allthingssweaty

…because real women sweat. Not perspire. Not glow. Sweat.

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Please eat.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know one of my biggest pet peeves is quick fixes when it comes to weight loss/getting healthy.  One of these that was brought to my attention recently was meal replacement bars. Now, there are some out there that are legit, but eating two meals of just these isn’t healthy. The only reason you’ll lose weight if you try this method is because you’re cutting a lot of calories. You’d be surprised how quickly you plateau with this method. (Not a good thing) These bars, which need to be high in protein and fiber (for fullness), have a moderate amount of carbs (for energy), and low in sugar, are good if you’ve just come off a long run and need to get to work, or you just really don’t have time to eat lunch. Once in a while. Not every day. And replacing two meals, two meals that could be full of nutrients and variety, with a boring bar is just not going to cut it. You need nutrients! You need variety!  Don’t cut calories that you need! Be healthy!

While we are talking about calories, let’s talk about these 100 calorie snack packs. 100 calories of oreos, chocolate chip cookies, chips, pretzels, etc have a lot more in them than just 100 calories. Look at the nutrition label…even if the percentages of sugar and saturated fats aren’t high, check those ingredients. CRAP. PURE CRAP. And let’s face it, who among us can only eat just one of these “3 tiny oreos are supposed to be satisfying” packets? Not this girl. That’s why they don’t enter my house. Let’s see what snacks we can eat for 100 calories that will help us get healthier AND keep us satisfied until the next meal.

-2 cups raspberries
-28 grapes
-1 cup blueberries
-1 cup mango chunks
-½ medium cantaloupe
-15 strawberries dipped in 1⁄4 cup Cool Whip Lite
-45 steamed edamame (green soybeans)
-2 tablespoons each of mashed avocado and chopped tomatoes stuffed in 1⁄2 mini pita
-½ red bell pepper dipped in 3 tablespoons hummus

-1 Laughing Cow Light Creamy Garlic & Herb cheese wedge and 3 Triscuits
-1 Kraft Polly-O Superlong Twist-Ums string cheese stick
-1 Yoplait Light Smoothie
-½ cup low-fat cottage cheese with 5 strawberries

There are so many more out there if you just take the time to find them. Nutrient dense snacks are going to keep you fuller longer, and will keep you healthier, too. Just because its snack time, doesn’t mean its eat crap time.

Stay sweaty, my friends!

 

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To Paleo or Not to Paleo?

It seems the most popular fad diet of today is the Paleo, or Paleolithic diet. Yes, my friends, I said it, it is a fad diet. The definition of a diet is “to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight,” and the definition of fad is “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, esp. one that is short-lived; a craze.” The Paleo diet restricts not one, but two food groups, and is super popular and the people who I’ve come across who participate in it are super intense.  If you were to ask someone who eats straight Paleo, they would inform you that its the best way of eating that you can find. Here are some pros and cons of this fad diet so you can decide for yourself.

Definition: “The world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted.” (thepaleodiet.com).  The basic idea is that we should only eat foods that were available to our prehistoric ancestors. The things that were available were apparently meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, roots, nuts, and seeds. The only fluids allowed in the diet are water, coconut water, and organic green tea. If you are paying attention, you’ll notice that dairy and grains (and legumes, or beans) are absent from this list. The diet claims that these cause cellular inflammation and chronic disease. (Fad diets always have something that is supposed to scare you into following them).

Pros:

  • Any diet that promotes more fruits and veggies is a good one. The author, Loren Cordain, claims that the American diet is lacking in these things. He is right about this one! Everyone needs to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet.  
  • The diet tells you to cut out refined sugar. Yes. Do that. Those cookies and cakes that are loaded in sugar and saturated fat are doing you no good.
  • The Paleo diet promotes a more active lifestyle. That’s just plain, old-fashioned, good sense. You want to lose weight? Work out more!
  • Processed food is cut out. Eat fresh! Also a good rule of thumb. (So far, this isn’t any different from what a registered dietitian would tell you. There is nothing new in eating more fruits and veggies, exercising more, and cutting refined sugar and processed foods.)
  • You do lose initial weight on the Paleo diet, there is no denying that. Cutting sugars and processed foods will usually do that for you. Also, you cut back on two food groups, so there go those calories. Cutting calories will make you lose weight, but do you need to cut those food groups?
  • There are good substitutes for those who are gluten and lactose intolerant.

Cons:

  • The Paleo diet cuts out two food groups that are included in the dietary guidelines set out by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and the HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services).  The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of dairy is 2-3 cups a day, depending on your age and gender, and the RDA of grains is 3-8 oz equivalents, depending on your age and gender. (choosemyplate.gov)  You are missing out on some essential nutrients by cutting these out of your diet. 
  • The diet claims these two food groups are related to chronic diseases and cell inflammation, yet they are cornerstones of the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension) diet. There are numerous peer-reviewed studies out there that support the inclusion of whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy in your diet reduces blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
  • There is no scientific evidence that the Paleo diet reduces cell inflammation or chronic disease, or even acne (as it claims).  There are a lot of studies on their website and most of them support the claims that cutting sugar helps you lose weight, or exercising more helps you lose weight. We know this already. There is a study about the use of milk, but it only included 9 people and that is not enough to transfer to the whole population.
  • This diet is low in calcium and Vitamin D. As a planet, we are Vitamin D deficient, and that vitamin is crucial to calcium absorption in our bodies. Where do you get Vitamin D? Sunshine, fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, orange juice, eggs, etc.
  • Not everyone is lactose and gluten intolerant. Those really are the only people who should be cutting those two food groups out of their diet. Only your doctor can tell you if you belong in those categories.
  • The diet claims that the Paleolithic era man didn’t die of cardiovascular disease as much as we do now. Well, the lifespan of the Paleolithic man was 30-35 years. Due to starvation, exposure to the elements, infectious disease and injury, he didn’t live long enough to succumb to heart disease.

Final thoughts: Paleo has some great ideas that you can take away and adapt to your own lifestyle, however, those great ideas are not anything new. Any dietitian worth their stuff will tell you to eat more fruits and veggies, cut refined sugar, cut processed foods and cut down on sodium. You can do those things without having to sacrifice two whole food groups. Low-fat dairy will cut out unnecessary saturated fats and whole grain will cut out simple carbohydrates. Also, make sure that the meat your eating is lean meat! I see a lot of Paleo followers talking about all the steak they eat. Well, red meat is loaded in saturated fat and its is a carcinogenic. You are allowed to follow whatever diet you want to, but just know, something like this is hard to keep up with for the rest of your life. Eating a balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis is the best and easiest way to lose weight and keep it off. You don’t need a fad diet with lots of rules to tell you that.

Stay sweaty, my friends!

Sources: thepaleodiet.com, The Cooper Institute’s Providing Dietary Guidance, choosemyplate.gov, “Should You Eat Like a Caveman? The Paleo Diet” written by Steve Farrell, PhD, about.com 

Let’s be honest…working out while pregnant is hard.

Thanks to those who still read my stuff, even when I don’t post for a while. This pregnancy is making it so blogging is the furthest thing from my mind. Speaking of this pregnancy, I’m getting up there in months…about 6 1/2 now…and its starting to make working out harder. Baby Boy seems to be really low and I know his head is already down, so it just puts a lot of pressure on my lower abdomen and pelvis…and lets be honest, lady parts.

Since I’ve been writing about pregnancy, I want to be honest about how mine is affecting my work out. There are so many conflicting messages out there about working out while pregnant, that I’m sure a lot of women just feel hopeless about it. Just remember, whatever you’re doing, whatever is working for you, is perfect. Even if you can only walk from the couch to the bed, that’s what your body is allowing you to do, so don’t feel guilty.

Being someone that usually goes balls to the wall with my workout, its seriously getting on my nerves that my body won’t cooperate anymore. My workout partner, Tracy, feels the same way. She is about a month away from seeing her little man and hasn’t been able to work out for a while. I know she is just feeling like a prisoner trapped in her own body right now, and its super frustrating. Do any of y’all feel that way? Even if you’re not pregnant? Sometimes our bodies just won’t allow us to do the things we think they should be able to do.

Anyway, I’ve been trying that new Body Combat class I was telling y’all about, and I am unable to do half of it now because it just puts too much pressure on certain areas when I kick. And I get a huge stitch in my side during the cardio part of it, even though, much to my displeasure, I am taking the low modification route.  Walking on the treadmill gives me the same stitch, so even at a low speed, that’s out. The bike is definitely something I can do, but does anyone else find this boring? I was watching a class called 20/20/20 taught by one of my favorite instructors and all I could think was, “When can I do that again?” It was a whole bunch of push-ups, jumping, burpees, and just high intensity stuff.  My brain was saying, “Let’s go try,” and my body was calling her a crazy b****. So I did about 5 minutes on the treadmill (see above) and then 10 on the bike. Then I went to the weight room, my saving grace, and did some full body exercises. I felt pretty good, until it got hot and I was having a hard time catching my breath. So I pushed myself to do a couple more exercises and then left, annoyed.

The whole point of writing this blog is to let you know that everyone goes through times where it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore, and where its too hard to do certain things, but you have to accept yourself for who you are at that moment in time. You have to just keep going, just keep sweating, no matter how little you think you’re doing. I have to accept the fact, that for the next 3 or so months, I just won’t be able to do much, but I will still be moving as much as I can. I have to accept that what’s happening inside me is much more important that what’s happening on the outside. I have to accept the new me, and she’s not the crazy workout monster she used to be (for now).

Stay sweaty, my friends!

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