Come visit me on my new hotness website: 50peach.com!
It’s where the cool kids hang out.
Come visit me on my new hotness website: 50peach.com!
It’s where the cool kids hang out.
I promise there are good reasons for my lack of posts and slacking on joining Yeah Write this week.
You see…. I have a surprise for you. I can’t tell you what because duh, it’s a surprise. But I can tell you the when. Here goes.
Sometime over the weekend (but definitely by Monday) you’ll see these Big Things. Check back with me over the next few days to find out!
Yes, I know this is evil. But I’ll give you a few hints:
Send me good juju that all goes well, please?
In the meantime, I’ll share a few pictures from yesterday, which was my birthday! It was an amazing day and I was showered with texts, calls, Facebooks, tweets, flowers, and LOVE. I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful friends IRL and here through this blog. This girl is grateful. Sniffffff.
Cake Batter Pancakes. Enough said. Recipe here.
TROUBLE. Lululemon gift card. There goes a paycheck. #zerowillpower
Gorgeous sunshine from my west coast bestie. <3
Amazon gift card, silicon baking cups, Bob Harper sweaty yoga and a new speed rope for CrossFit. Yay!
To make my birthday even better? Something really awesome happened professionally and they didn’t even know it was my birthday! Remember when I tweeted this?
See you all very, very soon!
Yeah, yeah… I know I Instagram more food than is probably necessary. So be it. I own many of the stereotypes so accurately and hilariously depicted in this parody. I recently even stooped to the crazy CrossFit handstand shots. Sorry, you don’t get to see those. Yet.
However, there is a reason for all this IG nonsense. These pics make posts like this one way better, so that I can share my latest
FAILS adventures with clean eating and Paleo-ish foods with pictures! Because I know you’re all just on the edges of your seats to know what my daily calorie intake looks like. Admit it. Or not. The hell with my self-esteem. I’ll go cry in the corner now.
Savory choice: Egg scramble with veggies, sometimes with leftover protein. Depends on the leftovers… I haven’t quite adjusted my system to crave crock-pot chicken curry at 8am. *burp* The ingredients: 1 whole egg, 1-2 egg whites, 1 cup of veggies, 1/2T coconut oil. Heat the oil, add the veggies and cook until warmed. Push to one side of skillet, then add egg/whites and let those firm up. When almost firm but still wet, mix with veggies and cook until eggs are desired doneness. Top with leftover turkey burger, meatloaf, ground beef, steak, bacon, sausage…you get the idea.
Sweet choice: I go this route far more often, but try to keep the choices high in protein, low in fat and low in carbs. I experimented last week with a recipe for some Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Fritters. From the final pic, you’d think this was a breeze, right? WRONG. Here’s what really happened.
A way less messy option is my Cake Batter Yogurt Fruit Bowl:
1/2 C Fage 0% greek yogurt
1/2 medium banana, mashed
splash of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Milk
2TBSP PB2 w/ Chocolate
Top with fresh fruit, nuts, more nut butter or a drizzle of honey/maple syrup
Recently, I brought back an old favorite by Lauren at The Informed Health Nut - Protein Pow Pow Pancakes (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
1/2 of a small, ripe banana
1 scoop protein powder (~1/4 cup) I used Jay Robb’s Strawberry Egg White
1 egg white
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut beverage, or almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
stevia, to taste (I omitted)
slightly less than 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp butter or coconut oil, to grease pan between pancakes
Directions – Mash banana in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and egg white and mix. Add the protein powder and coconut flour and mix well. Add the coconut beverage, vanilla, stevia, and salt and mix well. Add the baking soda and mix well. Turn on the stove to medium lowish heat and place a pan on the burner. Add enough butter to coat the bottom. Once heated, pour the batter in the pan. When there are LOTS of bubbles, flip the pancake. Repeat until the batter is gone. Serve with grass fed butter, nut butter, sugar free maple syrup, shredded coconut, etc.
Lunch and Dinner Options:
I’ve discovered I actually love roasted Brussels sprouts. Who’da thunk it?? And they are SO easy: Wash em up, cut off the ends, chop in half or quarters if they’re big mommas, toss in olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast for 10-15 min at 405 degrees.
If I’ve learned one thing eating Paleo/Clean, it’s that you need to be creative. Sometimes you’re staring down an empty fridge/pantry and you’re so hangry that you could step on a small child*. Going to the grocery store is not gonna happen. You need to EAT. NOW. Your available options are:
Let’s do this. Stab some holes (carefully!) in the squash and microwave 6 min on each side. Then microwave the broccoli until just tender. While those are cooking, throw a turkey burger into a skillet and cook until done. Cut up half of the avocado into bite-sized chunks. De-thread the spaghetti squash and put about 1-1.5 cups into a large bowl. Add the drained broccoli, then immediately add the Laughing Cow wedge and stir until it’s all melted into the hot veggies. Top with diced turkey burger and avocado. EAT. Fork is optional.
* No children were harmed in the making of this meal.
So tell me, What quick and easy meals do you cook when you’re HANGRY?
The sea of runners crushed around me as we were all herded towards the starting line. I thought of my friends Bertie and T, who had already begun and would surely be waiting a long time for me at the finish. Trying to calm my racing heart, I prepped my Nike+ app to record my mileage and started my 13.1 playlist. As “Thrift Shop” began pumping through my noggin’, the starting line loomed. I had to pee. Kind of. Shit, too late now. I hit start on my Polar monitor and off I went.
I was running my first half marathon.
After jockeying my way to a clear path for what felt like an eternity, the masses finally thinned out a bit. The first two miles flew by, and so did the second two. Still comfortable territory, but I’d been warned that the hills on this course were a doozy. My plan was to manage them cautiously – quick steps and lean forward on the way up. Long strides and breathe deeply on the way down to recover.
Instead of worrying, I focused on the people watching. I smiled and waved at the pregnant lady cheering us on, wearing a tshirt that said “FUTURE RUNNER” with a down arrow. I ran past people offering me Krispy Kreme donuts!! and stations set up with M&Ms and jelly beans. Tailgaters offered beers, which I breathlessly declined. Later, though… yes. GOD YES.
My mind was kept occupied with the lyrics playing through my earbuds, the scenery of the city around me, and with what people wore or didn’t wear. There were lots of St. Patty’s Day festive outfits with garland, Irish shirts, leprechauns, green sequined tutus. Me, I was set with my bang buster and my turtle socks.
The skyline didn’t draw my eye when the view appeared. I was drawn to the coral-strewn sunrise on the other side of the road. Typical me. And I kept on running.
Somewhere in Piedmont park I saw someone waving a sign that said, “We don’t know you, but we’re proud of you!!”. My heart lifted and I thought about how sweet they were. And at that moment, I felt proud of me too.
The miles kept rolling on and I feel like I hit my groove. My body knew what I wanted it to do and it did it without complaint. I kept my (turtle) pace and my breathing under control and laughed inwardly at the signs that said “We’re not wearing any underwear!” or “We tailgate for ANYTHING”. The race photographers loved me – I was the cheeseballing one who pointed directly at the camera and open-mouth laughed. I might have also been the one flexing her bicep. One guy lowered his camera and laughed at/with me. Nice, Peach.
When I hit mile 10, my face lit with pride. I’d just run the farthest I ever had in my life. And I wasn’t done yet, but I was okay.
Then, it was on that next hill that I felt the first twinge in my right calf muscle. The kind that threatened a vicious cramp if I didn’t back off. So I power-walked that up hill. And the next. Dammit, why do the steepest hills have to be at the end??? Sadistic course planners, I tell you.
Miles 11-12 wound up being significantly slower than my previous pace from all the walking of the hills. I nearly got upset about it. Instead, I thought, Dammit… be proud. You’re doing this race the best that you can, and it’s okay if you walk the hills after you’ve just RUN for TEN MILES. Just keep going. You’ve got this.
And just then I saw a mom-type lady waving a sign that said “RUN, [MY NAME], RUN!!!” And I thought of my own mom’s Facebook comment that had said the exact same thing the day before. I kept running for my mom and dad. Because they can’t.
The next hill nearly did me in, but as I was cursing inwardly, “**** THIS ****ING HILL ALL TO ****ING HELL.”, I thought of my big brother. He completed his first half this fall and I felt him cheering me on in spirit, too. I kept running for him.
I cheered when the race sign appeared that said “1/2 mile left!!” and I kept running. For me. Because I could do this.
And… it sucked. That last stretch felt so long. I was tired. I wanted to be done.
Then I looked over to my right and thought, hey, who’s the really skinny guy running over there on the other side of the barriers? And then it hit me. OH. THAT’S THE MARATHONERS. WHO ARE FINISHING A course TWICE as long as yours and IN THE SAME TIME AS YOU. Oh the humility!!!
But as the spectator crowds got bigger and I could hear the race announcer’s peppy voice, my gloom lifted. I’m no Kenyan. Never will be. I’m just Peach. Running her first half and doing a damn fine job of it.
The finish line finally appeared and I kicked it up a notch. My legs felt like they weren’t going to agree with what my brain wanted, but they did. I crossed the line with a victorious overhead fist pump and a huge grin. I bowed my head for my medal and posed for pictures, then went off to find Bertie and T. AND FOOD. Holy crap I was hungry.
The post-race rewards were worth every drop of sweat. I did it, y’all!
To write down your intentions is one thing. To begin to live with intent is quite another.
Starting The Mighty Peach List pushed me to attend Camp Mighty. It was there that I met the most incredible people and told the world my dreams. Suddenly, the dreams-turned-words-on-paper became tangible actions and realities. I had professional portraits taken, traveled to Portland, tasted foie gras for the first time, saw the Christmas tree at Rock Center and had a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. I ran a 5K, 10K and a half marathon. I’ve planned to visit London and to hug a gigantic Redwood at Yosemite. I declared my desire to buy a house and start my book.
All this has been heady and empowering. But these are things. Stuff.
The real work appears when you realize that you’ve been living your life and dreams at the will of others, or at least in consideration of their judgment. The real work comes when you finally choose to stop letting THEM decide YOU.
At first, the change happens in small ways. Someone makes an assumption about your feelings, casually dismissing a hurtful remark. Calmly and honestly, you correct them and state your hurt aloud. And the moment you receive acknowledgement – the moment you’ve shown up to be seen and heard - the moment you get a heartfelt apology and an admission of wrongdoing? That’s when you promptly crumple into an ugly-crying mess.
Because WOW you just put yourself out there, utterly naked emotionally, fully expecting to get your heart stomped on. And instead you were given validation.
The actions snowball. Other difficulties are confronted. Each instance is more awkward and difficult and scary, but you’ve grown to understand that you matter enough to be heard and seen. No more will you sit quietly and let assumptions be made about your heart or your life. Careless people that once would have been silently resented for their thoughtless actions are now admonished aloud for their behavior. Relationships are ended because you realize that if someone cannot make room for you in their lives, then they are not worthy of having your heart.
You learn to stand alone in your skin. To take pride in the person you’ve become and the person you’re still growing to be. You’re able to reflect on the thorny path you took to get here and you’re grateful for each tumble over twisted roots. You start to live with your whole being. You’re able to use this new-found strength to reach out to the one person who never left your heart.
And blessedly, luckily, find love in return.
The possibilities are staggering.
Because in the end, stuff is just stuff. Go seek out the scariest work. Face your biggest fears and don’t be afraid to eat some concrete. Once you set your intention to live for your own happiness and no one else’s, the rewards are significantly greater. Do the work and be ready for what comes your way. You’ll be amazed.
This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. Git you some.
Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.
Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year. This used to be my attitude towards running:
And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.
This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still
utterly shit a far cry from healthy.
I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.
But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July, a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.
Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.
Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.
I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.
As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.
Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:
But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.
Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s! Pancakes make me sooooo happy.
Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass, running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor. That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.
As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green! Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.
That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.
But can y’all help a girl out?!
What say you, fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?) Am I crazy?
…don’t answer that last one.
“I have things I need to say to you. Things that it’s taken me over a year to process and come to terms with. I hope you’ll listen?”
His eyes softened. “Of course I’ll listen.”
She gathered courage she’d never possessed and told him that the person he’d loved was a broken, twisted version of herself. The depression had its claws deep and wouldn’t let go.
She knew she would cause pain, but explained where their relationship turned dark. She held back nothing, spilling the many hurts that had caused her countless hours of lost sleep and miles of self-doubt. Her words held no heat. Only honesty. She was strong enough now to give him that.
The bottom line was that she’d needed him to help navigate the darkness. But instead he’d caused her more pain, deepened the sad. Because she wasn’t good enough at her worst. Not for him. Not for anyone. So she had to leave him, and leave that place. It was the only way to survive.
Pausing there, her heart thumped heavily. She felt the fear spidering as she waited for an indication that he understood why he’d lost her. What if he said she was dead wrong? What if he didn’t take any ownership of the destruction? She sat there, jugular exposed, swimming in a level of vulnerability she’d never experienced before. Underneath her calm expression she was a frightened child, ready to haul the steel curtain up around her heart.
Finally, he spoke. ”I have no excuses. I wasn’t there for you. All I can say is that I was so blinded by how much I love you that I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see what you needed. I let you down. And for that, I’m so fucking sorry. I’m sorry I made it worse, when all I’ve ever wanted to do was make you happy.”
His hand came across the table to grip hers tightly. She looked down at the joining, feeling the familiarity of his skin and the shape of this union.
I finally got through to him.
Fighting the knot in her throat, she replied softly, “And I didn’t have the capacity at that time to tell you what I needed. I was too far gone. I could only manage one of two extremes: sad and mad. I hated the person I was, but I could barely even hold on at that point. I couldn’t live that life any more, trying so fucking hard to make you happy when I was alone in the dark. It wasn’t fair to either of us.”
Neither heard the bachata song blaring through the speakers. The unspoken was far more deafening.
They searched each other’s faces, wondering what in the world to do now.
Her heart calmed, knowing that no matter what happened between them, she’d finally been brave enough to tell him the truth. She’d broken through to the light.
This piece is being submitted to the amazing and 100th!!! Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends. Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends.