Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

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Something Salty…Fitness Friday 19

If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. ~Blood Pressure UK

Hmmmm…Salt is bad eh?

Did you know that 80% of the salt you eat every day is “hidden” in the processed foods you eat? ~also Blood Pressure UK

Ahhh there we go.

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Hiya Friends! Okay today I wanted to touch on yet another controversial topic in nutrition, which is …

Salt.

So we have all grown up hearing how bad salt is for you and how it basically will cause heart attacks. Is that actually true though?

Think for a second…Salt is natural. Our ancestors ate salt and I’m pretty sure they didn’t die from consuming it. I always think about these types of things in this way:

If it comes from nature, it’s probably A-okay. The bigger problem is how we choose to use it these days that makes it a ‘health risk.’

Yes, salt, or sodium chloride to be more specific, causes the body to hold onto water, but that actually is an important function (and not it’s only function) for a number of reasons.

~Muscles need it to be able to contract, including our heart.

~Nerves need it to send signals

~Blood volume levels are maintained with the help of salt

~Chloride is integral for digestion as it forms HCL (or your stomach acid)

~Chloride also help keeps acid balance in the body

And many more functions.

So why are we always told to limit it?

Well you see if we didn’t have packaged foods and we simply sprinkled salt on our foods, salt would never be a problem because our taste buds just can’t handle an excess of straight salt poured on our foods. The issue is the fact that, like said above, most of the sodium that we take in is hidden and almost tasteless in processed foods. The simplest of boxed items are filled with the stuff and so then as the amount of sodium creeps up and then yes, you may start to overload and may see negative consequences.

There is no such thing as ‘you can’t have too much’ even in beneficial things. So while salt is essential for you, when you start going way too high, it has negative consequences in the body.

Our bodies are not used to dealing with all this processed crap we force it to break down. So we can’t just pee it out and say its all good.

So this is controversial yes, but really it’s just another simple case of how humans have taken something natural, processed the crap out of it and now its black listed.

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It’s not evil. Case closed. 

Also, I felt the need to touch on this because of it’s importance in athletes. You see, many athletes don’t tend to eat much of the processed stuff because they have learned that they feel better and perform better on whole foods. This is a good and a bad thing. Good because they are eating more wholesome foods and getting more vitamins and minerals BUT bad because often they forget about salt. If you neglect salt in your diet, you can actually potentially harm yourself.

Take a track athlete for example.  During a hot day, they are running their event and sweating like crazy. Well in that sweat is salt…

Following their event, they run to grab the first bottle of water they can find and down a good amount of it. After a few minutes, they start to feel a lil dizzy and out of it and next thing they know they are on the ground and have their coach leaning over them with a fan in one hand and a Gatorade in another. 

They just experienced hyponatremia, or abnormally low serum salinity. They drank water to rehydrate, but diluted their blood saline because they didn’t replace the electrolytes they lost. Too little sodium in the blood then can lead to dizziness, nausea, or even worse neurological and/or muscle complications. Read more about exercised-associated hypernatremia here.

So yes, salt is essential. You need it. As a result, stop seeing salt as evil. If you are thinking that you need to cut back, starting taking a look at those boxed products and not at the pure stuff. More importantly, if you don’t eat much processed food, don’t forget that you need salt in your food somewhere. I made that mistake and used to feel light headed during my training.

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So to conclude, a good quality sea salt (try pink salt!) has great benefits, so go ahead and sprinkle away to your taste. Instead of giving it the stank face, give that boxed food the cold shoulder.

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PS a good crack or three of pink salt on peanut butter oatmeal is kinda the **it.

Try it out!

Did you ever fear salt?

-Chelsea

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Sweatin’ Saturdays…?

My friends,

Deepest apologies for the lack of a Fitness Friday last night. I got some not so nice news yesterday morning at the doctors regarding my health situation and I was struggling a bit to not feel sorry for myself that day.

I pride myself in staying positive and I really hate being a debbie-downer ever because you get what you give out in the world, but I just couldn’t shake it and was quiet for the rest of the day, which is very UNLIKE my normal social and smiling self.

My housemates and friends came to the rescue and brightened me up with a night of bowling

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Wow I look like the biggest creep in this picture with them brows…

…and I can only appreciate how amazing they are to try their best to get me out of my funk. I love them so much

So I didn’t get my post up BUT in the name of fitness, the sweat must continue so I decided to throw a quick lil bodyweight/weighted circuit that you can really do anywhere you have a lil space. I wrote up a list of bodyweight exercises for a nice older gentleman at the gym because he felt he was going to be ‘off his fitness game on vacation’ but you don’t have to be! Just be a lil creative.

So without further rambles, here you go!

I hope you enjoy it. 

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So here are some tips guys! 

I want some weight on you (if you can!) so take your backpack and put as much stuff as you feel comfortable with. Take the backpack off for exercises that you cannot complete the repetitions with when you have the extra weight.

For the clean and press, take a peak at the picture below. Instead of a sandbag, you are simply pressing your backpack (or a purse or even textbook) if that is easier to hold.

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For the twisting side plank, remember to keep those hips up and your core tight and go for as long as you can. Do both sides. Aim for 30 seconds

Take a breather and then repeat!

I want it to be challenging so make sure your heart rate is up and you need that breathing time in between rounds. If you find it too easy, add more weight to your backpack. Easy peasy to adjust for your current level.

Let me know if anyone tries it out!

-Chelsea

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50g Of Protein?!?…Thinking Out Loud

My friends, welcome to the end of the first full week of school!

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Not too shabby for 4th year eh?

I have to admit I’m still adjusting. Them Tuesdays and Thursdays are killer for someone who trains in the morning…Hello five am, you came too soon. But hey, when you have the rest of week as usual (ie. off) then I really can’t say much I suppose.

Chattering time, special thanks to Amanda for the chatline hook-up!

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1.My prof this morning said…

You really only need 50g of protein. Maaayyybe a bit for more athletes…

Are you kidding me? I would die. Maybe not actually, but I’m pretty sure mentally I would ( I love protein…) and physically I would be suffering. A large chicken breast is almost that amount so what, no more for the rest of the day? Guys I eat a ridik amount compared to this on a daily basis (not because of some weird bro-science “the more protein the better” notion but because it’s something my body seems to tolerate for a higher amount when fats and carbs are a bit tricky right now) and I can’t imagine cutting down.

But no. I may not be a dietician yet, but I’m sorry 50g is too low. Someone has been following the Food Guide a bit too much. However, even that says to have more then that. Geesh…

Please review this amazing article about UP TO DATE SCIENCE AND PROTEIN NEEDS. Sorry for shouting but this low protein diet BS needs to stop!

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Highlights:

Protein shouldn’t be understood as percentages of energy intake because those at lower intakes would not be getting enough. 

Protein should be higher the the RDA recommendations because it not only is for building and repairing but also been found to help with certain disease and illness states.

Current perceptions are that protein is an expensive nutrient with limitations in the food supply and are reinforced by outcome measures that are based on strict cost/benefit approaches to diet formulation. This concept stems from animal science goals to maximize growth with the least expensive foodstuff. <-THANK YOU FOR FINALLY SAYING THIS OUT LOUD! Protein is said to not be needed as much because of money not because of health. 

Phew I’m all hot and bothered now…

2. Is it weird that I can eat in a class discussing enteral tubes no problem…?

I’m just gunna happily eat away while you’re talking about how to shove a tube down someones throat, or gasp, through an open part of the skin. I may feel differently if those words turned into pictures tho…

3. I’m excited for my courses!

Specifically, the assignments. I have lost you haven’t I? I have all nutrition courses this semester for once and I have clinical case studies (where you act as if you are a working dietician and go through the nutrition assessment and treatment process) to look forward to doing in addition to creating my own program to target a group of individuals. Last night I came up with the idea to target the female athlete triad for this and I’m kinda excited to do it!

4. Accept the strap…

Yup, buckle up cuz on a day where my life is on my back, it needs to be distributed well.

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SnapChat is lilmisscross91 if anyone cares

Good thing I could care less what others think of my attire…

5. Enough about school, it has arrived!!

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Delicata is now found at my grocery store and I lit up like a fire cracker….

Kabocha will always be my first love but this baby takes up my fridge in the fall.

6. Unfortunately that is not all that has arrived…

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Hands up if you agree!

Too bad life doesn’t allow for that…

FML winter is arriving.

…..

Some things of interest on the inter web that have attracted my eye lately..

7. Passions stick. Superficial reasons fail.

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Time and time again I will repeat this because it is so true. Find what you love to do and focus on enjoying that and getting better with that rather then an outcome attached to your physical appearance.

8. Science.

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I enjoy listening to Layne Norton because he gives legit scientific information that is up-to-date. He gives some interesting basic information in this quick response vlog about carbohydrates and effects on blood sugar.

9. Speaking of science…

Been loving all of Jeff Nippard’s latest lifting videos.

He shows his workouts but then gives the science behind why he may use different movements over others based on studies looking into optimal muscle activation. Interesting stuff, definitely something to watch if you’re all into fitness and such.

10. One final IG gem to cap off this chatter post…

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Loved this. There is never too much love you can give, never too much kindness and although we think over enthusiasm can be annoying, it’s just us being jealous that they found something they are highly passionate about.

Shine on and throw all of those amazing qualities at everyone you meet. They make you an amazing person and shouldn’t be something to tone down ever!

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Happy Friday Eve friends

Whats a quality that you felt you had too much of? Sometimes being too empathetic and feeling what others are feeling too much can seem burdensome but in hindsight, I believe that its been a good thing. It makes me more understanding relatable in the end. Sometimes I wonder if that is what makes many feel they can share things with me without really knowing me too well.

-Chelsea

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A Weekend Of Wedding Snap Shots

My Friends! Happy Monday, first full week back at school for all of us students. Hopefully you are fresh and motivated to make it a great week!

I started off this weekend with a trip back home to celebrate the joining of my cousin Frisco and his beautiful bride, Cassandra on Saturday at their wedding

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Sorry blurry picture of their first dance.

I’m not going to be too wordy with this post and just let the memories and beauty of it all be shown through the pictures that I managed to snap. My parents and I chauffeured my Nana and Papa to this grand Italian event (she is Italian, so a big wedding filled with food and love!) and it was such a fun time. I’m so happy to see my cousin so happy and to see the way they look at each other when they are together just speaks of their excitement to continue to live each and every day moving forward together.

I wish them all of the love, support, laughter and joy for their continued lives together as husband and wife.

Now let the photo reel begin

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Snapsies in the car on the way to the wedding…

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The attire..yes I wish my dress wasn’t black but them bright lips tho…

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A girl’s gotta have a twirlin dress!

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My new best friend, otherwise known as my second-cousin-once-removed (I hate these drawn out titles) or my cousin Chantal’s daughter, Lucy. She helped me touch up my lipstick and added some gloss.

Thanks for making me nice and pretty Lucy.

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Waiting for the wedding to start…

And down comes the beauty!

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After a lovely ceremony at the church (I did reading from the book of genesis for it), we then headed off to the reception…

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Family portrait of 2016?

Gotta get a famjam shot.

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Nana and Papa and proud grandparents of the groom.

The venue!

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I loved the blue, white and silver theme. So many candles and blue roses. It was so pretty.

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They had a Photo Booth stand. I love those things!

After a full multi-course meal, the dances were done, the speeches were spoken and the party began.

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Smiles with the bride.

And with my cousin Cassie.

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Love her and wish we could spend more time together! Soon, soon we will make it happen.

One special cousin that I didn’t get to snap with because he was busy being best man and all, was the grooms younger brother, Devon. We literally haven’t seen each other since my Nana and Papa brought all three of them up to my place one summer when I was really young to spend most of those days together. I remember the close friendship and bond I had with him but with a few things going on in life, we haven’t seen each other since. I loved being able to see him this weekend happy with where he is at and I had this huge urge to run up and full on catch up with life.

Unfortunately we had to leave a bit earlier as we had precious cargo to escort back home (I.e my Nana and Papa), but he promised to come back (he’s in out of the province :-() sooner this time and I will hold you to that Devon if you eventually read this on your work break!

And remember your promise associated with a shout out! Ahaha

So overall my weekend was a fun one. I love opportunities to see people happy and coming together, plus dressing up once and a while is fun too.

Gotta get this girl out of gym clothes and Pj’s once a while amirite?

😉

-Chelsea

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Remember Your First Home…Fitness Friday 18

As cliche as it sounds, always remember to love the very thing that houses you because when you take it for granted, you may loose it.

Your body is not invincible. It doesn’t have a restart button. It’s just trying to do the best it can with whatever you decide to throw it’s way.

Dieting, restriction, stress, over exertion and over overconsuming are all threats to your home. It’s like a plague where it starts off affecting a small area and then it seeps into others leaving nothing left in it’s path and just causing one loss after another after another. When you deprive your body of what it needs (or go over it’s capacity), things are compromised and perhaps even sacrificed as it tries to keep fighting and moving forward.

But sometimes the plague is just too strong and the body looses the battle.

Unfortunately, that’s when you realize that the one thing that you should feel the most protective over is gone and that often means that you are too. 

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…..

Now before someone thinks I’m writing my own death letter, I’m not dying. I have however gotten some not so nice medical results back as of late and am currently in the works with dealing with them.

The first was when I asked my doctor to test me for a gut parasite as a weird thing to check off the list of “what is causing Chelsea’s tummy issues”

As weird as it sounds (where most doctors wouldn’t even consider this as a possibility because we are a first world country) my results not only came back positive, but came back saying many…

So basically I was housing a rapidly growing colony in my gut that is possibly stealing my body’s resources. #FunTimes

Currently being treated with meds for the next few days (for a total of 10 days) to try to kill the parasite. Unfortunately it’s also going to kill a lot of good flora which is not so great for someone who already is at a disadvantage from a stomach/gut perspective. Thanks IBS.

So that was one.

Lesson learned here: You know your own body. When something is getting worse when you are doing everything the absolute same plus doing things that are known to help your problem, you need to take matters into your own hands and TELL THE DOCTOR WHAT TO DO.

If I hadn’t had said anything, those buggers would continue to eat away and do their thing (whatever that is) and continue making me miserable.

The second thing that came back was my pituitary gland hormones. To keep things brief and to the point, I basically have no LH or FSH (integral to menstruation) and my prolactin is through the roof. My doctor did not, however, ask for my estrogen or progesterone levels which is annoying but either way I have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

For this, I don’t know what’s is going to happen until I see her next Friday but I did happen to miss the clinic calling (and subsequently emailing me..) with a doctors message.

Why they don’t leave a voicemail is beyond me…

…so it ain’t looking positive.

All and all this was not a post meant for you to feel bad for me.

It was meant for:

1.To be transparent with you all about my journey as I always do.

2.The bigger thing was to show you that your body has a way of showing you it’s hurt and it will bite you in the ass eventually. Although my health is constantly improving, these show me that my body was very much effected by my lack of being a ‘responsible home owner” and now I have to suffer the consequences.

Never take your body for granted. Treat it with respect or it will come back with nothing but negative consequences in your future.

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I realize that this post is quite a bit different than the usual Fitness Friday informational blogs, but I wanted to get this point across. An integral part of being an active and healthy individual is taking care of the one thing that allows you to do what you do. We all need to be reminded of this fact every so often and so I suppose I can give you a realistic example as to why you need to be aware that you are more fragile then you would like to admit.

Take care of your home and it will repay you.

-Chelsea

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Waisted. Fitness Friday 17

Generally when a celebrity hops in to endorse something it means that the product needed help being sold because the people just weren’t buying it.

Smart people

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Unfortunately, the claims or miracle work that these products yell at you still manage to grab the attention of enough people to keep them in business some how. This product happens to be one of them.

Waist Trainers

Welcome back to another Fitness Friday friends! This post was inspired by a post that I saw on waist trainers and amongst the “those don’t work” and “those are a load of crap” comments, one stuck out to me…

So does that mean they don’t work…?

So I took it upon myself to rant talk about it.

Now this isn’t going to be some long, overly research-y post because it really doesn’t need it. We are rational people here and so throwing all of the obvious evidence on the table should be enough to convince you that these are useless and really just a WAIST of time, money and lack of normal breathing.

Not to mention, they may actually be dangerous!

First though, lets see what these things claim to do for your body

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Wow look at all those things a piece of fabric can do for you. Some have even said it can speed up your metabolism and reshape your rib cage to be smaller…

…yeah…

So lets put it very simply. If any of these things actually occur as a result of wearing this, it’s not because of the corset/trainer directly, with the only exception being maybe the back support (short term only!) because it’s doing what your core should be doing, i.e. keeping you upright and supporting the spine. Long term however, I throw that possibly out the window.

~Creates confidence–> because maybe if it’s worn under clothing it gives you that shape that you believe to be socially acceptable, i.e. the “perfect hourglass.”

~Motivation/Encourages Healthier Eating/etc–> Maybe, just maybe, it may start you on a different dietary or exercise path that may be beneficial in weight loss because you think that you could look like you do in the corset without it if you do BUT this is entirely superficial.

Post Birth Reshaping? Well sure it forces a certain shape, but that’s not really your shape per say.

Weight/Inches Loss. I would say that the only way this could do that is because it’s so tight that you actually eat less and loose weight as a result of less calories in. A tight pair of jeans does that to everyone right?

Increases Core Strength –> this one is laughable. How does something that requires no core activation (because it’s essentially sucking you in) strengthen your core? You need to actually work the muscles to build muscle and strength. If you wear this thing all the time you will more likely loose core strength because you will never feel the need to use those muscles. 

So overall, anything weight or body shaping related most definitely comes down to the fact that you feel as if you can’t breathe. As a result, who wants to eat even a decent amount of food when they already have no space to move?  This thing DOES NOT increase your metabolism to cause weight loss. This DOES NOT increase the strength of your abdominal muscles. Lastly, it creates this illusion of a silhouette that is actually not your body naturally and simply makes you feel as if you are fitting societies norms of what is attractive. Many studies have actually found that the opposite is true and when worn, these things often decrease ones self-esteem and body image (Link to Article).

For whatever the cost of these things are they are definitely not worth a penny because they truly do nothing for you. In fact, they may actually do harm if worn over a longer period of time.

Working out in them can lead to you passing out the less then normal breathing capacity (Source). 

As I mentioned before, the muscles in your core area can actually atrophy due to longer term use. (Source)

Major stomach and digestive issues. The organs and tissues here are soft and have really nothing to protect them against extreme pressure. If you compress them for a long period of time, things start to not work properly. Some things seen include constipation, hernias, decreased of bile secretion (helps you digest fats), etc (Source Source)  

So, I don’t know about you all, but I would really rather avoid all of these, especially if it’s due to something that really gives me no benefit at all and simply creates an illusion.

So I hope you enjoyed this weeks Fitness Friday topic and I will chatter more topics with you next week. Feel free as always to comment below with your thoughts.🙂

-Chelsea

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I’ll Start On Monday…

My new diet starts on Monday

Starting Monday, I will live in the gym

My new body transformation will start on Monday

I will be a better me….

Starting on Monday.

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Happy September 1st friends. New month and this month in particular tends to be associated with the “after-summer fresh new goals” to reach before the new year.

We all see it….Similar to the New Year resolution season, with the return of school comes the new gym go-ers, the new dieters who want to loose all their summer weight plus more by Christmas, and people making plans/goals that surround making a fairly significant change in their life.

This is like a whole month of “I will start on Monday” and unfortunately this mentality often leads to starting changes as of September 1st and ending sometime between September 10th and October 1st. It’s a sad reality, and personally, a mentality that I often just cannot understand.

You see, I am fully supportive of goals. Goals that are something that lead to personal growth and bettering yourself. So yes, goals are great. What I don’t understand is why self-improvement has to be seen as a punishment or something to be delayed to a later date. In this case, after the weekend.

Why wait to better yourself?

I ask myself this question often when someone says that famous phrase to me…

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Here’s how I see it…

1. Your goal is unrealistic

2. Your goal is seen as a punishment

3. Its just not a priority enough

Either way, the chances of them lasting is slim to none. Take the gym as an example, we all dread the gym being packed, but always know that the stampede will clear in a few short weeks.

This is awful to admit because it’s great that people want to become more fit and I welcome those who want to improve upon their health and become stronger versions of themselves, but this is really just observation at it’s finest. 

So lets look at the first point. Your goal will NOT be reached if you are looking at something as an “all of nothing” type of deal. I will cut X from my diet forever. I will go to the gym 2 hours a day, EVERYDAY, I will live off of salad…etc, etc. These are NOT realistic or attainable for anyone nor should they be thought to be required for bettering your health. These overly loafty goals are often pushed to Monday because you are wanting to be ‘free’ before you feel that life is going to suck.

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This is why they fail. All-or-nothing goals will never work. Take one thing and change that. Make this a lifestyle by making something manageable.

~I will start by going to the gym 3 times a week

~I will turn out the lights 30 minutes earlier 3 times a week

~I will pack up my own lunch rather then buying out for work/school

So what about #2?

Sometimes people go into making changes because they feel they have to. Got a bad doctors report? The prescription –> get yo ass to the gym and loose 20 pounds. Doctors orders. You may feel the need to do it, but that doesn’t mean you’re gunna like it.

My new life starts on Monday.

Or what about writing that paper you need to get done. You know that sitting down and writing rather then enjoying time with friends sucks, so, push it off until Monday. Not only are you loosing time and probably adding stress to your life (plus loosing sleep), you probably ended up using some of that time doing something mindless because you told yourself you were gunna start later.

Ever done that? You have the time to kill but have already accepted that later start date so you don’t use that spare time effectively?

Instead, do an hour here and there over that weekend in between socializing. That’s not that big of a commitment, you aren’t spending hours in a chair slaving typing away and come Monday, look you have half your paper at least drafted.

When you look at something as a punishment or something that is being forced on you, you won’t want to do it. Nonetheless, how is moving it to a later date making it anything less then what you currently perceive it as? Punishment derived goals also fail because you have set your mind up that you hate this thing and that it is required of you to do. There is no internal driving force for you to want to do it.

Time to change your mindset.

Something may suck but turn it around to something positive. Need to change your lifestyle due to health issues? Make it a challenge to yourself in some way or take it upon yourself to try something new that you may end up loving. Find a recipe that you love and make it more nutrient dense. Work your way up to doing some race or lifting a certain weight. Don’t focus on the required target as if it is something ‘forced on you’ because that will just breed negativity. Instead, tell yourself that this is for you and make it something you want to do for yourself.

The last one is one that really hits most people hard. A certain goal or challenge may be a great learning opportunity or something that would really benefit a person but they just don’t do it.

Why wouldn’t they want to do something that simply makes them a better version of themselves?

It’s not a priority. 

Yeah it may be great and all but it’s not important enough to them to make that change. That is a sad reality, but often times this is common and people miss out on a lot of great things and chances.

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So, overall I think that goals are great. They are visions. They are about helping to make yourself the best you can be. They fuel you to push and challenge yourself BUT that is only if you do them and take them seriously.

Ask yourself why wait to do something you want. Why hesitate to make yourself better. Want to make a change? DO IT RIGHT NOW!

…Or you may just let the chance slide on away from you and miss out.

It’s simply your choice. 

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Thanks to everyone over at Thinking Out Loud for listening and a big shout out to our lovely hostess Amanda.

Have you every wanted to do something but waited too long to do it?

-Chelsea