Recovery Time: BBQ Reset

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July. When it comes to this particular holiday, it is as synonymous with BBQ’s and picnics as it is with independence and fireworks.

BBQ blurb-bbqAnymore, the average person has at least 2 large social events to attend where there will be a parade of and virtual smorgasbord of hot-dogs, hamburgers, sweet and saucy meats of all kinds, potato salad, pies, cakes and cookies (possibly in the shape of liberty bells and flags). That list alone is enough to make most tummies grumble with hunger but on to my point.

Chances are you didn’t eat the best or exercise the most over the last four days.
Don’t beat yourself up over it if that’s the case, it’s fine, actually this is closer to how it’s supposed to go in life. There is absolutely no reason why you can indulge at times when it comes to the foods you love… as long as it doesn’t kick off or restart a bad habit.

Don’t let a couple of days of indulgence turn into two weeks of indulgence.
There are some easy ways to rest the clock when it comes to eating.

Water, being numero uno.

After all the soda, tea, beer, lemonade, etc. Getting back into the swing of making water your main beverage will go a long way.

The protein and veggie mix.

Everyone has a high protein and veggie meal that they like even if they don’t consider it a “protein and veggie” meal. Mine would be Steak with spinach and/or asparagus. Toss in a slice of watermelon for that sweet fix and you won’t feel like you’re missing out or eating healthy.

Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Sleep, it’s the one thing most of us are most likely to skimp on instead of indulge in.Sleeping-woman

Getting a good nights sleep will make a lot of things easier. You won’t be up late enough to get the night time munchies. When you wake up rested, you are more likely to get up earlier and have time to pack your lunch. Even if you don’t pack, a clear, well rested mind makes better decisions than a groggy one.

These are just a few things on a long list of options.

Again, I hope you guys and gals had a wonderful holiday. I’ll see you again soon.

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Rest Day

Rest day you say… why would we want to do that?

Many fitness junkies find the idea of taking a day off as an evil ploy meant to help us fall off track and regain all those little things (like pounds and inches) we were trying to get rid of. Whatever your reason for working out, walking, hiking, biking, skating or skiing we all need a day off sometimes.

But I’m just seeing progress!

That’s the one that gets me. Once the clothes start fitting again and the scale is no longer my mortal enemy I want to push forward harder and faster! I want to get to the next achievement and the next goal and a rest day seems like a waste of time…. But it’s not.

Rest days are actually implemented in many professional training plantumblr_mqxqxmeLc91s2djdgo1_500s, even those of Olympic athletes, in order to allow the body time to recuperate. As we work out and exercise, we place greater strain on our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints. (especially us couch potatoes new to this whole moving on a regular basis. When a person
goes from 3500 steps a day 10 over 10,000 there’s bound to be a “body learning curve”) Our immune system is activated when there are muscle tears or joint strains, but if the body doesn’t come out of continual practice, this system doesn’t have the time to catch up and start patching everything back together.

If you decide to not have a rest day, you run a greater risk of injury. Say you take part in a high-impact sport such as running; running puts stress on your joints and lower extremities to a level that has the ability to crack bones and tighten muscles. When you don’t take a day off here and there, your tight calf muscles or tendons of the feet can lead to bone spurs, shin splints, muscle tears, tendon shearing and so much more. Also, when the immune system is responding, it floods overworked areas with fluid to help cushion those areas. While this is admirable, the problem lies in the fact that fluid retention can alter the proper movement of joints and create further injury. Thus, by taking a day off, you’re not only allowing your immune system to help “fix” you, but you’re also keeping it from hurting you.

So in short, don’t overdo it in your quest to get it done. Be kind to your body and it’ll be kind to you!

*Some info from www.wellbridge.com

THE FITBIT & EASY IS AS EASY DOES

I’m loving this thing! I admit, when they first came out I thought they were another pointless gimmicky gadget. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. In a matter of days I’ve fallen in love with a little device about the size of small watch that tells me everything from how long (and how well) I slept to how many steps and flights of stairs I’ve done for the day. It reminds me to move, it monitors my heart rate, and it’s a great little wondrous thing!

fitbit

I chose the CHARGE HR (pictured in purple above) which I consider the upper middle class of the available FitBit devices since it has five types “below” it and two “above” it when it comes to price and function. This device syncs up with Lose It (which is a major plus for me) and I find all of the associated apps and computer interfaces very user friendly.

Bottom line – Was it $149 dollars well spent?

I say yes. We live in a world where spending money on makeup, concert tickets, video games, happy hour, a sale at Macy’s and out to eat food is more acceptable than dropping some cash on something that helps you improve your health. Leaving something like this to be frowned upon, laughed at or both.stay well

The same people that were cool when I told them that I spent $300 on clothing last fall (because I had “outgrown” most of my wardrobe) blanched when I gave the price of this device… funny how that works. The same crowd that says they can’t afford a FitBit spend $40-$60 dollars a week on fast food that doesn’t even feed them all day.

Beware the saboteurs they live in every corner.

I say this because just as if you’d made a life change for the worst… like smoking crack, obsessive gambling or selling drugs your friends will alter and shift when you make a life change for the better as well. Change is change and not everybody is on board with that. By nature, most humans abhor change and rile against it. That’s one of the many reasons why making a positive change is so difficult, that and the fact that bad habits tend to be easier.

avoid tv foodsMicrowaving fish sticks and tater tots is infinitely more simple than chopping up veggies and roasting chicken.

But your easy will come. It will just come in a different form. It’ll become easier to show off those arms, it’ll be easier to find and wear a swimsuit, It’ll be easier to get fitted for a tux for that family members wedding, it’ll be easier to strut around in that cocktail dress, it’ll be easier to climb those stairs, it’ll be easier to keep up with that sporty friend that’s always hiking, biking, climbing, etc. (You know that one you’ve always secretly admired but never thought you could hang out much with… well now you can.) It’ll be easier to just exist.  Carrying extra weight is not the end all of end alls but it can make living life more difficult (airplane seats, roller-coaster rides, paying 2-3 extra dollars per shirt because of the larger size, pool parties, group photos…. the list goes on, but it ends at just the overall feeling of being uncomfortable in your own skin.)

Let’s all give positive change a chance so we can love the skin we’re in.

What Does Work

Some information Taken from an article on BodyRock.tv

superfoods What  DOES  work for weight loss?

 Well, that is a bit of a complicated question, given that we are all different and enter our weight loss journeys from different starting points but there are a few things that tend to work across the board:

Portion control: Eating a healthy meal doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention to  how much you are eating. Invest in a food scale and be sure to measure your portions before serving. Once you get into this practice, you will be able to gauge what you are eating by sight, keeping your calorie intake under control. If you find it hard to get over the mental hurdle of smaller portions, try serving your meals on smaller plates, giving the illusion of more food and making it easier to feel satisfied.

Now I’m not much into weighing food on a scale but this makes a lot of sense. Just because you are eating grilled chicken and wholegrain pasta does not mean you can have three helpings. Yes, technically, you can but it’s not going to help you toward your goal. Don’t use healthy as a reason to gorge yourself.

Eat more fiber and protein: Fiber and protein are wonderful weight loss helpers. They fill you up quickly and both help you to stay feeling fuller, longer. They slow digestion which helps regulate your blood sugar levels, preventing the need/desire for those afternoon trips to the office vending machine.

This has been so very very true for me over the last two months and over 15 pounds lost. I took a lot of carbs out of my diet and replaced them with nutritionally dense sources of protein and fiber. (Think Black Beans, Broccoli, Lentils, Eggs, Salmon, Nuts and Brussels Sprouts) Also adding flaxseeds to your diet is a great thing as well. You can slip this tasteless additive into almost anything (sauces, stews, smoothies, etc.) and never know it… I do this to my family all the time. ^_^

Eat “real” food:  Try to eat food as close to its natural state as possible. Refined and processed foods offer little in the way of nutritional value. Foods that are labelled as being “low-fat” or “low-calorie” are often loaded with added sugar and additives to make them taste better. Why should you put your body through all of that artificial stuff when you can get whole, fresh foods that taste even better? Stick to the outer aisles at the grocery store: that’s produce, meat and dairy.

I know fish sticks are yummy (I personally used to go in for ten at a time and I love them

Mrs Pauls

Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks

with mac and cheese) but from a nutritional standpoint they are absolute garbage! It’s just high calorie, high salt, breaded

progressolabel

Progresso Bread Crumbs… That’s a lot of ingredients for bread crumbs… and 2 kinds of sugar. 

junk with sugar… yes there is sugar in your fish sticks (most processed foods are full of it even when you don’t “taste” it. This isn’t to say you can never have fish sticks just don’t make them a diet staple… and don’t eat them 10 at a time. Your waistline and your arteries will thank you.

Calories, Carbs and Sugar OH MY!

Me 2I’ve never been a big supporter of calorie counting (who has time, right?) But that’s exactly what I’m doing at the moment. Tracking my food is making me aware of just how indiscriminately that I ate food at times regardless of their nutritional value. I think most of us have done this at some point then sat and wondered where the ten extra pounds came from on top of wondering where your get up and go has gone.

Some food assumptions I’ve made in the past were off base…. WAY OFF BASE. Never in my rose colored world would I have thought that 2 small little boneless nuggets of chicken would be more calorie, fat and carb dense than a slice of pizza. But it is… it is BIG TIME! From Pizza Hut they come in an order of 8 and each one is 130 calories so once you eat two you’re over the 220 calories a slice of pepperoni hand tossed pizza would have given you.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that an order of 8 boneless wings would be over a 1000 calories. I stand corrected. Now I know what I’m getting myself into when ordering those things (which I don’t think I’ll do for a very long time to come. They are good but I don’t think they are 1000 calories and 72g of fat worth of good). Especially at 11pm when I’m going to do nothing more than finish my Netflix movie and go to bed.

Pizza Hut One  Pizza Hut Two

But that’s just one example of many where I would have never guessed that something was as calorie, carb or sugar dense as it really is. (See my previous ranting post about the soft bread pretzel) So tracking my food on Lose It is making me more aware of just how much I’m consuming as well as the quality (or lack thereof) of the food I’m eating. Once you see it in front of you in black and white, just how fast you can hit and exceed 2000 calories in a day on top of little to no exercise you can understand where the weight has come from as well as why your fitness and energy level is in the toilet.

When one can of soda, two slices of pizza and a small bag of chips has you at almost 700 in one meal and walking for half an hour is only going to burn 110 calories of that you can go ….”Ohhhhhh that’s what’s happening to me… this is where I’m going wrong.”  Armed with that knowledge, you can adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Tracking your food and exercise and liquids on top of becoming a label reader gives you to tools to make the changes that will take you where you want to be.

And where do you want to be? The answer to that is a personal thing that varies from person to person but off the couch is a damn fine start for all of us.

BEWARE THE SOFT BREAD PRETZEL

Me 2So April is off to a decent start with getting in shape and getting off my duff more. I’ve been tracking my steps and logging my exercise and calories with Lose It! I am a much bigger fan of this application than My Fitness Pal. Cheaper (if you go in for the premium $30 a year versus $50 a year) it has more features in the free and paid versions in comparison to My Fitness Pal plus a more user friendly interface equals win, win, win in my book.

Soft PretzelNow let me tell you about yesterday… BEWARE THE SOFT BREAD PRETZEL and MARGARITA MONDAYS.

I know that sounds silly but these two things were my downfall yesterday.

5:30pm comes around and I still have 1,100 calories left out of my 1722 allotted for the day. Feeling good and feeling spry, I decided to try this soft bread pretzel of uber tasty goodness one of my fellow foodie friends was raving about. In the car I go with the hubby and off to our local watering hole we drove. An order of these things consists of two pretzels roughly the size of my fist and a half cup of beer cheese.

Now the pretzel may have been an issue in and of itself at 388 caloriesfriday-the-13th-reboot-planned-for-2015-149618-a-1385536466-470-75 *ouch* but if the pretzel was a stalker then the drink was killer. *insert Friday the 13th music here* I tend to drink a vodka cranberry (clocks in about 175 calories) or beer or (About 145 calories) so this is where my mind was when the waitress told us about Margarita Monday… margarita mix is loaded with sugar… it was a bad d
ecision.

A Margarita breaks down like this – 10 oz Margarita – 550 Calories (4 oz. tequila, 4 oz. margarita/sour mix, 2 oz. triple sec, lime juice, 1 tsp. sugar) YIKES!!!

So between the Pretzel, the drink and the beer cheese (yeah that’s stuffs about 150 calories in 4 tablespoons) I was sunk. One hour long pit stop later and I had 147 calories left and hadn’t had dinner yet >.< Let’s just say dinner was really light and I took a 45 minute walk before bed and was still 200+ over.

Lessoned learned but it was a wakeup call. It also shed some light on my past eating habits. There was a time when I’d have went in for both of those pretzels and a couple of drinks without much thought… this explains a lot. It explains about 30 lbs ^_^

We’re Back…

Me 2We are still alive out here but things have been slow going and progress has been minimal but kicking we still are… Rome was not built in a day and we are no different.

 

 

Rome day bricks

The mindsets have been all over the board but we have not given up so here we are, shifting our gears out of first once more.

My challenge for myself this week:

No worthless Bread (ha ha) as in no giant yeast rolls, not town house crackers, no white
bread, no Flour Tortillas, no English muffins, etc.  And water water water… and more water.

pouring water in a glass collection isolated

I have fallen in love with Corn tortillas so it’s those and whole grains this week ^_^

For the most part, I have removed bread from my diet but when I do indulge, it’s usually by eating the worst kind to indulge in… Oh, buttered yeast rolls, how I love thee… Anywho let’s see if we can 86 them for this week.