My Carb Nite Solution Update!

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Wow this update is amazingly overdue! I’ll admit I was busy watching The Good Wife and enjoying the rest of my summer. We were on Galiano Island this past weekend for a beautiful wedding. It was so nice to visit with long time friends of mine and spend some time with their little minions 🙂

So I am 7 weeks into the Carb Nite Solution diet. If you didn’t read my original post on what this diet entails here’s the link:

https://sisteractfitness.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/another-narly-solution-to-my-battle-with-fat/

So in 7 weeks I am down 1.5 inches in my waist (yes Im sadistic and measure my lower belly), down 1.5 inches (carrying on with the sadistic theme I measure the chubby part of my hips) and down an inch in my butt. These aren’t massive results and most of them were made during the first 10 day “reorientation” but I’ve had a couple set backs.

As for weight (which I must specify this is not a weight loss diet but a FAT loss diet so they stress to not judge your progress by the scale but come on who doesn’t like to see that stupid number go down) I am down 6 pounds. So I guess on average that’s almost a pound a week. 

As for body fat percentage I have no clue, my scale (a ghetto walmart purchase) says I’m down a half percent but who ever trusted a ghetto scale?

Now considering I’ve previously done the HCG diet where I lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks the idea of 6 pounds in 6 weeks feels slow, however, compared to the HCG diet (500 calories a day, no carbs, no fat) I must say – I friggin love this diet! I’m advised to eat steak whenever I want – who wouldn’t love that! I eat meat and butter and veggies (around 1700-1900 calories/day) and once a week I get to have a nice night out where I have consumed such things as gummy bears, sweet potatoes, fruit, gluten free pizza, gluten free pasta, sushi, chips, poutine, cheesecake and my personal favourite from The Vault restaurant in Cloverdale (http://vaultrestaurant.com/) peanut butter pie! The BF also loves me on this diet as we have our yummy date nights back 🙂

When I started the diet I was spacing my carb nites out once per week, unfortunately the last 3 weeks when I weigh myself the morning of my carb nite (only weigh once a week) I have not lost anything from the week prior – again the scale is a game, a mental one at that, just cause the number is the same doesn’t mean my body isn’t changing, however, I’m going to shoot for atleast 10 days between carb nites from here on in.

A couple of downfalls to the diet, atleast for me and yes I am perfectly capable of correcting them – the first month I went ape sh*t on cheese. As most of our avid followers know Mel + Cheese = Sinus Cold Death and sure enough two weeks ago (the day before I started my new job to be exact) I came down with a brutal headcold, I must say one of the worst colds I have had in years – my head felt like it was going to explode, my nose wouldn’t stop running and I was coughing up inhumane junk. Needless to say it was a great first impression for my coworkers. Soooooooo I cut back hard on the dairy as soon as I got sick and luckily I was only dying for a week. I’ll admit I’ve dabbled a bit in the cheese world since I’ve recovered but that will end Saturday morning (we are taking jalapeno poppers to a party tomorrow night – don’t judge). The problem with eating high fat, low carb is its hard to get in all your daily calories with just protein alone, without dairy my fats are limited to coconut and olive oil, however, I don’t seem to have an issue with butter and yes I may have melted butter on my steak the other night – nananana boo boo. My other complaint would be the lack of options when it comes to vegetables due to trying to keep your carb count under 30g per day (it is 30g after fibre has been subtracted though so you don’t have to go without) but I do miss the quantity of vegetables I used to eat. This week I’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies 🙂

So I slipped a bit – now before you roll your eyes know that I went a whopping 6 weeks without falling off the wagon on this diet, ask my sister this is no small feat considering I rarely make it past the 3 week point on any commitment of this magnitude – I kept my carbs to one night per week even though the days after carb nite I’m effing starving!!!!!!!! BUT I’m human and I’m hungry and this past weekend at the aforementioned wedding I ate like a fat kid who broke out of diet camp, and I loved every minute of it! I drank two bottles of wine (later deemed grape juice since I didn’t feel drunk but once you see the food I consumed you will understand the wine didn’t stand a chance), ate a big bag of popcorn, ate a ton of salads, pork, and salmon. I went to town on the candy buffet table set up at the wedding and polished the night off with two cupcakes (mini ones, carrot cake and cookies n cream, they were amazing) and incase that didn’t seem like enough I slightly recall eating two smokies at around midnight. I went to bed with a belly resembling a 6 month pregnant women and I was beyond content. The next day I was back on the low carb train immediately, however, despite my best efforts and keeping that whole day low carb/high fat I begged the BF to take me for a dairy queen blizzard before I hopped back on the diet train.

So where I am now, this morning (2 and a half days after my hard fall off the wagon) i’m only up a pound from my pre-wedding weight – psssshhhhh, one measly pound, I got this! The final traces of bloat are gone and my work outs are back on track – needless to say I’m recovering nicely and look forward to the next couple months of this intriguing solution to my battle with fat 🙂

Xoxo

Mel

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Summer Recipe- Shrimp and Zucchini pasta

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Hey everyone! Here is my first summer recipe and I hope you enjoy it. I find that the key to an amazing summer recipe is to use fresh ingredients that are filling but are still light and healthy.

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Ingredients needed:
Zucchini- I used three which made 3 portions
Fresh dill (1/4 cup chopped finely )
Fresh basil (chop finely, approx. 4-5 leaves)
Shrimp (I used fresh hand peeled, 2 packages)
Red onion (dice half)
1/2 quart of cherry or grape tomatoes (leave whole)
1 lemon quartered
7 mushrooms sliced
3 gloves garlic minced
Olive oil
salt and pepper
Saffron (optional but my Mom brought some back from Turkey for me)
Chilli flakes (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small casserole dish combine shrimp, lemon, diced onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, basil and dill. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil overtop. Add saffron, salt and pepper.
3. Place casserole in oven for approx. 20-25 minutes depending on oven. Stir halfway through so everything is equally covered with lemon, oil, and spices.
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3. Slice zucchini into small strips. Ideally this recipe can be done with a mandolin or requires some patience. Try to make the zucchini into even slices.

Here are some more great tips in making zucchini noodles:
http://fooducopia.com/blog/2013/03/how-to-make-zucchini-noodles/

4. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
5. Once water has reached a boil add zucchini and blanche for 1 minute.
6. Drain the noodles in a colander.
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7. In a frying pan add some olive oil. Cook the zucchini for 2 minutes. This step can be omitted depending on how you desire the texture of your zucchini.
8. Remove casserole dish- a good indicator of when it is cooked is when the tomatoes are ready to burst. Mix with the zucchini noodles.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added some chilli flakes for a little bit of heat.

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The last step is to find someone awesome to share it with and take it to a great spot. My Mom and I headed down to the beach and enjoyed it by the ocean. Oh and my Mom said that it tastes good and she isn’t biased… so try it out! Let us know what you think! yum\

What is your favourite healthy summer recipe? We need some new ones!

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Thanks for reading! Mo xo

Chips and Dip – well, sort of

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Chips and Dip - well, sort of

So as you probably know, eating healthy can be pretty boring. When I first went wheat/gluten free there was a ton of days where I just ate salads cause I thought “What else is there to eat”? Thank goodness years later I’ve managed to become what I think is a good cook (and the boyfriend agrees but he’s been bribed). I struggle a lot with eating enough carbohydrates, especially on tough work out days. You need carbohydrates and protein post-workout to restore your glycogen and help build muscle. As you know I love protein, at any given time there are eggs and cooked chicken in my fridge, however, there isn’t always readily available carbs. I’m working on this believe me.
So the other day when I got home from the gym (I had a scoop of vega protein smoothie in the car on the drive home) I whipped up this beauty.
I heated some coconut oil and added some chopped onion, once the onion became translucent I added the red pepper (a whole one) and some chicken that had already been cooked. Once the red pepper became tender I threw in some kalmata olives and some daiya cheese. I then served it (to myself) with some sweet potato chips (see previous post all about my chipster) and I have to say I was pretty damn full after this meal. I believe it’s important to eat until you are full but not stuffed. Try not to drink too much liquids with your meal as I’ve read it dilutes your digestive enzymes which increases your digestion time.
I’ll keep you posted on my battle with getting more carbs into my diet, this is something I’ve struggled with for a long time so baby steps must be taken

xoxo
Mel

Dairy Free for me (But i’m still biting my nails)

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So it’s month #2 in our Give Up/Take Up Challenge and we want to know “How you doing” (yes, spoken in a creepy deep man voice)

I personally have gotten back to the Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet (except the strawberries on my salad the other day dammit! 80/20 folks, 80good/20whatever), I can’t remember the last time I had bacon, although I’m sure my sister will happily remind me, and I’ve been virtually dairy free for the last week (since my heavy binge on Superbowl – what a boring game, no wonder I ate so much). In light of all my good doings I have only slightly cut back on nibbling on my nails. This is a habit I have had for as long as I can remember and although the boyfriend has been slapping my hands away from my face with a stern re-assurance “It’s February Mel” I still check them when I’m in the bathroom, before I go to bed, quickly while a customer is rambling, between sets at the gym – oh gawd it is an addiction! Quick! Do they have an NBA? NAIL BITERS ANONYMOUS! I clearly need help!

Ok I’ll cool it with the drama llama antics – I have put my manicure tools out on the bathroom sink to remind me to keep my nails looking good so I’m not tempted, I’ll see how that goes this week – I am determined.

What goals do you have for the month of February? It’s a short one so make it something simple that you know you will stick with. 

I am also wondering what does everyone (mostly the gals) like to receive for Valentine’s Day? I’m a chocolate girl myself, dark, not too dark, I’m around 70-80% – and I love Lindt chocolate or dark chocolate sea salt caramels. Ok so I have a minor chocolate addiction – I don’t like all these vices that are coming to light the more I type haha

So besides biting nails, my addiction with dark chocolate and what the heck do you love to get on Valentine’s Day I have something for you – FOOD!!!!!

While I was trying to have a nap today, listening to my boyfriend and the French Bulldog we are dogsitting (see Instagram) alternate snoring, I thought “What am I going to do with all the leftover sweet potatoes I have” and boom – sweet potato biscuits came to mind!

Now coconut is not Blood Type O friendly which my boyfriend and I both are but if they upset my stomach I can pawn them off to someone. 

The recipe is actually from paleomg.com and Julie is hilarious you should follow her, however, it appears her website is having some sight issues right now so I found someone who wrote out her recipe on their site here:

http://fitpaleomom.com/sweet-potato-buscuits/

I didn’t have bacon or chives or jalapeno or shrimp as paleomg.com has recipes for (and I have made them in the past they are to die for) so I improvised with hot sauce and chicken – and stuffed a couple with garlic/onion cheese for the boyfriend. I didn’t touch the cheese ones – in a perfect world haha – I tried one and it was tasty but they were equally good without. 

In all honesty if I had butter in the house I would melt it on top (shhhhhhh)

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I had to cave on the nuts

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On my way home from work today I was stumped as to what to eat for dinner. Lately my mind has been a bit of a whirlwind as to what to eat in general- my most recent live blood analysis showed I have a gallbladder issue, which wasn’t a surprise to me since I’ve had a bit of a squeezing feeling in my right side below my rib on and off for the past two months. (And you know I googled that sh*t as soon as it started so I had an idea of what was going on) Gallbladder issues can stem from a high fat diet and also losing weight quickly – guilty on both parts.

So what I’ve been trying to do is not eat as much animal fats – leaner cuts of steak (I’ve had to temporarily say bye bye to my adored rib-eyes, however I have requested a juicy one for Valentines Day), chicken breasts instead of thighs (gross, breasts from Save On are disgusting but the local meat market kills my wallet which in turn kills my social life, not favourable), fish instead of bacon – Fish instead of bacon? This has to be the 8th deadly sin. Unfortunately at the same time I have sworn off dairy completely – I’ve had excess phlegm since December when I was sick and it needs to stop. I’ve gone 2 days haha (pats self on back). Now I also wanted to eliminate nuts from my diet, not because they are bad for me but due to sheer convenience and salty greatness I cannot just eat that ridiculous 12 almond serving – its more like 40 if I even stop there. Nuts (in the excess amount in which I consume them) leave me bloated and bloated Mel is a grumpy Mel.

So today since I had eggs with red pepper and sundried tomatoes for breakfast, extra lean ground beef with roasted broccoli and salsa for lunch and a lemongrass chicken salad for snack I was like “What the hell do I eat for dinner”? My coworker (a healthy one) suggested taco del mar taco salad which is a great idea but I didn’t have the heart to tell him I basically ate that for lunch. Sigh. So instead of hitting fat burger on the way home for a lettuce wrapped ball of burger love I went to the grocery store and for now, gave up one of my eliminations – nuts! 

A new favourite store of mine has opened up right by the grocery store – Ayoub’s Dried Fruits and Nuts. Fresh, in store roasted nuts and a huge selection of dried fruits. I normally get their goji berry trail mix (it has a fancier name that isn’t coming to mind right now), garlic roasted almonds and spicy cashews for the bf. I get a fairly good amount of nuts and mixes for around $10 – it always surprises me when they tell me the price – I think it’s a great deal. Sadly Ayoub’s was closed when I got there today, this was somewhat a blessing in disguise given the previous portion control issues I discussed. So I went into the grocery store and hit the bulk section, gross but secretly good because unfresh nuts don’t appeal to me in the mass amounts that the fresh garlic roasted almonds do. I bought walnuts, macadamia nuts, and an almond/goji berry/pumpkin/dried cranberry/sunflower seed mix. When I got home I tossed them all together and had a small amount in a bowl with a salad (spring mix, a bit of chicken, grape tomatoes, garlic stuffed olives, sundried tomatoes). I was happy that I was able to still make a reasonably healthy decision despite my food confusion.

The moral of this story and something I have struggled with for a few years, when you cut out too many things from your diet you can get overwhelmed and wind up crying in the middle of the chip isle at Save On waist deep in doritos. Start slow, if it gets too much take a step back and ask for help if you need (coworkers can have good suggestions, boyfriends can make good stir frys). Make sure to food prep and to include lots of cut up vegetables for quick access and easy snacks.

I’ll keep you posted on the gallbladder – I’m off to the doctor next week for some tests, hopefully its nothing that my change in diet, supplements and strange cleansing techniques can’t handle

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How to Paleofy (yes its a word) a Meal

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Every wonder what a caveman/primal/paleo meal looks like? Yes there’s a lot of controversy about the primal diet but I believe we should just eat simple foods (Remember the saying – the only ingredient in food should be food) and focus on avoiding processed and multi-ingredient pre-made foods. Interested in trying? Well we will teach you what questions to ask yourself (or your server) before you eat:

Tuna Sandwich:

Is the bread made with grains? – Yes duh

Go home and make this instead http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/05/21/grain-free-white-bread-paleo-and-scd/

If you can’t scurry home then – Can you eat it without the bread? Well, it’s not really a sandwich then, it’s a bunch of tuna

Can you put it on top of lettuce and call it a salad? Yes!

Then do that! – and add an avocado and salsa for good fats and flavor

Or make these and invite me over: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/17420518139/tuna-and-avocado-wraps

 

Chicken Caesar Salad

Did you make it yourself with dairy free dressing and fresh grilled chicken that you seasoned? No

Don’t eat it – refer to Tuna Salad or go home and make this:

http://www.nakedavocado.com/2013/09/paleo-chicken-caesar-salad/

 

Prawn Stir Fry

Did you make it yourself? No – don’t eat it – the teriyaki sauce probably has wheat in it and if it doesn’t you will probably feel less than satisfied ordering the stir fry without noodles or rice

Alternative: 6oz steak, hold the potato (don’t whine that is the best part, its a white potato with not much nutrients in it and its hard for your body to digest steak and potatoes together in one meal) – in lieu of the potato – extra vegetables (asparagus, red pepper etc) or extra side salad

 

Everyone’s favorite THE BURGER

Can you order it on a lettuce bun? Yes! Please proceed and skip the cheese (yes the mayo is not paleo and neither is ketchup but if you are ordering a lettuce wrap I’m already proud of you – focus on baby steps here people)

Can’t order it on a lettuce bun? Can you skip the bun and make a burger salad? Don’t roll your eyes its actually pretty good

Can’t get either of these options? Where the hell are you eating? You should leave this non-wheat/gluten free friendly restaurant, go to Fat Burger or Joey’s where you can get a lettuce wrap burger and then write a nasty review of the previous restaurant from your phone or tablet

So overall if you want to start making smarter decisions for your overall health (and you just can’t fathom giving up meat because why else were we given these sharp teeth) the big tickets items you want to cut back on are: Grains (Wheat, Rice, Oats, Corn, etc), Legumes (Beans, Lentils and yes Peanuts are a legume), and Dairy (Yogurt, cheese, milk). It will involve being more conscious of your decisions before you eat but I guarantee once you start cutting back on these common diet staples you will being to feel better. 

Sister Act Fitness wants to know if you would be willing to try any of these tips? Haven’t you already started some minor changes in your eating habits and are starting to see benefits? Feel free to share

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Interview with a Raw Goddess – Our friend Amber

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Since I’m a self-certified meatatarian (It’s a personal choice) we wanted to feature someone who is my polar opposite (food-wise) so our followers can be made aware of the benefits of all sorts of different eating lifestyles. Finding a lifestyle that works for you is the key. Today we wanted to feature my long time friend Amber who I am proud to say I have watched transform over the past few years, putting herself and her health above anything else.

Mel: So how would you describe your diet?

Amber: I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘diet’ it’s more of a lifestyle change. I’m raw-vegan which is all about eating food in its natural state or very close to. Being raw-vegan is actually very easy and very simple once you learn a few tricks of the trade. I never have to cook anymore, I just prepare foods. Making pies only takes me twenty minutes and I can eat it for breakfast because it’s only fruit and nuts.

Mel: That sounds nice and simple. So what turned you onto this diet?

Amber: What got me into this lifestyle was definitely meeting some new people who were already on the program. Just reading the 80/10/10 diet book and watching some YouTube videos had me sold. When you really think about it most of the foods people eat today are so over processed you really don’t know what you are eating. With a raw-vegan lifestyle you know exactly what you are eating and I really like that. I didn’t eat meat or dairy often so that was easy to give up. The bread and grains and pastas and cookies and candy – now that was the hard part!!

Mel: Ahhh yes the sugar laden foods are always the hardest to give up. What health benefits have you noticed since going raw-vegan?

Amber: The health benefits that I’ve noticed are huge over the last two years. Right away I noticed more energy and a clearer mind. As I continued to eat this way obviously I noticed weight loss – almost 30 pounds over the two years without working out, simply accredited to a lifestyle change. My body handles stress better and I don’t find myself in as much pain as I used to. My skin has done a 180 and I barely ever wear makeup – Mel you’d know that’s a big one for me. Now that I also incorporate calisthenics into my daily routine my mind body and spirit feel more aligned, I’ve learned to love myself more and accept the things that I can not change. Obviously some of this just comes with age and time but being raw-vegan definitely helped clear my mind. It’s hard to explain but once you go raw you can just tell. My other raw friends and I had a discussion the other day about how to explain this part of the lifestyle and we came to the conclusion you just can’t explain it it’s something that needs to be felt.

Mel: We also heard you have access to a yoga swing! (Seen in photos) What is that and what physical benefits have you gotten from it?

Amber: I don’t actually have the yoga swing yet but I did make my own by using an old sheet and making the main swing part but my man has an actual yoga swing that I use quite often. It is amazing and I have noticed more flexibility in my body, more peace within myself, and an overall leaner physique. A yoga swing is a great way to get your daily stretches in and make it fun. It’s also great for inversion which is amazing for your inner body parts – helps to realign your intestines which start to droop over time making it harder to digest properly. It also has saved me trips to the chiropractor time and time again.

Mel: So, as we all know, nobody is perfect so when you have a hankering what is your go-to indulgence?

Amber: Haha – Sometimes I really crave something like a pizza but I will eat a vegan gluten free pizza, always pick the best option and I always read the ingredients list. If there are more than two ingredients that I don’t know I won’t eat it.

Mel: What would be one simple way people could incorporate more raw food into their diet?

Amber: The simplest way to incorporate more raw foods into your diet is to juice. You can juice for yourself at home which is a bit time consuming but worth it for me. I enjoy doing juicing and when I use pineapple (which is almost daily) I use the pulp to make raw pies. You can also go to places like Natures Fare, Choices or Whole Foods for green juices and they are amazingly tasty and relatively affordable. I was drinking one 16 ounce bottle per day which cost me approximately 9 dollars so they don’t overcharge at all. Another easy way to incorporate raw is smoothies. Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie it’s simple, affordable and yummy. My favorite is a green-a-Coloda smoothie. I use every green I have in the house so usually kale, spinach, cilantro and cucumber. I add coconut water, pineapple, coconut milk, vegan protein powder, mangoes and raspberries. I add flax seed oil as well as maca, spirulina and lucima for a superfood boost. Those last three ingredients have big flavours so if you aren’t used to them add very small amounts at first to help introduce yourself to the flavour. Also with maca be careful, I had a strong reaction to it for a long while and had to build my tolerance. It can make you feel very nauseas and make your heart race if you aren’t used to it. It took me a full year to incorporate it into my diet at a full dose so sometimes these things take time. (Note maca can be used to treat thyroid issues but please consult your local supplements store for dosage information)

Mel: What would a day in the life of Amber look like?

Amber: I start my day with a 32oz green juice or smoothie depending on my mood. Green juice consits of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, pear, pineapple and honeydew – it tastes like Hawaii haha. Lunch is usually two peppers, yellow and orange, with hummus – I’m addicted to this right now. Dinner is most often a huge kale salad with shredded beets, carrots, tomato, onion, hemp hearts. I always toss in a bit of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and other amazing health benefits. Then whatever organic salad dressing I have in the fridge or decide to make. If I’m not feeling a salad I will make raw sushi – shredded coconut flakes mixed with a bit of water and tamari to get that sushi flavor with shredded beets, carrots, avocado, green onion rolled up in seasnax seaweed wrap – so yummy! For snacks throughout the day I eat fruit, oranges, apples, kiwis, grapes and sometimes a hand full of raw nuts.

Mel: Wow, I’m hungry talking about this. How do we make these pies you were telling us about?

Amber: My raw pies consist of a crust made from pitted dates and nuts (my fave is walnuts cause they are cheap and taste the best in this recipe) – mixed with a scoop of almond butter, blended, then pressed into a pie plate. For filling I take fruit and blend with soaked (for 5 hours) macadamia nuts or avocado or both. Pour into the crust and freeze for atleast an hour. For apple pie I just shred apples in my processor, add vanilla and cinnamon and sometimes some goji berries and add that to the crust – this one you can refrigerate instead of freeze.

Mel: Amber thank you so much for sharing your amazing, healthy lifestyle with us and our online family. Before we let you get back to your pies and yoga swing we want to ask you one more thing 🙂 What do you enjoy the most about Sister Act Fitness?

Amber: Haha of course! What I like most about Sister Act Fitness is the support I read from everyone. Life isn’t a health competition it’s about support and love which I find very important in sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Plus I love reading your gals posts – you two are both hilarious!

Sister Act Fitness thanks Amber so much for doing this interview – we look forward to having more of our friends, family and followers share their lifestyle stories in the near future.

swing life away