- WATER. Are you getting enough water? You should be taking in 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight each day. For example: a 140# person should drink at least 70 ounces each day. Write it down! It’s amazing how fast you can lose track or guesstimate incorrectly. I use a fun app called My Water to keep track of mine.
- BALANCED MEALS. Eating 3 balanced meals each day. This means each meal has a portion of PROTEIN, FAT and a CARB (pref a veggie). Refer to an earlier post in this group re: how to prepare a balanced meal.
- Regular EXERCISE! Plan to workout at least 3 times each week. Never let more than 2 days go by without exercising.
- PROTEIN. Do you get enough protein? Shoot for getting at least 20 g of protein in each meal.
- Cut out sugary drinks. Sodas, Gatorade, energy drinks… they all have so much sugar and carry a ton of calories! This one habit alone can sometimes save people several hundred calories each day! In general, cutting your calories by 500 can help you lose a pound a week of fat. If you drink a lot of sugar filled drinks, this ONE habit could make that difference.
- CALORIES. Begin to monitor your daily intake of calories. Do you know how many calories a day your body needs to survive? It’s a good thing to be aware of, and to be aware of how much you’re actually taking in. This can be a big step, if you’re ready to count calories for each meal. Or, if you’re not ready for that, it might be good to at least have an idea of what your daily intake should be and keep it in the back of your mind.
- SLEEP. Getting the right amount of sleep can have a big effect on your body’s ability to lose weight. Lack of sleep can have an effect on how well your metabolism operates. Shoot for at least 7 hours a night. (I know, my night shift friends, I know… just do the best you can on your off nights)
- Practice reading labels. You may be surprised just how many carbs are in your favorite bread or soup or whatever! This is a great habit to start and increase your awareness of just what you are taking in on a daily basis. I look at carbohydrates, total fat, protein and sugar. Sugar is in pretty much everything. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any item that has more than 9grams of sugar per serving.
- FIBER. How much fiber do you get in a day? Fiber is great for digestion, keeping your gut healthy and making you feel fuller longer! Yay! Shoot for 15-20 g per day. Keep in mind, some high fiber foods make you feel bloated (and gassy!). Flush with lots o’ water.
- ALCOHOL. Major source of wasted calories!! Depending on your beverage of choice, this can be causing you to take in way more calories than you planned or need. Consider a lower sugar option or only have 1 or 2.
- GOOD CARB vs BAD. Swap refined carbs for natural carbs. Let me know if you’d like a list to make this one easier. Basically, refined carbs are any processed foods like bread and cereal. Natural carbs are fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
- CONDIMENTS. Another source of wasted calories… more in the way of calories that add up faster than you may realize. Think about salad dressing. One serving is, typically, 2 Tbsp. Do you measure that? How much do you think that long pour over your salad really is? You may be surprised. Consider tracking how much of your condiments you are using and adding to your meal. These include things like ketchup, mayo, cheese, sour cream, guacamole…
- JOURNAL. One of the best habits to start is to keep a food journal. Try it for at least one week. You may be surprised what you see and what patterns emerge. This is one of the best ways to find small culprits that are keeping you from losing weight. And the good news is when you know then it’s an easy fix!! When we had our gym, one of the first things every client had to do before their nutrition consult was to turn in a 3 day diary. Eye opening!
- MINDSET. Eat when you are hungry. You may be thinking, well, duh! But, you’d be amazed how often we all reach for food when hunger really isn’t the issue. Are you bored? Emotional? Thirsty? Thirst often gets signaled to your brain as hunger. Maybe drink a glass of water before you chow down and see how you feel. With that, stop when you are no longer hungry but before you are FULL. Your brain receives the full notice long after you’ve had enough to eat.
- TREAT YOURSELF. I don’t believe “diets” have to be about deprivation. Allow yourself one small treat a day. Like a piece of dark chocolate or one small cookie. My favorite is sugar free pudding with Redi Whip. Allow yourself to have something sweet, it will calm your brain and ward off huge cravings and, possibly, a binge.
Hello all! Wanted to drop in and say how much I have missed my blog and all of you in the great web world out there. I’ve taken too much time away. I am making a commitment, right now, to you to fire this baby back up.
To be real, I’ve been paralyzed by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of messing up, fear of not being good enough, fear of technology and how to’s…. the list goes on. However, we cannot live our lives to the fullest if we let fear take control and hold us back! Time to follow my own advice, ignore the big scary audacious goal and just take a step. Instead of worrying about how to handle it all, just take small steps, every day. Before you know it, you will turn around and see how far you’ve come. This works for any goal… business, fitness, weight loss, everything!
So, here’s to taking a step….
Hello July!!! Birthday month is here!!!
Typically, birthday month (never just a day!) is a big deal in my world. I have been known to drag the celebration out for the whole month! I plan a variety of things to do; lunch with friends, dinners out, tickets to a show, minimal work days – whatever I can arrange. Birthday month is the one time of the year that I feel justified to spoil myself.
Yet, this year feels different. This particular birthday is one of those monumental milestones. One that many people make a big deal about. And it’s such an ugly number, I cannot even say it. As this birthday came around, I found myself struggling with the age thing.
So. what am I going to do? I can’t wallow in self pity or regret because I’m getting older. It happens to the best of us. There is nothing anyone of us can do about it. And, it has never bothered me before. Why should I start now? A number does not define how we live our lives and who we are inside. I am healthy, active, and fit. That will not change anytime soon. 🙂 I feel young, I look young(ish), I act youthful.
What I decided to focus on, instead, was where do I go from here. How can I feel more impactful? How can I make a more of a difference? What can I do NOW to feel better about where I am in life and where I am headed from here? One of the best ways to make a shift into positive energy is to do something for someone else.
Therefore, in honor of birthday month, I decided to dedicate this month as What You Do Matters month… a month filled with random acts of kindness. Because what you do each day matters, in your life and in the lives of the people around you. You have no idea how one small act can positively impact another person’s life. So, every day, I kept in the forefront of my mind to do kind things for other people. Some things were preplanned, some things were spontaneous.
I’ve made a list, here, of the ideas we plan to do. Every day, I challenge you, too, to do a few acts of kindness of your own – use something from our list or comment below with what you came up with!
- Spend an entire day smiling at everyone you see. Whether they smile back or not doesn’t matter, you’re still sending positivity!
- Do a chore that your partner hates to do.
- Put money in a vending machine.
- Put $5 in an envelope and tape it somewhere in public for someone else to find.
- Bake cookies for someone.
- Hold the door open for a stranger, let them in first.
- Write a letter to a relative and mail it.
- Donate gently used clothes – instead of selling them.
- Stop at a child’s lemonade stand.
- Send a sweet message to a friend for no reason.
- Leave quarters in a gumball machine.
- Leave a nice comment on someone’s blog or IG post.
- Give random compliments.
- Help someone carrying a lot of stuff.
- Spend one day only saying positive things about other people.
- Stay off your phone while interacting with someone doing a service for you; like the bank teller, grocer, or barista.
- Ask someone about their day without also sharing about yourself – let them be the focus.
- Donate your time or service, volunteer at a shelter or do a service you can do for someone else.
- Leave heads up pennies on the sidewalk.
- Be kind to yourself, you are doing great!
I don’t even know where to start so I’m just gonna start. I’ve been holding back writing here and posting for the last couple of months because I’ve been struggling lately with what my real focus is. Where do I want this blog to go? What impact am I trying to make?
Deep in my heart, I want to make an impact, make a difference, even if it’s just in one person’s life. The things I struggle with in terms of being and eating healthy, what to eat, my body, my fitness level and managing it all in this busy world of ours… I know other people struggle with too. And if something I have learned along the way can help someone else, that is my ultimate goal. So, how do I get that message out?
Often, we hold ourselves back, waiting until something is perfect, timing is perfect, execution is perfect. But, if we keep waiting, timing will never be perfect. When you’re just starting something, it may not come out perfectly – at first. It may not be exactly right…. but if you never get started, you’ll never get started. Ya feel me?
Here’s what you can expect from me now. I am currently on a mission to be the healthiest and most fit me I can be. I’d like to share that journey with you. What you will find are things that are working for me… products I use, food that I eat, the diet plan that I follow, and how to get your mind right to tackle it all. The right mindset is so important. Until you get your mind right, doing what it takes to make changes can be rough!
So often, I hear women say how they would like to feel healthier, eat a little better, maybe even lose a couple of pounds. And, I think, that isn’t very easy for everyone to do. Busy is the new fine! We are all busy, but that doesn’t need to be an excuse to not have the most fit and healthy body that you can. If you haven’t noticed already, time goes fast. One of my biggest fears is that I am running out of time for LIFE! I want to travel, have fun, stay independently healthy and have the energy to keep up with it all. And, it doesn’t hurt to feel like you look good and have a body that you can be proud of and feel good in.
It is my intent to give you information that will make your fitness journey a little easier. Follow me and we’ll discover all kinds of good things. And, somewhere along the way, we will achieve great things for our bodies and minds. For, we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for, mentally and physically.
Each morning, at the end of my night shift, our manager comes in to touch base with the staff. Each morning, she asks the same question… “Anything I should know about?” Each time, staff shares stories about what happened on the night shift… what went wrong, what problem needed to be solved, who screwed up… As I drove home in my bleary eyed, awake-way-too-long delirium, I made a discovery. While this is an attempt to connect with staff, know the happenings in the department, all it really does is focus on the negative. What went wrong, what can we fix, who screwed up.
Why I am sharing this with you is because I realized that this relates to life as well. Especially our health and fitness life. As much as anyone, I get caught up focusing on the negative. My thoughts center around whether I hit my macros perfectly. I was short on protein. I didn’t train 5 days last week. What am I missing? What can I do better? The list could go on. While it is crucial to constantly strive to improve, the best way to go about that is not to focus on the negative. Ever heard about the adage of giving at least 3 praises for each criticism? Even the most well-intentioned criticism can undermine self-confidence and initiative. We need balance. We need to talk to ourselves in a nicer voice.
So, what can you do? For me, my confidence in myself kind of ebbs and flows. One day, I think I’m right on track, feeling good and doing amazing. Next day, I am down on myself for not being perfect, for not making gains, hitting a plateau and (worst case) comparing myself to others who are farther along in their fitness journey. STOP!
This is the kind of funk I have found myself in the last week or so. I think I’ve hit a little plateau. Rather than seeing that for what it is, my mind immediately shifts to the old mindset of “nothing works for me” “why am I not making gains” and feeling frustrated. However, what should I really do? I am going to readjust and refocus.
Therefore, the best way to break out of the negative is to focus on what is GOOD. Where your focus goes, energy flows! (It is always true) Look back and realize how far you have come. Take a real look at where you are and be realistic about what is working. And change what is not. If you’re not getting the results you want, what could you be doing differently? Sometimes, the most difficult part about this journey is finding what works for YOU. Most of all, do some research, find a mentor or a good coach. Make small adjustments that are going to refresh your focus and kick start your progress. Keep your eye on the prize, shift your focus, and keep moving forward!
Coconut oil?? Doesn’t that have saturated FAT in it?
☕️ This is a question I often get when I rave about coconut oil in my coffee every morning.
The answer is yes, it does! But this oil contains healthy saturated fats ~ not like the nasty kind we see in meats and cheese. It is the structure of these good fats that make them good for you in many ways. Check it out…
Coconut oil doesn’t have the usual saturated fats like the ones we see in meats and cheese. Where they vary is in the structure. The saturated fats in meats and cheese are called long-chain fatty acids, where this liquid super food contains fatty acids of medium length… also known as MCT. The health benefits come from the way they are metabolized in the body, which is quite different than long-chain fatty acids.
So, is it REALLY good for me and what does it REALLY do?
- Helps the body burn more fat. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCT’s per day increased the body’s 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%! That means you could be burning a total of 120 calories more – per day!
- Increases resistance to viruses and bacteria. Lauric acid, a fatty acid found in coconut oil, and the components it releases when broken down are known to kill harmful pathogens, increasing your body’s ability to fight infection.
- Fights off yeast, Candida and fungus. Ew, nuff said….
- Reduces hunger. The ketones that are created through metabolism of the oil have an appetite reducing effect. The less you eat can result in weight loss over time. 🙂
- Can have a positive effect on some brain disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimers. This has to do with the way the brain metabolizes carbs in people with these disorders. The way these fatty acids are broken down releases ketones, which can improve brain function and decrease the amount of seizure activity.
- Improves digestion and boosts thyroid function.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that the saturated fats in coconut oil increases the “good” HDL cholesterol in the body while also converting the “bad” LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.
While all of these things are amazing and great for your body, keep in mind that coconut oil is still a fat. Meaning… just because it is good for you does not mean that you can ingest it in unlimited quantities – especially if your goal is to lose weight. Just 1-2 tablespoons a day will do the trick!
Tonight was back squats….enter challenge. I am not good at heavy lifts. I struggle with my form (my husband corrects it all the time, lol), I feel uncomfortable, they hurt (a little bit ?) and makes my brain a little anxious during the lift. But if I avoided them, I wouldn’t get stronger, I wouldn’t test my willpower to keep going. Beat that mental game and push through. That is why I’m doing them.
2 months ago I made a decision to up my game, push my limits and take my body to the next level. I was feeling like I was just going through the motions without making any progress or seeing the changes in my physique that I was wanting. That is when I read about the Slap 90 Day Contest (with Slap Nutrition) of refocusing, recommitting and rediscovery. Perfect timing! Being a part of this challenge has been so good for me. It is always in the back of my mind, pushing me, reminding me that I have made a commitment to get better, work harder, stay consistent… basically to live better each day.
Therefore, the 6 week program we’ve chosen to take us into the final stretch is on point! It is crazy hard and is certainly pushing us harder than we’ve pushed in awhile! As we head into the last month, I’m happy with my growth so far, personally & physically. ?? It’s important to push yourself past your comfort zone. If you always do the same workouts, the same exercises (maybe because that’s what is easy for you, you’re good at it, or you just like what you like) you’ll stay stagnant & struggle to see change. Try something new! Find a program that pushes you just a little more & will challenge you. Through challenge is where you’ll see change!!
I hope this is helpful. I hope, by sharing my story, you will feel inspired. Inspired to take your own challenge, push yourself past your limits and see the change you have been wanting. It is possible! As always, I’d love to connect with you. Share a bit of your journey in the comments below!
There is absolutely nothing worse than feeling bloated. That gassy, swollen and acidy feeling you have that makes it tough to pull on your skinny jeans or feel simply comfortable in your clothes and leaves you asking “Whyyy does this happen??” There are many factors to the dreaded belly bloat. Often it is caused by something that you ate creating indigestion, taking in too much sodium, or even that time of the month. Whatever the reason may be, there is hope! You can ease your belly bloat by munching on a one or two of these foods… 😛
We all know that watermelon is 92% water, and that means it makes you pee. And the more you pee, the less belly bloat you will have. Watermelon is also a good source of potassium, which is important when it comes to controlling bloat.
Water with Lemon
Many people think that skipping water is a good idea when they are having belly bloat. But, in reality, they should be doing the opposite. If you are have issues with bloating, avoid restricting your fluids. Lemon and water together make a great combination as this helps in reducing the salt retained in the body, aids in digestion ~ and it’s delicious!
Egg whites are full of protein as well as a great diuretic. Eating an egg-white omelet before going to the beach can prevent you from having belly bloat after lunch.
Celery is known to decrease fluid retention and act as a digestive aid for controlling intestinal gas. Something to keep in mind, though, is that too many raw vegetables actually cause bloating. So, if that is something you notice with yourself, make it your focus to nom more on the cooked veggie variety.
Surprise! These delicious crunchy sweets are known for reducing gas and dreaded bloating.
High potassium foods, like bananas counteract the effects of high sodium foods. If you are having bloat due to last night’s Chinese food fest, grab that banana in the morning to get some balance.
Asparagus can act as a natural diuretic and reduce water retention. Perfect to eat before a big event when you’re wanting to slip on that little black dress!
Hopefully this helps next time you are feeling uncomfortable and struggling with a bloated belly. If the issue continues, you may have an intolerance to something you are eating. Try keeping a log or a food diary for 3-5 days, not only jotting down what you are eating, but how you are feeling, too, throughout the day. This can help you look back, maybe see a trend and discover what is causing the bloating. If the bloating is persistent, it is always a good idea to consult with your regular doctor, so that they may be able to guide you towards a solution.
Currently, I am on a mission to get into the best shape I possibly can. I have been fit and I have been fat – back and forth several times throughout my life. What this means is that I have a ton of working knowledge (life experience – if you will!) with how to “get fit” and be healthy… and along the way I’ve also learned a lot about consistency, (or lack there of, haha…) determination and pushing past what holds people back. It was around January of this year that I finally got tired of being inconsistent, of the excuses of why I was gaining weight, not fitting in my clothes, feeling fat and sluggish and disgusted. I knew a lot about nutrition, good fats and bad fats, grains vs processed breads… blah, blah… all the textbook stuff I could recite to anyone. But, my excuse was none of that worked for ME. It was time to figure out what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. For me, that answer was flexible dieting.
That was around when I was hearing a lot about flexible dieting, and I was curious. Through social media, I found a WFBB pro Brittni Shae. I liked what she had to say and how successful she has been in the pro fitness world, aaand the fact the she is lean AF while eating pretty much whatever she wants. I was intrigued! How can this really work?
If you know me at all, you’d know that I grew up in a very holistic and “natural” foods environment. I was taught (and strongly believe) that food is fuel and what you put in your body directly effects how it functions, grows and you feel. The farther along I get with my Precision Nutrition certification, I believe it more and more! So, it was hard to fathom that people who ate Cap’n Crunch cereal and poptarts could be strong, healthy AND lean! However, after a little research and personal experience, now I understand… and I love it!
(There is a lot to learn, at first, about Flexible Dieting or Macro counting, but once you understand it, it makes complete sense. There isn’t any need for me to go into complete detail or description of it here. There are a few other people who have already done that, and so expertly, it’s best for you to do a little research on it yourself. There is a TON of information out there on flexible dieting and a wide variety of people who coach on it. My suggestion is to look around, google search, find a few people you like and their style (see who fits you!) read up on what each site has to say and go with who & what works for you.
One of the sites that I like best is www.ledbetterinc.com. Another site for good all around info is simply www.iifym.com. When I first started, I got a lot of my information (and my first macros) from following Brittni Shae, WBFF pro. Her site is www.bshaefit.com. (FYI: I do not get paid for promoting any of these people or their sites, I just like how their information is presented.) These are just to name a few… the key is to make sure that where you are getting your information is credible, experienced and properly credentialed. (meaning, make sure they know what they are talking about and walk the walk 🙂 )
Here’s what I like best… Flexible dieting is just that…. Flexible! It allows you to still have an Oreo when you really crave one, or pasta for dinner, or whatever your taste buds desire – as long as it fits into your “macros” for the day. Basically, macros are the macronutrients your body needs on a daily basis to function properly and give you energy. Macros are your proteins, carbs and fats. When eaten in a balanced manner, your body will begin to function at a higher level and much more efficiently. Obviously, the majority of your macros need to come from high quality, real, natural sources in order for your body to operate well and be healthy. But, the beauty of this is that you can also incorporate the foods that make your taste buds happy too. Cause, let’s face it, people eat food not nutrients.
What it has done for me… Over the last few months, I have been able to gain control over my eating. I have been able to make choices on what to eat without the guilt of eating something I “shouldn’t” be. I can adjust my macros throughout the day based on what’s happening in my life. I never feel deprived. I have also been able to watch and feel my body changing, leaning out, feeling stronger, having more natural energy. I can go out to eat with my boys and fit what they want to eat with what I need to eat. That, in itself, is everything!
Is it hard? With anything new, there is going to be an adjustment period. It is a little bit of work, in the beginning, getting used to counting, measuring, weighing and tracking everything. I can’t say that I haven’t been frustrated a time or two (hahaha, just ask my husband about how I’m freaking out cause it’s taking me an hour to put together food for my overnight shift…) BUT, it DOES get easier over time. You do find a few go-to meals, that once you know the numbers are easy to grab and grub. And it IS worth it. I know, in time, this is what will give me the body that I have been working toward and dreaming of for a long time.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions with flexible dieting and how to get started. I will help you the best I can!
Up until now, the posts I write have been topics I thought people would find interesting and, hopefully, help some of them along their fitness journey. But what I am realizing, lately, is that while these articles may do just that (be interesting and helpful…) they don’t give you any idea about who I am, my progress and what this fitness journey is like for me.
So I’ve decided to change it up a bit… talk more about my experiences, past and current progress, a-ha moments. (I’m far from perfect or where I want to be). All with the hope that it will help at least one person out there with what they’re struggling with throughout their own fitness journey.
My initial plan, with this post, was to give an update of where I currently am in my journey back to fit, my life, current state, an introduction of sorts… But, then, I realized something important today that I thought might be helpful to share. And, so, and introduction may have to wait. Or you’ll just figure it out as we go along… haha
It’s full blown summer time here in Colorado. And, like, any normal summer day… I took my son to the pool to play with his friends and hang with some moms. Typically, going to the pool is a huge source of discomfort for me. I have never felt comfortable in a bathing suit (whether I look ok or not, doesn’t matter) It’s why I’ve never been to a water park (seriously, never), why I’ve never floated down a river, or enjoyed hanging out on the beach… basically any super cool water sport that everyone else loves (and I secretly would too, if I could relax). But, it’s so fun for the kids, so off we go…
So, today, I found myself among several other moms… each one skinny, flat abs and in a bikini. Ugh. But, wait… it gets better. At first, I felt a little uncomfortable as the only one with a tank top over my suit and boy shorts over bikini bottoms. Here’s the good part… I was criticizing myself for not having a perfect body, not being skinny enough to sport a bikini. However, what I decided to focus on, instead, was how far I have come. Last year, I wouldn’t even wear those boy shorts, because they looked so terrible. Today was a last minute plan to join our friends at the pool. So, I was a little worried, as I ran upstairs to change for the pool, whether I could find anything that would fit at all! But, I have been working very hard for the last couple of months, diligently counting my macros, training 4-5 days a week, increasing the intensity… and was really happy to find that most of my suit options didn’t look that bad! 😉
Moral of the story… even though my body is not the perfect specimen (YET) that I want it to be, it IS getting better. I am getting smaller, things are getting tighter, my shape is coming back. Every day I have to fight the underlying belief that my worth is equal to what I look like on the outside. This is TRUE progress. Progress over perfection. Today, I chose to feel good in my suit and to know that I am working hard toward my goals every day. And, just because everyone may not be able to see that, or realize that, today… I know it, and that’s all that matters.