Birthday Wonderings

So, I am sitting in the cafe section of a building on campus waiting for my next class and eating a grapefruit. As people walk in, eyeing the weird girl with juice all over her laptop, I am deeply absorbed in my own thoughts. Today is my 21st birthday. It is finally here, the big 21.

Now, I am not a big “write your goals down on your mirror” or one to stick (or make) New Year’s Resolutions, but over the past week, I have made some changes to my life that I want to maintain for the next couple of years. As I look back over the last year, or even the last week, I realized that I have found myself happier than I usually am. Now, dont think I am the Grinch before dancing/singing found me, but I am not one to always have the beaming smile on my face, especially when my dad east my Kashi cereal. Though I still have some things to figure out, and many more goals to check off my list, I think I am finally becoming the person I am supposed to be. Not too bad for a college junior eh?

  • FOOD: As you all know, if you have read my last posts, I have been playing around a lot with my nutrition. Two years ago I became a vegetarian, mostly because I didn’t eat much meat in the first place, my mom is a veg., and I wanted to cut something out of my diet that I thought was unhealthy (yet I still ate ice cream every week?). Over the summer, obsessed that dairy was the devil, I went vegan (food only-no way was I getting rid of L.L Bean boots!). While in Africa, I basically starved trying to make veganism work, while coming across the 80-10-10 diet-or the raw food diet. Ya. That lasted the rest of summer, doing well until dinner, or until we went out for lunch/dinner or ordered pizza. I did well i think, eliminating the bags of mm’s I usually have duck taped to my person and the daily bowl of moose tracks ice cream, but I wasn’t happy with my food anymore. I was dreading eating! Especially after long runs when I usually look forward to huge egg omelets or pancakes. And, the main thing I was so sick of the hassle! Can i eat this? Does the restaurant have this without dairy? etc, etc. Me, the relaxed, easy-going one of the family was the high maintenance one! So, from all this I have decided to give it all up. I am  no longer sticking to a diet, or not eating a bag of MM’s when I’m in the mood. I have incorporated some fish back into meals, but have not decided 100% on how much or what other kind of meats I want-basically I am just going to go by ear, or stomach. I am still a huge health nut, drinking my protein shakes and not eating processed food-but the food nazi is out the door and the happy, now I can have a cookie girl is back in!
Sweet potato with coconut sugar!

Sweet potato with coconut sugar!

My lunch after my run yesterday. A little messy omelet on an english muffin and a chocolate covered oreo- b-day present from my mom!

My lunch after my run yesterday. A little messy omelet on an english muffin and a chocolate covered oreo- b-day present from my mom!

  • RUNNING: This is the best part. I am addicted to running and not afraid to say it! It used to be, I got up and sometimes did not feel like running, even if I already had a rest day earlier in the week. Now, I look froward to every run, and have a blast each time. I have been running with my friends more, training a girl through her first marathon, and joined the IU Run CLub. I think this has really helped, yet I am still getting to used to the running in the evening thing, I prefer morning runs. From my last post, my mom and I competed in our first ultra-marathon, the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler in Wisconsin. You can go back and reda my race recap, but because I had so much fun and had some umph left in me, I have decided to train and run the Indiana Trail 50 and 100 miler next April. I am also pacing a friend who will be running a 150 mile race also in April, (hopefully my finals will be easy that semester)! I am entering the world of ultra-running, excited and ready to go. I listen to Trail and Runner Nation podcasts on my way to class and just bought my first running skirt for my long runs in the trails! Or for my Chicago Marathon debut :). Running has become a part of me, something that makes me happy, fit, healthy, energetic, and most importantly has made the relationship with my mother even stronger than it is has ever been.
New Shoes for the Chicago Marathon! Switched over to New Balance for road and trail now.

New Shoes for the Chicago Marathon! Switched over to New Balance for road and trail now.

  • SCHOOL: Though my school work and jobs takes up most of my free time, I am paper-boy1really enjoying everything I am involved in. Classes are going well, though I enjoy my English classes a lot more than my journalism classes, why not we get to read and talk about literature all day! I am working as the IDS Carrier, or paper girl as I like to call myself, every morning for about 2 hours. I get up up at 4:45 a.m and is done by 7:15. Though it is getting chilly outside, I do like the job a lot, being a good way to get money, and not take up much of my day. I just turn the radio up and let my mind wander as I count and throw papers. I am also working as a mentor through the  school, which takes up a lot of time, but is a great opportunity to develop good leadership skills, etc. It is still pretty early, so I dont think I have made much of an influence on my mentees yet! The only thing still weighing on my thoughts is what to do after graduation. Law school, grad school, or move out west and hope for a job on a magazine. Anyone know if Trail Runner is hiring??
  • STRENGTH TRAINING: Sine I have been running so much, I felt like it was time to start incorporating some cross training into my routine. So far, I have made it to the gym twice last week and three times this week, yay! I have set up a routine-that I mostly sticking to. After work, which ends by 7/7:15, I drive over Tuesday-Thursday. I am trying to focus on arms, back, abs, and hips, and some legs. And of course, because of my obnoxious, competitive attitude that I think is getting worse, I have incorporated protein shakes, a log of my weights, and have been reading up on weightlifting blogs. I am not saying I want to be some intense woman weightlifter, and I have no desire to do Crossfit, but getting a more muscled, lean body is another goal I hope to accomplish by age 22.
  • Here is a link to a trainer, Lindsay Cappotelli. I have been following her blog for a while and love seeing her progress!  http://lindsaycappotelli.blogspot.com/

So there are probably more things to add, and more rambling to do, but I am ready to get started on these “resolutions” for the upcoming year. I am looking forward to the next stage of my life fitter, happier, and with a nice beer by my side.

30 Bananas a day!!

Eating vegan in Kenya is more difficult than I thought it would be. Eating raw fruits and vegetables in Kenya, is just impossible.

I have never been a huge Youtube person, looking at upcoming movie trailers was about it.

But, thanks to the many of free hours I have after reporting and transcribing work, I feel like have been surfing the web for the last two weeks straight. Though I prefer not to admit to this, I like to think I am not addicted to the internet, I am thankful I have been glued to the screen.

A couple of days ago I came across a couple of websites all focused on the raw food diet, such as FoodnSport and 30bananasaday. I also found many documentaries on the annual Woodstock Fruit Festival that were really fun to watch.

But the point is, I think I am hooked. I have reading up and watching everything I can find on this 80-10-10 and Raw Till 4 lifestyle. I have heard about it in the past, being a fan of the ultrarunner, Michael Arnstein AKA The Fruitarian, but I never really looked into it.

If you do not know what it is, 80-10-10 Diet is a book written by Dr. Doug Graham a raw foodist. The diet is comprised of 80% of food is from carbs, 10 from fat and 10 from protein. So, basically all you eat is fruits, veggies, and occasionally some grains and nuts. Look this guy up, he is in amazing shape!

I also found the interesting character, Freelee, The Banana Girl. She is a raw foodist and founded the 30bananasaday website and Raw Till 4, where you can eat all raw foods until dinner where you eat carbs. She is hilarious and extremely inspirational.

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So I do not know if it is the hours of brainwashing or the fact that I am away from home and not getting to eat the foods I typically have, but I am hooked! It seems so simple; just eat fruits and veggies. I have been doing that anyway since becoming vegan!, easy right?

Not so much, when you are living in a foreign country with many other guests living in the same small compound as you are.

I have been trying though, and would put my diet at about 70% raw. Not too bad, but not too good. Being just one of the many people living here, the ability to eat enough bananas and other fruits in the day, or even breakfast, is posing a challenge. The banana girl will eat 10 bananas for breakfast, I on the other hand was able to snag 6 for breakfast and two for later in the day, before the stock dried up.

The other day when my class went to the market I stocked up on oranges and apples, which I am trying to last the week. 5 oranges and 4 very tiny apples for the week. Ya, the diet is not going so well.

So for the sake my health and growling stomach I have reached the decision to eat as healthy as I can which I do anyway, and save the real transition to all raw for Indiana.

I am so excited to begin though. I even looked in the pantry for a blender yesterday. A blender! In Africa! (I found one but it did not work, it looked pretty old and dusty)

I am also waiting to tell my parents about this new lifestyle till I get home and they have a beer in front of them. They already think I am crazy for being vegan.

But I really wanted to write this because I fell like I cannot describe my current craze while here in Africa. The girls already think I am weird for running in the morning and not eating the supposedly amazing banana cake that the cooks make for dessert.

And I ask, has anyone else seen this diet? What do you think of it? And better yet, is anyone on it??

Learning and changing! Part 1

Learning and then changing or changing and then learning?? For me this week, I am focused on learning and then changing. Changing my diet, my lifestyle, my career goals, and hopefully myself for the better.

Change #1: Veganism: For some reason (and due to I have been watching many Youtube videos on Scott Jurek) I hvae been thinking more and more about becoming a vegan. I hvae been a vegetarian for a little more than a year and I hvae to say, I really missed meat maybe once or twice. I have no desire to eat it any more and that is the way other foods are becoming to me. I picked up the book, Eating Animals” again by Jonathan Safran Foer after stopping for some forgetful reason. I read last night with one of my cats purring on my stomach and I just could not believe what I was taking in.

I am still researching everything, becuase I am a nerd and love to look up books on Barnes and Noble, and I realized how difficult this will be. Even today as I was making my lunch, I spread a pesto sauce on my sandwhich without knowing that parmasean cheese is the main ingredient. I think the hardest part for me wil be giving up chocolate, and things from a restaurant, like pancakes, muffins and Starbucks that include milk and eggs.

So, my plan is to continue to read and research and finish out the yogurt in my fridge (I am a college student with no money remember) and start this new change in May. One thing I am going to have to think about is my month-long trip to Kenya and the options offered me there, but it’ll be good!

When reading reviews of Eatin Animals I came across this [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-portman/jonathan-safran-foers-iea_b_334407.html] a review of the book by Natalie Portman. After reading Portman, a 20 yr-old vegetarian became a vegan. I am only a third of a the way done and my mind is changing as well.

When reading Scott Jurek’s book, the whole time I just wanted to go out and run and then cook. COOK. That is a foreign, bizarre concept in the Campbell family. (Sorry mom, you know it is true.) My parent sdo not cook and when I was little I came home on my first day of Kindergarten and was so excited to inform my parents that there were actually three meals in a day, not two!

Cooking will probably be the most frustrating and nerve-fracking part of this transformation but something I can get on board with…slowly.

Wrapping up my long ramble, wish me luck in this difficult and fulfillling journey. And if anyone has any tips I would greatly appreciate it!

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