Tortilla Cups, “Six Pack Abs”, and Feel Good Song of the Day

filled with broccoli, garlic powder, and parm

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I had a freezing saturday night as our AC broke and was basically stuck and turning out apartment into an igloo. I realize many people from the east coast will want to shoot me that I’m complaining about the cold, but its 72 and sunny all year round in LA so we weren’t exactly too thrilled about our polar bear friendly conditions.

Since its sunday and I usually loathe sundays for some reason, I thought I’d post up one of my “feel good songs”. Songs I listen to when I need a mood “pick me up”. Today’s song is “Merry Happy” by Kate Nash. You can listen to it free here.

Anyhow……I was going to post more about me finding that grey hair on my head and about how I left it there instead of pulling it out (I guess to serve some sort of symbolism, you know, accepting that I’m aging and that I’m not five anymore). Β But I wanted to touch on something I thought about a lot this past week as I was doing my anatomy homework for my yoga teacher training. This is something I think everyone might be interested in…..”six pack abs”.

Can I tell you how many blogs I read and how many people I know that want “six packs!”? I’d tell them they sell them for about a buck fifty at any market, but no one laughs (obviously, that was a dumb joke). But do you REALLY want them? Heres what I gathered while doing my anatomy homework:

In order to get ab muscles like those in the magazine ads (which are also probably majorly retouched), you needΒ a body fat ratio in the single digits.Getting and keeping body fat in the single digits is straight up difficult, and unhealthy, especially women who are supposed to have a higher body fat percentage. Its also important to cosider body types aren’t destined to be weight lifters or body builders and others won’t ever be good long distance runners or cyclists. Me? well I’ve started seriously weight lifting only this past couple months, but when I look at my family, I’m pretty sure I’m not the “body builder” type. If you have problems getting your body fat below 15% you may be the body type that will never have rippling abs, and you may be healthier for it. Everyone is different and so is our healthy body fat ratio for who we are. I’m definitely not advocating overweight as being healthy, but if you find you feel, or look, worse at 9% body fat than you do at 18%, go for the 18.

So what are some of the drawbacks for these “six packs”?Many Β who strive to have six-pack abs have problems with constipation. I learned from my anatomy class that if you tense, the outer muscles of the abdomen you tense up the internal muscles, including the intestines. It’s virtually impossible to relax the intestinal muscles while the external abdominal muscles are under tension, and keeping that six-pack look requires tension.

Another drawback, people striving for the six-pack look forget that they need to balance the lower back muscles as well. When the muscles in front are shortened without balancing out the tension and strength of the muscles on the opposing side, the lower back muscles in this case, the tendency is to begin collapsing the chest and lowering the sternum. That posture in turn restrict breathing and lessens lung capacity, which is NOT helpful when you practice yoga or ANY exercise for that matter. I mean breathing is something we need to do to survive, so why make it harder for us to do so? Might as well light up a cig. So since your chest is collapsed, this could very much lead to rolling in of the shoulders, putting excess stress on the thoracic section of the back and pitching the head forward. Both of these can lead to headaches!

If you happen to have six pack abs, then more power to you. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m sure you’ve worked hard for it. But I’m trying to show people that “six pack abs” is not only a unrealistic goal for most people, its not all that healthy.

So what to do? Give up crunches? Part of me wants to say, YES! Endless crunches won’t give you any sort of definition. Should we neglect working our midsection? No. Lots of exercises and especially Yoga engage our core muscles to prevent “spare tires”. So be healthy, remember, fat is not the enemy, and stop crunching, unless its on something tasty, then by all means, crunch away.

place them as you would with muffin cups

Anyhow, speaking of crunching……I made some tortilla cups with the corn tortillas La Tortilla Factory sent me. I’ll be doing lots of cool tortilla recipes this week in honor of the giveaway which I’ll probably do tomorrow (I didn’t want to attach the giveaway to my story about “abs” so stay tuned for tomorrow to enter the giveaway). All I did was spray big muffin tins with non-stick spray and baked it at 350 for about fifteen mins. Thats it! instant mini tostada!

Goes well with a Trader Joe's Spicy Egg White Salad!

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30 thoughts on “Tortilla Cups, “Six Pack Abs”, and Feel Good Song of the Day

  1. I am loving making the “bowls” with the tortillas. Yum and fun. I have recently realized that I need to stop buying mags like Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness – so not realistic for me. Then I seen Fitness or Shape and think “those aren’t abs.”

  2. ah! i just caught up on your life thank god! i’m so jeal of you blogger meetup! so much fun πŸ™‚ i want you to make me your brocomole now. and tortilla cups are genius. and 6 packs are overrated. i think my enormous consumption of veggies will forver prevent me from having a 6 pack. and i like brussels better then six packs anyways. haha

  3. is it just me or do six pack abs look painful? Too hard. haha. I like to encourage “toned tummys” instead. Yoga always works my core to the bone. I love it!! So many balancing muscles, dang!

    Okay, I love the idea of he tortilla bowls. So creative. What about using corn or brown rice tortillas. Think they’ll turn out the same?

  4. I have formally given up on my abs…seriously, things just won’t go back to what they were pre-Maya. I can’t obsess about it anymore!

    It was great to see you yesterday as well…you did a great recap. I agree that Lynn is fabulous.

    I love these tostada! Brillant way for me to use the package of corn tortillas sitting in my freezer. πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve actually never wanted a 6-pack, because honestly, I don’t think they look all that hot on women. A toned stomach is nice, but a chiselboard? Ehh. Not so much. I don’t do many crunches, but I do a decent amount of planks and other core strengthening moves because I find it helps my posture and stability. Those ab-facts were pretty interesting though; the constipation thing cracked me up. Sometimes I look at body-builders and people on high protein diets and wonder what kind of a relationship they have with the porcelain god. Yes; I’m a weird one…

    • your not weird, I personally was never attracted to “ripped” guys. It looks like they could hurt me since they seem to be made of stone…or protein powder….

  6. I LOVE how honest you are!! AMEN. seriously -i dont kill myself to do abs. women are supposed to not look like total rocks.
    great tortilla bowls girl!!!

  7. The tortilla bowls look awesome πŸ™‚ Six pack abs are a pretty tough goal for anyone, I agree, and I think it’s important to modify expectations based on body type as well all carry weight differently.

  8. Great post Eden. I can tell you that having a single digit body fat, and into your “essential levels” is extremely unhealthy- for guys too! I’ve had issues with this and it completey negates the hormones to build muscle and get a sick-pack…I know.

    Those crunch cups looks really good! I think I will try them tomrrow- Thanks!

  9. oh god I feel like maybe I cant even comment on this post b/c i have 6 pack abs, i am in my 30s and have had a child and have worked DAMN FREAKIN HARD for them and am proud of them. I hope people dont hate on others who have them or who want them. I know you dont, i hope others dont either. Sigh. So many comparisons in this world and none of them are usually very good. For me, I have worked for them, havent always had them, I do now, and dont want to apologize for them. I hope you still like me! πŸ™‚

    • hun, I dont think you shouldn’t feel proud! plus, you balance its out with all the yoga you so (its not like you JUST work on your abs). Plus, I think you also have the body type: lean and mean πŸ˜‰ I’ll always love you! I just hope people dont kill thier lives getting something they might not be able to achieve

  10. THANK YOU. I appreciate ab definition as much as the next person, but I definitely do not want a six pack. On a female, that just looks… wrong. And scary, to me. If someone wants them / has them, I’m not going to hold it against them… but I definitely don’t want that for myself.

    ❀ ❀

  11. You won a painting! Guess keeping those fingers crossed really worked. Send me your address (arodriguez913@gmail.com) and I will get it sent to you!

  12. Totally agree with everything you’ve said about six pack abs. Plus, girls with bulging abs is sometimes a little creepy. If they’re slim and have abs, then that’s incredible for them- they’re lucky. But as far as “bodybuilder” girls..eh. I see girls in the gym who *only* work their abs. Every other day, every day..whenever I happen to see them, that’s all they’re focused on.

  13. I actually used to have the whole 6-pack ab thing going on when I was healthier and about 20 lbs heavier (ironically enough.) I did work very hard for them through a full-body weight routine and competitive swimming, but it was never really the main goal or anything.

    My nickname as “Abs of Steel” in high school, but I did find that some guys were intimidated in college. I couldn’t care less, as it was just a part of me that developed with the rest of my body, but I found it odd that they thought it wasn’t “soft” or “female” enough.

    Whatever. I would take just about anything these days if it meant I could get an ass and boobs back πŸ˜‰

  14. Finally! Someone who understands the “six pack syndrome”. πŸ™‚ I admit, I want them bad, but genetically, that’s probably not possible. It falls under the “oh, well, at least I look fit” category!! πŸ™‚ (plus, after 3 kids, and being 200 lbs, with each pregnancy…and then losing all of that weight…yada yada) πŸ™‚

  15. Love this post!

    It is annoying that so many people covet a ‘six-pack’ and think that if you have one, you are in perfect health and shape. Sure, some people have ripped abs and look great and it’s just in their genes. That’s great. But I know girls like that who actually don’t eat well at all.

    People may say that wanting a six-pack is about wanting to be healthy and fit and blah, blah. In my opinion, I think it’s more about vanity, which isn’t always a bad thing. Except when you choose it over health. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s what I think.

    Rant over πŸ™‚

  16. I used to have more a 6 pack, but like you brought up, it’s not worth it to me.

    Now, Im happy and content with nice defined abs and we can just leave it at that! I’m much happier that way!

  17. Pingback: Ready for “Experimentation”? | Eden's Eats

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