What you need to know about the Taco Diet

A Little background on the original Taco Diet:

In 2015 a diet took America by storm, the Taco Cleanse. This fun and satirical book poke fun at diets and the diet industry by recommending a 30-Day Taco Diet Cleanse and introducing the world to the Taco Diet. This popular taco diet is primarily vegan, but consumers can adjust it to their liking and nutritional needs.

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Not my Taco Diet:

I learned about the Taco Cleanse today by typing into google the ‘Taco Diet.’ I am not on a taco cleanse. This is as foreign to me as Brexit.

My social media is marketing my affair with tacos. My taco diet commenced in April and continues to gain momentum each week. Since the week of April 1st, the corn tortilla has been the bed of tender slow cooked meats, legumes, and melted cheese topped with a drizzle of sriracha, guacamole or homemade salsa. But the continued deliciousness from week to week is raising eyebrows. Here are a few noteworthy and PG comments:

“Why tacos?”

“What’s on the tacos?”

“What’s up with your taco fetish?”

“You’ll become a taco soon enough.”

“Are tacos good for you?”

“You are what you eat.”

 

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Eat Unicorn Tacos become a Unicorn

 

Side Hustle led to the Taco Diet:

Since I started working from home and getting my side hustle on with freelance writing, I needed to figure out a suitable way to save money while eating healthy. There are dozens of “Buy One Get One Free” deals, but the BOGOs are for fatty, refined and processed foods. I try to eat healthy without sacrificing the flavor.

Also, with all these life changes of needing to make a career change, distancing myself from coaching, and with the deployment my heart has been heavy. And when my heart is heavy, my stomach growls more and hunger for routine emerges. I am a person of routine, though my routines never make sense to anyone else but me.

I’m on an $40-80 weekly budget. This includes gas, food, and miscellaneous purchases because I need to save money in case of an emergency. And for health insurance come August. #UniversalHealthcareNeeded

 

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Easy cleanup

 

Taco diet is cheap, healthy, and I like it:

I buy 2-4lbs of meat at the market, whatever is on sale and maxes out at $12. Corn Tortillas for 4lbs is $3.00. 8 cups of Shredded Cheese $5.50. Head of lettuce $1.00. Added toppings range from $2-6.00. Cheese and saucy toppings last longer than a week, so, all in all, I buy a weeks worth of food for about $25.00 tops. To cut down on waste, after I cook the meat in the slow cooker, I then cook 1.5 cups of lentils. So when the meat runs out, I have lentils, an adequate protein source, to stuff into tacos.

The taco diet is challenging and creative. When I go to the store I look for deals, I strategize on how to make my dollar stretch while looking for the tastiest and healthiest flavor combinations for the week.

Corn tortillas stretch the dollar the best versus flour. Plus white flour spikes insulin levels, and by going with corn, the caloric count for 2 tortillas is 100 calories. Gluten-Free, low on the glycemic index, a good form of carbohydrates.

 

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Life took a 360-degree turn

 

Additional pluses to the Taco Diet:

Corn Tortillas again are gluten-free, free of trans fats and have no sugar, and it’s much lower on the glycemic index than your sandwich bread, pasta, and sweet potatoes. Corn isn’t complete shit although the diet industry might try to say otherwise. The truth is corn tortillas are a healthy form of carbohydrates and is quick, usable energy, which I need with the number of workouts and training I do.

The meat is slow cooked, and I do not add oils to it. It’s flavored with spices, and usually a can of Rotel or chipotle sauce or fermented pepper sauce. Great source of protein to help repair and build my muscles and is low in fat for the most part.

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Home cooked meal every day

I know the Ketosis diet is so popular and fats are king in 2017, but I do not buy into Keto at all. I want clean, tasty and satisfying meals. Not some bullshit trendy diet your sister’s best friend’s cousin’s boss tried out and loved.

So why tacos? Simple and covers all the major nutrient guidelines. I think the cool kids call them macros. Throw some greens on top, and I just completed the ultimate meal of carbs, proteins, dietary fiber, low fat and delicious.

How come continued taco consumption? Well, Cotton, it comes down to executing the fundamentals of I’m cheap, resourceful, I like challenges, and I’m creative in the kitchen.

Final thoughts on the Taco Diet? My boyfriend is deployed, and when it comes to figuring out how to get along by myself and adjust to cooking for one, my widow senses kick in so I can get shit done. And I am making some incredible cuisine over here in the Taco Lab.

 

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Some Practical Thoughts on Career Change

 

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I need some practical reflection on my career change from coaching to the next great thing. I’ve been transitioning into a new career, and I’ve applied to a few jobs and have been offered some but have not accepted. Using my background in coaching has provided me a lot of applicable skills in the corporate and office setting. However, I feel I don’t have the niche experience to land something satisfying. I know I might need to start from the low rung and climb upwards, but I hope something soon will pan out that I find refreshing and exciting.

I’ve been offered a plethora of interviews and opportunities in insurance. I’m not surprised because a lot of it is marketing, recruiting and personal relationships. Something coaching has taught me. But I can’t shake the idea of feeling like a salesperson all the time. It’s also the reason why I’m the worst distributor for Advocare. It’s simple, I don’t want people to avoid me because they’re afraid I’ll try to sell them something. Although, when it comes to fitness training, I’m always trying to get people to live healthier lives. I do enjoy selling health and wellness.

I’m not afraid of putting myself out there. I’m a fast learner, and I believe I’m smart. Being widowed has offered me the strength to know I can get through anything, including a career change. So why am I not excited about any of the job offers?

I need something that speaks to my core values. I need to feel like I’m making a difference and I am helping those I interact with. I’ve been traveling further down the rabbit hole of personal training, and I

When I first started coaching there was excitement and purpose for me. Jumping out of bed was easy like every day was Christmas. But the excitement lost its luster after George passed away. Coaching became grueling, and every problem I faced seemed so hackneyed and trite because nothing could compare to the massive rebuilding process I was doing in my life. Being widowed at 28 really made me grow up fast, and now I know what I need to feel. I love writing, and I want to make this career if possible, but until then I need to feel like I’m making a difference and I am helping those I interact with.

I’ve been traveling further down the rabbit hole of personal training, and I LOVE it. Not just a little bit, but a lot! It’s more than coaching and bringing out the best, it’s also figuring out how to improve on the person’s weaknesses and provide them courage and strength to do it. I feel alive when I’m helping someone out with training. I’ve been dabbling with training for years, but to go full force into it is exciting. And I think about coaching and working with the girls, and I’ve always enjoyed on field stuff, and helping them through their issues off the field. It was the politics of the college I couldn’t accept. And then I realized, I need to believe in something if I’m going to give it my all. And right now, I believe Personal Training and Nutrition are my callings, and I’m going to figure out how to tailor it so I can make a living off of it, rather than hoping I get the call to show up for a class or get a new contract to write.

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6 Signs of Functional Anxiety


I have high levels of anxiety and I know I do. Only the people who really know me can see it. Others see it too, but they see is as a positive aesthetic appearance. My anxiety is functional though, I don’t burst into tears when I feel my chest begin to tighten, and I don’t close myself off as I feel the weight of the world barreling down upon me. My grief, my rolling boil of sadness, and my unforgiving anxiety have helped form me into who I am today.

But no matter what, when the birthday of my dead husband nears it never gets any fucking easier.

So as I hit the pavement to complete a 12-mile run, in between counting cars and other runners I passed by at 5:30 am, I started thinking about how my anxiety has manifested in a way that is not in plain view.

1.) Endurance Training

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Since George died of cancer, I started using exercise as an outlet for my grief. There’s something about it though. Exercise helps strengthen the neurons to connect with the synapses to allow the neurotransmitters to travel more efficiently. The flow of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin is better. So exercise can create happiness. What I’m after is the breaking point. That moment of bliss shattered by the surge of discomfort in my limbs. My thoughts screaming “stop, stop, stop,” but one more step is all I need.

2.) Research and Analysis

I like to learn. In the past 4 months, I have taught myself biomechanics, physiology, basic HTML, and pretty much the ins & outs of the digestive system in regards to thermogenesis. Currently, I’m reading every morning Forbes articles to learn about Stocks, Bonds, and ETFs. The new information is like an opiate for my fluttering thoughts and anxiety. Though, I’m 100% a millennial because any article over 2,000 words I simply do not have time for that. There are other articles with more cogent information about fall out between Walgreen and Rite Aid.

IMG_50393.) Meal Prepping

I love variety, but for some reason when I feel bogged down from stress and the anxiety creeps back in I begin to meal prep. This is something many nutritionists and fitness experts preach about, so it’s not dismissive that I do meal prep, but I do so because I need the control. The need to control food has been a reoccurring sign I’m dealing with loads of anxiety, stress, and feeling misguided and out of control.

4.) Seeking social engagements

This has been a common anxiety relief for me since high school. Being mixed around in a crowd makes me feel uncomfortable. But the discomfort is like endurance training, it’s a mental challenge. When I’m home by myself, I know I need to get out of the house or I’ll become agoraphobic, so instead when the invitations come to do something, I’ll go. Unless the travel and uncertainty heavily weigh out the positives. Recently I was invited to a road trip to Dallas, I had to turn that one down.

5.) Forming mental list of projects

IMG_3427I really was considering naming this ‘taking on too many projects at once’, but as I started describing it, I learned that it’s not the projects, it’s the list making which is the life force of anxiety. Whether some believe this to be exemplary time managements or not, when those lists begin to formulate its anxiety.

Wake up at 4:45a, pre-workout ritual, leave the house at 5:30a, back by 7:30a at latest, take dogs for a walk, roll out, vacuum, mop, shower, write diet pill article, eat, write another diet pill article, go outside with dogs, etc. My days begin to be mapped out.

6.) Writing & New Ideas

I’ve learned at a young age, many artists are a result of tortured souls. The anxiety weaves its self so deep along my bones, and in-between the cartilage, tendons and ligaments, and when it reveals itself it comes out black and white. These words on the page, the creative torment of new ideas and storylines, the anxiety is my coal to the engine.

 

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When George was alive, I aspired to run marathons and half marathons but didn’t have the discipline to train. My writing lacked emotion and connection, but when he died the fear of losing my memories with him strangled me like a python. He is my muse. Every word I write, every mile I run, he’s the one behind each painful push to go forward.

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A Fun Workout: Joys of BodyPump

IMG_8427Once in awhile Auburn University of Montgomery gives me the opportunity to teach BodyPump.

BodyPump is a barbell strength training class that tones, sculpt and strengths. It was developed by Les Mills Company to provide a challenging 60 minute group exercise class with a focus on low weight/high rep style referred to as the Rep Effect. It’s incredibly fun because the participants can dictate how much weight the can use, and you can begin to cultivate it to your own self. For example if you’re looking to trim and tone quickly you can do one week of straight sets without altering the weight, and then the next week do every other set with heavy weight and then to a rapid deload to bodyweight. You can really strategize this style of workout to make quick “gainz” or to trim. Whichever juice is in the shaker.

The workout I created today was meant to have the arms fall off the body by the end of the class. It would’ve gotten killer results if it wasn’t the day before the 4th of July. But most classes are slow today. Any way went with 4 sets of the following:

  • Clean to Split Jerks- 40 seconds on/ 20 sec rest.
  • Followed by a squat deload- 40 sec weighted/ 20 sec bodyweight pulse/ 40 sec rest

Legs were rather shot at this point actually, which was a great feeling but will regret it tomorrow when I’m hauling ass up a hill for a 8.2 mile race I kind of regret signing up for. Worse things can happen in this life though…

Arm pump series of doom:

  • Bench press 30 sec/ Skull crusher 30 sec/ rest 30 sec.

Then did a little deload dumbbell action with this disaster, seriously y’all my arms

  • 1 arm bent over rows (Right arm first) 40 seconds with 20 second high pulse. Flip to the left rinse and repeat 3 times.
  • Use step for inline plank shoulder touches for 30 seconds. Rest 15 seconds, rinse and repeat 3 times.
  • Dumbbell chest press 30 sec then low pulse for 15 seconds. 30 second rest before repeating 3 times.
  • Do it all over again 3 times.

Finished up with some Romanian Deadlifts 40 seconds/ 20 rest for 4 sets. And did a core cool down.

Why make a post about this? Well one thing I love about running is the solidarity to be alone with my thoughts. I love teaching BodyPump too but don’t do it too often because I’m usually subbing for someone over at Auburn. But today I took over a class that is usually Yoga and they were kind enough to switch it over to a weighted class instead. No one qualified could sub for yoga so I got brought up to the major leagues. Except the ladies who showed up for yoga were wearing flip flops so they couldn’t participate. I had to do this class alone. But I found tremendous tranquility gritting my teeth and heaving that weight above my head. A strength I haven’t felt in a really long time. I loved it, and again with my boyfriend’s deployment I feel very lonely and its reminding me of those months without George. But today, I felt powerful, enchanted, and resilient. And I’m glad I got to do this one on my own and focus on myself.

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When you’re training for a marathon

I’m training for a marathon right now. Yes, 26.2 miles of running. I never thought I would run a full marathon. Ever. When George was alive, I dreamed of running a half marathon, and I’ve done that now. Many times. I can roll out of bed and run a half marathon. But a full 26.2 miles? A full marathon? I never thought I would be capable of doing that, nor have the desire to.

This is the most exciting but scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I have 13 weeks to prepare.IMG_0960

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