Category Archives: Hormones

Insulin Resistance & Ketosis…Part One

Well. As promised…I’ve finally collected some of my thoughts on this process I’ve been going through. I hope it answers some of your questions. Chances are it will raise some new ones for some of you, which I hope to be able to answer. Here goes nothing. ūüėȬ†muncher_cruncher

I’ve taken my time writing this post for a variety of reasons. One, I wanted to be sure I had a firm grasp on the process that I’ve been going through for the past 9 weeks. Two, I wanted to understand the science behind it. I hate fad diets. In fact, I actually HATE the word, “diet.” I believe in lifestyle changes; in sustainability. If a crazy attempt at weight loss isn’t sustainable. I won’t endorse it. End of story. Lastly, I wanted to wait and see how my body responded to this process before I gave you the full rundown. I can tell you honestly, I feel like this lifestyle might be the answer to many problems, weight loss issues, & overall health concerns for a lot of you. I’m still in the thick of it, no question, but I want to share at least this first part of my journey.

Let’s fast forward to about ten weeks ago. I made an appointment to see my doctor, which is unusual in and of itself. I rarely go to the doctor. I have been lucky to stay healthy enough that I haven’t had to go in often. However, I was about at my tipping point. Having been in the health and fitness field¬†for over ten years, I feel like I’ve been forced to get to know my body very well. It has always been stubborn. I’ve never been one of those people who could eat whatever they wanted, & “get away with it.” While some might not believe it, I’m actually naturally drawn to healthy foods. I have always really loved fruits and vegetables. I was the weird kid that asked my mom if I could bring cut up veggies, & salads in my packed lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all sorts of sugary junk food too…I have a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe, but for the most part, a lot of my favorite foods are naturally healthy ones. I have also been through ups and downs with my weight, and in coming to know my body I have found what feels comfortable for me…at my height, and with my build.

SO, back to 10 weeks ago…prior to my making my appointment I’d seen some drastic changes in my body over the past year. Things that had changed for me…my weight increased, my body fat increased, I was feeling exhausted, I wasn’t sleeping well, I felt like I was extremely snacky, and I had some weird dizzy/almost blacking out spells. A lot of it I brushed under the rug because…I get up early…being tired is kind of part of that. Not sleeping well tends to run in my family…etc It’s easy to try and push those types of things away. However, the weight gain I was not ok with.¬†I workout pretty hard as it is, and I was eating very clean. The fact of the matter is that my caloric intake hadn’t increased, my sugar intake hadn’t increased, and my exercise hadn’t decreased. Scientifically, the math just wasn’t adding up. In fact, I started to add in MORE exercise and tracked & restricted my calories more, desperately trying to make my body do what it SHOULD have been doing. Turns out I’m in the fitness industry, and there is a lot of pressure on me to look a certain way. Like I said, I knew my body was stubborn prior, but this was different. Not only were things not responding positively, they were responding negatively. Which might makes sense as to¬†why I was at a bit of tipping point…

I had done a lot of research on what the problem could be, and decided that I should at least get my blood work done to eliminate some possibilities. So, it was to the doctor I went. I had a full check up…blood work and everything. The results came back to show that all my hormone levels were normal. No signs of thyroid issues. However, my blood glucose levels were abnormally high. My doctor went on the tell me that my results were showing that I had somehow become insulin resistant, and that he wanted me to go and work with a specific dietician who he thought could help me reverse this issue.

At this point I¬†will be honest. I was one hundred percent skeptical. I have studied a LOT about food and dietary intake. While I’m not a registered dietitian. I have put a lot of time into learning about how the food we eat affects us. I was actually quite curious as to what this dietician might have to say that I hadn’t heard before. Turns out I had a fastball coming at me.

I sat down and learned that I wasn’t alone in my current state. It’s actually thought that about half of the United States is insulin resistant, due in LARGE part to our common diet. The program that was introduced to me was completely based around controlling my insulin levels, similar to the ketogenic diet, the goal was to retrain my body to become insulin sensitive again…and in doing so to re-train it to utilize fat as the main source of energy.

I instantly began studying the topic. What I was hearing made sense. However, for me, making any health or lifestyle change has to be backed by reason and understanding…and for the record, “So and so just lost 10 lbs in 5 days,” is not what I’d call a reason. I need to know the science.

So… here is a snippet of what I learned..Insulin resistance means the body has stopped responding to the hormone insulin. Insulin’s role in the body is that of storage of glucose and fat. It also helps our cells function as they should. If there is too much insulin in the body (commonly a result of the food we eat) the body starts to become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance very likely means¬†inefficiency in how the cells of the body are working & excess fat storage. Sugars & carbohydrates are the foods that will spike insulin.

Let me try & break it down simply…We eat food. The food that we eat raises our blood sugar to a certain extent (depending on the sugar/carbohydrate content) The pancreas responds to raised blood sugar by releasing insulin. Insulin tells the muscle, liver, & fat cells to take up the blood sugar and remove it from the blood. If this process happens excessively, the muscle and the fat cells stop listening to the pancreas…and all gets sent to fat storage. This is insulin resistance. The longer this goes on, the “louder” the pancreas tries to get the point across…releasing more & more insulin. This makes the body extremely inefficient. Anytime the blood sugar is raised, the pancreas will give an exaggerated insulin response. Elevated insulin levels stop the body from utilizing fat as a fuel. IN SHORT: insulin keeps fat in the fat cells, where they are NOT utilized as fuel. This isn’t good…in fact it is the gateway to a HANDFUL of other chronic & deadly diseases, but that is another post for another day.

So, I was told, that in order to reverse this spiking, I needed to¬†maintain¬†a consistent diet of foods that don’t increase insulin levels, (namely fats). This was to the be the start of¬†reversing my insulin resistance issues.

What did this look like for me?

Well…this is where the curveball came at me. I was told that I needed to base my diet primarily around fat. I needed to focus on eating in a low carbohydrate, high fat way. In doing so, I would stop my body from eliciting an insulin response. This would put my body in a state of ketosis.

Many people stress at hearing that word because they confuse it with ketoacidosis. Nutritional based ketosis is controlling the body’s insulin response, resulting in a the generation of fatty acids, known as ketones. This means the body is in a state of burning fat. Diabetic & alcoholic ketoacidosis is a metabolic state of toxicity. It occurs when the body fails to regulate ketone production and those ketones become out of control. The blood becomes acidic, and can be deadly. A nutritional state of ketosis will not default into ketoacidosis because the body has regulatory feedback loops that will prevent it from doing so.

When eating in a nutritional, ketogenic way, ketones are measured. A high amount of ketones denotes a low amount of insulin. this is what is desired with this process. So, is eating this way safe & healthy? Yes.

Whoa…that’s a lot of sciency talk…I just want to try and give the background explanation as to why this process made sense to me. I wanted you to understand why I felt like this was a process I wanted to pursue.

Now on to what you really want to know? How is going..

I’m happy to say that I have really enjoyed eating the way that I am, and it’s been a very positive experience for me. The first couple weeks were definitely an adjustment. It’s common for people to feel what is considered a “keto flu,” lethargic/tired/low energy/etc…which I did. It makes sense. You are basically starving the body of carbohydrates for a few days, which it is NOT used to. I had to allow for time for my body to make the shift to relying on fat stores for fuel.

I had to re-set my habits. I had to build my meals around fat. This was a change for me, mostly because I’m not a lover of high fat foods like cheese & butter that many people are MORE THAN HAPPY¬†to eat. However, I’m adapting…and I’ve come up with some BOMB recipes.

My energy levels have returned, which means my body is working toward utilizing fat as fuel. I have become more of an intuitive eater, and less of a snacker. This actually is the most insane part to me. I never thought that this would be the case. Fat is a satiating food. So, eating mostly fat, means that I don’t feel hungry as often. I feel satisfied when I eat. In turn, I’m learning to listen to my body more. The people I have been working with challenged me to stop tracking my food, and to listen to my body. (From someone who¬†could give you a record of my tracked macronutrients for the past…i don’t know…10 years…this seemed unbelievable.) I have actually let go of my journaling…it’s been so incredibly freeing.¬†I don’t feel bloated like I used to on occasion. I am sleeping better…and I’ve dropped weight and body fat, which THRILLS me. I’m starting to feel like myself again, and I almost didn’t believe that was possible.

I’m still in this process, still learning, and still working to be where I want to be. However, I will absolutely say that I’m loving the path I’ve gone down so far. I’m excited to continue to learn more, and I hope that this will be something that I can utilize to help my clients, readers, & followers in the future! xoxoxo Megs

10 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Losing Weight

I have a lot of people who come to me with a lot of frustration regarding why they aren’t losing weight. The truth is, there are a lot of reasons why those putting in efforts to lose weight may not be seeing any progress. Efforts to lose weight can be very frustrating, and can even cause people to want to throw in the towel and give up. To that I say, check it before you wreck it. In other words…go through and make sure your efforts at weight loss are CORRECT before you give up doing so. Chances are you may be doing something wrong. These are a lot of the things that I see that may cause peoples weight loss efforts to be thwarted.

  1. You are eating more than you think you are. This is the case time after time. Unfortunately, somewhere in our crazy minds we think that if we are just taking a bite of the kids uneaten lunches here, and some handfuls out of the candy jar there, they don’t count. Well, I hate to break it to you, but they do. Every single calorie counts, and if you are eating too many, even if they are coming from good foods, you will not see weight loss progress. Try tracking your food for a few days to see if you are consuming more than you thought you were. Write down every single bite, lick, and chew. You may surprise yourself. It is also a worthwhile exercise to measure out your food for a couple days to determine if your eyeballed portions are correct or not.¬†
  2. You are eating too much sugar. Many people will slash their calories, but the calories they are eating are not coming from the right foods. Read HERE for more information on the effect sugar can have on your body and your weight loss efforts. Tracking your sugars can be another surprising exercise. It is amazing what foods have sugar in them that you may not even realize. If you want a chiseled and toned body, cut out the sugar.
  3. You are eating too much fruit. This goes along with the last one, but oftentimes surprises people. YES, fruit is good for you and it has a lot of wonderful properties. However, if your only source of fresh produce is a whole lot of fruit, you are getting a whole lot of sugar. I would recommend eating a TON of fresh veggies (sans white potatoes), and cutting down on your fruit intake. For my clients that really want to lose weight I suggest one serving of fruit a day that isn’t ¬†berries. Berries are lower in calories and sugar, and full of antioxidants that are fantastic for you. Pineapple and bananas are especially high in sugar.
  4. You aren’t working out effectively. When it comes to weight loss, the best thing that you can do with your exercising is circuit training, interval training, and strength training. This type of working out keeps your body guessing, engages your heart and muscles, and allows you to burn the maximum amount of calories in the shortest amount of time. It is effective and killer…and SO worth it! Click HERE for some Circuit workout ideas.
  5. You aren’t strength training. Increasing your muscle mass helps to turn your body into a fat burning machine. It takes more effort for your body to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns overall to maintain that muscle. Plus muscle looks better than fat…right? Right. Women, strength training will NOT make you look like the incredible Hulk. I promise. It will make you look fit and fantastic. I could go on…but I won’t.
  6. You are not eating enough Protein. Protein is necessary to help build and repair lean muscle mass. If you are working out, you need to eat protein to help your body build and recover properly. Protein will keep you full which will stop you from eating empty calories. It is also not going to spike your blood sugar levels like carbohydrates can.  For more in depth talk about protein click HERE.
  7. You are not getting enough regular sleep. I know you probably think you are superman or superwoman, but running on zero sleep doesn’t mean your amazing. It means your tired, and you are neglecting your body. You HAVE to have proper sleep in order to allow your body to rest and recover. The time you are sleeping is also a prime fat burning time for your body as your body systems do their thang. For more info on sleep click HERE.
  8. You may have a hormonal imbalance. There are some cases in which thyroid problems or a low hormone levels are inhibiting you from losing weight, and in these cases some work with the right doctors can make a big difference.
  9. You are not working as hard as you think you are. Don’t be afraid to sweat. Push yourself to work hard. The truth is, most people aren’t working as hard as they can. Most people don’t push themselves as far as they could be pushed either because they are afraid to, or they don’t know how. Determine if you are working as hard as you could be.
  10. You are not being consistent. This is the winner right here. Unfortunately, three awesome days of effort can be slashed quickly in one day of not so awesome effort. In fact, an awesome week of effort can be undone in one meal of chaos. So…what does that mean? You have to allow yourself enough consistency to have some effort actually show through. For some people it may take three weeks of solid effort, for others, results may take a month or two. I always challenge my clients to try to go at LEAST thirty days with a full, honest, solid effort. There are VERY few that will not see some awesome progress after sticking to it for this amount of time. Allow your body the tools it needs to change. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t think that working out 1/2 way and eating alright is going to do the trick. Guess what? It won’t. In order to see results, you have to put in honest effort. It may be hard, but you have to ask yourself how much you really want it. Do you want it more than you want that bag of candy or to sleep in? I think deep down you probably do.

If you feel like you are one¬†hundred¬†percent perfect in all of these areas and you still are not seeing results, feel free to email me. I’d love to help! I know that the process of weight loss can be a frustrating one, but it IS possible.

P.S. Only a few more days to enter the March Mix Giveaway. Click HERE to do so!

oh girl. I get it.

Let’s get real here for a second. The majority of my readers are women. Don’t worry, I know there are a few men too, and I love you for it! However, this post is for all the ladies out there.

Today I couldn’t keep my hands away from this guy.

Snack attack.
It is so ridiculously clear to me when that time of the month is about to make itself known. I don’t get cramps. I don’t get emotional. I just get SNACKY. I always want to be munching on something, and it DRIVES ME CRAZY. I am usually very self controlled when it comes to my eating, so I hate that insatiable feeling.

I have a lot of women ask me about the effect that their period has on their body, diet, and exercise, so hopefully I can help answer some of these questions.

Why do we have cravings for certain foods? 
Research has been done on the subject of PMS and food cravings, namely chocolate, and not much has been found. I would say that it is a positive association with food that gives us these cravings, period related or not. It is the same principle that goes with mindless eating, we associate food with positive emotions. We go out to eat with the people we love. We eat at fun parties. We eat when we celebrate. The hormonal ups and downs we go through during our menstrual cycle can cause us to feel lethargic, down, and just plain blah. We then use food to get rid of those negative feelings and bring positive ones instead.

Why do we cramp and feel bloated prior to our period? 
Increased production of hormones are the cause of these fabulous sensations. Prostaglandins, the hormones of which we are speaking, are responsible for making the muscles of the uterus contract. Exercise is actually a great way to lessen the effects of cramps and bloating, so keep moving. If you are really feeling the pain a hot bath and some ibuprofen can do wonders.

What’s with the weight gain?¬†
The question I get asked the most is about weight fluctuation during menstruation. I know. It sucks, but remind yourself that its all part of the program. Each women is different, but I generally see a 3-5 pound increase when my clients are on their periods. The good news. It always seems to even out. So, don’t freak out if this is happening to you. Some things you can do to lessen the increase? Decrease the salt intake, keep up with your exercise, and try to fill your diet with healthy whole foods.

What does a skipped period mean? 
Those who are extreme/intense exercisers, who have an extremely low body weight, and or body fat percentage, may have experienced a skipped period. One skipped cycle isn’t a huge issue, however if you are noticing several skipped in a row, or you have lost your period altogether go see a doctor. These could be signs of exercise addiction or eating disorders, and both of these scenarios can be life threatening. If this is the case please, please, please seek help.

The good news is that exercise and eating a healthy diet really can help lessen the effects that PMS can have on you when that time of the month arrives, so aside from the many other reasons to exercise…add that to the list. I have always been lucky to stay fairly cramp-free, and I really believe it’s because I am a diligent exerciser. Try to eat a healthy diet, drink a lot of water, and combat the cravings with good healthy foods. It isn’t uncommon for women to feel tired during their periods, bur this lack of energy doesn’t mean you need to check out of life and sleep for days. You’ll be surprised at how getting moving can actually help to boost your energy levels.

Do you have any other female-ish questions for me? Please…ask away. Are you one that craves certain things or becomes very snacky when that fab time of the month rolls around? It is great to be aware that you are because it can help you to combat it! Now, let’s hope I don’t have to hide the Skippy Natural tomorrow.

Taking Applications, Sunday Chicken Scampi, and My Why’s

Happy Sunday Y’all. I am officially taking applications for Utahn’s looking to fill the positions of my sisters who have now both left me. Yesterday, my sister Linds and her family left Utah for their big move to Texas. So sad…I hate to see them go. I am really going to miss them! Lindsay Cotter…I’m hoping everyone there is as great as you are!!

My sister Nichole left with her posse today, and I’m going to miss them too! I just love having all the people that I adore close to me, and I HATE when they leave! So…like I said, I’m currently taking in-state sister applications. You must love to work out with me, go shopping, make trips to sonic for DDP, eat frozen yogurt, and lay by the pool. Pretty intense, I know.

It is a good thing I still have my mom in town for one more week, or I’d be even MORE sad! I am also glad that she and my dad decided to make me an AMAZING dinner tonight. We had one of our favorite healthy recipes Chicken Scampi.

My dad did an awesome job of grilling the chicken on the bbq, which always makes it taste great. We had a side of grilled veggies and fresh fruit and dip. All of of my favorites!
This recipe goes especially well with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Very fresh and healthy. I LOVE it.
I mentioned last week that I am changing up my normal workout and eating routines. Some of you have been curious about my new work out routine, and the reasoning is behind the way I am formatting my workouts and my meals.
My main goals are: 
1. Lift three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting.
2. Cardio 3 times a week on my off days of lifting… 25-30 mins of intervals.¬†
3. Increase the fat content in my diet.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. Look at quality of food and the way it increases my blood sugar, and cravings instead.
The reason I have these goals is because I want to increase my metabolism by increasing my lean muscle mass, which I am hoping will lead to helping to drop my body fat percentage. I have been doing cardio very intensely and eating very lean for so long, that I feel like my body has suffered some hormonal imbalances. The reasoning behind each of my goals…

1. Lifting three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting. 
I have intensified my lifting by duration and intensity. I’m doing full body three times a week with a high amount of weight. I want to be sure to burn the max amount of calories in my lifting and fatigue each muscle group. I am allowing 48 hours between each lifting session to allow my muscles to recover fully.¬†
2. Cardio three times a week for 25-30 mins at a very high intensity. 
I will be doing intervals here, trying to really maximize calorie burn in a short amount of time. I hope to help my body get some more recovery time here by cutting down my cardio. I was doing 60-90 mins a day previously, so mentally this is very hard for me. I think it will be a good revamp time for my body. I just need to remember that!
3. Increase the fat content in my diet. 
I have cut out almost all fat as of now, so to add in the good fats has been something I have had to really plan and be conscious of. Fat is essential in helping your body obtain the vitamins and nutrients Fat is a key in the structural components of hormones, which could explain hormonal imbalances due to a lack of fat. Fat is also a great energy source for the body.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. 
This is really hard for me. I mentally keep a caloric score of what I am eating, but I am still trying to work on focusing on the good foods I am eating and not to caloric values. My diet will be comprised mainly of lean proteins, good fats (nuts, olive oil, peanut/almond butter, avocados, etc.), fruits and veggies, and a few servings of whole grains.
Hopefully this gives a little more background on why I am doing what i am doing! I will continue to keep you updated on the progress, and the effectiveness of the process. 

Are you applying any of these practices in your life right now? If so, how are they benefiting you (or not)? Any takers on my application quest?? ūüėČ I hope you are having an awesome weekend!

This is gonna be TOUGH.

A lot of the satisfaction I get from my eating habits and my exercise regimen is mental. I like to know that I can check things off my “list,” so to speak. Doing the amount of exercise that I do makes me feel good physically, but a lot of it is also mental. The adverse is true as well. I feel like if I don’t get in that hour plus of cardio every day and I happen to walk past a cookie while catching a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye I will gain 5 pounds.

It sound ridiculous. I know.

Nonetheless. It’s who I am. It is who I have created myself to be. Having been in the fitness industry there is a definite pressure to look and act a certain way. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I only do what I do because of my job, I’d say the opposite in fact. I like to do what I do, and that is why the job I have is perfect for me.

I like working out everyday. It is a stress reliever for me, BUT I do NOT like feeling like if I don’t work out I’m going to digress in a big way or gain extreme amounts of weight. I want to be in a healthy place where I workout a good amount. I think that is possible. Let me rephrase that…I want to think that is possible.

Today as I was at the gym doing my cardio, one of my good friends came to say hello. He and I have the same gym schedule for the most part, and we have for what seems like a long time. He’s always up for talking fitness, health, and nutrition with me, and today we had a very interesting conversation.

Now, let me interject here by saying people LOVE to give me their fitness advice. 98 percent of the time it makes me laugh because people will recite what they just read out of Fitness Magazine, or what they saw on the Today Show and call it credible. There probably is some truth to a lot of the things we hear, but I am not one who is so quick to jump on the latest tv segment’s suggestions and call it good. I am open to new ideas, of course, but I like to research what I hear and decide if the information is legit or not.

Now back to my convo with gym friend. I trust his opinion. He does a LOT of research. Real research, not just googling and reading the top search result. He is legit, and he knows how hard I work to accomplish my goals…to hard to take random advice from just anyone.

We talked about some of the issues I’m fed up with, and what has worked and what hasn’t and he suggested a few things to me that I’m going to try REALLY hard to incorporate. I’m going to tell you now, this is going to be really, really, REALLY hard for me.

I am going to…
1. Lift three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting.
2. Cardio 3 times a week on my off days of lifting… 25-30 mins of intervals. *OH MY GOSH…scary. Do you realize this is like 1/4th of the cardio I’ve been doing??
3. Increase the fat content in my diet.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. Look at quality of food and the way it increases my blood sugar, and cravings.

I am looking to increase my metabolism by increasing my lean muscle mass. Increase my energy levels by increasing recovery time and decreasing cardiovascular exercise. Maximize the time I am doing cardio by incorporating intervals. Control my blood sugar levels with meals that don’t spike my blood sugar…more on this as I incorporate these principles…and try to get myself away form obsessing over calorie count. I am still going to journal my food because I want to see what works what doesn’t, and which foods cause sugar cravings as opposed to the ones that keep me satiated. Still avoiding sugar and refined white flour, as well as a lower intake of whole grains.

A lot of these principles fall in line with what I incorporated last July when I was studying up on hormones and how our diets can effect them. I know that it’s going to be difficult. The reduced cardio may kill me mentally…we’ll see though. I’m going to do my best to stick this out to see how the effects really come into play for better or for worse. I will definitely keep you updated along the way. This is a good time for me to focus on something else being as how my running has been lessened with all of the injuries here and there. We’ll see what happens! wish me luck ūüôā

Are my goals similar to any of your current habits? How often do you do cardio? Lift weights? Any thoughts on how this may pan out for me? I’m still researching and studying out what I think can happen if I stick to it. Let’s hope it is a good thing and that my experimenting can benefit you all in the future!

All I eat is oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas.

Or so it may appear at least. I promise I do actually eat more than just oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas, but who can be mad it’s just such a great combination.
Last night we had a community appreciation night at Elevate, and Kristie Rosser, a doctor from the area came and spoke on hormone therapy. It was extremely interesting. I started reading and studying about hormones and how they effect our bodies BACK IN JUNE You may recall this is when I gave up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper/Diet Coke addiction (It’s been almost 7 months aaaathankyou.) It is so fascinating to me how much your hormone levels can effect the way your body reacts to food, your energy levels, your outlook on life, etc. I am going to continue to read up on it, but I’ve suspected that I have some deficiencies, and I am looking into getting all of my blood levels tested, so I can be performing at my optimal! Pretty interesting…we’ll see.
So back to the oatmeal, pb, and bananas…Our physical therapist’s wife made some amazingly tasty granola bars that I just had to attempt to make today because I was seriously dreaming about them. I got home and looked at the recipe and it turns out I hardly had any of what she used, so I just came up with my own version instead.
Peanut Butter Banana No-bake Protein Bars
Makes 12 Bars 
2 cup old fashioned oats
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp sugar free maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 cups Fiber One cereal
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Directions: In a small bowl, mash bananas. Add in all other ingredients and mix. Add chocolate chips last. You could also add flax seeds, raisins, dried fruit, cereal, coconut, almonds, etc. Get creative. Once mixed together well, lay out wax paper on counter. Divide and drop 12 portions out onto paper. Form into bars and allow to sit out for an hour or two until dry.
I ate one on the spot for my afternoon snack…and it was SO good, and then I wrapped the others in wax paper and froze them to eat on the go! I can’t wait. For the fiber one cereal I put in there I used this sample box of the Fiber One Honey Clusters I had in my pantry to up my fiber content. I think you could use regular Fiber One, or All bran and it would be equally as delicious.¬†
(Don’t mind my special effects, I was playing with the settings on my computer.)
Nutrition Facts: (For one bar) 200 calories, 9 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 7.5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 9.5 grams of protein. Not too shabby. I am definitely a fan.

Two weeks strong.

14 days.
No artifical sweeteners.
No diet dr. pepper or diet coke or diet anything for that matter.
No processed foods.
No counting my calories.

I must say I’m feeling pretty dang good. (Aside from the fact that I was very rudely struck with the stomach flu yesterday. The nerve…)

I’m actually surprised at how well I’ve done with it.
I’m trying really hard to pay attention to my intuitive eating habits. Am I hungry? Do I really want to eat that? It can be a hard thing to do, but i think the more we work at it, the more it will become a habit.

I think the factor that has helped me the most is having the good foods readily available. The reason we often times turn to the not-so-healthy, processed foods, is for ease. The bag of chips is right there ready to be eaten. A lot of the fresh fruits and veggies require preparation. So, my recommendation to you is make those good foods available. When you get home from the store take the time to wash, cut up, and bag your fruit or veggies so when you go to eat something they are right at your fingertips. Have nuts on hand, whole wheat items instead of processed foods, and stop purchasing the processed foods altogether. It is easier than you think, and SO much better for you.

Frustration. Hormones. Changes.

Hormones. They are complicated little buggers.
They are what make us work, you know the important stuff like breathing…growing…metabolizing the food we eat…etc.
These chemical messengers are essential to good health, bottom line. This is something we’ve known for a long time.

Hold up…—>Let me intervene with some side stories real fast, so you know where I’m at.

1. I am constantly reading new published journals, articles, books, and whatever else I can get my hands on to stay current and knowledgeable in my field. Science is always evolving and changing and it’s important to be able to sort the truth from the garbage…and might I add a LOT of what is published is garbage. Lately, I have been reading Jillian Michael’s book, “Master Your Metabolism.” This is where the root of this post is coming from. Although I am not %100 sold on every word that is in there. I think that there is a lot of truth to what she is saying. It has made me think, that is for certain.

2. (Gear up. This “side note” is more of a novel than a note.) ūüėČ
One of the main reasons I read a LOT about nutrition and weight training is for my own personal benefit. Selfish confession, I know. For the past two years I would say I’ve logged a minimum of 10-15 hours a week in the gym working out. I could tell you EXACTLY what I’ve eaten for the past three years. I take that back, I could SHOW you. You think I’m joking? I’ll send you my Fitday Login and you can check it out. I haven’t had sugar in two years with the exception of a few free day holidays, and I don’t eat fast food. Ever.
Why am I telling you this?
NOT to brag, I can promise you that. I’m telling you this because I am frustrated. I work all day telling people how to eat, move, and sleep and for them, it works. I watch pounds fall off of people who tell me they, “didn’t eat as good as they could have.” I have always considered myself some anomaly. The exception. The one who just got the unlucky metabolism that didn’t seem to take to the old “calories in calories out” rule. The one that was just going to have to keep eating perfectly and working out like a maniac just to maintain and stay at a mediocre place.
Well, a paragraph in this book caught my eye.

After speaking about her vigorous routine of working out, eating perfectly, and drinking lots of diet coke to keep her energy up Jillian says, “God forbid I should fall of the wagon for a few days. (Speaking of breaking her perfect routine.) I’d instantly gain five pounds, which would then drive me back to the grueling routine. After all the effort I’d put into learning about diet and nutrition, I just couldn’t figure out why all my working out and freaky eating habits weren’t doing the trick. I really thought I’d been royally screwed in the genetics department–That my metabolism just sucked and I would never be able to have it as easy as some of my friends.” (Master Your Metabolism, pg 22)

It just sounded FAR too familiar to me. Let it be known that I am not a huge Jillian Michaels follower. Sometimes I think her training methods are a little out there. I am not really into the whole yelling at my clients thing. BUT, A. let’s be honest she gets the job done. She knows her stuff. and B. I do think that she has hit some VERY correct principles in her book. My mom and I have been talking about hormone balance for the past year or so, and my interest was definitely peaked when I saw that someone had written about it. I also love the fact that she is very much in line with another book I ADORE, called, “The Culprit and the Cure.” If you haven’t read it. Do it. It will change your eating habits in such a good way.


Ok, back to hormones.
So, based on what I’ve been reading about how the foods we eat affect our bodies and the way we store fat, I am going to make some changes in my diet.
This is kind of a trial run here folks, right before your very eyes. Scary, huh? This could fail miserably, but if it works it could help immensely. Not just me, but you too.

Changes are as follows:
1. No more diet soda. (Wow. It hurts almost to type that.)
2. Only eating soy 1-2 times a week.
3. No artificial sweeteners.
4. No calorie counting. I can tell you right now this will be the hardest one for me, and I might slip up here every now and then. It’s like mental math to me now. I do it without noticing.
5. No eating after 9:00.
6. Enjoy LOTS and LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies. (I already do this, but I have to give myself one that I KNOW I’ll be real good at, right?)

K. So here goes. I might not be perfect, but I want to see how these changes effect me. I know I didn’t go into explanation as to why I’m making each of the changes I am, due to the lengthiness of this post already. If you’d like me too, let me know, I’d be more than happy to give some more explanation.