Monday, January 31, 2011

And what did I just do??

I signed up for the Warrior Dash!!

The Warrior Dash is 3 mile run filled with 14 obstacles!

Wind tunnels, planks, walls, junkyards, mud, fire.... and crazy costumes, fun people, oh.. and beer. LOL

I have 125 days until the race. I can't wait! I'm on Week 5 of my C25K program. After I complete round one I will look at bridging to a 10K. That and all the strength training I am doing should get me decently prepared. I hope. :)

Here's what to look forward to...

Yeah.... I can't wait!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on

Amazing... if you need a little help... if you are wondering about your feelings or how to change or why you haven't changed.. 20 minutes for a little eye opening ;)

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Precision Nutrition, Fish Oils and What's Next?

So I haven't done so well at the Blog once a week thing.... oops. Well I am aiming to correct that. We added a new puppy into our lives so the little cutie has been taking A LOT of extra time. That's the only real reason I have for being a bad blogger.

So if you've been a longer follower of my blog, you've read about my struggle with hormones. Krista Scott-Dixon from Precision Nutrition responded to a member's question about weight gain and HBC this way-
Estradiol alone will have different effects than estrogen-progesterone formulations, and synthetic hormone analogues will have different effects than formulations that are more like your own natural hormones.

I've been on and off various hormone formulations and even as an LE coach I'll tell you -- it DOES affect both weight gain (primarily where your body seems to store any excess) and your appetite... but in different ways.

For instance, estradiol alone actually often suppresses appetite. Progestins, on the other hand, stimulate it. (And how.) Going OFF natural estradiol always makes me retain about 5 lb water... but going ON synthetic progestins did the same.

Your underlying hormonal makeup will also affect what you experience. If you are on hormones because your own hormones are low, that will be a different experience than being on hormones with already-normal (or even high) hormone levels.

Bottom line is that you must stay aware of what you are experiencing, take responsibility for what you can control, and tailor your behaviour accordingly to the best of your ability.

You may have to swim upstream a little harder; you may have to fight some stronger impulses; you may find that at times it seems like your body is possessed... but nobody's body defies the laws of thermodynamics (aka energy in vs energy out) forever.

So it certainly helps me feel like someone really knows at least part of what is happening. The people at Precision Nutrition (PN) are amazing. The amount of knowledge and experience they have collectively is amazing. There is no doubt I am in good hands there. I love that she acknowledged that sometimes it feels like you are possessed.  There are times where I have felt like I was having an out of body experience. LOL The cravings were insane and I felt powerless to stop them. I also like the point she makes about swimming upstream a little harder. It may not seem fair -when is life really fair?- but I can make this work. I just have to work harder. Someone else might be able to do things easier but for me and my situation it requires whatever it requires. I am following my program and coaches exactly as they say. I've tried so many other people's way, my way, a combination of about 10 different ways at once. I love that PN is recognized for the research, the stability, the success rate and the sane approach to lasting health. I know that if I give it up- trust them- that they will get me to where I want to be. It won't happen in 3 months, but in a year's time I will have finally developed the proper habits and coping skills to see success. For the first time I am embarking a weight loss journey and haven't felt anxious. I feel hopeful and ready to make the lasting changes.

Another thing I wanted to blog about was Fish Oil. I'll preface it by saying I am still working on the liquid- going down the hatch. Capsules I do better with for sure. But really I wasn't aware at just how important fish oil was- what the real benefits were. I just thought that flax and other oils were good enough. Not as much! (Algae oil can be used. The fish process the algae and ultimately that's where you get the benefits from). Check this out!

Top 10 Reasons EFA's are Essential

by Charles Poliquin
  1. Fish oils, rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent depression, stabilize the moods of maniac-depressives, and alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia.?
    University of California's Johnsson Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA

  2. Fish oil is one of the few substances known to lower concentrations of triglycerides (fatty substances) that pose a cardiovascular risk, in the blood.?
    J Raloff Science News

  3. Increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids has direct effects on serotonin levels.
    Andrew Stoll M.D.1999 Archives of General Psychiatry

  4. Fish oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help prevent heart disease, depression, and cancer.?
    Hans R. Larsen, Msc chE "Fish Oils: The Essential Nutrients" International Health News
  5. Research has shown that supplementation with fish oils can markedly reduce interlukin-1beta production and results in a significant reduction in morning stiffness and the number of painful joints in rheumatoid arthritis patients.?
    Darlington, L Gail and Stone, Trevor W. Antioxidants and fatty acids in the amelioration of rheumatoid arthritis and related disorders. British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 85, March 2001, pp.251-69.
  6. Several clinical trials have concluded that eating fish regularly or supplementing with fish oils can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death by as much as 50%.
    Bigger,J. Thomas and El-Sherif, Tarek. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular events: a fish tale. Circulation, Vol.103, February 6, 2001, pp623-25 (editorial).

  7. Researchers at Mayo Clinic report that supplementation with fish oils, EPA and DHA is highly effective in slowing down the progression of IgA nephropathy, a common kidney disease.
    Donadio, James V.,et al. A controlled trial of fish oil in IgA nephropathy. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 331 November 3, 1994, pp1194-99?Van Ypersele de Strihou, Charles. Fish oil for IgA nephropathy? New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 331, November 3, 1994, pp 1227-29 (editorial).
  8. Epidemiological studies have shown that populations with a high intake of fish oils have a lower incidence of inflammatory diseases such as asthma.
    Dry J. and Vincent D. Effect of a Fish oil diet on asthma: results of a 1-year double bind study. Int Arch Allerguy Appl Immurol, Vol.95, 1991,pp.156-57.
  9. Researchers at The University of Tromso now report that fish oil supplementation lowers blood pressure significantly in people with hypertension and has no effect on glucose control even in people with mid diabetes.
    Toft, Ingrid, et al. Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on glucose homeostasis and blood pressure in essential hypertension. Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol 123, No 12, December 15, 1995, pp 911-18. Connor, William E. Diabetes, fish oil, and vascular disease. Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol 123, No 12, December 15, 1995, pp950-52.
  10. Medical researchers in New Zealand provide convincing evidence that an increased consumption of fish oils helps reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.?
    Norrish, A,E, et al. Prostate cancer risk and consumption of fish oils: A dietary biomaker-based case-control study. British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 81, No.7, December 1999, pp.1238-42"

Now those are just the top ten reasons in general health. What about for fat loss?

  1. They turn OFF fat storing mechanisms in the body
  2. They turn ON fat burning mechanisms in the body They surround every cell of the body with the best fat possible and thus helps you burn fat
  3. With lots of omega-3s, muscle cells become more sensitive to insulin, while fat cells decrease. This may mean that the body can divert more nutrients to muscle tissue.
  4. Finally, DHA and EPA can increase metabolism by increasing levels of enzymes that boost calorie-burning ability.

 I'm learning so much lately and will continue to share.

My next blog entry will talk about Vitamin D. I have first hand experience in the deficiency department and I am looking forward to test results after being on therapeutic doses.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great Day! Did someone say Mac & Cheese?

Today was a good day. Make that a GREAT day.

I got up and did my C25K program, had a green monster shake and then went off on my first ever trip to Whole Foods. OMG! I'm in love! I wish it was closer. Its about an hour away, but I think I may make it a once a month destination. Great atmosphere, it appears to be decent pricing, lots of organics, and everything a healthy girl could want! :D

I was so excited to make a couple of new recipes that I got from Oh She Glows. If you haven't been to her site, click the link ASAP!  First I got distracted by making my own almond butter. I was able to grind my own at Whole Foods, so then I decided to come home and make more. After making some cocao almond butter I set off to make Vegan Mac & Cheese . I modified the recipe based on what I had on hand. First, it calls for cashews and I only had almonds. I forgot to pick them up at Whole Foods. *doh* They worked great but I highly recommend having a full size food processor. My tiny one made for a lot of extra work and I don't think the almonds were as smooth as they could have been. I used Turtle Mountain SoDelicious UNsweetened coconut milk instead of almond milk and I believe that worked just perfectly. Thick and creamy yet not sweet or coconut-y. I also used 1/2 cup of Nutritional Yeast because I really wanted a "cheesier" flavor and bright color. I'd maybe back down to 1/3 cup but overall I am SOO very pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to try it again with the original ingredients.

Angela's Picture:

My less professional looking one: 

This was my first attempt at baking anything specifically Vegan. I'm SO happy with how it turned out. I am looking forward to trying more recipes soon. Next up is Protein Power Goddess Bowl.  Looks YUMMO!

Can't wait to get my workout on tomorrow and then make a Power Smoothie with another new discovery.... Chia Seeds!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

One of the things I put on my list for 2011 was to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude. Each day I want to be aware of at least one thing to be grateful for. You can't be unhappy and grateful at the same time. ;) I don't think it is just me, but I know I tend to get sucked into the negative downward spiral sometimes. So I intend to create a habit that will help ward that cycle off. It will be so good to focus on my blessing and the positive things in my life. Things won't go perfectly this year- or at least not how I always plan them to go. But life will move forward and 2011 will turn into 2012. Instead of wasting energy focusing on what isn't right, perfect or all the pain and suffering, I will shift my focus to the positive so that I may be lifted up, reminded of how good I do have it, and that I might be truly thankful for my life.

Today, January 1st, 2011, I am thankful for all the positive energy a new year brings. For all the hopes, dreams, wishes and intentions for a great new year all coming together. I am thankful for the feeling of a fresh start- though each day gives us that chance, the energy of a new year is just bigger.

I recently got a book called Attitudes of Gratitude by M.J. Ryan. I'll be reading this and hoping to use it in developing a strong practice. :)