iffym

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

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

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

Health on a Budget

Shopping Without Breaking the Bank

So I got home yesterday from my vacation and lounging on the beach to a problem. A big problem. Our fridge/feezer some how opened itself and was hanging wide open. All of the food I had unfortunately bought prior to the trip was now ruined. I had tried to get frozen stuff so when we got back I wouldn’t have to worry about going to the store for like a week. And then this happened. Oh well.

I had to replace everything. I could have cried. But I put my big girl pants on and got up this morning to go to the store (or stores).

 

Try multiple places for the best deal

It might be a pain, but it’s the best strategy if you can possibly do it. If you live in a more rural area this might not be an option. But if you can try different stores, it’s the best way to save money on certain things. Once you get the hang of this and have gone to the stores near you, you will know what you can get where (where the best prices are).

 

I went to a store that is off the grid pretty much first. Around Atlanta, there’s this chain of stores that are kinda, well, rough. But cheap. And I can get local produce for the cheapest out of anywhere. Even back where I grew up there is a store similar to this, local produce, cheap prices.

Local produce is the way to go when it comes to your fresh fruit and vegetables. Especially if you want to save money. Organic is great, but it’s not the cheapest. Local supports your local farmers and economy and you can feel better about eating produce rather than that lab made produce you find like at WalMart. Gross. Bite into a standard apple at WalMart then bite into a locally grown apple. I will let you be the judge. If you can’t find local produce, the next option would be frozen. Frozen produce is harvested at their peak and as long as you make sure the frozen fruit doesn’t have added sugar, frozen produce is usually pretty cheap for a good bit (store brands can be $1 a bag!). There is always a cheap option for healthier foods. You just have to look and think outside the box.

 

From the first store:

 

food depot

For only $85 I got:

  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwis
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries (fresh and frozen-I prefer frozen for shakes and smoothies)
  • Lettuce
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Steam fresh frozen sides (lightly sauced)
  • Fresh (not frozen) tilapia

I also got the non-fitness/health related stuff like the toilet paper, detergent, sponges and soap.

 

Kroger trip:

After the first store trip I moved on to Kroger. While at Kroger, I took note of items that are great choices for those on a budget, even if I didn’t get it myself this time.

breadfibermuffinswheat

 

Bread wise, there are a few good options I would suggest for budget friendly shopping. There are always good deals going on at Kroger, you just have to go and see what deals are going on. Always try to stick with whole wheat, whole grain, or multi grain bread. The sugar free whole wheat is a great option. I also love those light english muffins, which were on sale so I went ahead and got two packs to last a while (I usually eat at least 1 a day).

 

pbingred

pbbing

Peanut butter is a great staple of a healthy/fitness lifestyle. Good macros for the macro counters. Here are two good options from Kroger. The best ingredient wise is the bottom one, with only peanuts and salt in the ingredients. Some of us aren’t a huge peanut fan and can’t handle it (like msyelf). So then you move on to the next option, the top picture. Longer ingredient list, but all natural ingredients and since I won’t be eating the peanut butter jar in a day, having this in moderation is fine.

 

packsalmontuna

Tuna is always a great way to up that protein without any fat or hardly any carbs. If you also like salmon, Kroger has got you covered. If you are really pinching pennies, go for those 79 cent cans. If you have a little more room money wise, the packs are great for on the go since you just rip the pack and eat out of it.

water

I would suggest investing in a $20/$30 filter for your kitchen sink, but if you live in a dorm or some other issues, it may not be an option. So this is how you can afford to have clean water daily. 88 cent gallons of spring water is where it’s at. You can drink from the jug or simply use them to refill your favorite bottle.

macpasta

So you still want pasta. Here are good options for your pasta cravings that can fit your macros/diet. First, Annie’s is a well known brand for being organic and a lot of gluten free options. This is the reduced sodium I have shown, because I know some of you may have heart/blood pressure problems. This is a good way to still enjoy the foods you love (in moderation). Then we have my favorite pasta for spaghetti. Corn pasta! It was less than $3. So good with a great garlic tomato sauce.

turkey

Love tacos? Burgers? How about meatballs for spaghetti with the corn pasta? Ground turkey is a great lean and less greasy way to enjoy those foods you love.

mixsyrup

If you are part of the macro counting life (yes, it’s possible), here is your message from heaven. Heart healthy pancake mix (or try to look for a whole wheat/multi grain one) and lite or sugar free syrup. I bought the frozen multi grain waffles this go around as I already have this mix.

jello

Looking for something sweet? Hellooooooo sweet treat with super great macros. 10 calories sugar free jello! Add fresh fruit and whipped cream and tada. 2 for $4 can’t beat it.

cart

This was my cart. A little over $150 was the damage for all of this. Remember, I had to replace my fridge and freezer foods. So for two people, this wasn’t that bad. I probably can live off of this with my guy for at least 2 weeks.

kroger

This is the haul. about $170 spent at Kroger. So I replaced my food that ruined and them some for a total of $255. That’s right, only $255.00. If you ate out for every single meal, two of you, for two weeks, how much would you spend? It would be at least $50 a day. $50 x 14 = $700

That is a savings of $445!

 

Here is what I got at Kroger:

  • Deer Park water for my guy who works outside in the heat
  • Milk
  • Corn Pasta
  • Protein Bars
  • Microwaveable rice
  • Potatoes (mashed and baked)
  • Chicken thighs & breasts
  • Little shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Flounder
  • Fresh Scallops
  • Ground turkey
  • Multi Grain waffles (Kroger brand!)
  • Natural sour cream
  • Greek yogurt (10 for $10)
  • Sugar free jello
  • Rotisserie Chicken (already cooked-easy meals for the next couple of days)
  • Beans (pinto, black and black eyed peas)
  • Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Fiber One bars (my guy loves them for breakfast)
  • Spinach and 50/50 greens
  • Low carb, macro friendly tortillas
  • English muffins
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Blackberries
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Apples (2 for $1)
  • Sugar free syrup

And my non health/fitness stuff like lotion, face wash, etc.

 

 

For dinner, we had the rotisserie chicken, rice, pinto beans and broccoli. Super quick, easy, delicious and budget friendly!

din

I will keep posting how I use these items I bought to help you out!

If you have any questions or need guidance, I am always here for you. Just email me at ashhealthgirl@gmail.com

Happy Shopping!

-a

Example of a Shopping List

Wanting to eat well, to lose weight, become healthy, and get fit is a great thing to want to do. But the problem I keep hearing over and over again is the problem of ‘it’s too expensive to get healthy food’. Are you sure about that? Let’s break this down.

So, you eat out, let’s say, 5 times a week.

You get a $10 meal each time.

=$50.00 there.

You buy snacks and drinks when you stop and get gas=$30.00 there.

When you go to the store (then stop at McD’s on the way home because you don’t feel like microwaving a TV dinner) you buy Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and Frosted Flakes (name brands, not the store):

=$100.00 there.

That’s nearly $200.

Now let’s see what we can do with eating healthier.

At the store:

-Kiwis are 2/$1=$4

-Oranges= $4.00

-Frozen strawberries=$2.50

-Milk of choice=$4.00

-Greek yogurt is .90 on sale=$4.50

-Oatmeal=$2.00

-Whole wheat bread=$3.00

-Whole wheat pasta (or corn)=$2.00

-Laughing Cow wedges (cinnamon and the tomato herb)-$5.00

-Local Grapes-$5.00

-Green beans (canned) are on sale 10/$10=$3.00

-Natural Peanut butter (store brands are now making the natural kind)=$1.50

-Ground Turkey= $3.50

-Local tomatoes= $4.00

-Fresh Spinach=$4.00

-Frozen tilapia=$3.00

-Frozen Salmon=$4.00

-Microwavable brown rice=$2.00

-Tomato Sauce on sale 10/$10= $2.00

-Natural grape jelly-$2.00

-Multi grain english muffins-$2.50

-Stevia packets-$2.00

-Green tea bags=$1.50

-Gallons of water (if you do not have a filter)=$7.00

-Babybel cheese minis=$3.00

-Sliced oven roasted turkey for sandwiches=$2.50

-Eggs=$2.00

-Balance bars pack of 6=$5.00

-Frozen vegetables=$10.00

-Olive oil-$3.00

-Rotisserie Chicken (already cooked-put in fridge and microwave when you want to eat)-$5.00

Guess what that equals to?

$108.50

YES. This was $91.50 cheaper than eating like crap. 

Want to know why the healthy, planned way is probably cheaper in the long run? Eating unhealthy and not monitoring what you are putting into your body usually means you are eating and buying on impulse. When you get hungry, you didn’t plan what to eat, or when to eat so when you suddenly get hungry, you go after the first thing you crave, without a thought as to the dollar amount. Eh, not the best idea.

YOU CAN EAT HEALTHY AND SAVE MORE MONEY THAN EATING POORLY.

I was always broke when I ate like crap. I now monitor my spendings and save money every month. How? I buy my weekly supplies on the weekend, and I usually go to 2-3 different stores as I know where it is cheapest to get certain items (yes, Kroger and Wal-Mart are at the top of my money saving places to get my staples-so no need for fancy stores). Look for sales. Get local produce to get the cheapest, best tasting produce and to support your local economy instead of supporting the scientific farmers that create the produce you see in chain stores like Wal-Mart.

 

Here is a list for you to be able to save next time you go to the store.

PicsArt_1404699196339

I will start posting daily meals and recipes with these items soon! Or you can go ahead and follow me on Instagram or Twitter and see daily food pics!

 

a

 

 

Meal of The Day- Lobster Pasta!

Healthy Lobster Pasta

20140703_202458

So you’re excuse for not eating right is: on a budget/no time/picky eater or family/I don’t know what to fix.

Who doesn’t like pasta? Who doesn’t like lobster? Not many people.

I made two versions of this awesome dish-one with whole wheat noodles for my guy and then one with zoodles (read: zucchini noodles).

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I got the organic whole wheat pasta from Whole Foods yesterday. If you or your family are new to this healthy eating thing, definitely go with the whole wheat pasta recipe before making them jump in the deep end with the zoodles.

If you are going for the zoodles, here you go!

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I got this spiralizer for under $10 off of amazon. I had seen many people use them and make vegetable ‘noodles’ so I figured I better try it. I was skeptical if my cheap one would work, and it did!

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You literally just put your zucchini (mine is organic- yours should be too or it should be local) after you wash it (yes, wash all vegetables, even organic) and cut the ends off of it. I stuck one end into the spiralizer and twisted it.

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I did need to occasionally chop the pointy end off of the veggie that was in the spiralizer, to be able to twist and make the zoodles properly. Otherwise, it was getting mushy.

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Spiralizing was actually super fun! The zoodles was short at first and I was getting sad because I like long noodles. After a minute though, they got long and awesome.

I went ahead and got the water boiling to cook the whole wheat pasta for my guy and got out the rest of my ingredients:

  • Olive Oil (I used extra virgin, you can use any)
  • Tomatoes (I used home grown from the garden, you can use any type like Roma, cherry, heirloom….)
  • Mozzarella (the fresh block kind)
  • Lobster (or any seafood/meat of your choice)
  • You can also throw in a handful of fresh spinach to make it even better. Or add some fresh cracked pepper for a flavor boost 

Cut your mozzarella into small chunks, they will melt and get stringy quicker. Everyone loves melty, stringy cheese.

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Chop your tomatoes. Get the meat ready (chop it, whatever you need to do as the dish is really quick when you throw it all in the pan on the stove-if your meat choice needs to be cooked, you should do so *prior* to all of this).

Once the whole wheat noodles were cooked, I got them off of the stove and drained. Then I threw them into a big skillet. I topped with all of my ingredients and drizzled with olive oil.

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Start mixing and tossing your ingredients to get them all mixed up and make sure you keep it moving so nothing burns in the dry pan. Your heat on the eye of your stove should not be cranked up all the way. Medium heat does the job just fine. Keep stirring and tossing until the lobster is heated and your cheese is melting. Turn the eye off and let it sit to still heat some in the hot pan. Transfer the mixture into your serving bowl and VOILA.

For the zoodle dish, you do the same thing, except you will put your freshly spiralized zoodles into your pan and then top it with your ingredients.

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Toss around over heat until the lobster is hot and your cheese is nice and gooey. It will be hard to resist eating it before you get it on the plate, I know.

Transfer to your serving plate/bowl. And dig in.

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Final whole wheat product.

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Final zoodle product.

I honestly loved the zoodle dish more than the whole wheat. But they were both great and I am sure you (& your significant other/family/kids/roommate/grandma) will surely love it. This was a good meal that was fairly cheap (Lobster was 2 for $5, pasta was $3.00, tomatoes were home grown, olive oil we already had, and the cheese was $4.00= I spent only $12.00 on feeding my guy and I). This was also a very fast meal. I spent 10 minutes. From start to finish. The longest thing was cooking the wheat pasta and making my zoodles, which I did both at the same time and still, took no time.

NO EXCUSES!

Please let me know if you try this! You can tag me in your meal pictures on Twitter or Instagram by tagging @fitgirlrules

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Working Out as a Female

As women, we are thought of as fragile, dainty, and very different from men. We always have. We have fought to be thought of as equals in the work place, with earning the bread as well in families, to be able to vote, and to be able to stand side by side our fellow males. So why is it that in the fitness world, women are supposed to be completely different? We are supposed to be cardio queens and not step foot in the weight room unless we are crazy or lesbian according to most of the fellow males of the gym. But why? And why is it that so many women think that cardio is all they should do and all that they need.

False.

Being a cardio queen won’t make you ‘tone’ (note: I hate the word ‘tone’. When most people want to say they just want to ‘tone’ up, it really means they want to lose fat and gain muscle definition) or make you magically able to still eat whatever you want as long as you run for 6 hours afterward.

Pick up some weights. Some heavy ones.

You read that right. You don’t even need to go to the gym in the weight room (where you will more than likely will be judged, looked at oddly, or harassed by the males) if you know what to have at home. Even body weight exercises are great for building some muscle to. I barely know grown men who can knock out 100 burpees in a row (burpee= jump up, squat down and get into plank position, push up, plank position, jump back up-that’s 1) or be able to do many handstand push ups NOT against a wall. It takes some muscles to do any of these.

Why lift? I just want to lose weight. Cardio is great for that right?

Cardio is great at first, when you go from doing nothing to running/biking/whatever it is you want to do. But your body will get used to it. You will get to a point where you running 2 miles everyday is expected and it no longer does anything for your metabolism or health really. By switching it up, you can prevent this from happening. Cardio queens always end up hitting a plateau and they think ‘oh no’. They don’t know what they are doing wrong. They probably also thought they could just start running/cycling/etc and not worry about their diet because they’d lose the weight no matter what. False, again.

Without combining both exercise and keeping up with your food, you won’t really get the results you want, or if you do, it probably won’t last because your habits didn’t actually change and you’ll gain it back.

weights

Don’t just do 80 curls with a 2 lb weight.

Yes. I am saying it. I have seen so many trainers give women a really light weight and tell them to do like a million reps. If you want results, like the kind you see in fitness magazines, if you don’t want to just look skinny, you’ll use a higher weight.

Lift heavy. Monitor what you are eating. Do cardio only a few times a week, for short time.

HIIT cardio is the best cardio if you are looking to maintain your muscle, speed up your metabolism and aren’t a fan of running much. A 10 minute HIIT session will even get your metabolism boosted for the next 48 hours more than a 60 minute steady session.

Building muscle boosts your metabolism.

Muscles burn more than fat. It’s simple. Once you put on some muscle, you will have your metabolism being your friend rather than your enemy.

If you are starving yourself and just doing steady cardio, you have probably pretty much killed your metabolism. It’s near non-existent. You will have to eat, yes, actually eat to reverse your metabolism.

STOP EATING 1000 CALORIES A DAY.

You are probably constantly tired, never have energy, feel miserable and anxious, and hate your life. Wanna know why? YOU HAVE TO FUEL YOUR BODY.

I get so sad seeing all these females eating a 1200 calorie diet a day and then jumping on an elliptical for an hour. You have to eat to see results. You will need to eat often and twice those calories (but with good fats, protein, and carbs) to reverse the damage that has been done.

Yes, I was one of these girls. I starved myself for about a year. I wanted days of only eating 600 calories a day, then I got on the elliptical for 60 minutes minimum. I had just gotten out of high school and cheer/gymnastics. I was clueless on how to live in the real adult world and try to not blow up without my high school sports to keep me active. I wanted to look like a model. But I was clueless on what to do, and how much damage I actually was doing to myself. I would fall asleep at times I really shouldn’t have, and I slept all the time. I was a bitter, angry, worried, and anxious person. When I look back, I honestly hate the person I was.

There needs to be info and help and guides for females to know what really works. I want to help make that happen. If you need help reversing your metabolism after eating 1000 calories a day, after spending endless hours on the treadmill, please contact me. I would love to help you get on the right track. I really want to change the myths of getting in shape and being healthy.

 

I genuinely want to help.

 

Email me: ashhealthgirl@gmail.com

 

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Supplements-Are they actually worth it?

In the big bad world of fitness and health are thousands upon thousands up supplements. Some are to be the ‘miracle pill’ or tea, or whatever to make you lose weight and gain muscle overnight. This is false. I don’t care what the product is, not possible. But behind all of the giant companies with their false ads, are the little guys hiding that are actually worth a damn. I, myself, take only a small amount of supplements. I mean, I barely even make protein shakes with powdered whey after my workout as I workout from home and prefer to get my protein from real sources, or I would rather have a protein bar (with good macros of course) rather than stand at the blender and have to suck down this huge shake before I shower (I have skin problems and need to shower pretty quick after sweating so much). I could wait until after I shower, but depending on my womanly duties of shaving every inch of my body every so often, I might end up going past the time window you should consume your protein to recover and hold on to your muscle mass [30 minutes after working out you should consume your post-workout/protein]. So, I have started taking BCAAs as soon as I finish my workout with a glass of water as well as shove a small protein bar in my mouth (I am an attractive lady, can’t you tell?). But, as I always say, to each their own. If you are into whey protein (the giant tubs of protein in varieties of flavors in almost any store, pharmacy, or health store) and want to mix it with water in your blender bottle at the gym (**pic of blender bottle for the new people to this lifestyle, you can buy these pretty much anywhere, online, Target, CVS, and so on**) blender b   then go for it. I personally still feel the chalky, gritty powder and I would prefer to blend it actually in a blender, with milk and ice (to make it thick like a milkshake) to make it enjoyable to me. I think a lot of fitness people choose the blender bottle with milk or water for their protein intake after the gym because they feel like they have to. Like it’s their only choice. I think life is too short and I am going to enjoy how I have my protein, simple as that. Another thing very popular right now is Quest Bars. You can find them online or at health stores (think GNC, Vitamin Shop, Whole Foods, etc) and they have several different flavors.

quest bar

I have tried them, and I hate them. I tried baking them, broiling them, with yogurt, everything I could think of. So many people love them (like, use them for everything in baking and even bake small pieces to make a ‘cereal’) but I just can’t stand them.

There are many other brands out there that I enjoy and are still macro friendly.

My favorite at the moment, are the Balance Bar brand. Delicious, macro friendly, so many flavors, affordable, and a good size. Some protein bars out there are huge and ridiculous in my opinion. My favorite flavor currently is cookie dough.

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Supplements are tricky. You can take a pill form for pretty much any and all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to have in a day’s time, but is that what we should do? Instead of eating healthy foods take a pill? You should always try and get your nutrients from FOOD FIRST. The pill route is great if you really are struggling with a deficiency, but try and get what you are looking for in food forms.

With that said, I am not big on supplements. I do not believe your body absorbs the pill form on nutrients the way it does wholesome foods. Your body is meant to use the food as it’s fuel (like the gas to your car), but the pill form is just another man made route to try and make life ‘easier’. We as a society are so lazy we would rather take vitamins in a pill than eat some damn vegetables. That’s sad.

These are the only things I am using at the moment, and I have my reasons for each one.

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BCAAs. For recovering after a hard lifting session and to hold on to the muscle you have worked hard for. BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. This is the number one supplement out there with the most research pointing towards success and only good things from it. If you are wanting to diet down but also gain muscle, it’s nearly an oxymoron. But BCAAs make it possible. BCAAs and glutamine are natural amino acids that are actually already in our bodies. They are building blocks for muscles.

Glutamine.

Like BCAAs, glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid that your body already produces. It’s a building block for building and maintaining those rock hard muscles.

Cellucor HD

Many people take preworkouts. There are powdered forms, and pill forms. I have tried a few. The Cellucor C4 (powdered preworkout) is great if you can deal with powdered mix drinks. I bought some in Strawberry Margarita, but just mixing it with water in my blender bottle wasn’t doing it for me. If I mixed it with hot water and put it in the fridge like Koolaid, I might be happier, oh well. I’ll try that later I guess. So I take the HD pill as my preworkout. It is a fat burner as well gets you pepped up with energy and able to focus on my gainzzz (read: working out hard to build muscle). I do not suggest taking more than one a day. I simply take one about 60-90 minutes before my workout. The bottle says take one in the morning and then one during the afternoon. Don’t get hooked on things like this. It also has high caffeine amounts, which may interrupt your sleeping at night. Many people have said they also had problems with their stomach when taking this. It is probably because the back of the bottle says twice a day and even suggests taking up to 3 a day. Please take caution when taking supplements. Take it for what you need/want it for and no more.

Cellucor CLK

Raspberry ketones is a chemical taken from red raspberries and there have been a few researches done that shows this chemical to increase the metabolism. I only started taking this as a sort of trial and error experiment. I had someone tell me they swore they were seeing abs because they took ketones with every meal. I am still skeptical, but this was a good price as an add on from an online health order so I thought I would try it. I have not noticed any ‘miracles’ like Dr. Oz himself tried to claim from this chemical in a pill form. I have noticed my #2 is red now and it scared me like no other at first (TMI, but I don’t want anyone else worried if they do try this product).

Combining the CLK and HD are supposed the Cellucor duo to seeing amazing results. I have been taking the two for about a week, so there is still time to see. I am the guinea pig to try and tell you if it really works or just save your money.

**For preworkouts, you can also simply eat. Eat carbs, eat something like an english muffin (whole grain) with a little natural peanut butter. Or eat a banana. Or drink some coffee. It is NOT necessary to consume a preworkout**

A lot of people are also taking fish oil daily. I personally consume a good amount of fish naturally. I am a sucker for fresh sushi rolls from Whole Foods, as well as stocking my freezer with shrimp, scallops, salmon, and other white fish from the same store (try and get your seafood from reliable sources). Fish oil can help with high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol levels, as well as for women with painful periods. Fish oil has many, many good reasons to take it, but like I said above, FOOD FIRST BEFORE PILLS. I have upped my fish intake because I have been battling depression the last few months due to a tragedy I dealt with. And I will say, eating right, drinking enough water, getting rest, working out and eating the fish has all worked in making me hopeful and happy. Not just one miracle thing works. You have to be willing to do everything it takes to be happy and healthy, in every aspect of the words.

What I am trying to say is:

  • To be fit, you do NOT require to spend loads of $$ of supplements. You can see results and have great health without a pill or supplement in sight.
  • If you choose to take supplements, do your research on what you should take and the results and/or side effects that may occur. You should also research the brand you are looking into.
  • For some supplements, you need to make sure you aren’t being scammed. Probiotics, for example, are live cultures. Like what is in most yogurts. They should be chilled. If you are buying an antibiotic and it’s not in the fridge section, you may want to research more about the brand.
  • Read reviews. Yes, things work differently for everyone. But if you look up something and it’s nothing but 300 people saying they hated it and it was a waste of money, you probably should look for something else.

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