Addicted

“Sugar is poison. It is a chronic… not acute… chronic dose-dependent… depends on how much you eat, because there is a safe threshold, hepato… ‘liver’… toxin.” -Dr. Robert Lustig

Hello, my name is Meg and I’m an addict. It has been three minutes since my last dose, but it’s about to be much, much longer.

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Today I ate a donut. Then I ate another one. And the crazy thing is I knew there would be donuts so I brought breakfast to work. I also brought lunch that I successfully prepped before the week began, and had planned a kale salad for dinner. I’ve been eating pretty well for a while, but when donuts (or cookies or brownies or… well, you get the idea) are available, I do a little dance in my head. And it goes a little something like this:

I don’t need it. But I’m an adult and I do what I want. But they’re empty calories. I’ll regret it. I… don’t…need…it…

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I’ve been eating sugar for as long as I can remember. Grew up on the stuff. Sodas and processed snacks and treats. When Kazaam made junk food rain from the sky, you bet your butt that was my new life goal. I eat it mindlessly, crave it constantly, and almost always regret it. It’s also the only thing in my diet that serves no purpose. It also has some clear side effects for me including instant headaches, exhaustion, excess oil produced by my skin, and breakouts. So I decided I need a solution. I’m going (mostly) sugar free.

The Rules

  1. I will not eat anything with added sugar
  2. I will be conscious of and limit my intake of “good” sugars including honey and agave
  3. I will allow myself one serving of food with added sugar per month

Now hold on. We’re just creating excuses with this “one serving a month” thing, aren’t we? No! I love food. I enjoy going to restaurants and celebrating life moments with dinner, drinks, and dessert. If I remove this completely, I remove something that I really value in my life. That is when I break and binge and this whole thing becomes a failure.

I really think I can do this. I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t be able to. It will be hard, but I’m also hoping this allows me to eat mindfully and really value the food I eat. Anyway, away I go. Wish me luck!

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Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Workout

And away I go!

My current workout is about a 2 or 3 mile run, followed by 6 or 8 rounds of TABATA, 4 or 5 times a week. Which is pretty good! However, I’m finding that although I think I am challenging myself, I don’t push to my full potential. I do squats and planks in my TABATA because I like them and have become at least good enough to do 160 seconds worth. I do NOT do burpees. Burpees are the worst. I hate burpees.

It looks so easy in GIF form...

It looks so easy in GIF form…

Lately I’ve been seeing everyone and their mother doing this Kayla Itsines program, and I’ve got to say, t’s hard to ignore those results.

This is one of MANY transformations featured on Kayla's blog. Check out that tone!

This is one of MANY transformations featured on Kayla’s blog. Check out that tone!

So I decided, what the hell. I’ve got 12 weeks. And now I am replacing my workout three days a week with the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Workout! With any will power, on my off days I will still be doing my run and TABATA combo, and with even more will power I will start working out twice a day. But let’s be real, I’m not making any promises on that last part.

BTW highly recommend her Instagram for inspiration.

BTW highly recommend her Instagram for inspiration.

I was really excited this morning when I got the nerve up to commit to this, so I thought I would take a sneak peek and do one of the first week workouts. Fun fact about Kayla’s guide: it requires a TON of burpees. But, if it’s on the program, I do it. Even if it makes me look like this

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Have you done the program? Or even better, do it with me!

Updates to come, wish me luck!

Healthy Fast Food Review

First off, I want to assure you this is NOT an add. I was not paid or influenced in any way to speak positively about this product. Now that is out of the way, let’s get to the goods.

I’m so excited to finally have this fast food! I mean, it has everything: convenience, cheapness, deliciocity, nutrition, and you can find it in any store (aka findability…yeah these are all real words). The best part of this food is that you can eat a giant serving and not feel disgusting. On the contrary, you will have a ton of energy.

If you haven’t had one of these in the past 24 hours, do yourself a favor and go purchase a big bag of bright orange carrots!

“Har har, you got me. I’ve had carrots before. This is boring.” Okay, hypothetical reader, you want excitement? Try this on for size. One carrot will basically make you a vitamin A superhero. How does 157% of your daily value of vitamin A sound? And if you think you can only get potassium from bananas, boy are you mistaken. By the way, if you’re taking biotin for your skin and hair, stop it. Eat carrots instead. They are 100% more delicious than a pill.

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If you don’t feel like eating them raw, you can boil them, mash them, stick ’em in a souproast them, make noodles out of them, or drink them in a delicious smoothie.

Livin’ the life…

When I was a child, I loved carrots so much that I once turned slightly orange (everything in moderation, people). Then as I aged and my mom started switching out carrots for other orange things. Doritos. Cheetos. Kraft Singles. Reese’s Pieces. When did the process of going to a store to buy bags of sugar and salt snacks become easier than going to a store to buy carrots?

TL;DR: Don’t waste time reading ingredient labels. Eat only ingredients.

Be more like Bugs = be more of a boss.

This Shit Is Bananas (Seriously)

Gather ’round, kids. It’s story time.

About a year ago, I was in great shape. I was doing my half marathon training, had a personal trainer, did my first Whole Life Challenge, and was doing a ton of research on how to eat clean. Recipes, benefits, and raw food meals. I felt amazing and was accountable every day. My fitness journey was going so well!

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In doing research on the raw food lifestyle, I noticed that these people were eating so many bananas! I was never a big banana eater myself. Don’t know why, just preferred apples I suppose. But seeing these incredibly fit people eat upwards of ten bananas a day created an interest.

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Not only were bananas a basic calorie source, they were easy to have around, perfect for before a run, and you can make ANYTHING with bananas. I mean anything. Chop, freeze, and blend them for banana ice cream. Add a little almond butter or some mint extract for variety. Banana milkshakes with some almond milk. Green smoothies. Mash them with oats, bake at 350 and you’ve got cookies. The list of simple, amazingly delicious treats goes on.

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I end up eating at least a banana a day, typically in a breakfast shake, for a few months. Then, I start getting sick. Starts off as a little intestinal discomfort, but within a week I thought something was seriously wrong. I went through bouts of extreme physical exhaustion to the point where I would need to clutch my fiancé’s arm to make it from the car to our front door. Violent heartburn and stomach cramps. Constipation AND diarrhea at the same time. Vomiting. Migraines. It would all come on so suddenly, and the next day I would be fine again. I cut out dairy completely. Didn’t help. Cut out gluten. Nothing.

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One day, I made a banana shake to take to work thinking “bananas are so simple. It’s a basic food. There’s no way I will get sick if I just have this.” I made it to 10am at work and had to go home. I slept four hours that day and about 10 that night. I went to the doctor the next day, had all of my fluids sampled, and waited for the results. UTI. I was confused, but continued to just eat plain brown rice for five days while I took the antibiotics. I felt better but was very suspicious. It had been over a week since my last sick day, so I began varying my food intake again.

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Ten minutes after the first banana, I was sick again. Apparently I had developed a banana intolerance. This fruit that had been such a staple in my diet had turned against me. Eliminating them from my diet wasn’t hard once I discovered that was the cause of my sickness. I mean really, I thought I was dying for about two months. But the fact that such a simple fruit could just destroy me is still perplexing.

Does anyone else have a similar story? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone in this one.

Sign Up For All Of The Challenges!

I am amped. Psyched. Jazzed, even. I’m ready to to really go for fitness, health, overall wellness. Why? Why the heck not?! I am ready for the body I have to be the body I want. Or the body I want to be the body I have? Either way, it’s happening.

Every. Day.

Every. Day.

That being said, I may have overdone it with internet available challenges. I’ve signed up for five. Five?! Yes five. And I want you to join me! Do one, do ’em all. Let’s crush this year!

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The Whole Life Challenge: Gamified clean eating and fitness challenge. There are levels, it’s awesome, do it.

Simple Green Smoothies: Meal replace OR add in a green smoothie every day for 30 days. Makes an amazing and easy breakfast, I highly recommend. Oh, and it’s FREE!

Blogilates ab challenge: One month of ab exercises! Also, if you aren’t already following Blogilates and Casey Ho, you’re doing it wrong.

Betty Rocker: 15 minute workout videos every day. Free, delivered to your inbox. Can’t beat that.

Raw Food Challenge: Replace on meal a day (21 days) with a raw food meal. Salad, smoothie, zoodles, anything. Easy peasy.

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I know, Jenna. I know. It’s a lot. But think of all the potential! We can finally get rid of that pooch of a tummy… or whatever it is you might be trying to get rid of. Get ready to be your best you!

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Get ready to take back our bodies. And take them all the way to Sexy Town.

The Problem With New Year’s Resolutions…

They’re called New Year’s resolutions. That’s the problem. The name. “New Year” implies January, not the rest of the year. It implies Sunday and Monday, but not the rest of the week. Nobody talks about the “new year” between February first and December 26th. So this year, you’re going to join me in

LIFESTYLE CHANGES!

Think about your 2014. What did you do well? What would you have changed? And most importantly, HOW would you have changed those things?

For me, 2014 was the year I ran my first half marathon. The year I tried the Whole Life Challenge. The year I put those accomplishments on hold to find (and start!) a much needed new job. I found out what I am capable of, and that I drastically re-prioritize when necessary.

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What does this mean for my 2015? It means that I know I can push myself. I’m taking the Whole Life Challenge past the 8 week cycle, truly making it a part of my whole life. I will be scoring my health and fitness every day this year! I am also getting back into running and reintroducing my long (5+ mile) “Sunday Runday.”

My "how"

My “how”

These are all fine dreams, and I know if I say they are my “New Year’s resolutions,” I’ll be over it in a month. Except I will practice these lifestyle changes daily with the addition of my new day planner! I am making myself accountable by scheduling and logging constantly. To make it more fun, I ordered the stunning Whitney English Day Designer, a fun set of pens, and colorful stickers to help document my journey.

TL;DR: Just watch these TED Talks.

Happy New Year!

My Juice Cleanse Challenge.

Juice cleanses. They detoxify. They replenish. They’re wicked trendy. So what better way to clear out your system after Thanksgiving than an ultra-sleek, three day juice cleanse, right? Well I don’t know if it was something I did or my Groupon acquired juices had turnt, but what I received did NOT make my skin glitter like a damn vampire or make my eyes shoot rainbows. Let’s take you on my little journey in failed juicing.

The week before: Order the juice, feel like I’m going to finally start turning this life around. Oh, and I start telling everyone I meet

Oh, you didn't hear?

Oh, you didn’t hear?

because I’m a damn hero for this shit. No food for 3 days? Worship me!

The instructions say to pick a few days where you’re at work or otherwise occupied, since you’re more likely to eat when you’re bored at home on the weekend. Makes sense. So I thaw the first day of 6 juices on Sunday night and wake up bright and early to start my first day on

MONDAY

Juice one is a sweet green juice that goes down easy for breakfast. I’ve been drinking green smoothies and juices for a while now, so this doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it’s quite delicious! I go to a few meetings and sit in our cramped little office with about five other people, feeling great about the day ahead of me.

Feelin' gooooood on a Monday!

Feelin’ gooooood on a Monday!

Juice two comes with a little headache. I read up that headaches are common, especially if you’re a coffee drinker, which I am. But this starts to affect my vision it’s so bad, so I take two Advil and start chugging water as I move on to juice three.

I make it three sips into my second green juice of the day and realize

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Not only does my head feel like it’s four sizes too large, but I start to

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feel like I might just

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And that’s when it happens. I bolt out of the room, thanking any and every deity that I wasn’t in the middle of a meeting, and purge the contents of my stomach, including those two Advil I took. I stopped drinking the juices and switched to water for the rest of what seemed like an endless day in the office. I tried not to talk for fear that I might ralph again. And then I

WHYYYYY IS THIS HAPPENING

WHYYYYY IS THIS HAPPENING

again on the car ride home. Pulled over just in time to note how little street parking is available in LA, found a spot, and decorated the ground with could only be bile at this point. Went home, had soup, slept from 7-9, 9:30 until the next day.

I still have the rest of my juices in the freezer, ready to thaw maybe one a day once I get over the PTSD from the experience. But so ends my juice cleansing.

Has anyone else out there had a similar experience or am I juice intolerant?