39 In life

currently // 02.17.2015

Turning off 

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 ♥



Finding fascinating

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. 

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  • Reply
    02/17/2015 at 5:12 pm

    It’s funny you should mention turning off notifications because my iPhone always vibrated when Twitter notified me, so I turned it off and prefer it! Definitely not as much checking. That birthday party looked like a lot of fun-now I want cake :)

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 1:53 pm

      Yes, it’s so freeing not having notifications on, right?! I turned the vibrate feature off on my phone as soon as I got it; it’s so disruptive!

      Thanks, Amy! The cake was divine!

  • Reply
    02/17/2015 at 5:33 pm

    i have turned off notifications too. i’ve been making an effort to silence the unimportant things that call for attention. funny how this makes life feel so much less frantic.

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 1:58 pm

      That’s it EXACTLY, Kristin… less frantic.

  • Reply
    Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
    02/17/2015 at 6:20 pm

    OMG! Finley’s hat is super cute! That cake looks amazing too!!! I turned off all notifications a long time ago just cause I thought it was annoying things popping up all the time. I think that it was wise too cause I am not constantly on my phone either!! :)

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 2:01 pm

      Amaretto cream deliciousness, Leslie! :)

  • Reply
    02/17/2015 at 6:30 pm

    Love it! My phone is always on silent, so I only look at it when I want a distraction. Although that might not be possible if you have kiddos or a significant other that needs to get a hold of you.

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 2:03 pm

      Yes, exactly, Katie. I think there’s an emergency feature where those notifications can come through… must make sure that’s set up!

  • Reply
    Kendra Krueger
    02/17/2015 at 8:41 pm

    Fun post, Erin! Fascinating about the hair part thing……I have ALWAYS parted my hair on the left. Not sure that I could ever go right side?! Also interesting info on the probiotics. I didn’t know that but I’m going to dig a little more and read about it…….I recently found out that my cortisol levels are really high and I’m in the process of figuring out why. Also started taking probiotics about a month ago so maybe that will help?! And amen to never getting enough Vitamin D here in MN – my sports med doc recently prescribed me a 50,000 unit Vitamin D pill to take once a week(!).

    p.s. your niece is so flippin cute!!

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 2:06 pm

      Isn’t it, though?! My hair always protested when I parted it on the right… it just didn’t want to go that way! I hope everything is ok with your cortisol levels… keep me posted. I hope the probiotics help! Enjoy your sunshiny trip this weekend :) Let’s catch up over coffee when you’re back!

  • Reply
    Danielle @ Eat Primal, Run Hard
    02/18/2015 at 3:43 am

    So much to comment on, where do I begin??!?!

    On Turning Off – on your phone at stoplights??!?! isn’t that illegal….? I use my phone often, but only at home on wifi, I never enable data-roaming unless I need Google Maps. I hate seeing people on their phones, all the time, in public places. What’s the point in going out? Good for you for getting your FOCUS back!

    Happy Birthday Finley!

    I’m interested in reading about your brewing and how it goes. I’m still not sold on kombucha: while I’m sure others have benefitted from it, I either get really tired immediately after drinking it OR get a headache. And I can only drink about half a bottle before this happens.

    I miss x-country skiing so much! Good luck to Nick! Love hot water too! Way to go on representing Cobb!

    On probiotics: that’s a huge dose of bacteria! I also take a probiotic; my recent one is 7 million. There is a significant gut-brain connection in our bodies – Dr David Perlmutter writes extensively about it in Grain Brain. If your gut isn’t happy then your brain isn’t happy. I’ve noticed that my brain functioning, capacity, ability to problem-solve and handle stress has improved greatly since going primal. Another food that will help your gut flora is lacto-fermented vegetables. Those + probiotics will greatly improve the state of your guts. And give you the best bowel movements you’ll ever have! Sorry, I had to put that in there! ;)

    Btw was in MSP airport Monday afternoon for about 2 hours… I felt like I should’ve called you or something. Was thinking of you and Hyedi :)

    • Reply
      02/18/2015 at 12:00 pm

      You’re the best, my friend! I look forward to your next visit to MSP… I’ll definitely pop over to the airport if you have a longer layover; just let me know! Also, hope your grandpa is ok… I’ve been thinking about you and your family.

      Yeah, it’s illegal… shame on me! But, since I turned off notifications, I rarely do it anymore, and it’s so much better. I feel so much more present in my life.

      RE: booch. When I first started drinking it a few years ago, I had to start with a half bottle and work my way up, so give it some time and hopefully your body adjusts!

      YES to the gut-brain connection! They also mentioned in the podcast that our guts contain 80 percent of our body’s serotonin, which is fascinating. Happy gut, happier you, right?! While I eat fairly paleo most of the time (except for toast and the occasional coconut rice), I’m curious to see how I would feel if I went completely primal. Hmm. Love me some kraut! No lie, I could eat a giant helping of it every day :)

      • Reply
        Danielle @ Eat Primal, Run Hard
        02/19/2015 at 4:43 am

        I’ll definitely fly through MSP when I go home again: I was very impressed with Delta service and the MSP airport. You’ll be the first to know when I book my ticket… after my family ;)

        Grandpa is okay, he’s on lots of medication, which has me torn and frustrated.

        Interesting about kombucha: when I had it for the first time at the paleo restaurant in Berlin, I had no reaction. They brew their own. The brand I’ve bought, however, is the stuff that gives me the headache and tiredness. I was going to buy a bottle of Synergy booch in MSP but I only had $11 USD and I thought to myself “What’s the point? I’ll get a headache.” :(

        We eat rice occasionally. Paleo and primal seem divided on rice: some are Team White Rice, others say no. Your choice my friend :)

        • Reply
          02/25/2015 at 2:08 pm

          Can’t wait for your next visit!

          I’m thinking about your grandpa and family… sending love and hugs <3

          Boo for a headache after booch! Maybe if you brew your own you wouldn't one?!

          Whew on the rice! I don't know that I could give up my coconut variety :)

  • Reply
    02/18/2015 at 8:11 am

    Great post! Fascinating about the hair part…So happy you are having good luck with the probiotics! I would like to think they are working for me too!

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks, Jessie! So glad the probiotics are working for you, too!

  • Reply
    02/18/2015 at 10:03 am

    Such a great post! I’m the same way with checking my phone nonstop, even in the car (yes, it’s illegal). I just got back from a great trip where I stayed away from all of my devices. It was so amazing to just be living.
    Finley is adorable and it looks like you put together the cutest celebration! Supermom status :).
    I’ve toyed with the idea of starting probiotics for a while. Maybe this will be the extra kick I need.

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 2:20 pm

      Love that thought… just to be living. I think we forget that when we’re tethering to our devices 24/7. We forget to be present and actually engage with the people in our lives.

      My sister is the supermom :)

      Use the code SWEETSWEAT for 10 percent off at Sound Probiotics :)

  • Reply
    02/18/2015 at 2:37 pm

    Finley is ADORABLE!! I am definitely going to check out “The Purge” article and Sound Probiotics…I’m all about boosting my immunity…especially working with 8th graders ;)

    • Reply
      02/25/2015 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks, Kecia… she’s a little spitfire :) Yeah, you need all the immunity boosters you can get!

  • Reply
    Stacey Kennedy
    02/18/2015 at 2:44 pm

    Hi, Erin! – Love follwing your blog and am always happy when I see a new post pop up in my FB feed :) Big thumbs up on the lemon water. I started doing that in the new year, I add a drizzle of organic honey too. yes, excellent for digestion, more calming than coffee, and while i can’t be positive, I think it’s helped my immune system as well – resisted all the various viruses sweeping through the hospital where I work. Plus – lemon water, great for the skin!

    Tuning out – I went on a Zen hiking retreat this summer in Glacier National Park, naturally there was no connectivity in the back country, but we also practiced “functional silence” so very minimal talking, and we were discouraged from even bringing books as the purpose was to practice presentness and not look for diversion (being without a book for six days was the scariest thing for me! “how will I sleep if I can’t read a few pages at night?”) It was a fantastic experience and very empowering to learn to just BE, and I find myself making often making the concious decisions to not tune out, even in boring or otherwise uncomfortable situations – waiting in line, riding the bus, taking a walk, running at the gym.

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 11:16 am

      Aw, thank you so much, Stacey! Glad to hear lemon water is working for you, too. And, that hike! It sounds absolutely amazing. It’s a hard thing to just BE sometimes, isn’t it? We’ve all become so conditioned to not be present that it takes work to be mindful and in the current moment.

      Hope you’re well! Would love to catch up sometime over coffee and a sheba bar :)

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Happy Triathlete
    02/18/2015 at 3:54 pm

    After reading this, I turned off at least the notifications from social media. I kept text messages only. Finley’s tutu and cake are adorable! Interesting about the hair part (I’m a lefty myself- maybe that’s the athlete’s side?).

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 11:17 am

      Good for you, Kelsey! I still have text message notifications on, too, but all social is off :)

      Isn’t the hair part fascinating?! I like your athlete theory :)

  • Reply
    02/18/2015 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve been super into hot lemon water lately, too! Who knew such a simple thing could make me so happy :) Good luck to Nick this weekend!

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 11:18 am

      I know, right?! It’s always the little things :) Hope to see you soon, my friend! xo.

  • Reply
    02/18/2015 at 9:09 pm

    :-) I always love your posts-you make me proud to be your mom! Good for you about turning off the notifications & I did notice!

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 11:19 am

      And, I’m proud you’re my mom :)

      You did?! Yes! That’s exactly the point… to be more present and not tethered to my phone!

  • Reply
    Luv What You Do
    02/19/2015 at 9:50 pm

    I love my probiotics and hot lemon water in the morning! That birthday pictures is adorable!

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 11:21 am

      A great way to start the day, right?! Thanks, lady! Nieces are the best :)

  • Reply
    02/20/2015 at 9:39 am

    How stikin cute was Finley’s party?!?

    So exciting about brewing kombucha. Cory and I just talked about brewing our own, especially after seeing how much we were spending on it every week (yikes). Hope yours turns out yummy!

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 11:24 am

      I know… the cost alone of buying booch is incentive enough to home brew! I’ll update on mine in my next currently post :)

      My sis knows how to throw a cute party! :)

  • Reply
    02/26/2015 at 8:35 pm

    Are you continuing with the no-notifications throughout February and March? I could probably do it for a while, but then I’d get antsy. :)

    Finley’s cake is amazing. I’d eat ALL the frosting. Setting the bar high for birthdays to come. What a cutie!!!

    I might have to give that hot lemon water a try. I’ve been really struggling with beverages that taste good and aren’t boring lately.

    I always enjoy your currently updates, Erin!

    • Reply
      02/27/2015 at 12:41 pm

      Yep… continuing with no notifications (other than texts) indefinitely :) It gets easier the longer you go without!

      I hope you like the lemon water! Plain water gets is so blah sometimes. Flavored with fresh fruit would be tasty, too :) Hope you’re feeling well! xo.

  • Reply
    Kristin @ SweatCourage
    03/04/2015 at 10:55 am

    I can relate to so much of your post here, erin! I have a serious addition to my iphone and notifications. Reading your post actually motivated me to turn off my notifications for Lent… and I also gave up ‘social media while driving’ VERY bad habit, very very bad. I drink lemon water everyone morning, and ever since my sister told me Giesele drinks it warm, I’ve been doing the same, haha. My Inside Tracker Bloodwork came back as extremely low in vitamin D (I’ll write more on a post), so I’ve been taking 5000 IU daily! Also, supplementing with Iron. Interesting about the probiotics… I’ve never tried taking them and now I am really interested. Does seem like a no brainer:)

    • Reply
      03/06/2015 at 11:54 am

      That’s great you turned off your notifications, too, Kristin! And, no more social while driving!

      I supplemented with 5000 IU Vitamin D a couple winters ago… made a HUGE difference. Not sure what I’m taking now, but it may be that much… either way, it’s helped again! Looking forward to reading your post and hearing more about your Inside Tracker blood work… super cool stuff. (I had low iron a couple years ago, too… it wasn’t fun.)

  • Reply
    03/05/2015 at 6:51 pm

    Hey! I turned off notifications a few months ago too (as well as emails in my lock screen) – SO much better! I was always stressed seeing a huge list of notifications first thing. The hair study thing is really interesting – I go back and forth on my part, depending on my mood! But some years one way, some another. And I enjoy lemon water first thing too, but often just have it at room temp as well – it helps the digestive system I think, or you could use a little ACV also.

    • Reply
      03/06/2015 at 11:56 am

      RE: notifications. It’s a game changer, isn’t it?!

      Thanks for the ACV reminder! I have a forgotten bottle in the fridge… will add that back in! Hope you’re feeling great, lady!

  • Reply
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