How To Get Over A Plateau

Earlier this year I was struggling with the progression of my weight loss. Despite upping my weights, doing more cardio and eating more carbs I was stuck in a plateau for months.

I tried it all, different types of exercises in all forms, intensities, and endurance. Although my body was looking more toned the fat layer just seemed to stay in place.

It was starting to destroy the self-confidence I had gained from the weight loss

So how did I solve this pesky issue?

I changed my diet.

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The Back Story

I wasn’t actively seeking to change my diet, it was a fluke.

In fact, I was reading a study about the effects of gluten causing adult acne. Which I had pretty bad.

I changed to a gluten free diet and there were numerous other side effects. These included clear skin, more energy, and less bloating.

Bloating that was causing me to plateau.

Watching The Pounds Melt Off

As I progressed with this new diet, the pounds were melting off like nothing before. I’ve noticed a big reduction in my trouble areas and my confidence has come completely back.

I’ve had never been happier with my weight loss progression.

I just wanted to share with those who have hit a plateau this can mean a plethora of things. However changing exercises, going up on weights, adding reps, and changing your diet are all great places to start.

Stay motivated, stay healthy.

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Gluten Free Diaries: Ch-Ch-Changes!

I have been gluten free for just over 3 months now.

In this time I have noticed several changes with my body and overall mentality.

For those who suffer from acne, sleep issues, and even wacky hormones I suggest you read on.

I do not claim to be a doctor or dietician these are just changes I have noticed with my body and I wanted to share my journey with you!

Acne

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I have suffered my entire life with acne. Here I am, at 25 and still have cystic, digestive and hormonal acne. It has caused me to miss a plethora of events in my life because I was simply embarrassed by it.

I have missed work and even lost jobs because of it. In fact, the only thing that came of it was creating this blog.

But enough of that.

I was researching for a post and read a study about adult acne and gluten. I took the leap of faith and went gluten free. I saw my skin healing with in 4 days and I was shocked.

I still get some acne but it is 95% better than what I was experiencing.

You are what you eat!

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Chronic Sleep Issues

Before I changed my diet, I would say I had chronic sleep issues. I would drink 4 coffees in a day and still would have to nap 1-2 hours or I would literally go without sleep for 24 hours simply because I had insomnia like issues.

Part of this is because of my work. I work in hospitality and therefore work on a 24 hours clock at all hours of the day. So it was impossible to get my body into a set routine.

When I went to a gluten free my energy levels went up and I felt more like a human being. I could go a full day on only 1 coffee and I don’t need to nap ever. I have had only one insomnia episode in the past three months and that was the night before my driving test (don’t tell my instructor).

Bloating and Weight Loss

I have been on a weight loss journey over the last two years. Although, I was comfortable with my weight loss success I hit a plateau at the beginning of this year.

It seemed like no matter the intensity or variations of exercise I was doing I just couldn’t past this plateau. I was almost at a point of defeat.

Then I changed my diet and realized that gluten was bloating my body, preventing me from getting the results I wanted.

Since cutting out gluten my body has become leaner yet more defined. Without all that extra bloat on my body, I feel better overall not carrying that extra weight around.

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Periods?

I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or I’m experiencing a change in hormones but I have noticed over the past three months a litter period.

Remember I’m not a doctor.

I have noticed that my menstrual cycle has lightened and even shortened up. Overall, I have experienced less pain from menstrual cramps (thank god).

Generally, I am a very heavy bleeder (can soak through a super plus tampon in 3 hours) over 5 days. Now I don’t experience that heavy bleeding like before and my period has shortened by .5-1 day.

All in all, I have barely experience hormonal acne before my period, and there have been no instances of cystic acne.

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Peanut Butter Carob Balls

As I’ve been learning to be gluten free, I have been bringing you the recipes and different ingredients I have been experimenting with.

Today’s focus was on carob, a fruit which pods are roasted. Carob is used as an alternative to chocolate. I just happened to have a bag of carob powder and wanted to experiment with it.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of carob powder

1/2 cup of honey

1 cup of crunchy peanut butter

4 teaspoons of sugar (optional)

rice flour for dusting

Instructions

Measure out the carob powder and add to a medium mixing bowl. Measure out the peanut butter and add to the carob powder. Stir the mixture until well combined.

Add the honey and mix until even.

I added sugar as I was giving this to someone who has never had carob before and wanted to mask the bitterness without compromising the flavour. This is optional and up to you.

If you have more honey I would recommend that. I just happened to have run out.

Roll into small bite size balls.

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Then dust the balls with rice flour.

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I personally like to keep these in the freezer to make them chewy. Again this is up to you.

Bon appetit.

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What do you think of this recipe? Let me know in the comments and don’t be afraid to give this post a like!

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Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

I had a spaghetti squash and next to no groceries in my house. So I came up with this recipe with what little I had –and the results were amazing!

This is my new favourite recipe and a great alternative for those avoiding pasta because of gluten.

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash

garlic fresh or minced

1 onion of any type

olive oil

3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese or whatever cheese on hand

paprika (optional)

parsley (optional)

Instructions

Take a large knife and cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon and scoop out all the seeds.

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Once you have scooped out the squash. Prepare the baking sheet with tin foil. Rub some olive oil on the tin foil.

Lightly rub the spaghetti squash with olive oil on the inside and out. Place on the tin foil, face down. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 30-35 minutes. When done the squash should look like below.

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Cut up a desired amount of onion. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Allow the frying pan to heat up. Cook the onion on medium-low until they have begun to turn transparent approximately 10-15 minutes.

During the time the onions are frying. Grate 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese or whatever cheese on hand. I used 1/2 of parmesan cheese and 1/4 cups of mozzarella.

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Add garlic to the onions. I used 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic. Allow to fry for 3-5 minutes.

Take a fork and separate the spaghetti squash from its peel. The texture of the squash should look like spaghetti like the photo below.

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Add spaghetti squash to the frying pan and turn to low heat.  Mix every couple minutes to prevent burning.

Add the cheese to the mixture and stir until well blended. Turn off heat and enjoy!

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Add some paprika to taste and some parsley. There you have garlic parmesan spaghetti squash! Enjoy!

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When You Have Free Shrimp

So long story short, my boyfriend and I  had a house party for May 24 Weekend. Our guests brought beverages, burgers, sausages, steaks, salads, and shrimps. When all was said and done the next day, they ended up leaving us all the food. 🙂

I don’t normally have shrimp in my home, but have been buying them ever since as they are a great lean protein add-on to meals.

So here is a quick shrimp recipe that pairs lovely with rice!

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Barbequed Curry Garlic Shrimp (10 minutes cook time)

Charcoal Barbeque at 350 degrees

Skewers

Bag of Shrimp

2 Tablespoons of minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon of Curry

1/8 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Lemon or Lime juice

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Tupperware to marinade.

Instructions

  1. Make sure to devein shrimp or double check shrimp that they have been cleaned properly. Prepared shrimp tend to have a bit of the vein left in them.
  2. Prepare all the ingredients in a Tupperware and let marinade for a preferred period of time. We made ours after 3 hours.
  3. Prepare barbeque. Place skewers on with the lid closed. Allow 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Let cool and enjoy.
  5. (Optional) prepare with a side of rice and enjoy!

What do you think of this recipe? Let me know in the comments below and don’t be afraid to give this post a big ol’ thumbs up!!

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An Adventure with Aquafaba

Due to my recent diet change, I have been put in a position to experiment with strange and new ingredients– more so aquafaba.

What the heck is that you may ask. It’s not a pool toy but an everyday ingredient that most people would throw away.

Aquafaba is literally bean water. The water that submerges your chickpeas in the can and its a great substitute for eggs when baking.

So I made Aquafaba Meringue Cookies!

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The Recipe (4 ingredients: 90 minutes cook time)

1 cup of water from a can of chickpeas (Other bean types work as well).

3/4 cup of brown sugar (you use whatever sugar you want).

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Medium stainless bowl

Electric mixer

Baking Sheet

Parchment paper

Piping bag (Optional)

The Instructions

  1. Dump bean water content into a medium stainless steel bowl. DO NOT use a smaller bowl as the liquid WILL expand.
  2. Add the cream of tartar to the bean liquid. Start stirring with an electric mixer on a lower speed. After about 10 minutes the liquid should be white and meringue-like.
  3. Slowly add in sugar and mix with higher speed settings for 5 minutes.
  4. Once all the sugar is evenly distributed add in the vanilla extract. Keep mixing until you have stiff peaks (if not sure see below). Total mixing time should be 20 minutes or more.
  5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet at 250F for 90 minutes. Using a piping bag and place 1 inch apart. If you don’t have a piping bag use a teaspoon.
  6. Once done, turn off heat to the oven and let the meringue sit until cooled in the oven.

How to Tell if the Aquafaba is Ready?

Aquafaba can be a hard ingredient to work with and I even messed up my second batch.

You can tell when it is getting close to being finished when the meringue becomes glossy after the sugar has been added.

Another way to tell if you have stiff peaks. Although, I know what a stiff peak is. I was blending so long that I had to google it for assurance. Be careful googling “stiff peaks” you may find something R-rated.

To ensure you have stiff peaks, pull out the end of the electric whisk to see if the peaks stand straight up on their own. If so, shake the bowl, if they don’t move the meringue is ready. If not keep blending with the mixer and don’t be afraid to use that power boost option.

**It is best to over mix this recipe, then under mix it. If you undermix it, the cookies will melt and won’t set. Remember there is a science to baking!!

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How I Messed up my Second Batch

You will notice this makes A LOT of meringue cookies. So in an effort to use as much leftover meringue possible, I stacked them on the baking sheet.

Big Mistake!

First of all, they all melted. Some even disintegrated. It is better to make the cookies smaller (Mine were as wide as a can of tomato paste at their biggest). I also found piping them the meringue set it better than using a spoon.

Overall

These turned out better than expected. The house smelled amazing like marshmallows. I would do this recipe again for a potluck or just shock people (There’s something pleasing with telling people I turned bean water into meringue cookies).

This recipe is great for vegan, dairy free, and gluten free diets.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and don’t be afraid to give this post a like.

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Small Changes For Weight Loss

At some point in everyone’s life, we realise we may not be at our healthiest and want to make changes.

I have been overweight for most of my life and started to lose weight 2 years ago and was left with loose skin and needed to get rid of it.

Here are some tricks I learned that helped to lose weight WITH exercise (mostly light to moderate). These were the beginning stages I took to live a healthier life.

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Cut the Sugar.

This is no joke. The first drastic change I made in my life was to cut my sugar intake. I started this with my daily coffee. I used to drink a double-double every morning (2 sugars, 2 creams). At first, I started by switching to milk instead of cream (have consumed almond milk or skimmed every day since). I followed this by cutting sugar all together.

It was crazy to see how this small change began to erode away the bloating around my stomach. I felt better as a whole and was less tired and had more energy from having no sugar in my diet.

And here’s why.

1 Medium Double Double = 150 Calories

Per week: 150×7 = 1,050 calories per week.

Per month: 150×31= 4,650 calories over a 31 day month.

 

1 Medium coffee with milk = 30 calories

Per week: 30×7 = 210 calories.

Per month: 30×31 = 930 calories or a 31 day month.

That’s a total of  3720 calories cut out in a month!

Drink More Water.

I’m sure you have heard this time and time again, but you know what?! Drink more water!

Higher water consumptions are great for many reasons. It can improve your digestion and increase your metabolism.

The best part….

Water has no calories and can help with food cravings. Sometimes the body tricks us into thinking we’re hungry but instead, you’re really just dehydrated and your body is notifying you that. Perhaps, try drinking some water instead of reaching for food to get rid of growling stomach or cravings.

Drinking more water = fewer food cravings.

Drink Green Tea.

Green tea is no joke. I tried this as a fluke after hearing of the “fit tea” trend. So naturally, I had to dabble in tea magic to see if it was partially true or partially false.

Fit tea, in general, is gimmicky. However, its root as a weight loss method comes from hundreds of years that green tea has been used for its health benefits.

Green tea for weight loss can speed up the metabolism and trust me this works. Drink 2-3 regular cups of this daily and watch your body metabolism speed up. Just don’t load up on sugar. I prefer to drink this black but honey and stevia are great healthy sweetening alternatives.

Additionally, green tea has been used for inflammation and can help with mild acne or other skin irritations.

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Walk!

This so easy, just walk more. Walking is great because of its a form of light cardio (cardio= weight loss) and its good for you.

By walking more you are increasing your metabolism and improving your heart health. The longer or higher heart rate you achieve the more calories burned. I would go for a 20 minute-40 five days a week. Sometimes it would be slow pace sometimes speed walking.

I would go for walks after dinner, therefore, forcing my boyfriend to do the dishes. Can’t argue it was a win-win situation.

Weight loss is hard to do to achieve and just remember that you are building a better version of yourself one day at a time!

What are your weight loss secrets? Let me know in the comments believe and don’t forget to give this a like!

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