Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Love Your Body" Progress Report - Week 3

Well, things this week just went from bad to worse...

Monday, January 14th
The plan: TIU's Sunkissed Abs + Secret Admirer cardio
Reality:
The YMCA by me offers a classed called, "Family Fitness". It's 30 minutes in length and is taught by the vary zany, Mickey (love her)! The kids have so much fun running killers, striking poses, etc. My 1-yr-old just ran around and had fun doing that, but the 6-yr-old had a blast! I'm thinking it's going to be our "gym" class for homeschool 2 days per week! Win! After Family Fitness, I put the kids in the kids club and headed to the treadmill to start my Secret Admirer cardio. I took it really slow and tried to stay at a pace that didn't hurt my calf. I kept trying to speed up, but it hurt, so I just did what I could. I went 1.1 miles in 15 minutes. Then, I headed to the elliptical. This felt great and didn't hurt at all while I was doing it. I went 2.47 miles in 15 minutes. Last was the stairmill. I climbed 45 floors in 10 minutes. I was so tired, it was really tough, but I really feel like I pushed myself to the max. It didn't seem to hurt my calf too much either. Finished off with Sunkissed Abs.

Tuesday, January 15th
The plan: 30 minutes cardio + TIU Love Your Thighs toning video (x2) + TIU Total Body toning video (x2)
Reality:
My 1-yr-old came down with a cough and runny nose, so I couldn't go to the gym in the morning as planned and I had plans in the evening, so I couldn't go then, either. Therefore, I didn't get my cardio in. But, I did the TIU Love Your Thighs & TIU Total Body toning videos at home. Certain moves in the videos tweaked my calf muscle and it continued to bug me throughout the rest of the day.

Wednesday, January 16th
The plan: TIU's Holiday Cocktail Dress Arm Routine w/Karena + Date Night cardio routine
Reality:
I completed the TIU Arm Routine video at home in the afternoon. My calf continued to hurt me throughout the day, so I opted for Zumba instead of the Date Night cardio. However, by the time I got home, my calf was in a lot of pain. I went on Twitter and tweeted with a bunch other athletes. They all highly suggested that I stick to swimming or just plain rest until my calf gets better.

Thursday, January 17th
The plan: Try It Thursday - Was hoping to try out a new yoga class at the gym
Reality:
By the time my husband got home from work, I knew I wouldn't be going to the gym. My sweet baby's fever spiked to over 103 degrees and she started to throw up. I was needed at home, so I missed out another workout.


Friday, January 18th
The plan: 30 minutes cardio + TIU's Sweet & Sexy Vday workout + 15 lunges/hr
Reality:
Because of my bum leg I wasn't able to do 15 lunges/hr, so I modified it and decided to do 15 reverse crunches/hr instead. I did what I could from the TIU Sweet & Sexy Vday workout that didn't involve using my calf. Unfortunately, my 6-yr-old ended up developing a barking cough and cold symptoms, so again, my evening cardio routine (which was going to be a pool routine) was thwarted.

Saturday, January 19th
The plan: 30 minutes of cardio w/a friend
Reality:
I met with a friend and we spent 1 hour and 10 minutes in the pool doing drills. We didn't do drills the whole time. We actually took excessive breaks, so that she could impart her pool wisdom to me (which was invaluable since I know very little about swimming) and so she could correct my form. Other than the kicking bothering my calf injury (except when I was using a pull boy), I loved it! But, I realized that I need some gear: a proper suit, ear plugs, nose clasp. But, most importantly, I needed a swim cap and goggles. Apparently those lines on the bottom of the pool are there for a reason... for you to stay in a straight line! haha! And every time I would turn my head to grab a breath, my hair would be in my face and the water from it would enter my mouth and choke me. So, on the agenda: buy pool gear!

Sunday, January 20th
The plan: Run, Walk or Jog a 5K
Reality:
I was very tempted to go to the gym and try to walk a 5K, but I knew deep down that it was a really bad idea. Just walking up my stairs in my house hurt my calf. Instead, I opted to take another rest day and snuggle with my sick 6-yr-old and catch up on "Little House on the Prairie" episodes. We love that show!

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What I ate:
My eating was pretty good this week. This week TIU did nutrition posts every day, which I absolutely loved! Here are a few fun things I made from their posts:

TIU's Shake & Take Cocoa Nuts
According to the TIU blog, this recipe will "help your gorgeous skin, boost your metabolism and help [you] burn fat!" 

I found that the cocoa/stevia mixture to almonds ratio was off. I was able to add a ton more almonds to this and they were all evenly coated.


TIU's Zesty Spa Water
According to the TIU blog, lemons give you: "smooth glowing skin, help with weight loss, give you energy & help you concentrate!"  

Here's my take on this recipe... I dunno if I had really large and/or potent lemons, but I had to add another liter of water to this recipe to tone down the tartness and even THAT wasn't enough water. Maybe I needed to add more stevia to off-set it, I dunno. Also, I didn't have fresh mint, so I ended up putting in a little bit of organic peppermint extract. Not the same thing. Would've been better with fresh mint. Anyway, this water IS good, but I add a little bit of it to my water bottle and fill the rest with regular water. This is just my own taste, though. And I could just be a wimp. ;-)

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I kept seeing the girls on the TIU website talk about a metabolism boosting drink called, "Meta-D". You can't get their recipe unless you buy their nutrition plan, but I decided to do a little research and find a recipe to try. Since it's best to take this first thing in the morning, I decided to add it into my breakfast protein shake.

Metabolism Boosting Breakfast Protein Shake

8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/16 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2T unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2 oz unfiltered apple juice
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 serving protein powder
1 serving stevia

Mix everything up in a shaker jar and enjoy! Please note that the apple cider vinegar is extremely potent. I can't quite handle the full 2T, but maybe someday I can work up to it.      
   
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We tried a few new recipes from other sources this week as well...

Stephanie's Paleo BLT & Avocado Sandwich (#2)

Changes/Substitutions:
*I omitted the mayo and bacon
*I cooked the chicken breast this way:  How To Cook Perfectly Juicy Chicken Breast 

Primally Inspired's Peppermint Brownie Roll
My brownie roll didn't just crack when rolling, it completely separated. So, we got creative and decided to make a layered bar instead, with the filling in the middle. We topped ours with gluten-free dairy-free chocolate chips.
 

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And here are my progress photos for this week.

Starting Weight: 139#
Last Week's Weight: 136.2#
Week 3 Weight: 137#

Week 2
Week 3: Lost some ab definition

Week 2
Week 3: Lost ab definition; gained arm definition!


Recap:
This was a tough week. I missed at least 4 workouts this week and wasn't able to do every thing in others. I've heard that it takes 4 hours of working out to lose 1#, so had I been able to achieve all of my workouts, I think I could've lost another pound or so this week. Instead, as you could see, I gained. But, I'm not too disppointed with the 0.8# gain. There are other factors contributing to my weight again as well...

I recently had my hormone levels tested and you can see them below.


The thyroid is responsible for the body's metabolism. One site explained it like this, "This means that the thyroid secretes hormones that are responsible for burning the calories, fats and other nutrients used by our body for energy." So, you can see how if my thyroid is off, it would be pretty difficult to lose weight and keep it off.

This article titled, "Signs & Symptoms of Low Progesterone & Estrogen" goes into more detail about what each hormone does, but here's a little recap.


Low Estrogen
*sadness and depression
*breast size decreasing
*overall weight gain & fat accumulation around the stomach
 

Low Progesterone
*agitated, worried depression and a tendency toward mood swings
*weight gain around the hips & abdomen

Both
*trouble sleeping
*feelings of fatigue 

Anther contributing factor is the PCOS that I still battle, which also makes it difficult to lose weight and makes it extremely easy to put weight on.


Since having baby A, I've gained almost all of the weight back (you might remember that I lost over 20# just by giving birth). However, I've continued to eat healthy and exercise. Sure, I've had my moments, but not enough to warrant an over 20# weight gain. Check out what I looked like shortly after having baby A, next to what I look like today.



Seeing that my hormone levels are so off actually brought me some comfort. Now I understand why I'm having such weight issues. So, how is the Dr going to treat this? I've already started T3 and I'm told I will likely be given HCG (which is the pregnancy hormone) to bring up both of my hormone levels. However, they won't do anything before surgery, which is 8 days away, eek!

Stay tuned!


  

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Love Your Body" Progress Report - Week 2

So, this week just started out bad...
(sorry this post is late, better late than never, right?)

Monday, January 7th
The plan: TIU's Crush Cardio routine + an additional 30 minutes of cardio
Reality:
I went 2.7 miles in 32 minutes with this routine, but afterwards it started to feel like my shin (but on the inside of my leg) was giving me some trouble. So, I didn't do an additional 30 minutes of cardio.

Tuesday, January 8th
The plan: TIU's Total Body Toning Video
Reality:
I went to the chiropractor and he thought that I strained by Tibialis Anterior. I was instructed to take it easy on it and ice it. TIU's video didn't get posted in time, so instead I did a kettlebell toning workout from their website. Didn't seem to hurt my leg too much.

Wednesday, January 9th
The plan: TIU's Secret Admirer cardio routine + Malibooty toning routine
Reality:
I did Malibooty at home in the morning and went to the gym in the evening to complete Secret Admirer. I tried to take it easy. Instead of running, I tried walking and adjusting the incline on the treadmill. I went 0.95 miles in 15 minutes. Then, I moved onto the elliptical and went 2.18 miles in 15 minutes. Last, I was supposed to go 10 minutes on the stairmill, but because the Tibilalis Anterior is responsible for lifting your foot off the ground, I thought I'd do the bike instead. So, I did 1.9 miles in 10 minutes. The seat on the bike was hurting my endometriosis, though. I made sure to stretch and use the foam roller after my workout.

Thursday, January 10th
The plan: Try-it Thursday - try a new routine.
Reality:
A friend & I took a water aerobics class and let me tell you, those are no joke! It was so much fun! There was quite a bit of jumping and kicking off the bottom of the pool, though, so my leg was still not very happy.

Friday, Janary 11th
The plan: TIU's Cupid's Cardio routine + Sunkissed Abs routine + 12 Plank Twists per hour
Reality:
I stuck with the 12 Plank Twists per hour, except when I was meeting with a friend at the mall that morning. That would've been awkward, huh? ;-) I decided to attempt Cupid's Cardio on the elliptical to give my leg a bit of a rest. I went hard and did 4.63 miles in 33 minutes! I would've kept going, but the dumb machine turned off on me. So, I decided to finish it off on the treadmill. I tried to run at 4.5 mph, which is pretty slow for me, but it hurt my leg. I tried walking at 3.8 mph and even that hurt my leg. So, I just leisurely walked at a 1% incline. Afterwards, I foam rolled and discovered that the foam rollers are from the devil. Seriously. Worst pain ever. I almost cried. Almost. I was pretty spent after all that, so I decided to do the Sunkissed Ab routine on Saturday instead.

Saturday, January 12th
The plan: 60 mins of any FUN cardio
Reality:
Zumba it was! And then I also did the Sunkissed Ab routine from Friday. Unfortunately, Zumba was really difficult and I couldn't do much. I tried not to jump or do anything that would make it worse, but it just wasn't working. After doing some research (and the pain location changed a bit), I believe I've severely strained one of the large muscles in my calf. I was really angry and disappointed with my body. The only way to heal it? Rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Sunday, January 13th
The plan: complete a 5K
Reality:
I did nothing. I rested. Boo.

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What I ate:
Unfortunately, I ate a lot of things I shouldn't have. I didn't completely let myself go, but I also wasn't as good as I could've been. One really healthy thing that I've been loving is Averie's "Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip with raw veggies! Makes the perfect snack.

How I loved my body:
TIU gave us another challenge for the weekend... to pamper, relax and enjoy some YOU time! They even provided a DIY Sweet & Salty Body Scrub recipe! I didn't have all the "healthy" items on hand because I was at my parents house, but I did manage to make the recipe using what they had on hand. It was amazing!!! I can't wait to make this using all the healthy ingredients! Think of how expensive and how much added crap are in all those body scrubs you buy. This smells amazing and works great! It's perfect for our midwest winter (and dry) months. I won't be buying body scrub anymore. I'll be making my own.

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Here are my progress photos. Given the week I had, with not eating the best and then being hurt, so not being able to do all the workouts, I'm pretty happy with still losing 0.7#'s.

Starting Weight: 139#
Last Week's Weight: 136.9#
Week 2 Weight: 136.2#

Week 1
Week 2: Arms are becoming more shapely.
Abs are becoming more defined.





Week 1
Week 2: Abs are more contour & becoming more defined.

Week 1
Week 2: Abs are becoming more defined.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Vinaigrette

My favorite quick, easy and healthy lunch is to put together a salad.

You can easily get all your food groups in, in no time at all!

But, sometimes dressings can get, well, boring.

Until... I discovered Fused and Infused Olive Oils and Vinegars!

I hesitate to promote the company from which the vinegar below was from, because quite frankly, their customer service and attitude towards competitors was downright appalling. So, if you just google "Olive Oil Companies" in your city, I'll bet you can find a company. They are popping up all over the place! There are 3 companies right in our little neighborhood alone!

Oils/Vinegars that have been "Fused" are when they take whole crushed fruits and add them in at the time of pressing.

Oils/Vinegars that have been "Infused" are when the fruit/flavoring has been added after the time of pressing.

At one of the companies by our house, there are over 50 varieties! They have bacon olive oils, rosemary olive oils, butter olive oils, etc. They have fig balsamic vinegar, cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar and what I'm featuring today: chocolate raspberry balsamic vinegar. You can start to see all the varieties of ways you can spice up dishes and salads! And it's also neat, because if you're bacon-free or butter-free, you can still get the taste of those without actually eating them!

Here's how I used my Chocolate Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar:

Apple Raisin Feta Salad with Chocolate Raspberry Vinaigrette


For the Salad:
1/2 apple, chopped
1T raisins
1-2 handfuls spinach or other greens
3T raw almonds, chopped
1T feta, crumbled

For the Dressing:
Chocolate Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar, drizzle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drizzle

Toss all your salad ingredients on a plate or in a bowl. Then, drizzle your vinegar and oil over the salad and enjoy!

Yum!

 
      

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Love Your Body" Progress Report - Week 1

Some of you may have heard of Tone It Up by now and some of you may have not.

I've followed the TIU girls for long time, but never actually did any of their workouts...until now. And I am loving them!

They currently have a challenge titled, "Love Your Body". It's a 6-wk challenge and the big goal is to do 100-miles by Valentine's Day. You can walk, bike, swim, run, etc. your mileage. There are mini and daily goals along the way, too. Each day they give you a new workout to do. I, personally, love the variety because I get bored very easily.

So, I survived week 1. I didn't just survive. I fell in love with the program! I've completed all of my workouts (except the yoga on Monday nights because I get home from small group too late. I may start doing it before group, though).

Here are my progress report photos:

Starting Weight: 139#
Week 1 Weight: 136.9#

Start
Week 1: My abs are becoming more defined!
Start
Week 1: My posture is improving!





Start
Week 1: Posture is improving & abs are more defined!

Start
Week 1: Check out my back and shoulder muscles!

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I'd like to leave you all with this delicious recipe:

Brittany's Vegan Eggnog Oats
These oats reminded me so much of eggnog! They are filling and delicious. Eat them hot or cold.


They were a big hit with little A, too! Enter wardrobe change #2 for the day. :-)

   

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cheezy Dip, Eggnog Shake & Veggie Cakes, oh my!

I've got some great snack and/or side dish recipes for you today! Enjoy!


Averie's "Spicy Doritos"Cheezy Dip
Each week at our couples small group we take turns bringing snack. We brought this dip and it was a huge hit, even among people who don't typically eat things like this! (Which is why the picture is of just the remnants of the dip!) We served it with an assortment of cut up veggies.


Katie's Healthy Eggnog Shake
This shake is great for a quick snack on-to-go! To make it endo-friendly, please see my recipe changes below.

sub: 1/2 cup raw cashews for the tofu
sub: stevia, to taste, for the xylitol/sugar/coconut sugar/evaporated cane juice     


YumUniverse's Chesapeake Veggie Cakes
These are sooo yummy! The sweet potato really shines and there's just a hint of spice to these. Delicious!
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

...But It's Not My Fault.

I love when God gives me a theme and then confirms it later.

Remember my theme for this year? No excuses!

Well, today my church started a new series, titled, "Losing Our Buts" and is designed to help us get rid of our excuses. Today was about, "...But It's Not My Fault."

I've been thinking a lot this week about my excuses, as I've tackled and conquered exercise challenges that I never thought I could do.

"I'm too tired"
 "I don't have the time"  or "No time is convienent"
"It's too hard"
"I just don't want to"

But the one that I feel like God is having me examine is... "I have endometriosis."

Before I continue, I must disclaim that this post may rile a few feathers among the endometriosis community. My intention in writing what I'm about to write, is not to make anyone feel bad or guilty, nor is it to diminish the amount of the pain and severity that one faces while dealing with endometriosis. The thing about endometrisosis is, is that it affects every woman differently. What works for one woman to reduce her pain levels, may not work for another woman. And the level of pain itself, can be felt more severely by one woman and less severely (or in some cases, not felt at all) by another. This is not a competition. This is not me saying, "I have the right answer". This is not to condemn those with endometriosis that aren't doing what I am. This is simply share what is working for me. And to share, what God is doing in my own personal life. The fact that I have this disease and am able to do half the things I'm currently doing, is a testimony in and of itself to His greatness. And, for me, that's what it's all about. To glorify the name of God. And maybe, just maybe, in my sharing and in my vulnerability, someone's life can be changed by them deciding to give Christ a try.

With that said...

So, I've worked out the past 5 days in a row. I honestly can't tell you the last time that's happened or if that's ever happened. Not only that, but I've managed to do workouts and endurance and push myself harder than I ever thought I could go.

Now here's the real kicker... The past 5 days are typically my most painful and debilitating days of my cycle.

How am I able to do this then? Because God is helping me do it. There's really no other explanation. And in the doing, He is also helping me to grow and challenging my thought patterns. Real change doesn't happen, unless we can gain right thinking.

Have I been tired? Yes.
Have I had to sacrifice my time? Yes.
Did I think I could do it? No.
Have I always felt like doing it? No.

Have I been in pain? Y.E.S.

But, here's the deal. In the movement, it reduces my pain level. I, personally, am able to reduce my pain level a great deal, just by what I eat. But, I've discovered these past few days, that I can further reduce my pain level and PMS symptoms, by moving my body. It's actually been kind of a break from the pain. Just this morning, as I was standing during worship at church, I had a shooting pain radiating down my right leg. Did it cross my mind that I shouldn't go to the gym because of the pain? Yep. Did I listen to that voice in my head? Nope. And guess what? I ran a 5K in 32:58!

Is endometriosis my (or your) fault? NO.

Is blaming my endometriosis for my lack of eating right or being active going to get me anything other than feeling stuck and helpless? NO.

In fact, it's motivation. Endometriosis takes so much from us girls, but it doesn't have to take everything. It only takes from us, what we let it take, mentally I mean.

This disease is straight from the pit of hell. Which means, it's from our enemy, Satan. Which means, I'm going to direct my anger at the right place... at the one who came to kill, steal from and destroy me. And this is what I'm going to say... YOU CANNOT KILL MY JOY. YOU CANNOT STEAL ANYTHING MORE FROM ME. YOU CANNOT DESTROY MY HEALTH AND MY QUALITY OF LIFE ANY LONGER. GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! NO MORE EXCUSES!

I believe, with all my heart, that what Satan has created for evil, the Lord is using for good.

And THAT is why I write this blog.


Just Dance!

Yesterday was supposed to be an "active" rest day. An active rest day is when you do something leisure, but you're still moving your body.

I have a goal of doing 100 miles by Valentine's Day, so my plan was to wake up early and do an easy 2.2 mile walk at the gym before heading down to my friend's house for a fun girls day.

The alarm clock went off. I hit the snooze and got back into bed to snuggle with my hubby for awhile. Before I knew it, it was an hour past when I was supposed to get up. Soooo.... my plan was thwarted.

I tried to convince all the girls, later that day, that we should go for a leisure stroll around the neighborhood... 5 times. In 20-degree weather. Obviously, no one took me up on my offer.

The time was getting later and it was looking like I wouldn't even get home until after 10PM, so going to the gym was less than appealing.

We sat down to dinner, which the hostess had made us. It was amazing and the recipe is below.

Rustic Herb Potatoes and Chicken
1 pat butter (or coconut oil)
10 red potatoes, diced
4T Tastefully Simple Rustic Herb Seasoning, separated
16 oz bag of frozen green beans
5 chicken breasts, diced
1T olive oil

Place diced potatoes in a skillet with a small pat of butter and 2T of the Rustic Herb Seasoning. Cook in the pan until slightly browned and then transfer the potatoes to a cook sheet. Finish cooking the potatoes in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, cook your green beans according to the package. Also, cook your chopped chicken in the skillet. When green beans, potatoes and chicken are all finished cooking, combine them back into the skillet with 2T more of the Rustic Herb Seasoning and cook on low with olive oil.


Another one of the gals brought a salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Again, amazing. And again, the recipe is below.

Kristine's Berry Salad
1 package mixed greens
1 pint blueberries
1 pound strawberries
1 pint blackberries (we substituted apples)
crumbed feta (optional)
candied walnuts (optional)

Kristine's Balsamic Vinaigrette
2T honey
1T dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vineger
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (minced is stronger)
3/4 cup olive oil (for a thicker dressing, use an amount just shy of 3/4 cup)

Make the salad by mixing everything together in a bowl with salad tongs. Make the dressing by just mixing everything together. Enjoy!


After dinner, it somehow came up that the hostess' son had gotten the game, "Just Dance 4" for Christmas, so I challenged her to a dance off. Before I knew it, I was getting my active rest day activity in afterall!

It may not have contributed to my mileage or looked like how I had planned it, but it sure was fun! And I was sweating like crazy at the end!
Me (on right) beating the host, Stephanie
Me, beating Janelle
Me, beating Jen
Me, beating Kristine


And... I was the winner! :-)

I think I need a Wii...




Friday, January 4, 2013

Top 10 Workout Songs for January

Typically, the beginning of a new year is when folks resolve to get into better shape. This month's mix features a lively bundle of songs to help you kick things off with a bang. Present here are duelling remixes from both of the world's biggest boybands, Icona Pop and Charli XCX's raucous theme song from Snooki & JWOWW, and Nicki Minaj's aptly-titled new single.
 

Here's the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred--the web's most popular workout music blog.

Nicki Minaj - Va Va Voom - 128 BPM

Coldplay - Charlie Brown - 138 BPM

Icona Pop & Charli XCX - I Love It - 126 BPM

Pitbull & TJR - Don't Stop the Party - 126 BPM

50 Cent, Eminem & Adam Levine - My Life - 89 BPM

The Wanted - Chasing the Sun (Danny Verde Remix) - 129 BPM

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis & Wanz - Thrift Shop - 96 BPM

Fun. & Janelle Monae - We Are Young (Betatraxx Remix) - 106 BPM

Will.I.Am & Britney Spears - Scream & Shout - 131 BPM

One Direction - Live While We're Young (Dave Aude Remix) - 130 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

-Chris Lawhorn, Run Hundred
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Please note that by featuring these songs I am not condoning anything the song lyrics may promote. These are posted for you to decipher appropriateness  for yourself and to hopefully motivate and inspire you to get active! Thanks, Amy

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Milestone!!!

How are you doing with giving over your plans for a healthy life to God?

Just wanted to give you a quick little reminder that without Him, we will likely fail. Or at least we will struggle a lot more than we need to.

The Bible says in Psalms 37:5 NASB, "Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."

I've been making it a point to get my strength from God. And He has not failed me.

Today, I first took a 1-hr yoga class. At times, my whole body was shaking. This tells me just how out of shape I've allowed myself to become.

But then, I got on the treadmill and attempted to try the TIU Cupid's Cardio routine again today. And guess what? I reached a new milestone!

3.79 miles in 45-minutes! That's the farthest I've ever gone at one time!!!

Afterwards, I could barely move, so I soaked in a Lavendar Epsom Salt bath. That was heavenly! 

What are your goals for tomorrow?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Changing Our Minds + Pizza Hummus

I believe, that a major step in leading a healthy lifestyle is getting our mind and thoughts right. What I mean is, I was (and sometimes still am, if I'm not careful), an avid black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinker. When you have this mindset, you've automatically set yourself up for failure.

Think about this... you're at the office and you've brought your lunch. You've eaten your lunch and you feel on top of the world, when a co-worker comes into your office and offers you a donut. If you're like me, it's pretty hard to pass up a donut, so you eat it. And here enters the mindset that leads to failure. See, eating the donut itself has not led you to failure...its what happens next. You know what I'm talking about. "Well, there goes my 100% perfect diet. I may as well just have 2 donuts. You know what? It's not worth going to gym now either. I think I'll just grab a pizza for dinner and sit on my couch, while I watch tv. I'll try again tomorrow." See? Failure.

Instead, what if your thought was this: "Mmm, well that donut was delicious! And totally worth every bite! Looking forward to the gym tonight and reaching my goal. And I can't wait to make that mouth-watering healthy recipe that I found on Pinterest for dinner!" See? Not failure.

So, how do we get our thoughts to go from example A to example B?

Well, I'm not going to lie. It's going to be tough. But, it IS doable! The secret? Jesus Christ.

I have failed every time I've tried to change my behavior or thought patterns on my own, unless I'm working with a professional Christian psychologist. Or unless I'm simply praying and asking for God's help.

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:23-24, "...and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

We need God's help in renewing our mind, so we can be created new in His likeness. And Jesus was able to fight off temptations! (see: Matthew 4:2-4)

So, if you're tired of trying to change your ways on your own and you have no strength left. Why not give Jesus a try?

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Today was a blast!

First, I revisited my "Why" list for some inspiration. If you haven't created your own Why list yet, I highly encourage you to do so. And I highly encourage you to make sure "look good" or anything like it, should NOT be on your list!

Then, my girls and I headed to the YMCA. Today's challenge on TIU's Love Your Body series was to do a 45-minute interval treadmill routine. It kicked my butt! I ended up walking most of it, but I still managed to go 3.3 miles in 45 minutes! Not bad for having not run in quite some time. After the run, I did the Shoulders & Arms routine from P90X and did a version of the P90X Ab Ripper routine, too. I was dead tired by the end. And my exercise-induced asthma was going haywire. But, I made it through and was sooo excited about it! I can't wait to get to the gym and workout again tomorrow!

For breakfast, I had my usual shake mixed with black coffee, but couldn't finish it. I didn't have much of an appetite and didn't want to feel like I was going to hurl during my workout.

For lunch, I just threw together a MIAG with strawberries, kale, mixed veggies, almond milk, hemp seeds and a little bit of stevia.

Snack was cut up celery dipped in Katie's Melty Pizza Hummus. Yum!

I was craving warm comfort food for dinner, so I made up another batch of Angela's Gingerbread Pumpkin Vegan Oats, with just a few changes (mentioned below).
*sub: Raw Yacon Syrup for Blackstrap Molasses
*sub: Raw Coconut Nectar for Maple Syrup

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Don't forget to visit my Facebook page to let me know what your goals are for tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Inspiration

'Tis the season for New Year's Resolutions.

And while I'm not a fan of them, because so many people just set themselves up for failure, I've seemed to be on a journey this week to find "renewed inspiration", I will call it.

It's not a new resolution for this year, but rather, a continued journey in becoming, "Healed, Healthy, Whole."

I'm hoping, that by sharing the inspirations I've found recently, it will help you to find yours, too. So, together, we can make 2013, the best year yet!

THE OBSTACLE
Before I continue, I must make this disclaimer... even the best of intentions can be met with, well, life. Life gets in the way, holidays ruin our intentions, wrongful thinking can self-sabotage us, etc.

My biggest obstacle? My need for perfection. So, as trials come up (and they will), my goal in 2013 is grant myself some grace, pick myself up quickly and move onto the next healthy choice. If we make enough small healthy choices, eventually we'll find ourselves at our goals! :-)

MY MOTTO
I absolutely love this from Tina Reale and have made this my motto for 2013:


THE SUSTENANCE
I've proven to myself many times before that without God, I fail. My inspiration can come from anywhere, but He will be the one to sustain me. So, that's my first goal... to find inspiration every day and to keep my eyes focused on Jesus.


MADE TO CRAVE
One of the ways I do this is by reading a devotional on YouVersion titled, "Made to Crave" and each day there's some really great stuff on there. Yesterday, I got this quote:

"God made us capable of craving so that we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them."

 I don't know if you've ever had a craving attack, but being a past-food/sugar addict, I often find old patterns coming to the surface in times of stress. But really, giving into the food/sugar doesn't quench the craving, because as my best friend says, it's like "trying to scratch a spiritual itch with physical things."

Today, I got this nugget:

"Today, your heavenly Father is telling you the same truth: “You were made for more!” More than this failure . . . more than this cycle of defeat . . . more than being ruled by taste buds, body image, rationalizations, guilt, and shame. You were made for victory. This truth is a great script to play in our heads every time we’re tempted with guilt, rationalizations, or the “I’ll-do-better-tomorrow” escape clauses. Do any of these sound familiar? Addressing our thinking is one of the most crucial steps toward permanent progress in any area and stopping the cycle of shame and defeat. We have to rewrite those negative scripts by getting into the habit of saying truth. And, the first of these truths is, “I was made for more.” Wrapped in this truth is a wisdom and revelation that unlocks great power. We need strength greater than our taste buds, hormones, temptations, and our inborn female demand for chocolate. Yes, the truth of who we are and the power to live out that truth — that’s what we need. So, say it out loud with me today: I was made for more!"

How am I going to keep these in the forefront of my mind? I have a journal, where I track my food. On the front page of that journal, I'm going to doodle little sayings like, "Only God Satisfies" and "I Was Made For More!" These should be just enough to jog my memory of these truths and keep me going.

KEEPING ME INTERESTED
I bore easily. This can be another obstacle. So, I'm always looking for new recipes by reading other food bloggers, or taking on new exercise routines, like P90X. I also follow the Tone It Up girls and love that they offer different fitness challenges every so often. The different daily routines, should keep me from getting bored. And it's like having my own personal trainers! Their newest challenge is the "Love Your Body" challenge, which I'll be taking on (at least until surgery... yes, I'm having another surgery and I haven't blogged about it yet. Please check out: http://caringbridge.org/visit/amybrand if you'd like to find out what's happening).

Here's a few inspiring quotes from the girls:

Your body is the one thing you have your whole life. It is yours- it is beautiful and it depends on you to treat it right.

Tell yourself how beautiful you are every morning-- how you can make anything happen and how today is the first day of the rest of your life to make your dreams happen. 

This last one above ^^^ I'll be posting on my mirror in the bathroom, so that every morning before I start my day, I'll look in the mirror and tell myself exactly what it says above! Positive affirmations never hurt anyone. :-)

JESUS CALLING
Another devotional I've been reading through is called, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.

Today, this is what I got from it in regards to living a healthy lifestyle...
  • Approach God with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed
  • Do not cling to old ways (see above regarding my cravings)
  • Be ready to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, through a journey with God
  • Believe, wholeheartedly, what it says in Jeremiah 29:11 that God's plans for me are, "plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give [me] a future and a hope"
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Well, that's enough inspiration to get me through my workouts and healthy choices (at least for tomorrow!) ;-) Looking forward to continuing this journey with you, my faithful readers! As always, thanks for reading my blog. I sincerely mean what I'm about to say... you all inspire me to keep going, every single day! xoxo

P.S. If you're interested in having accountability for your daily goals, I'll be posting mine on my Facebook page and interacting with my readers there. Come join us, because remember, it's all about small choices, every day!