Tuesday, October 28, 2014


One of the discoveries I've had in life is that it can be very difficult to find and maintain meaningful friendships. Friendships built on something more than the convenience of a shared neighborhood, religion, etc...

It used to be that I could find immediate friends no matter where I lived, but growing up and moving to Phoenix where my husband and I knew exactly two people, didn't make finding friends an easy experience. And since we no longer used our previous network, it was now just the two of us in a city of over 4 million people.

Here are my tried and true tips for finding friends:

1) Get out and DO THINGS.
I joined a local running club with meetup.com. Although I didn't end up hitting it off with any of the group, it got me out there talking to people. However, I also began attending a few evening classes at my local YMCA and instead of immediately leaving when the class was done, I attempted to start up authentic conversations with others. Which leads me to tip #2.

2) Be brave.
More often than not, everyone feels a little awkward at social events The addage, "Fake it 'til you make it" is true and extremely applicable when it comes to meeting new people. Introduce yourself. Make eye contact. Smile. And when necessary, add yourself into conversations. Slowly, though. You don't want to scare anyone off. And that leads me to tip #3.

3) Infiltrate slowly.
Forming friendships is a process. It takes time. You can't expect to be a part of the inside jokes right away. You might be trying to form friendships with a group who have know each other for years. Be patient. Get invited to the events and get to know people. Eventually, throw a get together of your own.

In short, finding true friends takes time, just like any great relationship should. But it is definitely worth it when you find your tribe.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Cutting off 10+ inches. An important decision in finding myself.
The last four years have been an exhaustive and soul searching journey. They have been spent in introspective meditation, meaningful research, extensive reading, tears, smiles, and ultimately a redefining of the meaning of freedom. It is not likely I will share the minute details of this journey, or even the reasons for it. Journeys, after all, are essential in the human existence. I can't assume that mine would be meaningful to you; however, it was life-changing to me.

And yet, in all this "finding myself," I actually lost a bit of myself as well. However, not in the way one might expect. We moved. And I began a demanding job. For the last 4 years I have grown consumed by my work in such excess that I lost my hobbies and essentially, the past-times that made me "me."

I heard a quote about a month ago which stated that those with hobbies are the most happy. This phrase certainly rang true to me. After all, here I am, working 50+ hours a week in a thankless job, so tired when I get home I just want to lock myself in a room and turn off my brain. Only to get up and do it again the next day.

But this quote hit me hard enough that I decided I have to do something. I have to take my life back. So, if this idea rings true to you, join me on my journey to do just that. Over the next, who knows how long? I will be stealing my happiness back by documenting my loves: Running, eating healthy, gardening and ultimately getting my life back. The only obstacle? Well, that's the ultimate goal: Balance. A life of balance.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I seriously love these. They are lightly sweet and quite tasty. And did you know just how good ginger is for you? You didn't? Well, let me help!

Benefits of ginger:
*ginger improves digestion
*ginger is a natural pain reliever
*ginger helps nausea. There are some women who swear it gets rid of morning sickness!
*ginger helps inflammation
*ginger eases heartburn
*ginger helps cold and flu for both prevention and treatment (think ginger ale).
*ginger helps ease menstrual cramps
*ginger helps kidney functions
*ginger helps improve circulation
*ginger helps arthritis (through reducing pain and inflammation already mentioned)
*ginger lowers cholesterol
*ginger has been said to help ovarian and colon cancer
*ginger is antibacterial and antifungal in nature so it is good for many things.

All in all, ginger chews aren't the best way to take ginger. A better idea is fresh ginger root used in cooking and baking, but if you are easing into it and want a tasty treat, ginger chews sure are great! (Oh, and you can find them at Big Hollow for only $2.25 a bag).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bump it up!

This is a little off-topic, but I have been doing a bit of research on how to get the most effective workout. And I found the answer: interval training. So even though I don't love running at the gym, I have now found purpose to my workouts there!

Why? Well, here are some reasons (I especially love #3. In a magazine I read recently, an added benefit also included raised metabolism for up to 3 hours after an interval workout versus a slow and steady workout for the same duration only raising the metabolism for 30 minutes afterward), found here:
  1. Interval training increases endurance. When you alternate periods of speed with periods of rest, you engage both of your body’s energy-producing systems: the aerobic and the anaerobic. The aerobic system uses oxygen to create sustained energy fueled by carbohydrates, allowing you to run multiple miles. The anaerobic system draws energy from glycogen stored in the muscles, which provides short bursts of activity. This process doesn’t require oxygen and results in the production of lactic acid, which is what makes you feel achy after working out. According to Dr. George Brooks of the University of California at Berkeley, running intervals develops both systems, forcing the body to create lactic acid during sprints and then allowing the body to break it down as use it as fuel as you recover, preventing muscle fatigue and allowing you to work out longer.
  2. You can improve your speed running intervals. When you run intervals, you teach your body that it can run faster by making it run faster. You can’t sustain your fastest pace for more than a few seconds at best. By running fast for a short distance, allowing your body to recover, and then running fast again, your body starts to become conditioned. When you learn to run at high-speeds over short distances, you’re eventually able to sustain a faster pace over long distances.  
  3. You’ll burn more fat running intervals than you will running at a steady pace. Research presented by the University of New South Wales in Australia proved that incorporating speed intervals into a workout burns three times as much fat as exercising at a steady pace for twice as long. If you’ve reached a plateau in your weight loss effort, intervals could be the key helping you break through to achieve your goals.
  4. Interval training enhances neuromuscular coordination. This connection between your muscles and your mind is imperative for balance and injury prevention. As previously mentioned, running intervals increases the body’s efficiency, allowing it to process and create fuel more effectively and to achieve faster speed. This efficiency optimizes muscle coordination, and gives you better control over your muscles, both conscious and subconsciously. This control allows your body to automatically adapt and maintain balance while avoiding injuries without even having to think about it.
  5. Running intervals helps stave off boredom. No matter how much you love to run, there are always those days when lacing up your sneakers feels like a chore. Running past the same old landmarks or climbing onto the treadmills gets boring day after day, and interval training helps to mix things up. Use those familiar landmarks as sprint marks, or use the treadmill clock to keep time as you recover. Pushing your body to its limit will require all of your focus and determination – and boredom will be the last thing on your mind.
University of California at Berkeley
University of New South Wales
School of Science and Physical Education, Esfahan University

So, the next time you find yourself on the elliptical or treadmill, instead of a slow and steady 10 minute mile, bump it up to a 7.0 or higher for 30-40 seconds and then bring it backt down to 6.0 and jog for 3 minutes. Repeat with the goal of about 7 or more speed intervals every 30 minute exercise.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Because I Need Motivation

I went ahead and gave away my weekend (I'm babysitting 9-5 Saturday AND Sunday). Dreams of treadmill money are the only sane reason for doing such a thing. Oh, and the fact that the woman I'm babysitting for is in dire need. She is moving on Wednesday and has to get the college classes she teaches turned into online classes asap.

Anyway, I now have to do my long run this afternoon after a full day of work. I don't know about you, but that is sounding dreadful. Especially since it will be 10 miles on a treadmill. Boring. So, to help myself get motivated, and perhaps motivate you too, here are a list of some of my favorite running blogs to read:

Barefoot Angie Bee

Skinny Runner

Hungry Runner Girl

Why I Run

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kind of a creepy picture, but I love the idea of it.
For the first time in over two months the weather was warm enough (the high reached 40! and the trail was free of snow) for me to enjoy another barefoot run. Boy were my feet missing it! I ran 7 miles and now, an hour later and my feet still feel great!

Also, for the first time ever I saw another barefoot runner. We passed each other a few times going the opposite way around the loop. Very cool. I'm glad to know there is at least one other person like me in Someplace, Wyoming. I usually get weird looks, but think nothing of it. Today I did a double-take when I saw him running.

To reward myself I enjoyed an amazing pita with homemade roasted red pepper hummus (I'll have to post the recipe on here sometime) and a delicious orange.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Alternative

...to Goldfish.

And they even sell them at my Wal-mart for under $3.00! Check out the ingredients. All understandable! And they taste every bit as good as Goldfish too!