Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Evolution of Our Healthy Lifestyle

People throw the phrase around a lot...

"It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change."

But for us, it is now 3-4 years later, so it clearly was a lifestyle change.

Typically, it is a healthy thing to look back once in a while, to see how far you've come and/or to see how things have changed and evolved. Our commitment to fitness and nutrition has certainly changed a lot over the last several years:

  • We are much more in tune with our bodies
    •  We know when to take a break before it gets to the point of an injury or exhaustion
    •  Along that same line, we can see the true value of rest days
    •  We are gaining a better understanding of what works bests for us nutritionally
  • Less focus on calorie counting, more on actual nutrition
    •  Initially, it was all calories in versus calories out. NO LONGER! Now, the focus is on nutritional value. Your body processes 100 calories of vegetables completely differently than a 100 calorie Chips Ahoy pack. (Sorry for the mini-rant, that's a whole other post topic!)
  • We aren't stuck in a box and afraid to experiment
    •  At first, anything that didn't involve a workout DVD (Lindsay) or a gym (Timothy), we wouldn't touch. Since then, we are constantly experimenting with all different kinds of training and can definitely say that cross-training (working out in a variety of ways) is the most effective.

Things have evolved in others ways too:

  • Our inner circle of friends has changed dramatically
    • This was a hard pill to swallow at first and we certainly felt lonely. But time has allowed us to let those people go and focus on connecting with those that we better relate to now that we've made this lifestyle change. BUT we are always hoping to have a positive impact on people, including those from our past, and help them become healthy with us. 
  • Our outlook on our future has a different focus 
    • At first, a lot of our healthy eating and working out was wrapped up in numbers, sizes, and looks. As our knowledge of nutrition and fitness improves, and with moving into different phases of our lives, the focus is less on sizes and looks and more on doing this to live longer and avoid chronic illnesses. Mid/Late 20's is not "old" but it is a time to be concerned about your future.  
  • We cut ourselves way more slack
    • Everything was so strict in the beginning: missing a workout was unfathomable and eating had to be on point at all times. Now, if life interferes and we miss a workout, it's okay. If our eating isn't clean or we have a food that is fried or has HFCS in it, it's okay. We know it doesn't happen often and we know we can fall right back in line immediately. *This isn't for people who are just starting. This came with time!* 

Overall, we are pretty darn pleased with the evolution of our healthy lifestyle thus far. We look forward to seeing how future life events will impact everything, particularly having a child. We'll keep you posted ;-)

In Health,

Lindsay and Timothy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eating junk makes you crave more junk!!

Yes, the information is out there...



And here

As obesity is a full-blown epidemic in America...

more research is devoted to the effect of what we eat has on our bodies and minds. The effect on the body is the obvious stuff: when we eat poorly, we gain weight, have little/no energy, have high cholesterol/BP/diabetes, etc.

The effect on our mind isn't always as obvious, but science is proving that it is just as impactful. The sugar and additives in crap food literally alter your brain and make you crave more of the crap food.

We know....this is some scary, mad scientist stuff here....

Of course, nothing serves better as proof than personal experience. When we get a little lax with our nutrition (when we are traveling or visiting family) and eat things we normally don't have, we begin to crave them for a day or two after. Diet soda is a PERFECT example of this. Lindsay doesn't have one often, but when she does, the cravings for more sugary foods increase dramatically. Same thing for Timothy with ice cream.

We aren't saying never have dessert or a diet soda, but what we are saying is be mindful of what you are eating. The cleaner your food, the cleaner your insides. While it may be tough initially, your body will begin to crave healthier foods....ESPECIALLY if you are working out (your body needs the right fuel to perform adequately, and trust that Mountain Dew and donuts aren't the right fuel).

We want to know: Do you notice a change in your mind/body when you eat poorly after eating healthfully for a while? Increase in cravings? Comment below!

In Health,

Lindsay and Timothy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Battle of the Blenders

We have 3 blenders in our home.

No, we are not hoarders.

Rather, we make a lot of shakes/smoothies/green drinks and one needs a blender to do so!

Here's a quick synopsis of each of the 3 blenders we have. You'll see we have a clear favorite, but we'll try to give you enough info so you can make your own decision, you grown-up you :)

Ninja Master Prep

Cost: ~$75.00
Pros: blades come out for easy cleaning; comes with two sizes and a chopper; affordable
Cons: motor on top is very big/bulky; if you use large chunks of ice/fruit, it won't blend it all

Magic Bullet

Cost: ~$75 - $100.00
Pros: the container serves double-duty as your cup; blades are very small, thus easy to clean
Cons: can't do "big jobs" and can't mix anything fibrous (veggies) or sticky (peanut butter)

Vitamix Professional Series 750

Cost: ~$690
Pros: can blend anything, completely versatile; preset options take out guesswork, no worry about washing, has a cleaning function, huge container, comes with a 7 year warranty
Con: expensive

Can you spot our favorite? :)

We used the Ninja and Magic Bullet for YEARS before finally making the investment in a Vitamix....it was worth the wait and worth every penny! This not only makes shakes, but icecream, soups, dips, homemade nut butter, dough, ANYTHING! 

As we said before, we require the services of a blender daily, but if you don't and therefore can't rationalize a Vitamix purchase, go with the Ninja.

Have you owned any of these blenders? What's your opinion??

In Health,

Lindsay and Timothy

Monday, October 15, 2012

Playing with Nutrition is Fun

Our bodies are incredible machines, and food is the fuel, so tweaking and experimenting with our nutrition to see what helps the body operate best is so neat for us...

....is that weird?

 Anywho.....the two of us have adopted a version of "primal" or "paleo" eating for the past 3 weeks or so. We're following more of the Mark Sisson or Robb Wolf view of the lifestyle, in that we still have tiny bits of dairy once in a while (and when we do have it, we shoot for grassfed, no hormones added, full-fat dairy). Essentially, the biggest part of our change is no wheat/grain. 

Let's be real - sure, initially, toast, muffins, bread....all those were missed, but the feeling didn't last long. We are certainly not starving (see below for an example day's food). Plus, there are so many ways to make your favorite things primal/paleo - Lindsay makes insane pancakes that are dairy and grain free and paleo cookies made of almond flour, coconut oil, and honey that are way better than any wheat/grain cookie.

**Meals are tailored around workout schedules (for instance, on a rest day, we would likely eat less meat/starch/veggies.

**We both average at least a gallon of water per day.

This is not extremist paleo/primal. Some would argue this isn't even either, rather just grain/wheat free. And to be frank, we don't give a sh*t.....whatever title you want to give it, it is working for us. Lindsay's lost 4 pounds in 3 weeks, even with working out less. Timothy is sleeping better. It just fits for us.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to shoot us an email: fitwithfarrar@gmail.com

Also, if you want to learn more about why we are avoiding wheat/grain, here are some resources:

Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
What grains do to your system
Food, Inc. - helps solidify why grassfed, pasture raised, etc.IS important

We'd love to hear your thoughts - please comment below!

In Health,

Timothy and Lindsay

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Training with Kettlebells

The popularity of training with kettlebells has really picked up in the last 5 years...

In reality, it has been around since practically the beginning of strength training (16th century Russia to be specific), but the recent resurgence of popularity is GREAT NEWS because it is one of the most effective ways to train.We live in a world where we are pressed for time and need something that is both quick AND effective. Enter kettlebells...

Standard strength training, ESPECIALLY in the traditional gym setting, locks the body in a linear plane and can place stress on joints. Kettlebell exercises are natural to the body's range of motion AND have the capability to serve double-duty as strength training and cardio, simultaneously! This is what we mean by quick and effective!

Kettlebells come in a variety of weight, but unless you are very much a beginner, anything less than 10 pounds is likely too light!

The exercise combinations are virtually endless: you can do more static moves like windmills:

Or you can up the cardio factor with moves like the kettlebell swing:


Kettlebells can be purchased at any sporting goods store, and we've even seen them in places like Target! Craigslist is also a good place to get used equipment that is often a little cheaper.

If you want to play around with kettlebell exercises before you invest in an actual kettlebell, you can try these moves out with a traditional dumbbell!

Question for you: Do you use kettlebells? What's been your experience?

In Health,

Timothy and Lindsay


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tough Love or Bullying?

A lot of you have probably already seen this video or heard this story by now:

We sincerely appreciate Jennifer Livingston utilizing this event in her life as a means to promote anti-bullying. She could've ignored it or just dealt with it privately, but she chose to bring it to the fore-front for a greater cause: to fight bullies, and for that, she deserves a round of applause!

But all of this got our wheels turning, so we wanted to bring it up with you guys. What is considered tough love and what is considered bullying? How fine is that line? We are in no way trying to say that Ms. Livingston's situation wasn't bullying, rather, we got to thinking about our own behavior and whether or not we could be interpreted as bullies!

If you know us personally (or just follow us here or on Facebook and Twitter), you know that we are very assertive people. We don't like to hem-and-haw with folks and we certainly do not beat around the bush. When it comes to our health and fitness coaching, we (and others) often refer to it is "tough love". We typically do not hesitate to call people out when they're making excuses. We like to promote big doses of reality checks, both for ourselves and for others. We don't like to sugar coat (pun!) things. Is that bullying?

Clearly, we hope it is not interpreted that way. Living a balanced, healthy lifestyle has been the greatest gift for the two of us, and yes - we promote it incessantly but it is only because we want as many people as we can reach to feel the same way! We are as supportive and encouraging as we can be to our clients/customers - but if they are starting up the bull-sh*t factory, we will call them out on it.

What are your thoughts on tough love versus bullying?

In Health,

Timothy and Lindsay