Life Update: It’s So Worth It

Hey all!

It’s been awhile so that means it’s time for a life update.

As you know, towards the end of June I set out to really heal my body and metabolism by eating more food without restriction.  If you haven’t read that post yet, you can find it here.  Well, it’s been just a little over 2 months and I’m happy to report things are going great!  My body has adjusted to eating more food (aka  a more normal amount for my body and activity level).  I find myself feeling hungry more often which is awesome because for a long time I very rarely felt truly hungry for food and I felt like it took forever for my body to digest a meal.  I am also very happy to report that my digestive issues (severe stomach pain, bloat, etc) that I dealt with for a very long time seemed to have gone away almost completely.  I used to have to be very careful with what I ate and how often I ate, etc. or I would be in severe pain.  Not these days though!  Even when I decide to have a treat (like a bowl of coconut ice cream) I feel fine the next day.  This just blows my mind.  I felt like I was never going to get over my issues but eating the right amount of food has helped so much.  I also believe not stressing about food anymore has helped a ton.  I know that by eating more food it gave my body the extra energy it needed to heal itself.  And that doesn’t just include my digestive system.

Another goal of increasing my food intake was to get my hormones in check and getting my period on a regular schedule again.  I’ve mentioned before but just to refresh, I got my period for the first time in 4 years last July (2013).  It hasn’t been regular since then.  It would come every 2-4 months.  Since eating more I’ve had it twice with only 1 month in between which is my normal.  I’m hoping this continues!

I know this may seem strange to some to speak openly about such personal things but if it helps just one person that it is worth it to me to share.  If you have a history of calorie restriction, over-exercising, stressful food rules, etc.  I hope you will consider taking the step towards healing your body and increasing your food intake.  It is absolutely worth it.

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One more thing I’ve done is to not stress about exercise so much.  I love working out but I knew that I needed to give my body time to rest and heal itself.  I needed the extra calories my body was getting to be used to heal my insides not get burned away during exercise.  I didn’t stop working out completely but I decreased it a lot.  I did GPP workouts a couple of times a week but I didn’t do any cardio.  If there was running or a lot of jump roping in the workouts I skipped those parts and stuck with the weight training parts.  I went on walks a couple of times a week and did a bit of yoga as well.  I also took naps during the day if I felt like I needed too.  (which is recommended here).  I felt very tired the first couple of weeks but that has passed and Inow have a steady amount of energy through out the day.  Probably next week I will start doing a little bit more workout wise but only if I feel like it.  And I will workout however I feel like that day.  Whether I feel like lifting, running, yoga, dancing, etc  that is what I will do.  I know if I respect how I’m feeling and I will feel much better after my workouts.

Now there were some bad days-some hard days throughout the past couple of months.  It definitely wasn’t smooth sailing.  Especially in the first few weeks.  I experienced a lot of pain, bloating, edema (water retention) all over my body, and weight gain (carried mainly in my stomach).  It was not fun.  I felt huge.  I felt unattractive and uncomfortable.  A lot of my pants weren’t buttoning anymore.  I felt like it was never going to stop but it did stop.    My body adjusted to my new normal food intake, the bloating went away, the little bit of weight I gained (about 8-10 pounds overall)-that I needed to gain-has now evenly spread out over my body, not just in my stomach anymore.   And my body seems to have reached it’s optimal weight set point because I’m no longer gaining but maintaining.  And I bought some new pants that fit my new body.  These days my head is in a much better place.  I am grateful for my body and I love my new body because it is a healthy and beautiful one.  Every body is beautiful.  To be honest, I’m surprised at how quickly things seems to have  gotten better.  I thought it would take so much longer to reach this place.  And for some it will.  Every body is different.  I am grateful to be feeling so much better and happier these days.  I’m also so grateful to my husband for encouraging me everyday to stick with it and loving the heck out of me grumpiness and all.

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Well that’s all for now.  Next post will be about some fun things I’ve been able to do since I’ve let go of my food rules!

Post any thoughts or questions you might have in the comments below! 

Eat the Food to Heal Metabolic Damage

Warning:  This is a longer post  but it’s an important one.  It was important for me to write it down anyway.  I hope you get something out of it.

When I first got into health and fitness (about 5-6 years ago)  my goal was to tone up a bit.  Maybe drop just a few pounds.

Well, that’s what I did.  And then I did some more. I’ve always been on the smaller side so I really had no business losing as much weight as I did.  I also became really strict about “eating clean”, restricting my calories, doing cardio 5-6 days a week plus strength training several days a week, plus eating 5-6 times a day, and making sure I was eating a carb, a protein, and a fat but not too many carbs or fat.  blah blah blah.  My story is not unique in this sense.  I know of many people through blog reading that have gotten caught up in this trap.

For awhile I was ok with being in this trap.  I was fine because I was toned and I had a flat stomach with visible abs.  But guess what I didn’t have.  A period.  Spontaneity.  A dinner out with my husband that didn’t include me being a stressed out grump because I didn’t know what exactly was in my food.  A life.  I hardly ever wanted to go anywhere or be away from the house too long because I didn’t want to mess up my eating schedule.  How responsible of me.

I looked good on the outside but the inside (which is what really matters) was struggling.  My body was shutting down just after a few months of this craziness when my usually very regular period stopped.  It shut down even more when I began having lots of digestive issues about 3 years into it.  I suffered from a lot of pain, bloating, and constipation (sorry tmi, I know).  I tried to fix things.  I cut out grains for awhile and then just gluten for an even longer time.  I cut out peanut butter for a time (some of the saddest days;), I cut out beans.  I tried a lot of things.  Eventually I became a vegan.  That helped a lot!  At least for a time.  Eventually I reintroduced eggs and fish back into my diet.   And although in the long run being a vegan hasn’t fixed my issues I have no intention of going back to eating meat.   But anyway, the point is I became even more restrictive than I already was which only put more stress on my body.  I had no idea what was happening to me.   Why was this happening to me?  The truth I soon found out was I did this to myself.

The first part of my healing started around the beginning of last year.  I still didn’t have a period (that’s 4 years, no period.  Kind of awesome, but in the long run, not awesome)  I knew I needed to get it back if I wanted my body to start acting normal again.  I had learned about how not having a period can really affect your hormones which can affect pretty much every part of your body including digestion.  So I started trying to eat a little more (although still not consistently enough), stress less, eased up on cardio, etc.  In March I stopped calorie counting which reduced my stress because calories weren’t consuming my thoughts anymore.   Eventually in July after about 6-7 months of focusing on this I got my period!!  There is still more work to do though.  I have had it a few more times since then but it’s not yet regular or consistent.  Fast forward to the beginning of this year.  My priorities shifted even more to really healing my digestion.  I went to a holistic doctor who put me on an elimination diet (no gluten, soy, peanuts, citrus, vinegar, yeast, nightshades, etc.) for a few weeks.  I’ve recently been able to reintroduce all the foods and guess what, as far as I can tell no food intolerances!  Not even gluten.  Actually I feel really well eating gluten:) (yay for that because sometimes you just need some fresh baked bread with avocado!!)  I’ve also had to take a high dose of probiotics and some digestive enzymes.  I’m very happy I don’t have any food intolerances but if I don’t have any intolerances, what’s wrong with me?

As I’ve learned recently, calorie restriction can cause a number of digestive problems among other things.  See this post for more info.  Or listen to this awesome and super helpful and insightful podcast.   Basically, my body wasn’t getting the energy it needed to perform all of its functions.  So it conserved energy by shutting down my reproductive system and slowing down the digestion of food also know as Gastroparesis.

“Gastroparesis is a survival mechanism whereby the stomach doubles its emptying time to the small intestine, meaning the food is churned in the stomach for longer to try to allow for the small intestine to maximize the too-little energy coming in to the body.”  This is totally me.  Whenever I did try eating more I was always so full and even when I ate a small amount I felt like my body took forever to digest it.  This made it hard to eat enough because my body was still digesting what it ate 5 hours ago!  Not fun!

Also, when you’re not eating enough, the good bacteria in your gut dies which only makes things worse.  Thus the reason I have to take probiotics to repopulate my intestines with helpful bacteria.  This leads us to the good news.  If you eat a low calorie diet or have eaten a low calorie diet for even just a few months (it doesn’t even have to be extremely low.  for the past 5 years I ate anywhere from 1100-1800 calories, more recently I would say around 1500-1600 which is NOT ENOUGH!!) and are suffering from any of these symptoms, you can fix it!  Please take my advice and change things!  After reading this post and this post I have decided to increase my calories in a major way so I can retrain my body to thrive on more calories which actually is more like the right amount of calories.  After calculating my calorie needs with an online calculator I should be eating closer to at least 2200 cal a day.  Although I’m not into calorie counting anymore I will be for the next little bit just to make sure I’m getting enough.

It’s day 5 of me eating more and I’m feeling better already.  For real.  My goal for this week is to eat 1900-2100 cal and add about 100 cal every week until I’m eating 2500-3000 calories a day. (Which is the amount recommend to fully restore metabolism which will include restoring my period and digestive function)  Doing it slowly will reduce any fullness, bloating, discomfort as well as reduce the amount of fat I gain.  The first 2 1/2 days I was very uncomfortable (bloated and full) but I ate anyway.  Our bodies are smart and things have normalized.  I’m actually feeling hungrier during the day and I have lots of energy.  That’s a good sign.  This means it’s working.  It can be scary to eat a lot more-no one wants to gain a bunch of weight/fat but even if I do, it’s ok because I know my body/metabolism will eventually normalize and any weight/fat I gain will drop off and things will be normal again.  Until then  I’m going to enjoy a few (or several) extra servings of guacamole and nut butter.

I know this is long but I hope it helps somebody.  Our bodies are a gift.  Our bodies are all we really own.  Lets treat them right.  We need so much more food than the media tells us.  Don’t listen to them.  Listen to your body.  Listen to your mind.  Don’t let food and exercise and having the perfect eating schedule run your life.  Run your own life.

Food is good.  Lots of food is even better.  Food is not the enemy.  Food is just food.  Rules and restriction are the enemy.

It takes time to heal but it is worth it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, post them below!

 

 

Would You Rather…

Wow!

It has been way too long since I’ve posted.  I have no excuse really.  I have a good amount of free time usually, Mr. K didn’t eat my computer, and my fingers are still attached to my body.  I guess I will just blame it on getting into Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (I’m a little late to the party, I know).  Yeah, it’s Grey’s fault; because they killed Denny.  How am I supposed to do anything else after watching that?

Alright, let’s stop blaming tv shows and just ease back into things with a fun survey that I saw on Clare’s blog:) Thanks for the fun idea, Clare!

Would You Rather….

  • Speak another language or get higher degree?
  • Definitely speak another language.  That’s practically like getting a degree in itself:)
  • Have a beautiful singing voice or be a fantastic dancer?
  • Dancer, definitely.  Taking a dance class is on my list of things I want to do!
  • Be a CEO of a huge company or run your own small business?
  • This is a tough one.  I’m going to go with small business because I like smaller local businesses, but there are definitely pros to running a big business.  You can reach more people.
  • Fly like a bird or teleport?
  • Teleport of course!
  • Eat only sweet food or only salty food for the rest of your life?
  • Hmmm I’m more of a salty food person (hello, pretzels, peanut butter, tahini, and hummus) but I’d go with sweet because I can eat fruit and not get sick of it:)
  • Do yoga or lift weights?
  • Love both!  But I’ll go with weights.
  • Be a SUPER fast runner be SUPER strong?
  • Be super strong!
  • Have 8 kids or no kids?
  • Undecided:)  I come from a family of 8 kids though and love it!
  • Have a small, older home with character or design a big brand new home?
  • Hmm I’ll go with older home-I’m terrible at design!
  • Watch the Today Show or Good Morning America?
  • I’ve always watched the today show but ever since that whole thing with Ann Curry I’m not as big a fan.  Willie Geist and Hoda are cool though.
  • Watch only sports or watch only BRAVO?
  • Can I say neither?  Both drive me a little nuts:)
  • Cook a romantic dinner at home or go to the nicest restaurant in town?
  • Romantic dinner at home, definitely.  Especially if Dom makes it.
  • Drink beer or wine?
  • I don’t drink, so I’ll go with Kombucha!
  • Eat cookies or eat cake?
  • Cookies crushed into almond milk:)
  • Have only brothers or have only sisters?
  • I can’t answer this.  I have both and love both.  I could never choose one or the other!
  • Go to Africa or Asia?
  • Africa, definitely!
  • Eat sweet potato fries or regular fries?
  • Both are great but I’m going to go with regular white potato wedges! (with a homemade tomato dip)
  • Own an SUV or a sports car?
  • I guess I’d go with SUV, just because you can fit more people/things in it for trips.
  • Have a personal chef or a personal trainer?
  • Personaly chef because I bet I would learn a lot from them!
  • Sleep for 9 hours every night but no coffee, or sleep for 6 hours a night and have coffee?
  • I’ll go for the 9 hours.  No coffee for this girl!
  • Read a book or watch a movie?
  • If I’m alone, read a book.  Otherwise, I love cuddling up with Dom to watch a movie.
  • Live on the east coast or west coast?
  • I love love love Seattle and I’d probably love a lot of things about California (hello fresh produce)!  But I’ve never been to the East Coast I might love it too:)
  • Have your toenails painted or your fingernails painted?
  • Toenails.  I can go a long time with bare fingernails.  But I prefer to have something pretty to look when it comes to my feet:)
  • Go to the beach or the mountains?
  • Love both but I’ll go for lounging at the beach.

Your turn!  Answer any or all of these questions of these questions in the comments or post them on your blog if you have one!

Be back soon!  I promise!

Friday’s Five Favorites

Hello and happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic week.

I know I have.  It’s been a busy one, but it’s been filled with goodness.  Here are my five favorite things from this week!

1.  This smoothie recipe.  Let’s call it the Glamorous Green Smoothie.  Because it’s green and makes you feel fantastic!  I’ve enjoyed this smoothie a couple times for my quart of smoothie a day challenge (which i’m really enjoying)!  It so satisfyingly creamy.

Serves 1

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 of a cucumber or 1-2 stalks or celery
  • 1/2 avocado
  • small knob of ginger, grated
  • 3/4 scoop of chocolate or vanilla vegan protein powder (great with either flavor)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Optional: 1 tsp of maca powder
  • Optional:  if you don’t want to use a protein powder I would suggest adding 1 date some more sweetness.

Blend everything together and enjoy!

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2. Ingrid Michaelson’s new album that came out this week.  I think she is super cool and her new album does not disappoint!

IMG_20140415_1219423.  This website I came across, ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com.  I have been looking for a good podcast to listen to that focuses on a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle and I finally found it in this website!  It has some great stuff on it and I’ve listened to some interesting interviews this week while at work including this one with Tom Campbell, MD .  If your interested in eating more whole plant based foods, check it out!

4.  Celebrating Dom and I’s 5 year anniversary.  That’s our total time together.  Next month will be our 4 year wedding anniversary!  Anyway, last night we hiked up to the spot where we had one of our first dates.  It was nice to spend that time together.  I’m a pretty lucky girl to have spent the last 5 years of my life with him <3.

5.  As far as workouts go this was my favorite for the week.  Probably because it involved doing Power cleans, which I haven’t done for awhile!  It felt good.  Well bad, then good once I was done;)

Here we are back in the old days where Dom tried to drop me in nasty water.

Here we are back in the old days where Dom tried to drop me in nasty water.

Here is the breakdown of Brave Fitness Workout #4

 Core Craze Workout

Do 3 rounds for time:

This took me just over 22 minutes.  Let’s see if you can beat my time!

I guess that about covers my week.  I hope you all have a very happy Easter weekend spent with loved ones!

What was your favorite thing from this week?

Are you a fan of Ingrid Michaelson?

 

 

Liebster Award

This is going to be a fun post today because I was nominated for a Liebster Award!  Sweet Amanda from Amanda Browning Nutrition nominated me:)

I “met” Amanda on Instagram.  Amanda and I both share a love of food, health, and fitness; especially in the form of kale salads and big nutrition packed smoothies!  She is always so kind and supportive of my posts and I just love her positivity!!  She has plans of becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist one day and from what I can tell, she really knows her stuff.  Not only that, she lives it!  She will do great things I’m sure of it.

Thank you, Amanda, for the nomination!

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2.  Answer the questions you were given.

3.  Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.

4.  Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.

5.  Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated them and appreciate their hard work.

Here are the questions Amanda asked me:

1.  What “comfort food” reminds you of your childhood?

I’m going to have to go with tacos for that one.  In my house we would have homemade tacos every first sunday of the month.  I try to keep the tradition up because I love it.  The tacos I make look a little different now that I don’t eat meat but beans and veggies are a great sub for that!  Tacos were probably the first thing I really learned how to cook besides toast and ramen;)  My toppings of choice:  tomatoes, lettuce, corn, and hot sauce.  These days I add avocado as well.

2.  What helps keep you grounded in today’s busy world?

Counting my blessings and my husband Dom.  He has the ability to stay very calm, even when I am not.  He brings me back down to earth when I’m going out of my mind for one reason or another.

3.  What is your favorite kitchen appliance and what do you make with/in it?

These days it’s gotta be my Ninja blender.  I use it daily.  I use it to make almond/coconut milk, peanut butter, almond butter, blended soups, sauces, and of course smoothies!  So thankful I have that blender, it saves me lots of money on store bought nut milks/butters!

4.  Is healthy eating important to you?

Yes, absolutely.  For one, I feel a lot better physically when I’m making healthy eating choices.  I want my food to provide me with health, energy, mental clarity, stamina for tough workouts,  and happiness of course.  Healthy eating does that for me.  Also, for me, eating healthy also means buying organic when possible and avoiding GMOs.  This is also important to me because I prefer to support companies/farmers that are doing good in the world and not companies who just want to make a buck by creating inferior products and calling it food.

Now I nominate:

Maria at Maria Trains.  I met Maria at the GPP Intensive Training last July and have kept up with her through Instagram.  She is awesome and very inspiring.  She is a health expert and personal trainer.  Her recent journey of intuitive eating has really inspired me to keep listening to my own body, treat myself with love, and to always keep a positive body image!

Here are my questions for you:

1.  What is your favorite music to listen to during a workout?

2.  What is your favorite vegetable? Least favorite?

3.  What or who inspires you to live a healthy life?

4.  What is your dream job?  Or do you already have your dream job?

5. What is your favorite place you’ve visited and why?

_______

I’ll be back later this week with a new recipe!

Have a great day!

If you’d like, you can answer the questions in the comments below!

 

Brave Fitness Workout #3

Happy friday everyone!

Any plans for the weekend.  It should be an interesting weekend around here.  As I mentioned in this post, my husband, my sister, and I will be shaving our heads to help raise money for the St. Baldricks Foundation.  The big day is tomorrow.  I’m a little nervous and excited at the same time.  A couple day’s ago this happened:

1795709_10152681400519408_1679549324_nI let Dom cut my hair off so we could send it to Locks of Love.  He cut off about 11 inches so right now my hair  is very short and choppy and very Michelle Williams, but not quite as smooth looking.

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Anyway, I’m grateful to be a part of such a good cause and I’m lucky to be so blessed with so much support.  People have been so giving in helping us raise money for children’s cancer research, it’s incredible!

Now, let’s talk about fitness!  Today’s workout is another bodyweight workout.  This is a great full body workout to get in your cardio and strength training at the same time.   It involves plyometrics (aka jump training).  It’s important to incorporate plyometrics when you are doing bodyweight workouts because it helps put more stress/tension on the muscle which creates change.  For me, because I have been training for some time, doing bodyweight air squats instead of weighted squats won’t do as much for me in terms of challenging my muscles but doing jump squats versus air squats, now that’s a different story!  These fast, expolosive jumping movements help improve strength, power, and speed!  Win, win, win.  Plus, plyometric workouts don’t take as long to do as a lifting session would and you still get amazing benefits!  (And some major soreness;)

So here is today’s workout!  I hope you will try it and let me know if you do.

Leg Burn Burpee Time Challenge

Complete this workout as fast as you can.  Remember to use proper form though!

  • 20 jump squats
  • 4 burpees
  • 19 jump squats
  • 4 burpees
  • 18 jump squats
  • 4 burpees
  • 17 jump squats
  • 4 burpees

continue subtracting one jump squat at a time until you complete the last round of 1 jump squat and 4 burpees.

This took me about 21 minutes!  See if you can beat my time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

What I Learned in Seattle

This past weekend Dom and I flew to Seattle to visit some family, to meet my newest nephew  and to just get away for awhile.

On the plane!  This was our first plane ride together:)

On the plane! This was our first plane ride together:)

Honestly, our little getaway couldn’t have come at a better time!  For one, Dom really needed a vacation.  He has been working A LOT lately!  I’m so proud of him and grateful for how hard he works, he deserved a break:)  Another reason why it came at the perfect time was for my sake.  Last week was not a good week for me.  Since quitting my job at the end of January I’ve had a lot of time to myself and a lot of alone time with my thoughts!  I was feeling worried and stressed about a few things and I also was falling into the comparison trap.  I was having a lot of negative thoughts toward myself and all of this caused me to not sleep well at all!  The stress plus the lack of sleep was taking a toll on me health wise.  My digestion was terrible and my skin was breaking out which only made me feel worse.

And then I went on vacation.  And all of the sudden I felt so much better.  I was able to eat and not feel sick, my skin started clearing up, and I slept great.  Because I love being in Seattle and near the water, I’d like to say that it was that that did it, meaning we would HAVE   to move there!  Of course being around family was a big help but I think a lot of the reason I was feeling so good about myself was that I rarely checked instagram and I didn’t do any blog reading.   My face wasn’t stuck to a screen, I wasn’t comparing myself to anyone, and I wasn’t comparing my dinner to anyone.

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I’m not saying my reading blogs is bad thing or that the blogs or instagram accounts I read and follow are something negative that I should stay away from.  That couldn’t be further from the truth!  I’ve met and interacted with some  wonderful people who I admire through these things. All the blogs I linked to are full of positivity and love!  They have helped me learn a lot about myself through reading them.  I’ve challenged myself, I’ve learned how to heal my digestion,  I’ve tried a number of amazing recipes and workouts and learned that I need to be eating more to fuel my active lifestyle.  I’ve learned to be more accepting of myself (most of the time, obviously this is always a work in progress!). These are all great things!

My point is it is easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves or our lives to others on social media when we are bombarded with photo after photo of everyone looking so fit, strong, happy, and healthy!  But I have to remind myself that what I see on blogs and instagram is not the whole picture.  I have to remind myself that I don’t put everything on my blog or instagram and it’s very unlikely that others do.  Those are just places to share the highlights of our life!  And that is ok!  I love all the positive things I see on social media, I wouldn’t want it any other way.   I need to remember to step back sometimes and just be.  It’s ok not to be caught up on all the blogs, it’s ok not to check instagram several times during the day, it’s ok to just be me, and be happy and content with who I am.  I am of worth all on my own.  And so are you!

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We got back on Monday night and I found myself almost falling into the comparison trap again:(   I found myself over thinking some things yesterday so I took a moment to just step back and relax and instead of checking instagram I read a book for awhile and I felt so much better.  My thoughts were quieted.  I am really trying to keep the good feelings I had while on vacation with me and keep the over-analyzing out!

I will continue to read blogs and use instagram but I will definitely be cutting back.   If I start feeling overwhelmed with negative feelings again than I will know it that is time to step back and relax but hopefully I won’t let it get that far in the future.

I hope this is all making sense!  I hope you all know that you are awesome, just as you are!  So remember to be you.   Let your unique personality shine through.  Let your light and love take over any negative self-talk you might have or any comparisons that cross your mind.

Personality-begins-where-comparison-endsHere is one blog post that I loved from Robyn!  Such a good read.  I bookmarked it so I could read it again and again when I am feeling down.

Thanks for stopping by.  I will be back tomorrow with a new workout:)

Love Hannah

 

Job talk and a Smoothie Recipe

Happy Monday to you!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

I guess whether or not you had a good weekend would have to depend on if you are a Broncos or a Seahawks fan;)

I myself don’t get into football or the superbowl for that matter.  This year I was happy for the outcome though because my Mom is from Seattle and she and my Dad are big Seahawks fans!  Plus Seattle is one of my favorite places.

Anyway, it’s a bit of a weird week for me because Friday was my last day working at the coffee shop that I’ve worked at for 7 years!  It was a good job and I worked with even better people, but it is time to move on.  When I say move on, I mean it’s time for me to stay at home all day watching my “soaps” and eating spoonfuls of coconut oil mixed with peanut butter.  Ok maybe that’s what I wish it meant;) What it really means is that I’m now going to really be focusing on building my Personal Training business, Brave Fitness, LLC.  I’m very happy about that but I’m also very nervous.  It’s a big change for me, I’m nervous and excited and a little overwhelmed all at the same time.

Nothing Changes Art[1]

I saw this on instagram last week and thought it really applied to my life at the moment:)

I want to give a shout out to my husband, one of my best friends, Tasha, and my Mom for being so super supportive and encouraging when I have felt overwhelmed at this big change:)  If anyone has any advice on building up a successful personal training business I’m all ears!

Moving on to this Monday morning, as I’ve mentioned recently I’ve been doing more weight lifting again and I’m loving it!  I’m also really loving mixing up my post-workout smoothies, trying to fit as much goodness and nutrition in them as I can!  Here is what I had today after a heavy leg workout:

IMG_20140203_141342

Cherry and Lime Mango Beet Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 frozen cherries
  • 3 baby carrots
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen beets
  • 1/2-1 TB each: fresh parsley and cilantro
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 3/4 water

Place everything into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.  Add ice if needed.

Optional: top with bee pollen and hemp seeds.

I hope you will try this out!  And in case you are worried about the veggie taste, don’t be.  All you will taste is the sweetness from the protein and the fruit:)

Have a great day!

2014

Happy New Year!!

I realize I am a few days late.  I also know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I’m back!! And I really wanted to share what my goals for 2014 are.

I’m not sure if they are really even goals, more just things Dom and I talked about that we want to do more of this year.

1.  Read More

In November my younger sister let me borrow her copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 the-fault-in-our-stars

I read it in November in less than a week.  I read it again to Dom a few weeks later.  I never do that, read a book a second time I mean.  I loved this book so much, the moment I was finished I wanted to read it again!  Dom ended up really liking it as well and it was fun to read a book aloud together.  So we plan on continuing this.  It’s his turn to pick a book for us to read:)  I also want to read more on my own.  I love reading, I’ve always been a reader but I want to make more time for it instead of TV in my down time.   Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I think it’s a good thing to do.  This is also on my list of things to read Eating Alive by Dr. John Matsen, (a gift from Dom for Christmas)! 

2. Volunteer More and Together

When I was a teenager, service and volunteering was a pretty big part of my life.  I helped with a lot of service projects in my church’s youth group as well as at school.  I really didn’t have to think about it too much because the projects were planned out for us.  These days these projects aren’t usually planned out for me but it’s still something I want to take part in.  I came across this site, volunteermatch.org.  It is pretty cool. You can look up your city and find a lot of opportunities to volunteer in your area.  They have lots of areas to volunteer in such as Environment, Health, Animal Care, Children and Youth, etc.  Pretty cool, huh?! So we definitely plan on doing more this year.

One way we are doing this already is WE ARE SHAVING OUR HEADS!!  Yep both of us.  We saw an ad for St. Baldricks (learn more about them here).  Basically, they are a foundation that raises money for childhood cancer research.  People participate by signing up to get their heads shaved and raising money for the cause!  I think this is such an amazing cause.  When I have children of my own I know I would appreciate every cent toward a cure if (heaven forbid) my children had cancer.  I’m pretty nervous about shaving my hair obviously but it will also be fun to have a change.  Plus I know it’s for a good cause and it will be worth it to help out in this way.  Plus just as Regina Spektor sang in this song, ““Maybe you should cut your own hair ‘Cause that can be so funny It doesn’t cost any money And it always grows back..”

Until we meet again, Hair!

Until we meet again, Hair!

 If you’d like to help us reach our fundraising goal you can go here.  We have until March 8ith to reach our goal.  Any amount is truly appreciated.

For my own goals:

3.  Practice Yoga 

I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself.  I have a whole year to accomplish this goal.  I used to do a lot more yoga, at least once a week.  I haven’t done it for a long time!  But it is something I enjoy and I know it is very good for the body.  Hopefully by the end of the year it will be something that I do on a regular basis.

4.  Share More Workouts on the Blog!

Since May I have been following GPP workouts so I haven’t thought much about writing my own workouts. I love GPP and will probably always do it but lately I’ve been feeling like I needed a change. So for the past week I’ve been changing it up.  I’ve been focusing on a little more heavy lifting with fun high intensity circuits thrown.  I’ve been really enjoying planning out my own workouts again and that means more Brave Fitness workouts to share:)  Hopefully I will get a couple up this week:)

Well, now you are sort of caught up on what’s been going on lately.  I hope you all had a very happy Christmas/Holiday and Happy New year!

xo

Hannah

Any good book recommendations? Have you read any of John Green’s books?

Any goals/resolutions for the new year?

Recap of October Goals and Breakfasts!

Welcome to Monday.  Hope it was a great weekend for everyone!

I’m a few days behind seeing as how we are already a few days into November!  Oops!  But I want to make sure I finish recapping my breakfasts from the month as well as recapping the rest of my October Goals.

As for my goals I reached my goal of participating in the October Breakfast Challenge!  I was able to have a different breakfast everyday of the month and I loved it!  It helped me come up with a few new recipes that I otherwise wouldn’t have and also try several new to me recipes from others that were also awesome!

Here are a few more of my favorite breakfasts from the month:

IMG_20131025_074016I saw this recipe on Kylie’s instagram feed.  But it might be on her blog as well.  It is a pumpkin peanut butter overnight breakfast cookie!  It was super yummy and so easy! I topped mine with banana slices.

IMG_20131029_113349

 

This was a high protein buckwheat pancake that I made based on a recipe from peachypalate.com.

Here is what I did:  1/4 cup peanut flour+1/4 buckwheat flour (I just ground up raw buckwheat groats)+1/2 tsp baking powder+1-2 TB of pumpkin puree+1/4 coconut milk+1/4 cup of water+plus some cinnamon.  Mix everything together and cook just like any pancake!

I topped mine with homemade almond butter, banana slices, and my strawberry lime chia jam!

My final breakfast of the month was a very approriate for Halloween because of the orange color!!  Recipe below.

IMG_20131031_114625

 

Banana Sweet Potato Chia Pudding Parfait

Serves 1

Banana Layer:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup raw oatmeal
  • 1/2 liquid of choice (i.e. almond milk, coconut milk, water)
  • 1 TB Chia seeds

Sweet Potato Layer:

  • 2.5 oz cooked sweet potato
  • 1 TB peanut flour (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of liquid of choice
  • 1 TB Chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • cinnamon to taste

Nut butter Layers

  • 2 TB Peanut flour
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 TB nut butter of choice (I used almond butter)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water

1.  Blend together banana, oatmeal, and liquid in a blender, place in bottom of jar and mix in chia seeds.

2. Mix together ingredients for the nut butter layer until it reaches a thick sauce consistency.  Top banana layer with 1/2 of the nut butter mix.

3.  Blend together all ingredients for the sweet potato layer except chia seeds.  Mix in chia after blending and place into jar.

4.  Top with the remainder of the nut butter sauce.

5.  Optional:  not with cacao nibs or mixed nuts/seeds for some added texture and crunch:)

Let me know what you think if you try any of these out!

As for my other goals:

Study my Scriptures everyday:  I did still miss just a few days but I was more focused while reading this time and I feel I got more out of them this month than I have.  Still something to work on:)

Prioritize my time better:  I ended up being very busy this month!  Which is a good thing and I feel like a got a lot done this month that will help me reach my career goals so I’m very happy:)

Well that’s all for October!  Now it’s time to embrace this new month of November!  This is one of my favorite months because it really starts to feel like the holiday season and it also includes my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving of course!!  Although I could definitely do without the freezing cold weather!! Anyway, no real new goals for the month.  Just want to focus on being thankful for all I have during the month and enjoying this time of year!

Have a wonderful day!

Hannah