Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope everyone ended 2014 healthy and happy. The past year has been totally crazy for us – namely because of a cute little boy who came into our lives last February. I said goodbye to 2014 with mixed emotions, but I’m saying HELLO to 2015 with renewed enthusiasm – and a resolution:

Get my life organized.

This includes a major declutter of our house, an overhaul of my work schedule and getting my personal life under control. Not that things are OUT OF CONTROL or anything, but I certainly need to be better about making the best use of my time. My mini-resolutions that go hand-in-hand with my main one is to make exercise a priority and be more consistent with writing (on here…and journaling!).

While we’re on the topic of resolutions, let’s talk about the one thing almost everyone wants to improve: our health. According to USA.gov, 6 of the top 13 resolutions involve improving some aspect of our well-being:

Lose weight
Quit smoking
Get fit
Eat healthy food
Manage stress
Drink less alcohol

But unfortunately – although maybe not surprisingly – those same resolutions are on Time’s Top 10 commonly broken resolutions.

Bottom line – getting healthy is not easy. It takes hard work, commitment, focus – and most of all, TIME. Last year my most popular blog post was on “gym snobs” and how frustrating (and common) the practice of shaming people at the gym is. For all of those who will be starting a an exercise program in the New Year, I’ll be right there with you. And I hope I can count on you – and all others at the gym – to cheer me on when I want to quit.

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Happy New Year!

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Road Warrior Safety

I’ve recently discovered Freakonomics, and it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love. I have really enjoyed all of the books, and I listen to the podcasts while walking with J. The authors definitely make me look at the world in a different way.

One of the podcasts I listened to lately was about motor vehicle accidents involving the death of pedestrians. Data from 2012 show that there about 4,500 pedestrian deaths in the US annually. That’s a huge number, and far too big.

When I heard that, my mind quickly went to my friends and family who love to run, walk and bike this time of year. After long Northeast Ohio winters, we can’t wait to put on our sneakers and hit the pavement. But it’s the reality that we share the road with vehicles – lots of them. I’ve had some closer-than-I’d-like experiences with cars while biking, running and walking, so I wanted to share safety tips for all users of our roadways – whether you’re in a car or not.

Safety Tips for Runners and Walkers

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– I hate this one, but it is recommended that you do not wear headphones, especially if you’re going to be running or walking on the road.

– Remember to run/walk against traffic, so you can see what is coming. Never run down the middle of the road.

– Carry your ID and a cell phone. I love these Road ID bracelets. You never know what could happen, and in case of an emergency, having your ID information could be life-saving.

– Stop at stop signs to ensure traffic yields to you. Never assume cars will stop for you, even if you are in a cross walk.

– If you’re running at night or early in the morning, be sure to wear bright, reflective clothing. Avoid head-to-toe dark clothing.

– Running with a friend or group is great and can be very motivating, but be courteous – and safe: don’t run more than two abreast.

Safety Tips for Bikers

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Keep in mind: Bicyclist on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. They are also subject to the same state laws and local ordinances.

– Ride with traffic, not against it.

– Obey all stop signs, yield signs and traffic lights.

– Use hand signals for turns. This alerts drivers of your directional intention and helps keep you safe – and it’s the law.

– Don’t weave in and out of parked cars, even if they are in the way. Motorists may not see you when you try to move back into the flow of traffic.

– When riding at night or early in the morning, be sure your bike has good lights. Front light, wheel and pedal reflectors are a good idea – and often required by law. A rear red light wouldn’t hurt either. Again, as with running and walking, wear light-colored and/or reflective clothing.

– Always ride in a single-file line.

– And of course, always wear a helmet!

 

 

Be safe out there, friends!

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International Firefighters Day + Cinco de Mayo!

Did anyone know that May 4 is International Firefighters Day? Unfortunately, me neither. I saw this today and was instantly bummed that I missed out on this holiday. After all, our house is home to one hunky firefighter, and I wished we would have celebrated yesterday. Since we didn’t – and he works today – we’ll just have to have a little party tomorrow. Any fun firefighter themed food ideas? To Pinterest I go…

One holiday I cannot possibly forget is Cinco de Mayo! I have loved this holiday for years, and what’s not to love? Mexican food – good! Margaritas – good! Hanging out with friends who enjoy both of these things as much as I do – good!

It's Cinco o'clock somewhere!
It’s Cinco o’clock somewhere!

However, Cinco de Mayo 2014 is a bit different for me this year…

First, I’ll be riding solo this evening with my sweet baby. He’s been a bit cranky today, so I don’t know if he’ll be in the real party spirit tonight. I can’t complain, though: he was a good sport and allowed me to take a picture of him in a fake mustache earlier. Coolest.baby.ever.

Secondly, I started a month-long challenge last week with some awesome folks led by my best gal pal Katie. The challenge is to be at our best with both physical fitness and healthy eating. Got the fitness part checked off for the day (WHEN DOES T-25 GET EASIER, PEOPLE?!), and I’ve fueled my body with the right foods…so far. The kind of Mexican food I enjoy doesn’t exactly fit into a healthy eating lifestyle (hellooooooo, chips and cheese dip!), so I’m going to go another route: chicken burrito bowl with quinoa. Here was my inspiration:

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Grilled chicken, onions and sweet bell peppers on top of quinoa. Topped with hot sauce and avocado and it’s healthy south-of-the-border dining at its finest! Except that we are out of avocado. Of course. Of all days…

Anyway, happy day-after-International Firefighters Day and happy Cinco de Mayo!

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