Can you believe it is already Thursday? I don’t seem to have any concept of days this week, with my new schedule and everything. There are definitely some kinks to be worked out. In case you’re wondering how my little sugar experiment went, I slept really, really well last night, and felt much more alert and awake during the day. It’s funny what an effect a little sugar can have on your body, in ways you would never think of.
This morning, I survived my tough workout, stomach contents and all! It was tough but doable. The goal times my coach gave me really helped me pace myself, yet push myself at the same time. The workout was on the rowing machine, 250m, 2500m, 750m, and 5000m, all a basically max effort. I didn’t eat much beforehand, just a few bites of leftover banana oatmeal. This was about right given the workout. Afterwards, I was ready for a real meal! Some people don’t feel like eating after a hard workout, but I’m always driven toward food. Even if I don’t feel well, it is like my body knows that food will replenish me.
A peach-watermelon smoothie. Hey, I have to go with what is available to me, right? And it was good too! This year I learned that watermelon can make an awesome addition to a smoothie. Another smoothie I like that I haven’t made in a while is blackberry-watermelon. Yum! I added some peanut butter to top my smoothie as well. On the plate is a chocolate chip pancake, plus half a whole wheat english muffin with a bit of cream cheese and scrambled eggs with mozzarella and green onions. I also went back for another chocolate chip pancake because, well, I deserved it after that workout!
Some type of turkey sandwich on ciabatta (I ate it open faced because it was too dry otherwise), a salad with apples and cranberries, and yogurt with granola and fruit. The yogurt was so good; it reminded me of frozen yogurt! I had to grab an actual serving of it.
What a beautiful parfait! I forgot how good pineapple is in yogurt!
After lunch, I headed to my Animal Behavior class (which I absolutely love), which is soooo far away. I also realized that wind really does play a big role when one is biking. I felt like I wasn’t moving at all as I rode into it!
After class, I snacked on frozen cherries and a protein bar from the other day. Frozen fruit is such a good snack, especially since I have a full freezer! I also had a handful of trail mix from the other day.
I got super bundled up for practice, as it was super cold out! I decided to make it my goal to not be cold during practice. I had 2 long sleeves plus 2 sweatshirts! Well, I wasn’t cold; practice was cancelled due to excessively windy conditions. This has never happened before. We have rowed in all kinds of weather, including rainstorms, so it must have been pretty crazy out for it to merit canceling practice. Instead, we had 75 minutes of cross training assigned. I convinced myself to do 20 minutes of it on the rowing machine, even though I had a tough workout this morning, just to break up the monotony. We aren’t allowed many options besides spinning, rowing, and running, and I have to run tomorrow anyway. One thing I miss with this new schedule is having freedom in my workouts. I miss lifting weights in the way I am used to doing it, and I miss circuit and ab workouts. The problem is, I don’t have the time or energy for them with everything else I have to do. But I do love rowing, so it’s a tradeoff. I was thinking about going to a spin class today, but I couldn’t get the timing to work out with the specifics of our assigned workout, so I decided to make a pumping spin class of my own. I love spin classes, and I have a secret dream of one day becoming a spin instructor. I have no idea how to do that though. Maybe something to look into this summer? Anyway, here’s a rough outline of the workout I made myself. The numbers indicate the number of songs for each section (make an awesome playlist like I did!):
2 warm up
3 flat road
2 flat road
1 cool down
Mixed greens with olives, corn, and a few pieces of zucchini, topped with champagne vinaigrette. I also had grilled chicken, brown rice, and some type of white beans. Plus ketchup on the side!
For dessert I had a bowl of cocoa puffs with peanut butter and chocolate milk. I just can’t lay off the chocolate peanut butter!
After dinner I went to a career fair where I sampled half of a chocolate chip cookie and half of an oatmeal raisin cookie. Fun fact: I don’t really like the chocolate chip cookies here. In fact, I am not a big fan of chocolate chip cookies unless they’re homemade (not that I don’t still eat them). I really like the oatmeal raisin cookies at the dining hall. They’re not as spiced, and are pretty vanilla-y. Yum! When I returned to my dorm, I could tell my sweet tooth was still running rampant. In an effort to limit the damage, I had my last Special K peanut butter chocolate granola bar from training camp, plus a piece of chocolate. I think that did the trick well enough.
I want to briefly touch on the nature of this blog. One thing I really want to maintain in this blog is positiveness. Many of the blogs I ready are super enthusiastic and positive, and I want to maintain that in this blog. Sure, life may not always be perfect, but a negative attitude doesn’t help anyone. It is really easy to type up a rant and post it, without thinking about the impact. I’m not saying I want to be dishonest with you guys, not at all. I’m saying I want to truly be positive. I am in general a very positive person, but everyone gets angry at themselves sometimes. I definitely don’t want this blog to be a place where all I do is complain, because let’s be honest, my life is pretty freaking great.
All that being said, I don’t feel like what I am eating fully fits into the definition of a healthy lifestyle. After all, I love nutrition, and I want to share that knowledge with you guys, but I also what that knowledge to be reflected in my meals. The best way to teach is through example, right? I am truly going to work hard to maintain my healthy ways, and improve in areas that need work. For example, I want to make a better effort to remember to take my vitamins. (Ok, maybe that’s not totally related but I needed to remind myself of that.)
Ok, now that all that seriousness is out of the way, guess what I saw tonight? A cat. I’ve seen this one a few times, but never so close to my dorm. I was walking back to my dorm when I heard meowing. Naturally, my ears perked up. This cat is such a sweetie. I felt so bad because it was FREEZING out. And I know I shouldn’t take it into my room because it probably has a home, and maybe that’s not something I should spring on my roommate, but I was definitely tempted.
This picture is from last time, when it was actually light out. Have I mentioned I love cats?
A girl on my team hates cats, which in her case I can actually understand. Apparently she had a pet mouse that she brought to school for show and tell, and there was a class cat there, and well, you can infer the rest…
Before I leave here today, I want to end with something super interesting I learned in animal behavior today. Apparently, it is impossible to teach an animal to do something 100% of the time, because the animals’ brains are essentially programmed to check if anything has changed. The only way to get an animal to display a certain behavior 100% of the time is if when training the animal, after the animal has learned that it will get a reward for the behavior, only give the animal a reward intermittently. For example, if training a dog to bring you the newspaper, at first you give the dog a treat every time it brings the newspaper until it has learned this behavior, and then only give the dog a treat some of the time when it brings the newspaper. Although the relation to health may not be immediately apparent, bear with me, I promise I’ll make sense. Animals are more likely to do a command if instead of getting a small reward every time, they get a huge reward occasionally. Now this may be a stretch, but I’m going to connect his to the studies that have shown that mice who are restricted from sugar for a period gorge on sugar when they are exposed to it again, as opposed to the mice who have constant access to sugar who don’t do this. So why am I bringing this up? It directly relates to addiction, or more relevant to health, food addiction. We really are not that different from animals, so we can connect these behaviors to ourselves. The very nature of these behaviors is the underlying cause (ok, this is definitely an exaggeration) of binge eating. A huge reward some of the time, and nothing the rest of the time? Does this sound anything like binge eating to you? It’s so interesting the way our brains work, and the effects they have on our behaviors. If that connection doesn’t make sense to you, I’m probably making a big stretch, but that seemed like an “aha” moment at the time for me.