Clean Sweep of the Week!- Crockpot Chicken

First things first- forgive me for no pictures! It was gone before I even thought to take any. 😦

Moving on…
So I have this dish I make pretty often for the boys which they absolutely love. Not only is it super fast (I put all this together in about 10 minutes while Gray ate breakfast) It is VERY versatile and can be done a couple different ways. I have modified it from the original with a few different twists depending on the taste profile I am looking for and this week I took it to the BBQ/sweetish side BUT you can easily go for more of the sweet/Chinese “bourbon chicken” way by OMITTING the BBQ sauce and using more sweet from either syrup or honey (if you are okay with the sugar) and using soy sauce.

Here is the link to the original recipe:

http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/crockpot-honey-bourbon-chicken/

Here are the Nutrition Facts:

dirtysesamechicken

Here is my revised version for the sweet BBQ, I served in burritos for Zach but you can also serve over cauliflower rice (which I did for Gray)!

1 lb. to 1.5lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast or lean center cut pork chops

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup of sugar free syrup

¼ cup coconut aminos

1 tbsp hot sauce

¼ cup redued sugar ketchup

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup diced onion

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Oat Flour

1 serving low sugar BBQ (I used Head Country Original)

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

 

 

Instructions:

1.Place the chicken or pork in the crockpot insert and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.

2.In a medium sized bowl, combine syrup, coconut aminos, ketchup, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the meat in the crockpot.

3.Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

4.When done, shred the meat and then combine some oat flour with the BBQ sauce and milk, stirring to combine. Let it sit for about 20 minutes to thicken and then whisk into the crockpot to thicken up the sauce a bit.

Continue cooking for another hour or until you are ready to eat!

5.Serve hot over a bed of cauliflower rice (optional) or in a burrito!

Here are the NEW nutrition facts (based on 1.5# of meat):

sesame chicken

This dish is always a huge hit and keeps well! Make it spicier with cayenne pepper and sweeter by adding more syrup and soy sauce if you like!

Here’s to Dinner!

Liz Jackson

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Clean Sweep Of The Week!-Buckeyes

We are on a roll with desserts!

This recipe submitted by a dear friend, Tanya, is for the traditional Buckeyes that often show up on our holiday tables and dessert plates.

….you guys are killing me…I am going to have to get back into dinner one of these days, lol!

Let’s check it out!

Here is the link to the original recipe:
http://www.food.com/recipe/buckeyes-488335
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Those look too darn perfect for my liking…

Buckeyes

  • 1 12 cups Smucker’s® Natural Creamy Peanut Butter or 1 12 cups Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter

Directions

  1. COMBINE peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on LOW until blended. Add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until blended. Beat in additional powdered sugar until mixture, when shaped into a ball, will stay on a toothpick. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate.
  2. PLACE chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Reheat as needed while coating peanut butter balls.
  3. INSERT toothpick in peanut butter ball. Dip 3/4 of ball into chocolate, leaving top uncovered to resemble a buckeye. Remove excess. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Remove toothpick. Smooth over holes. Refrigerate until firm.
  4. Variation:.
  5. SPICY BUCKEYES: ADD 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper with peanut butter mixture in step 1. Continue recipe as directed.

Servings: 40

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So here is what I did… and honestly mine don’t look quite like those (or as pretty…), BUT after several taste testers I have been assured that these are very yummy and I can attest-guilt free!

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  • 96g natural PB of choice
  • ¼ cup water plus ¼ cup water PLUS 1/8 cup water-divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered stevia
  • 5 scoops Nutrabio Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • 14g (1 serving) unsweetened chocolate
  • 14g (1 serving) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 scant tsp coconut oil, melted

Directions

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

COMBINE peanut butter, vanilla, and ¼ cup water in large bowl.. Add the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like a large crumbly dry mixture. Add the other ¼ cup water, mixing with your hands. Continue to add water SLOWLY WHILE YOU MIX -until the mix will Shape into 1-inch balls. You do not want the mix to be overly wet. (if that happens, don’t panic! Just add more protein powder-a little at a time)

Place on a wax paper lined sheet and refrigerate.

PLACE chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth (I only had to heat it once at 30 seconds and then again for 10 seconds)

Take the chocolate mix and pour over the balls, dividing the chocolate mix between the balls as equally as possible. I would place all the balls close together so you have little space between so you don’t “waste” the chocolate. I did not fully coat the balls but made sure that they all got around halfway covered.

Freeze until firm and then store in the fridge.

If you want to do the spicy variation go right ahead- cinnamon and cayenne won’t change the nutritional breakdown 😉

Servings: 40

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See? Guilt Free!

Here’s to stopping with just one!… Good Luck, ( I failed miserably).

Liz Jackson

My Top Health Tips While Traveling

One of the main excuses I hear when people are trying to explain themselves out of their negative lifestyle choices is “I travel too much to eat healthy or exercise” or “I am just too busy”.

The look that emits from my resting bitch face is not exactly… sympathetic.  It says something more along the lines of “give me a freakin’ break….” … and don’t even get me started on “busy”.

You know all those 7 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts you Pinned on Pinterest?? USE ONE.

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Listen, it’s simple. You either WANT to be healthy and active and you do what you need to do to make that happen OR you want to TALK about how you WANT to be healthy and active but you just don’t care enough to make the changes needed to get there. And you know what? Either way, is OK. I am not judging you for the choices you want to make for your life. …but don’t roll your eyes at mine either.

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I choose health. Is it inconvenient at times? …Depends what you consider inconvenient I guess. Do I annoy people sometimes, you better believe it.  BUT, I digress. I just don’t care. It isn’t their body, it is mine and they aren’t my mother. They don’t have my best interest at heart, but I do (and so does my Mother). My body or your body-it literally IS our temple. We only get one. It isn’t like a car, or a throw away piece of equipment you can trade in (or trade up…though wouldn’t that be nice?). You must take care of it like you want it to last a lifetime. Being fit and healthy doesn’t have to look like a long list of rules of things you can’t do, that is a fallacy that too many people fall for, but it does require some effort on your part.  But just like anything else in life, you just have to TRY. Simply TRYING will serve you surprisingly well.

First step to trying? Asking.  If you don’t know you should ask.

But on that same token be prepared to listen, learn and APPLY…. And I think I speak for most people in the fitness world, if you aren’t going to apply the advice (assuming it is SOUND advice that is…) that we are trying to give you would you PLEASE just tell us so we can save our breath? I personally am kind of tired of talking myself blue in the face only for the person that is asking me questions to take what I say and do the opposite…or nothing at all. I would rather you be honest and tell me you don’t want to listen! I’ve got other things I could be doing!

But for those that ARE interested….

I recently returned from a crazy busy non stop trip to the Europa Expo and IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Show in Dallas, TX. I decided this would be the perfect time to compile a list of the top things I do while traveling to stay fit, healthy and on plan.
The fact is, traveling or being busy isn’t a viable excuse anymore. Nearly every chain restaurant has somewhat jumped on the healthy..ier band wagon these days (thank God!) but pre planning and knowing how to go about your travels or navigate a busy day are critical components to a sound PLAN.

Pick one or pick them all, either way-rest assured that something is always better than nothing and excuses will get you nowhere.

  1. Have a plan.
    So simple it might seem stupid but this is big. When we go out of town I spend quite a bit of time researching and building a plan.  I pick the hotel based on 3 things: A workout room of some kind, a kitchenette in the room and free breakfast (don’t judge me).  If I have those three things I will pretty much be set. I know that I will be able to do at LEAST some fast workouts, I can find a grocery store and pack a fridge plus cook meals in a kitchenette and I can steal things off the breakfast bar to work into meals or snacks for me and the family.
  2. Be flexible.
    You ARE on vacation (usually). I suggest researching the location you will be at for close by restaurants and activities and be prepared to go a little off grid from your usual fare. What’s great is most places have menus online now and you can pre plan your choices even before hitting the door! But this also leads me to another point. Do NOT be afraid to ASK for specific things. I am very particular in how I order and I expect my requests to be honored to the best of the restaurants ability, I AM the customer and I am paying for the service. I want to be pleased and they should want to please me. I will warn you, be prepared to pay extra if you are asking for extra. Consider it a “fit tax”. It is always money well spent in my mind.
    I also must say, if you KNOW a place is going to be a “no-go” for any possible healthy fair (even a salad), then don’t go there.  Don’t put yourself in a situation to make a bad choice… unless you just want to make a bad choice and then give yourself some grace. While one good meal won’t make you fit, one bad meal won’t derail all your progress either. Especially if you time it around tip 3….
  3. Workout.
    Even if it is only 20 minutes! Most people will say “I only have 20 minutes, I don’t have enough time to do anything productive”. You need to say “I have 20 minutes! I can do X, Y,Z!” Get in and get it done, stay focused and feel good knowing that SOMETHING is ALWAYS better than nothing. Even if it is just walking (or go back to those HIIT workouts on Pinterest again!)!

    timetoworkout

  4. Know the fast food places you can get a decent meal.
    This might sound contradicting but if you know you will be on the road there are bound to be some fast food places in your future. Don’t panic and go back to point 1. Have “go-to” meals and “go-to” places. You can’t go 100 miles on any highway without running into a Subway in a gas station or a McDonalds or Ihop off the road. I have a set meal I get at all of these places. Are they perfect? No… but go back to point 2.

    ihip

  5. Get everyone on board.
    Nothing is more stressful than having a family that isn’t all on the same page. You and your family should have open communication about where you will be eating, activities you will be doing and things that will be ok and things that won’t.  Nothing hurts a vacation more than lack of communication about expectations.  If you want time to go to the gym every morning, you need to communicate that with your spouse or children or whoever it is traveling with you and don’t bend to their wishes. They want to do things and so do you. Remember it is OK to want time to do these things, they should respect that as you should respect their wishes to go and do things they want to (which hopefully is to get their time to go the gym 😉  )
  6. Pack a Sack.
    Last but not least, pack a grocery bag with healthy snacks for the road and things that you know will be hard to find in a bind at your destination. You can pack shelf stable Almond Milk, canned chicken/tuna and even protein powder in checked luggage at an airport (as long as you are flying domestic).  I personally cook up a couple pounds of chicken before we go anywhere and pack a cooler with that and frozen bags of microwavable veggie bags, the veggies work double time as a coolant and food for later. This way I always have a fall back and I never go hungry.

These tips aren’t hard, but they do require some effort. Once you do them a couple times you find that it is actually more convenient and you feel more prepared going into an unknown place. There is no better feeling that coming back from vacation or a trip to find that you have continued to lose weight or maintained your already reached goals!

Here are my go to meals at Subway, McDonalds and IHop (which is my personal favorite by the way)

  1. IHop- Fit Veggie Omelet, no fruit (no need for extra sugar)- Grilled dry with pam spray (just ASK for DRY grill), add chicken, extra spinach, NO cheese. Slice of dry wheat toast (in place of the fruit), 1 poached egg (yolk runny), sugar free syrup (ASK FOR IT, they have it!)
  2. McDonalds- Southwest Chicken Salad- no sauce on chicken (Just ASK for no sauce), no chips in salad, cheese on the side or none at all, Salsa for dressing (on the side)
  3. Subway- Veggie Salad with egg whites added (just ASK for them), spinach, green pepper, cucumbers, banana peppers, jalapeños, pickles, 2 tomato slices, pepper (lots of pepper), with mustard as the dressing. (you can add chicken if you like!). Ask for a lot of lettuce and spinach, do not be shy- the mark up on the salad is ridiculous anyway!

Another one of my favorite pack at home quick “go-to” on the road meals:
(everyone that watches me do this always comments how they had never thought about doing that, but it’s a great idea!)

1/4 cup dry oatmeal
1 packet stevia
Salt, to taste

I Mix that in a bag at home. Once on the road I grab a coffee cup at a gas station and use the hot coffee to cook the oatmeal in the cup (usually filled 1/2 to 3/4 of the way of the smallest size cup). Just stir the oatmeal in the cup and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Once the oatmeal as cooked and cooled just a little bit I stir in one scoop of Nutrabio Dutch Chocolate Protein Powder.
You have the perfect meal for hitting the road, caffeine and all!

To Your Successful Healthy Travel!

Liz Jackson
Team Nutrabio

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This One’s For YOU.

Since my last topic was about supplements for our kids I thought I would write to you the supplements I currently take in MY regimen (you really didn’t think I was only neurotic with Grays dailies, did you?). As parents we worry ourselves to death about the health of our kids and making sure they get what they need, often times at the high price of our own bodies, neglecting them in the process. One day we wake up and look in the mirror and wonder, “What in the HELL happened?” Over tired, overweight and mentally exhausted are just a few of the effects that having even just one child can have on you as a whole-not to mention all of the other responsibilities that come with being an adult. Especially if you are working a job outside of taking care of a home (which we all know is a full time job!). Oh and let’s not forget to mention extracurricular activities you might over commit to or your KIDS might over commit you too added on top of that mix.

I-cant-adult-today

Between our constant go go GO life in the fast lane and the FAST FOOD lane it is no wonder our health is eroding.  While I truly feel that proper diet, exercise, SLEEP and time for mental health are MOST important when it comes to being and KEEPING yourself healthy, I also believe in the power of supplements to help bridge the gaps in our nutrition and uncontrollable bumps in lifes ever winding road.

I am not going to discuss Pre and Post workout supplementation (at least not much) because I understand that not everyone is like me. This is more focused on the things that every person could implement into their daily routines with positive benefits.

The timing of your vitamins is important and I think it is important to not try to take everything all at once (and especially on an empty stomach), because your body can only absorb so much of each nutrient in a given time. Whatever your body can’t use or store (that is water soluble at least) will be excreted out in urine. So in order to not piss on all your efforts, let’s try to keep your pee from being worth more than Gold, shall we?

I am going to give you my daily vitamin/supplement routine and explain my reasoning behind that nutrient placement and my recommendations on a product to use if you wanted to start doing the same. I must emphasis I am NOT a doctor and I am speaking only from personal experience. Check with your M.D. if you feel compelled to do so.

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Immediately upon waking (literally-within 5 minutes)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice in 3 oz. warm water (drank through a straw- don’t want enamel erosion)
Post Lemon Juice
3 tsp diluted to 1tbsp with water-Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I use vitacost.com brand)-shot down like a shot (again, past the teeth)
-I find this particularly helpful if my throat is at all irritated and I will do it a couple times a day if a sore throat persists. Mid

Breakfast meal and also Pre Workout (I eat half my breakfast and then take these-I do this to avoid a queasy stomach)

2 Nutrabio Multi-Vitamin for Athletes, Women’s Formula (the multitasker!)

2 HMB (This is a Nutrabio product that helps maintain Lean Muscle Mass)

1 500mg Vitamin C (NutraBio)

1 30mg OptiZinc (NutraBio-I do this for an immune booster)

1 B-100 Complex (Nutrabio) -studies have shown that B vitamins help digestion of Carbohydrate Calories as well as supplying energy

1 Vitamin D3 (Nutrabio) -I usually only take this in the winter months when I don’t get as much sunshine

Mid Afternoon (taken with a snack)

2 Nutrabio Multi-Vitamin for Athletes, Women’s Formula

2 HMB (This is a Nutrabio product that helps maintain Lean Muscle Mass)

1 B-100 complex (Nutrabio)-sustained energy

I take the first two at breakfast as well and the rest of the recommended daily dose later in the day-my reasoning is that I want to spread out the vitamins and minerals throughout the day.

Before Bed

ZMA (a Zinc, Magnesium blend from Nutrabio that helps to promote recovery from training and works as a natural Sleep enhancer).

-I really feel like this helps me so much, I sleep like a zombie! I usually sleep 6-7 hours a night, which I realize isn’t enough and I am happy to have something that helps my body recover as quickly as possible from the day’s activities.

It might seem like a lot and maybe at first it feels like it, but I have found that the longer I have done this the more being part of my “daily morning ritual” it has become. Now as normal and routine as making my coffee or brushing my teeth.

Ready to dive into some of these? I highly recommend Nutrabio prducts to you-as the Company is a FDA and GMP inspected facility with complete label disclosure and product transparency (you know EXACTLY what you are getting) and I invite you to use my coupon code for 10% off and flat rate shipping!
http://www.nutrabio.com
Code: LJ2014 (just put it in at check out)

To YOUR Best Health,

Liz Jackson Team Nutrabio Athlete

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Confessions of an Activity Tracker

If you own an activity tracker raise your hand! If you own more than one, raise both hands (…hang on I can’t type now…).

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I guess with my personality I either go ALL or nothin’ because what started with a simple well intended gift from my husband has turned into quite the obsession!

Are you the same way (please tell me I am not alone!?!?)?

These trackers, depending on how “data crazy” you want to be, log everything from sleep patterns to stress levels and if you are one of those people that love to see progress in “real time” then this little TECH ticks that box quite effectively. But I sometimes wonder, Have I gone too far?

First thing I do in the morning after a quick peek into the “Daily Devotional Scripture” put out by YouVersion, is put on my trackers (yes, I meant for that to be plural). I hate to hardly even take a step without it being logged, (the reason for that will become apparent soon)… I might even walk an extra lap around my house if I have time in the morning hustle too, I mean, every step counts!

I now have a FitBit One and a Samsung GearFit and My most recent “game” of choice? Checking them against each other, of course! I laugh at how off they are during certain periods in the day! I wear the FitBit on my hip and the GearFit on my wrist. If I have been cooking a lot and stirring, the GearFit counts that as a step (works for me… I mean, I can really wear my arms out sometimes!) while my FitBit doesn’t record that.

But then other times I am walking around the grocery store with my arm stationary and GearFit doesn’t catch me walking but Fitbit does. It is always shocking though, at the end of the night they are never more than a couple hundred steps away from each other. My SECOND most recent “motivation game”? Making sure I hit my goals on both before moving to my “prize”.

I am not sure whether this should be considered extrinsic or intrinsic motivation because no one sees my trackers but me. I am not proving my steps to anyone, well-except Zach (and he honestly doesn’t care).

Either way it is motivation, and motivation is ALWAYS a good thing!
How motivating is what has surprised me though!

I mentioned my daily goals, let me explain how those came about. When I got my first tracker I was quite surprised (and then disgusted) that I wasn’t walking nearly as much as I thought I was! I was certain I was logging 5 miles a day at least, all at the speed of a “chicken with its head cut off”, and I think most people probably think they are more active than they actually are. When I got my first tracker I was only averaging around 7500 steps a day. Knowing that studies show the average person walks 10000 steps a day, I remember asking myself, “I GO from dawn till dusk, how is this possible?!?!” and I considered myself pretty active.
(where did they get those study numbers from anyway…..?!?!?!)

SO… I decided to start challenging myself to “Step Goals” throughout the day. For example:
Want a cup of coffee? Hit 1000 steps (might explain why my trackers go on STAT)
Ready to eat lunch? Hit 7000 steps (because you know I like to EAT)
Ready to hit the hay? Hit 10000 steps and don’t be sitting down until you do! (this goes for every day but one day weekly)

…Yes there have been some nights I have been brushing my teeth walking in a circle-don’t judge me.

My dear husband, who has spent some time laughing at me behind my back about this, has even started catching my little “fever” and he occasionally will log his steps. I always find it fun when we get into “step wars” or I catch him moving around a little too much at odd hours of the day until it hits me… he is trying to reach his step goal too! Then I laugh at HIM.

My line of thinking, at least we are laughing!

Am I too serious about it? Maybe. But does it really matter if I am having fun keeping myself off my butt (believe it or not I have so many lazy tendencies I am constantly battling) and my husband and I are having some fun times together with our “step wars”? I don’t really think it does and  I am ok being a little obsessed.

I mean, I can stop whenever I want. … I think.

Keep Calm and Track On!
Liz Jackson

Team Nutrabio Elite Athlete
Coupon Code LJ2014

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When You’re the “Different One”.

Nothing will make you question your parenting abilities quicker than when you realize your child is suffering or is hurt because of choices or decisions you have made for them. As parents, we have our children’s best interest at heart and it is truly one the hardest pills to swallow when you know you are the reason your child is unhappy. Knowing if you would just go with the masses your child wouldn’t be sitting in the corner crying….all over snack time at school.

Here is a little bit of history for you.
I have a 5 year old little boy, his name is Gray.
Gray is in Kindergarten.

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Say “Hi” to the cutest little boy, ever.

Gray’s first year of school last year was great. I seemed to have gotten into a group of “over-acheiver” parents like myself (but I really belong more in a  over commit-er and then frazzled parent group-but that’s a whole other post) and daily snack time was typically a nice cluster of grapes and crackers or cheese and water…at least usually. “Bad” snacks didn’t happen often and I was OK with the occasional indulgence.

…and then Kindergarten happened. We went from a nice small class of 14 to a class of 20 something and for some reason the snack stress level went through the roof! Then something happened I swore to myself I never would do, I crossed over. I crossed over into the completely overbearing, life controlling, crazy A type-personality mother and decided that I was going to have to become one of “those” parents. Who would have thought a simple snack could be so stressful and worrisome?? But I had finally come to my limit on hearing day after day from my 5 year old that snack today was, yet again, “gummies and cupcakes! or Fruit roll ups and juice boxes” and I was REALLY tired of the text messages or phone calls of my son acting “crazy” mid-afternoon or doing something completely out of character.

Now my son is 5 and is bound to do some crazy things but I also know that, given enough sugar in one setting my son will go off the deep end of crazy and start looking much like a Monkey on speed…or on a sugar high. So the time had come. I had SWORE to myself that I wouldn’t do it… I try to follow the 80/20 rule (80% of the time I feed him and that is whole, healthy and natural-while the OTHER 20% I just turn my head)… but it was happening. Decision made- My son was not allowed to have regular snack anymore. I would start sending him an alternate snack because I just don’t trust other people to care what is going in my son’s body as much as I do. I did draw some lines in the sand like if someone was having a birthday Gray could enjoy a cupcake, etc. I don’t want him to be left out of celebrations. But I just can’t expect people who don’t follow our lifestyle to quite understand what is going to be a good snack for a kid that doesn’t really eat fruit roll ups or drink juice boxes on a regular basis.

The alternate snack idea has actually went over really well for the most part up until this particular day, just this week actually….and “most part” is what brings me to the story:

I had just finished working with some clients when I remembered to text message my son’s teacher that I would be picking him up from school that day. The conversation that followed, while short, has had quite an effect on me. I started with feeling like pretty much the scum of the Earth as far as a parent goes, to feeling more determined than ever in a single afternoon. I have the evidence right before you:

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To envision my son crying in the closet over frosted covered animal crackers makes the Mother in ME want go cry in the closet and then run to his rescue, grab him up, wrap him up and then let him have as many animal crackers as he wants.

Then right in the middle of those thoughts, God sent a voice of reason to me in Gray’s teacher.

You can see right from the text messages my son has a handle on sugar amounts. I have taught him the difference between Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates and what makes those things up. I am proud to say I truly believe he knows more about food and nutrition than most 50 year olds. While some people will berate me with comments like “you are giving him a complex!” I argue back that I am merely giving him an EDUCATION on something that will serve him well throughout his whole life, because, obviously-no one else is going to do it. For those of you that just automatically assume the kid only gets to eat broccoli and chicken I will have you know he gets plenty of the “kid junk” we ALL loved so much. Pizza makes a weekly appearance in my house (granted I am at work…) and every Saturday we go out for a big breakfast to Gray’s choice of places and that usually consists of Braum’s biscuits and gravy with sausage and pancakes. We make cookies together, granted I don’t have regular sugar in my house but we do have honey available. My point is that the kid is not deprived of sweets and indulgences, but they are regulated and thought out.

While this particular day I felt pretty terrible about his situation I came away from it more resolved with the fact that it is OK to be different. It is OK to NOT follow the Masses (lets remove the m and we can all laugh) and most importantly my son WILL be OK.
Just like I am the keeper of my body, until he is older, I am the keeper of his. And his body is even more important than my own. You better believe I will protect him and it the best I can. If that means that I’ll be sending alternate snacks to school for the foreseeable future, then so be it. If that means people will judge me as a parent, so be it. And if that means my son will grow up with a respect for food and a gauge for other not so healthy temptations that WILL come his way, then absolutely, SO BE IT!

One other thing that I find really neat about this situation is that every once in a while I get a text message from Gray’s teacher, curious as to his snack that day, “what did you send today? Where do you get that? I tried one and it was tasty!” I just smile and point in the right direction. Yup, shocking, it’s healthy and it tastes good too! So if I can even have a positive affect on others while I am at it, then SO BE IT AND SO BE IT!

I am not telling others the way they should go, to each their own for sure. But my way will be the “different” way and that is OK with me!

To Our Kids’s Health!

Liz Jackson
Nutrabio Elite Athlete
Coupon Code LJ2014

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The M.E.D.

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001The MED and How to Effectively Use It
We all know the popular children’s book, The Tortoise and the Hare. While we also know who wins at the end of the story, at first, it seems the hare will be the logical easy winner. You might be wondering why I am talking about a children’s book in a fitness article, but let’s look into the story a bit more.  The Hare, springing out the gate with ferocious speed and then later losing the race due to lack of focus, allows the tortoise to win on shear “one foot in front of the other” constant determination. The “slow and steady wins the race” pace.
This time of year there is an influx of new faces at pretty much every gym across the country. Dinner Plates are filled with mounds of dry, unseasoned chicken and uncooked raw broccoli with promises made to not bring a single piece of junk food home or do a single swing through any drive thru. There is a mindset in the air of “Enough is ENOUGH” Determination for a successful new year’s resolution… AGAIN. This picture is all too common and, unfortunately, no more realistic than it was last year… and the year before that.

Time and  time again, treating the new year as if it were a starting shot at a race gate, millions of us sprint through the starting line up only to fizz out of: steam, breath, motivation and drive by lap 2.

Did you know the very definition of madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result? Why do what you have always done to achieve what you have always achieved. …err, or NOT achieved?

I want to talk to you about a strategy that isn’t new (I wish I were so revolutionary), but I believe is often overlooked-especially by the beginner or novice trainee.

We are going to call it the MED, or Minimum Effective Dose. Again, the phrase isn’t new and I didn’t coin it, but I am going to polish it off and give it a little awakening here.

The MED is very simple and a easy definition of it would be: doing the minimal amount of work to effectively facilitate a positive change in your current state of body, (this could go for your mind as well). Most of us tend to think we should jump into 4 spinning classes, 3 hot yoga’s and 3 metabolic boosting weight circuit workouts right out the gate of a new training regimen; coupling that with a 500 calorie a day restrictive diet of oatmeal, broccoli and chicken. This couldn’t be further from the truth… and let’s all face it, we ALL KNOW we won’t make it at that pace.
….Could there be another way?

Introducing the MED. Let’s try something NEW this year. Instead of spinning, yoga and weight training, why don’t you pick ONE activity that you think you are most likely to STICK to? Something you ENJOY (gasp… enjoy working out? Isn’t it supposed to be torturous?)  Couple that ONE activity to ONE healthier option meal in a day, to START. That could mean something as simple as getting up an extra 10 minutes early and eating a balanced breakfast versus driving through a McDonalds Drive thru. Stick to that for a REALISITIC amount of time (maybe a few weeks).  I am willing to bet you will start FEELING BETTER, LOOKING better and find yourself ready to tackle yet another addition to get you closer to your goal in your day. This is when you might try getting out of your box by adding one other type of activity to your week. An example could be something as simple as adding in a nightly walk after your dinner. Once that is in the bag, try then trading out one other not so healthy thing on your plate for something that is. Do you enjoy pop every afternoon? We all know that all that sugar wrecks havoc on your entire body system. Try switching it out for mint water a few days a week. Once that is mastered, go for every afternoon.

If you fall off the wagon and miss a class, drink a coke or hit a drive thru; the last thing to do is a hit the panic button and go off the deep end into a self-destructive depression filled with chocolate cake. Admit your mistake, to yourself and someone else if needed and MOVE ON. I know there have been many times I have decided to eat something that wasn’t the best choice, when the guilt hit me I always just remembered that my next opportunity to do it right, I WOULD do it and I would get right back on track. One bad meal won’t make you lose all your progress, taking an entire day or week, however… that is a different story.  The longer you allow yourself to get away from your new found habits the harder it will be to return to them. Acting quickly and decisively is a must!

Don’t misinterpret my advice. Being excited and eager to get going and have a strong start to your fitness and health goals is great. What we are trying to avoid is potential burn out and fat loss/body re-composition plateaus . If you start going from zero hours of activity a week to 20 hours a week, manage to lose 5 pounds and then stall, where will you have to go from that point? Add in even more hours in the gym, restrict your diet even further? Or will you get frustrated and just  give up because it is just too much?  If we are honest with ourselves, which one is more likely to happen?
I train regularly, 5 days a week most weeks and I still only log, roughly, 10-12 hours WEEKLY working out.

It is more realistic and more obtainable to focus from going from zero hours a week to maybe 3 hours a week and then adding from there, The MED. I want nothing more than your ultimate success, and I know every one of you does as well!
Take a breath, map out a REALSTIC and goal oriented approach. WRITE OUT A PLAN, and GO FOR IT!

Happy Training!

Liz Jackson
Team Nutrabio Elite Athlete
Coupon Code- LJ2014