PROGRESS MOTIVATION

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I’ve been doing really well lately with my workouts and diet and I can finally see some results. Although I do have cravings, I am pretty adament not to cave in to them. Have you noticed the only difference between crave and cave is the R. 😉

One thing I have changed in my eating though is the amount of fats I eat. I have upped it almost 100% and I can notice a big difference. Not only in my energy level but also on the way my weight is dropping. I’ve also upped my calories from around 1200 to about 15-1600. Protein level is still high but my carb count (and I eat A LOT of veggies) is around 30-35 gr per day. I train at least once a day and on my rest days (Friday and Sunday) I only take walks with the dog. So far I have dropped 3,3 kg in 2,5 weeks. Granted the first week it was mostly water weight, but damn it feels good anyway. The pounds have snuck their way in there again and I got comfortable with eating a little bit here and a little bit there. Nope. Not anymore! And no, it’s not EASY to get up at 5:15 in the morning to go for a run and then do some strength workouts at home, all before going to work. And no it’s not easy to say NO to those yummy afternoon snacks my colleagues or boss gets for all of us to munch on. And no it’s not easy weighing and calculating EVERYTHING that passes my lips. But yes, I’m loving the reward. And the photo I’ve posted with this blog entry is now attached to my fridge because it keeps me focused. A healthy life is what I want. A fitter body is what i want. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but if it wouldn’t be, then it wouldn’t change me. When you pray for strength, you get tested in order to show you’ve got the strength. Nothing comes for free. You’ve got to work for it. And the reward is so much sweeter in the end!

WHEATGRASS: SUPER FOOD BENEFITS

Wheatgrass benefits: As its name suggests, Wheatgrass is a grass of little wheat plants. This is one of the most recommended health food supplements around, and is filled with enzymes, chlorophyll, minerals, and highly concentrated vitamins. Nutritionally, wheatgrass is a complete-package food. Wheatgrass juice and wheatgrass consuming in general, is a superb way to obtain dark green while eating. Wheatgrass is over twenty times thicker in nutrients than other vegetables choice. Since wheatgrass belongs to the grass stage, it’s still safer than white wheat consuming for people with wheat allergy. The juicing process allows to unlock extra nutrients from the wheatgrass, makes them much usable to the body cells and much more concentrated. One of the main wheatgrass benefits is chlorophyll, that has a chance to draw toxins in you body just like a magnet. Considered as the “blood of plants”, chlorophyll can heal and soothe inner tissues. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass has elevated levels of light energy and oxygen, which could supply the body tissues and the brain by having an optimal environment to function. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass also offers antibacterial property, which could stop the growth of parasites in your body.

Wheatgrass Builds Blood: Countless health experts have highlighted the chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass as similare to  the hemoglobin molecule in the blood of humans. The single dissimilarity would be that the central aspect in hemoglobin is iron and in chlorophyll it is magnesium. For this inherent similarity, the body can certainly transform chlorophyll into hemoglobin enhancing the red blood cells count along with the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen along with other nutrients towards the body’s cells. Chlorophyll can stimulate the enzyme systems, promote higher metabolic process and release free oxygen, obliterate toxic carbon dioxide, normalize blood pressure level through dilating the blood pathways,and build red blood cells rapidly.

Wheatgrass Cleanses the Body: Wheatgrass juice and powder are very useful foods in terms of their cleansing capabilities. The powder and wheatgrass juice content are known to have around 100 separate elements, which for scientists name it a “complete food”. It is a good resource of carotene and vitamins B, C, E, that highly efficient in cleansing the body, eliminating free radicals and destroying it. It also has a high ability to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, organs and the blood.

Wheatgrass Has High Amino Acid Content: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, as you probably already know.  They are necessary to our cell regeneration and growth. The Amino acid that’s in the wheatgrass juice, is in a perfect form to be consumed by gym-goers, and some bodybuilders are integrating powdered or fresh wheatgrass juice into their diet as well. Wheatgrass juice contains a complete list of protein benefits such as valine, phenylalanine, tyrptophane, leucine, methionin, alanine, glycine, aspartic acid, lysine, absenisic, serine, and arginine.

Wheatgrass Fights and Protects against Illness: Consuming organic wheatgrass juices and powders is a very efficient way for boosting the immune system of the body, and recover from ailments and illnesses. Wheatgrass is also a good resource of 19 different amino acids and over 90 different minerals, contains vitamins C, E, H, and K and a large amount of vitamins B and beta carotene. It also contains many vigorous enzymes that play a main task in assisting hugely in weight loss, undertaking biological functions and breaking down fats.

 

Taken from MuscleSport Mag on Facebook.

BALANCED TRIO

For all of you guys who are following my blog know that I have been a bit quiet lately. I don’t know why really. I have had things to write and share but still didn’t feel like they were worth sharing. I have been feeling a bit low as well and got a few days where I was feeling a bit feverish and then I got a cold. What’s good about being healthy in general is that although I do get sick, it’s not like I’m dying and I think I bounce back pretty quickly anyway. But as an active person, days of rest (in this case 3) feels like forever and I am getting antsy about getting back to training. My philosophy nowadays, and have been for a while, is “train hard or don’t bother”. I know it’s an all or nothing mentality but it’s just the way I function. It’s full throttle or no gas at all. Makes life exciting but it also means I burn out a bit quicker, I think.

I have this ideal picture of my training schedule (comes out to about 9 sessions per 7 day week between crossfit, kickboxing, pure strength and my own classes) and then my body says stop by signaling different ailments. Pisses me off but maybe I’m supposed to learn from it too. I heard someone say that you are truly healthy when you have these 3 aspects balanced: physical, psychological and emotional. There might be some truth in that statement as I can notice although my diet is spot on and my caloric intake is on par with my BMR, I train good, get pretty good sleep, I am STILL not losing any weight or fat. How is it possible?! But I also think I am not in a very good mental state at the moment with a lot of things going on in my life which keeps dragging me down emotionally, that in return affects my cortisol levels and fires stress into my body.

This waiting game for my life to get more stable isn’t doing much good for my health and I haven’t figured out a way to block it out. If I could, I defo would. But then I wouldn’t have a balanced trio of physical, psychological and emotional health… Hmm, something to think about…

Now, I’m gonna prep brekkie for tomorrow, then read my new BODY magazine that I just got in the mailbox today and off to bed for an early night. Friiiidaaaayyy tomorrow!!! 🙂

GINGER ME UP

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I’ve been saying this for years and that’s why I use it in most of my cooking.

Of all the functional foods out there, ginger arguably has the most functions. It’s used to settle the stomach and reduce pain, and it has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antioxidant properties. But more important, studies show that ginger can boost metabolism. It appears to do that by two methods: (1) by causing muscle tissue to use more oxygen, which means you’re increasing the number of calories you’re burning; and (2) by increasing lactic acid production, which, in turn, increases fat-burning. Makes that sashimi dinner look even more appealing, doesn’t it?

Taken from Muscle&Fitness Hers.

TOP 10 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

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Your body is under attack—only you probably don’t realize it. So what’s the problem? Inflammation. It’s a normal process that is designed to help your body recover, which causes the occasional ache or pain. In small doses, this is fine. But if you’re constantly putting your body under stress—whether from work, illness, or even exercise—your body flips into protection mode. The inflammation that’s meant to protect you instead causes your body to fight against itself. The system breaks down, and you become more vulnerable to injury or even disease.

But all hope is not lost. The process of healing your body can be improved with several small, simple changes. For example, many foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can alleviate pain and swelling, and help protect your body. Amanda Carlson-Phillips, the vice president of Nutrition and Research at Athletes’ Performance, lists which foods provides the most powerful boost to your body’s ability to regulate and reduce inflammation. Here are her top 10:

Cinnamon
Once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest and most coveted spices. Research has shown that cinnamon not only reduces inflammation but also fights bacteria, assists with blood sugar control, and enhances brain function. Sprinkle cinnamon over yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal, or add it to a smoothie or a glass of low-fat milk.

Ginger
This flavorful root is available all year and used in everything from soda to stir-fries. Ginger contains several anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which may relieve joint pain, prevent free radical damage, protect against colorectal cancer, and increase immunity. Ginger is also a natural anti-emetic, often used to alleviate motion sickness and morning sickness. Steep a couple of slices of ginger in hot water for ginger tea or blend it with soy sauce to top a stir-fried dish.

Onions
Onions are packed with sulfur-containing containing compounds, which are responsible for their pungent odor and associated with improved health. These widely-used and versatile vegetables are believed to inhibit inflammation and linked to everything from cholesterol reduction to cancer prevention. Try using onions as a base for soups, sauces, and stir-fries. Other foods with the same benefits include garlic, leeks, and chives.

Tart Cherries
One of the richest known sources of antioxidants, tart cherries are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. New research suggests that tart cherries offer pain relief from gout and arthritis, reduce exercise-induced joint and muscle pain, lower cholesterol, and improve inflammatory markers. Drink a glass of tart cherry juice in the morning with breakfast or combine dried tart cherries with nuts for a snack.

Walnuts
Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. They’re loaded with anti-inflammatory, heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and provide more antioxidants than Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, almonds, macadamias, cashews, and hazelnuts. Walnuts are also a great source of protein and fiber. Top yogurt or salad with a handful of walnuts or eat raw walnuts as a snack.

Turmeric
A mustard-yellow spice from Asia, turmeric is a spice often used in yellow curry. It gets its coloring from a compound called curcumin. The University of Maryland Medical Center found that curcumin can help to improve chronic pain by suppressing inflammatory chemicals in the body. Make a homemade curry with turmeric or mix it into other recipes once or twice a week.

Pineapple
This tropical yellow fruit contains the enzyme bromelain, which is helpful in treating muscle injuries like sprains and strains. According to a study in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease, this enzyme may also help to improve digestion along with aches and pains associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Add pineapple to a smoothie or salad to help improve your body’s tweaks and twinges.

Flaxseed
Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that omega-3 found in flaxseed may help in blocking pro-inflammatory agents. Grind flaxseed to release the oils, and then add a spoonful of it to your salad, oatmeal, or yogurt. For more omega-3-rich foods with anti-inflammatory benefits, eat soybeans, extra-virgin olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

Carrots
Colorful orange carrots are rich in carotenoids, a group of phytochemicals known to help protect cells from free radicals and boost immunity. They also help regulate inflammation, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Add carrots to your salad or cook them as a side dish for any meal. Other carotenoid-rich foods include apricots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin.

Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with flavonoids, a phytonutrient that boost heart health and may help ward off cancer. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, flavonoid-rich foods may also reduce inflammation in the brain, possibly slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Eat a spinach salad a few days a week for a powerful punch of flavonoids. Other good sources are kale, soybeans, berries, tea, or even a glass of wine.

Taken from Livestrong.com.

CALF AND SHIN STRESS FRACTURE

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What started off as a pulled back has now resulted in a sore back, throbbing hip, pain behind/side of the knee and a stress fracture in my calf and shin. All left side! I’m very annoyed, to say the least. I know I should’ve listened more to my body. I know I should’ve taken it easy coming back into full training. But I have always believed that unless my body part isn’t falling off, it’ll be fine. Not so fast though.

I called the national medical helpline today to shed some light on what I should do, since I don’t run to my GP very often. I was ordered rest for 24 hours to see if it improves the sore leg. If not, then I need to go to my doctor and get it diagnosed, possibly x-rayed. But hey, I’m resting so I’m sure it will be just fiiiiiine! 🙂

I haven’t rested this much in ages. I even laid on the couch for 2 hours tonight, just lounging. Aaamazing! Have done my research and now I know how to keep working out without putting pressure or aggrevating my leg. Yay!

Now heal leg, heal!

FROM REST TO CROSSFIT WOD

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Some people say it’s good to rest your body. I say sure, but not too long.

This morning was euphoric for me, to get up early and take a run in the chilly air, not a person around. Just me and my dog and the sound of my shoes pounding the pavement. The feeling and happiness is undescribeable.

Somebody at work commented yesterday on me looking different. I never thought that my involountary rest period would be so noticeable, but I suppose the lack of energy in my eyes could have given it away. Exercising makes me feel alive. And rightly so! I have never understood people who exercise below or just up to the limit of what they think they can do, when they can improve and reep the benefits so much more by pushing themselves a little bit further.

This morning together with my run, I did a Crossfit Workout Of the Day, or a WOD. I found an old tire, weighing about 12 pounds, in the field where I usually do some exercises, and I decided to use it for my drills:

10 push-ups
10 squat w tire press
15 one-arm tire throws
10 full range burpees
20 bicycle crunches

All these exercises x 2 as fast as I could without rest in between.

I’m totally sold on Crossfit. I love the intensity, the near death experience of fatigue, every cell in your body doing their best to make it work, and the pride when you complete it. Love it!

Now some Zzz’s before the alarm rings at 05:20. Nite!

A LETTER TO THE WEAK ME

When I was at the Arnold this weekend, I heard so much feedback about something I wrote a long time ago. I wrote it so long ago, I didn’t even have it saved on my computer! But luckily a friend of mine sent it back to me so I could share it on this page.

I wrote this one day when I was exhausted from working my butt off, sick of dieting, and just plain exhausted. I remembered that when I’d woken up that morning, I felt strong and eager to eat healthy and work out that day, but as the day wore on, I got exhausted and lost my motivation. So here’s the letter from the strong me to the weak me — I hope it can help you!

*  *  *Dear Weak [enter your name],

I get it. You’re dying for a piece of candy. Maybe it’s not the candy (or the pastries, or whatever), maybe you’re bored, you’re hungry, you’re tired of thinking about the candy all day and you’re just saying screw it. One bite, one piece, one serving/helping, and then i’m done, I’ll go to the gym, I’ll go home for the night, I’m still on track.

You’re bored.

This is absolutely the stupidest reason imaginable to throw yourself off track, feel disappointed in yourself and your lack of self-control, give yourself a belly you’ll have to work off for four days, screw up the carb deficit that I work hard every single day to create, feel cranky, avoid plans with friends or your boyfriend, dread the weekend, add stress to your already stressful life, etc. Remember, you never get bored of accidentally discovering how slim you are, whether it’s in the fitting room, when lining up progress pictures, in the locker room at the gym, when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a window as you walk down the street, when someone calls you “slim” or “toned” or “fit”. THOSE THINGS never get boring. Focus on how fun and exciting that part of the process is and ignore the rest. For my sake.

You’re hungry.

Go drink four glasses of water right now. Back? OK. Are you still hungry? If so, email someone you can confide in. Or eat a protein bar, or go microwave some broccoli. You know that will fill you up and do good things for your body and your goals. You don’t want the broccoli? Then you’re not hungry.

You’re saying “Screw it.”

If you want to quit this journey, decide to quit and then you can eat pizza and drink beer every night. You an go out with your friends and eat hors d’oeuvres all night long. you won’t feel good, but at least you will be free.

So…is it the freedom that you really want? No. You’re having a momentary lapse. Well, think about me. The one who preps all her food for the week on Sunday night, the one with abs, the one who’s going to stand up on stage in front of 10,000 people and turn her back and stick out her butt. I’m the one who feels awesome in her clothes, the one who prances around the gym like she owns the place, the one who drags herself out of bed to do early morning cardio, the one who inspires her family, and friends. Think about what you’re doing to ME, Strong [enter your own name], when you let a momentary “oh screw it” overtake and overcome all of the hard work I put in every single day, every time I go to a bar and wave off the waiter when he asks what I want to drink, every time I skillfully assemble a healthy, trap-free meal at a restaurant while everyone else orders fries and a third (or fourth…) beer or regular Coke.

And you know very well there’s no such things as “Just One Bite.”

Every single time you tell yourself you can handle having one taste of something, you’re wrong. Is it because you’re literally powerless in the face of sugar, is your insulin really swinging that hard that you can not resist? You know that you have a ton of self control. EVEN YOU (I obviously do). This isn’t about saying no; by the time you’ve had the first bite of sugar, you’ve given UP on saying no. You’re saying “yes,” and you will continue to do so until it’s time to go home or there is no more freakin’ candy left in the bowl (did you REALLY want a Mounds yesterday? They’re VILE!) So don’t ever let yourself cross over into saying “yes” to junk. Say “NO” for HEAVEN SAKE!!

A message from me to you.

I love you (even though you are the weak version of me) because we are the same person. You have a ton to be proud of and you should love the process and love how far you have come. You can go even farther, and you will be around less and less as time passes, you won’t have to read this letter as often. You are strong inside, this is only temporary, and it will pass. Now go get a cup of water and get back to kicking ass.

Love,

Strong [enter your name]

P.S. I’ll be back tomorrow morning when you wake up.

Text from Rachel Mac‘s Facebook Notes.

FAT VS. MUSCLE

For those of you who are still putting more emphasis on the number on the SCALE and not your overall progress: STOP.

I often get requests for exercises that tone, but from people who don’t want to gain muscle. It doesn’t work that way. Toning IS gaining muscle. But gaining muscle does not mean gaining size. Many women have an unnatural fear of the word gain so the marketing world uses words like toning, tightening, flattening, slimming, shave inches etc. ALL of these words mean gaining muscle & losing fat.

Muscle is more dense than fat: pound for pound it takes up less room. You can lose fat & inches without the scale moving. You can get the body you want without losing weight.
The purpose of this photo is to visually demonstrate why the scale doesn’t matter if you’re training hard & SEEING results. If you feel like your balloon gets busted each and every time you step on the scale, you NEED to change the way you think/feel about it or give it up all together. The scale can be a valuable tool to check in on your progress when you’ve got loads of weight to lose, but beyond that it doesn’t tell the whole story and should not be your ultimate goal.

In other words, at the end of the day, the numbers do NOT matter. Decide whether or not you want the body (yay) OR the number (boo). The two don’t always coincide.

Taken from Fit Villains.