Intermittent Fasting

I am trying something new, started yesterday. I have trained my body to eat every 2-3 hours. There are a couple problems with this, but I won’t address any of them other than the fact that I am constantly eating. Still managing my calories and what I’m eating, but it’s still ALL THE TIME! And it never fails that I’m still hungry or have the munchies around 8pm every night. Eating this late, right before you’re going to bed and your metabolism is slowing down, is not good for you belly.

So I am trying intermittent fasting to replace my current lifestyle. I am still learning about it; and boy do I have lots to learn! But the high level summary is that you eat within a specific block of time, throughout the day, and nothing else on your of hours. This type of eating is supposed to help your body burn more fat as you are allowing your body the time it needs to fully digest and use what you ate the day before.

Say, for example, you eat breakfast at 8am. Your last meal would be at 4pm. Here’s the cool thing, there is no set clock on intermittent fasting! This means its customizable so it can fit into any lifestyle. Ideally, I think, you want to wait until later in the day to have your first meal. For me, personally, I am going for the 10am to 6pm block of time for eating. So far, over the last 2 days, it’s been satisfying. (I got a little hungry early today so I think I ate at 9:45am. I really don’t think 15 minutes is going to make a difference. I could be wrong. But I’m okay with it for day #2.)

Salad

See that ^, that salad? Looks delicious, right?! Eating clean can be fun and quite tasty!

There are a couple of things to take into consideration – or remember – if you ever seriously contemplate this type of lifestyle. Did you notice that word? “Lifestyle”? This is a lifestyle, not a fad, not a diet, not a detox, not a lose weight quick “thing”. A lifestyle that you adopt as part of your every day routine for the rest of your life. Just like clean eating. It doesn’t benefit you to do this for a week. It has a compound effect. Over time it increases your health, energy, confidence and overall appearance. Lifestyle choices are permanent, not temporary. I am probably repeating myself, but it’s important to fully grasp that. To change you life it can’t be temporary.

The other thing to consider is that it is super easy to implement. Don’t wake up tomorrow morning and just start eating within and 8 hour window (well, you could, I don’t think it would have a negative effect, but it might be a little more difficult to stick with). So, week 1 – for example – try 10 or 11 hours. Or, if that’s your normal window maybe try 9. Then week 2 shave off another hour. Then, if you’re not already at 8 hours, shave off another hour on the following week.

What you’re doing is training your body. Note how at the start of this post I said I had trained my body to eat every 2-3 hours. Trust me, your body gets used to your eating patterns and they are not easy to break. It takes time and consistency. So if your body is yelling at you that it’s hungry, it might not be. It might just be part of your routine that you’ll have to work through. It only takes 21 days to create a habit. If you can get through that time period, you’re good. Keep that goal in mind.

Shakeology

My all-time favorite meal of the day, and most nutritious!

Okay, done rambling. So, on top of this new lifestyle, I am also still focusing on clean eating. Yes, another lifestyle choice. I don’t have to quit one to try the other. Pretty cool in my opinion, makes my life a little easier. So, for now, I am simply working towards my 8hr eating window with clean foods. I don’t see a reason this won’t work so I’m super excited. (Especially considering I am still recovering from surgery and can’t workout for – at least – another 4 weeks. Eating right will keep from losing any progress during my down time!)

Coconut Oil & Coffee

If you’ve ever heard of BulletProof coffee, you either love it, hate it, or just flat out think it’s a little strange. (lol)  I drank it for quite a while and loved (still love) it. But, 4 cups of coffee a day with that many calories tends to leave you a little hungry. Or, it did me anyway.

Thanks to a wonderful friend, I have found an alternative. Brew a cup of coffee (I use my Keurig), add 1t coconut oil (personally use the flavored), and a few drops of vanilla flavored sweet drops (stevia).

It’s delicious! And it’s good for you, clean, and low on calories! One thing that makes it super easy is my Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome. Once the coffee is brewed, coconut oil and sweet drops are added simply insert immersion blender for about 10 seconds and, voila, deliciousness is ready!

Anyway, if you’re trying to eat clean or just want to try something new, give this coffee a try. You may want to try it a couple times before judging, but it is quite delicious.

Change is Hard; Change is Worth It!

Change is hard! It doesn’t matter what is going on in your life, where the change is (personal or work), change is hard. It is in our nature to live routine lives. Whether you realize it or not, you most likely have a pattern or certain order that you do things every single day. Getting ready to leave the house, for example. Get up, shower, get kids ready, eat, etc. Whatever your routine, wherever it lies in the day, you’ve got ’em.

Changing these routines is scary and can be stressful if not done for the right reasons. Working out, for example. If you have to do it rather than want to do it, it’s much harder to make time for it. If it’s not in your routine already, it is very likely that you laugh at adding anything else to your day – especially a workout. (I get it! Trust me! 5 kiddos (okay, only 4 at home) and a full time job – I get it! <3) But I’d be willing to bet you could fit 30 minute workouts into that routine of yours.

MakeTheTime

Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes you gotta be at your breaking point before you’ll either consider it or seriously make the time for it. (Yes – MAKE the time – you won’t find it if you look for it.) Breaking point = your point of no return, your hard limit of “I am not gaining another pound”, “I am not wearing those pants anymore!” Whatever it is, everyone has one.

My favorite excuse used to be “I don’t have time”. I didn’t have time to prepare healthy food, so I ate what was easy (and typically not healthy). I didn’t have time to workout and was absolutely not getting up any earlier to do it. (After all, I need my sleep more, right?!)

Mine was when I could no long fit into my size 14 jeans. I had had my 5th child, and been back to work for a year and a half. I went to get dressed one day and a size 14 was no longer comfortable. I was also fluctuating between 170 and 180 pounds and am only 5’4″. I knew I was going to have to go shopping and bump up to a size 16. Regardless of details; I was done.

Without a second thought, I started doing Zumba on my XBox 360 and absolutely loved it. It was hard. Taking 30-60 minutes out of my time with my husband or my kids just so I could work out. But, I did it. I lost about 20lbs this way, Zumba at home. Then I realized maybe I should start eating less. I had heard of MyFitnessPal so figured I’d start tracking my calories. This worked wonderfully! I lost another 20lbs. A total of 40 pounds in 6 months! I was ecstatic.

Right no-excuses_nhere is where everything kind of plateaued for me. I kept working out and counting calories. But I wasn’t consistently pushing myself harder, wasn’t watching what I was eating, just how much I was eating. I reached another downfall in 2014. That is when everything really began to change for me (more on that later). But, the point is, even as a mother of 5 working outside the house full time, I made a point to change my life.

My family is worth me spending 30-60 minutes a day on me. The happier and healthier I am the better off my entire family is. I know this is a pretty blunt statement, and I’m sorry if it is offensive, but it’s true. You’ve got to take care of you! So, what’s your breaking point?

Workout when you can

Busy, busy day today!
I – personally – am a not a fan of working out in the morning. There are a ton of benefits when you make your workout a morning routine, but I still can’t/won’t get up early enough to do it. 🙂
TodayIsMyTomorrow
Anyway, I knew it was going to be near impossible to get a workout in with today’s schedule. So guess what I did?! Yup, worked out in the morning before doing anything else. Nothing to distract me, nothing to keep me tied up too long to get it done.
It was a little difficult this morning – not a morning person 😉 BUT I am so glad I did. My post workout high still hit head on. I don’t want to go back to bed like I did before I worked out. I am very focused this morning; been more productive in the last 2.5 hrs that I have been in a 5 hour period lately. It’s wonderful!
Being a mother of 5 (4 at home) and working a full time job it’s hard to get any me time in. But I made myself a priority this year and make that time. If I can do it so can you! It may seem impossible, but I promise you, making yourself your #1 priority and cutting out that “me” time for yourself will change your life! Try it for a day, a week, a month. Make a habit of it! 😀 I promise you, you won’t regret it!
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Zumba!

So much has been going on lately. Still trying to make the right choices when it comes to food, but man is it hard when you’re always on the run. I have no problem prepping my snacks – celery & peanut butter, celery / carrots & veggie cream cheese, sliced apples – but I have noticed that is all I am eating is snacks. Not that it’s a horrible thing but I know I need more. So, trying to get back on track and prepared lunch yesterday for the entire week – fried rice again with a few tweaks.

Anyway, on January 25, 2014 I took the leap and attend Basics 1 Zumba Instructor course – what a blast! I have been doing Zumba for over a year (off and on) and absolutely love it! I started Zumba with the in-home video games since I KNOW I cannot dance and could never imagine myself attempting to in front of anyone (yes, everyone in the house gives me my space during this time). After I lost 45 pounds, a total of 24.5 inches head-to-toe and went from a size 16 to a size 8 (sometimes a 4 depending where I shop) a friend of mine convinced me to work out at a local Brickhouse Cardio where I get my Zumba fix in as often as I can.

I am not losing any more weight but I am toning and I have never had so much fun doing it! It was after I started working out here and watching the Zumba community that I decided I wanted to be a part of it. I may never actually get on stage and teach (probably down the road) but I do want to help others find their way to a healthier being and have fun doing it.

In all seriousness, if I can do this anyone can. When I say I can’t dance, I really can’t, even a year later. But it does come a little more naturally now and I’ve even noticed my hips loosening up a little so I can shake-it better than I ever thought I could – part of this is confidence of course. 😀

Anyway, I am super hooked. In fact, in April I will be attending the Instructor course for Zumba Step – the newest and latest trend in the Zumba world! AND I have become a Zumba affiliate because I LOVE the Zumba! clothing line!!! 😀