A Good Day! – With a Side of Sweetness That Can Kill

Today-was-a-2mkomuI had a good day today.  I finally got some much-needed sleep, ate my breakfast and watched the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire season 5.  When the show went off, I was surprised that I simply felt like going to the gym.  I kept my workout rather simple; 3 min warm up walk, 12 minute run, incline ab work, leg presses, and 45 minutes of incline walking.

It’s funny how quickly your body will let you know that you have been neglecting it.  Although my body felt great and was very receptive to working out, my lungs were saying “are you serious right now?”  Lol!  Having asthma really sucks.  It takes me some time to build my breathing up.  Today, at the 10 minute mark of my 12 minute run, it began feeling as though I was breathing through a coffee straw.  My experiences have taught me that it’s ok to slow down, but it’s unacceptable to stop or give up.

After the gym, I had a bit of grocery shopping to do, and soon as I got home, I made a smoothie with celery, kale, cucumber, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, grapes, cherries, strawberries and water.  DELISH!  I just realized that I did not take pictures of it…or my dinner!  Ugh!  Dinner was amazing!  I made a salad with yellow bell pepper, romaine lettuce, cilantro, and chicken that I marinated in a fig and vidalia onion sauce.  To add a bit of crunch, I used a palm size amount of praline almonds-(not healthy, but only a small amount).  I’ve decided to start making my own salad dressing after watching the amazing documentary Hungry for Change.  (I’m working on posts that share interesting facts that I learned from it-stay tuned!).  One thing that stood out to me was when they were discussing food vs food products, and knowing what you’re reading on your labels.  I hadn’t realized that salad dressing are often made of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) (Eeeeek!).  So I made a salad dressing consisting of herb and garlic, rice vinegar-(which I later realized had brown sugar in it), and avocado oil.  Yum!

In case you’re wondering, high fructose corn syrup is very unhealthy and is not natural.  It is an industrialized food product with an unknown method of extracting the sugar from corn stalks, and is genetically modified creating a sweet chemical substance.  Dr. Mark Hyman of drhyman.com shares the following about high fructose corn syrup:

“Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together– glucose and fructose in equal amounts.The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. And HFCS is cheaper than sugar because of the government farm bill corn subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar” (drhyman.com).  corn stalks

“Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggerslipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people.  The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin–our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more” (drhyman.com). 

Dr. Hyman continues to share the following “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You”:

  1. Sugar in any form causes obesity and disease when consumed in pharmacologic doses.
  2. HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.
  3. HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA.
  4. Independent medical and nutrition experts DO NOT support the use of HFCS in our diet, despite the assertions of the corn industry.
  5. HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor disease-creating industrial food products or “food-like substances”.

To learn more about HFCS from Dr. Hyman: http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/#close

Invest in yourself and learn more about HFCS.  Start reading the labels on your food, and you’ll be surprised to learn how much of it is present in most food products that we enjoy.  Challenge yourself to find healthier alternatives that do not host HFCS, or any genetically modified toxins.

The decision to become healthy is not an overnight process.  Everyday is a lesson for me.  However the more aware we all become with what we put into our bodies, the better choices we will make and the healthier we become.  A healthy body can help with a healthy mind and will have a ripple effect with everyone we come into contact with.  Choosing to be healthy is not an easy process and requires change in all aspects.  But in the end…your body will thank you for it!

Gym day #2 tomorrow!

 

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Justification Starts With “I’ll just…”

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Temptation is all around us.  We are fed millions of images per day that tempt us to do this that we know we should not be doing.  Some days we are more successful than others at resisting this temptation, but what about the days that we are not???

I can’t think of any other phrase that is used to justify one’s actions than those starting with “I’ll just…”.  Those two words alone are permissive to almost anything.  Considering that this blog is dedicated to health and fitness, I will use the following examples: pink doughnut with a bite taken out isolated on white

  • “I’ll just work out later”.
  • “I’ll just eat this (insert junk/fast food of choice) and won’t eat dinner. <OR> “…and will eat a salad for dinner.”
  • “I’ll just have one bite”.
  • “I’ll just start next week”.
  • “I’ll just make this my cheat day” (…A POPULAR ONE I’M SURE)

*Please feel free to think of how many times that you have used this phrase and think of what you were trying to justify to yourself every time you used it.

Anyone who knows me, or who has been following me for a while knows that I do not support instant, drastic and unrealistic changes to your diet.  I think they only set you up for failure in the long run.  I do not think that you have to eliminate every pleasure in order to achieve success.  It is about making smarter choices that work for you, and portion control.  But that is not what this post is about. (Save it for a later date!)

Throughout our day, we are tempted to foods and habits that will distract us and prevent us from reaching our goal.  We often use “I’ll just” to justify the act we are about to make.  When it comes to eating, we think that just by taking small bites on various treats throughout the day that we are not causing harm to our diet.   The truth is that without you realizing it, you are ruining your diet.  Everything has calories these calories add up as you snack mindlessly throughout your day.

Here are some helpful hints to prevent mindless snacking and to better manage the foods that you are consuming:

  • Study yourself to determine if you are bored or actually hungry (Learn and know the difference)
  • Plan your meals and snacks in advance (at least a day in advance)
  • Drink 80z of water before snacking
  • READ THE LABELS!!! Be aware of what a single serving is, how many calories are in a single serving, and measure accordingly
  • Opt for healthier options to snack on
  • Maintain a food journal to help you stay on track-(there are many free apps available on your cell phone that do all the work for you!-Check out LOSE IT! and My Fitness Pal

Don’t beat yourself up for falling victim to justifying phrases; instead, try turning a negative into a positive.  Start thinking “I’ll just make better choices”.  Life is all about choices…it’s up to no one but YOU to choose wisely!

Educate your mind.  Nourish Your Spirit. Love Yourself!