Thirsty Thursday! Quick Snack Ideas and Cardio to MELT Pounds

Hey fitness freaks!

Today is short and some of it is even sweet :)

I don’t care for the word “snacks” because that generally makes us think of goodies and treats. I do believe we should spread our calories out throughout the day though.

Unfortunately, most don’t know how to accomplish that great task.

Here are a few snack ideas to keep your metabolism revved up ALL DAY LONG!

  • Handful of raw almonds and a banana
  • 1 apple and 1 TBSP of natural PB mixed with 2 TBSP non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 sliced cucumber and 2 TBSP hummus
  • 1/2 all natural pb& low sugar jelly on whole grain bread
  • 1/2 whole grain English muffin with 1 TBSP natural PB, 1 small apple
  • 1/2 cup cooked oats with 2 TBSP raisins and 1 boiled egg
  • 2 boiled eggs and 1/2 cup berries
  • 3 slices low sodium turkey breast, 1 whole grain wrap, 1 handful of spinach

These ideas should get you started. If you suffer from a severe sweet tooth, add a little natural peanut butter to your day. Just be aware of the portions!!!!

Cardio for extreme fat melting:

GOT STAIRS?

Oh yeah, you read that right. 10 minutes of stair climbing (face it, you can have access to stairs if you WANT it) will burn over 2X as many calories as working on a flat surface. You can run the whole 10 minutes, or you can opt to simply climb them. Even those with below par cardiovascular health can do this! Make sure you take time to breathe and stretch when done. What are you waiting for? That WAS your invitation…

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

The Long and Short of It

Goodmorning!

I hope you have found yourself smack in the middle of where you need to be this morning. :)

It’s a funny thing right? Where we need to be and where we want to be? Most of us can think a million other places we would rather be as opposed to where we are right now. The fact is that we are actually where we were meant to be and where our choices landed us in this day and time.

Wow, you can tell we’re getting deep today :) Really though, you have heard me say that life is made up of our choices. We were given the freedom to choose and we exercise that freedom on a daily basis. Do you work out in the morning or evening, or at all for that matter? Do you drink your water? Do you drown your sorrows in wine or chocolate? Do you lash out or hold your tongue?

We are given the gift of choices every single day. We awaken to a fresh start and a new day to make different choices OR rely on the same old habits that landed us where we feel stuck. Can it really be as simple as altering a few choices? Absolutely!

In my journey I have come to realize that the amount of time spent in the gym really pales in comparison to the relationships I keep. So, my choice altered to spend more time with my loved ones. Since this choice was born of a pure heart, while my lifestyle altered, my waistline did as well. I think  most of us who struggle or have struggled with weight tend to tether ourselves to the choices that got us to this point. We latch on to the deprivation=degredation=backlash cycle that keeps us where we don’t want to be. We feel un-enamored by life and generally out of touch. We fall into habits bred from a lifetime of choices.

Habits are what make up your lifestyle. Habits are also as easy to change as your choices. If you have spent the past several years eating out for lunch every day (keep in mind this adds a minimum of 200 calories to your day, 200 x  5 x 52= yeah, extra cals you do NOT need), then consciously CHOOSE to bring a lunch a few days per week. Better yet, partake in a work site fitness class or a light jog or walk with coworkers and eat a light lunch afterword. There are always choices you can make that end up making you feel better in the long run.

Wherever you find yourself, your choices can be altered little by little to get you where you want to be. Perhaps you need to add a little movement into your day OR maybe you’re like me and need to take some of the busyness away from your day. Either way, you were not meant to struggle with confusion. You are meant to be empowered to make these choices and grow your life in the direction of your purpose. Try praying that God will show you the things you need to let go of and I promise it will get easier!

Until next time, Keep on living FIT!

Michelle

It’s FUN FRIDAY! Answers to your questions covering food, diet and bras

Change the mindset to evoke changes

I know the above phrase can make you think of Confucius saying, but stick with me as I have noticed some very powerful changes in just the past couple of months.

There has been quite a bit happening with my physical body here lately. It took me several months after pregnancy to get back into the draw of working out. I tried to beat my body into shape again, thinking I could do it just as I did before. This only caused massive amounts of inflammation and serious discomfort. The more I struggled and fought with my body, the worse it got. So, I figured running a sprint triathlon would be the answer, as it would force my body to train harder (um, yeah, I’m not really the sharpest crayon). This resulted in several weeks of forced time off and some really awful internal issues of which I will spare you the details. This then sent me on the path of cleansing, which only made matters much worse.

So, after weeks of prayer and persistence, I finally gave in to backing it off. You see I had started on a yoga quest of sorts, simply committing to add yoga daily to my other fitness ventures. After all went South, I resolved to at least stick with yoga. I have now been doing yoga for 40 straight days. Now don’t be fooled by what Western minds can lock into yoga, I practice a very vigorous style. I did, however, fall back into old habits of believing I would end up frumpy and flabby if I wasn’t degrading my body into a tight pool of overused muscles. Want the truth on what has changed? Keep reading, I’m saving that for later :)

There are a few things that were brought into light during this more mindful time. Most of them were about the way I had trained myself and others. As I was noticing these things I began to see them across the board and it worries me for the future. You see, I cannot find many health and wellness trainers, meaning trainers who are concerned with integrity. All to often I meet trainers with no integrity, but that is an entirely different post. I’m speaking here of integrity of the body. What if we could let go of the outer body (surface muscles forcing to create movement and carry load) and train the inner body (stabilizing muscles) to make life easier? Here are the things I noticed about my training when I was thinking about competing:

  1. I didn’t really CARE about my class or clients. I began to think everybody should embrace pain. I was told pain meant results so why should they get a break?
  2. If my clients had trouble losing weight, it was their fault. I allowed myself and my training to be boxed in. Life is constantly altering, training should too.
  3. I felt that my “lifestyle eating” of anal retentive food control was normal…it’s not.
  4. I thought anybody who wanted results should adapt to the anal retentive eating plan.
  5. I felt like everybody else just wasn’t trying enough.
  6. AND…I looked at myself in the mirror ALL THE TIME! Looking for flaws, not admiring anything.

This way of life left me feeling more trapped than free. I was usually a little perturbed when I went into class or session and more so when I came out. My break over my body not responding (God will slow me down if I am running full speed down the wrong path) allowed me to take a step back and see what had happened. I had become a pusher of perfectionism. This attitude took a toll on my health (due to imbalance) and my family.

So what’s the big deal with the past 40 days? Well, a lot has changed. My outside stressors have increased, and even though it’s all for great news (homeschooling Deb, kids out of school for Summer, writing assignments and opportunities) it’s still stress. The strange thing is that I have altered my responses so that I become more of a responder to stress instead of a reactor. Points for centering! Also, there have been quite a few outer changes as well. My skin is so healthy it glows (that’s not the Shako, it’s my own concoction of healthy juicing and smoothies) due to the detoxification from the practice. I have NOT lost my temper in quite some time! OK, that’s a big one for me people. I can feel it rise then bring it into balance. I have lost lots of inches and not gotten all flabby! What??? It’s true. I struggled for  a few months to get back into my pre-pre-baby clothes and they are now fitting! And all this time I have not been following the anal retentive meal plan (that’s totally what I’m going to start calling it). So, what have I been doing?

My food is really simple. Really. Simple. I eat what’s in season and what I want, when I want it. I do love smoothies with fresh fruits and all, so I usually have at least one of those per day. I eat fruit whenever I want (gasp! go the anal retentive diet devotees!) and I have enjoyed dinners out and even a few trips to the local frozen yogurt shops. My practice varies from super physical to near restorative based on the day and right now most are 1-2 hours due to teacher training in Core Strength Vinyasa. Debbie and I have just started jogging together 2-3 mornings per week. The best part about that is I have been able to let go of the expectations (time, pace, distance) and just ease into it to be with my daughter. It’s become our “girl time”.

In short, my body, mind, and spirit are happy. I feel as though the shell that was covering me has been broken and God just said “GO.” It’s a wonderful feeling of freedom that I’ve never really experienced. Does it mean I won’t slip back into bad habits? Of course not. I still find myself afraid of a hungry belly. One reason is that I spent the first 2 decades of life on deprivation diets. The second reason is that when following the anal retentive meal plan, one can get quite crabby when the tank starts to near empty. :)

Now, you may wonder how a Christian can embrace yoga so fully (due to yoga’s spiritual influences). I hope you are wondering because I fully plan on exploring that. You see, we are called out into the world to witness. My ministry is not behind the closed doors of church or in my office, it is wherever I am. Ministry is not a vocation, it’s a dedication. I am ready to be used through all of my imperfections, and I am happy to stop judging what I see in the mirror. This alone helps us to judge others less (whole different post!).

So, figure out your balancing point. Know where you feel happy and follow God’s guidance. Happy and comfortable are 2 very different things! Just ask anyone who has mastered the forearm stand :)

Here’s to true health,

Michelle

P.S. For those wanting to figure their balance point and find a new neutral where the body can become what it was created to become, I have LIVE CLASSES coming in the Fall and sticking around for good :)