Friday, March 30, 2012

Eat what you want and still lose weight!

Unintentional Preface

Yesterday morning I had a fantastic walk full of hills, a stroller, and a dog. I guzzled some water and headed for the grocery store. Every intention I had of being (and feeling) healthy flew out the window the instant I saw the Easter Candy display.

If you know anything about me, you know my favorite holiday candy is from Easter. The ratio of peanut butter to chocolate in a Reese's egg is far more perfect than a cup. The smooth, creamy, chocolate inside a Cadbury mini egg is divine. The richness of a Snickers egg is more satisfying than a bar. I could go on...

One might think after searching for 5 minutes and not finding the Cadbury mini eggs that I would take it as a sign to run fast from the display and get the heck out of dodge. Not I, my friends, not I. After spending my life savings on pure chocolatey goodness, I pretended nobody was watching while I gobbled a Cadbury creme egg, drove home, ate a healthy lunch, and resumed my day.

My world was rocked later that night after Mr. Man and I finished a movie: I held up the Cadbury mini eggs bag, and to my great alarm, it was very nearly almost more than half gone.

This was after I had already eaten a Cadbury creme egg in the morning.
And a Snickers egg in the afternoon.
And half a bowl of popcorn.
And all my calories for the day.

Moral of the story is: I feel totally hypocritical about what I'm about to write. 
Please just know that I am a real person, a real mom, and a real woman who is completely, utterly, and blissfully, addicted to chocolate.

Real Intentions

Eat what you want and still lose weight!

Do I sound like an infomercial?

I have found this week that the magic "secret" in weight loss is the ratio of calories consumed to calories burned during any given day. As long as your calories burned is higher than your calories consumed, you are guaranteed to lose weight. It's so ridiculously simple.

This means that it is very possible to continue eating food that you enjoy while still losing weight.

Disclaimer: this does not mean that you can continue eating fast food or junk food for every meal and still lose weight. That is extremely unhealthy and can pose many serious health risks later in life.

So how do you do it? What's the trick?

First, Portion Control.

If you want to have french toast and bacon for breakfast, great! Just have one or two slices of toast with one or two slice of bacon, accompanied by a large serving of scrambled egg whites or fresh fruit.
If you want to have cheesy, gooey, lasagna for dinner, do it! Just make sure to take a small square, and accompany it with a large side of green salad (light dressing!) or fresh veggies.

Make your portions smaller.

Next, Couple a rich main dish with lots of fruits and veggies.

When you couple a small serving of a rich main dish with a large serving of fruit and/or vegetables, you still satisfy your want for good food while satisfying your need for lower calories and high nutrients. There are tons of vegetables that are super low in calories so you can have a large serving, that fills ya up, without sacrificing the calories for the day! Fruit is higher in natural sugar so it has more calories, but it is still far better to eat fresh fruit than candy or processed sweets.

The best part about eating fruits and veggies with meals is that they fill you up quickly and they are so good for you!

Want a peak of what my diet has been like this week?

For breakfast I keep it simple with a fried or scrambled egg, a piece of toast and a piece of fruit. Or oatmeal with blueberries. High in protein, high in fiber, high in energy, around 200 calories.

For lunch, I usually have leftovers with a fruit or veggie, or a salad. I started measuring my salad dressing and realized I don't need as much as I think! Also, I found a delicious light italian dressing that is far more satisfying to me than Ranch, and it clocks in around 45 calories for 2 Tablespoons.

For dinner, I made pastrami and havarti cheese cresents one night, mexican quinoa one night, bbq chicken salad one night, and pasta with salad another night. Heavy right? Only if you take too large of a portion.

Lastly, measure, measure, measure.

Measuring out my food has cut back on lots of extra calories, and has taught me that I don't actually need as much as I think I need. It has also taught me how much a serving size really is. Sometimes it's surprisingly small, sometimes it's surprisingly large. Measuring takes only about 2 extra seconds and it is a very useful and effective tool when calorie counting!

By the end of every day this week (except last night), I actually had extra calories I still needed to consume, around 200-300. This meant I could have a couple Joe Joe's cookies or another small, sweet treat.

-Portion control
-Couple rich main dishes with fresh fruits and veggies
-Measure everything
-Still have a treat, but only one serving.

If you can stick to these tips, count your calories, and exercise at least 30 minutes per day (it really does make a difference!), you can easily start losing weight and feeling great, while still eating the food you enjoy!

*The opinions and information expressed above are completely my own, based upon my meager knowledge and studies, as well as my somewhat ample personal experience. I am not a certified nutritionist nor health guru.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fitness and Who I am

The past couple weeks of my life have been dedicated to figuring out Who I Am.
It's so easy to get stuck in a rut, caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, and lose sight of who you are and what is most important.

When that happens, the best place to look is up.
Especially with the particular circumstances in my life right now, I have felt an incredibly strong desire and urgency to identify who I am, and to be ready, worthy, and able to be accompanied by the Spirit every moment of every day.
Once I put God first, things started to fall into place.

What the heck does this have to do with fitness?
Well, you see, I was on a really fantastic fitness kick back during the holidays. After Christmas break I kind of capsized and abandoned ship. I fell back into old habits.
For me, "stressed" literally became "desserts."
When the kids cried, whined, or barked, I turned to whatever form of chocolate or sugar I could find.
Please don't follow my example!

Now that I've refocused my attention with important priorities, and with the added incentive of my dear, sweet, little sister getting married in the very near future, I have come to the realization that something has to change. And fast.

About this same time a friend of mine invited me on morning walks with her and her kids.
Then I decided I wanted to run a half marathon (where did that come from!?)
Then she told me about her new lifestyle change diet.
Then I joined (which she recommended)

Today I am happy, healthy, and 10 pounds lighter!!


I am happy and healthy, but certainly not 10 pounds lighter.

The Website
In all seriousness, this website is actually quite amazing! You enter your stats like height, weight, activity level, and then enter your fitness goal. It pops out a formula of how many calories you should eat per day to lose x amount of pounds in a given time frame. As you go through the day, you add meals, snacks (huge database of pre-entered food you can search!), exercise, and water intake. It does some cool calculations of calories consumed, calories left for the day, and gives a: "If every day is like today, you would lose____ pounds in __ weeks!" at the end of the day.

The best part?

When you add exercise you've done, it gives you more calories you can eat for the day!

This is great for me because I like food.
When I say like, I really mean Love. Capital L, Love, love, love food.
Especially dessert. And not the light, healthy, fruity, low-on-sugar-and-fat-dessert. I like dessert that is rich, chocolately, and deliciously deadly (please don't tell me the ingredients or calorie information).

Because I like food so much I have to exercise. I have to be active. I can't sit around and be sedentary!
I have also recently come to the realization that with my family and genetic background I am at risk for some really nasty health issues later in life. Particularly diabetes. I Do. Not. Want. That.
Thus, it is really important to me to have a healthy lifestyle.

Please don't think I'm some crazy, healthy, nut. Or that I'm trying to act like one. I will be the first to tell you that I'm not. I have, however, discovered the beauty in baby steps.

Baby Steps
For awhile I was really overwhelmed about eating healthy, buying organic, not eating meat, etc. I felt the  need to change everything all at once. It didn't take long for me to realize that was not going to happen. In the meantime, I figured out that I could change or add one, new, healthy choice once a week or month.

For example, add green smoothies into our diet at least three times a week. More veggies, more fruit, more energy. Another example? Start replacing rice with Quinoa. Easy, simple, healthier and still tastes good. A third example? Cook eggs, steel cut oatmeal, or blend a smoothie for breakfasts instead of cereal. Super easy, super simple, relatively inexpensive and only takes a couple minutes longer.

With each baby step it brings us closer to being more healthy.

Other reasons this is so important to me? Well, Chiropractic is alternative medicine. It focuses solely on the body and the bio-mechanics of the body. Many Chiropractors prefer to let the body heal itself, use natural remedies, and not use prescriptions. It's a very natural way of living and healing.

Would you want to go to a Chiropractor who was unhealthy, smoking, popping pills, and eating Mcdonald's for lunch everyday? I wouldn't. We have to practice what we preach (though many doctors don't) and even though I'm not actually the doctor, I feed the doctor and greatly influence his nutritional health.

I could go on forever about health, fitness, and food. But this wraps it up for today.
If you're feeling stuck in a rut, check out! It may be just the motivation you need to get up and going.

Best of luck and more to come!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Nostalgia of a Midwest Summer

Hot, humid, concrete with the faint whiff of smoke at dusk.
Sun baking skin.
Chlorine drenched hair.
Basking on a boat.
Ice cold fountains. Lukewarm pools.
Greasy pizza and a movie inside air conditioning.
Lighter fluid.
Ashy charcoal, brats, burgers, lemonade.
Windy mid-mornings, stormy afternoons, sunny evenings.
Eerie calm before the storm.
Brightest blue, Greenest green, Sharpest sharp, the morning after rain.
Sunshine at 8 pm.
Warm, steamy, night.
Hot dogs, funnel cakes, nachos.
Peanuts and "root, root, root, for the Cardinals!"
Pink cheeks, sweaty hair, and baby sunscreen.
Cicadas at dusk.
Hot, humid, air, that can be cut with a butter knife.

Midwest Summer.
Oh, how I love you and can't wait for you to arrive.

July 2011

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness and Jimmeritis

March Madness. Seriously Madness.

I've never watched so much basketball, in a row, ever, in my life.

What happened to me?

Well, I married this guy...

And he is a sports fanatic.

He has also taught me well.

He was recapping the first round of games the other night and he didn't know if Syracuse won or not.
Somehow, this came out of my mouth: "Well, they were up by 6 points in the last minute or so, so I'm pretty sure they won." 
During the BYU game, somehow this came out of my "mouth" via text: "Why does Carlino think it's a good idea to try and run fast down the court in a fake breakaway, then sloppily shoot before his team is there to catch a rebound?"
During the first VCU game, I cheered out loud. Alone. At my TV. When VCU threw the 3 pointer, then the big 2, then defended the 3 point shot to win the game.
Thank you, VCU, for keeping my bracket in tact.
I filled out two brackets.
We jointly filled out one.
All of which are now shot. Does anyone have a good bracket this year? Seriously.
I wish I could have filled out 10.
It's only slightly addicting.
I even had Mr. Man read me stats of teams to base my judgement upon.

Sometimes I look at

What happened to me?

I blame some of my basketball fever on Jimmer. I call it Jimmeritis.
I blame some of my basketball fever on the 'Hawks-Tigers rivalry that is more real now that I live in MO.
I blame lots of my basketball fever on Mr. Man.
Bubs even chooses a basketball over a football or soccer ball.

I am not afraid to say I enjoy sports. A lot.
I am not afraid to say that while I love chatting with the girls during game parties, I secretly want to be watching the action with the guys.
I am not afraid to say I cannot wait til I'm a soccer, baseball, and basketball mom.
I am not afraid to make comments during a game and feel confident that I know what I'm talking about (at least in front of my husband).

So thank you, BYU ball, Jimmer, and Mr. Man for educating and encouraging my enjoyment, dare I say love?, for sports!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One of "Those" Days

Have you ever had one of those days?

It starts off with an outside temp of 85 degrees in the afternoon, resulting in an inside temp of 78 degrees that night. Then the air conditioner decides not to work. The breeze outside decides not to blow. And by the next morning it's still 77 degrees. Inside. With no a/c. Or breeze.

Then your puppy, who has been completely sick and lethargic for the past 72 hours, is suddenly better and decides to act like you've never fed her in her life, you've never played with her in her life, she's never seen people before in her life, and she's never been trained (including kennel) in her life. This equates to crazy-hyper-out of control-ball of energy.

Next, since it's a beautiful morning and your porch is clean, you let the kiddos outside to play. Your dear son decides it's a good idea to bust through the screen door so now, instead of sliding horizontally, it opens like a flap, only connected at the top.

Just after that happens, you walk inside to find goldfish all over the floor, 99% not intact.  Also, since your puppy has forgotten that her kennel is her safe place and now thinks it's torturous, which results in non-stop barking and whining, you take all three outside for a walk and potty break.

Note to self: my kid 1 likes going one direction, friend's kid 1 likes going a different direction, puppy has a mind of her own, which does not coordinate with either kid. All of them find joy in running into the street.

When they're finally corralled and headed for home, friend's kid continues her new game of wrapping her arms around my kid and saying "caught you!" He thinks it's hilarious until she comes up behind him. He doesn't have great balance, so she accidentally knocks him over. Face meets concrete.

Since we all need some air conditioning, a break, and Dark Chocolate covered Acai Berries, we head to Costco.

I think my mom finds great joy in my mile-a-minute phone calls recapping every moment of my crazy morning with two kids and a dog. It probably brings back great memories and gives her a tiny twinge of "now you know what I went through. I'm so proud."

And when I bust up laughing and giggling the whole time I'm recapping, I know it's a good day.

because it's ALWAYS better to Laugh!

p.s. Since I know you're dying to know how I'm feeling since I got shingles...well, let me tell ya, it seems like I was never sick. I had about one night and one day I felt pretty weak and icky, but for the most part I was able to carry on with life as normal! Thank goodness! Now the rash has scabbed and is disappearing so I'm not contagious and I feel 100% fine. yay!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Costco Worker "Crush"

Before all those crazy weird thoughts start developing in your mind, let me set the record straight:

The "crush" is not someone I am crushing on.
It is someone that may be "crushing" on me.

Moving on.

Remember way back when I was around 6 or 7 months pregnant and I wrote about this man at Costco who complimented me very sweetly? If you don't, here's a refresher:

(and looking back on archives, maybe I didn't actually write it here...)

man: "Is it a girl or boy?"
me: "A boy."
man: "Well, if it was a girl, and if she took after you, she would be beautiful"

Can I get an "awww?"
Best compliment I received from a stranger.

Fast forward to post baby. This same man, a chocolatey, dark skinned, "my-engaged-sister-who-used-to-love-black-men-would-think-he's-hott", man, still talks to me.

Every. Time. I. Go. To. Costco. (when he's there too)

Most of the time he says something like "Heyy, it's you again!", or "There you are!", or something similar. Sometimes, oftentimes, he even plays with Bubs.

But most recently I went in a few weeks ago by myself to pick up a pizza. I was zooming in the front door, trying to beat the freezing rain storm that was imminent outside. Of course, who happened to be walking toward me? The only other person in the long stretch of entryway? Chocolatey man.

"Hey, it's you again. By yourself tonight, huh?"
"uh, yeah."

Cue completely embarrassed, awkward, giggling and a phone call to my mom to laugh our heads off.

And that, my friends, is just another reason I think I love Costco!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chickenpox Party, anyone??

This was a verbatim text conversation with my mom last night:

me: "14 mo old baby, 9 week old puppy, counselor in YW, ward camp director, two nanny jobs, choreographing and teaching 2 numbers for a musical, hubby in chiro school and taking boards this tri, on top of normal wife/mother stuff: cooking, cleaning, groceries, laundry, playgroup. Am I crazy???"
mom: "YES!!!!! How do you do it all???"
me: "Well, I don't. Not always. Right now camp is on the back burner, my apt is picked up but messier than I'd like, and I haven't blogged in a week. Aside from that you can just call me Superwoman. I did marry, Superman, remember? ;-)"
mom: "Haha! You ARE Superwoman!! You need a costume."

So that, my friends, is my non-excuse excuse for why I haven't been blogging much lately.

With that said, this post was originally supposed to be my thoughts on the movie Food Inc.
However, with some recent changes and development this morning, this post is not about Food Inc. Sorry to disappoint.

Refer to text conversation with my mom.... Since, clearly, I don't already have enough on my plate right now, I discovered today that I have Shingles.

I first noticed a strange burning on my right side about where I wear my pants, yesterday morning. Upon further inspection I also noticed a small, itchy rash. I thought it was odd, but carried on with my day. Later that evening I noticed an awful lot of dull, achy pains in that same general area. I decided to consult the hubby.

"You probably have Shingles." he said, in a mostly joking manner. Of course I googled it immediately. Later, I had him adjust me because my lower back, on the same side, was hurting quite a bit. He examined the rash more, stated that it was along a dermatone line, and wanted to palpate (feel) my back. He found that my L2 was fixated, and that it also connected with the dermatone line that the rash was on. He tried reassuring me that he didn't really think it was Shingles, but that I needed to keep an eye on it. (the correlations they learn in chiro school is amazing!)

This morning I discovered another small patch of red, and texted my mom "I have this really weird rash..." to which she inquired deeper and urged me to go to the doctor immediately. She reminded me that my dad and two of my sisters have had Shingles, and what I was describing sounded very similar.

The nurse told me the rash didn't look like much but when I described the accompanying pain, she said she thought it might be shingles as well. The doctor came in, looked at the rash, heard the symptoms, and agreed that it was likely shingles. She also commented on the fact that it was along a dermatone line (points for Scott!) that was connected to the spinal cord. She wrote a prescription for an antiviral to decrease the length and severity of the illness, but stated it would probably get worse before better.

So, here's the recap:

-4 spots of bright red, itchy, rash, scattered in a wrapping fashion around my right hip
-a dull, achy pain in my hip socket area, some sharp shooting pains
-burning, prickly, and stinging sensations that come and go
-lots, and lots, and lots of stress in my life
-a family history of Shingles

-anywhere from a week to 6 weeks before fully recovered
-contagious (by contact to rash) to anyone who has not had the chickenpox or vaccine
-I cannot spread shingles to anyone, but can spread chickenpox to those who have not had it, as long as the rash is blistering and scabbing and not covered. When it's completely scabbed I won't be contagious anymore. If I keep it covered (which is likely), there is a low chance of spreading it.

-a husband who is smarter than he gives himself credit for!!!!!
-an experienced mom who knew what to do right away
-if caught and antiviral started within 48 hours, the severity and longevity is drastically decreased (dad had it bad for 6 weeks, one of which he was flat in bed, sister had it bad for 2 days, 1 week to fully recover) I first noticed symptoms about 30 hours ago.

How do I feel right now? Completely fine, oddly enough. I still have the annoying pain in my hip, but otherwise I don't feel sick at all. I have only had this for around 30 hours though...still plenty of time to digress!

In conclusion, if anyone has children that want the Chickenpox, I would be glad to assist (I think...)! ;-)