#1: Bike More, and a green giveaway!

So much excitement for one long overdue post. Let’s see! Okay, last week I blogged about my desire to create an atmosphere of growth, with a variety of different goals. Today I want to jot a note about #1: Bike More.

For those who don’t know (99% of you) I’ve been trying to bike to work here in the City. The issue is that I’ve been on a 40 pound, 15 year old clunker of a mountain bike, which works surprisingly well for its age, but left me wanting to take “walk breaks” on 1% grades.  I walked into REI on the first day of its anniversary sale with a knowledgeable friend to check out the options, knowing I’d have to probably pay $1000 for a decent road bike, and there was a Scott Speedster, last year’s model, extra small, on clearance for $519. I bought it.

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That was only 10 or 11 days ago and I am having a full on love affair with my bike. (No name yet – why does everyone keep asking me this?!) I put over 50 miles on it that first weekend on a 20- and 30- mile ride with my parents along the American River Trail. It felt like I was flying, and it was so fun to share that with them as well. Also fun is just how horrible I look in bike shorts – but then again, who doesn’t?

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When I brought her back last week, I upgraded her for my City commute, with a rack on the back so I could start carrying my 30+ lbs of commuter drivel (huge brick of a computer, makeup, straightener, running clothes, and so on) in panniers (bike bags) instead of entirely on my back. Hello, back sweat! I feel like a whole new person.

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Yes, biking home from work is still uphill and not a cakewalk. Yes, biking is rather dangerous in the City and a new bike doesn’t make me any less likely to be flattened by Muni. But at the end of the day, my new bike has made me excited about something – excited about a more pleasant commute that adds an entire hour-plus of exercise to my daily routine, excited about potentially going for a tri, excited about building a new kind of strength. In The Happiness Project, the author says money CAN buy happiness… and I think this was a great purchase. It distracts me from my nagging running injuries and reminds me that even if I can’t be setting any PRs these days, I can be chasing new goals on my new two wheels.

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In other news – I have an exciting giveaway to share with you all! This is right in line with another one of my goals – to think much more critically about what I put into my mouth (AKA return to HEALTHY EATING!). The friendly people at Green Giant and Weight Watchers, via MyBlogSpark, sent me a gift pack with a coupon to try their new Valley Fresh Steamers line. I grabbed the Cheesy Rice and Broccoli from the grocery store a few days ago – they had me at ”Cheesy” – and cooked it in the microwave, just a couple minutes right in the bag and pow! Done.

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I’m occasionally skeptical about frozen foods, but have been increasingly reliant on them as my schedule has gotten crazier and crazier and time in the evening has become so precious. But I feel great about these products – good for you, healthy ingredients yet also prepared quickly! I can honestly say I will purchase these products in the future to have on hand for quick, healthy meals and use their recipes.

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In addition to the coupon, I was sent a pretty dope prize pack. I have had a few lunchboxes here and they’ve all kind of failed me. now I have a sturdy new one, a perfectly sized water bottle, a solar pedometer, and – this is awesome – a big salad container with a fork and knife that snap in to the lid. Perfect way to bring a salad or veggie-friendly lunch to the office. I will definitely be using this and taking advantage of any opportunity I can to eat healthier. It also included a nutrition tracker, which I’ve been using religiously since I received it last week. It’s a pretty well rounded kit for healthy eating/living.

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The fun news – I get to give away another one of these sweet prize packs (Steamers coupon, insulated lunch box, sweet container with fork/knife in lid, ice pack, and pedometer) to a reader. If you are interested, please just leave a comment on this post by Monday June 4. Bonus points if you tell me something you do to eat healthy during the week, especially at lunch – I am in need for some motivation after a few too many mac and cheeses! I’ll notify the winner that evening.

Have a great day everybody!

Disclosure:  The coupons, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Green Giant® and Weight Watchers® through MyBlogSpark.

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    1. Love green giant products. One of my favorite lunches is pasta (cold) with canned tun Bd sweet corn (green giant of course!)
      Sarah Scott recently posted..Summer Challenge Week 2 resultsMy Profile

    2. Jillian says:

      One of my favorites is to make a taco salad. I throw in black beans, a little cheese, black olives and a few crunched up tortilla chips. I top it with taco sauce and voila a much lighter salad with a kick and crunch.
      Jillian recently posted..Working GirlMy Profile

    3. My lunch trick – I’ll make a double batch of pasta for dinner one night and immediately pack up half of it. I’ll make it healthier by adding a handful of spinach leaves to it and eating it like a cold pasta salad!
      Gillian recently posted..missing motivation.My Profile

    4. Jen @nutcaseinpoint says:

      I usually stick with green smoothies, salads topped with leftover meat from the night before, or stir fry (just veggies, no rice)

    5. I’m a huge fan of these healthy pre-made sides! I love the extra flavoring that they give! :)

      To stay healthy, I pack my lunch the night before, so there is no excuse to eat fast food at work!

      :)
      Kelsey @ The Secret Life of Kelsey recently posted..New Uber LarabarsMy Profile

    6. What a fun giveaway! I pack my lunches every day of the week in order to maintain my health focus. I usually make a healthy tuna salad or my Salsa Lime Tofu for the week.
      Katie @wishandwhimsy recently posted..BIG Blog News & SlimKicker Giveaway Winner.My Profile

    7. Biking is an interesting adventure to do. Summer time is perfect time for biking. Indeed, my friends and I are planning to have a biking adventure this coming summer vacation and I am already excited with it.
      Shenamea Frosse recently posted..Alta WhiteMy Profile

    8. REI is an addictive store around sale time, it’s awesome that you got such a great deal!! I’ve recently gone back to Paleo-ish eating (I do some dairy and more potatoes because I run/workout more than the average Paleo eater) so this morning I threw some grass fed ground beef into the skillet, added cumin and chili powder, then cooked some frozen broccoli, mixed it up and put it in a container for later. Took all of 10 minutes plus clean up and I have a healthy lunch! I also ALWAYS make sure to eat breakfast (eggs, prosciutto and tomato this morning) so that I’m not starving come 11 or 12. I’m a new reader and I love your blog!!
      Meg G recently posted..New Vlog Post- Ski to Sea!My Profile

    9. So glad you are enjoying your bike! I am training for a duathlon this Saturday! Let’s see..healthy lunches? Plan and prepare ahead! Hard boil eggs for salads, cut up veggies and fruits. Make a healthy trail mix to stick in your lunch. Great giveaway!!

    10. Wooohoooo – I’m just going to say that I support your new love affair!
      Page recently posted..Ironman Arizona: Week 25My Profile

    11. My lunch trick… well nothing fancy I just try to make sure I have my iced tea or water when I go to lunch so I am not tempted to get pop… it is a bad habit that I have broken a few times but if I don’t bring a drink I’m tempted to get some empty calories.

    12. I usually pack a lunch of lentils and veggies with a side of carrots/hummus and some fruit. Or if I am feeling ambitious, I make a salad. But usually I just make a big dish of something on the weekend and eat that for lunch throughout the week!
      Travel Spot recently posted..Snakes and StonesMy Profile

    13. Not entering, just sharing the love. the bike totally needs a name. and it should be a girls name that way you can yell at it when it is mean! How about…. suzi?
      PavementRunner recently posted..How I Spent My Birthday (Part 2)My Profile

    14. Love your new bike!

    15. I’m stoked for you and your new found love!! Good on you! For how hilly it is, you are a champ!

    16. What an awesome deal on that bike!

      To eat healthy at lunch I try to make a big batch off food on Sunday or Monday nights to bring with me for the week with a bunch of veggies, protein, and maybe a little quinoa or something to keep it rounded. I would love to try and pack big salads for lunch but for some reason the act of doing that seems to never happen.
      Jane recently posted..Tuesday’s Gone.My Profile

    17. Congrats on the bike! I still haven’t converted b/c I’m a weenie and I’m afraid of the butt pain. I don’t think there is a gel seat that will do the job for me! Haha! Lately, for lunch I’ve been bringing a small salad with mixed greens, crumbly blue cheese and pecans and eat it with Zesty LF Italian dressing. It’s yummy and gets a good serving of veggies in. I’ve also been recently addicted to FRS drinks. I got a code for free shipping and 40% off from a Hungry Girl email. This stuff is amazing! It tastes good and seems to give me a boost that I need.
      Cortney @ Nerd on the Run recently posted..I’m buying a house!!My Profile

    18. Yay that’s great to hear you’ve been biking! Bicycles for everyone! I should get myself cycling again to distract from my running injuries too. Stay safe out there! :)
      hippierunner recently posted..Filming around Northeast L.A.My Profile

    19. Wait a minute. I eat those frozen veggies AND I just took photos with the Jolly Green Giant statue. I NEEEED this! Pick me pick me! (LOL)
      One of these days, I’ll have to take my bike on BART and attempt to ride in SF. And then I will die on a hill.
      Layla recently posted..Big Sur Marathon 2012 race reportMy Profile

    20. This is a SUPER inspiring post to me, because I am starting a new job soon where I’ll have to bike to & from CalTrain on both ends and it’s been a LOOOONG time since I rode a bike. I’m nervous about choosing a bike & figuring out the logistics, but I’m also excited about routinely getting in ~12 miles a day on a bike, which I know I would never do on my own otherwise. It’s so great to be able to turn your commute into time you feel good & productive about!
      Angela recently posted..Everybody’s Free to Wear SunscreenMy Profile

    21. I really, really want to start biking. I have a spin bike, but it doesn’t really take me anywhere… I haven’t been on a real bike since high school (10+ years ago) and am seriously afraid of falling off!
      Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..Nonfiction Nagging- Let My People Go SurfingMy Profile

    22. I try and eat a good source of protein at lunch to keep me full. So I have started cooking several chicken breasts at the beginning of the week and taking those with my lunch. Works great!

    23. I like to have easy, healthy snacks at hand- like precut veggies or trail mix.
      Laura recently posted..The Garden on a Windy DayMy Profile

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