Uncategorized

Thoughtful Thursday: Getting Older

It’s interesting how much I’ve changed as the years have passed. I’ve always been a spaz with big dreams and lots of them – constantly chasing after this, and then that, and then something else, and everything all at once. I wanted to build my own side business, work 50 hours a week, get my personal training certificate, train for a marathon and lift heavy in the gym – all day, every day.

Needless to say, it’s exhausting.

As the years have passed, though, a few big events have shook me out of my do-it-all cycle and forced me to rebuild my life with the most important things. I’ve shifted from short-term dreams to long-term goals. Instead of cramming as much as I can in one day, I’ve learned to ask myself, what is the best use of my energy and free time today?

I’ve learned that six-pack abs aren’t worth it, and really don’t matter; that I don’t need to run a sub-four-hour marathon in order to be a runner; and most importantly, I’ve discovered that I have time. Plenty of it. That my youth isn’t a runaway train already far down the tracks; that aging really isn’t that big of a deal.

I’ve met wanderers and travelers and runners and writers and entrepreneurs and artists of every age and every stage, figuring it out a hundred times over. I’ve learned that even if I do figure out and plan my entire life today, a million different events could destroy it all, in the best way possible.

That anything’s possible, really. And I have plenty of time to figure it all out, and I always will.

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

The Body Positive Athlete

A friend asked me how you can be body positive and an athlete at the same time. It’s a great question, because I don’t think the two have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they can go hand in hand, if that’s what you’re about! All you need are these key points:

✨all bodies are worthy or respect & love

✨athletic ability & health can’t be judged by appearance

✨athleticism and health doesn’t make anyone superior to another

✨movement should come from a place of joy, not punishment or sacrament

✨bodies are beautiful and capable of so much!

That’s literally it! Shifting to a body positive mindset allowed me to actually enjoy the activities I love – soccer, running, hiking, swimming. It disconnected me from the ingrained need to “work off” my food/weight and brought me back to a place of fun.

Uncategorized

Vegan Marathon Munchies


As I’m gearing up for the Honolulu Marathon, my meal plan has taken shape, too. Long runs make me so beyond starving that my marathon training usually equates to months of marathon eating. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s so freakin amazing. As a historically restrictive/borderline obsessive calorie tracker, the sky-high calorie burns from running feel like a free pass to Disneyland, in food form. Yes, please!

Naturally, though, you can’t realistically have your hard-earned cake and eat it, too. Or at least you can’t without repercussions. For me, staying light and lean makes running easier, so I have to strike a balance between my veracious appetite and what my body actually needs.

Here’s a quick snapshot of my proudly plant-based meal plan. Of course, every body is different, so this isn’t designed for anyone specifically – it’s just what I’ve found to work well for me, on and off of training season.

Meal 1: Pre-Run

I prefer to run in the mornings if at all possible so I don’t have to think about the impending run all day long. I like to have something light, so I usually eat 1/2 a banana for short runs. For long runs, I eat something like this – a piece of Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel bread with powdered peanut butter (mixed with water, so it spreads thin) and a teensy bit of fruit. The fruit is important cause it gives me that burst of energy/wake-up to get out and run.

Meal 2: Breakfast

Best meal of the day, y’all! So, quick disclosure – if I do a long run, I do down a low-calorie protein shake right after. But most days I get to enjoy this beautiful cereal recipe from Engine 2 Kitchen . It’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, good fats, complex carbs and protein to boot. Here’s my breakdown:

1/4 cup Grape Nuts, 1/4 cup old fashion rolled oats, 1/4 cup Uncle Sam’s berry flakes

1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal

1 small banan, sliced; 1 kiwi, sliced; 10 berries of any kind

1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, almond, flax milk – anything!)

Afternoon Snack

Snacks are what I live for. Like, so seriously. I’m usually running around crazy, so for afternoon time I snack on something simple, like an apple with 1tbsp almond butter, carrots and 2 tbsp hummus, or a Larabar.

 

Lunch


I LOVE having lunch at home, where I can whip up a gigantic salad packed with a zillion veggies and topped with nuts, seeds, 1/2 cup brown rice or noodles, and some baked tofu or tempeh. Or a similar wrap!


Yet, alas, I’m usually running from meeting to meeting or apartment to apartment, so bae and I often end up eating out. Thankfully, Hawaii has tons of lighter options, so it’s easy for me to find a healthy, plant-based meal on the go. My faves are definitely summer rolls with tofu from any Thai/Vietnamese restaurant, or a veggie delight sandwich from subway on multigrain flatbread – swap cheese for avocado, and with as much veggies as possible.

 Evening Snack

I love love love snacks. My favorites around nighttime usually include fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth. I love sweet berries drizzled with pbfit (powdered peanut butter mixed with water) or bananas and peanut butter, or apples and almond butter. YUM!

Dinner


My dinner is literally the same almost every single night: grilled or sautéed veggies, brown rice or sweet potato, and a plant-based protein. My go-to’s are lentils, beans, tofu, or tempeh, but I sometimes spoil myself with a good mock meat. 

Dessert


Dessert is important, because i love myself. Lol. If I’m hungry after dinner, which I normally at if I work at night or had a long run that day, I indulge. I love a good vegan donut, some dark chocolate, or protein nice cream. 


Hope this helps!

Love,

Nicole

Running · Uncategorized

Training While Injured


It’s been almost two weeks of non-soccer/non-running existence and let me tell you – the injured life is not a fun one. With lots of life changes like moving apartments & possible career shifts, it’s been a major struggle not being able to run through it all. Running is my mediation, my quiet, precious ‘me’ time, and I’m going a little bit crazy without it.

In a nutshell – resting ain’t easy.


To keep myself in shape for a busy marathon season, I’ve been supplementing as best as I can with bike riding, swimming, and lifting at the gym. The only good news is that I’m able to lift a lot heavier than usual because I’m not running. So, I’ve gotten to play around with compound movements like squats and snatches to keep myself strong.

I’ve also been stuck with the very boring task of ankle PT. I can’t explain why I hate it so much, but I totally do. I hate every second of it. I know it helps, but it’s so boring it’s like watching paint dry, except you have to be an active participant. Ugh.


Anyways, I just go cleared to ‘lightly jog’ for a few minutes and come back next week to get the final go ahead. I’m still benched from soccer, which starts this weekend, and banned from my Old Pali Road race this Sunday. So, for the next week, I’ll still be grumpy and difficult but hopefully will get my happy time back soon. 🙂

Happy Healing!

Nicole

Running · Uncategorized

Half Marathon Training!


It’s that time of year again – when the island weather is cool, soccer is in full swing, and my life is filled with short, beautiful runs to get ready for half marathon season. Half Marathon training is my very favorite, because the runs are short and easy and don’t totally disrupt my life or turn me into a nap queen the way marathon training does.

My next race is the Hapalua Half Marathon, an awesome event that kicks off in downtown Honolulu and winds its way around diamond head and ends at Kapiolani Park. It’s one of my fave races here in Hawaii. It’s on April 30, 2017, so I have about 12 beautiful weeks to train!

Here’s my training plan:

training-plan

After sending my plan to some friends that are also in training, they all asked the same question: why are you using a beginner’s training program?

My answer: because LIFE is hard. A beginner’s plan like this one is easy, flexible, and – most importantly – it works. I can control how fast or slow I run, where to incorporate intervals, and it’s simple enough for it to work in with my soccer schedule.


I encourage everyone, honestly, to stick with an easy, simple, open, adjustable, and flexible training plan, regardless of what race or event its for. Why? Because if it’s not easy, simple, open, adjustable and flexible, it won’t work with your unique schedule, circumstances & life.

Keep it simple, folks! It does work.

Anyways, I’m very excited to be back on a training plan  and on the road and trails. It’s been beautiful having a break, but I’m more than ready to be in racing shape 🙂

Happy training!

Nikki

 

 

Eating · Uncategorized

Silver Fern Brand Review!

Let’s be honest – I’ve reviewed my fair share of products. From granola bars and energy gels to plant-based protein powders, I’ve had quite a time tasting, testing, reporting and reviewing the latest and greatest fitness food stuff.


While I usually enjoy the taste testing process (I mean, who wouldn’t?) it’s rare that I encounter a product that I truly love. And it’s especially rare that I encounter an entire box of a wide arrary of products and absolutely love and enjoy each and every one of them.

I got a big ol’ box of goodies from Silver Fern Brand, who I found – and was found by – on Instagram. First, I was wowed by the variety. From chocolate bark to probiotics (lots of probiotics), protein powder, and fiber – there it was, y’all.

I’ve suffered from digestive issues my entire life, so I was thrilled by the prevalence of prebiotics and probiotics in pretty much everything. The reason I eat the way I do – mostly gentle plants, soups, sweet potatoes and healthy fats – is because my poor tummy can’t handle much else.


So when you I get sent something like Silver Fern Brand’s Kai Meal Shake, it feels like Christmas. Taste-wise, this baby is smooth, simple and not too sweet (my flavor was banana) and is super easy on my very sensitive stomach. I actually found myself craving these shakes after my workouts and soccer games. It also has pro- and prebiotics crammed in, along with21 essential vitamins and minerals to make a well-rounded mini-meal. Hands-down, A+.


I’m also a huge fan of their Cenavi Chocoalte Bark, which was dotted with Cranberry, Blueberry and Ginger-y gems. This stuff tasted bomb, but had no added sugar or sugar alcohols, touts low calories and net carbs, and is a natural prebiotic. WIN.


Third favorite is a tie for the Wai Porbiotic Drink Mix and the Ulitmate Probiotic Supplement. Again, I have pretty serious tummy issues, so I try to take in as much probiotics as I can – but let’s be real, a girl can only eat so much Kimchi. The Wai drinks – which came in a breadth of yummy flavors – were all yummy, low in carbs and sugar, and not too sweet.


So, here’s the thing – Silver Fern Brand hooked it UP. And truthfully, honestly – their stuff is off the chain. It’s a relief to be taking in so many pre- and probiotics in a variety of ways, instead of scarfing down miso and plugging my nose at kombucha. I loved their products, and the honesty and simple, straight-up goodness. I’m really touched that I was able to try out such quality products! I absolutely recommend everything, and thank them for opening my eyes to awesome, yet wholesome, alternatives to keep my gut healthy and happy.

A+++++,

Nikki

 

Uncategorized

Faith Friday: Conquering Fears

fear1.jpg

Life is beyond scary. It’s unpredictable, unfair, crazy, out-of-this-world terrifying. We’re petrified of getting fired, going bankrupt, making the wrong choice, picking the wrong fight, choosing the wrong partner, raising our kids wrong, making our car payment and navigating our careers in a shitty economy. I know, I know. Life is freakin rough.

I wrote last week all about faith. What I didn’t mention, though, is that faith isn’t only a means to make it through the storm. It’s also a foundation for having courage and conquering fears. When we have faith and confidence in our path, we’re able to take on new challenges and scary situations with gusto.

img_8149

I’ll never forget a conversation I had with an Aunty at my old work. I was at a major crossroads and trying to figure out what to do, where to go, who to turn to and how. I couldn’t make a decision; I was confused and lost and petrified of making the wrong choice.

She told me, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what you do. You could decide to move halfway around the world tomorrow and you’d still end up at the right place when the time is right. No matter what you do, you will end up where you’re supposed to be and be the person you’re supposed to become. If you make the wrong choices, it will be a lot more painful, but your path is your path, and it doesn’t waver.”

WHAT.

I have to tell you, this was pretty show-stopping at the time. I actually left work early and went on a run to contemplate it. I was so concerned about being on the right path, as if I had absolute and ultimate control over my fate.

The notion that we don’t have control, although it’s scary, somehow made me fearless. I made the best choice I could with what I knew at the time, and allowed God and the world and fate to correct my path as I traveled along it.

All we have to do is do the best we can, have faith that it will work out, and TAKE THE LEAP. Take it! Feel the fear and do it anyways; everything will happen exactly as it’s supposed to. Faith makes us strong, invincible, and unshakable.

God will walk with us through the deepest of waters.

fear2.jpg