone turn into a shadow of the active person they once were is devastating. I never want to experience a decreased quality of life because of my unwillingness to strive for health and wellness.  Granted, there are illnesses and diseases that we cannot prevent or control. But I do not want the regret of wondering if I could have lived a happier, healthier life, but didn't because it required too much effort.

My thoughts feel a little jumbled right now, but I hope they are clear enough for you to understand them. Do yourself a favor. Take time out to really think about what your motivation is. Maybe you need to find something a bit more substantial or maybe you already have the best of reasons. Either way, having that motivation clearly defined, whether in your head, written down, or shared with a friend, is a great first step on the road to wellness.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Indy Eats

I spent all of last week in beautiful Indianapolis, Indiana. It was my first time in Indy and despite being there for job training, I was determined to see some sights and eat some authentic, local food. I didn't really have a chance to sight see- I blame the weather and the Big10 conference championship!- but I did enjoy some local fare that you just can't find  here at home.

The first stop on my way to the hotel was Traders Point Creamery.

Traders Point Creamery

This place was adorable. A functioning dairy farm (you can actually find some of their products at Whole Foods!) with a restaurant called "The Loft." The restaurant is a converted barn with a very rustic, authentic charm.

"The Loft"

The grass-fed burger was highly recommended online, so I trusted the people and ordered the it with a side of roasted vegetables. The burger was massive, but it was late and I was starving so I devoured it! It was delicious, but a little dry. That would have been remedied, I'm sure, by a slice of their made-in-house cheese...unfortunately eating dairy-free got in the way of enjoying any of the creamery's products other than the grass-fed beef. *sigh* This was one of those times when I am envious of people who can enjoy dairy with no negative effects!

The delicious, 100% grass-fed burger and roasted veggies

While my breakfasts and lunches were nothing to write home about, I did manage to visit two other restaurants that I stumbled upon online and on the "Visit Indy" channel in my hotel room: Late Harvest Kitchen and the Canal Bistro.
Late Harvest Kitchen is a fine dining restaurant that features local, seasonal fare. It was quite pricey, but worth the experience. I chose the Olive-Crusted Mahi-Mahi and Roasted Root Vegetables (Notice the trend? I'm into roasted vegetables.) which I enjoyed with a fabulous glass of vino. :D

Late Harvest Kitchen. Can you see the massive bowl of veggies in the back?

The photo above is the one that really makes me cringe...not only because it does a sub par job of capturing the essence of the meal, but also because every time I see it I am reminded of the waiters glaring at me as I snapped it...

The last restaurant I enjoyed was the Canal Bistro, a Mediterranean restaurant whose owners are from Egypt and Lebanon. You can't get much more authentic than that! The highlight of my meal was the hummus. I was craving hummus all week and finally was able to enjoy some at the Canal Bistro. I also enjoyed dipping the warm pita bread into a blend of olive oil and Mediterranean spices- soooo good! I managed to save some hummus for my Lenten Friday lunch the following day. Yay me!

Hummus garnished with tomatoes, olive oil, and Mediterranean spices!
All in all, I think the trip was a success. I learned a lot at the training course which I can bring back to my job and I enjoyed some wonderful, local restaurants. Win-win.

AND I was in Indianapolis when the Colts cut Peyton Manning. I listened to him tear up on the radio; I was there when the mayor declared Friday, March 9th as "Blue Friday" in honor of Peyton Manning; and I witnessed everyone wearing their #18 jerseys. Wow. Talk about heartbreaking- that city will certainly miss their quarterback! I certainly hope Andrew Luck lives up to his reputation! ;)

<3 K.E.