Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Adventures: Snow Hiking

Since the weather was so nice yesterday (low 80's), we decided to head up into the mountains for a hike. It was a blast! This whole "level up your life" thing has given me a new perspective. I've started to see life as an adventure, and this hike was definitely adventurous. The first part of our hike was a paved road and nothing special. But once we got to the trailhead of our real hike, that's where the fun started. There was snow, and lots of it. It was mostly packed, but every once in awhile, your foot would sink in. It was up to the knee for us taller people, and just about the whole leg for my boys.

Troy wanted to turn back cause a snow hike didn't sound very fun to him, but I wanted to go on, and I'm the boss. So we continued up, and it was fantastic. Between the slips and faceplants my boys were doing and the sliding down a snow-packed mountain on our butts (not on purpose), a good time was had by all. Kaitlyn and I hiked all the way to the top for a closer view of the waterfall, and it was beautiful. I'd love to go back in the summer to see what it's like without the snow.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Nerd Fitness!

So, you guys have heard me talk about BodyRock, and how much I love it and how great it is.  Well, it's come to a point where I can't support it anymore.  I have always had to ignore the sexualized nature of the site, and just focus on the workouts.  And the workouts were mostly good.  But I definitely had reservations about their workout schedule.  Working out the same muscle groups day after day, without allowing for rest or rebuilding, isn't a good idea for anyone.

I hated that I couldn't recommend the site to just anyone.  Lots of people would be offended by the pictures, and with good reason.  But it has gotten worse.  I'm not going to post pictures or go into any detail.  If you're really curious, feel free to go to the BodyRock website and see for yourself. 

So what to do, then?  I wanted to find a fitness website or program that I could embrace without reservation.  Where I don't have to ignore half of the website to get to the good parts.  One I'm not afraid to tell my loved ones about.  And guess what?  I found it!  And I love it! 

I have just begun to explore it, but there are so many great posts I've read.  Here are just a few:
How to Level Up in the Game of Life
Beginner's Guide to the Paleo Diet
Why People Suck at Getting Healthy
How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

I have seriously spent hours reading around that website, and I have loved everything I've read.  There has been no aspect that I've hated, but was willing to look past for the good stuff.  It's all good stuff. And there's a great community too with message boards and super supportive people.  So anyway, this is my find for the year so far, and my only regret is not finding it sooner.  Check it out!  Especially if you're a nerd/geek like me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Halfway Through my Whole30

Just thought I'd check in at the mid-way point of my Whole30.  I've definitely had my ups and downs.  I've had headaches and dizziness while my body is adjusting and while I try to figure out what exactly my body needs to perform optimally.  Despite that, I feel healthier than I've ever been.  There have been times when I wanted to quit so bad.  But more times that I'm so very thankful that I didn't.     

I have not weighed or measured myself.  That's off limits during the whole30, and besides that, I don't really care about numbers.  What I do care about is how my clothes fit.  And they don't fit anymore.  Here's a picture of me in my size 6 pants that used to fit me perfectly:

I have not been exercising a lot while my body adjusts to this way of eating, so any inches lost has been completely diet-related (granted, the muscle that I've built up burns more calories).  Exercise is definitely important, but what you're eating is so much more.  When I exercised 5 times a week for an hour a day (and didn't eat as well), I wasn't anywhere near this.

I can't say I have it all figured out.  I'm still trying to work out a balance that works for me, but I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks, and then beyond that not straying too far from what I eat now.  I haven't gotten my family completely on board, and there has been complaining for sure.  I got a fantastic cookbook called Eat Like a Dinosaur, and every single thing we've cooked from it so far has been absolutely delicious.  I'll probably be doing a more in depth review soon.

So that's it for now.  I'll report again at the end of the 30 days, and try to maybe post some recipes or things that we're eating and loving in the meantime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Doing the Whole 30

I've always been skeptical about low-carb/Atkins style diets.  I thought they were anything but healthy, and then I came across the Paleo diet (links to follow).  At first I had the same thoughts, but for some reason I kept coming back to it.  There's something about it that resonates with me.  Something about it just makes sense.

Although our society is much more sedentary than our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we don't have to be.  My main concern with the Paleo diet was that we shouldn't eat like they did because we aren't as active as they were.  But that's a silly concern because I can move as much as I want to.  I can do a lot of housework, I can go for walks, I can exercise.  I can easily be as active as they were.

So that brings me to the Whole 30.  In a nutshell, it's this:
We eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. We choose foods that were raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants.
 My personal reasons for doing it are not to lose weight.  I feel like I'm generally in pretty good health, but I do have nagging things that are always there.  I get migraines at least a few days every month.  Sometimes I have no energy at all.  I get really bad PMS.  I'm not "regular".  The list could go on.  Just little things that I wonder if I could fix if I changed what I ate.  So I figured I would just go for it.  I've just finished day two, and even though I thought this would feel really restrictive, I'm hot having a hard time with it at all.  (We'll see how the weekend goes when movie and snack time comes up).

Here's what I ate for day two:

Scrambled eggs with spinach and grape tomatoes
Leftover garlic burger, lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with sesame seed oil
Spicy pepper chicken, ginger garlic chicken, and asparagus

And I had a banana for an afternoon snack.

What I've found whenever I eat paleo is how much I really love to cook.  It gives me a chance to experiment with spices and different veggies.  And I love garlic--I put it in just about everything.  I'll try to keep anyone who's interested updated on how my whole 30 is going and what I'm eating.

If you want to dig into what Paleo is a little more, here are some helpful links:
Mark's Daily Apple
Robb Wolf
The Paleo Diet
Everyday Paleo
Paleo Parents

And I have to add a little bit of a disclaimer.  If you buy all your meat from a grocery store, and don't have any intention of changing that, I wouldn't recommend the Whole 30 or the Paleo Diet.  Even if you're not interested in Paleo, check into local meat sources.  It may be slightly more expensive, but it tastes better, it's healthier for you and the environment, it's more humane for the animal: the animals are fed what they are supposed to eat and do what animals are supposed to do.  On top of that, you can support local farmers, and who doesn't want to do that?  There are so many very good reasons to get your meat locally that I don't know why you wouldn't. :)