Feeling unmotivated or frustrated?

While I enjoy working out and knowing that I am working towards a goal, it gets hard to keep persisting everyday. My goal is to lose some of the fat under my arms, behind my legs, and the layer on my stomach. But not only do I want to lose the fat, I want to tone my arms, core, and lower body. So basically you can say everything! LOL!

Working out is not the only thing that matters when achieving your goals, it is making sure to eat properly. But of course, it is easier said than done. Over the past few weeks I felt motivated to reach my goals but the last two weeks I became frustrated.

Seeing results takes more than two weeks so this is where we have to remind ourselves what we are working towards. I felt frustrated because I wasn’t sure if I was working out properly. I do cardio and total body weights three times a week and a rest day for stretching. Although I know I am physically keeping up with my workout schedule, mentally I wish there were more results.

Eating healthy is probably the hardest of all because I find it difficult to know when to eat what or how much. Researching isn’t that easy also because there are so many opinions or recommendations. And having a craving for desserts is difficult to surpress without binging.

Overall, persistance is key. We can’t forget why we started working out and eating healthy. We can’t forget our end goal and get distrated and frustrated with slow progress.

 

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Unexpected Findings…Jillian Michaels!

Last summer I visited lovely California. While venturing through Malibu I was having a weird desire to go to a fresh market for strawberries! As a Floridian I expected to find a small side-street market. What I ended up finding was so much more that I ever thought. It was a combination of small food boutiques that had smoothies, pet treats, fruits, desserts, and more. So here’s to say, I found more that just a small side-street market and more than just fresh strawberries!

While getting my hands on every sample available and buying more food than I probably should have purchased, I saw my mom looking at me with a strange and shocking look. After questioning her she told me that she was pretty such she saw Jillian Michaels. If you know me, then you know I watch and follow Jillian Michaels’ workout video if I can’t make it to the gym. And her videos always give me a killer workout.

After my mom told me she saw Jillian Michaels, my mom told me to go up to her and meet her. She looked like a normal shopper with her son but I felt intimidated because I knew she was more than a normal shopper! I then talked to the vendor and asked the vendor if she was really Jillian Michaels. The vendor said, “yes, go talk to her. She is really approachable!”

Nervous and excited my mom and I approached her and meeting her was amazing! Not only was she nice and listened to my rambling but she also kindly agreed to a picture!IMG_2863Never would I have thought my strawberry craving in Malibu would lead me to meeting someone I follow dearly for workouts!

 

Love Smoothies?…Try This!

If I learned anything from my dad and all the health advocates, it’s that we need veggies and veggies need to make up 50% of our meal. But the thought of raw and hard veggies grosses me out – making my taste buds cringe.

Well after being introduced to the Vitamix blender I found a way to get my veggies in while making sure the entire vegetable is used. However, what I failed to realize is that too much spinach in high quantities is really dangerous. According to Women’s Health, spinach is “high in oxalate, a compound that can lead to the formation of kidney stones.”

I do use spinach in my smoothies but I often switch it up with kale. Don’t get me wrong, while I understand the importance of vegetables and I like to put them in my smoothies, I like my smoothies to actually taste good. So I add a variety of fruits too – like bananas, apples, and dates. As for adding liquid to the smoothie, I sometimes put almond milk, coconut water, or plain ole H2O!

Here’s a smoothie that I find takes an interesting spin for smoothies:

Layered Mixed Berry Green Power Smoothie

Serves:4 servings
Prep time:10 mins
Total time:10 mins
A double-layer of mixed berry and mighty green comes together in this power-loaded smoothie that you can feel good about sipping!
Ingredients
BERRY LAYER:
  • 1 medium banana, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder
  • 1-1/2 cups milk

GREEN LAYER:

  • 1 medium banana, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 medium kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
Instructions
  1. Make the berry layer: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour berry smoothie into 4 glasses, filling halfway. Set aside.
  2. Make the green layer: Clean out the blender and place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Divide green smoothie between glasses, pouring on top of berry layer. Enjoy immediately!

Found on: http://wholeandheavenlyoven.com/2015/04/21/layered-mixed-berry-green-power-smoothie/

Try making this smoothie and let me know what you think!! 🙂

 

Just Breathe

Over the past couple of years I tried a few yoga classes at my gym. I was not regimentated and only went when I felt like it. However, over the past several months I started going at least once a week. Generally, I love the feeling of stretching but now I love the feeling of laying on my back and doing nothing but breathing deeply with eyes closed.

Stretching is a necessity for muscles to lose tension and grow; however, it also helps calm the mind. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines “asana” as “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed.” However, there is more to yoga than the physical aspects. 

Pranayama. Prana means breath sustaining the body. Ayama means to extend or draw out. Togehter, pranayama means breath extension or control. While Asana is medidation on the body, pranayama is mediation on the mind and breath.

There are many ways to breathe such as breathing through one nostril or quick fast inhalations and exhalations. However, my favorite is laying down on my back and inhaling for 10 seconds and exhaling for 10 seconds. Yogis and yoginis teach us to be aware of our breath during yoga. In contrast, I tend to forget to focus on my breathing during a class so sometimes just laying there can help us become more aware.

Research shows that breathing practices help decrease stress and reduce pain. It also can improve our sleep. Thus, breathing practices are powerful and you never know how much you can appreciate these 5 minutes.

What kind of breathing practices do you enjoy? Please share.

 

Funk Up Your Fitness Style

It’s time to turn your workout clothes from basic to bold. Making the transition from black to red or blue might not be as hard as it seems. Our psychological reactions are positive when surrounded by brighter hues. Transform your color range and see if it improves your confidence – whether in or out of the gym.

Anyone who knows me knows I love spunky-looking workout gear. But that wasn’t the case a few years ago. I used to always wear either black, gray, or white. However, after getting tired of wearing the same dark clothing I decided to change it up a bit. Besides my basic T-shirts (currently, trying to avoid basics tees and working on building my dry fit shirt collection), I love bright workout leggings!!! Yes, I am that girl that walks into a gym wearing bright, pink leggings but I crave the motivation and energy that it gives me. It can give you that extra pep in your workouts.

While the clothing looked and felt great, the price for leggings like these were not. For those working with a budget…which I am sure is most of us…I found great deals at stores like H&M and Forever 21!! Great deals like $10-$15, not $45! While I like brands such as Nike and Under Amour, my eyes bulge at the prices for sportswear at stores like Sports Authority or Dick’s.

Found these on Pinterest…just some of a few sports clothing that I would want.

How do you all feel about your sportswear style? Please comment and give me your feedback! 🙂

 

 

Stomach fat not budging? – Ab Workout

Does anyone else wish they could get rid of the extra fat on their stomach? Does anyone feel the motivation to do an ab workout one day and then the next day they lose that motivation?

I have never had abs that show. Of course, I know my stomach muscles are there but there is a layer of fat that covers them. Some days I feel so jung-ho to do some ab exercises but that motivation does not last very long and I’m back to feeling frustrated and hopeless.

However (!!!), after going to strengthening classes at my college’s gym I have found the perfect way to get that ab workout in without feeling like I have to plank all day long.

The workout is a total of 7 minutes consisting of 13 different ab exercises with 30 second intervals. Honestly, it is not a workout that can be done once a week. For results to eventually show this 7 minute workout has to be done everyday. Sometimes I do it even after I’m showered and in my PJs because I do not want to lose the routine.

So here it is:

30 sec – crunches (with knees bent and feet on floor)

30 sec – crunches (with legs in air and knees bent 90 degrees)

30 sec – reverse crunches (legs in air at 90 degree angle, crunch lower abs to push legs up)

30 sec – straight leg ups

30 sec – 6 in hold (raise legs 6 inches off the floor and HOLD for dear life)

30 sec – alternative heel touches

30 sec – russian twists (eventually had a hand weight to increase strength)

30 sec – sit ups (with knees bent and feet on floor)

30 sec – sit ups (with legs straight out and resting on floor)

30 sec – windshield wipers

30 sec – vertical toe touches

30 sec – scissors

1 min – plank (it is possible!)

I introduced this routine to some of my friends and we laughed and groaned throughout it all. Try doing it with a friend or a family member! But do not give up! Persistence will give you the results you want, just think of the goal and the bigger picture.

Beware of pH Levels in Your Diet- Part 2

After finding out I had acidic pH levels, I hit the internet to find out how to change my diet and what I was doing wrong.

According to my research, I found that common risks factors for acid reflux are:

  • eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
  • snacking close to bedtime
  • eating foods like tomato, garlic, onions, or spicy/fatty foods
  • drinking beverages like alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
  • smoking

So I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, coffee, or carbonated drinks, but I love tea and I would eat meals that consisted of tomatoes and spicy foods.

Acidic pH levels are 1.0 – 6.9. Alkaline pH levels are 7.1 – 14.0. And a neutral pH level is 7. My basic biology classes taught me this but I guess I didn’t realize how important it was and how it could affect my body. For example, if acid reflux is left untreated and without a change in diet or exercise, throat cancer can develop!!!

So all of this is great information but I needed to find out what I needed to do to fix my diet. Since most diets can cause unhealthy acidic pH levels, food was the first thing I needed to adjust.

Hours of research led to the understanding that vegetables had to become my best friends! Some alkaline veggies are beets, broccoli, spinach, cucumber, celery, and kale. Some alkaline fruits are banana, apples, grapes, watermelon, peach, pear, cantaloupe, and berries. HOWEVER, do not overdo the apples and peaches because they are somewhat acidic but they are okay in moderation.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 1.58.09 PM.pngTwo months have past since my ER visit and I am able to eat acidic foods again but I definitely pay more attention to my intake. It was hard at first to adjust and find the right foods to eat because I relied on the college’s dining hall to feed me. However, I knew this was to help me get better and I didn’t want to feel that stomach pain again.

As for my tea, I learned that black tea is acidic but I could still drink green tea and herbal teas! 🙂 Please be aware of what you eat because it can hurt your stomach if you’re not paying attention.

Beware of pH Levels in Your Diet – Part 1

As a freshman in college I have a meal plan and go to the dining hall frequently. Although it is not mother’s cooking, it keeps me full and has some variety. I don’t eat read meat and I get queasy when I eat chicken off the bones…lol.

I would eat omelets every morning that contain tomatoes and almost every entree I had was tomato-based. I didn’t pay attention to the tomatoes and the quantity intake because it didn’t seem excessive.

A few weeks later I did an ab workout at the gym and I immediately felt some pain in my stomach afterward. I thought I was just sore from my workout; however, the pain consisted over night and for the next couple of days. I  tried stretching to relieve the pain and hoped that it would go away. I did every ab stretch and upward dog pose I could think of but nothing worked.

Eventually I consulted my parents and immediately they were worried. They suggested I see a doctor as soon as possible. Little did I think that a parent’s “as soon as possible” means “see one right now and go to the ER!” After the poking and prodding from the doctors and nurses the only thing they could say I had was Acid Reflux.

To continue…

Should I feel guilty?…Peanut Butter and Banana Parfait

When you eat a bowl of ice cream how do you feel? My favorite ice cream flavor is Cookies and Cream! At first I feel excited to dive into a creamy and refreshing treat, but then I experience a little regret. Am I wrong to feel this? No.

With health comes happiness. And moderation. It is okay to eat a salad but to have a chocolate bar too. I like to find desserts that are more natural or something that I made. Therefore, I know what ingredients were put into it and I feel the satisfaction of knowing how to use kitchen appliances.

Usually a fresh, homemade smoothie after a workout is my favorite. But for now, here’s a Peanut Butter and Banana Parfait recipe! This delight is loaded with protein and fresh fruit with a light crunch (perfect to eat after a strength workout).

PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA PARFAIT

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 5.18.41 PM.png

 

Time to make: 10 mins
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 parfaits
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ⅛ cup honey
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 4 Honey Maid Graham Crackers, crushed
Instructions
  1. Combine yogurt, peanut butter and honey in a bowl and beat until smooth
  2. In a parfait glass, layer the yogurt mixture, the sliced banana, and the crushed graham crackers
  3. Enjoy!

 

source: suburbia-unwrapped.com