The Orange Trail

Fact: I hate getting dirty. I hate bugs even more; especially ticks!

Growing up in Alaska, those little blood-sucking critters weren’t anything I ever had to deal with or had encountered until I moved to Indiana. Getting out on the trail is an easy workout, and we live pretty close to a park here in Indianapolis, so why not get out and enjoy some fresh air.

Back home in Alaska you get more scenic and mountainous views. There are trees everywhere, but the trails I frequented didn’t involve trekking through mud or doing tick-checks when I got home. Okay, sure, moose and grizzly bears are far scarier than ticks… but give me a break! Ticks are just #$%#$^#@#$@$^^&$% to me (laughs).

Usually if I’m in a scenario where I’m not having the most fun, or I’m working through a tough moment, I go silent. That is me processing whatever thoughts are bouncing around my head at the time.

I’ve never been a whiner, but I am very honest. My dad would tell me all the time growing up “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” My aunties would blast me with the classic line “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Family and friends would jump down my throat accusing me of being a wet blanket if they perceived I was having a terrible time. Those of you who know me have seen the majority of my facial expressions, and know that I don’t have to use any words to communicate how I’m feeling most of the time. This is something I’ve learned to contain… for the most part.

I’ve learned to communicate that a situation may be new and that I wouldn’t put myself in any scenario that would make me uncomfortable.

Hitting the trails with S has been funny, mostly because if we encounter a long stretch of muddy non-sense, or have to go through a tighter trails with brush – more chances of getting TICKS – I simply say “I’m trying. You know I’m trying.” I’m sure S is getting a kick out of this inside, but he’s very supportive.

We’d planned to get out on the fitness trail today, but Mother Nature has other plans. It’s been pouring cats and dogs this weekend, so I’m NOT going anywhere near that trail until it dries up a bit. Hey! Don’t judge. I’m taking baby steps here.

Oh! You can find a clip of the trail adventure on my Instagram profile.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

J

What’s Making Me Happy This Week?

Good morning, friends!

I’m writing this just before 8:30 am Eastern time, so excuse the exclamation. You’re probably thinking “turn down, dude, it’s way too early for that.” Forgive me, I’m just trying to will some energy into this post and today’s intentions.

In honor of one of my favorite NPR podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour, I wanted to start sharing what’s making me happy on a weekly basis. The daily grind can be extremely draining and make it hard to strive for excellence, so it’s important to focus on the little things; the simple bits of joy that keep anxiety and stress at bay.

It’s been a trying winter season and the seasonal depression that came along with it has been real. With that being said, what’s making me happy this week is being able to refocus. With the arrival of warmer, get-outside-and-take-the-dog-for-longer-walks weather, has come a much needed boost of energy. For the past few weeks I’ve been meeting workout goals and getting back to feeling good; inside and out.

Something I’ve discovered about myself is that I need alignment in my life. If I’m eating healthy, staying physically active, and taking moments to enjoy happiness, I feel so much better than I do while I’m getting caught up in what task I may or may not have time to get to today.

This isn’t to say I’m not getting work done and having a ball. Think of it as a daily refresh and remember: how you organize your life influences the kind of energy you keep around.

What’s making you happy this week? Let me know in the comments wherever you’re reading this.

 

J.

Let’s Take it Outside

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Going on a walk is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  You can clear your mind, get some easy, low-impact exercise, and enjoy some fresh air. If you were a fly on the wall in  our household, you’d notice that we’re very scheduled and don’t take much time for ourselves outside of the living room. This has improved with time. I tend to play with my schedule a ton, and most of the time it’s to my detriment. I do my best to fit in any tasks I have to complete, worry way too much about when I will hit the gym, and never end up getting through all I want to accomplish. Today I’m focused on being active. Screw everything else for a moment. Today, I will go on a walk, get some fresh air, and get to what I can when I can.

Say yes to Tenzo Matcha!

Matcha tea is one of the cleanest ways to get a boost of energy when afternoons are moving entirely too slow. Tenzo Matcha packs an anti-oxidizing punch that gives you a clean boost in productivity without the harsh crash too many cups of coffee can inflict.

 

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When you consume Tenzo Matcha,  you’re receiving the benefits of the entire green tea plant. The fine powder mixed with 6 ounces of water – or my favorite,  unsweetened coconut milk – promotes improved brain health, prevents memory loss, faster metabolism, AND healthy skin. What’s also pretty cool is the production of Tenzo Matcha.

Tenzo Matcha comes straight from Japan and is grown in volcanic soil! This makes the product especially powerful when it comes to the nutrients you receive. I encourage you all to give this miracle plant and Tenzo Matcha a try if you’re looking to improve your quality of life. Learn more about  Tenzo Co and read more about the benefits mentioned earlier and more:

https://tenzotea.co/

 

 

Thryving

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had gut issues. While I’ve never been officially diagnosed with any condition, I struggled with random pain and irregularity. Many of us underestimate the importance of gut health. We  hear “gut health” and think “huh?”

Think of your gut as your second brain. What you feed it will determine how well you Thryve when it comes to this area of your personal health. Thryve Inside is a company dedicated to helping you discover the benefits of great Gut Health and provides personalized solutions to fit your microbiome. I’ve been lucky enough to partner with Thryve Inside for this post and share my experience with the product I’ve been trying for the past month.

 

 

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Before adding Thryve’s probiotic supplement to my daily routine, digestion was a huge issue for me. I could go two to three days before having a bowel movement. What’s crazy is this became normal for me. I was used to the heaviness, used to the bloat, and eventually phased the issue out of concern’s range.

Around age eight I began to gain weight and stayed pretty heavy through early college. My freshman year of college, I weighed about three-hundred and ten pounds. I stand about six feet tall, so I carried my weight well back when I was heavier.  That doesn’t mean my health was any better than the next bloated Joe and I came to realize that much later.

 

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In the thirty days I used Thryve’s probiotic product, I’ve lost around nine pounds, have regular digestion, and feel a new kind of comfort inside. Before Thryve I would drink kombucha a couple times a week to help my digestion issues; this helped, but only so much. I don’t think I’ve ever had regular bowel movements, even after going low-carb. Today, I live a more ketogenic lifestyle, so the consumption of healthy fats and the Thryve product combined has me feeling light, energetic, and comfortable. Yes, comfortable. I’m able to go through a full day without feeling bloated, heavy, or irritable.

Another aspect of Thryve that I’ve been enjoying are the weekly newsletters. Thryve subscribers receive updates, tips, video interviews, and articles to keep motivated on their gut health journey. I love a newsletter. I’m the customer who wants to read and access anything I can, on whatever topic, so I be sure I’m on the right path. Each short-and-sweet email provides quick info and links to more information and easy-to-follow discussion. Thryve ensures their customer is educated and equipped with all the tools for gut health success.

Learn more here! And thanks for stopping by,

J

Feeling Great After a 24-Hour Fast

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We fasted today to give our bodies a surge. In a fasted state, I have the most focused and productive workouts and feel a cognitive boost throughout the day. I feel great and wasn’t hungry at all today – probably because I keep my healthy fat intake at 70%-80%, my protein moderate, and my carbs really low.

My workout schedule wasn’t too strong this week, but there’s still time to make up for that. We’ve been really good because we want to look good at this wedding this weekend. Fasting while keto boosts your metabolism and naturally pumps up your muscles; it’s also scientifically proven to fight cancer cells.

I won’t lie though – the longest period I can fast for is 24 hours. It’s tougher when you lift heavy weights, so I generally stick to my #intermittent fasting windows; 16 hour fast. 8 hour feeding window. It’s amazing what the body can do when you fuel it properly and generously. 🐻

Savory, Sweet Truth

CHAI TEA MUFFINS WITH CINNAMON GLAZE” by You Thyme, fellow WordPress blogger, spoke to me as a person that doesn’t follow the standard American diet. You Thyme talks about feeling shame for indulging in foods that aren’t actually terrible for you and the struggle of adjusting to a paleo lifestyle.

S and I have been low-carbers for coming up on three years and we have both had tempting moments and slip-ups here and there. It’s completely normal and human. When you restrict yourself so greatly, to the point you can’t stop at the tiniest taste of whatver… You’re already too far down a tough path.

We enjoy beers when we’re with our brew buddies, which isn’t often, and who can’t resist a bomb margarita in the summer?! We never feel like we’re on a diet and beer has really been the only thing we miss. We LOVE a good brew. I appreciated You Thyme’s honesty in this post and I’m excited to try the recipe!

You can be healthy AND enjoy life.

And Don’t Forget the Hot Sauce…

Pork shoulders fried in bacon grease has become one of our favorite ketogenic meals. Not only is it easy and quick to cook, it’s delicious and filling. I couldn’t wait to tear into this glorious piece of meat after snapping this photo. Paired with spinach (tossed in spicy guacamole), this keto treat will keep me full until lunchtime tomorrow.

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3 Reasons Why I Dig A Smith Machine

 


1. I don’t need a spotter. When it comes to lifting weights, I’m fairly antisocial. I workout just before work, and am the king of keeping a schedule. I don’t have time to switch out between sets and chat leisurely during this time.

2. Focus and awareness. Because smith machines only allow vertical motion, I’m forced to pay extra attention to my form while lifting. It’s extremely easy to sacrifice your form on a smith machine because of the built in spotting design. Just because the bar is supported by a giant metal frame, does not mean you get to let your core slack off, or your feet chill wherever you’d like. Bend those legs, get that butt down, and let the bar touch your chest before you push that weight back up. Stay challenged.

3. Variety. Three out of my five lifting days, I follow a stronglifts routine. Lucky for me I get into the gym early enough to hog the smith machine – knocking out the first few lifting sequences in peace and undisturbed. I always start with squats (because they suck), then bench, and finish with some barbell rows; this takes me about thirty minutes. If I can sweat my ass off without having to move very far, I’m all in.

Stalled

You’ll notice I didn’t post an October progress report. I’ve hit a little stall on the fitness front, and this is completely normal. For the past year my body has been adjusting – going from strictly cardio workouts, to regular strength training with light cardio in the form of the occasional elliptical session and yoga – and has finally hit a point of pause. I always view a fitness stall (or plateau) as an alert to kick things up a notch, or to pay closer attention to what’s going in my body. The weeks that followed the first progress report on FATboys, my weight stayed the same, went up, a little down, and back up again. I’ve been challenging myself in the gym, and making more of an effort to really focus my yoga sessions.

I decided last week that I would wait until November to produce the next progress report, and that I would cut dairy from my diet. When it comes to dairy and myself, I’d say we have a pretty good relationship, but did notice times of bloating. I’m not lactose intolerant, and something was definitely off when it came to my body and how I felt. Jamie Caporosso was a guest on The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore, and went on about how he wasn’t sure what it was about dairy, but after cutting it from his diet, he saw more results and felt completely refreshed.  Maybe my body is reacting negatively to dairy? For the next handful of weeks, I will be cutting dairy, and hopefully the next progress report will not come in stall form.