Where Do We Go From Here?

First of all, apologies if you were hoping to have a video waiting for you bright and early at 5 AM! Something is funky with YouTube, I don’t know if it’s all this Friday-the-13th stuff or just my dumb luck, but at least the video is finally here!

Right here.

You see?

I actually don’t have a whole lot to add to what the video went over except to put in a less rambly perspective what I’d like to start working on:

1.) Sleep – and I mean quality sleep as well as the correct quantity.

2.) Nutrition/Diet/Exercise – let’s face it, I’m always going on about that anyway.

3.) My Job/Career/Income – Yes, yes. Better. More. Diverisfy.

4.) Creativity/Continued Education – Something I did a terrible job of outlining in the video. We talked about the 4(ish) classes I’d like to start attending, but I didn’t touch on the fact that I want to do like a 20-30 minute barre (ballet) class daily (or maybe five days a week), music is inferred, the YouTube stuff really is giving me a creative outlet that I’m enjoying, and I really want to get my Yoga Teacher Training Certificate, so I want to plan around that as well.

That’s all. That’s all for now. In the future things might change or I might add to that list. It’s definitely not an exhaustive one. The point is to keep moving forward. Also I intend to make a video on each one of these things in more detail as a starting point for each.

Thanks so much for watching and being here!

Until next time!

xoxo

-S

Today’s Video: A PSA

I just want you to know – it IS coming. I DID finish it. I DID schedule it to post at 5 a.m. just like every other video in our line up, but there has been an epic struggle between this video and technology today. Every turn has been choppy. It will come, I just don’t know when. Same with the accompanying blog post.

That is all.

xoxo

-S

You’ve got to go down to go up…

Hi friends

Here’s today’s video. I would like to request you watch the video before finishing the blog-post today because there is some good, lighthearted content and a non-farm update there for ya! But (and fair warning here) the end of the video gets quite heavy hearted.

So go head.

Watch it.

Then we’ll come back here and we’ll have a little chat.

Did you watch it? Of course you did!

Welcome back.

First of all – I would like to say that I almost didn’t add that ranty bit at the end. I gave a lot of thought to the fact that it was an emotional dumpster fire and that I didn’t need to air that stuff out in public. Part of me wanted to just dismiss it as it being close to my moon time and thusly, emotions are high.

And then I thought “F*ck. That.”

Seriously.

For starters, it may not always be pretty, but that’s the entire point of me starting this channel. I cannot expect myself to move forward if I don’t work through these things, and if even just one person who is watching is going through the same thing, then maybe they will feel like they are not alone out there and they know that they have someone they can turn to, who is also struggling, but who is also trying.

And one more thing – girls – it’s not okay to let anyone else make you feel like your emotions are less valid just because you are at a certain space in your cycle, let alone make yourself feel that way. So let’s squash that right the eff now. Would I have been still feeling this way if it were two weeks from now? Probably. Would I have been feeling this raw and open about it? Maybe not. But now is not a time for pushing emotions aside and hoping they fix themselves. Now is a time for progress.

So, as mentioned in the video, I recently attended a funeral, that turned out to be an all day exercise in catharsis. The deceased was the father of a childhood friend and classmate and the exposure to the closeness of death, especially that of a parent, paired with the exhibition of the success of a few of my classmates in comparison (by my mind only) to my lack of success really got me spiraling.

I began to experience this swelling vulnerability within myself that I’ve always somewhat felt creep in; but the “adult” logical part of me used to keep that all at bay. However, now I’m filled with this emotional wanderlust that I just can’t fight off anymore.

When I was young I truly and blindly believed that I was destined to be a rock star some day – and often I can be heard telling people that I was far too old to accept that I was never going to be a rock god by the time that I did accept it. Which is true. It hasn’t been that long.

Who’s fault is that, though? Really – it’s mine and mine alone. Sure I somehow missed the class where they teach you that you can be anything you set your mind to (but you have to put in more work than you ever though possible, pair that up with a burning desire to success at all costs, and an unwillingness to accept that you likely won’t actually attain that desire because of things like bills, college, romantic interest, and the all around perversion of whimsy that comes about around the same time you lose your final baby tooth and therefore your last bit of innocence and hope.) Then I chose to let other things become more important to me such as keeping that menial job because I have to have something to pay the bills, oh and let’s not even get me started on the countless amount of boys I spent my hard earned dollars on making sure they had every last possible thing they could desire.

Now what am I left with? An overly achy, over-weight body, debt that seems grow exponentially, gray hair, and bunch of mundane SHIT laying around my house that makes me miserable.

HOLD UP.

Disclaimer: Yeah, I know. I sound like a whiney, cry-baby, little bitch. Wah Wah Wah. I understand that there are people out there who have actual bad lives. They don’t have access to food, shelter, water, or even a safe place to be. I do have those things. So yes, in the grand scheme of things, in the ledger of the entirety of the world and the people who have it truly bad, I don’t rank very high. BUT, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m unhappy. I also am aware than in the heat of the moment I used terms such as “poor” in regards to my financial situation and that the mindset around that is negative. Damnit, I was falling into a pool of despair and I just needed to be able to tread water a little bit.

I’m sitting here telling myself that I should just do the things I want to do. Okay… What are those things? I mean there are a couple of things I dare to dream of, but on a day-to-day basis, I simply could not tell you what it would be that I would like to fill my time with doing. Now, in an upcoming video were are going to discuss a few options, and I’ve conceded to the fact that two or three things is better than no things.

If I truly think about it, my problem is this: I don’t dare to dream. Or I don’t dare to dream big enough. I feel ridiculously guilty when I do; and because I don’t dream, I don’t have any motivation to try or and gumption.

It’s time to change that. It’s time to take my eighteen-year-old self and shake her by the shoulders and say “Saho, if that boy didn’t like that you were singing, the problem is with him and the brokenness inside of him, not with you. Don’t let anyone put out your flame!” It’s time to take my twenty-three-year-old self and sit her down and say “Saho, you don’t have to take care of everyone and try to be so grown up, you can love without putting yourself through all of that”.

It’s time to take my thirty-year-old self by the shoulders and say “Saho, just because you love someone does not mean you have to change who you are in order to be with them. What’s meant to be is meant to be.”

And it’s time to look in the mirror and say “Saho, you had your cry and now it’s time to asses what you don’t like about your life and start to make some changes if you ever hope to be truly happy. You have something to offer this world and you’re not too old to find it.”

A lot of what I said in the vlog I meant. Actually, all of it.

I do hate my job. But I’m no fool, I know I have to have a job. I have to be able to pay the bills, and you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling insurance. Nothing. But it’s not for me, I know that. Just like the logical decision making, yes, from the standpoint of financial security I am going down the right path, but I have to kill the wild thing inside of me in order to stay on that path and I don’t want to do that. I want to nurture the wild thing. Therefore, I may have to start giving up some of my creature comforts or find a different way to finance them, because as much I hate to admit it, money is what makes the world go ’round.

I don’t have children so that is not a factor in my decision making. I’d like to think that if I did have children that would skew my perspective a bit. Something that has bothered me for a long time is the fact that I don’t have children, so you would think that I would have some amazing life experiences under my belt, and in a way I suppose that I do, but not in the way I had hoped.

Friday’s video will stem off of today. It won’t be anywhere near as raw of a tear down, but I really truly felt that if we were going to REALLY level up, we needed to start from the bottom, and there it was.

I hope this kind of clarified some of my emotions. I’m not as forlorn as the video makes me sound. That was some heat of the moment stuff. BUT! It is something that affects my decisions in the waking day, my mental health, and even my dreams. If it were you, wouldn’t you want to make a change, too?

Thank you for sticking with me and I hope to see you soon!

xoxo

-S

P.S. – I just want to say one more thing – I had a smaller version of the conversation about wanting to be close to my parents with a patron of the bar I work at and he told me “you can’t think that way, your parents want you to live your life”. Well yes, of course they do, but I don’t want to be away from my parents. I moved really far away from my parents just as soon as I could and I wish I hadn’t. Plus my mom is my best friend. One of my dude’s friends told me once that he thought it was seriously messed up that his girlfriend is best friends with her mom. Excuse me? My mom is a wonderful person and you would be lucky to have her as a friend and I will fight anyone who challenges me on that.

Seriously, though, I moved back to my hometown to be closer to my parents and I’ll be damned if I just don’t even know how to talk to my dad. Not because of anything other than I just don’t know what to say. I try to get by there often, but that’s not always the case. If I were to move away now and something happened before I could work through that with myself I would never forgive myself. Never. I’ve always tried to live my life by making choices that would not lead to regret, and while that is a win some/lose some strategy (obviously or we wouldn’t be here) there are certain things I am not willing to compromise on.

Top Five Summer Favorites for 2021

Okay, I know, I know – what a “basic” topic, but really – some of this stuff is really cool and some of this stuff is an absolute life SAVER and I couldn’t just hold that in any longer! I needed to share my findings with the world.

Now. . . I filmed the video hastily and in retrospect there are some things that I would have done differently, stylistically, but here we are and I can apply those ideas in the future. (But seriously what’s with my hair? Did I over condition? Probably…) This one is a bit long, and clocking in at just under 18 minutes, it’s 1/3 of the original length before editing! Hah! Please stick to it, I threw in some funny little tidbits along the way for you, and you never know – you may just learn something.

One last thing I will note about the production of the video before I move on to some truly educational information is that my office is NOT the “most bestest” place to film. I need much more lighting and the backdrop needs to probably change. I love the porch. Alas. . .

On to my top five favorite items for summer!

1.) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 100+

Sunscreen is important and I’ll tell you why. It makes the sunburn no happen. Jokes aside, how would you like a big hefty dose of skin cancer? No? What about premature wrinkles and crepey skin? Well… Sunscreen. Preferably with a true, palpable SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, or at least 30. According to Skincancer.org, “The SPF number tells you how long the sun’s UV radiation would take to redden your skin when using the product exactly as directed versus the amount of time without any sunscreen. … An SPF 30 allows about 3 percent of UVB rays to hit your skin. An SPF of 50 allows about 2 percent of those rays through.” Another thing that is important to understand is that SPF does not exponentially increase as each number increases. In fact, it’s diminishing, and some schools of thought out there believe that because of that decreasing amount of coverage, the point of going any higher that SPF 30 is quite moot. I, on the other hand, disagree, as I can tell you by what amount of fried skin I have after a day of borrowing some peasant level SPF 30 sunscreen from a normie versus remembering my own with mega UV proctection.

(sampled from skincare.org)
This graphic was taken from another great article: https://www.paulaschoice-eu.com/how-spf-works

2.) 48oz. Nalgene Bottle

Well, who doesn’t want just a big ol’ bottle that they can fill up far less times than that little 16oz bottle you’re probably toting? Just saying… 1/3 the amount of trips to the faucet (but 3x the amount of trips to the potty? Maybe. Maybe not.) It’s important to stay hydrated when dealing with all of this summer heat. Especially this year. Go ahead – I challenge you to tell me you haven’t experienced some of this massive heat wave that is floating around our earth. HERE is a very good article you should ABSOLUTELY take the time to read about the affects of dehydration and heat stroke. It’s no joke. And before you tell me that you get plenty of water from the soda you’re drinking, or beer, or anything else that has water listed as an ingredient, let me just first tell you to GROW UP! We’re both wrong anyway – anything with electrolytes is going to be far more hydrating than water alone or soda. But guess who’s kidney’s are going to last through the apocalypse? Yeah, not the ones filtering out the copious amounts of soda with no plain water to soothe them.

Bonus: Splash Guard:

https://amzn.to/3CjAGfQ

Now, the rest of these I’m not going to go on and on about because I really do in the video. I am, however, still going to list and link them here. If there are any questions you have, go ahead and ask away!

3.) Sprouting Lids

Bonus: My Favorite (radish) Sprouting Seeds:

I will say this – I mentioned that I sprout the chickpeas and lentils for the chickens. They love them. I do not. The taste is NOT for me. I much prefer things like radish, broccoli, alphalpha, but to each their own! Experiment! Oh! And check this article out about how sprouts are so nutritious!

4.) T-Shirt Dresses

This is the dress I held up in my video. It’s from Forever21 and I couldn’t even find it available to link anywhere. I actually got this image off Poshmark. One other thing I did was cinch those laces up so that I didn’t look like a hussy at work. HA

5.) Lady Anti Monkey Butt Powder

Seriously. Just get some.

SUPER DUPER BONUS! JLab Go Airs:

So in the video I actually go over (in depth) three different sets of earbuds, but there are definitely my favorites!

There’s a little bit more to be found within the video and in the description of the video as well, but I’m not here to give you a play by play!

With that being said, friends, it’s late and I have some sleeping to do! Hopefully this post finds you well!

Tell me what your favorite items have been for the summer!

xoxo

-S

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

A New Beginning; Again.

So today’s video isn’t too spicy – but we all need a bit of the mild every once in a while, right?

Basically, I was going back through some old videos trying to find some clips to fluff up a different video and I found my first welcome video that I filmed last April.

It took a bit of debating as to whether or not I should keep it because, as you saw last week, I already posted a welcome/about video and I wasn’t sure if the backslide was a good idea or not. BUT! I really liked the lighting, sound quality, image quality, and my energy when I made that video and I couldn’t just let something like that sit on a proverbial shelf to collect space dust! Not to mention, it does a bit of a less depressing job of trying to explain what I’m all about.

It’s super short, I didn’t add very many fancy edits, but it gets the point across and I really think it will work well as a channel trailer also.

That’s it for today! Thanks for sticking around and I will see you Friday!

xoxo

-S

A Walk Through the “Garden”

Hello! Today I’m calling this video a garden tour for lack of a better reference, but I don’t truly have a “garden”. I have tomatoes started and they are going to be fall producers for me, indoors – and I might just force them to live forever so I have fresh tomatoes all of the time. We shall see. I also have a stacking planter that has some herbs and lettuces. Oh, and the potatoes… Those are going in this weekend. The rest of the tour is just a little trip through my oasis and the blank canvas before I get it developed. That’s a shot in the dark because of the fact that we rent our property so there is no telling if we will be here next year or not. However, this year, four years in, I have finally decided to approach it as though we will be and I will just have to adjust accordingly if we are not. Next year I have a spot picked out for a raised bed garden and I hope to get that going. I say I’m going to do something like this every year and I never do, so hopefully I will hunker down and plan and save all winter long so that when spring hits I can hit the ground running!

That brings me to this talk of legacy… Jessica at Roots and Refuge Farm is always talking about legacy and leaving the land with things growing and producing, and I don’t disagree (or rather – she has completely skewed my mindset for the better). Legacy is important. It’s how we bless future generations, even if they aren’t ours. So with that in mind, I’ve finally committed this year to planting things on the property that I live on that will come back year after year, and spread. When I moved in there was already an existing apple tree, which you will visit briefly in today’s video. That first spring (2017) I bought a packet of asparagus seeds on a whim at the hardware store (which I still have stashed). I never did plant those little buggers because I kept telling myself that this place wasn’t permanent so what’s the point? I won’t be able to enjoy them anyway.

Fast forward to 2021 and what have I been saying all summer long? I’d be enjoying a bountiful harvest of asparagus right now if I had just planted those seeds when I bought them. Back in 2017 I didn’t think I’d be living at this place for any length of time so I didn’t allow myself to truly do anything that was long term, but now I feel like even if I’m gone next year, then someone else will be able to reap the rewards right away without having to put in the effort and maybe, just maybe I’ll be lucky enough that the next place I go has some little surprises like that for me.

This year I’ve planted mint, ground elder, irises, vinca vine… I’m rooting some clematis and trumpet vine, I’ll be spreading hollyhock seeds, I am going to plant those asparagus seeds this fall, I have some daffodils to put in the ground, I have an experiment going with some cuttings of roses and lilacs from my momma, and I have a ton more perennial seeds that I’m going to make sure go in the ground. That and I’m going to collect as many milkweed seed pods as I can and plant a huge pollinator/butterfly garden in the back. There’s probably more that I am forgetting as well as some failures, such as trying to root some sweet peas and sumac. But! That does not mean I won’t try again. If we are here for even one more year, this property is going to be even more beautiful.

In the spring I intend to plant grass seed, or find a solution (I have a big package of red clover seeds) in the area where they replaced our septic tank last spring (2020). That whole process disrupted the seed bank and some much nasty thistle grew where the ground was bare. Yuck.

I’ve also started a project where I am just taking field rock and doing some landscaping (free materials and a project for me? Yes please!) and I have taken some big timbers and started to section off a parking area.

One more thing, as if I have the time/resources (and I may not even get to it), is to build an actual platform to keep our firewood on, because right now it is just a giant pile with overgrown grass and I truly hate it.

I hope you enjoy my little escape-zone. I filmed this footage at the very end of June so it’s already time for an update. I’ll get one out, but there’s more too see and talk about before that happens!

Tell me about how you want to leave legacy. Tell me what you’re growing and what you hope to grow in the future, AND, tell me what’s inspired you to do so!

I hope you enjoy this video today, if so, please comment, like, and subscribe – and share it with someone you think would enjoy it, too!

xoxo

-S

Announcement Time!

Soooooo. . .

Long time no see, right? Like we went an entire world even without touching base. You probably have given up on me. Perhaps even thought that I had succumbed.

Nope! Not at all! But GUESS. WHAT! Oh my gosh I can’t believe I’m even telling you this! Ayeeeee!

I STARTED A YOUTUBE CHANNEL! Yes I did! After the last what? Eight? Ten? Years??? I finally grew a pair and just did it.

YOU CAN WATCH MY FIRST VIDEO RIGHT HERE!

But before you do, a couple of things. . . This video is pretty cringy. I can’t even deny that. I had to do it. I had to just get it out and get it published so I could move on and do better. I’m pretty excited to have you tag along with my while I learn how to talk to the camera, how to LOOK at the camera. . . Who I am on camera. . . Not to mention editing and filming techniques, and oh my goodness sound quality. I have serval videos waiting in the wings, and I’m learning something new about how to do this with each one, and I’m super confident over time I will do a lot better!

Something to please remember is that I am a human and if you don’t like it you don’t have to be rude. You can just politely exit. I am a person with very little self confidence, and while the opinion of strangers should not have a bearing on my psyche, it probably will. I am not perfect, but I AM putting myself out there.

HOWEVER!!! I hope you like it enough toooo like, comment, and subscribe! It only gets better from here!

Oh! And also! Leave me a comment either here (or preferably on the video) and tell me what kinds of content you want to see!

Thanks so much for sticking with me all this time! I’m looking forward to “taking this to the next level”. 😉

XOXO

-S

Nutrition: Not a Diet pt. 2

One day I will learn to either quit promising deadlines and accept the fact that I don’t work that way, or get over my issues and just stick to what I say I’m going to do!

Did you have an opportunity to play around with your TDEE since last we spoke? What did you find out? Did anything surprise you? Comment below whatever you’re comfortable with sharing!

I wanted to start this follow-up post by responding to questions from the last post, but my following is so small right now that my wonderful mom, sister, and niece are the most involved and we just chat! LOL At any rate, I’d really love to get some interaction going through the site as well!

Shall we just pick up right where we left off? I vote yes. . .

Untitled-Artwork


Say it with me, “Consistency is key!”.

Let’s first address the elephant in the room, so to speak – all of the information that I gathered up for you in the last post is fairly simple, yes? BUT simple should not be confused with easy; it isn’t. It’s extremely difficult, especially if you have a history of some pretty (or even just slightly) disordered eating habits like I do. (That, again, is not the focus of today’s discussion, but I will likely cover this at a later date.)

The best way to combat that difficulty and those cravings that are, frankly, little jerks, is consistencyDon’t you roll your eyes at me! It’s true. It doesn’t have to be boring either. My fridge and pantry generally (maybe not so much now since it’s somewhat difficult to find certain things at the store. Covid-19. . .) have the same ingredients stocked each week, so the food profile is very similar, but you can make all kinds of different meals from just a handful of ingredients by simply changing ratios or maybe adding just one or two frills.

A while back when I was convinced I was going to start a bikini competition prep (yes, laughable, I know, seeing as how I’m sincerely out of shape and not in the best place to just jump into something like that) my brother and I were talking about meal prepping and he had expressed that he hates eating the same meals over and over. I’m the opposite. I like and can thrive off of that kind of consistency. Yet I’m such a foodie, I rarely eat that way and I really don’t think my dude would tolerate eating the same thing every night for too long.

You don’t have to be that consistent though. You can simply set your goals and make your habits reflect them. Do you want to be the kind of person that eats oatmeal every morning? Then just do it. Then you’re that person. Remember, it’s simple, not easy.

Another thing for me is sugar. I’m crazy addicted to it. When I dropped a bunch of weight before in my life, I simply trained myself to want broccoli by eating broccoli whenever I craved sugar. It takes some effort, but if I can do it, so can you. In fact, I have to start that over because I completely let it go and fell right back into a sugar addiction. ಥ_ಥ

Along with consistency needs to be forgiveness. You’re going to mess up and that’s okay. You’re human and you’re allowed to do that. Just promise yourself that you’re not going to let one small mistake derail everything you’re working so hard for! Honor the fact that you have worked hard for a while and that cookie is okay. Remember in the previous post when I was talking about birthday cake at the office? Just account for it later. Don’t punish yourself, just make adjustments. Even if you don’t make the adjustment, accept that you had a treat and now it’s time to get back on track. EVEN if the “cookie” was actually an entire of Samoas. (Those tricky Girl Scouts are probably secretly a cult of diet crashers anyway.) Take solace in knowing that you won’t even be able to get your hands on a box of Girl Scout Cookies again for another year. In all seriousness, though, it’s okay if you broke down and at a whole box of cookies. Up your fiber and move on. In five years will you really remember that? Don’t dwell, it does literally zero good. 🙂 You got this.

So you know what? RIGHT NOW let’s take that power away from those trickster foods! Comment below and tell me what your trigger food – or type of food – is. Call it out, admit that it’s going to happen and you’re not going to let that stop you, and move on!!! Mine is definitely pastry and cheese. I will wake up at 3 in the morning to go eat a piece of cheese out of the fridge. . .

It’s easy for me to say “be consistent,” and then make a bunch of jokes, but really, follow those guidelines you’ve created with the Total Daily Energy Expenditure tracking and plan some meals around it. Once you’ve got the hang of that. Explore a little further with nutrition and habits.

And remember – there are SO many reasons to drink a lot of water every day, but if you have a hunger gremlin living in your tummy, drink a big glass of water and wait ten minutes. If you’re still hungry, then you’re hungry. If not, you were probably just thirsty. I learned in college that the majority of Americans are chronically mildly dehydrated; I wish I could find the actual scientific paper I read to reference this, but go ahead and read that article and do some of your own research.


Make a Plan

Okay – I think the best way to get you started is to just show you what I would do:

First, using the cutting macro split from the previous post, let’s figure out what we need daily, and then break it down by meal.

TDEE Cut
I chose cutting for this example because my focus is on fat loss.

I’m going to choose the first category, which is Moderate Carb, and plan from there. So you see that I need 163g protein, 85g fat, 190g carbs. Theoretically this will equal the listed 2,175 calories per day because, explained by the little cheat at the bottom of the image, 4 calories per gram protein x 163g = 652 calories + 4 calories per gram carb x 190g = 760 calories + 9 calories per gram fat x 85g = 765 for a grand total of (652+760+765) 2,177. I promise you that those two extra calories will do you more good than harm, especially if you’re going to choose to stress over them. So don’t.

Now we can break this down a couple of different ways – I want to eat 6 small meals a day because I know myself well enough that if I go without eating for too long I will just eat everything in site and snack too much while I’m preparing a meal, so to take preventative measures, I will be eating 6 smalls meals a day instead of 3 larger meals.

Option 1: 

Meal Split 1
You will notice that the math varies slightly by .xx of a gram or a calorie or two here and there, that’s because I refuse to get that crazy about the splits.

This is fine for getting started, but I find that it can be too much food at times and not enough at others, or my body needs different things at different times of the day.

Option 2:

This tends to be a bit more complicated due to the “free” nature, so let me try to explain how I would approach, and basically do approach, meals by the day:

Start with breakfast. After I’ve been up for a bit and had my water, and yes my coffee (even though I’m working on phasing that out) I’ve been really trying to listen to my body and eat a mindful breakfast – usually eggs and something or oatmeal. Then I log that.

Next I plan my biggest meal of the day, and what I really mean is I plan dinner because that’s the one meal that my dude and I eat together and is typically our biggest meal. If yours is lunch, or afternoon snack, plan that meal. (I don’t like that our biggest meal is dinner, but that’s going to take some major changes to implement, so for now, I accept my fate.)

THEN plan the other four smaller meals. Basically what I  do is plan my lunch to have significant girth (based on the macros that are left) and then my morning and afternoon snacks are a bit smaller, but satiating; cheese and tuna, celery and peanut butter, et cetera. Then I let the last meal generally be something sweeter, or maybe a little more fatty if I’m feeling crummy, or even protein packed if I’ve been struggling to get enough protein in during the day. You may think that sounds funny or ridiculous about not getting enough protein, but trust me, once you start tracking, planning, and even working out, getting enough protein in can be tricky.

Once you get the hang of it you will begin to understand how you feel after eating certain things at certain times and through trial and error you will eventually become quite in tune with knowing what your body needs at different times or based on different activities and events.

Are you lost yet? Really, don’t feel intimidated, just follow the formula in option 1! Eventually you’ll learn how to mix and match. Do you already meal plan? If so what do you do differently? Comment and tell us!

Yes, yes I know that I said in part 1 that I think the better option is to base these numbers off of a weekly total, and I agree with that. The concept would be the same, just on a larger scale, but don’t overwhelm yourself! Truly – going day by day, meal by meal to start out with is just fine.


Protein Pack:

Get some protein in at every meal!

Protein is almost a buzz word in the “diet industry” anymore, but for good reason. You need protein to help maintain lean muscle mass.

Think about it this way: you’re made out of protein. Most organic matter is made out of some kind of protein at the base of it, and while we covered in the previous post that dietary fat does not turn into fat on the body, dietary protein does nurture the protein already found in your body.

Proteins make up your muscles, tendons, organs. . . Hormones are proteins. . . Your body is one big conglomeration of protein. And what makes up protein? Amino acids and peptides. So when you eat a protein source, your body is effectively breaking down those chains from the steak you just ate or the lentils in your soup and fitting them into the missing puzzle piece space wherever your body has been depleted of that particular amino acid or peptide. This, of course, is a very simplified explanation. If you go here, you will find a much more scientific explanation.

Allegedly protein even boosts your metabolic rate and reduces appetite, effectively aiding in weight loss. 

I have heard that you should eat a gram of protein per pound of mass (body weight) per day, but I can’t find anything to truly back that up. I did find a few things relating that statement to body building, but I don’t want to promote that practice without further researching it. I would say stick to your TDEE recommendations and go from there.


Choosing What and When to Eat:

So we’ve covered how to figure out how much to eat and how to split that up, but remember the Oreos? The same principles apply to any foods you put in your body. You can eat 70 calories of white bread with your lunch, or you can eat 70 calories of a whole grain bread (comparing bread to bread here for the sake of simplicity rather than bread to sweet potato. Baby steps my friends). They may have a similar carbohydrate profile, but what about the micro nutrients, fiber, et cetera? I encourage you to read labels and make decisions based on that. And you know what? If you want to eat a Kraft Single instead of a slice of cheddar, then do it, and don’t feel bad about it!

You don’t have to be perfect, or fancy, or expensive. You don’t need that lovely instagram post. The goal here is to be more conscientious of your nutrition! One day you may find that the idea of eating a Kraft Single gives you the willies, but if today is not that day, who cares? If that day never comes – who cares?

There is a lot of information out there on when to eat and how many meals a day to eat. I don’t honestly know what the right answer is. I’m not a huge fan of intermittent fasting but there are people out there who have experienced tremendous results! This link I’m providing you is full of diet buzz words and it’s only because it’s the best article I could find to explain why I chose to eat 6 meals a day instead of 3.  Some people do well with “3 Square” meals a day and a lot of fat loss focused dietitians I listen to on podcasts, et cetera do promote only eating 3 meals.

So! What works best for you? I suggest sticking to the amount of times you’re used to, assessing how you function and making changes from there. Do you traditionally just eat breakfast lunch and dinner? Plan that way. If you feel like when you follow a plan in a caloric deficit that you’re really hungry all of the time while eating 3 meals a day, try 3 and a snack or 6 small meals. Remember that just because the amount of meals increases or decreases does not mean that your daily limits increase or decrease.

I am really very happy with my 6 meals a day and I have been that way for many years.

Are you noticing a pattern here? I can’t tell you what’s best because I’m not you. You need to make those decisions for yourself, I’m just giving you some tools to work with!

Again, please remember that I am not a doctor or certified health professional of any kind and I am simply sharing with you the research I have done and what has typically worked for me in the past! Be sure to do your own research and fact checking! 


I know that the focus of these posts have been “March Nutrition Month” but, that doesn’t mean we are going to stop at the end of March! I think we will just keep on trucking and build on what we learn!

Stay tuned for part 3, as again I have barely cracked the surface on the multitude of information I have for you!

Thanks for sticking around and joining me!

See you soon!

xoxo

-S

Nutrition: Not a Diet pt. 1

Hello friends!

Today I’d like to talk to you about nutrition, but first I want to be very clear in stating that I am not a doctor of any kind. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a dietitian. I am not certified to make a plan for you. I am just going to share with you what information I have gathered over the past twenty years of enthusiastically trying to figure this all out in my spare time (I should have a nutrition certification, but I don’t) and I’m going to share with you the approach to nutrition that I will be taking during our National Nutrition Month Challenge!

I strongly encourage you to fact check me and do your own research before simply subscribing to my plan and what I’ll be doing. 🙂

03022020


Ah, those PESKY calories. . .

Bottom line is that weight loss, or fat loss which is the better way to put it, is calories in versus calories out – it’s just a matter of how we approach that. The mindset that accompanies your caloric intake is where you get those calories from – You can set your calories at 2,000 a day and get those calories from a nutritionally balanced diet, or you can get those calories from Oreo cookies. What do you think is better?

Take a look at the Nutrition Facts on a box of Oreo’s:

Oreo Nuts

Now that you’ve had a minute to let that sink in, let’s do the math here: a serving size is 2 cookies, which equals 140 calories. (Remember, right now we are simply discussing calories in versus calories out). There’s 15 servings in this container. That’s 2,100 calories total. Now, I don’t know about you, but it would be extremely easy for me to sit down and eat this whole entire box. That’s slightly more than my daily calorie intake (if I’m aiming at 2,000 calories per day). Let’s say I sat down at 1 in the afternoon to watch some Netflix and ate this whole box of Oreo’s. I’m already at my caloric intake limit. Especially since I most likely had at least one BIG cup of coffee when I got up and probably already ate breakfast, and possibly lunch.

Satiety is important. If you aren’t satiated from your meals, it’s going to be pretty impossible to stick to your calorie limits, right? Also – if you only eat Oreo’s, you’re going to be significantly deficient in several areas! If you’re intending to do any kind of exercise regimen while trying to lose weight (fat), you’re going to want proper, balanced nutrition in order to perform your best during your workouts.

That’s the hardest part, in my opinion. So my theory is that as an absolute beginner, just focus on calories in/calories out. That’s tricky enough.

Calories In: A good place to start is to track everything you eat, and that includes portions, and being honest about what you eat and what those portions are. Lying to yourself doesn’t help, right? It’s important to be diligent about tracking and weighing or measuring everything because there is a ton of leeway on what a company can claim for amounts in the nutrition facts. (But don’t let that discourage you! Just take the amounts listed at face value and go off of that, just be accurate with your weights and measures, unless you have a scientist kitchen.)

Calories Out: How do we know this? Well – My best suggestion is to use something like a FitBit or your smart watch. Even the Walmart store has a cheap little version that will track your activity and the related caloric expenditure. 

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): Okay. Now we are going to start to add facets to our calorie endeavor. I have talked about TDEE a little bit before. (I’m not going to link those posts because while some of it is good information, some of it I don’t agree with anymore. I’m not taking anything down because I want to show growth, transparency, et cetera. . . So I’ll just reteach the good information.) There are many calculators out there, but right now I invite you to go to https://tdeecalculator.net/. Here they are going to do the math for you and use several factors to determine what your baseline caloric usage is each day. Mine looks like this:

TDEE 1

Okay – this is the first half of the information generated, but it’s already a lot to digest – so let’s break that down and then I’ll get into the second half (macros) later.

First of all – I don’t have a way to calculate my body fat percentage, and as much as I honestly don’t want to know that, I probably should figure that out at some point; but I left that blank because I truly don’t know what it is. I’m not too sure how that affects the rest of these results or what other information we would see. If you do have a way to measure that, add it in and see what’s different!

Next – we see the Maintenance Calories broken down by day and week. Let’s look at day first – because this will be the most simple. What this is saying is that for me, personally, to stay at this same body weight and not gain or lose, I need to consume 2,675 calories per day. Easy enough. There’s not much a person has to do to maintain a body weight if they are not very physically active and are not some sort of athlete or towards the end of a fat-loss/weight-loss journey.

Then we see ideal weight and BMI. Oi. . . okay. Right there in the description of ideal weight it states that these are not to be taken too seriously especially if you lift weights; and while I definitely am on the obese end of the BMI scale – I was obese when I weighed 170 pounds because I have giant boobs and muscular legs. So I definitely see a flaw there. That being said, these are both good tools. They give us a goal to reach towards. I personally think that 170 pounds is a really good weight for me, especially if I am lifting weights regularly and working on building muscle mass.

Alright! Now that we have looked at all the information provided regarding where we are at with our maintenance calories, it’s time to determine how to safely operate in a deficit.

Losing a pound a week is a good goal, I personally believe, because the caloric deficit you will have to live in in order to lose more than that is unsafe! You need to be able to function throughout the day as well as have enough energy to make it through your workouts and for your hormones and organs to function properly.

A pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories. Basically. What’s the simple math on that if we are aiming to lose one pound a week? 3,500 (calories) divided by 7 (days) = 500 calories per day. So if I’m applying that deficit to my maintenance calories that is 2,675 (maintenance calories) minus 500 (calories) = 2,175 calories to function in a deficit.

What does that all mean?

That means that if I keep my activity level the same (which for me I probably will since I already go to the gym almost every day, and that was factored in when calculating my TDEE) I will be spending 2,675 calories by just living, breathing, and going to the gym and everything else I do in my daily life. I will be taking back in 2,175 calories by fueling my body. The ONLY way I am getting those calories back in is by what I am putting in my mouth – food or drink. Rubbing coconut oil on your skin does not add to your calorie intake. It just doesn’t. You don’t metabolize that way. You’re not an amoeba. 

NOW – to maybe kick that up a notch, or personally, I think it’s easier – especially when factoring in weekend diets and how they derail all of your hard work, is to, yes, pay attention daily, but focus on what you’re taking in in a week. That number for me was 18,722 in maintenance calories, so subtract the full 3,500 calories from that and I’m looking at 15,222 calories. Okay cool. Why does this help? Because on Tuesday at the office there is birthday cake, and you can bet your bippy I’m not going to be torturing myself while everyone else eats cake and I have carrots. I’m going to have cake. Well, that sky rockets my calories for the day. Instead of giving up on my “diet” because I’ve “messed up”, ultimately I can make up for it by eating veggies instead of pasta at dinner on Friday. On the flip side Monday and Wednesday maybe I want to lift a lot more, or run longer at the gym. Most likely on Tuesday and Thursday I’m going to be super hungry in response to that, so those days I’ll eat a few more calories, but maybe I don’t have time to hit the gym on Saturday at all, I’m not spending as many calories and I’m likely going to be able to make the choice to eat less, calorically, because I won’t be as hungry.

Any questions so far? Have I lost you? Comment your questions below.

WTF is a Macros?

A popular anime show from the 80s? A programmed formula in excel? Not quite. At least not in this scenario.

macrodef

Okay – we are not plants, so what do we take from this definition? A type of food required in large amounts in the diet. Fat. Protein. Carbohydrate.

Fat, protein, carbohydrate. The big three. Ultimately these are the most important focus when talking about balanced nutrition. We were taught in school an antiquated food pyramid that put fats in a tiny little spot at the top and cascaded down from there, over the years things like fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy changed places in amounts and priority.

The truth of the matter is that if you can just balance those macros, you’re doing good. Marcos are especially important if you’re on a specific diet or targeting something. For example, the Keto diet macros are heavy on fat, medium on protein, and light on carbohydrate. I’m not going to go into specifics of Keto here, because that’s not what we are talking about today and it’s not an area I feel well versed enough in to educate someone else.

Referring back to our TDEE calculator, the second half of the page gives you a Macro Breakdown Chart. Mine is as follows:

Tdee maint
Maintenance Macros

TDEE Cut
Cutting Macros (Fat Loss)

TDEE Bulk
Bulking Macros (Muscle Gain)

Here you see three different options in each category for how to map out your daily Macros: maintenance, cutting, and bulking.

Macros can be really confusing when you start out so I really love that this site breaks down what you specifically need for each, depending on what you are trying to do and what sort of diet you are focusing on.

I personally feel that these charts take all the guess work out of what you need for your Macros without much explanation, if you disagree and/or still have questions please PLEASE comment below so we can talk about them as a group!

Before we move on, I would like to address some very basic information that is important to keep in mind when considering macros.

Protein it’s very hard to store protein as fat; therefore you feel fuller for longer if you get a good source of protein with each meal. This is why a high protein diet is touted so often. It took me years of research to realize and understand the actual why when discussing high protein. Remember protein does NOT necessarily mean meat. Meat is a complete source of Amino Acids and that’s why everyone immediately thinks “meat”, but there are many many sources of protein found outside of meat, a lot of the time those sources are also less calorically dense. Again, try to get some protein in with every meal and snack. This will help with energy and satiety.

(Dietary) Fat – Fat in terms of Macros is not the same thing as the fat (adipose tissue) stored inside your body. Dietary fat does not store in your body as adipose tissue. Dietary fat is what helps you process hormones and regulate bodily function. You need dietary fat. Low fat and non-fat options are okay as long as you don’t completely eliminate fat from your diet! Yes, go for the low-fat sour cream if you want, but put some olive oil on your salad! Just keep in mind what the calories are when you do this. Your dietary fats will always be the most calorically dense foods.

Carbohydrates – You can use things such as the fore mentioned Oreo Cookies for your carbs, but if you instead use whole grains, oats, sweet potatoes, et cetera, you will, again, feel more satiated and benefit from micro-nutrients and fiber. Carbohydrates are what your body stores as adipose tissue after they are converted to sugars. Do not take this to mean carbohydrates are bad, because this is your primary energy source as well. Fibrous vegetables are also a carbohydrate. Fiber is important for your gut health – your body doesn’t actually use fiber, but your gut flora flourishes with fiber. Sugars effectively poison your gut flora, fiber combats that. Tip: If you over do it on sugars don’t beat yourself up! Just eat a healthy serving of oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow!

Another thing I do at almost every meal, to fill me up and guarantee some micro-nutrients, is put a big handful of spinach on whatever I’m eating.

Remember that your calories have to also factor into this! Keep your Macros and calories in check and you’ll be just fine!

In a future post we will discuss more in depth about Macro-nutrients and Micro-nutrients, and what to do next, but this post is already getting long, I have much more to discuss, and I don’t want to overwhelm you! 

I probably have this much information for you again in the next post, I’ll put some effort in this weekend to get really concise with it and get it out to you soon!

Thank you for being so patient in waiting for this post! Like I said before, if any of this confuses you, or you have questions, let me know below so I can address it in an upcoming post!

xoxo

-S

 

An Apology.

I had made a post last week about needing an extra day to finish up Monday’s post, then on Tuesday my laptop got a virus (which has been dealt with) but I lost everything I had been working on as far as unpublished posts; because I don’t keep my posts in drafts on WordPress, I keep them on my computer so I can format them how I like.

So that was discouraging and I kind of gave up a little bit. Plus some life has been happening.

For that I apologize.

I’ve kind of given myself a little pep talk about the site and what I want to do with it. Right before I disappeared the last time, I made a daily post schedule and was really excited about it, because it was the best way I could think to write about all of my interests in one place. BUT! I want to change that again. I really think that what I’d like to do is maybe two regular posts a week and then anything else is a bonus. I’m thinking something along the lines of the beginning of the week a post the revolves around Fitness, Health, and Wellness and towards the end of the week something that revolves around the Non-Farm.

I still want to focus on our March challenge, and I already have an April challenge in mind. . .

How is everyone doing with their yoga and food tracking? You’re probably waiting on me to reconstruct the lost post to give you some guidance. I’ve been doing really good at adding everything to my food tracker and I’ve done the 30 Days of Yoga every day. I’ve been keeping track of my thoughts and feelings and how I feel after each as well so at the end of the challenge I can recap.

I’ll come back, I promise. 🙂

xoxo

-S