Thursday, December 29, 2016

Feeling Anxious?

Let's not beat around the bush - a lot of people experience anxiety at different levels. I think it's especially prevalent nowadays and it's not fun! However, from my personal experience there are a few things that can help.

Anxiety can come from everyday stresses, financial stress, health issues, family issues, work issues, mental disorders, etc, etc. However, did you know anxiety can actually work for you? If you don't allow yourself to be consumed with negativity, you can harness these feelings and be motivated to accomplish things! 

Anxiety, when not working for you, can have several physical effects including headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, heart palpitations, sweating, and so on. What can we do?

  • Question it!
Is this really something to be anxious about? Why is it making me anxious? Will my being anxious do anything to remedy the situation? Try to reason with yourself. 
  • One day at at time.
This has proved very helpful for me. Even just looking ahead to a busy week can make me overly anxious so sometimes, I have to just look at today (and maybe tomorrow) and plan for today. This is true especially with things like exercising. I get anxious thinking about when will I next find time to exercise, but truth be told, exercise is NOT the most important thing, and I will probably find some time for it in my schedule, but there's no need to get overly stressed about it now. 
  • Talk to someone
Sometimes just venting or reaching out for help can be very beneficial.
  • Change what you can, and accept what you cannot change
It sounds simple enough but I think we tend to get ourselves very anxious over a lot of things beyond our control. Stressing out about things beyond our control won't do ANYTHING to help. It's better to be calm and accepting of unpleasant situations or circumstances so that you can deal with it. 
  • Pray
For me personally, I find prayer to be a great privilege where I can pour out my heart to God and find real comfort. 

Practical Things to Do:
  • Bubble Baths
  • Take a Walk
  • Read 
  • Self-care: Paint your Nails, etc
  • Write a card to someone
  • Call a friend
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Color 
  • Listen to music
I hope some of these tips can help! Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with anxiety?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Buff Bake Review

So you want to get buff? Eat cookies! 

That's right, I said eat cookies to get buff. Buff Bake is another company that produces high protein spreads and they also have cookies in their line up of protein packed goodies. The first, and only one I've tried so far is Frosted Oatmeal but they also have Snickerdoodle, White Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Birthday Cake! They clearly have some unique and tasty sounding options and I definitely want to try more. I will update this post as I try more. 




Frosted Oatmeal Raisin
Macros: 300 cal 9f/44c/16p for the entire cookie, none of that half cookie crazy talk

They are also certified Non-GMO and it appears to be gluten free from what I see in the ingredients but the oats may not be certified gluten free because they didn't advertise this one as being gluten free - I don't know!

I've often seen these cookies compared to Lenny & Larry's, the famous, vegan protein cookies. However, the Buff Bake company utilizes whey protein and other dairy sources, so they're definitely not vegan. I warmed it up in the microwave because warm cookies are the best cookies. 

The cookie was large, dense and good. It had a bit of a different texture than your typical cookie - more dense - but this is to be expected when you pack a cookie with 16g of protein and no flour! Overall, I thought it was pretty good. The actual cookie was not overly sweet so I appreciated the sweet icing drizzle! I think the peanut butter flavors are probably even better because they lend themselves to a different texture anyway. I look forward to trying more cookies. 

Texture Shot
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter 
Macros: 200c 14f/7c/11p 

You really can't go wrong when you combine chocolate and peanut butter so I guess I played it safe trying this flavor and it didn't disappoint. It had a rich, balanced chocolate flavor that had just the right amount of sweetness to complement, yet not overwhelm, the peanut flavor. They also add chia and flax for omegas. What really impresses me is that they maintain a normal peanut butter texture. Sometimes, I've noticed, adding protein to nut butters can affect the consistency, but not so with this flavor of buff bake peanut spread! I mean, just look at it drizzled on top of my Halo Top ice cream! YUM! Oh, and only two grams of sugar per two tablespoons!

Chocolate wasted 🍫😍😍😍 I can't exactly express to you how amazing this wasπŸ‘‰chocolate @halotopcreamery topped with @buffbake chocolate chip peanut butter, chocolate chips, brownie @questnutrition bar cookies, and @nunaturals cocoa syrup - I'm in heaven πŸ™Œ 
I did the filthy fifty workout for @corebyliz #illbefitforchristmas challenge and shaved over two minutes off of my time - down to 22:16 πŸ‘Œ I'll probably post an end post with my goals in the next day or so but I really have enjoyed this challenge! PSA 50 jump squats is no joke πŸ’¦ happy Friday eve! #corebyliz#slapnutrition#slap90days3
I could eat this every day - low sugar, high protein, chocolate bliss!



Birthday Cake Almond Spread
Macros: 198cal 16f/8c/11p

This flavor is composed of dry roasted almonds, hormone free whey protein, natural flavoring, coconut sugar, white chocolate chips and organic coconut oil. Sadly, I didn't notice any white chocolate chips but I tried it from a squeeze pack so it's possible that the jar would have more white chocolate chips to notice. Despite the lack of white chocolate chips (and sprinkles!) this flavor surprised me. I think they really did a good job of getting a cake batter flavor. It tasted like a natural almond butter melded with cake batter and the texture reminded me of a natural almond butter as well! I'm very pleased with how they pack it with protein, yet maintain a good consistency! I thought it was delicious and can't wait to try more!


If you thought the cookie flavors were fun, look at their nut butter flavors: Peanut: Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road, White Chocolate, Red Velvet, Pumpkin (Seasonal)
Almond: Birthday Cake, Snickerdoodle, Cookie, and Coffee Bean

 Birthday Cake Almond Spread

Have you tried any of the Buff Bake line up? What's your favorite brand of protein nut butters? There's so many options!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hashtag goals?

I've participated in the Slap Nutrition "challenges" in the past and I'm doing so again (also simultaneously doing a challenge from Liz McElaney (@corebyliz on Instagram, website: corebyliz.com). So I thought I'd do a little update as to where I am right now!

The Slap Nutrition challenge is called #slap90days3 as it is a 90 day challenge which I like because change takes time! Many challenges are much shorter in length but this length helps me to stay focused on my goals for a long period, making them established behaviors and habits,etc.

My goals:

1. Adjust Macros

I have been researching a bit through different resources and found that more protein is not always a good thing. I was eating well over 1g per pound of body weight which is simply unnecessary and also meant relying on supplements quite a bit. I am always wary to change macros because I'm nervous how my body will respond. I increased my fats, lowered my protein, and kept carbohydrates about the same and I'm feeling great! No excessive fat gains or anything scary! Plus, I eat more avocado and nut butters!

2. More Whole Foods, Less Supplements

When I say whole foods, I mean less artificial, prepackaged, etc, not the overpriced health food store. LOL. I can't say I've been very great at achieving this so far because I still utilize protein powder about once a day, however, I am probably consuming less protein bars (which have way more ingredients and artificial junk than Slap Nutrition protein powder. It has a short, simple ingredient list. I will continue to try to rely less on supplements but when I do use them, I'm conscious of the ingredients and quality!

3. Enjoy the Little Things

The point of this goal was for mental health. Many in the "fitness world" are constantly obsessing over macros, workouts or missing workouts. I have fallen into this trap, not because I'm a competitor or an athlete, but because I have an obsessive personality and have exposed myself to many fitness people on social media platforms. This is another goal that I need to continue to work on. I have loosened up very slightly on my macros but definitely need to continue to work on this. I think one thing that will help me to improve is to spend less time on social media and more time enjoying life - sunsets, puppies, friends, music! Life is meant to be enjoyed!

4. Wean the Caffeine 

This is one that I'm actually very proud of! I'm ashamed to admit that I was drinking 2-3 energy drinks along with 1-2 diet sodas per day! That is absolutely absurd and unhealthy, not only from the ridiculous amounts of caffeine but also from the artificial sweeteners. Since then, I now drink maybe a cup of coffee in the morning, maybe not and Slap Nutrition pre-workout on days I'm strength training. Slap Nutrition PWO has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee so it's not too crazy! As a result, I'm drinking more water and saving money!

5.Gains Train

I want to build muscle and that involves gaining weight for me. Yet another area that I need to continue to work on. I have some ideas on how I can work on this (higher weights, lower reps, reduce cardio/increase calories) however, it won't be mentally easy. Change isn't always easy so I'm glad to have this challenge to push me and give me accountability.

6. Save Money for a Certification

So, I have been saving money but I have a lot in my personal life up in the air right now so I have no definite plans but time will tell!

Many people set goals for the New Year but I think it's good to assess and re-evaluate constantly! What do you think? Are you currently working on goals or waiting until the New Year? Any ideas what your goals will be?

Check out Slap Nutrition at weslap.com and @slapnutrition on instagram! I'm not affiliated with them in any way, just love them!

November 1. Time for new goals and going out on limbs. I've been mulling over several changes but too lame to commit. Now is the time and #slap90days3 goes perfectly with that. Goals: 1. Adjust macros πŸ‘‰less protein. My muscles won't fall off in one day anyway so idk why this feels so risky. Oh yeah, because the internet is full of crap. 2. More whole foods, use supplements to supplement my diet. 3. Enjoy the little things. A sunrise. A sunset. Spending time with family and friends actually enjoying the moment versus thinking about my next workout or run or my macros etc etc. 4. Wean the caffeine. I'm actually embarrassed by how much caffeine and sucralose junk I'm putting into my body. 5. Gains train πŸš‚ all aboard! I want to continue gaining and hopefully set some PRs. This may involve a restructuring of my workout program as well 😬 6. Save money to do a certification program. I may not save enough in 90 days lol but I can work towards it. 
Change can be scary. Change can be really freaking frightening, yet most of us say we want change. "I want to be stronger, leaner, happier, etc." Something has to change for something to change. #slapnutrition

Monday, December 12, 2016

Current Finds!

A while ago, I did a post on products, foods and recipes I loved at the moment and I thought it would be fun to do more of those posts. There's so many new products, and foods constantly coming out! Also, a lot of people are doing gift buying now so this could give you some good ideas for friends!

Wireless Headphones: I did a little shopping for myself on Black Friday and one of my purchases were SkullCandy Ink'd 2.0 wireless headphones. I am loving wearing them while I work out or even clean. I can walk around the kitchen without having to have a pocket for my phone. The charge lasts 8 hours and they stay in pretty well!

I scored them for just $25 at Target on Black Friday. Photo from SkullCandy.com

Leggings! 

Can you ever have too many leggings? I say no! I purchased these Victoria's Secret High Waisted sport leggings and I am in love! I also got two sports bras from there and I love them too! They're comfortable, functional, supportive and cute! The athletic apparel was all 50% off on Black Friday and then they sent me a coupon for the sports pants for $25! 

Some more ideas/things on my wish list:
  • running gloves
  • socks
  • armband
  • training equipment
  • headbands
  • when in doubt, gift card it out!
Mindpump: Mindpump is a podcast I started listening to not that long ago and I am in love! It's a fitness podcast that is very imformative, while also being entertaining and easy to understand. They give great information about nutrition, activating muscle groups, gut health, mobility, and more. Be warned - they can be crude/lewd at times but they have also made me laugh out loud and at the same time, learn so much! I have changed how I'm exercising and reduced, yes, reduced, my protein. My liver will thank me. It's hosted by Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer, and Justin Andrews. They also offer training programs, nutrition guides and more on mindpumpmedia.com. Check it out!

Eat Enlightened:

I had the opportunity to try all seven flavors of Enlightened "Good for You" ice cream and all I can say is YUM. Actually, I can say more. The flavors all did a good job of hitting the flavor nail on the head and they were fully loaded with swirls, cookie chunks, chocolate chips and more! I didn't get any iciness but you do have to let it sit out to soften for a good while. They're high protein, high fiber, low sugar and utilize erythritol and monk fruit extract to add sweetness. Pints range from 360-400 calories for the entire pint! 

Eat Enlightened also has broad bean crisps! They're roasted broad beans in a variety of flavors - both savory and sweet. They are so delicious and snackable! I absolutely love them all except wasabi! LOL. I just can't handle it. They're high in protein and fiber, non GMO, vegan and all together, great. You can purchase them online at http://www.eatenlightened.com/ and you can use my discount code: HEALTHYHAPPY20 for a discount! I definitely recommend them. 

Bone Broth: I've recently been interested in learning about gut health and one thing I stumbled across was bone broth. It's rich in minerals and healing compounds that are good not only for your gut health, but also for your bones and immune system. I still have little knowledge on gut health but I'm trying to learn more! It's the second brain, as they say! So, I took on the "challenge" to make my own bone broth and it was so easy. I simply took bones from a chicken, put them in a crockpot, added water to cover the bones, and about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Then, I let it simmer for 12 hours and voila! I used it for soup but some people drink it straight up! Give it a try! It's so easy and economical.  

I made homemade bone broth and then homemade soup and then oatmeal muffins to go with it. It doesn't look aesthetic and no one else in my family will eat it but I did. And it's tasty. Trust me. I'm a professional, unbiased soup tester.

What are some things you've been loving lately? Do you have a wishlist?


Monday, December 5, 2016

Crispy Green Fruit - Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks

I'm always on the hunt for a good pre-run snack but I like something light yet carbohydrate based. I often turn to dried fruit but then I discovered freeze dried fruit!

Crispy Green brand makes amazing freeze dried fruit! It's so convenient to just grab a bag. Why is freeze dried so great? Well, it tastes so good! It's almost as if it comes alive again in your mouth and it has a great crunch to it! Dried fruit can sometimes be chewy, which is not bad per se, but I love a good crunch. Also, by freeze drying, they preserve the nutrients and make a great tasting snack without adding any other ingredients. It's simply incredible!

They have seven varieties: apple, asian pear, banana, mango, tangerine, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Though they were all delicious my favorites were probably pineapple, banana, apple, and tangerine! I was so amazed at the pineapple that I had to give my friend some to try! It tastes like fresh pineapple! The banana is so good and sweet that I checked the ingredients to confirm, it's just banana!

They're 100% fruit and non GMO. I highly recommend these snacks! Check them out at crispygreen.com.
Pre-Run Snacking!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Balance - What is it really?

Balance by definition is "a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions."* Balance is clearly identifiable in tangible objects. However, when it comes to life, balance is not so clearly seen. The elusive concept of balance is highly regarded and sought after. Balance can contribute to general contentment, decrease in stress and overall, a happier life. I believe that balance is not necessarily and equalizing of all the elements in life, but rather, a prioritizing of elements in life. I also believe that balance is different for different individuals.

The dictionary definition of balance cited at the outset, said elements are "equal or in the correct proportions." Clearly, it would be absurd to spend the same amount of time and energy on each facet of life. Hypothetically, a person may sleep eight hours a day. Sixteen hours remain in the day to be divided between working in secular work, exercising, enjoying recreation, relaxing, focusing on spiritual health, caring for responsibilities and whatever else comprises a life. It's not feasible to divide theses elements equally. Therefore, the skill of prioritizing is essential to achieving balance. A person must decide which elements are most important to overall well-being and prioritize accordingly. An element that is higher priority does not necessarily have to take up more time, but it will come first. Time can not be created so people must make the best use of time while realizing that some things, lower on the priority level, may not get accomplished for quite some time. Sacrifices have to be made, but what a person sacrifices is a personal decision based on their priorities.

Since individual priorities differ greatly, the concept of balance is reflected differently in different individual's lives.  Some individuals may derive satisfaction and joy from a regular exercise regime, while others may choose to spend more time enjoying recreation. Their activities would therefore be balanced differently. However, each individual must give careful consideration to what they truly value. Personal mental and physical well-being is important. An individual with a type-A personality may lead themselves to believe that they enjoying working long hours at the office. While some may truly derive satisfaction from a long day at work, others might be pushing themselves too hard and taxing both their physical and mental faculties. Individuals should not compare their idea of balance with others. Attention should be given to what is beneficial to the specific individual mentally, physically, and spiritually, both for the present time and in the long term.

Achieving perfect balance may continue to elude the masses. However, with proper prioritizing, self evaluation, and recognizing that individuals' needs and priorities vary, balance is not so unattainable. Rather than following the juvenile trends promoted on social media and other platforms, a person should consider sources of genuine contentment, pursue them, and continue to progress to a more balanced life.

*Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/balance