A dessert that’s better than cake!

Don’t knock it until you try it! As I sit and compose this, I’m over indulging in tonight’s dessert! I’m eating a colorful, delicious, and delightful bowl of fruit. A blend of fresh strawberries, black seedless grapes, blue berries, and a side of unsalted cashew splits.

Some of my colleagues, friends, and family will probably cringe at this post, but I’m encouraging them and you to give it a try. It’s tastier than you think.

Fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, and other natural foods, I’ve always enjoyed. And like any normal human species, I’m guilty of over indulging in processed foods as well. But I’m happy to report that I’m back on track. After all,

there are only 197 days until the official start of summer!

Of course, looking good in my swimsuit isn’t my only motivation to eat well. The real motivation is for an overall better quality of life. Mom snaps at me all the time, “You can’t live forever Tanya!” Lol! I know that! I simply enjoy looking well, feeling well, and having the energy to dance all night if I choose to.

It is also important for me to set a good example for my children. One has caught on already (the nine-year old), the other (22-year-old) is playing catch up, but I know that she will eventually get there.

In a earlier post, I mentioned, Eat Clean. This is one of the BEST books that I’ve read on how to keep up a healthy diet. If you’re trying to get back on track, Eat Clean by Tosca Reno is a practical must read.

So although it may be too late to switch up for tonight’s sweet treat, give it a try tomorrow.  You just might like it.

Thankful for a new workout routine!

For three steady weeks now, at least my upper or lower body has ached in a way that is unfamiliar to me. I consider myself to be a lifelong athlete and a fitness junkie. A daily jog for me is no less than eight (8) miles, and sometimes I feel guilty about that. I know- I am often told that I have issues and I’m in agreement. Self-awareness is good for the spirit. Denial is what’s harmful.

If you’ve read previous posts, you are aware that in June of this year, I was diagnosed with a severe case of runner’s nightmare aka plantar fasciitis. July and August is when I run at least six days per week. I’m not working and have the time to run longer distances without time constraints. So going an entire summer without running was more painful than the plantar fasciitis! Seriously!

Doctor prescribed steroids, the lack of exercise, and an increased intake of bud lime lights while floating in the pool (believe me the “light” didn’t make a difference), gave me a dose of reality!

By September my body responded by saying,

“So you think you’re all that? You’re over the 40 hump and your metabolism has slowed down dummy! Yeah, yeah, yeah, before you couldn’t gain a pound! Ha! Ha! The jokes on you! You just gained nearly 20 pounds.”

Reality set in when I returned to work and attempted to wear my professional attire. Yikes! Over a dozen pair of slacks and skirts came to a screeching halt just at the thighs! No amount of persuasion or work could get my pants or skirts to move beyond my hips. I was not a happy camper. Pure frustration!

Missing the Atlantic City Marathon in October and the weight gain was the wake up call that I needed! Although my body is conditioned and I kick out 13 miles with ease, I really need to evaluate my fitness routine. All running and nothing else is a recipe for a disaster. I badly needed strength training and more diversity to my program.

Speaking of recipes… I’m pretty good about eating a balanced meal; however, my diet needed revamping too. Below are pictures of some of my new daily treats.

Spinach, can tuna (in water), dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, fresh black pepper, crushed red peppers, and lime juice

Sample morning snack: fresh spinach, a turkey chop, & a chopped orange bell pepper. Yummy!Spinach, can tuna (in water), cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, lime juice with fresh ground pepper & crushed red peppers

About a month ago I decided to give myself an overhaul. I joined a gym and I’m now working out with Lisa, an excellent personal trainer. She is the perfect match for me. Lisa is fit and sets a good example of total body and mind fitness. While she has pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits and it’s only been three weeks, I am feeling stronger and better with each workout.

Lisa and I talked about my fitness goals and my daily diet. Immediately she saw nutritional deficiencies. She recommended, Eat Clean by Tosca Reno. I like this book. No, I LOVE the book. It is exactly what I need right now. The book compliments my attitude and committment toward food and proper nutrition. Eat Clean really clicks for me and connects new information with what I already know about good nutrition. The book is educational and is not a diet book. Dieting has never been my thing. It is about eating healthy for life, which works for me.

Since I’ve made some changes in diet and starting hitting the weights, I’ve noticed at least three positive changes:

1. I am drinking less coffee. Not because the book says, so but because I’m eating a high protein & complex carbohydrate breakfast at 5:30 a.m. The nutritious breakfast is providing a natural source of fuel so my body is not craving the caffeine like before

2. The midafternoon desire for a siesta has completely disappeared. Driving to pick my son up from school, I feel more alert than ever.

3. Even without a six or seven-day intense workout, I lost three pounds. Amazing!

I am a believer that a positive change or effect can always evolve from a negative situation; the outcome depends on each individual. In my case, it took a foot injury (negative) to force me to change my fitness routine (positive) and a better nutrition plan (positive). I already knew that my fitness program was due for a change and lacked strength training, but I kept putting it off. Ultimately a higher power saw fit that the change take place. I am thankful that I embraced the change.

If you have thoughts about working out, losing weight, or just eating better, I highly recommend the book.  For some the book will require or inspire you to give up a lot of unhealthy foods that you eat daily.  And for others, the book will enhance what you’re already doing.  Either case, it’s practical and worth the read.