October 18, 2012

OHhhhhhh Boy: Blog is MOVING SITES!

I have been in BLOGGER TROUBLE the past few days trying to figure out what to do.  To spare you the gruesome details, I am changing to a new site (same title).  Here it is:  grow2eat2play.blogspot.com

I have moved over all of my posts, but it may take a little time to make it look pretty.

Again, there will be no more updates to this blog and eventually will be deleted.

SORRY!  I am so technologically UN-savvy...please forgive me!

Once again, move over to THIS SITE. Thanks!

A Bunch of Food Ideas!

Good Morning!

Man, yesterday was great.  It was a good day at work and then I truly just relaxed and enjoyed the day until spin class (6:30pm--which I also loved!), and then had a lazy evening watching Modern Family and reading up.  Here were my eats:

Breakfast:  one whole batch of sourdough pancakes (check comments for a simple version), 1 T peanut butter, and 1/2 cup cottage cheese (split between waking up early and after a few sessions)
Lunch: 2 oz. beef from the crock pot and a big chopped cabbage salad (recipe follows)
Dinner: (yikes) **same thing as lunch!  (normally, I wouldn't eat the same thing twice, but after spin class, I didn't want to make anything else! Just a wee bit of beef...)
Snacks:  Apple, hard-boiled egg, another pancake and 1/2 T almond butter, chocolate mousse (recipe follows)

Here's what I love about this salad recipe:  it is not a wilt-y salad, in fact, it might even be better when the dressing juices are soaked up, so enjoy as many a left-over!

Chopped Cabbage Salad

1/3 of a red cabbage (about 2 or 3 cups chopped)
1 big carrot, sliced (so that they are rounds)
1/4 cup chopped onion, yellow
parsley or cilantro, chopped (to taste)

1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
olive oil to 'thin out' the flavor
         **I always approximate the amounts and it turns out really, really strong, so I just add olive oil and water until it smoothes out.  It should have a kick to it nonetheless...

Pour dressing, toss salad, and eat or return to fridge to eat later!

Chocolate Mousse

1 serving plain greek yogurt (I don't care if its non-, low-, or full-fat!)
1 Tablespoon vanilla protein powder (or to taste-the more powder, the sweeter)
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

Mix it all up and enjoy as dessert!  It was my snack while watching Modern Family!

This morning, I decided to break out of my 'diet' (see this post) to try some oatmeal.  The weather is chilly this a.m. and it made me crave warm oatmeal.  So I tried this recipe for baked banana oatmeal.  Katheats.com also has a pumpkin version here.  I just didn't have pumpkin on hand--bummer.  Next time!

It turned out great!  The only changes I made was a sprinkle of cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk (regular milk doesn't do my stomach any good...) and no brown sugar at the end.  Bananas are sweet enough!

Before baked:

After baked (extra YUMMY!!):

And topped with almond butter and a dollop of greek yogurt.  I tell ya, the greek yogurt addition was excellent.  Very reminiscent of cool whip ;)

The recipe serves 4, so here is the nutritional facts per serving for my version:

230 kcals, 4.7 g fat, 42.2 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8.8 g sugar (just bananas!), 8.4 g protein
      **almond butter and yogurt not included

I DO have to say that after eating this and now digesting it, my stomach is making all sorts of weird growly noises, as in it is telling me that it doesn't remember or doesn't like digesting it.  Hmmm...but it was SO TASTY!

I have a cycle class at noon at Highlands Ranch.  COME OVER!

October 15, 2012

'Slow Food': How it Can Help Your Health

There is a lot of hype (at least in Denver!) in regards to healthy, local, organic food.  The hype seems to be truer and truer as we find that harsh chemicals may cause early puberty; that the fresher the food, the better and more available the nutrients; that gas-guzzling trucks and freezer burn does not win over our friendly farms' dedication to growing heirloom varieties.

There are many facets to the term 'slow food', but I like to think that this idea can benefit your health as well as others and your environment.  If you want more info on the organization, click here.  My thoughts do not follow all of their tenants, although they are awesome!  Here is my list of 'pros' to the concept:

1.  No more fast food!  It seems kind of obvious, but the definition of 'slow food' cannot ever possibly include fast food.  It can't!  Fast food is so detrimental to your health.  I just don't need to go there.  Don't eat it.

2.  Farming is really cool and not just what your grandpa did.  Farming is a lost art that so many people can be a part of (maybe in a slightly smaller scale...).  My 'mini mini' farm has helped put a dent in my grocery bill and made me feel like I had to eat plenty more veggies because it was RIGHT THERE!  Sure, there was some hard labor and dedicated time spent towards farming, but it was SO worth it!  It gave me a hobby to be outdoors and learn more about plant life.  And it wasn't even as much as I needed to know to grow even a few vegetables!  Try it :)  Even extra herbs help!

3.  Slow down your day.  Eating the 'slow' way makes you have to prepare and plan for a day of food.  Hopefully this will involve others, but even if it doesn't, getting in touch with cooking and finding creative recipes to use that local produce is fun.  Fresh foods also tend to make delicious food, in which you should slow down the chewing and enjoying process--which happens to be a healthy habit (that I definitely have to work on!  I'm a wolf!).

Hopefully some point in here will help encourage you to slow down.  It starts with the first point: no fast food!

Debrief on the day:

I had the afternoon free, and it turned out to be gorgeous, so I headed up Mt. Falcon.  I'm obsessed!
Thankfully, I started the day with a mug muffin and ate 'light' and healthy the rest of the morning: two hard-boiled eggs and a nut/fruit bar (waking up at four makes me extra hungry!).  So, I knew this trip up was already better than the last!  Time: 41:30 up, 26:30 down!

 Snowy peaks in the distance...

Made it to the top! How gorgeous is this day? Mid-October and in a tank!

A view of Red Rocks Amphitheater from the trail.

After my run, I was ravenous.  I inhaled some sweet potato fries that I made yesterday with some almond butter.  De-licious!

Dinner was a new recipe from this blog.  I had cod in the freezer and am HORRIBLE at cooking fish.  But this turned out great!

White Fish 'en Papillote'

1 fish fillet
1/4 of an onion, cut in rings)
any combo of sliced fruit (lemon, lime, orange)
spice/herbs (cilantro, garlic, parsley, ginger, rosemary, thyme, dill)
salt and pepper (after baked, to taste)
10-12 inch piece of parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 375.  Place the fish on top of onion, fruit, and herbs and wrap it up so that it steams the fish.  When the oven is ready, place parchment on a pan and put in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Mine took 15+ a little, but I don't think it was fully thawed.

Such an easy and tasty dish: quick prep and cleanup.  Fish is high in protein and low in fat and has other great nutrients like B vitamins and iodine--good for you!  Enjoy!

October 13, 2012

How NOT to Fuel for a Workout (and a High Tea adventure!)

Yesterday, I ate leftover chili for a late lunch.  As I was sitting at home working (and drinking mug-fuls of tea), I realized it was pretty nice out and I wanted to go trail run.  I had just bought new trail running shoes (since my regular running shoes wanted to slip right off my feet the last time...) and I wanted to test them out!  So, I hopped out of my chair, changed and was ready to run in 30 minutes, on a trail in the foothills (Mt. Falcon, once again!).  My time to the hiker/biker crossing: 24:10 (round trip in 40:00).

However, there were several things, I noted very quickly, that 'ruined' my run! Here is my list so that you don't make my same mistakes!

1.   Don't eat anything with beans before you run.  Just don't!

2.  Don't eat something that is heavy, hard to digest, and protein heavy either (just DON'T go for chili...).  This is a great example of how QUICK carbs like a banana, apple, piece of toast, and some protein, is a much smarter choice.  I like banana and nut butter in a mug.

3.  Don't drink 3+ cups of tea.  I definitely had to use some boulders to shield myself...TMI, I know!

4.  DO workout (especially cardio) even when you are sore, you can do it, even though you feel like you SUCK!  You feel better after...

5.  DO fit in a run outdoors with ensuing weather, unless you think you hear thunder...it sure got close to a downpour on me!  Here is a 'view' of the foothills (basically, it got so windy, the dust covered any mountain view...)

Here are my new shoes!

I'm a happy camper after I run.

Today, I went to High Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel, the oldest hotel in Denver!  It is very famous and beautiful.  I have had high tea two times before, but I was able to enjoy it with my mom and best friends' Vince and Victor's mother, Melinda.  How wonderful was our time together and delicious the scones, sandwiches, and desserts!  So filling!

 **Note our personal pianist behind us!  He was wonderful to listen to :)

**I chose the Black Currant tea, full of dark and fruity flavors!

I'm off to do my 'cardio', SALSA DANCING!  Have a fabulous weekend!

October 12, 2012

Salads to Chili: Rollin' with the CO weather!


The weather has been STRANGE and I love it!  It's cool and crisp in the mornings, with a bright sunny promise.  It usually warms up to about 75-80 degrees, with a day or two of cool, rainy weather to break it up.  It has been a lovely pattern for fall!  So, that means that some days, I crave a summery salad and others, warm soups!  

This morning, I made up my pumpkin yogurt.  I just made this up this week, but didn't have much time to write about it!  Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Yogurt:

-1 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt (I'm partial to Fage or Chobani)
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix and enjoy a protein filled yogurt that tastes like pumpkin pie filling!

For lunch, I enjoyed this salad with spinach, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, 2 tablespoon walnuts, and two hard-boiled eggs.  A splash of balsamic vinegar for dressing.  Yum!  (see the sunlight?)

But then it got rainy and dreary and I got hungry this afternoon, so I enjoyed a leftover cup of crockpot chili from last night.

Crockpot Sweet Potato Chili:
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn
1 lb ground turkey, cooked
2 shredded carrots
1 diced onion
1 small sweet potato, diced (it is my new favorite addition to chili!)
1 serrano pepper **if you like a little spice!
1 T. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
salt/pepper to taste

Mix together in crock pot and enjoy about 8 hours later!  I love chili, but just to prove this recipe is delish, the people I had over last night LOVED it.  Enjoy!

Tonight might be chicken leftover.  I've been enjoying putting things in the crock pot so that I save time to do other things (like trail run and shop!), so earlier this week I put 4 chicken breasts in a crock with almost 1 jar of salsa, diced red onion, and a serrano pepper.  It turned out amazing!

Sorry I have been a little MIA these past few days and I have no excuse except for trail running and shopping with my mom!  Shopping is ok, but when you grew up with a SUPER HELPFUL mother to shop with, it can handicap you from doing anything on your own.  I feel like I bought the store, but I haven't really purchased things that I need for months years...yikes!

Enjoy the new recipe ideas!

**to update my diet adventures:
I've been on a roll with my mainly veggie and protein diet, although there have been a few slip ups.  Saturday is always a day off...and that day landed on a birthday party which was perfect.  However, I had leftover homemade brownie (from the party) lying around, which happens to be my absolute fave, so it might have been nibbled on.  Plus, there was ice cream at the dinner last night...
The funny thing is, I am sticking to eating no fruit and no granola VERY well, which was my main downfall.  Those are both fairly healthy foods, but I may have had granola and fruit over a veggie choice too often.  This simple swap is making my veggie intake skyrocket!  I feel great, less weighed down by too many sugars (natural or not)!

October 9, 2012

The Lost Art of Doing What You Love to Do

The theme of my week has been in understanding motivation, goal-setting, and being happy content as you go about it.  I've had a few situations with members at 24Hr in the past week, as well as in personal life, that have made me think about why it is we try to achieve these things in our society that will potentially make us happy.  Sometimes we make our goals and sometimes our goals are too hard to reach.  But in either case, achieving them or not does not make us feel the way we thought when we set our goals in the first place.

This is a great theme to discuss for fitness and weight loss.  I feel like anyone can relate to this topic, whether you are 140lbs trying to lose a stubborn few (or gaining muscle!) or 400lbs and trying to figure out where to even start because the task seems too great.  I've seen many a gym member in my day (love you all!) to see this theme come to life.  So many people are fit, healthy, and motivated.  But I would bet that they are in the gym mostly because they fear what could happen if they stopped working out.  Let the battle of the bulge begin!  Many people work out because they are in the process of losing weight (after how many days of beating yourself down, I wonder?).

My point is, it is NOT about working out to achieve a physical status that you are HAPPY with.  That will keep you at a stagnant feeling of hatred towards fitness and your body.  You hate your body because it makes you have to spend hours at the gym, when you could be doing so many other things.  Too many people I've seen have reached their weight loss and body image goals and then they feel lost because they don't know how to stop or because they feel pressure to keep their new weight.

This is where goal re-shaping needs to come into play.

I just read (this morning!) an article from my favorite fitness blog by Charlotte Hilton-Anderson called, The Great Fitness Experiment, that is all about HAPPINESS.  And then it struck me just how important happiness is for everyone to achieve, but unfortunately it is simply a wisp of wind we cannot catch.  Her article talks about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.  Are you trying to achieve your goal because of wealth/status/perception or because it is simply 'inherently satisfying'?

A great example is running.  Do you run to lose weight or do you run because you love the feel of the wind on your face and the exhilarating challenge?  I ran the Platte River Half Marathon last April, and swear that I had an 'inner smile' the WHOLE way.  It was the hardest I've run, but I inherently LOVED every second of it.

What are you fitness goals?  Really?  Deep down, why do you do what you do?  Is it because you love doing it?  It makes you feel good?  Do you feel more energetic and maybe more put together throughout your day?  Or is it because you fear the pressure of looking good?  Maybe you think that you have never achieved that 'look' you see in your head?  Maybe you have given up?

My hope and challenge to everyone reading this, is that they find what intrinsically makes them happy AND helps them achieve their goals.

I love hiking and trail running.  It makes me happy.  It helps me feel strong, sexy, and alive in this world.  I don't have pressure of NOT attaining that perfect body or being the fittest person in the gym (which I will tell you is the biggest struggle as any trainer would tell you), because I can reach this point of contentment and pure thrill and happiness when I run in the beautiful foothills of Colorado.  I am content.

Ask yourself the hard questions of why you are motivated and how you can be motivated toward the right things, things that bring you peace and contentment, not false happiness.  Don't fake it.  Find purpose in what you do!

Here was the first image I saw when I googled "contentment":

October 7, 2012

Party Weekend!

An excuse for a party is always fun, especially if it is for your own birthday!  My parents and two brothers (and family friend, Frances!) came up from the Springs, and joined my dearest friends who are living in Denver!  This small house packed plenty of people. Me and the brothers at the party:

Since Saturdays are my days off any sort of diet plan, it was easy to enjoy the day of good eatin' and boozin', but I have to tell you, I felt pretty awful by the end of the night, and I feel like I didn't eat much of anything 'bad'!  I started my morning before work with pumpkin pancakes as a birthday treat, packing in a full 20 grams of protein from greek yogurt and egg.  I was filled for a while!  At the party, caprese salad, cheese, wine, and chicken with ginger were all great.  The beer, chips, and brownies were the wreckers...but soooo tasty!

Today,  I got back on the wagon (after more pancakes for breakfast, oops!) with this WONDERFUL lentil soup I made up.  Lemony AND spicy, who would have thought!  Here it is:

Spicy Lemon Lentil Soup

1 cup lentils, cooked in 2 1/2 cups water
2 cups sauteed kale
1 serrano pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 habanero pepper
1 tsp bouillon paste (may need more, or just swap water for veggie/chicken stock)
1 can kidney beans
1 tsp lemon flavored olive oil (1 fresh squeezed lemon will work!)
lemon pepper (spice combo from Savory Spice Shop)

Saute kale and peppers in a pan with olive oil.  Cook lentils, then add to a big pot.  Add veggies, kidney beans, and bouillon with water (at least three cups**).  Add lemon (oil/juice/pepper).   Let it simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, then serve!
** I did not add enough water, hence the stew look...

Also, this doesn't LOOK tasty, but nothing with lentils looks good to me.  The flavor is so worth it!

SO many layers of flavor.  The spice + lemon was a great combo and it was very clean and light beyond that.  I am pretty good at adding everything in my fridge, but I think the simplicity of the ingredients made it uncomplicated so that the spice and lemon was not understated.  If I had yellow onion, that would be my only amendment.  Try it out!  Would be great with some warm sourdough bread :)

Later, I tried out my new teapot and Earl Grey Lavender tea, a birthday gift from dear friends Sarah and Chris.  Thanks you two!

October 4, 2012

New Micro Muffin Recipe!

I accidentally came up with a new spin on my favorite breakfast recipe!

Due to my new diet plans, I decided to find a new way to make the pumpkin puree and egg stick together to form the dense muffin consistency.  I came up with flax seed and a dash of vanilla protein powder.  The result wasn't the same, but it was more of a pumpkin custard-delish!  Enjoy the new flourless pumpkin recipe:

Pumpkin Breakfast Custard

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 T flax, ground
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 T vanilla protein powder (feel free to omit if you don't want that flavoring...I liked the sweet vanilla!)

Add in a big mug, stir, and pop in the microwave for 3 minutes on high.  Top with almond butter!

I went to Colorado Springs (hometown, baby!) to help my family unpack their house.   On the road, I came across this Sprinter that was LOPSIDED!!!  I had to take a pic (while driving, I know...) because I couldn't believe my eyes...this is looking at it straight on, and you can see the front right wheel is TO THE LEFT of the back right wheel.  That is just not right!

After the unpacking process, lunch was a salad with bell pepper, deli turkey breast, covered in salsa.

And for a special treat, my mom and I went over to Monument to enjoy tea and treats at the Wisdom Tea House.  I ordered their 'egg bake' which included roasted poblano peppers, some cheese, and lemon peel!  It was absolutely delicious with the lemon!   I almost devoured it before I took this pic:

And that brown 'hunk' of food next to it is their Pumpkin muffin that Mom ordered and I tasted it :)

The Wisdom Tea House lets you pick the teacup you want to use.  Here is my pretty pink cup of a creamy black tea:

For dinner, I ate a salad with hard-boiled egg, spinach, peppers, avocado, and a big dollop of cottage cheese.  Dressed with balsamic, lemon olive oil, and lemon pepper from Savory Spices!  I love eating salads and avocados all the time ;)  SO tasty and I feel amazing.

Have a happy Friday!

Aminos and Fat-burning Exercise!

Tuesday turned out to take a toll on my body!  I was feeling great IN class, but after 3 classes, Wednesday was tough.  I decided to try out Anabolic Amino Rush, which is an Apex product sold at 24 Hour Fitness (click here for $4 shipping or I can get it to you with a discount and free shipping!).  Here's what it does and why I decided to try it: 

In your body, amino acids that are either produced in your body (non-essential) or are needed in your diet (essential) to be used as the 'building blocks' or proteins and for metabolism.  Basically, they control every cellular process that goes on in your body.  What an important role!  Specifically in regard to exercise, your body needs those amino acids to help repair what you have 'broken down' in your workouts.  

This is where Amino Rush comes in to play.  This powder has a great ratio and just the right amount of aminos to help your body repair.  Leucine, Iso-leucine, and Valine, are all vital in that process (Leucine being the MOST important).  Leucine is essential and we can get it through our diet*, but it would take a lot of dietary leucine to do its job effectively.  As you work out, your body breaks down glucose in your muscle tissue and creates the byproducts pyruvic acid and NADH (electrons).  Leucine binds with pyruvic acid to reform properties in your muscle tissue.  So, instead of your body having to clear away that byproduct, leucine helps reuse it to repair the muscle damage faster.  What is even cooler, leucine is able to do this process in adipose and muscle tissue!  

Since I have been doing a lot of exercise through classes, I wanted to see if it would help reduce muscle fatigue and increase my strength over a prolonged period of time.  Basically, I don't want to feel like I got whiplash every Tuesday!  I'll keep you updated :)

*some dietary sources include:  fish, peanuts, wheat germ, soy beans, and beef 

On to another study related to exercise!  Have you seen this music video? 

 I love that they used treadmills :)  

Freemotion Fitness, a company that produces and sells great exercise equipment, has a research link that I have found interesting.  They are 'famous' for their incline trainer, which makes the average treadmill look lame.  Their trainer can take you on inclines as high as 30, where a normal treadmill goes to 15...

Here is a synopsis on their research

As a trainer, I take different energy systems into the equation when helping someone to their goals.  The most common goal is weight loss, so I often turn to High Intensity training to help them burn the most calories and gain muscle under a short period, but also tell them to use this tool to stress a different energy system.  Let me back up...

Here are your three energy systems, or rather, how our body uses energy in any activity:  ATP-CP, glycolysis, and oxidative.   Although all are used at any given time, one of them will be stressed and used more than another.  The oxidative process is what I want to look at here for fat burn.  

Oxidation takes a slow and steady rate of exercise and produces enough energy to keep you going through oxygen (hence the name!).  Walking is a great example.  

However, it takes a VERY long time to burn lots of calories.  And how do we burn calories?  We use as much muscle as possible.  This is where the incline trainer research is great!  They took the need for a slow oxidative exercise while increasing muscle being used and found that walking at a very steep incline reaches that need!  Their studies found that walking at an incline anywhere from 18-24% and at a speed of 2-3mph activated more muscle and utilized more fat as energy.  

If you want to use this in your fitness regime, walk more than 30 minutes at an incline of at least 18% at 2.4 mph and you will use 6 cals/min of fat versus a meek 2 cals/min of fat at a flat 6mph jog.  Have fun inclining!  

October 2, 2012

New Diet Experiment Update

Hi All!  Happy Tuesday!

Loving my 'new' diet :)  I feel like I've just made small changes (no granola or fruit, sadly), but I actually feel even better...breakfast was two hard boiled eggs and black beans over spinach with some avocado.  Not your typical breakfast fare, but it tasted really good!

I haven't been hungry in the morning, which is odd for me, since breakfast is my favorite and I'm usually starving!  So I had to wait until the very last minute to stuff this in before work!

Also, I fudged the meal plan a touch already because I had a Zone bar for a snack...it was all nut and dried fruit, but fruit is a no so, I need to come up with a better snack idea!  I'm still keeping my protein powder in since it noticeably helps my body recover from multiple classes taught in a day.  **Although, I will say that this "perfectly simple" Zone bar is great and filling-cheap and whole ingredients!

Roasted veggies made up of red onion, sweet potatoes, beets, and purple carrots are for another snack before my next class!  Just tossed veggies with garlic cloves (in chunks) with olive oil, salt, and pepper and put it in a pan in the oven at 400 degrees until they crisp up.  Yum!

October 1, 2012

A Nutrition Experiment: Learn Through my New Plan!

*My last pear (from our tree)!  

Today, I started an experiment.  And when I say experiment, I really do mean a diet, although I am more interested in its effects on me to help with my clients.  I am perfectly content with my body and the way that it functions and looks and diets are not a part of my life motto, BUT... I want to see what I can do with small and healthy changes that will only support my holistic and healthy habits, not create a monstrous diet fiend.  The end goal should be some fat and weight loss...at least, that is what I am expecting!  My fitness routine will not change much (mainly for experimental purposes ;) ).

My new plan:

A la Tim Ferriss, my recent health and fitness fave, I am giving up a few foods and following Ferriss.  In his book, The Four Hour Body, he has 4 rules to live by:
#1 No white carbs(mainly flour and processed junk)
#2 Eat the same few meals over and over (proteins, legumes, veggies)
#3 Don't drink calories (just water and red wine!)
#4 Take one day off per week (this would take a lot of time to explain, but he thoroughly explains it in his book)

I am going to follow this and add a few rules of my own:
#5 Fermented foods are ok (although, I probably will not be adding cheese, since I'm not much of a fan anyway...)
#6 No Fruit: just to clarify, this is a part of Ferriss's rules, although I think I eat WAY more fruit than veggies, so I am going to adhere to that rule for the most part.  VEGGIE UP!

THANKFULLY, my birthday lands on Saturday this year, which means it is my day off and I get to enjoy whatever I want!

As I go through with this experiment, I plan to document how I feel, what I am eating and how my body is changing.

So far today, as my first day: I ate cottage cheese for breakfast and Chipotle chicken salad with guac for lunch!  No snacks are needed for now.  This diet has kept me full!

September 28, 2012

Fat Loss: Phil's Way to Success and a "It's Friday" Quiz!

Good Morning!

I have been reading more of Timothy Ferriss's book, The Four Hour Body.  It is just fascinating, although, not really doable for all people.  However, he has some key concepts I think I will take into my own routine, as well as extra resources that may help fat loss in different ways.  He has four principles to run with to keep on track.  I TOTALLY agree with these principles, and mostly use them with my clients.  Here they are:

1. Make it conscious.
2. Make it a game.
3. Make it competitive.
4. Make it small and temporary.

Within these guidelines, I will tell you some of his ideas and some of mine!

1.  The best way to make fat loss a conscious effort is through the art of seeing.  Sometimes you have to see things to believe it, it is the way we function best, I think.  I like using measurements to help my clients see.  So, not only may the scale change (or not!), but inches change.  Ferriss also suggests the "flash diet", studied by the University of Wisconsin, found that taking pictures of everything you consume, before you consume it, found that people consciously made better choices.  It makes sense: you know that the Hershey's bar isn't going to do your diet any good, and as you take that picture of it, it sinks in.  And maybe it gives you more confidence in your decision to throw it away.  Try it for a few days.  Take a picture of EVERYTHING and send it to an invaluable and non-critical friend :)

2.  Games are fun!  Pretend like it isn't work, it's play!

3.  Research states that the fear of loss is more valuable than getting a reward.  Take a friend who also has some weight loss/fat loss goals and make it competitive.  With a friend, give them a dollar for every time you DON'T hit your weight/fat loss goals and make them do it too!  Or find a challenge group online, there are lots out there.  Embrace peer pressure!

4.  Take baby steps.  Make small changes that will create a greater effect on your goals.  They don't have to be big, but if you take a few changes in, the result will be greater!

Ferriss took Phil's example in the book and I LOVED it.  Phil took his laziness and lack of desire to make a change and WATCHED the pounds drop.  I'm not saying this is for everyone, but with fat loss, there is something that makes everyone tick and turns a switch to produce better loss...for Phil, it took inactivity.  He made a chart of his current and ideal weight and added his maximum and minimum-allowable weight for each day.  He plugged in the numbers of his weight each day and watched where it hit on the chart.  Miraculously, it followed his guidelines without him trying to make any changes!  He decided that it was a subconscious thing; if he saw that he was close to the maximum-allowable line, he made decisions that day that guided him into loss.  They must have been minute discrepancies, but it worked.

Just for fun, download the chart and type in the numbers for yourself: www.fourhourbody.com/phil.  It's kind of fun :)

As I am reading this book, I have decided to take some of his ideas and put them in my own routine.  I will be charting my own weight on the chart above and seeing if some change makes a difference.  Like I said, doing everything he says is a lot.  So, will making some effort to follow his guidelines help?   What have you found to be helpful in reaching your goals?

On another note, take this quiz from SparkPeople to see if you can tell from these weight loss truths or myths!  Have a Happy Friday!

September 27, 2012

Phytic Acid Chart in Grains

I came across this today and thought I would share it as an addition to my last post.

I wanted to know if phytic acid was an issue with other grains and this image shows how it is prevalent AND how soaking oats and corn does not change the amount of phytic acid by much...there ya go!

Benefits of Sourdough: The Superbread!

Good Morning!

Since it is my morning off of early mornings, I like to make myself a yummy breakfast.  And this morning was no exception.  Recently, I have been interested in having my own sourdough starter.  I was listening to Sandor Katz, author of the Art of Fermentation, on CPR (Colorado Public Radio), and how his life of disease changed when he decided to eat all fermented foods (which is more than you think!).  Bread, cheese, wine, pickles, beer, yogurt, sauerkraut, salami, tempeh, and soy sauce are among many fermentable and healthy foods!

In wheat and other grain sources, the enzyme lactic acid is a byproduct in sourdough that can break down phytic acid, which may not be easily digestible according to many studies.  We can talk more about how phytic acid is a problem in our diet, but mainly, it blocks our body's ability to uptake and utilize key nutrients like magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and calcium.  We need those!  Most breads are very high in phytic acid. I believe this is one cause of many that are making us more fat yet hungry and begging for nutrients.  And other studies show that these nutrients (found in veggies!) help lower health risks caused by obesity.  This Harvard study says so, among many.  If this topic really interests you, I recommend the documentaries Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead and The Beautiful Truth.

Ever since this research, I have been taking MOST breads out of my diet.  Unfortunately, I still enjoy some baked goods (especially baked with love from my mother) and the occasional bread at someone else's house.  There are none in my cupboards!  The only thing that I keep around is a frozen loaf of Ezekiel bread, which is sprouted which also may help decrease the amount of phytic acid.  (Speaking of frozen, sourdough does not go bad as quickly as regular bread, another plus!)

Another study I came across mentioned that sourdough, not only takes away most phytic acid, it also is shown to reduce the high insulin response found in *GASP* whole wheat!!!  White sourdough AND white breads are less likely to produce a high blood sugar response.  This lack of high blood sugar response in sourdough, if eaten in the morning, also lasted throughout the day, making what you eat for breakfast even MORE important!  And if you are gluten intolerant, the soaking and rising process of sourdough helps break down gluten into key amino acids, making it more easy to digest and use...

All said, here is a recipe for Sourdough pancakes.  They were SUPER tasty and fluffy, and REALLY filled me up (which is hard these days, ha!).

Sourdough Pancakes

*recipe found through this blog: gnoflglins.com (the weirdest blog name, but check it out because it stands for something cool!)

4 T. melted butter/coconut oil/olive oil (I used coconut)
1/2 tsp salt ( I really noticed the salty flavor, which I don't like, so I will be halving this next time...)
1 egg
2 T sweetener (I used maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T cinnamon, if desired
2 c sourdough starter
1 tsp baking soda
1T water

Heat up your skillet on low as you mix ingredients!  
Take oil, salt, egg, syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk together.  Add starter and mix again until fully incorporated.  Next, take soda and water in a separate small cup and stir.   Set aside. 
Oil skillet!
Pour baking soda mixture into batter and mix immediately.  Pour it to make your cakes!  I didn't have anything atop my cakes, they were filling and tasty enough.  Feel free to add fruit (banana sounds great), nuts, or syrup!

This is your batter, right after pouring the soda water.  Nice and bubbly:

Here is a blog I found easy to read and has some great recipes/ideas:

Since my "grow" section of this blog has slowed, due to the season that we are in, I figured this is a great new way to "grow" all year round ;)

Next, lets talk HOW to keep/maintain sourdough and a bread-baking post!  Stay tuned!

September 25, 2012

Shrimp, Spice, and Everything Nice!

I was SOOO excited to find that I had finished my peanut butter jar yesterday because that meant I could make my favorite Overnight Oats!  I tweaked the recipe since I was out of cottage cheese and used greek yogurt instead.  I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no sour taste from the yogurt and it was REAL thick and creamy, using only about 1/4 cup yogurt (or less!).  Perhaps the flavor depends on the brand of yogurt?  I used plain low-fat chobani.  Anyway, best batch yet!

Today, I bought more peanut butter to replace my last jar, and realized I bought Honey Roasted peanut butter!!! UGH!  I am a firm believer that added sugar in the diet is a detriment to everyone's health and is a main contributer in health and heart issues.  Having extra sugar in my PB stinks, but I decided I will use it in my homemade granola and take out most of the sugar in the recipe.  Normally, I use a store brand of natural PB, which only uses nuts and oil.  

After a tough boot camp and spin class combo today, I was hungry!  I always drink some protein after my hard workouts, and then I made myself a serving of shrimp and left-over delicata squash from last night's dindin!  Yum!  I chose to sprinkle the shrimp in my favorite spice blend from Savory Spice Shop, Red Cloud Peak seasoning.  I swear by more expensive and creative blends in spices!  It makes EVERYTHING taste so much better, and this one was shrimp-tastic!

** (cherry tomatoes on the side not shown)

Tomorrow I hope to talk about one of my favorite fitness authors, Timothy Ferriss.  His book 4 Hour Body, is a great HUGE book on everything you need to know to be fit and healthy with the least amount of effort or money spent.  To be continued...

Happy Tuesday!

September 23, 2012

Another Day Another Climb

Happy Sunday!

Today was a fun climb up Mt. Bierstadt with two gym buddies!  I love hiking with people, let me know if you ever want to join.  The offer will stand indefinitely.

We started VERY early, which made for some beautiful early morning colors on the surrounding mountains:

Here, we made it to the top and someone brought up a homemade sign!  

I was rushed in the morning (which is not my style), so it was a good thing I pre-made yogurt, strawberries, granola, and cinnamon.  Good protein and fat for staying power, and strawberries help the body recover and produce quick energy.  I munched and drove.

We had a great time and the weather was relatively warm for such a late-season hike, although there was some wind at the top...to be expected!  Unfortunately, the views weren't fantastic because of the fires (in Idaho and Washington?)...but still sooo worth it!

I snacked/ate quite a bit this afternoon because I ate some food, but it didn't stay with me long!  Among the list--an apple, protein bar, yogurt, granola, and a great salad with roasted delicata squash.

Sorry about the lighting!  You can see I made it with romaine, beet greans, fried kale, shaved parmesan, walnuts, and delicata bits with balsamic vinegar on top.  A very interesting mixture, but very satisfying.  Then I ate a cookie my roommate baked.  What a tasty end!

About delicata squash...here are some great reasons to like this squash.  By roasting it in the oven at 400 with olive oil (until soft), you can create a sweet, soft squash AND eat the skin as well!  I love squash but HATE peeling the hard exterior.  But not with this squash!  It is so tasty and you can make it with so many different flavors.

As I sit here, I may still be hungry...even though I had greek yogurt for breakfast and 2 protein bars, perhaps I didn't eat enough.  Usually protein and fat help me stay full much longer!

September 21, 2012

Pickling, Best Tea Factory, and Mexican Fare...

Lots has happened in the past few days, including dog sitting, so needless to say, I've been busy!

Here are the highlights:

Celestial Seasonings Tour:

If you have never been to this factory, its no brewery, but it is a close favorite!  Over 100 teas and herbal blends to choose from and a great tour, I learned so much and tasted so many new teas I've never heard CS make before.  Thoroughly impressed...I think my favorite were Sweet Harvest Pumpkin and Morning Thunder (a black tea and mate blend!).  I learned more than I knew about tea and was able to appreciate the great business Celestial Seasonings provides with their partnership in other countries (from when they started in 1969).  My brother and I with our hair nets:

El Centro:

I think this is the best Mexican (flare) food I've had.  Not traditional, by any means, but a fun environment and great fresh food.  Their happy hour is exceptional, and as a margarita snob, their margs were delicious!  It might be on the pricey side, but worth it with fun friends or great celebration.


This was my very first endeavor in pickling!  I helped can pie filling last year, but I have been wanting to learn more so that I can pass on the tradition and live off of my garden longer in the year.  Here are the basic steps:

You need to follow a recipe from a canning book, but you mix vinegar, sugar, water, and salt together to form the brine with which you can the pickles.  We cut up pickles (both dill and sweet style, although they were both dill flavored...):

While you chop, heat up the cans:

Here are the jars filled with pepper corns, mustard seed, dill, and pickles:

Me pouring brine:

But DO be careful that the glass doesn't cool off too fast, because to cook in a water bath, transferring cool jars to boiling water can crack, as shown here:

I will let you know how the rest turn out!!!

Cycle class at 24 Hour Fitness followed by Boot Camp tomorrow in the park...be there or miss out on a fun workout!  

September 18, 2012

Help your Kids Eat Healthy (and you too)!

I have a neighbor who's 1(+a few months) year old has a hard time eating anything but dessert, yogurt, and crackers.  Yikes!  Although she is super healthy and fit, sometimes your kid just latches on to eating sugary.  As they age, it becomes harder and harder to attract the healthy stuff.  This website is a great resource to get your older kids, especially if they can read, to enjoy eating healthy.  It has super kids, each taking on their favorite color of healthy food and making it fun!  There are activities like coloring that are fun ways to make healthy foods cool.  Take a look even for yourself to see the foods that you should be consuming in your diet...

If you enjoy indoor cycling or would like to try your own attempt before joining a class, here is a great workout to raise your intensity:

Hill Repeats

Warm up: 1 song (3-4 min)

Song 1: steady gradual climb from easy-moderate to moderate
Song 2: moderate climb with speed intervals during chorus, with one turn in resistance plus extra speed for last repeat
Song 3: Steep incline that takes you from a 'hard' effort level to anaerobic/breathless (feel free to make this seated or out of saddle)

Repeat 3x and then cool down for a song!  This will get you indoor cycle ready!

September 17, 2012

Take this Calorie Quiz and then Eat a Chicken Salad

After a week of using my roommate's computer, I finally got a new cord in the mail!  Thank you roommate!

Before I forget, COME TO BOOT CAMP in the park this Wednesday at 1pm...check the top of my blog for directions!

I felt like going on a run today, which doesn't happen as often as I want to...mostly because I am afraid I will re-injure my back.  But I warmed up my body really good by foam rolling my quads, doing the dynamic runner's lunge, storks, and a 5 min bike ride.  I ran 4.85 miles (a fave loop by 24 HR Fitness) at a 8:25 min pace!  Pretty good for me, since I haven't been running much.

This was a fun quiz to stumble upon.  I only got 66.7% because I don't know my fast food calories well...but it was fun to see what BETTER options there are when you are at a restaurant, fast food joint, or a party.  Take a look at this quiz and beat my sad score!

Here's a look at dinner (and lunch tomorrow!):

I'm a fan of making 'hearty' salads that won't go wilty, if I am planning not to use my jarring method.  This salad included some of a roasted chicken I bought today at the store...didn't feel like cooking chicken!  Here's the recipe:

Chicken Salad

-Chicken breast, cooked and cut up in chunks
-1 red pepper, chopped
-1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 cup red cabbage, shredded
-bunch cilantro, chopped

Maple Dijon Dressing
-1 T dijon mustard
-2 t maple syrup
-3 T olive oil
-1 T balsamic vinegar
**shake this all up with some salt/pepper in a small jar and pour over salad!
**if this is too strong, either add more oil or some water

I am a huge fan of red cabbage in salads, mainly because it doesn't wilt!  Enjoy this fresh and tasty salad :)  I will tomorrow!

September 16, 2012

Ode to Mt Sherman and SOOO Many Tomatoes!

We look happy right?

That is my roommate and I on the top of Mt. Sherman!  We did it!  It was her first 14er EVER and my SECOND time on Mt. Sherman.  However, if you ask me, that is two times too many. 
I decided to go along and climb Sherman with a group, even though my first instinct was horrific.  Sherman is windy, rocky, too short, too ugly, too windy, and did I say ugly?  It is a good first 14er, but I must say goodbye to Sherman.  There will be no more trips up to that windy top.
**do note that I recommend Sherman and think I have just been swayed by my bad experiences...if you were planning on it, stick with it!  Maybe just bring a wind resistant jacket...

On Saturday, we gathered all of the ripe tomatoes off our plants...

The perspective might be lost, but that is a LOT of 'brown berry' and yellow pear tomatoes!!!
Yummy and sweet for snacking ;)  For all of the gardeners out there, this brown berry tomato might be the sweetest cherry version I've had.  Seed Savers!

Big thanks for those who showed up to Boot Camp--definitely a success, but we need MORE to come.  It's not too late to start coming!   :)

Have a happy Monday!

September 14, 2012

Fun with Photos!

I am playing with Picmonkey today and wanted to bring a little inspiration to our fab Friday!  Enjoy!

Don't forget to come check out Boot Camp!