Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Mouth: Where Diets Come to Die 

My Eats, Experiences, & Encouragement 

I'm guilty of being a diet-ho. In my opinion.

I hate to even say it- buttttt I cheat on diets, jump around between diets, and abandon diets without a second thought.

I will go dairy-free for a few weeks, then not so much.
I was a vegetarian for 8 months, then needed more protein and went full out opposite to paleo-ish, then moved to "macros" and am currently floating between all of the above.

My dieting "evolves" is how I like to term it. Better yet, I don't like the word [diet] at all- nutrition philosophy is my latest term. I know I do not have a full grasp on my philosophy yet. I am still experimenting, evolving, and eating lots of different combinations to find the best "health" for me in terms of muscle growth, strength, performance, energy, endurance, and weight. The web of my complicated opinions on nutrition is open-minded and insane

That being said, right now I follow "IIFYM" (If It Fits Your Macros).  I track my food intake to reach daily macronutrient amounts. Macronutrients (macros) are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. I eat a specified amount (in grams) of these three nutrients each day regardless of calories. Since grams of macronutrients can be converted to calories, if consistent with your macro amounts, your calories will also trend towards consistency. I have an amazing coach, Katie Ringley- from Katie'sFitScript, that assists with macro adjustments, training, and diet.
Katie Ringley- KatiesFitScript
She has really awesome and simple advice about what IIFYM or Macronutrients are, as well as training plans for workouts, half marathons, full marathons, triathlons, etc.:


I am not advocating that this is a perfect [diet] or even the best way of living. This is just a tool I'm using at this point in my journey. I've increased the amount of food I eat to better fuel workouts and training without weight gain but actually with weight loss. It's helped break the cycle of food restriction (eating anything I wanted for 2-3 days, then restricting to super low calorie, all raw, only "healthy" foods for 2-3 days).

I feel balance. Mentally, it aligns with my OCD, rule-following self... but I recognize not everyone enjoys that.  I honestly can't say I plan to track macronutrients forever, or that I don't still have "dietary restrictions", but I am making progress and enjoying food, performance, and results.

I do NOT want to share this to push a "lifestyle" on anyone. 

My point is to encourage everyone else that feels like they are too promiscuous with diets--> that IT'S OK. 
[The first step is admittance]
[We've all got a little Miley Cyrus in us]

Just know someone else has been there. You're not alone. It sucks to have to explain to friends and family, "oh yeah, I'm not vegetarian anymore bring on the proteins" or "my 21 day fix broke at day 3"...

But sometimes that's life. It's doubtful anyone would be able to be super strict 100% of the time to any diet without compelling reasons fueling their decision. It's nearly impossible to be "chemical free" in our society, as literally everything (unless it was grass fed, killed last night, hunted and gathered) will have some form of "unnatural" or "processed" ingredient.

People that diet jump get a bad rep and can be looked at as "failures" for not pushing through, staying motivated and sticking with it. But again, sometimes thats life. And more likely than not, each of us has been there in some aspect.

No one makes progress without failures. The first time you decide to "diet" is not going to be a magical spell that changes your mind and body into permanently following a set of rules that you've most likely only been exposed to for a few weeks before committing to. 

AND THATS OK. You've decided to make a decision and take some form of action to better your health. AND THATS GOOD!

When it comes to diets and what you're eating... here it comes... you. be. you.

If you want to cycle between vegan/paleo/hunter gatherer/shrimp watchers/donut craig/ ice-cream only diets each week then do it. But I encourage you to know why you're choosing to "diet".

Weight loss? Ok- lets look at small changes  that would last longer than 30 days to change your lifestyle.

Physical Health? Ok- lets look at what you're already eating and make substitutions that involve more whole, nutrient rich, unprocessed foods.

Abs? Ok- jkdsjfkjsdfksdfk they're so annoying and will lead you on and never commit to staying around. Screw Em'. 

Acne Relief? Ok- lets pull the studies and find the food restrictions we should  implement under controlled circumstances to explore the cause of the inflammation and radical damage leading to acne formation.

You just want to eat donuts and ice-cream all day? Ok-do that and after 3 days you'll be over it and breaking up with that diet like it's Adam Levine with the personality of a grapefruit.
So here are my tips: 
- Don't pick just another "diet" to hang out with for a few days--> do some research, write your goals, and align them with some small changes to implement daily.

- Track the days you're able to stick with them, if after 14 days you've stuck with them more days than not, challenge yourself to make it to 30.

- Track your results.

- Stick with things that align results with your goals.

- Accept and own the PROCESS.

BUT, If you do pick a 30 day diet and quit after 3, its ok to give yourself some grace. Don't let fear of someone else's opinion of your "lack of commitment" or  "failure again" keep you from trying to next thing.
It's hard to share the mental challenges and changes of chasing a "healthy" lifestyle but you're going through the process for you.

You're eating or not eating the foods, you're tracking your progress, you're making and reaching your goals... therefore..you do not have to explain or justify anything you eat to anyone. ever. so own it.

you be you.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Sermon to Myself & A Serving of Oat-Less Oatmeal 

This one time - I got beat up at work.
mentally, emotionally, verbally punched... or so it felt.

To spare details,  an insurance company once again denied prescription coverage for an insanely pricey drug. When explaining this, I got out maybe 2 sentences- PUNCH, a left hook of really mean words straight to my face. I apologized (on behalf of? the insurance company?) and tried to further explain our options. PUNCH. STOMP. STOMP... right out of the store. Such a scene that other customers commented on the behavior.

I was left embarrassed and doubting my own ability. Did I say the right thing? How could I have handled that better? After discussing all of this with my technicians that witnessed the event, it was conclusive I handled it right and there wasn't much else I could've done. Band-Aids on. Neosporin on. I was ready to continue my day. A mild twinge in my stomach and ramblings in my mind of the situation, but i was thinking I'd be over it in at least an hour.

And then the phone rings. Round 2. First words out.. BAM.BAM.BAM. PUNCH. I stand back up (or decide to address the comments), put on my "service" voice, and calmly repeat my earlier explanations. I apologize. I am so so nice (it was really hard to be), but despite all efforts...PUNCH.PUNCH.and CLICK. Really mean words left me a "loser" in this verbal battle (that I didn't even fight).

Even I know 100% this issue was not my fault, but the words still hurt. The wounds sting. The Band-Aids show. After contemplating and replaying all the encounters over and over, I'm still left feeling like I screwed up, somethings wrong with me, I'm inferior to this person...etc. But none of that is the point. A greater lesson came from this battle. One that is not focused on fights, words, or even hurt feelings- more so, humility.

Being humble in the moment of being treated unfairly, demeaningly, or disrespectfully is not as hard as dealing with the aftermath of those storms. In the moment, I can stay calm, I can whisper "humility" over and over, I can politely handle someones rant. The moments after, the emotions hit me. In one minute I'm wanting to shout my story of how mistreated I was to anyone that will listen, I'm wanting to trash and bash the issuer of the harsh words, and I'm begging for validation that what I received was undeserved. My humility is out the window and although I showed it to avoid conflict, I wonder if my heart was truly acting in humility or instinct.

I am not usually a fighter so my first instinct is no't to become aggressively defensive. But afterwards, I'm left with wounds that need covering and emotions that need restoring. I worry that I tend these wounds with outside conversations, validations, and discussions instead of internal prayer, humility, and discernment.

 I didn't set out to write this blog about me and how I can grow in these moments. I intended to blog about how much I was hurt by someone else and to remind us all not to be mean people. While thats an important reminder, as I write, I realize maybe the message is deeper and maybe the message is for me- not just the readers.

Humility is more than a moment.
A truly humble heart is more than acting humble in a situation that produces humility. It's changing your heart to look beyond your current perspective and truly see the grace God gives to you and that you are required to do that same for someone else. And this isn't a grace that says "yea, i didn't fight back they'll get theirs one day though".

It's a grace like God's.
A grace that is able to love this person despite their overtly wrong behavior. A grace that is able to not think or say bad things about this person to others, even though there may not even be repercussions for it. A grace that doesn't "fake" it the next time the person comes in and is overly nice to make them feel bad but rather having a truly forgiving and accepting heart that forgets the incident all together.

I am literally preaching to myself right now.
I did all of these things in an ungraceful way after being hurt.
I know this post is long, but I think I needed it. I really hope maybe you did to.

I like to include recipes in my posts, so here is a really random, but surprisingly delicious recipe for low calorie oatmeal using no oats at all.

Oat-Less Oats 

150g "Riced"Cauliflower- this recipe works best with frozen cauliflower that is unthawed in the microwave (or steamed on the stovetop) and then "riced" in the blender or food processor.

1/3-1 Scoop Protein Powder of Choice
I love Optimum Nutrition's Blueberries & Cream or Quest          Peanut Butter with this recipe 

2-3 Egg Whites (or ~50g liquid egg whites)


Vanilla Extract

Any Additional Flavoring Extract (pumpkin, almond, lemon, etc) 

Peanut or Almond Butter (I use Nuts N' More Toffee Crunch)

Syrup or Sweettner of choice 

Additional Toppings (fresh fruit, coconut, chocolate chips, pumpkin, etc.)

--> Add egg whites to riced cauliflower (may add additional "splash" of milk or creamer). Mix in protein powder. Stir. Add cinnamon & extracts. Microwave 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave 45 seconds to 1 minute based on consistency you desire. Top with nut butter and additional toppings + a good amount of the syrup and/or a sweetener of choice :)

Macros (for my recipe using Quest Protein and Nuts N' More)
180 Calories: 12C/21P/5F

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Week Without Blogging & This Is All I've Got

Life Things

I feel like I have yet to do a blog thats just blogging (or writing) about my life. Having a record of my life to look back on was another reason I decided to start this blog. I sometimes think that no one will really care and if you don't- I get it. I probably wouldn't either.. now you have time to go clean a room in your house and get off the internet. For my own sake, Heather,  here's whats been happening in your life :)

Saturday 8/22 -Girls Night!

Here's what you wore:
You didn't clean your mirror or bathroom. Your selfies need work. 

Here's what you ate:

Ember- Ester Pizza 
Woodfire Pizza Crust: Red Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, Arugula, EVOO-Lemon
You had a lot of fun.

Sunday 8/23- Your BFF got Engaged! 

You now get to plan all her wedding events and live vicariously through her. YaY!

Monday 8/24- Your First Open Mic Night

Obligatory picture: 

You sang with Jeremiah and you think y'all did pretty well. Voice Clip Video Below:

Jeremiah & Heather Hallelujah

The plan is to work on some songs and keep this up! You're thinking of offering to play weddings, events, etc. to anyone reading your blog thats interested :)

Tuesday-Friday 8/25-8/28

You ate some really good things. Pics & Recipes Below.

Mock Pumpkin Pie- Basic White Girl Style 

-Heat Quest Bar and save to crumble on top 
- Mix all ingredients and cook at ~350 for 12-ish minutes 

Crazy Combo Bowls 

Chicken, Squash, Avocado, Nectarine, Shredded Raw Coconut, Balsamic Glaze Drizzle, topped with Terra Sweet Potato Chips 
Egg Whites, Sundried Tomatoes, Squash, Asparagus, Fresh Crab Meat (1 oz Canned from Harris Teeter Seafood Market) , Topped with Terra Sweet Potato Chips

New Favorite Starbs Drink

Matcha Powder (Green Tea- 1 scoop) + Water + 2 SF Vanilla Pumps 

Shrimp on Shrimp on Shrimp 

BCAA Pre/Post Workout Drink 

Branched Chain Amino Acids are taken to help restore electrolytes and aid in muscle recovery. Optimum Nutrition carries a pre-made drink perfect for quick hydration. Watermelon Flavor is INSANELY good. It's recommended to half the drink between pre and post workout since it has caffeine. (I can't tell a huge difference, but if you love BCAA this is worth a try) 

Fri-Sun 8/28-9/30 --> Maria's Bachelorette Weekend! 

A weekend spent with 16 other killer girls at a friend from pharmacy school, Maria's  Bachelorette Party in Savannah, GA. You spent the weekend catching up and getting down (on the dance floor-duh).  

my life...just had to...

This week of living life was really good.

I don't have any super insightful thoughts or advice or things to share this week besides just me. Maybe you now will pull out some orange patterned shorts and pair it with your 3rd millionth slinky black shirt for a night out, maybe you'll go and eat some shrimps tonight, or maybe you will be inspired to live life balanced, happy, and doing things you love (even if they're scary--open mic night whatttt). Either way, I hope you were entertained for a little bit and thanks for letting me share my life journal :)

Side Note- shout out to Owen for his awesome encouragement to keep up my blogging :)

ps--> he's single ladies