War on S’mores

Yesterday I saw an opinion piece about S’mores. Yep, that’s right – the beloved summertime cookie-like treat that makes you feel like a five-year-old again. 

  

The author was clearly poking fun at the USDA’s suggestion to ditch the sweet treat for a fruit alternative. I kind of agree with him.

Regardless of my daily diet habits, I believe in everything in moderation. As a peanut butter addict and recovering choco-holic, I fully support someone’s right to get their S’more on. Have you ever melted a peanut butter cup instead of straight chocolate to make a s’more? I dare you to try it. I also encourage s’more and sweet eaters everywhere to eat in moderation and find alternatives when necessary.

If you plan on s’more-ing out with a bag of marshmallows once or twice this summer, I hope you enjoy that bonfire and soak up the company. If you have multiple s’more occasions this summer, maybe you figure out other fun alternatives like yogurt parfaits that have some chocolate or sweet component. Maybe it’s scaling back on the mac salad or leaving the cheese off the burger to accommodate the indulging of the chocolate-y melty goodness.

There are so many factors that cause obesity and it does come back to overall eating habits. If your daily habits are to over eat or not have balanced nutrition and even under -eating, you’re guaranteeing that you’re not going to have a healthy life. A body needs so many vitamins and macro-nutrients to meet daily needs for proper function. 

As for a war on s’mores, I can see where the USDA is coming from because obesity is a concern in America. However, there needs to be better education about nutritional needs, which means individualized discussions. Everyone’s body is different, everyone needs a different amount of vitamins and macronutrients. What is served in schools isn’t good enough and shouldn’t be a standard. Pizza and fries are not vegetables. 

Many parents feed their children what is easy because as an industrialized society we need easy and we need fast, but that’s why I meal prep. It’s the best way for a fast, healthy meal during the work week. There are also many Americans who believe that eating healthy is expensive, well yeah, it can be, but you don’t need organic everything. You also can shop sales and make your meals accordingly to those sales. That’s what I do. I would also ask people to think about Thor insurance claims. The medications they take for blood pressure? Paying a little more for real food will pay off in the long run. 

So if there’s going to be a food fight, there needs to be a different focus. It’s not a s’more or Oreo or pizza that is the real issue. It’s the education about nutrition and how to make healthy eating a lifestyle priority. It’s education to empower people about what they put in their bodies.

I’m a proud supporter of flexible dieting and s’more consumption. Balance is everything. We’re human and we mess up sometimes, but overall if you’re aware of what you’re eating you should be fine. 

❤️ Cristina 

Advertisements

Transitioning from cutting to maintaining…

Saturday I got the shock of being a size 4. While most people would probably say “be happy, be excited, or who cares” mentally for me it was a lot. I’m officially smaller than I was when I started my freshman year of college. I also weigh more and as we all know, the more muscle gain the less the scale matters because composition changes so much regardless of weight when lifting is involved. 

  
Yesterday, JP and I were talking about beach trips for the summer and I asked what he thought about me wearing a bikini out in public. Aside from competition, I haven’t worn a bikini in public since high school. Just a quick recap: I graduated from high school in 2007, started gaining weight drastically at the end of 2008 and my highest weight was in 2011 at 240+ pounds and a size 24. 

Wearing a bikini to the beach is kind of a big deal because it’s more than 3 minutes on stage. 

He asked me “does Cristina feel comfortable wearing a bikini in public?” I thought about it and said “I think so.” The truth is, I have no idea. I joke with him about my loose skin. If I pull my stomach to make the loose skin flat, my navel moves almost 3″ up and there are stretch marks; which bother me less than they did in the beginning, but sometimes make me roll my eyes.

During Week 2 of BBG I took a photo of myself in the bikini I’ll be wearing this summer. It’s the practice suit I had for my show last fall. It fits pretty well and I like it a lot, but it’s still an adjust from throwing a shirt on and some shorts and jumping in a pool. I took a photo last night the end of Week 7 of BBG in the same suit. I’m pretty pleased with the results between the two photos and there’s been more progress than I thought. I mentioned in a previous post that I’m under 150 pounds and it was a huge achievement, so of course I need to expect a solid change because I have lost about 6 pounds doing Kayla. 

  
I went hiking today for the holiday instead of resistance training, I’ll fit that in tomorrow and we’re officially in Week 8 out of 12 for the first round. I’m looking forward to see what happens, but I also know I need see what maintenance will look like. I flex diet and macro count my food, but cutting macros are different than maintenance macros. I know it’ll be an adjustment when I change it up, right now it’s crazy to think I might actually be close to the weightloss part of my journey. A little over 3 years and it might finally be here. 

Kind of relieved. Kind of freaked out because I never thought about the transition from losing to maintaining. Mostly excited. 

I hope everyone else is having a great Memorial Day. I loved the long weekend and today was a great day for a hike and later were having some treats we don’t typically keep in the house 🙂 here are some photos from our hike! 

 

Boston skyline

  

Checking out the map

  

Action shot down the hill

  

Post lunch smiles

 
❤️ Cristina

Holy busy life!

It’s been a little while since I’ve written. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of work events, retail shifts, gym going, eating and wishing I got more sleep. So let’s recap:

  • I am finally under 150 pounds!! This is the first time since 2008 I have weighed under 150. This is a huge accomplishment for me, and while the scale matters less now than it did in the beginning of my journey this excited me so much.
  • My workouts have been pretty strong and I finished up week 7 of Bikini Bldy Guide. I’ve lost about 6 pounds with it and I still have weeks 8-12 to complete.
  • My food wasn’t as fantastic as it could’ve been, but it’s been great this week and I’m making more f an effort to rock it this coming week, especially with the holiday. 
  • My boyfriend has been home more and we’ve been so much better about drink and food consumption. I’ve actually gotten him to run with me and go to the gym with me. Huge wins in my book! 

Now here’s a photo recap 🙂

 l  

Exactly 4 years from my graduation and the day before my students graduate.

  

One year between these photos!

  

Biggest Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever seen!

  

Protein Pancakes by FlapJacked and Sweetspreads Mint Chocolate Coconutter

  

New treat: sweet potato with chocolate PB2 and Walden Farms Caramel Sauce

  

This was me bloated Thursday morning, I can’t even be mad because this is so much better than where I started. in fact, it’s better than where I was a year ago.

  

10 pound difference from far left to far right

  

face to face Friday

  

Ladt resistance circuit for Week 7


I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend.  I know I will be taking advantage of the time off and the nice weather! 

❤️ Cristina 

From the food industry to personal accountability: obesity is everyone’s problem

I had today off and after my morning workout before I started making breakfast, I browsed Netflix to find something to watch while I eat and clean the kitchen. I came across a documentary on my recently added called Fed Up. The documentary, which is narrated by Katie Couric all a about childhood obesity. There are interviews with teenagers and parents, doctors and so many others.

Two points that come up and that stuck with me were:  the lack of education around overall health and what helps contribute to weightloss and whose responsibility is it that obesity is an issue in America, especially with children.

While weightloss is a calories in versus calories out concept, there’s a little more science behind it than that. There’s a different between 100 calories of broccoli versus 100 calories of soda or candy. Your body knows the difference between whole, minimally processed foods. It will break broccoli down differently than it will candy. One mother in the documentary said her son loves Hot Pockets, so to make a better decision she buys Lean Pockets…

Here are screen shots of both a Lean Pocket and a Hot Pocket, both are Pepperoni Pizza flavors.

hot pocket pepperoni pizza screen shot

Regular Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket

 

lean pock pepperoni pizza screen shot

Reduced fat Pepperoni Pizza Lean Pocket

I flex diet and count macro nutrition and eat according to my nutritional goals. Looking at the fat content in the reduced fat I can see why someone could get excited that it has almost half the fat as the regular one, however, keep reading the labels. With only a 30 calorie difference in these foods, there’s actually more carbohydrates and added sugar in the Lean Pocket than the Hot Pocket. Ultimately, it’s not a better choice and both are still highly processed.

Added sugar has been proven to cause hormonal reactions that are equivalent to those who are drug addicts. Sugar is addicting, fat isn’t and as fat is reduced food companies add more sugar to make up for flavor.

The gap in education is great and while not everyone studies science and nutrition, more people need to take responsibility for themselves and have understanding about what they’re putting in their bodies. The food industry’s job is to sell their product, marketing sugar free and fat free as healthy options is their job. They will say anything to get you to purchase their product. Fancy wording like gluten-free can even be deceiving. Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t have a lot of added sugar.

This goes with the question of whose fault is this. I do believe in personal responsibility because you can control your actions, not the actions of others, however, there are pressures everywhere that make it very hard to make positive decisions. There’s marketing on television while you’re watching your favorite show. On my drive into Boston, there are billboards that say McDonald’s coffee is a great option because you can still afford rent when you purchase a medium ice coffee.

I find myself in a tough situation when I go out to eat with other people. As a personal decision, I will check a restaurants menu prior to arriving. I will look at nutritional values and make a decision based on how it fits into my daily diet. I am able to make pretty solid choices most of the time, but there can be pressure when I’m with others. People have pointed out that I’m eating “super healthy” or that I need to “live a little”.

There are times that cost is a huge factor in how I eat. I shop sales and that’s how I determine which vegetables I purchase, and I remember in college saying well the dollar menu can give me a meal for $2 or $3, but now I know that the long term effects of a short term cost savings aren’t worth it. I’m having to convince myself some days that spending a little extra money is worth it even though my wallet doesn’t think that always. I’ve had to remind myself that if I can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label it’s probably not a real food item. I definitely keep Oreos in the house, but in moderation and in partnership with the vegetables I eat, do I enjoy them. I maintain less than 60g of sugar consumption daily, this includes natural and added sugars. This has helped me a lot and like many of the people in the documentary, it was hard to detox at first and cravings were horrible, but after I pushed through the first few weeks I could feel my energy skyrocket. I slept better, my skin looked better and my taste buds changed.

This is everyone’s problem, not just the individual being directly effected by food choices. It’s the food industry that believes by saving me 30 calories they’re helping me make better decisions – false. It’s the studies that are developed with investment money from corporations like Coca-Cola that try to tell us that soda isn’t linked to obesity. It’s the marketing firms that help the food industry target children in their strategies. It’s also the individual who is deciding to have a cookie over an apple.

Balance is key and my favorite thing about the documentary was the emphasis on real food. It’s starts with your own fork. Small changes can make a huge difference. Start with cutting out sodas and pledge to yourself to drink more water. Cold turkey isn’t for everyone. My weightloss journey has been challenging and it’s really made me decide what’s important to me that feeling I get from having chicken wings now, or the feeling of accomplishment I will have when I can walk up the stairs without getting out of breath?

I’m down 91 pounds because of small changes. It was and is still challenging. But I had to make a decision – be stronger than the outside influences.

❤ Cristina