Monday, January 16, 2017

My Diet and Exercise routines

When I posted my Lazy Day favorites last week, I had asked for future post suggestions and one of those requests were to write about my diet and exercise routines. I truthfully laughed to myself a little at this request because I think at the time I was eating waffles for lunch with my roommates! However, especially when it comes to my diet, I get asked a lot about what I eat because I am gluten-free. In this post I will cover why I'm gluten free/my experience being gluten free and my diet and exercise tips.

Being Gluten Free:

For those who don't know, a gluten free diet is a diet without the consumption of wheat, barley, or rye. At the beginning of my senior year, over the course of a weekend I had the worst stomaches I had ever experienced. I had abdominal pain for about 3 days that was non stop and no matter what I ate (I would eat bland foods like bread, crackers, etc.) nothing helped. After consulting with my parents and my doctor, it was suggested that I attempt to cut out gluten from my diet. I haven't eaten gluten since and the stomaches haven't come back since unless I've accidentally eaten something contaminated. I eat gluten free but don't have to worry about cross contamination if the pot for example has cooked something that wasn't gluten free before, I only feel sick when I eat something that has gluten in it (this is the difference between being gluten free vs. having celiacs disease).

And I LOVE being gluten free for a few reasons:

1. It cleaned up my eating habits- in saying this I can't get much from a vending machine, gas station, fast food, etc. I never realized how unhealthy I could eat until I didn't really have the option to anymore. I worked at a bakery at the time I went GF and a lot of what I ate on a day to day basis were breads, cookies, pastries, etc. When I would leave and go home, I had eaten so much at work that I would want to eat nothing later on in the day or night. Being GF forced me to incorporate things in my diet that I usually skipped out on.
2. I added great foods to my diets- I definitely eat a lot more of these foods than I did before going gluten free:
                  Peanut Butter
                  Rice Pasta

Before going GF, I had no idea how poorly I ate because a majority of what I was consuming were carbs. When I incorporated more foods that weren't carbs in to my diet, I began to eat so much healthier.

3. I have more energy- Because I feel like I'm eating healthier and consuming foods that are healthier for me, I feel more alert and feel like I have more energy on a day to day basis. I don't feel as tired during the days and still eat heavy meals but don't feel the pain after heavy meals like I used to.
4. I lost weight- I didn't go gluten free in an attempt to lose weight, I am gluten free because otherwise my stomach hurts horribly but in the process I lost about 10 lbs. If people want to lose weight and still get to eat normally, I would definitely suggest trying a GF diet.
5. I found new foods that I LOVE- not saying that all these foods are the healthiest but I have found foods that I eat quite a bit being gluten free:
Reeses peanut butter cups
Rice pasta
Chinese food
Mexican food
(Definitely not the healthiest favorites but I'm happy I found them!)

My gluten free favorites for: 

If you aren't interested in going gluten free I've included my dieting tips:

1. Drink water- Other than a little bit of soy milk and juice here and there, I only drink water. Water aids in digestion and is 0 calories! I drink water with every meal and try my best to drink at least 64 oz a day.

2. Substitute your pastas- If you're a pasta lover like me, substitute regular wheat pasta for rice or corn pasta. My favorite is brown rice pasta because to me it tastes the most similar to wheat pasta. You'll love the decrease in calorie intake and rice/corn pasta will be easier on your digestive system.
3.Try and eliminate relying on "fast" foods- Cook as much for yourself as you can. Make a lunch instead of buying one, pack snacks for you to knack on throughout the day, etc. Making your own food allows you to know exactly what you're putting in to your body!

As far as exercising, I am definitely not a work out fanatic. Any advice is just what I do to stay feeling like I'm in shape:

1. Find what exercises work for you- I love taking classes. I love cycling and dance classes and feel like they work me out well enough to rely on them as my work out routine. Last year, I would run and  lift/squat weights and quickly grew to hate that routine because it wasn't fun for me to do those things. Find something that you will enjoy and I guarantee you're more likely to stick with the routine.
2. Get a work out buddy- I think working out is so much easier to stick with when you have someone that can hold you reliable. I love cycling and dancing with friends.Working out sounds so much more fun to me when I have someone I can do it with!
3. Plan for a few kick-butt days instead of working out everyday: The biggest mistake I made last year was believing that I had to work out everyday. I would wear myself out and become more tired than I could handle. I am currently trying to give myself a day in between my workouts to let myself rest and make the most of the days I do work out. I'm hoping I'll be more energized on the days I work out by not working out everyday!

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