Friday, July 28, 2017

Why I went 60 hours without food


Yep.  It sounds a little crazy I know.  That is exactly what I thought when I first heard of my friends doing a 60 hour fast.  Well, thankfully I am not above a little crazy so I started some research.  

Let me begin by saying that there is more than just water involved.  I also added in a supplement for body and brain fuel so no starvation going on here, get that out of your brain and cal down for a minute!  Let's start off with the Why
Purpose: To Detoxify, Repair, Regenerate and Reset our body both physically and psychologically. + Mental Clarity, Acuity and Accomplishment + Starve the micro-biomes of sugar + Brain Metabolism Adaptation (The Sugar Shift) + Increase Growth Hormone Levels + Detox...The worse you’ve been, the worse it will be. Toxins will be removed via skin, breath, bowels.
Now, I'm not necessarily looking to lose weight here, I don't need to.  What I do need is a shift in my body, over the past 2-3 years while my weight has remained virtually the same, my % body fat had increased from 16-18% on up to 25-26%  I work in the fitness industry, I'm not sedentary, and I didn't like where this was heading.  I am a hard gainer meaning it takes a LOT of work for me to build muscle so I knew I was going to have to make a conscious effort to stop this trend.  I have always followed a higher fat diet because that is the science that I align myself with and I'm wanting to follow more of a ketogenic diet as I come out of this.  Enter the 60 Hour Water Fast & Ketone Cleanse!

I'm not going to go into full detail & run folks off from boredom, I'll just say that I trusted the research that I read and I made the decision that felt right for me, telling myself that I would stop without judgment if something didn't feel right.  A nurse friend of mine joined me and we agreed to be accountability partners (this became SO important)  There is also a FB support group we joined (I can add you!) and we embarked.  

We started a bit earlier than the group due to work and travel plans so at 9:00pm on a Thursday night we stopped ingesting any protein, carbs, or fats and started our clocks.  My goal was no less than 100 oz. of water each day of the fast (I struggle with water intake and want to hit 50 oz. daily but like most people I often fall short).  I went to bed with a large bottle of water and slept like a baby.  Following is my recap of the next 60 hours.

Hours 0-9.5 Get ready for bed and sleep, that was easy!  I actually have slept so very well since starting with this supplement, it has been one of my favorite benefits that I've experienced (Once I decided to stop resisting waking up at 6:30 am!)

Hours 9.5-17.5 Friday morning, Up and ready for work, I had my morning packet of Max (caffeinated) and life was grand! Now a little intermittent fasting is nothing new for me, I don't like to eat early in the mornings so no big change here.  This was a bit of a busy day at work with a few back to back meetings and 2 practice workouts.  During this phase of the fast guidelines are to get in a good workout so that you burn through your glucose and glycogen stores so we wanted to 'spend' lots of energy today. ✔

Hours 17.5-22  Friday afternoon, I ran from one thing to the next (a bad habit of mine!) and while I did keep my water bottle full I did not have my mid-day supplement pack.  I felt it, and reached out to my friend who pointed out to me that sugar appeared to have dropped! I shook up a drink and immediately felt better this turned out to be the first and only time I wondered if I would need to stop.  No hunger pains, no cravings and water intake is going well! Finished the workday and went home, the hubby is out fishing so no worry about dinner...not yet!

Hours 22-26 I wanted to go to an essential oils class tonight because my accountability partner uses lemon essential oil in her water and I wanted to learn more about this so I go to a friend's house for the evening. It was so nice, there were beautiful looking and delicious smelling snacks, fruits, salad, and even some ketogenic diet friendly foods since her mom follows a ketoogenic diet! I thoroughly enjoyed looking at and smelling the foods but was not compelled to cheat or break the fast at all.  I brought a non-caffeinated Max with me and was fully satisfied. I also got to enjoy some amazing company and laughed more than I have laughed in ages!  I have some awesome friends!

Hours 26-34 Home to sleep again, this passes time wonderfully.  I did break the 100 oz. mark yesterday and yes, I did go to the bathroom a lot, no GI distress though!  Slept well as usual and got up this morning to go teach Boga, a floating fitness workout that we offer at our outdoor pool.  I fixed my water bottle with lots of ice and shook up my caffeinated Max and headed off to work (Hubby left before me for more fishing so no breakfast duty either!)

Hours 34-38 Taught two classes back to back, showered, made a round around the facility and headed home... I'm still feeling great, no grumbling tummy, no fatigue, no weakness! Today the shift from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism should kick in, I'm making regular check ins with my friend and she is right there with me, she may have had it worse though, she went to a BBQ last night and didn't even cave! I'm telling y'all the cravings aren't there!

Hours 38-43 The time I fear the most...being at home with nothing to do.  I knew it before going into this but I tell you what I really know it now.  I am a snacker, I eat out of boredom and I will eat anything...I will also eat the whole package so I don't have to worry about eating it later - especially if it is less than healthy because I won't want to keep that unhealthy stuff around, you know!  I'm feeling good and the yard needs some work so I set out to mow and weed-eat. Yep. In the Texas heat.  It was the s-l-o-w-e-s-t yard work I have ever done! But it kept me busy and trust me I took so many rest, water, and cool down breaks I also popped a few rocks of Himalayan Sea salt throughout the day to keep electrolytes balanced. This is a cool article on salt too:It's Not Salt's Fault  So anyway, I drank my mid-day Max and other than snooping obsessively in the cabinets and fridge for a snack that I knew I wasn't going to eat, another good day!  Now, about this snooping - this was not out of hunger, it was out of habit, note to self.

Hours 43-49 The evening.  Hubby is home and loves to cook so he took care of his own dinner at this point I'm pretty glad for that.  I continued distracting myself, had my evening Max and made another mistake. I got on Pinterest. 😮 I knew what I was doing too! I just wanted to innocently look at some good ketogenic recipes and start planning a grocery trip! Planning my breakfast, dreaming of food and delicious things!  It was only mildly tortuous 😏 But then I drifted off to sleep and all was well.  Still no hunger pains, still no GI distress, no headaches, etc.  This does make me feel good about where I started from, had I not started making some healthy changes beforehand this could have been a bit more ugly!

Hours 49-58 I went to bed with my breakfast all planned out, visions of eggs dancing in my head!  You're going to get tired of hearing this but I slept like a baby again.  I don't get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, I just sleep.  Until 6:30 and then I wake up, it never fails.  I didn't want to wake up at 6:30 today though, I wasn't having breakfast until 9!  So I made myself lay there tossing and turning for a little longer.  I didn't get up and get another bottle of water like I should have and a headache started to creep in, I knew why.

Hours 58-60 About 8 am I forced myself up to get a bottle of water, goodbye headache. Hello stove!  at 8:30 am I started pulling out my breakfast supplies and getting so excited!  I whipped up some eggs, avocado, bone broth, and...bacon.  The bacon was a bad idea, it wasn't part of the plan and I see why! It sure tasted good though!
First Meal Post Fast

Post Fast Day 1: After breakfast I went to church, now today calls for breakfast only and a small snack or so I'm still having my Max regularly and still aiming for 100 oz. of water for the day.  So, about that bacon - I did not feel good and I could tell it was bacon related, a little queasy and a little headache but nothing ridiculous so I'm hanging in there.  This evening we have a dinner at church, fries chicken, potato salad, and tables full of desserts!  Now my snacks should have been small bits of fruit but I broke guidelines and had a bit of salad and a nibble of chicken (meat only) instead! Felt okay about it and stuck with no dairy, sugar, etc.

Post Fast Day 2: Never. Have. I. CRAVED CARBS like I have today. Never! Without willpower and time invested I could have devoured a buffet of pasta, bread, pastries, cakes, cookies, you name it! Today was a mild struggle but I just had to remind myself that these were the very things that had gotten out of control in my diet and this was exactly why I needed this reset. Power through, complain a little, and en the end I'm proud of the progress.

Post Fast Day 3: Carb cravings are gone, water intake is easier and easier each day and I'm consistently hitting my 50 oz. goal with no trouble and a completely normal number of restroom breaks! I've not had sugar cravings and I've just been slowly adding in new foods, monitoring how my body feels as I add them and making a decision from there on keeping the foods or not.  I'm happy with my progress so far, I'm on vacation right now and don't have the urge to splurge (I am considering a sno cone later today though) and Monday mom and I will be headed to Trader Joe's and JR (the hubby, fisherman extraordinaire) will embark on the ketogenic diet! Pinterest here I come!!

I'll update again later on with my progress! Oh, and speaking of progress - while you don't weight during the fast, I an conscious about not losing weight so I utilize a tool at work called an InBody to track changes in my body composition.  In the past month my weight has virtually remained the same, only my usual fluctuations of 1-2 pounds. In the time I've been supplementing with Keto//OS my body fat has been dropping, from its highest point at 26% to my post-fast 21% and not only have I maintained muscle mass but I've gained muscle along the way.  I couldn't be happier -- imagine the update as I implement a new workout routine and begin to focus a bit more on myself and my health!

If you want to try a fast of your own, or even just add in the daily supplement it is so easy and so good, just Email me, Facebook Me, or just Place an Order!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Almond Butter

My goal for today was no sugar (Full disclosure, I had a smidge of stevia it is in my supplement and my drink mixer!) It is 7:21 and so far so good.  One problem though.  I love peanut butter.  I love only Peter Pan peanut butter.  Remember that time there was a recall on Peter Pan peanut butter?  I do. Let's not talk about it.

I'm a creature of habit, I love a good consistent routine.  I eat 2 spoons full of peanut butter when I get home. That is just what I do, so today here I come in the house, knowing good and well that I can't have my two spoons full of Peter Pan peanut butter (because I checked the label before I left for work this morning) looking at a greasy jar of almond butter.  This stuff doesn't even look halfway good, plus I had to stir it up for 10 minutes trying to make it look...let's say palatable.

This could be rough.  But, here it is close to 9:00 - now the almond butter turned out not to be quite so bad and I've enjoyed some sausage and veggies for dinner.  One thing that I am thankful for at this point is that I've spent years trying to get off of sugar, I know this is just one day and that I'll fall off and slip up but I've also made it through the day without crankiness (I mean besides the whole almond butter ordeal...) without a headache, without any major cravings.  I actually have the willpower to follow through.  So I am closing out the day and calling it a, what should I work on tomorrow?
P.S. AND...not only id I teach yoga this morning but I stuck around for Pilates with Tina afterward AND did my afternoon workout with the ladies! 😊

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I've Decided to be Better

I hit a slump, a pretty good one too. For a good while not too long ago I was pushing and struggling to make things happen all on my own.  I kept up pretty well too actually!  But the day that my husband got back home and I had him to help me out, that's the day that I started to fizzle out.  I literally quit doing everything.  The exhaustion caught up with me and when I got up in the mornings I just wanted to sleep, when I came home from work I just wanted to sleep.  It was not at all what I had envisioned.  It was boring and depressing, I was boring!

My eating habits that were once pretty decent got out of control, we didn't have a meal plan so we often ended up eating out at the last minute.  That also meant no leftovers for lunches so out again for lunch.  Don't even talk to me about the cost - convenience has a price!  With this lack of energy and poor fuel my already questionable workout habits became non-existent.  JR and I did go for daily walks for a short period but eventually we lost the time and energy for that as well.  

I hit a wall.  I knew that I couldn't let myself continue like this, not for myself, my health, and not in my line of work!  I had to make a change.  That change is still in progress but I feel like I'm on the right track.  I have changed my diet and supplements and have gotten an amazing energy boost from that.  I recently completed a certification that will be life-changing for so many, myself included simply because there is consistency and accountability involved in the workouts.  

I'll be taking steps to keep moving forward & I'll be updating my progress here, feel free to creep, join me, ask questions, etc!  From here on out, I am on fire! 🔥🔥🔥

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Poem, My Christmas Wish

If I Had a KitchenAid Mixer

by Amber Norris

If I had a KitchenAid mixer I tell you what I'd do.
I'd mix up cupcakes for me, but I'd also mix cupcakes for you.

If I had a KitchenAid mixer I'd make the tastiest of cake. 
Cheesecake, vanilla, and German chocolate I would bake.

If I had a KitchenAid mixer, my right arm would be so relieved.
I've whisked, stirred, and scraped - still not a smooth batter achieved.

If I had a KitchenAid mixer, my buns would be the best around. 
Cinnamon or steamed, a better recipe could not be found. 

If I had a KitchenAid mixer, oh the attachments I would yearn.
I would spiral, I'd press, I'd juice, and I'd churn.

If I had a KitchenAid mixer, it wouldn't be all about treats. 
Homemade meatballs and dumplings would now be part of our feasts. 

If I had a KitchenAid mixer, fresh butter and whipped cream I'd churn. 
Don't worry, I'll be at the gym, now I'll have extra calories to burn.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beginner's Top Ten Guidelines to Building Strength

Strong muscles are important to your health and well-being; without them, daily activities such as carrying groceries and climbing stairs can become quite a task! Lower back pain and injuries also become more likely to occur when we don’t have the support of a strong muscular system. Healthy muscle mass does many things for our bodies including burning extra calories, so those with fit muscles have an easier time maintaining a trim figure. There are many great reasons to incorporate strength training into your fitness program but sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. Let’s talk about the top ten beginner’s guidelines to building strength.

10. Keep it Safe Speak with a doctor before you begin an exercise program, you want to focus on activities that are safe for you. Start your program slowly and gradually increase your intensity as you feel ready.

9. Schedule Your Time You can complete an effective workout in as little as 30 minutes! With

8. Find a Tempo Keep a steady pace and avoid moving with any momentum. Much of your strength is build in the negative portion of the movement where your muscle resists lowering the weight. Try lifting for a count of two and lowering for a count of four.

7. Maintain Good Posture Proper alignment is a foundational component of any program. Always keep a soft bend in the knees and shoulders rolled gently back. Maintain a natural curve through the lower back to avoid excess compression in the lower spine.

6. Warm Up First Begin your routine with a brisk walk or 5-7 minutes on a cardio machine to get your blood flowing and warm up the muscles. Save your stretching until after your workout.

5. Stop if it Hurts Remember your S’s - Sharp, Shooting, or Stabbing pains mean Stop! Learn the difference between pain and sensation, it is natural to feel the burn of a working muscle but a sudden, intense pain is a sure sign to stop and evaluate.

4. Quality over Quantity Never sacrifice your form for one more rep. If you have worked to the point of exhaustion, that is a good time to stop, rest, and repeat if needed. There is no magic number so pushing through bad form for the sake of finishing your 15th rep is not worth a potential injury!

3. Enjoy Variety Mix it up, if you find that you have been dong the same routine three times a week for the last eight months, it is time to mix it up. This goes for those in group classes as well, don’t be afraid to try something new! Making a change in your routine is also an excellent way to get past a plateau.

2. Ask for Help If you are uncertain about what to do, you haven’t been able to be consistent or stay committed, or you are just plain lost don’t be afraid to ask for help. Speak to a gym attendant or a class instructor about your concerns or set up a consultation with a personal trainer. The initial session is generally free and you can get some great direction even from just a few quick sessions.

1. Have Fun! If you don’t look forward to your routine then you need to make a change. There are so many options available when it comes to working out sometimes you have to be adventurous to find what you truly enjoy.

Be creative, beginning an exercise routine takes commitment and determination, but it is never too late to start. The benefits you will find are well worth the efforts, not to mention the camaraderie that you can find and the knowledge that you can gain about yourself and the beautiful machine that is your body.