Friday, March 30, 2012

Homemade Energy Filled Smoothie

Almonds, cooked oatmeal, bananas and yogurt meet up in your blender for a power breakfast. Drink this Banana Oatmeal Smoothie before your morning exercise routine and you’ll have the energy you need to get through your workout. It sounds delicious! I may try it tomorrow :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole Chiquita Bananas (best with brown flecks on peel)
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 1/3 cup Yogurt - preferably Greek yogurt flavored with honey
  • 1/2 cup Cooked oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup Almonds

Instructions for:

quick Chiquita Banana Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

Pour all ingredients in blender pouring ice in last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smoothie thickens.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories 380; Total Fat 15 g (Sat 2 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 4 g, Mono 8 g); Cholesterol 5 mg; Sodium 35 mg; Potassium 690 mg; Total Carbohydrates 53 g; Dietary Fiber 9 g; Total Sugars 19 g; Protein 12 g. Percent Daily Value: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin B6 25%; Vitamin C 20%; Vitamin D 0%; Calcium 15%, Iron 15%.


Monday, March 26, 2012

My Real Issues


 Some more honesty :/

These were taken today.. This is me at 242 lbs.

I look at these pics and feel so gross. My tummy sticks out. My thighs are huge. My arms are flabby and have stretch marks. My butt isnt firm or round anymore.. Its like i have no butt at all. My butt has never been nice or big but now its like a flat board! I have cellulite all down my legs...

I look at these and try to figure out how i will lose this weight.. will my tummy go down? Will my thighs get any smaller? Or will my breasts shrink? Will i still have somewhat of a waist??

Ugh... This is so embarrassing. But like i said if i cant deal with this how can i help anyone else? And how can i expect you to do the same? Face your fears.. Dont let them rule you! I will do this! I will be successful. I will be healthy and comfortable in my own skin in no time at all.

In a few months i will be able to post new pics of me happy and healthy!

Thank you guys for reading and not judging. Thank you guys for allowing me to tell my story and letting it help to inspire some of you.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Meltdowns

After writing yesterday I had a mini meltdown... I mean its not like I didnt know my own situation. Its not like I didnt know what I had done to myself... But sitting there and writing it down for the whole world to know made it very real.
All I could think about was how did this happen to me? How did I do this to myself??
And the fact that now everyone knows... they know how bad I was. They can go read it whenever they want.. even people I dont know are reading this...
I just sat and cried for a while.. It wasnt until this morning when I saw this picture that I realized My journey, my words, my story is going to help someone else. I am writing so that you all know that you arent alone. I am writing and divulging things that make me uncomfortable in hopes of inspiring someone else..
                                                                I hope it works.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My weight.. My honest Journey To Where I Am Now.

Some days I look back at pictures of myself before I had my Lore and I look in the mirror now and i feel so disgusting...

Before Lore (2007)

If you knew me in high school you knew that I loved my body. I took care of myself. I love to show off my tiny waist and nice round hips. I weighed about 135-140. And was happy.




I got pregnant at 16.. for those of you that dont know. I gained about 30 lbs throughout my pregnancy and delivered at 160lbs.


About 7 months pregnant with Lore (2008)
 It took about a month and some change for me to lose most of the weight.. I decided to start taking birth control (depo shot) which I knew would make me gain a little weight. It was not such a big deal to me.. I went back to school and continued on like I had before. I didnt work out I didnt exercise. And in the blink of an eye i realized that I weighed almost 200 lbs. Just like that...

I got married at 18 and moved to Florida with my husband and daughter.. I didnt notice but when I got here I had started eating to make myself feel better. Better about being 2000 miles away better about how uncomfortable I felt in my clothes. Better about everything.. I got really depressed and gained some more weight. When my husband deployed in march of 2010 I weighed about 215. While he was gone I went home and gained about another 10 lbs. I came back home 3 months before he got back and realized that I had to do something about my weight and my depression. I started walking and eating a little better.


Weeks before Thomas came home from deployment (2010)

When he came home in September I weighed about 189 and felt a little better about myself.

He got home and I got comfortable and stop walking and started eating out a lot again.. I got back up to 203.

In November we found out I was pregnant again. Thoughout my pregnancy with Olivia I got up to 218. 4 weeks after she was born I was back down to 204. But...... I started having really bad issues with post partum depression I went to food again to make everything better... Months passed and I just didnt care anymore.. I was wearing baggy clothes and trying to hide my weight. I told myself it wasnt that bad. (It was)

Me at my Biggest (2012)
I woke up March 3rd of this year and looked in the mirror.. I finally decided to deal with what was in front of me. I finally decided to allow myself to take an honest look at what I had done to myself. I weighed myself and just cried I couldnt believe what I had done to myself.. I was disgusted! I had gained 100 lbs in 3 short years. I weighed almost 245. It was a shock to my system. That day I decided that I had to do something about this.. It isnt healthy and I was miserable!!

I am slowly working on it.. It is march 22nd and I have cleaned up my eating and started working out again. I have lost 8 lbs. I am not at the weight I want to be at but this is the best I have felt in a long time.. I feel good about myself. I am working towards a goal. Not just to look good in my clothes but to be a healthy person physically and mentally..

Well there it is..  there are my truths. I struggled with being honest about how bad I let it get. But if I cant be honest with you how can I possibly expect you to be honest with me or your own selves?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Information About Nut Allergies For All Parents

                          Important Nut Allergy Info!

The tree nut includes nuts such as cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts among others. The peanut is actually a legume. However, some children do have an allergy to both peanuts and tree nuts. There is a 30 to 60% chance of a child with a peanut allergy to develop a tree nut allergy according to research by Scott H. Sicherer, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a researcher in the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. Your child will need to be tested in order to determine the exact nature of their allergy.
The cashew is in the cashew botanical family along with mango and pistachio. There has been some research to show a relationship between a cashew allergy and a severe reaction to poison ivy. In fact a teenage friend of ours was told to be mindful of a potential cashew allergy when he went to the ER with a horrible reaction to poison ivy.
An almond is actually in the plum family along with apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, plum and the prune plum, yet it is considered a tree nut by most allergists. It is definitely possible to be allergic to almond, yet be able to tolerate peaches or the other foods in the botanical family. My son fits into this category.

The pecan is in the walnut botanical family along with the butternut, hickory nut and black and English walnut.

Many people wonder if coconut, nutmeg, water chestnuts and shea nuts are nuts. The coconut is in the palm family, and while it is possible to be allergic to coconut…it doesn’t cross react with tree nuts. Our son tolerates coconut without a problem. Yet coconut has been determined to be a tree nut by the FDA for purposes of labeling! Food that includes coconut will likely have a label stating that the product includes Tree Nuts.
Nutmeg and water chestnuts are not considered nuts either, and there’s no need to stay away from them if you have a nut allergy. The nuts of Shea tree yield a vegetable fat known as shea butter. The trees grow in Africa and provide income for women in the region who pound the nuts. They would be considered a nut, and we stay away from them.

The only “cure” currently for the tree nut allergy is to stay away from all nuts and nut products. Read labels of all the foods that your child eats, and all foods in your house. Read labels each time you purchase a product because manufacturing processes change frequently.
Read all labels to ensure no consumption of Tree nuts!
The Food Allergy Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) was passed in 2004, requiring: labels to be marked such that a 7 year old could read and understand the ingredients, all allergens are declared even if they are in the spices or flavorings, and curtail the current widespread use of the ‘may contain statements.’ This act went into effect January 1, 2006.
For more information on this important law, please see:
http://www.foodallergy.org/page/labeling-index
It is safest to avoid all kinds of nuts even if your child is allergic to just one. The processing of nuts in foods lends itself to cross-contamination easily and isn’t worth the risk.
Stay away from all your ‘standard’ tree nuts, which include almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts.
Any product that says ‘nuts’ must be avoided. These would include macadamia nuts to name just one. There are many kinds of nuts, so read labels carefully. Remember pistachios are a nut!
In 2006, the FDA classified coconut as a nut; however the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) does not recognize it as such. If coconut is in a product, the product may state that it contains tree nuts. This is confusing, especially if your child can tolerate coconut but not other tree nuts!
Sometimes cashews are used to make butter (cashew butter), oils or pastes. Stay away from all of these.
Pesto sauce usually includes pine nuts – be careful of homemade recipes where nuts can be used and yet not recognized in sauces, etc.
Your allergist should be able to provide you with a complete listing of ingredients that may indicate nut protein. There are always new products being created with newly processed ingredient names. If you don’t know the exact nature of the ingredient, don’t eat it!
Tree nuts can show up in products that aren’t ingested, but used in lotions and shampoos. Read the labels on these products also. Contact allergies can cause severe reactions also.
When your nut-allergic child goes to school, having things in writing is a must!

Severe Allergies

   Today was one of the worst days I have ever had as a mother.. We found out that my oldest daughter Lorena is allergic to cashews... the hard way. She ate 2 cashews and within 10 minutes was complaining that her throat hurt. Her face began to get very red and out came hives.. she had them all over her face and neck...
 It took me a minute to realize exactly was going on as soon as my husband and I figured it out we were in the car and on the way to the ER.
Soon as we got there they took her to check her vitals.. she seemed to be ok. Then the nurse and I realized she had started drooling. Which is a bad sign.. Her throat and tongue were swelling quickly. The nurse took her to a room immediately and got a Dr. They got her a epi breathing treatment, benadryl, and tried to get an IV going.. That was the worst. They were unsuccessful and in the process blew four of her little veins.


We are home now.. she is feeling better but still has some hives. I have to carry an Epi-Pen in my purse at all times.
 It was terrible to me that I was unaware of my daughters allergy. And we are so lucky that we live so close to a hospital.



Monday, March 19, 2012





Made me laugh.. Thought some of you ladies would find it funny too.

Body Image..

  Body image.. I think its safe to say that at some point we have all had issues with it. Whether we dealt with it in the past or we are currently dealing with it, here is a bit that may help.


For me personally I know that I have and I am dealing with this issues right now. But as I eat healthier and realize that I am doing something that will get me to where I want to be I feel better everytime I look in the mirror. I am not perfect, I am not a size 2, I am not tall, but I am me.. And I am learning to love that person.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see?

Is your body image positive or negative? If your answer is negative, you are not alone. Many women in the United States feel pressured to measure up to a certain social and cultural ideal of beauty, which can lead to poor body image. Women are constantly bombarded with "Barbie Doll-like" images. By presenting an ideal that is so difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. It's no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty. The message we're hearing is either "all women need to lose weight" or that the natural aging process is a "disastrous" fate.
Other pressures can come from the people in our lives.
  • Family and friends can influence your body image with positive and negative comments.
  • A doctor's health advice can be misinterpreted and affect how a woman sees herself and feels about her body.

Learning to love what you see in the mirror 

We all want to look our best, but a healthy body is not always linked to appearance. In fact, healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes! Changing your body image means changing the way you think about your body. At the same time, healthy lifestyle choices are also key to improving body image.
  • Healthy eating can promote healthy skin and hair, along with strong bones.
  • Regular exercise has been shown to boost self-esteem, self-image, and energy levels.
  • Plenty of rest is key to stress management.



-from womenshealth.gov

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Journey to Health.. My FB Group

For anyone who reads my blog and is on Facebook, I have opened a group for those of us that might need a little motivation to get or stay healthy. If you arent already a part of the group here is the link ...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ajourneytohealth/?notif_t=group_r2j#!/groups/ajourneytohealth/
go and add it if you think you could benefit from a little help or if you feel that you can help someone else find their way to Health!

Thank you!!

Lessons Learned

 Something that i had to learn. People who arent happy or positive will do their best to bring you down with them.

Its About Overall HEALTH Not "Skinny"








Being healthy is more than just losing weight.. its about loving yourself inside and out and taking care of your entire being. In order to really make a change you need to learn to love yourself.

Cardio- What to do

When to Do Your Cardio

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s no "right" time of the day to do cardio. The most important thing is that you do it. There is an established misconception that cardio is most effective first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, the theory being that you won’t have eaten in 8 to 10 hours, so there will be less blood sugar available for fuel, which will force your body to draw on and burn more of its stored energy. This is absolutely untrue. A calorie is a calorie no matter what. It doesn’t matter if the calories are from fat or from carbs — as long as you are burning more of them than you are taking in, you will lose weight. If anything, working out on an empty stomach could make you feel weak and could inhibit your performance. The best advice is to do your cardio whenever you have the energy for it, whether it’s morning or evening, on an empty stomach or following a snack. All that matters is that you are putting as much into every workout as you can — do that, and you’re guaranteed to get the most out of it.

How Long to Do Your Cardio

When it comes to duration, you should do a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of two hours of cardio in any single session. On the one hand, the number of calories you burn in half an hour might not make it worth the trip to the gym (unless you’re going completely hard-core in your cardio session).On the other hand, you don’t want to exercise intensely for more than 2 hours straight, as excessive activity of this kind releases stress hormones into the body, such as cortisol, which inhibit weight loss, causing your body to react by storing fat and retaining water out of self-protection.

Choosing Your Cardio

There are a million and one exercises that you can do for cardio. So how do you know which kinds of cardio are best? Do you walk, row, spin, step, or climb your way to fitness? The answer is all of these. You should do whatever you enjoy the most.. If you only have access to one type of exercise, you can change the way you use it every once in a while so that you are avoiding the workout plateau and keeping yourself challenged and motivated

Finding Your Intensity During Cardio

When it comes to intensity, use your best judgment. If it feels too easy, increase intensity; if it feels too difficult or your form is compromised, decrease intensity. You will find that your abilities change as you move forward, so it is important to adjust your intensity levels as you increase your fitness level. Ideally, I want you to make sure you’re pushing yourself and keeping your heart rate at 85 percent of your maximum while you are doing it. I strongly recommend that you purchase a heart-rate monitor, which will give you instant feedback on how you're doing, letting you know if you're working too hard or not working hard enough..

Circuit Training- How to

If you're committed to getting in shape and improving your health and fitness, circuit training is about the best method you can use. Why? Because it gets the best results. When done properly, circuit training builds lean muscle and improves aerobic fitness simultaneously, making it nothing less than the most effective fat-burning workout you can get.
So what is circuit training? It’s a combination of different types of strength training and cardio exercises done in sequence with little to no rest between sets. The strength training works your muscles, and the cardio keeps your heart rate up. Keeping your heart rate elevated is important because the higher it is, the more calories you’re burning.


The thing to remember is that the sets for a given exercise are not performed back to back. Instead, you do one set of the first exercise before moving on (with little or no rest) to the next. When you've done one set of all the exercises in Circuit 1, you go back to the beginning and do one more set of each.

Example:

1. Do one set (10 reps) of Modified Push-ups.
2. Do one set of Wall Squats (hold the squat position for 1 minute).
3. Do one set of Jumping Jacks (jump for 1 minute).
4. Without stopping to rest, do the second set of Modified Push-ups.
5. Do the second set of Wall Squats.
6. Do the second set of Jumping Jacks.
7. Without stopping to rest, do the third set of Modified Push-ups.
8. Do the third set of Wall Squats.
9. Do the third set of Jumping Jacks.
When you have completed all the sets in one circuit, move on to the next. You can take a brief rest between circuits if you really need it, but it's preferable that you don't.
Once you complete all the circuits, performing all the reps and all the sets, you're done — all that's left is to cool down with some stretching, and you've completed your circuit training for the day. Easy, right?

Metabolism Horomones


Meet Your Metabolism Hormones


Before diving into this weight-loss plan, you need to know about the hormones that play essential roles in your metabolism. When these suckers are out of whack, they can do a real number on your body. So here's a rundown of the top 12 metabolic hormones — and how to make sure they're working for you, not against you.
You're here to lose weight, right? Well, before you can do that effectively, you need to understand what's going on from a metabolic and hormonal point of view. That's because the proper balance of hormones is key to keeping your metabolism running like clockwork. Problems like weight gain creep up when you have too much or too little of certain hormones in your body. Relax — this won't be a full-blown lesson on the workings of the endocrine system. We're just going to zero in on the specific hormones that affect your body weight.
Metabolic Hormones: The Major Players
In the past few decades, researchers have discovered dozens of hormones that have an effect on weight, but we'll be focusing on just 12 metabolic hormones here — let's call them the major players. When one or more of these hormones gets messed up, it creates metabolic disturbances that interfere with hunger, energy level, and body-fat and lean-muscle distribution, among other physiological effects. Some hormones are so closely related that I group them together in the descriptions below. The great thing is, once you know what's going on inside your body, you'll have the tools you need to master your metabolism and reach your weight-loss goals.
Player #1: Insulin
Player #2: Thyroid Hormones
Players #3 and #4: Estrogen and Progesterone
Players #5 and #6: Testosterone and DHEA
Players #7, #8, and #9: Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, and Cortisol
Player #10: Growth Hormone
Player #11: Leptin
Player #12: Ghrelin
Player #1: Insulin
This hormone affects nearly every cell in the body, so when it goes haywire it can really cause problems — I'm talking about potentially fatal health conditions. If you can get a handle on your insulin's ups and downs, you'll be on your way to restoring your body's hormone power.
Impact on your metabolism: The most important function of insulin is to lower the concentration of glucose in your blood. When you eat something, your body breaks down the food into simple sugars that are released into the bloodstream. Within minutes, the pancreas pumps out a series of insulin surges. Insulin then ushers the sugars directly into the liver, where they're converted into glycogen to fuel the muscles. Insulin also helps turn glucose into fatty acids and stores them in fat cells, where they can be tapped later as fuel.
While high levels of blood glucose trigger insulin release, low levels suppress it. Maintaining low levels of insulin — one of the primary goals of this diet — allows your body to more easily tap into your stored fat for fuel. When your insulin-release mechanism is working properly, it helps keep your weight in check. Otherwise, watch out!
How insulin gets messed up: Problems arise when your body starts creating too much insulin, which can happen for a number of reasons. The most common one is eating too many of the wrong carbohydrates (such as refined carbs like white bread and pasta) too often, which will cause your blood sugar to spike.
Here's an example: Let's say you have a Milky Way on an empty stomach. Your blood sugar soars to the point that insulin works twice as hard to clean it out of your blood, with the result that your blood sugar concentration drops, you feel hungry again, and you crave (and probably eat) more carbs. That's the "crash and binge" cycle, the root of sugar addiction.
When muscles are still fueled from your last snack, insulin puts any extra calories straight into fat cells. And as long as these large amounts of insulin are lurking in the bloodstream, your body won't have a chance to tap into your fat stores for fuel — so you won't burn any fat, either.
Player #2: Thyroid Hormones
Thyroid problems like hypothyroidism (a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough of this hormone) are very common in this country. Hey, even I was diagnosed with it! Thing is, most people with thyroid imbalances don't know it, because the symptoms — changes in energy, mood, and weight — are so similar to those of many other conditions.
Impact on your metabolism: Thyroid hormones perform a ton of functions. They help control the amount of oxygen each cell uses, the rate at which your body burns calories, your heart rate, overall growth, body temperature, fertility, digestion, and memory and mood. (Basically, the whole enchilada.) So when thyroid hormones are out of balance, either too high or too low, chemical reactions all over the body get thrown off.
How thyroid hormones get messed up: An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is often caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a hereditary condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. As it happens, women are royally screwed in this department — they're about seven times more likely to develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis than are men. Hypothyroidism can make you feel sluggish and can cause you to pile on extra pounds that you can't blame on a poor diet or lack of exercise.
Given that hypothyroidism can make your metabolism slow down, you might think that hyperthyroidism would be a good thing, right? Wrong. Graves' disease, the most common type of overactive thyroid condition, can cause your heart to race, make you intolerant of warmer temperatures, and cause you to lose too much weight and feel run down.
With unpleasant effects produced at both ends of the thyroid function spectrum, you can see why it's important to get your thyroid tested and, if the results show an imbalance, to work with a good endocrinologist to get yourself back on track.
Players #3 and #4: Estrogen and Progesterone
Estrogen and progesterone are steroid hormones. Most people think of muscle-bound meatheads when they hear the word “steroid,” but all it means is that the hormones are created by your body from cholesterol. Men and women both produce these hormones normally, but a tremendous amount of estrogen is also found in our environment — the man-made estrogens used in hormone replacement therapy, pesticides, and food additives, and such plant-based varieties as soy and flaxseed.
In addition to directing a woman's entire development from child into adult, estrogen has a major impact on blood fats, digestive enzymes, water and salt balance, bone density, heart function, and memory.
Impact on your metabolism: Estradiol, one of the main forms of estrogen, helps women's bodies stay lean; it regulates hunger, stabilizes your mood, and keeps your energy levels high. It also lowers insulin and blood pressure levels, raises HDL ("good") cholesterol, and lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Weight issues creep up as women approach menopause, when their production of estradiol decreases, prompting another type of estrogen, estrone, to play a larger role. Estrone causes the body to hang on to fat, especially in the belly.
Progesterone helps balance estrogen and can help manage some of the related effects, so a decrease in progesterone levels creates problems, too. Those mad junk-food cravings you get before your period? Blame a drop in progesterone.
As for men, estrogen levels that are out of sync with testosterone levels can affect their muscle-building, fat-burning advantage. Guys who develop female attributes like love handles and "man boobs" have an overabundance of estrogen to thank.
How estrogen and progesterone get messed up: It used to be thought that declining levels of estrogen were the root of women’s hormone balance problems. These days, too much estrogen seems to be to blame, and it’s causing problems for men as well. Why the rise in estrogen? Over the years we’ve increasingly been bombarded by synthetic estrogens, which are present in our cosmetics and cleansers, the preservatives in our processed foods, and the plastics in which we package and store our foods and drinks. Other factors to blame for the rise in estrogen include stress and a diet lacking in quality fats and protein in favor of refined grains, sugars, and processed foods. Some scientists believe that plummeting levels of progesterone in women during menopause also contribute to estrogen overload.
Players #5 and #6: Testosterone and DHEA
Although they’re called androgens and are usually thought of as male sex hormones, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) don't just benefit guys. These hormones can give women more energy, motivate us to hit the gym, and help us build more calorie-burning muscle. But don't worry, ladies — boosting these hormones won't turn you into knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.
Impact on your metabolism: Testosterone and DHEA are anabolic hormones — that is, they build rather than destroy. In other words, they are forces of good in the metabolic war. In both men and women, testosterone increases lean muscle mass and strength, boosts libido, and improves energy.
How testosterone and DHEA get messed up: Testosterone and DHEA are both hormones of youth. As we age, we produce less of these powerful androgens, and several things happen: Our libidos fade, our muscles lose mass, we gain abdominal fat, and our bones weaken.
Since high levels of testosterone and DHEA are a good thing, you’d want to take supplements, right? Wrong. When young men and women take artificial anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass, they actually train their glands to produce less of their own androgens. And taking a DHEA supplement without consulting an endocrinologist can hamper adrenal hormone production and cause your body to convert the excess DHEA into excess estrogen (which can cause weight gain and increase your chances of getting certain cancers). Bottom line: Don’t fool around with supplementation without medical assistance.
Players #7, #8, and #9: Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, and Cortisol
Often referred to as our fight-or-flight or stress hormones, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol can get us out of some pretty tight squeezes. They can help us meet an urgent deadline, save a kid from falling down a flight of stairs, and run to catch a bus. But while the effects of heart-pumping epinephrine and norepinephrine are fleeting, fat-storing cortisol's legacy lasts longer — and is not exactly helpful when you’re trying to lose weight and be healthy.
Impact on your metabolism: When you first become stressed, norepinephrine tells your body to stop producing insulin so you can have plenty of fast-acting blood glucose at the ready. Epinephrine relaxes your stomach muscles and decreases blood flow to the intestines (your body figures it's more important to you to save your life than to digest your food). Once the stressor has passed, cortisol tells the body to stop producing these hormones and to resume digestion.
If the stressor never goes away (and by definition, the chronic stress of a hellish job, overbooked schedule, or family problems never does), cortisol hangs around and continues to stimulate your appetite. I think you know where this is headed. You end up craving high-fat, high-carb foods. Once you eat, your body releases a cascade of rewarding brain chemicals that can set up an addictive relationship with food. You feel stressed; you eat. Your body releases natural opiates; you feel better.
When cortisol levels remain high, the body actually resists weight loss. Your body thinks times are hard and you might starve, so it greedily hoards any food you eat and fights to hang on to any fat already present. Cortisol also turns young fat cells into mature fat cells that hang on for dear life. To make matters worse, cortisol tends to create fat in your abdomen, and that fat has high concentrations of a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. The result is a nasty vicious cycle.
How stress hormones get messed up: Chronic overstimulation of the adrenal glands, which produce the stress hormones, is epidemic in this country. Most Americans are both victims of and addicted to their stress — and their bodies pay the price. When you keep yourself in high-stress mode, you set yourself up for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other potentially fatal conditions.
So how can you lower your cortisol levels? Start by limiting your caffeine to 200 milligrams a day; avoiding simple carbs, processed foods, and refined grains; and getting plenty of high-quality protein. De-stressing techniques — deep breathing, meditation, and simply taking time out for yourself — are also absolutely essential. Whatever you do, don't take any over-the-counter "adrenal support" supplements — these can end up doing more harm than good.
Player #10: Growth Hormone
Growth hormone (also known as HGH, for “human growth hormone”) is something we all want more of. It builds muscle, burns fat, helps you resist heart disease, and protects your bones — among many other health benefits. People with higher levels of growth hormone tend to live longer, and better.
Impact on your metabolism: By increasing your muscle mass, growth hormone raises your resting metabolic rate and gives you more power for your workouts. It also helps you tap into your fat stores for fuel and discourages your fat cells from absorbing or holding on to any fat floating around in your bloodstream.
In addition to these amazing feats, growth hormone helps your liver synthesize glucose, and it promotes gluconeogenesis, a really cool process that allows your body to create carbs out of protein. This helps you lose fat faster while providing your brain and other tissues with the energy they need.
How growth hormone gets messed up: Growth hormone deficiency is a very real condition that’s especially detrimental in childhood. Kids without enough of the hormone end up shorter and experience delayed sexual development. Growth hormone starts to decline naturally sometime after our thirties, but certain bad habits can speed the decline.
Of all the things you can do to mess up your hormone balance, depriving yourself of good-quality sleep is probably the dumbest. The largest release of growth hormone happens during your deepest, stage 4, sleep. So if your sleep cycle is constantly interrupted, expect your growth hormone levels to drop.
Eating too many low-quality carbs and thus maintaining high levels of blood sugar and insulin is another way to suppress your growth hormone levels. Protein, on the other hand, can help release more growth hormone, so if you shortchange yourself there in favor of carbs, your production of the hormone will be doubly slammed. Evidence is also starting to emerge that hormones from pesticides and other contaminants in our environment and diet can affect our growth hormone levels.
You may have heard about HGH supplements, but whatever you do, don’t get HGH shots just yet. Supplementation is controversial and risky, and it may even cause insulin resistance. One surefire way to turn your body into a growth hormone factory is to get regular, intense exercise. Not only does this help you burn fat but it keeps your blood glucose levels stable so that you have the energy to keep on exercising. That means we all need to get off our butts and capitalize on this incredibly healthy way to slow aging — and not jab ourselves with HGH syringes!
Player #11: Leptin
Fat cells are more than blobs of yuck waiting to get bigger or smaller. The fat in your body is an enormous endocrine gland, actively producing and reacting to hormones. Researchers are identifying more and more fat-cell hormones every day, but perhaps the best studied is leptin.
Impact on your metabolism: When you've eaten a meal, the fat cells throughout your body release leptin. This hormone then travels to the brain's hypothalamus, where it switches off the production of neuropeptide Y, a substance that triggers your appetite and turns down your metabolic rate. Leptin also switches on other appetite-suppressing signals, so your body gets the message to stop being hungry and start burning more calories. When it's working right, leptin helps the body tap into longer-term fat stores, thereby reducing them. But when leptin signaling gets screwy, you may end up overeating, because you never feel that you've had enough food.
How leptin gets messed up: Believe it or not, low levels of leptin are not our biggest problem. Many people who are overweight actually have leptin levels that are too high. How could this be? Well, the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. And as what happens with insulin resistance, when the body continually cranks out excess leptin — in response to overeating — the receptors for leptin can start to get worn out and no longer recognize it.
Leptin resistance and insulin resistance go hand in hand, but just as with insulin resistance, if you lose a bit of weight, your body will become more sensitive to leptin and start acting the way leptin it to intended — youll be able to push away from the table and say, "Enough!"
Player #12: Ghrelin
Leptin and ghrelin form a kind of yin-yang balance between hunger and satisfaction. Just as leptin tells the brain to turn off hunger, ghrelin tells your brain that you're famished.
Impact on your metabolism: Ghrelin is the reason you always feel hungry at particular moments in the day — your body's clock triggers its release according to a finely tuned schedule. Ghrelin is also released whenever your stomach is empty, and levels will stay up until you've given your body enough nutrients to satisfy its needs. (Because satiety signals can take some time to kick in, eating slowly can help you eat less overall.)
There are times when having high levels of ghrelin is a good thing. For example, your body requires ghrelin for you to move effectively through all the necessary phases of sleep. Without the proper progression, you won't get to stage 4, during which you get a big pulse of growth hormone — the muscle-building, fat-burning, disease-fighting wonder hormone. This is why I don’t want you eating after 9 p.m. — you want ghrelin levels to rise before bedtime.
For the rest of the day, though, the object is to keep ghrelin levels low. You don't need the diet-endangering hunger and the metabolic havoc the resulting sugar ups and downs wreak on your system.
How ghrelin gets messed up: Ghrelin is crafty about getting you to eat, so you have to stay ahead of these hormone surges. New research suggests that ghrelin triggers reward centers in the brain to make food look more appetizing, even when there's no reason to chow down.
One way to send ghrelin soaring is to eat too little. Constant calorie restriction keeps ghrelin levels high, which may be why some yo-yo dieters feel that their hunger gets worse the fewer calories they consume. It’s all part of nature’s way of getting us to eat. As we walk around in a world that's filled with way too much food, this ever-rising ghrelin is probably a big part of what makes maintaining weight loss so challenging.
Lucky for you, there are simple ways to manage your ghrelin levels — like eating a balanced meal every four hours and hitting the sheets for at least eight hours a night. That doesn't sound so bad, does it

-from jillianmichaels.com

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fun Snack Ideas













 Cool Snacks For Kids..or adults lol

A Couple of Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast foods
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Waffle With Yogurt, Berries, and Almonds

Ingredients
  • 1 waffle, whole-grain, frozen, such as Kashi Heart to Heart
  • 8 ounce(s) yogurt, fat-free plain
  • 1 cup(s) blueberries
  • 3 teaspoon nuts, almonds, organic, slivers
Preparation
Heat waffle in toaster according to package directions.When cooked, place on plate. Top with yogurt, berries, and slivered almonds.

Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 313
Total Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 347 mg
Total carbohydrate: 54 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
 
 
 
 
 
 

Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients
  • 8 slice(s) turkey bacon, nitrate-free
  • 6 large egg(s), whites only, beaten
  • 1 small tomato(es), cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) cheese, cheddar, reduced-fat, shredded
  • 4 tortilla(s), whole-wheat, low carb, 6-inch
  • 4 tablespoon salsa
Preparation
Place the bacon between two paper towels on a paper plate. Microwave on high 4–5 minutes, just until the bacon is crisp. Break into pieces. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat on medium. Scramble the egg whites in skillet until almost done. Add the tomato and bacon. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. Heat the tortillas for 10 seconds in the microwave, or you can warm them in a pan for a minute or two.Spoon the egg scramble equally into center of tortillas. Sprinkle low-fat cheese on top. Fold burrito style. Serve immediately with salsa to taste.
Nutrition Facts


Number of Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 226
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 40 mg
Sodium: 969 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15 g
Dietary Fiber: 9 g
Protein: 25 g
Protein: 17 g

Cholesterol.. What the heck is it?

Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol  "good" (HDL- high density lipoprotein) cholesterol and a "bad"(LDL- low density lipoprotein) cholesterol...

Good cholesterol is not a type of cholesterol found in food but it refers to how the body trasports cholesterol in the blood.  A diet that contains more leafy greens, nuts, eggs, fish, and cheese helps to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the blood stream/body/cells. Which is what you want to keep your (LDL) cholesterol levels lower. Do your best to avoid ANY trans fats.

 You want a higher HDL number and a lower LDL number. Going to the Dr to find out your cholesterol levels is always a good things just to see where you stand. High cholesterol is not something you can diagnose yourself with.. It doesnt exactly show sypmtoms until things are really bad.







*If a cholesterol problem goes untreated, cholesterol and other substances can build up in the wall of the heart's arteries. As these deposits (called "plaque") build up, the arteries may become blocked.
High cholesterol may put you at high risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

My results..

This is day 15.. and I am down 7 lbs. My waist is down back into the 30's lol its been a while since i have been anywhere near this. I hope i can get back to my 30-32in waist... I know itll take work.. but the more i see results the more motivated i am to keep going.

I dont think giving up is an option anymore.. I didnt realize that things as simple as eating better and getting off of the couch would make me feel so much better... I feel amazing everyday! Its like a new Marlena!

Even my husband has commented on how much better my attitude is and how much happier and motivated i am.

I encourage everyone to make this change.. it is changing my life. We all gotta start somewhere.. even if its getting up and walking to the mail box, taking your kids to the park, or walking around the block...

Next time you want to go eat out  look up the nutrition facts for wherever it is you wanted to go and see if that changes your mind at all.. For a woman trying to lose weight an average meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) should be about 400 calories. I will post more about calories and intake later.. the jist of this post was just to show you guys that dedication and motivation will get you to where you want to be in a healthy way. Good luck!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pizzzzzza!

This is all I want right now. A delicious cheesy slice of pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut.

Too bad lol loaded with carbs and calories!

Maybe I can find a recipe for a healthier version of pizza lol

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Not so healthy... but I couldnt help myself lol
 Fun cookies for Valentines Day


Ingredients:

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling the cookies
  • Heart shaped cookie cutter, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Take about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and form into a ball. Roll the ball in powdered sugar until fully coated. Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are set and cookies begin to crack.

3. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. If desired, cut cookies into heart shapes, using a heart shaped cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Eat the cookie scraps:)
Note-you don't have to cut the cookies into heart shapes. They are great round too!


recipe from:
http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/red-velvet-crinkle-cookies/comment-page-3/#comments

Fun Summer Snack




Cut up fruit throw it in a popsicle mold and pour capri sun juice in! Freeze and enjoy!!

Bath Tub Crayons


My daughter loves coloring on the walls in the bath tub! And this is cheaper than buying the name brand ones and gives kids a fun project!



Craft supplies you will need:
  • Clear glycerin soap base cut into cubes
  • 3 or more soap color dyes (or food color dyes)
  • Essential oils in your favorite smells (optional)
  • Glass measuring cup for melting soap
  • Spoons for mixing colors and fragrances
  • Ice cube trays or round crayon molds
Craft instructions:
Separate the soap base cubes; one pile for each soap color dye.
Have the children place the soap cube for the first color in a glass measuring cup and melt in microwave in short bursts.
Once melted, have the children add soap color a drop at a time, mixing well after each drop until you get the color right.
Then, add a couple of drops of essential oils and mix well.
Next, have the children carefully pour the color soap into ice cube trays.
If you see any air bubbles on the surface of the soap, spray it with rubbing alcohol.
Have the children repeat the same soap crayon making process with the rest of the colors.


After that, allow the soap to set until it is firm. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. When the soap is close to firm, feel free to place the soap in the freezer to speed up the hardening process.
When ready, have the children pop the soap crayons out of the trays.
Then, it’s time to color in the tub!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gorgeous!

This woman is absolutely beautiful.  Her face.. Her legs.. Her hair.. Her skin.

Just gorgeous!

Empathy.. Its gets the best of me.

 Some days I wish I were less emotional.. Problems that arent mine weigh so heavily on me. I always feel like i have to find ways to make everyone else feel better. Like I need to take care of everyone. Even people I barely know. Today was one of those days..


The story of the woman murdering her daughter, the soldier in Iraq that murdered innocent children, family members, friends, I feel so drained for the day.

I hate the days that I cant see the greatness in humanity. I hate the days where I feel hopeless.

None of these things are even my problems.. None of these directly affect me. But they seem to get the best of me any way.

How do I learn to be less empathetic without being cold?

True Beauty.. We all have it!

I LOVE THIS. ITS NOT ABOUT BEING SKINNY, ITS ABOUT BEING HEALTHY AND COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN. - I think ALL bodies are beautiful. From a size 0 to a size 20.

Some of us are able to be teeny tiny models size and some of us are thicker no matter what we do. No matter what we are ALL beautiful!
---------------------------------------------------------------------


A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?" The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way: "Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness. They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia. They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires. Mermaids do not exist. But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish? They would have no sex life and could not bear children. Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad. And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side? Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale. At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends. We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies. We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated. Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! " (The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn)

Hydroxycut... Safe?

  The last post I put up has really bothered me.. This woman was taking hydroxycut for several days before she murdered her daughter, She told police that she had felt an evil presence days before commiting her crime and that she hadnt slept. Why then did she not stop taking the drug? Why didnt she talk to anyone about what was going on? How did no one notice what was going on?

 I am so angry that a want to lose weight using a supplement is the "reason" being used for murdering her 6 year old defenseless daughter.

  Before taking ANY supplement I encourage all to do research and learn more about the product.
                                                       ---------------------------------------------------

FDA urges consumers to stop using Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk, says Linda Katz, M.D., interim chief medical officer of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "Adverse events are rare, but exist," Katz says. "Consumers should consult a physician or other health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms possibly associated with these products.

health problems reported include liver injury; seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.

 



  

Terrible story.

Such a terrible story.. Im not sure how i feel about it...
A terrible lesson to help us remember how careful we need to be about what we put into our bodies. Skinny isnt worth this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – Las Vegas police say that a mother fatally stabbed her daughter with scissors because she feared there was an evil presence in her child.
A release on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s website states that Danielle Slaughter, 27, was arrested after the discovery of her deceased daughter on March 11.
It has now been revealed that Slaughter told police she had kept the child home on the day her 6-year-old daughter Kyla died after sensing an evil presence within her.
While they were in a bedroom of their home, Slaughter told police that her daughter began to kick and scratch her, before saying malicious words and “laughing in an evil voice,” according to KNTV.
It was then that she used a pair of nearby scissors and struck Kyla multiple times.
Later that evening, police were brought to the scene in response to calls regarding a black female running around the street, described as barefoot, screaming and covered in blood.
Allegedly, Slaughter explained the blood as coming from the “Lamb of God.” She was taken to the hospital for treatment, despite the lack of wounds on her body.
Meanwhile, she had also reportedly told her boyfriend, Ashton Lyken, that Kyla was dead. Emergency personnel found the child with him in their Palmae Way home.
Kyla was declared dead at the scene, presumably from sustaining multiple injuries to her neck.
Slaughter reportedly told investigating officers that she was shocked by her own behavior, and that murdering her daughter was not “like” her.
She added that she had lost sleep after starting to take Hydroxycut, an over-the-counter weight loss drug, and that she had felt the evil presence around her for several days before the murder.
Slaughter has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon, and is presently being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

The Monsters

   What I have always believed lol

Calories.. Watch them.

   A bit of interesting information.

My Potty Mouth

Just a warning........ I can be a bit crude lol



Its just a part of who I am. And I wont apologize lol

Day 12

        Today is day 12 of my health "cleanse" I am down 6 lbs. and down 1.2 inches in my waist. I have so much left to do.. I am doing my best to focus on my progress made instead of beating myself up for having gotten to this point at all. Its hard.




One of the biggest things I can say is helping me is the unconditional support of my husband. He doesnt make me feel bad for what I have done to myself.. He helps push me to break through my barriers one at a time. I am thankful to have such an amazing husband and friend in my life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Something Different




A friend of mine is lactose intolerant and recommended Silk Pure Almond Milk.... I was a bit hesitant about trying it. But I am happy to say that it is DELICIOUS!

 Lore loves it too. She likes it with a bit of chocolate in it.

I recommend it, it has a slightly sweet taste and isnt as thick as regular milk.

Its great for a lower calorie count than regular milk and for people who cant have dairy products!

Let's Be Realistic

      
This is my goal and dream body.. I love the curves, thickness, and way her weight is held. It's sexy and beautiful to me.


I have never aspired to be "skinny" like most models. I don't want to be "ripped" like a body builder. I am a woman,  I want my body to be feminine and beautiful.


|We all have different opinions of beauty.. but this is mine. This is my perfect. This is the picture I will look at when I need reminding of what I am working towards.

Indulge a Little

I have found a way to indulge or eat out and not feel like I am falling off the wagon or cheating.. I figure i can just give myself healthy choices for eating out. Tropical Smoothie, Subway, Panera.. Still feel like I am indulging but I can remain in my calorie bracket for everyday and not feel like I cant eat the rest of the day.



Tonight we had tropical smoothie, I had half a turkey bacon ranch sandwich and a strawberry banana smoothie.. It was delicious, I am satisfied and i didnt go out of my health plan.

Educational T.V.

All of Lore's favorite shows.. I love watching them all with her. They are so educational.


Nick Jr. is like preschool on TV. Watching its shows is like having learn-along playdates with Dora, Diego, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, Dino Dan and more. It's the friends your kids know and the learning you love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Set Backs and Failure






And now I know the difference. Set backs happen. I refuse to accept failure.

 I know i will continue to have these days where i just want to give in, but i know that if i have the ability to sit here and decide "should I?" I also have the ability to say no.

Hard Days Happen

I am not going to lie. This healthy eating is killing me. I am used to eating out almost daily and having soda all day everyday!
I am in a bad mood. All i want is McDonalds. And a huge soda. I am so tempted to get in the car and go out and buy fast food. ANY fast food.

I sat down took a breather and tried to collect myself. I threw some chicken in the oven and decided to stick to what i had promised myself.

I wasnt going to give in. I had to fight my temptaions and remind myself of the goals i have set.

I ate a 90 calorie lowfat chocolate cake to deal with my craving for something unhealthy. I feel satisfied. And the chicken in the oven smells delicious!
I know i am strong enough to get through the cravings and withdrawls. I am strong.

AWESOME

I never forget lol

Remember

Don't forget it!
When will you make a change? Its not easy but i guarantee you it will be worth it.