Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


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Sunday Link Love

Hey Friends, Happy Sunday!

I felt like chatting with you this morning (started this morning, ended at night as usual) as I slowly pack up my summer life to head back home¬†to work my summer job. This job is not really what I wanted, as it in no way helps me work towards my career goals, but I’m trying to stay positive about it. It’s money I suppose and money that I desperately need.

In other news..

I moved out of my old apartment and into my new one for the fall, which I have to pay for all summer despite not living there…ugh stupid renting.

With that, I had to say my goodbyes to Rita and Emily (my housemates) which was sad ūüė¶ Mama is going to miss them and they better keep me in the loop on the daily!¬†

…But My new housemates are great. It will be a good year I know it!

I graduated my undergrad (2nd one) with an 86 GPA…please see me and give me all the scholarship monnies…please. I know it’s not 90’s but something!

I hit my squat PR and then raised it by 5lbs, meaning that I lifted 1.85x my body weight. I have never one-rep maxed before at anything and the feeling is so strange and exciting at the same time. I was practically not feeling I could of properly yesterday due to how sore I was but all worth it friends

And yeah, so that is the gist of my life this week, so onto my post today. I decided to do a “Link Love” post to share some interesting articles/podcasts I have come across in the past two weeks or so. I hope you find some of them as interesting as I did.

Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs (Layman 2009)

This talks about the new findings for protein and why the intake recommendations for adults are, well, wrong on many levels. Here’s the synopsis:

~Protein should not be % of calories, it should be off body weight. If you are of a given height but are loosing weight (ie. dropping calories) your protein shouldn’t drop just because your calories are.

~Protein is VITAL for your life. You know your body is made of protein yes?

~Most adults benefit from an intake greater than the recommended one (0.8g/kg/day)

It also talks about protein distribution and how we tend to eat more protein in our meals as the day goes on. This suggests that we eat very little at breakfast, which is not optimal as we have been fasting overnight, and that we eat large amounts at dinner.

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The blue highlighted portion is showing maximum muscle¬†protein synthesis. We need at least 15g of protein to stimulate protein synthesis and take a peak at a typical breakfast…

Although they stated that this uneven distribution has not really been shown to negatively affect growth of children or adults, it may have large impacts on older adults. Here, protein intake is critical as they tend to be in a negative nitrogen balance (or state of protein breakdown) and need more than a typical adult to maintain neutral or positive balance.

Finally, take note that protein is more satiating. So when¬†a meal is proportionally more balanced with protein (rather than mostly carbohydrates..like the typical American breakfast) you will be fuller longer. Alternatively, carbohydrate rich meals tend to not keep you as full longer. This doesn’t mean that carbs are bad, it simply runs the risk of individuals over eating their needs because they find themselves hungry more often.

So could protein be an aid in better weight management? 

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IceCream4PRs Podcast #30 – Gender Differences in Training feat. Menno HenselmansJeff Nippard

Really cool podcast diving into the differences between men and women for training and nutrition in addition to the genetic potential that women have for muscle development specifically.

Relative to their starting point (which is often different), females have been shown to have the same relative muscle growth and protein synthesis potential as men! So if you take a man and woman¬†who weigh the same, you can find that they can grow the same proportion of muscle. Differences in fatty acid composition in the body was then stated as a potential reason as to why we don’t see very muscular women in addition to inefficient or non-optimal training for their body physiology and birth control. This is controversial however, but these are some of the recent findings.

This is not to create fears in women that they will ‘blow up’ like a man when they touch a weight, because as you can see from a subjective perspective, the number of women walking around with the same level of muscularity as a male is quite small. It was the thought¬†that this was potentially more socio-cultural in the sense that many women don’t train¬†to the same degree as males and/or if they do train, they don’t optimize their growth due to personal preferences or lack of knowledge. There is also some whispers that oral¬†contraceptives¬†decrease the rate of muscle growth.¬†

Why Has the American Approach to Heart Disease Failed?– Chris Kresser

This is an interesting take on heart disease and challenges the notion that heart disease is due to the clogging of our arteries, specifically from saturated fats. What is interesting is that many just follow along with the idea that arteries get clogged and that this is the main driving factor of heart disease when thats not actually the full story. Yes, ‘clogging’ does happen, per say, but that is only after the walls of the vessels are narrowed due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This build-up is an inflammatory response¬†that, which he stated, is most often the result of metabolic syndrome and/or insulin resistance.

Its funny, but those syndromes are often helped with higher fat and lower carb dietary interventions…

Higher fats you say to help heart disease…Hmmm…

Anxiety: Are Nutritional Deficiencies A Common Cause – Mark Sisson

An interesting article as it brings up a topic that is close to my own heart, anxiety. Although I would have to do my own research (as I feel sometimes that Mark may be a bit bias sometimes) and I just like to back up my words with my own readings, the idea of incorporating foods that perhaps have anxiety reducing effect is something I think many people could benefit from..

if, of course, they actually do something…

Gut Bacteria Tell The Brain What Animals Should Eat

This article was based off of a brand spankin new journal article by Leitao- Goncalves et al (April 2017) that looked at the common fruit fly and how there appeared to be an association between their gut flora and eating the right foods to provide them with all of their essential amino acids. Although there are a few flaws with this study that limit it’s generalizability to humans (hello we aren’t flies, and we have more bacteria in our guts then them), it sparks an interesting idea to look into. Can your gut bacteria trigger cravings for certain foods that optimize your health?¬†

I feel that this is entirely possible because we have found that those who are obese tend to have different gut bacteria communities than those who are leaner and that those specific communities lend themselves to negative health outcomes.

Stay Single Until You Meet A Guy Like This…

Corny? Maybe. But it pulled at my romantic heart strings a bit. Best line? 

Stay single until you meet the guy who never stops trying to keep you…Because he knows getting you wasn‚Äôt the hard part but constantly giving you a reason to stay is what you deserve.

Oh and of course a solid finisher…

The one who changes the standard you once had and suddenly no one can compare.

#Mush.

And finally to end off this post..

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This is a tweet from Sohee Lee’s Twitter (you should check her out, she works alongside Layne Norton and Brett Contreras and is a lady of science!).

Its a good solid reminder because I think everyone knows this to be true but always believe they have found an exception somehow.

Hope you had a fabulous Sunday Friends

-Chelsea


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Know Your Influence TOL

I may be the most confident that I have ever been but the words of one single person (be it they are a significant person in my life) can turn my confidence on its tail in 2 seconds flat.

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I could have 2 million strangers tell me that I’m looking much better and that I’m growing but the single hesitation or disapproving words from one of two people in my life can sting more than no else and leave me spiralling back into a place of anxiety and feeling self conscious.

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Why is it that I can block others and not let those things affect me, but yet, the words of one person, albeit the fact that I know they are not what that person really feels (it is what comes out in the times of frustration/worry) literally breaks off a piece of me.

I know why. I want to make those around me happy. If they are not happy with me or nervous for me in any way, it makes me upset and anxious.

Now making a connection to the title of this post, don’t take this as me saying they need to keep their words to themselves BUT I think they also need to step back and realize how much influence they truly have on me. When they are feeling frustrated, don’t come at me with things like…

You’re not gaining

I see no difference

You’re not working hard

You don’t want to get better.

These are their worries. Their frustrations. Their expectations. It’s not fair for them to put those on me in such a negative way.

Again, these are frustrations coming out, but if you only knew how it affected me. These words make me not only turn on myself but also makes me angry.

Who are you to tell me I’m not trying? You’re not here to see me 90% of the time! Are you living in my body when I’m having a bad tummy day and the sight of food repulses me?

No.

I have worked my ass off all year and I HAVE GROWN! I know I have. Both mentally and physically. I have grown.

I need to to protect myself better against the words of these influential people. I love them dearly and will obviously not separate myself from them but I need to somehow let those comments fly on past me better. Somehow, some way.

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This is not what I choose to do. I will speak up for myself but I also will know when to hold back not to let them win, but, instead, to not give my energy to it. 

I’m happy with my progress. I still know I’m moving forward and that won’t change, but I am seeing a lot of great things. Somedays I wish things could progress a bit faster, yes, but I like to be happy with the movements I have made because I have worked DAMN hard for every millimetre of a step forward I have gained.

Don’t take that away from me. That’s not right of you to do.

……

Turn that on the other side…

I have come to notice¬†more and more lately MY OWN influence on other people. I have never really felt like I’m a huge influencer more than I do now. I’m not trying to boost myself up here, I have just come to realize that I play a significant role in the growth of some other people I surround myself with.

I guess everyone has this role but when you come to realize that perhaps your words really stick with certain people, you need to be cautious with how you use that power.

I am a person that some choose to come to in times of distress for a listener and for advice.

I have come to be seen as an educated individual of sorts that people come to for knowledge.

People ask me what to do with certain things.

People see my passions and come to me for information and advice on that topic because they trust in the things I say.

This comes with a degree of pressure too! I’m happy with my knowledge base. I have built that. My education has helped, but the passion for my interests has led me into doing self-driven research and I have learned a lot on my own.

I have helped some people

They have thanked me with great sincerity for my time, knowledge and advice.

Despite being proud of how I have developed my craft, I always want to be better. I want to be ready for ANYTHING they come to me with.

I also want to be better at not forming expectations of people. I¬†always have to work on pulling my own strong biases back. I never want to come off negative because I feel that¬†something someone else is doing doesn’t align with what I think will help them.

It hurts and frustrates me when..

People say they want something but don’t do it

They don’t give 100% to something

They don’t own up to things

They don’t do all they can for their health…¬†

The first and last things really get to me and sometimes I let it than come out at them as a response that perhaps appears disapproving or judgmental. I HATE this about myself. I yearn to build people up and love themselves and all they are!

I need to accept that other people may have different drives than me. They have different priorities than me and perhaps things that seem huge to me, are not that important to them (the health thing I just don’t get, but ..yeah..).

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Bak to the main point…I have an influence on others. I know this role is clear. With that in mind, I need to control my own biases and realize that they are who they are and I need to be as supportive as I can even in times when they come to me for advice and than continue to do something I see as unproductive. I can’t let this anger¬†or disappoint me because they need to follow their own path.

I’m getting better, but there is always room for growth.

I hope this post wasn’t too scattered, but this is what Thinking Out Loud is about right? Spewing my thoughts out in a post like throwing paint on a canvas right? Thanks Amanda, thank you for giving me a platform for being my own Picasso….

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… and than attempting to understand my splatters.

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Overall take home point:

Know your influence on others. You may not ask for this kind of power, but you have to take and roll with what you are given. You have the power to break a person or build them up. Ensure you’re doing the latter.

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-Chelsea


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Happy Gut, Happy Training

Happy Fitness Friday Friends!

I thought I would keep trekkin along on the gut topic as more recently gut health has really been getting some hot attention. It would have been nice if the importance of gut health and taking proper care of your flora and and such¬†was noticed earlier but that’s science and they are only really starting to crack the surface on this whole intricate system (which did you know actually has something very similar to an entire CNS for itself??!).

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So why am I talking about this for Fitness Friday you ask?

Well, as you’re probably aware, your gut is important for a number of things. Some of those things are extremely vital to your training…

~Digestion and absorption of the nutrients you get from your food

~Making short chain fatty acids that can also be used as a form of fuel

In taking a deeper look at the first one, obviously an efficient and EFFECTIVE digestion system not only helps you get the nutrients you need but that ultimately affects your mood to train and how intense you think you can go, your energy levels, your strength levels, recovery ability and overall just makes you feel good enough to have a beneficial and enjoyable lift. After all, who enjoys anything when their stomach is is just not right?

So with keeping this post low key and not too wordy, I thought I would share some tips for optimizing your digestive health and also some things that can help when your stomach decides to attack you.

These are going to be coming from my experiences and my coaches suggestions mostly. Some other things I may include are those that I have heard about but may not have much experience with SO they may or may not be effective. I still want to share them, however, because gut health and what makes people feel their best is so variable that some random things may work for some readers.  

So lets start with somethings that help optimize gut health and prevent issues.

Probiotics

Adding healthy, live cultures to your gut is a good thing. Many things inner environment today kill our flora. With less bacteria, you have less lil guys to break down your food and can cause poor digestion. Invite some new people into your lil biome to help yourself out. Ensure they are refrigerated! Ones on the shelf are no good. 

Glutamine.

I talked about this one in a previous post, so check it out here. I also talked about making your own gelatin gummies there too which are loads with glutamine naturally and are very cheap to make.

Bone Broth.

Going along with glutamine and probiotics, making your own broth is great for your gut and very satisfying during the winter months here in the great white north. Ensure to use free range and organic chicken or beef with the bones to get the live bacteria and the most omegas and glutamine.

Apple Cider Vinegar.

Another thing I already talked about here, but I will say that this is helpful for adding more acid to the gut to help with breakdown. It is especially helpful for those who have low stomach acid and often complain of indigestion. Lemon juice also has similar effects.

Fermented Food.

Kombucha, Sauerkraut, raw yogurts with the active cultures, etc are all great sources of probiotics and thus have the same benefits as taking a supplement, just in a much smaller amount. Take caution though, these may be a problem for some. For example, I love love love kombucha, but the carbonation that naturally occurs with the fermentation doesn’t go over well with my tummy unfortunately. Trial and error with these guys friends.

Watch your water consumption with meals.

Sounds weird, but makes sense when you put it all together. If you drink water during a meal, the liquid will dilute you enzymes and simply slow digestion. Consider holding off on the drinks until a lil bit after you have digested a bit. Some say 30 minutes, but I always say to go with your gut…I’m so punny…

Avoid gum or things that add excess gas in the stomach.

Gum. Beer. Carbonated drinks. Straws. ETC. All of these are going to put lots of gas and excess air into the gut and if you’re very sensitive, well you’re gunna get an upset tummy plus bloating. Also, chew slowly and don’t gulp in tons of air.

Say no to artificial sweeteners.

These tend to be HUGE gut irritants. Whether they give you diarrhea if consumed in large amounts or just straight up gas and distention, they do not make for a happy gut.

Sleep!

Sleep is super important for many things, but one clear cut trigger for my stomach is go hay-wire is if I don’t sleep enough. Poor sleeping, whether it’s chronic or even just a couple days, can really cause your digestion to slow right down and cause you discomfort so make sure you are getting your beauty rest.

…and a last and seemingly obvious one…

Avoid things that your tummy doesn’t agree with.

As mentioned, this seems obvious. If you get an upset stomach after eating something, don’t eat it. Surprisingly, I have heard of so many cases where people say they choose to suffer the consequences and just eat it. To each their own I guess but if you have a serious sensitivity like celiac, where further consumption continues to damage your intestinal track, you need to give you head a smack and just quit cold turkey.

What about when your tummy gets mad…

Low FODMAPs.

I would have said BRAT diet foods BUT I’m much more confident in this approach for a few reasons. One, apple sauce is out for me because I have experienced issues with apples, which are high FODMAP. Also, the bread is another issue. What if your issue is wheat? Overall, yes the FODMAP diet is more restricted but most often chronic digestive issues are from sensitivities that you are going to have to figure out and those often require elimination and then trial and error. By going full low FODMAP you are giving your system a break from all inflammatory and problematic foods and then can re-try them when it’s a bit happier.

Slippery Elm.

I personally have taken this, but not sure whether it made a difference at the time because I was trying so many things at that point, but I have heard good things from others about this one. You can get it in a supplement form, but they also have it as a tea.

Digestive Enzymes.

If you know you have issues with digestion OR for those who are thinking about starting a bulk, digestive enzymes can help support the breakdown of your food simply by adding more enzymes to the playing field. You can chose ones that contain one or more types of enzymes depending on your needs. Have an issue with dairy? Try lactase. Don’t know what your issue is? Try a multi-enzyme.

Pineapple.

Speaking of enzymes, pineapple actually naturally contains an enzyme of it’s own, Bromelain, which can also help digestion. Plus pineapple is awesome. Just be careful not to over do it or you will find yourself peeling the top layer of your mouth off…

Mint Tea.

I always do well with peppermint. Whether you have nausea or you need something warm and comforting when your stomach is being annoying, mint (specifically peppermint…yes there is a difference!) is always my go-to.

Take it easy on harder to digest foods.

Red meats, fats, raw vegetables, high fiber foods, etc are all much more difficult for your system to take care of. When it’s already upset, go for things that are absorbed more quickly and easily. Think low fiber carbohydrates (cream of rice, oats sit well for some, pumpkin, squash, white rice and potatoes), some fruits like bananas, lean meats and fish and easier digesting fats (but still keep these a bit lower) like coconut oil, which bypasses the liver and goes right into use as energy.

And finally be patient. When your stomach is upset, the best you can do is be nice to it and let it settle. Try not to stress about it and let it run its course. Ensure that if it’s a¬†new¬†problem that you take a look at your recent eats and activities and try to figure out the trigger so you can try to¬†avoid it in the future. If it is due to chronic illness, I can relate and I’m sorry you have to put up with that crap but I can only hope that these can serve as a means of¬†coping with it when it looses its mind.

Hope your tummy’s are happy tonight and enjoy the rest of your Friday friends!

-Chelsea


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Now We Wait…Thinking Out Loud

Guys.

HOLD UP!

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I’m done.

I AM DONE MY APPLICATIONS!

OMG party party!

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Such a relief to be done with all of that and now it’s time to wait. At this point, I’m not very anxious¬†about the answers yet because I’m too busy relishing in the fact that my brain has more empty space to use for something else now.

You would think I would be sleeping soundly now…

Sleep brain, sleep…

Don’t you hate when you are all prepped to go to bed early cuz you have an early wakeup and your brain is just like…

nope

Hello 4 hours of sleep and a full day of classes + gym + night class. Le sigh

This is not helping with healing brain.¬†Don’t you get that…

Maybe my insomnia is because ..

I have no idea where my life is going now…

Where will I be in 6 months?

What if I don’t get in…what am I going to do?

What if I get more than one of my top choices (ha thats positive thinking), what will I choose?

Gah so many questions and makes me feel like I’m in limbo.

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I really don’t like not knowing things. I’m a type A personality and like to be in control 24/7 so having no idea where I’m even going to be living in the next few months drives me crazy.

I just signed off my house a week ago. Like guys, I’m practically homeless!

……

Anyways enough about life, what other things caught my attention recently

Wait for it, controversy ahead…

Saw this video this morning and thought it would be a good discussion piece. I’m not trying to push my views on anyone, but I thought this was a good side of the argument to share.

Case in point, cows milk is technically for baby cows. The hormones, the proteins, the nutrients, its for growing a cow…

…not a human.

So in the long term, does this have an effect on us? Who knows (the doctor seems to think so…), but when you think about it, it’s kinda weird. Also, technically, is there anything super important about milk other than calories perhaps? You may argue calcium BUT there’s controversy about that too soo… yeah.

Thoughts?

Who’s bright idea was it to start drink from cow boobs anyways?

Glute gains…

Can I also say why¬†computers and phones still don’t understand what a ‘glute’ is. It gets autocorrected to flute or apparently gluten..

I cannot wait to watch this video

I love Jeff Nippard’s informational videos and this one is on GLUTES! Perfect for pre-leg day tomorrow.

Speaking of my training …

Hopefully I will be kind to myself tomorrow as I anticipate I won’t hit my normal numbers due to still getting over this detox. Can’t say I haven’t gotten a bit frustrated over this week because I get more winded and am overall just more tired.

On top of the fact that I’m so bloated and gassy that I feel like a sausage…

..a few more days…a few more days..

I felt hunger for a moment today. Thats a start.

Try these muffins!

Almond flour is mad expensive but trust, everyone said these were the best muffins I ever brought into the gym and my housemates didn’t want me to take them from them..

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Wish I could take credit for the recipe but, alas, I cannot. I did do one switch, which was to use half molasses (more gingerbread-y) and half honey.

But trust trust trust, my family at the gym is saying they will buy me almond flour just so I will bring these back to them. They are that good and completely flourless, only a few tbsp of natural sugars and good healthy fats.

Anyone else truly adore the smell of gingerbread?

Also, these cookies…

I did alter these slightly by¬†de-veganizing it by using eggs, used 2 tbsp molasses for the maple syrup (didn’t have any) and only a few tbsp of coconut sugar..

Next recipe I want to try is these..

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So easy. So little ingredients and how pretty are they!

…we shall see if mine look anything like that…

I been hearing so much good from this book…

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I’m not a reader but I have such an urge to get my hands on this one.

I’m on such a motivational and inspirational kick right now and I think this book (even though its apparently poetry..) would be right up my alley.

And finally to finish off with this lil quotation..

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Always be a light. That is all.

Thanks to Running with Spoons for the Thinking Out Loud Thursdays hook-up.

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-Chelsea


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Their Final Hurraah…

Just when you think you finally got a grip…

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You get hit with the final whammie…

Their final life…

Their final words…

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My friends, I swear, I am like the best person to study if you want someone who gets all of the most random health problems.

So I told you the parasites were gone…

And they were. Rightfully so, we all did our lil happy dance and I was accepting of the fact that I was than embarking on the healing journey.

Well, no one told me that their ghosts would come to haunt me and hit me with one final sucker punch.

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And suffering I did. Literally thought I got hit by a truck.

Lets re-cap shall we

Sunday I woke up and didn’t feel that great. I thought maybe I had overdone it during my Saturday workout (where¬†I felt like a freakin super person that day and killed it!). Sometimes, my body reacts badly to cortisol release, which¬†you do release when you workout, but on my heavy heavy lifting days, it can make me feel no so great because it apparently dumps into your gut, and well, we all know how strong my stomach is…

Anyways, so stomach issues got progressively worse throughout the day but me being me (aka afraid to not eat for fear of loosing weight), continued to force myself to eat. The food wasn’t making me feel worse or better so I didn’t really know what was going on.

Then I got cold. Really cold. Than my tea disgusted me. #WhoAmI ?

Somethings up…

I ate my last meal, felt horrible and freezing and hoped that going to bed would make it all go away. I did however have this feeling something bad was going to happen overnight because 1. if I’m going to get sick, it happens over night and 2. I had a lot of pressure and discomfort right under my ribs which made we think it was waiting to be up-chucked..

Fast forward 3 hours and I woke up with my mouth feeling like a desert but I was super nauseas at the same time so water really had no appeal whatsoever. Regardless, I took one small sip of water and that was it, that horrible feeling came up and I made my way to the bathroom…

Well I ended up sitting on the floor, which was cold (feels so good…) for a good half an hour while my body tried multiple times to get sick (gotta love that dry heaving..sorry TMI), and when I felt up to it, slowly but surely made my way back to bed. At this point I was no longer freezing but instead boiling hot.

Repeat above process again 2 hours later.

It’s 6am. Alarm goes off. Dry mouth again…dammit. Not only do I definitely have a fever at this point but my head is pounding, my body feels like I was hit by a truck and I’m still pukey-feeling. Lovely.

Well guess I ain’t going to the gym this morning.

Repeat above process once again and than went back to bed until my housemate had to wake up for class at 8. At this point I didn’t feel as nauseous but man was I ever sore and still super hot.

……

Guess I got the flu?

Nope. Your girl is dealing with this…

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The Herxheimer Reaction 

Also, my coach told me this. Once again my friends, you can’t always wait for doctors to tell you things…

Basically, when I said the parasite’s ghosts came back to get me, I was referring to their toxins. If you want to read about this ‘reaction’ or detox, you can go here. To briefly explain…

~Parasites and bacteria release toxins. To protect itself, the body takes those toxins into the cells.

~Treatment (like what I had) kills said parasites BUT NOT the toxins.

~When you body feels it’s healthy enough, it purges the toxins by releasing them from the cells. Simply put, it detoxes.

~This is a good sign because your body feels its is in a good state BUT unfortunately for you, it’s gunna hurt coming out. When too many toxins are released at once, it overwhelms the body and it reacts with an immune response as a way to try to purge the body. This means you get all the classic flu symptoms.

~This also explains why anything hot (which I normally need to enjoy something) completely turned me off because it just ‘opened my cells’ up more, releasing further toxins and making me feel nauseous again.¬†

So, it’s a good thing? Yes

Will I feel good for the next few days? No.

The worst is over though (I hope…), yesterday I pulled a complete 180 throughout the day, ¬†going from feeling half dead to being able to stomach most of my food by the end of the day (which was the all rice, rice cakes and easy protein oh and an attempt at tons of fluids). Today I went back into the gym and although the working out made me feel icky (and weak AF) again AND I ended up having a really big stomach upset this evening, I know it’s only going to get better and once again (forever waiting..) I have to be patent with my body while it takes this one last step towards cleansing itself.

Whatever you do friends, don’t get a parasite.

It sucks arrrrrsssse…

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But good riddence!

Anyways, just thought I would give you a lil update and like I said, if anyone needs a patient who gets the most random illnesses ever, hit me up. I would love to make myself useful for something.

-Chelsea


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Clam and Turkey Kielbasa Paella

Friends, a new recipe a new recipe!

Okay so as I typically do when I have downtime and my housemates are busy is I do some meal prepping¬†for them…. You may think that’s lame but I enjoy the creative time spent in the kitchen.¬†This is especially true in situations like now when no one has come back to Guelph yet, it’s freezing outside and I have lil stressed¬†birdies to feed. Rita has been trekkin through the first week of her co-op in TO and unfortunately is stuck commuting for a short while before figuring out better arrangements. That means 5am wake-up calls and 7:30 arrivals at home. So, as you can imagine, if left to her own ways, food would be bought every day…

Of course, Mama can not let that happen, so here we are.

Before you call me out on being judgey, she doesn’t feel good when she eats out too much but she just doesn’t want to cook…

My challenge (yes I even make challenges to myself to make it more exciting…) was to make sure that everything she got was high in iron as she suffers with chronic anemia. I have succeeded thus far with making each of her 3 square meals per day contain at least 15% or more of her daily iron. Also a positive, she loved every meal and because I’m making them, they are not loaded with crap.

Win win if I do say so myself.

So I do have a recipe to show you BUT first I figured I would give a bit of insight into her meals to show you how I got her iron intake up in tasty meals that took no more than 30-40 minutes to make.

Breakfast.

Oats, wheat bran and maybe some cream of rice thrown in too.

Okay, so I did the whole oat’s thing thang because I can stuff them in a glass jar and she can heat them and eat them on the train. I also used oats because 1 serving contains 8% of your daily iron! I also did a blend of oats and wheat bran because the bran contains a wee bit more iron per serving.

Okay so that’s only 8% iron…

Wait a minute, you know my oats ain’t no plain jane oats. Let me continue.

She loves savoury oats, so I threw this lil number together and she adored it. So much so that I had to make it again the next day..

Awful picture I’m sorry. I swear it tastes good. Rita vouches for it!

Sundried Tomato and Mushroom OIAJ

~Serving of sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (8% iron)

~Cremini mushrooms 

~ about 1-1.5 ounces of a homemade sausage of sorts that she picked up during Xmas when all the farmers came into the mall (iron..I have no idea..)

~1 large egg that was roughly scrambled (6% iron)

~1 green onion

~Pepper to taste 

Directions: Sauté all of the vegetables and sausage (or other meat) together in a saucepan that has a lid. Once they are caramelized, add your oats and recommended water. Top with the lid and bring to a boil. Once most of the water has been absorbed, crack the egg in there and let it cook mostly before breaking it up. Put in a jar and voila, donzo.

Something else to consider when thinking about plant based iron sources is that they have primarily non-heme iron and are therefore the iron is not as well absorbed as animal products that contain heme iron. Never fear, if your food also has a good dose of vitamin C, you are better able to absorb iron. So in the case of oats, the sundried tomatoes help the body absorb more of the iron in the meal.

You know what else is high in vitamin C?

unknown-pineapple

And so I rotated sweet and savoury oats by making her a pineapple and coconut oats in a jar one morning as well. The cooking is the same BUT obviously you’re using fruit and not vegetables (although if you want to grate some zucchini in there I wouldn’t oppose…and you can’t taste it) AND the egg is whipped in there such that it¬†dissolves completely.

So even forgetting the iron amount in the sausage, I racked in about 18% iron to start off her day.

Lunches/Dinners

So here was where I got to be more¬†creative. I’m going to apologize in advance that I have no pictures…

The first dish was an Italian/Mediterranean style penne dish but it has a twist!

It used these noodles..

Do you see that iron friends! Oh and check how short the ingredient list is! Score one for Mama and her foodie finds.

Beans, legumes and lentils are a vegetarian staple for more than just protein needs. Iron is huge in these guys so now the are coming up with interesting ways to incorporate beans/lentils into more dishes.

Sundried Tomato, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil Pesto.

For one serving:

~1 serving bean pasta (15% iron)

~1 serving sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (8% iron + vitamin C)

~a few cremini mushrooms 

~onion

~2 tbsp goat cheese (2% iron)

~2 tbsp basil pesto

~Black pepper and chili flakes to taste 

***I chose not to add garlic here because her goat cheese was a garlic infused one

Directions: Cook up your pasta to the doneness you prefer, rinse and drain. Salute your vegetables until caramelized. Add your pasta and your pesto and stir around to coat all of the ingredients with the pesto. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding the goat cheese in small chunks.

Iron count: 25% DV

***Vegetarian friendly with tons of good protein. Also gluten free. ***

Finally, I made a Cajun seasoned dish of sorts with a turkey kielbasa I picked up from GoodnessMe!

turkey-kielbasa

Cajun Turkey Kielbasa and Pepper Quinoa

For one serving:

~1 serving Kielbasa (6% iron)

~ serving quinoa (cooked from package directions. I used low sodium beef broth for more flavour) (8% iron) 

~1/4 each green and red pepper (Vitamin C!)

~serving of corn (I used salt free, canned) (little bit of Vitamin C)

~1/8 cup onion, chopped

~1/2 tsp (or more) minced garlic

~1 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning (or to taste)

Directions: Cook Quinoa, fluff and set aside. Saute vegetables with kielbasa until caramelized. Add your garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add your quinoa and cajun and combine well. Done.

Total iron: 14%

So her total for those three meals alone (approximately as absorption differs, blah blah blah…) was around 57%!

I say I didn’t do too bad eh?

Oh and all of that (plus the recipe to come) was maybe 40¬†bucks. Cha-ching! or rather, lack of cha-ching…#StudentBudgetWin.

Okay okay, now that I have sufficiently babbled on and on, here’s the actual recipe for the post.

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Clam and Turkey Kielbasa Paella

Serves 3-4

~2 servings Kielbasa (12% iron)

~2lbs clams in shell or about 6-8 ounces of meat (~130% iron in one serving!!)

~1 cup rice (I used white jasmine) (8% iron)

~1/2 each green and red pepper

~1/2 a small-medium zucchini

~1/2 can of corn (no salt)

~1/2 can tomato paste (no salt) (4% iron)

~1-2 tsp spanish paprika

~1 tsp oregano

~2 bay leaves

~ pinch of saffron threads (I happen to have this on hand, I don’t know an alternative to this for taste, but you can just make it ‘spicy tomato rice’ without it)

~chili flakes or cayenne pepper AND black pepper to taste

Directions: Saute your vegetables with the kielbasa in a large pan with a lid for a few minutes until they are browned. Add your tomato paste, spices, rice and liquid (as required for your rice to cook) and stir. Place the bay leaves in the rice and pop a lid on dish and bring it up to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn it down to a simmer and allow the rice to cook with the lid on. Once the rice has absorbed most of the water, wash and scrub your clams and add them to the pan and put the lid back on. The dish is done when the shells open up. You can than remove the shells and any clams that didn’t open up. Also make sure to remove the bay leaves. Than enjoy!

Iron Count per serving (4): just under 40% DV iron ūüôā

What have we learned?

If you’re iron deficient, eat your mussels, clams and/or oysters friends.

That is all. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps add a lil iron in your diet. Good for them energy gainz ya feel me?

-Chelsea


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Goals Are NOT Resolutions.

My Friends!

Happy New Year and I hope you had a great Christmas! My Christmas and New Years were all about family. My Mom’s birthday happens to land on New Years Eve, so¬†most years I tend to stay home and celebrate with her and my Dad. Below are some snaps from the past week or so…

Top Left: Nana and Papa

Top Middle: The Fam shot for Xmas 2016

Top Right: The Cheese face with my new Pandora locket necklace. I had been eyeing this for a while but I’m too broke to even think about buying something like that…Thanks Mom and Dad. They even put the three charms in the locket too. A sparkly heart, LOVE and a double heart with a crown. All hearts, they know me too well.¬†

Bottom Left: Maggie in her Xmas collar with bells

Bottom Right: My very impressed parents that I made them take a picture right out of bed ūüėČ

And if you’re wondering…

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…yes I did sport my Bear Paws onesie (it has a butt flap and everything friends!) all day even with my extended family, who arrived later for the dinner part of the day.

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Insert selfie because I’m actually kind of obsessed with this picture. #NoEgo I just think it’s a good shot. Nice lighting. Nice background and no cheese smile.

….

So yes, the week and a half at home was nice and relaxing. I handed in my first application last night (for the MAN program at UofGuelph) as I settled back into my house in Guelph with Rita, got to see all my famjam back at my gym this morning and trained Karl.

Twas a good day.

This week will be nice and slow for me as I still have a week off until I start back with classes. Rita started her internship today, so she will unfortunately¬†only be here to sleep basically and Em is still in Montreal, so I will be keeping myself busy prepping Rita’s food (hehe I enjoy it mmmkay), catching up with some friends from school, doing some of my volunteer stuff (my first contribution was posted on Nicole’s Facebook page today! Check it out here. It’s an article on picking an appropriate protein powder), applications and just keeping my zen going.

….

So onto those goals…

I emphasized the fact that these are goals and not resolutions because I don’t really believe in resolutions.

Check out my FB post below for my thoughts on resolutions…

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Basically I believe that if you have a GOAL you do it now. When you have resolution…well we all know how those go. I feel like resolutions are something we put off because:

1. We don’t really want to do it

2. It’s going to be a huge change

See the problem here? Either reason will most definitely 95% of the time lead to not keeping it.

As I see it, if something will benefit you in any way, you don’t need to put a start date on it that is sometime in the future.

Why wait to grow?

Why hold back on something that is positive?

It makes no sense to me.

A goal on the other hand is something I see slightly differently because it doesn’t have this ‘starting in the new year’ piece attached to it. I think we can all fall victim to the two issues above with goals too, but I think that goals are more¬†often set with greater intent and thought and are simply things we are wishing to accomplish starting right than and there.

For example, I have a goal to grow my glutes in the new year. Now I should have said CONTINUE to grow my glutes because I didn’t just plan this for Jan 1. No, I had this goal a few months ago and just want to keep it going.

Before you say that is not a goal because it’s too general, I realize this and need to set more specific parameters, but at the time, I simply had it in my mind to really focus on two things:

  1. More glute accessory work rather than focusing solely on squats and lunges. These are great exercises BUT are great for the entire lower body rather than more glute focused. So instead, once I told myself that I was gunna take the time to focus on glutes, the next hamstring focused leg day, I added in barbell hip thrusts and started experimenting with sumo deadlifts. I also put a greater focus on kickbacks and getting more reps with those and learning the lovely (…awkward looking) cable pull through.

2. MORE CONTRACTION! An ugly butt in the gym, is a nicer butt outside the gym. Always remember this. Thanks Marie Wold for coining this saying. 

So yes, I failed to set a time limit or specific measurement for this goal… In my defence I don’t own a tape measure…I should get on that. But I wanted to make a change and so I did it THE NEXT DAY! Not on Monday. Not in the New Year.

THE NEXT DAY. 

That is a goal friends (well that an something using the SMART principles..)

So, what are some other goals for the new year? 

I haven’t really put much thought into it, because as I said, when I want to change something I just do it and that can happen at any time. I will say that I have a few things I want to accomplish this year though:

~Accept an offer for my post graduate studies. I haven’t determined whether I want the Masters/internship combined or the internship as of yet (provided I even get an offer…) because I keep flip flopping now.¬†

~A consistant goal is to hit a mid to high 80 GPA (also meaning Deans Honour Roll). This is realistic for me as I have attained that every year and is not stressing me like crazy to achieve while still having my life. School is not life friends. 

~Fitness..? I haven’t actually decided that yet aside from glute development. I hit my big goal of my 4×8 135b back squat right before Christmas as I intended and almost cried I was so happy. So I don’t know if I want to put in another squat goal or go for a different focus.

~Health..? Be patient with my body. I haven’t really thought about HOW I’m going to do this but I know it’s necessary. I need to heal and every day is not going to be flowers and daisies just because the parasites are gone. I have NO GUT BACTERIA and so my tummy needs to be babied for a bit. I also need to be nicer to myself and know that my body is in a transition phase. It just got attacked and it may not be as tight as I want it right now and I have to accept that point in my journey. Self love is an ongoing process and something everyone needs to focus on, but I do think I have come a long way and will continue to challenge my bad habits and poor self talk to be even more positive about myself.¬†

Well thats about all I have for the moment. Yes I want to continue my volunteering stuff, reaching for new opportunities that make me happy, be more social, relax more and obviously continue to work with and hopefully gain more clients, but those are always in my head and are not necessarily something I would formulate a goal from at the moment.

So, I don’t want to say that having a goal starting in January is bad or totally doomed. If you have one, do you and make a plan to stick with it. Don’t think of it as something to dread and don’t try to aim too high or they will not stay. This is a change to your lifestyle that is good and something you should want to do, so make it positive and be confident in yourself when you are ready to go for it.

Speaking of positivity, lets end off with someone who always brings the happy…

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-Chelsea