A Bit About Me…

Life, you think you have it figured out – then it changes! Let me tell you a bit about myself and why I feel passionate about helping others live out their dreams as well.

Some of this is pretty hard to tell – but, I am hoping that by telling this story, you can feel my sincerity as to how to make changes to live a more ‘vibrant life’ – full of vitality and joy. Let’s preface this by saying that my desire is not just to talk about nutrition and weight loss. Living a ‘vibrant life’ means seeing and experiencing beauty in all its facets; and also, accepting its lessons.

However – my story does start out with my weight struggles… I had issues with weight since about sixth grade. I tried numerous diets – none of them worked. The upshot of all this is Tammi 1978that I topped out the scales at 220 pounds in high school. This had a tremendous impact on me, socially and mentally. I considered myself ‘the smart/fat girl’ and to be fair, I was. I was able to lose enough weight before high school graduation to fit into a size 10 dress (yes!!). That was quite a feat for a young girl who, a year earlier, couldn’t fit her legs into size 12 palazzo pants and cried herself asleep with a few, or maybe not so few, Hostess Twinkies.

Once in college and graduate school, I was able to connect with others and maintained my weight through running and eating ‘properly’. But, it was a struggle. Every once in a while, I would dip my toes back into the ‘diet trend of the year’ and lose a bit of weight – but, it always seemed that I would stay at my set-point of 150 – 155 pounds. I didn’t look bad, but – wanted to look better. At least I was healthy.

Or, so I thought. It wasn’t until I was 53 years old that I started to question how healthy I was – and, a full blown physical told me that I wasn’t. I researched and met with numerous nutritionists and counselors to try to find the answers. I took ‘a bit from here’ and ‘a bit from there’, if I felt those things worked for me.

And, the physical transformation was incredible…Within 3 months, I lost 23 pounds (I started at 158 pounds) and I could wear clothes I hadn’t worn in years. My physical markers Meimproved, and my energy soared.

Now, that should have been the end of it right? Based on society’s superficial definition of success, I should have been living happily ever after. But, no. I went through a phase of depression which hampered my ability to really enjoy life. I used to live for work, and work was failing me.  I needed to understand that my worth did not come from ‘what I did’ but, ‘who I am’. For an overzealous overachiever, that was hard. Especially since I really didn’t know who I was (outside of my job)! But, getting out of that job was the best thing that happened to me. I got out of a toxic environment and, I am now able to concentrate on my passion of health and wellness.

Changes don’t happen overnight and yes, it can be hard and takes work. But, struggles make us stronger – and, I am all for that. We make these changes for ourselves and those we love. The cost of poor health is high, as is the cost of not living a fulfilled life, and don’t we owe it to ourselves and to those we love, to have the most vibrant life we can? That is why I am so passionate about this. I want us to be on a journey where we can learn from each other and expand our horizons. I hope you will join me.

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What About Eating Real Food???

Let’s be honest – I think we really know.  It’s just easier to take the easy way out (and, believe me – I’ve been there). We will delve into this in more detail shortly. I just want you to be aware of what you eat.  Perhaps write it down for 3 days (I don’t do a good job writing things down for more than that).

hamsterwheelMany of us struggle with hunger – even when we just ate 2 – 3 hours before?  Why? Well, the reason is that we have gotten so addicted (and yes, I do not use that term lightly) to refined carbohydrates and sugar that the hormone ‘insulin’ has taken over our metabolism. We eat some more, and get hungrier. It is a never ending trip on the ‘human hamster wheel’.

It is time we got off of it and started taking back our health and vitality. In the next newsletter, I will outline a program that I call ‘The 7 Day Hunger Crush‘. I hope you will join me on it!

 

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Does Exercise Have To Be So Difficult???

May I start out by stating – ‘No It Doesn’t’.

I do NOT subscribe to the idea that you need to spend hours pumping iron.  None of us have the time.  But, as we will delve into in future posts, what is sufficient to start?  If I want to move forward – what do I do? Before we get started – please note: You CANNOT exercise your way out of a bad diet.

So, let’s start with the person just starting out.

* Walk.  You see everyone with Fitbits or other step tracking devices.  Get out there and get those 10,000 steps (or more). It’s kind of fun to see if you can increase your step counts! Make it a contest – with yourself (or with friends – you can interact on FaceBook).  I walk a lot in the morning – and, sometimes run.  I prefer the walk as I can just be more present. I also use the time to listen to educational and inspiring podcasts.

* Use your body weight to get exercise. If you don’t have weights or bands, use your body weight for extra resistance. Do push-ups (modified if necessary); squats; planks; pull-ups (modified if necessary – to be fair, I am still trying to do my first un-modified pull-up; but, it is a goal).

* If you have exercise bands – great!  I will post some amazing exercises with bands.  What I love about them is that you can take them with you when you travel.

* Yoga or Pilates. No fancy equipment. Perhaps a yoga mat (if you have one). Now that warmer weather is around the corner, I like to do my yoga routines outside.   I feel more ‘in touch’ with my body when I can see nature around me.

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Recipe of the Week!

 

Spring and summer are the perfect times to light up the grill. And one of the easiest things to grill are chicken breasts.

Many of us prefer the boneless, skinless variety – but, they become so dry and often – there is NO flavor.  So, what is a ‘pit master’ to do?  Let’s try brining!
I hear you already – that takes time.  Well yes, it can – but, for these moist and incredible chicken breasts – a couple of hours is worth it.  I’ve been brining for a while now (including our Thanksgiving turkey) and I am always happy with the results.

Try this one and see what you think.  You only have dry, tasteless poultry to lose! “The Best Chicken Ever” From: Well Fed Paleo Recipes by Melissa Joulwan Brining Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 Tbsps. salt (I use sea salt)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. coconut aminos (you can use Tamari – but, it has soy)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 – 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Pour the water into a large bowl and then add all the ingredients (except the chicken). Stir to dissolve the salt.  Add the chicken breasts (I sometimes flatten mine out – but, it isn’t necessary).  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2- 3 hours. Once the brining is complete, remove the chicken and rinse well. Set aside in a colander to dry and then coat with the Spice Rub.  Or, you can wrap it up and refrigerate and grill it later (in about 2 – 3 days). Spice Rub:

  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Preheat your grill on high heat and make sure the grates are clean. Place all the spice ingredients (except the coconut oil) in a small bowl and mix well. Add the melted coconut oil and mix. Coat the chicken pieces with the mixture until well coated. Place the chicken (smooth side down) on the preheated grill, close the lid and cook, for 4- 6 minutes.  Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 4 -6 minutes with the lid closed. Chicken should be browned and cooked through.  Cooking times will depend on the thickness of the chicken (hence why I often use a mallet to make the chicken breast a little thinner – and, it’s a GREAT way to get out frustrations) Note:  You can use any spice blend you like.  Just make sure that you have sufficient to coat the chicken and PLEASE, use the coconut oil.  It seals in the incredible juiciness from the brining.

To Contract Me

Tammi Gordon  | The Cave Woman Diva  

tammi@thecavewomandiva.com
www.thecavewomandiva.com

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