How to make your Workout Resolution last longer than a Tinder Relationship

How to make your Workout Resolution last longer than a Tinder Relationship

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t actually use Tinder. This title started as a joke but I fell in love with it because it’s hilarious and relatable to many.

Anyway, Happy New Year! If you’re one of the 99% who’ve said, “This is my year to focus on health and happiness!” you are in the right place. The following are tips & tricks to keep you motivated for longer than 5 minutes in 2015.

1. Start with a baseline. You will never know how much progress you have made without a baseline! Yes, your jeans may be looser, people will ask if you’ve lost weight and it will feel wonderful. But do you want to know what feels even more wonderful? Cold, hard proof. Take measurements, weigh yourself, take a before photo. Do whatever it is you feel comfortable with, just do it. This is beneficial for multiple reasons: if you feel like you’re not making progress the numbers will prove you wrong. “I feel bloated and gross today even though I worked out and ate healthy all week! What’s wrong with me?” [Step on scale] “Oh! I lost 3 pounds this week, I’m fabulous.” It will also hold you accountable because if your progress is slowed, you have only yourself to blame. ☺ Lastly, seeing big, numerical changes is extremely motivating! Cumulative inches lost, dress sizes down, pounds lost, etc. ALL of that will continue to light a fire, you know where.
2. Set short-term goals. Then celebrate when you reach them! Some examples: I’d like to lose 2 pounds this week, give up dairy this week, do strict paleo this week, workout 4 times this week, try a new type of exercise, the list is endless. Setting little goals will not only hold you accountable, it will make your long-term goals look a lot less daunting.
3. Set long-term goals. Contrary to number two, it is important to look ahead. If you want to lose 50 pounds that’s awesome! Set mini goals each week to lose a set amount of weight that will ultimately get you to your long-term goal. (See what I did there?) My 2015 example is: I’m going to Vegas in April. That is a whopping 4 months away but you can bet your bottom it’s on my mind already! I am determined to feel great in a bikini, even after a long and cold winter. My mini goal leading to April starts with doing the Whole Life Challenge for the month of January.
4. Don’t go balls deep the first week. “I’m never eating a carb AGAIN. I am going to work out every single day for 2 hours. I am done drinking alcohol. I am going to do strict paleo for the next 3 months!” No you aren’t. You’re going to hurt yourself, burn out or get bored immediately. Take it slow. Start by using a calorie-monitoring app such as My Fitness Pal or LiveStrong and working out 2 days a week. Once your body gets used to that, add another day of exercise and eliminate a naughty food group (wheat, dairy, sugar.) Build on your progress.
5. Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan! Listen to me: you cannot outrun a bad diet. Hop on Pinterest, search, “clean eating meals,” and Pin away! Spend a couple of hours every Sunday looking for new recipes, grocery shopping and prepping in your kitchen. Hate cooking? Get a crockpot and add, “simple recipes,” to your Pinterest search. On a budget? Me too! Costco rocks and Mariano’s always has deals, you don’t need to go to Whole Foods to be healthy. ☺ I’m going to share a little secret with you… it’s more expensive to eat out than it is to cook at home. My friend Jenna and I made a paleo dinner last night that was $10.89 total, it fed both of us and we had leftovers.
6. Join a gym and make friends! “But I like to work out at home. I get embarrassed and I don’t want people to see me all gross and sweaty.” You know what else is at home? Your couch and your TV. Groupon is a fantastic place to find affordable gym packages and deals. In addition, you can experiment with different types of workouts to see what you like. You can also shop around and find a local health club for a great price and they usually have a plethora of group classes! The reason I suggest making a fitness friend is because you will be less likely to skip a class if you have set plans with someone. Canceling on a new friend= bad. Showing up, getting sweaty and gross together= fun. And if you’re single, you may just meet a hottie while you’re at it.
7. Track your progress. Have a weigh in or measurement day each week. Take pictures, write down your pounds lost and keep track of it. In just one month you will see drastic changes and it will feel wonderful.
8. Hold yourself accountable. Easier said than done, I know. But unless you are able to hire a personal trainer, a personal chef and someone to follow you around 24/7 swatting brownies out of your hand, you need to be responsible. You are in charge of your lifestyle! You’re invited to happy hour with the coworkers on Thursday, a housewarming party Friday and a birthday party downtown on Saturday? Can you skip happy hour? Yes. Can you eat a clean dinner at home then swing by the housewarming party? Yes. Can you go to the birthday party on Saturday? Yes. (This leads to my next point…)
9. Indulge a little. Go to the party! Have some wine, dance a little and live your life! I like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I eat clean and work out regularly. 20% of the time I indulge because life is fun and you deserve to be happy. If I have plans on Saturday night I make sure to get good workouts in during the week, eat really healthy and go hard at the gym Saturday morning. Balance is key.
10. Have Fun! Zumba, Barre, Yoga, Crossfit, Pilates, Running, HIIT, Kettlebell, TRX, Jazzersize, Core, Reformer, Kickboxing. Research, experiment, try them, love them. You are far more likely to stick with a workout routine if you like (or love) what you’re doing. Hate dancing? Probably steer clear of Zumba. Find something you enjoy & do it.

SOS: need motivation

SOS: need motivation

Hello friends! It’s been a while, I know. Life is so crazy & busy. Still loving my job but its definitely getting busier. I also just found out I am going to start doing private behavior therapy a few days a week after school… Exciting!

Today I got to the gym and realized I didn’t have my gym shoes with me (cue self pity party after previously showing up at the doctor only to be told my insurance card isn’t valid…?) so I went home and laid in bed. Then I realized that I need to stop moping and get moving! So off I go to the gym. Here’s what I’m doing:

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A Frustrating Injury

A Frustrating Injury

Happy Thursday!

I hope you’re having a great week. I have been dealing with a painful and frustrating neck injury and I am bored to tears. I can’t work out and I wasn’t really “mobile” until Wednesday morning. I am not set out for a sedentary life! I didn’t have a moment where I felt the “Oh shit, I just hurt myself” it kind of bothered me during my workout on Monday and then afterwards I was in serious pain. I made a chiro appointment for the next day and was told I have torticollis (?!) which basically means tortoise neck. No turning or moving without pain. Basically, I looked like Barbie doing the robot.

Anyway, it’s doing much better now. Although I can’t do any high impact workouts until Monday. Obviously that meant I had to max out on chili cheese nachos last night (wish I was kidding) and watch the CMA’s! Can we take a minute to talk about how amazing Miranda looked last night? She’s adorable. As is Luke Bryan😉

Detox time

Detox time

Hello loves, I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween weekend! 🎃 I spent Friday night in the city and had a blast with my girlfriends. I made some very unhealthy choices Saturday and my groggy mind/ body could feel it today! Thankfully I spent some serious meal prep time in the kitchen and have some awesome meals planned:

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I think I reported that I was making sweet potato hash for breakfast a few weeks ago, well that never happened. So this week it IS happening and I can’t wait for a delicious, filling breakfast!

You already have my recipes for these foods, however I tweaked my chili a bit. I used chicken rather than beef. I also used a couple shakes of: cayenne pepper, chili powder, seasoned salt, garlic, onion, salt, pepper & cumin rather than one of those seasoned packets. The chili looks funny because the chicken is so much lighter than the beef, but I taste tested tonight and it’s 👌. I also made some gluten free noodles to eat with it.

I’ll be posting some great workouts this week. In the meantime, here’s a little endurance burner for you that was part of Crossfit Rise programming last week:
3,6,9… Ascending
Wallball
Box jump
Power clean

Have a great week & GO HAWKS! ❤️

DIY Teeth Whitening Tips & Tricks

DIY Teeth Whitening Tips & Tricks

If you’re a coffee addict like myself, you’ve probably had frustrations with it staining your teeth. Thankfully I have a few routine DIY whitening options for you. I have always been very particular about my teeth and have spent a lot of money on fancy whitening treatments, Crest strips, etc. Every now & again I’ll use a white strip or whitening kit, but for the most part these little tips and tricks are enough to keep me satisfied! Here’s what you’ll need:

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Mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide, water, Crest 3D White (I swear by this stuff), a Q-tip, a flosser and, of course, your tooth brush.

1) Floss: because it’s good for you and your mouth will feel 5x cleaner after doing so.

2) Fill the peroxide lid with peroxide and get your Q-tip ready.

3) Then you’re going to smile REALLY big, like you’re in first grade, and use the Q-tip to dab peroxide on your teeth. Keep smiling big, you’re mouth may start to hurt but it’s only for 30 seconds to a minute, depending on how white you want to go.

4) After 30-60 seconds, rinse mouth with water.

5) Time to make your own mouthwash! I usually do 3 equal parts of: Listerine, peroxide & water. Sometimes I go a little heavier on the Listerine if I want to be extra “minty.” Every few weeks I make a big “batch” of the whitening mouthwash and keep it in the large Listerine bottle.

unnamed-16) Swish the completed mouthwash for 30-60 seconds & rinse.

7) Brush teeth using Crest 3D White! I love this toothpaste because it keeps you minty fresh for such a long time. I brushed my teeth before a workout the other day and after sweating, running (and swearing) I could still taste the mint while drinking my water. It was actually very refreshing.🙂

After doing this for a couple of days, you will certainly notice a difference!

Another tip: brush immediately after drinking coffee. I am in favor of Crest White Strips and I’m sure you can buy a great whitening kit on Groupon. These are just a few DIY whitening strategies that you can use daily to keep your teeth pearly white.

 

Serotonin: The “Feel Good” Hormone

Serotonin: The “Feel Good” Hormone

The following is from a website called Puristat.com and is a bit of information on Serotonin. Most people are familiar with Serotonin, knowing it has something to do with your brain, happiness, blah blah blah. What you’re about to read will surprise you. Did you know that most of your serotonin isn’t found in your brain, but in your GUT!? 

Serotonin: The Brain-Gut Connection

Another vital aspect of our digestive system is its role in the production of serotonin – the body’s natural “Feel Good Hormone”. Over ninety-five percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which has been called the body’s “second brain”1 because of its role in serotonin production and so many of the body’s vital functions. In fact, serotonin levels have been linked to everything from autism to constipation.

Serotonin is a key player in the functioning of GI tract muscles, causing the contraction of our intestines, and triggering the gut nerves which signal pain, nausea, and other GI problems. As well, it influences the functioning of the cardiovascular, immune, and renal systems. This amazing hormone also regulates aggression, appetite, cognition, mood, sexual behavior, and even sleep.

A neurotransmitter (chemical by which nerve cells communicate with each other or with muscles), serotonin is manufactured in our bodies from the amino acid tryptophan, which is derived from the food we eat. Diet, then, influences not only the state of our digestive system and overall physical health, it also has a profound impact on memory, mental clarity, mood, and even the foods we crave; these functions are all regulated by serotonin.

  • The Mayo Clinic found that serotonin plays a key role in controlling depression.2
  • The Brain, Behavior, and Immunity journal reports that tryptophan, the amino acid from which serotonin is manufactured, assists in memory retention as well as maintaining a good mood, especially among people with a family history of depression.3
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center research sheds light on how serotonin works to suppress appetite.4

Optimal nutrition and digestion is crucial to the production and function of serotonin and that, in turn, plays a vital role in everything from our mental health to our ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Diet Is Vital to Serotonin Production

Nutrition is vital not only to our physical health; it’s necessary to a properly functioning digestive system capable of producing sufficient amounts of serotonin. A diet of “real food” – one rich in organic fruits and vegetables and free of trans fats, refined wheat and sugar – goes a long way toward preventing the build up of toxins in the colon. And when it comes to serotoninproduction, the importance of raw foods for their nutrient value and serotonin-boosting properties cannot be over stated.

Our bodies require serotonin as well as tryptophan, the amino acid from which it is manufactured.

Tips for Ensuring Adequate Serotonin Levels

  • Eat foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B to help with serotonin production.
  • If you cannot get fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, opt for frozen over canned.
  • Omega-3, omega-6, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) are required for serotonin production. GLA is found in black currant seed, borage, evening primrose, and hemp seed5 oils. Click here for a list of omega-3 and -6 sources.
  • Healthy carbohydrates and proteins help metabolize foods high in the agents responsible for serotonin production.
  • Avoid white flour and sugar carbohydrates. The boost they provide in serotonin levels is temporary and quickly followed by a crash.
  • Foods in which completely formed serotonin can be found include bananas, kiwis, pineapples, plantains, plums, tomatoes, and walnuts.
  • Foods rich in tryptophan include almonds, bananas, beans, cheeses (particularly Cheddar and Swiss), chicken, eggs, fish (especially high-oil fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna), milk, peanuts, soy foods, turkey, and yoghurt.
  • Digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements can assist with full nutrient absorption from the above food sources, thereby increasing overall nutrient intake.

The passage above is an excerpt from: http://www.puristat.com/braingut/serotonin.aspx

I think it’s fascinating! I had to share it with you all. It just goes to show that what you put in your body really does impact more than your weight/ fitness level.🙂