DECEMBER GOALS!

Woohoo! New month, new goals! My novel is done – well, not done, but at least I’ve written 50k in 30 days! I’m sure I’ll have an update for you guys on my booktube (RaineReads) for the curious ones.

This month I’ll be working on short stories for my friends (don’t ask), editing my first novel for re-self-publication, and LOSING AN INCH AROUND EACH ARM! So two inches in total! I’m meal planning but not prepping for this month and next week I’ll have a little bit of that for you guys, and of course Christmas dinner is a day in which I’m letting myself eat literally anything without consequence or excessive workouts afterwards. There’s a week of school break where I’m not sure what’s going to be going on so I don’t have anything planned that week, but I’ll be winging it each day.

Anyway, I have my workout calendar down below. That actual moves I’ll be doing on those days will rely heavily on whether or not I’m having tendonitis flare-ups. I can only run outside on days where my significant other has off, so while I have cardio listed, the type of cardio is dependent on his work schedule.

It has  since been filled out at the bottom. My left bicep is 11.5 inches non-flexed, my right bicep is 11.75 non-flexed.

I hope to have some meal prep recipes for you guys this month, but for sure I’ll have two family dessert recipes coming atcha! I’ll see you guys for my first December check in on Monday!

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Indulge & Lose

One of the things I absolutely love to tell all of my friends and folks who watch my youtube is this: weight loss is strictly dependent on calories in versus calories out. If you consume X amount of calories, you need to burn off more than that in order to lose weight – whether that’s fat loss or otherwise.

Everyone knows the holidays are a time of indulgence, and often times weight gain. There are a plethora of reasons that people gain weight during the holidays – stress, work overload, difficulty managing time, the weather, etc.

One of the biggest worries I hear about is the holiday feasts causing issues in a person’s diet. The very first thing I want to tell you is this: If you’re eating well 80% of the time and exercising as much as you feel you can, then those dinners are not something you need to worry about. However, if you’re still having trouble, here are some helpful tips to maneuver around that:

  1. Fill your plate with a little bit of everything. Starches, greens, turkey or ham (both, if you like), cranberry sauce.
  2. Take your time to eat what you can off of your plate
  3. Still hungry? Go for seconds.
  4. Listen to your body when it says “Whooooaaa!”
  5. When it’s time for dessert, pick one or a little bit of all.

That sounds simple, right? It’s what you would tell a kid, so why are we any different? Besides having the full capacity to choose what we want, we aren’t different. The conversation you can engage in between dinner and dessert will give your body time to make room.

If all else fails and you still feel like a blimp by the end of the night, you can always wake up for some cardio the next morning!

The most important thing I want everyone reading this to know is that you are allowed to indulge during the holidays – and all year round! It’s hard to get into the habit of healthy eating, and it’s even harder to get into the habit of telling yourself it’s ok to indulge every once in awhile, but you will be exponentially happier when you can form that habit!

If it helps, ask yourself if what you are doing is hurting you, or fueling you. (Here’s the secret: any food can fuel you in a reasonable amount, but it’s up to you to decide where the point is from helpful to harmful.)

Oh, My Gourd! | Monday Check-In

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone! The food was great, although I wasn’t able to eat as much as I would have liked due to poisoning myself with milk earlier in the day. Ever since the season started, I keep forgetting to ask for my peppermint mocha to come with soy instead of regular cow’s milk.

Continue reading Oh, My Gourd! | Monday Check-In

EASIEST Peanut Butter Cheesecake (No Bake)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also the most stressful, so why the hell would you want to waste time on a difficult recipe when you can make something delicious without all the added stress that comes with it?

This Thanksgiving I was in charge of making cornbread and a dessert. I also decided to make blueberry bread because last minute overachieving is a very real thing in our household.

Ahh… once again the cornbread was a favorite, of course. The peanut butter cheesecake was also appreciated along with everyone’s dishes, if we’re being honest. Before you throw up your arms and say, “but you’re supposed to be running a health and wellness blog, how is this healthy??”, I’ll be doing an entire post dedicated to the subjectivity of health before the year is up! In short: if you always eat until you feel like you’re going to pop, please make changes. But splurging every once in awhile is perfectly fine. Last night, I definitely felt that way (it had more to do with the dairy that I consumed earlier, but the holiday bloat was still there).

But you’re not here to read my Thanksgiving rambles; that’s what Mondays are for! So let’s get right into the easiest peanut butter cheesecake you will ever make. It’s *almost* entirely from scratch! Scroll down for ingredients and directions! The recipe is for just one pan, but double up if you plan on making two like I did!

My significant other psyched me out by telling me the filling was, and I quote, “meh” upon testing it. However when he had his dessert platter in front of him, he nearly melted and said, “This is damn good!” Again, a direct quote!

Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
*Oreo pie crust
*Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
*Cool Whip

*Store bought because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Directions:

  1. Cream together powdered sugar and softened cream cheese until well blended
  2.  Add peanut butter until smooth
  3.  Stir in milk for another 2 minutes (longer if you’re mixing by hand)
  4. Pour mixture onto Oreo crust and refrigerate for an hour (or honestly however long you need)
  5. Take the defrosted Cool Whip (I put it in the fridge about 4 hours before I need to use it) and spread it across the top of the cheesecake CAREFULLY
  6. Sprinkle a generous amount of peanut butter chips across the top of the Cool Whip topping and voilà! Ready to serve – or refrigerate until you’re ready

The middle slice is the cheesecake that my significant other is about ready to tear into! Truly the easiest peanut butter cheesecake I’ve ever made! Plus, you can use your own creativity with it! Maybe you want to use a little bit of nutella in the cheesecake spread, or you want to drizzle chocolate syrup on the Cool Whip! Or crush up some Nutter Butter cookies to top it off. It’s all up to you!

I hope all of you have been having an amazing holiday season! We’ve still got Christmas and I have 2 family favorites to share with you all next month! Get ready, guys!

Hardly Eating, But No Weight Loss? Here’s Why!

A lot of people resorting to extreme caloric restriction, some later developing eating disorders as a result, do so in order to lose weight. This is a big mistake.

Coming from a constantly recovering anorectic – still a term I find odd, I do admit – I can tell you from history, you’re screwing yourself and your body over. Deficits are perfectly fine over a short period of time and for a purpose.

Here’s what typically happens when someone eats once a day:

First, you forget to eat breakfast, but you go about your work day. It’s a busy day so you decide to skip lunch. Maybe you snag a bag of chips or an apple so you have something to snack on, at least. Or maybe you tell yourself, “I’ll just eat a little more than usual when I get home, to make up for what I forgot to eat.”

Because your body is running on the energy that you are providing, in this case nothing, you’re getting your energy from muscle and excess fat stores. It runs on that until you eat.

By the time you eat, you put as much as you think you can eat on your plate. That may be anywhere between 300-2000 calories. Soon after, you may stay up to watch some Netflix, do household chores, or maybe you decide to crash instead. All of what you’ve just consumed is being stored for later use. It commonly gets stored in fat because you’re not using that energy/those calories right away.

When you go through that process every day, all of the unused energy is stored and rarely used. It becomes even worse when you throw alcohol into the mix.

Contrary to popular belief, hard liquor is not healthier than beer, malt beverages, or wine. Additionally, clear liquor is not healthier than dark liquor (white vs gold rum/tequila, etc.). I’ve even met people who believed that liquor didn’t contain any calories. They do, in case you were wondering.

Aside from the sometimes less than obvious reason of calories in vs calories out, in the case of alcohol in weight gain, even though you barely eat or eat one good meal a day, if you add alcohol to your daily intake it can complicate the metabolizing process.

When you consume alcohol, it’s split two ways: fat stores and immediate energy. That means that the food already in your system isn’t what you’re using as an energy source: carbohydrates, sugars, fats are now in surplus because your body is using the acetate from alcohol. Where does the surplus go, but to fat storage. In addition, drinking will raise cortisol (causing muscle to break down) and lower testosterone (making it difficult to build muscle).

“I go the whole day without eating, I don’t know why I’m gaining weight.” You need to realize that the first statement is in direct correlation with the second. You’re gaining weight because by the time you eat, your body no longer needs that fuel.

“But you starved yourself and lost 50 lbs!” Yes, I starved myself. I could eat at most half a croissant a day. I drank lots of water to make me feel full, lost my period for a short time, and any time I ate a significant amount (by my standard, which was used to at most 500 calories a day vs the required 1600/day without any activity) I would gain weight.

Want to know how to lose weight without going so long without eating? Stay tuned for next week’s post on guaranteed tips to lose weight. We’re approaching a new year, after all. Why not decide to form sustainable habits? Until next time!

 

Progress? | Late Update

This is going to be short and sweet, or bittersweet. My body has not been feeling quite right and I have a large stack of paperwork to fill out, so I didn’t have the extra few hours to spend on my measure in this week.

It’s so complicated that I didn’t even have the chance to do any writing – luckily I’m ages ahead in my writing anyway, but I had to take the day off.

I seem to have had an allergic reaction to mosquitoes or spiders biting the absolute crap out of my legs. My legs are red and splotchy still, but at least today there aren’t any more welts. The unfortunate part is the red buzzer type of feeling every time I walk, and the bruise-like feeling any time the red parts are touched.

I ended up hitting my head and kept forgetting I hit my head, so when I would rest my head in my hand, I got a wonderful little reminder. By the end of the day I had a headache and the start of a fever, which just went up and down all night. I’m almost certain I was hogging the covers as well, so thank goodness my significant other is his own space heater!

This next week I’m just working on taking care of these responsibilities, maintaining my word count, and taking care of my health. I know I’m a bit clumsy, but yesterday was just a rough one! Until next time, have a good week, folks!

It’s Been A Minute | Two Weeks Later

It’s been two entire weeks since my post regarding the relapse of my eating disorder and I want you all to know that while my mental state isn’t perfect, I’m doing so much better than I was.

In that two week period, I’m pleased to say that I went from munching far and few in between, to eating meals again. There are moments where an irrational part of my brain tells me I’m hurting my body, but the logical part is telling me that I am fueling my body!

Right now is the time I need it the most. The weather is changing, so I know that my weight will fluctuate and I’ll need a little more insulation – and guys, it gets ice cold at night here!

This month I’m finishing a novel that has been on my mind for almost the entire year of 2017, and I hit a slump but with National Novel Writing Month, I’ve decided to really kick it into high gear.

I haven’t exercised once all week (unless you count the walk I went on with my friend who visited). Luckily, I have no health goals for this entire month besides eat regularly and exercise as often as I can. I’ll be taking a photo and posting it on my private Instagram just in case, but I’m certain this month will be very writing-centric.

I’ve already decided that Thanksgiving will be the only day I put any effort into being social and my significant other seems impressed with my determination. Now let’s put that determination to the test and see if I can finish this novel!

All in all, I’m feeling good, albeit a little disorganized. Until next time!

 

Relapsing | Part of the Process

It’s Friday, or French Fries-Yay!

If you haven’t kept up with my youtube channel, you may not know of the struggle I’ve been going through as of late, and I really don’t go that in depth on my most recent video. So here’s my chance to explain how things are going, in real time. If you’d like to check out the video before continuing, it’s right here:

 

I’ve found that I’m still having these very destructive, disordered thoughts running through my brain. Whenever I have to decide what to eat, it feels like there’s this violent onslaught of extreme self-deprecation. Last night, I wanted to make something easy after my workout, so I made a protein shake and had a small bowl of pasta. I really wish I had taken a picture so you could understand what I mean when I say I’m very conscious of how little I’m consuming, but I’m struggling to actually go through the act of consuming.

I know better than to expect my mind to fix itself over night. I know better than to assume it’s going to just fix itself altogether. I’ve been preoccupying myself with my three separate youtube channels, my novel, my reading goals, and my family. I’m constantly working at building my empire, so much so that when I finally managed to stop, this very morning – staring at the poptart that my son didn’t finish, debating whether or not I really wanted to put something like that in my body – I realized that the very foundation of my empire is based around health, physical and mental.

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After being pregnant and giving birth twice – the latter being the healthiest mental state I had ever been in – I never thought I would relapse. Understand that I don’t mean to trivialize those with substance abuse problems; that’s a huge battle in itself for so many people. I’m not really sure what the proper term to use would be when it’s been more mental than physical.

I know that this still wasn’t as eloquent as I’m trying to convey, but it’s the best I can do at the moment. I expect a lot of frustration, anxiety, and self-deprecation in my future, but know that it’s not a battle I’m going to just roll over for, just because the opponent seems so daunting.

I’m in this battle to win. And I will.

Monday Check-In: Weight Loss Logistics

If you’ve ever had negative thoughts about your body, this is the post for you.

Recently we went through all of the boxes we packed from my apartment when I moved here, and there really wasn’t as much as I thought. But what there was a lot of was clothes! I mean, I had 2 suitcases and a duffle bag of clothes that I thought wouldn’t fit for a looooong time. I was happily wrong!

Continue reading Monday Check-In: Weight Loss Logistics

Millenial Hacks: Making coffee from scratch

Now before you ride my ass and tell me that this isn’t actually from scratch: I know, I’m not a coffee bean farmer or whatever those wonderful saviors call themselves. What this hack or recipe entails is essentially making coffee without the standard equipment necessary. I don’t own a Keurig machine, nor do I own a coffee maker.

But when we don’t have time to go into town for Starbucks and I still need my caffeine fix, this is what we do. In this video, it was my very first attempt at making coffee this way, so you are seeing my reaction in “real time”, as it were.

Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you want 2 tablespoons per cup. I used my mug to measure 2 and a half cups of coffee and put in two “heaps” (according to the measuring spoon) of coffee.

  1. Boil your water (again, it depends on how much you want to make, but remember there will be coffee grounds at the bottom so you won’t actually be consuming the entire pot of coffee).
  2. Grind up your coffee beans (unless you buy coffee grounds, then skip this step) in either a blender or food processor, whatever you have around. If nothing, put the grounds in a bag and smash it with a hammer/meat tenderizer/etc.
  3. When your water is boiling, pour in your coffee grounds and immediately remove the pot from the burner. Cover the top with a plate, a lid, whatever you have around, really.
  4. Give it time to steep, about five minutes.
  5. Pour your coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!

It takes a bit more time and effort than a coffee machine, but if I’m being honest I really like to save money and if I have to spend an extra 10 minutes in the morning to make coffee, I’m DOWN.

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