Celebrate!

It is an amazing thing, this life we live. We have so many opportunities to enjoy life, but we often get caught up in the chaos and frustrations that come our way that we miss the good stuff. We can lose sight of the blessings that we have because we are focused on the struggles we experience. I feel like this is not only true in work and relationships, but also in our health and fitness journeys.

Many of us start new programs and meal plans only to become frustrated with not being able to perform the moves perfectly or that the meal plan is “too hard,” “too strict,” or that we are just “no good at this healthy thing.” I often hear people talk about doing a workout for two or three days only to be “so sore” that they couldn’t keep going or when they miss a day they just stop and say they will start again on “Monday.”
WARNING: Tough Love Moment!
These phrases are just not true. They are simply excuses to quit something that is hard for us. Yes, they are legitimate things that need to be addressed, but they are not reasons to throw in the towel.

Our mindset is what moves us forward. it is not our physical abilities or that we are simply “good at” whatever the program requires. It is what and how we think, fueled by our inner dialogue.

So, let’s talk about what we can do to create a mindset that moves us forward in our journeys.

Pursue Progress
When we focus on perfection we lose sight of the small steps of progress that we are making. Every day we can choose to see the small steps that we have made that move us in the right direction. In our workouts, we can modify a move and then watch the progression towards doing the move without modification. We can make small choices daily that move us closer to eating in a healthy way. These things all take practice because they are skills not natural talents. The good news is that skills are learnable and we can get better at them because we can practice.

Surround yourself with Positivity
Ever heard the phrase “you become the sum of the five people you are with the most?” This might be an exaggeration but I do believe that the people you spend time with the most do contribute to your mindset, to whether or not you see possibilities or problems. Positive people have hope and tend to be able to inspire hope in others. Now, I’m talking about people who have hope and the ability to see solutions, and are willing to encourage others in their pursuits, even if they don’t entirely agree with you. If you don’t know anybody like this, start reading personal development books and creating the positive mindset inside yourself!

Give yourself grace
All of us are going to fail and make mistakes. None of us are perfect. We are going to choose poorly, miss a workout, or eat something (aghast!) not on plan. When we do this we often berate ourselves or even give up. This is more detrimental than the small mistake or choice we made initially! Choose to give yourself grace to fail. Choose that when you fail or make a “mistake,” because you will, you will choose to just pick yourself back up and make the next choice a better one. Don’t give up when you fail, use it to try to become better.

Celebrate!
This is my favorite one. Celebrate your victories! Celebrate small progressions in your physical fitness. Celebrate lifting one more rep or jumping one more time. Celebrate your ability to meal prep for one more day. Celebrate eating healthy for five days in a row. Build on those small steps, don’t just wait to celebrate when you “arrive” at your goals. Healthy is a lifestyle not an endpoint or destination. Celebration builds happy hormones and will help keep you motivated to keep going.

You CAN live a healthy lifestyle with grace and hope. I completely believe in you!

 

You Are Free to Eat

Have you ever seen the movie, Kung Fu Panda? The story follows a large panda named Po pursue his dream of becoming a Kung Fu hero. Po, unfortunately is not adept at learning Kung Fu early in his endeavors. He spends his time failing daily, his “mentor” abhors him and doubts his calling, and his peers believe him to be hopeless.

In an effort to comfort himself, Po eats. A lot. In fact, he is amazingly clever and adept at finding any and all food to appease his desire. Shifu, his mentor catches him climbing cabinets in the corner of the kitchen in the middle of the night. Can any of you relate with Po here? Hiding? Eating to ease the pain of failure and feeling left out or in the wrong place?

Shifu, being the clever and inventive mentor, now knows that he can use food as a motivator in Po’s training regimen. If Po performs well, he gets a delicious reward, if not, he cannot eat. The training montage continues, rewards of dumplings fill Po’s motivation and belly as he perfects Kung Fu. It culminates in what really is my favorite scene…
Po finds Shifu sitting at a table with a bowl of dumplings and says…

You are free to eat.

Po, is surprised, looking for the catch and then sits to eat. Every time he tries to take a bite Shifu snatches the dumpling out from under him, every time uttering…

You are free to eat.

Po responds with “Am I?”
to which Shifu says…

“Are you?”

The battle for the dumpling is epic! Flips and kicks and chopsticks. Oh my! Finally, Po is victorious and goes to eat the dumpling. But in a surprising turn of events he plops the dumpling down in front of Shifu and says…

“I’m not hungry.”

How often do we make our life about food?
Celebrations of every kind. Rewards for grades, chores completed, goals attained. We obsess about tacos, peanut butter, chocolate, the list goes on and on. We go to it when we feel sad, angry, or left out. We fill our bellies to soothe our hearts. Or we punish ourselves by withholding food because we don’t look like what we would like or because we splurged and ate something off the diet. We use it as a motivator and a deterrent, and a punishment/reward system, just like Po and Shifu.

Are you held captive by food?
Sometimes, without noticing we start going to food first. We allow our emotions, circumstances, beliefs, happiness and fulfillment to be affected by food and our manipulation of it. When we go to food first to feel better we have created a false god out of something God created to sustain us and for us to enjoy. Yes! He wants us to enjoy food! Why do you think he gave us taste buds anyway?

Alisa Keeton says in her book, The Wellness Revelation
“Remember, it is never about the food. The food is not the enemy. It is something deeper. Our relationship with food is broken because something deep within us is broken. God wants to heal us in those deep places!”

In Isaiah 61:1 it says that He has come to bring freedom to the captives, that’s us! When we learn to seek God first for our emotional, physical, and mental needs we learn to put God in His rightful place in our hearts and restore balance to where food is placed. It will take time to retrain our brains and hormone systems that food is indeed enjoyable fuel but not god. The journey to freedom comes through worshipping the One true God and not our bellies or our bodies.

Yes, we must learn to care for our bodies in self and God honoring ways. Learning to fuel our bodies well and enjoy food is sometimes a battle but one that is so definitely worth it and rewarding in the freedom we can find and the ability to say that we’re not hungry when what we really need is Jesus.

You are FREE to eat.

 

Your Best Weapon

“You are fat.”
“You are ugly”
“You will never amount to anything”
“See that lady, she has it all together. Look at how she looks down on you.”
“Why can’t you get it together?”
“You’ll never get the weight off.”
“You’ll never fit in, never have friends, never be enough”
“Nobody could ever love you”
“They love you because they haveto.”
“Your own… father, mother, kids, spouse... doesn’t love you, why would anybody else?”
“Sure, you’ve got the weight off, but you are still nothing.”

How do you feel reading these words? Are they familiar to you? Do they sound true? Do they hit that secret doubting space within your heart and soul?

Maybe these words don’t mean anything to you, but I can be honest when I say that every single one of these statements come from my own thought life at some point or another. Where do these thoughts come from? Some may have actually been spoken over us literally others have been whispered into our hearts, but one thing is certain…

They are LIES

Every single one of them. Who would want us to believe these things about ourselves? Only one that is out to destroy. The Bible says that lies come from the Father of Lies who was a murderer from the beginning.

But how do we combat these lies? How do we convince ourselves that we matter? That we are important, loved, and not only valuable but valued? Even when we do not feel it, hear it, or think it. The best way to defeat lies is with the Truth.

“And you will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you FREE”
John 8:32

Fighting with Truth

1. Recognize the statement as false
2. Rephrase the statement with truth. For example “you are so stupid!” rephrased as “You are created in the image of God.”
3. Memorize scripture that identifies who you are in God’s eyes.
Some great examples….

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephania 3:17

” For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper, for a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“The King is enthralled by your beauty.” Psalm 45:11

Friend, you are loved immensely.I pray that you learn to fight against the lies with Truth and that it provides a freedom to help you become the best version of you possible!

Top 10 Holiday Survival Tips

 

  1. Drink plenty of water.

It is recommended that you drink half your body weight in water daily. Make sure to get it in, we often confuse thirst for hunger.

  1. Control temptation.

Don’t purchase your stocking stuffers or treats too early where they sit and stare at you. If you bake, make sure to share with others!

  1. Cheat a little.

Stay on plan at least 80% of the time. Choose one event/meal to cheat at per week. This makes you focus on what you really want to use as a treat and keeps you from the week long binge. <gasp!>

  1. Move your body more.

Dance while you’re at that party! If you work out daily, add an extra walk before dinner or your event. If you don’t work out daily, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

  1. NEVER go to a party hungry.

Eat a healthy small meal before you go to that event. This will help keep you on track. My favorite go to is a peanut butter chocolate Shakeology.

  1. Substitute healthier versions of calorie heavy holiday foods.
  2. Partner up! Get an accountability buddy or into a challenge group to help you stay on track.
  3. Keep a food journal.

I don’t know what it is about writing it down, but if I have to log what I eat, I make better choices.

  1. Eat more fruit and veggies

If you are at a party, take a small plate and fill it with fruit and veggie options. Eat them slowly as you make your way around the room and talk with people.

  1. Celebrate without food

Okay, this one is hard for me. Play games, go outside, or go cruise for Christmas lights.

The Intentional Habit of Tracking

Welcome to the third week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! So far we’ve talked about goals and using meal plans. This week we’re going to continue our discussion of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit with an organizational tactic that has changed my own personal health and fitness.

Keep a log or journal of your food and workouts.

Writing everything that you eat into a journal changes your perspective on what you put into your mouth. I’m not exactly sure how it does this, but seeing your food choices on paper really causes you to think of what your goals are and contemplate the consequences for your choices. I hate having to write down poor food choices on my log!

There is accountability in writing down your food choices and workouts. If you don’t see the progress that you desire, you can look back over what you have been doing and tweak changes where necessary.

Writing or logging your food and workouts can be motivating! You can make goals like being able to write down 3 workouts this week or getting enough water in every day. This will help you keep your goals in the front of your mind and help you make choices that move you towards them.

Your journal or log can be on paper or even your phone. There are even apps that help you keep track of everything like myfitnesspal or LoseIt! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to work for you.

Whatever you choose to use as your log, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  1. Be specific. Write down everything you eat, including condiments, cooking oils, and drinks. Include the amount you use, not just what the food item is.
  2. Write down how you feel at the end of each day. Are you tired, hungry, and do you have enough energy to make it through your workout?
  3. Be consistent. It will take time and you will get better at it, but it does take work!

Budget Friendly (and healthy) Carb Choices

Hey everyone! If you have just joined us, you are just in time. We have been talking about budget friendly ways of filling our 21 Day/Portion Fix colored buckets. I’ve saved everyone’s favorite yellow bucket for last! Most people I talk to have no difficulties getting all their yellow buckets in, but I still want to help you find the most economic way possible. So onward to the yellow bucket!

Corn tortilla
Tortillas are a staple in my home, in fact they have replaced bread entirely. Whole wheat ones, while they are not extremely pricey, do tend to creep up in price when you only get 8-10 in a pack. Corn tortillas can come in stacks of thirty while being under $2 and even at two per serving that’s quite a bargain.

Beans
There are so many varieties of beans out there and they are full of fiber! It is so good to add these little carbs into your meal plan. You can find cans of beans for under seventy cents, but the real budget cutting ones come dry and in a bag. They require a little extra work but if you are serious about cutting costs this is a big help!

Brown Rice
Another cost saving gem is brown rice. You don’t have to pick the fancy stuff, the unbranded or store brand works just as well for a side of rice, unless of course you’re making sushi, but that just doesn’t fit with the cost cutting budget.

Lentils
Another great “dry good” that saves you money! Small batches really last and you could easily have a bag that lasts two to four weeks that costs you under $3!

Potatoes
Okay, I might be pushing it here, but based on the size of the yellow bucket, I feel like you can get a lot of servings depending on the type of potato and the season. My favorite is a sweet potato, but those little red new potatoes can be pretty cost effective during the right season.

Five Budget Friendly Protein Options

One of top five things I hear about eating healthy is that it is too expensive. I tend to disagree. Once you learn about healthy food and start eliminating less nutrient dense food from your meal plan, healthy options start appearing, many of them are budget friendly. Over the course of the next few posts we will talk about budget friendly options that fit in each of the 21 Day Fix color coded buckets. Today
we will tackle the Red protein filled bucket.

Tuna
Light tuna canned in water is a surprisingly economical and healthy option. But make sure you don’t drown it in mayo!

Cottage Cheese
2% is the best protein option. This goes great with fruit!

Tilapia
Although it isn’t as full of Omega3’s as salmon it can still provide you with those special added fats while being a pretty sensible protein choice. You’re cheapest options will be in the frozen food section.

Yogurt
While 1% plain Greek yogurt is the “better” option, you can spend less and go for the plain 2% variety and still be making a great choice. Make sure to look for single ingredient kinds and avoid any added sweeteners or cornstarch.

Eggs
Eggs get a bad rap, but they are actually extremely healthy and incredibly budget friendly. Scramble them, hard boil them, or even make fancy egg cups! Just two eggs fill the red bucket as one serving, giving you six protein servings for under $2.00!

Bonus:
Okay, this obviously doesn’t work for everyone, but for those families with avid hunters in them, wild game is a fabulous choice!

Want to know more about meal planning and get accountability at the same time? Join our next 30 Day accountability group!

Grilled carne asadas/fajitas

 

Ingredients:

1 flat iron steak (about 3 lbs)

1 red onion sliced

4-5 small sweet peppers (red, orange, and yellow)

3-5 cloves garlic minced

Small bunch of minced cilantro (as desired)

Equal amounts cumin and chili powder (about 1 TBS each)

chipotle powder (optional for kick)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4-1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (reserve one full lime for after cooking)

1/2 cup stock (I used homemade chicken stock)

Marinate all together for at least 8 hours/overnight

 

Grill the steak as desired (mine is rare-medium rare)

Cook veggies separately in either an iron skillet or broil them in the oven. (if you broil, watch closely!) Squeeze the fresh lime over the veggies and enjoy!