Author Archives: angillen818

About angillen818

working towards more hippie food and less sweatpants; that's right folks, I am bringing sexy back!

Favorite Hippie Foods & Drinks

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Here are some of my go-to foods that help me achieve my healthy eating goals:

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Simple Truth Organic Digestive Herbal Team. I am absolutely in LOVE with this tea. It is not a detox tea. It supports a healthy digestive tract and reduces bloating. If you suffer from bloating (whether regularly or occasionally), this is the tea for you. I drink about 3-4 cups of my “tummy tea” throughout the day. I have a very temperamental digestive tract and most foods make me very bloated and distended. This tea is amazing at significantly reducing bloating and keeping you regular.

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Uncle Matt’s Orange Turmeric Probiotic Juice. A fantastic way to get 1 Billion probiotics and 500 mg of turmeric. Probiotics are extremely important to your digestive health and losing weight. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; including lowering your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression. I drink one cup of the orange juice with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many benefits including healing acid reflux and ulcers, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, super-charge your metabolism, stabilize blood sugars, and assist with weight loss. I have personally noticed more stable blood sugar levels, more weight loss (than before when I did not use ACV), more energy, and my ulcers do not bother me anymore. I have at least two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar per day and I typically start my day with this drink.

IMG_3448Better Oats Oatmeal. The oatmeal that I purchase is the 100 calories, sugar free, and contains 24 grams of whole grain. This is a heart healthy option that contains flax seeds and whole grain rolled oats. The healthy fats help lower cholesterol. Also, the oatmeal is filling and keeps me full until lunch.

IMG_3552Tuna and Dill Triscuits. My favorite lunch is tuna with Dill Triscuits. Tuna is packed with protein and the Triscuits are a whole grain healthy alternative to chips.  I season my tuna with pepper, mustard, and about a teaspoon of Light Miracle Whip. Fast lunch that goes great with vegetables or salad.

IMG_3449H2O. Never forget about water! Your body needs water to stay hydrated and keep your body functioning at its best. I use a water bottle that is clearly marked to make sure I get at least 80 ounces of water each day. For me, this makes everything easier and it doesn’t feel as daunting to get my daily water intake.

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Phase One Complete!

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My apologies for this delayed post. I finished the first 8 weeks of my incredible lifestyle change. I am so proud of all that I have accomplished. Check out my “Before and After” on the Progress page.

I visited my doctor for my follow-up on May 15. My results were promising and most importantly, I do not need medications at this time. However, I must continue with my healthy lifestyle of a low-cholesterol diet and exercise.

The Good News: My good cholesterol went up to above average! My triglycerides lowered by 50%! My total cholesterol went down 30 points!

The Bad News: My bad cholesterol still went up. My doctor feels this is genetics coming into play. However, continuing my healthy living should keep me off medications for awhile. I will be reassessed in six months.

The next phase of my healthy living adventure will be building muscle tone and definition as well as getting rid of more belly fat. I will stay on the same nutrition plan (low cholesterol diet). My fitness plan will include running and some kind of circuit training that involves weights; I am going to use Jillian Michaels videos and my rec center for running and extra weight training. I look forward to more changes!fitness-motivation-posters

Going Strong

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As I finished up the past two weeks, I am so proud that I am still going strong. I am eating healthy and exercising. I have had a couple cheat meals over the past two weeks and I haven’t worked out every day these past two weeks but I feel amazing.

I am actually starting to crave healthy foods over the junk I used to eat. When I had the cheat meal, I was ridiculously sick and my body was so mad at me for eating the cheese tots and chicken fingers. I immediately got back on track and my tummy tea works so well. I can tell that my stomach is shrinking because I don’t eat as much in one sitting. Also, moderation is easy now; I can eat one or two Doritos and not have the intense desire to eat the whole bag.

Every day brings its challenges but I am so happy that I am able overcome and keep moving forward.

I am amazed by the emotional side of this journey. At the end of the day, this isn’t about the pounds and the inches lost (bonus!), the cheat meal(s), missing some workouts; this is about building yourself up, gaining confidence with each choice you make, with each mile you push yourself to finish. I have not been this happy in a looong time. I don’t let life just throw me around anymore. I don’t let my personal obstacles beat me down anymore. I rise up, above the negativity, and stand confidently; knowing that I am worth it. I am an incredible woman. I am enough.

Food for Thought

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Here is a sampling of favorite meals these past few weeks:

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This is homemade guacamole (two avocados, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt). I paired the guacamole with chicken tacos (chicken breast, leafy romaine lettuce, salsa) on corn tortillas.

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This is Saj. Only the best Mediterranean food ever! This is vegetarian and packed with all the good healthy fats you need to lower cholesterol or just eat healthy. I get the falafels, green beans, tabouli, and hummus with wheat Saj bread.

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This is a yummy Italian Bean Soup. Another low cholesterol food, packed with fiber. Cannelli beans, tomatoes, veggie broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil, oregano. I added smoked turkey sausage too.

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A great snack! Strawberries, kiwi, and a light string cheese.

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Shakeology by Beachbody Vanilla. This is the only way I will eat my blueberries.

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If you need a light lunch packed with protein; quinoa, salsa, black beans.

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I love quinoa and salmon on my leafy greens. I use a heart healthy dressing by Litehouse; Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.

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Oh my goodness! This Chicken Green Chili soup is amazing! Low calorie, low sodium, super easy to make. I had my Healthy Chicken Empanadas and beans with my soup.

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This is the most delicious dinner. I made salmon served over a bed of sauteed spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes. On top of the salmon are garbanzo beans, tomato, and capers.

Progress!

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I have been at this low cholesterol nutrition plan and exercise for three weeks now. I have to give myself a huge pat on the back because things are going very well.

I did not think I would be as successful but the Beachbody Challenge Group is such a fantastic and supportive group of women, which greatly helps in my accountability because I do not want to disappoint them. The first week, I had a few headaches and I was a little irritable; however, I survived and things are much easier for me.

I think my stomach is shrinking because I do not eat very much and moderation is becoming more natural. Portion sizes are easier to manage and my body is not craving food like it used to, which  is fantastic.

I did not lose much weight last week but I did have two cheat meals and did not exercise very much. I continue to lose inches and some of my pants are loose on me now. Not only do the numbers look good, I just feel amazing. I am happy, I have higher energy, my libido is coming back, I am at peace, and have more patience. I just feel…so good.

As I go into week four, I am planning on jogging/running on the elliptical 12 miles per week and getting 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into my diet per day. I heard these measures (on top of my low cholesterol nutrition plan) will help blast the belly fat (which I have a lot) so I am excited to make these additions and see what happens at the end of the week.

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A Shocking Trip to the Doctor

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What a difference a day moment makes…

My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.

My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.

I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.

I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.

It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.

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A Day in My (New) Life

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I am a creature of habit.

We have a new puppy. Her name is Lulu. I thought Lulu was going to exacerbate my anxiety and cause problems for me and my little bubble of routine. Wrong! The opposite has occurred. This little girl has become a major soother/anti-anxiety component in my life. She is turning me into a morning person. I am so productive and getting so much done. Also, Lulu has given me time to each day, so I added exercise back into my day-to-day routine. All because of a dog that my husband could not live without.

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  • 0600-0630: I wake up and let Lulu outside.
  • 0630-0700: I make and drink my hot green tea with lemon. I do not like eating breakfast before the sun is up and I do not like having food in my stomach when I work out.
  • 0700-0800: Sometimes I go back to bed, sometimes I exercise, sometimes I clean, sometimes I play with Lulu and Boomer (my little Papillion mix), sometimes I take my older children to school, sometimes I read, sometimes I watch the news.
  • 0800-0900: I get my youngest up and ready for school. I have another cup of hot green tea with lemon. I make sure the dogs are fed and then outside to play.
  • 0900-1000: I make sure I have completed my first exercise (T25) by this time. I eat breakfast after I exercise.
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My Favorite Breakfast

  • 1000-1100: I do laundry or clean house. I make sure to have a snack.
  • 1100-1200: I catch up on my television show (Real Housewives BH/OC) and I do an extra workout routine; typically I go to my local rec center and run on the elliptical.
  • 1200-1300: I eat lunch. My lunches consist of salad and protein (chicken, fish, tuna). I also like to eat fruit and/or yogurt with my lunch.

 

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Spinach Salad (White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing) Blue Cheese Crumbles 

  • 1300-1400: I try to rest and take a quick nap. The dogs determine this hour because sometimes I end up playing with them instead.
  • 1400-1500: I take my shower and make myself presentable. I make sure I have my big snack (Shakeology) during this time because this is when I get the most difficult cravings.
  • 1500-1600: My children start to come home and I spend most of my time herding cats.
  • 1600-1700: I start to prep for and begin making dinner.
  • 1700-1800: We eat dinner. Dinner varies for me. If I worked out twice that day, I will sometimes eat what the family is eating or I will slightly modify my dinner (for example, yesterday I had two intense workouts, so I ate a hamburger with avocado and an egg, no condiments and sweet potato fries instead of regular fries). It just depends on my mood.
  • 1800-2200: I spend time with my family. We tend to relax and unwind by watching our favorite television shows or a movie together. Sometimes we play games. I have a treat, which can range from a couple pieces of chocolate to a small serving of ice cream to a slice of pumpkin pie to a doughnut. I don’t deprive myself but I don’t go crazy either.

* When I am working (I work nights 7:00P to 7:00A twice a week), the only difference is I work out once a day and I do not eat lunch because I am sleeping. I pack a healthy lunch and snacks to take with me to work.

This is life. Of course the schedule varies. But overall, this is my life, my bubble. And I love it.

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