Archive for February 26, 2014

It CAN be done!!!!

Being in the fitness industry for the last 6-7 years of my life, I tend to be the go-to person at parties,get-togethers,bathrooms (for real), you name it –when it comes to questions about working out and eating right. I’m TOTALLY okay with that, because I LOVE to talk about it and helping others brings me SO much joy! Hello, I have an entire BLOG about it and LIVE it every day!

Now, what DOES get a bit frustrating is when I stand there excitedly giving people advice and options as to what they can do, and they IMMEDIATELY come back at me with why that JUST isn’t possible for them. I’m tired of hearing that you don’t have time, that you can’t do *this* because it hurts your *that* (barring serious injuries, it is usually something that can be modified very easily!), that healthy food is gross, that it’s too expensive, you don’t have a gym membership, blah blah blahdeefrickinblah! Let me fill you all in on a little secret:

You don’t need to rearrange your life in order to have a healthy one! There is this notion that in order to be healthy you have to “go to the gym a lot and eat vegetables all the time.” You don’t. You just don’t. I truly believe that ANYONE and EVERYONE can lead a healthy lifestyle.

Now to make this clear, I don’t think everyone needs to be like me. I realize that I’m not the norm. For heaven’s sake, I LIKE BURPEES. IT ISN’T NORMAL.  I crave vegetables and eat them in massive quantities for “fun”. While that is me, I realize that not everyone is that and you absolutely DO NOT have to be anything close to that. I believe everyone can live a healthy and active life by making SIMPLE and SMALL changes. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods and you don’t have to become a slave to the gym. I actually would steer you a different direction if that’s where you were headed!

Let me tell you a little story about someone very close to me: my boyfriend Charlie. I always use Charlie as the perfect example of someone who has had the effect of a changed life without actually changing their life around.

IMG_1636When I met Charlie, his habits were very typical of an American. He ate fast food for most meals (McDonalds was a go-to), M&M’s and Famous Amos cookies for a snack, and save for the random hike here and there, he was pretty sedentary. I had no intentions of trying to change him into some health nut or workout freak and I still don’t. That’s not him and that is totally okay.

Charlie knew that his lifestyle wasn’t very healthy and wanted to change it, but, like SO many others, he wasn’t quite sure what to do. In his head, you had to eat broccoli all day if you wanted to be healthy. Aside from the perceived awfulness of a healthy diet, he’s also very stubborn. To him, working out was something he just didn’t have time for. He, once again, perceived this as something that would easily take 2-3 hours out of his day, which was just not possible. He works A LOT and if being healthy meant interfering with his work and passion, it was likely going to last about .543 seconds. I remember the first time I suggested that he try brown rice instead of white rice. I’m pretty sure he considered running away from me and never speaking to me again. (Glad you didn’t, babe). I might as well have insulted Star Wars!!(FYI: You can lose limbs for that kind of talk around this house….) I knew then that this wouldn’t be easy, but I was willing to help and be patient with him since I knew, ultimately, he wanted to be a healthier person. It took me reminding myself that not everyone is like me. I LOVE the gym, LOVE the sweat, WANT to workout, LOVE eating healthy (don’t get me wrong, I love other foods that aren’t so healthy, but for the most part, I like food that makes me feel good), so it isn’t as hard for me to motivate myself to go do those things. Not everyone feels that way about it, and that is completely okay. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

I tell you this because with some small changes here and there, Charlie has become a pretty healthy person!

These days, Charlie eats brown rice, whole wheat pasta, lean meats, fruit, vegetables, and minimally processed foods (by choice and taste), snacks on Greek Yogurt (and loves it more than anyone I know!!), eats balanced meals on the regular (his former lunch of a #2 at McDonald’s has now become a chicken, brown rice, and vegetable bowl at Chipotle), checks ingredients on packages before eating anything (he’s more obsessed than I am on this!!) and he works out with me at least 1-2 times per week. His life has not been overhauled, his schedule has not been compromised, and he does this all by choice. YES, he still eats sweets and junk food. But he does it on occasion, not on the regular. I absolutely support and encourage him, but if he didn’t want to eat healthier and BE healthier, he’d still be eating a steady diet of Taco Bell Double Deckers. He now tells me that on the very rare occasions that he does eat fast food, he instantly feels like garbage and never wants to eat it again. He can’t even believe he used to live on that stuff! (Hell, I did too in high school! Not sure how I even functioned! Teenager cells, I guess.) Charlie will still eat his beloved M&M’s and Milky Ways on occasion, and he will NEVER say no to a milkshake (although, thankfully, he isn’t offered one very often ;-).) This is all just to say, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. Just not all the time. (I’ll be the first to admit that on a weekly basis, SOME type of candy will be consumed by me.)

My point in highlighting Charlie’s story is to show you that it CAN be done by anyone. Even if you’re not trying to be a “health freak” (yeah, I know what you guys say about us!!!!), you are still capable of leading a VERY healthy life. I repeat, it does NOT have to completely change your life. You can still eat the foods you love and do the things you love. It is the LITTLE changes that really add up and that is what you have to remember. Charlie and I still eat frozen yogurt (hey, maybe sometimes we I  might even maybe, kinda, sorta, eat it twice in one day like last Saturday), get burgers, share endless bowls of chips and salsa, and thoroughly enjoy our food. Deprivation is NOT in our vocabulary. Moderation is.

mechartemescal

So what are some lifestyle principles that we live by?

1. Moderation. We don’t eat frozen yogurt and burgers every day. It’s usually a once a week type of thing. (If, hypothetically, you DO get it twice in one day, it still counts as once a week since it was just one day of that week….right?!?!?!)

2. When we are craving a burger or something that is typically deemed “unhealthy”, we choose better ingredients. As I mentioned in this post, Burger Lounge is our go-to because of the ingredients they use. Charlie gets a grass-fed beef burger and I get a free-range turkey burger. No fake, fatty meat and no factory farms. Basically, we try to eat at restaurants that offer a better quality, when available. When it comes to something like chips and salsa, we buy chips that have very few ingredients and ingredients that we can actually recognize, and get salsa using the same standards.

3. We make it at home. For example, instead of eating sodium-laden Chipotle all the time, we make it at home for dinner several times per week. This allows us to control our ingredients so we know what we’re putting into our bodies. Organic Chicken, Brown Rice, Organic Bell Peppers, Half-Sodium Black Beans, Mexican Cheese (we buy any brand that doesn’t have any weird preservatives. This can be tough, so if you’re able to go to a health food store for this, I highly recommend it. The Ralph’s near us only has ONE brand that doesn’t have a bunch of fillers in it), and Hot Sauce. We both agree that it is actually BETTER than Chipotle.

4. Our workouts typically last 20-25 minutes. Sure, sometimes we do longer workouts, but I absolutely 100% guarantee that you can get a fantastic workout in with only a 15-20 minute window to work with. Sometimes they don’t even require ANY equipment at all! (In fact, I’ll be releasing an e-book in the next few months that will give you PAGES of quick, equipment-less, workouts that will have you mopping your sweat off the floor in under 30 minutes.)

As you can see, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even deciding to make ONE small change to your health can have a huge impact. It’s the exact reason why the plethora of excuses drives me crazy. I can’t express enough that you don’t have to go Biggest Loser style and workout 5 hours a day while eating 1200 calories of fake food to lose weight or be healthy. You have to care about your health and make the attempt to make small changes.

I’m HAPPY to answer any questions you guys have. Leave me comments on here or on Facebook and tell me your biggest problems with making healthier choices. I’ll do my best to help you solve them. I believe EVERYONE can live a healthier life without sacrifice. Let me help you on your way to yours!

10 Minute Sweat Fest

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday!! As I mentioned yesterday, I have a “Try It Tuesday” workout on the agenda for everyone!

I did this on Sunday and it kicked my boo-tay!

10 Minutes – As Many Rounds As Possible

5 Push-Ups (chest to deck! from the knees is okay if needed)

5 Kettle Bell Swings (medium – heavy weight)

10 Lemon Squeezers (or sit-ups)

5 Burpees (I did it without the push-up, but if you’re hardcore, do the push-up too!!!)

Try this one and let me know how it goes!!!

Question of the day:

 Are you a cardio bunny?

Weekend Workouts and Fun

This weekend was such a perfect blend of relaxation, fun, and workouts. Let’s get right to it!!

Saturday

We woke up Saturday and grabbed a coffee before heading to the studio for a session. My good friend runs an AMAZING  co-ed camp where she takes young girls and boys to do tons of fun activities. She teaches them about empowerment, self-confidence, gratitude, and so much more. You can read all about it here. For this particular weekend, Tedi got her girls together to record their version of “Roar” by Katy Perry. The girls had a BLAST and I did too! Tedi and I may have even made a cameo in the bridge of the song……

Sand Sister's Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

Sand Sister’s Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

After the recording session, we headed over to Temescal Canyon for a hike. It’s such a BEAUTIFUL hike and a good workout too! I didn’t snap any photos, but this should give you an idea of the view…:-D

Temescal Ridge Trail

Source

The hike definitely worked up an appetite, so we headed to Burger Lounge for some grub. I rave about this place ALL the time. It’s not only DELICIOUS, but the food is so fresh and comes from sustainable farms. You can taste the difference in the quality of food and you don’t leave feeling like you ate a greasy burger. I usually get the Little Lounge Turkey Burger (and fries of course!), but the grass-fed beef is also a great choice! If you make it out to LA, you MUST try this place!!!

Sunday

Sunday morning, I got up to do a good old heavy lifting workout + some metabolic conditioning. I hit not one, but TWO Personal Records (PR’s)!!!!! Stoked is an understatement.

The first PR I hit, was 6 reps of 216lb hip thrusts. My record before that was 211, so just a small increase, but an increase nonetheless!!! I had someone shoot a little video of the madness….

The next PR I hit was on pull-ups. I posted on Facebook last week that I was going to try to get 5 strict pull ups this week……and I did!!!! I was STOKED and immediately started running around the gym like a freak. (Guess I can’t deny who I am! ;-)) I was surprised at how easy reps 1-4 were. 5 was definitely a challenge, but I’m hoping 6 isn’t too far off…..:-)

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning a bit and meeting a friend for an afternoon Americano. Because who doesn’t need a huge spike of caffeine at 4:30pm?! LOL

Hope everyone is having a GREAT Monday. I’ll be sharing the rest of my Sunday workout Tuesday morning. It was only 10 minutes long and a BURNER. You’ll love it. Stay tuned…;-)

Question of the Day:

Have you hit any new PR’s lately? 

Are you working towards any new PR’s?! (If not, set some goals!!!)

Springwise Round-Up

Springwise Round-Up is a weekly post where I highlight some of the posts from this website that really stood out to me. Of course, this is my opinion only. While I typically tend to highlight some of the sillier finds from the site, you can find some really cool, inventive, and helpful new start-ups on Springwise that I highly encourage you to check out!

Springwise Round-Up – 2nd Edition

1. The NEX band – The NEX band is a modular bracelet designed to let young users send secret messages, unlock game levels and personalize their look. Like smartwatches, the modules can light up in different ways to indicate a new received text message, phone call or social activity from Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat, as well as real world activities such as another NEX-wearing friend coming into proximity. Friends can set up coded light messages to each other, assigning certain colors and patterns to different friends or meanings.

My thoughts: WHY. Teenagers having cell phones with all of these different crazy apps is enough, in my opinion. I think this is just getting to be a bit ridiculous!

2. Eterni.me – By trawling traces of their online activity, Eterni.me wants to reconstruct people’s personalities with an artificially intelligent version that friends and family can ‘chat’ to after they’re gone.

My thoughts: Basically, by taking info from the web, they are going to RE-CREATE YOUR DEAD RELATIVE SO YOU CAN CHAT WITH “THEM”?!?!?! This is creepy. Really, really, creepy. That is all.

3. Headset for Dogs – Sweden’s No More Woof is an EEG device that reads dogs’ brainwaves in order to determine what’s on their mind.

My thoughts: Frea.king.Awe.some. I have ALWAYS wanted to know what dogs are thinking!! I wonder how accurate this is……we may never know!

That’s it for this edition of Springwise Round-Up!! See you next time!

Questions:

1. What do you think of these crazy ideas/inventions?!

2. Do you have any crazy/awesome/scary new start-ups to add to this list?

Post in the comments!

Workouts & Listening To My Body

Good morning! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week! We’re more than half way through, and the weekend is coming shortly!

Animals-Eating-Pizza-11

This week has been a whirlwind! I took yesterday pretty easy because my body was exhausted and a bit sore.

Here’s a recap of my workouts so far this week:

On Monday, I did a 15 minute HIIT workout in the early part of the day. It was nice to get that out of the way. It may only be 15 minutes, but it gets you SWEATIN’!!! In the afternoon, I did a heavy lifting session.

For my heavy lifting sessions, I typically like to do a set of: 15, 12, 10, 8, 6. Basically, I combine my warm-up (15 and 12 rep sets) and my heavy sets (10, 8, 6 rep sets). This helps me get into the lift and get my muscles ready for the heavier weights. I did:

Deadlifts

Squats

Chin Ups

DB Military Press

Pull Ups

For the chin ups and pull ups, I just do sets of 2-3. That’s about where I’m at strength-wise right now, so I just work on trying to get just 1 more rep in the beginning of the workout. (Hoping to get 5 reps by the end of the week!!!)

After my lift, I headed to the rock climbing gym for some climbing. They are doing construction on the bouldering area  right now, so I actually harnessed in and climbed the walls with the rope. I forgot how long you’re on the wall! Holy endurance!!! My forearms are a bit sore from that.

Tuesday evening, Charlie and I headed to the gym for a full body workout. I was pretty sore from Monday, but when Charlie wants to work out, I take advantage! I snuck in a 15 min. HIIT before the workout as well. We did the following supersets:

Super Set #1

DB Bench Press + Chest Fly

KB Swings

Super Set #2

Front Foot Elevated Reverse Lunges

Hanging Leg Raises

Super Set #3

DB Windmills

Swiss Ball Dead Bugs

Needless to say, my body is a bit exhausted. I took yesterday to relax, walk a bit to stretch my legs, catch up on some writing, and worked. I like to stay moving when I’m sore to try to get the blood flowing, hence the short walks throughout the day. Stretching, walking, light moving in general, tend to help with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

I think it is very important to listen to your body. While I had a CrossFit workout on my agenda for Wednesday, I knew that my body needed a little break. I pushed the workout until today at lunch and hopefully resting yesterday will give me some energy and muscle recovery for it today.

Question of the day:

What do you do when you have a tough workout planned and your body just ain’t havin’ it?!

I just started watching Dexter. OMG Where have I been?! Any other awesome shows I’m TOTALLY missing out on?!

Fitness Beer

Sayyyyy whaaaa?!?!?!? Yes, you read that right. Fitness Beer.

Let me back up. If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know that every few weeks I pop over to Springwise to see what the new gadgets and start-ups around the world are doing. This website is a combination of fascinating, sad, and confusing all at the same time. You will find really amazing start-ups that can change the world, and you will also find glasses that remind you to blink. Not joking. Hence the “scary” aspect.

Anyways, I was perusing Springwise yesterday afternoon and stumbled upon Fitness Beer.

lean machine

From the website:

Lean Machine is developed as a sport recovery, low calorie, FIT BEER. In Lean Machine ingredients, there aren’t a lot of useless sugars and stimulants in it. Each ingredient serves a specific purpose for a faster and more effective recovery. The Lean Machine ingredients can be broken down into four main groups:

■ Muscle recovery
■ Electrolyte replenishment
■ Anti-Oxidant
■ Immune system 

We like to refer to it as ‘Recovery Ale’. The concept is pretty straight forward.

My first thoughts were: whoooowhaaawhyyyyyNOOOO!!! I’m not a drinker, so this doesn’t appeal to me anyways, but I’m curious to know what you guys think! (and what the HECK does it taste like?!)

Sound off in the comments! Opinions! Thoughts! Questions!

GO!!!

Fitness Plan for the Week 2/17-2/23

Hope you’re all having a lovely morning! If you’re taking a break from work today, I hope you’re not reading this just yet and you’re out enjoying your day! If today is a work-day for you, sit, stay a while, plan your week out with me!!

As you all know, I love to take my Sunday nights to plan out my fitness for the week.

planning

There are a few reasons for this:

1. It lets me know how I need to plan my day (i.e. a Heavy Lift is going to take much longer than a WOD or HIIT)

2. It gives me a focus and gets me excited for the workouts! Mental preparation is important!

3. It gives me a chance to program for the week so that I can fit it all in!

With that said, I’m back into CrossFit this week (took a few weeks off) and I have a feeling I’ll be pretty sore by the end of the week!

Fitness Plan for the Week

Monday: 15 min. HIIT + Heavy Lift + Rock Climb (indoor)

Tuesday: 15 min. HIIT + Metabolic Workout

Wednesday: CrossFit + Rock Climb

Thursday: 15 min. HIIT + Heavy Lift

Friday: 15 min. HIIT + Climb

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: Hike

This is only tentative, and I definitely go by how I feel. If I’m super sore from CrossFit Wednesday, there’s a good chance my heavy lift will get moved to Friday. I listen to my body and there’s no use doing a workout just because it’s on the schedule if it doesn’t feel good.

Questions for the day:

What’s on your fitness plan this week? Try anything new this month?

Workout Weekend!

What a wonderful weekend it has been! As always, I’m excited to start the week and get things done, but I have no complaints about the weekend I had!

Valentine’s Day

My lovely boyfriend surprised me with flowers and a sweet little date night. We went to the beach and watched the sunset and then got some chinese takeout and watched a movie. I got through about 10 minutes of said movie before passing out and sleeping for the next 12 hours. I can’t tell you the last time I slept that much! Clearly, I was exhausted.

Saturday

I got up on Saturday and headed to CrossFit High Voltage in Burbank for the World’s Best Boot Camp Platoon 002’s graduation. I LOVE being a part of this company! The energy was amazing and there was once again, a 100% success rate for everyone in Platoon 002. So inspiring!!

Before their graduation, I got to spend some time in front of the camera demonstrating proper form for push ups and squats. I’m not going to lie, I LOVE being in front of the camera teaching about something I’m so passionate about.

wbbc002_graduation_squat

wbbc002_graduation_squat3

Afterwards, Charlie and I headed to the gym to do this workout:

workout 2.15.14

(We used 18 lb medicine balls, a 24 inch box, and a 16kg kettlebell.)

Hello back!

Hello back!

Charlie!

Charlie!

Sunday

I spent Sunday being pretty lazy, yet also being productive. I grabbed a coffee and got some work done at the gym, and then headed to my boss’s house to get some work done there. I spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out, getting rid of some old clothes, cleaning, and planning for the week.

I don’t have President’s Day off like everyone else (I don’t really ever get days off it seems!!), so I’ll be out and about working away tomorrow.

Do you have President’s Day off? 

If so, what are you doing? Make me jealous! 😉

Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Whether you’re celebrating big or hating on the holiday, just enjoy some time with your partner, friend, relative, or pet!

Hearts-in-Unity-Logo-LG

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I put together a partner workout that you can do with any of the above people (although your dog might just make you do all the work!).

Sweat it out with someone you love today!

Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

(This is best done at a park or somewhere that you will have a little bit of room)

Warm Up: Between the two of you, complete 100 squats. You can break it up however you’d like, but you can’t both squat at the same time!

#1. Fast Jacks

Partner 1: 50 Jumping Jacks

Partner 2: Push Ups until Partner 1 finishes

Switch roles and then repeat!

#2. Burpee Challenge!!

Partner 1 does 1 burpee, Partner 2 does 1 burpee, Partner 1 does 2 burpees, Partner 2 does 2 burpees….

Keep going up the ladder until someone can’t finish a set!

Pro Tip: I highly suggest making a bet for this one…massage for the winner?! 😀

#3. Run it Out!

Find about a 15-20 yard space and mark it.

Partner 1: Sprint to the marker and do: 5 push ups, 10 squats, 10 sit ups, sprint back and tag Partner 2 to do the same thing.

Complete 5 rounds of this!!!

Happy Sweaty Valentine’s Day!!!

sweaty workout

Question of the day:

Are you a lover or hater of the holiday?

I’m indifferent. I like spending time with my man, but hanging out at home with a movie is fine by me.

It’s Hard, But Not THAT Hard

…that’s what she said?

It’s an age old saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. 

They will tell you that if you don’t prep all of your food on Sunday, then you won’t succeed.

They will tell you that if you eat carbs at dinner, then you won’t succeed.

Eating after 8pm? You might as well have done nothing all day. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to dispel some of these MYTHS and give you some tried and true advice that will help.

If you picked out 10 different fitness/health professionals and asked them how to lose weight, you would likely get 10 different responses. Honestly, maybe even 11. The debate is ongoing, but I highly advise that you take the pieces that work for YOU and piece together what is in YOUR best interest. There is no “one way” and it doesn’t have to be insanely hard. (Yes, that means I’m telling you to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I’m not you and you’re not me, and Dr. Seuss would be proud of me.)

When I was preparing to compete in the NPC, I looked like this:

Oh hello there.

Oh hello there.

I sometimes ate 8-10 apples a day (not joking, fruit all hours of the day), oatmeal for dinner was quite frequent (sometimes even at 9 or 10pm!!!), and I rarely prepped all of my food on Sunday. I was lean as f*&^. I got even more shredded than the picture above.

Now I look more like this:

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

…but I’m fine with that and still like my body!

The point of the first picture is to prove to you that it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing in the world to lose weight or even get super lean, if that’s your goal. (Clearly my goals are different now than they were in 2009. I want to be leaner, but not as lean as the first picture. I had my fun having the chest of a 6 year old boy, but I appreciate that I’ve stopped confusing my chest size with a very popular automobile club ahemAAAahem).

It DOES take dedication, and I won’t discount that. I was a really clean eater and didn’t eat any processed foods (except for my cheat day once a week).

What I AM here to do, is to give you some helpful tips that will help you get through the parts that are made to seem so difficult. I truly believe that with a little discipline, anyone can make a good change in their life. It doesn’t have to derail your life, and you can still enjoy food. In fact, I think depriving yourself is only a quick fix and can backfire on you over time. Somehow people started getting the vibe that food should be fuel and nothing more. I disagree. While food should primarily be fuel, food is to be enjoyed! There’s a reason that you feel happy when you take a bite of that chocolate chip cookie that’s fresh out of the oven. It’s not an accident.

With that said, here are my tried and true suggestions for anyone looking to get started on the journey to a healthier body (this includes losing weight or just becoming a healthier person)

-Eat a few times per day

This will help to keep your hunger levels in a comfortable place so that you don’t get so ravenous that you start devouring food without even knowing what hit you. No, you don’t have to eat 6 times per day, but try to get at least 3 meal times in. In the end, do what’s comfortable. I don’t necessarily think you should eat 1 meal a day, but if that’s what works for YOU, then who am I to change that? It comes down to….

Eat balanced meals 

For your main meals of the day, I truly believe in eating balanced proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is not only good for your body (as it needs all three of these), but also keeps you much more satisfied than you would feel if you left something out. Try to include a portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into each meal.

For example: If you order a baked potato(carbs) and butter(fat) and call it a meal, you’re missing out on the protein. Pair that with chicken, tofu, steak, eggs, or whatever protein choice you’d like. (You can even add plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I bet you won’t know the difference!)

-Watch your portion sizes

…but LOAD UP on fruits and veggies. For example: A medium container of strawberries like this is about 65-75 calories.

strawberries Eat the entire thing and tell me if you don’t look 6 months pregnant after that. I’ll likely tell you to eat another and report back. You’re only 150 calories into the hole at this point, so I don’t even feel bad. I’m not saying you HAVE to do this, but I’m telling you it’s one of my tricks. Giant bag of broccoli, a bunch of baby carrots, a container of strawberries, 1-2 apples. While they taste really good (and the fruit options double as a sweet-tooth queller), they also help fill you up so that you don’t feel unsatisfied after a meal and start digging into junk foods. This is definitely one of my best kept (okay, it’s not that well kept) secrets. I usually use the vegetables as my “appetizer” before a balanced meal and the fruit serves as my “dessert” when I’m feeling a hankering for something sweet.

For your main meals, you don’t have to go around measuring all of your food, but a good rule of thumb for each meal is this:

-make the protein part of your meal about the size of your fist

-the starchy carbohydrates portion of your meal should fit in the palm of your hand

-vegetables should be abundant and eat as many as you want (see above.if you start getting fat from eating too many vegetables, write me a letter and send it via pigeon. and P.S. let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s probably not the veggies’ fault…)

-fats should be around 1-2 TBSP

-fruit should be about 1-2 fist sizes, ideally

This is only a starting guide, and can vary from person to person depending on SO many things. Start with this and see how you feel.

Watch ingredients

One of the biggest and healthiest changes I’ve made over the years is watching my ingredient list. My boyfriend and I have become a bit obsessed with checking to make sure that we aren’t being fed random, awful ingredients that aren’t necessary. Thank you, but I don’t need any BUTANE in my food. Yes, they put butane (or as they like to call it BTHQ) in many packaged foods. For “freshness”. And maybe spontaneous combustion. The added high fructose corn syrup and hydrolized palm kernel oil that is put into practically EVERYTHING is also unnecessary. Find brands that choose to use REAL ingredients. Eat fresher foods. Eat local foods (that don’t require so many preservatives). I guarantee you will feel better and healthier by making these simple changes only.

Snack Well

(Not SnackWells!!!)

If you choose items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, greek yogurt, minimal ingredient snack bars, chicken sausages, etc. you will be good to go! Snacking on empty calories does nothing more than keep your mouth busy. If that’s your goal, you might as well just make out with someone and save the calories! Eat a snack and make it COUNT. Some ideas: almonds and fruit, carrots and hummus, almond butter and celery, hard boiled eggs, Larabar or QuestBar, protein shakes and more!

-Eat the damn cookie

If you NEED a chocolate chip cookie (although you don’t really NEED it, but you catch my drift), eat the damn cookie. Just don’t eat 5 damn cookies.

In the end, it all comes down to having some discipline and a level head while wanting the best for yourself. You don’t have to starve yourself, you don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to stop enjoying food. You have to decide that you want to be healthier, first and foremost. While you should enjoy your foods, the majority of them need to also be fuel to you. You will start to notice the difference in how you feel during your workouts (and in life!) as you slowly make these changes. In time, you will find that the foods that fuel you will also satisfy you, and will become the foods you crave. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever want to eat a plate of nachos again, but I do believe that over time, the desire will become less and less. The constant desire for junk will become just an occurrence here and there.

I hope these tips serve you well. I could probably go on for pages with all of the tips I have, so trust me, more blog posts on this subject will be coming!

I am not a doctor, I am not an expert, I am not a magical wizard (although sometimes I like to think I am), so please check with one of those before making any dietary changes or starting a new eating regimen. Listen to your body and go with your gut. 

What is the best dietary change that you’ve made?

What do you struggle most with when it comes to eating?

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