80% Full – Stop Eating Sooner

Since I have started this new program at my gym, I can’t stop thinking about food. It’s Think Out Loud Thursday, and yes…I have been thinking about food. Every hour, every day. Food.

Last week, my nutrition coach advised us to focus on Eating Slowly. This week’s new habit is to focus on being 80% full and stopping there. Sweet Jesus…at this rate, I wonder if at the end of the program, we will focus on being 5% full? Slowly but surely, I am growing to be a more conscience eater.

80 percent full

I wanted learn more about this idea and where this comes from. As of the early 21st century, The Okinawans in Japan have been practicing this concept. They call it, “Hara hachi bun me,” which translates to “Eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full”or “belly 80 percent full.” Now, I know that correlation does not imply causation, BUT!!! Okinawa has the world’s highest proportion of centenarians at approximately 50 per 100,000 people! And, that my friends, is reason enough for me stop eating sooner and take on this new habit of being 80% full!

One thing I did today was split my lunch in half with my sister. Restaurant portions are so huge that often times, it’s not until after we indulge, do we realize how much we inhaled. Habits like this can be easily applied.

Here’s the full post from my Nutrition Coach, enjoy:
80% Full: The Second “Super-Habit”
Today, all we’d like you to do is stop eating sooner than you normally would.
Eating to 80% full is your second “super-habit.” Along with eating slowly, 80% full is one of the two most important habits. This is challenging and that’s OK. It’s normal. We struggle with this habit too. Hang in there, and be patient and persistent.
Your “anchor habit” of eating slowly will help you with eating to 80% full. The better you are at slow eating, the easier 80% full will be.

Here’s what to do today to get started:
Stop Eating Sooner Than You Normally Would. Do you feel vaguely uneasy when your plate isn’t licked clean? Many of us do. “Wasting food” feels “bad.” We don’t stop eating when we’re physically satisfied; we stop eating when the plate is empty. (Which is why it helps to start with smaller dishes.) Most of us continue eating — regardless of whether our bodies actually need that food. That’s why today, at every meal, we want you stop eating just a little sooner than you normally would.


  • Purposely leaving a couple extra bites of your meal on your plate.
  • Shrinking your normal portion size slightly
  • Don’t starve
  • Just stop eating a little sooner than you normally would
  • Remember: Use your slow eating habit to help you. The slower you eat, the easier this will be.
  • Just Eat A Little Less Today
  • You don’t have to get this “perfect” today, or do any complicated math to figure out what “80% full” means. Just eat a little bit less than normal at each meal.

Eating Slowly Makes Everything Possible

One thing at a time, one thing at a time. Last week, I mentioned whined and complained about starting a new fitness program and taking on fear. It’s been slightly over a week and I am still in it to win it! What sets Breakthru Fitness apart from other gyms is the one on one attention and valuable resources, like my Nutrition Coach, Kanda.

This week, she sent out an email, our weekly anchor if you will. With her permission, I wanted to share this with you because I think it’s valuable, something we can all do, and much can be taken away from it. Yes, something as simple as eating slowly! Even me, I am usually inhaling food before I rush off to my next appointment and I was able to eat slower. I hope you enjoy this…Off to the gym, toodles and make it a great weekend!

Habit 1:  

Eating Slowly Makes Everything Else Possible

Chart source: http://www.hypnobusters.com

Here are three key points:

  1. Eating slowly is one of the two most important habits in this entire program.
  1. No matter what else comes at you in life, you can alwaysgo back to simply eating slowly.
  1. Eating slowly and mindfully is more importantthan:
  • what you eat
  • when you eat
  • where you eat
  • who you eat with
  • getting anything else “perfect”

Wow. That’s one freakin’ important habit!

Think of slow eating like your “anchor habit”. 

Eat With Purpose

The only thing we want you to do today is eat a little slower than you normally do at every meal.

Put your utensils down between bites. Take a deep breath (or three) before picking them up again.

Sit down. Take a moment to relax. (Hey, that feels kinda good.)

If you’re busy, try not to eat any of your meals on the run. (In other words, don’t grab something and eat it while you drive to work.) Give yourself an extra 10 minutes to eat before you go.

Whatever your strategy for today, slow down, taste your food, and take your time – every time you eat.


By Kanda Farrar/ Nutrition Coach
Breakthru Fitness

What to do when your doctor can’t see you? Get medical attention and save time & money.

You know you’re adulting when you’re paying special attention at open enrollment. You’re evaluating that matrix with all the numbers, costs, and health care options to choose from. I am not going to complain. Having healthcare is a luxury. It’s just a lot of work and I manage to stress myself out. My evaluation and decision making process includes thinking about all the “what if’s.” What if I break my leg and I end up in the ER this year? What if I need to have some type of surgery this year? What is the best plan for me? I swear, in my twenties I was invincible and hardly ever went to the doctor’s office and never had to think this hard over a health plan.

I was so focused on making a decision and increased costs that I failed to appreciate the overall value of my plan. Since I was happy with Health Net last year, I ended up selecting a Health Net HMO plan this year. A week later my card arrived. I looked at the card and double checked that everything was correct. My name, address, my copay for doctor’s visits and ER visits. BUT this time…I noticed something different…there’s a new line item, Minute Clinic copay. What is this?  At this point, I didn’t bother to check. Well, if you want to save time, money and get immediate attention when you are sick and who does not want all of the above? You need to read this.

Health Net Card Minute Clinic
Be sure to check with your provider and see if they cover or offer a Minute Clinic discounted copay. I know Health Net does!

Have you ever needed a prescription or medical attention, but your doctor is fully booked? You likely have something you’re prone to (whether it’s an ear infection, UTI, sinusitis, allergies…whatever it may be) and you just need the prescription so that you can get better? Call your very qualified doctor but can’t get an appointment? Let’s face it. Any great doctor is almost always booked. Based on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst), your pain and misery level has gone from a 4 to a 10+ in the span of an hour.

Last Friday, I was at a 10+. I was at work and got a terrible infection. Seeing that it was already 2PM, I knew I needed to see my doctor soon or it meant that I would have to go to ER over the weekend. I called my beloved doctor’s office and begged for an appointment.

Me: Pretty please, I need to see him.

Dr’s PA: Sorry, you are going to have to wait until Monday.

Me: Monday?!?!? Sweet Jesus. That’s two days away. I will be dead by then. Can you just have him see me? I can go there right now.*

Dr’s PA: Can you wait…let me see what I can do for you.

(Wait forever)

Dr’s PA: Yeah, we can’t take you…

Me: Seriously?

Dr’s PA: Yeah, you need to go to Urgent Care if it’s that bad. Good luck.

We all know there is not a single thing urgent about urgent care. I was in pain and before I allowed myself to get pissed, something came over me. I remembered that new line item on my Health Net card, it said, “Minute Clinic.” I quickly googled it and in less than 20 minutes, I was meeting with a Nurse practitioner at a CVS pharmacy (only select locations offer this). She diagnosed me, sent my prescription over to the pharmacy and 15 minutes later, I got my antibiotics. A few days later, they also called me to check in on how I was feeling. How amazing is that?

Sometimes we get so stressed over the cost of healthcare that we forget to educate ourselves of the overall value of what our plan may have to offer us. The best part to this whole story is that it’s a complete win all around. Not only did I save on time, it was just about 30 minutes of my time compared to seeing my doctor which is typically a half day ordeal! This is also much more cost effective since the copay is less than what I would normally have to pay to see my doctor.

The entire process was seamless and convenient since I was able to get personal medical attention in a quick and efficient manner. If you like to save time and money, do yourself the favor and check to see if your health plan includes the minute clinic. As mentioned earlier, my Health Net HMO plan provides a discounted rate for this service, but not all carriers cover this. Also, be proactive about it and find out where your closest Minute Clinic is…you just never know when you’re going to need their services. I am so thankful for CVS’s Minute Clinic and that Health Net covers this service at a discounted rate! Now that I know about this, I’m sure that this isn’t the last time I will be there. (Let’s just hope not any time soon).

I realize that in reading this that it sounds like a sponsored testimony for Health Net and CVS’s Minute Clinic and I assure you, it’s not. As you know, I am new to this whole blogging thing. My goal is to ensure that in sharing my experience, you know what your resources are when you may be in desperate need for simple medical attention.

*Yes, I was being a little dramatic but it’s worked before.

Be well friends.

PS: I am feeling much better.

First Half Marathon? 13.1 helpful tips nobody may have ever told you

Unless there is an ice-cream truck, shark or a sample sale, I am not much of a runner. I enjoy a good run when I want to and will be doing my second half marathon in a few days. I am not a pro. I haven’t really trained much but managed to put in a long run today. I thought about how prepared I was last year when I actually trained for my first event.

Take time to enjoy the beautiful view. This is the Seco at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. This view made my long run more pleasant.
Take time to enjoy the beautiful view. I love this view at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Pretty views make everything more pleasant.

If this is your first ever half marathon or if you’re considering doing one, I am sure you have already done your research like any responsible half marathoner would. Unlike me, you have your training schedule and have a really good idea of what you need to do. I wanted to provide you with my list of pointers that I wish I would have known at my first race. I gathered this from friends who are pro marathoners and this is also from my first hand experience. Here are some tips that nobody may have ever told you.

Half Marathon Tips for Rookies

  1. Hydrate. Drink plenty of water weeks before the race.
  2. Trim your toe nails. The week of the run, get a pedicure or trim your toe nails.
  3. Play Dress Up. The week before race day, have a dress rehearsal during one of your long runs. From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, ask yourself how do you feel? Check your visor, head band, arm band, underwear, top, shorts, leggings, socks, contacts, and shoes. Have a trial with whatever you intend to wear on your race day. Does your sports bra fit fine? Does that armband rub against you? Are your socks quitters?Are your sunglasses going to bother you? Make adjustments if need be.
  4. Prevent Chub Rub.  Apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly in areas where you may experience chafing (your armpits where they may rub against your shirt/ tank, upper thighs, etc.)
  5. Layer Up. Since you will be up extra early and it will likely be cold, you may need to dress in layers. Wear a layering piece (one that you don’t mind donating). Take it off and throw it on the ground when you no longer need it. Most well organized races will have volunteers who will do a sweep and then donate your garment.
  6. Nothing New. Race Day is not the time to be experimenting with anything new. Avoid trying anything new the day of and make sure that any chews, energizers, etc…have been sampled and approved by you. There will be plenty of sponsors giving away samples, only take these if you must or if you’re familiar with the product and know you can handle it. You don’t know how many horror stories I have heard from people who did not respond well and had a bad time because of trying a new product on race day.
  7. Don’t zig zag. Why expend more energy and add more distance than you need to? Yes, there is going to be a lot of people…but zig zagging your way in between them is only going to add more distance to your race. I ended up adding unnecessary distance to my run. Don’t do what I did.
  8. Apply the Run/Walk strategy. Apply the run/ jog for 3-5 minutes, and then walk 1 minute strategy. This is supposed to give your legs a break.
  9. Stop at all water stations. Yes, even if you’re not thirsty, grab a water cone. This will force you to slow your roll, as you stop by the water station and at the very least take a sip. You will be glad you did. Oh and be sure to thank the volunteers who got up so early to make sure you’re hydrated.
  10. Do not hold it in. Speaking of water…don’t hold it in. Accept the fact that you will be using a porta potty. Build a bridge and get over it. It’s all good.
  11. Embrace the Moment. Stop and enjoy the view. You’ve put in so much work…so be sure to embrace it. Look at the signage, people cheering you on, everything! Take it all in. –I recall the simplest sign that said, “Run, Auntie, Run!” That was all I needed at that moment. If you’re a people person, make friends. You’re around like minded people who all share the common goal as you, to finish the race!!

    Enjoy the race and those around you. I met Bernie during today's run. A fellow Bruin who also studied Political Science and went to Law School. A retired judge at the young age of 87. We talked about Economics. His wisdom and encouraging words made my day. You just never know who you're going to meet out there.
    Enjoy the race and those around you. I met Bernie during today’s run. A fellow Bruin who also studied Political Science and went to Law School at UCLA. A retired judge at the young age of 87. We talked about Economics and many other things. His wisdom and encouraging words left me inspired. You just never know who you’re going to meet out there.
  12. Stretch. Stretch, stretch, stretch after the run, and then stretch.
  13. Have a salt bath. Soak yourself in an Epson salt bath after the run.

The last pointer, 13.1 is the most important one. Know that you got this. Having this conviction makes a world of difference. Have a great attitude and I am sure you’re going to have an excellent race…you got this!

12 Day Plan* for a half marathon

Happy Friday. With 12 days left until my half marathon, my very kind colleague (Thank you, Dustin) came up with a plan* for me. In case there are any procrastinators out there who may want to take on a half marathon in just twelve days, I thought this may be worth sharing. Here’s my 12 day plan. As Jenny said, “Pray with me Forrest, Pray with me.” I need your prayers. AT LEAST I will have some fun, vibrant, fuchsia and pretty kicks to keep me smiling (I hope).

Flyknit Lunar 3 Women's Running Shoe
Flyknit Lunar 3 Women’s Running Shoe…be good to me.
  1. Rest/Active recovery
  2. Squats 4×15, 30 second plank x 4, walk 2 miles
  3. Practice race plan: 5 min jog/1 min walk for 1hr
  4. Rest/Active recovery
  5. Long run 3 mile jog then 30 – 60 min race practice (do at least 30 keep going up to 1 hr if you feel good)
  6. Rest/Active recovery
  7. Squats 4 x 15, 30 second plank x 4, practice race plan 30 minutes
  8. Practice race plan: 5 min jog/1 min walk for 75 mins
  9. Rest/Active recovery
  10. Squats 4 x 10, 25 second plank x 4, practice race plan 30 minutes
  11. Rest/Active recovery
  12. RACE PLAN run/jog 5 mins speed walk 1 minute
    video reference:
    squat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPYCiuiB4PA
    plank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSHjTRCQxIw

*By plan, I really mean if you failed to plan and have no idea what to do given that you’re pretty damned. You really should not be doing what I am doing.

First fall run

What a great start. I woke up, grabbed my cup of joe, put on my new mulberry running tights, laced my kicks and set my intentions. Mulberry is supposed to be a big color this fall, but we’ll just have to wait and see about that.

First fall run and this swaying palm tree and clouds brought me smiles.
First fall run and this swaying palm tree and clouds brought me smiles.

Fall mornings are my most favorite time to go for a run. I went for my first fall run this morning and it was especially nice. I get so much joy in watching the sun come out to get the day started. The air is crispy, breezy, and the smell of bacon coming from my neighbors home…just perfect.

Oh, my half marathon is just 12 days away. That’s right.  12 days away. And  I JUST started with my training today. I’m doomed. No joke, I AM DOOMED!!! Why I do this to myself? WHY?!? I don’t know. I will do this. Yes, I will!!!