My Chat With A Vegan

J.D. Goldschmidt is a busy husband, father, actor, producer, model and healthy living advocate. Based in New York City, he’s kept busy over the years working on independent films and web series, while most currently working as the stand-in for Aaron Paul (see Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad) in Aaron’s new show. With such a hectic career, J.D. needed optimal nutrition to feel his best and maintain his busy schedule. After stumbling upon a YouTube Channel called Vegan Gains, and exploring further into the subject with documentaries like Forks Over Knives, J.D. had learned enough about animal cruelty, plant-based nutrition and the healthy lifestyle veganism could offer to completely change up his diet and refocus his nutrition to assume his new nutritional quest as a vegan.

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J.D. was kind enough to chat with me and give me a little insight over his lifestyle, the changes he has made, and how it affects his daily life. Keep reading for more information on how and why this multi-threat SAG member maintains his vegan lifestyle with his busy schedule. Continue reading

Friday Favorites: At home HIIT

Usually I follow online videos when I don’t feel like driving to the gym. I can do them in my living room with minimal equipment and get a great workout done in half the time (if you count the approximate 30 minute round trip gym run). What’s better than getting your workout done in less total time?

Also, what’s the best way to create maximum calorie deficient in the least amount of time while working your entire body? In my opinion, that would be HIIT routines. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. In this format of exercise, you rotate between intense aerobic exercises with short periods of rest. HIIT has so many great benefits outside of being time friendly including:  Continue reading

Week before a race…

The Hotlanta Half Marathon is SUNDAY! Meaning 3 full days stand between me and 13.1 miles. I have to admit, these last few weeks of running have been really exhausting. I almost feel like I was in peak performance mode a couple weeks back and now my body is just overran. I’ve also just now looked up the elevation chart and read some reviews online of past races and WHOA! Everyone complains about the hills. This course looks pretty challenging. Scenic, but hilly. Last year I guess it torrentially downpoured shortly after the last corral was out and people ran miles and miles in sopping rain. (That ain’t me). It’s also supposed to really crank up in humidity this weekend and be a high of 97 degrees. Lord have mercy. Luckily, we will be running into the heat with a 7am start.

Can’t you see I’m getting a little psyched out? Haha. I am excited, don’t get me wrong… Just a little scared! It’s also the first half I’ve done alone! Usually I can count on my trustee brother in law to step up to the plate… but he had major knee surgery over the last year and we’ve also moved pretty far away from the Chicago area.

I’ve put a little more thought into this race since I had the time to research and prepare for it in other ways than just pounding pavement. Here are a few things I plan to do that will be new to me this half. Continue reading

Friday favorites: Rest week

Sooooo. With just one more distance run left in sight before me and the Hotlanta Half Marathon, I am in my last true “down” week in distance. This week was a 6 mile run, next week 10 and then a taper week before the race. I got out and ran my 6 yesterday and was feeling so thankful that’s as far as I had to go.

I am reaching the familiar point of flat lining in my training. I am tired, beat up and a little bored. It’s harder to fit these runs in and with the weather getting hotter it’s just all around more exertion. I’m thankful that I can see the big day in sight.

That being said, I am seriously pondering continuing forward with more and more distance in an attempt to run the full marathon in September. I kind of want to take a small break and see if I can rejuvenate and get back on the happy train to running town. There are some things I didn’t really see coming my way when training this hard and this long (almost 12 down, 20 to go…32 weeks in total if I complete it). I’ve bulleted them below:

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Challenge met & accomplished

So for 14 days now I have been dairy free. Living a life without milk, cheese, butter, ice cream or yogurt wasn’t exactly hard, but it wasn’t super awesome either. I read accounts of people losing weight, having cleared skin, basically feeling like a whole new person. I’m going to level with you here… I don’t have that J-Lo glow. I also have been eating an insane amount of fruits and vegetables instead of cheeseticks, greek yogurts, cereal, and ice cream for dessert. So I truly relay any shift in the scale to those healthy swaps rather than omitting dairy altogether. Not having any major skin issues to start, my skin looks the same today that it did two weeks ago.

So was this all worth it? Sure! I’m always up for a challange. I learned that my body hasn’t really been having any adverse reactions to dairy that needed clearing up. Perhaps when I reintroduce the food group back into my diet I may notice something, but right now I feel pretty much like the same old me.

One takeaway that I will promote for going dairy free is I do feel less “heavy” after meals that would have normally been topped with cheese. But, on the other hand, sometimes I don’t quite feel satisfied after eating a meal, either. If a restaurant doesn’t have avacados on hand, then eating nondairy can get kind of bland (in my opinion). Plus, eating inordinate amounts of the same food to make it try to be something else doesn’t always work either. Note: I actually didn’t eat that much avacado. At all.

Secondly, I did learn how to make better choices. Instead of reaching for ice cream after dinner, I had a piece of fruit. I also swapped fruit for my yogurt in the day, or had a banana and peanut butter instead of a semi-never-ending bowl of Special K after work. Not being able to have a staple in my diet allowed me to broaden my horizons and probably cut out some calories indirectly.

And thirdly, if I’m going to have ice cream, I’m going to go for it. I don’t want to have any of that stand-in almond milk bulls**t. That little pint is still sitting in our freezer, which is saying A LOT for someone who can’t keep ice cream around for very long. I will however continue to buy almond milk as I enjoyed the substitution (but missed the protein content cow milk offered).

I plan to try a few dairy items here and there this week to see how I feel. If for some reason I have a severe “reaction” or epiphany, well, you’ll be hearing about it! Happy Monday!

And in sum,  I really want to get me one of these now. Thanks instagram for always providing great temptation. FullSizeRender.jpg

Friday Favorites: Full HIIT workout in <25 minutes

Some days the last thing I want to do is give 30-40 minutes of my day to a workout. Or longer if I have a distance run planned. It can get so monotonous and boring to do the same routine week after week. That’s part of my problem with yoga. I get bored and my mind is always checking the clock to see when we will be done. This week, I broadened my horizons on Fitnessblender.com to see what I could accomplish in under 30 minutes that would:

  • meet some strength requirements
  • be a full cardio workout
  • burn a minimum of 200 calories
  • work a majority of my body
  • use minimal equipment

The great thing about FitnessBlender is that you can put all of these requirements into their search function and it will display videos that meet your criteria. I happened to find a video called “When I Say Jump”.

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Holy cow. Not only did this video go by quickly, it got my heart rate up HIGH (180+ at times). I didn’t have time to be bored because each exercise lasted only a minute before you were on to the next one. No equipment was required and I am STILL sore on Friday after doing this Tuesday. Jarob even commented–in an extremely sarcastic fashion– that he couldn’t wait to try that workout with me “next time.” He gazed over from the kitchen in awe as I truly sweat it out (we’re talking mascara dripping into your eyes type of sweat), and kindly offered to get me a glass of water to have during one of my 10 second breaks between exercises.

There truly is no equipment for this workout. Just your body. But I STRONGLY suggest having a towel nearby. If you try it, let me know what you think! It is a fat blaster for sure and will make you question your sanity.

Also, sidenote, been dairy free for 11 days!

One week dairy free

So I decided last Monday morning would be my first official day purposely avoiding dairy to see how and if my body responded. It actually has not been that difficult to avoid including these items in my diet. In fact, I think it’s made me make wiser choices toward more whole foods. For example, I can’t have ice cream after dinner anymore, so I reached for the fruit if I needed a sweet fix (I tried almond ice cream, but I think I need to wait until more time has passed to truly think it’s “good”). And I actually have been avoiding chocolate and items that include dairy for the most part just to see what this is like if you’re staying uniform in the process. Outside of making wiser choices with what I put in my body and having to retrain my pantry reaching habits, here’s what my top thoughts are:

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Forks Over Knives

After struggling with a bit of a cold in our house, we laid reallllly low Saturday night. We were in PJs by 7 and pondering what to watch on Netflix shortly after. For some reason I can’t get back into the groove with Breaking Bad, though I know we will soon here. I wanted something different to watch. We decided on the documentary Forks Over Knives. which details how eating processed foods and foods from animals (meat, dairy, eggs) can increase rates of cancer growth, diseases such as diabetes, obesity and more.

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Neither of us are Vegan –in fact Jarob believes the world’s most perfect food is a Cheeseburger and I have pledged my love continuously to ice cream. Having been true outsiders to the idea of plant based eating of whole foods, we were definitely enlightened by what they had to say. I took notes from during the film (my Intro to Film class at IU made me an expert at typing and watching movies at the same time) and I want to share with you some of the some huge key points I took away. I’m rather mindblown by these statistics, and after I share them with you I’ll let you know where Jarob and I landed with our opinions on the “doctors orders” and how to implement their tactics in your lives.

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Cross-Training

You can’t run every single day of the week without getting super bored or overtiring your muscles when training for a half or whole marathon. Somewhere in there you have to take rest days and cross-train days. I get antsy on rest days (unless they’re after a distance run, then I don’t even want to take the stairs in my own home). But on cross-training days, the sky is really the limit as to what you can do to increase your aerobic threshold or general fitness level without compromising the muscle groups used in running or adding more pounding motion to your joints.

Since running is mostly cardio, I try to add a strength aspect to my cross-training days. I never did strength before the past year and a half. I considered cardio my end all be all. But, I noticed significant changes in my body (i.e., muscle definition) when I added strength into my routine even one to two days a week.

Before our wedding, I really amped up the strength workouts (I wanted defined arms for my strapless gown, as well as to be in the best possible shape for our big day.. and bikini ready for Aruba). Since finding a website I love for fitness workouts at home during wedding prep, I have continued to utilize it to this day to help in my crosstraining efforts.

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