Sugar, Sugar

Despite my sweet tooth, I can admit sugar is B.A.D. and I do try to limit it.  Earlier this year, I actually started to feel when I’d overdone it with the sugar in my congested sinuses, which led me to research the connection and try to reduce my sugar intake as well as limit other possible offenders – dairy and wheat.

Every now and then, I need a little reminder. A few months ago, it was Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet and today it was Dr. Lustig.

Who?! Today on Facebook, a friend posted this transcript from Alec Baldwin’s radio show in which he interviews Dr. Lustig, who is on somewhat of an anti-sugar crusade, especially as it concerns children.

Side note: As I type this, I’m watching the little girls on Toddlers and Tiaras DOWN Pixie Stix.  Ugh. She wants to be Miss America and her mom is about the size of four Miss Americas combined.  Yes, maybe that’s mean, but what example is she setting for her daughter and what road does she think she’s sending the poor girl down?!

Anyway, I totally blame Dr. Lustig for me checking every label at the grocery store today.

Pop quiz: Which has less sugar – cinnamon raisin bread, everything bagel thins or cinnamon raisin english muffins?

I guessed the bagel thins, but ended up taking home the english muffins because they actually had the least amount of sugar per serving! Total elimination is tough, but I’ll take the lesser of the evils at this point.

I also blame him for deciding for the 64th time to stop drinking fake sugar in my Coke Zeros and Diet Cokes. One day at a time, right?!

Does sugar intake concern you? How do you limit it?

I’m totally guilty of having a weakness for ice cream this HOT summer…do you have suggestions for sugar-free (or low sugar) alternatives?

It’s Friday, this is all I got…

Even to someone who instantly loved gua sha (me), it sounds a little fishy, so please accept this photo comparison:

After back and neck gua sha treatment last week:


After neck gua sha treatment today:

He rubbed (hard, I might add) and then just kinda went, “hmm, there’s nothing there.” Muscle issues eased, still working on the disc.

Having a sleepover tonight with a good friend so we can wake up bright and early tomorrow to do this:

It’s nice to have someone to be crazy with.

I looked at the calendar today and realized that in one month, my triathlon will be over! About three weeks ago, I was looking forward to being done with training calendars and what not, but now I’m kind of in a “oh no, what will I do when it’s over?” mood. I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

My boss told me this week, and I quote, “you are wasting your life away.” He has a way with words. What he meant was I am such a loyal and devoted (and healthy!) worker that I have maxed out my PTO and if I don’t take time off, I’m not accruing any more. What a problem to have! Vacation? Staycation? Or just a few long weekends? Yes, yes and yes, please.

Last weekend I attended the Arizona blogger meetup at La Grande Orange. Yum! It was so great to talk to the wonderful ladies who I read every day! Note: I would not look so cute as those girls if I had biked, hiked and biked some more.  They are sexy champs.

Carolyn, Me, Marisa, Stacey, Nicole, Emily and Ari

I’m debating seeing Hunger Games at midnight on the 23rd, but oh yeah, I hate teenagers and I can’t stay awake that late, which is why I haven’t been able to finish Mockingjay yet. I would LOVE to be one of those people who stays up til 3 reading a really good book, but sleep always wins. Usually by about 9:30. I will probably wait until a little of the hysteria stops (to see the movie, the book’s time on my nightstand is up this weekend).

Rigo was a terrible fitness influence this morning. Usually as soon as the alarm goes off, he is all up in my grill, but this morning, when it went off at 4:50 so I could get up and ride my bike trainer for an hour before work, he just stayed so sweetly snuggled in that the poor trainer got no love. He even slept past my normal wake up time! Yesterday, we went to the dog park AND ran sprint drills at the greenbelt by my house after I got home from the gym. I guess I’ve figured out the puppy energy drainage system. And don’t worry, I hopped on the trainer after work and watched 50/50.

I’m working on cleaning up my diet, but yesterday while running those sprint drills (unplanned) after taking a yoga class (planned) and swimming 1000 worth of intervals (planned), I thought to myself, “holy shit, if cleaning up my diet gives me even more energy, I’m not sure I’ll even know what to do with myself.” More on that clean up (and my plans to take over the world with the new energy) to come.

My coworker/coach is expecting a good report from the weekend, so time to have fun!

Gimmicks

I’ve been thinking about gimmicks lately because of a friend posting on Facebook about a 90-day challenge he’s doing (he’s pretty fit and regularly does races so I don’t really get it).  I asked about it and immediately got hit up by a “distributor” of this particular gimmick.

This time of year, everyone is looking for a quick fix to help them reach their goals for the new year.  Losing 50 pounds sounds great, but when faced with the oppressive reality that it literally could take all year of losing a healthy one pound a week, gimmicks start looking pretty good!

Like I said yesterday, I’m not really drinking the kool-aid much anymore, but there’s one flavor I’ll have in my blood forever…if you want to lose weight, eat less and move more and if you’re training, train hard. It’s really quite simple, but so many people have complicated it over time.

Yes, a lot of the gimmicks boil down to those simple truths of eat less or move more, but they hide that with smoke and mirrors and try to make it fun or easy and it’s not always fun or easy.

I’m not immune to gimmicks. I had the Windsor Pilates tapes in college – yes tapes, yes, just 5 years ago. I once attempted a 10-day juice fast (that lasted 36 hours).  I’ve read my fair share of of-the-moment diet and exercise books. But, since those days, I’ve learned to A. enjoy sweat, B. view food as fuel and C. be more comfortable in my body.

Gimmicks aren’t really all that bad.  However, they do run the spectrum from scary unhealthy to common sense. The gimmicks closer to the common sense side - Bethenny’s Skinny Girl and Weight Watchers – are more maintainable and more likely to work long-term.

Ultimately, no matter how silly, if it works for you, then it’s a good thing.

Protein Please!

No thanks!

As a vegetarian for 10 years, the most obnoxious question I got asked constantly was “where do you get your protein?”  I was young and a bad vegetarian, so often I’d say eggs, peanut butter or cheese.

Last Saturday, after a morning hike spent discussing nutrition, I went to a Vinyasa class and felt weak. Granted, I had done an hour-long hike and this particular yoga class was led by the fitness coordinator of my gym and I just kind of get the sense that her old school group fitness ways sometimes interfere with the yoga I love, but too often I feel weak in classes or on runs or in the pool and, yes, workouts should be a challenge, but for as much as I work out and as “healthy” as I am, that should not be the case!

It kind of all came together in that class and it made sense that my muscles are hungry and protein would feed them! Although I don’t consider myself a vegetarian anymore, I tend to eat vegetarian about 90% of the time and I tend to fall back on my young vegetarian ways of not eating meat (v. replacing it with other good sources of protein). Protein and iron often come hand-in-hand in foods and the fact that my iron count was too low to donate blood for about four months last year should have given me the hint that I needed a dietary change.

One of the resolution ideas I tossed around for a while was Stephany’s idea of making one change each month.  I found it hard to come up with 12 changes, particularly without wanting to tackle them all at once, but perhaps I just needed to let them come to me!  So…increasing my protein intake is going to be my change for January (a week and a half late, but still) and I’ll see what pops up each month for the rest of the year.

To figure out how to best up my protein, I consulted my experts…

In Racing Weight, Matt Fitzgerald recommends getting anywhere from 15-30% of daily calories from protein.

The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises says one gram of protein for each pound of your goal body weight.

My NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training supports both, saying 10-25% of daily calories from protein or 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (oh, kilograms).

So, there are four calories in one gram of protein and if I’m supposed to eat 2000 calories a day on active days…yep, figuring out the percentages and counting calories and adding grams = too much work, so I’m going to aim for one gram per pound.

I found some foods I enjoy eating to help me increase my protein intake:

1 serving chicken breast…34 grams
1 serving fish (depending on type)…34 grams
1/2 c. of cottage cheese…16 grams
1 scoop protein powder…15 grams
1 cup black beans…15 grams
2 Tbs. peanut butter…8 grams
1 cup cooked quinoa…8 grams
1 cup skim milk….8 grams
1 cup fat-free yogurt…7 grams
1 egg…6 grams
1 oz. almonds….6 grams
2/3 cup granola…5 grams
1 cup spinach…5 grams

And now I can see how I was NEVER going to get to my required amount with milk and eggs alone.  It still seems difficult…I mean, seriously, with everything we’re “supposed” to be eating, does anyone else feel like they’re just going to have to walk around eating ALL DAY LONG?!

Honestly, I’m telling you right now there is no way I’m going to eat a gram of protein for every pound of my body weight, BUT, there is a way I will be more aware and do better and get closer each day. I have a hunch that my workouts will be better off for it!

What are the most annoying questions you get asked?!
When I was graduating college I dreaded, “So, what’s next?” (until I knew, then it was fine) and now I’m sometimes bored with people who think my love life has got to be the most interesting thing about me. BUT, I’m just as guilty of asking high schoolers what college they’re going to and newlyweds when they’re popping out the first kid.

What are some of your favorite sources of protein?
My IRL bestie from second grade (second grade!) recently started a 90-day paleo and crossfit challenge so I’m following along with her new blog to discover some of her high-protein recipes!