Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bridal Body Slim Down: Day 3 & a Sugar Rush!!!

I was really thankful to take my rest day yesterday! I was able to tie up a lot of loose ends with the wedding. The playlist is now complete, the layout of the venue is drawn out, and times of arrivals and set ups have been confirmed. Thank the Lord!!!

Anyway, Day 3 of the Bridal Body Slim Down was more successful than the last 2. I finally had a grip on my schedule. So this evening, I was able to manage a 4 mile run with Peter and later completed an ab workout. 

I consumed the following...

Breakfast: GF Bread with REAL butter (more on that later), and pure honey.
Snack: Apple
Lunch: Leftover Chicken, Chili & Rice with Peas
Snack: Banana, Peanut Butter
Dinner: Egg Omelets with onions, green peppers, and black beans for added protein. All combined in a white corn tortilla with potatoes on the side (cheese omitted)
Snack: Another Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (HEAVEN!!!)

I feel pretty good so far. I haven't had any cravings, nor have I had any issues with bloating. I am hoping that I can keep it up because it is rare that I go this long without any puffiness in my mid-section!

As I stated in my original post, I have decided to rid my food and drinks of artificial sweeteners. I have made the switch to organic pure cane sugar. Though I was a little apprehensive about changing something I have been used to for years, I haven't noticed any negative side effects. What I have noticed though, is a HUGE difference between "fake" sugar and "real" sugar.
  • My cane sugar is darker in color, tinted or tan-like, while artificial sweetener (specifically Spenda) is pure white.
  • Splenda is more of the consistency of a grainy powdered sugar. It's not crystal-like grains like cane sugar.
  • Cane sugar is heavier & sinks to the bottom of a drink even after an initial stirring. 
  • TASTE! Splenda tastes a lot sweeter. Though that sounds like a perk, it truly changes your perception of what sweet is! I do not consider this a good thing.
  • Sugar rush!! I noticed that when I consume the cane sugar in my coffee or tea, that I get a bit of a sugar rush. I never did with artificial sweetener. I can't determine if this is a good or bad thing. Though my thought is this: It is a natural substance and my body is going to have a natural reaction to it. Taking in an unnatural substance, my body isn't going to know what it needs to do. 
I am going to experiment with this a little longer to see if my body shows any changes, whether physical or mental. Overall, my goal is to start avoiding artificial substances because these chemicals may impact my chances of cancer. I want to keep the abnormalities I did have in check. If that means ridding my body of unnatural substances, then I'll do it. 

My only concern is soda. I do drink diet soda here and there just to mix with alcohol on the weekends. I am more hesitant about switching that then adding real sugar to my tea or coffee. I have yet to be faced with this challenge, but I will definitely try!
 
Anyway,  I am hoping Day 4 is just as successful! Just a few more to go and I hope to be ready for this wedding!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bridal Body Slim Down: Day 1 & 2

Oh boy! These last two days have NOT gone as planned. 

I had my bachelorette party on Saturday night and although it was not Day 1 of my slim down, it greatly affected my Sunday. The ladies and I stayed out past midnight, then joined the boys at our home for some after party shenanigans. The festivities went well into the morning hours and I still recall people being up till about 6 am. I did go to bed around 3:00 am myself, but that was still hours after my normal bed time. 

I awoke at 8:30 am and enjoyed eggs and sliced potatoes for breakfast. Surprisingly, I felt well enough to do my long run. 

I wanted to do 13.1 miles, but I had to cut it short by a mile. I had to be at our wedding rehearsal by 1:00 pm and I was pushing 11:30 am when I finished 12.1 miles. I had just enough time to shower and dress.

Peter and I completely missed lunch, but I was able to grab a handful of almonds to keep me satisfied until we had a legit meal at 3:00 pm. We decided to go out to sushi, where I had 3 rolls, no spicy mayo or soy sauce. Lots & lots of water was consumed!

Once we finally returned home, we cleaned up the kitchen from the party tornado that came through during the night and then lay on the couch for a few hours. Needless to say, we were both COMPLETELY exhausted. I was unable to get in a strength workout because of how tired I was.

I managed to end my day with another meal, which was a wrap. It included turkey, onions, peppers, cheese, a little bit of salsa and yogurt on the side. Yet, I was in bed soon after.

My exhaustion has leaked over into Day 2 and I have decided to abstain from running today. I would much rather take a break and have a better run tomorrow, than have a bad run with lead legs. I was still able to maintain good eating habits today.

Breakfast: GF Chex with Almond Milk

Snack: Grapes

Lunch: Salad (Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Peppers, Avocado, Snap Peas, Baked Chicken Breast, Balsamic Vinaigrette), Apple

Snack: Banana, Peanut Butter

Dinner: Chicken Chili & Rice (Long Grain White Rice, Garden Fresh Tomatoes, Chilies, Jalapenos, Peppers, Onions, Chicken Breast, Black Pepper, Salt, Crushed Red Pepper), Peas

Snack: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
I also drank PLENTY of water and successfully stayed away from artificial sweeteners. 

Since I didn't run today, I intend on running tomorrow! I will assume the plan as normal! Remember, just because things didn't go as planned doesn't mean you give up!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sorta Silent Sunday: Bachelorette Edition


My lovely ladies joining me for a night of MAYHEM!!!

Bar #1

The fireman let me wear his jacket

Dancing to Austin Ellis from The Voice

Posing it up with Austin Ellis!

This was a Bachelorette To-Do: Pose sexy with a bike

...and pose sexy with a sports car...I twerked it (another to-do)

I do not remember why I frowned.

Still made it out the next day for a 12 mile run!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

7 (err 6) Day Bridal Body Slim Down

It's the final countdown!

That's right! Who has two thumbs and is getting married next Saturday? THIS GIRL!


I have anxiously waited for this day to come and it feels like it has taken forever! I feel that most people say that it came up so quickly, but I think this last year has DRAGGED! Now, we have most of our ducks in a row and are more than ready to get this show on the road!

As a part of my last 7 (well 6 if you don't count the wedding day itself) days of the single life, I decided I wanted to feel/look my best. So I am testing out my very own version of a 7 Day Bridal Body Slim Down. I want to ensure that I will not be bloated and uncomfortable in the wedding dress that has now been altered to fit me like a glove. There is no room to pudge up!

I have made a couple of rules to help keep the bloat out of my system for these final days.
  • Absolutely NO Gluten. I am about 90% GF, but this week, 100%!
  • NO Artificial Sweeteners. Not in my tea, not in my coffee. This is not just going to be a bridal body rule, but this will become an item I cut from here on out.
  • 50% Dairy Free. I love cheese. I eat A LOT of cheese. More cheese than I should. I only want to cut back this week, not get rid of completely. 
  • Drink 3 Liters of Water Per Day. I am typically good at this, but I want to make this a rule and not slack, no matter how busy I may get. Water keeps the pipes oiled and lets everything "flow" better!
  •  NO ALCOHOL! I usually do not drink Sunday-Thursday. But I have fallen off the horse with football Sundays and with the amount of wine I have acquired from my bridal shower, I have made exceptions. For this week, no alcohol Sunday-Wednesday. I will allow some wine on Thursday and Friday since that is technically the beginning of my weekend.







I have made myself a fitness plan for the week. It may or may not be changed due to an ever-changing schedule. But I still want to follow it pretty closely!

  • Sunday: Long Run (At least 10 miles, aiming for 13.1 or more). Strength training with dumbbells.
  • Monday: 3-6 mile run. Ab workout.
  • Tuesday: 3-6 mile run. Pushups & squats.
  • Wednesday: 3-6 mile run. Ab workout.
  • Thursday: Rest Day.
  • Friday: Long Run (8-13.1 miles). Strength training with dumbbells.
Food is really important this coming week. I am confident I will get my workouts in, but food tends to be my weaker area. Though I will not list every meal that I am going to have in this post, I want to give an idea of what I plan on doing this week.
  • Sunday: No added sugar/candy. Focus on foods that promote detox. Detoxing foods can include apples, almonds, garlic, onions, and avocados. 
  • Monday: No added sugar/candy. No dairy. Fill up on fruits and veggies! Have a salad and a fruit on the side! Stick with detoxing foods on this day as well.
  • Tuesday: No added sugar/candy. No dairy. Stick with fruits and veggies and make sure you are getting your protein! Avoid red meat.
  • Wednesday: No added sugar/candy. No dairy. Remain focused on fruits, veggies, and protein. Start to take digestive aid. I use Arbonne's Digestion Plus, which is very mild and keeps you regular!
  • Thursday: No added sugar/candy. Keep lunch light to balance the heavy dinner. I am allowing dairy since it's our weekly pizza tradition (I am not having pizza without cheese!!!). Allowed 2 glasses of wine ONLY! Take digestive aid.
  • Friday: Since long run day, make sure to eat high protein. Reduce bloat-promoting veggies like broccoli to prevent any belly gain. Take digestive aid and detox tea.

Still feeling hungry or having a craving?
  • Have a few nuts with a glass of water to fill up your belly.
  • Eat some non-bloating veggies.
  • Have an apple or a small fruit. Better than grabbing a sugary snack!
  • Try some flavored tea. The taste my reduce a craving!

As I mentioned above, this is my own version of a 7 day plan. BUT, feel free to try it and let me know if it worked for you!

Last Saturday Long Run As A Single Lady!













Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

I have said this a million times before, but I will say it again: I. LOVE. FALL! Not just for the weather or for the colors.

I think you know what I am talking about! The food and drinks!


 I know that many of you wait all year for the release of Starbucks' seasonal pumpkin spice latte. Although I do love a good pumpkin-flavored beverage that includes caffeine, I have decided that I will not be buying any from Starbucks this year.

You may have read several articles (stemmed from this one) that have stated that this seasonal favorite does not include the most ingredient of all: PUMPKIN! That instantly turned me off! I have lived on a farm my entire life and we have grown pumpkins every year. I have invested time into cooking these bad boys and making pumpkin puree. I have used it for my own pies and other seasonal desserts. The taste of fresh pumpkin puree is like no other! So when I heard that Starbucks didn't even use puree, I was really disappointed.

I decided to invest my time and money into my own creation using actual pumpkin! It may not contain caffeine, but it is a delicious (and healthier) treat for any time of the day! You can enjoy it for breakfast, a snack, or even a meal replacement!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie


Ingredients

The easiest directions in the world: Throw it all in a blender and let 'er rip!


I drank this gorgeous beverage in no time and felt no remorse!!! It is just under 250 calories, so what is there to feel guilty about?!




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gluten Free Experiment

I never thought that my 30 days going gluten free would turn into 3 months!

I began this challenge to not only see if I could survive without bread, but to see if I noticed any physical changes in my body. I did some research and found that gluten may be the cause of the frequent bloat in my mid-section. Due to the discomfort I felt day in and day out, I was willing to try anything and thought "why not go GF!?" I was done with looking at myself in the mirror and questioning if I were "fat." The body negativity was unbearable!

I never assumed wheat was my issue. At least, I tried to deny it had anything to do with how I felt. I loved bread, pasta, crusts, cookies....the list goes on and on! My misery outweighed the obsession I had with wheat, however. I decided that after my sister's wedding festivities ended, I was making a change!

It could not have happened at a better time either! Farm-fresh produce was coming in like crazy and they are all basically GF!


I was also able to find GF versions of my favorite meals like PIZZA CRUST (my all-time favorite Friday dinner!).


GF Waffle Cone!


Becoming gluten-free not only forced me to bake and cook my own meals more often, but it pushed me to be more creative. Like replacing pasta with zuchinni noodles, for example.


I would have never tried this if it weren't for becoming GF. Quite honestly, it was a nice change! I loved how I felt after indulging in a plate full of "spaghetti" without feeling maxed-out full!

Anyway, after just a few days of ridding myself of gluten, I noticed the bloat occurred less frequently. After a month, I noticed my tummy was shrinking. After nearly 3 months, here's the physical difference.



Though there is still a little pudge that hangs out, it is less prominent and I am happy with that!

I would say that during these 90 days, I have been 90% GF. I have had some cupcakes since we taste tested flavors for our cakes, had a donut after the Krumpe's Donut Alley Ralley, and a delicious cookie at my bridal shower. I have also had some foods that didn't necessarily contain wheat, but may have been exposed to it when it was manufactured. However, since I don't have celiac disease, I cannot say that this would truly have a huge impact on how I felt.

In conclusion, I plan on continuing these eating habits for months to come. I imagine I will continue to have gluten from time to time, but I am extremely happy with my results and how I feel. Gluten will remain on the back-burner. I also recommend that others try this eating plan. Even if you are not willing to go all the way, replacing a few meals may make a difference!

Will you ever try to go gluten-free? Why or why not?

Are you presently gluten-free? What's your favorite GF meal?