I found this amazing resource from the University of Kentucky on gardening at home. I LOVE it! Making my notes, but want to share a great resource when I find one!
There….I said it.
Do I feel better? Not really.
I’ve lived in Lexington since December, been to probably 5 or 6 different groceries (Meyer, WalMart, multiple Krogers, Target….you name it!) and I still can’t find the right one for me.
Seems like such a silly thing to fuss over, right? Well, like I said. I’m a grocery snob.
I’m the grocery patron who picks up 7 heads of garlic before I find the right one. I know exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve tested different brands and have my favorites. I only like to buy antibiotic and steroid free poultry and grass fed beef. I bring my own grocery bags.
It’s ok – I know what you’re thinking and I totally embrace it. OCD? Maybe.
I lived in Atlanta long enough for it to be our home and made the most amazing discovery: The Dekalb Farmer’s Market.
Most people associate a farmer’s market with an outdoor, once-a-week thing. This wasn’t like that at all. It was situated a 20 minute drive from downtown, in a large open warehouse and full to the brim with every type of produce you can imagine exists.
What I drooled over:
- Produce told you where it was from (Mexico? CA? Georgia? You knew!)
- Prices varied based on supply – sometimes organic was cheaper than the alternative
- All poultry was antibiotic and steroid free and from $0.99/lb!
- They had grass fed beef…for $5.99/lb!
- All the pastries and granola was made on-site and from organic ingredients
- The price were unreal. Literally.
I would come home with bags and bags of produce that would last a full week of meals and spend $60
It was HEAVEN.
Between the move, the holidays, the new job….I’ve fallen off my healthy wagon and hardly cook anymore. I even forgot a very important chili ingredient! CHILI! C’mon, that’s the easiest thing in the book.
Now that we’re settled in the new digs and I’ve got all of my cooking tools back at my finder tips, I’m jumping back in.
So here’s my plan: I’m starting an organic garden. Herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, jalapeños, potatoes? – maybe. It’s on. Which brings me to my next goal…
I’m learning how to compost.
I’m turning over a new leaf. Let’s see how this goes!
I’ve done P90X and Insanity both and everyone always asks: What’s the difference? Which do you like better?
So below I’ve summarized my thoughts on both programs. They’re both great for different reasons. It’s what you’re looking for that will determine what is best for you!
- Cost: $139.80
- Length: 90 days
- # of workouts: 12
- Customized program options: yes! 3: Classic, Lean or Doubles
- Nutrition book: yes!
- Equipment needed: pull up bar, free weights (I can get away with max 15lbs., Mark likes to go up to 40lbs.)
- Basic theory: simple with variety. “Muscle Confusion” is the term Tony Horton uses to explain why this program works so well. Since your body doesn’t respond to repetition (eventually is adapts) they claim that by always mixing it up, adding variety, it keeps your body “on its toes” so to speak.
- Cost: $144.80
- Length: 60 days
- # of workouts: 10
- Customized program options: no
- Nutrition book: yes!
- Equipment needed: none! Just you.
- Basic theory: maximum intensity exercises with minimum rest that keeps you constantly challenged. Claims that you can burn up to 1,000 calories per workout (I believe it!)
1. Easiest? NEITHER.
P90X isn’t easier than Insanity. Insanity isn’t easier than P90X. They’re different. Honestly? If you think either is easier, you’re body is probably stronger and you’re not pushing yourself very hard. If you think BOTH of them are easy, you’re INSANE (and you’re lying).
2. Leaders – Shaun T vs. Tony Horton? SHAUN T. Easy.
- P90X: Tony talks a lot and after 90 days, you might go a little crazy. He has an odd sense of humor, but again, after a couple of weeks……it gets old. Tony can get you excited, don’t get me wrong. But he’s a little pompous at times. If he didn’t talk as much, the videos would be shorter, which I think would be a plus since most of the videos are about 58 minutes.
- Insanity: Shaun T does a better job of giving you a heads up for what is coming next. All of his workouts seem to run flawlessly. He works really hard during his workouts and I like that. I also like that he keeps count and tells you every move so you don’t have to look at the TV to see what is going on. Most importantly, he keeps you motivated by focusing on you, how you can do it better and reminds you why you’re doing this to keep you going.
3. Background Cast Members? Insanity.
- P90X: They show variations, which I like. But they seem pretty quiet and not much personality (except for, of course “Drea.”) I like that they’re fit, but they kinda remind me of gym rats and I can’t really “relate” to that mentality.
- Insanity: These people get into it! They’re working hard and pushing themselves and that makes me want to push myself, too. This might be a little vain, but the women are really fit, but not overly muscular. When I did Insanity, they motivated me because I wanted to look like them. C’mon! Have you seen Ariel’s abs? Geez.
4. Workout Lengths? Insanity.
- P90X: If Tony talked less, it would definitely shorten the videos. But with most of them around 58 minutes, it’s a looong workout and a big commitment.
- Insanity: Some of the Max workouts are long but most of the other ones are around 35-40 minutes so before you know it, you’re covered in sweat and done. I think it’s because Insanity warmups are harder and more of a workout themselves. Insanity gets right to business though, which I like. First time you do it, you’re lucky to just keep up.
5. Muscle Strength? P90X
- P90X: They use weights, so if you’re looking to build muscles, it’s the better program because you have flexibility and can increase/decrease your weights. Mark loves it for this reason. He can decide how much or how little to push himself.
- Insanity: It’s cardio packed and definitely builds muscle, but you’re limited because you’re only using your body weight. Once you get comfortable, there is little you can do to take it to the next level. Don’t get me wrong – it will take you a LONG time to get “comfortable” with these workouts. It’s also important to note that most Insanity programs also come with a “Upper Body” workout that does involved weights. The guys love this one, and honestly I do too!
6. Cardio? Insanity
- P90X: There are some workouts that are cardio intense (like Cardio and Plyometrics) but otherwise it’s lots of strength training. I like to really work up a sweat and if that’s what you’re looking for, P90X is so-so
- Insanity: Cardio at it’s finest. You’re constantly moving, breathing heavy, sweating and trying to keep up. Because of this, it burns a ton of calories. I love that about Insanity.
7. Nutrition Guide? It’s a tie!
- P90X: I read the entire book and loved it! It helped me transform my lifestyle and make big changes that led to big results. In regards to recipes, P90X definitely takes the cake! (or takes it away, I guess). We still use the recipe book because they are soo yummy!
- Insanity: I love their nutrition guide because it is easy to read and simple to understand. However, I think it does fall short on recipes. Most of them were so simple that they were bland.
Summary: Either way, you’re going to see results with both programs – the important thing is to commit. Personally, if you’re not in tip top shape, I would start with P90X because it can give you a good foundation to build off and you can increase intensity as you go. If you start right into Insanity, you might get frustrated quickly and give up.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a Beachbody coach and I do NOT work for or get compensated by Beachbody. In fact, the wouldn’t even agree to send me a program for free in exchange for my testimony and before/after pics. BOO!
I love food. But Thanksgiving to me is about FAMILY and quality time. For the past few years, I’ve had 3 Thanksgiving dinners (2 in one day!)
For the hosts it’s a culinary festival and there’s a lot of love put into each dish. Less disappoint the cook I eat…and eat….and eat. Then everyone falls into a food-induced coma.
No one wants to end up like this….
This year, I’m taking a non nonsense approach to my turkey time. I’ll tell you WHY and HOW below.
Protein is one of the biggest parts of a healthy diet. Chicken, beef and seafood are all praised for packing some great protein and it’s rare that I eat a meal where there isn’t one of these 3 on my plate.
So here’s what I’ve learned this past year about these 3 proteins that I think you would want to know, too:
- “Farm Raised” is great (I LOVE farms!) EXCEPT with FISH.
- Always buy wild caught fish, where available. It’s worth the extra cost.
- WHY? Everything from their habitat to the vaccines and antibiotics farmed fish are pumped with leaves you with a not-so-healthy (but should be healthy!) product. Also when you pack in thousands of fish in a habitat that isn’t large enough for them to swim freely (if they can swim much at all) it becomes an unhealthy environment. Use your imagination. So to make a decent product, they pump antibiotics in the fish. AND did you know that farm raised Salmon is fed pellets that contain a chemical dye that makes their flesh PINK? It’s not pink naturally, but they add the color so it looks healthier to the consumer. Yes, seafood is good for you but only to a point. If there are chemicals added and healthy standards overlooked, it may be worse for you to eat it altogether.
- HOW? All seafood will say either “Farm Raised” or “Wild Caught.” Go wild.
- Vouch for chicken that is Hormone, Antibiotic and Steroid FREE.
- WHY? Many meat producers that provide the product your local grocery pack these animals with these harmful chemicals (they’ve been doing it for years) to increase profits. Unknowingly consuming these chemicals and medicines can mess up your system, leaving you immune to antibiotics and cause a long list of health issues.
- Antibiotics help rid the animal of the diseases and bacterial infections that come from living in small and unclean living quarters. And, unless you NEED antibiotics, you should not be consuming them. An estimated 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are being fed to animals on factory farms for purposes other than treating diseases (source: Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, www.ncifap.org). Gross. So what is it used for then? I don’t want to know.
- Steroids & Hormones help the cow and chicken to grow BIGGER and FASTER so it reduces the cost to raise the animals and gives them more product to sell, increasing profit. It’s estimated that 99% of all cattle is injected with steroids and that if a typical 8 year old boy eats 2 hamburgers a day, it will increase his hormone levels 10% (Los Angeles Times). This also causes girls to “develop” faster and can impact the development of the brain & reproductive organs. It causes a host of issues in adults. And, get this: all of the steroids farmers are allowed to use in cattle, YOU can’t be prescribed by a doctor (the FDA made these illegal) BUT if you eat this meat, you’re still consuming those hormones and steroids. So….if it’s not safe for your doctor to give you, do you want to be consuming it via your food?
- HOW? Don’t let those marketing peeps confuse you with pretty words and labels. Either it’s Antibiotic/Steroid/Hormone Free or it’s not. They’re careful about word selection on labels. So either it’s 100% free, or it’s not. There are resources where you can find out more info about where to buy, but in my area, the best chicken comes from a local farm (and it’s packages accordingly) and not from Tyson or Perdue but you can still buy it in Kroger.
- Tip: If they don’t say it’s wild caught, chances are it’s not. Generally places that offer high quality meats and seafood will be eager to let you know about it.
- Tip: Fast food likely won’t offer this, but Chipotle is the only “fast-casual” place that offers these choices. They only work with farmers who raise animals without the use of antibiotics and they focus on what they call “Food With Integrity.” www.chipotle.com
- Tip: You can find local restaurants in your area that serve “farm to table” type of food and will advertise that their food selection and generally the menu will tell you where it came from (i.e. Georgia wild caught trout). If you can’t find a restaurant like that, make your own “farm to table” meal at home – you’ll save money too!
Do you ever READ the ingredients on the label of the food you eat? Don’t you kinda want to know what you’re eating? It occurred to me sometime last year that I should think about this….
Sad thing is, no matter how much I research about food labels and how to read them, I STILL can’t make sense of them. I’m lost. But I think that is what the food companies want.
So my rules are:
- If I can’t read the ingredients on the label, I don’t buy it.
- Who are we kidding? I can’t find anything without food coloring, additives, or high fructose corn syrup, so I buy & eat produce and cook everything (get a subscription to Clean Eating Magazine….it’s wonderful).
- If it can sit it out for 2 weeks and shows no change or deterioration, I’ll pass.
- LÄRABAR. They are amazing and I have one in my purse at all times. LÄRABAR is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from 100% whole food, each bar contains no more than nine ingredients. Catch them on sale for $0.99 and I’m buying the whole box! www.larabar.com My favorites are Cherry Pie and Apple Pie.
- Produce. You’re going to hate me for this but this is it. Produce. I grab 2 or 3 recipes and hit the store. Generally, I buy:
- Meat: a whole chicken or chicken breasts (antibiotic & steroid free – I’m not sick so I don’t need antibiotics and I definitely don’t need steroids), chicken or turkey sausage, bacon, maybe a pork tenderloin or skirt/flank steak.
- Veggies: red onions (2), basket of cherry tomatoes, head of lettuce or bag of spinach, green onions, mushrooms
- Frozen veggies are awesome. Best to have in the freezer for when I need a last minute side. Don’t get the kind that are “lightly sauced,” just get the veggies. You can season them yourself with leftover garlic, evoo, a bit of salad dressing and/or salt & pepper.
- Berries: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (all in my fridge right now)
- Fruits: bananas (if a couple go bad, Mark makes banana bread and it’s AMAZING), large pineapple (slice it yourself! it’s easy and you get more for the $$$), a bag of apples/pears/grapes/oranges for grabbing on the go
- Starches: sweet potatoes (2), all natural granola, bread (my favorite is Arnold’s Health Nut), whole grain wraps.
- Creamer & eggs & FAGE greek yogurt (by far the best – and I HATE yogurt – just don’t get over 2%)