Archives for March 2016

03/30/16

30-day Sugar-Free Detox (help!!)

sugarfree

No sugar!!!! What? Am I crazy? “SAY GOODBYE TO EVERY FOOD I’VE EVER LOVED!”

Since I got married a year ago, I have pretty much been living the “married life” and have gone back to my normal eating habits. No they are not terrible but they are not the best either. (As I sit here eating leftover Easter candy) I have noticed my body changing back to what I like to call “thicker” and I can start feeling the sluggishness and tiredness. I still do my normal, everyday workouts so I know it is not my exercise that is affecting my body. Being an athlete my whole life I know the basics of diet: 70% diet, 30% exercise. So now that I have given the issue at hand, I am going to “reset” my body for 30 days.

I am doing a 30-day sugar detox for the month of April.

sugar

I have come to the realization that temptation is everywhere I turn and I often find myself indulging. Then, the more I indulge, the more I crave. I’ve come to the point where every time I finish a meal, I crave something sweet. The craving is so strong, I always give in. Completing a 30 day sugar detox is my way of resetting my nutritional goals. I know that when I eat healthy, I sleep better, have more energy, and am better able to handle stress. My skin has been so out of control lately and I know sugar is one of the culprits. My goals for the sugar detox are simple: to cut sugar cravings, eliminate refined foods from my diet, and give myself a nutritional jump-start. Summer is around the corner and I am ready for the challenge.

There are several reasons why sugar free diets are great for a body reset. I have listed the main reasons why I want to do away with sugar for 30 days.

Sugar is EVERYWHERE

Before doing my research, I thought my family had a fairly “clean” diet. With the exception of cereal, bread, kid-snacks and juice, we have few processed foods in our pantry. As it turns out, almost every packaged food at the grocery store contains added sugar, from bread, to cereal, to “healthy” granola bars. Even things marked “sugar free” usually contain some form of artificial sweetener. Most salad dressings, crackers, nut butters, and condiments contain added sweeteners, as does any flavor of yogurt with the exception of plain. I had no idea just how much added sugar we are consuming until reading the ingredient labels. The worst part about it is all of the snacks/drinks we buy for Ridge. Yes, kids love sugar and should be able to have fun stuff every now and then but the affects sugar has on children is scary.

Sugar effects your emotional and mental health

Research has shown that sugar has a direct impact on the brain. It interrupts normal function and causes chemical reactions that may have a negative impact. These changes in brain function can then lead on to more serious emotional and mental conditions such as depression, panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings, anger issues, bi polar, ADD/ADHD, lack of mental clarity and all sorts of things. It really is quite astounding. I personally know that sugar affects my moods a lot. It definitely has a direct impact on my emotional states and it doesn’t take long for me to experience that when I reintroduce sugar. I’ve also seen the direct affects with my son, so these things really are real. Obesity in children has increased dramatically over the years and the health affects sugar can cause for children is astonishing.

Sugar really can hurt

Beyond the cravings and tummy aches, consuming too many added sugars is negatively linked to sleep, acne, belly fat, energy level, and more. When I was in college, I gave up sugar for 6 months to prepare for nationals for the dance team. I noticed that both my skin and my sleep improved. It also help to eliminate my afternoon energy crash. Belly fat was a HUGE change for me. I lost 5 inches off my waist in 6 months and felt amazing. If I can do it for 6 months, I know I can do 30 days.

Sugar has a direct affect on weight gain/loss

Sugar has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels and sends you on a roller coaster ride in energy levels as well. In order to ignite your fat burning furnace, you have to get your blood sugar levels to stabilize. So cutting out sugar is obviously the best place to start and sugar should be at the top of your elimination list for weight loss! Knowing that sugar derivatives such as high fructose corn syrup and glucose are often slipped into the most unsuspecting items, such as toast or canned soup, this is something I will be paying extra attention to during this process. This is something I strive to do anyway because of all the nasties that hide in processed foods.

Sugar messes with your hormones

Hormones are responsible for making our body tick. But if our hormones are all over the place how can our health possibly be any good? The answer is, it can’t. The state of our hormones has a direct impact on the development of disease in our body and for women it has everything to do with weight loss too. Sugar is one of the main hormone wreckers that affects every single hormonal process and function in the body.

Meal satisfaction

On a chemical level, I want to feel more satisfied with smaller portions of healthy food. When you’re eating a meal, the brain triggers a release of hormones that tells the rest of your body you’re in fact full. More than that, your brain will also hold off on releasing the hormones that tell you you’re hungry again. Without sugar present to make the calls, your brain can function on its own.

Better sleep

When you have high blood sugar or spike it throughout the day, you’ll probably experience poor sleep. I tend to snack during the day and it is usually sweeter things in the afternoon. This causes me to become really tired and then I end up eating more because my body demands more energy. This cyclic process leads to restless nights. A steady blood sugar level will give you a deeper, peaceful sleep you experienced as a kid. If I could sleep like my child then I will be a happier person 🙂

HERE’S MY PLAN:

I will cut out all highly refined sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, artificial syrups, etc), fruit juices (except for lemon and lime juice to flavor my food), and try to make homemade sauces and condiments. As far as less refined sugars like honey and maple syrup, I am replacing these with agave syrup. If there is one gram of sugar on the label, I can not have it. I normally drink Gatorade for workouts and running but when I actually read the label, they are full of sugar. I have switched to Powerade Light which has zero sugar. As far as eating out, I have already warned my husband that this will be super tough so go easy. I plan on doing salads with sugar free dressing on the side. So basically lettuce and water! No Mexican food for a month will be super hard but I am up for the challenge. Now if you were wondering about alcohol? I did LOTS of research on this and have found that the driest white wine (Pinot Noir) has no sugar! WIN!!!!! This was one of the main reasons I stuck with this specific diet so I can still LIVE!

This will be me in 30 days!!

Stay tuned to how my diet is going and my first week results. April 1st is Friday (of course on the weekend) so I will be doing a follow up post for my sugar free journey in about a week.

Have you ever done a sugar free diet? Any tips, advice or pointers for getting through this?

Brittany:)

Brittany
03/28/16

The Best Summer Acne Products

I am looking forward to summer due to the new adventures im going to encounter and how i am starting cegep next year whihc makes it a new begining. Also i am planning on going on many road trips with friends and making money from my job for my future.:

Summer should mean tank tops, days at the beach and cute sundresses right? Showing a little bit of skin is part of the summer. Somehow wearing a long sleeve t-shirt isn’t quite right in 90 degree weather. Unfortunately, if you are like me when it comes to my back I am a little reluctant to expose it at all.

Back acne, or “bacne”, isn’t just for teens. Lately it seems that breakouts on my back are like an epidemic. Being a runner and and an athlete my entire life, I have always had issues with the bacne.  Because the breakouts can be linked with hormones, shifts around menstrual cycles, times of stress or sweat, many of us well beyond our teen years are experiencing these blemishes.

BODY CLEANSERS

I have tested and put together some of the best products to help fight the acne so you can flaunt your skin without feeling uncomfortable. It’s so embarrassing to slip on tank tops and dresses, only to see breakouts on my arms and back. The moral of this story, we need to consistently exfoliate, and then apply a spray treatment to keep breakouts at bay. Try these to help curb your own “bacne”, I have linked everything below:

best body acne products

Neutrogena Body Clear Spray

This is one product I use almost every day! After bathing, towel dry and spray this on all of your problem areas. The sprayer makes it easy to reach your back because it will work even if inverted. The bottle makes it easier to fight pimples on your chest, arms, and back without anyone knowing. $8.99 

Peter Thomas Roth Blemish Buffing Beads

 This product was a huge win for both exfoliating the skin and fighting body acne. This two-in-one strategy leaves the skin silky smooth thanks to the jojoba beads and glycolic acid. It is proven to zap the acne-causing bacteria with salicylic acid without over-drying skin. $39

Neutrogena Body Clear Pink Grapefruit Body Wash

This award-winning body wash is my personal favorite because it’s super affordable, and it works! After I shampoo my hair, I lather up with this on my arms, back, and chest to make sure any dirt or bacteria don’t result in body breakouts. $7.99

Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap

I actually read about this product from several blogs so this is a recent test product for me. Still an affordable alternative, Mario Badescu’s solution to body acne uses both papaya and grapefruit enzymes to gently break down dead skin that causes clogged pores. The oat protein soothes the skin and reduces inflammation. $8

FACIAL CLEANSERS

Cleansers are the first line of defense to get the gunk off that initially clogs our pores. We MUST wash our faces, twice a day! Tried and tested, these were my top four cleansers that really help fight facial acne and keep the skin in tip-top shape. I have linked all products below:

 best acne facial cleansers
Brittany
03/25/16

Fitness Friday

Happy “Good Friday” Friends!!! I am actually doing this exact dance because its a 3-day weekend! To jump start the long weekend, I am enjoying a LARGE cup of coffee while my 4 year old is playing (shouting) in the playroom. This week was nuts and so glad it is over. Ready for a fun-filled weekend full of Easter activities!

I wanted to share some new workouts I have been trying lately. My weekly workout routine will be up on the blog very soon but for now these have been kicking my butt lately. I typically run 2 miles every morning and then do a separate workout after work. Lately, I have been going to the gym at lunch and pretty much dying when I get back to work. I like the feeling of leaving work and going straight home rather than the gym so the lunch workouts will be happening more frequently.

In honor of March Madness, I have been doing this workout twice a week. HOLY SWEAT!!!!

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If you would like to switch up your arm workout, TRY THIS!!! PS: 1 minute of push-ups is killer!

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I started this workout over the winter to switch up my cardio workout and still love it! I have worked my way up to 3 rounds of each 🙂

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And for the KILLER…. Jump Squats = DEATH! But, I love the feeling of burning after this workout. I am always sore the next day which I love 🙂

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I will be doing something I have never done before for the month of April so stay tuned next week for my exciting journey!! 🙂

What are some of your favorite workouts? If you try any of these that I shared today, please let me know what you think.

Happy Easter!

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
03/22/16

Easter Sunday – Dresses

How is Easter Sunday almost here?!?!… We will be attending the morning church service and then having lunch with the family. Then we go to the park and do an Easter Egg hunt for the kids (and maybe adults)… then it is dinner with the other side of the family. We usually have a busy day so I started thinking about an Easter outfit last week. I have put together some fabulous dress options. The weather is supposed to be a little warmer here but being that it is still March, I know it will be chilly other places. I have linked all dresses below:

Easter Dresses

Chilly Weather Options:

Wrap Belt Dress $68

Mango Cardigan $80

Rainbow Tweed Dress $67

Cable Knit Maroon Cardigan $24

Summer Skater Dress $40

Waist Lenth Pink Coat $52

Warmer Weather Options:

Flared Skirt Dress $35

Hot Pink Lace $30

Short Sleeve Flower Dress $10

What are your Easter plans? Do you dress up or keep it casual for a long, busy day?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
03/21/16

Blog Swap – Morning Routine

Happy Monday Friends!

I am so excited for this particular post because I am collaborating with one of my favorite bloggers and friends Hannah from LoubsandLips. She always has the best make-up reviews and beauty posts. You should totally check out her blog because I promise you will love it.

We are taking over each other’s blogs today and sharing our Morning Routines. It is always fun learning about other people’s daily routines and how we each have different responsibilities and schedules. I know mine is a little hectic with a house full of crazies so I am sharing mine over on her blog.

So without further hesitation, let me hand over the blog to the fabulous Hannah.

I’ve never been a morning person and no matter how long I sleep or how hard I try, I just can’t do it. I will never be one of those people who hops out of bed ready to face the day. The day will be there when I get up at 10. However, I do have a job that requires me to be there at 8 am so I have to get up and get going.
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I have to set 3 alarms starting at 6:15 to ensure that I am up by 7. Kudos to all your one alarm people, I don’t know how you do it. After I turn my alarm off, I say good morning to Windsor who doesn’t acknowledge my existence because he’s still sleeping. I fumble in the dark and find my remote and turn on the Today show. Having Matt Lauer and Willie Geist to look at makes mornings a little more bearable.
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My apartment has 2 vanities so I have my hair stuff at one and my makeup and skincare at the other. I turn my straightener on and while that heats up, I wash my face, apply my serum, and put my contacts in. I do my hair and makeup simultaneously. I’ll do a few steps of my makeup routine, straighten a section of hair, back to makeup, back to hair, etc. till the transformation is complete.
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I try to choose my outfit and jewelry the night before and have it ready to go. I move it to this little blank section in my closet and put my shoes on top of a shelving unit in my closet. I save myself so much time when I do this. After I get dressed, I pick my lipstick for the day and put on my jewelry.
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I make sure Windsor has food and water and raise the blinds for him. He must be able to see out at all times. I grab my purse, my work bag, sunnies, and keys and I’m out the door. Before I leave I always tells Windsor, “Bye angel face, be a good boy, I’ll see you this afternoon. Love you!” because I am a crazy dog lady and I hate leaving him every morning. Then, I open the door to enter the outside world and immediately wish I was back in bed.
I have had so much fun sharing my routine with you guys and look forward to meeting some new bloggers.

What do your Monday mornings look like? Do you have a routine similar to mine?

Hannah

 

Brittany