I love to bring you guys lots of useful, informative tips, recipes, and ideas, but I feel like I haven’t written anything recently about what’s going on personally with me. It really strikes me as odd that I could be found interesting at all, but according to some of my followers, you guys love personal stories. And according to marketing strategies, the public loves to feel a connection to the person who brings them the useful information day in and day out.
So first, I’d like to tell you that I’ve fallen in love. Again. With CrossFit. And I love it. LOVE it. I’ve been working harder than I’ve worked in years! Busting ass for 10-12 minutes with a group of people also busting ass yet cheering you on at the same time is freakin’ awesome. And the most shocking part of this for me is that I’m doing all this at 5:30 in the morning! I’ve always read, and heard, and have been told, that morning cardio–especially intense intervals (HIIT)–is the best way to burn fat.
“Early morning fasted cardio can break down more fat than is needed to have the proper amount of energy to exercise with, the result is the burning of huge fat stores in the body. An advanced or intense cardio workout early in the morning will jump start your metabolism and keep it burning extra fat for hours after the exercise is completed. This after burn of fat acids occurs because there is no energy stored in your blood to draw from. So the energy needed is going to be taken all day from your fatty acids, burning them into muscle and/or melting it away into a firm tone body.” Ashikur Rahaman, articlebase.com
I could never get up that early on my own–much less actually push myself through intervals–but now I have friends who I meet, pick up, and hang out with for an hour before my day typically starts. And I know I’ve only been doing it for a week, but I swear I see changes in my body already. Maybe it’s because I’m making myself get more sleep, or maybe becasuse I’m drinking more water–I kind of have no choice when I’m sweating by 6:30am. But something is working. And I love it.
And speaking of love, have I ever told you how much I love red wine? Well I do. And normally, when I’m being really good with my diet, I only have one glass per week. But it’s been a really stressful work week for me and I’ve had a very small glass more than a few times. I wonder if it will make a huge difference in my fat loss goals? I’m eating extremely low carb–following the rules of Carb-Nite Solution–so I can get myself back on track after my holiday “slip.” Even though a gained a couple pounds back in December, I’ve learned a very important lesson: my body holds on to glycogen (carb stores) much longer than the average individual. Go me, right? So now I’m eating super low carb all the time, and planning out an “occassional” carb-dinner centered around rice or sweet potatoes, or something along those lines. My goal is to have one of these meals once per week or maybe every other week until I reach my personal fat loss goals. It flat out sucks that I can’t go on a sugar binge like many carb backloaders–I actually had a little chocolate splurge this weekend–but I get that I need that every now and then to stay sane. Unfortunately, I have to be super careful with sugar; we’re not all the same and I just can’t get away with splurging like some can.
Speaking of splurging, have I mentioned the ONE low-carb saving grace of mine? Blue Diamond Almonds makes almonds that come in awesome flavors. My favorite is their Habenaro BBQ, followed closely by Salt and Vinegar. Right now I’m munching on Lime and Chili. It’s a low-carber’s dream and I absolutely LOVE them. It’s like a cheat food but it isn’t!
And almonds aren’t my only love these days–almond butter is INCREDIBLE. It’s like peanut butter, but at a whole new level. Don’t ask me why, I just love it. And our contributor, Ali, texted me a couple days ago with a super simple recipe that just happened to include all my favorite health foods:
- almond butter
- vanilla whey protein
- dried apple slices
- agave nectar
Can we say YUM?
Why stop there? Contributor Tori gave me a couple simple food ideas too that I never thought of before:
I know, neither are complicated or life-changing, but I had never put my tuna in the place of the avocado seed before, and I’ve only eaten bacon as a side for eggs or on top of a sandwich. Why limit our favorite foods? Eating healthy can be fun–we just need to be creative enough. This is why I love to surround myself with people like Ali and Tori–I never get bored with anything in life, and i’m always learning. Isn’t that what life is all about?
To conclude, 2013 is proving to be the year of lots of “loves” for me: CrossFit, red wine, flavored almonds, and good healthy foods.
Tell us in the comments section below, what is it that YOU love most right now?
Feature image by Matthew Brink