Obviously there are a lot of parties, picnics, BBQ's, trips and God only knows what else this weekend. Most people feel memorial day is the "kick off" to summer. So of course there are going to be many temptations in front of you so I wanted to give you some tips and tricks that have helped me when I am out!
1) Plan ahead...this is crucial for me right now...basically my cooler is my purse. For the average person though this is not going to be ideal so eat a little something healthy before...I like to have some fruit with PB or nuts or some shakeology to curb my appetite. The key is not to show up famished, when you feel hungry anything will sound appetizing even if you are trying to be healthy!
2) Load up on water before and after. Let's face it there is going to be alcohol...and I think if you can avoid it great but for most people opting in for a drink is more likely. WATER WATER WATER Before and after!
3) Fill your plate up with mostly veggies then proteins then starches and fruits!
4) try "bites" of desserts rather than a whole heaping portion
5) Bring the healthy foods! And I don't mean just lettuce or dips...get creative!! I know Pinterest has a TON of themed foods you can make healthier!
6) Enjoy yourself...don't stress yourself out the entire weekend worrying about all of this!
7) Remember why we are celebrating!
There are so many more tips I could give you but honestly...make the right choices for YOUR Goals and if you want more 1:1 guidance let me know!
Why hello there and happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start...I know mine is! I am SOREEEEEEEEEE today and I take that as a good things...it's my muscles sayin' hey...we're changing!
Well, yesterday was the first day I began competition prep and I have to say I am really very excited to continue on this journey. I know it isn't for everyone and a lot of people think I am crazy but honestly super excited!
So why do I want to compete...I have heard this one a ton of times in the past few weeks since I decided I was going to actually go through with it. Well for me there are few reasons and yes of course I know it is going to be tough but I'd rather take the road less traveled and make some dreams become reality!
What division will I do?
Well you see people get the wrong impression of what competing really is. No I will not be looking like a sheman. No I will not be starving myself. My division will be figure like the lovely Nicole Wilkins (shown below)
Now for some women muscle is not appealing some people just don't see that as appealing and I get it. But I want to push myself further than I have ever gone before. I want to 100% commit and win! Yep I am going to place..no questions asked!
So again, why compete?
1) Ever since I was a little girl I had body issues...and not the type where you obsess over foods etc (no I did not have an eating disorder)...but I was a chubby kid and as I grew up I finally thinned out and I felt great in my suit. I was always active in different sports so the baby fat came off. But that was not to say I was still where I wanted to be. I always dreamed of looking like the models on the covers of the magazines and sure maybe that is unrealistic of letting the media have say over what we think and want but so be it. I was a kid. At any rate I went to college tried to stay active..I have always loved the idea of going to the gym...too bad I didn't at the time know what to do so I wasn't any closer, but I kept doing what I thought I had to do to get there. And then it happened...not the freshman 15 more like the love happy weight where you are just so happy all you 2 do is eat and stay together. The problem with this is at this point I was not being very active or exercising, I was not strong so what happened? I gained about 30 lbs! I tried to go lift with Mike but I just wasn't strong enough nor did I enjoy it. I felt stuck. We tried a lot of different programs...something that had helped me in the past (and honestly what taught me initially how to lift, was P90x) I loved Tony but I had done it so many times I just couldn't stay motivated. Then I found something else that helped me drop the weight a combo of ChaLean extreme and TurboFire. From there..I was lean and I was thin but I was still really lacking the muscle definition. Fast forward to now...I am a full time trainer and I love to lift and I finally have the tone I have always wanted. Took me long enough to figure that all out!! But I want to push myself further!! I could do the bikini division right now and I'd do just fine...all I'd need to do is lean down some more. But I REALLY want to push and build up some more muscle definition.
2) This is another big one...in this industry I feel that it is crucial to prove your work (yep going back to math class there) and one way to do that is to do it to yourself! Not only will this expand my client base but it will make me more marketable because obviously someone who can do that to themselves can do that to others.
3) I want to compete in a sport and be an athlete again! This is my time this is my new sport!
4) This may be one of the biggest ones...so my grandfather was always a bigger guy. Type II diabetes, heart problems, etc. And he wasn't that old. But he passed away my freshman year of college (well summer before my sophomore year) and he could have gotten better had he been healthy. There are so many days when I just wish I could talk to him. So I am doing this for him. I am going to make myself into what he couldn't. And I am going to make him proud by not learning from his mistakes and changing my future. As good as those sweets are...nothing is worth that.
oh and one other for fun...
5) TO PROVE THEM WRONG!
So that about sums it up...I cannot wait to share my progress with you as I continue! Be sure to stay tuned to my
Happy hump day fit friends!! I hope you are having a good week and that you had a nice weekend with family or otherwise!!!
Time just completely flies by it's amazing to me really. I never understood it as a kid and I remember thinking wow I hope this age goes fast...I couldn't stay in the present and think about the here and now! As I have gotten older I have realized the importance of it not only in our lives but really in our work outs too! Oh and side bar I have some exciting news to share at the end!!
So staying in the moment...sure it isn't a huge unknown concept and honestly I'd say it has far more to do with your mental health than your immediate physical health (although in the long run it does translate into that). Let's take yoga for instance...yoga is one of the biggest supporters of this and they actively advocate for it. I'm not sure about you but if I am twisting and turning and balancing the last thing I want to think about is my to do list! Not to mention if you are constantly thinking about stuff that needs to get done and what comes next you are missing out on the here and now!
Something else I have noticed if we are rushing and not focusing we rush and want to leave and our form tends to go down hill because we are just going through the motions of it all.
Instead go to the gym or class etc with purpose, block out the rest of the world and really focus on what you are doing right now. Your breath, are you in the correct form?, your surroundings. Take it all in and enjoy! Trust me your work outs/classes will get a lot easier!
why is this all important? A less cluttered and less stressful life not to mention more productive!! Do not check out!
How to stay in the moment:
1) turn off the cell phone
2) avoid tv
3) breathe through it
4) focus on what you are doing
As far as my big news...I am going to compete in November in my first figure show! I am sooooo excited and a little nervous but I know it will be worth it. Truthfully I have wanted to compete for so long so now I am just kind of putting it into action. I have gotten a coach and we will be starting soon as far as my diet, how my work outs should be, etc! then posing and swim suits to come! I haven't been this excited/determined for something in a while! I am the most excited to really dedicate myself and see the changes.
well I could pretty easily do a nice lean down and compete in bikini division in August but to be honest I really want to push myself further and add some mass and get out of my comfort level. I am really trying to push this lately!
What does that mean for you?
Also coming soon on here is there is going to be a direct section for you if you are interested in working with me either as your coach, trainer, nutritionist etc! And the "free stuff" is going to be increasing too!
Stay tuned to see what comes next!
Ahh Tuesday...technically this is my Monday for the week :-) It's just crazy how quickly time flies...I mean seriously A year ago I was just graduating Penn State and about to move somewhere brand new to make my dreams a reality.
Let's recap a little? Graduated May 5th, moved May 10th, started honing my business skills at Vocus June 1, and April 1st one year later I am a full time trainer...there were some fun things in between for sure but those were some HUGE victories for me career wise and I think sometimes I lose sight of those. Not to say it was always easy or fun for that matter...it took a lot but in the end chasing your dreams pays off! Hard work + dedication = key to success
At any rate, what I wanted to talk to you about today is really just the importance of being active. Of course we are all aware of why you need to work out but honestly your health, dream body, and over all well-being will be determined by what you do the other 23 hours of the day!
While it is crucial to get in that 30 min to hour (or more depending on the person) it is even more important to ensure the your other hours of the day are active! I do not mean that you need to be exercising all day every day but simply taking more steps, getting up more often, taking the stairs, parking your car further away and walking etc.
Sedentary individuals (people who take less than 10,000 steps a day--trust me I was shocked to find out I fit that category as well until I started tracking it) have a higher risk of:
some types of cancer
high blood pressure
and even early death.
How do you know if this is you?
Wear a pedometer or a fit bit- both of these track your steps for you.
How can you get more active if you sit all day? Get up once an hour to get some water, go to the restroom, coffee etc!
Make an effort to walk more whether it is parking further away, etc!
Have an active day!
the body's process of protecting and ridding itself from harmful substances such as pathogens, infections, irritants, or damaged cells.
Is inflammation a good thing?
Yes! We need acute inflammation to get rid of toxins and other harmful substances! Inflammation becomes an issue when it becomes chronic, usually indicating issues within the body.
Symptoms of inflammation:
- unexplained joint/ muscle pain
- fluid retention
- frequent bronchitis, sinus infections
- skin irritations
- loss of energy
- issues with triglyceride levels
How do I get rid of acute inflammation?
- fish oils (unless you are on blood thinners)
- stretch out and foam roll before and after work outs
- heat up (muscles), once they are loose they become more pliable and easier for blood to flow and bring in nutrients to damaged cells
- participating in low intensity work outs to get blood flowing
- tylenol or acetominophin
How do I reduce chronic inflammation?
- Eat a balanced diet
- lean proteins (chicken, turkey, beef)
- whole grains, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice
- dark green veggies
- healthy fats
What foods cause inflammation?
- starchy/ sugary foods
- trans fats
Ahh after a wonderful and relaxing weekend I am back up and ready to go!! To do list in hand and breakfast in my belly we go!
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? On my end of things it was just nice to relax! It was just Friday I realized I am constantly working (YAY!) which I love but just sometimes I need a little break! So that was me this weekend :-)
At any rate as you are probably guessing I am writing this article to get into the science behind our abdominals or better known our abs. The muscles everyone wants to have whether for the beach or just because you want people to see your fitness badge of dedication. Of course it really does take dedication to get there, no fad diet or million sets of crunches will get you there but I can certainly tell you what will...clean eating! Sure exercise plays a role but without lowering the excess layer of fat (yes if you can pinch it is probably fat) around your abs you will not be able to see them.
I'm sure some of you are thinking wait what this chick wants me to eat to lose weight and see my abs? YUP! If you need some clarity on clean eating here you go>http://fitandhealthywithbeth.weebly.com/1/post/2012/02/what-is-clean-eating.html. Essentially we need to meet our bodies nutritional needs and caloric needs. 100 calories of oreos does not equal 100 calories of edammame!!
Now that we know how to get there let me explain a little bit more of the why, our bodies were not made nor do they understand how to break down the overly complicated compounds in our over processed foods for one and too we just eat way too much junk food and sugar. The result? We store all of those calories as fat. Truth be told an over abundance of anything can really cause fat storage, however, eating foods in their natural form makes it a lot more challenging.
So back to the why of eating, if you want to see your abs you must lose the extra layer of belly fat "visceral fat" on top of them and how? through clean eating, plenty of rest, and working out hard.
What foods help lose belly fat?
~Dark green veggies
~Low sugar foods
Best exercises to work your abs?
I personally believe we need to work from our core, especially because all movement comes from there, so I prefer to focus on the whole area. I picture a girdle if you will!
side bends with weights
Alright so no matter who you talk to I'd be just about everyone has done some form of cardiovascular conditioning of some sort from group fitness classes, home work outs, the treadmills, ellipticals, etc. And no matter where you go you can almost always see these people either really going for it or leisurely working on their fitness. The thing is so many people quit before they get started, quit because they don't know what to do, or the results just stop coming. And honestly, that sucks! The question then becomes why?
Cardio training is essential for any fitness regimen and it doesn't have to be the traditional kinds mentioned above either, but we need something that will help us better train our heart, lungs, and blood vessels as well as efficiently burn fat and calories. So again if this is necessary why do the results not always happen?
A few reasons come off the top of my head (these will vary from person to person as far as what your fitness level and how/if/when this happens):
~over training (this is super common in group exercise classes)- the process of pushing your body past the breaking point so to speak and your body cannot recover quickly enough and you end up never shedding any poundage.
~under training- this is categorized by people not pushing hard enough and generally this is categorized by people pushing themselves but not hard enough.
~plateaus- categorized by people who do not make changes in their routines, people who have been doing the same thing for more then 6 weeks and have stopped seeing results.
How can you avoid this and ensure your work out is effective?
~knowing your heart rate training zones
~using a heart rate monitor to determine where you are in the work out in regards to what zone you need to be in to burn fat. (for MOST people this is zones 1-3 past that often times you get into your anaerobic threshold and stop burning fat and start burning sugars).
~mix up your work outs!
New ways to add in cardio:
~micro bursts of cardio between strength sets
~muscle multi-tasking (using multi-joint exercises)
~try a new machine you haven't used before
Questions for you?
Do you wear a heart rate monitor during your work outs?
How often do you switch up your fitness routines?
Happy Monday!! I want to be 100% honest with you...I have been a little off with my work outs lately. Nutrition has been just about 100% but I just haven't "felt like working out". For someone who loves the feeling of crushing a good work out and not mention the endorphins. To me that was my body telling me I was burnt out.
Generally every 12 weeks (sometimes even shorter than that) because honestly I just need a break! I need to wake up feeling like ahhh I get to work out not I have to work out.
So this week starts some new work outs and honestly I am excited!!! I am really happy with the progress I had with Body Beast and it was super fun lifting that heavy especially doing it with Mike!
I am kind of making my own stuff up to be honest...as I dive deeper into training I find I want to really test myself so I am going to be increasing my work out time per day and really what I focus on.
Goals of the new programming?
~Target my weak areas and make them better: specifically I want to improve my shoulders and my legs/booty. So I will be working those muscle groups more.
With the weights I will also be lifting heavy with less reps and sets (so 3 sets of 6-12 for upper/lower body and 3 sets of 20 for abs).
~I will also be increasing my amount of cardio from...oh around 0 days to 3 days a week. (2 days of HIIT + one day of Steady state cardio)
~ another keep thing is going to be nutrition. I have selected what supplements I'll be using but not so much what macro percentage. I am thinking 40 carbs 40 protein 20 fat but we'll see. I did find out I am a fat burner vs a carb burner which is crucial and main reason I have a hard time gaining real muscle mass.
I will be taking:
shakeology + protein powder
P90x recovery shake (post work out)
Also, I think to reach where I really want to get to, it will take me about a year to achieve. So I will really need to have the big picture in mind and FOCUS!
So I want to compete...I originally thought I was ready now and for Bikini division I think I could fare okay...but I then realized, I don't want to do "okay" I want to add a little more muscle, and do a fitness or a figure show and I want to place! No more wallowing and not being out right with my goals, there they are!
So then in all of these since nutrition is soooo key how can I or anyone else for that matter avoid feeling deprived?
Well really, in my opinion, it comes down to lifestyle. We are a culture of people who do all things over food. Example: meeting with friends= lunch, celebrating hitting a goal at work= happy hour, birthday celebrating= going out + cake.
Rarely will you find that your friends and family will ask you to go celebrate your sister getting straight A's with a session of rock climbing or hiking. Not to say there is anything wrong with that BUT it all comes down to decisions at that point. If you are in the realm of "I need/want to lose weight" then eating all that crap just because it is there is NOT what is going to help keep that weight off. There are so many other ways you can enjoy life and friends without over indulging and over eating. The first is obviously changing your mind set and what senses you choose to enjoy the most.
Second, if your boyfriend/girlfriend has the metabolism or maybe just doesn't have those same goals as you, that's okay just be sure to hide his/her treats from line of vision. If you don't see it chances are you may forget you have them!
Third, have "substitutes" that leave you feeling satisfied. Instead of eating ice cream try low sugar froyo or banana protein icecream (you can flavor this however you like!) or for me instead of eating all of his crap I may just have a fiber one brownie...no they aren't the best but I'd rather have something like that instead of a huge heaping plate of something I will really regret!
Fourth, FOCUS. Is that chocolate bar really something you want or is it just a drop in blood sugar or increase in your stress level? I know this is a big one for me! At around 5 pm my levels usually drop which almost always means if I see it I will eat it. I have reworked my calories to prevent this from happening. It wasn't easy or always fun but it got my body where it needed to be.
Fifth, we all slip up sometimes. Move on and let it go!
Have a fantastic Monday everyone!
Man the past couple of weeks have been so crazy so I am SO SORRY I have been delayed with writing on here! Well it is official I am a full time fitness professional!
So what's next? Well I have some pretty big goals for the rest of the year...so what can you expect from me?
~Revamping of this site!! I will finally have the time to make this page more engaging and BETTER!
~Newsletters (2x a week) a nutrition tip and a weekly work out!
~more virtual training
~more videos with tips and moves of the day!
Anywho...just figured I'd let you know what was coming next!
So on the fitness/work out side of things I need to confess...I have been in a weird weird funk of eating lately. I was doing soo great then when I got further into the bulking phase of my plan I just sort of starting saying...meh I can eat what I want! And then I realized I needed to stop...plus it is time to lean down just in time for summer!
So this week I am traveling to a class and have packed all of my foods...NO EXCUSES. It will be a great way to "detox" so to speak in that I will be taking away unhealthy fats, gluten, added sugars, dairy, and just junk in general! I did a massive meal prep yesterday and I refuse to let anything but me control my results!
Also, I will be mixing up my work outs some to burn off some of the water/minor fat and bloat associated with bulking but decreasing my carbs to a lower (NOTICE I DID NOT SAY LOW/ NO CARBS) to do so.
No complex carbs past 3 pm and upping the cardio are 2 of the biggest tweaks! Also being that I am traveling I have brought my Les Mills DVDs to try out! While I will have total gym access I think I will take my evenings to study and work and work out early in the AM with some extra cardio for the week!!
I can't wait to share the other new things I am learning and starting...so stay tuned!!
Tips for meal prep:
~Plan ahead...make a list/menu to make it easier
~prep veggies first...make things easier!
~lay out all containers and portion out foods as they are done! (I would HIGHLY recommend investing in some nice containers!)
~bulk grill or bake some lean proteins!
~opt for clean unprocessed carbs!
~grab and go and enjoy :-)
Stay tuned :-)
Wow hey everyone!! Things have been super crazy lately so sorry I have been a little MIA!
I hope you all (all who celebrate) had a great Easter or Passover holiday! I wish I had some delicious food pictures of our dinner for you but sadly our oven broke (on the bake function) and we had no way to actually cook dinner the whole way! Luckily we figured it out Saturday and ended up going to get a Boston Market ham, which was delish but I was so bummed I didn't get to make my Pap's recipe! But thanks to my lovely boyfriend we really made the best of it and just enjoyed the day together. Easter isn't a big "gift" holiday for us so we agreed to no gifts and guess who was actually tricked this year! Yup, me! Mike ended up making me a big basket of chocolate with a gift certificate for my fish for our saltwater tank (not sure if you know but I am SUPER excited and obsessed with the tank. I would really love to get a lion fish...side not, not important but maybe one day!).
The weird thing about all of this is remember how I mentioned I was sick? Well weirdly enough it keeps coming back! We think it might not be the flu anymore but might be something else we keep passing back and forth because we keep getting it at exactly the same time and same symptoms!! So that came back Sunday evening but I pretty much just decided to not deal with it because I'm sooooo over being sick! That and a little ibuprofen did the trick!
So why have I been so MIA? WELLLLLLLL.... *DRUM ROLL PLEASE*
Well I can finally announce it as of next week I will be full time personal trainer/fitness coach/nutrition consultant! I'll fill you in on how I did it but I am so thrilled to say that I hit my big goal for 2013 "to be a full time fitness professional" in 3 months!! I'll explain how in a couple posts :-)
While I am so sad to leave my work friends I know that I will still see them and this is a really smart move...even if it is such a tough one. In the words of Adele "who would've known how bittersweet...this would be"? From the bottom of my heart I love my friends and all that I have gained from my job but I am just so excited to fully dedicating myself to my passion!!
Coming soon this week...end of Bulk Phase of Body Beast and then on to leaning...stay tuned for the results :-)