Exercise, Veggies, and Writing

Three things that are constants in my life on an almost daily basis are: exercise, vegetables, and writing. An odd amalgamation of things, but all critical for a bit of balance and inspiration in my life. You might wonder how these three have anything remotely in common. Their only commonality is that they ground me. On the days when I have the opportunity to run, eat a good amount of vegetables, and take the time to write, life just feels better. It may not mean that I have had an amazing day. Lots of shit could have happened, but these three stable aspects of my life help me to get through the shitty days and make the good days even better. Call me crazy, but it is true.

The ironic thing is that all three require discipline and none of them happened for me overnight. Consistent exercise was a gradual habit that happened over many years. My craving to run each day is the euphoria of pushing myself to the limits, having an hour that is just for myself, and the feeling at the end of a run when I am dripping in sweat and knowing I got through it. There is nothing else in my life that gives me that feeling and my day does not feel complete without my run.

How I feel when I run matters and, often, I can tell that if I feel horrible while running it has to do with some crap I ate earlier in the day. I am usually an evening/after work runner, so what I had for lunch and any snacks or junk food I ingest during the day matters. Which is why I have become a fanatic of eating vegetables. I have them in my green smoothie in the morning (usually spinach, kale, carrots), a salad for lunch, then for dinner, a vegetable, protein, and brown rice. Some sort of yummy concoction, but there is always a vegetable go with it. How far I have come from trying to get away with no vegetables as a kid and little to none in high school and college. Why have I become such an addict? I can now tell the difference in my body when I do not have these natural nutrients. More sugar + less vegetables and my body shuts down earlier in the day. More sugar = more exhausted. Since I know this about myself I do all I can to eat my veggies.

Writing. The final aspect to balance in my life. I write five blog posts each week and used to write in a journal too. My journal writing has waned in the past few months. It felt like work and I was not inspired to do it so I stopped. I know I will pick it up again, as that has been the ebb and flow of my life. There have been times when I needed to write, and write, and write to figure out my thoughts and unravel my world. Writing random olio keeps my mind open and aware. When you know that you are going to write a blog five days in a row you look at the world differently. It makes me more creative, have more wonder, and investigate the world.

What is not to love about my three life disciplines? A random olio of balance that is the core of who I am today.

Naked Juice + Pound of Fruit = Fed Family

I grew up hating vegetables. It was not until at least the age of 25 when I started to eat them, and now I crave them. For the most part eating vegetables in my youth sucked. They were either frozen or canned, and many times microwaved or overcooked. All around gross. Now I am passionate about promoting vegetables. When I hear that parents have a hard getting their kids to eat their veggies, I think two things. That will change as they get older, and there are now creative ways they can get their kids to eat amazing green, leafy veggies.

Whenever I travel and have little to no access to vegetables, I defer to bottled green juices. There are many brands I have tried, but my favorites are Odwalla, Naked, and a few local brands. When I found out about Naked Juices campaign to help families receive fresh produce I thought – brilliant! Naked Juice states that there is an entire pound of fruit in every bottle of Naked Juice. Their green juice version has veggies too.

They have teamed up with Wholesome Wave, a non-profit that helps provide underserved communities with local produce. You can download a coupon from the Naked Juice website, that gives you $1 off any 15.2 ounce of Naked Juice. For every coupon downloaded from their website, they will donated one pound of produce to families in need. It is definitely a clever marketing campaign. It means more Naked Juice customers, which means more knowledge about their brand. It allows their consumer to be their customer evangelists, and families receive fresh produce. A win-win situation.

You can find out more details by going to the “Good Deeds” page on their website. You will want to be sure to watch the slide show. Naked Juice has started their campaign by donating 50,000 pounds of fruits and veggies.

If you crave kale, spinach, banana, and other nutrient rich foods, download a coupon, pick up a bottle of Naked Juice, and know you have helped to provide necessary foods for a family.