A little over 8 years ago, a co-worker and I made a commitment to get in shape by running. We kept each other accountable by keeping track of our training on the same training log, and we registered multiple 5k races that year. Getting in shape is contagious, as two other co-workers joined us that year. It was my first running team. We called ourselves ‘N Training (a little embarrassing to admit now that our name was modeled after ‘N Sync.) In the May 2004, we experienced our first marathon by running the 4 person Flying Pig Relay. After 1 year of running, I was hooked.
Unfortunately, it has taken me a little longer to make changes to other aspects of my life that I can control. In my opinion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a three-pronged approach involving the mind, body and soul. Running, as well as cross training, strength exercises, yoga, pilates, are very effective at improving your fitness level. But without also giving your body the right amount of healthy food and drink, achieving your desired fitness level will be more challenging than it should be.
Last month, Team G(race) was fortunate to have Andrea from Food Embrace come to Troy to lead a healthy meal prep and planning workshop. Andrea’s blog focuses on eating real foods, not processed foods or food made with artificial ingredients. I’ve been reading Runner’s World long enough that I don’t have to be convinced that real foods are the way to go. However, as Andrea reinforced during the workshop, the key to eating healthy is making the time to plan and prepare meals. She provided great tips on shopping for groceries, planning your week, re-purposing leftovers, and storing ingredients for future meals. But again, you have to set aside time to do these things. At least for my household, making the transition to eating real foods is not an overnight process. I think compared to the average household, we eat pretty healthy, partially due to the fact that my wife can’t have wheat or gluten, so we end up eating organic foods a lot of the time. We still choose convenience over healthy for some of our meal options though. For us, getting to that point where we eat only real, not processed, foods is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We’ll continue to put one foot in front of the other.
Here is Andrea leading the workshop last month.