DIET Is A Four Letter Word

Diets. What do you think of them? Are you on one now? I am sure you have at least tried out one at some point in your life. Have any of them worked for you? What kinds of crazy things have diets made you eat or do?

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If you are a believer in diets please don’t be offended by this post. But I HATE the word diet. Hate every single thing about it. I hate how crazy they make people. Hate how unhealthy they are. Hate the money they make you spend. People there is a better way!

You don’t have to buy pre-packaged “food” that tastes awful. You don’t have to live on liquids only (I need something to chew!). You don’t have to eat meals that wouldn’t even fill up my 14 month old. You don’t have to miss out on every single thing that you love in this world!

I didn’t try a ton of diets along the way. I did Body For Life and a short stint with Atkins. I tried the green smoothie varieties for 2 of my meals. Green smoothies and Atkins did not last long. Body For Life did last a lot longer and I have incorporated some of it’s ideals into my life now. The reason that that one lasted longer than the others is because of one very different aspect. It didn’t require me to do wild and crazy things or suck my meals through a straw. It was something that gave me tips and was maintainable because it was a lifestyle that was easy to maintain.

So that right there people is the reason that diets don’t work. You can’t maintain them. They aren’t realistic. They may work for you for a little bit but then it just becomes too much of an effort. They might completely cut out every single thing that you think tastes good and eventually those cravings are going to become to much and you are going to cave and binge!

So why not just do something that doesn’t leave you crazy and eating every not so healthy thing in sight?!? That’s what I do, I have found a lifestyle that works for me. I try not to eat too much. I try to eat fruit and veggies at lunch and dinner. I try not to eat too much sugar but I allow myself to have a little every day if I want it. I don’t tell myself that there are things that I can’t eat. I just limit how often I eat those yummy, greasy, cheesy, fat loaded foods and try not to eat too much of them when I do. But sometimes I do eat too much of them and then I just start over the next day by eating healthy again. Yes I still beat myself up over it but not as often as I used to. I have just found that I am happier and less crazy when I just eat what sounds good and don’t stress over whether or not it fits into a diet or not. I try to find balance in my day and as I have done this I have found that my body craves things that are good for it and I don’t need as much of the less healthy stuff. Believe me I still need it, just not as much! 🙂

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I know it may seem hard at first to not have a plan that so completely tells you exactly what to do but you can do it. Just eat more of the rainbow and try out new fruits and veggies. Get good proteins through meat and beans and quinoa and nuts. Eat lots of salads that are full of good for you things. Keep good foods on hand, put your fruit in a bowl on the counter where you can see it. Buy baby carrots so you can easily grab them by the handful. Try out some new recipes that use grains or squash that you haven’t tried before. It really isn’t hard!

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So trust me on this one and try it out. You will be happier and feel better and not feel like being healthier requires so much time and effort. You can do this, I believe in you. And if you don’t think you can I am here to cheer you on! I am proof it can be done, and if I can do it then you certainly can too.

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Butter!

I LOVE butter. Love love love butter. There is nothing better than a thick slice of homemade bread right out of the oven with a thick layer of butter on. Honestly, one of the best things on earth right there!

Buuuuuut, not the best to be eating that every single day. So I save my butter for fresh bread and popcorn and baking and substitute for other things, like toast.

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This is one of my favorite products. Sorry for the blurry picture but good enough! It is butter made with canola oil and has 50% less fat and calories than regular butter. I use it on toast, garlic bread, pasta, anything you need butter for!

The other great thing about it is that it stays in the fridge (no melted butter in the summer on the counter) and it is soft right out of the fridge. Because there isn’t much worse than having hot toast and a cold stick of butter and ripping your toast to shreds trying to get the butter on it! No worries with this little tub, soft right out of the fridge!

And one more thing that makes it so great is it is affordable. Yay for cheapskates like me! 🙂

So give it a try. You don’t have to give up butter just sub this in at times. You won’t be disappointed!

 

You Can’t Out Exercise A Bad Diet

How many of you have tried to lose weight and be healthier and have worked out so hard but nothing has changed? You get frustrated and want to give up or do give up because you can’t figure out why you have been killing yourself at the gym for months and your clothes aren’t fitting any better and you don’t feel any better? Well if you can relate to this at all trust me…you are not alone…

This was me for a good chunk of my life. All through junior high and high school I was very active. Volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter, volleyball leagues in the spring and basketball tournaments in the summer. Literally all year long I was playing some sport, having practices, being super active. Yet I still felt huge and not any better about myself. I was thinking about this the other day and laughing at myself for how oblivious I was. I LOVED Little Debbie cookies. You know the fudge rounds and oatmeal cream pies? LOVED those. I actually have been craving them lately but have yet to find somewhere that sells just one so I can enjoy just one…all I can find are the family size boxes and I don’t trust myself with that! Anyway, I often would get one of those after lunch. You know the cafeteria lunch that was a hamburger and tater tots or a melted ham and cheese sandwich and probably more tater tots? Yeah I would eat that and then eat a big old cookie. Not the best choice! And there were times when basketball practice wasn’t right after school so we would just hang around waiting and I inevitably would end up at the vending machine eating a PB Twix. Hey, it was protein right? I needed that protein to get through practice.

When I first moved to Utah and lived across the street from the gym I was diligent at going pretty much every weekday. Nothing changed though. I still felt large and horrible about myself. I was also making my self huge, super cheesy bean quesadillas. I loved those, still love them. But they were much bigger than I should have been eating and I remember eating them a ton. I don’t remember eating many veggies and fruits but I remember those. I also made banana bread all of the time. I must have bought bananas and never eaten them and always had ripe bananas so I baked banana bread often. But I made the recipe as is. Not like now where I cut the sugar because I hate that they are SO stinkin sweet. I often sub out part of the white flour for white wheat flour. I experiment with different fats and replacing part of the fats and still getting amazing results. But back then I didn’t do any of that.

I finally in the past few years have learned that my whole process of being active but eating horribly is not a good one and there is no way it will ever work. You really can’t out exercise a bad diet! I am living proof of that! But I am also living proof that you don’t have to give up everything that you love, you can still have it and still be healthier.

I still eat those cheesy bean quesadillas. I just only eat half of it and only make it moderately cheesy. You can still have ice cream or a candy bar or popcorn at the movie theater. Just have a little dish or a couple of bites and just not every single day. (Not the movie theater popcorn every single day.) In all honesty I eat treats every day. I don’t let myself eat them until after lunch time or sometimes not until after dinner time because I know if I start early I will eat it all day long! And like I have told you before I eat small amounts and make sure I am eating lots of fruits and veggies during the day and it all balances out.

So if you are struggling with being healthier and not sure why. Take a good hard look at your diet and be honest with yourself. It’s ok to have a burger and fries or pizza every once in awhile but not every day. See what changes you can make for the better and keep up the exercise and I know you will start to feel a change. It might even come quickly. Your body wants healthy stuff and it will thank you! And just remember you don’t have to be perfect, it’s ok if you slip up. Just use that as motivation to try to be a little better tomorrow!

And if you ever need a personal cheerleader just let me know, I love to cheer people on!

One Of My Biggest Fears

One of my biggest fears is that my little girl will grow up with body issues like I did. I don’t know what caused me to have body issues or when it all began but I have had them for as long as I can remember.

Our world is so obsessed with being thin and having the perfect body and this has caused so many eating disorders, so much depression and just plain unhappiness. We see it everywhere we go. Magazines next to the registers at the store showing us these “perfect” bodies we have to have. Facebook, t.v., Instagram…pretty much everywhere we look. I don’t want Olivia to have to deal with any of that. I don’t know what this world will be like as she grows up but I want to buoy her up as much as I can so she can withstand whatever is thrown at her.

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Look at that adorable face. It breaks my heart to think of her struggling with body image. Of feeling like she is too fat or not good enough because of the way she looks. I don’t EVER want her to have to feel like I did. I want her to always have that joy and happiness and be able to see the good in the world. She is stubborn and fierce and strong willed and I hope she keeps those qualities so that the world won’t beat her down. So that she can be a good example and a leader and a fighter for change to make the world better.

I don’t want her to care what the number on the scale says or what size her clothes are. I want her to want to be healthy and strong in whatever form or shape that may be. I want her to know that her body is powerful and can do hard things if she pushes it. I want her to enjoy the outdoors and know the exhilaration of sweat and sore muscles and burning lungs that get you to the top of the mountain to see the amazing views of the world around her. I want her to feel the joy of running, jumping, riding a bike and appreciating her body because it enables her to do those things.

I am working SO So so hard on my body images issues. I am  trying to love my body in spite of it’s many imperfections. I am trying to appreciate more the things that it can do. That it may not be what it used to but that it is strong and it can to a lot. I don’t ever want her to hear me complain about the extra pounds I have put on or my extra skin or that I just feel fat and ugly. NEVER. I want her to learn by my example to love the strength and power of her body and never let any one tell her she isn’t good enough. Nice try social media, magazines, and internet. My girl is going to be confident and know she is strong and by golly I am going to do everything in my power to make sure you never make her feel like she isn’t worth anything. You just might as well give up right now. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Jump Rope

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Remember back in elementary school when you would jump rope at recess? In 3rd grade we would jump rope all the time. I don’t remember doing much else. Jump rope came before my obsession with tether ball! We would bring out the long jump ropes and take turns and eventually we got brave and pulled out two long ropes and did double dutch. I could totally do it! I was really good at it and could even stand off to the side while both ropes were going and time it perfectly to jump in and keep jumping without messing up the ropes! Don’t be jealous of my mad 3rd grade jump rope skills! 🙂

After 3rd grade I don’t remember ever touching a jump rope. Maybe we still had to use them at times in P.E. but I don’t remember. But come summer training for varsity volleyball before my junior year of high school our coach gave us a workout that we needed to do at home every single night. And the first thing on the list (and the only thing I remember from that list) was jump rope. I thought seriously? We have to jump rope? And there was a big chart for us to mark and we had to do 10 sets of 100 every night. I felt like it might as well have been a billion jumps!

So I did it religiously, every single night. And you know come volleyball season in the fall I felt like it really made a difference. The muscles in my legs had been working on jumping all summer and it made a difference for me.

About 10 years ago I decided I needed a little something different to add into my workouts so I went out and bought a cheap jump rope and starting using it at nights again. A couple of my roomies even joined in with me some times. I didn’t do it every day but threw it in a couple of times a week and noticed when I first started I would do one set of ten and then have to catch my breath. Gradually I built up and could do two sets at a time and then three and four. I think I quit before I ever was able to do more than that. You know how it is, life happens and some things fall by the wayside.

Well this week I decided I needed to buy another jump rope and start doing that again. I need something a little different to add in and that seemed like the perfect thing. First of all jump rope is a great workout because it is so cheap. Sure you can spend a lot of money and get fancy jump ropes with weighted handles and all sorts of other things but you don’t need all of that. This is what I bought…

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It was $2.57 at Walmart. That had a variety of them but I like the simple cheap plastic speed jump rope. Not sure why but that is what works well for me. I only made it out once this week to use, I have to do it early in the morning before it is a billion degrees outside and my daughter has decided waking up between 6 and 6:30 is cool so that made it a little tricky. Excuses, excuses, I know, but I did it once and that is progress so that is all that matters!

Science Daily says that 10 minutes of jumping rope is about equivalent to running and 8 minute mile. I would much rather jump than run! And it’s a calorie cooker, even moderately jumping for 10 minutes burns a good amount of calories.

The medium impact helps build bone density. Both legs are taking the impact instead of one leg when you are running so it isn’t as hard on your joints. Dr. Daniel W. Barry, a researcher who has studied the bones of the elderly and of athletes, says the latest studies show simply jumping is one of the very best for improving bone density.

It will help you get lighter on your feet.

It is good for your brain because it is making you do something physical and mental.

It is still one of the most affordable forms of exercise. You can’t beat $2.57!

It’s portable. You can take it absolutely anywhere with you. So if you are going on vacation and won’t have a t.v. or computer to do a workout just take your jump rope, you can use it anywhere!

The entire family can use it.

It is cardiovascular and tones muscles at the same time.

“It’s certainly good for the heart,” says Peter Schulman, MD, associate professor, Cardiology/Pulmonary Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. “It strengthens the upper and lower body and burns a lot of calories in a short time, but other considerations will determine if it’s appropriate for an individual.”

So if you are looking for something new and a little different then dust of that jump rope! Your kids can even join you and the whole family can work out together. You really will love it and it doesn’t require a ton of time to feel like you actually did something to benefit your body. Join me this week and try it out…my goal is to make it out at least twice! Just keeping it real folks, just keeping it real…

Here are a couple workouts you could try if you get bored of just jumping:

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/best-jump-rope-workout

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/arms/express/jump-rope-workouts/

http://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/15-minute-jump-rope-workout

Some information from: buyjumpropes.net and Webmd.com

 

 

 

Sticking With It

Sorry for the no post on Monday, I was enjoying playing too hard with my family and recovering from that yesterday. Hope you all had a happy 4th!

I think there are two things that are the hardest part of changing your life and being healthy. Finding the motivation and sticking with it. I will talk about finding the motivation another time because that requires a lot more for me but sticking with it has been on my mind.

I was chatting with an old roommate earlier, one of the best I ever had, I just love that girl. She was asking me about how you committ to change/stick it out for the long haul.

“That is my hard part. It’s not that I don’t know how to lose weight/what works and I even like healthy food. I just get easily discouraged because results are not fast.”

That really got me thinking and it’s been on my mind all afternoon and I was asking myself, why is it so hard to stick with it?

The first thing that came to mind is that people go WAY extreme in their search for healthy.

Some people can count every single calorie they put in their mouth. Not me, too lazy.

Some people measure and weigh everything. Once again, too lazy. When I am starving I just want to eat!

Some people can buy specialized food that is pre-packaged for just the right caloric/fat/carb whatever intake. Me, no thanks. I like real food that actually tastes good.

Some people do juice cleanses or only drink green drinks. Yuck and not thanks. I need to chew my food and a liquid will have me starving and eating ALL THE FOOD IN THE HOUSE 20 minutes later!

Some people cut out anything sugary, cheesy, carby, fried, pretty much anything that tastes good. Can’t do that, I love all the sugary, cheesy, carby, fried foods!

Some people find a workout plan and do crazy workouts that last hours each day. Or have you puking and passing out because they are so intense. I can’t do that, my body doesn’t want to do something like that and I just am not going to force it. (By the way if you are puking and/or passing out then STOP! You are working way too hard and it is NOT good for your body!)

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My point here people is that it doesn’t have to be that complicated. It doesn’t have to require that much time or $ or pain. All of those things I have talked about they aren’t a lifestyle. You can’t keep that up for forever. I am sure you can talk to just about anyone you know and they will have started one of those things and then quit because it just required too much. In my opinion it is pretty easy, it’s not complicated and anyone can do it.

This journey is a lifestyle change. That is the most important part. Whatever you do, it needs to be a part of your lifestyle and then you will be able to stick with it! Now that doesn’t mean you will be perfect but that isn’t the point. The point is that you just keep at it, that you keep things in moderation, that you let yourself splurge and that you make yourself try.

I still struggle with sticking with it. I am the type of person that needs to be in a Spin class where I know I am there for an hour and someone is going to be telling me what to do and I will work hard. Right now that just doesn’t work in with my life because there is a baby girl that needs me at 6:30 in the morning. So I workout at home and go on long walks with her. But you know what, there are days where I am just too tired and I stop that video 15 minutes into it and you know what, that is ok. And there are days where I just don’t work out and you know what that is ok. I am trying to be better at not berating myself over it because it’s ok that I am not perfect. I am trying and trying and trying oh so hard and that’s all I can ask.

And I try to keep my portions in check and eat pretty healthy with some little splurges. But there are just some days where my bowl of ice cream is followed by the cotton candy salt water taffy (my fave) and licorice and some frozen m&ms and then I force myself to brush my teeth so I will stop eating. That’s ok. I tell myself tomorrow will be better and I will eat more healthy stuff and not just the treats. Sometimes those slip ups are what makes us try harder the next day, they motivate us to be a little better.

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I think when we cut ourselves some slack and realize we are human and we are trying that that will make sticking with it just a little easier.

And to my good friend, thanks for the motivation for this today. I have been in a rut and being a little too hard on myself and I needed this to realize I am trying. I am sticking with it and tomorrow I will be a little better than today. Love you!

 

Marinated Veggie Salad

20160701_191459I love the blog Iowa Girl Eats. She has a lot of yummy recipes and she is also gluten free, so if that is something you need she is a great resource for you! I saw this salad yesterday and it looked and sounded so delicious that I had to make it! I love veggies and I love things that are marinated so it was the perfect combo for me. I ate it tonight and it was so good I decided I had to throw it on here. It would be the perfect salad for your 4th of July BBQ or picnic. It took me maybe ten minutes to throw it together, maybe. Although it does require a little planning ahead, she recommends you let it marinate for at least 4 hours but overnight is better. So yummy and tangy and crunch. So run to the store and buy what you need, throw it together tomorrow night and you have a great salad for the 4th! It’s healthy so that means you can eat more hot dogs, chips and desserts. After all, it’s all about balance! 🙂

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Marinated Veggie Salad
Iowa Girl Eats

2 cups chopped cauliflower
2 cups cherry tomatoes (I just did 2 Romas in chunks)
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cucumber diced
1 bell pepper diced

Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 T shallots (I left these out)
4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic
Salt & Pepper

Mix up vinaigrette and set aside. Chop up all veggies in big bowl, pour vinaigrette over veggies and stir up. Leave in fridge to marinate over night. Stir again before eating and season with salt and pepper.

 

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