Friday Finds 2-20-15

Friday Finds from Former Fitness Flunky

It’s finally Friday!  I’ve been totally slacking this week in keeping up with writing, but I’ve been reading and collecting lots of articles that are really interesting.  It’s amazing how research and even politics are bringing new advances or change in positions into light on food and fitness issues.  I hope you find these as useful, interesting or thought provoking as I did:

Fitness

Why Has the Fitness Industry Become Elitist?
This article brings up a very interesting topic – elitism in fitness. The author brings up the issue that some people feel they need to work their way up to the gym and I, like the author, am saddened by that sentiment. I agree with the author’s reasoning that “over-information” is a big problem in creating confusion and discomfort in the gym environment. I also agree that boasting has created a culture of elitism (I’m sure you’ve run into an over-zealous CrossFitter at least once). That whole boasting thing can make a lot of people feel really uncomfortable. We definitely need to acknowledge that there is an issue dividing people and possibly even driving them away from activities that would benefit them.

5k Run for ALS
Check out the Eventbrite link above to learn more about a high school senior’s project to organize a 5k event in memory of her grandma. Donations are welcome from non-runners.

Rise of the Body-Weight Workout
It’s quite surprising that body weight training hasn’t always been at the top of fitness trends given how cheap (free!) and easy it can be (from the standpoint that no other equipment is needed). Starting with body weight workouts can also be a great way to ensure your basic body mechanics are up to par before you take on more difficult work.

Food

Are Corporations Putting Feathers in Your Food?: The Food Babe’s disgusting claims are baloney.
Oh Food Babe. Whether you love or hate her, she’s become a front and center issue in the food world. This article gently reminds readers that everything may not be as it seems both in food and in the claims being made by the Babe.

More

Is the Government Reversing Its Stance on Cholesterol?
It’s fairly scary that some “cherry picked” data regarding cholesterol from a single researcher yielded dietary recommendations from the government that in turn led to years and years of higher carb/low fat diets that didn’t lessen the very issues they were trying to combat. It’s a great thing that the government is taking a look at these issues as scientific research progresses.

Have you taken the Whole30 survey?  If you’ve recently completed a Whole30 I would love to hear how it went! Take the survey here.  Results will be published in March.

I hope you have a wonderful, activity-filled weekend!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

25 Things About Me

Participating in February’s Blog Hop has given me a new insight into the lives of many new bloggers. I love learning about everyone, so I thought I would share some fun information so anyone stopping by can learn a little more about me.

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Here are 25 things about me (that you may or may not already know!)

What is your real hair color?: Blonde.

What was favorite subject in school?: Anything art related. I took as many art classes as they offered – from drawing to pottery.

What is your favorite drink?: Beer!

What is your favorite song at the moment?:  Our Own House by MisterWives.

What is your favorite food?: Cake!  I am a bit of a sweets junkie.

What is the last thing you bought?: Running shoes. I’m not a “runner” though. :)

What is your favorite book of all time?: I am an avid reader so it’s hard to pick just one favorite, but Charm School by Nelson DeMille is near the top of my list.

What is your favorite color?: Black.

Do you have any pets?: A wonderful kitty named Mr. Frass.

What is your favorite perfume?: Happy by Clinique.

What is your favorite holiday?: Halloween.

Are you married?: For almost 7 years now.

Do you speak any other language(s)?: Some cursory Spanish.

Do you like sushi?: Love it! I don’t always go for the crazy exotic stuff, but I do enjoy a lot of different rolls and will give nearly anything at least a try.

Where do you buy your groceries?: Sprouts and Aldi are my favs, but I shop all over to get the best deals.

What is your favorite store?:  I am not a huge shopper, but I do really like IKEA.  Everything in there gives me so many fun ideas or inspiration.

What is your favorite restaurant?:  Chaz on the Plaza in Kansas City.

What is your favorite pizza topping?: Double onions.

What is you favorite blog?:  Foodie with Family is my all time favorite for amazing recipes.

What is you favorite movie?: I love Clueless because it’s still cute after all these years.

What is you favorite TV show?: Archer.  It’s so wildly inappropriate I can’t help but laugh.

Any tattoos?: Currently 8, down from 9 (tattoo removal is wildly painful).

How tall are you?: 5’8″

Can you cook?: Yes and I love doing it.  My biggest cooking fault is that I have a hard time sticking to recipes because I like to be creative.

What is you favorite ice cream flavor?: SO hard to pick but Häagen-Dazs coffee is delish!

So tell me something about yourself in the comments! What’s your favorite movie? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Do you like sushi?

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

20 Healthier Sweets for Your Sweet

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If you’re looking for a healthier sweet treat for your Valentine look no further than this round-up of delicious recipes. Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be a diet crasher. You can whip up delicious treats while sticking to your goals, just remember, moderation is still important!

This list of healthier treats and desserts includes a number of paleo, dairy-free or other special diet options.  Many of these recipes are also customizable to your specific needs or taste.

Chocolate

Chocolate Frosting Shots from Chocolate Covered Katie
Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Gina’s Skinny Recipes
Chocolate-Espresso Mousse from Fitness Magazine
Chocolate-Salted Caramel Tart
Healthy Homemade Chocolates from Wellness Mama

Brownies/Cookies/Bars

Black Bean Brownies from Taste of Home
Perfect Healthy Blondies from Foodie Fiasco
Luscious Lemon Bars from Against All Grain
Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies from Cooking Light
Peanut Butter-and-Jelly Sandwich Cookies from Health
The Healthiest Cookies Ever from the Detoxinista
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies from My Whole Food Life
Valentine’s Day Cookies from Elana’s Pantry

Cakes and Pies

Healthy Makeover: Cheesecake from Delish
Paleo Coconut Cream Pie

Candies and Other Indulgences

No Bake Paleo Candy Bars from Ultimate Paleo Guide
Honey-Candied Ginger
Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Bon Bons from Nom Nom Paleo
Healthy Fruit Snacks from a Side of Sweet
Lemon Lime Coconut Candy from Delicious Obsessions

A huge thank you to all the wonderful chefs and authors for sharing their recipes and cooking talent!

As of the date of this post all links are working. If you find a broken link please let me know so I can take it down.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Perfect Partner Workout Routine

This post contains affiliate links, see below for more details

If you’re stopping by from the Blog Hop – welcome!  I’m so happy to have you drop by.  I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts so far and can’t wait to “meet” more of you as the hop progresses.  If you aren’t a part of the blog hop, feel free to check out all the amazing blogs participating this month through this link:

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day I am bringing you the Perfect Partner Workout.  Grab your sweetheart, best friend or best workout buddy and show them that you care by completing this quick and fun exercise routine with them.  This workout features 5 exercise moves: Partner Squats, Rotational Ball Passes, Bounce Passes, Plank High-Fives and Alternating Box Jumps.  You’ll need a slam ball (or bouncy medicine ball) for the Rotational Ball Passes and Bounce Passes.  Choose a weight that works well for both of you. If you don’t have a medicine ball you can substitute a basketball or other similar ball, you just won’t get quite the benefit of the added weight.

To complete the routine do 10 Partner Squats, 10 Rotational Ball Passes per partner, 10 Bounce Passes per partner, 10 Plank High-Fives per partner and finish with 10 Alternating Box Jumps per partner.  Repeat as desired.

Perfect Partner Workout

To help to you with the moves I’ve included videos for each exercise:

Partner Squats (I know the video say sit ups when it starts, but it’s just the label and they actually show the squat)

Rotational Ball Passes (sitting and standing versions)

Bounce Passes

Plank High-Fives

Alternating Box Jumps

All videos listed above are the property of their owners/posters and used via YouTube’s share feature.

If you need a new medicine ball check out these from Perform Better (affiliate links):
Economy Gel Balls

PB Extreme Jam-Balls



Reminder: If you’ve recently completed a Whole30, I’d love to hear how it went.  Fill out a quick survey here.  Thank you!

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

The End of Another Whole30 Plus a Survey

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I made it!  Yesterday was the 30th and final day of my second Whole30.  Much like my first time, I’ve learned a lot about my eating habits and what works for me and what doesn’t.

Here are some things I learned/observed during this Whole30:

Cooking and prepping is, in my mind, the most important predictor of success.  I knew going in from previous experience that I’d be cooking a lot.  This really wore me thin on my first round, but this time I knew to be more prepared.  Cooking batches of protein to ensure multiple meals,  prepping fruits and veggies to eat or be cooked and making condiments (mayo, dressing, etc.) in advance  were key to not getting overly hungry/cranky/hangry.

Eating out still takes a lot of work.  I think I grew to kind of hate it.  My restaurant standby on my first round was burger, no bun, extra veggies, yellow mustard.  This still worked fine.  I realized that I could expand my options at a lot of places though and my new standby became sunny side up eggs with a side of (unadulterated) fruit.  This was a nice change of pace, but even that got old after a while.

The Whole30 isn’t hard.  I thought it was hard the first time because it was new.  It seemed restrictive and it irked me some days.  After doing it a second time I feel like it’s really more of a potential lifestyle with some slightly less restrictive tweaks.

I still feel weird about white potatoes.  During my first round I felt like the exclusion was arbitrary.  Since they are now allowed I did break down and eat white potatoes on several occasions.  Are they too starchy, too high calorie?  I don’t know.  Something that was once forbidden and now allowed just feels off.  Truth be told, I have no issue with potatoes, white or otherwise.  They are actually very nutritious.

I found a new favorite tool: the veggie spiralizer.  I’d previously made veggie noodles using a mandolin and they were totally fine, but the spiralizer really kicks noodle making into high gear.  The mandolin noodles were kind of thin and short and my spiralizer made noodles that were super long and sightly thicker than spaghetti.  I’ve only tried making zucchini noodles so far, but I’m anxious to try cucumber and sweet potatoe noodles as well.

Was I 100% compliant? No.  My first slip was taking a bite of a dill pickle at a restaurant before confirming the brine ingredients.  Darn if there wasn’t sugar in there, but it was just one bite.  My second indiscretion was on purpose.  I made beef jerky and used soy sauce.  Approximately 1/6 of a cup for 2 pounds of meat.  Since I was sharing the jerky with my hubby and I wasn’t in the mood to hunt for a soy free alternative at that moment, I just went with what we had.  Besides that, I know I probably consumed frowned upon oils when eating out.  I also engaged in a little SWYPO (sex with your pants on).  I did banana pancakes and made a frosty frozen fruit treat a couple times.  Personally, the whole SWYPO is kind of silly to me because not everyone has the same food issues/triggers/eating habits.  In fact, the last time I had a “pancake” was the last time I did the Whole30 so clearly that’s not a trigger for me.

finished-the-w30-IG-300x300Snacking was an issue for me this time.  I always seemed to be hungry no matter how many days passed.  I ended up eating quite a bit between meals and before bed sometimes which is not ideal.  I know that part of it was habit and part of it was hunger.  I’ll continue to work on this.

I have no idea about any results related to size or weight.  I don’t have a scale currently and I didn’t take any measurements or pictures beforehand.  I wasn’t really looking for changes in these areas so I wasn’t really concerned with tracking them so much.  I tried on a dress that I had tried on at the end of my last Whole30 that finally fit and it still fits now, so I felt good about that.  I had a burst of energy in the first week that eventually seemed to normalize.  I did not experience any positives in acne, in fact I think my face looks worse.  My hair is also strangely limp and flat, though I don’t know if I can attribute that to the Whole30.

Much like my first time around I think I will continue to employ a lot of the Whole30 eating parameters while easing up on some of the restrictions to make it more friendly.  I didn’t really want to just back into normal eating, but there are some things I am missing terribly.  I’ve been pining for a beer since day one.  I’ve also developed a serious craving for sriracha.  Since I already have a good idea about my tolerances for certain food groups I don’t feel as inclined to work through the re-introduction phases as carefully as on my first round.

I am still pretty in love with the Whole30.  I think it’s the best program I’ve ever tried and I would highly recommend it as an option to consider if you’re looking to change your dietary habits.

Now that I’ve gone on and on about my Whole30, I’m very interested in hearing about yours!  If you’ve recently completed a Whole30 I would love to hear about your experience.  The link below will take you to a quick Google survey.

How Did Your Whole30 Go? Survey

I’ll let the survey run for about 30 days and then I’ll publish the results.  I’m most interested to find out if everyone has had the same positive experience as I have.  Please note that this survey is not affiliated in any way with the Whole30, Whole9 or related programs.  Any response you provide may be published (anonymously) with the results of the survey.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week, both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends!

Want to see more Whole30 posts? Check these out!

Disclaimer: This post chronicles my personal experience while working through the Whole30. This is not a recommendation or suggestion for you to do the same, nor is it an endorsement of the Whole30 program. Before you begin this or any diet or exercise program you should discuss it with your doctor or qualified health care provider to determine whether it is safe for you. This post is based on my personal situation and is for information purposes only. Anything contained herein should not be treated as guidance or advice.