fit

Holidays! How to Enjoy them

turkey

Happy Holidays!

 

Here in the states, it’s going to be our annual turkey day tomorrow! Where we all come together and stuff our faces with some of our favorite foods. Then we get Christmas next months followed by New Years.

What I keep seeing over and over are fitness accounts on social media putting fear into people by saying ridiculous things such as ‘stay on track, eat light, the average person gains 10-12 pounds over the holidays!’ WHAT?! It’s only a month. You eat heavy 3 days. That’s it. 3 days consist of eating, yet you are telling these people not enjoy it by telling them some really stupid fact. To be able to gain even just a pound, let’s say, in a week’s time, you have to eat a surplus of 3500 calories! That’s a lot of calories. If you have really made your healthy lifestyle a habit, quit sweating it. Use those rolls and piece of pie as your fuel the next day to hit those PR’s.

What I am getting at guys, is quit falling for all the BS you see on the internet. Scientifically, you would have to be binging nearly daily over the course of this next month to gain even more than 5 pounds really, and not working out at allJust keep your gym routine going, stay hydrated and don’t EVER punish yourself nor feel guilty for eating. And especially do not ever work harder because you simply enjoyed your time with family. Eat that turkey and enjoy every bite!

 

-a

The Right Kind of Goals-Setting Yourself Up for SUCCESS

goalSHORT TERM GOALS VS LONG TERM-WHICH IS BETTER?

When it comes to goal setting, a lot of people want to think “I want to be a size 0 and I want it now”. What if I told you life doesn’t work like that? Just like if you set your eyes on your dream career, you don’t get to just make the decision and then make it happen over night. For most, it takes months, even years to get the proper education, degrees, certifications, and training to reach those goals. Well, just like the career change example, you can’t just make health and fitness goals that are so big and have them happen within 24 hours. But so many people think it should work that way, so when they starve themselves or they work out hard for only 1 day, they give up already. But the journey has only started, so why give up before you even tried?!

possibl

SHORT TERM GOALS=SEEING SUCCESS AND RESULTS QUICKER

Create goals that are stepping stones for your long-term goals. Think about your goals of getting a degree, or moving up in your career to being the boss-it doesn’t just happen overnight after you decide that’s what you want for yourself. Health doesn’t happen overnight, either. It’s broken into pieces and smaller steps you have to take little by little to help you get to that ultimate goal, and you may even change your goals as you move forward. For a degree, you break off little pieces of information you are required to know to obtain the degree in smaller forms in each class you take. With that dream job, you have to work hard everyday and slowly prove yourself to everyone in the position you start at and move up slowly. That’s how this works, as well. Don’t get overwhelmed with wanting to drop 20 pounds in a week. You are setting yourself up for disappointment before you even start. But if you tell yourself your goal is to eat a healthy breakfast every morning this month and work out for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, you will feel better about yourself. Or make a goal of wanting to get into your old jeans in a couple of months. Small goals lead you to the bigger ones. They are easier to obtain and keep you motivated when you reach them to keep going towards the bigger goals. Stay focused and keep pushing.

PROCESS GOALS VERSUS PRODUCT GOALS

There are two different types of goals-product and process. Mainly everyone sticks to product goals, like losing 10 pounds, getting to a goal weight, fitting a certain size. That’s great and all, but sometimes when you focus too much on your size, the physical deal of getting healthy and fit, you forget the whole reason you really should be doing this. The scale shouldn’t never be your only motivation. Don’t start down the path of being so focused on numbers. What are you going to do when you get to that goal weight? Just be satisfied and happy the rest of your life? Think you can just be that goal weight the rest of your life? Doubt it. Don’t get hung up on that stupid piece of metal. It doesn’t determine your wealth. And for the record, if you do this right and actually build some muscle, the scale may go up rather than down as your waist shrinks.

Process goals. My favorite. When I get a new client, I always ask them what their goals for themselves are first. And I always hear the product goals. They ever even think about process goals. That’s when I speak up and ask them about things they always wanted to do-hike up a mountain, go rock climbing, PR on squats, do a strict pull up, knock out 8 million push ups without stopping. Those are the goals that make people love this lifestyle. These types of goals are what get us going in the mornings, they keep us pushing and excited to keep this habit going. I haven’t stepped on a scale since my last doctor visit and don’t plan to until my next one. Ask me my weight I have no idea. But I can tell you my PR on deadlifts. Ask me how far I have come in my heavy squats. Ask me how many push ups I can knock out in 60 seconds. These are the goals you can see yourself get to and quickly. And you can always find something new to try and reach without it being unobtainable. My current goal at the moment? A full muscle up. The damn things suck, but I have learned the things I hate the most and suck at are the things I need to work on the most. Think about what you want to accomplish. Maybe it’s a half marathon. Or getting a handstand. Maybe master the splits. Learn to dominate the weight room and not feel intimidated. Swim a certain length without stopping. It could be to be able to bike a certain distance. Or learn to dance without feeling a fool. These goals are what make we (the fitness enthusiasts) never get tired of this life. It pumps our blood. It gets us going. This is our secret, if you want to say we have one.

 

Now, what do you want to accomplish?

 

 

Leg Day Workout

If you are looking to torch those legs, here’s the workout I did today that will really leaving your legs feeling like jelly (I was shaking for an hour after)

HEAVY back squats (I did these on the Smith Machine)

First set is warm up, so use a light weight (sometimes you can just use the bar to warm up and worry more on form than resistance). 15 Reps.

12/12. Add weights that cause you to struggle starting on 9-10. Add more weight (it can just be a small amount) each set. GO DEEP. Sit back like you are trying to sit down on a chair. If you struggle on activating your hips first before your knees or have a hard time sitting back, do box squats where you literally squat down and back until your booty lightly sits on a bench/chair/box and then immediately come back up. Keep the chest up and head tall. If you are just starting, try to keep your knees behind the toes. Have feet shoulder width apart and toes slightly pointed outwards.

10/10. Use the heaviest weight you can. Make sure you have the form down correctly before going as heavy as you can. Push through your heels, thinking about almost lifting your toes up.

smith m

-Leg Press

I did another warm up set of 15. Light weight.

12/12. Heavy weight where you start struggling again starting at rep 9-10.

10. Push through your heels. Feet shoulder width apart just like in your squats.

leg press

-Leg Extensions (feet together) superset with 10 squat jumps

12. Heavy enough weight it is hard at reps 9-10. FLEX your quads at the top of the motion.

10/10. Heavy weight. Increase weight for each set.

leg ext

-Leg Extension (each leg separate) superset with 10 jumping lunges (alternating legs)

12. Flex quad at the top of the motion.

10/10. Heavy weight. Keep the rest of your body stable and from moving.

single leg

-Walking Plate Lunges

3 sets of 10.

Holding plates in each hand by your side, do walking lunges where you have room. 1 rep=lunge on EACH leg.

lunge

-Sumo Goblet Squats (10 pulses on the last rep of each set)

12/12. Holding a dumb bell like a goblet in your hands in front of you, stand in a wide stance (wider than shoulder width apart) and squat low, sitting back. Pulse 10X on last rep, while sitting low and deep.

10/10. Raise your weight. Repeat as before, pulsing 10X on the last rep in your low squat.

goblet

-Standing Calf Raises SuperSet with Seated Calf Raises

12/12. For standing, you can start like a squat with a barbell (or Smith Machine) and literally come up on to your toes, flex your calf muscle, and go down. For seated, if your gym has the machine for calf raises, use it, or you can use a dumbbell/barbell resting on your knee(s) and simply lift the heels and point your toe, flexing your calf at the top of the motion, and back down.

10/10. Repeat.

calf raises                               SeatedCalfRaise              Seated_Calf_Raise

 

Finish with 15 minutes on the Stair Master OR do 20 minutes HIIT on the treadmill alternating every 30 sec from sprinting to walking on an incline.

 

DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH GUYS!

 

a

FAQ/Q&A

As a trainer, a coach, and simply an Exercise Science student, I am often asked questions, and they are the same for most people. So, I am making a good post to answer the most common questions all at once!

 

What should I be doing for my pre and post workout? Should I invest in those powders? If so, what kind?

In general, I don’t promote any special brands nor kinds of pre/post workouts. Why? I don’t use any myself, unless I am just really dragging one day. Otherwise, you can do really well just by eating carbs or even having a good ole cup of Joe. By having carbs, caffeine, or a small amount of sugar 30-90 minutes before you workout should do well enough to get you going. I do not recommend eating very heavy things, or a whole meal. I personally find it easy to upset my stomach. If you want to eat a big meal, I’d suggest maybe 2 hours before working to try and digest a good bit before you go bouncing and sweating. A good example of something to have for a pre workout would be a small pb&j with natural jelly and peanut butter, on 1 piece of whole wheat bread folded in half (to make a half sandwich), or even just simply eating a banana or two. Nothing fancy, no spending more money on unnecessary powders or drinks. As for post workout, be sure to consume carbs, protein, and you can also have some sugar as your body will use the sugars well right after you workout and/or when you first wake up. For post workout, I used to do shakes, but honestly, I am not huge on shakes as it is. If you are, go for it. You don’t have to spend tons on them though. Go to amazon and find a flavor that sounds good, look at reviews, and order. No need to spend $100’s of your hard earned money on such, though. You can simply get your post workout refuel from foods. Yes, I said it. You can. Don’t buy into the gimmicks that you require protein shakes. If you want, you can just have a meal of lean meat or leafy greens for protein (or even the popular peanut butter), have carbs such as a plain baked potato (rice cake with the peanut butter), and vegetables/fruits. Easy as that.

I just started working out, do I need to have different days for different muscle groups like I see everyone doing on IG (leg day, chest day, etc)?

No. If you just started there is no need to go hardcore like a bodybuilder. You can do full body workouts and worry about form first before you actually add resistance/weight. Make sure you can do your bodyweight first. For example, if you can not knock out multiple push ups (full on push ups, not on the knees, chest all the way down), you should NOT be worrying about bench pressing. If you don’t have the balance and control to do a squat that keeps your chest up and bending from your hips before you bend the knees, don’t add a bar on your shoulders until you can. If you almost fall every time you lunge, work on balance first (hold one leg up, keep balance for 60 seconds, switch legs, then add an unstable surface to do it on, then try with eyes closed) before you do weighted walking lunges or Bulgarian squats. You could also just split it up where you do upper body one day (arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs) one day and then do lower body the next (glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings). You should be seriously working out and more advanced to be splitting the muscle groups into their own special days. You should know your way around the gym and be lifting decently heavy. Otherwise, it really isn’t necessary.

Do I need to really carry around a gallon jug of water everyday? Is a gallon a day really necessary?

For the average person, no. Unless you are sweating a lot or really are trying to lose serious weight, no that much isn’t necessary. Be sure on days you do workout (especially cardio/outside/humid weather) you do need to be consuming more water than on days you aren’t as active. You should hydrate before, during, and after your workouts. And even if you do choose to drink a gallon a day, find a refillable water bottle you like and can carry around and figure out how many refills it would take for you to get to a gallon/or whatever your goal for the day is. I personally buy the 1.5L bottles of Smart Water and refill it anywhere from 2-4 times a day. Get a water filter on your kitchen sink if possible and you are good to go. No need for carrying the gallon jug all over the place. They are a bit big and bulky. And keep water bottles in reach (car, backpack, bag, desk, workplace, locker, etc) so you never have an excuse. That’s why I suggest getting a cheap bottle and size you like, I pay at most $3.00 for the Smart Water and just refill the bottle several times. I can pay for 4 of those at a time and have 4 bottles to place in areas so I have no excuse to not be hydrating.

I am doing the shake/juice/cleanse/ridiculous diet. What is your opinion?

These fad diets are ridiculous. The week long cleanses? Please, conduct even your own research on them. You do not have any reason to be cleansing for so many days in a row, and so often. If you need to cleanse after eating horrid food for a long time, simply eat RAW fruits and vegetables for a day. That’s it, guys. Cleanses are a scam. How can you even be cleansing really if those juices are just stripping the fibers and good stuff from the produce anyways? Cleansing should be making you to excrete the unwanted things from your body, without fiber, that doesn’t really happen. Eat a giant leafy salad with a drizzle of oil. Eat baby carrots as snack. Eat apples and bananas. Eat a bag of broccoli. It’s really not hard, expensive, nor needed to do for multiple days at a time. And don’t think you need to cleanse twice a month. As for the shake diets (Beachbody, SlimFast, blah blah), I am not an advocate for only consuming a shake in which has loads of sugar, hardly any nutritional value, for most meals of your day. Please tell me how a blended, sugar loaded drink can be better for you and make you lose more weight than simply eating fruits and vegetables. You can’t. There is no justification there. Besides the companies making you spend money. Most people won’t even last on the diets anyways. Why? Your body wants to chew food. It wants SOLID FOOD. A shake is just that-a shake. Juices are just that-juice. Your teeth are made for you to chew and consume solid food. It’s what your body is made to consume and use for fuel. Please give it that. Having a shake maybe for breakfast along with some fruit/eggs/etc would be more likely what I would suggest you do with them. Otherwise, you won’t stay full nor satisfied for long.

Is low carb the only way I can lose weight? I see it everywhere!

NO! NO! NO! Let me say it again: NO!. Why do carbs get a bad rap? Because most people are consuming terrible, refined, and fat loaded carbs rather than the carbs you need. EVERYTHING HAS CARBS. I bet those diets forgot to mention that fruit has natural sugars, it has carbs. Vegetables? Yup, they have carbs. Everything but water has carbs. And guess what? Carbs are literally what make your body run. Even your BRAIN uses carbs to work. Your body requires carbs to function and work. So how does it make any sense to be telling you carbs are the enemy? Instead, they should be telling you that the processed junk is what’s actually bad for you. If it says ‘low-carb’ it means it’s HIGHLY processed and terrible for you. I doubt it has much of anything your body can actually use. Think about that as you go down the aisle with all of the Atkins products.

I don’t know where I am messing up. I eat granola bars, flat bread, low fat foods, salads, organic stuff, drinking juice/diet drinks, and work out. What am I doing wrong?

In general, the magazines, TV, and internet promote ‘healthy’ foods for you to have, even though they are the opposite. Granola is not actually the healthiest thing in the world. That quaker man is lying to you. Look at it. See that sugar content? How about the nutritional values: the carbs/protein/fats are close to those of a candy bar. Think about that. Low fat foods are a chemical shit storm. Stay away. Unless you are getting sprouted/whole grain/unrefined bread (read: NOT WHITE) then you aren’t really being healthy. White breads/tortillas/rice have been stripped of all nutrients. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat, sprouted, and flax versions to get nutritious values your body can actually use. For salads, I see this too often. Yes, you are eating vegetables, but it looked like you were having vegetables with your ranch rather than the other way around. Dressings are what get you. If you are drowning your veggies in ranch/honey mustard/1000 island, you are loading up on unwanted fats and sugars. No bueno, guys. Instead, opt for oil based dressings, or simply squeeze a lemon or orange. I even use salsa to change things up. If you are drinking regular orange/apple/grape juice, you are consuming your days worth of sugar pretty much. Unless you can find no added sugar versions, you need to stick with making your own if possible. Pain in the butt, but worth it. For diet drinks: the sugar alternatives have been shown in studies to do so much damage to you. One of the main things that could be damaging your diet is the fact that these ‘0 calories’ sweeteners are actually causing you to crave more junk food, causing you to mindlessly go butcher your eating habits. They have also been shown to aid belly fat, cause migraines, and bloat you. Simply steer clear of these. Stevia is a great alternative, but there’s a catch even with it, unless you are getting Stevia and read the ingredient list and it ONLY has Stevia listed, you are still getting fooled. Even the ‘Stevia in the Raw’ packets are not pure stevia, they are usually mixed with dextrose and other fillers. Stevia can be found in a pure form usually as a liquid you can use a dropper to add to baking/drinks/whatever you want. It is an acquired taste, but once you slowly start using it (I started by adding it into my teas/coffees) you won’t miss regular sugar.

I have tried eating 100% ‘clean diet’ but I always end up eating like I did before. I saw someone say that that was the only way to actually becoming fit/thin/healthy. Is this true?

Nope. Unless you have SERIOUS dedication, you won’t stick to it. Especially if you live with/date/hang out with/work with/go to school with people who don’t eat that way, it’s hard. It literally puts a mental toll on you. You get seriously obsessive with ingredient lists, never wanting to eat other people’s cooking, never eating out, and simply just getting into a dark place. It’s a great idea and on paper, but to stick to something so serious is just bad. Plus if you do eat that way, when you do ‘treat’ yourself, you’ll get insanely sick. Balance. It’s all you need to find in life. If you can eat 80% whole, healthy, ‘clean’ foods, and then just 20% of the other stuff you like (donuts, alfredo, mac and cheese are some of my own faves lol), you’re doing really good. That’s why I have fallen in love with and have continued the Macro counting thing for nearly a year so far. I still eat things I love with my boyfriend/family/friends, but for the most part on a day to day basis, I am eating tuna, chicken, salads, raw veggies, etc. Even many body competitors are changing from the clean diet of eating chicken and brown rice only to following the flexible/IIFYM diets. It’s not hard, plus if you want to put on muscle, you really need to be eating to fuel the muscles otherwise, when you workout (read:cardio) you might dip into your muscles to burn for fuel for it. Not good.

I don’t want to look like the Hulk. Do I still need to be having protein? And lifting weights like the guys? I just want to ‘tone up/slim down’.

Unless you are currently or plan to take steroids, you won’t look like a man. Women naturally only have a super tiny amount of testosterone. We are full of estrogen instead. Men are the opposite, they are stock full of testosterone, making them getting huge and bulky more quickly and a bit easier than women can possible. Look it up for yourself if you are wondering. The facts are out there, guys. Lifting weights helps you actually burn more calories. Did you know that? 1 pound of muscle you add will burn 50 more calories a day just at rest than if it was 1 pound of fat. Put on 10 pounds of muscle, you burn 500 more calories in a day (at rest), so 500 X 7 (days in a week)= 3500 extra calories burned in a week alone (that’s not including your workouts). Guess what? 3500 calories is equal to a pound. You would lose a pound a week. Simple math. So lift the weights, girls. And as for protein, protein is actually already in you. It’s in and needed to sustain every single living cell. It is one of the amino acids that you need to recover and build muscles properly. Even if you don’t workout much, the body still needs protein. If you workout and lift to gain muscle, then you need to increase your intake to maintain. Simple.

 

 

If you have any questions that aren’t listed here, don’t hesitate to contact me!

 

-a

College Life-Balancing it All

I am a college student. I also work two jobs. And I already have one college degree, so you could call me a seasoned professional at this thing. I am seeing so many students struggling though, and it’s only been a month into the semester, so I jot down a few key things to help everyone out with handling stress as a college student (most of these can be used for life in general, really).

 

stress

College can be pretty overwhelming. Especially for freshmen coming in.

1.) Being away from home. College usually means students are just now getting out of the house where their parents handled the bills and took everything, so this is the first time they have to become an adult and figure out surviving on their own. This can be intimidating at first.

2.) Also, college kids are having to learn time management as most of us have to work as well as go to school to be able to pay for living and some school fees. Having to balance a job (or two) as well as schoolwork can be hard at first.

3.) Financial stresses are big problem when it comes to college kids. A lot of us can’t have a full time or decent job due to or schedules, so retail, food, and small jobs is where we have to be stuck at, and it’s not a lot of money. You have to stretch a dollar to go far.

4.) Many classes with lots of homework/projects/tests. Until you can figure out what type of classes and how many difficult classes you can handle on your plate in one semester, you can sometimes overload yourself when choosing your schedule until you figure it out. If you choose to have Chemistry, Econ, Trig, Anatomy, and Biology in one semester, you’re going to have a hard time.

5.) Time management (or lack thereof). When you go to college, you’ll need to work, stay on top of schoolwork, but you also want to be social. This is where you make the best friends of your life they say, but how can you pencil any social time in when you are overloaded on all of the other things? You have to manage your time and realize what is needed to be done and when you can have fun. A lot of college students will have fun and forget the assignments until last minute and then mess up and their grades reflect, causing more stress.

 

stopstress

 

How To Balance it:

Invest in a planner, or a calendar. You can even get a calendar that can be wiped off weekly/monthly to keep up with things. Due dates and test dates can creep up on you and if you are not aware of them and can see them often, you may lose track and then be lost when they actually come to be. I always try to grab schedules and the syllabus for each class on day one and mark when things are due for the semester that first week so I know what is going on for each and every class and when. You have to be prepared to succeed in college. This also gives you some more room to breathe.

It’s great to have fun, but get your tasks done FIRST. You can go out and get a drink with buddies one night a week, sure. But only after you have done your homework and studied already. Do not go out every night (I know it sounds appealing) but you need rest and you should actually be studying and reading for your more difficult classes DAILY. The more you review things, the more you will remember and it will make more sense to you. Do not spend thousands of dollars to come to college to party and waste your time being a social butterfly. Figure out what your real priorities are NOW, don’t wait until it’s too late and you flunk all your classes.

 

social

Use the resources your school offers. Did you know part of your tuition fees you get access to counselors, tutors, library study groups and so much more? Yes. This is true. You can get tutoring, counseling for handling stress, even visit the dietitian to help with eating right for FREE. Why not use these resources? You can be a very balanced and happy student just by using the school’s awesome resources.

Always remember your health. Many of us sit at a desk for hours on end doing schoolwork and studying, and then we feel sluggish, tired, and achy. Stretch some, go for a walk in the sunshine. Tell yourself that for every hour you spend in the library, you will get up and walk somewhere for 10 minutes and then come back. You will feel refreshed and not as frazzled. Also, be sure you aren’t getting all your food from the golden arches, a dollar menu, or being passed to you in your car through a window. You need energy to handle college properly, and this is a big key to staying energized and focused. Also be sure you get 7 or more hours of sleep. 7-9 is the best range I have found for me to keep my brain power fueling. Drink all the caffeine you want, but it doesn’t compare to actual sleep.

 

coffee

Take ME time. Being around roommates, friends, fellow students constantly can be draining in it’s own way. Find a past time or hobby that is just for you and something you enjoy. It could be rock climbing, reading, going to the gym, doing puzzles, playing a video game, going to Pet Land and petting each and every puppy in the store, or just waking up to watch the sunrise alone with a cup of joe. You have to find balance in life. Life is short, and you should want to spend it being successful and working hard, yes, but you also need to slow down once in a while and ENJOY yourself. Balance is key.

 

 

 

P.S

BTW I have my eBook pretty much ready….Except it’s on my laptop…which is not turning on and at the ‘doctor’ right now. So bear with me guys 😀

Benefits of Writing IT DOWN

We all get busy, we all think ‘well that isn’t so bad’ or ‘I worked out a few days ago…I think’. We all get wrapped up in school, work, family, friends, pets, chores, errands, and just keeping our heads above water (trust me I know-I work two jobs as well as a full time students and I get up and have to be somewhere by 8am every single day of the week-I GET IT). But while you are guessing about your food intake, you thoughts on how much you are eating, how much you are actually active and pushing your goals onto ‘next week’, today is still here and you can fix it all TODAY. RIGHT NOW.

LOL

It has been proven in countless studies that people who physically WRITE down their goals before they start trying to obtain them are more likely to stick with it and actually achieve them. 

Here’s some more statistics for you. This is the more troubling one:

 

50% (yes-HALF) of the people who start a new diet/workout routine or program will END UP QUITTING. 

This should be startling to you, as it is to me. Why? Why do we constantly put our health on the back burner? Years from now, you will have so many aches and pains, along with some diseases or disorders probably and wish you had taken your health seriously NOW before it was too late.

CHANGE YOUR APPROACH

Can we stop only dieting/exercising to lose weight?! This is aggravating as a fitness professional, it’s all I see. If you start think about simply getting healthy, becoming active to prevent diseases, to keep your body working properly, and to eat right to fuel it. It’s like you have a Lambo and you decide to never wash it, never have maintenance done and you decide to use orange juice instead of gas. Really guys? I love cheese fries as much as the next girl but I know my body can’t USE that junk for much of anything besides storing it as fat and hating me for putting that fried stuff in it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do eat a balanced diet, so I eat loads of fruits, veggies, protein packed lean foods but I also eat when I get a craving. My goal isn’t surrounding whether the scale says SKINNY or it says FAT ASS. Because guess what? That scale DOESN’T know me. For most of my life, for my height, according to those ridiculous charts doctors go off of based on height and weight to determine your BMI and whether you are overweight or not, I have ALWAYS fell under the overweight column. Even though I have been an athlete, with muscular legs and been in small clothing sizes. So I don’t believe the scales. You should ditch yours, too.

 

weight

 

That’s what weight is-mass times acceleration of gravity. Yet so many people spend their lives worrying about this stupid calculation. Chill out. Eat. Workout. Be happy.

 

Keep a journal-for work outs and for food

When you write down things and see it on paper, in one place, you can really start to realize what it is you need to work on, what you are doing that might be really working for you or damaging your goals. 

For food, I always come back to MyFitness Pal. Why? Because this world is glued to a freakin piece of technology constantly in their hand at all times, so by having an app you can take anywhere, you can even pull up foods if you are out to eat and about to order, to see what fits your macros/calories or any of that stuff if you count them. You can scan barcodes on most foods and it’ll pop up automatically, showing the content and serving size immediately. For average people, they do not realize a few things when it comes to eating

1.) Calorie/fat amount. This is a big one. If you asked someone the amount of calories in something they were eating, they would usually guess a number incredibly lower than what it really has in it. Educate yourself! If you thought there was only 300 calories in a slice of pie but it really has 800- you are seriously underestimating you daily amounts. So be sure you are aware of these things.

2.) Serving Sizes.  This is another biggie that I see even with educated individuals. Marketing people for foods and brands are smart. They know how to get you to buy their product and eat it. If they say that 1 serving of something is only 100 calories, you are sold and go digging in, head in the bottom of the bag like a vulture. Please read further on your nutrition label. The serving size is probably tiny, like 10 crackers, 2 cookies, etc. You have to watch this. If there were only 100 calories in a serving, but you just mindlessly ate 12 servings, well…….

 

As for your exercising and working out, you can easily do this by setting a goal-let’s say you want to work out at least 3-5 days out of a week. So write that goal and put it on the fridge. Now invest in a calendar, one you can hang somewhere you can see it daily, like the fridge, the wall, your bathroom, the front door, where ever. Get one that you can go back and see your progress later, so not just a washable weekly/monthly board one. Now pick two color markers. On each day, you will mark with a check mark in one color or a big X in the other color. The check mark will mean you worked out, the X will represent that you did not. 

 

download

(You can also Google ‘Workout Calendar’ and find some awesome templates to print out and use if you want!)

 

Of course you can do your calendar digitally, but there’s something about marking it yourself-with your own hands, and having a physical connection with this log. It’s just like writing your goal, you can type it out but it won’t be the same as if you wrote it in your own handwriting with pen and paper. There’s a psychological connection when you actually write with your own hands that you don’t get from technology. You can also see your progress and how you have been adhering to your goal all at once, rather than clicking on the days one at a time on your computer. But, to each their own. Do whatever works best for YOU!

 

Happy Working out guys!

 

-a

Why HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a Hit in the Fitness World

You may be seeing interval training everywhere. Whether it is actually HIIT style or some other interval training, it’s out there and it’s growing.

Why might you ask?

Interval training has too many proven benefits and reasons to do it, why shouldn’t you?

hiit

With interval training, you go from cardio to strength training. You do something that is heart pumping and then a time period of something that lowers that heart rate. With HIIT, it’s exactly as the name says it is. You interval between a very high intensity movement and combine it with periods of either a complete rest with no movement or you do something like light jogging/walking. You can do this in any time frame, from 30 sec each or 60 sec high and then 30 sec low, etc.

The Benefits?

Interval training, especially HIIT training has been proven to promote fat loss, it increases your metabolism and has been known to continue burning and keep your metabolism boosted even up to 48 hours after your training session.You can also get a mega burn and workout in a smaller time than doing a steady workout of any kind. With HIIT, you can burn many more calories and wear yourself out in less than half the time of a normal cardio session. Instead of running at a steady pace for 60 minutes, you can get even more of a workout and more of a burn in about 15-20 minutes. Who wouldn’t choose the latter of the two?

Another great benefit I haven’t even mentioned yet is not plateauing. If you are a runner and run the same speed, same distance and same time each day, your body is going to get used to it. You will plateau. But if you keep your body guessing and it never knows what is coming next, you can’t plateau. Your body will always be surprised, from changing the times and speeds you can do a different workout each time.

What if I am not that fit? I am just a beginner.

HIIT/interval training does not mean you have to sprint at level 12 for 2 minutes at a time. HIIT is meant to be what is high intensity to you. If you haven’t ran in 10 years, you won’t be sprinting at level 12 anytime soon. And that’s fine. If you get a good heart rate intensity at speed 4, choose it. And you don’t have to sprint to get the benefits of interval training, you can change the speeds, the resistance, and incline depending on the cardio machine you are choosing. You can also choose other things besides just running on treadmills for cardio. You can also do the bikes, eliptical, rowers, etc. Interval training isn’t set in stone and you shouldn’t feel pressured to have to do the same workout as anyone else. Everyone has a different fitness level. If you are out of breath and your heart rate has significantly increased, you do not have to go further just because the person next to you can go two more levels above you. Never strain yourself.

 

It’s YOU VERSUS YOU.

 

Changing Your Habits By Just Changing Your Thinking

I had a huge exam last Friday, so I was a little MIA preparing for it. But I was still on track and worked out 5 days last week. I didn’t get much sleep, but I have definitely been making up for it the last two nights. I start my new job at World Gym tomorrow, and I am pretty excited about it. I’ll even be teaching classes. And I hope to get training to officially teach yoga classes! I am looking forward to the future.

What I see a lot when it comes to the struggles of wanting to lose weight, get healthy, and get fit is one thing over and over and over again.

I feel hungry/I feel deprived/I miss junk food/I like snacking too much/it’s too hard/I don’t know what to eat/I have to eat more than celery.

What if I told you changing into a healthy lifestyle isn’t as hard nor as complicated as you think it is? A lot of people overthink it. Or they are following and reading about the hardcore fitness people who are either models or competitors who eat rice, chicken and spinach all day. Life isn’t like this if you are looking to be healthy or fit. I swear. Even if you get into this and want to compete, you still actually don’t need to live off of brown rice and chicken. (Don’t believe me? Look up #iifym on instagram and tell me there aren’t any competitors posting Poptarts and peanut butter all on their feed).

Think of changing this way:

REPLACE YOUR NORMAL FOODS/SNACKS/DRINKS WITH HEALTHY ONES.

No starving. No deprivation. Simply replace. If you think of it in this way, it’s a bit easier on the brain. Like a mind game. If you tell yourself ‘well I can’t have those Cheetos’ you’ll sit there and think about Cheetos until you go insane you are in a pool or your own drool from your mouth watering over that cheesiness. But if you tell yourself ‘I am sort of hungry and would like some Cheetos. But I am going to have some string cheese and broccoli.’ Literally that’s it. That’s the secret. Don’t just say ‘I can’t have that stuff’, say ‘I am going to choose better foods because I know they are better for me’. And of course, once in a while you do get to indulge in those cravings. If you are really strict on yourself, you won’t stick to this. You will binge and get nowhere.

Make your favorite dishes, but healthier!

There are so many people even on Instagram and Pinterest that have awesome recipes on there for healthified versions of your favorite foods. Like spiralizing squash or zucchini for ‘pasta’ dishes, switching to whole wheat/multigrain waffles from the regular white, drinking juice infused water rather than sugary juice, have sparkling water with fresh lime instead of a soda, eat a protein bar rather than a candy bar (there are some out there that taste like candy, no lie), make banana ‘ice cream’, and so on. If you want a snack, have one. But a healthier one.

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Once you change you mind and thinking, your body will follow. If happens. Every single time. Don’t overthink fitness and health. Don’t stress out over these changes. Accept them. And love them. It makes this transition easier and you’ll be happier.

A Day in the Life of this Ginger

I feel like a lot of people do pretty well with the working out part of trying to get healthy and fit, but they struggle with the diet part. Like I have stated before, you have to change your habits when you commit to becoming healthy. And you have to learn not to associate food with guilt anymore. Just know the bad foods from the good foods, eat more of the good foods. Too many people feel overwhelmed and try to go too far with things. Keep it simple.

To help you get a general idea of things, here is my day in a nutshell.

Workout Followed by Breakfast

I got up at 9 since I knew I wanted to work out prior to a thing I had at around noon. I got up and changed into the workout gear and did a good hamstring session followed by fasted HIIT cardio. Then I had to refuel!

My workout was:

  • Warm up (about 15-20 low weight reps) deadlifts
  • 12/12/10 Deadlifts (standard)
  • 12/10/10 Straight Leg Deadlifts
  • 10/10/10 Single Straight Leg Deadlifts (each leg)
  • 15/12/12 Laying Leg Curls
  • 12/12/10 Standing Leg Curls (single leg)
  • 12/10/10 Cleans
  • 10/8/8 Good Mornings
  • 12/10/10 Power Snatch
  • 12/10/10 Glute raises (laying flat on floor with feet on bench/ball/step with knees bent up, lift glutes and hips up off the floor, squeeze and flex booty at top, come back down)
  • 12/10/10 Squats
  • 20 rounds of 30 sec light walk/30 sec sprint

 

polar

I worked out for an hour and 15 minutes total. Not too shabby. I was ready for some post workout protein before I jumped in the shower.

 

postowkrout

 

YUM! Protein bar and all natural vanilla greek yogurt!

I consumed about 2 Liters of water while working out, so halfway to my daily goal of about 4 Liters (a little under 4 L = 1 gallon).

I jumped in the shower and did a few tasks like go to the bank and met with someone really quick down the road. I sped home due to the fact the water was hitting me. Yes, you will pee a lot. But, you feel better. You are ridding your body of toxins and things all the time, so you feel over all so much better. Just time when you drink your water so you are not stuck on the road/in traffic/in a meeting/etc. No big deal.

So I got home and was HANGRY. Needed a good lunch. I usually consume more food on days I train legs in any form or fashion.

lunch

Lunch was a salad combined of mixed greens, baby spinach, fresh mushrooms, feta crumbles, baby carrots, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes (I LOVE TOMATOES), and drizzled slightly with a Lite Italian dressing. I had a low fat string cheese on the side and a protein shake. The protein shake was made of a VI vanilla shake packet, half a scoop of strawberry milkshake protein powder, milk, and a few frozen strawberries blended nicely.

I did some self studying on fitness stuff and worked on some website stuff as well as did some chores around the house.

I got hungry again in about 2-3 hours after lunch and listened to my stomach. Had to get a snack.

snack

Don’t let anyone tell you fruits will make you fat. I live off of fruit a good bit of my day. I usually have a good portion at breakfast. And after dinner. Those people are crazy psychos. Fruit is good for you.

fruit

Protein Bar (my fave one, BTW) and 4 Kiwis (YES FOUR OF THEM), 4 strawberries, and some mandarin orange.

Then, my favorite meal came.

Dinner.

I love dinner. Don’t ask me why. But I don’t get excited about eating until later in the day it seems.

Healthy Burritos

gr tturk

Get some ground turkey. Thaw it out if it was frozen. Cook it until it is brown. Add a small bit of water and low sodium taco seasoning.

topping

Also needed:

-Whole wheat/low carb/high fiber/etc tortillas

-Black Beans

-Natural/reduced fat sour cream (or try plain Greek yogurt!)

-Salsa of choice

-Tomatoes (AGAIN BECAUSE I LOVE THEM. Judge away.)

-Cheese if your macros/taste buds want (low sodium, vegan, reduced fat, etc)

-Brown rice if you want

Heat up your tortillas (30 sec in the microwave is great)

Throw your goodies into a tortilla, wrap up that goodness and dig in!

burrito magic

BURRITO MAGIC

yeahhh

YUM.

By now, I have had about 3.5 Liters of water. Going strong!

After dinner, gotta have something sweet. I made some homemade healthy peanut butter cups, so I had 2 of them.

pb cup

Soooo good.

I am working on an eBook. The peanut butter cups will be in it for all you lovelies. So get excited.

I will be finishing the evening with my guy watching Finding Carter and will do some night time yoga before bed. Good Tuesday. Hope this helps give you a general idea of how I do things on a daily basis. My ending macros look like this:

IMG_20140715_221242

It was a good day.

Happy Tuesday!

-a

Watermelon Slush!

It’s summer. It’s hot. How do you cool down? How about a delicious slush drink, but healthy? Here is the answer to your prayers!

 

Watermelon Strawberry Slush

watermelom

This. This is all you need.

  • Frozen Strawberries
  • Fresh Watermelon
  • Blender

 

That’s it. Put a handful of frozen berries in the blender. Throw chunks of your watermelon in. Blend. Tada.

slush

It is soooo delicious.

If you aren’t a berry fan. Simply put a handful of plain old ice cubes in the blender with your watermelon chunks.

Stay cool!

-a