Drinking Water – Myths and Facts

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I am ALL about learning something new everyday. Who would have known that I could learn so much about water in less than 20 minutes!

Here is how my journey into water facts began. Last night, a fellow FitGirl challenged her followers to drink a glass of water. Feeling encouraged to get more water in by the end of the night, I accepted it, posted a video on my IG account and passed the challenge along to my other fellow FitGirls! Afterward, I most definitely peed twice more than I normally do, which is already quite often (excuse my small bladder). Many other girls took this challenge as well.

The following morning, I saw a post from @FitGirlsGuide reminding us not to chug our water but to space it out. Whoops! So from there on, I decided to do my own research and find out exactly WHY it is better to sip and not chug. I came across forums and other related search results but one article from Women’s Health Magazine caught my eye. Maybe it was the article name “Think You Know How To Drink Water?” or perhaps because it was the most reputable article I was able to find first.

Though, my question of “why chugging your water isn’t healthy” wasn’t answered in this article, it was still incredibly informative. It talks about the myth of “I should drink 8 glasses of water a day”, to “coffee and tea are dehydrating”, and even “I can’t get dehydrated while swimming”. To find out the facts about these myths and more, click the article name above!.

From my quick experience researching this topic, there seemed to be a lot of contradicting results. Such as, how drinking ice cold beverages can be detrimental to your health meanwhile, in the Women’s Health Magazine article, it says that drinking cold water can help cool you down from the inside by “drawing heat from your tissues”.

Anyway, back to my main question of “why chugging water isn’t good for your health”. A lot of the information I was able to gather quickly were mostly from other individuals. The most common answers between all the responses from different websites I came across were the following two reasons:

1.) When you drink a significant amount of water quickly, it can be compared to as drowning. Your body’s initial reaction to this “overdose” of water is to quickly flush it out. When your body does this, you aren’t actually absorbing the water into your body the way you would when sipping and spacing out your glasses of water throughout the day. Because your body is trying to quickly get rid of the water, naturally you will have to visit the porcelain god more frequently. So frequently that if you had chugged water earlier, went to the bathroom, and just sat down to finish reading this sentence, you wouldn’t be able to because you would already have the urge to go pee again. Don’t worry, you can go….I’ll just be here waiting for you!!

Okay…feel better? Moving on, unless you have to go again?

2.) When you chug a significant amount of water, you increase your chances of causing an electrolyte imbalance in your body. People have died from drinking too much water!! That’s right people, too much water can be toxic to your health. Read one article about this scary topic here. Come to think of it, I did experience slight twinging pain in my left kidney right before bed and having to pee multiple times last night. This article “Can Drinking Too Much Water Hurt Your Kidneys?” explains what happened to me. Scary!!!

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So next time you think about chugging a lot, a lot, a lot of water or even fluids, think again! You are most likely doing your body more harm than good. So take your time, enjoy your water (or infused water if you dislike it plain), and be glad you read this post! In addition, I encourage you to do your own research and see what else you can find out, after all….I am no professional and you should ALWAYS do your own research!

Cheers,

P

28 Day Jumpstart Challenge: A Fit Girls Guide Q&A

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Just as I promised on my @pristinefitness Instagram account, here are my answers to questions I have been asked!

For those who are not following me on Instagram or may not even know what the heck the 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge is, allow me to share!

The 28 Day Jumpstart is an eBook from Fit Girls Worldwide and they held a challenge on August 4. In addition they are holding a second challenge beginning September 22nd. Even if you joined the August 4th challenge, you are still eligible to participate in the second round. Or….you can start following the eBook (after purchasing) whenever you please if you’re not interested in joining the challenge for a chance to win Amazon gift cards.

So, what is the challenge exactly? I think I will let FitGirlsWorldwide (<—click that) answer that question for you!

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Okay…onward!

Questions regarding the eBook:

Question:  How are the meal plans like? Are there options or substitutions for picky eaters or diet restrictions/preferences? Do I have to go to a special store to buy some of the ingredients? How much did you spend or how much should I expect to spend on groceries?

Answer:

The meal plans, in my opinion are really thought out. It takes a lot of the guess work out for you. So, if you’re not a picky eater or have certain food restrictions (i.e. gluten, dairy, egg, etc.) then, I would highly suggest sticking to the meals as closely as possible so you can achieve the most results! On the other hand, it is possible to substitute certain ingredients for other things you might enjoy more. The eBook gives substitutions or you can use foods you already substitute for other things! Most stores should carry everything on the grocery list. Even chia seeds are sold in most Safeway’s since they carry Bob’s Red Mill brand (there are other brands as well, especially if you choose organic). If the stores near you don’t carry a particular ingredient, don’t fret…it won’t be the end of the world. Pick a substitution, leave it out completely, or be creative – this is a learning opportunity!

Some of the meals they have include fridge oats/no cook oatmeal (click here for my previous post about this recipe), oatmeal or parfaits if you don’t care for the fridge oats, breakfast sandwiches, pita pizzas, stuffed tuna salad peppers (or chicken if you prefer), power bowls full of protein and veggies, pumpkin lasagna rolls, veggie stuffed zucchini boats, spinach feta wrap, polenta, and even desserts and DARK CHOCOLATE!!!…oh man the list goes on! The eBook gives you a lot of options and flexibility! Don’t be scared to try new things either, these are all healthy meals that will nourish your body the way it deserves!

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I began to venture into healthier options and substitutions back in college seven years ago. And trust me when I say that I DID NOT always like the food I totally enjoy now! It took some time for my body to adjust and my taste buds to be “cleansed” of processed and overly salty foods! The healthier I eat, the more my body craves for wholesome food! And the less I do with my food (especially salt), the more sensitive I am to the flavors of veggies, fruits, and food in general. This also means I can tell when meat isn’t of high quality or too salty, I can taste the chemicals on certain non-organic produce and overly processed foods. It’s amazing how “junk food” can completely alter our body’s natural mechanism. I am talking about the whole system here! The more you do research and venture out to try new healthy foods, the more knowledge you will have in succeeding in your health journey! Me…I am STILL learning and I am eager to continue.

With this said, you can’t put a price tag on your health. If you don’t nourish your body with the right kinds of food, then you will most likely end up paying more for medical bills….now or later. But, I understand that times are tough and with the recent droughts in many areas affecting crops, food in general has increased greatly. I personally prefer organic and ‘healthier’ brands – think Whole Foods so, I end up paying more but I am okay with that. Not to mention, I live pretty far from a big city therefore grocery stores are limited which causes the price to increase. In addition, I live in Washington which has one of the highest cost of living in the country. Here is an example of one week’s of groceries I bought (week 2 I believe).

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How much you spend will depend entirely on your preferences. However, I feel you should save money from these meal plans because you won’t be eating out, buying overpriced drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and also less food will be wasted. Again, if you choose the food and brands that pack the most nourishment, you will reap the benefits! 🙂

Question: What are the workouts like? Are they okay for beginners who never really exercise? Are they challenging enough for someone who has been exercising frequently? Do I need to join a gym or take extra classes such as yoga, zumba, spinning, etc.? Can all workouts be done at home? How many days and for how long are the workouts?

Answer:

I personally enjoy the workouts. I have been an athlete nearly all my life and the workouts still challenge me. Even if I was the fittest I have ever been (that would be high school), I know it would be challenging because you can make it as easy or as difficult for your preference. If you haven’t caught on already, the eBook is pretty flexible. This is a love and hate relationship as you can imagine the pros and cons to this. However, in my opinion, there are more pros because you can really cater to your personal preferences and this is really a good thing. It makes the guide more of a “one size fits all most”. Here is a excerpt from the eBook. explaining two of the moves they have.

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So yes, it is great for beginners and experienced exercise enthusiasts. You don’t need to join a gym if you don’t want. I mean, getting any kind of exercise in is better than nothing at all. So if you prefer going to the gym…go for it! If you want to start going to the gym…go for it! If you absolutely hate gyms….no problem! Want to do exercise classes like zumba or yoga…what’s stopping you?!?! 🙂 You have lots of options…okay…I’m just going to come out and make this official, the theme for this eBook is flexibility! All the work outs can be done at home, at a park, in the gym, on the lawn, on the beach….if that’s what you want, you can make it work!

The guide has you down for working out 6 out of 7 days but don’t be alarmed! They really are not that bad because like I said…flexibility! One day cardio and the ‘rest day’ is stroll and stretch! They call their workouts the “DIY Home Challenge” and they have all 28 days of workouts listed out for you. They get progressively harder as the week goes on as it’s aiming to strengthen your endurance. Some of the moves include: sumo squats, plank, russian twist, bridge, wall sits, push ups, mountain climbers, and the like. These can be done low impact or high intensity. In addition, they have what they call “extra credit” which are extra workouts for when you’re feeling extra motivated!!

Question: What kind of results can I expect from following the 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge eBook?

Answer:

Each body really does respond differently to even the same routine. But I can guarantee you that if you follow the guide or even do your best, you will definitely feel results. Any little bit counts and it’s always better than sitting on your arse all day!

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What should be important is that you are doing this because you want to be healthier and fit. When I say fit, I am not necessarily referring to being all muscular and toned and running a marathon, I am talking about being fit in all ways, especially emotionally and mentally. Strength isn’t always about how much you can lift, it should most importantly be about having the strength to wake up every morning and making a conscience decision to be more active, nourish your body the right way, exercising your will power, and choosing to be happy and stay positive! All this can be done easier when we treat ourselves right and feed our body and soul with wholesome food and feel good exercises and stretches! Also getting enough sleep and choosing to let go of the things we cannot control!

Questions regarding my own experience:

Question: How much did you weigh before and after the challenge? How much weight did you lose?

Answer:

In my opinion, we shouldn’t focus on how much we weigh, rather we should focus on how we feel and how we fit in our clothes. And body fat percentage if you want to get super technical. People come in all shapes and sizes. What is healthy and fit for one person isn’t going to look the same on another. We should strive to feel and be strong and healthy! Muscle weighs more than fat but also takes up less space. Therefore, two people who are the same height, weight, and body shape can look different if one has more muscle mass than the other. Here is a great example of what I mean, considering it is the same girl in both pics but weighs more when she is more toned (muscle). If you want to read more, check out this beautiful girls blog, I think many of you will find it motivating, inspirational, and helpful: Train Like a Beauty

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But to answer your question anyway, I am 5’4″ and I weighed 157 (my heaviest) in my before pic and in my after pic I weighed seven pounds less. I don’t know, you might be thinking wow…she doesn’t look like she would weigh that much but underneath all the flab I put on my body from unhealthy and uncontrolled eating habits, is a body that is strong and muscular. I am by no means a dainty framed woman. I have always had meat on my bones which always made me weigh in more than my peers even though I was shorter and more toned than them. Here’s a pic of me after my senior year of high school around the same time I began to slowly, but surely gain weight. Here I weighed between 125-130 lbs.

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And then again less than three years ago between 136-140lbs.

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Now that I’m done with my show and tell, hopefully you understand how comparing bodies and weight really isn’t the best indicator for your own self. It took me a while to really accept and grasp this. My motto in this regard is “make your body the best body you have”…..or I, more often than not, like to translate it to “work what your momma gave you!”

Furthermore, losing weight doesn’t always mean a good thing if you’re depleting your body of the calories and nutrients it needs. Because more likely than not, your weight loss is coming from your body ‘eating’ up your muscle for nutrition it lacks from your lifestyle instead of fat.

Question: How often did you work out and what other things did you do? Did you do more cardio or weight training?

Answer:

In all honesty, I didn’t always do all the workouts from the eBook. This is one reason why I want to give it a second go around because I can only imagine how my body will change when I am more strict on the plan. Even though I didn’t do all the exercises from the guide every day, I did make sure to stay active and have high energy. I stretched 5 days out of the week on average and I also did some yoga. I went on walks and hikes. And did random squats, pushups, donkey kicks…you name it randomly throughout the day. I knew I wasn’t sticking to the guide so I made sure to do what I could do when I could do them. Like doing yoga the best I could with all my three dogs and cat trying to ‘coach’ me….

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I definitely did more weight training than cardio. I like to lift heavy weights but I never made it to the gym because of schedule conflicts and the gym literally being out of the way (as in I need to catch a ferry that is on a strict schedule to get there). But I do have two 20 lb dumb bells and a 35 dumb bell that I used nearly every day for squats, arm curls, lunges, or for added weight and intensity. My cardio literally consisted of running after my dogs, who like to be escape artists, around the neighborhood, going on long hikes, but mainly having solo dance parties in my living room….in my undies…<—-this happens quite frequently. Oh, one time while staying in a hotel during a wedding weekend, I did use their fitness room treadmill! Yay for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some cardio, but I really prefer HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts and weight lifting. I also have a pull-up bar that I use every day. Sometimes just doing a pull-up when I go in and out of the doorway it is placed on! Like I said, sometimes I just do what I can.

The second time however, I am going to really do all the workouts so that I can give a better “review” of the eBook!

Question: How much did you stick to the eBook?

Answer:

I’ll keep this short and sweet. Less than I wanted but I did the best I could at the time I was doing it and to me, that’s all the matters. I’m not going to give myself a hard time about it! What’s that going to do….? Yup, make me feel crappy. So I am taking the opportunity to give myself a second chance! “Dust yourself off and try again”

Question: I have a big sweet tooth, how did you manage cravings?

Will power is like a muscle. The more you “work it out” the stronger it becomes. I completely limit the amount of junk food I have in our kitchen. I really don’t have any and that helps to fight off cravings because it’s not there tempting you. I also made these delicious protein dance parties in your mouth treats! You may have seen it on my @pristinefitness Instagram account but here it is again! SO YUM!!!!!!!!!!

923769_1533679146868239_1265554587_n If you’re interested in my experience the first time, the following links should take you to those posts!

28 Day Jumpstart Challenge: Accepting the Challenge

Update Week 1

Update Week 2

Update Week 3 & 4

I apologize for the lengthiness and perhaps some errors or things that may not have made sense. First off, I wanted to be as detailed as possible! Secondly, I would normally re-read my posts before I publish them but this beauty needs her rest! I am nearly falling over my computer as I type! Thank you so much for visiting my blog!! I love you guys!

As always….love yourself!!

Cheers,

P

28 Day Jumpstart Challenge: Week 3 and 4 Update

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So, if you’ve been following my updates and you’re thinking…umm…hello Pristine, the four weeks were actually up a LONG LONG LOOOONG time ago. Yes, I know. I just haven’t updated :/ ooops! Just because my name means “perfect” doesn’t mean I am. Soweeeee!!! So I will be combining week 3 and 4 in the same week.

The third week of the challenge became the most challenging. Not because of the guide or the work outs. It was because of my schedule with weddings and work as well as home that I failed to be prepared with meals (learning point).

This kind of followed me into week 4 considering I had traveled the weekend of week 3 for an out of town wedding in which we didn’t get home until late. Therefore I didn’t make it to the grocery store for week 4 groceries. Bummer, I know.

But you know what! I didn’t fret. Fretting only makes me feel like I failed when in actuality, I really hadn’t. I was still making progress and allowing myself to forgive. This mindset set me up for success by allowing me to make better decisions instead of feeling sorry for myself and being mad that I wasn’t following the guide verbatim.

The workouts were still simple because it is set up to increase reps, time, etc each day that you’re essentially building up to each work out. The flexibility and simplicity allows you to be successful!

Weeks 3 and 4 really taught me how important it is to stick with it and continue to do your best even if you fell off (briefly if you get back on), Before I would have just thrown in the towel and cut my losses. This time however, I made it a point to learn to forgive and to push through.

When I took my after photos, I didn’t expect to see as much progress physically considering I hadn’t been nearly as committed as I was the first two weeks. However, to my surprise, I noticed a huge difference especially in my mid section and face (where I typically notice changes first when losing or even gaining weight). You can’t see too much change in my thighs compared to in person. I have always had muscular but thick thighs, I get it from my Momma….but hey, I AM NOT complaining too much (neither is Hubby), she also gave me my rump, which will definitely be looking better every day!

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*Sidenote – sorry for the watermarks, I don’t want to fall prey to others using my photo for weight loss ads I am NOT a part of. I posted this transformation photo on my new (as in, I made it today!) IG fitness account @pristinefitness Yup!! I couldn’t believe that I was brave enough to post it on social media and yet again now, here….on my blog! I am over being so critical of myself and so should you!! Let’s be an inspiration to all instead of being judgmental! Deal? Okay, AWESOME PANTS!! 🙂

Anyway, to be honest, I would have only been slightly disappointed if I hadn’t seen any physical changes. What was most important to me during this challenge was my progress mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I felt like a million bucks. I was more energized, more confident, and definitely happier!

Seeing physical changes in my photos further motivates me to keep working on myself from the inside out. The fat loss, muscle gain….that will all come later. This process has really taught me to be patient and to trust the process and enjoy myself along the way.

I do plan on following the guide a second time. It is that good people!!! I highly recommend this guide for it’s simplicity, informative and witty dialogue, and for the results you’ll reap! FitGirlsWorldwide is doing another challenge beginning September 22nd and you can count me in, AGAIN!!! So head on over to their website to learn more and start being a FitGirl like me and my friend, Wonder Woman! One day I will be kick ass fit just like her – she told me so!

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The following was taken directly from their website about the challenge:

THE SEPTEMBER 22ND CHALLENGE

We’re so excited to be doing another Group Challenge starting Monday September 22nd and offering another $500 Amazon Gift Card for the best Before & After picture! Read below to see if you are eligible for the contest and learn about our BONUS PRIZES! (We’ll also be doing a few smaller prize giveaways throughout the Challenge! Stay tuned to our @FitGirlsGuide Insta page every day for announcements.)

To be eligible for all prizes you must be …

– 18 or over.
– Have a public Instagram account.
– Post a screen shot or photo of your eBook cover before Monday September 22nd and put #28DayJumpstart and @FitGirlsGuide in the caption
– Post two times a week about your Challenge journey (we give you ideas in the book!) and put #28DayJumpstart AND @FitGirlsGuide in each caption.
– Take Before & After Photos according to the guidelines below.

BONUS PRIZES. A special $100 Amazon Gift Card will go to the Fit Girl who makes the best separate Instagram account devoted entirely to the Challenge (@fitgirlyourname is a great way to start one). The winner will be chosen by us based on both the quantity and quality of posts on their special account. You are still eligible to win the $500 prize if you win this special prize. We will also give $50 Amazon Gift Cards to two runner-up accounts that we choose.

BEFORE & AFTER PRIZES. We will choose 5 finalists and post their Before & After pics on our @FitGirlsGuide account after the Challenge is over. The community will vote on them for 24 hours. The picture with the most likes will win the Amazon Gift Card. You must follow all the above rules to be considered as a finalist. We will choose a variety of body types for the finalists, representing the variety of women who participate in our Challenge.The four runners-up will each receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

It’s me again, P! Did you just read all those awesome prize opportunities!! It’s such a great community of girls as well, participating in the same challenge and keeping each other motivated and giving encouragement! The admins for the FitGirlsGuide even comment back on your photos and is incredibly involved. They’re so sweet…HUGS! I wanted to make an actual fitness Instagram account to keep it separate from my personal one for those who don’t really care to see pictures aside from health and fitness motivation. Here is my first post below using a photo I took from this beautiful place I live! I do plan on making my own inspirational quotes to keep me (and hopefully others) motivated.

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So that’s that. I do apologize for not updating sooner. I was trying to juggle way too many things. However, I WILL do a better job with updates with the second challenge! Please comment what you’d like me to focus on, pictures to take, etc. In the meantime, follow my Insta account @pristinefitness and leave a comment that you visited or follow my blog! It would totally make my day!!!

Taking on the Challenge

Week 1 Update

Week 2 Update

Cheers,

P

28 Day Jumpstart Challenge: Week 2 Update

IMG_5349Week two on this 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge was even more promising than week 1. And it started with a lot of adrenaline rush from a confrontation with a punk ass at the grocery store (more on that later). First off, let’s talk about grocery shopping the Sunday before week 2 began. If you’re not prepared, it makes it more difficult to stick with the guide. Going shopping the day before the week starts allows you to meal prep and not fall behind. As you can tell, my cart is full of healthy, nutrient packed goodies. These are all my favorite brands!

The “daiya” container you see is vegan cheese that actually melts – it is to DIE for! It really made my Egg McFitFun so tasty! (I’ll share the recipe in a separate post)IMG_5598

I am by no means a vegan…anymore at least. The 9 or so months I was back in college after reading the “Skinny Bitch” book, taught me so much about the foods I was consuming, about alternatives (a lot of which I still use to this day), and pretty much was the vehicle to this incredible journey I have had with health, fitness, and food! I honestly don’t know how unhealthy and fat I would be if I hadn’t read that book. It wasn’t a smooth transition. To this day I am still making adjustments as I learn and adapt to a lifestyle that suits me.

Seven years later, here I am participating in this challenge – I never want to stop learning and adapting. At the end of this challenge, I don’t care so much about how much weight I have lost (almost 5 lbs if you were wondering), sure it has been incredibly motivating to see the fat melt, however I am more concerned about learning and taking things from this challenge to incorporate into my lifestyle.

I have realized over the years that I am not a “one size fits all” kind of girl no matter how much I want to just follow one way and be done with it. I understand that in order for me to be happy with my lifestyle, it has to be one that I make instead of one that I follow. I get to cater to my needs the way I feel will not cause me to go crazy and worry about every little thing – I do that enough on my own, I don’t need a super strict formula to follow.

This is what I love about the Fit Girl Guide. It is a guide that simply helps you along the way. Substitutions for certain foods are okay, the workouts can be done at home. If you can’t make it to the gym or prefer not going to the gym, that’s okay, they give you options for working out at home. It is flexible enough that as long as you stay close, you will see results. Your progress really depends on how hard you’re willing to work and how much time you’re willing to put in. It has been empowering for me to say the least. I have to admit that I promised myself that if there is one thing I will commit to doing this whole 28 days,it is to eat the best I can as often as I can and make better decisions. Like making these protein packed parties in your mouth treats instead of chocolate cake. At under 150 calories for four of these, why eat cake?!? Trust me, from first hand experience, these will have you dancing with even more excitement (and ease) than you would have eating a chocolate cake! (Will post recipe on another post – stay tuned!)

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This different mindset has allowed me to forgive myself whenever I begin to diverge from the path I had set for myself using this guide. Just as I suspected, the frequency of this happening has actually decreased. You see, usually what happens is that (because I’m such a perfectionist) when I make a “mistake”, for instance, eating something I know I shouldn’t, I allow myself to forgive my actions and I move on. Moving on prevents me from feeling sorry about myself or feeling so bad that I just start binging on unhealthy food because for some reason, I have deemed all my efforts a waste. This isn’t true though, I know my efforts weren’t a waste and if I just pick up where I left off, I can continue to make better decisions. No more, “I’ll start again tomorrow” attitude. It has become more like “that’s okay, just dust yourself off and keep going”.

Another thing that has also helped me is that I do allow myself to indulge. For instance, if I really want a chip, like….want it so bad I would stab a B for one, I go and have some chips…but only a few. I do this because I know that if I begin to obsess about it too much, I will end up having some chips anyway (it’s the same concept of: don’t think of an elephant! Dammit!!! Now I’m thinking about elephants!) So yeah, I end up having chips ANYWAY…except I will more likely have a few bags of chips – a huge difference from only a few chips.

This is the same reason I couldn’t be a vegan to save my arse. I would constantly think about juicy, savory meat that I would begin to dream about it until my dreams became hallucinations and then before I knew it, there I would be, feasting on a piece of steak as savagely as a lion with its freshly killed, heart beating still prey!! But guess what, because I allow myself to eat whatever I want, the less likely I actually crave those foods. I only eat chicken, turkey, or fish (mainly salmon) once a day and egg. Rarely do I eat red meat, but when I do, I make sure it is grass fed, hormone free, and locally farmed.

Overall, week two was a success! I cannot wait to share about week three as I am technically in the middle of it!! And sneak peak, I will talk about my challenges and struggles from this week in my next post about this 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge.

week 2

Okay, so now that you’ve made it through all my ranting…..Orrrrrrrrr you were sneaky smart and just scrolled all the way down, here is my story about how I received a massive, almost uncomfortable amount of adrenaline while grocery shopping for week 2. As I was nearing my always fun (no sarcasm I promise, I LOVE grocery shopping because I LOVE food and all its colors. Okay yeah, so I’m weird like that) grocery shopping. I saw a teenage boy, who couldn’t have been older than 18, walking around with a grocery bag in hand. He looked like your stereotypical (maybe 5’4″ – 5’6″) scrawny, skater/surf bum with long, wavy ungroomed hair wearing khaki cargo shorts and soft crew neck tee. I assumed he had already paid for the items in his bag (let’s hope) but forgot to get one or two items. I mean, scatter brained me has done that before. But, what I haven’t done is to linger around the freezer isle after paying for groceries and preying on unsuspecting (and elderly women). I mean, after a minute of him standing there, he was looking preeeetty  suspicious.

So, from the corner of my eye, I kept a close watch on him. His actions were suspicious looking enough that I stood around pretending to look at frozen juices (which I haven’t bought any since the last time I made pink panty dropper….whaaaaa, did I just confess that to a whole bunch of strangers? Okay so what? errrr….when it’s too long ago you can’t remember, it doesn’t really count. But seriously, it’s a pretty good drink if made correctly and with good liquor and beer and keeps the crowd happy).

About a minute later, he sees an elderly woman (in her late 80’s, early 90’s) turn from her cart to grab some frozen fruits from the freezer. In that instant, he grabs her purse out of her shopping cart and shoves it in his bag. This little twerp had some guts committing this act against humanity under the cameras and around 5 or more other people. It just goes to show how so many of us are so consumed in our own happenings that we fail to see a thief in our midst.

I was shocked, angry, and confused as what to do. This feeling of confusion didn’t last very long before I decided to go after this boy – there was no way I could witness all this and not stand up for a woman who hadn’t even realized what was stolen from her.

Anyway, long story short or actually more like short story long now….I left my cart to the side and sped walked to meet up with him and cut him off. I yell “HEY!” He turns around and I look him in the eye and say “I saw you take that woman’s purse out of her cart and shove it in your bag.” At this point, I could tell he was scared shitless. It didn’t take him more than three seconds to begin to fumble her purse out of his bag and hand it to me. He looked at me waiting for some confirmation of what to do next but to be honest….I was kind of lost.

I wanted to involve a worker so we could get this boy prosecuted but I was entirely unsure how to achieve this while making sure he didn’t run off. I already felt like I had caused a scene when I yelled “hey!” I wasn’t really prepared because the adrenaline truly blocked clarity in my thought process. All I knew was that I had to get her purse back and if he ran…I would chase him down. I was in my workout clothes and tennis shoes and being around the same height as this little twerp but stronger, I knew I could take him down easy. But what was more important to me at that moment was that I could take the woman’s purse back to her.

At check out, I informed the manager of what happened and he said he would take a look at the security cameras. I hope he followed through and contacted the police upon seeing the footage. It really is disheartening that I witnessed this but, I am grateful that I have a capable mind and body to have been able to take action. I am pretty sure I am a justice seeker but, because I am not a confrontational kind of person, I truly surprised myself that I was able to put myself out there. It is a reinforcing feeling to know that I am continuing to grow as a person and feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I was finally living out my Halloween costume from my birthday party back in 2007 as a cop…

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I challenge you to follow through with something you wouldn’t think you would have done yesterday!!!

Taking on the Challenge

Week 1 Update

Week 3 & 4 Update

Cheers,

P

28 Day Jumpstart Challenge: Week 1 Update

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Week 1 was full of excitement, a little bit of chaos, but a whole lot of results. When I am talking about results, I don’t mean I now miraculously have a 6 pack or huge guns to blow you out of this world. I am talking about real results that are realistic for one week of making small changes and creating better habits and a positive mindset. I think I have hit all the marks on my heart goal (see picture above).

For instance, after the second day of eating right and exercising consistently, I noticed an increased in energy, strength, tightness, and positivity from my body. I have always had an athletic frame, bouncing from one sport to another and being high energy for most of my life. I feel this has given me huge benefits and advantages each time I ditch unhealthy and reincorporate a more healthy routine of eating and exercising. My body responds quickly, giving me one of the most immediate reinforcements.

I know my body is muscular, fit, and strong underneath. Through unhealthy decisions and bad eating habits, I have allowed myself to hide this strong body of mine under a less than ideal amount of body fat.

After this 28 day challenge, I don’t just hope to shed some of this “fat suit” I’m wearing, I know for a fact that I will. Even after one week, my clothes fit a little better, my legs are a little more shapely, my butt a little more bubbly, my arms slightly more defined, and my foodbaby (aka fluffy tummy) is disappearing slowly.

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I am more positive, I am continually learning along the way, and I am much happier!

Even Derek has complimented and commented on the results he is seeing everyday. Having a supportive husband who encourages me daily, even if it is to give me reminders by asking me, “do you really need it” (referencing having seconds or unhealthy food choices or cravings) to reminding me to take my vitamins or drink water. He is amazing to say the least.

Speaking of amazing, another amazing benefit I have embraced through this challenge is a fresher, cleaner breath! I wouldn’t say I have the best dental hygiene; only brushing at night before bed with a Sonicare and occasionally flossing (but that’s not what I tell my dentist of course – they don’t like to hear that! Wait…I currently don’t have a dentist. See!!! Bad. Dental. Hygiene….oops I should really get on that. In the mean time, thanks Mom and Dad for awesome teeth/mouth genetics that allow me to have a nice smile with pearly whites even though I suck)….*breathes* Now that I have confessed that big secret, where were we? Right! However, this challenge encourages you to brush your teeth after each meal – something we should do anyway yeah? The guide’s reason for this is to reduce your temptation to mindlessly snack in between your meals. This to me, makes total sense.

The biggest reason I absolutely despise brushing my teeth in the morning is the dissatisfying taste my breakfast will have to me. Seriously, who likes ruining a fresh breath with eating food? Not this girl!!! Not only have I had decreased desires to go back for seconds, but I also have a cleaner, fresher breath. Great for the body, great for the teeth! I love this idea so much that I keep a travel toothbrush and of course, natural toothpaste in my purse! (If you already didn’t know, I’m a bit of a “crunchy girl”. I love natural this, natural that! I’ll be writing a post about my “no poo” journey soon. No shamPOO people!!! Get your head out of the toilet, you might get pink eye!! No bueno!) Sometimes I use this toothbrush at home when I don’t have the patience for using my Sonicare. Why haven’t I thought of this before?

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While I look forward to brushing my teeth after every meal now, I also look forward to the stretching I have incorporated into my newly acquired healthy habits. For three years ( March 2011-2014), I drove nearly 500 miles a week to and from work, as well as in between clients. I was an ABA therapist working with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. It wasn’t a desk job but I sat nearly 80% of the time, 90% if you include all the sitting in the car while driving.

This nearly sedentary job coupled with vegetating on the couch after a 12-13 hour work day left my once limber body noticeably less flexible than when I began. Nearly two years ago, I practiced Bikram Yoga 2-4 times a week for nearly 6  months. Continuing practicing became increasingly difficult. As my work week increased in hours, it prevented me from making it to the classes. During those 6 months, I felt the best I had ever felt in regards to my flexibility.

I also found an inner peace bringing me closer to feeling more spiritual. This is something I wanted to achieve again through stretching and yoga, although it is a little more difficult to stretch here at home, as you can see from the picture below:

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As soon as I lay my yoga mat out (or anything for that matter), all three of my puppies, including Pico our cutie cat, think it’s an invitation to lounge out. Can you blame them? Trust me, I’m not being biased when I say that Boots, Willow, Cubby, and Pico (yes, even he acts like a puppy) are the cutest pups around.

Speaking of pups. I’ve been chewing mad crazy like a puppy…or rabbit …or horse …or (insert anything that chews, chews, chews – except tobacco chewers, yuck). I love food, I love it so much I used to still sometimes inhale it. I have been practicing chewing my food at least long enough to get through the alphabet, one letter per each chew. This is what the “Fit Girls Guide eBook” recommends (Gosh….they have so many smart information to share with you! Their Blog is a great alternative to free information if you just want to incorporate a little more healthy into your life and not take on the full 28 day challenge.)

I took nutrition in college so I already knew that chewing is the first step in the process of digestion but, that didn’t stop me. I guess I just needed some time to finally listen. Hey! Better late than never! Your saliva works with your teeth grinding up your food to allow for easier digestion, the extra time spent chewing also allows your brain the receive signals from your body that it is, in fact, full. Here is an informative site just for you if you want to know more about why chewing is such an important part of digestion. If I haven’t earned your trust from my comment about my pups being the cutest, then you can really trust me this time when I say, chewing your food longer is the way to go!

Week 1 was fulfilling to say the least and I cannot wait to share week 2 with you all. I do plan on writing posts about recipes and work outs from this challenge. It’s been a little busy here – I do actually have to participate in this thing called life. But hey! Then at least I can actually blog about it! YAY!!!!

Taking on the Challenge

Week 2 Update

Week 3 & 4 Update

Cheers,

P

My Heart and Soul

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Four years ago today, Derek and I began our lifetime journey as a married couple. Even before marriage, I knew I loved him to my deepest core and we would live a fulfilling life together. Trust me when I say, “it was love at first sight” (this calls for another post, another time). What I didn’t know then, was exactly how much more I could love him and exactly how fulfilling my life was going to be. When it comes to being blessed, I could NOT feel more blessed at this moment to know that I married such an amazing man. He still gives me butterflies and I can’t help but smile when I think of him. Don’t get me wrong, the last four years hasn’t always been such wedded bliss. However, it is in those moments that I am comforted in my faith and trust in our relationship and in my husband that I need not worry about getting through whatever difficult situation we are dealing with. The aftermath is something even more special. We are even more connected and even more in love with each other.

Never did I imagine how fulfilling such a fruitful marriage feels. It was something that I always wanted. Not until I experienced, first hand, being in such an unconditional partnership with a man who truly completes me, it was just as make-believe to me as fairy dust, unicorns, and oompa loompas. I am thankful that I grew up with amazing examples of great love from my own parents, to even my siblings (I am the youngest of 7). Thank goodness I was in touch with reality, resulting in never completely buying into the Disney princess movies. Although, I did meet my prince *cues music* and we are living happily ever after……….however *music stops*, complete with a more realistic storyline of balancing our magical fairy dust parties with unicorns and dueling with our scary inner oompa loompas.

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Listen, relationships and marriages are difficult to maintain. It takes a lot of patience, understanding, support, unconditional love, time, energy, forgiveness, and trust to name JUST a few. Except, when you find someone who just gets you and completes you in more ways than you can express and makes you a better person….you experience something magical and unreal. This makes your relationship that much easier to maintain.

You WANT to work together because you WANT it just as bad as they do. When you can completely be yourself, laugh with and at each other, and have faith and trust in one another, you’re on the right track. There isn’t a side of me that Derek hasn’t seen and there isn’t a side of me that he doesn’t love. I feel the same about him.

Correct me if I’m wrong, most people worry about their own happiness and being independent. I get it – it’s self empowering; you never want to feel weak or rely on anyone else for your own happiness. I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong. I would like to, however, share a different perspective. One that Derek and I mutually agree with. That is: when both partners worry about their spouse’s or significant others’ happiness over their own, then this results in happiness for all. You become less selfish and become more selfless. You open the doors for unconditional love and trust. After all, you are in a partnership. You are supposed to work together. As long as you put the other before yourself – you will always be taken care of. Plus, in my opinion, it should be easier to care for and love someone than yourself.

I know that our marriage isn’t all laughter and ponies, cuddles and penguin kisses – this is not what we strive for in our marriage. What we strive for is to continue to learn and accept each other as we change and struggle over the years. Our end goal is to be together and share a lifetime full of happy memories and if we have to fight over certain matters to achieve this, then we say “bring it on, baby!” Just like we said when beginning our first year of marriage (the toughest according to most couples).

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Celebrating our First Anniversary

Oh yeah…and also when signing up for Warrior Dash 2012!!!……….

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And…(last one I promise) when we decided to take care of all these cuties!!!

10593485_257305207812187_873462189_nWe absolutely have to pick and choose our battles and when. Except, I love knowing that truly in my heart, there isn’t a battle we can’t face as long as we do it together. We want to go through the bad times. We want to forgive each other and ourselves, but never forget. Because when we forget, we don’t learn. And when we don’t learn, we can’t improve, and when we can’t improve, we can’t teach our own children about life. Being married to Derek has made me a better, stronger, and more confident woman. He truly challenges me yet he accepts me. He pushes and encourages me yet, he’s patient. He cherishes me and respects me. His unconditional love enables me to see the light, always. He is the kind of man that reflects the kind of woman I want to become and the kind of mother we want for our children.

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Cherry Pie Fridge Oats

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This is breakfast for me for Week 1 of Fit Girls 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge. I first started making Overnight, No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal back in Summer 2012  when I came across these recipes from theyummylife. I forgot how much I LOVE this no cook oatmeal. It has all these wholesome ingredients that will help get your day started, no need for cooking, and you can make a few ahead of time…did I mention no need for cooking? It is jam packed with protein from the Greek yogurt and almond butter to the chia seeds. This is a perfect go to breakfast for those who wake up when they need to leave everyone who loves delicious food!

Here is the recipe for this particular flavor:

Cherry Pie Fridge Oats

1/3c     old fashioned rolled oats

1/3c     unsweetened almond milk

1/2c     2% Greek yogurt

1t         chia seeds

1/2T     almond butter

1t         honey

1/2c     chopped frozen cherries (I used fresh since that’s what I had)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with a lid, I prefer using small mason jars. You can use a knife to help mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a lid, shake extra just to be sure and place it in the fridge. Viola….you wake up with breakfast already made!

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I mixed together two servings in this jar

If you’re like me, I sometimes don’t put all or any honey in mine the night before. I drizzle it over my oatmeal right before I eat it, I measure out 1 teaspoon of honey as it’s easy to keep drizzling away!

There are so many variations of this recipe it’s ridiculous! Have fun trying your own and have even more fun stuffing your face with it because it’s that good!

Fit Girls Guide 28 Day Challenge

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What is it? Good Question! Click here for my personal Q&A about The Fit Girls Guide Challenge and eBook!

I follow several Health and Fitness pages on Instagram. The past few days I have seen the same picture on multiple Instagram accounts of the Fit Girls Guide eBook. I quickly scrolled past these posts as I usually look for food and photo transformation inspirations to keep me motivated to stay healthy and fit. However, last night I decided to take a closer look and read the caption.

“Perfect!!” I thought to myself. I could participate in this worldwide 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge. So I took the steps to participate which included downloading their temporarily free eBook online (normally 30 dollars, as of Aug 5, 2014, it is only 17.99) and posting a screenshot of the eBook on Instagram (mine is the pic above) and tagging it #fitgirlsguide. I also had to make a heart with my goals for the challenge as well as take a vertical front and side before and after photo holding my goals in hand.

So, I spent the rest of my night reading this eBook complete with tips, weekly grocery lists, meal plans, and exercise routines. It truly is a guide for girlies. If the pink background and retro pictures of women weren’t enough to give it away, then words such as “jelly (jealous), fab (fabulous), amazeballs (super amazing and awesome), chillax (chill and relax), friggin (freaking) might give it away. If you’re still not convinced, then perhaps you will after reading the sections that talk about your period. Yeah…last time I checked, men don’t get periods (such a shame).

Anyway, sometimes it’s nice to follow a set plan as it takes less effort to make one yourself. And if you’re like me, I tend to “cheat” less from set guidelines compared to when I do things on my own. For example, I would thrive on having a personal coach to kick my ass along the way – trust me, self motivation is something I constantly have to work toward!

So, today marks the first day of this challenge! Looking through the meal plans and the exercise routines, it isn’t overly intimidating. I am already into healthy and clean eating. I am also familiar with the exercise routines as I have been an athlete for more than half my life. The only intimidating factor is the commitment and constant effort I will need to put in to finish the challenge. I can be such a perfectionist at times that if I mess up once, it becomes increasingly difficult to continue – it’s that whole living on one extreme or the other taking effect.

I will update my progress, challenges, and experience throughout the next 28 days including photos of my delicious meals and my dreaded feel good exercises 🙂

Week 1 Update

Week 2 Update

Week 3 & 4 Update

An excerpt from the Fit Girls Guide eBook

An excerpt from the Fit Girls Guide eBook

The Little Roles in Life

As I begin my new blog, there is an overwhelming abundance of information about myself I would like to share with you. After all, this blog is meant to share my individual lifestyle that makes me who I am.

Just as my first post says, I play a lot of smaller roles that influence and shape the ever-changing person I am. I am hoping to capture these bits and pieces of my life by blogging about them and offering categories on my blog to make it easier to follow. I don’t expect people to read or be interested in every thing I post. Perhaps, you’ll follow me for my posts on traveling, health and fitness, or product reviews. Or quite possibly you’re more into make-up, fashion, or creating and designing.

Whatever reason you’re reading certain posts, I hope to make it easier for you to follow categories you’re most interested in because heaven knows I am into more things than I can keep track of. Ignore “finding herpes” and “heading ministry” on the list below….but mainly “finding herpes”……

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