Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inspire Me: Healthy v:3

A Mommas Desires And Pacifiers

Here we are in week 3 of the Inspire Me: Healthy link up.  In week one, I talked about my plans/workout a little bit and showed you some initial photos.  Last week I talked about some of our favorite recipes.  This week I wanted to talk a little bit about my philosophy on eating/weight loss.  I couldn't really figure out how to organize this post, so I just went with bold words.  I'm not saying I am an expert, but in the past 5 or 6 years, I have done a lot of reading and learning on my own (along with the guidance of my hubs who teaches an Advanced Health & Fitness Professionals program at a vocational school) about different things related to health and fitness, so I just thought I would address some of these things here as I have learned/experienced them.

Cardio vs Weights - I have previously posted on this topice here.  Let me put it this way, when you envision yourself at your goal, what do you see?  Most women say they want to be skinny, but in reality, they are picturing themselves with some muscle tone and some kind of tight ab situation.  Take a look at the picture below. 

If you were to do nothing but cardio, you would be on your way to looking like the girl on the right (granted, she probably hasn't eaten anything in the past 3 years, so...take that with a grain of salt). If you were to do weight training with some cardio mixed in, or more high-intensity interval training, you would be on your way to looking more like the girl on the left.  In order to build/keep muscle, you have to continue using it.  It has been discovered that long stints of moderate cardio actually start to deplete your muscle mass, which leads to the look of the girl on the right.  I don't know about you, but I prefer to look strong and toned, like the girl on the left. 

To date, the best results I ever got were from Jamie Eason's Live Fit Trainer on  That program was a good blend of weight training and cardio.  Never once did I "look like a dude" while doing so much weight lifting.  A lot of women are hesitant to lift weights because they think they will start to look big and bulky like a man.  In actuality, women don't have high enough testosterone levels to get that big, so you have nothing to worry about.  Unfortunately it's hard for me and my schedule to devote that much time in the gym, so I switched to the bodyrock workouts, which I am loving so far.

Calorie Counting - This is typically the first thing women start doing in order to lose weight.  After all, the simple equation for weight loss is calories in < calories out.  The problem with this equation is that there isn't enough emphasis on how to calculate the necessary amount of calories in.  Different tools/apps like My Fitness Pal have made this easier in recent years, but overall people are still doing it wrong.  This has a lot to do with the amount of calories you need to maintain your current resting state plus taking into account how much exercising you are doing.  You need to fuel your body appropriately for the work you are making it do, otherwise your body will do things like go into starvation mode which causes it to retain fat because it doesn't know when it will get nutrients again.

Another problem with calorie counting/point systems is that you aren't really focusing on what type of calories you are putting into your body.  200 calories of sugar are going to leave you feeling sluggish and hungry soon after eating it, whereas 200 calories of protein/complex carbohydrates/good fats will keep you satisfied and feeling fuller longer.


Fat Doesn't Make You Fat - This is one of the things that frustrates me the most.  People are so focused on low-fat this and non-fat that and pay no attention to the list of ingredients they are taking in.  A rule of thumb that I use is basing my foods on their ingredient list.  If I can't pronounce it, I typically don't eat it.  When you buy fat free foods, unless they are natural foods like fruits and veggies, the processing just takes the place of the fat.  I strongly believe that processed food is responsible for weight gain as opposed to fat intake being the culprit.  If you based your consumption of a food on the amount of fat that was in it, you wouldn't eat avocados, olives, butter, nuts, fish.  Many of those foods are high in fats, but they are good fats (Omega-3).  If you are interested in learning more about good fats vs bad fats, you can look into Omega-3 (good) vs Omega-6 (not as good) fats.  It's mostly about striking a balance between the good vs not as good fats and eating fruits and vegetables.

You may have heard before to shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  The perimeter of the grocery store is where you find the whole foods; fruits, veggies, meats, dairy.  The deeper in you go to the aisles, the more processed food gets.  Next time you are there, make a conscious effort to notice what is on each aisle.  If you don't walk by the cookies/crackers/ice cream, you aren't tempted to keep it in your house and then you can't eat it because it's no longer conveniently there.

Sleep - In order for your body to recover from the day (especially if you are working out) and repair itself, you need adequate, quality sleep.  I have read many places that 6 hours is the least amount of sleep you should get each night.  Optimal is 7-8 hours.  I usually get about 7 hours, but could probably use 9.  If you are getting good rest and fueling your body with the proper amount of nutrients, it's virtually impossible to get sick.  Your immune system is functioning at an optimal level which allows it to fight off all the bad guys you encounter.

Instant Results/Quick Fixes - There was a time in my life where I was stupid enough to use diet pills. It was back when they had the good stuff in them, too. I would have breakfast, take a pill, have lunch, take a pill, and then by dinner time I was coming down and I was a major bitch. I definitely saw some results, but I definitely didn't like how my body felt. I am not one of those people who could ever have anorexia. If I go more than 3 hours without eating I get shaky, cranky, headaches, and I just plain can't function. I can't imagine going days at a time on a few crackers here and there. Once I stopped taking those pills, I gained all the weight back and then some. Mostly because I wasn't doing any physical activity to keep it off and also because those things throw your metabolism out of whack and often times when it regulates again, it's slower than it was before. Finding out that little factoid scared me away from using them ever again. You definitely have to put in the work to get where you want to be.

Eating 6 well portioned meals a day keeps your metabolism active and your body in a place where it knows it is going to be fed again, so it works at an optimal level. Your energy level will go up and you won't feel the need to snack on bad foods or stuff yourself at the next meal since it has been 4 or 5 hours since you ate last. I can't remember the last time I needed an afternoon caffeine fix. The 3pm slump is nowhere to be found because my body has all the fuel it needs.

I know it's frustrating when you don't see the results you want at first, but if you keep pushing, you finally realize the results and the high you get from being so proud of yourself for doing it is better than any diet pill, I can assure you.  I saw this the other day and thought it was fitting:

and this one is my favorite:

Now GET TO WORK!  :)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Never Ever...

I could not be more excited to wake up to a new Taylor Swift single this morning!!  Album "Red" due out October 22nd, HOLLA!!!

So what if I am 30 years old and love Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber? Judge away, I'll be over here dancing and singing my heart out! We are talking about the richest, most successful people under 30, at 22 and 18 years old.  Hate it or love it, it is what it is.

I really connected with Tay-Tay (as she is referred to in our house) over "Teardrops on My Guitar". Let's just say I was going through it at that time and I may or may not have cried in my car when it would come on...every.single.time.

I enjoy the fact that she pulls inspiration from her relationships but is classy enough to never name names. Because let's be honest, we have all had relationship woes.  And when you do, those songs that really encompass everything you felt or wanted to say, you immediately love that artist. Why do you think people love Adele so much?  For me, it's Taylor and Kelly Clarkson. 

But alas, haters gon' hate. Whateva, whateva, I do what I want! I will keep buying their singles and albums and singing their songs at the top of my lungs in my car and shower.

Who is/are your guilty pleasure artist(s)?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Inspire Me: Healthy v:2

A Mommas Desires And Pacifiers

Last week we linked up with Kristen and this week we are linking up with my fave bish, Raven!  I absolutely love talking about health and fitness, so these link ups are going to be so much fun for me. 

Instead of posting pictures of the results I don't have yet, I decided to post about different meals that are staples in my house, along with my new workout gear.  Last week was mostly words, this week is mostly pics.

Weekdays: Breakfast Smoothie
1/2 banana
3 Strawberries
3 Blackberries
4 Raspberries
Handful of blueberries
2 tb ground flaxseed
1 Scoop vanilla protein powder
1 Tb Peanut Butter (I use Smart Balance for the extra Omega 3s)
Handful of Kale
Handful of spinach
3/4 c Coconut Water
4 ice cubes

Weekends: Magical Eggs
JB doesn't like to take time to prepare anything, he just likes to eat as soon as possible.  When he makes breakfast on the weekends, it's eggs and cheese and that's it.  I made this for him once and now I am stuck with weekend breakfast duty.  He calls them Magical Eggs.  The time (which really isn't much) is definitely worth it.  For 8 eggs I use a couple of green onion stalks (chopped), 6-8 grape tomatoes (sliced), spinach (sliced), a little bit of sea salt and pepper and a little shredded cheddar cheese.  I put some grass-fed butter in the pan, sautee the spinach and onions for a couple of minutes and then add the rest and scramble.  Top with half an avocado and throw some berries on the side.  Yummy!

Dinner/Leftovers for Lunch: Turkey Burgers
 One of our favorite meals is turkey burgers topped with avocado and feta.  We usually eat these with the chipotle spiced sweet potato fries.  Hubs usually makes these so I don't know what all goes in them except garlic powder, parsley, and balsamic vinegar.  They are so delicious!!

Dinner: Rotisserie Chicken/Turkey Salad
If you follow me on Instagram (@brezpics) you have seen me post this salad a couple of times.  I just use red leaf lettuce and spinach for the bed and top it with grape tomatoes, cucmber, red bell pepper, strawberries, almonds, avocado, and feta.  We grab a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast at the store which usually provides a couple of days of meals.  I slice that up and throw it on top and use Newman's Own Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Mmmmmmm...

Farm Fresh To You Produce Delivery
A month ago we were leaving the gym and these guys had a table there and were trying to sign up new customers.  Pretty genius idea if you ask me since people going to the gym are already trying to better their lifestyle and you know the grocery stores wouldn't be happy with you posting up outside.  I had talked to JB a couple of times about doing this eventually and we never pulled the trigger.  I'm so glad we finally did.

We get the Fast Fruits & Veg box delivered every two weeks.  On the left is the packing list so you can see what all we got in there.  We figure we spend at least $60 on produce in a month, and at least this way we know where it is coming from and that it's organic.  With your online account, you can set up your preferences so they will avoid giving you things you don't like.  This week's delivery had canteloupe and hubs isn't a fan, so they left that out of ours.  So far we love it!  It incorporates more fruits and veggies in our lives that I wouldn't normally pick up at the store.  I don't know about you, but if I don't know how to tell when something is ripe, I won't buy it.  They also have tons of different recipes online!

New Workout Gear!!
I told you last week and once before that I have been doing the workouts at home.  We have some different hand weights and I have used chairs and the coffee table and different things for some of the exercises when they have been using these items.  I finally got to order mine and am really excited to take my workouts to the next level.  The fact that they are pink just makes me so happy, I can't even stand it!  The item in the front is the Ultimate Sand Bag.  We actually got all three of them (power, strength, burly) because JB and I will use them for workouts other than bodyrocking.  The item above it is the Lebert Equalizer.  I included the pics that were on the box so you can see some of the different ways you can use it.  It's very versatile.  It's also lightweight so we can take it up to the park with us and our sandbags and do workouts there.  Yesterday I used my sandbag (currently holds 15lbs, but can hold up to 30 lbs) to do this workout:

The sandbag definitely makes a difference.  I can't wait to incorporate it more!  I will leave you will a great pic I saw on FB the other day:

Hope you are all having a great week.  Can't wait to see some of your updates if you are linking up with the ladies!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Inspire Me: Healthy!

All In My Twenties

Today I am linking up with the infamous Raven and Kristen for Inspire Me: Healthy. 

For those of you that read my blog regularly, you know I am a bit of a fitness enthusiast.  With my sporadic and inconsistent Fitness Friday posts, how could you NOT know? 

For those of you stopping by from the link up, WELCOME!  I have been known to be a bit of a Groupon boot camp whore in the past, always looking for something to get/keep me motivated at a low cost.  I recently posted about my current fitness obsession, BodyRockTV.  It's fast AND free, and you can do it at home, so what's not to love?

I have been doing the workouts here and there, but I have a trip to LA and a trip to Vegas both scheduled in September, so it's time to kick it into high gear.  This link-up is just what I need to keep me honest and on my game.

Last year I started the Live Fit Trainer in late August.  I did the first two months and then got bogged down with work and didn't finish the third and final month.  I maintained the same weight throughout the program, but my body composition changed and I got much stronger.  As soon as I stopped working out, I dropped 10 lbs because all of the muscle I was no longer using decided to peace out.  I felt amazing though and I looked great!  Of course, that was in January when I wasn't even thinking about wearing a bathing suit yet.

Since I felt and looked great, I let my gym schedule fall by the wayside and started incorporated wine into more nights during the week, going to dinner with friends more, and eating more dessert.  Of course, I gained back that 10 lbs I lost right when bathing suit season was upon me.  Now I am doing everything in my power to get back to my happy place.

My husband is a fitness professional and with me also being pretty health conscious, we don't typically keep a lot of processed/junk foods in the house.  Our meals at home mostly consist of lean meat, whole grains, and fresh fruits and veggies.  This makes getting back on track easier, but getting motivated to work out is always difficult.
With the bodyrock workouts, I can get in a workout each day in under 20 minutes and then get on with my life.  It's great!  Not to mention, the workouts are all done at home with minimal or no equipment needed.  You can use stuff you have around the house if you don't have the equipment they are using.  They post new workouts a few times every week, do 30 day challenges pretty often and offer recipes and clean eating tips.  Their facebook page and website are so great, and they even have a smart phone app.  The bodyrock community is so amazing and supportive.  People post success stories all the time as well as their own tips and recipes.

I have gone back to being more strict about portion sizes and cut my alcohol intake back to once a week.  It's amazing how much less water I retain when I do that!  These tweaks coupled with the workouts will hopefully get me back to where I want to be in no time.  As for where I am now...

157 lbs

Good luck to all of you out there on this journey!  And thanks to Raven and Kristen for providing a forum for us to all support each other!

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