I came home to a special package from Melissa Joulwan. If you aren’t familiar with her, she’s the author of the popular blog The Clothes Make the Girl, which is now renamed to just her name alone and her Well Fed book series. I’ve been a supporter and fan of Melissa’s for years now and have recommended her first Well Fed book before. If you are looking for really good recipes that meet Whole 30, Paleo, Clean Eating guidelines – look no further than her cook books. Her recipes are by far the top of the top in terms of just being good food. When people ask me for advice on going “paleo’ or starting a Whole 30 program — the first thing I recommend is to buy her cookbooks. Honest.
Want to buy the Well Fed books? Here’s a link to her online store and you can buy them through Amazon as well. If you are looking for even more Paleo and Clean Eating resources, visit my Paleo/CrossFit resource area.
- From Diabetes to Athlete’s Foot, Our Bodies Are Maladapted for Modern Life
- After 18 Years of Running, I Gave It All Up For CrossFit
- I Survived 6 Weeks Of CrossFit As A Plus-Size, Body-Positive Person
I’m committed to cooking dinner more as a way to eat healthier once again. Yesterday, I made a roasted chicken using a long ago bought, but never used Dutch Oven. I had no idea how easy cooking and cleaning up it could be.
Here’s the base recipe I used: PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN.
I lined the pan with onions and about 90 minutes later, I had an awesome, tasty roasted chicken. And – even better, there is enough chicken to make dinner for the family tonight too. The hardest part is finding the time to make it since it takes a while to roast.
You may ask – isn’t it easier and just as healthy to buy an already Roasted Chicken at the store? Well – take a look at the ingredients in most of those chickens and decide for yourself.
I challenge you all to give it a try — and let me know how it goes.
It’s January, which means we are all being bombarded with lots of articles about how to get healthier, more fit, which diet works best etc… Keep in mind that new research suggests that there is no one diet approach that fits all. A few months ago, Science Daily published ‘Healthy’ foods differ by individual that highlighted that we all metabolize food differently and a personalized approach is what will work best long term for anyone looking to improve their overall health and wellness. I’m sure that most people don’t need research to prove that -we have seen it personally.
“Ever wonder why that diet didn’t work? A new study tracking the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week suggests that even if we all ate the same meal, how it’s metabolized would differ from one person to another. The findings demonstrate the power of personalized nutrition in helping people identify which foods can help or hinder their health goals.”
I see it each and every day – I have a ton of friends who eat like crap but don’t gain a pound and it seems that I can’t eat a cookie without putting on a pound. It is what it is -and in order for me to maintain a certain level of health and wellness, I need to be very mindful of what I eat. It sucks but it is what it is. You can’t change genetics.
Related articles about the same study:
- This diet study upends everything we thought we knew about ‘healthy’ food
- Foods May Affect Each Person’s Blood Sugar Differently, Study Suggests
Now, let’s be clear though, this study doesn’t mean you can eat all the crap you want if your body metabolizes it quickly and be uber healthy. Eating processed, high in sugar foods are not good for anyone no matter who you are, so a solid foundation of whole, natural foods is still key for long term health and wellness. You can’t be at your best if you eat crap food. You may be one of those ‘lucky ones’ who doesn’t gain weight when you eat crap, but you won’t healthy and at peak performance where it counts.
- Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food: Researchers asked if one diet could be crowned best in terms of health outcomes. If diet is a set of rigid principles, the answer is a decisive no. In terms of broader guidelines, it’s a decisive yes.
I still have David Bowie on my mind – It was clear that he was born to be an artist and it showed in everything he did. What an amazing talent the world has lost…
We decided to adopt a puppy. We have been thinking about it for a while – and the kids are at an age where they can help at least a little with him. So, without further ado – Meet StormTrooper aka Trooper. He’s a 5 month old White German Shepherd and full of energy. He calms down nicely though and seems to be scared of everything around him which is a bit of a bummer. I am hoping it’s the new surroundings and he needs time to warm up. Almost everyone that has seen him, has shared that German Shepherds were their favorite dog growing up, and they make good family dogs. I’m going to enroll him in training in January which should help. He’s super smart and already sits and fetches – and we are training him to sit and wait at feeding time. We figured with the kids out of school for a few weeks, it would be a good time to get used to him being a part of the family. It will be interesting to see how he’s going to be next week when we all go back to our regularly scheduled routine and he will be alone for a block of time during the day.
Post Holiday Reset
Let’s talk about the holidays shall we? I have been out of control eating. I consciously know that I shouldn’t be shoving 80 bazillion cookies in my body, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The past few days I have been getting back on track though – becoming more mindful of what I am choosing and my plan is to start eating according to the Whole 30 approach in January.
The Whole30 program is a good option for those looking for a way to do a healthy reset or discover what food sensitivities you may have. For those interested in learning more about it, here are some great Whole30-related resources, compliments of Melissa Joulwan, author of the Well Fed book series, including 4 weeks of food plans, no recipe required meal ideas, motivational tips, and more.
One of the great things about doing the 30 day program is you can break your sugar habit if you follow the program religiously. It’s not easy, but craving sugar is one of the biggest issues for most people. Once you break that, which makes the first 10 or so days of this program the most challenging, you will begin to feel completely amazing. Your skin, your hair will look healthier. You will sleep better, wake up feeling better. Food will taste better. The list of benefits goes on and on.
In the coming year, I am going to spend more time working on my flexibility and mobility. I can feel the tightness in my shoulders and neck and have been having issues with my lower back. Nothing serious but I am smart enough to know it’s only takes an off balance move or a quick jerk and I could be feeling more than tightness. I started rolling out my shoulders and back with a Lacrosse ball after my boxing sessions. I have been introducing some friends to the painful joy of myofascial release after my sessions to. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t realize how important and effective it can be. I know many people use a foam roller, but I have found that using a Lacrosse Ball gives you a deeper roll out which is what my tired, tight muscles need.
- The Best Tool for a Deeper Self-Massage
- Hurts So Good: A Beginner’s Guide Self-Myofascial/Trigger Point Release
I’ve been struggling with my food choices the past few weeks and it has reminded me that when you eat like shit, you feel like shit. I’ve been so locked up in my head – not feeling my best – and it has translated to purposely not acknowledging what I am putting in my mouth. I am dealing with cystic acne on my face. I am a lot more fatigued and lose stamina during my workouts and not to mention the slow bloat (weight gain) I am seeing.
We have also gotten in the habit of ordering take out many times a week. Eating out all the time makes it hard to really know what you are eating and how it is made. With both Scott and I working, and with the kids’ schedule – we have been opting for convenience rather than health.
Last week, I started getting back on track. I started paying attention again to what I am eating which is half the battle, and making conscious decisions. I also made plans to make dinner at least four times this week at home. I think it can only help the entire family in the end. Planning and preparation is really key to making it work. It’s not a new concept – there is no magic bullet and it seems to get harder as you get older.
I have a sweet tooth (SUGAR ADDICTION) and I crave it — when I eat some, I want more and more. I am starting to consider doing a sugar detox – it’s a big commitment and I want to go all in if I decide to do it. Maybe something for me to jump into in January…
- THE TRUTH ABOUT CARBOHYDRATE ADDICTION (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)
- How Sugar Hijacks Your Brain And Makes You Addicted
- Fallen off the Weight Loss Wagon? 9 Tips to Get You Back on Track
- Diet, CrossFit & Running: What Really Changed My Body + Win a VISA Gift Card
Let’s all start the week with a laugh compliments of Saturday Night Live and Will Ferrell. This is a brilliant sketch full of wonderfully, subtle shots at the 2016 Republican candidates. Some of the things they are talking about downright frightening….
The Connection Between Eczema and Eating Dairy
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine about her recent case of eczema. I immediately said it’s probably dairy. She said that’s what her doctor said too Fast forward to this morning, before our 6A boxing session, she said she stopped the dairy and almost immediately – her eczema cleared up! Well what do you know!! It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that a sensitivity to dairy can cause skin issues and congestion.
Before understanding how dairy affected me, I had hard, crusty hands all the time. To help alleviate the burning and itching, my doctor gave me a steroid cream. He never once discussed its possible cause. Once I quit dairy – it was gone. Just like that! Recently, I was reminded once again that dairy and I don’t mix. I started drinking a whey protein shake in the AM. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process and after a few days, my eczema started to flare up on my hands again. I switched to a veggie based shake and the eczema issues cleared up.
As a general practice, I don’t eat dairy but maybe once a week. When I do have some, within hours, I feel congested and the next morning, my hands start to itch. If i eat it more than once a week, eczema on my hands starts to appear. One of my favorite treats – ice cream – is almost not worth eating because my congestion gets so bad that getting a good night’s sleep becomes a challenge. Everything in life is a trade off and now, before eating anything with dairy or gluten for that matter, I ask myself if it’s worth it. Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often, it’s no.
Here’s a bit more info on dairy and food allergies:
How can you figure out if dairy is causing you issues?
It’s simple really. Try eliminating it for a week or so to see if any skin issues clear up, including acne. Then, add it back in. If you notice a reaction, then you know that dairy is causing you some inflammation issues. Keep in mind that a week may not be enough time to really eliminate it. As with most things, It depends on the person. The thing is, if you find you are sensitive to dairy, you are armed with the knowledge and can be more aware of how your body feels and reacts to your food choices.
- Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.
- Kale is high in iron.
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food.
- Life Lessons: Harvard, Schmarvard; Why Getting Your Kids Into College Should Be the Least of Your Concerns
- Health: How Sleep Deprivation Fries Your Hormones, Your Immune System, and Your Brain
- Health: Medical Mysteries: What was causing a woman’s chronic digestive distress?
It was only me and another guy for boxing this morning which meant that Coach Mike had us work in the ring instead of on the heavy bag. It is so much harder to spar with your instructor – so much harder! Not only do you have to be quick on your feet at all times, you also have to be quick thinking too. In the ring, Mike works with us on our form and technique which is where I need to work. I am strong but once I learn how to use all the momentum and power possible to hit -watch out.
Here is a good site for some boxing info and tips: ExpertBoxing.com
Yesterday was the first day of school for kids in Loudoun County, Virginia which includes my two kiddos! And, although I love summer because we don’t have to rush around in the morning to get them off, I appreciate the routine of the school year too. I think kids are happier when they are in a learning environment and challenged.
Here are some great resources to help start the school year right:
- 31 DAYS OF SCHOOL LUNCHBOX IDEAS
- 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids ‘So How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them ‘So How Was School Today?’
- Pinterest: Back to School Search
- Nutrition: Cutting Back On Carbs, Not Fat, May Lead To More Weight Loss
- Nutrition: A Call For Lo-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat
- Nutrition: Why do parents ignore childhood obesity?
- Fitness: Increase Strength by Integrating Yoga: 10 Essential Postures for Strength Athletes
- Health: Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?
Enter the Giveaway
Don’t forget to enter the One Direction Looks Collection Giveaway that I highlighted on my blog this weekend.
Fall is around the corner and the change of season is a good time to make healthy changes in your life, like taking on the Whole 30 challenge. If you want to look into the Whole 30 approach, Melissa over at The Clothes Make the Girl compiled some great resources: Whole 30 Resources Roundup. I also found a Pinterest Board to help get you set up doing Whole 30: Whole30 Approved – Food.
And of course you can always visit my Paleo & CrossFit Resources page for even more information and inspiration!
- Life Lessons: Giving People Advice Rarely Works. This Does.
- Life Lessons: Why Kids Care More About Achievement Than Helping Others
- Health: When Summer Is Depressing
- Fitness: Under Armour settles whether ballet is a sport in new breathtaking ad
I’m loving this guy’s voice: Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One
Boxing – I was not really feeling it today, so my calorie burn was a bit down but at the end I did some stretching, so my calorie burn was around 800 total.
Although losing an hour in the spring is tough, I feel more energized and in the mood to organize. I have committed to going through closets in the next month and getting them situated. Let’s hope this energy is a sign that my winter blues are drifting away.
I am still having asthma fits during my workouts and it’s frustrating the heck out of me! Imagine being fit and having your lungs seize up every time you do something cardio based — so much that you have coughing fits and you can’t catch your breath but yet still have more to do. We did shuttle runs today and sure enough I was frustrated –I did complete them but it’s really frustrating to know I am working out as hard as I can but am still limited.
I did pretty well refocusing my nutrition yesterday and feel better already. I feel sorry for people who don’t realize how food affects them and just think it’s environmental allergies. A friend of mine told me yesterday that his wife has always had a runny nose and gave up dairy and guess what? No more runny nose! And funny timing to tell me that because I ran across this post from Holistic Dad:
Constant runny nose and sinus infection sufferers should find relief reducing these foods to elimination while adding more of the raw, nutrient packed foods that cut inflammation and mucus.
And it included this graphic: If you are constantly stuffy or congested, try eliminating the foods listed below that create mucus for 7-12 days and I bet you will notice a marked improvement. Although I do realize that the foods on the “no” list are the foods that are ‘yummy’. Ice cream is one of my all time favorite things in the world — As my daughter says “I wish the bad foods were good for us, and the good foods were bad for us”, but that ain’t so…
- Body-Image Pressure Increasingly Affects Boys
- Watch Kevin Bacon Try To Explain the 80s To Millennials
There is something really special about this short video that brought 20 people in and paired them up and asked that they kiss each other. Watch it and try not to smile…
- Ring Rows – My hands hurt with my calluses so I opted to do ring rows instead of pull ups.
- Push ups
- Shuttle Runs