Motivation

Healthy Living-Choose Health!

One of the greatest things about Whole30 was seeing a change in my waistline and skin. The photo above was taken after 3.5 rounds of Whole30. It has not been modified. It just is a selfie taken at a weird angle. The dress I have on I could not wear for a long time. Now it fits.

I guess it would help to show you where I started in 2017. The photo below is of me and my friend in Phoenix this May. I had already started Whole30 and dropped about 7 pounds. I was quite uncomfortable as clothes were becoming more challenging to fit.

I made a choice I wanted to be healthier.

Being healthier or healthy for me was not about dropping 4-5 sizes, which I did. Nor was it about being skinny or meeting a number on a scale. It was about becoming a healthier person.

Healthy is about living a better life and being a healthier person.

Whole30 changed the way I view food and health. I tried other plans, worked out like a crazy person and saw slow unsustained change. I worked hard for any progress.

Whole30 brought about change that I can see lasting a long time. It was only challenging at first. Afterwards, it became a blessing. Once my body adjusted to the plan, foods off the plan tasted not so good to me. They were too greasy, too salty, and more food was needed to be satisfied.

No more slavery to the gym…

I did not workout while doing Whole30, other than just walking. I can not imagine how the results would be if I hit the gym like crazy.

What does it mean to be healthy…

  • To love thy self. Loving me is vital to loving anyone else.
  • To cease the busy. It’s so easy to be busy. Busy can lead to stress. Stress can lead to weight gain or poor food choices.
  • To cease investment in one sided or toxic relationships. I chose January 1rst to stop investing in one sided relationships; best decision ever.
  • To cease using food for comfort. Food is fuel.
  • To cease the fast food and out to lunch habit while working. Whole30 forced me to buy groceries, pack lunch, and forgo fast food options.
  • To give thanks. Lots of great things happened this year. Lots of hard things too. Giving thanks re-calibrates things for us.
  • To look up and around more. There is beauty in God and nature.
  • To pursue the best option. Candy, cake, chips are not the best steady options. Fruit, veggies, and lean protein are steady options.
  • To think of what will be a blessing to my body, soul, and spirit. Asking the question, “Will this help or hurt?,” was and is beneficial.
  • Rest is a weapon. Going all the time is hard on the body and soul. A wise person takes time to rest. Inhale, exhale.
  • Meditation/Prayer are vital to thriving. As a person of faith, part of thriving is the ability to focus on God, listen, and not simply ask for things-give thanks and meditate on the goodness of God.
  • Meal Prep is for my health, not a mundane task. Healthy meals make for an energetic week. Taking the time to prep meals is vital to healthy living. So the time spent doing something else needs redirected to what is the most beneficial.
  • To let go. I love the serenity prayer which leads us to let go of the things we can not change and to acquire wisdom for the things we can change. Some things we simply must lay at the feet of God and let it go!

My encouragement to you is pursue health. So many people make New Year’s Resolutions. How about starting today? How about choosing health today? How about moving towards a healthier you today? It takes one decision, followed by another healthy decision, that brings about a healthier you!

If I can do it, so can you. What’s stopping you?

To your health…you can do this!!

Erin

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Cheat Meals

Hello fitness friends,

So I finished two rounds of Whole30. Delighted with the results. Now that it’s over, I have been trying new foods and old foods. What I have learned is the non Whole30 foods do not satisfy my hunger. I eat them; I am still so hungry.

Last week I tried pizza and I was famished later. The calorie content was far higher than my normal meal plan and I was so hungry.

There is something to be said about whole foods. They are packed with nutrients and fiber. Our bodies respond to healthy food like great fuel. Clean eating does a body good.

My plan is to return to a Whole30 plan on Monday. It has been the most effective program for fat loss I have ever done. I have lost over 30 pounds. It’s just beyond what I expected. I did not exercise beyond walking.

I think we need a break sometimes, to just eat those favorite foods. I also see how sticking with a program is beneficial and changes the way we view food. I prefer eating whole foods and feeling great over processed foods and feeling crummy!

My encouragement is to not allow a cheat meal to become a cheat lifestyle. Think of the progress you have made, don’t shrink back into poor eating habits.

If you struggle with the restrictions of Whole30 or clean eating, try an 80/20 approach. 80% of the time eat very clean, 20% of the time splurge a bit. Your body will thank you for eating clean!

To your health!

Erin

All photos from Pinterest

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Meal Prep is Your Friend

Aloha fitness friends,

One of the ways we can stay on track with our goals involves meal prep. Planning ahead helps with staying on track throughout the week. Planning ahead can also help with the monthly budget.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail,”~Benjamin Franklin.

Americans spend approximately 1,000 a year on eating out (just lunch). The average meal out costs 10-22 dollars. If a person goes out to eat three times a week, that piles up to 3,200 a year. Imagine saving 1,000 to 3,000 a year.

Now let’s talk about the waistline. Many meals out have more sodium, fat, and calories than a home prepped meal. The portion sizes are often much larger in restaurants, enough for two to four people. Some are not as nutritionally dense as what you can make at home. The less nutritional content in our meals, the more we eat.

When I do not prep meals, I end up going out to lunch. When I go out to lunch I end up buying a salad for 7 dollars and fruit for 2-3 dollars. With that one meal I could have purchased a bag of apples, bag of spinach, dressing, and grilled chicken strips. I could have made 3-4 meals out of one. Fortunately I am on Whole30 again so there is no temptation to fast food. Yet if I were not doing Whole30 I would be drawn to the drive through experience and eat 2-3 times more calories than needed.

So what are you prepping this week?

I cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, later this evening I will boil eggs, cook fish, and prepare other proteins. I will place spinach and arugula in sandwich bags. The goal is to have lunch and breakfast ready to go. I even started making my own coffee at home to save money!

P.S three rounds of Whole30 has produced 30 pounds of fat loss.

Cheering for you!

Erin

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Life After Whole30

I hope you gave Whole30 a shot. I did and do not regret it. I lost 14 pounds without exercising much. I did take my Whole30 further than the 30 days. I went for two rounds. Yet 7 pounds a month is great progress. It is healthy progress. 

If you did or are trying Whole30, I highly recommend easing back into eating non Whole30 foods. They provide guidance for reintroducing foods-one group at a time. I started with some grains, example corn. I was okay with grains. Then I tried dairy. Ummmmm…my stomach hated it. So I am less prone to eat dairy post Whole30. It is rare to have it. I tried beans. Another irritant. Therefore, I have built a new meal plan that is 80/20. Eighty percent is Whole30 and 20 percent is non Whole30. 

I have not gained weight by reintroducing non Whole30 foods. I am still losing and have incorporated more exercise. 

After talking to your doctor, I would highly recommend this program. Whole30 changed the way I view food. It changed the way I make meals. It changed the way I eat. 


Eating processed foods does not appeal to me. In the rare occossion of eating junk food, it does not make my body feel good. I prefer fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. My body runs better on whole foods. I still read labels, and ditch foods loaded with chemicals. I have a fondness for bananas, mangoes, berries, almonds, olive oil, purple potatoes, steak, roasted chicken, natural salad dressings, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

Learning a new way to eat is good. All the exercise in the world does not negate a poor meal plan. Changing the way we eat is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. Changing the way we eat leads to a better life, to wellness. 

So ditch the excuses and do something for your health! 

XO, 

Erin 

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Finished Whole 30! Ready for Round 2.Β 

Photo Credit: Pinterest 

Yesterday I finished Whole30. Thirty days of no dairy, no beans, no grains, no rice, no soy, no processed food, no gluten, no peanuts or peanut butter…and let me tell you that I highly recommend this program. It has taught me so much about food and what my body really needs. 

My skin, hair, nails look better. I am sleeping like a baby. The after lunch coma is gone. I eat less because I am not craving food. I am losing fat and not muscle. My stomach is much flatter, my face slimmer. 

When you start Whole30 you have to give up weighing yourself and taking measurements. The focus is learning how to eat. We cannot out exercise a bad meal plan. I learned I can live on fruits, vegetables, meat, and some seeds/nuts. I learned I feel better without that sugar loaded smoothie. I learned I have far more energy eating this way rather than the way I was. 

I love the way my body is changing for the better! I love the way my face is glowing! I love my nails growing strong and my hair shinier. 


Photo last week in the park: my no foundation face (I do not wear it anyway, yet loved my glowing skin). Just lip gloss and mascara/eyeliner. πŸ™‚ 

I did not workout very much with this program-March was crazy busy. I did start a new regimine this week. So I am excited to see how Whole30 plus increased workout will go. 

Even with sporadic cardo, my clothes are looser. My skinny jeans are baggy! 

Two big thumbs up for Whole30. Considering doing a side by side photo slide. 

This program is stellar!

It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. 

I will introduce beans at some point, maybe a little dairy. Yet shooting for another 30 days of really clean eating. 

Check out Whole30 here Whole30.com

Have a super weekend! Happy Passover. 

Xoxo

Erin 

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Whatcha Eating?!


Happy weekend beautiful people! I have hit day 16 of whole 30. It’s all smooth sailing from here. 

The biggest things for me have been finding things I enjoy eating. There is added sugar in so many things or soy or gluten. 

I have struggled to find salad dressings, so making my own. 

Erin’s Dressing: 

1/2 EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil) 

1/2 lemon or lime juice

Tablespoon or 2 of finely chopped cilantro

Pinch of kosher sea salt 

Adjust to taste…πŸ‹

I have found creative ways to eat. 

Tonight’s dinner included a lean Bison burger (no hormones/grass fed), 1/2 baked potato (with chives, drizzle of EVOO, artichokes/mushrooms), and a kale salad with orange & purple carrots, cabbage, tomatoes…the burger was dressed with guacamole, tomato, grilled portabella mushrooms, fried amish egg (no oil). No bun, no problem. Yum! 


I love cheeseburgers, burgers in general. This was my healthy way of redressing the burger with no dairy or gluten. 

Lunch is mostly salads. This salad is Greek on the bottom with no cheese and a soy/dairy/sugar free greek dressing. It’s topped with seasoned chicken and lamb. Easy peezy…no rice, no cheesy. 



Eat more chicken!! 

Above is grilled lime/spiced chicken breast, homemade guac, grilled portabella mushrooms, and green beans. No worries the popcorn was for guests last weekend. I did not have any. πŸ™‚ 

I would recommend the following if you do Whole30: 

1. Plan ahead, especially dining out. Many restaurants use butter to cook with…your steak (unless you specify) is probably dressed in butter. 

I start meal prep the day before. Failing to plan is planning to fail. One day this week I did not prep at home and had the hardest time finding something to eat. I ended up at Panera with a salad no dressing. 


2. Plan on spending lots of time reading labels. It’s easier to go to a Farmer’s market. Go to the market with an idea of what you want. 


3. Find recipes or make up your own that go with the ingredients you can eat. 

Staples in my house right now include salad, baked fish, seasoned beef for lettuce wraps, steak, baked chicken, asparagus, brussel sprouts, lemons (seasoning and lemon water), extra virgin olive oil, frozen fruit, green beans, spinach, kale, apples, blood oranges, avacados, lime, spicy greek seasoning, olives, bibb lettuce, fish, and lots of new veggies I do not normally eat. πŸ™‚

4. Check your calories periodically! 

I know the program says you do not need to count calories or points, yet you can sabatoge your efforts by overeating or undereating. 

Overeating: Nuts, approved bars, fruit. Almonds are great. They also have lots of calories. Some food items are fat and calorie dense. Don’t overdose on them. 

Undereating: At first I struggled to find things I wanted to eat. Dairy was such a staple in my house, as well as beans and peanut butter. I was also exhausted. So I started logging calories and came in around 800. This is too low for me. So now I am logging calories to hit at least 1200. 

Results since day 1…

Skin, nails, and hair are looking healthier. Skin has an even greater glow. Starting to lose inches. Feeling more energy (today). The after lunch slump days are over! Softer skin. 

I would highly recommend this program (check with your doctor). 

To your health, 

Xxxx, 

Erin 

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Whole30 Challenge

Whole30 Yes/No List (Pinterest)


Hello healthy friends! 

So today I wanted to let you in on a challenge I am doing. It is called Whole30. I started 7 days ago and so far it’s been interesting. I was excited to see my waistline shrinking. 

I was good until day 6. Then the fatigue started to hit me. Today I am on zombie mode. This is normal as the body has no huge sugar source to feast off of and it must process vegetables and protein mostly. 

I have heard so many positive reviews so I said, “Why not?!” 

You can read more about Whole30 here: Whole30 Program

Whole30 Infographic (Pinterest)


As you can see from the infographic, fatigue on day 7 is normal. If you go to the Whole30 site and search timeline. It explains the body’s reaction to eliminating certain foods and chemicals. It is worth reading. 

What I am learning is…

1. I can do this. 

2. The grocery store seems to have more junk food than raw food. Cookies, cookies everywhere! Wanna cookie or free bread or free cheese…um no! 

3. I need variety. After days of fish, today I had beef! Praise the good Lord!!! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

4. Sometimes sugar is desired just because…it is not necessary to have a Panera muffin and candy. 

5. I was not eating enough vegetables. 🌱🌱

6. I have more energy after eating (except yesterday and today). 

7. My skin is starting to glow!

8, Seasonal allergies are calming down. 

9. I am finding creative meals to make. 

10. My easy food choices were not the best food choices. 

Whole30 meme (Pinterest)


Tonight instead of tacos, I made Cuban seasoned beef lettuce wraps. You can still eat great food. 

So anyone up for the challenge? 

I have seen tons of before and afters that are radical. Check out the testimonials on the Whole30 page. Just wow! So many reported radical health transformations. 

Mostly this is about health. Giving my (our) bodies a break from the junk food paradise is good. Considering calling it internal spring cleaning! 

Things I have changed: 

Olive oil instead of butter. Can you say, “EVOO?” Greek seasoned oil/lemon dressings. Lettuce wraps instead of tacos. Spices are our friend! I do like a challenge!!! 

I hope you read about this program. Even if you do not do the challemge, there is some great info. 


Photo: Before and after Whole30 (Source Pinterest), 

Here’s to your health! 
Erin 

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Let’s Keep Going!Β 

Photo Source:Pinterest, Fitness Motivation 

Happy New Year! I know we are 7 days into the year. I did not forget about you. I spent New Years in the Windy City (Chicago). Wow, the city with all the delicious food. Oh my! 

No worries, we walked about 5-6 miles one day and 3 miles the next. 

Back to you! How did you do on the December Challenge?  Link to challenge here December Challenge Info

I have lost several inches of fat off my waist, a little bit off my calves, arms, and thighs. I want to keep going. Are you with me? I know you can do this. We can do this. This is not about vanity. It is about health. 

I want you and I to be healthy emotionally, physically, and mentally. So eating the proper foods is great. Health is also taking time for yourself, resting, having balance, speaking life giving words, setting boundaries, and being kind to yourself. 

If we do not love who we are, we will not thrive in life, nor be able to love our neighbor. You have heard the saying, “Put the oxygen mask on yourself before another.” Have you been stressed out, neglecting yourself, well this is the year to take better care of you! 

I want you healthy. 


Are you desiring to be the healthiest version of you? I sure hope so. 

Are you desiring more energy? 

Are you looking for more motivation? 

What are your needs? 

I want to hear from you. What would like to see more of on this blog this year? Leave me a comment. 

I bless you and your journey to wholeness! You can do this. Yes indeed. 

Xxxx

Erin 

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Slow Progress is Better Than No Progress (December Challenge)

Photo Source: Pinterest

Hey fitness friends. I hope you are sticking with this challenge. 

How are you doing? How have you managed through all the Christmas/holiday parties and baked goods galore? 

We have been at this for 24 days. I can report that my pants are baggier, my stomach lost several inches, and I am seeing greater muscle definition in my arms. 

I want to keep going through January. Are you game?! I sure hope so. 

Healthy is more than a challenge, it is a lifestyle. If you have made it this far, you can continue to press forward into 2017. I believe in you! 

Make 2017 about transformation and the best you ever! 

Photo Source: Pinterest


What if this upcoming year brought about the healthiest you? 

The goal is to keep moving. To eat healthy foods and junk food in moderation, to treat our bodies like temples-not garbage cans. πŸ™‚ 

I am cheering for you. You can do this. If you do not recall the challenge info, click here December Challenge

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! 

P.S add some veggies to that holiday plate. 

Xxxx

Erin

Healthy_Beautiful_Me

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Focus on Losing Fat (December Challenge)Β 

  
Hello fitness peeps! I hope you have started the December challenge. You can view it again here Get Moving: December Challenge

Today I wanted to talk about a pitfall you will want to avoid. That pitfall is being more focused on the scale than measurements. 

Muscle weighs more than fat and takes us less space. We want muscle; we want to minimize fat. 

 

photo source: Pinterest

 
 

photo source: Pinterest

 
I asked you in the challenge start to take your measurements. Have you done this? Be honest. We are only three days in so there is still time. At the end of the challenge we can compare and look at inches lost. 

I also want you to calculate your body fat. See how to here Body Fat Calculator

You can be skinny and have lots of body fat. The best method is to schedule a session with a gym for body fat measurements, yet this will due for now. 

Lean muscle is also healthier than copious amounts of fat. Muscle helps to support your bones. Muscle slows the appearance of aging, minimizes sagging skin, and boosts your metabolism. 

Look at the differences in these photos. 

 

photo source: Pinterest

 
 

photo source: Pinterest

 
It’s so easy to hop on and off a scale or feel great when you see a decline on the scale. Yet we can lose weight and it’s muscle and water. Muscle loss is less than ideal because muscle burns fat.  Muscle looks better! 

So, after consulting your doctor and doing measurements/body fat calculations…get moving! 

We add our body in muscle growth with resistance training, circuit training, and healthy physical challenges. We also need to consume enough lean protein. 

How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle
 

photo source: Pinterest

 
And one last motivation for you! 

 

photo source: Pinterest

 
I will be checking back with you throughout the month! Get moving and let’s do this! 

Xoxo, 

Erin 

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