Tag Archives: clean eating

How Cheesy Crack Sticks Can Keep You Employed

Sometimes just sometimes, my job can be a little, how shall I say this nicely, “challenging”. Whether it is dealing with a not so happy person over the phone or face to face, there are numerous times during the day when I want to bang my head against my desk to prove that 1.) this is real life 2.) I am actually awake, and 3.) to keep me from doing or saying something that will get me fired. Instead of one masochistic behavior, I choose another, snacking. Yes, snacking can and is good for you, if you choose the right snack. For me, cheesy crack sticks work for me.

Fruit, veggies, and nuts are all healthy and amazing snacks, which you should each by the way, but nothing makes me feel like I am floating in the clouds surrounded by rainbows and unicorns than a couple of soft pretzels, a bag of cheese puffs or a couple of fun sized Snickers bars. There have been days, today included, when I have brought healthy snacks with me to work, but will still go get a bag of cheesy crack sticks (cheese puffs) from the vending machine after a difficult phone call. I know that I should eat the tasty blood oranges from Trader Joe’s, but they don’t soothe the savage beast like the cheesy crack sticks do. Why is that? Seriously, why does crappy food make my feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Cheesy-Crack-Sticks-Employed

The ultimate mood stabilizer

After some extensive research (Googling), I found scientific proof that cheesy crack sticks of goodness were in fact, responsible for my improved mood. According to a study by the University of Leuven in Belgium, people who were given a saline solution while listen to depressing music and viewing pictures of people with sad facial expressions became 4% more depressed, while those given a fatty solution under the same conditions where hardly affected.

Say what?!?! There is scientific proof that those cheesy crack sticks are a mood enhancer? The research shows that the improved mood is not only caused by the taste and feel of crappy food, but also a chemical reaction in our brains and tummies that make us snap back to Happy Land. Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, for proving that I am not completely losing my mind in my assumption of the power of crappy food to mellow out the mind. While I won’t switch to a diet made up of only Butterscotch Krimpets, Soft Pretzels, and cheesy crack sticks, at least my anxiety can be put at ease knowing that these no-so-good for you foods are doing their job of stopping me from putting my head through a wall during normal business hours.

So when you are about to jump off the deep end at work and possible do something that will land you a meeting with the HR Department, back away from the ledge and go get a bag of chips, cookies, or a cupcake. You, your coworkers, and your employment status will be grateful for the decision. Me, I am going to raid the vending machine and stock up on cheesy crack sticks. One must always be prepared.

Later Days,

B

 

What I know For Sure…..

 

In my Oprah voice… What I know for sure, having a sarcastic sense of humor
is definitely helping my come to grips with the fact that in a few hours, I
will be splayed out on the operating table.

What I also know for sure, don’t eat a lot of salt and not drink water
before going in for pre-admission testing, but more on that later.

Last Monday was pre-opp day, or “sign your life away day”. I
spent the better part of my afternoon signing consent forms, vitals and blood
taken, and playing an awesome game of hurry up and wait.

First stop, my GYN. We went over the surgery, how Frankie and his lovely
companions will be removed. Blah, blah, blah, and finally then questions came.
How long will it take? Will I need stitches removed? How long will I be out of
work for? For the first time ever, I didn’t have to get dressed after we were
done. A quick elevator ride and it was off to Pre-Admission testing, the last
stopper before my surgery next week. After waiting for what seemed like
forever, I was finally called back to the desk. I was asked to verify
information, give names of people who will be able to call the Nurse’s station
and sign more forms. Then off to the exam room. My blood pressure was taken yet
again and it was still high. The nurse asked me if I was anxious. And with a
smile and twinkle in my eyes I said, ” Why yes, I am in a hospital talking
about surgery.” Her reply, ” You are going home today. There is
nothing to worry about”. Can someone please tell me if anyone has normal
blood pressure when they go to the doctor? Mine is always high and the doctors
and nurses look at me like I am about to explode. I do not have high blood
pressure, just serious aversion to doctor’s offices and hospitals.
Anyway, it was only after my appointment that I realized that I had grits,
with a lot of salt, coffee, and orange juice or breakfast, which along with my
anxiety, could have caused my pressure to go through the roof. Note to self…
don’t ever do that again.

Anyway, while going over reservation form (yes, they call surgery a
reservation. Who knew), Nola, the wonderful Nurse Practitioner noticed a
discrepancy in my form. Here is a piece of the conversation:

Nola: What procedure are you having done?

Me: Exploratory, open myomectomy

Nola: You are not having an ovary removed?

Me: Excuse me? No I am not.

Nola: It says right here but not which one

Me: I am not having an ovary removed

Nola: Let me call your doctor’s office to confirm….

Let’s just say that didn’t help my blood pressure go down. After an EKG,
another blood pressure check, and “day of” instructions, it was time
to have my blood taken. Zakia was amazing and we laughed about the number of
vials that she was going to take. She said that she was not going to drain me
and she would leave me enough to drive home. After a pleasant, as much as a
blood draw can be pleasant, she wrapped my arm in a stylish ace bandage instead
of that God-awful white tape. I felt pretty fancy.

Then
there was the conversation that I was waiting for. My chit chat with the
anesthesiologist. He is not going to be my doctor on game day, just the one
that was on call during my appointment. He explained to me the entire “general
anesthesia” process, which is pretty intriguing:

 

Doc:
When you come in, we will put monitors on you to check your heart, a clip on
you to measure the oxygen in the blood. Then we will put an IV in your hand,
and give you Propofol

Me:
Wait… isn’t that what they gave Michael Jackson?

Doc: Yes,
but luckily for you, Dr. Murray won’t be in the room. Propofol has been used in
general anesthesia for years and you must be monitored and watched. I don’t
have a clue what he was thinking.

Me:
Great

Doc:
Because you will be asleep, we will put a breathing tube in your throat.

Me: I’ll
be asleep when they put the tube in?

Doc:
Yes. You will be asleep when we put the tube in and take it out. You breathe in
a mixture of oxygen and anesthesia which will keep you asleep during the
procedure. Once the doctor says that she’s finished, we remove the tube, and
your body naturally starts to wake up. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Me: I
didn’t realize that you wake up so quickly.

Doc:
Yes. Some people wake up in the operating room. Some wake up in the hallway.
Some people wake up in the recovery room. That about covers everything so if
that sounds like a plan, please sign here.

Me: I
guess I better sign since I don’t want you cutting me while I’m awake.

After
one more signature, Frankie’s fate was sealed.

In a few hours, Frankie will be served with his papers…. And I will be on the
road to recovery.

 

3 Day Refresh – The Final Verdict

And there we have it folks! The 3 Day Refresh is in the books. I must say that my timing was good and not so good. Good that I finished right before my vacation. Why not so good? I had my last shake on the bus to NYC to start my vacation. Needless to say… I have no final weight. Whoops.

Besides weight lost, what has the 3-Day Refresh done for me? I has completely cut my carb and sweet craving. I can eat fruits and veggies all day every day and that is fine by me. I don’t even want to look at at piece of bread! And coming from me, that is saying a lot.
So who needs the 3-Day Refresh? Anyone who is looking to loose some weight quickly and in a healthy way. Anyone looking to get their digestion moving in the right direction (sorry had to go there). And anyone who wants to shake loose those pesky carb and/or sweet cravings, this is the program for you!

I did feel hungry at times, but not like I was about to past out like most cleanses. I think all of the liquid helped! And I’ not complaining. I have never felt this healthy, nutritionally in my life and I am going into vacation with the intention of not messing it up! The program is completely planned so it takes all (and I mean ALL) of the guess work out of what to eat, what to drink, and when. I loved this program and the results! Just take a look!

Yes that’s me and it took just three days of sticking to the plan.

Wanna know more about the 3 Day Refresh or get one for yourself? You can email me at bshart@gmail.com or like my Facebook fan page, Bianca – Just Bee You Fitness.
Now for some sun in the fun! Here’s to rum punch and fish cutter sandwiches. Everything in moderation folks.
Later Days
B

Time for a Refresh

I must say, this summer I have had impeccable timing when it comes to vacations. Somehow, the Universe has aligned so that I have had back-to-back vacations. And this week is no different. I just got back with from a wonderful weekend in Winchester, VA filled with laughter, wine, bread, pizza, beer, grits, and Steak and Shake. It was a wonderful time. However, thanks carb overload, I’m not looking swim suit ready. I leave Thursday morning which does not give me a lot of time to tighten up the ship.

Enter the 3-Day Refresh…

3 days of shakes, fruits, veggie, Fiber Sweep (digestive drink), working out, and drinking lots of water. Sounds doable right! I’ll also be doing casto

You’re in luck! For the next three days, I’ll be blogging about my experience and share with you the final results.

First up, the before stats:

Weight: 150.4 lbs and flufftacular

Day 1 Menu:

Breakfast: Vegan Strawberry Shakeology with blueberries
Mid Morning Tea: Yerba Mate Tea
Fiber Sweep (digestive drink)

Lunch: Vanilla Refresh, baby carrots, a peach, and almond butter
Mid Afternoon Tea: Yerba Mate

Dinner: Vanilla Refresh, Cucumber Tomato Salad
Dinner Tea: Camomile or Sleepy Time tea (I can’t make up my mind)

Seems simple enough right? The trick for me.. NO SNACKING! Gotta stick to this plan!

So here goes nothing!!

Check back tomorrow and see how Day 1 went!

Later Days!
B

Brunch Be Damned

Insert Drool Here…
In
a couple of weeks, I will be heading to, what seems like second home of Virginia to
visit my dear friends for the weekend. I am so looking forward to this wonderful
outing, especially the adult beverages and food. The food that I do eat.
Frankie has caused me to become someone who eats only fish, fruits, and
veggies. Still a work in progress, but I have significantly reduced my meat
intake. I’m not vegan, and I’m not vegetarian so I guess I’m FFV… We’ll go with
that. But this makes eating at restaurants a little tricky. Especially brunch.
Breakfast
has always been kind of an issue for me. See, eggs and I don’t get along at all.
I can eat eggs baked in cake, cookies, etc, but boiled, scrambled, fried, and
or in omelets sends my tummy into a tizzy. It’s not fun. Trust me. Before, I
would get pancakes or waffles and sausage for breakfast. Since meat is off my
menu, my breakfast choices have been diminished, which reduces my brunch
options even further. Sometimes a girl wants more that fruit and oatmeal, ok.
But
where there is a will, there is a way! There is nothing wrong with asking the
waiter to take something off of your food! I used to eat around things that I
didn’t like. Now, I ask them to take it off. It is so liberating! You are
eating at a restaurant, order what you want! It took me awhile to grasp this
concept for myself. I didn’t want to be that customer with the crazy order. But
now I am the “no egg, no cheese, dressing on the side” queen. My go-to Greek
salad: lettuce, onions, olives, tomatoes. That’s it. Order what you want so you
can eat with peace of mind.
And
yes, I have already scoped out the menu of our potential brunch spots and it
will be tricky, but I gotta eat something if there are bottomless mimosas!
Eat,
Drink, and order what you want!
Later Days

 

B

Thalassemia – The Verdict

What up Peeps! When we last left our heroine, she was in search  of, or confirmation of the cause of her ridiculously low iron levels. Sorry, I had to got there. At times during the past few months, this journey has felt like a soap opera. I haven’t been to the doctors this much in my entire life. Well after months of taking iron pills, revamping my diet, and adding more vitamin supplements than are humanly possibly thanks to Frankie (7 pills), my iron levels are amazing! And my addiction to ice is gone! Like completely non-existent. Talk about a complete 180.

By now, I am a professional at getting blood taken

I went from 6.2 (should not have been unconscious) in January, to 9 in April, to a whopping 13 yesterday. My doctor was shocked at how much my levels increased. She even said my numbers were “beautiful”. Say what?!? I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I am only taking one iron pill a day instead of two. Whoops! Let’s keep that between us shall we? I’m still on iron pills for another 4 months, but after that , long medium size red pills that are not covered by insurance!

She was so impressed with my numbers that I had to remind her about the whole Thalassemia thing. And guess what??? I have the trait!!! Why am I so hype? Because I finally have confirmation that there is something funky going on with my blood! It’s one thing to assume that there is something going on, but it’s totally different and liberating to have confirmation. Now if I go get some blood work done and my iron count is low, they won’t call me frantically at work telling me to
go to the ER and then be told that I need a blood transfusion. Hooray.

There is one caveat. Of course there is always something right? If I so happen to meet someone who also carries the trait, our potential children could have Beta Thalassemia, the actual disease. I won’t go into specifics but it’s not good…

So there you have it. I’m just a girl with the Thalassemia trait living in the real world. It’s just another thing that make me, me!

Later Days
B

I Eat So I Don’t Pass Out

 

My sister cooks. She can spend hours making sauces from scratch,
complex stews, soups and other deliciousness. We won’t even go into the octopus salad
adventure, which included an actual octopus.
Julia Child I am not. Although I could
spend hours, and I have, watching her make aspics and coq au van; the only
reason I cook is to eat. And I only eat so I don’t get hangry or pass out. Pure
and simple.
The simpler the better. If it has more
than 3 ingredients or involves advanced
Culinary terminology, I will not make it. I won’t even read
through a recipe if the ingredients are complicated. Yeah, I have issues. And
just like my simple ingredient list, I have simple cooking techniques. Sautéed,
bake and microwave. Again pure and simple. So when I find a recipe that is easy
to make, tastes good, and I can eat for a week without getting tired of it, I feel like I have won the
lottery.
Case in point…. Bean salad. I had this two weeks ago at a pot luck
dinner and it was amazing. So amazing that I knew that I had to try it. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
I could not keep this stuff out of my mouth!! I honestly ate it
for 4 days straight and could not get enough off it. Only problem? I ran
out of tortilla chips and had to get more!
This is so easy to make that I even a kid can do it. And total
prep time… 7-8 minutes. Less than that if you are a fast chopper and have an electric
can opener.
 Want to know how to make it? Here ya go!
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can of chick peas – rinsed. (need trick – rinse them in the can! Mind blown)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • Oregano, salt, and basil to taste
  • Dump contents of can into a big ass bowl. Add oregano, salt, and
    basil to taste. Mix well and refrigerate.
  • Eat

 

 That’s it.
I made another batch this week and added another can of chick
peas, garlic, and finely chopped (thanks to my Veggie Chop) red onion. My taste
buds are still singing and I have 6 Tupperware containers full. Oh and I
remembered to get another bag of chips!!
This is the perfect appetizer for a summer cookout or gathering.
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
Later Days!

 

B

I’m Just A Little Insane

The actual quote from Alice in Wonderland is, “we’re all a little bit mad,” says the Mad Hatter. But in my case, I am still a little insane. I took last week off from Insanity for a couple of reasons. 1.) I was working on my dance moves with CIZE, and 2.) my workout mojo when MIA. Like completely left the building. The alarm would go off. I would turn it off and go back to sleep for another two hours.

 New week, fresh start. Banged through Cardio Recovery and Cardio Power and Resistance. but this morning I hit a snag. Beachbody on Demand was on the blink. 503 messages everywhere. What’s a girl to do? I have had a lot on my mind the past couple of days, so I figured some yoga would clear out the cobwebs. I had 30 minutes so in went 21 Day Fix Extreme Yoga Fix. This is one of my favorite yoga programs, maybe because we do Royal Dancer (my favorite yoga pose). And then it hit me. I wasn’t getting bored with Insanity because of the workout. I was getting bored because it was longer than 30 minutes. Mind blown!

I have been doing 25-30 minute workouts for over year. I have conditioned my mind the all I need is 30 minutes. 40 minutes is not going to cut it for me. Every time I opened a video and saw that the clock started at 40, I would cringe. Sorry Insanity, but I have to let you go.

But that doesn’t mean that I am not insane. Bring on Round 2 of Insanity Max 30!!! All the craziness of Insanity in only 30 minutes.  And this time, I’m going for it! No modifications.

It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t work for you. Don’t stay with something just because you feel you have an obligation to so do. If you don’t like, you are more likely to quit or not get the best results.

So find a workout, meal plan, or whatever to like and rock it out like a #BOSS. I know I will.

Later Days!
B

Frankie on Fleek

Frankie (my fibroid) is on fleek. After a few weeks of eating meat
and not necessarily watching my diet, I started to notice that I was getting
fluffy in the mid-section, which tends to happen when one completely falls off
the diet wagon. But something wasn’t right. As soon as I ate something, my
stomach would become extremely bloated and start to hurt. I was waiting for
people to ask me when the baby was due.
No I am not pregnant.. I swear
And then it hit me. Or I hit it. Frankie was growing…
That alien thing on the left…. That’s Frankie!

It got to the point that I was seriously considering talking to my
doctor about surgery. Like cut this out of my now considering it. I reminded
myself that surgery was that absolute and final option for riding my uterus of
its unwanted inhabitant. Although Frankie is not causing any physical
discomfort; no matter how clean I eat, how hard I work out, or how much cardio
I do, my stomach will not get flat thanks to Frankie. Which is extremely
disheartening especially in prime swim suit season.

Therefore, Frankie must die.
I scoured the medical encyclopedia (Google) for natural fibroid remedies
and found a wonderfully helpful blog, shrunkfibroids.blogspot.com (how
appropritate). It is written by a woman who had fibroid surgery twice, only to
have them come back, so she decided to treat them naturally. With success. Her
battle plan, a vegetarian diet and vitamin supplement regime. Sounds simple
enough and since her fibroids shrunk, I figured why not give it a try. I have
nothing to lose. I quickly went to vitacost.com (the mecca of all things
natural) and filled my cart with my arsenal, most of which I had never heard of
before. And by the way, besides being extremely affordable (except for the $30 Whole Food vitamins), Vitacost constantly sends your promo codes for 10-12% off you next purchase or buy one Vitacost brand product, get one free. That’s how I scored a free bottle of DIM. Here’s my new vitamin regime and daily servings:
The Whole Food Vitamin (4 capsules daily)
Mangosteen Juice (1-2 ounces)
Decaf Green Tea Extract (1 daily)
DIM (1 daily)
Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar (1 ounce in 6 ounces of water)
The weapons of Frankie’s destruction

My supplements were waiting for me when I got home, but I bought
the apple cider vinegar this weekend. And since Frankie isn’t getting any small
(yet), there is no time like the present to start my attack. So, as
recommended, I drank 1 ounce of vinegar with 6 ounces of water. A dirty martini
it is not. It is not good at all. Like gag me with a spoon disgusting. And warm water did not help. I’ll try it
tomorrow with some honey any let you know how that turns out. Maybe you get used to the taste…

So here we are. No meat, no dairy, a whole lot of vitamins, and apple cider vinegar.
Frankie is going down!
Later Days

 

B

You’re Invited!!

I‘m so excited and I just can’t hide it! (such a gratuitous Saved By the Bell reference, but I don’t care)  I am please to announce my first ever Fit Camp! AHHHHHH. Seriously, I am so excited that I am bouncing in my chair!!! Can you tell!!! I hope so and I hope you will join me!

Since this is my first ever fit camp, I figured why not get people started off on the right foot with, wait for it….

First Steps to Fitness Fit Camp
(If I could make the words flash, I would. Trust Me)

Sound interesting??? Let’s see if this the group for you:

  1. Have you wanted to start a fitness program, but don’t know how?
  2. Intimidated by the number of fitness programs on the market and don’t know where to start?
  3. Want to clean up your diet but don’t know how?
  4. Have you started a fitness program but quit because no one was there to keep you accountable?
  5. Are you ready to make a change?

Did you answer yes to any other these questions? Then First Steps to Fitness is the group for you!

What is included in this amazing group?

  • 4 week program
  • 30 minute workouts that you can do from the comfort of your home according to your schedule
  • 30 Day supply of Shakeology, a Super Food Meal Replacement Shake that helps you with your sweet tooth cravings
  • 30 Day free trial of Beachbody on Demand (Beachbody’s streaming service)
  • Support and Accountability in a closed Facebook Group coach (Hooray!)
  • Me as your personal accountability Coach
  • Meal Plan, Nutrition Guide, and sample grocery list
  • Workout tips and tricks
  • Prizes
  • Tons of Fun
No, you don’t have to go to a gym. No heavy equipment required. Nope, you don’t have to live near or in Philadelphia (it would be cool if you did so we can meet up!) You just need 30 minutes a day, a positive mindset, and the desire to make a change in your life!

Why am I doing this? Because I want to help you like someone helped me. That’s it. I just want to help you. Two years ago, I was totally lost, depressed, and couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. Then I found my Coach. With her support, motivation, and amazing attitude, I finished my first workout program ever and laid the foundation for my fitness journey.  Now it’s time for me to pay it forward and do the same for you!

Ready to get started? Logistics are below:

Start Date – July 6th (Yup, right after the holiday!)
Interested? Click this link https://beebeehart.wufoo.com/forms/m1qvx33u0kg6fcb/ and fill out the form (Will take you 2 minutes tops to complete)

Or feel free to email be directly at bshart@gmail.com. You can also email me if you have any questions or would like more information!

Can’t wait to start this amazing journey with you!

Later Days!
B