Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No Time to Work Out???

Guess what??? NO ONE has time to work out, however; those who are serious MAKE time to workout. You can't just expect time to fall in your lap that is labeled "workout time". That just doesn't happen, we have things come up, emergencies, priorities, events, etc. You HAVE to schedule your workouts just like you would a meeting or a family dinner/party and such. Once you have carved out a window for that specific activity, you have made time to workout. Now, I know a lot of us barely have time to breathe some days, so if you want insane results in a short amount of time, you better be willing to put in your FULL (110%) effort into your workout. HIITs are a very effective way to train. a HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Interval workouts is where you do bursts of high intense movement or activity at maximum effort for about 30-60 seconds and rest for the same amount of time. HIIT's can be anywhere from 15-30 min long. I'd keep the max at 30, I feel anything longer than that could produce injury or break down the body a little too much (only if you are truly giving your full effort). You can create a HIIT workout in ANY exercise activity. You just have to add 30-60 seconds of INTENSE (maxium effort) intervals and alternate between your highest intensity and rest. There are scientific studies that show HIIT workouts can be more effective than regular, steady cardio exercise. HIITs actually elevate your metabolic rate and create a longer after burn effect. This means that you are burning more calories at rest AFTER your workout, where as traditional cardio you'd be burning more calories during only the workout and then it is steady throughout the day. I usually do HIITs in my runs or just do a fun dvd workout that has HIITs in it. NOW DON'T get me wrong, traditional cardio is still a good form of exercise and HIITs may not be for everyone, but they do produce some insane results. DISCLAIMER: Make sure you consult a physician before you start doing any different type of exercise, they are the ones able to tell you what would work best for your body by examining specific characteristics or health issues that you are having or may have.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Skipping To Get Skinny???

Hey guys! Sorry about the MIA! This weekend was jam packed with graduation celebrations and heliping my sister move into her new place (Congrats Cayli & Brando!) as well as moving new furniture into our house and all that jazz :) so... again sorry for the delay!

Today I wanted to talk about what A LOT of people do that they think will help shed some lbs. more quickly...but can actually push you in the opposite direction. So, you're on a "diet" or more restricted calorie plan. Fine, with some weight loss routines you may need to cut back on some of your intake to balance out your input of calories and your output (calories burned). That DOES NOT mean starve yourself. Skipping meals (don't you roll your eyes you breakfast skippers) does quite the opposite in losing weight. This is why (especially women) get so frustrated in their weight loss journey. They think that completely removing meals from your day will help shed the pounds quickly. When you skip meals, your body starts to go into starvation mode. Your body is a smart machine and wants to do everything in it's power to stay alive and working. When you go into starvation mode, your body begins to "freak out" and is concerned with the next time you are going to eat. Then, it begins to hold onto anything you eat after that skipped meal and stores it as fat so that it has something to feed on while you are starving yourself. This is where your body holds on to the weight and even adds weight to your body. You really shouldn't skip meals, if you are restricting your calories just opt for lower caloric and high nutrition options. Continuously feed your body every 3 hrs. You want to keep your blood sugar from crashing along with your metabolic rate. If you can feed yourself throughout the day, every 3 hours, with clean and nutritious food, you can keep your metabolism up which in turns helps you burn more calories and efficiently utilize the food to fuel your body. You also won't feel the need to go off the deep end and splurge due to your increased hunger from skipping meals. Like I've said before and I will say it a million more times, 80% of your results comes froms nutrition. Period.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Weight Lifting for Ladies

Ladies, this one is for you! How many of you are afraid to lift heavy weights because you are afraid of or don't want to "bulk up". Well guess what? You can't. You do NOT have the hormones to "bulk up". You do not have the amount of testosterone needed or required to get chuncky muscles. It WILL build muscle, but not to the point where you feel like a man. You will get more toned and lean by add resistance training to your workouts. DO NOT be afraid to lift HEAVY. I was totally in the same boat when I started exercising in the beginning. I didn't touch weights at all. I did strictly cardio for   5-6 days a week. However, as I lost the weight...I had "flabby" looking areas. The weight was going away, but it left a flappy body. I then started doing a strength training program that applies the overload principle which is doing fewer reps (10-12) with heavier weights. Then doing about three very slow and concentrated reps after I failed anywhere between 10-12 reps. By doing this, you break down the muscles more quickly (this is good, just make sure you are aware of your limits and proper form). Once you break down the muscles to this extent, you build a much more lean and tight body more quickly than you realize. It is great! I never realized how important weight training is! Not only do you look tight and toned, but it revs your metabolism for the rest of the day, strengthens your body not just through muscles but your bones as well, and makes all of your cardio and everyday life activities soooooo much easier! Plus, more muscles= higher metabolism= more food! Make sure its clean food though! Weight training doesn't mean you can do a couple bench presses and bicep curls and go eat a pizza pie without a problem. Do NOT be afraid of weights! I am so glad I began to add resistance training to my workouts! You should be lifting at least 3x's a week. Do not neglect this part of your new lifestyle! It gives you some serious results!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Addict

Yup, that's right. I am a peanut butter addict! IT IS SOOOOO GOOD! Unfortuanely it's very high in calories & fat. Not to mention the normal/popular peanut butter brands  you buy off the shelf is process peanut flavored shortening. That is the basics of your popular store brand peanut butter, not a joke. You want to stick with natrual brands where you have to stir the peanut butter with the oil. Pay attention to the ingredients, you basically want just peanuts in the ingredients, and a little bit of sea salt if you really want that flavor and minimal to no sugar. However, even it being natrual it is still high in calories and fat... So what is a peanut butter addict to do????

PB2 or Just Great Stuff

This stuff is LEGIT. It is powdered peanut butter! Sound weird? Get over it! all you have to do is take 2 Tbl. and add a little water...PRESTO peanut butter with (drumroll) 85% less fat AND ONLY 45 Calories per serving! GASP! It even comes in regular peanut butter flavor AND....wait for it....chocolate peanut butter! YUM! I use this in EVERYTHING!!!! Shakes, sandwhiches, drizzled on fruit, etc. Just Great stuff is a bit more rich in nutrients, but I buy PB2 because I can get four 1 lbs bags on amazon for $30. Just Great Stuff is sold here locally (at least not that I know of) and on amazong for a small jar is a bit pricey, in my opinion. Either way you cannot fail! This is the answer to health fanatic peanut butter lovers everywhere! So you can have your peanut butter and eat it too! (cheesy, I know).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not Always What You See

Holy crap is this picture TRUE! You can't always see success right away. I know a lot of poeple get very frustrated when they don't see immediate results and give up. REMEMBER, everyone is different and has different genetics or different body types. You have to learn from your mistakes, and press onward. You have to fail sometimes to succeed. I don't think you can ever truly fail as long as you KEEP going. It may not be your A game or your best, but you are doing WAY more than someone who isn't even trying. I honestly never saw my body drop the weight. The only reason I started looking more closely is when people around me started asking me if I had shed some pounds or that I looked different. ONLY THEN, did I actually notice the pants getting bigger, energy level being higher, workouts and everyday life activities became easier. Sadly, I didn't see it in myself until others started noticing. You will always have a skewed perception of yourself, you are your worst critic, you know. No matter how tough it gets, or how little you feel you did or feel like your making progress, it is ALWAYS one step closer to your goal. NEVER give up, because you will be that much closer to your dreams than not trying at all.
P.S. I uploaded a scrumptious (and healthy!) Recipe, just go to the Recipe tab :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ingredient Swap!

Alright, so you've heard be go on and on about how important your nutrition is, but now it's time that I back it up for you. When you cook, there are a lot of ingredients that add extra fat, calories, sugar, carbs, etc. that you can actually find much better alternatives to. Especially if you love to bake! I am a baker and I LOVE me some carbs, but I have to make these adjustments to fulfill my cravings, but not fall of the wagon. They are very simple swaps and they can really beef up the nutrition you get from your foods and cut out the "bad" in your food. So in this post I have some healthy replacements for your next home cooked meal or treat. Just an FYI, I am not a nutritionist. These are just some habits I have used and still use as apposed to some of these ingredients. They may not be to everyone's liking, but it's just some ideas to maybe help you find what works for you.

Swap oil or butter for....Unsweetend applesauce! YOU BETCHA! The applesauce actually can help make your batter more thick and fluffy and cut out the extra unwanted fat. Unsweetend is great because it really doesn't taste unsweetend, it tastes just like apples (which are already sweet) you won't need the extra sugars and sweeteners!

The applesauce won't necessarily keep your batter from sticking to the pan or cookie sheet it's in/on. So what can we use that won't add extra crap to my banana bread (or your choice of baked good)? Not all oil is created equal or represented fairly. You actually CAN have some oils because they provide good fats with less calories and MORE nutrients. Of course, extra virgin olive oil is an obvious choice. To avoid putting too much on your pans, just put some on a napkin and rub around the pan or buy and oil sprayer bottle and put your olive oil in that. Why is it so much better? Because extra virgin olive oil is more easily absorbed by the body and contains healthy vitamins like A & D. It also doesn't increase your blood pressure or negatively effects your cholesterol thanks to the antioxidants it carries.

Now, lets talk flour. Guess what? White flour provides little to NO nutrition. It has been stripped of its nutritents for appearance. Whole wheat flour provides a lot more fiber and nutrients and contains more vitamins. Well, you chefs would argue its too heavy and grainy. Fair enought, then go buy whole wheat pastry four. That stuff is lighter and fluffier than air. All my breads, pancakes/waffles, cookies, etc turn out so moist and fluffy it is crazy!

Sugar. Ha, yeah I went there. Sugar is SOOO easy to replace! I recommend first and foremost Raw stevia. It doesn't spike your blood sugar like regular sugar does. It doesn't bring you up to speed at 100mph and make you crash and crave. You don't need as much and it is zero calories. I also love raw, local honey or agave nectar. You just have to pay attention to the ingredients. You want to avoid the pasterized products and opt for more organic ones. Both of these options provide a steady affect on your blood sugar, and are very sweet and contain enzymes and is a very natural sugar and is digested like sugar from fruit or other natural foods.

Those are just a few options that I have swapped out for better options. If any of you have other questions on ingredients to swap, message me please! I'd love to help you find more options or even help me look into better options. I love to hear feedback!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Excellence is a Habit

Tough Week, Stronger Nation

TGIF lovely people!!! It is finally here! I hope you had a fantastic week and will have an amazing weekend! I figure there is a lot going on this week. A lot of it has been sad news and devestation. It does bring out the best in us though. A lot of us pull together in times of struggle and heartache, you see a lot of people coming together to help each other out and assist us through our trials. I wanted to share this with you in hopes of showing how amazing it is to be apart of this great nation and to see such unity through the tough times. It's a very unifying and inspirational moment, and I love this video. Take a look, God bless and enjoy your weekend with your loved ones.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lunch inspiration!

Good morning everyone! I know this is probably an odd post but I thought today I could share some lunch inspiration with you before you actually eat lunch. Look, I know healthy eating gets a bad rap for tasteless, unsatisfying food, but that is because people are either being misinformed about what they can eat, or are following someone elses way of eating. To be honest, you should never follow someone elses eating plan to a "T". You should be paving your own road, making adjustments that you enjoy and can live with. We all know if you don't like how something tastes or doesn't feel you up and is leaving you hungry...you're NOT going to continue with it. You just have to be smart about what you actually eat and put into your body. I hate the word diet, or at least the negative connotation that is carried along with it. I like to call it a lifestyle. You are now living a healthy (and delicious, I promise!) lifestyle. Now after all that, the lunch post I have for today may be a cliche and I will get the eye roll, but it is indeed a salad. However, I am like any American gal, I need more than a bowl of lettuce. This salad has grilled chicken chunks (and big ones, hey a girl needs her protein alright?) peas, olives, tomatoes, celery, and is drizzled with balsamic vinigrette. I must say, balsamic vinigrette is my MOST favorite salad dressing! I love it!

Now, I'd like to pose a question for you guys. What do you struggle with most in your nutrition? What are you downfalls? What do you want to change? I will admit to you right now, my biggest downfall (strangely) is corn chips. I love them! I love the salty crunch taste! I could probably eat a whole bag, especially if you gave me a bowl of salsa...It's hard to abstain when everyday I open the clost and BOOM, there they are. I try to hide them so I don't see them every day (out of sight, out of mind, right?) or I try to sort of encourage whoever is in charge of buying groceries that week to not get them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prayers for Boston

I usually like to keep things light because there is already enought sadness and negativity, but I thought I would share this caption. It's very true. My heart, prayers and thoughts go out to everyone that was affected by this evil and hateful act. I don't quite understand how someone could find that this was an answer or something that was ok to do. I am so glad that there weren't more fatalities and that only two of the explosives went off rather than all of them. However, those that were injured or killed, my deepest condelences and prayers go out to you. Such a sad thing to see people becoming less...human. But it's up to us to keeping the hope and humanity alive. We can't let repetitious bad events control or stop us from loving and helping each other and picking each other up off the ground when someone falls. Stay strong everyone!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Schedule Working Out?

Scheduling a workout may sound silly, but it's quite beneficial. Just like everything else you do that is important, you find a space on your calander and make time for it. It's much easier to plan a time, and a specific workout for your day than it is to just "wing it". Look at it this way, you get up and decide that you'll workout today, you will...maybe...you'll try... and then at about 9 PM you find yourself still on the couch watching a marathon of Gossip Girl. Where as if you were to have a time planned out and a specific workout, you've already comitted to it. For example, I get up at 4:30 AM every morning and plan on working out by 5. Depending on which day it is, I will do weights or cardio. Like today, Tuesday: I planned on working out at 5 and doing weights for about a half hour and then when I get home at 4:30, I plan on doing a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. I love these because they are quick (15-30min) no nonsense, intense workouts that get the job done. I will probably do a post on HIIT trainings tomorrow. But you need to clear a space each day for this, its YOUR own time, for you. This is an opportunity to make yourself stronger, happier, healtheir, and make everyday routines easier. So clear a space on your calander everyday for some you time. Go on a 20 min walk listening to your favorite tunes or dance for a half hour, swim laps, jsut make the time to do something. It will be more productive and thorough way to stick to your plan to reaching whatever fitness goals you have set for yourself. I want to try and post my own workouts or favortie exercises on here, but for now I will post some easy and quck workouts to follow for when you have 20-30 min of your day. Trust me, no one has time to workout, they have to MAKE the time to workout. An hour of exercise is only 4% of your day (2% if it's only 30 min) Now...GO GET IT!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The secret to abs!!!!

This is a question that I am sure everyone wants to know the answer to! We all want abs, right? They seem almost near impossible to achieve! So you are bound and determined to do an extra 10 push ups or another hundred crunches or russian twists and that's what is suppose to make your abdomen lean and tight looking...right? Unfortunately not. Don't get me wrong, all those exercises will strengthen your core and abdomen to give you a better posture and it's a muscle so training it helps increase your metabolism, but constantly doing crunches or sit ups won't give you the results you are looking for. The best exercise that will give you abs is done in the kitchen. This may be good new to some of you out there and it also may be bad news. Only 20%-30% of your weight loss regiment is exercise. (That doesn't mean abandon it all together because it's still very beneficial!!!) and 70%-80% is your.......DIET. Yikes. If you aren't taking a closer look at what your eating, your cheating yourself out of your best results. You cannot outrun your fork. Sure, you can have that donut and then hop on the elliptical or stationary bike for an extra 30 min, to burn off excess calories, but your results will slack. My fitness idol always said that the best exercise is walking...walking away from the kitchen (Chalene Johnson). It's true, if you want quicker results and a lean body, you must nourish your body with clean and healthy foods. I did not immediately start exercising at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I just took a closer look at my foods and started opting for better options and the weight began to peel off. Add exercise and the results are even quicker and will blow you away. Just make it your own and something you can stick to. Eat as clean as you can 80% of the time :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Date Night Dinner Survival Tips

Alright, so you finally asked that special someone to go out for a night on the town. But we all know that eating out can be a challenge when you are trying to eat clean. People grossly underestimate how much they eat or the caloric intake they put under their belt (or over it if you know what I mean, haha). Here are some simple tricks I have learned in my many years of clean eating.

Don't be afraid to ask for a "light menu". It is totally a big thing these days for people to actually give a crap about what they are eating. Healthy eating IS common. Don't be shy about asking for those special menus that offer a variety of lower caloric and heathier options than the original menu.

If you think a salad is a safe bet, you're right....sort of. Be VERY aware of what is IN the salad. Butter croutons, fried chicken, cheeses, bacon, and ESPECIALLY the dressing. Always opt for a healthier dressing. Stay away from the creamy and thick salad dressings. You're better off with a vinegrette or vinegar & olive oil. In addition to that, ask for your dressings on the side. That will help you control the amount put on your salad, rather than leaving it up to someone else to bathe your salad in an ungodly amount or dressing. The other ingredients like the cheese, bacon, fried chicken or croutons; choose to eliminate some of those ingredients or find a different salad that includes more nutritional ingredients.

For those of you who want eat what you want, "it's only one night" right? You can have it if you HALF it. Instead of polishing off the entire limb of a cow or trough of soup, ask your waiter/waitress for a to go box so that you can set aside part of your order first thing and won't feel inclined to consume it all. Or opt out for certain aspects of the meal. You want a butter biscut? Skip dessert. Want that chocolate cake? Skip the biscut or share with your date. Cut back your portions and you can still have a splurge here and there.

Hey guys! Now if you want some flippin stylish nails and treat yourself to a mani, you'd best visit my girl Kali  for some killer inspiration!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WOTD 4/10/13

4:35 AM came a lot sooner than I was hoping for. But isn't that always the case?? I work out first thing in the morning because I know myself and how I think. If I leave it to later in the day, usually I will try and make excuses and push it back or do it with not as much power or effort because "it's been a long day" and "I'm tired". Don't get me wrong, I said I TRY to get my sorry butt out of bed to workout this early. There ARE and WILL be times where that may not be an option and I will MAKE time for it later, I just have to make sure that I plan ahead for those days so I can mentally prepare myself to workout the minute I can.

Ok, now that I am off my soapbox, today's workout consisted of two parts. I feel when I am bored of my routine or am in the "I don't feel like working out" or "I'm too tired" mentality, I need to keep things interesting in my workout. I split it up into two 20 min increments. For the first 20 minutes I did the workout that changed my life back when I first started to show any interest in fitness. On one of my many late nights of insomnia I caught the infomercial of Chalene Johnson's program, Turbo Jam. This came to be my heart and soul for working out. It's a mixture of kick boxing, dance, tae bo. And it is SO MUCH FUN! The first 20 min of my workout were dedicated to her 20 minute TJ. Then I did 20 minutes of running on the elliptical. Making a work out in incriments of time dedicated to different exercises makes it more refreshing, and feels shorter. You don't run into that wall where you feel like you've been working out for an hour and it's only been like 3 minutes. Get your sweat on!!!! Find something you love that makes you move and DO IT!!! Anything is better than nothing!