Category Archives: Nutrition

Eat Clean for What?

I see you all you little clean eaters, with your meal prep, tasty recipes, and pretty smoothies, I LOVE IT. I’ve been inspired by it. I said to myself, olde broad get your diet together, one cannot live by popcorn and milk duds alone so I did it.

Prepping wasn’t hard I’ve always done that. I chop every Sunday for salads, cooked meals and juices for the week. So I continued to do so. Getting junk out of my cabinets and fridge was easy as well, I ate it ALL. I work hard for the money I ain’t ’bout to throw out some perfectly good Tostitos. Having polished that off I was on my way.

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Week 1 – my head was hurting, I was having junk withdrawal, and was  HOOONNNGGRRRYYY and evil without my snacks but I persevered.
Week 2 – I weighed in and was back to where I was at the start of the summer.
Week 3 – 2 more pounds. Shouldn’t this be faster? Oh yeah I’m old and my schedule was getting crazy so the workouts slowed down.
Weeks 4-5 I’m bored and tired of eating like this. I stop weighing in.
Week 6 – I turned 49 ate ALL the things and have been eating ever since.

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In that 6 weeks, the net loss was three pounds. Needless to say with that amount of sacrifice I was sorely disappointed. So much so that I haven’t tried again since. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Not a day during that time did I have digestive issues. I stopped rolling like a hot dog roller all night and slept well for the first time in foreverrrrrrr, and did not have a headache after that first week. Yet I titled this Eat Clean For What?

In spite of my perceived failure I was on to something. The focus on eating real food affected my quality of life in a positive way and that is very important as you get older. In fact eating whole unprocessed foods can:

  • Give you more energy
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Prevent cancer
  • Support mental health
    And…
  • Lose weight

Losing weight is really the cherry on top of that clean smoothie. I think those benefits plus those I’d experienced during my first attempt are well worth going for it again and I will, as soon as I finish this last bag of Lays.

So how about you? Are you a clean eater? How long have you been? What’s been your experience thus far? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or Google+. Until next time see you at the store, in the produce aisle of course.
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Photos: MsThorns
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The Commitment – 30 Days of Yoga

There had to be a way for me to build some consistency in my fitness life but I had to be gentle.  Whenever I’ve been healthy I’ve always gone full tilt for about three weeks at a time before some illness or injury occurred.  Though yoga is more than a fitness thing for me it seemed like building a better yoga practice was a good place to start. So I made a commitment.

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I saw that Yoga With Adriene was holding a 30 Days of Yoga series at the beginning of the year, Ms Overzealous signed up and unfortunately did not complete the 30 days of her program, but a funny thing happened. I actually did practice every single day in January and am still doing so as of this writing. This is no knock against the program as it had a lot of variety but speaks more to my listlessness. I practice with the exception of a few days of “freestyle” and one class at Kaiser, all yoga practice has been with Youtube and primarily with:

Fightmaster Yoga

Yoga by Candace

Yoga with Adriene

SaraBethYoga

A working playlist of videos I’ve done is available here.

I know some of you could care less about Yoga and I’m good with that. What I hope you do care about is Consistency. Are you consistent with your fitness program, your diet, check-ups, rest etc.? Consistency, I’m learning, doesn’t require sweat till you drop, lift till you can’t move dedication, what it does require is effort and a commitment to yourself, to take care of yourself. Can you make that commitment to consistently take care of YOU? Have you already? Let me know how you’re doing so in the comments.

Until next time, commit to consistency.

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Photos: MsThorns

Blame it on the… (you know how it goes)

I’m not much of a drinker even though I’ve posted many pictures of 

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but believe me the most I’ll have is one glass or one bottle and I’m shut down. Ye olde broad cannot get down like she used to and I’m thankful for that because alcohol ain’t nothin but trouble. It still troubles me somewhat, for instance if I have a beer tonight, the early morning workout gets pushed to late afternoon or evening because I CANNOT get out of at the bed and I am usually dehydrated or moreso than I usually am.  Knowing my experience, I wanted to know a bit more about the science of alcohol, the body and exercise. I found some things that I already knew and one thing was a bit surprising.  Here’s what I found out.

Alcohol’s effects on your body and your fitness are dependent upon what type of drinking you’re doing:

  • Moderate: one drink per day for women, up to two for men
  • Binge: when blood alcohol levels reach .08 g/DL which is about four drinks for women and five drinks for men in a space of two hours (GEEZ) another standard is 5 or more drinks one one occasion in the last 30 days
  • Heavy: five or more drinks on five or more days of the last 30 days

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The most deleterious effects of alcohol on the body occur amongst binge and heavy drinkers such as:

  • Brain: alcohol can affect mood, behavior, clarity of thinkingetc
  • Heart: stroke, high blood pressure etc
  • Liver: cirrhosis etc
  • Pancreas: production of toxins
  • Cancer: several types
  • Immune system: weakened

What happens in terms of fitness?

  • Muscle – lessened blood flow leading to weakness and deterioration
  • Hormone – lessens testerone, increases estrogen, leading to increased fat deposits and fluid retention and…
  • dehydration, fatigue, weight gain (empty calories and drunk munchies), decreased nutrient absorption

Not a pretty picture.

Here’s the bottom line, moderate drinking is alright and shouldn’t preclude you from reaching your fitness goals.  Going beyond moderate can enter you into the danger zone.

One more thing that I found interesting about alcohol consumption that I found interesting was a study at Northwestern that indicates that people drink more on days that they are more active and less when they are less active. One hypothesis is that that extra bit of drinking may serve as a ‘reward’ and I know that’s the case for me.  After a week of green food, green drinks and protein, I think I DESERVE a cold brew or glass of wine.

What about you? Do you imbibe from time to time? How does it affect your performance in the gym, on the road or wherever you do your thing? Let me know in the comments and have a great weekend (in moderation of course).

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Photos: MsThorns except where noted. Inclusion of photos are for illustrative purposes only.

Where da party at?

Ladies and Gents we’re about one hour from kickoff of:

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How’s your festivities going? PBS wants to know.  Send us pics of your festivities here with your name and location and they will be featured on Powered by Soul for your halftime enjoyment. That is if you’re not watching Katie Perry or back at the table for some more fixins. 🙂

BrotherJR – SC

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O – IN

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Ant – NC

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MsThorns – GA

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The National Holiday Called the Super Bowl

Sunday February 1, 2015 marks the celebration of Super Bowl XLIX (49) with the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks battling (hopefully not a blowout) for the Lombardi Trophy.  Why a national holiday you ask? Because we party like it is and we sho’ nuff eat and drink like it is.  In the U.S., Super Bowl Sunday is the 2nd largest food and drink consumption day behind Thanksgiving. In fact Americans are expected to eat 11 million pounds of chips, 1.23 billion chicken wings to be chased by 325 million gallons of beer two the tune of 2400 calories per “meal” and that’s just during the game.  What happens in my household? The same thing. Did you think I would give up the chance to go for broke on a national holiday?

Puhhhhhleeeeeeeeze.

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I love the NFL AND I love food and libations so I’ll be enjoying it on Sunday and returning to normal consumption on Monday.  I’m no killjoy either so if Super Bowl Sunday is pig out day for you, enjoy it.  For those who don’t indulge but stay true to their dietary habits, God Bless ya!

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How are you celebrating the Super Bowl? Better yet what are you eatin’ and drankin’?  Let me know in the comments and feel free to send me photos of your super bowl spread on Google+ or Twitter on Sunday.  They will be posted right here.

Until next time, see you at the gym, where I will be rolling in like a teletubby but with a smile on my face 🙂

Photos: MsThorns

Powered By Soul Spotlight – Sonya Strider

This profile was actually completed at the end of last year, however as scheduling or lack thereof would have it, it’s being published now.  We’re three weeks into the new year and I’m guessing that some of our eat better, exercise more, lose weight resolutions/intentions/goals may have fallen by the wayside.  Here’s hoping that this young lady will help you get back on the wagon.

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I met Sonya, or should I say Sonya pranced (yeah you should see her walk) into my life 5 years or so ago at a sorority party. She’s an all eyes and all ears on her type of woman, not that she demands it, folks her just drawn to HER.  I was one of the moths drawn to her flame and she has been my GURRRLLLL ever since. She is a brainiac scientist, fashionista and the best friend an old broad could have, introducing my partner in crime and Soror Foxy Brown, er Ms. Sonya Strider in her own words.

You are?

Sonya Strider, originally from Norfolk, Virginia, living in Atlanta, GA. I’m 46 and am a Health Scientist at CDC

Tell us about your fitness routine?

I walk/run 4-6 miles at least 4 days a week. I also do soul line dancing 4-6 hours each week and bootcamp 5 times a week.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?

I try to put out more than I take in 🙂 I have at least one green smoothie per day and at least one salad.

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How long have you been engaged in your fitness and nutrition plans?

Almost two years.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?

Since beginning racing I’ve gone from a 20 minute mile to my current 13.5 minute mile and have completed 29 5K races and one 10k since November 2013.  I kicked off 2015 with a 4-miler followed by a 12k.  Since losing weight, I have been able to discontinue blood pressure medication and reduce the amount of insulin that I take daily.

What keeps you motivated to continue your healthy lifestyle?

The hopes of living a long healthy life, without diabetic complications. Of course being able to wear clothes that don’t end in “W” is a huge motivator too..:-)

Your motto or personal philosophy?

Each new day is another chance to get it right.

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Whew, did you get all that? If that doesn’t motivate you Powered by Soul will keep trying. In the meantime, many thanks to Sonya for sharing her story and being an inspiration to hopefully get you (and me) back on the stick.

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the Spotlight drop a line in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.

Photos: Sonya Strider, MsThorns

Big Red Sausage

Sunday January 4, 2015 a day I won’t soon forget.  This was the day that the Lord had made, I SHOULD have rejoiced and been glad in it but ummmm, well this is what happened.

I got up hit the mat for yoga practice with this, ate, showered and prepped for church.  This Sunday was dreary and rainy so my attire needed to be appropriate for that and be comfortable as I’d be shooting some photos of service.  I selected a variation of my go-to uniform, long sleeve tee, pencil skirt, boots and tights. Standing in the closet I take the skirt off the hanger and step into it, pull it up and WHAM, my butt got in the way of the zipper, I did a spin maneuver to zip it most of the way, when BAM I hit the final obstacle my gut.  I sucked it in, spun that skirt around and asked can I move without the skirt RIDING HIGH and will wearing it be a distraction, remember I am moving during church? To answer I did some fancy pageant walking, checked my hind parts in the mirror and added a long sweater over the tee and a scarf, deemed myself presentable and headed out the door.

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Once moving the skirt was fine, sitting wasn’t a problem either, truly the Lord was WITH ME as he KNEW my skirt struggle and how it almost derailed me.  I enjoyed service, got my shots, talked to my buddies after church and flew home to remove the red sausage casing from my body and exhaled.

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Ye olde broad’s new body was borne of changing hormones with a dose of grief but the main culprit was food, specifically obscene amounts of snacks chased with red wine and Guinness. Do I like this new body? Nah, but with age comes wisdom, instead of performing the self beat down, I just copped to it and am continuing with modifications that I’d already begun to make. I also know that I am not alone.

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Some of you fine folks out there may have indulged a bit during the holidays, maybe you’ve been sidelined by an injury or illness, been crazy busy or have never felt a need or want to exercise or be mindful of your diet until now. It’s okay, as long as you’re upright and above ground you can make a change.

What’s your red sausage? Are you ready to let it go? Let me know in the comments.20130421_151607

Until next time see you on the road wear I’ll be wearing a red skirt, looking like a HUMAN instead of a sausage.

Photos: MsThorns