Rachel's Fit Health

A balanced approach to healthy living.

Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) , Personal Trainer, Intuitive eater, Weightlifter, FitFluential Ambassador, Wine connoisseur

Click notebook {bottom left} for posts. More about the author here.

Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) , Personal Trainer, Intuitive eater, Weightlifter, FitFluential Ambassador, Wine connoisseur.

{For blog posts: click the notebook icon located in the bottom left corner}

About this blog:
This is a "been there, done that" style of healthy living.

We've all tried strict dieting, rigid eating styles, have read articles that "scare" us into eating healthy. Consider this blog damage control: remediation for the crazy things we've done to our minds and bodies when it comes to healthy living.

The focus of this blog has shifted to highlighting how you can overcome "food fear" as a result of rigid habits, to promote self-esteem and develop a greater respect for yourself.

So if you've found yourself following "rules", feeling stuck, unhappy, guilty, or just desiring something more for yourself when it comes to a healthy lifestyle- this blog is for you.

Life's a lot more fun over here :)


About me:

I started this blog two years ago to blend my love for learning about health from an educational standpoint (how the body works, what drives human behavior) and my interest in increasing my own health.. influencing others along the way! I have an bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy.

I have experience personal training individuals and small groups.

Outside of blogging, I am an Occupational Therapist who works in a community reintegration program for individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Recognitions:
Nominated for Wego Health Activist Award- Blog

Affiliations: FitFluential Ambassador

**Want me to review your product? Email me at rachelsfithealth@gmail.com**

Disclaimer: All blog posts within this site are solely a way for me to share my experiences in healthy living. Posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem. I am not a registered dietitian, doctor, or fitness expert. Consult your physician before beginning a diet, supplement, or exercise program.

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Buff Beauties 2- Mary-Claire

Next post is from Mary-Claire (my sister)

Her old post from 2/13/13 

1. Tell us about any life changes you’ve had since your last post (the last year).

After my fitness show, I’ve shifted my approach a bit. I’ve always worked out for health purposes, but last year I focused a bit more about the overall symmetry of my body. I want to de-emphasize this a bit this year. I am not perfect; I don’t wish to be perfect. I don’t want to take means to look perfect (I’m indirectly talking about implants here, and now I directly said it!). A lot of women in the fitness industry get implants. I aim to love my flaws. I aim to continue loving my body. I aim to keep my natural body. It’s a personal conviction.

 2. How do you feel about reading your old post? Have your views changed towards fitness and/or healthy eating? How so?

I hate my last old post. I hate it a lot. I love parts of it, but other parts upset me. My view –namely my world view—has shifted dramatically. My views have changed quite a bit in the past year. I think it’s a bit deeper than what’s expected in one year. And let me explain.

 I spent three years of my life in chronic debilitating pain constantly using the restroom and constantly losing blood (a common symptom of Crohn’s disease). I spent three whole years of my life resisting medication from physicians. I spent three years looking into alternative medicines and approaches to health. I spent three years hoping that behavioral changes would improve my circumstances; I wanted more than anything to be in remission through these means. I am now in remission –using medicinal, nutritional, and other lifestyle approaches.

 Do I blame myself for not reaching remission through nutrition and exercise alone? Hell no. I do not blame myself for not understanding deeper factors behind autoimmune diseases. I do not blame myself for not having the knowledge. How can I blame myself when every person (ranging from the internet health guru to alternative health professionals) promotes the natural route? I’ve realized that natural means to cure autoimmune diseases is synonymous with utopia or rather insanity (there’s the bitter side of me talking –if you had that much pain to live through you’d be bitter too). But that is not to diminish the effects of natural approaches –they are plentiful. However, it’s almost insane to think you can think yourself out of a disease. Please someone, tell me how you harness your unlimited brain power to stop the synthesis or start the synthesis of proteins in your body. Please tell me how you control your body at such a small level. I’d be fascinated to learn. Positivity helps us through life, yes. But it is not an end all. I do wish my health care providers encouraged me a bit more. I ended up leaving my cold physician for one I trust my entire life to –he validates my concerns. Anyways, I don’t blame myself. I simply wish I was influenced by my health care providers; I would have forgone a lot of pain… excessive pain.

 I feel anger towards every person who told me to sleep longer, to manage my stress more, and to think more positive. Pardon me, but would you say this to someone who has, say, cancer? No. You wouldn’t. I’m hurt by people’s perspective on autoimmune diseases. If it’s not a mainstream condition, where people understand it’s linked to genes or seemingly irreversible conditions, the patient is to blame for your state of health. Boy, do people who promote natural healing (cough cough chiropractic) blame people for their health conditions. It’s been challenging living with a disease that most laymen don’t understand or know and that people blame you for. Wouldn’t we all love to think our way out of a sick day? Maybe your cold lasts 7 days, and you ‘thought’ your way out of it. But for those who have chronic conditions, ‘thinking your way out of it’ does not cure your disease. Being positive helps you confront adversity head on.

 It’s freeing to know history of disease. It’s freeing to understand the smaller factors that contribute to chronic illness. It’s humbling to know that we cannot reverse our genome. That within our own nature lies a code that acts as it pleases. Do we have control? To some degree… our control varies. I still use diet and exercise as means to maintain and improve my health. But I understand autoimmune diseases more. It liberates my being; I am not to blame for this. And that’s a freeing and beautiful thing when you’re living with an incurable, expensive, and painful as hell autoimmune disease. Some people live a long time in their lives thinking they control everything, and I pity them. We are not limitless. We are subject to nature to some degree.

 As for this year, I’m daring to redefine my limits, to stretch myself further, to see just where the limits of human nature lie. To me that’s more beautiful than the illusion of indispensability and invincibility. Never forget, I am resilient.

 


3. What’s your favorite type of exercise?

I love shoulders still. I love shoulder muscles. I love incorporating exercises that target multiple muscles as opposed to strictly isolated movements. I’m still obsessed with trying new exercises. There is always a thrill of being a bit afraid of trying something new –how’s your body going to perform? Are you going to enjoy it? Will you be stronger than you expect? I enjoy the variety of movements in exercise. Oh, and pull-ups. Cause this bad biddy loves pulling out some good ol’ pull-ups. Props to the upper body squat!

 4. List a few healthy meals or go-to snacks you like:

Fruit (apples & bananas); power bars; hard boiled eggs; cashews

5. Do you feel you’re harder on yourself now, or last year? Why?

In a fitness approach, no. I am not harder on myself. I’ve regressed a bit from the competing mentality. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Since I am ONE calendar year older (WOO!), I am closer to finishing my degree and starting my career. I love fitness and exercise. But I am also a career-oriented individual. My aspirations for a career are a bit stronger than my aspirations for a year round six pack. I still check my abs though ;)

 6. What have you learned about yourself in the past year? (this does not need to be limited to health.. it can also be about your job or learning to let go of the stress of school, how much you love being a mom, that kinda stuff)

I think I explained a hella lot in number 2. But yes, I’ve learned a lot in the past year. I’ve been able to learn and function more now that I am in clinical remission. In retrospect, I am so proud of myself. I don’t know how I managed to stay a full time student, sit through lectures, walk to class, workout, work, wake up at 5 am, etc. all while having severe disease and chronic pain. It amazes me when I think of my past. I cannot believe I lived every single day with such high degrees of pain. The pain was relentless. What’s more, I was relentless. Last year gave me the confidence to continue to pursue my personal convictions –namely my life goals. Knowing how much I can withstand makes me very certain of my abilities. There’s always a silver lining –I find comfort in that.

7. If you could go back and talk to yourself in high school (or college) what would you say? What do you feel you needed to hear the most?

LAWD, if high school me saw the future ahead of me I would have backed out ASAP. I kid you not. If I could tell myself something, it would only be positive encouragement. I would tell myself how I am resilient, that no matter what happens in my life good or bad I will strive for the best.

 8. What has been the most challenging aspect about living a healthy lifestyle this year?

It’s been challenging to cook all my meals. It’s been more challenging to cook dinners! It’s around the time I’m studying on campus. So I end up buying overpriced fruits and veggies on campus –I’m not happy about this!


 9. Where do you hope you are one year from now?

One year from now I hope to be happy, healthy, strong, and resilient. I hope to be finishing my education and pursuing my career. Hopefully things stay relatively consistent –comical as they probably won’t. I hope to continue to move past the negative events in my life. I hope to continually counter each negative event in my life with my lifelong goal of positively affecting others. I hope to continue to be a resilient.

 

Buff Beauties 2!

Buff Beauties is back! I’ve reached out to the girls who participated last time and they’ve agreed to do new posts. So I’ll link the old one onto the new post so you can see what they were like last year. The whole point is to see how people change in their relationship with exercise, healthy eating, and their views about all of that. Life changes, and so do our habits as a result. So here is the first follow-up post. I’ll have close to 20 of these posts! :) Enjoy.

Claire (on right)

Age: 23

Post from 2/28/13

1. Tell us about any life changes you’ve had since your last post (the last year).

I have been dealing with IBS, SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and nutritional deficiencies which made working out hard this past year as I’ve been trying to get better. I decided to go Paleo last year at the beginning of fall and haven’t looked back. What I have learned is Paleo is by no means a fad diet and is definitely a lifestyle. Paleo has led to feel so much better, think clearer, and look better.

2. How do you feel about reading your old post? Have your views changed towards fitness and/or healthy eating? How so?

I think I had a good start in my last post towards a healthy lifestyle, but I have come even farther now. I now view fitness and health in a different way. My focus is more on internal healing and nourishment that as a side effect gives us external benefits.

3. What’s your favorite type of exercise?

My favorite type of exercise is heavy weights for sure. I’ve been doing many classes at the gym consistently including weight training, pilates, yoga, and other body strength classes. I really do not like cardio and I cannot tell you the last time I went on the elliptical or treadmill.

4. List a few healthy meals or go-to snacks you like:

I rely on steak, chicken, and salmon to get me through my weeks. I just love a good meat dish with veggies. I would say for snacks I am addicted to berries. There are also these bars called Epic Bars that everyone gets grossed out by except me. They are grass-fed beef jerky bars with some fruit or nuts in them.

5. Do you feel you’re harder on yourself now, or last year? Why?

I think I am harder on myself this year, but in a good way. The eating part is easy for me and doesn’t require much effort because I am used to it. I never restrict the amount that I eat. It’s pretty difficult to go to the gym consistently when you are working long hours, so that has been more of the struggle. I never dread going to the gym though because I joined a very nice club, so it’s a peaceful place for me to relax and lift weights.

6. What have you learned about yourself in the past year? 

I have learned that diet is literally everything and diet is medicine. I have also been working on relaxing more and getting rid of people/things in my life that are an added stress. I have also just matured a lot in general with just focusing on self-improvement. I have gotten away from the excessive partying and drinking and instead surrounding myself with other activities.

7. If you could go back and talk to yourself in high school (or college) what would you say? What do you feel you needed to hear the most?

I would say quit not taking care of yourself! You don’t need to binge drink to have fun and you should eat healthier and get sleep.

8. What has been the most challenging aspect about living a healthy lifestyle this year?

I would say the hardest part is others not understanding why I am eating the way I am. It’s frustrating to see other people thinking fat is bad for them and believing other common health myths.

9. Where do you hope you are one year from now?

I hope that I am extremely healthy, healed, and continuing to be happy. I hope to become involved with something more in regards to health (not sure what yet ).

Thank you Claire!

Orzo salad with pesto, red pepper, asparagus, cherry tomatoes

This simple meal is an easy way to get in protein, carbs, fats, and vegetables.

I added sauteed chicken (I baked several other breasts for the remainder of the week) to it for protein.

I boiled orzo pasta, drained.

I made homemade pesto:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 packages (.66oz each) of basil leaves
  • Salt (experiment here.. don’t add too much at first)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons- 1/4 cup(4 tbsp) walnuts
  • I could have also added abt 1/8 cup of parmesan but I didn’t this time.
  • Just blend everything in a food processor or magic bullet.

In the meantime I chopped up the veggies.

Boil the cooked orzo into a boil, add the pesto and stir. Add the raw veggies. Top with chicken.

I’ll be eating this for lunch at work the next few days! Love having a lunch I look forward too! :)

Mm orzo with a homemade pesto, added red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, asparagus.. added sautéed chicken (😱an italian no no with pasta but whateva!) and some red blend bc I felt like red over white tonight.. I made a lot so Ill have this pasta for lunch a few days this wk.. Pesto is the bestttt.. lots of olive oil and walnuts in this one.. Filling and full of healthy fats. Keeps u satisfied and happy. Will post the recipe tomorrow on my blog! #pasta #pesto #basil #veggies #chicken #macros #mealprep #healthy #myffmeal #fitfluential

Health is a net result of ALL of our thoughts, emotions, social interactions, sleep quantity and quality, hydration levels, and a lot more than just whether the cow you’re eating ate grass or corn. In the grand scheme of things, all that dietary small stuff that the healthosphere seems obsessed with is minutiae. Absolute minutiae. Eating grassfed beef to be healthy is like fighting a forest fire with an eye dropper if you aren’t sleeping well, hate your life, spend most of your time doing mundane and uninspiring work, are financially stressed, never go outdoors, skip meals, and eat an inadequate amount of calories.

Matt Stone’s new ebook called Diet Recovery 2 (via memenotyou)

Last night’s dinner :) Eaten outside because it’s beautiful! (finally).

The food:

  • Cherry tomatoes, Mozzarella Ciliegine (little cherry size), diced cucumber, basil, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. 
  • Chicken saltimbocca
  • Green beans
  • Fingerling potatoes (just boiled them!)
  • White wine- a chenin blanc + chardonnay blend

We’re cooking today so I will post what we make tomorrow! :)

Have a great Saturday!

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