Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sugar Baby

*If you haven't yet, please 'like' Happy Life, Healthy Life' on facebook!*

*Disclaimer: I hate calling food 'good' and 'bad' as you all well know. However, for this post, I will be portraying sugar in a negative light. Not a 'DON'T EVER EAT SUGAR AGAIN' kind of light, more of a 'I ATE A SH*T LOAD OF SUGAR, AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED'*
Okay. Here's the story: On Sunday, I had a premeditated 'cheat' day. As you know if you read my blog, I try and have a treat every day so I don't go out of my mind crazy. But for some reason, I decided this day, I deserved to eat candy like it was my last day on Earth. So I went to Rite Aid to stock up for a full day of Gossip Girl and pigging out with my friend Amanda. (Is it just me or do we girls ALWAYS eat more junk food if our girlfriends are doing it too? It's like a free pass). Anyways, here was our haul:
Epic. Cut to 1 AM. I am still tossing and turning in bed. I've been in bed since 8 PM. I am miserable. Cut to 1:30 AM and cue the miserable, POUNDING, headache. I must have passed out sometime around 3 AM. When I woke up, I literally felt hungover. A sugar hangover. Is such a thing even possible? So I did some research about why I felt so completely miserable.

 Too much sugar, just like too much alcohol, affects your kidneys, liver, stomach and small intestines, which explains some of what was happening in my body. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal disturbances and disruption of sleep are some of the results. It's recommended we consume no more than 8 teaspoons of processed sugar per day. Guess how many on average we're consuming? 24 teaspoons. TWENTY FOUR! That's half a cup. Yikes.
So, here's what happens in your body when you eat too much sugar or processed food. Remember, TOO much. I'm not saying to cut sugar out. That'd just be silly. And impossible for me.
 -Refined sugars enter your bloodstream.
 -Blood sugar levels rise.
 -Your pancreas is pressured to release insulin (a hormone that helps sugars get into your cells).
 -The insulin helps to use up the sugar rapidly, so blood sugar crashes.
 -Your body goes into a sugar low or hypoglycemia.
 -More hormones are released to deal with the sugar low and return your body to a balanced state. This actually causes a stress response in your body.
 -These hormones squeeze sugar from your liver, sending blood sugar back up.

 Too much sugar causes your body to go on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs…and your moods often follow.

 Sugar is an acid forming substance in your body. Guess what thrives in acidic conditions? Cancer. And don't even THINK about switching to artificial sweeteners because if there is anything more acid forming than sugar in your body, it's artificial sweeteners. Bastards.

 I feel almost back to normal now, which is scary because it's Thursday and my sugar binge was Sunday. I now know there is no need for a 'cleanse' or a 'detox' or a 'fast'. What am I doing to get myself back on track you may ask? I've largely cut back on processed sugars this week.

 Don't get me wrong, I know better than anyone sometimes, you just gotta have that Recess and anything less will not do. However, if you think you can hang with a more natural option, here are some ideas.

 Medjool Date instead of Caramel.
These dates are chewy and super-sweet. They're called Nature's Candy.And they taste especially caramel like right out of the freezer!

 Chocolate Banana 'Ice Cream' over regular ice cream
Freeze a couple very ripe bananas and then blend them in the food processor with some cocoa powder and a splash of milk. YUM.

 Switch to Stevia in coffee instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners
Stevia is derived from a plant. It is all natural and provides a sweet taste with no calories.

Balance is everything though. Balance is life. I try and live 80% natural, 20% indulge. 100% natural wouldn't be good for me or my mental state, but 100% indulgence wouldn't either. Find a balance that works for you and live happy and healthy :) x

Ps- I know this is hypocritical but OMG look at these. Find the recipe here. Sorry in advance.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Protein, Bro.

Before I start, be sure to 'like' Happy Life, Healthy Life on facebook please! x There are so so so many misconceptions about protein. Obviously, protein needs to be a part of your diet. I mean, the word "protein" is derived from the Greek language and means "of primary importance". So obviously, it's important. But just how much protein should you be eating? And is eating too much protein bad? And what if you're a vegetarian, now what? Let me sooth your anxiety ridden mind with the soothing ointment of answers.
Get swoll brother!

1. How much protein should I be eating?
-I will use myself as an example. If you're like me (or have been reading my blog), you know your BMR. If you don't, click this, read, figure it out, and come back. Back? Cool.

So my BMR is 2,164 calories. AKA if I was in a coma, this is how many calories I'd need to be fed in order to maintain my current weight. Now, 15% of my daily intake of calories should be calories from protein (60% from carbs, 25% from fat). Let's figure out how many grams that is.

2,164 calories x .15 (the 15%) = 324.6

Now, 324.6 divided by 4 calories (because it's 4 calories/gram of protein)= about 81 grams.

That seemed a little steep to me but I realized I factored in my activity level to my BMR. Which is cool. So 81 grams of protein/day. For me. Now go do yours.

While you were doing that I was questioning my sexuality. Moving on.

Question 2- Is eating too much protein bad for you? Or will I get leaner?
The long answer short is yes. Eating WAY too much protein is not good for you over a long period of time. Mainly for your kidneys because they are the organ that the protein is filtered through. Your body is a well oiled machine. Over working your kidneys by loading them up with double the amount of protein you need is going to exhaust them. Anyone want kidney stones? Didn't think so. Will you get leaner if you eat more than enough protein? NO! THIS IS IMPORTANT SO LISTEN UP.

I have heard a LOT of people say they are going to up the amount of protein in their diet to get leaner. However, most of them aren't cutting anything out. This goes back to one of my favorite sayings about weight. It is calories in vs. calories out. PERIOD. So let's say I have eaten a perfect 2,164 calories today, then, for some reason, decide I need to protein load before bed. So I drink a protein shake with a scoop of protein powder, milk, and a banana. A perfectly good snack HOWEVER, I just went 300 calories over my needs! But they are good calories sooo...NOPE. Doesn't matter. Unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body cannot, repeat, CANNOT store protein! Any excess calories you put in your body, even if they're from protein, will be stored as fat. Fact.

Question 3- I'm a vegetarian I need the extra protein right?

False. What do the following World Champion athletes all have in common, besides strength and endurance? They must be big meat eaters, right?

Henry Aaron – All Time Baseball Home Run Champion
Dave Scott - 6-time winner of the Ironman Triathlon (the only man to win it more than twice!) Sixto Linares - World Record holder in the 24-hour Triathlon
Paavo Nurmi - 20 World Records and 9 Olympic Medals in distance running
Stan Price - World Record holder in the Bench Press
Andreas Cahling - Mr. International Body Building Champion
Roy Hilligan - Mr. America Body Building Champion
Ridgely Abele - 8-Time National Champion in Karate

Wrong. They are all vegetarians! For non animal sources of protein, what do you think my favorite is? You know it. Greek yogurt baby. There is also an amazing concept called "complete proteins". These are foods that when eaten together, form the perfect protein. Aka contain all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein). They are as follows:

-A whole egg (the white + the yolk)
-Rice and black beans
-Whole wheat bread and peanut butter
-Sunflower seeds and peanuts
-Lentils and almonds
-Hummus (because hummus is chickpeas and tahini aka sesame seeds)

Actually, here's an awesome chart. Pick anything from the top two rows, and combine it with either anything from the bottom two rows, or with a grain:

Hurray vegetarians rejoice!

There is a little bit of protein in almost everything you eat. There is no need to stress. No need to obsessively consume protein shakes for every snack. Just become aware of it! And FYI, how have I never done this before? Greek yogurt covered berries, frozen. Yes please!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Nice Monday Lunch!

Protein, Carb, Fat <3

Grilled chicken, brown rice, avocado. Yum! Hope everyone is having a great day! x

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why Diets Don't Work + FAQ

Hey guys! I got all kinds of lazy this week and am video blogging! xxxxx enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's Breakfast, Bitch

How I want to eat breakfast every morning--

How I actually usually eat breakfast every morning--

There are some phrases we've heard so much, they just go in one ear and out the other. For example, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", "A watched pot never boils", "Curiosity killed the cat", and of course, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day". Every one of those made me roll my eyes until now, now only the first three make me roll my eyes.

BREAKFAST! I love that the word 'breakfast' is literally 'break-fast'. You 'fast' while you sleep and then you get to wake up to a glorious meal. The MOST important meal! But why? Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Let me break it down for you.

First off, the reason I'm sure most of you are interested in, is that breakfast kick starts your metabolism. During the night, you don't need as much energy and your metabolism slows down. Once you wake up, your metabolism speeds up again, but without a healthy breakfast to provide the nutrients and energy your body needs, your metabolism can't sustain a higher level for long. When it realizes it can't sustain because you're not going to feed it, it slows right back down again. And we all knows what happens when your metabolism slows down! (And if you don't because you're new to my blog, metabolism is slow, you store fat. Now go read all my other posts!) If breakfast isn't had, your body doesn't process your next meal as quickly and tries to hold onto those nutrients. Since it didn't get any morning fuel, it tries to hold onto the afternoon meal as long as possible — instead of burning it right away.

According to MSNBC Health, eating breakfast can increase your metabolism by as much as 10 percent. This means you actually burn MORE calories during the day BECAUSE you ate! Revolutionary. A very common misconception is that if you skip breakfast, you'll lose weight. Seems like common sense. However, research shows that people who skip breakfast end up eating MORE throughout the day than those who did eat breakfast. Remember, restricting ALWAYS leads to overeating. Not only that, but they also don't get the metabolism boost so the calories (and extra calories!) they consumed aren't being burned as quickly as they could be if they had eaten the most important meal of the day.

Also, after sleeping for eight hours and being without food during the night, our brain and muscles need energy and fuel to function. And the glucose in food (as well as the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and protein) is how we get this energy. With this rush of nutrients and glucose to our brains, we are better able to concentrate, focus, be productive, and be in better spirits! Another cliche..."No waking up on the wrong side of the bed!"

Now, the two most common excuses I've heard from people for not eating breakfast is "I'm not hungry in the morning!" and "But I don't have time!"

My answers are "Do it anyways" and "Yes you do".

Breakfast is a habit. But, you have to MAKE it a habit. Very few people are actually truly hungry in the morning. I am almost never hungry right when I wake up. However, I eat anyways. Because it's a habit. I know the benefits, I want the benefits, I get the benefits. Because I eat breakfast.

You don't have time to eat breakfast? Yes you do drama queen. My go to breakfast? A greek yogurt with cinnamon, a piece of turkey sausage, and a piece of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter. I eat the yogurt while my sausage is in the microwave and my toast is in the toaster. I am literally done with breakfast in 10 minutes. So don't even.

Now, what DO you eat for breakfast? Like every other meal: Protein, carb, fat.

  • Two eggs and a piece of toast with 1 tbs. peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt with nuts, 1/2 cup oats (makes 1 cup oatmeal)
  • Two pieces of toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Two pieces of toast with an egg and 1/4 avocado (and salsa mmm)
  • Two waffles with jelly and a greek yogurt
  • A bowl of cereal with 1 cup milk and a banana
And so on and so on and so on. In order to properly start your metabolism, breakfast should be 300-500 calories. Just try and get a protein, carb, and fat in there. But if you can only squeeze two, make them carbs and fats. Carbs with give you the fuel you need to start your day and the fats will feed your brain after the long night's sleep. Don't forget your brain is 2/3 fat :)  Now for some delicious food porn this early in the morning. If this doesn't trigger your hunger I don't know what will! x

Ps- Don't forget to 'like' Happy Life, Healthy Life on facebook!