Posts tagged ‘Health’

July 6, 2015

Emily Skye F.I.T. Program Vegan/Vegetarian Version

by jem614

I’ve been stalking Emily Skye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a while now and finally hit the “purchase” button this past week.  She had a 50% off special and it was only $35 for an entire month of food lists (weekly) as well as a menu and a workout plan. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try it for a month.

I don’t know about you but I need to be constantly on top of my fitness goals or I let go and it becomes a nightmare trying to undo the damage of unhealthy eating.  What I love about this plan is that everything is extremely healthy- I am reminded of how I was eating when I first became a vegetarian; clean, whole eating.

There is a wide variety of breakfast options including pancakes, quinoa cereal, chia pudding- which can be made the night before to save time. Lunches are tempeh stir fries, chickpea cakes; snacks are protein shakes (I use my favorite Garden of Life protein shakes in Chocolate or Marley Coffee) and protein balls or FIT protein muffins.  She uses tons of veggies, nuts, seeds, raw foods.  It’s clean eating- no milks except for the occasional unsweetened yogurt with berries and stevia.

The best part of the plan is that you will never be hungry, there is so much protein and whole foods that it filled me up.  I was actually wondering how I could fit it all in.  Her plan has it all set up so you literally do not have to figure it out on your own.  The recipes are tasty and simple so you won’t be overwhelmed with thousands of ingredients.
And lest you think that you’re spending a whole lot on just yourself, most of the recipes feed more than 1 person so you can either put it in the freezer and eat later, or feed the rest of your family!

I’m not 100% yet, I’m going into this gradually or I won’t stick to it.  My snack today was the pumpkin protein balls which literally have no sugar in them except a little bit of dates.  However, I only had four dates left so I subbed with bananas and it didn’t work out so well.  The dates are what sticks it together, the bananas just made it mushier.  Regardless, three of them make a great snack and I’m stuffed till lunch time.  Note to self- don’t sub!

Her 28 day Phase I plan also comes with a workout routine that I’ll be starting tonight.  You do need at least dumbbells at home if you’re not going to the gym, so be prepared if you decide to check her out.  Even if you don’t check her out today, this Aussie is an incredible role model and worth following on social media.  She’s all about positive energy and building others up.  .

Have you tried any great fitness plans lately?  Have you tried Emily Skye’s plan?  Let us know how you’re doing!!

For more information on Emily Skye, go to: Emily Skye Website or on Facebook.

January 23, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Update: 3 Weeks

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

So far I’ve lost a total of four pounds in three weeks – not bad, but I know I could have done better. While I’ve been good about doing some sort of exercise frequently, I haven’t been doing all I could and I certainly haven’t been following the plan religiously. It’s hard starting a new routine, especially one that is drastically different than how I normally would spend my time or fill my stomach.

For a reason unknown to me, I usually live life in extremes. I am either extremely motivated, overdoing it with exercise, eating way too little and/or restrictively or completely the opposite, barely wanting to move and eating with gluttony. My personality is also like this, moving from one extreme to the other. It can be a whirlwind of emotions and motivations (or lack thereof). In some ways this makes me more creative, fueling my artistic side. But more often than not, this lack of consistency is a hindrance.

New Year’s resolutions are usually superficial things – losing weight, changing the way you look or dress. I want this to be more than an irrational resolution that will be just as quickly forgotten as it began. I need a bigger change in my life, one that will put me on the path to greater happiness and health. January should be a time of reflection, a time we remember the good from the past year along with the bad. Visualize the person I want to be, realize the traits I already possess and work on those I feel don’t line up with my goals. One of these things is eating in secret – it’s a horribly embarrassing thing to admit, but I have a problem with secret eating and binging. It’s something I’ve only just let myself realize, but it is something I’ve done since I was very little.

Binge eating is a serious issue that affects those overweight, underweight and average alike. I began binging when I was borderline anorexic as a young teen. I would refuse to eat for days, snacking on limes and other very low calorie foods – and then, when I couldn’t handle it anymore, I would hide in my room in the middle of the night and eat high calorie foods. I was very skinny and looked fit until I moved in with my boyfriend at 18 or so – and that’s when I started eating all the time instead of in secret. He was a better influence in terms of binging, but a worse influence as he doesn’t eat very well and made it so I didn’t need to eat unhealthy things in secret.

In the past year I began looking at the way I eat and realizing that it isn’t healthy to continue like this. I went from a size 0/2 at age 18 to a size 10 at age 22. Now that I’m 23, I’m back down to a size 6, squeezing into a 4 in some things =), but I know that I have a long way to go to getting to the healthiest I can be. Jessica and I have tried several detoxes and diets, that while I may not have completed with perfect, I have learned something from each and every one. And that is what I’m hoping happens with this, our most drastic diet/exercise regimen yet. While I haven’t eaten perfectly, I’ve slipped and eaten dairy and even had fish once, I want to continue learning. From July 2011 I’ve lost a total of 17 pounds and kept them off, which is a huge feat for me, someone who’s never lost a significant amount of weight before.

My update is two-fold: I’m happy to be continuing thinking in healthier, more active terms and yet I haven’t been perfect in either the diet or exercise. I can’t be too hard on myself, I’ve come a long way. I just know I have a lot farther to go before I’ve banished all my bad habits =)

January 6, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Update

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I think this is the first time in my life that I feel empowered to make a drastic change in my eating and exercise habits. Over the past year I’ve accomplished so much, including losing 15 pounds and keeping 11 or so of those off, even during the holidays. I’ve also completed my first half-marathon. I’ve learned about vegetarian and vegan diet habits and have been able to incorporate them into my daily life. My entire outlook on nutrition and exercise has completely been turned upside down.

 

A few years ago I would starve myself before an event, take diet pills, live off crazy things like lemons and cabbage. All of those things made me lose a few pounds and inches, sure…but the weight would come back on and I would feel worse and worse about myself after. I felt like a failure – I seriously couldn’t understand why I couldn’t handle eating 500 calories or so per day (which sounds ludicrous now). I am so lucky to have learned these things, incorporating more and more into regular habits. I certainly have not been eating perfectly this whole year, however I can say that I have eaten better than ever.

 

And so, as I embark upon this next step in my journey, I know that I have the right tools to succeed. I may not end up getting the supermodel body of my dreams, however I know for a fact that I will walk away having learned yet another lesson that will improve the rest of my life. My advice to anyone else trying to follow a strict diet and exercise program – don’t make it so strict! Have fun with it, it’s the only way to succeed. I’ve been playing around with new recipes, trying to make my workouts fun by using the Wii, walking with loved ones and going to classes with friends (i.e. JESSICA!). Challenge yourself, listen to your body and most of all – know that what you are doing is for you, not for anyone else.

 

A quick update on my progress:

 

Stick to the routine that I originally posted, I tried to make it more difficult this week (thinking I wasn’t going to be challenged enough). DON’T overdo it, you’ll end up dead sore and unable to do anything. I think the cardio every other day and weights on cardio off-days is the key. I was trying to do weights everyday and that didn’t work at all.

 

Secondly, you WILL be sore starting weight training for the first time – incredibly debilitating pain that will shoot through your arms and legs as you try to do daily activities. As long as you were careful to keep your form during exercises, this is just normal pain and soreness. If it doesn’t go away after two days or so, take a rest day. But don’t give up – the pain is from muscle growth and you only have a short window before you lose your progress. As long as you keep up the weight training, you will start to get less and less sore after each workout.

 

As always, I’m here if you have any questions about what we’re doing. We aren’t experts by any means, but we’ve been through a lot of these type of programs (especially with nutrition) and know a lot of resources that could help you, plus personal experience.

January 5, 2012

Jessica’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Week 1

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

By now most of you will have read our post on Facebook and Twitter that we’re doing the Bodybuilding program for this month to see if it will make a difference in our weight and health.  Of course, if we see results we will continue.

This week has been up and down but thankfully I have not had any problem sticking to the eating regimen (yet).  The exercise part has been really tough- sore muscles, overwhelming cardio, it’s not a complete picnic but I’m feeling better about myself already.  If you can believe it, I can actually feel my tummy muscles again (and I’ve been working out for only 5 days).

Last night I had a total meltdown in the gym in front of my husband and three other people.  He was trying to get me to do lunges while holding weights and I was so sore that I just couldn’t do it.  I felt like I was disappointing myself, my husband; the evil failure genie was whispering in my ear so I argued with my lovely husband and then just walked out.  I was so embarrassed but just couldn’t do the lunges (and my husband thought he was helping me by telling me it was all mental).

Today I’m going to do what I should have done on Tuesday: Rest.  My head keeps telling me that I should be working out 24-7 but starting a new routine it’s probably better to work your way into it, especially with extremely sore muscles.  Even resting is terrifying, I feel like I’m going to get fat by not working out.  Weight training is so traumatizing!

That’s why I’m so happy that I’ve found all these great resources like Bodybuilding.com and veganbodybuilding.com.  They help me to remember that change isn’t always the easiest thing but that I’m not alone.  Plus, I have Ashley blazing the trail with me!  I’m so proud of her for doing this vegan for the past few days, it’s hard enough for me as a vegetarian but as a flexitarian, it requires more sacrifice and discipline.

Discipline is the hardest part.  I’ve done a month of Insanity and never saw results (though they do say over and over again that the second month is where you see the changes happen), I’ve even done two half marathons and never lost a pound.

One thing that I think was missing from all of these: weight training.  I finally get it- without building muscle, there is nothing there to “eat” the fat, it’s just heart pumping.  Another difference between me and those people that were really overweight then started training for a marathon: I don’t gorge on foods.  I eat fairly healthy though of course there are things I could change.  I wasn’t gaining weight, I was just stagnant.

I’m not saying that this is going to be the miracle cure: my goal till February 10th is to lose only 5 lbs.  I’m not sure how this is going to work out because I’ll be gaining muscle mass as well but will keep you updated on the progress.  If I didn’t lose a pound but could fit into a size 4 and you could see my muscles without flexing, I would be a happy camper.

Here’s to change!

Find the following resources that we’re using here (and as always, get a doctor’s permission before starting any health regimen):

http://www.bodybuilding.com/

http://www.veganbodybuilding.com

August 29, 2011

The Real Fountain of Youth

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Photo by: Images by John 'K' on Flickr

Water is the giver of life – so why do so many of us deprive ourselves of this resource, especially when there are thousands that live without it for reasons outside their control? Most of you reading this live in places with abundant clean, refreshing water. Instead of reaching for that soda or “power” drink, try fueling your body with water. Not only will your internal organs thank you for it, but your skin will literally glow with satisfaction.

 

At the age of 21 I was hospitalized for four weeks due to kidney troubles. A combination of kidney stones and an inflamed kidney made me writhe in pain, requiring surgery and weeks of medication. After it was over, I visited my urologist for a follow up and he told me my number one problem was simply water intake. They couldn’t find any other answer. Fast forward two years and I am still learning the hard way that water really does have a huge impact on health. While I have never been a soda drinker, I love fruit juice and teas. I thought that I was healthy, but in reality everything I was drinking is a diuretic, making my body lose liquid and slowly dehydrating myself. I would still have sharp kidney pains, especially when running (I was training for my first half marathon). I drank water, but only when tea or juice was unavailable, and sometimes would go days on only tea or juice. I would sometimes feel so sick without knowing why, but I now realize it was the days that I drank the least water.

 

I cannot say I’m perfect now, far from it, but I have been drinking much more water than before. I don’t drink fruit juices at all anymore and have limited my tea intake to one or two glasses every couple of days. Other than that, I’m on 100% fresh water. While thinking of writing this, I decided to do a little research about other benefits of drinking water. And while I haven’t found great resources, it seems to be a general consensus on the internet that water also has a lot to do with clearing acne, weight loss and general overall health. I completely agree, as I have had first hand experience with all of those things. I notice I have less breakouts the more water I drink, it does help me feel fuller and therefore assist in weight loss efforts, and I certainly feel much better overall when drinking more water.

 

I recently went on vacation, and after losing 13 pounds, have fallen off the healthy eating bit a little. Thankfully I haven’t gained more than a couple of pounds, which really could just be natural weight fluctuation, but today I, along with Jessica, have started over our healthy eating plans with another detox jump-start. Just as before, no pills or scary powders involved; just lots of fresh water (11-12 glasses, or 88-96 ounces per day), fresh steamed veggies on days 1-2 and all-natural smoothies on days 3-5. Focusing on fresh, healthy and under-seasoned foods helps my body rejuvenate itself and to curb cravings for refined sugar and fat. Slowly adding in whole grains and healthy protein after the fifth day really makes the difference in the way you look at food. It works, I’ve already done it once and that’s how I lost the first 13 pounds in about five weeks.

 

This is a plan that anyone can follow: vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, flexitarian…it doesn’t matter. All you need is a willingness to let your body rest, focus on yourself and your long-term health. This is no quick-fix plan, as you can see I only lost an average of 2.6 pounds per week, but this is the type of life change that will really make a difference in your body. The moral of the story is: listen to your body and drink LOTS and LOTS of water! Stay away from processed foods, refined sugar and unnecessary fat. Water is essential to life, any other liquid just cannot hold up to it. The fountain of youth is all around you, and in most places it won’t even cost you more than your water bill.

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