Book Review: Your Holistically Hot Transformation

I LOVE reading. If I had a beach nearby I would grab a book and hang out by the beach daily. How is that for dreaming?!

As for books, I tend to alternate between reading a fiction and non-fiction. For my non-fiction books I love to read about health since I am in the career field of health and wellness. Recently, I got to read a book titled, “Your Holistically Hot Transformation: Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle Free of Dieting, Confusion, and Self-Judgment.

MWAH_BookCover_6x9_Front

As a dietitian and nutritionist, I see some books with fad diets and information I shake my head at. This book is NOT like that! In fact, I nodded my head quite frequently in agreement with the author. She spreads a positive body message and is quite inspirational.

I have to admit that I have been in a cooking funk for the past year, if not longer than that. After reading this book I have added the Pinterest app to my phone and plan to pin recipes soon. My husband literally just told me tonight, “You used to cook a lot more,” and it made me sad. Don’t worry my feminist friends, he didn’t mean it in a “you need to cook more now” way. He has simply taken notice of the no cooking funk.

The book has several different sections. It not only touches on nutrition, but also on movement/exercise, meditation, cooking, and other healthy habits. Each chapter has a simple take-away listed at the end in a box. I love that!

The last few pages of the book are my absolute favorite because I can TOTALLY relate! Without giving too much away, she talks about how obsessing over being at a certain weight or being a certain size can be counterproductive. It causes stress, which as we all know halts any get healthy efforts we can attain. I know this to be true. I used to be strict and rigid with my eating and exercising that if I told you what I was doing you would think I had to be a size 2. But, I was a size bigger than I am now! Proof that most diets don’t work for the long haul.

Are you interested yet?! You can read a free chapter by clicking here. I would highly suggest checking it out and seeing if this book is right for you and where you are now. I enjoyed it and even as a health expert learned a few things. I feel inspired to touch up my nutrition a bit.

And since we are on the topic of health, what is one think you are doing for YOU this week?

Pregnancy Update: 25 weeks

September and October are the busiest months for me with work. November might be too, but I am hoping it slows a bit. We’ll see. Since I work for a benefits company, we work hard during these months to prepare for the new calendar year. So with that, I have been distant from my computer (and this blog) lately.

Since it has been awhile, it is only fitting to give a little update. I am at 25 weeks today! Little guy is growing a ton. Want to see Prego the Cat?

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What I love about being pregnant so far:

  • Feeling little guy kick. He has been very active lately and especially likes to move whenever I am hungry or sitting/laying down.
  • 2nd trimester energy. I know I am almost out of the 2nd trimester, but I hope I can hold on to this energy as long as I can. I enjoy working out right now (with modifications, of course)!
  • How nice people are to me. I don’t know if it is solely because I am pregnant, but I love how nice people are right now. I have had doors held for me by strangers and the women that I workout with are so motivating and always tell me how great I am doing.
  • My brother asking me how his nephew is doing. Little guy is already bringing joy to the family.
  • Not really caring too much about nutrition. I know, I know.. I am a pregnant dietitian. Shouldn’t I care? I think as long as baby is getting calories and I am taking my prenatal, all is well in the world. Some foods simply do not appeal to me right now so eating 5 vegetables a day is not going to happen. I don’t overeat simply because it is uncomfortable if/when I do so I eat what I can and what I want at that time. It really is interesting to see how taste buds change with pregnancy.

I had a virus earlier this week and then my husband caught it. It was such a scare. I ended up passing out during one of my vomiting episodes (I had 9 different vomiting episodes by the way… my poor body!) and it scared me so bad we went to the hospital. I didn’t know if passing out could affect the baby so we had to be safe. That hospital bill won’t be fun to look at, but at least it gave me peace of mind. Little guy’s heartbeat was fine the whole time. Thank God! We are feeling back to normal today. I think we may celebrate with a yoga class and a Starbucks tea (holiday cups, anyone?).

Hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween! Welcome to November.

19 weeks and counting!

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I cannot believe I am almost half way through my pregnancy! I have been absent on the blog A LOT lately and haven’t talked much about my pregnancy, but now is as good of a time as ever. I am officially at 19 weeks.

I have gained about 10 lbs total so far. I was so nervous at first because most of that weight has been gained during the 2nd trimester (the past 7 weeks). In fact, I only gained 2 lbs in the first. I thought I might be gaining weight too fast but then many of my friends calmed my nerves by telling me how much weight they gained during pregnancy. Yeah the recommendation may be 25-35 lbs for those that are normal weight to begin with, but that doesn’t always happen. So I am going to focus less on weight and more on how I feel. And I feel pretty darn good!

I love being pregnant mostly because of this being growing inside of me. It is so cool to think of our baby boy growing each day and on some (hopefully sunny, and not icy) day in February we will get to see his beautiful face and hold him for the first time. It is such a blessing and a miracle at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong, not everything is peaches and roses for me during pregnancy but the good far outweighs the bad. But just for fun, here are the not so pleasant things (since not everyone talks about them & they are meant to be silly):

  • Treats I used to like no longer appeal to me… (I have no desire for chocolate of any kind).
  • And treats I used to not care for suddenly appeal to me… (I love me some skittles, starbursts, and chewy sweet tarts).
  • I am hungry a lot and sometimes get tired of eating.
  • My pants don’t fit so I have to wear them unzipped with a BeBand over them so they don’t fall down.
  • I have been back on the workout wagon these past few weeks which is AWESOME, but sometimes when I do squats my shorts cut into my tummy and it does not feel good. Plus, running and jumping make me have to pee (as if I don’t already have to pee a million times per day).
  • I can only sometimes make it through TV time at night. Most of the time I pass out and have to re-watch the netflix show the next morning to be up to date before my husband and I try to watch the next episode.
  • I only now started liking vegetables again (in the form of baby carrots). Good thing I have never stopped liking fruits (and I do take a prenatal vitamin).
  • Maternity clothes are way more expensive than normal women clothes it seems.. or maybe I am not looking in the right places. I decided to only buy a few pieces and then see if my regular stuff can last and stretch with me. Might be wishful thinking!
  • My tummy often feels weird…. like reflux or heartburn kinda weird.
  • I get sentimental when I drive in a car and sometimes tear up. It has nothing to do with driving and everything to do with having time to just think about this little nugget (and a few other family-related things). Oh, emotions!

If you have been pregnant before, did you have any of the same experiences above? Happy Monday, friends!

What is your favorite whole grain?

What is YOUR favorite whole grain-

Let’s talk about whole grains for a minute. So many people jump on the next diet bandwagon and totally rid themselves of all things grain. But, I don’t understand it. As a dietitian and nutritionist, I strongly believe that you do NOT need to rid yourself of ANY food group… unless you absolutely, positively just want to for your own reasons. Never do something someone else said just because they said it. That should be one of the definitions of “crazy”.

But people do it all the time. People blindly believe diet books, videos, and guru’s WITHOUT listening to themselves first.

HELLO! YOU are the CEO of your body. You get to make those decisions. Don’t ever let anyone else dictate what YOU do to your body. Yes, you can read what is out there but experiment for yourself and keep an open mind. Seek what works the best for you and don’t be afraid to be flexible.

Okay, off my soap box. Wow, I really did get on one didn’t I?! Can you tell I am passionate about nutrition and paving your own nutrition path??

So back to whole grains. I was recently gifted a bag of Freekeh. This was a new brand to me. I had never heard of artisanal hand roasted green wheat before. I LOVE the ingredients list. In fact, its one of the things I love most about whole grains… the ingredients list is never very long if you really are truthfully getting whole grains.

Take a look at this… (food labels from Freekeh’s website).

Original Rosemary Sage Tamari
Original Rosemary Tamari

Do you see those ingredient lists??? The original only has organic cracked roasted green wheat. Heck yes!! And the Rosemary Sage only has a few additional ingredients (and ones we can pronounce). A dietitian’s dream when it comes to a packaged food item. Most of us look for food items with the least amount of ingredients.

What I like about the Freekeh website is that they also have recipes listed. I am not a spontaneous cook where I can come up with things on the fly so I often need help. I will be turning to this website regularly as I dish up some Freekeh.

Have you tried freekeh yet? If not and you want to, send me an email at britexas(at)gmail(dot)com. I have some 50 cent off coupons I can send your way!

And to wrap it all up… what is YOUR favorite whole grain?

I was gifted an Original and Rosemary Sage freekeh but all opinions above are my own.

Have you heard of Bulu Box?

bulu box

All these monthly subscription boxes are getting popular! I recently heard of Bulu box, which is a vitamin, supplement, and healthy snack box. I got the opportunity to check it out through Sweatpink so will share with you the goods I received this month. Plus, I received a discount code for all you peeps that are interested.

bulu items

The first thing in my box is Quest Protein powder (2 packets of peanut butter flavor). These are good for shakes, baking, or cooking with and have 23g of Protein. Since I am pregnant currently, I am really weird about trying protein powders or taking supplements so while I am not going to try it right now, I will save it for later or give it to a friend!

The second thing I got in the box is Mediterra sundried tomato and basil bar. This is non-GMO, gluten-free, and has 6g protein and 6g of fiber. This I did get to try. I did not care for it, but I usually choose sweeter bars over the savory bars.

The third thing I got is what I was most excited about- Earth’s Care Anti-Itch Cream. What I like about it is that it does not have any artificial colors or fragrances and is petroleum free. It smells good too! Mosquitos are bad this time of year in Texas so this will come in handy.

The fourth thing is Yerba Prima daily fiber formula. It is a fiber supplement to support digestive health in orange flavor. I rarely need fiber supplements so will likely pass on this and take it up to work to see if anyone else wants/needs it.

Lastly, I received Movit Energy Gummies. These are for endurance type of workouts, especially if you are training for a marathon, triathlon, or long bike ride. I used similar gummies whenever I did the MS 150 several years back. They really do come in handy and give lots of energy when you need it most. I tried one to see if this brand tastes good and it sure does.

So that was my first box… not the most exciting for me since I am not too into supplements or protein powder right now, but I may give it another chance. What do you think of the products above? Any that spark your interest?

Interested in your own Bulu Box? Use the code SWEATPINK for 50% off a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription!

This is a sponsored post and I was given a free Bulu Box to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Refreshing Pineapple Smoothie

pineapplesmoothie

One day this week I was hungry ALL DAY LONG. I was actually getting sick of eating so I told my husband that I wish I could just drink food. I was literally sick of finding snacks to consume and just wanted a magic pill to fill me up.

Well, I didn’t drink my food that day. I ate regular meals and snacks, even if sick of them. And I think I was still hungry when I went to bed that night, but had given up so fell asleep to tummy growls.

What was the deal? Well, I have a current condition that I am not ready to share on the blog yet that keeps me hungry A LOT. So, it is time to mix things up and find fill-me-up drinks too.

Heyyyyyy smoothie! You’re looking pretty fine right now.

Yes, bring on the smoothie recipes. I have been going Pinterest crazy a bit lately to find some good ones. In fact, I think I shared a few faves on a guest post for Nature’s Bakery that should be up on their site soon. I haven’t tried them all, but it is my goal to!

Today I experimented with a refreshing pineapple smoothie! I rarely measure things, but here is what I grabbed out of the pantry and fridge:

  • Frozen pineapple
  • Frozen spinach
  • Milk
  • pHenOH 7.4
  • Chia Seeds
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Mint Leaves
  • Sprinkle of Ginger, Cinnamon, & Cardamom

It is SOOOOOOOO GOOD! Definitely up my alley, but I am in love with mint and it definitely has a hint of it. If you are up for a similar smoothie, keep in mind you can take some of the ingredients off and it’d still taste the same I bet (like the pHenOH 7.4 since I doubt many peeps have this just laying around). Also, I start with just a little of the liquids and add more in if it is needed after I blend. I also use just a tad of spinach, because I am not into the very green-tasting smoothies.

I am joining in with the Fit Dish link up today with The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. Do you like smoothies? If so, what is your favorite ingredient to add into smoothies?

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Simple Ways to Healthify your Vacation!

5 Healthy Travel Tips!

Who is going on a summer vacation? Or who has already been on one? Whether you are going somewhere this summer or not, you are bound to go on a trip at some point. And today’s Fit Dish link up is all about healthifying your vacation. Thanks to Jill and Jessica for hosting!

Now, let me be honest here…. I am not a strict exerciser on vacation. Why? Well, because 1) exercise is NOT what my vacations are about and 2) I would rather be taking in the sights and sounds around me with the people I love. Not everyone I love and travel with exercise. Ya know?

But, I do have some simple ways to stay relatively active and not overly indulge. That is more important to me than working out in the hotel gym or sticking with salads during my whole trip. Bah hum-bug!

So what are these two simple tips you speak of, Bri? Glad you asked dear friend.

  1. I get at least 10,000 steps and don’t sweat the rest. One of my favorite things to do in a new city or town is walk around. Walking is staying active and you can be amazed at how many steps you’ll get staying curious, exploring the beautiful place you are in. Actually, I think the most steps I have gotten in a day was when my husband and I went to Nashville, Tennessee. We walked around the downtown area for quite some time so even if he didn’t realize how active he was being, he got over 20,000 steps. Haha.. how is that for being active AND hanging out with ones you love AND seeing the sights? Just call me the step wizard!
  2. I try foods that really look delicious and don’t sweat the rest. On vacations, food is a secondary focus and not really a primary. Well, I guess it can be reversed for some (like chefs and foodies), but I 100% love seeing new places over focusing on food. And this helps to healthify a trip a bit. When you don’t focus too much on food, you eat 2 or 3 meals a day and only snack when hunger strikes. You still taste delicious food, but you aren’t participating in a gluttonous affair. Eat what you really want. Drink what you really want. And when your done, be done. No need to clean your plate unless you really are that hungry.

Did you pick up on the fact that I used “don’t sweat the rest” twice up there? Yeah, that’s because a vacation is supposed to be stress-relieving! If anything you are doing is adding stress, stay away. And that includes trying to be a stickler with your marathon training plan or 6 week cleanse while on vacation. No sir. Stress keeps that waistline thick too, ya know.

So what would be your top tip to healthify a vacation if even just a little bit?

I actually wrote a blog post for Nature’s Bakery not too long ago about vacations and ways to stay healthy. You can read that here if it interests you. It’s geared towards keeping you from getting sick on your trip so you have more time to smile and frolick to and fro!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

The rules are… There are NO rules!

The

I was doing yoga today. Not in the morning like I usually prefer to do yoga because I was in a bad mood whenever I woke up and DID NOT want to do any movement, I also did not want to eat a healthy, wholesome breakfast.

And you know what? That’s okay. Because the rules are… there are no rules! And that was my mantra today while doing yoga. Living a healthy life is never about perfection or following strict rules.

Not everyone wants you to believe that. Some want you to buy his or her book or follow his or her diet and fitness plan so that you help them become famous or put money into their pocket. A book full of rules that you enjoy at first and then feel ashamed about whenever you “fall of the wagon.” You blame yourself because the rulebook says you have to do it and if other people can do it, why the heck can’t you?

I am not saying everyone is like that. In fact, I think more and more people are truly becoming the CEO’s of their own body. I think more people are relishing in the idea of mindfulness, not only when it comes to various life things but also nutrition and fitness.

This. Is. Awesome.

I am really happy that more professionals in the health industry are pushing mindfulness, making your own “rules” (and being okay when you break them… consider them guidelines instead of rules), and being happy in the body you have NOW.

This mindset is so empowering. Yes, it takes away the excitement or thrill of the next fad diet or fitness plan. But, it also puts YOU in the driver seat instead of in the back of the truck. It’s a bumpier ride back there!

You are the CEO of your body. I love saying that. I totally 100% agree with it. So much so that it should be the tagline of this blog. I promise to never be the dietitian/nutritionist that pushes a diet, pill, or specific fitness plan. I promise to always help others see their potential and help guide them to making decisions that are best for them at that specific time. I promise to educate others on the power of changing simple habits and not following strict rules.

And just for the fun of it… what is one rule you have heard that you are going to break in terms of nutrition or fitness? One of mine is “Not eating carbs past 3pm.” So freakin’ ridiculous and is so not my cup of tea! How the heck am I going to know ahead of time if I want some type of carb after 3pm or not? That changes by the day!

Your turn! Happy Friday, dear friends.

Almost Time to Barbecue!

GRILLED RIBEYE STEAK, STUBB-STYLE

 

Barbecue season is upon us! I have “almost” in the title because the rain may be keeping some of us away from barbecuing, but hopefully not for long.

 

I love to grill out! Grilling out is simple and everything tastes so delicious. Seriously, I don’t think I have had one bad dish off the grill. Have you?

 

Stubb’s Barbecue Sauce has always been a top pick in my house. I have looked on the ingredients list of a lot of different sauces and what I love about this brand is they never use high fructose corn syrup. Most barbecue sauce brands do. And really, the taste is out of this world good, which is exttremely important to me. I only have barbecue sauce every now and then so it better make my taste buds happy!

 

I have to admit, I can’t remember the last time I had a steak at home so the first recipe I am looking forward to grilling is GRILLED RIBEYE STEAK. Yum! With a side of grilled asparagus and grilled corn to go with. Yesssss! My taste buds are salivating just thinking about it. Are yours?

 

I want to get lots of recipe ideas for the grill. Comment below with one of your top foods to grill! And are you a barbecue sauce lover like me? If so and you are interested in a free Stubb’s barbecue sauce coupon, comment below with what you like to dip into that sauce!

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I did, however, get some lovely coupons to use and give away to a four of my readers. Thank you, Stubbs!

 

A new favorite: pHenOH

My New Favorite Sports Drink!

I was given a box of pHenOH to try through Sweatpink and let me just tell you, I was shocked! I am not a huge fan of sports drinks by nature. Never got on the gatorade bandwagon. (Sorry, gator!) But pHenOH has been a game changer for me lately.

Not but a couple of weeks ago I was talking with my brother’s girlfriend about Aloe vera. She puts it into her morning smoothies. I got interested and wanted to get some, but was on the lazy train a bit with that. Then, literally a few days later, I get a notice about trying out pHenOH which contains aloe vera. Score! I was so pumped to try this out. If you don’t already know, aloe vera has some health benefits, especially in regards to digestive health.

What is pHenOH? It is the first alkaline sports beverage specifically designed to match the ideal pH of your body. Only 7 simple ingredients go into the beverage. You know I dig that! But seriously, the best part is that it tastes magnificent. My brother’s girlfriend will no longer have to disguise the aloe vera juice into a smoothie with lots of other fruits and veggies. She can have this solo!

If you are like me, you may be interested in pH balance and what all this means. Basically, the body is kept at about 7.4 pH balance. Above a pH of 7 is alkaline, while a pH below 7 is acidic. Many of the foods and beverages we consume are acidic (soda is at about a 2 for example), but the body runs optimally when in balance. Remember homestasis from your grade school science class? pHenOH was created as a non-acidic sports drink since most sports drinks are the opposite.

I regularly shop at Target and have not seen pHenOH at Target yet. Maybe someday?! A girl can hope. Currently, in my area, pHenOH can be found at Central Market. I do love a trip to the good ‘ol CM every now and then so will have to pick some up when I run out. It’s so easy and refreshing to grab and go after a workout.

Disclaimer: While I was provided the pHenOH free of charge, all opinions are my own.