Dec 13, 2013

To Bed, To Bed

Hello dear readers. The time has come to officially put Smaller Sarah to bed. It has been a wonderful two and a half years and I have so appreciated your support and comments. I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a big year for me and my little family and in order to simplify my life and spend my energies where they are most needed, I'm stepping away from this blog permentently.

This does not mean I will stop working towards my health goals. I am always finding ways to recommit to all I started back in June of 2011. I will certainly use the archives os Smaller Sarah to guide me as I move forward and I hope you will too.

I will always continue to blog at La Maison Boheme where I write daily posts about soulful living, interior design, art, motherhood, cuisine, literature, health, radical homemaking and modern bohemianism. If you haven't already, please hop over and become a follower. I'd love to have you along for the ride.

Thank you so much.

Yours fondly,
Sarah Greenman

Dec 1, 2013

Love yourself, and you're set.

"Love yourself, and you're set." 
- Lady Gaga Born This Way

December first. End of the year is upon us and I'm starting, as I always do, to take stock of what has passed. In August, I made an announcement that I would be running my first ever half marathon on February 23rd, 2014. I'm still on track with that goal, but it took me a month or two to really get into the swing of training for it. I guess that's why I set goals far in advance - I know in my heart of hearts that I'll need some time to wrap my head around what I'm doing. 

Then, there comes a time when your wiser self chimes in and says, "Sarah, can it. Stop thinking and head out the door running." And that time is here. Although I took last Saturday through Thursday off for Thanksgiving, I've run the past three consecutive days. Nothing crazy mind you. A mile on Friday, a mile and a half with Charlie on Saturday and 4 miles today, again with Charlie. It feels good to be running again.

Some thoughts:

Charlie's new favorite game is "chase", which is funny for a kid who cannot walk. He scoots around, army style, while the chaser feigns running with heavy breathing and lots of loud footfall. Then Charlie inches his way around the house, looking back periodically, giggling all the while. He loves when I take him for a run, because it feels like a game of chase. He's out in front while I huff and puff - always just behind him. So he starts giggling uncontrollable while we're running and his legs kick in the air as if he's running away. It's the sweetest thing ever.

For me, running is not about speed or distance or time or competition or even getting thin or losing weight. It is about feeling free. When I feel free and in charge of the moment, I can't help but feel deep love and gratitude towards myself. And this feeling, this well of love and gratitude seeps out into every other part of my day. And it's a great reason to simply get up and get out the door. 

On my run this morning with Charlie.

Nov 11, 2013

Intentionality and My Ever-Changing Schedule

I love routine just as much as the next person. And if there is anything I've learned on the Smaller Sarah path, it's that I have to make time to do the hard work of exercising and eating healthfully. But the past 6 weeks of my life have been an experiment in flux and shift.

I have two more weeks left of my Tabata Bootcamp series at PFLH. I'm of two minds about this process. The first is that I love the 30 minute workouts and I, of course, love being in class with Malory. The second is that the extra effort it takes to go online and do all of the little videos and update my food journal is too much for me at this point. I'm an in-person kind of gal and the online stuff, while interesting and helpful when I do it, just becomes another hanging task that makes me feel behind-the-ball and guilty. So, in these last two weeks, I'm going to be as present as I can in class and let the other stuff go.

As I said, this fall has been a game changer for my schedule, and one that I've been looking forward to for a while. With both of my boys finally in school, my mornings are productive and full. I am working, writing, painting and connecting with editors, clients, publishers and friends who are helping me launch my freelance career. These hours are very precious to me and I have been protective of that time. As for exercise, I seem to be having far more success right now just lacing up my shoes and heading out the door for a run. Its easy and freeing and I can do it whenever I have time during the day.

This isn't to say that I won't be taking group fitness classes as I move forward. I love them and can't go without them! Besides... I have a half marathon to run in three months! When the Tabata Bootcamp series is over, though, I'm probably going to re-tool my mornings so that my workouts don't cut into that precious time between 8-11am when my boys are in school and I am free to work from home. As always, my life is an experiment in "making it work".

Mallory and I getting strong at Tabata Bootcamp Class!

Oct 21, 2013

Cool Weather is Running Weather

I'm on day 22 of my Tabata Bootcamp project. It's slow going, but I'm feeling stronger and more balanced because of my workouts. After only 2 weeks of Tabata bootcamp, I lost a half inch off of my hips, waist and chest. My weight did not change, but my shape did! These classes are also helping me prepare my body for the half marathon I'm running in February!

This week I ran 6 miles and walked 5. I've been enjoying the cooler weather and hitting my neighborhood trails in the morning hours. My youngest son Charlie is also enjoying our run and walk routine in the jogging stroller. One of my favorite moments from the week: Charlie was screaming and unhappy for some reason. I laced up my running shoes, wrestled him into the stroller and head out the door for a run. Within moments, he was quiet, relaxed and happily watching the world go by. And so was I. Getting out for a run was a great way to break the crappy house-bound fits.

The "I Did It" List

ran 6 miles
walked 5 miles
improved in almost all categories at my Tabata Bootcamp fitness assessment
snacked on lots of fruit instead of chocolate
complete two paintings and started two more
went on a wedding anniversary date with my husband
hosted 13 graduate students from the theater department at SMU for lasagna dinner

Oct 3, 2013

Tabata Bootcamp

This week, I've begun an eight week program called Tabata Bootcamp at Positively Fit Lake Highlands. The instructors are Mallory Dubuclet and Ann Marie Sager. These two women are so inspiring and dedicated to helping their clients make healthy choices. I love them.

Basically this eight week program is about helping me tone my body, re-energize my life and drop some weight.  At the very least, it's a lot of fun. If you aren't familiar with the term "tabata", here is some quick info:

A Tabata is the name of a particular type of workout program that provides similar health benefits to that of cardio workouts, but Tabata has a bit more kick to it. Instead of hours upon hours of exercise, a Tabata can be completed in 4 minutes. Tabata falls under the category of high intensity training or high intensity interval training.

The basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:
• 4 minutes long (whole Tabata Session)
• 20 seconds of intense training
• 10 seconds of rest
• Total of 8 sessions or rounds

There is a great article at about Tabata workouts if you'd like more information. (Read it HERE.)

The program that I am participating in is called Tabata Bootcamp. It's an all inclusive eight week jump start that involves live classes with the instructors at Positively Fit Lake Highlands, online workout videos and motivational videos, as well as a website that keeps track of my progress, my workouts, my food, my stats and my success. This website can be accessed by me and also by the instructors who can interact with me throughout my day and help me stay on track.  It's kind of awesome.

So this is what I'm doing in addition to my whole foods diet to feel better and get fit this fall. All of this will help me get in shape for my first ever half marathon in February. It will also help me combat the holiday food season, which usually involves me eating enough food to feed Libya. It's going to be a great eight weeks and I'll of course keep you posted about the pitfalls and progress!

Oct 1, 2013

Grocery Store Tour with Megan Adams Brown

This Sunday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with nutritionist and health coach, Megan Adams Brown at my local Whole Foods grocery store. Megan and I met a last month when I covered her home for When I realized she as a food guru, I asked her to re-introduce me to my grocery store with fresh eyes.

Why do I need a health coach to show me around a store? Because I'm in a rut. I love to cook and I love to eat my raw meals as well. But after a while I find myself picking the same things to eat over and over again. I also am aware that I need to plan ahead for healthy fast food. With two children, a heavy work load and a house to keep in order, I frequently get caught with no time and no plan for food. I need a health coach to help me come up with some back up plans so I don't end up in the drive through at McDonalds.

Meet Megan... isn't she lovely?

I want to share a little bit about some of our time together. Of course, it was so comprehensive that I can't include it all here, but I can give you a little taste:

The first thing that Megan and I did was sit down and talk about my lifestyle, about my hopes for optimal health and the issues I'd like help with (all that stuff I just mentioned above).  After a lovely chat, we headed to the produce section because that is where good health begins. More specifically we headed to what Megan called the "wall of greens". Has this section ever been intimidating to you?  It is for me. I always grab some romaine and a bunch of kale and run away. Sometimes I venture into the world of chard, but usually I stick to my old habits. Try something new! Bring it home, cook it up and you just might make a new food friend. Here was my takeaway information from the "wall of greens".

1.  Leafy green things = Awesome for your health
2.  Greens are the building blocks of life
3.  Get them into your diet EVERY DAY

Cooking Tip: if a recipe calls for a certain kind of green you can interchange it with any green.

Shopping Tip: There is always at least one dark leafy green on sale. Megan says she buys whats on sale to keep her budget in check. 

Next, Megan took me to the bulk section. You know, it's the isle with all of the stuff in bins. Instead of getting stuck with big packages of nuts, baking products, grains and spices, you can come to this isle and just try out a little!  Then if you like it you can come back and get more. I usually shop the bulk isle for nuts, but have never considered spices.

Cooking Tip: If you're in a cooking rut, ditch the salt and pepper and grab some Tumeric, Basil, Cumin, Cardamom or anything that sounds wonderful. If you don't know how to use it, hop online and search for recipes.

Shopping Tip: Don't buy your raw honey in jars, bring your own container and get local raw honey from the bulk section. You'll save packaging (less waste), it's cheaper and local honey will help you better defend against allergies than the stuff shipped in from elsewhere.

I came home with a lovely selection of fruits, vegetables and even some new additions to my grocery list like a probiotic supplement, Chia seeds, Hemp Hearts, Ume Plum Vinegar and for a quick snack - Mary's Gone Crackers. I also picked up a spaghetti squash and cooked it for dinner with a little help from THIS post on Megg's blog.  It was delicious!  

About Megan:
Megan received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York where she was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She also has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. You can read more about Megan's offerings HERE.

In her words:
We all have to find the right balance that enables us to get what we want out of our days and our lives. As a holistic health coach, I work with people to help them find balance for themselves and achieve their own personal health goals. Whether it’s to have more energy, lose weight, prevent disease or learn to cook, I work with people to help them take small, manageable steps toward a happier and healthier life.

Megan elsewhere...