Back to Basics

Hello again and happy Friday! I am so excited to finally get back to you since microbiology is now done! Let the celebrating begin!

Bancroft cocktail

I don’t know about you, but with the snow, cold, and shorter days, my body has not been acting like itself. I was just about recovered from my holiday metabolic whiplash, when the Super Bowl and my birthday came along, and I was happy to have an excuse to indulge again. Ever since then I feel like I’ve been on one bad roller-coaster of cravings and increased appetite. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the incredibly cold temps, but I’m sure a part also has to do with my higher than usual sugar intake.

Chilly with text

I’m so sick of it that I decided to go back to basics to reboot my system a bit. Nothing crazy, just more accountability. For me, that means logging food in MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal logo

The biggest problem I found after a few days of logging my food? Not eating enough at breakfast and at lunch. No wonder I’d be so hungry once I got home! How did that happen? I think I started playing the comparison game (never a good one to play!) as I looked at other peoples’ breakfasts and lunches on other blogs. The thing I failed to remember, though, is many people graze throughout the day. I don’t–I eat only four times a day (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) because I only eat every three to four hours, so each meal needs to have a solid 300+ calories.

Breakfast smoothie calories

The other inkling I had that I my eating was a bit more off? I seem to have a little more jiggle in the middle even though I’m more or less the same weight. Perhaps it’s my body’s ancient response to the cold, thinking I need to hold on to body fat to make it through the winter. Perhaps having a bulk of my calories at the end of the day and being so hungry caused me to overeat. Again, it’s most likely a combination of things.

Paleo oatmeal

Paleo oatmeal to help fill me up!

The other part that’s helpful about using MyFitnessPal is being able to see where my macros are going. I thought that I was eating more protein than I actually was, so increasing my protein will also be a focus for me. Protein always does a fabulous job of filling me up, and add in a good dose of fiber and fat? I’m good to go for hours!

Pollock over arugula

Protein and fat-filled dinner with a good dose of fiber

Another tool up my sleeve? I signed up to rent five fitness tracker through Lumoid. I want to see how many calories a day I’m actually burning so I can get a better idea of how much I should be eating. Depending on the calculations out there for my height, weight, age, and activity level, I should be eating anywhere from 1500-2000 calories. That’s a big difference! The service is also a great way to try out fitness trackers if you’re considering buying one. I’m already not digging wearing a tracker visibly on my wrist, so I don’t think the Jawbone UP is for me.

Jawbone UP

As I’ve always said, it’s not about the weight. It’s about feeling good and I just feel off. Tired, a bit stiff and achy (thanks again partially to the cold I think), weirdo appetite, and a bit softer than I’d like to be. I’m not soft by any means, but you know when you just don’t feel right in your skin? Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to make better. And I know that with a few minor tweaks, I’ll be there.

I’m sure the fact that spring is around the corner will help as well. I always find that once the warmer weather hits, the sun is out more, and I’m able to be outside more, my appetite and energy levels naturally regulates itself. Just having the warm sun shine on my face feels so good!

Questions: Do you have problems with your appetite in the winter? Do you usually stay on track? Do you use any tools to keep yourself on track?

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Friday Favorite: Shea Moisture Lotion (+ Quick Update)

Happy Friday!

Here we are at the end of the first full week of the new year! One of the things that is always synonymous with the new year for me is DRY SKIN! Granted, it probably did start back in November when the heat had to be on constantly, but it’s now had a couple of months to fester.

The worst part is my legs. I can remember winters where they would get incredibly itchy, enough to make you go crazy, and I’d cave and start scratching them (isn’t that initial feel just heaven?) and then be left with even drier and more sensitive skin. When I was young, my mom would put the lotion in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up and then put it on my legs for me. Aren’t moms the best?

Needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for a good body cream. I had been going back and forth between Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion and Shea Butter & Vitamin E Fragrance Free Body Lotion because I like to use natural products. I realized I had run out, so while I was at CVS, I went to purchase more, but the price seemed much higher than I remember. I looked around for a while before I came upon this:

Shea Moisture front

It’s SheaMoisture Olive & Green Tea Body Lotion. The price was right (less than Burt’s Bees), as was the product itself. In keeping in line with my New Year goal to reduce my exposure to pesticides, hormones, chemicals, and other toxins, the product doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, DEA, PABA, synthetic fragrance or artificial color. They also do not participate in animal testing.

Shea Moisture back 1

The story of the company goes, “Sofi Tucker began selling shea nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling her shea butter and African black soap all over the countryside. Sofi Tucker was our grandmother, and SheaMoisture is her legacy. We proudly create culturally-authentic, time-tested skin and hair care remedies from family recipes using all-natural and fair trade ingredients.”

This particular lotion is incredibly thick and moisturizing, yet absorbs pretty quickly. I haven’t had any itchy episodes since I started using this cream and I am very thankful for that. My only problem with the product is that it’s so thick that I have a hard time squeezing it out the bottle (hence why it looks all beat up in the pictures). I have resorted to storing it upside down and taking off the cap and sticking in my fingers to pull out the lotion when I put it on after my shower. I think it would work better if it came in a tub.

Now, a quick update on my plantar fasciitis and return to running.

I was able to complete stage 6 yesterday! I’m a little superstitious about marking it as complete on my handy chart since I’m having a little discomfort today, but pretend there’s a 1/9 in that row below. Maybe because it was the first time I ran without having KT tape on?

RTR stage 6

I figured out that I’m not getting a good GPS signal on the track, which is why the mileage was so off on my RunKeeper app. I’ve guesstimated my mileage based on my approximate speed while walking and running. I’ve had to adjust my mileage a few times since November, but I think I’m up to a total of approximately 1.65 mi.

Mileage increase 1-9

I think I may try to venture outside for my next run since the roads are finally cleared of snow. I had been hesitant because roads can be harder on your feet, but after trying to dodge the gym’s youth switm team and other people not aware of track etiquette (talking on cell phones, walking two or three abreast, etc.), I think a trial outside would be good for my sanity! Plus, my gym hasn’t changed the direction of the track, so I don’t want to get another overuse injury!

Some questions: Do you need to switch up your winter routine because of dry skin? What are some of your favorite products? How do you feel about running on a track vs. outside vs. a treadmill, especially in the winter?

Have a great weekend!