Wednesday, April 26, 2017

beat that "2:30 Feeling" (feat. gomacro!)

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Helloooo and welcome back to my little world of thoughts, photos, and unsolicited advice! Lately it seems as though my focus has been on health and wellness primarily - super appropriate in regards to my current lifestyle, which is pretty focused on working out and keeping myself happy and fueled for whatever the day might bring. I've also taken on something new - I'll be teaching cycle classes at CycleBar Greengate, which is out just past Short Pump. It's an amazing experience, and I'll kick your butt without you even realizing it (because my music and energy will be so fun)! 

So come on out and say hi - but before signing up for a class, take a look at my tips for keeping yourself energized throughout the day - whether or not it includes a total body multisensory cycling experience led by yours truly.

I've always preached about eating to FUEL. Your body does a lot of cool stuff, whether you lift weights or do yoga or just walk your pup around the neighborhood - all of those activities expel calories and put your muscles to work. It's crucial to see food, meals, snacks, etc. as a way to keep yourself going instead of as reward or punishment (or a cure to boredom - hi, me in the office), which is where my tips can come in handy. 

  1. Eat BREAKFAST. And eat a breakfast with PROTEIN in it. Protein is going to keep you full the longest and give you a solid start to the day. Egg whites, a smoothie with protein powder in it, peanut butter, or a gomacro bar - all of these are good options. Need a new recipe? Click HERE for my superfood pancake breakfast, or HERE for a protein smoothie recipe. PS: smoothies with greens and juice and berries are yummy and hit your micronutrient needs, but they won't provide long-lasting energy because they tend to be high-carb and high-sugar.
  2. On that note - meals don't need to leave you feeling stuffed. In fact, they shouldn't - your breakfast should really be comprised of two large snacks that you can eat within a few hours of each other. I eat between two and three small breakfasts each day depending on if I work out early in the morning. 
  3. One huge step toward changing your mindset from food as a reward to food as a necessary fuel is to open your eyes about what's on the label of the things that go in your body. For example, let's look at protein bars. I like gomacro bars as opposed to something like CLIF because I not only can pronounce the ingredients on the back, but I actually know what they are and what they can do for my body.
  4. Pay attention to how you feel after meals, after and while you work out, and when you feel hungry. There might be a pattern that you weren't previously aware of - I have a dairy sensitivity, and I had no idea until I was a senior in college. I finally asked my doctor why I felt sluggish, bloated, and had headaches each time I had anything with lactose -- since then, I've cut dairy out of my diet (except the occasional slip up) and feel way better. It wasn't about losing weight (cheese and milk are great sources of protein and calcium), it was just about listening to the signs my body was giving me.
  5. Start to think about the way you see food. It isn't necessarily a reward. It isn't a punishment. And it isn't a way to (effectively) manage stress. Think about after you finish a kickass lift or spin class - the endorphins are so high that you really don't need a "reward" centered around food - and if you're feeling like shit after a bad breakup or long workday, try breathing fresh air and moving your body instead of downing a bag of chips. Promise you'll feel better!

Try these tips - keep them in mind throughout the day and try to bring some mindfulness to your routine. Diets and pills aren't going to bring immediate satisfaction, but giving your body the respect it deserves by listening to what it feels like to be full, hungry, fueled - that will.

I received a sample box of gomacro bars, which is part of the reason they're mentioned a few times in this post. All opinions are, as always, my own - and I love gomacro anyway! Any source of nutrients that not only tastes DELICIOUS but also includes whole, real ingredients is a winner in my book.

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