People ask me why I limit how much food I eat that contains gluten. When I eat gluten I don’t feel well. I become fatigued, my eczema starts to flare (which is also connected to eating dairy), and I start to gain weight. I even find that my migraines come back when I eat too much. I used to be a lot more strict and avoid any and all foods that have gluten, but I have relaxed my focus a bit but it is not without consequences. I am sure there are those out there with no issues with eating gluten on the regular, but not me. I do think however that everyone out there should detox from gluten for a week or two, and then add it back in. See how your body responds.
Think about it – from age four months on, we have been fed foods that contain gluten. Oatmeal is one of the first foods kids try and it is a staple of breakfast choices. How do you know how your body responds to gluten if you have never gone without? You don’t know any different. If you are trying to lose weight, or suffering from symptoms you cant resolve, the first thing I would suggest is to detox. Start eating fresh, whole food for 12 -14 days and then add things back in one at a time. You will most likely find the culprit.
“The gold standard for identifying gluten sensitivity is the elimination diet, in which a patient strictly eliminates gluten for three to six months and then reintroduces it, monitoring the effects.”
- 5 Rules For Masters Athletes Who Want Real Results
- When it comes to jogging, less is more, study argues
- Nation’s top nutrition panel: the American diet is killing us
- The great American sleep recession
Saturday: CrossFit (back squat)
There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I want done lately. I had almost a year ‘off’ from the corporate life, which meant that I could take care of things on the regular. Now that I am back working full time, in an office, it has been challenging to adjust what needs to get done. And I have been finding it hard to spark up the energy to do some of the ‘other’ things – like write. But I am not a quitter, and I know that the spark with reignite if I keep at it.
As I am trying to juggle all of the things in my life, I keep asking myself When is it good enough?
When Scotty got sick, I gave up the idea of an organized, super clean house. It just wasn’t possible and that has stuck years later. There is always a basket of laundry needing to get done and one needing to be folded in my house. There will always be stuff on my kitchen counters. I realized that my house has four different people living in it – and I can’t keep up. It just isn’t that important in the grand scheme of my life. And my house is clean enough…
The other day I was looking at some old pics, before I started working out. I noticed how different how much stronger and better I look now comparatively. But yet, I find myself thinking I’m not good enough. My fitness level is not where it should be, my body doesn’t look like I think it should. In all fairness, I own that I have slacked off being 80% Paleo. I am more 60% now –and I can see the differences and it’s been gnawing at me. I am aware that I am my own harshest critic. I am also not the kind of person to sit back and wallow. I need to be challenged and seek out opportunities to learn, so I will never be able to just settle. But – will there ever come a time when I will be able to acknowledge how far I have come?
Which makes seeing untouched pics of ‘famous’ people re-affirming…
- What does Cindy Crawford think of that unretouched lingerie photo making the rounds?
- Beyonce fans’ fury after leaked pictures of her L’Oreal advert claim to show how she looked before she got the Photoshop treatment
- How To Love & Accept Your Body Unconditionally
- 5 Reasons To Do Planks Every Day
- WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR BRAINS WHEN WE EXERCISE AND HOW IT MAKES US HAPPIER
- WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE A CRAP ABOUT CALORIES
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama
- Tues: Boxing: 1 Hour
- Weds: CrossFit: 1 Hour
Do you ever think about the things you liked to do as a kid? Do you remember how often you had art class? How you were given time to be creative and innovative?
I used to write plays when I was in grade school. They weren’t long or elaborate, but I loved making up stories. I also loved to act. I took acting classes for years – and then – the tweens. I lost confidence, had trouble fitting in, gained a ton of weight, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. I lost touch with all those of the creative things I loved to do and it’s been a struggle to find them again. Growing up, my Mom was a single divorced mom – before so many other parents divorced, and she worked a lot. My sister and I didn’t have a lot of parental oversight to push us to get our butts outside and play and she wasn’t able to take us to after school activities. It’s not a matter of blaming, it’s just the way it was. Once I hit my teens, I was picked on incessantly and was very lonely. I am sure today – I would be considered medically ‘depressed’, but back then – it was considered a stage I was going through.
As a mom now, I see a shift in my own tween-age daughter – her interest in her looks and fitting in started a year or so and it seems to be intensifying. I am thankful that she’s not the target of bullies or mean girls, but she has mentioned that she’s doesn’t think she’s popular and doesn’t have a lot of friends. Wearing my Mom hat, I talk to her about quality vs quantity of friends and offer her words of encouragement because heck, I like her! The reality is though, there are so many outside influences on our daughters that I feel sometimes it’s hard to overcome. Does it have to be this way for young girls today?
Do young girls have to lose their confidence and sense of empowerment just because they mature?
I’d like to think that the world has changed, but look around – some things have changed, but much has remained the same. There are so many articles and research out there detailing how young girls ultimately grow up to be women with low confidence and find they have less opportunities than male counterparts in their personal lives and careers.
Here’s a few recent articles for example:
- Speaking While Female, with Sheryl Sandberg
- Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee: Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Women Doing ‘Office Housework’
- Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace
- HOW WE CAN HELP YOUNG GIRLS STAY ASSERTIVE: WHEN SHE’S FOUR, SHE’S AUDACIOUS. WHEN SHE’S 14, SHE HAS TROUBLE SPEAKING UP FOR HERSELF. HERE’S HOW TO HELP YOUNG WOMEN KEEP THEIR VOICE.
Talking about the issue is definitely a start when it comes to addressing the problem, but more focus needs to be on teaching our daughters AND sons about valuing people – male AND female. Parents need to walk the walk/talk the talk as well. However, since men are in many positions of leadership around the world, maybe the wives and daughters out there need to put much needed pressure on the men in their lives to encourage them to lead the change.
- The Balance of Sisterhood: It’s All in the Strength of Your Standing Leg
- Smoking’s Toll on Health Is Even Worse Than Previously Thought, a Study Finds
- Yoga for Athletes: Why Activation and Inhibition Matter More than Stretching
Boxing: 1 hour
This weekend is Valentine’s Day if you didn’t already know. My friend shared this really meaningful post this morning: The One True Thing About the Perfect Valentine’s Date that I want everyone to read. “Love doesn’t seek a perfect moment; it seeks a real moment.”
There is no such thing as a fairy tale marriage. No relationship is perfect even if it looks that way on the outside and especially via social media. Relationships between two people – whether lovers, friends, family, co-workers- is work. We all come from different places in our lives, have had different experiences, have different filters to process what is going on. All of those factors create different perspectives. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. But, for me – once I realized fairy tale relationships don’t exist, my world became calmer. I stopped having these insurmountable expectations of how things are supposed to be… and let them just be.
Which explains why I am perfectly OK with my husband heading off on a guy’s trip over this Valentine’s Day weekend. I believe that every day is an opportunity to show love for someone. It’s the little things that count when it comes right down to it. I don’t need one day a year as proof that someone loves me. Yes, acknowledgment of the day is cool but as a grown up, if I need flowers or a present – i go and buy them. Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice when the hubby surprises me with something but it’s more the fact that he was thinking of me or something reminded him of me and that he made the effort. Those are the moments that mean something to me – more than a designated marketing day to show love. For example, when I get up super early to workout and I head downstairs to find that he pre-made coffee and it’s waiting for me – that matters.
20 Double Unders
Tabata Something Else
Today is another opportunity to make a difference. Even if it’s in some small way. The smallest act of kindness can make a huge change in someone’s life. Have you ever visited the Humans of New York website? I love seeing the posts every day. It’s a reminder that every one has an important and impactful story. We are all human, going through this thing called life…
Look around the web and you will find a ton of stories of kindness and changing someone’s life. Here are two recent ones about crowd-sourcing kindness:
- Detroit Man Who Walks 21 Miles To, From Work Receives New Car
- Teen’s Humans of New York Story Inspires President Obama
Approaching your daily life from a place of good intentions and kindness is a skill that needs to be practiced. It’s something you have to be aware of which reminded me of a recent post I read that asked if you were aware of your breath?
Having control of your breath can help decrease stress, connect you to your life purpose, and help you be present in the moment. My mantra bracelet says “be here now’ – which I wear to remind me to be present and learn to enjoy what’s happening at that moment. I tend to be a rusher –wanting to head into the next experience or moment before the first one is even done. I have been working on slowing down and learning to flourish in the experience – not just wait for the experience to be over. All of that is wrapped up in fear because I am not being comfortable with instability. But, you know what? I am finding that instability can actually inspire and motivate me to greater things!
- Saturday: Boxing
- Sunday: Boxing
I was sincerely touched by all of the people in my life & social sphere (in person and online) that took time out of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday yesterday. I don’t really grasp the reach and impact the stuff I share and the digital media work I do – and it becomes clear on a day like yesterday.
I started my day off with some exercise. Each year I make sure to get a workout in on my big day — to thank my own body for being so dependable. And to make it even more fun, my dear friend Maria bought me a tiara and a “real women box’ tank to wear for the occasion. And yes, I wore that tiara throughout the entire workout!
Then I headed into work – and went out for a steak dinner in the evening. Nothing extra fancy but a great day overall. My kids made me some spectacular gifts and Scotty was attentive as always. When your life is good – what more can you ask for?
- Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee- Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Women Doing ‘Office Housework’
- Early music training prevents loss of listening skills later in life
Today marks my third week at my new gig and although I am still very green with knowledge, I’m feeling at home. There is a ton of work to be done and I have the opportunity to make a real difference to the company. I was thinking this weekend, that I feel better. I’m starting to re-engage with some things that were losing my interest which to me is a sign of things getting set straight in my life.
Now for the brutal honesty – my focus on eating has gone way off the deep end. I can’t really even say I am following paleo at this point. I’m kinda all over the place. I know what I need to do but finding the drive to do it has been tough the past few months. I’m not going to lie either – it has affected my waist line too. I will need to really stop and listen to figure out what’s really going on with me. Why am I ignoring what I know I need to do? It’s not that the food is so delicious that I can’t control myself –it’s not about the food.
- Saturday: CrossFIt
- Sunday: Boxing
You know the saying be careful what you ask for?… well, I am living that right now. I am so busy at work – learning the business and the people that I am left exhausted at night. It’s all great stuff and I feel excited and energized by all I am learning but there is definitely an element of fear I am experiencing. All the What ifs start to creep into my head and I start to doubt my experience and my abilities. I am taking a different approach this time though..When I feel fear creeping up, I stop, take a deep breathe and remember that I not only don’t have to solve it all at once, but I don’t have to solve it alone. It has seemed to help alleviate some anxiety and worry although I have been waking up in the middle of the night thinking. But as I said – it’s not the dreaded fear but the excited one, the where do I start sort that tends to rev me up. And I remind myself that it’s all a part of learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable – which tends to be synonymous with change…
- How to Practice Being Comfortable in Uncomfortable Situations
- 7 Ways to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Over the weekend, I did a smorgasbord o fitness activities to spice things up. Friday night I hit a boxing class. On Saturday, I headed to Ashburn CrossFit and did a spicy metcon that consisted of wall balls, burpee pull ups and abmat situps and Sunday, my friend Maria and I tried out a new cycle place Cycle Scene and took a 60 min cycling class that challenged my cardio for sure. Thank heavens for like minded friends who are up to try out new fitness challenges with me. It keeps it fun and challenging at the same time. A few weeks ago, a coworker stopped by my desk to marvel at how active I am on the weekends. It was funny to him but to me – I didn’t get his astonishment at all. One hour each day isn’t much time to devote to my health and it’s better for my family overall if Momma is in a good mood.
One more thought to share from the Golden Globes – Maggie Gyllenhaal talked about complicated women and how we are all complicated when it comes down to it. I love that way of putting it – complicated does not have to be negative. I am proud to be complicated – to me it means being interesting, smart, engaging, emotional, passionate, funny, compassionate, and strong. And I would rather be that any day of the week than easy. And Hats off to men who love complicated women!
“When I look around the room at the women who are in here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not,” she said in her acceptance speech. “Sometimes sexy, sometimes not. Sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.”
Today was my last day at XO. While my stay there was short, six months, I learned a lot and met some smart, sharp people. With that said -the role I had wasn’t a good fit for me. It was fine — but not challenging or engaging for me and I just don’t want to accept mediocre anymore. It’s time for me to jump into something new, challenging and fun. I have a few days off before I start on Monday. Here’s to new adventures – fear ain’t got nothing on me.
My sisters shared with me that each year they decide upon a mantra to carry them throughout the year. To motivate, guide and inspire them. A mantra differs from a resolution in that it’s word or short phrase that is repeated mentally, often used to aid in meditation. It can help set your intentions and re-focus so that you develop the habits and become the You you envision. Maybe you want to uncuff yourself from fear or be kinder. Whatever it is – choose it and refer to it often to help reset your thoughts.
Baby it’s cold outside – like 8 degrees without the windchill. Talk about a polar vortex in the Northern VA area. I swear last week, it was in the 60’s. Such crazy weather shifts, it’s no wonder I can’t seem to get over this chest crud cold I have had since right before the new year. You know what helps break up the crud? Exercise! This morning – we did a bunch of suicides and sprints in addition to 8 rounds of boxing. By the end, I was hacking up my lungs which was actually a good thing because it is clearing the gunk out.
Did you know there are some recent studies that show being cold can actually lead to weight loss and improved health? The Atlantic recently published, The Benefits of Being Cold, highlighting that perhaps year round warmth, something many of us enjoy regularly, may be affecting our body weight and health. Read the piece – it makes a lot of sense “Seven million years of evolution were dominated by two challenges: food scarcity and cold.” Today, for most of us, neither of those things are real challenges to us on a regular basis and our bodies adapt to changes – some for the better, some for the worse. So, while it’s frightfully cold outside – take time to appreciate being chilly and realize that it’s perhaps better for you.
- Adrenal Fatigue: My Advice To Anyone Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue
- Exercise and Youth: How Exercise Keeps Us Young
“The beautiful thing about growth is the ability to see our changes.”