Progress Leads to Progress

I used to be ruled by food. Every thought revolved around my next meal and what time I could eat it. I thought this would never go away no matter how hard I work. Today, I realized that it has gone away. I haven’t planned meals in weeks. Today I actually almost forgot that I needed to eat lunch. Food has become a way to nurture my body. It is no longer my emotional crutch. When I realized this I was so excited that I started crying. It’s hard to imagine positive changes with bad habits that have followed you for years.

This excitement over progress has showed me that if I put into the work and keeping making progress then I am going to continue being happy and I am going to continue making huge process. Take my progress with something I never thought would EVER change and use it as inspiration to make changes in your life. Is there something big you want to do? As long as you put in the work and make little changes over the time I know that you can do it! I am going to continue this great mood all day(hopefully) and continue working towards making more progress!

How to Get Back on Track After a Binge

If you have struggled with overeating, you know how it feels after you stop feeling the pleasure from all that food. I have struggled for a few years, and although I am getting better at reducing the frequency of my binges, I do still struggle with binge eating. Every time I binge I feel awful afterwards. Typically I just feel bad about myself and restrict my eating and it leads to more binging. I decided to try to change that pattern by researching some ideas for how to get back on track after binge eating.

Take a Walk

Taking a walk can help you clear your mind and burn a few calories. It can also relieve some discomfort from binge eating. Physical activity improves your mood and reduces stress which can help prevent future binges.

Start the Next Day Off Right

As I mentioned above I tend to restrict my eating after binge eating. Instead of doing that, I should be focusing on getting back on track and eating a healthy meal. If I restrict myself the next day I am more likely to overeat later in the day because I am starving.

Drink Your Water

Drinking water has been shown to temporarily increase your metabolism which can be helpful after a binge. It can also be helpful to reduce overeating if you drink it before a meal.

Eat Your Veggies

Veggies are full of fiber so they help fill you up. If you are full you are less likely to binge eat.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is focused on paying attention to what you eat. It is all about really experiencing eating with all of your senses instead of just putting it in your mouth. See my article about mindful eating HERE. Mindful eating has been shown to prevent binge eating.

Eat More Protein

Protein has been shown to regulate levels of hunger. When I eat more protein during the week I feel better overall and reach for snack foods less. Protein has also been shown to burn more fat, so it’s a win win.

In conclusion…the best way to get back on track after binge eating is to just jump back into it. Eat right, exercise, and most importantly don’t beat yourself up over the binge. Binge eating may still happen, but as long as you focus on getting back into a healthy routine you will feel so much better.

You Get Out What you Put in

When you are trying to make a change you get out what you put in. Hard work is required. I can only reach my goals if I put in the work to achieve them. If I want this blog to be successful I need to put in the work. I am not going to get anywhere if I don’t take the steps to get there.

Hard work is also necessary to work on your mental health. If I want to get to a healthy place mentally I need to put in the work. I need to change my thought patterns and behaviors or I will never get to where I want to be. Recently I have been very stressed and depressed so I am hoping to work on the thought patterns that I have and change my thoughts. I also plan on going back to therapy. It’s hard to bear all of your deepest darkest feelings to someone you don’t know, but I know that hard work is necessary to see any sort of improvement.

Another aspect of my life that I am working on trying to make changes is fitness and nutrition. It is important to stick to healthy eating decisions and workouts to reach your fitness goals. You won’t see a change from eating one salad or doing one workout, just like you won’t get fat from skipping one workout or eating one cookie. Our actions slowly build up and add on til one day when we start to see the results.

Whatever you have been struggling with I encourage you to keep pushing and as long as you put in the work I promise you will see the change!

Instant Pot Barbacoa

Barbacoa is a Mexican shredded beef. It can be eaten in a taco, salad, over rice, as a sandwich, or many more possibilities. The Instant Pot makes it easy to get the perfect consistency. The beef practically falls apart with just two forks. I will be eating the barbacoa as a taco with a salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • Cubed Beef
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Beef Broth
  • Chipotles in Adobo
  • Limes
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Bay Leaves

Directions

This recipe is very simple. Most of the recipes I do I like to just throw in the ingredients and go without all of the stress of measurements.

I used frozen beef because I didn’t have time to thaw it, but fresh will work too. Start by sautéing it in the instant pot with vegetable oil. Next, sauté the onion and garlic. Add the beef broth and scrape up the browned bits from the beef on the bottom. Add all of the seasonings and the chipotles in adobo(I used 3 of them). The original recipe called for clove me but I never have cloves so I used cinnamon. I used the juice from 2 limes and about 2 TBSP of vinegar. I used 3 small bay leaves.

Add the beef back in and set the time to 1 hour. After the hour is up press the quick release and wait until the pressure is completely released.

Shred the mixture with 2 forks and enjoy!

Don’t make decisions about tomorrow based on how you feel now

I find myself making decisions for the future based on my current depressing thoughts. Instead of allowing myself the time to feel better, I automatically assume I will not so I will cancel plans because I don’t feel up to them in that moment even though I may feel fine tomorrow. Having this mindset reinforces the negative thought that things will never improve for my mental health. That is why I need to stay strong and focus on what is happening now instead of what may happen tomorrow.

Thinking about this makes me think about suicide. Suicide is a decision made for the future that can’t be reversed. Don’t make a decision to end your life just because you are feeling down now. It will get better.

The only time that making a decision about tomorrow based on how you feel now is appropriate is if you are making a decision about doing something positive and healthy tomorrow when you feel down today. It is always good to look forward to something better. Always look to improve yourself.

Getting to a Better Place

What is normal? Recently I’ve been feeling very stressed and have gotten off track with some of my goals. I was about to start this post by saying that I am getting back to normal, but then I realized something. I didn’t know what normal was and I didn’t know if normal was the best option. Instead of focusing on getting back to normal, whatever that is, I am going to focus on getting to a better place than I am in right now.

I want to focus on getting back to a routine that will put me on track for a good day. Starting out on the right foot can have a big impact. Even accomplishing little tasks can make you feel good about yourself and inspire you to be more and more productive as the day goes on. I like to start my day by making my bed, working out, watering my plants, and cleaning out my cats litter box. These tasks may be simple, but I know that if I can push myself to complete these then I can accomplish whatever else I set my mind to the rest of the day.

I know it’s been a while since I have posted and felt like my “normal” self, but I am ready to get back to a good place. I am going to therapy in a few weeks, but until then I am going to work on correcting negative thoughts as they arrive and journaling to help my mind process what upsets me.

It feels really good to be back!

What is Success?

Recently I have been thinking a lot about what success is. Success is different for everyone. There are so many types of success. There’s financial success, health success, emotional success, and more. I find it helpful to inventory what I am successful at and what I can do to become more successful in other things.

One way I feel like I am successful is that I am financially stable. I am able to support myself and live a comfortable and healthy life. I may not be able to buy everything I want, but that’s ok. Success has a different definition for everyone.

One way I feel I could improve is by improving my will power. I find myself giving into cravings and binging . I have become more successful than I was in the past, but I feel like I am not successful in this regard.

Another thing I want to become more successful at is confidence. Lately I haven’t been where I want to be with how my body looks. I want to be able to feel confident about how I look and not constantly worry that people are judging the parts of my body I feel most insecure about. Part of this is going to be working on those parts of my body and part of this is going to be realizing that it doesn’t matter what others think of my body.

Finally, I am working on making successful decisions. Today I had planned on eating very light. Those plans changed when we got lunch ordered for us at work. The place is known for their pizza and breadsticks, but I decided to go for a salad. I am thankful I am becoming more successful at making better decisions. I am also becoming more successful at stopping eating when I am full.

Avocado Cream Sauce

I am always looking for healthy sauces to use with pasta and came across this avocado sauce and couldn’t wait to try it! I paired it with chickpea pasta and skirt steak.

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • Enough Water to Blend
  • 1 Tbsp of Almonds
  • 1/2 of a Shallot
  • Seasonings of Choice

Directions

I started by caramelizing my shallot to give it a little extra flavor. Once they had some color I added them to my blender with the other ingredients. The original recipe called for almond milk, but I have found it’s cheaper to keep almonds on hand and make my own as needed instead of buying a container just to use less than a cup. This recipe is best eaten unheated.

Zucchini Boats

This week for lunch I found this delicious taco inspired stuffed zucchini. What I love about this recipe is that it can be made so versatile depending on the ingredients used in the stuffing.

Ingredients

  • Zucchini
  • 1/4 of a Diced White Onion
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1-2 Ears of Corn
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 Cup of Brown Rice/Quinoa Blend
  • Cheddar Cheese

Directions

Start by slicing the zucchini in half and scooping out the inside to create a boat. I roasted them for about 10 minutes at 350.

Cut the bacon into pieces and dice the onion. While the zucchini are roasting, start by sautéing the bacon and onion together. Once the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked, add the ground beef. Once the ground beef is almost cooked through, add the corn. Season each layer to taste.

While the meat mixture is cooking, cook the rice and quinoa(use your preferred grain). I used my Instant Pot. Check out my post HERE about how to cook brown rice and quinoa in the Instant Pot.

Once the meat mixture and rice are cooked, mix them together and stuff them into the zucchini. I made these for work so I added the cheese then microwaved them. You can also throw them in the oven to melt the cheese.

Have fun with it and use your favorite ingredients!

How to Boost Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. The speed of your metabolism is based on many factors. Some of those factors can be controlled and some cannot be controlled. Metabolism is very tricky to change, but certain habits can increase the speed of your metabolism temporarily.

One habit that can help increase the speed of your metabolism is eating regularly. If you were to eat a large meal then go for a long period of time without eating, your body would burn calories slower and store more fat. By eating every couple of hours you can reduce that tendency to store fat.

One habit that can slow down your metabolism is not eating enough. If you don’t eat enough, your body will burn calories slower to conserve energy.

Another habit that can increase metabolism is weight training and high intensity interval training.. Muscles burn calories faster so increasing the size of your muscles can help increase your metabolism.

Drinking enough water is another way to speed up your metabolism. Water is essential to many functions in the body. This increase in metabolism may be even greater when you drink cold water since your body needs to work to warm the water up to your body’s temperature.

Something else that can help speed up your metabolism is to reduce your stress. When you are stressed your body produces cortisol. Too much Cortisol may increase bad eating habits which can disrupt metabolism.

Stress also affects sleep, when you don’t get quality sleep your body releases more ghrelin and less leptin. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry while leptin makes you feel full. Having your eating hormones off balance can lead to poor eating habits which in turn can affect your metabolism.

The food you eat can also affect your metabolism. Vitamin B has been shown to have a great effect on metabolic rate. Protein is also very helpful for increasing your metabolic rate as it has been shown to burn more calories than fat and carbs. Capsaicin found in spicy foods has also been shown to help increase the speed of your metabolism. Caffeine in coffee is also shown to cause increases in your metabolic rate. Coconut oil contains a unique type of fatty acid which can increase the speed of your metabolism more than other fats.

While all of these tips aren’t going to increase your metabolism permanently, incorporating them into your daily life will make an impact.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism#section2

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323328