I have just returned from a relaxing and indulging vacation. Before I left I was on a 6 week strength and muscle-building program that went great. I had planned on running during my time away but before I left I pulled something in my lower leg from doing sprints so I decided to do a little walking and recovering. It went great but I also over indulged with a few goodies. I do not feel guilty about my indulgences because I was on vacation enjoying myself and having a great time. However, the results of that are me feeling tired, sluggish, less motivated. So enter a new program.
I love the http://www.bodybuilding.com website because it is full of free workout programs and great information overall. I found a program I am going to be doing over the next 21 days. It is called The Bizzy Diet 21 Day Fitness Plan. It is designed for the busy persons lifestyle with a focus on strength and muscle-building which I want to continue and also on fat loss. It incorporates Hiit (high intensity interval training), which I love, at the beginning and the middle of the workout. I like this because you get the strength and cardio in one workout. Perfect for me. Below is the link for an overview of what it is all about. Check it out if you may be interested too. I will be posting about my progress over the next 21 days. The great thing about this program, is that it can be done at home too. You do not have to have a gym membership, just dumbbells and a great attitude. Time to get Bizzy 🙂
*Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
“Success always demands a greater effort.” – Winston Churchill
I said in my last post that my next post was going to be about high intensity interval training (hiit) and steady state cardio but I changed my mind today. I will get to it but today I want to share and update everyone about my friend Karen ( I wrote about her weight loss journey a few posts back) and her progress. If you did not see the link to her blog a few posts back, I will share again here. Karen is on a great journey. In January she began an intense program to lose weight and change her lifestyle. She has been coming to my classes regularly plus putting extra time in the gym. The program she is on is like a college course. It requires discipline, accountability, tests, reading, learning, and prioritizing to complete. Karen is on a great journey to become her best self. It is not just about exercising and dieting. It takes a great effort.
Anyway, one requirement for this course is that she has to weigh in at different points and she has to be weighed by someone else and have it documented. I am that person for her 🙂 Today was her final weigh in for this portion of her course.I am smiling right now because it is so awesome and inspiring to see someone really go after what is important to them. To give it 110%. This is Karen. I am still smiling because she was the last person I was talking to when I left the gym last night and she was the first person I saw at the gym this morning. We laughed as I was weighing her because I told her she was here as much as I am now and that she should work here. I love her dedication and her determination. We talked a little after I weighed her about where she is in her journey and how she gets through some of the temptations. She has found ways that work for her to keep going and to keep moving forward. She will not stop.
After she left, I checked facebook to see what was going on in facebook world and I saw a link to her latest blog post titled “Last Official Weigh In”. Karen is on an amazing journey and all along the way she is inspiring others including me to be my best self. She is a strong and beautiful person and I admire her strength, dedication, and effort she puts in every single day. Yes, there may be setbacks, struggles and obstacles here or there but the effort and courage to continue is what counts and Karen has this. She will be successful. Check out her latest post.
Keep moving forward 🙂
Eating clean is not complicated. What complicates the whole nutrition thing is the processed crap fake food that crowds the grocery stores and markets. I know you have heard the phrase “you are what you eat” right? Well, I believe this to be true. When I put processed foods in my body I feel sluggish, irritable, lethargic and I have zero energy. I often get asked at work from our members about what are good ideas for meals and snacks. My answer to them is of course, whole food. Then I get the usual blank stare like they do not know what that means. I then explain the whole thing about shopping for whole foods, you know, the perimeter of the store, checking ingredients, no packaged or fake food etc.. People complicate things too much. I always recommend keeping things simple. Cooking meals that are healthy and nutritious can be simple.
Here are my top 5 tips of simple clean eating.
1. Spend time in the produce section of the grocery or visit your local farmers market. Try new things.
2. Take time to read nutrition labels and especially the ingredients. If there is a huge list of ingredients, chances are it is processed so move on to something else.
3. If you do not have a crock pot, get one. If you have one, use it. There are tons of healthy recipes for slow cookers all over the web. I have a few here.
4. Do not fall for the flashy marketing on products in the grocery stores and markets. I know all the packages are screaming for us to take them off the shelf because they claim to be healthy, low-fat, low-sugar, 100 calorie, low sodium, heart healthy blah blah blah… but beware. I believe it is much safer and healthier to grab the fruits and vegetables that are sitting quietly in the produce section 🙂
5. Experiment with putting whole foods together for creating delicious meals. Do not over complicate it. For example; for dinner I can bake a piece of salmon, while at the same time roast asparagus and bake a sweet potato that I washed and wrapped in foil all in the same oven. It just takes a tiny bit of thought and planning.
So this morning I woke up feeling like I wanted pancakes. All it takes is a bowl, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1 egg, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1/2 cup almond milk, stir, and cook in a skillet on medium high until golden. My topping is blueberries heated with a little butter and agave nectar. It took about 10 minutes for the whole event. This is my blueberry pancake breakfast today 🙂
I hope this helps if you are struggling with how to clean up your diet. Remember, we are what we eat so don’t forget about all the beautiful fruits and vegetables sitting peacefully in the produce. I would much rather be a colorful zucchini or broccoli flower than a chunk of Velveeta.
*Consult your physician before beginning any new nutrition or exercise program.
Have you been thinking of your New Year Resolution for 2013? I usually have a couple. One I will be working on is to get organized at home and at the workplace. Since I work in the health and fitness industry, the most common resolution I hear is about losing weight. Most of these people have strong intentions to follow through with their resolution but some are lost or confused on how to begin. This is a list of my top tips for weight loss for 2013.
- State your goal. I don’t mean just writing it down and keeping to yourself, I think we should state our goals to family, friends, coworkers etc. because having other people’s support and feeling accountable will motivate us more. So shout it out to the world if you have to. Also, set a plan of how you will accomplish this goal.
- Evaluate your lifestyle. Take a look at your current diet and eating habits. Good nutrition is a MUST if you are wanting to lose weight and make REAL changes. Of course, physical activity needs to be in your lifestyle as well. Find a nutrition and exercise plan that will work for you such as going to a gym or finding a workout group to join.
- Set a routine with your meals and workouts. Consistency in the kitchen and the gym will pay off.
- Sleep is very important. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day. Make sure you are well rested for your workouts. If you are tired you are more likely to skip your workouts. Lack of sleep also increases the chance of unhealthy eating patterns.
- Avoid all processed foods as much as possible which means, anything packaged in a box or bag with more than 3 or 4 ingredients such as breads, cakes, cookies, candies, sodas, instant anything, chips, crackers, pastas, cereals, artificial anything, cream sauces, sugar, all junk etc… If your great-grandmother would not recognize it, don’t eat it.
- Eat whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, chicken, fish, brown rice, eggs, nuts, healthy fats such as avocados, olives, olive oils, nut butters etc.. Prepare meals at home. Restaurants can sabotage your efforts so visit them sparingly and choose wisely 🙂
- Drink plenty of water each day.
- Physical activity will help you accelerate your weight loss efforts as well as helping to keep your body’s systems fit and strong. To see results you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone. Find an exercise program that you like and that you will be able to stick with. Push yourself to be the best you can be at it. Group exercise classes are great because the other people will help keep you motivated, the classes are fun and your workout is already planned for you. You just have to show up with a good attitude 🙂
- Keep up with your calorie intake. There are apps on smartphones that will help you track your intake. Or, just go to the internet and find a free program to help you track it. Remember to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. Most people do not realize exactly how much is going in until they begin to track it. It may shock you.
- Find a buddy to join you in your resolution. Keep each other on track and accountable. Start a weight loss contest at your work or gym. Get everyone to put in $5 or $10 dollars, set an ending date and whoever loses the most weight wins the prize money. I have held a weight loss contest at our gym in the past ( I will organize one again in 2013) and it worked well. They all lost weight, so they were winners too.
If you are wanting to lose weight, become healthy and fit, you have to work for it. There is no easy or quick “fix” or pill that will do the trick. Let 2013 be the year you finally accomplish your goals so go and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Do you want to lose weight? Do you believe in setting goals?
Disclaimer: This blog is written by me. It describes my opinions and my own experiences. Consult your own doctor before starting a new exercise and nutrition program.