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My Daily Supplements

There’s a whole lot of different things we need to think about when it comes to our health and what we eat. I find it hard to really get a hold on how well I am ACTUALLY eating.. Since I started running I’ve been forced to look over my habits as I lost a lot of weight (I know this is usually a good thing, but when I was down to 105lbs for my 5’5″ body it got to a point where I desperately needed to step my intake up) and could not seem to get a hold on how I should be eating to fuel my body. Since then I’ve found a diet and a way of fueling that works well for me. I’ve put on some weight again, but I’m still way beyond where I started when I started with the running in May 2012.

I had been taking a multivitamin pill for a while when I found ENERGYbits. These 100% spirulina algaes are FULL of the vitamins and minerals (in fact, if you’re using the bits every day the only thing you might want to think about is Vitamin D which the spirulina algae doesn’t have) our bodys need and I stopped taking my normal multivitamins. As I live in Hawaii and usually get a bit of sunshine everyday I don’t have a crazy need for the Vitamin D, but if you’re living in a place with little sunshine or if you’re spending a lot of time inside you might want to think about taking a Vitamin D supplement. As we just moved to a less sunny spot on the island I’m wondering if I should go back to taking a little bit of Vitamin D supplements too. Because of my history of depression I need to be very careful with these kind of things as a slight little imbalance in my body can affect me very bad..

 

Here’s my daily intake of other things than food:

sup

Spirulina in the shape of ENERGYbits (which I’m sure by now you already know I love..) or Spirulina Powder added to juice, yoghurt, smoothies or just on top of bananas.

A while ago I got in contact with Nutrex Hawaii as I was curious about their product BioAstin. I’ve seen it around a bunch lately and as I’ve had some problems with my skin and getting burned easily in the sun I figured it would be interesting to see if these pills could help me. BioAstin consists of the antioxidant Astaxanthin and is said to have many benefits for our body. As I’m right now taking these pills daily to be able to review the product I’ll be back in a later post telling you more about it.

Alpha Liphoic Acid (ALA) is the third and last supplement I take on a daily basis. This is an antioxidant that are found in low doses in some foods (spinach, broccoli, yams, potatoes, yeast, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets etc) and is also made naturally in our bodies. It is supposed to fight free radicals, help lower the blood sugar level and have benefits for skin and overall health. I actually got this to see if it would help me with what seems like never ending skin problems. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties it can help treat psoriasis and atopic and contact dermatitis.

banana with peanut butter and spirulina

Banana with peanut butter and spirulina. Tasty and filling!

So, with added Vitamin D and maybe some fish (krill?) oil I’m thinking I’ll be all set together with my normal mostly veggie diet.

But there are some things I’m still on the lookout for:

Looking to find a protein powder (preferably easy to shake up in a blender bottle) for fast on-the-go fuel, but this one seems to be way harder then I imagined as my stomach seem to hate everything I try. Bummer! Good thing the ENERGYbits are giving me tons of protein at least. I should also mention that my husband is doing his very best with providing great proteins (without necessarily being meat) for every meal – something I tend to be pretty bad at even after a thousand years as vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian..

Of course I’m also ALWAYS on the lookout for easy and tasty gels/chews/drinks to bring along on long runs.

Electrolyte tabs/powders tend to be really hard on my belly so I’m relaying on the ENERGYbits to take care of the electrolyte business for now.

I am far from an expert in these things and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to tell me whatever crosses your mind.

Q: Do you take supplements? If so, what are you taking?

Do you have any suggestions on natural (as natural as possible) and easy-on-the-stomach bring-along-fuel for running? Electrolytes?


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Snack Me Up

I love snacks.

In periods of my life snack time was the equivalent of candy time, but nowadays I make way better choices. Some of my favorites are:

 

toast with almond butter and banana

Toast with nut butter (whatever kind, really, I love ’em all!) and sliced banana

greek yoghurt with almond butter and berries

Greek Yoghurt with almond butter and dried berries (sometimes added spirulina powder which makes the color of the yoghurt funky and fun)

veggie eggs benne

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict (might be more than a snack, but I freaking LOVE it). In fact, eggs in all shapes totally gets me going.

kombucha and bits

My favorite drink (except for COFFEE) and the beloved ENERGYbits. All green and wonderful!

avocado

Avocado. Straight up or with lemon/salt and pepper/cottage cheese/whatever. Avocado is, just like eggs, something I could eat however, whenever.

nespresso

Not really a snack, but sometimes when I’m dealing with a craving I make myself a cup of coffee (preferably a strong little cup of Nespresso) and sit down. Here, relaxing with my baby cat.

orange, carrot and lemon juice

Juice! Gotta love juice. Actually, I don’t really care for packaged juices but I love to make my own. One of the favorites: carrot/orange/lemon.

drink chia beach

DrinkChia. Chia seeds comes with great benefits and this drink makes me keep going when I’m out and about and/or waiting for dinner or so.

banana with peanut butter and spirulina

Sliced up banana with nut butter and spirulina powder. Nom nom nom. AND filling.

I enjoy healthy choices of snacks. There’s a lot of nice things that will make my cravings go away and that will fill me up enough for a mid day snack or so. But don’t get me wrong. I DO eat other things too. Occasionally I binge ice cream (really bad! I’m sensitive to lactose and ice cream NEVER ends happily, but it’s OH so GOOD!), candy or potato chips. Not often, but it definitely happens. 

water

I’ve noticed that since I got better with drinking water I’m way better with staying away from unnecessary snacking.

 

Q: What are your favorite snacks? Do you indulge in “unhealthy” snacks from time to time? Or every time? Do you have any tricks NOT to eat that unnecessary ice cream, cinnamon roll or whatever you might fancy?


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Half Marathon Training is Off

As you might have read a few times by now, I’ve been off running for a while due to a foot injury. It’s been tough not being able to run for over three weeks now, but I know that I’m doing myself and my body a favor. The foot is much better, although it seems like I’m still a little ways away from actually getting back to running. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go for an easy run/walk Monday morning, but as I woke up with pain today I really don’t know if it’s time to start pushing it or not.

I only just started my Half Marathon Training Program before this foot injury happened and now, as time pass by, I’m pretty sure there will be no Half done in March. I’m afraid of getting back to running and because of the time limit push too hard and only make it worse in the long run. So, as for now (if I’m not getting back to running this coming week and it feels GREAT) Half training is OFF.

It sure feels like a TOTAL bummer, I was looking forward to that Half so much, but I know that there’s a bunch of other races I can do. Shorter ones during the spring AND other Half Marathons in the summer. There’s the Kona Half Marathon and the Rain Forest Runs 13.1 (the race in which I ran my very first race) in August.

I will get through this injury and I’m aiming at doing it smart (even though my body and mind most of the times tells me to “PUSH IT, RUN, NOW”) to make sure running and I will stay happily in love for a long long time.


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The Story of My Darkness

Lea over at the blog Running for Dummies wrote an important and interesting blogpost the other day – I’m Afraid To Post This Blog.. In this world of social media it’s easy to believe that everyone out there is just as perfect as it might sound/look when reading tweets and blogposts, and it’s easy to feel like there’s no way you could ever be as successful/fit/whatever as the others out there. It’s very easy to start comparing your abs/legs/smile etc with what you see.. And this is of course normal, a part of being a human being.

But the reality is actually different – we are all “just people”, dealing with our own strengths and weaknesses, fears and joys. What we choose to share with others is the truth, but maybe it’s not the whole truth? Of course, there’s always going to be some things we wouldn’t share with our readers/followers, something private for you only or something you’re just not comfortable with sharing for whatever reason. And that’s the way it should be – what would the world be if all the secrets (good or bad) would be revealed? Still, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t hurt sharing a little bit more of who you are – with those wonderful features AND the flaws.

“We are all human.  Who are we trying to kid with all this perfection bullshit?” as Lea wrote regarding this I’m Afraid to Post This Blog Challenge.

So, as I too am afraid to show another side of myself, I AM afraid to post this. But, I am not at all perfect, so here goes:

What you see/read of me is usually all smiles and photos of my “bright and sunny” everyday life (which normally is 80% running and the rest slacking) and talk about my love for running and other things concerning running. But there’s more to my life than that. There’s especially one thing in my life that I want to share with you, one thing that’s been “stealing” a HUGE part of my life and something that still scares me, if not every day so at least a couple of times a week.

I have spent years fighting depression and anxiety since my mid teens. It all started with a pretty unhappy Middle School environment. I was one of those pretty girls who wasn’t bullied, I had friends, I got good grades and enjoyed playing/coaching basketball but there was something missing. Later I’ve come to realize that this had to do with neither my school friends or myself letting me be seen, take some space. This made me loose my smile, I spent many nights awake, wondering what the —- was wrong with me?! As I graduated Middle School I was ready to run away. I spent the first year of High School looking for “a way out”. At this point I had already started thinking of ending my life, but I decided to give it one more go. I moved to finish High School in another town approximately 600 miles away from my home town.

I’m not going to get into details when it comes to this looong story of darkness in my life, but I can tell you that the move didn’t “save” me as I was hoping it would. Quite the opposite actually. I was lonely in a big city, totally insecure in myself and who I was and couldn’t seem to find a way out of my misery. I was depressed. Big time. As the years went by I fell deeper and deeper into the darkness, dealt with serious anxiety attacks and spent countless of hours in my apartment, hiding under a blanket desperately trying to figure out how to get saved from all this pain. All these emotions I couldn’t put into words. I tried every possible way I could find to numb myself, to get the darkness and the heavy anxiety to go away. Give me a chance to just.. Breathe. And live. I saw other people out there doing their thing, LIVING their life, and I felt envious. I wanted it so bad, but at the same time.. I had no energy what so ever. No answers to all my questions.

bad day

After YEARS and going to several doctors, tried a bunch of different anti depressant pills, talking to therapists (nothing helped, none of the doctors/therapists SAW me) I was so close to just give up. Give in to the suicidal thoughts and let go. “Maybe life just isn’t for me?”.

But then, luckily, things changed. I met a therapist who actually saw me. I was in terrible shape when we first met, and even though the story of my life and misery was the same, this time I actually felt safe. I knew this guy could help me. So we started seeing each other two times/week, and to be honest, sometimes I mostly just sat and stared at nothing. But during the years I got to talk to this therapist everything changed I very slowly started to see the light, I realized I had just as many reasons to live as people around me and I found strengths in myself I never knew I had. Honestly, without being strong I could never have made it this far.

It’s been a constant struggle and it might sound weird to you… But this journey I’ve been through have taught me SO MUCH about myself and made me so strong, I’m actually “glad” it happened. Sometimes I think to myself that all those years of total darkness was a waste, but then I remind myself of where I am today and how far I’ve come. I’m PROUD of the journey I’ve made – because today I am actually smiling and most importantly LIVING. I am alive and I have a future.

I still struggle with my emotions, I’m far from done with the journey. But that’s ok, because this is life! There’s always going to be more to learn about ourselves and the world we live in (and how it affects us). The question is if we are brave enough to face all these things? I truly believe that we ALL sometimes need to stop what we’re doing, take a step back and spend a moment or two to ourselves and just look inside and around us.

Every now and then I think about this therapist that “saved my life”. I last met him in August 2011, and I cried as I said goodbye. The way he right away saw straight through the “pretty little girl” and picked up on my heavy depression and anxiety, the way he saw me and fought with me without giving up on me even when I had my darkest moments.. I will be grateful for that man for the rest of my life, because I couldn’t have made it alone.

I’ve also had my family and friends by my side. I left them feeling very helpless as I wasn’t ready to take their help at all times. But if I could put into words how much they meant to (and of course still  mean to me) I would. My parents with their constant love and the way they would run through fire to save me.. I am truly grateful for them! My brothers were very young when I was dealing with parts of this and even though we never really talk about it they are the main reason I decided to fight back and find my way back to life. They are the sunshine of my life, everyday, for as long as I will live.

Since I started running in May 2012 I’ve learned more about myself, a few of those remaining pieces in my puzzle have been falling into places. I’ve found even more (mental AND physical) strength and maybe most important, I’ve learned to be ALONE (not lonely) and ENJOY every second of it. I’ve found a way to channelize fear, stress, anxiety etc without before it’s been starting to really get to me. This is one of the reasons you constantly read about running here.

So this is it. Now you know me a little bit better.

This was a scary post to write. Ive been afraid to hit the “publish” button because I don’t want you to look down on me. Pity me. I just want to share what’s been such a big part of my life and the biggest fight of my 30 year old life. One of the main reasons I am who I am today.

And also, if there’s anyone out there dealing with a similar fight I want you to know that you’re not alone. And that there’s hope. Stay strong, be nice to yourself and don’t be afraid of asking for help. It’s a rough world out there but there are ways to win confidence and joy back, to FEEL the hope and move on.


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“Abs By April” A Challenge hosted by Run Like A Grl

Megan, who runs the blog Run Like A Grl, just started this ab challenge and I thought “why not join?!”. As one of my goals for 2013 is to work on building up some strength this is a great way to get a little extra inspiration, motivation and support.

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Here’s some information from Run Like A Grl’s blog:

abs-by-april-png

“Here’s how its going to work:

    • Sign up for the challenge here!
    • Each week, there will be an Abs by April Challenge post where I will share an ab/core workout or exercise that will be the suggested weekly challenge.  I know sometimes life gets in the way so if you only have time for a different type of ab/core workout, that’s fine! The purpose is to get stronger, healthier, and build some definition. As long as you are doing something, that’s totally cool.
    • During the week, share your workouts, progress, photos of you participating in the challenge, and any advice via myFacebook page or through Twitter/Instagram using thehashtag #AbsByApril.  Share as much or as little as you want, its up to you.
    • At the same time each week, take a photo of your abs to document progress.

You can share this on social media if you feel comfortable, just share a before and after photo in April, or keep it to yourself as personal proof of your awesomeness!

Having a strong core is so crucial to overall health and injury prevention, which is the ultimate goal of this challenge. As a person who has had back issues since a young age, I know the important of strong abs/core (this also includes back muscles!). So let’s do this together, its so much easier to achieve something when you have support. Plus, looking good on the beach doesn’t hurt :) And without further delay, here’s your first challenge.

Abs by April- Week1 PNG

Week 1 Challenge Details: This challenge is a daily one (although most won’t be): do at least one plank a day for the next week. Planks use significantly more muscles than a standard crunch, so many trainers are choosing these! Hold this plank for as long as you can, log the time, and compare your times throughout the week! This challenge includes any variation of a plank you choose. Here are some options:

Standard Forearm Plank
Standard Straight Arm Plank
Walking Plank
Plank with single leg lifts
Side Planks (both sides)
Side plank with hip dips
Side plank with oblique twists

The best site I’ve found demonstrating these is here

Tips: Be especially sure to active your glutes and lower body too during planks. Also be sure to distribute weight evenly throughout your upper and lower body.

Ways to share: Share a photo of you doing your plank, of your final time(s), tips for a others, or just a shout-out that you completed your plank! Use hashtag#AbsByApril!”

Written by: Run Like A Grl

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Megan have done an awesome job putting this challenge together and there’s a bunch of bloggers/tweeps already signed up for it. If you feel like this could be something for you, sign up and join us in this fun challenge?!

I’m starting a little bit late, but here comes my starting point. A few months, or even weeks ago I would have had a totally different starting point. Moving stress, bad food and no running for weeks have made me.. Soft. But it’s ok, here we go!

#AbsByApril Week 1

#AbsByApril Week 1

Hopefully next time I post a photo I won’t feel as embarrassed?

So, with this said and done. Bring the challenge on! Come April, and maybe I’ll look a little bit different in April (with some hard work done, of course)?!

 


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Running Reads

I mentioned in my post 10 Goals for 2013 that I want to get better with reading books in English. As I’m not running right now I figured I could spend my mornings (when I should be out running) with a book about.. Running. Why not, right?!

Photo from NPR Books

I’ve heard great things about Christopher McDougall’s Born to run and it’s definitely on my list, but I’m wondering if you have any suggestions on other running related books?

Thank you!


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10 Goals in 2013

Most of you bloggers have already done a blogpost sharing your goals for the year of 2013 and here comes mine. I know we’re already almost done with January, but I got totally sidetracked by the move and my foot injury, and I’m thinking that it’s better to get it out there late then never?

As you’ve all understood by now, I’m all about running. Year 2012 was the year when I started to run and when it really made a big difference in my life. As I got more and more into running I grew stronger and more confident in not just my body but also in my mind. I’ve found a way to channelize my anxiety and stress, a way to be on my own without feeling lonely and I’ve become a person that smiles a lot more and feel happier inside and out. Ok, there’s other things in my life that make me smile and feel happy but running is definitely a big part of my wellbeing.

2013 is going to be the year I continue to run. It’s time to further develop as a runner and work more on both my mental and physical strength, but it’s also a year to work on other goals in life. I’ve been thinking a lot about what goals to set up for this year and here’s the result:

10 Goals For 2013

1. Run 1300k in 2013

It was hard for me to set up a goal like this, because I really don’t know how far I can get in a whole year of running. But during the months of 2012 (a little over 7 months) I managed to track 525k and that was just my starting out as a runner. As I’m hoping to do at least one Half Marathon and seeing what the training programs for a Half brings when it comes to amount of kilometres, I think that 1300k is doable. I’m aiming for it at least.

 

2. Finish my first Half Marathon

As mentioned above and in earlier posts my goal is to do my first Half Marathon this year. I know I have what it takes and that I can get it done. I WANT it. BAD! Now it’s just a matter of time. Will my foot heal enough to let me do one in March? Maybe. If not, I’ll do another one!

 

3. Get a Drivers License

I’m 30 years old and I don’t have a Drivers License. To be honest, being in this country I feel like a total weirdo not being able to drive. And it’s not just that, the fact that I don’t drive is making my life a little bit tough too. Getting around here without a car is not that easy (oh yes, I could always run, but unfortunately that doesn’t really work in the real world – BUMMER!) and the plan is for me to get a job here soon which will require some commuting and a car. So, this coming month I’m getting on top of this situation. My goal is to have the card in my hand and being able to drive our beautiful Volvo this spring. Looking forward to it, but I must confess I’m also a little bit scared..

 

4. Drink more water

Always. I need a constant reminder of this. As I’ve never been very good with taking my hydration serious (I tend to go for coffee when I feel like something to drink) I quickly realized that living in Hawaii this needs to be prioritized., even more so now than ever. I got myself a nice Contigo bottle and so far it has really helped me with my water drinking. But, I can’t stop now. I need to keep doing it. Every day, all year around, no matter where I am or what the weather is like.

 

5. Work my physical strength up

Since my late teens I haven’t been very good with working out. Or yes, in periods I’ve been obsessing over spin classes and so on but I haven’t had the courage to walk into the actual strength section of a gym. This year I’m getting going on working with weights and actually push myself to build up this body of mine and allow myself to get stronger, both in everyday life and when it comes to workouts/running.

 

6. Get better with staying in contact with family and friends

I’ve always been bad with calling and writing to my friends and family and this has always been something I’ve been ashamed of and disappointed with myself for. Since I came to the US in June I’ve even more so realized that this must change. I’m physically SO far away from my loved ones and our only way of communicating is through Skype/email/letters, therefore I’m deciding to step my game up and in as many ways as possible show my family and friends that I LOVE them. 

 

7. Eat better

I’m not the one to go on special diets or anything. To be honest, I’m way too lazy. I tend to eat good, smart and healthy food.. Most of the times! But my laziness when it comes to food and cooking sometimes sets me up for terrible choices. This year I’m really going to think about this, be aware and make the right decicion before I just throw whatever’s closest down my throat. I’m planning on getting better with eating breakfast, even the days (lets say 80% of the time) when my husband is totally skipping breakfast and goes straight to late lunch/dinner. I am responsible for my own body, and laziness in the kitchen is not going to make me stronger or faster.

 

8. Choose JOY

I’ve got a history of depression. It’s been a big part of my life for way too long and now, when I’ve spent a few years actually feeling somewhat “normal” I still struggle to see things from the bright side and stop worrying. This year, I’m going to be more aware and think about being positive and unafraid of life. I’m going to smile more!

 

9. Run as many races as possible

Once again, obviously I like to run. And what better way to keep the joy and focus when it comes to running than doing races. I’m looking forward to getting more race experience and with that have a lot of fun. We’re not as spoiled with a ton of races here on the Big Island as in many other places, but the ones we have I’m going to do my very best to register for and RUN. One dream of mine is to do a race in Sweden while visiting my family. I’d be SO very happy to have my dear brothers and parents by my side (or maybe dad by my side, running with me?), cheering on me. Maybe not this year, but it WILL happen..

 

10. Read books in English

I’ve always liked reading, but I’m a real period reader and sometimes months pass without me picking up a book to read. I’m just now, as I moved to the US starting to get used to read books in English and it’s something I’d like to be better with. When reading in Swedish or Norwegian I’m a fast reader (very fast even), but reading in English takes time and it usually makes me get inpatient, give up and put the book away. But this year I’m going to stay patient and ENJOY being able to read in a third language. I have so much to win from it! I’m not going to set up a goal with number of books to be read, I’m just going to go with the flow and push myself to sit down and actually just.. read!

 

That’s it. Now, let’s go make things happen!

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