Notifications. In mid January in an effort to cut back on screen time, I turned off every single social media notification on my phone. Because I’m constantly on my phone… checking it while waiting at stoplights, in between reading emails, at dinner, in line at the grocery store… ugh. And, though it’s taken some time to not reflex reach for it every five minutes, it’s been incredibly freeing to not constantly be checking it. Because FOCUS. So, if you haven’t turned yours off yet, DO IT NOW. (So, if I don’t respond back immediately on twitter, this is why!)
For an extreme case – and there’s no way I could go this far – read about this woman who unfollowed everyone on her social channel.
Finley’s second birthday! How on earth is she already two?! She makes life so much sweeter ♥
The hair part theory. Did you know this is a real thing?! Yeah, neither did I until I listened to the Desperately Seeking Symmetry Radiolab episode. Apparently, “a hair part has a crucial impact on interpersonal relationships by affecting immediate character appraisal, perceived personality traits, self-perception and self-development!” So, parting your hair on the left is associated with traditionally masculine activities (or activities controlled by the brain’s left hemisphere), while parting it on the right is associated with feminine (or the right hemisphere). Example: Clark Kent and Superman. He goes into the phone booth with a right part and comes out a left-parted Superman. Interesting…
Super unscientific study here, but for most of 2014, I parted my hair on the right; prior to that, I always always parted it on the left. This is reaaaaaally reaching (and most likely completely untrue), but maybe some of my stuckness of 2014 could be attributed to parting my hair on the right?! Doubtful, but I’m now parting on the left and feel… hmm… better. I also want to look in a True Mirror®. Because, weird as it may be, how cool would it be to see yourself how other people see you?!
Kombucha. Finally. I’ve talked about this forever, so it’s about time I’m finally doing it. Coeur Sports teammate Erin sent me a scoby – thank you! – and now my very own home brew is fermenting on the kitchen counter. Cannot wait to flavor and bottle!
The Birkie trail. It was my first time on skinny skis in almost two years (because of last year’s stress fracture)… so much fun! No better place to ski, either, than the Birkie trail. The middle of the woods, with no one around… just… quiet solitude. We’re heading up again this weekend, as Nick’s racing his fourth American Birkebeiner on Saturday!
Hot lemon water. I’ve been really bad at staying hydrated this winter, so in an effort to drink more water, I’ve started drinking a glass of hot lemon water first thing in the morning (along with my espresso). Word is it’s supposed to improve digestion, too, and we all know that my GI isn’t the happiest thing ever, so hopefully this helps.
And, all the Osmo Nutrition… restocked just in time for an uptick in training!
Women for Tri letter. If you haven’t signed the letter to the Women for Tri Board of Advisors yet, visit either Witsup or Women for Tri to do so. It’s 2015, people; let’s end gender inequality in the sport of triathlon! This shouldn’t even be an issue.
Cobb Mobb! After a couple years on an ill-fitting saddle, I bought a Cobb Cycling Fifty-Five JOF last summer before Ironman Wisconsin. Game. Changer. I was so impressed with both the saddle and the customer service (lightning fast emailing and they replaced the flat kit bag that fell off the rear mount during IMWI), I applied for the Cobb Mobb and made the cut! Proud to represent this company this season! (Full disclosure: after this past weekend’s bike fit, I’m switching over to the Cobb Randee for a better bike fit.)
Vitamin D + probiotics. Sunshine has been scarce around here this winter, so I’m back on the daily vitamin D train. And, I’m no stranger to probiotics (the good bacteria!), as I get an almost daily dose via kombucha. But, taking probiotics in pill form is new to me. The guys at Sound Probiotics reached out recently and kindly sent me a couple bottles to test… thank you! The sport formula – formulated with eight strains studied specifically in athletes – contains 25 million CFU per capsule. The benefits: boosted immune system, happier GI and increased nutrient production. Sound Probiotics also contains a beta-glucan, a prebiotic, which works synergistically with the probiotic.
I’m nearing the end of the first 30-day supply Two things: 1) I love that they’re a local MSP company; and 2) after a short adjustment period (some bloating), my gut is starting to feel happier. I’ve dodged the flu and strep that’s been going around, so perhaps the probiotics have helped!
Another interesting nugget on probiotics and healthy bacteria from the Radiolab Guts episode: in a recent study, mice that were given lactobacillus bacteria had half as much stress hormone and had distinct changes in their GABA receptors, which had a calming effect, or as the researcher said, the gut bacteria were essentially sending Valium to the brain. The result: the mice didn’t panic and weren’t quitters during the study’s swimming test. Mice that weren’t given the bacteria… well, they were quitters and gave up in the study, floating instead of swimming.
In another study cited on the podcast, researchers in France gave human participants large doses of probiotics. The results of this one: participants showed a dramatic reduction of stress, anger and anxiety.
So, what does this mean for us as athletes? Taking probiotics not only could help us stay healthier, but could also keep us calmer during those really tough workouts or help us persevere during the last painful miles of a 140.6. I don’t know about you, but doesn’t taking probiotics seem like a no brainer?!
Quote of the week
I’ve been loving Mary Oliver’s wise words lately. Here’s a favorite:
Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
This year, I’m focusing on breathing as deeply as I can, really living this life.