Tag Archive: fitness


I am busy. Like most of you, my day is full of activities that start first thing in the morning and go into the early evening. I also find that I am often at a loss when asked ‘so what did you do today?’ I mean, I was busy all day and can barely remember what I did. I thought it would be fun to capture this info as a ‘snapshot’ of my current situation. I still have the traditional ‘day job’ but also have my ‘side hustle’ that I am growing. Oh, and family and stuff….

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

7:10am- wake up time! Good morning world. I usually lay here for a few minutes before I go wake the kids up. this is one of my ‘late days’ at work so I have the first half of my day pretty open. I usually check my FB, email, IG, etc. to see if I need to respond to anything right away. I check my FitBit to see how I slept. And I chug whatever water I have left over in my night-side cup.
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7:15-8:15am- total whirlwind! Everyone needs to eat and get ready for the day. I made the kids breakfast, made my ‘bullet proof’ coffee, smoothies for me and my hubs, got my son’s lunch ready, and helped my daughter get dressed. They were both ready for school and now mom can put some pants on. (apparently it’s frowned upon to drop your kid off at preschool w/o pants..)
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9am- Kids are off! Both kids are at school. Normally I would be on my way to the gym by now but I didn’t finish everything I needed to this morning so back to the house. Luckily the preschool is IN the neighborhood.
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9:30am- Prep done! Tonight’s dinner is prepped and in the slow cooker. This is a must since I will not be home for dinner. This helps my husband do all of the other after hours stuff on his own- homework, pajamas, teeth brushing, packing lunches, etc. Off to the gym. Took my Shaklee version of ‘pre-work-out’. Performance (healthy Gatorade), B Complex (energy and mood), and an Energy Chew (they are seriously amazing). I’ll save most of the performance for after my workout but I drink it on the way to the gym as well. I’m off!
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11:15am- Done with gym! I had a great workout, listened to some sweet jams, showered, and now I am off to my newest Business Partner’s house! I normally like to shower at home but today- this was easier. I had a limited amount of time. BUT, I brought all of my Shaklee shower stuff with me because it is all I use.
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12:30pm- Lunch! Quick lunch with my husband at Portillo’s. This was random and lucky! Normally our schedules don’t cooperate. And, yes, Portillo’s is known for their beef and Chicago dogs, but today was a salad day.

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2:45pm- I had to get a little work done (day job stuff), but then I sat with my book (dream job stuff) for 20 mins. because I have been going hard all day. Threw in a load of laundry because now that my husband and I have been working out more, we have twice the laundry! Prepped lunch #2 of the day to bring to work. It needs to be fast, portable, and something I can eat/drink between clients. Since my schedule is weird, I do 4 small meals during the day. I haven’t even started my work day and I’m over 8,000 steps.
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3:30pm- Work! I am at work for the next 4-5 hours. I have 4 back to back massage clients. Even though this is ‘work’, I’m happy that I get to help people feel better at this job too. It’s pretty darn rewarding.
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8:21pm- Done! I got home from work just in time for my good night kisses and stories. I had my teeny dinner while listening to a conference call, and finished the last of the laundry. Now, I get to SIT with my book and a glass of whisky. I will be asleep in an hour- no doubt. Tomorrow starts at 5:45am and I really like sleeping.
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Thanks for joining me on my lovely day! I am blessed to be this busy but to also have this much FREEDOM in my day and life. That is what it’s all about for me. Being able to design my days, and therefore my life. Thanks for reading.

Candysbrain

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We are SOOOOOOO excited to be offering our first ever Vitamin Starter Pack! You have spoken and we have listened. Many of you have commented that you wish there was a way you can try, or sample, some of our vitamins before you take the big leap by purchasing a whole month supply or more. Maybe you had a bad vitamin experience in the past, or maybe you are a skeptic (I used to be too- it’s okay). Either way- you are looking for a test drive. Well, we have just the thing. We are going to be selling a 1-week supply* of vitamins in a sample pack so that you can see for yourself the quality of the products that we are offering.

These packs will include:

1. A week’s supply of Vita-Lea, our Multivitamin (your base of nutrition)
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2. A week’s supply of B-Complex, (hallelujah pill)
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3. 3 Days worth of CorEnergy, (the don’t-need-a-nap-at-11am pill)
Corenergy
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4. 3 Servings of Pomegranate Energizing Tea, (the yummy alternative to yucky calorie filled drinks)
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5. 1 Sample pack of our Smoothie Mix, (the best tasting protein powder, with none of the junk)
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So there you have it! The most comprehensive, starter kit that we could come up with. The only promise you have to make is to be consistent for the 7 days. That is the only way you will be able to feel the difference.

Cost: It is actually kind of awesome when you make sample packs because you get to try 5 different products for very little money. We will be selling these kits for $25 if you are local and can pick up from myself or Brooke, and $30 if we need to ship it to you. That is us literally selling them at a price to just cover our costs. We are so passionate about getting as many people to feel and see the Shaklee difference and that is why we created this.

BUT, but, but- We only have 8 packets. First come, first serve. If we go thru them fast, we might offer this again in the future, but not sure yet. The first 8 people to comment, message, text, call, etc. will get dibs.

****Disclaimer: I am an independent distributor for Shaklee. I make commission on what I sell thru Shaklee. I am most definitely not a doctor and I would most definitely recommend you checking with your doctor before you make changes to your routine. I trust Shaklee and believe in their products, that is why I sell them. The comments in () parenthesis after each product name is just my attempt to be clever- no promises you will actually yell ‘halleluja’.

Summer and I are lovers. There, I said it. I long for summer all year, and cherish every moment we have together. This summer is extra special because it is my first summer being part-time for the whole season. It’s really freaking exciting. Working part-time = more hours of summer-fun-having. And, since I am kind of an expert at summer (no big deal) I thought I would share with you my ‘must haves’ for a killer summer.*
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1. Shaklee SPF 30: This sun screen is great and safe and gentle and it works! I use it on the kids and on my face/chest. Like all things Shaklee, a little goes a long way. Protect your skin, protect your babes.
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2. A Great Maxi Dress: There is nothing better than being able to get dressed in 30 seconds and look great for almost any occassion. You don’t even need to shave your legs! I believe that the right maxi dress can be flattering on ANY body type. If you are short and/or curvy, just make sure you create a waste. Any cheap belt from Target will do.

3. Pomegranate Tea and Performance Electrolyte drink: Let’s face it, sports drinks are gross and full of junk (fake sugar, artificial flavors/colors). You and your kids should not be drinking them any more. And, most of those flavored tea drinks out there are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. These are 2 of my favorite products and I especially like them together! This is my go-to for getting up and moving on hot summer days.
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4. (speaking of drinks…) LaCroix: LaCroix has tons of different naturally flavored sparkling waters. The taste is very mild and pairs perfectly with fresh squeezed citrus and Vodka! Grab some Titos and LaCroix and then invite me to your party.

5. Antiperspirant Cream: Shaklee makes a really great antiperspirant cream and it has become my new favorite. I would always just buy whatever random deodorant off the shelf at Walgreens. Not any more. (btw, I LOVE buying things that I already have to buy anyway..but, from myself. I get paid to buy things from myself. How cool is that?)
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6. All of the Flats and Wedges: Heels are nice, but sometimes in the summer you need to be careful. You never know when you will be walking thru grass or spending a day walking at a festival. Flats and wedges are a neccessity. They are so easy to find, and can be really cheap if you look in the right places.
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7. Outdoor Activities: Depending on where you live, summer can be short. Where I live (north of Chicago) I’m lucky to get 4 months. Figure out how to be outside as much as possible. Run outside, do yoga outside, go to movies in the park, swim at the beach, sleep in a tent in the back yard, dine al fresco, sit around a bon fire until 2am, be in nature, lie in a hammock. I swear being outside in nature re-sets your soul and is mandatory for a healthy existence.
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8. Stress Relief Complex: Yay, the kids are home all day…every day….awesome… This helps. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Winky face.

9. A Sense of Adventure: I got this one from my sister who we call the Queen of Summer. She is a do-er and I am a relax-er (she gets mad at me a lot). But summer is for staying up late and meeting up with friends and traveling to new places and trying new foods/recipes. It is for saying ‘what the hell?’ and putting fun first.
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10. Sky Guide: I just found out about this app. It is seriously so cool. It’s a map to the stars based on your exact location and where you are pointing your phone. So, if you are outside star gazing, you could point your phone in the same direction and it tells you what you are looking at. What?! I still don’t understand telephones let alone this futuristic insanity.

11. Healthy, quick meals: Summer is not a time for standing in your kitchen cooking! Summer is about smoothies, and salads, and a quick dinner on the grill. This is my absolute favorite protein for smoothies. Perfectly balanced, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners. AND, it is designed to help you hold on to muscle.
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So that is my list of must haves for the summer. What did I miss? Cheers to the best summer yet!
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*I am a Shaklee distributor. I make money on sales from these links. I DO love these products, but these are just my personal recommendations. Check with your doctor on anything that you are unsure of.

Today I watched a documentary that I have been very impatiently waiting to see- Fed Up. It is a very well made, acurate portrayal of our food industry and why we are so sick in America. Do you ever watch something at home and feel like a crazy person because you are nodding along, and saying ‘preach it!’, and clapping even though you are alone and your child is sleeping? Just me…? Well, anyway, that is how I felt today. And, now naturally, I am going to preach to all of you.

It’s bullshit! Let me say that again so you know it didn’t just slip out the first time. It is complete and utter bullshit that we know so much about what makes us sick, but we never hear about it because of the massive amount of coroption. We know that fake food is killing us. We know that too much sugar is killing us. We know that we are killing (or at least giving disease to) an entire generation of children. We know this, and we do nothing.

So, I was pretty riled up when I first started writing this. I have actually deleted half of a post 2x now trying to find the right level of ‘intense’. I can be pretty…uh.. energetic sometimes. But, I didn’t want to scare everybody off, so I turned to Facebook and asked my friends if they wanted ‘tough love’ or ‘supportive encouragement’. I got your typical mixed bag response (and one ‘bacon’?) so I thought I would try and make everyone happy (because that usually works so well).

Tough Love: Stop eating crap. Wait, seriously, stop it. 1x per week! That is what you get. 1x to eat the junk! I’m not saying you can never have pizza and cupcakes, but you can’t have that shit every day. You just can’t. And, either can your kids. Every time you turn around, someone is trying to give your kid sugar, and it is often the parents. For the love of god- what do you think happens to a kid who has cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner (that’s about 5x the recommended level of sugar for the day)? They get sick. Sick looks different for everybody, but it WILL eventually happen (Did you know that you could have a thin child that still has high blood sugar and fat around their organs? Sorry, but it is important that we don’t brush these things off because our kid ‘looks fine’.). And, I didn’t even mention juice and pop and gatorade and vitamin water and chocolate milk.

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Supportive encouragement: I know it’s hard. Making better choices for yourself and for your family seems impossible sometimes. We are all so busy, and we have picky children. Bottom line, we are all getting way too much sugar and sweetener. Try and make at least 2/3 of your meals at home, and stop giving your kids soda, juice, and gatorade. This will make a dramatic change in their over all intake. I would also highly recommend saving cereal for the weekends only or just 2 days per week.

Tough Love: If you are trying to lose weight, eating less is simply an exercise in futility. What happens when you eat the same foods, but less of them? You get hungry! How many days can you last when you are hungry all damn day? Not very many. This is why ‘diets’ fail. Change the food you eat to real food, cooked at home, and you WILL lose weight. Example of foods that are not ‘real’ or ‘cooked at home’: pasta, bread, rice, pasta sauce (out of a jar), salad dressing (out of a jar), Yoplait strawberry yogurt, lean cuisine, etc.

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Supportime encouragement: The old adage of ‘eat less, and move more’ is out of date. We need to really hold a microscope to what we are eating. If you think about the amount of exercise it takes to burn the calories in a soda or sugary coffee, you will quickly realize- all calories are not equal. In the movie fed up, they compare 160 calories of almonds to 160 calories of soda. The effect these have on your body are amazingly different. IF you are eating the right things, your body will thank you. What are the right things? Vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, nuts/seeds. Did it grow out of the ground (and can be eaten before processing)? Safe. Did it have a mother? Go for it. Can you forage for it? Go take a hike! Focus on protein, fiber, and healthy fat and you can’t go wrong.

Tough Love: Do you still need to work out? Of course you have to fricking work out! Our bodies were designed to lift and run and twist and move and have sex. This is a huge part of keeping our bodies healthy and keeping our brains happy. The point I am trying to make is that you can’t eat non-sense and expect to work it off in the gym. That only works for 18 year old boys… You need to eat right FIRST. Then, you need to also challenge yourself in the gym. Btw, reading a magazine on the elliptical for 20 mins. is not going to cut it- ever.

Supportive encouragement: Love yourself where you are right now. Not everyone is going to join cross fit and that is okay. Just remember- food is the most important thing. A close second is exercise. Challenge yourself to do more each time but don’t compare yourself to others. Take classes to get an extra push. Hire a trainer to teach you how to safely lift weights. Encorporate more playful activities into your life. Only running isn’t the answer. Only doing zumba isn’t the answer. But, mixing up your activity in a way that is fun and challenging is most certainly the answer.

Tough Love: Oh, my Paleo diet is a fad??? Please tell me how a diet based on vegetables, healthy protein, healthy fat, fruits, nuts/seeds, and limited sugar is a NEW and CRAZY idea??? Compared to the standard American diet, the Paleo diet crushes it in every category. Can people screw it up and eat too much red meat? Sure. Can people get too discouraged when they try the diet because they try too many complicated recipes and look for pature-raised bison-livers? Absolutely. But, does that mean the whole premise is bad? Of course not. I also strongly believe in supplements beyond this but that is a different topic for a different day…

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Supportive encouragement: If you are looking to change your diet in a way that cuts out the modern junk, I would stronly encourage you to give Paleo a shot. Give it at least 2 weeks to truly feel the effects (30 days would be better). All you need to do, is focus on plants and meats/eggs. Lots of veggies, good fat (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass fed butter), good protein, fruits, nuts/seeds, and limited sugar and dairy (no dairy if it bothers you). You can do anything for a couple weeks, and there is no ‘risk’. This is one of those things you have to commit to. Just cutting back on certain things (although that is a step in the right direction) will not have the same effect as making the leap. The biggest thing is plants first and then protein and fat. Fiber is like your sexy friend that loves to dance and has a british accent and helps you poop.

If you have any underlying health issues, or are pregnant, or are an endurance athlete, ask for some more professional help. In my humble opinion, any person in the world can and should eat this way, but understand that I am not a doctor! Just remember, if you do ask your doctor, make sure he/she knows what the Paleo diet actually is before they wave it off and call it ‘the new Atkins’. GRRRR!

Okay, I tried to find the balance there between tough and supportive. Hopefully everyone found their comfort zone. Let me know if you have any questions. I am playing around with doing one-on-ones and possibly a grocery store tour. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, let me know. Thanks for listening, and please please please watch Fed Up.

thumbs upTo make a relatively short story long…

Background:

You all know how I have turned into a little bit of a nut when it comes to health and wellness. I mean I guess I have always been this way, but in the last 2 years I have come into my own as they say. I was a tomboy turned athlete turned health studies major turned massage therapist turned health book reader turned blogger turned into what I am now: a super passionate advocate of healthy eating, lifestyle, and common sense living. Or at least that is what I want to be. And recently I just decided to take it to the next level.

Blind Eye:

You see, I have been so worried about the chemicals that my family and I have been putting in our mouths, and have turned a blind eye to the chemicals that we are breathing in and rubbing/spraying on our skin. I won’t let my kids eat Gushers, but clean the bath tub with bleach or spray the kitchen table with toxic chemicals? Sure! Why not?

The Universe is sending me a message:

So, most of you know that I participated in St. Baldricks this March. Well, as you can imagine, my bald head was a big conversation starter. I cannot tell you how many strangers started telling me all about their personal experiences with cancer. Either they were a survivor or lost a wife/husband/friend/child to this horrible disease. It was so difficult to hear all of the sad stories people were sharing, but I also look at those moments as an incredible gift. I can’t tell you how many times I started crying with strangers. It was almost as if the universe was sending me a big flashing sign saying ‘CANCER’. I know cancer is scary, and mysterious, and multi-factorial, and too complicated to simplify, but I do believe there are lifestyle changes we can all make to help prevent certain types of cancer, not to mention, other diseases (asthma, allergies, diabetes, chronic inflammation, etc.).

Then I remembered:

I have this vivid memory from last summer/fall when I had a wake up call from my bug spray. It was a cooler evening. I had very thin leggings on under my dress. I remember the bugs being horrible that night! The mosquitoes were ALL OVER us. My husband does not mess around when it comes to mosquitoes and only buys the deep-woods off. You know the stuff with like 127% DEET? Well, I sprayed that on. And then, an hour later, I sprayed myself again. Eventually we went inside because we couldn’t take it. When I saw my leggings in the light, I noticed that the bug spray was eating away at the material. The leggings were literally dissolving from the chemicals in the spray! I immediately thought to myself, ‘and I spray this on my children?!?’.

Enough is enough:

That memory was all it took. I decided to contact a friend that I knew was selling all-natural products from cleaning to skin care, etc. I did my research and then pulled the trigger. I now use and sell Shaklee. Shaklee has been around forever and has a reputation for being a ‘GREEN’ company. And not like fake green, really truly environmentally conscious and responsible. Every single product is safe and non-toxic. I am incredibly excited about it and want to share it with the world.

From now on:

I no longer need to worry about my kid walking over when I am cleaning the windows. I no longer need to freak out over how much ventilation I have when cleaning my tiny little bathroom. The cleaner that I use to wipe down the counters? I can also spray it on my kids to keep the bugs off. Oh, and my dad can use it to spray down his fruit trees instead of pesticides. Yes, it’s that safe. And they work. Like, really work.

Take a look:

Here is my link. candicereimholz.myshaklee.com Check it out. Let me know if you are interested in anything. It can be confusing to figure out what everything is and does, so please ask if you have questions. Feel free to private message me at any time or commenting below(I recommend doing that before you place an order so I can help you get the best deals, monthly specials, etc.). Or, if you want to know more about the business end of things and getting involved, I can help you with that too. Honestly, no matter what type of wellness you are into, there is something for you.

I’ll be updating you all every once in a while, and highlighting a specific product now and then. I’m just really excited and think you would be too if you tried this stuff. 🙂

Thanks for listening.

me will tennisYou know the old saying- opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one. Well I find this to be obnoxiously true about health and fitness. Everybody’s got something to criticize. Whether it is cross-fit or gluten-free or paleo or insert thing that will kill us all _____________, a lot of non-experts have a lot to say on the subject. And, as a non expert who talks a lot on the subject, most of it is harmless. But, what I do NOT understand is why people get SO ANGRY. What is that all about? Is my paleo diet somehow infringing on your right to sandwiches? No. In fact, that just means more sandwiches for you. Does someone else’s 6-pack abs from doing cross fit offend every thing you hold dear about fitness? No. They are just doing a different work out. Now, this is not for the trainers and the dieticians and the physical therapists out there. I’m talking to Joe Couch Potato and Sally Sugar-eater. The ones that have nothing but criticsm and no solutions. The ones that are simply comfortable or in denial about their own health. The ones that are bitter that someone else found something they are passionate about. The ones that are pushing bad habits on you every time you turn around “oh my god, one bagel is not going to kill you”. Those people.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but we are really unhealthy. Not just fat either. We have chronic disease and illness earlier and worse than ever before. Diabetes, asthma, allergies, joint pain and systemic inflammation. Genetics don’t change that fast but behavior and environment do. Eating a typical ‘healthy’ American diet and doing cardio 3-4 times a week is getting us no where. When we don’t address the chemicals and toxicity of our environment and challenge old out-dated research, we are just allowing others to destroy our health. Is that why there is so much anger? What you think you know might be wrong, so you lash out? I just read an article discussing whether FODMAPs are the problem versus the vilified gluten. Did I get pissed and leave nasty comments on the post? No, I learned something new and kept going on with my day. The thing is, I don’t care if gluten is the problem for me, or if it’s the chemicals in processed foods (yes bread is a processed food), or if it’s the MSG, or the HFCS, or if it’s simply the fact that I replaced my maniac-carb-filled diet with more fruit and veggies. And, I don’t care. I am getting more nutrients, fiber, and healthy fat than ever before. I have lost weight and feel a million times better. Call it paleo, call it real food diet, call it Frank, I don’t care.

The thing is, whether you are doing cross fit or you are a runner or a yogi or a caveman, the thing we all have in common is passion. Hell yeah when you take back control of your life/health you want to talk about it. You want to shout it from the roof tops. You want to tell everyone else about it because you want everyone to ‘know’ what you know. You want everyone to know that aging isn’t a slow decline into pain and lethargy. You want people to know that getting older doesn’t have to decrease your quality of life. I want women my age to know that there is a way to control your weight even if that seems impossible. I want other moms to know that it is possible to get through your day without fatigue. I want all 30+ year olds to know that when you are eating right and getting enough sleep, you can get up in the morning feeling refreshed and energetic.

I can tell you right now, I am going to continue talking about health and wellness and fitness and clean living. In fact, I might even get more crazy. The more I learn, the more I want to share. The great thing about facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. is that you don’t have to follow me if you don’t want to. And I mean that with as much love as possible. I love talking about it and I love taking pictures of my food. 🙂

So, let’s stop with all the negativity. Let’s not criticize others for trying to doing something positive in their lives. Let’s not bring others down. Let’s see if we can learn a little bit from one another. Let’s just stop being assholes.

thumbs upWell I am almost half way thru my 30 day challenge and I am on cloud 9! I can’t quite explain it but I am so inspired and joyful right now. I know there are many many factors involved here: the #100daysofhappiness project, the healthy eating, the beautiful sun shining on this glorious spring day, the quality of sleep I have been getting, and the fact that I am down a couple of pounds… Like I said, cloud 9. I also just got off the phone with someone who might even have more passion about this stuff than I do and it was contagious.

I am taking control of my health and my life and it feels amazing.

Now, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Last night I had to work late and my family ordered pizza. It was very hard to come home late at night with Lou Malnati’s in my fridge and not have some. But, I didn’t have to say ‘NO’ to pizza forever, I just had to say ‘NO’ to pizza last night. I will have pizza again, soon in fact. Just not during my 30 day challenge. And, like I mentioned in my last post, I have a LOT of Easter candy sitting around staring me in the face. But you know what? If I am going to blow this challenge, if I am going to ‘cheat’, it is certainly not going to be on sweet tarts or crappy sugar bombs. If I am going to splurge, it is going to be worth it. Starbursts? Yuck!

When you start to focus on what makes you happy and you get rid of the processed food fog that clouds your brain, you really start to ‘wake up’. You start to get up in the morning feeling good. You make it to lunch without effort. You take pleasure in the fact that you have the energy to play with your daughter (even if she is being a little a-hole! She’s 2, it’s not her fault.)

I am going out to dinner tonight and you know what? I am excited. I am on a restricted diet (even though I hate those words! Remember diet just means ‘what you eat’) and I am still excited to go out to eat. Eating healthy does not make food the enemy, it makes food your best friend. If you look at food in a way that enhances your health versus something you need to ‘limit’ or ‘avoid’, you change your relationship with food. Calories don’t make people fat. Shitty food makes people fat. So, I am going to go out tonight. I am not going to even consider calories. I am going to choose food that will provide nutrients to keep my body and my brain happy.

I hope that you manage to find your own little ray of sunshine today that makes you happy. If your life is not happy, what do you need to do to fix that?

Day 10

10 days ago I started a 30 day challenge to get my eating back on track. I had seriously fallen off the wagon. Like, fell off the wagon, hit my head on a rock, peed my pants and forgot who I was… Anyway, in order to break the binge, I thought I would try to be as strict as possible for 30 days and see how I felt at the end. So, I am saying no to gluten, most dairy, sweets, and red bull.

After 10 days, I am doing really well! I did have a 1/2 of an egg roll on Saturday and that is technically gluten so I am not 100%. BUT, I went out in the city and to a concert on Friday and did not have a red bull (shut up, for me it’s hard okay!), and I did not have any candy/sweets/chocolate on Easter or since. That’s right, I have about 10 pounds of candy in my house and I am not eating it.

My energy level is definitely creeping up. I find that I really only want (let alone need) 1 cup of coffee in the morning instead of 2. I am back to sleeping really hard at night. Much less tossing and turning. I also feel like my face is a little less puffy but it is so hard to tell in a weeks time.

One thing I wanted to mention is that I am a busy person just like the rest of you and I know that eating this way is tough. I have mentioned my love for Trader Joe’s in the past, but I have not spoken about Mariano’s before. They have a lot of really great pre-made options. These, of course, are still not as good as knowing exactly what’s in your food and where it is from but it is a great option. They have the rotisserie chickens, meatballs (these do have gluten, so beware if you are strict), seafood, pork tenderloin, chicken salad, beef tenderloin, etc. On weeks that I know are going to be busy, I will go load up on 3-4 things that- at a moments notice- I can serve to anyone who is hungry. My key to success in my diet is having ready-to-go protein 24/7. It’s not that I eat protein non-stop, it’s that those are the foods that take longer to prepare. We all know that weak moment when we realize there is nothing quick for dinner so we grab the phone to order something instead.

I wish I was a better planner. I wish that I was the kind of lady who planned her menu and shopping list ahead of time and stuck to it. Maybe someday, but as of right now, I do the best I can and have a few go-to dishes that I can whip up.

Eating snapshot:

Sunday (Easter)-
Brunch: Ham, egg, sausage, fruit, bloody mary
Lunch/Dinner: Brisket (so good!), cheesy potato casserole, deviled egg

Monday-
Breakfast: Banana/egg pancakes, fruit, coffee with coconut oil and coconut milk
Lunch: Lara bar (breakfast was huge and late so wasn’t very hungry)
Dinner: Chicken, carrots, pistacios

Tuesday-
Breakfast: omlette with spinach and turkey (cooked in coconut oil/butter), coffee with coconut oil and coconut milk
Lunch: BIG salad, with pork tenderloin, hard boiled egg, and homemade dressing
Dinner: roasted broccoli and onion, a little pork tenderloin (not too hungry because of big lunch), wine

If you want to follow along on my journey, I am posting a bunch of ‘food stuff’ on instagram lately. (@candysbrain) I will also continue to update on here.

How is your challenge going?

So, I am on the third day of my challenge and I am feeling really great so far. As a reminder: no gluten, no sweets, no red bull, and no bad dairy. After all this time of talking about food, the question I get asked the most by far is ‘so, what do you eat???’. Well, here is what I have eaten since Sunday morning.

Sunday-
Coffee, sweet potato hash, sausage, egg, strawberries
Chicken, carrots, water
Ham, Brussels sprouts, red wine (1)

Monday-
Coffee, left over sweet potato hash and sausage, water
Mixed greens salad, lemon/olive oil dressing, chicken and avocado and bacon, water
Apple
Ham, kale, water

Tuesday-
Coffee, ‘green eggs and ham’- eggs with spinach and green onion and ham, water
Salad with hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, bacon, water
Cucumbers and cashews, water
(tonight will be) Apricot chicken, butternut squash, sauteed spinach, red wine

My energy has been good. I didn’t have the best night of sleep last night. I have been drinking a lot more water than I am used to which led to me getting up 3x last night. I am confident this will improve. Normally when I am eating and drinking right, I sleeplike a baby. But not a stupid new born baby, like a 3 year old that sleeps for 12 hours a night and wakes up all sweaty and crazy-haired. 🙂

I also am on Day 3 of my happiness challenge and am having a lot of fun with it. I am already spending so much time thinking about the things that make me happy. There were 3 things by 9am that I wanted to use as my # picture on instagram (@candysbrain), but decided to hold off. It is amazing what simply focusing on what makes you happy will do with your mood. I have also been walking around for 3 days singing, ‘because I’m happy…!’ like some kind of maniac. That is, when I am not harmonizing with my son to ‘Let it go’. He got his singing skills from his mama. Poor guy.

Okay, that is my update for now. Did anyone come up with their own challenge?

calendar with pinsThat’s right. I am recommitting, again. I have fallen off the wagon a little. Nothing dramatic, but my cheat days have turned into cheat weekends. And my weekends have turned into Thursday-Monday. The nice weather has given me an excuse to increase the amount of beer being drunk. I have indulged in a few things that I know darn well are horrible choices. Don’t get me wrong, I am still eating great about 85% of the time, but I have learned that for me to feel great and have the energy level I know is possible and to effortlessly control my weight, I need to be closer to 95%.

Now, let me be very clear on this. It is not the AMOUNT of food that is the problem, it is the type of food. So, when I say I need to recommit and/or buckle down, this is not a ‘diet’ in the traditional sense. When I am eating right, I don’t feel deprived or hungry. I don’t count calories. I just don’t eat crap and I drink less alcohol. I am very anti calorie restriction diets. These diets very rarely address the real problem that is the kind of food being eating (processed, chemicals, diet foods, etc.). I believe when we restrict calories, we are dooming ourselves to failure.

So what’s my plan? I’m doing a 30 day mini-challenge. If I can do this for 30 days, I know it will be the jump start I need to get back on track. After the 30 days, I can go back to the 95% plan. Here is what I will be abstaining from.
· No Gluten
· No ‘bad’ dairy (yogurt, kefir, raw milk-okay)
· No sweets/treats (I put a little bit of good quality chocolate in my coffee and will continue with this, but nothing else)
· No red bull (my favorite drink is red bull and vodka and yes I know how horrible it is for me and my sleep)
· No dessert drinks from Starbucks (no toffee nut mochas, etc. coffee okay)
· No quesadillas (my family’s favorite quick dinner is ‘dias’ on corn tortillas, I will not have one this month, sad face)

What should I expect? Well, I can tell you right now, I can expect a little frustration and temptation. I can expect me really wanting to give in with a RB&V on the weekend. I can expect trying to convince myself that a little piece of a brownie is not that big of a deal… Sounds bad right?

I can also expect my energy to sky-rocket. I can expect the puffiness in my face and stomach to go down. I can expect to lose weight. I can expect my skin to clear up. I can expect to simply feel better. And, maybe I am just super sensitive to food or maybe it’s all in my head but I genuinely feel happier and less stressed… Sounds good right?

This is the perfect time for a challenge! I don’t know if you have heard of the 100 days of happiness project but I just started my 100 day challenge on Sunday. Every day I am going to post a picture on instagram (@candysbrain) of something that makes me happy. And, it just so happens that being healthy and feeding my family right makes me VERY happy. In fact, I would put health at the very top of the happiness mountain! So, the 2 challenges go perfectly hand in hand. Also, winter is over (mostly) and the weather is turning. Soon it will be time to get back into summer dresses and bathing suits. I’d like to transition to shorts without tears. 🙂

As usual, I invite you to join me. You can either do my challenge or make up your own. It should be challenging though. For example, me just cutting out sweets would not be hard. Sure, it wouldn’t be easy, but not too hard. It is not easy to change habits, but soon enough you can have new habits and it will be easy.

And, 30 days is important because we build up tolerances to the foods we eat. You might not know that you have a sensitivity until you completely take it out of your diet and then try to add it back. Food sensitivities are not like allergies. The reactions are delayed. Sometimes hours, sometimes days. Sometimes, like with gluten, you eat so much of it that it is never really out of your system so it’s impossible to tell if that is causing problems or if it’s something else. And, sensitivities can be vague: joint pain, skin irritation, headaches, gas, bloating, increased menstrual cramps/PMS symptoms, bags under your eyes, anxiety, insomnia, seasonal allergies, etc. You never really know… I would bet that most of us are walking around with sub-optimal health because of our diets not including our weight!

So, ‘insert call to action here’… and join me! I’ll update regularly on FB and Instagram so stay tuned. Also, I want to hear about your challenge if you do one. It’s so much easier if you know someone else is doing it too. xoxo