Thursday, January 31, 2013
I feel like such a downer these days, but I need to write to get things off my mind. If you don't want to read, I completely understand.

Things have not been especially rosy around here these days. A week ago today, we got a phone call telling us that Tony's uncle had passed away. This was incredibly surprising since he was the baby of that side of the family and we had no inclination that he wasn't in good health. The man was like another father to Tony and a grandfather to me. He was the kind of person that brightened your day the second you set eyes on him. He had the most amazing smile that rubbed off on me every time I saw his face. The world is definitely a darker place without him here with us. We buried him on Monday...

Then I got word yesterday that my great uncle passed away.

Tony, the boys and I are having a hard time these days. The funk in the air just won't go away. For me, I think it's the awareness of the change of time. An end of an era if you will. My parents were young when they had me, so I really didn't have any grandparents pass away until about 10 years ago. I think I'm just now coming to grips with death. I know it's a part of life and I really don't believe it's the end for us, but I'm just so incredibly overwhelmed with sadness. Along with the sadness is guilt. Are we spending enough time with the people we love? Do we reach out enough to just say I love you? We don't live close to family and we aren't in the situation to travel often, but we do try to keep in touch. I'm pretty sure people are going to get tired of hearing from us now since they are going to get more phone calls and texts than they care to.

I think the other problem is that my sadness goes deeper than me. I'm sad for Tony's mom since she was so close with her baby brother. They used to cut up and get into so much trouble together as kids and really continued that throughout their adult lives. The week before he died, she got to see him more than usual. I am so glad she got that time with him. My great uncle passing makes me incredibly sad for my Little Granny. Ever since her heart attacks, getting out to his direction was extremely difficult and I know she hates that she didn't get to spend more time with him in the end...

I'm kind of living in fear right now. I know that's not a great place to be and I'm really trying to refocus and not fear the future. In all honesty, I know I shouldn't, but I do fear death. Not so much my own, but others. Do we ever feel ready to say goodbye? I know we all have a time here on earth, but I'm having a hard time finding peace with people leaving here. I don't know what the next step is when we leave this place, but I really hope it's with the one's we have loved and lost...


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:49 AM   19 comments
Monday, January 21, 2013
Coping With Stessors...
I promise, not all posts will be about running. Here me out on this one though...

Coping with stress. I want to say I'm good at it, but seriously, I'm being tested right now. This month has seriously been a bear, however I am making a point to go to bed with a cleared head and waking up with my positive foot forward.

After having sick kids for the past 3 weeks and other stressors I don't care to discuss, the car broke down in our driveway on Saturday morning. Have I mentioned that we only have one car? I always feel so good about owning one car and keeping things simplified...then, our one car won't start. Yeah, that is not awesome. Nothing says happiness like seeing a tow truck pick up your car from the driveway. Luckily, it was Saturday morning and it's a long weekend with the kids home from school today, oh and I had no client appointments requiring me to go to the gym for work. So, what should have been a mentally hard weekend with the looming fear of the cost of car repairs (we just got word this morning on the price...let's just say I'm glad we like beans and rice because that was not in the budget), ended up being a fun filled staycation with my 3 favorite guys. We watched movies and hung out as a family all weekend. Laughter really is the best medicine...

Oh and running. So, Tony's back was feeling off on Saturday and he decided running was not a good idea. I completely agreed with this since he never backs out of a workout, so I knew it wasn't good. He took the day off and did some recuperating, but I really needed that run. So, I hit the park across the street for a 6.6 mile run and I felt better for it! The sun was shining and there were tons of people out enjoying the fresh air. It was a hard run for me though since it was chilly and I'm not used to running in colder weather. My lips were chapped when I returned home and my nose was raw from breathing in the cold air. It still felt great though. Therapy session completed with a smile on my face!

Sunday, we needed a few things from the store. Tony is doing a cleanse, which I may go into later, and we needed some food for him. We live 1.5 miles from the grocery store, but I should state that this is not an easy walk. Think of it more like a hike with a couple of pretty large hills. I will tell you, the fact that we run now, has completely changed how I think about getting around. So, Tony and I laced up our shoes, put on some back packs and headed to the grocery store. It was actually really fun! We talked the whole time and noticed things that we never see while driving (seriously, you never really notice the used condoms on the side of the road...who does that?...never mind, don't answer that), no really, it was quite beautiful and again the weather was amazing! We loaded up on fresh fruits and veggies then headed back a different route through the park! Side note to the fruits...I have a serious apple addiction and carrying those back with me should have taught me a lesson...notice I said should have.

Here we are on Monday and we have word that the car should be done today. My schedule for the week will be thankful for this, but my wallet not so much. Tony got off the phone with the dealer, looked at our training schedule and then mapped out a run to the dealership. This is where I had to laugh. We have a choice, we can go to the park for our run then call a cab to pick us up to drive us to the dealership to drive home or we can take our training to the road and run to get our car when it's ready. Guess what we're doing? Yep, we're running to the dealership. We have a 35 minute run on the schedule and the dealership is 4 miles away. I'm calling this a win win situation. Some people say your a runner when you run your first race, some people say your a runner when you "feel" like a runner, I say I'm a runner when I'm running to pick up my car from getting repairs...

Have a great Monday!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:08 AM   13 comments
Friday, January 18, 2013
Friday Fodder - Things I Learned From Running...
I'm in one of those weird moods these days. I think it's the weather. It's rained or been dreary for faaaarrrr too long here (side note: the sun is shining today...YAY!). On top of that, Jay has had the flu all week and while he is an amazing patient, I think we're all a little stressed over the looming illness of who will get it next. We are all loading up on our vitamins and focusing on getting rest and nutrition. Also repeating "I won't get sick, I won't get sick" will help right?

I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the things I learned from running. The thing is, even if you're not a runner, anytime you test yourself with something new, you learn from it. This is just a list of my personal experience with trying something new (which happens to be running).

1. Mind over matter. This has been a huge lesson for me. I've worked out my entire life from dancing since I was 3 all the way to aerobics in my teenage years to now being a personal trainer. I swore I was not a runner and never would be. I read others' experiences with running and was jealous of the experience (the high, if you will), but that never happened to me. What I learned though is that the main reason I didn't like running is because it wasn't easy for me. The stubborn girl in me, wanted to learn more and figure out how to enjoy it. So, I consistently kept trying it and have now fallen in love. Admittedly, after 8 months of running, last weekend was the first time that I looked at myself after my 5 mile run and I actually felt like a runner. I don't know when it happened, but I became a runner!

2. Pain is good, well to some extent. You see, if you don't experience a little bit of that muscle soreness, then you aren't changing. I was at the point where I wasn't really feeling my workouts anymore. When I started running, my legs really felt it. My hip flexors hated me! Go figure, with a new workout comes changing muscles. Adding a new exercise to my routine really was exciting even if a little on the painful side.

3. Breathing. WOW, I had no idea that my lungs would actually change from running. Well, yeah, this was a strange one for me. I have mild asthma (I do not have a regular inhaler, but seasonal changes can trigger shortness of breath for me). I would always give up when the breathing got hard, but after some research, I realized that this was actually good for me. My lungs had to learn to take on more work too! For me, this has actually been a good thing. My lung capacity has actually improved over the past 8 months! Don't get me wrong, I huff and puff during HIIT workouts, but the endurance side of changing my lungs really has changed for the better.

4. Being ok with just being you. No comparisons. Truth, I think one of the major reasons why I stayed away from running is because it seemed like an elitist sport. People are serious about their runs and me, learning how to run, next to a running superstar, made me feel inferior. Until I learned that my runs are mine and you can not compare yourself to the person next to you. Some people walk/run, some people jog, some people run like the doesn't matter what the person next to you (or a quarter mile in front of you) is doing. What matters is that you're doing this for you.

5. Running gear. People this is part of the addiction! Once you get started, you can't stop! Oh my gosh, why did no one warn me of this??? Shoes are a must and without a doubt, the most important. I wear Mizunos, and I love them. These are my shoes and they work for me. You NEED to get your stride checked at a running store and invest in shoes. They are worth it! The other stuff, well, that's the fun stuff! My suggestion is moisture wicking clothing though because nothing makes me sweat like running. Holy moly do I sweat when I run. Oh and inside or outside, I wear a hat. Otherwise, I have sweat poring in my eyes and that is no bueno! Compression socks are a huge thing for me too. I prefer to run in them, but some people only wear them for recovery (which I do too!). I have a list of things that I want to purchase, but I'm keeping things under control. This is a huge test to my self restraint! I would like a heart rate monitor with GPS and mileage information though. That's the next thing I'm gonna get.

6. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!!! You all know I'm a freak when it comes to nutrition. It's really the most important part of your health. I don't care how much you do or don't exercise. If you're not eating properly, your health will be sacrificed. You have to remember with any new training plan there will be some adjustments you need to make in your fuel (notice I didn't say diet since most people label that with restriction). I'm not gonna lie to you, most of Tony's weight loss is due to the fact that I changed the way he eats. Being certified in fitness nutrition gives me a leg up on this when it comes to knowing how to change your fuel sources to accommodate a changing fitness plan, however, even for me when I started running, this was different from what I'm used to. With changing muscles/endurance comes changing fuel.

7. Water, water, water...drink it up!

8. Sleep! I've started getting up at 4:30am Monday-Thursday to train clients before they head to work. Yes, I am the super crazy girl that LOVES mornings! However, this means I'm heading to bed to sleep by 9:00pm at the latest. I read or watch a little mindless tv until about 9:30pm some nights, but my body and brain are done by that time. Sleep is a major part of recovery and your body really needs the rest. I've been taking melatonin for awhile now and it really helps me relax and turn my brain off for some rest. This girl needs 7-8 hours of sleep or things get a little on the nasty side (and I don't mean that in the good way either ;)...

So tell me, in life or workouts, have you learned anything new lately? What is something new you've tried stepping out of your comfort zone? Please share a little inspiration!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:27 AM   14 comments
Monday, January 14, 2013
Quick Pumpkin Protein Pudding and Some Training Plans...
I feel like there is so much to say! Where to begin???

So, it's been a month exactly since I last posted here. Time has flown by. How have you all been? I've been making the rounds reading and commenting when I have some time. January seems to be flying by already. I really wish it would slow down a bit though...

What have I been up to? Well, I'm working on my new business plan. I'm going to offer online personal training and fitness nutrition consulting. I have some clients already that do this, but I'm working on getting my site going as we speak since I want to do more. I have some other stuff that I'm working on, but I need to iron out the details before I get into it too much. With the excitement of new projects comes the stress of getting things done quickly and seamlessly. I have lists upon lists going right now and I'm hoping to have things organized and moving in the right direction soon.

With being busy comes easy eats and treats! I have some work I need to do on the recipe development side of things, so I will be spending a little more time in the kitchen very soon. I miss my kitchen! However, when I don't have much time for cooking and baking, it makes me a little more creative in the quick eats department! I had this tasty treat the other day right before heading to the gym to train a client.

Quick Pumpkin Protein Pudding

1 cup fresh roasted pureed pumpkin
2 TBSP vanilla protein powder (I used 10 grams Plant Fusion Vanilla)
1/2 tsp chia seeds
2 TBSP vanilla almond milk
pumpkin pie spice

This is thick, rich, velvety and so easy to make! I'm always looking for quick protein snacks since I can't do cheese or yogurt. This completely hit the spot.

The other thing I've been up to. Well, Tony and I have started a little 1/2 marathon training. Since I started running last May, Tony got a bit of the bug to get healthier in June. His job is completely sedentary and he was really feeling it. We have been running together since then and 3 weeks ago, out of nowhere, Tony mentioned wanting to train for a half. I've been working with him on diet and workouts since he started in June and there has been a HUGE difference in his strength, endurance and energy level. The thing is, Tony ate healthy to begin with. The biggest change for him was actually eating more. I also adjusted his macronutrients and we have definitely hit a good mix for him. He's lost 20 pounds since he started! He hates getting his picture taken, so the documentation I have are only older pictures (in which I force him to take a picture with me)...




The most I've run on a long run is 7 miles (on a treadmill). We completed 5 miles on Saturday outside! Trust me when I say, do both treadmill and outside. They are completely different runs! Both good, but very different. This was Tony's first 5 mile run ever and he was a champ! I swear, the inspiration I get from others that push to achieve their goals pushes me even further to reach mine. We ran the whole thing outside and it felt great! It helped too that it was 68 degrees outside (although muggy as crap), so the weather was perfect for a January (???) run! The picture above was after we showered and refueled for the day! The changes I see in him mentally and physically are amazing. 

I will be sharing bits and pieces from our training. It's different for me do have a fixed plan, but I kind of like it right now. I go back and forth with plans and doing whatever I feel like doing. It keeps me from getting bored. 

Tell me, do you have a plan for your fitness routine (or life/work in general) or do you just go with the flow? I'm not sure how much to share here about our training. Let me know if you're interested. I won't be sharing our time because our runs are ours. We are doing this to do it together and not as a competition. We will definitely be signing up for a race, we're just not sure which one yet. I do know we're doing a 5k for the ASPCA in March that I'm really looking forward to since it's the one we got Luke and Leia from! 

So, anything new?

I will be sharing this recipe on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy-Free Wednesday. 

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:00 AM   25 comments

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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