Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weight Loss Interview with Ms. Vee Charles

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Hi All!  started nursing school this week, and man they were not kidding in regards to how much reading you have to complete. I had assignments given to me even before I started going to actual classes. Its been tough trying to make it to the gym and eat my clean meals. I have had to make slight adjustments here and there to make sure I do not slip up. But, when your health is a lifestyle choice,  thats what it is all about, making it work for you and your life.

That being said, today I will be sharing with you a weight loss journey by Ms. Vee Charles.  Vee also shares fitness and nutrition tips on YouTube, and recently I noticed she has lost a lot of weight. I wanted to know exactly how she did it.  I thought you guys would also want to know. I asked Vee a few questions and she agreed to answer them for my blog.  I recommend checking out her YouTube channel, she does an amazing job sharing her weightloss progression and what she did to get there.  I hope you all enjoy this post.  Keep going and be strong. No one said these types of lifestyle changes would be easy at first, but I promise you the long term gains are worth it.

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Questions:
What is your name, age and history with weight gain and dieting?
My name is Vontrice but most people know me as “Vee”. Growing up I never had an issue with my weight but in the past I have always wanted to tone up. My main struggle was not with exercising because I had a trainer to teach me what to do. My struggle was that I did not take my eating habbits seriously. I was one of those people that said, “I’ve tried everything but nothing works!” Yea, looking back now I can honestly say that I was full of it…haha! I wasn’t making the commitment to healthy eating and understanding that it is a lifestyle change.
What made you decide to embark on this fitness journey?

Once I passed 30 I started to notice that I was gaining weight…it seriously snuck up on me. One day I was editing one of my videos (that never got posted by the way) and that’s when I saw how unhealthy I looked. So in January of this year (2012) I entered the annual Biggest Loser contest that we have at my job as a way to motivate myself to get fit.

How have you changed your diet?

My diet is unlike anything I’ve ever done in my life…I actually eat healthy now lol!

As with any fitness goal, I have a set number of calories I eat per day. I eat about 90% organic foods and I also take my suppliments (protein shakes, amino acids, omegas, multi-vitamins, and calcium). My diet consist of 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% healthy fats. I give myself one day out of the week as a “treat day” or “cheat day” as some call it just so I won’t become overwhelmed by cravings. You know, get it out of my system. Truth is NO ONE will maintain healthy eating 100% of the time. It’s okay to have a cookie or a burger if you want. It’s all about knowing how to incorporate it into your healthy lifestyle.

What is your current exercise routine?

I get my routines from BodyBuilding.com. I workout 5 days a week (6 when I’m really in the mood). I mainly do weight training with about 2 days of light cardio.

How do you manage eating healthy while on the go?

You have to plan ahead. If you don’t pack your lunch and organize your food for the week then you’re only setting yourself up for that Big Mac attack. Whenever I go shopping, for insance, instead of just unpacking and putting my groceries away, I like to organize my foods into serving sizes for the week. I normally do this with my cereals, protein shakes, and snack foods. When I cook my meals I always make extra so I can put some away in plastic containers so I’ll always have something to ready to eat.

If you could only suggest one diet or exercise change for someone who is just starting their weight loss journey, what would that be?

Diet is the most important thing. You can exercise your butt off but if you’re not eating clean then all the work is for nothing. So my suggestion would be to go online and do a search like, “meal plans for weight loss” or “meal plans for toning up”. There is so much information available online that you can definitely set yourself up for success.

Where can we find out more about your fitness journey? (Social Networks, Blogs etc)
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My Favorite Kitchen Appliances

I get a lot of questions regarding how I cook my meals. I hope this video helps. I filmed my favorite appliances to make all of my clean/healthy meals. What type of appliances do you all use when you are meal prepping?

Guest Post: Kasey from Powercakes.net

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Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you all prepped your meals last night and are ready to start a new week of workouts and clean eating. A new Work Out World opened up 3 min away from my house today.  This is going to make it that much easier to not make any excuses. 2013 goals, here we come!

To help keep you all motivated this week, I requested the help of Kasey from Powercakes.net.  She is known in the fitness world for her powerbowls/powercakes. I can not say enough good things about Kasey, I found her blog a few months back and she has given me the kick in the butt that I need to reach all my fitness goals this year.  Today, she is sharing 3 tips for  anyone thinking of starting their weight loss journey. I hope that she can be as much of an inspiration to all of you as she has been to me.

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Hi all! My name is Kasey Arena and I blog over at powercakes.net! I am a 23 year old certified personal trainer, entrepreneur, blogger, & owner of my own company, POWERCAKES LLC. I specialize in fitness, health, cooking, and baking clean food as well as being the creator and voice behind the Powercakes.net blog and website.

I graduated in May with with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education and am currently pursuing my dreams of launching my very own product. My company product will launch in early 2013!!

I have a passion for teaching the importance of proper nutrition combined with fitness. My goal is to travel around the US to Universities and Schools to present on this topic as well as sharing my POWERCAKES LLC product with others.

I am a proud  Fitfluential, Eat Clean Diet  & BN Shape Ambassador!

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I’ve been an athlete my whole life but really got into understanding the importance of a fitness lifestyle in college. My school held a bodybuilding & figure competition every year and I decided to train to compete in 2010. My background includes awards in a few Figure/Bikini Competitions: 2nd place in Tall Class Figure competition at my University, 1st Place in Tall Division at a local University Figure competition, & 5th place in a Pittsburgh Natural Tall Class Competition. In addition, I made a competitive appearance at Fitness America’s MISS Bikini NY 2011 and I recently took 1st place in Miss Bikini Competition Tall Division & Placed 2nd overall last spring at my University’s show.

I guess you could say that I’ve been able to accomplish some titles, but the most important thing to me was that I accomplished a GOAL. The first year that I competed, I listened to everyone around me telling me how to “diet” and lose weight. I did the first show very unhealthy. I hated the way that I felt, so I decided if I was going to compete again, it would be a healthy way. I realized this was more of a lifestyle change I wanted and not so much a “10 week – lose 10% body fat” diet that most people go on.

Along with fueling my fitness, my interest and knowledge in clean dietary and food habits come from my own experiences through dealing with food allergies. I enjoy my favorite foods by preparing them in a “clean” manner that can be merged with my fitness and everyday lifestyle. I practice creativity in the kitchen as a way of overcoming food allergies.

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To learn more about my story, you can go here!

With the new year rolling around, I know a lot of people are looking to kick start their training programs or just take steps in a healthier direction! Some tips I have are:

1)   BE TRUE TO YOU

It’s my motto every single day! So many people want to be like someone else. I think looking at someone for motivation is a great idea, while remembering to be true to themselves and strive to be a healthier version of YOU and not someone you aren’t.

2)   Prep is KEY-

Prepare food in advance and package in Tupperware for easy go to meals and snacks! This way, you’re not standing in front of the fridge wondering what to eat. My favorite way to do this is to roast veggies on a Sunday and have them for a few days!

i.     Chop veggies

ii.     Spray with oil of choice

iii.     Roast at 350 for about 30 minutes

3)   Start with small steps-

A lot of people dive into a new fitness routine and eating plan without preparing. Sometimes if they aren’t educated on what they are doing, they may have trouble or fail at their goal initially. If you take things in small steps – they will turn into HUGE gains! Once you start to create healthy habits, you won’t even have to think about it anymore!

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Remember, whether you are a busy college student, a working mother, or a full-time worker, being TRUE TO YOURSELF is so important. I’ve found that having healthy insides is so much more important than looking a certain way in the mirror. After 10 years of digestion issues I decided to start eating plant based and it truly changed my life. You can learn more about that process here.

Fitness & health is a beautiful thing and should be enjoyed! So find what you love to do and GO AFTER IT! The only personal holding you back sometimes is you! You can do anything you set your mind to. At 23 years old I never thought I’d be blogging, teaching, starting my own business, developing my own product, & being able to inspire and motive others every single day. The hardest part of going for your dreams is taking that initial leap. Once you leap, you realize how it wasn’t that scary to begin with. Here’s to 2013 and good luck with all of your goals for this year and years to come!

Where you can find out more about Kasey:

Blog: http://powercakes.net
Instagram: http://instagram.com/powercakes
Facebook: http://facebook.com/powercakes
Twitter: http://twitter.com/powercakes
You Tube Channel: http://youtube.com/user/KEA9578
Pinterest Page: http://pinterest.com/powercakes

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One Week of Meals for $50.00

Happy New Year Everyone! Its my first blog post of 2013 and I thought I would step away from the typical recipe style `What I Eat Wednesdays’ and bring you all a grocery/meal prepping/money saving type of blog post.

As most of you know I am a college student, and since I am a college student, I don’t have loads of money to spend on food. For this reason I have to be savvey regarding what I buy. I also have to get creative with left overs and meal ideas.

The fact of the matter is, I am pretty repetitive with my meals. I am not one to get bored of chicken, rice and broccoli. Its easy and it works.  I see food more as fuel for my body than a pass time. If I have time and extra money I will buy different items to make a special dinner or meal. I get my variety from my weekly to bi-weekly treat dinners out or in.

I provided the list of staple items I get each week below. These items might change depending on if there is a sale on fruit or yogurt.  I spend $50.00/wk and am able to have 5 meals a day 7 days a week.

Please keep in mind that I may include items in the meals that are not on my list but would typically be found in a fridge or cabinet. Some food items you can buy and they will last you a few weeks if frozen or refrigerated (bread).

I will also provide approximate price ranges and meal ideas. I am not promising that my meal ideas will be gourmet style but they work for me and could possibly work for you too.

Oh, one more thing, I provided an older video of what my grocery shopping looks like. I normally shop at Walmart and Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods can get a little expensive for me.

Grocery List with approximate price ranges

Grains

-1 package of Rolled Oats $5-6

-1 bag of Brown Rice $3.99

-3 Sweet Potatoes $3.00

Protein

-1 whole sale package of boneless skinless chicken breast $10

-1 lbs of 96/4 ground beef $5.00

-3 dozen egg box $9.99

Veggies

-1 Large bag of Frozen Broccoli or mixed veggies $6.00

-1 Mixed Salad $2.99-5.99-depending on brand/size

Spices

-Ms Dash Table Blend $3.50

Breakfast Ideas

-Scrambled eggs w/ oatmeal

-Veggie Omelete made with frozen veggies, seasoned w Ms. Dash and served with 2 slices of whole wheat toast topped with 1tbsp of all natural peanut butter.

-Protein pancake-made with oats, egg whites, almond milk and protein powder (you can also use cottage cheese in place of the protein powder)

Lunch Ideas

-Grilled Chicken Salad

-Chicken, broccoli served with brown rice and seasoned w Ms.Dash

-Homemade meat balls made with oatmeal, ground beef, onions/peppers, Ms. Dash, served over rice or mashed sweet potato

Dinner Ideas

-Homemade burger-made with ground beef, oatmeal, egg whites, Ms.Dash served over a bed of mixed salad

-Oven roasted chicken served with sweet potato fries and a side mixed salad

-Chicken Stirfry served over brown rice

I hope you all enjoyed this post and my meal ideas. Do any of you have a grocery budget? What are your staple items?