It’s that time of year again to get incredibly sexy for Santa. Why are we getting sexy for Santa? Because we can, that’s why. Just because it’s winter and we’re not running around in bikinis doesn’t mean that we can let ourselves go through the holidays. Once you let yourself go, it’s just that much harder to get back into it, especially during the food-stuffed, always overeat, “time to be lazy” holidays. Plus, nobody likes to be uncomfortable at Thanksgiving and Christmas events. When I lay on Grandpa and Grandma’s floor during opening presents, I don’t want to have to worry about my pants ripping open.
DAY 1: Day after Thanksgiving feast
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!
I may or may not have had a spoonful of potatoes and a piece of pie yesterday at a Thanksgiving dinner. Good thing I was walking around the rest of the night after that to help get my blood sugar back down… because I felt miserable. It’s shaken off and forgiven, time to get back to it. Dr. Kantor, a Paleo triathlon doer, came into the gym a few weeks ago and was talking about having “meat n nuts” for breakfast instead of her protein shake. I’m not a big shake person in the morning so this caught my attention, since I already like to have “real food” for breakfast. It sounds so weird, but it’s so easy, packed with metabolic-boosting fat and protein, and I’m full until lunch time. This morning I had bacon and almonds, fat and protein- it’s perfect. How easy is that? My training today consists of a Kinesis barefoot bootcamp class (crazy core and balance training) and a 4 mile run. It’s the perfect way to start this sexy journey. Who’s joining me??
DAY 2: Teach by example
I had family get to town today who are staying at my place through Thanksgiving. I’m determined to stay on track, even though I have the excuse of having visitors in town. I don’t only want to stay on track, I also want to SET AN EXAMPLE of how to be healthy through the holidays. We went out for supper and I had a couple unbreaded wings for an appetizer, a chicken Cesar salad for my meal, and mandarin vodka with water for a drink. The Cesar dressing isn’t quite Paleo, I believe, but it’s also not packed with carbs. My supper consisted of plenty of fats and protein that filled me up and tasted delicious! Remember: the more fat you eat, the more fat you burn. Get out of the “low fat is good” mindset and chow down on some avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oil, dark meats, and any other fat sources that are low-carb and low-sugar.
DAY 3: Prep for the feast
Thanksgiving is tomorrow! We went grocery shopping last night for all of the food to be feasted on tomorrow. We’re having turkey AND ham (can’t miss out by only having one), green beans with bacon, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and the others also chose sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, and rolls (out of my control). Again, I have to remember to lead by example. I made cauliflower rice for our pork yesterday for lunch and proved that rice can be substituted, so I’m determined to prove that mashed potatoes can be replaced, too (good luck to me, as my family is from Nebraska and raised on taters and corn). As for the rest of the carbs that are going to be at the feast, it’s all about SELF CONTROL from there on. I’m challenging all of you to prepare your mind to have self control at your Thanksgiving dinners. It’s the hardest time of the year to control yourself, but it’s time for YOU to stop making excuses and to not take 2 scoops, but just 1 scoop of mac and cheese. Challenge yourself to take half of a roll instead of a whole one, 1/3 piece of fudge or pie instead of a whole, and to not be afraid to set an example for the rest of the party. Also challenge yourself to be truly thankful this season, not because you’re supposed to be, but because you really are thankful for all you have in your life. For my workout today, a Kinesis class is in line. Today is Core Conditioning, which we do without our shoes on again. Working out without shoes on makes your feet and leg muscles work 10x harder since there’s no shoes to give the support that your feet are so used to. Until Kevin started working at the gym with us and ranting about how bad shoes are for your feet, I never realized how incredibly weak my feet are and how much more challenging the workout is without shoes on. Try it out with an at home workout!
DAY 4: Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I hope everyone controlled themselves and had an amazing day. The ham turned out amazing, the cauliflower mashed potatoes were delicious, and everyone had a great time eating my first Thanksgiving feast!
DAY 5: Black Friday
Did everyone survive Black Friday??!! Holy lines! At the gym today, we had 7 classes in the morning that were 25 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between. We had people who did up to 4 classes… Talk about getting your time in. 25 minutes doesn’t seem like very long for a workout, but believe it or not, you can get a full body workout in 25 minutes. It doesn’t take a whole morning at the gym so there’s one excuse down the drain. I even got to do a couple classes, so that was my workout for the day. My dad is in town so we’re having a little birthday get together tonight… Time to fire up the grill!!!
DAY 6: Birthday girl!!
Happy birthday to me!! Last night was great. I got to explain that green beans with butter are better than a piece of bread. I know it’s hard to believe, but fat is good. The more you eat, the more you burn. If you’re having fruit for breakfast, chicken and veggies for lunch, and soup for supper, where’s the fat? You’re getting in protein and carbs, that’s it. You can keep all of that stuff in your diet, but just add in fat sources where you can. Olive oil in your soup, an egg with your fruit, some avocado with your chicken and veggies, a handful of nuts for snacks or in a side salad with your soup. I’ve been trying for a while to beat it into my family’s head that fat is better than bread. If I need to beat it into your head too, just let me know! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
DAY 7: Sunday Funday
Today was spent with the boyfriend and his family, since his mom is leaving back to Nebraska in the morning. We went to Fountain Hills to play in the park and then went to a sports bar to watch the Bears lose 🙂 Sorry, Chicago fans. Sometimes, Sunday Funday’s happen, but that doesn’t mean that you can slip up and eat and drink whatever you want to- because… IT’S SUNDAY! Right?? No. If you’re being good with your nutrition and exercise during the week, but completely throwing out any “health rules” you have to have Sunday Funday, that’s probably why you’re not seeing the results from all the hard work. There are ways to have fun on Sundays without being a slob with sugar packed drinks and carb loaded munchie foods. What to eat: a sandwich without the bun with a side salad. What to drink: flavored vodka and water. All low carb and all have more nutrients than beer and nachos. If you’re out drinking and having a good time, the least you can do is remember that your body is what you’re feeding. It works so hard for you, so don’t punish it on Sundays just so you can have a blast eating and drinking what you want. It’s the only body you’re going to get, so treat it right.
DAY 8: Case of the Mondays
This is the day you have to re-motivate yourself. So what if you had a rough weekend with carbs and pie. Put it behind you and chop chop!! Get your booty up and moving again. My Mondays always consist of our Barefoot Bootcamp Kinesis class, it’s great for cardio and makes me bust my butt to be sure I’m still on track with my exercise and nutrition. One of the things I’ve learned to not do is punish myself if I eat bad over the weekend. If you have a bad day or weekend, don’t think of Monday as “working off all the food I ate over the weekend.” Think of your workout Monday as a way to increase your strength and cardio, just as every other workout. If you think of a workout as “working off” your food, you’re more likely to think that as you’re eating and you’ll have in your head that you can eat crap if you work it off. Keep it in your mind that you eat for energy, you feed your body crappy food, you’re going to have crappy energy. Always remember that working out isn’t “undoing” anything that you ate, it’s to build strength and cardio. Killing yourself on Monday doesn’t undo the blood sugar and insulin spikes that you had through the weekend. Have a great week everyone!
DAY 9: Let’s get the show on the road
Finally got up the rest of my Christmas decor… Inside anyways. Tis the season to make your house full of sparkles and lights, and then post pictures of every single decoration on Facebook, right? 🙂 It was all around a great day. Bacon in the morning, hamburger tomato basil soup for lunch, and steak stir fry for supper. Why, thank you for asking! I would love to share with you what my amazing steak stir fry consisted of. Flank steak was on sale at Fry’s and we all know I’m a sucker for the Fry’s meat sales and manager specials. I sliced that up and cooked it for probably 3 minutes and put it in a bowl on the side. Next comes the red pepper, a couple garlic cloves, some ginger, and some soy sauce. All is to taste of course. I cooked the red pepper for a bit until I added my bite sized asparagus since it cooks quicker. Once the veggies are done to your liking, add the meat and some more soy sauce until it’s all nice and warm and dig in!!! I actually had it as a leftover tonight (tis the season for leftovers, too… No complaints here!) It was the perfect protein packed recovery supper I needed after I did my Smart training strength program tonight. It’s a full body workout that consists of doing each specific lift until complete muscle failure. It burns through every muscle fiber so each muscle fiber type is getting 100% used. In turn you get pure muscle growth from every fiber type rebuilding. It only takes about 20 minutes twice per week and works like a charm! I do Tuesdays and Fridays, be sure there’s 2 days in between, as it takes that entire time for your muscles to completely rebuild. Well, sleep tight everyone!
DAY 10: Wicked Kinesis class Wednesday
I did my usual Core and Cardio class like I do every Wednesday. Kevin teaches it so Lindsay and I have a chance to take someone elses Kinesis class. It was such a good class today. So much core, and so much cardio. Kinesis is a type of training where you use your core and get cardio no matter what exercise you’re doing, even if you’re in a Guns and Buns class. You ALWAYS get core strengthening and a raised heart rate. This class was one of those glorious workouts where you feel your heart working even 15 minutes after it gets over. Talk about cardio conditioning!!! It was awesome. Anyways… breakfast was ham again, still trying to finish off the Thanksgiving ham. I was that chick driving to work gnawing on a huge piece of ham. Don’t judge me. Salad with meat, cucumbers, slivered almonds, and balsamic was for lunch and I went straight to work at the bar after the gym so I had mild wings for a little more fat and protein. It was a pretty plain and simple day! Work, workout, eat, repeat!
DAY 11: My ME day
I call Thursdays my ME day. It’s my day off so I’m going to go hang out in Michael’s and pick up the house and decorate some and pretty much do what I want to! I got most of my Christmas shopping done today and all the presents wrapped (my favorite thing to do in the whole wide world). My mind goes crazy on Thursdays, so it’s hard for me to eat food. During my work days, my mind is hungry a lot more often than my belly is, so when I don’t think about food and eating, I don’t eat. Thursdays are my day where I need to actually REMEMBER to eat instead of thinking about when I can eat next. I’ve heard over and over from numerous people, “I just don’t have time to eat on the weekends”. Set an alarm at noon and 6:00 P.M. to remind yourself to eat. I only had bacon for breakfast and a ham salad today. All of a sudden it’s 8:00 at night and I have no idea where the day has gone but I’m all of a sudden starving. I know many of you have been in the same boat… so let’s fix it. On your days off, when you’re out of rhythm, remember to eat. You don’t want your body to starve and go into starvation mode, which is where you don’t eat enough and your body doesn’t know when it’s going to get food again. Once you feed your body again, it stores that food as fat as a survival tactic… the complete opposite of what we want to happen. More importantly, remember to eat the RIGHT THINGS. Chop up a bunch of greens Friday night or Saturday morning so you know you have food to eat, besides sandwiches and wraps, when you want to quick grab a bite. It’s all about meal planning for the “off” days that keep you on track!! Have a wonderful Friday everyone
DAY 12: Furious Friday
It’s exactly what it sounds like. I was NOT in a good mood today. Weird things keeps going wrong, I broke some Xmas decorations, just one of those off days that no matter how hard you try to be optimistic, you still end up in a pissed off mood. I did my strength workout, which usually helps with my mood, but no budge. I felt l also needed a little extra workout so I decided to go for a run to the bank before work. Not gonna lie, it was painful. I haven’t been running as much as I should be in training for the half marathon since my knees started bugging me (definitely in need of some new shoes). Once I got done, stretched, and showered, I was back to my ol happy self listening to Christmas music and dancing around the house to it. It may have been a painful run cardio wise, but a run is seriously the best medicine for a bad mood. It doesn’t even have to be a run, just go for a walk and clear your head. Think about things that need to be done or that you already have got done if you’re stressed. Get the endorphins going and the heart rate up for a few minutes. Well it’s been a crazy day and finally bed time… Gnight all!!
DAY 12: Time for groceries
Now that the Thanksgiving left overs are finally gone and our fridge is completely empty, today was dedicated to grocery shopping, and yes, I was completely stoked to go. Once again, I looked at the grocery ads to see who had the best sales on meat. Albertsons definitely took the cake with chicken, pork chops, pork loins, sirloin steaks, and ribs all buy one get two free. Needless to say, our freezer is full. I didn’t do my meal planning this time, but I did buy a whole ton of different meats and even more kinds of veggies. We have plenty of spices and flavorings for the grill and stir frys, so I definitely think we’ll be set until we both take off for home on the 20th. Needless to say, I spent $112 and I SAVED $123. Thank you, thank you very much. Now I need to look up some amazing recipes! It’s not the usual way I like to meal plan, I like going off of recipes based on the sale meats, but I just went crazy on sale meats this time. Oopsies. As long as you’re planning meals and prepping for the week, you’re golden as far as saving time and money on unneeded trips to the grocery store. Also when you’re meal prepping, always think about breakfast the next morning. What can you make extra tonight so you have an easy breakfast in the morning?
I’m even sore after my workout and run yesterday!! You better believe I’m getting a pedicure that comes with a calf and shin massage today. Hey this is the only money I spend on myself during the holidays! But I’m going to enjoy the rest of my pedicure and go home to make some supper for us tonight. I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend. GO PACK!
DAY 13: Happy Sunday!!!
DAY14: Manic Monday
And manic it was. As always, Kevin’s Barefoot Bootcamp Kinesis class was a success and I’m probably going to feel it tomorrow. I was in a hurry this morning, so I had bacon. I have an amazing bacon cooker that you just lay your bacon on and throw in the microwave for however long until it’s, of course, crispy. It’s super easy to do while you’re getting ready, throw it in the microwave, change your clothes, grab it when it’s done, and run out the door! It’s the perfect on-the-go breakfast, and is made with fat and protein! Perfect for me. I know some of you are probably like “bacon??? I can eat bacon for breakfast????” Yes. Regular bacon for breakfast is better than a slice of toast or breakfast potatoes or hash browns. “Low carbohydrate adaptation accelerates the body’s use of saturated fats for fuel, allowing a high intake of total fats (including saturates) without risk” -The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. Let me correct myself. Regular bacon is okay for breakfast IF you’re on a low carbohydrate diet. It’s the mixture of high-fat and high-carb lifestyles that give us the health problems. If you cut the grains, sugars, insulin spikes, blood sugar spikes… and replace it with energizing fats, you’ll be able to keep your health and weight under control.
“The United States is currently re-assessing a 3-decade, uncontrolled experiment in which carbohydrates were lauded and fats demonized. Concurrently we have become one of the most obese countries in the world.” -The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
DAY 15: Time for stew!
I had a meeting at work around 10AM today, so I finally had a little bit of time in the morning to get some stuff around the house done. Since I made my epic trip to the grocery store and got numerous types of meat, I have yet to use the crockpot to prepare any of it. I had about 10 minutes before I had to leave, so I browned some hamburger, onions, and garlic. I threw all of that mix in the crockpot along with 2 cans of green beans, can of diced tomatoes, red pepper, peas, green pepper, salt, pepper, other spices (to taste), and a tiny bit of water just to be able to lightly cover everything. I actually put in a can of corn, too, which I wouldn’t do if I didn’t live with the boyfriend, since it’s considered a starch. I just put it on warm, since everything was cooked, and left it for the day. We both thought it was really good! The best way to make a stew is to just throw in a bunch of meat and veggies in a crockpot and let it sit all day. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Sometimes it might turn out bad, and that’s ok! You never know what you might find to be an amazing pair 🙂
DAY 16: Not-wasted Wednesday
Yesterday’s meeting was a HUGE kick in the butt to get my business going. As an ambassador for the world’s leading health and wellness organization, I didn’t see the full potential of the business until that meeting. I’ve been getting a hold of so many people so I can spread health to as many people as I can, so it’s been a very crazy busy couple of days. After talking to so many people, it really hits hard when I realize that I truly love what I do- help people. Last month, everyone was all of a sudden so thankful for everything and then it all just goes away after Thanksgiving is over. I’m going to challenge everyone in the next few days to learn to be truly thankful in life and to also help someone. I don’t care if you’re just helping an elder cross the street or helping someone carry their groceries. Help someone in need, give someone a hug, or reach out to a stranger. Helping people doesn’t have to be a complex thing. Telling someone that you care about them and you hope they have a good day is helping them. Smiling at someone can turn their day around. I’m challenging you to help someone. Ready, go.
DAY 17: Thirsty Thursday
It was, for real. I didn’t hardly drink any water. It goes back to the time I said that I have to remember to eat on days that I don’t work, now I have to remember to drink water. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. I just hope it doesn’t get to the point where I need to put sticky notes all over the house that say “CHUG”. It’s definitely something I’ll be working on. For supper, I threw a ton of chicken (or 2lbs) in the crockpot with a whole onion, roughly chopped, and dumped a bunch of buffalo sauce on it. It cooked on high for 4 hours and the boyfriend and I scarfed that down like it was our business. He made a salad and I just ate it plain later when I got home. It just goes to show how easy it is to eat healthy. What’s your excuse again??
DAY 18: Holy “where’s the weekend” Friday
Is anybody else feeling that way, too?? Anybody?? With how many people I’ve been reaching out to with my business, it’s been such an exhausting week. Running on 4 hours of sleep, I’ll be working straight until 2:30A.M. And this is another reason why I took an amazing opportunity when it slapped me in the face!! No more late nights at the second job. I did the SMART Training system again for my strength training (Tuesdays and Fridays). I warmed up with Lindsay doing some Tabata. Tabata is a type of workout that was invented to prove that 4 minutes of hard full body exercises per day can show the same increase in muscular and cardio strength. It’s 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. The first couple sets are like “ok just let me keep exercising please” and the rests seem to get shorter and shorter as the workout goes on… it definitely get’s exhausting. We have a Tabata class that lasts 45 minutes instead of 4, it’s definitely a killer. BUT, the 4 minute Tabata also proves that you do have enough time to workout. Weird how that works, huh? Every excuse just keeps getting thrown out the window 🙂 A good example of a good Tabata class would be this- jump squats, bicycle crunches, burpees, push ups, 1 set of each for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds in between each exercise, and repeat that twice. There’s an amazing 4 minute workout for you!! Also, an amazing MORNING workout 😉 TGIF have an amazing weekend everyone!!!
DAY 19: Ugly Sweater time
We had an ugly sweater party tonight, who doesn’t like ugly sweater parties? I brought my infamous buffalo chicken dip. It’s cream cheese, shredded cheese, ranch, buffalo sauce, and shredded chicken all mixed together and eaten with celery, carrots, and wheat thins for the ones who can eat them! It’s low-carb, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser. There’s always ways to stay on track, even at parties like this one. It’s all about making the right choices and bringing something that you can munch on without spoiling your entire weekend. Something I did to help this time was to eat before I went. I just warmed up some left over crockpot chicken as a “before-party” snack, that way I wasn’t b-line for the bad munchies that were there. It’s the same way with alcohol, bring your own alcohol and mixers so you’re not in a bind to drink soda and sugar-full mixers. Always plan ahead and you’re sure to stay on track through the holiday parties!
DAY 20: GO PACK!!
How about them Packers, huh???! What a win!!! We were at the bar so we could watch the Pack game and the Cardinals game at the same time. I had a chicken sandwich with no bun… and people say you can’t eat healthy at a bar. How many sandwiches do bars have??? How many hamburgers and sandwiches would be delicious without a bun? Do yourself a favor and be that person who orders a hamburger without a bun. Set an example for the people around you and save yourself from the blood sugar spike. There are ways around bar junk foods, you just have to find them and stick to your guns. Once you order, there’s no turning back so order the salad instead of fries or the sandwich with no bun and let the server leave before you think you can change your mind. Also, order first so you can’t change your mind once your friend orders something full of carbs. Who knows, maybe they’ll change their order to something healthy once they see you do it! Just because you’re at a bar doesn’t mean that you can go crazy and ruin your entire week. If you’re good during the week but just aren’t seeing results, look at your weekend. Those 2 days of being naughty could be the culprit of that belly bulge you’ve been working so hard at shrinking. Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize, even through Sunday Funday!!
DAY 21: Back to work
Ah. Monday again. I ran out of bacon, so I had left over stew for breakfast and lunch was some hamburger and broccoli slaw stir fry. It’s so delicious… browned hamburger, a bag of broccoli slaw, s&p, and soy sauce. Soy sauce is a weakness… it’s so salty and amazing and this is one of those dishes you wish would never end. ANYWAYS, so lunch was good. I have a ton of veggies and meat for the rest of the week so we should be good on groceries until we both leave for Christmas vacation. It’s mostly a mix and match type thing. Chicken and green beans, sure. Ribs and asparagus, why not? As long as you have some meat and veggies, you have yourself a meal. I took Kevin’s Barefoot Bootcamp today and we did a ton of cardio and hip work. We worked on our running form as well as our knee and hip placement during specific exercises. He focus’ a lot on your knees following the outside of your feet, not the inside. Whenever you do squats or lunges, your knees should always be pulled outward so your weight is on the outside of your foot, not the inside. Using the correct form like that alone makes your booty burn. It’s something you should focus on not only when you’re exercising, but also when you’re just walking in your daily life- knees pulled out, weight on the outside of your feet, heel to toe, standing tall, and leading with your knees. Focus on your walking for a couple days and you’ll see what I mean when I say it’s a booty burner. Bad walking habits are hard to break, but once you notice them, that’s half the battle. Have a marvelous week everyone!!!
DAY 22: 22 Tuesday
Alright, so I couldn’t think of a cleaver name for today, sue me. There’s a dozen eggs in the fridge that are begging to be used, but for some reason, I decided to have my hamburger and broccoli slaw for breakfast. I get so burnt out on eggs so quickly and really haven’t felt creative lately to make egg muffins or any casseroles, so there they sit. I’m still trying to stick to my “meat and nuts” for breakfast, this time the meat just had broccoli slaw in it 🙂 Maybe tomorrow I’ll eat eggs…hm… Lunch was just asparagus. I cooked it for the bf last night and cut some up for his mac and cheese (and wienies), at least he got a little bit of nutrition in there. Back when I had cable, I stayed up and watched the random Food Network shows and one included a whole show on asparagus. I actually learned stuff and use that stuff to this day! Asparagus has a natural breaking point. If you take the whole asparagus stalk, just bending it will make it break in it’s natural spot so you only get the goods at the top of the stalk. After that, I took a couple paper towels, drenched them with water, and squeezed out just enough water for it to not be dripping when I unfold them. THEN… I laid out the paper towels on a plate, put all the asparagus on them, seasoned (whatever you want, s&p works just fine), rolled up, and put in the microwave. It was a big bunch so I rolled the paper towels from both directions to heat more evenly and cooked for 5 minutes and they were perfect. A smaller bunch would take around 3. That’s it!! Perfect asparagus. Asparagus is a great source of fiber, vitamins A, C, E, and K, antioxidants, the amino acid asparagine, and may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Well now that I spent this entire day’s blog talking about asparagus, go get some and chow down.