Let Them Eat Carbs!

I read something infuriating today.

It was one of those “Daily Mail” articles from SnapChat- I know, it’s basically tabloids a la social media; not my proudest moment. This article was about how Kim Kardashian has been sweating her way to redemption from those thong bikini pictures. (disclaimer: I don’t even know the difference between the Kardashians, so I had to google “Which one is Kim?”)

The article angered me, nonetheless- “unflattering” bikini photos? Were the photos so bad that Kim needed to dedicate her life after vacation to living the photos down and THEN we needed to publish an article about it? I mean, c’mon, people. We have got to get away from the body-shaming rhetoric. Make. it. stop. Could we not have written about her confidence in her bikini? How she was proud of her body while on vacation? How she was spending time with people she loved? Nope.

But what really got my blood boiling was that the article quoted that she is eating “absolutely no carbs.” And I hear so often from people around me about how they’ve “cut out carbs” and I just need to lay some truth.

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YOU NEED CARBS.
Normal recommendations are about 3-5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (or 45-55% of your diet). If you’re active, make that 8-10 grams/kilogram, or 55-65% of your diet. Runners especially need carbohydrates, because the muscles are fueled primarily through carbohydrates during endurance exercise.

WHY do we need carbs?ย 
Because carbs give us energy! Glucose is your body’s main source of energy, and it comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates. Your brain and central nervous system need glucose to function, and so does your metabolism! If your body has enough carbohydrates in the body, it will carry out protein and fat metabolism without using the protein that’s being used to build muscle.

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What kind of carbs can our body use? There are three: starch, sugahh, and fiber.

1.Starch-peas, beans, potatoes, or grains (note: whole grains contain all parts of the grain and thus have more nutrients than a refined grain)

2.Sugar– you may have heard of “simple” or “fast acting” carbs. This is because the insulin is quickly released into your blood stream, causing a decrease in your blood sugar and a suppressed release of fatty acids from fat stores. There are two types of sugar carbs: Those in milk or fruit, which are naturally occurring, and those in sweets and sodas, which are added in a process.

3.Fiber– carbs are non-digestible and come from plants, like spinach, kale, lettuce, beans, legumes, nuts, oatmeal, fruits and veggies (especially those with edible skin and seeds). Try to consume 20-30g/day for optimal benefits. Fibrous foods will help with the feeling of fullness, or satiety.

“BUT I WANNA LOSE WEIGHT, STACEY.”
I get it- it’s true that if you have TOO MUCH glucose, it’s going to get stored as fat. So cut the carbs that release insulin into your blood stream too quickly (these are those simple or fast acting sugars). These carbs, like breads, pastas, cakes, and sodas, will slow down the release of stored fat. We want to burn fat when we exercise, so we need it to be released!ย The goal is to use the fuel that is consumed; not to store it as fat, so you’ll want to eat food that slowly moves glucose into the blood stream and provides longer-lasting energy, like whole foods and fibers (think brown rice, berries, oatmeal, or bananas!). ย Fuel well! But don’t cut ALL your carbs, dear people- I beg of you. Your brain and your body will thank you.

[Please note: A cool thing about being human is that everyone is unique; some people may require less carbs and more fat than others, etc. It’s important to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian before any medical adjustments or dietary changes.] ๐Ÿ™‚

After a few days of practice over the last couple of weeks, I finally feel like I can *almost* jump rope without tripping over my own two feet. This was yesterday after ten minutes of hopping around. I’ve been trying to make working out less regimented and more fun- highly recommend the jump rope ๐Ÿ™‚

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And if you’re looking for a way to make your arms and abs a good kinda sore…

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Keep moving forward ๐Ÿ™‚

-Stacey

—–

What do you think of low-carb diets? Have you ever tried one?
Any recommendations for weighted jump ropes that aren’t made for giant humans? Having a hard time finding one!ย 

 

References: In case you’d like to read some of the articles that I used for this blog post: ๐Ÿ™‚
http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/diseases-and-conditions/diabetes/carbohydrates-part-of-a-healthful-diabetes-diet
https://riordanclinic.org/2012/04/fuel-sources-during-exercise/
http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/types-of-carbohydrates.html

 

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Weekend Recap: Pizza Day, OKC + Movies

CHRISTY CAME TO TOWN!

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Christy and I roomed together in Houston for a year and a half. She and Zack met in the same graduate college at Rice University, and almost immediately we knew that Christy was “our people”. We’ve been close friends since 2014!

We began our weekend by enjoying the weather on the patio at Empire Slice House in OKC, probably one of my favorite pizza spots in Oklahoma to date. I mean. Look at dat pizza. Plus they had Shiner beer, and ain’t nothin’ finer than Shiner, so we’re 2 for 2, Empire Slice House. HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you’re ever out and about around OKC! Christy picked a good day to fly in- Remicade/Pizza day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then we rented Hidden Figures a la RedBox. I love a girl power, and I love space. I can’t believe it’s taken so long to tell the story of these GENIUSES behind NASA who were complete trailblazers, except I kinda can (#society). But Hidden Figures is definitely up there with some of my favorite movies now. Just go buy it.

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Saturday’s weather demanded outdoor festivities, so we settled for some specialty pops in the sun with ice cold beer on the side. Christy said, “Hey Stacey-pretty sure you could make these for free.” <– not untrue. I also got a really good chicken and hummus wrap situation from a food truck, but I forgot to photograph. Still gettin’ this whole blogging thing down! A nice family sat at our table with us and immediately started talking politics. Honestly, I really enjoy how eager people are to make conversation here in Central Oklahoma. These people are genuine and kind, and they always have enough time to speak to you and make you feel like a friend…even if you disagree politically ;).

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I found a new sour beer that’s pretty good ^ . I. luv. sours.

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And then we walked down the street to a brewery for more sips. Unfortunately neither Christy nor I are big drinkers, so after three beers over the span of four hours we needed naps (I’m a little ashamed to say). So we came home, ate leftover pizza (#CarboLoading), and watched the new Beauty and the Beast. Emma, you’ve come a long way since Hermione, and I love you all the same.ย 

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The brewery was a special kind of place, really…

This morning we woke up and had breakfast at a local eatery and then walked a couple of miles around and throughout campus just to look around- OU is really quite beautiful. I know nothing about it, but the architecture is admirable.

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We finished off the weekend with a trip to the theatre to see Wonder Woman (lots of movies). I LOVED WONDER WOMAN!!!! GOOD LAWD I want to learn Brazilian jiu jitsu and meet Chris Pine. I loved that movie. Hope your weekend was just as great!

Have you seen Wonder Woman or Hidden Figures? Thoughts?
Any other sour beer drinkers in the house? Suggestions?ย 

Infusion Day

Hi, Friends! HAPPY FRIDAY! I’m blogging from my phone, so if the formatting is off that is why. I have never blogged straight from my phone before, so it’s a new adventure-here I go!

Today is Remicade Day ๐ŸŽ‰

I went through hospital registration and admission, which took FOEVAH and evah. One hour and 45 minutes after my scheduled infusion, we finally got the show on the road. 


But my blood pressure has been WAY TOO LOW during the duration of this infusion (we’re talkin 80s over 50s…yikes), so I’ve been up walking around lots. But all I wanna do I nappppp. 


See the dark circles ^? You may also notice my fuzzy blanket. I call it “fuzz” and it’s a Remicade Day essential, along with a snack, a big jug of water, some headphones and a good book, just to pass the time. 

The hospital is delivering meals to all the patients, which is really nice but I have sworn off red meat ever since my diagnosis years ago, and the entree is meatloaf. Hopefully time flies by and I can grab something that won’t be painful to digest! ๐Ÿ™‚


Yesterday after work my coworker rescued a baby bird whose friend had gotten ran over in the hospital parking lot. Little Guy was still beside him, scared to move! SAD! Thankfully, this guy is going to be okay and got a clean bill of health by a local wild animal rescue. 


I tried a HIIT workout on a stairmaster last night after work and had a near-puke experience. Safe to say I need to cross train more! My legs and hips feel sore in a good way today. 


Then I took Jaxon to run pet groceries with me since he was out of his favorite treats and food. He loved getting all the attention from cruising around in the shopping cart. I should’ve snapped a pic!

Tonight one of my best friends (pictured on the right; sister in the middle) flies in from Houston to hang out for the weekend. I haven’t seen her since our wedding in January when she was in the wedding party! 

Can’t wait to see ya, Christyface!
Hope you have a really great weekend, wherever you are ๐Ÿ™‚

Workout Wednesday: Summer Solstice Workout!

Happy HUMP DAYYYY!

Today has flown by for it being the longest day of the year- I’m not even sure if I can believe that today had the most daylight.

I follow this instagrammer, NutritionStripped, and in her story today she discussed something interesting that I’ve actually been pondering lately. Workouts don’t have to be a big to-do; they can just be a good part of your day. No special routines are required. Stacey’s version here: No “Slay” water bottles with graphic tee shirts. No fancy notebooks to lug around the gym. Sometimes it’s nice to just move your body without adding stress to it- just move! Whatever kind of movement makes you happy.

I’ve been trying to be more mindful in my own workouts without making them a thing. For instance, a couple days a week I try to run without any gadgets or music in my ears. I love running with goals and looking down to see that I’m staying on pace, but sometimes it’s SO NICE to just move your feet and let your thoughts swirl around without being drowned out by some Kelly Clarkson (the girl makes great running music, y’all). Pure, undisturbed movement. Also, I have NO ROUTINE when I go to the gym- I know- this will make some people absolutely NUTS. But for me it works right now.

However, if you do need some guidance fear not! I have somethin’ for ya ๐Ÿ˜‰

Summer Solstice Workout (that can be done any day of the year)
It’s a doozy, and it’s for the whole body
-1 mile, easy
——————–
-Set a timer, jump rope for 5 minutes (I use this weighted jump rope)
-21 air squats
-21 burpees
-21 high knees
-21 commandos
-21 lunges
-21 push-ups
-jump rope for 5 minutes
*Repeat 6 times
———————
-1 mile, easy

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Recovery smoothie with frozen banana, Vega protein, a few frozen blueberries, and water. That’s it! Oh, and topped with some oats because I didn’t consume enough carbs today.

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And here’s a selfie, because I have blueberry seeds lodged in my teeth and I didn’t even notice. You’re welcome.

-Do you like to have a workout routine when you head to the gym?ย 
-What’s your favorite way to move? Spin class? Yoga? Weights? Dance parties in the kitchen?

Have you ever got pulled over by a police officer twice in two consecutive days? 

I did recently, and it wasn’t because my tail light was out although I’m fairly convinced someone had tagged my car with a sign only visible to law enforcement that read, “PLEASE PULL THIS CAR OVER NOW.”

The first occurrence resulted in a $235 ticket for a toll violation. I found myself on an unfamiliar turnpike and panicked when I realized that I lacked both cash AND the toll tag sticker. I thought I’d run through the toll tag lane and then immediately call the toll company once I got home and pay the amount due, before I could be mailed a ticket (I’ve done this before and didn’t run into any problems). But apparently, this is the sort of thing that warrants an outrageous citation in this state, and it’s called “taking advantage of the toll system”. Beware if you’re ever driving through Oklahoma on a turnpike, and have your quarters ready, or plan your trip to Sephora better than I did.

The second evening I was driving down the highway, listening to a ’90s country song a little too loudly.

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I’m even more embarrassed to say that this man ^, his mullet and mustache were behind the voice of the song that I was jamming. I wish this was a lie.ย Hi, I’mย embarrassing.ย 

I saw red and blue lights in my rearview mirror and literally laughed. What now? I was going 73 in a 70mph zone. I left unscathed without a ticket, but I was told to control my speed. I’m still a little confused. SPEED DEMON ON THE LOOSE. It’s me. 3mph over- it’s me.

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This evening after work while at a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation board meeting I received a phone call that I will be getting my past-due infusion on FRIDAY! *Hallelujah chorus* I have never returned to work after a Remicade infusion, so we will see how this goes!

Went to Trader Joe’s today and picked up some food, including watermelon slices that I am particularly stoked to have. Something about watermelon in the summertime (it’s 97 degrees and therefore “summer” here).

I wanted to work out tonight, but I ran HARD yesterday. Tonight = early bedtime for a morning workout. Letting my body call the shots on this one!

Hope you all had a great Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend Recap (Father’s Day Weekend)

Hope everyone had such a great weekend!

Friday was [supposed to be] infusion day. Even though I’m in remission, my body needs time to wean off of the infusions. My doctor said this could take time…years even. But, hey, why not give it a go right now? My infusion center FORGOT TO FILE MY NEW INSURANCE back in April… which means an entire approval process of getting the insurance on board with my diagnosis and this multi-thousand-dollar specialty medication, and this could take “up to two weeks” according to my new infusion center. Healthcare in this country is the antithesis of efficient. SO INFURIATING. ughhhh

But on the bright side, I got to hang out with these guys this weekend:

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Zack has been working long, hard hours with a crazy schedule, and it was so great just to hang out this weekend. Jaxon clearly missed their quality movie-watching time.

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^This went on all weekend with these two- they’re the sweetest.

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And guess who got a bath this weekend?? Hint: Jaxon. I mean, technically I did, too. But not the point.

Oh, and one of my best friends/college roommates came into town!

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We hung out at Bleu Garten in OKC on Friday night. Highly recommend if you haven’t been there! Food trucks, drinks, and all outside. We shut the place down ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday morning was breakfast at Syrup. My chai tea was SO cinnamon-y and delicious. Not too sweet- just how I like it.

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Saturday afternoon I got my hair cut (for the first time in over a year, oops). Then we hung out with some friends and smoked some chicken and sweet potatoes. First experience with smoked sweet potatoes, and it didn’t disappoint!

Just overall a great weekend, the kind that go by too quickly and before you know it, they’ve passed. It was also Father’s Day weekend, so here’s a throwback with me with my Day 1:

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He taught me how to swing a bat, change a tire, and passed down constant misuse of clichรฉs.
“There’s always more fish in the pond.”

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And maybe his dance moves.

View More: http://rebeccataylorphotography.pass.us/collins-wedding

But most of all he taught me how to be generous and selfless and kind. I love this guy, and I’m proud to be his kid fo lyfe.

 

My Mythical Thigh Gap

Confession: I have body image issues.

Not mega-deep, emo body issues, and not to degrade or demean anyone who has had serious, life-altering, core-rattling body image issues that has wrecked mental havoc in your life and unwelcomely seeped its way your health. That is TOUGH, and you should feel like some version of a superhero for overcoming that. Pat yourself on the back for wherever you are on your journey of recovery. I’m offering you a virtual hug here, no matter how lame or patronizing “pat yourself on the back” sounds. Really and truly. I’m with you.

I, too, am critical of my body- the one that helps me run, fights disease, carries me to work, climbs up and down stairs, logs thousands of steps daily, hike and explore outside, and lets me live a dang good life full of strength. That body- I’m unkind, harsh, and judgemental about how she looks on the outside more often than I’d care to admit…even though I know she’s a strong and capable one. I discredit her, and sometimes I call her critical names.

I frequently refer to myself as “fluffy”, but recently I started reading books that talk about how we create our own realities by believing what we say. Our actions follow, and eventually we reinforce our own blessings or curses by what we repeat from our mouths. I’m learning to be kinder to myself.
(Reference: “You Are a Badass” or James 3:10-13…similar messages)

Sometimes I catch myself standing awkwardly in photos in a lame attempt to create a thigh gap that doesn’t exist. See?

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I am not even a little bit pigeon-toed naturally, but I’m trying to pose like my thighs aren’t touching. But I fail, because they are.

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Sometimes I even run long distances, and you know what? Those thighsย stillย touch, AND I STILL TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THEY’RE NOT.

So I call this my “Mythical Thigh Gap”. It’s about as real as any other mythical creature…like a unicorn…although I know there’s a strange following recently that believes in unicorn magic, so if you happen upon a unicorn, please holla if you find my thigh gap.

I did have a thigh gap…once. I was THIRTY pounds under-weight from health complications associated with a recent “moderate to severe ulcerative colitis diagnosis” and I remember crying as I stared back at my reflection in the mirror. I always maintained a love/hate relationship with my booty, but it was completely gone. Flat. And then I realized that I liked my booty all along- what a shame.ย My legs looked like “chicken legs” and my boobs had shrunk down to a size A Minus, if there is such a size. I didn’t feel like myself, and I didn’t feel feminine. I felt like a small, frail, skinny shell of the person I used to be. I felt unrecognizable.

Slowly but surely, I met myself again and began to recognize her. I learned to place my self-worth in what my body could do as opposed to how it looked. Besides, our bodies are ever-changing anyway. I learned to be proud of my resilience, my intelligence, my stubborn gladness to stay the course, whatever I was doing despite discouragement from haters. Despite rough circumstances, I was given a new chance to love myself from the inside. I became more mindful of the world around me, and I felt a little more child-like and less self-critical. The whole world was brand new in this foreign but pleasant way of viewing myself, the universe, its inhabitants around me, and the people I love.

I found this picture recently, and it reminded me of that new perspective, and most of all, what it was like to be a child: playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer day, not purposely standing pigeon toed, unaware of the false importance of a thigh gap that wasn’t, and completely loving life with the people I love…

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…and owning that one piece, high-pony tail, and lack of a thigh gap. No room for waiting until things disappeared to appreciate them; fully and completely appreciating life in the present.

So that’s my advice to you, dear friends. Love your life today. Love your thigh gap if you have one. Love your lack of a thigh gap if you don’t. Love your strength and your intelligence. Love your life, because it’s too short and fleeting to feel any other way. Most of all- Love yourself.

-Stacey