We’re waiting: Spilling over tea/coffee April 2019

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For Spring, that is. Wait, wasn’t that my subject last month? Why yes, yes it was — the graphic above is from March!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date — we are already a quarter of the way through the year — what would you like to tell me over your favorite cuppa?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
All your glorious sunshine filled, flowering photos . . . they make me jealous, I can’t lie. Our weather has been rather normal for this time of year, heck, it didn’t even snow on April 1 as it does on many years.

I come alive on the warmer, sunny days. The problem is there’s still so few of them. Broken meet record. At least there is no snow on the ground (at the moment, could still happen but I don’t think it will).

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that a funny thing happened as I started to run again. I was sick — actually much sicker — last year around this time. I didn’t run at all for a couple of weeks. When I started to run, I had a sudden (short) bout with runner’s knee. I realized that I needed to go back to shorter run intervals; I’d been working on longer intervals before I got sick.

Fast forward to 2019: on a whim I’ve been running without walk breaks at all after very little running in the month of March. At a normal pace for me. In fact, Monday’s pace was actually speedy for me (it was also only 2 miles, so don’t get too excited).

So far, knock on wood, my body is feeling okay. No runner’s knee, at least not yet. The only difference I can really think of is that there wasn’t actually any week this year that I didn’t run at all. I kept up with my Yoga and Pilates except for the one weekend I was really sick. Perhaps it’s just the prolonged period of recovery?

I really don’t know, and I suspect that as I run longer, I’ll revert back to my run/walk — endurance is always my weak point. For now, though, I’ll just run . . . unless I don’t.

Mr. Judy has a grow light on it that’s why it’s purple. Strong like Giz?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that the acorn that was supposed to become an oak tree (someday) our vet sent us on Gizmo’s passing did . . . nothing. Literally for months. I got tired of watering the damn thing, so I stopped.

Well, the above does not look like a weed to me. And there’s nothing else sprouting in there. It’s awfully delicate, though, no doubt due to lack of water. I’ve begun to water it again, but my gut is saying that much like Chester’s tree, it’s just not meant to be.

He stares at me all the time. Hunts for me if he doesn’t know where I am. Yet rarely lays on me.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that after almost 3 years, I’ve noticed that most of the time Bandit only lays on us when he wants something: food or a bathroom break, in general. He often lays on Mr. Judy while I get the dogs’ breakfasts ready. Which seems so wrong to me.

There were a couple of days when Mr. Judy slept a little late, and Bandit actually sat on me for a change. Which of course was counterproductive to what he actually wanted: food.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you forget skirts, at the moment I’m still just waiting to wear capris!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Thanks to Kim @ Kookyrunner for my most recent aha! moment: why not look for halfs that somehow involve chocolate? She was talking about the Hot Chocolate races, but I’ve already run one chocolate themed half. Why not search out some more?

My Chicago friends — this one caught my eye — ever heard of it?: Ooh La La Chocolate Half Marathon in Geneva, IL. These smaller races are what Mr. Judy prefers.

Any chocolate themed halfs to share with me?

Do your dogs only lay on you when they want something (Lola just likes to lay on us, in fact, she no longer likes being by herself that much — unless there’s a kong involved)?

Who’s racing this weekend? I can’t make up my mind! But I did . . .

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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Keeping the girls cozy

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I Tried It: Wool Bras

I have sung the praises of the Skirt Sports Wonder Wool line many times (get yours here). I seriously just love it so much. The skirt with attached leggings are great for in between weather (about 30-40), and the tops are all I run in in the Winter these days. Because, wicking.

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There are also Wonder Wool Jackets which is a nice light, warmish layer

I realized, though, that one of the reasons I become so chilled after winter runs is the dang bra. Sure, I wear good bras, they say they wick . . . not so much. I just have really sweaty boobs, apparently.

Then I had my lightbulb moment: what if I bought some wool bras? Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing. Now, I know what you’re thinking — that must be awfully itchy! But is it?

Medium support, no chafing at all

Smartwool PhD Racerback Bra
I first tried out the the Smartwool racerback bra (Amazon Affiliate link here). It fit much like the Champion racerback bras I get from Target — I’d say medium support, which is fine for me as I’m very small on top.

On the first run it seemed just a little itchy under the arms and the band when I first put it on. I put on some anti chafing cream just in case, but there was no chafing and I wasn’t bothered on the run.

The second run I’d lost just a little bit of weight and it felt more comfortable and I didn’t use any anti chafing stuff — still no chafing. Keep in mind my runs are very short (1-3 miles) at the moment, so I can’t say how these bras will do on a longer run.

These are last year’s season, by the way, and a fairly reasonable $30 – $45, depending on size and color. Works for me.

I got my normal size in a running bra, a M, and that fit just right.

Light to medium support

Icebreaker Merino Sprite Racerback Bra
Is anyone else amused by the description Women’s Bra? Do men wear bras (well, I guess some may, but still). This bra seemed rather skimpy for a running bra (Amazon Affiliate link here), but it was surprisingly about medium compression, too. It was less coverage, which again was fine for me — it actually gave me some cleavage though.

This bra didn’t feel itchy when I put it on. I’d ordered a slightly different version of this bra first, and my normal M was way too big. I read the comments and ordered a S in this model instead, and that fit much better, although the band was just a bit tight — it will probably be perfect when I’ve lost just a couple more pounds.

Not a lot of coverage and no padding

This bra also felt less itchy than the Smartwool bra when I first tried it on, and I didn’t use any anti chafing — again, there was no chafing and no discomfort in the bra, either. I came back home after the run and walked the dogs without changing out of the bra — it was a cool day, and I never felt terribly chilled.

Saturday I did my mentoring run (just a little over a mile), waited for my friends, ran a couple of miles with one friend, and then hung around for a while with the other while we waited for one friend to finish up.

It was in the low 40s, cloudy, and again — I never felt chilled or particularly sweaty after either run. Still no itching and no chafing, but again it was a short, easy run. So far, so good. Still no long runs in these bras.

Final thoughts on wool bras
The pros are the wicking — you can get sweaty, but the sweat will mostly wick away and the bra will dry out quickly. Which also means that you can wear them more than once without them getting stinky. They are not itchy, and so far I have not experienced any chafing at all — but whether or not that remains true for longer runs is up in the air — probably until next Winter.

If you are a large breasted women who needs a lot of support (I am not), I don’t think this will work for you. The Smartwool bra has more support, but you larger women would probably have to  wear this underneath another bra (for support). I wouldn’t want to do that.

I think for myself wool bras will be a huge game changer next Winter. Especially wool bras plus the Wonder Wool tops — they keep me much drier, and that keeps me warmer in the “long run”.

  • Have you ever worn a wool bra?
  • Is that an area that gets really sweaty for you?
  • What is your favorite piece of cold weather running gear?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Slow & Steady Does It: 3/25-31 WRD

Some days I felt pretty good, some days I felt a bit eh, so I am still taking it easy. No reason not too.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner along with lots of other healthy-minded bloggers. Check them out for some inspiration!

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, Yoga IT Stretch 12 minutes), 1.5 miles easy + FTC Mentoring
  • Tuesday:  Yoga Detox (45 minutes), Dogwalk, Raking, Pilates Abs (150 minutes)
  • Wednesday: PIlates Arms & Back (15 minutes), Dogwalk, Raking, Yoga for Recovery (30 minutes)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Pilates Legs (15 Minutes)
  • Friday: 2 easy TM miles, Pilates Stretch (15 minutes), Yoga Lymphatic Massage (20 minutes)
  • Saturday: 2 miles easy + FTC Mentoring, Dogwalk, Pilates Posture & Balance (10 minutes), Yin Yoga Hips (20 minutes)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 minutes)

Mileage: 4.5 (+3.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

I wore trail shoes assuming there’s still be icy patches — there weren’t

Monday
Last week was the start of the Freihofers Training Challenge (yes, you have one more day to sign up hereif you’re local!), but I wasn’t up to attending. Today I got out there early and ran .75 miles, took a break for some photos, then ran back .75 miles — no walk breaks. Don’t ask me why.

Then another 1.34 with the group, very easy, mostly walking, although I did run between people to make sure everyone was okay.

Lola getting in on the photoshoot

Friday
A really nasty, rainy, raw day. Feeling kind of eh (still kind of back & forth with it), but did 2 easy miles on the mill. Again with no walk breaks. Again don’t ask me why.

Through the covered bridge and up the hill every week

Saturday
Feeling better this morning, and especially happy that the forecast rain was taken out of the forecast — and it did stay dry. Back mentoring and many of my friends were there this week. Did roughly a mile of mostly walking (they’re on 20 minutes of 90 seconds run, 2 minutes walk, so not a whole lot of running yet).

Ran with one friend afterwards for a couple of miles (no walk breaks) and called it good.

Falling apart Chuck Roast courtesy of my InstantPot and Butcher Box

Favorites of the week
Did you see my post on Instagram about our first try from Butcherbox? (You’re following me here, right?). Mr. Judy was salivating over all that meat when it arrived — we don’t eat a lot of beef, generally (they also have chicken and pork). I did the chuck roast in my InstantPot and it came out great.

I’ll write a review of Butcherbox when we’ve tried a few more things (read: in a couple of months, probably!). Right now all you need to know that it’s humanely raised, grass fed, and comes in a cardboard box — no Styrofoam at all (but obviously dry ice).

If you use my link here, I might get something (we’re not exactly sure what). The roast was great — that’s all we’ve tried so far (there were also some filets, sirloin tips, ground beef, and a couple of hanger steaks).

Got in three runs this week! I think the 5 mile race I was considering is probably not gonna happen next week. I don’t think any of my friends are doing it, and while I’d worked back up to 5 miles, that was before I got sick. There will be other races.

Saw the first bulbs coming up this week while walking the dogs — Spring will come up here — eventually.

Talk to me:

Are you big meat eaters?

What sort of subscription boxes do you get?

If you’re in training-mode, how’s it going?

Toegate: Runfessions March 2019

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I’m joining Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice at the Runfessional; last month’s Shoegate (read it here) brings you this month’s Toegate — and don’t worry, there are no photos. I’ll explain further down in the post.

I runfess . . .
My massage seat has been laying idle for way too long. The problem is that I have nowhere easy to store it. I finally decided I needed some shelves by my dresser, and Mr. Judy found me some — it’s now stored on its own shelf.

It’s still a little bit of work to get it out and set it up but I’ve already used it once which reminded me how great it feels!

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Gone, but never forgotten

I runfess . . .
I was sad when I got home from my parents last Sunday. Gizmo was always waiting for me and very happy for some lap time when we came home from my parents. The last time I went I was by myself, so the dogs eagerly greeted me. This time we took the dogs, so we came home to an empty house.

I runfess . . .
There are still no scheduled runs. It’s time to run for fun — so easy to lose sight that running is fun when we’re training hard. When was the last time you just ran for fun? Maybe it’s time to take a little break if you can’t remember!

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Is this what you’d want for your first run back after being sick?

I runfess . . .
The first run for the group I’m mentoring was extremely cold and windy and there was snow and ice on the ground. I really did not want to go. I gave serious consideration to running in my long down coat, knowing that this would be an easy run.

I’m really glad I went, though. The group is so inspiring, you always come back feeling better than when you started.

I runfess . . .
That I have never thought that black toenails are something to be proud of. In fact, I was proud of the opposite — that fact that I have kept all my toenails during 10 years of running. I always assumed that the runners with black toenails were just wearing the wrong shoes. Until I got my own — wearing the same model shoes I’ve run countless races and long runs in with no problems — and no, they still had some miles left in them.

I am still most definitely not proud of it — I don’t view it as a rite of passage, or making me a “real” runner. In fact, I’m still pretty PO’d about it. I mean seriously, after about 22 halfs — in the words of Nancy Kerrigan – why? why? And why didn’t it happen on my 15, 17 milers or my 18 mile race?

Running can be mysterious that way.

Have you donated a toenail to running?

Will you bail on a run when people are waiting for you if the weather is bad? I assume you contact them, of course.

When was the last time you truly ran just for fun?

What do you have to runfess from February? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

Making Love Out of Nothing At all

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March’s earworm is Air Supply. Yes, I was actually a fan back in the day and even saw them in concert many decades ago. March is a big birthday month in my family, and there was a lot of celebrating going on. Almost had the entire family together Sunday, but were missing my brother & nephew.

There was very little running in March — let’s just say my running came in like a lion as I tried to rebuild but out like a lamb with almost none due to illness. I wasn’t training for anything so I never planned for there to be much, but March kicked my booty in a bad way.

Most people have a time of year that they often get sick, and for me it tends to be around Feb-April. So why I always feel like this is a good time to really go hard with exercise (not necessarily running) is beyond me. You’d think I’d learn!

March was cold & snowy as usual, but there are occasional Spring-like days to keep us hoping

Getting in scheduled runs
There are no scheduled runs, but there are runs I’d like to do to maintain my base, but yeah, just as I was rebuilding I was out for the count again.

Grade Earned:  B-

Recording my runs
I did do a good job on recording the few runs I ran.

Grade Earned: A

Dynamic Warmup
There were still a lot of treadmill runs. Mostly treadmill runs, actually. Just so over being cold! I didn’t really do a lot of dynamic stretching — I foam rolled and then I’d hop on the stationary bike to warm up. Good or bad? You decide.

Grade Earned: B-

Foam Rolling
I got back into a regular foam rolling routine — until I got sick.

Grade Earned: B-

There was soup. Lots and lots of soup.

Nutrition
Nutrition, with no vacation, was better. 2 birthday celebrations in 2 weeks didn’t help, but oddly enough being sick helped me eat better. I made better choices, knowing it would help me heal sooner rather than later.

Grade Earned: B

Support

  • Massage? No.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? No. But not much going on, and typically I do one every other month to maintain alignment anyway.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? Not quite there yet  . . .

Grade Earned: B

Cross Training
I hit cross training hard in the beginning, since running is taking a backseat right now. I committed to PITT28 — and maybe that was actually my downfall. It’s only bodyweight exercises, but it’s intense. Or maybe it felt like it was intense because I was coming down with something? Or I came down with something because I pushed myself too hard?

Grade Earned: A+?

March 2019  gets  . . . 
. . . a B. When it comes to activity, obviously it wasn’t a great month. On the other hand, I listened to my body — there was no reason to push hard, but as I felt better, I also slowly added back in gentle exercise. Eating improved, and hopefully with the slow coming of Spring, it will continue to improve. The longer days — and sunshine occasionally — always puts me in a better mood.

March Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. Y. Until I got sick.
    • Strength training 2-3 x week.Y. Again, until I got sick. 
    • Continue practicing Yoga & Pilates.Y. When I felt better I actually tried out some gentle yoga for Cold/Flu. I’ve never tried that before. While I mostly needed rest, some gentle movement was beneficial. PITT28 (see below) uses some Pilates moves.
    • Plan out meals the day before. Y/N. Again, until I got sick. Then I was eating less so mostly I was able to plan out a healthy day either in the morning or as the day went on.
    • Foam roll almost daily.Y. Again, until I got sick. 
    • Play around with savory snacks (and report back on them!).N. For the most part no. Maybe I just need to give up on this goal and call it good with Green Smoothies!
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Y. Much easier to shop and eat well when I have a plan. 

Which leads me to April Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. As always, something is always better than nothing.
    • Restart PITT28 — Modified. It’s a great program that alternates HIIT cardio and Pilates moves. Many of these moves are great for runners: jumping lunges (or just lunges), Burpees, Mountain Climbers, fire hydrants . . . the list goes on and on. But it’s actually fairly intense — for me, anyway, apparently — on top of running. It’s meant to be done 6 days a week, and maybe that was just too much (even though I never did 6 days). Shoot for a couple of days a week, and maybe one day of ST with weights. 
    • Continue practicing Yoga. Yoga just makes me feel good. And there are so many different ways to practice yoga!
    • Foam roll almost daily. I’d really like to say daily, but I just know that won’t happen. 
    • Start an Elimination Diet. I am reading a book to review, and it starts off with an Elimination Diet — there are several different levels, and the first level isn’t really that hard. I didn’t actually completely start it last week, but I incorporated some of its ideas and I had my first good weight loss (much needed) in weeks. I’ll write more about it when I review the book, of course.
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Much easier to shop and eat well when I have a plan. 
    • Plan out meals the day before. I made strides on this in March, but sort of got off track when I was sick (I was still tracking). Hopefully April’s gonna be a healthy month and it’s time to lose those few extra pounds that joined me in 2019.
    • A short race? Normally I start April off with a 5 mile race. Of course there wasn’t much running in March, but it’s not the first time I’ve done this race in similar circumstances. Depends on the weather and how I feel.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Easy does it: 3/18-24 WRD

Not a whole lot to report this week. Feeling better, but almost no running. No need to push myself. Since I’m mentoring for the Freihofers Training Challenge, it’s a pretty perfect opportunity to ease back into running, as the challenge follows the C25K app.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and all the other bloggers, whom you should visit, to share how we stay active and fit.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, Tai Chi (exploring new options, this was very brief)
  • Tuesday:  Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Yoga for Abs & Posture (45 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 Minutes)
  • Friday: Yoga for IT & Hamstrings (30 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Run/walk, mostly walking & mentoring (20 minutes)
  • Sunday: Yoga for Neck & Shoulders (20 minutes), Dogwalk

Mileage: 1, maybe? LOL — nowhere to go but up! (-5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Yeah, it was pretty cold and a little slick

Saturday
My return to “running” coincided with mentoring for Freihofers Womens Run again — I’d already missed the kickoff on Monday. It also coincided with a thin covering of snow and ice. Insane winds giving the real temperature of 30 a feels like 15. I won’t lie: I really didn’t want to go.

I didn’t do a whole lot of running. I walked quite a bit with one lovely woman towards the end who is battling PF (and I know a lot of you can relate to that!).

Despite the conditions I’m really glad I got out there. Left to my own devices I wouldn’t have, but I had a blast and I think all the women that showed up did, too.

Lola loves to snuggle in close

Favorites of the week
I did find a new Netflix show to watch (new to us, anyway, apparently the first season came out in 2016): The OA. Also very odd, but odd in a good way to me. I love Jason Isaacs — such a talented actor. I do hate that his character is rather evil.

With me, too, while i was resting

The Widow, btw, was on Amazon Prime. Really enjoyed that.

So my one very short run/walk yesterday still netted me lots more steps than I’ve been getting lately. It’s been a while since I’ve seen 10k steps — still slowly easing back into activity, trying hard to stay healthy this time.

With most of my family (missing my brother & one nephew
Including the nephew who lives in India!
The birthday boy (who turns 93 tomorrow) facetiming with his son

Talk to me:

When looking for a show to watch, what type catches your interest?

Do the little teases of Spring have you thinking about what  you’re going to do when the weather gets nice?

What’s blooming where you live (snow here, apparently, although it should melt by tomorrow, it wasn’t very much)?

It’s really about what you put in your body

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I’m like many (but not all) women: part of why I’m active is about getting a little more wiggle room in what I can eat. Being vertically challenged and in my late 50s, weight management is an ongoing “exercise” in juggling food and activity.

Fairytales and Fitness

So what do I do when being active isn’t an option? Illness isn’t always the reason, there are many other reasons we can’t be as active as we’d like to (travel, work demands, taking care of others, injury, to name a few).

Weight management isn’t all about exercise, it’s much more about what we put in our bodies and how we treat ourselves.

Do what you can
Sometimes that means resting. The first day I was sick was a total rest day. No worrying about steps; not a whole of hunger, either. Whoever said feed a fever got it all wrong — when I have a fever I am so not hungry.

The next few days were still rest days, but I did do some gentle yoga. Yoga aimed specifically at colds/flu. When you’re still sick but you’re not completely wiped out, some gentle movement can be very helpful.

As I felt better, I also started to walk the dogs again. Not as long as I usually do, but it’s always good to get out in some sunshine and fresh air — if nothing else, it elevates your mood.

Be gentle with yourself
If you’ve had a fever, it’s a really bad idea to go hard the minute that fever breaks. Your body is fighting some sort of illness, and it needs all its energy directed to healing. Some movement is good, but getting right back into hard training can be a recipe for being down and out even longer.

Rest and you will heal quicker; push and you may get sick again.

Chicken soup really is a healing food (and comforting)

Be careful with the comfort foods
It’s so tempting to comfort ourselves with food. Some comfort foods can be healthy — but often they aren’t. A nice bowl of chicken noodle soup can definitely work wonders; #allthecookies are not your friend.

Everyone is different, but things that probably won’t be healing are:

  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Too much fruit. Yes, fruit is definitely healthy, but you can have too much of a good thing.
  • White foods (bagels, bread, for instance). White potatoes are the exception — they are not the devils they’ve been made out to be; it’s all about what you put on them and they are very easy to digest.
  • Processed foods.

Healing foods:

  • Soups
  • Garlic, Onions, Turmeric
  • Salmon
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Orange foods (carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes)

Neither of these lists are by any means complete, but they’re food for thought.

Eat a little less
If you’re not as active (or not active at all) your body just won’t be burning as many calories. You might not be as hungry . . . but you could be. If I’m sick and not active, I keep an eye on how much I’m eating and will typically eat a little less than normal. I was rewarded with a loss at the scale this week, despite very little activity.

You don’t want to severely restrict food — your body is still doing plenty of work just keeping you alive and healing itself, and eating too little food can as harmful as eating too much.

Do you go for comfort foods when you’re sick?

What foods on the healing foods list sound appealing to you?

What is the weirdest thing you eat when you’re sick (and why)?

I think most of us have come to realize that not all calories are created the same. It’s important to make your calories count when you’re feeling under the weather — you don’t have to gain weight just because you can’t be as active; what you put in your body will always trump activity in the long run. — Chocolaterunsjudy