the Saturday Sprint

the Saturday Sprint

May is a busy month over here!  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a proper post and I’m feeling slightly out of practice.

The first half of this month has flown by.

We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and Mother’s Day.

We’ve had friends welcome new, beautiful babies and others that are in the home stretch of their pregnancies!  I get to meet the newest addition for one of my closest friends next week and I am counting the sleeps.  Another boy for my two hooligans to grow up with!

So many of my best friends growing up were the kids of my parents’ best friends. I remember being equally if not more excited than my parents to get together with those families so that we could eat endless bags of chips, watch movies and play games.

Nowadays, every time a friend of ours has a new baby, it thrills me to think that the social circle for our whole family is growing!

Case in point, one of our favourite families had their third little boy just eight weeks before we had Clyde and the two of them are the best of friends.  I’m not sure how much longer his Mom and I will be able to hold them up for this annual photo but I can only hope that it will be long enough for them to one day return the favour.

Last week, we got to celebrate Henry’s 3rd birthday complete with Paw Patrol decorations, chasing bubbles, jumping on a trampoline and cheering on our hometown Ottawa Senators in their playoff run.  The party was fun and all but I think that means my big boy will be three in less than eight weeks…hold me!

I’ll admit, while I would love for them to stay babies forever (and ever), I am pretty excited for this warm weather with a ‘big kid’ and a mobile baby.

With the few nice days that we’ve had so far in May, we have successfully played ourselves right out.  We’re rocking picnic lunches, full days at the park, water play, bike rides, endless ball games and tree climbing.

Pictured here is Clyde asleep on the couch (sort of) after a full day of outdoor play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring on summer!

 

 

the Saturday Sprint – Mother’s Day Edition: it takes a village!

the Saturday Sprint – Mother’s Day Edition: it takes a village!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I realize that this edition of the Saturday Sprint is coming a day late but I wanted to take this opportunity, on Mother’s Day, to acknowledge all of the amazing females in our lives.

I have talked before about our willingness to ask for help.  So often, it really is the only way that we’re able to accomplish so many of the activities that we strive for.

Even more than that however, I am personally grateful for the love and influence my family receives from so many inspiring women – Great Grandma, Grandma’s and Auntie’s.

We are so fortunate to share a city with so much of our family – specifically, my Mom (Nana Q), my Step Mom (Grandma Sue) and my Mother-in-law (Grandma Chris).

Our boys see one or more of their Grandma’s nearly everyday and their faces light up at the sight of any one of them.  These ladies are truly a gift to all of us.  They are respectful of mine and Adam’s decisions as parents and know when it’s appropriate to bend the rules as the Grandma.  They are generous, kind and endlessly loving.  They offer wise words of advice after having raised kids of their own.

That next generation that the boys are so fortunate to call their Auntie’s.

My sister and my sister-in-laws are amongst my best ‘Mom friends.’  They love on my boys like their own and never miss a beat in helping me keep them in line. They are the highlight of family get togethers, offering either comic relief or a shoulder to cry on – or both.  Best of all, they are raising the most beautiful best friends for Clyde and Jude.

Last but certainly not least, we are grateful for Adam’s Grandma who celebrated her 84th birthday this past week.  A visit to Nanny’s is never complete without a home made treat for all of us.  It is so special to see the joy that Clyde and Jude bring to her and even more so to see that the feeling is mutual.  We left with videos of Jude belly laughing with Nanny from our most recent visit.

This journey of motherhood has been the most gratifying and challenging experience thus far in my life.  With such a young family, we are in a season of life that requires so much support from others – advice and time being at the top of the list.

I know the time will come when it’s my turn to give back and until then, I will accept help with the utmost gratitude and take notes from the best of the best on how to be an amazing female role model!

It’s really true what they say that it takes a village to raise a child.  Near and far, I couldn’t have asked for a better village with whom to share in raising our boys.

Mama’s Half Marathon – What’s your motivation?

Mama’s Half Marathon – What’s your motivation?

If you’ve been following along the Mama’s Half Marathon series, you know that I like to start with a brief training update.  This week was fun because I was working towards a ‘mini goal’ to close my rings on my Apple Watch everyday.  The Apple Watch tracks your movement and sets a daily goal for you to achieve 30 minutes of exercise, stand once an hour for 12 hours and burn a certain number of active calories.

With this in mind, we went for a family bike ride and I completed 4 small runs (~3km), 1 medium run (7km) and one long run (17km).  It felt good to be focusing on something new while still training for the race.  Smaller workouts are also much more family friendly.  Clyde and I snuck out one night before dinner for a small run just the two of us.  I ran with the stroller and he jumped in and out as he pleased.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some tips for training and touched briefly on finding out what motivates you.  I’m bringing it up again today because for me, finding out how I’m motivated has been the difference in accomplishing so many things.

I am primarily extrinsically motivated.  I do best when I have accepted a challenge and/or am working towards a tangible goal.  30-day challenges, registered race days or the offer of a reward will motivate me to stay active.

When I learned about extrinsic motivation, I was able to look back on times that I was successful and see it in action time and time again.

My earliest memories of identifying a successful time driven by extrinsic motivation dates back to hockey camps and my desire to win the ‘athlete of the day’ award.  One of the five days that I was in camp, I would work particularly hard with my sights set on receiving the prize at the end of the day.

More recently, Adam challenged me to give up ice cream, my all-time favourite dessert, for one year in exchange for $1000.  Being the ice cream fanatic that I am, I had plans to visit a creamery later that month so we put that date in the calendar as ‘my last dance’ and the bet would be on for one full year.

Was I successful?  Heck yes, I was.  I won the athlete of the day at camp and I happily accepted my $1000 cash prize.

To find out more about extrinsic motivation, check this out.

Adam is primarily intrinsically motivated.  He is consistently active because he does it for the joy of running, biking, swimming – or any other form of exercise.  He enjoys setting personal fitness goals and has the drive to see them through.

To find out more about intrinsic motivation, check this out.

One form of motivation is no better than the other.  What’s important is being able to identify how you are motivated so that you can set yourself up for success.

If you are someone that is driven by extrinsic motivators, set a goal for yourself and establish a clear reward that you can strive towards.

If you are someone that is driven by intrinsic motivation, try writing out your vision for yourself – maybe, where you see yourself in 6 months and how you will get there.

In both cases, be sure to consider some of the following when establishing a goal:

Write it down.
Be realistic.
Set a clear timeline.

I learned a lot about goal setting a vision board during a time when I worked for Lululemon.  Knowing what motivates you and what you’re working towards is extremely powerful.

Here is some more information about goal setting.
Here is some more information about personal vision.

As I’m closing in on race day, I’ve been thinking about what’s next for me.  I’m excited to share that I will be joining the BBG community and spending my summer sweating with Kayla.

The BBG workouts are all 28 minutes or less and involve exercises that Clyde will be able to try too so it should be fairly easy to squeeze in during a normal day – and without the need for babysitters.  Adam is also working towards a muscle toning goal so we snagged a new piece of fitness equipment from Kijiji to complete our home gym!

After race day, I will do a weigh-in and take some measurements in order to set clear goals for a September check-in.

My extrinsic motivator will be a shopping spree for my newly toned bod in time for my return to work after Labour Day.

Any other extrinsic motivators working towards something exciting?

 

Mama’s Half Marathon – Race weekend logistics

Mama’s Half Marathon – Race weekend logistics

The month of May is full of celebrations in my family.  We kick it off with my Dad’s birthday, then tip our hats to my sister on her wedding anniversary and soon we will get to celebrate Super Dad on his birthday!

This year, the 1st of May also marked the official countdown to race day with just 28 days to go.  It’s race month, baby!

First things first: a training update.  After last week’s ‘one step back’ training mishap, I wanted to make sure and kick it into gear this week.  I managed to squeeze in four runs for a total of 30kms logged including one long run of 15km.

Other distances included a 3.5km high intensity outdoor run, 4km treadmill run and a 7.5km outdoor run.  My long run felt great and was a really encouraging start to race month.  My goal will be to include one 15-18km run weekly until race day.  Included is a picture of my cheer squad keeping busy while I run on the treadmill.  Please notice that Clyde has his running shoes on because it was his turn first to go for a run.  So cute!

With race day being at the end of May, I still have a few weeks of training left but am making sense of some race weekend logistics in plenty of time.  Silly as it may sound, things like what to wear and what water bottle to use are valuable things to consider leading up to race day.  I’ve also included my plan for childcare, race day fuel and more.

What to wear.  I’ve decided on a t-shirt similar to this from Under Armour and these running shorts from Lululemon.  I like the Champion sports bra from Costco and a pairs of running socks like these.  I’m currently training in these running shoes but will probably break all of the rules and switch to a new pair in the next few weeks.  (My knees and hips were sore by the end of my long run this week which is an indicator that I’m due for new shoes.)

All of the above items that have been in my workout drawer throughout all of my training so I know that they fit well and are comfortable.  If you’ve been working towards a goal and intend to pick a new outfit for the race, do it a few weeks prior to make sure that it fits well for the duration of your activity.

Music.  If you’re planning on having a set playlist for the race, now is a good time to start putting it together.  Adam and I subscribe to Apple Music so we have full access to iTunes.  I like to pick my music as I go but may put a short list together in the next week or a two.

Race fuel.  After 45 minutes-1 hour of consistent exercise, your body will benefit from replenishing some of its stores (vitamins, minerals, sodium etc.).  Consider training with some whole food options (dates, bananas, dried mango etc.) and/or a homemade electrolyte drink.  The race will have fuel stations throughout the course offering you water and depending on the distance, a fuel option.  While these are great resources as you need them, you’re best to arrive prepared with food and drinks that you have trained with and you know your body can tolerate.

Childcare.  Since Adam and I are both running in the race, we have asked a set of grandparents to be responsible for the boys on race weekend.  The half marathon is on Sunday morning so the boys will go to their grandparents on Saturday afternoon for a sleepover and meet us at the finish line after the race.  This may just be the first time that we sleep through the night before the race.  We’re hoping it shaves a minute or two off our time.  Be sure to provide your family with a course map and a suggested meet point after the race.  We will also be providing the grandparents with a carrier for each of the boys.  If you read my babywearing series, you know that I am a big fan of not having to lug a stroller through the busy streets of downtown.

Since Jude is still breastfeeding full-time, I will be pumping that morning before the race to make sure that I’m comfortable while running.

Goal setting.  Now is when we start to set or modify our goals for race day.  With a few weeks of training behind us and a few more to go, we have a pretty clear picture of what a realistic finishing time looks like.  On my long run today, I finished with an average pace of 6m22s which would give me a finishing time of 2h11.  With that in mind, I will be working towards a sub 2h04 finish.  I’m counting on increasing my training pace over the next few weeks as well as an adrenaline boost on race day.

These are the things that are top of mind in our house these days as we get ready for Ottawa Race Weekend.  Please comment below if there are other things you like to do in preparation of a race!

the Saturday Sprint

the Saturday Sprint

HELLO!

Oh how I would love to shout that from a mountain top this morning.  I’m going on day 7 of having no voice.  It finally came back yesterday enough that people can hear what I’m saying but prior to that I was at a whisper for the entire week.  This morning is a little better yet so I have faith that I’m on the mend.

As it happened, last weekend I received a package of loose leaf tea from someone that I lent some baby clothes to.  I’ve never been one for hot drinks of any kind but having lost my voice, I figured a cup of herbal tea would be a good addition to my breakfast routine.  I picked up this little guy as an infuser and low and behold am finding myself looking forward to a cup of tea every morning.

If you’re in the Ottawa area, I recommend checking out this organic and locally sourced herbal tea!

Despite not having a voice, I decided on taking a day-trip to Montreal with the boys to celebrate my nephew’s third birthday!  We were on the road by 8:30am and made it in time to play at the park for a few minutes before lunch.  We spent the afternoon going back and forth from the park playing with sandcastles and dinosaurs.

My sister hosted a birthday party for Chaz that evening with three of his friends and their families.  We were pumped to be there for taco dinner and a dinosaur cake!  Shortly after dinner, I got the boys in their jammies, loaded the car and was back on the road by 8pm.  We came, we played, we ate, we partied!

I was excited to quietly hang (again, no voice) with a friend and creator of Gooseandco Boutique at the party.  If you haven’t yet checked out my review of her Grow With Me pants, you should do that here.  While in Montreal this time, I picked up this mega cute sweater for Jude.  It will be the perfect light weight layer for the spring/summer.

We were all a little tired (read: cranky) getting up on Friday but with the help of a morning playdate, Dad having the afternoon off and an another full day of sunshine, we were all smiles.

We even got around to starting some of our seeds for the garden.  This is our 5th year growing a garden together in the backyard.  At the end of every season, we strategize about what went well and what we’d like to change for the following year.

This year we’re trying something new and using our 30x40ft space to plant mostly root vegetables that we intend to harvest and store in the fall to be eaten throughout the winter.  During market season, we make a point to go every Saturday morning so we will stock up fresh fruits and vegetables while they’re in season.  I’ll keep you posted on our progress as it goes along.

Yesterday we started carrots, beets, parsnips, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupe and a few leafy greens – spinach and kale.  We had help from the kids so…. we’ll see.

Last thing before signing off and heading outside, I want to share about our favourite new bakery.  We started buying from Wilkie’s Bakery at the Carp Farmers Market last spring.  In the fall, we joined their bread share program and looked forward to picking up our two loaves every two weeks throughout the winter.  They recently opened their own bakery in Pembrooke so we made the trip as a family on Monday to check it out!  We enjoyed home made soup, panini sandwiches, a muffin and an amazing sticky bun.  Be sure to look for them at the Carp Farmer’s Market or enjoy a drive to Pembrooke!  Either way, we’re thrilled to be supporting these guys and their delicious food.

Have a great week!  See you Wednesday…by then it will officially be race month.  Yikes!

 

Mama’s Half Marathon – Running while pregnant

Mama’s Half Marathon – Running while pregnant

This week’s training update in the Mama’s Half Marathon series is brought to you by the old saying: “two steps forward and one step back” – with this week being the ‘step back’ unfortunately.  Due to a variety of excuses, I only made it out for one run this week and logged a measly 8.5kms.  I keep telling myself that it was a nice chance for my body to rest  – and while that’s true – we’re closing in on race month and I really should be running 4-5 times x week.  Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.  It was a beautiful evening to run with hubby and I’ve always enjoyed my babies tagging along – on the inside or out!  Don’t mind the branch in the picture… it was the best “tree stand selfie” we could muster.

I’m really excited to be writing about my journey running during my pregnancies.  In the early part of my pregnancy with Clyde, I read just about every blog post ever written about running and being active while pregnant.  As an active person pre-pregnancy, I intended to continue with my activities for as long as it felt comfortable but the more I read, the more motivated I was to stick it out for as long as I could.

 

As it happened, I had extremely smooth, low-risk pregnancies and was able to run right through to 39 weeks with Clyde and 38 weeks with Jude.

During my first pregnancy, I felt really crumby in my first trimester – extremely tired, bloated and I put on a lot of weight pretty quickly.  As soon as I started to feel like my old self, I started back to my activities and only continued to feel better.  Together, Clyde and I ran over 300 kms and completed a Sprint Triathlon at 32 weeks.  This is us at 38 weeks running the 5km Colour Run!

I wore this sports bra, these tanks and a really old stretched out pair of Groove capris for all of my workouts.  I was also gifted a support belt (like this one) and never exercised without it.  Note: the support belt rides up until your belly is big enough to fill it out.  I found wearing it over a shirt or high waisted pants helped in the beginning to keep it in place.

In my 39th week, I set out for my usual run after work and all of the sudden my belly felt heavy and uncomfortable.  At that moment, I knew our journey running together would slow to a walking pace until he was able to join me in a stroller.

The decision to switch to walking wasn’t quite so black and white the second time around.  My hips were sore for a few weeks but only while I ran.  I was determined to get as close to 39 weeks as I could but at 38 weeks, I finally slowed to a walking pace.  Together, Jude and I ran over 150kms and continued to enjoy cycling – often with a toddler in tow!

This time I invested in some maternity activewear.  I had been eyeing this tank top from For Two Fitness while I was pregnant with Clyde but never felt like I could justify it.  Between pregnancies, I had all of my Lulu tanks hemmed and exchanged my capris for new running tights so I didn’t want to stretch anything out.  It was the perfect excuse to snag this tank top and a few more things while they were shipping my way ;).  I chose the ‘Running for Two‘ tank in grey, a solid colour tank in the blue, these capris and these shorts.  Everything fit true to size and the quality was fantastic.  I really enjoyed knowing that I had clothes that fit, that looked good and that were intended for running and other higher intensity workouts.

Running has always been an outlet for me to clear my mind, cleanse my body and enjoy some time outside.  These things were more true than ever for me during a time that neither my body nor my emotions felt like my own.

I ran at an average pace of 6:35-6:50/km covering 3-7km in distance.  My priority was always to run short distances at a comfortable pace as often as I could.

I often used that time to think about my impending labour and birth experience or the rest that I would enjoy once the baby arrived.  Staying active also helped me keep my weight in check and left me with very little to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Growing a baby is like walking at a steady incline for 9 months.

Our motto: climb the hill and rest at the top!

Pictures below from the family hike we did to the top of Luskville Falls on Jude’s due date.  My contractions started on the car ride home and we were a family of four at 1:19am the next morning :). Check out his home birth story here.

 

the Saturday Sprint

the Saturday Sprint

Hello and happy Saturday!

This week I spent lots of time reminiscing about our long weekend away with family.  We love to be home and host for special events and holidays but it’s also a treat to be in someone else’s home and have beds made and meals planned for you.  We enjoyed some free time to run, play at the park and of course – hunt for eggs!  Can you spot the ones that Clyde is making a run for?  I loved the magic of hunting for eggs when I was a kid.  We have spent two Easters with Clyde’s cousins and it’s so much fun to watch the big kids help him fill his bag.  This year they got wise and traded him all of his candy-filled eggs for sticker-filled eggs.  Poor guy.  I don’t think he’ll fall for that too many times!

We have a strategy to avoid bringing home candy in the masses at Halloween but haven’t found Easter to be much of a challenge…yet.  So far, we are letting him have candy with his breakfast after the big hunt and then it’s all gone.  I think it’s helpful that the Easter Bunny also leaves a gift so something new is a nice distraction.

This year, each of the boys got a shirt from Farm Life Outfitters.  They are in the process of updating their products so the ‘Little Farmers’ section is missing but check back soon because it should be up any day!  We are proud members of their brand fan team and will release some discount codes once things are back up and running!

While we were gone for the long weekend, a bunch of our avocados had ripened and were ready to eat all at once.  In our house, that’s a cue for guacamole.  Yum!  From there, I decided that tacos in some form would be a good dinner option.  Given that we’re in training mode, I opted for DIY lettuce wraps and I don’t think I’ll ever have tacos any other way.  They were light and tasty and wrapped in lettuce so I helped myself to many, many ‘tacos.’  I should have taken a picture but honestly I couldn’t slow myself down to stop and get a camera.  If you’ve never had lettuce wraps before, imagine a head of iceberg lettuce cut in half and peeled into layers.  Fill each layer with taco ingredients like you would a soft tortilla and fold it accordingly.  Something like this.

While I was on a roll in the kitchen, I also filled the fridge with some new salad dressing options.  Salad dressings are incredibly easy to make and are a far better option than anything bought from a grocery store – often filled with added sugars and preservatives.  If you have an avocado kicking around, try this.  It’s one of my favourites!  For the lettuce wraps, I really wanted a ranch dressing so I made this and was very satisfied.

We store our salad dressings in mason jars in the fridge and typically use them up in a week or so on salads and as dips for veggies.  Later in the week, I made my own version of a Cobb salad and topped it with the leftover ranch dressing and guacamole.  Here’s what dinner looked like for us that night – two adult salads and two ‘deconstructed’ salads for Clyde (2.5yrs) and Jude (7mo).

When not hunting for eggs or assembling salad dressings, we were laying low this week sorting through clothes in anticipation of the warm weather and visiting with friends.  This weekend we are hosting a First Aid and CPR course out of our home so a little down time was in order before heading into another busy weekend.

Once again, I hope that you and your families had a wonderful Easter and get to enjoy some of the sunshine that’s coming our way!  I will leave you with one more cute picture of the boys because bowties and khakis and everything else that is boys all dressed up.  I could just eat them up!

 

See you Wednesday for the next edition of Mama’s Half Marathon.  This week talking about staying active during pregnancies!  …and also a training update because it’s almost race month.  Yikes!

Mama’s Half Marathon – Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy marriage

Mama’s Half Marathon – Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy marriage

If you’ve been following my Mama’s Half Marathon series, here is my training update:  I started last Wednesday with a short, intense 4.3km treadmill run during Jude’s nap.  The rest of the week I logged three longer runs – progressing in distance each time.  Friday, was 7.3km, Sunday was 8.6km and yesterday was 10.5km for a total of 30.7km run this week.  When I do my longer runs, I maintain a comfortable pace of 6m12s-6m18s/km.

If you caught the Sprint on Saturday you may remember that we were out of town for the long weekend with family.  This meant lots of free time and lots of hands around to help watch the kiddos so we made the most of it!  We even managed to do our Friday run together and spend a little time just the two of us (these days, that qualifies as a date in our world).

This brings me to today’s topic: training season for us means a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy marriage.

Over the years we have registered, trained for and completed many different races together including ringing in the New Year with a midnight run in NYC, community runs like Kanata Race Day and triathlons as big as the Muskoka Ironman 70.3 (which we apparently didn’t photograph…).

When we’re working towards the same fitness goal, our marriage is always in a good place.

We date regularly – riding bikes to the beach, jogging along trails or swimming to the dock and back.

We are compassionate – offering each other some time alone for a workout while the other plays with the kids.

We eat well – prioritizing eating high quality meals at home together.

We are budget savvy – choosing to set up a circuit workout in the basement on a Friday night after the boys are in bed.

The upcoming Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon is the first fitness goal we have set together since becoming a family of four.  I’ll be honest that our training sessions aren’t quite as romantic as they once were but there’s still something magical about having everyone working towards a common goal amongst the chaos of our day-to-day life.

A few weeks ago, I shared some training tips for running.  If I could add one more it would be to register with a friend, a partner or a spouse.

Adam and I have been really fortunate to train with lots of different friends and family members over the years.  We really enjoy spending the time with that person and keeping in touch throughout training season.  It’s really helpful to make workouts a priority when you’re meeting with someone to run, bike, swim or do whatever your chosen activity is.

Case in point – the lovely Kayla Itsines has built herself a successful business on the basis of reaching out to all women to workout together.  The BBG community is alive and thriving across all social media platforms with the goal of offering a support and accountability network while still working out from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re working out with thousands of people virtually, meeting with a colleague for a run at lunch or putting a date night on the calendar to go for a bike ride – be active together!

In the same way that misery loves company, you can find strength in numbers.

 

the Saturday Sprint

the Saturday Sprint

Hello and Happy Easter from Barrie!

We took a road trip yesterday morning to spend the long weekend with Adam’s family.  Our plan is always to wake up, load the car and hit the road so when the kids woke up at 5am, we decided to make lemonade and hustle out the door.  Being on the road by 7am got us here in time for a late lunch and a full afternoon and evening of bike riding, trips to the park and playing outside.  So much fun!

We’ve learned that a morning drive is the best time to tackle a long trip with Clyde.  He’s rested, fed and has spent an hour or two running – or biking – around while we packed and loaded the car.  By the time we’re ready to leave, he’s usually content to climb in to his car seat and start a marathon of shows on the iPad.

We continue our weekend tradition of going out for breakfast and choose a spot an hour or more along the way.  On this trip we made it to Bancroft and ate a terrible breakfast at Dixie Lee’s.  It was desperate times.  Fortunately it was warm and sunny so we seized the opportunity to go for a walk while we were out of the car.

In other news, I still find myself marvelling at the sight of grass and the feel of sunshine.  This week we made the most of every minute that passed with no rain and spent it outside playing.  We broke out the gator, the swings and the sand toys and it felt a bit like Christmas!

Probably the highlight of our week was checking out Canada’s largest playground at Mooney’s Bay Park.  My sister in law joined me and the five cousins enjoyed a full morning checking out all of the different structures.  We packed balance bikes and a picnic lunch – it was the perfect kick off to spring!

We are enjoying time with our family today and I hope you are doing the same!

See you on Wednesday for a training update and thoughts on why racing together makes for a good marriage in our house!

Mama’s Half Marathon – Training eats + Why we don’t feed our kids dessert

Mama’s Half Marathon – Training eats + Why we don’t feed our kids dessert

Training update: This week I logged 15km of running with one longer run of 9km.  I had one attempted run with both kids in the stroller and it went terribly because Clyde kept trying to climb out – you win some you lose some!  We’ll see what this week brings.

Alongside modelling an active lifestyle for the boys, we also want to eat well as a family and do our best to set them up with healthy eating habits.

Adam and I love to eat.  We love kale smoothies and ice cream sundaes and everything in between.  We eat meat and fish and drink beer and wine.  We eat at restaurants and cook frozen pizzas at home.

By many accounts, we nourish ourselves no different than anyone else – and while that may be true, we have made a few changes over the years that have allowed us to eat well and to eat clean.

Clean eating is one of the greatest lifestyle choices that we would like to impart on the boys.  It’s the choice to eat whole foods that are minimally (or not at all) processed, refined and handled.

The irony about clean eating is that it’s possibly the most simple lifestyle – but given today’s food industry, it’s a hard transition and a conscious decision to say no to pre-made meals, most restaurant menus and packaged foods.

If you read last week’s post about our active lifestyle, you may remember reading that you can’t out exercise food.  While we strive to eat clean all year round, it’s particularly top of mind while we’re training for a race or working towards a fitness goal.

If I’m going to arrange a babysitter and/or plan a day around a long run, I don’t want to jeopardize my progress by making a poor choice with how I refuel my body.  Choosing to eat clean foods will also contribute to increased and consistent energy and a smooth recovery making my next workout that much more productive.

Here’s a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs from a friend and local hobby farmer, toast from Wilkie’s* with almond butter and an apple or gingerbread pancakes topped with plain greek yogurt and a drizzle of Ontario maple syrup.

Lunch: 
Raw veggies sticks with hummus, frozen pizza from Our Pizza Farm*, and a handful of grapes.

Snack: Clyde and I love to bake so there’s usually something like these healthy banana muffins around for an afternoon snack.  If not, I like a bowl of plain greek yogurt drizzled with maple syrup and topped with granola and berries.

Dinner: Oven baked or barbecued chicken from a local friend and farmer, sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.

After kids are in bed**: These cookies or ice cream from Carp Custom Creamery*.  Closer to the race, I will do my best to trade this for a light snack of crackers and veggies with hummus but cookies and ice cream are my kryptonite … and I’m still nursing full time so Mama’s gotta live a little while she can.

Drinks: Water.  All day, everyday.  We occasionally offer Clyde a glass of milk because we have it in the house for baking and bowls of cereal but otherwise, we are a water from the tap kind of family.  I don’t go anywhere without my Klean Kanteen or my Swell Bottle so that I always have water available.  In training season, staying hydrated all the time is particularly important.

*I specifically mentioned the source of these foods for three reasons.  Firstly, we buy from them during market season and enjoy seeing the vendors each week.  Secondly, they’re local sources that pride themselves on producing a high quality product with fresh and local (when possible) ingredients.  Thirdly, all three companies established a share or pick-up program this winter so we were able to stock up or plan our meals accordingly knowing when we would have these foods in the house.  Not only did this benefit our meal planning but it also had a huge positive impact on our grocery money because the money was spent up front and then we made a commitment to use what we had and then wait for the next pick up.

Next…**

You may have noticed that I chose the words “After kids are in bed” instead of “Dessert.”  This brings me to my next topic…. why we don’t feed our kids dessert – gasp!  Do you feel badly for them?  Hear me out!

Along with the concept of clean eating, we want the boys to understand that truly all whole foods in moderation contribute to healthy eating habits.  I didn’t say that we don’t allow our kids any junk food, I specifically used the term ‘dessert.’

If we’re going to offer our boys something sweet – right now only Clyde, we will put it on his plate with the rest of the his food and it becomes part of his meal.  It’s really interesting to watch him eat it.  Sometimes he goes right for the treat and finishes it right away but most times, he eats a bit of everything throughout his meal.

What we’re avoiding is the build up of sweet food – the desire to want what we can’t have so to speak.  What we’re instilling is that all whole and clean foods contribute to healthy eating habits and good nutrition.

So often, kids today are asked to finish their meal or have ‘x’ number of bites before they can have dessert.  This is not only teaching our kids that their meal is just a means to eat something sweet but also that the ‘best part’ comes at the end.

The concept is less about not eating sugar or junk food and more about educating them about how food drives their bodies and to make good choices, always in moderation.

So… your thoughts?  Not so bad, eh?