Constant high levels of stress can have a serious impact on your mental and physical health. So it’s imperative that you get a handle on it. Now. Even before establishing an exercise routine or an eating plan.Read More
And vacation usually means I have more time to move, so of course I’m going to take advantage of it. Plus, vacation workouts can be done with people that you might not usually work out with (my nephew and my dad) AND slightly different than your “normal” home workouts (playing with the prowler sled this week!).Read More
I’m all about the natural home remedies. Especially when they are easy to prepare and are effective.Read More
Hopefully by now you know how individualized fitness and nutrition really is. What works for my body might not work for your body. However, there are some big picture, non-negotiables in both exercise and nutrition. I’ve written about them here and here.
One of my fitness non-negotiables is making the time to warm up before your workout. Why did this make my list of non-negotiables? Because our muscles need to be warmed up to improve their elasticity and ability to contract. In other words to be able to do what muscles do! It also gets the blood flowing and brings the heart rate up slowly. Plus, performing a warm up will help prevent injuries…important as we get older #amiright
I spend the first 10-ish minutes with my clients running them through their warm up. We fire up the shoulders (rotator cuff), back, core, glutes, hips, and hamstrings. Regardless of their fitness level and goals, there are a few non-negotiable warm up exercises that I have them all perform. Wanna know what some of those are? Of course you do, because you are smart and don't skip the warm up!
Want some other warm up ideas? Check out Dynamic Dozen. It’s a super simple and quick full body warm up that will prep the body for any workout. And it’s free! Grab it here.
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It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little details. We over complicate food and exercise. Which isn’t hard to do with all the (conflicting) information at our fingertips.Read More
I am currently in Austin, Texas, meeting up with my business mentor Jill Coleman and our mastermind group to discuss all things online business. Want to know what I packed, snack wise, in my carry on during the flight?
When choosing the exercises I also always try and choose one that is more of a challenge for me and 1 exercise that I love and makes me feel like a badass.Read More
This week it’s all about the booty. It’s a booty blog! Why it’s important to have strong glutes and how to get them.Read More
We tirelessly take care of everyone and everything. And sometimes we forget about ourselves. SO, read on for some important reminders that are easily forgotten in our daily mommy hustle.Read More
The ABC’s of Nutrition: What you need to know and understand. But not take too seriously. Cause #itsjustfood
A- Amino Acids. The smallest unit of protein. 2 types, essential (8 amino acids that must be included in the diet) and non essential (12 amino acids that don’t need to be included as our body can make these). Include meat/fish, eggs, dairy, and beans/legumes in your diet.
B- Breakfast. Eat it or not. Try both and see how it affects the rest of your day from an energy and craving perspective. Also, rethink what is considered “breakfast” foods. Leftover dinners make for a yummy start to the day..plus are much higher in protein than cereal or oatmeal.
C- Carbs. Eat them don’t fear them. However, if you would like to lose some fat, pay attention to when and the types of carbs you are eating. Veggies should be eaten at every meal, but other more starchy carbs are better 1-2 hours post workout (sweet potatoes/rice/whole grain bread)
D- Diets. F them.
E- Eggs. A perfect source of protein. And please eat the whole egg, not just the whites. The yolk is full of most of the nutrients and vitamins. Plus egg whites have no taste (totally my opinion but true)
F- Fats. Include these in your diet. Our bodies and brains need them to perform optimally. Plus they support the metabolism, the immune system, hormone production, and vitamin absorption. Pre and post post workout (3+ hours after your workout) are a good time to eat them. Thumb sized amounts on your plate is a good starting point. Olive oil, avocado and avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts/olives/seeds are good options.
G- Gut. Your second brain home to 75% of your immune system. Take a probiotic (ask your doctor for a good recommendation), eat raw fermented foods, and take note of foods that cause heart burn/bloating/gas…NOT a normal reaction. It’s a sign that you ate something your body cannot tolerate.
H- Hydrate. Drink water before and after your morning tea or coffee, throughout the day, and in the evening in between cocktails/beer/wine.
I- Ingredients. Eat mostly foods with as few ingredients as possible. And if you can’t pronounce or recognize the ingredients, then limit (or even better avoid) your intake.
J- Journal. Journal every day. Brain dump to get to the good stuff. Write down the things you are grateful for each day. *I know, nothing to do with eating, but was having trouble coming up with a J word.
K-kCal. Used to express food energy, represents a Calorie. Which shouldn’t be counted. As you barely have time to workout out, so don’t use what little time you have for that. Follow Precision Nutritions portion sizing guidelines.
L- Leptin. One of about 15 hormones that effect fat loss. It’s ecreted from your fat cells and messages the brain on how much fat you have on your body. Also a thyroid influencer. Eating too much or too little can cause leptin’s message to the brain to become scrambled or ignored. Meaning the brain might think a body with excess fat is actually skinny, leading to weight gain. What can you do? Slow down when you are eating and make sure you are consuming proteins, fats, and slower digesting carbs.
M- Macros. Proteins. Fats. Carbs
N- Nutrition Labels. Shouldn’t be complicated. Avoid foods with trans-fats or too much sugar (sucrose/glucose/maltodextrin/corn syrup). And added chemicals or artificial ingredients. Even better, consume mostly foods with NO labels. See “W” below.
O- #onmyplate Scroll down to learn more!
P- Protein. Technically, “large and complex molecules consisting of amino acids (which contain nitrogen) that are essential for living cells” In other words, the foods that should be on your plate at every meal. (For women, a palm sized amount) Protein helps with satiety (feeling full and satisfied), aids in cell production, transports substances throughout the body, and assists in the growth and repair of muscles. Basically makes you sexy and strong.
Q- Quality. Be a food snob like me. Choose foods (within your budget) that are of highest quality. Nice dark chocolate versus a twinkie. Grass-fed (and local) burger versus McDonalds. You have 1 body, feed it the best you possibly can.
R- Relax. Seriously, #itsjustfood. Do your best each day. Enjoy snacks or sweets when they happen. And don’t use food as a reward. Just eat it and enjoy it for what it is and move on with your day.
S- Snacks. Want some new high protein snack ideas? If so, scroll down and grab #onmyplate
T- Taste Buds. There are 2,000-4,000 taste buds on your tongue, responsible for how we perceive tastes. They cannot be seen by the naked eye. We also have taste buds at the back of our throat, nose, sinuses, and the upper part of the esophagus. #themoreyouknow
U- Unfortunately we can’t eat donuts, bacon, and french fries all the time. But some of the time is okay…remember, relax.
V- Veggies. Eat them at every meal. Even breakfast. Just do it.
W- Whole foods. I’m not referring to the store, but rather a group of foods. Foods that don’t contain ingredients. Fruits/vegetables/lean protein sources. Fill your day with as many of these foods as you can
X- Xymogen. The brand of my favorite probiotic, ProbioMax Daily DF. X is a tricky letter…best I could do.
Y- You. Nutrition is SO individualized. What works for your friend may not work for you. It’s super frustrating and very confusing, but if you can really get to know your body and pay attention to your energy, cravings, digestion, you’ll have a better chance of figuring it all out. Ignore everything you read about food…except this blog, and be your own detective and find what works for YOU.
Z- Zzzzzzz. Sleep is of the utmost importance. More so than what you eat and how much you exercise. Without it you will make bad food choices and have zero energy to workout. SO, start with working on getting a good nights sleep.
Super excited to tell you about #onmyplate
Your visual guide for what to eat pre-workout, post-workout, and everywhere in between. It’s free! And also contains a high protein snack list and some healthy eating guidelines. Grab your free guide here.
Workout Time! This week on the blog, 3 workouts for you to add into your repertoire. Dumbbells and TRX required. Don’t know one of the exercises? Send me an email and I will help you out. I got you. email@example.com
Dumb Bell Workout/Monday and Friday
Warm up for 5-10 minutes with your favorite warm up exercises.
Squat to Overhead Press (medium weight)
Bent Over Rows (heavier weight)
Chest Press (heavier weight)
Walking Lunges with a Biceps Curl 10/Leg (medium weight)
Cardio Interval Workout/Tuesday and Thursday
Choose your cardio machine of choice (Rower/Stair Master/Treadmill/Elliptical/Bike) Warm up for 2 minutes then perform the following ladder sprints. Complete 1st column first (sprints get longer, recovery gets shorter). Then complete 2nd column (sprints get shorter while the recovery time gets longer). Repeat 2x
Follow it up with a 2-5 minute cool down.
20sec sprint/40sec recovery 60sec sprint/60 sec recovery
30sec sprint/30sec recovery 40sec sprint/20 sec recovery
40sec sprint/20 sec recovery 30sec sprint/30sec recovery
60sec sprint/60 sec recovery 20sec sprint/40sec recovery
Warm up for 5-10 minutes with your favorite warm up exercises.
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This week it’s all about 5 exercises I am loving at the moment. Technically 4 exercises and a machine. Check them out!
Jack Squats- Slightly more exciting than the basic squat jump, jack squats will get the legs burning and heart rate elevated. Perform during your workout for 30 seconds or save them for a finisher at the end of your workout. I like seeing how many I can do in 5 minutes. (Taking breaks of course when I need to.) My highest is 120.
Movement: Think sumo squat to chair pose with a jump in between.
Single Leg Hip Hinge- So many benefits with this one exercise. Improves balance. Strengthens the hip, glutes, and hamstrings. AND improves foot and ankle strength.
Set Up and Movement: Standing position with weight in hands. Transfer weight to left leg, while the right leg lifts and bends to 90 degree. Push butt back and hinge at the hips. Right leg raises while torso lowers to just slightly above parallel to the ground. Maintain a natural arch in the back. Keep hips and pelvis squared up the entire time.
Avoid: Bending at the waist (hinge at the hips). Locking out knee on standing leg. Hyperextending your back. Lowering all the way to the ground.
TRX Assisted L Pull Ups- These are hard! But I love the challenge. They aren’t quite the same as a traditional pull up…but I enjoy incorporating these straps into my workout whenever I can.
Set Up and Movement: Adjust the straps to the shortest length and sit underneath the anchor point. Reach up and grab the straps, palms facing in. Initiate the pull up by squeezing your back muscles together and down. Keep the legs straight and heels in contact with the ground. You can also regress this version by starting in a kneeling position or keeping feet on the ground and starting in a deep squat position. Good luck!
PushUps- Okay, nothing new here, but I am recovering from a shoulder injury and was unable to do any pushups for 6+ months. I’ve slowly started adding these back in..still not doing a full push up from the ground, so I am elevated on a bench.
Set Up and Movement: Probably one of the most butchered exercises ever, so listen up. Assume position on your toes with hands just slightly wider than shoulder width. Tuck your chin, head neutral. Tighten core and glutes and lower down while pulling your shoulder blades together. Lower the body down in a strong plank position. Elbows tucked slightly, around 45 degrees. Elbows should not be flared out to the sides resembling the letter T! Reverse the motion by pushing up and driving shoulder blades apart.
Stair Master- Benefits the calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and your cardio vascular system! And lucky for you it is almost always free at the gym. I’ve tried to use this machine 1x/week since last August. I love feeling my hamstrings and glutes working…one of the reasons I love hiking so much. Speaking of hiking, this machine is great training if you enjoy climbing hills. Which I do :)
I perform sprints on this machine. Yeah, no joke. Sometimes I’ll cycle through 20/30/40/60 sec sprints and recover (by slowing down) for as long as I need before I start again. And no, I don’t hold onto the handles. And you shouldn’t either.
It’s hard as hell without being too hard on my body.
Have fun! Let me know if you try any of these out.
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A few weeks ago I wrote about my nutritional non-negotiables. The dietary guidelines I share with my clients and practice myself. Nutritional habits that are beneficial to everyone, like staying hydrated and eating veggies at every meal. Missed it? No worries, you can read it here.
This week it’s all about my fitness non-negotiables. Regardless of your goals or where you are on your fitness journey, these 7 tips will keep you happy, healthy, and fit. And that’s what it’s all about right? Here we go.
- Always warm up before you work out. Especially as you get older. Yeah, sometimes my warm up and post workout stretch is longer than the actual workout. #gettingoldisawesome I know you are short on time, but your muscles need to be warmed up to improve their elasticity and ability to contract. Warming up also brings blood flow to the muscles, allowing them to work at their full potential. Need more convincing? Then read this.
- Lift weights several times a week (at least 2x/week if not more). Cardio is awesome and leaves us feeling good, but it won’t change the shape of your body. Adding lean muscle mass will though. More lean muscle mass=more calories burned at rest. And, super important stuff here, as we age we begin to lose about 1 percent of muscle each year. Our bodies start to catabolize (break down) muscle faster than it can build new muscle. This loss of lean muscle mass slows the body’s resting metabolic rate, leading to fat gain. No good. So lift something heavy each week!
Foam roll or stretch post workout or any time you feel stiff or tight. I wish more people would practice this. There have been many times I’ve had some low back pain…that was relieved by foam rolling. I’m not promising that your low back pain will be cured with foam rolling…but sometimes our achey bodies just need to be loosened up. We sit so much at work, at home, and in our cars. Muscles shorten, tighten, and getting pissed. Want some more information on foam rolling? Click here and then go lengthen and stretch your body!
Walk every day. And I’m not talking about power walking. A leisurely stroll with the dogs or a friend. Walking does wonders for our stress levels. And we’re all overly stressed. Walk as much as possible. End of story.
Move your body everyday. Any type of movement is great. Which leads me to the next point.
Find exercise that you love to do. This might look nothing like the inside of a gym and that’s okay. It might be a dance class. A pick up soccer game. Whatever it is, you should look forward to doing it. If you love it, you’re more likely to make it a priority and do it everyday. And our bodies were meant to move, not sit all day long.
And finally…what I say every week. Because it is important. And worth saying all the time. Listen to your body. Feeling tired and low energy? Then choose a walk or a yoga flow for your “workout”. There is no point in pushing your body when it isn’t capable of dealing with the stress (exercise is stress) and our bodies know when we’ve had enough of it. On the other hand, if you jump out of bed, feeling fired up then lift heavy, sprint, burpee, be a freakin’ badass in the gym. Your energy will fluctuate (especially if you are a female), so honor it.
Earlier this week I released #nottoobusy, a series of 6 challenging full body workouts that can be done in 20 minutes or less. When I reached out to women, asking them what their biggest struggle was with fitness, the most common response was:
"I'm struggling to fit in a workout" or "I don't have time to exercise"
Aaannd since I can't magical give them more hours in the day, I did the next best thing. I created #nottoobusy
- 5, 10, and 20 Minute Workouts
- Cardio and Strength Training Options
- Minimal Equipment Needed (Light/Heavy Dumbbells)
Let go of the idea that you need to spend 60 minutes in the gym. Want to fit in your workout and have time left over for life? Then click here for your free workouts!
I eat a huge salad almost every day. I know, this sounds boring and uninspiring, but it doesn’t have to be, as I’m about to show you with this salad making “guide”. Why?
- In the event you are bored with your current lunch.
- Or need some new mix and match salad ideas. With unlimited combinations.
- You find yourself unsatisfied and still hungry after you’ve eaten a salad.(See fat and protein options below! You must include some satisfaction factor in your bowl, so you aren’t left feeling snackey in the late afternoon.)
- Salads are a great way to eat loads of veggies at once. And you need to eat veggies so…
- You’ve been buying heavily processed dressing and wishing you had an easy and delicious balsamic dressing recipe. (Included at the end. You’re welcome)
Start with a slow digesting carb. Choose 1
- Brown Rice (MyFav)
- Sweet Potatoes
Greens Options. Choose 1-2
- Butter lettuce
- Mixed greens
Raw/Roasted Veggie Options. Choose as many as you’d like.
- Snap peas
- Roasted Asparagus/Potatoes/Cauliflower/Brocoli/Eggplant/Parsnips
Fruit Options. Choose 1-2
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Dried Cranberries/Cherries
- Kalamata olives
Yummy Fat Options. Choose 1-2
- Feta Cheese
- Pine nuts
- Goat cheese
Protein Options. Choose 1-2
- Grilled Chicken
- Ground Turkey
- 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
- 1 TBSP Maple Syrup
- 3 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
- 6 TBSP Olive Oil (good fat!)
Would love to see what you create in your bowl! Share your photos at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Strange fact about me, I'm slightly fascinated with the gut and our digestive system. I’ve said this before, but it's worth repeating, what we eat affects our health waaayyyy more than most people realize.
By now, you've heard me talk about my own digestive journey which resulted in eliminating gluten/wheat/dairy/eggs/peanuts/almonds/coconut. It took some detective work and willpower to get there, but well worth it. When I eat what my body can tolerate, I’m more focused, well rested, full of energy, and in a much better mental state. And experience way fewer digestive issues.
It takes being tuned in to your body. And realizing that being bloated, having gas, or experiencing heart burn is NOT normal. But rather a sign that your digestive system needs some help.
Because I have this obsession with a healthy gut, I’m constantly looking for more information on the topic. Which brings me to the subject of this post. This past week I’ve been re-reading, “Natural Solutions for Digestive Health” by Dr. Jillian Sarno Teta & Jeannette Bessinger.
The book is broken up into sections beginning with the basics behind normal digestion and common issues that can occur, how our modern day lives can negatively effect our digestive health, and a gut restoration program which includes meal plans and a supplement schedule. There is also a section on gastrointestinal health for kids.
Let's start with some interesting facts regarding your gut:
- It is the link between digestion and absorption of the nutrients we consume to all the other systems of the body.
- The majority of our immune cells reside in our GI tract. These cells are heavily influenced by what is delivered into our gut. Still want to eat that overly processed "food"?
- Our digestive system is tied to our nervous system…meaning stress and other input from the brain heavily influence our digestive function. Yet another reason to chill the f out.
The gut restoration program detailed in the book has 5 steps. I’m only going to share 3 of the steps with you. Want to know the other steps? Then check out the book here
Step #1 Remove the most commonly problematic foods. It’s quite the list, so settle in. Gluten, dairy, soy, beans/legumes, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, white potatoes, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and eggplant), refined sugar and sweeteners, and yep, alcohol. They also suggest eliminating a few other foods (caffeine!), but in order to not scare you off, we’ll leave it at that. Did I mention how much better you could feel?
Step #2 Take a probiotic. Yes, yes, yes. This should have made my nutritional non negotiable list (reread that blog post here)
Step #5 Lifestyle changes. These include establishing a daily bathroom routine (going poo), getting great sleep, and chilling the f out (see it keeps coming up, must be something to this...) through morning walks or meditation.
I really want to encourage you to do some detective work of your own. I know, I’m a personal trainer, not a doctor (wait, is it too late to become one?) But I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a healthy gut.
Way more important and way sexier than a six pack.
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In the theme of being “too busy” this week, I wanted to talk about something else that you probably don’t have time for, counting calories…and it’s totally okay. Here’s why:
- It’s very inaccurate. Different companies use different methods for figuring out the calorie content of each food. So food labels can vary due to these imprecise calculations.
- Speaking of inaccuracy, we are human which means we are most likely not not measuring our portions correctly. Plus how do you measure a handful (okay many handfuls) of chips? If you want some help with with portion control, check out this awesome infographic from Precision Nutrition.
- We don’t absorb all the calories that are listed on each food. For example, we absorb fewer calories than listed for nuts (harder to digest so we don’t absorb all of the calories)…but more calories than listed with fiber rich foods.
- Our gut bacteria health will determine how much or how few calories we absorb. Having more of one bacteria versus another will determine how much you absorb. Crazy right? Take care of that gut and take that probiotic everyday!
What can you do instead? Eat foods with as few ingredients as possible. (I wrote about this last week. If you want a refresher on my nutritional non negotiables, read them here.) Whole clean foods, unprocessed, lean proteins, and fibrous veggies. These foods will keep you fuller longer, satisfied, and less likely to over eat. Keep yourself well hydrated. Lift weights. And always, chill the f out.
Earlier this week, I released some free workouts done in less than 20 minutes.
Short & Sweet: 5, 10, 20 Minute Workouts
It is still available…so now that you aren’t wasting time counting calories, you have more time to work out! Download your free workouts here
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Last week I gave you a sneak peek into a day in my cup, on my plate, and in my bowl. Read it here if you missed it. This week I’d like to share with you my nutritional non negotiable's. The advice I pass along to my clients.
Before I go any further, the most important thing I want to stress is that everyones body chemistry is unique. How one person responds to eating a certain way is completely different than how another person might respond. YOU have to figure this out. Play detective. Tune in. Pay attention to how your body responds to eating certain foods. And ignore the “diet/cleanse/program” your friend/sister/coworker is doing.
Do you. That’s what will work the best in the long run.
Here are my nutritional non negotiable’s that can be beneficial to everyone:
Hydrate often. With water. First thing in the morning. I’ve started drinking a glass of water while waiting for my water to boil for tea. Then before I’m allowed to have a shot of espresso with rice milk, I have to drink another glass. After the espresso, more water. And yes, I am in the bathroom constantly. But who cares, I’m hydrated as hell and feelin’ good.
Eat as many whole foods as possible. Whole foods, meaning foods with as few ingredients as possible. Usually the foods around the outer edges of the grocery store. And if they do contain more than 1 ingredient, they should be words you can pronounce! No exception.
- Speaking of whole foods, eat vegetables every day. Even better, with every meal, even breakfast. The majority of people don’t get enough veggies…so be better than the majority and eat your greens.
- Limit your sugar intake as much as possible. I get it, sugar is really addicting and sugar cravings can be intense. Cravings are usually based around a habit. The sweet dessert after a meal. The afternoon sweet treat pick me up. If this sounds familiar then take a moment and think about your habit loop (cue/routine/reward). Here’s an example: Every evening after dinner (cue), you spend a few minutes cleaning up, washing dishes, and prepping some food for the next day (routine). Afterwards you plop down on the couch with a pint of your favorite ice cream (reward, the satisfaction of your treat and for cleaning up after dinner). In order to break this habit, you need to identify your cue and make some changes. Or you just quit the sugary shit cold turkey.
Eat protein dense food with every meal. How much? For women, 1 palm sized portion. For men, 2 palm sized portions. Protein helps with satiety, the feeling of being full, as well as aids in cell production, transportation of substances throughout the body, and assists in growth and repair. And makes you sexy and strong.
Carbs, eat them. They aren't the enemy. Go for the slower digesting carbs such as yams, brown rice, oatmeal, 100% whole wheat.
- Avoid low fat and no fat foods. Our bodies and brains need fat. Fat is needed in the body to support metabolism and the health of various tissues, our immunity, hormone production, and vitamin A and D absorption. It helps to keep you full between meals and it ups the satisfaction value of most meals (avocado on a salad for example). Eat nuts, seeds (flax and chia are super nutritious), olive oil, fish/fish oil, avocado, grass-fed animals/eggs, olives, coconut, seaweed.
Take care of your gut. It’s your second brain (ever have a gut feeling?) and comprises about 75% of your immune system. Take a probiotic (discuss this with your doctor) Drink kombucha (see my favorite brand below). Eat raw fermented foods. Pay attention to any foods that cause your gut distress, bloating, or gas. And then avoid those foods.
- Eat the WHOLE egg, not just the whites. Please. Egg whites have no taste (my opinion, not fact), and besides, the yolk contains all the vitamins A, B12, and D, as well as calcium, folate, and omega-3s (fact).
- A few final points. Enjoy what you put into your body. Stop labeling food as "good" and "bad". Remember, food is not a punishment OR a reward. It's simply something to nourish and fuel your body with. Be mindful about what you eat. Meaning, stop and think about it for a second before shoving it in. This takes practice. And no big deal if you slip up and shove in chips and chocolate like I did this past week. Happy Eating!
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I love to eat. I love to talk about food. And to be honest I am a total food snob. I am very picky about what I eat and more importantly the quality of what I eat. I’m a firm believer that our “diets” affect our health waaayyyy more than we think. So, what goes in my body is very important to me.
By now you probably know that I have several food sensitivities and allergies. I’ve written about it before, here: http://www.pureformetraining.com/blog/2017/2/3/food-sensitivities-dont-suck
To keep my body happy and running efficiently, I don’t eat wheat, gluten, dairy, coconut, and eggs. And to top if off, I’m allergic to almonds and peanuts. Usually when I tell people this the first question they ask me is, “What the hell do you eat?”
Scroll down for a day in my cup, on my plate, and in my bowl:
There you go. A sneaky peek into what I ate in a day. Clearly not starving or feeling deprived! See below for the recipe for the lentil soup I ate for lunch. So easy, inexpensive, and delicious. Just go with it...I don't measure stuff out.
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Hopefully by now, you know to begin your work out with a proper warm up. However since it seems everyone is short on time, and barely gets the “workout” part in, it’s probably the thing that is almost always pushed aside or done half assed.
*Side note, please don’t stand around the gym, pulling your foot back into a quad stretch. Or the “across the body arm stretch”. That is not a good warm up…you just look like an ass.
The warm up may be more important than the actual workout. Especially if you are over a certain age! As we get older, recovery from an injury takes waaaay longer than when we were younger. And if moving your body for an extra 5 minutes at the beginning of your workout can prevent months at a PT office, a pull/torn/slipped/whatever …then why the f would you skip it?
I know, you’re short on time. 5 minutes. Fit it in. You can do it.
Muscles need to be warmed up to improve their elasticity and ability to contract. Also, warming up brings blood flow to the muscle, allowing them to work at their full potential.
Besides injury prevention, warm ups also help prepare the mind for what’s coming. I don’t know about you, but I am a planner. I need to know what’s coming up. Especially during a work out. I need to know how much energy to expend at the beginning…and what’s following it, so I can save some gas in the tank. Plus, there’s this thing called the mind-body connection. Get your mind ready so it can send the message to your body that it’s time to work.
Another reason to not skip the warm up, your heart, which is responsible for pumping fresh oxygenated blood. When first starting your workout, your heart rate is relatively low, so ease into the movements, allowing the heart rate to increase steadily. Important for those with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular issues.
Now that we’ve established that you are no longer going to skip the warm up, let’s talk about what it should look like.
It’s all about being dynamic. Moving. Creating energy. Save the static (held) stretches for after the workout. Arm circles. Leg swings. Inchworms. Start there. Then get down on the ground and begin some cat cows, plank hold, bridges, cobra. Warm up the core so it can be ready to work.
Plan on doing some weighted squats that day? Then perform some body weight squats as part of the warm up.
Is it a heavy shoulder day? Then grab some lighter weight and perform some shoulder presses.
Get where I’m going with this? Your warm up should mimic your workout, but at a slower pace, lighter weight, less intensity. Prepare your body for the movement that it’s about to do.
Still unsure of what your warm up should look like? Check out my free infographic:
Dynamic Dozen: Super simple and quick full body warm up that will prep the body for any workout.
I love the mood it creates. The energy it can bring to a situation. The feelings it can provoke. The motivation it provides to do one last set during a workout. The confidence to walk into a room and be yourself.