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Let them eat raspberries

Three cheers for the largest picture of raspberries you’ll see today!

Last night I got home from work and I realized I wasn’t craving sugar. I didn’t “have to have it.”  And that’s why I decided to stop my fruit fast. Why? Because I wasn’t reliant on it anymore. That was all I needed to know! I had raspberries today (because for breakfast I was having the breakfast cookie!!! and I don’t know about you, but I need some sort of fruit texture with that monster! side note: try adding some vanilla, almond, coconut or maple extract next time! So good!)  and I had a sample of a cinnamon almond snack to see if it was worth taking to Orlando with me (it was) and that was it. I didn’t grab handfuls of fruit because I was bored. I just left it alone. It was that simple.

Since I’m going to Florida on Saturday, does anyone have suggestions for some good restaurants who accommodate people with special dietary needs? When it comes to food America>Canada. Just saying 😉

A beneficial cold shoulder?

First up: an update. Avoiding fruit is hard! It’s amazing how often I turn to sweet flavours first thing in the morning or after a meal to cleanse my palate! I frequently test my blood sugar just for interests sake. But it never fluctuates much, and decreasing my sugar intake hasn’t changed that… either my body is a machine at regulating my blood glucose levels or my equipment is out of whack. Perhaps it’s time to buy a different blood glucose meter and see if my results are any different!

Ice Baths.

Famed for their usefulness in preventing injuries, particularly after long runs, but is there more to their health effects?

Recent studies have implicated the effects of cold exposure on increasing metabolism. This study implicated exercising in the cold as a mechanism for increased fat loss.

"forecast: sweet sweetness" ... maybe if all this snow is gonna keep me in these skinny jeans!!

Because of my education I have access to some of the best articles available, however I am not able to link to them since they are only accessible via a username and password. It’s tough for me to write and not be able to back up what I’m saying with scientific literature.  Regardless, I have to remind myself that this isn’t a scientific paper and it’s alright to relax a bit! Since I first read about cold exposure for fat loss in Ferriss’ book, I can tell you that his book is chocked full of references for your perusal if you so desire!

Basically, it has been shown that humans have an amount of brown adipose tissue in their bodies which aid in the fat burning process.  This fat is believed to be activated during cold exposure.  So what constitutes cold exposure?

It’s pretty simple: ice baths, cold water showers, drinking cold water (especially on an empty stomach), underdressing for the weather (keep your extremities covered!), or even placing a cold ice pack on your upper neck for short periods of time.

I haven’t seen as much literature to back up this theory as I would like, but it is intriguing none the less.
Have you ever tried cold-therapy or know of anyone who has?

Fruitless or Fruitful?

Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to try out one of Ferriss’ suggestions. Granted I’m not following his whole diet, but in light of my recent post on sugar, his suggestion to cut out fruit has got me thinking.  I don’t think that all sugar is bad. But I do believe highly processed foods are extremely detrimental to our health, and most sugar is highly processed. I don’t believe that fruit falls into the “highly processed” category by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like shaking my eating habits up a bit!

I guess this means no more sparkly apples eh?

In general, I’m careful about my processed sugar consumption.  I find that cutting back on processed sugars keeps me from craving food like crazy, and more importantly it significantly reduces the amount of joint pain and stiffness I experience on a daily basis. Along this line, I rarely consume sugar substitutes, simply put, I don’t like the amount of processing that goes into them, and I want to moderate my sugar tolerance. Natural sugars taste a lot sweeter when your taste buds aren’t constantly assailed by artificially sweetened foods!

I’m not really sure what I’m expecting from this experiment… I’m headed to Orlando next Saturday and I’m not sure how realistic it will be to keep this up while being away from the comforts of home when my diet is already so restricted.
Will one week produce any tangible results? I think it’s unlikely but who knows? At the very least I will be eating more vegetables (since I will focus on keeping my macros the same), testing the boundaries of my self-control, and forcing myself to be more creative with my food choices! It’s going to be an interesting week… especially considering my parents just bought a bunch of fresh fruit this afternoon…

Tomorrow? Looks like it’s going to be  a continuation of this theme, I’ll be blogging about cold therapy (which Ferriss talks about in his book) and blood glucose testing.

Do you have a favourite natural sweetener?
I love both the unique taste and sweetness of real maple syrup!

The Four Hour Body?

I recently read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body.

It was interesting, to say the least. I want to start off by cautioning that there is a whole chapter in the book that is… well not appropriate for youngsters.  This book is huge and chocked full of information about sleep, losing weight, gaining muscle and beyond! (yes I am still in love with Buzz Lightyear…)

This book is so interesting because Tim Ferriss does not have formal credentials. His book is predominately based on his own experiements; there are no formal research trials or studies on the long-term effects.  This is simply a chronicle of what worked for him and those he enlisted to trail his methods.  And though no research study could ever be perfect, it does offer some assurance that the results are scientifically sound.  That being said, Ferriss was not driven by a desire to prove or disprove a certain theory. He simply wanted  to figure out what truly will work, which (according to him) allows him to be unbiased in publishing the results.

I thought the concept of this book was very interesting; his goal is to see maximum results for minimal effort.  But isn’t this the claim everyone wants to hear? It’s always a claim I am wary of; it’s marketable and a great selling feature. However there is some validity to it. Even in the hospitals, drug dosages are determined based on the minimum amount of the drug which will still cause the desired affect. The question is, how little is too little? And Ferriss is focused on results, on how one’s body looks from the outside. But what’s happening on the inside, does his recommend lifestyle attribute to overall health? That remains to be seen.

However, thinking about this book reminded me that I have taken up some of Ferriss’ recommendations, and furthermore, I think I’m going to challenge myself and take up another of his recommendations. What is that going to look like? To be honest I’m not totally sure, but more on that tomorrow!!

If you’ve read this book, what were your thoughts on it?

There were tears over spilled milk

A little about myself!
I’ve been waitressing since I was seventeen, and I love getting to talk to all the customers. However I can be lacking in co-ordination and let’s just say that can cause some problems as I’m sure you can imagine!

In a recent shift I dropped the dishes I was carrying at three separate times. I think I spent more of my evening cleaning up the floor than serving tables! Yet this somehow doesn’t live up to my “favourite’ story…

I was holding a tray full of drinks as I was setting them down on a table of eight, the tray began to tip. The drinks began to slide and one large glass of chocolate milk went tumbling off the edge. Unharmed, the glass landed safely on the carpet, but the contents splashed all over a woman wearing a white shirt… and her 6 month-old baby.  The tears however, did not come from myself, the baby, or the mother. Her older two children (who were, might I add, unharmed by the chocolate milk) started screaming and became inconsolable, shrieking over and over “mommy are you okay?!?!?”

It was one of the most mortifying albeit hilarious situations I have ever been in.

One of the Lucky Ones

The comments on yesterday’s post really got me thinking about self image.

I truly am one of the lucky ones. My feelings about my appearance have been overwhelmingly positive for the majority of my life. I attribute this to three things:

1) My dad. He has always called me beautiful. I’ve heard that fathers are crucial in the formation of their daughters self-concept and I am so grateful that my dad has always shown me affection and treated me as though I was precious and worth his time.

2) I’ve worked for it. I love being active, and knowing that my legs carried me for that 5k run fills me with a sense of pride and ownership. My body can do incredible things and for that I am grateful.

3) My Heavenly Father. I believe that the creator of the universe calls me beautiful. There is nothing more powerful than believing the words of he who created the earth, and besides, who am I to argue with the big guy?

Ever since I was young, I’ve felt pretty and strong. I don’t know when or where I came up with this idea, but I always believed that if a guy didn’t check me out, it must be because he has a girlfriend! 😛 It’s silly but it feels good.

There are two things I want to avoid in this post,
1) I don’t want it to be mistaken for arrogance. I believe that I am beautiful but it is not relative to others. My self concept is not based on putting others down. Everyone is beautiful, and each for their own reasons.
2) I don’t want anyone to assume I’m just living in a dream world. The reality is that not everyone will find you beautiful, but it certainly is fun to believe that they do! We all live in a world based on our own perspective, so why not make yours a positive one?

Everyday I look in the mirror and I see what I love. If I can change something I don’t love (my thighs!) I work on it! But I also remember that those thighs are the home of the muscles that allow me to fly down a ski hill, and keep me from falling when I turn sharply. But I don’t focus on my thighs. I think about the things I love and allow myself to dwell on those features and nothing else.

Is there a body part that you need to change your perspective on? What part of your body/face should you spend more time thinking about?

Picking up more than weights

Getting picked up at the gym. Oh joy.

I recently had a conversation with my trainer about how I react to being hit on at the gym. The first words out of my mouth were that I just avoid making eye contact at all costs. And yet somehow even that is never enough… some guys know what they want and nothing is going to stop them. Which is great, when it’s the right guy… and lets be real, it’s not usually “the right guy.” Granted, as much as I try to avoid it, these situations make for some great stories! So without further ado, here is the story of the day I learned to avoid eye contact:

I had been to the dentist earlier that morning to have a cavity filled and they had some issues getting my mouth to freeze, so they kept injecting and injecting and injecting. Until the entire left side of my face was frozen. I lost the ability to smile as well as the use of my left eyelid. The dental hygienist told me that if I got my heart rate up, the freezing would leave my system more quickly. Since I had my gym clothes with me, I got in my car and trucked off to the gym. I was on the stationary bike when I noticed a guy on the weight room floor, uh …winking at me? I looked over again a few minutes later and realized he was definitely winking away. Then it hit me. My frozen face had turned my blinking into winking. He thought that I had been winking at him that whole time!!! Poor guy!

How do you feel about being hit on at the gym? Is it flattering or tiring? Have any funny stories?