Friday, December 27, 2013

Three Easy Ways to Hit Your Reset Button

Christmas day has come and gone in a flash as usual. So much anticipation and prep and poof... This year I was hit with the stomach bug mid afternoon on Christmas Eve. Crippling pains and vomiting and I tearfully missed out on all the Yancey traditions. No church, no finger foods while watching Muppet Christmas, no snuggling by candlelight sipping wine surrounded by excited kids. Nope. Stuck in my bed/bathroom and feeling like death. But in all this doom there is in fact a silver lining. Yep- I have hit the reboot button and did a super fast cleanse.

Okay, that may be gross but it's true. I thankfully didn't overdo the eating, drinking and partaking in sweets. I did however try these three things which I recommend to anyone wanting to get off to a clean'er' start.

1. Bone Broth- a fantastic staple to have often. Made from animal bones, the minerals and collagen that come from the broth reap amazing benefits. To make the broth I put my bones (carcass or frozen bones from Whole Foods or PCC), a packet of gelatin, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and cover with water. Let it all cook for about 24 hours. I store it in mason jars in the fridge and drink it whenever I'm hungry or need a surge.

2. Detox Soak- we all have been running like crazy and need a little down time. Relaxation is crucial to our health (and happiness) and I find that in a hot, therapeutic bath. To add the detox element use 1- 1.5 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Skin will feel amazingly soft and these two elements together bring oodles of benefits.

3. Fresh Air- sounds simple and it really is. Go for a walk even in the cold. Breathing deeply to get the fresh air changes mood, strengthens the immune system and gives us mental clarity. And if the sun is out...added bonus!

Try these tricks to feel your best this holiday season. Wishing you and yours health and happiness!

Happy Healthy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Rush Health Tips

I am in disbelief that Christmas is next week. For me, the past few months have been a blur of excitement, stress, and chaotic running at a pace that is simply not healthy. Our family changes included a the start of a new job for me, my husband was laid of his job, our daughter started high school in the city and another starting middle school. There was the Ironman race last month with physical demands to add to the daily pressures. I opened up the CoreFit studio for small group and personal training. Logistically, financially, takes a toll.

Our bodies are not meant to function at a frantic pace for long periods of time. There has to be balance in order for our immune and hormonal systems to be at their peak. Our adrenal system will put the brakes on when we do not have this balance causing fatigue, depression and an overall sense of unwellness. Stress can lead to serious problems not only in the body but in our relationships as well. So... here is what we can do.

*REST! Try to get to bed early and stay on a routine bed time. Aim to go to bed and wake up the same time all week long. Instead of grabbing more coffee throughout the day, try to catch a quick rest. Which leads me to...

*Limit the caffeine. Stick to two cups of coffee a day if you are a coffee drinker. Try Yerba Mate tea which has plenty of health benefits and caffeine. NO SODA! (Whole other blog post necessary!) If you are addicted to either diet or regular try drinking carbonated water instead.

*Drink half your body weight in water. Look at how many pounds you weigh and drink that in ounces. More is necessary if you are working out. Drink water before eating and when feeling hungry. Staying hydrated effects mood, satiation, cognitive function, helps build muscle and improves the look of your skin.

*Exercise not to the point of extreme. In winter months I like to do short blasts of workload. Thirty minutes of lifting heavy, high intensity intervals, quick, fast runs...this is what the body needs. Enough to keep you on your target but not taxing the body.

*Eating nutrient dense foods. Amen! This is the staple to help us through the busy times. Eating as much dark leafy greens, veggies, healthy fats and protein will keep us from binging on the crap surrounds us everywhere we go. This is key for not going down the sugar blues road.

*Breathe. Practice diaphramatic breathing throughout your day. Inhale through the nose, inflating your lungs like balloons until you can't take in any more air. Slowly exhale through your mouth making an audible "ahhhhhhhh". Repeat 6 more times. Try this calming tool while in traffic, standing in line at the store or whenever you feel your heart rate starting to climb from stress.

*Laugh. This is a must! It is so good for us to have a big, old belly laugh at least once a day. It is the fast medicine we need to bring balance back to our mind/body connection. Try downloading a funny, daily app for jokes. Turn on an old sitcom. Hang out with kids, they know how to do this really well!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Did It

As I sit with a glass of Proseco bubbling away, I am feeling very sentimental about Sunday's Ironman Arizona race. Just this time last week, I was filled with nervous excitement about what was to come. Not being able to fully picture what it would look, feel and be like, my mind raced. I was nervous to leave our three kids behind. So much planning that took place to get them settled. Great friends made it doable, I am so grateful.

Friday: Came quick and the flight was great. My senior neighbor on the plane asked me reason for travel. Awesome- a reason to share my excitement. Next stop was the rental car and that is when things turned ugly. The company lost my reservation, sent me to find two cars that weren't in the lot and then informed me they had no car for me. Sigh. After 2 hours of standing there losing my patience and desperately needing to hydrate, I finally got a car. It was a more than painful experience. I commented to the company that my upcoming Ironman race was surely going to be easier than renting a car from them.

Off to the check in and let the fun begin! Friday night my husband had arrived and we had dinner with my parents about 40 miles north. So awesome to see them and relax. Early to bed and trying to get a good night sleep in the casita. Thanks m & d!

Saturday: Was filled with quick everythings- quick swim, short bike, 2 mi run (that was tough- lots of foot pain!) We checked in my bike, bags and eventually made it back to the hotel room to rest. Early dinner with some friends and trying to get to sleep. (HA!)

Sunday: My internal clock woke up at 3:stupid50. I got up, did some yoga, drank a coffee and tried to stay calm. We headed out about 5:30 to get to the start, pump tires, get marked, situate missing items in bags, etc. I was so glad to see a familiar face from my dentist/friend who I rode with a few times in training. Helped me to feel like things were going to be okay.

THE SWIM- Jumping into Tempe Town Lake was the sign that there was no going back. It was cold, not quite light outside yet and really overwhelming to me. I got so super pumped swimming up to the start, crying during the national anthem, seeing my husband in the crowd and boom we were off. Lots of clobbering and smacking in the face. Got my goggles kicked off and choked twice. No biggie. I just kept going and told myself to get through the swim. I did.

THE BIKE- I counted only 4 other road bikes besides mine so I was looking at every bike with great envy. Other than that, the scenery was pretty, the temperature was perfect and the crowds and volunteers were unbelievable. The course was three laps so I got pretty comfortable with the plan. I said "I wish" every time I passed a large race mile marker sign and said "thank GOD!" every time I passed a small one. However about mile 40, my stomach started cramping and I knew I was in for trouble. I chomped every half hour on my tummy relief and to no avail. I got off my bike four times to stretch out and relieve the cramping and tried to stay calm. The winds started to kick up half way through and that is when I realized this was really gonna hurt. All I could think of was 'get me off this bike'. Throughout most of the bike, I got killer compliments on my kit and many, many jokes that went with it. Gotta have a sense of humor guys, especially in an Ironman. I just kept going though and told myself to just get through the bike. I did.

THE RUN- My honey was near the transition with a huge smile on his face. "My stomach is KILLING me", I yelled. Nothing but encouragement from him and so I taped up my injured foot and set off for the marathon. The first five miles felt painful but good to straighten up and run. (Or jog as my time shows). And from there it went downhill quickly. My plantar fasciitis was trying to mess with me and then the tummy issues from hell kicked in. Shooting pain and nausea with a side order of dizziness ensued. At mile twelve I sat down and thought about if I could finish. A lovely volunteer grabbed his first aid bag and gave me some anti nausea medicine. Who takes pills from a stranger on the side of the road??? ME! Through it all I tried to keep my sense of humor, smile, dance and encourage people that were hurting too. There were people walking with me near the end that helped the brunt the misery and I began to see that this too was about to pass. Another hardship done. All that training, done. This event I thought about for over a year was...yes...done.  The lights were there, the people were cheering and of course, I cried. With a huge smile I danced myself right through the shoot and they said it. They said, Heather Yancey, YOU are an Ironman. I did it, I really did.

When asked on Sunday if I'd ever do it again. I said "hell no". Monday I said, "you're nuts". Well it's Thursday, people. YAHOO, let's do this again!! :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tapers and Tales

This is taper week for me. That means everything starts to slow down in ironman training but the funny thing is- how does life slow down with three children, a husband, a house still in progress, 3 part time jobs and getting my training studio going? People have warned me, "taper week is really tough". "Just get through the week". "Good luck with tapering" they said.

SAY WHAT?! I am loving taper week! I feel like a mom in control (did I just say that??) again. I am actually home this weekend (for the most part). For the past bajillion weekends I have left the house before family awakes and gotten home mid afternoon usually to a house upside down and a teen looking for mom.

Taper week has got me reflecting on the past eight months of building endurance, trying to gain speed and confidence in the three sports. Two constant challenges continuously popped up through the spring and summer. How to be present for my family and how to train while teaching and participating in numerous group fitness classes. There would be days that I could incorporate spin classes easily but to offset that there were many days of a lot of TRX and weight lifting and then trying to swim across the lake with little upper body strength left. I desperately needed cliff notes on how a fitness instructor does it without over training. And then lets just throw in doing all this with Hashimoto's Disease- never fully knowing if it was the training or the thyroid issue that left me feeling exhausted. There was also that annoying metatarsal stress fracture, bruised rib, and plantar fasciitis that tried to mess up the plans but here I am. Going forward.

So for the next few days, I'll be laying low, getting ready to leave for Arizona. Putting out the daily fires at my house. Staying positive and mapping out the race in my mind. Nervous. Excited. Tapering.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fending Off Vampires and Staying Well

I came across a video from a new fave of mine over at The Whole Journey. This vid details the concoction for making a Flu Shot- essentially a shot of everything you need to boost your immune system and fight off those bad guys.

I tested it out Friday evening because I could feel that sneaking chest discomfort, gross throat crud and aching body. I drank a cup and a half Friday night and a few sips throughout the day Saturday. And wow, that junk hit the road! Tis the season to come down with ailments- you may want to get out your blender, too!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Almond Coco Cups

Oh man do I love clean eating treats. I am overcoming a monstrous sweet tooth and this recipe sure helps to conquer! This yummylicious concoction is super simple, loaded with good fats and puts that crazy craving to bed. With these around I don't even look twice at those nasty candy corns anymore.

Heat 1 cup coconut butter, 1 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan until it melts together. Drop into mini muffin wrappers (learned that the hard way!) and refrigerate. I experimented with a drizzle of honey on top after pouring which makes for a drippy surprise when eating. Try em out and leave a comment how you like them! Kid tested and approved...:)

For my longer training rides I have been forming these into bars with chia seeds....makes me want to ride all day long! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Flying Feet

   I LOVE when runners get a pic taken of them and both feet are off the ground. Yea for me, cause now I have one, too. :)

   Yesterday I ran the inaugural Fall City Half Marathon which turned out to be a really nice race. Inaugural is code for a.) DECENT entry prices b.) small and cozy and c.) low stress (which is great for training).

   Fall City is special to us anyway. It's where we lived for two years when we left Las Vegas and I homeschooled the kids and learned how to knit and bake and had really clean toilets. It's where my honey is still a volunteer firefighter and spends a chunk of his time. It's beautiful and tiny and homey so this was a no brainer of a race. Not to mention that you run through flat, entirely
F L A T roads along the country side in fall. Get the picture??

   If you are local and like to plan ahead put this one on your books for next October and go to Between now and the end of October, you can sign up for next year for only $35. BoomSmack!

Friday, October 11, 2013


I am on a hunt for something "super cute" to wear for Ironman AZ next month. Now I have loved my Betty stuff for sure but this....this is so awesome!

Introducing the Chicked line from Minnesota. They are new, they are fantastic and darnit, why didn't I come up with this?!  In case you aren't familiar with being "chicked" it's simply when you're passed by a girl/lady/grandma/anyone in a skirt... on the course. The phrase has been around for awhile and the smart ladies behind the clothing line are brilliant for launching their product.

Check out the link here. Then check out what I'll be sportin'!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Glutes To You!

Passing on a fantastic butt blaster workout for the privacy of your own home. Great workout AND cute clothes! ;)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Back in Business!

After a two year hiatus, I am back. BACK and busier than ever. Ironman Arizona is beckoning me in four short months and this blog is designed to show how this wife and busy working mom fits it all in. It's not easy or pretty but it's possible. Now, go, see, do!

David Hasselhoff, Where Are You?!

Swim Training / Pine Lake, Sammamish
When you have to swim three times a week, you gotta spice is up or it gets this shark got in the lake, I am lost.