Mary Eggers

Date archives January 2014


Whole 30 whatever forever whoever whenever

Nutrition. It’s a big hot button right now.

I began Whole30 way back in October. Since then…. maybe I was just jumping on a bandwagon that was about to hit….. maybe I am a trendsetter (HA) it seems everyone is doing it. At the same time, it seems everyone is hating on those who do it. Throughout this whole experience I have maintained this:

I don’t care what you eat, I care what I eat.

I find it entertaining to be honest. People get downright upset when you say you’ve given up dairy, sugar and grains. They accuse (yes, accuse, like nutrition is an accusation) you of being paleo, being crazy, being on a fad diet. They tell you “Just eat healthy”. And that… is the point I just don’t get.

Tell me how increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is not healthy? Tell me how that… is deprivation?

My stance on the whole crazy controversy is this: don’t worry about what other people say or think. If you are someone who is not interested in Whole30…. don’t be. If you are…. be interested. What I personally love about it…. it’s whole food nutrition. There is not a shake, powder or even a vitamin to buy. There is no automatic delivery of boxes of anything.

I have learned so much through this process. When I said I did not know how to cook prior to October…. I mean I really didn’t know how to cook. Each week I have tried one new food. Since October I have been eating kiwi, papaya, butternut squash, sweet potatoes. Those were NOT in my diet at all! I ate healthy, but I ate the same fruits and veggies. Now I vary. I learned how to cook. I used to cook with cooking spray. Now I cook with coconut oil and ghee. I make things, dishes!!! I have a food processor now, I have a knife set for the first time in my life! I know how to slice an avocado and I even tried clams (not a big clam fan still).

I don’t know how all of that…. is a fad. Is a gimmick. Is a trend. What I do know…. it’s changed my life in a very positive way. I love the way I FEEL.

On my birthday I had birthday cake and ice cream. Not Paleo-ified. Real. It was fine. I didn’t die.

I am not interested in what label this has. I call it Wholeforever because of that very reason. I don’t really have any rules, it doesn’t have any rules to be honest. The whole concept is figuring out how it works for you. It works really well for me. And I share my experiences. That’s what I do here.

The hot button of nutrition is sometimes intriguing to me. When someone gets upset enough to make any kind of statement about your nutrition I think: they must have too much time on their hands. Don’t like it? Just move along. I am all for people being healthy and finding what suits them and fits their life.

Two points I did want to make about sugar and fueling:

¬†Sugar: During my first 2 stints of Whole30 I thought a lot about what I could NOT have. 90 days down the road…. I don’t. On my birthday I had cake. And I moved along. I don’t think about cookies or things like that. While I wasn’t controlled by them before, I thought about that stuff in the beginning and now it’s an afterthought. Many ask me if it gets better. It does.

 Fueling: I am still tinkering with this. I sometimes fuel with powerbar, I lean towards Osmo and Lara Bars (because I can grab them at Wegmans). I feel good either way to be honest. I am interested in working more with Osmo because I like what they are about.

I just read the Paleo Athlete which is influenced by Whole30. Most of it I already know and already do. I understand workout windows and glycogen replenishment. I understand the effects of sport product on the body. I have QT2 and the Core Diet to thank for that education. The book is great…. but it’s a review of what I already know.

When it comes to nutrition… make it work for you. Not what works for a trend. Not a quick fix. Use your common sense. If it doesn’t fit you, I have the easiest solution ever: don’t do it. It’s truly THAT easy.

Here are some of my favorite resources, which anyone can benefit from:

The clothes make the girl: Great recipes, a whoel30 meal plan, and she’s the author of two great cookbooks, Well Fed 1 and 2. I like 2 even better.

Nom Nom Paleo: Another great site for great recipes. Careful, the word Paleo is in there!

Ultrarunnergirl: This is an ultra runner who fuels on the Whole30 theme.

I see trails: Another ultrarunner who lives the Whole30 / Paleo life.

And of course the newly designed Whole30 website. Poke around in there for ideas, inspiration, etc.

A few years ago my health fell apart. My motivation for all of this was to put it back together. At 40 years old I feel better than ever. If that’s not reason enough for me to change my nutrition…. I don’t know what is. So keep on keepin on. Whichever way it works for you. Need some support? Guidance? Our facebook page called Eating Cleaner has been a wonderful growing community! Join us here!





Speedskating, Lesson One

Saturday I turned 40. And I did something I have been saying I would do for years. I took a speed skating lesson.

Why haven’t I done it before? Ironman was my favorite excuse. Didn’t want to mess that up. Today I have a wall filled with plaques and medals and a burning desire to skate. I don’t know why, something about it intrigues me. But I am tired of saying “One day I will.” Maybe that happens when you hit 40?

Lessons are given during two sessions of the speed skating season (which runs Sept – March) by the Rochester Speed skating Team. The first session was in November, and this second session began on my birthday and runs for four weeks. For $100 (a $50 deposit is for the skates, you get it back) you learn from some of the best coaches around. Lessons are held on the rink at Genese Valley Park.

I spent three hours on the ice in hockey skates this week just to get my feel back for the ice. I have a long way to go.

I walked in as the team was ending practice. It was myself and three adults, and several kids. The team was on the ice. Ages ranged from the very young to the very mature (now that I am 40 I won’t say old, but there were some amazing mature skaters out there skating circles around the youngins!). I could have watched them for an hour. I may come earlier next week and do just that. Unreal.

I got my loaner skates on and took a deep breath. These blades are long, thin and the boot is ankle height. I was so nervous.

Beth… one of the coaches and one heck of a skater herself gave us the run down of how things would go. She directed us to hop out on the ice and skate around. So we did. I was shaky at best for a good ten minutes. These were a different feel than the skates I was using for the past week.


My skates for the next four weeks!

A woman came up behind me and introduced herself. She explained to me that in hockey and figure skating you push more off the front of the foot. In speed skating you find the middle to back of the foot and push off almost from the heel. She was so so comforting. Soon after another woman joined her and they just skated around with me for a bit.

I have to say that in swim, bike and running circles…. when we meet people they typically list off their accomplishments. “Hi I am Mary and I am an 8 time Ironman finisher.” is what you usually hear. Myself included. Not here. They could have been world champions and they never said anything but… hi… welcome….. let us help you…. what brought you here? Another man came up and asked if I was a triathlete. I didn’t want to admit that I was, I don’t know why! He assured me I would be fine.

Coach Tom gathered us up on center ice. A bit prior to that he asked where Mary was. I told him it was me….. he said that he ran with a friend of mine, Jim. Jim told him to beat up on me. JIM!!!!!!!!!

Tom went through the basics of speed-skating. We first learned the basic position. Photo below from this link.

Basic position

Oddly enough….. that position was relatively easy for me to hold. As a cyclist and a yoga teacher who spends a boatload of time in chair pose…. it feels natural. I had to work at allowing myself to fall into the center and back of my foot. I also had to focus on rounding my back. Otherwise it felt good.

The rest…. notsomuch.

We cycled through some drills. Against the boards (with pads) and on the ice. I have a lot of practice ahead of me. It will do nothing for me to only go once a week and not skate in between. I committed to myself on this one. Four hours a week on the ice this week. Oddly again…. the rink time near my house falls in a crazy good time during my day.

How does it fit in with triathlon training? It seems to fit in well. It seems a bit more forgiving. The endurance and strength aren’t the issue. I have those I lack technique and skill. I have a huge amount to learn. I need to get comfortable on these skates and these blades. I need to feel the inside and outside and even the middle.

I have to crash a few times. I have to stop being afraid of that to happen. The more time I spend on the ice the more I will stop thinking and start feeling it.

I love the way skating has felt on my body. Like I said it doesn’t beat me up. I love the sound…. or lack thereof. I love the feeling. In a strange way it’s like swimming. There is a rhythm that I want to reach out and grab but have to let come.

I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

When I came home Luc wanted to know all about it. I think it’s important that he see mom try new things. That he see me get outside my comfort zone. He knows how much of a beginner I am at this…. and he’s never really seen me be a beginner. He’s a beginner snowboarder and he’s tentative and reluctant yet he wants to learn so badly. Right now he’s comfortable with getting on his boots and adjusting the bindings. He is comfortable carpet surfing. Last year he did go down the “bunny hill” a few times, but we needed to back up.

If I can learn he can learn. (And trust me I will be boarding with him.) If I can show him that I can get up he can get up.

This next four weeks is NOT going to be easy for me. Nor should it. I have a lot to learn. A lot to master. I am below zero on the scale of 1 to 10. I have my you tube videos, the coaching from Coach Tom and the other amazing skaters I met… and I have a pair of skates for a month. I want to see what I can learn in four weeks, with practice.

Then we will think about what comes next.

Either way it’s exciting to learn something new. To take a chance. To glide across the ice instead of saying…. some day. I wish I would have. I am surrounded by plenty of athletes over the age of 40 who show me continuously that life truly begins at 40.

And I am so ready.