Author Archive for Jennifer Navarrete

Food: Adding Not Taking Away

When I sat down with Dr. Ho and Dr. Q from Pinnacle Wellness, I told them of my stubborn streak when it came to food. I still wanted to eat my breakfast tacos. I would rather cycle an extra 5 miles than give up my Whataburger. They advised me to add a piece of fruit before that breakfast taco and add a salad before that Whataburger.

Immediately I liked their suggestion of healthier eating. I am not one for diets. To me they are limiting, restrictive and not a realistic way I will eat for the rest of my life. However, by adding fruit and salads to my daily meals instead of taking the stuff-that-tastes-good-but-is-bad-for-you away, I do not feel like I am missing out on anything. It sounded reasonable so I went about my merry way and began to implement the “adding not taking away” strategy.

Fruit Salad by Petr Kratochvil

Fruit Salad by Petr Kratochvil

Here is an example of the small changes I made over the last couple of weeks. When I sat down for a post-ride breakfast with my fellow lady cyclists, I ordered the breakfast plate that had eggs, sausage, toast AND a cup of fruit. The meal was satisfying and by choosing to eat a meal that included a fruit cup, I also noticed I felt full but not bloated full.

The one thing that I have changed in kind of a big way is to dedicate one meal of the day to a salad. I am not talking about a no-nothing salad that is more air than meal. Not at all. I order a grilled chicken or crispy chicken salad and don’t skimp on the dressing. I have even taken to making my home cooked meals this way. I’ll get a big bowl of mixed greens and pile on the pork fajita or grilled chicken breast or whatever meat we have in the house and eat a satisfying and filling meal.

Let me tell you something. I do not feel like I am missing out on a thing. I am still eating Philly Cheesesteaks, egg and cheese sandwiches during other meals. Let’s not forget those Whataburgers and breakfast tacos. I know Dr. Ho and Dr. Q mentioned giving sweets up, but let’s be realistic. My cup of coffee would be lonely without that slice of pie.

Here is what I have noticed: I feel good. Post-meal, my soft middle area is not sticking out as much. I am guessing this has to do with the lack of a bloated full feeling. I don’t know, but I plan on asking Dr. Ho and Dr. Q all about it when I visit them next week.

I have to wonder if all these years, I’ve been stubborn about food for no reason. The true question for me will be can I stay on this “add not take away” plan? So far, it looks like an easy thing to do. Only time will tell.

Have you ever made a simple change to your meals and noticed positive results?

Health: Learning About Nutritional Supplements

For this Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest interview, I sat down with Penny Muckelroy who is an Independent Associate with USANA Health Sciences, Inc. She shares the benefits of nutritional supplements when it comes to whole body health, information about USANA’s pharmaceutical grade production facility and how she helps her clients starting with a Health Assessment.

Disclosure: Penny Muckelroy will be providing me with nutritional education and supplement recommendations based on the findings of my Health Assessment.  I will share my personal experiences through blog posts, audio and video which will be posted here on the site as well as on YouTube.

Interview: Chatting with Dr. Ho and Dr. Q from Pinnacle Wellness

In order to get/be/stay healthy I need to know where I am now on the health scale. So, on the recommendation of my good friend and fellow cycling bud, Penny Muckelroy, I sat down with Dr. Ho and Dr. Q from Pinnacle Wellness. I wanted to find out more about their practice philosophy as well as what someone my age (ugh, can’t believe I just wrote that phrase) should be doing when it comes to leading a healthy life.

Disclosure: Pinnacle Wellness will be providing me with services for the health portion of my Health | Fitness | Beauty Quest. I will share my personal experiences of my weekly visits through videos which will be posted to here on the site as well as on YouTube.

Defining Beauty

As mentioned in the introductory post, I started the Health | Fitness | Beauty Quest as a purposeful look at what each of those things mean to me. It has since grown to include some near and dear friends. It is now a collaborative search each of us are doing. We share our own thoughts on what each of those aspects means and by sharing we are each learning and growing.

Creating Album Art

I am recording some quick audio posts on this topic as well as updates on my fitness training. The podcaster in me couldn’t stand to have audio posts without having album art to represent “the show.” So, yesterday I came up with a logo using a public domain background image and some clipart. You may have seen me share it on Facebook as well as the originating audio post.

I showed it to my graphic designer husband who offered some helpful suggestions to make the image pop. He suggested adding a second layer to the background, adding a bevel to the icons and moving the text up and away from icons. I thought it looked better, but wanted to get the opinion of my fellow contributors.

HFBQ Side by Side ComparisonI shared it with the ladies and received a question from Susan regarding the third image of a skinny shapely body as the representative image for beauty. In my mind, skinny does not equal beauty so I could see the reason for the question. After all, the point of this quest is to figure what it means for each of us. And I do think that health, fitness and beauty mean different things to us at different stages in our lives.

Back To The Drawing Board

As I mentioned earlier, I pulled these images from a clipart collection.  So, I began looking for an alternative image to stand for beauty. I looked at butterflies, flowers, women’s faces and nothing fit. It wasn’t until I came upon a clipart collections of people that I found what I was looking for. It was titled “Jumps” and in this collection I found a vibrant joy-filled woman who is jumping in the air.

The AHA! Moment

HFBQuest Album Art V5To me she represented the feeling of beauty. And that was the moment that I began to understand more about what true beauty represents to me. I could look fabulous on the outside but feel crumby on the inside and I will not have a sense that I am beautiful. However, If I feel fantastic on the inside physically, spiritually and emotionally then my own unique beauty will shine through.

Now that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t need to wash my face or fix my hair, but inner beauty is like a light shining inside that gives us that special glow and makes us want to jump for joy.

I want to thank Susan for questioning me and making me spend more time to dig deeper to find the right image. In doing so, she helped me begin to understand more about a beauty that is far beyond a small waistline. May your own journey to health, fitness and beauty be equally enlightening.

 

Triathlon Training: Running


HFBQuest Album ArtOn October 26, 2013 I will be participating in my first ever triathlon. The Martindale Tri is the oldest triathlon in Texas. It is a 7 mile run/16.5 mile bike/5.5 mile kayak. The kayaking vs. an open water swim was what attracted me to this particular race.

Today I began the run portion of my training using the Couch to 5K podcast.

Nike+ First Tri Training Run photo

 

Fitness: I’m A Runner

I have never been much of a fitness buff. In high school I was in the marching band (yes, I was a band geek). I was not a natural athlete, so running or cycling or swimming or tennis or basketball were just not on my list of things to do for fun. This mindset carried on until I got older.

The Challenge

In my 30’s my mother challenged our family to run a half-marathon. My first thought was, “She’s crazy.” The only way I could imagine myself running was if a big man or a big dog were chasing me. Even then, I doubt I would run 13.1 miles to escape. At some point, I would have just given up and let the dog gnaw on my leg and the big man take my purse.

My mother was no fool, so she offered us a bribe. If we actually trained, we would get an all expense trip to run in Phoenix, Arizona’s Inaugural Rock-n-Roll Half-Marathon. Hmmmm….I had never been to Phoenix before and if running would get me there then maybe I should give this some serious thought. She knew she had me hooked and the training began.

The Training

My first run was a painful and gasping experience. I thought I was going to keel over. My mother and sister encouraged me and offered running tips. I both appreciated and despised their advice during our running sessions. It was frustrating to be so bad at running yet during each outing I could tell I was getting better. Well, by better I mean less grouchy and windbag gaspy.

I remember the first time we had to cancel a training run and actually missing the feeling of running. I wondered if I was going loco. I should be thrilled that I didn’t have to put myself through another torturous run, but I was actually sad about it. That’s when I knew that maybe there was a runner in me after all.

The Race

The only picture I could find of me running the Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Marathon

The only picture I could find of me running the Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Marathon

The morning of the Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon was mild by Texas and Arizona standards. The highs were expected to be in the lower 70’s. My sister stayed with me up until around mile 3 when I told her to go ahead and run at her own pace. I knew I was going to slow in comparison to my mom, brother and sister so I was already prepared to run at my own tortoise pace.

Between mile 7-9, I hit that wall that everyone talks about. My mind and body started an all out complaint fest: “This isn’t fun anymore. I’m tired. Who thought this was a good idea?” There are more thoughts that are of the Rated R variety that floated around in my head. Luckily we had trained using the John Galloway 5/1 method. I ran (slow jogged) for 5 minutes then walked 1 minute. I did that for the whole 13.1 miles. So during the mile 7-9 wall period, I tricked myself by saying, “You only have to run for 5 minutes.” This mind trickery got me out of that slump and back on track. By mile 11, I felt like I was on top of the world.

The Finish

I finished that 13.1 miles in about 3 hours, 6 minutes and 51 seconds. It wasn’t great time by normal standards, but to me who had never done anything like this is was a very beautiful thing. I wore my finishers medal with great sense of accomplishment. It was with head-held-high-and-chest-puffed-out pride that I told family and friends “I’m a runner” whenever they mentioned how great I looked. That started a period of time for me of running. I completed 3 half-marathons and countless 5K’s and enjoyed the experience of being a runner.

 

Making the Announcement


On this fall-like morning I road my bike to a neighborhood trail. As I walked in the early morning light, I took the opportunity to recorded this audio post. It seems fitting that this quiet start marks the beginning of what I predict will be a whirlwind of change in my life.

What is the Health | Fitness | Beauty Quest?

You may be wondering how you found yourself here. And I am not just talking about here on this site. I am talking about the place you are at this exact moment. No not the office chair or sofa where you are sitting comfortably. How did you wind up at the exact health, fitness and beauty state you are in right now?

The Wild Years

When I asked myself this question many images and thoughts floated around in my head. I thought about binge drinking in my 20’s. Eating habits that were less than healthy (Whataburger has me to thank, in part,  for their continued success). In my younger days, I tried diets and the latest ephedrine based pill that would “melt those pounds off and give me energy to last all day!” I went to “Diet Dr’s” who gave me prescription pills for weight loss along with a Vitamin B-12 shot to give me a boost. Sure, I’d loose a few pounds and feel great until I stopped taking those pills. The truth was, I was not disciplined in anything I was doing.

Growing Up

My 30’s were a time of great spiritual, emotional and mental satisfaction. The binge drinking of youth turned into the more mature occasional social drinking and the dieting yo-yo was put on permanent hold.  My health improved but I still considered it in a state of flux. Nothing too dramatic. Just not what I considered ideal. From teen to adult I was dissatisfied with body image, but looking back I can see that it really wasn’t bad at all. There are so many societal pressures on what anyone should and shouldn’t look like that we miss the beauty that is there plain as day. Hindsight is truly 20/20.

Personal Enlightenment

image by Karen Arnold

image by Karen Arnold

In my 40’s I think I have found what I consider to the sweet spot. At least a state of being that I consider the sweet spot. At this age, I have confidence in who I am as a human being on planet earth. I can honestly say, “I like who I am.” You may think that statement is no big deal, but for me it was profound.

I am in a place and time where I want to be the best version of myself that is possible. Now that doesn’t mean I want to look like a super model or even like the latest Hollywood It Girl. Not by a long shot. What it means to me is being healthy, physically fit and my own unique version of beautiful.

This is a new mindful and purpose filled direction. Having fun is key. The goal is lifestyle based which can be sustained for a lifetime. As I move forward, I am prepared to be fluid and adjust as I learn more about myself and increase my health, fitness and beauty knowledge.

When I was sharing my vision with some friends recently they expressed an interest in joining the conversation. So, what started out as a one-woman journey has become a collective adventure. I am thrilled they are joining me in this quest and hope you will consider adding your own voice to the story.

UPDATE:

The response to the Health, Fitness, Beauty Quest has been overwhelmingly positive. I thank you for your support, words of encouragement and sharing your own stories. Below is the post from Facebook along with all of your wonderful comments.

HFBQ FB Post