Foodie Friday: Maca Powder!

Maca Powder

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This brand is UNREAL. While you’re at it, try their chocolate bars, they are addictive (don’t say I didn’t warn you…).

Maca itself is a root, and comes from a plant found mainly in Peru and Bolivia. I decided to try it out after reading about it’s benefits for those with hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue (oh, and I love trying new things..). Maca powder is now a new member on my favorites-list! I put it in my morning smoothies, and add it to my pre-workout meal when I need a little boost of natural energy! Oh, and did I mention it is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free… (you get the picture).

Cost:

  • Maca can be a bit on the pricey side, but in my opinion it’s worth it. You are getting a lot of nutritional bang for your buck! Try to buy in bulk, and use the powder form to save a bit of cash!

Availability:

  • Available at any health food store, some supermarkets, or online (Costco!)
  • Comes in powder form, or in tablets (a bit more expensive)

Comparable Products:

  • Not really… not to be confused with Matcha powder (which is also pretty awesome)

Flavor/texture:

  • Mild, nutty, butterscotch flavor (delicious)
  • Texture is fine and blends in well as you only use a small amount

Where to Use:

  • Add to smoothies, fresh juices, or even coffee for a nutritional boost!
  • Add to pre-workout for a bit of extra energy
  • Try it out in baked goods, oatmeal, yogurt, or even in homemade salad dressings!

Health Benefits:

  • This little root is LOADED with minerals, vitamins, amino acids, AND plant sterols (iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium, vitamin B, B1, B2, C, D, E, just to name a few..)
  • Maca powder is an excellent stimulant-free, natural energizer (no jitters here!)
  • Several studies have shown maca powder increases sexual desire in men and women and has no adverse effects on sex hormones!
  • Contains fibre, and plant protein, as well as fatty acids!
  • Maca has adaptogenic qualities which means it nourishes and helps provide balance within your body’s endocrine system..a.k.a. it promotes and supports normal hormone production… a.k.a. less stress!

To buy or not to TRY…

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  • Personally, I LOVE this stuff.. Maca can be a bit expensive, but if you buy online and in larger quantities, you’ll save a ton! The natural energy boost it gives is awesome, and I prefer it to almost every other source I’ve tried so far. All in all, I would definitely recommend you try this stuff, and if you find a deal, STOCK UP! When starting out, make sure you take it slow..start with only about 1/2tsp per day, and gradually work your way up to as much as 2TBSP per day.
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I’m backkkk!

Sometimes people come into your life in the strangest, most unpredictable ways. One day, you’re alone in your thoughts, and the next you’ve met a stranger that opens so many doors, and helps change you in ways you never thought were possible. They help you see a side of yourself you didn’t even know existed. Soon you are stronger than before, seeking change, and embracing life’s challenges..

Health is so many things besides physical appearance. Aiming strictly for abs, or a 10 pound drop on the scale seems so silly when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Health is every aspect of your body, your mind, and your soul, and how each if them are interconnected, and working together to create harmony — your harmony, your ideal you.

When life gives you lemons, you just have to do your best to keep drinking lemon water until the lemons are gone.. enjoy every minute of it, and focus only on building a better, stronger, healthier you. Smile, laugh, cry, and scream if you have to, but realize you are only writing another chapter in your book. Learn all the way, as these lessons can never be taken away from you.

If you are lucky enough to find a person, or people who help you become truly healthy, hold them tight and never let them go…

I am back, friends..thanks for waiting!

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Finding your balance..

The following is my OPINION. I am not an expert, and I do not expect to be taken as one.. End Disclaimer. 😉

There are hundreds of thousands of millions of ways to lose weight (yeah, literally). Low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, high-carb…the list goes on and on. Overall, the general consensus that most people tend to agree on: losing weight comes down to calories in, vs. calories out. But is it really that simple?

All  diets, ‘fad’ or not, work on the same basic principal.. You are expending more calories than you’re eating, thus your body uses some of your stored fat (or muscle!) for energy, causing you to lose pounds. Some diets work by eliminating certain foods (carbs, fats, meat, gluten(?)), which will, by default (more than likely), cause you to be in a calorie deficit. Some diets work by replacing a meal with a low-calorie option that provides the health benefits and satiation you need from a meal, but for a fraction of the calories. In principal, any and all of these diets work, if you stick with them. No one ever thought to themselves, “HEY, I lost zero pounds eating this way, and no one else will either.. I’m going to write a book”.  Here we are, again..back to “you have to find what works for you”.  

So now, back to that not-so-magical magic.. you have to stick with it. You know how everyone always says “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle”? Well, cliché, cliché, but it really is! Being able to follow a plan for three weeks might help you lose 10 pounds, but if you give up right after, you’re going to be right back to square one! Not to mention, losing more than approximately 2lbs per week (unless you are truly obese) is NOT FAT LOSS. You are losing other things, like water, and muscle. You don’t want that to happen, now do you? Wouldn’t you rather lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks? or even 6? If you knew you could keep it off for life? AND enjoy the process of creating a healthier, happier, hotter (hehe) you?

So, summarizing thus far.. to lose weight (fat): you need to create a calorie deficit by making sustainable, long term changes, by any method that works for you (balance, balance, balance).

I am so tired of seeing people make small, short-term steps…only to tumble right back down the staircase, feeling exhausted, starving, and like total failures.

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. You failed because that shitty diet set you up for failure. Most people cannot SURVIVE HAPPILY ON 1200 CALORIES PER DAY, LONG TERM. It’s just not reality.

But wait, people lose weight like that ALL THE TIME. Yeah. Because they are in a calorie deficit. You might be able to lose weight FAST popping fat burners and eating only 1200 calories of slim-fast and Special K every day..but how do you feel? Are you going to keep doing that forever? Probably not. And likely the weight will come back on once you return to your old habits of…actually eating…real food.

The process is hard. It is a challenge, and there will be times you want to eat a Big Mac (or ice cream, chocolate bars, Mac & Cheese…), but it should never feel impossible.
If it is, it is likely your body telling you: “hey, I’m super freaking starving over here..”. So put down that lettuce and grab some freaking protein, and some healthy, complex carbs and tasty delicious fats.

Calculate your BMR and your TDEE.

Use REAL numbers.

Stop rushing. enjoy the process, and have fun

Create a small, reasonable calorie deficit and lose a reasonable, AMAZING amount of FAT by losing 1-2lbs per week. What’s your rush? This is your body for life.

Send me a message if you need help figuring out what works for you. I’d love to chat and maybe get you set up in a challenge group for support! ❤

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What’s your Secret?

I follow literally hundreds upon hundreds of people on various social media websites, who are each on their own fitness journey. From people who have hundreds of pounds to lose, to women trying to lose that “last 10 pounds”, to professional fitness competitors with 6-pack abs and amazing bums.. Not only do each of these people motivate me in their own ways and give me tons of cool tips and tricks, but I just love learning. I wish I could just learn forever.

Learn-Smart

So, you know what makes me sad? When I talk to someone who is just a ‘regular person’, and notice their progress. When I say how AMAZING they look, what great progress they’re making, or ask them what they’re doing, or what their ‘secret’ is, and they give me some kind of answer like: “You should know”, or “You’re one to talk!”, or “Why are you asking me?”. Uhh, because I’m curious? And you ARE amazing? I don’t know if people are downplaying their own progress, feel like I’m mocking them, or genuinely don’t think they have anything useful to share? Silliness. If I knew it all I’d have rocking abs and be a millionaire. I want to learn what is working for other people. I want to hear if you feel what you are doing is a good approach. I want to know what makes it good for your circumstances, or why it fits your lifestyle so perfectly.

If I could know everything there is to know about cooking, health, dieting (and diets!), exercising, and the body/physiology, I would. I always tell my husband that if we won the lottery, I would become a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and go to cooking school. I love it.

Coming from a place where I felt hopeless, and like I was destined to be unhappy, unhealthy, and overweight, this all feels like a magic pill to me. Like, who WOULDN’T want to feel like this? Who WOULDN’T want to eat fresh, quality, real food and be genuinely healthy?

So, next time someone asks you about your journey, do be a favor: be confident, be open, and pour your heart out. You deserve to tell your story. I bet it’s pretty damn amazing.

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Foodie Friday: Hemp Seeds

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Since it is the first week, I figured we would start small.. no fermented foods or healthy bacteria quite yet (it’s coming!).

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I first discovered these little babies at Costco. Sounds healthy to me, I thought, throwing them into the cart and ignoring the look on my husband’s face that said something along the lines of..are you actually paying $20 for that bag of seeds? I was AMAZED by the amount of protein.. in a tiny seed?!

Hemp hearts are something I eat regularly, as I really enjoy the taste and the texture, and couldn’t imagine cottage cheese without them. 😉

Mmhmm. This is why I have a job.

Cost:

  • Hemp seeds are a bit on the pricy side, for seeds. Chia and flax can usually be found cheaper. A small bag will cost you approximately $5-7.

Availability:

  • Easy to find at any grocery store (or Costco!)

Comparable Products:

  • Chia seeds or Flax Seeds (see this post)

Flavor/texture:

  • very mild, nutty flavor
  • definitely not offensive in any way (even if you’re not used to ‘healthy’)
  • Better raw texture (IMO) than flax or chia..nice light crunch

Uses:

  • add to smoothies for a boost
  • use as a topping on yogurt or cottage cheese
  • add to cereal or oats to make your own creation
  • sprinkle on top of muffins or apple crisp (hubby didn’t even notice…;))

Health Benefits:

  • High in protein (complete)
  • High in fiber
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rich in magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium

To buy or not to TRY…

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  • Other than the awesome taste/texture, the benefits of hemp seeds are pretty much attainable through chia/flax for a bit less money
  • If you are vegan or vegetarian, I would probably consider adding these to your list (complete protein!)
  • Overall, they are tasty, versatile, and high in protein and definitely a healthy choice. If you are looking for a new add-in that is all those things, give them a try. If you ever find them on sale, and you’re feeling spunky, try a bag! If you don’t want to spend the money, and you’re happy with your current yogurt toppings, don’t bother.

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“Foodie Friday”

In my quest to health (hehe, quest..) I have tried so many ‘health’ foods, it is unbelievable. I have spent countless dollars (a lot of this stuff is not cheap), and countless hours perusing through any health food store I can get my hands on. Reading labels, checking out new trends.. I love it!

So that is why, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am going to do the leg work for you! 🙂

For someone who is not quite as interested, but still wants to get the benefits of healthy eating, these stores can seem overwhelming.

Is ‘Organic’ always better? Is it worth the money?

Is ‘Gluten Free’ always better? What about ‘Sugar Free’?

Is IT going to taste like cardboard?

It can be very overwhelming, and not to mention extremely expensive should you make a choice you aren’t happy with when you get home. How many of these products do you have sitting in your cupboard or fridge? Products you bought with great intentions, only to bring them home, try them, and decide you would be happier being unhealthy, than eating hay…

My new series, “Foodie Friday” will focus on a new ‘health’ food every week. I will give you my honest perspective, and even let you know the opinions of the ladies in our challenge group, and my husband. I will also give a run down on the nutrition of each item, and whether or not I think it is worth it’s money (or if you can get the same benefits elsewhere). My hope is that this will encourage you to find at least one new item to try, and actually enjoy! And who knows, maybe your kids and your family will like it, too!

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That little feeling…

What’s your happy place?

It’s so easy to spend your time wanting, wishing, and lusting for change. When you move through life so quickly, sometimes you don’t realize you have everything you need..right now. Stop telling yourself “I’ll be happy WHEN..”. Be happy now. No matter what is going on.. take a breath,  smile, and remember that in 25 years, this moment will be a part of your story.

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I got my workout in this morning (leg day!), grabbed some quick groceries and came home to dye my hair (I refuse to pay 80+ dollars when I can pay $10…) and shower.

Right now I’m sitting on the couch wrapped up with my favorite duvet, watching tv for the first time in over a week (Doctor Phil, obv….). I just had a bath, slathered myself in my new, organic hemp lotion, and threw on my new lulu tights with a super comfy tank. The puppies are quiet, calm, and cuddling me.

I am completely,  100% content.

Days like this make me feel truly blessed: blessed for everything I have, and everything we have created for ourselves. I am happy that in my own home, no one can stop me from ripping my king sized duvet off the bed and making a couch bed, no one can stop me from eating pancakes for dinner, and no one cares if I take a 25-minute shower.

Life is good. I am truly blessed.. and I wouldnt have it any other way.

Make sure you take time to find happiness in the small things today.

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