Health Update!

Wow – it has been almost a month since I posted!  Things have been good but very busy…..  Vacation, roller derby, planning my son’s 4th birthday party, workouts, acupuncture, phone calls with my naturopathic doctor, swim lessons (you know, just in case I decide to do a triathlon someday 😉 
While I was on vacation, I had a call with my naturopathic doctor and we discussed my blood and saliva results.  It was a discussion that I had awaited since February this year.  The call that would explain why I felt so crappy and crazy.  Dr. Ward explained to me that I have some neurotransmitter deficiencies that may prevent me from feeling good.  These deficiencies include:

  1. dopamine – associated with depression, anxiety and concentration
  2. taurine – associated with energy and sleep
  3. glycine – the calming neurotransmitter

She also explained that I have some hormonal issues, such as:

  1. Cortisol (this was not a shock at all) – my cortisol drops between 12:00pm and 1:00 and then it climbs back up and by 5:00pm it is double what it should be. 
  2. Estrogen – my estrogen is pretty low, particularly two specific kinds.
  3. Progesterone – this affects sleep and mood.  Mine is low, especially in relation to my estrogen. 

There were other things such as vitamin deficiencies like A and B, which she is helping me with.  She recommended a cortisol cream (one to lower cortisol in the evening and one to boost it in the morning), and some bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.  I received the estrogen and progesterone yesterday and started taking them immediately.  I am awaiting my shipment of the other supplements.  I am not sure if it is a placebo effect, but I feel great today – very hopeful that this may be the path to good health that I have been dreaming of.  If you have ever wondered about biodentical hormones, I encourage you to watch this video from Suzanne Somers.  When I watched it, it made me cry.  I was that woman in the video that she talks about when she explains that our gynecologists are handing out way too many prescriptions for prozac when what is really happening is our hormones are dropping.  We are NOT crazy, we are NOT fat and lazy with horrible willpower…..  We are OUT OF BALANCE!!!! 

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Athleta Opening and Bikini Bread

I heart Athleta.  The thing I love most about their stuff is that it is so versatile!  Going to the grocery store after sprinting at the track?  No problemo, just throw on this running skort and a cute sweat wicking top and nobody will ever know while you are looking at the produce that you just worked out like a beast!

For me, the only downside to Athleta was having to order everything online, since the closest store for me is a pretty far hike.  BUT, that being said, I think that Athleta’s shipping and customer service is unparalleled.  I can order a few of the same item in different sizes and then whichever ones don’t work, I can ship them back free of charge.  Additionally, if I find that I love something but when I workout in it, it rides up or is just plain uncomfortable, I can send it back.  I mean, how awesome is THAT?

I was so excited last week to be able to attend the grand opening of an Athleta store that just opened that is not too far from me!  I was psyched! 

Pinch me!

Pinch me!

I was able to go in and see all the cool clothes set up by style and color….. it was awesome!  I even got to see some clothes on mannequins. 

The place was PACKED with people who were just as excited as me to be able to see all the clothes in person.  They handed out little glasses of water and wine and served appetizers too.  The BEST part for me, however, was seeing this:

FITTING ROOM!!!!!

FITTING ROOM!!!!!

I grabbed a bunch of items and got to try them on.  It was awesome.  I found this dress that could be worn to work, for errands on the weekend, at the beach, etc.  I couldn’t wait, so I wore it to work the next day 🙂 Here’s a pic of me in the gym locker room :

june 014

I cannot wait to go back and look around some more!  It is such a nice store and the people are so friendly.  Oh, and if you are a group fitness instructor, be sure to show them your certification card for a 30% discount! 

Garden Update and a Recipe!

So, our garden is BOOMING this year!  I don’t know if it is all the rain we have been getting on the east coast, or if it is the extra “love” we put in the soil this year.  And yes, by love, I mean “manure”.  There, I said it. 

Zucchini

Zucchini

Lettuce and Celery

Lettuce and Celery

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Peppers and Eggplant

Peppers and Eggplant

Green Beans

Green Beans

Since we have gotten a bunch of zucchini already, I decided to make some zucchini bread.  But…. not just any old zucchini bread….

Zucchini (without busting out of your bikini) Bread

Inspired by Spoonful of Fit’s Zucchini Bread
Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
2 cups oat flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 cup stevia in the raw
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or 2 egg whites)
1 cup of packed grated zucchini (I just threw mine in the food processor with the grater attachment)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
 
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grate your zucchini and set aside.  Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Add applesauce, egg whites, almond milk and zuuchini to the bowl and mix well.  Place equal amounts into 2 loaf pans sprayed with nonstick spray (I use coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s).  Or, you could just use one loaf pan and make a larger loaf.  Place in oven for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy while eating your bikini!

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What Do YOU Train For?

You know what is awesome?

Photo Credit: bravolifecoaching.com

Photo Credit: bravolifecoaching.com

Know what is EVEN BETTER?  Exercising for a purpose! 

Photo Credit: Kaseyesser.com

Photo Credit: Kaseyesser.com

I have been struggling with motivation lately.  I love working out, don’t get me wrong.  It is a hobby of mine now and I liken it to knitting or playing an instrument.  But lately, I have been thinking to myself, “What is the end product? What am I training for?” 

You could say that I am training for life.  Training to be able to pick up my 40 plus pound children and take them up to bed (thank you deadlifts and biceps curls!).  Or, maybe you could say that I am training to be able to carry the groceries up the stairs or be able to run with my kids to the playground.  And you would be right!  But, sometimes, there is a yearning in your heart that goes far deeper than just being able to rock your day-to-day activities.  A girl needs goals that transcend the ordinary. 

imagesCAJHSFV4

Two of my close friends recently started playing roller derby.  They excitedly tell me all the time how cool it is and what awesome stuff they are learning.  I listened to all of their cool tales of skating genius but never really considered it for myself.  I was worried about being able to commit to two practices a week and well, to be honest, I never really thought I was cool enough for derby.  I mean, those girls are badass.  But last week changed that for me.  I met my girlfriends who play derby at a local sports complex (thanks again for the ticket Mol!) for a huge derby event and got to see what all the excitement was about first hand! I got to see some of the best teams in the country play against each other and I was mesmerized!  When I left, it was all I could think about!  These girls were strong and athletic, but most importantly, they were wives, mothers, lawyers, teachers, retail workers, etc.  They were (extra)ordinary people who played a sport that they love!  The next day, my friend Jen shot me a post on Facebook with a name suggestion that was just too cool to pass up (I’ll tell you what it is soon!).  And so, the next day, I went to my very first derby practice.  And I LOVED IT! 

So, what am I doing in the gym now, you might ask?  I am lifting weights so that I can knock some derby girls on their butts.  I am taking yoga so that I am flexible and won’t injure myself during derby drills.  I am doing plyometrics so that I can build up my endurance and be able to skate longer.  Why?  Because now, I have purpose. 

Man I love saying that.

Mollie and Me

Mollie and Me

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Things Are Looking Up!

Well, day 21 came and went on the Standard Process Purification. My results were awesome – I lost a total of 7 pounds and gained a lot of mental clarity. Once I started adding back my normal foods, I realized that I LOVE the way I normally eat. I have been able to maintain a specific calorie amount and a certain number of carbs, fats, and protein and have not felt deprived AT ALL.

June 009

I have not lost more weight since the cleanse was over, but my body is totally tightening up, especially my abs, which took the greatest hit when I gained weight. Which is awesome because I hit the beach in 6 weeks!

My amazing acupuncturist referred me to her naturopathic doctor and I had my appointment with her yesterday. She is located in California (Naturopathic doctors in my state cannot prescribe medication) and we “met” over the phone. I was able to send her a comprehensive explanation of my symptoms and the blood work that I had back in March. She is totally unconvinced about my diagnosis of menopause and is going to help me solve “my mystery” of why I am having a terrible time losing weight, cycling every 14 days, losing my hair, etc. I am super, super psyched! I am going to go for more bloodwork this week and she is also going to have me do some other cool tests that will measure my neurotransmitters and hormones. Stay tuned folks. It is going to get interesting.

My workouts continue to be great. I bought myself a gift for all of the hard work that I have been doing lately. I’ll give you a hint….

imagesCAW24UZ9

It’s a kettlebell!  I am so excited to start incorporating it into some of my workouts. What do you guys do to treat yourselves?  

Posted in Adrenal Fatigue, General Fitness, Healthy Eating, Hormones, Metabolic Damage/Rehab, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 12 of the Cleanse and Weeks 7 and 8 of the Sweaty Betties Program

Howdy!

Cleanse Update:

I am on day 12 of the Standard Process Cleanse and I am feeling great! I have lost 5 pounds and some of the “mushiness” I was feeling. I am sleeping great and have been waking up much earlier and feeling refreshed. All in all, pretty cool stuff! I must admit, my hubby left his peanut butter spoon next to the sink and as I was rinsing it off to put it in the dishwasher, I could smell the peanut butter and it actually made me nauseous.  This freaked me out because prior to the cleanse, I could literally BATHE in peanut butter.  It was the thing I looked forward to the most in my day. Soooo, we will have to see what happens when the cleanse is over…. 

I added back meat yesterday – I had some free range chicken yesterday and it was delicious. Since adding chicken – I have felt like I needed to eat a lot less food to get full, which is great. I was literally housing veggies to fill myself up. And speaking of meat –  If you are looking for great options for free range chicken or wild-caught fish, I highly recommend going to Wegman’s for chicken (if you have one locally – I think they are popping up more and more) and Trader Joe’s for fish. They have great wild caught whitefish and salmon in the freezer section.

Sweaty Betties Progressive Lifting Program Weeks 7 and 8:

Weeks 7 and 8 are a little different from previous weeks.  We are moving into true “body part training” now.  This means that you will work out for 4 days and each day will work one or 2 body parts.  Please take note of the cardio too – we will be doing 3 days of incline walking for 25 minutes and one day of HIIT for 20 minutes.  Any questions, just put them in the comments below!

 Week 7-­‐8 Day #1 LEGS + Cardio 25 min. Incline walk

Back Squats 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Alternating Side Lunges 3 sets of 15 each leg 60 sec rest
Single leg extension 3 sets of 12 each leg 60 sec rest
Ball Hamstring Curls 3 sets of 15 60 sec. rest
Leg Press 3 sets of 12 60 sec. rest
Single Leg Sit/stand 3 sets of 10 60 sec rest
Calf Raises—no weight/machine 3 sets of 25-­‐40 30 sec. plank hold
10-­‐15 min. Stretch Foam Roll or Flexibility work

Week 7-­‐8 Day #2 CHEST/TRICEPS + Cardio 25 min. Incline walk

Ball Chest Flys w DB 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Ball Chest Press w DB 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
DB Incline Press 3 sets of 10 60 sec rest
Overhead Rope Extension 3 sets of 12 60 sec. rest
Triceps Kick Backs 3 sets of 15 60 sec. rest
Dips on Bench 3 sets of 15-­‐30 60 sec rest
Overhead DB Extension 3 sets of 15 60 sec rest
10-­‐15 min. Stretch Foam Roll or Flexibility work

 Week 7-­‐8 Day #3 BACK/BICEPS Cardio 25 min. Incline walk

Assisted Pull-­‐ups 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Narrow Grip Pull Downs 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Wide Grip Rows 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Reverse Fly Machine 3 sets of 12 60 sec. rest
EZ Curl Bar Curls 3 sets of 12 60 sec. rest
2 arm DB Curls 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Concentration Curls 3 sets of 12 each arm No rest btwn arms
10-­‐15 min. Stretch Foam Roll or Flexibility work

Week 7-­‐8 Day #4 SHOULDERS/ABS/CALVES + Cardio 20 min. HIIT

Kneeling DB Shoulder Press 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
DB Lateral Raise 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
Cable Upright Row 3 sets of 12 60 sec rest
DB Alternating Front Raise 3 sets of 12 60 sec. rest
Bent over Rear Delt Fly w DB 3 sets of 15 60 sec. rest
Bicycle Crunch SS w plank 3 sets of 40-­‐60 30 sec. plank hold
Side Plank up/down 3 sets of 12 each side No rest btwn sides
Calf Raise Machine 3 sets of 12 60 sec. rest
10-­‐15 min. Stretch Foam Roll or Flexibility work

I’m about to test out the theory about beets being a whole food “pre-workout” booster. 🙂

Have a great, healthy day everyone!

XOXO,

Pep

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Trader Joe’s and The Standard Process Cleanse… A Love Story

For those of you who may be reluctant to do a cleanse such as the Standard Process Purification Program, fear not. If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, it is easy (and delicious) to rock this program. In this post, I will discuss some of the stuff that you can pretty much find at any grocery store, but I wanted to point out some great convenience foods that you can get specifically at Trader Joe’s.

The first 10 days of the Standard Process Cleanse, you eat fresh fruit and vegetables, your 2 shakes (with frozen fruit) and either a cup of Lentils or 1/2 cup of brown rice. Acceptable fats to use on the program are avocado, coconut oil, olive oil or butter.  On day 11, you can start adding back some organic chicken and wild caught fish.  I will do a second post when I get to day 11 to talk more about  the lean protein part.
With this in mind, let’s take a stroll down the aisles of Trader Joe’s, shall we?

Trader Joe’s has so many different fruits and veggies to choose from. They carry a really great selection of organics. Grab bags of pre-washed lettuce, crunchy sweet red peppers, cucumbers, red onions, and creamy avocados.  You will need all of this for your epic salads you will eat (I eat mine at lunch!).  You are going to want to grab some fruit too for munching.  I like pears and apples. Don’t forget to grab some bananas (you are going to peel them and freeze them for your shakes!)

Today I bought some great looking galas.

Feeling like dessert?  Chop me up and put some cinnamon on. Microwave for 1 minute!  Delish!

Feeling like dessert? Chop me up and put some cinnamon on. Microwave for 1 minute! Delish!

I adore beets, so I picked up some of these.

Chop and put in salads.  Or, add to your warm lentils with some salt and pepper.

Chop and put in salads. Or, add to your warm lentils with some salt and pepper.

 Short on time and can’t chop a million veggies for soup or stir fry?  Problem solved!

Perfect timesaver!

Perfect timesaver!

Are you a big meat lover?  While on the cleanse, you may miss having meat.  I find that mushrooms, especially baby portabellas give that meaty texture to soups and stir fry. 

Meat, shmeat!  You don't miss it when you have shrooms!

Meat, shmeat! You don’t miss it when you have shrooms!

Speaking of soups, here are some more convenience veggies that you may like when you make soup.

Talk about convenient!

Talk about convenient!

You know what else is really great in soup?  Cole slaw or broccoli slaw mix.  Here is a great idea for an Asian broccoli slaw soup.  Use 1 quart veggie broth, a few cloves of garlic, some fresh or dried ginger, salt and pepper and throw in your slaw.  Cook until the slaw is tender.  So good! The best part about slaw in soup is that it kinda feels like you are eating noodles.  True story!

Delicious in stir fry OR soup.

Delicious in stir fry OR soup.

Another versatile veggie is butternut squash!  You can throw some cinnamon on it and roast it in the oven (no chopping needed here!) or you can microwave it and then put it in a pot with some of that delicious chopped onion, shallot and garlic I mentioned above.  Cook in some veggie broth and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Use an immersion blender to make it all creamy and yummy. Who said cleansing needed to be boring?

Ultimate comfort food

Ultimate comfort food

Also in the produce section is MY favorite timesaver.  Cooked lentils.  These are so versatile.  You can put them in the food processor with some onion, garlic, salt and pepper and give it a whirl.  Eat it as a tapenade dip for baby carrots as a snack or bake it into a loaf and have it for dinner with some heated frozen veggies. You can throw them in a pot with some garlic, onions, mushrooms and a can of organic chopped tomatoes.  Add some salt and pepper to taste and you have a warm, satisfying meal.

Yummy Lentils!

Yummy Lentils!

Another great option that is super convenient is Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice.  I have eaten other brands of frozen brown rice and they always taste like the plastic they are frozen in.  Trader Joe’s rice does not.  It is really tasty with stir fry or added to your soups.

Photo credit: Kind Kitchen

Photo credit: Kind Kitchen

Trader Joe’s has a TON of frozen veggies. Broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts (I heard you say ewwww gross…. try them again – you may just like them now!), pepper and onion blends, green beans, spinach, etc.  The only vegetable that you should not have on the program is corn (it is technically a grain!).

Spinach

Spinach

I eat these every night

I eat these every night

Trader Joe’s has some other items that are perfect for the cleanse.  Coconut oil for frying….

Great for frying!

Great for frying!

Spices for just about anything – I like to put some of this on my salad and then put balsamic vinegar on top – kinda like a quick vinaigrette.

Great to season stir fry and soup

Great to season stir fry and soup

For all these soups you are going to make, you will need some veggie broth.  Here’s a great one.

Perfect for Soup

Perfect for Soup

You are going to need some frozen fruit to make your smoothies really sing.  Try adding some of these to your shakes:

images

Posted in Detox, Healthy Eating, Metabolic Damage/Rehab, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Day 5 of the Standard Process Purification Cleanse

Day 5 of the cleanse already!

Cherries Jubilee

Cherries Jubilee

I have begun to really looooovvvve my cleanse shakes!  My favorite is made with frozen cherries and half of a frozen banana whipped up in the blender.  Heaven. (See my gorgeous Mother’s Day flowers from my sis in the background? They are so beautiful!)

  I must admit, I was a little nervous at first about embarking on this journey.  I was worried that I would have a lot of events soon that would be difficult to manage while on the cleanse.  For example, on Saturday, my coach and close friend competed in her 9th bodybuilding show (she was in the figure division).  I was really nervous about having to travel 2 hours and then be away for a few more.  And then, Mother’s Day on Sunday, I knew we were taking my mom to a restaurant. What was I going to EAT???? 

Making A List!

Making A List!

This is where planning comes in handy. 

 I learned from eating clean, especially while prepping for a bikini/figure competition that you have to prepare food in advance (Fail to plan, plan to fail!).  If you don’t, hunger takes over and rational decision-making becomes really hard.  So, what did I do?

Fast Food

Fast Food

On Saturday, I packed stuff like cut up red peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, a few organic apples to munch on in the car, roasted sweet potatoes for when I got there (I just ate them when I got there and then went in to the show). 

 It was actually pretty easy and since I brought stuff with me that I actually like, I didn’t feel deprived.  When I got home, I ate my salad with avocado and beets and I made a really delicious soup.  It was so comforting and yummy. 

 

Cleanse Soup

Cleanse Soup

Cleanse Soup

Ingredients
1 Tsp Coconut Oil (for cooking the veggies)
2 quarts organic vegetable broth
1 whole onion, diced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of frozen green beans
1 bag of coleslaw mix
1 quart of sliced mushrooms
1 whole medium zucchini, chopped
1 whole yellow squash, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
 
Directions:
Place the coconut oil in a stock pot and let melt.  Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook until soft.  Add the zucchini and squash and cook until tender.  Add mushrooms, green beans and coleslaw mix.  Cook for a few more minutes.  Add the veggie broth and stir.  Let cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.  Add thyme and salt and pepper, to taste.
 

On Sunday, we took my mom to Red Robin, a place known for its big juicy burgers.  In looking at their salad menu, I saw that there were lots of veggies that they could combine to make a great cleanse approved salad.  I asked for lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and avocado.  I threw a little salt and pepper and vinegar and it was great!  

When I got home, I made a lentil dish that was really delicious. It was inspired by Mommypotamus’s Cleanse Cookbook. 

Lentil “Burgers”

Lentil "Loaf"

Lentil “Burgers”

Ingredients:
1 Tsp coconut oil (for frying)
1 cup cooked lentils (I buy mine already cooked at Trader Joe’s or Wegman’s)
3 garlic cloves
1 whole small red onion
3 sprigs of cilantro leaves (or more if you like)
1/2 Tsp Cumin
a dash of salt and pepper
 
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Heat a nonstick pan with the coconut oil. I was attempting to make “burgers” so I formed the lentil mixture into patties.  Place the patties in the pan and cook until browned.  Mine did not really stay formed – they kind 0f fell apart.  Flip over and cook for 3 more minutes.  Place all of the “burgers” on a plate and serve with your favorite veggie.  NOTE- Although my burgers fell apart, they were still absolutely delicious and I cannot wait to have them again tonight 🙂
 

I am pleased to report that I have lost 4 pounds and feel pretty good!  I still don’t have that surge of energy that I have heard happens around this time during the cleanse, but I am hopeful.  I slept great last night and woke up very well rested WAY before my alarm clock went off.  I can honestly say that rarely EVER happens.

So, I am going to keep going and see what happens!  I have 2 more days of taking 21 cleanse capsules each day  and 6 more days until I start adding in some lean organic protein. 

What are you doing today to feel better?  Any smoothie combos you want to share with me?

XOXO,

Pepper

Posted in Bodybuilding, Detox, Figure Competition, General Fitness, Healthy Eating, Hormones, Metabolic Damage/Rehab, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Are you Toxic?

How’s your mental clarity?  Do you feel like you have a stuffy head?  How about some fatigue or difficulty sleeping?  Are you currently or have you in the past few minutes craved chocolate (if you are a woman, the answer probably is yes).  Do you have digestion issues?  How’s your libido?

Okay, enough with the personal questions, but if you answered yes to any of these, you may need to expel some toxins from your body.  A few days ago, I blogged about endocrine disruptors and chemicals that we use on our bodies and in our environment.  Research shows that lots of chemicals can disrupt our immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.  Examples of these are: caffeine, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, heavy metals, household cleaners, pesticides and herbicides, pharmaceuticals and preservatives. 

So, what can I do to get rid of these toxins?

Glad you asked!

On Wednesday, my acupuncturist convinced me to do the Standard Process Purification Cleanse so that I could rid myself of the toxins in my body. (Click on the link to learn more!) I am hoping that once I clear out the toxins, my body will start to work more efficiently (as well as balancing my hormones!).

Cleanse Booklet

Cleanse Booklet

At first I wasn’t so sure I could do it – it involves brown rice protein shakes, lots of fruit and veggies and lentils or brown rice for the first 10 days.  After that, you can eat lean protein.  But then, I remembered that duh, I had been vegan for 6 months so it would be a lot like that at first.  I have spoken with several people who have done the cleanse and they raved about it!  Here are some of the benefits that I may get from the cleanse:  Weight management (yay!), increased energy (bring it!), better digestion, less bloating, clearer thinking, clearer skin, shinier hair, disappearance or lessening of past conditions like PMS, digestive problems, etc., and better sleep.  Who couldn’t use some of those?

Here is what my shopping order looked like on Wednesday night.

Shopping Order

Shopping Order

I started yesterday.  I must admit that yesterday was not one of my finest days.  I was really cranky from caffeine withdrawal (it is way better today!). 

Here are a couple of things I have been drinking/eating over the past day and a half.

Standard Process Protein Shake

Yummy Strawberries

Yummy Strawberries

Greens, Cucumber, Beets and Avocado Salad

I made a delicious lentil and mushroom stew on Wednesday night to eat for dinner this week.  It is awesome!  I will post a recipe soon. 

So, here is to the next 19 and a half days!  I am excited to let you all know how it goes.  Oh and in case you are wondering, I am going to keep doing the Sweaty Betties program.  I love it so far and am hoping that with all the added energy from the cleanse, I will rock it even more!

XOXO,

Pepper

Posted in Adrenal Fatigue, Detox, Healthy Eating, Hormones, Metabolic Damage/Rehab, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful Blogger Award

Beautiful Blogger Award

Beautiful Blogger Award

One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa over at She’s Losing It, nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award!  Lisa is amazing and makes me laugh and cry on the regular.  She is a writer, actress, mom, wife, blogger and bikini/figure competitor. She is currently prepping for her 3rd show!  You should go on over and check out her site.

Blogger awards are meant to encourage people to continue writing and to help promote other blogs just getting started.  The Rules:  1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site, 2) post the award on your blog, 3) write 7 things about yourself, 4) nominate other blogs.

Instead of writing 7 things about myself, I thought I would show you 7 things that I am loving lately:

  1. Podcasts:  I love listening to podcasts on my way to and from work.  I have about a half hour commute and it is just enough time to learn a lil something.  Here are two of my favorites: Balanced Bites (start with episode 46 if you are having hormonal issues like me), and The Jillian Michaels Show.

Balanced Bites Jillian

2. Teas: I am trying really hard to limit my caffeine intake and have started drinking more tea instead of coffee. My new favorite is decaf Constant Comment.

Constant CommentConstant CommentConstant CommentConstant Comment

3. The Library!  Sometimes I forget how awesome it is to go to the library.  Take in the smell of the old books, leaf through ones that may be appealing and then take them home free of charge (of COURSE you have to give them back).  One thing that is especially cool about my library is that my grandma used to go there when we were kids.  I sometimes pick up Ann Rule true crime novels just to feel the same books that Gram’s hands once held.  Makes me miss her so much. 

4. YouTube! Need to know how to fix your dishwasher or how to do a proper clean and press?  Go to YouTube!  It has saved me on several occasions.

5. Pumpkin Pancakes! I am seriously obsessed.  I perfected my recipe the other day…..  1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour, 1/ cup liquid egg whites, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 tsp baking powder, cinnamon, pinch of salt, and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder.   Just throw it all in one bowl, mix it up and cook like regular pancakes.  Trust me.  You’re welcome!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

6. My epic search for cool sneakers! I have been on Zappos.com every day looking for the perfect pair of cool yet functional sneakers.  My vision is red and purple with a really sleek design.  If you know of any like that – let me know, K?

7. My garden!  My absolute favorite time of day (besides getting to the kid’s school and hearing them say “MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!”), is walking out to my garden and checking out all the cool new growth.  I am like a little kid when I see things sprouting…. LOL….  Here are some recent pics!

Romaine

Romaine Lettuce

Celery

Celery

So, here’s the part where I nominate other bloggers.  Here are a few of my faves! Check em out!

She’s Losing It! (Back atcha Lisa!)

43 Fitness

Juicy Green Girl

Losing 50 Laps

A Girl’s Transformation

Happy Being Healthy

Trying to Be a Yummy Mummy

Thanks again Lisa for the nomination!!!!!  Oh and readers, if you are looking for really cute shirts to work out in….. go to sheslosingit.net and get one of these beauts…. 

Lisa at sheslosingit.net

Lisa at sheslosingit.net

XOXO,
Pepper

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Weeks 5 and 6 – Sweaty Betties Progressive Lifting Program

 Here we are at week 5 of the Sweaty Betties Progressive Lifting Program!  Things are going great – I really dig these workouts.  Weeks 5 and 6 are similar to weeks 3 and 4 – Danny J has us adding one extra day of cardio, which is a 15 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout.  I asked Danny J what protocol she likes for her HIIT and she said that she likes alternating sprints with rest (like a one minute all out sprint with a one minute rest like a jog or a walk) or Tabatas, which consist of 20 seconds of intense work with 10 seconds of rest done 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.
Without further adieu, here are the workouts for the next 2 weeks! If you have any questions on the exercises, please comment below.

Week 5-­‐6 Day #1 & #3 UPPER BODY + Cardio 20 min. Incline walk

Assisted  Pull-­‐ups   3  sets  of  10   60  sec  rest  
Upright  Row  with  Barbell   3  sets  of  15   60  sec  rest  
DB  Incline  Press   3  sets  of  10   60  sec  rest  
Hammer  Curls  with  Dumbbells   3  sets  of  15   60  sec.  rest  
DB  Triceps  Kick  Backs   3  sets  of  15   60  sec.  rest  
Thumbs  down  lateral  raise  w  DB   3  sets  of  15   60  sec  rest  
Bicycle  Crunch  SS  w  plank     3  sets  of  40-­‐60   30  sec.  plank  hold  
10-­‐15  min.  Stretch     Foam  Roll  or     Flexibility  work  

Week 5-­‐6 Day #2 & #4 LOWER BODY + 15 min. HIIT on Day #4

Front  Squat  w  Barbell   3  sets  of  12   60  sec  rest  
Bench  Step  Overs   3  sets  of  15  each  side   60  sec  rest  
Single  Leg  Dead  Lift  w  Barbell   3  sets  of  20   60  sec  rest  
Seated  Hamstring  Curl  Machine   3  sets  of  15   60  sec.  rest  
Leg  Extensions   4  sets  of  12   60  sec.  rest  
Reverse  Alternating  Lunges   3  sets  of  15  each  leg   60  sec  rest  
Plank  Hold   3  sets  of  45-­‐60  sec.   60  sec  rest  
10-­‐15  mins.  Stretch     Foam  Roll  or     Flexibility  work  

Happy Lifting! XOXO,

Pepper

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