nutrition

Get it Together

The conversation almost always starts the same way. It most often takes place at the end of the day, when I am tired and I have done something silly like forget to bring my daughter to gymnastics or realized that I have only shaved one leg in the shower that morning.

"I have to get it together"

Six words that hold so much power.  The power to condemn.  The power to feel defeated and less than.  Not one little bit of grace at all.  These six words have decided that I am a mess and I need to fix it and fix it now.  I need to write stuff down, pay attention, drink more coffee, do something to avoid these mess ups from happening again.  Mess ups are not acceptable or allowed.  In my world mess ups are a loss of control and a loss of control is a scary thing.  

So I search for something I can control.  For me that thing has always been my food and exercise.  If I was a hot mess of a mom well I can at least be a fit hot mess of a mom.  I will just focus harder on my nutrition.  Make sure I get to the gym and give it 150%.  I will focus more, be better and get it together.  Then everything will be ok.

The problem with this is that I am human.  I was created flawed (no matter how much I deny and fight this its true).  Perfection is impossible.  I will always mess up.  The circumstances and degrees of the mess ups will change but no matter how hard I try, how tight I hold on, how much MORE I do it will NEVER be perfect.

Grace 

The definition of grace is "unmerited favor" and for me it is the answer to the whirlwind that is created when I try to "get it together".  I am learning to laugh at my life, mess ups and all.  To take the good with the bad and to just give myself a break.  I remember that I am ok, no matter what and already forgiven.  The mess ups will not define me.  I am loved right now, with all my forgotten appointments and extra slices of pizza.  I rest in who I am, and who loves me.  God quietly reminds me that HE HAS GOT IT and I dont need to keep all the balls of my life in the air.  I realize that exercising and dieting harder will not get me closer to peace, only opening my grip and allowing Him to work in my life will. 

As I learn to let go of food and exercise as a way to feel in control I am developing a new relationship with food.  It has taken me years and I still have times I struggle.  I know that this is the root of so many womens struggle.  

I have been reading the book Full by Asheritah Ciuciu and in it she ask some really powerful questions, a big one being : 

What does your ideal relationship with food look like?

How would you eat?

What  would you feel?

How would you act?

I would love to hear your thoughts on these questions I encourage you to comment below and if you would like to join me in readying Full over the next two weeks you can email me:

tabitha@brickhousebodies.com

As always I am praying for each of you

 

Why the Scale is Stupid

It happens to me at least once a week.  I feel fantastic.  I had a great day, get a lot accomplished, workout feels awesome and my hair has cooperated.  All is right with the world, my nutrition was on point and I had a great afternoon with my daughter.  I got 2 text messages from my clients saying what great results they were getting and how their life was changing for the better.  My bank account is healthy and so am I and my family.  

Then it happens. I wake up and head to the bathroom.  I get on the scale, take a deep breath and look down.  My heart sinks, I have gained 2 lbs.  And just like that all of the amazing accomplishments and victories of the previous 24 hours are forgotten.  I am a failure, fat and like I always knew not good enough.  Why do I even try, I just stink.

What the hey!!! How did 32 ounces get so much power? How did 2 pounds confirm all of the bad and make me forget all of the good? Why did I allow my weigh against the gravity of the earth DEFINE me?

I know I am not alone.  I have experienced this so many times with countless women.  They start their journey and they say that the weight on the scale does not matter.  That their why matters so much more.  They start eating healthy and exercising consistenly.  They start performing better at the gym, start sleeping better and having more energy.  When they check in they have lost a ton of inches and their clothes are fitting better.  Then they get on the scale and all of that is forgotten.  Its like none of it even happened.  They are deflated and disappointed.  They focus solely on that number and nothing else.

I think that there are many reasons this happens.  Maybe as women we remember a happy time in our life when we felt successful and at that time we were a certain weight.  So we are constantly trying to get back to that weight with the hope that the happiness we found at that time will return.  Maybe we were that weight before our kids and we want to get back to that time of freedom.  Maybe it was when we first got married when life seemed so simple and romantic.

The reality is that as humans we age.  Life happens.  And that is an awesome thing.  As we age and have kids our bodies change.  Our hormones change, the abilities that our bodies had at 20 are not the same now that we are 40.  Yes we can hold off aging with nutrition and exercise, sleep and stress reduction but even the healthiest 45 year old is different than a 25 year old and that is fantastic!!

Just like wine we mature and improve over time.  I often say I wish I had my 45 year old brain and a 25 year old body I would be unstoppable!  But I like being 45, I know stuff and I have experienced so much and I am still here.  I have grown a human in my body and birthed her, and I am still here.  I have dealt with ups and downs, joys and dissapointments, you can see them in my smile lines and wrinkes by my eyes.  And the same is true for each and every one of you.  Our tummys may stick out more than they did in high school but I am sure that you would not give up your kids for a six pack.  You may weigh 5, 10 or even 20 pounds more that you did in college but would you give up the life you have lived to lose that weight? 

I constantly have to remind myself that the number on the scale is not who I am.  I am a wife to Adam, mom to Sierra, a daughter of God, a sister and friend.  I am all of those things first before I am an athlete, coach or nutritionist.  I am all those things and not the number the scale says.  I remind myself that my focus and effort should be put into relationships in my life, experiences I have and not the scale.  I remeind myself that when I die what I weigh will not matter.  I dont want to regret anything especially missing anything because all I worried about was getting to 125lbs.

 I have my days when I forget.  When I focus on what doesnt matter.  When I believe the lies in my head and doubt myself and my greatness.  Then I pause, pray and remember who I am.  I am made for so much more than what the scale tells me.  I am made to be a mom, wife and Jesus girl and all those things have nothing to do with the number on the scale.

 

My Guide to Creating your Grocery Shopping List

I LOVE to go to the grocery store! It is one of the things I look forward to the entire week.  I love taking my time and browsing every aisle. I love checking out what's in season, what's exciting and what new products are on the shelves.  But I know that for many love is not quite the word that would be used to describe the experience!  Between handling the kids grabbing things off the shelf, the long lines and having no idea what you want or even need the grocery store can be overwhelming to say the least!!

After being asked by a couple of you guys on social media I wanted to share my grocery list with you.  But before I go there I wanted to take a couple of steps back.  For me my trip to the store starts way before I walk through the doors.

Plan to Succeed

I focus on 3 things when I start to write my shopping list:

1- Make sure that I have a balanced menu.  At least 3 protein sources, 3 carb sources and 3 fats sources

2- Buy as much fresh whole foods as possible.  Tons of fruit and veggies, fresh meats and eggs too

3- Buy organic when possible but it's ok to go conventional.  I know food is expensive.  I have a family and I am realistic.  Do I buy 100% organic NO.  Do I make the best choices that my budget allows for YES.  This usually means most veggies and fruit are organic.  Beef is grass fed and eggs are organic.  Chicken is usually whatever is on sale because we go through a lot of chicken.

Menus Make it Fun

Yes I plan my menu for the week.  But before you think that I am crazy or super organized let me clarify.  My menu is pretty simple.  I plan theme nights for dinner, breakfast is usually the same every day and lunch is usually a stir fry of whatever is in the fridge.  It usually works out to look like this:

Monday: Asian night (stir fry)

Tuesday: Tacos (of course)

Wednesday: breakfast for dinner (fritatta)

Thursday: Italian night or salad night

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: family dinner out night

Sunday: Crockpot meal

A Note on Variety

The most common feedback that I get from people when they start on the road to eating better is that they want VARIETY.  Countless choices for breakfast lunch and dinner.  My feeling is this:  Think about your eating habits prior to starting this journey.  Where you cooking a different meal every meals for weeks on end? More often than not if you really though about it you probably were eating the same 5-6 meals on repeat.  The second most common feedback I get is lack of time.  Having countless options takes time.  Keep it simple and make it delicious.  As you get more comfortable with prepping and eating whole foods you will naturally start to add in more  variety.

The List

So now you are finally ready to hit the store.  You have planned your menu.  You know what you need.  I always browse the store's coupons on line before heading out and I do clip coupons.  No shame in my game!! I set up my list as the store is set up and it looks like this:

Veggies/Fruits

apples, bananas, berries

avocados, brussles sprouts, spinach, brocoli, kale, prepackages fresh veggie stir fry, onions

sweet potato, mini white potato

Meats/proteins

lean ground beef (90/10), Lean ground turkey(94/6), boneless chicken breasts, pork loin, organic eggs

Starchy carbs

oatmeal (gluten free), gluten free bread, brown rice

Fats

Kerry Gold grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, almond and cashew butter

Spices and seasonings

salsa, coconut aminos(great for asian night), Mrs. Dash seasoning, salt and pepper, garlic

And thats it!!! This list gives me all of the basics that I need.  Of course I add things some weeks and take away stuff other weeks based on my menu and what is in season and looks good but this list and tips should get you started.

Now that you have your list check out a previous blog post: Meal Prep 101.  It details how I meal prep each week in the least amount of time.

Let me know if you used this list and how it worked out!!

Happy shopping!!

 

Less of Me, More of Him

I have said it countless times before I am stubborn and a bit of a control freak.  I am working with God on that.  Sometimes it takes me literally being hit over the head to listen to what He is trying to tell me.  Over the past two weeks I am slowly being transformed, through people that have come into my life and by slowing down to be still and listen to what He has to say.  I have never felt so excited for what’s to come yet so calm – that’s faith.  I have been “saved “for over 3 years but have never had faith in my heart.  That faith has changed everything.

My perspective has switched.  My mindset set has changed from one of scarcity: never good enough, never training enough, never lean enough, not enough likes, not enough money.  To a mindset of abundance.  I have allowed God’s grace to let me off the hook to myself.  I have finally believed that I am deserving of it.  I am no longer trapped by the lies of never enough.  If I am not perfect its ok, no one is.  If the filter that I truly live my life is LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS it all becomes simple.

I no longer have to kill myself in the gym for two hours a day.  I believe it when my coach says one hour will do.  I realize that even though it is a good thing the gym and training became a distraction something I could control and be good at.  Something that defined me.  I realize now that my strength, body fat and performance in CrossFit does not define me HE does.  It has been so liberating.  I can enjoy my food and my workouts.  If I have a bad day at the gym it doesn’t make me question my purpose.  If I indulge in a good meal and do not count or measure I no longer tell myself I have failed.  I know that I am not “fixed” I just feel connected and focused.  I will meet God every day and ask for grace and strength to continue on the path He has for me.

In my career winning has always been important to me.  I had to be the best.  Work the hardest for the most hours.  Make the most money so I could and get all the attention and promotions available.  When I first started my training business it was about helping others.  That was my goal and I did it well.  Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that.  My fame became more important.  I continued to strive for my glory and burnt out quickly.  I lost passion.  I began to doubt my skills and qualifications.  Instead of looking within myself I blamed others.  Instead of praying I just worked harder.  Then I just spun my wheels and made myself busy.  Paralyzing myself with it.  This continued until just a couple of weeks ago.  Then an amazing woman spoke truth into my life and I heard the word ABUNDANCE over and over again.  My purpose mattered not for my own glory but for HIS.  I had no need to strive or prove myself I was already accepted and loved.  As long as I stay on the path He has for me He will produce fruit.  Will it be easy? NO.  Will I lose some things? Probably.  But what I have gained is so much more valuable.  I have gained PEACE.

 

I have not lost my work ethic but I no longer #hustle for myself.  I do my absolute best to live the life God has for me.  So that others see His greatness in me.  Jesus is my CrossFit coach, nutrition coach and business mentor.  If I stick to His program I know that I will achieve every goal He sets for me.  That is my confidence.

Consistency Not Perfection

I am an all or nothing kinda girl.  I can’t just do the sprint Spartan I have to do the Super.  I can’t just do a Crossfit competition to me it might as well be the Crossfit Games.  I can’t eat one chip it has to be the whole bag, with salsa, and cheese.

So when I asked on social media what most people struggle with when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle the biggest thing people talked about was staying on track.  Not letting weekends, weddings, parties and life cause them to be distracted and fall back into bad habits.

So I want to share with you the things that I do to focus on my goals while still enjoying life. I am not perfect.  I struggle too.  Many people call this balance but I don’t believe there is such a thing as balance.  Balance implies perfection and unless you are God perfection is impossible.  That’s where my helpful tips start:

1-      The definition of consistency is “logically ordered and/or following a pattern.  Agreement or logical coherence among things or parts.  Firmness of constitution or character.  What this all means is that the Majority of the time things stay the same.  No big changes.  No big highs or lows.  In the context of food and eating this means eating the same way the majority of the time.  No binges, to elimination.  I apply this to my life by going to weddings, ballgames, parties and vacations but I remain logical and don’t drink all the wine, I have a glass.  I don’t eat all the deserts I pick the one I want.  I don’t eat all the bread in the bread basket I have one slice.  Notice I didn’t deny myself the bread, wine or desert, I had them in MODERATION, enjoyed them without GUILT and moved on.  We run into trouble when we say we CAN’T have something, suddenly we desperately WANT IT.  Then because we think we can’t have it we eat much more than we should because we feel like it is the one opportunity to eat it so might as well go big or go home.  Feast or famine, all or nothing.  Not the logical patterned order that is consistency.

2-      Food does not have a soul.  That being said without a soul you cannot attach any moral labels to it.  Food is not GOOD or BAD.  It is food.  When we apply these labels some foods become bad and others good which causes us to morally judge our choices.  And when we don’t make the right choices WE become bad or good not the choice.  The filter I pass my food choices through is this:  How will this food make me feel? Is it worth it?  Will having that third drink or eating that 2nd slice of pizza or piece of cake bring me closer to my goals?  Will a bite of cake or one glass of wine serve the same purpose?  A thoughtful choice prevents and emotional reaction.  Emotional eating brings guilt and shame two things that should not be attached to food

3-      On the subject of emotional eating…. I totally get needing something sweet before bed (a square of dark chocolate usually does the trick) Or when it is that time of the month and you just need a bowl of ice cream.  It is ok.  The trouble occurs when we feel bad about it.  Feeling guilty doesn’t change the fact that you ate it.  Own it.  Have some introspection and figure out what you were feeling that caused it.  Don’t hide it or pretend it didn’t happen.  Talk about it with a trusted friend.  Shine a light on it.  The more we own our choice and don’t write them off as bad the less we will have to start over.

So there is no magic solution.  It’s not easy.  Staying consistent is hard, it takes work.  Integrity is doing what you say you are going to do.  Have integrity to yourself and your goals.  Own your emotions.  Own your choices.  Do not sacrifice long term success for short term gratification.  With food or with life.

5 Ways to Make Breakfast happen

You hear it all the time, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.  It is called a break fast because you have not eaten for over 7 hours!!! Breakfast kick starts your bodies metabolism for the day, it is the signal to your digestive system to wake up!  If you work out in the am it is even more important to get something in.  My experience as a coach, trainer and busy mom is that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to get people to eat!  Not enough time, no appetite and not knowing what to eat.  Here are 5 tips that will help you make breakfast happen EVERYDAY:

1-      Plan and prepare:  This is probably one of the most important tips.  If your house is anything like mine mornings are hectic.  Walking dogs, feeding kids, showering leave little time or brain power to make good food choices.  The night before I make my breakfast and put it in the fridge.  I lay out my clothes and my daughters clothes for the day.  I make lunches.  So that when I start my day it feels organized not rushed and I can just reach into the fridge for something to eat. Some good options are hard boiled eggs, overnight oats (recipe at the end) or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. All can be made ahead and are portable.

2-      Drink your breakfast: Many people cannot eat solid food early in the morning.  Making yourself a protein shake or smoothie in the am is a great option especially if you work out early in the am.  Shakes digest quicker and you can drink them on the way to the gym.  You can also make them as simple (Advocare Meal Replacement shake is my go to) or as complex as you want adding fruit, oats, greens milk or yogurt.

3-      Fruit:  Fruit is natures to go food.  It is perfect for the am.  What is easier than grabbing a banana or apple as you walk out the door? Pop some berries in your mouth.  All easy stuff

4-      Cut the caffeine:  Many people say they are not hungry in the am.  But they drink 4 cups of coffee before 10am.  Caffeine mutes your appetite, and if you need anything more than a cup before 10am that lack of energy may be your body’s need for food and not more caffeine.  The body can adapt to anything until it doesn’t anymore then you will need more caffeine and be less hungry and that can leads to all sorts of other problems.  Start small with a shake(adding protein powder to iced coffee is delicious!) then move to a piece of fruit.  No one is asking you to have a stack of pancakes, eggs and bacon when you can stomach a piece of toast.  Ease in and I promise your will start waking up and wanting to eat.

5-      Decide to make the change:  All of these tips are great but its up to you to decide to make the change.  Tell yourself you will eat breakfast everyday for 7 days.  Post it to social media to keep you accountable.  Then turn the 7 days to 2 week, then a month and the next thing you know you will not understand how you functioned without your favorite meals of the day BREAKFAST

Overnight oats:

2 cups old fashioned oats

4 tablespoons Chia seeds

2 cups almond milk

Cinnamon

Vanilla extract

I add a little sugar free syrup but that is optional

Mix together in a Tupperware or big Mason jar and keep in the fridge overnight.  In the am add whatever fruit and nut butter you like and enjoy!!!

Why Food Matters

As a Crossfit coach I am inspired everyday watching the members do things that they have never done before. They lift heavier weight, run farther and faster and get stronger everyday!!!

Exercise and moving your body is wonderful. It changes lives and for many it leads to improvements in all parts of their lives. Their relationships their energy levels and the way they eat.

But for some getting on the right track with food and improving their eating habits is a struggle. That’s where I come in, lol. Here are my 5 reasons why food matters:

  • The saying “food is fuel” is true. Many people have lost the connecting between what they eat and how they feel. The body is an amazing thing. Its goal is to continue to function. This means that it gets used to anything and will continue to function … until it doesn’t. If you are eating fast food, drinking too much or just not eating enough you may feel “fine” but that does not mean that your body is at its best. Fine is not great. Why be mediocre when you could be great. I hear it all the time from clients, “I didn’t realize how tired, sick I was until I started eating right”. What you put in you get out
  • You can’t out exercise poor nutrition. Many times people will exercise for hours to “earn” a cheat meal or to “work off” some choices. Neither will work in the long run. This sets you up to view food as something you need to earn or work for, neither of which is healthy. Food is wonderful and has no moral value; it should not have guilt attached to it. You feel guilty when you lie or steal not when you eat.
  • Real food is cheaper. I challenge you to calculate the amount of money that you spend on eating out for a week. This includes coffee, drinks and lunch and dinners out. I can pretty much guarantee that it will be more than buying fruits and veggies at the supermarket for a week. Eating out is not bad in moderation but eating out more than you eat at home starts to add up.
  • Food services are an incredible option: Many of my clients want to eat real food and stop eating out so much but they just don’t have times to cook. Food prepping at home will always be cheaper but if your lifestyle just does not allow the time there are a ton of really good food prep services out there. They can accommodate any diet restrictions and most of the good ones use organic sources.
  • You will teach your family good habits that last a lifetime: So many moms underestimate the influence that they have on the habits of their families. We are the gatekeepers of what our family eats. If we present them with different choices and show them by example how exciting and delicious home cooked meals can be it can change their health and how they view food for the rest of their lives.

So make a commitment to change the way you eat even if it is for one week. Maybe eat out twice instead of 5 times. Maybe cook dinner for your family over the weekend if you always order take out. Maybe do some research on food delivery services. Try to make one small change. When you do I want o hear about it.

It will be different and different is hard but it’s the hard that makes us better.

I would rather have a better life than an easy one.