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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Rockstars, Unite! (Day #2 is in the books!)

So day #2…

Woke up today feeling like I was “coming down with something” and I didn’t like that.  Who has time for that?  Not me!   Still made my workout happen and just cut out the extra cardio; planning on doing it tomorrow since I don’t have another circuit until the next day.

Making it happen. Once meal at a time, one day at a time.  All the little things add up to big changes. Don’t believe it for yourself? Try changing one small habit and see what happens in just one month, then two or more.  It DOES matter and you should be keeping accountable.  Don’t make me do this alone!

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So, I figured the workout today would be “easier” than yesterday cuz it wasn’t “leg” day and that was a good day 😉  But no such luck.

Back and triceps with burpees, mountain climbers, jump rope and more added in.

Cuz who doesn’t want that aspect?

O M G

I started to talk to myself after the half-way point that I could do this.  I was almost there.  One more set.  Whatever worked at that moment.

Have you ever been sick and had to push yourself? It’s worse than when you don’t feel sick and have to push yourself.  Yea, it sucked.

Until I finished.

Then I was KING of the world…or QUEEN, who cares? I did it! I pushed through and felt like a rockstar…a bit of a sick rockstar…but a rockstar, nonetheless.

Side note: do rockstars feel like “rockstars” all the time or just when they’re rocking? Why do I use that term?

Okay, back to the topic.  Ate again on track and thanks day #2 cuz I was MORE hungry today than yesterday.  BOOO!!! Meals were the same as yesterday but I have to keep telling myself it’s a “good thing” cuz my body is revved up.  woohoo….

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What did you push through today and what will it change for your tomorrow?  Ate clean, worked out, now…need to pass out and get better!

ugh….

Everything Happens for a Reason…

What  a day.

Do you ever wake up and want to just throw the covers over your head and go back to sleep; or at least, hide from the day?

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Well, that’s how today started and for most of the day; I felt as though I should have done just that.

But I woke up and got straight to my tasks, workouts, and more. Feeling a bit tired; I decided to take it easier and this thought made me feel better…

For awhile…

Then, I checked my bank statements and noticed some charges that I didn’t recognize.  In looking a bit more closely, I noticed they were three separate charges; from the same company; on the same day; with different amounts.

Huh?

I checked the company name and looked at their website..it turned out to be a survey page.

Uh-oh…

Scrambling, I called the bank and asked about it and they went through the usual questions to find out if I had indeed authorized these payments and forgot…but after some questions and answers, it was clear that this was fraud.

Yes, the fun of that issue.  I went into the bank branch and found out all the steps I must take but good news overall; it will be reimbursed and we will file a claim.

I also had some minor technicalities with some work and management issues but I said what needed to be said and moved on.

Why did I still want to just hide from the world?  Why do we struggle?  It sucks, it hurts and we have to find the strength to carry on.

Then we overcome and become better.  Kind of like when you break down muscles and they rebuild stronger and larger than before.

So instead of chalking today up to a “terrible” and “difficult” day; I am now going to stand tall and know that I overcame and will only be better tomorrow.

What issues are you currently dealing with?  Is there anything you can do to change the circumstances or the outcomes?  If so, do it.  If not, let it go.  Don’t waste time allowing the negativity to suck you in and into the downward spiral.  Decide to push agains the current and come out better.  You will shine and others will look to you when they need strength.

Now, where’s my blankie and cocoa?

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In Honor of Boston 2013….

I am a runner.

running woman

I recently ran my very first marathon in February of this year in Huntington Beach, CA and although I had attempted to qualify for the Boston Marathon; I finished well behind the qualification time.

The Boston Marathon was held today.

At about 4 hours and 10 minutes; three explosions erupted and sent shock waves and terror through the country.  There were confirmed deaths; one an innocent 8 year old girl.  There were countless injuries.  There was complete panic throughout a tight-knit community.

Runners have an advantage of being able to “leave it all behind” once we lace on our shoes and head out the door.  The hard work and determination to continue on; mile after mile becomes quite an addictive pattern that only fellow runners can understand.

Today, that peace and freedom feeling was shaken for all of us.  My heart goes out to every runner who took part in the marathon this year.  I pray for the victims and the families who were struck by this hideous and appalling instance.

In honor of the victims, we ask if you have ever  run a race during your life; to wear your shirt tomorrow to show we are a strong community who will not fear the idiotic practices of those who have no conscience or human compassion.  Evil and hate will not win out.  Running is such a metaphor for any challenge in life; and I believe that in doing something to help bring us all together tomorrow; will show that we can rise above anything and win.

Here’s to everyone who ran today; and who will continue to run in the coming months and years.

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My First Marathon

It’s almost a whole month since my marathon!  I actually cannot believe it came and went as fast as it has.  It was one of the most challenging mental and time issues I’ve ever dealt with.  A whole ‘nother challenge; including finding best nutrition habits and hydration; along with finding the time to run 2-3 hours most days of the week in order to fit in the long runs for the “big day”.

Cut to the “BIG DAY”….

I already shared our morning of the race and left off at the starting line…336142_364536386907790_1919357756_o

Grace started in the group just ahead of mine; as she is a faster runner.  As they called out the starting time for her group; I said a small prayer for her and wished her well, aloud…although I knew there was no way she could hear me.

Then it was our turn.  As our group began to run; I felt an overwhelming rush of emotions fill my body.

I had trained to be here.  I was an actual “runner” and was accomplishing my goal of taking on a full marathon.  What a rush.  I was in awe of this experience that laid out ahead of me.

I decided to enjoy the people around me, the beautiful scenery and weather; as well as my music I had prepared for my marathon run.

Mile 1 went by…mile 2…I was feeling strong.  My plan was to take a Gu packet at every 4th mile and drink water or electrolytes at every water station; and/or every 2 miles.  They say to follow your guidelines of fuel and hydration as you had on your training.  I planned to do it right…this was not the time to play “hero” and take another route.

I found a good pace and kept up with a few runners around me.  My pace felt strong and I was keeping with the 4 hour pacers.  This was great!! At times, I would fall between the 4:10 and the 4:00; but that was completely fine with me.

Hearing the cheers of spectators and volunteers continued to help my energy push.  They were here to watch US!!  That felt amazing.  I was honored that they would do this.  There were spectators with signs for their family and friends who were running the race.  I still felt like it was for all of us…as we were a “family”; running together in this large pack.

It wasn’t until the mark where the 1/2 marathon runners merged with us that I began to hit a mental “wall”.  Although my pace was strong; my mind was in a negative state.  What was happening?  To the best of my understanding; (as I was busy running a marathon and not really interested in spending time and energy investigating what my “problem” was) I was thrown off with the fact that they had come in “late” and were already so much closer to the end than we were.  It was an odd feeling and I don’t even understand why this fact bothered me, but it did.

I continued on anyway.  It became a bit congested on the roads.  People all running different speeds; with their groups of friends and keeping each other on track.

When I got the the 1/2 way point; we were heading down the boardwalk of the beach walkway.  It was a narrow, two laned sidewalk that became filled with runners going one way or the other way.  Who were these amazing runners anyway; already coming back towards the finish line?  It was quite impressive.

So, I kept running.  I kept taking in my Gu every 4th mile and grabbing water and electrolytes to hydrate.  Apparently, I had been drinking enough water as I actually had to stop and use the “port o potty” to pee.  That was a new experience.  I had never needed to use the restroom while I ran my long runs before so even though it slowed my time a bit; I was happy to not be dehydrated.  (it’s the little things)

And I kept running.  Where was this turnaround, anyway?  I looked up ahead and saw the mile markers continue down the boardwalk.  I couldn’t see the end of our side.  I couldn’t see where they were looping around.  I tried not to worry too much about this fact and just focus on the task at hand.  Run, breathe, fuel, hydrate.  Run, breathe, fuel, hydrate.

Now I knew we were back to only the marathoners running this part.  The 1/2 marathoners were on the road alongside the boardwalk.  Why was this fact even an issue?  I was becoming more and more annoyed by them finishing sooner.  It became a bit of a “game” as I would tell myself to STOP thinking the negativity and focus but my fatigued body and brain wanted to remind me again and again.

I continued anyway.  I ran strong and hard.  Then I passed Grace.  Wow, she was running at a good pace!! I called out to her and we smiled and waved.

Now, I was sure this turnaround was getting close.  I kept my tempo.  I kept with the beat of my music.  I breathed in the surroundings and the fact that I was accomplishing this goal.

We ran near the campsites and campers were sitting and watching us run by.  One such campsite held a large table and a big sign that read “Beer and Bacon.”  The campers were encouraging the runners to take some free beer or bacon for their run.  Ummmmm…excuse me?  Were they serious?  As I laughed this off and continued to pass them by; one runner ahead of me, did a U-Turn and came back to take them up on their offer.  Stranger things happen, I’m sure.  At least it gave me a laugh.

I continued on.  Seriously, this straight away was longer than I would have ever imagined!! Then, I saw it… I saw the U-Turn!! I saw another water table!! It was like an oasis in the desert…what a wonderful site.  I could have cried.  I actually might have…just a little!

As we turned, I noticed we were at mile 22.  Only a little over 4 miles to go.  Wow.  It was almost here.535590_514182718624601_1805423726_n  I realized that Grace was most likely almost done; or done at this point.  I wished I was too.  I heard my phone ring while I ran.  I ignored it.  Who would be calling this morning?  It was early and the only people I could imagine calling me would be those who knew I was running my marathon.  It stopped ringing.  I kept running.  Then it rang again…seriously?  I didn’t have the energy to even try to figure out who it was.  It stopped again and I continued on.

The last few miles felt torturous.  I almost felt like stopping.  My legs were heavy.  I was falling behind my goal time.  I was running just ahead of the 4 1/2 mile mark. I wouldn’t let it pass me by.  I kept pushing further.  I focused more on my music…and the energy of the people around me.  Again, we came up on some of the 1/2 marathoners but this time it didn’t upset me.  I knew we were all at the end.  I was ready to be done.  Whenever I saw a camera person, I always gave my biggest smile and waved.  It didn’t matter what point of the race I would see them; even at the most difficult stages; I would still take the time and energy to smile and wave.

It’s the little things.

I then saw the finish line.  The crowds were building around us.  They were cheering.  Runners were encouraging others who were about to give up.  One man who was obviously a faster runner; stopped to hold a woman’s hand from his running group…and take her in with him.  This is what this race is about.

Sacrifice.  Challenge.  Tears.  Perseverance.

Just like life.  You want to throw in the towel but you keep going.  You want to give up because it’s too hard; or you’re too tired.  But you keep going.

You put one foot in front of the other.  And you do it again and again.

When I was 2 tenths of a mile from the finish line, I did all that I could to speed up.  I remembered how at the beginning of the race, there was the gentleman with the sign that read; “you’re almost there, just 26 miles to go”…

I knew I had to only run that 2 tenths that I had started off so strong with.

I ran my legs as hard as they could.  I pushed my body as much as possible as my lungs heaved with fatigue and gasped for breath.  I willed my mind to finish.  I had trained for this and I would not give up at this point.  I crossed the finish line just after 4:30 and that was okay with me.  I felt really proud and really tired.  My husband was there.  He whistled and called out to me.  I begged him to hurry to my side as my legs were quickly tightening and I needed to rest and hydrate.

I made it.  I finished my goal and completed my challenge.  It was a huge victory.  When my husband finally caught up to me; I asked him, “Why do people do this?”….

And he grinned…

My Pudding Creation

Today has been colder than I’m used to.  I ran 5 miles plus some interval sprints at the end of it.  No matter how hard I was working through it; if I stopped moving, I began to shiver!! The wind was ridiculous!!

So why do you care how cold I was today, right?  (well, really, why are you even reading about it then? haha)  In any case, my nutrition is so important for my training these days and I adhere to my daily intake of Shakeology…

But sometimes the cold shakes just make me…colder!!

So, today I decided to make up my own concoction.  Honestly, I’m not a natural at creating recipes.  I’m pretty good at following another recipe; but you just never know what you’ll get if I’m creating the recipe…

I decided that pudding sounded yummy and here is what I did:

I put 1/3 cup (give or take…kinda guess-timated here) of lowfat cottage cheese (sidenote:  do yourself a favor and don’t ever use the nonfat version of cottage cheese; they are just full of preservatives and taste yucky and aren’t any better for you anyway!) into a blender.  I added my 1 scoop of chocolate Shakeology (but I’m sure you could play around with the other flavors), 1 Tbsp peanut butter (cuz everything is better with peanut butter, right?), 2 packets of Stevia sweetener, 1/2 banana and just enough almond milk to make a creamy (but not runny) consistency.

I whipped it all up and oh my goodness…

IMG_1455I don’t think this picture does it justice.  You can play with the amount of almond milk and cottage cheese you use until perfected but I just had to share!

I actually created a recipe that is amazing!!  And the best news was that when I was done eating it; I wasn’t even COLD!!!  😉

Tomorrow I will be posting a bit about your resolutions and how to make the most of this year; realistically.

Yeah, I did good today!