Tip of the Week # 18: Quality vs. Quanitity

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When it comes to the food you put into your body, its more than just “calories in and calories out”… The food you consume is either going to benefit you nutritionally or its not, its either going to give you energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and everything else or it may make you feel lethargic, worn out or give you a sugar rush that will most likely die within a few hours. So when picking out your food according to price vs. nutrition is a huge thing that a lot of people have a hard time doing.

All the time I hear “eating healthy is expensive” Yeah sure, some of it can be, not gonna deny that. But… I dare you to go to your produce isle and look at how much a bag of 10 potatoes is, or how much a bunch of spinach or romaine is…. a bag of potatoes is about $4 (and there usually are like 10 potatoes in there!) Then go over to the lettuce options you have (not he pre-packaged pre-made salads the actual bunch of leafs… they usually are about $1 $1.50 each bunch ) If your buy 2 or 3 of those, make your own salad mix A. you usually get more than the pre-packaged salads and B. its usually half the price. Key to buying healthy foods is to know where you can save money.

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Now that I got that rant off my chest with a little example were gonna discuss how quality is so much more important to quality. Sure have a few cookies or a pop tart here and there but not every day. Your goal is to get healthy right? Well here are some things to consider when you reach for that junk food.

  • Fake sugar and sugar in general – Now I’m not saying a little sugar is bad. Sometimes you need a little to keep your sanity hahaha.. and sugar from things like fruit aren’t as bad as your actual table sugar…. When you eat sugar or too much sugar is spikes your insulin levels .. which can result in diseases like diabetes and whatnot. When  you insulin levels are spiked you body is constantly trying to “burn that sugar off” first. And with that insulin being spiked your body is going to have a  harder time getting to that fat burning zone. Needless to say sugar any kind, fake or not, your body isn’t used to the amount we normally put into it  now-a-days. Do you really think our systems as humans were meant to eat potato chips, Oreos and sugary cereal all day? or at all for that matter? Limit your sugar intake and you’ll see a change, guarantee it. (I’ll do a post on how to curn sugar cravings and other options you can use that are better than sugar soon if ya’ll would like.)

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  • Ok so as we talked about Oreos and Cereal …. lets take a look at that. So  yeah its yummy don’t get me wrong and like I said, enjoy a fricken oreo here and there (you need to find a balance) but do NOT eat the whole pack in 2 days haha. So when looking at cereal, have you actually looked at the ingredients in Captain Crunch? (I’m picking Captain because its one or was, one of my favs =)) Besides looking at how many calories are in the food and calling it done, I want you to grab a box of a sugary (usually Kellogg’s) cereal and go over to Kashi cereal. Look at the ingredients on the bottom of the nutrition panel. Do you recognize everything in the Captain Crunch? Do you in the Kashi? I bet there is less in Kashi as well. Now…… here is where people don’t realize. . . . yeah Kashi is $4 and Captain is probably $1 .. $2 I don’t know.. So with that and looking at the ingredents, I bet one of the first few ingredients in Captain is “Enriched Bleached Flour” .. Yup! Its exactly what it sounds like, I might as well go grab my flour, bring it down to the laundry room and make my own. sad to say but yes, its true… they bleach it. and I bet the ingredient sugar isn’t far behind it on the list. On the flipside, Kashi probably says something like “Whole Wheat rolled Oats” or something. Now that should like something healthy right ? … and it definitely doesn’t sound like a chemical shit storm… Pay attention to ingredients and look for as minimal as possible.

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  • Lets talk about nutrition (the main point). So which do you think will fill you up faster? A burger from a fast food place? Or a salad? Well the thing is, they both “fill you up” just depends on how long your going to stay full for, which is going to provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins and fiber your body needs to run at top notch and which one is healthier (because being healthy is the main goal here). If your keeping track of your calories (which you should be because you’d be surprised how much you actually eat sometimes). You will notice how easy it is to get up to 1800 calories by eating crap foods. I mean good grief, 2 chips ahoy cookies is 150 calories alone, and between you and me… I cant just eat two at a time, its usually like 4 or 5 ( which equals 300+ cal) haha. Whereas, if you were to cook up 4oz of chicken and some fresh broccoli or whatever veggie you’d like .. the calories is going to be around 180-200 in that. So now that you see you would get to consume more food by eating healthier foods, you have to stop and think about which one is going to “fuel” your body. 4 cookies or a piece of chicken and veggies. The choice is yours but I think I made my point… plus I don’t know about you… but id rather eat a lot, then only have a small amount of food and feel groggy all day.

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  • One more point, sure at first eating healthy sucks (been there, I used to live on ramen, Tostitos pizza and all kinds of horrible things that I usually don’t eat now .. only for a treat do I do that)  But once you start getting used to it, its really not that bad. You start to get creative in the kitchen, you get a fun cookbook, you start to have fun looking for different spices and herbs. Learn to make it fun, get the whole family in on it and don’t look at it as a chore, your taking care of yourself. I personally like to think that my body is the only one I get, I either spend the money on fresh food or I will spend that money at the dr. later on in life. You’ll also notice a significant change in things like energy, sleep patterns and much more.

Plus I saw brown rice, dry beans and frozen veggies at the dollar store … so don’t tell me its expensive, you’re making excuses.

And don’t feel like you have to do everything at once, I didn’t, take baby steps.. this way you don’t quit or get overwhelmed.

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10 and 11 Weeks Out

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Less than 70 days till I step on that stage in my hooker heals and sparkly bikini! Oh my gosh guys.. If you ever think about doing this make sure your ready for all the craziness that goes with it haha. A part of it is pretty simple if you think about it, eat super clean 24/7 along with some pretty intense workouts.

But along with the obvious, no one really talks about the mental aspect of it. There will be days you will want to quit, not give it your all, slack off, cheat on your diet, want to eat an entire subway sandwich and oh so many more things. But needless to say were doing this! ( I keep having to tell myself that for some reason).

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So here is my 10 and 11 weeks out pics and I’m not sure if its because I had a really weird dream the other day but I kind of had an epiphany. After all the things I’ve been through with preparing for this and just in life in general (car accident on my birthday, first broken bone, still dealing with getting my settlement and of course some family craziness ..who doesn’t have those haha)  along with weight (gain and loss), struggles with self acceptance, eating habits, knowledge and just learning to believe in myself its kinda ironic that I have to pep talk myself up sometimes.

With that being said I made a short little list ( and I have more than this) but here are some top reasons I keep telling myself WHY I’m doing this. Its always important to have a goal, but more importantly you need to have a WHY. And your Why ideally should almost scare you, make you cry in joy and excite you all in one…

And your “why’s” should be more than the obvious … like to look hot… common everyone wants that but its not deep. Dig deep!!!

  1. To prove to myself and others (more for myself though) that I can do this the healthy way. To be healthy mind, body, soul and to not have any self hate towards myself as a person nor towards the body I live in.
  2. To push myself  ( I’ve always had a good sense of drive with whatever I choose to do) When I think about how hard something is I want to automatically realize that I can accomplish anything. Put in the work, get the results of the work put in. Not easy but it will be worth it.
  3. I can honestly say that I no longer want to be “skinny” nor do I really like that word either… skinny. It rubs me the wrong way now, and for a good reason. I can see a girl walking around who is particularly “Skinny”… That’s not my goal anymore, nor is it honestly attractive to me really (just my opinion). I want to be “FIT” I want people to look at me and tell that I strive for this, that I work for it and I look healthy. A well build physique is attractive to me, no one can buy it or give it to me and it shows that I put in the work to obtain it.
  4. I also like to think of myself in the future. I see so many adults or even people who are younger than me have too many health problems and usually looking and even acting 20 years older than they are. Not only that but they have kids and its hard for them to keep up with their own kids. I want my family to be active, healthy and I want to enjoy that with them when the time comes. I see it as I pay a little extra to take care of myself now so I wont have to pay for it when I get older at the doctors.
  5. .. this one really isn’t a “why” but … when you start to see things in a positive light, more and more positive things start to come to you. You get a promotion, you receive good news from a friend … ect. the more positive vibes if you will that you put out there, the more that will come your way. sounds crazy but its true. … don’t believe me. try it .. just for shits and giggles =)

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wpid-img_20140731_105255.jpgSlow progress but its still progress. Pacience is key here and staying motivated can take its toll.

” Decide you want it more than your afraid of it!!” – Bill Cosby

 

ps.. I also found this gum and its amazing haha. Thought I would share it with ya’ll. Its called Yum Yum Gum. They pretty much have every flavor thought of … when pumpkin pie gets in season … OH ITS ON!!! =P

 

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Update: 12 Weeks out!

Well I survived 1 whole month. Whooo haha. (it wasn’t that bad… the workouts are brutal though…. )

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Not too much has changed as far as weight ad diet. He did add fish to my plan so that was suuuper exciting haha. (something other than turkey and chicken ahahah)

I notice more of a difference in pictures and body composition than anything (which thank god for pictures because I would probably be freaking out otherwise since when I started with him I was 137ish  and I’m now only 133 lol. But when you think about it, its about 1 lbs. a week which is ideal so I guess I’m on the right track.

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I’m also getting more and more creative with my food to not make it seem like I’m eating the same thing over and over. The other day I did one of these Ms. dash packets (fajita style) in a crock pot of about 6 chicken breasts and made like a pulled chicken type of meal. … and this one was pretty good too. Made it with Ground lean turkey and no tomatoes ( the recipe on the back called for them.. but I’m a rebel and don’t follow rules =P  )

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This was the pulled chicken, it is really juicy (which is god because so many times chicken gets dry fast) … I put it on a salad with some salsa.

Along with just every day life, I also learned to never eat 6 cups of broccoli all day  everyday for 3 days straight.. (or at least I hope that’s what the problem was. So long story short (and I’m just going to say it like it is ya’ll … hope ya don’t get offended) but I was literally keeled over at work and when I got home last night. I was google-ing stomach pain and found that broccoli is a veggie that can A. cause bloating and B. has a harder time digesting in your body… (I didn’t know this)

So with that being said and a laxative taken last night to see if that was the problem (I believe it was BTW) I feel a lot better today and need to go get something other than broccoli for my meals now… since all I have is broccoli hahha.

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this is whats in my fridge hhahahahaa .. oh man..

green beans and asparagus here I come!!!!

 

 

 

 

Life is hard to balance at times …… (14 and 13 weeks out update)

Oh my gosh guys! Sorry life is definitely busier than usual but I’ll try my best to keep it updated! haha.

Between the training, cooking, eating (all I feel like I do is eat btw haha), work and everything else it is all I can do to just come home and not pass out right away …

Now, if you have been following me on instagram, you’ll know that my weight keep fluctuating and this is something I personally find extremely annoying and I know I need to learn not to let it get to me. … with that being said its a good thing I take measurements now and pictures every week because that’s the only way I’m really seeing a difference. But its a good difference! =)

Week 3 (14 weeks out from show.)

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Going into week 4 (13 weeks out from show)

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hardest part so far? … cardio on those damn stairs.. I tell ya we have a love/hate relationship right now .. and cravings OMG… I just want a PB and J lol….

MY CRAVING CRUSHERS:

  • Gum – deserts
  • mints
  • sparkling water!!! – look for no sugar/sodium/ nothing…
  • tea
  • spices

ooh that  list looks sad lol.

OH also… I have the best boyfriend ever! we past 4 years on the 4th of july … he got me this!!

oh…so … beautiful….

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I survived Week 1 ! ( 15 Weeks Out)

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HAHA, I like the title of this blog post …. Ok so you may be asking, How did it go? OMG.. talk about some up’s and down’s haha.

  • Diet – I’ve never ate so much food in my life. Its funny when people think you don’t eat and you’re starving yourself to get to this competition weight .. ( even my parents kind of gave me the look of “are you eating?” a few times since I’ve started this goal). When you actually eat whole complete foods and start eating what your body needs to survive instead of things you “want” or “think you need” that’s when you start so see some huge changes. When you actually start focusing on the nutrition side and meeting macronutrients, you’d be surprised how much food you can actually consume and how little or filling an appropriate amount of calories can be and feel. I’m currently carb cycling and hoping to learn more about this ( wanting to do a blog post on it too, but not till I fully understand it since I don’t want to put out information that isn’t correct to you guys) so my calories kind of go up and down. One day it will be around 1700 cal with higher carb down to 1350 cal with higher fat …. its seriously a science and I’m lucky I have a coach through this because I don’t really know what to look for or know what’s working and what isn’t yet.

What kinda of food am I eating? ? TONS of protein haha.

  • Protein – chicken, turkey, beef, shakes
  • Carbs – Oats, Banana, Brown and white rice, Quinoa, Potatoes and Sweet potato
  • Veggies – Kale, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, romaine and spinach.
  • Fats- mostly almond butter and a little bit coming from my dressing for salads , some avocado, some raw nuts like almonds or cashews.
  • Other Items – Low sugar ketchup (so happy I can have this haha, I’m a ketchup freak and I found one that has only 1 g sugar and 5 calories …and he said go for it!) … he’ll probably take it away closer to comp though, mustard, salsa, any spices (Ms. dash is a staple since its salt free), stevia, tea, every once in a while I will drink a cup of black coffee with stevia but its just not that same as a Starbucks haha , BCAA, lemon juice.
  • water water water- a gallon a day I try to shoot for.

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Pretty simple, yet can be boring at times. I understand sugar addiction even more now and never realized how much I crave bread. Everyday its something random that I’m craving too, one day its fruit, anther I seriously just want a cookie lol.

Things I have been using to bust the cravings…

  • Gum, Deserts gum is amazing haha.. but I have everything from minty, fruity, to cinnamon roll flavor.
  • Tea- you should see how many tea boxes I have right now, ridiculous.
  • I have a few different flavors of BCAA (branch chain amino acids) that help me when I want something sweet
  • Using different seasonings and spices, like I stated before, I have about every Ms. Dash made, and I have tried some weird concoctions on some things you wouldn’t think taste good but do… like tomato, basil, garlic flavor on a cut of steak… waaa?? … I’ve also accepted my “desert time” is in the morning with my oats and banana hahha.
  •  I have gummy multi-vitamins too, I usually try not to take them too often or I rotate them between my days since your body has a harder time digesting a gummy rather than a softgell (plus they have a little more sugar too) but on my lower carb day … it definitely keeps me on track and from losing my shi*.
  • When all else fails… Win and doubt, add more veggies…

So now this next part I thought wasn’t going to be the hard part… HA! I was wrong!! O so wrong!!! Workouts. HOLY SHIT. pardon my language … but Holy…

These workouts are probably the most taxing and difficult workouts I’ve ever done! I figured since I usually spent 2 hours in the gym every day I would have had this part down, I was more nervous about how the diet was going to change. . . . Ha! Rude awakening let me tell you!!

So when I met with my coach to go over everything … he kinda looked at me and was like “lets see how hard you work!” … oh sweet baby Jesus please save me came through my mind…. haha

Its amazing  how a few little tweaks and upping the number or sets and reps and lowering the weights can make THAT much of a difference in not only the difficulty and intensity along with the changes I saw within just the first week!

What do the workouts look like? Its a rotation of 6 days a week, weights and HITT cardio. with 1 rest day (which is low carb day and you’d think I would look forward to rest day, but since I don’t get my endorphins pumping and then with low carbs – which I can see why its low carb since your body mainly needs that “fuel” for your workouts … its just a rough day in general.) … and I may have snapped at Evan ( my boyfriend) a few times and its only week 2…ops! He’s a keeper if he lasts till October.. =)

 

last week :

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This week:

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What I’m noticing with my mentality and overall mindset….

So as I’ve wanted to give into my cravings or wimp put on a few sets of a certain exercise. …. you almost have to pep talk yourself back up. Its so much of a mind game than it is a “prep” its crazy that I’m actually having a struggle with this because this is like the NUMBER ONE thing I honestly believe has a major impact on your life in general. I’ve written a few blogs on the power of positive thinking, and always try to see the positive side to everything. I love motivational speakers, quotes and if you ask me what the big “secret” is … I will always say “You have to believe in yourself and that you can do it.. no doubts” But omg, I almost feel like I wasn’t ready for this next level of belief I guess. I have so much coming towards me all at once that everything I do or don’t do is going to affect my future. And that realization is a bit scary, not going to lie. But a quote I absolutely LOVE and I keep telling myself … “How bad do you want it?” The rest of the quote is below but when I feel like things are too hard, or I just want to be done or quit (Yes, I’m admitting I’ve wanted to quit a few times… Hell I’ve been at this for a year now and I’m only human)… I always ask myself this. And along with that I remind myself … “if it excites you scares the crap out of you at the same time, its probably something you should do”….

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With that being said I’m still going strong and I will do my best to keep you guys updated on everything.

I feel like I’m on the right path, I feel like everyday more and more people come to me and either share their success with me and tell me that I’ve helped them or inspired them and that is like the #1 reason I love what I’m doing. This makes me want to push myself harder than before and its weird because I get that drive from not only making myself better but from you guys. So keep sending me your crazy gym and food prep snap chats because I love them. =)

Some opportunities that have came my way… not sure where they will lead, but anxious to find out!

  • I moved jobs into a supplement store, leading me to meet tons of new people with experience doing what I’m on track to do. Whether they have competed, helped people get to compete or even just meeting people who are just starting out on their weight loss. I always get the “you probably don’t understand” look for the more overweight crowd and when I show them a picture or tell them my story, I can tell it has an effect when I mention to them if I can do it so can they, they just have to believe they can… This is also how I meet my coach. =)
  • I have been offered and audition for a supplement company to be a model and rep their products when I finally get down to that weight and “look” – they even might come to my show and support/watch me!
  • I’ve been asked numerous times if I’m a trainer at my gym, and then the manager asked me if I would like to be one and even offered to pay for the schooling to get a personal training certificate.
  • Tons of people have commented on how much progress I’ve made just in the last few months … ad to keep going.
  • This blog was nominated for an award that sadly didn’t get, but still being nominated is something huge in my mind.

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So what do I want o do? HA I have no clue, just following life where it leads me …

  • personal trainer
  • coach for competitions
  • personal and competition chef
  • fitness model and/or rep
  • competitor ( pro card? )
  • registered dietitian
  • weight loss and health coach

some of those ideas seem so far fetched in my mind right now (but looking back, being 210lbs.. I would have said standing on stage in a bikini was far fetched ha.. ) , but I know if I keep pushing myself towards this, it may become a possibility …. I just have to believe it is .

 

 

Lemon & Garlic Kale Chips

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So with my diet being pretty limited to veggies and meat mainly haha, I’m always looking for new ways to spice it up!!! So I made KALE CHIPS! … (even my boyfriend liked them… which was a surprise! ) <— ps. I love when he likes my health food hahah.

Ok enough bibble -babble! On to the Recipe!!!!

Its suuuper simple too. YAY!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • A bundle or two of fresh kale, washed and chopped.
  • 6 Garlic cloves, chopped. (or more if ya want… I’m a garlic freak so if you ever ask me… you can never have enough garlic!!!)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Sea Salt (one if you use one bunch, 2 if you make 2 bunches worth)
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice or one whole lemon freshly squeezed.
  • 1 tbsp. Black pepper

 

How to:

  • Wash Kale bunches and chop off ends, and then chop into “chip” size pieces.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325
  • In a large bowl mix all ingredients. (Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt, Pepper)
  • Place chopped up kale into bowl and mix around so the oil gets all over it all and you can even let it marinade for a while if you’d like. ( I let mine marinade for about 15 min)
  • On a baking sheet, spread out kale pieces onto sheet and then sprinkle the chopped up garlic cloves on top.
  • Bake for about 15-20 min until the kale pieces seem crispy at the end.
  • Let cool, and ENJOY!!!

Note: it helps if you every once in a while toss the leaves so some don’t end up burnt.. ( you know the ones on the sides of the pan) . …. lol.

 

Garlic and Herb Tuna Salad

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Had this the other day and it was delish!!! … after eating though, I could have gone without the dressing … but its all about a learning experience and seeing what works for you too. But anyways! Here is the recipe!

 

1 cup spinach and baby greens mix

50g (5 slices) cucumber

1 oz avocado

1 packet of tuna ( for this is used Tuna Creations Garlic and Herb flavor but lemon pepper is yummy too! ) =74g

1 oz chopped orange bell pepper

2tbs Walden Farms Chipotle Ranch dressing <— this is what I felt like I could have done without because the avocado acted as a dressing… but its all up to ya’ll.

 

Nutrition Breakdown:

Calories- 250

Protein- 17.5

Carbohydrate: 13.4

Fat: 14.5

 

ps. follow my instagram! I post all kinds of motivational stuff, quotes, recipes, and other stuff!! @amanda_fit_