10% Lower Body Fat in 8 Weeks!

The results are in! If you’ve been following my posts you know that for the last 8 weeks I have been on a clean eating plan in order to lower my body fat by at least 5%. That was my goal. I am not overweight, I weight 113lbs which is ideal for my height and build. But the bod pod test in October showed my muscle mass was low and my body fat was up near the excessive fat range!  That was super not OK for someone who works out as hard as I do. So I changed up my diet for the last couple of months and recently went back for my 2nd test in the bod-pod, a device that accurately measures weight, muscle mass, and fat.

I went from 29% body fat down to 18% in 8 weeks!!!! I was soooooooooooo happy to know that all of my effort and hard work had actually made a difference. And guess what? My weight stayed the EXACT same! As you can see from the picture my body looks completely different but I don’t weigh any less or more than I did. We get so incredibly fixated on the #’s on the scale that we don’t even consider what’s really going on in our bodies and how the weight is distributed, which is way more important than the number on the scales

I wanted my body to be composed of more muscle and less fat. In order to do that I had to keep training with weights and eat more food. Yep, I ate more than ever of good quality carbs, protein, and starches 5 times a day.  I cut out smoothies, juices, sugary fruits, sweets, bread, alcohol, and too much fiber so that my body would utilize what I was feeding it, rather than eliminating it. That part really worked!

When setting goals be sure to include this kind of planning so that your results are lasting, not short term weight loss. Restricting calories or doing excessive cardio may temporarily lower your weight but it will not touch the body fat. You can be “skinny fat” and not have adequate muscle mass. Only by eating good quality real food, including lots of lean protein and clean carbs, and by engaging in a variety of weight bearing, cardio, and flexibility exercises can you have a well-rounded and balanced body.

Here is my 8 week photo- from 29% body fat to 18%. Weight 113 pounds

To find out more information please visit me at www.createwholehealth.com

I would love to help you on your own journey of transformation!

before and after body fat loss

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8 Weeks of Clean Eating

As my 8 weeks of clean-eating is coming to a close I am anxiously awaiting my next bod-pod test. I took my first test October 1st and got an accurate reading of my muscle mass, body weight, and fat percentage, none of it where I wanted it to be for my age and activity level. This led me to following a protein rich meal plan that upped my metabolism, while cutting back on fiber-filled empty calories. In 2 days I will know how my efforts have paid off. In the meantime here are some random thoughts on the last 8 weeks….

1. There’s only so much you can do with chicken breasts. I baked, grilled, marinated, sauteed, and pan-seared. I used herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, and lots of hot sauce. But at the end of the day- chicken is chicken- get used to it and embrace the bird.

grilled chicken breasts

2. Kitchen confidence is a huge side-effect of clean-eating. I feel I could successfully cook for a family of 12 now. As much cooking, preparing, and shopping as I’ve done for just me, I am now confident I could handle any amount of people at any given meal-time.

3. Oatmeal turned into a decadent treat. With no sugar, honey, or sweeteners for the last 8 weeks my morning oats, warm with cinnamon and berries, began to taste like a heavenly dessert. I looked forward to breakfast everyday for the warm, gooey, spicy, naturally sweet goodness of my oatmeal.

healthy breakfast

4. Greek yogurt is a great mayo replacement. I made a killer lean tuna salad with water packed tuna, plain greek yogurt, dill, and lemon juice. The more it marinated, the “creamier” it got and I never once wished for mayo.

5. With so much shopping, I feel very at home in my neighborhood grocery. My car seemed to automatically park where it knew it should, my feet led the way to the greens, the chicken, the tuna, and the eggs every 4 days. The clerks began to recognize my parsnips and quit asking what they were.

6. If you don’t like structure, you will not enjoy clean eating for very long. If you are an “eat on the run” type, or grab whatever whenever the mood hits you, you will have trouble sticking with the timed meals of this plan. I ate almost on the dot every day at the same times and I happened to love the structured routine of this. It took the indecisiveness out of what and when to eat.

7. Progress comes slooooowly. I had to stop checking the mirror every day to see if my abs were any more defined. I realize the body works at it’s own pace no matter how hard I willed things to “change”. Change happens on it’s own whether we are monitoring it or not.

farm fresh eggs

8. Real food is really simple. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, oats, berries. This was my diet for the last 2 months. There was no stevia, mixes, protein powders, syrups, breads, spreads, soups, chips, or bars. It was food made to eat with a fork and a knife as my boyfriend says. No finger foods, no wrappers or containers. Simple. Satisfying. Energizing.

Results and photos coming soon!

Ego: How to Locate, Stimulate, and Eradicate.

There is a lot of talk in yoga and spirituality about the ego, or ego-based thinking, and it can be confusing what it actually means. To me the ego is a lot like yoga, it has different meanings for everyone but there are some general characteristics. You can usually identify ego by the following assumptions:

Ego is based on superficial existence, tangible stuff, and the absence of connection. Ego demands immediate satisfaction and will go to any means to get it.

Ego insists on being right, being in control, and making fast decisions. Ego tells you to do a backbend in yoga class even though you’re tired and your shoulders hurt. Ego whispers to you to buy the car you can’t really afford because it will make you appear richer. Ego loves when you push yourself too far physically, emotionally, or mentally.

Ego will always suggest that you do things for the approval of others, not for yourself. Ego loves competition and will always insist on winning. Ego thrives on drama and will encourage it often.

Ego despises when we surrender to a higher power or the universe to take care of things.

beach sunset

Ego cannot co-exist with: self-confidence, faith, healthy self-esteem, contentment, peace, willingness, and trust. The ego will retreat to a dark corner when faced with any of the above.

Ego says “I am what I buy, what I do, what I wear, what I make, what I look like, and who I am with”

Ego doesn’t like to hang around: humility, generosity, care, concern, surrender, grace, or acceptance.

Ego lives and feeds on: approval, attention, gossip, worry, division, hierarchy, status, labels, titles, adoration, action, noise, distraction, over-consumption, and denial.

Ego loves being underlined and made to feel important.

How to tell you when you are living from your ego: you are always tired, stressed, feel pulled in a million directions, resentful, worried, angry, fearful, jealous, manipulative, scattered, unfocused, cranky, pissed, lonely, disconnected, anxious, tight, tense, miserable, and competitive.

Being authentic and true to yourself means making decisions based on things other than the Ego. Like…your heart….and not worrying what others might think. Loving your life the way it is without trying to change it everyday. Being happy with who you are and not trying to change it everyday.

buddha

Without Ego, life might start to be……. simple, pleasurable, easy, fun, open, exciting, enjoyable, quiet, still, flowing, magical, sweet, delicious, abundant, real, full, surprising, rich, fulfilling, meaningful, deep, quenching, satisfying, graceful, light, airy, and fluffy.

A Slip-Up isn’t a Set-Back

So you’ve found a work-out plan that works for your schedule, you are prepping meals, packing your lunch, drinking more water, and feeling great. Things are going well and you’ve even noticed some changes in your weight and then………you get sidetracked. You eat the extra slice of pizza, the margarita, the dessert. You skip 2 days of exercise and decide to throw in the towel and go back to your old way of life. You feel destined to fail at every attempt of transforming your health.

Does this sound familiar? It should because it happens to everyone. Slip-ups are a part of change, but they are not the end. A slip-up could be ANYTHING that throws you off of your new path and new way of treating your body. It could be triggered by an event, a person, or an emotion. It can be hormonal, rebellious, seemingly innocent, or glaringly self-destructive. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the journey. It can be a valuable lesson.

When we slip-up it’s a good idea to be really aware of the circumstances around it. What happened? Who was involved? Do you always want an extra glass of wine with a certain friend? Or do you always eat heavy foods with your family on certain holidays? Do hormones trigger sadness which lead to bingeing?

Being mindful and aware can be half the battle when it comes to emotional eating and drinking

buddha

Once we are aware we can begin to make newer and better choices for our behavior. We can be in control of ourselves because we know how we will react.

Taking Control:

1. Know yourself. Know when and why you crave certain things. Keeping a food journal can be helpful to track patterns. Note the time, day, and who you were with.

2. Limit time with certain people that encourage you to overindulge. Be polite, but firm with your boundaries. Friends and family may mean well but can certainly sabotage your progress if they are not as interested or committed to their health as you are.

3. Be Prepared. Feeding yourself with healthy, nutritious foods and staying hydrated will help to curb cravings and overeating at events or during stressful “trigger” times.

delvin farms

4. Track your period. Follow your cycle so you know when your hormones are going to kick in and cause cravings or emotional roller-coaster rides so that you can prepare yourself for these. Being caught off guard is the worst thing.

5. Remember your goals. Keep them listed and read them daily. Create a vision board with inspiring images that will remind you of the big picture. And remember, 1 slip-up is not going to make a huge difference in the long run.

vision board

Stay focused, encouraged, and congratulate yourself on ALL your progress!

Clean Eating Cooking Essentials

I believe that in order to stick with something it needs to be simple enough to fit into YOUR lifestyle. If you have to change things around so much that your life does not feel like your own, then chances are you won’t stick with it. Whether it’s cooking, eating, or working out, make sure your plan makes sense for your schedule and life. I believe in keeping things super simple and convenient, especially in the kitchen.

Here a few of my favorite things that I always keep in stock in my kitchen to ensure clean and healthy cooking and eating all week long. 

Fresh Lemons

fresh lemon

1. squeeze the juice on greens, chicken, and fish. I use it before cooking and also right before serving 2. squeeze on fresh avocado or apple slices when storing to keep from turning brown 3. Use a slice in warm water in the morning for a gentle cleansing 4. Drink with water during the day as a natural appetite suppressant and source of vitamin C

Non-Stick Cooking Spray

I love the coconut oil spray! It smells good but doesn’t over power the flavor of food. I use on pans before cooking eggs every morning or spray in a measuring cup before honey or other sticky substance.

Nutritional Yeast

nutritional yeast

It sounds super healthy but I use it more as a flavor enhancer.  It actually contains essential B vitamins that are great for you. It gives greens, broccoli, or cauliflower a slightly tangy, “cheesy” taste. I sprinkle it on the veggies when they are warm and ready to be served. You could also use it on chicken or fish before baking.

Mrs Dash and other Herbs

I love me some Mrs Dash! She has saved my mornings by making my egg whites more exciting! It comes in many flavors and can be used on anything in the place of salt. Get comfortable trying new herbs and spices in your foods, you may never go back to salt.

Herbal Tea

herbal tea

I like to keep a good variety of flavors to help with cravings and for when I need to relax. I sometimes crave sweets really bad after a meal and I will use a nice herbal tea blend to help soothe that need. It’s also a good replacement for that nightly glass of wine.

A Variety of Oils

I use extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil for cooking. Each one has a slightly different flavor so it helps keep the daily chicken and veggies exciting.

Comfortable, Sturdy Cookware and Knives

I say “comfortable” because your cookware should feel great to YOU. It doesn’t matter if it’s from Target or Williams Sonoma or Goodwill. I use knives from a garage sale years ago and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Find what feels good in your hands and is easy to clean and store. Shopping for cookware can be intimidating so use your intuition, don’t buy something you don’t know how to use or clean.

I have 3 more weeks on my meal plan before getting tested again in the bod-pod. Goal is for my body fat to lower by 5% and muscle mass to increase from 88 to the high 90’s. Here is week 5 photo update

week 5 clean eating progress photo