Thursday, October 31, 2013

Protein-Packed Green Smoothies

Protein-Packed Green Smoothies

Don't have a lot of time in the morning for breakfast?  No problem. Why not make a smoothie. I do Shakeology in the mornings which is packed with over 70 natural ingredients that keep me full for a couple of hours. If you do not have that handy here are some yummy recipes that will fill you up and give you energy

Recipe 1

1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup coconut water
1 squeeze of Barlean’s Key Lime Omega oil
1 squeeze of Barlean’s Orange Swirl Omega oil
8 cups organic spinach
large handful frozen peaches and pineapple
1 Tbsp maca powder
1 Tbsp matcha green tea powder
optional: bee pollen (look for local)
optional: raw cacao nibs (for an extra sparkle)


Blend completely until smooth.

Recipe 2 

1 hand full organic spinach (or any dark leafy green such as kale)
1 cup frozen pineapple (fresh works too)
1/2 organic cucumber (if not organic, peel of skin)
2 peeled kiwis
2 dates (to sweeten things up)
1 T flax seeds
1 T hemp powder
1 t maca powder
1 passion fruit (the inside only ; ) --- Passion fruit is ripe when all wrinkly, looks weird but is delicious!

ADD ONE CUP WATER and blend everything up!

Recipe 3

3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tsp. sunflower oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
14 fl. oz Greek yogurt
lemon juice (optional)

Wash the spinach and dry. Heat the oil in a pan and heat the spinach over medium heat until the spinach wilts. Let the spinach cool to touch, then process finely with the Greek yogurt. Season with salt and chili powder. Add a dash of lemon juice if you wish. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes

Have a very fit day

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weight loss after pregnancy

Since I will be needing this soon, I decided today's post would be about weight loss after birth.

If you are looking for instant solutions for a rapid weight loss after pregnancy, well I cannot help you.  The important thing to remember is that there are no quick fixes to any weight loss. The weight didn't come on over night and it will not come off over night. Luckily you will lose some a little more quickly (aka the baby and fluid, placenta etc)  But the extra weight (if you are like me) will come off more slowly.   No fad diets will work and you need nutrients to make sure you are at your best for yourself and your baby.

Good news is if you breastfeed your baby, you will burn around 500 calories a day just for that, but remember your body needs good amounts of nutrients to produce milk. So do not cut your calories just yet. Just pick out good foods to eat, lots of veggies and fruits.

Weight gain during pregnancy is about 30-35 pounds (more if you are me). You will lose some of that weight at birth (like I stated above). Still, a woman needs about 3 months to recover from pregnancy and childbirth before you get hard core back into your hard core routine (especially if you have done NOTHING your entire pregnancy)  If you continued to work out, then you can start doing things much sooner. Now I will not know exactly how much I have to lose until after this boy makes his arrival but I am preparing regardless. One good thing for me is I  have not stopped working out, so even at 37 going on 38 weeks, I am still doing cardio and weight lifting.  My doctor has stated it is okay for me to do light things up to the 6 week mark like walking and light arm weights (if i am sitted) after the 6 week mark I can go back to my normal routine YAY!

In the meantime before you get cleared, make sure you eat nutritious foods during the first three months without thinking too much about losing weight . In the normal course of life, most women  need six to eight months to return to their pre pregancy weight. Of course, it all depends on how much weight you gained during your pregnancy.

Trying to achieve rapid weight loss after pregnancy too soon could lead to serious problems, including lack of breast milk production or change in breast milk taste which causes your little one to not want to breast feed.

If for some reason it is important that you lose weight fast, consult your doctor to develop a safe diet and exercise regimen to lose weight fast.

Exercises to Lose Weight

IMPORTANT:  Before beginning any exercise regimen to lose weight after pregnancy , consult your doctor or gynecologist.

Working out at home with some light exercise during the day is an effective way to burn more calories.  Walk, exercise bike, clean, light hand weights.  Do not sit idle for a long time. Rest only when your body demands rest.

Taking long walks with your baby. The act of carrying the baby in close connection help and effort of carrying the baby for long distances will help you burn calories.

Diets are not advised.  Do not just start limiting diets specific food groups or objects. Your body needs nutrition to recover from childbirth. If you breastfeed, protein, vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to produce milk.  Milk is vital for the growth and development of your baby. Contains antibodies and anti-infective agents to strengthen your baby's immune system. Select nutritious food with low saturated fat.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables during mealtimes.

- Have your meals at regular intervals.

- Have healthy snacks when hungry

- Restrict the intake of processed and ready to eat foods such as canned fish or meat.

- Try to stay away from energy dense drinks and fried foods or foods like ground nuts or chips.

- Drink lots of water

Enjoy this time with your baby and know that when you are ready you can get back to your normal routine.

Have a very fit day!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Present ideas for your Fitness Friends

The holidays are coming up, which means we are in prime gift giving season. Whether it is for the holidays, a birthday or just because, below are some presents your friends who are into fitness might just love.  There is something for about every fit person in this list.  Maybe something will make a light bulb for that special someone, go off when you read it.

Yoga mat -  It doesn't matter whether they love yoga or not, these mats are PERFECT for stretching. I prefer a thicker, non slide on, as I do my stretching, yoga and pilates on the carpet. Synergy makes a nice thin, non slip one, it combines the yoga mat and a towel, which is great when sweating!  If they go to a gym or participate in group yoga/activities a carry handle with it is a nice addition.  $10-60

Gym Membership - No do not run out and get them one (unless they ask for it) but go to the gym and ask if you can pay your friends next month or twos payments. You can also buy them a few  or more classes at a place like Pure Barre, Zumba, Dance Trance, Hot Yoga, Cross Fit, or Timed Exercise, if you know they love those things. $10-$100

Heart Rate or Fit Monitor - I use a cheap heart rate monitor for my work outs. Mine has a calorie counter, heart rate monitor, stop watch and time. You can get them for around $30 up to the 100's depending on what your budget and their needs are. Polar seems to be popular among runners. Fit monitors like Fitbit, Fitbit Flex, Jawbone, Nike, all track your activity levels, some track food input (you have to input it) and even sleep. Fitbit Flex seems to be the best on the market all of these are around $100

Fitdeck - Help make exercise fun with the FitDeck. Cards reveal illustrations and instructions for  exercises. You can buy different kinds, body weight, core, kettlebell and more.  It’s a great gift for everyday use or to supplement an exercise program.  $10-$14

Bobble Water Bottle - This a reusable and recyclable bottle that filters water as you drink. One filter equals roughly 300 wasteful plastic water bottles, making it a convenient gift that’s also great for the environment.  $8-$12

Perfect Portions Digital Scale - The Perfect Portions digital scale is the ultimate kitchen tool for a healthy lifestyle. It’s a food scale and a nutritional calculator all in one, allowing users to see just how many calories they’re getting set to eat or drink. Users get help controlling portions and making healthier choices with every bite. $40ish

Juicer - A juicer makes it easy to meet your veggie/fruit quota of the day, especially for those who do not like to eat veggies. $100 plus

Foam Rollers - A foam roller is a versatile fitness tool, so only go with the best! A quality and high-density foam roller is great for stretching, yoga, and Pilates, and it also helps to alleviate back and neck pains. $10ish

Spinner Gyroscope Forearm Exerciser - It may be small, but this exercise mini-machine yields big results. A few minutes a day helps improve flexibility, develop muscle control, and strengthen hands and forearms. It’s also great for-staving off sports injuries and fine-tuning the delicate muscles in hands and fingers. $17ish

Exercise Videos - For the at home workout person. From videos like Insanity and P90x for the very fit, to T25 for those who have less than 30 mins a day to work out, to Hip Hip Abs a fun dance work out, there is a video for everyone, even those who are pregnant (Yoga Booty Ballet for Pregnancy).  There is something for everyone and every fitness level. $20 and up

Magic Bullet - these are great for mixing up protein shakes in the perfect one serving and they have to go cups too.  Plus most systems come with great healthy recipes like black bean dip, hummus and more. $50ish.

Shakeology - This is probably one of the best products on the market. It not only can be used to as a snack, or afterwork out drink, but it can be used as a meal replacement. With more than 70 super-nutritious ingredients. Proteins, Vitamins, and Minerals – to help reduce hunger and food cravings. Antioxidants and Phytonutrients – to help detoxify and protect the body against free radical damage. Adaptogen Herbs – to help increase energy and combat stress. Prebiotics, Probiotics, Fiber, and Digestive Enzymes – to aid digestion and promote regularity.  Plus it is delicious. It even comes in taste sampler packages now. My faves are Vanilla and Chocolate.  Sampler $20

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells - Adjustable dumbbells are like having an entire home gym at your disposal. Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to over 50 pounds, combining 15 sets of weights into one. It’s a great way to fit an entire weight training system into a small space.
$299 (though Target has a cheaper version for way $69 each) - pssst I want these :D

Happylight Sunshine Supplement Light  - Combat the winter blues with a sunshine supplement light. This compact energy lamp simulates natural daylight, essentially triggering the body’s natural responses and helping improve energy, concentration, and mood. $35 and up

Hydro Flask - Whereas lesser bottles tend to “sweat” and leak, the Hydro Flasks’s durable insulation and stainless steel design keeps drinks cold for more than 24 hours without sweating. It’s a perfect fit for gym bags and bike bottle holders. It also keeps hot drinks hot, and will fit in most car cup holders. $18 and up

Nayoya Acupressure Mat - The #1 rated acupressure mat stimulates the body’s production of endorphins, which bring on a calming, soothing allover effect. The Nayoyamat can be used to treat stress, fatigue, soreness, and pain in the joints, muscles, feet, neck, and back. It’s an essential tool for overall health and wellness. $29 and up.

Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Walkers - Fitness buffs sometimes neglect to add foot fitness to their daily routines. Foot Walkers are plastic half-spheres with knobbles that help stimulate the bottom of the feet. Use them to help increase circulation, strengthen muscles and tendons, increase flexibility, and reduce foot pain. $60ish

Gift Certificate for a Running Shoe or Sports store -  Every athlete needs new shoes on a regular basis and they are not cheap. This is definitely an appreciated gift! $100.

Subscription to Fitness Magazines - There are tons of good ones out there, Self, Men's Fitness, Prevention. You can even find deals for a cheap 12 month subscription, some even come with digital version as an added bonus! $0-20

Fitness Books - I highly recommend ones that focus on exercise and healthy lifestyles, not quick weight loss ones. Being healthy is a life style change not a diet!

Body Back Buddy - This isn’t your typical back scratcher for itches! The Body Back Buddy’s innovative design helps provide targeted relief over the entire body. The user has total control, making it easy to target pressure points and alleviate pain and soreness. It’s a wonderful gift for people suffering from fibromyalgia and other muscle conditions. $34ish

Indo Balance Board - For your fave surfer or skaterboard, but really veryone can benefit from better balance and posture. The Indo Board is great for physical training and physical therapy, as well as anyone who’s looking for a way to finally make balance training fun and challenging. Start around $140 and up.

Toesox - Anyone who does yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and other barefoot fitness activities, with these do not have to worry about painful and dangerous slipping and sliding anymore. ToeSox offer non-slip protection while promoting toe strength and flexibility for barefoot sports and activities. around $14

Ipod/MP3 player - You can get small ones that hold enough songs for a good work out.  Starting at $49

Here is a link to more ideas.

Have a very fit day!

ps Follow me on: Facebook

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Build a Better Booty in 10-Minutes

Build a Better Booty in 10-Minutes

Trying to get rid of your ‘thutt’? Create a more lifted backside with Jessica’s 5 favorite booty-shaping moves.

1) Squat Circle Raise
Squats are one of the best butt shaping moves around, and the addition of the arm circle and calf raise adds a balance challenge that keeps your buns burning from the start to finish of this exercise.
To do it: Start standing with your feet hip width apart, and both arms extended overhead with your palms facing forward. Circle your arms back and to the sides as you squat down, sitting back into your hips and bending your knees (being sure to keep them behind your toes as you lower). As you stand up out of your squat, press your hips forward and squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs as you circle your arms in front of you and back overhead while you press up onto the balls of your feet. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can for one minute.
2) Bikini Bottom Sculptor
Believe it or not your ‘hips’ are actually part of your gluteal musculature, and this move hits your cheeks not only on the leg that is being lifted, but also on your standing leg.
To do it: Start standing with your hands on your hips, and your weight centered on your left leg, with your right toe tapped on the floor a little wider than hip width apart. Keeping your back straight, and your abs tight, bend your left knee and push your hips behind you, bowing your chest forward so that it’s almost parallel to the floor. Next, lift your right foot about 12 inches off the ground, balancing on your left leg (which is still bent) for one count. Lower your right foot back to the floor (keep your weight in your left leg) and then stand up with a flat back. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can in a row for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.
3) Curtsey Lunge
This move is one of my favorite ways to target that special spot where your thigh meets your butt (aka the ‘thutt’ area)!
To do it: Start standing, with your hands on your hips, on your right foot, and lift your left knee up to hip height. Keeping your weight in your right leg, cross your left leg behind your right and bend both knees (your left knee should be just outside of your right ankle as you bend down) and lower as far as you can keeping your right knee behind your toes. As you stand up, quickly lift your left leg back to your start position. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can in a row for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.
4) Kick Butt Lift
One of the functions of your gluteal muscles is to extend your leg behind your body, and this move puts those muscles to work!
To do it: Start standing on your right leg beside a wall or a chair holding onto it lightly with your right hand for balance. With your left arm bend and in close to your body, bend and lift your left leg behind your hip, flexing your left foot. Push out through your left heel and extend your leg straight out behind your hip. Then, keeping your leg straight, lift your left leg up as high as you can behind you and hold for one count. Quickly bend your left knee back to your start position. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can in a row for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.
5) Power Booty Push
Spike your heart rate and engage your fast twitch muscle fibers with this butt lifting, heart raising move.
To do it: Start standing on your left leg, with your right leg extended out to the side, and your right heel lifted off the ground. Bend down into a crouch position and reach your right hand to the floor in front of you (your left arm is extended behind your body). Push off the ground with both legs, and jump up and to the left, landing in a crouched position with your weight on your right leg, and left heel lifted, and your left hand touching the floor in front of you. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can for one minute.
Repeat the entire circuit one more time through for a full, 10 minute booty blast!

Have a very fit day!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Top Cardio for Best Calorie Burn.........

Which Cardio Exercise Burns the Most Calories?

For the real high intensity cardio people out there who love the HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training),  like me, below are the top cardio exercise which will provide amazing results!

Jumping Rope - This is one of the simplest, yet most effective exercises one can do. In just 15 to 20 minutes, jumping rope will give you an unparalleled total body workout. Jumping rope is ideal for cardiovascular endurance and enhances performance in virtually any sport.  This simple exercise is also great for eye-hand coordination, lateral movement, foot and hand speed and agility.

 Sprinting - Sprinting not only burns HUGE amounts of calories while sprinting, it also keeps your metabolism flying for days after. Sprinting combined with running / jogging can bring amazing results.  Do 30-45 seconds of sprinting to 2 mins of running/jogging.

Spinning - These high-intensity workouts to music simulate a challenging bike ride, complete with hills, valleys and varying speeds, all dictated by the group instructor.  This you can simulate at home if you have an exercise bike!  See this post about turning your work out into a HIT.

Videos -  like Insanity, P90x, T25, Turbofire, Les Mills Combat - - these can burn around 300-360 for 30 mins and get you toned!

Below are the top cardio exercises which burn the most calories in 30 minutes.

 Step Aerobics - one of the most favorite cardio exercises preferred by women. It is easy and fun!  Even Wii fit has this and let me tell you I dance and really get my arms into this for the free step aerobics and I get a really good work out.  Step Aerobics mainly target your legs, hips and glutes, and can burn approximately 400 calories in 30 minutes.

Bicycling - stationary or outdoors is a great cardio exercises, depending on resistance and speed can but 250 to 500 calories in 30 minutes. See Spinning post above to turn it into  HIT.

 Swimming - like cross-country skiing is an excellent cardio exercises as it is a full body exercises. Swimming is a great cross-training for other cardio activities. Doing the breast stroke can burn approximately 400 calories in 30 minutes.

 Racquetball - side to side sprinting makes racquetball and excellent cardio exercises. A 145-LB person burns over 400 calories in 30 minutes.

 Rock Climbing - is not only a cardio exercises, but also uses arm and leg strength and power. Rock Climbing can burn up to 380 calories in 30 minutes.

Cross-country Skiing - whether on a machine or outdoors on snow, is an incredible cardio exercises as it involves both upper and lower body. A 145 LB person can burn approximately 330 calories in 30 minutes.

Running - Running is an excellent cardio exercises because all you need is a pair of quality running shoes. Running burns serious calories. A 145 LB person can easily burn 300 calories in 30 minutes.  Also see how to turn this into a HIT 

 Elliptical Trainer - is an excellent cardio exercises and a great way to build endurance. A 145 LB person can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes.

Rowing - is both a cardio exercises as well as giving your arms an incredible workout. 145 LB person can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes.

Walking - Brisk walking is a less strenuous form of cardio exercises. Walking can burn up to 180 calories in 30 minutes. Sprinting, adding hills or an incline can increase amount of calories burned.

You have a variety of work outs that you can choose from, so just choose one and do it. 30 mins it nothing out of your day.  If you really want to you will find the extra time!

Have a very fit day!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shin Splints

I get lots of questions on Shin Splints and see a lot of questions on shin splints posted on my fitness groups, so I thought I would cover them today.

Shin splints happen when constant pounding and stress are placed on the bones, muscles, and joints of the lower leg. The result is irritation and inflammation, both of which cause pain. Factors that contribute to shin splints may include:

Old shoes – I find this the #1 reason I get shin splints. As your running shoes wear down, they don’t properly absorb shock and the arch support tends to flatten out and aggravates the inflamed tissues of the lower leg.  Go buy new shoes if yours are older than 6 months and you run on a regular basis.

Running downhill or on hard inclined surfaces – When you run downhill on on inclined, you put  stress on the muscles on the front of your shin, causing shin splints.

Sudden increase in training frequency, duration, or intensity  –  Anytime you increase your work out routine by  10 percent or more there is a risk of injury, including shin splints.

Previous history of shin splints  – This is me as well, if you  have had shin splints in the past are more likely to have a recurring problem with them. Especially if you do not rehab them properly before returning to your normal work out program. Also, make sure your warm them up before a hard work out.

Symptoms are:
Lower leg pain
Pain when foot or toes are bent downward
Mild swelling
Tenderness (along front or inner part of the lower leg)
Pain that (at first) subsides when not exercising; if not treated then continuous pain

Treatment options:
Rest (avoid activities that cause pain; cross-train with low impact activities such as pool training, bicycling or elliptical machine training)
Ice (15-20 minutes at a time, four or more times a day)
Compression (with an elastic wrap or compression sleeve)
Elevation (prop your feet and legs up when resting and at night)
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
Arch supports (to cushion the impact and disperse the stress)
Icy Hot or something similar
Buy new shows if needed
Seek medical help if pain persists for a week or more

Pay attention to your body and rest when needed.   Good luck!

Have a very fit day

Friday, October 11, 2013

Elliptical 35 min work out!

Below is a great work out for an Elliptical or Stationary bike (with small adjustments, like you cannot go backwards, or stand when using hands if on a spin bike, I do hand weights during the hand section as I have an incumbent bike.) You could even incorporate into your treadmill routine (again with small adjustments)

00:00-3:005130Warm up
03:00-5:005140Warm up
05:00-07:007150-160No hands
07:00-09:009150-160Hands — push
14:30-16:005140-150No hands
18:00-18:308190-200Forward and sprint
27:00-30:005130-140Forward and pull
30:00-35:005130-140No hands

*SPM = Strides Per Minute


Have a very fit day!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

T25 Alpha, Beta, Gamma Total review

I have been doing T25 for the past 11 weeks. When I started this I was 6 months pregnant. Which worked out well, because I began with Alpha phase (as expected). I am finishing my 1st week of Gamma and am now 8 months pregnant and will be 9 months by the time I finish the entire program.  This has been an awesome program I love how Shaun T set this up. He seems to have gone from a lower body cardio focus, to slowly work up to all upper body with a little cardio, which is awesome. He even provides you a hybrid of all three once you are done which I am super excited to do after this baby gets here.  The great thing about these work outs are they are 25 mins a day (except Fridays, which are two 25 min work outs, but you can always move one to your free Saturday).  So really you have no excuse not to work out, as you can always find 25 mins.  Here are my reviews of the three phases

Alpha round starts off slow, and really to me focuses on your lower body and cardio. There is Tania doing modifications, which is great for those not in shape or who haven't worked out in awhile. I have been starting off any of my customers on Alpha, telling them to do the modifications when needed. I feel like it really got me ready for Beta phase. I did find Alpha a little boring compared to the other phases, but I think it is just the nature as it really is getting you ready for the next level. You learn the moves, you build up to them and you really work your lower body, with all the lunges and squats and well core work.  The Speed video is my fave in this series! This schedule is a Sunday - Thurs 25 min work out, Fridays 2- 25 min work outs, Saturday, free day, measure yourself.

Beta steps things up a notch. I feel this one, kept lower body and cardio but increased core and added upper body, including weights! LOVED this phase! It was fast, I rarely watched the clock, I gained muscle, felt strong, and even with my ever expanding belly was able to do most of the videos without modification. I did switch out dynamic core for core speed, since I had to modify more of Dynamic core and felt like I was not getting the work out I needed, but being 7/8 months pregnant, it had to be done! Speed 2.0 and Core Speed are my two faves in this phase. This schedule is a Sunday - Thurs 25 min work out, Fridays 2- 25 min work outs, Saturday, free day, measure yourself.

Gamma YOWZERS! This notch was stepped up a few. Speed 3.0 is no joke and probably the toughest of the work outs even though all the rest are weights. Maybe if i was not almost 9 months pregnant I would think differently but well this is where I am so this is my experience. I love that this is upper body focused. All but one video has weights, which are used pretty much the entire work outs. My arms are a little sore after this first week, but not so bad as they were when I did Insanity the first time. I definitely have noticed definition coming back in my arms, which I lost while doing TurboFire (which I love for cardio but there is no weights/body weight element, so I lost muscle). {more on this below}   Extreme Circuit is my fave in this phase. Definitely check out my review on this one. I think this will be the perfect end to my T25 journey until this baby comes. I may even extend the 4 weeks to 6 (or whenever he comes) and add in some Les Mills Combat as well.  I am definitely loving the Gamma Phase even if it has been turned up a notch!   This schedule  is Sunday - Friday 25 mins, Saturday is your free day, measure yourself.

Over all review on T25 is this program is awesome. It not only fits in a busy persons schedule, allows them to get a great FULL body work out, with cardio, weights etc in under 30 mins, it is fun. I think any exercise level could do this, as you can always follow modifications or modify even more if you needed too. I am very happy to have weights added back in to a program, because one of the things I loved about Insanity was that I used my own body weight to create muscle, the videos were just super long at the end and really the end is where you see the most results in any of these videos.  I loved that Les Mills Combat had hand weights in the program but felt I needed more cardio and some of the videos were long and I could not always fit them in. Especially since the one I loved was 60 min warrior combat video, though I do use a 3lb weighted gloves with these videos on the cardio days, and then drop them during the hand weight days. LMC is really one of my fave videos (really Insanity, LMC and T25 are my top 3)  T25 does a good job of incorporating it all. Body weight, cardio and hand weights. If you do a T25 Search on my blog, you will see each video reviewed and there are links to my YouTube reviews as well.  If you are looking for a program under 30 mins (most days) that works everything including your cardiovascular system, this is the one for you!  If you have questions, just ask me I am happy to help!

Have a very fit day!

T25 Gamma Phase Pyramid review

T25 Gamma Phase Pyramid review

Today's work out was intense but over with before you knew it. You are so focused on keeping count, you do not even notice the time counting down. Lots of weights for upper body again. I was surprised that I was not super sore this morning and was able to do my heavier weights the entire work out. My arms are still sore 2 hours later, which seems to be par for the course in the Gamma phase. I definitely give Shaun T kudos for this round. I will post about my over all T25  experience in another post but, this round I am really enjoying since it is less cardio and more weights, since I am 8 months/35 weeks pregnant and cannot do the cardio as much as I used to be able too. I should finish this in 3 more weeks and then 2 weeks later will see the baby :D so if I can do this without modifying, you definitely can if you got thought Alpha and Beta phases!  Extreme Circuit is my fave out of the Gamma Phase with this one a close 2nd!

Have a very fit day!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to make exercise a habit (or keep the habit going)

So many people want a healthy lifestyle but are afraid to start or re-start an exercise program or change their diet. It is scary, it takes work, time, dedication. Diet is half and sometimes half the battle, but working out is something that many many many people struggle with.  It is called a work out because it is work.  I struggled for years with this, as I worked out every day of my life from the time I was like 12 through college. So once I got out of college, it was hard for me to make the time to do it or even find the motivation to work out. I gained weight slowly over a 10 year period and became more and more miserable as my weight came on. I went from a slender 130lb all muscle girl size 3/4 to slowly creep up over the years to 175lb flabby size 14/16. I was able to reclaim that 135lb girl, and then maintain at 140-145 lbs once I added weights back into my routine. If I can do it, I know you can too. Try some or all of these steps:

Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to work out every day (even just for 10 minutes) for one month. This will get it on your calendar and will help make it a habit.. 21 days and it is a habit!

Start Small - Do not start running 5 miles your first run or do Insanity/P90x if you have not worked out in years. Build up to it. Run a mile, find a 10/30 min video to do first, and gradually work up to your goal!  That way you do not burn yourself out or feel like a failure when you do not meet your goal. Rome wasn't built in a  day and your weight did not come on over night. It will take time. Moving slowly will not only help make this a habit but will also help your skin shrink along with your weight!

Embrace the Soreness - When you begin or re-begin a new work out, you will be sore. Embrace the soreness! It is your body changing for the better.  Remember if you have to start over this is going to happen again, so push through the pain!  Invest in Icy Hot or Bengay (they even come in non smelly formulas and definitely help with the pain)

Reward Yourself for Working Out – Most people the biggest issue is going to the gym or pressing play, so reward yourself (not with food you are not a dog) I barter with myself, especially on a long run, if I get to the next stop sign I can do 5 less push-ups, if I have to walk I have to do 5 more. Or if I finish a program like Insanity, I rewarded myself with Les Mills Combat, something a little less intense but one that I knew I would love!

Don’t Stop – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.  Figure out a way to keep going. It is so much easier that way then to start again!

Create a Ritual - If you work out at the same time and place every day, your work out becomes a part of your normal routine like brushing your teeth. My husband when we first lived together used to get upset with me on Sat and Sun mornings when he said "let's do breakfast" and I said,  "Yes that sounds yummy, let me work out first and I will be ready to go."  He did not understand the concept of waking up and then working out immediately was and is my routine. If I stray from it and go to breakfast before I work out, I will never get that work out in. Same with work days, I work out as soon as I wake up. If I wait, then the time has passed and I have moved on with my day. For me working on in the morning is what I do to wake up and move forward. Find a time of day when you can create the same routine and before long you will work out as if it was a natural thing to do.

Stress Relief - Workout is the reason why my stress level is low. I am proof that workout decreases your stress. Before I worked out daily, everything got to me. You could hear me cry out in the office in frustration, I was miserable to be around when issues arose, as I could not calm myself down. Now I no longer cry out, I am able to realize stress is rising, count to 10, breath and let those happy endorphins from the mornings workout carry through. If I have an extra rough day, I come home and do a 2nd work out to release those bad vibes from the day. Working out is a GREAT stress reliever and in the words of Ella Woods, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't."

Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself when working out, then it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are so many  you can exercise, so don’t give up, find something you love, whether it is riding a stationary bike while watching your fave tv shows, doing a video, fitness class, run or just going to the gym. Make it fun!

Schedule During Your Least Busiest Time of  Day– I do mine in the morning, not because I am a morning person, but because it is my only quiet time that I know that I am the only one that is preventing me from working out. It is on my schedule daily to wake up and do a video.   Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it, depending on your schedule. My schedule fills up after work so mornings are best even though I am NOT a morning person!

Workout with a friend– Grab a friend to join you. This holds you accountable to someone else and them to you. It is easier to keep the habit if you have someone to work out with, plus it makes it social and not all work. I did this in college and it really helped me to keep that habit going when my friends were still sleeping or at the bars :D

Reflect on what you enjoy about the work out - After you finish any work out, think about what parts you loved!  Focusing on those will make you want to do it again!

Scales Lie- Weight isn't always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn't change even if your body is (and honestly sometimes it goes up not down). Instead of focusing on the scale, look out how many more sit ups, push ups, burpees, miles you have increased from the last time. Keep track of those, also take pics every 30 days to see how you look. Even taking measurements, helps you keep on track! Ignore the scale!

Habits First – People tend to run out and buy everything they think they will need to force them to work out. All of that fancy equipment doesn't create a habit. Start with something free, I did Couch Potato to 5k and Ondemand Fitness videos on Comcast Every day I would do a video in the morning then go running 3 times a week for the program. I created my habit, I already had a bike at home and started using for the first time in 10 years (yes.. It was a clothing rack before then). I then bought Insanity, and went down my Beachbody path. I started owning my own stuff once I knew I would definitely do it and it wasn't a waste of money. Start slow, even if it is a $10 gym membership then work up to what fits your needs.

Find Your Weakness - If you are one who starts to work out but falls off the wagon quickly like my loving husband, find out why. It is the type of exercise, it is that you cannot get motivated, you are too tired in the evenings and cannot get up in time in the mornings, do you not like the gym, do you not like working out at home?  Figure out why. His is he works long hours, cannot work out in the morning, does not have a set schedule so cannot set a time in the evenings and cannot motivate himself on the weekends to go. He is a gym guy, he cannot stand working out at home, so he joins multiple gyms at once to try to find one that will fit his needs and make him work out. For him even the one in walking distance and open 24 hours is not working for him, he needs one that is literally on his way home from work, so that he has to make a conscious decision not to go work out. As soon as you figure out your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation and make working out a habit that you will not quit!

Work out for YOU –  The only person you need to work out for is YOU!  You are not going to keep up the habit if you are working out to meet someone at the gym, because your partner thinks you should etc. I never force my husband to go to the gym, he has to want too. I encourage him and give him tons of praise when he does go. He encourages me to work out, and knows that I will do breakfast after my work out. We support each other in our fitness goals, but do not force the issue. If there is a day where I need to take off or do yoga, he supports me. If you go to the gym to have people to date, just remember you are going to have to see them or switch gyms if it doesn't work out. Focus on you and the rest will fall into place.

You can do this!  Find what works for you and know that people like me are out there to help support you. Find me at Beachbody or Facebook. I am happy to help you in your fitness needs!

Have a very fit day!

T25 Gamma Phase Extreme Circuit Review

T25 Gamma Phase Extreme Circuit

This one was all weights, well almost all weights. You only put your weights down to do some version of planks or burpees so you are still working your upper body. It was fun though and fast. You did everything in 5 minute increments, so you would do a weight circuit, the burn out round and 5 mins was done and you would move on to the next. It went by super fast. My arms are still a little sore, so I will be surprised if I am not really sore tomorrow. Tomorrow is Pyramid, and I am excited for another new video, before going back to Speed 3.0.  So far this has been my favorite video of the Gamma phase, which says a lot because the previous phases, Speed was my fave! But this one was fun, I did have to pick up my smaller weights twice during this because my shoulder were so sore from yesterdays work out, but for the most part I was able to go with my higher pound weights and did not have to modify!  At 8 months/35 weeks pregnant I was pretty stoked about that.

Have a very fit day!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

T25 Gamma Phase Rip't Up review

T25 Gamma Phase Rip't Up review

Today was awesome!  The weights stayed in your hands for most of the work out, or you were doing push ups, planks, downward dog, something else that used those upper body muscles.  It was nice to do so many push ups again, it reminded me of Insanity and well I know most of you hate push ups, I have a love/hate relationship with them. I hate doing then while I am doing them, but I love love love the results. Since I am  8 months/34 weeks pregnant I did have to modify this video a tad, as there were lots of supermans and rocketmans, and well I cannot lay on my tummy. So I did the best I could by standing and mimicking. I will say it was nice to see Tania modifying again. So YAY for a modifier! Though I think if you made it through Beta, you can do this video with no modifications.

It has been 3 hours since I finished and my arms are still burning a tad, so I will be shocked if I am not sore tomorrow. But I like the sore feeling ( I know I am weird)  Over all I give this video a 2 thumbs up!

Have a very fit day!

Monday, October 7, 2013

T25 Gamma Phase Speed 3.0 Review

T25 Gamma Phase Speed 3.0 Video Review

See the above video (click on the link) if you want to see me completely worn out,  sweating a lot and giving my review immediately after the work out!  All I can say is YOWZERS! This Speed video was out of control and if you have read my reviews you know I LOVE the Speed videos. I still loved this one, just wish I was not 35 weeks pregnant. There were some sort of Burpees every other move it seemed, Burpee push up,  in and outs, Burpee push up jacks, Burpee plank walks, Burpee Spider Lunges, Burpee Front Kicks, Burpee Ski abs, you get my point. This one also had tons of squats, punches and some lunges. It was fast.. it was intense it was over about the time I did not think I could push anymore. Rounds 1 and 2 were way longer than any of the other  Speed videos, so long that when you are in round 3, you only get through the moves twice (so two levels) because the rounds were so long. My heart rate stayed about 160 (which isn't the best for me at the moment) but didnt go much higher than that, as I kept track of it. Had I pushed myself harder I could have easily gotten it over 170 the entire work out, but since I am carrying little boy I tried to take it easy for him and took a cold shower immediately after the work out.

This one had no modifier, which was a little shock to me. Tania did all the same moves. Honestly not really sure how you could have modified some of these, so if you are doing modifications in Beta, then I would go back and do Alpha and Beta again, (and again) until you are doing the moves and not modifying, as my guess is this is going to be a very very intense 4 weeks. I am hoping this leaves me in a good spot so when I do not work out for 6 weeks post-partum I am able to jump right back into Alpha with no problem.

Gamma Phase is definitely taking things up a notch and my guess is I will see changes even being pregnant. I was told yesterday I was tiny, which made me happy. It means even though I am pregnant, T25 has worked its magic and kept the weight off me, as I definitely love my ice cream and carbs these days!

All in all this was a great work out! Intense, sweat producing, fun (not as fun as the others, but still fun) and over with in 25 mins.  If you have nailed Alpha and Beta, this will be a little challenge but nothing you are not prepared for!

So what are you waiting for?  Try it today!

Have a very fit day!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cardio 28 day Challenge - begins 10/14

Our next Challenge will over lap a day with the current challenge, but since the current challenge is Yoga, I figure that is okay. Plus my due date is Nov 14th so would love to finish this before that date, as I will not be posting from the hospital.

Same rules, Like Fitness with Jamie on Facebook, post or like the post of the day for the challenge, if you do every day, your name will go into a drawing for a prize.

The challenge is free and can be combined with other work outs (I do T25 and am currently 34 weeks {8 months} pregnant)  If I can do this.. so can you!

So what are you waiting for? Join us today!

Have a very fit day!

What are your 4 pounds made of.

I found this blog post and thought it was too good not to share!


What are your 4 pounds made of?

I don’t know what you had for lunch today, but I had 18 apples.
What do you think of that? You probably think I’m a glutton and have the GI tract of a gorilla.
But check this – a typical fast food value meal has the same amount of calories as 18 apples. 18! So I wanted to see what would happen if I downed the same amount of calories from apples.
Not pretty.
Yet I’ve had buddies knock back 2 value meals while watching Monday Night Football.  And no, I haven’t seen any of them go through a bag of red delicious by the 4th quarter.
What does this tell me?

Well, it tells me that Mother Nature has got your back.
  • Real food regulates appetite – so you don’t overeat
  • Real food controls blood sugar/insulin – so you can avoid energy swings and diabetes
  • Real food provides the best nutrition – so you can remain healthy for life
  • Real food has a sane amount of energy – so that you can’t accidentally overeat
  • Real food has a longstanding relationship with our body – so that our bodies know what to do with it

Energy density

This leads me to the world of energy density. Are you familiar with it? It’s the amount of energy (calories) per unit of food. Let me explain.
200 melons What are your 4 pounds made of?200 cheese What are your 4 pounds made of?
This is 200 calories of melon. This is a lot of melon.
This is 200 calories of cheese. This isn’t very much cheese.
200 celery What are your 4 pounds made of?200 chocolate bar What are your 4 pounds made of?
This is 200 calories of celery. Good luck eating this.
This is 200 calories of a candy bar. Good luck NOT eating this.
Seeing a trend? It’s hard to rack up excess energy (calories) from whole, real, calorie-dilute foods.

Food poundage

Interestingly, research shows that most humans eat around 3-5 pounds of food per day.  Indeed, as we approach 4 pounds of food intake for the day, most of us are feeling pretty satisfied.
Now, this can be 4 pounds of celery.  Or it can be 4 pounds of candy bars.  It’s not the food or calorie content that matters.  It’s the volume/poundage that counts.  And obviously, there are some big nutrient differences between celery and candy bars, right?
Now, let’s take some extreme examples of this…
  • 4 pounds of raw veggies will provide 400 calories
  • 4 pounds of raw fruits will provide 1000 calories
  • 4 pounds of cooked whole grains/legumes provides 1600 calories
  • 4 pounds of nuts/seeds provides about 10,000 calories
  • 4 pounds of Lucky Charms, Pop Tarts, Cheese provides about 10,000 calories
Note: I’m showing calories only as a measurement unit to help illustrate a point. Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers.
People that struggle with body fat management tend to fill up on energy dense, processed foods. This means stored energy for later.
Translation: Fatness.
If we eat 4 pounds of energy-controlled, whole, real food – we get lots of nutrition with a calorie count that our body can handle.

What’s our poundage portion?

Most people in the U.S. are consuming (on average) the following amounts of food each day:
2.0 pounds of meat, dairy and eggs
1.5 pounds fruits and veggies
0.5 pound grains
0.5 pounds added sugars, fats and oils
= 4.5 pounds
= about 3,700 calories per day
What if we switched this around?
2.5 pounds of fruits and veggies
1.0 pounds of grains and legumes
0.3 pounds nuts/seeds
0.3 pounds meat, dairy and eggs
0.1 pounds added sugars, fats and oils
= 4.2 pounds
= about 2,075 calories per day (this isn’t really that much, especially if you’re physically active.)

Putting it to the test

I’m curious: what does a day of my food weigh?
How much my day of food weighs 1024x768 What are your 4 pounds made of?
How much my day of food weighs = 3.7 pounds
Foods – Clockwise, starting in upper right
2 lentil burgers, steamed broccoli
Peaches & blueberries
Raw buckwheat granola with hempseeds and flax
Roasted garbanzos & goji berries
Sprouted grain bread with peanut butter
Lettuce & kale
Celery, carrots, zucchini
Note: I was surprised it didn’t weigh more. The actual food weighs less than 3.7 pounds, as the food containers contribute to the total weight. I left out condiments like salad dressing and mustard.
Oh, and this was just a random day of eating. Some days I eat more, some days less.

What have we learned today?

If we prioritize and eat nutritious, real, controlled energy foods – there isn’t much room left for the energy dense, fake foods. You only have about 3-5 pounds to work with each day.
So… think about it…what are your 4 pounds made up of?

Learn more

To learn more about making important improvements to your nutrition and exercise program, check out the following 5-day video courses.
They’re probably better than 90% of the seminars we’ve ever attended on the subjects of exercise and nutrition (and probably better than a few we’ve given ourselves, too).
The best part? They’re totally free.
To check out the free courses, just click one of the links below.
Have a very fit day!