Staying on Track

If you recall from my previous post, I noted it’s much easier to have success with your fitness/weight loss/health goals if you make a plan and make a commitment.  I know, personally, that if I say I’m going to do something, I may not always follow through with it. But if I commit to something, I am committed 100%.  So, here are my commitments for 2018:

Whole 30

To kick off the new year, I’ve committed to another Whole 30 – which begins TOMORROW. As always, I’m super excited to start another Whole 30 Program.  I have over-indulged in my fair share of chocolate this Christmas season, and I really need to slay my sugar dragons.

Whole30 Reset

I began preparing for my 30 days late this past week.  I got my grocery shopping done and spent part of the weekend eating clean meals.  My fridge is organized and the chocolate is going into cold storage.  I have been waiting to get started and now I’m more than gung-ho. I know how great I feel during and after my 30 days and I know the chocolate will be there later on down the road if I really feel the need to have some.  But, for the next 30 days, I’m committed to clean eating and drinking.

Gym Routine and Workouts and Rest

Fortunately, I don’t really ever need to push myself to exercise.  In fact, I’m eager to do my workouts and, it seems, it’s often all I think about.

Rest Day2

I mean, if I’m being completely honest….

In addition to my boot camps, family fitness classes, and attending Zumba, I have regular gym sessions (I often exercise more than once a day – splitting my days with lifting in the morning and cardio/boot camp in the evenings).  Therefore, I sometimes get through a work day on 3-5 hours of sleep.  And, let’s be honest, that just isn’t enough.  Although I am fully functional on just a few hours of sleep, I am committing to resting more in 2018.  I am going to let go of my fear of missing a workout and spend time relaxing (and snoozing).

RestDay

Eye Health

A few years back I had eye surgery.  It was a gross surgery where my eyeball was cut into and a membrane was scraped out.  Although, my vision in that eye on it’s own has not improved (and may never), my vision with both eyes together is still better than 20/20. That being said, I’m constantly fearful that the sight in my good eye will go and I’ll be SOL.  If it happens, I won’t be able to read and my driver’s license will likely be taken away.

Eyes

Be proactive and take care of your vision.

I have been as proactive as I can be, but the issue with my “bad” eye was such a fluke that there really is no way to prepare for or prevent the same thing happening in the other eye. However, I am careful with my eyes and I do what I can to ensure my eye health is up to par.  I keep drops in my desk at work and at home, I always have my sunglasses on during the day, even in the winter, and especially with all this snow in Nova Scotia so as to prevent Photokeratitis – or snow blindness.  In fact, I have several pairs of sunglasses with different UV protection and different shades of protection so that I have a pair to go with every weather condition. And I already have my next appointments set with my eye surgeon/check-ups.

Although I don’t wear glasses or contact lenses, Warby Parker now offers a Prescription Check App that allows an eye doctor to assess your vision and provide an updated glasses prescription.  If you are someone who wears glasses, or just want to have your vision checked out, then it may be worthwhile checking out this app.

So that’s my short-list of my commitments for staying on track this year.  What’s on your list?

~Cheers

 

 

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Nutrition

Nutrition

via

You’d think it would be basic common knowledge by now that good nutrition is important (likely the most important factor) in living healthy, long lives.  But, alas, some people still don’t get it.  You see people non-stop forging garbage into their bodies and then wondering while they are unhappy, unhealthy, overweight, tired, lethargic, have acne, etc.  <– This list goes on and on.

Here it is:

In order for our bodies to function properly and stay healthy, it is important that we follow a good nutritious diet.  Good nutrition provides energy and the building blocks of muscle.

The more you know about the importance of nutrition, the better the good food will taste. Increasing your knowledge on the importance of good nutrition will make healthy foods more appealing to you, not only because of the taste but also because of their nutritional content.  It’s fun to eat when you truly understand what you’re putting into your body.

Vitamins and minerals are important nutrients our bodies need in order to not only function properly, but also allow chemical reactions to occur at a faster rate.

If we think about food as fuel, and even medicine, for our bodies it can give us a better understanding of the role nutrition plays in our overall health, and guide us in making better food choices.

We want to achieve longevity and increased energy and promote growth and happiness, and proper nutrition can assist in all of that.  This does not mean you can’t indulge in “treats” (i.e. the craptastic foods like baked goods and chocolate) on occasion, it means you have to limit putting them in your body and be wiser to the effect the crap foods have on your health.  BALANCE is vital to good health and well-being.

Balance

We know from research that a healthy diet can lower risk of stroke, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, some cancers, and diabetes (to name just a few ailments).  Choosing healthier foods and following a proper nutrition plan can also provide mental clarity and clean up hormonal imbalances.  (<–This is part of the reason I love the Whole 30 Program so much.)  And aside from all of this, eating better really just makes one feel better.  You don’t usually get the same satisfaction from French fries and frozen dinners that you get from fresh produce and lean proteins.

The growing epidemic of poor health and obesity and preventable diseases can all be reversed by living healthier – following a healthy and nutritious diet and exercising.

What is comes down to – eating the right foods is as important as the air we breathe.  Choose wisely.

~FB

Whole 30 Experience – Days 9 thru 15

Day 9

After my morning walk I indulged in 2 eggs and coffee for breakfast.

My lunch consisted of left over zucchini noodles (zoodles) and a 1/4 pork chop.  I also had a small peach and some cherries before heading to the gym.  I did not eat a lot or enough.  On the way home from the gym I had errands to run and I could feel that my sugars were getting low (I’m Hypoglycemic) and I was getting light-headed, so I snacked on a Larabar.

For dinner, I made mixed veggies and steaks.  We don’t usually eat red meat and it was kinda gross.  I snacked on dried cherries and nuts afterwards because my palette was not satisfied.

Day 10

I was up way too damn early this morning to get to the gym and I worked my ass off.  Therefore, I was near starving by the time I got to work.  I had two eggs and a hash brown for breakfast (along with an ice coffee I drank on the way to work).  Mid-morning I was still really hungry and decided to inhale yet another hash brown.

For lunch I had a can of tuna (packed in water) mixed with avocado and chopped up dill pickle.  I also sucked back another iced coffee.  I’m very tired.  During the day I snacked on a few plantain chips and dried cherries.

Dinner was spectacular!  I made spicy crab stuffed avocado and it was so delicious that I can’t wait to make it again.  (Cut the avocado, remove pit and scoop out the fruit.   Chop up crab meat (I put mine in my blender – kinda gross but did the job) or use canned crab, a little red onion, and a little cucumber and mix in a bowl with the avocado, a little lime juice, and a little paprika.  Once mixed well, spoon it into the avocado shell.  You can eat it cold but I popped mine in the oven for a bit.  #sogood

I also had a little of the sweet potato brownie as I was prepping some for Day 11.

Day 11

Post-morning walk I had 2 eggs and some turkey bacon – plus coffee.

I do not know what was wrong with me today but mid-morning I was starving.  My sugars were down, I was light-headed and a little dizzy, and completely hungry.  In fact, I was so hungry I kinda ate two lunches.  First, I had packed with me some mixed veggies with a few pieces of shrimp.  This equaled about a half a cup and did NOT satisfy my hunger.  So, about 45 minutes later I picked up a piece of chicken and some potato.  I also had a half dozen cherries to go with it and felt satisfied.

To be perfectly honest, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know if my hunger was a result of just being really hungry today or if it was for lack of water.  I normally drink a couple of liters in the morning but it was a busy day and this morning I only filled my water jug once (which is about a liter and a half).  I think that had a lot to do with it.

After hitting the gym, I was excited to get home to eat.  I made the rest of the spicy crab from the night before and also had a slice of prosciutto to go with it.  I snacked on some coconut balls while I was making dinner and meal prepping for the next day, and a bit later I also snacked on some plantains.

Day 12

I was up at 5:25 this morning so that I could get to the gym bright and freakin’ early (got there just before 6 *barf*).  I actually really enjoy my morning workouts – whether I’m just up for my morning walk or hitting the gym to lift heavy.  I feel very accomplished afterwards.  But since I was up so darn early (it’s really dark that time of the morning), and because I lifted so much this morning, I made sure to prep a good breakfast.  I had cauliflower pancakes (eggs and cauliflower) and some prosciutto.  And I’m on my second coffee already.

For a mid-morning snack I had a Larabar and for lunch I had the remaining leftover crab and avocado salad, a pork medallion, and some cherries.

I snacked on more cherries in the afternoon.  And for dinner I had some basic (compliant) bacon and eggs.  I went out with the girls later in the evening to a local pub and, unfortunately, there was not a single thing on the menu that I could order.  This particular restaurant is a bit on the pricey side and I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I couldn’t eat.  So, at 10pm, I ordered a basket of fries while my girlfriends shoved super delicious treats in their faces.  Technically, fries are compliant but certainly the Whole 30 program wants you to shy away from them.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, because this is, like, my 10th round of the Whole 30, I have made peace with having to go “off-program” here and there and this was one of those times that I had to.  I also was running a 5k obstacle race (Foam Fest) early the next morning, so I tried not to feel overly guilty about the fries.

Day 13

The next morning I was up again at 6:30 to get ready for the Foam Fest.  One thing I will admit to – on or off the Whole 30 – I hate exercising on a full stomach.  I absolutely cannot do it.  And as such, I did not eat breakfast this particular morning.  My BFF and I split a date/energy bar a bit before the race but that is all I ran on.  Oh, I also made half a cup of coffee.

After the race, BFF and I had to stop at the grocery store and while she was shopping she was eating taters from the store’s deli…She shoved a few of those at me to tide me over until I got home.  And once home, for brunch I made eggs and prosciutto and another cup of coffee.

That afternoon I went shopping with another bestie and she and I grabbed coffee.  I almost never have 3 coffees in a day but I was exhausted from my early mornings all week and from the run in the morning.  Black iced coffee was my bff that afternoon.

I did not eat again until dinner that night.  I roasted a chicken, carrots, and cauliflower.  I basted my chicken with a little olive oil and mixed herbs and garlic.  It was perfection.

Day 14

Once again I had eggs for breakfast (are you at all surprised?  Eggs are my staple.).  I had a lot of work to do to finish up my preparing for my online boot camp session to launch before I headed out of town for the night.  Hence, why I made the chicken dinner the night before.

For dinner, my other half decided to go to Subway.  I already had my chicken dinner but decided to pick up a chopped salad at Subway and throw in some of the chicken with it.  I also had half a dragon fruit.  And in the evening I snacked on some plantains.

Day 15

After finally having a semi-decent night’s sleep, I got up and made eggs and coffee for breakfast.  Once my honey woke up, we went out for a mid-morning coffee.

For lunch I had some leftover salad and chicken.  It was a very lazy day (Labor Day!) and I didn’t do much until I had to leave to teach boot camp.  After class, I came home to meal prep and make myself dinner of eggs and a small pork chop and some cauliflower.

I will fully admit that this weekend I did not eat enough and went off chart a bit.  I usually stick to my guns when it comes to staying compliant.  And I feel like if I hadn’t been so darn tired this weekend, I would have made more choices, better choices, and would have eaten more.

 

Healthy Snacking

Quite often people ask me what I snack on, especially when I’m on a Whole 30.  In fact, when I tell people about the Whole 30 I am usually met with “what do you eat?”.  I’m finding that people don’t realize how much nasty crap they’re eating until I really spell it out for them by explaining what I eliminate and why.

Because I’m on the go so much and, it seems, pretty much living at the gym, I’m always hungry and need to be prepared for when hunger strikes and for pre-workout fuel.

So, for those of you who are interested, here’s the short-list for my snacking staples:

  1. Dates – You can almost always find a bag of dates in my desk drawer at work, and somewhere in my house.  I love dates.  Dates are a great pre-workout fuel, since they’re rich in glucose (a simple carb).  Glucose travels directly to the liver for immediate energy transport – meaning the body doesn’t have to convert it to a different form of energy in order to utilize it.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling a little draggy during the day, I’ll pop a few dates for quick (and sweet) energy.

Dates

2. Larabars

Larabars

I LOVE me a good Larabar.  There are so many different flavors to choose from and they are made (mostly – some of them have chocolate or peanut butter) from 100% natural, clean ingredients.  And since the primary ingredient in a Larabar is dates, they’re an excellent source of energy.  You can be certain there are always a few Larabars stuffed in my gym bag.

I often make my own Larabars…especially when I’m rockin’ a Whole 30.  It’s inexpensive and I can ensure they’re compliant.

Homemade Larabars

3. Fruit – Fruit is usually my number one go-to for snacks.  I usually have apples and bananas in my fridge at home and at work.  If I have a big workout coming up, I will usually have one of the two a bit in advance.  I often will throw an apple in my gym bag as well.

Fruit

You really can’t go wrong with fruit

I also like to have tropical fruit – mango, papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit – for occasional snacking sweetness.

4. Plantain Chips – I am addicted to plantain chips.

Plantain

I get these dudes at Walmart for $2

Okay, I may not be addicted, but I do enjoy plantains – home-cooked or store bought.  They’re low in calories and fat, and are sugar-free.  I sometimes keep these in my desk drawer (where my coworkers steal indulge in them) and in my cupboard at home.  They are so good and since they are Whole 30 compliant, I usually have them on hand for “emergency” snacking.

As you can see, my snacks are all Whole 30 compliant.  But there are also options available for people who are looking for snacks that are organic, or gluten-free, or vegan.  The company GoMacro offers products that meet all of the above.

GoMacro

GoMacro is a family-owned company that “put their heart and soul into a natural, whole-food based lifestyle”.  Their pursuit of health thus became a path of living in balance with themselves and nature.  (Seriously, do yourself a favor and go read their story – it’s truly inspiring!!  <3)

Their products are, as I mentioned, gluten-free, organic, and vegan (they’re also kosher). They are cold-pressed and nut-butter based and made from simple, clean ingredients.  These little bars are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or your back pack or your purse.

MacroBite

I can almost taste the nom nom nom

Unfortunately, GoMacro Bars are not yet available in Canada (they’re working on it), but if you’re living in or visiting the US, you can order them here or pick them up in select stores.  (GoMacro peeps – feel free to send me a sampler. 🙂 ).

Well there you have it.  What I eat.  What I want to eat.  A few healthy snack ideas that you can consider keeping on hand and getting you through your workout, especially if you’re struggling to maintain compliance in a Whole or clean or vegan diet.

Cheers, ~FB

 

 

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

healthy-eating-on-a-budget
I saw this article today and thought I’d repost to give some tips on
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget.

Some other ideas:

1. Check the flyers. There are three major grocery stores in my town. Every week I check the flyers of each to see what sales are on. I’m a big fan of BOGO and sometimes stock up on items that are on sale, BOGO or reduced. A few weeks ago one of the stores had full pints of blueberries on 3 for $5. I got 9 pints. Also, I often visit the grocery store(s) several times a week. Sometimes I will find items (and on sale) that were not originally on my list.

2. Buy seasonal produce in large quantities and freeze what you cannot use immediately. You can make shakes and smoothies all winter from a couple of flats of frozen organic strawberries or raspberries. The flavour is better, too!

3. Shop the farmer’s markets for food in season. The best prices and the freshest organic produce come from the farmer’s market.

4. Join a food co-op. Members often receive a discount or monthly coupon for five to 10 per cent discounts.

5. Buy a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture). Shares are typically about $400 (you can pay in installments) for a weekly box of produce during the growing season. The cost typically works out to about $30 or less per week. My sister-in-law does this and they always have farm-fresh meat and eggs.

6. Use coupons. The best way to obtain coupons for natural or organic foods is to visit the website of the manufacturer, or use an Internet search engine and type in the words “grocery store coupons” and “organic” for printable coupons.

7. Buy from the bulk bins. Organic flour, sugar, cereals, pasta, spices and many snack foods are less expensive (and easier on the environment) if you purchase them from the bulk food section. Some stores even have peanut butter, maple syrup, cooking oil and even cleaning products available in bulk. Bring your reusable bags or containers and reduce your waste at the same time.

8. Grow your own healthy foods. I LOVE gardens.

9. Have breakfast for dinner. Sometimes I will make eggs for supper. They’re super cheap and you can make tons of different dishes with them (omelets, wraps, scrambles, etc.) and they’re so friggin’ good that I often crave them. But, aside from my addiction with eggs, there are several items you can have as a cheap dinner – cereal, oatmeal, toasted sandwiches. You don’t always have to have a 3 course meal for dinner. Also, have a shake or smoothie as one meal replacement occasionally.

10. Practise cooking creatively. When you have leftovers from dinner, try to use them in another meal — add them to a pasta dish, veggie burrito or omelet, or fold them into a soup or sauce. Don’t waste food.

11. Soup is always a great and inexpensive meal.

There, just a few ideas but it might help you save some money.

~Fit Bitch