Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Is It In Your Perception?

Have you ever stepped back and thought about what your perception is when your spouse, kids, a coworker or a friend says something? Have you ever thought about, what you choose to perceive they said, could be impacting the relationship you have with them? Meaning, you have a role to play in the relationship, how you choose to take what they say can build or destroy that relationship. Maybe your perception, how you have chosen to interrupt what they said, isn't accurate? Maybe you bring in "Automatic Negative Responses, ANTs" from Amanda Taylor of Overflowing Wife, you think negatively about them or yourself and that is how you are looking at the situation and responding, negatively. This will/can destroy a relationship. Our perceptions are our realities, and these perceptions may be accurate or not. The more of what we choose to see, good or bad, is what we will see in the other person.

Here is an example:
A husband tells his wife he is going to pay a bill once she finds out some details from a third party.
Wife does her part, finding out info and lets hubby know what said info is.
He asks if she paid the bill.
She tells him no, the plan was for him to pay it and that is what she is still planning on.

Here are two different perspectives from this situation, there are many. We will deal with two and I think it will help the general idea of perceptions and how they impact our lives and relationships.

Negative Responses:
The husband choose to become angry, thinking she is upset and going down the same road of anger and bitterness and her response proves it.
This would be a negative response, ANT. How do you know she is angry and upset? Did you ask? If she says yes, OK, but what if she says no. Will you believe her or continue down your perception she is angry and bitter and her response proves it?
The wife could be bitter for him questioning, she did not believe he would do what he said and how dare he ask, questioning her trust in him. Thus, her response would be an ANT.
Assuming there  was no asking on either side what did you really mean, you could say, well she/he is always angry, doesn't trust, so that is just how it is. Is this true or the perception you have chosen to have of the other person? Maybe she was angry before, has realized this and is trying to be a better person, but you do not want to see it. You continue to only see negative and bad. What you continue to think and choose to see is what you will see, that is how perceptions work, they are your choose. Only wanting to see negative and bad in your spouse, or someone else, brings death to the relationship, chaos, confusion, turns you against one another and you wonder why things are failing?

A positive perception:
The wife sees the question husband asked as double checking, no harm. She is reassuring him in her trust in him, he said he would do pay the bill and she is trusting and believing he will do it.
The husband sees her response and perceives, my wife trusts me and is reassuring me in her trust, I will do what I told her I would do. She respects me.
The perceptions of this couple are to see good in each other, build one another up, bring life, love, trust, respect to each other. This builds their marriage and positive perceptions. In the future, when something happens, their automatic response, will be positive instead of negative, even if it is something big. Their first response will be to see good.

How does this relate to health? When we are positive, there are positive feed back loops that happen in the body, good hormones being released that positively impact the brain, your health and relationships. We see the world as being safe, trust worthy. We find true joy and happiness. We are healthier in every aspect of our lives.
When we are negative, there is a feed back loop happening in the body, but this one is with negative hormones, causing more stress and anxiety, bad health. The longer we live here, the worse our lives, relationships and health become.

The beautiful, amazing thing about this, it is your choose. You choose. What do you want to see in others? How will you respond? You can choose to begin seeing the good, watch your relationships grow and blossom. It will be difficult at first, change is never easy and negative behavior patterns are very difficult to change, you need something like 20 positives for every one negative. You CAN do it. If you are the one trying and the other person is not, it will be hard. In time, with your positive responses and building up that person, or someone explaining to them about perceptions, they will begin to see good in you. The more positive, life giving you are, seeing the best in them, the harder it will be for them to see negative. Doesn't mean it wont happen. We cannot change some's perception, all we can do is be the best we can be and hope they will see the change, the good in us, but we cannot make them change. Give them every reason to see good.

Saving the world one stick of butter, and positive perception, at a time.
God bless,

Friday, September 30, 2016

Nourishment, Nourishment, Nourishment

Yummy, nourishing foods

I am finished talking about weight lose. I am tired of everything being focused on how to lose weight, eat low fat, low carb, dead junk, pseudo food, count calories, count macros, it is all about calories in vs calories out, work out harder, more often, restrict, malnourish. It is crazy. It is nonsense.

You follow some crazy diet, that is low fat, garbage, dead, nutrient deficient, pseudo "food" and yeah, you lost weight, maybe. But did you ever stop to think about what that is doing to your over all health? Have you ever thought, what nutritional value am I taking away from my body by what I put in my mouth? All this dieting, diet foods, where is my nutrition coming from?  These items are leading you down a path of malnoursishment. After so long of not being given the vitamins and minerals your body needs, you begin to crave food, your body is seeking and looking for nourishment. It wants to be healthy, your body wants you to live and thrive. Your brain will begin sending signals to your stomach that you are hungry, it believes you are starving because of the lack of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in your food, the building blocks of you . You binge eat, then loath yourself, and do it all over again. In the end, you put the weight back on and then some, your body just went through a period of starvation and it has to be ready for the next famine. Was it really worth it?

When you only focus on losing weight, and eat for that, low fat, sugar free, high carb, diet foods, you begin to malnourish the the body with a lack of vitamins and minerals. These so called weight lose foods, create even greater lose of vitamins and minerals due to digestion. The body needs vitamins and minerals to digest, uptake and use the food we eat. If the food you are eating dose not contain these important vitamins and minerals, your brain will constantly tell you feed me. You will be hungry, even if you just ate a large meal! If you still don't have the nutrients you need, your body has to take from your stores, bones and organs. Every time this happens, your stores are depleted further and further. What happens if you get sick, have an injury? Where are you stores? At a certain point, your body's stores are so low, disease begins taking hold.

For example:
Our fat soluble vitamins, A,D,E,and K are very important to our health and they are found in fat, animal fat, with a few exceptions, these are generally due to fermentation. We need the proper balance of Vitamins A and D to be able to absorb the calcium from our food, this is why we drink whole milk and not fat free or low fat. Our bone health is tied directly to these two vitamins. Without enough of them, or in the wrong ratios, our bones will suffer, which puts you at great risks for fractures and other bone diseases. Take it from someone who has broken a few bones, you do NOT want to break a bone. Not only do our bones require these important vitamins, our entire body does to function properly. Don't miss out on them due to some weight lose diet that tells you not to eat whole foods or cut way down on your fat intake. 

Instead, it is time we begin focusing on nourishing the body instead of calorie counting, focusing only on weight, complicated diets, setting ourselves up for failure, trying the next greatest diet. Truthfully, how many more fad diets to you want to try? How many more failed attempts do you want or short term success? Are you tired of being sick and tired? Doing a diet and then feeling so exhausted and sick, you can't manage it, only to gain all the weight back and then some? It is time for the madness to stop. The only way you are going to find health, in all aspects of health, is by nourishing the body with real, whole food.

Think of it this way, if you were homesteading, living off the grid, no grocery stores near by, no convinces, what would you be eating? It would not be low fat milk, fat free foods, processed junk food "disguised as health food", egg whites, margin, processed oils, or only chicken breast. No, you would be eating full fat dairy, the whole animal, all of the healthy fats, veggies and fruit you could grow and store, fermented foods, you would begin nourishing the body how it was intended to be nourished and guess what, you would not even think about it. Begin imitating this idea, real, whole, nutrient dense food lifestyle.

We need to begin focusing on nourishing our bodies. Giving our bodies the nourishment they need instead of malnourishing them.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Endless Cycle of Self Loathing

Recent hike with Otto, 4 years later

This idea of hating our bodies and selves, beating ourselves up over food, has to stop.

What good has spending so much time hating yourself done? None. It has not helped you. In fact it has harmed you. The negative impact on your health has been far reaching. It has cost you precious time in your life. Missing out on important life events because you are so self conscious about your body and hating it, that you are paralyzed to live. What have you missed out on with your spouse, your kids, friends your own life? What has this gained you? Why do you continue doing it?

From a physiological perspective there is a negative feed back loop that happens when we are negative to ourselves. Our bodies realize this hatred as stress, and stress is stress. The same response happens to any type of stress, living back when we were hunting and gathering, starving, stress from work, stress from a crappy marriage, kids, sickness, stress from an injury, over training, whatever the stress is, the body deals with it the same. We release negative hormones, such as cortisol, and these hormones can cause weight gain, mood swings, disrupt all our other hormones, sleep disturbances, which causes many issues in of and of itself, among so many other negative impacts to the body. Self hatred, and dislike of ourselves causes even more stress due to the mental, emotional impact of this negativity. Your body does not like this. It causes it to not thrive. Every single one of your trillion cells is impacted with this negativity, disrupting the expression of your genes to hormones the cells produce, this is bad stuff. You are not doing your body any good.

How often do you eat something and then beat yourself up? Go on and on about how horrible you are? You beet yourself up for eating a certain food, it causes great stress in the body and something that could have been nothing, becomes something that causes negative stress, negative impact on the body and know you are gaining weight, allowing food to control your life, eating more because who cares. Hating yourself over food, destroying your body all over food, why? Allowing this thing to control your life, control how you feel about yourself based on what you ate. Maybe it was not the best choice, maybe it was a healthy food, but someone else told you it was not, or you decided on your own this food was "not healthy" and you beat yourself up because you ate it. You are not doing yourself any favors, the opposite truly.

One of the best things I have done around food, stopped worrying and began enjoying. I stopped beating myself up about what I was eating, if I had a cheat meal, that I was hungry so I ate. I stopped thinking, oh no, what is this going to do to me, will I gain weight, maybe I need to go exercise it off, I am not good enough, why did I eat it. I Just Stopped. I began enjoying my food. I know most of the time, I am nourishing my body with whole nutrient dense foods. I stopped going by someone else's good food, bad food list, I listen to my body and what my body says it needs. When I have a cheat meal, no stress. I enjoy every single bite. Then I go on. It has been so freeing and liberating to do this. My body has responded positively as well. I feel better, more satisfied and less stressed. It really is, just food. Am I perfect, no. this is something I continue to work on, I started several years ago. It is a journey, a work in progress. But, every time I catch myself beating myself up over food, I stop myself. I remind myself it is food to nourish my body, or maybe my soul. I stopped beating myself up, and enjoy the food. Every time I do this, it becomes easier and easier. I have begun to enjoy the social aspect of food, friends, family, my childhood, my genetics, the simple joy and pleasure of eating. In the end, it is not just about food, restriction, binging, hating myself, secretism, it is about joy, the people I surround myself with, the love, nourishing my body and how good it feels, just being. I don't need to starve  myself, follow some strict diet, someone else's right or wrong, panic because I overindulged once in awhile, had a cheat meal, am I nourishing my body 95% of the time, yes. even 80% of the time, the rest shouldn't matter. More importunately, why am I beating myself up for eating whole, nutrient dense, real food? 

The next best thing I have done, begun to enjoy my body. I really started working on this demon of mine by doing those bikini competitions, don't do one just for this reason. I wanted to stop hating myself, hating my body, thinking I wasn't good enough and picking out "all my imperfections". My Hubby would ask if I was going to begin loving myself, accepting my body if random judges, I was paying to judge me and compare me to other people, was going to finally make me happy? Why was I basing my body acceptance on what random people thought of me? The next set of judges might feel differently, and then what? I decided this was not going to be me any longer. I needed to start loving me for me. I needed to start loving my body for all the amazing things it has done and continues to do. Yes, sometimes I look back at those photoes and wish I had the definitions in my abs, the leanness, but the sacrifices are too great. I could never have hit my goal of front squating 135 lbs three times in a row, let a lone doing it for a set of five, or a one rep max of 155, how about squat cleaning 105 lbs with one arm, I could not have done it being that lean. I had nothing. My body was weak and struggled to get through a workout, let a lone live a healthy life. I felt like crap. Caring more weight, I feel grounded, stable, have energy, busting through workouts, lifting heavy, I feel so much, mentally, emotionally and physically. Nothing can trump that. These victories over hating my body have come slowly and little ah ha moments at a time, but they are so worth it. I am happier with my body know than when I stepped on stage for my first competition, at my leanest. 

One of the most recent ones was while on vacation at the beach with my now ex-husband. I was in the middle of our plank challenge and I was having him take pictures for me to post of me planking. After seeing some of them one day, I was upset with him because he did not tell me I had some pudge on my side on full display. I received "the look." I finally looked at him and said, I need to just stop don't it? I need to stop hating my body and never thinking it is good enough. I need to be comfortable in the skin I am in, it is the only one I have. I need to enjoy my body. 

Said pudge pic

I did this. I listened to my own advice and enjoyed my time on the beach. I stopped caring what anyone else might think of my body or how I looked, what was right, what wasn't and played with confidence. I went out and played in the ocean. 

We played beach games. Walked the beach. I planked and posted photos. Went out to eat, went wine tasting, laughed and enjoyed my one life. It was the best. I do not think I have ever felt more free. I do try and replicate that feeling of freedom, not hating my body, being self conscious and aware but living my life to the fullest.

Fun planking after my decision to stop hating my body

Am I perfect? No
Do I still struggle? All the time. This is a journey. I have to remind myself most days to just live, enjoy this one life I have and enjoy my amazing body, to stop hating it, self loathing it, picking it apart, because it is gaining me nothing and losing me everything. It is a fight worth fighting. 

Some of the fun My Body has allowed me to have:

Amazing, crazy hikes
Banff Canada, trail to the glaciers above Lake Louise

Sedona, Az

Grand Teton National Park, Paint Brush Divide trail, El. 10,700 ft.

Lewis Peak Trail,Utah

Fun, crazy play time in the gym, figuring it out

Yes, that is 155lbs and I front squated it

With a look back, I am not really sure how or why I can hate my body? It has done some amazing, incredible things. Enough is enough.

It is time for you to just stop. Just stop hating yourself. Just stop thinking you are never good enough. Just stop thinking you need to do crazy diets, take dangerous supplements, starve yourself, malnourish yourself, all to look like someone else. Stop these self destructive behaviors. Just stop.

When you begin thinking negatively about yourself, stop. What is good about you? What is positive?
When you begin beating yourself up for eating some food, stop the negative roller coaster. Own and accept you are eating it. Ask yourself why this food brings you comfort? Why do you think it is a bad food that you need to destroy yourself over? Stop beating yourself up over food.
Yes, nourish your body with whole, nutrient dense, rich foods, 80% of the time. Be happy and satisfied with this. Love and enjoy your cheat meals!!! Know these are good for you, body and soul.

Stop thinking you can out exercise your food choices, you cannot. This is not how the body works, remember my article about our bodies NOT being a math problem? Stop thinking you need to exercise every day or else? You don't need to over train, this will cause more destruction to your body than good. You will begin to make your body think it is a time of starvation and famine and it will hold onto everything you eat.
Yes, exercise is good. Our bodies need physical activity, but Stop beating yourself up with workouts, thinking this is what you have to do to have the body you want. Exercise and move your body because you love it, because it is fun and you enjoy what you are doing.

Any and all of your negative and bad habits, thoughts and actions towards yourself need to stop. When you catch yourself doing any of your negative behaviors, stop. Do not beat yourself up for them, we are working on stopping the beating, not beating for some other reason. Accept that you have done this, figure out what the real struggle is. Why are you beating yourself up in this manner? Decide on some positive mantras you will say to yourself instead of the negative bs. Make a commitment to yourself to stop. Move forward. Do this every time you catch yourself being negative towards yourself. In a short time, you will begin to see positive changes in your life, in yourself, how you react towards your body and you will begin to love yourself.
There are no excuses, no but Jenn.... Stop. The only way you are going to beat this monster is to stop.
What do you need to Just Stop? Let me know with the hash tag: #juststop. 

I have decided to stop hating my body. Will you join me?

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

If you need support working through your struggles with your body image or food struggles, please reach out to me. I would love to help you work through these and help you find balance in your eating, exercise and life. Let me know how I can help. You do not need to walk this journey alone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It Is All A Simple Math Problem

Wouldn't it be nice if the body worked like a math problem!?

It is all simple math:
One pound of fat equals 3500 calories
To lose this one pound you need to eliminate 3500 calories
Do this over a period of one week by decreasing your caloric intake by 500 calories daily
After one week, you should have lost one pound

But does this work? Is it really a simple math equation? Ask yourself, has it worked for you? Have you dieted and dieted, counting calories, starving yourself and yet not lose weight? That is because the body is not a simple math equation. It is very complex, complicated and there are many, many factors involved in losing weight.

Let's talk about some of these.
Calories in vs calories out and why this doesn't work:
Weight lose is not as much about eating less and starving the body. Weight lose comes down to hormone control and nourishing the body. It is about controlling your master hormone, insulin. When insulin levels are high, you will store fat because insulin signals the cells to store fat, one of it's many rolls in the body. If you are eating a high carb diet, anything over 150 grams of carbs, you are consuming what the body sees as sugar and therefor must produce insulin to take care of this sugar. If the sugar was to stay in the blood stream, it would cause great damage to the body. This mass production of insulin takes the sugar out of the blood stream and also triggers the body to store and create fat.
We tend to think of weight lose as needing to deprive the body and cut out foods that contain fat and starve the body by decreasing food intake. This never works. When we under consume our requirements for calories and nourishment, we signal to the body a time of great famine, just as if we lived before modern times with an abundance of food. Our cells do not know or understand we are only trying to lose weight. This self made "famine" triggers the body to hold onto calories and the little you are eating, it needs to keep you alive. When this is coupled with over exercising, we create and even greater caloric deficit, which makes the problem even worse. So, under eating and over exercising is not the answer, this defeats your goal of weight lose and puts the body at great risk of malnourishment.

Over exercising doesn't work either. You cannot out exercise what you ate. Our hormones do not work that way, weight lose doesn't work that way. When you are exercising too much, you over stress the body, creating a greater need for more nutrition, not less. The body does not want to take that energy need, calories, from it's fat stores. The body needs those stores due to the "famine" you continue to create by not eating enough and over exhorting yourself. If you do not eat enough, you create even more stress and the body hangs onto what little you give it. Even worse, the body will take from your muscles and nutrient stores to give you the nourishment you need before digging into fat stores. It is all about survival, your body wants you to live and it is programmed to do that. Exercising creates more nutrients requirements.

Better options:
We always need to think of nourishing the body first, remember the famine scenario? Eating whole foods, full of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients the body needs to function and thrive will do this. By giving the cells and genes this nourishment, our genetics, cells and therefore bodies will begin to thrive optimally. Creating an amazing body.

Healthy fats nourish the body. Fats are not only a great source of energy, long, stable energy, but they are also some of the most nutrient dense foods we can consume. We find more vitamins and minerals in fat than we do in most other foods. All of our fat soluble vitamins, A,D,E, and K are needed by the body to function properly. Without fat or very low fat diets, below 30% of calories, we do not get these all important nutrients, along with SO many more healthy fat provides. In fact, fat is needed by the body to uptake the nutrients found in veggies and fruits which are important for having a nourished body. Do not be afraid of fat and nourishing the body.

Fat has very little impact on insulin levels as well. When we keep insulin levels stable, not only are we triggering our bodies to burn fat for fuel, think about the stored body fat, we will have more stable energy levels. You will also sleep better, have better brain function, less brain fog, achy joints become a thing of the past, and other nagging health issues begin to go away. Fat is your friend.

The solution, eat more healthy fats and less carbs, not no carb, just less.
With that in mind, foods to focus on:
butter, of course,
full fat dairy products
whole eggs
fattier cuts of meat
organ meats
coconut oil
coconut milk and cream
olive oil

Decrease foods that will spike your insulin levels:
processed foods
sugary drinks
do not rely on grains, oats, rice as the base of your diet, some can be very healthy, based on your body and genetics
do not over consume heavy carb veggies, potatoes and squashes, eat what you need, after your fat and protein for your energy and body needs

Yes, this is a simple version of a healthier lifestyle, but really, it does not need to be complicated. Focus on nourishing the body first. Love your body, Give it what it needs to thrive. Do not over exercise. Sleep. Live to your fullest. One day, you might wake up and realize, you have an amazing body!

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, July 18, 2016

Next Up, Side Plank

Let's add some variation to our planking, because there is more to planking than the basic plank!
The pics above are a side plank. These place more emphasis on the obliques, the muscles on your sides. You have external and internal oblique muscles, planks will target both, always a good thing. These muscles help keep your core stable, protecting your spine. They also help with the twisting, flexing and bending of the torso.

The top one, is the hardest version. Legs straight, squeeze your glutes, shoulder and chest and most importantly, your abs, especially your obliques. The second picture is with the knees on the ground, still difficult and will work your abs and obliques, this is a good place to begin. Remember, no excuses for not participating in this challenge! Pick one and give it a go.

You can do just these side planks or combine them with the basics plank, as we did last week.
Hold on each side for equal times, keep symmetry.
You can perform them on your elbow, as I am doing, or on your hand.
You can also put your other hand on your hip, straight up or whatever you like.
You can even put your top leg up in the air, not resting it on your other leg, this will make it even harder.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, July 11, 2016

Planking Basics

Always more fun to plank with friends! 

Today begins our plank challenge! Are you ready to work on those abs? Let's begin.

Basics for planks:
For the basic plank: there are several different options to fit your needs. You can do them on your elbows or your hands, which tends to be easier, unless you have a bad wrist. You can do them on your toes or knees. This option will be the best for beginners, no excuses for not planking during this challenge. 
Keep everything in line from your head to your toes. No need to be looking around. 
Engage your core, abs, by pushing down on your abs, like you are pooping, which will push your abs slightly out. Think about trying to pull your lower ribs to your hips No need to fret though, this is how to properly engage your core to truly work those muscles, which in the end will give you the strong, flat abs you are seeking. 
Tighten your glutes and legs.
Engage your lats, muscles along the outside of your back, by trying to pull your elbows, or wrists if on your hands, to your hips. Do not actually move your arms though. Think about someone trying to pull on your arms forward, toward your head, and you need to resist by pulling back on their hands. This will include more muscles and help to engage your core better. 
Breath normally. Do not hold your breath, you will not be able to do that for long. 

To begin the challenge, pick which basic plank you are going to do, then hold your plank for as long as possible. What is most important is your form, holding the proper form to engage the muscles and build those muscles, is what is most important, not how long you can hold the plank. If you break your form, you are potentially risking injury. Not maybe while planking, potentially, but in the future while living. Remember, your core is what protects your lumbar, lower back, and keeps you healthy for the long term. Your form is more important than time. While holding the proper form, and given time building the muscles, you will increase your time and strength. Both of these are part of what this challenge is about, building the muscle to keep you healthy for life and having the stamina to properly hold those muscles.

See how long you can properly hold a plank.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

30 Day Summer Plank Challenge

I hope you had a great time squating for our squat challenge! Did you notice any strength gains during those 30 days or any health benefits?

Everyone today is looking for those "six pack abs". To get those, just like glutes, you have to work and eat for them. To help achieve those abs, enter the plank challenge. Planks are a fantastic core exercise, meaning you work all the muscles in and around the your abs. Planks also work the muscles for some of their main purposes of the core muscles, stopping movement, stabilizing the body, protecting the back. Planks also include work on the arms, shoulders, hamstrings and those glutes.

Planks are much safer than traditional sit ups and even crunches. Sit up cause great strain on the back, spine and neck. Even the military is beginning to see the err in their way and is taking out sit ups from basic training, due to the risk of injury to the lower back. Good time to take them out of your work out regime. Sit ups mainly work the the hip flexors, the part of your hip that creases when you lift your knee up, more than the core. This has an added risk of injury. The stronger and/or tighter your hip flexors, the greater the risk of back injury. because these muscles go from the thigh to the lumbar spine, lower back. This is due to how the muscles attach and pull on the spine, not a good thing. Attached below are two articles that further explain the risks of sit ups, if you want further information.
Daily Mail
ISSA article

To help you get going on your planking and build those core muscles, let's plank for 30 days!
30 days of planking
July 11th through August 9th
Begin by doing a plank for as long as possible
Each week add an extra 30 seconds
Try different types of planks, there are so many different variations.

Each week look for tips, tricks and variations on how to better perform planks to get the most of them.
See you on Monday!

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Squat Challenge for a Better Booty

We all want a better booty. There is only one way to get that better booty, lost of hard work, good nutrition, getting off your butt and moving, and specific exercises to target the glutes. One of those exercises is squats. With summer around the corner, how about a squat challenge to begin building the booty?!

What will this entail:
30 Days of 50 Squats a day
This is 50 extra squats a day, if you already exercise.
You can do any type of squats you would like, try different variations, standard squats, goblet, jumping squats, wide stance, narrow stance, single leg, squat jumps up stairs. They can be body weight, weighted, a combination, use this time to challenge yourself.

Is a 30 day squat challenge going to give you that summer booty, body you are wanting? No. Be honest with yourself. But, it can set you up to begin achieving that healthy body you are wanting. To really build glutes and a healthy body, it takes months and years of dedication, hard work and spot on nutrition. We need a starting point. We need a push to take things to the next level.

What will doing 30 days of squats do for you:
Begin building your posterior chain, your back side, back, glutes, ham strings. This helps to keep you up right and will help improve your over all health.
Get you up off your butte. This is very important if you want to build your glutes, sitting for so long is disengaging your glutes and making them weak.
Already an exerciser, great! This will give you some extra work. If not, this can be the push you need to find your exercise passion.

Have not squatted or just starting out, no problem. You can do your squats to a chair or other object until you gain the strength and stability to squat on your own. We have to start somewhere. Do not allow this to be the reason you do not join this challenge. You will never get where you want until you take the plunge and go for it!

Think 50 is too many? It is a large number, but you do not have to do all 50 at once. Really, I would prefer you break them up into sets and do sets throughout the day. Remember the moving more? Sets of 5, no problem. Sets of 10, awesome. Even if you have to start with three sets of five, which would give you 15 squats a day, this is an awesome place to start. You can make it your goal to finish all 50 squats by the end of the challenge, at least once.

We will begin May 23rd through June 21st.
No charge to join.
Post your videos and photos on social media using the #30daysummerglutes

Lets build those booties!
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

3 Powerful Changes to Make for Your Health

Don't fear change. 
If you want anything to be different in your life, you have to change.

So many of us want to find health, but just do not know where to begin. There are many different theories and ideas, some very complicated and strict others are a little crazy. But hey, it is all in the name of weight lose, unfortunately some will do anything to lose weight. If you do not know where to begin to find your health, change your life, here are three powerful places to start. These three changes could be just what you need to get you on the right path and push you forward in your health journey.

Three changes to make:
1. Cut sugar
2. Eliminate processed oils, vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils
3. Work on forgiveness, emotional healing

Reasons to eliminate sugar:
Causes heart disease
Sugar is linked to cancer, causing it and feeds cancer tumors.
Increases inflammation in the body
Causes insulin spikes, which leads to weight gain and disease
Leads to diabetes
The World Health Organization is recommending you eat no more than six teaspoons a day due to the harm of sugar.
Do we really need any more reasons to eliminate sugar?
Are there sugars that can be healthy? Yes, natural sugar from fruits, veggies, honey, real maple syrup, molasses, and natural sugars from real food. Even though these can be healthier options for sugar, it does not mean you can go hog wild eating them. It is still sugar and can cause insulin spikes and all the other troubles of sugar. These are just better options, some with great health benefits like honey and fruit. What you want to eliminate is the processed food sugars, sugary drinks, artificial sugars and sweeteners. Limit the others.

Why to give up processed vegetable oils:
Can leads to heart disease
Can causes inflammation, which is a part of all disease, the more you can eliminate inflammation, the healthier the body will be.
Can leads to cancer
Cause free radical damage
Can lead to liver and immune dysfunction and skin aging
Damages the DNA/RNA in cells
Can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries
These are all reasons enough for me to avoid them.
This might be an odd one, but forgiving, letting go, moving forward, could possibly be one of the best things you do for your health. We are connected beings. Not taking care of your whole person will have a dramatic impact on your body. Not finding the health you are looking for, forgiveness might be what you are needing. You could be eating a perfect diet, exercising right for you, but your health is still failing, working on your emotional health, forgiving or dealing with past struggles might just be what you need to find your health.

These are simple changes, which tend to be the hardest to make, but so worth it in the end. Take the plunge and begin with one of them.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Making the Change

So appropriate from Dr. Laura 

Now that you have identified the one change you are going to begin making. what are one to three practical steps you can begin using to implement this change?

Choosing one thing to change in your diet is only the first step. You then need to actually make this change. For that, you need a game plan. Just saying, I need to make a change, does not count, those are only words. You need actionable steps to help you make the change and stick to your plan.

So, let's say your goal is to cut down on your sugar intake.
Three steps you can take:

  1. Purge your pantry of sugary foods. Get them out! If it is not in your house, you cannot eat it. Restock with healthy foods, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, dried fruit, jerky.
  2. When you stop for gas, do not go in and buy the sugary drinks and foods. Have some water, tea, coffee and snacks from above in your car with you. Prepare. Set yourself up for success.
  3. Add in sweet veggies, root vegetables, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, some in season fruit and honey along with other natural sweeteners. 
There you go, three steps to take to help eliminate sugar from your diet. 
What three steps are you going to implement to help you reach your nutrition goal?

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, March 28, 2016

One Change for Health

Far to often I hear and see people thinking they need to change everything in their diet at once, which many gurus and nutrition expert taut this, change it all at once or there is no reason to make any changes. All or nothing? I do not see it this way. For most of us, this is not realistic and we do not make any changes. We continue down the same path of ill health and bad nutrition, because it won't make any difference. I am not changing everything. 

Let's change this way of thinking. One small change can make an enormous impact on your health. This change can also give you the motivation, the encouragement to make more changes. You were successful, so you have edge to move forward with one more change. Feeling healthier will give you the motivation to keep making changes and you have the energy to do.

What is one small change you can begin making today, for better health and nutrition? 
It does not need to be over whelming, large or mostly un-realistic. Keep it simple. Choose something you can do, make that change. Then, add one more when you are ready. Before you know it, you will have changed your eating habits, found your health and did it all without overwhelming yourself.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How to Fuel Your Workout

Have you ever stepped back and really thought about how to fuel your workouts? The importance of preparing the body with the proper food to give you the energy you need to train at your peak?
Here are some basics tips to get you started down the right path:

  • Eat whole, nutrient, dense rich foods, if it grew on a plant, breathed, walked, swam, flew, grew, something you could eat if you did not have a grocery store, that is likely to be real food.
  • Retrain the body to burn fat for fuel, having fat as your main energy source. This will entail eating high levels of fat and moderate carb and protein. This will give you a long lasting clean burning energy source.
  • Eat enough carbs to have the energy your body needs to perform. Carbs are your friend with hard training. The key is to have enough, but not so much that you begin storing the excess as fat. Signs you need more carbs: tired, not sleeping well, not having the energy you need to workout, brain fog, among others. Good carb sources, any type of potatoes, sweet, finger ling, new potatoes, white rice, winter squash, quinoa, figs.
  • Consume enough protein to build and maintain muscle and recover, but not be in excesses that it turns to fat and is stored. Go somewhere between 0.5 to 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass. 
  • Have your electrolyte stores up before your workout. You need all those minerals for your nerves and muscles to be able to fire properly for your workout. Then when you deplete them during training, you are not as far gone in your electrolytes stores. This will help with recovery. Things like sprinkling sea salt into your water, coconut water, bone broths, pickle juice, these are all great things to drink before, during and after a workout. 
  • Recovery begins before the workout even starts and preparing for the next workout begins with recovery. They are one in the same.
  • Make sure you are sleeping. Sleep! Strive for 7-10 hours most nights. During sleep, the body, recovers, builds, repairs, and so many more important things. Sleep is your friend.
Begin implementing a few of these at a time, see what works best for your body, what helps you train and feel your best. Everyone is a little different in the amounts of what they need. 
Go forth and train hard.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, January 18, 2016

What does a tortoise have to do with digestion?

It is all about slowing down baby. Not that tortoises are slow..... 
If you are looking for better digestion and assimilation of your food, try these simple tricks.

Take deep breaths before eating. This will help calm the mind and body, calming the nervous system.
Slow down when you eat, it is not a race. After every bite, put your utensil down.
Prepare yourself for what you are doing, eating. Not playing on your phone. Not watching TV.
Taste your food. What spices and seasonings are in it? What is the texture? What is the smell?
Chew your food. Digestion begins in your mouth, with you salvating when you smell food and think about food. Chewing and incorporating the salvia will help your food to begin digestion. By thoroughly chewing your food, it is broken down so it is easier for your stomach and gut to break it down all the way for full digestion and then absorption.
When you incorporate all of your senses, you have better digestion.
Enjoy your food! If you do not enjoy what you are eating, what is the point? There are so many healthy, nourishing foods available to us today and ways of preparing this food, there is not much reason to eat something you do not like. Find what you like and enjoy. Food is meant to be enjoyed, something pleasurable.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,