“Normal Eating” and WIAW

Well it’s already the second week of 2017, but there are still plenty of articles about ways to lose weight, “cleanse” (still confused about this because the body is by and large pretty good about getting rid of toxins), ways to easily cut out sugar, and get back to normal eating!

Now, I realize that everyone’s bodies are different, some people need to lose weight for various health reasons, etc. However, what even is normal eating? Spoiler alert: it depends. However, this question has me thinking. I looked up the word in the handy dandy Merriam-Webster online dictionary and this is what I found:

“conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”

And that’s it. So basically normal eating would be eating in such a way that there’s a basic pattern and regularity in your eating habits. For one person, this may mean intuitive eating, for another it may mean a vegan diet (diet used in this case as an eating pattern, not a way to lose weight), and for another, it may mean the diet they follow to avoid an allergen.

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Homemade cinnamon roll, Canadian bacon, clementine (and of course, coffee)

So that’s the basic definition of what “normal eating” is, and clearly it’s individual. And that’s what’s really great about it. A year or two ago, what normal eating was for me wasn’t what normal is for me today. And I’m really thankful for that since now I’m way healthier. What used to be normal for me was a pretty narrow range of “healthy” foods, eaten as specific times and intervals, with lots of exercise thrown in. Thankfully that’s not what’s normal anymore.

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Split pea and lentil soup, crackers, un-pictured wedge of brie cheese

And it’s possible to change your normal. Maybe you’re struggling right now with disordered eating, or you’ve just found out you have an allergy/sensitivity, your work schedule has changed and life is hectic, or you’re training for a specific fitness goal. And you probably SHOULD change what you consider normal in these circumstances. For example, I SHOULD (LIKE REALLY) be eating more when I’m marathon training. When I was starting recovery, I had to change to eating what I thought was a lot of food. Soon it became normal.

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Happy face because of post workout endorphins and Grande Caramel Macchiato

Here’s my inner math/data nerd side coming out for just a sec. Let’s take a look at this curve, that is known as (wait for it), the NORMAL CURVE 🙂

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Now the normal curve basically shows how data is distributed. I’m not going to go into the statistics and math as to how it is derived (even I don’t find that overly thrilling), but I will tell you a little something about this curve.

The center of data is where the 0 is, so the average value is right about there. The two 1s indicate 1 standard deviation from the mean, and the data contained between -1 and 1 is about 68% of all data (standard deviation basically measures how much data vary). The distance between -2 and 2 contains 95% of all the data.

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Roast chicken, green beans, twice baked potatoes

Okay so that’s a bunch of kind of random info. Why am I telling you this? Well because it shows that A LOT of values can fall into a normal range of data. So let’s say the mean number of calories you eat is X. But, 1 or even 2 standard deviations away is also within a normal range of data, even if it is 1.5 times what X is! The point is: it all kind of evens out.

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Homemade Christmas cupcake! Vanilla cake, chocolate icing 🙂

This may seem like a really long ramble, and it probably is. But my point is this: there is a lot of different definitions when it comes to normal eating. Your mean caloric needs could be totally different than your friend or sister’s, or even totally different than your mean caloric needs last year. That’s okay. Every single diet has variation, and even when we indulge during the holidays, or special occasions, or get stomach flus…it all ends up okay.

Thanks for reading through this post, and remember, find your normal, honor your body.

Thanks to JennLaura for hosting the WIAW linkup!

Anyone else out there like math or data?

What do you think normal eating is?

Favorite hot drink? Coffee and hot chocolate are my faves 🙂

Week in Review…Productive Rest & Travel

Hello and Happy Monday! I had all the best intentions of having a post ready for Thursday, but it didn’t happen because I took a last minute trip to visit some friends! It was just so wonderful. Being with dear friends just made my heart so full and happy. Unfortunately, we are all absolutely horrible at getting pictures together. On a happier note, we tend to really enjoy our time together since we’re not on our phones. Can’t have it all I suppose.

Something I’m really happy about with this past week is that I would call it “productive rest.” It sounds kind of like an oxymoron but let me explain. It was that perfect balance of being social and being alone, speaking and being silent. It was a rejuvenating type of week. It makes me realize that I need to include some of the things that I did this past week in every single week. Let’s look at what I did!

On Monday I went with my family to a museum exhibit. It was pretty interesting, and just a really good way to get everyone out of the house.

Tuesday was a productive day for me. Did some reading, went to the dentist, filled the car with gas, and got a great five mile run in on the treadmill. It was a cold, rainy day so treadmill was way better than outside. I also made dinner for my family: roast chicken, green beans, and some leftover potatoes from my family’s New Year’s dinner.

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Wednesday I was up and ready to catch a train to Richmond, to meet my friend who was driving me down to Chapel Hill (to visit our other friend). I got to read a lot on the train, and then had an amazing lunch with Meghan at a place called Kuba Kuba. I got this amazing sandwich with shredded, tender beef, onions, and Swiss cheese. The best part though was the fried plantains that were on the side. Drool.

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Photo does not do this sandwich and plantains justice.

We then embarked on the 3 hour drive down to North Carolina and met up with our friend Jill. We spent the evening talking and catching up and got some dinner. It was so good to spend time with people who make me so happy. I’m sad that the visit couldn’t last longer, but Jill had to go to work.

On Thursday, Meghan and I got a delicious brunch at a place called Carolina Coffee Shop. It was such a cute little place, and the coffee was delicious and endless (the way it should be). I had a sausage and cheese omelette, with fruit and a biscuit.

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We then set back off to Richmond and spent the rest of the day there, hanging out and then meeting up with our friend Emma for dinner, and a dessert place called Shyndigz. Oh my goodness.  A dessert only restaurant. The three of us shared  salted caramel chocolate cake, red velvet cake, and mixed berry cobbler. The cobbler was my personal favorite. It was such a cute and hip little place!

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Look at the cute little mason jars for water!

Friday was a travel day, but Meghan picked up some donuts from a  famous place in Richmond, Sugar Shack! YUM. After taking a train ride back, I just had a relaxed night at home. It started icing and snowing and by Saturday we practically were in blizzard conditions (aka Virginia isn’t so great at handling snow). I did get to church Saturday evening, and my aunt came to visit which was lovely.

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So now, writing this on Sunday, I’m happy to say that I’ve already read two books this week, did some Instagram posting for my sorority, organized myself, and just recharged. We all need weeks like that. I have to say 2017 is off to a good start.

Linking up with Clean Eats Fast Feets for Week in Review!

Best thing you ate all week?

Last place you traveled to?

Feelings on snow?

Running Bucket List

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable holiday, ate some yummy things, and got to relax a bit. My New Year’s Eve wasn’t too interesting, but New Year’s Day included a nice 7 mile run and some gorgeous weather, sunny and 45-50 degrees. I’m always amazed by how a great run makes the next 24 hours seem better.

While running, I got to thinking about my running goals for the year/if I even want to have running goals. I’m at an interesting point in my running evolution. I dearly love the sport. But after running a marathon, some of my drive and focus has changed.

You see, for so long, running a marathon was my big goal. All of my smaller goals in some way or another led to the goal of running a marathon. Those half marathons? I saw those as preparation for an eventual marathon. Now that I’ve run a marathon, I kind of start thinking, now what? I’m only 20, I have literally SO MANY years (God-willing) of running ahead of me, and I’m (hopefully) nowhere near hitting my peak.

So, instead of trying to come up with something bigger or better to do, I’m ready to start crafting different types of goals. A running bucket list of sorts! There are constantly races I see that I would like to do, or destinations I’d love to go to. Here’s my working “running bucket list.” It’s not an exhaustive list of things, and there’s not really a time limit on any of it. Though there are parts of it that I would prefer to do in 2017 (because I need something to aspire to, right?), some of these things may take over 10 years or more to complete. And, it’s an ongoing list so there’s never really an end in sight…in the best way possible!

So here it is, my *official* running bucket list!:

  • Race and PR in the 5k (my current time is 23:14)
  • Race a 10k (a distance I’ve never raced!)
  • Run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race (I’m thinking the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh half in April…)
  • Run a Disney race
  • Run a race on a holiday (Turkey Trot perhaps? I’ve never done one!)
  • Run a race while wearing a costume
  • Be a pacer for a race
  • Boston Qualify
  • Do a twilight/nighttime race
  • Run a Ragnar (these seem so cool!)
  • Sign up for running coaching (and figure out how the heck I’m supposed to do cross training…)
  • Become an RRCA certified running coach
  • Run a race with a friend, at their pace
  • Place in my age group
  • Meet a famous runner (Shalane Flanagan would be ideal, but honestly I can name at least 10 others that would be equally amazing)

Well, that’s about all I can think of at the moment, but the beauty of running is that it’s a practice. You can never be “perfect” at it, and there’s always something new and interesting to conquer.

Do you have any running/fitness goals on your bucket list?

Have you ever considered getting any fitness certifications? I would love my running coach certification, and also eventually to become a yoga instructor!

Best Disney movie (I’ve got Disney races on my mind…)?