Who Wants ABS? (or maybe I should just ask who doesn’t to weed out the non-committed folks!) :)

IMG_0953This is for all the beautiful people who have been dreaming and wishing and hoping to one day have a sexy midsection! Is that YOU?? I am pretty sure it’s most of the population! LOL

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

Seriously, I know! I’ve worked out so intensely and so often that if this was a proven method, I’d have had a six pack for most of you reading this today! 😉  But, alas, foods are the KEY to getting those abs to POP!

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.) Tell me how much protein do YOU get each day? I see and talk with so many women who DON’T bcuz they think it will “bulk” them up….

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. DUH!  If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge. And “double-whammy” is such a fun word to use that I encourage you to try it out a few times this week!

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss. It’s why I eat Greek yogurt and drink my Shakeology DAILY!!

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many women tell me that they don’t know why they aren’t losing weight; since they only eat maybe 1 time a day!!! EXCUSE MOI??????

Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core. You MUST eat!!! It’s the ONLY way! 😉

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  I will challenge you to drink the recommended amount for fit individuals; 1/2 your body weight in ounces!! So for someone who is 150 lbs; they would need to drink at least 75 oz of water every day! Or a gallon if you are really up to the challenge!

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks. Something to seriously consider especially over the weekends, am I right or am I right? (you are SO smart! lol)

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but that’s just  for free.

Do you need an added incentive? I have a BUSY MOM’S support group starting first of the month and welcome you to message me today for info on joining. You can succeed and have time for your family AND save money along the way! All thrown in for extra bonus!! 😉

Email me at: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

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Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Clean Holiday Treats :)

Is it already the holiday season?

Say it isn’t so!! But it IS!!! So here are some good, clean and yummy treats to bring with you to your feasts and parties and enjoy without any guilt!! I find that we tend to overdo it with foods when we are overstressed (holiday time), short on time (holiday time) and feeling deprived.  My remedy? Find an alternative to enjoying yourself while keeping as close to your plan as possible.  Here are some tried and true treats for you to enjoy.

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Chocolate Chippers (from FitOverFat)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Splenda granulated or sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup milled flaxseed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
  • 2 ounces mini semisweet chocolate morsels
  • cooking oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine Splenda, flour, flaxseed, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir to combine applesauce, egg whites, vanilla, and oil.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Coat a 12-well muffin tin with cooking oil spray and divide dough evenly between wells.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes and promptly remove from oven. Allow cookies to stand for 10 minutes, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator or freezer. (To reheat a frozen chipper, remove plastic wrap and microwave for 30 seconds).

 

Coconut Almond Donut Holes

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup RAW almond butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour- i use bob mills.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 Tbsp. coconut milk (full fat canned version)
  • 4 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • liquid stevia to taste-about 1 tsp or 1 packet of stevia

Preparation

  1. Set aside 1-2 tbsp of shredded coconut for later
  2. Add all the other ingredients to a food processor and blend until nicely mixed together. Or stir all the ingredients in a medium size bowl!
  3. Now mold the mixture with your hands into bite sized portions, and roll them in the shredded coconut and put them on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Candy Bars
Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil (no substitutes, this is what gives its creamy texture and flavor)
2 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberriesDirections:
In a medium sized saucepan, melt together peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.
Remove from heat and add oats, chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Stir until combined and chocolate chips are melted.
Spread into a 9×13 pan. Refrigerate until hardened, about an hour.
Store in refrigerator…

Clean Coconut Cookies

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds or flax seed (i used flax!)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Stevia or liquid stevia drops to taste
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (14oz / 400ml)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • I added some shredded coconut on top of each cookie but feel free to add carob or chocolate chips if you want to.  :) I’m sure it would be amaze balls!

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F ( 177 degrees C). Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or coat it with coconut oil.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients to the food processor or blender (coconut flour, hemp seeds, stevia, and salt. Mix together, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until it reaches an even consistency.
  3. Use a tablespoon to drop the cookie dough on the baking sheet. Use your hand to shape each cookie as they won’t spread on their own.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are brown.

    Serves 12

Calories: 170

Total fat: 14 grams–this is SUPER healthy fat–do not be afraid of healthy fats!

Total carbs: 8

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 4.5 grams

Also, if you are looking for healthier options for meals….I will be adding more recipes here to my blog. One of my favorite meals of the day is my shake and you can apply to try it for 7 days here–I provide a 7 day clean eating meal plan with it as well so you will have everything that you need to jump start a new healthy lifestyle. It’s my secret weapon and has made the biggest difference in my energy levels and just in the way I feel daily!  :)

https://kathyprofitness.wufoo.com/forms/shakeology-7-day-challenge-application/