Home » Blog » boun-see balls

Category: boun-see balls

How Sugar, Hormones and Stress Mess with Weight Loss

Sometimes, there’s more to the weight loss game than just diet and exercise.

I went to a very interesting Lunch N Learn at work last week about how sugar, hormones and cortisol affect weight loss. So, let’s start with your typical weight loss equation. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. That’s typical for almost everyone. Most people respond well if they eat less and exercise more.

But, if you’re like me, you have a few more factors that affect that equation. My body doesn’t respond that easily. And I’ve been thinking that every one of those factors mentioned in the title might be affecting my own personal weight loss. I’ve been working out 6 days a week, eating pretty darn clean, and seeing no progress. So, I had to start thinking outside the box of diet and exercise.

Reduced Diet Calories + Increased Exercise  Weight Loss

I do have issues with anxiety, so cortisol is something I’m exploring. Diabetes runs in my family, so I’ve been trying to eat more protein and fewer carbs, including sugar, at my doctor’s advising. So, when my workplace offered this presentation on sugar, hormones and stress, it was 100% in line with what I wanted to dig into more. So, I signed up right away!

Our speaker had her own amazing weight loss story, having lost and kept off 70 lbs just in the past couple recent years, so she had some immediate proof in her own body. And I just really clicked with everything she said and have a lot of similar views as her.

Let me sum up the presentation for you:

1. Sugar is the root of all evil. Seriously.
2. Cortisol makes your body hold onto fat.
3. Hormones from sugar and stress create a vicious weight loss struggle.


So, we have these stressor in life, just general worry and real stressor too like deadlines, bills, and close calls. These stressor activates the sympathetic nervous system–fight or flight.

During this, the body is told to stop digesting, stop muscle building, and flood the body with glucose (suger). Then, glucose comes along thst needs insulin to clear it out, but cortisol blocks insulin. All the extra sugar floating around, that you didn’t use to flee from a tiger, is stored as fat.

But then, to add insult to injury, leptin, the hormone that tells you when you’re full, is blocked by insulin.


So, let me summarize: 

Cortisol blocks insulin and insulin blocks leptin.

So basically, sugar and stress cause fat to hang on like crazy!

 And the body is still over there telling you it’s hungry, feed it quick, with sugar!

Sugar feeds disease in all different ways. It is evil.

So what do you do to combat this? Meditation, sugar elimination and a plant-based diet can have a profound impact on your life and weight! Guess what I’m adding to my diet and fitness regimen? A daily meditation practice, a kitchen sugar clean-out and a shopping trip to the produce and Steamer aisles. It seems so simple, but are you actually doing it? Can you do it better? Start there! That’s where I’m starting.

As a side, our presenter is a certified eating psychology coach, which really intrigues me. Of course healthy eating and fitness have always been my passions, but I’ve also had lots of interest in the psychology behind it. I had an emphasis in psychology in college and just couldn’t get enough of it. Check her out:

Weekly Food and Fitness: Food Prep Video!!!

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workouts:

  • Monday: 30 min Brittne Babe arms, abs and HIIT
  • Tuesday: 30 min run
  • Wednesday: 30 min BB legs and HIIT
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday
    • 30 BB chest, abs and HIIT
    • 30 min walk at lunch
  • Saturday: 35 interval run
  • Sunday: rest

This week I started a new 21-day program from BrittneBabe.com just to switch things up a bit. She sells her programs for just $10, so it was an easy sell. I will do a full review when I’m finished, but so far I’m enjoying it. Brittne is a youngster with a solid business sense and ambition (not to mention a killer bod), which I find really admirable. You can follow along more of my workout journey on Instagram.

On the menu:

  • Breakfast:
  • Lunch: Quinoa burrito bowl (see video description for recipe)
  • Snack: Apple and almonds
  • Dinners: Grilled chicken, burgers, subs, tuna salad, Easter feast!

I filmed a video of my food prep this week, and it only took about 1/2 hour to make. I hope this inspires you to prepare for the week! Food prepping really can be easy, cheap, super healthy and mostly clean!

What are your goals this week?

Weekly Food and Fitness: What To Do When You Didn’t Meal Prep

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workouts:


Meal Prep:
None!

Oh my goodness, this week was a bit “off” for me with no meal prep, but I’m hanging in there. We had unexpected company over on Sunday and didn’t get the chance to grocery shop or meal prep like we always do. I definitely don’t eat quite as healthy when this happens. But, I have a few tricks to share on what to do when you haven’t meal prepped, so you can still maintain a healthy diet.

1. Always have some backup food in the freezer or cupboard. I always have a supply of Boca Burgers in the freezer and usually a can of Amy’s soup in the cupboard. I also try to keep a few of those new Protein Steamers on hand. These are not entirely the “cleanest” meals ever, but they’re still very nutritious and a much better alternative.

2. Grab just a handful of ready-to-eat things at the grocery store–or even Kwik Trip! We grabbed eggs, cottage cheese and bananas to fill in my snack gaps for the week. There’s no reason to have to whip up something complicated every week.

3. Use dinner leftovers whenever possible. My hungry boys usually eat up everything we make for dinner, so this one can be a little difficult at times. But if I’m able, I will sneak away a few things before we start eating so I have food for the next day. This helps prevent me from having to go out to eat.

What do you normally do when you haven’t meal prepped for the week?

Weekly Food and Fitness

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.


Workouts

  • Monday: 30 min arms
  • Tuesday: 30 min interval run
  • Wednesday: 30 min legs (workout below)
  • Thursday: 30 min run
  • Friday
    • 30 min Tracy Anderson Precision Toning arms, abs and butt
    • 30 min brisk walk with a friend
  • Saturday: 35 min interval run
  • Sunday: 15 yoga from Slim Calm Sexy Yoga
Wednesday’s leg day looked like this. I broke the workout down into
circuits of three moves each. I did two sets of each move.
Friday’s workouts came from this DVD I just ordered on Amazon. I always like to do something different on Fridays, like barre or Pilates. Whereas, Mondays and Wednesdays are usually traditional strength training. The Tracy Anderson Method is one of those things I like to do on Fridays. Kills my muscles in a whole different way.
Sunday is always rest/active rest day and I did an active rest day this past week with a few stretches from this book. I like how Tara Stiles creates routines for different desired effects, like anxiety relief or muscle toning.


On the menu

  • Breakfast: smoothie, eggs and veggies
  • Snack: grapefruit
  • Lunch: rice salad (see below)
  • Snack: two hardboiled eggs + apple
  • Dinners: Asian drumsticks, broccoli chicken bake, hot dogs, chicken salad, etc.

My breakfasts always kinda look the same not only because I’m hooked but also because it’s such a good way to get lots of protein and extra veggies into my day. Plus, grapefruit are in season and I’m happy to partake. I had to make an extra-large batch of hardboiled eggs because Kayne is a huge fan and wanted his very own carton, haha! I’m happy to oblige. Eggs were on super sale, they’re easy to make, and I’m always happy when he requests a healthy snack.

I found this super simple rice bowl recipe in a recent issue of Shape Magazine I was reading on the treadmill. All it requires is white beans, tomatoes and rice along with a few ingredients for the dressing. The prep was so easy. It’s such a simple, cool, summery salad that goes perfect with the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been having this week in Wisconsin–like 64 degrees today!!
What’s it like where you live? How are you getting healthy this week?

Weekly Food and Fitness

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workout Schedule:

Monday: 30 minutes strength training with weights
Tuesday: 30 min Barefoot Cardio
Wednesday: 20 min TIU Hula Booty from Beach Babe 2
Thursday: 30 min steady state run
Friday: 35 Piyo Sweat
Saturday: 35 min HIIT run, 3 min/1 min intervals
Sunday: active rest, 30 min light yoga with Shiva Rae



On the Menu this week:

Breakfast: Shakeology Berry Smoothie, egg whites + tomatoes and mushrooms, TIU bombshell spell
Snack: grapefruit
Lunch: Romaine Thai Turkey Cups
Snack: Cottage cheese and chickpeas
Dinners: turkey dogs, tuna salad, broccoli ravioli, grilled pork chops


Hubster and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year and we are booking a trip for somewhere like the Bahamas or Cancun. Not sure yet. What I am sure of is that I need to get my butt in shape in the next few months. I have a check-in with my doctor this week again, because things aren’t adding up when I look at calorie intake and workouts. I am not losing like I should be according to the math. Hopefully I can get some insight and tighten up my diet and see the weight budge.

How are you workout out/eating this week?

How to do the LiveFit Series at Home

For those of you that don’t know, bodybuilding.com offers a bunch of free 30 to 90 day fitness programs for both men and women on their website. You can choose a program to lose weight, muscle up and everything in between. I have tried the LifeFit Trainer before in the past and enjoyed it. It’s one of the most impressive workout and clean eating programs that I’ve seen anywhere for free. But, it requires access to a gym. Until now.

Hubster helped me film a video this weekend showing how to do Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer at home. I filmed substitutes for most of the moves that require specific gym equipment. To do the LiveFit Trainer at home, you need little more than a chair, weights, resistance bands and maybe an exercise ball. I did a few moves in the video with ankle weights, but you could even skip those and put a weight plate between your feet instead.

  • Seated calf raise: use ankle weights and/or place a weight plate on top of your knees.
  • Leg curls: wear ankle weights, lie on your stomach and bend legs behind you. Keep upper thighs off floor to make it tougher.
  • Leg extensions: put on ankle weights, use a sturdy chair and do extensions. You may also put a weight plate between your ankles.
  • Adductor: Squeeze an inflatable ball between the thighs.
  • Abductor: wrap tubing around upper thighs and perform an abductor press.
  • Back extensions: perform on ball
  • Reverse Fly: belly on ball, do a reverse fly.
  • Cable Rope Overhead Extension: Stand on one end of a resistance tube and perform a tricep extension with the other end.
  • Leg press: it’s difficult to do this move at home, but you can do heavy squats to get a similar effect. Use heavy weights or resistance tubing to intensify the squats.
  • T-bar row: perform rows with similar arm position using a heavy dumbbell.
  • Incline Press and Decline Crunch: any incline/decline moves can be done on a stepper. Put the risers under one side of the step to create the slant.
  • Standing calf raise: hang heels off any step in your home and lift up onto the balls of your feet.
  • Seated cable rows: I wind my rubber tubing around my treadmill and do them that way. Use thicker brands and choke up on the bands as you get stronger.
  • Triceps Pushdown: anchor the stretch tubing a little higher and perform the move.
  • Lat Pulldown: same position as triceps pushdown, perform a pulldown.
  • Underhand Cable Pulldown: same as lat pulldown, but switch hand position to underhand.
  • Cable Crunch: same anchor point, grab both ends of the tubing in your hands and perform a kneeling crunch.
  • Straight Arm Pulldown: same anchor point, pull arms straight down to your sides.
  • Cable Crossovers: I wound my tubing around both handles of the treadmill and did the crossovers kneeling.
  • Donkey calf raises: my little boy happily obliged climbing onto my back to do these.
  • Roman chair leg lifts: use the corner of your kitchen cupboards to rest your arms on. You can still pull your knees up to target abs.
Not shown:

  • Hanging leg raises and pullups: use your pull-up bar or monkey bars at the park. I don’t have these in the video because I didn’t have the equipment readily available while I was filming.
  • Lying T-bar row: belly on ball, perform a row

I hope this helps some of you tackle this excellent program at home. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Weekly Food and Fitness–And the Easiest Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe Ever

Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workout Schedule
Monday: 30 min FlashFit (workout series designed by me!)
Tuesday: 30 min interval run
Wednesday: 30 min Supreme 90 Day total body
Thursday: 30 min steady run
Friday: 30 min Tracy Anderson workout
Saturday: 35 min interval run
Sunday: Rest

On the menu this week:


  • Breakfast: My favorite Shakeology smoothie, Greek yogurt and egg whites with spinach.
  • Lunch: Pumpkin turkey chili {below} and my own version of peanut butter balls
  • Snack: cottage cheese with chickpeas (you’ve got to try this combo!!!)
  • Dinners: Mini pizzas, turkey/green bean casserole, crockpot chicken, etc.

Here’s a quick recipe for the chili I made for my lunches. It is adapted from several of my favorite chili recipes in one. I took ingredients that I loved and were super easy to assemble (mostly canned–still healthy) and came up with this:



Easiest Pumpkin Turkey Chili
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin
2 lbs lean ground turkey
your favorite chili seasonings (I used garlic powder, chili powder and cumin)

  1. Brown the turkey, drain the oil.
  2. Dump in the rest of the ingredients and warm through.

Yes, that simple!!! I also would’ve added one diced onion if I had remembered to pick one up. The pumpkin may sound weird, but it really makes the chili so rich and creamy without any added cheese or sour cream. I actually went with a 15-oz can of pumpkin rather than the larger can shown in the picture. You don’t really taste the pumpkin taste either, but do you know how brilliant pumpkin is for your health? You should definitely look it up!

I had my entire house clean on Saturday and my entire work week of food prepped by Sunday afternoon. I proudly read and relaxed the rest of Sunday after this was all prepared, for the first time since we moved. I haven’t done that in a loooooooong time. Ever since we’ve moved, the projects and piles have prevented me from even wanting to relax. So, this type of simple food prep really helped get me to the point where I actually felt like I could relax and read.

How about you, what does your week of food and workouts look like?

1 Minute Work Meditations

Hey Guys, I am jumping into the world of YouTube videos right now, and I’d love to have you check it out and tell me what you think!

So, I came up with two one-minute exercises that you can practice at work. They seem really simple and shruggable.

But.

Let me give you the lowdown on the profound, far-reaching benefits of mindfulness meditation:

  1. Addresses muscle imbalances (that you might not even realize you have): I specifically designed these exercises to stretch the chest and work the back and combat that hunched upper crossed syndrome that desk workers usually have. Here’s a really good article if you’d like to read more about this chest/back imbalance.
  2. Oxygenate: deep breathing exercises increase blood oxygen levels. If people with asthma can benefit from deep breathing, then that’s really saying something.
  3. Energize: at the same time as your blood oxygen is rising, your energy is increasing, but it’s a calm energy, not a frenzied one.
  4. Anti-anxiety: I have struggled with anxiety-related issues and one thing that kept coming up for potential treatment options was mindfulness meditation. I thought, huh, what’s that gonna do? Then, I saw it over and over and over, and with my arms crossed, I thought “fine, I’ll try it.” Turns out, it’s a pretty darn effective treatment, especially for OCD. It lowers your threshold for anxiety, provides an alternative to rumination, dampens fight-or-flight mode, and keeps your body in a much more relaxed state on a regular basis. The root of anxiety often is bad thoughts (something’s wrong with me, I’m not good enough, etc) that have too much power, and mindfulness meditation reduces that power. But you don’t have to have an anxiety disorder to benefit as it reduces stress and frenzied thoughts.
  5. Increased work productivity. Seriously, a regular meditation practice can restructure your brain! Don’t believe me? Read this. Benefits listed in the article also include improved attention, reduced stress, more compassion, and on and on. These mind-clearing exercises should be boss-approved.
Do you get the idea? I could go on… Meditation might sound new-agey, but it’s becoming more mainstream, and for good reason. If you’re still not sold, here are 100 Benefits of Meditation. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

There’s no reason you can’t reap some of these benefits in one minute! However, you’ll get a more profound effect if you practice longer, regular meditation.

Here are my brand-new videos. I would appreciate it if you’d ever so kindly check them out, subscribe to my channel and/or leave a comment and let me know what you think. 

Free Fall Fit Club

Because I love fitness so much and I want to help people as much as I can, I am offering a free 21-day fitness club.
It’s so easy to start slacking on your fitness goals when fall rolls around, so it’s the perfect time to re-commit to your health goals. With this 21-day fit club, you’ll have access to workouts, meal plans and ME as your fitness coach.
You read that right! You get the benefit of being coached by an NASM certified personal trainer for FREE, so don’t pass up this opportunity.
The fit club consists of an accountability group on Facebook, led by me. We’ll share slimmed-down comfort food recipes, cheer each other on, participate in challenges and reach toward our goals together. But you have to be committed to participating.

Yes, it’s completely free. You don’t have to buy anything! Just comment or email me if you’d like to join. Share the post if you know anyone who might be interested.

Weekly Food Prep

I’ve been feeling very inspired by food lately. It’s goes in fits and starts. Right now I’m on a roll. It’s nothing fancy, it’s really just more about the motivation and groove to get everything prepared for the week on the weekend.

This week’s work menu looks like this:


Breakfast: 1 carton Greek yogurt and egg whites with mushroom/onion saute
Lunch: Texas caviar
Snack: Cucumber salad and 2 hardboiled eggs.
When it comes to work food, I need FAST. I have a 7yo and a little baby at home. Sundays are spent at church and grocery shopping, then food prep. In between all that are naps and crabby times. If the food isn’t fast, it won’t get made and I may just lose interest. I also tend to want clean food. I find that if I prep for the week, I eat so much cleaner than if I just wing it. This week, I was also able to incorporate some farmer’s market finds as well as a few ingredients from my own backyard garden, which is always a plus.

Here are two quick informal recipes for my Texas caviar and cucumber salad:

Texas Caviar: Mix 1 can diced tomatoes (or dice your own) with 2 cans rinsed black beans, 1 can rinsed sweet corn and 1/2 small chopped onion. Serve with avocado over the top.  Add whatever spices you think sound good. I didn’t add any, but cilantro, chili powder and Italian dressing are some good options. You might also like to eat this inside a whole wheat tortilla.

Cool Cumber Salad: You’ve seen this recipe before, I’m sure. Here’s what I did: Mix 3 medium sliced cucumber with 1 large chopped tomato and 1/2 small chopped onion. Make a dressing with 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp olive oil and mix well with the salad.

I was able to prep all my food in an hour, including cleanup. My little girl was underfoot most of the time and I did a lot of stirring with her on my hip. I had multiple things going at one time. While I was prepping the salads, my onions and mushrooms were sauteing in a pan and my eggs were boiling. So doable, right?

Dinners are one trip to Noodles and Co (which just opened in my town!!!), a cookout, easy Parmesan chicken, a pork roast with veggies, a simple ground turkey/veggie skillet and leftovers.

What kinds of things do you like to prep for the week? Are you interested in seeing more of my weekly menus?