Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Favorites Mix Giveaway

Oh my goodness. Today is the last day of September and I'm squeezing in a September mix giveaway right at the end of the wire. First of all...I can't believe that tomorrow is October 1st. Second of all...I can't believe I haven't shared some of these songs yet. I made it through a whole run on Friday! I was able to go in the middle of the day, and I only had minor pain I may be on the mend. I'm still keeping my runs short, full of hills and intervals, and high tempo...but I'm so happy to be able to run again! This was the playlist I ran to, and I LOVED it.
You'll notice I'm loving Imagine Dragons these days...

I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
Bleeding Out - Imagine Dragons
She Wolf feat. Sia - David Guetta
Chained - The XX
Hall of Fame feat. - The Script
Backfire - Lana Del Rey
On Top of the World - Imagine Dragons
Let Me Love You - Ne-Yo
Carry On - Fun.
Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
Tip Toe - Imagine Dragons
Heart Attack - Trey Songz
Sleep Alone - Two Door Cinema
Dancing On My Own - Robyn
Bass Down Low feat. Dev - The Cataracts
The Way I Are feat. Keri Hilson and D.O.E - Timbaland
Thinking of You - Katy Perry

To enter to win this mix, you know the drill...
1) Become a follower and leave a comment letting me know that you are one!
2) For an additional entry...leave a separate comment telling me what you are loving about fall!
3) For more additional entries...tweet about the giveaway, blog about it, pin it, etc. and leave a separate comment telling me you did so!

Good Luck! The contest will end Sunday October 8th at midnight! The winner will be announced on Monday the 9th.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some Weight Loss Walls You May Need To Break Down

Frustration with weight loss is no stranger to those who want to change the way they look and feel. It happens to so many people, and if you aren't careful it can be the start of a cycle that will cause you to gain weight instead of lose it. Instead of getting frustrated with what isn't happening, do some evaluations of what IS happening. Your success may be close by, on the other side of a wall that needs to be demolished. I posted recently about overcoming plateaus, and these suggestions all go together. So, if you are feeling the's time for some evaluation.
Wall #1: You are relying solely on your exercise to change your body. I've said it over and over HAVE to improve your eating habits if you want to see a difference. The combination of exercising and eating right is what will bring results. You simply cannot out-exercise a bad diet. It is impossible.

Wall #2: You are fooling yourself with your food. I hate to break it to you, but most people think they are eating better than they are. Truth: If you are not seeing probably aren't. Get serious about it. Write your food down in detail if you have to in order to allow yourself to see what you are really eating. Consider the fact that you may not be eating correctly as well. Getting the right foods makes ALL the difference.

Wall #3: You lack consistency. Read HERE for more info on how to be more consistent and why it is life changing.

Wall #4: You are being unrealistic. If your body fat is low, your weight is low, and you are in good may not need to lose any more weight. Unfortunately, the world has given women such ridiculous expectations as to what they should look like. Many of these expectations aren't even healthy, and cause women to do CRAZY things to achieve unrealistic, unhealthy results. Consult with a professional to determine what a realistic goal is for your body. There are definitely some mental walls that we put up that can be difficult to deal with as far as body image is concerned.

Wall #5: Your body has other issues that are causing you to stall at your weight loss. If you feel like you are putting forth an extremely honest and solid effort, and you still aren't seeing results, there is a chance that your body may have another underlying issue such as a hormone imbalance, a thyroid problem, or a medication that is stunting progress. These are issues that need to be addressed with a doctor.

Wall #6: You are living too gloriously with your cheat meals/days/weeks. This is a simple one. If you are overdoing it with items that are considered "cheats" all the time, you will be very unlikely to see any changes at all.

Do any of these walls seem familiar to you? If so, KNOCK THEM DOWN! Make the changes you need to make to allow for some progress. Success is just around the corner.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Scenic Sunday

I'm telling you, these Utah mountains are good for the soul.

Thank you Spanish Fork Canyon. Ahhhmazing. The end.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Snippets

Here are a few random thoughts for Saturday...
- Last night I got to hang out with some of my sweetest lady friends. Aren't they beautiful? Don't worry...I know we have full on demon eyes. We attempted about 8 pictures to avoid the demon eyes, and it just wasn't happening.
- However, the demon eyes are kinda fitting because SB and I can't seem to get enough of Vampire Diaries these days...
I resisted watching it forEVER because I just assumed it was going to be kinda lame...But, I'll admit it. I love it. 
- This was lunch for today...and has been for many of my lunches these days. I don't know why I can't get enough of these roasted veggies. On the recipe I posted I suggested roasting for 40 mins on 400 degrees. I have since found that you can roast your veggies for 20-25 mins on 450 degrees. 
I love this recipe because you can literally use ANY veggies you have. It is a great way to use up your remaining produce. My standard veggies usually consist of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet potatoes. SO YUMMY! I will make a huge tray full and eat it for a few days. Veggies galore.

- I forgot my headphones for my workout this morning. I sincerely hate when that happens. Turns out I am a sucker for my music when I am getting my sweat on. Do you relate?

- What is the deal with this guy? It's like a train wreck. I can't not watch. Since when do 50 year old Koreans become pop stars?
- I have two wedding receptions to attend tonight. Not just one, two. Apparently it's wedding season.
- All I want to do is put up my Halloween decorations. Too soon? Probably. Maybe next week. I already know what my Halloween costume is...
- Less than two weeks until I go to Lake Powell, halleluja!
- I am loving spotify these days.

That's all. I told you my thoughts were random. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Healthy New Snack: Boom Chicka Pop!

Everyone is always asking me for healthy snack ideas. So, when I find one I always feel obligated to share. I raved about a product that I love called Skinny Pop a while back. I am definitely still a huge fan, but unfortunately it can be hard to find sometimes. Our local Sprouts (which was previously Sunflower Market) now carries it, which is awesome. However, in the meantime I always had my eye out for a similar product. Well, guess what? I found one. AND, the best is available at Target, which is much more accessible for those who don't have any sort of specialty health food stores around them. Presenting...Boom Chicka Pop.
 It is all natural, and the ingredients consist of popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt. Simple. Fabulous.
And the name is fun to say, right? We gave my little nephew the bag to grab some handfuls and we had to take it from him before he ate the whole thing. He LOVED it. It is so light and tasty, and has just enough flavor to keep you wanting more. I like it every bit as much as the Skinny Pop! It is a GREAT snack options! Try it out!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Good Decision.

Tuesdays are reaaally long days for me. Between work and other commitments I have I usually end up being on my feet from When I get up at 5:00 AM until I get done with my last client around 6:00 or 7:00. I'm not complaining, I'm sure some of you have similar days. I'm just giving you the run down, so you know where my head was at yesterday. I got home around 7:00 last night and I hadn't had any spare moments to get a workout in. I am not one who likes to workout in the evening. I prefer to get it done in the morning when I have more energy. I knew that I needed to workout, but it didn't sound all that great at the moment.

My thought process was something like this...
- "You can miss one day..."
- "You have eaten well today, it won't really matter if you don't workout."
- "The gym will be crowded..."
- "You have been on your feet all day. That burns a lot of calories."
- "You're going to have to shower...again..."
BUT because I know myself SO well, I changed my way of thinking a bit
- "You know you will feel better if you do workout..."
- "Just go do SOMETHING. Anything is better than nothing."
- "Deep down inside you know you'll love it once you get going."

So...the positive thoughts won. I changed my clothes and drug my tired self out the door. I started with a ten minute warm up on the stairs to my favorite jams, and guess energy level picked up! I ended up getting in an AWESOME workout, and I felt SO SO SO good after. Turns out I do know myself. I am happier when I get a good sweat in. My workout went a little something like this...

10 step ups on the right leg with a 35 lb plate overhead press
10 burpees with a pushup
10 step ups on the left leg with a 35 lb plate overhead press
10 burpees with a pushup

15 rows in a deep lunge on the left w/20 lb DB(You are in a deep right lunge and rowing back with the left arm here)
15 rows in a deep lunge on the right w/20 lb DB(You are in a deep left lunge and rowing back with the left arm here)
30 Plyometric lunges on top of the bench (Up and over the top, alternating legs)
10 balancing single arm curls across the front of the body with 20 lb db on the right
10 balancing single arm curls across the front of the body with 20 lb db on the left

15 squats with 35 lb DB's
20 Alternating lunge box jumps
20 Side reaches with the 35 lb plate on the right
20 Side reaches with the 35 lb plate on the left

The moral of the story...I know there are times when we are tired, and the last thing we want to do is go workout, BUT I can almost always promise you that you WILL feel better if you just do SOMETHING. Chances are you may start that something, and get a second wind, allowing you to do more than you thought you could!

On a totally unrelated note...
I'M GOING TO NEW YORK!! I am so stoked about it! I want your recommendations...what do I need to do and see while I'm there? I already scored these...
37 calls to New York later...WORTH IT. I would really LOVE to hear what things you have loved while in the big apple! Fill me in peeps!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Product Review: Paleo People Grain Free Granola

As you know I am always on the lookout for new healthy and delicious products. New products that are Paleo approved make me even happier! So, you can surely imagine that I was thoroughly STOKED when Laura from Paleo People sent me some of their grain free granola to try. 
Doesn't that look amazing? The Paleo People site they give a great description of what they have to offer...
"We create "Paleo Style" Granolas, meaning recipes designed with our cave dweller ancestors in mind. Our paleo snack products are created using ingredients like nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, spices & natural sweeteners - the types of foods found and gathered by our ancestors!  

Our paleo snacks are all natural, wheat & gluten free so for celiacs & vegetarians who are searching, our snacks are quite a discovery."
 This combination of nuts, seeds, fruit, and berries make up this super tasty grain-free granola. My favorite flavor is the banana nut crunch. 
 I, of course, just dug in without wasting anytime. This tasty granola is perfectly delicious on its own.
 But I am also excited to try mixing it in with some greek yogurt. and I'd also love to try sprinkling it over a salad. So So SO tasty! I love that it is Paleo approved, but I'm pretty sure anyone and everyone will find it absolutely delicious.
The good news is that you can try this deliciousness from Paleo People at a discount! With the promo code munchercruncher you can get a %10 discount on all flavors. Awesome, right? Click HERE to visit their website.
This healthy, delicious, grain free granola is absolutely delicious. My only warning is to be sure that you order enough because it will go quickly!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oh So Very Beautiful.

Utah + Fall = Kind of Amazing. 
 If you are ever to pick a time to come to Utah. 
 May I suggest the fall. 
 It is kind of unreal. 
 Don't you think? 
Happy Sunday. :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Overcoming Plateaus

To Plateau: To reach a state of little or no change after a time of activity or progress. Sound familiar to anyone? I hear a lot about plateaus from a lot of people in regards to losing weight. A stint of progress gets halted and frustration sets in. There are many different reasons why people reach plateaus in weight loss. Usually it has something to do with falling into a routine of doing the same things exercise-wise, eating the same foods over and over, decreasing in focus, letting small bad habits sneak back in, etc.

The truth of the matter is that the body wants to be as efficient as possible. When a person does the same exercise routine over and over it becomes easier. The body becomes accustomed to what it is doing because it is becoming more efficient at it. This is why I believe that it is very difficult to run a great deal and lose weight. This is also why I am such a believer in interval and circuit training. By keeping the body constantly challenged and guessing you will never reach the point where the body is comfortable. Hence, you will fight reaching a plateau.

This can happen with food as well. However, I think more to the effect that people fall into a less strict place where they let bites, licks, chews, handfuls, and tastes of foods they probably shouldn't eat sneak back into their diet. While it may seem like little tastes and handfuls shouldn't matter or make that much of a difference, they are usually just the perfect amount of excess calories to keep you from making any progress. Think about it, a few hundred calories here and there add up.

NOW. If you relate to knowing what a plateau is, you probably would like to know how to get over that plateau and on with your progress. These tips may help you to shake things up and get losing!

1) Stop with the monotonous cardio. Make your cardio count. You can KILL some calories quickly if you do it right. Intervals and circuits are where its at my friends. Get your heart beating!
Here we have my darling mom and sis working at some KILLER circuits! 

2) Be perfectly consistent. Yep...I just posted all about how important it is to be consistent and here I am saying it again. This is because it makes all the difference. One week of solid effort is not going to do much for you, unless that one week translates into another week...and then another. Give your body a chance to adapt to your new way of living. It will respond.

3) Make your meals count. Eating Habits make all the difference. If you aren't seeing success in your weight loss, the chances are that you are not eating as well as you think you are. I hate to say it...but your sneaking bites here and there aren't helping you. They actually do count.

4) Go to bed. The body needs sleep, and not sleeping can be a big part of your reason for a lack of progress. Your body needs that time to recharge and repair itself. On top of the need for sleep, not having sleep can cause people to fall into some poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and will definitely sway a person to feel as if they "don't care" and will "start over tomorrow." That mindset will NEVER get you anywhere.

5) GET RE-MOTIVATED! One major part of overcoming plateaus is finding the motivation to get going! Once you see some progress, the progress itself helps increase motivation, but the initial boost to get going can be difficult! Set some goals, and DECIDE to make them happen. You really can do it. It is all about how bad you really want it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let Yourself See Some Progress...I Dare You.

Consistency. I talk about it allll the time. Do you wanna know why I talk about it so frequently? Because it is the KEY to success. Seriously though. If you want to improve your lifestyle, lose weight, become a better runner, acquire a taste for working out, or whatever need to do it consistently enough to allow yourself to see progress. If you eat well 3 days out of the week and do poorly the other 4, nothing is going to change for you. If you workout every once and a while, that is definitely better than nothing, but chances are you won't see the results you are really wanting.

I have a client who I have been working with for the entire time I have been training. She is AWESOME. I've been with her through two kids, family stress, emotional roller coasters, and a lot of other reasons that cause weight fluctuation, excuses for poor eating, and so on and so on. She has seen success in the past, but she decided that she wants to get in the best shape of her life. So, this year she committed to me to be consistent. Can I just tell you the difference I have seen? AND, more importantly, the difference SHE has seen in her body, her capabilities, and her desire to keep motoring through.

I dare you to be consistent. 

I dare you to challenge yourself to stick to something for longer than a week, and when I say stick to it I mean really stick to it. Try to do something for thirty days, and be determined not to let yourself slip. NO. MATTER. WHAT. No sneaking cheat treats, or half hearted workouts. Give it your all. Allow yourself to succeed. I can promise you that you will see progress. You will see results, and the best part about this type of consistency is that from the results you see, you will be MOTIVATED. You will set yourself on a positive spiral forward that will help you to realize just how capable you are of achieving your goals. So do it! I double dog dare you! :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Monday Minute Workout

HAPPY MONDAY! I hope your weekend was fabulous! Sometimes on Mondays we are faced with the issue of wanting to work off some weekend eating and not wanting to face another week just yet. SO, in order to make your life easier, I give you the Monday Minute Workout. This is a great workout for the times when you have too much going on in your head to think about counting reps. Find yourself a timer, and you are good to go!
If you don't have a jump rope, you can substitute your first minute with high knees in place, a sprint on a treadmill, or even just running up and down your stairs! This workout is simple, but tough and can be done anywhere! Even in a hotel room! :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies...Bake It Off.

I, like MANY other people turn to the kitchen when I am stressed out or feeling bummed about something. However, when I turn to the kitchen I do so to create, not to binge. Baking is definitely one of my stress relievers. I love to create new recipes, revisit old favorites, and sing to my favorite tunes all the while. Some people say, "shake it off," I say, "bake it off." I was feeling the need to get some kitchen time in today, and I decided it was time to start what I like to call, the season of pumpkin flavored goodness. Why is everything pumpkin flavored so dang good? I really don't know, but it is. I have posted a PLETHORA of great pumpkin delights on the blog before, (Click HERE for all of my previous favorite pumpkin recipes.) However, I haven't ever posted anything that was pumpkin flavored and paleo. I loved the Banana Chocolate chip Paleo Cookies that I made so much that I decided to try my hand at another flavor. Pumpkin time!
Paleo Pumpkin Cookies 

2 ripe bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup pureed pure pumpkin
2 TBS almond butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of almond meal/flour
1/4-1/2 cup enjoy life chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together bananas, pumpkin, almond butter, and vanilla. Add to that, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, almond flour, and chocolate chips (If desired. I made some for my roommate without any chocolate chips, and she loved them!) Spoon dough onto cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 13 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Makes 18 cookies.

 These cookies were so easy, and really tasty. I love pumpkin flavored anything, and you throw some chocolate chips in there, and you're good to go.
I froze a bunch of my banana cookies when I made them, and they were great reheated! I popped them into the microwave for 15 seconds and they tasted great. I plan on doing the same with this batch! I'm still sad that summer is over, but I guess a little pumpkin makes me feel somewhat better. ;)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekend Catch Up...

There is nothing like a little weekend getaway. Even if it's just to Richfield, Utah...

My friends are fun. That's all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why I Eat Paleo?

So, I explained a little more about how I have been eating in my What is Paleo post. Now, I'll try to help you understand a little more why I eat paleo, and what started the whole process in the first place. all started back in March. A coworker and friend of mine had been eating this way for some time, and she was telling me how positive her results had been and how much better she felt. I read the book Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson, and decided to give Primal Eating a try. The thought of eliminating grains and legumes terrified me. (Remember me, the girl who ate oatmeal with peanut butter for breakfast every day, and would rather eat cereal than just about anything...any day.) I was also very nervous about increasing my fat intake, being as how I had been eating a low fat/no fat diet like the rest of America. I am not going to lie, I was afraid I was going to fail miserably, but just the opposite happened.

Along with the principles I had researched in deciding if this could work for me, there was another factor that I would be changing a great deal, my exercise. Previously I had been working out doing at least an hour of cardio a day, and three days a weeks doing weights for 45-60 minutes on top of that. Guess what? That routine was getting me nowhere. I wasn't seeing any changes. I was tired all the time, and always hungry. I decided to change up my exercise plan as well...3 days a week of 30-40 minute intervals, focusing on keeping up my intensity, REALLY busting it for that short stint of time. 3 days a week of circuit training with weights/plyometrics/intervals for 30-45 minutes. Again, working as hard as possible for that time period. Long story short, shorter workout stints, but more intense. Making the workouts worth it! Mentally, this change was probably the hardest part for me. BUT it made sense to me. I was training for the Utah Valley Marathon for part of the time, which threw off my plan a bit, but also made me excited to finish the endurance training and mix things up.

Part of the "Why" behind this way of eating just makes sense. You are getting rid of all of the processed crap that has infiltrated our diets in such a big way. By eating clean, you eliminate so much of the foods that don't do anything for us. Think of it more as filling your diet with good, whole foods instead of focusing on what you "can't" have. Many have questioned the elimination of whole grains.
The reasoning behind this principle is because of insulin regulation, and avoiding inflammation of the gut. I would also add in that so many people eat tons and TONS of empty calories via their bread/sugar/cracker/candy/processed snack addiction. The problem is, many of the "Whole grain" foods we are eating, aren't really even whole grains. Many of them are still very processed. The evolutionary process of what a whole grain is now, compared to what it was years ago is very different. Getting rid of the grains is difficult, but doable. You can read some more detailed information on why grains are removed from paleo eating HERE.

I planned on attempting to eat this way for 21 days. I wanted to see if I could do it, how I felt, and if it changed the way I looked. 6 months later, I am still eating this way. Here is the WHY behind why I have kept up with my paleo eating.
- It keeps me full. This aspect of it absolutely amazes me. I am eating good fats and protein that help to keep me full. I never feel ravenous like I used to.
- I am more intuitive about my eating. I never thought I would say this, but because I am not always hungry, I don't always feel like I have to eat. I pay attention to my hunger cues more.
- I don't count calories. I never thought I would ever say this, but it's true. I am pretty sure I could show you an online log of every single thing I have eaten for the past five years up until 6 months ago. It is crazy, but true.
- I have dropped ten pounds. Nuff said.
- I feel more condensed. I realize now that I don't eat grains and legumes that I no longer feel bloated or gross after I eat. When you are eating good foods, your body responds well.
- I am not a slave to my exercise routine. I used to mentally kick myself if I didn't get my 60-90 minutes of cardio in per day. Who wants to live like that? Not me.
- I have more energy. I love this part. I reaaallly do.
I have managed to continue to eat this way on family vacations, with friends, with a crazy schedule, and even when I have to eat out. It really isn't hard once you get into a routine. I am a big fan. I also am a firm believer in the 80/20 rule. I think that if you can do all that you possibly can to eat perfectly %80 of the time, you will be able to be a little less perfect %20. Now, this doesn't mean live for the %20. It means do all you can to live for the %80 and then when that %20 comes around again every now and then, you won't feel guilty at all.

Sure, I miss cereal and oatmeal sometimes. I miss a good PB&J every now and then. BUT I LOVE how I feel. I know this has worked for me, (and for quite a few of my clients.) So, it is worth it to me.
Any questions? Comments? Arguments? Concerns? I'd love to hear them!