Health | Wellness | Yoga | Chicago

Advice

 

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Answers So Far..

  • Someone asked:
    why are you not full-Paleo?
    • shapedupsam replied:
      I really believe in the 80/20 Paleo lifestyle unless you have a serious health condition such as an autoimmune disease. For me, being 100% strict Paleo wasn't a sustainable way to live the rest of my life. Sometimes, like on holidays or my birthday, I want something with a little bit of sugar in it. Other times when I'm traveling there's a dish with brown rice that I really want to get. Orthorexia is a very common eating disorder in our modern day society, and disordered thinking about food can lead people into dangerous territory.

      I recommend that people start with 100% Paleo for a couple of months because then, you can start to add things in such as lentils or beans and really truly see how your body reacts to those things. Finding food freedom and living a lifestyle that I don't feel restricted in was a huge part of improving my overall health.

      xoxo,
      Sam
  • Someone asked:
    Hey Sam! What is your opinion on KIND bars? Are they healthy or something you would implement in your own diet?
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hi there!

      Unfortunately, I do not consider KIND bars to be a healthy food and would not consume them myself. In order to answer this question I will be looking at the ingredients for a KIND PLUS Cranberry Almond with Macadamia Nuts Bar. Sounds healthy, right? Not so much. Here are some of the questionable ingredients:

      Sugar: we all know that sugar isn't good for you. There is already honey in this bar and really no reason to have sugar. Sugar is very detrimental to overall health, and if I am going to consume it, It's going to be in a really good dessert, not a bar.

      Glucose syrup: Literally just another name for sugar.. WHY all the sugar!?

      Soy lecitin: This is a substance derived from a number of things such as soybeans, milk, vegetable oil, etc. All things that I do not choose to consume. It has also been linked to degenerative diseases. I also do not consume soy because of the research that shows it to be a hormone disruptor.

      There are other things in the bars that I personally choose not to consume such as rice flour, which makes it not Paleo. The bottom line is, if I am going to eat a bar, which I rarely do because they are all "processed foods" I am going to choose something much more clean such as an Rx Bar or a Primal Kitchen Collagen Bar.

      xoxo,
      Sam
  • Someone asked:
    What is your advice to people first transitioning to a different eating lifestyle? Is there a way to make the transition easier and a way to truly implement it into my everyday lifestyle?
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hi there!

      This is a great question. I started by first going gluten-free and dairy-free. Try to start substituting things first. Don't think you can go without cheese? Try KiteHill Ricotta cheese. You think it's impossible to go without desserts? You don't have to. Checkout Simple Mills! Really, just start by having a lot of veggies and some meat with every meal, and slowly start taking out other things from there.

      It is also extremely important to get used to looking at the back of every single label. So many things have sugar in them that you don't even realize. Things like bread, pasta sauce, etc. Look for alternatives that don't have these ingredients.

      It's not easy and it's not going to happen overnight- so don't expect it to. Be forgiving with yourself and make it a slow, thoughtful transition.

      xoxo,
      Sam
  • Someone asked:
    I know that you are very much health focused, but what specifically are you going to college for & what do you want to make your career?
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hi there!

      So, I am actually going to school for Graphic Design at Columbia College Chicago. I am planning to get my yoga teacher training this summer, and after I graduate from Columbia or possible while I am still in school, I am planning to get my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certification. I would also like to get my NASM or ACE training for personal training at some point.

      As far as where I'll end up career wise, we will see! I'm honestly not sure. I can see myself going into Graphic Design or Nutrition. I know for sure I want to teach yoga.

      xoxo,
      Sam
  • Someone asked:
    Hey Sam 🙂 I understand if this question is too personal for you to answer publicly, but, I am an 18 year old female planning on going on birth control this upcoming month. I am curious on your thoughts about birth control as a health-conscious woman. Thank you!
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hey there! (:

      Not too personal at all. I am always open to talking about women's health because I think it is so extremely important.

      I am not a fan of birth control because I am not a fan of synthetic hormones. I was on the pill for a long time and I can potentially link that to the hormonal imbalances that I am experiencing today.

      For me, after learning about the side effects of the pill and synthetic hormones and experiencing my own severe issues that I suspect are because of my imbalanced hormones (anxiety, fatigue, digestive issues), the cons outweigh the pros. Birth control pills disrupt your body’s normal hormone production with synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone (called progestin) which suppresses ovulation, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month. This can lower the thyroid hormones, and the thyroid is a very important part of our health concerning our energy, digestion and well being.

      I recommend looking into non-hormonal options such as the copper non-hormonal PARAGARD IUD, the Daysy, condoms (I'm sure you already know about those, but there are non-toxic condoms!)

      I don't have experience with any of the above methods, but I have been looking into getting myself a Daysy. I have experiences with a hormonal IUD (the Mirena) and the pain of getting that one in makes me nervous to try the copper one.

      Our menstrual cycle and reproductive system are two of the most important things we have as women! Our fertility is precious, even if you're not planning to have children, our hormones being in balance gives us a healthy and happy life.

      I am not telling you NOT to go on the pill. I went down that road, but I just want to let you know that it did not produce good results for me and several other women, and I don't necessarily recommend it. Look into the natural methods, and if those don't float your boat, then that's totally cool!

      A blog post will be coming soon about Women's Health and I am conducting and interview with my friend that is very passionate about non-hormonal birth control, specifically the Daysy, so keep your eye out for that!

      I hope this helped a bit, don't hesitate to reach out.

      xoxo,
      Sam
  • Someone asked:
    As a college aged adult trying to live healthily, how do you view drinking?
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hello!

      It's so funny that you asked this question because someone before you asked a similar one. Like I mentioned below, I will write an entire blog post about drinking end of November.

      To go along with the information I mentioned in the question below, personally, I don't judge people that enjoy drinking as a social activity and I do not judge people that choose to abstain from drinking for any reason at all. Any reason is valid. Some days I'm a party girl who wants to have fun, but most days I like to take care of my body and it comes down to the fact that alcohol does have negative effects on your body. Being sober doesn't have to be boring. If you surround yourself with good people, you could have water in your solo cup and nobody would care (I actually recommend it, stay hydrated!). I hope this answered your question, please ask more if you have them.

      xoxo, Sam
  • Someone asked:
    Hey, Sam! So I know you have adopted a very healthy lifestyle as of last year. Congrats on your journey thus far! I am just wondering if or how your drinking habits have changed since adopting this healthier lifestyle? I am also an LT graduate. I graduated earlier this year in '17 (go lions!) Thanks, Sam!
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hi there!

      Thank you so much for the kind words, they are much appreciated. Yay! #LTNATION!!

      I have actually been getting a lot of questions on drinking lately, so I decided to write an entire blog post on it which I will be releasing end of November in honor of my 21st! However, I will give you the short version here. I hope this helps.

      It’s not secret that alcohol, in large amounts, is not healthy for your body. I am a strong believe in being informed about everything, and then making a decision from there. However, I do understand that going out and partying in college in inevitable, and can actually keep you (socially) healthy if it is not abused (which many college students do).

      Different kinds of alcohol have different effects on your health. I would argue that the "healthiest" alcohol for your body is sugarless, very dry white wine. Past that I would say vodka is next. I would steer clear of beer at all costs and stay away from the mixed drinks (margaritas, cocktails) as well. Some thing like vodka tonic (or my favorite, vodka with kombucha) would be another great option. I also found a Paleo cider company (their ciders are sweetened with fruit juice only) called Two Towns Ciderhouse.

      Some nights, I really don't even feel like drinking and I want to take care of my body so I will opt for a kombucha or other sparkling beverage instead. I want people to know that there's nothing wrong with not drinking and it can still be a fun experience if you're around the right people.

      I hope this helped! I will get much more detailed on my blog post later in November.

      xoxo, Sam
  • Someone asked:
    What do you eat for breakfast and what holds you over the best? Also, I don't like coffee, but I definitely get that 2:30 pm tired feeling. How do you combat this? Thanks, love your blog!
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hi there!

      Yum! Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day! I used to be one of those people that never ate breakfast, which is probably why my energy was so low in the past.

      As far as specific foods, it varies what I have on a day to day basis.

      I would say most days, I have eggs. Sometimes by themselves: either “over medium” or scrambled in coconut or avocado oil. I also love my eggs with spinach, avocado, sweet potatoes or mushrooms, or really, any veggies I have in the fridge! Eggs give me energy for my day ahead and keep me full. Sometimes I will add in meats if I’m really hungry like grass-fed steak, or organic chicken sausage.

      Sometimes, but not often, I will have a smoothie for breakfast. If I am having a smoothie for breakfast, I make sure it’s low in fruit. I like to consume breakfast’s that are high in fats and proteins and low in sugars. The best time to consume sugars is mid-day rather than early in the morning or at night. If I do want a smoothie higher in fruits, I will consume an egg in the morning, and then a smoothie a couple hours later. Some of my go-to smoothie recipes are on my “Eats” page under “5 Minute Smoothie Recipes.” But, in short, I just try to include more veggies than fruits, and some collagen and flaxseeds. My favorite veggies to add in smoothies are yellow squash and zucchini; you can barely taste them and they make for a super creamy smoothie.

      Sometimes, I’m even in the mood for pancakes or something a little more time consuming. I actually have a really quick 2 ingredient pancake recipe: 2 Ingredient Paleo Banana Pancakes. They literally take 5 minutes and they’re super good drizzled with nut butter or maple syrup. My go-to pancake mix is Simple Mills almond flour mix, and if you have a waffle maker, it makes some pretty bomb waffles.

      Honestly, don’t limit yourself to “breakfast foods” when it comes to breakfast! If you’re in the mood for some chicken and veggies, have that for breakfast! It should be one of the most nutritious meals in your day.

      As far as feeling low energy around 2:30pm, I TOTALLY feel you. There are a couple things I have done in order to avoid the fatigue.

      1. Drink lots of water. I know it seems obvious, but I notice my energy is lower on the days when I don't make it a point to drink as much water.

      2. A reason for you mid-day fatigue could be a deficiency of some sort. I am deficient in B12 which plays a huge role in my energy levels. I take my B12 vitamins as well as a B-complex vitamin everyday. Being deficient in Vitamin D can also cause fatigue. I highly recommend getting your levels tested at a lab. I found these AMAZING Energy Boosting packets that don't have any sugar (like most others) called Daily Energy made my MegaFood. There is a little bit of green tea, and then the rest is Beet Root and vitamin B12. I will link it below. This brand has other powders as well. I really like the vitamin C one for when I am feeling slightly under the weather.
      https://megafood.com/store/en/booster-powders/daily-energy-nutrient-booster-powder/

      xoxo, Sam
  • Someone asked:
    Hey, Sam! I have another question for you. I am interested in doing a "juice cleanse". I will be making my own juices; I'm mostly doing this to detox but also to be energized and sorta help out with my migraines. What do you recommend as far as juice cleanses go? Any advice you can offer would be kindly appreciated from me (again). Thanks, Sam!!
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hey there!

      So, I actually have an entire blog post written about juice cleanses that I think should answer all or most of your questions. I will link it below.

      "So You Wanna Do A Juice Cleanse"

      As far as juicing your own juices, the best thing you can use is a Vitamix blender, because the Vitamix maintains the nutrients from the fruits and veggies in the juice. However, I cannot afford a Vitamix at the moment as I am sure most of us cannot. Just try to make sure you're making juices that are heavy in veggies. I think juicing your own juices is badass! Please let me know how that goes. I would say research some of the brands I mention in my blog post to make sure you're making juices that are going to give you adequate nutrients for your entire day. Usually, in the morning you want to drink a juice with lemon and ginger, green juices and a carrot or beet juice mid-day, and then a "dessert" juice that contains a nut milk.

      I wish you the best of luck with your cleanse! Keep me updated (:

      xoxo, Sam
  • Someone asked:
    What playlists do you listen to when you workout? I am getting bored in my workouts because I need new music. I use Spotify the most, but can't find anything to really groove too. I also love the music they play in Soul Cycle classes, but I can never find the exact mixes they play in class on Spotify.
    • shapedupsam replied:
      Hey there!

      I totally feel you on this one, good music can make or break a workout. I use both Spotify and Soundcloud. I will link below some of my workout playlists! As far as SoulCycle playlists go, don't be afraid to ask the instructor if they have a Spotify and if their playlist is published! One of my yoga teachers has a Spotify and her playlists rock. One of the Spotify users I mention below loves SoulCycle and makes a lot of SoulCycle inspired playlists.

      1. sammyconrad545 Yes, this is my Spotify, just sharing because I have a lot of playlists and am constantly updating them. I linked below a playlist that I like to run to (it has enough songs to make it through a 5K), and then a yoga playlist as well, which has most of the songs from my yoga videos that I post on Instagram.

      5K Run

      Yogi

      2. Addie Martanovic

      For those of you who don't know Addie is chickpeainthecity on both her blog and her Instagram! She seriously has the BEST taste in music. She has okay lists full of LIT SoulCycle inspired jams, and then some indie/pop sort of music as well. She knows what's up. I highly recommend checking out her entire profile and all of her playlists, but I'll link a couple of my faves; she is always creating new playlists as well.

      waves don't die.///

      my brain on matcha.///

      3. Amanda Kaplan

      AKA brunettewithabudget on her blog and on her Instagram! She listens to very chill music that I absolutely love. She has some LIT throwback/workout playlist that I blast while I'm on the stair master. I'll tag them below.

      get fit

      get fit 2.0

      party like it's 2001

      4. Jimmy Kourafas

      I'm not just saying this because he's my boyfriend, he is very well versed in music all around and has a very good taste in music. His playlists are awesome and if you're into indie pop or indie music in general, I highly recommend checking out his whole profile or his band: Capital Soiree. The reason why I have him on the list is because he has one rap playlist in particular that I'm literally obsessed with either while I'm working out or just getting ready in the morning. I'll tag it below.

      ooh, yahh, yatatatatata kahhh

      5. stellamariecon

      Yes, this is my sister, and yes, she is in high school but honestly I jam hard to two of her playlists:

      chill

      jams

      Along with Spotify, I also have a couple SoundCloud profiles that have awesome playlists to check out and to workout to. Just click the usernames, and it will bring you to their playlists.

      1. SammyConrad545

      I used to be quite the rave girl back in the day, so I have some pretty rave worthy playlists (lol.) But seriously they should definitely get you pumped at the gym, I even have a playlist called "gym!"

      2. Addie Martanovic

      Once again, chickpeainthecity has the best playlists and finds the best remixes on Soundcloud.

      3. Felix Conrad

      My brother has awesome taste in music. The playlist "go crazy" is the one I listen to when I workout.