Kick your sugar habit to the curb!

The Good Life
The Good Life

It is absolutely no secret that I have a sweet tooth. Everyone who knows me knows that about me: #thatsmyjam (Reference to Portlandia). So when clients tell me, “I have a problem, I’m addicted to chocolate”, I completely get it. You run for chocolate.  Welcome to the world of running :) It’s not the sugar I am addicted to as much as the sweet taste I crave after I eat lunch or dinner. And somewhere along the line I’ve trained myself to think I must eat dessert daily, and run it off in the morning. It has become habit, a sense of entitlement. Yet to be controlled or consumed by this Pavlovian behavior can be crippling for some. Like many Muslims, I spent all of July fasting for the month of Ramadan, not eating anything from dawn to dusk. Many joke that we try to compensate for the loss of calories after we break our fast, or even after the month is over, we ‘binge’ so to speak on the calories lost. However this year, I decided to maintain the ‘loss of SWEET calories’ after Ramadan was over and straight into my vacation prep.

I started to cut back slowly. Again, I’m a girl who needs to eat something dessert-ish EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And, sometimes twice. So to cut back slowly I mean, I’d skip a day here and there. I would replace that craving with more greens, more protein and more water.  I also broke my ‘no sharing’ rule. Taking a bite first, and passing off the rest to a kid or my husband. Honestly that ended up being better than I thought.  I admit: I’m a hoarder of desserts.  Yes I am a walking hypocrite with MPH at the end of my name. We all have our ‘things’, right? Then, I went to Jamaica and my behavior and outlook changed. Ever have island fever? This was the first time (after having been to many, many islands) that I ever felt it. You feel jittery, itchy, bored, all kinds of things you are not supposed to feel when you are in a tropical, Caribbean paradise. But being in Jamaica taught me the value of bringing my life to Z E R O. It is the land of “no problem” and “yah mon, everything’s irie”.

I went straight into vacation after 4 weeks of Ramadan, and 2 weeks of work and teaching fitness classes at my sons’ camp. I needed a vacation away from responsibilities and family time for sure. I brought a book with me, but couldn’t even concentrate on the words because I was so consumed with my daily sugar fix: I wasn’t getting it. There are were ‘bakeries’ I could shop at. Nothing of the sort.

The first couple days were rough, but then it was almost instantaneous, the liberating feeling of not needing any sugar to regulate my mood, or to fulfill the Pavlovian behavior. Instead I waited for the fruit lady to walk by my resort so I could buy my daily stash of fresh coconut, papaya, pineapple and bananas. Fresh fruits (which I have always consumed, no problem) became the answer to my sweet tooth. Every morning as I enjoyed my beachside, carb-heavy breakfast with Jamaican coffee I would smile at how much I didn’t miss process foods in America. Jamaican’s are not obese, they are rounder, but not obese. So now I’m home, post-Jamaica. What am I going to do about it?

  1. Continue to boost my metabolism by adding protein to every meal, continue to drink my meta-D every morning!
  2. SHARE my dessert :) It’s all about balance, right?
  3. Drink half my body weight in ounces of water every day
  5. Fruit. Veggies. Fruit. Veggies.

Have you recently done something like this? How did it go?

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Sifting through protein powders

Hi all! I am asked frequently on the brand of protein powder I use. I thought I’d take a moment to write up some of my favorites.

I’ll try anything once (after careful consideration of course)! Over the last several years I’ve tried: Vega, Perfect Fit Protein, Drink Svelte, Muscle Milk (ready to drink), and most recently, GnarlyI’m going to outline them for you below, and I’d love to hear your comments or experiences with any of these!

Let’s begin by understanding what you DON’T want in your protein powder. This will help you sift through dozens.  Most of this should be self-explanatory. As always, conduct your own research, particularly on Carrageenan. I am not a fan, and I switched off the varying almond milks (Almond Breeze) that used it because I noticed my stomach always hurt after I would drink it. I normalized that feeling until I did some research on the thickening agent and decided to ditch it for good. Don’t be fooled by natural and organic products either – I’ve found it in Horizon Organic chocolate milk..

I grabbed this great meme from CalNaturale, they make Drink Svelte (read about them below). Continue reading Sifting through protein powders

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A Runner’s Diet

In the last couple of years, I’ve picked up many miles of running and have looked to resources such as, and to keep me motivated and informed along the way. I’ve decided to collate all the information I’ve learned over the years and share that information.

The best diet is of course the one you can maintain without drastic life changes, binging and cheating. Personally I am strive to ensure that 50-75% of my diet is plant-based. At most 25% of what I eat is raw, with the remaining neither here nor there!

Create your own “fab 5 list”.  Here’s mine:

The Fab 5:

Pre-run. Some people run on an empty stomach, some need fuel.  Definitely don’t eat and run, give yourself at least 30 minutes to digest your food.  If you choose to eat, ensure you fuel yourself with some sort of carbohydrate. Your body will burn of the glycogen it stores and it keeps about 60-90 minutes worth.  If you plan to run more than 60 minutes, take a gel with you and consume after 45 minutes.  Best practice: a banana, coffee (yes, coffee – my go to is an almond milk latte), an apple, an energy bar (favorite is Lara), or some complex carbohydrate, like celery with almond butter. Continue reading A Runner’s Diet

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