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Post Vacation 21 Day Shape Up

Hi all,

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.

 

 

Effort And Success

“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.

http://www.mypointsintime.blogspot.com/2014/06/last-official-weigh-in.html

Keep moving forward 🙂

Increasing Metabolism and Strength

So in my previous post I started the 21 day program from Ashley Conrad. I did it but not exactly all 21 days. It is a great workout and one that I will go back to when I need a full body intense workout. Now, I have started another workout program. It is by Erin Stern and it is called the Elite Body Workout. She is a figure competitor, Ms. Olympia and a track and field athlete. I was inspired by her workout because I love her style and the way she trains. I love to run so I have to include it in my workouts and her training method always includes HIIT (high intensity interval training) which works great with my runs too. I am feeling so much stronger! IMG_20140527_090738 I began the workout 2 weeks ago and I can see a difference already. I am following a clean eating plan similar to hers also. The workout is for 4 weeks but I am stretching it 6 weeks. I have been progressing with the weights and getting stronger. I find that when I follow a complete plan I stay motivated and really enjoy it more. The only thing I changed was adding another leg day. I know my body and it responds better to 2 leg days per week, of course with plenty of recovery between. Legs are shaping up! IMG_20140528_133706   I am doing this program because I reset my goals. My new goals are to increase my strength, power, muscle, and speed. I took before photos in a swim suit so I can really see my progress by the end of the 6 weeks. My nutrition consists of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, brown rice, quinoa,  sweet potatoes, oatmeal, almond milk, protein shakes, and nuts. I avoid processed food. No bread, cheese, milk, sugar, butter, sauces, junk etc… It is going pretty smooth because I eat clean most of the time. I love lifting weights and learning more about different styles of lifting. I believe if you really want to change the shape of your body, increase strength, and increase metabolism you must lift weight and I mean weight, not the dinky vinyl covered weights. It is time to pump some iron. There are great workouts and articles about lifting, nutrition, and supplementation over at http://www.bodybuilding.com and below is a clip of the Erin Stern’s training philosophy.  Check it out. My actual workout split is: Monday-rest Tuesday – Plyometrics and Legs Wednesday – High Intensity Cardio Thursday – Chest and Shoulders/Sprints Friday- Back/Sprints Saturday- Plyometrics and Legs Sunday – Shoulders and Arms/Sprints I vary my cardio and sprints. It will sometimes be running, spinning bike, stepmill, or the elliptical. I always keep it high intensity. I will have more on HIIT and steady state cardio in my next post. Have a great day everyone! Go pump some iron! 🙂

Workout at BodyBuilding.com

Hi, just a quick update on the new goals and workout happening at nthefitzone. Since I finished up my half marathons recently, I am shifting my focus to shorter more intense runs plus hitting the weight room more. Confession: since I finished my half in Utah, my nutrition has been terrible. I decided I would just eat whatever and I quickly began to feel awful, no energy and laziness kicked in. That has changed. I am very goal oriented. I now have a new focus. I want to get faster, stronger, and add  muscle. So I went to bodybuilding.com to see what is going on over there and it is full of info, workouts, nutrition plans etc.. One plan I found was by a trainer to celebrities, Ashley Conrad. She totally makes sense to me with her training and nutrition philosophy. I totally agree with how she trains her clients and herself.

So I started one of her workouts and nutrition plans about a week ago and I can already see a difference. I am so motivated to progress forward with this. Even trainers need trainers. Check out this video about how she trains her clients and how she gets them the results they are looking for. This is exactly how I like to train. If you want results, you have to commit to the work. You have to find the time and stay consistent, dedicated and focused on what you are doing and why you are doing it.

I will keep posting about my progress with this program. Have any of you done any of the workouts at bodybuilding.com?

 

Half Marathon Training

For those of you who run and race, have you ever had the day-to-day ups and downs during training? Well, that is what my training has been like during this half marathon prep. I know there are going to be bad training days but it seems like I have had a too many. One thing I have learned during these days is that these types of runs are what make me stronger. It is so frustrating having a bad run, but I learned this weekend that it motivated me more to go out there and try again.

This weekend’s training was supposed to be 8 miles on Saturday. It was a beautiful spring day, not a cloud in the sky, and this happened.

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I only got in 4 miles. I was sluggish and tired. I did not sleep well the night before so I knew ahead of time it was going to be tough. I finished this run with a little stretch and told myself I will not give up. I immediately planned on running the next day and wow what a difference a good sleep will make.

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Another beautiful day and my run was strong. I totally got my confidence back and feel like I am right on track. After this awesome run yesterday, I sat by the lake and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Now on to the yum yums. I do the best I can to avoid processed foods especially when I am training for a race. Whole foods give me the energy and nutrition I need. After my run I was craving a green drink but I wanted something  besides just spinach as my base so off to Earth Fare I went. The kale was beautiful and on sale. I got a bunch of kale and then I thought about dinner and found these Natural Beauties 🙂

IMG_20140413_164648

I decided I wanted roasted sweet potatoes for dinner, so while thinking of what I wanted to go with my lovely potatoes, I made my kale drink and headed to the porch. There is nothing like a gorgeous Sunday afternoon sipping on a kale drink. Hale to the kale! 🙂

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I can say the weekend training was a success even with the bad run on Saturday because it only made me stronger! Dinner was baked chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli on the side.

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To prepare these beauties, I just gave them a good wash, chop, and tossed them lightly with EVOO, sea salt to taste, and sprinkled with fresh rosemary, then roasted at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Simple and delicious.

What’s on your dinner plate when training for a race?

 

Sweet Protein Redheads

Wow! These little nuggets turned out better than I thought they would. I call them,  protein pumpkin redheads. I know there are brownies, blondies, and now there are redheads. The original recipe came from IG account @dallassrae. I changed a few ingredients and came up with my own version. We do not do peanut butter as the recipe called for, so I substituted almond butter. I used pumpkin puree instead of the pumpkin powder you mix with water. I also doubled my recipe because I am an extra hungry girl 🙂 This is the recipe I did and boy were these a hit with the husband.

In one bowl mix:

2 cups whole oats

2 scoops vanilla whey protein

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a separate bowl mix:

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Now combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well and spread into lightly greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Tip: I like lots of oats so feel free to add more if you do too.

Redheads like it wild so don’t be afraid to throw a few dark chocolate morsels in.  I did on one side. I love the combo of flavors!

redheads1

Hey, go check out @Dallasrae on IG. She is a figure competitor and has great recipe ideas for eating clean. What do you do with pumpkin puree this time of year?

First Time Meal Prepper!

Yesterday was a full day in the kitchen. I felt like I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the Duggar family. Keep in mind it is only 3 of us in this house. Two humans and the dog will be enjoying every bit of this organized chaos I have created. Well, it is not chaos anymore, but if you could have seen me yesterday, I was a hot mess.

I decided to try my hand at meal preparation for the week to make the week a little less “in a hurry to get something or get somewhere fast”. Lately I seem to be in a hurry the majority of the time. I feel so unorganized to the point that it is giving me anxiety and making me nuts. So food prep began. Oh wait, first the day started at Wal-Mart, one of my favorite places (inserts sarcasm), then home to put away the perishables. Now on to Costco. I actually had to stop buying stuff because the buggy was hard to push, which by the way, one of my goals right now is to work on more strength training. Next, back to the house to begin prepping.

As usual I got side tracked by looking for something to eat, since the shopping took so long, it was past lunch when I got home. After I gobbled some food down, all of the madness began. I prepared my easy Chicken taco chili, salmon, roasted asparagus and brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, boiled eggs for snacks, baked chicken, steel-cut oatmeal, and a new recipe I will share this week which I will call my protein pumpkin redheads 🙂 I also washed and cut lettuce for chicken taco salads, bagged washed spinach in individual servings for my protein smoothies every morning. Whew, I am stuffed just writing this. Here is the product.

foodprepsalmonveges1foodprepchickentaco1foodprepchicken1foodprepboiledeggs

Everything is not pictured. I was exhausted so I give applause to all you out there who have this prep thing down to a science. I am going to practice and I think if I stick with it, I will become more efficient.

I can’t wait to share with you what I have coming up this week at work. My LeanBody 30 Day Challenge I held at work last month was such a huge success, now we will begin LeanBody Challenge Part 2 tomorrow. Details are coming.

How do you feel about Meal Prepping? Thumbs up or down?

10 Weight Loss Tips For 2013/Make It Happen

LoserPic

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Set a routine with your meals and workouts. Consistency in the kitchen and the gym will pay off.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 🙂
  7. Drink plenty of water each day.
  8. 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 🙂
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

Just a few items in our house:)

I have had a few requests to do a post about carbohydrates.  Most of us know there are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. Remember when The Atkins Diet and The South Beach Diet was all the rage? It was a common thing for someone at the gym see me enjoying some brown rice or fruit and freak out a little because I wast eating a “carb”. Fad diets tend to demonize important things, like carbohydrates, that our bodies actually need to function. You may guess I am not a fan of “diets.” I know, people lost weight on these diets. I knew people who did. They cut out all carbs for some period of time, started losing weight, then gradually started adding carbs back in so they could “maintain” their new weight. The trend I saw was that these people started drifting back into their old habits of eating the wrong carbs and the wrong amounts, and they started to gain the weight back. There are people who do not know the difference, so they still think all carbs are evil and will cause them gain weight. Not true. It is what you choose to eat, and the amount that you eat that will cause this weight gain.

I think ads about diets and the marketing on so-called “healthy foods” have fooled society to really understand what is nutritious to maintain a healthy body. I think everyone needs to start reading labels to find out what you are really eating. I will say it over and over and over, the key to losing weight is to have a balanced, nutritious diet along with physical activity on a daily basis! If you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. But that does not mean taking out a whole macronutrient to do so.  And this does not mean depriving yourself of having some indulging foods for the rest of your life either. It just means educating yourself and adopting a nutritious and healthy plan that you can maintain and be happy:)

There are three macronutrients the body requires to fuel necessary processes in order for it to function properly. They are

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Protein
  3. Fat

People believe carbohydrates make you gain weight. Well, like I said above, all carbs are not equal. Some carbs will lead to weight gain, but others provide important nutrients your body needs for energy and many processes in the body.  It is very important to learn to distinguish between unrefined carbs (good) and refined carbs (bad).

Refined carbs are highly processed. The fiber and many nutrients have been stripped out. Examples are white bread, white rice, cakes, and candies. I consider these empty calories because they provide no nutritional value and may lead to weight gain.

Unrefined carbs such as brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, fruits and vegetables contain fiber and many vitamins and minerals. They tend to stabilize blood sugar levels while promoting a healthy weight.

The question I hear often, “What are good carbs?”

Good Carbs:

Whole grains

  • 100% whole wheat bread – look at the ingredients to be sure
  • brown rice – preferably the kind you have to cook yourself
  • quinoa – try it out, very tasty
  • whole oats – not the “quick” instant kind
  • whole grain barley
  • bulgur
  • 100% whole grain cereals – be sure to look at ingredients/should contain very little sugar

Fruits and Vegetables – They contain many important nutrients. They are good because they are packed with fiber and vitamins and minerals. They help you feel full:)

Legumes – Beans, lentils, dried peas and peanuts are all examples of legumes. They are good because they have protein and are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals which will keep you feeling full longer.

Bad Carbs:

White carbohydrates – this category contains many different foods such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta, foods made with white flour etc. (refined carbs). Any food that contains sugar such as candy, chocolates, cakes, muffins, cookies and sugary drinks are refined carbs. They have no nutritional value and should be limited. They provide empty calories which may lead to weight gain.

I hope this helps if you are confused about carbohydrates. Remember, a balanced diet that includes quality nutritious foods is ideal. Remember, these are my opinions and are not meant to substitute for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor for nutrition and exercise changes.

What carbs are in your pantry?

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