Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Okay friends, so I have been invited by Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups to try out her Kickstarter plan to get me fit after 40, which is actually 46 in my case….

This is way out of my comfort zone but I feel like sharing my journey of getting fit with you, will help keep me accountable. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time.  And by shape I don’t really mean losing weight.  I am fairly happy with what I weigh as it is the normal range with my height of 5’10. At least that is what those doctors charts say. But as you can see by the pic, which I cannot believe I am sharing, there is not much muscle tone and I am looking pretty flabby!

My goal is to decrease my body fat percentage and gain muscle and definition.  I am going for a certain look not weight! With muscle weighing more than fat, it is possible my weight could go up and I am okay with that as long as I am seeing the changes in my body shape. One of my main goals is to get rid of these craters and dimples that have overtaken my thighs as you can see in the pics below, which I can’t believe I am sharing either!!  I’m thinking I also need to see a vein doctor because as you can see,  things are not looking good!

So this is where I get open and honest with you. I have had a little “work done” to help with some of the body changes. After having my kids in 1993 and 1994 and still being asked 5 years later if I was pregnant, was the last straw for me.  I was determined to lose the weight and did.

After the weight loss, there was a lot of loose skin just hanging around so I had a tummy tuck in June of 2000.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and if you are contemplating having one, do it! You will not be sorry. Now I’m not going to lie, the recovery is fairly intense but is short lived considering the long term benefit. Just make sure you have a good caregiver to help you for a week or so after.

Having the tummy tuck boosted my self confidence and motivated me to lose even a little more weight by working out and learning how to eat right using the Eat Clean Diet® by Tosca Reno whom I love and adore. I recently attended a wellness retreat she hosted that you can read about here. I am set to go to another one in October, you should come too! Get those details here.

Since then even while restaurant and food blogging, I have been able to stay in fairly decent shape, that was until September of 2013. That is when my husbands job moved us from Kansas City, MO to Wichita, KS., which I thought I could handle but was wrong.

Not only did we move but, both of our kids went away to college and after being a stay at home mom for 19 years, I was quite thrown for a loop and did not adjust well to the changes. We moved in September of 2013. I could barley eat and was not in a good place emotionally.

I lost about 10 pounds of weight but it was from not eating so my lean mass disappeared. My husbands new job required quite a bit of travel and since I had no reason to stay in Wichita alone, I would tag along. Overtime my appetite came back. A lot of the travel included dinners and events that had plenty of cocktails and wine at arms length. I did continue to exercise but not enough to out train my bad diet of overindulging in the food and wine. I was also taking Zoloft which causes weight gain and I am sure some hormonal changed did not help either. By the spring of  2016, I was 20 pounds heavier than when we moved. Then factoring in the 10 pounds I had lost in the first few months after we moved that was 30 pounds I had gained over the course of 2 1/2 years.

By summer of 2016,  I was having to buy all new clothes because nothing fit! Enough was enough and it was time for a change.  Since September 2016, I have been working on losing the extra weight.  I did an extreme diet earlier this year. It was a supervised program through a doctor that is supposed to preserve muscle and burn fat. I have been doing body composition scans since September of 2016 to monitor my progress. The scan breaks down your body weight into how much is fat mass and how much is lean mass or muscle.

To really find out if the theory of this diet that claims to preserve the muscle while burning the fat was true, I did a scan before and after. My goal was to lose 10 pounds which I did in 19 days. Although I had lost weight, I was quite depressed as the results of my post diet scan showed only 3 pounds of it was fat and the other 7 lost was lean mass.

I found out about Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups through an email that shared some tips on staying fit while traveling. I travel all the time and really liked what she had to say and shared that info here. She invited me to try one of her programs and after my disaster of a diet and my desire to build back some muscle, I am super excited to give it a try.

The plan that I am doing is 12 weeks long. I will be posting updates on my blog and social sites of my progress so be sure to join my newsletter and follow my social media to get the latest updates. Better yet join me! You can find out about Sloane’s programs here.

Wish me luck!

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

These travel essentials that are airline compliant can be put in your carry-on bag and will save the day should something go awry!

I have been traveling quite a bit over the past few years and am guilty of being an over-packer. After some trial and error have finally scaled down my bag but always include these travel essentials in my carry-on.

Whether I need to wipe down my tray table, my face, hands or take a spit bath when stranded in the airport.  I love these chemical free Waterpura wipes. I received these as a sample and have fallen in love with them.  I don’t see any sample packs available for sale on the website, so I will be investing in a travel wipe container as the next package I get will be way to large to carry-on

 

I am usually not a fan of the hotel soaps and shampoos and like to bring my own. I found these great containers at an IKEA store in Dallas.  I cannot find them online to give you a link.  They could be an in-store product only. The banded labels came from the Container Store.

IKEA Travel Containers

If your shoes start rubbing you the wrong way, the Fab Feet stick from target will help prevent blisters from forming. The tinted sunscreen from Chanel I found at Macy’s and that with a little tinted lip balm from Pacifica can help brighten up your complexion after a long day of travel. I also love the roll on perfume from Pacifica. It is lightly scented and easy to pack.

To freshen up my breath I love the Mouthwatchers travel toothbrush. MouthWatchers uses antimicrobial patented silver technology on its bristles which eliminate 99.9% of bacteria build up on the toothbrush bristles. The special designed bristles are thinner than that of other toothbrushes which clean in between teeth better and adds a flossing effect.

Mouthwatchers Toothbrush

I love having a pill box when traveling and fill it with prescriptions, pain relievers and any other medications or supplements I want to have on hand.

For a quick fluff of the hair, a travel brush and pony tail holders are a must. Tissues, mints, hand sanitizer, glasses, contacts, saline are a few of my other essentials. I always have a nail file and a little travel size of nail polish remover pads.

To put it all together,  the non liquids go in a zipper pouch from re-pac bags and for liquids we all know by now they must be in a TSA approved container.  Mine is a zipper package that some pillow shams came in.

Instead of spending money on those packaging cubes, save those clear zipper pouches that a lot of sheets or bedding comes packaged in. They make great packing cubes for items that will go inside your checked luggage. I love using them to organize my workout gear, swimsuits, accessories and anything else I want to keep from getting mixed into my other clothes.

Now that you have all of your carry-on items packed.  What is the best bag to use to put them in? I love a bag that has multiple storage areas like my Tumi bag.  It fits my laptop, carry-on essentials, sunglasses, snacks, chargers, headphones and pretty much whatever else I need while still being slim and compact.

I would love to hear some of your ideas on packing for travel and what essentials you take in your carry-on.

Safe Travels!

Sharm

Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

Staying fit while traveling can be tricky. Whether you are busy traveling due to summer and vacations or work takes you on the road, these handy tips from Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Push-Ups will help keep you on track.

HOW TO STAY FIT WHEN TRAVELING

By Sloane Davis

Trying to stay fit and healthy can be challenging when traveling. I always tell my clients that the goal should be to maintain, not gain while away. And while I am an advocate for living life and enjoying all that is has to offer, going on vacation shouldn’t become a free for all to throw in the towel when it comes to health and fitness.

A common question I receive from many prospective clients is “I am going on vacation soon. Should I wait to start the plan or start right away?” My answer is always this: There is never a “good” or “easy” time to start. You have to learn to live a healthy lifestyle which is what my plans aim to do. In other words, start the plan today. That way, when it does come time for vacation, you have the tools you need to maintain, not gain.

While you won’t track every food that goes into your mouth on vacation, subconsciously you are much more aware of how your meals should look and be balanced if you are following a plan prior to vacation. I can’t tell you how many clients come back to have not gained an ounce. THAT is WINNING!

Here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy when traveling:

Drink a lot of water – Lots of walking, hours spent outside in the sun… traveling can be exhausting. The airplane ride alone will dehydrate you from the altitude. I love to take a reusable water bottle and fill it up after I pass through security to take on the plane with me. This ensures that I am drinking throughout the flight and don’t have to wait for the flight attendants to serve me. And when they do come to serve, take it! Drink all the water you can. You will feel so much better getting off the plane hydrated instead of tired, queasy, tight, and drained.

When you get to your destination, continue to drink water. Incorporate foods that also contain a lot of water such as lettuce, watermelon and cucumbers.

Stick to your normal routine as much as possible: Just because you are away doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and eat everything in sight. This goes especially for all inclusive resorts or a buffet. Just because you pay for something doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. Breakfast included in the hotel? Stick to an omelette, a piece of toast or oatmeal, some fresh fruit and one “treat.” You don’t need muffins, bacon, hash browns, pancakes AND french toast if you normally don’t eat that at home. That’s just being a glutton. Pick one savory food and enjoy it. Tomorrow is a new day and a few hours later you will be eating your next meal again.

Keep things in moderation: You don’t have to have everything in one day. Bread, alcohol, dessert all add up at one meal. All 3 along with your meal could mean your total daily allowance of calories or more. So pick one, and choose another the following day. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

If you tend to eat more at night, then keep your breakfast and lunch on the lighter side. If you know you are going to have a few cocktails for happy hour then moderate your intake during the day. It is all about balance.

Try to keep active: If you normally workout daily then try to go to the gym half the amount of days you are on vacation. Vacation is just that…a break, so don’t feel like you have to hit the gym at 7am each morning to feel good about yourself. Let go of some of the stress. Go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors and do something entirely different then you are used to.

If there is no gym and you do want to workout, pack resistance bands. They are super light and there are so many exercises that you can do with them (see my video on how here) . You could also incorporate some body weight exercises or plyometrics in your hotel room (see hotel room workout video here). Just 20 minutes a day will make you feel a whole lot better and most likely help you make better decisions throughout the day.

Have the willpower to stay on track: I know sometimes this is easier said then done, but I can guarantee that you will feel so much better coming home from a vacation knowing you enjoyed it yet didn’t gain a pound rather than coming home 5 pounds heavier only to have to work it back off. We all know how easy it is to put weight on and how difficult it is to take it off. Just a few minor tweaks each day while away can mean the world of difference.

You are stronger than you think. Choose your battles while you are away. Don’t cave into defeat. You can do it! Vacation is so much more than eating everything in sight. Take the time to enjoy those you spend it with, the scenery, and the culture it has to offer. The food is just a bonus, not the entire package.

Sloane Davis is a Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who has helped thousands of people, both men and women, around the world get in to top shape both mentally and physically. Sloane has her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and became accredited through ISSA with her degree in Sports Nutrition and Personal Training. She works personally and online with thousands of clients around the US and globally.

She has been featured in People, Fitness Magazine, New Beauty Magazine, Apple News, The Daily Mail, Yahoo News, Westchester Magazine and Fox 5 Good Day New York.

 

My TJX Obsession ~ What I Love about TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

My TJX Obsession ~ What I Love about TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

If you are familiar with the stores; Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods, then you have great taste! I love shopping at all the TJX Companies stores. I have been inspired to write this post after cleaning out a box of receipts I have been keeping for the past few months in case I needed to return something. After looking at the pile, and not returning much, I have come to the realization that I might have an addiction.

Although, this should probably be an inspirational post in sharing steps on overcoming addictions,  it is really geared more toward feeding the addiction. This is one addiction I am not willing to give up or go to therapy for, unless it is retail therapy!

Our nest is empty and my husband travels a ton for business so it is easy for me to tag along. While he is working during the day, I am off to find the closest TJX stores and will sometime frequent 2 or 3 in one day.

With the travel, comes quite a bit of exposure to swanky shopping districts and areas with high end and luxury brands. Although, I could probably afford to make purchases now and then at one of those stores, I just can’t bring myself to do it because I know there is a good chance I will find it at one of the TJX stores!

Some of my favorite finds have been a Trina Turk swimsuit for only $49.99 that I picked up at TJ Maxx in Washington DC.

Trina Turk 2 piece

Trina Turk Two Piece Swimsuit

My Kate Spade bag I found at TJ Maxx in Chicago for only $149.00.

Kate Spade Purse

My Michael Kors bag I scored at Marshalls in Denver was $199.00.

Michael Kors Bag from Marshalls

Michael Kors Purse

I found a pair of Frye shoes for my hubby at the Marshalls in Houston for $99.00.

Frye Shoes from Marshalls

I got two Le Creuset pieces a few months apart, one large and one small in Wichita. Both were under $200 bucks, One was from TJMaxx and the other was Marshalls, what a steal!

Le Creuset Pots

As you can tell by the pile of receipts that is just the tip of the iceberg of some of my favorites!

Marshalls, TJ Maxxx and HomeGoods receipts

Pretty much every piece of clothing in my closet is from one of their stores. My favorite brands I have found there are Max Studio, Kut From The Kloth, Hudson Jeans, Paige Premium Denim, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Coach, NYJD, Bobeau, Born, Max Studio, La Blanca, Trina Turk, Born, Frye, 7 for all Mankind and more! The active wear selection is out of this world and I get plenty of work out wear with RBX and 90 Degree by Reflex being a favorite brand.

Workout Gear from Marshalls

Sierra Trading Post which is another store under the TJX belt, sells mostly online. They do have a handful of stores in Colorado and Wyoming. It is more outdoor related and carry active wear, hiking gear, climbing gear, sporting goods and an amazing selection footwear. I got the cutest pair of Lane Brand Cowboy boots online a couple months ago.

Lane Cowboy Boots

I’ve also gotten Keen and Chaco brand shoes and have bought plenty of name brand clothing as well such as North Face, Columbia, Lucy and more. Our family is into indoor rock climbing so guess where I purchased our harnesses, shoes and gear needed for that!

My husband knows when he goes to Colorado for work, a visit to the Sierra Trading Post in Fort Collins store is a must! He has also come to the realization that I need the TJX reward credit card as I would be making money with the reward certificates you receive just for using it! Please note that if you are interested in the credit card only apply for it in one of their stores or through the official TJX website as other links to apply are scams!

Most of my home decor is from HomeGoods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Between the three of them it is easy to outfit your entire home. They have a great selection of lamps, pillows, bedding, curtains, towels, rugs, furniture, decorating accessories and more!

I am currently looking for a small love seat or chaise lounge to fill this big empty space in our bedroom.

Considering all of the recipes on this blog, it is safe to say I am an avid cook and get plenty of my kitchen gadgets there too!

I have started sharing some of my favorite finds on my Instagram account @sharminmeadows so be sure and follow me there to check out the latest. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

If you have not shopped at any TJX stores, I encourage you to start. I promise you will not be disappointed. If you do shop at the TJX stores, you know where I am coming from! I would for you to leave a comment below on your favorite find, or maybe I should say #fabfound!

Well, I am off to HomeGoods to look for a love seat and apply for my TJX rewards credit card!

Also to be clear I am not paid or endorsed by the TJX Companies to write this either, although I would like to be! I just enjoy using this blog to share the things that I have done a found that make living finer!

Happy Shopping,

Sharm

Almond Butter Protein Smoothie

Almond Butter Protein Smoothie

This protein packed smoothie is delicious and will give you energy all day. I drink this one a lot after a workout and it is my daughters favorite.

Videos seem to be the way of the future but I do not have time to make those fancy ones with all of the editing! What you see is what you get! There will be no double takes and this is the real me. My goal is to keep them under 2 minutes so you can get the jest of the recipe without a lot of rambling.

You could certainly use any nut butter and milk you prefer. If you like cashews try this Cashew and Banana Smoothie or swap out the almond butter here for cashew butter.

I use Orgain  brand protein powder. It is taste great and is about the purest I have found. I love Costco and get everything from there. If you don’t have one near by you can still order online. The almond milk, almond butter and Orgain protein powder can be ordered from costco.com  or you can get them in the warehouse along with the greens and bananas.  I don’t have any affiliation any of the highlighted links, it is just my way of getting you the info on what I like.

Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
2 tablespoons almond butter or nut butter of choice
2 handful mixed greens
1 banana
1 serving protein powder of choice
1/2 cup ice cubes

Place milk in blender first, then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Makes 1 serving

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie

This Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie uses powdered peanut butter which cuts down on calories without sacrificing that yummy peanut butter taste.

Peanut butter powder can be found pretty regularly anymore.  Some common brands are PB & Me, PB2, PB Fit and Honeyville.

Packed with protein this smoothie will jump start your day and make you feel like a kid again with it’s classic PB&J taste! I like making it after I work out. It is so yummy and makes me feel like I am eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I use almond milk but you can use any kind of milk you like.  Fresh strawberries can be used as well, just throw in a few ice cubes.

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie

 

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie
Makes 16 ounces
____________________________________________________________________________

1 Cup Almond Milk or Milk of Choice
1/4 Cup Water
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1 Serving Protein Powder of Choice
2 Tablespoons Powdered Peanut Butter

Pour liquids into blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie