Fitbit Flex!

So, Wednesday my Fitbit Flex came in! I decided to try it out and if nothing else, keep up with how many calories I burn! Little did I know how much this thing really did! It is AWESOME! It not only tracks things like my steps, calories, distance, etc.  It also tracks my sleep patterns throughout the night, how much water I consume, it links with MyFitnessPal and automatically transfers and calculates the calories I’ve taken in and adjusts the number of calories I should be eating depending on the amount of activity I’ve done that day. There are some other features, but these are the one’s I use the most. I have to say, since I have been wearing it all day, it really has made me more conscious about getting up and moving around more or walking extra steps throughout the day. I went for a run around the lakes this morning and it was so nice to not have to try and guess-timate how many calories I’ve burned or exactly how far I ran. It has taken so much stress off in regard to whether or not I am really logging things accurately. I have to say, I am very impressed and addicted already! Oh, and the coolest thing is, it syncs with your smartphone so you can constantly keep up with your progress throughout the day! If you’re looking for a way to track your calories/heart rate/overall health, I highly recommend you trying the Fitbit Flex. Not to mention, it isn’t bulky and is easy to wear all day long! It’s even waterproof!!

 

Anyway, just thought I would share! 

Happy Saturday!

Advertisements

AT LAST! Easy and quick alternatives to all your favorite carb-delicious breakfast foods!!!

So, last night I decided to try making some Paleo Plantain “Bread” and Paleo Plantain Muffins. Since cutting bread, pasta, rice and other simple carbs out of my diet I have not particularly struggled with not having bread, but when I saw these recipes, I figured it may be a good alternative every now and then. The bread turned out DELICIOUS. This morning I actually had 3 squares (I cut them into 1/16ths) with a little bit of natural peanut butter on top. And OH MY GOSH, I did not realize how much I missed having my peanut butter toast! Alone it tastes like nothing really (or like a paleo bread that I once bought from Whole Foods), but with the natural peanut butter on top it tasted almost EXACTLY like I was eating the peanut butter toast I once ate for breakfast! I did not honestly expect it to taste as delightful as it did, but I can assure you I will be making this bread at least once a week! 
As for the muffins, mine did not come out as well as I expected but this is probably due to the fact that I did not add any sweetener like the recipe and I also only added a few raspberries and strawberries (the recipe actually called for 2-2 1/2 cups of blueberries or it said you could add in things like chocolate chips and nuts and such). I definitely think if I added more fruit or dark chocolate chips and nuts, they would be even more delightful! I recommend not skimping on those things. All in all, they still came out okay and with a little honey or peanut butter spread on top, they were still quite tasty! My 2-year-old nephew sure seemed to enjoy them plain!
I am so excited about all of the things I found that I can do with plantains that I never knew before! I can now enjoy some of those delicious carb-filled breakfast indulgences without the guilt and the disgusting bloated feeling afterwards. I don’t know about any of you, but growing up, breakfast was always my favorite meal and I loved everything from pancakes to crepes to Muffins and so forth. And honestly, the one thing I have struggled with lately was becoming bored with breakfast and unable to find breakfast alternatives that were easy and quick in the morning. Now, I am able to change up my boring breakfast routine with this variety of delicious choices! And the best part is, most of them only require a few ingredients (none that are difficult and you wouldn’t have on hand) and can be made in one sitting, but enjoyed for a few days! Here are the pictures from last night and this morning, along with the recipes (and other plantain recipes I found)!

image

Paleo Plantain “Bread”

image

Paleo Plantain Strawberry & Raspberry Muffins (instead of blueberry)

Paleo Plantain “Bread”
http://purelytwins.com/2013/10/01/grain-free-paleo-gluten-free-plantain-bread/

Paleo blueberry muffins
http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/07/nut-free-coconut-free-paleo-blueberry-muffins.html

Paleo Crepes
http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/09/paleo-crepes-with-nutella.html

Paleo Plantain Pancakes
http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/09/perfect-paleo-pancakes.html

Plantain Tortillas
http://zenbellycatering.com/2013/08/17/plantain-tortillas/

Plantain Crackers
http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/09/plantain-crackers-nut-free-egg-free.html

I CANNOT wait to try all of these!!!

Happy Wednesday!!

Today’s Lunch!

image

Chicken Sausage with Cheesy Spaghetti Squash.

We grilled chicken sausage and chicken breasts last night for supper. There were no breasts left so I settled for the chicken sausage (still very delicious though). I took the left over spaghetti squash from earlier this week and put it in a skillet on the stove, added some basil, black pepper, garlic powder, a sprinkled a little fresh shredded parmesan and colby jack cheese. Cooked it on medium until it was the consistency similar to mashed potatoes.  Delicious and so easy! My two-year-old nephew couldn’t stop eating it last night!

How Stress Affects Weight!

We often think about being healthy healthy as eating well and exercising; however, being healthy consists of wellness in all aspects of your life–mental and emotional health especially. Being a social worker in training–with my interest specifically in mental health–I recognize the significant correlation between stressful life situations and mental instability. And it is important to me that others understand how crucial self-care is to your mental and emotional state. Below are just a few ways daily stress can be harmful not only to your weight loss, but to your overall well-being.

When under stress, the stress hormones Cortisol and Epinephrine increase. It is documented that when Cortisol is high enough, LITERALLY looking at a donut changes your metabolism.

  • #1 best way to digest stress hormones is sleep–deep sleep will metabolize excess Cortisol and Epinephrine better than anything else. If you’re under stress and sleep only 3-4 hours per night, you will gain about 2 pounds over night because the stress hormones make your body retain water (a.k.a “liquid pounds”). It is best to take care of these liquid pounds before they turn into real pounds. Sleep as long as you need to, when you can.
  • 2nd thing is exercise–during physical activity, you’re increasing those “feel good” hormones that you usually go to sugar for. Taking a walk 3-4 times a week is as good as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression.
  • Anything you find sustainably pleasurable will decrease stress hormones–for example, laughter. It can even ultimately increase immunity and decrease pain. Having good social support and adding fun and joy into your life is critical to losing weight and staying healthy. 
  • Word of advice: When you’re upset OR stressed–don’t eat. When we are upset, we don’t have the connection to whether or not we’re satiated or full. We’re trying to fill a void that can never be filled with food.
  • One of the most crucial components of keeping off the weight is LOVE–love for yourself and love for other people. When you begin to take care of yourself, you begin to love yourself and you begin to show that to other people. This makes others enjoy being around you and want to feel the way you do. The more people you feel care about and love you, the safer you feel. When you don’t love yourself, you tend to isolate and close yourself off from others, or take on the perception that other people don’t love you. Thus, you begin to not feel safe. Your body then responds by raising stress hormones which hold onto weight.

So you see, healthy living isn’t just about diet and exercise–those are two VERY important components. But, overall it’s a combination of physical, emotional, and psychological components!

Food pics from yesterday and today along with Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada without the Tortilla.

Last nights dinner/Today’s lunch: Venison Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

image

For some reason this is always better the next day!

Wednesday’s lunch: Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada without the tortilla.

image

This is so delicious and so protein rich!
Basically, you just boil chicken breasts on the stove. Once cooked, shred the chicken and add it to a skillet with red enchilada sauce and black beans. Season with black pepper, garlic powder, and cilantro. Stir and let simmer for a few minutes. Then, if you prefer you can sprinkle some shredded cheese on top; or you can enjoy it just like that! Feel free to add whatever veggies or seasoning that you want to it, but I like it simple!

TA-DA!

Happy Thursday!

Hungry for Change!

Image

Hello on this beautiful Wednesday!

Most of you, I’m sure, have seen this documentary. But, for those of you who haven’t it is definitely a MUST SEE! If you’re a health nerd like me, or if you’re struggling with weight loss, self-esteem, or if you are looking to learn more about the food you eat, I believe you will love it! The problem with the world of dieting today is the trap food industries are luring everyone into. I’m guilty of it. I used to be the biggest advocate for “fat free,” “sugar free,” and pre-packaged health foods/fads. Over the past few years, I have grown in my knowledge of what it is like to be healthy. And though I am continually learning more and more, I can finally say that I have reached a point of a maturity and consistency in my healthy lifestyle. I am finally at the point of “Eating to live, not living to eat.” I no longer have the mindset that by eating healthy, I am depriving myself of unhealthy foods. I now have no desire to put terrible things in my body, and if I do occasionally, I feel like I am dying (which reinforces my desire to avoid them). For once, I do not feel a sense of secrecy about my yearning desire to eat a piece of cake (or of bingeing when no one is around).  When people think I have a problem, I now can feel confident in knowing that I don’t, and that I just prefer to consume food that makes me feel good; rather than trying to hide the fact that they are right. So many of my friends ask me “How do you do it?” and want me to help them lose weight. The first thing I tell them every time, is that this is not something that happened over night. This has been a long journey of ups-and-downs, and has taken a lot of time, research, and self-transformation.I tell them three things:

1) It is a mindset–once you finally decide that you are in no matter what, you will finally be successful. You CAN NOT have one foot in and one foot out. Unless you put your whole heart into it, you will never really get started.

2) It takes time and dedication–you must put in the effort to learn about the food you are consuming, and what it is doing to your body before you can truly change. I truly believe that once you understand what food does to your body, you are unable to continue in the same maladaptive eating habits. You must also put in the time and effort to plan out and cook your meals. This is where most people fall off the wagon because they feel that they do not have time, thus they resort to grabbing a burger. This goes back to #1–if you really want it, you will take the time!!

3) It is a lifestyle, not a short-term goal–Most people begin because of vanity–you want to look good, who doesn’t?! But, you have to decide that this is not something you want because you want to reach a goal and then quit. This is a continual lifestyle, and though you may struggle at times and derail off track, you must continue to find your way back and fight through the hard times. The more you persevere, the stronger you feel and the sooner you will get the point of freedom and ease.

It is a beautiful and wonderful feeling being at this point, and there is not one ounce of fear in me that I will EVER go back to that destructive path that I once lived.You WILL NOT miss the foods that you now feel like you cannot give up and you will begin to absolutely HATE them. And most of all, when you feel good, look good, and have a sense of pride in how far you have come, you will become happier in all areas of your life!

The film is available on Netflix. If you do not have Netflix, you can view it on Amazon for 2.99, or here is a free link I found online >> http://viooz.co/movies/4394-hungry-for-change-2012.html

Enjoy and Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

–Bethany

Bachelorette trip and detox!

After a long weekend of partying for my friend’s bachelorette party, I definitely needed to detox! We had a blast, but for someone who rarely drinks alcohol, I had way too much over the past few days! I was so glad to get back to my clean eating. I drank a detox water all day, ate plenty of fruits and veggies, and went to spin class after work. Then, I came home and cooked a very lean meal to end the day! I couldn’t even imagine not eating clean anymore! It’s become my normal lifestyle. Here’s a picture of my dinner tonight and also some pics from the weekend!

image

Deer meat patty covered in pepper jack cheese with steamed zucchini and squash! DELICIOUS!!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Happy Monday everyone!