Hello lovely readers!
It has been quite some time since I have been able to actually sit down and come up with something worthwhile to write for this blog... and you can imagine by the title of this one, that I'm still struggling! I've slowly been learning a concept that may seem obvious to most, but for me hasn't sunken in quite yet.
I spent the last few days reading through piles of books lying around the house, talking to friends on the phone, and pitter-pattering on social media websites for entertainment and to find some kind of "answer" to an unknown question lying deep in my subconscious. (I'm getting fancy now...) What I came up with is this: Everyone struggles with something!
You have no idea how profoundly comforting it is to hear that at my ripe ol' age of... twenty-something... To deny this reality only hurts ones self and doesn't allow room for growth as a person. In order to grow, there needs to be a struggle. Think about people who are muscle builders. Muscles need to rip and tear in order for them to grow and become bigger. The same is true with life. The good, bad and confusing situations thrown at us are used as a means for human beings to grow, develop and learn important life-lessons. Even though I do not know the "answer" to my said question, it's perfectly okay to not have an answer for why things happen and to just push through.
How many times does a baby have to fall and hurt itself in order to learn and walk? How many close-call-car-accidents does one person need to endure before he/she learns to slow down and not text and drive? It took Edison over 1,000 tries at the light bulb before he eventually came up with what we all take for granted today. The point is, we need to have struggles in order to grow. Even if the struggle is uncomfortable. Once we overcome a struggle, we grow and eventually look back with different eyes and a clearer picture of who we are and what we are all about (the "answer" to an unknown question).
I was always under the impression, somewhere in the back of my brain, that once I reached my goal weight, I would be done. No more. Finished. Ended. Could check it off my list of things to do. Don't have to think about it anymore. Don't have to work as hard in order to stay fit and healthy... Nothing could be further from the truth for me.
The truth is that I have, and continue to have, struggles within life and shouldn't expect them to ever go away. There is no "end" to them. However, how I choose to handle these struggles as they come, can either hurt, help or do nothing for me; the choice is mine to make!
"Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it..."
- Charles R. Swindoll -
Since the start of August 2013, I have been putting myself under unnecessary pressure and setting unrealistic expectations for myself, which in turn has caused me to use food as a way to cope with these feelings. This struggle has not been ideal, but I am coming out stronger and am learning to let go of the expectations I went in with. They make great goals for the future! But right now, they aren't helping my health and wellness.
I've learned, and now am grasping the idea, that any type of weight loss, weight management, health, fitness and wellness is a constant, ongoing process that will carry through all of my life. There is never an "end" to managing and maintaining my health. Being mindful of my lifestyle of health and wellness will be a sure way to keep off, and maintain, my weight for the remainder of my anticipated very long life I plan on living.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my ongoing "Everyone Struggles" saga. I find this all to be part of being a young, twenty-something in the world today. Although, I'm sure many folks who aren't twenty-something can identify with the things I speak of here. Put into practice just going with the flow of things and not react. I find this to be the best thing that works for me at this moment in time.
Have a safe and happy New Year everyone! Bring on the struggle! Until next time...
I can't live without my iPhone, iPad or MacBook Pro. What makes it worse are the crazy amount of apps that are available. Here are my top 5 free health apps (in no particular order) which I find quite useful and informative.
~ Shop Well ~
Shop Well is an app that takes your nutritional preferences (no sugar, low salt, no preservatives, etc...) and gives you food choices and brands to buy to live a healthy lifestyle. All you do is scan an item with your device, let's say Wheat Thins, and Shop Well gives that specific item a grade based on what you set your nutritional preferences to be. It also gives you the ingredient list, nutritional label and reasons why you should or shouldn't consume a certain product. Shop Well has a team of registered dietitians working to give accurate information to people who use this app. I highly recommend giving it a try!
~ Chem Cuisine ~
Ever wonder what Xanthan Gum is or why High Fructose Corn Syrup is not healthy for you? Well, Chem Cuisine, short for Chemical Cuisine, is a database of hundreds of food additives and chemicals that are found in processed foods throughout the grocery store. You can look up any ingredient found on your nutrition label and Chem Cuisine gives you the types of products it's found in, whether or not you should stay away from it or consume it moderately, and it backs up the information with research and tons of information. Chem Cuisine is run by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) which has a team of dietitians, nutritionists and researchers who study the chemicals in our food supply. This app has a lot of great information and can be useful to know what it is that is going into our bodies.
~ Map My Walk/Run ~
There are two kinds; map my walk and map my run. Both work the same way and I really don't see a difference between the two. Turn this app on and go for a stroll or sprint miles around your neighborhood. This app uses the GPS in your device to track how many miles you run/walk, how long it takes, how many calories you burn, the incline at which you were running/walking and so many other features. Even if you aren't an avid runner or find much time to go for a long walk. Map My Walk/Run can be left on while you're walking around the mall, grocery store or hiking up a mountain. It's basically like a highly sophisticated pedometer, except it's an app! I don't ever workout without using it. Their online site uploads your run or walk from your phone and you can track your food throughout the day as well. If you don't like this app, Nike also makes a running/walking app as well (http://nikeplus.nike.com/plus/products/gps_app/)
~ MyFitnessPal ~
This is an awesome tool for anyone trying to count calories and log their food throughout the day. MyFitnessPal is a free calorie counter, diet and exercise app. Similar to Map My Walk, it allows you to track your diet and monitor your portion sizes. It even tells you how many calories you should be consuming based on your height, weight and age. This app also offers a slew of other apps which can track your walks, test your pulse and much more. Check out the other apps here http://www.myfitnesspal.com/apps.
~ AnyList ~
Last, but not least, there is AnyList. AnyList is basically just that. You can create a shopping list and check off what you already have in your cart as you shop. The cool thing about this app is that you can share your list across other devices. So if you have a family and need to add things to the weekly shopping list, you can just by using the app. Once one person adds something to the list, it is automatically synced to the rest of the family and it really helps to keep everything in order when you go grocery shopping. Not only that, but you can store your favorite recipes and just add your ingredients from the recipe to the list for a quick and easy-to-use app. I never shop at a grocery store without a list!
I hope you find these as enjoyable and useful as I have. If you have any cool interesting health apps to share, let me know! I love to try new things and open my mind to different views and information. Enjoy!
I love PBnJ sandwiches, they are creamy and delicious. Though, depending on how it is made, PBnJ can add some unnecessary, unwanted calories to your meal. I came up with a new version in a wrap which packs a lot of nutrition and doesn't lose the tasty, creamy quality of the real thing.
The first question I ask myself when I am making something like this is, "What can I add to it to make it healthier and nutritious?" If you take the classic PBnJ, it really doesn't offer too much nutritionally. Its bread, peanut butter and jelly. We can spice this up a bit by adding some color. I try to eat a variety of colors everyday. To do this, we can add an apple and banana. Let's take it one step further, and healthier, and add cinnamon. Cinnamon is a spice that boosts your metabolism and can aid in weight loss.
1. Start by measuring out 1-2 tablespoons (1 serving) of peanut butter. I like to use all natural peanut butter that has roasted peanuts and oil in the ingredients. No chemicals. And make sure you're not cheating on your measurements! A tablespoon is a tablespoon, no more or less.
2. Measure out 1 serving of jelly. I use all natural with no sugar added and no HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Concord Grape Jelly is loaded with sugar and HFCS, your body will thank you.
3. Slice up your apple and banana. I like to use a mandolin for the apple because it slices it into stackable slices, the banana will be messy so just use a knife to cut even sized pieces. I enjoy the crisp apples like Macintosh or HoneyCrisp.
4. Construct! Use whole wheat bread or pita/tortillas to make your sandwich or wrap. Make sure to use the bread that doesn't contain HFCS. Start with the peanut butter, then bananas, apple slices, jelly and finally the cinnamon. Consume and enjoy!
This is packed with protein from the peanut butter, potassium from the banana and metabolism boosting spices. You will feel very full from this and it will be delicious.