Spotlight on Blueberries

Mid-March is upon us and spring is attempting to “spring” here in south Texas. We never got much of a winter, but I think I’m not alone in saying we’re all ready for some sun and blue sky kinda days and leaving the grey foggy ones behind.

Of course with spring arriving it also heralds “berry” season and I can’t wait. I mean, not that I’ve taken a break from eating them, it just means they are crazy cheap and I can indulge even more freely 🙂

I love all kinds of berries. They make appearances in all my breakfast meals and are a healthy, nutrient laden, low cal snack.

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I wrote some other berry posts, find them here……https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/13/spotlight-on-strawberries/  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/30/the-super-powers-of-blackberries/

Ok first things first.

I found it amusing getting my healthy facts, that the things that kept coming up first in my searches were for muffins, pancakes, breads, etc like hold on with the recipes Susan, we’ll get there 😉

Like other berries, blueberries pack a powerful nutritional and healthy punch. Blueberries are an Antioxidant Superfood. Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are  also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.

Blueberries are among the most nutrient dense  berries. A 1-cup (148-gram) serving of blueberries contains :

  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 25% of the RDI
  • Small amounts of various other nutrients

They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables.

The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a family of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids.

One group of flavonoids in particular — anthocyanins — is thought to be responsible for much of these berries’ beneficial health effects.

Blueberries have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels in your body.

Blueberries may also lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, help maintain brain function and improve memory.

With the high Vitamin C content in blueberries, they are also considered an anti aging food. Anthocyanin in blueberries is responsible for preventing oxidative DNA damage, while the abundance of vitamin C is a big factor in building collagen.

Wanna stay looking younger? Add plenty of berries into your daily diet.

Other ways to incorporate them into your diet…

of course berries are a stand alone kinda thing and you can eat them “as is” but they also make great additions mixed in with yogurt or oatmeal.  Add them to smoothies or other drinks. I sometimes like them in salads.

But I’d say many people enjoy them wrapped up in tasty baked goods as well. And since life also deserves treats, I’ll leave you with a few tasty recipes for our friend, the blueberry 🙂

 

Your turn. Do you like blueberries? Do you have a favorite way to eat them?

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More Nutrition And Diet Myths

Oh it’s been one of those weeks. Why does it seem like every time I turn around there is just another new version of craziness when it comes to diet, nutrition and exercise?

Sometimes, I don’t notice as much, but then when there is a lot of it I guess I’m more prone to thinking… stop… like stop it already.

Many times I’m glad I’m behind a computer when I see things so my eye roll isn’t apparent and obvious haha

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What’s got me bothered? 

Hmm, well I’ll tell you. Quite a few things. I guess I get troubled over information and shared ideas that people will gulp down as fast as a frog can gulp a fly.

I’m often horrified at how people believe things without their own research or fact gathering on a topic.

So what’s at the top of my list?

Can we please stop demonizing foods/food groups?

Really. Unless you have a medical condition, or a food allergy or abstaining from something just makes you overall feel better, then don’t get on the “exclude foods train” because Bob at work is doing it.

Worse yet are people who are on the train but have no idea why they are… like gluten free. Really, the only people who need to be on a gluten free diet are ones who have celiac disease.

Stop deciding foods are “bad” or that they offer no value.

Excluding entire food groups robs your body of essential vitamins and minerals not found in other foods you keep in your diet.

One of the worst things, like THE worst is how the diet industry has somehow made many fruits “bad”.

Fruit.

FRUIT!

Yes, I know I’m kinda yelling here, and yes I’m fully aware some fruits have a higher sugar content than others,

Big deal. Natural sugars found in fruits are not the same as sugars you get noshing on your donuts, cookies or candies. Or your 64 oz. big gulp soda.

Fruits are low calorie and loaded with so many amazing things for our body and really, you’d have to eat loads of high sugar fruits to make an impact on your health.

Stop demonizing fruit.

Is there a bumper sticker like that??

Listen you know what the enemy really is?

You… or more like you’re not controlling what goes in your mouth and the quantity of it. That is the problem.

Food is simply, food.

What we do with it becomes the bigger issue.

The magic diet bus.

Another one  bothering me, is constantly seeing credit given to a particular diet as if it holds the very unique and magical keys to unlocking permanent and successful weight loss.

Uh…if you believe that… I’ve got some diet pills to sell you…. 😉

All together now boys and girls, there is no great diet that is the be all and end all to successful weight loss.

I hate to keep throwing the same ‘ol science bubble around but here I go again…..

weight loss occurs, and only occurs, when there is a caloric deficit plain and simple.

Not because Diet “X, Y, Z” has made you lose weight.

You are simply consuming less calories, combined with maybe some purposeful exercise and that combination will lead to weight loss.

You’ve also most likely maybe made adjustments to some “non- essential” foods that has helped too.

And by that I  mean those extra snacks and treats you don’t need to live but make life worth living haha

Find what works for you, that gives your body real, nutrient dense food, and go from there. The idea is to do what is sustainable for you, for a lifetime, and not a few weeks or months.

And any plan that restricts, or eliminates foods is just not going to be long term sustainable. If it were I wouldn’t see people excited over having cheat days so they could feel normal again and have what’s been withheld from them. That’s a cycle you really don’t wanna be on.

You want a side of protein with that?

If there’s a marketing bus every company in the world has jumped on now, it’s the protein bus.

If it moves, let’s slap protein in it, and throw a big label on the package so the consumer who’s heard something about “getting more protein” will buy it up., even though they may not entirely know why. Kinda like the gluten free thing.

People really are sheep.

I mean after all, it worked for the “fat free” gimmick for years, right? I saw fat free on labels of products that would’ve never had fat in them to start with.  For example…A bag of jelly beans comes to mind ..

Honestly, I cannot tell you how many products that would never be a protein source I’ve seen on store shelves proudly displaying it “contains protein”.

Here’s a couple of my thoughts on this.

Protein IS important. It is the building block our bodies for skin, hair, cell growth, muscle growth etc

Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

There is also just a certain amount our bodies need and then excess is just flushed or stored as fat.

I swear by protein as the main thing in my meals that keeps me full, not sluggish and giving me that steady energy source….of course plenty of veggies and fruits go with that too to keep me full and give me all day energy.

Real foods with protein keep us satisfied longer and keep blood sugar levels steady ( meaning no crashing feeling)

The normal person has no trouble getting in their daily protein when they eat a balanced diet.

If you’re more athletic than the normal person, or a serious competitive  body builder, your needs may be different.

If at all possible, you should get your protein from real food sources and not added supplements.

Protein rich foods include dairy like Greek yogurt ( 23 grams of real protein in a cup serving of plain) cottage cheese, yogurts,eggs, lean meats, cheese, fish, milk  etc

Protein is also found in non meat sources like veggies and beans.  I wrote an article on that… find it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/22/protein-rich-foods-for-weight-loss/

Always strive to eat real food for optimal nutrition.

Well boys and girls, that will wrap up my rants for the day.

Uh… for now anyways.

Now tell me, do you have any favorite things that make you a little crazy in the world of health and fitness?

 

 

 

Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday… another edition here for you to digest with your morning coffee. This weekend here in south Texas promises to be perfect… like sunny and mid 70’s… so I’ll be outside soaking it up working on some furniture projects. ( Did you miss my posts on my furniture shenanigans? Find them here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/       https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

I soaked up a bit too much last weekend and got some sunburn… like it’s February right? how can that be. My skin reminded me it’s been hidden for months and not outdoors being exposed to the elements training…

I am good about using sunblock but I just got outside and lost in my work and kinda forgot to spray the stuff on.

oh well… I am rather brown now haha

And I will definitely make that the first thing I do before I spend the day working outside.

Today though I want to leave you with a thought. I saw this quote months ago and planned to do something with it..so here we are..

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I’ve thought often how people can be content sitting on the sidelines and just observing but never really taking the plunge into something.

Taking the plunge into their dreams, hopes, ambitions, goals, life.

For some reason they are held back… by fear? uncertainty? the unknown or “what if’s”?

All of us will have different goals, interests, desires etc.

A different “calling” on our life if you will

Years ago I would’ve never seen myself where I am today, nor would I have seen myself accomplishing things I thought only “other” people did.

Not only did the idea of running seem crazy, running half, full and an ultra marathon seemed completely and totally insane.

And a duathlon? Go run, then bike, then go run again.

No… no where would I have seen that coming. Like that stuff is hard.

Yet, because I kept putting one foot in front of the other, somehow, all of that unfolded unfront of me.

Were there times I doubted myself? Absolutely.

After a training session that didn’t go like I planned or feeling tired it could happen. I’d mentally talk to myself, regroup, and get after it again.

I DID have what it took to do those things.

I realized I’d never felt more alive being out on the road doing hard work than anything else I’d ever done.

Ok, in all fairness I do have a “dive into the deep end” mentality when it comes to taking things on… but to take a middle aged non-athletic woman and turn her into an athlete?

It didn’t happen by sitting on the sidelines observing life and others who were doing it. It required me getting out of my comfort zone and getting stretched far beyond limits I thought I had.

I wanted to participate in life…in the things that made my heart beat fast and made me think again what wonderful machines are bodies are and how they can be trained to do amazing things. I wanted to participate in challenging my perceived limits.

And I wanted to savor what it felt like doing it, not just merely watching or thinking I “couldn’t” do it.

I have big goals ahead for myself. I am far from content sitting back and not continuing to push and work for more.

I will never be the one spectating, sitting on the side lines.

I want to be in the mix of something that challenges me more whether it’s athletically or learning new skills that I don’t know.

Which one are you? Where do you want to be? It’s never to late to make changes and set new goals.

Life… is for participating.

Monday Musings

Hello world! and hello my faithful followers. Yeah, I’ve been absent for a bit… I’d say I’ve been lazy but that’s definitely not the case. Life is busy and besides the usual life stuff I’ve been busy working on projects for my vintage shop… and burning a lot of midnight oil working on projects.

Find my post on my journey here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

It’s crazy I do some of my best work late. I guess I like it ’cause it’s usually quiet, everyone is in bed, no one wants anything from me and I can happily focus on what I’m doing.

It’s really a very relaxing thing for me to work on my pieces. There is something tremendously satisfying watching something old, ugly, tired and often discarded as useless come to a new life again.

I wrote a post on that here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

It takes me on adventures dragging it home….

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Of course, once I hit the pillow, my mind is still wandering in a million places and often the creative part refuses to shut down.

For instance, I just finished this little piece last night.  I had it in my shop hanging out for awhile in “as is” shape. Meaning, it’s original finish.

It looked like this….

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Kinda boring and dated. It had no back… a hazard of old pieces. Things go missing over time

But look now at it… I’m so in love with how it came out.

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Fresh white, some distressing, a new back with some cute Paris themed fabric and it’s not so dated anymore.
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And because I’m a girl….details.

Ok I’m gonna show you one more thing I scored this week. An amazing, beautiful, yet sad and needy piece that I can hardly wait to get my paws working on.

It was actually in a listing for two antique chairs I wanted. The lady offered me a generous and low price for chairs and basically said if I’d take chairs for that price I could have the desk for 10.00.

Yeah 10.00.

I’ll let you take a look at it….

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I know you’re wondering why I dragged it home, aren’t you? I love the challenge that awaits me! The opportunity to breath life into this piece. So here’s the deal… I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve been messing with this furniture craziness for a year now. I have an eye for “the good stuff”. I could hardly wait to get this home, examine it really close, take inventory of what needed done and then do some research on it to see what I could find on it.

I knew the desk was really old just based on the construction and the wood. The wood is rough cut and more fitted and glued together in many places than nailed. The “mirror” is no longer that, but mostly glass that’s tarnished and long gone. Someone along the way painted it white. It’s original finish would’ve been stained oak.

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A peak inside… and yeah.. it has no back. Like… what the heck is up with things losing their backs??
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Once again… look at those details…

So I did some research and it turns out this piece was produced by the Larkin Soap company and dates somewhere late 1800’s.

Ironically, Larkin’s main production was soap and toiletries. The furniture was a “give away” for purchasing various products. They offered chairs, lamps, tables and the popular secretary styled desk. The furniture was massed produced at the time of rather ordinary type woods.

This is the Readers Digest version. I found the whole history to be rather interesting. Larkin was quite the savvy business man of his time and had an extremely lucrative business.

And here I am…. over 125 years later… entrusted with the restoration of this amazing and cute piece.

Of course I have a long check list lined out of what to do haha

I’ve also scored lots of other cool things, with which I won’t bother you here. I’ll share in upcoming posts some updates.

Oh and I did finally start a business insta page so if you like antique and vintage furniture and other cool stuff, follow me there at vintage_1964 to see other shenanigans I’ve got going on.

I have been up to other things too….

The weather has been less than inviting and it just makes me wanna stay holed up in the morning drinking coffee…

But no…. I’m a good girl and try and get some kind of workout in. Right now, I consider myself in more of an “off season”. With the duathlon behind me, I haven’t been pushing as hard.

I’ve really been spending some time hitting the heavy stuff and focusing on that several times a week. I usually try and warm up with 15 mins or so of cardio…rowing or boxing… and then weights. I think I’m a weirdo but my body responds quickly to it so I guess there’s a bit of reward to keep at it. Not only that, it’s so empowering doing moves that previously may have felt “heavy” but now I do with ease.

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Gotta love a chilly morning that makes you work up a sweat

That organizing thing….

It is still on my list to keep cleaning out drawers, closets etc. I mentioned in a previous post the whole cultic Marie Kondo thing going on got me to trying her folding methods.

Don’t look for me to go all minimalist, but I do like a lot of her ideas.

I just need more time in my day for things! Anyone else out there?

I’m a list maker and if I can keep to doing that I am far more likely to accomplish an exact number of tasks in my day. otherwise, sometimes I can be all over the place ( my mind is a whirling place many times 😛 )

And finally….

The chilly wet weather has had me experimenting with some new soups and tasty food.

this soup was hearty and loaded with flavor. I doubled up and made a big pot of it. I used really big carrots and cut into large chunks for my non carrot loving people. I added warm French bread and it was perfect for a cold night.

https://www.littlebroken.com/2016/10/11/one-pot-chicken-stew/

And the chicken stew was amazing as well.

Try one of these out if you need a tasty cold weather meal.

Your turn, tell me what’s new with you. Tried any new recipes lately? Are you sticking with your exercise even if it’s cold where you live?  What keeps you motivated to stay with it?

Spotlight on Daikon Radishes

Today boys and girls we’re gonna be talking about something interesting called a daikon radish. It looks a lot like a big white carrot but it’s actually a part of the radish tribe.

Ok but before I dive all into this, I want to share how I found them.

About a month ago I came across one of those ad’s Facebook delights in stuffing into our newsfeed, but this was one I was REALLY interested in, as opposed to some of the nonsense they think I wish to see.

It was for a company called “Imperfect Produce”.  A quick read on it educated me that they are about reducing wasted produce that otherwise won’t make it into your local store.

I guess I never really gave much thought to the fact the fruits and vegetables you see are all generally similar sizes, shapes and attractive in appearance.

I never really thought about  things being “to big” or “to small” or “to ugly”  or “imperfect” to sell.  It can also be to an over abundance of a certain food as well. Only so many zucchini can go on a store shelf……..

This company buys food from farmers and it’s kind of a win/win. The farmer makes some money on what might have gone to the pigs, it’s not being needlessly wasted, and you get a cool produce box that’s an interesting variety each week.

When I checked into it, by checking my zip code, I was already thinking they wouldn’t deliver in my area.

Well, imagine my surprise when they showed my area was a part of delivery service. For 4.99 they bring you this interesting box..

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My first box came about 9:30 at night. They text you to let you know it’s on it’s way, and when they are close to you. I was really impressed that the box was so attractive and it was so pretty inside…..

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not only that, it’s delivered in a chilled (uh… not like “chill” laid back and calm “chill” but cold.. hahaha)  van so everything is nice, cold and fresh. It really impressed me… which I guess is why I’m starting my fourth order this week 🙂

Basically, you can choose all veggies, all fruit or mixed. You can choose from organic or regular produce. You can take the box the send you, or customize your own. You can also pick weekly service, or bi-weekly. I opted for a mixed box.

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For instance this “tiny” sweet potato. I don’t have little hands.

Not only all that, whoever does the marketing has a wicked fun sense of humor so I related to that as well.

Now back to our original story…..

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Carrot or radish?

When they showed Daikon radishes as being available, I figured why not give it a try? And like you, I knew nothing of them. So let’s get a little established on what they are.

The daikon radish looks like a white carrot. It’s a root vegetable, but instead of having a potent, peppery taste, it’s sweet, crisp and mild.

A part of the radish family it grows much larger than it’s counter parts, upwards of 20 inches long and 4 inches wide!

Unlike other radishes, it’s as good cooked, as it is raw.

On a nutritional level, they are full of vitamin A, C, E, B6, potassium, and other minerals, radishes can give your whole body an immunity boost.

Try them baked or boiled in stews and soups or in a stir fry. Also try them lightly steamed with olive oil, salt or lemon juice for flavor.  Slice daikon radishes and eat raw with a dip or peanut butter or add shredded raw Daikon radishes to salads.

Daikon radishes are very popular in Asian dishes.

Daikon is quite perishable, so if serving it raw try to use it within 4 days of purchase. If cooking daikon, it can be stored up about a week. Keep it in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Let’s eat….

So I looked for recipes and there are quite a few to be had. I liked the one that makes like fried “potatoes” out of it.

https://www.gnom-gnom.com/keto-faux-tatoes-radishes

Oh and hey, if you think Imperfect produce sounds like something you might want to check out to see if they’re in your area, go to http://www.imperfectproduce.com if you decide to do it, please use my referral code when you do http://imprfct.us/ltIQM

Tell me…have you ever heard of daikon radishes?

 

 

 

Protein Rich Foods For Weight Loss

I’ve been talking alot lately about different diets and options some people are doing.

I’ve shared a comparison post on low Carb vs. keto…..    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/09/low-carb-diet-vs-keto-diet/

Last week I shared what I love doing and try to implement most of the time which is a single ingredient plan…………    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/14/single-ingredient-diet/

But one of the things many of these diets often show is plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dairy and lean protein as a way to get slimmer.

This doesn’t have to be labeled as anything, it is just sensible eating.

You can’t go wrong eating that way.

If I’m really pushing to lean out I key in on plenty of veggies and good quality protein.

Protein should make up about 30% of your meal in some form. It not only keeps you feeling satisfied, and your blood sugar level steady, it is essential for muscle building, repair, cell growth and lots of other important things in our bodies.

But what if you’re wanting to get more protein from plant related or other sources?

Is that possible?

Indeed it is with many tasty possibilities.

Lets look at some foods that offer protein packed benefits.

*Spinach. This is one of my favorite staples in my day often at breakfast and lunch. Spinach contains 5.3 grams of protein per cup. Interestingly the protein increases when cooked.

Other dark greens high in protein are kale, mustard greens and swiss chard.

*Sweet corn. Corn is often hated on but it can pack a nice nutritional punch and offers 4.7 grams per cup.

* Asparagus. I have to admit this is something I started eating as a big kid. Like uh….maybe a year or so back “big kid” haha

I guess it never seemed to interest me then one day I decided to experiment. Good thing too, asparagus offers 4.3 grams per cooked cup.

*Brussel sprouts. Gosh if there’s a veggie that gets hated on, it’s these little guys. Find a recipe that you think sounds good and try them. Just don’t boil them. They are amazing roasted in oven with a bit of olive oil. A cup serving will yield you about 4 grams.

*Mushrooms are another food I had to “grow into” a one cup serving is 3.9 grams. If that’s to much 3.5 ounces will get you 3.6 grams.

*Broccoli offers 3.7 grams for a cup.

*Edame or soybeans offer 18 grams for one cup!

*Black beans offer 7.6 grams for only a half cup. They are also loaded with lots of other healthy vitamins and minerals.

*This isn’t a veggie, but wild rice offers 6.5 grams for one cup.

*Almonds get you 6 grams per 1/4 cup. Toss some in with nonfat Greek yogurt and berries, its one of my favorite go to breakfasts when I’m time crunched.

*Potatoes. Are you surprised? A medium potato contains 4 grams!

* Steel cut oats…another non veggie but it contains 5 grams in its modest 1/4 cup serving.

*Chickpeas get you 6 grams in a half cup serving.

*Green peas contain more protein than any other vegetable which is why they are the primary protein source in many vegan protein powders. You’ll get about 9 grams of protein per cup and lots of healthy fiber too.

*Lentils are a huge source coming in at 18 grams for a one cup serving!

*Ok and a final one…I just have to include it because it’s such a powerhouse of protein, and that’s Greek yogurt. You get 23 grams of protein in 8 oz. And you will be getting lots of good for you friendly bacteria that help with digestion.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of protein foods that aren’t animal sourced.

Mixing up these types of foods will offer not only protein but lots of good body healthy vtimans and minerals while helping you stay lean.

Oops. In technical difficulties…I’m typing this on my phone and pulled up an image from my food post on calories and if they are equal. I didn’t realize this pic had text on it and I’m not sure how to make it leave haha anyway you can search up that post if you need more to read. 🤣    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/05/the-equality-of-the-calorie/

Tell me. What’s your favorite non-meat source of protein?

Saturday Snippets

Ah the dilemma. The dilemma of what to put into my Saturday Snippets for you to read as you eat your donut and wash it down with coffee.

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I thought I’d continue with my healthy living theme that I’ve got going on right now.

A few years ago when I began to um…accidentally…wander into the health and fitness world I had clear ideas of how I thought things should work. I still do although some have been dialed in on more since  I’ve learned and grown more.

The one thing now that is so important to me is using my voice through my blog and other social media to share  how crucial good nutrition is to someone wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.

I love exercise. I’ve loved the hard work and challenges of training for big events. I love getting out of my comfort zone and doing stuff some of y’all tease me about 😁

However, at the end of the day, the best exercise I can do is make careful choices as to what I choose to shovel or not shovel into my mouth.

This is where it makes or breaks for all of us.

I firmly believe a sensible eating plan that includes all food groups is extremely important.

Why?

Sustainability long term ( can you do it forever) and important vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs from all food groups.

Yes, exercise I believe is crucial to our complete well being. However, if you want to lose weight, keep it off, and live “normally ” you need to do a couple things.

* Eat a balanced diet of all foods.

* Don’t engage in plans that restrict or offer “cheat days” or leave you feeling deprived and restricted.

* Practice mindful eating. Listen to your body.

*Portion control. You really don’t need seconds.

* Remember anything that is labeled as low fat, fat free, sugar free, gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, whatever, whatever, still has calories! And your body only needs a certain number a day to do it’s thing. Eat over that, you won’t lose, eat under that requirement and you’ll lose weight. Remember, its science boys and girls 😏

Make a point to daily choose real, whole foods, allow for a wee bit of fun stuff, eat enough to satisfy your appetite, listen to your body ( it’s ok to get truly hungry!) then add as well some purposeful exercise to balance it all out.

If you need to start somewhere though, remember the best exercise is mindfulness of what your hand brings to your mouth and the quality of food you eat.