WIAW #2: A Light Day

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Greetings! Well something unusual happened to me Monday night that made what I ate yesterday a very light day. After a random day of eating and then a tough workout I totally overate at dinner. I then proceeded to snack with desserts that included homemade ice cream and dark chocolate. All of this made me uncomfortably full, and I actually had a stomach ache before going to bed. I woke up Tuesday morning and simply could not bear the idea of eating. This is totally strange for me since I often feel hungry as soon as I open my eyes in the AM. I also pretty much always eat breakfast even if it’s a small snack.

Breakfast – Nada. Black coffee. It felt a little strange, but it was for the best. I used to feel I had to eat a certain amount of meals or calories in a day. In other words, I was super rigid. I now think it’s really silly to see things in such a limited way. It’s not good to overdo it, but we also have to recognize there are times when we are hungrier than others. It’s ok to go with it (in my opinion) but it’s also important to recognize when your body needs to eat light and have a rest.

Lunch – I finally started to get a little hungry around 1:00 and decided it was time to finally eat. I had a handful of almonds while I put together a salad.

Raw Almonds

 

The salad consisted of a half can of Tuna fish, veggies, feta cheese and olives. I added olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and some herbs (oregano, dried parsley, salt and pepper) for some flavor. I also enjoyed half of a kombucha (unpictured) on the side.

Chopped Salad

Afternoon Snack – I grabbed a bar around 4:00 to make it through the rest of the afternoon. Hmm…yeah, I really do eat a lot of Kind Bars. Never more than one a day, but still they seem to pop up quite a bit. this was the Cashew & Ginger Spice flavor.

Kind Bar

Dinner – Grilled chicken, roasted cauliflower and brown rice. I feel like this needs something to green to make it look better. The food was really good, but it is all one color which makes it look unhealthy to me. Also, a little like prison food – organic prison food that is. :-)

Grilled Chicken

Dessert – One of my favorite product finds over the weekend at Paleo FX was The Love Bean. It’s a Superfood Fudge Spread and it’s incredible. I had it on some strawberries and it was great. I rounded out the night with a cup of tea and called it a day.

Love Bean

If you liked this WIAW post, head over to Peas & Crayons to view lots of others or to add your own!

Question of the Day: Any new favorite food product finds?

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Paleo FX 2014

Hello and Happy Monday! This past weekend was the Paleo FX Conference in Austin. It was totally interesting, and I had a lot of fun. I had never attended an event like this so I did not know what to expect. There were three days of speakers, networking events, cooking demonstrations and my favorite part – the vendors!

Palmer Convention Center

 

RegistrationNo joke the quality of the vendors and the variety of products and services they were offering was amazing. I pretty much had a sample of everything. Most companies were smaller business owners trying to get some recognition for what they have to offer. I think a lot of these companies are seeing that the average person does not have the kind of time or resources to make bread, granola, or protein bars from stratch that fit their dietary needs. It was a really fantastic trade show and it was fun to walk around and talk with everyone. The booths were set up around an area that was dedicated to strength and conditioning workshops.

Expo Floor

My favorites included The Love Bean, Kosmic Kombucha, Simple Squares, Primal Chocolate, Wildway Granola, and Choffey (which is drinkable chocolate).  These were just so many!

Simple Squares

I think the word Paleo conjures up a lot of really odd things for many people. To explain really briefly, a “Paleo” lifestyle or diet is to follow a diet based on our ancestral biology when food sources were limited to animal proteins, vegetables, fruit and nuts or seeds. This basically eliminates grains, dairy, legumes/beans and soy which are basically the cornerstones of the American Diet. As I have mentioned on the blog before I do not strictly follow this type of diet. However, I do like that this lifestyle promotes natural foods and eliminates junk food and sugar. So I am certainly intrigued and enjoy Paleo recipes and treats, but I am not a hard core devotee.

Yonder Farms

Speaker highlights for me included Dr. Terry Wahls who outlined her formula for conquering her own diagnosis of multiple sclerosis  – The Wahls Protocol, which she published as a book with the same title. I also really enjoyed a panel discussion on Workout & Nutrition which focused mostly on using carbs in a Paleo diet and how to maximize them in order to improve athletic performance.

Dr Wahls

Workout and Nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all it was a great conference and I hope to make it again next year!

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4/11: Friday’s Favorite Things

TGIF! I’m really excited to be attending the Paleo FX conference in Austin that I mentioned on the blog last week. It starts today and it should be really interesting. This event runs every day over the weekend so I have no plans other than resting up at night to prepare for the next day. I have my schedule for tomorrow, but still have to figure out which workshops I want to attend on Saturday and Sunday.

Now onto a few things that are making me smile this week:

Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones returned to the small screen last Sunday with their fourth season. I have moments when I am not sure why I am even still watching this show. I am really revolted by violence so I often find myself shutting my eyes to avoid certain scenes. Also, the plot takes so many twists and turns that I get confused about where some of the sub-plots are headed. The acting, however, is outstanding and my favorite character is Tyrion Lannister played by Peter Dinklage. My mother’s best friend actually knows him and his family so I am definitely less than 6 degrees separated from him. I am so impressed by the odds he has overcome and amazed at his acting career. Odds are I will be sticking it out for another season.

Peter Dinklage

Lavanilla Vanilla Lavender – I am a huge fan of organic beauty products and I provided a product review of some of my favorites in this post. Most commercial perfumes give me headaches and I really have never found one that I was able to stick with long-term. I always thought it would be super cool to have a “signature” fragrance that people would recognize as mine. However, I am really enjoying the the Vanilla Lavender Fragrance by LaVanilla. It’s light and I find that it provides me serenity rather than agitation.

Lavanilla

Fancy Hands – Who doesn’t need a little online helper? This website is great for research or simple web projects. Need to negotiate your cable bill or find a new dentist? Well, this site is certainly for you. You can buy a package of tasks for the month and use them however you like. It’s a nice way to pass off those little things you just keep moving to the bottom of you to-do list.

Fancy Hands

Fruit & Veggie Wash – I have always rinsed my fruit and veggies and I am devoted to my salad spinner for greens. However, I decided to make a more serious effort about six months ago and bought this new cleanser. I like to use it to wash chicken too.

Fruit & Veggie Wash 2

Third Coast Coffee – Oh yes, another coffee roaster. This roaster is based in Austin, but you can order their coffees online here. The quality is awesome and the price is totally reasonable. I purchased the decaf and the Congo for days when I feel like a little caffeine is a must.

Third Coast Coffee (2)

Question of the Day: What is one thing you are currently loving?

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TRX & Reverse Ab Crunch Workout

Howdy! Hope your week is going well. I wanted to pop in and share a new workout with you today. My guest post for Loving on the Run went up this afternoon so please click over to view the post and Sara’s blog if you have an opportunity.

I have always been a big fan of the TRX at the gym and took the plunge a while ago and bought one for myself. There are literally tons of exercises you can do on it and I feel it provides a great resistance workout that you can complete anywhere. This is why a TRX is a great tool for traveling because you can set it up in a hotel room or at a smaller hotel gym that has less equipment. Since I have been working around my shoulder injury I find the TRX provides me an opportunity to work on my upper body strength without having to include heavy weights.

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I started my workout with one of my go-to fast HIIT cardio sessions on the elliptical. I will usually go for about 3 minutes at a moderate pace and resistance to warm up. For me, this is actually an incline of 5 with a resistance of 5. I then alternate one minute on (fast intensity) with a moderate intensity for 15 minutes. Again for me, this is an incline of 7 with a resistance of 6. I then do a quick cool down for a total of 20 minutes. You have to modify depending on your fitness level.

I then went through a circuit on the TRX which included a TRX Row, TRX Low Row and a Snow Angel. The only difference between a regular row and a low row is the finishing position which I noted in the image below. I completed 3 sets of 15 each. My last exercise was geared towards my abs. These ab crunches are awesome and I have noticed a significant difference in my core strength since I started adding them to workout rotation. I completed 3 sets of 20 each taking a brief rest after each set.

 TRX Collage

Below are video links so you can better see me performing the movement combinations:

TRX Low Row

TRX High Row

Reverse Ab Crunch

If you try out the workout let me know what you think in the comments section! Be mindful to honor your body and limitations so please make modifications as necessary!

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WIAW #1: My Favorite New Snack

When I discovered the healthy living blogs a while back I noticed a big trend with a little thing called “What I Ate Wednesday.” Since blogs are a community I could see where this type of sharing could be totally helpful, but also misconstrued to outsiders. No one is saying it is what you should eat this or that or somehow you are a bad person if you ate a cookie and shared it on your blog. Some bloggers even stated that they refused to share what they eat in a day at the risk of inviting negativity and comparisons. My sister and I will talk about what we ate on occasion and I’m sure I’ve had the same conversation with others so I do not see the harm in sharing. I actually do like reading through these WIAW posts on other blogs because sometimes it’s fun simply for ideas. For example, a new snack I really like may not be considered a traditional recipe, but if I saw it through another blog I may consider checking it out. So like anything else I think it all depends on perspective. I decided to participate in the link up to hopefully inspire some readers! I do not keep a food diary currently, but I have in the past so this recap feels like a diary entry of sorts since it includes all my meals from yesterday.

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Breakfast – Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast foods. I purchase organic, gluten-free oatmeal on Amazon and my typical meal is a variation on overnight oats. Monday night I either forgot or was too lazy to put this together so I had to actually cook – over the stove yesterday ala Little House on the Prairie. My oatmeal consisted of ½ cup of oats cooked in water and then I added ½ scoop of Chocolate Sun warrior Protein and a splash of Unsweetened Coconut Milk. Toppings included ½ packet of Stevia, pecans, and 1 teaspoon of MCT Oil for some healthy fats.

Cooked Oatmeal

Lunch – The oatmeal was pretty filling, but I found I was hungry around 1:00 for lunch and was in the middle of writing an article so I wanted a meal I could put together quickly. I ended up putting some Paleo Egg Cups in the oven and served them over arugula with a splash of olive oil.

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I was still a little hungry afterwards and wanted something sweet so my favorite Kind bar made an appearance.

Kind Bar

Afternoon Snack – I knew I would need an afternoon snack to make it to the gym since that would put off dinner for a bit. My new favorite snack includes non-fat plain Greek yogurt with organic frozen raspberries and nuts or nut butter. I defrost a little less than ½ cup of the berries on the stove in coconut oil. This time I added about a tablespoon of sunflower butter. I also added that other half of a packet of Stevia to sweeten the yogurt.

Yogurt Snack

Pre-Dinner/Post Workout – After I got back from the gym I put together a simple protein shake to sip on while I was prepping dinner. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, 1 Scoop of Chocolate Sun and ice blended up.

Post Workout Shake

Dinner – Grass-fed steak, roasted cauliflower and brown rice with a bit of butter. I also enjoyed a few pieces of dark chocolate for dessert afterwards. I am currently enjoying Green & Black 70% but I did not snag a picture of it which may be for the best. I see now that this dinner looks terribly unappetizing. As always I blame the lighting.

Steak Dinner

If you liked this WIAW post, head over to Peas & Crayons to view lots of others or to add your own!

Question of the Day: Do you talk about what you eat with others? No judgment, just curious. :-)

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4/4: Friday’s Favorite Things

Another end to the week! While I still look forward to weekends time has felt a little different for me since I am not doing the 9-5 gig. When you work in corporate America it is all about the weekend. Frequent topics of conversation include what you did the past weekend and what your plans could be for the upcoming weekend. It’s a lot of pressure to come up with fun plans!  I am really excited to be attending the Paleo FX Conference next weekend. It’ll be three days of speakers, workshops and networking. I’ll be sure to give a full recap of my experience here.

Contigo – It is no secret at all that I am a huge fan of coffee. However, it has taken me years to find a travel coffee mug that does not leak all over me. I swear I find random coffee stains on my clothes all the time and my car – oops. These mugs appear to be spill proof and come in tons of fun colors. They are easy to order by way of Amazon too.

Contigo

Liquid Coconut Oil – One of my to-do posts is to write up an explanation of why you should or should not be cooking with certain oils. For years everyone though olive oil and vegetable oils were the healthiest things out there. However, it’s come to light that olive oil is really only a beneficial fat if it is not heated (i.e. a salad dressing). I almost always use coconut oil for my cooking, but the tricky thing about coconut oil is that it gets hard when it is not at a warm temperature. So I have bought several coconut sprays that keep hardening in the can and cannot be used. This has been super frustrating! The solution has been to purchase liquid coconut oil.

Liquid Coconut Oil

Bic Bands – I discovered these bands about a year ago when I saw them pop up on a bunch of different blogs. I kept buying headbands that would slip back while I was working out and it just was not cutting it for me. Bic Bands come in tons of styles and colors and I have a bunch I like to switch around. I find when I start to get a little tired of my work out clothes it adds a little pop of color too.

Bic Bands

Meyers Clean Day – I will admit that organic cleaning products do not work as well as the regular ones – at least for the most part. However, I hate the smell of most Clorox type cleansers because I feel like I am being poisoned. Yes, very dramatic for sure. I recently discovered Meyers Clean Day and the products are just awesome. The counter top spray works really well and offers an easy clean up option.

Meyers Clean Day

Question of the Day: What is one thing you are currently loving?

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