Grocery Weekly Staples

Friday, January 29, 2016

The general rule of thumb for shopping in the grocery store is shop the perimeters. I rarely go down the aisles. The only time you typically find me in an aisle is for pasta, rice, and spices. Shopping healthy should not mean going down every aisle in the store.

This week on my YouTube channel, I shared the staples I get weekly from the grocery store. I hope this helps give an idea of healthy items to get when starting a fitness journey, or striving to live a healthier lifestyle.

Waisted Wednesday: I Struggle To Hit My Macros

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

" I struggle to hit my macros" is a term I myself state when I first start to focus closely to my numbers and also hear from others. It is pretty common to struggle when you first start tracking what you eat with goal numbers to hit in mind.

This is something that I have learned and again learning the same lesson over again. I am here to admit I am not perfect when it comes to hitting an exact number. There are times I don't come close to my daily goals, and then there are days I exceed my goals by way too much. It's hard to accept that mastering hitting your macros for the day doesn't happen over night. Just like results this takes time.

In one week you can track what are your strengths and weaknesses. Do you eat too many carbs? Not enough protein? Too much sugar? If you are logging your foods in my fitness pal you can look at the days you weren't so successful and observe what items that can be causing this problem. Then decide, do you keep eating this item because you can't live with out it or ditch it to fix the problem.

One initiative I have taken to improve hitting my numbers is keeping them written everywhere visual. I start and end my day at my toothbrush so I keep a sticky note in the drawer I store my toothpaste. I am at work 5 days a week, my macro numbers are taped to my desktop. I use my phone several times a day, in my notes I have stored my macros. I think you get the hint but this is a good reminder through out the day to get you adjusted to memorize your numbers.

Even on your unhealthy days, hitting your macros are possible. Don't skip logging your meals after a bad meal because you think the results will end badly. Last night, after my husband's hockey game I confessed I had been craving a Crunch Wrap from Taco Bell. ( I know.. Where in the world is this craving coming from? In high school it was my favorite food.) I didn't think I would hit macros as he questioned if we should stop for one, but once a month these strange things happen, and so do miracles. I hit my macros perfectly and I hadn't even logged a single meal due to being extremely busy at work. Moral of the story still log your food, and keep in mind life happens (it perfectly okay to live a little).

What are your tricks to hitting your macros? I'd love you hear how you conquered your struggles!

7 Must Have Stylish Fitness Essentials

Monday, January 25, 2016

With the trial month to a healthier living year wrapping up, I'd thought I'd share some retail therapy that gets me excited to hit the gym. Treating myself to new goodies for the gym is another way to get motivated. I also love monitoring new trends, add them to my wishlist, and when I hit small goals I then will reward myself to an item. Celebrate your accomplishments!

1. Lululemon Gym Bag - Also multi-functional for a work or travel bag.
2. Tory Burch FitBit this double wrap one is cute too!)
3. Lululemon Top - Another reason to bring sexy back to the gym.
4. Nike Free Flyknit
5. Swell Bottle - Reusable and keeps your drink cold forever!
6.The Post Workout Essentials Kit by Oscar Blandi - put this in before starting to apply your make up or get dressed so the powder gets well absorbed.
7. Lululemon Sweaty or Not Kit - A travel kit to pack all your post gym essentials to freshen up with.  There's even a pocket to separate your sweaty clothes

How To Eat Right For Your Body

Thursday, January 21, 2016

To follow up on my most recent YouTube video, I wanted to supply you with some valuable sites to help educate and guide you in the right path to eat right for your body.

I am using the word eat instead of diet due to the stigma to the concern of diets. This shouldn't be a negative word but I feel eating right reflects eating smart for your own good of your health and body. This includes eating the right calories for your body with the focus of your current height, weight, sex, and age.

Starting first with IIFYM also known as If It Fits Your Macros. You should starting eating right for your body by determining how many calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, sugar, and fiber. I find this website the most accurate when calculating the right information for YOU.

Once you have your numbers, write them down. The best place for me is on my phone in notes. I will then start to log in what I eat on the My Fitness Pal app or website.

My Fitness Pal Hacks:

  • You can scan the upc barcode using the app and then adjust the serving sizes. 
  • You can now log in recipes. This is where I can try new meals and it even saves it in my history to log it in again if I make several meals for the week. 
  • To log recipes in the app you will go to more, then select My Recipes & Foods tab. This is also located under the food tab on the website. You will then copy the website and paste in the box for the URL. Pretty Cool! 
  • If you are busy through the day take photos of your meals and before you go to bed look at your photos and delete them after you logged them in. You can also write what you eat on a sticky note, note book, or what I write in is my agenda if I can't bother with my phone on a busy day. 
  • Weigh-in once a week and log it in. It is motivating to track progress whether it is good or bad be honest with yourself. When you make improvements celebrate it! 
Helpful Websites I mentioned for Recipe Ideas: 
Fit Men Cook - I highly recommend getting the app! Recipes, videos, and a shopping list for the grocery store all in one place! 

Good luck on your fitness journey! If you would like to see more posts like these let me know in the comments! 


BRIDAL DIET: How I Dieted and Worked Out For My Wedding

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Photos by Cat Pennenga Photography

Now that the wedding is over and photos are coming to the surface on social media, I have been asked several times, what my fitness routine and diet was like for the wedding.

This worked for ME, because I KNOW from my experience in fitness competitions and life now how my body reacts to food and exercise routines, and how I prefer to look for the most important day of my life.  I didn't want adverse effects from an intense restricted diet during our honeymoon, so I took a less aggressive approach to dieting. I am here to promote a healthy approach and discourage you from believing there is a quick fix miracle product to make you wedding dress ready over night.

CRASH DIETS! I do not recommend any form of diet that may include no carbs, no sodium, no fat, no sugar, gluten-free, juice diets, fasting diet, no sprinkles, body wraps, waist trainers, and any other diet trend all wrapped up into one with a big pretty bow on it that is only good for one day. Let it be known, you cannot spot reduce. For example you don't like your midsection so you are going to obsess over that one area. * Please do not go to the extremes to lose weight.* Restricting calories to a very low amount can cause more damage than good. I am not saying this because that is "what Dr. Oz says" I am saying this because through science based evidence and my own personal experience from competing in several fitness competitions in a row. Some side effects from extreme dieting are thyroid issues, loss of menstrual cycle, poor relationship with foods, produce less estrogen and more testosterone. Endless amounts of cardio and more than 1 hour of weight lifting is in fact unhealthy. Your wedding is not meant for you to be miserable and unhappy getting ready for it. Most importantly reducing your calories and carbohydrates won't make you a pleasant person for your soon to be husband.

Now on to the real reason you are here reading this. I am going to kick this party off with what is most commonly asked. What are my work outs like? My approach to my wedding look goes back to how I vision myself as a bride ever since I was a little girl. Then I reflected on my muscles (fit girl problems) and how they respond to different training methods in the gym, and what I am most self conscious of. I recommend keeping a regular lifting schedule and keeping a balance with all muscle groups. My YouTube channel, here has many different workouts and discussions about eating clean and working out.

I  would only make it to the gym 3 times (4 if I was lucky) a week when I had a membership with work and wedding planning. My visits typically involved a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill, arc trainer, stair stepper, or stair master, and my lifting routine consisted of training the following for no more than 45 minutes.

Monday – Off
Tuesday – Legs (glutes, quads, and hamstrings)
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Triceps, shoulders, and chest
Friday – Off
Saturday – Back, and biceps
Sunday – Off

If you can make it 5 days a week to the gym, more power to you! If I trained more I would do another leg day and maybe an upper body workout. I suggest repeating a lower body and upper body day if you have the freedom in your schedule. I also recommend giving yourself a rest day.

I focused heavily on how and what I ate or drank. Let me stress proper diet is KEY! I watched my serving sizes which could help you lose five pounds in just that initiative. I also packed healthier snacks for my desk. Cucumbers, celery, greek yogurt, bananas, apples, trail mix, boiled eggs, almonds, rice cakes and carrots are my staples to survive a long work day stuck at a desk. I would eat egg whites with spinach when I first got in during early conference calls. I would almost always have a salad for lunch or avocado with tuna (it doesn't require much meal prep time). Kyle and I loved to prepare a Fit Men Cook recipe for dinner and hope for leftovers to take for lunch. Packing lunch saved us money to put toward the wedding and also packing on pounds from eating out. If we didn't feel like putting a lot of effort into cooking dinner I always had produce to make a salad and usually have extra cooked chicken to throw on a salad so we didn't find an excuse to go out for dinner. Yes, cutting alcohol can make a huge difference. I will admit planning every little detail for your wedding is easier with a glass of vino. I did limit myself the quantity to one glass and invested in a wine vacuum seal. I did sacrifice my other indulgences for wine such as my ice cream and baked sweets.

I found that when you and your soon to be husband or wife make the effort to be healthier with you, it is not as challenging to eat healthy and go to the gym together. It is just a different way to have a date. If you have bridesmaids, they may even want to get in on the action and you could have more friends that may want to try a juice bar with you or go to a fitness class together. I could go on and write an entire book on living healthier but I am doing my best to make this short and simple without getting too complicated. I hope this serves you well with ideas for how to get ready for your wedding.


Waisted Wednesday: How To Avoid Weight Gain At A Desk Job

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I am here to confirm that weight gain is pretty common when you have a desk job position, or a sedentary job. Weight gain isn't sexist, ageist, or racist. It occurs to a majority of people all over the scale.

I've observed behaviors in my current office and medical settings when I had a active job on my feet all day. The biggest enemy for any job is eating out on your lunch break. However, weight gain is a bigger issue when you are sitting all day at a desk. 

Here are some tips to help you in your office to avoid weight gain!

I'd love to hear any of your tips in the comments!


Waisted Wednesday: Waist Trainers Don't Deserve The Hype

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

You might have seen the Kardashians wearing these waist trainers, which doesn't mean you should follow the trend. You can achieve a smaller waist in a healthier approach by eating right and exercising. There is no quick fix that is sustainable. This post is late in the day for my weekly Waisted Wednesday post but this came on my facebook feed this evening and ironically right after I started to see several girls posting photo's in these. I seen a comment asking if she got hers from the Kardashian's endorsement because she wanted one. I cringed and then hurt for these girls that are desperate to follow trends that society finds attractive or beautiful. There are so many young girls going to extreme measures to have unnatural curves. This is a sensitive subject because I once swore by these before I caused myself so much damage.

When I competed in bodybuilding competitions, I was told by my coaches, if I wanted a winning body then I would wear a waist trainer 24/7 and stop training abs. I had a tiny waist when I started with these coaches and a six pack from training myself from research. I also knew very little about these waist trainers being the secret weapon of these popular bodybuilding teams. It was almost like it was Voldemort (that waist device that shall never be spoken of). I never questioned my coaches theories and methods because they produced so many IFBB bikini pros. I made many sacrifices because I was so driven for a trophy and earn a pro title. I lived in these for over a year when I was in my last year of bikini competitions. I honestly wore more than one at a time in the smallest size I could get. The compression of wired waist trainers are so intense it weakens the core. I lost my shredded abs that I had worked so hard for in my first year in fitness. There was a point where my coaches told me to wear three at a time. I lost the feeling in my hips, I had severe acid reflux, rashes would come and go, bruising occurred, shortness of breath, mood swings, and sleeping was always a battle. When removed, my waist would stay tiny for about two days then return to it's natural shape. This gave me enough time to lose the indentions, get a spray tan for my competition, and get on stage before my normal form would return. During this time in my life I was a premed student and I worked in a doctor's office. I was too afraid to ask what the harm of wearing these was. After my 9th competition, I had enough with it all. A light was shed by a doctor from my University that is well respected in the bodybuilding industry and had many high profile clients with the same issues I was having. I can't recommend Dr. Layne Norton enought to competitors that are on cookie cutter diets and hours of cardio. I put my health and grades first and put the squeems and competition suit out of sight.

You can see the marks it left when removed.
*Competition photo is two weeks into training with the coaches after prepping myself for this show.
With clothes on it was noticeable. I used the excuse it was a back brace if anyone ever asked.
This was my last competition. My waist is small but my abs were 90% gone.

It was when I began working for a plastic surgeon I learned the medical intentions for waist trainers and received the ugly truth. These are only recommended by a doctor postpartum, or to aid healing after a tummy tuck/ liposuction procedure. I brought some in for him to check out and advise these were too aggressive for his own patients. Sometimes you have to learn lessons the hard way but I can recommend saving your money and be healthy the right way. Your most important and beautiful curve is your smile.


8 Tips For Starting a Fit Journey!

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, new you? Am I right?! I think everyone deserves some time every year to analyze where they are at, where they want to go, and how they will get there. A healthier lifestyle is always a common goal when the new year comes around. Unfortunately, with the rise of poorly credited fads circulating social media, I am here to provide clear guidance to get you started in the right direction with out any distraction by the misconceptions and scams!

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