Saturday, July 19, 2014

Survival Tips for the Days of Sleep Deprivation - and a Simple Crock Pot Recipe!

My poor little Kai is sick :( He is miserable and I have been up with him a lot these past few nights. Yesterday I woke up to him at 5:30am, after being up with him at 4am, 1:30am, midnight, etc. Needless to say I was bleary eyed and knew that I had a long day ahead of me taking care of my boys! Here's some tips to help survive those days of sleep deprivation:

Take care of yourself!  Eat good stuff!
Sleep deprivation is really hard on your body, especially your adrenal glands. Guess what else is really hard on your adrenal glands? A poor diet that includes spiking your blood sugar too high, as well as too much caffeine. On these days it is so easy to think you need that sugar and caffeine fix, but you will do better to avoid this. A cup or 2 of coffee is fine, just not the whole pot :)
My ND prescribed me some supplements to support my adrenals that have helped me so much! I am writing a whole blog on this topic - it is so important!

Do as much as you can earlier in the day and try to get an afternoon nap if you can.
Workout in the morning! It will help get your energy up and you will feel better. Workout smarter, not harder, don't kill yourself. Do any chores, take the kids to the park, any errands you need to do - Don't wait until the afternoon if you can help it. You know that by noon you will start to crash and by 3pm it will feel like 3am! So do your best to prepare for this. Get dinner in the crock pot after breakfast, so you won't have to worry about it later.

                                      Here's my crock pot dinner I threw together yesterday.
Rainbow Carrots and Onions

Grass Fed Chuck Roast

Seared in Olive Oil, then put in crock pot.

I did not have any broth so I used Water with a few tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt. This vinegar acts as a meat tenderizer. Broth or Stock would have been better, but this was tasty too. I also added some Garlic Powder
                                                           Cook on Low for 8 Hours

 I just steamed some green beans real quick and Dinner was served!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So what does healthy eating look like? One day on my mealplan

I am currently dieting and exercising to lose the rest of the baby weight from my last pregnancy. I have had some issues keeping my milk supply up so I am currently working with a clinical nutritionist to help me fuel my body and get the results I am looking for. I started my mealplan last week and we had to increase my protein and carbs because while my weight did drop, so did my milk supply. Now with the increases I have been able to keep my supply up, do my Insanity and my weight is dropping - oh yeah and I feel pretty great too :)

Anyway, I thought it may be helpful for some of you to actually see what a mealplan looks like. I have many options on my plan, so it doesn't always look exactly like this.

It's pretty simple - healthy balanced eating has amazing benefits. It doesn't need to be a big mystery. You may need to play around with how much your body actually needs, so you start somewhere, and go from there!
Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats, Whey Protein, AlmondsCoffee w/ Almond Milk


Greek Yogurt and Granola
Ground Turkey, Rice, Asparagus, Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts
Baby Carrots and Almond Butter

Chicken Breast, Rice, Asparagus, Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts

Friday, July 11, 2014

5 Uncomfortable Signs Your Diet and Training Plan Is Working!

Congratulations! You have started a sensible diet and training program, way to go! Unfortunately, very quickly you begin to experience some things that are uncomfortable. These are signs that your diet is working! Here's a few tips and tricks to manage these uncomfortable symptoms and stay on track.




1. Hunger (actual and emotional) - this will probably be the first thing you notice!

A certain amount of actual hunger is appropriate at times throughout your day. Most of us will never know real starvation hunger, so no need to panic! The key is to notice the sensations your body is feeling, accept them and focus on everything else in your day. Drink lots of water, herbal or green teas can help too. Know that this hunger is a GOOD THING! Every time you feel hungry, think to yourself, "Relax, my body is letting go of un-needed fat"

Emotional hunger is a different (but very real) thing. As you begin to change your eating habits, you will become aware of occasions that you like to eat for other reasons than to fuel your body. Eating for other reasons in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing -- but if what you were doing before was not producing the results you want, then of course this needs to change.

Eating is an enjoyable experience! We eat to celebrate, we eat when we are stressed, we eat together with our families and friends as a part of enjoying each other's company, etc. Now when you have a plan you are following, you need to be prepared to know what to do when different occasions come up.

If everyday you feel stressed or overwhelmed at some point and you reach for something sweet, starchy or salty -- then this of course is not a habit that promotes health and wellness. So what do you do? First, acknowledge you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and then you CHOOSE not to let your emotions dictate your behavior. Easier said than done at first, I know -- but I promise you, you will not die if you do not eat that bowl of cereal or whatever it is you want :) Instead, chamomile tea is an excellent choice at that time -- it will promote relaxation in your body and help you to be calm and feel good -- and that is what you were trying to do with the emotional eating anyway! Over time you will retrain your brain to know that when you are stressed or overwhelmed, you need to calm down - not dive into a box of thin mints. It is about letting go of the stress - not trying to fight it.

2. Muscle Soreness

This is something you will adjust to, and like the hunger, a certain amount of muscle soreness is appropriate. You do NOT need to workout so hard that you are in serous pain the next few days! Your muscles should feel tight and somewhat sore - but if it is unbearable, you over did it. Next time back off a bit.

Here's some options other than Tylenol or Advil that will help:

        Epsom Salt (use 2-4 cups) baths for at least 20 min will help relax spastic muscles.

        Calcium/Magnesium supplement will help relax spastic muscles.

        Turmeric is an awesome anti-inflammatory. 

3. Fatigue

No one likes to feel tired, and when you are losing weight at times you will feel a bit tired. This is ok as long as you are not experiencing extreme fatigue. When you are tired it is NOT a sign that you need more coffee or energy drink! Moderate caffeine intake is fine - but if you find you are needing more to get through the day - This is a sign that you need to take it easy and back off.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep and you are not over training or eating in too much of a caloric deficit. If you are so tired that you could drink a cup of coffee and take a nap, you are over-doing it! If you are so sluggish that while grocery shopping you feel like you are walking through sand -- you are really over-doing it! Take steps to rest and recover, re-evaluate your plan and make appropriate changes.

4. Frequent Urination

Gotta pee all the time, especially at night? This is a good sign that your body is ridding itself of excess water and fat! Annoying, yes - but keep up with drinking lots of water and following your plan - It is working!

5. Changes in Body Temperature

You know your metabolism is running high when you are hotter than usual. Sometimes there's a surge of heat later in the day after you worked out in the morning. Then on the other side - if you get really lean, you will be colder than normal because of less bodyfat. For a healthy lean person this is not a problem. If you are experiencing coldness, extreme fatigue, hairloss, trouble losing weight etc - then you need to get your thyroid checked, those symptoms could be hypothyroid.


Here's 5 Uncomfortable Signs you are on your way to reaching your goal! The more you accept them and are ok with them - the easier this journey will be.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

3 Simple Steps to Sticking with Your Diet

So you want to get lean like this, but you have no idea what to do ,or how to find the discipline and self-control to follow a plan? Let me tell you a few secrets and tips you may not hear anywhere else.


First of all, this photo was taken the day before Nationals where I won my Pro Card. I had been dieting and training for a long time in preparation for this show – I did not achieve this look by accident, it took a lot of hard work! And when you look in magazines and see photos of fitness models online, they all dieted and trained for those photo shoots too.

Do I look like this right now? Nope –  I have been working really hard on other things, like having a baby and nursing, taking care of my boys – which is a full time job!  I have been eating healthy and exercising at a higher degree than most – but for me and the majority of people, it takes following a more structured diet and training plan to get lean – and that is ok!


Now – how many times have you gotten all hyped up about starting a new diet, only to cheat a day or 2 into it? Where did your willpower go? What happened? Do you beat yourself up and feel like a failure? I have been there and that type of thinking will only bring you more struggle.

Here are some thoughts and strategies that can help you stick to your plan:

1. Understand that developing self-discipline and control over what you eat, takes some practice, preparation and mental training. You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without preparing for it – and just like a marathon, consistency is key. So allow yourself time to align yourself with your goals and get used to following your plan.

And here’s a secret for ya – if you follow your plan 95% of the time, you will still get the results you are looking for! Whatever plan you have needs to be sustainable, so if that means once a week you have a cheat meal, then do it! Only at certain times in certain situations, like competitions or athletic events do you need to be more critical.

2. Do not force yourself to follow your plan. No amount of force or “willpower” will last, and usually results in a rebellious counter-action like bingeing. The harder the force, the harder the push-back. Think about this concept with your kids – how well does it work when you try to force your child to do anything? Doesn’t it work better when they are free to choose and then reap the consequences of those choices?

3. Know that temptation will occur, you will not always “feel” like sticking with your diet. So what do you do when all of a sudden you don’t really want to eat your chicken, green beans and rice? – it’s Friday night and you want pizza and beer! Here is your opportunity to grow your dieting muscles.

Stop going back and forth in your mind!

On one hand you want to stick to your plan, on the other you really want that pizza, so you go back and forth trying to rationalize one choice or force another – and all that back and forth just strengthens this conflict in your mind. Your mind will seek to resolve this ASAP – so you will end up eating that pizza, and way more of it because you stressed yourself out about it! ---

So what do you do?

Tell yourself, “ I love myself too much to go back and forth about this” And you drop the issue. You do not try to force yourself to do anything, you simply let it go. When your mind goes back to it – you don’t engage those thoughts, you let it go. This will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it – you will feel a great sense of freedom.

This applies to any temptation – and this is what the Bible is talking about when it says to flee from temptation. We are not to try to fight it, we are to run from it!


I hope you enjoyed this and find it helpful!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Back to Blogging!

It's been a long time since my last blog! It's hard to believe my last entry was in 2012 - time has flown by. Since then my hubby returned from Afghanistan and about 9 months later Kai was born! Bear is now 5 and Kai is 9 months old. Needless to say I have been pretty busy and I am happy to finally find a few minutes to sit down and write.

It's hard to know where to start - The Lord has been inspiring me with all kinds of ideas in varying topics! But for now I will try keep this one short and sweet :)

God speaks to me. This may seem like a bold statement to some, but it is the truth. Now, I am human and don't always hear Him or listen every time - but when I do it is an experience that is hard to describe in words. I have been growing in my relationship with Jesus and as I grow, more and more I am comforted, directed, strengthened and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Now if you knew me 10 years ago, Christian would not be a word you would use to describe me! You may have used words like, "wild, party girl, crazy artist, lost or out of control" I spent so much of my life from age 12-20 spiraling out of control downward until I reached a point where I had fallen so far myself that I wasn't sure I could ever recover. It is by the Grace of God that I am where I am today and I am a living example of the transforming power of Jesus Christ!

I will be talking more in depth about these things in future blogs. It is my hope that by speaking about my experiences, I may be able to speak life and hope to others out there who have fallen in a dark hole, or are faced with climbing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

In addition to my past, I will be blogging about what's going on in my life right now, as I go through climbing my current obstacles :) Many of you know me as a Personal Trainer and IFBB Pro Figure Competitor. In 2006-7 I hired a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist to help me lose weight and get healthy. It was such an awesome experience that I knew I needed to become a trainer so I could help others become healthy. So I got certified and began working as a Personal Trainer. I loved it, but with having babies and moving every year or so - it has been a few years since I have worked or competed!

After having Kai, I have been slowly working on losing the baby weight and regaining my strength and endurance. It is my goal to lose about 20 more pounds before the holidays, evaluate my physique and work on what needs worked on - to be ready to start contest prep in the new year! I am going to apply for Figure International (odds are against me for being selected for this show since I have not competed since 2010 and was not selected when I applied for the 2011 show - but it never hurts to try :) Other than that, it's looking like we will be stationed here at JBLM for about another year, so I plan to compete in the Emerald Cup. I am hoping to compete in a few Figure shows in 2015, and maybe even make it to the Olympia :)

So I hope you will follow along in my journey and if there are any topics or issues you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know!

God Bless!