Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Benefits of a Low Sodium Diet

Of course iCloud isn't updating again, so until I can get my pictures off my phone I am going to have to postpone posting my recipes :( SAD FACE...

Back to Low Sodium for the day (:
I know, I know. Low sodium stinks. There are certain foods you just can't have: bacon, soup, bread, salt, cheese, and so much more...

So, why even try this diet?

For one, salt and sodium, in excess, can contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol. I actually had high cholesterol as a kid, so I had to stop eating salt back then, too. I know exactly how annoying it can be, but I never want to go back to worrying about having a heart attack or plaque blocking my arteries. I am an Alpha Phi, and their philanthropy is The Alpha Phi Foundation, that gives money to women's heart health and the treatment and research related to women's heart disease. I care a LOT about women's heart health, especially when you look at the fact that heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women, and takes more women's lives than any cancer, even breast cancer. It is something EVERYONE should care about, so give your heart some love and take on a low sodium diet.

Not only will your heart feel better, but your tummy will feel better, too. As a woman, my biggest pet peeve is bloating. We take on water so easily. One reason for this is our sodium intake. When I was really, really sick, I had gained about 25 lbs in water weight, because my body couldn't get rid of the extra water. When it began to heal, with the right medicine for my liver and some help from a better diet and water pills, I was able to get rid of 40 lbs total of water weight. A diet low in sodium helps beat bloat. You won't be as swollen and you'll feel much better, not only from the inside, but from looking at your outside.

Even though there are a lot of things you miss with a low sodium diet, there is still plenty to eat. If you're a vegetarian, rejoice! Veggies are naturally low in sodium and many contain absolutely none, depending on where they were grown. Even those who eat meat can still enjoy the basics when cooked at home. Steak, chicken, and fish are all low in sodium, and when paired with a veggie, are a very effective meal choice. The best part of a low sodium diet is, for the most part, you don't have to give up sweets if that is something you choose to enjoy. Even though you may use a whole teaspoon of salt in a cookie recipe (which is about 500 mg of sodium by itself), this is divided among dozens and dozens of cookies, making each cookie only about 20-40 mg of sodium each. Not bad when you consider the fact that you're allowed two 250 mg snacks a day on a low sodium diet!

So don't get discouraged. Watching sodium can stink, but it can also be really beneficial! Think positive! (:
Good luck, everyone!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Workout Review Wednesday: Lower Ab Challenge

Not cool! Yesterday was supposed to be my first Tummy Tuesday post, but because of computer/iCloud issues, I could not post it :( Instead, since I am seeing my sister tomorrow, I am going to post the recipe TOMORROW so I don't have to worry about writing a whole NEW post. I may also do a Mobile Post tomorrow if I feel so inclined. (:


So, again, I found my inspiration for my Workout Review from Twitter. My sister told me I retweeted it, but I couldn't find it! Oh well. Here it is:

I tried it myself, and here is what I found.

It was only kinda "meh" for me. I didn't really feel it like I thought I should. I actually did it twice to see if doing it two different ways made a difference.

The first time, I tried it quickly, trying to do the moves with the best form I could, but successively (except when it instructed me on the tempo). Of course, the only thing that really killed me was the plank because it says go for as long as you can.

As I am sure YOU have discovered with planks, it can be hard to do them simply because you get a little bored and your mind gives up. You KNOW your body can handle it, but you are thinking and thinking and you want to stop. At least I do.

The second time through, I did each move very slowly and deliberately (except for the jumping jacks). I really concentrated on each move, and when the workout told me to go slow or extra slow, I really tested myself. Those tempo changes were a challenge because it took a LOT more muscle control to perform them.

I did like that the workout itself was short, so it is something you can circuit. You could easily work it in during cardio that you already do (like I did today in between my intervals) or you can do it on its own as many times as you wish.

I really didn't like the workout because for me it did not challenge me like I would have liked. I didn't feel it like I normally would. This could simply mean I needed to do more reps of each exercise, so that is something I will certainly look into.

To me, this is a beginner routine, so if you hardly ever do ab work, this may be one for you to try to get you feeling out what you can and cannot do in the workout. Below are some videos of how I personally did some of the exercises that seem to have more than one way of doing them or that some people may not know what they are.

The best part about this workout was my sister. She texted me after she did it. Here is her text:

Gotta love sisters. (: I really want to thank her for being so supportive of me through EVERYTHING. When I was really sick, just like a good sister, she was always there for me, even though she was away at college. She's supported me with my diet and she's supported me with my fitness journey and I couldn't be more proud of her for starting her own! She is starting her OWN blog during Lent. I will make sure to mention her when it is up and running (: Follow her now.

Thank you, also, to everyone who has liked, promoted, retweeted, and commented on everything of mine. I really appreciate the support and your kind words and I hope I am helping someone feel a little more motivated everyday because you guys are certainly helping ME!

Special thanks to Ashliegh at The Darling Prepster for being supportive of me. I KNOW I will need your help in the future, and I really appreciate you being there for me and supporting my blog's beginnings. AOE, lovely (:

Tune in NEXT Wednesday when I have another workout to review. If you see one that you think I would love (or hate in a good know I like the burn!) tweet me, email me, or comment below. You can also tag me on Pinterest. Links are at the top of the page.


Monday, February 24, 2014

NEW Page! Motivation & Inspiration

A few years back I was having a tough few months. I felt like I had been through a lot, and it was not the healthiest thing for me. I had almost stopped eating to the point that I would eat two or three bites per meal because everything on my mind was so sickening I couldn't stand to eat. I lost 10 lbs, but I wasn't happy with HOW I lost it. I wasn't happy PERIOD. I was sad a lot.

When I looked into my desk drawer, I saw the post it notes I had picked up the semester before to help me organize my to do list. I thought, PERFECT and I grabbed the post it note and started looking up inspirational quotes, helpful song lyrics, anything that was positive that I could post on my mirror or wall or calendar that would help me get through.

That was when I started my journal that I had talked about on the My "Resolutions" page. If you haven't checked it out yet, feel free! Click the link!

I started writing down all the little things about my everyday life that meant something to me. Any blessing I could find in the day would get written down. My mood started to change and I began to feel MUCH better.

I STILL write inspirations and motivations to myself. My very first was just the word SKYSCRAPER on a post it note. The summer before, I had discovered how much I loved Demi Lovato's music, and Skyscraper was my favorite song. While I hadn't had the same experiences as her, I felt like her song helped build me up, and writing SKYSCRAPER on a post it really helped me remember that I wasn't destroyed and I could rise even higher than I had before.

So, I challenge you to find the beauty and blessing in every day! Below are some pictures of the Inspiration Cards I make for myself using discarded cardstock/index cards and Sharpies. Make them for yourself! Pin them on a bulletin board! Tape them to your mirror! ALWAYS keep them positive and aimed at bettering yourself or the situation. Soon, you will think this way without needing these, but I still keep them around to remind myself that I am happy, healthy, and alive, and that itself is a blessing (:

These are also GREAT fit motivators! I retweet fitness quotes that I believe are positive minded and helpful to those who may find that they want to get fit but they don't know how to begin. The only way I can do it is if I inspire MYSELF. I am the only one who can get me to do what is best for me. I need to figure out how to do that.

As I go through my own fitness journey and make more of these cards or find more of them premade (as cards, canvases, or on other people's Pinterest boards) I will post them on the Motivation & Inspiration page. If you EVER need that extra boost, take a look at the page. Yes, some may be more  fitness minded, some may be more personal related, and a few are probably going to be religious. Take and share the ones you want, ignore the ones you don't, but NEVER let anyone tell you you aren't worth it or you can't do it. Because you CAN! And I am here with you to make sure you know that (:

Have a quote you LOVE? I would LOVE to hear it! POST a comment below or on the M&I page itself. I would LOVE to hear from you guys on what keeps you going (:

I love you all! Don't forget it! (Now that I feel EMPOWERED, let the dance party begin!)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

And my Guest Blogger is...

Starting NEXT SUNDAY I am going to have a very special guest joining my blog. Her name is Alex, and she is going to regularly post every Sunday she is able! I am going to post my stats for the week on my stats page on Sundays, as well as my own post if I have something to say, but Sunday is Alex's day. You can read more about her on the "More About The Anchor Angel" page.

She was a very positive force for me last year. One day, while I was working, I kept thinking about working out and how I didn't like the way I looked and I was done feeling that way. I texted Alex, one of the best friends I had made in college, and told her I was tired of being down on myself, unmotivated, and unhealthy. She agreed to be a positive, driving force. We both decided to stop knocking our bodies, to start eating healthier, and to start encouraging each other, even if all we did was something little.

Ever since that day, I have really adopted a positive attitude. It was hard to keep that attitude for a while, but Alex has agreed to help me once again, even going so far as to be my other blogging half! I am so happy she agreed! I know you readers will love her as much as I do!

Remember: KEEP POSITIVE. Staying fit and healthy is hard. ALL DAY I have craved these delish pastries my mom bought and, while I WILL let myself have one at some point this week, I want to eat it on a day I have the time to enjoy it, not to just have it because I have a craving I cannot control. This has been a hard day for cravings, and I am really proud that I didn't give in. If I can do it, I KNOW you guys can, too!

Keep it up, Angels. I cannot wait to see what Alex has in store for us next week! (:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

More Low Sodium Tips

In a previous post, I gave you some minimal info on executing a successful low sodium diet. Here is a list of other tips for you, in case you, too, have to go on a low sodium diet, or you choose to decrease the amount of sodium you take in. Again, I am NOT a doctor. You DO need a minimum amount of sodium everyday, so make sure you DO get your sodium intake in for the day. Always consult a doctor before taking on any new nutrition or fitness plan.

1. Again, nothing fried, brined, slathered in butter or covered with cheese. Lamest rule ever. If you "need" fried food, ask for it without salt or seasoning on top and add pepper when it gets to the table. Avoid brine altogether, as it is basically salt solution. If you really like the taste of butter, try Smart Balance Buttery Spreads. There are many varieties, but there is specifically a Low Sodium option that is best for you. Finally, if you really feel you cannot live without cheese, try sliced swiss, as it is usually pretty low. For shredded varieties, always go with 1/8 of a cup or 1/4 of a cup of white cheeses (which isn't very much, but it gets the taste there), which are lower in sodium than yellow/orange varieties and usually less processed. I go with Parmesan cheese, the kind that you sprinkle on your pasta, as it usually is the most potent. Even though a serving size is only 2 tsps, it only has 75 mg of sodium in that serving size, which gives you that cheesy, salty taste without deviating too much from the diet.

2. Ask to have your food prepared without (extra) salt, butter, or MSG. Some places actually toast their bread with extra butter or margarine or salt all their food before serving it to you. Asking for it plain or without added salt/butter/seasoning can save you some SERIOUS sodium. If you don't like the food plain, ask for just pepper on your food or start bringing saltless seasoning mixes with you, such as Mrs. Dash. Look for varieties of seasonings that say salt free on them

3. Stick to foods you can make easily at home such as steak, burgers, veggies, and chicken that isn't listed as marinated. Often chicken is marinaded, and marinades are really salty, so avoiding chicken unless it can be cooked plain is recommended. Steak is usually your best bet, as well as steamed veggies. Again, do your research. Even if you look up the estimated amount of sodium in a dish, it is just that: an estimation. The nutrition facts aren't guaranteed, so don't use these facts as a bible, just a guideline.

4. Avoid bread/rolls as much as possible. Bread, or anything made with yeast, cannot be made without salt and is usually high in sodium. One roll can have 350 mg of sodium in it, and in a 2000 mg/day diet, you should only eat about 500 mg of sodium per meal. Of course, with three meals a day, this only adds up to 1500 mg. The other 500 are usually split into two snacks. Looking at bread's sodium by itself, THAT IS A LOT and too much sodium to consume in just ONE ELEMENT of your meal! Get lettuce wraps for your sandwiches if you can, and don't eat table bread. One good thing to know: you can ask for Olive Garden breadsticks without the butter and garlic salt on top, which, if you're like me, saves your life, because you can't stop eating those bad boys.

5. Avoid pasta in restaurants. Even though pasta itself (about 99% of the time) has  0 mg of sodium in it, this is only the case if you DO NOT add salt to the water, which is a very common practice as it helps water boil faster. At home, don't add salt to the water and use Low Sodium Smart Balance Butter or Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of salted butter to moisten your pasta once it is cooked. Restaurants usually REFUSE to make you separate pasta without the salt, as they make it in a  HUGE community pot. The one place that does accommodate you is Macaroni Grill, so ALWAYS go there if you want pasta at a restaurant. And avoid sauces and cheeses as much as possible.

6. Salad dressings are usually a NO. Salad dressings tend to be VERY high in sodium. Order Oil and Vinegar when you can, as neither oil nor vinegar have any sodium, and olive oil is good for you in moderation. If you cannot order oil and vinegar, honey mustard is usually your next best bet, but watch the AMOUNT you put on. Always put on the SMALLEST AMOUNT POSSIBLE.

7. ANYTHING in a can is off limits. Again, food items in a can are usually in some kind of brine or salt water, and canned soups can pack as many as 690 mg of sodium per serving, and a serving size of soup is usually listed as half a can, which means that there are more than 1200 mg of sodium in a can! That is out of hand! Craving soup? Try homemade! My mom has a recipe that is FANTASTIC that I will make sure I post later. Don't feel like putting fourth the effort? Bob Evans' chicken noodle has only about 390 mg in a cup, so it isn't too ridiculous for soup.

These are the tips I have found to be the most helpful, having been on this diet since Thanksgiving. Again, the more you eat at home, the easier it will be on you, but if you HAVE to go out, take this tips to heart! When you can, always look up nutritional info and read labels and side panels to figure out what is really okay to eat, and what is too much.

Any questions? Comment below, Anchor Angels. You can do this (:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Workout Review 1: One Song Workouts

So, I follow Fitspirational on Twitter, and I saw this gem of a tweet:

So, naturally, I had to test it out. Now, I am sure I've seen this on Pinterest A DOZEN TIMES (which, by the way, I have one, but it is my personal one. I am not making one just for this blog, so if you REALLY want to see some of the fitness stuff I do, click on my Pinterest link at the top of the page and follow my "I'm Going to Try That" board only.)

I pretty much did the exact workout on the pic and, I have to say, it made me sweat a bit. For Workout One, I chose Classic by MKTO. My cuzzie Erin showed me this song last summer because she liked it and she knew I loved Tony Oller and I have LOVED it ever since. Now it is making it's way to satellite radio. PLEASE DON'T OVERPLAY IT, GUYS! I want to like it forever! Here is the song so you can do the workout, too:

Workout One was a great warm up! Especially for this song. I like that I chose it. The song makes me feel good about myself, it's got a nice beat, and I felt my heart rate get up slowly without killing me on the first run. The only thing I changed was I used a 10 lb kettlebell for the Russian Twists, which some people don't use a weight for, simply because I always feel more productive when I do.

For Workout Two I chose the song Tonight I'm Getting Over You by Carly Rae Jepsen because I love the song. I think it has a very "girl power" beat to it. This is the workout that got me a bit, just because I am AWFUL at pushups and AWFUL at burpees. Here is the video:

Again, the only change I made, again, was adding weight to the Russian Twists. I just feel it works my core so much better when I do.

Workout Three was a little different because I chose a VERY short song, so I listened to Little Black Dress by One Direction TWICE. The song is only about 2:30 and I took a LONG time to do bicycles. To compensate for time, I did 20 standing calf raises. Here is the song. It's a good one:

I really like this song to work out to because it reminds me that I want to look good in every LBD that I try on for the rest of my life. It keeps me motivated to keep working.

For the last workout, Workout Four, I chose the song Show Me The Money by Petey Pablo. It's kinda a throwback. Here it is (WARNING: Normally, this song has a parental advisory, but I found a version that is as edited as possible):

I mean, the lyrics themselves make me wanna move! SHOW OFF THAT BODY! Haha. Besides, it is in the first and ONLY DECENT Step Up movie. Dance Song, obviously! I actually made this one, because I was slowing down by this time, fit in the entire song, even though it is a little longer. Again, for the Russian Twists, used a weight.

Overall, the workouts took me about 13-15 minutes because of the songs I chose and the breaks I chose to take to get a quick, small sip of water. Easily fit into my day.

By the end of the four workouts, I was a little warm and I was breathing a little heavier. Here's why:

OBVIOUSLY, this isn't the most intensive workout, but I made it as intense as I could by keeping the workouts up on screen as I listened to the songs and I tried to move from one to the other as quickly as possible without losing form. I really wanted to work! It also depends on the songs you choose. Pick upbeat songs if you don't like my suggestions, especially ones that make you want to move! If your song is too slow, you aren't going to work as hard.

I actually really approve of these workouts for a few reasons. For one, it was fast. It is also something you can mix and match. You don't always have to do all four, and you can switch up what songs you listen to depending on the mood you're in! I also like that you can make them more intense by adding reps of each exercise or weights to the workout if you find yourself plateauing. Overall, I would do this workout again. Maybe even longer, and with more reps of the exercises I have trouble with so I can get better at them.

What do you think, readers? Anyone have anything to add! I also WOULD LOVE song suggestions if you have any for me!

Again: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Please consult your physician before beginning any type of fitness/nutrition plan to make sure it is healthy for you. Please take regular workout precautions including stretching, wearing the right type of clothing, and learning proper form before taking on unknown exercise routines. My opinions are not expert, they are just MY OWN OPINIONS. Please take these things into consideration before undertaking this workout plan.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Diet: Low Sodium

In one of my previous posts, I told you readers a little bit about me and why I am doing all this. I have Wilson's Disease, and as a result, I am on a special diet. Because I was a late diagnosis, I had some liver damage. It turned out, my entire life, I was holding on to water in my abdomen, and as a result my doctor put me on a low sodium diet. Some of my other family members had to go on this diet to, so I made it my mission to make this diet worth it.

At first, I was eating a lot of plain, bland food and keeping it very simple. As a result, I was only taking in about 800-1000 calories a day, which is actually at starvation level. NOT good. So I needed to make sure that I started to take in more calories so I didn't starve myself.

In the future, I am actually going to post my recipes, with delicious looking pics, so you can see all the creations I have come up with so you can eat healthier. These recipes are not only low sodium, but they are usually low calorie. Again, I will make sure I post alterations you can make in case you're allowed to eat things I am not.

Still, a low sodium diet can be tough if you want to go out to eat. A "low sodium" diet consists of a diet where you add no extra salt and you monitor how many milligrams of sodium (usually listed on the nutrition facts panel on food items) you take in each day. A normal, healthy diet is only supposed to take in about 2300-2500 mg of sodium a day, which is actually pretty low to begin with, but I am only supposed to take in 2000 mg each day.

If you visit food nutrition sites for restaurants, you'll notice, as I did, that many meals in restaurants have about 1200-2500 mg of sodium, just in that ONE MEAL ALONE. So, for me, eating at restaurants can be a challenge. On a low sodium diet, you should only go out to eat about twice a week, and there are some main foods to avoid, such as anything brined (soaked in salt water, like pickles and olives), anything fried, and pizza, just to name a few. Fast food is usually out altogether. I was really lucky that I gave up fried and fast foods the summer before I was diagnosed as having Wilson's Disease, because it made the transition easier. Look for more posts in the future with specific tips to help you eat at restaurants with a diet like this, and look for my recipes soon! (:

Questions? Comment below, Anchor Angels.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Motivation: Small Goals

I already told you about my big goal: MODEL BY MAY! HURRY! (Hashtag that, ladies!) But I also believe in weekly goals.

The best way to begin making progress is to divide your larger goal up into smaller goals. It helps. So every week I make a goal for the end of the week and then, if I complete that goal, I give myself one of three budgets to reward myself with: $0, $25, or $50.

Yeah, the $0 reward seems dumb, but I find free, fun rewards for myself when I have no money to spend. Fifty is my largest budget because that is my weekly fun money.

Here are some of my goals I make for myself for the week:
1. Work out/Exercise (whichever word you prefer) for three days this week (meaning three days of devoted exercise for 45 minutes)
2. Exercise for 5 days this week
3. Give up sweets for the week
4. Eat a healthy snack everyday
5. Eat a vegetable with every meal
6. Do an extra round of pilates at least (insert number of days) this week.

Sometimes I mix and match them, as long as it is not too difficult. For example, one week I may try to work out for 5 days in the week and only eat healthy snacks. Only THEN have I achieved my goal.

Not only to I make sure I WRITE my goal down (however you want to: post it on the mirror, inspiration card, write it in your fitness journal, WHATEVER...), I make sure I have a visual representation of the goal being met. I have an extra calendar hanging in my room where I put stickers on the days that I stuck to my goal.

The stickers on the calendar represent the days I exercised and met my goals (: For now, since I am trying to get back into exercising, my goal is 30 minutes, three times a week until March. Then I step it up!

Here are some of the rewards I give myself:
1. Starbucks drink (sometimes with friends)
2. New shirt/pants/skirt/swimsuit/etc.
3. Movie
4. iTunes Giftcard
5. New leggings
6. Splurge weekend
7. Mall trip
8. Relaxation day
9. Manicure (self done or salon done)

Some of those CAN be free if you already have everything you need on hand.

SO What are some short term goals you have? What are some things your may reward yourself with? GIMME IDEAS! Or just steal mine :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Motivation: Setting a Big Goal

So obviously I am doing this get fit journey because I have a big goal in mind. I just want to maintain my weight while getting myself toned and ready for summer. This isn't about getting thinner or losing pounds. This is about me feeling healthy again, and that is my ultimate goal: to really feel healthy like I did last summer when I made the choice to exercise everyday (usually in the form of running), give up unhealthy food, and eat more variety.

So how do you set a big goal? Most people agree that this is the easiest part because it is simply a matter of where you want to end up in your life. What is harder is giving yourself a timeline to do it. You want to be realistic, but you also don't want to give yourself an excuse to slack off. Model by May is a catchy plan name, but I gave myself until May because it seemed like a doable goal in a doable amount of time, and I don't need to be bathing suit ready until then anyway.

So, what do you need to remember about setting fitness and health goals?

1. Be realistic, but don't be afraid to push yourself. Obviously I cannot be 100 lbs, and I don't want to be. I am 5'9". That would be absurd. Even so, I want to make sure I don't give myself a goal that I can attain easily. Maintaining weight can be a hard goal, but I know I can do it if I set my mind to it and start developing some willpower (which I know I tend to NOT have).

2. Give yourself reasonable time to do it in without overdoing/underdoing it. Underdoing isn't even a word, but you get what I mean. Don't let yourself slack off. Don't say, "I want to lost 10 lbs in 10 years" because there is plenty of time in there for you to let yourself slack, and you may make detrimental mistakes. I have given myself about 3 months, which is enough to make adjustments, but not so much that I get bored and give up.

3. Be as specific as you can. If you just say, "I want to look good" you may settle for a goal you didn't want, and you won't push yourself. Again, though, it's a balance. Don't get so caught up in specificity that you let it affect you too much if you don't meet your goal. It isn't about the number on the scale unless you're severely unhealthy. Sometimes lbs matter medically, but they shouldn't contribute to how you feel about yourself. Just really focus on where you want to be at the end of your journey, and you can get there.

4. Hold yourself accountable. When you don't reach your goal or you know you messed up, own it and then move the heck on. It is easy to let something drag us down. Don't do that to yourself. Know when you do something good, know when you do something not so great, and let yourself heal. Don't make excuses for yourself, like, "But it was the weekend, so I ate a whole cake." As soon as you do this, you'll backtrack. Again, this isn't all about weight, but if you're trying to not eat so much cake, making an excuse for yourself won't help. Know when it is your fault, know when it isn't your fault, and know how to move on.

5. Reward Yourself (: We often forget to praise ourselves when we do something right. If you meed your goal GET YOURSELF SOMETHING NICE. Don't go overboard (unless you've been saving for something to give yourself as a reward) and don't harm your hard work ("Well, I lost the weight I wanted so I can binge drink and eat cupcakes all I want!). Do something nice for your body and soul. Buy a new dress. Get yourself a movie and have a girls' night, with friends OR yourself (and bring a cupcake, but not too many (: ).

Your big goal is your business, but hopefully you know how to set a productive and attainable goal without beating yourself up over details. YOU CAN DO THIS, fellow Anchor Angels. (:

Goals? You can comment yours below...or you can just keep reading mine over and over until you get tired of knowing my business (: UP TO YOU.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mobile Post: When I Can't Exercise

Well, I guess I could. But I am babysitting today, so my exercise is running after the cutest kiddos in the world.

Look on the bright side: anything can be turned into exercise! Just get up and get moving! :) And maybe see if you can get some crunches in...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How I Get Moving

There are so many ways to get moving and burn calories. So what I am doing to get moving? Here are some of the activities I am doing as part of my Model by May plan:

1. Running. I love running. I used to do it everyday: Run 3 miles, walk 2, no matter how long it took me. Now that it is winter and I am running on a treadmill, I am keeping it to about 20 minutes and intervals to keep me busy so I don't get bored.

2. Zumba. I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $55. Now it looks like it is $60. But I do the Rush DVD or half of Ripped in the mornings when I have the house to myself, so I can do it in the family room and have more room to move.

3. Pilates. I have a Pilates resistance bar, so I do some Pilates moves and other Pilates workouts that I have picked up over the past year and a half and do them from memory.

4. Weights. Small ones, haha.

5. Random Other Workouts. In fact, it is a "column" I am going to start. I have subscriptions to some magazines and YouTube fitness channels, and I am going to be doing the workouts and telling you how I feel (: My opinions are in NO WAY expert. Just the opinions of a girl who does this kind of nonsense everyday.

6. DANCE PARTIES!!!! Just dancing. Around my room. It burns calories, people!

I usually choose 1 cardio exercise a day and some kind of weight, leg, or ab mini-workout everyday. Just so I feel like I moved. I also stretch. EVERY DAY. It is something you should do. Not only is it relaxing, but you'll feel better after you workout. I promise!

My REAL goal is to do 40 minutes of devoted exercise 4 days a week. I usually do NOT do any devoted exercise on Saturday or Sunday as those are weekend days and I never know my plans. I only use them as last resorts if I didn't get to "work out" the rest of the week.

Hold yourself accountable! I do this by blogging to you so you can yell at me if I don't do it, and putting a sticker on my calendar for EVERY DAY that I do 40 minutes of exercise. When I exercise, I should be devoting all my time, energy, and attention to the task at hand. Of course, this does not always happen. I am actually going to be looking at a "lazy girl" workout that you can do during commercials while you're watching your weekly shows (for me it's The Bachelor, Dance Moms, and Face Off FOR SURE, but there are SO many more I follow...)

So what do YOU do as exercise. You should leave a comment. Maybe...or just keep reading all the crazy things I have to say.

FOLLOW ME on Insta and Twitter. Links at the top of the page (:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

How to Deal With a Binge

We all have the problem where we are trying really hard not to over snack...and then it happens. We do it. We eat half a bag of chips. This does not have to be the end of the world, though. (:

If you accidentally commit this "food crime" as some people would call it, just own it. Know that you did it, but don't let it ruin your day. There are all kinds of reasons for binging a little bit. As long as you don't do it everyday, it isn't a problem, and it is something that you can overcome. I literally did this last night right after dinner with my favorite rice chips. THEY WERE SO GOOD!

I acknowledged that I did it. The next step, though, is to get over it and not let it affect the rest of your eating for the day. The only way this one time binge will affect you is if you continue to eat poorly the rest of the day. Don't just say, "hey, I messed up, better make the best of it and eat the rest of the bag!" Just STOP what you're doing, put the bag away and move on.

If you do this at night before bed, there is nothing more to do. Just go to bed as usual and wake up tomorrow determined to eat better the next day. If you eat this way halfway through the day, you have a choice to make. This is your chance to change the day. DON'T skip the rest of your meals. Eat like normal, otherwise, you may prompt another binge later when you get hungry again. Instead, choose a healthy, filling meal, with protein and complex carbs, like a nice, normal portion of steak (about 3 OZ) and broccoli.

Binges happen to everyone because we all have weaknesses. The best thing to do is not deny yourself in the first place. Here is a list of ways to avoid a binge before it happens:

1. Don't deny yourself your favorite "cheats" but have them in moderation. Save them for a special occasion or the weekend.

2. Never ever eat out of the box/bag. This is the easiest way to overeat. Even if you're counting out the portion as you go, you are more tempted to continue eating past the serving size. Count the serving size out ahead of time, put it in a bowl, and put the bag/box all the way back in the fridge or pantry. Then you will be less tempted to eat it.

3. Drink a glass of water or green tea instead. I don't believe that feeling hungry actually means you're thirsty. I don't buy that, no matter how many "health experts" say it. Even so, if you try to drink water or tea first, it COULD potentially fill you up so you no longer want to snack or so that you want to snack less. I usually go with tea because it is still healthy, but it makes me feel more like I am having a snack as opposed to water.

4. Do something active. You may just want to snack because you're bored or thinking about food. Getting up and moving may take those thoughts away, and BONUS you burned calories, too.

DO YOU have a tip for not binge eating? Comment (:
Good luck, Anchor Angels! (I almost wrote GOOD LUNCH. Guess I am hungry...)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Model by May! (My fitness and nutrition plan)

So here it is! The beginning of my journey! I am working on looking like a "Model by May." In that title alone you can see my goals. I really want to feel comfortable in a bikini by maintaining my weight and toning by May, when all the pools open and I have to start wearing a bathing suit!

I officially started on February 10th when I came back from New York, but I didn't get to post about it until now, which is a shame, because I did really well this week! I did Zumba in the morning on the 11th and 12th for 25 minutes each. While that isn't a lot, it is an accomplishment for me, considering I haven't really been active since I got sick.

Tomorrow I am going to post my first few meals for you! I am going to have a regular recipe day where my post is just a health, low fat, low cal, low sodium dish for you, so it is healthy in more than one way! Just a note, because of my own dietary restrictions, there are some things I have to cut out of my diet because I am not allowed to eat them. When they can be added, I will be sure to make a note of that in my recipes so you have alternatives if you are allowed to eat the things I can't. (:

I am excited to continue on my journey! Next Friday I am going to start my Weekly Weigh Ins. I am not actually going to weigh myself because that isn't what Anchor Angel is about. A Weigh In is a time for me to reflect on my week, praise myself for my triumphs, and state how I am going to improve in the next week. I am really hoping that will help me stay positive and will make a difference in my accountability.

Good luck, Anchor Angels! I am counting on you! (:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting Ready to Launch

Wow, I thought I was going to be more active than this...

Unfortunately, I have found a way to procrastinate doing even what I LOVE.

So here is is, the intro post that is going to tell you ALLLLLL about my beautiful blog and what you can expect to see. Today I am working on my profile, my about me details, and the about the site pages. If I have more time, I will get the links to all my social media: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page.

Now the purpose of this blog. In October, I got REALLY sick. Before I got sick, I had actually made a choice to make myself healthier. I gave up fast food, I stopped eating fried foods, and I replaced all my white and enriched flour foods with whole wheat and whole grain alternatives. That was what was so shocking when I went to my doctor and was told that I had the liver of a girl who was severely malnourished. I thought maybe it had to do with me running and possibly not taking in enough calories, so I tried to eat more and run a little less to see if it balanced out.

After much bloodwork, we figured out I actually had a liver disease. I was very sick for a while. I laid in bed all day and didn't do much. I had gained about 25 lbs in water weight and was so bloated I looked pregnant.

Now that I am taking the right medicines for myself, I am down to a healthy weight and BMI, so I decided it was time to get back into fitness. I started this blog as a way for me to express myself, motivate myself, and share my struggles and discoveries with all those who also want to take this time to really get healthy. You don't have to lose 40 lbs or 80 lbs to get yourself fit and healthy or to get yourself on the right track. (:

I am planning a launch for February 10th as of today, but I may have to change this if I cannot get everything accomplished that I want.

In future posts you are going to see my inspirations, motivations, fitness plans, and recipes. I hope you'll take this journey with me! I am excited to get started (:

This isn't a change for now, this is a change for life.