Monthly Archives: August 2013

COFFEE

ImageThe best part of waking up is….your coffee?? Maybe it isn’t the very best part of waking up, but it very well could make waking up more inspiring or give you the kick in the rear that you need to get your day going.  I personally have become incredibly addicted (I swear I could stop if I wanted…) to having my iced coffee in the morning.  Don’t worry I am not spending oodles of money at Starbucks or any other coffee shop for that matter.  It is a home brew with a little coconut milk heaven.  It is my pre-workout “supplementation” and it is absolutely DELICIOUS!  Please do not get this confused with hot coffee.  They are in two very different categories and who on earth can drink hot coffee when it is 100 plus degrees outside?!?! Bleh!  Regardless of my personal preference for a cold morning cup of joe, I figured it would be nice to give a little spiel on this glorious beverage!

COFFEE
1. Is delicious…oh I already said that…
2. Is a stimulant and has caffeine
3. Comes from a seed
4. Can cause the jitters and peak anxiety
5. Has anti-inflammatory properties
6. Is delicious
7. Is full of antioxidants
8. Has preventative qualities for many diseases
9. Can affect sleep
10. Can be habit forming
11. Improves cognitive performance
12. Is PALEO! At least most people can agree that coffee is paleo, but it’s all in the manner of how you drink it. Drinking it black, unsweetened or with a little coconut milk seems to be acceptable….but limiting yourself to 1-2 cups a day is most ideal.  I know, I know, it is easy to drink a lot more, but moderate consumption is best!

Here’s your brain:brain 3

Here’s your brain on coffee:??????????????????????????????????????????????

Totally not true at all…I just googled colorful CT scan images…you don’t want that colorful brain..it is NOT a good sign…but the point is coffee makes everything a little bit more fun! So what are you drinking this morning? Coffee, tea, water, spark, etc? I am currently enjoying my second cup of iced coffee! DELISH!

MORE ON COFFEE:
Article 1
Article 2
Article 3

Soundtrack of Life

It is always interesting how the music in a movie lines up perfectly with the plot line.  Obviously they plan it that way, but often times I think about what the theme music would be like for my life.  What song is playing, what story is trying to be told and what does it say about my mood, state of mind and where I am in life? These are just a few songs that could be soundtrack music for anyone really (clearly this could be a ridiculously long list, but I don’t have time for that)!

Jack Johnson- Banana Pancakes
Passion Pit – Take a Walk
Chic – Le Freak (Freak Out)
Queen –  Under Pressure 
Righteous Brothers – Lost That Loving Feeling
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ 
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It 
Aretha Franklin – Oh Happy Day
House of Pain – Jump Around
Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World
Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
George Strait – I’m Carrying Your Love With Me
Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight
Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

Have you seen The Holiday, where Jack Black’s character writes theme music for his friend? It would be fun to have someone look at your life and all you have done and write your theme music.  What do you think it would sound like?  Would it be a good representation of who you want to be?? Would it make people smile?  Inspire someone? Sometimes life happens and the soundtrack follows and other times we choose the soundtrack and see how that changes life. What is your soundtrack for today?

Crock Pots

Everyone can appreciate a simple and delicious recipe right? I know I do! I experimented with this recipe about 2 months ago and used my crock pot for the second time ever since I got it (sorry mom). I was so nervous to use it.  Don’t you ever wonder if the crock pot is going to catch your home on fire? Come on, you know you have been that paranoid before.  If you haven’t, then clearly you have never used a crock pot! If this is your first crock pot experience then I would advise you to try this out on a day when you will be at home all day or at least intermittently to check on it (your sanity will thank you, you’re welcome)..ps the whole house catching on fire is mostly an irrational fear…

Also, (completely off topic) I went to the eye doctor on Monday and forgot about the part where they decide to make your pupils the size of M&Ms and slightly blind you (if you have never been to the eye doctor…don’t worry this is totally normal). So the doctor does the check up and everything is the same in my right eye (the only one needing a prescription) then the assistant/tech says, “Alright we are going to dilate your eyes and then put you in the dilation waiting room, unless you would like to check out the optical center.” — why do they even ask you that question?? You cannot see anything close up, how would I be able to pick out glasses?? Obviously I said “no thanks” to the optical center and then proceeded to sit in the dilation waiting room. This is where I made a valiant attempt to successfully text on my phone.  It was amazing and ridiculous…I had to use a lot of context clues to read incoming text messages…it was great ….anyway when I was leaving I told the assistant/tech girl that they should invent eye drops that reverse the dilation so you can actually be productive after you visit the eye doctor.  Evidently they have and it is dangerous and could cause blindness….I decided that the all natural way was indeed a better choice (it usually is).

Okay, back to Crock Pots! Here is the recipe!

Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Beef
Serves 3-4
Ingredients:
1 lbs flank steak
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional—if you want it with a kick)
½ cup lime juice
avocado
fresh cilantro
Spices:
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Rub the spices all over the flank steak. (I don’t ever measure…so add more if you would like). Put the steak in the bottom of the crock pot and cover with the chopped onions, lime juice, and jalapeno pepper. Turn heat on LOW and cook for 7 ½ -8 hours.
Remove meat from crock pot and shred. It should be very easy to shred.
Enjoy it on top of cilantro lime cauliflower rice (my favorite) and top it off with fresh cilantro (Yes more cilantro) and avocado.

Enjoy, be merry and do something awesome today!

You Know You are Paleo When…

paleo imageI don’t know many people…well any personally that are 100% Paleo all the time. That blows my mind and I am not sure how that really works out in everyday life. I truly aspire to be 100% Paleo 90-95% of the time. There are days when you just can’t plan for every scenario! NOT POSSIBLE! I am not a mind reader and neither are you, unless you are like this lady….remember the infomercials for her back in the day?? No?? Just me?

YOU KNOW YOU ARE  PALEO WHEN:
You have a constant aroma of bacon in your home
You get weird looks when you turn down “heathy” non-paleo food options
The produce and meat guys at the grocery store know you very well
You wish your refrigerator had more vegetable (crisp) compartments
Your burgers are ordered bunless and with extra bacon
You avoid wheat like the black plague
You eat one thing that is not paleo and everyone starts asking you if it is your cheat day..…come on! Sometimes a girl just wants a piece of cheese!
Having “a lot of sugar” could be a simple as a banana..not always, but sometimes
People constantly ask you if you are on a diet—it is a lifestyle!
When people ask you if something is healthy to tell them to start reading you the ingredients
People tell you “But bread is in the Bible, so it has to be good for you” —(There are a lot of things in the Bible that would be considered not good for you!)
You have a coconut or avocado addiction…or both!
People ask you to clarify your dietary restrictions before they have you over for dinner (seriously that is very nice and all but I feel like not being rude should take precedence over my dietary choices..)
You always have nuts, larabars, beef jerky and/or stevia with you
A piece of dark chocolate is a splurge
When you think that “nasty” foods are delicious…like brussel sprouts….they have such a bad reputation, but they are awesome!
When you have been told “I just can’t eat this, it is too healthy.”
You talk a lot about inflammation
People try to convince you to eat a cookie by saying “if there were cookies back in the “Paleo” time period, I am sure the cavemen would have eaten it.”
You hunt and gather your own food (that is hardcore right there..and so not me)
You choose your coffee place by their non-dairy milk selection
You have days where all you can think about is ice cream (coconut of course)…or that could just be me??–maybe not just a paleo problem
People ask you “is wine paleo?” “what about beer?” –Whiskey is where it is at and no it is not paleo!
Your kids ask for coconut water and other healthy snacks options over french fries and soda
You talk about how grains are evil
People always want to give you their opinion on why your diet is unhealthy
You can argue coffee being paleo
Your very memorable detox did not require hospitalization
People look at you baffled and say “You ate how much today?”
You’ve considered raising your own chickens and cows or use a grass-fed beef distributer
You have found any way possible to make “paleo” desserts and totally justify eating more than you should because it’s paleo.

I literally searched for a good paleo joke or comic strip for an hour, but no such luck! If you have one, please share!

ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz

puppyI have not been sleeping well lately. One of those seasons where I cannot turn my brain off to save my life…yes I realize that my brain shutting down would in fact end my life…BUT you know what I mean! Thoughts everywhere, mind is running fast like a cheetah…yep that fast! So sleep is what’s on tap for today!

Things that can improve sleep:
Setting aside “worry” time every day—so you can process the day and take care of the business running through your mind
Relaxation techniques
Regular exercise
A relaxing bedtime routine (can make a huge difference)
Proper sleep conditions
Healthy coping skills during the day to deal with stressors (important regardless of how well you sleep)

Things that can make sleep worse:
Napping
Watching TV in bed
Using bright screens right before bed (iphones, ipads, computers, etc)
Staying in bed even if you can’t fall asleep (studies show that getting up and doing something relaxing tends to be more productive)
Caffeine (I know, I love coffee too!)
Alcohol (no one wants to admit this one)
Eating too heavy of meals right before bed
Eating junk
Drama (it’s so obvious but true!)

So far, I have failed at sleeping much better, even though I have tried all these tactics…the only thing saving my sanity right now is the new firm pillow I bought yesterday which added like an hour to my sleep (so I guess that is not total failure because it did help)! I will take what I can get! What strategies do you find effective in aiding quality sleep? Hope you catch good ZZZZZzzzzzz’s tonight!

Remove the Head or Destroy the Grain

zombieYou just think that zombies say “brains” as they chase after people, but what they are really saying is “grains.” So if you want to be like the living dead then go ahead and keep eating grains….(video footage).

Here are a couple of very good articles on why grains turn you into a zombie:
ARTICLE 1 
ARTICLE 2

OKAY okay, they don’t literally turn you into a zombie, although when eating them you may have zombie-like side effects including but not limited to:
Feeling like your head has been bashed in with a baseball bat (headache)
Difficulty moving/walking funny (inflammation, arthritis)
Wanting to rip someone else’s head off (mood swings, depression)
Loss of teeth (yes really…teeth issues)
Spontaneous secretion of bodily fluids (diarrhea, gas)

Sorry if that was a little graphic…just seemed like a good idea to go with the zombie theme and I’m too lazy to go back and change the last two paragraphs.

Why do these symptoms occur (the simplified version):
Chemicals used to process grains
Lectins– Carbohydrate binding proteins.They interfere with nutrient absorption and digestion, which causes inflammation. More on lectins.
Gliadin– a protein in wheat gluten. They are connected to neurological impairments. Check it.
Phytates– also known as photic acid bind with minerals and take them out of the body…in other words prevents nutrients from being absorbed. More here. 

Bottom line. You wouldn’t let a zombie come up to you and bite you without a fight, so why are you going to put something in your body that will make you feel like a zombie?

FAT to UNfat

Really it all boils down to what you put in and what you put out. Now don’t go thinking dirty people….I am talking about the amount of energy required to burn the food you put in your body.

calorie (ˈkӕləri) noun
1. a unit of heat.
2. a unit of energy given by food.

So how do I lose weight? By burning more calories than you consume in a day. A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if for one week you ate 500 calories less a day than what you burned, you would lose approximately one pound in a week (500 x 7 = 3,500). How many calories should you eat in a day? This depends on your gender, age, weight, goals, exercise and metabolism. Overwhelmed yet? Here is a good calorie calculator.

That is great news right?? Just eat 500 calories less a day and BAM! Yes, it is great and calorie counting is important but you are doing yourself a disservice if the scale is the only measure you use to indicate and identify change. Why?? When we exercise and eat right fat turns into muscle, muscle is denser than fat (it weighs more) but takes up less room. See this picture…Imageyeah it’s kind of gross, but visual aids often help support comments such as these.  See what I mean…BIG DIFFERENCE!

Measuring (your body – hips, waist, chest, thighs, arms, calves, etc) is a better way of identifying fat loss, than hopping on a scale. Have you heard of skinny fat before–someone who is really skinny but has no muscle mass and is therefore skinny fat? No??… Guess we will save that conversation for another day.

If you are lifting weights regularly you have probably been here before. You workout hard, you are eating right and the scale won’t budge to save your life!! Throw away your scale! You think I am kidding?? I am not kidding. Go do it! DO IT NOW! Scales are dumb.

How do you know you are losing inches? Your belt notches, how your clothes fit (and no it doesn’t count when your pants are only loose because you have worn them five times in a row without washing them) or even the old fashioned take your measurements and compare them 30 days later.

Best ways to burn fat
Intense exercise…not just cardio
Clean eating—no processed foods, junk, or ingredients you cannot pronounce that were created in a lab!
Drink lots of water
Eat only what is necessary to fuel your body (or a deficit of 500 calories a day)

The reality is if you want to lose fat then eating whatever you want as long as you workout is not ideal. I am not saying you can never ever have a chocolate chip cookie again; I am just saying it shouldn’t happen often or even regularly. Losing fat happens when you burn calories, which means you have to meet a caloric deficit. If you don’t eat enough then your body goes into starvation mode and starts storing everything—it’s about balance—it’s about survival people. Be consistent, don’t yoyo diet; eat what is necessary to fuel your body, no more, no less.

21 Questions

Answer each question with your initial, gut response!

1. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

2. Who is the one person you would like to have lunch with?

3. If you could have one job for a day, what would it be?

4. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

5. What is the one secret you have never told?

6. You can only be one, pirate or ninja?

7. What do you wish you had known five years ago?

8. What is one thing you strive to do better?

9. I was once mistaken for…

10. What if you woke up and realized all the good things you’ve experienced didn’t really happen?

11. Would you want the ability to time travel?

12. If you could do one thing over again, what would it be?

13. What feelings have you experienced today?

14. What is something that you pretend to understand but really don’t?

15. What makes you smile?

16. If you could eliminate one thing you do each day in the bathroom so that you never had to do it again, what would it be?

17. When was the last time you tried something new?

18. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

19. What is the one thing you wish you could say out loud, but don’t?

20. What have you learned this year?

21. If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?

BIG or tiny

This blog post is on macronutrients and micronutrients. Are you excited yet? Seemed like a good leading introductory sentence…no?? Well let’s just get to the good stuff then and we can critique my writing skills later.

Macronutrients constitute the bulk of the diet and supply energy and many essential nutrients.

The List
Carbohydrates (carbs) break down into glucose which supplies energy. We need them in our central nervous system (helps your brain work) and are essential in intestinal/digestive health.
Proteins are broken down into peptides and amino acids. Proteins are required for tissue maintenance, replacement, function, and growth. It may also be used for energy if you are not getting it from carbs. Protein is essential in hormone production and helps preserve lean body mass.
Fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, which is required for tissue growth and hormone production. They also help absorb some vitamins and can be pretty tasty!
Water—I don’t know if it is technically considered a macronutrient but you need a lot of it–a whole lot. Hydrate! I know, I know, that is very scientific.

–Interesting Chart— 

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are required in small amounts, thus the name micronutrient.

I didn’t make a list, there are a lot of them…some are water-soluble (i.e. vitamin c) and others are fat-soluble (i.e. vitamin D). Most of them must be consumed regularly because they do no stay in the body long; however Vitamins A, E, and B12 hang out a bit longer in the body.

Interesting…micronutrients must be consumed regularly…How do you ask?? In your food! Yes you can pop a pill, but most of that just turns into expensive pee because your body does not absorb the vitamins in pill form as well as it does when it’s consumed via food. Most of these essential vitamins and minerals are found in the glorious macronutrients that we spend so much time talking about! So if you are eating a well balanced diet (composed of carbs, fats, proteins and water) then you should be well off in your vitamin and mineral intake. Yes, there are times when it might be important to supplement, especially if you have a deficiency. It is important to get annual blood work done, to make sure everything is up to standard.

So there’s the skinny of macronutrients and micronutrients, but who cares about being skinny! I realize that is a debatable remark….think on it!