Monthly Archives: December 2012

My Fitness Resolutions for 2013

Last week I talked about how to set your fitness goals so that you successfully achieve them.  Today is Dec 31st,  the day before the year 2013 begins and  I am sharing with you all, 3 of my fitness goals.

In the coming months I will be writing about what I learn as I work towards meeting these goals in the New Year.

 #1 Reach and maintain 15-18% Body Fat
Plan of action: 
* Clean eating 7 days a week with 1 cheat MEAL every week
* 30 minutes of Cardio 3x/wk
* Weight Training 4x/wk
* Prepare and package meals every Sunday
*Lose 1-2lbs of body fat per week
*Monitor body fat percentage with calipers

#2 Compete in my 1st fitness competition (bikini division)

Plan of action:

*Find regional fitness competitions

*Decide on a date for my competition (Spring/Summer)

*Research what is needed to compete

*Reach 15%-18% body fat using the plan from goal 1

*Practice posing

#3 Learn to love cardio

Plan of action:

*Start researching different ways I can get my cardio in (classes)

*Start with three 30 minute cardio sessions a week

*Research the benefits of cardio (fat loss/ heart health)

*Try different cardio machines, not just the elliptical

If you haven’t already shared your fitness/weight loss goals for the 2013 fiscal year, feel free to share them in the comment section.  I would love to read about what you are working towards and possibly help you reach your goals.

Recipe: Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

photo-7

I recently uploaded a new recipe video to Youtube.  This recipe was the last video from my Foods Gone Fit series with WrensHealthy.  You can watch the video below, but I will also include the ingredient and directions for anyone that wants to view it in a list format.

I have to admit, out of all the recipes I made healthier, this was the most delicious. It also had the closest taste to the regular version.

Pie Crust

-3/4 cup of gluten free all purpose flour

-1/2 cup of rolled oats or quick oats

-1/2 tsp salt

-4 tbsp coconut butter or oil

-1 tbsp of agave nectar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together, until it turns into a doughy consistency.  Press out the crust into a pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min or until golden brown.

Chocolate Pudding

-2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup stevia

-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

-3 tbsp of corn starch

-1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

-water as needed about 1/4-1/2 cup

Directions: In a medium size sauce pan mix unsweetened coca powder and enough water to create a paste.  Add the stevia and 1/2 cup of the unsweetened almond milk.  Bring the chocolate sauce to a boil.

In a separate dish mix the corn starch and rest of the almond milk until the cornstarch is dissolved. When the cocoa and almond milk mixture has reached a boil, begin to stir in the corn starch mixture.  Lower the heat and continue to stir until the mixture has turned into a pudding consistency.  Let cool.

To finish the pie, pour pudding onto the crust and top with your choice of whipped cream.  Chill for 1 hr.

Approaching Fitness Related New Year’s Resolutions

Source: Health.com

Source: Health.com

I have mentioned this in one of my previous blogs but the most made New Year’s Resolution is losing weight. Come January, you will notice that your gym will become overly crowded.  You will also notice that by February those same crowds begin to dwindle away. The reason is, most people give up on their resolutions within the first month.

If you have made the resolution to lose weight this year, I do not want you to be a part of the ladder crowd.  If you want to reach your weight loss goals, this is how I recommend you set those resolutions so you keep them.

1. Make your fitness resolution specific.  “In the year 2013 I want to lose weight” is an example of a general resolution. You need to make your goals more specific so you have a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve.  Instead of the resolution above, use something along the lines of “In the year 2013 I want to lose 30lbs by May.”

2. Create a plan, make it detailed.  How are you are going to achieve your resolution?  Its not enough to say what you want. You need to map out how you are going to get what you want.  If you plan on increasing the amount of exercise you do, decide by how many minutes. What type of exercises are you going to do? Cardio? Weight training? Fitness classes? How much weight do you plan on losing a week? Tip: A healthy amount is 2lbs per week.

You need to make it easy for yourself to follow through. With a clearly mapped out plan, you are less likely to procrastinate or make excuses.

3. Decide how you are going to track your progress. You will need to evaluate your fitness progress somehow. Not only will it let you know if you need to change something you’re doing if you are not seeing results, but it will also provide you with a way to keep yourself accountable.  You can track your progress in  many ways.  My favorite is to pick a piece of clothing that fits snug, and try it on every 2 weeks. If it starts to fit loser, you know you are on the right track. You can also measure your progress by body fat percentage or by weighing yourself at the start of each week.  Whatever you chose, make it consistent.

If you do not see the progress you wanted that week, take a step back and evaluate why.  Did you really eat as clean as you thought you did? Did you miss a few days at the gym? Be honest with yourself because it is the only way you are going to improve.

If you have made any weight loss or fitness related resolutions for 2013, share them in the comment section.  I will be sharing mine next week.

Tagged ,

What I Eat Wednesday: How to Read Nutrition Labels

2012-12-25 19.05.35Although I prefer not to eat processed foods, sometimes clean foods do come pre-packaged.  For this reason, I think knowing how to read a nutrition label is extremely important if you want to take charge of your nutrition and health.

I think this blog post will be helpful for anyone making small changes to their diet to kick start their weight loss journey in 2013.

My process for explaining this topic will be simple, I will list out what I think is important to look at on a nutrition label and why.

Before I start, I just want to remind you all that I am not a nutritionist.  All the information I provided on my blog is based on my own personal research and experience. I highly encourage you to speak with a trained professional before you make any changes to your diet.

2012-12-25 19.06.01

Based on how I look at creating a nutrition plan, when I read a nutrition label I look at the following fields:

Ingredients: Used to describe what the food item was made from. This is the first section of the nutrition label that I refer to.

Why? This is going to give me my first indication on whether I should continue on to the next fields. I base my meal plans on the Eat Clean Diet along with macro-nutrient portion control. So, if I cannot pronounce one of the ingredients, chances are it isn’t clean and I am not going to put it in my body.  You should be able to recognize all of the ingredients listed.

Sugar:  Used to describe how much sugar is in a serving size. Normally this is listed out in grams. I go by the rule, it must contain 6g or less of sugar per serving.

Why? The reason America has the highest obesity rate is because of the amount of processed sugars we consume. The only sugar food should contain, is what is naturally found in the ingredients used.  Unless its a fruit, try to stay away from anything that has more than 6g of sugar. If it contains more than 6g, chances are a processed sugar was added in to improve the flavor.  When in doubt I always refer back to the ingredient section.

Protein: Used to describe how much protein is in a serving size. I personally consume 25-30g of protein per meal.  The US (blank) recommends you consume 0.38g per lbs of body weight.  Depending on your fitness goals you can adjust this accordingly. However, there is no need to go above 1g per lb of body weight.

Why? Protein helps build muscle and in turn, burn fat.  If you are weight training you should be consuming protein directly afterwards to make sure your body is receiving the amino acids needed to rebuild your muscles.

Carbohydrates:  Used to describe how many carbohydrates in grams you will be consuming per serving size. There are 2 different kinds of carbs, simple carbs and complex carbs.  Complex carbs will be released slower into your blood stream and won’t spike your insulin levels as quickly as simple carbs will.

Why?  If you don’t know by now, the true culprit of fat is excess carbohydrates.  Earlier I discussed sugar, well guess is a carbohydrate, so are starches.  So if you consume more than your body needs it will take the left over and store it as fat in your body.  Try to always combine your carbohydrates with a protein or a fat to minimize the spike in your insulin levels.  I personally only consume 20-30g of carbohydrates per meal.

Reading the nutrition labels on pre-packaged food will help you decide what is a good meal choice depending on how many calories, carbohydrates, fats, you need to consume per meal/day.

What do you normally look for when you read nutrition labels?
Tagged , ,

Work Out Playlist: Cardio and Weight Training Specific

20121221-082619.jpg

I am a firm believer that music can make us feel certain emotions. Personally, it plays a big role in my motivation during a workout.

I like to listen to certain types of music depending on what my plan is at the gym for that day.

For example, I like weight training to Rap/Hip Hop/Rock (Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Drake, One Republic). There is something about the truth and emotions behind the lyrics and the slow but intense tempo that make me want to lift harder.

During my cardio sessions, whether its interval style or steady state, my music of choice is commercial Pop/R&B (Justin Beiber, Usher, David Guetta, Chris Brown).

If you are curious what my iPod is playing during weight training and cardio sessions these days, take a look below. I included a list of songs to add to your playlist depending on what you are training at the gym. A lot of these songs are played during spin classes at my gym and I love it.

Cardio Playlist:
1. Justin Beiber-Boyfriend
2. Justin Beiber-She Don’t Like the Lights
3. Justin Beiber-Beauty and A Beat
4. Usher-Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
5. Jason Derulo- Don’t Wanna Go Home
6. Jason Derulo- Breathing
7. Jason Derulo – X
8. Chris Brown- Don’t Wake Me Up
9. David Guetta-Without You- ft. Usher
10. Chris Brown-Turn Up The Music

Weight Training Playlist:
1. B.O.B- Ghost In The Machine
2. Eminem- Love The Way You Lie- ft Rihanna
3. B.O.B-Airplanes- ft. Eminem and Hayley
4. Drake- Over My Dead Body
5. Eminem-8 Mile
6. Eminem- Going Through Changes
7. Kanye- Through The Wire
8. Jay-Z- Light up- ft. Drake
9. Trey Songs- Successful- ft. Drake
10. One Republic- Apologize

I am always looking to add more songs to my playlists. I encourage you all to leave a comment with your favorite song to workout to at the moment.

Tagged

What I Eat Wednesday: Gingerbread and Sugar Cookie Recipe

photo-6This time of year everyone is baking delicious cookies and I am no exception. A few weeks back, I mentioned that Wren from WrensHealthy on Youtube and I teamed up to make healthier versions of our favorite recipes. Originally it was just 3 videos, however we decided to extend it through the holidays.

Our focus now is on traditional Christmas baked goods, like cookies and Pie. In our first two videos we made healthy Sugar and Gingerbread Cookies. Surprisingly, my versions turned out better than I thought.
I even got good feed back from the boyfriend, who normally does not like my ‘healthier’ versions of dessert recipes (he doesn’t like the taste of Stevia). Anywho, since they were so good, I thought I would share the recipes.

Feel free to bake them for Santa this year. I am sure he and Mrs. Claus would appreciate you looking out for his health.

If you are a visual learner, check out the videos on both Wren (WrensHealthy) and My YouTube channels (Clarissa198). This Saturday we will be posting our last video which for me will be a healthy chocolate pudding and whipped cream pie. Get Excited!

GINGERBREAD COOKIE RECIPE:

**Ingredients (Dry)**

2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

***(Wet)***

-1 whole egg

-1/2 cup coconut oil

-1 cup Stevia

-1/2 cup Agave Nectar

Mix all the dry Ingredients together. In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients and then pour it into the dry. Mix until mixture has turned to a dough. You will need to refrigerate the dough for atleast 1 hour before rolling it out. Tip: Dough can be refrigerate up to 1 week before it needs to be used.

After the hour, roll out the dough and cut out your desired shaped cookie. The oven should be pre-heated to 375 degrees. Bake the cookies for 7-10 min.

SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE
***Ingredients (Dry)***
-1 cup Gluten Free All Purpose flour
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/3 cup Stevia
-1/8 tsp of salt
***(Wet)***
-1 whole egg
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Mix all the dry Ingredients together. In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients and then pour it into the dry mixture. Mix until it turns to a dough conistency. Roll out the dough and cut out your desired shaped cookie. The oven should be pre-heated to 375 degrees. Bake the cookies for 7-10 min.
What cookies do you normally make around the holidays? Share your recipes in the comment section.
Tagged , ,

What I Eat Wednesday: Healthy Protein Pancakes

20121109-195354.jpg

My FAVORITE meal of the day has always been breaskfast. Why? Well, because breakfast to me means yummy ummy, sweet goodness. Now of course, since I promote clean eating and I practice what I preach, I don’t have sugary simple carb loaded pancakes, waffles or french toast.

Instead I try to come up with ways that I can incorporate these foods into my clean eating lifestyle. So I thought I share with you my simple way to make Protein packed pancakes.

Try this recipe out. It is so good,  I promise you wont miss the real thing.

Ingredients:

2012-11-08 07.16.32

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray until warm. Pour your mixture into the skillet. This won’t bubble like a traditional pancake, so I normally wait until the outside of the pancake starts to brown before I flip it.

You can top this with anything you like. I normally just use sugar free maple syrup. What you could also do, is pour a packet of stevia into your skillet with some sliced strawberries to make a strawberry glaze.

Tagged

Living Room Cardio Circuit

I don’t know about you all but I am not the biggest fan of cardio. Especially steady state, long duration cardio. Don’t get me wrong, I know the benefits of cardio in regards to heart health and burning fat. I just prefer to get it in other ways, ways that do not involve 1 hour elliptical sessions.

I normally get my cardio via HIIT, Tabata style workouts or at max 30 min on a cardio machine.

Here is a cardio circuit I put together and did in my living room. This would be perfect for college students or anyone who doesn’t have access to cardio equipment or just wants to switch things up.

****You are going to perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between each movement.****

You can use a kitchen timer, smart phone, stop watch or a good old fashion clock with a second hand. I have a Gymboss timer and I set it for 10 and 30 sec intervals and 40 rounds.

These are the exercises:
-Jumping Jacks
-Mountain Climbers
-Jump squats, turning right and left with each jump
-High Knees
-Leg and arm switches

The whole circuit is only 12 minutes long, but I swear it will feel like 30 and after 5 minutes you will want to quit. DON’T! Push through it, you will feel so accomplished afterwards. Think about it, after 12 minutes your done with your cardio for the day. As NIKE would say, JUST DO IT!

If you end up trying this circuit, leave me a comment. Did you find it fun? Do you prefer traditional cardio? It sure makes cardio more interesting in my personal opinion.

What I Eat Wednesdays: Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

photo-1

I decided to add some structure to my blog posts. I am dedicating Wednesdays to diet and food.  I am calling it What I Eat Wednesdays.  Every Wednesday I will post either a recipe I have tried, an account of the meals I had that day, or share nutritional information.  I hope you guys enjoy this structure.

For the first What I eat Wednesday, I am going to be sharing a Chicken Teriyaki recipe.  For you visual learners, you can watch me prepare it below.

The base of the recipe is really the sauce, which I have to give credit to Katrina and Karena from ToneItUp as I got the recipe from their Beach Babe edition of the plan.  I did modify it a little bit, I did not have all the ingredietns in my kitchen.
photo-2
The great part of this sauce, is you can use it to make teriaki anything.  I’ve tried it with shrimp and beef, they were both equally as good.  Mix in any type of vegetables, and you have an amazingly flavorful stir fry. Give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think.

Stirfry Ingredients:

-4oz of pre cooked chicken

-1 cup broccoli

-1 cup of chopped onions, varity of peppers (or any veggies)

-1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients:

-3 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce

-1 tablespoon of rice vinegar (I used white vinegar in the video)

-1 Tablespoon Chili Garlic sauce/paste

-1/4 tsp of fresh or ground ginger

– 1 Packet of Stevia

-1/4 tsp of corn starch (used to thicken the sauce)

Directions: Mix all of the Teriyaki Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  In a medium sized saute pan or wolk pour in your sesame oil.  When oil is warm, add in your broccoli, pepper and onions.  Stir until onions begin to turn clear or brown.

Proceed to add your chicken and stir for about 3 min.  Then finally add in your Teriyaki Sauce.  Stir over low heat until sauce begins to thicken.  Server over brown rice or eat as is.

Tagged ,

NPC Bikini Booty Circuit

24117

One of my goals is to achieve a nice firm butt, similar to what you see at the NPC bikini competitions. I am over the jello-like consistency of my own behind and am trading it in for a rock solid, perky a**.

In an effort to achieve this goal, I have been training my lower body 2x a week. One of the days I focus on targeting the glutes and hamstrings. Strengthening your hamstrings will help give you a more round/lifted appearance. Below is the circuit I have been using lately to target these muscles. I like to switch up my exercises/routine every 4 weeks.

The great thing about this routine is that you can do it in the comfort of you own home if you don’t have a gym membership. If you don’t have dumbbells at home, you can use water bottles or a backpack/gym bag filled books or your own body weight. Get creative, there are no excuses!

Dumbbell straight leg deadlifts 20 reps

Dumbbell step ups 30 reps each leg

Hip raises with legs on a bench or chair 20 reps

-Lateral dumbbell step ups 20 reps each leg

***Repeat the circuit 2 more times for a total of 3 rounds***

Remember, this is a circuit so you want to move quickly between each exercise, with no rest in between. You can rest for 1 minute before starting the circuit all over again.

Let me know if you tried it and how you liked it. Did you find it challenging? I’ll tell you my hamstrings are always on fire the next day.