Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge

“The place and the food should be appropriate. What we eat is very important. Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. Tell me where you eat, and I will tell you who you are.We are what we consume. If we look deeply into what and how much we consume every day, we’ll come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, and consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy
our body and our consciousness.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat

Holiday Challenge “Maintain Don’t Gain”

Follow my daily tips for the next 25 days to make it through the holidays without added stress and pounds!  Facebook Age Is Just A Number

Day #1: (SUNDAY) Plan your workouts for this week and get them on the calendar. Set your alarm to get up early if you’re short on time. No excuses – just get your workouts in each day.
Set a reminder on your phone to remind you to drink 8 glasses of water per day
Try to set aside an hour on the weekend to do some of your holiday shopping online to eliminate stress, save time, and money
Avoid the holiday food traps in the grocery stores- just say no to candy, cookies, and desserts. Keep them out of the house so that you’ll be less likely to be tempted to snack on high-calorie foods. Splurge only during family get-togethers and be mindful of your serving sizes. The holidays are not an excuse to sit around and gorge on junk food and empty calories.

Begin to take time each day to be mindful of the true meaning of the holiday season rather than presents and unhealthy food.

A Little Taste Of Heaven

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I found these Belvita breakfast biscuits on my most recent trip to the grocery store. They are absolutely delicious. They come four to a package and I couldn’t resist having two biscuits before work with my morning coffee and the other two biscuits after my workout today. Although they are not on the top of my list for healthy snacks, (Tis the season for gingerbread), I’m happy to report they do not include high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. I like to pair the biscuits with raw almonds and a banana to make this a healthier snack. They are heaven with hot, steaming coffee. If you are a coffee lover, consider trying the bulletproof coffee recipe above with the optional add-ins.

Yum Best Clean Eating Breakfast Bar Yet

Breakfast can be tough if you are short on time. I love to grab bars in the morning but it’s difficult to find any healthy options. These are delicious and a great bar to take with you on the run. Pair with greek yogurt or a couple of boiled eggs to add protein and have a healthier convenience meal on your way to work or at the gym.

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Larabar- Clean Eating- Just 5 Ingredients

 

Check this out! Ingredients you can read:

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Just 5 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Raisins, Apples, and Cinnamon

 

Compare this to other bars on the market that claim to be healthy:

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Look at all the unhealthy Ingredients: Canola oil, Palm Kernal Oil

And I love these Zone Bars, but check it out:

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Zone Perfect Nutrition Bar Peppermint Bark
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Look at the number of ingredients including Palm Kernal Oil and High Fructose Corn Syrup

Although I love the Peppermint Bark bars for the holidays, I’m going to stick with the Cinnamon Raisin Lara Bars. Definitely a healthier choice. Make sure to take time to check ingredients when shopping even if you are short on time 🙂

What Does Your Morning Routine Generate?

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.”
― Todd Stocker 
Do you jump out of bed in the morning with plenty of time for a workout and healthy breakfast? Or do you hit the snooze button, skip breakfast, and have a major panic attack trying to get to work on time?
The secret to success lies in your daily routine. Consider trying an experiment in which you follow my guidelines for thirty days to help you establish a successful morning routine.

Friday Motivation Barbell Workout

“You only get one body; it is the temple of your soul. Even God is willing to dwell there. If you truly treat your body like a temple, it will serve you well for decades. If you abuse it you must be prepared for poor health and a lack of energy.”
― Oli Hille, Creating the Perfect Lifestyle

 

 

Warmup: 7 to 10 minutes

Circuit One: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Barbell Deadlift

Pushup/Side Plank

Jump Squats

 

Circuit Two: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Clean and Press

Barbell Row with Bicep

Burpee Mountain Climbers

 

Circuit Three: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Barbell Squat

Barbell Chest Press 10 Reps/ Tricep Press 10 Reps

Walkover Plank/ Plank Jacks

 

Ab Circuit: (12 reps each) Repeat 3x

Reverse Crunch

Scissors

In and Outs

Plank One Minute

Cool down and Stretch

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The Real Way To Lose Belly Fat

If you want to lose belly fat, you simply can’t just focus on weight loss; the number one goal should be a decrease in body fat. If you have a good ratio of lean muscle to body fat, you’ll have a more lean appearance and you will be able to see more muscular definition. Therefore, your priority needs to be a decrease in inches and body fat rather than weight loss on the scale.

Losing weight can be easily accomplished with fad diets and extreme exercise. However, if your goal is fat loss and definition, you must make up your mind to establish healthy eating habits. There are no short cuts. Clean eating, hydration, exercise, and recovery are mandatory components of fat loss. Remember “YOU CAN’T OUT-EXERCISE A BAD DIET”

Fat loss is accomplished through lifestyle changes that incorporate proper water intake, clean eating, and exercise. Remember all your meals should include a lean protein, complex carb, and a serving of healthy fat.

Use a measuring tape and begin to pay attention to how your clothes fit in order to determine if you are losing body fat. Follow these additional tips below to help you with your fat loss journey:

 

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The First Wealth Is Health

 

“The First Wealth Is Health”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle, but you just can’t seem to get started? New habits require you to alter your current routine. If you are like most of us, we don’t like change. Our weekend pizza or drinks with our friends is something we look forward to all week. I mean how can you give that up, right?? But some changes can be good for us especially when it relates to our health.

How many times in the past have you started a new diet and exercise program only to fall back into your old routine a week later? The key is to find a way to gradually incorporate healthier habits into your current lifestyle. If you try to make too many drastic changes at once, you are setting yourself up for failure. The key is to change your way of thinking from an all or nothing attitude to one step at a time and one day at a time attitude.

Once you examine your daily routine, it becomes easier to see what’s holding you back from living your best life. Most people don’t have a clue as to how good they can actually feel if they only made minor adjustments in their daily routine.

Look at some of your current habits that could be getting in the way of reaching your goals. Is it the calorie-laden iced coffee you drink every morning from Starbucks or could it be those mouthwatering doughnuts that call your name in the break room at work?

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What if you changed your routine and ordered a black coffee and brought a healthy snack to work instead of indulging in those break room doughnuts? Or what if you got up thirty minutes early for a workout before work? It all begins with an awareness of the problem and then changing the unhealthy habit with an alternative behavior.

Begin to look at ways to alter your current lifestyle? Sometimes we really want change but we aren’t really ready.  It’s imperative to get in the right mindset and become fully committed.  Developing new habits takes a strong level of desire, commitment, and motivation. The first two weeks of any new routine tends to be the most challenging. But often if you weather the storm, it becomes easier. What’s important is that you begin to create change, even if it’s something as simple as setting your alarm to get up an hour early. The goal is to just do something so that you don’t remain where you are, but instead, you move forward with better choices. It’s the small day to day changes that lead to BIG RESULTS. So learn to celebrate your success big or small each day. It all adds up to success in the long run.

As you begin to create a healthier lifestyle, you will begin to see improvements in your quality of life, self-image, and self-confidence. This new way of thinking will make you stronger mentally and improve your chances of success.

Sure, we all struggle with making the right food choices, finding time to exercise, and balancing family life.  But the key is to begin each day with a goal to make healthy food choices and increase your activity throughout your day.

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So start today by eliminating the guilt when you can’t find time for your workout, or if you slip up and eat the pizza or doughnuts. Life is a roller coaster ride- learn to find balance and peace by losing the “all or nothing” attitude and simply pick yourself back up and get back on track. Fuel your body with what it needs to stay healthy and active, but learn to enjoy, splurge and celebrate life’s special moments without the guilt.

You’d Be A Fool To Miss It

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“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy.
There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.”
― Charlotte Eriksson

If You Want To Get Lean…

You need to know your body composition. Wikipedia defines BODY COMPOSITION AS:

the percentages of fatbonewater and muscle in human bodies.[1] Because muscular tissue takes up less space in the body than fat tissue, body composition, as well as weight, determines leanness. Two people of the same sex and body weight may look completely different because they have a different body composition.[2]

Yes, It’s all about body composition. Become educated about your health. Get your body fat tested by a fitness professional and determine your appropriate body fat percentage range.  To increase lean muscle and reduce body fat, you need to follow the old tried and true formula:

Healthy food choices + (increased activity+ resistance training ) – processed foods = A Lean Body

There is no magic workout, diet pill, or diet that will magically give you the body you want. It requires hard work in the gym and willpower in the kitchen. However, the answer is simple and inexpensive; so what are you waiting for? These are the six steps that are required to decrease fat in your body and develop lean muscle. You don’t need expensive supplements, just real food!

1. Food intake- Lean meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables

2. Determine your daily caloric intake and log your food intake and calories

3. Water- Drink at least(8) 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

4. Exercise- Weight training is key to developing lean muscle

5. Eliminate processed foods, and reduce your intake of bread, rice, and cereals.

6. Cardio- add interval training to your cardio workouts- Research shows interval training to be much more effective for fat loss than longer endurance-type cardio.

Once you get to a healthy lean muscle/ body fat ratio, it will be easy to maintain your weight and lean muscle. You just need to get there through creating healthy habits. It’s not about sacrifice, it’s about rewarding your body with the foods it needs to perform at optimum levels. Once you get there, it’s about enjoying splurges in moderation. Learn to love your new healthy lifestyle 

 

 

 

 

Are You Fighting Disease OR Feeding It?

“I really regret eating healthy today- said no one ever!”

Are you guilty week after week of not having your evening meals planned and therefore resorting to the drive-thru for fast food or take out pizza again? How about your daily lunches at work? Are you fueling your body with healthy foods that will provide you with energy? Or do you end up skipping lunch, leaving you famished and resulting in binging and overeating later in the day?

 

 

 

 

It’s important to make meal prep and planning a priority. In order to make good food choices for you and your family, you need to have healthy food choices on hand. It’s easy to fall into the trap of convenience and fast food when you are short on time or didn’t make it to the grocery store. 

 

Your food choices are truly the key to good health. Try these tips for making better food selections throughout your week.

  1.  Take time on the weekend to plan your meals. Try to research new recipes for ideas. You might be surprised how much you enjoy trying new dishes that may become regular staples in your weekly meal planning.
  2.  Make a grocery list– make sure you note ingredients of any new recipes so you’ll have everything on hand.
  3.  Meal prep- Try to prewash and cut veggies and fruits for meals during the week. Make a point of cooking or preparing casseroles or soups ahead of time. You’ll be so glad you did on those late days when your tired and don’t want to think about meals.
  4.  Try to make ahead snacks or salads for healthy lunches for you and your family. Consider fruit slices, nuts, and yogurt for healthy sides.
  5.  If you have to resort to fast food- consider making the best possible choices by choosing lean protein, grilled chicken, baked potato, or side salad if possible.

 

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Check out these great ideas in this Meal Prep Guide