So, this journey has never been about losing weight really, although I was aware that I could stand to lose a few pounds, I certainly didn't think I was seriously over weight at 161 lbs and a size 10 (pretty average). The main goal has been lowering inflammation for me. In December, I cut out gluten. My rheumatologist recommended it, as well as eating less red meat, sugars, and processed foods (high inflammatory food). I was ready to try anything, so in addition to starting my new arthritis medications, I also cut out gluten and did my best to avoid sugar and ate very little red meat. I also started doing very gentle floor exercises and lifting light weights for about 20-30 minutes each night before bed because I felt my muscles weakening since I'd been less active due to my pain.
My starting weight was 161lb on the left and I was in pain in most of my joints, was exhausted, felt bloated in my belly, had brain fog, and little bumps on the backs of my arms..
On the right, you can see a bit of a difference. I am now 149lb and wearing a size 8. I am waaaaaay less bloated than I had been and I have so much more energy. I don't feel like I need a nap midday anymore, and I stay up later at night because I'm not exhausted like I used to be. Even the brain fog has lifted and the little bumps on my arms have improved.
The best part is that I'm not in constant pain. I do still get the occasional arthritis ache, my hand sometimes gets achy or my foot. But it passes more quickly now and for the most part, I'm able to do everything physically that I used to do.
In addition, I recently started trying out a low-lectin eating plan (Dr. Gundry's Plant Paradox) that has me cutting out more lectins (not just gluten, which is the most famous lectin). I have only been on the new low-lectin plan for 2 weeks, so I can't really say much about that yet, But I promise to keep you posted on how I feel.
Here are a few of my new fave anti-lectin foods:
Cauliflower rice, goat cheese, all types of olives, avocados, coconut milk yogurt, and pasture=raised eggs which means NOT grain-fed. I also love walnuts and macadamia nuts and am learning to use my Instapot pressure cooker to prepare beans and rice, so that I can cook out the lectins and still enjoy them. Did you know that all of the Eden brand canned beans are already pressure cooked for you? So awesome! We also made the switch to A2 milk and it's delish.
Sarah, you are random. This whole site is random as hell. You never know what you are gonna get on this thing. I know, Right? I apologize for my randomness-ity, but this is my creative outlet here, so bear with me.
This has been bouncing around in my head lately and I'd love to know your thoughts. Anyone reading these posts anyway? Mom? Mom, I know you read these, so I definitely expect to hear your thoughts in the comments below. At least I have one reader!
Dr. Gundry's new book called The Plant Paradox. Listen. I absolutely hate fads about healthy eating. I never did the Whole 30 or the Eat-like-a-Gorilla Paleo thing or the Atkins-Meat-and-Eggs-Me diet, because I'm... Well, I'm Moderation-Freakin'-Mama! I just like to eat and drink things in moderation. Not too much of this and not too much of that. But then, I caught wind of Kelly Clarkston talking about how she was eating in a whole new way thanks to Dr. Gundry's book. She looked amazing and says she feels better than ever. I looked it up online and read a bit about it.
Turns out, Dr. Steven Gundry is a world renowned cardiologist that has performed more pediatric heart transplants than any other doctor in the world. He has also transplanted hearts from Pig to Baboon successfully. Needless to say, he knows a lot about immunology and our autoimmune systems (anti-rejection). He believes that the increase in lectins in our diet (inflammatory proteins- GLUTEN is one that you already know about), are causing a spike in inflammatory diseases and autoimmune issues.
It turns out that he has some incredible insight on our current eating habits and how they are nearly 80% corn and grain-based these days. Even our meats are nearly all 100% corn/grain fed (not grass fed), so when we eat corn/grain fed meat, we too are eating what that animal ate (corn/grain). So our diets are chalk-full of corns and grains which are the highest lectin foods out there. Lectins, create antibodies that cause inflammation, reeking havoc on our immune systems, blood sugar, and endocrine systems causing everything from early puberty in children to diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and arthritis.
He suggests that we consider how a cow is fattened... it is fed nearly a 100% corn and grain diet (obviously NOT a cow's natural diet). If this method is used to fatten up our animals, why should we be any different?
The surprising part is that lectins are found in many vegetables that we all consider "healthy," such as the skin and seeds of tomatoes and cucumbers. Plants produce lectins to deter insects from eating them. Some plants have higher amounts of lectins than others, so it's important to know which ones.
Anyway, I have become fascinated by this book and Dr. Gundry's research as well as the results of his patients. He teaches his readers and patients how to remove high-lectin food from our diets to bring down the inflammation in our bodies that is reeking havoc. His results are truly astounding. This book is not a weight loss book, however, most people do lose weight as a side effect due to cutting out high-lectin foods.
So, I am doing my very best to begin cutting down on high-lectin foods. I even went to Whole Foods for the first time ever to grocery shop- actually I did Instacart (OMG have you tried Instacart? Life changing.), so technically I did not go IN to Whole Foods. Not that Whole Foods is bad... It's just expensive and I am Moderation Mama. I like to do things in MODERATION. This Plant Paradox Program is not very MODERATION MAMA of me... but, it's worth a shot at cutting down my inflammatory levels.
I will keep y'all posted. For a list of his high lectin foods, you can click here and scroll down for a printable list, if you'd like to join me. I will be reporting my results and food diaries as I find time to do so.
What are your thoughts? Had you ever heard of lectins???
I completed the challenge and I have to say, I did not cheat at all. I never skipped out on lifting without making it up the next day. I really wanted to see results because 21 days is a long time to stay loyal to one routine. But, I managed and knowing I'd be taking my "after" pic and posting it definitely kept me motivated.
I really do think I can see a difference. My arms definitely feel stronger and that is the biggest bonus. But, I think I can also see a difference in their appearance when I compare the pics. The after is actually a bit firmer looking and I'm not complaining about that.
I've kept my 8 lb weights by my bed and forced myself to complete the routine before getting into bed and it made me stick to it. Going forward, I think I will continue to lift before bed for about 10-15 minutes because I like the routine of it. It also helped me to move up in weight in my lifting classes. I just may have started a new routine for myself and it makes tank top season that much less intimidating.
Remember, if you didn't try it, there is no time like the present! But if you did try it, I want to hear from you! How did you do? Anyone else stick with it?
Well, hellooooo tank top season. Yep, it's almost here whether you like it or not y'all. So, let's get those babies ready to rock by kicking off summer with a not-too-hard or crazy 21-day (3 week) arm sculpting challenge. Yes, I will be doing it with you and I plan on taking before and after pics so I can admire my hard work. So, what do you say? You with me? All you need is a set of dumbbells, I recommend 5-10lbs, but if you are not quite ready for dumbbells, you can start with two water bottles.
Thank you Pop Sugar for making this challenge so easily available. Seriously guys, anyone can do this. I recommend reviewing the images for proper form if you need some brushing up. Check it all out by clicking here. Or copy and paste the link below into your web browser.
I strongly encourage you to take a before pic, because it is super fun to see real results.
I'm starting Sunday, April 10. I will be sending out reminders and encouragement for those joining me! Come on y'all, let's do this!
I work out at Gold's gym every day, except on the weekends and I appreciate this sign next to the door every time I enter. There are so many days when I just do not want to be there. I'm tired or have other errands to run. I have a thousand other excuses not to be there. But it is truly a priority to me. Like brushing your teeth. It may not be your favorite moment of the day, but it feels great once you finish and in the long run, you sure are glad you did it.
My new obsession is the Centergy class. It is a mix of yoga and pilates and it is done with the lights dimmed. The music is peaceful yet invigorating and I've found my strength and flexibility improving each week. I try to get to that class twice a week because it rejuvenates my soul (I know that sounds so intense) but it is...almost spiritual.
I have such respect for my husband who rocks his 5:30am workouts, because 5:30am is just too early to be rolling gigantic tires across a gym, running sprints, and squatting more than I weigh, but it makes him happy. As for me, I can barely pull my toddler out of her crib and shuffle into the kitchen to start the coffee pot at 5:30am.
I guess ultimately, it's about figuring out what works for you. Working out isn't supposed to control your life, it's supposed to help you take control of your life. Obviously, I am Moderation Mama, so you know where I stand on things. There should be a balance. Are you truly living your life to the fullest if you spend 4 hours a day exercising? But on the flip side, fitting in a healthy lifestyle should be a priority because it affects every. single. aspect. of your life. If you are making unhealthy choices all the time, you will feel it in everything you do. It will affect your mood, your relationships, your health, and ultimately your happiness.
So remember, it's not about a number on the scale or even the number inside those skinny jeans. It's about taking care of the vessel you've been given so that you can truly live your life to the fullest. Because remember cue song, Baby you're worth it.
How do you make wellness a priority in your life?
What kinds of changes have you made in your life to work towards a healthier lifestyle? Now that fall is coming, I started to get excited that I could forget about swimsuits for a while, until I remembered that it was almost jeans weather. Feeling great in your fave pair of jeans definitely takes hard work and dedication, so I know I can't be giving up on my fitness goals any time soon. It's about time to pull last year's skinny jeans out of the closet and see if they still fit...! Ugh, the dreaded muffin top soon makes its' debut! I think I'm going to be missing my maxi dresses fast.
But here's the thing, we have to remind ourselves that while looking great in our jeans, swimsuits, and/or maxi dresses is a great bonus, taking care of our bodies has to be our main focus here. I have been so grateful lately for all the things my body can do, since suffering from that awful bout with viral arthritis. I feel like a new woman and I have been doing more at the gym than ever before. I'm loving challenging myself little by little.
Some recent victories:
And while I have definitely had some fantastic victories, I've also had some "fumbles" along the way. Right now, my biggest struggles are:
And finally, my weight update. Not that the number really matters. But I am up to 140 lb. Yes, I'm up a pound. But, I'm totally ok with that since I'm making major progress on my fitness. Just need to work on the food choices and I'd be really proud! No matter what though, I'm being kind to me because I do appreciate my body and all that it can do and does for me every day.
So come on mama's, we want your comments: How are you doing on your fitness goals? What are some victories? Fumbles? And do you have suggestions for me on how to work on my personal fitness "fumbles"?
As a toddler's mommy, I'm often on the go and I have found that my healthy eating habits seem to go in the toilet when we get super busy. I find myself skipping meals because I'm in a hurry and then making up for it later when I'm starving and I binge on whatever I can get my hands on (AKA goldfish and a glass of wine, yes please). But obviously, that's not the healthiest of choices, so I have decided to give snack prep a try. I put together these weight watcher friendly snack ideas in about 20 minutes on a Sunday night and labeled them with the number of WW points. I have been enjoying them all week and even ate two of them for lunch one day when we were super busy. I feel more confident having these snacks on hand because I don't have to stress about making a healthy choice on the run. I've enjoyed these at a kiddie splash park and in the car, so they are very busy-mama friendly.
I am also trying to drink more water and stay more hydrated. It's a challenge because I'm addicted to coffee and LaCroix. I definitely do not get enough H20, but I'm trying to change that starting with this fantastic water bottle. Even my husband is a fan and he made fun of me when I bought it! It is made of glass but has a very protective rubbery cover that protects it from breaking quite well. I have already dropped it once, so I know. But, the best part is that the water tastes better than it does in those plastic bottles. I know it sounds gimmicky, but do you trust me or what?! I swear! And I hear that if you add some fruit slices, you can really kick it up a notch, but I might just be too lazy for that.
Ok, mommies, how are the fitness goals going so far? Have you set a mini goal for yourself and taken steps to achieve it yet? Are you making your goals attainable and realistic? And most importantly, are you being kind to yourself and celebrating the body you're currently in, while working towards your goals?
I think the hardest part about getting and staying fit sometimes is shifting your mindset about the role that fitness plays in your life. In the past, my fitness routines served the purpose of stress relief and body confidence booster. However once I entered the Dirty Thirties, fitness took on a whole new meaning.
Something really changed when I turned thirty. Don't laugh, I'm serious! I could no longer eat whatever I wanted (like a whole pizza and half a bottle of wine) and then just easily sweat it out the next day in my aerobics class like, meh no biggie. My weight started to creep up steadily and I wasn't doing anything any differently! Then to top it all off, I didn't have quite the same energy I'd had in my twenties and my flexibility and muscle tone suffered as well. Not to mention, I was now toting around my little sidekick whom was also getting heavier by the day (but in a good way). I needed my strength and flexibility more now than ever now as a mom, but I found it getting harder and harder to maintain. Suffice it to say, the Dirty Thirties were quickly starting to live up to their name. It was time to make a change. Cue Michael Jackson's, I'm Starting with the Man (or woman) in The Mirror. I'm asking him (or her) to change his (her) ways!
Since I was already a daily walker and gym class attendee, I didn't want to add on too much more exercise to my plate. I came to terms with the fact that I was going to have to start adjusting my eating habits. I've never been a crash dieter. In fact, never even tried a cleanse or quick weight loss diet plan. I think everybody knows that the answer to a healthy and fit body, is a healthy lifestyle... But, obviously that completely sucks sometimes... like when you really, really, really just need that whole bowl of pasta Alfredo and half a bottle of wine damnit! Stat!!!
Where could I go to become more knowledgeable about nutrition and making healthier food choices? My girl, Jessica Simpson kind of inspired me. Plus, I've known many women that have had huge success with Weight Watchers, so I decided to give it a shot. Now, let me be clear, my goals were not only to lose the 11 pounds I'd gained in two years, but mostly to become more knowledgeable about my food choices. I needed to find a healthy balance and I didn't want to feel deprived or as though everything delicious is off limits. Weight Watchers will tell you, they are NOT a diet. It is a lifestyle and a new normal. It is NOT a quick-fix weight loss program.
Full disclosure here because I promised you I'd always keep it real... when I joined, I weighed in at... 146.6 lbs. I know, you're thinking, well it could be worse (Or wait... maybe you were thinking- Dang girl! and here I am giving you the benefit of the doubt?!). As for me, 135 is a healthy weight and is my goal weight with Weight Watchers. However, with that being said, I'm not really stuck on a number per se. For example, If I were 150 lbs, but eating well and staying in shape, I'd be happy with that. Unfortunately, my 146 number was a direct result of some of my poor health choices and I knew it.
So it was time to face the music and to start focusing on a healthier life style. I weigh in every Saturday morning and it is my "me" time. I check in with my progress and I absolutely LOVE the meetings! Each week there is a new topic like, Proper Portion Sizes (uh, eye opening, like-yikers), Incorporating Exercise into Your Life, and Treating Yourself Well (because if you have self-hate, it's impossible to make good health choices), plus so many more great topics. I was learning a lot and loved the fact that no food was off limits. I can still go to a party and have cake and ice cream and a glass of wine if I want, I just need to balance that choice out with the other choices I've made that week.
I'd always heard the points would be so hard to keep up with, but they are actually really easy and they make a lot of sense to me because they are not solely based on calories. The nutrition plays a part in the number of points assigned to an item as well. So for example, even though a handful of marshmallows might contain the same number of calories as a slice of avocado, the avocado would have fewer points because it contains good nutrition for your body whereas the handful of marshmallows is just empty calories. If you are just calorie counting, you're missing out on the whole concept of nutrition.
I have an app on my phone that allows me to simply enter foods and it calculates the points for me. It kind of reminds me of looking at my bank statement, when you have it right there in front of you, it can be eye opening. Like, wow I spent how much on those shoes? Totally not worth it. And next time, you do it differently. The same goes with your food choices.
So you are probably wondering, how much progress have you made so far? And full disclosure here, I'm down to 138 lbs now. It's been about ten weeks so far, but easy does it. I'm changing my habits a little at a time and it's not a race. I'm being patient with myself and I've had weeks when I've gone up in weight instead of down, but overall, I'm thrilled with my success so far and I plan to stick with it for life. I'm literally creating new habits and I love that! Once you reach your goal weight, the meetings are free and you can weigh in and attend meetings for free any time you choose to keep yourself in check.
I'm sharing my experience with you not because I'm promoting Weight Watchers, but because I'm promoting taking care of yourself as a mommy. If you are unhealthy, it will affect everything you do as a mom. After losing just 8 pounds, I can feel an improvement in my energy, my knees feel better, and most of all, my self esteem is improving. I'm taking care of me and making myself a priority. Remember, no one else can do that for you. Plus, cue, Baby, I'm Worth It_! So stay tuned. I'll keep you posted on my journey to better health. I will be sharing some of my snack ideas as well as a few of my favorite fitness moves. It's time ladies. Let's do this!
How do you stay fit and healthy? Please share your ideas in the comments, we all need the motivation!
Setting a fitness goal each week helps me to not get overwhelmed. I know that making a fitness goal can be daunting because sometime as women we have a list a mile long like:
1. Lose 20 lbs
2. Run a marathon
3. Fit back into your jeans from high school
Ok, just stop. That is insane and doesn’t it make you feel like eating a cookie just thinking about that list? We need to start small and we need to be specific. Those goals are too general and lofty and we have no plan for getting there.
So I like to make a weekly goal more like this:
1. Something I can commit to doing/When/Where
2. Something I can alter about my eating habits, even just for 2-3 days that week
Here was my goal this week:
1. Morning stroller walk ( I love walking with a neighbor, time flies) at least 3 times
2. My favorite gym class called Power (light weight lifting and my daughter loves the daycare there) Monday and Friday
3. No desserts on Wednesday or Thursday (I love ice cream after dinner)
How does this goal make me feel? It’s do-able. I enjoy the walking and I can definitely make it to two gym classes this week. The no-dessert days can be hard, but I remind myself that it’s only two days. I can do that.
Once I meet my goals, I actually feel really good about myself and like I accomplished something. I feel less out-of-control with my weight and fitness. Maybe next week I can do 3 days without dessert? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves now.
And lastly, remember that nobody is perfect. If you don’t allow yourself to EVER enjoy a treat, you will over-indulge when you finally do allow it, and your body will hold on to those calories for dear life- yikes! So, I preach moderation. I also preach FUN! If you can commit to something that’s fun, like walking with a friend, you’re more likely to keep it up. And we can ALL start somewhere. Once you feel better about yourself, you are more likely to make better choices. Remember mamas, you can’t take care of anybody if you are not taking care of yourself first.
"I'm working on a new me. Not because the old me is bad,
I can appreciate the ladies that truly “werk-it” at the gym, but I’m just not one of them. I used to be a bit more hard core about getting my fitness on, and even taught aerobic kickboxing at LAFitness and the YMCA gyms. Unfortunately, I have struggled with some joint issues that have kind of made “hard-core” less of an option these days. So, if you’re looking for a strict, hard-core, fitness coach, it is definitely not me. But, although I’m not into intense fitness, I want to be healthy and feel good about myself. I want to be able to run after my toddler and not have a heart attack. I enjoy walking and light weight lifting. And I love quick and dirty tips for fitting in fitness.