Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fight the Bloat

Over the past couple weeks I've watched my waistline expand.  It was really starting to depress me.  I ran down every single possibility and tried to reverse it.

Too much snacking?  I stopped munching as much
Too many carbs?  I cut out some of my complex carbs.
Is it the stress?  I tried to relax more.
Not enough exercise?  I pushed myself a bit harder at the gym.
Not enough water?  I drank more water.

NOTHING worked!!!  As I was about to sit down to lunch and admit defeat, it hit me.  The past couple weeks during every meal I've been covering my food it sriracha.  Sriracha, a bottle of yummy, delicious, dietary destruction.  Sriracha has 80 mg {or 3% of your RDV} of sodium in 1 teaspoon.  I have probably been using ATLEAST 3 times that at each meal.  So, let's do some quick math.

So, every day I was getting 1200 mg of added sodium.  45% of my daily value from the sriracha!  45% might not sound like alot but, a) I normally don't add salt to anything, and b) it's 45% on top of the sodium naturally found in the food I eat.  

What?  Food has sodium??  Yes.  Here's a few examples:  
Almond milk -- 160 mg (7%)
Skim Milk -- 125 mg (5%)
Apples -- 2 mg of sodium (0%)
Celery -- 32 mg (1%)

Sodium is actually an element.  It's abbreviated Na on the periodic table and it's atomic number is 11.  Your body actually can't function without sodium.  According to Medline Plus (Link) "The body uses sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume. Sodium is also needed for your muscles and nerves to work properly."  You need a proper balance of sodium in your diet.  Just like everything else, too much is bad and too little is bad.  

There are health risks involved with long-term high sodium levels.  
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Kidney Disease
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Heart Failure
  • Stroke 
  • High Blood Pressure
Luckily it's easy to reduce your sodium levels.
  1. Use fresh meat, fruits and vegetables instead of packaged - Packaged meat (especially bacon and ham), and canned fruits and vegetables are processed with sodium.  
  2. Buy "fresh frozen" vegetables - Don't use the ones that have added seasonings or sauces.
  3. Compare brands - Not all foods are made the same.  Different brands have different sodium contents.  Check and find the one with the lowest.
  4. Use salt-free seasonings - Mrs. Dash has a wide variety of spice blends.  Also, get the spices that don't have sodium in the ingredients 
  5. Get in the kitchen - Whenever possible make dishes from scratch instead of using packaged or pre-made varieties.  
Once you lower your sodium levels you can possibly see improvements in about a week.  

Warning:  Eating too much sodium isn't good for your health but, eating too little can be harmful too.  It is very rare for someone to suffer from a sodium deficiency (also known as Hyponatremia).  If you cut back on salt you still need to make sure to get your recommended daily value.  

In conclusion, PUT DOWN THE SALT SHAKER!  Get creative with your seasonings.  Save your health!  

What's your relationship with sodium? Do you salt everything or nothing?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Every once and a while things that seem bad are actually blessings in disguise.  When I had to back out of the competition late last month I didn't know that it was actually going to turn out to be a good thing.  If I hadn't backed out {I hate the word quit.  I refuse to quit anything!}  then, I'd have to back out now.  I managed to hurt myself the other day at the gym.  

On Tuesday, leg day, I decided to warm up with some squats.  My back had been sore for about a week and I had honestly been ignoring it.  I have a few disk issues from my car accident in 2010.  But when I did my squats on Tuesday I felt a not-so-pleasant rip in my back.  

As much as  hated to have to do it, I put myself on a cardio only plan until Sunday.  And if my workout on Sunday doesn't feel right, I'll be back to cardio on Monday. 

My workout is really simple.  I do an hour a day.  Normally I split it up between the elliptical and the arc trainer.  I've decreased my carbs a bit since I'm not strength training.  

One of the carbs I am really loving right now are apples.  This time of year Walmart has apples for 99 cents a pound.  I always end up making one apple dessert every year.  Normally it's an apple pie.  Apple pie is one of the seasonal pies, isn't it?  You have to eat atleast 1 every year.  My dad used to make the BEST apple pie.  He used granny smith apples in his pie which made it tart.  I really miss that pie.  Hell, I miss every type of pie.  I have a secret though.  I make pie flavored smoothies.  I make an apple pie smoothie and a pumpkin pie smoothie.  

These smoothies are so much easier than making the actual pie!  You just dump all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving vanilla protein powder
.5 cup pumpkin
Large dash cinnamon
Dash ginger
Pinch cloves
Sprinkle nutmeg

Apple Pie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving vanilla protein powder
1 Granny Smith apple
Large dash cinnamon
Dash allspice
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch ginger

I also make a spice cake smoothie 

Spice Cake
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving vanilla protein powder
Large dash Cinnamon
Dash Cloves
Dash Allspice

Are you an apple pie person, a pumpkin pie person, both or neither?  Also, how do you deal with injury?  Let me know.

Monday, October 6, 2014


As much as I like to believe I am She-Hulk, I'm not.  {Shocker, right??!!??}  But, I'm starting to feel more like She-Hulk every week. Today I set 2 new PRs {Personal Records}.  

100 lbs on the seated cable row and 60 lbs on deadlifts.  

My back is the body part I'm proudest of.  It is shaping up the best.  So well in fact, I'm not training it as hard anymore in order to let the other parts of my body catch up.  I still love Back Day.  

Maybe in order to congratulate myself I'll buy myself a pumpkin mocha from Dunkin Donuts.  I love autumn.  It's pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING season!!

Have you set any new PRs this week?  Pumpkin Spice -- Love it or Leave it?  Let me know below!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

First Progress Picture of October

It's October!  Can you believe it?  Only a bit over 13 weeks left in 2014.  90 days to be exact.  I love the fall and all the things {especially food} associated with it.  There's one thing I can't stand tho.  Those cinnamon brooms that you always find.  Ugh!  They seriously give me a headache.  And it's weird because I love the taste of cinnamon.  It's one of my most frequently used spices.  Those brooms kill me though.  That's one of those smells that I seriously associate with fall and Thanksgiving.

I finally got my macros figured out Sunday and worked out my meal plan.  As soon as I had my meal plan in place I was really good.  Totally on point.  But I can't lie.  I've been dipping into the mini-wheats today.  

I've been killing....KILLING them!  My body has been alot happier since all the rain has gone away. No more achy muscles.  I'm still dealing with some headaches but, they aren't bad enough to keep me out of the gym.  


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Happy Thursday y'all!

Good Bad Weeks

Last week was rough.  So rough that I couldn't bear to do a progress photo.  My diet was totally out of control and my workouts were almost nonexistant.  Originally, I was going to sya that I love good weeks.  Honestly, as odd as this sounds, I think {after the fact}, I love BAD weeks.  Coming off a bad week makes you appreciate the good weeks even more.  I mean seriously, I rocked this week.  My back day was a burn of over 700 calories!  I can't wait for progress pictures tomorrow.   

International Delite Sugar & Fat Free

I was so excited when I found out about International Delight's Fat Free & Sugar Free flavors that I had to write an email to the company.  As a bikini competitor, pre-diabetic and since I follow a fat-free diet due to my gallbladder, I'm constantly looking for new products that can satisfy everything.  The nutritionals aren't too bad on it either.  1 Tablespoon has 15 calories and 3 grams of carbs.  I picked this up at Publix today and I'm going  to try it in my coffee tonite.  I'll give y'all a review tomorrow!

Kiss Shirts
 I love Kiss.  Recently I've been finding Kiss shirts everywhere.  And I've been buying them.  The 2 I have pictured are my favorites.  

My Business

Did I already tell y'all that I finally got my business license?  Yep, that's right.  I got it at the beginning of last month.  My business license, business cards and website are all done.  Beach Body Wellness is now officially open for business!  Personal training, sports nutrition consulting and nutrition consulting.  We offer online services too!  Check out the links below.  I'm doing a 4 week challenge starting on October 6th.  Send me a message if you want more information.  It's a great way to jumpstart your weight loss.  


What things have you found that you love this week?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dunkin Donuts Fall Preview

One of my favorite things about the seasons changing is that I get invited to Dunkin Donuts' blogger meetups.  We get to try all the new products they are bringing out for the season.

As you know, autumn is pumpkin season.  Pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!!  I am a serious pumpkin spice junkie.  Of course, it was the first thing that they brought out for us to try. 

Dunkin has 3 different types of pumpkin lattes. {They can also be made into coffees, iced coffees and iced lattes.}  They have pumpkin, pumpkin mocha, and pumpkin creme brulee.  The pumpkin mocha is honestly my favorite.  They pumpkin was sweeter than I expected and the creme brulee wasn't as sweet as I expected but, I'd still be perfectly happy drinking any of them.

Next up was the spicy sausage breakfast sandwich.  A spicy sausage, egg and cheese on an English muffin.  Ken said it was delicious!  {Yes, I bring him to taste the stuff I can't}

We were given 3 new desserts after the sandwich.  {The pattern was sweet, savory, sweet, savory...}  We were given the pumpkin pie donut (a yeast donut filled with pumpkin cream and topped with graham cracker crumbs), a pumpkin glazed donut (a pumpkin cake donut that has been dipped in white glaze), and the pumpkin spice muffin (a muffin that as all the flavors of pumpkin spice, a crumble on top and a sweet drizzle).  Ken's favorite was the pumpkin pie donut.  His only complaint was that there wasn't enough filling in it.  My favorite was the muffin.  I'm a sucker for a good moist, crumbly muffin!

As our next dish they brought us the new chicken wrap.  Chicken tenders, bacon, and cheese wrapped in a tortilla.  I took mine home for the girls to try and they couldn't stop talking about it!

Final sweet dish?  The new french vanilla and hazelnut swirls for the coffees and lattes.  I really enjoyed the hazelnut.  Ken surprisingly liked it too.  He normally hates hazelnut.  Ingenious thought!  I wonder......if you mix together the hazelnut and the mocha, will it taste like Nutella?

Side note:  Dunkin now serves almond milk!  I'm very excited about this!  I have a soy intolerance and I don't drink regular milk.  

Dunkin has a new "Supreme Bagel" that they just released on Thursday.  OMG, it was amazing!  I ate my whole sample.  It's a spinach artichoke topped bagel.  

We also got to make Munchkin Whoopie Pies!  

I loved everything I tasted.  I can't wait for winter when the Christmas flavors roll out.  You know why you should love me going to Dunkin Donuts?  Do you want it to feel like Christmas??  Well, you can!  I'm giving away 1 pound of Dunkin's new dark roast, a $20 gift card, a frequent buyer card {buy 7 coffees, get the 8th free} a DDPerks membership and a spiffy button!  So enter below!!!!