Sunday, January 27, 2013

LIFESTYLE: DOMINATING THE PLATEAU!


So you've lost a good amount of weight, anywhere from 15-30 pounds, and people are starting to notice. However, when you step on the scale, no matter how hard you try, you keep breaking even! It's a let-down almost as colossal as Sisyphus felt every time he saw his ginourmous boulder roll back down the hill, after every time he's push it back to the top.  But you won't have to keep feeling let down like Sisyphus, you CAN get over your plateau! Here's four tips on how to cope with this painful milestone in dropping poundage.

1: Don't freak out!
Plateaus come at the most inconvenient part of your weight loss journey - right? Everyone is finally congratulating you on how great you look, and now you seem stuck in a sisyphus situation of no return. However, you need to realize that plateaus are totally normal and a natural part of your journey. It's actually a good thing, because it means that your body is getting used to your new healthy habits and smaller waistline. Think of it as shedding your old, unhealthy skin and cozying up with your new, probably smoother and more moisturized, skin! (figuratively, of course.) Embrace the NEW you and take on some NEW new habits!

2: Sometimes all we need is a little change.
Now that your body is used to your new habits, introduce it to even newer ones! Think of it, that's how you did it in the first place. The easiest thing to do is change up your work out routine. Do you skimp out on abs? Focus on your abs more instead of lifting as much. Do you stick to the treadmill? Try the bike, or even run and bike outside! OR try a cardio kick box, Zumba, or hot yoga class. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. If you need to switch up your eating habits, try proportioning your meals differently. For example, eat smaller meals, but snacks in between. Once your body doesn't get food for four hours, it goes into "famine mode" and everything eaten after is transferred straight to sugars. So, eating healthy, raw snacks between meals is better for you than fasting, then overindulging.

3:  Cutting carbs out?
It's a proven fact, with my experience as well, that people that eat less calories naturally crave carbohydrates more. It makes sense. However, if you want to descend off of this plateau and hit the ground running again, turn those carb cravings aside. Of course I don't mean totally cut carbs out, that would be torturous. There are many ways to cut carbs out and incorporate fresh veggies or fruits into your food. If you want noodles or rice, give yourself half the service of the pasta/rice/noodles and double up on the meat or vegetables you're putting in it. If you're going out to froyo, skip the cap'n crunch as a topping and top it with fresh pineapples, kiwis, mangos, strawberries, etc. Doesn't that sounds mouthwatering? You're already treating yourself to froyo, anyway! If you're good with these rules for 5-6 days a week, you can have one week where you go carb-o-load if you want, you earned it!

4: Track your meals like a GPS.
The best thing to do when you're watching what you eat is literally watch what you eat. There are several calorie-counting app such as "Lose It!" or "Myfitnesspal" that calculate the precise amount of calories you should eat a day considering how much weight you want to lose and in what amount of time. Just put in the food you eat, and what exercise you do. There are many encouragements such as badges for exercising consistently and hitting weight loss goals. If B.F. Skinner's idea of positive reinforcement works on you, this is a path for you! Another great app I was recommended by YouTube beauty guru clothesenounters (http://www.youtube.com/clothesencounters) is The Eatery. You literally just upload a picture of your meal, and people can rate how healthy it is. However, you can look back at your gallery any time and see how good or bad you're doing. If the last time you had a cupcake was two weeks ago, you can have another one!

I hope you take these tips into consideration when you think you've hit a dead end and see a Sisyphus future for yourself. Don't worry - it's all natural. Good luck, and work it girl!




Listen:
Love Robot/Paris "Rain" (Two AMAZING Local Bands)
Sleeping With Sirens - Stomache Tied In Knots


Monday, January 21, 2013

NEW H&M HAUL!

Here's a quick H&M Haul I did, with all the sales at my local H&M.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh So Simple DIY: Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars!



Do you ever get a snack attack at the worst time? Does this snack attack make you gravitate towards the candy bar aisle stocked with evil little snacks wrapped in colorful wrappers and laced with unhealthy high fructose corn syrup? Have no fear snack-speare! These delectable protein-packed granola bars will make the answer to snack or not to snack easier than ever!

Making your own granola bars may sound like a daunting task, however don't just push it aside and leave it to the professionals at Kashi or Special-K just yet. You can harbor the culinary expertise to craft your own healthy and delicious treats! Stocking up on the ingredients to make these yourself is cheaper and healthier! This way - you now exactly what you're eating, because you made it yourself, not some factory worker god knows where.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of Sunbelt low fat granola cereal (with cinnamon, almonds, and raisins already included)
  • 1/4 of a cup of Trader Joe's "Better'n Peanut Butter" spread
  • One banana
  • 1 cup of splenda/light brown sugar mixed
  • 1 tablespoon of dry roasted peanuts
Big picture: Sunbelt lowfat granola cereal. Top: Trader Joe's "Better'n Peanut Butter. Middle: Splenda. Bottom: Domino Light Brown Sugar


Procedure:

First things first, Preheat your oven to 350.

1.  Most granola bar recipes call for honey, however I found my house to be honey-less. So, I improvised and made a light brown sugar simple syrup. The thicket simple syrups are made with equal parts water and sugar. In a medium saucepan, simmer 1 cup water and 1 cup of combined splenda and light brown sugar. Mix for two minutes. 
2. Stir in 1/4 of a cup of Trader Joe's "Better'n Peanut Butter spread. I use this because it's 85% less fat than peanut butter (peanut butter can get fatty), 40% less calories (100 calories for 2 tablespoons), it's all natural, trans fat and saturated fat free, gluten free, you get the point. Anyway, stir this in for two minutes or until it is totally melted and mixed with the simple syup and it's all one solution.
3. Pour this solution into a bowl.
4. In a seperate bowl, mix two cups of Sunbelt low fat granola cereal, one banana, and 1 tablespoon of dry roasted peanuts.
5. Like any other good baking recipe, combine your wet and dry ingredients by pouring the simple syrup over the granola. Mix until it's all combined, wait a little for the oats to absorb the simple syrup completely.
6.  Pour into a tin-foil lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it begins to dry.
7. Take out and chill in the refrigerator until they are however you want them.
8. Cut up, serve, and enjoy!

Exactly how many calories is each satisfying and savory bar? Let's do the math!
2 cups granola: 600 calories
2 tbsp better'n peanut butter: 100 calories
1 banana: 80 calories
handful of dry roasted peanuts - 83 calories
I made 8 bars, so divide 863/8 and you get... only 109 calories per bar! A delicious snack only for about 100 calories!

Left, the mix right after adding the simple syrup. Drain at this point if you want. Right, the mixture spread on a tin foiled lined baking pan.

Ta-da! The finished product. Share these with friends or hog them all for yourself - either way healthy snacking is happy living!

Listen:
Melrose Diner - The Wonder Years
Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia
Better Than You (feat. Rita Ora)  - Conor Maynard





Sunday, January 6, 2013

PACSUN: SHINING BRIGHT IN 2013

It looks like all of the shine from out glitzy NYE outfits don't want to dissapear from our wardrobes just yet - and I'm perfectly fine with their lingering. Pacific Sunwear Outfitters aren't opposed to this as well! As I was scrolling through my email today, the subject "shine bright in 2013", from PacSun caught my eye. Personally, I have been adding more studs, black, velvet and "shine" to my wardrobe lately, and it looks like I'm not alone. Below are screenshots of the slide show with edgy and adorable looks inspired from that Rihanna song we all can't get out of our heads.

This shimmery minidress mimics a kimono almost - but the velvet and glimmery details make it fabulously indulgent.

A black, shiny hi-lo with a cut out back is the right amount of sexy and sophisticated. The neck line is on point.


 I am absolutely in love with this. The strapless sweetheart top part is fabulous and pairs so well with the sheer bottom. Dare to never be boring.
This is a sexy little short dress with leather and shiny details, a perfect fun little dress.

For those risk takers who can pull off a jumpsuit, this red velvet one will make you look mouth-watering.

You can easily let loose in this little party dress. I love love love how it's styled with the black boots and spiked headband. It's the perfect amount of edge.


Stuck on how to incorporate these styles into your daily wardrobe? Start off with a simple velvet blazer such as this:
Pacific Sunwear - $33.
IT'S ON MARKDOWN!

All pictures are from pacsun.com