On Getting a Nutrition Certification

Several years ago an ember had sparked in my mind and heart with this idea of nutrition and keeping your body healthy in order to have the most impact that God has specifically given YOU. Over the next couple years, and through my own highs and lows I debated on going back to school to get a nutrition degree in order to be able to practice in a medical setting, or if I just wanted the ability to pair my love of fitness with a knowledge of nutrition for a coaching type of launchpad. After praying and researching for who knows how long, one of my friends introduced me to a certification without a degree that was reputable. It would allow me to coach with the science, anatomy and physiology behind nutrition and how it relates to athletes, without the medical side being drawn in (I do however plan to build a network so that if you have specific medical diagnoses you would have a few names to connect with).

Two months later I pulled the trigger on getting the certification. While the first month was slow getting started and getting into a school mindset again was not easy, I can confidently say that this season of diving into the study of food and your body and how it so intricately works together is eye-opening to say the least. And whether you are a competitive athlete, working mom, or fill in the blank here we can all benefit by having a few new tools in our belt when it comes to taking care of ourselves.

The debates around different “diets” and trends in the health world have fascinated me over the years. As someone who found stomach solutions with gluten-free living (years before it was the thing to do), I love the ideas around Keto, Whole 30, and learning how different people can have impact and reach goals through these. While there are trends that I do not necessarily agree with, this process of learning and diving into nutrition as a whole has allowed me insight and ideas towards any of them that you have found to work for you.

However, the definition of “works” is something to be taken seriously. Works means healthy; it doesn’t mean yo-yo dieting, it doesn’t mean starvation to lose weight, it doesn’t mean being so rigid that food becomes an anxious and stressful part of your day even though you are staying “thin”. No, if something works for you it enhances your ability to move, it energizes you, it allows you to take on adventures or endeavors in ways you never could before, and that is what excites me about this new journey, and what I want others to be able to step into as well!

So in 2019 there will be a new addition to my title and hopefully the ability to serve the women and fitness community around me with a new and healthier view on nutrition and wellness. Besides that, I’m so grateful to be allowed to step inside this, also to note: I would love to go ahead and start with a few trial clients! If you are interested in learning a little bit more email me at jordan@fuelingherforward.com and we can go from there.

Happy Weekend!

Jordan

 

 

Experienced But Not Easy – Cochran Mill Half Marathon

This weekend made 19 half marathons, 3 full marathons, a handful of 10 milers and 15Ks, 9 10Ks, and more 5Ks than I can count, and as much “experience” as I’ve had running, Saturday was the hardest day of competition that I can remember.

Every half marathon is memorable for one reason or the other. In 2014 I got to toe the line in front of our nations capital building watching the sunrise, in 2016 my first taste of runDisney magic at the Princess Half Marathon, in 2017 Rock N Roll Nashville supposedly my fourth full marathon became somewhere in the line of my half marathons because of the severe heat, and just this past May the torrential downpour unlike any other that swept across the coast of the Carolinas made for a sopping girl for all 13.1. They all have stories, but when it comes to strength and fatigue I think of the physical highs and lows. Saturday was different, Saturday was mental.

Trail running is something I regularly enjoy, maybe because the opportunity doesn’t present itself enough for me to get tired of it, but 5-6 miles has always been my max. Dirty Spokes is a GREAT trail race series around North Georgia and most of my trail experience is thanks to them. Of course, I thought with the trail experience I had coupled with my half marathon experience a trail half marathon would just make sense. I was wrong.

Let me preface this all by saying this was 100% worth it. Tony and Lisa at Peak Racing have been friends of mine for several years now and I love getting to support their races, they do a terrific job. But Saturday was hard, it was mentally grueling in every way.

The start was cold – like mid 30s cold – something we aren’t quite used to here in the south. My sweet husband was there at the start so I could throw off my layers at the last minute before we took off, and then it started. Taking off with the group towards the tree line was the easy part, and then leaves and trees everywhere you looked. The sun peaking in through the canopy as we winded through the woods, over hills, and through creeks (literally through them, adds about 10 lbs in weight with wet shoes), no mile markers, very few people: just you and the trail ahead.

When I say I roller-coastered through every emotion I am not joking in the slightest bit. The first mile or two were tough, but nothing I wasn’t used to. As I got into my stride and thinned out from the racers around me, the regular uncomfortable stretching happened, but then I found my legs and the pleasure of being out in the woods with very little distraction took hold and the smile danced on my face.  After 45 minutes I was mostly alone, scanning the vast opening in front of me to try to keep the trail in check with the two guys that were just a bit ahead, bad idea. Fall #1 happened somewhere around mile 6-7; at this point I was already feeling slightly drained. I was frustrated to say the least, no I was angry – I could tell my body was starting to fade, but my will power to keep at my current pace over took. Trip, slip, tumble, lose the trail: my pattern for the next 30-45 minutes and I was over it.

As much as I’ve raced and as tired as I’ve gotten, quitting has never been in my vocabulary. This was the first time I wanted to raise the flag in surrender and be rescued by helicopter and taken to the snacks at the end. Then I realized that I wasn’t getting out of this and it was a chance to challenge and strengthen myself mentally in a brand new way. So after taking a breath and a moment to refocus, I found my rhythm again and found the joy in the sport I’m so fond of. For the next 40 minutes I focused on my own steps, not those of the people ahead of me or behind me, but those right where I was. Taking steps slower if I needed to and allowing myself the freedom to push just as long as I could be safe and stay upright, and then I used the space to think of EVERYTHING I had to be thankful for. It made all the difference.

After 2 hours I was exhausted physically and mentally but I could hear the finish in the distance as people were cheering and music was blaring. I was “home free”, and at the end after hugging my friends and husbands necks – gratitude.

A few things I learned over those few hours:

  1. You have to stop focusing on where other people are, or you might face plant in the place you are.
  2. Just because you’ve done training in one way, doesn’t mean you can easily adapt to any circumstance. You have to train your mind, body, and soul in whatever goals you hope to achieve.
  3. I should run trails more often and always carry a handheld water bottle!

Thank you to Peak Racing Events (Tony & Lisa), Big Peach Running Co, Pure Kneads (can I get a whoop, whoop for gluten free peanut butter sandwiches at the end), Quest Nutrition, Nuun Hydration, Allison Lerer, Wade Coleman, Chris Dillon, and Jennifer Butz for everything you brought to the table as sponsors, hosts, and teammates!

And to my #1, my crew chief, and partner thanks for helping me through the highs and lows and letting our dogs have some fun in the process!

Trails taught me a lot, and I will be back!

Be thankful today friends.

Jordan

 

 

 

Fall Trail Running and Why It’s Breathtaking in More Than One Way

Half a mile down the paved trail the split comes and the dirt path displays on the right; the sun pierces through the holes in the canopy above, creating shadows of beauty in every direction. Crunch, crunch as my shoes stride deeper into the Chattahoochee National Forest. To my right is the faint sound of the river a hundred yards away, and all around is the whispering of the leaves talking to each other and the squirrels scurrying to bury their nuts as the cold weather will eventually encompass the beauty that surrounds you with each step.

It is so poetic, but it is also hard. The ground is uneven and hills will eventually meet you, spiders make their homes across the path as they’ve swung their webs from branch to branch. The colder and darker it gets, the harder it is to push go, and the miles you stretch are as much mental as they are physical, but the end is incredible. The moments of taking in Creation around you, of pushing yourself to new heights and depths, of gaining fresh perspective and a new sense of wonder.

The end is worth it.

However, you have to prepare, so here are a few tips of getting ready for trail running this fall:

  1. Map it out! Know where you are going and study the route – one of the last trail runs I was on the planned 5 miles suddenly became 9 miles because of getting lost in an attempt to just figure it out as we went.
    • Need a place to start – check out All Trails (web and app) for a great list of trails both near and far, hard and easy.
  2. Find your tribe. Safety, safety, safety. It’s best to find some people to hit the trails with you, however if you do decide to take it solo make sure to let at least 2 people know where you are going, how long you expect to be gone for, and always go to a populated area during
  3. Pack appropriately. Other than layering appropriately as it gets cooler – depending on where you go, trails can take a good bit longer and be a good bit harder than just hitting road miles, so your best bet is to buy a small pack that can house hydration, fuel, and a few essentials like band-aids, alcohol wipes, and pepper spray.
    • Nathan has some great options for belts and hydration vests.
  4. Don’t forget about footwear. While you might not want to spend a huge chunk on trail specific shoes, you do want shoes that will support you enough that when a root or rock tries to interfere you won’t go down. Go to a local running or outdoor store like Big Peach Running Co and talk to someone about the best options for you!
  5. Take time to stop and enjoy! As someone who just likes to go, trails bring out a different side of me, they slow me down and help me focus on the incredible details of creation around me. Snapping a few keepsake shots is one of favorite things to keep remembering my why!

Of course if you are competitive like me you might also want have a goal if you really desire to get better at trail running. If it suites your fancy check out Dirty Spokes and XTERRA trail series along with my friends at Peak Racing for races of every distance.

Overall just enjoy it, enjoy the leaves as they change color and slowly float to the ground, enjoy the crisp air as you breath with each glide across the ground, and snap some shots of your favorite moments and places.

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Jordan

 

 

Can You Love Yourself Today & the Enneagram

After choosing to forgo the Monday alarm my body woke me up a little after 6. My feet hit the floor to the excitement of the girls, ready to get their day started also. My day normally starts out with a glass of water and an apple and peanut butter, along with making sure Jon and the dogs are moving, but then I’m usually left to my own thoughts and routine. That’s where the day can go one of two ways: focusing on beauty or brokenness.

My foot got tangled up in a basket I had left outside our bathroom door and the momentary pain coursed through my toes and up my leg: frustration. The mirror caught my attention as usual as I scrubbed my teeth and all the thoughts came crashing in, I’m bloated, my ankle is stiff, there are bags under my eyes, my hair is a greasy mess – how am I going to control my food today, beginnings of anxiety from hosting a girls night and making sure everything is picture perfect – j.k. I’ll never be good enough. Loving myself and the way God made me was far from truth I was speaking over my life, and that’s a really bad way to start the week.

As an Enneagram 8w7, basically the high achieving, exciteable busybody in health we use that to help spur on others towards their goals, which took some time to understand because the descriptors of an 8 are exactly the most charming. As unhealthy we gravitate  towards the fears of being useless, helpless, or incapable, which is where I have found myself over the course of the past couple weeks. So why tell you all this?

The narrative had to change.

Every “type” of personality has their fears of never being good enough or valued or cared for. However, if you set up for a week where you are looking both outwardly and inwardly at everything you wish was different or didn’t like you won’t be able to love well. So whether you are 18 or 80, thin or plus-size, black, white or anyone else (literally if you are reading this you qualify because you are beautiful creation of an all-powerful and loving God) you have to question: can I love who God made me today? Not after I do this thing, or change that thing, but TODAY.

Here are four practical ways to help change the narrative and/or keep the perspective of just how beautiful and uniquely crafted YOU are:

  1. Speak the truths of God over your life each morning.
    • Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
    • Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of sin”

    • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
  2. Surround yourself with people who speak truth and life into your life. One of the biggest blessings of my day is the text I get almost every morning from one of my closest friends encouraging me about who I am in Christ.
  3. Do have a focus on wellness. Do NOT obsess, but set out practical goals of how you are going to take care of yourself during the week. For example, making sure you make healthy snack choices, or are active for 30 minutes, 3x a week, or carve out space to process your week on paper or through a creative outlet. Set those goals and boundaries up ahead of time so you can engage with the week ahead to it’s fullest and your fullest potential.
  4. Serve in the community. One of the biggest blessings, and ways to get outside of your own way of thinking is to get involved with the people, neighborhoods, and organizations around you. Taking care of this world is a team effort, and there is always something that needs to be cared for!

This morning waking up my mind immediately gravitated of what was lacking instead of embracing the beauty and truth that was already there and looking forward to the potential that God had in store.

It would be foolish to think that it is just a light switch, but set a reminder for yourself throughout the week to check in! So how are you today? Do you remember the truth and freedom you sit in?

If you’ve thought about it 100x and want to take the enneagram click here: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com

 

 

 

Whole Hearted Wellness: Beyond Fitness, Nutrition, and Mental Health

Wellness is a blanket word, it totally is, but it’s still going to get used today. And maybe you are sitting there thinking – wellness is extremely overwhelming because it’s “all the things”, and that’s just the truth – and yes it totally can, but I think there can be freedom in looking at the small parts and then developing a sense of big picture.

Largely in part, thanks to our ways of thinking, we pigeon-hole wellness into meaning a good nutritional plan and fitness discipline, however that is so far from the whole story. Now, hopefully after reading a few of these blog posts you’ve begun to realize how mental health plays an impact into whole wellness as well, and as a big proponent of community that has rippled into the content, however, that still isn’t everything it encompasses.

So creativity, cleanliness, and risk-taking here we go!

As of today we are in the middle of a one-week wellness challenge that was put together over the course of the past month. It incorporates it ALL, but a few of the prompts look like this:

  • Spend 15 minutes journaling or another activity in the creative space (drawing, photographing, etc)
  • Write a letter to an old friend and actually mail it. Hello Snail Mail!
  • Watch the sun rise or set with a new vantage point.
  • Cook a new recipe that seems so complicated that there is no way, or spend some time organizing a space that you’ve been dreaming of.

So why are these things so important? In a culture were convenience + busyness rules the day, and other people’s creativity counts as your own, YOU have to create space to stretch yourself in uncomfortable ways. Whether it’s writing a long letter to say all the things you’ve wanted to say, or venturing to a trail you’ve always wanted to check out, or putting yourself out there and creating a new dish or space, we’ve got to be willing to stretch!

Broken down simply, creativity engages that God-given imagination that social media try to steal away. Cleanliness, my mom always says that cleanliness is next to godliness, I imagine very few people had anxiety from a clean and fresh space to think and be. Then take risk-taking and adventure to help gain perspective on this beautiful Earth we live on, and it doesn’t begin to look like you are juggling so many things, it’s far more about creating a lifestyle that we stop sitting behind the confines of our screens and what other people are doing and display freedom.

So yes, wellness is the compilation of fitness, nutrition, mental health, creativity, perspective, cleanliness, community, etc, but it’s not 7 different solo acts (and probably so many more), it’s a beautiful compilation of how God wanted us to use life to the fullest! Think past obligation and into fullness and purpose. It’s beautiful inside and out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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