Progress Is Perfection

A blog to inspire, motivate, and unleash the awesome in everyone


1 Comment

Water Retention and Bloat

Last week I had a member of the gym I work at ask me for advice on eliminating water retention. I honestly didn’t know what to tell her; so took a couple guesses and told her I would look into it.

The human body is almost 70% water, when we don’t take in enough water our body automatically starts to retain whatever water we have in our system. This excess retention of water can be caused by numerous things; pregnancy, excess sodium, physical inactivity, malnutrition, medication and even kidney failure. Generally water retention and bloat are fairly harmless but definitely check with your doctor if you notice it doesn’t go away after trying some of the solutions posted.

My first thoughts on minimizing water retention and bloat would be increasing water and reducing sodium consumption; apparently I was on the right track.

One of the best things to do with water retention is to drink more water. I know, seems like that’s the opposite thing to do- but you need to flush out your system. Bloat is your bodies way of telling you something isn’t right, and the best thing for the body is water (which makes sense, since we’re primarily made up of it!). Aim for at least 6 glasses of water a day, even If you don’t think your thirsty- drink more water.

ae0b951a778dd673f71fdd8f65f2e138

Get rid of that salt. Seriously, no more fast food (it’s packed with sodium), don’t add salt to your cooking; switch salt for herbs and (sodium-free) spices such as garlic and onion powder or just stick to good old cracked black pepper! While eliminating salt, it would do you good to overhaul your diet. Stick to the basics and eliminate the rest; sticking to vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy fats are your best bet. Also, eliminating alcohol from your diet will do wonders not only for getting rid of bloat, but for your general health!

less-crap-more-food

Exercise. You probably won’t feel like it, but you need to get your blood flowing. Go for a walk, hit the gym, anything that gets your heart pumping. If you have a desk job and sit down for most of your day, try eating your lunch standing up, walking to talk to a colleague (instead of emailing them), and doing leg lifts at your desk. Get up and get moving!!

Hopefully these tips will help you feel better; I suffer from bloat and water retention and can usually figure out why by looking at what I ate. Keeping a food journal for the first couple weeks may help you track the foods that make you feel good/bad. Good luck friends!

~Nicole

Interested in doing more research? Here are a couple links I found on the topic:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/187978.php

http://voices.yahoo.com/natural-remedies-eliminate-water-retention-and-3167396.html?cat=5

 

Advertisements


5 Comments

The 80/20 Rule of Healthy Eating – Leave the Guilt Behind!

As I took a look through our blog and Facebook posts over the last few months, I wondered what our readers’ perception of us may be in terms of health and fitness. For some browsing through our various recipes, fitness, and health posts it might seem like Nicole and I have it all figured out. We eat right, cut out bad foods, exercise numerous times a week, keep ourselves motivated, and so on.

The truth is we are all human and therefore prone to errors in judgement, even on our journey to perceived perfection.  As much as our blog posts may have you believe, Nicole and I are not at all perfect when it comes to our eating and workout habits. When you really sit back and think about it, it’s unrealistic to think that we can all eat perfectly 100% of the time, and forcing that on our psyche is essentially only setting us up for failure.

What may be healthier, and what Nicole and I try our best to follow, is something known as the 80/20 rule. This means, eating healthy 80% of the time, and allowing oneself to indulge or choose a less than healthy option 20% of the time.

Screen-Shot-2013-03-27-at-10.25.51-PM

Why is this important? Because although health and fitness are factors that should be addressed on a daily basis, we need to have fun and enjoy our lives as well! In my opinion, it’s not fun to completely deprive yourself of treats you like because they may not be the healthiest choice. For a lot of us, food is one of those things we really enjoy; trying new recipes, eating out at fancy restaurants, trying different cultural cuisines.

Additionally, sometimes when we don’t allow ourselves certain indulgences we fall into the trap of binging when we DO treat ourselves. Because we haven’t had that cupcake in a month, suddenly and quickly we have consumed 4 of them in one sitting. And really, what is the point of eating perfectly for a whole month just to throw it away in a day of binging? Food is not something that should be leaving us guilt-ridden for a day if we have eaten a candy bar or God forbid peanut butter with added sugar (gasp!). Guilt often leads to stress, which leads us to things that make us feel better. Unfortunately this is often the very thing that made us feel bad in the first place – unhealthy food. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Instead, if you have eaten healthy all week, don’t feel guilty about having a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Or if you are at a wedding and there is not a healthy plate of food in sight, who cares! Enjoy yourself, eat the delicious food, and maybe throw in an extra workout that week if you feel the need. In the end it’s all about achieving a healthy balance that both your body and your mind are happy with.  Leave the stress and guilt behind and remember that even on your journey to health and fitness where food is meant to nourish, it’s also meant to be ENJOYED! 🙂

– Veronica


Leave a comment

Sugar Might Not Be So Sweet

When we think about weight loss and the foods we should eat or not eat what comes to mind? Less calories, less fat, maybe less food? I think those are the general ideas that come to mind when we want to get healthy and fit.

Does anyone think about sugar in that mix?

Does anyone realize how much sugar is in everyday foods? How much sugar do you think is in that single serving strawberry yogurt or a bottle of that Vitamin Water? I decided to find out…

yolightThis “light” yogurt contains 14g of sugar, plus added artificial sweeteners.

vit_waterVitamin Water might not be your best choice with 33g of sugar in a 20oz bottle. Stick to water.

Some of the things on this website surprised me, I’m not going to lie. It definitely gives you a fantastic visual on the amount of sugar found in every day foods.

Why is sugar so bad for us? When we eat sugar a lot of things happen in our bodies. Our reward sensors in our brain goes off, emitting a hormone called dopamine which makes us feel good. The sugar is broken down into glucose in our blood and the pancreas releases extra insulin to try and counteract that glucose spike. The insulin turns the glucose into glycogen which our muscles and liver use for energy. Since glucose is converted quickly into glycogen that initial energy spike doesn’t last long and blood sugar levels drop, this triggers stress hormones to be released and our body goes into panic mode. This dramatic raise and fall of blood sugar levels leaves our body stressed out which makes us turn to sugar again to feel better. And the cycle continues.

Freaky hey?

Here’s something freakier. Apparently the good feelings we get from sugar are similar to those feelings of using cocaine. The more sugar we eat, the more tolerant we become to it, which in turn means we will need to eat more to get those good feelings. Sound familiar? Drug and alcohol addicts experience the same thing; always needing more then the last time. People have long since realized this and have been putting sugar in almost everything; sugar makes things taste better, but it also leaves us wanting more. I think someone, long ago, figured out a way to make money off of our bodies reaction to sugar (just like drug dealers have found a way to make money off of peoples addictions). It’s a big claim, I know, but the way our world works it makes sense. Sugar is everywhere, and certain people are getting richer by the hour, at the expense of health- and I’m not okay with that. I often think about that while grocery shopping; sure I’d love to buy the cheap bread that has glucose-fructose as the second ingredient, but in the end it’s not worth it. It’s not worth mine or my family’s health, nor is it worth putting more money into the pocket of the asshole who makes a living off of feeding unhealthy foods to financially insecure families.

Cancer research has also found that some cancers, breast and colon cancer especially, have evolved to feed off of glucose. Instead of glucose going directly to the liver and muscles it is being used by tumors to grow. There have been a couple studies done on this in the last couple years; but it makes sense. Cancer seems to be everywhere these days, as does sugar. More reason to cut out sugars!!

Now, I don’t want anyone to stop eating fruit because it has sugar in it. Our bodies are designed to break down the sugars found in fruit; plus fruit has the fantastic benefits of fiber, vitamins and folate (folic acid) to name a few.

It’s the added sugar we want to stay away from. White sugar, corn syrup, glucose-fructose, brown sugar, the list goes on.

If you can’t completely kick sugar, raw honey (local is best), maple syrup (not table syrup-there shouldn’t be any high-fructose corn syrup) and coconut nectar and sugar have some health benefits to them. They might not be as sweet at first, but once you start using them regularly you’ll learn to love them. Or use fruit to sweeten food; I love using dates in baking, or try some of Veronica’s flavoured water. Stick to foods as close to nature as possible.

This video really hit home for me, it’s kind of long but has some really interesting information.

 

Veronica and I can attest to how a sugar free diet feels; we both felt fantastic during our 30 day challenge without sugar, we also saw how our bodies changed (less bloat, better skin, ect). I challenge you to try eliminating sugar from your diets; read the ingredients, put back the items that contain added sugar, it’ll be time consuming but in the long run will benefit you and your family immensely.

~Nicole

If your interested in more research these are the websites I looked through:

http://www.alternet.org/story/144117/5_bad_things_that_immediately_happen_to_your_body_when_you_eat_sugary_junk


http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3087


http://www.infofit.ca/heart-disease-cancer-powered-by-sugar/

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!! Do you think this information is far fetched? Am I crazy for thinking people are making money off of our health- Let me know!


3 Comments

Workout Motivational Money Jar

As I woke up this morning to the sound of rain falling, I realized that as much as we try and fight it, fall is slowly descending upon us! Summer is often thought of as one of the easiest seasons to stay fit; long days, warm and sunny weather, and outdoor activities galore. As the weather starts to cool down and get wetter, and our clothing gets thicker and more layered, it may become harder to stay motivated with your workouts.

This morning when I poked my head out on the balcony, I definitely had an internal debate about whether I wanted to go for a run or not. I decided to devise a little motivational boost for myself. The idea came to me yesterday as Nicole and I were discussing the ridiculous cost of Starbucks coffee when you consider how much it costs you over a month, and the idea of putting money in a jar every time we avoided going out for coffee and made one at home. What I decided to do was set up a little jar for myself like so:

IMAG0446

Every time I complete a workout, $1 goes into my little money jar. At the end of each month (unless I want to wait longer), I can tally up the dollars and use it to buy myself a treat: a DVD, a video game, a piece of workout clothes…whatever my little heart desires! The hope is that this external push will help keep me committed on days where my willpower is fading.

Here’s to a successful fall/winter fitness regime!

– Veronica


2 Comments

Strive For Health, Not Perfection

I came across a post today that I just LOVE from MindBodyGreen.com as it essentially embodies our whole philosophy: health over perfection. Did you know that 2% of women surveyed in a study conducted by LifeScience would trade 10 years of their life for a perfect body? 10 YEARS?! The article is called Why Trying To Get The Perfect Body Is A Waste Of Your Life; give it a read for tips on how to change your focus from the perfect body to health. Your body and mind will thank you for it 😉

– Veronica


Leave a comment

Birthday Weekend Success, Back to the Grind Soon!

Hey all! Sorry for the recent lack of activity here. Nicole and I have both been busy with work and life! I just started a new part-time job, and spent the weekend celebrating my birthday with everyone, so my mind has been elsewhere. I must say though I had one of the best birthdays in a long time this weekend.

My husband, brother in law, and his girlfriend and I went to the Kangaroo Farm in Kelowna where I got to hold the cutest little baby roo.

Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Ohmygosh, made my day! Then we went mini golfing, ran a few errands at the mall, and then met up with my co-blogger Nicole and my friend Laurie who trekked up for the weekend from Vancouver. We went to Quail’s Gate Winery for dinner (so fancy, beautiful, and delicious) and then came back to our condo for a riveting game of Cranium and card games. Such a simple day, but SO much fun. My favorite days and best memories are of days where nothing really happened, but you spent the whole day laughing. Just so good for the soul. I love these people so much 🙂

1004923_10100139367544283_2087281095_n

When life gets tough sometimes its good to remember that wonderful people that surround you and you quickly realize how lucky you really are.

461501a36ccc2a98d405998a21836fc4

Geez, I can’t believe summer is almost over. It’s been amazing and yet flown by like a flash.

Back to the grind soon with more fitness, inspiration, recipe, and health posts!

– Veronica