November 9, 2010

Yaz Birth Control Pill Working Well So Far!

Last time I wrote, I discussed how I was soon-to-be switching birth control methods, from the Depo-Provera birth control shot, to the birth control pill Yaz.

I have been on Yaz for about a month and a half so far, and I have had success with it. I have dropped about 3 or 4 pounds (which I know is negligible, but still makes me excited), and I have not had any negative side effects or changes that I can discern.

The only possible side effect I have noticed is, every so often, especially after hearing or seeing something powerfully emotional, like an awesome church service, or a good song, or an intense movie, I get slightly choked up. It feels as though there is a lump in my throat and that I'm getting ready to cry. All I need to do is clear my throat and focus on something else, and this sensation disappears.

These moments have occurred about 3 or 4 times in the last month and a half timespan, and are gone as soon as they come. I have been struck by these moments before in my life, obviously, when something has moved me or "spoken" to me. For example, my husband & I recently attended a baptism service at our new church, Crossroads, in Cincinnati, OH, where we witnessed over 100 people publicly declare their desire to follow Jesus Christ and were baptized to show this commitment. Experiencing all of their tears of joy and expressions of peace and praise on their faces definitely had me choked up with tears in my eyes! What a magnificent moment!

So these "choked up" moments have, in truth, occurred more often than they normally did, but are still in no way interfering with my life in any way. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes nice to "feel" things in such an intense way!

So, if these moments are what it takes for me to continue using Yaz, and no other negative side effects present themselves, then I will put up with them, and I count myself fortunate.

*side note* My gyno recommended that I take the brand name Yaz, instead of a generic brand, at least for awhile. She said lots of women experience breakthrough spotting and bleeding, and other negative side effects more commonly than the name brand. She said the amount of hormone can deviate in the generic brand, and the lack of hormone is not adequate to keep women from bleeding. But, I have heard of many women who are on a generic, and they love it and it works great for them. Plus, it's cheaper! So maybe I will try a generic in a bit!

September 21, 2010

The Wonders of Protein

In a study in "Nutrition Metabolism", dieters who increased their protein intake to 30% of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day, and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures.

Protein helps you feel full and helps repair and strengthen muscles. Experts also say that you should eat around 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight you weigh. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, then you should ideally be consuming around 120-140 grams of protein DAILY. This is a huge number, however, and I always fall short on it, even when supplementing my diet with powdered whey protein shakes. So, while I have not figured out how to eat so much protein everyday, experts still say it's very beneficial to our bodies, especially to those of us trying to lose fat and gain muscle.

Get lean protein from good sources such as: eggs, lean red meat, poultry, low-fat dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt, and beans (like pinto, black, and kidney beans).

So eat plenty of lean protein, but also don't forget about energizing carbs from whole grain sources like whole wheat bread, quinoa, couscous, and pastas! Whole grain, complex carbs provide your body with heart-healthy whole grains, and intestinal-health-boosting fiber!

September 14, 2010

Folic Acid: Not Only For Pregnancy!

Folate is a B vitamin that helps create new cells in your body. As most of you probably know, it is strongly recommended by almost everyone that a pregnant woman take lots of Folic Acid during her pregnancy. Folic Acid is a synthetic form of Folate, found in dietary vitamins & supplements. Folic Acid helps prevent birth defects, and helps the health of the heart.

Recently, folate has also been linked to better hearing & preventing hearing loss with age. A recent study found that people with low levels of folate in their blood had a 36% higher risk of developing hearing loss because of getting older. This is good news, since hearing loss is such a common occurrence in the elderly!

Folate is found in healthy foods like green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, & lentils. You can also find it in supplements as folic acid. Experts suggest that all women of child-bearing age (and not just pregnant women) should be taking a folic acid supplement.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Here's a shameless self-promotion from me to you:

I am getting ready to launch a hand-made product line on, an online, hand-made goods marketplace.
I have been knitting reusable coffee sleeves!!!

They are:
fit all "to-go" coffee cup sizes
Eco-Friendly & Reusable
Hand-made by myself

These are designed to be used instead of those cardboard or paper coffee sleeves that come on to-go coffee cups, like ones you'd get at Starbucks. This will help cut down on waste, and will reduce the impact on the environment. The coffee sleeves are made to keep your hand cool while holding a hot coffee drink. I may also be able to do custom orders!

My coffee sleeves are made with multi-colored yarn (everything from acrylic, to cotton, to merino wool), and thus are all different colors. I also have some "guy" colors, like blues & grays.

I will post pictures of my coffee sleeves soon, and will also give you my site address at, once I get it all set up.
For now, please feel free to contact me @ to ask me questions or put in an order!

These reusable, knitted coffee sleeves will be perfect for fall & winter!

Birth Control Heaven???

Hi y'all!

So, I recently saw my Ob-Gyn about the issues I was having with the Depo-Provera shot. When I told her that I'd gained about 25 pounds in the past 2 years while on the Depo, her eyes got really big and she was like "Whoa!" She was understandably shocked, because she knows about my fitness goals and how much I exercise and run. So she never expected the Depo to make me gain so much weight, especially when I have been working so hard to lose it.

Anyway, to make a long story short, she prescribed Yaz to me, which I think all of us have heard of. After doing lots of online research before my appointment, I had several "key words" to tell her and ask her about. I wanted a "low-dose", "monophasic" birth control pill. Immediately after I said this, she said that Yaz is indeed such a pill and she highly recommends it. She herself has taken Yaz for the past 3 years and she loves it, which is encouraging.

The important thing is that Yaz has NO WEIGHT GAIN associated with it! So that got me thinking, "Well what the heck? Why haven't I been on Yaz this whole time?"
But the answer to that question is, of course, that I wanted to try the every-three-months Depo shot because of the convenience. I also have a difficult time swallowing pills, so the Depo seemed like my best option. And my doctor told me that birth control pills are tiny anyway, so that shouldn't be a concern.

My dose of Depo will last until the first week of October, so I do not have to start taking Yaz until a few days before the Depo wears off. I have such high hopes for Yaz, and I hope I won't be disappointed. But, if Yaz does not work out for some reason, I know I have other good options to try. Thus I am hopeful.

August 24, 2010

Birth Control Hell!

I wanted to post a quickie about my birth control, the Depo-Provera birth control shot, and how that may also be affecting my hormonal balance and causing me to gain weight. On top of a potential thyroid problem, I have also been on the Depo shot since a few months before I got married in 2008. So I've been on it for a little over 2 years now.
I started it because, after doing some research about birth control options, I saw that the Depo shot is more effective in preventing pregnancy, and it's so convenient because the shot lasts for 3 entire months, so you only need 4 shots in a year. My insurance also pays for some of it, but not all, so it is about $40 out-of-pocket for me each time. But I loved the convenience of not having to remember to take a daily pill (I'm not a good pill swallower anyway), and I loved the promise of it preventing pregnancy even better than the Pill.
So I've loved the Depo shot until I realized that, instead of slowly losing weight as I watch calories and exercise, that I've actually slowing been gaining weight. It's been happening so slow that I almost didn't notice until some of my pants and shirts are actually fitting tighter than they should! I couldn't believe it!
So only then did I go back online and do more research about the Depo shot. I found a "consumer report" website where women who had tried the shot wrote about their experiences. And most of them were not good experiences!
Most women bemoaned that the Depo shot had caused significant weight gain (like over 20 pounds), and most of them said that it messed up their hormones so badly that they were behaving like different, crazy women.
This was bad enough, but then they said that on average, it took several months to a year for their bodies to get fully back to normal, and their hormones were out of whack for that entire time.
Shocking! It takes lots of women almost a year to "come down" off of the Depo shot?!? Now I wish I had read these comments before I had decided to take Depo! I think these negatives would have outweighed the convenience factor!
I was truly shocked how most of the women had nothing good to say about the Depo shot, and they were in fact warning other women not to get on it!
Do any of you have thoughts about which birth control pills or methods are better than others? Have you had a great experience? A horrible one? Let me know!
I'd love to find a brand of the Pill that doesn't negatively effect my body or my hormones!

Thyroid Issues?

Hi all,
I'm so sorry that it's been so long since I've posted. I've been dealing with some health issues, and here's the deal: I strongly believe that I may have a thyroid issue, particularly hypothyroidism.
The thyroid is a gland in the front and sides of your neck, under your chin. It produces several different hormones, which regulate such things as blood sugar and metabolism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include (among others): fatigue, low energy, high blood pressure, inability to lose weight, inability to gain physical endurance and stamina, shallow breathing, bodily aches and pains, and feeling "low" or "down" inexplicably.

These symptoms describe me completely! I have been working out by lifting weights about 4 days a week, and running a few days a week, with absolutely no weight loss and no muscle definition at all. How utterly frustrating! That's why I finally got my rear in gear and made an appointment with an endocrinologist to get my thyroid hormones checked out.

I went to an allergist, thinking my fatigue might be a food allergy or intolerance, so he tested me for several of the most common food and seasonal allergies, which all came up negative. He told me that I never need to come back to see him again. So I don't have any allergies, which is a good thing!

After talking with the allergist, he said that in his professional opinion, my symptoms sound like a thyroid disorder, or an auto-immune problem.

So I'm going to get my thyroid tested, and if that comes back normal, then I'll go see a rhuematologist, a doctor who deals with inflammation and auto-immune disorders, who I've also already been referred to.

If the thyroid comes back normal, that could actually be a very bad thing, because then it means that I most likely have an auto-immune disorder, which include disorders like rhuematoid arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia. These are disorders in which your body begins attacking healthy cells & tissues, mistaking it for a foreign "enemy". Of course, our bodies are made to attack diseased cells and destroy them, but it's a big problem when your body starts attacking healthy cells!

So with all these potential issues looming, and still being completely in the dark as to what is wrong with me, I have been wrestling with feelings of disappointment, anger, and defeat.

I've been watching what I eat and working my butt off (if only!) for almost 2 whole years now, and I currently weigh 177 pounds, the heaviest I've ever been. Um, where are all those muscles from all that weight lifting? Nonexistent!

So I keep asking myself: why on earth did I wait this long to make an appointment with a doctor who might have the answers?

Well, there's 2 main reasons: First, my general doctor (who's been my doctor since before I was born) has been blowing me off, not really listening to me, and telling me that (because my basic blood work came back normal) I was completely normal and there's nothing wrong with me. He has basically closed the book on me and refused to follow up any further with any of my symptoms. So for a long time, I tried to believe him and force myself to believe that there was really nothing wrong with me. But these mind tricks did not work. I could not force myself to "feel better" simply because I wanted to.

The other reason I waited so long to get real help was because it's supposed to take a long time get into shape and transform your body! I've read about countless "success" stories of women who lost a lot of weight, and it generally takes anywhere from several months to about 2 years. So I expected it to take at least a year. Then, after a year had come and gone, I kept at it and told myself that I must not be cutting out enough calories, or must still be eating out too often.

So it was only in the last few months that I realized that I may have a legitimate, medical reason for my inability to lose weight and get in shape.

So here I am, desperately sticking with the workouts, anxiously awaiting September 28th, the date of my endocrinologist appointment. It's also my 2 year anniversary to my wonderful husband, Eric! Check back here for an update after that! Hopefully I'll have some good news to tell y'all!

July 15, 2010

Running Group!

I've got great news! I officially started a women's running group through Crossroads, an awesome church my hubby and I have been attending for several months. I was able to post a "wanted" classified ad on the church's website, and I got 3 responses within a week!
Me & the 3 other young women have met 3 times now, and we're absolutely loving it so far! Our schedule is Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, @ 7am at a local park that has a paved 1/2 mile loop. We've been running a moderate-pace 2 miles, but will start slowly upping our mileage when I get back from vacation in a couple weeks.
We're training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, OH, in May! This goal is daunting and intimidating, but I have the utmost faith that we can do it, considering we have almost a year to train.
Two of us ladies are married, and the other married lady is pregnant! The other two ladies are both 22 years old, working full-time, and recent college grads. We've all run off & on for years, but never as a long-term habit. So hopefully that's what this running group will become!
I get up a 6:30am to get dressed and meet up with them at 7am. We run & walk for about a half an hour, then they have to leave to go shower and get ready for work at 9am.
It's hard for me to get up so early, but I usually come home and take a nap to catch up on sleep. The only bad thing is that I tend to be groggy for the rest of the day when I do this. So I'm going to tweak my bedtimes and naptimes to see if I can improve the drowsiness.
But yay for accountability & motivation!

May 18, 2010

Disappointed with Results

So for the past few years, I have weighed around 160 pounds, and for the past year or so, I have weighed anywhere from 165-169 pounds, depending on the day.

My weight seems to fluctuate an entire 4 or 5 pounds sometimes, which I thought was a lot, but apparently this is normal for my body.

For about the last year and a half, my husband Eric & I have been eating the healthiest we've ever eaten, adding whole grains, lean chicken, skim dairy products (for me only; Eric is fatally allergic to dairy), and vegetables and fruits.

Ever since then, I also have been lifting weights a few times a week and running off & on, with a few breaks for vacations & injuries.

Recently, however, I've been stepping up my cutting calories & workout efforts, in an effort to see more muscle definition and lose more fat. I made this decision because I have hardly seen any difference in my body and have not lost any weight, and it's been over a year! That's plenty of time to completely change my body composition! And yet practically nothing has changed for me.

So for the past week, I have been cutting calories, eating even better than usual, and cutting out fancy, sugary coffee drinks all last week, hoping to lose at least 1 pound. I was hoping to lose about 1 or 2 pounds for that effort, and to continue to lose about 1 pound a week. (Experts say that a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is the healthiest way to lose weight & keep it off long-term).

I weighed myself today, however, and the scale said 171 pounds! Seriously?!?
I actually gained weight. Now, you're supposed to weigh yourself first thing in the morning with no clothes on, and this was right after lunch, and I was fully clothed. So hopefully that was the reason.

But still! My clothes don't weigh that much!

As you can imagine, I was pretty disappointed & frustrated to find that I had gained weight. All I can hope is that I have gained muscle mass, which weighs more than fat.

I've also read that you should eat "according to your target weight", meaning that, for example, if I want to eventually weigh 150 pounds, I need to eat no more than 1,500 calories a day.

I have found that trying to eat 1,500 or less calories a day is nearly impossible for me. I have only been able to do that a couple of days in the past year, and I was eating so sparingly that I was hungry throughout the day and my stomach was growling so intensely at night that I had difficulty falling asleep.

So I am currently sort of disappointed with my weight-loss journey, but I'm going to keep running hard, lifting weights, and cutting more calories than usual, trying to kick-start some weight loss. Hopefully, once my body is kick-started to lose weight, it will be a bit easier to keep it going.

We shall see!

Minimun Exercise Requirements

The minimum exercise standards from the American Heart Association are: raise your heart rate for 30-45 minutes, three or four times each week.

Now remember, these are just the minimum guidelines to have a healthy heart.
If you want to lose weight or train for a race, then you may have to workout for longer than this.

Food Portion Guide

One Serving Of: ************ Should Fit In:

Lean Protein ************ Palm of 1 hand

Leafy Greens ************* Palms of 2 open hands

Denser Veggies **************** One open hand
(beets, brussels sprouts)

Whole Grains ****************** One cupped hand

*So try to stick with these portion sizes to get the nutrients you need without the extra calories*

May 4, 2010

More Whole Grain Goodness!

Aim for 34 grams of fiber every day. Healthy whole grains not only help your heart, but also help fend off depression!

(Self magazine, April 2010)

So eat plenty of fiber, exercise, and feel better in every aspect of your life!

Heavenly Whole Grains!

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that women who ate at least 2 servings of whole grains daily cut their cardiovascular disease risk by 51%!

This study also found that cereal fibers seem to be even more effective than veggies are at lowering cholesterol.

Fifty-one percent?!? Wow, that's huge! And 2 servings a day? That's not so hard to do. Replace all your white bread with 100% whole grain bread, all your pasta with whole grain pasta, and even try whole grain pita bread and tortilla shells! They all come in whole grains, and you can probably find them cheap at your local grocery store!

April 27, 2010

Nix These Bad Habits to Live Longer!

Check out this news article from the Yahoo homepage about several habits to quit to help you live a longer, healthier life!

Finding Fitness Inspiration

I read a lot of womens' health & fitness magazines, and I see tons of pictures of extremely fit women who are tight & toned and beautiful.

These pictures inspire me (and I'll admit, make me slightly jealous sometimes), but I've been realizing that I have to be realistic and realize that my body, no matter how toned I get, may NEVER look like those ladies.


Well, for starters, I am over 5 feet 6 inches, and most featured women are much shorter and petite than me! Most women are around 5 feet 3 inches!

So, my shoulders and hips will never be as small as theirs, so I will always naturally be taller and more "big-boned" than them.

So what I need to do is find pictures for inspiration of healthy, fit women who are closer to my height! Then I can reasonably expect my body to someday look similar to theirs! (Of course, my body may never look exactly like them, because fitness will probably never be my career, but at least they can still inspire me.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for inspirational pictures of fit gals who are closer to my height!

I Chopped My Hair Off!

So, after debating getting my hair cut short for an entire day (I was a little carried away with debating & anxiety), I finally decided to take the plunge and I got my hair cut short again on Saturday!
I don't have a picture of my new hair to post yet, so I'll post a similar haircut, shown on Jamie Eason, the fitness gal I featured in my last post.

This is very similar to what I have now (except of course I'm a brunette!)So, after spending the entire day fretting about this decision, I realized that I was caring way too much about this decision. It's only hair, for goodness sakes, right? It'll grow back!
I also realized that part of the reason I was terrified to cut it all off, was because I was afraid I would never be able to grow it long ever again.
This irrational fear comes from knowing that my mother & grandmother both have thinning hair. And my mother has cautioned me several times not to cut my hair short, because that's what she did when she was my age, and she was never able to grow it past her shoulders ever again.
So I decided that worrying about getting thinning hair at the ripe "old" age of 24 was simply ridiculous, and that I was placing too high a value on my hair.
So I chopped it! And I love how sporty it is, and how much body it has!
Having short hair will also save on shampoo & conditioner usage, and will cut down on my shower times.
So, for the time being, I have given up what I thought was my "dream" of having really long hair, for the benefits of having a short, sporty haircut just in time for summer!
And I'm not going to worry about someday losing my hair, because that's just plain a waste of energy! This is me, letting go!

April 23, 2010

The Great Hair Debate

To cut my hair or not cut my hair? This is the question that has been raging through my head all day today. The above picture is me last June in Seattle. I had gotten my hair cut a couple weeks before this trip, to the shortest it had ever been!

Growing up, my hair was always very long (I could almost sit on it), super-straight, and it just kinda hung there. I had no creativity and I loved my long hair, but had no idea what to do with it and didn't know any different ways to wear or style it, so I always just wore it straight down. Talk about boring!

So about 3 weeks before my wedding on Sep. 28, 2008, I cut it to about chin length for the first time ever. This is me on my wedding day, being walked down the aisle by my dad!

So first was the super-long hair, then came the just-above-the-shoulder cut for my wedding (above), then the even shorter chin-length in the first picture at the top.

I loved my short hair when I first got it, but as soon as it started growing out (which was noticeable about 2 short weeks later), I began hating it and terribly regretting the fact that I had gotten it cut so short. My "sporty" & "chic" haircut quickly turned into one of the worst mistakes I had made. (Or so it seemed).

So for the past almost year, I have been growing my hair back out. It has been such a painfully slow progression, and I've been wishing for my long hair back for a long time now.

But, this morning, my mom called me and wants to take us both to get hair cuts (she's paying!) with our favorite hairstylist, Millicent Larson, who works at a salon called The Wild Hare, in Loveland, OH. Here's their site:

So I thought, "Sounds great, Mom! I'll just get a trim!" But then I start thinking about "going all the way" and cutting my hair short again. Can you believe it? After all the pain and heartache and regrets I've had over the past several months, I'm actually considering cutting it short again! What the heck is wrong with me????

The thing is, I keep thinking about how cute my short hair was (until it started growing out and getting shabby), how much it cut down on my shower time and shampoo usage, how sporty & easy to style it was, and how, for the first time in my life, my hair actually had some body & bounce to it! I start thinking about all these things, and now I'm really torn.

So why the total dilemma? It's just hair, right? It'll grow back (eventually). If I hate it, I don't have to live with it forever. But I've seriously been going crazy thinking about the choice of cutting my hair short again or keep trying to grow it out.

The truth is, I'm getting impatient with growing it out. It has been this shapeless mass of hair since last July, and it just kinda hangs there with a couple very noticeable, sharp layers that don't seem to blend. My hair, in the longest portion (in the back), is just to my shoulders and maybe slightly past. I've had these bangs that I've been trying to grow out, and I've had to pin them back by my ear everyday because they are awkward and hang down right in my eye when they are loose.

If I do get my hair cut again, I think I want it to look somewhat like Jamie Eason's hair:
I really like this chin-length, rounded bob. It looks sorta sporty, modern, and pretty easy to style. This cut seems like a good compromise. Not too short, not too long.

Anyway, this mental debate has me thinking about all sorts of things. Why is my hair so important to me? Does it really matter how it looks? Am I caring too much about this?
Am I worrying too much about physical looks and beauty?

April 20, 2010

Exercise Doesn't Only Benefit Your Body!

So this may be a bit cliche, but regular exercise really does benefit more than just my body--it helps my self-esteem, my brain functions, gives me energy, and lifts my mood!
I've read studies proclaiming that regular exercise helps improve brain functions such as memory recall, attentiveness, problem-solving, and helps keep brain cells healthy, thus preventing dementia & Alzheimer's disease.
I've also read studies that describe how self-esteem rises simply by doing exercises. Mostly this happens because you are doing something positive for your body, and this effort makes you view yourself in a more positive light.
This is true for me. Even if I am not noticing or seeing any physical difference, I am still so proud of myself for doing something, anything, to take care of myself and get more physically fit. I automatically feel better about myself and my confidence rises, just because I am putting forth effort to improve myself.
Of course, do I even need to mention how regular physical activity helps prevent all kinds of maladies like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, memory problems, and PMS symptoms?
Regular physical exercise truly is something you do for yourself now, and for a better future.
Today, I ran 3.5 miles, after taking a few non-running days. It was hard, but at around 3 miles I experienced the fabled "runner's high" euphoric feeling that many runners have experienced. For me, this feeling is a surge in energy, a strong "I can do it!" feeling, and a general sense of well-being and happiness. It wore off before the end of my run and I became tired again, but I finished extremely proud of myself and the healthy choice I had made to run.
Exercising is also a great de-stressor! Tiring out my body really helps all other worries or anxieties fade away. I think it's because my body is working so hard that I cannot waste energy stressing about something!
I've recently seen a magazine advertisement from some shoe company like Adidas or Saucony, and it shows a woman running mid-stride, running through a waterfall. The back half of her body is surrounded by negative words & thoughts like "stress", "anxiety"; and the front half of her body is exposed on the other side of the waterfall, with none of these words around her. She is in fact smiling a small, satisfied smile.
The tagline below the picture says something like "Running cleanses the body & soul".
Lately, I have been thinking about the positive affect on body and mind that exercise has, and this advertisement pictured exactly what I've been thinking about.
What about you? Are there any positive affects you notice about yourself when you exercise that I haven't mentioned here? Let me know about your experiences!

April 15, 2010

No More Food Diary!

So I have been keeping a food journal for the past several months. I was recording most every calorie I ingested, including coffee, candy, drinks, snacks, and all meals.

This helped me see my eating patterns and my areas of weakness, and foods I don't eat enough of.

I also used this journal to log my workouts and runs, and how I felt after each one.
That being said, seeing all those days in writing where I ate way too many calories, or completely skipped my workout.....ended up depressing me so much that it was almost better if I didn't write that stuff down!

So, instead of being a motivational & educational thing, it ended up being another "to-do" thing that I kept failing at.

So, I stopped keeping a food journal a few weeks ago, and I'm glad to be free of it!
Since I stopped writing in my food journal, I've been running more regularly and I've been incorporating more weight lifting into my workouts.

Since stopping my food journal I've actually lost about 4 pounds! Yippee!

So, I know enough about healthy foods now to know approximately how many calories I'm eating, so I don't need the food diary anymore!

Food journals work for a lot of people, especially those folks new to eating healthy, whole foods and watching their caloric intake. But after awhile the usefulness should wear off and you should be able to estimate your daily calories on your own. This is what I did!

So what I'm trying to say is that I enjoyed keeping my food diary and it helped educate me about what I'm eating, but I'm glad to be rid of it!

But I encourage those just starting out on an exercise and eating healthy lifestyle to give a food journal a try!

March 30, 2010

Why The Food You Eat Might Be Even More Important Than the Workout You Perform

Not seeing results from your workouts?
Feeling tired, sluggish, or sore?
Lack motivation to keep exercising?

The food you are putting into your body might be to blame! Proper fuel is of the utmost importance when you are living an active lifestyle. Your body is like a gas tank that needs to be full in order for you to be able to drive the necessary distance. Read this article about the importance of eating the right foods!

Also, keep an eye out for the "foods to avoid" mentioned in this article!

Refueling Your Body After a Workout

Hey, folks!

This article from Athleta's Chi blog website is a wonderful statement about the importance of post-workout recovery food. The "Glycogen Window" lasts from about 30-45 minutes after you finish your workout, and this article speaks about the importance of refueling within this window of "opportunity" for optimal muscle repair! Check it out!

March 24, 2010

Foods that Fight Stress

Some form of stress effects all of us most everyday. A little bit of "good" stress can be a positive thing, enabling us to meet a close deadline at work, or focus on study material we must memorize for tonight's exam.
"Bad" stress, however, is the kind most talked about and researched, because this kind of stress has negative effects on our bodies & minds. Stress can cause all sorts of health problems like anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and migraines (just to name a few!)
There are, however, plenty of things you can do to combat stress.
Exercise might be the single best activity you can do to fight stress. Other calming practices like yoga & meditation can also help.
Also, there are many foods that contain antioxidants & release positive hormones in your brain, that you should eat on a regular basis.
Click on this link below to read an article about some serious stress-fighting foods to eat!

February 2, 2010

Sip That Tea

Look and feel younger!

People who drink 3 or more cups of tea everyday are biologically younger than their actual age by about 5 years! Is that enough incentive to start drinking the leafy stuff?

Some experts say green teas have the most antioxidants (and thus are the best), while others say white teas are best. Since the jury is out on which teas indeed have the most antioxidants, just drink whichever kind you prefer and you'll still reap benefits!

January 26, 2010

Ever Heard of Safflower Oil?

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that adding 1 tablespoon of Safflower oil daily to your diet may encourage the high-linoleic content of the oil to cause the body to store less fat, which may help you lose weight in hard-to-lose areas (ex: belly) and may increase lean muscle mass.

So you may want to research Safflower Oil!

Weight Gain & Alzheimer's Disease

So, probably everyone knows that being overweight or obese puts you at much higher risk for all sorts of diseases and conditions, like stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and diabetes. But did you know that weight gain could increase your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease?

In the journal "Human Brain Mapping", brain scans showed that overweight folks had an average of 4% less brain tissue than normal-weight adults. Obese folks had 8% less.

We're talking about physical brain tissue here, folks! Like the gray & white matter of your brain!

The study showed that the most depleted area of brain tissue was in the frontal lobe, which is the area of your brain responsible for your "higher thinking & reasoning" skills, like problem solving. This area is where dementia happens.


A high-fat diet clogs arteries, including arteries going to the brain, so oxygen cannot reach brain cells and they die, says lead study author Paul Thompson, Ph.D.

So what can you do?

Get moving! Exercise! Be active! While weight & resistance training has been proven to make you a leaner, healthier, longer-living person, aerobic exercise is the key to this problem. Aerobic exercise helps preserve brain tissues by increasing blood flow to your brain.

Check Your Iron Levels

Active women are less likely to have healthy, "normal" levels of iron than sedentary women. Usually active women have more healthy levels of nutrients than sedentary women, so what's the deal with the iron deficiency?
Well, here's what happens: high-impact exercises (like running, for example) ruptures some of your red blood cells (where iron is stored). The iron is then swept out of your body when you urinate. So over time, this small amount adds up.
To help keep your iron levels in the normal range, aim for about 18 milligrams of iron daily. Eat more beans, lean meat, and iron-fortified cereal.

(of course, talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program or adding supplements to your diet)

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Hey y'all! I apologize for not posting in awhile; the time has certainly flown by!
I was in Seattle, WA for 2 entire weeks for the Christmas & New Year's Holidays, which was completely wonderful! My husband is from Seattle, and every time we visit, it is more difficult to return to dreary, flat Cincinnati.
Then, my favorite and super-convenient local coffee shop closed for almost 2 months so the store could move into a vacant spot across the street.
So I have been without regular internet access for some time now!
But, the coffee shop is open once again (yay!) so hopefully I will be able to resume posting about healthy, wholesome living!
Give me a shout out if there's something I have not covered that you'd like to learn more about and we can learn together!