Spin, Sweat, Meditate

Post Spin 😓

Spin is a great non impact workout that can help you burn fat and lose weight.

I just recently purchased a spin bike on Amazon a couple of weeks ago for under $300.

It’s well worth the money especially as I patiently wait for my knee to heal. Spinning provides a safe and effective low impact workout while I take a break from running. I also love the convenience of working out at home if I don’t have time to get to the gym.

I’ve found a great variety of spin workouts on YouTube such as strength, endurance, or high intensity calorie burn. Therefore the options are endless in regards to time, intensity and goal.

Here is the one I just finished. I got an amazing workout in around twenty minutes.

Just check out the many benefits below:

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Also, meditation is a great way to relieve stress, improve health and sleep. Check out the new “Calm” app to guide you through simple meditations and proper breathing techniques.

 

https://www.calm.com/

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Three Reasons Your Workouts Aren’t Effective

You may be surprised that although you workout consistently and usually opt for organic food choices, you may not be as healthy as you think.  Check out the three reasons below that may be affecting your “so called healthy lifestyle.

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  1. You Think “Organic “Always Means “Healthy”   I’ve seen many clients I train who swear they have a healthy diet but when I ask them to put it on paper it’s a different story.  Food products are plastered with deceptive advertising such as fat free, reduced sugar, organic, and all natural.   I have one client who swears she makes healthy meal choices but snacks all day on “organic snacks”  such as organic cheese crackers, roasted nuts, or organic cookies.  However, if you check out the ingredient list on some of these products you may be surprised at what you are actually eating.

Per Danny Deza’s article, 16 Most Misleading Food Labels

A label that says made with organic ingredients must have a minimum of 70% all ingredients that meet the standard.

Keep in mid that organic is not synonymous with healthy. In fact, it may be anything but. Organic food can still be packed in fat, calories, and sugar. “Companies like to add magnetic words on products to make you think it’s healthy,” says Taub-Dix.

Always check the ingredient list on packaged foods and if you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, don’t buy it. Try to journal your food intake for a couple of weeks and determine the amount of whole foods you are actually consuming. Set a goal to eliminate all packaged foods and stick with organic fruits, veggies, and healthy fats.  It’s also important to choose a quality protein source such as organic chicken, grass-fed beef, fish, raw nuts, cottage cheese, and yogurt.  If you choose occasional packaged snacks make sure to read the ingredient list to determine what is actually in the product.

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2. You perform killer workouts in the gym but sit the rest of the day.  New studies are pointing out that although we may be exercising 5-6 days a week, what we do afterwards may be even more important for our health. In the article, Sitting Will Kill You Even IF You Exercise

Our entire modern world is constructed to keep you sitting down. When we drive, we sit. When we work at an office, we sit. When we watch TV, well, you get the picture.  And yet, a new study that’s running in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that this kind of sedentary behavior increases our chances of getting a disease or a condition that will kill us prematurely, even if we exercise.
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Therefore, it’s important to keep moving during the day.  Park further away from your destination or walk to lunch.   If you have a desk job, try getting up every hour and taking a short walk break or consider purchasing a “standing desk”.   Thomas B. Trafecanty with the Huffington Post reports,

Sitting too much can kill you. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. An emerging base of research points to the detrimental effects of something that most Americans do without much thought on a daily basis (for nearly six hours per day, research finds).

Though experts are still trying to figure out exactly why, it’s commonly understood that sitting for prolonged periods comes with a host of negative health effects. Whenever possible, office workers are advised to get up and take movement breaks throughout the day. It’s not always easy to just walk away from the task at hand, though, so in some cases workers are combining the best of both worlds by installing standing desks.

The styles vary from stationary surface areas that look like raised tables to floating standing desks that transition from sitting to standing with a few swift movements. There are manufactured versions of standing desks, and those that workers have devised on their own. In all cases, the end goal is the same: reduce the amount of time spent sitting during the workday.

Some studies have concluded that standing desks can promote better posture and reduce the risk of obesity and diseases such as cancer.

In addition to a standing desk, pedometers are great gadgets to help you track your activity levels.   Setting a goal of 10,000 steps per day can be a great motivator to help you stay active and improve your health.

The pedometer, a small, inexpensive device that counts the number of steps walked per day, could be key to ramping up a person’s physical activity. An article from Stanford Medicine reports: 

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and weight loss and improvements in blood pressure.

“Much to my surprise, these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about 1 mile of walking per day,” said the study’s lead author, Dena Bravata, MD, MS, a senior research scientist in medicine. “This goes a long way toward helping people meet the national guidelines for daily physical activity.”

3.  You Don’t incorporate a recovery day in your workout program – Exercise causes a breakdown of  the muscles and tiny tears in the muscle fibers.  Recovery time is needed to repair the muscles and replenish energy stores.  Therefore, recovery days are needed to help increase your muscle mass and get stronger.  It can be easy to fall into the trap of over-training especially for athletes and the novice exerciser. Some of the signs of over-training can include poor workout performance, decreased appetite, depressed mood, fatigue, increased resting heart rate, and insomnia.

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You can ensure you are truly living a healthy lifestyle by eating whole foods and avoiding packaged and processed foods.  Don’t be fooled by deceptive advertising and eat mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.  Be sure to incorporate a rest day into your schedule each week and consider purchasing a pedometer to track your daily activity levels.

Let’s Build Some Muscle

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This is an amazing workout by Kathleen Tesori.  I’ve been doing total body circuits three times a week on non-consecutive days and my body is ready for a change.  I’ve incorporated this workout into my schedule once a week.  I plan to add a total body weight circuit and a lower body workout day to hit all the major muscle groups.  My goal is to follow this schedule for the next 4 to 6 weeks to avoid any plateaus.   Let’s do this!

 

Weekend Workout & Healthy Snack

 

Ok it’s the weekend and time to get a good total body workout in that burns fat and hits all the major muscles. For this workout you will need a set of dumbbells, mat, and water bottle. Let’s get started:

Each circuit will include three exercises and will be completed three times.

Perform a light warm up for 5 minutes before workout and 5 minute cool down and stretch at the end.

Circuit 1

  1. Pushup Side Plank – 10 reps (right and left side = one rep)

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2. Dumbbell Clean & Press 8-10 Reps

3. Rear Lunges With Front Raise 8-10 Reps

Repeeat Circuit 1 – 3x

Circuit 2

1. Tricep Pushups 8-10 Reps
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2. Squat Press 8-10 Reps

Dumbbell Squat and Press Exercise

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3. Burpee Row 8-10 Reps

A/ Hold light dumbbells in your hands. Squat, place your hands on the floor, heels lifted. Step or thrust your legs behind you into plank position, balancing on hands and feet.

B/ Jump back up to a half squat. Row the weights (pull them up to armpit level, so your elbows raise out to the side). Jump back to plank and repeat.

Repeeat Circuit 2 – 3x

Stretch

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After your workout, try this healthy snack with protein to fuel your muscles: Boiled eggs, tomatoes, sliced grapefruit, grapes and avocado! Drink plenty of water and ENJOY!!

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Easy Clean Eating Meal Plan

Eating healthy seems to be a major obstacle when it come to weight loss goals. For most of us it’s easy to get workouts in but, staying on track with food choices is another story.

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Per Verywellfit Nutrition vs exercise:

Exercise would not be a complete waste of time without eating healthy, but it would be like swimming upstream not making any headway to changing your body composition. We have all seen the regulars at the gym doing the same thing day-in and day-out for several months or even years without seeing results in fat loss.

The puzzlement can be answered simply in that a non-existent nutritional strategy is holding them back from reaching their fitness goals.

The trick is to develop a “go to” menu plan that includes easy, healthy food choices for weekly snacks and meals. Follow the guidelines below to make a weekly meal plan that will help you stay on track with your weight loss goals.

  1. Make a list with four categories consisting of breakfast foods, vegetables, protein, and snacks.
  2. Develop a grocery list from your categories making sure your choices include no processed or junk foods
  3. Research recipes that are simple, healthy and have fewer that 5 ingredients such as Whole 30 crock pot meals in 5 ingredients
  4. Write menu for the week and consider food prep by washing, slicing and bagging veggies for easy use during the week

Remember “what you eat in private, you wear in public. Once you begin to pay more attention to food choices, you should begin to see better results from your workouts.

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For great ideas for clean eating, check out my article- Clean Eating Made Easy

Don’t Let The Weekends Destroy Your Progress

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What did you do this week to help you move closer to your health and fitness goals? Did you food prep your meals in order to stay on your nutrition plan? Did you kill it in the gym this week pumping out more reps, weight, and intensity?

Think about all the effort you put into preparing meals, journaling intake, and resisting junk food and cravings during the week

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Did you get all scheduled workouts in this week? Do you feel yourself getting stronger and improving your fitness level?

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Believe it or not, that’s the easy part…..

The hard part is when the weekend rolls around. It can be easy to destroy all the progress you gained during the week.

All it takes is an innocent splurge of drinks with friends one night, pizza and dessert the next.

All those calories can offset the progress you worked so hard to achieve during the week.

Plan your weekends just like the rest of the week. Plan extra activity to help burn excess calories. Choose light beer instead of calorie laden cocktails. Remember you can have fun and splurge but put some thought into sensible choices.

Dark Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

I’ve been wanting to try these since I found the recipe a couple of weeks ago on facebook

The thought of chickpeas in brownies did not sound appealing but definitely sounded like a healthier version for a higher protein snack.

To my surprise, they were delicious. Make sure you rinse and drain the chickpeas and process until smooth.

Dark Chocolate Chickpea Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15oz/425g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips + 2 tbsp for the top
  • Coarse salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350℉/180℃.
  2. Line a 8in x 8in (20cm x 20cm) tin with parchment paper.
  3. Add the chickpeas, almond butter, maple syrup, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and egg to a food processor container or a high-powered blender. Pulse 5-10 times to break down the chickpeas, and then process on high until smooth.
  4. Gently mix the dark chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula.
  5. Pour the the batter into the lined baking tin. Spread the batter with spatula so you have one even layer covering the bottom of the tin.
  6. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining chocolate chips and a pinch of coarse salt.
  7. Insert the tin into the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the batter no longer jiggles. Your blondies should be golden brown around the edges of the tin.

Makes 9-12 squares.