Tag Archives: weight loss

skinny fat

Working to Avoid the Skinny Fat

skinny fatFor those that follow me on my and my husband’s blog Far Away Reasons, you know that we’ve hit New Zealand and were immediately shocked to discover how ridiculously high the cost of living in Aucklund is.

Keeping with the theme of my post last week, I have since become my own worst client having every excuse in the book not to follow my own healthy eating plan.

In trying to stick to my budget, I’ve found it nearly impossible to eat as frequently as I would like, nor maintain the food quality nor macro nutrient consistency I would like.  That being said, here are my solutions to eating cheap and sticking to plan.  

skinny fatThe first night we were in town we strayed away from restaurants, not because of the food quality, but because of the cost.

Thinking we would do better buying our own food and cooking in the hostel, we headed to the grocery store.

We quickly discovered the options weren’t much better there.  Produce and Proteins were scarce.

Feeling discouraged about our ability to stick to budget and feed ourselves for the next couple months, we settled for some cheap Ramon ($5.99 for 5 bags) and splurged for some steak ($12 for 1/2 a lb) –the only protein we could find.

This was obviously an attempt to stick to our 1:1 or 1:2 protein to carbohydrate ratios,  and while we were successful, I normally wouldn’t recommend eating Ramon noodles.  The sodium content is much too high and Ramon noodles are far from the healthy types of carbohydrates that I normally like to consume.

We quickly learned our lesson from our poor eating choice, when my husband got food poisoning after this meal.  We cleaned up our cooking by instead making a stir fry of eggs, frozen veggies, and steak.  This may not sound like the most glamorous meal, but our bellies thanked us.

Another solution I’ve found to sticking to my budget is to eat the local meal deals, filling up on one to two large meals a day.   I’ve found $4 pizzas and $10 Indian Meal combos.  These deals, however, do come at a cost–THEY ARE NOT ON PLAN.  Both meals are run heavy in carbs and either lack or contain very little protein.

I’ve found the days that I eat out, my calories are actually pretty low.  Remember though, maintaining a too-low calorie diet isn’t good.  The body needs fuel to function.  If you don’t provide the body the fuel it needs, it begins to break down your muscle for fuel since muscle costs more calories to maintain than fat.

I’ve found low calorie/bad nutrient diets to be the general trend here in Aucklund which would explain the very large population of “skinny-fat” I’ve noticed.

skinny fatFor those of you who haven’t heard the term “skinny-fat” before, urban dictionary defines it as:

“1. When someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath

2. A physique, while not overweight (and possibly underweight), lacks any visible lean, striated tissue. The term is often NOT used or understood by the uneducated, untrained eye. To the uneducated, untrained eye, a skinny fat female may appear to have a physique of the same caliber as an individual who is comprised of significantly more lean tissue. The term is particularly relevant  while eating at Denny’s and discussing how unappealing the waitress is. You can always resort to getting traditional weight loss surgery mexico, but going out and using the gym is the best alternative to avoid the issue.

skinny fat

Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s: another example of skinny fat

3.  A person who is not overweight and have skinny look but still have a high fat percentage and low muscular mass. Usually those people have a low caloric diet, that’s why they are skinny, but are not involved in any sports activities or trainings and that’s why they don’t have any muscle. Since between the bone and the skin those people only have fat, the skin can be deformed easily because the skin layer is located on an unstable matter (fat).
Skinny fat woman look sexy from a certain distance but they have soft jelly skin and still have some cellulite even if they are in there early 20.”

Skinny Fat does have an official medical term, metabolically obese normal weight or MONW, but according to the dr grawe reviews it is not easy to change, specially if the person decides to undergo surgery.

Besides the physical appearance ramifications one runs risk of by becoming skinny fat, being such is also one step away from Type II diabetes.  (I realize there is a comical air to what I’m writing, but this is a serious topic.  Check out Mark Hyman, MD’s post.)

Screenshot_2013-10-07-11-38-26

Besides diet, one way to combat the skinny fat is exercise.

Since arriving in Aucklund, I have been able to stay on track with my exercise, averaging over 20,000 steps a day.  There are gorgeous parks all over the city, but the trick is to taking advantage of these parks and getting outside.

I’ve loved having access to so many trails to run, but even walking around these areas is good for combating skinny fat. I recommend getting a fitbit so you can start monitoring your daily activity!  You should aim to have at least 5,000 steps a day, even if you exercise regularly and 10,000 a day if you don’t.

20131006_172448[1]Unfortunately, I’ve noticed most people choose to drive around the parks and craters we’ve visited rather than explore them on foot.  Once again explaining the skinny fat population here in Aucklund.

IMG_20131006_112448[1]

 

In a more optimistic light, I can gladly report that Bikram Yoga East West in Aucklund has a very large population of regular practicing yogis.  I saw by far the largest population of fit people that I had seen in the city dropping in to take yoga classes at their studio!

Luckily for me, I’m leaving Aucklund tomorrow and heading up North.  I’ve been told that once out of the city, fresh veggies are much more abundant.  I’m hoping there will also be a better selection of protein, but even if there isn’t we could eat better just with some more fresh vegetables.

Regardless, the good news is a couple days of poor diet won’t kill me, especially since I’ve kept my exercise up!

It can be very easy to allow yourself to become skinny fat, but if you follow these simple rules you can quickly avoid this.

Simple Rules to Avoid the Skinny Fat:

  • Eat Protein as much as possible!–Remember, if you are traveling, a couple of days of a poor diet won’t kill you, but do the best you can to pick nutrient rich options.  If you can’t eat healthy one meal, don’t use that as an excuse to eat poorly the next.  Each meal is an opportunity to fuel the body to be strong!

    photo travel workout card

    Click here to get a workout for home or travel!

  • Maintain your exercise!  Hit up local classes such as yoga, crossfit, and cycling!  If you can’t afford them or the times don’t work with your schedule do a workout you can do in your own home or in a hotel room if you’re traveling!
  • If you still can’t find the time to workout, make sure you maintain a high level of activity.  Track this with a pedometer, or Fitbit.  This is a great tool to keep you on track in your daily life, especially if you travel frequently.
  • Eat frequently so your body relies on healthy food to fuel itself so it can build muscle, not eat away at it!  If you don’t know how to do that, here is a meal plan you can follow!

What’s your favorite way to avoid the skinny fat?

 

Getting Back On Track: What You Can Expect From Mastering Health and Fitness in the Upcoming Year

Missing my Nashville studio and Yogis!

Missing my Nashville studio and Yogis!

Hi Fitness Friends!

I apologize for my hiatus from posting.  It has been a crazy couple months.

My then fiancee Tom Morkes and I packed up all our belongings at the end of June and road tripped back to Washington State where we just got married 2 weeks ago on August 3rd.

I’ve spent the past couple months since I posted planning our wedding, keeping up with my own training to stay in shape for the wedding, and teaching classes at Bikram Yoga at The Yoga Element in Bellevue, WA and Bikram Yoga Redmond in Redmond, WA.

Wedding workout plan was successful!

Wedding workout plan was successful!

Now that all the wedding craziness is over, it’s time to get back to work and one of my number one priorities is getting my blog back on track.  I’m looking to really revamp it within the next couple months and would love some feedback on what type of information my readers find helpful!

Working as a personal trainer I’ve realized many people are very capable of establishing a routine.  The problem is many of us don’t have lives that are the same every day.  We have obligations at all hours with work, kids schedules to build our own routines around, and business or personal travel that throw even the best intentions out the window sti testing since its always good to be on the safe side and have that done every once in a while for you health.

Starting August 21st, my husband Tom and I will be setting out on an adventure to travel the world!  We just purchased tickets to visit San Francisco, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Belize in the next 11 months.

My goal for our travel along with seeing and experiencing as much as possible is to research and share with you how to stay fit on the road.  This includes:

  • Eating out in restaurants
  • Finding cheap gyms
  • Workouts you can do in hotel rooms
  • Eating local fare while sticking to your ratios

This is a short list of the challenges I expect to encounter, but I will be blogging, vlogging, and facebooking on the obstacles that come up and how you can tackle them.

Fitness can happen anywhere!

Fitness can happen anywhere!

What I’m planning to do:

  • I still plan to write about a blog per week on a fitness topic I find interesting.  However that being said, I love having topics to research.  If you have an inquiry about fitness please send it my way!
  • I’m looking to revamp my youtube channel!  (Subscribe!  You’ll get notifications when I post new videos!)  So far it’s mostly been a medium where I posted the exercise of the day.  I plan to start posting those again by next week, but I also have some other cool ideas to make the channel a resource for anyone looking to stay fit, especially those who spend a lot of time on the road.
  • I’ll be posting full length workouts!  I miss teaching group fitness so I’m going to start posting workouts!  You can stay in shape with me from all the places I travel!
  • I’m going to start the exercise of the day back up!  Many of us have an all or nothing mentality when it comes to fitness.  We either do our full workout or nothing at all.  This attitude can quickly lead to weight gain.  Even on the days when you are traveling you have a couple minutes before you shower to whip out 100 squats, or 15 toes touches, or  15 frog jumps.  Check out the exercise of the day to mix things up and get in some activity even on your busiest days!

These are just a few of the ideas that I’m starting to work on.  My goal is to create a resource for you.  So feel free to give me feedback!  Ask questions.  No question is dumb.  If you struggle with a certain aspect of your fitness I’m sure others do too.  Send me your fitness questions to cjdought@gmail.com!

Last but not least Tom and I also plan to keep a travel blog.  I don’t want to clog this site with my personal travel accounts (especially the ones non fitness related.)  Our new site Far Away Reasons will showcase what life is like on the road.  Topics will include, but aren’t limited to:

  • How we travel between locations
  • How we continue to do our work despite location
  • Really cool pictures of sites around the world
  • Adventures and Stories of the cool things we encounter.

Hopefully some of my upcoming work interests you!  Remember reach out to me!  I’m here to answer your fitness questions!  🙂

savory green

Savory Green

This Savory Green smoothie is a bomb treat on a rainy day. image

Add a little more lemon juice though and it is perfect treat any day!

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Aloe Vera Water
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1 persian cucumber
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 10 cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • 6 chunks frozen mango
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 1 scoop Met-Rx Protein Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp. cloves

Combine all Ingredients in a blender.  I have a ninja blender and love it!!   Juicers are bomb, but so is all the good fiber you get from the pulp!

Calories: 330 Carbs: 35g Fiber: 7.1g Protein 39g Fat 9g

 

If you save old kombucha containers, you have a nice glass jar to drink your smoothie from!!

cashew chicken salad

Cashew Chicken Salad

cashew chicken salad

There are plenty of yummy things you can eat while still maintaining protein and carb ratios for maintenance or weight loss.   The problem is they all contain veggies and lean protein and preparing these items mid day can be a challenge.

That’s why a big batch of Cashew Chicken Salad is a great idea for weekday lunches!

If you take the time on Sunday to combine a bunch of yummy healthy flavors you can have a whole foods quality grab-and-go lunch in your own fridge!

Saves money and calories if you do it yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 5 Chicken Breasts
  • 3/4 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups cabbage
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

dressing:

  • 1 tsbp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tsps shaved ginger
  • 6 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Prep:

  • Coat chicken in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake chicken for 40 min at 350 degrees, set aside let cool then chop into fine bite size pieces.
  • Cook Quinoa (usually has 15 min cooking time).  Set aside and cool.
  • Chop and combine cabbage, carrots, red onion, green onion, and pepper.
  • Add Chicken and Quinoa
  • Prepare dressing by sauteeing sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger  soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar over low heat.  Add water for desire consistency.
  • Pour dressing into mixture stirring until evenly distributed.

Makes 8 Servings

Calories 388 Fat: 23,3g Carbs: 20.3g Fiber: 4g Protein 29g

 

 

30 day challenge

4 Reasons You Should Do A 30 Day Challenge

30 day challenge

Spring has finally arrived–which means summer is just around the corner. It is time to up the workout ante!

Challenge yourself to complete a 30 Day Challenge.

Your challenge can be whatever you want.

  • You can do the 30 Day Squat Challenge which should only take 2-5 minutes out of your day.
  • You can challenge yourself to run or walk a mile or more 30 days in a row.
  • You can do a yoga challenge, committing 60-90min a day to yourself.
  • You can Crossfit 30 days in a row.

Whatever sort of challenge you decide to do, here are 4 reasons you should do a 30 Day Challenge.

1.  You do have the time.  Find somewhere during your day to take a break for yourself.  If there isn’t space in the middle of your day, tack it to the beginning or the end.  You can always wake up 10 minutes earlier, or skip the hour (or more) of television you watch each night.  You’ll start to realize when you set aside time to focus on yourself, you’ll be able to  preform your other tasks and obligations more efficiently and more effectively.

2.  You will have set a new goal.  Broadcast this goal!  Let others know what you are doing!  They might do it with you!  The more the merrier.  It’s harder to break a commitment when others know you have one.

3.  You’ll push your boundaries.  It is easy to find an excuse to back out of our workouts when we are tired.  When you push through fatigue, your body is forced to rebuild itself back up stronger.  Your brain often fatigues before your body.  Teach the brain how strong you can be!  You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can improve in an activity when you work on it each day for a month!

4.  You can eat more food!  Obviously if your goal involves losing weight, you shouldn’t completely offset your exercise with extra food.  However, if you do a 30 Day Bikram Challenge, or push yourself to run 3-5 miles every day for the month of May, you will find you need to fuel your body better for this endeavor. Your body’s cravings can teach you what vitamins and minerals you’re lacking in. Once you’ve identified the vitamins you need it’s just a matter of visiting LuckyVitamin or going to your local Walgreens. The cleaner you keep your system and the more you ask of it, the more it can accurately tell you what you need. You will probably find your body actually craves lean meats and veggies! You will learn the food you eat is fuel for your hard working body!

Give it a try!

Push yourself!

See what you can do!

If you decide to hop in on the 30 day challenge,  talk about what you are doing below!

The more of us that join in the more support we have!

 

 

curried chicken salad

Curried Chicken Salad

curried chicken salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • 6.5 oz diced shallots, garlic, and onions (mix from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3/4 Cup Yellow Raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup Chopped Cashews
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (Fage is the best!)
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 4 tsps curry seasoning
  • 1/2 Bottle yellow curry (from Trader Joe’s)

Prep:

  • Put Chicken in a baking pan.
  • Coat with Olive Oil, Pepper, Curry seasoning evenly.
  • Cook at 350 degrees for 45 min.
  • Let Chicken cool, then dice into bite size pieces.
  • Combine Yogurt and Yellow Curry in Blender to make the dressing.
  • Chop Celery
  • Add Celery, dressing, shallots, garlic, onions, and raisins to chicken.  Stir well and store in fridge.  The longer it sits the more flavorful it is!

Curried Chicken salad is the perfect meal to make on Monday so you have lunch for the rest of the week!

Makes 10 servings:

Calories: 260  14g. Fat, 17g Carbs, 1.9g Fiber, 22g Protein

 

 

sitting in bikram yoga

To Sit or Not to Sit? What Sitting in Bikram Yoga Says About You

sitting in bikram yoga

Every day your practice is different.

Ok, you are no longer a beginner to this yoga thing.

Or, maybe you are, but you struggle every day to continue pushing through every posture.  

My question to you is, “Why are you struggling?”

The second you begin to struggle, you are forgetting the first step of every posture, which is normal breathing.  Yes, this breathing rate might be faster, but you should never feel like you can’t breathe.

Sitting in Bikram Yoga can actually deepen your practice.

“Bikram says to to ‘kill you self”” 

  • Killing your “self” means to kill the ego telling you to have the best posture.
  • Killing your “self” means you don’t care if you are the only one sitting.  Your body needs the break today.
  • Killing your “self” means to avoid reaching for the security blanket of your water.  Do you really need it?  (If you do, you should have drank more water before you came.  I know–it’s not always easy.  I reach for my water bottle too, but it’s always my goal not to!)
  • Killing your “self” means accepting the body you brought today.  You may be getting sick. You may not have drank enough water.  You may have drunk too much wine the night before.  Whatever the reason, listen to your body.
  • Killing your “self” means you can look into your own eyes for 90 minutes.  You spend the rest of your life trying to live up to the expectations and demands of others.  Take the time in yoga to see what you need.

Part of learning to kill the self is learning to focus only on yourself.

I realize it can be tempting to sneak a peak at the girl in front’s standing bow, to grab some water, to make faces to your friend.  (And there are days where this is part of my practice, but it isn’t what my practice should be.)

This is not being present.  There is so much going on within your own body that you are missing when you focus on anything other than yourself in the mirror.  In fact, you may be struggling because of your lack of focus.  Days when I am actually able to stay fully present I find that I work harder than I have ever worked, have a larger pool of sweat on my mat than normal, and yet I find I was able to keep my heart rate lower and a smile on my face.  

I am relaxed while also killing myself and my self!

 

Next time you start to feel uncomfortable in class, don’t reach for water.  Don’t wipe your sweat.  Don’t look to your feet.  Don’t make a face to friend asking if it’s hotter than normal.  If fact, don’t even ask yourself that question.  It doesn’t matter.  What you should do instead is look to yourself for answers.

sitting in bikram yoga

  • Stare into your own eyes.
  • Take a long slow inhale.
  • Take a longer slower exhale.
  • Give yourself a smile.  It’s hard to have negative or anxious thoughts with a smile on your face.
  • Repeat this process as much as you need.

Some days you may have to take it to the floor from here, but still work to look into your own eyes.

Part of the practice and part of the yoga is getting in touch and accepting yourself.  Your body.  Your thoughts.  Your actions.  Your Present.

Today’s present and practice might be harder than yesterdays   You don’t know what tomorrows will bring, but today you will get more out of your practice remaining calm.

 

cross fit style workout

Waterfall Workout (cross fit style workout) – Dynamax Ball Style

cross fit style workout

All you need for this cross fit style workout workout is a Dynamax Ball!

Pyramid Workouts work by doing 10 reps of everything 1x through.  Then 9, 8, etc. and so on until you hit 1 rep of each exercise.

1.  Ball Squats:  Squat all the way down until your bottom touches the ball

2. Ball Slams:  Bring the ball over head.  Slam it down.  Work to catch it on it’s bounce to conserve energy!

3.  Burpees: Place the ball on the floor.  Jump out into a push up position.  Touch your chest to the ball.  Stand back up and place the ball over your head.  Make sure your chest touches the ball teach time.

4.  Sit Up To Stand Up:  Lay down on the floor with the ball over your head.  Pull the ball over your body past your feet, rocking up onto your heels.  Stand up and press the ball over head.

5.  Squat to Press:  Squat down until your elbows touch your knees.  Stand up and press the ball over your head.

6.  Medball Slams:  Sit down, knees bent heels on the floor.  Lean back 45 degrees and slam ball side to side bringing the ball over your head between slams.  (10 reps to each side)

7.   Push Ups:  Do 10 push ups with one hand on the ball and 10 with the other hand on the ball.  Travel over the ball between each and every push up.

Time yourself and record your time below!

 

sweet potato fries

Stuffed Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Every now and then I crave a juicy Hamburger!  The good news about eating Paleo, is you can indulge on these cravings!  You just need to nix the bun.  If you make Sweet Potato Fries you have a home cooked trendy burger treat.

Ingredients:

Stuffed Burgers

  • 1/2 lb 94% Beef
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Spicy Pepper (if you like)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Blue Cheese crumbles
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Sweet Onion
  • Shredded Romaine
  • Roma Tomato

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1 sweet Potato
  • Sprinkle Everyday Seasoning
  • 1 TBSP Coconut Oil

Prep:

  • Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  • Chop sweet potato into frie size pieces.
  • Sautee with coconut oil and seasoning until golden.
  • Spread out on cooking tray and bake for 30 min or until golden and crispy.
  • While fries are baking, remove tops and seeds from peppers.
  • Mix beef with blue cheese, cumin, and egg.
  • Stuff peppers with cheddar cheese.
  • Wrap stuffed peppers with beef.
  • Grill on low heat (to melt cheese)  until cooked or sear on both sides for 1 min and then pop into oven for 5 to finish.

Calories: 516 Fat 36g, Carbs 13g, Protein 34g

vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna

vegetarian lasagna

You can always add meat to a Vegetarian Lasagna, but this meal is a great way for vegetarians to get more protein in their diet.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Large Zucchini
  • 1 Stock Broccoli
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tsps minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp every day seasoning
  • 2 Cups Fat Free Mozzerella Shredded
  • 2 Cups Fat Free Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Cup Fat Free Ricotta
  • 1 Egg

Prep:

  • Sautee Tomatoes, Garlic, Pepper, Every Day Seasoning in a sauce pot.
  • Combine Mozzerlla, Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, and Egg.
  • Slice Broccoli and zucchini vertically into thin strips.
  • Layer Pyrex Dish with sauce, zucchini, cheese, spinach, sauce, broccoli, cheese, spinach sauce, zucchini, sauce, and finally cheese again.
  • Bake at 350 Degree for 45 min or until cheese is golden brown on top.

Calories 428, 14.3g Fat, 22.5g Carbs, 3.9g Fiber, and 55.8g Protein