Ever heard of the Atkins Diet?
In 1972 Dr. Robert Atkins wrote a book about an amazing new way to loose weight. It went against all the conventional thinking and proposed that one could eat as much protein and fat as they wanted--without counting any calories--and you could loose weight. The catch? You needed to avoid foods high in carbohydrates. So, your morning eggs, bacon and toast would now be your morning eggs, bacon and bacon. And eggs. And Bacon. : )
Here's the thing (a little background), I'm from a family of Atkins Diet enthusiasts! Not only that, but my family has had an enormous amount of success loosing weight with the Atkins diet.
So, for as long as I can remember white potatoes (which are high in carbs) have been the enemy! Eating potatoes equalled bad in my mind.
A few years ago when I started eating Paleo, I saw that potatoes weren't "paleo approved". That was basically ok with me because I (as mentioned) am a child of Atkins followers, and thought potato=bad!
Then, I came across something regarding a program called Whole 30, and how it's allowing potatoes on it's approved food list. What is Whole 30? Well, it's Paleo, but even more clean! It's meant as a 30 day re-charge in your health (read all about it HERE). Without getting into all the details of what Paleo and Whole 30 are, I was honestly like, "What? Really?" when I read that Whole 30 approved potatoes!
Then, when we were visiting family at Easter, someone who I know is healthy, and understands healthy foods said to someone during a conversation about healthy foods, "well, potatoes aren't healthy", and I wanted to say something, but realized, besides knowing Whole 30 had approved potatoes, I didn't really know why. What makes them good for you? What benefits could come from eating potatoes?
My home-schooler researching nerd personality comes out now and starts digging (which is ironic because potatoes come from the ground...yes? See? Digging? Let's move on...)!
Oh, here's another thing that made me really want to dig a little deeper into potatoes....we were really trying to cut back on the cost of our groceries, and, geez, a 20lb bag of russet potatoes was on sale for $1.97!!! For a family that eats mainly gluten-free, that is like a gift from heaven!!! My kids will happily eat a potato in some form every night, but I needed to know I wasn't just filling them up on starchy nothing-ness!
So, here's my findings on potatoes!
**P.S. I'm not talking sweet potatoes or yams here, just all other kids (whites, russets, red skinned, yellow fleshed, etc., etc.)**
What is a potato?
The potato belongs to the nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos (for a full nightshade list, read here). They are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. If allowed to flower and fruit, the potato plant will bear an inedible fruit resembling a tomato.
What's Wrong With Potatoes?
The main concerns with potatoes are: they are high in carbohydrates (appoximately 40g per 1 Cup baked), and also high on the Glycemic Index (85 out of 100, or "high").
Let's look at carbs and the GI, shall we?.....
Marc Perry from Built Lean explains carbohydrates very well (emphasis mine):
"Carbohydrates are just sugar molecules, all of which are broken down by the body into glucose.
Glucose is a single sugar molecule that is used as fuel by the cells in your body from your brain to your muscles.
There are 3 types of carbohydrates that are defined by the number of sugar molecules they contain:
1) Monosaccharide – one sugar molecule. Examples include glucose, galactose (in milk), and fructose (in fruit)
2) Disaccharide – two sugar molecules. Examples include sucrose (table sugar), lactose (in milk), and maltose (in beer).
3) Polysaccharide – several sugar molecules. Examples include starchy foods like corn, potatoes and rice.
When a carbohydrate is “simple” it refers to mono & disaccharides that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream because of their simple molecular structure. Think milk, fruit, and table sugar.
“Complex” carbs on the other hand are polysaccharides and because of their more complex molecular structure can take longer for the body to break down into sugar. Think grains, vegetables, and potatoes.
So, in very general terms, carbohydrates can be categorized as either simple or complex.
All types of carbs, except for fibre, eventually deconstruct into simpler forms in our bodies and absorb as glucose, the primary energy source for all cells throughout your body.
Simple carbohydrates, including fruit sugar (fructose), milk sugar (lactose), and table sugar (sucrose), have a straight structure that metabolizes quickly in one simple step in your small intestine, which can give you a spike in energy, then send you crashing.
Complex carbohydrates, such as starch, have a complicated branched structure that undergoes two distinct steps before absorption as glucose.
First, saliva breaks the complex molecule into a smaller form called maltose. Next, enzymes in your small intestine further break down maltose into simpler molecules so it can absorb as glucose.
Fibre is a unique type of complex carbohydrate since it is not broken down into glucose. Instead, fibre stays intact and helps push food through your body.
Now, the Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing foods and their impact on our blood sugar.
GI is a relatively new way of analyzing foods. Previously, most meal plans designed to improve blood sugar (for diabetics, mainly) analyzed the total amount of carbohydrates (including sugars and starches) in the foods themselves. GI goes beyond this approach, looking at the impact of foods on our actual blood sugar.
In other words, instead of counting the total amount of carbohydrates in foods in their unconsumed state, GI measures the actual impact of these foods on our blood sugar. We rank our foods then as being very low, low, medium, or high in their GI value (source).
The Truth Behind What's "Wrong" with Potatoes
When it comes to carbs or the GI of potatoes the whole picture isn't being looked at. So, to say that potatoes are unhealthy because of the carbs or rating on the GI is very mis-leading.
Most of the carbohydrates in the diet are starches. Starches are long chains of glucose that are found in grains, potatoes and various foods--complex carbs, remember?
But not all of the starch we eat gets digested the same way, and sometimes a small part of it passes through the digestive tract unchanged.
In other words, it is resistant to digestion and it goes through the stomach and small intestine undigested, eventually reaching the colon where it feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut. Other benefits of eating resistant starch is improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and various benefits for digestion (Wiley Online Library).
As for the Glycemic Index of potatoes, According to Potato Goodness (which is obviously going to be biased, but it is backed by legitimate research, so I see the findings as valid) and their "Potatoes: Goodness Unearthed" handbook, the GI of potatoes can be effected by many things such as variety, origin (yes, where it was grown), processing, preparation, between person to person and their individual responses to starches, and within one individual and their particular response to starches on any given day, as well as the time of day the food was eaten and whether they had eaten anything prior.
So, to look down on a potato because of it's carbs (which we now know are complex and can be very beneficial to health) and it GI rating (which we now know can vary greatly and for many reasons) is unreasonable and unfair.
To keep this from becoming completely exhausting, I will simply list the beneficial elements of the potato without explaining what each thing is!
The vitamins and minerals listed are for the amount of a baked potato, 1 Cup (Source)
Not to mention:
So....if you're a victim of the "potatoes are bad" generalization group, how are ya feeling?
Right now you're probably feeling like you owe the humble potato an apology. : )
I know there are people out there who have sensitivities to night shades, and that is a real issue for them. I know some people are on low-carb diets to try to loose some fat and are avoiding foods like potatoes right now. I know diabetics are often told to avoid potatoes. Whatever your reasons, can we stop generally saying: "potatoes are not healthy". Because, generally speaking, the evidence is clear: they are healthy.
Potato chips and deep fried french fries? Obviously not healthy. I think part of the potato getting looked at in a poor light is because of it's fantastic ability to taste so freakin' delish when deep fried and covered in salt!!! Duh!
You can bake, mash, steam, or pan-fry (in a touch of good-for-you oil like ghee, macadamia oil, coconut oil or avocado oil) these veggies. Or you can make them into a healthy potato salad, or potato pancakes!
There are many ways to enjoy this demonized food! We like to have different versions of baked potatoes at least once a week around here. Curry stuffed, taco stuffed, egg stuffed, spinach and cheese stuffed, pizza stuffed, the list goes on and on! Obviously the things you add to your potato make it more or less healthy. When we do pizza stuffed potatoes, for instance, it often replaces our semi-regular pizza night. The kids still love it because it's pizza-ish, and I like that it is waaaaaaaaay more cost effective than making paleo & gluten-free pizza! Winner winner!
The amazingly delicious Beef Samosa Stuffed Baked Potato below is from Eat Your Beets.
In conclusion, stop hating on potatoes! : )
Leave your comments if you stop by! Tell me why I'm wrong, tell me why I'm right, tell me your favourite way to enjoy a potato, or why you can't/won't ever eat them!!!
I hope you've enjoyed this little romp through potato land! I will admit that most people would find this boring....and didn't read it at all....but somehow you're down here at the bottom reading anyway, so tell me if you DID read this and share your thoughts!
Sincerely, a true potato convert,
Deciding to eat whole and healthy food can seem daunting-especially if you're not really used to it.
But I gotta say, there are so many good-for-you recipes out there (on the internet, in magazines, in cookbooks) not to mention there just being so, so, so many strait-up tasty good for you foods right outta the earth, that if you find yourself thinking "I can't so this! I can't eat healthy!", then take a deep breath, Google "whole foods recipes", or go to your library and look up some healthy cooking recipe books, or just go to your grocery store and walk around the produce department and see all the amazing things that are there!
What I want to share today are some of my favourite healthy recipes & foods!
A favourite snack of mine is fermented or pickled vegetables! It may seem gross, but I love having a snack that is A: a vegetable, and B: extra good for me by being pickled or fermented! There is a difference between something being pickled or fermented, but I feel like I can just save that conversation for another time. For now, let's just lump them together, knowing they are the same and different!
I realize if you need to watch your sodium intake this option may not seem so great, but as an occasional snack, it can be very beneficial. You can read this article from Wellness Mama about the benefits of eating fermented food.
Not only do I love pickled and fermented foods, I often drink the "juice" that the food is in as a relief for heartburn. Wait-what? Drinking acidic "juice" to help with heartburn?!? Oh yes. To be honest, there isn't a whole lot of research out there as to the "why" this works, but I'm telling you, it does. If I feel heartburn coming on (often at bedtime), I'll take a tablespoon or so of pickle juice, and my heart burn instantly (no, seriously, instantly!) goes away!
Anywhooo, recipes for homemade pickled and fermented foods can be found all over, but I wanted to share with you a simple pickled carrot recipe (a favourite in this house--though I add a lot more garlic because we love it) from It's A Love/Love Thing.
Other pickled or fermented foods include pickles (obviously!), some yogurts (look for labels with "Live & Active Cultures" on it)-and try to make sure you buy a kind without any, or too much, added sugar, sauerkraut, and kefir which is a fermented milk product (cow, goat or sheep milk) that tastes like a drinkable yogurt.
Another favourite snack of mine is having a big, beautiful bowl of fruit! The photo above is an actual bowl of fruit I sat down to as a snack! Yum, right?
So, salads seem like a pretty expected fall back meal when thinking about healthy eating, and can admittedly get boring! But salads can be super-crazy delicious, you can make them in so many ways, and with so many flavours! Above is an awesome (I'm joking, I clearly know it's ridiculous!) selfie of me with my Taco Salad (...sans taco). I love this salad because it's everything I love about tacos, except with waaaaaay more veggies!
Some more favs:
Comfort food is something people seem to miss when they're eating healthier, but they don't need to!
Look at some of these delicious examples.......
From Julia's Album comes this amaaaaaa-zing Chicken with Bacon Mustard Sauce....mmmmmmmmmmm.....
Potato soup gets a health boost from cauliflower in this Faux-Tato Soup from Bushel & A Peck.
How good does this shepherds pie from Noshtastic look, right? Yum!
Cooking classy created these Philly Cheesesteak Zucchini Boats that are so good! Not into zucchini? Feel free to try my Philly Cheese Steak Peppers!
As for sweets that are healthy, well, the opinions are so varied I don't even want to go there! I will give my 2 cents though.....when in doubt about a sweet treat, start with a favourite fruit. You may find that you can knock your sweet craving with a naturally sweet treat. I find mangos really hit the sweet spot for me, but find something that feels treat-ish to you!
Think fruit as a sweet treat is dumb (haha, I know some of you are thinking that!!!)-then try some dark chocolate. Look for 60% or higher dark chocolate with little added sugar or any other funky ingredients. To get the health boosting antioxidants from the cocoa, you do need to choose a dark chocolate, as milk (in milk chocolate) binds to the antioxidants and makes it unavailable to the body. I honestly love eating a handful of my Pascha 100% cocoa chips (link below) and it always hits the spot.
I think that's all I'll share with you for today!
A few snacks, a few salads, some comfort foods, and my 2 cents about sweets should help you change your mind at least a little about healthy food being boring! Get creative about your food, try new things, and see how much fun good for you food can be!
Alrighty, I'm signing off!
I read an article recently that I found very interesting, and so I wanted to share it! It's from popsugar.com.
Binge Eating Disorder
Although binge eating disorder affects more people than anorexia and bulimia combined, it was only recently recognized by health experts. Our friends at Self are here to explain the facts behind binge eating disorder. If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder, refer to the support links to at the end of this article and take NEDA's Online Eating Disorder Screen.
Hearing the words eating disorder, most people automatically think of anorexia and bulimia. But actually neither of these is the most common eating disorder people struggle with.
For years, there were essentially three buckets into which eating disorders were grouped: the two we've all heard of, and, well, everything else. If you were dealing with something that was neither anorexia nor bulimia, it was usually referred to as either "eating disorder not otherwise specified" or "other specified feeding or eating disorder." But these catch-all designations are falling out of favor with experts who know that within them, there are more accurate diagnoses that could actually describe what people are experiencing — we just don't know what to call them yet.
About three years ago, one particular diagnosis was plucked out of the muddle of EDNOS and OSFED, and today it is considered the most common eating disorder in the U.S. (At least, the most common one that actually has a name.)
Known as binge eating disorder, the condition affects 3 to 5 percent of women, which is about 5 million sufferers nationwide. In comparison, up to 1 percent of women have anorexia, and 1 to 2 percent are afflicted with bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorders Foundation. And it's estimated that 57 percent of people with binge eating disorder never receive treatment.
Here are nine important facts you need to know about binge eating disorder, including how to recognize signs of it in yourself and loved ones, and what to do if you think there's a problem.
1. Binge eating disorder is more than just eating too much food
Insatiable cravings that lead to eating large amounts of food, often quickly and to the point of physical pain, and followed by intense shame and self-loathing, characterize binge eating disorder, says Kathleen Murphy, licensed professional counselor and clinical director atBreathe Life Healing Centers, where the Breakfree at Breathe program specializes in treating binge eating disorder. Unlike bulimics, who also binge, those with binge eating disorder don't purge afterward. Since most sufferers feel so ashamed, they often eat alone or in secret. The ensuing emotional distress affects work, school and personal relationships.
2. Unlike other eating disorders, nearly as many men get it as women
While binge eating disorder does affect more women, who make up 60 percent of patients, men account for a significant 40 percent of cases. "We often see that binge eating disorder in women is more likely to occur in early adulthood, while it frequently occurs mid-life for men," says Murphy. Caucasian, Hispanic and African American populations are equally impacted, causing many experts to call it an "equal opportunity" disorder. Up to 1.6 percent of adolescents of both genders suffer from binge eating disorder, though individuals who seek treatment for binge eating disorder are often older than those who suffer from bulimia and anorexia, says Murphy.
3. Binge eating disorder was only recently recognized as a disorder
In 2013, binge eating disorder was finally categorized as a recognizable and treatable diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) produced by the American Psychiatric Association. This was incredibly important to the treatment of the disease, since a diagnosis that can be documented leads to greater access to care for sufferers. For example, most health insurance companies won't provide coverage for mental illness treatments that don't have an officially recognized DSM-5 diagnosis. Since it's now listed as a disorder, many insurance plans cover treatment.
4. Binge eating disorder is a habitual eating pattern, not something you do once or twice a year
Who hasn't overeaten and felt guilty after an indulgent holiday like Thanksgiving or an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch? Binge eating disorder is not occasional overeating, however. "Episodes must take place at least once a week over a period of at least three months," explains Murphy. Additionally, binge eating disorder is marked by a considerable amount of distress and a deep feeling of shame over the eating behavior. The overeating-guilt pattern is a vicious cycle that makes people feel completely out of control.
5. Emotion — not hunger — is what appears to be the driving force behind binge eating disorder
The disorder is still newly classified, so research is underway and all of the causes of binge eating disorder aren't known just yet. However, there are correlations between binge eating disorder and different manifestations of sadness and emotional stress. "The most common trigger for an episode is feeling badly or depressed," says Murphy. This could be due to relationship and work problems, stress from battling weight fluctuations and body image issues, feelings of loneliness, and even boredom.
6. Certain personality types are more prone to the disorder
High risk factors for having an eating disorder, including binge eating disorder, have been identified by scientists. Personalities that are inclined toward perfectionism, difficulties regulating emotion, having a rigid thinking style (like there is only one way to do things), and stress eating, are all more likely to fall victim. Those who suffer from anxiety or low self-esteem, or harbour obsessive-compulsive tendencies, are all more likely to have binge eating disorder too, says Murphy.
7. There's a genetic predisposition to binge eating disorder
A close family history of depression or addiction — whether to drugs, alcohol or painkillers — has been shown to coincide with eating disorders, including binge eating disorder (though binge eating disorder itself is not classified as an addiction). Those with genetic conditions such as celiac disease and Crohn's, which require restricted eating regimes, have been shown to be more prone to developing binge eating disorder, Murphy says, though no actual genetic link between the two has been found.
8. Not all people with binge eating disorder are overweight
While many binge eating disorder patients are overweight, you can be of normal weight while suffering from the disorder. "It's interesting to note that most obese people don't engage in recurrent binge eating episodes," says Murphy. Experts say giant portions, a diet high in factors like calories, saturated fat and fast foods, as well as a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to obesity much more so than the loss-of-control binge eating episodes that characterize binge eating disorder.
9. You have a better chance of recovering from binge eating disorder than other eating disorders
Prognosis for treatment is very positive — remission rates are higher in binge eating disorder treatment outcomes than in bulimia or anorexia, says Murphy. Careful attention to structure and emotional health are still essential to successful long-term self-care. Sufferers know theyshouldn't binge, but the frustration and struggle occurs when that knowledge seems to fly out the window during triggering moments when all they want to do is eat, says Murphy. Most binge eating disorder treatment programs include a combination of methods such as psychotherapy, support groups, nutrition counselling, and even alternative therapies like mindfulness and yoga.
If you or someone you know is suffering from binge eating disorder or another eating disorder, here are some helpful resources to learn more and find help:
Binge Eating Disorder Association Provider Directory
National Eating Disorders Association resource links and help and support, or call the toll-free, confidential helpline at 1-800-931-2237
The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness
Today I want to share a post from Maddy Moon, and woman who believes in having a healthy relationship with heath, fitness and food.
I wanted to share this article because I believe that for a lot of people, feeling "good" is based on the food choices we make. we secretly feel proud and maybe even a little self-righteous if we've eaten well, and feel guilty if we haven't. Why should we feel those things just because of our food? What we eat doesn't make us good or bad, so why should it leave us feeling good or bad?
I've only included a portion of the post, but you can read the full article by cliacking here.
Why Your Kitchen Spirituality Is A Waste Of Time
I’m going to make a bold assumption and say that you most likely agree with the fact that everywhere you turn, there’s a friend trying out a new diet, meal plan, fitness regime or healthy lifestyle.
You stand by watching them as they share their guilt-free recipes to the world, influencing others to create their own black and white beliefs toward food.
I admire people who decide it’s time to improve their quality of life by incorporating more self-care or health-benefiting routines.
This is different than what I’m worried about.
There are individuals trying to make a legitimate life change that leads to beautiful outcomes, such as a healthier heart, better sleep, a more efficient metabolism, fertile loins, and a positive mindset.
There are also individuals who may begin their “lifestyle” change with some basic goals such as wanting to improve their running time, lose some poundage, eat better, and so on....
But then, morality gets mixed up with food choices. In other words, how “good” you are in the kitchen directly relates (and exemplifies) how good you are as a person.
Any time we put all of our faith and trust into a worldly thing, we will fail to achieve the absolutely fullest and richest level of love possible.
Let go of the concept that how good you are in the kitchen is how “worthy” you are as a human being.
Where does your worth come from?
I hope this little snippet gives you something to think about. I know that I often feel better or worse about who I am based on what I've eaten, so the message is real and relevant to me.
Try to listen and see what messages you tell yourself about your worth based on what you eat. Try to silence the negative voice that puts you down, and encourage forgiveness & show kindness to yourself.
Today is the final week of my "Keep It Real" series! We talked about real simple, real food, and real interesting, and today we're going to talk about real YOU!
In all things health & fitness, if it's ain't you, it ain't gonna work! I'm going to talk about this regarding how you exercise and eat, but also in who you are. I think this last one matters most.
"Oh, working out isn't me, so I'm not going to do it!", that's not what I'm saying when I say to be the real you in fitness.
What I'm saying is this: if you know you should be working out, then get working at it and find out what kind of health & fitness person you are!
Do you love running? Swimming? Boxing? Jumping rope? Step-class? HIIT workout videos? Jazzercise? Sweating To The Oldies?!?!
As long as you're moving, then it's good!!!
Do try new things though, because you can't be certain what kind of fitness person you are until you've tried a few things. I, for instance, don't like Zumba. I've tried it, it wasn't my cup of tea, so I've moved on. I can still find a ba-zillion other ways to work out beyond Zumba. But if I was thinking, "gee, it's Zumba or nothing", then I would likely be doing nothing! If I was forcing myself to do Zumba, I would hate it & get bored. Both hate and boredom are classic reasons to quit working out!
Talking food and nutrition; if you really hate eating steamed veggies, but are forcing yourself to because you want to eat healthier, well, just stop! Eating raw veggies is great for you too, and if it means you still love vegetables, well then that's awesome!
You probably wouldn't enjoy being a vegetarian if you are a die hard meat lover, and if you hate meat, don't go on a low carb/high protein diet!
You know (as an adult) you should try new foods, and of course I would agree with that. But don't force yourself to eat things that make you feel sick to your stomach from repulsion just because they are good for you! A personal example is how much I despise lychee fruit! Seriously, I popped one in my mouth once because I had heard a lot of good things about this berry, and immediately spat it out because it felt the way I might imagine an eyeball would feel in my mouth!!! Bleh, it still makes my skin crawl thinking about it now! And pomegranate, although I know how good it is for you, has never been a favourite of mine because I can't stand the crunch of the seeds, and choosing to just try to eat the fruit off the seeds seems pointless and frustrating, and I don't even enjoy the taste enough to want to bother!!! Wow, what a run-on sentence! : )
The point though? I tried!
Add variety to your workouts and foods, but don't go forcing something that you deep down hate!
Now, here's what matters most.......I think most of you know this stuff I've been saying, right? Maybe some information I've given has been new, but a lot of it hasn't been, I'm sure.
So, what's wrong? What's happening where we know so much, but are succeeding so little?
No, not "it's you" as in it's your fault, but "it's you" as in, it's the stuff we can't write about. That thing that you can't buy a book or DVD about....it's that thing you can't quite pin down to help you reach whatever goal you have.
In an article I really appreciated reading from Rebooted Body, they said:
"The reason people can have the right information and still fail — or the right information and never start — is because of that intangible component. If our job as mentors, coaches, program-designers, gym owners, fitness instructors, yoginis, and nutritionists was to program robots to live, eat, sleep, and exercise according to a blueprint we’d all have a 100% success rate.
Robots aren’t human. They don’t have an inner child. In other words, they don’t have meaningful history and the fear, insecurity, self-doubt, self-sabotage, anger, sadness, and shame that are attached to that history.
Humans have all of those emotions and those emotions act as roadblocks to success whether you’re operating with the right information on not
Food is the easiest drug to access. On top of that, processed foods are designed to be addictive. We know that hard drugs and alcohol are a coping mechanism. We need to understand that food is not just a similar coping mechanism, it’s the most popular and most easily accessible one.
The health and fitness industry is dead because health (nutrition and lifestyle education) and fitness are no longer adequate for addressing the issues of body image, disordered eating, addiction, and all of our metabolic concerns. It’s all about the psychology and mindset of the individual.
People who are trapped in the cycle of addiction and dependency — which is far more pervasive than anyone realizes — can’t simply be informed to change".
Well said, yes?
It is my hope here, on this Bushel & A Peck Health & Fitness blog that I can inform you, but most importantly, challenge you to think, and think hard, about why you're doing what you're doing.
All the information in the world can't confront and defeat the enemies of addiction, dependency, low self-worth, unhealthy body image, low confidence, depression, anxiety, and learned helplessness. It can’t correct the consequences of physical, mental, and emotional abuse, which in varying degrees is far more pervasive than anyone wants to admit.
You are a person who is here because you are interested in health & fitness in one way or another. But expand your definition of "health & fitness" to mean all of you. Your mind, body and soul.
Be real with yourself. Be real for yourself. Keep It Real: Real YOU!
The reason we think "I must do Zumba and I must eat steamed veggies!" is because we're unsure about what to do (not in the information sense--we're bogged down with information!!--, but in the sense that we still feel lost), and society/industry wants to keep it that way. It keeps us from seeing who we are, seeing where we hurt, and that keeps us buying more videos and diet plans we don't need.
Can I say one last thing? Don't be afraid of who you are and the hurts you've suffered. Don't be afraid to set those suitcases of issues down, open them up, and sort that stuff out.
Depending on who you are, these suitcases will be heavier or lighter, and filled with varying degrees of hurts.....
I am still sorting through my junk I've been carrying around....I know I need to because I still struggle with food and my relationship with it. But I want to be real with myself so that I can be real with others.
I hope that you can be encouraged and know that wherever you are in your journey of health & fitness (mind, body, soul), you are not alone.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.’
Friends, here is your chance. Being real and sorting through all you carry around can be scary because it requires hard work, soul searching, and commitment.....but it'll be worth it. It will be worth it.
Weeks 1 & 2 of my February long "Keep It Real" series we talked about "real simple" and "real food".
Today let's talk about keeping health & fitness real interesting!
I know grammatically the word should be "really", but I live in the sticks, and saying something like, "real interesting" isn't uncommon, and I like it!
Grammar aside, let's talk about keeping things interesting in health & fitness!
If there is anything I've learned on this journey through health & fitness, it's that what you eat and how you workout need to be interesting. If you do the same thing over and over and over and over and over (you get it), then you'll get bored and quit!
There are often times where you naturally fall into a routine, and that sameness can be comforting. But you need to be listening to yourself. A comfortable routine can slowly turn into feeling trapped. That little voice in your head that says, "ugh....more salad....." as you're prepping your 15th salad in a row for dinner. Or that same voice that says, "I am so not looking forward to my workout today because I've done the same one for the last month...."
That voice is the voice of health & fitness boredom, and that voice is not your friend!!! It's like the little angel and devil sitting on your shoulders telling you the right and wrong things to do, except one of these little creatures would be an unhealthy, sickly thing, and then there would be a healthy & happy one. Well, the "this is boring" voice is coming from the sick and unhealthy one. After thinking up this clever notion I Googled "angel and devil on shoulder", and found the images below. So much for being original! Haha...fail.
One key in keeping it interesting is being willing to try new things. If you keep saying, "I only really like (fill in the blank), and so that's all you ever try, eventually you will become bored of it.
If you like having a workout video, see if a friend has one too and ask if you can borrow it or swap with one you have for a time.
If you need new recipes (and have the internet....which I feel I can safely assume you do because you are reading this...), then decide to look up 3 new, healthy recipes to try in the next 3 weeks. Or you can go to a local library and see what healthy recipe books or magazines they have that you can borrow to try out some new things (you may also find some workout videos there too!).
So, allow me to share with you some of my favourite recipes and workouts and maybe you can add them to your life to keep things "real interesting!"
Favourite Healthy Recipes
Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad from Cafe Delites
There is brown sugar in the marinade/dressing that I have omitted and the salad was still amazing!
Cauliflower Chowder from Yes, More Please!
Super yummy, super filling, super-duper!
Chicken with Rosemary & Mushrooms from Paleo Foodie Kitchen
Such a simple recipe, but really full of flavour!
A 20 minute workout from POPSUGAR Fitness
10 Minute Jump Rope with Tony Horton
15 Minute Power Yoga with Yoga by Candace
A great way to find variety in YouTube without feeling overwhelmed is by finding a few channels you like (the 3 above are my favourites), and then just start working through their videos, and liking (clicking the thumbs up icon) the ones you really enjoyed to have as a reference for later use.
The other thing about workouts and keeping them real is to keep them challenging too. You will get bored if you consistently choose workouts that are too easy for you. Challenge yourself and your brain won't get so bored!
A few other ways to keep workouts interesting is to workout with a friend. I personally prefer working out alone, but if you're more social, than maybe having a friend to workout with will give you the boost you need in your workouts. Another thing you can do is to add new music to a playlist you might use while working out. Even just adding 3 new songs can add up to 15 more minutes of music that will be keeping you moving!
So my friends, don't get stuck in a rut! There is no reason to in this day and age where we have so many resources available to us! Arm yourself with new and interesting recipes and workouts so that you can succeed in being the healthiest you possible!
Last Monday I talked about Keep It Real: Real Simple. That post expressed my feelings about how health & fitness shouldn't be such a confusing endeavour!
Today I want to chitty-chat about food!
***Warning! I'm about to go to a rant!!!*** ; ) ........no, but really.....
I saw the ingredients recently for a "healthy" protein shake.....good grief (Charlie Brown), it was the most ridiculous list of ingredients I had EVER read for a "healthy" shake! Seriously, it made my blood boil a little! I was so upset that someone, somewhere in a big company thought, "hey, well, people trust us, they think we're cutting edge in what we do, let's expand into "health foods", but instead of them being healthy, we'll actually load it with so much garbage that they aren't actually being healthy at all (insert evil, corporate heads laughter here)!!! Ok, not all corporations operate like that, and perhaps my scenario of how this particular company developed their food line is not quite accurate. Still, I can't help but wonder......how did anyone who gave a crap at that company let this protein shake go to market???
Let me share the ingredients:
This particular shake consists of a "special protein blend" of pea protein isolate, which, by the way, is NOT the same as plain old pea protein! In fact, pea protein isolate has had very little research done on it's safety and pea protein isolate is a highly purified chemical extract, dramatically increasing the protein content of the unprocessed pea from around 10-15% to upwards of 90% in the isolate (info from Todd Caldecotte, who is a medical herbalist).
Geez!!! After that ingredient is cranberry protein.....yes, you read that right. Did you know cranberries had protein...? It's because they don't! Ok, over-reaction....they have trace amounts of protein (about 0.4 grams per 100 grams of cranberries), and I've read that the seeds contain more protein than that, but that idea is very confusing to me. If they test cranberries for protein, they take the seeds out first? I don't know much at all about this cranberry protein, and it's so new it's hard (borderline impossible, actually) to find sufficient information about where it comes from, how it's extracted, and so on. So, I can't say much about it except that it seems a little gimmicky in this mis-leading shake. But hey, maybe I'm wrong and it's an amazing thing?
Next comes rice protein. Now, rice protein perhaps isn't the very, very absolute worst protein out there....but it sure is the cheapest (in price and quality of protein). It isn't even a complete protein until it's combined with another protein (like pea, or hemp). So.....why add it at all? Why not use hemp protein instead, which is in itself a near-complete plant based protein. Especially if you're selling this particular shake at $20-$30 more than other shakes......?
Besides the added-in vitamins & minerals (you have to add them in when the foods you've used don't really contain much at all) the last few ingredients are cane sugar (there is palm, coconut, beet, brown and maybe a few more types of sugar, but what they're trying to trick you into thinking is that the sugar they used is special. It's not. It's just plain on white sugar made from canes instead of the other things I just mentioned.
Next comes sunflower oil (ahhhhhhh! What!?!?! Read this article, this article, or this article to find out why exactly you should not be consuming sunflower oil. If you don't feel like reading those, let me just say to you STOP EATING SUNFLOWER OIL!!!!!!.
Natural vanilla flavour is next. Well, this seems innocent enough! But, wait.....why not just real vanilla, or pure vanilla? Oh, it's because it isn't real at all. Just the flavour of natural vanilla??? Can I tell you an alarming thing I read recently? "Natural Vanilla Flavour" can actually contain beaver anal secretions (here's the article I read from Mercola, and here's another good one from national Geographic). The spray beavers use to mark their territory smell like vanilla, and because it's technically "natural" it doesn't needed to be specifically listed in the ingredients list of "natural vanilla flavour"......just let this info sink in......
...ok, moving on with the ingredients...
Corn starch (because we all needed another reason to consume more corn products!), inulin (found naturally mostly in root vegetables, although tiny amounts are found in onions and garlic, while much larger amounts are found in starchy roots such as chicory root and Jerusalem artichokes, read more about it here. I can't figure out why it's even in here), Xanthan gum (used for thickening), flax seed (the only food in this shake worth eating!!!), stevia leaf extract (a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana). Looking at the other ingredients listed, I'm going to guess they didn't use a high quality product, but I think I'm just feeling bitter---side note, too much Stevia and you no longer taste sweetness, but have a bitter taste instead. Weir, huh? Also, we already know they added sugar, so why even add the Stevia???
The last two ingredients are gum acacia and guar gum.....both "gums", which as we already saw 2 ingredients ago is used for thickening. Add the cornstarch from earlier, which has no nutritional value so I can only assume is there as a thickener, that makes 4 thickeners in this product! They really want you to feel like you've got a thick, satisfying healthy shake in your hand!
Oh, and the real kicker?!? The last bit of goodness is the statement made below the list of crappy ingredients: "Made in a facility that processes milk, eggs, tree nuts, soy and wheat". So, if you have allergies to any of those things.....you can't have this shake. Well, lucky you, actually! Most companies who give a care about their health food actually being healthy endeavour to make their health foods as allergen friendly as possible. This company couldn't even be bothered to try.
I feel so upset over companies who are tricking & swindling people out of their hard earned cash for stuff that shouldn't be going into their bodies! I hate that a lot of the ingredients are terrible food items, and that there are things in there that are intended to mis-lead people or catch their eye and make them go, "oh, I've heard of this, it's good for you/healthy/whatever". Using words like "special" in their protein blend is to remind you that this company wants you to feel like you're receiving some exclusive, top-of-the-line product. Their protein blend is "special", I suppose, because they are maybe the only ones doing this particular blend...but it's not a blend worth duplicating, so, yeah, I suppose it is special? "Cane" sugar is meant to make people think it's healthier than it really is. Adding Stevia (I believe) is purely for the purpose of catching peoples' eye because a lot of people have heard of Stevia and how it's a "health food", so it seems flashy and cutting edge to be in this shake.
I know a lot of people need protein shakes (mainly vegetarians and vegans), and there are a few good brands on the market, like this one, but unfortunately, most people are using protein shakes as a substitute for real food.
My (unprofessional, not medically trained) advice is this: unless you're a vegetarian or vegan, or your doctor specifically said that you need to be on a protein shake for some reason, don't even bother going after a protein shake!
Don't get caught up in the lies most companies offer up regarding their "superior" product. Don't spend (far too much) money on something that is just a synthetic version of a real food.
Instead, just keep it real--with real food!
I got this image from Mike over at The Iron You. He says:
This is rule #19 in Michael Pollan’s book “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”. One of my favourites.
It stresses the importance of eating real food, not creations of the food-industrial complex. Real food doesn’t have a long ingredient list, isn’t advertised on national television, and doesn’t contain stuff you can’t even pronounce the name.
Part of being healthy means consciously choosing wisely what you put in your mouth. So do eat food that comes from plants not that is made in plants!
I totally agree.....except I would also add that if it ATE a plant, eat it! : ) I'm talking meat here people!
I know the image above shows a Twinkie, but it could just as easily show an image for the protein shake I tore apart!
If you're thinking, "I need to start eating right", don't think of anything that was made my man. I know a lot of people who think, "I should eat better", and then they replace all of their man-made blatant junk food for man-made secret junk food. Food made in a plant.
Instead, try real food. Go through your produce isles with new eyes. See all of the colours, all the one ingredient foods, the flavour and texture varieties, and try a few things you've never had before!
I love that "Eat Right Rule" above: If your food can go bad, it's good for you. And if your food can't go bad, it's bad for you. I mean, I eat my fair share of junk food on my treat day, but I do so knowing that what I am eating is a treat and isn't a great food at all! When I'm eating Swedish Berries (the candies), I'm not thinking, "oh boy! These are made with real fruit juice and are fat free? Hot dog! They're practically healthy!!". But, unfortunately, that's often why such facts are plastered on the packages because someone, somewhere is thinking, "wow, what a good choice for a little treat!". I personally choose them because they are so freakin' delicious, but I know they are a food void of any benefit to my body whatsoever!
Swedish Berries (the candy) shan't ever go bad, even if I left them in my pantry for 10 years! Now, if I stuck a handful of real berries in my pantry, well, they would be getting squishy and moldy at least within a week.
Please take away from this post the simple message of eating real, simple foods. I feel like I've been bouncing all over and not really making the point I want to!
Don't let eating real, whole, and healthy foods become a scary thing! It's not, it really couldn't even be more simple! If you start an eating program that starts you off by saying you need to buy their food products (bars, shakes, cereals, whatever)-they are using you to make money, while misleading you about healthy food!!!
When's the last time an orange in the grocery store was like, "hey.....pssst! Hey you! Yeah, you! You should just start eating only oranges and nothing else. And you should also only buy them from the company named on my sticker"......I"m going to guess this has never happened?
Real food (as mentioned in the one photo above) won't be advertised on national television, because no one person/company can make a fortune on real foods. For example, I don't care what apples I buy, as long as they are the least expensive, I have no loyalty to my apple brand. But, if I was buying an apple cereal bar, I would probably look for a specific brand because I've been told it's the healthiest. Do you see what's happening?
The next time you walk into your grocery store, think "did this come from a plant (or did it eat a plant?), or is it made in a plant?
Eat well, eat simple, live long and prosper : )
Today's post is the first of four "Keep It Real" posts I plan to do! I wanted to do 5 (because there are 5 Monday's in February), but I don't want to box myself in! I have four "Keep It Real" ideas planned and drafted, and if I'm inspired with 1 more idea, well then this will be a February long series! : ) If not, then it'll just be a random, four week series!
So, nutrition and exercise can get so freakin' complicated, right?!
Calorie counting, points counting, trans-fats, low fat, no fat, cholesterol free, low carb, low sodium, gluten-free, dairy free, sugar free, grain free, sulfite free, yeast free, fructose free, sucrose free.....
Lots of cardio, little cardio, strength training, weight training, high impact, low impact, HIIT, yoga, walking, swimming, running.....
I know I'm missing a bunch, but I mean, what the heck?!?
People get easily (and understandably!) overwhelmed at the notion of health & fitness and that can derail any efforts right out of the gate!
Can I assume though that you know that eating a bag of chips and having a 6-pack of beer every night will make you gain weight?
Can I assume that you know if you never exercise or move at all you won't be strong and in good physical health?
If you understand these things, you are off to a great start!!!!
I had a friend years ago who simply stopped drinking Coke, and lost so much fat so fast it was crazy!!! It couldn't have gotten more simple!
What might "simple" look like to our example above? Well, not drinking a 6-pack of beer every night with an entire bag of chips (maybe just start by cutting back a little--3 beers and half a bag of chips is a start!) and doing some physical activity like a simple 5 minute walk (remember being told to park at the back of a parking lot to get a little exercise?-do that!) or marching on the spot for 2 commercial breaks can be a great and important start in the right direction; the direction of being healthy!!!
This short and sweet (and simple!) post is meant to get you thinking. I want you to think simple. Real Simple! Think about the basics of your body and what would make it it's very best. We are a society who is largely failing at health & fitness (pun intended, I guess!), but we are being bombarded with information about it...how can this add up? It doesn't add up because we are thinking too much and doing too little! It doesn't need to be wildly confusing! Just keep it simple...start where you, with who you are!
I hope you'll meet me here again next Monday as we continue taking this journey of "Keep It Real" ("keeping it real", if we're being grammatically correct!) : ) I want to encourage you, build you up, inform you, and help you make the move to the best health you've ever had!
I am not a Dr. and any advice you take from me you do on your own free will! Read my full Health & Fitness disclaimer for full details
Last week while I was walking to the barn with a 20 litre bucket of water in each hand I stepped onto ice that was hiding under some snow. The ice cracked and let a bit of water out of the icy puddle that caused me to start to slip backwards. When that happened, my arms swung forward, dumping the buckets of water all over myself, and making the ice more wet (and more slippery!) so that I completely fell backwards onto my hips/sits bones, and then hitting back onto my right shoulder. I may have dropped an f-bomb too. Whomp whomp.
I was little pissed, wet & cold, but more than that, I got hurt. I could instantly feel my traps (trapezius), lats (latissimus), & glutes (gluteus medius) pinching.
I do not get injured easily. There are some people who seem to get an injury from everything they do, but I am not one of those people!
The sum and total of my injuries (not including horseback riding related injuries!) are as follows:
When I was a teenager I completely threw my back out because of a bale of hay incident (I went to pick it up thinking it would move, but it was stuck! So, the bale stayed put, and my back went rrrriiiipppppp)! I beat that in no time though.
Then when I was in labour with my third child I had extreme back labour (meaning that all my contractions were felt through my abdomen, but also felt through my lower back). This resulted in slipped (herniated) disks and caused pain through my lower back and leg for more than a month. Every winter this pain would return, presumably because I was doing more sitting and was not in great shape.
Since getting into shape again I haven't had any back trouble, and the only other muscles pain/injury I've sustained was when I pulled my trap hauling something very heavy out of our basement, and a knee issue (not sure where it came from).
So, I'm not completely injury free, but I'm 32 and can only count on 1 hand the number of physical problems I've had (I make up for it in mental problems!! haha!).
So, why would I bother talking about working out with an injury? Because it's important, and because for the injuries I have had, I am convinced that they got better faster than they might have if I hadn't known how to work out the problems!
There are varying degrees of muscle injury, and It's important to know where you might be in this scale. Physiotherapy Notes puts it this way:
Grade I Muscle Strain
"In grade I muscle strain, the muscle or tendon is overstretched. Small tears to muscle fibers may or may not occur. You may have mild pain with or without swelling. Grade I strain is also called mild muscle strain".
Grade II Muscle Strain
"Also called moderate muscle strain, grade II strain occurs when the muscle or its tendon is overstretched with more of the fibers torn but not complete. Symptoms may include marked pain with swelling. The area of injury is tender. Bruising may occur if small blood vessels at the site of injury are damaged as well. Movement may be difficult because of pain".
Grade III Muscle Strain
"Grade III strain, or severe muscle strain, is the most serious among the three grades of muscle strains. Most of the muscle fibers are torn. In some cases, the muscle is completely torn or ruptured. Pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising are usually present. Movement is usually difficult.
Moderate and severe muscle strains should be seen by a qualified health care provider. For grade I muscle strain, simple home remedies, such as applying RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) therapy may be just enough to manage symptoms".
So, you can see there are different ways the muscles can be injured. It's important to understand your body and know the difference between "pain" and "PAIN"!!! Ya know?
I think you know if you're a big baby, or freakin' tough, so you need to take that into consideration and know that "pain" is fine to work through, but "PAIN" can be something serious and you should get it checked out.
Also, chronic injuries can be horrible. Examples are joint injuries such as rotator cuff injury, shoulder bursitis, or tendonitis. Injuries like these need to be handled cautiously because just one wrong move and you could end up in the operating room. Be sure to take good care of a chronic injury and follow your doctor's instructions!
But beyond deciding which type of injury you have, and being mindful of chronic injuries, it's important to try to figure out exactly where your injury is. Yes, you can go to see your doctor (as mentioned above, if you think it's a for real injury), but what if they can't see you for a day or two (or even longer!). You could go to your local Emergency Room or walk-in clinic.....but you may end up with a cold or flu from that visit! So, whatever you decide to do, you can also add to your own knowledge by doing some "research" (it's in quotes because I once heard of someone who called themselves a "researcher", and it.turned out they just Googled stuff all day!....geez).
Anyway, when I had my slipped disks, my Dr. recommended a simple program of exercises to help stretch and strengthen the back and surrounding muscles. I also went to see a physical therapist who helped (and hurt!!!) a lot and who also recommend exercises that strengthened by back while reducing my pain.
Having that injury taught me a lot about the human body and about how I can help it when it's trying to heal.
Healthline.com recommends that instead of sitting around hoping the muscles will recover (which, ironically, causes the muscles & joints to become stiff), it is important to try to remain as active as possible through stretching or low-impact activities such as walking. And that's exactly what my Dr. & Physiotherapist told me to do!
When I pulled my traps, I immediately went online to pinpoint which muscle I had pulled, then I looked up stretches for that particular muscle. I also started using a ball to press into and release the tight muscle (I've included a video example below)-p.s., I've seen that you can buy special balls that are attached to ropes to help with rolling out sore muscles, but they are a little costly. My cleaver parents got me a much cheaper version though--a dog toy!!! Seriously, it's the exact same thing that I had seen, but much cheaper (they found it at Dollarama!) : ) The picture of it is below!
I also went online for info when my knee was giving me trouble. I also had a pre-planned & routine check-up with my Dr. while my knee was bothering me so I mentioned it and he told me to work at strengthening the muscles that surround my knee in order to give it more support.
Which leads me more to the point.....how DO you workout while sustaining an injury?
After you've figured out what type of injury you have, and where you have it, it's time to see which muscles are on each others team. What? Muscle teams? Yup!
Ok, that is not an official term AT ALL, but I like to think of the muscle groups as teams because it helps make clear how muscle groups work together! For instance, if your shoulder is sore, you wouldn't just work on your quads because that clearly wouldn't benefit your shoulders at all! They are not on the same team! Get it?!
Ok, let's re-cap & talk more about teams!
How to Workout While Injured
WHAT DOES THAT SUPPORT LOOK LIKE???
I didn't want to get into a million exercises to work all those body parts because that would make this post far too long! So, if you're looking for something specific, you can look it up online, call your Dr. and see if they can give you any advice, or shoot me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do!
Let's go back to my injury from last week.
My workout that day consisted of lots of ab work in order to strengthen my core and assist my lower back, and a long yoga flow to help stretch out and relax the muscles in my neck and upper back.
Within a few days everything was starting to feel better (well, except my butt that ended up with a huge bruise on it!!!) Haha, that made some sitting ab exercises very difficult! I just put a pillow under my butt to get around the pain!
But I know that if I had gone, "oh no! I'm injured! I need to take a few days off from my workouts!" that my body would have seized up and I really would have been worse off!
I want to say again that you need to know your body, know your pain tolerance, and know when you have a for real injury (like a bone sticking out because it's broken!), and go from there. I know I have a high pain tolerance, so that makes me less likely to take an injury seriously. When my back was toast after my third baby, it took a few weeks before my husband convinced me to go to see a Dr! I basically couldn't walk, I couldn't sit for long, I couldn't lie down for long. I sometimes would sit quietly crying while nursing because the pain was so bad, but I'd still say, "it's not that bad, it'll be fine!". I was taking a constant stream of pain killers, was rubbing an insane amount of Rub A535 (a muscle relaxant heat cream) onto my back, was using a heating pad on my back any time I was sitting or lying down, and could still barely move! My husband was right, I needed to see a doctor!!!
But then there's those little pinches that you know are minor, or achy muscles from a previous workout that are just from lack of a proper cool-down and stretch session. It's important to work through some soreness (like from a previous workout), but not to work through nearly debilitating pain!
I'm having a hard time summing up my thoughts! Let's do more point form!!!
I think that's all!
So, I hope you found this info helpful today! Writing (and talking) about health & fitness is a passion of mine, but I need to rant again about how I am in no way shape or form a medical professional! I am an average woman with life experiences who wants to share those experiences with others! So, take my words as you will, remembering that I am not intending to replace your doctor or anything he or she tells you! But, on that note.....doctors don't know everything (gasp!), and you need to trust yourself, and get a second (or third) opinion on things if you're unsure about anything. Ok? Ok!
I bid you farewell!
A lot of people talk about and focus on weight loss. If you're looking to lose weight, well.....ok. But might I suggest instead that you consider losing fat instead? Is there a difference? Oh yes, oh yes indeed!
The last few weeks I've been working at losing some of the extra Christmas love I got (read: lots of visiting, staying up late and snacking!), but, the scale hasn't budged. What has budged though is how I feel in my pants, bras, and shirts. Seriously, I look in the mirror at myself everyday and can see the difference that getting back home, working out hard and eating clean have made. But the scale won't agree. Why? Because the fat I'd collected over the holidays weighs less than the muscle I'm re-gaining, but the fat also takes up more room than the muscle. So, my shape and size are changing, but not the number on the scale.
This idea can help put some of your "defeats" in perspective.
Ever have a week where you nailed your workout every day, ate like a super-clean super-human, drank all the water you should, blah blah blah.....and then you step on the scale at the end of the week and.....drum roll...., you lost 1-lb? You're standing there thinking, "well, THAT was a waste! I'm eatin' me a 1 kg bag of peanut M&M's for breakfast now since it doesn't seem to make any difference!". Or maybe I'm the only one who's ever felt like that...? Haha, for realz, it's not just me!
But here's what your body is doing "behind the scenes". First of all, it's not turning fat into muscle. That would be a magic trick! That's like trying to change pork fat into a chicken breast--on a living chicken!
You can looe fat and muscle, or gain fat and muscle. But, fat and muscle are not inter-changeable, so just get that idea outta yer head! : )
I like they way they said it on bodybuilding.com "Muscle mass and fat are two different animals: Muscle is active tissue that burns calories around the clock even as you sleep, kind of like an engine running in neutral. When you move around, you burn more calories, just like a car will consume more gas the faster you go. Fat, on the other hand, is just a storage of excess energy. It does nothing but sit there with its sole goal in life to be a spare tire around your waist until you put in the effort to burn it off" (emphasis mine).
So, the body isn't doing any magic tricks, but is just functioning as it's being asked to. You are either asking your body to gain or lose fat, or to gain or lose muscle.
So, if your scale doesn't seem to be cooperating with your best efforts, can ask yourself, "have I been working out hard using weights, or my body weight? Could I be gaining muscle and that's why the scale isn't getting lower??". The answer will almost always be yes....unless all you're doing is cardio......
Oh boy, so, for a long, long, long time you've heard "do more cardio to lose more weight!!!", and that's true to a degree.....except than you're really only losing fat and not gaining any muscle (and muscle burns calories, so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn while NOT working out). So, you can run your heart out, lose big numbers on the scale, but then you'll end up with a "skinny fat" body. Basically, a body that seems small or skinny, but has low or no muscle definition. If you are stuck in a "skinny-fat rut", read this article, or this article from muscleforlife.com
Rethink your approach to "loss". Focus on gaining muscle. Focus on working hard. Don't focus on calories burned (GASP!). Just don't for now. Start in a place where you are telling yourself, "my plan is to build muscle, & get strong"
Below are some images of different bodies at different weights and you can see that the heavier in weight photos are the muscled, trim bodies. I also included some replica fat vs. muscle photos that I find intriguing! Because I'm a geek. : )
I think these pictures say a lot, don't they! I find them an encouraging reminder that fat loss and weight loss are very different games!
Don't be discouraged if you're not "losing weight" as fast as you want. Keep measurements, keep trying on one particular pair of pants and take note on how they feel on your waist and legs, and, of course, stay positive! Rome wasn't built in a day, and the body or health & fitness goals you have in mind won't develop in one day either!
If you want a great body weight workout, I've included one of my favourites below! It's one of my best loved YouTubers, Tony Horton, as a guest on another of my top-pick channels POPSUGARfitness! To fav's for the price of one!
In this video Tony takes you through a 10 minute, full body burn! You will love it!
And that is all I have for you today!
Please let me know if you have any thoughts, comments or concerns, or just say "hi"!
Amy-Lyn, checking out! : )
....And now some legal jargon....
Remember that I am not a certified health & fitness professional! Read my Disclosure Policy HERE
It's Me, Amy-Lyn!
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