My Choice: Why I Hate the Word "Diet"

Hello all!

So this is going to be a tiny bit of a rant. If you don't like that then hide yo kids, hide yo wives, cover your ears, or just skeedaddle. 

I'm not going to go into the dictionary definition of anything, but I will talk about how I perceive the word "diet." In the last few months I have come to abhor the word diet. It is used as a dirty word in our society in regards to every day human interaction. It has a bad connotation and most other people cringe at the thought of what the words entails: counting calories, bland food, constant hunger, no fun...etc. This is the complete opposite of what I'm doing so I got a little pissed  frustrated when someone told me that what I was doing was a "diet."

I'm getting flustered just thinking about it. First off, let's get something straight, diets DON'T WORK. Diets ALWAYS FAIL. If what you are doing is a "diet," you are setting yourself up for failure. So, when someone says I'm on a diet or that all this change is my diet I perceive this as that person expecting me to fail/does not have faith in me to succeed. Do you see where this can get messy? I already am succeeding and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon, so right off the bat they are W-R-O-N-G.

"Diet" implies that what you are doing is something that differs from your normal way of life. Thus, at some point you will have to go back to your normal way of life and your "diet" will have failed. If you go on a diet and stop, you will gain the weight back. If you change your nutrition and lifestyle to lose weight, you will keep it off because there will be no stopping. You will maintain a healthy body AND mind which adds up to your healthy lifestyle.

What I'm doing is my new lifestyle. I'm NEVER going back to all those junky processed foods as the main source of my food intake. Yes, I will indulge every now and again. This choice doesn't mean I can't have any fun. It doesn't mean I can't go out with friends. It doesn't mean I have to "give up" anything except the things that were weighing on my body and health. In fact, this choice hasn't limited me at all. in fact, I feel more free with my nutrition and like I have been opened to many more delicious foods that my taste buds would have previously rejected. Sure I may not be eating this many meals a day or the same things everyday like I do now, but I will maintain a healthy and clean lifestyle.

I also got asked what the good is in clean eating because it seemed to this person that my working out was the only thing that was giving me results. There is no specific ONE thing that clean eating helps. Basically it helps your whole body help itself. Your body was made to process natural foods, not preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners. By eating clean, you allow your body to work more efficiently and give you the results you want and work so hard for.

I honestly can say that explaining all this is very hard and I don't think anyone will totally understand it until they go through the same process of changing. If you want something badly enough you will work for it. It could be as simple as changing your perspective. If you think that all this is just a diet, maybe seeing things from a different point of view will help (and make your friends like me, or anyone else who has seen progress through eating clean, happier).  

So, to wrap things up, THIS IS A LIFESTYLE CHOICE! Understand it, accept it, live it. You may not be able to do all of the things I just listed, but doing one can help a ton and make someone (or yourself) go from a 


to an un-grump. C: 

See? All about perspective. 

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend! :D

Bye for now!
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Foodie Friday: Cookout

Hello all!

It is time for another Foodie Friday to satisfy your taste buds! It is getting close to summer time and one thing I know I love are the cookouts I have with my family. Unfortunately, some of those cookout foods can be hiding something more sinister and can be quite tempting. So here are a few recipes to clean up your cookout and satisfy the whole family

Clementine & Spinach Salad:
This salad is soooooo good! I absolutely love it and it is an amazing side for those summer cookouts. It is fresh and satisfies both the sweet and salty cravings you may have. Here is what you will need:

2 lbs clementines, peeled and sectioned                                     2 TBS red wine vinegar
32 oz baby spinach                                                                  1/4 cup olive oil
4 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced                                          1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced or chopped                                  1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsalted walnuts                                                           1/8 tsp Stevia
1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries (optional)                          Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

§In a large bowl toss rinsed spinach, celery, onion walnuts, dried fruit, and half clementines. Spread remaining clementines across top of tossed salad.
§In smaller bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, Stevia, salt, and pepper. When ready to serve, pour whisked dressing over salad and serve immediately.

I don't have any pictures to show you guys, but I assure you this salad is amazingly satisfying and so pretty with all the different colors.

Cheeseburger Roll-Ups

For those of you who don't have a grill, too bad no problem! You can still have delicious cookout foods without the hassle. These babies are super good and super easy to make. Perfect for picky little ones and all those kids at heart. Here is what you will need:

2 lbs lean ground beef (I get mine from a local butcher fresh)
3/4 cups soft bread crumbs (I like to make my own bread and crumble it up)
1/2 cup red onion minced
2 eggs, beaten
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (Or use Mrs. Dash C:)
12 oz shredded white cheddar cheese*

§In a large bowl combine beef, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, and seasonings using clean hands (My favorite part. :D) When mixed thoroughly, pat out onto a large cookie sheet covered with wax paper roughly leaving a 3/4 inch border around the edges (Kind of like pressing out a pizza crust). 
§Sprinkle shredded cheese over the surface of the meat until desired coverage is achieved.
§Then, start at one end of the meat and start rolling the the short side in a jelly roll form towards the other short side.
§When the meat is all rolled up, bake the roll at 350 degrees for an hour (make sure the internal temp is appropriate. 160 degrees). Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
§Slice the meat to your desired burger thickness and serve on homemade bread or buns of your choice. Top with your favorite condiments (Remember to read the label or make your own C:)

I hope you guys enjoy these recipes. I will try to get some pictures up of each as soon as possible and will notify you when I do. Let me know what you think and what you would like to see next. 
You can find Megan's "Foodie Friday" entry at her website HERE.

Thank you so much for reading!

Bye for now!

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*Did you know that nowadays, most cheeses that are orange are dyed to that color? Cheddar especially. "Yellow" cheeses used to be naturally that color because of the enzymes found in the food that cows were eating. Such a grass. Now, it is often too expensive to just let cows graze on grass so they are fed supplement foods like corn. So, the cheeses that cows milk produces are very rarely naturally "yellow" when they are made and often cheddar cheese is the most common form of cheese that is made. So, when you see "natural" yellow cheddar cheeses in the store, take a closer look. The color may not be natural at all and it doesn't have to be labeled as a color. It is normally labeled as an "enzyme." Your best bet is to go with natural white cheeses.*


Monday Musings: Confessions

Hello all!

Well it is another Monday and I feel like I really need to get something off my chest. Last week was a terrible week for me when it comes to my fitness journey. To put it in perspective, I usually weigh myself at the beginning of each week just to get an idea of where I am (not as my measurement of progress) and this week I am afraid to.

This past week has been full of early mornings, late nights, working hours, bad news and skipped meals. Even when I tried to keep myself on track it just felt like I would fall off the cart as soon I got on. I worked out 3 times this past week when I normally workout 6 days a week. One night I only got 3 hours of sleep before I had to go to work and then followed that up with a 4 hour sleep night to go to work again. Working strange hours threw off my eating schedule. Working in an ER makes it hard to squeeze in those scheduled eating times. Don't get me wrong,I  absolutely love the fast pace of my job, but it doesn't always allow for me to follow through with all my healthy choices, even if I had everything planned out. One day I only ate two meals.....Yikes. The rest of the week was not much better.

Not to mention some bad news, some anxiety attacks (yes, I battle with these), crying, and attempted retail therapy (not always the best choice), and bad food choices. Can anyone say sweet tart gummies? (which did not help the sluggish-ness). I think I was chugging more coffee than water. *face palm* Every time something bad happened it would make me more discouraged and angry with myself just adding to my stress level and generally making me more exhausted. I felt so bad yesterday because I felt like I ruined everything I had worked for in one week.

Then I went to sleep...

This morning I woke up after 10 hours of rest and I felt great. I took a look at everything around me and realized that it was okay. I looked in the mirror, i still had the start of my bicep muscles, my butt was still more lifted and toned than when I started, my legs still looked more toned than when I started, I still looked taller, my face still had more definition, and (to top it off) the bags underneath my eyes were pretty much gone. I was smiling too.

What's the point? Everything was and is still good. I didn't ruin everything. This is a lifestyle, not a diet. I will have bad weeks and really bad weeks, but I will also have great weeks! Life throws some punches and I will have to roll with them so I can't give up on myself for trying to persevere through all that (even if I crash and burn). I want to be honest with everyone and tell you guys that I am human. I think at some point I started to believe I wasn't and this week was a way of showing me that I still was. It was a way of humbling me and letting me share that with other people. I make mistakes. Everyone will make mistakes, but you just have to learn from them and move forward.

I want to thank everyone for reading this and supporting me. Thank you for all your positive and comments because they make me feel like what I'm doing is really important. I hope it will continue to be important and I will continue to feel your love and support.

So thank you all!

bye for now!

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Mother's Day & Musings

Hello all!

It's Mother's Day! What can I say? Wow. Moms. They are amazing. Where would be without them? Literally: We would be non-existent. But, seriously, moms are the greatest!

I owe a lot to my mom. She is the strongest and most powerful woman I know and I couldn't fathom doing what she does all the time. I guess you could say she has been an inspiration to me in my fitness journey as well. 

My mom has always been one of those people who has done the "right thing" in life. She got married to my dad, she had my brother while going to school to be a nurse, got a lot of training and great jobs to help support her family (whether that meant being on call, working thirds, or just plain working her butt off), then she had me and the rest of my life is history. She and my dad have always tried to do what is best for my brother and me and, comparatively, we have had a pretty fortunate and good life.

Turns out biology doesn't really care if you have done the right thing. For the past two years I have watched her battle a crippling disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). For those of you who don't know, RA is an autoimmune disease (meaning the body attacks itself) that affects the joints and causes them to swell, hurt, and become immobile. This disease has cost her so much. She had to stop pursuing her passion of nursing, she has missed holidays because of stays in the hospital, she almost missed my brother's wedding, and countless other things that her RA has taken away from her. 

Normally, RA is treatable and maybe even curable with proper treatment and medication. My mom does not have this luxury. A doctor once told my mom that she was Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong). Basically her body has rejected most forms of modern medicine in relation to her condition. I won't go into her entire medical history, so take this as you will.

Though she has had some nasty habits, she has generally stayed active and led a healthy life. She even tried to let go of her bad habits to become even more healthy right before she found out what she had. So what is the point of telling you all this? Preparation. My mother wasn't. This was not her fault. We have not, to my knowledge, had any complications like this in our family tree. This is a one in a million case. This has made me see that I need to treat my body like a temple and be prepared for the future because you don't know what life is going to throw at you and you need to live life the way you believe to be the best for you. One day you may no longer have the chance.

 Though I made the decision to change my lifestyle on my own, she has been a major inspiration and has supported me unconditionally with my choice. She once said, "Leah you need to stop losing weight or otherwise I'm going to start feeling bad about myself" in a joking way pointing to her belly. I had never before seen someone find the strength to be humorous, supportive, and humbled all in one sentence. She is a fighter. 

This is just one aspect of my mom. I am in awe of her for so many other reasons and I hope some day I will be able to be half the woman, hard worker, and mother she has been. I love you mom. Thank you for absolutely everything.

Happy Mother's Day!

If you feel so inclined, I would love to hear about you and your mom. 

Are you fitness fiends together?


Or culinary artists?

Let me know with a comment below! C:

To wrap this all up, i want to say that Ia would like to start a new little series called "Monday Musings." This will just be a way for me to reflect on the past week and the week ahead and share with you guys my thoughts, opinions, feelings (related and unrelated to fitness) about whatever and also talk about a topic that   you choose. Hopefully this can be a nice way for everyone to chat and ask each other questions or share your own ideas. Let me know in the comments if you like this idea and what you think I should talk about?

Thank you all so much for reading!

Have a great Mother's Day!

buh bye!

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