Favorite Recipes for Under-the-Weather Runners or Anyone!

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have super human immune systems so undoubtedly sickness will come around – and things must be remedied so here are a few recipes I LOVE from when I’m feeling sub-par, but continuing to stay active! #2 and 3 are taken from my favorite Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow

  1. Good Ole’ fashioned oatmeal w/ cinnamon – skip the pre-made ones that are high in sugar and spend some extra time with 1/2 cup of plain oats on the stove with a little salt and 1/3 tsp of cinnamon. Cut in apples, bananas, or blueberries if you want a little something extra.
  2. Smoothie Bowls because vitamins all day, erry-day:
    • 1 cup of frozen berries
    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 cup baby spinach (or kale)
    • 1/2 ripe avocado
    • 3.3 unsweetened almond milk
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1/2 cup GF oats
    • toppings of choice: dates, nuts, coconut flakes, *my go-tos are: chia seeds, honey, or pumpkin seeds
  3. Power Bowls:
    • 1/3 cup brown rice w/ 1 cup salad greens as your base
    • 1 cup Roasted cauliflower, zucchini and onions or other veggies of your choice!
    • Add protein – my go-tos? black beans, fried egg or sautéed fish
    • Add some salsa (they have a great Smokey Summer Salsa recipe) or the lemon-garlic dressing (2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, dash of salt and pepper)
  4. Chicken & veggie soup – on the slow cooker put in two chicken breasts, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 can of diced tomatoes and sit on low for about 3 hours. Then combine sliced carrots, onions, peppers, mushrooms, celery (or other veggies of choice) with salt, pepper, and garlic. Keep on low for another 2 hours. Voila!

Bowl theme – I know its all the rage these days, but the fact you can get so many different nutrients mixed together to create amazing flavors is just fun, and it’s something you can experiment on your own!

So, feel better, keep these recipes safe and let me know if you think there is anything I should add!

Jordan

Mouth-Breathing is So Unattractive: Listening To Your Body & Fighting the Mental Battle

Mouth breathing is so unattractive, seriously the combination of Darth Vader and exasperated sighs about does a girl in.

Mike could tell right off the bat that I wasn’t myself as we grouped up before the start of Big Peach’s half marathon training run Saturday morning. Mike is my newest running friend, having recognized him from previous events he decided to join the pace group I was leading during this training season. He’s from Philly, having only been in Atlanta for 3 years, and grandfather of two; his drive and encouragement make the miles go faster, however this morning would be particularly tough. My body wasn’t 100% and my normal chipper self felt stuck inside my own head.

Fast-forward to Monday and the mental game started waging – my body still craving rest, but in that state of weakness and vulnerability the enemies lies against wellness were all too loud. Jon joined me for a walk that morning around the park that is now our front porch view and the food game began to start. “You aren’t well enough to run, but that means you can’t eat either” STOP. But my attempt at drowning it out doesn’t last long “you can’t run, you can’t eat, you won’t be able to race well in October so forget racing elite again, you ate unforgiving things yesterday you are just letting sit in your body” FAILURE.

No. The narrative HAS to change. No. I am not going to run when my body says no. Yes. I will trust that my body is going to work the way it was created and tell me what and when it needs to be nourished. No. This doesn’t ruin everything or anything. And it’s all so much easier said than done, but it’s something that is constantly being reinforced in this season.

Getting sick isn’t a norm for me (thankfully), but when it hits it’s just hard, plain and simple. Rest and I don’t have a super close relationship, and forcing myself to go down is like trying to tie up a calf at a rodeo, kicks a-firing, add in the mental health aspect and it’s a full on show.

So what did a series of days with no exercise look like? It looked like continuing to learn to listen to my body and not my head. It looked like choosing Jesus instead of giving way to the lies of the enemy. It meant enjoying a GF Mexican Sandwich w/ bowl of black beans and rice with a kick to help nourish my body last night (and completely and grossly drain my sinuses). I always come back to Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. (check it out here) because these recipes are life giving and consider well-rounded health. It’s writing down all the feelings and voices you are hearing to help work through it instead of letting it compound inside.

BUT it also means utilizing the technology we have available to check in with yourself when you might not quite understand it. My Garmin Forerunner 35 (learn more here) has helped me track my heart rate and understand how my body is adapting to certain things since I’m under the weather.

It’s everything about continuing this journey.

If anything envelopes these thoughts above it’s that we are created so beautifully and intricately that even though our bodies can sometimes fail us, they are also INCREDIBLE machines that give us signals and cues to what and when our bodies need certain things, food, rest, exercise, and HELP. Don’t get wrapped up inside your own head and forget to listen to everything else that’s going on.

You are stronger than you think, more capable than you think, and completely enabled by your Creator!

 

Forever Taking Pictures of Your Food – Happy 3 Years Babe!

Today Jon and I turn 3. Something about 3 shifts my perspective. This year was the best one yet, however it came with a little dose of everything laughter, excitement, exhilaration, but also pain, growth, and surrender. Most importantly though, love. It sounds gushy and it kind of is, but we had to fight through some hard battles that only made us draw closer to our Father and each other.

Between the work grind and uncertainty, my mental and physical health struggles, and loss in his family the reality of humanity and man’s depravity was all too real this third trip around the sun together. But the Lord’s faithfulness was real tenfold. On days where collapsing on the bed was all we could do, where exhaustion caused tension in each word we said, when differing personalities bucked up against each other God breathed life into each and every moment.

All He asked us to do was show up for each other, and enjoy the moments.

We fought for each other and beside each other with Jesus always at the helm, and the result is beautiful: another year together, another year falling in love with each other.

So this won’t be the longest blog post ever written, but if you take away anything I hope it is this: never stop listening, never stop encouraging, never stop showing up even when you feel like you have nothing to give. You might not see it now but those moments matter!

Ben Stuart said always have something to look forward to together – we experienced Disney differently than ever before, Thailand, San Francisco & the California coast, a sleepy North Carolina beach town, Chattanooga for yet a 3rd year in a row, and so much more. The adventures were grand, but also in this year, Kali entered into our lives, job shift happened for me – again, Jon became obsessed with Enneagram which really has improved our communication exponentially – it’s not just hype. We cheered each other on, me with running and him with music, we tried SO much new food and are quickly gaining foodie status, and made the most of small moments. And whether grand or insignificant there is something really special about the details that make it all up.

We explored new places and met new faces, reached new heights and new depths, and it all sounds so poetic, but it is. Love stories are poetic – just take the Bible.

We are expectant for what the next year holds knowing that in a new house and new neighborhood along with new serving roles things will change, but however the chips may fall I look forward to growing stronger together, taking wild leaps of faith and breathtaking adventures together.

So here I’ll be forever taking pictures of your food.

Happy Anniversary Jon Woodson!

 

 

Gaining Mileage, How A+B Does Not Always Equal C, and the Importance of Recovery

Gaining mileage : Pain + Strength + Recovery

My background is not in running. Running half and full marathons wasn’t a norm for me, until I started working at Big Peach I didn’t even know there was such thing as a Cross Country Spike. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I dove in and fell in love with my feet on the road.

15 miles. it was late summer/early fall and the first time I had ever conquered that many miles in one swoop. Making my way to the door I barely had the energy to turn the handle only to collapse on the floor and crawl towards the kitchen. It was a long time coming, physically and mentally drained I was anything but a pretty sight, however it changed everything. The ability to push through thresholds, to go further, to be stronger than I could have ever imagined.

In college, we would cross-train with running, agilities, or stadiums but the switch wasn’t immediate post-swimming. So how did I go from swimmer to marathoner? I walked 1 mile.

My parents have this very convenient loop around the front part of their neighborhood that so happens to equal one mile from driveway to driveway. So we walked it, together as a family most nights. But then as we started going longer and further I decided to set a goal: a 5K at a park nearby.

Sometimes all it takes is setting a goal.

So I started to run that mile, and do that several times a week. It is NOT a quick process. The rule of thumb is add 10% at any given time, a hard rule to follow I know, but it can save you from injury in the long run (ha, get it). Run 1 mile several times, consistently, then slowly work your way up. Please don’t decide to go from 4 to 9 miles at one time, but be ok pushing yourself, being in pain (the right kind of pain), because that’s your body getting stronger and breaking down barriers.

However, it’s not that once you get to 9 miles you just stay there, NOR do you just keep going up and up and up. When I’m training for a half or full my mileage stays between 4-7  – 2 days a week with track or cross-training sprinkled throughout, and then a long run Saturday which looks more like a roller coaster Here’s what I mean:

Week 1: 8 miles

Week 2: 9 miles

Week 3: 7 miles

Week 4: 10 miles

Week 5: 8 miles

and so on and so forth.

Why take yourself on a mileage roller coaster, and only run 3 days a week? One word: RECOVERY.

I learned my lesson the hard way, trying to run 6 days with no strength or stretching involved (a week that more looked like 3 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles, 3 miles, 10 miles, rest) and I paid the piper. Now stretching, yoga, and strength are staples in my week. If you need a good stretch or strength workout checkout these youtube vids here. They can be a little cheesy, however you can do them anywhere at any time.

So all this to say: you might have wanted a quick fix to start doing more and more miles, but it’s the three Rs of running:

Repetition – buid a base foundation and mileage and stay with short gains for a consistent period.

Resilience – as you go further and further push your body a little past your threshold each time, it will make you stronger, faster, and overall better physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Recovery – give your body rest that it needs, stretch, and refuel with the correct nutrition.  It’s ok to only do one long run a week and only gain mileage every other week, and Lord willing I will be able to speak into specific nutrition SOON (exciting news ahead) and you can always go to my resources page for Runner Cookbook Inspo: Runners Cookbooks

LAST, don’t forget to SET A GOAL it’s going to be much easier to push if you have a goal in sight!

I hope this helps, if you have something specific you want to ask email me at jordan@fuelingherforward.com

Happy Friday!

Jordan

 

 

 

 

The Process of Healing and the Beauty of The 61 Exchange

Making a beeline off the stage towards a quiet room to take a few breaths, then back into the auditorium pressing my face into Jon’s chest and letting myself weep… They never said vulnerability was comfortable and they never said you wouldn’t have every feeling under the sun once you brought darkness into light, but He said you would find freedom and that’s worth it all.

The past few weeks I stood between two lives, the hurt of the past that I’ve walked through and largely healed from and the hurt of the present in which there is a current reality of healing. It’s easy to pull towards the thing that’s already happened because we know how it ends, it fits in a box “nicely” and we get to wrap it up with a pretty bow, but something that still has loose ends: that is much harder. It loosens our grip on control, but it’s exactly in those moments that God gets to rush in like a force. 

So I stood up on a stage Saturday, knees trembling and tears welling in my eyes because I knew God was calling me to be the most vulnerable I had ever been.

Most of you have gotten glimpses into this, but here are the cliff notes from Saturday:

Eating Disorders and mental health have been an important and significant part of my family’s history. And after watching several close friends struggle and walk through this I always played support until the beginning of 2017 when my own physical and mental health started to decline significantly, although oblivious at first. 

Anxiety and fear over food, fitness, and even my own head plagued me. Every morning being scared of what the day would bring. 

So over a year later it’s still hard, my head still gets in the way, the enemy still has places he can get small grips, but every day is a step and every day is making His grasp weaker and the light in darkness gets a little bit more radiant. 

How to wrap up process in three little notes:

  1. Find community and don’t feel guilty about allowing people to walk beside you
  2. Don’t use distractions as a bandaid, the only real healing comes from the deep dive
  3. Learn yourself. What is well-rounded wellness & self care, and what does it look like for you?

But my story isn’t unique people have their own ashes, process, and healing and that’s the beauty of The 61 Exchange based on Isaiah 61, everyone is invited into these truths and promises.

My desire now is to create spaces for people to dig deep into fears, anxieties or the like that they are facing and bring into the light in a safe space. I want women to have a healthy view of themselves, food, and nutrition and what whole wellness looks like because our bodies our vessels to fulfill a purpose, and if you woke up breathing today that means YOU have His purpose to walk out. 

So where are YOU? What does this stir inside your head and heart? Really, I want to know! 

So start speaking truth over your life from the word’s our Savior wrote. You are beloved, beautiful, and called!

To learn more about The 61 Exchange click here.

And if you want to connect email me at jordan@fuelingherforward.com

Happy

The World Needs More Parks

Isolation.

The enemy lives there. He yearns for you to meet him there, to be anxious with your own thoughts, to fear the outside and the attacks it may bring. On the brink of training for my first pro race and a few speaking engagements he whispers those lies into my head that I’m better off alone… when the majority of our culture centers around food and meals it can seem easier to just stay home. When the “stability” of isolation can seemingly combat the anxiety that can come with meals or large arrangements of food, everyone suffers.

And I love coffee shop dates just as much as the next person, but I believe the world needs more parks…

Jon and I were driving home yesterday and the old Boys & Girls Club off North Druid Hills was completely flattened. While completely aware of the real estate demand in Atlanta, our undertone thought was “How great would it be if we had another park?”.

In a culture that battles not only excessive screen time but also the epidemic of Mental Health related illnesses, how great would it be to have more spaces to engage with people away from distraction or anxiety?

While there are moments that facing a fear head on are important and necessary, there are as many times where handling it means creating a new space where the light can shine. Gathering in community, basking in creation, and letting truth shine into the darkness, into the lies that isolation can bring.

And yes, parks are “everywhere”, but within walking distance, a place that you can truly be a neighbor? In Atlanta, usually not, and I argue even in NYC where everyone walks everywhere and there is a giant green space to explore people are still longing for close by intimate spaces. A place where activity and community meet on an intimate scale.

So maybe the resources aren’t there for me personally to create a new park, but that doesn’t mean opportunity isn’t there to help gather people. So that’s the hope: to create a park, but like a Church isn’t just the building, so the park is more than land, it’s a people coming together, sharing life, being active, and experiencing freedom together.

In September the desire is to create these parks for women to come together engage and keep taking steps forward, hence Fueling Her Forward began.

But before that happens I challenge you to get outside, get you some vitamin D, and ask the Lord to shine in the darkness. Break the chains of isolation and be free! The lies and anxiety DO NOT get the last word.

Any thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Email me jordan@creativekitchenrunner.blog

For now friends, Happy Monday!

Jordan