New Year. Fresh Start. Here we go…

I have such a hard time with the whole concept of New Year New Me and the temporary resolutions that are not often seen all the way through. I am trying to be better at setting goals and achieving them but it is really hard. 
 While abroad I returned home to find out I lost 10 pounds which was a huge feat for me as a T1D and also someone who has always had a hard time losing weight. The results of my hard work and healthy diet had indeed paid off and I felt really good about this accomplishment. Now as I am starting my year off back in the states life is getting crazy busy and I am trying hard to stay focused.

 School has begun again and I feel like I am always scrambling to get homework assignments completed, hit the gym, eat health, work, study, see my friends, and enjoy my senior year. I am struggling with the conflicting lifestyle of a college student and the fitness/healthy lifestyle I crave and my mind and body needs. Drinking and staying out late are not exactly part of reaching my goals, but then again it is my last time in college and I want to enjoy it with all the wonderful people around me. It is a bit of a constant battle waging in my mind of whether to be fun and impulsive or controlled and intentional. I have always been the girl who is down for anything, I am impulsive and spontaneous and I kind of like it. But as you can guess, this doesn’t really work for someone with health and fitness goals. I also feel like I cannot put off this passion any longer and need to commit wholeheartedly.
2016 Goals:

•Run a 1/2 Marathon (April- SF Rock ‘n’ Roll)

•Practice Self Control

•Stay Focused

•Live Intentionally

•Establish a stronger relationship with God

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My Supplement Stack

There are always a lot of questions about supplements and what stack is best for you. I have tried a few and did not feel like I was getting the results or what my body needed to see successful results. So instead of paying hundreds of dollars I spent around $100 total on all of my supplements that I am currently using. I created my own DIY Supplement Stack based on brands I like and what supplements have been useful to me individually. So here is what I am currently supplementing with:

•Dymatize Iso-100 Hydrolyzed Protein PowderCookies and Cream

•RainbowLight Women’s One Multivitamin

•NLA Her Carnitine (L-Carnitine)

•bpi BCAA’s Cherry Lime

•bio Lean (CLA)
I ordered the protein powder, multi, BCAAs, and L-Carnitine from BodyBuilding.com. This was a hugely positive, easy transaction and I recommend anyone looking for great prices and amazing products to try this online business. My personal opinion on the L -Carnitine is that the liquid is much more effective and once I finish the NLA product I will most likely return to the liquid L-Carnitine. I also sometimes struggle to take the L-Carnitine 30 minutes prior to my workout and feel I can get away with being late when using the liquid form of L-Carnitine. Obviously because it is a liquid it is absorbed faster which I think I prefer right now. I also picked up the CLA and some new bars at my local health/nutrition/fitness shop called Active Nutrition. I also love this place and the people working there, they have great prices and all the products I love. I will say that the employee recommended this brand and I have never tried it before, but so far I prefer Dymatize CLA.

 Okay so I have to be honest and I think I overdid it with introducing so many supplements too quickly. I was able to follow a regime pretty strictly for only 3 or 4 days before feeling absolutely horrible. First off, I do not digest whey very well and therefore just recently added a lactase enzyme into my mix. My intention with the Hydrolyzed whey would be a better fit, but still my sensitivity makes it hard to digest. My stomach was super upset for about 7 days and I struggled with digestion, bloating, and going to the bathroom on a regular basis. I was having serious abdominal pain and it got to the point where I could not work out and was on the verge of going to the hospital. So for 5 days I stopped taking everything except whole foods and fiber-rich over the counter medicine. I am slowly starting to add these back in, starting with only adding one supplement a week. I am still trying to work through these digestive issues but it has always been something I struggle with. I want to also clarify that I am not an expert or have any certifications to recommend using any of these products, I am simply showing you my personal photos and sharing my personal opinion for what has been helping me and working for me. Everyone is different and everyone’s bodies and goals differentiate on an individual basis, therefore what works for me may not work for you.  

Side note: Body Building also sent me free samples of some bpi protein powder and pre-workout. I liked the products a lot and have loved the BCAA’s!
     

  

Bunny Love

I want to give a little shout out to two awesome people that have inspired and motivated me in the fitness industry. Heidi Somers and Jen Heward are kind of rockstar humans who keep it 100 all the time. Their fitness accounts go by the names of Buff Bunny (Heidi) and Hunny Buns Fit (Jen). Not only do they kick ass in the gym, but they have great tips/advice that they include in their vlogs. I think the pair in particular stands out to me because they are two powerful women made in their own unique way, and they pointed this out in one of the vlogs they did together. Heidi is this little petite firecracker and Jen is a little taller and built with wider hips and shoulders. Both of them are insane gym junkies and when they get together it is an absolute party vlog of fitness, fun, and knowledge. Both of these fitness athletes have so much wisdom, knowledge, and experience to offer and all you have to do is watch their awesome videos. It’s like free coaching but better. I think it is so very important to give credit where it’s due, so this is just a little love I wanted to send out simply because I appreciate the work these to put in for their subscribers and their contagious love of fitness.

Oh and did I forget to mention they are both beautiful girls, inside and out!


(^*Not my photo, just a screen shot of one of the many amazing vlogs!)

Check them out, seriously you will not regret it. They are on YouTube, Instagram, and many other popular social media platforms.

Heidi’s Vlog
Jen’s Vlog

Traveling Do’s & Don’ts

Here are a few tales about the ups and downs of my traveling experiences over the past 4 months while abroad in Spain.
Dublin, Ireland

The morning of I woke up around 6am because I went to bed early and naturally my body was awake and ready for the day to begin. So I woke up went to the kitchen to check emails and make sure I was ready to go and then became enticed by a new blog post on a blog I follow. I made breakfast and continued to take my time because I did not leave up 9am from Granada. I had ordered a BlaBlaCar (the equivalent of US’s “rideshare”) and did not think to check that until 8am the morning of. Mind you I ordered one with a 61 year old grandpy whom I am sure does not know how to effectively use the BlaBla website. Why wait until 8am you may be asking? Quite frankly- sometimes I am really terrible at following through. I submitted my reservation but when I checked it, he had not accepted and we had spoken earlier in the week. So without hesitation panic starts to set in, and I am scrambling to write him, make other reservations, etc. in order to make my flight to Ireland. I rush into my room and awake my sleeping roommate to borrow her Spanish phone to see if I can call him. When I get back to my iPad I am pleasantly surprised. 15 minutes had passed and he finally responds telling me he will meet me where we decided on earlier that week. Well I informed him that he needed to accept my reservation so that I would receive a code for him that would process my payment. Thankfully he accepts and we decide to meet 15 minutes ahead of schedule, so actually like 5-10 minutes earlier (Spanish time…still gets me). I gather my things and rush to the gas station which is our point of meeting. Sure enough I am there “early” and he arrives on Spain time. This station is a very popular pick-up place for BlaBla and I see a few older candidates whom none of are Miguel. Then an old Mercedes rumbles down the road and onto the sidewalk, I am praying this is not my driver after seeing a brief clip of his driving style. Without fail, Miguel gets out of the car and calls me over to hop in. We pack my luggage in and I head to the front seat. Side note, I am the only BlaBla passenger (and only passenger in general) because he failed to accept and get back to others. He is super friendly and begins introducing himself and then decides to inform me it was in fact his first BlaBla experience. I KNEW IT. This turned out to be a safe and quick ride to the airport and relatively seemless. Miguel was a nice older man who’s humor and kind demeanor worked out to my advantage. Nonetheless, maybe pick a BlaBla driver with reviews to avoid the morning of heart attack or figure it out before 8am the day of your departure. Learn from my mistakes, but I must say I lucked out. Thanks be to the Big Man up top!

Zurich, Switzerland

I ordered a BlaBla car with Manuel, a guy who goes to the Malaga airport multiple times a week and also very early (5am departure from Granada). I would call myself a regular customer and therefore we consistently have met at the Hipercor meeting spot in Granada. On my way …4:45am I realize I did not confirm the meeting spot. Thankful for the nocturnal Spanish and find a guy walking down the street I am on. He seems approachable and I ask in somewhat of a panic if I can borrow his phone. Then I realize he is extremely good looking and I look like a crazy, half-asleep American. He kind;y obliges to my request at this ridiculous hour and I am able to confirm with Manuel that we are in fact meeting at Hipercor. Thank Jesus! I tell the kind hottie thank you and speed off in the direction of Hipercor. I arrive and am praying that God will allow him to come pick me up and some miscommunication did not happen over the phone with my sub-par spanish and his quick, blended speaking. As I wait for 15 minutes I begin to lose hope and sure enough 5 minutes later Manuel and his little beat up car round the turn and head in my direction. I hop in and head to Malaga. Yet another successful BlaBla ride that could have ended in an absolute mess. God is so so good to me, he is always looking out for me.

Florence, Italy

My roommate and I headed to Florence together and made it to Malaga (AGP airport) and our flight without a problem. We landed and grabbed bus tickets to catch our train from Rome to Florence. We just missed the first bus and wait 30 minutes for the next one. We did not ask anyone the length of the bus ride and only when we were 45 minutes into the ride and cutting it close to our train departure time did we realize we were in fact going to miss our train. So we sit back and accept the reality of this first mishap. We make it to the train station with 2 minutes until departure and sure enough miss our train by seconds. We buy other tickets and cut a line of approximately 100 people to run down the platform and barely make it to the second train! We finally arrive in Florence and spend 4 lovely days in the magical city. On the way back we hop on the first train we see that says Florence to Roma, when the ticket man comes to check our tickets he informs us we got on the wrong train. After some “language-barrier” confusion he tells us the train we got on is the slow train and takes 4 hours and that our tickets were for the bullet train which only takes an hour. We both begin to freak out a bit, and ask him what our options are. He says to stay on the train because there is no way for us to get to Rome faster. Again we are sitting back and taking in the fact that we are going to miss our flight. This one stings a bit, but we find a flight and bite the bullet. When we finally arrive to the train station we hop on the train to the airport. We meet this super nice British guy, Ben; who helps us navigate the railway as he is on his way to pick his mom up from the airport. When we arrive we head to check in for yet another surprise. My roommate made the reservation for 2 seats under 1 name and they “could not change the reservation because it was against their policy”. BS! *Cough cough* So now we have a real problem, luckily the wifi in the airport is spot on and we can use the internet. We try for about an hour to figure it out and see if anything can be done, but no. So I tell me roommate to proceed to the flight so we don’t spend/waste any more money. We depart one another and sadness sinks in. I have to find another flight, ASAP. I try to buy one for her flight but the clerk asks for 416 EUROS, I literally just walk away at that point. We lost all day, and now I continue to lose on my own. I have not cried in I don’t know how long, many many months if not a year and when I sit down to FaceTime my sister to vent my frustration it comes out in tears. I was just so mad at the world for all the things that had gone wrong and of course couldn’t just go my way, she was a gem and boosted my spirits. I signed off and made reservations for a flight the following evening at 6 pm. Super thankful we planned to return a day early and had a holiday from school tomorrow. I prepare for another night in the airport and get ready for bed. I have become somewhat of a pro at sleeping in weird places, the airport being the most used. I find a little crevice between two walls and tuck my things away and prepare a bed from my clothes and use my beanie to cover my eyes and rest into the morning. Can you even call it rest? My body is beat up! The following morning I wake at 9 and get ready in the airport bathroom for the day. I camp out at a cafe with amazing cappuccinos and charging outlets. I book my return BlaBla and finally get home to Granada at 12am. Florence was probably my favorite trip, and yet the travel aspect was by far the worst.

Hope you at least got a laugh out of my crazy travel experiences. If you are more curious about my abroad experience or traveling in general just post a comment or email me! I am more than happy to share my do’s/don’ts, favorite places, transportation experiences, accommodation experiences, and more. Much love!

Constantly Amazed

You guys… our bodies are so so soo impressive. Today I was feeling super sore from a gnarly leg workout yesterday and was feeling a tad unmotivated. I promised myself I would do cardio and run my legs out of their soreness. Not sure if that was a brilliant idea, but I am so glad I challenged myself. I went to the gym dreading the treadmill start to my workout. I set up my preferences and got my feet moving. 25 minutes into my 40 minute workout and I was feeling surprisingly strong and able. When I hit 36 minutes I began to have pain in my right knee and decided to stop at 40 minutes instead of my original hope of 45 minutes. Listening to my body was important, especially since I have struggled with knee issues/surgeries in the past. Still 40 minutes felt pretty darn good and my endorphin rush was fueling a high that I could not ignore. 

Sopping wet in sweat I went to the locker room to grab my other shirt and head to the weights. *Yes I bring two shirts, you don’t understand how much I sweat. And I am also a little OCD about gym germs so I like wearing long sleeves when I am using machines, mats, or free weights.* Anyways, I began to do my Chest/Shoulder/Back workout because I couldn’t fathom the idea of another leg day. I focused primarily on back and shoulders with a few chest exercises to break up the burn. I like mixing it up and shocking my muscles to prevent plateauing. I guess the reason for this post is to encourage you all to surprise yourself. Challenge yourself and your body will work for you if you don’t let your mindset fool you. Mental toughness is key to consistency and success in the gym, get comfortable with uncomfortable and you will impress yourself.

Short and sweet, just thought I’d share a little happy on this Wednesday!

Getting off track…

Well this is an ironic title following my previous post, but I pride myself on honesty so here I go.

I spent a wonderful week traveling around Switzerland with my family and everything I had been doing (health-wise) was completely dropped. Other than snowboarding, walking, and one HiiT hotel room workout I consumed way more calories than I was burning. Yes this was 100% in my control, but I was on vacation and really wanted to relax and enjoy. The reason I am writing about this is because the moment I began eating poorly I did not want to check my blood sugar or follow my regimen as tightly. I did just that and my numbers were high all week. Quite frankly, I just feel super crappy plain and simple. I feel bloated and heavy, and because of that I don’t feel like working out. When you don’t feel good because of the food you’ve been eating it is really hard to get back into the swing of things. I felt sick multiple times during the trip because of the change in diet and lack of working out. I also completely stopped taking the supplements I was taking routinely and everything is out of whack. Moral of the story, it’s not worth it to indulge every day while on vacation. Pick a day or a meal and then try your best to stay on track. I had to learn this one the hard way and it has left me with a stomach ache and sluggish energy level. That is all I have to say about that for now, below is my indulgence vacation meals. SMH. I need to be better.

Tracking like a pro

As most diabetics know and can relate to, tracking is life. In order to maintain stable/controlled blood sugar you have to prick, prod, test, administer shots, carb count, plug numbers, etc. Dang we do a lot of math! We track pretty closely the carb content of our daily intake. Side-note: since my diagnosis I have become 100% more aware of what I put in my body. I thought it was a tad excessive at the beginning, and then after a few months I got used to it. I think this concept stands true for a lot of changes and habits, in order to develop a habit and make a change you have to be consistent and give it time. I know for me, I always start so strong and then 3/4 weeks in I begin to lose steam. Not this time. This is a lifestyle choice, therefore the only option is to work at it every single day. Knowing I cannot expect perfection, but recognizing that I can strive for better. I think the biggest game changer will be continuing to learn about nutrition and fitness and applying it to my life. Seems like the “Trial and Error” of my life, although at this point it can’t hurt to try.

I am for the first time in my fitness life admitting publicly that I do not know enough and therefore could use some help. I struggle with pride and vulnerability and for these reasons I have postponed creating this blog for quite some time. Anyways, I’ll keep you posted about this aspect, it’s currently in the works. I know that if I am held accountable by a third party I can learn more faster and see results quicker too.

To diet or not to diet? For my own personal mental health I will say that counting macros is not dieting, it is be aware about what you are putting in your body while enjoying normal foods. Clean eating is about fueling your body with the right nutrition to feel better, because let’s be honest you put good in and your body does work better. Yes you can eat like crap and get through your days sufficiently, but I refuse to settle for sufficient. I want a body that performs efficiently and effectively because if I feel good I am overall a happier person. I like being happy, I really do. So I am going to tidy up my diet, track my macros, take supplements, meal prep, and continue to put work in at the gym.

For IIFYM (if it fits your macros) flexible dieting you can still eat normal foods, so long as they fit your macros. Macros refers to Macronutrients including Carbs, Fats, and Protein. Micronutrients are important too such as fiber, calcium, etc. I have been using MyFitnessPal… and let me tell you this makes it SO much easier; it also helps you get an even better idea of carb counting. So whether or not you are tracking all of your food or just carbs from a diabetic standpoint I think this app is AWESOME.

To top off my tracking I am also working on keeping a daily journal of my food, BG numbers, and insulin dosages in an organized fashion. I just start with my morning (breakfast), afternoon (lunch), evening (dinner), and any snacks/weird high or low numbers. This is something really new, I began doing it when I added in CLA and L-Carnitine. The reason being because I wanted to be able to chat with my doctor about the supplements, remember the different effects, and practice keeping a food diary. I am hoping to post this information into a document in reference to the supplements so that fellow T1’s can check it out and have a heads up. This would be much later down the road once I’ve been taking them long enough to have representative insight on good and bad side effects I encountered during different trial periods with different supplements.

That is all for now, see ya later alligators!

 

Where to begin?

Yeah who even knows? I am no professional writer or blogger for that matter so starting is going to be a bit… weird(?).

Okay here I go.

About 2 weeks ago I had this epiphany that I could make a difference. I wanted to impact people around me through simple, yet useful information. So here I am writing my first post.

I began reading, researching, and watching videos about supplements, meal prep, dieting, sports nutrition, fitness, health, diabetes, etc. Frankly it just lit a fire within me. I couldn’t get enough of this info and found myself spending hours trying to learn more. Then I was thinking ‘okay it’s time to really do this’. No time like now to commit and figure things out.

First step was making a personal committment/goal to introduce supplements into my diet and make a conscious effort to practice self-control.

  • Goal 1: Introduce supplements

I began taking CLA and L-Carnitine on a daily basis which I thoroughly researched and decided they might be good supplements to try. *Disclaimer: I am in Spain studying abroad and therefore did not want to drop $300 dollars on supplements while abroad so I picked up two from a local gym/supplement store. Had I been in the U.S. I would have made an online purchase through bodybuilding.com , Vitamin Shoppe, or gone in person to Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, or Active Nutrition.

  • Goal 2: Practice Self-Control

I filled my organizer with motivational reminders and make a conscious, daily effort to control myself when it comes to diet. Still needs work, but I am trying.

I will admit that I was going to hold off starting this all until after abroad finished, but I couldn’t resist or waste a moment more. I am hoping that January (when I return to school after the holidays) that my schedule and routine will become more set and successful. I will have the ability to control all aspects of my life when I am back at school.

That is all for now, short and sweet. Post #1 *check*!