3 day smoothie "that's not food" review...

So here is my theory on detoxing/cleansing/juicing... whatever you want to call it.... As humans, we have a kidney and a liver whose primary job is to clean out, cleanse and rid the body of toxins. As long as they are in standard working order why do you think you need to help them along? Just because you indulge yourself on a regular basis doesn't mean your body isn't working, really, it's probably your mindset that needs some assistance.  Now, when it comes to bloating I have a different view on that, I do believe we bloat based on what we eat, as I'm sure you all have experienced. And some of us bloat WAY more easily than others, to our dissatisfaction.

I did this "cleanse" for many reasons the first being that I have never done one and I am asked ALL the TIME about drinking smoothies, detoxing and cleansing and other things along those lines. The other being that I was asked about blenders and I couldn't even give a recommendation because I didn't own one...so I bought one.  I am a scientific thinking kinda person, I was in the biology track in high school and majored in biology in college (until I was biologied out and switched) and I married a biology major who has worked in research-testing stuff. So I like evidence, research and results. I also don't believe in animal testing so I test on myself, as I feel I'm closer to the average human than a pig or rat.

I did a 3-day smoothie cleanse that is found all over the internet, I found Dr. Oz's website publishing it as well as a well known blogger (who I won't name) also publishing it as her own.... with not one ingredient change so it was identical. But regardless, it is one that many people follow and I wanted to be able to speak knowledgeably about it, based solely on my own experiences.
As most of my friends, family and clients know, I LOVE to eat. Volume of food is important to me, so drinking all of this was hard for me, I'd much rather take the pile of ingredients and eat them all up.  But I did it and for the most part, stuck to it. I was spot on for the first two days. What is hard for me is that I have hypoglycemia so regular eating is important to keep me, um, nice (?) and also upright...I eat so I can be happy but I also eat so I don't pass out, which has happened and it's not fun. Drinking high sugar is not the best way to eat to keep blood sugar in working order. So basically, here's how it went.
Day 1: On Tuesday morning I drank a delicious shake and then for lunch I drank a delicious shake and again at dinner...a shake. This one was a shocker, it was a tad spicy so I warn those of you that don't like spicy, it has got a kick. I like it and it certainly made me not want to snack that night.

Day 2: I woke up feeling much trimmer and very empty. I certainly felt that some bloat was going away, so I kept with the regimen.  I drank all the shakes as I was supposed to but I started to get pretty hungry. Just drinking was not really satisfying me. I was CRAVING some protein. But I stuck to it because I promised myself I would. This was a test of willpower also, something I have a hard time with.

Day 3: I lasted only until lunch. I had a business meeting so I couldn't not eat! Yep, I gave in and had a chicken salad but it was only part of it, no dressing and I ate all the chicken and pecans and not much else. I was about to tell myself, "well, I lost weight and look better so I've proved it, I can eat"... The salad was so small and empty that in the end I didn't really ingest that much. And decided that I wouldn't give up because what I've proved to myself was that this cleanse was very easy to give up on, even when it's only 3 days. So I had the dinner shake coupled with a few bites of enchilada meat and some olives. I was craving fats, more than the tablespoon of almond butter or coconut oil that is included in the shakes.

Observations: I did not do the baths, it's too hard for me to set that aside 3 nights in a row. But I did do the multi vitamin, fish oil and  probiotics (already do those). I also worked out all three days, which would require a bit more calories and why I was really hungry.
           The day the cleanse was to finish was date night and I could tell it wasn't going to be pretty because I was already planning what I was going to eat...and it wasn't a chicken salad! It was one of those moments where you just know you're depriving yourself and a binge was coming on. What I decided to do was allow myself some bites of food so I didn't binge on the next meal that was set in front of me! And I think that is the problem for most people, when we hear "no" or restrict too much we end up going a tad (or more) overboard when we finally allow ourselves to get what we want. Hence my whole "it's a lifestyle not a moment in time" way of living.

Conclusion:  As I sit here sipping my kale, blueberry, green apple shake....  The cleans is only alright. A 3-day smoothie cleanse is not totally for me but it is a great way to reduce some bloat and get your mind reset. This is a mind-reset cleanse not a detox cleanse. My liver and kidney do just fine, blood tests prove that. So what I got out of this cleanse was a great way to reset my mind after Thanksgiving (3 days of it!) and get my mind and body ready to get back to normal amounts of food and a reasonable caloric intake. I do feel good.
        As you can see from pictures, I had some changes but not a ton. I went from 117.6 to 115 pounds. (though I fluctuate by 3-5 on a daily basis). I took the pictures at the same time each morning, after going to the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. (If you noted the sports bra...I have 3, if I find something I like, I stock up, I swear :) )In the 4th picture, the morning after the 3rd day I'm not as lean as you'd think I'd be considering the 3rd day picture.  The day before, during day 3, I truly had maybe 4 small bites of enchilada meat and one bite of tortilla for dinner in addition to the chicken salad with no dressing (so it was pretty uninteresting) for lunch.  So one meal in place of a smoothie made that much of a difference?...it's not worth it to me, I like to eat too much to give up 2 or 3 meals a day. At the same time, I have to admit, I will be adding kale, cucumber and mango smoothies...with protein powder...to my regimen on a busy day. I am no longer opposed to smoothies because they are just good and tasty, and a great way to get in some antioxidants and veggies. But please add a scoop of protein so you aren't missing out on that important macronutrient!

If you want to see the cleanse...here it is, like I said, I've seen this pinned on Pinterest from other popular blogs as their own, so I don't know where it originated but it's all the same. I did the nutrition breakdown and it was way low based on what I normally intake (1600++ calories): 
Calories  1,260Carbs 204Fat 48Protein 28

From the thoughts of my 2 1/2 year old daughter: "Mommy, what are you going to eat for dinner?" Me: "my smoothie" Her: "that's not food! That's a drink. What are you going to EAT?"

Transformers-more than meets the eye!

Wow, has it been a while...with grad  school almost over, Gia getting busier and work at the Studio picking up...not to mention trying to fit in solid workouts...it has been quite a crazy 2 months.  But I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm feeling motivated, or is that extreme exhaustion? I can't tell.

But either way, I set a goal for myself (and anyone wanting to join) of transforming into a stronger person both physically and mentally. The mental part has been simple, with all that I have going on there is no room for weak!  The physical part was mostly to push me towards Nationals (physique competition- bikini division) and for personal growth, health and increased fitness. I've been lifting heavy, eating a lot more and putting on some muscle. It's been working...imagine that, lifting heavy weights and timing my nutrients just right has done the trick! It's hard to post pics because there is no "cut" or definition during this time of growth but there will be soon enough...the goal is nearing. But maybe I should post pics...it will let you all know that being "competition ready" all the time is impossible, especially if you are trying to make any kind of gains (while repairing your metabolism/body as I had to do). You CANNOT gain a ton of muscle eating in a deficit (low calories)... so eat more to gain muscle, and eat right to gain it healthily.

Transforming your body, as I tell my clients, is not easy...

Reassess and Transform....a CHALLENGE for you!!

It's hard for me to open up to people about things, I'm a personable person (I think) and love sharing things but sometimes opening up is a challenge for me. I'm competitive by nature, both internally and externally- so here's my new task. I'm opening up to all of you who follow me and look for inspiration on the internet...yikes.  Welcome to my newest personal challenge!

 Here's a little insight into my life on the fitness front: I'm not saying I'm leaving the competition world behind me because it is so much fun and such a rewarding experience but I am saying that I need to get healthy first and foremost before I step on stage again...I'm hooked on 1st place finishes..lol. What most people don't understand is that most competitors (upwards of 90%)

This one's for the moms. STRONG ENOUGH?

Life is about balance. We moms have a hard time as it is trying to find ourselves as secure, adequate and successful women once we become "Mom" and then add in being able to feel adequate, secure and successful as a mom and wife (and let's not talk about being an employee on top of that)...that's quite the load. That is three (or 4) nearly separate identities that we need to perfect. You aren't alone if you feel like you have a split personality, because you kinda do. Wife/Mom!? That's kind of an oxymoron, or at the least polar opposites in personality. Isn't it? Let's add to that the "need" to look good and fit that we get from seeing it portrayed all over media. Everyone wants to look good and feel good but how do we fit that in with all the other aspects of ourselves we're trying to dial in?

Balance. Strength. Just get it done. Those are the words of the mantra I repeat to myself... You have to be strong for yourself to make it through the day and you have to be strong to handle what life throws at you. Forget, or at least don't focus on, being a certain size or the number on the scale. Look at yourself in the mirror and assess your muscles. Realize that you are holding up your family and that's why you need to be strong. Not to mention the more muscle you have the better your metabolism functions :) So plan to be successful, execute the plan to the best of your abilities and don't be hard on yourself because. ...YOU ARE AWESOME AND YOU ARE STRONG!

At-home mom workout ideas with video!

Brighten Their Day Bouquet™Hope everyone is having a great week, it's certainly going to end well for moms with Mother's Day at the end of this week. I hope everyone has gotten in at least 3 workouts by today and drank a significant amount of water each day. This month we focus on results...so get that water in, workouts done and healthy meals prepared.... that's what it takes to get the job done.

Here's a little video for my mom friends out there, Gia and I got to be on the local morning show and it was very fun! Even though we were on live they were kind enough to cut out Gia's choking with excitement over bicep curls of this YouTube montage :) You never know what a toddler is going to do and it isn't any different on camera!
Click for the video!

Grand Opening of the Studio!

It's official, the studio is opening!  Save the Date: March 23rd

I am so excited, after a lot of work and years of dreaming we're actually going to do it. "If you want something to happen you have to MAKE it happen". I say that to people all the time but I was always too scared to do it myself. But now, with the support of my awesome parter and husband, we have been painting and working and are just about ready to open for business.

The opening day will begin at 10am and at 11am we will have our first F.I.T class (Fast, Intense, Training). The grand opening itself is totally free, we'll provide the refreshments and give a mini-tour of the studio. There is a raffle for free training sessions and more. The 11am F.I.T class is $15 to do (or whatever you can afford) as it is a donation that will benefit the local CMFCAA (Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association). I have always wanted to help the Foster kids in any way I can and this is my chance to do it in a big way. So please help me help them!

Donations were accepted and SO MUCH appreciated. Thanks ALL of you!

Doing it all over...

Many of you are on my facebook page, www.facebook.com/heartstrongfit , so you may have read...or maybe not.....but I decided to take on the challenge of another fitness competition. Yes, after my mini rant, I'm doing it again. Here is why: I'm extremely competetive and a perfectionist. Now, that doesnt mean I always win 1st or am the most perfect, but it means that I will always be reaching for loftier goals and I will always try to be better than I was last time (which means I always create a "next time").

So, there it is.

At the same time, I desire to inspire people to live  better life and hopefully give great tips. So I don't want people to think that my "competition diet" is something they should ever try and follow or the workout intensity is normal, its not. This is why I wont be posting about everything I do in detail because there are some out there that think eating 14 egg whites and 5 pieces of fish a day with no carbs is healthy...its not! At least not long-term.  That is why there is an off-season and prep-season for comoetitors, so if you are being told to eat like that by someone (or "read an article once"),  ask them what nutrients you are missing,  ask why they want you to eat that way and if they can't give you options or even answers then find a nutritionist who can.

End of the first week of 2013...*workout, snack

Did you set a resolution this year? It's that time of year again, the time when we renew our goals to ourselves, to our lives and to our family. The first week of the new year is ending and I want to make sure we all are able stay on track for the year.  Those that forget by the next Friday that their New Year resolution was to "give up sugar" may need to reevaluate their goals. Seriously, no sugar.  Ever. For a whole year. Seriously? Did you make it a week? Try again.
       Well, I have to admit, I didn't really set a lot of resolutions, no list this year....but it was intentional. I always preach that it is important to set realistic goals, and resolutions are included in that too. I always do a self-check about May and October to see if I've hit my goals or kept with my resolution I made the previous January. In 2012 it was pretty close! (hey, no one is perfect). So this year I set two goals, one that focuses on myself and one that focuses on my family.
    #1... live as healthy as possible but don't live with regrets either. This means if I want a burrito, I eat one (well, if I can find a gluten free one *sad face*) or if I want anything to splurge on, do it but don't think about it days later. Eat it, enjoy it, and live the next 6 days happy and healthy.
     #2... be happy in life, with life and with my family. We are here together and we need to be grateful for what we have, who we have and live our best life..all of the time, not just when we remember. Sometimes life gets in the way of life. I'm going to make sure that I (and in turn, my family) appreciate everything and I don't sweat the small stuff. It's a cliche but it's true, don't sweat the small stuff!

So here's a great snack that I've been eating a ton of, it's simple and fast:
Hummus and sweet peppers!
Any flavor hummus will do, Sabra is my favorite brand because it is GF and I like the spicy because it stops you from eating a ton since your mouth is on fire.
Those little bell pepper like peppers in a bag you see in the grocery store are the ones I'm talking about.
       Dip and crunch. It's a perfect snack when you need to crunch something like a potato chip or crunchy candy.Try it

At-home workout for the week:
10 Donkey jumps with a chair on each side
10 push-ups
20 high knees
10 v-ups
10 jump-squats
***repeat 3 times or more, no less!  And time yourself, do it every day for a faster time- descriptions below

Donkey jumps with a chair- stand facing a chair, the part you sit on is facing you. Bend over and put one hand on either side of the seat, so you're leaning on it. (You'll be facing down with your butt sticking out basically) Then you'll jump with both feet together from side to side lifting from your hips. Keep grabbing the seat, don't let go, but jump right and left 10 times on each side.
Push-ups-  I hope you know what a push up is.... Keep your butt down, body in line and look about a foot in front of you on the floor.
High knees- Stand up and you will run in place bringing your knees as high as possible, slow down a bit so you can get your knees even higher, 20 on each side!!
 v-ups Lay on your back stretched out with arms over head and legs out straight. You will bring your finger tips to your toes, they'll meet above you so your body makes a V. Fingers to toes, then lower legs and arms back down, wash. rinse and repeat. :)
Jump-squats stand up, lower yourself into a squat and jump with your arms reaching high, land in a squat position (this is important! it will protect your knees from damage). Squat down, jump up high and do it all over again.

Locals: take a look at m 10-day Fit program, save your spot now it'll start soon :)

Happy, healthy week :)