Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Woman I Want To Be

Like every other year, this year was full of ups and downs. But for the first time in a very long time, I have to say that this year had more happiness than ever. In the midst of trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, the blood sweat and tears, the stress of school and work, the worries of money, financial aid, grades and my future, I learned a lot of life lessons. One of those lessons was to be happy with the life I’m living. I learned to stop searching for happiness and just find comfort and happiness in the things that I have in the now. I learned to not take any shit from anyone. If there is someone who makes you feel less than you truly are, ditch them. Only associate yourself with people who add positivity to your life. I learned to deal with stubborn, rude and inconsiderate people. I learned who my true friends are. I learned that my crazy, stubborn and loud family is the most important thing in the world to me. I learned that school isn’t about grades; it’s about expanding your knowledge and learning. I learned that some men just aren’t worth the pain and tears. I learned that if you park in the PCC parking lot, your car doors will be dinged and scratched to all hell. I learned to never leave my car doors unlocked or my windows down (learned that one the hard way). I learned that I can be strong when I have to be. I learned that I really, really like to take care of people. I learned how to take care and heal myself through health and fitness. I’m so amazed at how far I’ve come in my wellness journey and I’ve reached goals and broke through barriers I never thought possible.  And most importantly, I learned that who I’ve wanted to be turned out to be exactly who I am today.
For the longest time, I was searching for the true me. It was an endless cycle of feeling lost and confused. I didn’t know where I belonged and I sure as hell had no clue who I wanted to be. But then I looked around at the people surrounding me and I knew exactly who I wanted to be.

Mom: I want to be someone who is totally selfless. I want to be someone who can forgive. I want to be someone who loves unconditionally and who would give up everything for the people she loves.

Dad: I want to be someone who is strong. I want to be someone who works their ass off to support their family. I want to be someone who supports the one’s they love 100%.

Jess: I want to be someone who is content with simplicity. I want to be someone who can just go with the flow. I want to be someone who isn’t afraid to follow their dreams.

Shane: I want to be someone who loves everyone. I want to be someone who has an open mind. I want to be someone who is caring and compassionate. I want to be someone who can face their fears head on.

My whole life, I just wanted to be a good person. I wanted to be honest, caring, strong, smart, selfless and light hearted. Over this past year, I stopped wanting to be that person and actually became her. I love who I am. I love who I’ve become. All the challenges I’ve faced this year have turned me into the woman I am today. I still have a lot of life lessons to learn and I’m sure I have many challenges coming my way but I know how to face them now and I’m no longer afraid. I think one of the greatest challenges I’ve faced this year was learning to love myself. Once I learned to love myself, it was like the gates of happiness opened up. I used to hate compliments because I didn’t believe them. I used to never call myself beautiful. I would look at myself and criticize everything about me. One day, I got fed up of the negativity and depression and looked in the mirror and said “you are beautiful.” And not in the “oh my god, I’m so hot” kind of way. I believed I was beautiful on the inside and to me, that’s all that matters. I’ve worked in a nursing home long enough to know that outward beauty doesn’t last long, but inner beauty shines through. It’s so powerful that those old, wrinkly, gray haired men and women are absolutely beautiful to me. I know who I am now, I know where I’m going and I know exactly where I want to be and to me, that’s the most beautiful thing in the world. I’m so excited about this New Year and I can’t wait to see how far I can push myself with my fitness and new found self-love. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New year!  

2013 Highlights:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Falling off the Wagon

Weight loss is a serious struggle. The people who are going through their weight loss journey's have had their tough times, their setbacks and their moments of wanting to throw in the towel and give up. We've all been there, especially me. Especially within the past 3 weeks. Actually, it’s been more within the past 2 months. I've had a really hard time staying on track. In the past three weeks, I've probably only hit the gym five times, which is bad for me. I wouldn't fret it normally, but when my eating is not where it’s supposed to be, my gym time is even more crucial.
In my nutrition class, my professor approached me about my Paleo lifestyle. She told me that she was extremely worried about me and that Paleo is not a safe way to live. I was told that I needed to be eating whole grains and whole wheat along with legumes and all the foods I've banned from my diet. She told me that I would have some major health problems in the future if I didn’t start eating more carbs. At that point, I was pretty freaked out. So I did what I knew I shouldn’t do. I started eating wheat again. And beans and starches and all the foods that I KNOW make me feel like complete and utter shit. What happened in the following two weeks was downright scary.
In the back of my mind, I was actually happy I got to eat bread again. It’s something I haven’t allowed myself to eat in a very long time. The first week was fine. I was eating whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, oatmeal and pancakes again! I was so excited. I actually lost a few pounds (probably because I was counting calories). It started off slow. It was getting harder for me to fall asleep at night, I would hit a major wall around 3 o’clock every day, I was hungry all the time and I felt bloated all day. I just ignored it because I was still eating healthy, right? I was eating all the things the food pyramid told me was okay to eat. The next week, my acne came back full blown. I had gotten used to basking in the glory of have baby smooth skin again. I loved my skin for once in my life and BAM, all of a sudden I had multiple Mt. Everest’s on my forehead. Next thing I knew, I couldn’t wake up early anymore. I felt like I could sleep all day and my face blew up like a balloon. My body is so inflamed I’m almost unrecognizable. I’ve gained probably five pounds and my depression has come back full swing.
A few days ago, I had an appointment with my naturopath who was not very happy with me in my change of diet. I’ve come so far since seeing her and I basically threw it all away in a matter of weeks. She asked me something that blew me away and I’ve never thought about before. What do they feed cows to fatten them up before slaughtering them? Grains and corn. They feed these animals grains to make them fat! Hello?! Why the hell am I eating them? I knew better but I let one person change my mind about the lifestyle I know is good for me. So the past two days I’ve been strictly Paleo again and let me tell you, my acne is nearly gone when just two days ago it was like I was back in middle school again during puberty. I was able to wake up this morning feeling energized again. I ate a good breakfast four hours ago and I’m not hungry yet. I’m not fatigued anymore and my face is already deflating.  
I learned my lesson from this. Grains and wheat are evil. Period. The end. I will never go back to eating that stuff again. No matter what anyone says. I eat the food that makes me feel good and that’s all there is to it. Getting back into the swing of things is tough. Every one falls off the wagon more than once in their journey. I’ve come up with a few things that will help you get back on track if this happens to you.

Simplicity- Sometimes going back to simple foods is the best way to get back on track. I love making elaborate foods with tons of flavor, but I also love a chicken breast with veggies on the side for dinner. Go back to simple, light foods for a while.

Get new workout clothes- For me, this is the biggest motivator. Go buy some new nikes or new work out pants. It will make you excited to rock your new hot oufits to the gym. TJ-Maxx, Nordstrom Rack as well as Marshalls has some great name brand workout gear for extremely cheap.

New Music- Fill your ipod with new workout music. Sometimes a good song is all it takes to get you through the last 5 minutes of your run and studies have shown that a good song can make you work out harder.  

Try new things- I used to be so uncomfortable in the gym. I would always stick to the machines I know. When I started branching out and lifting, I started loving to work out again. Change it up in the gym. Make your workouts fun. I’ve been doing different work out videos that kill my ass and thighs but they’re fun and different and I can always try a different video the next day.

Try new foods- We tend to get stuck in eating the same things every day. That gets boring. Start experimenting with new foods. I usually eat 2 eggs with an apple and almond butter every single morning. This morning I changed it up. I had a Paleo blueberry muffin in a mug. It was delicious and it kept me full. I’m excited to change up my lunch today! When you start getting tired of your foods, it makes it easier to start cheating (I’m a perfect example of that). Change it up. Have fun with foods.

Start today- After you have a setback, it’s so easy to keep eating the way you shouldn’t be. Don’t wait until tomorrow, start right now. There’s no reason to start up again tomorrow, or Monday or even next week. Get back on track now. Trust me, you’ll be much happier.

Stay Positive- Positive thoughts are everything in weight loss. Start thinking negatively and your negative thoughts will consume you. Self-efficacy: “I think I can”. Have a strong self-efficacy. Be the little engine that could!

I hope this will help you if you’ve had a major setback like me. I lost sight of why I was Paleo and just started focusing on my weight. That’s where my downfall started. My health is so much more important to me than my looks. I choose to be Paleo and I choose to be happy and healthy. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Positive Twist To A Shitty Situation

This post isn't going to be about health and fitness, necessarily, but about the changes I've recently made in my life to become a happy more positive person. I don’t let very many people get to know me very well, so for those of you who don’t really know who the real Justine is, fasten your seat belts because you’re about to learn a lot about this chick.
I've spent the past 2-3 years absolutely miserable, hating myself, blaming myself, blaming other people, pushing people away and just not being a very pleasant person to be around. The last time I remember being genuinely happy was in 5th grade. What kid isn’t happy in 5th grade, though? But even still, I’ve had self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember. Staring in the mirror in 4th grade wondering why I had a roll of fat around my tummy when my other friends didn’t. Going through middle school and losing all my friends. Getting rejected by my first crush because I wasn’t skinny and pretty enough (his words, exactly. What a dirt bag). Losing my best friend because I wasn’t cool enough to hang out with anymore. Sitting at the middle school dances during a slow song and wondering why no boy asked me to dance. Then hitting high school and discovering the oh-so-wonderful acne. I started comparing myself to other girls. If it wasn’t for some of my amazing guy friends, I probably wouldn’t have been asked to a single high school dance. After graduating high school and going through the rejections of guys that I liked, thinking that they didn’t want me because I was fat and ugly. In truth, the reason they rejected me was because I was a crazy bitch who hated myself so much it made it impossible for anyone to love me. All this stuff sounds so petty and small compared to life now, but through all of that, it’s left a few scars.

Someone once told me that this picture explains my life in a nutshell. There I am, standing in the sunshine smiling and pretending everything is okay and happy go lucky, but in the back ground is dark and stormy. The truth of what I was really feeling at the time. Looking back on this picture blows my mind. My life in a nutshell. 

A lot of my depression comes from my self-hatred. Another part comes from my intestinal tract issues. Fun fact: 80% of your serotonin (I like to call it the happy hormone) signal comes from your GI Tract. Well guess what? Mine doesn’t function properly.  No happy hormone for Justine. I get my happy hormone from something else called alcohol (just kidding, mom). But in all seriousness, this has had a pretty big impact on my happiness, but I’m currently getting all that junk figured out by drinking god awful dirt tasting tea that my naturopath prescribed to me and getting poked by needles.  Stupid Portland hippie doctors. All of these things have built up to make me pretty damn miserable. I never think I’m enough for anyone and I’m extremely hard on myself. I’ve always had a hard time finding the positives in my life. So I’ve come up with a few things that I think are extremely shitty, and I’ve put a positive twist to them.
My Job: I do a lot of work for a little pay. I don’t think I’ve come home without some sort of feces or bodily fluid on my shirt. Postive Twist: I have a steady pay check and I’ve gotten so much experience from this job. I love every single one of my residents like they were my own family. I now have 31 grandma’s and grandpa’s and that’s a pretty cool thing. Also, if I didn’t wind up in Memory Care, I don’t think I ever would have figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I’ve found the only thing I’m really good at.
Homework: The cause of all evils. It does nothing but cause stress. Positive twist: It’s my choice to do this. This is my future and I WANT it.
Bitches: No one likes girls like this. Just mean hearted with no regards to other people's feelings. I've recently had an experience with a girl who pretended to be my friend, then turned around and stabbed me in the back over a guy. Is there really a positive to this situation? Yes. Positive twist: I got a damn good laugh at how stupid she made herself look.  I let karma take control on that one.
Gas money: Literally takes every penny I’ve got to get around in this city. Positive Twist: At least I have a car.
Heartbreaks and rejections: Let’s face it, no one enjoys heartbreaks and sometimes it really is hard to find a positive twist, but I have found one. Positive Twist: I’ve learned so much from every single heartbreak and rejection. Because of this, I’m a totally different person than who I was a few years ago. Thank god.
The rain: I hate rain. So much. Positive Twist: It makes Portland damn Beautiful in the Spring and Summer.
Doughnuts: The fat girl inside me really misses these. Positive Twist: I’ve lost so much weight without them!
My body: I have some self-esteem issues. Positive twist: I’m working at it every day and making progress loving what I see every day!

These are just a few things that I’ve made more positive in my life. I recently got a tattoo. I’ve been wanting this tattoo for a long time but recently decided to get it because I’m finally living by it. I’ve been a prisoner to my own mind, trapped by the negativity and darkness for so long. I’ve been trapped by my past, I’ve been trapped by what society says I should be doing with my life, I’ve been trapped by my own self-hatred but I’m finally setting myself free. I will live my life the way I want to. I want to go places and see things. I want to do things that I’ve never done and start checking things off my bucket list. I want to discover. I want to have adventures! I want to live my life to the fullest. The thought of graduating college, getting a job, going to work, meeting a guy, marrying the guy, having kids, working my ass off to barely  make ends meet, getting old and dying just doesn’t appeal to me. Who knows if I’ll ever really settle down? I’m 20 years old and I’m going to make the most of what I have and let life take me wherever it wants to. No matter where I end up, I just want to be happy. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Fever... Gone Primal

     Guess what ya'll?! It's Fall! My absolute favorite time of year. Cool weather, sweaters, boots, scarves, pumpkin flavored everything, warm fires, candles and my personal favorite, THANKSGIVING! The only day I allow myself to eat until I'm going to burst. So, with that said, being Primal always meant that I couldn't enjoy the delicious flavors of Fall... Until this year. I've been Primal for over a year now and I never knew how much fun I could still have with Fall foods. Here are a few of my favorite Fall recipes that I've been playing with a little bit. I'm definitely not disappointed with the outcome! 

1) Pumpkin Spice Latte. These were my Achilles Heel last Fall. I drank probably one a day for a month straight. And just so you know, if you're guilty of the Starbucks Fall Fever like I am, let me give you the nutritional facts of a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

Calories: 310
Fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 25mg
Sodium: 210mg
Carbohydrates: 49g (!!!)
Sugars (are you ready for this one?): 47g (Woah!!)

Yeah... last year at the end of Fall, I looked up the nutritional value of one of these babies and nearly cried. No wonder I totally plateaued! Anyway, here is the Primal/Paleo version (remember, this does not taste exactly like the Starbucks version. It has a very coconutty taste to it!) :
Serves 2
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • I cup strong, brewed coffee
  • ⅓ cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 6-8 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • Optional: whipped coconut cream, for garnish

  1. For the unsweetened coconut milk, scoop the solids off of the top of the can before measuring out a cup of the remaining liquid. Use the solids to whip with a little extra coconut sugar for the topping, if desired.
  2. In a blender, combine the cup of coconut milk with the coffee, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
  3.  Pour half of the mixture into each glass. Garnish with whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 276
Fat: 28.6g (remember, fat is your friend)
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 18mg
Carbohydrates: 6g (much better!)
Sugars: 4g (whoo! Much, much better!)

2) Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili. This is not necessarily a Primal dish, but I modified the recipe to be Primal-ish. I omitted the corn and halfed the beans and added two more chicken breast to make it thicker because of the lack of ingredients. Here is the perfect Fall dinner:

  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • One (1) 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (you could use crushed)
  • One (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
  • Two (2) 16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed, drained
  • One (1) 15 oz can of corn, drained
  • 3 Cups chicken stock
  • 2 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed (cook longer if frozen)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder

1.) Toss everything into slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-7 hours on high. I added frozen chicken breasts to mine and cooked on high for about six hours. As long as the chicken is cooked – it’s done!
2.) Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Return to slow cooker.
3.) Top with cheese, sour cream, avocados – whatever sounds good to you!

3) Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread... Yeah, don't pass this one up!! So. Freakin. Good. It even passed the taste test of my non -Primal and extremely picky when it comes to healthy food, father. 

  • ·         1 1/2 cups of almond flour
  • ·         3/4 cup of canned pumpkin ( not pie filling )
  • ·         3 eggs, whisked
  • ·         1/4 cup raw honey
  • ·         1 tsp baking powder
  • ·         1 tsp baking soda
  • ·         1 tbs cinnamon
  • ·         2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • ·         1 tsp of vanilla
  • ·         3 tbs of coconut oil, melted
  • ·         OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of semisweet dark chocolate mini-chips (I use the Enjoy Life brand). You can also add nuts as a substitute, or this bread is awesome without anything!

1.       First combine all the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl
2.       Next, in a small bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together
3.       Now pour the wet ingredients into the larger dry ingredients bowl and stir until combined
4.       Fold in chocolate chips or nuts (OPTIONAL)
5.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
6.       Grease a bread pan of your choice (I made mine in an 8″ pan) and pour in the mix
7.       Bake at 350-degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick…if it comes out clean, the bread’s done

8.       Cool, slice, serve and enjoy!

4) Grain Free Cinnamon Muffins. 

For Muffin:

  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp pastured butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs (not pictured)
  • 1/4 cup raisins, optionl                                      

For Frosting:
  • 1 tbsp milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon                          
1) For the muffins, mix flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a mixing bowl, mix the applesauce, butter, honey, and eggs. Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. You can stir in raisins at this point or divide the batter and stir some raisins in half the batter. Pour into paper muffin cups in muffin tin.   Makes 10 regular size muffins (not Costco size!).
2) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Meanwhile, stir the cream and tapioca flour together until blended.  Then stir in maple syrup and cinnamon.  Frosting will be runny.
3) Once muffins are done, let cool for about 10 minutes.  Then take a toothpick and poke holes into the muffin top.  Spoon a bit of frosting onto the muffins and let it soak in through the holes.

5) Primal Walnut Pie Crust Pumpkin Pie!!! (this recipe is from MarksDailyApple.com)

Ingredients For Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1)Blend walnuts, baking soda and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until butter is mixed in.                                                                                                                                                    2) Scrape the batter into a 9-inch tart pan. You can use a rubber spatula to smooth the batter over the bottom and up the sides, but ultimately your fingers will be the best tool. Take your time smoothing and patting the batter out evenly. It’s better to spread the batter thinner across the bottom of the pan and thicker around the edges of the crust.                                                                                                                                      3) Place the pie on a cookie sheet (helps to keep the bottom from burning) and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.                                                                                                                             4)Remove the crust from the oven and pour your filling of choice inside. Bake again until filling is done.
Pumpkin Filling:
·         One 15-ounce can of pumpkin
·         1 cup canned coconut milk
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
·         1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
·         1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·         1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
·         1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
·         pinch of sea salt
·         3 tablespoons maple syrup
·         1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (found the spice section of grocery stores)
·         3 eggs, whisked
1) Mix together all ingredients. Pour into the pre-baked crust. Don’t overfill the crust – you might have a little batter leftover.                                                                                                                                             2) Bake for 50 minutes. The center of the pie should be fairly firm and only jiggle a tiny bit if you shake the pan. Let the pie cool completely before cutting into it. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.                                     

That's all I have for ya'll this time. I've been baking up a storm on my days off so if you guys are interested in seeing more recipes, leave a comment down below to let me know! Or if you have any suggestions on dishes you would like me to primalize, comment below! Hope you guys enjoyed this, I know I sure enjoyed eating all this deliciousness!! Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Is Primal?

     First off, thank you to everyone who has given me feedback about my first blog post! Second, I've already gotten so many questions about my lifestyle and I’m so excited to answer them all!
     The main question I got was, what the hell is Primal?! Well, let me start off by saying that Primal was the best thing that has happened to me. Our entire lives, we've been programmed to believe different things about what we should or shouldn't be putting into our bodies. It’s a constant cycle of “eat less fat! Fat is bad!” or “eat all carbs! Carbs are good!” or “Don’t eat carbs!” Or my least favorite, “To lose weight means you have to be hungry all the time!” No, no, no! I want you guys to keep an open mind about what I’m about to share with you. Everything that has been programmed into your heads about health and fitness is all extremely flawed.
     Everyone reading this right now most likely knows how it feels to be just mentally and physically exhausted. Always feeling like you’re in an all our sprint for the finish line, but never being able to reach it. I’ve been there. All I wanted to do was fall on my bed and never open my eyes again, to just sleep forever. I blame one thing for this feeling. CARBS! First off, I would like to talk about what the Primal Diet is. The idea behind this lifestyle is to reprogram your genes to the way they are supposed to be. To the way they were programmed in our ancestors 10,000 years ago. The things we eat and the things we do have influence our genes immensely. Our genes have an “on and off” switch, so to speak. We don’t have direct influence on the genes such as eye color, skin pigment, height, hair color, ect, but we do have direct influence on the genes such as muscle development, fat storage, inflammation and other aspects of health and longevity.  We've spent millions of years creating the perfect set of genes. Those who were unable to adapt died out and those who were too stupid, too slow, too lazy or had weak genetic traits were lost forever. Throughout the years, we have weeded out the genes that are not needed, creating the perfect human genetic recipe to survive and to be fit.  It is our given birthright to be fit, strong, and healthy. In fact, our genes expect us to be exactly that. 
     So where did the change come in? Agriculture. Technology. Factories. A growing population made food high in demand. So we created rice, pasta, bread, wheat ect. Around 7,000 years ago, the Egyptians had a mostly grain based diet. They had a significantly shorter life; they were less muscular and had lower bone density. Most of them only lived long enough to reproduce and died around the age of 30. However, anthropologists state that if it wasn’t for fatalities such as getting eaten by a lion, or by getting a fatal infection, primitive man would have lived to be up to 94 years old without medications or modern comforts!  Modern research in epigenetics and evolutionary biology confirms that we are genetically identical to our hunter-gatherer ancestors as well as our Egyptian ancestors. With our lifestyle choices, we have turned on the bad genes such as diabetes, cancers and other illnesses and we have turned off the ability to rely solely on our body’s fat storage for energy. We can still be the fit, healthy fat burning beast, but we just have to reprogram our genes.  And I’m going to tell you how.
     It’s time to throw out your general knowledge of nutrition. Our whole lives, it’s said that grains and wheat and fiber is good for you! Eat lots of it! Truth is, Grains and other agricultural foods is what are killing us. Processed carbohydrates drive excess insulin production in our bodies, which in turn can lead to weight gain. One piece of whole wheat bread can spike your blood sugar more than a tablespoon of table sugar.  If you don’t have excess body fat concerns or problems, grains still cause inflammation, fatigue and burnout. The most important concept of this diet is to set your genes back to your “factory setting” and be a healthy, fat burning beast! With all the excess carbs and sugars in our bodies, it signals the fat to hold onto itself since we have another fuel source. Here’s an example. You know that feeling at the beginning of your workout, when you’re about 10 minutes into your run and you feel like you’re about to die? Then at about 20-30 minutes into your workout you all of a sudden have a second wind? A burst of energy and you feel like you could run forever? That’s your body switching from carb burning to fat burning. Your body has burned off all the carbs and is now reaching into your fat storage for energy. So why not have the second wind at the beginning of your workout?! Going straight into your fat storage for energy? Makes sense huh? At least,  it did to  me.  
"What Can I Eat?"
It’s time to throw out your general knowledge of nutrition. Our whole lives, it’s said that grains and wheat and fiber is good for you! Eat lots of it! Truth is, Grains and other agricultural foods is what are killing us. Processed carbohydrates drive excess insulin production in our bodies, which in turn can lead to weight gain. If you don’t have excess body fat concerns or problems, grains still cause inflammation, fatigue and burnout. The most important concept of this diet is to set your genes back to your “factory setting.” With all the excess carbs and sugars in our bodies, it signals the fat to hold onto itself since we have another fuel source.  It’s time to start eating primal foods like meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, high quality fats and moderate consumption of high fat dairies and the sensible indulgence of dark chocolate and red wine. You will take on the Primal Eating Philosophy, which is freedom, no calorie counting, and no portion control. Eating to your heart’s content with total awareness of your natural cycles of satiety and hunger.
“That shit’s expensive. How can I afford it?”
I have two answers. One, you feel fuller longer from the fats and proteins you’re eating, therefore; you eat less. Answer number two; budget, people! Buy things on sale. Use coupons. Do what you have to do because it’s 100% worth it.

“How do I keep the weight off?”
That one’s easy. Will Power. Stay primal. You can eat as much as you want and never gain a pound. Just stay as active as you can and stay away from that fluffy, deliciously sinful bread. 

Government Food Pyramid

Primal Food Pyramid
     The first few weeks, you may feel even more tired and groggy, but that's your body switching from being a carb burner to being a fat burner. Sometimes it takes your body a while to adjust to the fact that it's not getting it's normal source of fuel. I know for me, every time I have a cheat meal, I feel terrible the next day. It's just not worth it. Stick by the Primal Food pyramid and you'll lose the fat as fast as if you were starving yourself. I haven't counted a single calorie since the say I turned myself into a cave woman. This lifestyle saved me, and it could be the very thing that saves you. If you are interested in it, I suggest you check out the book "21 Day Total Body Transformation" by Mark Sisson. Also, Check out the book "What Belly" by William Davis. If you don't believe me, those books have scientific proof. You can continue to eat foods like this:
And this:

And continue to feel like shit. While I eat food like this:

And still feel fantastic and just as satisfied! Stay Primal, my friends. 

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. What works for me, may not work for you. It takes will power and dedication.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

From Fatty to Fit

     Everyone knows that losing weight is not an easy thing. It's an emotionally and physically exhausting process. It's not a 30 day diet and BOOM, you're skinny. It takes dedication, motivation and determination. It takes pure willpower. It takes time. And most of all, it takes the right mindset. Losing weight to be "skinny" is not the right reason to lose weight. Losing weight to be healthy is the right reason to lose the pounds. For those of you who know me well, know that I have recently lost some weight. 30lbs to be exact. Now, I didn't lose this weight in a certain amount of time. I've been up and down for 3 years. But within this past year is when I truly made some changes in my life.
      My whole life I've been called fat. I can recall every single time that someone has said that word to me. I remember my grandpa telling me to watch what I'm eating then proceeded to say "MOOOOO." Calling me a cow was almost worse than just calling me fat. I remember staring in the mirror in 4th grade wondering why I had a fat roll around my tummy and my friends didn't. I remember wearing sweatshirts EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. because I wanted to hide my body. I remember my first crush saying he didn't like me because I was fat. I remember breaking down in tears all through high school because I was FAT. This process hasn't just been a physical change for me. I've had to change my thought process. I had to learn to love myself the way I was first. Then I started the process of changing my physical appearance. And not because I wanted to be "skinny." But because I wanted to be FIT. I wanted to know what my body could do. I wanted to know how far I could push myself. I wanted to be able to run and run and not get tired. I wanted to know what it was like to be the fit friend! I wanted to be able to walk into a room and feel confident about myself and about my body. So let me tell you how I did it.
     I've always had a bit of chunk on me. I've never been really thin. But my story begins when I was 16. I had gotten up to the highest weight I've ever been. Almost 200 pounds. But I was in denial. I looked in the mirror and thought, "no, I'm not that fat." It wasn't until the summer going into my senior year that I really took a look at my lifestyle. I was playing tennis with my brother and his girlfriend. Everyone was having fun. But me? I was dying. I couldn't keep up and eventually I hit the sidelines watching my family and friends have fun while I sat there trying to catch my breath. I smoked, I drank, and I ate. That's about all. After the vacation, my grandma sent us pictures... And this was the first one of me.
This was a major wake up call. But still, I was in denial. Long story short, my mom was the one to tell me that I needed to lose weight. I was depressed, sick and fat. Time to make changes. So I joined Weight Watchers. I liked it because I got to eat whatever I wanted. In moderation, of course. I lost 20 pounds from WW then plateaued. I started falling back into old habits and I felt hungry all the time. I gained the weight back within a few months. Looking back now, this is the time that I can pinpoint all my medical issues. I went back to being depressed, sick and fat. The summer before going off the college, I got back on track and lost the weight again. Not all of it, but a majority. Soon after I had started college, the freshman 15 found me. Expect it was closer to the freshman 25. I didn't understand it. I was eating all my healthy whole grains and I didn't think I was eating very much. But yet, I was gaining more and more weight. I was constantly fatigued. I couldn't concentrate. I felt like I was in a fog all the time. And my worst nightmare... I developed acne. Bad acne. I was so sick. After my first year of college I was fat again. I was sick. And I was falling back into extremely bad habits. Summer 2012 I started my research. I started going to doctor after doctor trying to figure out why I was fat and sick. Turns out I was hypothyroid. Hypothyroid causes the metabolism to slow down causing weight loss to be a struggle. It was also throwing my hormones out of wack. Even after all the medications, I still felt awful. That's when I found Primal. My life has been forever changed. At the beginning of 2013 is when I made a vow to never go back to my old ways. From my experience, this is what I know. My medical problems disappeared. My irritable bowel syndrome? Gone. My hormonal problems? Gone. My Acne? POOF! Gone. My fatigue? Gone. I felt amazing. My health was my priority but my weight loss was a bonus. Weight fell off almost effortlessly and I never felt hungry. I learned to listen to my body's hunger signals. Was I really hungry? Or was I just bored? My life was back on track. 
     So this brings me to today. 30 pounds lighter and a hell of a lot happier. Of course, I'm not where I want to be yet, but I work at it everyday. I'm always trying new things. Cleanses, fasting, new recipes, new fad meal plans. Always focusing on being better, but always eating like a cave man. Thank you, Primal!




      What I've learned about healthy lifestyles:
1) GET OFF WHEAT!!! This is so stinkin important I cannot begin to stress this. One piece of bread spikes your blood sugar more than a tablespoon of table sugar. Spike in blood sugar= weight gain (in simple terms). Stop eating wheat. Now. 
2) Drink half your body weight in ounces. Water Water Water! So important in clearing out toxins and aiding in hunger satisfaction. 
3) Don't overdue yourself with chronic cardio and exercise. 
4) Don't beat yourself up over a missed workout
5) Eat a good meal and take a walk. Walk as often as you can. 
6) Play. Go play ultimate Frisbee or go for a run with your dog. Have FUN exercising! 
7) Eat your favorite meal once a week. This stops you from binging in the middle of the week. 
8) Get off of starches (ie, potatoes, rice, corn) These have the same effects as wheat.
9) Lose the sugar
10) Get rid of pop, even diet.
11) If you can leave it on the shelf for a week without it getting moldy or gross, DON'T EAT IT! Remember, the longer it's shelf life, the shorter yours will be.
12) Have fun with food. Try new things. 
13) RELAX! Find time in your busy schedule to relax and wind down. Increased cortisol levels leads to weight gain over time. 
     All in all, I will always be trying to improve myself. Always trying to be better. But weight loss is a life long commitment. Success doesn't come easy. It's full of ups and downs. I still have self esteem issues and I will probably never be 100% comfortable with myself but I'm working at it every day. My goal is to inspire people to be the best that they can be. I've made so many changes this year. Looking back a year ago, I don't even recognize myself. This has not only been a physical change for me, it's been a mental change. I'm learning how to love myself. I still struggle with my old food addiction and I sure as hell miss doughnuts, but I always have to remember that it's just NOT worth it. Happy and Healthy is my lifestyle now (: