Struggling with Fat Loss Nutrition? Here are 2 Helpful Resources

Fat Loss Articles You Should Read if You Struggle with NutritionI don’t talk a lot about nutrition here because a) I’m not a nutritionist, and b) just when I think I have it figured out, I don’t.

But Point B is actually a good one (sometimes I am sort of smart!) because, from what I’ve learned through experience and lots of reading on the subject, nobody has it figured out completely. That’s because our bodies and our hormones are constantly changing and adjusting to our environments, and that includes the foods we eat and the type of exercise we do. This becomes increasingly clear as we age (you guys, I’m gonna be 40 this year).

Point B is also why I am super wary of one-size-fits-all “weight loss” programs like Weight Watchers. (Read this awesome explanation of why Oprah is doing Weight Watchers here—it’s not why you think. Thanks to my friend Marsha for sharing it.) I did Weight Watchers several times (before I knew better pre-2009) and each time I would lose and then gain it all back.

These types of programs don’t work for long-term fat loss and body change. Why? I’ve got a couple good links for you to check out at the end…stay with me here…

Our bodies are all so different. Okay, duh, we all look different. But did you know our insides are different, too? We all have different hormonal make-ups. The way our bodies use food is unique to each of us.

I could follow Weight Watchers and eat based on their points (or whatever they’re doing now), and still be eating foods that my body stores as fat. For me, sugar (even in the form of healthy foods like starchy potatoes and brown rice, etc.) is stored mostly as fat. But that’s just me. Your body is different.

And don’t take my word for it because…well, see Point A. Here are a couple not-too-long articles to read if you have been struggling with nutrition and weight or fat loss.

Naturopathic doctor and fat loss expert Jade Teta writes about it in an article called, simply: How to Reduce Belly Fat. I have read this many times, yet I always forget. This is an area of my body I struggle with quite a bit. While I don’t have a really big belly, it’s actually not a good size for my frame, and by that I mean it’s an unhealthy size. Story fat around the organs in your mid-section can be dangerous. But that’s a post for another time. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Teta’s article:

“The single biggest influence over the levels of insulin in your body comes from the amount of starchy and sweet foods you eat. The biggest influence over cortisol has to do with stress levels which are probably most directly related to sleep quantity and quality.” source

Another great article by Dr. Teta is this one about Health Foods vs. Fat Loss Foods. It makes a great point, so check it out here: 10 Healthiest Fat Loss Foods. Here’s an excerpt:

“Healthy eating has to do with vitamin amounts, mineral concentrations, essential fat content, fiber, and phytonutrient levels. There are plenty of foods that have great nutrient profiles that are not going to help most people lose fat. These include whole grains, nuts/seeds, avocados, olives, and high fat dairy foods to name a few.” source

Both articles have helped me get back on track this week after near-constant sugar cravings last week. I hope they help you, too. 🙂

Great Deals on Health and Fitness Books

kindledeals1

Happy Sunday! Looking for a new nutrition, fitness or running book?

I want to try a new weekly post inspired by the blog, The Modern Mrs. Darcy. She does a great list of fiction and non-fiction Amazon deals every day. Highly recommend signing up for her daily deals email!

I’m going to attempt a version of this for people who love reading health and fitness books like me. Right now, it’ll just be a weekly blog post, but someday I’ll figure out how to do an email. The following post includes affiliate links.

Never Binge Again

Never Binge Again(tm): Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person(tm). Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice!

By Glenn Livingston, PhD, Kindle Edition: Free

“Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer the overweight and/or food obsessed male, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of binging and overeating via work with his own patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most importantly, however, is Dr. Livingston’s own personal journey out of obesity and “food prison” to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.”

My thoughts: I have not read this, but will be downloading it for help with my tortilla chip problem.

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/397 reviews

Racing Dawn

Racing Dawn: How A Crazy Mom With 5 Kids Ran 12 Marathons In 12 Months

By Dawn Lauti, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “A revealing, funny, honest, and inspiring memoir from a self-described ‘ordinary person’ who tackled 12 marathons in 12 months with a devoted husband and 5 kids in tow.”

My thoughts: I remember reading her blog! If you love reading about running, this might be worth checking out.

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/65 reviews

Performance Nutrition for Runners

Runner’s World Performance Nutrition for Runners: How to Fuel Your Body for Stronger Workouts, Faster Recovery, and Your Best Race Times Ever

By Matt Fitzgerald, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “Runners have different nutrition and recovery needs than other endurance athletes. Yet until now, they’ve had no nutritional resource specifically addressing their concerns. This comprehensive guide distills the newest thinking in the science of exercise nutrition into practical, hands-on tips that will help runners stay healthy, recover faster, enjoy better workouts, and race successfully.”

My thoughts: While this book is a little older, there are recent reviews that say it was helpful for them. I’m a fan of Matt Fitzgerald, and think he does thorough research and he presents information in a way that is easy to digest (pun intended!).

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/40 reviews

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

By Dean Karnazes, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “In his follow-up to the best-selling Ultra-Marathon Man, world-renowned ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes chronicles his unbelievable exploits and explorations in gripping detail; Karnazes runs for days on end without rest, across some of the most exotic and inhospitable places on earth, including the Australian Outback, Antarctica, and the back alleys of New Jersey.”

My thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book, but if you love ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, it is worth $1.99!

Amazon reviews: 4 stars/116 reviews

Friday Recap and Results: Forgiveness

Well, this week went fast. The first week of my fourth round of Metabolic Prime is done and DONE. We are expecting a big rain and wind storm here in the Pacific Northwest, so I’m going to make this recap and results post quick.

Recap:

My nutrition choices this week were off-point. More of an oval shape. I have a serious tortilla chip problem that I will probably have to seek help for.

My workouts got done. Earlier in the week was tough, though, because my sleep was so bad, but it got better. Today, I had a great workout. I switched to 20-pound dumbbells for a majority of the lifts, too, so that’s a win.

I did not walk as much as I wanted to this week. I often got only 5,000-7,000 steps. The goal is 10,000 or more.

Friday recap

I’m keeping up with my bullet journaling! I just got a new one–a real one–and am busy setting it up. It has helped me stay on task most days. The one thing I’ve been ignoring, however, is my daily goals chart. Which reminds me…

I just finished reading Ann Patchett’s book The Getaway Car (<-affiliate link, thank you), which is about her experience becoming a novelist. In it, she talks about forgiving herself during the writing process, but I believe it applies to many things in our lives, including our fitness journeys:

“Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this, because it is the key to making art and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life.”

I forgive myself for those days when I ate so many chips I made myself sick. I forgive myself for not getting all my walks in. Life is too short to dwell on what happened last week. Tomorrow is a new day. Onward and upward. (Hope I take my own advice.)

Results:

Somehow, despite my poor choices, my weight stayed the same as last week at 151.6 and I lost a half inch on my hips and waist. So, I don’t know. I think my body is super comfy at 151.6 right now. I don’t mind. What I’d like is for some inches to come off my belly and hips and thighs. The answer, I know, is nutrition. I can’t eat half a bag of chips if I want better results.

Here’s my pic after my first week of my fourth round of Metabolic Prime:

Metabolic Prime Results Round 4
Metabolic Prime: Round 4, Phase 1, Week 1

Plan:

So, next week, I plan to focus on nutrition. The good news is that I’m starting a new part-time job and so there’ll be less opportunity to seek out the chips. (Of course, I could just not buy the chips.) However, there’ll be more opportunities to stress eat.

Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness.

Recipe: Cherry Vanilla Almond Smoothie

Recipe for Cherry Vanilla Almond Smoothie without protein powder

We ran out of  protein powder recently, but I wanted a smoothie! Luckily, I have pastuerized egg whites in my fridge, so I made something up and, guess what? It didn’t taste gross. It was actually really good. So, I’m sharing the recipe with you in case you want to try it! (Guys, it tasted like ice cream.)

Cherry Vanilla Almond Smoothie

8 ounces pasteurized egg whites

2 ounces water

1/2 cup frozen unsweetened cherries

1/2 Tablespoon almond butter

1 Tablespoon sliced almonds

1 Tablespoon coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 Tablespoon Truvia

1 cup crushed ice

Blend!

We use a (affiliate link coming up for a product I love…wait for it…) BlendTec Professional Series blender — we’ve made more than 2,000 smoothies in it without any problems with the base (I think we’ve had it for 3 or 4 years)! We absolutely love it. About a year ago, one of the jars broke and BlendTec replaced it with two jars for free.

We tried a competing blender before we bought the BlendTec and it just didn’t blend everything up like it should. This was an investment I’m glad we made because we use our blender almost every single day.

In case you’re interested, here’s the approximate nutritional facts for the smoothie:

Calories: 303

Fat: 8.8g

Carbs: 21.5g

Protein: 32.9g


How I Found Out I am Anemic

How I Found Out I Was Anemic

What is wrong with meeeeee?!

For the past few months, I’ve been feeling like absolute crap. First, I thought it was a nutrition problem. Then, I thought it was a cortisol problem. Then I thought it was a thyroid problem.

I finally know!

Turns out it was an iron problem. Iron-deficient anemia! Yeah, I was pretty excited to find out I’m anemic.

I had bloodwork done by my naturopath and my endocrinologist in the past few weeks. My naturopath (luckily) tested my Ferritin and my Red Blood Cell counts, and both were under the acceptable range. My Ferritin was very low. Naturally, the first thing I did is look up the symptoms of iron-deficient anemia. Here they are from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Extreme fatigue – check
  • Pale skin – well, I live in the Pacific Northwest, so…
  • Weakness – check
  • Shortness of breath – when I would try to exercise, yes
  • Chest pain – luckily, no
  • Frequent infections – luckily,
  • Headache – check
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness – check
  • Cold hands and feet – always
  • Inflammation and soreness of your tongue – I don’t think so
  • Brittle nails – not sure because I always paint them
  • Fast heartbeat – sometimes when I try to go to sleep at night
  • Unusual cravings (pica) – no, thankfully
  • Poor appetite – nah
  • Restless leg syndrome – no

So, I don’t have all the symptoms, but there are enough…uh, not to mention the blood tests. The thing is, the symptoms of anemia are similar to other problems, such as those related to the thyroid, adrenal fatigue, overtraining, etc. But I was not overtraining because I was just doing three 20-minute workouts per week, which was super annoying. I love to workout.

I’m two days into taking an iron supplement. I’m taking this one called Easy Iron. Warning: Do not start taking iron without talking to your doctor and getting your bloodwork done. Taking iron when you don’t need it, can be fatal.

Maybe it’s all in my head, but I am feeling better already. I feel like my sleep has been better quality sleep. When I wake up, I actually feel like I slept. So that’s nice.

It could also be from the gluten-free diet my doctors (both the naturopath and the endo) suggested I be on. Or maybe it’s from getting more sleep.

Yeah, I’ve been getting more sleep thanks to being unemployed. (ICYMI, I was laid off a couple of weeks ago.) I’m getting about 8 hours every night! (Plus, my hubs got us this Cool Mist Air Humidifier that also has an oil diffuser which makes our room more soothing. We use this Good Night essential oil which is a calming blend of chamomile and lavender, and some other good stuff.)

I haven’t been running because I simply didn’t have the energy. I thought it was causing me to feel bad, but it wasn’t the running. It was probably just exercise in general, plus my heavy periods, plus not eating enough iron-rich foods.

I’m so happy I finally know what had me feeling so bad. Is that weird? At least, I know I can correct it and get back to pumping iron and kicking butt out on the trails!

PS: If you’re not feeling right, go get yoself checked out!

Metabolic Prime 12-Week Challenge Results: Week 10 and 11

Week 11 of Metabolic Prime is over, so I took some pictures of my progress today. I was sort of dreading them because I had a rough couple of weeks (Week 10 especially), and my Week 10 pictures showed it. Here is Week 10:

Metabolic Prime Week 10 and 11 Update
Week 10

Week 11 seemed like it was going to be a continuation of Week 10, but toward the end of the week, I started to feel better. And I was pleased with my Week 11 pictures today.

Metabolic Prime Week 10 and 11 Progress
Week 11

Next week, I’ll put my Week 1 and Week 12 pictures together. 🙂

I officially weighed myself on Friday since I thought I wasn’t going to be home. I was up a pound, but we ended up coming home early, and I weighed myself this morning again, just to see: down a pound. LOL.

I also took measurements on Friday. I’d lost a a couple half inches here and there, or stayed the same. Same goes for Week 10.

Before I was done taking pics today, I decided to take a couple flexing pics. You can see them on my Facebook page. I was so pleasantly surprised. I’m so proud of myself for sticking with this challenge. I tend to get bored, and I didn’t get bored. I think I liked that every three weeks, the workouts changed.

But, I gotta say, the biggest thing I learned is that body composition is probably 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise, so if you’re just getting started, start in the kitchen! You can’t just exercise the fat off.

That’s all for tonight. Too much to do; just wanted to check in! Hope you had a fun weekend and now…the week begins.

I Know How to Get Lean, but Why?

Do you know why you want to get lean?
Not me, but…someday.

The most annoying thing in the world is when your husband is right.

Am I right?! (Let me answer that: Yes.)

Ugh. What’s even worse is when my husband is right about something that has to do with ME. I mean, who does he think he is talking sense and stuff? The nerve!

Last night, we were talking about our health and fitness goals. He’s been kicking some butt being more mindful about his nutrition and moving more, and he’s making steady progress. I’m super proud of him, but…I still don’t want him to be right.

So we were chatting and I was whining about figuring out my nutrition: Why is it so hard? Why can’t my HEC (Hunger, Energy and Cravings) just be in check all the time?

(By the way, I just want to say a special thanks to my period for throwing everything off and totally messing with me. So great! I love being a girl!)

Anyway, my husband asked me why I wanted to get lean anyway. I gave him my standard answer: to get lighter and faster for running.

You know how sometimes you say something out loud and it doesn’t quite sound right? In your head, it’s totally fine. Makes total sense. But out loud…it sounds a little…off?

That’s what happened when I gave my answer. And, because my husband, annoyingly pays attention to stuff (and reads this blog–hi, hon), he then said: But you aren’t really running anymore.

Um, yeah. Okay. Good point. Touché.

I then stumbled through a few explanations about why I wanted to get lean and gain muscle, and none of them sounded super great. In fact, I’m too embarrassed to even write them down here because most of them had to do with aesthetics and my own insecurities and vanity.

The point is, he was freaking right! See? So annoying!

My “why” for getting healthy and fit is that I want to age well. I want to be healthy and strong as I get older. I want to be in good health so I can enjoy life for a long time.

But my “why” for getting lean isn’t clear. So, I will be working on figuring that out in some future posts.

I gotta get this right.

PS: Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing to win a free entry in the Snoqualmie Valley Run. The winner is: Kim! If you didn’t win, remember you can use the code MOMVSMARATHON to save 10% on your entry fee. Orca Running is also having a deal right now where you can save $20 if you sign up for the SVR and the Iron Horse Half by 5/26/16, so check that out here.