Foods that boost immunity

I’m assuming you’ve heard of the ol’ “an apple a day….” well it takes a little bit more than that but its a good start! Whether your sick or not, these foods are good to have in your diet to not only help prevent you from getting sick but keep ya healthy too.

Here are some foods that boost your immune system.

butternut

Butternut squash- Very high is Vitamins A, C and E. Heart friendly, high in antioxidants and can help with inflammation.

mushroom

Mushrooms – Very high in protein, vitamin B and C and also full of fiber too. Mushrooms have beta-glucans which are known for boosting the immune system. Eat em’ up!!

oats .

Oats – Hello good fiber! Keeps ya regular….and they are yummy and you can pretty much add all kinds of things to it to make it taste however you’d like.

beef

beef – news flash, not all red meat is “bad” … if you get a good lean piece you really shouldn’t worry about the fat content in it since its the same healthy fat that you find in olive oil. Plus you need healthy fat so quit being a worry wart. Very high in protein (3 oz can yield about 20g + of protein), sinc and b- vitamins.

chicken

chicken- Its first off one of the most leanest forms of protein next to fish, and its very high in a mineral called phosphorus. Phosphorus helps with many things including keeping  strong teeth, bones, supporting the liver, and kidneys. Along with phosphorus its also high in selenium which helps metabolic performance (hence why so many “clean eating” recipes have it .. due to its helpfulness with weight loss. )

yogurt

Yogurt – Aww the good ol’ beneficial bugs lol. So on yogurt it says “active live cultures” meaning live bacteria! … now your probably thinking “Ew, why would I want that?” Well, because its the good bacteria. Its the bacteria that keeps your intestine and digestive track balanced. Probiotics are the same thing but in pill form too if you don’t want to eat yogurt.

fish

Fish- Full of omega-3 fatty acids, reduces inflammation and is loaded with protein.

tea

Tea- green tea is amazing hands down! Can help you lose weight because its full of antioxidants. But any tea is good too. (except the store bought sugar loaded kind…stay away from that crap.)

chorella

Chlorella- What is that your probably asking…. its algae! Yep, I’m one of those crazy people telling you to eat algae =P. It helps detoxify toxins in the body and there is chlorophyll in chlorella. Chlorophyll helps repair tissue, process more oxygen and cleanses your blood.

So with that being said, if you feeling run down, sicko r just under the weather since the sick season is here and/or around the corner. . . . load up on a few of these . it should help =)

 

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6 and 5 weeks out

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As time goes on and the days pass a part of me is so nervous and excited and just thrilled I’m actually doing this (no turning back now!) but another part of me is rather relived and happy its almost over. Weird I know. I feel like the whole thing is going to be a bittersweet moment. The joy of being up on that stage (I’ve always loved the limelight ) knowing that I accomplished this goal that in all honestly was WAY harder to complete then I even imagined when I first started. But yet, I can begin to “live” again. Most people don’t realize how hard it is to sit there at a wedding/ baby shower/ anywhere with your 3oz of chicken and 8 asparagus spears while everyone else gorges on things like cake and BBQ ribs in front of you. Me, personally I didn’t mind it, I learned to live through other people, especially Evan hahaha. When we went on our vacation up to Vail I brought all my food and still continued to eat just like I do now, meanwhile he had things like pizza, peach pie, big burgers…… fricken waffle fries.. (not going to lie I wanted a waffle fry haha)

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When a friend of mine was telling me about “off season” and how all the pros of fitness take time off they eat things like pizza, doughnuts and good stuff.. I thought it sounded silly. Since the past 3-4 years through my whole weight loss I literally cannot remember the last time I ate a piece of pizza and since I have been eating clean for this long my thought when she said that to me was “but why would I ruin what I’ve just done??”

Let me just tell you now, I understand completely what she was talking about! through this prep (granted mine was a bit harder because I’ve been on such a prolonged clean diet for so long) … but literally I’ve never craved so much “unhealthy” food in my entire life. I probably pinned about 80 different pumpkin desert recipes on my pinterest the other day- no joke! And the fact that my body is handling whey (dairy) better now makes it even more dangerous!

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So not really sure what’s going to happen at the end of all this to be quite honest. I don’t want to make myself sick (even though I hear that is totally something every competitor does after a show hahah) but I do have a nice little list in my mind of all the different foods I want after this is over. Things like BBQ ribs, pumpkin….. well pumpkin anything!, Oreos, smothered burrito, tostadas, spaghetti … the list goes on…. guess we will see what happens eh?

 

ok without further ado, here are my 6 week and 5 week updates.

6 weeks out

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5 weeks

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I also got to pick out the color of my bikini! How exciting… I was so happy when my coach told me I should do pink or purple (my two favorite colors!!! ) so we opted for one in between its kinda a pinky-purple. … and it matches my gym bag, and my food prep bag haha. LOVE!!! I also was going back and forth between which connectors to use (connectors are the jewels on the bikini that hold it together… I picked the ones I’m going to use.. ya’ll will just have to wait and see which ones heee heee ;P

wpid-img_20140904_172117.jpgoh and I found more amazing PB that I can only eat when Evan isn’t around hahaha .. they need to make flavored almond butter and we’d be in business!!! Also here are some fun pics of Vail!! .. lol our maid probably thought a weirdo was staying there. =P

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7 weeks out! (Bikini Comp)

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Holy Moly time fly’s. 50 days and it will all be over …. kinda sad to think about it that way.. but that’s ok! I plan on taking my off season to kick some more booty and come back in full swing and hopefully do a few next year! Yep! That’s right ya’ll get to see me suffer with my chicken, gallons of water and piles of veggies some more in the future lol. (this way I can post some blogs for ya’ll thinking about doing a competition as well =))

With that being said. I’m 7 weeks out  .. here are my progress pics! I can say I finally am starting to feel like im beginning to look like some of the other bikini girls on the team.. which feels good haha.

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So along why my super low carb diet I have these days he gives me either called cab-loading or re-loading days and they sound amazing and super fun at first because you haven’t had carbs for sooo long haha… but only 3 meals in and still having 3 more to go being stuffed, this is when things get difficult haha. Not only is the extra carbs there but it about doubles my calorie intake that I’ve grown accustom to so its a little sad when I finally get a chance to down some brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato ect .. and I cant fathom eating any more ahaha.. I know I know one min I cant wait to eat , not I look at food and just feel full hahha. I’m a whiner…

wpid-img_20140821_103714.jpg breakfast was yummy tho, that’s one thing I didn’t mind grubbing down on , OATMEAL! nom

So some ideas for blog posts since I know ya’ll wanna know more than what’s going on with me haha. Let me know what you think! AND I’m willing to take suggestions too, just leave them in the comments below!!!

  • healthy protein bars
  • more workouts
  • what to expect when signing up for a bodybuilding competition!
  • mind over matter – controlling cravings
  • why do I binge or over eat?  – looking at the physiological side of it.

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My Current Meal and Supplement Plan (Fitness Comp Prep)

A lot of people have been asking what my diet looks like, what I eat, when I eat and how they can get their metabolism running faster… the key is to eat super clean foods every 3 hours so your body doesn’t even have a chance to feel hungry. I also focus more on counting my macronutrients (protein, carb, fiber and fat) more than my calories..

meal prep

… so here it is!

I always make sure I drink 8oz water right when I  wake up.

Supplements at waking:

  • 200-300 mg caffeine (or a pre-workout, depending on my mood)
  • 500-1000 mg Green Tea Extract
  • 1-2 g Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • 1000 mg White Kidney Bean Carb Intercept

Meal 1: (don’t wait more than 30 min to eat after you wake up)

  • 1/2 cup Steel Cut oats prepared with water.
  • Splash of almond milk
  • 1/2 banana cut up inside it for sweetness
  • sprinkle of cinnamon =)

***This is usually the time of day I workout (around 60-90 min)***

Meal 2: (Post-workout)

  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice. Mixed with 10 oz unsweetened Almond milk. 1 scoop glutamine powder, 1 scoop greens, 1 scoop carbohydrate blend, and 1 scoop BCAA’s.
  • With other 1/2 of banana.

Supplements :

  • 1 Multi-vitamin
  • 1-2 g L-Carnitine
  • 1000 mg White Kidney Bean Carb Intercept

Meal 3:

  • Medium size salad with 2oz grilled chicken/shrimp or turkey (usually cut into chunks)
  • 1 cup brown rice or quinoa. (or 1/2 baked sweet potato)
  • 10 almonds.

meal prep1

Supplements :

  • 200-300 mg caffeine
  • 500-1000 mg Green Tea Extract
  • 1-2 g Acetyl-L- Carnitine

Meal 4:

  •  1 scoop protein powder of choice. Mixed with 10 oz unsweetened Almond milk. 1 scoop glutamine powder, 1 scoop greens, and 1 scoop BCAA’s.
  •   1/4 avocado
  • 1 cup of  carrots or 3 celery sticks (or both haha)

Meal5:

  • 3oz Grilled Salmon/Tilapia (seasoned with Ms. Dash – no salt)
  • 10 spears of Asparagus
  • As big of a dinner salad as I want! …. (Dressings I use are all oil based – usually Newman’s own or Annie’s Brand.) about 2tbsp. I also add salsa sometimes too (its healthier than dressings…)

Supplements:

  • 2-3 g CLA
  • 2-3 g Fish oil

Meal 6:

  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice. Mixed with 10 oz unsweetened Almond milk. 1 scoop glutamine powder, 1 scoop greens, and 1 scoop BCAA’s.
  • 1/2 cup nuts or seeds (almonds, cashews, pecans, pumpkin, sunflower)

Supplements before bed:

  • 2-3 g CLA
  • 2-3 g Fish Oil
  • 2-3 g Glutamine

meal plan555

WATER WATER WATER ALL DAY!!!!!! DRINK UP

**The supplements and meal plan that I’m on is geared towards my goals for preparing for the fitness competition. I’m not stating that people should take these supplements because everyone is different and have different goals. This is just what I do one a every day basis and it works for me. **

Tip of the Week #15 Grocery Shop after you Workout

I’m telling you, I almost always stop into the grocery store after my workout. I feel great, awake and eager to make healthier choices after I’ve just spent an hour sweating. This is why you should try grocery shopping after you workout. grocery0000 ENDORPHINS! YAY! The happy hormone is naturally coursing though your body after you workout. Along with all that happiness, you usually just feel good after a workout in general, along with  a sense of self accomplishment and pride. You just worked your butt off, wanting more for yourself and health.. why not take it to the grocery store with you and load up on some clean eats! Also when you go… make sure you’ve brought a snack with you for the road to munch on while you’re on your way to the grocery store. Or when you first get there, hit the produce isle and grab some fruit or even an already made protein shake . I like to make my shake before I head to the gym so then when I get out, its right there ready to chug lol. workgroc2 Good post-workout snacks – Click on this link –Good Post-Workout Snacks!

Now this is where everyone gets it wrong, I used to do (and think) the same way… but man things start REALLY kickin’ along when you don’t use the excuse of    “I just worked out, I deserve this” …. so therefore you use the fact that you basically just busted your butt at the gym so its ok if I eat this ice cream or girl scout cookies…. No, your undoing what you just did its a catch 22… Yeah  every once in a while is fine, don’t get me wrong there but if its an every time occurrence… you might want to think about what goals you have in place and how much you really want something. Also, just as an experiment, you should try the other way around and see how much different you feel. =)

workgroc

Pros and Cons of Cleanses and Detox

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So for some reason everyone goes straight towards cleanses at the beginning of the year, wanting to “jump start ” that weight loss or lifestyle change. Whether you want to choose something the celebrities are doing, (ie. Beyoncé and her Master cleanse), a juice cleanse, pill form, raw food cleanse… the list goes on and on… I would do your own research as to what you personally think YOU can commit to because nothing is worse than feeling like you HAVE to do something, and then in return hating it while your doing it.

Trust me I’ve done my fair share of cleanses, I did the Master cleanse as mentioned above and not only was it not very tasty,  I felt tiered, down, angry, hungry and had constant headaches … did I lose weight? yeah a little, but it wasn’t worth all the pain I was having for those few pounds… It reminded me of those commercials you see on TV when they’re advertising a new pharmaceutical drug…  “you may have allllllllll of these side effects” …haha. I remember finally eating some chicken and veggies afterwards and feeling so much better. Which is why I often question whether I need to cleanse or not. Now before I get into some pros and cons, I do know that your body is made to actually cleanse itself. How awesome is that, right?! … And without going into an anatomy lesson…I do believe that cleansing your body with food (REAL FOOD) .. none of this lean cuisine or roman noodle crap.. I’m talking veggies, fruits, lean meats.. your body will take care of the rest. If you put the wrong fuel in your car, it wont run right? Well your body is the same way. Put processed food, sugar and things its not genetically inclined to recognize as “food” its not going to really know what to do with it, how to process it to your advantage and probably wont make you feel as good as some fresh veggies would. That being said, yes health food can be a bit expensive.. But if I can last a week and have enough self-control on stupid cayenne pepper lemonade, I can last a week and have enough self-control to cleanse my body the healthy way. Along with most cleanses is a “diet” they recommend, and that diet usually is pretty clean =) so some find it easier to have it laid out for them too… so that could be a benefit.

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OK on to the pros and cons!!!

PROS –

  • Some people feel its easier for a “fresh start” towards a diet, they feel cleansed of toxins and junk food they’ve been eating so that they have the ability to start.
  • Some people also need that little beacon of hope with losing a few pounds to feel like they are on the right track too… with cleanses, they eliminate a lot of water weight too… But it gives them that motivation and momentum they need to step in the right direction towards a lifestyle change.
  • Usually with cleanses they have a recommended diet, usually consisting of clean foods, this can re-set your taste buds and making veggies and fruits tastier. (love this aspect… I used to hate things like onion, grapefruit, and mango…now I love them)
  • With cleanses or even clean eating, it introduces the idea of repetition and simplicity. You know what’s “allowed and not allowed” and it makes it easier for some to sick to their diet when they create a pattern of what to eat and when.. and then hopefully it slowly starts to become a habit.
  • Rids toxins and junk in the body and can make you feel lighter, skin may clear up and mental fog may be gone.
  • can help you feel refreshed.

cleanse 4

CONS-

  • They can get a bit pricey depending on which ones you want to do
  • They can make your grumpy, antsy, or even feel like crap if you do not consume enough calories while on the cleanse or do a fast.
  • Cleanses can be awesome for fighting cravings … or they can be the doom of it all. If your feel like your depriving yourself (A. its probably not the right cleanse for you ….) you’ll be more inclined to binge, making the cleanse pointless.
  • Many detox diets can have very few calories to them which will yes, make you lose weight, but in return mess up your metabolism and actually cause you to gain  weight after your done with the cleanse.

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So in conclusion, you know your body better than anyone else. If you like the ideal of structure and find that easier, Id say go for it. If you’ve done some in the past and hated every minute of it and possibly didn’t feel any better at the end…. then I think you may want to try something else. I personally prefer ones that are pill based so then you still get to fuel your body with food, not feel hungry and still get to cleanse your body.

Rachel Frederickson… Did The Biggest Loser go to far?

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After seeing Facebook and the media being blown up about Rachel Frederickson’s transformation on The Biggest Loser, saying she looked “too thin” and “frail” alarmed me. I hadn’t gotten to actually watch the show at this point (I had recorded it… ) but just one look at the photos of the finale was enough to see that something was up. I got onto Facebook, wrote a little about how I have a love/hate relationship of the show and for those of my friends and family that had seen it, what their thoughts were. Needless to say most said she looked unhealthy and were shocked by her appearance, and some people just stated that if she was happy, then they were happy for her.

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Watching this season was enjoyable, it always is.. plus I got my boyfriend into watching it with me too =) I always love hearing the stories of how they got to where they were and how they’re ready to change their life and look forward to living  a healthier life. The show itself can be an empowering one with the drive, dedication and efforts put in by every contestant week by week. I can relate to some weight loss myself (not as much as them by any means ) but even when I was over 200lbs I know some of the emotional baggage they carry with them everywhere, I know what its like to not want to do something because you feel fat or stupid, but in retrospect, I also understand the “healing process” they go through as the weight comes off. That right there is why I mainly watch the show, I love seeing people believe in themselves, have the courage to change and also in that journey usually find themselves too because before they felt lost and hopeless. I love the fact that they inspire their own families or even people at home to make better choices when it comes to health. The show is supposed to take people who are unhealthy and make them “healthy” correct???

biggest2This was them 3 1/2 months before they left the ranch to be on their own and to come back for the finale.

Well after watching it finally and seeing what everyone was talking about over social media, I can kind of understand why because it was SO dramatic. When we last saw the final 3 contestants they looked fit, healthy and ready to take the last 3 1/2 months at home as a chance and challenge to win the title of The Biggest Loser and the winner of 250,000. When all 15 contestants came back for the finale, the transformations were unbelievable, they all had a glow and a new sense of self acceptance and inner peace with themselves. And Tumi won the at home prize of 100,000 which made me happy for her because he looked AMAZING! As it approaches time to reveal the top 3 (Rachel, Bobby and David) everyone is surprised and happy for the two men, who obviously lost a great amount of weight but when Rachel entered the stage jaws dropped, there were looks of pride mixed with more looks of just utter shock. Since the finale was live, they did get a capture of Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper with a look of concern spread accost both of their faces as Jillian repeatedly said “oh my god” over and over to herself as she was in shock. As they all stepped on the scale, Rachel was the winner with a 155lb weight loss weighing in at 105 with a height of 5’4” and losing almost 60% of her body weight. They also stated that she was 5% body fat total which may sound amazing to someone who may not know much about body composition, but its actually really unhealthy for a woman to be that low. The lowest they recommend for athletes is at least 10-15%, and there is certain consequences if you maintain this % of body fat for too long of a time, this is why all athletes have an “on and off season weight”.

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Now here is where the controversy comes in, not only her body fat being 5%, her BMI is at a 18 which is considered underweight. I personally hate BMI because it doesn’t account for muscle mass, therefore if someone was a bodybuilder, they most likely would be considered morbidly obese… From being 260 to start out and dropping to 105 within 7ish months is crazy and amazing all in one. I definitely commend her passion toward finding the athlete she once was and using it to her advantage during this competition. She was extremely competitive and ..in all reality that’s what The Biggest Loser is about. Its a game show, a competition and its “reality tv” to see who can drop the most weight in the shortest amount of time, and she did just that. When it comes down to the number on the scale why wouldn’t someone (not only her, anyone for that matter) not go to the extreme. Say you know your 15 lbs. away from that winning weight and with 250,000 on the line,… I can see how that would pressure anyone to do whatever it took.  There as been previous reports of other contestants over exercising, using diuretics or even doing cleanses and not eating any solid food just to prepare for that final weigh in. I don’t know exactly what she did those last 3 months when she was at home but she did state she stuck to the 1600 calorie diet the trainers gave her and she exercised a lot, sometimes taking 3 or 4 different group classes at her gym a day. She stated that she feels better than she ever has before so that makes me think she’s happy with her results (obviously.. she won) and I wish nothing but the best for her in the future. I did think she looked a lot healthier during makeover week when she had a bit more muscle mass on her, but that’s just my personal opinion. But I’m sure since its all over and done with, she will put a little bit more on as time goes on.

biggest5      biggest6

After the show, the trainers wouldn’t comment about her weight, and even Bob and Jillian stated that they “weren’t her trainer, so they weren’t given that opportunity to work personally with her” and throwing Dolvette under the bus. Yes, she was on his team at the beginning, but when it got down to the final contestants, they all worked with her and all the other contestants as well, so I personally think that was wrong. Dolvette later on stated, “Please try not to look at once slice of Rachel’s journey and come to broad conclusions, Rachel’s heath is and has always been my main concern, and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!” and I amend him for that.

So all in all, am I happy for her? Yes, of course, she has an amazing story and I’m sure she will have plenty more as her life continues. Do I think she’s too thin? During that finale, I personally do, I understand wanting something so bad that your willing to do anything to get it, now do I think she will stay at that 5%, I surly hope not, and I hope it was just so she would have reinsurance to win the title and cash prize. But like Dolvette said, its a journey, this is only a small chapter. Lets give her a chance to prove to us that she is still that athlete she says she. =) I also don’t blame the biggest loser for the difference between when she left the ranch for that 3 month period either, she was in control of her own weight and diet at home, but then there is also the question of how she learned to diet and whatnot.

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As far as my love/hate relationship with the show as a whole, I almost feel sad for her in a way because us as a society are always so quick to judge and we cant ever just be happy for someone and not point the finger. Were either too fat, too skinny, too muscular .. the list goes on. Along with that, these contestants have had enough of the finger pointing, they have lived (usually most of thier life) overweight, feeling alone, depressed, and judged everyday. So a part of me is torn because I am actually really happy for her but I do think she may have taken it a bit far. The biggest loser is supposed to help people learn how to be healthy and make better choices around food and exercise. With Rachel’s appearance, looking very thin (keep in mind also, the camera also adds about 10 lbs to us viewers on tv.. can you imagine what she looked like up close and personal?) I think that is the main reason people are so “oh my god” with it, she looks like she almost took it from one extreme to another (with overeating- which people don’t realize its an eating disorder as well) to looking like she had lost all her muscle mass (making people wonder if she was under eating).

Don’t get me wrong, I fricken love Jillian Michaels and her say it like it is attitude, always have. Dolvette is hot and Bob is just .. well he’s just a sweetheart with a serious side haha. But I don’t really like how they yell all the time, I get the fact of its a “break them down and build them back up” strategy, but there is better ways to motivate people than yelling in their faces lol…just saying. I also (this kind of pertains to Rachel in a way too) don’t like the fact that they only eat 1600 calories a day, that’s find but when your working out 4-6 hours a day.. sorry but you need more fuel for your body to function. The tv show is relatively “ok” if your actually there and are being watched by the doctors and nutritionists there .. but for those of us at home…not everyone can workout for 4 hours a day, we don’t have a controlled kitchen to monitor our food intake and not everyone can lose that much weight (35lbs) in one week when, its just not realistic. I don’t like the fact of them being discourages when they lose a normal amount either, they get so used to losing so much that when they get on the scale and it says 3 they are let down. (3lbs in a week is good!). This is why I think America tends to lean towards anything and everything pertaining to weight loss but then only wants the quick fixes. We aren’t going to fix this obesity epidemic with pills, drinks, surgery, and bypass, we got here with food, we need to learn to fix the problem with food because otherwise its just going to go in a cycle.

biggest8This is last years winner Dani, see how she looks healthy and has muscle tone.

Here is some food for thought (no pun intended) .. if you knew someone who ate 1600 cal and worked out for 4+ hours as day.. would you think they had a problem, obsession or even a disorder? That is the question to ask, and makes you think is The Biggest Loser really that great of a weight loss show as a whole?