Happy 2016 Friends!!!

HAPPY 2016!

Let’s talk GOALS.

It is said that if people share their goals with others, they have a better chance of sticking to their goals. I’ve never been one to set a New Year’s Resolution, but I do set a lot of goals hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc. But, in honor of the blog and the New Year, I’m game to create some and share.

If you recall my earlier blog, I discussed goal setting, remember, goals need to be realistic and timely, it helps that they are attainable. There should be a “pinnacle goal” but then also “step goals” to reach that pinnacle goal. In our goals, there needs to be some room to fail. We are HUMAN so there’s going to be a day where we all of a sudden remember that we are hungry and reach for a Snickers….

So here we go…

  1. My sleeping pattern is absolutely terrible from Sunday – Thursday. I seem to finally hit the pillow around 11 give or take 20 minutes, which then leads to a final run through of every social media distraction possible. A final refresh of my emails. A quick check of the texts I didn’t respond to and to make myself sound less cool, the texts that say read, or in my brother’s case, delivered. Thanks Brady. To be fair, mine also say delivered even after I read them, because Brady knows best. I skipped out Friday…because really when I go and retrieve my pup from my parents’ house to take her home, I regularly fall asleep on one of their recliners at around 7pm. I am so much fun. Sometimes, I don’t even take off my shoes.

But…to be fair I really like shoes.

So with this, I have three issues. First, I’d like to be in bed around 10pm, 10:30 at the latest. Here’s how I plan on fixing the first…I have some odd emotional connection with the 10pm news, I don’t really watch it, but having it on in the background is nostalgic for me. Guess what, problem fixed, I no longer have anything but Hulu and Netflix. So see ya later News Channel 8…but really, I miss you and will get cable again. So I’ll have to figure out this issue later this year.

Two, I need to chill out with needing to be connected to my phone. This I will struggle with, for those that know me, know that delivered really means I read the message. So, I think I’m going to do 1 of 2 options, once I get to my bed, set my alarm and be done, cold turkey. Or 2: use a different outlet to charge my phone from the one right by my bed.  The second option isn’t really viable because I like hitting snooze once. Which, I should change but STOP IT I’M NOT GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING. So, here’s my room to fail goal: snoozing is ok.


Side goal: delete emails.


Lastly, let my dog stay alone in my house and not go to puppy day care at my parents, this one is never happening. Soph gets what she wants.


She wins.

I did say we need to allow room to fail and stepping stone goals. Well here are my stepping stone goals. The Packers might play on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday Night. I’m going to watch those, even last night’s gem of a game versus the Vikings…

But seriously, Micha Hyde’s interception was incredible…the rest not so great. And this is the time when I chant, “Abby, Abby, Abby.” Yes, Jared Abbrederis. SO with that being said there will be instances where a 10pm bedtime isn’t viable.

So here is my wording of my goal: Sunday through Thursday average a before 10:30 bedtime. That allows each day to being a stepping stone goal.

Side note I did not stay up and watch the Badger Holiday Bowl game.  I watched our first 3 points and decided I needed to sleep. A 9:30 start time on a weekday???? COME ON DO BETTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

  1. Yep. I am terrible at being remotely active in my kitchen. When I originally moved in, I panicked the night before because I didn’t have a crock pot. So my mother to calm my crock pot nerves, bought me one that week. I have since not taken the crock pot out of the box. I have been moved in since October.  I also really needed a toaster because I was toast sensitive. Earlier that week Hollie questioned the lack of toast intake…and I realized I had no idea when the last time I had toast. I have since used my toaster twice…but for bagels.


    Here’s my kitchen, sans bread. Just lots of paint.

I do have a game plan. Throw out the full loaf of bread that I haven’t opened since I moved in. Replace the bread, because if you have been keeping up, I used to make pb&j sandwiches on the regular. And buy other groceries.


See, my love is real.

I was recently gifted the coolest gift I’ve ever received, a new fridge. I feel like my excitement level has to be comparable to when my brother found out he was getting a little sister, or at least what his excitement level should have been. So, I’m going to get to grocery shopping like a normal human.

I do actually like cooking, I’m not good at it, so I’ve found out the best method for me is the crockpot or Traeger Grill method. Because really the Traeger is just a giant crockpot that makes everything taste delicious.

For the record, I don’t really snack; I just really like Papa Murphy’s take n bake, specifically Taco (which is back for this month) and Spinach, Bacon Artichoke. Both on thin, because I’ve already told you earlier that dough in general is just filler to me. And as you found out earlier…I go over and get my pup from my parents every night just around supper time.

I do have some great resources from the moments I did cook.

  1. http://www.chef-in-training.com/ Yes, Chef in Training, that’s me. I’ve never had a recipe from here that I didn’t love. Like seriously, try them all, and give me your leftovers. My favorite meal is the Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken. Try it.
  2. http://www.skinnytaste.com/ This site is awesome so many ideas, I’ve never tried any but I’ve written several down and proceeded to forget about them. They even have weekly meal plans…if you’re trying to cook every day and not just twice. I mean look at this beaut.
  3. I’m also a huge fan of soup. Check out Tidymom. Scroll to the bottom…235 soup links all on one page.

Yes. I’m looking to cook two meals a week. Judge that. BUT I’m one person, I eat like a bird. I’d also like to really have a family meal with my parents more often. I gifted my Pops the Traeger for his birthday and they struggle with google.  So, really I’d like to use that around three times a month. And who knows, maybe this will take off and I’ll get fancy and freeze things and cook more often…but come on now. DON’T PUSH IT.

So when you are evaluating and creating your goals, make sure you don’t just evaluate the long haul, but also the hourly, daily, weekly goals, because that will make the process so much easier.

So if your goal is to lose weight. Change it, to becoming healthier. Let’s start off by what are your hourly goals? Yes, hourly goals for losing weight are necessary. So, if you are going to work at 8. You need to set a goal of have breakfast. I won’t pick your breakfast for you, but it should be high in protein and low in sugar.

Then you are going to need to set a goal for pre-lunch hunger. A goal without a plan is headed straight to nowhere. So, plan on packing something to snack on: vegetables WITHOUT DIP, fruit, almonds, protein shakes that has recognizable ingredients…low sugars, granola, SOMETHING HEALTHY. I also think planning on drinking a certain amount of water by lunch is also super helpful. You can learn why I think that here. Then have a lunch prepared so you aren’t feeling those hunger kicks and have that urge to drive to a drive thru or a quick convenient store lunch.


Things you shouldn’t have on your desk:  a Snickers bar the size of your arm. Thanks Shelly.

Also set an afternoon goal of more water and a second snack just until you figure out your habits and what you need. It’s better to be prepared with a snack then to have to look elsewhere. Boom, there is a detailed goal with a plan. We are human so, allow yourself fails, it shouldn’t be a huge day of cheat, but cheat meals, or half cheat meals, or cheat snack, which ever works best for you, while staying honest to your goals. Don’t get disappointed, plan for fails, then get right back at it the next day.

Adding exercise to any health related goal is also crucial. BUT again, do it in steps. Going to the gym every day for a beginner…is too much. Plan a daily exercise that includes some form of movement; walking for a certain distance, mix in jogging, and even times of sprinting, biking, hiking, so you don’t have to spend all of your time in the gym.

Weight training is crucial, muscle mass and muscle tissue burn more calories than fat. And after your body starts building muscle that will increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is really how many calories you would burn a day without leaving your bed. The more muscle mass the higher the BMR. Yes, burning calories just because you’re you.


But…to be fair I really like shoes.

Set a goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, with 3 of those days being more intense and make sure you mix in weights!!!! I like to do weights three times a week. Don’t be afraid to get creative!


Yes, I even hike in clean shoes.

I’ll post another blog about some of my favorite exercises in a future blog.  For the time being, bodybuilding.com, google, and youtube are great resources!


I mean I really like shoes.

I’ll take a progress pic of my fridge and maybe even a meal or two! My fridge isn’t in yet. BUT once it is, be prepared for the inside view, like MTV Cribs, and pictures of meals!

Again, HAPPY 2016! Let yourself fail, have fun with your goals, and work for them.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” SO GET WORKING!


Rick, let me guess, a Snickers?

Hi friends.

It’s blog time. It’s been several daysweeks…eh months, since our last blog. In case you are wondering, I did not get fired or get taller.

Let’s talk candy bars and nutrition value.  I make a lot of claims in real life that I have accepted as truth and therefore attempt to pass on to my friends as truth.  For blogging purposes, I’m ok with debunking my half-truths.

So, I guess this is where I tell you one of my half-truths that I live by… judge away cruel world judge away.

It’s wrestling season, which means a lot of early Saturday morning tournaments.  I do not have my life together on Saturdays. I do a great job at fully functioning five days a week…but weekends are wildcards.  And for those that are assuming I’m crazy and enjoy the night life the town of 2,531 has to offer, I don’t, I’m boring. I’m 26 going on 80. I enjoy puzzles, I dedicate a night a week to cleaning my sneakers, I enjoy the Gameshow Network, and absolutely fancy surprise naps.  With all that being said, I don’t plan breakfast if I have to be up before 7.  Yes, I’m fully aware breakfast is the most important meal of the day, blah blah blah. GOT IT MOM.  Side note, 1,003 of the population isn’t allowed to leave their temporary residence at the prison.

I'm serious about clean sneaker night.

I’m serious about clean sneaker night.

So when we finally arrive at the tournament, I grab my ol’ reliable breakfast bar, a Snickers.  I dislike chocolate, I dislike peanuts, and if it’s afternoon my taste buds wake up and I no longer want anything to do with a Snickers.

I ate a snickers here.

I ate a snickers here.

But for some reason, a breakfast Snickers is absolutely delicious and I validate my choice by saying it is a meal and has protein.

I never actually looked at the Snickers’ wrapper before making this statement…and now looking at the wrapper I feel like I should have chosen my words a bit better. But I will defend it to the end.

Candy bar sizes have been getting smaller and smaller. The current Snickers bar is 52.7g. It has 250 calories, 110 of those being from fat. It has 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams being saturated fat, 120mg of sodium, 27 grams of sugar, 33 grams of carbohydrates, and finally my bright side, 4 grams of protein.

The culprit…NOT from today, but from a Saturday. I just saved the wrapper. PROMISE.

Although I got more and more depressed while typing those, I am stubborn, and will fight to the end.

Let’s start with calories! If this was not used as a meal and an extra intake, I’d have to run 2.5 miles.  I’m using an uber simplified method of 1 mile = 100 calories. BUT, I claim it’s a meal, so I don’t have to run. Point, me.  (YES I UNDERSTAND IT IS NOT HASHBROWNS AND EGGS MOM)

Now to the fats, I’m going to assume I’m going to take a loss. But let’s do this, they made the new Snickers smaller, they used to be 25% of your daily fat value, now it’s only 18%. So there’s that. Saturated fats are particularly bad for people; they raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.  But to be fair on my part, it’s early morning, I most likely lose crumbs, and by crumbs I mean all of the saturated fat probably falls to bleachers.  And it’s safe to say that Snickers also contain monounsaturated fats, because of the peanuts.  Monounsaturated fats are good fats, they are good for the heart and lowers cholesterol.

Oh, salt. ALL SODIUM IS NOT TERRIBLE. Excess sodium yes, not great, it makes the kidneys retain extra water which causes bloat and strains the heart and blood vessels. And high salt intake sometimes leads to an elevated blood pressure. BUT! Salt helps the body send messages to and from the brain. Salt is also important for work outs…it helps prevent muscle cramping. And luckily it is listed as just 5% of the daily value.

Ok. Sugar. I’m just going to throw the benefit out there right away, energy. Boom. Ok, now let’s get real. Sugar gives you energy, then there’s a sugar crash. But past energy, sugar really is just an empty calorie.  It contains no proteins, no vitamins, no minerals, and no essential fats, really just nada.  I’m also a big fan of teeth, and well, teeth hate sugar.

PROTEIN, the giant upside of a Snickers bar.  Ok, to be fair to my friends, 4 grams of protein isn’t a lot. BUT, when talking protein in candy bars, Snickers is kind of king. Skittles and Starburst have zero grams of protein. In chocolatey comparisons, Three Musketeers 1 gram, Milky Way 2 grams, and Twix 2 grams. Again to summarize previous blogs, protein is good, keeps us full, our body uses protein to build and repair muscle tissue, helps our hair and nails, and READ OUR OTHER BLOG POSTS.

“You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Snickers absolutely nailed it with this slogan.  When I’m hungry I’m a person that wants a Snickers. When I’m full, I don’t even like Snickers.

So DECISION TIME, Snickers won’t make a person healthier. BUT really, in moderation and with a healthy overall diet and exercise, Snickers also won’t destroy a person.

Here's me doing something athletic.

Here’s me doing something athletic.

What’s the deal with Macros??

Understanding “Macros”

A lot of health/fitness folks live by the code of the macros….But, they also tend to treat macros like fight club and not talk about it or fully explain how to start.

Soph working off her macros.

Soph working off her macros.

Macros are simple, semi nerdy, and make people connected to their food.  We have developed such a disconnect with our food that we often don’t read labels, disregard serving sizes, and have no idea where our food really comes from.  So, I’m a fan of macros.

First, we need to determine our BMR (basal metabolic rate), how many calories we need to consume to maintain our weight.  There are plenty of sites that can calculate this, just google “daily caloric calculator”, I prefer math.  Because, I like math.

Women: 655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

So for me, 655 + (4.3 x 106) + (4.7 x 63) – (4.7 x 26)

As we are aware, I am a giant among toddlers.  Remember the rules of parentheses here, do those first!

4.3 x 106 = 455.8   4.7 x 63 =296.1 4.7×26 = 122.2

So….655+455.8+296.0-122.2 = 1284.7

Now, if you’re sedentary time that by 20%, lightly active times that by 30%, moderately active times by 40%, and very active times by 50%.

I’m annoyingly active.  1284.7x.50 =642.35

Now add them together, 1284.7 + 642.35 =1927.05

My goal caloric intake of the day is 1,927.05

Men’s BMR calculation is a bit different.

Men: 66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Now this is where it gets a bit tricky, determining a personal micro split. A lot of people/bodybuilders/etc. believe in a good starting position is a 40/40/20 and then alter for your fitness goals. That means: 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fats.  I’ll show you this way…although this is not my personal split.

1 gram of protein has 4 calories.  1 gram of carbs has 4 calories.  1 gram of fat has 9 calories.

Let’s take my 1927.05 requirement and split it up. I love cross multiplying because again, I really love math, not to be confused with calculus and that confusion. Because no, that’s not fun.

First let’s figure out protein and carbs.  (P/1927.05) x (40/100)

Alright for this we need to cross multiply, p being protein.

Step 1. P x 100 = 100p

Step 2. 40 x 1927.05 =  77082

So 100p = 77082 divide 77082 by 100 to get P

Step 3. 77082/100=770.82

Which means, I need to consume 770.82 calories of protein and carbs.

And to avoid doing that step over again I can just subtract 1927.05-(770.82×2) =385.41 which would be my total amount of fat calories.

So, then I take 770.82/4 to figure out my grams of protein and carbs needed.

770.82/4 = 192.705g

Which, to be honest, is an insane amount of protein for me to be eating.
Following this method my fats would then be 385.41/9 =42.823g

I think that’s far too much for me.  So I take a longer route…

Back in our blog I discussed protein amounts: found here. 

I use my ideal .6 – 1.1 range per pound and base my daily menu off of that.


But remember, what works best for you, might not work best for Bob, or Me, or Michael Jordan.

My best health/nutrition advice is just to become conscious of what you are eating.

Teenage Athletes and Protein

Teenage Athletes and Protein

Teenagers have a lot of energy. They are constantly having these mythical things called growth spurts.  Yes, they are mythical until I hit one.

Some of my favorite teenagers

Some of my favorite teenagers…I had to start coaching to make the back row.

So, are protein supplements bad for growing teenagers? No, definitely not.  In fact, adequate protein amounts might even help them get better grades.

Teenagers are known to love their sleep.  They often hit snooze 14 times to then panic at 7:45 a.m. and rush to get their things together for school.  This leads them to skipping breakfast. When anyone skips breakfast they will yawn, feel disconnected, have a lack of attention, etc.  Now, if they were to take 20 seconds and mix up a protein shake with milk in the morning, they would have an easier time focusing during class.

I used to substitute teach and know firsthand lots of teenagers don’t eat well…In fact I watched one attempt to eat a marker.  No, I didn’t condone it and made it stop.  I’ve also watched some of my softball girls’ binge eat donuts for game fuel.  And several of my student athletes are known to skip lunch completely.

Teenagers need more protein to fuel their workouts because their bodies are still growing.  The recommended amount of protein for teenage athletes is 0.8-0.9 grams per pound.  If “Ricki 2.0” existed, and she doesn’t, and topped out at 110, she would need to intake 88 to 99 grams of protein (110 x 0.8 = 88 110 x 0.9 = 99).

And girls if you’re still being skeptical about adding protein to your diet…it will help grow your nails and hair.

Women and Protein

There is a common misconception that women shouldn’t take whey protein.  There are beliefs that whey protein is just for body builders and it will make females bulky.  False.

I’ve been on whey protein for a year. I’m still the size of a 4th grader, except I’m stronger than most of them. To be completely honest, I wish I had started much sooner.

Why? Well, I’ll tell you.

  1. Protein helps the body recover after intense exercise. It does this by restoring glycogen levels.
  2. Protein prevents muscle breakdown.
  3. Protein helps build muscle.

Why will whey not make women bulky?

  1. It takes YEARS of discipline and intense weight lifting to attain a body-builder physique.
  2. Protein powder doesn’t contain testosterone.

Muscle shouldn’t be an offsetting word for women. In fact, having muscles helps you burn fat. It takes more energy (calories) for your body to maintain 1 lb of muscle than it does to maintain 1 lb of fat.

So, in short, no, whey protein will not turn women into huge hulk-like body builders. Or to be punny, no whey will it turn women into hulk.

For extra clarification….this never happened to me…

Before Protein

Before Protein

This didn't happen after protein.

This didn’t happen after protein

And to be honest, I was already on protein in that top photo.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Here’s a great quick recipe to kick start your Monday!


Lori whipped these up today!

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)

1/3 cup honey

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

2 scoops of protein (pick whatever you like, vanilla is always a good go to)

1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients, roll into balls, put them in the fridge to chill, then devour them…I mean eat them.

Happy Monday!

The Benefits of Natural Whey Protein

A spoon full of acesulfame potassium helps the medicine go down…wait.. no.

There are a lot of different flavored version of protein powder out there; from Ice Cream to Cinnamon Bun. But does the flavor add anything valuable, besides taste, to the protein?


Long story short. No.

One of the major components to being physically fit starts with what we use as fuel. Nutritionists/dietitians, trainers, athletes, fit enthusiasts, all believe in the notion of clean eating.

I was a dietitian major when I transferred colleges to play basketball. Oddly enough, I went to one meeting with the majors and they were discussing baking apple pies for a fundraiser. I had one question during this meeting, “how do I transfer back?” I transferred for less than 24 hours.

Clean eating is semi simple, eat the good stuff. The less processed the better the food. Many clean eaters are trying to remove all the chemicals from their diets.

  1. Clean eaters eat lots of greens that haven’t been altered.
  2. They eat meats that are straight from the butcher.
  3. Grains that haven’t been broken down. 
  4. They read and reread labels to make sure they understand what they are eating.

So many bodybuilders, health enthusiasts, athletes, etc. abide by these rules, but then fail to read the labels of their protein powder.  Fact is, sweetened protein powder is altered. The less ingredients the better.

Many protein powders contain artificial sweeteners. For years artificial sweeteners have been under attack with many critics believing that they can lead to cancer. The National Cancer Institute has said that there is no sound scientific evidence that any approved artificial sweeteners in the U.S. cause cancer. But, the song does go, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” not “A spoon full of acesulfame potassium helps the medicine go down.” And if you’re going to believe anyone, believe a woman that can pull an umbrella out of her purse, before umbrellas were collapsible.

And the fact is, it’s easy to add non flavored proteins to natural items that will flavor them. One of my go to shakes is a glass of almond milk, peanut butter, a banana, and a scoop of protein. Delicious.

And natural protein powder is great to add while baking. It easily addable to pancakes, muffins, and some people even put it into sauces. Be creative and try.

So, if you eat clean and take all the time to prep out meals for the week, really consider drinking clean.