Thursday, April 17, 2014

21 day sugar detox diet

If you follow me on InstaSlam, you know that I just started the 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet.

I just started my free trial of Amazon Prime, and I've been using the hell out of it on the following:

I found a packet at Whole Foods today and it's BOMB. NO sugar. Ingredients include ALMONDS. That's it!

  • Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs (FYI, they don't melt. I tried. Without sugar, you see what chocolate is really like. It's an acquired taste, and you definitely won't overdo it on these! 1 oz = 130 calories, and I like to mix them with 1/8 c pecan halves and 1/8 c raw almonds as a snack)

You might be asking yourself, Why? Why did I decide to do this?

Well, I've done the Paleo thing, but not 100%, since January 1, and that's why I've sort of plateaued and not seen the results I want.

And why Paleo? The lifestyle just makes sense to me. I wanted to be free of junk, and have guidelines to keep me honest, and eat to live, not live to eat. I also wanted to get rid of the excess that I gained from May 2013-December 2013.

I've been plagued with serious stomach issues (Monster, thy name is IBS) since the summer of 2007, and have to take expensive medication ($203.63/month, we need some RX reform up in here!!) twice a day to be somewhat normal, and I even had to get a colonoscopy at the ripe age of 25, and my next one is on the calendar for 2015.

Not excited, but since they found a potentially pre-cancerous polyp last time, it means I have to get screens every 2-3 years. It's not fun, but it's the only way to detect colon cancer, so it's definitely worth doing.

That said, I'm always looking for ways to clean up my eating to see if there are ways to make myself feel better, inside and out, based on what I'm putting in my body.

Here's what wasn't Paleo this year:
  • Hummus (even when portioned out, chickpeas and the like are on the oh-no-no list for paleo)
  • PB2 (peanuts are not allowed on the Paleo lifestyle, and this is just pulverized peanuts)
  • Bananas (I ate them like they were going out of style, and threw them into smoothies, or ate them by themselves, or with some PB2)
  • Allowing myself Enjoy Life chocolate (the Boom Boom Choco chocolate bars, or sprinkling some mini chips or chunks over fruit/bananas with PB2)
  • Half and half in my coffee
  • Getting 1 pump of vanilla into my coffee at Starbucks
  • Justin's Almond Butter squeeze packets (TOO much sugar, and it was hard to limit myself to just one)
To the untrained eye, if you look at my log on myfitnesspal, you probably think I've been doing GREAT (it's all relative, my friends), but there's always an opportunity to make tweaks. 

I've noticed that all of my "fat" is now primarily in my belly vs. love handles or elsewhere, and last year, I had a flat tummy. It's upsetting, but it's not defeating.

So, I did some research, and came across the 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet.

I'm doing Level 3, based on my current eating habits (mostly Paleo) and my level of activity. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty strict, but I've had zero problems thus far (but it's only day 2).

I do best when I have a set of rules and guidelines, telling me exactly what I can and can't do or eat, so this has been a piece of cake (can't have that, y'all) so far.

Just yesterday, I could already notice a change in how I felt, and I'm absolutely blown away, and can't wait to see where this goes.

I've been KILLING IT in the kitchen since Sunday, and I don't see this stopping anytime soon. All you need is a pantry and fridge full of clean ingredients, and some simple recipes. Thanks, Pinterest!

This recipe is SOFA king easy, and tastes amazing:

Zucchini and Carrot Quiche
I found this on Pinterest, and apparently, it comes from Practical Paleo! Can't wait to get the book!

Kale Chips, the STELebrity Fit Club Way:
400F oven
Wash and rinse kale carefully (get rid of any sand and dirt that might be on the leaves.
Foil a cookie sheet.
Tear up the kale in little pieces, removing the stalks.
Spray generously with coconut oil spray, and then season to your liking.
To be like that bitch Gwyneth, I use Pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper.
Bake for about 20 minutes, but CHECK on them. Mine are usually done in about 12 minutes.
They go from perfectly crisped to charred and bitter reallll quick.

ALSO: It might seem like a great idea to tupperware them and pack them up to eat another day, but this uncrisps the kale, and it just becomes seasoned leafy kale. Not ideal.

Zucchini Noodles with Peas (and protein of your choice - I like to do this with Smoked Salmon)
Spiralize 2-3 zucchini.
Heat them in a coconut oil-sprayed pan, and add peas, and protein.
Season to your liking.

If you want to give the 21DSD a try, check out the website for information and handy dandy 1-page guides, which will help with the YES/NO dichotomy, and knowing what you can make and buy at the grocery store.

You can even print out the daily success log that takes you from Day O-Day 22. I'm kicking ass so far.

The other BIG BIG BIG thing that's been keeping me from my ideal body is my lack of sleep. This makes you log sleep and water intake, and I love that. Those are two big goals for me.

The goal is to get 7 hours of sleep a night, which is tough for me, considering most nights, I don't get home until 8P after teaching a class, and then have to make/eat dinner, shower, etc., but if that's keeping weight in my belly, you better believe I'm going to get my ass into bed earlier.

I love a good YES/NO guide. Green means GO, yellow means bitch, you better watch out (because they're in my pantry, or I used to eat them regularly)

Another great resource I came across is from Primal Palate. They have an awesome free app with tons of recipes by category (appetizers, entrees, etc.), and it's called "myKitchen."

I'm also going to try a new workout, called CitySurf. I'm terrified, scared, and excited, all at the same time. They had an awesome deal going on: $15 for two weeks unlimited!

I neglect my core ALWAYS, and this is completely focused on toning and tightening everything, including the core. I'm in. My first class is Saturday at 11A, which may hurt a litttttle, considering I teach RPM from 9A-10A on Saturdays. Challenge accepted.

Our bodies start to get accustomed to what we do, and since I basically do the exact same workouts week in and out, it's high time for a change to get the results I want, and combining new focuses and workouts with a retooled diet should do the trick.

Let's hope.

Here's to a successful day 2-22.


PS, just came across this on Facebook today with the lady behind 21DSD!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Three on Thursday

It's (throwback/thankful) Thursday! You've (almost) made it to the end of another week.

Did you crush it? (wincing) I have so far, but there's a long way to go, my friends.

  • I made Yonanas last night for the first time in 3 months, and I'm happy to have it back in the STELebrityFitClub kitchen rotation.
  • I've got one BodyPump class behind me, and one more to go on Sunday to hit my 2x/week goal.
  • I've eaten within my daily calorie allotment every day this week, and I just hit the 102 days of solid logging mark on myfitnesspal. I'd like to thank the Academy...
  • I made myself run to kill time before last night's 2nd RPM class of the day, and it looks like I can go faster than I ever thought possible (or the brand of treadmill I got on works different than the others...). Who knows – maybe a 5K will be in the cards – as long as I can get over my aversion to running in a crowd...
  • I haven't bought lunch once this week (that I can recall...), and either brought or went home for a healthy lunch. 
Workout week at a glance 
(not any different from any other, aside from the reinstating of BodyPump 2x/week)

M: Taught RPM.
T: Took BodyPump.
W: Team taught RPM 62 at 6A. Ran for a few minutes at 645P. Rode RPM 62 as a participant.
Th: Teaching RPM tonight
F: Jury's out on this one. I'll either get my ass up early and take a 6A cycle class at the gym/run the dreadmill in my apt gym, or take a rest day. We shall see.
Sa: Teaching RPM at 9A, attending a wedding in the evening
Su: Teaching RPM at 1030A. Making my (reinstituted) weekly trip to Sprouts. Taking BodyPump at 630P.

I'm a creature of habit (friends and family can definitely attest to that), but I'm open to new things, as long as I have a game plan in place.

Almost every night, I eat some sort of spiralized veggies with sauce, or an omelet over m√Ęche lettuce, or something along those lines, and I could use some inspiration.

I've come across three fabulous resources recently, and wanted to share the wealth with you.

Here's my THREE on Thursday:

1) Deliciously Ella
This morning, I was scrolling through an email from Well + Good NYC, and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this blurb:

One woman's transformation from sugar addict to healthy vegan food guru—via Into The Gloss

I think that describes a lot of people these days (me included!), so I read on, and found she has a recipe app for purchase on the iTunes store. Before committing to a $4.99 app, I decided to check out her site and Pinterest, and I'm sold.

I'm going to take some time with the blog this weekend and jot down any recipes I want to make, and make sure I get the ingredients at Sprouts on Sunday. (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – amiright?)

How good does this stuff look?

Check out recipes here.

Zucchini Noodles with a Minted Avocado Sauce

Acai, Berry and Baobab Breakfast Bowl

Berry Scones from Deliciously Ella's upcoming book

Healthy on the Go: GREAT ideas for your week's meal prep!

The Perfect Potato Wedges

Avocado Cream

The Healthiest Chocolate Mousse (MUST TRY)

Nutritious Nutella. I need to see how this stacks up vs. the recipe I have.

Raw Banoffee Pie (Just need to buy some Medjool Dates!)

Once I get past a month or two of sweets avoidance, I'll think about making the below sweet potato brownies. I'm not sure where to score some unrefined cacao, or how much it costs, but that might be something to look into soon. In the meantime, my unsweetened Hershey's cocoa powder will do - dusted over a serving (1/4 c) of raw almonds, or sprinkled on some Yonanas.

Plus, she appears to be British, so you know that makes her an A++ in my book.

You don't have to be vegan to work these recipes into your rotation, but all recipes are vegan. Like I said, I'm open to change – as long as there is a game plan.

2) Inspiralized
Just like the name implies, this is ALL about Spiralizing, so you know I'm down! I came across Ali's blog, thanks to SoulCycle, and I can't wait to start making some of her recipes.

As far as my personal spiralizing goes, I'm pretty vanilla. I have only spiralized zucchini and sweet potato, but there's apparently an entire world of fruits and vegetables waiting to be spiralized!

She's got some great how-to videos, which I of course consulted for how to spiralize a sweet potato.

The Paderno spiralizer is easily the best purchase I've made all year, and it's the best $40 you'll spend. It's on Amazon, and I think it's a little pricer at Williams-Sonoma, but it's the same product.

These are awesome tips for spiralized cooking, some that are even new to me (I'm still a rookie spiralizer, let's be real)

Gruyere and Asparagus Potato "Noodle" Casserole

How good does this all look? SPIRALIZE your life.

The only other thing I need is a mini food processor, which I just bought on Amazon yesterday, so that I can turn spiralized "noodles" into "rice."

You can make "rice" pudding out of spiralized plantains. Behold!

Coconut Plantain "Rice" Pudding

3) Against All Grain
I've talked about AAG before, but it still deserves a place on this list.

Danielle, the genius behind AAG, is pregnant with baby number 2, and not only has a baby on the way, but another cookbook! I can't wait. I just pre-ordered it 5 minutes ago on Amazon. The book is out on September 2.

Everything I've made so far has been a complete KNOCKOUT, and it's made me and my incredulous coworkers exclaim something along the lines of, "OH. MY. GOD." after just a bite.

Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chip Streusel Topping (THESE WERE INCREDIBLE and SO easy to make)

Worlds collided because Inspiralized has actually posted some guest recipes on the Against All Grain blog! Seems like I've found good company here.

Spicy Shrimp with Butternut Squash "Rice" with Tomatoes

Here's how to spiralize zucchini:

I plan to spend quality time with the book sometime this weekend to find some more recipes and make my shopping list match up.

Nothing kills healthy eating/living like boredom and monotony, so I encourage you to scour Pinterest and cookbooks, and the above 3 resources for ideas.

Shake things up! You have one body and one life to live, so you might as well keep it clean and beautiful, inside and out.


PS: What I'm listening to this week (I highly recommend SoulCycle's April Top 40 playlist)
Dare You - Cash Cash Remix (Hardwell, Matthew Koma)
Can't Pretend (Tom Odell)
All of Me - Tiesto's Birthday Treatment Remix - Radio Edit (John Legend)
Marilyn Monroe (Pharrell)
Brand New (Pharrell, Justin Timberlake)
Afraid (The Neighbourhood)
Cheap Sunglasses (RAC feat. Matthew Koma)
Sleeping With a Friend (Neon Trees)
Sally (Adam Port)
Red Lights (Tiesto)
Fever (The Black Keys)
It's Not Right But It's Okay (CHVRCHES)
Last Chance - Clockwork Remix (Kaskade, Project 46)
Superflat (The M Machine)


Monday, April 7, 2014

Bears Never Give Up.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again:
Never let a number define you - whether it's on the scale, your clothing label, or your age.

However...check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Turns out, if I avoid my scale for a good month or two and get a little lax on my intake, I sure do gain weight. I never said this (lifestyle, weight loss/fitnesses) thing would be easy. Heck, it's far, far, far, far from that.

But bears never give up.

I think weight loss is the one instance in which I'm totally fine being a total loser.

I got on the scale Sunday morning, before teaching RPM, and shook my head in dismay.
Own your gains. Don't let them define you or throw you off course, but instead, let them lead you back on track and to a loss.

After teaching RPM at 1030A, I hopped in my car and braved the torrential Dallas rain storm to get my ass to Sprouts. I bought SO many good things:

  • Baby Bell Peppers (pictured below) - SLICE THEM UP and tupperware them, and make them scoops for skinny dips, like Wholly Salsa Avocado Verde, Fat Free Hummus, or Pico de Gallo (Did you know that almost all salsas are about 10 calories per tablespoon? LOAD THAT ISH UP)

  • Strawberries (SPROUTS is SOFA KING cheap, I can't get over it: 3 boxes for $5!)
  • Blackberries
  • Eggs
  • 2 giant containers of fresh spinach to make the signature, quintessential STELebrity Fit Club Green Smoothie
  • Bananas (for smoothies, and to get back into the Yonanas habit)
  • Zucchini and Sweet Potatoes for spiralizing (I did this the SECOND I got home, and prepped a tupperware of "zoodles" for today's lunch, which was SLAMMIN')
  • Pre-washed, pre-sliced mushrooms, which I threw into my Zucchini/Sweet Potato Noodle pot

  • Organic Tomato Sauce (to serve as the binding ingredient for my spiralized stuff)
  • Raw Whole Almonds
  • Wholly Salsa
  • Wholly Salsa Avocado Verde
  • Wholly Avocado (a spoonful goes a long way by itself, or in a STELebrity Fit Club Green Smoothie)
  • Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (for emergency usage only)
  • Baby tomatoes

I'm officially back on the 2x/week BodyPump train, and starting to feel some real pain - I mean, results....

According to LoseIt, I'll hit my goal weight loss by July 7th. 7/7/2014. 
I don't like putting time stamps on things, but it's time to really do this thing, for real - AGAIN.

April, you're my fool. My bitch. 

Make it yours.

When you stumble, get your ass back up.

It starts in the kitchen, and finishes in the gym.

Drink up that H2O.


PS: Am I the only one who remembers this gem from Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, from years and years ago? #1 in Israel, 15 years ago!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New month.


It feels like a swampy marshland in the office today, which might be the cruelest April Fool's joke of them all.

My dad's from France, and over there, April 1 is all about FISH <<poisson d'avril>>, which looks a little something like this. Their humor's a little different...

All jokes aside, a new month brings SO MANY NEW THINGS:

  • A chance to hit reset if you fell off course recently (whether it was one meal, one day, one week, or the entire month). Never forget: never let one bad decision derail you completely. Let it be the exception to the rule, not habit.

  • A reason to do some spring cleaning (clean out your pantry and fridge, and assess what you're missing, or what needs to go, like temptations or garbage)

  • Do something new! Try a new workout class, or a new move, or a new challenge - like holding the damn plank for 30 seconds, then a minute, then two...then FIVE. I need help with this one...or make something new with something new (Spiralize some zucchini, why don't you? Try cooking with coconut oil!)

  • Get some new workout gear to get you excited about your next cardio party.

Online shopping is the best and worst. All of the above have shown up in the last few weeks...

  • Most important, a clean slate. LITERALLY make today your day one. It starts right now.

Here's what I'm up to this week, workout-wise, which is no different from any other week (as of 2 weeks ago, because I'm back on my BODYPUMP grind):

Taught a full class (5 bikes) at my apt complex gig, and did a test run of some of the latest RPM.

TUESDAY (today!):
Taking one of my good friends to her first-ever BODYPUMP class! Accountability is a beautiful thing.

Team teaching RPM at 6A, and either attending or team teaching the 7P class

Teaching at the ol' apt complex at 7P

Since someone beat me to reserving bike six for the 545A FLY60, I'm going to surrender and...have a rest day? Does that exist? And playlist prep for my 2 weekend classes.

Teaching RPM at 9A


  • Teaching RPM at 1030A at Gold's Gym 1. 
  • Catching up on the weekend/sipping Evolution Fresh and a Cool Lime Refresher with one of my best friends/guiding lights at the Starbucks closest to Gym 1. 
  • Changing and heading to gym 2 at 1PM for the final RPM practice for next week's launch of RPM 62. Home around 330 for some fuel/shower/nap. 
  • BODYPUMP at 630P at Gym 3 with best friend/guiding light.

...You can, too.

Here's to an epic, amazing APRIL. Make it YOUR fool.