SparkFire Blog Collaboration Part 2: One Body Type for Athletes? No Way!

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Part 2 of the Body Image series is up! I am extremely proud that I have been able to work with SparkFire Active. While I've been writing and building up LuchaFIT, I knew it would be important to build relationships with other women and girl-powered companies and organizations. To discover that our messaging aligns so well and how much we are all focused on showing girls their own power, has inspired me to write this series (and hopefully one you enjoy!) 

I want to be sure that you guys know some important things about SparkFire: First, each time you purchase one of their dri fit athletic shirts , 5% is donated directly to the companies they partner with to support their Girls' Education Program. By the time they have sold 500 shirts, they have supported a FULL YEAR of education for a girl! Check out their Instagram to see the girls they are impacting all over the world! I am so impressed by their impact, and I can't wait for you to join their Tribe! 

Get 10% off your order by subscribing to their newsletter! 

My dad was 84 pounds his freshman year in high school. In the late 1940's / early 1950's, his school had a high school wrestling weight class of 96 pounds. My mom was a gymnast and very petite. I certainly had the genes to be a small and petite woman coupled with the genes of an athlete. I was destined to be a small kiddo.  

It was hard to see past my body type. Well into my twenties, I was still plagued with body insecurities. What others said continued to effect me, but it took on a new form.

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Twitter: @SparkFireActive

Instagram: @sparkfireactive

Facebook: SparkFire Active 


The Inside Trip Podcast: Tamyra Stock

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The Inside Trip Podcast has another Women of the Mat interview this month! This podcast series is brought to you by LuchaFIT and Wrestle Like a Girl.

Tamyra Stock (Mensah) has been a lady on the rise the last few years. She was the 2016 Olympic Trials Champion, 2016 U.S. National Champion, killed it in Russia this year winning the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, and made her first world team beating 2x Olympian Elena Pirozhkova for the spot. Even though she had a disappointing finish at the World Championships in Paris in August, Tamyra has bright hopes for her future. She opens up about her struggle with confidence as a professional athlete, and how that has played a role in her losses under the big spotlight.

Personality doesn't disappoint in this interview; from ponchos and feeding birds in Siberia, to a painful reality of not representing the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Tamyra keeps us entertained the whole way through and we can't wait to see what the years bring for this awesome lady! 


Make sure to listen and follow The Inside Trip on social media! 

 

The Inside Trip on Twitter: @TheInsideTrip1

The Inside Trip on Facebook: The Inside Trip

Subscribe on iTunes: The Inside Trip 

SparkFire Blog Collaboration Part 1: Opening up about Body Image and Being an Athlete

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I have had the fortunate opportunity to collaborate with an AWESOME active wear brand SparkFire Active! These awesome women are focused on creating dri fit athletic shirts and headbands that fit just right for girls! They also have a strong passion for empowerment and education for girls domestic and international, and I am so pleased to be working with them! 

I've given you a small taste of my first blog below, as part of a 3 part blog series, for SparkFire Active. Be sure the click below to read the rest! 

I have always admired the strong, muscular, athletic body types of women -- women who look tough and powerful. These are women we may traditionally label as 'athletes.'

My mom's favorite game to play with strangers is "guess what sport my daughter does". They never seem to guess correctly. I used to be frustrated by that. I used to be frustrated by the reaction of "you don’t look like a wrestler... at all!" Today, I use these responses as a brilliant opportunity to educate others on the amazing diversity of females in sport -- specifically females in a combat sport.  

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Follow SparkFire Active on Social Media!

Twitter: @SparkFireActive

Instagram: @sparkfireactive

Facebook: SparkFire Active 

How to Balance Real Life and Nutrition

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Whenever I speak with my adult female friends on nutrition, I often hear them speak about wanting to "get back to eating clean." When I ask them what does that mean or look like for them, it is often "oh, super super healthy and I do everything perfect." 

Honestly, that immediately sounds stressful to me! If you've been reading most of my blogs, you'll start seeing the pattern of how I talk about things: first mentality, then lifestyle change. The problem with starting off on a kick of strict "clean eating," is that this means DIET. It means that you will go on it and then eventually, you will go off it. This is an exhausting yo-yo that tends to never lead to lasting change. The second problem with this idea is that as soon as you break your perfect clean eating streak with one yummy muffin from Starbucks, it is too easy to decide to scratch the whole operation and "go back" to eating the way you would rather... which mostly means you would rather not feel under stress about your choices! 

Lasting change does not come out of binging... on carrots or on chocolate. Just like you cant expect to stop biting your nails in just a few days, you can't expect actual life long change and balance from "clean eating" for a few days or weeks. The change has to come gradually, and you need to achieve milestones that you can actually commit too. Can you commit to drinking a glass of water each morning when you wake up? Great, add that to your routine. Do you want to include a vegetarian meal one time a week? Perfect, make that a goal and it starts becoming second nature. 

And who is rewarded when we decide we are the worst person on earth for eating a cookie? Do you really want to live in a "clean eating" world where you have banned yourself from some of your occasional sweets for life? I sure don't. And the more you punnish yourself for it, the more you go for your 3rd, 4th, and 5th cookie... in secret... in your closet when you get home. Stop living in shame! By allowing yourself to have that craving you wanted, you don't have to go into binge mode because you are fearful that it's the last time you will never allow yourself to have it! And in time, your craving for those sweets become less and less. Its the law of attraction: when you allow yourself to have something, it becomes less attractive to you. 

I'm sure there are quite a few people who have stopped reading by now. They wanted me to tell them the quick fixes towards balancing their life and nutrition. They wanted to hear all the fast lane gimmicks that help them get to "clean eating" the quickest way possible. That's not what I'm telling or teaching. But I am excited to write about steps towards life long change that can really help people. If you're still reading, then I know that's what you are searching for too. Moderation is everything, and I'm excited to write a series on this very subject. I want to help others improve their lives, so I hope you enjoy everything in the nutrition section moving forward! 

Habit Changes for Picky-Eater Athletes

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We are inherently influenced by what something looks like that we are about to eat. It's in our DNA, as a visual cue was what protected us from eating something poisonous while we were hunters and gatherers. Second cue? Taste and texture. I know this well as I was an extremely picky eater as a child, and my fight or flight radars went off often with new foods. Texture was big for me and I was extremely resistant to trying anything new. I was encouraged to not give up and am proud to say that today, I will try anything once (well almost anything). Your body needs fuel to go, and recognizing that your choices make a difference can help you make changes for the better as an athlete, and for the rest of your life as a healthy human!

1. Lay off the sugar, salt, and processed foods

As you get older and are not told what to eat by your parents, your own choices can become a detriment to your own health. Sugary, salty snack foods are easy to access and cheap to buy, and they become an easy substitute for hunger pangs. It can be convenient to think that something that fills you up now, will be most effective for your team practice later in the day. Remember that being full does not mean being fueled! 

The more you can reach for whole foods, the more you will realize that they are more effective in keeping you full. The fullness you receive from a bag of chips can never replace the fullness that you receive from brown rice, sweet potatoes, or whole wheat breads. Your body processes whole foods more efficiently, making the energy you spend working out more efficient. Recognize where you become tempted to buy the snacks, and make sure to prepare for that moment. Pack a higher protein whole food snack like peanut butter, or slow digesting carb like whole wheat bread (or both!) as they will fuel you and keep you full throughout your workout. 

2. Limit Sauces and Ketchup 

Most of the picky eaters I know like to mask the tastes of foods through sauces and especially ketchup. These are adding extra sugar to your nutrition and are not going to help you develop the necessary habits which help you try new foods. Instead, use seasonings and herbs to flavor your food. You will never salt your broccoli to the same level as process foods contain salt for preservation, so flavor away!

3. Don't skip breakfast 

Your body functions best when it knows there is fuel coming. By skipping on breakfast, you are telling your body to go into starvation mode and hold on to or store whatever is the next meal you eat. Picky eaters will often skip on breakfast because they don't like many breakfast options or it seems too hard to prepare something healthy. Work on adding 1 new breakfast option to your routine a month. I suggest plain quick oatmeal that you add your own fruit, honey, or peanut butter to.  Stick to it and record your progress. Look up recipes that vary your options and don't give up, consistency is key! Try overnight oats, or cold oats in the fridge that soften with yogurt. 

4. Three bites 

Always try 3 bites of something new. It's been researched that it can take 6-10 tries of something new to even get the ball rolling! If you are adding a new fruit or vegetable to your menu, try incorporating it in a few different ways over a week or more. It could very well be the way it's prepared that changes how much you like something. Steaming, pan searing, or roasting vegetables have very different outcomes in taste and texture. Just because you don't like one form, it doesn't mean you wont like another! If you keep an open and adventurous mind while you explore something new, you will take a lot of the pressure off forcing yourself to like something! 

5. Not drinking the right fluids

In order to drink the right fluids we must first assume that you are consuming enough fluids. You  are, right? Drink a glass of water as soon as wake up each morning and keep a water bottle with you through out the day to monitor how much you take in. Dehydration is very common among adolescents and among athletes. The strategy becomes to try and catch up on what was missed while by drinking a ton at practice. By that point, it is already too late and your workout only continues to dehydrate your body. 

Stick to water as often as possible. I can't tell you how many picky eaters have told me they don't like water! Time move past this mentality! If you are really struggling drinking the amount of fluids that help keep your pee out of the bright yellow zone (brown = totally dehydrated, clear = hydrated!), choose sports drinks without high fructose corn syrup. It's often the easier route to choose only what comes out of the closest vending machine, usually Gatorade or Powerade. Consuming rehydration drinks daily means you need to make smart choices about what you put in your body. Ingredients matter! I recommend Nuun Hydration tablets because they are convenient and are made of the good stuff!