Confession time...

 
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Confession time — I am a cardio QUEEN!

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I absolutely LOVE teaching at Cyclebar and running outdoors!

There is NOTHING wrong with enjoying cardio.  Heck, it’s an AMAZING way to keep your heart healthy, to increase your lung capacity, to relieve stress, and to get those endorphins pumping.

However, if your goal is weight loss, adding in some resistance training (YES body weight exercises count) is KEY to your success! ⁣

Check out the BEST 2 reasons that strength training helps you to lose weight:⁣

1. Strength training helps build lean muscle.  Lean muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does… So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body burns while sleeping… That’s pretty amazing!


2. Strength training helps you burn more calories throughout the ENTIRE day.  Although a weight training session doesn’t burn as many calories as a cardio session does DURING the workout, you reap the benefits of a strength training workout for up to 24 hours AFTER the workout.  In other words, your metabolism stays elevated for a longer period of time after a strength workout. ⁣

For all my other cardio queens out there, keep ENJOYING cardio (I know that I will! )  However, if your goal is to lose weight, don’t be afraid to incorporate some strength training to your routine too! ⁣

Not sure where to start?  Contact me and I can point you in the right direction!

In the meantime, let’s take a poll…. Are you a CARDIO QUEEN or a STRENGTH TRAINING GODDESS?! Let me know in the comments below

My BEST Secret about how to exercise to lose weight!

Want to know my SECRET for exercising to LOSE WEIGHT?!

 
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Find something you ENJOY doing, and GO with it! ⁣⁣
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Some of my clients love yoga, while others love running. Others like walking their dog, and others lift weights.
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Exercise should NEVER be a punishment, nor should it be something you dread. It doesn’t mean spending hours in the gym... Heck, I can kick my own ass in 20 minutes in the gym.⁣

At the end of the day, exercise should be something that you enjoy and do consistently. It empowers you and leaves you feeling stronger than you thought possible.
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In my weight loss coaching program, the Freedom with Food Formula, I help my clients create an exercise routine that is FUN, safe, effective, and unique to each woman!
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Share YOUR favorite workout in the comments below!

3 AT-HOME workouts that require NO equipment!

 

When it comes to losing weight and maintaining your weight loss, it’s probably not shocking to hear that exercise is important.

Exercise helps us to strength our bones and build stronger muscles. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories our bodies burn! Plus, exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress!

Just because exercise is important DOESN’T mean you need to spend hours a day sweating away in the gym!

Check out these 3 workouts that require NO equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime.

Ready to burn your core?! Check out this AMAZING AB WORKOUT!

 
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Ready to get your heart rate up and get sweaty?!

Try this Cardio Countdown Workout!

 
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Ready to strengthen your muscles and rev your metabolism?!

Try this strength workout!

 
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Do you have questions about these workout? Drop them in the comments below and I’ll answer!

 

5 Easy Ways to Quit the Weekend BINGE!

 

How many times have you worked SO hard during the week to eat healthy and exercise, only to blow it on the weekends? 

 
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If you've fallen culprit to the weekend binge, don't worry, YOU'RE NOT ALONE!  Heck, even sometimes I can have weekends that are the opposite of healthy!  

However, if you're trying to lose weight, keeping your weekends in-check is CRUCIAL to reaching your goals!  Check out these tips to help you stay on track, even during the most fun weekend events!

1. Focus on being CONSISTENT instead of being PERFECT.

Let's be real--the weekends are the time we should be ENJOYING our days without work!  It is 100% possible to lose weight and still enjoy meals at restaurants, and even a special dessert or drink on the weekends.  Instead of focusing on eating and exercising "perfectly," because that doesn't even exist, focus on making consistent, healthy choices when you CAN!  Don't restrict yourself, but control how much unhealthy food you're eating.  Eating a salad with veggies and chicken followed by ice cream cone won't cause you to gain weight, but eating pizza, burgers, fries, AND ice cream could cause you to gain weight.

2.  Forget about "good" and "bad" food, and focus on portions.

Here's the truth: Eating too much of the HEALTHIEST foods can cause you to gain weight.  

Instead of focusing on eating "good" or "bad" food, focus on the portions of ALL foods you eat on the weekends.  It's definitely important that most of the foods you choose are nutritious, but use your hand to help you portion out each meal.  For women looking to lose weight, include a palm size protein, fistful of vegetable, a small cupped hand of carbohydrates and a thumb size amount of fat in each meal, 3 or 4 times a day.

3.  Plan ahead and be prepared!

Often times, we know our weekend plans well ahead of the actual weekend.  If you have an upcoming party or BBQ to attend, or if you know you plan on getting ice cream on a hot summer day, try to eat healthy, nutritious foods for MOST of the day leading up to your event.  Then, when you arrive at the party or BBQ, you can enjoy some treats because you've stayed on track so far.  On the flip, if you have brunch plans, enjoy your brunch and mimosas, but then get back on track immediately after brunch by having a healthy lunch or dinner planned.

4.  Drink 1-2 glasses of water in between each alcoholic beverage!

It's not uncommon for many women to enjoy a few cocktails on the weekends.  Heck, that's one of MY favorite parts of the weekend!  However, it's easy to over-do it with the booze, especially when you know you can sleep all day tomorrow!  

In between each alcoholic beverage, be sure to drink at least 1-2 glasses of water.  Not only will this help control how many calories you're drinking, but it will also help prevent the dreaded hangover (which usually leads to poor nutrition choices.) 

5.  Accept responsibility for your decisions

The first thing I want to stress is that there's no "BAD" or "GOOD" food choices.  There are only more nutritious food choices, and less nutritious choices.  Eating is a simple cause and effect situation.  Everything we eat and drink takes us a little closer or a little further away from our health & fitness goals.  

Accepting the consequence is a great way to enjoy your food.  Plus, accepting the consequences helps to to really hone in on exactly WHAT less nutritious food choices are worth eating and drinking.  

If you're looking to lose weight or simply lead a healthier life, use these suggestions to help you stay on track!  I promise that you CAN lose weight and still enjoy weekends.  It just takes some mindfulness and planning ahead! ;) 

 

Are *HEALTHIER* snacks really healthier for you?

 
 
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I'm not going to lie to you...  Years ago, these nutrition facts surprised me when I compared the two! 

Back when I was trying to lose weight, I *THOUGHT* trail mix was a great snack choice!  Often times, it's labeled as healthy, organic, or high-protein.  YES, it may be organic, or contain a good amount of protein, or healthy to some, but it has almost the EXACT SAME nutrients as a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

This is really important to note--I'm not trying to compare what's the "healthier" or "better" option between trail mix or a DQ blizzard.  I'm simply showing that a food that MANY of us believe(d) to be *healthy" is loaded with just as many calories (and fat) as a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

At the end of the day, the quantity of calories you eat, no matter where they come from, will dictate whether you gain weight, lose weight, or maintain the same weight.

So how do you know you're choosing the healthiest snacks, especially if you're trying to lose weight?  

Should you count calories and check nutrition labels? NO and YES!  If you've been following me for awhile, you know that I DO NOT BELIEVE IN COUNTING CALORIES!  Seriously, it takes so much time and ISN'T necessary to lose weight!

But should you be checking your nutrition labels?  YES!  I highly encourage you to check the ingredients of your snacks.  Here's my general rule of advice for snacks: The fewer ingredients, the healthier it probably is. 

If you're looking for the healthiest snack choices, stick with the basics!  Try to choose foods that come in their natural state.  Whole pieces of fruit, vegetables, greek yogurt, or cottage cheese all make great snack choices!  

If you're looking for more healthy snack or meal choices, be sure to join my *FREE* Facebook group for Women here!

 

 

 

 

 

What happens when you doubt your fitness and nutrition plan?

 

When you begin to doubt your fitness and nutrition plan (because let's get real... it happens to all of us! Especially if we aren't seeing results as quickly as we would like,) focus on what matters most!

 
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Within a matter of seconds of googling "weight loss," you'll be bombarded with advertisements for fad diets, magic potions and pills, body wraps, juice cleanses, and detox teas.

Here's the worst part.  They all have raving testimonials.  You'll see pictures and quotes from people who got "amazing" results with little to no effort.  

... And you're going to start wondering if it really IS possible to lead a healthy life or lose weight while still enjoying chocolate and wine on special occasions.  

How are you supposed to choose the *BEST* product for your body and your goals with all of the options on the market?  

What often happens is you can't decide which is best... So you don't commit to ANYTHING and you end up staying stuck exactly where you're at today.

HERE'S THE TRUTH:

There's always going to some fad diet or program that is the latest and greatest way to lose weight.  Often times though, the programs promise weight loss but can be detrimental to your overall health.  They eliminate important nutrients that your body needs to properly function.  Or, they include too much of one macronutrient, placing additional stress on your bodies' organs.

Plus, these "hot off the press" fad diets and programs don't really teach you anything.  Once you finish the program, you usually end up gaining the weight back that you lost because you haven't learned how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. 

No matter what, your body needs to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight.  This does NOT mean you need to count calories, but it DOES mean that you need to eat nutritious, real foods (such as lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrates) MOST OF THE TIME.  You'll want to include strength training into your exercise routine so that you can build muscle and rev your metabolism.  

Most importantly, you'll have to be PATIENT.  Losing weight, creating healthy habits, and leading a healthy life long-term takes a LONG time.  

Don't let this discourage you, but let it EMPOWER you.  Every decision you make on a daily basis affects your fitness and nutrition habits.

Focus on what matters most, be patient, and ENJOY YOUR OWN JOURNEY.

If you're looking for the knowledge, support, and guidance to start creating your own healthy journey today, I encourage you to book a free consultation call here.  On the no-pressure call, we'll talk about your body, your goals, and how I help my clients to achieve the body and the life of their dreams.

 

 

Check out this On-The-Go WORKOUT!

 

This workout is PERFECT for you to complete at work or at home!  

It doesn't require any equipment.  You can take 5 minutes or 60 minutes to complete this workout.  Complete as many cards as you can in the time you have to exercise. 

Plus, if you travel often for work or for pleasure, it's super convenient to complete in your hotel room! 

 
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If you're looking for more free workouts, be sure to join my Facebook Group for Women here!

 

Peach BBQ Lettuce Wraps

 
 
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I'm all about finding healthy recipes that taste delicious and that DON'T contain too many added calories or fat.  Today's recipe is healthy and EASY to make.  Plus, the leftovers make great lunches!

Note: the ingredient list is a bit longer but the prep time is only about 25 minutes!

Also note that the bbq sauce recipe makes about 3 cups, so you can freeze 2 cups for next time or use it as a marinade for chicken breasts!

Peach BBQ Lettuce Wraps

INGREDIENTS:

PEACH BBQ SAUCE

- 4 dates, pitted

- ½ cup boiling water

- 2 Tbsp. ghee (I recommend Pure Indian Foods ghee)

- ½ cup minced onion

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

- 1 12-ounce can tomato sauce

- 2 medium peaches, peeled and roughly chopped (may substitute 2 cups frozen peach slices, thawed, when fresh peaches are out of season)

- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

- ¼ cup dijon mustard (such as Annie’s or 365 Everyday brand)

- 1 tsp. smoked paprika

- 1 Tbsp. chili powder

- ¼ tsp. ground cumin

- 1 pinch ground cloves

- Sea salt and pepper to taste

 

CHICKEN:

- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

- 1 cup Peach BBQ

- 1 head of lettuce

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place pitted dates in a blender or food processor. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes to allow dates to soften.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee and saute onions 7-8 minutes or until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.

3. Transfer onion and garlic mixture to blender with the dates.

4. Add remaining sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

5. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.

6. Pour 1 cup BBQ sauce over chicken. Stir to coat chicken then cover with lid and cook on LOW heat for 5-6 hours or until cooked through.

7. Allow chicken to cool slightly before shredding with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.

8. Dish chicken into lettuce leaves and ENJOY!

Looking to cook other healthy and delicious meals at home, without spending hours a day in the kitchen?  Be sure to grab a *FREE* copy of my perfect meal planner here!

 

4 Reasons You Should Start Exercising NOW!

With Memorial Day kicking off the summer season, it comes as no surprise that summer is the one of the busiest seasons of them all!  Between work obligations, family life, and social functions, it's hard for many of us to find time to exercise.  Aside from looking great on the beach this summer (because let's be honest, we all want too), check out these reasons why you should begin exercising today:

1. Exercise boosts energy AND happiness

It's science. Today's research suggests that exercise releases feel – good endorphins into our bloodstream. In fact, a study at Penn State University suggests that people who exercise, regardless of the intensity, had more pleasant feelings than those who did not work out. This study also noted that participants were happier on days that included physical activity, as opposed to days they did not exercise.

2. Exercise can help you sleep better.

If you're prone to tossing and turning at night, exercise actually helps to strengthen your body's circadian rhythms and can help you to fall (and stay) asleep!

However, the results are not immediate. Research suggests that it can take up to four months for exercise to help study your circadian rhythm's, so start hitting the gym now to get a better quality sleep over the next few months.

3. Exercise helps to reduce stress in a positive way

As I mentioned earlier, it comes as no surprise that we all lead busy, complicated lives. There are tons of ways to deal with stress, many of which can negatively impact your health and fitness goals.  Eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's may seem like the best way to deal with a stressful situation, but I promise you that you'll end up feeling worse about yourself afterwards.  You know that exercise can make you happier, but it can also help to reduce stress by stopping the release of stress hormones that flow throughout your body.

4. Exercise helps improve your confidence and willpower

Sure, it's great to see the physical results of exercise. I'm talking tone arms and abs, a tiny waist, and chiseled legs. For me, the mental results that my clients gain are much more important than the physical ones!!  By slowly increasing how much weight you can lift or how far you can run, you'll gain confidence that will bleed into other parts of your life.  It's simple--crushing your workouts and FEELING the gains helps you to feel good in all areas of your life!

In addition, exercise improves your mental strength. Let me be real with you, there are definitely days when I wake up and do NOT want to work out.  However, once I complete the work out, I feel energized and never regret putting in the work!  Plus, I know that I can push myself into that zone that's a little bit uncomfortable. Sure, it can be scary to lift heavier weights than you're used to, or running a further distance than you ever have before, but that's where the real magic happens!

A 30-minute workout is 2% of your day. That's all you need to gain the benefits listed above, and to start seeing great results. Instead of finding excuses and reasons that you can't exercise today, take action find a type of exercise you love.  Get up and get moving!  Make a commitment to your health today, and look and feel better tomorrow!

5 Amazing Benefits of Strength Training!!!

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It's no secret that I'm a HUGE believer in the idea that reaching one's health and fitness goals comes down to having healthy nutrition habits.  However, this doesn't mean that you can just forget about exercise and sit on the couch all day...(don't we all wish?!).  

long with solid nutritional habits, exercise plays a critical role in losing weight, gaining lean muscle mass, and becoming stronger.

Often times, the only experience with exercise that my clients have before working together is as a "cardio queen." I'm talking about women who spend hours and hours on the treadmill or the elliptical. Does it sound familiar?

While cardio is important, strength training has many more benefits that can help you get to your goals quickly and safely. Check out these 5 benefits strength training, especially for women:

1. Weight training burns more calories than cardio.

Overall, weight training burns more calories than steady state cardio. While you're lifting weights, you'll burn fewer calories. However, after your weight session, your metabolic rate will be higher, and you'll be burning more calories for a longer period of time!

2. You can eat more food!

It's simple; muscle requires more fuel to maintain than fat does. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you need to eat to keep your body properly functioning. Especially if you're hoping to gain lean muscle mass (hello six pack!), you must add protein-packed foods to your diet!

3. Your bones will be stronger. 

Weight training add stress to your bones. As a result, your bones become stronger and more sturdy. This helps to prevent the loss of bone density, which can begin when women hit their mid-30s. Strengthening your bones can help protect you from fractures and breaks in the future.

4. Weight training boosts your immune system.

Studies suggest that moderate weight lifting reduces stress levels. This allows for the production of more white blood cells within your body, which helps to fight off infection and disease.

5. Your body will age better.

All of these benefits add up to a stronger and healthier life for you to live longer. Improved circulation from weight training helps to keep your hair, nails, and skin in great condition. Gaining lean muscle mass and burning more fat will enable you to wear the clothes you love. You will have better balance with a decreased chance of falling. If you do happen to fall, your chances of fracturing and breaking a bone are lowered.

While cardio is important to add to your exercise routine, The benefits of weight training surpass those of cardio when it comes to gaining muscle and losing weight.  If you're looking for a beginner strength workout, grab a set of weights and click here for a free leg workout!

6 Practical Tips to Make Weight Loss Simple

Starting a new health and fitness routine is a difficult task!  Especially when your goal is to lose weight.  It means making changes to your already-busy schedule.  Here are 5 tips to make losing weight, and your life while losing weight, easier.

 

1.     Set your exercise schedule and clothes out on Sunday night:  Make a pile for each set of clothes you plan to wear that week for exercise.  Include everything from socks, to shorts, to a sports bra, to shoes,  to a shirt.   In addition, commit to your workouts for the week by writing them into your calendar.  On the days of the week you plan to workout, grab a pile of gym clothes in the morning, and you’re ready to go!

2.     Empty your fridge and cupboards of junk food, and don’t buy more!  It’s much more difficult to eat junk food if you have to leave your house to go get it.   It’ll also make you think twice about whether it’s really worth your goal to eat the treat.  Try to keep fresh fruit in your kitchen for when you crave a sweet snack.   If you don’t buy the junk, you won’t be tempted to eat it!

3.     Measure your progress!  Set your goal weight, and then decide how much time you want to get there.  Take your current weight, and create a simple line graph to help keep you on track.  Be sure you are consistent with your weigh-in.  Weigh in on the same day and time every week (usually first thing in the morning is best).  This is a great way to measure progress, as well as to see when you need to kick things up a notch to hit your goal.

4.     Hire a trainer or coach.  If you can afford it, work with an expert!  It makes the entire process easier when you are told exactly what to do to lose weight.  Plus, it helps having an accountability partner and cheerleader for your weekly goals.

5.      Eat your meals on small plates.  This may seem like a silly tip, but research shows that you change the amount of food you eat depending on the size of your plate.   Trick your brain by choosing a smaller plate to fill up, as opposed to a large plate. 

6.     Drink a glass of water before every meal.  Sometimes, when our bodies signal hunger, we are actually thirsty.  Plus, it’ll prevent you from over-eating by helping to fill your stomach.

 

If you'd like to step up your weight loss game, I am offering you a FREE 15-minute call, where we will discuss your goals, and look for a way to get you there as quickly and safely as possible.  Click HERE to register for a call.