Quick Fruits & Veggies…

Here’s a quick one for you!  It can be very difficult to try and get in all of the fruits, veggies, protein, and carbs needed in a day.  Here is a fast and efficient way to add some fruit and veggies to your life without spending too much time preparing them.

My postworkout protein shake is a combination of Gaspari Protein, almondmilk, kale, and half an avocado.  As long as you have a decent blender, it comes out smooth and tasty!  I also have another shake during the day and that shake I make a little bit different.  I use blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries mixed with Greek Yogurt (which packs double the amount of protein than regular yogurt!), orange and cranberry juice, a small scoop of vanilla protein powder, and a little cinnamon.

These are just a few fast ways to add fruits and veggies to your diet without all of the prep work.  I buy my fruit in giant frozen bags so they last longer and are easier to grab and mix in the mornings.

 

NUTRITION: Metabolism, meals and keeping your company above water…

I’m sure you have heard before how your body is comparable to that of a car; no fuel, no go.  You don’t put dirt in your gas tank and expect it to run.  And you don’t wait for your tank to be completely empty before filling it up.

Your body is the same way.  If you fill it with garbage, it’s not going to last as long and be as healthy as it should be.  And, you shouldn’t wait until you are starving to fill your tank!

You need to understand a little about metabolism.  Metabolism is a process that the body goes through and its basic purpose is to provide your body with the energy it needs to function.  Through a series of chemical reactions (and I’m not a scientist, so the rest is up to them!) your metabolism is what takes food, breaks it down, and converts it in to energy.  You then use that energy for everyday functions…including working out!

Here is where your metabolism will begin to fail…with age, certain diseases (if you experience weight gain with no cause or change in diet and exercise, it’s recommended that you check up with your doctor), and it will fail, most importantly, by how you fuel it!!

People feel that if they eat less, they will gain less.  If they skip breakfast, they will lose more weight.  They couldn’t be farther from the truth.  When you stop feeding your body, your metabolism has nothing to break down.  After hours and hours of not eating, you then decide to eat your first meal.  You know how you feel when your alarm clock goes off on an early Monday morning after a long weekend?  That’s how your metabolism feels when its first meal of the day is lunch.  It’s tired.  It doesn’t want to wake up and it’s working at a slow pace.  It never had a good breakfast to wake it up and get its day started.

The other thing people do to mess with their metabolism is by eating a few meals throughout the day and stuffing themselves during that time.  Think of your metabolism as a machine.  If you throw too much into the machine at once, it’s going to jam up and not process everything.  This makes your metabolism slower and your body now has a harder time breaking down food for energy and food starts getting stored as fat!  Eating infrequent meals, larger meals, or starving yourself all results in a slower metabolism and weight gain.  Your body basically starts holding on to fat because it’s in protection mode and knows a certain amount of fat in the body is necessary to insulate and protect.  Think of it like this…A company has a lot of people working for them, but needs to make cuts.  Some of the positions are very helpful, but not necessary.  Are you going to get rid of the coffee guy or the girl who has clients that brings in the most money for the company?  You’re going to get rid of Starbucks boy and keep the lady who is keeping the company above water…you’re going to keep the fat because it’s what your body (company) needs to keep it going without losing too much.

You can keep your metabolism working hard not by starvation, but by small, frequent meals.  I believe it takes around 2-3 hours for your blood sugar to drop and this is why you want to fuel your body before you start to feel these effects.  Eating small, frequent meals or snacks every 2-3 hours or so, will not only keep you satiated, but it keeps your metabolism active and working.  Make sure you are eating healthy snacks, though.  It would be counterproductive to eat every 2-3 hours meals that are composed of sugars, trans fats, etc etc. etc.  If you incorporate some lean proteins into your snacks, you will also find that you stay satiated longer…chicken breast, salmon, tuna, Greek yogurt, eggs, quinoa,….

If you haven’t been eating small, frequent meals and you’ve been eating less in the hopes that you will lose weight, you will eventually (if you haven’t already) hit a point where your body won’t lose and it’s holding on to the fat.  Try eating small meals more frequently (and healthy) and you will start to see your energy levels increase, your workouts become more productive, and, what you’ve been waiting for, weight loss!

Oxygen Women’s Fitness | Training | Stronger, Leaner, Slimmer

I have not tried this, but a workout you can do in your home, even if you have no equipment.  If you need more intensity without equipment, extend your time performing each set and run through the workout a couple of times.

Oxygen Women’s Fitness | Training | Stronger, Leaner, Slimmer.

Log your Training…

This one’s for you, Sheila (hopefully)!  Here is an old log that I used to use to chart my workouts.  You can track one month of progress on one page, one week at a time.  It has room for 6 exercises per muscle group, 3 sets per muscle (with reps and weight used for each set), and a total of 4 weeks progress.  I will show you one with some info filled in and also a blank sheet. Let me know if you have problems viewing.  You can always change things up and personalize it for your own workout needs.

workout log blank                       workout log

Another HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Note…

I just recently talked about this in “don’t forget your Heart”.  If you want to lose weight, increase your endurance, and also increase lean tissue, HIIT is the way to go.  Like I said before, this isn’t something you want to do every day because your body will be screamin’ out for mercy!  A couple of times a week and you will start seeing results.

The key point about HIIT, and why I like it so much, is that within the next 24 hours after one of these sessions, you are still burning calories.  When you perform steady state cardio, you may burn more calories, but the calorie burning effect is pretty much limited to the cardio session itself.  With HIIT, the burning continues after the training session..for up to 24 hours!

HIIT also has been shown to increase the amount of a special protein in the muscle.  This protein is responsible for carrying fat into the mitochondria of the cell.  The mitochondria plays a role in burning fat for fuel.  Therefore, HIIT results in an increase of a special protein in muscle, which results in an increase in fat loss.

You can do HIIT with almost anything…running, weight training, swimming, jumprope, biking, etc.  That’s what makes it so versatile.  You will never get bored because you have a variety of options, most of which you don’t even need equipment!

Read this article from BodyBuilding.com.  It shows great scientific backed research on HIIT and its effect on the body.  It also gives you an 8 week breakdown on how to gradually bring HIIT into your workout routines using any exercise or type of equipment you like.  For more ideas checkout my post on:  “Don’t Forget Your Heart!”

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