Perspective

Gee Whiz February Health Challenge you caught me on a day where this is a total loaded prompt for me. Sigh. Perspective.

Well, I guess in terms of perspective, mine has changed extensively in the last 7 months (!). Things I used to see in a certain light are now not even in the light, let alone my thought process. I think honestly, the thing I’ve changed my perspective the greatest in regards to is PMA: Positive Mental Attitude.

People can get a little preachy with the battle cry of PMA, but for the most part I love the idea. Of course everyone has a bad day here or there we are humans living in a challenging world. For example in my life recently: I’m heavily affected by blood sugar and in fact had a ‘bad’ day on Thursday when I didn’t properly feed my body/mind resulting in a quiet and somber afternoon/evening (I literally had to ‘put myself to bed’ early just to get back into balance). However, that didn’t stop me from spewing my irritation about ‘boxed lunches’ and literally a rant occurred about how bread/rice are conspiracy food fillers….. I know, I know – carry a snack always.

But I digress, PMA is just a way of seeing the world. Instead of ‘woe is me,’ ‘the world is out to get me,’ ‘nothing ever goes right for me,’ PMA challenges us to see not only the positives, but identify the underlying ‘problems.’ I’ve been a huge advocate of DO since I changed my life, and PMA is an extension/inclusion/result/cause/action of that. Lots of the roadblocks we face are put there by us. It’s simple to sit back and judge others and their problems/problem cycles, but ultimately, we all have areas in our lives that need PMA. I feel like I’ve only really brushed the very shallow surface of this, but perhaps it got you thinking about the positivity we can bring to everything we do. It’s easy to get into a cycle of shame and disappointment, but literally that is the worst way to go about finding a solution to a problem. Not only will you feel your life becoming a huge drag, but you yourself will become a drag too. Friends and family are always there to support you, but even if the spiral of shame is too encompassing, your drag may start to alienate you further. PMA is necessary to get through the challenges with a lesson learned, not just simply to get through one rough patch to immediately/simultaneously encounter another hardship. Life is difficult – there is a whole wide world of hard out there, but PMA can truly change your life. Focus on the good, enrich the positive parts of your life and the negative, energy wasting, drag parts will subside and be solved. PMA is important for us. It’s hard and no one wants to sound like a cheerleader, but you have to in order to have the life you love and want. At the end of the day, the only person that matters is yourself. With PMA and cheerleading for your own success, the people and things that lift you up will surround you entirely.

Nothing Hill Vimeo from EasyRider Records on Vimeo.

“you are the weakest link between you and your dreams”

xxx
GFK

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BITE SIZED TWINKIE & COOKING CLEAN

It’s Wednesday – BUT instead of feeling like ‘uh it’s half way there.’ Let’s mix it up a bit and get excited about our health instead! My dear friend just started a blog with the most adorable name ever. Bite Sized Twinkie. It’s in the foundational/beginning stages so stay tuned for big great fun things from her!

Also I recently became an admin for a wonderful paleo-inspired facebook page called Cooking Clean. There are four of us gals who contribute with mostly paleo recipes, workout tips, and motivation to eat, live, and love clean.

click on the pic to visit the facebook page!
click on the pic to visit the facebook page!

Since I technically am still doing the February Health Challenge, it is super important to remember that clean eating is key in any healthy lifestyle. We tend as a society to get hung up on calories, but really the most important idea should be quality of nutrients not quantity. No better example of this serves than diet soda vs. all organic fruit smoothie. Believe it or not a low-cal (i.e. not processed) fruit smoothie is easier and better for your body to digest than that evil zero calorie diet soda that actually tricks your body and causes huge disasters in blood sugar levels. (diet soda rant*)

i know a 'paleo' diet of an absolute minimum 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.
i know a ‘paleo’ diet of at least 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.

Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and eating styles that makes them feel best. For me, staying away from anything processed and limiting starches/complex carbohydrates is how I stay lean as well as prevent lethargy, bloating (cute!), and mood fluctuation. That means that overall, I do in fact eat a Paleo diet. I really enjoy almond milk as a substitute for traditional milk, and I find myself trying alternative flours all the time in baking. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still sample traditional candies and sweets, but it’s not at the levels/rates I used to. My mind and body mean way too much to me to ruin with overly-processed and refined ‘nutrients.’ It took a long time for me to accept that what I eat really does affect me mentally. Not in a ‘control’ way but in a basic chemical reaction – I still find new things that work and don’t everyday.

my 'shamrock shake' with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.
my ‘shamrock shake’ with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.

One way to get into the habit of food nutrient monitoring is by keeping a good old diary! There are tons of apps that make it easy to count/review nutrients/compositions/calories.

But remember! Quality of nutrients over quantity of calories is ALWAYS BEST.

xxx
GFK

Together

Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.

Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.

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Love yourself the most.

xxxx
GFK

Sweat

This fitness challenge is getting DURTY. Just kidding, but I do have a few thoughts on the word ‘sweat.’

1. I’m obsessed with my new work out clothes that wick the sweat from muh baadee.

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2. I am really loving the Argus app – it combines pedometer/water calculator/weight manager/activity log/social competition. Just ask Lois she is getting fierce with the daily step competition.

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3. Running – last weekend I set a new best (in the last five years) of 2 consecutive 8:30 minute miles. I ran between 6.5-9 and when it was over I was sweating and felt the strong urge to spew all over the gym. I, however, refrained because I like Planet Fitness and do not need to be kicked out for “jillian michaels-ing’ myself. YOU CAN GET OFF THIS TREADMILL WHEN YOU PUKE, PASS OUT OR DIE!!!

SWEAT.
xxx
GFK

Outside

Wow already biffing it hard on this daily blog challenge, but c’est la vie. I had an exciting weekend and am working on a secret craft I’ll be able to post on Thursday so in the mean time… Outside.

I am so sick of winter, I’m sure everyone is, but especially the insane cold and snow that Chicago has been hit with every week. I took a walk up to Bloomingdale’s yesterday during lunch. I had to cross the river and I was pretty impressed and awed by the ice.

Simplicity

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

An acronym and phrase to live by. I know with health it can get pretty complicated very quickly. It starts out you’re looking for a multi-vitamin and the next thing you know you have whey protein powder shakes and a $50/month gym subscription. But health doesn’t have to be so ‘involved.’ Seriously, the little things add up to make HUGE results, whether good or bad. We have all heard those little helpful tips in the magazines and on TV telling us to ‘skip the elevator and take the stairs’ – well stuff like that does matter.

Before I lost this weight I struggled with trying to instantly change everything about my eating/exercise/regime and every time I was unsuccessful. You have to keep it simple. It’s the only way you’ll stick to the changes or habits you want to see. Here’s the few K.I.S.S. guidelines I follow.

1. Eat simple. Remember plan over-easy eggs? They are awesome! As meals, salad toppers (yolk as dressing?!), snacks. Not to mention plain yogurts are natural probiotics, cabbage is awesome cooked/raw, and a crockpot of chicken breasts will feed you for a week.
2. Back away from the 7/11. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for 7/11 and it’s candy/beverage combos. Not only is the cost not good, but all those sugars and chemicals. I’ll just stick with another apple.
3. Calories in vs. Calories out. I think George Lopez described it best as what goes in has to be smaller than what comes out. I’ve always remembered that and it’s a credo to live by.

But the most important in my opinion is ….. Be Kind to Yourself. No matter what your health goals, if you are not kind and loving to yourself, it will be pointless. Stress/anxiety/low self-esteem will ruin any health goal you set for yourself. Be kind in the way you fuel, exercise, and love your self both mentally and physically.

I deserve a frozen yogurt for this post. See I’m being kind to myself…. Just kidding, but it is national frozen yogurt day!

i SIMPLY wish it was warm out.
i SIMPLY wish it was warm out.

XXX
GFK

Yogi Goal

the littlest yogi
the littlest yogi

gee whiz. I have to say I’m pretty pleased with all the goals I’ve set and attained over the last half year, but since this is a health challenge prompt I think I’ll make this goal fitness orientated.

Drum roll please…..

My goal is to practice yoga 3 times a week. I really enjoy yoga and it makes me feel calm and invigorated. Plus I really need the deep stretch and poses – especially after I am all hunched over crafting for so many hours. Not to mention I gifted myself four new pairs of workout pants that are perfect for yoga practice. So it is my goal for the remainder of the month to practice a simple 3 times a week at home.

This will not be hard especially since I have Kathryn Budig’s DVD (my favorite) and Jillian Michael’s yoga DVDs are on Amazon Prime free to stream. I have no excuse!

GOAL SET!

XXXX
GFK