We’ve all been there; we hit times when life’s just not flowing right. You find yourself in a funk. Sometimes caused by exterior factors beyond our control, sometimes caused by things going on within ourselves.
An injury, a breakup, financial stress, a failed project at work or school, derailing from our workout plan or hitting a plateau in our gym training, a drunken weekend of making bad decisions followed by a three day hangover, eating everything in sight and feeling bad about our body, being completely overwhelmed with responsibilities, hitting a period of chronic low energy…the list is endless. And often it’s a combination of a few happening all at once. Life happens.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve had to learn is: “this too shall pass;” how to accept circumstances beyond my control and adapt to handle them while staying positive. Not everything is “fixable” and I had to let go of trying to make everything perfect.
There’s a delicate balance between accepting circumstances and deciding when it’s time to take action to change them. When life’s not flowing, it’s time to go within.
So, over the next 30 days, I’ll be focusing on resetting by body, retraining my mind and rejuvenating my spirit. Here’s how I’m going to do it:
As of two days ago, I started the “Whole 30″ as well as following Shawn Achors “21 Days to Train Your Brain” from his talk, “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” Both are based on forming new patterns by focused behavior for a specific period of time; creating who you want to be from the inside out.
Here’s the detes…
The Whole 30
The Wholes 30 is kind of like Paleo on crack.
Basically, for 30 days you…”strip your diet, cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.”
Here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program:
• Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial
• Do not consume alcohol
• Do not eat grains
• Do not eat legumes
• Do not eat dairy
• Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
• Do not eat white potatoes
• In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices
• One last and final rule: you are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program
This is an absolutely awesome 12-minute video on “Ted Talks” from Ted.com, which I highly encourage you to watch….
The premise is: in order to become better at what we do and to become better at who we are, we need to focus on the lens with which the brain sees the world.
We need to change that lens so that we would also be capable of changing reality, our reality. That way, by shifting that focus, we would have a great, unprecedented opportunity to change our happiness, our education and our business. Anything and everything.
He wraps up the talk by asserting that we change our behavior to cause “rippling positivity” over the course of 21 days. This rippling positivity would result in challenging our brain to stop thinking in neutral or negative, as we’ve been programmed to do, to become more positive and receptive…. creating a real revolution. WOW.
Here’s what you do every day for 21 Days:
• Perform act of kindness or send one kind email
• Write down 3 gratitudes
• Journal about one positive thing in the past 24 hours
Sounds pretty awesome, right? I agree.
At minimum, over the next 30 days, I think I’ll feel quiet liberated and very re-energized. If anyone would like to start this challenge with me…let me know.
No, I’m not married and I don’t have kids, and I’m 100% ok with that. I’ve never been one to follow the conventional path.
In fact, my Dad called me this morning to ask what I was doing for my special day, to which I replied “whatever I want it’s my freakin birthday!” His response, “Kristi, you’ve done whatever the heck you want you’re entire life, it’s never needed be your birthday. Your mother has always done exactly what she wanted, and I have always done exactly what I wanted, doing what you want is in your blood.”
Am I wallowing in my self-pity of hitting my third decade and fear of what gravity may do? Hell no. I work my butt off to maintain my health and fitness, so that I can say screw you thirty. And heck there’s always botox ;)
I think marriage is an absolutely beautiful thing, and yes I want to create a family one day….that day just is not today. I’m sure one of these years, my biological clock will give me a big shocking kick in the ovaries.
But at the moment I’m focused on me.
Call me selfish? I agree.
I think being selfish is a good thing. Being a happy me, helps me make others happy. Creating a fulfilling, rewarding life I am passionate about (in my opinion) will make me a great wife and mother one day.
I’m freakin excited about the next year. And I can say, without a doubt, this is going to be the best year of my life thus far.
I feel like I’ve finally lazered in my focus on my career. I’ve been going at it with fierceness, that furry makes me feel alive every day. And we are about to launch my first product!
I have a close-knit group of friends and family on the east coast, and cherished friends who have become my family on the west coast.
I have an amazing boyfriend, who in the last 6 months has brought more love, challenge, support, motivation, warmth, acceptance, balance, understanding and laughter to my life then I ever thought possible. I have always been so independent; I could not have imagined what having such a wonderful partner could add to my life.
You are the best birthday present <3
In the last year, I’ve had the privilege to touch people through things like this blog. I can’t express the joy it brings me to get an email or message from someone telling me I’ve affected their outlook on their health and the changes they are making. I am so humbled and grateful for this. It is one of, if not, the most rewarding aspect of my life.
Above all else, I have become a me that I love. Approaching this milestone made me think about the valuable lessons I’ve learned, what makes me tick, and where I want to improve. So today, I’m going to share some lessons, thoughts and meaningless randomness.
It’s a long one. Whatever, it’s my f*cking birthday.
1. Character wise a few words I want to focus on in my year of 30 – resourcefulness, adaptability, resilience, balance, community, giving back, inspire, be inspired, and not taking things personally.
2. Hydration. This has been the single biggest and most influential change I’ve made in the last year. I NEVER drank enough water. It affected my skin, circles under my eyes, my energy level, my weight, my training, everything.
Next to oxygen, water is the most important thing to your body. You body needs water to digest, detoxify, sweat…and just to WORK period.
You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces daily. (If you are exercising, you must increase). Yes, that is “a lot” of water. But, it is doable I promise.
I have a bad habit of forgetting to drink enough water, so I came up with a system that really works – water in/water out/water in.
My “Water” system: I wake up every morning and drink a huge glass of water before even getting out of bed. Then every time I pee throughout the day, I have a “rule” that I have to drink a huge glass of water before getting back to whatever I was doing.
Follow that system and you WILL drink enough water.
3. Hot girls get away with way too much crazy shit. Fella’s if you select your females accordingly to the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal, don’t start whining when your tires get slashed.
4. Be worthy of your advantages. Strive for greatness. I’ve worked with and for the best people on earth at FortuneBuilders.com, and can’t wait to the next year.
6. A Pocketbook? WTF… Everyone makes fun of me calling my handbag/purse my “Pocketbook”(Connecticut thing I guess). Which got me to thinking…where does the word pocketbook come from? It doesn’t even make sense. It’s neither the shape of a book, nor does it fit in your pocket. Hmmm, so I nerdishly googled. And came up with….nothing. Even Wikipedia is like “er ah, see purse”
7. Workout shorts with built in underwear give me instant quada-butt. It’s extremely unattractive and disturbingly uncomfortable. I can’t understand how it’s scientifically possible for them to be comfortable on your ass. Dear LuluLemon – please make a pair of workout shorts with Hanky Panky’s built inside. Please and thank you.
8. Snatch. While I think of snatching as an exercise potentially causing more harm than good, it may be my favorite exercise title…um ever. “Nice Snatch” Haha, sorry I’m a child.
9. Being Vulnerable. One of my biggest struggles as a woman in a man-dominate leader role has been to remain vulnerable. Everyone, men and women, should watch this video.
“Have the courage to be imperfect, the compassion to be kind to yourself first and then others, and strive for connection through authenticity. Fully embrace VULNERABILITY – to be seen – to really seen. What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful. You are imperfect and wired for struggled but you are WORTHY of being loved. Be willing to say i love you first, to do something where there are no guarantees, to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. Let yourself be seen, love with your whole heart, practice gratitude, lean into joy and know YOU are ENOUGH.”
10. I love the underdog. I absolutely love to see someone without every advantage achieve great successes through hard work and pure heart.
11. Dishes should be rinsed immediately. Why the heck do people wait for all the crap to harden?? #petpeeve
12. Water Rich Foods & Going Green
At least 70% of your diet should consist of live/water-rich foods. This allows your body to cleanse itself. Failing to consume water-rich foods means you are clogging your body. Greens are FULL of live digestive enzymes!
Take this challenge – List everything that has passed your lips in the last 24 hours. Then assess how much of it is water-rich. What does it look like?
The average American’s diet is only 15% water rich! That is essentially killing your body.
When you go to eat something, ask yourself a simple question “will this cleanse me, or clog me?”
If you feel like you have trouble planning water-rich foods into your diet, try making a blender full of “Green Blend” in the morning, and drink it throughout the day.
13. Whyyy do men workout in high socks? Someone please explain why dudes wearing high socks with sneakers is cool. Ya ya Cali style. Whatever, you look like a doofis. If your legs are cold, wear pants.
14. I adamantly believe that love like in “The Notebook” exists.
OR, 15. I just want to marry Ryan Gosling. #whiteswag
16. Lululemon is the shit. I don’t care what the hell body type you have, or what gender you are. Your ass will look amazing in LuLulemon pants (Lulu gets you laid). Dear Lulu if you can make a pair of workout shorts with Hanky Panky’s built it so I don’t get quada-butt from those normal underwear built it, i’d love that, please and thank you
17. I played World of Warcraft. Yup a WOWer. And I dominated that shit…was up to level 78 before Catayclism was released. Why’d I stop? I kept having these reoccurring nightmares that I was at a WOW members conference and they kidnapped me to make me their queen. Plus, I forgot what the sun looked like.
18. One of my favorite quotes is “Most of us have two lives. The one we live and the one unlived within us. Between the two is resistance. Resistance is fear. Embrace fear and earn your triumph for nothing of value is free…”
19. A focused mind and heart. With mental strength anything is possible. The unity of physical strength and mental strength will bring your results to new heights. Push yourself to your own physical limits, set goals, and take no prisoners.
Like any muscle, repetition makes the master when it comes to mental strength. The more you “flex” your mental strength muscle, the easier it becomes.
20. TWO BIGGEST FEAR. No…not death. No…not public speaking (love that shit). I’m dreadfully afraid of knocking my front teeth out…specially when doing hang cleans and pull ups. And also, getting attacked by a Shark (specifically in the swimming pool).
21. Being hormonal sucks. We are being totally overly sensitive, emotionally and damn near bat shit crazy. But, it’s kind of like a train wreck you see about to happen and can’t stop it. (warning: handle with caution, may spit fire)
22. Muscle-ups are the HOTTEST exercise to watch ever. So much hip thrusting.
23. Why don’t I set off the metal detectors at aiports? I have huge titanium rods…that could be like a sword or something.
24. I love deadlift days. It’s like the “ice cream truck” of lifting heavy shit.
25. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). If one more person jumps on the HIIT/CrossFit bashing bandwagon, I might throw them out the window. Which, by the way, I can because I’m strong enough to (thanks to HIIT). And no, lifting heavy weight does not make you bulky. I am the strongest AND leanest I have EVER been right now.
HIIT just makes sense. Your body was DESIGNED to move. Enter HIIT – it is performance based training that focuses on functional compound movements the body was genetically made to do (jump, run, carry, lift, throw) performed at high intensity.
If you focus on training for performance (like HIIT) the outcome will be fat loss, strength gains, improved balance, coordination and athleticism.
26. Missing a boxjump and hitting my shin was the WORST PAIN EVER. I have a feeling it may rival childbirth (I kid ladies, I kid). But for real, if I’m ever in a fight, I will now kick my attacker directly in the shin…or better yet, hit them with a sharp object in the shin (yes this is stuff I think about).
28. The Crossfit Games. It’s like my Christmas. There is nothing more inspiring for than a day watching and being surrounded by tens of thousands of people who love being healthy and pushing themselves physically. The athleticism, sheer determination, incredible mental strength, and heartwarming sportsmanship with competitors cheering each other on until the last man/woman finishes and community…is what makes this sport great.
29. I have faith in humanity. Despite the evil and craziness we see in the World, I believe people are good. I also think kindness, compassion, and giving are contagious. We can all change the world by changing ourselves and the way we interact with either other. 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
30. Celebrate Your Health With A Challenge. Part of the journey to reaching optimum health is celebrating how great you feel with setting new goals that celebrate your vitality. Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to accomplish something you’ve always wanted to do – climb a mountain, run a marathon.
Years from now when you are sitting on your death bed, don’t look back and say “I wish I had…..” Go out there and do it today. I’ll end it here with this quote…
“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming … WOW! What a ride!”
There is a difference between a desire and a goal. Do you know what the difference is? Achieving it.
I’m not kidding.
Making a commitment to Goal Setting has made an incredible (and tangible) difference in my life professionally, personally, and athletically. I’ll get to my method of goal setting and some of those results a little later, but first…
Goals vs. Desires
A desire is something we hope for. A Goal is something we work towards.
“A goal may be defined as a purpose to which a person is unalterably committed. He assumes unconditional responsibility for a goal, and it can be achieved if he is willing to work at it.”
“I want to lose 50 pounds”…well lady what are you going to do to get there? PUT THE COOKIE DOWN?
“I want to get in shape”…well dude in case no one ever told you, that six pack of beers doesn’t turn into a six pack of abs. (sorry)
Without a plan, those “wants” will never turn into goals.
You can file them in dream land next to “I want a Unicorn” or “I want to marry Ryan Gosling.”
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn
To get to anywhere you want to be, you need a plan of action. Or, as I like to think of it, a roadmap to attack the shit out of that goal and make it your bitch.
Aggressive, I know.
Whatever, let’s talk goal setting…
Goal setting is all about YOU.
Meeting those goals (or failing to meet those goals) is up to you. It’s not about having a boss, teacher, parent or trainer over your shoulder telling you what you NEED to get done.
It’s all about YOU, the life you want to create for yourself, and what YOU are going to do to get there.
Ultimately if you hit those goals you can throw yourself a private freaking parade. If you fail to hit them, reflecting on the shortcomings and revising the plan are also up to you too. You’re accountable to yourself.
I goal set using SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
What I’ve found most benefit about SMART goal setting is that it really allows you to attack multiple goals at one time. When I’ve laid goals out in SMART goals fashion, I then go one step further and set “benchmarks” for each, like schedule checkpoints. This allows you to look at the big picture visually broken down into smaller parts on a timeline.
One thing I also do is note my 1, 2 and 3 top priorities. I use this for decision making.
Often you’ll be shooting for several goals at once. When a opportunity/decision presents itself, I am then mindful of which goal is “boss.”
Say, for example, getting toned is my #1 goal and reading a new book is #3 goal. On a Saturday morning if I only have 2 free hours, I’m going to spend that going for a workout, not reading a book. Optimally, I’d want to make time for both.
But, life happens. So, being aware of your “boss” goals will help you prioritize where you spend limited time/resources.
Additionally, if I have a goal I think my be especially rough for me, I incentive myself.
The WhiteBoard (get one)
On May 20th John installed a wall-sized Whiteboard in his new apartment where he’d be mapping out his goals, writing his daily gratitude’s, inspiring quotes, etc. And he blocked off a section for me to write my goals (ohhhhh shit I made the white board!).
That way we could do our weekly goals sessions/checkins at his place.
Now that I’ve given you a second to puke in your mouth at how insanely “cute” or just insane you think we are, let’s continue.
Who's got the puke bucket?!
Between this newly devoted whiteboard space and the fact that my 30th birthday was just two short months away, I decided it was time to write some lofty smart goals.
….and go into 30 with a mothereffin bang.
So I wrote my “Before I Turn 30 Goals.” Here they are…
Launch QuickFlip Blueprint (the first product I created which is almost ready to bring to market)
QFB to be selling at 100/week sales by my birthday
Read 1 business book per month
1 Blogpost per month
Speak at one event a month (either live or online class for coaching students)
Call Mom and Dad once a week
I’m about a month into my new training at Performance 360. I’m freakin amped to be training there and back into the swing of things. Feeling weak and flabby after 3 months of injury recovery, I was chomping at the bit to get some fitness goals on the board.
And, lucky for me, if there is one person who “goal-gasms” more than I do, it’s my trainer Dave Thomas. Dave’s “thata girl!!”’ are almost as good as hearing “snow day!”
Here are the Health & Fitness goals:
loss 10 pounds – by 7/23
biweekly weigh-ins, goal of 2.5 lb loss per weigh in
95 Push Press – by 06/01
P360 Barbell Club (which for women is a 200# deadlift & 95# push press) – by 06/01
225 3RM (3 rep) Deadlift – by 06/30
265 1RM (1 rep) Deadlift – by 07/23
Weight Loss Goals
Let’s talk fat loss vs. weight loss.
I fucking hate the scale. I shit you not, going off BMI (body weight and height) I’m categorized as overweight.
I may not have Barbies waistline, but I’m not overweight.
Usually when someone finds out my weight they say “well muscle weighs more than fat.” Which always irritated me. A pound is a pound whether it’s muscle or fat.
Well actually NO.
What that saying actually means is “Muscle is much, much denser than fat.” So as far as body composition goes, it makes a HUGE difference.
Think of it this way – a pound of muscle is the size of say a tennis ball, where a pound of fat would be more like the size of a football (a jiggly football).
Seriously this BMI bullshit is the most asinine way of assessing fitness. It is ridiculous, and in my opinion causes serious body image issues in many women.
I’m never going to be 110 pounds. Frankly, I’m built like a brick shit house. I build muscle just looking at a barbell.
And you know what…I LOVE being strong. I love seeing my body’s performance ability increase through hard work, and ya that’s going to add muscle.
I like having a bubble butt, nice toned legs, and that little ripple I get in my shoulders…I work hard for them. And sure, there’s a little extra padding that I could work off…but I am HEALTHY just the way I am.
Ok (breath) before I completely derail on this rant, let me reign it back in.
Body composition is what matters. I’m going for FAT loss, which isn’t not going to correlate directly to weight loss. I’m using the “threat” of the scale simply as a way to keep me from inhaling cookies.
I am NOT going to obsess over the scale.
The steps I am using to meet my fat loss goal on the time line I laid out is:
P360 workouts 5x/week,
80 ounces of water a day,
no cheating Monday – Friday,
focus on increasing veggie intake and good fats,
one night of drinking,
one cheat meal on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Pretty straight forward.
Oh, and like I said for goals that are especially hard for me (like losing 10 pounds), I incentivized myself. If I lose 3 pounds or more in between weigh-ins I get to go to LuLuLemon, and if I meet the 10 pound goal we’re going to San Fran for the weekend.
Who do you need to get there?
One huge component of achieving your goals is knowing “who” needs to be involved with you achieving them. Immediately reach out to those people.
If you’re changing your eating habits – let your S.O. (significant other), roommate, friends, etc know. You’ll need them on board.
The day I set those goals, I emailed Dave (my trainer).
First and foremost, for his feedback to make sure the fitness/strength goals I set were challenging, yet reasonable.
Second, because HE is the one who’s going to assist me in my training to achieve my fitness goals. I can’t express how seriously valuable this is.
If you have not talked to your trainer about your goals, do it! Set a freakin goal, and talk to your trainer!
You need a Trainer who encourages you to consistently set goals and who challenges you to meet them (while keeping you in-check and injury free). If your trainer doesn’t get just as excited as you do as you progress and meet your goals, you need a new trainer.
Same is to be said for your boss, significant other, and friends.
Who you surround yourself with…
One of the most POWERFUL things I learned at Tony Robbin’s Unleash The Power Within Event is “Peoples lives are a direction reflection of the expectations set by their peer group” Or, more simply stated, who you surround yourself with is who you become.
If your peer group (think of them as your team) doesn’t challenge you, you need a new team.
And there is a BIG difference between support vs. challenge.
When you are not living up to your potential a supporter will say “that’s okay” or “you’re still great.” A challenger will say “That’s ok … but you can do better than that, how are you going to improve?”
In the long run who do you think is going to influence you to be the best version of yourself?
All I’m saying is if you’re not happy with where you’re at, it may be time to take a good look to your left and right, and ask yourself if THAT is who you want to be. If that answer is no, well that’s your answer.
Actually, I’m going to blog about that soon. It warrants more than just four sentences.
You have to track your progress. It’s the only way to hold yourself accountable. Like weekly checkpoints.
And let me tell you staring at those damn goals and knowing I had a checkpoint coming up was the ONLY thing that stopped me from devouring the Sausage Bomb calling my name from the kitchen after a night at Thrusters last weekend.
If you reach a checkpoint and are falling short on one or some of your goals…evaluate it. How can you right the ship? If you don’t change the path, you’ll be heading in the same direction.
Some times it’s also a reality check that you may not be able to accomplish all that you’ve set out to do in the time frame you’ve set out to do it. But that’s ok, your goals are supposed to be aggressive.
This isn’t T-ball where everybody gets a trophy.
Aim high. “In order to get what most people don’t have, you must do what must people won’t do.”
But what if I fail?
You’re going to. No, seriously at some point you will. Get over that fear now, otherwise it’ll cripple you from achieving anything truly great.
The cool thing is that failing is like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you get with it, and therefore you don’t fear it anymore.
Am I going to meet all my “Before I’m 30 goals?” Maybe, maybe not.
Am I going to meet all the goals I set for the rest of my life…hell no.
Realistically if you’re going to succeed at anything, you’re going to fail a lot on your way up. Successful people WELCOME failure.
With failure comes valuable lessons, and as long as your learning you’re not failing. You only fail, when you don’t try.
What matters is your ability, actually your longing, to get out of your comfort zone. And baby, that is one sexy muscle to flex.
I got the original recipe for this dish from http://paleomg.com. The first time I made it was for a dinner party, and it was a hit! The sweetness of the dates mixed with the vinegars (balsamic and apple cider), shallots, and rosemary was really delish. AND, It’s incredibly easy to make for how “gourmet” it tastes.
The second round I decided to add in crushed Cashews to give it some crunch and additional texture…and it was BOMB. I also switched the boneless breasts out for breast tenders (requires less prep and cooks quicker). I doubled the below recipe (for lunches for the week), which I’ll have with some arugula. For those of you not looking to cook in bulk, the recipe below is for a 4 person main dish…
3 lbs. chicken breast tenders
2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
5-7 medjool dates, pitted and diced
3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
10 cashews, roasted with sea salt (place in ziplock bag, crush up with back of wooded spoon)
salt and pepper, to taste (be mind
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken in a single layer it large class baking dish
Top chicken with the sliced shallots and dates.
Pull the rosemary off one of the sprigs, toss over the chicken, then place the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs around the chicken.
Now, pour the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar over the chicken.
Finish by sprinkling the crushed cashews + topping it off with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (I broiled it the last few minutes to get the top browned
Now that I’ve done both Green Blending and Juicing, I get a lot of questions from people on which I think is “best.” The short answer is both are great, it depends what you’re going for. First things first…
What is Green Blending?
Green blending is exactly what it sounds like, throwing a bunch of green stuff in a blender. I make a blender full of this recipe in the morning, have a full glass for breakfast (usually with scrambled eggs and a tablespoon of liquid Fish Oil) and take the rest to work with me.
My Daily Green Blend Recipe:
Spinach (two handful)
Broccoli (large handful)
Kale (large handful) – I rotate this one with Collard Greens, Bok Choy (anything leafy green)
2 small green apples or 1 large green apple (cored)
1 Kiwi (skinned)
1 cup of water (water is totally up to you depending on the consistency you like it)
I choose to do a very veggie-heavy Blend, but if you are just starting out Green Blending, that recipe may taste a little too “vegetably” for you. Beginner TIP: Try doing a handful of green grapes instead of the cucumber. The Green Blend Recipe I started blending with had more fruit in it (it’s sweeter), the recipe for which is below. Start with this one. Then, if you’re looking to lower your sugar, you can then start decreasing the fruit and upping the veggies once you get used to the flavor.
“Newbie” Beginner Green Blend Recipe:
Spinach (one handful)
Broccoli (one handful)
Kale (one handful)
Green Grapes (large handful) – this I eventually switched for the Cucumber
1 Green apple (cored)
2 Kiwi (skinned)
1 cup of water (water is totally up to you depending on the consistency you like it)
Here are my thoughts on Green Blending, it:
is live/water-rich. At least 70% of your diet should consist of live/water-rich foods. This allows your body to cleanse itself. Failing to consume water rich foods means you are clogging your body.
is full of fiber. Live digestive enzymes.
is easy. It’s very easy to make and clean up.
stores well. I can make a full blender of Green Blend for the day, put it in an airtight container, and eat/drink it throughout the day
Makes my meals “Complete.” If I’m eating a small meal without veggies (i.e eggs, chicken, nuts) I just accompany that with a cup of Green blend and BOOM there are my veggies
is filling. It won’t leave you hungry and you will stay full for a while as your body digests it.
Now to Juicing…
There are definitely a lot of benefits to juicing. By removing the pulp, our body does not need to “work” to digest it. Within 10 to 15 minutes Nutrients assimilate directly into our bloodstream. You receive optimum fuel to feed your cells and help nourish, regenerate and repair all of the cells and tissues, glands and organs of the body.
Here are my thoughts on Juicing, it:
eliminates the need for digestions
it cleanses. It is crucial when you are detoxing/reseting.
is nutrient super-charged. You can feel a difference in your energy within minutes of drinking it (I love juicing right before a workout)
allows for Veggies/Fruits I would never Blend – Beets, Garlic, Parsley, Green beans.
more clean up
needs to be done in “real time.” I’ve done the airtight Juice Jars, which is necessary with your doing a Juice Fast (only juicing for several days) but on a regular basis, it’s rough. The juice changes color, texture and flavor in less than a half an hour.
So which do I think is best? I think they both serve a difference (yet complimentary) purposes. Optimally you’d want to integrate BOTH juicing and Green Blending into your diet.
If you are doing a cleanse – juicing is where it’s all. I plan on doing quarter Juice Fasts to cleanse out my system. And when I’m feeling like crap, I go straight for the Juicer – hungover, super sore from a workout, tired, etc.
On a everyday basis, I’ve found that Green Blending fits very easily into my lifestyle and it’s very sustainable. I’ve been regularly green blending for a year now, it takes 10 minutes in the morning, tastes good, and makes me feel great. I also like knowing even if I only get one salad or something in during the day, Green Blending allows me to keep a diet high in live/raw veggies/fruit.
I definitely still get some mean Juicing going, but it’s admittedly not part of my every-day.
Would love to hear your feedback on your experiences Green Blending and/or Juicing. This is simply my viewpoint, and everyone’s experience is different, so please share your comments below!
I admit that fitness and exercise may seem like a bit of an obsession for me. From competitive rock climbing to CrossFit, you put an athletic activity in front of me and it’s pretty much a guarantee I’m going to go at it with 100% intensity. But this passion for physical challenges is not just a bi-product of my competitive nature. In fact, it derives from quite the opposite. My appreciation for my body came from a time where I had the use of it ripped away from me. As with anything in life, the toughest of times really make you appreciate the little things…
As a kid, I had a small scoliosis curve. It was nothing major, unnoticeable, and didn’t affect my ability to do sports or anything. By the time I got to high school, I was a varsity cheerleader and my life was pretty defined by that – practices, football games, competition squad, etc. My sophomore year, during my regular scoliosis checkup at school, the school nurse noticed the curve in my spine had started to increase, and over the next 6 months (during my growth spurt) my spinal curve went from 21 degrees to 96 degrees (that is literally greater than a right angle) and was increasing every day. As my spine curved, my ribs began to squeeze my lungs and my heart, making breathing difficult. At the time, doctors estimated that, without surgery, I had 3 to 6 months to live before my ribs closed completed in on my heart/lungs. At 13 years old, I was given an expiration date…and that is some scary shit.
Being told what my life would be like after surgery wasn’t the easiest pill to swallow either. The surgery would consist of reconstructing my entire spine, breaking all the ribs on my right side to re-shape them, and putting metal rods along the entire length of my spine. With metal rods in my back, I would no longer bend or twist it at all, which meant no backbends, no tumbling – no cheerleading. They told me and my parents that I would never be able to touch my toes or run again and that I would have to be very conscious of my weight in order to keep as much pressure off my back as possible. Mentally digesting that was one hell of a challenge.
After months of battling with my health insurance company (who had been refusing to cover my surgery citing that it was a pre-existing cause), my frantic parents finally got the approval letter and set a date for me to go under the knife.
I woke up from a 9-hour surgery unable to move my body at all. Without even addressing the obvious pain involved, I had to re-teach myself how to do everything again…walk, pick something up off the floor, turn over, etc. The mechanics of my body had completely changed. With every bone in my back broken and fused, the road to recovery was a long one. It took me two weeks just to be able to take five steps to the bathroom in my hospital room (and that was after someone else sitting me up and helping me stand). Because all the nerves on my right side had been battered, I didn’t have full use of my right arm for months. Simple things like eating, washing and brushing my hair, shaving my legs, getting dressed became quite the challenge. I can remember about a month after my surgery I walked all the way to the big tree at the end of my block and my father bursting out in tears. When walking to the end of the block is a cause for celebration, you really learn to value the little things,. With the most supportive father, mother, sister, and amazing family and friends, I got through it and without a doubt, came out of it a much better person.
In reflection, I now realize I spent the next decade after my surgery playing on the sidelines in life. I was so afraid of hurting my back again and having to go back to the awful place, that I let the fear of “what if” hold me back from so many things. Living in fear is really not living at all, it is merely existing.
Then, I made the move the California, by myself, away from everything I knew. That decision was so far out of my comfort zone, that it sparked something inside me. A flame had been lit. I resolved that fear would no longer be the guiding factor in my decision-making. There started my journey of adventure and risk-taking. I got my passionate intensity back. Over the last few years, I’ve done things I never would have imagined I’d do. I spent a year competitively bouldering, I’ve repelled down mountains and jumping off cliff, I’ve ridden wild horses, and jumped out of a plane! In my daily life, Climbing and CrossFit have given me back the confidence and sense of feeling ALIVE that I let be dormant for way to long.
Ultimately, going through such a rough back surgery was a gift. I was given the gift of appreciation. Appreciation of what my precious body was doing for me on a daily basis. I made the choice to not let my obstacles, physical or otherwise, break me but see them as an opportunity to be the best version of myself. And that best version of myself, physically, is forever going to be different from the “normal” person. My back is never going to bend; there are things I am simply not going to be able to do. Acknowledging and accepting my limitations is admittedly an ongoing struggle. The scars on my back are never going to disappear and, yes, they make me feel pretty self-conscious in a bikini on the beach, but you know what? Every day I look in the mirror, they are a reminder of how strong I am and how much I am capable of enduring.
Today, as I am in the midst of a pretty lengthy ankle/Achilles recovery, I am humbled and grateful for everything my body IS capable doing. My amazing back can deadlift 233 pounds for Pete’s sake! But, I am not invincible. That fiery intensity, with which I approach my limits, needs to be balance with a healthy dose of reality and caution. I am reminded of just how precious ones body is. My body, your body, everybody’s body is a MIRACLE and should be treated as such. My wish would be for everyone to VALUE the gift of a healthy body, and get up, go outside and take that nice body for a walk. Feed it some healthy food, give yourself a hug, and love your body for everything it does for you!
On the same note, you NEVER know the personal battle someone is going through on the inside. Whether it is physical or emotional, everyone is fighting his or her own battles. Words of encouragement and a smile at the gym and in life in general can really make the difference in someone’s day. You never know who needs a smile today. If it weren’t for all the support I received during my roughest days, I never would have gotten through it. If it weren’t for the patience, understanding and encouragement of my coaches and fellow athletes over the years, my body would never be as strong as it is today.
So, as you encounter people, keep in mind where they are coming from, where they are at, and where they are going that day (or in life) may be really different. My fitness goals may look a lot different than yours; the same can be said for every person on a path to better than health and improve their bodies. Maybe the person you bump into in the gym has a big goal to get through the day without crying, or walk a single mile or lift 300 pounds….no matter. The difference we can all make in each other’s lives just by supporting each other in achieving our goals goes a long way!
Having been where I have been has given me a sense of compassion for all people; I wouldn’t trade for anything (not even a new back).
So, there you are. Thanks for letting my share my story :)
I decided to throw something a little different together in the kitchen last night, it was healthy and delicious! Moreover, it was super easy to prepare and pretty quick to clean up (bonus!). This recipe made 4 “real” man/woman servings…and I, um, love to eat. So, the below was dinner for two, with lunch for two for the next day.
3 lbs boneless organic free range chicken breasts cut in thirds (or 3 lbs chicken breast tenders)
8.5oz jar of julienne cut sun dried tomatoes
12 oz jar of artichoke hearts
5 tablespoons pesto sauce (from the jar)
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
Handful of organic crumbled feta
Black pepper for seasoning
Preheat oven to 375. Melt the 3 tablespoons of Coconut Oil, then pour in into a large glass baking dish (coating the bottom of dish). Place in the chicken breast (cut into tender size). Coat the top of the chicken with the pesto sauce. Sprinkle the sliced garlic on top and spread the sun dried tomatoes and the olive oil that it’s in the jar over the entire dish. Drain the Artichoke hearts and sprinkle those on top too. Season with black pepper. Seal tightly with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Sprinkle Feta on top when you have 1-2 minutes left of cooking so it melts a little.
We accompanied it with Sauteed Arugula cooked in Coconut oil and minced garlic, sprinkled with black pepper and a pinch of Sea Salt!
As you’ve probably picked up in this recipe, I’m now cooking with Coconut Oil per the recommendation of my good friend, competitive CrossFitter and Nutrition/Fitness queen Kendra Cecieta. Hooray for good fats!
Bottom line the meal was BOMB and made for an awesome packed lunch today as well! Highly recommend!
I started writing the draft of this Juicing Detox review in “real time” as I was actually doing the detox. I quickly decided that writing the review “during battle” might not be the best idea (unless I planned on titling this post “Give That Dangerous B*itch Her Steak”).
Now that I am a few weeks out of the detox, I have a little bit more perspective (and mental sanity) to give the Juicing a real review.
Days 1 and 2:
The first two days (juice only for three days, no food) are supposed to be when you experience the most negative side effects (headaches, irritability, low energy, extreme hunger, a bad belly, etc).
Let’s start out with the “Good.” Fortunately, I ate really clean before starting the detox so (lucky me) got to skip over the headaches and low energy. I don’t think my body was withdrawing as much as an average person’s would.
My normal pre-juicing diet was a veggie heavy Paleo diet, with the addition of daily Green Blending. Green Blending is pretty much exactly what it implies…green fruits and veggies “smoothified” in a Blender, which I’d drink/eat throughout the day, every day. And the Paleo diet…
And now for the “Bad.” I am Italian, with a very loud inner fat-kid voice. By the first half of day one, I was craving protein (particularly steak) like crazy. By the evening of day 1, I would have eaten an entire cow, I swear. (Sorry vegetarians, not sorry).
Second, has anyone ever realized how many damn food commercials there are on TV?! Like seriously during Saturday Football…Quarter-pounder commercials get more airtime than the Quarterback. Is it really any wonder why America is obese with commercials like this every freaking 2 minutes?!
Ok, deep breaths, deep breaths….I’m not even going to get started on America’s Obesity right now.
Anywho, after about mid-afternoon on both Day 1 and Day 2, I would start to experience extreme lightheadedness; like I had just sucked the helium out of a balloon type lightheadedness. Maybe juicing will be the next whip-its?
For instance, Saturday night (Day 1), I went into the bathroom to take my contacts out of my eyes. I got out the solution, put my contact case on the sink, and opened the right eye container. I saw there was no contact in the case and searched the counter and the floor for several minutes before realizing the contact was in my EYE. Yes, I had forgotten I was taking my contacts OUT. That kind of lightheaded.
On the bright side, I found that if I started to feel lightheaded, I just needed to juice and would feel immediately back to normal (or as normal as I get anyway).
Point blank, day three SUCKED for me. While almost everyone else doing the Juice Detox with me (there were a dozen or so of us) felt worlds better by day three, I felt like I had entered the third ring of Hell. My stomach was bloated, I felt really ill, my skin had broken out like a 13 year olds, and my patience was, well, um, non-existent. Mind you, this was a Monday, so I was up bright and early and back at work where being sluggish was NOT an option (our company slogan is “ATTACK 8 days a week”).
Then came lunch time. Let me preface the next paragraph by saying that this 90 Day Challenge at FortuneBuilders was OPTIONAL , only about half of us jumped on the bandwagon. OK now my rant. My irritability was brought to near-Exorcist-head-spinning-around “I will kill you levels” when one of my coworkers (clearly NOT participating in the Juice Detox) brought in take out from Phil’s BBQ. Not only was the scent TORTURE, but this “gentleman” decided it be funny to taunt me by dangling his BBQ chicken right in front of my face.
I seriously contemplated throwing him and his Phil’s BBQ out the third floor window and watching his guts splatter on the ground. But, I withheld my rage and left to work from home instead. 0:) Success is the sweetest revenge.
Lesson: Unfortunately, I found that the majority of people I encountered would rather make it more difficult for me to succeed at this juice detox, than support me in it. I was really disappointed by this actually. It’s hard enough to have the willpower to do something like this, without having people constantly taunting you and teasing you with food.
Days 4 and 5:
Days 4 we added egg whites in and Day 5 added chicken/white fish. It was smooth sailing for me after egg whites.
Overall here was my experience with the different “side effects” of the Juicing Detox…
JUICERS AND FRUITS/VEGGIES: The “sexiest” brand of Juicers is Breville, there are various models available from $150 – $300, which are known to be the easiest to clean and most durable. I opted for the Jack LaLanne’s Ultimate Power Juicer from Costco which costs about $90. If I decide to Juice long term (and this one craps out) I’ll go Breville, but the Jack Lalanne definitely gets the job done. I also bought as much organic as I could reasonably do. I bought organic in bulk when possible (Costco has big bags of organic carrots, cucumbers, etc which are the staple of many juice recipes.) If it wasn’t organic, I made sure to wash it really well. Everything pretty much went into the juicer as is, expect that I peeled lemons, oranges its, and cut the rough ends of veggies such as carrots.
ENERGY AND EXERCISE: I didn’t see a significant change in my energy levels minus the lightheadedness in the evenings on day 1 and day 2. In fact, where most people don’t have the energy to workout at all during the 5 day detox, I did full Crossfit WOD’s four out of the five days (minus my day three where I surely would have beat someone with a barbell if they made a food comment. Really staying home that day was for the good of the public).
This was the MOST NOTABLE change I experienced from the detox. Starting on Day 1 I got extremely tired at around 10:00pm, to the point where I couldn’t stay awake. The morning of day 2 and EVERY morning after that I woke up between 5:30am and 5:45am (while it was still dark), completely alert (like no way I could have gone back to sleep).
I usually don’t wake up until around 7am. Waking up at 5:45 was actually AWESOME. I live right on Mission Bay and got to watch the sunrise over the water every morning…it was breathtaking. I also got a lot of work and reading done before the city was up.
As part of a juice detox, which included drinking phylum husk (fiber) twice a day, it is common to experience diarrhea or constipation. I was definitely the latter, by day three I felt really bloated/uncomfortable…my belly was definitely missing all the nature fiber I usually eat. I also blame this on dehydration. I was admittedly not drinking nearly enough water the first few days.
I broke out like a teenager going through puberty. It does not take a rocket scientist to assess this was my body releasing toxins through my skin.
A dozen or so of my coworkers did the Juice Detox with at the same time as me. ALL lost between 5 and 15 pounds. Are you ready to hear how many I lost?? Wait for it, wait for it…ZERO.
No that is not a joke, I didn’t lose any weight. In fact on Day 3, where everyone saw the weight start to fall off, I had gained almost two pounds.
What the heck?!
I still don’t really have an answer for this. My only guesses would be 1. I was definitely dehydrated (my own fault) and “backed up” by day three. 2. Right before I started the juice detox I had just start going really hard again at CrossFit after my Achilies injury. My muscle mass was coming back with a vengeance. 3. Who am I kidding? I have no clue and am quiet perturbed that I was the only one who didn’t lose weight. Conclusion: My body is a rebel.
AFTER THE 5 DAY JUICE DETOX:
The weekend after the 5-Day Juice Detox, I headed up to the OC Throwdown CrossFit Competition. At a CrossFit Comp, I was in my glory as there was definitely an abundance of meat (take that as you will).
Here’s what “Finger Food” looks like at such an event:
Needless to say, my steak desires were DEFINITELY met!
But, after 5 days of juicing, you forget what it’s like to feel full. And when I hadn’t felt full, eating a meal and actually feeling full made me nauseous. It also made me realize how uncomfortable it actually is to have a full belly. Blah. And I REALLY missed juicing over the weekend. So, even though I didn’t see the visible weight loss results most did, my body was definitely telling me “keep juicing!”
Since the detox ended, I have been making a full container of Juice every morning (which I store for the afternoon in an airtight Juice Jar). I eat eggs in the morning, and have a juice. Then I juice all day long, with a few snacks (almonds, veggies, cottage cheese, etc), have a normal Paleo dinner, and juice once more in the evening. I feel GREAT, still no weight loss but I’ve been killing my CrossFit Workouts and have seen an increased focus at work.
I’ve also decided to do the 5 day Juice Detox AGAIN starting tomorrow (30 days in). I will be drinking a Salt Wash in the mornings (which I’m told is like pressure washing your GI tract), and drinking 1 – 2 gallons of water EVERY day. I think these two changes will make the detox much more effective. Wish me luck and stayed tuned!
Are You Interested In Doing The 5 Day Juice Detox?
You can do any juicing recipe during the fast, however do EITHER fruit juice OR veggie juice. Do not do fruit AND veggie mixed juice. The only exception to that is apple and lemon in your veggies juices.
If you’re fasting for weight loss, do veggie (preferably greens) over fruit juice as fruit is high in sugar.
The top five nutrient-dense vegetables people looking for weight lose should incorporate are bell peppers, parsley, kale, broccoli and spinach.
The more ingredients you put in one juice the rougher it is on your stomach. Less ingredients is best if you have a sensitive belly.
It is best to juice in real time, if you’re not juicing in real time, you MUST use an air-tight Juice Jar or container. The nutrients start to die within 10 – 15 minutes after hitting air. You can get glass or plastic juice jars at any kitchen store.
MAKE SURE TO DRINK A TON OF WATER, AND TAKE YOUR FIBER SUPPLEMENT/PROBIOTIC.
If you get backed up do a sea salt wash
And EASE back into food after the detox is over.
“Green Flash” Juice Recipe
Here is the recipe for the Green Juice I made that was my favorite….”Green Flash.”
• 2 apples.
• 1/2 cucumber.
• 1/2 lemon (peeled).
• 1/2 cup of kale.
• 1/2 cup of spinach.
• 1/2 cup of broccoli.
• 1/4 bunch of celery.
• 1-inch of ginger.
Salt Wash Instructions
1 to 2 tablespoon of sea salt (not table salt)
1 quart of luke warm water
(add lemon juice to improve taste)
STAY HOME FOR AN HOUR.
It’s like pressure spraying your colon. Opens the path out for toxins and old impacted food.
Do every morning instead of pysllium husks
If your schedule prevents you from doing it in the mornings do the salt wash at night an hour before bed.
If you have any questions feel free to comment here and I will reply!
Tomorrow, I along with my FortuneBuilders.com team will start the “90 Day Transformation” process with fitlife.tv coach Drew Canole. I’m going to document my journey here.
Why Am I Doing This?
FortuneBuilders invited every member our of team to partake in Drew’s challenge (thank you FortuneBuilders). There is no better way to test nutrition/health strategies then to use yourself as a guinea pig, so I’m excited to see what comes of this juicing method! Moreover, I am ecstatic about the opportunity to go through this process with my closest friends here at FortuneBuilders.
Additionally, I injured my Achilles/Ankle a month ago (laid up on crutches, etc) and went off the Paleo wagon while I was home for the Holidays in Connecticut for two weeks (delis, pizza, and pasta like on the East Coast simply does not exist out here…my waistline is happy about this). While I haven’t gained weight after my injury (see my previous post about building a body able to sustain a drastic change in exercise regimen here), this is the “softest” I’ve been since starting Crossfit.
I think this Alpha Reset juice fast detox will be a great way to kick start me getting back to full beast mode as my Ankle/Achilles continues to heal. In the long run, I believe juicing will be an great addition to my already successful regimen of doing CrossFit and eating Paleo.
What I Want Out Of This While I certainly wouldn’t mind losing more body fat, my desire to participate in this 90 day transformation is much more about continuing to improve my body from the inside. My goals are to gain more consistent energy, better sleep patterns and an increase in my alertness when working long hard days. Of course if juicing can get me RXing all my WODs I’ll be sold for life!
AND in true FortuneBuilders style, our team will be competing for a badass prize based on best results (tangible). So we took before pictures, got our measurements done, and got our body fat percentage tested. Here are mine….
Body Fat Percentage
Body Fat Percentage: 21.5%
Body Fat Percentage: 18%
Tomorrow begins the 5 Day “Alpha Reset”
The 90 Day Transformation kicks off with a 5 day juice based fast/detox called the “Alpha Reset,” where you “reset” your digestive track.
Drew’s Argument About The Need To Reset Our Digestive Systems
This comes directly from the material Drew provides when he started the Alpha Reset, I found it to be a compelling argument about the necessity of resetting our digestive system:
After indulging in lots of consistent, heavy food intake, your body’s digestive system becomes overworked and underpaid, which eventually leads to it going on strike– among a huge range of other problems.
Due to mucus build-ups and over-taxed digestive systems, full break-down of foods becomes nearly impossible after a while … …which means your body is unable to extract all the essential macro-and-micro nutrients from every food you eat that it needs to function normally … …which means you won’t have the resources to build muscle and lose fat. Period.
Alpha state… this is where everything just flows. Your body doesn’t have to work hard… it’s like a well oiled machine. You can train like an animal, eat like a horse, sleep like a baby and grow like a weed.
• I’m going into this very excited to be starting this process with my team. Inspiring others to get healthy is one of my greatest passions and I look forward to seeing my friends/teammates transformations as much as I do my own (possibly more).
• I have no intention of giving up meat in my diet.
• I will stick strictly to the 5 day Alpha Reset and will then most likely integrate juicing into my regimen alongside daily Green Blending which I already do.
• It has also been recommended to me that I watch the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” before started a juicing regimen which I plan on doing this weekend.