There Is No Magic Pill…Trust Me I Looked

1 Apr

There is not a magic pill that will help you lose weight and keep it off.  Yes, I did a “diet” in the early stages of my journey that was shakes, protein, bars, and veggies.  Here is what was different about how I treated this program compared to people looking for a pill to fix their problem…fyi I used to be one of those people looking for magic unicorn dust to shake on the french fries to make the weight fall off (thanks CrossFit Mom).  The difference is that I knew what I was doing with the shakes was not long term.  I treated that “diet” as a short term detox/reset of my diet and hoped that it would jump start my weight loss.  I was strict on it for 3 months and the months there after I slowly reintroduced more clean foods back into my diet until I was simply eating a healthy and clean diet.

The fact is I have lost weight over the last 9 months because I cut the crap food out of my diet.  I broke a viscous overeating cycle.  I somehow severed the emotional food ties that bound me in a FatChick body for so many years.  I get off my butt regularly and workout.  I am not done losing weight, and I will reach my goal because I eat healthy foods, I eat quantities that satisfy me,  and I workout.

This is not directed at anyone in particular, I just hate seeing people getting invested and hopeful about a product that is not going to do anything for you.  You have to do it yourself.  It is hard and at times it sucks…bad.  It is just the way it is.  The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can help yourself to make real progress.

Anyone you look at who has had long term weight loss success, regardless of the diet, supplement, pill or surgery they utilized, the common thread is real change in diet and exercise.  Anything less will result in temporary results.  Take it from me the former yo-yo queen.

This yo-yo is broken, done, out of commission   I won’t go back, and only staying strong about eating healthy and working out is going to allow me to keep my word.

Stay Strong and Keep Moving,

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When a boy walks in with a Walmart vest and some nerdy specs…

28 Feb

You get sprung?  Well this girl did.  I am linking up with Erin at Homemade Happenings to share more of mine and hubs love story.

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So, I have mentioned in a previous post that hubs and met while we were both working at Walmart.  I was instantly attracted to Tim (aka Hubs) the first time I saw him.  I stand by the statement that his nerdy plastic frames are the only reason we got together.  He was confident but not cocky, seemed really fun and easy going.

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I decided to test the waters by inviting him to go to a concert with me and some of my friends…you know one I just happened to have an extra ticket to. Well my invitation to the Lifehouse/Everclear/Matchbox 20 concert offened his heavy metal sensibility and he turned me down based on the fact that “I don’t really like any of those bands.”  He did admit Everclear was “okay”, and that was a little hope for my heart because I went through a major Everclear fanatical phase for well over 5 years.

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Later on we found out he was roommates with a friend of mine from high school, and we planned a group hang with me, him, his roommate and roommate’s girlfriend.  I invited them all to my house to cook for them.  So here is proof of how much I liked this guy.  I wanted to, on our first non-work hang, show him I was an amazing cook.  I am from the south, and I always heard the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  I don’t really get this in hind sight.  Am I supposed to make him feel nurtured and cared for… as in like his mom????  Well,  I dodged a potential mommy issues moment when he called to bail on me 2 hours before they supposed to come over.  He told me his parents surprised him, but roommate and his GF were still coming over…WTF?

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I pretended like it was such a non-issue, but I was crushed.  My fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, and gravy were not really anything other than some strange chubby southern girl attempt at a mating ritual, and now it was going to be wasted on a dinner where I got to be the third wheel.  Awesome.  The bright side of that dinner came when the GF asked me if I liked Tim…you know liked him liked him.  I don’t recall my exact answer, but it was some stuttery non-committal way of saying yes…yes I did.  They proceeded to confide in me that he was majorly into me and my heart soared.  I chilled after that and just let it happen the way it was going to happen.

Our first date was on my birthday, there is a Seinfeld episode about a girl who goes on a first date on her birthday btw, and we went to see Airmen of Note The United States Air-force Jazz Band.  Our second date ended with him coming to my house to watch a movie.  We flirted like 12 year olds all night.  We never kissed, we never left the living room, and he did not leave until the next morning.  It was one of those nights you see in movies where they state they “stayed up all night talking”.  There is very little in real life that is like the movies.  This night though, was one of those real life movie moments.  I think we both knew after that night that this was going somewhere.

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After that we were inseparable.  He is/was funny, charming, confident, unabashedly himself at all times…even when not appropriate.    We surprise each other.  He surprises me by saying things in certain settings that make me cringe, being unafraid to say something completely lame and goofy, and just by putting himself out there with little to no fear.  Prime example: He serenaded me once on one of those early dates.  I razz him for his song choices (Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton and What Might Have Been by Little Texas) and for how awkward that was.  It was sweet and ballsy as can be, but being serenaded by a guy guitar in hand is not one of those movie moments that translates to real life.  As the one being sung too, what do you do in that moment.  You are so self aware and awkward and I was even embarrassed for him.  He did a great job, cheesiness and all, but that was a level of confidence that had greatly alluded me and it made me uncomfortable.  It was a surprise and while not the stuff romantic movies are made of, it made me fall for him even more because he was not afraid to do crap like that!

We fight, we get on each others nerves, but we are each other’s biggest fans, best friends, and comedic side kicks.  Life would not be fun without him.  It just wouldn’t.

Be sure to link up with Erin and share your love story!

Post workout snacks and why you should be enjoying one…

27 Feb

Today’s post comes at you from one of my real life bf’s, Jaimelee.  She blogs over at her little piece of the blogosphere, Diary of a Crossfit Mom.  Jaime is my constant fit companion, and we talk incessantly about all things fitness and nutrition.  She is a self proclaimed Crossfit/Nutrition geek, and I proclaim her youtube and podcast queen of the universe.  She loves to learn about nutrition and fitness, and how it all effects our bodies… more specifically hormone regulation.  She is a junkie for it, and I get the benefit of the Cliffs Notes version of her hours of research when we chat.

One of our recent conversations was about post-work noshing.  I was an apple and almond butter kind of chick when it came to my post-workout snack.  Read on to find out why I was not helping myself or my muscles with my snack of choice.  Also, be sure to visit her blog and show her some follow love!

Post Workout Nutrition is one of today’s biggest buzzwords in the world of health and fitness. You see people at your gym carrying around shaker bottles full of some magic liquid, catch people downing bars on their way out of the gym and you can get pages of results searching them on Pinterest. When I worked at GNC it was amazing how many recover supplements and bars we sold which made me think obviously there is something to this post workout nutrition thing. Post workout nosh is essential for maximum recovery.

First off I want to explain why a post workout snack is so important. So let’s start with the science-y stuff. When you workout, especially strength work, you pull from your glycogen stores in your muscle, post workout you have what is called a “Metabolic Window of Opportunity” for maximum restoration of these depleted stores. This window can be defined as the period up to 45 min after exercise at which time nutrition can shift the body from a catabolic state to an anabolic one essentially stimulating protein and glycogen synthesis.

In a nutshell during this time by eating protein & carbohydrates you increase the building of muscle. Now there is some debate on the time frame of this window which range from fueling during training up to the 45 minutes after, but I will get more into that later. Essentially the point is post workout you want to consume a protein and a carbohydrate. Remember however that all carbohydrates are not created equal. Your muscles use glycogen and glycogen is what you want to feed them when it comes to your carbohydrate.

As in the above definition the base of a good post workout snack is protein and carbohydrate, but most people aren’t selective about their carbohydrates. Some workout snack examples I have used and seen online are fruit and nut butters, chocolate milk, protein shakes, cheese stick and fruit, or chicken and sweet potato. I am surprised at how many times I see fruit suggested as post workout nosh as well as some sort of fat source and here is why.

When your Glycogen window is open you want to fill it with as much as possible in as little time as possible. You can optimize this restocking by eating a good solid protein, and glucose based carbohydrate, fruit is both glucose and fructose and while it won’t harm you post work out it won’t maximize that window as a higher glucose snack would. Also keep in mind that your body has to work a little harder to digest fructose and therefore may take glucose longer to get back into those muscles. So it is a good idea to look for an alternative to fruit, I will make the exception for bananas since they tend to be on the more starchy side. You also want a good protein so that you will have the fuel available to aid in recovery. What you want to avoid post workout is fats, fats are best for a pre-workout snack as they will delay absorption of glycogen into the bloodstream and therefore prolonging them as fuel. Post workout you want your nutrients to rocket back into your system and fat would just delay this. Remember that window which is a time frame, you want fast and easily absorb-able  you don’t want to add a fat to delay, thus pushing absorption past that window. So save your fat for later.

So now I am sure you are asking what you should eat. I would say, in my opinion, a protein shake is optimal because it is by far the easiest and most convenient post workout fuel, this is what I use most of the time. I blend a high quality protein powder with coconut water, but I have heard of people who blend protein and milk, protein and Gatorade  and protein with straight glucose and water.

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If you take this route I highly recommend that you research your powders and go with high quality whey isolate. There are other proteins out there so experiment and find what works best for your body, as with anything the smaller the ingredient list the better. I use Progenex which has about 5 ingredients in it, it is pricey but worth the money.

Other great options are baked chicken (dry baked with no oil) with sweet potato, or egg whites with sweet potato, smoothies made with Greek yogurt and bananas, while not optimal, are acceptable. Chocolate milk is also a big post workout drink used by various athletes, if you try this just make sure to avoid any made with high fructose corn syrup, key word here being fructose. Whatever you choose you want to keep it anywhere from a 2:1 to a 4:1 protein to carbohydrate ratio, I use a 2:1 ratio but that is me you will have to experiment to find your optimal ratio.

So now to revisit the time issue, the name itself indicates post workout but there are some camps out here who highly recommend drinking a recovery drink during your workout thus maximizing absorption. The theory behind this is that by the time you have digested the shake your at your window. Obviously this would only work with drinks or shakes because I am not sure how people would feel about you chomping on some chicken between sets or rounds.

However, for every guy that says “during  a workout is optimal” you have a guy rallying for every time in between, and leading up to 45 min. I will tell you that I personally have tried drinking a shake during a workout and have noticed faster recovery and less feeling tired post. This isn’t always possible depending on my workout, I am not going to try to sip a drink while running a 5k {that always ends bad} so this isn’t always what I do.   I do however try to hit that post fuel as close to after my workout as possible.  Most times I drink my shake while cooling down or stretching but I always try hard to hit within that window.  I suggest that you play around with what is convenient and what you notice your body responding to.  If you have your snack at 45 min and notice you are feeling fatigued after your workout and have prolonged muscle soreness try to get your snack in earlier.

So just remember post workout you want to avoid fat, consume protein and carbohydrate, and get that refuel in as soon after your workout as possible. Here’s to great recoveries!!

Us in our non-Fit Chick In Training days…

2 Posts 1 Day

26 Feb

So yeah I am wild and crazy today sending you two posts.  Since the first was recipes, I imagine I am not totally bombarding your with too much utter randomness.

I wanted to share my workout from last night and say that it was one of those moments in the get fit journey where I surprised myself.  First here is the workout:

I have really begun working the crap out of my arms on Tuesday nights, so I wanted something that would not make them too sore after a Monday workout.  I thought abs would be a perfect area of the body to focus on.  I garnered some inspiration from Anthony and Joe at Hybrid Athlete.  If you have never visited their site, then please do so by clicking here.  They have become my workout Yodas along with providing me with a kettlebell bible of sorts, they have videos, and workouts available.  I simply searched core on their site, and made my workout sprinkling some of the exercises I found there.

Sidenote: I am teaming up with these guys and will be bringing you a guest post from Joe in near future.  Joe is  a writer for all mainstream fitness magazines, and sites such as greatist, active.com, and livestrong.   So keep your eyes peeled for this post!

So back to my workout last night.  I think there are more than enough times during this journey, where you think to yourself…I can totally do that.  You attempt whatever the feat is only to find it nearly impossible or extremely difficult.  I do this to myself all the time.  It is really humbling and motivating, but can sometimes feel defeating.  Enter the moments where you surprise yourself.

When I designed this WOD last night, I set the weighted sit-ups with 10 reps.  I felt confident that I could do them, but also felt like I might struggle because of the weight.  I should have set those reps higher because I rocked out those sit-ups.  I was someone who when I started 9 months ago, could not even do a real crunch.  As in could not keep my neck straight eyes on the ceiling and crunch, let alone sit up.  Last night I was amazed at how I was able to keep the effort in my core and not my neck.

It was a moment that made me really happy and extremely proud of myself.  I told the hubs about it because I thought it was pretty freaking amazing.  He immediately went to try it out and he struggled.  I am not going to lie, I was jumping up doing air kicks and punches after that.

It looked a little something like this:

Now I do need to say that part of why it was somewhat easy is because I did them wrong.  Yeah I just got you all pumped up over my victory just to let you know that I did them wrong.

My wi fi at my house was being slow and I grew impatient.  Tink was pushing back that bedtime with no shut eye in site, so I did not watch the Hybrid video of the weighted sit-up,  and ended up doing the freaking things wrong.  I also need to bend my knees more.  Here is the correct way to do a weighted sit-up:

Regardless, it is a victory because I know I could not even had done the incorrect exercise at all previously.  Here is the video of me looking all rough as hell post-workout showing off my incorrect move to my hubs.  Got to love the fat smoosh on a sit-up…no one should ever see themselves sit-up unless they have washboard abs.

Stay Strong and Keep Moving,

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3 For The Price of One

26 Feb

I am bringing you a three for one recipe post today.  It was brought to my attention that I inadvertently never posted my Mexican casserole recipe.  So without further ado here is the recipes for Mexican Casserole, Mexican Coleslaw, and Sweet Potato Meatloaf Bake:

Mexican Casserole

Ingredients

Ground Turkey 1.25 lb
1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
1 Medium Onion Diced
3 Cans of Rotel Tomatoes (drained)
2 Eggs
1.5 Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 package of taco seasoning

Brown turkey with onions and bell peppers until meat is cooked and veggies are tender. Combine meat, veggies, drained rotel, eggs, 1 cup of the cheese and the taco seasoning in a bowl. Mix well. Pour into 9×9 brownie pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

6 servings: 247 calories, 9g of fat, 10 carbs, 32g of protein, 5g of sugar per serving

Mexican Cole Slaw

Ingredients

Juice of one lime
1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp of Honey
1 tbsp of cumin
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 cup of olive oil
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/8 cup chopped green onion
1 bag of Shredded Cabbage Coleslaw mix

Mix vnegar, honey, and spices together in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Then blend in veggies and cilantro. Chill and serve.

6 servings: 93 calories, 8g of fat, 4 carbs, 0g of protein, 4g of sugar per serving

Sweet Potato Meatloaf Bake

Ingredients
Ground Turkey 1.25 lb
1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
1 Medium Onion Diced
2 Cans of Rotel Tomatoes (drained)
2 Eggs
3 Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup of milk

Peel and chop sweet potatoes. Set aside. Put water on the stove to bring to a boil. While water is is heating combine raw turkey, onion, bell pepper, rotel, eggs and seasonings you would typically use with meatloaf (I use different stuff all the time so I am no help here). Once blended well, put mixture in 9×9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While meatloaf is in the oven, cook the potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with milk, salt, and pepper. Pour mashed sweet potatoes on top of meatloaf and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes.

6 servings: 260 calories, 9g of fat, 19 carbs, 22g of protein, 7g of sugar per serving

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