Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding Balance

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the photo I posted last Friday, but I wanted to go in to a little more detail here and touch on a question I get asked a lot-- how do you find balance and still achieve your goals? 

The short answer is it's something that comes with time. Let's face it, balance is an extremely subjective word- it could mean one thing for someone and completely the opposite for another. I have the photo above here because this is one of the food preps I did when I was getting ready for a photo shoot. This helped me stay on track when I had a big goal in mind, but this would not be 'balance' for me today. I don't take my food with me places in tupperware, and if I go 4 or 5 hours without eating- it's okay. For me, balance with food is having a general idea of what my meals will be throughout the day but understanding if the day doesn't turn out exactly as planned, that's okay too. When I started relaxing a bit with being rigid and super strict with my diet is when I became so much happier with the way I looked AND felt. Now obviously I'm not saying eat Taco Bell three times a day, but incorporating not perfectly clean foods into your diet moderately is perfectly fine- and that's something I've just had to learn over time. 

When I put these two pictures side by side I was so amazed with how different I look. On the left I see someone that ate out of tupperware all day long, never considered having anything off the plan, and forced workouts even though energy was low from carb cycling or low carbs. On the right I see someone who understands macros (although I don't track daily I do spot check and I'm typically right where I think I am by keeping track in my head) and knows my body does well with high amounts of carbs. I also know that my goal of building a more solid bottom half is more important than feeling hungry to have abs. (and so is drinking wine!) 

So how do I know I've found my balance? Because I'm not only happy and fulfilled with my lifestyle but I'm so content with how I look. Are my abs as flat as the first photo? Nope, but I'm stronger, happier, and my jeans fit SO much better :) If I miss a workout I know it's okay and never feel like I have to make up for it. Lastly, I can honestly say going to the gym and eating healthy are part of my life but they don't rule my life. 

And back to the original question- How do you find YOUR balance? 

- First look at your current approach and ask yourself if it's working. You're never going to find balance in a regimen that has you chasing your tail. 

- Educate yourself on the most sustainable, long term approach that is going to work for you. For me that was learning about macros and tracking my food for a good while until I could begin eating more intuitively without having to track every single day. 

- Prove to yourself that over time your body will change in a positive way as long as you are looking at your health and fitness approach in a positive way. If you wake up every day dreading the food you have to eat, change it. If you hate your workouts and drag yourself to the gym everyday, change them. If you don't like protein shakes, don't drink them. Remember, this is a lifestyle and you want it to be a good one! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shoulder and Tricep Workout

Not a whole lot of time for small talk, but here is a great shoulder and tri workout for you to try out. Make sure when you're doing triceps you take a second to pause and really squeeze! 

If you have any specific workouts you'd like to see, let me know! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

Look at me I'm on a roll this week- I finally remember to take photos of all my food yesterday! It was leg day (as you may be able to tell from all the food) so I always try to consciously increase my carbs even more than usual since I'm still on a mission to build up my very stubborn glutes. I bust my butt in the gym and I have to make sure that my nutrition is supporting my goals as well, so as you can see I eat to grow and I think slowly but surely it's paying off. 

Starting with breakfast and going clockwise: 

- 3 whites and 1 whole egg, turkey bacon, Thomas' Oatmeal English Muffin (seriously so good) and a couple strawberries that are finally sweet again! 
- Post workout was Cheerios with MRM protein powder and almond milk 
- Then I had a bowl of my chicken pasta salad as a little snack 
- Lunch was simple but good, rotisserie chicken, basmati rice, and asparagus 
- On the way to train my evening clients I stopped and grabbed a juice. This was spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber, lemon, lime, and half an apple. YUM. 
- For dinner we went out to celebrate a friends birthday and I got roasted chicken with couscous and a grapefruit salsa. Sounds like a bit of an odd pairing but it was delish. 

I'll be back tomorrow with a workout for you! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

Finally, a new recipe! To be honest the reason I haven't shared recipes lately is because I haven't been very creative in the kitchen. I tend to stick to really simple meals or my crock pot meals that last though most of the week. We are also guilty of eating out more than we used to (sometimes Chipotle or Pei Wei is just too hard to pass up!) which contributes to me cooking a little less. Anyway, I'm going to try my best to come up with at least one new recipe a week to get back in the swing of things and showing up around here more often. If you have any suggestions or specific recipes you need help making a little healthier, please send them my way! 

This particular recipe is a spin on my moms pasta salad that she's been making since I can remember. I turned it into a main dish by adding some more protein with the chicken and let me tell you this makes a ton of servings!

- 1 box spiral noodles- I used whole grain (only ingredient is whole wheat)
- 3/4 package turkey pepperoni, quartered 
- 1 1/4 cup fat free Italian dressing 
- 1 cup shredded carrots 
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 
- 2 large chicken breasts, grilled and cubed - I used pre-marinated Mediterranean chicken but you can easily marinate chicken in Italian dressing for a few hours and then grill 
- Cubed mozzarella cheese (optional) 

1. Boil water and cook noodles according to package instructions. Strain and pour cold water on top to cool noodles. 
2. Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. 

That's it! Super easy and you'll have lunches all week! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Back Workout

I incorporated a few different back exercises into my workout yesterday morning and woke up feeling super sore (in the best way possible of course) so thought I would share! Remember when you're working your back you have to really focus on that mind muscle connection. Always have slow and controlled movements and pause and squeeze those shoulder blades together and then really open up those lats. I so often see people at the gym with really terrible form when performing back exercises- typically either going too heavy or doing a lot of swinging, so don't do that! I listed the weight I used below since I'm always asked, but remember to go at your own pace and don't move your weight up until you feel you can do so safely.

Straight leg dead lifts 4 x 10 - go heavy! (I used 105 lbs) 
Low row machine- 4 x 10 (50 lbs)
Bent over barbell row 4 x 10 (55 lbs) 
Seated row with wide grip attachment- 3 x 12 (60 lbs)
Pulldowns on cable machine- 4 x 10 (50 lbs on 2 sets and 40 lbs on 2 sets)
High rows on lat pulldown machine 4 x 10 super set stair sprints- 30 seconds (45lbs) 


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