Posted in 30 Day Ab/Booty challenge, 30 Day Challenge, 30 Day Get Fit Challenge, 30 Day Yoga Challenge

30-Day Challenge(s)

I am doing three 30-Day challenge and while it might sound crazy it really isn’t – truly it isn’t.  🙂

Challenges in no specific order are:
30-day Ab/Booty Challenge (every day)

Here is the explanation of how to do each exercise:

  1. Flutter kicks – lay flat on your back and elevate your legs off the ground. Make a small scissor motion with your feet. 🙂
  2. Leg lifts – lay flat on your back and lift your legs to a 90° angle. Keep your legs straight.
  3. Heels to heaven – lay flat on your back with your legs straight up at a 90° angle and push your toes up to the sky. You are trying to lift your but up off the ground will keeping your toes pointed to the sky.
  4. Toe taps – lay on your back with your feet straight up and do a crunch to touch your toes! Make sure to connect every time to get the full effect!
  5. Heel taps – are like a normal crunch but touch your fingertips you your heels. 🙂
  6. Crunches
  7. Fire hydrants – on your hands and knees lift one leg to the side with a bent knee and lift your leg up and down.
  8. Donkey kicks – on your hands and knees put one leg out and with either a straight or bent leg lift your leg from the ground up. If your knee is bent comment your knees and pulse up. If you do straight leg. Touch your toe to the floor and back up.
  9. Single leg squats – self-explanatory just remember not to allow your knee to go past your ankle go prevent injury.
  10. Pulsed sumo squats – get in a wide squat position and pulse squats.

30-Day Yoga Challenge (every day)

30-Day Get Fit Challenge – Level 1 with AJ Draven (every other day)

  • iPhone app
Posted in Diary Entry

Monday Blues

Whether or not you feel good about your eating from the weekend, It is over and done.
Every day is a new opportunity to have a great eating day and start working towards achieving important goals.
Start today, right this minute.

Enough is enough. Starting tomorrow (August 1st) I am determined to make changes.
My AP (accountability partner) had a long talk with me and one of the things that was told to me was that I needed to stop with these diets that I’ve been doing that have caused me to lose the weight fast and then gain it back once I stop eating that way. How in the long run I can’t eat this way forever and that is why I gain all the weight back (plus more).
As I listened I felt like a failure and wished I wasn’t having this conversation but regardless of my feelings it was the truth and I needed to hear it. He was right of course.

He gave me some guidelines, which sounded great, but as I go over them now I don’t know if I am going to be able to keep them. You see I am the type of girl who needs structure and routine. I need to be told what to do. What to eat and when to eat. It suits my type of personality. Left on my own accord I tend to want to break the rules by stretching it just enough to say I didn’t really cheat. Then because I feel like “I got away with it” the next step leads to cheating. After that it doesn’t take too long for me to just deviate from my nutrition plan or stop it all together.

I need to figure out a way to abide by his guidelines but do it in a way that will be successful for me. Is there such a plan out there? I need to do some research and find out.

I am not happy with how my body is changing. Last Monday, I had to take before pictures for one of my new fitness programs and I look like I am pregnant.
Where did that huge stomach come from?
Seeing those pictures caused me to be depressed and feel sorry for myself for the rest of the day. Self-destructive thoughts soon followed and I was sinking deeper and deeper into the pity hole. It was bad and I didn’t care that I felt this way. I felt I deserved to be punished by all of my negative thoughts. I didn’t tell anyone and for the most part I tried my best to hide my feelings because I didn’t want to burden anyone but most of all because I knew there was nothing I could do to change it.

Eventually, as you can see, it passed and I am feeling much better. I am ready to make the changes I need to make in order to succeed.

Posted in Diary Entry

Stark Reality

I woke up dreading what I was about to do this morning.

“Do I have to?” I asked myself as I took one big breath. “Can I just go forget about taking measurements and live a normal life?”

Sure, I could but I knew eventually I wouldn’t be happy with the way I felt about myself and everyone around me would suffer from my unhappiness.
That’s good motivation but what pushes the most is the drive to not fail and give up. Last year, around this exact time, I joined The Camp. The camp is a place where they promise that if you follow their instructions you can lose 20 lbs. in 6 weeks. It is a structured rigid program that for my type of personality it suited me well. I need some sort of accountability to make me eat according to their meal plan and exercise 5 days a week. I hate to say this but I just can’t do it on my own. I am too weak-willed. This program was just what I needed and I lost 22 lbs. in 6 weeks. I was ecstatic and so proud of myself and rejoiced that others were super proud of me as well. I thought this is it… I won’t ever go back to being the weight I was.

I wish I could tell you that was the case but what I strongly believed in didn’t happen at all and once the program ended I slowly started to gain the weight back due to the holidays and other family events. I gained some weight but I was still happy with myself and I was still working out and eating relatively well. Then I stopped working out and I was surprised how fast I was gaining weight. I couldn’t believe it. I was still eating clean and it was clear that my diet alone wasn’t the answer. I went back to The Camp in May and did a 21-day detox that worked wonderfully for me. Not only did I lose weight but inches as well. I was in high heaven.

(((Fit body here we come)))

Or so I thought.

June came and went and now it’s July and I am pretty sure that I’ve gained everything back.

My thoughts were confirmed this morning and while I am sad and disappointed I am going to use these emotions to keep me motivated and on track.

While I like the idea of having someone, whether is a place or person, motivate me to stay on track I’ve seen in this last year that this is not sustainable in the long run. People have their own lives and while the places are available 24/7 they can get expensive. So, I think I need to find a way to make myself accountable.

One more thing, I am going to put my stats here and share them, not because I want to shame myself but because I think it would help me.

Posted in ChefV, Cleanse

What’s that smell?

The fake fruity berry scent assaulted my nose as my kid happily splashed among the rapidly growing bubbles emerging from his bath. Mind you, this is the same bubble bath I have bought for the last couple of years and I never noticed its overwhelming scent before.
What changed?  Why was I wrinkling my nose at it now?

The only big difference in my life at that time was that I was nearing the end of my 7-day juice detox.  I couldn’t believe my detox would be the cause of my super sniffer but it was re-confirmed when I went to work the following night. All was well until I got up and went to the backroom where we store our breast milk and warm it up.  It was then that I wished I could walk right out.  The “smell” of breast milk and fortifier nearly knocked me down and forgive me for all those mothers out there that pump but I was dying… yes, it was that strong and overpowering. Incredible I never noticed before.
It was all very interesting to me and it had me fascinated as I tried out my new smelling superpower on other things.  LOL

Ok, I wouldn’t call it a superpower but it was a big change from my everyday life and mostly good things came from these changes. Like when I was preparing my meals. The smells emanating from my cooking were pure heaven and not only did they smell fantastic but they also tasted so delicious.  I was pleasantly enjoying this detox side effect.

 

Then as the days and weeks passed I wasn’t so diligent with my eating habits and now almost a month later I am back to where I started.  L
Only this time I have noticed that I am having a lot of GI issues that I never had before.  Heartburn, upset stomach, feeling bloated and…. Hmmm, let’s just say the rest is TMI but you can imagine. L  It hasn’t been fun and neither has the weight gain.

 

While I am not going to do the juice detox again I do need to make some drastic changes so I can reset my body to where it was.  I don’t like feeling the way I’ve been feeling for the past two weeks.

 

Question is what?  What do I do?  Do a 21-day eat clean program, Paleo, or do Whole30?
I do not know but come this Sunday changes will be made.

Posted in Articles

Why It’s So Hard to Give Up Cheese

Very interesting….

The following is an excerpt from The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy, which was released by Hachette Book Group.

Which foods do you find most addictive? That’s the question University of Michigan researchers asked. The idea was, which foods lead you to lose control over how much you eat? Which ones are hard to limit? Which ones do you eat despite negative consequences? The researchers surveyed 384 people and here is what they found:

Problem food #5 is ice cream.

Problem food #4 is cookies.

Chips and chocolate were tied for #3 and #2.

But the most problematic food of all was—drum roll, please—pizza. Yes, gooey cheese melting over a hot crust and dribbling down your fingers—it beat everything else.

And here is what matters: The question was not, which foods do you especially like, or which foods leave you feeling good and satisfied. Rather, the question was, which foods do you have a problem with? Which ones lead you into overeating, gaining weight, and feeling lousy? Which foods seduce you, then leave you with regrets?

So, why did pizza top the list? Why are we so often tempted to dig in and overdo it?

Three reasons: salt, grease, and opiates.

As you have no doubt experienced, salty foods can be habit-forming. French fries, salted peanuts, pretzels, and other salty foods are hard to resist, and food manufacturers know that adding salt to a recipe adds cash to the register. A Lay’s potato chips commercial in the 1960s said, “Bet you can’t eat one”—meaning it’s impossible to eat just one. Once the first salty chip passes your lips, you want more and more.

Your body does need some salt—about a gram and a half per day, according to U.S. health guidelines. In prehistoric times, however, salt was not so easy to come by. After all, potato chips and pretzels had not yet been invented. So people who managed to get their hands on salt were more likely to survive. Your neurological circuitry is set up to detect it, crave it, and jump in when you’ve found it.

As you will remember from fifth-grade biology, your tongue is very sensitive to the taste of salt. And brain scanning studies show that your brain is extra attuned to it, too. Deep inside the brain, in what is commonly called the “reward center,” brain cells make the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, and in certain situations it floods out of the cells, stimulating neighboring cells. If you find a particularly abundant source of food, your brain rewards you by releasing some dopamine. If you were to have—shall we say—a romantic, intimate encounter, your brain has a similar reaction. It gives you more dopamine. Dopamine rewards you for doing things that help you or your progeny to live on. And scientists believe that dopamine plays a role in our desire for salt.

So is there really a lot of salt in pizza? A fourteen-inch Domino’s cheese pizza has—catch this—3,391 milligrams of sodium. Just one slice delivers 400 milligrams. It’s in the crust and in the toppings, and there is a lot in the cheese. So salt is one of the reasons that pizza attracts us.

Pizza is also greasy, and that greasy-salty combination seems to get us hooked, too, just as it does for chips, fries, and onion rings. But pizza has one more thing. It has cheese, and cheese not only contributes its own load of salt and grease. It also contains traces of a very special kind of opiate.

Casomorphins

[In an earlier chapter of The Cheese Trap], I briefly mentioned casein, the protein that is concentrated in cheese. And casein has some secrets to tell.

If you were to look at a protein molecule with a powerful microscope, it would look like a long string of beads. Each “bead” is a protein building block called an amino acid, and, during digestion, the individual amino acids come apart and are absorbed into your bloodstream so that your body can use them to build proteins of its own.

So the calf digests the proteins in milk, breaking apart the chain of beads and using these amino acids to build skin cells, muscle cells, organs, and the other parts of the body.

However, casein is an unusual protein. While it does break apart to release individual beads, it also releases longer fragments—chains that might be four, five, or seven amino acid beads in length. These casein fragments are called casomorphins—that is, casein-derived morphine-like compounds. And they can attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and other narcotics attach to.

In other words, dairy protein has opiate molecules built right into it.

Opiates in dairy products? What the heck are they doing there, you might ask. Well, imagine if a calf did not want to nurse. Or if a human baby was not interested in nursing. They would not do very well. So, along with protein, fat, sugar, and a sprinkling of hormones, milk contains opiates that reward the baby for nursing.

Have you ever looked at a nursing baby’s face? The infant has a look of great intensity and then collapses into sleep. Of course, we imagine that to be the beauty of the mother-infant bond. But the fact is, mother’s milk delivers a mild drug to the child, albeit in a benign and loving way. If that sounds coldly biological, it pays to remember that nature never leaves anything as important as a baby’s survival to chance.

Opiates have a calming effect, and they also cause the brain to release dopamine, leading to a sense of reward and pleasure.

A cup of milk contains about 7.7 grams of protein, 80 percent of which is casein, more or less. Turning it into Cheddar cheese multiplies the protein content seven-fold, to 56 grams. It is the most concentrated form of casein in any food in the grocery store.

Call it dairy crack. Just as cocaine manufacturers have found ways to turn an addictive drug (cocaine) into an extremely addictive one (crack), dairy producers have found their own ways to keep you coming back. In the Middle Ages, cheese makers had no idea that cheese might concentrate milk’s addictive qualities. But today’s cheese industry knows all about cheese craving and is eager to exploit it. It is doing its level best to trigger cheese craving in vulnerable people.

Posted in Articles

Article: Why the Paleo Diet Doesn’t Make Sense

I read this article today and copying it here. Thoughts?  I am curious to know what y’all think.

The Paleo diet seems like a great idea: eat like a caveman to avoid the diseases of civilization. The logic, so it goes, is that our bodies are a product of the Stone Age, and even though we have temporally left the Paleolithic period, our biology has not changed and remains ill-equipped to handle volleys of junk food and soda. If humans came with an instruction manual on how to be fed, the Paleo diet would appear to be the described fare.

If we could go back in time to see how humans lived, way before the era of iPhones and Twitter, we would find humans living—and eating—in their natural habitat. In this snapshot, of course, we would not find pizza boxes, potato chips, or Twinkies, but an earthy pantry of fruits, vegetables, and, seemingly, meat. I can’t argue against the need for more fruits and vegetables, but what irks me is the requirement for meat.

The necessity for meat is unsettling, especially red meat, which the Paleo diet features prominently, since red meat increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and death. But what about other types of meat? And how much? Should we be eating no meat?

And so, I’ve become a bit obsessed with finding the answer. And for good reason: every patient that has a lifestyle disease that I would come in contact with as a physician could be affected by how I answer this question, which is to say, nearly all of my patients. The answer wasn’t easy to come by, and at times wasn’t clear. There were even times when I nearly convinced myself that the Paleo diet was correct in its premise. After spending hundreds, if not thousands of hours, over the past several years understanding human biology, evolutionary medicine, and anthropology, I’ve arrived at the answer.

Ultimately, the Paleo diet is right in its intent but errs in its methodology and conclusion. The Paleo diet assumes that humans in the Paleolithic period, the era which Paleo pundits reference, spanning 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago, were living in a manner that was in harmony with their—and by extension our—“genetic makeup.” But the human genetic makeup has been evolving for millions of years, and drawing a conclusion from one particular time point neglects the evolutionary context that surrounds it.

Human evolution dates back to at least 40 million years ago: a messy process filled with dead-ends and detours extending from anthropoids to hominoids to hominins to, finally, Homo sapiens sapiens, better known as the modern human. During the bulk of this time, human ancestors were primarily herbivorous. True, meat in the evolutionary diet didn’t gain momentum until the Paleolithic period, but it wasn’t until later in the Paleolithic period—how late, however, is a matter of ongoing contention. Some have argued that significant meat consumption didn’t start until around 400,000 years ago, when the first spear was discovered. But spears aren’t particularly useful unless you have a spear-thrower, or atlatl, which wasn’t invented until 17,000 years ago. Through a combination of improved group-hunting tactics and the introduction of advanced weaponry, many agree that effective hunting was likely in full swing by 40,000 years ago.

Over the course of human evolution, our lineage didn’t have the resources or, more importantly, the life-or-death need to eat meat. When humans engaged in effective hunting 40,000 years ago, they did so because they had left their warm ancestral homelands in Africa, which would have been replete with plant-based sources for food, and were now dependent upon the resources available in the new and colder environs they would have encountered venturing through southeast Asia and Europe during the last Ice Age. Food wouldn’t have come easily to early humans and likely drove the need for sophisticated tools to hunt animals. Early humans survived by adapting to these harsh environments by eating meat.

This is, however, different than saying, “Humans evolved to eat meat.” These early humans made weapons, hunted, and ate venison because it was necessary to stave off starvation and not because this was in their “genetic makeup.” Had these early adventurers found pizza, doughnuts, or french fries lying around the glacial forests and tundras of yesteryear they would have consumed that too because those would have been sources of precious calories.

The early humans from 40,000 years ago, who are the same subspecies of humans as modern humans, were not significantly different in their biology or anatomy than the ancestors they evolved from, and they certainly didn’t have any specific evolutionary traits to help them eat meat, or doughnuts for that matter. Their biology was consistent with a 40-million-year evolutionary process that was suited to eating foliage, and not fauna.

The carnivorous departure is a fairly new phenomenon and only represents 1 percent of the human evolutionary timetable, even when considering the earliest time point for effective human hunting. Any diet that says we should eat meat overlooks the other 99 percent of human history when we weren’t eating meat. If we were to compress human evolution onto a single calendar day starting at midnight, humans would have only started eating meat on a regular basis at 11:45:36 PM.

Just because we have evidence that cavemen ate meat doesn’t mean we should make it the foundation of our diets. Just because it happened in the anthropological record, doesn’t mean we should replicate it with every meal for a lifetime, unless you wanted to specifically live like a caveman, but then you might as well toss out your cell phone and hair dryer.

Our biology is best suited for a plant-based diet. After 40 million years of evolution, we see that the human gut anatomy is remarkably similar to our closest extant relative: the chimpanzee, who share 99 percent of their DNA with us. Chimpanzees are also 99 percent herbivorous, eating primarily fruits and leaves. Only 1 percent of a chimp’s diet is meat, while the average American wolfs down about 27 percent, or more, of their daily calories from animal-based sources. It is easy to see how a lifetime of errant dietary habits can take their toll on human health.

And indeed, medical science proffers the final coup de grâce on the subject. For years, scientists have published studies on meat shortening human life expectancy. Most studies show an increase in life expectancy anywhere from 1.5 to 3.6 years in life, but in some cases the difference in life expectancy has been as great as a decade, the difference between the life expectancy of smokers and nonsmokers. Researchers have also shown a dose response with meat: the more meat in your diet, the higher the risk of dying.

Humans during the Paleolithic era ate meat for survival, not for long-term health. Fortunately, humans of today are living under less brutal, and more enlightened, conditions. It’s difficult to argue that the Paleolithic diet’s requirement for meat is in sync with our genetic footprint, and the oversight is proving fatal for both the Paleo diet and, perhaps, for those following it.

Posted in ChefV, Detox

Pre-Pre-Cleanse Day Three of Three

I wrote yesterday that I was tired and today wasn’t any better. I skipped one of my snacks because I fell asleep between 10:30 am and 12 pm.  I didn’t want to take a nap and I was disappointed that I fell asleep on the couch but I guess my body knows it needed rest.

shaking fist up to the air
But damn you tired body I had things to do!!!!

When I woke up I didn’t feel any better I was groggy and my brain was foggy.  I am sure you all know that feeling and it took me a bit to fully wake up.

By the time, I had my tea and some food I felt better.

Seems Thursday was a day of rest.

Posted in ChefV, Detox

It’s Here It’s Here!!!! :-) 

I am so excited it’s finally arrived. Our chef V cleanse. I can’t tell you the big smile I got when I walked up and saw this.

I might not be as excited tomorrow but for today I am. LOL  I brought in these two huge boxes, they were heavy, that has our 7-day cleanse.  The contents were cold and nicely packed.
   

I thought I would get one of their nifty Green Drink bags but that wasn’t the case.  I was disappointed but that’s ok.

I didn’t realize how much space I would need for two 7-day juice cleanse.  My fridge is full. 🙂

  

Tomorrow we start!