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.
Sneaks

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.

Phone

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.

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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.

    IMG_0454

    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.

pbj

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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It’s Thanksgiving Time!!

First look at what all of us Mill Haven Foods folk received today from Brian and Hollie! Yes, they like us. We like them too.Thanksgiving

Now, let’s talk Thanksgiving!

I think I’m so programmed at this point that I now get hungry just at the word Thanksgiving. Not really my problem, my family is capable of throwing down. Seriously, I anticipate my Aunt Lori’s vegetable bake like a sneaker release. It’s that good.

But, with that being said there are a lot of claims out there that we tend to pack on the pounds during this holiday season. There are a few ways to curb that fourth plate extra weight.

Let’s start with a “Ricki” 5 ways to curb the gain…

  1. Skip the bun. Yes, I call the bun, filler…and empty filler at that, like the salad line at a buffet, SKIP IT. Unless it’s a homemade one that is still warm, then you’re on your own.buns
  2. At the family gatherings, you really don’t need to try everything. I’m sorry mom, I love you very much, but we both know you aren’t Betty Crocker or even a distant cousin. And I’m ok with that, you taught me other things, like how to order a pizza.
  3. Drink less, I’m not talking about less water here friends…I mean the extra cheerful calories in a bottle. I’m boring, I’ll have an occasional watered down beer, but my pops usually finishes it, as in normally more than half. So, if you’re near my dad this holiday season, offer the rest to him. He is a super hero.
  4. Don’t buy plates. Yes, I just bought a house, and still only have 1 real plate, of my parents. They also don’t know I have it.
  5. If the turkey isn’t great, don’t try to save it with gravy. Just power through the not great turkey. The protein is still there.

Ok moving on to maybe some actual helpful advice…

  1. Don’t skip breakfast to be extra hungry for Thanksgiving Lunch/Dinner. I am guilty of this, I fully understand the importance of breakfast, but I’m telling you right now, DON’T GO HUNGRY. You’ll then fill up on the pre meal snacks. And snacking on non-healthy snack foods isn’t the best plan. Just extra calories that aren’t your Aunt’s stellar vegetable bake.
  2. Pace yourself. Eating shouldn’t be considered a sprint! Our brains tell our body we are full after about 20 minutes of eating. THAT DOES NOT MEAN CRAM ALL YOU CAN ONTO 8 PLATES AND PROCEED TO DOMINATE YOUR FOOD IN 20 MINUTES!! Take your time. Enjoy the vegetable bake.
  3. Hey, maybe just one round of the dessert table. Yes, I’m aware there is probably going to be 18 different desserts on the dessert table. My family is even bringing cake to celebrate two birthdays. I can understand and appreciate wanting to try everything…but be selective and try smaller portions if you really want to try everything.Thanksgiving Pie
  4. Leftovers…I get it, they are awesome. That 9pm hunger hits, boom you have 8 GladWare containers full of joy, and a full belly by 9:21pm, yes, I accounted for the 1 minute of luke warm microwaved food that you couldn’t wait for a fully warm plate. But maybe, skip them. Don’t take 8 containers, maybe 1; give away your 18 pie slices. Be creative on dodging an extra container.Pumpkin Pie
  5. Get moving! Yes, we are all excited about a turkey nap. BUT, we should also be excited about exercising afterwards. If you have a sibling like I do, who sends a text of “CAN WE EXERCISE A LOT THIS WEEKEND” use their excitement and join them.

THANKSGIVING is meant to be a time of being THANKFUL! Enjoy your plate, enjoy your family/friends/whoever you are blessed to be spending your time with, and also enjoy the process of trying to cancel out the holiday season food!

 

Ch-Ch-CHANGES

Yes, please read the title in your best David Bowie.

It’s almost 2016, which means I’ve successfully blogged one other time, I feel like I have to be close to the quota, but seriously it’s almost time for RESOLUTIONS!

Here’s a Ricki stat for you, 912% (+/- 5%) of resolutions are related to health and wellness. But I think, latest Ricki findings were that 911.7% of those resolutions fail. But why do they fail? Lack of effort? Lack of time? Lack of dedication? I think otherwise…

I bought my first house, an unbelievably well-kept and clean home… In a not needed side story, some of my favorite memories with my brother, Brady, are the times that we were extremely clumsy. I fondly remember him flipping spaghetti sauce in front of the pantry resulting in him, dropping the spaghetti sauce and watching it explode on the white carpet. Or me taking my spaghetti into the front room and somehow managing to fling the entire plate forward in speeds that are only comparable to Usain Bolt’s 100m time, hitting every wall, the fireplace, and ceiling. Well, the new house, my new house, definitely has zero signs of spaghetti, or any other stain ever happening.

Anyways…in typical Ricki fashion I started 80, (no +/-) projects when really, the house was move in ready. I took apart the kitchen cabinets, I took off all the electrical outlets in two rooms, started redoing windows, started painting two rooms in different wall colors, pulled out appliances to create zero walk ways. So, really I took a move in ready house, and made it impossible to move in.

Kitchen

My Kitchen…wall painted, but the cabinets are missing and i created a fire hazard with the fridge.

In related news, the day I closed on the house, I went to the grocery store for Hollie and Shelly, because they were making, you guessed it spaghetti dinner for the football and volleyball teams that week, and needed…yep, spaghetti sauce. After departing the pasta aisle, I made a pit stop in the cereal aisle because really who wouldn’t want some Captain Crunch in the morning in their new house? As I reached for the big box, because I’m always looking at best price per amount, I remembered, I didn’t have milk, bowls, spoons, or a table. So, I left the cereal aisle. Again proving the, I don’t plan things out well.

My lesson: prepare, plan, one step at a time, and have a really great support team when tasks become overwhelming.

Front Room...Painted this...several times because I forgot windows open.

Front room…Painted the window…several times because I forgot windows open and didn’t detach things…and the walls

Resolutions fail not because of our dedication, our time, our effort, but the lofty goals we force ourselves to achieve in a short amount of time.

Things I should have done: move my bed in right away, yes Brian, you were right. Planned for things I would need, for functioning like a human; bowls, spoons, a microwave, a toaster, kitchen things, I don’t know maybe some furniture. I still haven’t moved in, but the support team, I definitely had/have. My grandma brought me some cereal bowls when she found out my dilemma. My mother watched me panic picking out a microwave and pretty much just calmly took over when she realized I was slowly…ok, rapidly, starting to panic about my lack of preparation and picked out my necessities. My pops did the jobs I have no idea how to do, fixed locks, fixed a wood chute, brought me all the tools I could use, and then made sure I used them correctly. Then my brother, came to visit this past weekend, and by visit, I mean to work non- stop with me to put my kitchen back together.

This is the challenge: want less right away, do a progressive resolution, with steps. Share the goals, with friends, family, trustworthy supportive people that want to see the goals reached. Keep the goal, of “Losing Certain Amount of Pounds” but, have a plan that isn’t extreme. Plan on perpetual changes to add into regular activities and diet. Let yourself fail, with chance of recovery. Here, I’ll help:

  1. Drink more water! It’s calorie free, helps out your system, your dentist will be thrilled you are replacing your calorie filled sugar drinks with sugar free water! Here read up on my earlier blog discussing WATER. Also diet soda is still rough my friends, I’m going to quote myself from an earlier blog, Soda Pressing…”  It’s Diet Though.Diet soda means relatively nothing.  There have been several studies that prove that people that do drink diet soda daily increase overall weight. When our liver takes on too much glucose the excess is converted to body fat. So to quote Mean Girls, “First you bloat, .” Yep, you just bloat.”
  2. Get moving my friends. A large chunk of us work at a desk for a solid 8 hours, then we go home, and watch a football game on the couch. Lucky for me, I don’t think I’m allowed to sit for longer than 20 minutes in the same spot at work. And I don’t have a couch yet. So, walk when you can, take the steps over the elevator, take the dog for a walk, take the neighbor’s dog for a walk…but ask first. Don’t be that person.

    She will refuse to walk with you though..

    She will refuse to walk with you though..

  3. Prepare more meals! I know a lot of us claim we don’t have enough time. I’m guilty of this. BUT we need to tell ourselves, if we don’t make it, we can’t have it. When we prepare our meals, we know exactly what is in it, we can pronounce the ingredients, and it’s easier on our bodies to process food we should know. So, cut out the lunch visits to a drive through, if you absolutely have to visit a drive thru, cut out the combos, cut out the fried, look for items you know are lower in calories, ask for dressing on the side or no dressing.
  4. Tell your friends, have them join in! When all my cabinets were all over I was ready to take down the sold sign and just leave, when I saw the selection of microwaves I was ready to leave my cart in the aisle and go back to my car, but I had my people to assure me that I wasn’t alone. If 912% of people are doing wellness resolutions, there a really solid chance someone you know is reaching for a similar goal.
  5. Be open to trying new things, because those create neat memories, even if they don’t stick. Hollie made me go to a yoga class a year ago. We found out we aren’t great at yoga. But gosh, I can still remember when the instructor said if we could go further with a pose, go ahead, and us just laughing and struggling with the easier pose. In a related side story, when I was younger, I really disliked asparagus, now as an adult. I love it. So, explore!

    I never pull an asparapass anymore. YAY greens.

    I never pull an asparapass anymore. YAY greens.

  6. Forgive your fails. I took on a lot more than I should of, but I know I’m going to do it again. But I know I’ll get through it. That’s the joy, enjoy the process, the challenges, the setbacks, celebrate the progress! Because realistically, we are human, we are meant to fail, we are meant to be tempted, chocolate chip cookies exist because they are ridiculously good and someone needs to enjoy them. So enjoy, but enjoy in moderation, one cookie, not the whole batch. Give them to your neighbors…since you walk their dog now, they like you, and you know them.

    Absolutely nailed it....not my plates. Still don't have those.

    Absolutely nailed it….not my plate. Still don’t have those.

Enjoy the process my friends, because if we love what we do, the results will come.

Also, I’m not done yet, hardware and a counter project this weekend!

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Kitchen window needs to be fixed yet. BUT the PROCESS!!!

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.

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?

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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.