Monthly Archives: March 2013

Banana Pudding From Scratch

 

Who said you can’t have a nice desert that is also nutritious? Well, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone actually say that.

Regardless, here is the recipe for a simple and great tasting Banana Pudding. Eating good, real food, still tastes good. Too many folks get caught up in the idea that eating better, “cleaner” food has to mean they will stop enjoying food. Not so! This is a perfect example.

 

The exact quantities of the ingredients really are up to you. It depends on the consistently you would like, and which flavors you would like to accent. You also want plan how many servings you would like. Feel free to mess around with quantities of each ingredient.

 

Banana Pudding Ingredients

Recipe:

1 Frozen Banana (Slice the banana in small pieces and freeze for two hours or so)

Almond Milk

Greek Yogurt

Vanilla Extract

Cinnamon

Combine the frozen banana slices, a splash of almond milk, mini splash of vanilla extract, a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt in a blender/food processor. Use the “pulse” option on the machine until the ingredients combine and you get the consistency you would like.

Take a big whiff of the awesome smelling desert you just made! Ok, that last part is optional. But you know you will do it 😉 The vanilla and banana mixture smells amazing.

Pour/scoop out the pudding into a small bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

Banana Pudding

 

For a thicker consistency, add a bit more yogurt/banana and less almond milk. You can also pour the contents of the blender/processor into a bowl and let sit in the fridge for a little while. This will firm it up real nice. It all depends on your preference.

The first time I made this, I added a little too much vanilla extract. It still tasted great, but the vanilla flavor was a bit overpowering. It’s all about the tweaks we see necessary.

That’s it. Super simple. Tastes awesome. Great ingredients that are great for you. Try it out.

Want Results? Don’t Focus On Them

push up

This is the look of a woman who clearly is focused on what it will take to reach her goals.

Did I lose weight yet? Aw man, I weigh the same!! But, I just walked briskly for fifteen minutes on a treadmill while talking on the phone!!!

I don’t feel different. I ate a leaf of spinach for lunch and I don’t feel any healthier. Nutrition is hard.

How come I’m not buff yet? I lifted last month! Lifting doesn’t work!!

Being inspired by a goal is great. Picturing yourself with more energy throughout the day, to tackle life’s challenges, is exciting. It’s fun picturing how proud you will be during the summer to show off that beach body you have been working so hard on. These things can add fuel to the fire that so helps us reach our goals. However, in order to actually reach these goals, most of our attention must be paid to the process. If you worry more about the outcome you want than how you plan on reaching that outcome, there is a problem. Attention must be paid to clearly laying out, executing and periodically evaluating a specific plan of action.

If you really want to reach a goal, focus on what it’s going to take to get there. This way of thinking can be applied to any goal. However, I’ll break it down in fitness terms. Say your goal is to lean out a bit more. You would spend time on educating yourself on what kinds of fitness programs make it more likely to get more lean. Read articles, talk to fitness professionals, listen to fitness personality interviews. Yes, it can feel overwhelming with the amount of information out there. But you need to start somewhere! The more you learn, the more you can hone in on strategies to reach your goal. Once you  have a safe and effective plan; go for it! Focus on the task at hand. Yes, the overall goal is going to be great, but put that on the back burner for now.

What will you need to do TODAY, to get you closer to your goal? What little tweaks can you make to your day, to make sure the day was conducive to your goals? Maybe it’s making sure that you put everything you had into that workout. Maybe it’s a little bit of time spent doing research on a new exercise program you want to try. Maybe it’s spending a few minutes to evaluate how you feel (how you’re eating, what you’re eating, what your workout is like). Maybe it’s writing down what you could have done better today, and will adjust tomorrow.

Instead of constantly checking how close you are to your final goal, focus on the process. If you commit to (sound) hard work, you’ll get results.

Your mentality about fitness, makes all the difference.

It’s Never the End of the World

 

DisappointedMan

 

I recently had a conversation where the other person was telling me how disappointed they were about the little progress they have made towards their goals. In fact, they felt they had gone the opposite direction they planned to go. They asked me if I thought it was too late to turn things around.

I had a really busy weekend. I was on the run constantly and ended up having In n Out (fast food hamburgers  for those non california-ers) twice in four days. Fast food twice in this amount of time is a lot for me. This was after a week of knowing I didn’t eat as much food as I wanted to, for my fitness goals. I had lots of dance practices and knew I didn’t eat as much protein and calories to sustain the muscle I had worked so hard to build. I was not helping myself get any closer to my goals.

Often, I’ve heard of folks getting depressed about not having worked out or been active for a long time. The more they would think about how they had let their level of fitness slip, the more depressed they got. The more depressed they got, the less motivation they had to get back on track.

These are three situations in which, if we are not careful, can play a roll in making it less likely to reach our fitness/health goals. It’s easy to get bummed out about how we have slipped on our commitments, and then allow that to push us FURTHER away from our goals. My response to the conversation I referred to at the beginning of this article was “it’s never the end of the world.” This also applies to the two other situations I shared above .

It sounds obvious. “Of course it’s never the end of the world” you might think to yourself. You’re right, or, at least until the sun expands and eats earth up. Or, a big ol’ asteroid comes around and bonks us on the head. Wait, back to the original point. Yes, it sounds obvious that it’s never the end of the world (figuratively). However, this is something we have to actively remind ourselves about. Right when we catch negative thoughts coming into our head, we gotta’ stop em! These thoughts may keep us from bouncing back on track in an efficient manner. This applies to any goal. Don’t allow yourself to fall in the cycle of allowing the negative thoughts turn into more procrastination. Remind yourself that what may feel like “the end of the world,” isn’t. Take a breath, reassess, and get back on track.

Why I Changed The Way I Eat

This is how I felt about not being able to figure out why I wasn't feeling so great.

This is how I felt about not being able to figure out why I wasn’t feeling so great.

 

This is a story all about how, my life got flipped, turned upside down.

Seriously, it is. I felt like the baby in the picture above; frustrated.

I want to share a personal experience that you, my friend, may identify with. “But I don’t know you, how can we be friends?!” Well, reader, the fact that you are reading this post means that you visited fitmentality.com. The fact that you are here means you, at the very least, somewhat care about living a strong and healthy life. I also share this interest. This makes us friends.

Let’s hop in our FM version of the Delorean. We’ll go back in time to 2005. I was in college, loving life and preparing myself for the real world. I was happy, working hard, and excited about the future. I would study hard, workout hard, and try my best to enjoy what was supposed to be “the best years of my life.” I had no complaints, other than my own lack of time management skills that would lead to me making multiple promises to myself to never procrastinate and have to write a paper the night before it was due. Just don’t tell my parents that. It’ll be our little secret 😉 See? We are keeping secrets for each other. Like I said, we are friends.

Then, something began to happen. I started to notice that periodically, my body would feel exhausted and achy. I would go through periods of time that for a few days I would want to do little else than lay on the couch. After some time would pass by, I would feel better.  At first, I figured “oh, I just got sick, it’s okay. It happens.” It’s true, we do get sick, and it does happen. However, I didn’t have many other symptoms along with feeling this way. Also, it would happen almost regularly, every couple months. Not only did it make it tough to do the things I needed to do during these episodes, I would need to completely abandon any physical activity I had planned. This was more than an inconvenience. I wasn’t able to force workouts, either. Being able to be active is something I cherish. When it was taken away from me, it was more than “aw man, oh well.”

I went to the doctor, and found nothing. My blood sugar was fine. My thyroid was fine. No other diseases were found. I was grateful that this was the case. However, I still didn’t have answers. This went on for years. Without warning, I would be down for the count every month or two, for a few days. “What is going on hereeeee?!?!?!” I asked myself. Now, there are folks who live with conditions worse than this on a daily basis. I respect very much when people with difficult situations, find the strength necessary to achieve their goals. I don’t pretend to think that I had it worse than anyone. It was simply a personal struggle.

Fast forward to a year and a half ago. I was getting my internet surf on, while listening to ESPN in the background. I forget who the report was about, but I remember hearing about a professional baseball player who would go through periods of time where exhaustion would keep him from practice. The report stated that he even fainted during a practice while feeling this way. They explained symptoms that he would have periodically. I wasn’t paying full attention to the TV, but when I heard this, I immediately stopped what I was doing. The report went on to talk about how the baseball player discovered he had an intolerance to gluten. When he started eating gluten free, he started to feel better. I quickly turned my attention to the TV and had a light bulb go off in my head. “OMG, what if that’s what’s happening to MEEEEE?!?!?!?!” I’m not sure if I actually said  “OMG,” but i wouldn’t doubt it. I was pretty excited. I immediately started looking into this way of eating as a lifestyle. I began to do some research and was on my way to give it a shot.

After a few months of eating this way, I did notice a difference. I felt less bloated throughout the day. I would still feel the way I described before, but there would be longer periods of time in between. Over time, this would happen less and less often. I also realized I would either get less upper respiratory infections (colds, etc) than before, or I would get better quicker. The more time went on, the more time would pass between feeling like a punch to my health’s face. I have been eating this way for about a year and a half. I feel great and I have been able to stay more consistent with being active. I don’t pretend to be Superman, but I do notice a difference. Thank you, ESPN.

This doesn’t mean I think you should immediately drop the piece of bread you are eating. I don’t mean for the reader to think that I feel that everyone should eat gluten free. I am simply sharing an example of when I wasn’t feeling all that great, and decided to take an active approach to trying to feel better. How do you feel? Have you been wondering if maybe you could feel a little better, more often? Taking a close look at your fitness level and your eating habits could be a great place to start.

To be clear, when you don’t feel good, talk to your doctor. I am not advocating for us all to be our own doctors. Modern medicine is incredible and should not be overlooked. Always check with a health care professional when looking to make diet changes. However, there is nothing wrong with knowing that eating better and getting more active, more consistently,  just may help us feel a little more awesome.

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Check out FM on Instagram! Pictures to help keep us all on the path to a healthier and stronger body!!

 

FM Square for Back of Crewneck

Compare yourself, to yourself.

Many times when we learn about someone who has reached a similar goal that we have, we compare ourselves to them. Or maybe they seem to be farther along in reaching that goal than we seem to be.

It’s natural to compare yourself to someone else. We do it all of the time. Many times without doing so on purpose. It’s healthy to gain inspiration from those who seem to have a better grasp on their fitness, or seem to be more consistent with their nutrition. However, be careful not to sink too far into the “they are so much better at this than I am, how can I even compare? That way of thinking doesn’t help.

Instead, feel encouraged that at some point they made a decision to slowly but surely improve their nutrition and fitness. Little by little, they got to the point where they are. Maybe you are comparing yourself to someone who works out five times a week and you wish you could do so. Don’t feel discouraged; take inspiration from their commitment and use that to fuel you to add one more workout to the week.

Maybe you have a friend who compared to you, is night and day with the food that they eat. You wonder “how do they eat so well? I ate In n Out three times in two weeks!” Instead of getting down on yourself and focusing on how different your diets are, spend your effort on improving your own diet just a little bit this week. Add one more vegetable every day this week. Just one, in addition to what you are already eating. You can do this by going to the store and buying a bag of a frozen vegetable or vegetables. All you need to do is pop a serving in the microwave and you are good to go. Add one more fruit each day. If you already have one piece of fruit each day, the next time you are the store, buy a few pieces of another fruit. If you already eat a few bananas a week, buy 5 apples also, and eat one a day. Baby steps.

Organic? Grass Fed? Free Range? Stayed at a 5 star resort before it made it on to your plate?

Yes, these are great things to consider when buying food. However, don’t worry about them if you have had trouble having a balanced diet to begin with. Improve the situation you have already consistently followed. Not eating many veggies during the week and then jumping to organic only everything, is a dramatic jump. I would say, slowly work in more veggies and fruits on a consistent basis (organic is great, if you can), then once you get that under control, put more effort into where you food is coming from and how it’s treated.

Gaining inspiration from others is great, but that is where the comparison should stop. We can learn from each other and put into action tips that have worked for others. Beyond that, it’s YOU that matters. What changes can YOU make? How can YOU keep these changes consistent? What can you realistically do, that will slowly move you to a stronger and healthier life?

Personally, I gain lots of inspiration from friends who are more fit or eat better than I do. I try as hard as I can to not get discouraged that I am not at their level, but take the inspiration that I feel from them and use that to make the gradual changes that are applicable in my own life.

The only comparison you need to focus on is how committed you used to be about fitness and nutrition, and what changes are going to be necessary to move beyond and consistently into the future.

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