Archives for April 2010

Interview With Author of French Women Don't Get Fat

For those of you who follow me on Twitter @RunWithCake, you know that today was a very big day for me – I interviewed one of my biggest health inspirations. No, it’s not Jillian Michaels or Bob Greene. My interview was with Mireille Guiliano, the famous author of French Women Don’t Get Fat!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

I have been a fan of Mireille’s books since her first, French Women Don’t Get Fat, was published in 2004. Her books, including her latest – The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook – focus on certain aspects of the French lifestyle that have been known to keep the women in that country healthy, thin, and happy. These include how the French eat (slow, savoring every bite), what they eat (fresh, seasonal foods), and the healthy relationship they have with food (they see it as the ultimate pleasure in life, not the enemy).

I don’t want to give away all of the details of my interview – those will be saved for my article on Bistro Chic. But I will say that Mireille is quite charming, even over the phone! Speaking with her was just as fun, if not more fun, than reading her books. I spoke with her for about 20 minutes (would have spoken with her longer but I could tell she was tired from 2 full days of back to back interviews). But even in this short time, it was quite apparent that she lives this French lifestyle every day, even though she spends half of her time in New York. I also feel that she really cares about her readers – a quality that may not be as common as we think it is in the publishing world.

Although I asked Mireille many questions, my final question ended up being – 10 Things You May Not Know About Mireille Guiliano. This was a series of words/phrases which I read to her, then asked her to choose the ones that best describes her. Take a look….

Of the words/phrases, which best describe you…

  1. Coffee or tea?
  2. Morning person or night owl?
  3. Red or white wine?
  4. Sparkling or still water?
  5. Print or electronic books?
  6. Beach vacation or skiing?
  7. Chocolate dessert or fruit dessert?
  8. Regular or Greek yogurt?
  9. Mac or PC?
  10. Skirts or trousers?

So, what were her answers? I’m not telling….yet! Visit Bistro Chic on Monday, May 3 to find out!

Big Interview Tomorrow!

Big news everyone! I am interviewing a famous author tomorrow and can’t wait to tell you all about it! I’m keeping the name under wraps just in case things fall through at the last minute. I’m so excited and a bit nervous. I’ve interviewed celebrities in the past, but I always seem to get a little nervous before the big interview.

Wish me luck! And, check back tomorrow evening to find out who my mystery guest is!!

5 Ways to Avoid Snacking

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

Hi All! I’m back from Austin and I am tired! I’m so glad that I have about 3 weeks to recuperate until I travel again. And speaking of traveling…

Ma’am, do you know how fast you were going?

This morning, while on my 5 mile run, I noticed one of those radar speed signs that tell drivers how fast they are going. As I approached the sign, I noticed it posted 27 MPH, referring to the previous car that went past. As I came closer to the sign, the number quickly change to 8 MPH…then hovered between 8 and 7! How cool is that – a speed radar sign that seemed to accurately capture my running miles per hour! Next time, I’m going to take a picture to prove it – he he! See officer, I wasn’t speeding, but I’m on track for a PR!

Stress and the Snack Monster

As most of you know, I’ve been a little stressed and frustrated at work these days. There have been significant changes in the staffing model of our group, which is causing great uncertainty and unrest among the troops. As a result of this and other daily stressors, I’ve had the urge to snack more throughout the day. I’ve even found that I need to bring out all of my “tricks” to get me to stop snacking, including:

5 Ways to Beat the Snack Monster

  1. Chew gum – This can provide a temporary fix of having something in your mouth to chew. Although, if you chew too much and too often, you may take in too much air, leaving you with a bloated feeling.
  2. Eat a mint – Again, this gives your mouth and teeth something to do while your mind is resisting the urge to snack.
  3. Brush your teeth – Brushing my teeth gives me that clean fresh feeling in my mouth. Brushing also seems to send a signal to my brain that I’m finished eating for the time being.
  4. Use a teeth whitening strip – I keep these handy at home, in my purse, and on trips. Not only do they make your teeth whiter, but you have to wait 30 minutes before taking them off, which is usually enough time for the snacking urge to pass.
  5. Drink a glass of ice cold water – Sometimes when we have the urge to snack, it’s really because we are thirsty. Drinking a glass of really cold water takes care of that thirst and makes you feel full all in a few gulps!

What are your tricks to avoid snacking during the day?

Gettin' Tarty in Austin

Hey Y’all – I’m blogging live from Austin, TX! Hence, the Y’all. One thing I will say about Texas is that it’s HOT! It was 86 degrees today, which is so hot for me coming from 55 degrees in Chicago.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

The warm weather made me temporarily lose my head and walk right into a Tart frozen yogurt cafe. Why do we not have one of these cafes in Chicago! This is a made-to-order “yogurt bar” where you can portion out as much yogurt as you like and top it with whatever you fancy. Then, you take your creation up to be weighed and voila! $5.00 later, you are enjoying your very own frozen yogurt creation!

Unfortunately, I did not have my camera on me at the time of the yogurt purchase, but I had a mixture of the following:

  • Tart yogurt
  • Blueberry yogurt
  • Strawberry banana yogurt
  • Chocolate yogurt
  • Mini M&M’s
  • Walnuts
  • Butterfinger crumbs

Now before you jump to conclusions, I took very small portions of each yogurt and less than a teaspoon of each of the toppings. It ended up being a small-medium size yogurt – and I enjoyed every bite! I am so glad that frozen yogurt is low in calories (please tell me it is!!!)

Gotta run, my meetings start very early tomorrow! Have a great night – y’all 🙂

A Weekend of Y & R

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. While many people use their weekends to grab a little R&R (rest and relaxation), my weekends seem to be filled with Y&R:

  • Y = YOGA

Saturday morning, I made it to yoga 30 minutes before start time to find that there were still spots left – yes! Last week, I arrived 15 minutes prior to class and was out of luck. Because I arrived so early, I claimed my yoga spot in the studio, then jumped on a treadmill for 15-minutes of interval walking. Then, it was time for class…

(photo courtesy of Flickr)

Y is for YOGA

The yoga instructor on Saturday mornings is amazing. She’s just the right mix of cheerful, helpful, and very knowledgeable. Even though it is a basic yoga class, she definitely makes you work. Lots of hip openers, three-legged dogs, sun salutations, and even a shoulder stand! This week, the class was especially warm – almost like we were doing Bikram instead of Hatha!

Whenever I go to yoga, not only to I come home refreshed and very bendy, but I also feel the need to shop for more yoga clothes. That can be very dangerous for your budget, especially when Lucy is just a 5-minute drive away – he he!

R is for RUNNING

Fast-forward to Sunday morning…Sunday is typically my long-run days. This week, I had planned on running 8 miles (last week’s long run was 7) but I ended up running 9 miles! The temperature was cool – about 60 degrees with a slight breeze – perfect for running. So, somewhere around mile 6, the endorphins kicked in and I had that distinct euphoric feeling that runners brag about. This “runner’s high” is different for everyone, but for me, it makes me feel like I could run for miles and miles, with little to no effort. So at that point, I challenged myself to run 9 instead of 8. By the time I reached home, 72 minutes later (that’s 8-minute miles for those of you who are counting!) I realized that I could have probably run another mile or so. Hmm, maybe I’m more ready for that half-marathon than I thought!

Well, I’m off to pack for Austin – I’m there tomorrow and Tuesday. Have a great night!

Stress and the Red Velvet Cupcake

Hey All – We had a bit of a shake-up today at work. There’s a ton of restructuring going on – not sure yet how it will pan out for me. I’m really hoping the changes are good for the organization, but for me especially.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

I was rather stressed the whole day – so stressed my stomach hurt. After an 1 1/2 lunch – which was basically a dazed and confused venting-fest, I decided to indulge in a Red Velvet cupcake. Obviously, stress eating – especially when it includes unhealthy food – is not a good idea. But today I let me good judgement slide in the food department. I’m glad the cupcake was on the small side.

Anyway, I’m off to do more work tonight. See you all sometime tomorrow.

Should you stretch before running?

Hey everyone! Today’s lunchtime yoga session at the office was awesome! It’s not the type yoga that gets you all sweaty. It’s gentle yoga, the kind that stretches your muscles, but at the same time relaxes you so that you are refreshed for the rest of the afternoon. Great news too – the yoga instructor is lowering her rates – only $10 a session now instead of $15 – woo hoo!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

Stretching Before Exercise

While we’re on the topic of stretching, there’s been quite a debate over the last few years about stretching before working out. But recent studies have shown that static stretching before playing a sport makes you weaker. In addition, the CDC reviewed over 100 studies related to static stretching and found that people who did not stretch prior to exercise were no more likely to suffer injuries than those who did stretch.

Running Superstitions

Although significant evidence is suggesting that pre-exercise stretching is not recommended, experts say it will be hard to change decades of ingrained stretching behavior, particularly for runners. Like most athletes, I think runners have their rituals and superstitions. Some have their favorite shirts, lucky socks, and some have a certain stretching routine. So, if you’ve always stretched before running, and it’s worked for you so far, than why break the routine and mess with superstition?

For the most part, I do not stretch before running and haven’t in years. The most I do are a few ankle and trunk rotations, just to wake up my ankles and back before I set off. This has worked for me for many years, without problems, and I’m not about to change now. Just superstitious, I guess. After all, I’m a runner.

Yoga Poses: Are you doing them correctly?

Hi All! I just finished chatting with a bunch of #Fitblog women on Tinychat – so fun! It was great to see so many people turn out. I even saw some familiar names like MerryMishaps and fANNEtasticfood. I miss all of the Fitbloggin crew – can we have a reunion! 🙂 Not sure if I’ll be able to make next Tuesday’s chat #Fitblog chat. I’m in Austin on Monday and Tuesday for business – will try though.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

Training – Today was a lighter day for me running wise – only 5.5 miles. I’ll be running 8 miles at some point this week. I really love running but I think there is a huge caveat – it takes so much of my time when I’m training! I will eventually be working up to a 1.5-2 hour run. With 2 kids, a husband, and full-time job (plus two blogs), who really has 2 hours to dedicate to running? Crazy I tell ya. But if Dimity can do it, so can I! And speaking of Dimity, if you’re a running mommy, you’ve got to pick up the book Run Like a Mother – it really confirms how and why we can (and need to) be mothers and runners at the same time.

Yoga News – I came across a cool news brief today in the Chicago Tribune. It gives a description of the do’s and don’ts of getting into common yoga poses. If you think you’re doing a forward fold correctly – you must see this photo! Downdog? Nope, you’re probably doing it wrong, or at least not as well as you could be.

Ok, bloggies, off to bed for me. Still trying to get 8 hours of sleep – at least one night this week!

Birthday – Take Two

Just when I thought my birthday was over, my husband surprised me with a present! He kept asking me what I wanted but I never gave him a definitive answer. When I arrived home from work today, there was a big gift bag waiting for me on the table with wrapped presents inside. So what did I get?

Present #1 – A Gaiam travel yoga mat! I’ve been wanting one of these so bad!! I’m really trying to get back into the practice of yoga. However, since I’ve been traveling so much for work, I’ve been really inconsistent. Solution – take yoga with me on the road! I’m definitely taking this to Austin next week – yeah! I’ve already downloaded a bunch of Yoga Today sequences from iTunes (free video podcasts), including sequences for travelers, morning/evening, and for runners. Can’t wait!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

And now onto present #2 – A Spa Day all to myself! This is a double delight – not only do I get the spa treatment for a few hours but I also get peace and quiet – and what mother doesn’t want that 🙂 I’m hoping I can find a day spa that does it all – facials, massage, nails, and yoga – wouldn’t that be fantastic!

Gotta run, I’m off to research day spas!

Social Media-Free Birthday

Happy Birthday to ME!! Yes, today was my (add number here) birthday. For the last few years, I have spent my birthday away from home – in Orlando, San Diego, Key West, etc. But, because I’ve been traveling so much for work, I’m really glad I was able to spend this one at home.

Cupcake with colorful sprinkles

This morning, the kids woke up around 6AM and Scott so nicely got up with them, leaving me to “sleep in” until 7 AM. When I finally jumped out of bed, I was greeted by birthday wishes and homemade birthday cards – including one from Scott. Very sweet.

Birthday Run

Even though today was my birthday, I still went out for my normal Sunday morning run – this time, it was a 7-miler. For nearly an hour, it was just me and the road – which is precisely how I like it. The last time I ran 7 miles (I think on Wednesday), my legs were so heavy on the last mile. I really had to push myself to finish. Today, I felt much stronger, like I could have run another mile or two. I’ll soon see how I do with added mileage since I’m scheduled to run an 8-miler this week.

Birthday Treats

By the time I arrived home from my run, at least an hour had passed. When I walked through the door, the kids yelled “surprise” and presented me with an assortment of treats from our local bakery. Not the healthiest, but it’s ok once in a while, plus, it’s the thought that counts. The kids were so excited that they had picked out a chocolate coffee cake, a cherry danish, and a lemon bar for all of us to share. I have to admit, they all tasted really good, but I really can’t let myself get used to that type of breakfast. To offset the starch and sugar, I had some Dannon Strawberry Greek yogurt – high in protein, which is great for post-run fueling.

Birthday Fun

The rest of the day was spent with family – lunch, soccer practice, then onto the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Although the whole day could be considered a wonderful birthday, I think my favorite part was seeing the kids “dance” in their car seats to Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants the way home from the zoo. Mr. C even declared, “This is the best song in the whole world!” Not sure how much weight that statement has coming from a 5-year old who has only heard the song a couple times!

Because I was away from home most of the day, I had nearly a social media-free birthday, which felt SO good! Having a computer/Internet/Social Media-free day every once in a while can feel so liberating. When I do have the chance to do this, I have to admit, it’s hard to come back.

Ok, I’m off to get ready for work tomorrow. Have a great night!