November 19, 2017

NO EXCUSES…My Definition Of It

oscar no excusesIf you have been around my Facebook Page or even here on my blog, you know that I use the term NO EXCUSES a lot! I have come across some people who have not liked that terminology and have back lashed at it. So I have decided to take those two words and explain my version behind it!

A good friend of mine, Natalie Jill, says this all the time, “Excuses or Solutions, YOU decide” and I COMPLETELY agree with her (it’s probably one of the reason we get along!). When I say NO EXCUSES, there is so much more behind it. You see, I would say this to myself while laying in a hospital bed or at a grueling physical therapy appointment where I was learning to re-walk AGAIN for the third time (fourth if you count learning to walk as a baby). Let me explain even farther.

There is no silver lining or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there is no prince charming or fairy-tale ending, there is no winning the lottery or gaining an inheritance…BUT what there is, is YOU…your choices, your decisions and finding YOUR solutions to every problem that arises. This means in ALL aspects of your life, not just in the area of your health. It pertains to your family, career, finances, relationships, school, etc…you LITERALLY can utilize this term in EVERY area of your life!

you No one in this world will make ANYTHING happen for you, it is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY up to you. It is up to you to make your dreams a reality. It is up to you to see that you achieve your goals. It is up to you if you want to see a change in your health, whether it is to lose weight, lower your cholesterol or blood pressure, or to gain muscle. No one will do the work for you and no one will care about it as much as you do. If you want to be happier, feel loved, feel needed or wanted…well it all begins with you…loving you first! If you are waiting for someone else to do this all for you…you are going to be waiting a very long time, basically you will be waiting forever! So I ask you, why would you do this to yourself?

As you are reading this, do you feel stuck? Are you stuck in a bad situation and waiting for someone to “rescue” you? Are you waiting for that “magic” solution to happen? Guess what, I have your answers!!! Stop waiting! You are your OWN hero, you are your OWN magic solution!! I know you are probably thinking, ”easier said than done, Sue”! And why do I know this? Because before I realized this for myself, I thought the EXACT same way!

How did I get past it? How did I make myself my own HERO? Let me tell you…

No ExcusesIf you want to see a change in your life, you need to be the one to do something about it! If you want to see something get done in your life, then you are the one to do it! If you want better for you, it us up to you to make it happen! The choices you have already made are no one else’s fault but your own. You need to be accountable to these and stop blaming everyone else around you. By doing this, you are able to see where you went wrong, find a better way to do it and move on from it. If you play the blame game, you are constantly stuck in a circle going round and round, instead of climbing your mountain!

NO EXCUSES is a mantra for me. I used it lying in a hospital bed after my doctors told me I would NEVER walk again. I could have laid there and played the “woe is me” card, instead I started planning. I started asking myself questions and FINDING answers to them. One of my first was, “how can I make sure I don’t gain weight while being bed ridden?” my answer, DON’T emotionally eat, still stay as close to clean eating as I possibly could. Another question, “how can I keep as much of my lean muscle as I could”? (I would need this once I began physical therapy) My upper body wasn’t damaged. I had dumbbells brought in to the hospital to do arm exercises. My traction bar had a triangle attachment that I used to assist my nurses with moving me or changing my bed linens, I decided to also use it for pull-ups. “How was I going to remain positive in such a negative atmosphere?” I was going to talk, I wasn’t going to hold in my emotions and let them eat away at my soul or brain.My accident

So bottom line is, I don’t care (and neither should you) about the limitations this world has put on you. If you have a medical issue, your life is NOT decided for you due to it. If you have an injury or recovering from surgery, THESE do NOT control what you decide for you! If you are struggling financially and can’t afford things (like clean eating or going to the gym), read my blog about clean eating on a budget (I’m a single mom, I understand, trust me). As for a gym, the BIGGEST gym in the world is absolutely FREE…it’s called the world; the outdoors is absolutely free for you to get things done!

So start questioning your excuses and stop validating them. Instead start VALUING YOU! Because in the end, YOU are the ONLY one that matters!!!

BUT…I’m on a budget, I can’t eat healthy!

healthy eating budget

Really?  Broke?  You can’t eat healthy, but you have enough money to get pizza or have wings and beer…hmmm, I guess your version of broke and mine are two totally different things.

I am so tired of almost every post I see written about clean eating or healthier options is followed by people making excuses about how expensive it is to eat clean or healthy. There is a way to eat clean on a budget and not feel the pinch in your wallet. Trust me, as a single mom, who hasn’t been able to work a full time job and have a steady income in the last 4 years since my accident…I have LEARNED how to still eat clean and healthy! So I decided to pass it all on to you!! And guess what…it’s FREE knowledge!

WHAT’S THE SECRET TO HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGET?

First, learn to cook your own food. Yes, you read that correctly! Stop eating out, stop ordering to go or pizzas, stop buying snacks at convenient stores, and stop buying coffee!! All of this adds up and it adds up quickly!! Also, if your budget is so tight, you wouldn’t have the money to do any of this ANYWAYS! So really, this should go without saying, but unfortunately people hide behind the EXCUSE that it costs to much, when in reality what costs too much is giving up your fancy coffees and your over priced smoothies.  So really it is a pretty OBVIOUS that if you want to save money, learn to cook! Also you can cook in advance, so you can just grab and go and not make impulse food purchases. Remember to switch up your cooking styles so you don’t get bored. There are hundreds of different ways to cook chicken healthy!!! TRUST ME!

healthy eating budget Second, if you have a Costco, Sam’s or BJs Club around you…get a membership!!! Not only can you save by buying in bulk, but almost always their gas is slightly cheaper too.  You can also purchase your Fish Oil, Vitamins, and Protein Powder there. Now the Protein Powder isn’t the high quality, but remember you are on a budget! Also you can get great prices on chicken, ground turkey and red meats. Yes, they aren’t organic or grass-fed, but your options are limited if your bank account is. You can also buy your everyday personal and household things here too. Did you know they all take coupons too?! I use BJs here and for example, if I get a three pack of toothpaste…I can use 3 coupons on it…1 per box! Start learning how to coupon, that piece of paper is like having FREE cash in your hands! Also, when some stores have coupons like $10 off your entire purchase…this is like $10 of FREE meat or veggies!! Why would you pass this up!

Third, stop buying things in cans and boxes…if you remember this, usually NOTHING clean comes in one AND on top of it the price you pay is also for the packaging it comes in! Last time I checked, we don’t consume cardboard and aluminum as food. You can also buy some great healthy and clean options in bulk, like beans, whole grains (barley, quinoa) and even whole grain flours (if you choose to keep grains in your diet).

Fourth, you don’t have to buy all your fruits and veggies ORGANIC! There are plenty that are very low in pesticides that you can purchase NOT organic. These include: Onions, Pineapples, Avocados, Cabbage, Asparagus, Mangoes, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruit, Watermelon and Mushrooms.  There are twelve known as the “dirty dozen” which I would recommend buying organic, those are: Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines (imported), Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce (all), Cucumbers, Blueberries (domestic), and Potatoes. Another way to save is to grow your own fruits, veggies and/or herbs! What better way to save money and even gas, no driving needed to walk outside and pick what you want to eat! One other way is to visit your local Farmer’s Markets…talk about FRESH!!  And remember this also, buy what is in season, that’s when it is at it’s lowest price!

healthy eating budget

Lastly, remember there are different forms of less expensive sources of protein like beans, tuna, eggs, nuts, or Greek yogurt.  If you are thinking about starting to eat clean (or even started to) and your budget is tight, take a good look at where you are spending your money. Is it going towards those fancy coffees and smoothies I mentioned prior or how about those frozen microwaveable meals (if you want to call them that). How much do you spend on beverages like juice, soda or even alcohol? It takes just a little bit of extra thought to save some money, but in the long haul you making it a priority will save you so much…like in your health! If your health isn’t important to you, IT SHOULD BE!

After all, we all deserve to be HEALTHY!!

Here’s a little guide to help you on your NEXT trip to the grocery store ~

Protein Options:

Protein powder (I use whey isolate)
Eggs (organic or cage-free)
Boneless/skinless chicken breast
Lean ground turkey
Canned Tuna (in water)

Seafood (Tilapia,Wild Salmon, Scallops, Shrimp)
Plain Greek Yogurt

Fibrous Veggie Options:
Spinach
Broccoli
Asparagus
Kale
Bell Peppers
Mushrooms
Cauliflower
Brussel Sprouts
Green beans
Artichoke
Zucchini
Cucumber

Healthy Fat Options: (Read about Healthy Fats, HERE)

Almond butter (Organic if possible, there should be oil on top, low/no sodium)
Oils (EV Olive(In the darkest jars), Safflower, Coconut, Flaxseed, Macadamia Nut)
Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios)
Avocado

Complex/Starchy Carb Options:

Old-fashioned Oatmeal/Steel Cut Oats (Gluten-free options are available)
Quinoa (Gluten-free options available)
Sweet potato
Yam
Whole Wheat Bread (Gluten-free options available)
Brown Rice

Fruit:

Apples
Pears
Blueberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Lemons (for water & fish)

Beverages

Water*
Unsweetened Almond Milk (I like vanilla)
Green tea bags
Coffee

Condiments

Balsamic Vinegar
Salsa
Chili powder
Mrs Dash (is a staple in my kitchen)
Mustard
Cinnamon
Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
Stevia

All Fresh Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Rosemary, etc)

Vitamins

Fish Oil (especially if you don’t eat fish)
Multi-vitamin

The Most Over Used Phrase And It’s A Complete Lie!

“I am going on a diet.”

How many of you ever have made this statement? I know I am of guilty of it!

It wasn’t until about the last 2 years have I really understood and began to comprehend the difference between nutrition, diet, and eating. Want to know the difference? It’s easy…THERE IS NONE! Let me explain further.

What you eat every day IS YOUR DIET. That’s what it is called! It’s your everyday eating habits and lifestyle that makes up your nutritional diet. Did you happen to notice that all three words were used in that last sentence?

In order for you to change your diet to a healthier, cleaner diet, is a lifestyle change. I am not saying to go to the extreme tomorrow…I am saying start making a change weekly for the better. Some will be easy, some will be more challenging, but the results you get in return far outweigh ANY “suffering” you think you are enduring. TRUST ME!

You are probably wondering what I mean by a cleaner diet. It’s easy…EAT REAL FOOD! Can it be any simpler? The problem is, is that it is simple, people just don’t do it. Now what exactly is REAL FOOD? Here’s the low down, it’s anything that can be found in nature. If you can kill or grow it, EAT IT! So that boils down to meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruit. If you want to eat even cleaner, you can eat organic, grass-fed and cage free foods. Though it is not a necessity, but choosing those options, you are guaranteed no extra preservatives, additives, or hormones in anything you eat.

How to start making changes? First, don’t worry about counting calories, weighing food or eating 5-6 times a day (to start). Just start eating REAL FOOD, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied (this means eating slower and don’t stuff yourself, give your brain time to catch up to what you are doing). Also, center each meal around a high quality protein source.

As you start adapting this new lifestyle and way of eating, then you can start tweaking. What I mean by that is basing particular foods around different times in your day (which will be different for everyone). For example, if you are going to be training, you would want to consume a solid protein and fibrous carb about 30-60 mins prior too, then a fast digesting protein (like a whey protein shake) and a good carb source right after. I can explain this in further detail in another blog.

Lastly, don’t think if you fall off the clean eating, that you have failed because you haven’t. It’s only 3-4 hours until your body becomes hungry to TRY AGAIN!!