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Happy Monday!!

So, guys… I have something major to share with you.  For all of you Netflix lovers out there, this is a watch now, as in TONIGHT, type deal.  It will change your life.  The documentary titled, “Hungry For Change” is so incredible, and literally will change your paradigm on dieting, your health and your life, forever.  If you’ve already seen it, please chime in, I love to discuss this stuff.  Like, send me an e-mail or comment below.

Basically this documentary is a real life glimpse of what Americans eat, why they eat it, what it does, and how to improve and know what your body needs.  The experts in the film used to be 200, 300, 400 lbs themselves, and they completely changed their lives once they became educated on food and health.  68% of Americans are overweight or obese. This film uncovers why and how we can change this.

If you’ve been with me on this blog for awhile, you know that I am a huge proponent of NOT dieting, ever. I do not diet, I’ll never diet again.  I don’t believe in any of the “diets” out there, from Weight Watchers to Atkins to the Zone, whatever, they’re all bogus to me.  Why? Because diets are only temporary.  If you’re looking to permanently change your life, you have to become educated on what causes weight gain, what foods do what to your body, and how to eat for your optimum health.  Plain and simple, you will not be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself eating processed foods, sodas, packaged foods, whatever. There is no escaping it, these chemicals will cause mass weight gain, a variety of cognitive issues, malnutrition and disease throughout your body.

My favorite takeaways from the film:

-Dieting causes people to feel deprived, with the attitude, “I can’t have it but I want it.”  Not dieting but becoming educated on what your body needs causes people to say, “I can have it but I don’t want it.”  This paradigm shift makes all of the difference in lasting weight loss and overall improved health.

-It’s  simple, once you become educated on what humans are supposed to eat, you add those foods into your diet, start to eat more organic fruits and vegetables, take notice of ingredients.  You keep adding in the good stuff, and it will crowd out the bad.  Once you start to feel better from this diet, seeing rapid weight loss, you’ll never want to go back.  Once you feel better, you’ll realize the other choices are no longer valid.

-Don’t manipulate your diet. Ie: No carbs, low fat, no meat, no dairy, just eat real unprocessed foods, it’s that simple.

-To detoxify your body eat a ton of greens, vegetables, chia seeds, parsley, cilantro, water and you will feel yourself letting go of the many toxins you’ve been accumulating in your body.  Get outside, take a walk, exercise, you will feel happier and healthier within days.  Oh, and JUICE!!! Major, major proponent of this. I use this one and love it.  Remember this recipe??

-Visualization is a HUGE part of weight loss.  One man spoke about when he was 300+ lbs, he visualized himself every day at a healthy weight.  He closed his eyes and visualized himself walking in the sun, running, smiling, out with friends, in nice clothes, all of these visualizations speak to your subconscious mind.  Keep visualizing yourself this way every single day, do it when your body is calm, your mind is calm, relaxed and your subconscious mind will begin seeing you that way, it becomes an intense motivator and it no longer seems like such work to reach this reality.

-Basically, getting to your goal weight, getting rid of disease, and feeling your absolute best can be done with three steps (in conjunction with healthy eating). 1. Sleep (get tons of it). 2. Exercise, get outside in the sun, biochemically this is everything. 3. Humor. Humor is known to improve stress, improve immunity, and decrease pain.

Let me know if/when you watch this. Again, highly recommend. I love learning more about this topic and would love to see everyone just as inspired as I am by this!!

Toodles!

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I’m a girl who definitely likes her sweets from time to time…

I don’t like to deny myself or feel like I’m starving (remember this?) So, I whipped up an easy, healthy little ice cream alternative that did just the trick to curve my evening sweet fix.

photo 5Here’s the beauty of this little recipe vs. store bought ice cream:

+No dairy! The less dairy I consume, the less I want it/can even tolerate it when I do have it. Many people are lactose intolerant, if you don’t know if you are/are unsure, try cutting dairy, you’ll see a difference! Besides, drinking milk is not necessary for optimum health, and is potentially harmful (my opinion). I always go for Almond Milk, always.

+It’s very rich, feels decadent but ISN’T.

+A healthy alternative, all of the items used have fantastic health benefits, they aren’t empty additives, or icky ingredients you can’t even spell, much less pronounce!

+Cacao Powder is DELICIOUS!!! Cacao has a variety of great health benefits (in moderation) such as: magnesium, iron, antioxidants, omega fatty acids and fiber! I use this one. Sunfood Superfoods Cacao Powder is Non-GMO, and made from the highest quality cacao beans, cold pressed into a powder to maintain its full nutrient density.

+IT’S SO DAMN GOOD.

OK, so here we go:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIngredients: 2 bananas (ripe), 2 Tbsp Cacao Powder, 3 Organic Dates (pitted), 1 Tsp Pumpkin Spice, 4 Tbsp Almond Milk.

This is a no brainer, throw all the ingreds in a blender, freeze, enjoy!

This makes two servings (technically), but mine is just sitting in my freezer for whenever I get the craving. It’s safe to enjoy within the week for optimum nutritional benefits. I just have a couple of scoops whenever the sweet tooth starts screaming and this does more than the trick!

photo 4BTW- ALL of my favorite bloggers have done a variation of this. Some add strawberries instead of cacao, some mix in dark chocolate bits instead of the cacao powder, this is totally customizable. Just think of your fave ice cream flavor and add that ingredient (all natural peanut butter swirled in, almond butter, fresh fruit, etc etc). Just think all natural, all organic and fresh!!

Tip- Sprinkle coconut flakes on the top for a little snowy sweet top! I use these.

Let me know which variations you try!!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetHow’s everyone doing on the book?? Remember my book club?? I know I said I would wait for you to get the book, but I had a few e-mails to join and we’ve just been conversating as the book goes on. If you’d like to join the discussion LMK!

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Do you ever have that moment where you’re just like, “I want to do this.. I don’t know how to do this.. but I’ll do it anyway, because– why the f not?!?

Well, I had that moment to the fullest extent LAST NIGHT.

I’m talking less than 14 hours ago.

It was, “AHA!” Fireworks went off and I suddenly became more excited than ever, for my newest idea…

So WTF am I talking about?

A BOOK CLUB!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t really know what it takes to start a book club, I’ve never officially been a part of one, but I assume it goes like this:

1. Decide to start a book club.

2. Tell people about it.

3. Get those people to say “yes” to reading (convince/force).

4. Read at a similar pace (make benchmarks).

5. DISCUSS/LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT. <————- most important part!

So, that’s my model for the book club.

WANT TO JOIN?!?

Perks of the Everything’s A Thing Book Club Membership include:

-It’s very official.

-Hilarious reads (I’ve already picked the first book but you can tell me what you want to read next. Must be GOOOOOOOOOOD).

-We can talk about all of our lovely thoughts/feelings about our book.

-IT WILL BE SO FUN.

Ok, hopefully you’re convinced.

BW

The first book is…. Babe Walker’s “Psychos.” Buy here, and read through chapter 1 (you’ll fly through this chapter 1, just want to give everyone time to order the book).  BTW- Make sure you e-mail me and let me know if you’re participating!!

Thoughts??

Hope you babes are as excited as me, clearly this is my best idea ever.

Loveys!!

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Full disclosure: I may or may not be munching on the Spice-z Parmesan Garlic Chipz as I write this……

(I am).

As you all know by now, I’m all about eating healthy and being very aware of the ingredients in the foods I eat. I still love to indulge a little bit, I still like to have a little fun beyond just fruits and veggies, so I do occasionally venture out into world of packaged foods.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI totally love chips and dip, it’s like an addicting/never gets old/delicious snack that is just too perfect for too many occasions, and there are so many great options to make sure you are eating a healthier version of the yummy snack.

Recently my buds over at Chipz Happen sent me all of their delicious flavors of chips to try and I have to say, healthy tastes good.

chipz6Chipz are made with Rice Bran Oil which is a superior frying oil with the highest amount of antioxidants. Chipz are also Non-GMO (ewww GMO’s = nasty/gross/never), and flavored with Himalayan Pink Salt.

(gasp)

Can we just take a moment for Himalayan Pink Salt?

Please?!

This stuff is everything.

Not only does it have a distinct (delicious) flavor, but it contains 84 minerals, aids in hydration, balances electrolytes, strengthens bones, lowers blood pressure, removes toxins, and aids in absorption. Oh, and it tastes like heaven on earth.

I CAN’T.

Chipz1I also love the story behind Chipz.  They’re a San Diego based family business. It all started at home (where the magic happens) from the lovely Mother who spent 20 years perfecting the recipe, and the kids (now grown kids) helping by being expert taste testers.  Personally, I love family owned businesses. There is something so remarkable about the family unit, working together for a cause they all believe in.

Oh, and if all that sweetness isn’t enough to try Chipz, check out Kidz Happen, their program to award scholarships to underpriveleged children.  A portion of proceeds go to Kidz Happen. More about this amazing program here.

Loveeee!

Visit Chipz Happen here and buy here or at all Sprouts California locations. :)

 

 

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Happy Wednesday, babes!

Today I would like to introduce you all to my girl, Ashley of the Health & Fitness blog Sanely Skinny.  Ashley’s fitness story is incredible, like you have to check it out, and if you look at her now, you’ll pretty much die (she’s perf right?!) Ashley & I recently got together to bring you a double post for this beautiful summer Wednesday, we both answered need-to-know questions about our fitness stories, what inspires us and what keeps us in the game. Check out my interview on Ashley’s blog, here!

Enjoy!

Ashley1

-Introduction-

Hi All! My name is Ashley Buckley and I am from sunny San Diego, California. I have grown up here my whole life, but this coming fall I will be attending college at CU Boulder and studying Journalism and Mass Communications. I decided to study this major thanks to my blog/baby, SanelySkinny.net. I began this blog about two years ago to share my weight loss story and to help teens and young adult adapt healthy habits in order to live a more fulfilling, fun, healthy life.

-What is your fitness story?

My fitness story began way back in 8th grade. I had grown up playing basketball thanks to my height of 5’9. I would play on my school’s team, but in 8th grade I joined a traveling team in my county and that I guess is where my fitness/ weight loss began. After a few weeks of practices and games, I started to notice a difference in how my clothes fit and I decided to step on the scale and noticed I had lost about 10 pounds without even dieting! After the season ended, I did not want to regain the weight I had lost, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and continue to exercise. I would religiously go to step classes (flashback to the 90’s!) with my mom every morning during the summer going into my freshman year of high school. Along with attending classes, I began tracking my calories with the app Lose It. For that entire summer that was my life; workout and eat the right amount of calories. This continued for a majority of my freshman year as well until I went from 200 pounds to a toooooo slim 120. I have regained some of the weight because for my 5’9 frame 120 pounds is way to slim. I never regret the work I had to put in to lose 80 pounds and am beyond happy to say that I did it!

-What is your advice to someone just starting out on their fitness journey?

My advice for anyone starting a fitness journey is to remember that nutrition is KEY to weight loss. I don’t care how many hours you spend in a gym, you need to eat right to see results. PERIOD. Cut out any processed crap in your diet. No chips, white bread/pasta, soda, or anything out of a plastic bag or can for just one week, and you will see a huge difference trust me! So even though I stress honing in on your nutrition for weight loss, you can’t sit around your house and expect to get results. Go for a 30 minute walk on the beach or take a group exercise class at your gym! Just move!

-What inspires you to live a healthy lifestyle?

What motivates me the most to live a healthy lifestyle is my weight loss. I absolutely LOVE how I feel when I finish a spin class, run, or workout. I also feel amazing when I eat healthy. I am also signed with two modeling agencies in Southern California so eating healthily and working out are an absolute MUST!

Ashley3-What does your weekly workout routine look like?

My weekly workout schedule changes frequently. Right now I am all about shorter, quicker workouts that incorporate full body movements and weights. I recently purchased T-25 and the 21 day Fix from Beach Body and I am LOVING the results! To be completely honest, I am a huge cardio junkie. But what I came to notice about cardio is that it really doesn’t change your body. Yes, cardio allows you to burn an insane amount of calories, but it just wasn’t giving me the results I desired. So I completely revamped my workout! Instead of logging 60 minutes on the spin bike 5-6 days a week, I now only do it about 3 times a week. On the other days, depending on how I am feeling, I will pop in one of my workout DVD’s and log in 25-60 minutes.

-Top 3 go to snacks:
100 pack of almonds (PORTION CONTROL IS KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS!)
Packet of beef jerky
Quest Bars <- these will change your life if you have a sweet tooth!

-How do you combat cravings? What is your favorite splurge?

I personally have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet. I love ice cream, brownies, cookies, you name it, but of course I can not indulge in these items daily. I think the number one thing that has helped me with my sweet tooth is Quest Bars. If you have never tried a Quest Bar, you are missin’ out. These bars literally taste like dessert, I kid you not. They have anywhere from 160-210 calories, hardly any carbs or sugar, and 20 grams of protein! They come in a variety of different flavors, Cinnamon Bun and Oreo to be my top two favorites, and are available online a www.Questnutrition.com, your local GNC or health store alike. Another piece of advice on curbing your cravings other than adding Quest bars into your diet, is to eat frequently throughout the day so that you NEVER go hungry. If you let yourself go too long without eating you are more likely to over eat at your next meal. I advise you eat 5-6 small meals throughout your day, spaced out between 2 to 3 hours. And as far as my favorite splurge goes, I looooove indulging in a California Burrito every now and then. Yes, I know I just said I had a huge sweet tooth, but my Quest Bars keep me happy and satisfied that I actually would probably choose them over ice cream.

-Any advice to readers who want to lose weight without “dieting”?

My advice for anyone who wants to lose weight with out dieting is to quit dieting all together. Begin viewing food as fuel, something your body NEEDS. Eating healthy is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. You can not live off of frozen diet meals and diet protein shakes. You need to feed your body properly whether you are trying to lose weight or not. Begin by cutting out all processed foods in your diet, and add in more fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. You will notice a difference immediately!

-Favorite way to relax after a stressful week?

My number one way to relax after a stressful week is to climb into my bed and binge watch Orange is the New Black or House of Cards.

-Number one Skinny Tip?
Sweat every morning before you eat anything! This will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day!

Ashley2

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