Organic Runner Mom

Run Green. Eat Clean. Laugh Strong.

Happy Hug a Runner Day! November 20th

It’s Time to G.O.H.A.R.D. It’s Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day!

HUG a RUNNER Day!

HUG a RUNNER Day!

Today is Hug a Runner Day! It’s time to celebrate you and all of your running friends as well as your loved ones who support your running! Make sure that you hug them all (I will be sure not to miss a single one as I am a hugger anyways!). Hug a Runner is organized by Run the Edge which offers running tips  and more from Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher (Kara Goucher’s husband!). This year in celebration of runners everywhere, Run the Edge has created an awesome Hug a Runner Virtual Race either a 5K, 10K or a half marathon.

Hug  a Runner Day Virtual Race

Hug a Runner Day Virtual Race

All of the proceeds from the Hug a Runner Virtual Race go to their Charity Partner Girls on the Run. I knew immediately that I wanted to join the virtual race because when I first found my passion for running I was actually a Girls on the Run Coach. I know how important and positive sports have been for me in my life.  Working with the girls in Girls on the Run was a way to give them a positive peer group to run, have fun with and  to feel empowerment. Girls on the Run gives girls in 3rd-8th grade a place to learn a lifelong sport while building healthy friendships and self-confidence.

Girls On The Run

Girls On The Run

I have chosen to run the 10K distance for my “virtual race” and am hoping to do it with one of my running friends so that we can celebrate our run together and share a nice sweaty hug at the end! I hope you will join me in running this virtual race! All you have to do is sign up HERE!

[Tweet “It’s #HugARunnerDay! Have you hugged a runner today? #hugarunner #runtheedge #runchat #ultrachat #hugs”]

And now to get you excited about Hug a Runner Day, a little video from Run the Edge . . .

Happy Hug a Runner Day  and don’t forget to check out my current giveaway for Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butter!

Organic Runner Mom

 

LINK LOVE:

5 Reasons to HUG a Runner from Janice at Fitness Cheerleader

HUG a Runner Day (my post from last year)

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Fresh Review: Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butters

It’s #WIAW: Pierre’s Spicy Almond and Peanut Butters

Pierre's Spicy Almond & Peanut Butter

Pierre’s Spicy Almond & Peanut Butter

Wow! I’d like to introduce you to Pierre’s Spicy Almond & Peanut Butters. When fellow runner and marathon nut Ivy (also a Boston Marathoner) asked me if I’d like to sample Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butters of course I said, yes!  Pierre took almond and peanut butters and raised them to a whole new level by adding a kick to the boring nut butters from your childhood. This is definitely grown up almond & peanut butter.

[Tweet “Enter to win Pierre’s Spicy Almond Butter from @organicrunmom! Spicy Nut Butter #yum! #giveaway”]

The story behind Pierre’s Spicy

Pierre’s Spicy is a specialty nut butter company that creates small batch almond and peanut butters.  Pierre, the Founder, started Pierre’s Spicy in 2012 in his kitchen.  He wanted to create flavored nut butters that were reminiscent of the spicy peanut butter from his childhood, Mamba (‘mum-bah’) from his home in Haiti.  Pierre found that there were many sweet nut butters on the market but not many that were savory and spicy.  Pierre is an avid athlete originally a volleyball player with the American team at the Junior Olympics but now enjoys running and has shared his spicy nut butters with his running friends. Pierre’s Spicy is perfect for the running crowd with a healthy fat content and high quality protein. The heat in Pierre’s Spicy might just give your run that kick that it needs for you to get moving!

What’s in Pierre’s Spicy Almond & Peanut Butters?

This product is great because the ingredient list is simple:

  • almonds
  • agave nectar
  • chili powder
  • sea salt

. . .  and that’s it!

I tried the medium almond and medium peanut butters as I am not sure that my tastebuds could handle the hot. The almond butter has a nice smooth texture. The salt and heat give you some warmth at the end. the peanut butter is just as delicious! I love eating Pierre’s Spicy Nut Butters on a bagel or some delicious homemade toast or with some apple or banana slices. This 16 ounce jar is definitely not going to last long in my house!  You can find a recipe for Spicy Nut Noodles on their website and you can now order your very own Pierre’s Spicy to try! This would make a great stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life!

Giveaway

You now also have a chance to win  a 16 ounce jar of Pierre’s Spicy Almond Butter (Medium) to enjoy and spice up your life! Just enter below and please share with a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy healthy eating on the run this week!

 

Organic Runner Mom

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Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner.

Being a solo runner.

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner

I was born a people person. I get energy from interacting with people. I thrive off the energy of being with a group or a team. My personality type according to the Myers-Briggs personality test is ESFJ which in a nutshell means, “ESFJs are people persons – they love people. They are warmly interested in others. (SOURCE)” So why is then that I have ended up as a runner and often a long-distance runner where running is mostly a solo sport. Now I often find myself out on long solo runs with no one to interact with except for myself and the world that surrounds me as a log the miles on asphalt and dirt.

Over time I have learned to love being a solo runner and I even crave those long quiet solo runs that bring peace and quiet and a time for deep introspection or a time to let it all go.

What are the benefits of being a solo runner?

  • You can focus on your form without the distraction.
  • You can focus on your breathing by listening to the rhythm of your breath in time with the cadence of your foot-strike.
  • Being a solo runner requires you to learn discipline. You have only yourself to be accountable too. If you are training to be at a certain pace you won’t be tempted to run someone else’s pace.
  • You will learn to work through challenges by yourself which you will need on race day. Your training runs are your practice for race day so you need to be able to work through the physical and mental challenges that will happen when the big day comes.
  • You can pick how far, how fast, and where you want to go. The decision is all yours and not dictated by a group.
  • Sometimes you just need peace and quiet and a solo run is the perfect place to do it. Use your solo run as a time to organize your thoughts.
  • When you are a solo runner you can find the rhythm and the pace of the run and just run driven by the sound of your breathing, your feet hitting the ground, and the beating of your heart.

Don’t get me wrong I still love my group runs but running alone has made me a stronger runner and I have found a deep love for being by myself on the run. Sometimes being a solo runner is everything that your soul needs.

[Tweet “Discover the benefits of being a solo runner. Find out how running alone can benefit you. #runchat #fitfluential”]

What do you love the most about running alone. What benefits have you found of being a solo runner?

Organic Runner Mom

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The complicated emotions of a runner.

The emotions of a runner.

The emotions of a runner can be complex.

The emotions of a runner can be complex.

Running can conjure up a wide range of emotions depending on the moment in time. I have become a passionate runner and each run is a special experience. sometimes the wide range of emotions that you feel when you are running can be overwhelming or inspiring. Here are some of the emotions that I feel when I am out for a run or running in a race.

  1. Pure joy as the wind pushes my hair back and my feet hit the pavement.
  2. Excitement when I discover a new trail to explore.
  3. Fear when I am running alone.
  4. Comfort when I am running with friends.
  5. Exhaustion as I push hard to cross the line in a race.
  6. Disappointment when I do not achieve my goal.
  7. Determination when I am chasing down my P.R. or a competitor on the course.
  8. Sadness as a race that I have been training for has ended.
  9. Angry when I don’t try my hardest and I quit on myself.
  10. Happiness when I reach the peak of a hard hill
  11. Inspired when I am running with a strong group of women.
  12. Proud when I push myself as hard as I can and achieve my goal or smash it.

[Tweet “Running can evoke a wide range of emotions. What do you feel when you run?”]

What emotions do you experience when you run?

Organic Runner Mom

 

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Skirt Sports. Real Women. Real Bodies. Real Inspiration.

I am a proud Skirt Sports Ambassador!

Proud Skirt Sports Ambassador!

Proud Skirt Sports Ambassador!

I have a very exciting announcement.  It’s official! After all these years of Skirt Sports love I am officially a Skirt Sports Ambassador! Woohoo! I am joining 23 other strong women including Kathrine Switzer (the original Marathon Woman!) representing Skirt Sports from California to New England.  I feel like I am part of a new family! Skirt Sports was started by triathlete Nicole DeBoom an amazing athlete and visionary for women’s running apparel. Nicole dreamed up the original Skirt Sports Skirt in 2003 and in 2004 won the IRONMAN Wisconsin wearing a Skirt! The rest is history and ten years later Skirt Sports continues to celebrate women pursuing their goals and inspiring each other.

My love affair with Skirt Sports began when my friend Michele sent me my first Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra just in time for the Reach the Beach Relay before I had my kids. The Skirt which I still have was lime green with the pattern sweet tattoo and it was the perfect thing to wear for the night leg of the relay.  It was my first time wearing a Skirt in a race and it was empowering. I loved feeling fast wearing a Skirt especially when passing male runners (you’ve been chicked!) as I pushed hard up and down the rolling hills of my relay leg. I loved being a strong (sweaty runner) in a skirt.  I knew right then that Skirt Sports was for me and since then I haven’t looked back. It is unusual to see me running without a Skirt (although now Skirt Sports has some rockin’ running tights and capris too!). Now, it’s rare to see me running without a skirt. Skirt Sports has been with me for many miles, up mountains in the sun, snow and rain, down muddy trails, and even down Boylston Street at the Boston Marathon.

Now I am proud to represent Skirt Sports. Real Women. Real Bodies. Real Inspiration.. Please check out my Skirt Sports Profile HERE on www.skirtsports.com  and be sure to check out all of the other strong, encouraging and inspiring women representing Skirt Sports as Ambassadors.  Oh and make sure you take a peek at the gear too. There is plenty to add to your holiday wish list!

[Tweet “Being an @SkirtSports Ambassador means celebrating Real Women, Real Bodies, Real Inspiration. #convert2skirt”]

Do you ever run in a skirt? What is your favorite thing about running in a skirt?

Organic Runner Mom

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Fresh Recipe: Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach #WIAW

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

I have decided its time to start exploring with eggs in the kitchen. Since we have a family organic egg farm, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, I figure its about time I learned how to cook more with eggs than just the simple scrambled or fried. I should become an eggs-pert, right? The one type of eggs that I have always wanted to learn how to make are poached eggs.  There is nothing better than a perfectly poached egg that opens with the gentle touch of your fork letting out a creamy golden yolk.  Poaching an egg is not as simple as it looks. I am definitely going to need some practice at perfecting my perfect poaching technique!

[Tweet “Fresh Recipe: Poached Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach #WIAW #yum #foodie”]

From our family farm to our family table

From our family farm to our family table

 Basic tips for poaching an egg:

  1. Bring your water to a simmer, not a full boil.
  2. Carefully add your eggs to the water one at a time and keep them separated.
  3. Adding vinegar to the water can help to keep the egg whites together.
  4. Don’t cook too long or you will end up with hard yolks and these will not be the perfect poached eggs!

Once I had figured out to poach my eggs I decided to create a savory egg dish that would be perfect for brunch or dinner. Obviously we love eggs in our house and I could eat them at any meal.  Pairing eggs with spinach is a great way to give your body a healthy helping of protein and also lots of vitamins and minerals.  Spinach is very nutrient dense and provides your body with antioxidants. Spinach is also an iron rich food. Our organic eggs also have Omega 3’s and of they are  come from Certified Humane cage free hens. This dish  is light but will leave you feeling satisfied!

Poached Organic Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Poached Organic Eggs over Sauteed Garlic Rosemary Spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs
  • White Vinegar
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • Olive Oil
  • Organic Spinach
  • Freshly Grated Paremsan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

    Poached Eggs
  1. Bring water to a simmer.
  2. Add eggs to your pot carefully after cracking them open into a small bowl or ramekin. (eggs can be placed in poaching cups or small ramekins directly in simmering water).
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to keep the whites from separating (this is optional)
  4. Simmer eggs gently uncovered for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Sauteed Spinach
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to your cast iron skillet.
  7. Mince 1/2 clove of garlic and cook in olive oil until aromatic.
  8. Add rosemary.
  9. Add spinach and cook until sauteed.
  10. Plating
  11. Add garlic rosemary spinach to your plate.
  12. Gently remove poached eggs from water
  13. Place poached eggs on top of spinach
  14. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and salt and pepper.
  15. Enjoy!
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 Do you have a favorite dish that you like to make using poached eggs? Bon apetit!

Organic Runner Mom

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Tips for gaining self-confidence. Lessons learned from running.

Find self-confidence!

Change your attitude. Change your life.

Change your attitude. Change your life.

Last week I did something that I never thought I would be able to do. I was one of the speakers at the Vermont Specialty Food Network Fall Meeting. The topic–Blogging and Social Media and the Specialty Food Niche. As the meeting date moved closer I was informed that there would be 80 people in attendance.  At first this number was immediately anxiety producing.  The first place my mind went was to standing in front of a large roomful of strangers and having them all staring at me and me standing there frozen with fear.  I quickly realized that this attitude was not going to get me anywhere. I can be the queen of self sabotage. The perfectionist within is always trying to hold me back from achieving the goals that I am dreaming of. Now it was time to take the self-confidence that I have learned from running and apply it to my “real” life!

It’s time for an attitude change.

I realized that I had said yes to this opportunity because I knew that I had the confidence to be able to do a fantastic job. I just needed to able to find my inner confidence and allow myself to shine.

Let me share with you what I did differently this time when faced with a challenge and how I found personal success.

Tips for gaining self confidence. Lessons for life learned from running!

  1. Train for it!–the preparation of my Power Point and practice of my talk was my “training,” the talk would be the race.
  2. Visualize and take deep breaths–This always helps before a race so why not before getting up in front of a group of strangers to talk?
  3. Anticipate any bumps in the road–During a race you can encounter problems such as cramps, or dehydration but if you are thinking ahead you can take measures to prevent any problems that may occur. I came to my talk prepared with a hard copy of my talk and a copy on my flash drive.
  4. Use the nervous energy for a positive outcome–At the start of the race I always have a rapid rush of adrenaline. The same goes for talking in front of a group of people. I decided to embrace the energy and to use it as enthusiasm and energy for my talk.
  5. Warm up– At this speaking engagement I warmed up my speaking muscles by talking to a few people about my blog, what I had prepared to speak about and how I got into blogging. Talking helped me to feel more relaxed and comfortable before I got up to speak.
  6. Know the course (or in this course know your audience)–You would never go to a race without knowing the distance or having a general idea of where the course goes. Before speaking I did a little research about the members in the group that I would be speaking too to understand what they might be interested in learning about as it applies to blogging, social media and their specialty food business. 
  7. Set new goals for yourself and go for them!–When it comes to racing I have let go of fear and take on the challenge of meeting my goals. I decided that there was nothing to lose being a speaker and that I should should embrace the experience and share what I know.
  8. Ditch the negative self-talk–How many times have you second guessed yourself at a race? How many times have you told yourself I can’t do it? I am done with negative self-talk.  Changing the words that I tell myself before I go to do something big like a race or a speaking gig completely changes my entire attitude. Positive talk can be life changing and a huge confidence builder. I highly recommend trying it!

[Tweet “Change your attitude. Change your life. Tips for gaining self-confidence learned from running. “]

How do you build self-confidence? Do you have any tricks that work for you?

Organic Runner Mom

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Hip Flexors and Running.

Flexibility, hip flexors and running.

Flexibility, Hip Flexors and Running, Ways to Improve Hip Flexor Flexibility.

Flexibility, Hip Flexors and Running, Ways to Improve Hip Flexor Flexibility.

I used to be flexible. I was an ice skater and could do spirals with my leg up high and spins with my leg raised in the air.  That is definitely no longer the case. As I have gotten older and become a long distance runner I have struggled with flexibility especially in my hips. My hip flexors are always extremely tight. When I go to a yoga class I always struggle with hip openers and in triangle pose my hips always give off a loud pop as I struggle to get into the pose. When I run my hips feel tight and I know that I am not able to maximize my stride length but what’s a runner to do?

What are your hip flexors and why are they important for running?

Hip Flexors (Image from traxee.com)

Hip Flexors (Image from traxee.com)

Hip flexors are a group of muscles in the pelvic region and upper thighs that help drive up the knees. Your hip flexors keep the pelvis and thighs aligned when you are running. Your hip flexors will help you maintain good running form and are also important for stride length.If your hip flexors are tight you will have limited hip extension and your stride length can decrease making injury is possible and slowing down running times.  Your running form and posture will begin to deteriorate as you begin to overcompensate for hip flexor weakness and tightness. When this group of muscles is not as flexible it will cause underutilization of the gluteal muscles which work hard to propel you forward.

[Tweet “Are your hip flexors tight? Here are some ways to strengthen and improve flexibility for running. “]

Ways to improve hip flexor flexibility.

Kara Goucher on the run (photo from zimbio.com)

Kara Goucher on the run (photo from zimbio.com)

If you watch elite runners like Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan run, their stride length is long and fluid and their hips look loose. I am not sure what their secret is but there are specific stretches and exercises that you can do to work on your hip flexor flexibility. And, hey, I can run like an elite in my dreams, right?!?

Here are some great ways to  stretch out and strengthen your hip flexors!

  1. Always do a dynamic warm-up before you run.
  2. Butterfly stretch or Bound Angle Pose
  3. Pigeon Pose
  4. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
  5. Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive
  6. True Hip Flexor Stretch
  7. Wall SOAS Hold
  8. Lunges

Hip flexor strengthening and flexibility is definitely something that I am going to focus on this winter. What about you? Do you have any hip flexor strengthening or stretching tips to share?

Organic Runner Mom

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Heart Rate training and the Maffetone Method

The Maffetone Method and NH runner Larisa Dannis

What is the Maffetone Method for Runners

What is the Maffetone Method for Runners

If you are a running junkie like me then I am sure you heard about New Hampshire Native Larisa Dannis‘ incredible finish at the USATF 50 Mile Championship. She was the women’s winner with the fastest women’s finish time in 20 years. Her pace for 50 miles, 7:11 min/mile. What?!? Yikes! That is crazy fast! To give you an idea of how this compares to what I run, when I ran Boston in 2013 I ran 26.2 miles at and average 8:09 min/mile pace. I cannot even begin to imaging running almost 1 min/mile faster for 50 MILES! Larisa was also the fastest non elite Boston Marathon Runner at the 2014 race with a finish time of 2:44. The crazy thing about her amazing finish times is that she was able to complete her races maintaining an aerobic heartrate the entire time!

Since Larisa is from New Hampshire I have been hearing a buzz about her on the running circuit and how she has gone from recreational runner (and hiker, being a “peak bagger” going after the 4,00 footers and “the Grid”) to a USATF champion in 4 short years. I am intrigued to learn more about her approach to training which is called the Maffetone Method, a heart rate training method developed by Phil Maffetone author of “The Big Book of Endurance Racing and Training.” When I was a rower in college our coach, Mark Davis trained us using heart rate training methods. Every day for practice we would strap on our Polar Heart Rate Monitors to ensure that we stayed in the correct training zones. I wish that I had paid more attention to the philosophy and scientific reasoning behind this. Now my curiosity has been piqued and I am ready to learn more about the Maffetone Method.

[Tweet “Have your heard about the Maffetone Method for training? Learn a bit more about it with me! #runchat”]

What is the Maffetone Method–Larisa Dannis, “I became increasingly efficient aerobically” (UltraRunnerPodcast).

How does the Maffetone Method work?  The Maffetone Method, developed by Phil Maffetone works with his mathematical formaula, the 180 Formula. The 180 Formula is, “180 minus a person’s chronological age, which is then adjusted to reflect their physiological age as indicated by fitness and health factors” (SOURCE).  This method of training is not new by any means but according to Runner’s World is a more unconventional method of training these days.

The Maffetone Method 180 Forumla (Source  httpphilmaffetone.com180-formula)

The Maffetone Method 180 Formula (Source httpphilmaffetone.com180-formula)

According to the Maffetone 180 Formula using my age and the fact that I struggle with ongoing allergies (seasonal, environmental) I would calculate 180-38-5=137 beats per minute. 137 beats per minute should be my maximum heart rate for training at an optimum aerobic level to increase my aerobic base within 10 bpm so my range would be from 127 bm-137 bpm.

According to Larisa Dannis’ interview on the Ultra Runner Podcast as she continued to train at her optimum heart rate zone she found that she while her heart rate remained consistent her paces began to quicken the longer she trained following this method.  Because Dannis relies on her heart rate to tell her how she is doing she does not focus as much on split times therefore not becoming a slave to the watch! I like the idea of this. Sometimes when you become too focused on pace per mile it can create a lot of stress during a race.  Dannis also shares that after two years of strictly training using the Maffetone Method she has added in more speedwork-hill repeats, fartleks, to address the body’s need of being able to work in an anaerobic zone as well.I am still learning about the Maffetone Method and am excited to follow Larisa Dannis’ running journey as she continues to race and tries to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

I am curious to talk to my coach Denise Goode of The Sustainable Athlete to see how this might fit into my own training plan. In 2012 when I first qualified for the Boston Marathon I was definitely in an upswing with my racing seeing many PR’s including my Boston qualifier. 2013 after Boston I had to work to regain my running shape after my bout of tendonitis and this year I finally feel like I have regained some speed.  Now that the majority of my racing is done for the year I am excited to refocus and set new goals for next year.  I am hoping to pick up some speed again come next spring and summer and know that I have some work ahead during the winter months.

Have you ever heard of the Maffetone Method? Do you use a specific training method? I’d love to hear all about it!

Organic Runner Mom

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Tips for Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Tips for Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Tips for Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when I start to feel S.A.D. As the leaves fall, the sun begins to set earlier and the air begins to change. Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. is a disorder that affects people during this time of year.  This disorder is thought to be caused shorter periods of sunlight which increases melatonin and in turn disrupts regular sleep cycles (SOURCE). S.A.D. is a form of depression and can cause fatigue, sadness, lack of interest, irritability, and other symptoms similar to depression with the key characteristic being that Seasonal Affective Disorder improves as the daylight hours get longer in the spring.

When this time of year hits, I start feeling exhausted and have those unexplained feelings of sadness that can creep in. Through the years of living in New Hampshire and dealing with S.A.D. I have picked up some important strategies for coping with this disorder. It is important to monitor and manage S.A.D. to ensure good health and wellness during the long winter months.

Here are some ways to cope with S.A.D.

  • Light therapy. Portable light boxes and dawn simulators provide your body with wavelengths of light that you miss out on during days with shorter daylight.
  • Soak up the natural light! No matter what the weather is like I always try to get outside at least for a little bit to take advantage of the benefits of the Vitamin D that your body absorbs from the sun.
  • Stay active. Keeping my body moving through exercise to get the natural rush of endorphins can be a mood booster
  • Laugh More! Playing with my kids and giggling or laughing with friends provides a natural boost of serotonin to create greater feelings of positivity.
  • Add more lean proteins such as fish into your diet. Fish contains higher levels of Omega-3’s which can give your more energy.
  • Keep your sugar intake low so as not to create sugar highs and lows.

[Tweet “Struggling with the change in seasons? Here are some tips for coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder.”]

I hope that you are not S.A.D. too but if you are struggling with this like I do I hope these tips have helped you.

*disclaimer: I am not a medial doctor. Please consult with a physician if you are struggling with depression and in need of help.

Organic Runner Mom

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