TGIF

This week has been tough, it’s been bleak and wintery and cold. I’ve been missing the UK a lot. I started a blog post earlier in the week but the week carried me away with ‘to do’ lists and other things which needed my attention more than this sadly.
My aunt was diagnosed with cancer this week, something that didn’t fully sink in on the day, but the next day.. yes. It has hit me pretty hard and it’s felt awful being so far from home and my family. I’ve lived abroad an awful lot so it’s not like I’m not accustomed to it and/or the hardships but this week has felt particularly trying.
I had an intensive workout Tuesday which kicked my butt (and my legs) and I hadn’t been out since because work had me busy and then I had some nasty gastric flu. Anyway tonight put me right, I got out and did my 3 easy miles and felt much better for it. It’s boiling again in Houston much to my dismay. I definitely prefer running in cooler weather.
I’ve found myself another running buddy from my book club so I’m pleased to have another person potentially to call if I’m running.
I hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy weekend!

IMG_1695.JPG

Westchase Local Farmers Market.

IMG_0175-0.JPG
I was dying to write about this last night but had to go visit a friend who has been unwell and by the time I got home it was late.

The Westchase Farmers Market has been running about a year; it is located on Rogerdale and Westheimer in the corner car park of the church (Just past BW8) every Thursday from 3-6pm in the winter and 3-7pm the rest of the year.

There are about 23 stalls that show up each week now with a whole variety of products to sell – from food products to bath salts and even gifts.
I bought my first bunch of multi coloured carrots (the kind they show on the front of “Oh She Glows” cookbook. I was so excited!! I also bought a whole bunch of other homegrown veggies from a farm from Spring (Local, fresh and organic!!! It doesn’t get better than this!)

IMG_0173-1.JPG
(Update: My boyfriend ate some of the carrots from the fridge and declared they were the most delicious things he has ever tried! WINNING!)

I also bought some super snazzy bathsalts all home made and smelling gorgeous! Very friendly people at the market and a very relaxed atmosphere! I also bought homemade German cookies and cakes (to die for!) sold by the lovely and super kind Julie. (I had originally written in a story of human kindness but now I’ve had to delete it for various reasons; just know that there are still some awesome people in society). I was so touched by her caring attitude – her good heart and now the yumminess of her baked goods have won me over. If you are in the area, stop by to see her. And regardless of where you are, do one kind, selfless thing today please and help make the world a better place.

IMG_0176-0.JPG

IMG_0178-0.JPG

Exercising in the Winter! Hints and tips to keep you on track.

 

BRRR!!!! (Photo credit: Zoomarun.com)

Living in the South I am usually blessed with warm (and often yukky, sticky humidity) weather. Over the last few years Houston’s climate has really begun to change.. we have had snow, ice, heatwaves, tornadoes, hurricanes etc etc. (You see my point).

In the summer it is usually blazing hot and people can’t hack the heat until later in the evening; where in normal parts of the country it would cool off – not in Houston! But we suck it up anyway and off we trot for a couple of loops at Memorial or Rice, or even THP if you’re further out like me.

So Houstonians and us wannabes (imports) have adjusted to this and embraced the sticky horrible heat and worked out regardless. What we are not accustomed to at all is the cold! It hits anything below 70 here and we start wearing scarves and boots, coats make their way out of the closet or storage (I’m not even kidding!).

So my friends (and I, yes, I too am guilty), moan about the weather “Oh it’s too cold to run”, “I can’t get out of bed because it’s freezing”, “There’s no way I can bike in this weather” and the like.

BUT…. YES, we can! The North of the Country, (Mason Dixon line if you want to be super specific/Yankee country if you’re a Texan) manage it! Some of the States for about 5/6 months a year. And let’s face it, they are so hardcore up there that even giant snow drifts and ice storms don’t phase them! Hats off to these heroes!

One of those heroes! (Photo credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com)

I am embracing the cold (obviously not at 4:15am when that pesky alarm goes off and I have to tiptoe across the tiled (who even invented tiled flooring!?!) FREEZING floor to slip on my running shoes or grab my kit bag and head out for that oh so important work out). I love that I can now work out for an extended amount of time without feeling like I’m going to burn in hell or spontaneously combust from heat exposure. Yes, it is unpleasant and downright miserable when you stop and that wind hits you, but take some layers for when you stop, and grab a towel to dry off and you will be golden.

I read a fantastic article on Runner’s World this morning about 10 hints and tips for running in the cold so I would definitely recommend that you read it too! (Particularly the part about how many layers to wear depending on the temperature! This is something we have NO idea about down here!).

My hints and tips are as follows:

1. Don’t over layer during the workout but take plenty for post run/workout! Change out of your damp clothing – you will only get colder otherwise.

2. Don’t linger outside post workout longer than is absolutely necessary! You don’t want to get sick.

3. Keep a towel to hand in your car to “dry off” afterwards – you will still sweat on these workouts.

4. Set your alarm across the room if it’s a morning workout. Once you’re up, you’re less likely to curl back up.

5. If it’s a morning workout have everything ready to go and some people have suggested even wearing workout kit to bed so you don’t have to freeze in the morning getting ready.

6. Safety is key! I’m an independent female who is still going to work out on my own but there’s a limit to where and when! I will happily got to the gym near my work at 5am, running at the park at the same time; not so much! Think about where you are; who is around at that time etc.

7. Wear fluorescent clothing or bands and take a flashlight/head torch. See and be seen!

8. Pack yourself a treat of hot coffee/chocolate or tea for the end! It’s great to focus on that to get you to the end of the workout.

9. Find some indoor classes you would be interested in taking if it’s “just too cold” outside

10. If you’re a gadget/gear geek or guru struggling to get out there get yourself a jar or money tin and put a set amount of money in each time you work out so that you can buy yourself something fabulous and shiny at the end of the winter and it will feel that much better because you earned it with those difficult get ups, cold slogs in the wind and the rain.

And if you’re struggling with motivation in the cold find alternatives, set yourself some personal challenges, sign up for a Spring event, get some friends on board for a competition, imagine yourself crossing the finish line of an event you were particularly pleased with; how did it feel? Rekindle that feeling! And if you’re still struggling reading my previous post about Motivation.

 

Please, make sure you warm up adequately pre and post workout! We don’t want any injuries!

What are your hints and tips for Winter Workouts?

Reply here or tweet @jrnytoironwoman.

Be safe out there!

Juices of the week

IMG_0121.JPG
(Picture credit to Organic Authority)
I’ve been suffering much longer than I’d like with this horrible lingering cold so my juices for this week are all about boosting your immunity and kicking colds and flu to the kerb! The top 2 recipes I found at Healthline, written by Erica Lockshin.

Green Power
1 bunch of kale
1 bunch of spinach
a handful of parsley
1 cucumber
1 lemon
4 cups of grapes

(you can reduce the quantity down if you don’t want to make a big serving).
This juice is great as it serves up a whole bunch (no pun intended) of vitamin C, magnesium, folate and B6! (It also has a nice helping of protein).
If you find it is too bitter then add more grapes or even an apple or 2 – experimenting is so much fun with juicing!

Rooting for your health
6 sticks of celery with leaves
1 beet (these are pretty bitter so you can reduce down if you prefer)
6 large carrots

Using root vegetables to boost your health and immunity this isn’t a juice for the faint of heart. I am not a fan of pure veg juices so this is a chug it with your nose pinched job for me. It produces an amazing colour but I would still prefer it if it actually tasted sweet (ish). You can always add in some fruit to bring that flavour around, maybe some berries?
This has magnesium, vitamin A, beta carotene and folate in it.

Green Juice – better than a Flu Shot.

I found this recipe over at Linda Wagner’s website. She has a whole treasure trove of resources, recipes etc. over there and I would definitely recommend a visit!

2 cucumbers
2 apples
2 limes (I leave the skin on)
half a bunch of kale
several sprigs of parsley
5 sprigs of mint

She suggests serving over ice – I’m a Brit by birth and nature so I don’t usually add ice to any of my drinks.

And I’m actually going to add an extra this week because I am serious about getting my health back on track.

The Flu Buster Juice

This bad boy (if you try it you’ll know what I mean), is taken from another fab blogger, Sonnet, who is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and has a plethora of amazing resources on her blog all promoting natural living! YAY!!!!

You can make this as a juice or do it as a shot!

1 lemon
1-4 garlic cloves (I’m a wuss, 1 or 2 and I’m maxed out)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
cayenne pepper (to top)

If you want it as a juice, add a whole orange!

I’ve added a pic from Sonnet’s blog because I think the juice is beautiful even if it is a killer for me to chug!

IMG_0120.JPG

I think there will be a few more flu busting juices appearing over the coming weeks to just to make sure I can train properly so check back in next week for some more ideas! 🙂