Go on, Cheat a Little!

I was speaking to a co-worker and we were sharing our diets. She asked me, “Don’t you ever cheat?” I replied, “Sure. Just the other day I had a slice of a raw vegan cheesecake.” She countered, “That’s not cheating!”

I consider that cheating because, even though there is no flour, sugar, or dairy; it’s not a meal. It doesn’t have vegetables. It doesn’t contain enough fiber and there’s very little protein. Everyone’s version of what they consider cheating is different. Where someone else’s cheat snack is full-fat dairy ice cream, mine is tortilla chips or crackers. That person might see the tortilla chips and crackers as perfectly acceptable.

As long as you cheat no more than once a week, it’s a good thing because it will keep you on track the rest of the time. If you don’t feel guilty about having that treat, go for it.

Workout Calendar

I just realized that I have a lot of calendars. I have one for family outings, a public one for work, one for all appointments, and another one for my workouts. No wonder I’m organized! 

The reason I write down my daily workouts on a calendar is two-fold. One is that I can look back to see what I did a few days ago to determine what type of workout I need to do next. The other reason is that it feels great to see all that I’ve accomplished at the end of the month. 

I hate to throw the old calendars with all my work on it away. I just went through the closet and found workout calendars from ten months ago. I like to give the old ones to people who ask if I work out. That should shut them up!

Raw Cacao Nibs, What to do with them

If you have seen unsweetened cacao nibs in clear plastic bags at the store or have some at home and are wondering what to do with them, I have a few suggestions. These are 100% raw chocolate; so they are very bitter. They have a wonderful crunch, similar to a toasted slivered almond. Since they are so incredibly bitter, you’ll want to pair them with something that’s very sweet. Sprinkling some on ice cream (vegan, of course!) is truly decadent. I’ll put them on top of strawberry coconut yogurt, or press a few into a nut bar for a blast of coco. I just tried a tablespoon of peanut butter, drizzled with honey and topped with cacao nibs. It was a perfect little something to calm my sweet tooth. If you have any good suggestions on how you use raw cacao nibs, please share.

Don’t Trust the Scale

Have you weighed yourself on different scales? For instance, if I weigh myself on the scale at home, try out one at the store, and then get weighed at the doctor’s office, all that same day, each scale shows a different weight. So, do you buy the one with the highest number or the lowest number?

The scale isn’t always the best indicator of how much fat you have. I’ve been training harder and my scale shows higher numbers. That freaks me out! I’m not fatter, I’m leaner and stronger. I gained muscle weight. That’s cool!

It’s tough to see the numbers on the scale go up when you are trying to lean out. If you’ve kept your diet fairly clean and people are saying that you look great, let that be an indicator, not the scale.

How to Calculate Carbs

Whether you are a diabetic or not, it’s still a good idea not to overdo it on carbs. I aim for 30 grams of carbs for each hour of exercise. For meals, I try to keep the range between 30 and 45 grams.

When you read the nutrition facts on a label, first look at the total carbs. Let’s say the total carbs are 40 grams. Next look for fiber. If the fiber count is 5 grams, subtract the fiber from the total carbs. Ex: 40-5 = 35. The net carbs is 35 grams. The reason you can deduct the fiber is because fiber is non-digestible and has zero calories. Fiber is awesome!

If two products have the same amount of total carbs, but one has lower net carbs, get the one with the lower net carbs because that one has more fiber and is the healthier choice. Knowing how to determine what the net carbs are in food is especially important for diabetics since the amount of insulin to take is determined by the amount of NET carbs.

MRM Vegan Protein Powder Review

Vegan Protein Powder

I finally found a vegan protein powder that actually tastes good. Wow! And I thought it didn’t exist. MRM Veggie protein powder has a wonderful flavor, not too sweet with just a hint of vanilla. The only complaint is that the texture is a bit chalky, but that appears to be the case with many protein powders. I’ve found that the thicker your shake, the less noticeable the texture. When I added a half of an avocado and a banana to my smoothie, the chalkiness was not an issue. Enjoy!

Biozoom Health Scanner – Is this the future?

In the Los Angeles Time’s Sunday, June 23rd paper, on page B14, was an ad for a health biofeedback scanner. I hope all the promises of this new technology’s future plans comes to light because it would be the coolest thing ever! Currently, this scanner tests your heath “…without blood tests or piercing your skin” A beam of light checks “…antioxidant levels…vitamins…oxidative stress.” In the future, they plan to add the following features: measure blood alcohol levels, cholesterol, drugs, blood pressure and blood sugar. If this is the future, it’s pretty incredible!

Kitty Wall Squats

How to do wall squats with your pet or weights

If this video isn’t viewable, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWlDnm-iZ7o&feature=youtu.

What Happens if I Stop Weight Training?

When I was a teenager my mom advised me not to lift weights. She said when you stop lifting weights you get fat, so it’s better not to start. This was before Arnold Schwarzenegger entered politics so I’m not sure where she got this information from. Mom was right, but only somewhat. When you lift weights, your muscles get bigger so you burn more calories. If you stop lifting weights and still eat the same amount of calories, then you will end up with more body fat. Bottom line, don’t be afraid of weight training. The only thing it will do is make you look awesome!

Habits of Overweight People and How to Stop the Cycle

People who are overweight want to be thin, but are going about food the wrong way. They’ll skip breakfast or lunch, figuring that they will be consuming fewer calories that way, and will lose a few pounds.

Don’t ever skip meals if you want to lose weight. If you skip meals or don’t eat anything for over 3 hours, your body cannot read your mind and thinks you are on a desert island with no food in sight. The next time you eat, those calories will be stored as fat. What also frequently happens is when you wait too long between meals, you end up overeating and eating fast food since you cannot wait until you get home.

Stop skipping meals. Put some granola or a bar in your car, at your desk or wherever handy, so you can eat something right away. When it’s time for dinner, you won’t go nuts!

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