Lorde – Royals (gluten free version)

Haha, this video cracks me up. Especially being Gluten Free. 😉
I figured I’d share it for a laugh this Monday Morning.

Gluten Free is the way to be!!


Sugar Substitutes

Oh sugar, how I adore thee. I could eat you on and in everything – I could eat you straight, no chaser. But sugar, you suck.

You make me feel like crap. You give me gas, cause me to bloat and never make me fully happy. You are added calories that I don’t need. You have found your way into some of my favorite “health foods” and drinks and above all – you have WAYYY too many alter egos!

4 grams of sugar = 1 sugar packet
4 grams of sugar = 1 sugar packet

I don’t even know what to call you anymore — dextrose, fructose, flucose, suclarose, gycerol, sorbitol??? Who are you?!

Have you ever thought about how much sugar you are consuming on a daily basis? Next time you’re eating a packaged good – look at the Sugar per serving on the Nutrition Facts label. The simple calculation goes like this:

For every 4 grams of sugar – think one mini package of sugar.

OY VEY packaged foods have a lot of sugar in them.. just to give you an idea, here’s a few common foods:

  • 20oz bottle of red gatorade – 34 grams of sugar = 8.5 sugar packets
  • 1 can of coke – 39 grams of sugar = 9.75 sugar packets
  • 1 Nutri-Grain cereal bar – 12 grams of sugar = 3 sugar packets
  • 1/2 cup of Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil pasta sauce – 12 grams of sugar = 3 sugar packets
  • 1 Skinny Cow Low-fat Fudge Ice Cream bar – 13 grams of sugar = 3.25 sugar packets 

So now that we’re all completely grossed out by how much sugar we may be consuming when we eat packaged foods or beverages — let’s get to what we can do to reduce our sugar intake.

Step 1) Stay AWAY from packaged foods & drinks — they may be tasty at the time, but you’ll pay for it later. They are empty calories, and will give you a stomach ache, an eventual sugar crash, or bad skin – let me promise you, your body will react. Just don’t do it!

Step 2) Eat clean, natural sources of sugar. Stay away from added sugar, and get your sugar from fruits, plants, veggies which contain natural sugar.

Step 3) If you realllllllly want to enjoy something sweet, use a sugar substitute. Some of my favorites are:  Agave Nectar, Stevia, Pure Raw Honey or Maple Syrup

Substitutions can be made in baking and cooking as well. I’ve found that powdered Stevia works great for baking – and my eyes have been opened to the power of Honey and the wonders it can work in dishes. You can’t even tell that its honey!

Let me be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of sugar. I appreciate it every once in a while when I get a wicked craving, but I do not eat it everyday. MAYBE once a month around that time… I’ll reach for a handful of honey roasted almonds, or a gluten free cupcake – but I’m a one and done kind of gal.
It also helps that my boyfriend, Bryan, is anti-sugar with everything. He doesn’t like sweets (his birthday cakes are usually chips & salsa or homemade bean dips) and the only dessert he will eat is ice cream. Because — yea, who doesn’t love ice cream?!? (I must admit, ice cream is my weakness when it comes to sugar)

I encourage you to take a step back and examine the sugar amounts in the packaged foods & drinks you are consuming. Think about how your body reacts when its on a “sugar high” and if you find yourself seeking out sugar at a particular time of the day, or month. The more we learn about our bodies habits, the more we can do to correct them.

Are you addicted to sugar? If so, what do you find yourself munching on? Maybe we can find a healthier “sugar-less” alternative!

If not, what do you use as a substitute?

Until next time,

Be Healthy! 🙂

Is a Personal Trainer worth paying for??

Oh personal trainers, we all would love to have one, but it costs money, time and frankly – they tell you what to do, challenge you and constantly demand more of you. Is it really worth it?

I’ve never had a one-on-one personal trainer session. I’ve never paid another person for 1 hour of their time to yell at me, tell me what to do and challenge me. I have however had experience working out with a personal trainer.

How, you ask? Well, at my kick ass place of employment – we have a Wellness Coordinator who conducts 3-4 personal training classes a week. These range in focus points such as core, legs, butt, arms, and full body circuit. The classes usually fill up – and sometimes we have over 7-8 students and one personal trainer.

Group Personal Training classes at my work
Group Personal Training classes at my work

I am very lucky to have this type of perk. 🙂

My friend Kevin, isn’t as lucky.  He has a small gym at work, but not a personal trainer to teach him new workouts, explain how to target specific muscle groups and above all motivate him. So Kevin allocates a good chunk of his hard earned cash each month for a Personal Trainer at his local gym.

You might think.. “I’d never pay for a personal trainer, I can do it all myself!” or “I’ll pay for a trainer for a few months, but after I learn all of the workouts – I’ll quit and do it myself” — I was one of these people, I paid to do a boot camp 5 days a week for 4 weeks – I learned all the workouts, moves, and how to wake up for class at 5:00am. (ouch!) After my month was over, I went to the gym on my own – and did a few of the moves that I remembered – but not all of them. I wasn’t motivated, and frankly I was just putsing around the gym aimlessly.
Not good.

personal trainer one on one coaching
One on one coaching from a Personal Trainer helps motivate

Most of us can motivate ourselves to a certain point but then hit a mountain – and that mountain is hard to climb. That’s where personal trainers fit in to our physical health. That is their  job –  to motivate us by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability – where we lack it. (from Wikipedia, sort of) They aren’t cheap, but that’s because they work. They aren’t always nice, and most will not become your best friend – but that’s their role. They are a teacher of health & wellness, they measure our health success and achievements and most importantly they shut up that stupid voice in our head that tells us we can’t do it.

But… (and you knew there would be a but) they are expensive. Yea, that’s true. But I would argue that the only possession that is actually ours in life is OUR BODY and the only thing we can really control is OUR HEALTH. Do you agree?

Sooooo spending $60 a month on a personal trainer who:
– kicks you into shape
– helps you learn to live by a healthy lifestyle
– teaches you to take care of that one and only body of yours
– can help you add years onto your life
– can help you get  back to doing activities with your kids

Isn’t just a good investment, its a smart, great investment and it’s totally worth it. 

I encourage everyone to try a personal training session at least once in their life. Most gyms offer a free initial consultation with all memberships. Give up 1 hour of your time to hear what a certified personal trainer has to say about your health and wellness. It could save your life.

Let me know what you think about personal trainers. Have you tried one? Do you love yours? (if so, give them a shout out) Do you hate yours? (ha) Do you recommend them to others? Are you one?

Until next time – Be healthy!

❤ Mk

The Gluten Free Test

For Lent this year, I gave up all dairy products for 40 days. This included cheese on pizza, ice cream, converting to almond milk and drinking smoothies that were 50% water. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was going to be, and actually came naturally to me. I used to fight my parents when they would make me drink dairy milk with my dinner. So I was looking forward to removing it from my diet completely.

Gluten Free Starter Kit
My “gluten free starter kit” from Bryan

I felt better, I did. But I didn’t feel all the way better. I still was getting stomach aches from eating almost 2-3 times a day. It came down to dreading when I needed to eat. Obviously, dairy wasn’t the culprit. But what was it??

One day at work I was eating a clean lunch of diced avocado, diced tomato, cilantro and a bit of lime juice (aka guacamole) and decided that it would be best served with a small bag of multi-grain Sun Chips. Lunch was great, extremely yummy and overall healthy. It wasn’t until approx 20 min later that I had one of the worst stomach aches. 😦 I explained what I ate to one of my co-workers and her first response was “Have you ever thought you have a Gluten allergy?” — then it clicked, maybe I did. Maybe I should try to avoid all Gluten products and see where it took me.

But geeeeeez Gluten is in EVERYTHING! Pizza crust, bread, tortilla chips, pasta, taco shells, muffins.. and my absolutel favorite: BEER.. yea… EVERYTHING!!! 

What is Gluten, you might ask? Well check out the Wikipedia page here. Or I can make it easy and just tell you..
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain spices, including barley and rye. Gluten give elasticity to dough helping it rise and keep its shape – often giving the final product a chewy texture. 

Anyways, because I really wanted to stop the stomach aches — and I enjoy a challenge — I decided to try it. Give up everything wheat, barley and rye. Including beer. AHHHH!

My boyfriend Bryan was very sweet and bought me a “gluten free starter kit” and beautiful purple tulips for encouragement and a kick start. Luckily, I was in the middle of an Advocare 10 day cleanse so I wasn’t allowed to eat processed foods. The cleanse made it a bit easier to progress into my new “GF lifestyle”.

All in all, I’ve learned the following from living Gluten Free:

  • Beer should not give you a stomach ache, if it does – you might want to try a GF test
  • Hard Ciders are good, but sugary
  • Bread that is gluten free is much dryer than Gluten-ee bread
  • GF pasta isn’t that different than regular pasta
  • People really do not understand what GF is and why you would ever want to do it (aka, they ask a lot of questions and think your crazy)
  • My breakouts have cleared up A LOT!
  • Eating meals and not having a stomach ache after is the best feeling ever
  • GF beer is available but some are absolutely disgusting!
  • Most restaurants don’t offer GF options, so going out to eat is particularly difficult (I’m hoping this will change)
  • I crave a cupcake now, more than ever!

I’ve made it almost 4 weeks with my new GF lifestyle and I think I’ll be continuing it for a while after. It just feels so good!! 🙂

Are you GF? Do you have any advice you’d like to share? I’m always looking for recipes, hints, suggestions to make it easier. Please share in the comments section 🙂 

Be Healthy all!