Simple Tofu Scramble

Hey Guys! Here’s a simple tofu scramble recipe that you can eat at any time of the day. This recipe is originally from the Thug Kitchen Recipe Book, however, you can interchange the vegetables and make it your own. I definitely made this recipe again and did just that. This recipe is easy, and it doesn’t take long to make! The only thing that takes a while is the prep work of washing and chopping all the veggies but once you get through that its smooth sailing!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Broccoli Crown
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1-2 Jalapeños
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons of Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Block of Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce or Tamari (I changed this part from the original recipe)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Lemon or Lime Juice (I use lemon for this recipe)
  • 1/3 Cup of Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Teaspoons of your favourite hot sauce

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Wash your broccoli, pepper, carrot, and jalapeño. Cut your broccoli crown into little trees about the size of a quarter no bigger than that. Cube your bell pepper. Dice your onion and shred your carrot. Mince your garlic and jalapeños. When I made this recipe I placed the prepped broccoli and pepper in one bowl. The Onion in a separate bowl. The carrot in a small bowl alone. The garlic and jalapeño in a small bowl together. Once you’ve prepped all your veggies, mix the chili powder, cumin, and oregano in a small bowl.
  2. Finally! Now we can start cooking! Phew! In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Then add the broccoli and bell pepper, cook for about 3-4 minutes. Once the veggies have softened a bit, add the garlic and jalapeños.
  3. Once you got all the veggies in the skillet cooking, drain the tofu and wrap it in some paper towel so you can squeeze some of the water out. Don’t go too crazy squeezing the water out. Hold the tofu over the skillet and crumble it into the pan. Don’t worry about making the crumble chunks small, it will further breakdown as you cook, so it may be wise to start off a little bigger at the beginning. Sauté the tofu with the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and lemon juice, make sure to pour these ingredients slowly over the entire pan so that it spreads out a little more evenly (tofu is very absorbent, so it will quickly absorb the liquid if you just dump it in one spot). Stir, after you’ve added the soy sauce and lemon juice. Then add the spice blend, carrot, and nutritional yeast. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in your hot sauce and serve.

You can serve this dish any way you like. You can put this scramble into taco shells, or make it into burritos. Totally up to you! You can put it on top of a bed of lettuce or just have it on its own. Have fun with it!

Vegan Gluten Free Tofu Scramble Topped with Avocado

 


Green Mango Protein Shake

For the last little while I’ve been playing with different shake recipes. Ever since my roommate brought in a Vitamix, I’ve almost been living off shakes! Especially lately. I’ll be heading to Coachella in a couple weeks, so to get in protein in a low calorie, low carb way, shakes have been my go to meal. I wouldn’t suggest having only shakes as a way to get your meals in, but I make at least one shake a day. Especially since I commute a lot, travelling from client to client, it’s an easy way to pack a meal on the go. However, I’ve been making shakes using egg whites instead of using Protein Powder. I’m not lactose free, but I find using egg whites so much easier on my digestive system. So here’s my latest favorite shake:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any lactose free milk)
  • 1 cup of egg whites
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (2 cups)
  • 1 cup of frozen mangos

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass with a straw and enjoy!

255 Calories: 24.2g Carbs, 2.5g Fat, 29.8g Protein

You can always add a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter to this recipe as well if you would like to add more of a fat source. It definitely works well, but keep in mind this would obviously increase the amount of calories and fat of this recipe.

 


How Not Sleeping Properly Can Increase Your Pant Size

Sleeping Beauty was definitely on to something, and I’m here to tell you why! I have touched on the topic of sleep and stress management in one of my previous articles called Day 5 of the 12 Days of Fitmas: Sleep and Stress Management During the Holidays. It seems as though the times when we need sleep the most, we actually sleep the least. It is when we are the most stressed out, with the biggest to-do lists in the world, that we tend to run ourselves on empty, and then pay for it big time in the long run. Not getting enough sleep can be quite dangerous! You could burn yourself out, and cause yourself to get seriously ill.However, sleep deprivation is not just bad for your overall health and well-being , it can actually dull your brain activity. This causes you to make bad decisions, because your frontal lobe (which is in charge of decision-making and impulse control) is deeply affected by lack of sleep, it’s kind of like being drunk. Sometimes lack of sleep can be worse than being drunk! We shouldn’t drive, or operate any sort of machinery drunk, so why is it so common that we force ourselves to drive, or go to work when we are sleep deprived? That can’t be safe right?! Safety aside, if you’re drunk (or just overtired) you are more likely to over eat, and eat take out food. You are also likely going to skip out on exercise as well. All of these activities, and drinking excess amounts of caffeine only exacerbate the situation, making you feel more tired, stressed out, lazy, and just not good.

In addition, if you’re overtired, and you can no longer control your impulse to grab McDonald’s instead of making yourself something nutritious for dinner, your brain’s reward system is revved up when you’re overtired. So, now you have a craving for McDonald’s that you can’t control, and once you eat that McDouble sandwich, because it’s comfort food (high fat, high carb, lots of salt), your brain’s reward system is going crazy! This makes it even more difficult to not eat take-out again, or to resist grabbing desert after your McDouble, and grab a snack size McFlurry. Basically, being impulsive and caving into your cravings for comfort food because you’re so tired, and your reward system being heightened only perpetuates the issue. You’re tired so you need energy, and comfort food is high calorie aka high energy, so once you eat it, you feel awesome, and then you don’t. Your insulin level spikes, and then falls drastically making you feel like a slug. Supper tired, and fat. Generally, you want to pass out right after you eat these things, which is probably one of the worst things you can do. If you can’t go to sleep after eating a high calorie take-out for lunch, then you’re more likely going to pick up a coffee of some sort, which will affect your ability to sleep well that night. This is because it takes about 4-6 hours for the effects of caffeine to ware off. This all depends on how much coffee you drink after lunch, how fast your metabolism is and so on. If you are a smaller human, the effects of coffee last much longer, than if you were a larger, more muscular human. These high calorie, and highly caffeinated diets only make you feel like an empty shell of a human that is just going through the motions. Who wants to live like that? You feel awful, and you will never look your best if you keep that up.

Moreover, people who lack sleep, are more likely to indulge in late night snacks. These snacks also tend to be high carb and high fat, like cookies, or chips. It’s so funny when clients tell me they don’t have a sweet tooth, but they love chips. I think people forget that just because it doesn’t taste sweet, does not mean there’s no sugar or carbs in it. Potato chips are high carb, high fat, and high salt, which will only have you retaining water. So you’ll wake up looking and feeling super puffy and fat. No one likes to feel bloated, and fat! Even if you’re doing a good job of trying to avoid eating junk food, when you’re tired, you are more likely to just eat more food in general. This is because your body is lacking energy, so it’s going to try to eat energy (calories is energy for the body). So, you will start to eat more calories in general if you’re not getting enough beauty sleep, to try to make up for the lack of energy. Maybe that’s why they call it beauty sleep? Either way, we all feel better, and look much better when we are properly rested.

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain, and most people need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Getting less than that can cause the most determined dieter to reach for the pint of ice cream. If weight loss is a major goal for you? Then your first goal should be to get on a regular sleep schedule no matter what. No matter how stressed out you may be, or how much work you may have to do, you cannot perform properly if you’re not sleeping. Even if it seems counter productive to quit working late nights, because you’re trying to “get ahead,” how much quality work are you actually getting done? I personally find that I am the most effective and productive during the day. I feel the best when I have gone to bed early, gotten 8 hours of sleep, and I have started my day early. I love starting my day early and ending my day early. It makes me feel so productive, and I also feel like I have enough of my day left to rest and decompress before I have to go to bed again and start over the next day. Believe it or not, your workload isn’t going anywhere, and you can walk away from it, then come back to it the next day well rested and better able to tackle it. I know there are times where you may feel like you can’t just “walk away” from your work, but you’re going to be working for most of your life anyway, so is it worth sacrificing your well-being? Maybe that’s something you have to ask yourself? I actually think that you would be able to get much more done during your regular work day if you sleep well, eat well, and exercise on a regular basis, and you won’t have to let your work life encroach on your home life too much. How about that? Sounds lovely right? I’m sure most of us know that we need more sleep, and we need to eat better, and exercise, but far too many of us don’t do these things enough.

If I still haven’t convinced you to get more shut-eye, or to take a nap here and there, then did you know that lack of sleep can affect your hormonal health as well? If your hormones are out of whack it is much more difficult to resist cravings, and cravings come much more frequently. This doesn’t just effect women, if effects men as well. However. ladies, you all know what it feels like when your hormones are out of whack and all you want is chocolate by the truck load! Lack of sleep impacts your leptin and ghrelin hormones. These hormones signal your brain to let you know when you’re hungry and when you’re full. Ghrelin tells your brain when it’s time to eat. When you’re sleep deprived, your brain produces more ghrelin. Leptin on the other hand tells your brain when to put your fork down. When you’re sleep deprived, leptin levels plummet, which only tells your brain that you need more food. If you put all of this together, it’s pretty obvious how sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain. The stress that you’re putting on your body now from lack of sleep, a high caffeine/high calorie diet, plus all the stress you’re putting on yourself from work, your home life, your finances and so on, only signal your body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol.What is cortisol? It is one of the steroid hormones and it is made in the adrenal glands. Secretion of this hormone is controlled by hypothalamus, the adrenal gland, and the pituitary gland. Because most cells in the body have cortisol receptors, it affects many different bodily functions. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory. It can also control salt and water levels in the body, as well as blood pressure. People with high cortisol levels tend to gain weight rapidly in the stomach, chest, and face. Often doctors will notice this because the person will have slender arms and legs, and most of their weight gain is centered in the middle of their body. There are several more negative effects of high cortisol levels, including an increase in anxiety and depression as well. Now, sleep deprivation will have you eating more, more often, and it will reduce your body’s ability to metabolize all of this extra food. This will only have your body gaining weight and hanging on to fat. If that wasn’t enough, like I mentioned before, sleep deprivation will cause your body’s ability to process insulin ( a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy) to go out of whack. This is bad because, if your body is having trouble responding to insulin, then your body will have trouble processing fats from your bloodstream, and will therefore store them as fat.

I’m not saying that if you sleep, you will lose weight (it is possible though!), what I’m saying is that not enough sleep hampers your metabolism and it can lead to weight gain. Also, getting adequate sleep will have you feeling much more motivated to not only tackle your work day, but to exercise on top of that! You be much more productive at work, and in your life in general! This will only have a positive effect on your overall well-being. Your mood will improve, and so will your energy. Proper sleep will have you making better food choices, which will give you the fuel to power through your day, and your workouts. Regular exercise will have you getting more quality sleep, and the circle continues. As you can see, everything is connected. Nothing in life is every separate from another. Better sleep positively effects your diet, workouts, and your diet and workouts effect your sleep. If you feel like everyday you’re just going through the motions. Like you’re surviving life, rather than living life? Then maybe you need to take a step back, and re-evaluate what you have going on. Take more time out of your day to take care of your basic needs, this includes proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Even if you don’t think you need to lose weight, exercise is not meant just for weight loss! We all need to keep our bodies strong so that we can conquer the crazy things that life throws at us. Life is too short to not be able to enjoy it fully, and no one is having fun if they feel tired all the time! So, if getting enough quality sleep seems to be a consistent issue for you? Then here are some tips on how you can begin to improve your sleep schedule:

  1. Shut down your phone, laptop, television, basically all your electronics a half hour to an hour before bed. The blue light that is shines from those devices negatively effects your REM cycle. Plus, reading a stressful text, or email can have you up all night when really there’s not much you can do about it until the morning anyway. So, I put my phone on do not disturb before I start to brush my teeth and such before bed. It helps a lot!
  2. Do your best to leave the bedroom for just sleep and sex. Think of your room as a place for relaxation of release, rather than a place for work and entertainment.
  3. We all have morning rituals, things we do every morning before work, do the same for your bedtime. Have an herbal tea, read a book, have a bath, anything that you find relaxing. Have some YOU time, you deserve it! 😉
  4. Try to wake up, and go to sleep at the same time everyday, even on weekends! This is something that I have a hard time doing, and it really does affect my Monday mornings… I’m sure many of you can relate!
  5. Avoid alcohol, and heavy meals close to bed time. This will cause you to have a restless sleep. Also, make sure to not have caffeine after 4 pm because like I mentioned above, it can take up to 6 hours for you to metabolize all the caffeine.
  6. Lastly, make sure your room is nice and dark! Darkness tells your body it’s time to sleep and it helps your body produce melatonin, which is the sleep hormone. Light on the other hand suppresses the release of melatonin.
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Princess Belle has the idea! Taking a cat nap all snug in my sister’s drawer next to a dream catcher, nothing but sweet dreams for Belle ❤


Delicious High Protein Smoothies Without Chalky Protein Powders!

I’ve posted one of these recipes on my Instagram account alexrinaldo, follow me if you’re not already! 😉 But, not everyone who reads my blog has Instagram… I know, shocking! So, I decided to post these recipes on my blog. I LOVE making smoothies, I make one literally everyday. It’s an easy, and quick way to have a nutritious and delicious meal, that you can take on the go. Lately, I’ve been making smoothies with egg whites, and I’m in love. I know this may sound gross, but it’s not. Egg whites don’t taste like anything, and these recipes do an excellent job of hiding the gloopy texture of egg whites. So, when you drink these smoothies, they have a nice creamy texture like a milkshake! Especially the banana, avocado smoothie!

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Recipe #1: Banana Avocado Protein Shake 405 calories

Macro nutrients: 15.9 g of Fat, 38 g of Carbohydrates, 31 g of Protein

  1. Put 1 cup of egg whites and 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk into the blender
  2. Add 100 g of ripe avocado into the blender and blend until smooth
  3. Put one whole banana (about 4 ounces or so) into the blender and then blend
  4. Add some ice and then blend again until smooth. Then once it’s all done, pour into a glass or shaker cup and enjoy!

Recipe #1: Strawberry Avocado Protein Shake 370 calories

Macro nutrients: 17.2 g of Fat, 22.5 g of Carbohydrates, 31 g of Protein

  1. Put 1 cup of egg whites and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk into the blender
  2. Add 100 g of ripe avocado into the blender and blend everything until smooth
  3. Add 1 cup of frozen strawberries into the blender and then blend everything together
  4. Once you have a smooth mixture, pour into a glass or shaker cup and enjoy!

Both of these recipes are delicious, and super easy to make! For the second recipe, you can literally use any frozen fruit that you like. I prefer frozen strawberries because the seeds don’t settle in your smoothie like blackberries for example, and they are relatively lower carb. I also enjoy using frozen raspberries as well because they are lower carb too. However, if you do change the fruit, it will change the calories of the shake and the amount of carbs in the shake. Let me know what you guys think in the comments section and if you’ve made any other versions of this shake, because I would love to hear your ideas too!


What does it mean to be fat?

What does it mean to be fat? Well, it can actually mean a lot of things depending on who you ask, or who you’re referring to as fat. Being “fat” comes with a boatload of negative connotations that we probably didn’t even realize. However, the point of this article is to call attention to the fact that not many of us, or maybe too many of us know what it’s like to be fat but it’s not something we openly discuss in public. In fact, being “fat,” or clinically obese isn’t generally viewed as a medical condition in society, but mostly as a result of bad habits, and laziness. When in fact, it is a medical condition.

The definition of obesity from the Webster’s Medical Dictionary is as follows, “a condition that is characterized by excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body and that in an adult is typically indicated by a body mass index of 30 or greater.” Below is a photo of the Body Mass Index Chart for both men and women. Please be informed that this is NOT necessarily the best way to tell if you are at a healthy weight, because it is only a ratio between your height and weight. It does not take into account your body fat percentage, which is a better way of knowing how much of your body is composed of fat. If you are a bodybuilder for example, or an athlete with a large amount of muscle, your BMI would read high because you would weigh heavier due to your muscle mass.

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Below is a chart showing you the ranges of body fat percentages for men and women. This will give you a better idea of how much of your body is composed of fatty tissue, and how healthy your body fat percentage is.

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One of the better ways to measure your body fat, that isn’t too expensive is to use calibers. If you do plan on using calibers, please have someone who has experience to help you measure your body fat. Especially, because you won’t be able to measure the skin folds on your back. Calibers do not measure your body fat directly, they are used to administer the “pinch test,” which takes measurements of skin folds on several points on the body. That information is then plugged into a mathematical formula that will give you, your body fat percentage. The accuracy of this test depends on the experience of the person administering the test, and the formula that they use to calculate your body fat. There is more than one formula to measure your body fat and it varies for each person depending on age, gender, race, and fitness level.

So, if you are really curious about your body fat percentage, please ask a fitness professional, or doctor to help you figure it out. There are picture charts to help you compare your body to the pictures to get an idea of where your body fat might be, BUT to make things simpler, I will describe to you what different body fat percentages look like. For example, I am a female between the ages of 26-30 years old. For both of my fitness competitions, I was at a body fat percentage between 11-15%. This is very lean, and a vast majority of female body builders at all levels are around this body fat percentage when they are on stage. It is very difficult for your body to maintain this body fat percentage for females for a long period of time. An ideal body fat percentage for my age would be between 20-24%

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Me backstage at my first show on November 8th 2014 

 

 

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Me backstage at my second show October 10th 2015

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December 6th 2015, this is me going to a Christmas party sitting in the ideal body fat range between 19-24% 

 

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Me and my friend Jordan walking into the reception of our best friend’s wedding this past August 27th 2016. Here I am in the “average” body fat percentage around 26% and definitely not my happy place. 

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A more recent photo of me January 7th 2017 where I’ve gotten my body fat percentage down around 24% my goal is to get closer to 20% 

It was hard finding recent full body photos of myself to compare body fat percentages with you guys because I’ve stopped taking many selfies of myself since I stopped competing! However, I wanted to give you guys a good idea of what different body fat percentages can look on a person. A body fat percentage of 11-15% can look a lot different on someone depending on how tall they are, how much muscle they have and so on. The more muscle you have when being that lean the “healthier” you’ll look, and the more shapely your body will look. However, if you are at that body fat percentage, without much muscle, you will actually look quite sickly. The same goes for the “average” body fat percentages for women. If you have a body fat percentage of 26% and your around my age, depending on your height, you could look a lot different from me in the photo above. So, using photos of people’s body’s to compare body fat is again NOT an accurate way to find out how “fat” you are.

The sad thing is, this is how we all measure our bodies. We compare them to others, and determine whether we are fat, skinny, fit, beautiful, ugly etc. I think a lot of women care about their body fat percentages not because of their health but because they don’t want to be considered fat! And even if they are in the average, or above average range, many are in denial of how “fat” they really are! I mean, I’m sure they know they’re not thin, but they would never consider themselves to be obese. In my opinion, this is because many of us see someone who is obese as someone who weighs an extraordinary amount of weight, like the people you would see on My 600 lb life on TLC. And it’s not just women who make these sorts of assumptions, men share the same sort of denial, and men have become much more critical of their bodies. I wouldn’t say that it is to the same degree as women, but I definitely think younger generations of men are facing higher and higher standards of beauty and masculinity. The movie Fight Club addresses this issue quite well, the question of masculinity and beauty, but that’s another article.

There are so many articles talking about our unrealistic beauty standards and how they affect women, and men negatively. How it creates a whole bunch of body issues, eating disorders, suicides, and the list goes on. But what I want to address in this article is this aversion we have to being labeled FAT, and why that is? Because in reality many, many people fall into the average, leaning towards above average body fat percentage. I don’t think people are afraid to refer to themselves as fat, because people do it all the time, even if they are completely healthy, people will call themselves fat, because there is someone else out there thinner, and better looking than them, or because they no longer have the body they used to have. When in reality they probably picked the body they used to have apart as well. It seems as though many of us have a hard time accepting our bodies at all. However, it can be deeply hurtful when someone else refers to you as fat. It’s one thing to call yourself fat, but when someone else does, it either confirms what you already know which sucks, or it can have you questioning your self-worth. Because let’s face it being thin and fit is considered good and beautiful, and being fat is still considered ugly and bad. The thing is though, calling people fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, because they happen to weigh “above average,” or have a higher than “normal” body fat percentage, doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t make you a better person, it doesn’t change the person you’re calling names, and it certainly doesn’t fix the problem of obesity in our society.

I didn’t realize until recently how much our society discriminates against people who are over weight and obese. I did not realize the amount of obstacles these people face on a regular basis. I had an idea, but I really didn’t know how much prejudice there was against people who are fat, until I watched a video that my friend had shared with me that her company had made discussing what it’s like to live in the shoes of someone who is clinically diagnosed with obesity. Besides the obvious stares, name calling, and judgement that they face everyday, there are a bunch of physical barriers that they face that aren’t as obvious as you would think. For example, furniture is made for the “average” person. There are a lot of chairs that aren’t wide enough, or, are not able to hold up weight over 230 lbs. I take for granted the body that I have, because I never have to worry about seating when I go to a show, restaurant, or public space, because I have no problems fitting into chairs and such. Basically, we haven’t included a large section of people in the designs for the spaces that we live in. Ignoring a group of people, and treating them as if they are not important, almost as if they are no longer human, will not encourage positive change in any way. If we want to help someone who is suffering from obesity, we must engage with them in a positive manner. We must include them and their needs, so that we can help improve their quality of life.

As a fitness professional, I realized that I cannot properly help my obese clients if I am judging them based on their body. None of us will be able to help them if we are already making assumptions about how they got that body in the first place. In reality people who are considered fat are actually hyper aware of their own bodies, because they are told on a constant basis that they don’t belong. Not necessarily directly, but definitely indirectly, through the design of our spaces, furniture, clothing, our media, and basically our society as a whole does not value someone who is “fat.” That is why no one really wants to be “fat.” Not because it is ugly, or that people hate their bodies, because there are many overweight people who are perfectly content with their bodies, but nobody wants to be considered fat, because nobody wants to be ugly, or unwanted. Everyone wants to feel like they matter, and that they belong. Speaking as a fitness professional, it is important that we treat people who are overweight as people, who matter, and who have feelings. They were not born obese, but circumstances whether they be health related, or not, have led them to obesity and it is not in our right to judge these people. Especially if we know nothing about them.

Obesity is a medical condition, and it affects many people in our society, and if we ever want to improve our quality of life, we must first stop with the prejudice. We must try to accommodate these people more in our society, not just in fashion, or media, but in all parts of everyday life. Throwing diet pills, nutritional facts, and telling them to get off their “lazy butts,” is not going to solve the problem of obesity, because that just perpetuates hate, and ignorance. If you truly want to help someone who is overweight, first get to know them, and then ask them what it is that they need to be successful. You may be surprised at how much they know about diet and exercise! Once you know what it is they need, you can then have a better chance of helping them succeed, but they MUST be included in the process. Don’t just assume what they need based on the fact that they are fat, because they are more than just a “fat person.” Anyway, my point, was that we don’t really consider what it must be like to be a fat person in our society. We don’t really take the time to consider their wants, needs, and feelings at all. We tend to disregard them all together or punish them for the way that they are. Instead, we should do our best to include all types of people from all shapes and sizes. As cheesy as it sounds, we must include everyone into the realm of fitness. People who are overweight should not feel as if they don’t belong in the gym, and making fun of people who are working out because of their size is disgusting to me and I know it happens all the time. But since when is it a crime for someone to go hard at the gym? Even if they happen to be overweight? Why are we discouraging people from doing something positive with their lives? It’s not fair to ridicule someone for their size, and then make them feel as if they don’t belong in environments where they can make a positive impact on their health. If we want to have a healthier society, then we must stop making people who are overweight feel as if they don’t belong.


Gluten-Free, does that mean it’s healthy?

I was thinking the other day about how much our society obsesses over food, in not necessarily a good way. I mean there have been a lot more discoveries about food, and the potential harmful side effects of various food products like artificial sweeteners, genetically modified foods, hormones, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and the list goes on. I love that people are becoming much more aware of what they are putting into their bodies, and are educating themselves about nutrition. I think it’s great that more and more people want to be healthy, and that they are a lot more conscious of not only their health, but the environment as well. However, there are a lot of us who are not educating ourselves properly about nutrition, and are falling into diets because we think it’s healthy, based on what we’ve heard but not on what we actually know. Eating gluten-free does not necessarily mean that you’re eating healthier, and it also doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose weight. I mean you may lose weight by cutting down on processed carbohydrates, that’s always a good thing, but don’t cut gluten completely out of your life if you don’t need to. This is because, if you go on long enough without eating gluten, then you may start to develop an intolerance to it when you were perfectly fine digesting it in the first place!

Eating gluten-free has become super popular, it seems like more and more people are reaching for gluten free options because they think it’s healthier for them, and they also believe that it will help them to lose weight. Now these claims are not necessarily false, however, there are plenty of gluten free products out there that are just as bad for you as the original. For example, gluten free cookies are still cookies!!! That means they are still full of sugar and fat just like a regular cookie! Gluten, is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barely. These are all various types of grains. Gluten is a protein that is found naturally in these grains, this does not mean that it is bad for everyone! Some people like my mother, can’t eat gluten at all because of an intolerance that was diagnosed by the doctor. My mom however, doesn’t just have an intolerance to gluten, she actually has a hereditary autoimmune disease called celiac. When people with celiac ingest gluten, their body has an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks damage the lining of the small intestine (the villi) which promotes nutrient absorption into the body. When the vili is damaged, it is much more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, which can lead to further health complications. When the body is attacking the small intestine because gluten was eaten at some point, it is very painful. The person will bloat terribly, and have terrible gas as well. No one wants to feel this way, and no one wants to be around a gassy person, and the only treatment for celiac so far is a gluten free diet.

If you don’t experience terrible bloating, gas, cramps, or irregular bowel movements when you ingest any wheat product, then there is no real need for you to eat a gluten-free diet. Gluten CAN be an inflammatory for some people. Just like lactose, eggs, and alcohol can all be inflammatory to people, but not to everyone. Sugar can be an inflammatory! It may not be the gluten that is bothering you, but the amount of sugars you’re consuming in your diet! So if you’re eating a gluten free cookie, you may still experience inflammation, gas, and weight gain. If you can eat toast, or regular wheat pasta without getting super gassy and uncomfortable then you most likely don’t have a gluten intolerance, and becoming gluten free won’t necessarily help you. However, cutting down on processed foods like store-bought breads, pastas, cakes, cookies, pastries, granola bars, boxed cereals, the list goes on, can help you lose weight, and will help you feel better overall. This is because, a lot of these food products contain high amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and so on. All of these things can cause inflammation, and weight gain. Plus, because they are all high on the glycemic index, they will also cause your insulin levels to spike. This will give you a sudden burst of energy, and then a heavy crash if you’re eating too much of it at a time. So, if you enjoy bread, and pasta, then make it a once in a while treat. Eat it in MODERATION but you don’t have to get rid of it completely.

In conclusion, what I’m trying to say is this. Eating less packaged and processed foods will be better for your health overall, even if you’re gluten-free or not. However, ordering a gluten free pizza from Pizza Nova, will not make that meal choice any healthier FYI. I know for myself personally, when I eat too many artificial sweeteners, I can get headaches, and I can get gassy. I can also get really sick from eating really fatty foods, like too much cheese. Nobody wants to be around me after that! Last summer, I had a terrible episode in Miami… All of my closest friends know exactly what happened!! I ate a super greasy lobster roll, and let’s just say it didn’t end well… It was also soggy and gross 😦 serves me right for eating a New England food in Miami in the summer time. So, if you experience any real discomfort after eating certain foods the best way to discover what the actual culprit is, is to talk to your doctor first or any other healthcare professional! If it’s nothing serious just gas and bloating, then the best thing to do is to eliminate all possible inflammatory foods. So, eliminate dairy, gluten, alcohol, eggs. Do this for a month, and then introduce one of these foods at a time. So one week introduce eggs and see what happens, then introduce dairy, and so on and so forth. You may not need to eliminate things completely, but you may need to restrict certain foods because they make you uncomfortable. Having terrible gas, or bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or even heat burn/acid reflux, is NOT normal, and you shouldn’t keep taking antacids, or Pepto Bismol because that is not actually solving the problem! You need to cut down or cut out the foods that are causing you this discomfort! Everybody’s body is different, and you need to figure out what types of foods make you feel your best, and help you to perform your best when exercising and going about your daily lives.

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A picture of a breakfast that I made for myself recently. I actually eat eggs, or egg whites every morning. It’s my favorite way to start the day 🙂 


Day 3 of the 12 Days of Fitmas: Five Cost Free Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

The winter solstice is coming up next Wednesday December 21st, 2016, this means it will be the shortest day of sunlight for the entire year, also making it the darkest day of the year. It comes as no surprise to me, that we celebrate Christmas, and other Holidays during this time of year, as an attempt to bring some light, and happiness to one another on these cold and dark winter days. However, despite the celebrations, the lack of sunlight can have a dramatic effect on your energy levels and mood. Below is a list of 5 ways to lift your spirits this winter that won’t put a strain on your pocket-book! Because I’m sure the holiday season is costing you a pretty penny already 😉

  1. Brighten up your environment. Open up your shades during the day, and let as much natural light into your space as possible. If your desk at work does not get any direct sunlight, or if you don’t have access to a window, then on your lunch break sit by the window, or find ways to get to window through out your day. For example, on your way to the bathroom, or to a meeting, take a route that passes by areas that are well-lit with natural light. OR if all else fails, leave the office for lunch, go out for coffee, and get outside! Even though it may be cold and a little uninviting, you will feel so much better after getting a brief amount of fresh air and sunlight, trust me!
  2. Watch your diet. During this time of year, and well, winter in general, we tend to gravitate towards “comfort foods.” These types of foods are high in fat, and high in sugar. The reason why these foods are considered “comfort foods” is because not only do they taste awesome, the high amounts of carbohydrates provide temporary feelings of euphoria, and the high fat content gives you a sense of satiety or a satisfying feeling of fullness. Or, if you’ve had too much, you may feel a little sick or “stuffed.” I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have some holiday food here and there, but do not go overboard! It is so hard to keep yourself from overeating at this time of year! And sure, these comfort foods taste great, and feel great going down, that feeling is only temporary! If you want to feel great for a longer period of time, feed your body with nutrient dense foods! Sure, pie tastes great, but it doesn’t look great, and it doesn’t feel great if you’ve had too much. Also, if you overeat these comfort foods, you basically put yourself in a food coma, which makes it very difficult for you to be motivated to do anything else but lie on the couch. Not only will you feel “fat,” and “gross,” you will lower your energy levels, and lower your overall mood. So, my advice is to eat as healthy as possible, and keep the Christmas treats to a minimum!
  3. Exercise! I’ve written an article in the past about the effects of exercise on your mental health called How Fitness Continues to be a Beacon of Hope for Me . It talks about how fitness has helped me overcome times when I’ve felt very unhappy with how my life was going, and it can most definitely help you! Exercise, especially doing cardiovascular exercises can help you naturally create “happy chemicals” in your brain called endorphins. Actually exercise can be as powerful as taking an anti-depressant! Also, doing interval style training can help alleviate stress and anxiety. So, if this time of year has you feeling really stressed out and anxious? Then take a spin class, or do some interval training on some of the cardio equipment in the gym. Either way, you should get your body moving this time of year, especially when all you want to do is hibernate. Hibernating, and hiding from the world will only isolate you more, and have you feeling the blues even more so.
  4. Turn up the volume of your favorite music! Ever notice how Christmas music is always happy, hopeful, and cheerful? I don’t know about you, but I love to play Christmas music at this time of year. Not only does it get me into the Christmas spirit, it really does lift my mood. I just can’t help but feel happy when I listen to it. Especially when I’m doing Christmas things, like baking, or decorating the tree. However. I know that many people find Christmas music to be a little annoying, especially because it literally plays in every store, and almost every coffee shop that you walk into. So, if Christmas music doesn’t make you happy, play the type of music that does. Music has a tremendous ability to really affect people in a positive way!
  5. Volunteer, and help others! There is no better time, then the holiday season to give back to your community! Volunteering your time and helping out others really does feel good, and it can help you get a sense of purpose. When things seem so dark and lonely, it’s a good idea to reach out and give a helping hand. It may help you to realize you are not alone, things are not as dark as they seem, and you can really make a difference in someone’s life. It is so positive to be able to give back in some way to your community. Not only is it positive for the people who directly benefit from the work you’ve done, but for you as well. Everyone wants to feel like their lives mean something, and that they are needed in some way.

These are all my suggestions for helping you overcome those winter blues. Heck! You can apply all of these things to your life in general, and I can guarantee a higher quality of life! Go outside, get some more sunlight in your life! Eat well, and exercise! This will help you feel better both mentally and physically. You will have more energy throughout the day, and you will be a better version of yourself to conquer whatever life throws at you! Listen to music (that’s if you enjoy music) and dance, sing, do whatever makes you happy! I literally dance everyday and some point, music makes me so happy 🙂 And last but not least, give back! I know we all live busy lives, but it really does make you feel good from the inside out to be able to do something genuinely nice for someone for no reason other than it was a good thing to do. Merry Christmas guys! Don’t let the winter darkness get you down!

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Glade doesn’t necessarily make me feel joy but spending time with the people I love the most does ❤ Me and my bestie at the Toronto Christmas Market November 27th, 2016 


STRESS!! Don’t let it get the best of you!

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a high amount of stress, and I’ve been noticing that quite a few of my clients have been feeling the same way. The frustrating thing about high levels of stress, is that it usually perpetuates more stress. The frustration, at least for me, comes from the fact that I feel overwhelmed, and because of this, I find it difficult to properly take care of myself and do the things that make me feel good about myself. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, and I’m sure this is true for the vast majority of us, our worries and anxiety takes center stage, and our bodies, our minds, and our spirit take a back seat. It’s frustrating, because the worse we treat ourselves, the worse we feel. We start to feel guilty for not doing the things we know we should be doing, and we start to punish ourselves for it, and around we go again, our stress only climbs.

Now, there are a few of us that don’t really notice how badly our stress is effecting us until it’s gotten to a point where it is out of control. We tend to let the smaller things slide, but every time we let something slide, it starts to add up. What was once a “one time thing,” has quickly developed into a terrible habit. The saddest thing is, is that a lot of people have just assumed that this is their life. That stress is a part of life, and this is how it is.”I will forever have back pain because I work at a desk, and I’m old.”  Or, “I don’t have time to cook, so I eat out a lot.” Simple things like getting enough sleep, and feeding ourselves properly become a burden, when in reality all of the crap that we have piled on ourselves to manage is the real burden. Our stress is mostly self-inflicted. Sure, there are stressful things that happen to us that are out of our control, however, how we choose to deal with these situations is up to us. On the flip side, sometimes, our stress doesn’t always start in a negative place. Sometimes, we are having the best time! You’re always hanging out with your friends, going on adventures, doing whatever makes you happy, and before you know it, you feel a little lost.

I personally find that my stress, at least right now, is a combination of feeling a little lost, and putting a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to my business. I’m finding myself in this limbo of trying to balance my hectic summer social life, work/developing my business downtown, and moving into the city. I do not feel grounded at all, and I feel as though I’ve spread myself a little too thin. When I didn’t really have plans last weekend, except going to my friend’s cookout on Sunday, I was so happy! I finally got to do nothing, and it felt so great. I watched Netflix, went to the movies, did my laundry, and spent a good amount of time looking for places to live. I finally got to do what I wanted, which was really nice. Because it’s the summer, and I decided not to compete, I’ve been taking full advantage of all the hangouts with my friends. It’s been amazing! But at the same time, I have gone too far to the extreme, where hanging out with my friends has become a bit of a distraction from the things that I need to get done, and the things that really make me happy. I am not training as consistently as I like (I like to train at least 6 times a week), and I’m not eating as consistently as I would like (6 small meals a day). This makes me feel worse about the situation that I’ve put myself in, and because I’m not working out as much, or eating as well as I usually do, it’s becoming progressively more difficult to deal with my stress. It’s a vicious circle, where I’m not grounded and I’m overwhelmed, which stresses me out and demotivates me from working out, or meal prepping, this makes me feel guilty, which again, stresses me out!

That being said, I know what my problems are. I know what I do that makes my situation worse, and I know what I need to do to correct the issue. The key is to start off small. Because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, and I’ve been busying myself with my friends, I haven’t been able to do the things that make me happy, like write this blog, or workout everyday, etc. So here I am writing a new piece for my blog and I packed a proper lunch for myself today too. Small wins! But I’m already starting to feel a bit better, and it all started by putting myself first this weekend, and realizing that the shenanigans need to stop. I need to get back to practicing what I preach, which is “YOU are the most IMPORTANT person in YOUR life, and YOU need to take care of yourself because no one else will.” Doing small things like this for yourself, help you feel better, and they motivate you to continue to do these things for yourself. Eventually, your stress and the mounting pile of crap that was so daunting before, starts to become more manageable. This is because when you stop taking care of yourself, your work starts to suffer. Actually all areas of your life start to suffer, and your stress only increases. You need to take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself to conquer life. Don’t ever be a victim of circumstance, and let life conquer you. I say this all the time, I just needed a little personal reminder 😉

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, ground yourself in the things that bring you happiness. Listen to your favorite artists, read the book you’ve been meaning to read, join a house league, or a group fitness class. Do these positive and productive things for yourself during your down time, instead of smoking weed, drinking, watching Netflix , or playing video games. You may think that these things bring you happiness, and sure, they’re fun, but in the long run, these things take more from you than they give. When you do positive and productive things in your spare time, like a dance class, not only doesn’t it bring up your mood, but you feel so much more accomplished than if you spent that time on the couch. Plus, when you choose to do something positive and productive in your spare time, like a hobby of some sort, it can actually turn into something more. It can help you meet new people, help you with your current career, or heck! It could become your new career.

Either way, when you’re feeling stress and overwhelmed the best things that you can do for yourself is as follows:

  • Participate in regular physical activity, whether it be a sport or going to the gym, either way it is one of the best ways to combat stress.
  • Secondly, you should socialize with friends and family, but don’t fall into the trap that I often fall into, where I would rather be with my friends having fun and avoiding the things that are stressing me out in the first place.
  • Try to relax! Do this through therapeutic breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or even a good massage!
  • Set time aside for hobbies, like crafts, reading, listening to music, baking, whatever brings you happiness
  • Lastly, and this may sound dumb, but stay positive! Laugh! Try your best to have a sense of humor about your situation, because crying isn’t going to change anything, so you might as well laugh! I would be lying if I said I never cried from stress or frustration, but I always try to cut it out quick. It only makes you feel sorry for yourself if you let it go on for too long, and having a victim mentality isn’t going to get you out from the pile of crap you put yourself under.

Handling Stress

Life can get really crazy sometimes, and sometimes we let things pile up, but lying down waving your white flag is going to get you no where fast. Slow down, take a breath, and re-focus. Take it one day at a time, plan out your day, set daily goals for yourself, and conquer them. When you need to take a break? Workout! Read a book! Do something positive and productive. Something that raises your spirits, and gives you the strength to keep going. And lastly, surround yourself with positive and productive people! People who push you and encourage you to be your absolute best. This is how you secure your overall happiness and success.

 

 


How diet is more than just “will power”

Lately, a lot of my clients have been asking me about what it takes to be successful. Especially when it comes to their diet. When it comes to improving your fitness, the diet is always the hardest part, and for some reason, a lot of my clients assume that it has something to do with their “lack of will power.” However, it is much more complicated than that. Believe it or not, there are a lot of social, psychological, and emotional attachments to food, and to eating in general. These all play a big role in how successful you are at dieting. Here are a few things that I have come to understand about dieting, and how to lose weight successfully through my own personal experiences:

First of all, you need to decide whether or not you really want to lose weight. How serious are you about this goal? Has this goal changed from a want to a need? For example, generally when someone really wants something like a job, a new car, or shoes, they start to convince themselves that they “need it.” When someone really wants something, they will talk to themselves, and to others about how much they “need” this particular thing. Example: “Oh my God, I need these new shoes!”  Whether or not they may actually need the new pair of shoes, is besides the point. The point is, they convinced themselves that they do, and therefore have justified the purchase to themselves. Now they’re happy, or at least for the moment, because they had achieved the goal of buying new shoes. They had gotten themselves something that they really wanted, and they now feel more accomplished, and happy. It is the same with weight loss. How unhappy are you in your current situation? How uncomfortable do you feel in your own skin? Enough to make a permanent and lasting change? If so, then we can actually start to set up a game plan to help you be successful. Permanent and lasting weight loss only works if you are committed to it. It is something that you have to work on everyday, it is all the choices that you make through out each and everyday that impact your weight loss success or failure.

At the very basic level, you need to put yourself, your health, and your body first. It must be a priority. If it is a priority, if being healthy and feeling good is so important to you, then you will choose better foods for your body, and you will find activities and exercise for your body and so on. If your health isn’t a priority, if you’re not unhappy with your weight, or at least not enough to really do anything about it, then why do you keep punishing yourself for the choices you make? Why do you keep calling yourself fat? And treating yourself like shit?  If you are not willing to make any changes with your current lifestyle, then you must find a way to be happy with the person you are right now, because putting yourself through this emotional and psychological trauma just isn’t worth it. No one deserves that sort of abuse. It is not positive, and it is certainly not productive. Being mean to yourself isn’t going to change your life, and it isn’t going to change who you are. If anything, you become a victim of your own life, and the circumstances that you put yourself in. This only perpetuates the problem, and keeps you fat, unhealthy, and unhappy.

Being healthy, or feeling good about yourself in general, is a constant battle. It doesn’t just magically happen, and once you have found your happy place, you need to work to keep yourself there.  The second you think you’re fine, and you don’t need to be as “strict” with your health goals, is the second you start to fall down your priority list. Before you know it, your back to square one, or worse. Your health and happiness is the most important thing in your life. In fact, YOU are the most IMPORTANT person in YOUR life. Without you, and your body, you would not be able to experience life. If you want to be successful at anything it is more than “will power,” or discipline. It starts with you putting yourself, your happiness, your needs, and your goals first! Everything else is secondary. Once you know what you need in your life to be happy, you will do anything to get it, but only if your happiness is of the utmost importance!

Your happiness only becomes important to you, if you think you deserve it. You have to accept who you are now, flaws and all, before you can truly be happy. Once you believe that you deserve better, that you can have better, and that you are better than the way you are treating yourself, that is when you can really be happy. Failure happens, mistakes happen. You will never be perfect, and you may fall off your diet, but tomorrow is a new day. The only way you can truly be successful at anything you do including your diet, is through consistent, committed, hard work. You need to be 100% committed to consistent hard work, no matter how hard it gets, or if you’ve made a mistake, you need to be willing to get right back up on that horse and keep going. As they say, slow and steady always wins the race, and that could not be more true when it comes to long lasting weight loss. Being healthy and feeling good is a life long battle. If it is important to you, then you must be committed to consistently making the best food choices for you and your body every single day! Sometimes we may not make the best choices, but that is no reason to let it snowball, let it go, and get right back on track tomorrow. If anything happiness, and healthiness are both a life-long battle. I’m not saying that consistently looking a certain way will guarantee happiness, however, I am saying that consistently feeding your body healthy foods, and keeping yourself active does foster happiness. So if you want to be healthy and happy, then you MUST make the choice everyday to be healthy and happy.


How to Diet on the Go? My top three tips for sticking to your diet when time is an issue!

I’ve recently decided to move downtown, actually the very first Wednesday of the month I decided to sell my car, and move myself and my business downtown. Ever since then, I’ve had to switch gears, and I’ve been working tirelessly to make this dream a reality. However, because I’ve been so busy putting my car up for sale, looking at apartments, looking for work, and commuting via transit all the time, it really got me thinking about how difficult it is to stay committed to a diet when you’re away from home a lot. So, I decided to write a piece with some helpful tips on how to stay on track with your diet when you have a very busy life, and you’re always on the go. These past two weeks have been extremely difficult for me, and I will not say that I was perfect with my nutrition. However, that does not mean that I am willing to give up on my goals just because it has suddenly become a little more difficult for me, and neither should you! So here are my top 3 tips for successful weight loss with an extremely busy schedule:

  1. Make sure that you have a good lunch box. One that is big enough to hold more than one meal, and that is easy to carry.

There are plenty of lunch boxes out there that are stylish, and convenient. For example Six Pack Fitness has several different styles of lunch boxes that look like backpacks, purses, and even duffel bags. They can fit up to five meals, and all your personal belongings. These bags keep your meals cool, and your belonging (including electronics) safe. So, if you’re spending the whole day away from home, there is no need to resort to fast food if you have a good lunch box to keep all your food for the day. If the Six Pack Fitness bags are out of your budget, there are other lunch bags or small coolers that you can buy that are less expensive but still do the same job.

2. Plan ahead!!

Now you have the lunch box, and you know that you have a busy day, and/or week ahead of you, where you will not have a lot of time to prepare your meals, what do you do? Well, if that’s the case, then you need to spend a day, like a Sunday before your work week, or the night before to prep and pack all your meals. You can use the left overs from dinner, for your lunch the next day, or you can prep a whole bunch of meals for the next two to three days. For example, since the weather is nice, you can BBQ a pack of chicken breast on a Sunday, steam a bunch of veggies, make some rice, and then divide these things into 4-5 meals depending on your macro nutrients for the next couple of days. Put your prepared food into the fridge, put labels on it, so people know it’s yours, and then throw your meals into your lunch bag in the morning on your way out. And if you’re super lazy, you can literally make several salads for yourself with pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables! All you have to do is throw them into containers, cook and measure your protein, and BAM you have lunch! There really is no excuse as to why you can’t pack your own lunch on a regular basis. Even if you don’t cook, there are several meal services out there that will cook and measure all your food for you based on your macro-nutrient goals and dietary restrictions.

3. What do you do if you don’t have access to a microwave? Or it’s just not convenient to eat chicken and veggies?

Personally, I have literally eaten chicken and asparagus out of a Ziploc bag this past week because I didn’t have time to find a lid for a container, so I threw my meal in a plastic bag and ate it on the go. It was a little awkward eating chicken like that in the middle of Yorkville before a meeting, but hey! Better than eating something unhealthy, overpriced, and/or disappointing. So, I did what I had to do! But, if you don’t consider that an option, and sometimes it is really inconvenient to eat chicken and veggies, then you must be prepared with other forms of nutrients that you can store in your car, purse, or gym bag without running the risk of it going bad. Some things that I like to always have on hand in case of meal emergencies where you had absolutely no time to prepare lunch, or a short errand turned out to take way longer than expected, are as follows:

  • Protein powder. I sometimes have extra protein powder measured and put into little Ziploc bags or small containers, and I leave them in my gym bag or purse just in case I get stuck without food somewhere and I really need something to eat. (Bottled water can literally be found anywhere so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to mix your powder…)
  • Raw, natural, unsalted nuts. Again a handful of nuts is a great snack to help you in between meals when you’re stuck. You can keep these in your car, or bag for meal emergencies.
  • Protein bars. Again a good meal alternative when you’re stuck in a bind! Make sure you have a quality protein bar that is low in carbohydrates! You want your protein bar to be high in protein with at least 20 grams of protein and very little sugar/carbohydrates. Ideally, your protein bar should be sweetened with stevia. If you’re vegetarian, again make sure that the total amount of protein in the bar is higher than the carbohydrates. Protein bars are not something I would consume all the time. There are better and more nutritious ways to eat, however, if you’re stuck and you’re hungry, it is better to eat a protein bar than to cheat horribly on your diet.

None of these food items will go bad right away, so they are safe to store in your car, or bag for any emergency food situation.

And there you have it guys! My top three tips for dieting on the run. The main thing is, is that you need to always be prepared. You need to have the right tools, and you need to plan ahead, if you want to be successful. It’s not really a question of time when it comes to dieting, it’s really a question of will. Are you willing to plan ahead, and prepare yourself so that you are successful with your diet? Or, are you going to throw caution to the wind, and hope that it will all somehow works out for you? At the end of the day, it is your choice.

Cookie Monster meme