Posts Tagged With: whole foods

Whole Food Lifestyle

This year I completed 4 rounds of Whole30. I know it’s supposed to be a 30 day program, yet the results were so great I decided to keep going. I lost roughly 7 pounds a round. I am down several sizes. I feel better. All the digestion issues I had went away.

I noticed a different relationship to food. I learned that I was not as hungry eating whole foods. I noticed that I did not really miss those sugary drinks and bread. I did crave pizza and tacos, let’s be honest.

Since I finished a round yesterday, I tried tacos. I did not enjoy them as much as my dairy free and flour free tacos. I tried another dish off the plan and my stomach was not a fan.

So the plan forward is modified Whole30. I will add hummus, maybe some quinoa. My meal plan will be mostly Whole30. I have not found a plan that works better.

I barely exercised during this program and lost fat. I was concerned about muscle loss, yet that did not happen!

How do we make eating whole foods a lifestyle?

Easy, we choose to. It is a myth we need all the dairy, processed foods, bread or grains. If you are vegetarian or vegan, the Whole30 rules of no beans or grains would be a challenge, yet they have a program guideline for those who do not eat meat. Whole9 for Vegetarians/Vegans.

Are you trying to be a whole food foodie for life? Here are some options for substitutions (note: Whole30 restricts peanuts):

I had many swaps during the program.

  • Mixed nut butter instead of peanut butter
  • Lettuce wraps instead of bread
  • Apples instead other carbs
  • RX bars and Larabars for meal substitutes
  • Sparkling water instead of soft drinks
  • Unsweetened tea instead of sweet tea
  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Plantain chips instead of potato chips
  • Frozen fruit instead of dessert
  • Guacamole instead of cheese on burgers
  • Avocados instead of cheese on salads
  • Almonds instead of peanuts

Mostly I love the way eating whole foods impacts my body. I feel better. Life is too short to be bloated and not feeling great. Good fuel means the body runs better. We want to feed our bodies good things!

Wishing you the best on your wellness journey. Take care of yourself!

Xoxo

Erin Lamb

Photo sources: Pinterest, myfitnesspal

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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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Stop Dieting

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Aloha, my beautiful fitness friends. I want to talk to you about dieting. Yes the dreaded “D” word. It’s like a swear word to so many people. It’s all about what you must give up in order to look like a fitness model. Yes, if you’re a competitive body builder or fitness model, you will need to diet. If you’re drastically overweight, then cutting your calories is necessary. If you’re not, then let’s move forward with some tips on healthy living.

1. Diets are about depravation. Human nature is to rebel against what we feel is depriving us. The goal is to make healthy choices long term. The goal is to have treats in moderation.

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2. Diets are a short term fix to a long term problem. The reason Henry weighs 400 pounds does not diminish the moment he goes on a crash diet. Lifestyle changes force us to deal with emotions without using food, to care for our bodies for the long haul, and make choices every day to eat to live, not live to eat. You see many people get weight off only to put it back on because the diet does not fix why they were overweight. You must change the mind, deal with insecurity and emotions, and make choices for the long haul.

3. Some diets cut out things you need in order to achieve short term goals. Can you sustain the meal plan for the rest of your life? Is it healthy? Are you getting all the nutrients your body needs?

4. Diets make people eventually binge eat. Just as the first picture depicted. “Oh, I’ve been eating bird food all day, now I will gorge myself on everything in the house! Feed me Seymour!” It’s the reason you see people at the all you can eat Buffett once their diet is over.

Say yes to the following:

A. Drinking water 8-10 glasses a day. Start the day with water, add lemon to help alkalize your system.

B. Eating breakfast every day! Make this meal the most calorie rich if possible.

C. Greens, eat them! Vegetables are your friends. Eat them to your hearts delight! Try not to slather them in butter, cheese, and dressing!

D. Lean proteins. Add them to meals. Protein keeps you full longer.

E. Choose whole foods! Did it grow from the ground or feeds off the ground. Fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains…your body wants real food, not processed food.

F. Instead of three large meals, choose 5-6 small ones. Don’t allow longer than 4 hours to pass in between meals. Try not to eat after 9pm.

G. Making your own meals. Restaurants load up their food with salt, fat, and sugar. Moderation is key.

H. Learn portion sizes. In America, we supersize everything. Here’s your 3 pound burger, 10 pound pizza, foot long hot dog with cheese, here’s your large basket of fried goodies. Your fist is 1 cup, a golf ball is 2tbsp, a tennis ball 1 cup (pasta or rice), a deck of cards is 3oz of protein. We don’t need troughs of food. Most salads we get in restaurants are three servings.

Also white sugar, diet drinks, processed foods, high glycemic carbs, white breads, white pastas, all help to pack on the pounds.

Well dear ones! Keep up the good work. Wishing you well on your fitness and wellness journey. Stay tuned for updates from the 90 day Get Ripped Challenge. We hit day 30 on April 30th.

Warm regards,

Erin

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What Are You Eating

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Hello my wellness friends. I wanted to do a brief post on ingredients. All food is not created equal.

I was standing in my office break room a few weeks ago talking with a coworker. They had done the Biggest Loser contest at work with me before and tried Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers. They lost weight and gained weight. I asked what they were eating for lunch. They showed me a frozen dinner. Problem number 1. I have investigated the ingredients in most box meals and it’s disturbing to not be able to pronounce some of the ingredients.

Even if you cut back on your caloric intake, you are doing your body a grave injustice by feeding it processed food. It will not run as efficiently. Just as vehicles are designed to run on certain types of fuel, your body needs a certain type of fuel. Water won’t work in your gas tank (of your vehicle). Chemical laden food will not help your body burn fat. It taxes your liver. It slows you down and increases food cravings. Your body does not recognize it as food.

If you want your body to burn fat more efficiently. If you want to feel better. If you want clearer skin. If you want your hormones to stay balanced, then please minimize or forego processed foods. Look at the ingredients. Do you know what they are? Look them up? If it isn’t found naturally in nature (example fructose (sugar), then think about whether eating it is a good idea.

Good choices:

Eggs
Lean meats
Seeds
Nuts
All fruit (some are high in sugar so watch your intake)
All veggies
Quinoa
Sweet potatoes
Natural Peanut Butter
Almond Milk
Rice Milk
Low fat, hormone free dairy (in moderation)
Beans and legumes
Ezekiel bread
Fish
Shellfish

And drink plenty of water!!!!

I would eat breads and grains in moderation. Bread causes blood sugar spikes, whole wheat worse than white bread. I would also bypass large consumption of crackers, canned soups, and fried foods just for sodium content and fat. Excess sodium not only causes you to retain water, it increases the amount of cortisol in your system. It’s the stress hormone. It tells your body to store fat on your belly…yikes (Source: Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Micheals).

Well, that’s all folks. Keep up the good work! You can do this. I’m cheering for you! ūüėÄ

Xoxo,

Erin

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Say YES to Lifestyle Changes!

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Hi my friends! I hope you are doing well this week. I am happy the weather is warming up so I can take the workouts outside. I wanted to touch base with you about something that I believe is truly important for wellness, Lifestyle Changes.

The goal with fitness is to make lifestyle changes. If you starve to get weight off, you will have to starve to maintain the loss. If you revert back to eating what you were eating before you will gain weight and sometimes more than you lost. If you are limiting calories or are on an extreme diet, you probably lowered your metabolism.  When the calories increase again, your body clings to every one just in case you will starve it again.

Also if you know you will not and can not work out for 3 hours a day for the rest of your life, why do it now? Unless you are training for some athlete program.

We live in a world that promotes dieting. If you search the internet for diets, you will find more than you can research in an evening. Some restrict foods, some add foods, some lead to starvation. I encourage you to make lifestyle changes…what does that mean?

Don’t look for the quick fix, look for what you can do for life

I gave up all soda. I don’t drink regular or diet. My health improved. It was a choice for life. I eat more fruits and vegetables. I eat more fiber. I drink more water. These are lifestyle changes, not a quick fix. Since I made lifestyle changes, I don’t have to worry about yo-yo dieting or buying special foods, pills, etc…I also don’t gain weight quickly. My life has changed. I am seeking wellness, not a life of dieting.

How to make lifestyle changes:

1.Move at least 30 minutes a day several days a week; daily is best. This is not an extended period of time. It’s easy to accomplish. Choose to not be sedentary. Walk, run, bike, circuit train, clean the house, do something.

2. Drink more water. We talked about how water helps our metabolism, digestion of food, and cleaning toxins from our systems.

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. There are so many reasons to choose whole foods over processed foods. One is whole foods have vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. Two they are natural for the body and not foreign. Three they help the body shed pounds instead of gain them.

Young woman eating salad

4. Cut back on white foods. White bread, white rice, sugar, potatoes…all these foods cause your blood sugar to spike. Unstable blood sugar tells your body to store fat and the mid section (abs) are normally the target.

5. Move from 3 meals a day to 5-6 small meals a day. Stability in blood sugar is crucial to maintain a healthy weight.

6. Eat your favorite foods in moderation or on a cheat day. If you love ice cream, giving it up for life would be a sad thing. I am not a huge fan of ice cream, but I do like it sometimes. So, I purchase frozen yogurt or small one serving size containers. I allow myself to eat certain things in moderation. I love cheese, but I know I can not eat as much as I want, so I keep the portions small. Deprivation can lead to overeating (binge eating).

7. Portion control. The reason obesity is a problem in our country is not simply because of the richness of the foods, our portions are out of control. I ordered a salad at a local restaurant and the bowl was bigger than my head. There had to be 5 cups of lettuce, and several cups of toppings. I looked up the calories, the one salad was 700 calories. Yep. Portions matter.

I hope these tips were helpful. Slow and steady wins the race. If weight comes off slowly, it comes back on slowly. If you make lifestyle changes your life will be better!

Cheering for you friends. You can do it!~Warm Regards…

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Fight the Fat

mid section view of a man sitting on a bench in a park

Hello friends! I hope you are enjoying the week. I want to talk tonight about fat loss. We have so many gimmicks and pills and wraps, etc…. that promise to help us fight the bulge. Well, I am going to tell you I tried for years to get rid of fat and not lose muscle and I failed…I would lose weight and gain weight. I hope my journey helps you out.

What I was doing wrong…

Expecting a quick fix. Losing fat does not happen overnight. Any product that tells you can lose fat in a short period of time with no exercise is lying to you. You will lose water, you will lose some muscle, but you will most likely gain weight and more than you lost when you quit your gimmick.

Not eating enough food. Our body needs at least 1200 calories (women) and roughly 1500 for men. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down. If you are working out and eating little, you are not helping your body in the long run. I would eat two big meals a day and even though my calories were low, my body was clinging to every calorie.

Eating the wrong foods. I have a fast oxidizing metabolism. I will post more later about the different types of metabolisms. I need to eat more protein. Diets rich in carbs leads to weight gain. I also relied on frozen meals and processed foods.

Doing the same workouts over and over. Our bodies need challenged to change. If we want the same results, we do what we have always done.

Now to the good part…how to LOSE FAT! Not muscle but fat.

1.Cut back or stop eating sugar. I saw the best results from my sugar detox. Belly fat melted away, and I had more energy. Ditch the fake sugars as well, especially diet soda. Get your sugar from natural peanut butter, and fruit.

2.Ditch the processed foods and go for whole foods. This means cooking your own meals, eating loads of fruits and vegetables, skipping the fast food and packaged foods. It does make a difference what types of food are eaten.

3.Eat every four hours and not late at night (few hours before bed). Our blood sugar needs to remain stable to promote fat loss. This is why high fiber diets work well, high protein diets work well, and any meal plan that keeps our blood sugar within normal ranges. Spikes and drops in blood sugar tell our bodies to store fat. The hormone insulin is involved with blood sugar regulation.

4. Drink water. We talked about this a few posts back. Hydration is key to flushing toxins from the body.

5.Resistance train and switch it up.  I was afraid of bulking up, but the opposite occurred. I got smaller (Size 9/10 to size 6-Size large to small). Every 6-8 weeks switch it up. Our bodies grow accustomed to workouts and eventually use less energy.

People Exercising at a Gymnasium

6. Eat for your metabolism. Most people have a balanced metabolism. I do not. My body thrives on protein and fats (healthy fats of course). If I want fruit or dessert, I eat protein with the meal. A pear and turkey slices, peanut butter and an apple….never eating carbs or sweets without protein. I also eat low glycemic carbs- sweet potatoes, quinoa, etc…

So friends, I lost the most weight and have been able to keep it off without pills, without gimmicks, without starving, without extreme workouts, and without killing myself. I eat ~5 to 6 meals a day. I eat vegetables, fruit, enjoy some of my favorite foods. I workout 4 to 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes. I have less body fat than I have in years. I can also go for weeks without working out and not gain weight.

I hope these tips help you! You can do it! Here’s to a year of fighting the fat!

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Simply Supplements

Pills Pouring out of Bottle

There are so many pills on the market. They are marketed to us to fix all our health problems. Are supplements good or bad? I will say there are some that are bad for us. I am not a fan of most diet pills. Especially those loaded with stimulants. I believe the best way to help the body is through whole foods. Supplements are not a cure. They are not to be used to replace proper nutrition. Our food contains most of the nutrition we need. If you have not seen Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, it’s a great documentary on how whole foods help to heal the human body.

Before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor. Do not just run out and take whatever is on the shelf or on this list. Many supplements can cause adverse side effects and interfere with prescription medications. I am not a physician nor am I here to give medical advice.

Here are some you may have heard of:

Acai:

Acai is a berry found naturally in South America. If you ever get the chance to go to Brazil, you will find acai in fruit smoothies, drinks, in many places. Eating the fruit and drinking the juice are the most beneficial. Acai berries may be a good source of antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats. People have claimed acai is a miracle superfood. Before you spend copious amounts of money on buying supplements, do some research. The best sources are natural sources.

CLA:

Conjugated linoleic acids naturally occur in meats and dairy products. They are also found in safflower oil. CLA has received lots of good press for its ability to aid in the reduction of abdominal fat/body fat and increase in muscle tissue. CLA has been reported to reduce cancer risks, help with heart health, and much more. Should you run out and by some? I tried it and found it helpful with reducing body fat. However, once I stopped taking it, I gained fat back. My recommendation is to buy 100% safflower oil and use it in replacement of vegetable oil. It’s great for making salad dressing, to bake with, cook with, etc…I no longer take the supplement and use the oil. Safflower oil is high in fat, yet it’s a good fat.

Creatine:

Creatine is a compound synthesized (made) in the body and transported to muscle tissues where it fuels short bouts of intense energy production. To meet the demands of a high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting or power sports, muscles generate energy from chemical reactions involving adenosine triphosphate (ATP), phosphocreatine (PCr), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and creatine. Stored PCr can fuel the first 4-5 seconds of a high intensity effort, but after that, another source of energy is needed. Source http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/performanceenhancingdrugs/a/Creatine.htm

Garlic:

Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. One of garlic’s most potent health benefits includes the ability to enhance the body’s immune cell activity.

The active component in garlic is the sulfur compound called allicin. Allicin is the chemical produced when garlic is chopped, chewed, or bruised. Allicin is quite powerful as an antibiotic and a potent agent that helps the body to inhibit the ability of germs to grow and reproduce. Source http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/garlic-benefit.shtml#ixzz2IS93KgdU

Biotin:

Biotin is a coenzyme and a B vitamin, also known as vitamin H. As a supplement, biotin is sometimes used for diabetes, brittle nails, and other conditions (WebMD). It’s been used to deal with brittle nails, skin problems, hair growth, and much more. Biotin naturally occurs in food. here is some information from WebMD.

Biotin occurs naturally in many foods. Wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, nuts, Swiss chard, salmon, and chicken are all sources of biotin. The biotin in food is usually attached to protein and has relatively poor absorption. Source http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-biotin.

Glutamine:

Many body builders take glutamine.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the body. The body can make enough glutamine for its regular needs, but extreme stress (the kind you would experience after very heavy exercise or an injury), your body may need more glutamine than it can make. Most glutamine is stored in muscles followed by the lungs, where much of the glutamine is made.

Glutamine is important for removing excess ammonia (a common waste product in the body). It also helps your immune system function and appears to be needed for normal brain function and digestion. Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/glutamine-000307.htm

Multivitamins:

Some people pop pills instead of eating healthy. I am not against vitamins. I take multivitamins. However, many of the over the counter vitamins are not fully absorbed to provide maximum benefits. There are so many on the market and it’s best to do some research and find vitamins that dissolve easily within the body.

Protein:

There are several forms of protein supplements; whey protein, soy protein, pea protein, and other vegetable proteins. Some people cannot tolerate whey protein and therefore choose vegetable protein. Protein is important for building lean muscle. Protein also keeps us full longer. Protein helps us to ward off cravings. We need to use caution when adhering to a high protein diet. High protein diets can lead to dehydration, and kidney problems. You can read more online if you search for high protein diets online. Also read the labels on your protein. Some contain additives, and preservatives that are not good for you.

Lastly, I will say it’s best to get nutrients from whole foods. If you choose to use supplements, talk to your doctor. Make sure if you are taking any prescriptions some supplements will cause adverse side effects. Supplements are not a quick fix nor a replacement for a healthy diet.

 

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Detox from Sugar (Fat Loss)

Who doesn’t love desserts? They are creamy, sweet, filled with fat and butter. Yummmmmm….As I stated last post I have not had dessert in 75 days. I decided to detox from sugar thinking it would be great for my exhaustion. I also read some research stating that abdominal fat was often an indication of the over consumption of sugar. Sugar causes insulin spikes in the blood. When we eat that candy bar and drink that soda, our blood sugar sky rockets! What happens after this blissful sugar high? We come crashing down to the land of, “I need either more sugar or some caffeine.” The spiral continues until we are addicted to sugar. Not only have we started the cycle for sugar addiction, we are also telling our bodies to store fat. Yes! Stable blood sugar is beneficial for weight loss (See disclaimer¬†at the bottom of the post¬†if you think you’d like to give up sugar).

Insulin and energy:

“Insulin is a hormone that causes most of the body‚Äôs cells to take up glucose from the blood (including liver, muscle, and fat tissue cells), storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle, and stops use of fat as an energy source,” fitnessblackbook.com.

With the information I gathered on blood sugar and weight loss I decided to try 30 days with no added sugar. Diet consisted of lean meats-fish, turkey, beef, chicken, vegetables, tomatoes, nuts, beans, vegetable protein shakes (no preservatives), eggs,¬†peanut butter, low fat dairy, etc…I did not eat any bread, grains, rice, or sugary fruits. Calorie consumption was relative to my plan before ~1500 to 1300 calories. The food I was eating before consisted of wheat bread, fruits, sugar, honey, cereals, frozen meals, crackers, pretzels, meats/grains/dairy, diet soda, potatoes, and pasta (all within the calorie restriction). The scale was not moving and my body was not responding to calorie restriction.

When¬†I ¬†started eating whole foods it was more difficult to meet the calories¬†I needed. Ex. Spinach has 7 calories a cup vs. eating potatoes that are more calorie rich.¬†And whole foods fill you up faster. I¬†simply wasn’t as hungry. Something to note: women should not eat less than 1200 calories per day and 1500 for men. Reducing calories below that level leads your body to think you’re starving and your metabolism will slow down. Plus it’s not healthy (See webMD.com search starvation).

Fitness and my plan: I did not work out the first 14 days. I wanted to see if the research was valid (stable blood sugar leads to fat loss). I had been running 15 to 20 miles per week.

Sugar Detox Week One (my experiences)

Headache, fatigue, irritability, and then more headaches and irritability.  I mean I felt like a cranky zombie. A cranky zombie who would probably tackle someone walking by with a cupcake. Oh my~ what did I sign up for? I decided to keep going. I was determined to finish what I started.

Sugar Detox Week Two

Energy has increased. No longer craving sweets or wishing to raid the vending machine for sweets.

Sugar Detox Weeks Three & Four

Able to run 6 miles instead of 3 without being exhausted. Energy is through the roof! Skin has cleared up with a healthy glow. I have dropped one pant size. I’ve lost almost 2 inches off my waist¬†¬†without working out every day. I ran no more than once or twice a week.

Sugar Detox Weeks Five through Present

After the first 30 days I began to add more foods. Sprouted grain bread/Ezekiel 4:9 bread, sweet potatoes, quinoa, greek yogurt, fruit-berries, pears always with protein and never alone, croutons, etc..). Added circuit training into the fitness plan. I feel 100 percent better. I require less sleep. I no longer have the after lunch slump, and my skin looks better. I no longer crave sweets.

Will I ever go back to dessert? Probably in moderation (once a week), I don’t think anyone should deprive themselves for life. However, eating a diet that mainly consists of sugar affects your blood sugar and energy levels.¬† I’ve also lost four inches of fat off my stomach. It’s flat now. I feel better without dessert and that’s worth sacrificing for! I’m sure cutting out¬†unhealthy processed foods helped with the fat loss as well. Good luck on your journey friends.

Disclaimer: Do not follow this as a weight loss plan. Every person should consult their doctor before starting a diet or exercise program. Your doctor can recommend a nutritionist for you or a plan if you desire. Information presented are my experiences/experiment.

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The Beginning

It all started with exhaustion…

You know you are tired when no amount of sleep helps. You go to bed tired. You wake up tired. You live tired. I tried running because maybe my body needed a more strenuous workout to prep it for slumber. Epic failure! I was simply exhausted. The doctor’s said, “You’re fine. Your blood work is normal. There is nothing physically wrong with you.” Well, there was something wrong. Here’s the list of the culprits that were draining my life of energy. Maybe you will see the same issues in your life.

1. My high stress job. I won’t complain, as I am thankful to be employed. However, stress if not managed will cause damage to your health and immune system.

2. Poor nutrition. Yes, I was one of those people who ate what was quick and felt lousy because of poor choices with food.

3. Lack of relaxation. Along with my job, I was also hosting and leading a women’s group, volunteering in the community, working on writing books, and not taking time for myself. I rarely had time alone, and there was no real chill time. And my body was ticked off about it.

4. Toxic relationships. Some people we can not get away from, like family. Other’s we have to pick and choose. If you surround yourself with people who are negative, pessimistic, doom and gloom, continually gossip about people, are hot-tempered, etc…your body will respond to it as stress.

5. Lack of water. I am a Researcher. I don’t have the liberty all the time to run out to the ladies room. It’s not possible. So, dehydration became a way of life. We need water to live and survive.

How do you get out of the rut? It starts with a decision. Do you want the best life possible? Are you willing to do what it takes to have that life? If so, then make a decision to change. The change starts with you. You can’t force other people to change, but you can change yourself.

How did I do it? I started with taking things off my schedule and my plate. I resigned from my women’s group. Attendance had diminished, and I was putting far more effort into than I should. I started drinking water. Seventy Five (75) days ago I gave up sugar, processed foods, white bread, white rice, high glycemic foods, and switched to whole foods. I started arranging my work schedule¬†so there were breaks, and I could eat every 4 hours. I started taking classes such as Krav Maga, boxing, and even going to a massage therapist. I stopped spending time with people who were dragging my spirit into the dumps or treating me like a garbage can (i.e. gossiping about others). I surrendered busyness, and set firm boundaries with¬†people. Sometimes, you have to say no! Do you hear me? NO! No, I can not help you. No, I cannot be there for you. No, I cannot add another activity to my plate. It feels selfish, but if you don’t learn balance, you will kill yourself. You’ll die, everyone else will keep on living.

Dear friends, the world is an amazing place waiting to be explored. What on earth are you waiting for? Ask yourself, “What am I doing to live the best life possible?” The choice is up to you. No one can live life for you. You have to make a decision, and set your eyes on the prize! Be kind to yourself. You cannot love your neighbor as yourself, if you don’t love yourself.

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