My Day at the DMV

So, I had the pleasure of visiting the DMV today.

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Yes, I would laugh at that sentence too!  My 15 year old son was eager to take his written test to attain his driver’s permit and knowing how time consuming that could be; I promptly made an appointment and brought all of his proof of citizenship and identification.

Our appointment was set for 3:00pm.  I decided it would be best to arrive early and hopefully be able to finish faster.

Ha!!!

Upon arriving at the front entrance, I saw there was a long line out of the doorway and figured it must be the people who hadn’t made appointments. (stooopid!!)  I walked into the building and one of the attendants asked if I had an appointment; I happily responded, “yes”…to which she answered, “then go back outside and get in line.”

HUH?  Excuse me?  But I have an appointment!!! 

I figured why fight it and stood in line with my kids, muttering aloud what good is an appointment if you still have to wait in an overly long (and frankly, the only one I saw) line in the sun.  It was funny to see the same reaction with all of the other “appointmentees” who were walking in confidently and being sent back out into the line again…

So, all complaining aside, we were able to be helped soon enough and I figured we were well on our way.  Window 20 was our next stop.  When it was our turn, the attendant asked where our paperwork was.  What paperwork?  Nobody gave me any paperwork…I was just told to stand in that freaking line!! :-/

Needless to say, I was given our paperwork and had to step out of line for window #20 to fill it out.  I quickly returned to the window and gave the paperwork.  The attendant showed me a space where my son was supposed to sign and waived the next person forward….  gaaaaaggghhh….lol

Philip signed the paperwork and we returned to window 20.  He then motioned to another page I had missed…OMG…again, was waved out of line and finished the missing information.  (he snidely told me, “it’s pretty straightforward”…as I huffed away for the 3rd time to fill in some more info…really?)

Finally we were given a ticketed number and told to wait.  One window after another.  Fingerprints.  Photos. Payments. Vision test.  And then finally, the written test secret doorway.

All in all, when he walked out of the secret doorway, it was 2 full hours at the DMV….with an appointment.

The moral of this story is to NEVER EVER EVER go to the DMV without an appointment if you can help it!!! I met some interesting people.  Talked with some nice elderly people (and learned from them that after the age of 70; they have to return to take the test every 5 years)  I guess it wasn’t all that bad!

And guess what?  HE PASSED!!!!

AAAAAGHHHHHH….another teenage driver in the house!!

Protein Pancake for a Strategic Cheat Day!

Making some major changes to my diet these days!! I started this week with the mindset to cut out some meats and all dairy.  It will be a progress; although I already eat “clean” foods.  I believe we are all a work in progress.  And if progress moves in the right direction, great things happen.

Here’s what I started today off with!!

PROTEIN PANCAKE!  It’s the final week of my 14 day fat shredding plan (message me for more info if interested); and today was day 6 or as I like to call it “Strategic Cheat day!!”

Here’s what I started my recipe for the pancakes with…

Some  oats and added 3 egg whites (no judging that I got a little bit of yolks in the whites! lol)                                                                                 Then I added some cottage cheese (not the fat-free due to being filled with “crappy” fillers)

Then natural sweetener and spices and blend them all up! 😉

Cook it up in one big pancake and who could forget the coffee?  Love my espresso/cappuccino maker that I add almond milk to…

Voila!! Protein Pancake day!! I always drizzle a little agave syrup for some added yumminess but that’s all this recipe really needs.  I love it!!

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Fork It Over!!!

Have you seen the documentary “Forks Over Knives”?  I know I’m a bit late to the game but finally watched it yesterday and I’m so much more pumped up to get as many people as possible on the track to choosing better foods.

296214_170173763069213_2125074551_n        Today is Memorial day and this usually brings about barbecues at the beach or in the backyard and a smorgasbord of fat laden side dishes and desserts to go along with all of that protein.

I’m not going to even ask that you change the way you eat today and this week; but instead, take note of everything that you put into your mouth.  If you are brave enough, write it all down.

No judgments and no changes….yet.

You may be surprised at the foods that are eaten on a daily and weekly basis that isn’t really “food” after all.  It’s usually modified, preserved, treated, added to, smashed into oblivion and recreated into something different.  That’s nutritious???

Although I am known as an “extremist” to my family and friends on how I eat and exercise, I still have plenty of room to improve after watching this movie.

In a short wrap-up of the info shared within this awesome show, it basically tracks disease growth over the generations and within specific countries and regions across the globe.  Not surprisingly, United States leads on most unhealthy habits and record breaking disease and ailments within our population.  This has all began to expand as our lives have become increasingly busier; and fast-food habits and “quick & cheap” alternatives won over the healthy ones.

But really, how difficult and expensive is it to eat some vegetables and grains?  If you cut back or even limit your dairy and meat products, you will find that you have more energy and spend less money on groceries.  Have you ever heard the best way to grocery shop?  Only shop the perimeter of the store.  Do not go into the center aisles, unless you are buying grains and beans and a few other basic and healthy options to add to the veggies and fruits you can find in the front of the store.  Another option (and one I frequent on a weekly basis); is to shop at a farmer’s market or local produce stand/store.  The costs are completely affordable and your options will resemble all the colors in a rainbow.  (happy foods!! win-win!)

The most amazing research that had me amazed in this movie, was in how these two highlighted doctors helped their patients overcome and recover completely with just their diets.

Amazing!!  Imagine not having to buy and take expensive and energy sucking medications and worrying if it is going to help you in the long run.  There was a woman who had developed cancer and her physician gave her less than a year to live.  She visited one of the doctors who had done his life’s studies in how important nutrition is in keeping disease at bay; and healing the body from within.  It has been many years and she is not only still alive, but running triathlons, marathons and competing (and winning the gold medal in her age range!) in the Iron Man all at the “young” age of 70!!  Tell me that doesn’t make you gasp!

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I’ll be starting a group of like-minded and willing participants to join me in this journey to finding balance from within.

What do you think?

Have You Tried the Latest Diet Craze?

Through more than 20 years (the more I say that; the less impact it has on my ego of getting “old”) in the fitness industry; you can bet that I’ve heard some interesting and completely ridiculous ideas.  It still makes me cringe when someone tells me something that they “heard” that is so idiotic, I’m a bit shocked they believed it to a point.  But who am I to judge?  Let me tell you a bit of my first few thoughts and ideas to get in shape.

When I was a teenager, I had 3 growing younger brothers that could quite literally, eat us out of our home!  The foods that they devoured in tiny increments of time were something to be shared in the Guiness book of world records.  It was at this time that I blame my beginning stages of emotional eating (cuz we really have to pin it all on someone or something else, right?) occurred.  I would be so proud to try a new recipe and upon taking the completed creations out of the oven to cool on the sink; I’d happily go about cleaning up my mess, like the OCD cook that I am.  (sidenote:  In my former “life”; I wanted to be a pastry chef and caterer)

It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes that lapsed, yet, once I turned around to check on my foods…it was gone.

Gone!

Could you imagine how horrible that was?  (okay, but to me it was disastrous!)  No amount of yelling or tattling resulted in any resolutions of this matter so I took it into my own hands.  I decided I’d outwit them at their own game.

I would double the recipe and bake two of anything I wanted.  The upside to this was that I took the second item for myself.

Seriously, Kathy?  You, alone? 

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You betcha!  That only lead to me gaining some unwanted weight and having to deal with the emotions that took place then.  Well, it was a good thing I also had a younger sister.  Eight years younger, to be exact.  And wouldn’t you know it?  She was a petite and tiny young EIGHT YEAR OLD!!!!   I figured I’d be fine if I just followed her diet plans.

Again, really, Kathy???

Yes, I figured she ate every day and seemed happy enough and was thin as could be.  What could possibly be absurd about eating her sized portions?

I’m really a bit embarrassed by that memory but it just proves to me that I was not immune to ridiculous thought patterns of my own doing.  Just imagine, if my friends had told me some great “tips”…that would have been GOLD!!

In honor of today’s topic and the most absurd and annoying “beliefs” that are shared amongst anyone who will listen; I share with you some of mine.

1.  (and this is only #1 cuz I hate it the MOST!)

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1.  Lifting heavier weights than 3-5 lbs will make a woman look like a world-class bodybuilder.   seriously?  Omg!! And to think those “bodybuilder” types waste all of that valuable time and energy actually TRAINING and EATING and SUPPLEMENTING to look like they do.  hmmmmm

2.  You have to train your abs MORE to get a six-pack.  again, if you have never heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”…just stop reading now…

3.  Cutting calories is the best way to lose weight; so I will just eat one meal each day and get the best results!! anything below 1,250 cals a day is just asking for metabolism issues…

4.  Slow and long cardio is the best way to lose weight.  nope again!!  Cardio, strength training AND a good, clean diet are all key to your success!! Don’t believe anything that tells you the opposite.

5.  Don’t eat at least 3-4 hours before bed or you will not lose weight.  Myth!!! By eating throughout your day and fueling your body with the proper calories, nutrients and foods that you need, there is no magical time to eat.  There is, however, the guidelines on WHEN to eat certain foods.

6.  If you exercise every day, with the most intensity; you can eat whatever you want to refuel.  bogus!! Your diet is responsible for about 80% of your success.  I know, I hated the person who told me that the first time too but it’s true!!  Just try to prove me wrong!!

7.  Holding weights while doing cardio increases your calorie burn and gets you better results.  while the extra weight will make you work a little harder; the level of intensity will not outweigh the fact that you are putting undue stress on your shoulders and elbows.  You’d have more success by bumping up the intensity and/or resistance to the workout instead.

8.  Eat more protein and build more muscle.  To an extent, this is true.  We need adequate protein intake to help repair and grow our muscles but overdoing it only leads to fat storage from the calories that are not used.

9.  Squats will hurt your knees.  duh, if done improperly and with bad form, it will put undue stress and pressure on your knees and lead to problems.  The problem, however is not the SQUAT; but the SQUATTER.  Build your quads and hamstrings and learn how to do a proper squat and your knees will thank you forever!

10.  Don’t workout when your muscles are sore.  yes, adequate rest between strength training is necessary but in terms of soreness, sometimes a light workout can help to alleviate the residual soreness.

So, there you have just some of my faves but I can go on all day if you want! (I thought not!)  What are some of your most ridiculous myths; both ones that you’ve heard and believed?  Share below so I know I’m not alone on this subject…and please don’t believe everything you read on MSN or see in the gossip magazines…

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Are YOU Ready For Summer? I Have an Idea….

581616_10151415831828881_158702634_n (1)Guess what?  There’s only 6 weeks left until summer!!!!

I heard you all gasp with surprise, right?  I know!! It’s time to get into serious mode and move towards our beachy body goals.  What are you going to do?

This is something I’ve done some thinking about lately.  It seems like with each new challenge I take on physically, I need to rebalance once again.  It was grueling on my body to train and run my first marathon this past February; and I lost more muscle mass than I anticipated.  No worries, hit some heavy weight training with Beachbody’s Body Beast program and BAM! muscles are heeeere again!!!! 😉

Now, it’s time to focus once again on my core, balance and flexibility; along with cardio and strength moves tied into a wonderful package of awesomeness.  (seriously, I think my body is addicted to my “rumble roller” and it feels like I’m getting a deep tissue massage every other day!)

The X2 program is amazing; but I need a change up on the food plans.  Ordinarily, I’d follow the plan laid out for me; but what can I say? I’m a bit of a rebel…

So, with all this thinking and planning; I’ve decided to do a 14 day FAT-LOSS meal plan; complete with some additional exercises to mix into my regular plans.  Sounds exciting, right?

Well…actually I’d love to have a few others to take this on with me and see how it goes.

Who’s game?  I mean, if you already have your meal plans, training and accountability all laid out for you between tomorrow and SUMMER; then go for it!!

But I’m thinking you’re a bit intrigued…

Post below if you are keen to take this on with me; or at least get some deets!!!!

Did Someone Say, “Special Brownies”?

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to me!! Haha!

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Seriously, I have been following my Clean Eating plan religiously after completing my Body Beast program and now starting up with P90X2.  I have started this program once before but wasn’t quite excited about the stability training it started off with, since I was hoping for a more challenging and crazy workout.

Do you ever go through phases like these?  It’s interesting how I chalked it up to needing more “burn” for the hour of fitness at that time.

Now? Like I mentioned earlier, following my 90 days of Body Beast and building some major muscle definition and mass in my body; I’m quite excited and eager to take on X2 this time around.  For starters, I get to rebalance my focus to my core, primarily, at this time in the plan.  That wasn’t the main focus in the Beast; although don’t let that fool you into thinking he doesn’t focus on the core enough!  Contrary, my friend!

Anyway, I have somehow lost my original focus in this post.  I wanted to share about how committed I’ve been to my Clean Eating and portions.  Not as easy to do again; after getting used to bulk up eating!

I saw a recipe post for these amazing, gooey, chocolatey brownie-like treats.  I had to have them!

In reading the first ingredient; I was a bit thrown off.

Yams.

In brownies?  I guess…

So, off I went to the store to purchase the items that I didn’t have on hand and on the top of my list was a bag full of yams.  (My current stock was depleted!)

Since I’ve now made them (and enjoyed my portion for today, thank you, very much!); I thought it’d only be kind to share with you and hope you can enjoy them just as much as I.

In honor of Mothers’ Day and mothers everywhere; here’s a healthy and clean version of our most sinful foods in chocolate form!

Put 1 medium-large sweet potato in the oven at 400*
Cook it for 30-40 minutes. Remove the skin and place it in a blender.

Then add: 3 eggs
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup or raw honey
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract

Mix in a separate bowl:
2tbsp coconut flour (for a more fudgy feel, use less)
5 tbsp cocoa powder or cacao
1/4 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt

Combine the sweet potato mixture to the dry ingrients and then add 3 tbsp cacao nibs if you like a bit of a bitter crunch.
Pour into a lined 8×8 baking tray and put into a 350* oven for 30-35 minutes.

Simply delish!!! Even if I have to say so myself!

Now, note to my family; I don’t need chocolates as gifts, but I’ll gladly accept gifts in all other forms!

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Workouts a Waste of Time???

So have you heard that working out won’t help you reach your goals?

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Wait, WHAT???  Did I hear that correctly?  Yes, it’s been said numerous times and In a new book called The Cure For Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness, Timothy Caulfield summarizes the data on fitness and exercise, and takes apart some of the common myths associated it.

If exercising alone could produce weight loss, we’d be a whole lot skinnier as a nation and those “success” stories would be far more common.

In general, and in the long run, as Caulfield notes, “The data simply does not support the use of exercise as a primary tool for getting thin.” Here’s Caulfield quoting Todd Miller, professor in the Department of Exercise Science at George Washington University: “People don’t understand that it is very difficult to exercise enough to lose weight. If that is why you are doing it, you are going to fail”.

This can’t be good news for the fitness industry, can it?

Let me clarify that exercise is my passion.  I will not stop; as long as I can continue moving my body and breathing.  But, does it help me reach all of my fitness goals, if done alone?

Simple answer to that is a resounding, “NO”!

Why?  In basic terms, most people go into a new fitness plan with excitement and motivation and high expectations. (think back to that packed gym room or Zumba class at the beginning of the New Year)  What they don’t take into account is HOW to actually achieve it.  There is a science to it and just simply “moving more”; won’t get your weight to drop as much as you hope.

What must happen, instead, is the practice of good nutrition, water intake, rest AND a well devised fitness program based on your goals and level.  If you haven’t ever exercised since you played soccer in sixth grade; I would never ask you to take on an extreme fitness program such as, Insanity or P90X.  These workouts get a bad rap due to the fact that complete beginners purchase them in hoping they can achieve similar success goals as seen in the infomercials.

NOT!  The better suggestion is to begin with a basic approach and build as you get stronger and better.  I would suggest simple walking for 30 minutes daily and a good nutrition plan; along with some basic supplementation to bridge the gaps in your diet.  From that point; you could start to add strength training and yoga/stretching to build the platform in your complete training plan.  Power 90 and Hip Hop Abs are better starting plans before you hit the extreme graduate programs.

Without a plan, you cannot hit a target.  You are just throwing darts and arrows all around the room; with your eyes closed, hoping to hit a target somewhere.  It won’t happen.  You will be discouraged and quit.  Or if you had invested in a program that doesn’t suit your current level or goals; you will become defeated and give up.  What will the reason be in your opinion?  That it just doesn’t work.  You aren’t strong/good/focused/etc enough to succeed.

We know that this is completely FALSE!!! You CAN achieve any goal or dream you desire if you have the proper goals in mind; the determination or “WHY” you want to reach those goals (and these must be meaningful enough to get your butt off the couch when you are tired and lazy and don’t want to) and the ideal planning.

Is it easy to do?  Sure!  It’s also very easy NOT to do if you have failed at it before or just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  That’s where a trainer/coach/mentor/friend/etc can come into play and guide you towards your success.  Choose wisely and ask a lot of questions before deciding on the best fit for you.  Also, make sure there is a guarantee on your satisfaction before you enter/sign-up.

Are you more aware of the importance now of exercise?  Do you feel you can start a program now and achieve your results?  If you need motivation and guidance and some help along the journey; please send me a message to find out how I can better help you.

“I do believe that when we face challenges in life that are far beyond our own power, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage. I’ve learned that how we face challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them.”
– Sasha Azevedo
Resources:  Johnny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S. in the Huffington Post Blog