Cardio vs Weights

Pretty proud of the progress in these pics. The one on the left is from 2014. I did two hours of cardio a day (one in the gym and one walking the dog), little to no weights and was super restrictive with my diet. I weighed my food, counted calories and avoided oils, salts, sugar, etc.

The picture on the right is current. I do all weights, very little cardio (used as a cool down) and eat what I want (within reason.) Plus add in taking care of an infant and chasing around a toddler as my extra exercise. My diet consists of lots of protein, veggies, fruit, carbs, etc. I don’t avoid anything. I have something sweet maybe twice a week. I don’t drink sodas or juice like drinks, but honestly I’ve never been a fan of them so that makes it a bit easier.

My degree is in Sports Sciences. I took nutrition and biomechanics classes for years. I knew better than to do two hours of cardio and diet restrict. But I still did it. When I was in my 20’s I was impatient. I wanted quick results. Now at 34, I’ve learned when it comes to health and fitness you have to be patient. I’m finally taking my own advice. The advice I gave to people for years but ignored myself. Better late than never! Lol

Steam Rooms

I made a post a few weeks ago about my regular use of the steam room. I got some fantastic questions about it after! So I’m going to go into more detail of the benefits of a steam room in hopes of answering those questions!

During a steam, there is an increase in blood flow and circulation in the body. This is because the heat causes blood vessels in your skin to expand. The moist heat stimulates the skin causing the pours to open up. By opening the pores through perspiration, steam induces the expulsion of toxins. This also helps to eliminate black heads to give you clearer skin! My skin always has a light pink glow to it after and my skin tone looks more even.

The steam room helps to open up airways which improves your breathing and alleviates congestion. The wet heat from the steam room thins and opens the mucous membranes in the body, which helps to relieve pressure. Any time I have allergies or congestion I use the steam room and feel a significant difference after!

Benefits of a steam room:

-Increases metabolism

-Cleanses the skin

-Boosts your immune system

-Eliminates toxins from the body

-Relieves discomfort from allergies

-Relaxes muscles

-Relieves couching

-Enhances circulation and blood flow

-Hydrates dry skin

Not only does you skin look amazing after a steam but you’ll feel so much better! Give it a try if you have the chance!

Turkey and butternut squash chili

Nothing goes better with cold weather than a nice hot bowl of chili! I typically do a traditional Texas chili but I changed it up a little last night. Here is the recipe for my turkey and butternut squash chili!

Ingredients:

🔹8 oz butternut squash cubed

🔹2 tbsp Chile rub

🔹1/4 oz cilantro

🔹15 oz crushed tomatoes

🔹12 oz ground turkey

🔹1 shallot

🔹1 oz cheddar-Jack cheese

🔹2 oz sour cream

🔹1 tomato

Recipe:

Halve and peel shallot. Dice halves. Core tomato and dice. Stem and mince cilantro.

Place a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil, butternut squash and shallot to hot pan. Stir often until squash is browned and begins to soften. 7-10 minutes

Add turkey, half the Chile rub and a pinch of pepper. Stir often, breaking up meat with a spoon until no pink remains.

Add crushed tomatoes and 1 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until thickened. 10-12 minutes

Taste chili and stir in remaining chili rub if desired. Plate dish with cheese, sour cream and cilantro

Food battle

“Are you going to be a picky eater tonight?” Or “why aren’t you eating that? The amount of times I’ve heard these……🤔

Why are we so critical of what other people eat or don’t eat? I’ve battled with a food allergy for almost 10 years now. I’ve gone to dinner at peoples houses and not been able to eat much of anything because they served something I’m allergic to. I’ve gotten better about letting people know ahead of time. But I used to be so shy about it that I wouldn’t eat. A people assumed I had an eating disorder because I wouldn’t eat. Little did they know, on my way home I was eating the protein bar I had stashed in my car and would wolf down everything in my fridge at home!

There have been other times where I had to pick around food in hopes of eating something without getting sick. I’ve been called a picky eater because of this. I don’t really think a food allergy qualifies someone as a picky eater. It’s not really their choice to have a food allergy. If I could get rid of it I would! It would definitely make life easier when eating out or at peoples houses!

Rather than assume someone has an eating disorder or brand them as a picky eater, why not give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they have a food allergy! Or maybe they just don’t like what you’re serving. 😂 I think we as a society need to work on being less critical. We also need to worry more about ourselves and less about what other people are doing (in some cases).

Fast Food

Often times when we think of fast food, we think of unhealthy, greasy, fatty food items. Places like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, etc come to mind for the average person. The true definition of “fast food” is food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out. Just because there isn’t a drive through doesn’t mean it can’t be fast food!

Did you know your grocery store can fall under the fast food category? Many grocery stores have salad bars or pre made meal options available to grab and go. My favorite “fast food” place is Whole Foods or Central Market! Their salad bars are AMAZING! They have so many healthy options to pick from!

Fast food doesn’t have to mean greasy, fatty foods. You can find healthy options almost anywhere you go now. Let’s change our thinking of the words fast food since it just means a quick meal option that’s easy to take on the go and isn’t actually a specific food.

What’s your favorite fast food place?

Relieving headaches naturally

Headaches….they are so incredibly common and can be brought on by the littlest things! Stress, noise exposure, straining your eyes, consuming too much caffeine, consuming too much sugar, dehydration and lack of sleep, are just a few examples of things that cause headaches. You can take an OTC med to alleviate the pain, or there are a few natural things you can try…..

🔹 Ease pressure on your scalp. Let your hair down, or remove your hat or eyewear

🔹 Dim lights, set your phone down and turn off the computer

🔹Massage your temples

🔹 Eat foods rich in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can cause headaches

🔹 Take vitamin B-12

🔹 Try a hot or cold compress

🔹 Drink lots of water

🔹 Lay down and shut your eyes

🔹 Try reflexology

🔹 Go on a walk or try yoga

I have a habit of pulling my hair up too tight and giving myself a headache. I know better but I still do it every time! A few of these work for me, if just letting my hair down doesn’t work.

Curb your cravings

Craving something sweet? You don’t have to eat candy or ice cream. Sometimes you body just wants something as simple as fruit and yogurt!

These are a few things I go for when I’m craving something savory, salty or sweet but want to stay on track with my diet!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a DQ blizzard on occasion. But that’s not always the best choice for me. Especially when I’m trying to stay on track. You can find healthy alternatives to curb your food cravings!