Monthly Archives: November 2012

Current Workout Schedule

Today, I thought I would share with you all my current workout schedule. I like to experiment with the way I pair different muscle groups together, as well as how I train. Sometimes I might go a month with no cardio. Other months I might do cardio everyday. Some weeks I might incorporate supersets, others I won’t. It is all based on how I feel and what my goals are at the moment.

Right now, I am just trying to build a routine.

A few months back I was at my heaviest weight, 145 lbs. I am slowly working my way towards a weight and body composition I can maintain 365 days a year.

Please note, this is primarily done through diet.  I hope you all know that by now. However, exercise does play a role. It gives our bodies shape and dimension. Also, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works, and the more calories you burn.

Currently I am trying to keep it simple. I train 5 days a week, incorporating cardio into my strength training routines by keeping my heart rate elevated. I keep my heart rate elevated via circuit training. I move from exercise to exercise with little to no rest in between and repeat the circuit 3 to 4 more times.

Monday-Chest
Tuesday-Legs (Quads)
Wednesday-back + Biceps
Thursday-Shoulders
Friday-Legs (Glutes and Hamstrings)

The exercises might change every 4 weeks. Sometimes I keep them the same and just incorporate a higher weight or super sets and drops sets, to keep my body guessing.

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This is what is working for me right now. If my life changes or I have a different goal in mind, I might go from working out 5 days a week to 3. It really is about finding what works for you.  Just make sure you get some exercise in.

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As always, I am not a certified trainer so please consult with your physician before you start any exercise program.

Action of the day: Share your current workout program in the comments. We could all benefit from it.

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Foods Gone Fit: Enchilada Recipe

I recently started working with another Tone It Up plan member Wren on Youtube.  We decided to take our favorite unhealthy recipes and make them into healthier versions.  We called the series Foods Gone Fit.  I focus on making the meals clean and Wren actually creates the vegan versions.

In our first videos we made healthy enchiladas.  Check out the Video below to learn how to make guilt free enchiladas.

Today’s Blog Post Question:  What is your favorite unhealthy meal?

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Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your time spent with family and friends.  Live in the moment today, have some pie and maybe even a little extra stuffing.  I know I will be having one large slice of pecan pie. As I’ve said before, one day of small indulgences will not make you gain weight.

However, if this is a concern of yours, I wrote a blog post last week entitled “How Not to Gain Weight on Thanksgiving”.  While you wait for the food to be ready or after you come to from your food coma, give it a read.

Have an amazing day everyone!

Leave me a comment with what you were most thankful for this year.

Gift Ideas for the Fitness Newbie

The number one New Year’s resolution made is losing weight.  The percentage of  New Year’s resolution that fail is 60%.

I bet you know someone who has already stated they are going to start eating clean and exercising come January 1st. Why not help them beat the odds with one of these 4 fitness gifts:

1. The Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno $19.95.  Losing weight is 80% diet, this book is excellent for individuals trying to learn how to start eating healthy and losing weight.  It discusses what foods to eat and why. It also provides meal plans and recipes that make it easier to begin making healthier food choices.

2. Gymboss Timer $19.95. Lets face it, not everyone is comfortable hitting the gym. The Gymboss is the perfect High Intensity Interval Training timer.   This timer can be used to create your own Tabata style workouts at home or to follow along with Youtube Gurus like BodyRockTV or Zuzkalight.  If you do decide to join a gym, this timer is also great to use on the cardio equipment.

3. The Women’sHealth Big Book of Exercises $14.73. One of the factors affecting an individuals success at a gym, is knowing what to do when They’re there. This knowledge is especially essential when you’re first starting out. This book  is perfect for beginners as it discusses in detail how to start working out.  The book provides descriptions of each exercise, along with pictures demonstrating how the exercise should be performed.  The book also discusses some diet tips and provides workout plans that can be used by gym go-ers at any level.

4. Heart Rate Monitor $49.95. When people think of getting in shape, they automatically think cardio.  However, cardio is only effective if you reach 65-70% of your max heart rate.  A heart rate monitor is perfect to make sure you are reaching this target and getting the most out of your cardio sessions.

If you were first starting out at the gym or with clean eating, what kind of gifts would you like to receive?

Tabata, Chest and PowerCakes

I normally workout my chest on Mondays, but I was so tired yesterday morning I couldn’t get up for my 5AM workout.

It’s a proven fact,  if I don’t work out in the morning, its not getting done.   So instead,  I worked out my chest this morning. Today’s workout consisted of a Giant set.  Giant sets are when you combine 3 exercises and perform them consecutively without rest in between.  This is what my chest giant set looked like:

-Dumbbell Chest Press (15 Reps)

-Dumbbell flies (12 reps)

-Pushups (12 reps)

I completed 1 set of the exercises above and rested for 60 sec before repeating it 2 more times.

I also tried out Fitnessista’s Tabata workout.  Tabata is a style of high intensity interval training where you work for 20 seconds and rest for 10, for a total of 4 minutes. While the calorie burning affect during in the workout is not as high as steady state cardio, you will actually burn more calories throughout the day with this method. I encourage you to read up on the Tabata style of training.

I am used to high intensity interval training, but if I am honest my chest was on fire after completing one set.  I think it was the moves that Fitnessista combined together. Man, after the 4 minutes were up I felt like I had sprinted at full speed for 4 minutes straight. I SECRETLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE.  I will definitely be including this style of cardio more often.

After my workout I tried my first PowerCake. If you haven’t checked out Kasey’s blog, PowerCakes, you should.  She is so inspiring and encouraging.

Anyway, I made my first powercake which is Kasey’s clever way of saying protein pancake.

Although I’ve had protein pancakes in the past, they always contained protein power.  Kasey’s recipes consist of just egg and a flour of some sort.  I used coconut flour in mine. I sweetened it with stevia and I added some cinnamon for additional flavor.

It was really good and filling. I almost wasn’t able to finish it all.  I am excited to make different variations like, red velvet or pistachio power cakes.

I managed to snap a picture of lunch today which was, mashed sweet potatoes and garlic onion seasoned chicken.

I accidentally ate my dinner before I was able to snap a pic of it ( I am always starving by the time I get home from work). Dinner was mashed cauliflower with teriyaki chicken-video to come soon on my youtube.

I plan to finish off the night with some lemon tea and the final episode of Breaking Bad from season 4.  If you have not watched that show and you have Nextflix, you need to add that to your to watch list ASAP.  Best show I have watched to date.

Why, “I have my period.” Is not an Excuse to Skip Your Workout.

Nope. Sorry. Not buying it. This is what goes through my head whenever one of my friends state they are skipping their workout because they have their period.  Menstruating is not, I repeat, IS NOT a debilitating disease.

Having your period does not prevent you from being able to perform any sort of physical activity. I am 100% certain it has never prevented you from walking to your local Walgreens for a bucket of ice cream. Think about it.

Sure, you lack energy, motivation, you’re a little b***chy, but how is that different from every other time of the month? (I kid, I know you all are nice, polite ladies, who almost never miss workouts). Seriously though, I lack motivation to work out at least 2x a week, but that doesn’t stop me from hitting the gym.  I have goals I want to meet, commitments I’ve made to myself. How lame would it be if I let myself down? Pretty lame. So no, Aunt Flow you will not affect my workout.

In all honesty, if you are lacking a bit of energy, don’t completely skip your workout, just modify it to your energy levels. Don’t attend your spin class if you have cramps but try yoga instead.  Plus working out during your period has great benefits.

When you work out, your body naturally releases hormones called endorphins that instantly alter your mood from “mad” to “glad”.  Endorphins also help alleviate pain. Pfffttt, who needs Midol when you can kick some cramp a** with a hard core elliptical session? That’s right, NO-BODY!

I will leave you all with a challenge, the next time you want to skip out on working out because, “I have my period” think about how good you feel after you workout.  Will staying at home, watching grays anatomy and eating a bowl of ice cream  help you meet your fitness goal?

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Before and Current Me

Most people that start healthy lifestyle and fitness blogs are already in the best shape of their lives.

I on the other hand am not. I am truly passionate about clean eating and exercise, but until recently had not educated myself enough on proper nutrition and exercise.

I had a very unhealthy relationship with food, as most girls do.  I would go on long stretches of clean eating and then long stretches of crap eating. I never thought to think, hey there are ways you can make healthier version of these foods and not feel deprived.

I’ve spent a lot of money on nutritionist and personal trainers but never achieved the results I wanted.

Why? It wasn’t because their plans weren’t good or were too restrictive. The real reason was because I had not changed my mentality.

Each time I hired a nutritionist, it was with the intent of losing X amount of pounds. I considered it a diet, there was an END in sight.

I thought, I only need to do this for 3 months. After that I can be more lenient with what I eat, I can have that slice of pizza or chocolate cake more often. As a result I always gained back what I lost.

What’s wrong with this type of thinking?

Its impossible to sustain any type of permanent results. You will never be content with how you look or feel and you will always be trying to lose X amount of pounds.

I want to be fit and healthy 365 days a year.

I think its important that you all know that yes, I am providing fitness tips on this blog, but by no means am I an expert.

This blog is an account of my personal research on diet and fitness. Its a way to document and share the results of my food experimentation, my workout plans and my fitness and health goals.

What I hope this blog does, is inspire other people to do the same, EDUCATE YOURSELF. Learn how our bodies process what we eat, the reason why our bodies need protein and carbohydrates and the real purpose of exercise.

With all this being said, I thinks its important that I share BEFORE and CURRENT pictures with you. I want to show you that I don’t already have a fitness model’s physique and like most of you reading this blog, I am on my way to being in the best shape of my life.

The 4 pictures above are of me in April 2012 at my heaviest 145 lbs and 29% Body fat. The 3 pictures below are of me in November 2012, 136 lbs and 24% body fat.

 

I am learning, in order to do this the right way, it takes patience. During the time period from April to now, I have worked with 2 different nutritionists, one of which I am still working with now.

I am learning you cannot drop 20lbs overnight and that is OK.

I am enjoying every clean meal, every cardio session and every single workout. I am proud of where I am today.  I may not be where I want to be, but each day I get a little closer. I am taking it one day at a time. I am doing my research, planning my meals, and hitting the gym and being CONSISTENT (This is so important) .

I encourage you to do the same.

What have you learned about yourself in your fitness journey?

How Not to Gain Weight on Thanksgiving

You started eating clean and now you are starting to have anxiety about the upcoming holiday season, especially Thanksgiving. This is completely understandable, nobody wants to ruin all the results they’ve achieved.

Luckily for you, I have put together this Thanksgiving themed blog post outlining the best foods to eat and how to incorporate an indulgence or two. Hey, even I can’t resist a slice of pecan pie.

#1 Decide in advance if you are going to allow yourself to deviate from clean eating.  We all should learn to relax and enjoy all types of food every once in a while. However, if you do plan on indulging but don’t want to ruin all your hard work, pick only one thing as your treat. If you love sweets, have a slice of pumpkin pie but don’t have the mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls with your main meal.

#2 Get your protein in. Make sure you put a palm size piece of turkey breast on your dinner plate.  Turkey breast is one of the leanest meats you can have, and it is definitely on a clean eating plan. Remember our muscles need protein to rebuild themselves.

#3 Have a plate of salad as your appetizer. This will prevent you from picking at all the chips and dips that are normally out before the main meal begins.

#4 Bring a healthy dish to your thanksgiving party.  If you want to stick to clean eating throughout the holidays, this is how to do it without being anti social.   In case the hostess does not offer any clean options, you will always have something to fall back on.

#5 Thanksgiving is 1 day not 1 whole weekend.  If you don’t want to gain any weight, get right back to clean eating and your workout schedule the very next day.

Eating poorly for 1 meal will not set you back. Enjoy your pie, have a drink or two, but remember in order to see results you have to be consistent.  Once Thanksgiving is over, get back on your plan to a healthier, sexier you.  You will be well ahead of everyone else come New Year’s.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. Please check with your doctor prior to starting any diet or exercise plan.  The information provided is what I have learned via personal research.

Beginner’s Guide to Working Out

Deciding to begin working out is such a great step in your life, but I know joining a gym can be intimidating. You wonder, where do I start? Should I do cardio or weight training? What’s this Zumba class about? Just like any new experience, it is overwhelming and scary. There is no need to stress about it though. In my opinion, you already got through the toughest part, deciding to make a change.

To help you commit to your new lifestyle I put together another Beginner’s Guide, this time its for working out. Incorporate these 5 tips to help make working out not seem so daunting.

1. Take advantage of the free training session most gyms offer to new members. Most gyms will normally do a body analysis, show you around the different machines and walk you through a full body workout. This training session will help familiarize you with the layout of the gym and the different machines and their uses.

2. Build your workout foundation. Reasearch exercises, pre-determined workout plans, anything that will build your knowledge on how to work out. It will alleviate some of the anxieties of not knowing what to do and when. I always recommend Bodybuilding.com for all beginners.

3. Create a workout plan and stick to it! Having a plan will keep you on track when you are at the gym, it will help you avoid the, “Okay, what do I do now?” moments. Sticking to you plan is what is going to yield you results.  Pretty soon you will go from 1 push up to 20.

4. Check out the classes. There are so many different classes out there from Zumba to Bikram Yoga. Most gyms have a copy of the class schedule, take it home with you. The schedules normally have a description of each of the classes. Pick the one that sounds most interesting to you and attend. Its a great way to meet new people. Who knows, you can potentially meet a new workout buddy.

5. Don’t over think it. Whether its just walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes, you are working out! The point is to just start moving and get active.

Remember, everyone at the gym was new at some point. It takes time to become comfortable. Just keep going and have fun with it.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. Please check with your doctor prior to starting any diet or exercise plan.  The information provided is what I have learned via personal research.