Monthly Archives: March 2013

Getting Slim With Out a Gym

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I have been talking for months with my boyfriend about possibly canceling my gym membership. I wanted to cancel it because at this point in my life I can no longer afford it.  I was also sick of driving to the gym and working around their schedule.  If I am honest, the thought of doing this terrified me. I was worried that I wouldn’t achieve the results I wanted if I did not have access to heavier weights and cardio machines.

But Last week something hit me. I woke up  with this uncontrollable urge to cancel it. So I did.  I don’t know what about it made me feel so free.  I think it was the thought that I could work out at any time that was convenient for me. I felt in control of the changes to my body.

What this means for me is that I have to start getting creative with my workouts.  I already own resistance bands, a dip station, and 5-10lb weights.  I actually started my new at home workout routine this week.

My weights and resistance bands will serve as strength training equipment. My resistance bands actually can provide up to 75 lbs of resistance.  I will also use a lot of body weight exercises (pushups, squats, plyometrics).

As far as cardio goes, I will create 20 min HIIT workouts using my Gymboss timer, and since the weather is getting nice out, I will also use running and stairs for steady state cardio.

I am happy I finally went through with this decision because one of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to teach people that getting in shape and eating healthy, can be and is affordable.

Your body is your gym, and with no open/close schedule in your home, you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have the time.

I now want to hear from all of you. How many of you actually have a gym membership and how many of you chose to work out at home?

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The only Supplements You Need

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I try to incorporate a variety of foods into my diet, but sometimes its just not feasible. So what I do to make sure I am giving my body all the necessary nutrients it needs to sustain my training schedule is, I take supplements.

I do not take very many supplements as I do prefer to eat most of my vitamins straight from its source, whole real food.  Plus, supplements can get really expensive and as a college student it is not feasible for me to spend $150.00 each month.

So, what I have done is narrowed it down to the only 3 supplements I believe you need.

1. Multi Vitamin: Because we cook are food and sometimes don’t eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should, we  lack essential vitamins found in these whole foods. This is why we need a multivitamin.  The brand does not really matter, just make sure it contains  B12’s, folic acid, Amino Acids, Vitamin C/D and calcium.

2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: This is your essential fat which is normally found in nuts and fish. Omega 3’s come in the form of flax seed and fish oil pills. I used to take the fish oil pill, but I found a liquid version made by Barlean’s that comes in a variety of flavors from strawberry banana smoothie to my personal favorite, pina colada.  Barlean’s  also makes this with flax seeds.

3. Protein Powder:  Protein is the building blocks of all cells. If you are working out and tearing down your muscles you need protein to help rebuild the muscle. It is also very convenient to carry around making it easier to get in a quick protein packed meal.

I use protein shakes as a breakfast meal but most often as my post work out meal. Protein powders come in many different forms from whey, to casein, and even plant based. The only difference is the source and the rate at which they are absorbed.

When it comes to choosing a protein powder, try to make sure it has less than 3g of fat, 3-25g of carbohydrates and that it contains at least 15-25g of protein per scoop.

Cheaper and Healthier Caramel Lattes

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All throughout college I drank caramel latte’s with an extra shot of expresso and squirt of caramel.  Have you ever looked at the amount of sugar in those things? If not, go take a look.  Let’s just say I do not have them anymore, but I can’t deny that I crave them.

In a recent trip to a local supplement store, my boyfriend picked up a caramel latte flavored whey protein shake made by Intek.  I first tried it with just almond milk and I found it a tad too sweet.  The next morning I brewed a cup of coffee let it cool and tossed it in a blender with a scoop of the Intek shake, almond milk and some ice cubes.

And, oh My Goodness, I kid you not this concoction taste just as good as the caramel latte frappes you can get at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, for my New England readers.

If you are a latte fanatic like I am, try this recipe out. I pair mine with a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings.  It will not only help crave your sweet tooth, it will probably save you some extra cash as well.

Ingredients:

– 4oz of coffee (try brewing some the night before and placing it in your fridge)

-1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

-Caramel Latte flavored protein shake (you can also make this with a vanilla flavored protein shake or chocolate if you like mocha lattes)

-2-3 ice cubes

-1 packet of stevia (optional depending on the sweetness of your shake)

Directions: Pour all ingredients into a blender, mix until desired consistency. Pour it into your favorite cup and enjoy it with a straw.  It really adds to the whole coffee shop experience.

What do all of you do to make your favorite coffee drinks healthier?

Nursing School, Fitness, Job: How am I Making it Work?

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I recently started nursing school, and my fitness goals went out the window the first 2 weeks of classes.  I went from eating completely clean to straight processed junk and I was not exercising at all.   I did this because it was convenient. I thought that by quickly grabbing something on the way home or missing my gym session, would save me time to get X,Y,Z finished.

I completely lost focus of my fitness goals and the reason I started this blog.   I quickly had to re-evaluate my previous plan and adjust it to my new lifestyle.  I needed to let go of the excuses I was making for myself and FIND the time to eat right and exercise.

I work 30+ hrs a week, and I am in class 4 days out of the week.  Two of those days consist of working in a hospital from 7-3, but I manage to eat clean 95% of the time and work out 4-5x per week.  But in order to this, I had to change my mindset and get back to basics. That meant prepping my meals and fitting in exercise in any pocket of time I could.

If you find you are in this same situation, this is was I suggest:

Focus on your nutrition.  I have said it before and I will say it again, losing weight, being lean and getting ripped is 90% diet and 10% exercise.  If you can’t find the time to exercise pay special attention to your diet. If you consistently eat clean, and in the right macronutrients, you will not gain weight.  If you’re not sure how to calculate your macros, click here.

Prep your meals.  Don’t give yourself the ammunition to shoot yourself in the foot. Always have clean, whole foods available. I take 1-2 hrs each week to prep 1-2weeks worth of food.  It won’t go bad if you freeze it.  I personally suck it up and eat nearly the same thing everyday. I know what my goals are, so to me its worth it.  Plus, I love the food I make at at the moment its what I can afford. Once you start eating clean all that process junk just doesn’t compare.  Don’t know how to meal prep, I made a video showing my method here.

Take 1hr to write down all of your commitments (work, school, study time) and somewhere in between all of that, find a solid 12-60 minute pocket of time you can dedicate 3-5x/week for working out.  I work at a restaurant and some nights I am trucking my behind to the gym at 10pm, on clinical days I am in the gym as early as 5am. MAKE NO EXCUSES.  Your workout doesn’t need to be long, just intense.  There are several YouTube Channels like, bodyrock.tv and Zuzkalight that have 12-20 minute HIIT full body workouts.  The plus side of these channels is that you can do the workouts at home at any time, with minimal to no equipment.  There are so many resources out there, take the time to look for them and use them to your advantage.  I am sure you have 12 minutes you can spare in your day.

Lastly, if you are really serious about taking control of your weight, stop making excuses, get out of your own way and just get SH*T DONE.  I promise you there is a way to get what you want, you just have to be willing to put in the work.  If it means getting up at 4am to hit the gym, do it.  If you have to prep your meals for a full month, do it. Wallowing and wishing you had more hours in the day isn’t going to get you the body you want, Period!

I want to hear from all of you. Have any of you had to make some sacrifices in order to meet any of your fitness goals?