Ya know, I’ve decided I really love this time of year! I love the cool, crisp, sunny weather, the beautiful fall leaves, the excitement and structure that the beginning of the school year brings, the fun Halloween season, going to High School Football games…the whole shebang. I really just wish I could freeze time for a bit and soak up the fall season for a while.
The leaves are especially beautiful this year! Last weekend, I took some of my kiddos on a quick hike up Bell Canyon to see the leaves.
It’s one of my favorite hikes because it’s challenging, yet not too long (about 1.5 miles round trip.) I was so proud of my baby, BTW…he hiked the whole way and loved it! It’s quite steep most of the way up too. He was a trooper. I figured he’d love it though because he is a BUNDLE of energy!
This hike is so beautiful and rewarding the whole way. Love it. We only hiked to the reservoir (lower Bell canyon), but I’ve heard if you go another mile or so further there is a beautiful waterfall! I definitely want to hike there someday!
I also took the kidlets on a drive up the canyon this week. We drove up to Solitude Ski Resort and it was such a beautiful, relaxing drive. The kids thought it was cool that there was actually a tiny bit of snow up there too! #imnotreadyforwinter #blah
I’m just love, love, loving FALL right now! I’m hoping we can get out on a legit family hike with the whole family before the weather gets too cold.
Well folks, I’ve been LOVING my little macro counting/carb cycling plan that I’ve been doing. Ya know, I’m obviously passionate about health and fitness. I know there are so many people out there (probably almost everyone!) who are struggling with various issues in life.
Life is hard.
To me, health and fitness is such a POSITIVE force that has so much power to CHANGE and ENRICH lives!
It just feels good to take care of your body. When you work out, use your body and fill it full of good food, you FEEL better, LOOK better and your OUTLOOK on life is better. When you lose weight (or maintain a healthy weight), tone up and utilize some discipline and willpower, it is EMPOWERING. When you set goals, work hard on those goals and then reach those goals, it is FULFILLING.
On the flip side, when we don’t take care of or use our bodies, our bodies deteriorate and don’t work as well. When we eat a bunch of junk and don’t control our appetites and cravings, we obviously don’t feel or look good and this can lead to poor self esteem, depression and frustration.
I just think too many people get stuck in the rut of not taking care of their bodies, which leads to low energy, low motivation and illness, which makes it hard to want to change. They mistakenly feel that living a healthy and active life is too hard and requires too much work.
Yes, it IS hard and it does require work, but what you get back in return is tenfold! There is just so much goodness, happiness and motivation to be found in health and fitness and I LOVE it!!!
However, even though I’m a huge fan of health and fitness, I love livin’ up life too! I’m all for relaxation, resting, missing some workouts and just kicking back and enjoying life. I’m also a HUGE lover of junk food! Donuts, burgers, fries and homemade cookies are some of my favorite things out there and they make me happy!
I do not want to live my life without enjoying my favorite foods from time to time.
Soooooo, the eternal quest for me is finding that balance. Finding that balance that allows me to enjoy good health, to maintain a healthy weight, to feel strong and lean, to have energy and motivation and yet still live up life and enjoy some of my favorite foods sometimes.
It’s tough though because I’ve learned many, many times that once I start eating that freaking awesome food…I just want more and more! My appetite always increases and then my cravings go through the roof. It really is amazing how swift and deliberate those effects are on the body.
Sooooo, I’ve learned I just have to keep my head in the game. When I splurge a little, I enjoy it and love every second of it! BUT, when the splurge is done….I have to get back to a healthy, mindful and balanced mindset.
It really is an every day commitment.
I do feel a need to mention that health and fitness is not about perfection. IMO, you don’t (and shouldn’t!) need to eat perfectly 24/7 and workout for hours in the gym every day. It should not become an unhealthy obsession. If you take health and fitness (or anything, really) to the extreme, it can quickly become a negative and destructive thing.
You just need to ask yourself what kind of an effect it’s having on your body and life….and make sure it’s a positive one! I could write a whole blog post about that, but I think I’ll just leave it at that for now.
Just be sensible folks.
Celebrate all of the great things you’re doing and the wonderful person you are!
Mmmmmkay, about my little carb cycling thing I’ve been doing. It is awesome. I love it so much! It’s interesting….I’ve counted macros on and off for a couple years now. I’ve also dabbled with carb cycling from time to time. However, THIS TIME I think I got the macros and the carb cycling RIGHT! I’m lovin’ it!
For the past couple years, when I’d count macros I’d try to keep it around 40% protein, 25% carbs and 35% fat. I tried to keep my carbs lower because I’d read that is how you lean out and drop fat. Well….those ratios get pretty darn old when you’re trying to hit them day after day after day. I got pretty burned out of counting macros.
Well….enter in carb cycling. It is a game changer folks! I keep protein high every day….35-40% (~145 grams), but I love that I have three high carb/low fat days in a row (Mon-Wed.) I still eat high quality food, but I can eat a lot of fruit (I used to restrict my fruit because of the carbs) and I can fit in my oats, brown rice, potatoes, high quality bread, etc. I can even have a tiny bit of candy (the high carb, low fat variety) if I want to. Because I’m keepin’ my fat low, it makes it hard to fit in too much crappy food. It keeps me in check.
I also LOVE that I have ONE low carb/high fat day a week and I love that it’s on a Thursday (the weekend Eve.) Low carb days are usually tough, but because it follows three high carb/low fat days, it doesn’t feel too hard. I welcome more fat in my diet and I hardly miss the carbs. I love having an actual egg instead of just egg whites. I love adding a little cheese and peanut butter to things. It’s great.
I also love, love, love the three moderate days over the weekend! Woot! On these days, I strive for 35% protein, 30% carbs and 35% fat. This ratio allows me to fit in a small splurge….every day if I want to! It is freaking awesome! Last Friday, I kept the diet squeaky clean all day and that night Kev and I got yummy salads and sweet potato fries at Cubby’s.
It tasted great and was such a nice treat. Really….for me, I need a little somethin’ somethin’ from time to time or I go crazy. I even fit in some chocolate chips into that day too.
Oh, and on Sunday my daughter made cookies! My macros allowed for two. Freaking awesome. Sadly, I kept nibbling and ended up eating three. They were so freaking good folks…I could’ve pounded three more! Soooo, that third cookie pushed my macros a little out of whack, but I didn’t sweat it. I was just happy I stopped at three and was very satisfied.
I was also happy that I didn’t eat any of the leftover cookies the next day! They were sitting on my counter calling my name ALL DAY LONG….but I stayed strong.
Sooooo, this carb cycle and macro ratio is just perfect for me! It’s allowing me some sort of “splurge” every single day, whether it be fruit, peanut butter, cheese, or some sweet potato fries. It is so good for my heart, soul and mind!
I still fill my body full of good, clean, nutrient dense food, but when you keep track of the macros and have a deliberate plan….it is so liberating and empowering. I can fit those small splurges in and still stay on track! AND, because I’m changing up the macros throughout the week, it makes that fruit, peanut butter or oatmeal feel like a treat! LOVE!
I hope that makes sense.
Oh, and I’ve also learned that it’s vital to find a healthy lifestyle/diet plan that challenges you, but that is also doable for the long haul. I know SO MANY people who follow these uber strict diets and get great results, but then they gain back all of the weight because it’s just too hard to maintain and impossible to do as a lifestyle. I really think the KEY to losing weight/maintaining a healthy weight and staying healthy for the long haul is to find and follow a plan that speaks to you. Find something that you love, that gets you the results you’re looking for and that lets you live a little.
Oh, and with that being said….time will tell if this plan will give me the results I’m lookin’ for. Ya know, I would really just like to lose about 10 pounds and take my body fat percentage from 21% to 18%. I’m hoping this plan will eventually do that for me. We shall see. It does feel challenging, yet it feels balanced. This plan definitely makes it easy for me to be consistent and that’s what I love most about it!
I’ve learned many, many times that consistency is the name of the game. Things that come quickly, won’t last. But things that come slowly, after a lot of hard work, dedication and consistency…actually stick around.
And, for the record I’ve been following this plan for 12 days now. I obviously haven’t seen amazing results yet. I’ve felt a little leaner and I just feel good. I’ve had a lot more energy, which makes me happy! My workouts have felt great. I’m lovin’ that. Overall, it just feels good to my body. I’ll keep y’all posted with my progress as I go. I’m really hoping I’ve found a plan that I can follow for a very long time.
Well…..I could ramble on and on forever about health stuff. I love it!
However, I’m going to try to make an effort to keep my posts shorter and blog more often. I do have a lot of recipes I’ve been wanting to share for a long time, but since this post is already long enough…I will refrain!
Sooooo, TOMORROW I will share a recipe that I’ve been loving lately!
It’s for Grilled Zucchini Pizzas and I loooooove them so much! I really could eat them every single day!
I should’ve shared this recipe a long time ago when garden season was in full swing, but I didn’t! Sorry ’bout that. It is such a yummy recipe though that I will probably make it year round in the oven with store bought veggies. YUM!
Soooo, check back in with me tomorrow if you’d like this recipe! I love you all and sincerely hope each and every one of you are doing well! xoxo