Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Eat Real

Eat real food.  Sounds simple.  But it isn't.  Everywhere you look there is junk food, fast food, processed food galore.  We all know that we should stay away from that, right?  But companies are getting more sneaky by the second.  Food can be labeled "all natural" and have absolutely nothing natural about it.  This isn't a post about food labeling and the lies that are told to make a buck.  That would need to be a several hundred pages.
This post IS about eating real.  Using common sense.
Just yesterday a sales rep came to me with "organic" "all-natural" "healthy" pre and post workout bars, shake mixes and teas.  A quick glance at the label proved that that all of his claims were not correct.  Sugar and fake sugars make up the bulk of the products.  The rest is ingredients made in a lab.
Read labels.
If you don't know what it is or if you can't pronounce it, don't buy it.
If there is more than 5-10 ingredients that is probably a red flag, too.  Unless you are buying ratatoulle or trail mix ;)

I just love how the universe works sometimes.  Just as I was having a fed-up experience with food and product labeling, I received an email from my blog buddy Katherine.
She is currently hosting an AMAZING giveaway on her blog, The Real Food Runner.

An amazing prize pack from MacroLife Naturals of:

  • Macro Green nutrient rich super-food dietary supplement (56.7 g)
  • Miracle Reds -- cardio antioxidant super-food (56.7 g)
  • blue hat
  • Macro Greens -- chocolate super food (3.3 oz)
  • Macro Reds -- all natural super-fruits & berries (3.3 oz) 
  • 2 of each:
    • Chocolate & Cinnamon raw bars
    • Fresh Berri-Berri
    • Apple Lemon Ginger 
Real food.  Real ingredients.  Check out Katherine's post for even more details on the products and enter here or there to win the amazing package of good food goodies!

Speaking of giveaways:
I am hosting my first-ever Instagram giveaway!  I am giving away a tin of Energy Bits to one lucky IG'er.  Head to my profile @SallyLouWho to check it out!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Running Baggage

I used to head out for a run with nothing but myself.  Once music became more portable, that was mandatory to bring along.  Then came a house key.  A cell phone.  A whistle (post dog-bite).  Thanks to Pilates and Yoga I became able to run farther.  More miles = a longer time running so I had to start bringing water with me.  A few spooky stories of runners and dangerous situations and I finally decided it was time for pepper spray.  JF ordered a hand-held bottle for me.
There are days when I head out for a run and I feel like I am packing for a cross-country hike.  A big difference from the days when it was just me and my hands were free.  I now feel unbalanced when I don't have something in each hand.  So crazy.
My baggage:
Handheld water bottle held that I wear on my wrist.
iPhone held in one hand.  The arm bands are always too big.  Plus I sometimes change songs based on my mood, so, yeah...
House key around my wrist.
The new addition, pepper spray in the other hand.

The first few blocks felt strange as I was getting used to my new add-ons, but by the time I hit the first half-mile I felt just fine.

What do you take out on a run with you?  How has it changed over the years?

Monday, August 26, 2013

A mini-rant

It is so amusing to me when people think that I am a stay-at-home mom or that my job allows me to work out all day.  Yes, even though "everyone" knows that I manage a fitness studio, with a staff of around 15, teach no less than 10 classes per week at two different locations, some people still think that I basically am home all of the time and head to a gym to "work out" and then go home.
There may be fitness instructors that look at teaching a class or two as a workout for themselves and that they are getting paid to workout.  Those people are NOT well trained and they are definitely not the type of instructor you want to go to.
When I teach Pilates, I am standing the entire time.  Spotting, watching form, guiding bodies to do what they need to do.  From properly placing a toe to catching a 200 lb person, I do a lot in an hour.
When I am teaching a class that requires me to do some of the workout with the student, like Piloxing or cycling, I cannot work out at an intensity that would give me my best workout.  I still need to talk and teach, look at form, keep everyone else motivated and moving.  When teaching yoga, yes, I do enjoy a stretch here and there, but as a demo and then I am back to eyeballing knee caps, gently adjusting shoulders, and again, keeping the class flowing, my thoughts and words one, or three, steps ahead the entire time.
I am not complaining.  I love what I do.  I do get to be very active, I am not sitting at a desk, I am able to interact with people and see their bodies and lives change.  I more than love it.  But it is annoying and frustrating when my peers, acquaintances, and people I meet on the street think that I "work out for a living" or am basically home all day.  

Do I look like I am working out?  Or working?

I clock nearly 40 hours a week, not including drive time.
I spend just as much time and money, if not more, than the average 9-5'er on continuing education.
I have to be focused, physically engaged, and mentally aware the entire time I am teaching.
And I want to be.  I don't want my students to leave with a sore neck, a potential injury, or even just a bad experience.  Pilates, yoga, all other forms of fitness, can be life-changing and I am honored to be a part of it.
So, at the end of the day, it isn't so bad that most some people don't get what I do.  I know what I do, and that's enough.
End rant.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How Energy Bits can make you feel

I really do love how Energy Bits make me feel.  Those tiny little tabs of spirulina have helped me to have more energy when running, teaching Pilates, and living my busy mom-life.
As a brand ambassador for Energy Bits I get the awesome opportunity to tell people in person and online about how great adding spirulina and chlorella can make you feel. 
It is not a caffeinated, jittery feeling at all.  Because there are so many caffeine products out there and so many supplements that are filled with additives I have noticed many people are a little hesitant to try Energy Bits. 
One of the greatest parts of what I do is seeing the lightbulb go off as I show someone the nutritional info on bits.  A giant list of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein...all the good stuff.  And then the tiny little sentence:
"100% spirulina, no additives, binders, fillers or preservatives"
That's right, folks.  O N E ingredient.  Dehydrated spriulina.  Or chlorella if you have Recovery Bits.
That's it.  Think of dehydrated apples or bananas...same thing, only packs way more of a nutritional punch.
So, if it's 1 ingredient, will you feel after you swallow a handful?
  • Refreshed.
  • Comfortably not hungry.
  • Like you just had the best sleep of your life.
  • Like you are 18 again.
  • Good from the inside out.
  • That feeling after you have a big, green salad or a fruit smoothie.  Energized and happy!

I also tell people that there have been days where I hit my evening slump, where I could just lie down on my couch and veg out.  But I can't, because I have work, or a little league game to attend, or dinner to make...the list goes on.  So, I will have 10-20 bits, a big glass of water and before I even realize it I feel ready to go.  Not amped up like after a shot of espresso.  But like I am not tired.
From my experience teaching Pilates, where I use imagery and descriptive cues, I know that the more description, the better.  So, just for you, I asked my fellow brand ambassadors how they feel when they get their bits:
  •  Like my body is clean on the inside.
  • Alive.
  • Naturally awake.
  • Focused, productive, healthy!
  • Sustained energy and alertness without the crash of caffeine or sugar.
  • My body feels healthy.
  • A better version of myself.
  • Like I am a couple feet off the ground when running.
  • Less anxious, more calm and centered.
  • Ready to take over the world!
  • Clear and spacious.
  • Abundant with energy that is free and ready to be directed.
Thanks to Ray, Sloane, Morgan, Megan, Leigh, and Jessica for their awesome descriptions! 

A friend of mine said that Energy Bits have helped her step away from Red Bull.  (AWESOME news!)
Another friend forgot her lunch on the second day of nursing school and had 10 bits at lunch and 5 more before her sleepiest class and said that she never felt starving and made it through class with more energy than usual.  

Check out the Bits of Health website for even more information.
I love both Energy Bits and Recovery Bits.  Spirulina for instant energy and Chlorella helps me to stay energized and I notice my blood sugar stays at a good level when I take chlorella.  I tend to get low blood sugar from being so active, so this helps me quite a bit.

Want to know even MORE?

Just ask!  I love to talk algae!

When you head to the website to order, make sure to use code HEART for 20% off!  Every purchase, all the time!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Irrational Thought Thursday

This is only the second of these posts that I have done.
I think they are fun because it really helps to hear other peoples what-if's and it can help to feel less weird to know I am not the only one with random fears and worries.
An irrational thought or fear can be fleeting or can take over your everyday.  The latter would be considered OCD.  I have been there, but am fortunately in a place now where my irrational thoughts or few and far between and very fleeting.
We ALL have irrational thoughts or fears.  It is being able to know that it is irrational and improbable that is important.
So, I would absolutely love it if you share yours below.
It could be therapeutic, funny or just plain fun.  Similar to the "5 Random Things About Me" posts from Instagram, except it is a quirky thought that flew in, and right back our, of your head.

My allergies have been really bad this week so last night I decided to try an epsom salt bath.  I know, I know, epsom salts aren't really shown to improve allergies. BUT, they may pull toxins out of the skin, they relieve aches and pains and so I thought it couldn't hurt.
I had also taken two Advil to relieve the aches and pains I suffer with seasonal allergies.
So, what is the irrational thought?
Well, the warm water felt so good (I also tossed in a minty bath salt) and my pain was going away and, I thought:

"What if I fall asleep in here and drown?"

Have you noticed all irrational thoughts start with a "What if?"

I quickly told myself that I would most definitely not fall asleep.  Yes, I was comfy.  Yes, the bath was relaxing.  But I had taken Advil, not Nyquil.  And I am usually so antsy in the tub that I read for 2 minutes, stretch a few minutes, move my neck around and then it's time to get out. 
This was my first official Epsom Soak and I did enjoy it.  The warm water did help to clear my sinuses and my skin feels great.  If the massive amounts of blog posts I Googled are correct, then my body should have soaked in some extra magnesium and had toxins pulled from my skin.  And, I stayed awake the entire time.

Alright.  How about you?
Have any irrational thoughts lately?  Care to share?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thankful for my teacher

Last month I went to Yoga on the Steps.  At the beginning of the yoga class the instructor asked us to think of someone that has been a teacher to us.  A teacher we are thankful for.
Hearing the word "teacher" I of course pulled up the names and faces of my teachers...from kindergarten through college.  Some were great, some not so much.  But I couldn't imagine dedicating an entire yoga practice to them. 
My mom.  Well, yeah.  She was my first teacher and continues to teach me to this day.  But choosing her would have felt like taking the easy way out.
JF.  Obvs.  He has taught me how to relax, how to be responsible, how to enjoy the moment and so much more.  But, again, easy way out.
My Pilates instructors?  Sorta weird to dedicate a yoga class to them, eh?
The instructor then said to think of someone that has taught us how to live a better life, how to appreciate the world around us.
Ah ha!  Dr. S.
My therapist.  That is totally who I thought of.  He taught me how to be at peace with my mind and my fears.  I walked in his office over 3 (!) years ago a puddle of anxiety, stress, overused emotions and fear.  And now, 3 years later, I see him every few months and I am calm, confident and able to go about my daily life without anxiety bothering too much at all.  Just don't ask me to go to see The Queens of the Stoneage, k?
But that would be creepy, right?  To dedicate a yoga class to my therapist.  The universe and the energy swirling around me in yoga land may decide to get a restraining order or something.

So, I thought of him, Dr. S, as my teacher, but then dedicated the practice to me using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to better my life.  I dedicated the practice the the teary-eyed nervous wreck that used to patch herself together just to run to Target.  She needed a yoga practice dedicated to her.
I see so many posts--blogs, Instagram posts, tweets, Facebook statuses--with my peers and friends saying how stressed, anxious and overwhelmed they are.  It doesn't have to be that way.  CBT worked wonders for me and gave me a new way of thinking and living life.  It may just work for you.

At the beginning of this post my intention was to mention that I saw Dr. S today for the first time since March.  M A R C H!  I used to go once a week and was terrified when he suggested that we try every other week.  Sure, that was 3 years ago now, but still.  I am totally normal now!  Certified, grade A normal!
I was also as excited to go see him as I was to see an old friend.  So, more advice here.  If you have tried therapy and hated the therapist, keep trying.  Find one that works for you, someone that you can relate to and actually listens to you.
I thought I had new problems to talk with him about.  I am flying quite a bit this fall.  I like flying, airplanes and even airports.  My fear is that I will have a panic attack boarding the plane or in flight and just...freak out.  But it turns out I am using all of my CBT skills from last time just fine.  
More on my upcoming trip soon.
For now, just breathe.  And find a good psychologist :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to school

I so did not plan to take the summer off from blogging.  But, besides just a handful of posts, I did.
Last summer I felt like I had so much more extra time for blogging than during the school year.
This summer, it was the exact opposite.  I don't think I had any extra moments for blogging AT ALL.  It was non-stop running from ball games to fun activities to just getting through the work day.
And, despite how society says I am supposed to feel, I am actually pretty happy that my boys are back in school.  Of course I miss having them at home.  Of course I feel pangs of sadness at time passing so quickly.  But I am also so very happy to have my own time again.  I have had my days of peeling grapes, potty training,  story times and play dates.  I enjoyed them, I will miss them, but I don't want to do them again.  The last couple of days I have wistfully watched parents with small children and realize that that part of my life is over.  It is a bit sad, but it is also very exciting.  I have two big boys that are self-sufficient and now I can have fun with them, talk with them, and enjoy seeing the people they are becoming.  They are also small enough that they still hold my hand, want me to read with them or cuddle before bed and laugh at goofy stuff.  This will be the only year they are at the same school.  It is going to be so fun and I intend to try and slow down and enjoy it as much as possible.