19 Week Update… Do I have to workout? Yes, Yes I Do.

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I’m officially 19 weeks today which is almost halfway to the end- assuming she comes on time which is never a safe assumption. According to AlphaMom the little peanut is actually 5.5 in long and about 7 oz so not the size of a peanut but more like the size of my iphone (including the case). I could carry literally carry her around in my back pocket although clearly it’s advisable for her to stay put exactly where she is. It’s funny though because I often tell Carter I wish I could carry her with me all day in my pocket – which actually sounds really weird so I’m going to stop saying it.

It’s interesting that the AlphaMom 19 week analysis talks mostly about pregnancy fitness. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been at the top of my fitness game over the past few months. I’m tired. I’ve heard this excuse from people before: I’m too tired to workout. I hate that excuse. I know it sounds logical but really it isn’t. To lift yourself up off the couch and away from the TV seems like it takes a TREMENDOUS amount of effort BUT once you get past that initial very, very hard part and actually start the workout it’s amazing how quickly the fatigue goes away and the energy starts to flow. It is really easy to use pregnancy as an excuse not to exercise. Most people (including my husband) won’t argue about proper fitness routines with a pregnant lady (he’s a smart man). But here’s the thing, we all know we should do it. It’s hard. We’re tired, We want oreos (is that just me)? BUT in the end we know it’s worth every bit of effort to get our growing rear ends off the extremely comfy, inviting, and non-judgmental couch and go get the blood flowing to our disintegrating muscles.

I’m looking for some accountability partners (who are not my husband) to help keep me on track. I’ll reciprocate the gesture and keep you on track too! If you’re pregnant and tired and don’t feel like working out but know you need to get back in the groove so you aren’t completely out of shape as you attempt to push a baby (who will no longer fit in your pocket) out of your body- please message me or email me. I need your help and I can help you too! Yay for camaraderie!

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I Conquered Whole30… Here’s My Review

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Last month a friend sent me a book called Whole30. I’d heard of Whole30 before but didn’t know much about it. These are the first few lines of the book:

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your ‘struggles’.”

I was intrigued. I liked their style. As I read more, I realized this Whole30 thing was pretty intense. The general idea is to eliminate all foods from your diet that could be negatively affecting you. It’s not necessarily that the foods are bad for you, but they could be preventing you from feeling as great as you potentially could feel. For 30 days you eliminate the following foods from your diet:

  • Added sugar of any kind (real or artificial – this includes splenda, honey, agave, maple syrup, stevia… the works)
  • No grains or anything containing gluten
  • No legumes (including peanuts, peanut butters, soy, any form of soy, and all beans)
  • No Dairy. period.
  • No MSG, sulfites, carrageenan (basically no processed foods)
  • No re-creating things you can’t have (basically, if you think it feels like cheating, it’s cheating)
  • No alcohol.
  • No snacking… this isn’t a hard rule, but a strong recommendation. The idea is to have 3 solid meals and no grazing in between.

After reading the restrictions, I knew it was going to be hard. Maybe not “beating cancer” hard or “quitting heroin” hard, but hard nonetheless. For that reason, I was going to do it. When I started, I don’t think I actually thought I would make it. I’m not great about long term commitments to programs soI assumed I would cheat along the way. But guess what: I didn’t.

I completed the Whole30 with absolutely no cheating. Yay!

Here are my top 15 key takeaways from the last 30 days with no dairy, beer, gluten, sugar or any other form of dietary pleasure…

  1. It’s a good thing I’m not a vegetarian. The Whole30 is based largely on a meat, veggie & fruit diet – I happen to love steak, fish, pork, eggs and sometimes chicken. I’ve also recently mastered of cooking and seasoning veggies so that helped.
  2. Meat and produce is expensive… but not as expensive as eating out
  3. I love Costco and buying humongous pieces or pork and steak and fish
  4. I eat a lot of Carter’s food while feeding her – it’s a bad habit I didn’t know I had until I couldn’t eat her food. Now the habit is gone… hopefully it will stay gone!
  5. If you cook extra at dinner time, lunch the next day is simple. Not sure why it took the Whole30 for me to figure that one out, but luckily it’s figured out and the habit of packing lunch out of dinner’s leftovers will stay in practice for the foreseeable future.
  6. Black coffee isn’t that bad. Not as good as a skinny vanilla latte but for being calorie free and packing a punch of caffeine, I’ll take it.
  7. I LOVE cheese, but I don’t HAVE to have it.
  8. Guacamole SAVED me during the Whole30. Guac is allowed… I ate it daily.
  9. I NEED snacks in my life. Going from 7am -noon and then noon-6 with no food is no fun. The no snacks rule is not sticking around for me
  10. There is added sugar in almost everything – lunch meat, condiments, bacon…seriously, as Americans, we have a sugar addiction.
  11. I missed beer the most.
  12. It’s easier with support. Blake didn’t think I could do it, but he was very supportive the whole time and, for the most part, ate the same things I did.
  13. I didn’t notice a ton of changes. A lot of Whole30 websites and blogs talked about an overabundance of energy that hit around day 20… I never got the “tiger blood” energy. I think I slept better…maybe… but that’s about it.
  14. It wasn’t THAT hard. In the beginning it was difficult but after the first 10 days or so, new habits were being created and I didn’t miss dairy or added sugar.
  15. I’m going to stick with it. I’ll add back beer and not be super strict with myself when eating out, but generally speaking I’m going to continue to drink my coffee black and stay away from unnecessary grains, dairy, soy and sugar.

I am officially in the “reintegration” phase of the Whole30 but I’m not planning on reintegrating very quickly (with the obvious exception of beer). Now I just have to find a good gluten free beer to try… any recommendations?

If you’re thinking about giving Whole30 a shot you should definitely go for it! I’d love to share more about my experience with you too so shoot me an email!

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How To Break The Dreaded Diet Cycle

The Diet CycleHave you ever started a “diet” before or even just tried to adapt a healthier eating plan? I’m sure we all have at one point or another. But they all seem to go the same way.

The whole process starts when we notice what we’re currently doing isn’t working. Unfortunately pizza and ice cream don’t sculpt abs and a trim waistline, so we decide to make a change. Maybe even go on a “diet.”

Initially, we’re thrilled with our decision. We make a meal plan and go to the grocery store on a mission. We pass right by the snack aisle and stock up with fresh fruits and veggies and the leanest cuts of meat. We don’t even make eye contact with the oreos because it’s a new day and we don’t need those anymore.

We make it to day 4 and everything is going as planned. We’ve been cooking at night and eating well. We’ve even gotten into an exercise routine because if we’re eating all of this healthy food, we might as well expedite the process and throw in some cardio. We step on the scale… and BOOYAH – we’re down a few pounds already. We’re confident and in control – those skinny jeans will slip on like butter in no time!

… And then day 10 hits. The vending machine chips are calling our name. The rest of the office got pizza for lunch and we literally start salivating. The free cookie at Harris Teeter is staring us down. All the food smells so good and that’s all we can think about. The. Struggle. Is Real. These are the kinds cravings reserved for a special breed of humans: those who are on diets and pregnant women.

We try to tough it out a few more hours or a few more days, maybe even a week but the cravings are too much. We give in, feel guilty and then give in some more. At this point we say, screw it! Diets suck and I don’t like skinny jeans anyway. Bring on the sweatpants, I can live in those for the rest of my life and eat ice cream whenever I want! But we still feel like we failed.

Does that cycle sound familiar? Want to know why it happens every time?

Here’s the answer: Nutrient deficiency.

When we cut calories and start exercising our body starts screaming for nutrients because it’s not getting enough. Our body is used to consuming more food and burning less calories so it’s not used to working efficiently enough to get everything it needs out of the food we are consuming. It’s quest for more nutrients manifests itself in the form of cravings. The lack of nutrients also causes irritability, fatigue and general crabbiness. Sound familiar?

Keep reading because here’s where I provide a solution to the all-too-common problem!

If our body is able to get enough nutrients while restricting our diet and increasing our exercise, the whole down-hill diet cycle won’t happen. We’ll actually have more energy, feel better and recover more quickly. Because we’re feeling so good and our body is recovering; we’re able to feel energized enough to keep up (and even enjoy *gasp*) our workouts! Our bodies are able to properly digest and extract all the nutrients from the foods we are eating so we feel full so we don’t have to deal with cravings pulling us off course.

But HOW do we get ENOUGH nutrients. This is where Shakeology fits in.

Shakeology is a nutrient dense meal replacement shake (that can also be used as a snack if you aren’t trying to lose weight but just want to be/feel awesome and healthy). Shakeology covers your basic nutritional needs for an entire day. It provides an array of superfoods and digestive support to help you feel better, recover better, increase your energy, decrease your cravings and ultimately lose weight (if that’s your goal).

If you want all of those benefits but don’t necessarily want to lose weight, no worries! Shakeology is flexible in calories meaning you can add fruits, veggies, protein, boosts, etc to it to make it a higher calorie, incredibly nutritious snack.

Can you diet and workout without Shakeology? Sure you can. But Shakeology makes it so much easier and provides so many extra added benefits.

Want to Learn More About Shakeology? Click HERE!