Cupped Lightning

I wrote a post about coffee a couple years ago.  Check it out HERE.  I thought it might be time to readdress this…this little caffeine issue.  I’m addicted to caffeine.  I admit it.  As I talked about in my blog post, my caffeine intake is pretty much like a roller coaster.  It gets out of hand, then I quit cold turkey, then it gets out of hand, then I quit cold turkey… It’s just how it goes.  I think a lot of it might have to do with the fact that I’m a paramedic who works 24 hour shifts and has a 2 hour commute one way. Just a hunch.

The other day, I woke up at 0500.  I didn’t sleep very well due to some nagging hip pain, so I added 2 scoops of Spark before the gym that morning.  2!  After the gym, I drove through Starbucks and ordered 2 venti coffees.  Black.  No room.  For myself.  This was all consumed by 0800.  A little while later, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I took a 2 hour nap.  After I woke up, I thought hey, maybe this isn’t so healthy.  Lets evaluate this…

In my post about coffee, I talked about how coffee has its place.  I still agree with this wholeheartedly.  A couple of cups a day?  Sure.  nbd.  A couple pots a day? Ehhhhh……that might be an issue.  It’s kind of a catch 22 for me. The first cup or 2 in the morning help me to wake up, as caffeine is supposed to do.  After that, I don’t drink coffee to keep me awake.  I drink coffee because I REALLY just love the taste of coffee.

As I visited with my mom on the phone this morning, I realize that I should blame her for my coffee problem.  100%.  We love coffee.  Good coffee.  Our latest favorite thing to do is to find fun coffee roasters and order beans.  Intelligentsia, Coava, Stumptown, Kickapoo… these are just a handful of our favorite roasters.  In our conversation mom said “Some people really have no idea what good coffee tastes like.”  So much truth in those words! She’s so wise!

Now, as I mentioned before, I love the taste of coffee.  I’ll drink hospital cafeteria coffee and I’ll drink fire station Folger’s.  Shoot, I’ll even ask for a 2nd cup of Perkins coffee that has been sitting in the pot all day.  I won’t complain.  BUT a good cup of coffee brewed with freshly roasted, high quality beans, now that’s where it’s at.  It’s a real treat for the ol’ tastebuds.  As you may have guessed, Folger’s does not belong in my house.  I have bags of good beans, and I have bags of REALLY good beans.  When I have to work, I’ll put a few scoops of some of the good beans in my Cuisinart grind and brew the night before, set the timer, and BOOM, I wake up to the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

On my off days, it’s a little bit of a different story.  I get home from the gym around 0700 or so.  After I put a few slices of bacon on the stove, I begin to work on my coffee.  When I’m off duty, I use the smaller, more expensive bags of REALLY good beans.  I have an electric kettle that I purchased at the Target, which heats the water super quickly. So far, I haven’t burned myself! That’s a big win for this accident-prone paramedic. The kettle also has a little light the flips off when the water begins to boil.  As the water is boiling, I grind the beans in my electric grinder.  On occasion, I also grind the beans by hand.  It takes a little more time and a lot more energy, so I keep this little gadget in my cupboard in case of the zombie apocalypse.  Coffee is definitely a huge part of my doomsday prepping.  Once the beans are ground, I remove my French Press or Chemex out of the cupboard with care. I also have an AeroPress that I use on occasion.  I’m sure I’ve lost you in my coffee nerdiness by now.  Basically, grind, boil, brew.

Once the little light on my kettle turns off, it’s go time.

Oh buddy, when you spend a little time and a little money, coffee has the ability to taste like an angel.  Remember those old Folger’s commercials when the actors open the container, close their eyes, and smell?  Or when the actor holds the hot cup of freshly brewed coffee in both hands, takes a sip, then smiles?  Yeah, that totally happens on off duty coffee days.  Every time.

What’s your coffee status?  Do you have a favorite roaster?  I’m always looking to try new coffee.

Life is too short to have bad coffee.  BUT maybe I’ll live just a little bit longer if I keep my caffeine consumption in check a little better.  Balance and moderation, my friends.

-my name is Lindsay, and I have a caffeine addiction

#coffeemugofmemories

 

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Broken

malin 2

Tattoos.  I only have one, but as they say, you never stop at one.  I’m always keeping my eyes open for new ideas.  As I was perusing through some pictures the other day, I found this one.  This is the Swedish Malin symbol.  My mom’s side of the family is Swedish, so I liked this right away.  BUT, the best part is the meaning.  In my research, I found that this symbol basically says that you have to face setbacks in order to be able to go forward.

This is the truth for all aspects of life, but man, this especially hit home for me.  This past week, I was told that I have to have MAJOR hip surgery.  Long story short, I slipped on some ice this winter and tore the cartilage in my hip.  In addition learning this, I was also told that I have really shallow hip sockets.  Alright. Ok.  Oh, and in order to fix this, and postpone an entire hip replacement in the next 10 years, I need a surgery that involves cutting a chunk of my pelvis and rotating it to make a bigger hip socket, then using screws to keep it in place. 4 months recovery…

Ton of bricks, man.  What a week.  Frustration and pain and anxiety and apprehension. So, learning the meaning of this tattoo was encouraging.  While my head was off in the land of hypothetical surgery problems and overwhelming anxiety, this kind of brought me back to earth.  I mean, whoa, Lindsay.  How about you stop, breathe, pray, trust.

Arrows are typically symbols for moving forward.  I really like how the infinity symbol is incorporated. It’s a good reminder that you’re always, ALWAYS moving forward, despite whatever setbacks may be in your way.  This is so true in life.  Life isn’t easy.  Adulting isn’t easy. So many people are struggling with things.  Eating disorders, divorce, pain, illness… Eating healthy isn’t easy.  Friendships aren’t easy.  Marriage isn’t easy.  Hip problems aren’t easy.  BUT, I truly believe that once you realize that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; that sometimes you need to be broken in order for the light to shine through the cracks; that even when you feel weak, you are strong…..once you realize these things, whatever you may be going through just doesn’t seem quite so bad.  Just because we’re broken doesn’t mean we’re helpless OR hopeless.  Faith, my friends.  Faith and a sense of humor.

Cheating

Are you cheating??

*****If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to read this post (because, to be honest, sometimes I really don’t want to read long-winded posts…I get it), please at least READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH*****

I read a post a while back on cheats, and I just wanted to share a few key thoughts with you. The article was written by Dallas and Meilssa Hartwig of Whole9 (You may have heard of their Whole30 plan…).

“At a local seminar last week, an attendee asked Melissa, “Do you ever cheat?” There was so much to this question: We don’t call it a cheat, because we’re doing nothing wrong. We aren’t perfect eaters, because no one is, and we don’t expect you to be either. Yes, we indulge, when we decide it’s worth it. In essence, we practice what we preach.”

They go on to talk about something that they posted on FB a few years back during a trip to Mexico. “Whole9 is grilling fresh mahi, making a giant batch of guac and kicking our heels up with some hand-made corn tortillas.” Holy banana chips, Batman. They received a ridiculous amount of backlash for this, all over some stupid corn tortillas!! They include some of the comments in the article. A good description of the comments can be summed up in this sentence (in their words)… “We once admitted consuming some Nutella-stuffed French toast to a workshop crowd. The looks of shock and horror on our audience’s faces made us wonder if we actually said we ate a deep-fried kitten for breakfast.” (This last sentence is perhaps one of my favorite sentences that I have ever read. Ever.)

Dallas and Melissa go on to describe how their program is the Whole30, NOT the Whole365. With Paleo, with clean eating, with the grapefruit diet…with whatever way of eating you choose to use, in order to succeed, you NEED to indulge from time to time.

Not long ago, I attended a bachelorette party. Well, a bachelorette party weekend. I knew that I would be indulging a little. Ok, who am I kidding…a lot. I tried to make better food/drink choices, but let’s face it. I enjoyed my weekend. That being said, once I got home, I was back at it. That Sunday happened to be Superbowl Sunday.  I set up my cycling trainer in front of our TV and enjoyed a little superbowl cycling. The next morning, I raided our deep freeze and set out a bunch of meat to have throughout the week. I also gathered some veggies that were chillin’ in trhe crisper and set them on the top shelf of my fridge so that I remembered that I have some veggie noms that upcoming week. I had my cheats then got after it again.

**Here’s the thing, the ONE take home from this: There’s a time for treats and there’s a time for healthy eats. The key is to have a healthy relationship with food, plain and simple. Figure out what’s “worth it” to you and enjoy it from time to time. Truly savor every second. BUT, also be able to resist that sugary, carbalicious, ooey gooey temptation the rest of the time. This is the key to successful eating.

bike.jpg
http://whole9life.com/…/you-ask-we-answer-do-you-ever-cheat/

The Wise Track Coach

What have you done to make yourself better today?

High school track.  Our coach would say this AT LEAST once a day.  The beginning of practice, during, afterwards….on the bus to a meet, at a meet.  This was engrained into our heads.  I had heard it thousands of times, but I’m fairly certain that I just blew it off.  When I was 17, I chose to focus on the Toblerone chocolate bar reward if I placed at a meet or broke a record, rather than dwell on the wise words of coach. Funny how one’s motivation can change.

While thinking about the start of 2015, I was reminded me of Coach Loberg’s words.  What did 2014 look like and what will 2015 bring?  Disappointments. Happy times.  Everything in between.  What can I do to be better in 2015?

The new year always brings resolutions.  I think I have become annoyed and bitter with said resolutions.  In my mind, I think “you should CONSTANTLY be making and meeting goals…why must one only make a New Years resolution?”  I think one frustration is that resolutions tend to include the word “try.”  A wise little Jedi once said “Do or do not.  There is no try.” Set your mind to something and do it.  When you remove “try” from your vocabulary, you have made the decision that you ARE capable of said task and that nothing will stand in your way of reaching that goal.

For me, 2015 will bring an end to mediocrity.

I want to improve in the gym.  Faster, stronger, better.  I will step it up.  I have been following CrossFit programming and doing the WODs on my own, but to be better, I decided to join a box again.  More accountability and face-to-face coaching.  I plan to increase the intensity as well as really work on solid warmups as well as mobility.  I’ll get there.

I want to be more toned.  Definition.  Poolside body to be proud of.  I have decided to clean up my eating.  “I’m going to try to eat better.”  Screw that.  Sure to fail. I have become quite lenient and have been allowing too many treats lately.  A friend of mine recently said “Vegetarians don’t have cheat days.” Definitely makes me rethink my food choices. 6-7 servings of produce a day. Each meal consisting of a solid protein, a huge portion of produce (carb), and a little fat. Sticking with my Paleo Plate the best way that I can.

My goal for 2015 is to be able to have an answer for my track coach’s question each and every single day.What about you? With your resolutions for the new year, are you going to TRY or are you going to do?

Coffee

coffee

Coffee. C8H10N4O2. Cuppa Joe. Go Juice. Liquid Energy. Rocket Fuel. Many different names with 1 amazing purpose.  Just a little bit of energy to get through the day.

But…how does coffee fit into the whole Paleo way of eating?

First, the facts.  What is coffee?  Coffee is made by brewing the roasted seed…or “bean”…from a coffee tree.  Coffee = caffeine.  Caffeine is the main stimulant found in this little bean, often consumed as a little “pick-me-up.”  The consumption of this tasty chemical stimulates the central nervous system in humans and tends to make the user less drowsy. It is also a diuretic.  In my research, I have read that in some studies, coffee has also been found to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as diabetes.  Black tea has also been found to decrease the risk of diabetes. So, caffeine does have it’s place.

While caffeine definitely has its purpose, more is certainly not better.  Moderation is the key word here.  Frequent coffee-drinkers (myself included) can attest that there comes a day when their daily cup of coffee no longer gives them that much anticipated energy burst that they once had.  Coffee has an addictive nature, gut-irritating properties, and may cause negative effects on sleep patterns.  Actually, many habitual coffee drinkers have reported that they suffer from sleep disturbances, headaches, and general “sluggish” behavior.  This has been referred to as adrenal fatigue.  Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands to release the hormones linked to stress.  Adrenaline and cortisol primarily.  This is fine…once in awhile.  Where it gets tricky is when you add in a stressful lifestyle, lack of exercise, poor sleeping, and a crappy diet.  All of these things definitely take a toll on your adrenal glands.  THEN add in copious amounts of coffee to “help” you get through the day.  Now we have adrenal fatigue.  The adrenal glands are tired and overworked from unending stress and inadequate rest and recovery.

Scott Hagnas, founder of CrossFit Portland, said it perfectly.  “I agree that coffee isn’t as evil as some have made it out to be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t often abused.  Quite frequently, those with some level of adrenal fatigue use caffeine as an energy source for their day.  In reality, caffeine doesn’t give you energy – it gives you stress.  I see so many people that try to eat well and exercise intelligently, but have trouble making progress because of a stress filled life.  The total stress load is cumulative, so coffee becomes fuel for the fire.  I have also observed that those with damaged adrenals are more sensitive to coffee’s adverse effects than those with healthy adrenals.  As a simple rule, if you feel like you need it, then you should evaluate your habits.  If you feel like you can do fine without, then a few cups now and then should be ok for you.”

Now, that’s some solid wisdom there.

Now, my thoughts.  I guess if you are looking for the purest form of Paleo, I recommend avoiding caffeine. Completely.  Paleo is all about promoting a way of eating that encompases anti-inflammatory foods as well as bringing the body back to a more normal energy level.  In my opinion, part of the idea behind this way of eating is to somewhat cleanse your body.  Balance.  You remove the food items that cause irritation and inflammation.  Stop eating the foods that cause your blood sugar to spike.  Get rid of the things that can be addictive.  YOU be in charge of the food that you eat.  Sugar and caffeine are 2 of the big ones in this category.  Don’t let them run the show.

I think for some, caffeine consumption has gotten out of hand.  Many people can’t even get dressed for the day without their caffeine fix.  I have been there…more than once.  Once in awhile, I’ll be a few hours into my day and realize that I’ve had 10-12 cups of coffee before 0900.  As a paramedic, I work 24 hour shifts.  I work overnights every so often.  Sometimes I’m up for 24+ hours.  Many days, I run on about 4 hours of sleep.  Even if you aren’t in public safety, I’m sure you can relate.  Go Go Go Go Go….who has time for sleep?  So much to do! It’s just how society is today …When I feel that I’m getting to this place of caffeine addiction, I force myself to take a step back.   I remove the caffeine.  Now, while some people cut back to a cup or 2, I just quit cold turkey.  Yes, there are headaches, and yes, I feel like a bag full of garbage for a few days, but I know it’s what I need to do to get back some balance.  After 5-7 I begin to notice the difference.  Natural energy.  Better sleep.  After awhile, a couple months, I add a cup or 2 back into my day…then begin the cycle again.

Whole9 has some great tips for coffee:

-If you’re not currently a caffeine user, don’t start
-Limit your consumption to 1-2 cups of coffee a day, always before noon to prevent sleep disruption
-Your coffee pot is not a cup.  Nice try
-If you’re using coffee as a crutch to get through your day – or just to get out of bed – reconsider whether that is a healthy relationship
-We don’t think the above is a healthy relationship, thanks for asking
-A couple times a year, give your body a Caffeine Holiday for at least 30 days. (That means NO caffeine – no black or green tea, energy drinks, or even decaf)

In short, moderation is really the key word here.  “When it comes to coffee, less is generally better.  Think before you drink.”  -Whole9

Cheers!
Lindsay

The majority of my research came from reputable Paleo sources including Mark’s Daily Apple and Whole9.

 

Puttin On the Foil

Yes, that is a Slapshot reference.  Ice hockey and grilling.  Both are near and dear to my heart.  Speaking of grilling, I have been a grillin’ fool lately.  I have tried to get creative with my foil packet grilling.  I thought I could just compile a list of a few of my more recent favorites.

Pork
Pork chops, butter, garlic, s&p

Chicken
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I cut up a few chicken breasts, then added garlic, s&p, Italian seasoning

Seafood
20140324_173349
20140324_175213
Tilapia, lemon (or lime) slices, butter, dill, s&p

20140417_161246
sea scallops, butter, s&p

Vegetables
Brussels sprouts: sprouts, garlic, onion, s&p
Sweet potatoes 1: sweet potatoes (sliced), butter, real maple syrup
Sweet potatoes 2: sweet potatoes (chopped), onion, garlic, butter, s&p.  You can also add veggies like asparagus, carrots, and mushrooms.

These are just a couple of examples of my most recent foil packets.  Typically I double foil wrap each packet, otherwise it will leak.  right now, I’m definitely into grilling new things.  Next on the list: beets, butternut squash, and cauliflower.  I figure, if you can roast it, you can grill it.  I also want to try putting beef stew meat into a packet as well.  The possibilities are endless!

Happy Grilling!

-Lindsay

Make Yourself

make yourself

I have been sitting on this post for awhile now.  Going over the words again and again, trying to come up with a clever little blog post.  In the end, I don’t think that this needs an explanation.

-Lindsay

Clean Eating Conundrum

Within the past couple weeks, I have had a handful of people ask me how to start to eat a little cleaner.  A few thoughts.

First of all, one needs to define clean eating.  I think every person has a different definition.  To me, clean eating, is simply just eating real food (also known as JERF).  If it comes commercially packaged, probably not a good idea.  If it has its own commercial, not so much.  If it has ingredients that you can’t pronounce, put it away.  It’s all about just eating real food.  Fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably organic and locally grown), fresh meat (preferably grass-fed and local), natural sugars (like honey, real maple syrup..), non/minimally-processed oils (olive oil, coconut oil), nuts, seeds, and eggs.  These items are really the bulk of clean eating.  If you read through these items again, think about how many ingredients each one contains.  An apple’s ingredients: apple.  A delicious cut of steak: beef.  An egg’s ingredients: egg.  1 ingredient (and a plethora of vitamins and minerals). Eating as simply as you can.  That’s what clean eating looks like in my head.

Many of my friends include brown rice, quinoa, and a few other items in their clean eating diet.  Take that idea a step further, and you have your Paleo.  Paleo is saying NO to dairy, grain and gluten (soy, wheat, corn, rice, etc), processed sugars (white, brown, powdered, etc), and legumes (peanuts, green beans, peas, etc) AND saying YES to the things I mentioned earlier: fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, nuts/seeds, natural oils, and natural sugars (sparingly).

As I have mentioned in other blog posts, Paleo is what you make of it. It’s designed to make you feel better.  The way that you eat is directly proportional to the way that you feel. I believe that whole heartedly.  There are so many disease processes and symptoms that can be exacerbated by your food choices.  With Paleo, you take a handful of food items that have tendency to make symptoms worse and simply remove them from your diet.  Dairy, grain, sugar, and legumes…gone.  Magically, many stomach and GI issues clear up.  Autoimmune symptoms, gone.  People start to feel better.

My Paleo is just that.  I eat fairly strict Paleo and daily reap the rewards.  I have noticed a few things.  First of all, grain makes my guts hurt.  Bloaty, gassy, crampy, heartburny, hiccupy…all when I eat grain.  Dairy, really it has a lot of fat in it. When I completely cut out dairy, I have found that I tone up a bit.  Bonus.  Through sticking to my Paleo eating, I have lost close to 15 pounds, I have toned up, I sleep better, I have more energy, my face is clearer, and as I talked about before, I just feel better.  On a happy sidenote, I actually noticed mini-abs the other day.  Dudes, I have never had a hint of abs in my entire life.

Now, with that being said, not everyone is ready for Paleo.  It’s tricky at first, a bit of a commitment, and takes a little time.  Starting out, it’s hard to switch from cheap, fast, and easy food choices to a little more expensive, a little more time-consuming, but high-quality food choices.  We are such a go go go go go go go society, and convenience foods have become the norm.  Time to get away from that.  If you feel that Paleo is not for you, then I suggest switching to clean eating.  Truly, clean eating IS for everyone.

So, how does one begin to eat cleaner?

1. Watch your carbs.  As I mentioned earlier, if it comes in a package, has a commercial, or contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, then you probably shouldn’t eat it. Simple carbs….get rid of them.  All of them.  They do not help, they only hinder.

2. Eat more veggies.  Fill up on the good stuff. A. They’re good for you.  B. It’s what your body craves.  C. We are ok with getting enough fruit, but we don’t eat nearly enough vegetables.  Time to get on it.

3. Watch your sugar.  Sugar is crazy sneaky.  It’s everywhere.  Check your labels. Always.  Pasta sauce, for instance, a lot of times has cane juice or high fructose sugar…I avoid it.

4. Drink more water.  A. it’s good for you.  B. it’ll help to fill you up.  Oftentimes, our bodies think that we are hungry when really, we’re just thirsty. C. Again, something that typically people don’t get enough of.  Put that soda pop and sugary juice away.  Try making water your go-to beverage.  Dehydration is no bueno.

Just eat real food.  While you may not be sold on this Paleo thing, it’s hard to refute clean eating.  Honestly, with a little eat this/not that tweaking of your food choices, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

“Most people have no idea how good their body was designed to feel.”

The Paleo Paramedic and the Shakeology Controversy

I have always been fairly active.  In high school, I was the goalie for our girl’s hockey team; I played softball in the summertime, and threw shot put and discus for our track team.  In college, I joined the track team for a year as well as played a little rugby in my spare time.  I was active, but not really physical fit.  After college, I started my career as a paramedic.  After a couple years paramedicing, I found out that I had some back issues.  It was kind of an either you get fit and strengthen your core….or you might not be able to be a medic anymore.  Of course my choice was get fit.

I dabbled in the gym here and there.  I dropped around 60 pounds doing the elliptical, treadmill, and Insanity.  This was really my first taste of the Beachbody programming.  I liked it…a lot.  July 2011, I was introduced to CrossFit, and also tried my hand at the Paleo way of eating.  I fell in love with CrossFit on Day 1.  I think many of us in public safety are addicted to adrenaline.  It was a perfect fit.  Paleo…was more of a challenge.  I did strict Paleo for 30 days. I lost a little weight, had more energy, noticed clearer skin, allergies were better… It was tough though, and I didn’t stick with it.  I tried to figure out why my first paleo experience didn’t last. I think what it was, was that I became bored with it. Chicken and spinach, steak and spinach, tuna and spinach. Same thing over and over and over again. Boredom.

Fast forward to the January 2013. I evaluated my diet. It was full of processed foodstuffs. I always justified eating poorly. “Oh, just a little treat…I worked out today.” I realized that this just wasn’t acceptable. I needed to change things up. Around the beginning of January 2013, I decided to go back to Paleo. Fairly strict Paleo, actually. This time, I decided that I was going to put a little more work into it. I made a commitment to making Paleo my lifestyle…not just a “diet.”  Around this time, I joined a challenge group of accountability put on by my good friend Laura, of Fully Fit.  Through this challenge group, I also decided to try this Shakeology that all my friends were talking about as well as purchase the fancy new T25 workout.   Around this time, I also started a blog and Facebook page.  I became the Paleo Paramedic.  I really just wanted to create a place to post pictures, recipes, motivation, and thoughts on just being fit.

Within a week or two, I noticed a difference.  I felt better.  That was the biggest change.  More energy was the biggest one.  I felt focused and awake all day long.  HUGE change.  Better sleep was also a positive side effect of my lifestyle change…which also leads to more energy.  My skin became clearer.  My allergies were better.  My clothes became looser, and I started to drop weight and inches.  Ok, I’m sold.  Once in a while, I will have a cheat…or treat.  I remember the first time I had a cheat after beginning my Paleo journey.  It was something at the fire station…something biscuity or wheaty.  Man oh man was I miserable.  I felt bloaty, gassy, crampy.  I had heartburn and I got the hiccups.  This was when I realized that I never knew how good my body was supposed to feel.  By eating Paleo, taking out the things that have tendency to cause these symptoms, I felt good…great even.  Ok, this Paleo/ Shakeology combination really is a win!

This time around, I put a little more work into it. I make a point to make at least one new Paleo recipe a week. This time, Paleo isn’t a chore. Eating is fun. I actually eat probably better, more exciting meals than before.

Then there’s Shakeology.  I fell in love with Shakeology right away.  It truly is a fantastic product.  Packed FULL of ridiculously clean ingredients into one little scoop. Fruit, vegetables, protein, anti-oxidants, probiotics, calcium, iron, vitamins…do I need to go on?  Besides, who doesn’t love a shake every day?  There was one thing though that kept bugging me.  It’s not 100% Paleo.  While it IS full of real food and clean ingredients, it still had a thing or two (i.e. quinoa) that I wasn’t sure about. I felt like as the “Paleo Paramedic,” I couldn’t completely promote or endorse…or really even talk about a product that I wasn’t entirely sure I believed in.

I really thought hard about my views on Shakeology.  I did research.  I read the Beachbody forums…I read the Paleo forums…I talked with smart people who know nutrition.  Finally, after about a year of my eating real food journey, I came to a decision.  I’m good with Shakeology.  I feel good when I drink it and notice a pretty incredible difference in the way that I feel when I don’t.  A couple things.  1.  I don’t get sick. I don’t call in sick to work for illnesses anymore.  My sick time bank has been looking pretty plush lately.  2.  When I skip a few days of my Shakeology shake, I feel ridiculously lethargic and it’s hard to focus.  Severe lack of motivation.  3. Testimonials. One of my friends told me that she swears by it.  Before drinking Shakeology, she would feel bloated beyond brief and feel really pretty miserable.  She tried changing her food up, she changed her workouts, she tried this, tried that…no improvement. BUT, since drinking shakeology, really since the first week of drinking it, she has felt great!  Testimonial after testimonial after testimonial, you hear of stories like that.

So, in short, while Shakeology isn’t 100% Paleo, it’s still a clean food product. Gluten-free, non-GMO.  Real food.  Real good (ok, grammar police.  I know.  It just sounded good to write).  I’m good with Shakeology.  It’s truly a great product and I am totally ok with talking about and sharing about. The Paleo Police may cringe…but that’s ok. This stuff works for me. It’s a part of my Paleo.

Now that the Paleo Paramedic Shakeology controversy has resolved, I’m just here to talk about clean eating and fitness. You don’t have to eat Paleo…honestly, I recommend just eating real food. Clean eating is a pretty cool thing. When you’re not eating a diet full of processed garbage, you just feel…good. When you’re not eating processed sugar, food tastes amazing. Fruit literally tastes like candy. It’s like your taste buds are alive. While I do CrossFit 5 days a week and a Beachbody DVD (Insanity, T25, P90X3…) the other 2 days a week, it doesn’t meant that this is the only way to be active.  Really, I’ve found that as long as you get moving, you’re golden. Start out slowly and work your way into something a little more challenging. Just get after it.

I’m committed to this stuff now.  Clean eating and fitness.  It has become who I am.  I am dedicated and passionate about it all.  That’s my story.  It’s my clean eating and fitness journey.

jour·ney (n): an act of traveling from one place to another. Synonyms: adventure, trek.

 

Life is Good

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While reading through a recent issue of my Alma Mater’s alumni magazine, I came across an interesting article.  The article is called “Life is Good!” Bert Jacobs, co-founder of the Life is Good company, spoke at my school’s Homecoming celebration this past year.  The article talks about how Jacobs spoke on how we all have a choice to be an optimist vs pessimist. Jacobs went on to say “It doesn’t just put a bounce a step.  It makes you magnetic.  It makes things happen.  It connects you to other people. …it’s the world’s greatest secret.”  Jacobs talked about how once you make the choice to be optimistic, you enable “superpowers” like wisdom, creativity, compassion, and love.

I had this article bookmarked for a long time…finally got around to reading it today.  Good timing, I say.  I feel like it’s so easy to be negative, especially in this line of work.  Pessimism, cynicism…it’s all there.  Day after day after day…the negativity just builds up.  Anger and frustration are easy….but I realize how important it is to CHOOSE to be optimistic. Life is better when you look on the brighter side.  Something as simple as thinking “I get to” instead of “I have to.”

“Some days, you just have to create your own sunshine.”

-Lindsay

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