beka stays hungry : healthy layered waffles

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Decadent breakfast reserved only for birthdays.

Waistline buster.

Diet wrecker.

These waffles look like they’d answer to any of those names. But really, their given name is:

Healthy.

For REAL.

There is nothing in these waffles that should make you reconsider diving in on any day, be it a birthday or a holiday or a Monday. Here’s the deal:

  • 2 Van’s Frozen Belgian Waffles
  • 3 Tbsp 0% Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • About a dozen frozen (and then unfrozen) blueberries
  • 2 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Dusting of cinnamon

Step 1: Toast the waffles

Step 2: Mix the yogurt, chia seeds, and defrosted blueberries together

Step 3: Layer as follows: waffle, yogurt mixture, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, waffle, yogurt mixture, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup.

Step 4: Enjoy! And all for the low, low price of around 350 guilt-free calories.

Happy Monday.

Happy Morning.

beka stays athletic : foam rolling saved my life

I started the day by reading this and this.

I did this workout this morning.

I smell good.

I made Stumptown coffee this morning (I ration it out like it’s gold…because it is).

I ate granola for breakfast. With some greek yogurt on the side. Just kidding…kind of.

I’m listening to Mike and Mike.

The sun is streaming in through two big windows behind me while I sit at my desk and blog.

AND I’M RUNNING AGAIN!

People…the only way this morning could be better would be if the Packers had played and won last night and were on their way to the Super Bowl…

Clearly, I’m still in Stage 4.

But back to the good news: running!

(And really, those who’ve known me for a solid decade, did you ever think you’d see me write that sentence? Mark that down as a great life change.)

As per the title of this post, foam rolling saved my life.

After a week and a half of taking time off and stretching with no change in how I felt I knew it was time to call for back up. So I talked to a bunch of people who are smarter than me and they all said the same thing: start foam rolling.

What is foam rolling, you (and I) ask?

Here’s my favorite explanation (from Running Times):

The foam roller is a firm foam log that is six inches in diameter. Use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate the direct pressure. Imagine using a rolling pin to roll out lumps in bread dough. A foam roller is a good alternative to repetitive trips to the massage therapist. Your foam roller is always available and doesn’t accept tips! Bottom line: The foam roller is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to treat and prevent the most common injuries seen in runners.

Perfect! So off to Target I went. I bought this foam roller, I watched this video, I went to bed and woke up feeling significantly better. And after just a few days of this routine I was completely back to normal! I couldn’t believe it worked so quickly!

And then on Saturday I basically plowed down the doors of Planet Fitness to jump on a treadmill and ran four miles. I wanted to run fourteen. For REAL. I felt better than ever!

Now, as much as I bemoaned being sidelined for a few weeks I’m actually really grateful that this little bump in the road occurred. First, because it made me realize how much I love running right from the get-go of this goal, before I forget and start complaining about how much I hate running. I used to hate running. And then after that I was ambivalent about running, even when I ran a half-marathon. But now, for whatever reason, I love running. It feels like freedom. And I’m glad I was reminded of that on Mile 20 instead of Mile 820.

Second, it made me so grateful for my health. I’ve always taken for granted the fact that I can bound up and down flights of stairs or go to the gym and use whatever equipment I want to use. I’ve never been physically limited before. Realizing that my health is a gift that can be hindered or taken at any time was a huge wake-up call. It’s not even like I was majorly injured, but it was just enough to make me see things from a new perspective. Now I want to run 1,000 miles this year not only because I love running and want to stay motivated and active, but because I CAN. I want to run 1,000 miles because I’m able to, and I want to make the most of that ability.

Instead of running like crazy now that I feel better I decided to stick to my normal schedule. I took Sunday off and did an at-home workout this morning (the one linked above…it was AWESOME!). But tomorrow I’ll be back on the road treadmill again…and can’t wait. CAN’T WAIT! (Which, every time I use that phrase, I’m reminded of this Bart Scott interview during last year’s playoffs. I swear, few moments in football have brought me such lasting joy…and it wasn’t even related to on-field action.)

While we’re chatting about health and fitness, this list of must-read health and fitness blogs is making me inordinately happy. It’s how I found this morning’s workout! New blogs = yet another reason why I love this morning.

What a great Monday.

beka stays committed : mornings

I love mornings. Waking up to a sunrise, deciding what to eat for my favorite meal of the day, spending some time with the Lord, enjoying the quiet calm before the day starts in earnest. Mornings are without a doubt my favorite part of the day.

Coincidentally, my least favorite part of the day also occurs in the morning. It’s when the alarm clock goes off, long and loud, all too early. I love the result of the wake up call – all of the aforementioned goodness – but hate the actual waking up. Especially when the waking up is followed by working out. There’s just something about vigorous physical activity before the sun rises. It disagrees with me.

However, not being able to blog or read or spend time with friends in the evenings because I still haven’t gotten a workout in and have to spend time after work at the gym also disagrees with me. And while in the moment I may not like getting up early in the morning to exercise, I sure like it a whole lot for the rest of the day when I feel healthy and accomplished and free to do whatever I wish with the rest of the day.

So recently I’ve been attempting to rise at the unholy hour of 5:00am to get up and get moving for either a 5:45am class (if you’re wondering, Body Pump and yoga are the only classes crazy enough to be offered pre-sunrise). But the sound of the alarm is often followed by the sound of excuses. This happens basically every single morning, and is basically the only thing that says consistent in my workout schedule. I try to talk myself into thinking that it’s better to sleep in instead, that I can do it at my favorite time of day: later, that no one in their right mind gets up at 5am voluntarily.

Those excuses were shot down this week while I was reading Quitter by Jon Acuff. Here’s what he had to say in a chapter about hustling for your dreams:

“If you wait until night to work on your dream, you will often spend the whole day gathering up material for excuses on why you shouldn’t do what it is you feel called to do…Your day rolls toward night like an excuse snowball barreling down a hill, packing on more excuses with every rotation.

Do you know when you have a lot fewer excuses to claw your way through? In the morning. Nobody wakes up and wants to balance their checkbook. Few can return phone calls at 5am. There’s nothing good on TV, and watching shows you’ve TiVo’d before the crack of dawn feels a little weird. The only excuse you have to deal with is being tired, but that’s one you can work through over time. Or forget working through it over time. Go to bed earlier.”

OH…the truth!

The truth is that right now my dreams consist of doing all of the things that I wasn’t able to do over the summer due to scheduling conflicts. Things like running and blogging and reading and cooking more than once in a blue moon. And the truth is that I despise getting up at 5am; like, I concretely hate it. I audibly groan when I think about it, with increasingly frequency as the time draws closer. But I really love the result when I follow through.

Last Wednesday was the epitome of the reason why waking up early in an effort to live the life I want to live is so worth it. After a great yoga class I headed to the section of canal that’s on the way to work. This is what was waiting for me:

It was literally a perfect morning on the canal – fog hanging over the water, sun streaming through the trees, just a little on the chilly side. The perfect setting for this:

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Breakfast on a blanket. Bible and a book. Big ole iced coffee. Love it.

And all because I got up a little earlier than I “wanted” to. But what I really wanted? To do yoga and be outside and eat a good breakfast and have some quiet time before work. That’s what kicked in after just a few disgruntled moments and lasted all day long.

A much better deal.

Hopefully, with this in mind, my commitment to mornings will be an actual commitment and not just a “when I feel like it which is about once a week if I’m lucky” commitment.

I’ll keep you posted!