Junk Food Hacks!

Standing

Dieting doesn’t have to be miserable!

One of the coolest things about macro dieting is that you can be really creative with food.  If you are in prep, this can be really challenging to do, but for an everyday lifestyle client, these choices are pretty easy.

Many people tell me that they “can’t eat like a rabbit.” You don’t have to.  Another one of my all time favorite crutches is, “I have kids.” I know it’s hard to avoid pizza, tacos, and ice cream when you are surrounded by those little sugar consuming monsters, so..don’t avoid them, hack them. 

Let me preface this by saying, I’m not a parent, but I have close friends that are and I’ve been witness to some bad ass parenting when it comes to nutrition. My best friend works in nutrition, and her children can actually read labels and make healthy choices on their own.  Teaching kids about nutrition is critical because these are real life scenarios they will have to face.  When I went to college, I thought I was making healthy choices, but turns out I wasn’t. These great recipe swaps don’t just give you a chance to educate and engage kids, but enjoy a meal with your family without feeling guilt.

Let’s take tacos as our first example..because Tacos are life.  Say you really want tacos, but need to limit your carb intake…You’ve already switched up your protein from beef to turkey,  but now you’re stuck looking at soft taco shells. The below are both great choices, but the tortilla on the right, is a much better one as it saves you nearly 9 grams of carbs.  Let the kids load their own tacos with fresh veggies  and tomatoes! So fun!

TORTILLAS

You might be saying, “That’s great, but I don’t care about 9 grams of carbs.” Cool bro.  Let’s try another.  Say you really really want pizza, but its way off of your plan. My personal favorite is BBQ chicken Pizza. Girl, bye. The macros in this would be insane.  In a frozen pizza from CPK, you are going to get AT least 34g of carbs per serving.  Here’s what I did: I bought a low carb thin crust, some low carb BBQ sauce, fat free cheese, and topped with chicken.  Again, I focused on eliminating extra CARBS first (additionally, be careful with those sauces yo).  I saved over 20g of carbs between sauces, toppings, and crust. These are super fun to let your kids make individually.  When you pick out your toppings, show them labels and help them make choices. Or let your husband make his own pizza because he likes everything too spicy 🙂

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BBQPIZZA.PNG

Ok, so we’ve covered pizza AND tacos…Let’s get really crazy and check out ice cream.  I am a huge fan of Halo Top.  Halo top not only boasts more protein, but utilizes organic stevia instead of sugar.  I actually snipped this from their website and I thought it was so cool.  Not only is the calorie difference jarring, but check out those carbs!

HALOTOPNUMBERS

My point here is, not only do you not have to limit yourself, but you can use macro hacking as a tool to teach kids healthy choices, even when faced with unhealthy foods! Everyone wins.  Below are some of my other favorite hacks and swaps. What are yours?

Food Swap
Ground Beef Lean Turkey or Chicken
Cheese Fat Free Cheese
Plain Yogurt Greek Yogurt
BBQ Sauce Low Sugar, Carb, or Gluten Free BBQ sauce
Chips Rice Cakes
Peanut Butter PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
Pancake Mix Kodiak Cakes Protein Pancake Mix
Waffles Low Fat or Vans Gluten Free Waffles
Syrup Low Carb or Sugar Free Syrup
Bacon Turkey Bacon
Sausage Chicken Sausage

 

Go forth and conquer!

“But Did You Die?” Embracing Failure like Beyonce.

Image result for did you die meme“We’re going to lose our jobs, don’t freak out,” my coworker said, “You’re not going to die.” I was going to die. I was pretty damn sure of it. My heart was pounding and I could feel a heart attack coming on slowly. When my name was called, I headed down to the HR office where I sat with my then boss, who explained myself and two others were being laid off.  I don’t remember the rest, except today, would be my last day. My boss then asked, “Would you like to get your things now or later?” I told her I would go up, but she informed me she would have to escort me. You know, like a criminal. She escorted me to the door,  and then it was done. The first job I EVER HAD.  I cried hysterically  to my Dad, who told me. “This sucks, but you’re not going to die.” CLEARLY, I am, and also why do people keep saying that?

When I returned home, I removed my work clothes to get into mandatory depression sweatpants. As I looked in the mirror, I I was unrecognizable. I had gained nearly 40 pounds from working long hours and attending school at night. For what? No matter what anyone could have said, all I could hear was

“You are so not valuable to anyone. You can’t even keep a job, and good luck getting one looking like that. You have let everyone down, including yourself.”

As much as I preach positivity, in my darkest hours, I couldn’t find the strength to be kind to myself. I was angry.

During the first week of fun-employment, my friend approached me about a bootcamp challenge. “I cannot do that. It will be stupid!” I proclaimed. I acted angry, but really I was scared. Everyone would be better than me and I couldn’t face another failure. I called the trainer, who told me everything would be fine, but still…ugh. I almost threw up, and I had to modify like EVERYTHING. But at the end, my big ass kind of felt like a bad ass.  In a time when everything was going wrong, to actually complete something made me feel: accomplished. I followed my trainers program to the letter of the law, and within 21 days, had lost ten lbs.  I had lined up a few interviews and I was feeling myself.  I decided  I would control my destiny. I turned down multiple jobs, and I finally found a place I liked. I talked about myself like someone I loved, proved my value, and left the same day with a job and a 20k raise. I also negotiated an earlier start time to ensure I would be able to leave work on time to make bootcamp (#worklifebalance).

As time went on, I became more accomplished. I was putting myself out there, speaking at events and slowly dropping the pounds. The more weight I lost, the more confidence I gained. I was always trying new workouts that challenged me and it brought me to a revelation. I realized my confidence made me a great fit for sales.  I checked out a local recruiter, and sent him my oddly scattered resume. “Well, which company do you want to work for?” he asked kindly.  “The biggest and best job posting you have.” I replied.  His voice had the tone of someone telling a child that Santa Claus isn’t real. “This is a major fortune 500 organization, and your experience is a bit..well…all over the place.” I tried to not be discouraged, but I boldly told him that if he got me the interview, I would take the job.  I was a salesperson, I had decided it.

The interview process at the company was one of the hardest I’d ever been through. At points, I panicked. During a multi question test, I kept remember hearing my dad saying. “But you won’t die.” I’m pretty sure I blacked out for part of it, because to this day I don’t remember what that lady asked me.  Oddly enough, I had the job. It was my first time in a big company, but I finally felt like people were listening to my ideas and thoughts. My accomplishments in fitness began to seep into my subconscious, and I started showing my confidence. I talked to anyone that would listen.  Before I knew it I was a manager.

Around that time, that my little negative gremlin thoughts started creeping in. My fitness started slipping with the new stress and constant travel; I went into panic mode. My weight had crept up 20 lbs.  I called my trainer and said, “I think I need to enter a bodybuilding competition. And we need to make it work for while I’m traveling, because I have to do my job too.” I’d already lost weight, so why not try the real IMPOSSIBLE?  I made a plan, measured my food, worked out on the road, and controlled myself at happy hours.  About four weeks (and 12 business trips,  into my diet) I had my first presentation as a boss. It was also at the pinnacle of my near 100 lb weight loss.  There everyone was looking at me because suddenly I was the expert. “Ugh, I cannot do this!,” I thought. But really, again, I did it, it went awesome. Nobody died.

My bikini competition came in October. It wasn’t big, but the months of dieting were starting to get to me…and my anxiety. I looked at some of the girls and I was like “Holy shit, I’ve made a giant mistake.” I was the fat girl, and I called my mom to explain I could NOT do it. My mom replied, “No! You’re Beyonce! Just like…pretend you’re Beyonce!” Um ok. I slipped on my gold bikini, and remembered that I had every right to be there as the next girl. I had done the work, and a plastic trophy wouldn’t change that.  Plus, I was Beyonce. I took 4th, but after a giant brunch, I returned to work, continued to kill it and checked off another scary bucket list item where I didn’t croak.

Many people ask why I even compete. Losing weight was the hardest thing I’ve  done, and many times I failed.  I’ve failed in my career and often in fitness, but I’ve learned to exist comfortably with failure. As I proved in the above, life will always throw discomfort your way, but the more you embrace it, the easier it is to survive.  I know when crap hits the fan, I won’t be worried about how to get it together. Everyone from my family to my employees will count on me. I will continue to compete because it is so scary, but every time I push myself harder, I keep getting better.

I write this because many of you are struggling with failure. Whether it is weight gain, a job loss, or even a failed marriage; take this time to get comfortable with the pain, and know that YOU have the power to change it.  If you feel like you can’t do it, remember that a former fat girl pretending to be Beyonce placed in a bikini competition.  Do the bootcamp TODAY, lift the weights TODAY, apply for the job TODAY, because at the end of the day, did you die?

Love, C

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I am Beyonce. ALWAYS.

Valentines Day “Pasta”

spaghetti

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m in prep. Soooo…this is fun. Obvi, I recognize Valentine’s Day is a whole thing invented by Hallmark and blah blah blah, but who doesn’t love getting fancy and feeling loved?

My very first Valentine’s Day with Tyler, we didn’t have a ton of money, so he spent all day and cooked me spaghetti, which is legit one of my favorite dishes. He even cooked garlic bread which you could smell down the hallways of the building.  The apartment was tiny; when I arrived it was lit up with tiny candles and had an adorable checkered table cloth. He was dressed up, wearing nice pants and a button down, which also resembled my all time favorite celeb crush, Chris Meloni (OR Elliot Stabler if we must mention him by character). As I think back on this,  I remember feeling so loved, but equally important -how good those MOTHER LOVING CARBS WERE.

It never fails that on Valentine’s Day, I start thinking about spaghetti (oh yeah, and my husband). I would likely murder someone and step over their dead body to go to Cunnetto’s, which literally serves tortellini in a trough like fashion.  But, we’re both cutting and need to make some tough choices. We’ll likely eat sushi, but I can’t get spaghetti out of my head. Although this isn’t as Stabler-esqe as my first Valentine’s Day, it is sure a welcome substitute.

Before we begin, I want to point out a few things that are different about this recipe:

*Notice I used chicken sausage rather than regular. This is due to the *high* fat content in sausage.

*Notice I substituted a sauce with diced tomatoes with LOW SALT.  Check the back of your pasta sauces when you buy them. Check for carbs especially. Sometimes something that boasts “low fat,” can mean “high carb” or “high sugar”

*Remember that Better Than Pasta is an oat flour noodle. Learn more about it in my previous post,  bur this pasta is lean and needs flavor yo! If you can’t get behind Better Than Pasta, opt for a brown rice noodle or whole wheat pasta noodle.

 

Skinny Pasta

(note calorie counts are for TOTAL recipe, not per serving)

Total Servings: 3 serving
Calories
377
Total Fat8g
Sat.Fat2g
Cholest.140mg
Sodium1816mg
Carb.30g
Fiber9.3g
Sugars11g
Protein36g

Ingredients

2 sausage 100 calories mild italian chicken sausage by cher-make (casing removed and chopped up)
3 cups Baby spinach by dole
14 oz (1 bag) Konnyaku flavor spaghetti by better than pasta
14.5 fl oz (1 can)  Hunt’s  diced basil garlic & oregano tomatoes by conagra foods (juice drained)
1. Drain pasta and set aside
2.  Spray a large pan with cooking spray and add garlic
3. Add chopped pieces of chicken sausage and stir until lightly browned (they are pre-cooked, so this is just for searing.)
4. Add the 3 cups of spinach and stir until wilted.
5. Add pasta and stir together for 5-1o minutes
6. Add drained tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes
THAT’S IT!!!!!!!! Super low in calories and so good.
Hope you guys have a great Valentines and Happy Meal Prep!
Best-
C

Get Out of Your Own Way

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As I was running  today, I started recalling when I first started dieting. I actually called my coach and said, “Listen, I really can’t workout four days a week because I have a REALLY BUSY JOB and I can’t run because my knee is messed up, and I really can’t do much cardio because I have asthma.” She was super understanding. When I got there, we didn’t run, but we did plyometrics. I had to take my inhaler twice, complained that the jumping bothered my injured knee, but I don’t know what hurt worse; my knee, my lungs, or my feelings. It was a lot easier to blame my knee and my Benjamin Button-esque immunity system for my lack of ability to workout, rather than admit that I had completely let myself go. Truth: My knee wasn’t keeping me from working out, my priorities and fear were.

I hear this a lot from people. Whether it’s an old injury, a busy schedule, or family commitments, it seems there is always something keeping folks from the life they want. Don’t get me wrong, I go down this path too. Tomorrow I’ll get on a plane and I’ll be gone until THURSDAY. I’ll return Friday for back to back meetings. I was in the throws of a full blown pity party, when I realized that I am complaining about the fact that I have to workout for a competition I SIGNED UP FOR. Two years ago, I was complaining that I was too fat couldn’t go to the gym because I had “too much on my plate.” I did, it was too much food, but my point is that it’s always something.

It took me a long time to face this, and I hope you appreciate it when I say that you are the only person keeping you from having the body you want.

If you decide to stay home and mop the floor and “don’t have time,” to go to the gym, it really just means the floors were more important. What if you didn’t mop them? Would the dirt police arrest you?  If you didn’t go to happy hour with your friends what would happen? Would they unfriend you?! If you decided to skip that episode of Grey’s Anatomy, would it be the ONE episode where they bring McDreamy back from the dead? My point is, we all create reasons why we are “too busy,” or have “obstacles,” but maybe the real reason is that we are (1) afraid we will fail and it’s easier to tell ourselves we can’t and (2) afraid to make ourselves a priority in fear we will let down the people we love.  I can promise you this, if someone really loves you, they will understand. Creating boundaries is healthy, and being healthy means you can love and live longer.

It took me a long time to learn that putting myself first doesn’t equal disappointing people. I can shut off my phone for one hour. I can leave the dirt on the floor for a day. I can freaking tape Grey’s or watch it on the treadmill instead of listening to Tyler ask repeatedly if someone is a ghost which LITERALLY ONLY HAPPENED ONCE.

If you are thinking of excuses this week, change their names to challenges and find a solution. Knee injury keeping you from running? Try walking uphill or an elliptical! I was on a work trip with a coworker and she had MAJOR knee surgery and was doing squats that I CAN’T EVEN do. Why? Because she made her recovery a priority and handled it like a f*cking boss. Too much housework to do? Ask your family to pitch in. No time to cook? Invest in some pre-cooked meals or utilize the crockpot! The possibilities are endless!

What tasks are keeping you from hitting the gym? Comment below and let’s find solutions!

Happy Working Out-

C

 

 

Thai Food Without Guilt! Macros Included!

thaichicken

As most of you know, I’m knee deep in prep. I’m already fighting off cravings which is awful at this stage in the game. My biggest issue is the fact I LOVE CARBS.  It doesn’t even matter the kind of carbs, if it remotely resembles bread, I want it. The worst part is,  I find myself thinking about all the things I CAN’T have the second I enter prep. But, if you want something and can’t have it, a good rule of thumb is to modify. In the coming weeks, I’ll be highlighting my all time favorite “clean” cheat tricks!

This dish features my go-to noodles in prep. These are fat free, gluten free, wheat free, and are EXTREMELY low in carbs. I order them in bulk on Amazon. These aren’t “fake” noodles, but they are made with organic Konnyaku flour, which are from the roots of  a Japanese plant called Konjac. They don’t taste like your typical pasta noodle, rather more a noodle that you may find in an asian stir fry. Now, when you open these, they will have a “plant-like,” smell because of where they come from, but once rinsed and cooked, they don’t taste that way. Note that these noodles have a bland taste, but are wonderful when accompanied by lots of flavors!

 

Image result for better than pasta

 

Thai Noodle Miracle Noodles

(NOTE THE MACROS ARE FOR THE WHOLE DISH, NOT PER SERVING)

Total Servings: 5 serving Weight: 840g
Calories
695
Total Fat32g
Sat.Fat6.7g
Cholest.221mg
Sodium2160mg
Carb.22g
Fiber4g
Sugars14g
Protein64g

Ingredients

1 tbsp minced garlic

Sriracha to taste

12.5 oz White chicken breast by swanson (1 can)
4 tbsp Gluten free thai peanut asian sauce by Annie Chun’s—You can use any asian peanut sauce, but please watch fat content!)
1 tbsp Organic creamy peanut butter spread by full circle
14 oz Konnyaku flavor spaghetti by better than pasta
1 tbsp Pb2 powdered peanut butter by bell plantation (I cut my peanut butter with PB2 due to my diet)
To Cook:
  1. Rinse noodles and set aside. (Don’t worry about drying them too too much)
  2. Spray a skillet and heat at medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and brown slightly.
  4. Add chicken breast and toss lightly. Add noodles and toss with chicken until tender (usually about 5 minutes).
  5. Add Peanut Butter, sauce, and PB2 to skillet and stir until melted together. (It will be chunky at first but don’t freak. The leftover water on noodles will soak up PB2)
  6. Add sriracha to taste

 

Annnnd you’re done! Note that this dish doesn’t always look appetizing, but it is delicious!

Happy Dieting!

–C

 

 

 

 

IIFYM Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

beefandbroccoli

Sorry the presentation was bad….I was halfway done eating it when I decided to take a pic. My bad. 

Ahhhh, sorry I’ve been absent on the old social media lately. On top of starting a new year at work, I also started another prep, which means I have to get it together in order to be ready for my next show! 13 weeks UNTIL UFE!

If you follow my blog, you know my preps can get PRETTY interesting with the fact that I travel so much. One of my favorite strategies is to meal prep at the beginning of the week. My goal in prep is to make my life feel AS NORMAL as possible by making foods I enjoy. If you want to sit there and eat chicken, be my guest… but it sounds miserable.

Today I really wanted Chinese. Like bad. Like a whole thing of steamed rice and 15 crab rangoon, but I didn’t. Instead I made this super healthy beef and broccoli stir fry. This really only takes under 20 minutes, and it is good for kids and adults alike!

You’ll need:

1.5 oz lean sirloin, chopped into bite sized pieces

11 oz broccoli

2 tbsp sesame seeds (These are high in fat guys. I was very low on my fats today so I added, but if you are watching fat content, you may want to drop to 1 tbsp.)

3-4 tbsp Zero Calorie Sesame Ginger Dressing by Walden Farms

1 tbsp Ginger (I use the squeezable kind)

1 tbsp Garlic (again…squeezable)

`16 Oz Culinary Cuts Cauliflower Cauliettes (or just chopped up cauliflower)

Again, my goal is to make this as easy as possible,so I often invest in pre-chopped broccoli if possible, or pre chopped cauliflower like these. These are great because you can steam them right in the bag and use them to make cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice, whatev.

cauliflower

Another one of my prep staples is Walden Farms ANYTHING. I actually found this dressing the other day which got me ALL FIRED up about this recipe.  Walden Farms is 0 calories. They also have everything; caramel topping, ranch, coffee creamer. It can all be found in the veggie aisle of your local grocery store.

sesame

To make this recipe is pretty simple.

1. Preheat skillet on a medium setting

2. Spray down a large pan with fat free cooking spray and add sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic. Toast until sesame seeds are golden brown

2. Add chopped sirloin and toss with seeds and seasonings to your desired taste.

3. Remove steak and set aside.

4. Add a small amount of olive oil or spray and then add broccoli. Saute the broccoli until it’s a little brown and crispy.

5. Combine broccoli and steak and add the Walden Farms dressing.

6. Mix well and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

7. Serve on top of Cauliflower Rice

To Make The Cauliflower “Rice” 

1. Steam bag in microwave as directed.

2. Saute in a separate pan with ginger and garlic until golden.

P.S. Here are the macros for my fellow IIFYMers!!!

 

iifymbeefandbroc

Happy prepping!

 

Skincare with a Side of Brutal Honesty

Have you ever drastically changed your diet and noticed you are getting puffy in the face or breaking out with acne?  I was recently scrolling through pictures of my prep and there were certain weeks where I not only looked tired, but had acne worse than my teenage years! WTF?!

acne

The actual check in pic, unedited (well you see the major edit!) Acne, tired. Meh.

Your hormones change along with your diet, which can also cause drastic changes in your skin. Unfortunately for me, I also have very sensitive skin which makes it hard to find a cleanser with salycilic acid that doesn’t make me totally red.

Before I give you a few tips on skin care, I want to explore some of the skincare rules I live by:

  1. Never leave your home without SPF on your face. Make sure to use makeup or moisturizer that contains SPF. If in the sun like Mexico, opt for an SPF 100. Use bronzer because I’d rather be fake tan and young then look old AF from UVA/UVB rays.
  2. Don’t get in a tanning bed: I’m not going to slam you with research but skin cancer is real, and if you’re hopping in a tanning bed you’re not excluded from this. I used to tan in high school, but now I won’t be caught dead. Opt for a spray tan with a true professional, like Amanda Bluestein at Maplewood Beauty Bar.
  3.  Drink Water: Water has incredible skin benefits and hydrated skin is healthy skin.
  4. Don’t go to bed with makeup on: If you’re not going to take it off, invest in makeup remover wipes to keep by your bed!

Here is my skincare lineup…. I choose Mario Badescu for a lot of things because they lean towards natural botanicals and are gentle on skin. They are also highly reasonable in regards to price.

KERATOPLAST CREAM SOAP Mario Badescu: Keratoplast Cream Soap

Found : Ulta
Cost: $12.00 (Cheap)

This is a very creamy cleanser that can be used on sensitive skin. This is formulated with Isodecyl Salicylate (a gentle beta hydroxy acid also known as Keratoplast) to help rid the skin of pore-clogging buildup. I use twice daily as cream based cleansers won’t dry out skin.

ANTI-ACNE SERUM Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum

Found: Online or at Ulta
Cost: $20.00

I actually don’t use this product all of the time. It’s very small and can dry out skin. When I am having an extreme breakout, I find this helpful in treating existing acne or helping with blackheads.

 COLLAGEN MOISTURIZER SPF 15 Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturizer

Found: Online or at Ulta
Cost: $24.00

I use this twice daily after cleansing, first because it contains Collagen (anti-aging), is rich in Vitamin E and also has SPF 15, which prevents further sun damage.

   

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Found: Online or at local retailers like Macy or Sephora
Cost: $26.00

I use this very sparingly as it is a super strong mask.  The mask gets firm and tight which get out nasty oils and toxins. Again this thing gets TIGHT. It can dry out your face, so I only use during a breakout.

 Image result for BOTOX  Botox

Found: By a licensed professional or Maplewood Beauty Bar Salon
Cost: $9.00-$12.00 per unit

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit to you that I do get botox.   Only every 6 months to once a year.  It is purely preventative and I only got slight injections near the outside of my eyes. Botox prevents aging, as well as assists with fine lines and wrinkles. If you are going to do it, I recommend finding an honest, licensed professional.

I may get some criticism for my Botox use, but I don’t really care. I believe that in an age of Instagram and filters, there has to be honesty around what we will do for vanity. I honestly don’t think it’s fair for fitness bloggers or beauty bloggers to post and say “get my look” with only partial honesty.

I started this blog in the belief that as women, we are often expected to live up to impossible standards, and let’s be honest: Nobody’s killing it. I’m not. I’m all like, “Don’t worry I’m just over here holdin down a marriage, owning 100 dogs, competing in a bodybuilding competition and embracing a career at a large company. PIECE OF CAKE.” Nope. It’s stressful, sometimes so stressful I sit in my car and cry. You want my life? Well it’s good, but it was super hard to get here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and my career, but it doesn’t mean that sometimes managing it is hard, and I don’t feel guilty for it.  So in parting; can money buy happiness? Nope, but it can buy you Botox which in that moment is what I wanted and needed.  #SORRYNOTSORRY.

So let me leave you with this parting thought for the day: Unless someone is paying your bills, they aren’t entitled to an opinion.  Do what you want, and do it with authenticity and honesty. 

EMBRACE IT.

If you have more questions about skin care, diet, or botox, DROP EM BELOW!

GUEST BLOG ALERT: Five New Year’s Resolutions NOT to make this year

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My very first guest blogger. OMG! I am sure sometimes it gets tiring hearing from me, and I want to be sure that this blog reflects lots of different perspectives! Brittany is an amazing recruiter, mother, fitness enthusiast, and lover of fancy drinks.  Check out her blog on common New Year’s Resolution pitfalls!

1. I’m going to wake up at 5:00am every day and work out for an hour before work.

I’ve made this one countless times and each year on January 1st, I remember how slangry (sleepy + angry) I get when forced to wake up before the sun.  I might stick with it for a week or so, but then I give in to my bed for a day or two and then I just let the whole idea go.  If you’re a morning person, by all means wake up at 5am and take a morning jog while I am still drooling on my pillow.  However, if the thought of voluntarily waking up earlier makes you somewhat homicidal, be realistic with yourself and when the best time in your schedule to work out is.    Make your resolution that you WILL make time to be active though.

2. I’m going to run a marathon this Spring!

Awesome!  I just love those cool 26.2 stickers on cars.  My stepmom has a 26.2 tattoo and every time I see it I convince myself doing a marathon would be super fun and a great goal.   Never mind that in high school I literally tied myself to a friend to avoid having to run the mile.  Every year I tell myself I am going to do a marathon, and every year I head to the track and walk/run two laps and the whole time I am thinking how cold I am, how I can’t breathe, and wondering how anyone can find this enjoyable.  Start slow.  Make your resolution a 5k or simply to set time aside 2-3 times a week to run.  If you decide running isn’t for you, don’t force it!  There are so many workouts out there – don’t waste time forcing yourself to do something you hate.  You will just end up getting discouraged.  Try running!  But also try boxing, yoga, Zumba, weight lifting, and any other activity that makes you feel excited!

3. I’m cutting out all sugar and eating 100% clean.

I had this talk with a co worker last week as she was heating up coffee cake for breakfast and I was making a bagel.  We talked about how January 1st it was all chia seeds and superfoods.  Buh bye coffee cake, carbs, and champagne!  I’ve only made this one 15 times before, I am sure this will be my year to completely change my eating habits overnight.  Ha!  Set yourself up for success by making small changes.  Don’t make it an overnight revolution.  Start with just starting each day with a healthy breakfast, or cutting out that evening ice cream.  Think of food as fuel, not a reward.

4. I will lose 20, 40, 100 pounds by _____ date.

I have always wanted to be in the 120’s.  For some reason it stuck in my head a long time ago that 120 is the perfect weight for me.  Never mind that I’m 5’9” with “child birthing” hips and a head that easily adds in an extra 5 pounds.  Don’t focus on the number on the scale.  Focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit.  Don’t let yourself get hung up on a certain number.

5. I’m going to spend so much money on cool work out clothes/expensive tennis shoes/an elliptical/personal trainer that I will HAVE to work out!

Totally unrelated, is anyone interested in buying an unused yoga mat, $100 tennis shoes, or a used elliptical I made my husband drag home so I could run every night while watching the Real Housewives of whatever city we’re on?   Spending money on working out will not make you dedicated.  And you will just be upset with yourself when you think about the money you spent.  Buy yourself one great workout outfit you feel confident in or a nice water bottle or headphones, but don’t invest hundreds of dollars until you have found what you really enjoy doing.  After you find your groove, splurge on the tennis shoes for running or Dancing with the Stars workout DVD.  (I also have that for sale if anyone is interested).

Most of all, be kind to yourself!  If you fall off the wagon for a bit, don’t give up and vow to try again in 2018.  Get up and get after it!

“There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path, don’t allow yourself become one of them”

 

About the Author: 

brittany

I am a newly thirty year old wife, mama, recruiter, and over thinker.   I’ve been married to my best friend (cliche, but true) for going on 8 years and we have a beautiful, perfect two year old boy.

I love traveling and planning trips (hit me up if you need help planning a budget friendly trip!), trying new foods and drinks, discovering new music to play on repeat, reading, shopping and everything fashion related, and being outdoors.

Check out my blog to learn more! 

Immunity Boosting Smoothies (PLUS: Crash Dieting Info)

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IDK about everyone else, but it seems like literally EVERYONE I know is sick. I’ve been trying my best to stay healthy this holiday season, which means ensuring I have high amounts of vitamin C and maintain a healthy diet. Believe it or not, getting enough sleep and eating the right foods can be extremely helpful to overall weight loss.  Oh and p.s. I still got sick anyway.

One thing I hear a lot of women say are, “Oh well, I’m starting smoothies.” First off, why? I mean, I can get behind of clean eating post-binge or a day of juice, but SMOOTHIES ALL THE TIME? Second of all, just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean it’s something you should eat or drink it all of the time or should make up ALL of your diet. This is my plea to you New Years Resolutioners, please avoid crash dieting. Did you know that according to an independent study, only 5% of people who lost weight on a crash diet actually kept it off?

Here’s my point:

Fruits and veggies are great to have, but they (especially fruits) ARE NOT VOID of carbs and sugar. For example, one banana has 27 grams of carbohydrates and orange juice has about 12g per 8 oz. That’s 39 grams of carbs with just two ingredients.  You know what? 1 Poptart has 38 grams of carbs. Not to say it’s more nutritionally sound, but think about it. If you’re daily intake of carbs should be  188, then you just jacked a significant portion of your carbs with a smoothie that is HIGH  in carbs and also LOADED with sugar. Now, don’t get me wrong here, veggies and fruits should make up a large portion of your diet, but please don’t think that binging on fruit is the way to be lean!   WATCH THOSE MACROS YO! Another issue with these smoothies, is that often people don’t add protein, and having significant amounts of protein aids in building lean muscle.

You may be thinking “Well that’s great, I’ll just buy a pre-packaged protein drink or juice.” Oh hell nah. Check the sugar on those bad boys. Granted while some of these are OK, be sure you are checking labels for sugar and fat.

Now that I’ve crushed your dreams, I’m going to bring you back.  Smoothies are great to supplement a good diet and when used in moderation.  If you’ve fallen off track, a veggie and fruit loaded smoothie is a great addition to a healthy balanced diet! I like to drink smoothies to get my veggies in because I just hate vegetables. I’m sorry. Fruits also function as immunity boosters and should be part of a healthy diet.

After doing some research, I decided to whip up this little creation to give me some Vitamin C and deliciousness.

smoothie

Immunity Boosting Protein Smoothie: 

1/2-1 cup spinach (I like mine frozen): benefits include immunity support (Vitamins A and C) and is extremely low in calories. It also contains 4g of fiber per cup.

1/2 c blueberries: One of the highest antioxidant foods in the world, providing immunity support. Also extremely low in sugar and carbs

A few mandarin oranges:  great for vitamin C and E which are great for immunities as well as skin health. (Use sparingly due to sugar)

Orange juice (under 8oz): Vitamin C and covering the taste of spinach. If you don’t have enough liquid, cut with water.

1 scoop Vanilla Whey: Because GAINZ.

Most of these fruits are relatively low in sugar, but serve the function of providing fiber and immunity support. Just add in a blender and blend that bad boy up!!! Use this drink sparingly in your diet. (I do about once a week).

Do you have any great smoothie recipes? Drop them in below!

 

 

GOALZ AND GAINZ: 7 Mantras for 2017

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2017 will be a year for leaner legs!

Hey. Sorry I haven’t written much. I’ve been busy eating sandwiches and playing with puppies. Pretty typical I know. I started this really lame post about New Years’ Resolutions, and then I changed my mind because I thought it was stupid. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own resolutions, whether its to get leaner legs or abs or something else, and have decided to share them with you.  Whether you are just starting your journey or are far into it, I hope you find some of this useful.

1. I’m going to draw new lines: I had this great talk with my uncle last night about boundaries and drawing lines. We were actually talking about work, but he said this to me and it stopped me in my tracks, “Sometimes we draw a line in the sand and say ‘Ok, this is what I can tolerate,’ and then that thing happens, we don’t die, and we draw a new line. Each time the line gets further and further and we find we can actually handle a lot.” In fitness we all tend to draw those lines, right? I once said things like “I have to have a glass of wine every night,” then I went to three nights a week, then one, then before you know it, I was four months in with not a drop to drink. Decide where your line is and set yourself up for success.  I will constantly find that line and push myself.

2. I’m not going to be afraid to look like an idiot.  I specifically remember when I first started my prep. I had just lowered my macros and was LOW on energy. Not to mention, it was 6am. I had to do box jumps, and I had only a few left. My legs were so shaky, I did the whole “start to jump and fall on the box,” routine. My last one, my foot went straight out from under me and I landed straight on my back. Um, embarassing.  In the past, I wouldn’t have even attempted this, but I know that it’s what I need to do to be successful.

3. I’m going to get rid of toxic people: Maybe this isn’t just about fitness, but for so long I’ve kept people in my life that were negative forces.  I had people question my goals, motivations, criticize the way I dressed or ran my life, or even made light of my fitness goals. When you do this, you’re not being “helpful,” you’re an “asshole.” If someone in your life is making you feel less confident or less worthy, it’s not your job to stick around.

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4. I’M GOING TO LEARN SCIENCE: As much as I like to think I know, I don’t know a lot of things in regards to science and the human body. I’m going to invest in myself, learn more about nutrition and exercise. I’ll also pass it on to you! I don’t claim to know everything, and neither do you. So whether you learn macros or refine your lifts, learn something!

5. I’m not going to let challenges derail me: There are so many times where I have one of those days where it’s never going to end. Especially in prep, when everything seems magnified, its easy to want to skip a day and drink some wine. There are days when I’ve cried in the gym parking lot and been so emotionally exhausted that I feel like I can’t go in. These days are the hardest, but I’m going to take challenges, turn them into problems, and find solutions.

6. I’m going to do more things I love: During my first prep, I did a lot of uphill sprints. They were lonely and they sucked. I know I’m going to have to do them again, but I have a goal this year to find cardio I love. My friend Rhonda does Zumba in prep. I don’t do Zumba, mainly because I look like an angry drowning victim when I do it, but I did find I love Title Boxing and Orange Theory.  If you’re new to fitness, be sure you engage in something you love. Remember resolutions #1 and #2, you may look stupid, but ask for help and learn a skill!

7. I’m going to search for the why: So many of us (including me) start these fitness journeys and we skip the hard part: asking “Why am I here?” Part of being successful is knowing why you want to eat poorly or not exercise. For me, it was a lot of excuses about being too busy, having old injuries, or just plain not wanting to. In reality, I was scared of something new, worried about looking stupid, and being afraid to fail. It sucked, I faced it, but now I do not allow myself to tell those kinds of stories.

I hope you’ve found these useful as you approach your new years fitness goals.  If you have resolutions or things to add, shoot me a comment on FB or drop in the comments below!