Horrifying Statistics

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STD’s, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, those moments when you are glad to be in a monogamous relationship…. this is the not so delicate topic I would like to talk about today. Allow me to rephrase that: This is the not so delicate topic no-one wants to speak about, but I now feel as though there is no option but to discuss this…today.

I’ll begin by saying that I am a numbers person. I’m a nerd, this I do not deny. I enjoy looking at annual statistics and thinking about them in relation to the times that we live in. So, I was doing some stat surfing since we’re in the new year and I happened across something quite terrifying. That something was the Center for Disease Control statics on STD’s. How I found myself here, I have no idea, as I was actually looking at economic data. But then, the rise in healthcare costs per household and I found myself here.

This is the following data for the USA via the CDC and world Gov websites:

  • ‘1,7 million cases of Chlamydia – a 22% increase since 2013’
  • ‘555,608 cases of Gonorrhea – a 67% increase since 2013’
  • ‘30,644 cases of Syphilis – a 76% increase since 2013’
  • ‘918 cases of Congenital Syphilis – a 154% increase since 2013’
  • According to HIV gov, there were 36,9 million people globally living with AIDS in 2017.

Doesn’t this scare you? It should. It scares me.

I will spare you my puzzlement on the matter, as I am sure you are asking yourself the same questions I am.

Now look, I get it. It’s baffling. It’s frustrating. And with all of the information available around the world about how to prevent STD’s, it is mind boggling that there is a constant increase in the number of cases in this day of instant global access to information. It’s also tricky. Given that the ‘S’ in STD is the abbreviation for Sexual, we tend to automatically make the assumption that these diseases are spread by sheer carelessness in that moment of passion. Not necessarily so. There are actually STD’s than can be contracted without unprotected sexual contact. For instance: Hepatitis, Mulloscum contagiosum, Trichonomas v, trichomoniasis, mono, scabies and those ever-feared creepy crawlies can all be contracted without direct skin on skin or bodily fluid contact. (oh yea….can you feel the anxiety level changing? Amazing how that happens…)

I remember, many years ago, when I helped at a charitable donations center. I would spend my Saturdays sorting donated clothing for people in need. All good. However, the problem arose when every once in awhile a hastily packed bag would find itself in front of you. You would find serviettes in the pockets, needles, medications and all sorts of interesting items crammed in along side business suits and dresses. Now that was a panic mode for me. We kept a bottle of vodka on hand for those types of ’emergencies’. (No, not for drinking, but for disinfecting.) And it was at this time that I realized that I should test regularly, just to make sure that nothing unexpected came my way. And I did. Many of us did; 1-2 times annually.

Although the statistics are horrifying in their intensity, it is possible to help keep those numbers from climbing further by being proactive and aware.

Please, I cannot stress this enough…. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, please remember to get an STD screening at least once annually – just to make sure all is well!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae


*These Statistics are based on 2017 information. 2018 stats have not yet been released.

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

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Guest Post by Alicia Sanchez: Managing Stress at Bedtime

thumbnail_Breathe neon sign (1)

Nearly everyone struggles with stress. As humans, we tend to put that stress off until we’re so embroiled in it that we can’t function. Most often, our stress tends to manifest in sleeplessness, Which makes that stress harder to deal with during the day.

You might find yourself thinking about your stressful day instead of counting sheep when you are struggling to get to sleep at night

Build A Routine

Whenever possible, create a routine for yourself that involves relaxing activities. This can mean anything from reading a book to relaxing in the bathtub –  it’s going to be personal for you. What works for you might not work for me.

Make sure that it includes brushing your teeth and hair as well, to make sure that you wake up as clean as you can be.

Routines are helpful because it helps to train our brain to focus on that routine instead of our stress and help us to sleep at night.

Keep Stressors Out of The Bedroom

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are having trouble sleeping is to keep your work and cell phone out of your bedroom, Especially if you work from home. The human body Is Keen on distractions, so the fewer distractions that you give your body, the better off you will be when it comes to your bedtime.

By taking your work and phone out of the bedroom, you will be less tempted to get up and start working when you can’t sleep. Instead, try putting an old-fashioned alarm clock on your bedside table to wake you up in the morning. That way, you won’t be able to work from bed in the middle of the night on your cell phone. This could help limit the stress that you feel while you are trying to sleep.

If you must keep your work in the room, put it somewhere out of sight so that you won’t is staring at them from bed.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

If you find yourself struggling to sleep  on a regular basis, try cutting out your use of caffeine and alcohol during the day. Caffeine is a stimulant that stays in your system for 6 to 8 hours after ingestion and can exacerbate anxiety and stress.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it causes you to be slightly more depressed. It can make you feel sleepy, but you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night if you drink before bed. Since sleeping poorly means that you will react worse to stressors during the day, this is not ideal,

If you want something to drink to help you fall asleep, try chamomile tea or other teas that are brewed specifically for making you sleepy.

If you find that you are  constantly stressed out at bedtime, talk to your doctor or therapist.  there might be something that is causing the sudden onset of stressed feelings at that particular time that you need to work through or get treated.

Sleep well,

Alicia

Alicia Sanchez is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com with a specialty in health and wellness. A Nashville native, Alicia finds the sound of summer storms so soothing that she still sleeps with recorded rain on her white noise machine.

*Photo Source: CC

Guest Post by Sleephelp.org : Boost Your Productivity at Work by Napping

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It’s mid-afternoon, and your eyelids are starting to droop, but you’ve still got a good three hours before the end of your workday. As much as you want to give your employer 100 percent for a full eight hours, mental and physical fatigue can get in the way. But, there’s a simple solution that’s been used to help humans get through a long day for centuries – a nap. A growing body of research suggests that naps aren’t just for children.
Nap for Alertness
Whether you work the day, swing, or night shift a quick nap can help you stay more alert while on the job. A study conductedamong air traffic controllers on the night shift found that a nap mid-shift let to quicker reaction times, better alertness, and fewer signs of sleepiness. While participants didn’t enter the most restorative stage of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, they still reaped benefits from a nap.
Nap for Improved Memory and Creativity
Naps not only keep you more alert, but they can also enhance your ability to learn and think creatively. A team of researchers explored the relationship between sleep and memory consolidation, which is essential for learning. Participants answered a series of questions first thing in the morning and then again later in the day. Those participants who did not have a nap showed a predictable deterioration in their answers. Participants who napped used information from the previous test to answer more creatively, with greater accuracy, and increased mental flexibility in their thinking. It was estimated that anywhere from 40 to 73 percent of the performance increases resulted from the memory enhancing effects of sleep.
Nap for Better Health
Naps also have a secondary effect that goes beyond work performance. Sleep deprivation, which is anytime you get less than seven hours of sleep, causes hormonal changes that lead to an increase in appetite, depressed immune system, and slowed mental acuity. But guess what? A 30-minute nap can counteract or even reverse some of the hormone changes caused by sleep deprivation. Nobody likes to get sick, but if you’re looking to convince your boss that a 30-minute nap is a great idea, you can use the evidence of fewer sick days due to better health.
Tips for Better Sleep at Night
Improving your productivity is important, but better sleep has an impact on more than just your professional life. It stabilizesmoods, metabolism, and helps your body heal and recover from stress and injury. While a nap is a quick solution when you’re running behind on sleep, the best thing you can do for yourself long term is to get better sleep at night.
Good sleep starts with a high-quality mattress. If your mattress has lumps and valleys, you wake up achy, or you’ve had it for over nine years, it’s probably time for a new one. Check your local store or online for mattress discounts or sales to save money, but make sure the mattress supports your sleep style and weight. A sleep trial may give you insight into how well a mattress suits your needs.
You can also enhance your sleep by:
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends
  • Developing a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down from the day
  • Turning off screens and electronic devices two to three hours before bed
  • Stopping the consumption caffeine early in the afternoon
  • Keeping your naps under 60 minutes to prevent sleep problems at night
You don’t need to feel guilty about napping. In fact, if anyone asks, you can tell them you’re giving your creative juices a boost.
Have a nice nap! –

Top 100 Fitness Blogs and Websites on the planet

I am SO HAPPY to share with you that Chape Fitness has been listed as one of the Top 100 Fitness Blogs and Websites on the Planet! How cool is this?!

I feel so fortunate to have David training me 🙂 He has made wonderful things happen, always.

1001 CONGRATULATIONS, David!!!!

Source: Top 100 Fitness Blogs and Websites on the planet

OCD or Just Particular?

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Do you ever find yourself doing something in a very specific way and silently wonder if you might have a touch of OCD? Well, I do that – more and more often now.

I’ve always been particular. When I was younger, it was the way in which I was particular in my chaos. I guess you could call it organized chaos. You could ask me where anything was in my mess and I could tell you exactly ‘It’s in the hall closet, under the coats, behind the bowling ball.’.

When I was in University, I used to make my teammates insane on any given project, because I would not share my part until it was as close to perfect as I could get it. I am the same way in my work life, but only because I know what is expected of me. Now its called ‘being thorough’.

In my home life, I make everyone insane. I don’t know why but…life seems a little bit happier when ALL of the coffee cups are hanging nicely in their spaces, when the surfaces are nice and tidy, when the countertops are spotless. This isn’t actually the issue. My husband knows I’m neurotic and reminds me on a regular basis. The problems really start when I can’t get it ‘right’.

Not being able to get it ‘right’ (AKA: the way I visualize it) is frustrating at times. And when I can’t get it that way, I kind of just give up. Take my desk for example; I don’t currently have enough proper storage for the things I need to access, so instead it is just all over my desk. There is no middle ground. No compromise. Just…All or nothing.

I know its the same with my appearance, and I am starting to strongly suspect it so with my weightloss. The hormones don’t help. There are days when you  might could find me at home chewing the curtains if the right spice was just on them. I get THAT hungry. But don’t worry, we aren’t there yet. But the fact remains that when I’m not seeing what I want to see in the mirror, I get frustrated. And when I get the munchies, its my justification to indulge. Which is ridiculous.

Are any of you like this? Do you obsess and obsess and then just say ‘Fuck it.’?

Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Flabby-Assed to Fabulous with Chape Fitness: 1M 1W Update

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Hello there 🙂

I just wanted to share a little update with you on how my first week of month 2 is going. So far, so good! As you know, I’ve been working with David from Chape Fitness to get me back into shape. A much smaller shape, and hopefully I won’t be resembling fruit anymore on the body shape charts. 😉

The scale is only showing a small reduction in weight, as I weighed in at 69,3 Kgs / 153 Lbs this week. However, I am actually starting to SEE that I’m building muscle. My stomach is starting to flatten out a bit! YAY! I still have a ‘pooch’ but the pregnant look is starting to slowly disappear. And that makes me Oooooohhhh Soooooo Happy! 😀 😀

I’ve been eating a lot of fish, and vegetables – with the occasional tofu dish thrown in. I’ve drastically reduced cheese (and since I don’t drink milk anyway) you can basically say I’m borderline dairy free. Keeping an online food diary has really helped me to keep track of what kind of monstrous feeding frenzies I’m having. Plus, its easier for David to correct my eating habits . I’ve nailed down the habit of drinking 1,5 L of water every day. I must admit, as odd as it is, it seems to be helping!

My workouts got a bit of a makeover this week. I have a whole bunch of new exercises (which include forms of the dreaded pushup. Uuuggghhhh….) and my workouts are now set up for circuit training sets. So, instead of doing 3 sets of 1 exercise – then on to the next, I’m doing 3 rounds of ALL the exercises for that day. Also, my warm-ups are a lot more cardio involved, whereas they were previously planks and bridges. I have not taken my measurements this week, but I will next week and I look forward to reporting some happy percentages!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

I Respectfully Disagree.

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I was reading up on chemicals in clothing and I found this article by Who What Wear. Now, I know that Who What Wear has like a zillion readers and an enormous fan base. I am aware that I will most likely be lynched on the internet for disagreeing – respectfully or not. But there are some ‘facts’ here that leave me scratching my head.

In this post, its stated that she will reveal the WORST fabrics for you. This is what she reveals, and in the same order:

  • Bamboo
  • Wool
  • Synthetic Fabrics

Uuuummm…WHAT?! I’m sorry, but…no.

I have to defend bamboo. Even though I don’t wear so much of it (I have 2 bamboo items of clothing). Agreed, there are some byproducts of turning Bamboo into the bamboo-rayon fabric we can wear. However, It is not near as bad as synthetic fabric.  Bamboo and bamboo fabric has naturally occurring antiseptic properties. Even after washing. That’s part of the whole appeal! Not to mention, bamboo is one of the most sustainable – alongside hemp – because it grows at an alarming rate. Because the regrowth is so speedy, the need for sprawling land mass to grow it, reduces drastically. I am not just pretending like I know what I’m talking about here. I’ve spent months of my life researching bamboo fabric and its anti-allergen, sustainable, antiseptic properties for a business related project.

I would also not put wool as the 2nd on this list. I mean, really??? ‘Triggering eczema flare-ups’ is the reason cited. Now, I understand the kernel of truth behind this. I also used to be under the impression that all but merino wool is super itchy and dries out the skin. Some of it does, I’ll give her that. But I have more to say on the matter. In my opinion, and personal experience, it is the cheaper wool clothing and yarn which will kill your skin. I have higher quality wool (i.e.; Aran wool sweater) and less expensive wool which doesn’t annihilate my skin. I have a few unbelievably affordable wool options that I had to buy, that I can’t wear because its so uncomfortable (thus the sale price, I assume.) I also have wool gloves that I suspect as the culprit that turn my knuckles red and make my skin bleed. In my mind, this is purely an issue of quality. The softer wool is much more gentle, agreed. But I would not strike out all wool but merino because some heavy wool is needed to keep warm in arctic temps – and does its job very well, and some wool can be so buttery soft and light that it makes your skin sing. And I would hate for anyone to miss out on that experience!

Now, please understand that disagreeing respectfully with what a blogger who has a following larger than some countries, is not a declaration of war. I just see things a bit differently and the urge to say something was too strong to smile and keep quiet. Especially when it is inevitable that some of the followers of a blog that size will blindly believe whatever is written.

What are your thoughts on this? I’m interested to know!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Flabby-Assed to Fabulous with Chape! Week 3 Update

Hi there 🙂

Welcome to my week 3 update! This week, I seem to have sabotaged myself a bit. I am hanging at around 70kg. Still having the weight fluctuations, but not as severely as last week. Not to mention, David wrote an awesome post about it (Click HERE to read it) and it helped to further calm my nerves.

It actually makes a lot of sense. I have, after all, gained a lot of muscle, turned my eating habits upside down & my body is getting used to a ton more water, plus my hormones are freaking out, and let’s not even mention the lack of…candy.

I have steadily been losing body fat, even if the scales don’t make it look that way. My body fat percentages for the past 3 weeks are as follows:

  • Start: 48,7% body fat, 34,6% body fat mass & 36,4% lean body mass
  • Week 2: 47,4% body fat, 32,9% body fat mass & 36,4% lean body mass
  • This week: 45,3% body fat, 31,7% body fat mass & 38,3% lean body mass!

In short, my fat % is decreasing & my lean body mass % is increasing! YAY! I love it when I’m going in the proper direction 🙂

This week, I know that I did not do as well as I probably would have given other circumstances. I’ve had a migraine for the past couple days, so really all I have done is take medicine, try to eat reasonably & of course do my workouts. But for any additional running around? Well, I was quite lazy, to tell the truth. Really, all I wanted to do was curl up on the sofa and just breathe there. So I’m quite proud of myself for keeping to the plan. But float around sprinkling fairy dust, I was not. That’s on me, and only me. I do feel that once my body finds its ‘normal’ again after all the medication I’ve ingested over the past few days, that we’ll be rocking and rolling towards a body that will fit in my too small clothes!

As for this weeks most hated exercise, its these weight lunges. OMG. I can’t even do it with 10 kgs in my hands! Video to be found by clicking HERE.

To be continued next week! See you soon and wish me luck!

If you are interested, Chape is currently having a contest. The winner will receive 3 months of online personal training with David, a €450 value FREE! Sign up by following this LINK.

How’s your week in fit been?

-Mliae

If you would like to learn more about Chape Fitness, click on the name to visit their site!

Flabby- Assed to Fabulous with Chape! Week 2 Update

Hi there 🙂

Most of you know by now that I’ve been working with my old buddy old pal David from Chape Fitness, to shed this extra winter blubber that’s been keeping me warm this year.  Things have been going great! With the daily workouts, the nutrition help & knowing that my trainer is keeping a veeerrrryyyy close eye on me – I really have no choice but to succeed. That being said, its on to the summary of my week.

I hit under 70 kgs! This was my first goal, and the most difficult thus far. But I reached it and I’m SO HAPPY! YYYAAAYYY!!! 😀 😀

This week, was the week of weight fluctuations. That’s right, you guessed it! I am losing my mind. Not a little bit either. Full on panicky emails at 6 in the morning asking David what I did wrong. To which he replies: ‘I told you about the weight fluctuations. Check it again tomorrow. You won’t believe it, its weird.’ I didn’t believe him. But you know what? He was absolutely correct. And it is WEIRD! I’m not kidding. I hit under 70 at 69,9 kg, then the next day I weighed in at 70,6. The day after that? 69.5 kg! Thats a 1,1 kg or 2,5 lb weight loss in one day!

That made me very happy, but I’m still so worried that I’ll wake up and all the weight will be back. This fear is my nightmare. It’s like I feel so out of control of my own weight that I’m afraid it will all just pile on me while I’m sleeping like hair gel on a girls night. So odd. I know that if I am just able to maintain good momentum, I will get to a point where I know that I will have had to do something really spectacular & totally irresponsible to fear instantaneous weight gain. Honestly? I cannot wait until that day comes!

This week, I ate well…for the most part. For the rest of it, my diet was shit. Apparently, I have loads of self-control when I’m at home & surrounded by people who respect what I’m going through. I could not be more grateful for this! However, when I am out or with other people – well, I succumb to temptation. This weeks temptation was a coffee party. Basically, a group getting together for ‘coffee’ which also involves copious amounts of home baked goods, pastries, cakes, cookies. *Drool, drool, drool….. I think you know me well enough by now to know that I would never be so rude as to turn down a fresh baked good being served to me by the chef! Of course not! Never! Instead, I scarfed them down like the little piglet I am and went back for more. I mean, David did say ‘Lay off the industrial baked goods!’ – these weren’t industrial, they were homemade!  😉

Exercise. The workouts are going well. This week, I was thrilled when my hubby shared his observation that my hips seem to be getting a teensy bit smaller! Happy Happy, Joy Joy! 😀 Mondays are leg day, which means I’m sore for at least 2 days after that. This week, I thought I would have a leg up (haha, pun intended) since my body went through its healing process last week. But Nooooo, somebody increased my reps. So, I’m still here, being an amateur. But I’m loving it. Really. If my guy is noticing a difference, then something wonderful is happening!

This is my least favourite, yet highly effective exercise of the week: The forward lunges with hand weights. It’s basically impossible for me to get all the way down & back up without doing that geriatric grunt. You know the one, ‘uuuuhhhh oooohhhh – ow’.  Here’s the video for my weeks’ most hated.

My goal for this upcoming week is to settle into the weight loss. I really REALLY want to see something under 69 kg. But speaking the truth, if I can just stop yo-yo’ing and land on a smaller number, it would be great. I’m also hoping to get my body somewhat used to the exercises so I can not only push myself a bit further, but also enjoy a brief moment of ‘Oh yeah, I got this!’. David said he’s also working on finding me healthy alternatives for my baked goods habit. Good thing he also serves as a therapist, because there will be tears.

How’s your New Years Bod coming along?

-Mliae
Also, I wanted to share with you that David is having a Fitness Meet & Greet with a link share, so if you feel like doing a bit of networking or dropping your link, you can find the post by clicking here.

Flabby-Assed to Fabulous: Week 1 update.

Yoga dog says ‘You aren’t exercising enough, lazy girl!’…Haha, she’s my motivator. Apparently, if I’m not on the mat for too long, she makes herself a spot there. Always great to have a buddy to keep you going! 🙂

As most of you know, I’m working with David from Chape fitness to get back in shape! This is my 1st update, after my first 7 days on this new regime.

Today, I’m feeling good & I’m feeling sore! No joke, yesterday was a big time leg day after a weekend of rest and I feel like I’m walking like a cowboy. Ou, ou, ou…….

I’m not actually hungry, but I fear that I will be  this next week, when I actually do what I should be doing.

So this is where I started:

71

And this is where I am after the 1st 7 days:

70.2

800 grams down! That’s like 1.5 lbs which falls into the healthy loss range per 1 week of weight loss. YEEESSSSSS! I’m so happy, I’m really hoping to break under 70 kg next week. 🙂 🙂

I’m actually really loving this regime. The exercise is hard, at least for me when I’m starting all over again. But in 30 minutes, its short enough that I’m not having to force myself to do it. I know that if I can just get down on the mat, I will work my way through it in good time. When I’ve completed said workout, I feel really good about myself! Its like, I don’t have feel bad about not doing it right, because every time I make myself the proper food, eat my snack and do my workout, I’ve done everything David asked! I actually did it! So when I try to make myself feel bad for being lazy – I can’t! And that’s a wonderful feeling 🙂

I have also noticed (as of yesterday & Friday) that when my workout is over, I now have energy to do more…and want to! This was a huge surprise, as I thought I would be running from that mat just as fast as I could (like I was the 1st 3 days). But instead, I’ve actually asked David if it’s ok to do some extra exercises from other days. 0_O He rather that I do extra workouts from the same day set, and not from other days. I can clearly understand why, because he has it worked out & it’s a quite intricate system.

The recipes have been really great. I knew that my count of 40 was waayyyy too low, so I went back and tried to count how many recipes he really sent me. No joke, I lost count about 130 something. I went back and looked, because there are so many. 270 recipes there. 270! Yeah, with that kind of variety, I don’t think its possible for anyone to complain! So far, I’ve tried a few. They worked out really well (even if I had to substitute an ingredient here & there).

One of the recipes I really like (& it’s super easy) is the tuna salad recipe. I’ve eaten this 3 times this week. The recipe I was given, was to take 1 avocado (mash it up), add 1 can of white meat tuna & black pepper, then mix. That was actually really good & extremely healthy! For me, I’m having a hard time not using mayonnaise. But I found an egg salad recipe he sent that used yogurt instead of mayo. I added a big spoonful of Turkish yogurt to the mix and it was so creamy and good! Granted, it tasted healthy – because nothing tastes like mayo. But, it was the healthiest version of a dish I love and it was surprisingly yummy. I could get used to this! Oh, wait. I think I have to. Hahaha…Score!

I had difficulties this week 5 ways:

  • I stopped counting. Sort of. I didn’t count every last gram of protein or carbs.  I kind of used it as a suggestion. So, when I ate my baguette slices (Ooohh..bad, bad!) I kind of didn’t take it away from anything else. I justified it by the fact that I could eat unlimited veggies – and the bowl of spinach, tomato & mozzarella in from of me counted as veg. For the most part anyway, which brings me to >>>
  • Cheese is not only for dessert. I couldn’t do it. I only cheated twice this week. But its still a lot. Ironically, I had no cheese for dessert. But I did have soft mozzarella on my spinach salad. Something about it being a bit taboo, made me want it more than usual. I do not understand this phenomenon. Any crazy-people doctors out there willing to share their expertise on the matter?
  • Water and green tea. I did not drink enough of either. It is a lot for me to drink 2 liters of water per day. I am trying to increase my intake, but I’m not doing very well at it. I am, however, chugging a glass of water (warm, if possible) immediately every morning to get my metabolism started. And I’m very proud of that 🙂 For the 1st 2 days, I really tried to stick to all the recommendations. On day 3, I had to ask David if I could not drink green tea after dinner. You see, I don’t drink a lot of caffeine. I was up until almost 2 in the morning, after drinking green tea in the evening, so he gave me a pass on the night time cup.
  • I could not do the full set/time on some of the exercises. Like this forearm plank. It’s a warm-up for me, but I can’t hold it for the full time. It looks so easy, but it hurts so bad. I know my bum & belly will thank me for it, but – Oooowwwwyyyy! I DID notice during yesterdays warm-up however, that I can already hold those insanely difficult planks for longer, after just continuing to try every day. Yay! 🙂
  • I could not eat 5 x’s per day. I have 3 meals, and 2 snacks – which consist of 1 piece of fruit per snack. For some bizarro reason, I could not eat the full amount. I found myself either skipping meals, or skipping a snack. Every single day. Shame on me! I have to do better next week. I was surprisingly too full to think about eating more – even though my portions are controlled. How weird is that?!

Technically, these aren’t rule breaks – but I couldn’t do exactly the regime, so I’ve included them.

Lessons learned this week:

  • You have to follow the program exactly, if you want the best results. This means; no exercising off-grid, EAT the way you are supposed to, drink the way you are supposed to!
  • Alcohol will kill progress. A glass of wine or pint of beer is okay every so often, but going out to a party and having several drinks in one day – that will kill your progress. Not to mention leading to a slightly grumpy personal trainer….
  • Don’t cross-contaminate workouts. 
  • Apologize when you screw up. I’ve done much of that this week, and yet David still continues to work with me 🙂

Great changes that happened this week!:

  • 800 g gone!
  • I have more energy! I know that this will increase even more, but in the past few days I’ve felt more awake, motivated – than before. And that, is awesome!
  • I’m already seeing results! This is a huge surprise, since its only been 7 days. But I can tell the difference, even slightly in the way my body moves & how quickly I’m adapting to the programme. (Except for leg day. That was brutal!) Best thing is: I’m so motivated now because I can’t wait to see how my body changes!
  • I’m not hungry! I don’t know if it’s all the extra water intake or what. But I’m eating at least half less of the overflowing portions I was before, but I don’t feel like I’m on Barbie sized portions. I can eat 100g of fish plus a bucket full of vegs, but I prefer to eat in proportions relative to one another, and extra later if I need it. And here’s the clincher: I don’t HAVE to east small portions. I can eat unlimited amounts of veg. However much I want to! I just…don’t need it. Not right now, anyway. How cool is that?!

What do you think? Going well, or not?

I’m off now, gone to my days’ weight workout 😉

-Mliae

 

New Year, New Bod: Here We go! From Flabby-Assed to Fabulous with Chape Fitness

Happy 2018!

So here we are, resolution day 2. Believe it or not, my New Years resolution wasn’t to get into shape. It was to be the happy, loving, giving person I’ve always been before I let the stress of everything turn me into a – (*gasp!) – ‘Realist”. A stressed out realist who is also seemingly unable to exercise any form of self-control whatsoever.

It seems that I’ve been complaining  A LOT and whining quite loudly about my rapid weight gain in the past 8 months. So my buddy David at Chape Fitness decided to help me out. Again. You see, Chape and I have a history. I’ve known David for about 2 & ½ years now. My weight has always fluctuated, and I asked for his help about 2 years ago. I trusted him by that point and he really took the time to get me situated. I had reached ( & surpassed) my weight goal in September of 2016. You can read the summary here. I was thrilled with the results and fortunately, I had my bikini bod rockin’ when my (then boyfriend) proposed! I also felt great when I found my perfect wedding dress in a EU size 36 – US size 6!

So what happened? You may be asking yourself. Well, I had some medical issues last year and in March I had to go in to have my uterus removed. There were minor complications, but those kind that keep you in bed for weeks. And 2 months before our wedding day! I knew it was going to be impossible going. I had my dress taken out and my loving groom promised he would carry everything if I could just walk there. Which I did without a problem. We both expected weight gain so soon after the surgery. I had gone from a every other day routine with 12 kg (25 lb) Kettlebells, going for a pull with the huskies and being an active (albeit sick) person  – to….nothing. I was the blob. I just breathed…literally. I noticed when I finally started to feel ‘normal’ again that something was off. I was emotional. I was hungry. Not like – I need a snack – hungry. More like eating with both hands while my husband watched in horror and then repeating it an hour later – hungry. When the brave loving soul I married finally felt the need to say something about it, I had to listen. I looked it up (along with the fact that this normally always cold person was now opening the windows in a snow storm because she was ‘hot’) and it was obvious what had happened. Hormones. Hormones happened. And I don’t mean a little flutter of weirdness. I mean laughing one minute and throwing deli meats the next. Welcome to perimenopause. It supposedly hits about 10 years before actual menopause, and given that I just had surgery that, um…..helps that along. Well, welcome to crazy. Welcome to hungry. Welcome to hot, cold, hot, cold, just right, sweating, hot, hot, freezing – look at your psychotic wife and tell her you love her, damned it! – HORMONES. And the weight continued to pack on…

Just a week or so ago, I posted this post ranting about how I no longer fit in my clothes. Yes, I even have a muffin top in my ‘big pants’. Ugh. Over the holidays, I was messaging with David and complaining (He’d seen the post) mixed in with Happy Holiday wishes. He promised to help me and I gratefully accepted his guidance. After all, he did work miracles last time, and it’s not like I just went on food binge to gain all the weight back. Now, I’m not sure if he decided to help me to just make me stop clucking about it, or because he genuinely hates to see me suffer; and I don’t care. The point is – he’s getting me ‘right’ again. As a side note, I’m not sure how he manages to succeed online where others have failed miserably in person. But somehow he does. It’s like he commands honesty and dedication & we want to give it to him. Like some weird obligation to actually be legit (for once). I know I could scarf down a box of Christmas mints & just not tell him about it. But I also know the he will figure it out & I don’t want to be that disappointing client. But, I digress. I warned him that this was hormone weight that I’ve packed on. Apparently, when it’s hormonal, it’s like 1000 times more stubborn. He kind of laughed at me. That was the coolest ‘No problemo’ I’ve had come my way in a while.

My current weight is 71 kg / 160 lbs and a large percentage of that weight is being carried front and center in my gut. Belly & bum. I look pregnant, with a round 40 inch/ 102 cm belly and my bum & hips are both 44 inches/112 cm around (Yes, it’s like 1 big continuous berry back there. Blec). I’m really not loving that my diameter is in such a high proportion to my height! My  ultimate goal weight is 55 kg / 122 lbs. I know this sounds small, but I’m only 160 cm/ 5ft. 3in. tall so I don’t carry any extra weight well.

So here we are! Day 1 of a very exciting process. I opened my PC late last night to a few very big surprises! I kind of thought this was going to be like it was 2 years ago. That I check in, he changes my diet and workouts according to how he sees things going, I report in daily and he’s available for me when I need to chat. Uuuuhhhh… Nope. This extremely dedicated gentleman spent his holiday creating a personalized workout plan for every single day of this month (weekends are free) plus a slew of recipes created just for me! I’m not having a laugh, seriously, there are at least 40 recipes that consists of the foods I love without the foods that I hate that look delicious and somehow magically exclude the foods I can’t have but it still looks yum. Super! I spent the day at the market buying fish, light tuna, avocado, sweet potato, turkish yogurt, fruit and fizzy water.

What else is different? Well, A LOT! I feel like a VIP client now. I now have to drink water (warm) 1st thing when I wake up. I’m supposed to drink green tea before each meal, I have portion control now (100 g of fish, but I can eat all the veg I want. 1 piece of fruit for my 2 snacks daily & a goal of 2 liters water per day.) my workouts seem to be a bit heavier now (For example; I’m starting with this move that I hated when I got it much later on in the process last time) my workouts vary slightly from day to day, I’ve been told I can have a mint per day, Bree in tiny slices for dessert & I can have bread if I’m dying but it will take away from my overall daily allowance of protein, carbs, et al. Not to mention, he still makes himself available to me morning, day and night whenever I need to talk. Seems like he has taken my stubborn fat and desperate plea very seriously! So should I. I’ve been hyper motivated all day!

I think my difficult bits will be working my way through those kitchen forays – meals with the family – and those days when I really just want to Netflix and chill. But I think we can do it. I trust David, he’s done nothing but great for me and I’m so excited about fitting in my clothes again soon!

I’ll be posting about my progress (or lack thereof), workouts and recipes once weekly. If your New Years resolution is to lose some weight (stubborn blubber or not), I want to make sure you can try some of these things with me!

Thanks so much for reading!

-Mliae

If you are wondering how we manage to handle a strict Personal Training regime while International, it’s because we’re using evernote to manage everything. It works surprisingly well 🙂

When You Mañana Your Fitness Goals Too Much

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Today I had a good long chat with David from Chape Fitness. I had a good whine about how I have managed to gain a ton of weight since my surgery last year & how frustrated I am that its obviously a hormonal thing, but that I just can’t seem to get the weight back down.

Part of my frustration comes from the fact that David had me in superb condition which stayed great for much more than the following year and had me feeling fantastic when it came time to try on wedding dresses! But the surgery, it ruined everything. Thankfully, David to the rescue! He told me that for number one: I cannot wait to begin. No more ‘Tomorrow’ ‘mañana’. If I want to get serious, I have to do it and do it today!

In case you are wondering; I run to David for my fitness/weight/diet instruction because I trust him. I have worked with him before and he knows how to get (and keep) the flab off! Most fitness bloggers only last a few months, but I have been actively following his blog for more than 2 years now. In the blogosphere, longevity speaks volumes! And finally, David has this way of insisting I do the right thing – even in a quite loud voice on the required occasions, but always with a smile on his face and a friendly pat on the back to follow.

Start Now was his big piece of daily advice, and he’s absolutely correct! That’s why I am sharing it with you now. Why wait until 1st January? Let’s start now! I’m sure we can accrue a cheat day or 2 for the holidays…right? 😀 😀

If you would like to read this inspirational post, you can find it by clicking here.

Are you starting your fitness goals today?

-Mliae

Product Review: Burt’s Bees Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Towelettes

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Hello all 🙂

Today I wanted to review a product that I quite like: Burt’s Bees Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Towelettes. I have always been a big fan of Burt’s Bees products, but alas, I am unable to get my greedy little hands on them as much as I would like. Happily, I do see some Burt’s Bees products arriving on the European market and that makes me a happy girl!

I purchased these while in the USA this past summer. I had never tried them before and wasn’t sure if I would love them or not, so I only grabbed the 1 pack. If I’m ever there again, I’ll be sure to grab more! We were in N.C. for a portion of the trip, and that was really great as far as Burt’s Bees products go. Since they are produced in North Carolina, the price there was awesome! Here, its priced like a luxury item. There, it’s like…everywhere!

I really like these towelettes. They are really great for a lady on the go. I could use these wipes as a dual. I used 1 side for makeup removal, and then folded it and used the other side for exfoliating. My face felt clean, like just washed clean, after using them. Even if I was having to get myself together while in the car.  (Yes, it happened & I regret nothing.) They smell really great too.

I will happily purchase this product again. Burt’s Bees really is something special!

What’s your fave Burt’s Bees product?

-Mliae

Surgery

Hi all 🙂

Today’s post is a short one, as I’m just coming to my senses after major surgery.  Since I complain on the regular about people blogging after a few drinks, I don’t want to be a super hypocrite by blogging while waayyy heavily medicated.

Just wanted to let you guys know that so far, so good. The operation seems to have gone well and the doctors are keeping a close eye on things. I’ll be in the hospital for at least the next several days, but I will be checking in via cell. Promise!

A cool thing happened today. When I opened my eyes, I saw this beautiful red rose next to my bed.  I asked the nurse where it came from  (I’m not even in my own space yet), and she told me the hospital had roses sent to every female patient that’s temporarily residing here in observance of International Women’s Day! How cool is that?!

I have to love a hospital that takes good care of me AND gives me a rose for Women’s Day! 😁

Now, this lady is closing her eyes for awhile. Be good and Happy Women’s Day!

Doing ok

-Mliae

Super Sustainable Wardrobe Clean-out!

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OK, I did it. And you would not BELIEVE the size of the discard pile!

Many of you know that I have made a promise to myself, and to you, that I would not purchase any items this year that are not made of 95%(difficult to find elastin-free items)-100% natural fibre. That means: Cotton (the top at this moment because I can wash it), Alpaca, Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Bamboo, Cupro, leather, fur or linen. This has been anything but easy!

I got super frustrated searching the labels of everything I put on and made a drastic decision: Fill the wardrobe with only your natural fibre clothing. Then sort out the rest and get rid of most of it since you aren’t really wearing it at this point anyway.

I have a male friend who decided one New Year’s to get rid of everything in his closet. Read: EVERYTHING. Then he was to go out and purchase items that he really loved. When he ran out of money (as he didn’t have a fortune to begin with) he was done, and would only then add needed pieces as the need arose. Although this is an extreme measure to take, I was sooooo tempted to do the same. But alas, that would be quite wasteful and that is counter-intuitive to my task. So I did not.

When I did the closet clean-out, it was such a mammoth task that I didn’t really want to even start it. I knew that there would be no breaks from start to finish, since everything I currently own was piled on my bed.

I did the initial checking and separating, and then I went through several more times to get it to the point it is now. The initial checking had nothing to do with whether or not I actually liked the garment, it went purely by the fabric.

So here’s what I did:

  • I took EVERYTHING hanging in my wardrobe, and hanging or folded in my closet – out.
  • I laid it all in a pile (hangers and everything) on the bed. I was a mountain of stuff.
  • I went through, piece by piece, and checked the fabric content tags.
  • If it was 95-100% natural fiber, it was hung back into the wardrobe.
  • Items were hung to only 1 piece per hanger. (I formerly had entire outfits on the hanger, but I wanted to be able to SEE what I have)
  • All items that were made of artificial fabrics went into a pile elsewhere.
  • Once I had completely gone through and separated out my natural fabric clothing, I got a (new, clean) big trash bag to use as a ‘going out’ pile.
  • I contacted several of my girlfriends to see who might be interested in sorting through some of my stuff, so I knew the types of items (and fit) that my girlfriends might snag. This is really a great thing if you have a closet full of 2-sizes too small designer items that you spent a fortune for and can’t bear to get rid of, but you know you will never be that size again.
  • The calls were a success, and now that discard pile didn’t look so big. I went through the discard pile and made several smaller piles for each friend, her taste and her size. Now I had my friends set, and didn’t have to feel bad about sharing basically new, very nice items of clothing.
  • There wasn’t actually too much left. A few faves, which I had worn the life out of over the course of several years. Must of these were no longer in nice shape, so donating was out of the question. But I didn’t exactly want to toss them in the rubbish pile either. So…I started looking into what my possibilities were. Turns out, H&M has a recycle programme for polyester.
  • I went back through the discard pile and looked at the fabric tags again. Anything that was polyester, I put in a bag to donate to H&M’s recycle programme.
  • And then, there were like 3 grubby items that I really just had to discard. So I did, and it wasn’t easy. I felt like a hoarder. I no longer wear it, but because I loved it for so long, I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it out. Holes and all. But I did.
  • Then, I sat back and looked at my nice, clean, extremely well organized wardrobe and smiled. The feature pic shows my view.
  • Turns out my love of all things cashmere and linen has really helped me out as I had enough tops to wear for 2 weeks before repeating. Jeans, linen pants, 1 pair wool pants, leather pants,  1 pair cotton suit pants & 2 leather skirts help me to be able to dress for any occasion. 3 summer silk shirts and one gold special occasion blouse mix and match perfectly with my selection of pants and skirts. And 2 leather jackets, 1 matching cotton blazer & a denim jacket to complete the looks. I was all set and much better off in the versatility department than I have ever expected!

I have to tell you that I feel like a huge weight has been taken off me. Not only do I no longer have to dig my through my clothes to find the few things that fit my self-challenge for this year of only wearing/buying sustainable clothing and made from natural fabric clothing, but choosing my daily outfits is SO MUCH EASIER!

To anyone who is standing in front of a packed wardrobe saying you have nothing to wear, or that wants to go cold-turkey onto a sustainable or capsule wardrobe, I strongly suggest sorting out your closet using these methods. And doing it step by step, as just tossing items out can be overwhelming and might easily result in a mosh-mash of items that don’t really go together.

How did your last closet clean-out go?

-Mliae

Yay! A reason to celebrate on Fri-yay!

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Just a little health check in to let you know that I am doing so much better! I went in for one of my follow-up blood checks and I was told that I’m now running on levels twice as high as I had when I went into the hospital. I am so happy! 🙂

It seems like the transfusions and treatments have started to work and I am out of the woods. It’s only a matter of time before I’m at 100% normal levels again. WOOHOO!! And OK, I’ll admit it…maybe the resting helped some too 😉

So this chic is very happy on this Friday. I’m really hoping this means I can re-introduce onions, garlic and the occasional glass of wine into my diet again too. Oh garlic, how I’ve missed you.

Thank you everyone for your kind words, encouragement and demands that I take care of myself. It worked!

Have a great Fri-yay!

-Mliae

OK, Let’s Talk…

Time to get a bit personal, ladies and gentlemen.

I’m not usually the type of blogger who shares the details of my life which are truly personal…like down to the core, personal. I like to keep things in my life on the positive side, and don’t generally even like to speak about the difficulties one might be having. However, this is something that has truly gotten my attention, and as my fellow bloggers, I am hoping that you may have some words of wisdom on how to navigate the storm.

As you might well know, recently, I have been blogging daily. I love it. This takes time. Lots of time and tons of energy. No problemo, it’s worth it 🙂 I’ve also been getting ready for the impending holidays with a fervor that rivals only our upcoming wedding. And the wedding planning…we actually had to take a time-out from that for a bit, as we wanted to spend at least as much time planning our marriage as we were planning our wedding. (So that’s why you haven’t been seeing tons of wedding posts recently). And the job? Well, you can imagine that all of this equals one very tired Mliae.

Since I have attributed all of this to my sluggishness, you can imagine my utter shock when I went in to have my ear checked (accompanied by a blood test) and I was informed that I was basically running on like 30% of the blood that a normal healthy woman my age should have. They had me sent to the hospital that same day. Among other things, I received several blood transfusions. This is terrifying. I am so disease-phobic that the mere thought of having another persons blood running through my veins was enough to make me break down into tears. And then, it happened. I found myself frantically trying to write posts from my phone in the ICU. I am addicted to my blog and cannot bear the thought of going MIA for days, that is crystal clear now.

We are not yet sure what is causing this and are keeping a close eye on things. It is disconcerting because I usually like to run at high-speed. Like, neurotic squirrel – high speed. (That is how my fiancé refers to it, anyway.) Everyone else seems to be more aware of the seriousness of this, except for myself. I just don’t want to contemplate that there might be something seriously wrong. I don’t want to be sick. I want to be my happy, healthy, squirrel-y self again. Because of all of this mess, my loved-ones have been telling me in quite loud voice, that I am not allowed to be a work-a-holic until this is rectified. I spend all day, every day blogging and working. You know that feeling when your goals are within reach and you know that all you need is ‘one more push’ to break through that wall? That’s how I feel. That’s what drives me. I will continue, there’s no question there. But, how does one circumvent the situation when there are things which need constant attention and those around you are treating you like a fragile granny – just sit and relax – when you really just want to run around the block?

This must be said: A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you out there who take the time to donate blood! It is a life-saver! <3

My question is this: I know that most all of you have to carefully schedule and prioritize. How do you do it? What do you do when you are running at ‘full steam ahead’ and then suddenly, a massive wall appears?

Thanks for reading and hopefully, sharing advice too!

-Mliae

Product Review: Earth Conscious 100% Organic Cream Citrus Natural Deo

This is a product I found interesting after reading about the Earth Conscious product Hippy Paste on Sable Eyes blog, I did some shopping around for Earth Conscious products. The product I ordered is the Citrus No Nasties Deo. It’s close, but not identical to the Hippy Paste. I think.

I really wanted this product for my very picky fiancé. He prefers all natural products, hates the aluminum in your average store bought deodorants, and works out really hard – so needs good protection. (You know, some of those all natural products just don’t work at all.) Not to mention, it seemed like the perfect stocking stuffer. Only…I couldn’t wait until Christmas and gave it to him the day it arrived. Nice one :/ (Yes, I’m that chick who has to keep buying gifts because I can’t keep them squared away)

This stuff is really nice and it comes in a variety of scents (Hello, lavender!). I like the citrus for guys. It goes nicely with my man’s beard oil, which has a tinge of citrus scent in it too. Our suggestions for this product are that it’s very practical and good for day-to-day use, works well if you’re in an office job or not doing any kind of insanely heavy tasks (like building a house), and it smells great. You might have to reapply about halfway through the afternoon, but the way the deodorant spreads, makes it super easy and suitable for re-application as opposed to say, those crystal sticks. Only thing about this product is that if you are a person that works out really hard or does strenuous physical labor (the kind that leaves you drenched in sweat), the citrus deodorant is just not strong enough to handle that kind of challenge. I would like to try the mint, as it is said to be the stronger one. It would be really cool if that could maintain during a sweat-filled workout. I must say honestly though, that as far as all natural deodorants go, I much prefer this to some of the others we have tried.

If you would like to check out this product, you can find it here (I always include links for both the States and UK – which ships internationally):

USA:

Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Citrus) by Earth Conscious (The product reviewed)
Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Mint – Strong Protection) by Earth Conscious (Mint! This will be my next buy, I love all things minty – and this is supposed to be the strong one)

Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Lavender) Vegan Friendly by Earth Conscious (Lavender for the ladies, of course!)

UK/International:

Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Citrus) (The product reviewed)
Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Mint – Strong Protection) (The stronger one, and minty – so my next purchase)
Earth Conscious 100% Natural Organic Cream Deodorant (Lavender) Vegan Friendly (Lavender for the ladies who prefer a more floral scent)

Have you used this product or one like it? What did you think? Any favorites we should try?

-Mliae

Comments! :D

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Hello everyone!

Thank you so much for all your comments recently! That is awesome 😀

Just dropping a line to let you know that I am replying to comments and emails now. My apologies for being slack these last 2 days. I wasn’t feeling too well, and finally went to the doctors today. Apparently, I managed to rupture my eardrum. :/ Anywho, I’m stocked with antibiotics and back on track now.

Talk to ya soon!

-Mliae

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Green Smoothies: The weightloss & detox secret #GreenSmoothiesTheWeightLossDetoxSecret

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Greetings everyone!

As most of you know, I’ve been on a slow-boat voyage to healthier living. Diet, exercise, hard work and a smile 🙂 So, you can guess correctly that I was a happy thing when I got my hands on this smoothie recipe book. At first I thought it would be just like every other smoothie book out there: All kale, all banana, all the time… Buuuttt, Much to surprise, it isn’t! There are actually some really cool and creative recipes inside. Easy too! Good, because I’m not exactly the home-chef type. So, I tried a few of the vegan/vegetarian recipes and they turned out really yummy.

I thought I would share a few of my faves, as well as a short review from my perspective:

Some of my favourite recipes include: Arugula Raspberry smoothie, Almond and strawberry smoothie, beet and broccoli smoothie, spiced pumpkin smoothie (of course, it’s perfect for this time of year!), Gazpacho smoothie (This, I’m dying to try!), Tropical green smoothie, and a delicious dandelion celery smoothie.

What I liked about this book:

  • Fantastic, healthy alternative to fast food
  • Quick and easy to read
  • Interesting recipes, not just – put a whole bunch of stuff in a blender and drink it.
  • The recipes look GREAT!
  • Each recipe includes some nutritional information
  • Explanation of if it is or is not preferable for weightloss and why
  • Each recipe includes a short breakdown of what the special benefits of that particular smoothie are
  • The health benefits of chocolate are actually included…Yay!
  • It is suitable for vegans, as milk is almond milk & yogurt can be substituted for soy.
  • All the sweeteners included are natural. Agave, honey, cocoa

What reservations I have about this book:

  • Some of the recipes include natural sweeteners, which I feel is counter-productive. Although I understand that some readers may have a sweet tooth and naturally occurring sugars in vegetables may not be enough to satisfy the taste buds.
  • The suggestion to have the smoothies at approximately the same time daily. This leads me to the assumption that many of these ingredients are naturally occurring diuretics, thus the need for your body to adapt.

Before I got these good recipes, I was making kale and cucumber smoothies (good, but boring after awhile) with the occasional dessert smoothie of berries and ice cream – which is totally not the right thing for my diet. Now it’s replaced with the almond and strawberry smoothie. Yuuummm…

This book can be purchased here  by clicking on the link. The Kindle edition is $4.95, or free with the kindle reader.    Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial  There are also Hardcover and paperback versions available from $18 – $19.

OR, if you are in Europe:

Amazon UK:     Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret: 50 Recipes for a Healthy Diet (Special Diet Cookbooks & Vegetarian Recipes Collection Book 3)

What do you think, are smoothies the way to go? Or just a nice way to have a quick serving of fruits/vegs on the go?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

WWWOOOOHHHOOO!!! Winter Slim down goal achieved!!

After a very long battle with my weight…I’VE DONE IT!!

yeah-baby-yeah

This has really been some sort of journey! I started out at 76 kgs (168 lbs) and more than 2 yore than a year later, I’m now at 59,9 kgs (132 lbs)! I picked up on my attempt at shedding those last stubborn 20 lbs of weight while blogging. Those were absolutely the most impossible and stubborn to shed! But today, I’m here to celebrate meeting weightless goal! I’ve tried and failed, tried and succeeded with so many different things and I’d like to go over some of those now.

To recap some of the alternatives I tried:

  • No sugar
    • This actually helped a lot but I was astonished to discover that everything we eat has tons of sugar in it! I mean seriously! Take a look at your ketchup bottle. Now divide the grams by 4 and thats how many tablespoons of sugar are in 1 serving of ketchup! If you can curb the sugar, its a great feeling. You know your body is starting to get over it when you feel like someone has hit you head with a sledgehammer.
  • No booze
    • This was a no-brainer. Booze has tons of hidden calories in it, and I always get the munchies when I indulge. So, I limited my intake to 1 or 2 glasses of wine or a small cognac on only special occasions.
  • Dramatically limiting my calorie intake
    • Great in theory, horrendous in practice. No doubt. I was hungry all the time, and completely lost my senses – resulting in The Nacho Incident. If you scroll down to the bottom of the linked post, you’ll see a list of low calorie foods and their serving sizes in 100 Kcal increments.
  • Strict exercise regime
    • When I finally realized that I desperately needed some outside help, and someone that I trust to hold me accountable for my own failure or success, I was fortunate enough to get David from Chape Personal TrainerChape Personal Trainer to work me into shape! David has been awesome! He takes the time to explain things to me that defy logic, listen to me whine about my bad diet days, patiently listens to me bitch about muscle soreness, and has supported me with friendship, consistently updating new workouts for those  soft cushy spots on my body that are driving me mad and always adjusting whatever need be to make sure that I had a positive and successful experience with him as a personal trainer. Thank you, David! You pushed me to meet my weightless goal and I DID IT!!
  • A not so strict, gradually increased exercise of convenience regime
    • This was at the beginning and I…sucked at it. I’ve discovered in this process that I have zero will power if I allow myself even a millimeter of lee-way.
  • Diet soups and green teas
    • Green tea helps a lot, but really only by getting rid of water weight. Green tea is super healthy though, so I say go for it! The diet soups worked well…for awhile. But then I was just – HUNGRY! The lack of vital nutrients made me feel really run down and basically worthless. The hunger turned me into a monster.
  • Vegan and vegetarian
    • This, I highly suggest – if you make sure to have enough protein. Always have a backup though because when Chape suggested I lose the tofu, tempeh and cheese for a week – I lost my mind.
  • Only eating fresh fruit and veg
    • This, I loved! It was a bit more time consuming to cook and clean, but I felt really great, higher energy and less hunger!
  • Consulting Chape Personal Trainer
    • BEST MOVE I MADE!  I seriously could not have done this without David’s help! Super simple – All I had to do was consult daily. I kept a daily/hourly food and drink journal, David posted workout regimes, times, weigh in days, measurement days and scales for me and then would adjust the workouts to fit my needs as he saw fit. This took all the stress out of trying to figure out what was best. I just trusted him, and on occasion listened to him tell me things in a quite loud voice, and IT WORKED!
  • No fizzy drinks
    • This was easy, and I suggest it as a first move to anyone who’s trying to shed some weight. Fizzy drinks have TONS of sugar and other bad stuff for you and cutting back on just one a day can make a massive difference! I went to mineral water, hot teas, black coffee and the occasional juice. Also, shocker: cutting back on fizzy drinks actually reduces your thirst. Fizzy drinks dehydrate you – making you thirsty.
  • Eating my carbs in the morning
    • This was actually a great suggestion by a fellow blogger at Olivier fiction. And it actually worked out pretty well! At least when you eat your carbs in the morning, you have time to burn them off throughout the day and you don’t crave it so badly. Not exactly sure how it works body-wise, but it helped ease the pain of the carb and sauce cut down.
  • Cutting carbs completely
    • Oh Atkins, how you mutilate my mainly vegetarian diet! This just wasn’t for me. Granted, broccoli has tons of protein. Buuuttt, do you have any idea how frustrating it is to be a herbivore on a carnivores diet and still manage to find something yummy to eat? No fun…no fun at all.
  • Going yeast free for 1 week
    • This was actually something I did not share on the blog. I wanted to see if I could actually even pull it off. I did! Surprisingly, yeast is in lots of baked foods which one would not expect. After what I thought was a sly move on my part when I bought a weeks worth of tortilla wraps as a substitute, my fiancé took one look at me and said ‘you know thats made with yeast, don’t you?’. I didn’t believe him. I was wrong. Gggrrr…I hate being wrong. The yeast free week was a long one – especially when I got to watch everyone else enjoying my wraps. But you know what? At the end of the week, my belly looked pretty flat! I never realized how much yeast containing products contribute to belly bloat! So, if you’re working on that beach bod, I’d give this a shot!
  • Reducing portion sizes
    • This was quite easy. Stopping myself from getting seconds was the hard part.
  • Eating earlier in the day
    • Great in theory, virtually impossible when you are eating in a household setting and with others who actually have schedules to contend with.
  • Guzzling matcha and cutting back on the sauces
    • Matcha, I love you. Sauce, I love you too. Putting a few drops of salad or hot sauce on my food just didn’t cut it. Sorry.
  • Drinking more water
    • I’ve been told to do this on countless occasions. But I just don’t like it. I try, but I float. I’m a chic. I’m already running to the Loo every chance I get. Add a preliminary water consumption minimum and I might as well set up shop there. Tried, and failed. However Im drinking more than I was – so maybe not totally failed.
  • Eating more
    • When David suggested this, Thought he had lost his mind for sure. After he explained it to me, I thought – great, I’m going to go on an eat more diet and turn into a blueberry. But, I tried it. And you know what? IT WORKED! How the hell???
  • Drinking Yerba Mate before meals 
    • This is actually something a girlfriend of mine from Argentina suggested when I very first trying to shed the weight, weighing in at 76 kg or 168 lbs. I was desperate to lose some of the flab before I turned into a ball. She suggested drinking a full glass of heavily steeped yerba mate before every meal so as to reduce my appetite. It worked! I will never again have a home without this stuff in it.
  • Fasting
    • Intermittent fasting wasn’t actually bad at all and I managed t0 pull it off for like 2 weeks. However, eventually my body began to expect food at 4 and to not be hungry after 7, but the weight loss stopped. When I stopped fasting, I re-gained the weight.

Moments when I went totally off the rails:

  • Christmas and New Years
    • I decided I would allow myself some holiday indulgence. What a terrible idea this was…I actually gained back all the weight I’d lost (while trying to shed this last bit) + 2kgs/5lbs! Nothing like starting all over again 🙁
  • The Nacho incident
    • I don’t even know what happened on this day. It’s like I was being a nice normal chic in the supermarket and then…insanity struck. I kid you not when I say that I barely even remember grabbing all requirements for an amazing set (or 2 – YES, 2!) of nachos! Including a solid weeks worth of my calorie intake. Boy did I ever regret that move!

Some of the exercises that worked really well for me:

  • I used forearm planks and flute bridges as warm ups and to tone my core:
    • Forearm plank – I find myself doing extra of these randomly and mixing with ->
    • Glute bridge – Doing flute bridges feels like a bit of a break after planks. Mixing these is awesome and its really simple to just jump off the sofa and do a set!
    • Bird Dog
    • Dumbbell Shrug – I love this one! Simple and really effective 🙂
    • Reverse fly – Great for arms, shoulders and back. You get used to it, but at first = Ow ow ow! However, it’s a REALLY important exercise so I suggest you try it if you are doing any for of weights.

Some of the exercises that were difficult:

  • This reverse crunch is a great exercise, but hard, hard, hard!!
  • This Alternating Shoulder Tap Plank made me feel like I was going to land on my face. But its super effective, and to tell you the truth, I was incredibly proud of myself when I finally nailed it!

In addition to all the exercises I received from Chape (there are many), I also go on several dog walks daily, which aids in burning some calories. I have been intermittently trying to conquer the kettle bell swing. I look like Mr Magoo trying to do it, but I will nail it down eventually.

Although I have met my weight loss goal – YYYYEEEESSSS!!! – I do plan to continue eating well and utilizing these exercises. I would like to at least maintain my weight and would be very happy to take up more! Besides, I want to look fantastic in that bikini and I have a wedding dress to fit into! I will, of course keep you updated on my progress and pitfalls.

I am SSSSOOOOOO HAPPY! I was seriously starting to doubt that this milestone day would ever come! Just consider me living proof that a woman metabolism does not come to a screeching halt in her 30’s 😉 Thank you all so much for following me and my journey, for all the support and ideas, suggestions, encouragement and motivation! Thank you David, for all the time, effort and energy you put into getting me into good shape! And a special Thank you to my fiancé for putting up with my whining about sore muscles, midnight rampages about being hungry and not having suitable food, and for laughing at me when I’m acting like a total psycho.  We did it!!! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Winter slim-down week 30

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Oh yea…somebody has been working hard this week! I am down to 61,4 kgs (135 lbs)  and holding this week. I also nailed my step goal of 15 000.  I am literally inching my way towards my milestone goal of 59,9 kgs (132 lbs) and I CANNOT WAIT!

For those of you who are just joining me on my weight loss journey; I started shedding weight when I looked in the mirror one day and realized I was 76 kgs (168 lbs)! It’s been a really long road. This last 10 kgs has been by far the most stubborn. So much so that I actually put on more weight! Luckily, a fellow blogger and serious workout master- David, from Chape Personal Trainer allowed me to enlist him into my weight loss drama and I’ve been making him regret it ever since! Joking aside, I have to say that I am absolutely thrilled to be able to report good progress on a weekly basis now! Seriously could not have done any of it without all the help, workout routines and diet lectures from this guy. 🙂

This week, I utilized the same exercised from last week, but the sequence is switched up each routine. I think this wise, because I easily fall into routine and I assume my body does as well and it seems to work well (Ie; feel the burn!) when its in different order.

My diet this week- consists mainly of fresh fruit and veg. As a matter of fact, I ate almost an entire raw head of broccoli (is that what its called? A head – or like a stem? Anyway, I digress…) with yogurt for dipping. I was so full, I couldn’t even finish it. So – a tip: raw broccoli is seriously filling! Who knew? I’ve been doing a lot of steamed mixed veg, and (unfortunately) pastas. But not with heavy sauce, just mixed in with the veg and maybe some light olive oil and yogurt with tons of chilis. Protein shakes, flax (keeps me from starving) and satsumas and apples for snacks. I did buy a chocolate peanut butter (to turn my celery into dessert) but I’ve been a good girl and haven’t opened it…yet. As far as liquid refreshment is concerned: Mainly mineral water, some pineapple juice and ok- 2 beers (not on the same day).

Next week, I think I’m keeping good progress so probably more of the same. Unless David throws me an exercise curveball and I check in barely able to blink. It’s possible…

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

New Experiment: The Perfect Lips!

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Hello, I’m Mliae and I’m a beauty junkie! I love face care, body care and all things pretty. Only one teensy little problem though…As a woman, I spend a fortune on beauty products but only half of them actually do what they claim and some of them actually make problems worse?! So, I’m setting out to find the best and worst products for those smackers of ours.

I am a lip balm addict during the cold months. Under, over or in place of lipstick. I am now that frustrated because some of our most popular products are tearing my lips to shreds. So I’ve made up my mind that I will use and review every product I have within  my grasp…and then some; until I find the perfect combo for soft, supple, beautiful pouty lips that hold long lasting colour and make this girls smile look Ahhh-mazing! 😀

Stay tuned…Product reviews and more coming soon!

What are some of the products you swear by?

Let’s get this party started!

-Mliae

Camphor: Yes, you need it!

Remember that old green jar of smelly stuff (aka camphor-phenic) that your mom used to smear all over your face whenever you got a bad case of the sniffles? I haven’t seen that stuff in ages. But this is the grown up version…in liquid form, so it can be used for more than helping you breathe better when you’re sick.

This is Borneo Camphor, purchased on a small rubber tree and camphor farm in rural Thailand. I swear by this stuff. It’s one of the most commonly used medicines in traditional medicines.

It’s commonly used as inhalant to assist better breathing, but it’s also got at least 100 other uses. It can be used as an insecticide, and anti-nervous inhalant, to tell if there’s an imbalance in the body,  as a disinfectant and a germicide.

It is also used to calm muscle spasms and cramping, as a anti inflammatory and sedative. It’s even considered an aphrodisiac when consumed. (Don’t ask me about this one…I have no idea).

I’m a huge fan of all things that serve multiple purposes. (Especially since it helps to minimize the need for bags of different treatments into one pretty little vial). Camphor, is actually relatively inexpensive. So my suggestion to you, is to purchase it when given the opportunity.

What’s your favourite use for camphor?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

 

 

Winter slim-down week 17

Good day, everyone! I am in a great mood, as this morning- I realized that I have lost 1,6 kgs (a bit over 3 lbs) this week! WWOOHHHOOOOO!! So even though I had come to a standstill and even fluffed back out a little, now I feel that I am leveling out and am ready to continue battling to lose these last few kilos.

I’ve been given some really great advice, support and workout skills that I have been trying to stick to like glue this week.

What I’ve done differently this week:

  • I increased my reps –> until it hurts (squats, kettle bells, weights, reverse crunches, jumping jacks) or I’m shaking (planks…uuugghhh)
  • I starting using drops of sauce instead of drowning it
  • I’ve been wearing my pedometer for the entire day so I can see how much running around I’m actually doing, when not technically running. You’d be amazed! Then I compete to out-do myself on a daily basis
  • I’m back on the crack: Matcha powder and green tea 1-2 times daily
  • I do not skip a day without supplements
  • For the most part, I have been taking my carbs at breakfast or early in the day
  • This week, I’m trading out my breath mints for hard vitamin candies. (I know, I know…shouldn’t be pigging out on candy of any kind. I’m trying. But its more important to me to get myself off the nicorette/nicotinelle)
  • Beans. I’ve been eating lots of beans this week.
  • Trying to incorporate more raw green leafy stuff into my meals. Kale, I’ve discovered, can be added to almost anything 🙂

This upcoming week, week 17, I think I’ll stick to what I’ve been doing and see if I continue to see good results. I will be weighing more of my food. This proves complicated at times, but it will be easier now that my guy is taking the lead on measuring and weighing. Always better to do things together!

Also…I’ll be upping the ante on my speed walking. I’m so happy to tell you that there will be 2 sled dogs joining the family this week! Finally!! We adopted them and the adoption process has taken months. Siberian Huskies need an incomparable amount of outdoor exercise, and yours truly will be going along on that drag….several times daily. I’m so excited! I’ll introduce the new additions to you when we get them settled in 😀

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Winter Slim down week 16

This week has been a bit different, as I was advised to start measuring food (no easy task when cooking for more than myself) and measuring my own body.  I have, however been trying. I downloaded a food journaling app that my guy recommended. (actually, 2 – my net diary for my phone -free & helpful, and perfect diet tracker for my pc…then linked up)  Although not steady about inputting entries, am starting to see what a few of my diet killers are as far as calorie intake is concerned. It’s good that I’m able to see what these are because seriously, I actually gained weight this week!

  • Sauce. I eat sauce on everything. Salad sauce, hot sauce, wing sauce (not just for hot wings anymore), pasta sauce, soy sauce… I had no idea that I was scarfing down more calories in the sauce I was using, than the actual food itself. This addiction is not going to be an easy one to cut back on. :/
  • Olive oil. When I was much larger, I used to cook with butter. I found out that olive oil was a much healthier option, so I basically scratched butter completely and began cooking with olive oil. This did actually help me drop weight initially, but now that I’m fighting for those last few kgs, it seems that the olive oil use as well might have to be minimized.
  • Bread and butter. In order to ensure I get enough B vitamins, I began eating beer yeast (no, I’m not scarfing down cooking yeast – this is made as a dietary supplement and tastes like cheese) sprinkled on top of toast in the mornings. Rarely do I scarf down bread and this is why: I discovered just this morning that the serving of croissants and honey I had last night equals like 400 kcal! But I figured I should go with what I’ve got. Time to find another route.
  • My morning fried flax/linseed/blueberry combo. I’ve been eating 1 or 2 spoonfuls every morning (daily omega 3 serving), and it helps to keep from starving halfway through the day. This beauty has 524 Kcal per 100 g. YIKES!!
  • Breath mints. I had no idea. Of course I knew it was sugar, but how could something so small pack a punch so big! I’ve been hitting these things hard. I used to rely on nicorette whenever cravings or stress hit, but then when enough was enough, I substituted breath mints for nicorette. Little did I know that kicking the nicorette habit is almost as bad as kicking the smoking habit. My metabolism seems to have come to a complete stop and racking up on mint calories is making matters worse. However, I will say this. Quitting smoking was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, so a bit of pudge here and there isn’t so bad in comparison. P.S:- Nicorette users: stick to the gum if thats what you’re using. Those tablets are super habit forming!
  • Pasta. I do have plans to continue cutting back on the pastas. This is not proving an easy task, since I am not the main chef in my home and meal time must appeal to a smaller set of taste buds. I do however have complete control over the pile I put on my plate. That will get smaller, and the veg portions larger.

At this time, I have been unable to locate my measuring tape. It’s not anywhere near where I thought I put it, so I fear its still in one of the few moving boxes we have left to sort. I won’t stop looking for it until I find it. Then I’ll measure several times per week as was recommended by Chape.

In my mind, it has to be the diet that’s causing the largest problem. I continue to exercise, and my outdoor treks alone range from 3 000 – 8 000 steps. This combined with squats, all 6 reverse crunches I can manage, planks, kettle bell and hand  weights and carrying should be helping drastically.

The supplements I’ve been taking several times per week are: 1 g MSM, the 25 vita green stuff I listed off last week, Vita C, the beer yeast for all the B vitamins, flax (omega 3), vita D, cranberry and potassium.

This upcoming week, I plan to eliminate the sugar from certain areas (hello black coffee), incorporate more leafy greens into my diet, utilize my protein shakes more often, snack on apples -oranges-celery when I’m having a mint attack, cut back on the sauces (*sniffle, whine, groan) and up my workout reps.

Any words of wisdom?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

 

Lemon juice and Glycerine hand gel

This is my weekly find feature, for the weekly find challenge by a dark world inside. This is also a product review for this product, which I highly recommend…especially for winter hands!

After a month of complaining that my usual hand creams weren’t working -during a particularly cold and cruel winter, this little beauty found it’s way into my Christmas stocking. I don’t know if it was the soap I was using, or the extreme temps outdoors…but my hands have dried out so badly that they were cracking and even bleeding in some places. Ouch! Ouch! OOOOOUUUUCH!

This product, which originates in Finland, is glycerine based – not water based and has made a drastic difference in the condition of my hands. Thank you! For next winter, I will make sure to have a stock of this on hand…literally! Besides, whats the point of having a fantastic manicure when your hands look like you’re 100 years old?

What are your fave hand products for the cold?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Winter slim-down week 6

Success!! Achieved at the hands of a situational comedy/tragedy…but success nonetheless! And this holiday week…I’ll TAKE IT!! 🙂

If you’ve been following, you know what I mean. If not, here’s the crash course version: Went on a journey, got all excited because I saw snow…lots and lots and lots of snow. Woke up to no electricity. Not just at the cabin, but spread throughout several small towns. After almost 2 days, power came back but only intermittently. 5 days later, it’s still cutting out. All the goodies I bought to feast on went to the rubbish bin. I worked like a big girl on survival mode and my mainstay has been the fresh fruit, veg, protein shake, seeds, muesli and crispy bread which have managed to stay good despite the power outages. Viola! Up to speed! Shall we move on?

So, with all of that, I managed (quite easily) to shed the weight that I had gained back in the previous week.  And then some. I must admit that it’s actually so much simpler when I am just eating what’s available instead of trying to avoid the temptation of all the snacks in cupboard. The lesson here is: Keep at it! For once, I wasn’t paying a bit of attention to my waist this week because there were so many other much more important things to do and worry about and in doing so, manage to come even closer to my goal than when I am obsessing over it all the time. So that’s the plan for this week. Of course I may have the option to sit around, but I won’t. And there’s no need to buy lots of junky food because I don’t need it. Although my brain is screaming at me for portabello burgers smothered in cheese, or for pan seared scallops and french beans drowning in bernaise sauce…My existence does not depend on these things. Apples, turnips, fresh garlic, ginger and lemon, seeds and breads are really just fine. Lets see where this goes this week. Think I can manage when I have a choice?

This year I am thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had and those who chose to remain close to me even though they’ve gotten to know me well enough to realize that ‘sugar, spice and everything nice’ need not apply.

What are you thankful for?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Winter Slim-down week 5

Beginning week 5 of my winter slim-down diet. I have good news…and bad news.

The good news is: I’m much happier 🙂 The bad news? Well, I wussed out on the intermittent fasting after 2 weeks and managed to gain back 1 kg (approx 2 lbs) of the weight. Honestly, not a major setback.

At the risk of sounding like one of those self-justifying dieters who changes the rules mid-game, I’m, well…changing the rules mid-game. ;P

In all my years of eating healthy and occasional dieting, I have noticed one glaring inequality. That inequality is economics. For some unexplained reason, healthy eating seems to cost more. I’m not talking about anything like restaurants. Merely on the market level. Atkins diet, cost a small fortune and weight was regained afterwords. Paleo is very particular and the fasting requires that you give your body all the nutrients it needs when you can eat. So… tons of vegs. It seems totally backwards to me that the raw ingredients, cost as much or more than the ready meal itself. Wheat, eggs & butter cost more than the equivalent amount of processed dried spaghetti…even though the spaghetti company has to pay for logistical and marketing services, as well as manufacturing staff and warehousing. How is this possible? I’ve noticed that I’m spending a fortune on fruits and vegs for smoothies, that juicing seems to waste a ton of the healthy bits and protein bars are packed with chemicals. Since this is supposed to be a lifestyle change and not just a momentary diet, I’ve decided to try to keep it realistic.

So here’s the plan: For this upcoming week (and hopefully easily continued thereafter) I will make reasonable purchases at the food market. I’ve heard that 400 calories of fruits, vegs and leafy stuff will fill an average stomach completely. I plan to stick to the fresh healthy stuff and purchase / eat a reasonable amount at a reasonable price and not let any of it waste away in the refrigerator. I will cut back on processed foodstuffs and attempt (This will be a ssssslloooowwww learning process) to learn how to make my own pastas and baked goods from scratch as opposed to purchasing at the market. (Yes, this will be blogged about….we can laugh together). So this weeks experiments are to see if it is reasonable to expect a person with modest means (such as myself) to manage a dietary lifestyle change without spending their savings on specialty foodstuffs.And also to see if yours truly can start baking without making anyone ill 😉 Wish me luck!

Thank you for reading & I look forward to your feedback!

-mliae

Winter slim-down week 4

Three weeks down, and embarking on the last week of a month. The mysterious ‘they’ say that any habit can be changed (or at least dramatically altered) in 21 days. Well, here we are…day 21. I’ve lost exactly 3 kg (about 7 lbs) and have 6+ kg to go yet. My starting weight was 64,1 kg, my current weight is 61,1 kg this week and my goal weight is 55 kg. (Unless I can manage another way to fit into my fabulous clothing items…in which case, the scale can say whatever it well wants!) So, 10 kg total (or the plus side of 20 lbs) which really sounds like a ton of weight.

It seems that ‘they’ must be correct, as many of my habits have changed. In the lifestyle kind of way, not the diet rules kind of way. For example; I have been lectured repeatedly about the necessity of not eating after 6 in the evening, and giving your body at least 12 hours to properly process the food and begin to burn fat. No problemo. My body starts screaming at me by 3:30 in the afternoon, so I’m done eating by 6 in the evening. 12 hours after that is before 6 in the morning, so the closest thing I’ll be getting to actual nutrition at that time of day is chugging coffee and perhaps a protein shake. It no longer seems like such a task to do some squats and handweights. Usually, I even get a bit carried away once I’ve found a corner of solitude…I mean the heart rate is already up, right?

I have apparently set a pattern regardless of what I am or am not doing properly, that I’m shedding an average of 1 kg weekly. Slow, but reliable so it works just fine for me.

Eating healthy: Yes, please! Sunday was a celebration day for us, so all food rules went straight out the window. We gorged ourselves on whatever was available…and it was AWESOME! (Especially after deciding to try a veg smoothie fast the day before…hello hungry belly) All involved knew the scale would reflect our indulgence the next day. And it did, but we expected it so there were no major meltdowns 🙂 Thanks to all the vegan food-porn instagrammers (*evil eye: you know who you are, and I’m now following you…thanks for the veg choc pancake blueberry, Dear God I cant even guess whats in it – recipe, but I want it so badly right now…*drool, drool, drool….) I have stayed hungry. Even when I’m not hungry, I really want to run to a bakery and buy just everything so I can bring it home and stare at it. Seriously, self torture but sooo worth it because it looks so good! This week I will try to continue to intermittent fasting and eating only between  4-6 in the evening. However, if my belly is rumbling, I’ve decided not to torture myself totally. Snacking on a celery or carrot stick will do like zero harm.

Exercise: I’m pretty much in the habit at this point, but I will be increasing my reps this week. And that’s basically the plan….just to stick to what I’m doing. I definitely do NOT want to pack on all the weight once I’ve invested this much time into losing it! Besides, when cravings hit – 25 squats done where you stand makes those cravings subside quickly!

No-No’s: Fast food, anything not fruit or veggie (sans cheese and maaayyyybe fish, but probably not), tea or honey. No mass produced food. (Seriously, boxed/frozen/freeze dried meals are totally NOT HEALTHY!) And no more cakes on an empty stomach! Blech!

I welcome your advice, opinions and experiences!

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Winter slim-down week 3

I’m back on the wagon! Thank you for your encouragement and advice 🙂

Two weeks ago, my starting weight was 64,1 kg or 141 lbs. (Eeeekkk!!) I was really hoping not to have to share my weight (as no woman wants to divulge that info) however I realize that it is a bit difficult to follow my journey unless you have all the facts. Two weeks down, and exactly 2 kg down as well. Current weight as of this morning: 62,1 kg or 136 lbs (give or take…the conversion isn’t always perfect).

Given my absolute impatience, it is frustrating not to be losing weight at a faster pace. Yes, I know, shedding 1 kg per week is actually the healthy way to diet. Still, there are some fantastic pieces hanging in my closet that I am just dying to get back into!

This week, it’s back on the exercise wagon. Seriously.

  • 100 squats daily
  • Return to the hand weights, kettle bells and resistance weights (alternated)
  • Add in some cardio to get things started. (jumping jacks, jogging, etc)

As for le diet, I’ll remain on the intermittent fast, but allow myself some protein snacks in the form of sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flax if I reach the point of ravenous before meal time. Back to the yerba mate and green tea during the day and tons of water at night.

Lessons learned from the past 2 weeks:

  • Ixnay on the Carbs
  • Pigging out during a 2 hour period doesn’t really help. Must keep it in moderation
  • Veggies keep me feeling full, longer
  • Caffeine keeps me up half the night if I’m guzzling green tea in the evening
  • Sporadic exercise does nothing

Wish me luck! Please share your thoughts, I look forward to reading and trying them 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Update: Winter slim-down week 2

Hello and happy 1st week of November, all! Time for my weekly diet check-in. Halfway through week 2. I’ll go ahead and admit it, I have totally fallen off the exercise wagon. Totally. Shame on me.

In the past few days, my weight has been fluctuating quite a bit. I’m not entirely sure why, but I do have a theory or two. Perhaps someone reading this will have some input they’d be willing to share. I have, as of today, lost 2,3 kg or about 5 lbs. Good? Yes, absolutely. Confusing and frustrating? Yes, absolutely.

Here’s how it’s been going down: I totally bombed on the no wine rule. Two nights, I had a glass of wine. I’ve altered the diet parameters after a ton of googling and speaking to a few people in the nutrition and health fields. I’d heard about intermittent fasting (not in the religious sense) to cleanse the toxins from your system and get your body and energy back on track. By fasting, I do NOT mean starving myself. I’m speaking of  more like getting my body into survival mode by taking a relatively small chunk of time each day to eat whatever I want during that time and nothing else other than teas, vitamins and a ton of water for the rest of the day. This supposedly gets your body burning its fat reserves for additional energy after the first couple days. I don’t care if it is harsh. If I can spend an hour a day eating whatever my little heart desires while on a diet, I’m all for it!

Day one of this fasting, I paced like a caged animal for hours before I ate. My meal consisted of pasta and steamed veg. A ton of it. I was so full afterward that I slept like a baby.

Day two result: 0,5 kg down. A drastic loss in energy. I slept late, was unmotivated to manage even the lightest object on my to-do list book. When it was time to eat, I was READY. My meal consisted of leftover pasta and stir fry  tempeh and mixed veg and a glass of wine.

Day three result: 0,2 kg down. Helloooo energy! Most productive day this week. I got a ton of mundane tasks accomplished, but when it came to working out, I just felt weak. Fell in love with Netflix. Hungry. My evening meal consisted of fries. And waffles. Total carbo fest. Felt guilty immediately and my stomach was growling all night. Realized that all the carbs I’d been eating were keeping me hungry.

Day four result: 1,2 kg UP! WHAT?!?! Ok, given the junk food fest I’d had the night before it’s no big surprise. But it is frustrating to work so hard to lose every little bit and then…WHAM! Most of it gained back overnight. After a minor freak-out, I vowed to myself that would not happen again. Evening meal was tofu sausage and root veg.

Day five result: Weight down only about 200 grams. I’m unsure if my body is using fat reserves at this point, which it should be, but I’m also noticing that everything is slowing down. Even though I’m drinking tons of water, my metabolism is slower and my energy is seriously low. Occasionally I’ll get a burst of productive energy. However I’m noticing that it is usually in the evenings after I have eaten. Workouts are a thing of the past.

Yesterday I took myself for a reward facial at Mimando spa at it really helped me feel a bit better. Especially since my skin is drying out and all the toxins seem to be coming out of my body…through my face.

So here we are…now just trying to figure out if this will begin to work as well as it should if I can manage to stop sabotaging myself. Think I’ll keep it up for a few more days and actually do it properly and see what happens. I would really like to know any advice or experience anyone has to offer. So, please share.

Thank you for reading!

-mliae

Treating myself: Spa Day at Mimando!!

If you are in the Ruovesi area of Finland, while you are sightseeing and picnicking at the lake, make sure to make time to visit Mimando for some skincare indulgence 🙂 I happened upon this spa a while researching all things to do when in the area. And boy am I glad I did!

Nothing feels better than walking proudly through the streets without a drop of makeup on and feeling proud of your freshly glowing skin. I love to have facial treatments. Especially now that I’ve been dieting and my body is cleaning all the gunk out, which is all showing in my dry, blemished skin. Gee, thanks. So I made myself an appointment when I knew I would be there and I’m really happy I went. (Have planned to go every time I’m in the area). Mimando treatments are good (even my SO commented on a noticeable difference in my glowing happy skin) and…drumroll please….the prices are reasonable! Yaaaayyyyy!!

I decided on an ultrasound treatment.This particular facial, along with the diamond exfoliating treatment are both said to be ideal for skin like mine which is well cared for, but still a bit dry and beginning to age. But not so strong as when you run into a spa demanding the strongest thing they have and then your face falls off 4 days later.

This was begun with basic make-up removal and facial cleansing and then an examination of my skin. This was followed by using an ultrasonic device was used which exfoliated my facial skin and the dead skin was removed. Then an extraction tool was used to seriously open up all the gunked up pores on my face, followed by a very nice facial and neck massage and a facial mask.

My face in the lightweight masked is shown above. (I can’t believe I’m actually posting pics of myself with not a drop of makeup on!) Once the mask had done it’s thing (approx 15 min), my face was cleaned again and polished off with a delicious smelling Etre Belle energy c creme moisturizer. I fell so deeply in love with that stuff I bought some to take home for day creme. That product review will be coming up soon.

Here is an ‘after’ photo of my skin. It’s worth noting that in order to accurately portray the differences, all photos are in their original format. NO airbrushing, or filters have been used or corrections done. I only cropped the photos to better show my pores and not make anyone look up my nostrils.

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Quite a difference, huh?! 😀 My blemishes were lessoned, my skin is positively GLOWING and I am now officially addicted.

Thank you Mimando! I will be back!!  Please, feel free to check out their site, it has been hyperlinked.

Please, share your thoughts in the comment section 🙂

Thank you for reading!

-mliae

New foodie try: Simple and easy Kale chips! Recipe included :)

Several years ago while loitering in wonder in a natural foods market, I found and purchased my first ever bag of Kale chips. Habanero flavour, if I remember correctly. It must’ve been a precious commodity because the price tag on this handful of kale chips seemed like I was paying for it by the gram, as if it were gold. I fell in love immediately, and there was no turning back.

I am not a good cook. Sure, I can piece together a home cooked meal, but I’m not a recipe person usually, so it’s usually a one-time culinary experience and then I can never manage to remember exactly what I’ve done when the occasion presents itself the next time. I am hoping to rectify that situation via this blog and an eternal hope for healthy eating. Anyway, I digress.

As per the norm, whenever I taste something that I absolutely fall for, I go home and google it. If you’re anything like me you know exactly where I’m going with this. You google, always included in the search terms are keywords: easy, simple, fast… And every recipe you find is: Not easy, not simple, maybe fast, usually contains 1-30 extra ingredients that are not on-hand or are impossible to find (especially when traveling. Seriously, how to hunt down ‘baking powder’ in Cyrillic, Thai, Farsi or Yiddish?!)

I searched and searched….I found many great kale chip recipes but all, soooo yummy looking, but too much work. (Hello Dorito ranch kale chips!)  Until this beauty was found 🙂

-Rinse kale and remove from stem

-Place all kale leaves in a large bowl

-Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss (just enough to make sure that the leaves are oiled, but not so much as to soak them)

-Place on a baking tray (go ahead and pile it on, they shrink down when baked)

-Salt to taste. (I prefer freshly ground Himalayan pink sea salt & a little goes a long way)

-Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 120-150 C or 325 F

-Put in a bowl, crunch and enjoy!

Simple as that!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did 🙂

Thank you for reading

-mliae