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Hello everyone! A lot of the times people complain about cooking and it being time consuming, and a lot of the times it is true. grabbing a bite to eat is much more convenient and not to mention a lot quicker. Cooking healthy does not always have to be so time consuming!

Here I have a picture of my favorite food, salmon. Salmon is a great source of protein and it is not bland either. This takes me less than 10 minutes to grill, I add some olive oil and grill some veggies a long with it. It fills me up, its quick and its delicious!

Now I know not everyone is a fish person, this is just something to show you that it is quick, tasteful and healthy. Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook your foods and the fastest! I add some lemon and salt, when I have time I bake it with some breadcrumb on top. There is a number of ways to cook your healthy food. My suggestion is to switch it up, add some flavor so you do not resent eating healthy if you are eating the same thing over and over again.

Healthy does not have to mean flavorless and bland, learn new recipes and ingredients and have fun with it! Do not be afraid to add some salt or even a little butter. Like I said, sometimes I add bread crumb. This is not about perfection, it is about the healthier choice. Do not beat yourself up over some sodium or carbs.

Leg Burn

Warmup:

  • 15 incline walk (6 min, 2.5)
  • 2 incline shuffles (2 minutes each side, 2.0)

Glute Activation:

  • 3×20 banded clamshells (each side)
    • superset: 20 banded hip abductions
  • 3×20 weighed donkey kicks

Workout:

  • 4×15 good mornings
    • superset: banded side walk till burnout
  • 4×15 sumo deadlift
    • superset: banded side walk till burnout
  • 4×15 back lunges
    • superset: side lunges
  • 4×15 hamstring curl
  • 3×20 weighted hip thrusts

(If you do not have the bands, do not worry! do it without them, less difficult, but still effective)

Struggles

I often find myself struggling to hit my body goals, and that is because my goals are constantly changing with my body. By this I mean, overtime my body changes, whether its me gaining muscle or losing weight, my goal does to.

I am constantly struggling between believing I put on too much muscle, or losing too much weight, as well as not having enough muscle. I am constantly boosting up my cardio and limiting my weights and vise versa. Sometimes I think the cardio makes me lose too much weight and then I feel too thin and sometimes I feel too bulky. I am constantly changing my workouts and my diet.

This is a struggle I’m sure many people face, and most of the time it is all in my head. Part of me knows that and the other part of me thinks my body goes through huge changes in a week. It is important to keep in mind that change takes time. You are not going to gain weight from one bad meal or lose muscle from skipping a day, just as well as you are not going to lose weight or gain muscle just because you went to the gym once. Everything takes time.

Because of all these constant battles I have with myself I found a balance. I am now keeping my weights low and my reps high and continuing to do cardio daily. I feel petite yet toned and strong. Now agin, this is just my personal preference, not everyone has the same goals. Some may have the goal of gaining muscle, and that is fine! my suggestion for that is to eat right but bump down on cardio. The reason for that is because cardio can actually cause you to lose muscle. Also try not to burn yourself out with cardio before lifting, saving the cardio for after a workout will enable you to lift heavier weights. But this does not mean skip the warm up!

I hope this post helped, I just want people to know that the fear of fluctuating is in everyone! But for the most part, its all in your head. It is just good to be cautious of it.

Get comfortable with being Uncomfortable

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I often hear people say “I want to go to the gym but I feel stupid” or “i want to go but I have no idea what I’m doing” “I don’t like people watching me workout. Let me start off by saying this, growth and progress begin when you get out of your comfort zone!

yes workouts sometimes feel silly or you don’t want to sweat in front of people, whatever the case is…it is all in your head! People are all in the gym doing the same thing, there is nothing i respect or admire more about someone in the gym other than seeing hard work. I like to see people sweat and gasp for air, I give credit to those who lift heavy and let out those uncomfortable faces or sometimes even grunts. It just shows that you’re working hard for your body, and care about yourself and there will never be anything wrong with that. You have to start somewhere and that somewhere starts with being uncomfortable!

If your workouts are a breeze and you look perfectly comfortable and content, you are not working hard enough! break a sweat, take heavy weights that are going to make you sore.

Waking up with my legs, back or whatever body part i worked out sore is such a rewarding feeling. Yes, it is painful and sometimes those leg days really get you limping but when pain occurs thats when progress occurs. I for one hate waking up after a day of lifting and not being sore, I feel like my body is just being maintained but not changing. That is not always the case, but just know it is a good kind of pain.

Get in the gym, even if it is for 30 minutes and sweat as much as possible. Never be embarrassed, nobody is watching you as much as you think they are. Focus on yourself and what you are doing, do not worry about your surroundings!

Enough protein.

shakeAnother main concern I hear from people is what to eat to build muscle. It is common for people to workout and think the proper diet is salads and fruit. Although that is never a bad diet make sure you are getting enough protein! To build major muscle it is important to make sure you are eating AT LEAST your own body weight in grams of protein, But again that is for major muscle gain.

I personally like the definition and tone up of muscle without the width of it. I keep my protein low, on leg day I will add an extra scoop of my protein powder because I like the look of a larger build on the lower half on my body. On days I workout my upper half, I keep the protein to a minimum. If you are considering taking protein because you think you don’t get enough from your meals make sure you review it. Protein shakes are often loaded with sugar, sometimes fat. Just because it is protein does not mean it is healthy. Personally I find that whey protein is the perfect one for me.

I know a lot of people wonder why theres protein thats feminine or for women. For an example luna bars are considered to be a feminine snack that is because they offer nutrients harder for women to get as well as the amount of protein. Luna bars are considered protein bars but for women because of the amount of protein. Men often lift and want to get big, they’ll grab a protein bar or shake with at least 20 grams of protein, while women get a lift in but do not want that build so they will have a luna bar (often has 8 grams).

When working out all we think about is protein and cancel out carbs, but completely cutting out carbs is never a good idea. Although cutting out carbs make you lose weight, it is not healthy. Low carbs and high protein however, is how you stay lean. Carbs before and after a workout is very necessary, especially before, after all carbs are our main source of energy.

Protein helps rebuild muscle, if you do not have protein after lifting you are not replenishing your muscle tissue, this is the main cause of injury when weight lifting. Another important thing to know about protein is protein synthesis. An alcoholic beverage slows down protein synthesis by 20%. This means that it is slowing down your muscle build. Now I know we are not all saints, and alcohol is not always an easy thing to cut out of a diet but on the days you drink have some extra protein a few hours before bed to make up for the alcohol drinking

The key to your goals is what you have after your workout. Your protein intake depends on what you are trying to achieve, more protein, more muscle gain. Hope this post helped!

Cardio

cardioLosing weight is never easy! Just remember, when working out the key to avoiding plateu is switching up your workout every once in a while. Routine at the gym is your enemy. you always want to challenge your body. If you are trying to lose weight cardio before and after a workout is key.

Even with cardio you have to switch it up! Treadmill, sprint for a few minutes, walk, switch to incline, try to lightly jog on incline and repeat. I find that just running a few miles on the treadmill is less effective but i really do see results when i challenge myself with sprints and incline.

Running outside is harder than the treadmill , if you want to challenge yourself, take a morning jog. Warming up for a workout is essential, and what better way to warm up then with a little running!

when doing cardio your body continues to burn more calories then it would usually throughout the day. thats right, the entire day! some studies show that it is actually longer, and that your body continues to burn calories for 32 hours after cardio. If you run daily than your body is almost always burning more calories.

If you want to lose weight while getting your muscle mass up then keep the cardio before  a workout at a minimum. On leg days I try to run for only 5 minutes as a warm up because then i can squat with heavier weights and if i feel like i need to burn off some fat then ill do more cardio after. Nothing to intense because although cardio helps you lose fat, it can make you lose some muscle as well.

I often dedicate at least 1 or 2 days to complete cardio at the gym and on those days i get some ab workouts in as well. I find that those 2 days actually do a lot for my body, especially if i switch up the cardio. I am usually switching back and fourth between cardio machines, and as silly as that sounds I really break a sweat and see results. It also keeps me going, when i get tired of one machine ill switch to the next, it challenges your body and burns more calories. Get that intense cardio in!

Habits

bad

Bad habits are easy to pick up, and hard to break. We all have our guilty pleasure, and for most of us, its food. Now let me start off by saying it is nearly impossible to eat completely clean right after eating junk and completely sticking with it. And even if you do succeed (god bless you if you do, you are stronger than I am) It won’t become a lifestyle, more of a forced thing.

The key to eating healthy is to not deprive yourself. Take it step by step. If you are a soda drinker, let that be the first thing you cut out. They say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, so just get through those 21 days.

Slowly stop snacking on chips, pick up some cheese and crackers. Do not reward yourself with pizza and donuts after a workout because than you’re just missing the point. Don’t completely cut out carbs, or sugar, just lessen it one step at a time. Once you see your body changing and feel better you’re gonna want to go further, and you’ll actually enjoy it, it won’t be forced. But do not feel bad about having a slice of pizza, just do not have it everyday.

I found that once i cute out 1 junk food at a time I eventually just did not want it, before i knew it my body, mind, and energy was completely different. Now if i eat close to the way i used to my body responds differently, I get sick and nauseous, which is a good thing! It makes me crave it less.

Now I know most of us are working, in school, or whatever the case is, making food is time consuming! Forget all those fitness accounts telling you you have to meal prep, and count your macros and calories, that is torturous! This is not to achieve perfection, but to better yourself.

I have a simple solution that takes up less time. By the healthier choice! You stop by wawa or dunking for a morning coffee and need breakfast? Reach for a egg and cheese not a muffin or a donut. Dunkin even has one of those low calorie spinach wraps, and they are delicious!

Craving something salty? Pick up some salted almonds and snack on them. There is no need to deprive yourself of food or count every single calorie you intake, just make sure you are making the healthiest choice you can make in whatever situation you are in. There have been times where I had a lunch break but the only place close by was a wends….it happens! And what do you do? you pick the healthier option. Get a chicken sandwich, skip the fries! sure it is still fast food, but it is better than the double stack fries and soda you were going to get. Do not stress yourself over little mistakes, just improve day by day!