Peanut Butter Runner http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com by jen decurtins Sat, 18 Apr 2015 18:38:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=110 2015 Intentions Check-In + Life Lately in Food & Puppies http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/2015-intentions-check-in-life-lately-in-food-puppies/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/2015-intentions-check-in-life-lately-in-food-puppies/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 18:38:38 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17049 Long time, no catch up. I hope your weekend is off to a great start. I started 2015 by sharing my intention to slow down. While I never slowed to a pace that felt just right, I did manage to refocus my priorities somewhat and get some things off my plate. I was feeling like […]

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Long time, no catch up. I hope your weekend is off to a great start.

I started 2015 by sharing my intention to slow down. While I never slowed to a pace that felt just right, I did manage to refocus my priorities somewhat and get some things off my plate. I was feeling like things were fast-paced but not frantic. And that was a step in the right direction.

Then everything changed again. (Like life always does…the one constant is change, right?) And recently I’ve been feeling a bit out of balance. Like starting work at 6 a.m. and not shutting down my laptop until after 10 p.m. with the anxious feeling that it will never all get done and not having time for personal stuff like errands and workouts. (Which is not a good feeling for me and also not good for my relationships.)

But instead of going down the vortex of oh my god out of control busy again, I’m committed to making some serious decisions about time management and where I’m focusing my energy. The most valuable asset that we have is our time. I want to continuously evaluate what I’m doing and where I am to make sure that I’m using my time to do the things that bring me the most fire and reward.

More on that to come but let’s catch up on the last week…with food and golden retriever pictures…as usual!

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Banana egg white oatmeal.

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Really different and delicious smoothie from Berrybrook here in Charlotte. I hadn’t been there in forever! It was the Maneesh. I always love how they put nuts in their smoothies instead of nut butters. It’s a nice way to change up the texture.

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Salad with spinach, strawberries, toasted spiced pecans, deli chicken, hard boiled egg, avocado, cucumber, feta and balsamic.

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Perfect pressed wrap.

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Another salad with much of the same ingredients plus tomatoes and arugula.

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Salmon with roasted broccoli and pine nut couscous.

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Bone-in spiced chicken with shredded brussels sprouts and bacon and roasted butternut squash.

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Italian pesto marinated chicken breasts with steamed kale and sauteed portobello.

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Friday night cheese plate.

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It’s been rainy in Charlotte for the last five days. This is how we all feel about that. But seriously…my poor house. So much mud and dirt. And poor dogs. Zoey is losing her mind.

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This is how I’ve been ending my long days. Before bed I get in the floor and have family cuddles with the pups. It’s pretty amazing.

How are you doing on your New Year’s intentions/resolutions/goals?

What action do  you take when things start to feel out of balance?

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Town Hall Meeting with President Obama http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/town-hall-meeting-with-president-obama/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/town-hall-meeting-with-president-obama/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:05:03 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17033 Well, yesterday definitely goes down as one of the most memorable days of my professional career. I was quoted in the Washington Post, connected with the leaders of BlogHer and She Knows, attended a town hall meeting with the President of the United States and shook his hand at the end. You can read about […]

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Well, yesterday definitely goes down as one of the most memorable days of my professional career. I was quoted in the Washington Post, connected with the leaders of BlogHer and She Knows, attended a town hall meeting with the President of the United States and shook his hand at the end. You can read about how all this came about in my last post.

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I arrived at the event venue at 12:30 p.m. and was escorted in early to do a video interview for She Knows. I definitely felt a flutter of nerves when I walked past the presidential podium. I was very surprised by how small and intimate the event setting was.

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I was also surprised by how many people asked me what I was going to wear to meet the President. I told my mom that I didn’t want to feel like I was going to a job interview and that I wanted to look like myself. She pleaded and begged me multiple times to not wear yoga clothes. I assured her I would find a happy medium. (For the record, I was definitely not considering yoga clothes…)

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After the interviews and chatting with the She Knows and BlogHer team and meeting some other bloggers, I found my seat and we waited a little over an hour for the President to arrive. He was immediately at ease and set an informal, conversational tone for the meeting. He spent about five minutes addressing the crowd before sitting down with She Knows Chief Community Officer Lisa Stone who moderated the event.

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For the next 75 minutes President Obama alternated between answering questions from those of us in attendance and from Lisa that she brought to the table from women in the BlogHer and SheKnows online community.

He opened the discussion by inviting us to share the issues we are facing and what types of solutions would actually make a difference in our lives.

As I’ve been recapping the event with family and friends, my biggest takeaway is that it seemed that the women in attendance felt like they were heard. As I scanned the faces in the room I saw a lot of emotion, engagement and head nodding. President Obama was thorough in his responses to the questions posed and made a point to validate each person regarding their question/situation. He never seemed rushed and he related responses back to his own personal experiences in addition to political action, facts and data. It was apparent to me that he does care about the working class and “middle class economics,” as he has coined it.

In a nutshell, it all felt very human.

He talked about his own experience growing up with a single mother and the issues his grandmother faced with “glass ceilings” in her career. He also spoke of his support for his wife and his desire for her to be as successful as possible in her career and fairly compensated when she was in the working world because that in turn benefited their family as a whole.

“Let me tell you, now, Michelle would point out that First Ladies get paid nothing, so there’s clearly not equal pay in the White House when it comes to her and me,” President Obama said. “But before we were in the White House, I wanted to make sure Michelle got paid as much as she could! I want a big paycheck for Michelle! That wasn’t a “women’s issue” — if she had a big paycheck, that made us able to pay the bills!”

Questions were asked about everything from teacher pay to early childhood education and childcare to student loans to equal pay legislation and more. While nothing was super deep or groundbreaking, I do believe the event created an atmosphere of support and connection among women, which I feel is important in our current culture that so often turns to shame, competition and lack.

Specifically regarding the pay equality, the President shared that it shouldn’t be a political issue but as simple as right and wrong. If two people are doing the same exact job with the same exact responsibilities, they should be compensated equally. It shouldn’t even be a gender issue.

The meeting ended with one of my fellow bloggers Ashley Taylor who blogs at The Dose of Reality asking, “As the mother of two daughters, how do you suggest I best empower them if they will be paid less than a male counterpart with the same skill set and the same background?” I especially loved his response to this question and I think it was a nice note to end on.

“You’ve got to remind your daughters that things are not perfectly fair, but people who work hard can make it fair…The way things get better is by that next generation taking ownership and being inspired…We want them to feel like the world is wide open to you, you can remake this thing, ultimately at some point you guys are going to be in charge. And so we want to not send a message to them that somehow they’re limited. We want to tell them what I tell Melia and Sasha, there’s nothing you can’t do.”

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And then it was over and all the sudden everyone was standing and clapping and the President was right in front of me with an outstretched hand. He took several minutes before departing to interact with the crowd, sign a photo for a veteran and hold a baby. It was a special afternoon.

A big thank you to The White House, BlogHer and She Knows for putting this event together that allowed women to feel important, valued and heard. It is my sincere hope that women continue to band and work together to improve our lives so that we can thrive professionally and personally. And it’s also my hope that these important issues around equal pay, education, child care, healthcare, etc. as they regard women stay top of mind for those in leadership and policy making positions.

You can watch the full video of yesterday’s town hall meeting and read a written recap on BlogHer’s site. If you have time, I highly recommend watching the video.

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I’m Meeting the President about Women’s Workplace Issues http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/im-meeting-the-president-about-womens-workplace-issues/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/im-meeting-the-president-about-womens-workplace-issues/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 01:44:54 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17030 The past few days have been a whirlwind. Last weekend I received an email from my contacts at BlogHer and She Knows Media asking me to complete a survey about equal pay and tax days. The email went on to ask if I was available for a town hall meeting with the Chief Community Officer […]

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The past few days have been a whirlwind. Last weekend I received an email from my contacts at BlogHer and She Knows Media asking me to complete a survey about equal pay and tax days. The email went on to ask if I was available for a town hall meeting with the Chief Community Officer of She Knows on Wednesday to talk about these topics.

I completed the survey and gave my honest feedback on what I experience personally as a self-employed woman and what I hear frequently from my personal training clients and readers about making it as a woman in the professional world.

On Sunday evening I was shocked to receive an email inviting me to a town hall meeting in Charlotte with Lisa Stone AND President Obama. She Knows is facilitating a discussion on wage gap and workforce issues impacting American Women and their families. I immediately replied…YES.

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On Monday I was asked permission to share my survey responses with the media. I woke up this morning with a request for an interview with the Washington Post. Today I’ve spoken to a reporter traveling from the Washington Post and done interviews with two local TV stations. It’s been completely overwhelming and the best day of my professional life all at the same time. It’s all surreal.

Tomorrow I will have the incredible honor of spending an hour with the president as a voice for all of the INCREDIBLE and STRONG women that I have the honor of reaching every day through this blog, teaching yoga and personal training.

Coincidentally, this week I celebrate five years of blogging on this space. Five years ago I never imagined that blogging would lead to connecting with so many women all over the country and in my community and that it would create an opportunity for me to have a forum with the leader of our country. I am so humbled. And so grateful.

I have stated time and time again that my passion is empowering women around their strength, their passions and their ability to create amazing things in their lives. I want to see ALL of us thriving and doing amazing things.

This opportunity isn’t about me…it’s about all of you. Through speaking with my students and clients, I come away with two key messages I am hearing loud and clear.

1) More training and education on negotiating skills.

As women, we often shy away from asking for what we want and deserve when it comes negotiating the terms of employment as well as asking for bonuses, pay increases, promotions and performance evaluations. And it’s common to think that when you do you will be seen as overly assertive while male counterparts do it with no issues. More training on how to effectively negotiate would be beneficial for women at both the still in school level and the professional level when onboarding with HR.

2) More transparency.

It’s a taboo topic to talk about wages. I have friends and clients that work for big corporations, hospitals, private schools, etc. here in town where it is completely off limits to talk about comp and some are told that they will be terminated if they do. They know there is often a gap in pay between themselves and their male counterparts…and there’s also often a gap in treatment and responsibility…i.e. the guys go out golfing on Friday afternoon while the women “hold down the fort” in the office. In the same vein, they are also expected to do administrative tasks that male colleagues would not be asked to do.

I’m excited and nervous about tomorrow. It’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would love to hear your feedback as I consider what questions I want to ask the president should I have the opportunity. I will share a full report after the meeting.

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Favorite Whole Foods Snacks + Weekend Recap http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/favorite-whole-foods-snacks-weekend-recap/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/favorite-whole-foods-snacks-weekend-recap/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 20:40:33 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17020 Happy Monday! A few scenes from the weekend to share… I did a little Whole Foods trip and loved opening one of my bags to find they’d bagged all the best stuff together. – Sweet Potato Pop Chips (these are seriously addictive…I’m sorry for telling you about them! ) – Glutino Sea Salt Crackers – […]

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Happy Monday! A few scenes from the weekend to share…

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I did a little Whole Foods trip and loved opening one of my bags to find they’d bagged all the best stuff together.

Sweet Potato Pop Chips (these are seriously addictive…I’m sorry for telling you about them! :) )
Glutino Sea Salt Crackers
Vanilla Bean & Espresso Barney Butter
Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter
Purely Elizabeth Pumpkin Fig Granola
Whole Foods 365 Peanut Butter

4.13padthai

I waited until about 8:30 p.m. on Friday night to even start to think about dinner…that was not my smartest move. The combination of a long week of work + being starving + a bare bones fridge definitely led to some “hanger.” I decided the only thing I felt like was Thai takeout but it would have taken me as long to order it and pick it up as it would be to whip it up on my own so I used the remnants of a lot of stuff to whip up fake out takeout chicken pad thai.

And I still owe y’all my pad thai recipe. I am going to prioritize that (cross my heart). If I don’t post it in the next seven days you have permission to yell at me!

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On Saturday I met a friend for lunch at Bricktops. We had not seen each other in almost 10 years. It was so wonderful to catch up with her. I had a salad (which I picked all the onions off of…love onions, not raw) topped with their housemade veggie burger. Bricktops has the BEST veggie burgers. This was heavenly.

I spent the rest of my Saturday afternoon shopping for house stuff at Home Goods and Target. We did a mini-overhaul of the living room decor over the weekend and I LOVE how it all turned out! Stay tuned for photos. :)

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On Saturday night I had dinner at Illios Noche. We started with the octopus…which was incredible. Our waiter shared that the chef marinates it in a red wine vinegar mixture for a few hours before cooking to help it break down so it’s not tough and rubbery.

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And for my entree I had corvina served over a greek risotto cake and grilled vegetables. I was pretty much sold after I read “greek risotto cake.” Corvina is similar to grouper in taste and texture. It was really delicious.

If you live in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend checking out Illios Noche. They have two locations. The restaurant has a nice ambiance and a great Mediterranean-inspired menu with everything from tapas to pizzas to entrees to pastas.

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On Sunday I made brunch after teaching. I made one of my favorite comfort food dishes ever…sourdough toast with lots of salted Kerrygold butter, avocado, runny eggs and melted cheese.

I ended my marathon week of teaching yoga with a yoga practice. I attended a special “Asana for Autism” donation-based class and it was such a lovely way to wrap up all that yoga.

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I made a quick and easy dinner on Sunday night. I sauteed scallops, cherry tomatoes, baby portobello and mushrooms in a lemon garlic sauce and served it over zoodles with a sprinkle of parmesan.

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And of course I have to wrap up the post with a photo of the girls. Zoey had a her six month birthday last week! She’s such a big girl.

What are your favorite Whole Foods snacks?

Did you eat out or cook at home this weekend…or both?

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Energetic Exchange & Teaching Yoga + Playlist & Workouts http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/energetic-exchange-teaching-yoga-playlist-workouts/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/energetic-exchange-teaching-yoga-playlist-workouts/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 19:43:05 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17016 I don’t even know where to begin. This week was exhilarating and exhausting. I taught more yoga classes in a single week than I ever have since I started teaching. In an average week I teach around 10 classes. I would say my sweet spot is 7-8. This week I taught 14. For some of […]

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I don’t even know where to begin. This week was exhilarating and exhausting. I taught more yoga classes in a single week than I ever have since I started teaching. In an average week I teach around 10 classes. I would say my sweet spot is 7-8. This week I taught 14. For some of my peers, teaching 14 in a week is the norm but for me it’s a lot.

Many of you have asked if I practice with my classes…I do not. I keep my personal practice separate from teaching. It doesn’t help them for me to be going through the practice myself and not in tune with what they’re doing on their mats. Rather than practice with them, I walk around the room and watch my students practice so that I can see how they are moving through the practice, verbally cue them through the class and offer hands-on assists. So while I don’t physically go through the practice with them, I do energetically.

Teaching yoga is a very energy-centric thing. The students feel my energy, I feel their energy. There is an exchange of energy among everyone in the room. I give them my energy and I pick up a lot of theirs…good and bad, light and heavy. After I had been teaching for a few years, I gave up on planning my classes before going in to teach because half the time whatever I planned wasn’t the right thing for the room on that day. I can’t really explain it, there is a lot of intuition involved. It’s all boils down to being there for your student’s needs and not your own.

This is why it’s so important for teachers to be super protective of and responsible for their energy. I set my intention going into class on creating a safe and uplifting space for my students to explore, breathe, grow, feel whatever they need to feel, etc. From a personal perspective, I commit myself to teaching from wherever I am on that day, knowing that my students will connect more with my energy and to the practice when I am open and authentic. This has taken me years of work to even begin to feel comfortable doing but all I know is when you’re standing in front of your students and “acting” the part of a yoga teacher, it feels even more uncomfortable.

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This morning I walked in to teach my 9 a.m. Sunday class…my 14th and final class of the week. My expectation at the beginning of the week was that I would feel run down and tired of teaching by this point, but it was exactly the opposite. I walked in and felt more comfortable and excited to teach than ever. Teaching so much this week forced a surrender inside of me to show up, take off the mask and really be in it with my students. Over the course of the week I taught nearly 400 yogis at three different studios and spent over 20 hours in 100+ degree rooms between teaching and taking…and I’ve never felt so connected as a teacher.

I continue to be amazed that every time I think I’ve gotten to the pinnacle of teaching and “oh my god it can’t get any better than this,” it gets even better. And I’m only four years in as a yoga teacher. I can’t wait to see where it goes and how I grow from here. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to teach yoga.

So, here is my playlist for this weekend’s classes.

And here is a quick summary of my workouts for the week. I typed this part before writing the yoga and energy stuff and now the workouts don’t really even seem relevant but I’ll include them anyway.

Monday

5.5 mile run

I ran 2.5 miles to the yoga studio to teach my 5:45 p.m. class, sweated my booty off teaching and then ran another 3 miles home. It was quite a workout!

Tuesday

Hot yoga + lift upper body

I stayed and took 45 minutes of a yoga class after I taught in the morning and then stayed after training a client at the gym later that evening to do a quick upper body lift. I can’t even remember exactly what I did now but a mix of bench press, single arm rows, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, lat pull downs and a few other miscellaneous things.

Wednesday

3 mile run

Thursday

Hot yoga

Friday

Hot yoga + CrossFit/Strength

I took a hot yoga class in the AM before teaching and then went to the gym Friday afternoon to get a much-needed CrossFit WOD and strength session in.

5 rounds for time:

7 deadlifts
9 toes to bar
12 box jumps

I did the deadlifts at 125# and RX’d the toes to bar. Finished in about 13 minutes.

4 rounds:

10 front lunges holding 25# plate overhead (each leg)
10 kettlebell swings10 ab wheel roll outs
1 sled push down and back with 150# sled
10 push ups

I was pretty sweaty and wiped out after this one. Felt really good!

Saturday

3 mile run

Sunday

3 mile run + hot yoga

And with that, I’m off to hydrate (so much sweating this week) and tackle Sunday stuff like laundry and cleaning.

Have a beautiful week. So much love. <3

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