All the Jazz on Protein, Supplements, Etc……

Should you use protein shakes, supplements, vitamins? It all depends on your body’s needs, your activities, and your goals. If you are not exercising, you may not have much of a need for anything other than a multi-vitamin.

 

Let’s start with the basics – VITAMINS

What most people should consider?

  • Multi-Vitamin
  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin C
  • Any other vitamin recommended by your doctor.

Foods that also can help

  • Flax Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds

For anyone aiming to lose weight or healthy up your body, I highly recommend a daily serving of one of these seeds!

Of course other specific vitamins, like vitamin B, can be helpful.  But I would defer these ideas to your doctor or at least have a blood test to get an accurate idea of current levels.  There are some vitamins that when taken in excess can do more damage than help to your body.

PROTEIN: Protein is not actually something people need as a supplement. It’s a natural part of your diet.  A diet with a healthy amount of protein will help your body use fat stores and process sugars better.  It will aid in reducing hunger and cravings.  If you are actively working out with resistance or strength training, protein is vital to repairing your muscles.  Oftentimes people with a high protein diet appear leaner and are better at managing their diet.

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YOU CAN DO THIS! Belief is Motivation

The big wall between you and being healthier is Motivation. It’s not a secret that everyone that wants to live a full life should make being healthy a priority. You are aware of the many reasons that getting healthy is positive for you, check out some of my older posts for more information. the tricky thing about making it work for you is Motivation.  The major element that holds us back from getting healthy and maintaining consistency is MOTIVATION.

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Guide for Strength Training + Full Body Workout


**Link for Example of First Day Full Body Workout Plan at end of post. 

Strength or Resistance Training is a great way to get your body in shape, lose weight, and produce long-lasting benefits for your body.  Since it is a different form of exercise than typical running, walking, cardio activities, aerobics, it requires a healthy approach to your lifestyle.

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Strength Training

Why should you consider strength training? A lot of research and information is starting to circulate about the overall benefits of strength training. Traditionally, we have thought about weight loss and overall health by doing cardiovascular exercises. And the benefits and information we have received is mostly true.  However, we are starting to learn that our bodies can be healthier by having an exercise plan that includes of variety of types of exercise.

If you want to lose weight, if you want to gain endurance, if you want to improve your heart and lung function, you should put in a significant amount of your time to cardio exercise.

If you want to gain strength, mobility, improve joints and bones, and maintain overall health, you should also put a significant time into weight training. How much of each type of exercise will depend on your personal goals.dumbbell_heart

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Mom Power

**Printable at home chore workout guide PDF at bottom of post.

Moms want to workout more, but often can’t find the time, the energy, the concentration, supplies.  Much of our time is spent taking care of others’ and toting along toddlers wherever we go. Especially if you’re a stay at home mom, like myself, there is not many seconds in the day when someone else is not demanding your attention. And where do these fit moms find the energy?

busymom

After middle of the night nightmares, breastfeeding, cleaning, changing diapers, homework, being the taxi driver, grocery shopping, cooking….where is the energy for exercising? It’s a daunting task to consider spending some time on yourself. You will have to pull from other energy stores and routines to make this happen for yourself.  BUT DO NOT FEAR! YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE MOM POWER!

I often joke that I’m not “Wonder Woman“, but imagesH06LQNOL.jpgafter having two kids, I fully believe that I AM WONDER WOMAN! And so are you, chances are if you’re reading this, you take care of your kids, health is important to you, and you’re not spending enough time for yourself. YOU ARE A WONDER WOMAN!

Did you read the list of your activities above? And that’s not even a complete list.  So, trust me if you can do all of that and more, you are fully capable of figuring out how to start working out consistently. And because you will feel better, you will have the energy. Yes, you may have to cut something not so important off of your to-do list.  For me, spending excessive time on structured activities at home and some of those extra cleaning tasks that nobody cares about….guess what? I just don’t do them anymore.  I don’t care, my family doesn’t care.  We’re still smart and plenty cleaned up enough and loved….and Mom’s a little happier. It really can be a win-win.

But how can I afford it and I don’t have a babysitter? Well, if you are leaving your house, going other places, stopping at Burger King for lunch play, changes are that you can shave a few bucks off these activities to put toward a membership.  Now the next task is to find a reasonably priced gym with a daycare.  We have chosen to utilize our local YMCA, which offers free daycare during certain hours 6 days/week.  So regardless of your schedule and whether or not you work, it is possible to take your kids with you.

Or you may choose to workout at home, you may need to purchase a few small pieces of equipment. There are many DVD programs and YouTube Channels that can help you get your workouts in. YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU HAVE MOM POWER!

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Mindfulness & Exercise

Mindfulness is defined as “the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.” according to Wikipedia. In performing a search of content out there about mindfulness in fitness, I was surprised that information on this topic is limited.

Mindfulness: “paying attention to the present moment, with intention, while letting go of judgment, as if your life depends on it” Dr. John Kabat-Zinn

Too often, I realize that I forget to apply the techniques of mindfulness and relaxation to my daily life.  I have taught others’ many strategies to feel more peaceful and cope with difficult illnesses like anxiety and depression.  And I still forget how useful these practices are for daily life.

One area I do always apply mindfulness is during exercise.  It is the reason I exercise, because I am focused, concentrating on one thing, getting in tune with my body and my brain.

Practicing mindfulness during exercise will greatly improvemindful_brain.jpg your results. 

YOU CAN:

  • Be Aware of what is happening with your body and muscles internally.
  • Be Aware of where your body is performing well and areas that are difficult.
  • Use the power of focused thinking to contract the muscles you want to strengthen.
  • Focus on contracting and strengthening your core muscles, think through that squeeze, make it count!
  • Positive motivating mantra – getting more in tune with your thoughts and body will help you use positive mantras to boost motivation and self-esteem!

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8 SIMPLE TIPS – HEALTHY EATING GUIDE

Most people have an idea that they want to eat healthier. That you’re going to change your diet…soon.  You’re going to try some of these new foods floating around on your Facebook fee. You really, really want to, but you won’t. Possibly because there’s not enough motivation in it.  Or possibly because it all just seems to complicated and it will take time.

Not long ago, I wrote a post Keep It Simple. Make things simple for your life and go into a diet change with the knowledge that CONSISTENCY = RESULTS!

I have been playing around with different types of meal plans and making new changes in my own diet. Making a diet plan for someone else is near impossibly. Not because I’m not aware of what’s healthy and how to develop one.  Rather because I have no idea what you normally eat.  I have no idea what you like or what you’re willing to try.  So I will repeat that following these guidelines will help YOU develop your own plan. YOU are in charge!

Personally, I have cut out aspartame! A big one for me.  I LOVE COFFEE!! No, let me rephrase that, in order to function and maintain relationships I MUST HAVE COFFEE! I don’t like it black and I don’t like creamer, so this has been the easiest way for me drink my coffee…..until recently I found the idea of using butter (regular, unsalted butter) and I add a little cinnamon. 3 weeks now and I’m sticking with it. Also, I have traded out my carb based oatmeal breakfast for a green smoothie (almond milk, peanut butter or plant-based protein powder, 1/2 c. fruits, and a handful of spinach).coffee-1958225_960_720.jpg Continue reading “8 SIMPLE TIPS – HEALTHY EATING GUIDE”

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DONT’S OF BEING HEALTHY

There are a lot of misconceptions and conflicting information about getting healthy and losing weight.  Too often I hear people say they fell off the band wagon because they believed they had to change their life in such a way that depressed them.  For too long we were told that to be healthy, we had to be skinny.  To be healthy we have to cut our calories out.  We can’t eat fat.  We have to stick to a diet program very strictly.  We have to look like the latest fitness model or we’re not really healthy.  We should conform to BMI charts and weight charts. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

It’s crap, don’t listen to bad advice.

Don’t listen to the latest trends.  They come and go, you want your health to stick.

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MOVING ON UP

Exercise routines are must if you want to be healthy or lose weight. Diet alone will not do this for you. I don’t think its necessary for us to review all of the potential benefits of exercise and how it contributes to weight loss, you already know.  So why aren’t you doing it? Good question, huh?  IT IS HARD! I’m not going to lie and tell you that it’s really simple to add 30 mins. a day to your routine to exercise, because it’s not.  That’s what makes it even better, that’s what makes you feel even stronger when you can accomplish this task.  Not only did you bust your butt exercising for 30-60 mins., but you also made a routine, squeezed those minutes into your day and possibly sacrificed something else to get the s&!@ done!

Heres a laundry list of reasons EXERCISE IS HARD:

  • BUSY, BUSY, BUSY
  • Work and work schedules
  • Kids – even when you have the time, kids can just be chaotic when you try to workout
  • Low Energy
  • Sleep problems/Shift Work
  • Lack of motivation
  • Health Issues
  • Not sure what to do

Well, that’s what I’m here for – to guide YOU on how to get up and get some motivation to BE A HEALTHY YOU!

You know you want to feel better, you know you want to lose some weight, you know you want to be more confident about your health and your body, you don’t know what to do, how to get there. I get it!

♥MOVING ON UP TO A HEALTHY YOU♥

You need to set out your goals:

  • Why do you want to be exercise?
  • How will this help YOU be healthier?
  • What are your goals? to exercise a certain amount of hours, to lose a certain amount of weight, to improve your blood pressure, ???
  • What do YOU need for motivation and accountability? Some people need a fit friend, a weekly reward, inspirational compliments, keeping logs to track progress, etc.
  • How often per week do you want to work out? Aim for at least 2-3 days/week
  • For how long? Aim for at least 30 mins./session

You need to make a schedule.

  • Find the best 3 days in your schedule
  • What is the best time? don’t just squeeze it into your schedule, think about what is the best time of day for you to exercise?
  • What is offered, what is open in your area on these days?
  • PUT EXERCISE IN YOUR SCHEDULE RIGHT NOW!
  • Review your whole schedule, make sure your exercise plan works around the other events in your day and week. We do not want to miss a family get together, a basketball game, a date night. We want to make it work out for our whole schedule.

You may need exercise equipment:

  • Clothes – if you don’t have comfortable gym clothes, consider getting 1-2 outfits in your size that you can move around comfortably. (Ladies, don’t forget a good sports bra!)
  • Water Bottle – Drink plenty of water while you exercising.
  • Shoes – Use a  good fitting, comfortable pair of tennis shoes that give you good support.  It may look silly, but I always walk up/down the aisle, squat, and stand on one foot to test out my shoes.exercise-equipment
  • Journal – you need to keep a log of your food and exercise when you are starting out.  You can also use an app.  I like to keep my exercises handwritten, it’s too time consuming on the apps.
  • Other things people consider (but aren’t necessary)
    • towel
    • headbands
    • swiss ball
    • weights for home use
    • yoga mat

Don’t skip any of these steps! Start out right!

Consider new types of exercise.  If you’re not sure what you like to do or you don’t like what you’re currently doing, try something new. You just might surprise yourself! or not, but at least you know.  There are many different options, between running, walking, cardio machines, yoga, strength straining, group classes, dance cardio, step classes, yogasports, climbing. Chances are you have given up on exercise before simply because you weren’t doing  something you enjoyed. I love dance cardio, even though I’m horrible at dancing.  During my initial weight loss, I spent a lot of time on machines.  It’s hard for me to stay focused and I feel BORED.  Now that I’ve found something I enjoy, I haven’t gotten a machine for more than 15 mins. in probably a year.  I still get my heart pumped up and sweat for 60 mins. a week. My favorite exercise is strength training with free weights.  I never played sports and I was terrified of how poor my performance would be when I looked at that weight room.  After I watched other women and talked to some friends, I fearfully tried it.  I LOVE IT! IT’S KEEPS ME FOCUSED!!  I do not like running.  I do not run.  But I’m still healthy.  If you love running, then God has blessed you with a special gift and you should be using it. Find an activity you enjoy that helps you mentally. ♥

Now What? So you have the time, you got a gym membership and you’re here. What do you do? If you’re at a gym, it may be overwhelming and stimulating at first.  If you’re at a group class, you may feel shy and confused at first.  But don’t worry, most people do and most people are not judging you.  Everybody had to start somewhere, even the flexed out guy deadlifting with 3- 45 lb. plates on each side started out somewhere.  And everyone made mistakes, even that guy.  Matter of fact, he’s probably maxing out right now with poor form.  It’s okay, in order to move up we have to start and we have to experience some bad reps to get us there. Be confident and fake it til you make it!

If you have not been physically active for awhile, you’re best bet is to start with cardio machines, sports, or group classes with some strength & toning exercises. Find out what you can do without overdoing it.

There are programs and there are programs and there are articles and YouTube videos and live streaming and Instagram and more programs.  My best advice to you is to ignore articles from entertainment magazines, ignore Instagram. Do not rely on live streaming, DVD’s or YouTube videos solely.  Some of these sources give us a great way to work out at home, but they do not do it all. A class or YouTube video is not a program and it doesn’t add in your nutrition. DO NOT try any of these funny Instagram moves at the gym.  I have done this, I have watched other women do this. WE DO LOOK FUNNY!!  This is not a workout and if you have to follow along with the video at the gym, just do it at home.

Look for programs written by popular personal trainers that appear practical, contain full body programs, and don’t push too much. You do not need to do 12 different exercises at 12 reps a piece. It’s chaotic and can tax your body in the wrong way. Focus on the main compound exercises (which really only adds up to a few) and if you are using weight or intensity that is challenging, feel free to lower the reps a bit, say down to 8. For good program templates, I recommend:

If you really want to get into strength training, I recommend:

I’ve read a number of small articles by Shape, Women’s Health, etc. that get shared around social media.  Some of these exercises are great, especially for isolation exercises. But a lot of them direct you to do too many bodyweight strength based moves in a short period of time. And they’re not giving you guidance on when to do them or what else to do with them.  Most of these will just wear you out and that’s why you don’t stick with them.  I feel that I am quite fit and I can rock it in a squat rack, I can rock out heavy weights for 60-90 mins.  But I get tired just looking at some of these routines on paper. And you do want to pay attention to the order of the exercises, it is extremely important for your endurance.

Just stay away, just find a solid program. 

And tweak that program to fit your needs and what you can do. There isn’t a specific program I can recommend to YOU, because I am not YOU. We all may need something a little different.  I cannot tell you that there is one of these specific programs that I had tons of success with, because I didn’t use anyone’s program.  I reviewed these sites and their workout plans extensively and I made my own workout plans based on what I learned.  I’m not doing 100 crunches a day, I’m not running, I’m not doing a lot of jumping, I’m not working out every day of the week. Did I have success? You Betcha!! I am very happy to say that I decreased in inches, I drastically reduced my body fat, I have improved my speed and endurance, I have drastically improved my strength and I’m even starting to pump up the muscle!!! My best success was with my own program. 

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? GET OUT THERE, MOVE YOUR BODY, BE STRONG, BE HEALTHY, BE YOU!

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To Sugar or to not Sugar?

Carbohydrates and sugars are the culprits of an unhealthy diet.  Traditionally we have been led to believe that our main concern is in the fats, while they secretly loaded up our boxes of foods and grocery stores with tons of bad carbs (sugars) and chemicals.  While people have been trained to read a food label well, all of these confusing names and long ingredients are just too much to decipher while you’re in the store, possibly trying to get as much food as you can, while your toddler is screaming in the cart for some other ultra sugared out box of whoever the latest character is.  So we quickly review just the food label and move on.

Now fats are an issue, but not all fats.  Healthy fats found in olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, nut butters, whole grain-fed dairy have a good place in a healthy diet. It’s obvious that the high fats in fried foods, snacks, vegetable oil, margarine are unhealthy. Cutting back on unhealthy carbs and sugars is the way to go if you want to get healthier, lose weight, and reduce your risk of future health problems.

Where do you find healthy carbs? That’s a good question. I often say when it comes to health and fitness, “It’s not rocket science”….but in my quest for more information on this topic, I’m beginning to think that it is.  Actually, I’m beginning to think that finding good food has become increasingly difficult. I have been developing a theory that manufactures have conspired to hook us onto high carb/high sugar foods and charge us more money for them! It should not be that difficult to find a whole wheat carb item with a short ingredient list for a reasonable price.

That is all you are looking for.   piece of bread                         

  • Whole wheat or whole grain is the first ingredient (or oats, quinoa, barley),
  • Short ingredient list, and as a bonus look for products with dietary fiber – this helps your body digest and use sugar more efficiently
  •   Do not pick up a product that has the whole grain stamp or is labeled multi-grain, without checking the ingredients list.
  • Be mindful that many products labeled fat free, sugar free, multi-grain still contain refined grains and added sugars.
  • Check out SELF article “What’s  The Difference Between Whole Grain and Whole Wheat?”

What has happened to our food that it has become this difficult to purchase a piece of whole wheat bread?

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