Step 1…get a box

I remember stuff from when I was way little. I can remember things from when I was about three years old. But today, we are talking cereal. The reason behind this blog post is because my friend and I were talking about this the other day. Even though we were texting back and forth, I can assure you were dying laughing, texting about this very subject. What does this have to do with remembering things when I was little (by little I mean probably around 9 or 10)? Grocery shopping. We shopped at Sooper Dooper. A great little local grocery store, where I ended up working all through high school.

We rarely got to go grocery shopping with our mom when we were little, but when we did, we would hang out in the cereal aisle while our mom was shopping. The cereal aisle was in the center of the store, across from the frozen foods. Once she got to the cereal aisle, we would get the look. You know that look. The one that pretty much insinuates that we should not even bother asking for it. See, we always wanted Cap’n Crunch or Lucky Charms or Sugar Pops, or basically some of that sugar laden, chemically laced cereal. What we mostly always got was Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Wheat Chex, Cheerios or Puffed Rice—GAG. That stuff was so disgusting. Do you remember? It came in a bag, not a box. Cheap! That should give you a clue. To this day, I still hate that stuff. It was like eating a piece of cardboard, laced with air. You couldn’t put enough sugar on that crap. Her argument, if I remember correctly, is that the sugared stuff was too expensive.

But once in a while we could catch her in a weak moment, or in reality, she was probably sick to death of us bugging the crap out of her begging for sugared cereal. Once in a while we begged enough. We got to pick a box of sugared cereal. The good kind in our eyes.

Do you remember how many kinds of cereals there were? Just like the cereal aisle now. A crap ton. So we would look at every box trying to decide what good kind we were going to get. Sometimes we just wanted the prize that came in the box. Scouring and scouring forever to find the best crap cereal with the best crap prize. It took a while sometimes. Quisp, Sugar Pops, Corn Pops, Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms (my personal fave), Life, Golden Grahams, Count Chocula, and the list goes on and on. Those tricky cereal marketing people. How is anyone supposed to pick with that many kinds?

Like I said, Lucky Charms was my personal fave. I also liked Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries, although if you ate too much of that the roof of your mouth was shot for a few days. The only bad thing, in my opinion.

To tell the truth I’m not sure how healthy or frugal our mom thought she was being. I can vividly remember sitting at the table, putting my Cheerios in my bowl, adding milk, and then adding teaspoon after teaspoon of that pure white sugar. Our sugar bowl was pink depression glass. It was a cool sugar bowl. I bet I put at least six teaspoons of sugar on my Cheerios. Then the cereal feast. Once you got to the bottom of the bowl, you could see the thickness and syrupyness (not sure if that’s a word) and the gray color of the sugar that had leaked through all the Cheerios and made it’s way to the bottom of the bowl. Mmmmmmmmmm. Wheat Chex was really good this way too.

Buuuuttt, that’s rookie stuff. Moving on to the pro cereal eating session. I know most everyone has done this. It’s not foreign to any of us. Anyone in my circle of friends anyway. Step 1, get a box of cereal. Step 2, get the bowl. Step 3, get the spoon. Step 4, get the milk. Finally, step 5, belly up to the table. We will use my personal fave Lucky Charms in this cereal eating session. Okay, ready?

Channel yourself into your younger self sitting at the table. You fill your bowl with Lucky Charms. Next you pour the milk, not too much, not too little. Next comes the spoon, you have to dunk all the cereal into the milk, including the cereal against the sides of the bowl. And now, you start eating. As you are eating you peruse the back of the cereal box and see what’s happening on this box. Any good prizes? You probably read the ingredient list too, although at that age it really doesn’t mean anything. By now, the cereal is getting a little softer and is almost gone. Hmmm, but you still have milk left. So you add more cereal, just enough. Or not. Now you have to add a little more cereal. Repeat until the milk or the cereal is gone. That, my friends, is the pro version of sugar-laden cereal eating. You didn’t get the gray sugar at the bottom. You got the sugar throughout the whole cereal eating experience. Pure heaven in a bowl. I haven’t done that in years, probably 10. Thank God! I have to admit, I bet I could still do it.

Do you remember? What were your favorites? I’m glad we didn’t ever get the Crunchy Loggs!!!

 

Vegetables suck (for some people)

What do you do if you don’t like vegetables?

Really? This is a real thing? I love vegetables and I feel bad for people who don’t.
You know they are good for you and you want to be able to eat them, but you just can’t force yourself. It may be a texture issue. It may be they just taste like crap to you. No matter what you do to them or put on them they still taste gross. They may even taste bitter.

Strange, but true. Broccoli may taste like stinky socks and green peppers may taste like turpentine. Not that you have eaten stinky socks or turpentine, but it is the old, it tastes like the smell of _____, thing. Right. This is a real thing. I remember as a kid trying to explain this to my parents and they would always look at me like I was crazy. It’s the chemical compounds in these vegetables that makes this happen. How weird and fascinating is that?

So how do we learn to like them, or get the benefits from them if we don’t eat them? Vegetables are super good for us. They are full of good stuff. They have a lot of volume, so you get fuller without adding a crap ton of calories. Not a bad deal at all. This helps you maintain a healthy body weight or lose body fat. Eat up, right? But again, what if you just don’t like them?

Something interesting that I have read in my PN literature is that our genetic makeup can affect our taste for vegetables. Some people are super sensitive to strong flavors and therefore foods that taste “normal” to some of us, taste overwhelmingly bitter to them. Isn’t that interesting? So they are really sensitive to foods with strong flavors, such as hot, sweet and bitter. They have sensitive taste buds. I vaguely remember doing some kind of taste test strips in grade school science regarding this very thing. I’m pretty sure it tasted fine to me. But I do remember kids saying it tasted terrible and was really bitter.

It can also depend on how you grew up. If you weren’t exposed to a lot of vegetables, you might not like them or care if you eat them. What about how they were cooked? Mushy brussels sprouts anyone? I can’t believe we survived. I love Brussels sprouts now. I hated the mushiness of them then.

But guess what? We can make some changes to our flavor preferences and learn to like vegetables. There are 3 steps you can take to start changing the way you feel about your vegetables.

Challenge yourself – get ready, find a bitter food that you normally will not eat. Put on your big girl or big boy pants and try it. You might hate it, but you might not.
Next find some flavors you like – think spices, such as garlic or different kinds of pepper; or salty, such as vinegars or lemon and lime juices; and finally sour, such as mustard, olives, salt, cheeses.
You can then try buffering the vegetables with some yummy sweetness, such as berries, maple syrup or honey. Orrrrrrr the yummiest fats, such as avocado, butter or bacon. Can you say green beans with onion and bacon. Yum!! Sign me up. Those flavors together…you can’t go wrong.

Then decide how to cook them or leave them raw. Before you know it, you will be on your way to LOVING vegetables (Heidi).  Explore, experiment and discover what tastes good to you.

Check out the super informative comprehensive graphic to help you with your journey towards loving vegetables. It’s awesome! Click on “veggies” below.

veggies

 

how far into the rabbit hole are you?

 

How far into the rabbit hole are you?

Do you ever feel like life just sucks and you can’t squeeze out one more drop of positivity or motivation? Have you started eating crap and skipping your workouts? Are you an emotional wreck to the point it is starting to affect all aspects of your life?

You can’t focus at work and you really don’t care. You have no energy and you are tired ALL.THE.TIME!! You eat whatever you want, no matter what it is. You may have joint pain or other aches and pains. Pretty soon your leggings are your dress pants or you’ve graduated to the Duluth Trading Company’s ballroom jeans, because nothing else fits.

The first thing you do when you get up is dive face first into crap food because it makes you feel better. Triple caramel breve with whip cream anyone? (Breve is the one made with all half and half, in case you didn’t know). The last thing you do at night is have just “one more.” You know what I’m talking about. It’s not one more glass of water.

Is this your rabbit hole?

I was talking to a friend today and that is exactly what she has been feeling. It is super hard to climb out of that hole when everything seems to be going against you. I remember feeling that way after getting divorced many, many years ago. Luckily I found John and we have been together almost 20 years. Life knocks us off our feet and it’s hard to get back up. Because why should we? Well, because that’s life. Life’s lessons.

I do remember though how hard it was to get up each day and take care of my kids and make sure they were okay. I remember many times I didn’t want to get out of bed. I remember thinking that things would never get better and that I was going to feel stuck forever. I remember trying to control everything and could control nothing. I remember using alcohol and food and oh my God, shopping, to numb my feelings. I wanted to just forget everything.

In all honesty, I still have a hard time to this day. I still feel guilty for seemingly wrecking my kids’ lives. That’s another post for another day. Maybe never. That’s a chapter I’m not sure I want anyone to read.

Buuuut, how do we move on? How do we get our shit together? Well, guess what? First of all, you need to take responsibility and quit lying to yourself about what is going on in your life. Own your shit.

Second, make yourself a priority. It may seem selfish, but if you don’t, you won’t change. You need to take care of yourself first or you will never be able to take care of anyone else. Think about this, if you are eating shit and drinking all the time, no doubt you aren’t going to be very healthy. You will probably start to get sick and then you will lose work time, you will lose workout time, you will lose family time, you will lose time!

Finally, make a plan and stick with it. More on that below.

This is one can you do not want to kick down the street. In order to get your life back and start climbing out of that rabbit hole try implementing these 5 tips on how to do YOU:
1. Decide, and take responsibility — you have to decide you are ready to change. Nobody can do that for you. And again, own your shit. No excuses.

2. Commit and don’t back down – Commit to working on yourself and stay focused.

3. Show up EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Again, no excuses. Work on yourself every day.

4. Be consistent. If you know me at all, you know I totally believe in being consistent. It is a life changer.

5. Realize it will be hard. Nothing good is easy, and nothing easy is good.
But most of all, always remember you are human, you are not broken, so start the climb out of that rabbit hole.

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push yourself

 

Every Friday I have a long workout. I love it…once I start. Anyway, sometimes I feel like just saying fuck it and not doing it. I try to make excuses like I’m too tired, or I don’t feel like it, or it’s okay if I don’t workout today, I can do it another day. And sometimes I even want to just half ass my workout. You know, the oh here we go again workout. Or the look at me, I’m working out, just for the sake of sake of working out. I hate when I get in that rut. I’m not even sure I would call it a rut, but you know what I mean. Then I start to think, is anything even happening? Is this workout even doing anything? Is my body even changing? Here is where I need to check myself. I need to ask myself if I’m doing everything I can to push myself. I really hate to half ass stuff, especially when it comes to workouts.

Here is where I make myself dig deep and lift heavy. Yep, you heard me. Lift heavy! If you want to see some changes in your body, you need to push your body. You need to lift heavy AF. You need to give your muscles something to talk about. Make shit happen. Burn some fat off your body.

Women—you will not get bulky. Contrary to popular belief, muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat, both weigh a pound. Buuuttt, muscle is so much more compact. Nice and tight. Fat is fluffy. Who wants to be fluffy? Not me.

Add some weight to your workouts and see what happens to your body. Push yourself and change your body.

Let me know how it goes. Try lifting heavy for a few weeks and just see what happens.

 

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in the name of science–translation: figuring your sh*# out

Use your body as a science experiment, because truthfully, what have you got to lose?

Have you ever done any experiments? Obviously, we all have done some type of experiments when we were kids or when we were in school. But, I’m talking about now, as an adult. Even more specifically, what I am talking about is nutrition and fitness experiments on yourself. WTF?

By experimenting, I mean diets or certain ways of eating. You know you have done that. Most of us have tried some type of diet at some point in our lives. Ever hear, “I’ve tried every diet in the world?” Ummmm, yeah, that would be an experiment. We try something, stick to it for a while and then gauge the outcome. An experiment. Interesting, don’t you think?

I think we all should experiment with our nutrition. We need to find what works for us and what doesn’t. Will paleo work for me? Will ketogenic work for me? What about the Standard American Diet? What about unprocessed foods? My point being, what have you got to lose? Some time maybe, but I promise it will be worth it. What have you got to gain? A huge insight into how your body handles different types of foods and how your body functions on different diets. But, how do you know how your body handles food? Keep track of this shit. Seriously. You will gain powerful insight into how your body functions.

I have learned over time that my body does not like dairy, as in the form of heavy cream for my coffee. I love it though. But I don’t like how my body handles it. I like trying things to see how my body responds. If I eat oatmeal and I don’t have protein with it, I can tell you that 30 minutes later I seriously want to take a nice long nap. However, if I eat protein with my oatmeal, I feel much better and don’t get that terrible sluggishness and crash. Soooooo, duh, I am better off if I eat protein with my oatmeal. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Some symptoms of food intolerances are kind of subtle, but you should definitely pay attention to these and document them. They can include gas, bloating, stuffy nose and general abdominal discomfort. Some food intolerances can mess with our hormones and cause much bigger problems to our overall health. Some of the most common food intolerances in adults are dairy, seafood/shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. Do you notice problems when you consume any of these foods?

Other symptoms can be a depressed immune system. Are you getting sick more than usual? Your sleeping may suffer. Your workouts may suffer. Just some things to look for and to pay attention to.

Try keeping a food journal for three or four days and include how you feel an hour or so after you eat something. And even the next day document how you feel. Write that shit down. It is invaluable information for you. I bet you will be surprised. It truly is an eye-opening experiment. Experiment away and let me know how things go for you. I would love to hear from you.