Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Am I really hungry?

We talk a lot on here about healthy eating, but to be honest we didn’t always eat like this. When I was in college, I seemed to learn that I needed to eat everything put in front of me, because, when you’re in the Army, you never know when your next meal might be. It took me 9 years to re-learn that I didn’t really need to live like that anymore. When I got out of the Army, I took a look at myself and realized I needed to do some work to lose some weight and reshape myself and my life. With Kelly’s help as my Personal Trainer,  and my refocus on how to nourish my body and how to look at food, I was able to transform both my body and my life. I learned to be selective in what I eat and that I can gain just as much pleasure from eating smaller amounts of quality food than I thought I’d used to get from eating large quantities of anything around.
This came to mind this week, while we’re on vacation and visiting family. While traveling, we stopped at Texas Roadhouse for dinner. If you’ve been there, you know they bring out a large basket of hot, fresh rolls with delicious cinnamon butter out to your table when you are seated. We allowed ourselves to share a roll with our salads. Then our steaks and mixed vegetables arrived and we thoroughly enjoyed that. As we were winding down, I looked over at the plump rolls, piled up so innocently in that basket next to my plate. I really wanted to take one more roll, slather it in butter and have it to chase my steak. But I took a moment and looked at my plate, where there were a few more bites of tenderloin and about four more florets of broccoli and cauliflower. I asked myself, “Am I really hungry? If I am really still hungry, then I can have some more vegetables instead of bread” But, I really wasn’t hungry, I just wanted the feeling of that tasty bread and butter. After realizing this, I was able to find the discipline to not take the other roll.
Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Have you been able to find the will power to overcome your desires for more food even though you have eaten enough already? Have you thought about asking the server not to bring the bread to the table? Or to leave the rice off your order? 
For me, it took some time, more than a year, to be able to find the discipline to have snacks in the house without the need to eat them immediately. But, this is something that I work through daily; somedays I win the battle, somedays I don’t, but what’s important is that the next day I keep working towards my goals.

Eat something nutritious and healthy today! I'll join you in that!


Friday, July 8, 2011

More and more reasons to cook your own fresh food

I know I've been harping about this recently but 1. it's important 2. when I'm dieting for a competition I become quite the food elitist:)  3. an article I read this morning was so disturbing I can't wait to share it with you.   The article is called "Top 10 Scariest Food Additives" by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding from Men's Health online. They cite "Eat this, Not that" in their article.  Anyways, I'm going to paste a few of the "scariest food additives" right here and add a few personal thoughts!

Ingredient #2: Caramel Coloring
An artificial pigment created by heating sugars. Frequently, this process includes ammonia.

Why it’s scary: Caramel coloring shows up in everything from soft drinks and sauces to breads and pastries. When made from straight sugar, it's relatively benign. But when produced with ammonia it puts off 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, chemicals that have been linked to cancer in mice. The risk is strong enough that the California government, a bellwether for better food regulation, categorized 4-methylimidazole as “known to cause cancer” earlier this year. Unfortunately, companies aren't required to disclose whether their coloring is made with ammonia, so you'd be wise to avoid it as much as you can.

Where you'll find it: Colas and other soft drinks, La Choy soy sauce, Stove Top stuffing mix

What?? I always thought caramel coloring was harmless, I thought is was just sugar.  Man, I see this in everything!  Yet another reason to cut out the diet soda's! Here's another one:

Scary Ingredient #5: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Petroleum-derived antioxidants and preservatives.

Why they're scary: The Department of Health and Human Services says BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen," yet the FDA allows it to be used anyway. BHT is considered less dangerous, but in animal research, it too has resulted in cancer. Oddly, the chemicals aren’t even always necessary; in most cases they can be replaced with vitamin E.

Where you'll find it: Goya lard, Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Orbit gum

I was chewing a piece of Orbit Gum as I read this article.  Needless to say, after I finished choking on it, I spit it out...This next one is for the bagel monster, yeah, you know who you are, wink wink:

Scary Ingredient #8: Azodicarbonamide
A synthetic yellow-orange dough conditioner

Why it's scary: This chemical is used most frequently in the production of industrial foam plastic, and although the FDA has approved its use for food in the States, the United Kingdom has labeled it a potential cause of asthma. In a review of 47 studies on azodicarbonamide, the World Health Organization concluded that it probably does trigger asthmatic symptoms. The WHO concluded, “exposure levels should be reduced as much as possible.” I’ll put it more concisely: Avoid it.

Where you'll find it: Dunkin’ Donuts bagels, McDonald’s burger buns
I'll save the rest for another get the point though.  When you buys stuff at the store, you are getting way more then you're barginning for! I can't stress it enough, when you go shopping, look at the ingrediants and don't purchase it if you don't know what an item is.  Also, be VERY weary of eating processed foods from fast food places, who knows what's in there and you can't easily see the ingrediant list! Have a great weekend and do something Healthy!! -Kelly

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Workout High

As Kelly mentioned yesterday, it’s been a long two weeks for ME and I. We packed up all last week and trekked across half the country to come back to Texas for the next few years! Yay! We are so excited to return to Texas, however, what a stressful and tiring two weeks we’ve had...and we still have! We’re still unpacking and getting settled and reorganized. I also started back up with working part time as well as starting BodyPump classes at a new gym last night. Whew! Needless to say, ME and I have been getting increasingly stressed, especially trying to keep track of the millions of keys we have, losing track of things as we’re moving things to and fro through the condo and cars and storage unit. We’ve been so exhausted from all of the moving (heavy lifting!!!) and boat cleaning (sore shoulders from scrubbing) that our daily workouts have fallen by the wayside. We thought, “No need to workout, we’re getting our workouts from all of this non-stop activity.”

 Last night, I finally returned to the gym to team teach BodyPump with my boss, at my new gym, Quality Life Fitness. I was exhausted before even arriving at the gym and was  concerned that I’d be too tired to give my all as an instructor. But, once the music started, I got Pumped up (pun intended) and even lifted heavier weights than planned (even though my legs were already sore from that heavy lifting I mentioned earlier!)
When I left the gym, I felt mind was clear, I felt energized and relaxed, and relaxed and happy! I got home to find ME had just returned from the gym as well. I told him that Pump was just what I needed to relieve some stress and he quickly agreed! So, why is this?
...Endorphins! We finally got those hormones streaming through our body to give us the little pick-me-up that we’d been missing over the last weeks! Awesome! We’re pretty happy people in general, but even happy people can get down in the dumps when you’re continually tired and stressed! That’s when it’s even more important to get out and exercise to kick start those endorphins and get us back on track!
How do you combat stress? What is your go-to workout to get your endorphins fired up to get your mind and energy back to a healthy place?
Things I’m thankful for:
~A BFF who shares her home with us
~Team Teaching
~Motivated class full of BodyPumpers

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How do you stay on track in the Kitchen?

                                What’s in your Fridge?  

We all have techniques for keeping junk food out of our bodies, what’s your technique?  I personally have to keep junk out of my house.  I normally only keep exactly what’s on my eating plan for the next couple of days in my fridge, because I know, when it’s pre contest time and I’m working out so much, I turn into an eating machine and I’ll eat anything that crosses my path! Ha, not really but, it’s just better, for me, to keep temptations out of the house.

However, that all changed this weekend.  Samara and her husband have come to stay with me for a few months between Army assignments, so we spent all weekend unloading boxes and getting them settled.  But it seemed that the more boxes we unloaded, the more grocery bags Samara unloaded!  Samara’s technique for keeping junk food out of her and her hubby’s body is to STOCK the fridge full of fresh, organic yummy food, that way they’ll never have an excuse to get hungry and eat something they’ll regret later.  I just had to take a picture of the fridge because I’ve never seen MY fridge so full of food!  It makes me smile!  I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot! 

So, while my technique of keeping only the bare essentials in the house is effective, their technique of making sure there is plenty of good stuff is also working out well (plus Sam has been cooking for me, yum yum!) 

Yet a third technique (one that DOES NOT work for ME) is JB’s way.  JB accepts treats, baked goods, left over pizza, etc, but he freezes it all until a “cheat day” or “refeed” day.  It works well for him bc he’ll never defrost something he’s not supposed too. I, on the other hand find it way too easy to defrost that piece of pound cake in the freezer, microwaves are magical!

So, how do you all stock your fridge/pantry?  Can you keep a good balance of treats and clean foods or do you end up going to extremes like me?  Please leave me some comments, I’d love to hear how you manage your sundries and produce.  

P.S. yes that’s cool whip, we had fresh strawberries over the weekend, come on, a girl needs a treat every now and then!!!