Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Journal for the week

Today is typically Fun Fact Friday, but I honestly cannot think of anything to write about related to Africa. I think with my husband being sick this week as well as work, I just haven't had time to pay attention to much else. Instead of throwing something together that doesn't mean anything, I'd rather just skip it and talk about something else. I really cherish talking about Africa and I try to be meaningful and informative when I talk about it.

So instead... let's look at

1- my workout

Hour Boot Camp at Holly's
This kicked my fanny and included things like walking lunges, burpee type things (I don't know what they're called), supine pull ups, bicycles, hamstring curls, push ups with correct form, planks, etc etc etc. 

2 - a photo journal of the week. When I see something pretty, I like to take a picture of it so let's see what I've come up with -

This doesn't look as pretty but it's my favorite bush in our yard because it smells so good. I get out of my car and smell it every day. 

He saw the neighbors cat outside and was doing some kind of weird thing where he wanted to slouch down to attack, but also still see the cat

 Wisteria growing on the neighbors swing area - it is so pretty

Almond encrusted fish I made from a Pinterest Recipe 

my new dry hair shampoo. It's $25 but it works really well and doesn't make your hair sticky the way others do sometimes

Namaste, Y'all!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For Women Only

I say that because this is about women's cycles and birth control which I know that guys don't like to discuss. So...

I've been wondering if I've had issues with hormones for a long time because I do get headaches, I do have sex drive issues (I realize this is personal info but I'm just trying to help anyone else out there that might be struggling with the same things) and I do tend to experience most of the side effects of taking a hormonal form of birth control. 

I am currently on Nuvaring. The list of possible side effects include - 


Risks of NuvaRing

• Blood clots

The hormones in NuvaRing may cause changes in your blood clotting system which may allow your blood to clot more easily. If blood clots form in your legs, they can travel to the lungs and cause a sudden blockage of a vessel carrying blood to the lungs. Rarely, clots occur in the blood vessels of the eye and may cause blindness, double vision, or other vision problems. The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills. It is unknown if the risk of blood clots is different with NuvaRing use than with the use of certain birth control pills.

If you take hormonal contraceptives and need elective surgery, need to stay in bed for a prolonged illness or have recently delivered a baby, you may be at risk of developing blood clots. You should consult your doctor or health care provider about stopping hormonal contraceptives 3 to 4 weeks before surgery and not taking hormonal contraceptives for 2 weeks after surgery or during bed rest. You should also not take hormonal contraceptives soon after delivery of a baby. It is advisable to wait for at least 4 weeks after delivery if you are not breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, you should wait until you have weaned your child before using the Pill (see PRECAUTIONS, NURSING MOTHERS in the Product Information).

• Strokes and heart attacks

Hormonal contraceptives may increase your risk of strokes (blockage of blood flow to the brain) or heart attacks (blockage of blood flow to the heart). Any of these conditions can cause death or serious disability. Smoking greatly increases the risk of having strokes and heart attacks. Furthermore, smoking and the use of combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing, greatly increases the chances of developing and dying of heart disease. If you use combination hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, you should not smoke.

• High blood pressure and heart disease

Combination hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, can worsen conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and problems with cholesterol and triglycerides.

• Cancer of the reproductive organs and breast

Breast cancer has been diagnosed slightly more often in women who use the Pill than in women of the same age who do not use the Pill. This small increase in the number of breast cancer diagnoses gradually disappears during the 10 years after stopping use of the Pill. It is not known whether the difference is caused by the Pill. It may be that women taking the Pill are examined more often, so that breast cancer is more likely to be detected. You should have regular breast examinations by a health care provider and examine your own breasts monthly. Tell your health care provider if you have a family history of breast cancer or if you have had breast nodules or an abnormal mammogram.

Women who currently have or have had breast cancer should not use hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, because breast cancer is usually a hormone-sensitive tumor.

Some studies have found an increase in the incidence of cancer of the cervix in women who use oral contraceptives. However, this finding may be related to factors other than the use of oral contraceptives. There is insufficient evidence to rule out the possibility that Pills may cause such cancers.

• Gallbladder disease

Combination hormonal contraceptive users may have a higher chance of having gallbladder disease.

• Liver tumors

In rare cases, combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing, can cause noncancerous (benign) but dangerous liver tumors. These benign liver tumors can break and cause fatal internal bleeding. In addition, it is possible that women who use combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing, have a higher chance of getting liver cancer. However, liver cancers are extremely rare.

• Lipid metabolism and inflammation of the pancreas

In women with inherited defects of lipid metabolism, there have been reports of significant elevations of plasma triglycerides during estrogen therapy. This has led to pancreatitis in some cases.

The common side effects reported by NuvaRing users are:

  • Vaginal infections and irritation
  • Vaginal secretion
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
In addition to the risks and side effects listed above, users of combination hormonal birth control methods have reported the following side effects:
  • Vomiting
  • Change in appetite
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Temporary infertility after treatment
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Spotty darkening of the skin, particularly on the face
  • Rash
  • Weight changes
  • Depression
  • Intolerance to contact lenses
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of scalp hair"

It sounds so scary but in actuality, most people do not suffer from these symptoms. My symptoms seem to be headaches, lowered sex drive, possible acne (which I'm hoping doesn't get worse instead of better when I get off of it), and weight gain. After learning more about some of this stuff and reading some posts on Healthy Tipping Point, I decided to go on a quest to learn about birth control and alternative methods. 

I talked to my current obgyn who basically dismissed my concerns and told me to continue on with Nuvaring. That irritated me so I thought, instead of battling with him, why not find a different gyno who might actually listen to my concerns. 

Bring me to today, and she suggested an IUD. I chose her because on her website, she describes her interests as:

"...adolescent medicine, preventive medicine, minimally invasive surgery, alternative and complementary medicine, and high risk obstetrics. "

I was like, okay, this is more of what I'm looking for. And it was. She was very helpful, explained a little bit of everything and answered a lot of questions I had about lots of things. I forgot how much nicer it is to have a woman gyno. 

So, next week, I am scheduled to get the Mirena IUD which I am very excited about. It does still contain a small amount of hormones (progesterone vs estrogen) but it typically remains in the uterus and will help will volume that time of the month. 

She said that it will be a great compliment to my Africa trip as well. And, when we're ready to have a baby, we just get it taken out and BAM. 

I am scheduled next week, so I'll give a report once it all happens! 

p.s. I am filing this under alternative medicine because even though it's not like, the Fertility Awareness Method, it is a nice solution to birth control in a non hormonal way


Workout Day 2 - Stoix 8 Week Training

Temp - 63 and humid as all get out

Total miles - 3.06
Total Workout Time - 42 minutes (approximately)

Tempo Work -
Warm up - .75 miles at 10:30 pace
5 sets of 2:00 minute out and backs
Cool down - .50 mile walk

especially when you pay for it

I'm so used to just doing repeats, I thought - oh we're doing 2 minute repeats which is not what we were doing. Holly describes the out & back as:

"The objective is to control your pace on the way out and then return 2-5 seconds faster on the way back"

So if we ran out 2 minutes, then we should be back in around 1:50-1:55.
 I just figured out another mistake too because it says your return trip shouldn't be faster than 1:50 and OF COURSE, 3 of the 5 of mine were faster. I am really bad at reading instructions. Then it also says the recovery interval is 60 seconds and we took 120 seconds. 

SO - now that I have actually READ THE INSTRUCTIONS - maybe next time, I'll do them right. awesome.

Either way, at least I now know. I know this, I was straight up tired by the end.

Lap 1 - returned 1:50 - so I actually did that one right
Lap 2  - returned back in 1:47
Lap 3 - returned back in 1:48
Lap 4 - forgot we started later and stopped running at 1:30 so I returned in 1:11 but I don't what in the world
Lap 5 - returned in 1:49

So based on what I know now, today's workout was a disaster, but now I know.

Namaste y'all!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Today, i'm loving my husband most. He's been struggling because first, he cut his finger with a chain saw and then 2 days later, he got kidney stones! The stone is so big that he can't pass it on his own, so right now, I'm sitting in the hospital waiting room while they remove it surgically!

poor buddy

Hope y'all have a great day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Buying Local

As the whole "Go Green!!" and "Buy Organic" movements continue to gain popularity, you can't help but notice that there's a big push to buy local.

There are several reasons why one should buy local but just a few are that - 

1. It lessons the environmental impact caused by manufacturing plants, transportation, etc

2. It supports the people in your community and therefore supports your community. The more money spent in your own town, the more your town thrives. 

3. The products you buy tend to me more unique or specific to your community

etc etc etc etc

My experience with buying local started with my disdain for chain restaurants. The food tends to taste manufactured and is full of sodium. I love to find a neat little restaurant that is specific to the place I'm visiting. I want to see what makes a community unique and different. Like in Boulder, when we ate at the Persian Restaurant that had been built in Tajikistan. 

It was so much more interesting than Applebee's. 

The other thing that began to interest me was our farming community. Living in South Carolina, a state that's economy was built on agriculture, we have lots and lots of farmers all around, even in the city limits. Whole Food sometimes sells strawberries grown in Simpsonville and I buy milk from a farm in Starr, SC. We have a fun little farmer's market downtown during the summer, and a year round Farmer's Market on Rutherford Rd. Obviously, the biggest things we buy at the farmer's market is okra, squash, tomatoes and corn, simply because those are some fairly standard summer crops in the south. One can also buy milk, fresh eggs, tomatillos, boiled peanuts, fresh berries, and local honey. 

Little known fact, well I think it's little known, if you eat local honey, it helps with allergies. You have to eat it during the winter before pollen season, but the exposure somehow helps you build a tolerance to the pollen of your region :)

My quest to support local has grown, though, to include as much as I possibly can. While I do most of my grocery shopping at Whole Foods/Earth Fare, I do try to buy what is most local to me. I look at labels and sometimes it takes me a long time to find the sweet potatoes grown in Whiteville, NC but I just prefer those over the CA ones. 

I try to buy clothes from local shops like the one I discussed the other day. I try to buy my running shoes from local running stores, get my bike serviced at local bike shops, and even buy plants from local nurseries

That means that I do pay more for things many times. When it's not mass manufactured, it's more expensive to make. It's difficult for a business owner to employ lots of workers and they don't necessarily get a discount on buying supplies in bulk, but the money is worth it. If it means I have to buy less things so that I can support my fellow neighbor, then so be it. I have everything I NEED anyways. 

So I will continue to spotlight local businesses on my blog as much as possible because it is something that I believe in whole heartedly!

Namaste, Y'all!

Workout - Day 1 of 8 week Stoix Training

Location - Downtown Starbucks
Total miles - 2.42
Total time - 27:42

Warm up - 4 minutes

Mile TT - 8:49

5 sets of 45 strides

Cool down - .25 mile

I'm going to start logging my workouts here so I can come back to review if I need to. I'm on daily mile, but it's sometimes hard to be as specific. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Training Program

If you've been reading my blog over the past 4-5 months, you know how much I've been complaining about running and how burnt out I was and how I'm not doing any endurance training, etc etc etc. Well, one of the things I've been thinking about doing is just focusing on increasing my speed and specifically shortening my times for the 5k and 10k distance. Now - I actually have a plan. Well, I don't, Holly Di Giovine does.

She's basically designing me a 10k training program for me which, I'm thinking, will consist of speed work, interval work and long distance on the weekends (which long distance will be focused for 10k - I'm sticking with no long runs for a while). 

My training will also include 1 boot camp with Holly per week, a strength training session on my own (courtesy for the one and only moi), and 2-3 yoga classes per week. The other thing I will try to incorporate, not because I just want more cardio, but because I enjoy it so much, is riding my bike. 

This weekend, I rode with my friend, Elisa, and let me tell you. I. STRAIGHT UP. LOVE. MY. BIKE. 

I don't have a picture of me on my bike, so I thought I'd throw in a pic of me on a moped - same thing, right? 

One of my friends was like, you know you can take that helmet off & i was like, eh, whatevs. 

So.. I got off topic a bit, but back to training.

I am excited that I have a plan so I'm going to try very hard to be a little bit more consistent. What happens is I don't like going to bed early, then I have a hard time getting up in the morning, then I think I can do the workout at night, then I don't want to work out at night, then I get a day behind and so on and so forth. Now, I'm going to forced a little to follow a plan and maybe I'll be better about keeping schedule.

My overall goal for 2012 will be to reduce my 5k time by a minute 3 minutes. With a trip to Africa in the middle of August, that may change a bit, but we'll see.

I know this. I will not be training for a half marathon for a while. I was riding on sunday and I saw a couple of runners just pounding the pavement and I thought, I am so grateful that I'm not out here banging out miles. Thank you Lord for some clarity!

Are you training for anything? 

Love this

Please read this if you've ever struggled with disordered eating

great Article

Weekend Recap

This weekend seemed like a long one, but I still somehow am really tired. It started friday afternoon when I decided to go for a walk after work. I am still in that place where I have to argue with myself over walking because I don't think it's good enough for my work out which is ridiculous. But, I still have to force myself to walk instead of run. I enjoy waking though because in addition to getting my heart rate up, I can notice things like the trees and flowers. Friday evening, the smells of Spring were so strong and I enjoyed every single second of my walking. I still managed to keep a 15 min/mile pace so I was walking briskly enough.

We also went to see my oldest stepdaughter, Neely, in her school play. It was very entertaining!!

Saturday - I went to the Spice of Life show with my sister in law and mother in law

It was fun and I was excited to find this lady who makes home made soaps and bath salts

I got this sampler set of soaps to try all the different kinds out and see which one to order in the future

Sunday turned out to be a chill day. I rode my bike which was awesome and then we looked at nurseries because we've definitely got some landscaping to do. 

How was your weekend? 

Namaste, y'all!