Body Shaming is Silent

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I just finished reading an article on body shaming and how young it begins to effect our girls. This scares me to the core. As early as first grade it can begin! And it usually begins with the treatment of children and heavier set girls. As parents we need to teach our kids how to treat others, it’s vital and incredibly important.
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Now, as a young lady, when I was that age, I have to admit I remember thinking about my  legs and feeling too tall and skinny. Body image and how we ‘should’ look was everywhere. Even radio commercials and tv commercials, ads for clothing in magazines (which I read very often), even food ads made you sub-consciously aware. Its everywhere!! Never thinking of it as it being harmful to me and how I would view myself for many years to come.
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Honestly, I have body shammed myself since I was a little girl. To be honest, I would love to challenge you to bring forth someone who hasn’t. Most women, unfortunately do.

It started in elementary school when I moved and had to make new friends. It started and I had no idea. It was slow and silent…

Just like today but ten fold our girls are feeling it as well. Its silent to our kids. They hear friends say things or parents talking and then repeating. It slowly creeps in. Into our heads, minds and view of ourselves.

My daughter asked me a few weeks ago, “what are calories?”
I thought, why, why child are you worried about calories at the age of 7!?
She heard friends talking about there parents and how there parents are counting there calories.

So, I answered her question with “calories are what make your body work and function and you need them in order to be healthy and active, but making healthy calorie choices are whats important. Fruits, veggies and chicken are healthy choices. What is your favorite healthy food?” I asked.

“Watermelon and strawberries”, she replied. “Great choices.”, I responded.

But what has been challenging on my heart is later a few days later she said,”Look I am fat when I sit down and skinny when I stand up.” With a big smile on her face.

This speaks volumes to me! It has begun. Its quiet and sneaky. It’s ugly and destructive!
How do I stop this?

Numbers don’t mean anything, we should simply aim to be healthy. Eat food for fuel and enjoy life in a natural, healthy way. Sounds easy enough, right!?

Now, I know some of you maybe thinking well, you work out and count calories. Maybe she’s following you…
But I have told her I workout to feel better. It helps give me more energy and makes me feel good. I like to be strong so I can lift her up and play soccer with her.
We choose healthy meals most of the time and I eat well, in hopes that my kids follow.
I do my best to have a balanced lifestyle. We enjoy ice cream and yummy desserts. We bake cookies together and other things. It’s not all kale and granola!

So with this, I leave feeling a bit torn as to how I switch this up. How I make my child understand how perfect she is and always will be no matter her size. How her value should come within and know that having a good kind heart, treating people with kindness and respect, giving back is what makes you a whole, happy human being. That she understands she is important enough to take care of your self and treat her body well.

And hopefully, all the rest will balance out in perfection.

In the meantime, I will drill in her head how nobody is perfect, and the pumps, the bruises, the scars are what make you awesome.

Day #7 – Intermittent Fasting

Well, I would have to say so far this IF thing has been a complete success! Even though I have been a bit sick through it, it’s something that I can easily continue to do when when I don’t feel well. Which is a plus!

I actually think it helped me to make sure what I did eat, was nothing but the best during my 8 hour eating period. It helped me to focus in on the quality of my food more.

I originally set off on this venture to do 5 days of IF and I am now on day #7. It’s easy to incorporate into my life and I have never been a big breakfast person. Shakeology has taken place for my traditional ‘coffee and sugary creamer’ breakfasts, for about a year now. But naturally my body just isn’t a big breakfast eater, so not eating until 11am is easy for me. And the first thing I have at that time is my Shakeology with banana, PB2, almond milk and ice.

I think this is something I will do regularly as I have found it to be a success. My waist line has gone down and my normal evening bloating has minimized. I have only been bloated 1 night our of the 6 so far. Thats pretty awesome! It’s a relief actually.

As the evening bloat increases, I know I need change up something or it’s time for a cleanse. I normally do the 3 Day Refresh Cleanse by Beachbody but wanted to try IF for a first time to educate myself a bit.

I have learned quite a bit about my body, IF, macros and the natural concept behind IF. As I always try to get as close to nature as possible in this urban lifestyle of mine, I feel IF has taught me that sometimes we don’t need to always be shoving the best foods down our throats. Its good to let our systems clean out and give it a break. I often get lost in this circle of it, and it’s nice to see the outside view, that food is fuel and nutrition, NOT a vice or something that makes me feel I am imprisoned to.

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Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes

As a vegetarian, I am always struggling to get enough protein in my diet. Sweet potatoes are a regular go to for me as well as peanut and almond butter. This provides the best of both worlds!

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SERVES 1-2

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes
A high protein, lower-carb breakfast option!

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients

• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup oats
• 1/2 cup cottage cheese
• 1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 tsp sugar or other sweetener (optional)
• cinnamon, to taste
• 
peanut butter, for drizzling (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a high-powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a greased pan or griddle over medium heat.
  3. Let sit for 3-4 minutes before flipping.
  4. Flip carefully and let cook another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Flip again and let cook for 2 more minutes.

Patience is the key when cooking these. Pour in the batter, let them sit for 4-5 minutes, flip them and let them sit for a few minutes and then flip them again and let them cook a little more. You can’t have your heat too high otherwise they will burn…but the longer cooking time helps them solidify a bit more in the middle. I’m not really sure if you need the baking soda in this recipe. I accidentally put it in instead of baking powder. When I realized, I just added the baking powder as well and it worked just fine.

Drizzle with almond or peanut butter or your favorite topping! Helps if you throw peanut butter in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds to soften for easier pouring.

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Thank you to hwww.theleangreenbean.com for the delicious recipe!!!!

Day #3 – Intermittent Fasting

Made it to day #3! So far, so good!

This morning, I slept in and didn’t workout, rest day. I am not a big fan of rest days but I appreciate the importance. I feel good today though!

I have done a lot of research and questions in my IF facebook groups and have learned something important in the IF world. Tracking macros. Macros, don’t you mean calories? Nope, macros are the ‘thing’ with IF.

So here is some info on it to explain it better.

“Macros” What are they?

There are three macronutrients, or Macros:

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates

And, technically, alcohol is a stand-in fourth.

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To macro, or not to macro? That is the question I pose.

But first, what does “to macro” mean? “To macro” means tracking the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you consume on a particular day.

Protein

Well, adequate protein intake will help build muscle and/or prevent muscle loss if you are in a calorie deficit.  It controls appetite and staves off hunger better than fats or carbs as it causes you to feel full longer.

What’s it do?

It also requires more energy than other macros for your body to digest, thus effectively burning more calories gram for gram through the digestion process.

All of these reasons make high-protein diets great for fat loss.

Where do I get it?

Meat, fish, eggs, dairy and protein shakes are all good sources.

There are many commonly cited “good” protein sources, like nuts or beans, that are actually terrible sources of protein. Only about 15-20% of the calories in these foods come from protein.

Almonds, for example, are 73% fat and only 14% protein.  This is not to say you shouldn’t eat almonds, but it explains why “nuts are great protein!” is rarely coming from a credible source.

How much do I need?

It really depends on your weight, bodyfat % and goals – as low as 0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass (per day) and as high as 1.5-2 grams per pound of lean body mass.

Lean body mass is your total bodyweight minus your fat.  For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and are 20% bodyfat, your lean body mass is 160 pounds, or 200 – (200*20%).

So, if you weigh 200 pounds and have 160 pounds of lean body mass, 0.5 grams per day would be 160*0.5 = 80 grams of protein.

Fat

What’s it do?

Fat is an essential nutrient that our bodies require to live; it assists in vitamin absorption, hormone regulation, brain function, and more.

Where do I get it?

Meat, fatty fish, nuts, nut butters, oils and countless other sources.

How much do I need?

Again, it depends on your weight, bodyfat percentage and goal – probably somewhere between 15% and 45% of your total calories. However, it can vary based on your total calories consumed and whether you are in a caloric surplus or deficit. Somewhere between 0.35-0.7g per pound of lean body mass is a good range.

Carbohydrate

What’s it do?

Carbs are stored in the liver, brain, blood and muscles as glycogen. Our bodies use carbohydrates for energy.

Where do I get it?

Fruit, vegetables and grains.

How much do I need?

It depends. Technically, you can live on zero carbs. But, bodybuilders or endurance athletes have consumed 700+ grams per day. So, the range is pretty wide.

0.5-2 grams per pound of lean body mass is probably a decent range, again, depending on activity level, weight, bodyfat percentage and goals.

Remember, all calories come from macronutrients.

Vitamins, minerals, sodium, etc are micro-nutrients and do not contain calories.

ONLY proteins, fats, carbs and booze yield calories.

Day #2 – Intermittent Fasting

Well day #2 is here and I got my workout in this morning. 22 Minute Hard Corp with Tony Horton. Love that guy!

I was feeling tired this morning though and not wanting to get out of bed. My throat is a bit sore. Its going around so I am not surprised. So I will be drinking a lot of immune building tea today. Surprisingly not hungry this morning, which is not normal. I am usually pretty hungry after my workouts in the mornings, so I am embracing it. This is much easier than I thought it would be.

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I have had many people ask me why I am doing this, so I wanted to take a minute to explain.

Health is of the utmost importance to me and consistently improving(through health and mind) is as well. I like to constantly move forward, stagnant is difficult for me. So I enjoy trying new things and challenging myself…

The idea and/or concept behind IF follows many of my natural/earthy beliefs.

Some people who subscribe to primal eating behaviors believe that in caveman times food was not always available and therefore humans were forced to fast intermittently. They have carried it forward and believe that the body is geared towards it and benefits from it. They have numerous studies to support their beliefs and use them to support IF.

However, as all things in life, though. I am a big believer in balance. Too much of anything is bad. So with that I am looking forward to lunch and enjoying my Shakeology as I type.

Day #1 – Intermittent Fasting

What is Intermittent fasting and why would I do it?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

Why would I want to change the times I eat versus what I eat?

Well, most notably, it’s a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing.

Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of “simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.”

There are 5 different versions or ways to fast with Intermittent Fasting:

1 – Leangains: Which is fasting for 16 hours and then eating for 8.
2 – Eat Stop Eat: Fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week
3 – The Warrior Diet: “Undereating” for 20 hours and then eating one large meal at night.
4 – Fat Loss Forever: A combo of Eat Stop Eat, The Warrior Diet and Leangains, and combines it all into one plan. You also get one cheat day each week (yay!) — followed by a 36-hour fast.
5 – Up Day Down Day Diet: Eat very little one day, and eat like normal the next. On the low-calorie days, that means one fifth of your normal calorie intake.

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Since this is my first rodeo with this, I choose to start with Leangains. Seems easiest and works well with my schedule. Also it makes my sleep time a huge part of the fasting and its easier to sleep through it, right? Fasting for 16 hours and using 8 hours of it for sleep makes it easier.

So my first night consisted of a healthy sweet potato, carrot and kale dinner at around 6:30 p.m. I haven’t eating since, and won’t until 11am this morning. From what I have learned the best part about Leangains is that you can make your eating and fasting times anytime of day, so it can work around your schedule. Think 16:8. !6 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating.

I went for a 4 mile jog this morning and watched the sunrise. I have had a ton of water and I did have my pre-workout drink. Not sure if its allowed but I will find out! This is my biggest question so far.

I have joined a few knowledgable facebook groups and they have been a huge benefit and help to educating me.

Am I hungry right now? Yes, normally I have my Shakeology right now and it goes down pretty quick, so my body needs to adjust to the changes. I am hanging on strong though. I do however feel good. No major concerns or issues yet, just running to the bathroom quite a bit from drinking all this water.

What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

1. Reduces kitchen food prep time, therefore making you days simpler

Intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and that can be a huge help within my busy days.

2. Helps you live longer.

Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.

There’s just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?

The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.

Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.

3. Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.

This one is up for debate because there hasn’t been a lot of research and experimentation done on the relationship between cancer and fasting. Early reports, however, look positive.

This study of 10 cancer patients suggests that the side effects of chemotherapy may be diminished by fasting before treatment. This finding is also supported by another study which used alternate day fasting with cancer patients and concluded that fasting before chemotherapy would result in better cure rates and fewer deaths.

Finally, this comprehensive analysis of many studies on fasting and disease has concluded that fasting appears to not only reduce the risk of cancer, but also cardiovascular disease.

4. Intermittent fasting is much easier than dieting.

The reason most diets fail isn’t because we switch to the wrong foods, it’s because we don’t actually follow the diet over the long term. It’s not a nutrition problem, it’s a behavior change problem.

This is where intermittent fasting shines because it’s remarkably easy to implement once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time. Its simply a change in your habits and creating new ones.

Day #1 and I am well on my way.
Learning while I go and looking forward to 11am so I can eat!

Resources: 
http://www.dailyburn.com
http://www.jamesclear.com

A Lifestyle

I have been there, trust me! I LOVE oreos, chips and ice cream. But the way they made me feel started to become not worth it. I felt horrible, so I would eat horrible things, then I would feel even more horrible! The cycle wouldn’t stop, until I said enough is enough!

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Ever been there?!

We all have at some point in our lives…

It’s ok, today is a new day. Today you CAN make a change and move in the healthier direction in many  ways of your life.

From exercise, to clean products, from food choices to using herbs to help your ailments. The list can go on and on but the only thing that really matters is that you get started.

Start where it feels right for you. For many its starting to lose a few pounds, or curing there child’s ear infection with oils or starting with eating as much organic foods as possible.

I am here for you! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, complaints or may have something nice to say… I want to hear from you!

This website will be the core to getting you started. Stick with me as I build it up with lots of info, videos, recipes, exercises and so much more!

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