Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Recent Purchases I'm Loving

Hi, my name is Tiara and I blog here! Yeah, I know I unintentionally took a blogging break. But just know your girl is still here counting macros, living the good life in Tahoe and kicking some serious business ass -- hence the radio silence even though I would rather spend more time with Y'all.

While that all sounds fun and dandy, you're here because you want to know what I recently purchased and love.  But first, a snap of my sweet girl admiring the flowers at Trader Joe's because it's her favorite place. Hello, mini shopping carts!

PATIO TABLE -- Well, after 7-ish years we finally bought a patio table! It's about time! Now I just have to decide on chairs.  We have some chairs from Costco we're using in the meantime, but I'm eyeing these chairs and this market umbrella from Target to finish it off. 

Slip-on Chuck Taylor -- I might be late to the game here, but I never claimed to be a fashion blogger :) Anyway I'm been spending money on me this month and I don't know why it took me so long to buy a pair! These VANS CLASSIC SLIP-ON are next on the list.

RTIC Cooler and Tumblers -- Becuase quality not overpriced :) Yup, I didn't buy a YETI. Sorry, but I couldn't justify the price. Call my smart or frugal... Anyway, I recently purchased two 30 oz tumblers and an RTIC Soft Pack Cooler - 40 and Sunday beach days just got better.

Summer Sandals -- Have you seen the TOMS sandals lately? Yeah, neither had I then I was like I need all of them. Anyway, I bought these and am eyeing these! Oh, and then there are these cute DV sandals from Target! I love sandal weather!

Cuisinart Food Processor with Spiralizer & Dicer-- Although I already had a food processor, it was like 18 years old! I'm not kidding you. It's a beast and still got the job done, but OMG this gadget does it all and I'm in love. I can't wait to make tons of zoodles, pesto, etc. this summer! 

JOJO'S CHOCOLATE BARK -- Because life without chocolate is boring and JOJO's is the best. Order a bag (or two) stat. BTW -- Don't forget to use code "TIARA10" for a sweet discount.

OXO Good Grips Cooling Rack -- Every baker needs a cooling rack and I love all things OXO. Worth it! In general, I like the OXO brand and the OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker is my favorite product from the brand.

What are you loving these days?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Counting Macros — One year Later

Here's the thing, before I started counting macros I thought I looked good. Ok, maybe I had 5ish pounds to lose, but I was confident in my skin. A year later, I still think I look good and am still confident in my own skin. The difference — I FEEL better and my strength/performance has improved tenfold among a number of other things such as better skin, sleep, inflammation, recovery etc.  Before we dive into all things macros let's look at some progress pictures because we all love a good before and after photo.

Day 1(135) / 6 Months(116) / 1 Year (120)

If I thought I looked good and was confident in my skin why did I start counting Macros? Simple, I wanted to perform better in the gym and if it meant dropping a few pounds then I figured why not give it a try. I had a number of friends doing it too so I thought it would be easier to go through the process with others. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would drop the weight I did.

In life, there are a lot of things that suck and you don't want to do them, but you have too. That's how I looked at the cutting phase. It straight up sucked, but I reminded myself I have to trust the process just like I approach my training. Sometimes it's hard to trust the person you're paying knows what they are doing, but I trusted him. We had an open line of communication and I felt like he never misled me. The cutting phase was 90% mental for me. I had to relearn how to eat all the foods I loved. I also cut out drinking (unless it's a special occasion) because it wasn't beneficial to my end goal.


When "cutting," you are eating at a calorie deficit. Meaning you're taking in less energy (aka food/fuel) than you're expending. The cutting phase is also known as a deficit. It's when you're lowering (aka, cutting) the grams of macros you're consuming. This usually happens on a weekly basis and can be anywhere from 2-5 grams of carbohydrates and/or fats a week.

Something that's misunderstood about losing weight is that you have to lower your caloric intake by A LOT to see results. When in fact the  SLOW AND STEADY approach will lead to the greatest long-term success.  The goal of eating at a deficit should always be to eat as much as possible while still losing weight (i.e., all the veggies)!

We cut for nearly 15 weeks before I mentally couldn't cut anymore. I was also happy with my results. At that point, we started to rebuild.

The opposite of cutting. You're slowing adding in more food. You're trying to reach the "maintenance phase." You feel amazing because you're able to add some fun food back in, but the key is to not go crazy with those fun foods.

The light at the end of the end of the tunnel! Eating at maintenance means you're in ENERGY BALANCE. You're matching calories in and calories out so that your weight remains the same!

Aside from eating more the best part about maintenance is just because you're staying the same weight doesn't mean your body composition isn't changing. If you're lifting those weights (building muscle) and being consistent with your nutrition (fueling muscle growth), you can see an incredible transformation in maintenance.

While the process might be slower when in maintenance it is happening -- no doubt! The other plus to being in maintenance? Fueling for performance! To perform your best, you want to fuel your body with optimal energy. Being in a calorie deficit, while a necessary evil, might leave you feeling a tad more exhausted than usual after workouts or training. That's why when in a cut, they say nutrition choice is important to help your body recovery better! Because food is fuel.

While it was tedious, overwhelming and downright frustrating at times I freaking LOVE it. It's the longest I've stuck with anything because it's sustainable! Yes, it's something you can work with for the rest of your life. Eventually, I'll segway into intuitive eating, but macros gave me the foundation to do so. How? It showed me what food is actually made of and what I need to fuel my body without depriving myself of things I love. It taught me what moderation really is and that's not a 1,200 calorie diet, meal replacements, juice cleanses, etc.

Honestly, I would recommend everyone count macros for at least a month. You would be so surprised at what you're eating too much or little of.  Knowledge is power and food is fuel.

Working with a StrongerU coach was key to being able to eventually count on my own, increase my numbers without fear, and find food freedom.

Counting macros will only work when you are ready. You have to be honest with yourself, your numbers and your coach. Until then you're just spinning the diet wheel. Yes, we all have off days, but consistency is key.

Do you count macros?

Monday, June 4, 2018

I made Homemade Sourdough Bread

Well, hello there!

Yup, yours truly took a little hiatus from blogging and man did it feel good, but what feels even better is being back. I missed all your pretty faces. A lot happened in May. For instance, my sister had a baby and I turned 36! Sadly, there will not be a recap. Instead, we're diving right into the fact that I made homemade sourdough bread.

YES, I made SOURDOUGH BREAD from scratch!

I can't hardly believe it, but it happened and it was a process. So how did it come about? Well, about a week ago we were at the beach, with friends talking about making Kombucha, and one of the dads mentioned wanting to attempt making sourdough bread from a starter. I was intrigued. Intrigued enough to go home and google sourdough starter and proceed to make a starter.

For the next five days, I grew wild yeast above my refrigerator. Every day I fed it equal parts flour and water. Friday night, I prepped the sourdough starter for baking. Did I mention it's a process? The magic happened on Saturday. Over the course of the day, I tended to the dough, let it rise then repeated over the next few hours. YES, a few hours!

Once the dough was ready, it was time to bake. Before I knew it, I was enjoying a fresh slice of sourdough bread. You could say I'm now sold on sourdough bread from scratch. While the bread wasn't perfect, nor anywhere near bakery status, it was good for the first attempt.

So what am I doing with four loaves? Duh, eating a slice with every meal. For instance this morning I made avocado toast with eggs. Tonight, garlic bread. Tomorrow who knows as our options are truly endless. Oh and I totally sliced two loaves up and froze them. That sourdough bread life, though!

I will now be making all the bread! Who wants a loaf?

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