A Food Lovers Paradise!!

The ultimate goal of any food lover is to be able to enjoy the foods we love, not compromise on taste and not gain weight. A Perfect World right? These are three things that are almost impossible to attain because the mantra we’ve all heard is “whatever taste good is probably bad for you…and may cause damage to your body or even shorten your life span”. Disclaimer!!! This post is based on my experience with diets over the years and the things I learned along the way. I am not a medical professional by any long shot but I’m here to give you my experience from an avid dieters perspective so stay with me.

Now, any food lover knows that weight gain is almost inevitable without the aide of exercise, cosmetic procedures, stimulants, food deprivation or weight loss supplements, especially as we get older. Your energy levels reduce, your metabolism slows down and all the signs of aging start to pop up. You notice that your are eating probably the same portions of food but you start packing on weight and don’t know why. There are a couple of people who are blessed with not being able to put on weight no matter what they eat and we envy your metabolism – so you might as well log off now because this post is not for you (just kidding)!

The rule is – There are no rules when it comes to weight loss!

Sorry, I just busted someone’s bubble. This is the reason why some get surgery thinking its going to be the end-all-be-all fix and before you know it they’ve doubled in size – even worse off than before they began their weight loss journey. Lets not even get started on the diet pills and supplements – some of which do work only for as long as you take them, or in other cases may have side effects that have not undergone approved testing. I find that the same way you fool kids into eating their veggies is the same way you can trick your body into not gaining weight by swapping a few ingredients without compromising on taste. Having health conditions like thyroid issues and other underlying ailments might be a reason why diets may not work for some but I believe that all diets should be tailor fitted to a persons body type, specific to their metabolism and guaranteed to work specifically for them. Here are a few things I realized over the years…

Every persons body is unique including the way we burn calories and our bodies reaction to certain food groups. I follow a lot of food bloggers and one of them (Plantiful KiKi) adopts a high carb diet and is as slender as a stick. I tried the exact same diet and gained 6ibs in a week. She later provided a disclaimer several videos later that she is of Mayan descent – and guess what the Mayans ate? GRAINS! Well, my weight loss diet was trashed plus I just added six extra pounds of weight I had to loose.

Eating food in its natural form will help you loose weight…FASTER. I know, late night frozen dinners and Pizza deliveries have saved lives in more ways than we can be thankful for but if you want to loose weight fast, you will need to cut back or cut out processed food and eat fresh. Opt for zero calorie sodas instead or regular soda. I guarantee you, the scale will be kinder when you step on it and yes, you can thank me later.

Food portions matter. Diets always limit what you can and cannot have but that just deprives the dieter until they can’t take it anymore and find themselves gorging insane amounts of food with promises to restart the diet the next day. Or waking up and finding yourself on the pantry floor and not knowing how you got there LOL. Trust me, we’ve all been there and done that or similar. The key is to eat whatever you want but in controlled amounts while bulking up your servings with veggies so you stay fuller longer.

Replace sweet and salty snacks with fruit and veggies. This will literally be painful on your taste buds the first week but by week two, your body will begin to adjust if you stick with it. Instead of buying a tub of your favorite ice cream, swap that out by making your own blend of frozen dessert while keeping portion control in mind as you go. To feed your sweet tooth, make your own granola or bake your own cookies or cake from recipes that are low in calories.

Exercise for an hour EVERYDAY. It doesn’t matter if it’s Zumba, running, dancing, walking, swimming laps, going to the gym or jogging on the spot. When you get into a rhythm of working out, it will be easier for your body to burn the fat instead of letting it sit overtime, making it more difficult to get rid of.

Stay hydrated with water, teas and homemade fruit juices and drinks. You can make your own juices, smoothies, etc. A lot of processed drinks have high sugar or sodium contents along with only God knows what. Make yours and sweeten with honey, maple syrup or other natural sweeteners.

Cut back on fast food or figure out a way to substitute certain items for healthier alternatives. I’m sorry but I had to go there. I love me a juicy burger and hot salty fries any day but that didn’t help my weight or my health. You can swap out the bun on your burger for a lettuce wrap. Instead of getting salty fries, you can get an unsalted, kid size portion or better still bake or air fry your own. I recently came across a story where some lady found a happy meal – burger and fries, that were 24 years old and surprisingly, did not disintegrate. It looked like a week old meal…that should tell you something.

Get enough sleep. Need I say more.

Folks, weight loss is such a passion for me because I have struggled with weight all my life. I believe that the solution does not always have to be life threatening or insanely expensive. The benefits of getting your weight under control far out weigh the temporary discomfort of not giving in to cravings. When your body is healthy, you feel and look better, your confidence increases and you are in a better position to improve your life. Let me know what your thoughts are on these pointers. Until I come your way again, be happy. healthy and upbeat!

Periwinkle Starr

A Blessing In Disguise?

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It’s been a trying couple of months, but we are going to find a way to be all right and make it work – whatever it takes. The year 2020 has been interesting to say the very least. With the COVID-19 pandemic and being forced to stay home with limited movement for the first couple of months, a lot of us had to get used to this ‘new normal’ in order to make it through. I found myself dusting off my old recipes including my Great British Bake Off cook book and looking up recipes and YouTube videos to create some variety in meal prepping. Don’t get me wrong, trying out new recipes whenever I get a chance to do so is something I have always done but this time, I had more time on my hands, so I decided to dig a little deeper. Since we couldn’t go out, I could feed my eyes by watching food and travel blogs including my all time favorites which are Mark Wiens and High Carb Hannah.

A Health Reset!

In my attempts to find healthy and quick recipes online, I stumbled on several bloggers who figured out a way to reset their bodies, loose weight, repair their health, and turn their lives around just by making tweaks starting with their food intake and an upgrade to their exercise routines. All these amazing feats they did without surgery, expensive treatments or anything weird. Before I dive into the information gleaned from these individuals along with the tweaks I incorporated into my daily routine, I’m making a quick disclaimer that ‘I am not a certified nutritionist or a medical practitioner’, so please check with your primary care physician before incorporating any of these tweaks into your lifestyle. As I started with tiny tweaks here and there, before you know it, I began loosing a few pounds. My love handles (and yes, I said ‘love handles’ LOL) started disappearing. I also noticed I wasn’t as out of breath when I got to the top of the stairs as I usually did and my mind became clearer and my thoughts fog-free. What I am sharing below are some of the things I did to get me to where I’m at today. Should you choose to embark on this journey with me, please feel free to share your process and what worked for you. Here it goes!

*I got myself a smart scale. One that not only gives you your weight in pounds or kilograms but also gives you your BMI, water weight, fat, muscle mass and required caloric intake. With that info in hand, you can track your progress as you go along.

*I did a 3-day colon cleanse. There are so many out there. Opt for the safest, most natural and verified solution that fits your body type.

*I slowly cut down and cut back on artificial sweets (chocolate, ice cream, gelati) and slowly began to replace these sweets with fruit. So when I would get cravings, instead of reaching for a Snicker or Kit Kat mini, I would have a pear, guava, peach or any fruit on hand. It’s Summer y’all, you have multiple options right about now.

*Choosing zero calorie soda over regular soda and choosing natural fruit juices with little or no added sugar.

*I started making a conscious effort to ‘eat the rainbow’ or parts of it at every meal.

*I cut back on cooking oils. Not until very recently did I realize that cooking oils contain an insane amount of calories even when used in small quantities. So I cut back on how much oil I slathered on and in my food especially when prepping.

*I began looking for healthy alternative ingredients to my favorite recipes. I love making pancakes from scratch (not out of a box), and so instead of using flour, I have incorporated oat flour instead and use a little bit of white flour as a binder. Its a much more healthy option and has a lower caloric value.

*Incorporating an hour of exercise into my routine for a minimum of 5-7 days a week. Track your steps, do Zumba, HIIT, take walks, swim.

I tend to be a ‘late night snacker’ but after a couple of weeks incorporating these changes, my night cravings reduced considerately and right now, I’m at a point where, I seldom snack as much at night like I used to and I am looking forward to a time where I don’t need to snack at all. Folks, 2020 has been rough to say the least but we have to be able to count our blessings and be optimistic for our future because that’s the only way we are going to come out on top on the other side. I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day celebration and got to enjoy the fireworks amid the ongoing social distancing enforced in Texas since we got the spike in new COVID-19 cases. Be safe, healthy and upbeat until I come your way again! I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Happy New 2020!!

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Happy New Year Y’ all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? If you are reading this post, you made it!! I woke up to a freezingly cold morning in North Texas and all I wanted was a hot cup of tea, pancakes and my laptop.  It was too cold to sit out on the porch so my work desk with an ample view of the outdoors had to suffice. Looking back on the last ten years, I must say that it’s been one long ride and being thankful that I made it is so important because so many others did not.

When it comes to the first day of the year, I like to hit the ground running every time. If you are Starr reader and have been with my blog through the years, you know that I am not a fan of new year resolutions.  In my mind, I feel like we make those resolutions just so we can break them. I mean, who on earth do you know that follows through 100% on their resolves till the end of the year? That’s right – no one.

For me, with every new year comes tweaks – to be and do better. I feel like its easier to incorporate little changes than lists things that deep down I know I won’t  even keep before the weeks end LOL!

MY New Year Tweak or Mantra is “Effective Management”!

♦Time Management: Whether its reading one book in a week, to working out daily, or making a conscious effort to stay in touch with friends, meeting work deadlines, managing my time better is the goal. We have 24 hours in a day. The plan is to use it wisely.

♦Diet: Having a refrigerator filled with food and still eating out defeats the purpose in and of itself. The aim is to be intentional with meal prepping for a couple of days during the week which will help keep our budget from spiraling out of control.

♦Health & Fitness: Taking health and fitness to a whole new level this year is the goal. Whether its trying my hands at weights, swimming longer laps at the pool, joining one of those boot camps or just eating healthier and incorporating intermittent fasting into my regimen (Intermittent fasting is a whole other blog post on its own). The bottom line is to challenge yourself to get healthier and fit this year.

♦Career: Get on top of your goals, aspirations and dreams. Get started on whatever it is you planned on doing. Always remember that you are happier when you do what you are meant to do deep down in your soul.

♦Mental & Emotional Health: For some people, this is letting go of things that don’t make you happy, those things that drain you and take away your peace. Sometimes we believe that by burying our head in the sand or pushing things down under layers of activities will make certain  issues go away. This is not always the case. 2020 is the year to confront things, to speak your truth and uncover what’s in the dark. Life is too short – don’t waste it.

♦Manage Relationships: We all need somebody…anybody will not do. Make up your mind to clean house when it comes to relationships this year. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and not the LESS in you.

♦Manage Your Screen Time: Being a reality TV fan, I seldom have time to watch anything else because I can’t stand the wait or the suspense of watching a series. But every now and then, vegging out on my TV or phone is something we’re all guilty of and I feel we can all do better.  There’s been a study I came across that people are developing eye problems from the blue light emanating from phones and other electronic devices.

♦Give Back! Whether its volunteering, donating food to your local food bank or community store or religious center is awesome! We live in a self-indulgent society but stepping out of your sphere to affect someone else life makes a world of difference.

I hope you had a fun celebration. Its time to hit the ground running folks. If you fail to plan, you’re ultimately planning to fail. It’s going to be an amazing year so get ready. Do Like, follow and comment on your tweaks for the new year! Until I come your way again, be safe, upbeat and healthy!!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

Fitness Instructors From Hell!

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Hello Y’all and welcome! Fall is here!! Its been a good summer in North Texas, not that I was out in it a whole lot but it feels like 2019 has been way better.  Its been an extremely busy year but worth every darn minute. I started back up with my fitness routine and decided to take it more seriously this year because I found out that just eating salads and boring food wasn’t really cutting it for me. So, I had to get my behind back on a gym routine and see if the scale would be ‘kinder’.

Working out during the week is not an easy thing to do because I get beat up….TWICE. Now, let me explain, I am not a member of fight club by any long shot hehehe but the thing is, you go to work, have meetings, run errands and everything else. But by the end of the day, you’ve survived round one. On this particular day, I was meeting up for my regular Zumba class. I arrived on time and as I was walking in, I could see the other tired souls drudging their tired bodies into the gym as well. They looked like they didn’t want to be anywhere near the gym, but hey – ‘you’ve gotta do what you gotta do’, right?

So we get to the class and I’m looking out for the instructor and I can’t see her anywhere. It turns out she had to be away and had a duo – a guy and a lady sub for her. Now if you ever see a guy instructor in a fitness class like Zumba,  just know it’s going to be a rough night. But, here I am still hopeful about it not being so bad until the class starts. This duo are not human, THEY ARE MACHINES. The lady not only wants us to do ALL the moves but scream as we do them. There is no hiding place in the  back folks because she was right there with us screaming at us to scream louder. Her face is beet red and she screams through the mic attached to her head piece, ‘I can’t hear you’ like four inches from some ladies face. I’m awake by then…Ha Ha! Just let me know how many decibels you require Ms. Jillian Michaels. But wait…

Timeout! Timeout! Timeout!

Today is Tuesday. Its way too early in the week to be this excited, we barely survived Monday – that happened just a couple of hours ago. But oh no – they keep going. At this point, I am totally out of sync because in my mind, peoples feet aren’t supposed to move that fast and besides I came here to get my heart pumping and not to have it explode all over my organs. Just then, out of the corner of my eyes, I see my friend take a step and next thing I see she’s flat out on the floor – BAAM! The instructor runs over to see if she’s okay. Just as she says she’s fine, the instructor lets Arnold Schwarzenegger’s half brother takeover. Now we’re really screwed. People start leaving, dropping out like flies.  We look like sweat lodge participants by this time. But they keep going. For some weird reason, the word ‘on steroids’ keeps floating around in my head somewhere…Ha Ha! But we made it through without anyone dialing 911. No heart attacks. No nothing. We just got two rounds of beating is all. That scale better be nice to me tomorrow or else…LOL.

Until I come your way again, feel free to share your fitness horror stories with me. Please follow, like and comment. Bye for now!!!

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

 

Happy New 2019!!

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Happy New Year!!! Its 2019 y’all! Welcome to a new and better version of you. I am so glad to be back from the break. It was really refreshing to get away and spend time with family and loved ones especially during the holidays. I am back, recharged and pumped to hit the ground running this new year. I really don’t like making resolutions because I feel like by the end of the first quarter, they’re pretty much forgotten or relegated to the background. This year I am going to try to do a few things better but I am a little hesitant to call these tweaks to my daily life – resolutions. I feel like when I make something a resolution, it’s automatically meant to be broken. Its like placing something on a pedestal knowing fully well that it’s not going to live up to your expectations but you do so anyway. :/ Anyways…here it goes.

My New Year Resolutions….#Resolve

♥  Getting My ‘Beach Body’ Back!

Its a no brainier that I ate my way through the holidays. The food was so good and the sweets were worth every calorie…ha ha! But it’s time to get back to being fit. It’s time to snatch it all in again. Being a natural born sweet tooth, finding ways to get that craving met is a constant juggle. When I feel I’m leaning towards too many artificially sweet treats, I switch to naturally sweet items. Having a mid morning or mid afternoon treat is a necessity especially when I’m on the go. But in 2019, I intend to be more active this year and I plan on being active at least a minimum of thirty minutes E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y. Now this might be stretching it a little but my best bet is to aim high so when I fall…I’m not too far off.

♥  Better Time Management

In my opinion, time management is like a stacked deck of cards where one wrong move causes a downward spiral or domino effect across the board. I feel we can all do a bit or a whole lot better when it comes to time management and that’s something I intend improving on in 2019.

♥  More Meal Prepping And Eating Out Less.

I haven’t always been a fan of meal prepping because it takes the surprise out of meals in the sense that you know what you’re eating whether you feel like it or not. But from what I’v read, meal prepping is great because you can track your calories, save money and not have to make wrong choices when you’re super hungry…Being prepared by planning ahead helps nip those ‘carb induced’ cravings in the bud and keep your waistline from ballooning out of control. Don’t ask me how I know…LOL!

♥  Get Enough Sleep.

If your a jet-setter, always on the go type of person, getting a good nights sleep regularly will help offset the stress of everyday living. I intend being in bed at least 2 hours earlier than my usual. Sleep refreshes the body and slows down the aging process. All the serums in the world cannot heal a battered and used body.

♥  Stay Hydrated On The Good Stuff!

I have found some pretty good healthy smoothies online that I have incorporated into my meals and I feel a whole lot better for it. If you can’t eat your veggies, drink them!

♥  Be Health Conscious. 

Stay up to date on all health related appointments. Be sensitive to your body and know when things feel right and when they don’t. Your life depends on it.

♥  Make Room for More Adventures in 2019!

This involves getting out of my own way…a bit more often. Need I say more 😀

So guys and ladies, 2019 will be whatever you want it to be. But I hope its a great year for you and I. I wish you an amazing run filled with positivity, good vibes and growth. We did it last year, lets go big this year and make it happen! Have a fun week! Until I come your way again, like, comment and subscribe. I remain,

 

Periwinkle Starr😘

 

 

Trick Yourself into Loosing a Few…

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Hello y’all! Hope your week has been nothing short of amazing in your part of the world? I guess I spoke too soon, the burn is back in North Texas, and no… this is not another whining session. It’s almost like we can’t ever be happy. Its too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too muggy… on and on like some of the creepy toys with recorded voices sold back in the day when I was growing up – that should have been illegal by the way. Anyway,s this weeks post is about something I have thought about a lot and I have had several chats with friends for a while now.

The Dilemma!

It’s a no brainier that the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to bounce back from all the sugar, drinks and our predominantly high carb diet. I started believing that the scale was not my friend anymore; when in actual fact, your metabolism is slowing down and you need to be twice as active just to keep up. It’s like waking up one morning and walking past a mirror before doubling back and screaming ‘What is happening to me’? – a little dramatic you might say but the struggle is beyond real. Not taking yourself serious enough is what is happening. Rome wasn’t built in a day just like those pounds didn’t pop up overnight. The usual progression is about 10 pounds per year and viola!…I look like I ate a wildebeest for breakfast with a wardrobe full of clothes that do not fit.

Allow me to paint a picture in your mind – a picture of the solar system, with the planets spinning around the sun. Now imagine you are the sun, the center of ‘your’ universe and the planets represent other aspects of your life – family, work, relationships, dreams and goals. If you’re happy with yourself and that includes being satisfied with who you are in the core of your being, then everything else benefits and your world is so much better.

So Lets Start Small !!

•          Start taking walks

•          Opt for tea instead of hot chocolate or all those lattes.

•          Reduce your portions and increase your meals.

•          Make up for your excesses with more time spent being active.

•        Never use the word ‘diet’. Your brain will go into panic mode and start                storing aka hoarding excess glucose and some people end up gaining weight when dieting instead of loosing weight. The key is to eat more small portioned and healthy meals; this will trick your brain into thinking there’s always going to be food coming in thereby prompting it to release the excess glucose and you’ll start to shed.

•          Drink more water and less soda or fizzy drinks and less alcohol.

•          Your body deserves rest. All nighter’s are inevitable but sleep is a key ingredient to weight loss and maintenance.

•          Do a gut cleanse. The cravings for sugar, sweet treats and carbs may be due to an imbalance in your digestive tract. First do your research and proceed with a mild cleanse before going hardcore. Its best to check with your healthcare provider before embarking into the unknown.

These are simple tips that gradually ease you into the process and I’m positive you will be shedding a few in no time…only if you stick to the plan. Thanks for reading! Follow me and share your experiences on how to trick your body into shedding a few! Until I come your way next time, I remain

Periwinkle Starr