#SuitYourself

A local Atlanta Radio Morning Show, The Bert Show started this AWESOME campaign called #SuitYourself.  The hashtag is there because its a virtual campaign on Instagram.  The idea behind it is to empower women to love their bodies and be proud of it regardless of how it looks.  Women all over the country and possibly the world are taking pictures of themselves in their bathing suits and posting for everyone and anyone to see.  Comments under the pictures range from: ” Be comfortable in your skin. No matter what shape or size. Be you.  Join the movement. #suityourself” from kelseag38 and “Supporting the movement #suityourself #nofilter… 3 kids and proud of my stripes.” from mercyfu1.

Check it out:

suityourself

I love this.  Its great to band together as women and accept our bodies and each other’s bodies for what they are without judgement.  We as women are so hard on each other and most of all ourselves.  If we can try in just one aspect to change that, then other aspects are sure to follow.

Will you join in on the movement?

Healthy Summer Choices

Its officially Summer here in Atlanta.  We wasted no time here to pull out the shorts, bathing suits and sunscreen.  It can be daunting to put your bathing suit on for the first time after a long winter.  Before I started CrossFit and paleo, I would usually just try to eat less.  Well now that I’ve been freed from this sort of thinking because I understand the way my body uses foods, I don’t do that.  Instead, I choose options that I already know are healthier but I may not have been eating as much of (because, hey – no one is perfect).

Healthy Choice 1: Make your own salad dressing. 

Not only are bottled salad dressings more expensive, there’s not too many options out there with quality ingredients.  I don’t want canola oil on my arugula, thank you though.  Here’s what I put directly onto the salad once I make it:

Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Drizzle Vinegar (I use either Apple Cider or Red Wine)

Sprinkle onion powder, garlic powder, S&P

Stir! Delish! Also, may I suggest making a hearty salad for at least 1 meal a day.  Just to get in some extra veggies that you may have been avoiding.

Healthy Choice 2: Skip the mixers and use fresh fruit to add some flavor to your cocktails!

Lets be realistic about summer drinking.  Its always more fun to sip on something fun while you’re out at the pool.  Sometimes its easy to think you want that beer, but you don’t want to get a beer belly in your bikini.  Here’s my new favorite summer cocktail:

To a glass (or plastic solo cup to be real classy) add:

Ice

1-2 shots of vodka (Russian Standard is my favorite)

Juice of 1/2 lime (Just cut it up and squeeze the juice into your cup)

1 big bunch of fresh mint and basil (mashed/pressed/torn up to bring out the maximal juices)

Top off with soda water.

Here’s a picture of mine from this weekend:

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Healthy Choice 3: Wear Sunscreen.

This last choice has nothing to do with food and drink but I really believe in this.  I’m only 26 and have already had too many friends with skin cancer scares.  Being tan is way less cool after your girlfriend gets diagnosed with Stage 1 Melanoma at the age of 26.  Also, check out THIS ARTICLE  from The Food Babe.  She gives you a list of HEALTHY sunscreens to check out.  Who knew we had to worry about sunscreen ingredients too now!?

There’s 3 options that I hope you implement and enjoy!

Lululemon Charity Event June 2nd

Listen up people! My friend My Style Vita and I will be hosting an event at the Lululemon (Howell Mill location) in Atlanta on June 2nd!   We are so excited to be given this opportunity.  What kind of an event is it, you ask?  Well, you know me… there will be some drinks (Sinless Margaritas to be specific) and some yummy snacks provided by my other CrossFitting/Yogi friend Cawood’s NuttyButter.

We are all equally obsessed with animals so we will be raising money for the Atlanta Humane Society.  I would love to see you guys there for some shopping, drinking and socializing!  Stay tuned to my facebook page for updates!

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Easy Salmon Cakes

I’ve been wanting to increase the amount of fish I eat for some time now.  I eat a lot of grass-fed beef for the high omega-3 content, but I know variance is always good too! So, a few weeks ago I bought CANNED wild-caught Alaskan Salmon at Whole Foods.  I thought I’d figure out some kind of Salmon Salad or something to do with it.  But, I have to be honest with you the thought of eating meat out of a can really grossed me out.  I’ve never even had canned tuna.  So anyways, I digress.  One of my fellow “nutrition lovers” has a facebook page devoted to what she eats and how she works out.  She posted a Salmon Cake and I thought it was genius and that I would figure out a way to try that.  So, here is my version.  It was actually AMAZING.  It tasted so good, no one would ever know it was from a can.  My house is a little smelly now though, but I just lit a candle.

salmon patties

Ingredients: 

1 6-oz can of Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon

1 egg

Zest and Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Dill

2 Tablespoons chopped Yellow Onion

S & P to taste (never forget to season!)

1 Tablespoon Flaxseed Meal

1 dash of Chipotle Chili Powder (optional)

2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

Method: 

 Drain your can of tuna.  Mix up all ingredients in a medium bowl EXCEPT the coconut oil.  Put coconut oil in a large skillet heated to medium-high heat.  Once melted, form your salmon mixture into patties like your making burgers.  Put them in your pan and put the lid on your pan.  Cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown.  VOILA! Thats it.  This made 2 salmon patties.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  Slice up your other lemon half and squeeze the heck out of it over your freshly cooked salmon patties.  Enjoy over a bed of mixed greens.

Three Ingredient Butternut Squash Pancakes

Butternut squash pancakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canned Butternut Squash

2 eggs

1-2 heaping tablespoons of almond butter

1-2 Tablespoons Grass-fed Butter OR coconut oil (for coating skillet)

Optional add ins: vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice

Method:

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add butter OR coconut oil to melt and coat the bottom of the pan.  Mix the Butternut Squash, eggs and almond butter  in a small bowl until well blended (just use a fork to blend).  Consider adding the optional add-ins.  I put a few small drops of vanilla, a very small dash of nutmeg and a generous dash of cinnamon.  Once the pan is hot and the butter is melted, you can pour the batter straight from the bowl into the pan to make your desired size pancakes.  (It’s all about using as little ingredients and dishes to make these.) Once you see little bubbles popping up through the pancakes its time to flip (2-3 min each side).

Another optional way to eat these is to add an egg (or 2) with a runny yolk. Sometimes the thing you miss most about pancakes while on the 21-DSD is getting to sop up some liquid.  Since you can’t have maple syrup the egg yolk is a great substitute!  These already have a nice sweet flavor because of the butternut squash so the egg adds a little savory to the dish.  This recipe makes about 4 medium-large size Butternut Squash Pancakes.

ENJOY!

21-Day Sugar Detox Wrap Up!!!

Well my 21 days are finally UP! I knew this day would come! I learned a lot during this detox.  First, I want to share with yall my before and after pictures.  Its kind of weird and I feel a little uncomfortable analyzing pictures of me with my stomach showing but I think I’m also a weirdo.  The point of the pictures were to see if I could actually see a difference in my body from 21 days of cutting sugar out.  I don’t own a scale so I didn’t weigh myself.  I didn’t measure anything either, just took these pictures.  So here ya go:

 Different angles of “Before” 

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Front “Before” and “After” side by side

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I didn’t post the side or back “after”  because it showed too much my messy counter top.  Sorry!!  You couldn’t see much of a difference there anyway.  But you got the point here.  I didn’t change that much.  I lost some bloating and possibly some fat but I didn’t have too much to lose when I started and honesty, it really wasn’t a goal for me to lose weight.  I’m more interested in how I feel and how I’m doing in the gym.

So, now that we got those pictures out of the way….. let’s talk about some things I really loved about doing the detox.

  1. I felt amazing.  I had so much energy.  I wake up at or before 5am five days a week and I never needed a nap.  I had sustained energy all day.  I did however get tired as soon as I laid down at the end of the night.  Mostly between 9pm and 10pm.  
  2. I thought I looked prettier.  You know when you first get out of bed you almost don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror because its kind of scary?  Well, I noticed that when I woke up in the morning I looked refreshed and less tired.  That can probably be attributed to less eye bags and better skin, which brings me to No. 3.
  3. My skin was better.  It had a more even tone and I noticed I lad less blackheads (I don’t usually get those pesky white bumps).
  4. It felt good to be nourishing my body with food every single time I ate.  I learned if I wanted to be full I needed to eat more fat (bacon and avocado were my two main sources). Days where I ate a lot of either of those two I felt better, had more energy and wasn’t as hungry.  Days where I ate mostly chicken breast (low in fat) I was hungry a lot more.
  5. The first week and a half were rough for me in the gym.  I felt pretty light headed and had to take it easy.  By week three my body was used to having less sugar to look for for energy and took to burning my fat and I could tell!  I worked out hard the last 1.5 weeks of the detox and never felt better.  I had energy during the workout and never felt light headed or dizzy.  I also never really got sore.

One thing I’m still learning is how eating so healthfully is affecting my digestion.  It never really evened out like I was hoping.  I starting drinking more kombucha and that seemed to help.  I’ll probably need to try making my own seeing as how buying it by the bottle is kind of expensive.  I may also look into taking some probiotics.

So it’s over…. now what? 

I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been having a little fun since my detox ended.  I enjoyed some red wine, girl scout cookies, pancakes and pizza.  Yes, all of those… already.  The girl scout cookies were a bit of a disappointment for some reason, but I bought them for a good cause and I’m not letting them go to waste.  The pancake and pizza I had were by far 2 of the greatest decisions of my life.  I love cheat meals.  You may be thinking, well why go through all those 21 days just to mess it up by eating all those unhealthy things?  The way I look at food is special.  I enjoy eating.  I enjoy planning my meals and I enjoy the whole process of food in itself.  To me its a social experience, a cultural experience and I don’t want to give up viewing it as such.  Food and eating make me happy.  I don’t want to take that away.  I do however realize that eating pancakes, pizza and wine all day would make me very unhealthy and unhappy.  So, I indulge on occasion and I enjoy it.  I have decided that this week I’ll be eating whatever I want.  On Monday I’m going to start back eating like I’m on the detox.  I’ll have wine on the weekend but not during the week and maybe a cheat meal on the weekend if I really want it.  For the most part though I felt sooooo much better during the detox and I want to feel that way again.

I definitely recommend EVERYONE try this detox.  The way I looked at it is it’s only 3 weeks.  Not even 1 month and it will be gone before you know it.  If its for your health its totally worth trying for 3 weeks.  If you hate it you can go back to eating whole wheat and sugar, but if you love it, you lost nothing.  TRY IT PEOPLE! And if you do, please let me know.  I’ve already been getting tons of friends texting me pictures of their food and telling me how they’ve started paleo and eating better.  I love to hear it!

To learn more about my detox click here: the21daysugardetox.com

Sweet Roasted Cashews

Home roasted nuts are always so much better than store bought.  It’s not hard at all to roast them yourself and there’s always a fun way to season them up that you can’t find at even the best Farmer’s Market.  Here I used cinnamon and nutmeg as my main seasonings.  Check it out below:

Ingredients you need: 

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (not pictured)

1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

7-8 oz Raw Chashews

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Charlie my curious little dog and the bowl of cashews.

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Method: 

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until cashews are fully coated.  Spread evenly on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes, stirring about half way through.  Keep an eye on them towards the end of cooking time to make sure they don’t burn!  Once finished, let cool and ENJOY!

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A Salad a Day Keeps the Dr. Away

Salad Dressing

I’m really not that into salads.  I’d rather have a bunch of carbs and a brownie, lets be real.  But sometimes you just need to do whats right for your body and get in some raw veggies and leafy greens via a salad.  I’ve been eating lots of salads on my 21-Day Sugar Detox.  They are really easy to make and can be really versatile depending on what ingredients you use.  Below are some of my favorite ways to salad it up:

Salad 1: “The Traditional” (pictured above)

Spinach and Arugula mix

Baby grape tomatoes

Mushroom Slices

Avocado slices

Salad 2: “The Leftover Salad” 

Greens of your choice (I always prefer spinach & arugula mix)

Leftover veggies from dinner the night before

Leftover protein from night before

*You can heat up the leftovers and top them on the greens.  This is an easy way to get in more greens

Salad 3: “The Tangy Salad” 

Greens of your choice

Pepperoncinis cut into small pieces (the more the better!)

Lots of black olives

1-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Almond Slices

Salad 4: “The Bacon Breakfast Salad”

Greens of your choice

3-4 slices of bacon

2-3 Eggs cooked over medium (yellow yolk still runny)

*Make your own dressing with bacon drippings, red wine vinegar and s&p

I also pictured above my favorite salad dressing brand.  I usually make my own dressing but sometimes I just want to be lazy and have one pre-made.  This brand is AWESOME and as you can see has all wholesome ingredients.  I find this dressing in the salad section of the produce aisle at Whole Foods.

Easiest (hardest) Workout Ever

People ask me all the time what they can do at home to get a workout out in or if they’re going on vacation what they could be doing without gym access.  Every time I give them the same answer: Tabata Intervals.  Tabatas are tricky.  They seem not so bad until you actually get a few rounds in and think you should be done soon only to realize you still have 5 rounds left.  So, what is a Tabata Interval?

This is the easy part: 20 seconds of “work” followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.  The hard part comes in the “work” you decide upon.  Here is a list of some of my favorite ways to torture myself and the people I train:

  1. Jumping Rope (singles or double unders) 
  2. Squats
  3. Sit-ups (not crunches! actually laying all the way on the floor and sitting all the way up to vertical).
  4. Hand stand holds (all time fave)
  5. Push-ups (all the way to the ground!!!!)
  6. Plank hold
  7. Hollow body hold (demo: click here!)
  8. Leg lifts
  9. Superman holds
  10. Running (Sprints)

Okay, there’s 10 different movements.  Trust me they will rock you.  One thing about Tabata intervals is that you know you have a rescheduled rest coming up.  You also know that 20 seconds isn’t that long, right?  So, you go all out, holding nothing back because you have recovery time coming right up.  And the whole interval only lasts 4 minutes.  YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 4 MINUTES — trust me, I’m a professional ;).

There’s also an important way to “score” these Tabata intervals that I haven’t mentioned yet.  The way to score is to count how many reps you get each round.  Some of the movements don’t have repetitions (holds and running) so you don’t have to count or you could use distance for running as your means to measure.  But the point is to not let your repetitions fall throughout the workout.  If you did 14 squats in the first 20 seconds, you should strive for 14 every round.  If you only get 13 one round, then oops, your score is only 13.  I like to score every workout I do because you can repeat it at any point and have a means of comparison.

To learn more about Tabata Intervals, click here!

rachela1

“Why We Get Fat”

If you guys are staying in today keeping away from the chilly weather out there, check out this video.  Its about 45 minutes but you can watch the first 5 minutes and learn the gist of Gary Taubes’ philosophy.

He explains why eating fat doesn’t actually make us fat and how the body really processes the foods you eat.

ENJOY and learn a lil’ something today.