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New Week, New Month, New Goals

Hi everyone! Happy Monday AND happy November!

Let’s cut right to it. I am going to get completely real with you this morning.

awesome-monday

I feel like in every blog post recently, I’ve talked about how busy I’ve been. Ever since we got back from England at the end of August I haven’t felt like my healthy self. It’s almost as if I never got back on track after vacation…even though it’s over two months later. That is SO unlike me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still go to the gym regularly, but my workouts have been complete blah and I honestly attribute that to my not-so-great diet recently. The past two months have been filled with many work events, lots of visitors, celebrations, holidays, and more. In almost all of these situations I’ve let my diet slip (think: carbs on carbs and lots of wine). Even though I still manage to drag myself to the gym the morning after an indulgent night, my workouts are sluggish and they feel ineffective.

So that’s what led me to this blog post. I realized that I have to change a few things in order to start feeling like “myself” again. I told myself that in order to hold myself accountable, I should write down specific goals that I can look back on throughout the month. And what better way to hold myself accountable then to share these goals with you guys and the rest of the blogosphere!?

While I don’t see my crazy work schedule easing up any time soon, I know I need to make more time for myself in order to start feeling healthier and more energized.

Today I am sharing my five goals that will (ideally!) help me get back on a healthy track this November. Let’s do this!

 

1. No meals / snacks / anything (besides water!) after 8:00PM.

No late night snacking

There have been way too many nights where I’ve given into late night snacking desires. I know this is not good to do right before bed and it’s flat out gotta stop. I often see Travis having a bowl of cereal after dinner, so I’ll do the same (even if I’m not hungry!). He has the metabolism of a race car, so I really shouldn’t be emulating his eating behaviors.

Of course, there will be nights where we’ll have dinner plans with friends or other “life” things after 8PM, but my goal is to stick to this rule whenever I can.

 

2. Get back on the early morning gym routine.

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With my previous job, the only time I had to go to the gym was at 5AM before work, and I was seriously committed to that routine. I talk about my old morning routine and tips to help you work out in the morning in this blog post.

My current job allows me to begin my day a little later, but instead of using that extra time in the morning, I’ve been starting to just sleep in. My goal is to force myself out of bed by 6AM every morning and get my tushie right to the gym. That way I will still have time to do other things (blog, meal prep, etc.) before I leave for work. There have been far too many mornings when I pull myself out of bed around 7AM, have my coffee and breakfast, play around on my computer, and then before I know it, BAM, no time for the gym. Not good.

 

3. Be smarter about what I eat at work.

Pumpkin Souffle CHAYA Downtown

I work for a restaurant group and part of my job is taste-testing new menu items. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome perk and I love it. But, do I really need to lick a dessert plate clean at 2PM on a Tuesday afternoon? (Guilty as charged!)

What I should be doing is just trying one small bite of a dish (just like the judges on Chopped and MasterChef, you know?). I really have to stick to that.

 

4. Meal plan every weekend.

Meal Plan - Little Chef Big Appetite

I used to be SO good about this, but have completely fallen off the bandwagon. I’ve mentioned that with the serious heat wave we’ve had, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the oven or stove, so we resorted to a lot of take out.

No can do anymore! More meal planning –> healthier eating.

 

5. Two drink maximum when I am out to dinner, at social events, etc.

Cocktail

Enough said. Alcohol leads to low energy and crappier/missed workouts.

 

Okay, now who is with me!? I need all the support I can get in order to stick to these new goals.

Fitness Tips and Tricks

Four Easy Ways to be Healthier for Summer

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. I was recently invited to become a Blue Diamond Tastemaker, and as a longtime customer, I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity. As always, all opinions are my own and I truly appreciate your support!

 

Summer is SO CLOSE. Can’t you feel it? It’s right about this time every year that you start seeing hundreds of articles about how to slim down and get that perfect bikini body. While many of these tips are good, sometimes they can be unrealistic. We’re busy! We work, we have social lives, there are going to be times when we want to treat ourselves, and we should. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance.

So today, I want to share with you four easy ways to be healthier for summer. No calorie counting, crazy diet tricks, or anything of the sort. Just REAL tips that YOU can do to be healthier.

 

1. Schedule your workouts.

4 Easy Ways to be Healthier for Summer

Do you try to wake up early to workout, but end up pressing snooze over and over again? Or do you try to go after work, but end up telling yourself you’re just too tired? If you start thinking of your workouts like you do your work meetings, you will stop skipping them.

You wouldn’t tell your boss, “Sorry, I just wasn’t feeling up to that 2PM meeting,” so you shouldn’t let you tell YOURSELF that either. When setting your schedule for the week, or even just the next day, figure out when you can squeeze in a workout. For me, I always prefer morning workouts because I get it out of the way and it is a really positive way to start the day! You can read my tips to help you workout in the morning.

 

2. Pack Healthy Snacks

In my job, I am constantly on the go. Since I spend a good amount of time in the car, I always make sure to have healthy options to munch on. That way, I am never tempted to reach for the first unhealthy thing I can find. Also, when you let yourself go hungry for too long, you’re more lucky to overeat later on.

Read this post to see some of my favorite healthy work snacks. Recently, I always have almonds, a healthy protein bar, or fresh fruit like apples and bananas with me in the car or at my desk.

4 Easy Ways to be Healthier for Summer

I’ve always been a loyal Blue Diamond customer, so when their team sent me their new Honey Roasted Cinnamon Almonds to review, I was PUMPED. If you’re a cinnamon-sugar fan like me, you’re going to love these almonds. They taste indulgent, but they’re actually not loaded in sugar. From a nutrition standpoint, they are everything I want in a snack: packed with protein, healthy fats, and SUPER delicious. The only problem is that they are incredibly addicting, so I have to be careful about how many I eat in one sitting, which leads me to my next tip…

 

3. Portion Control

Portion control is something I am actively working on. It is so easy to sit in front of the TV or computer and mindlessly munch on a bag of chips or popcorn.

I’ve have had these bowls from Sur La Table for a few years now. They come in a set of five and I love them for cooking and baking because there are measurement markers on the inside of each bowl.

4 Easy Ways to be Healthier for Summer

I’ve recently started using these bowls for snacking, as well, because I can measure out a proper serving of almonds, popcorn, cereal, etc. rather than just guessing. If I left it up to my eyes, I would probably eat a double portion (or more!) of everything.

I am certainly not telling you to count calories, but try measuring out a proper serving of a snack you tend to “binge” on. Portion control is a key component to weight loss and healthy living.

 

4. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

4 Easy Ways to be Healthier for Summer

I can’t stress this one enough. Often times, when we feel hungry, our bodies actually just need water. Over the next few weeks, practice carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go.

I love my Bobble, especially for travel. It contains a water filter, so I have no qualms filling it up in the airport sink because I am confident that that my water will be filtered, just like from my Brita at home.

If you struggle to drink enough water, try adding sliced fresh fruit like strawberries or oranges. I am considering getting one of these infuser water bottles.

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts: what other easy ways can we be healthier? Share your ideas in the comments below!

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a certified nutritionist. These are simply tips that work for me and help me to create a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

 

Fitness Tips and Tricks

5 Tips to Help You Workout in the Morning

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I prefer to workout in the morning, as opposed to after work. When I first began a full-time job after college, I tried to workout after work, but I kept skipping my workouts because I was too tired or I’d make alternate plans. I quickly realized that if I was going to get all of my workouts in, I would have to go before work….and that meant really early.

It took a few weeks of training myself, but eventually I found a great routine. The first few mornings were very difficult. I had to be at work by 7:30AM, which meant if I was going to squeeze in an hour long workout, I had to set my alarm for 5AM. Oof. Getting yourself out of bed in the 5 o’clock range is difficult when you know that you don’t have to – it takes a whole lot of willpower.

After a few weeks in my new routine, I actually began to look forward to my morning workouts. It was a great feeling of accomplishment leaving the gym at 6:30AM, having my workout completed before most people were even awake. I loved arriving to work, knowing that my whole evening was free to relax and do things other than go to the gym.

I’ve been able to convert many of my friends to early morning gym-goers and today I want to share 5 tips that will help YOU workout in the morning, too!

 

1. Lay out EVERYTHING you need the night before.

Workout

Every night before I go to bed, I lay out my gym shorts, top, sports bra, socks, sneakers, headphones, iphone armband, and a filled water bottle. Doing this, can help you get out the door in under 10 minutes!. I find that if I have to dig in my closet for clothes while I am half-awake then I will just make an excuse to  climb back into bed. Heck, I even UNTIE my shoelaces the night before because the less I have to think about in the morning the better!

 

2. Go to bed at a reasonable time.

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If you’re a night owl, this will take some practice. You can’t go to bed at your usual time and then expect to get out of bed two hours earlier than usual. I had to force myself to be IN BED by 9:30PM in order to be asleep by 10PM, allowing myself a solid 7 hours of sleep. Put away your computer and phone and just get some shut-eye!

 

3. Make a mantra.

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Okay, this may sound totally silly to you. Sometimes when I really don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I ask myself, “Have you ever regretted a workout?” The answer is always a big fat “NO!” Even if I get in just 20 minutes of cardio, weights, abs, or SOMETHING I feel so much better than having done nothing at all. I know you will feel the same way. Find a mantra that works for you. Whether it’s something about a goal dress size or simply telling yourself not to be lazy, it will work!

 

4. Find a workout buddy.

Emily Workout

Waking up early to workout is so much easier when you have someone else on board. Try to find someone to workout with, whether it is your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate, whomever! In college, my workout buddy was my BFF, Emily. Like me, Em prioritizes health, so she was always down to squeeze in a workout despite us both having very busy schedules. There were times we studied flashcards on the elliptical together and other times when we forced ourselves to go to 6AM spin classes (which is basically unheard of in college!). When you know there is another person counting on you to get up, it is a lot more difficult to make excuses. (Thanks, Em! I miss you!)

 

5. Prepare breakfast the night before.

Oatmeal

You MUST eat breakfast if you workout in the morning. Okay, you must eat breakfast REGARDLESS, but especially after your workout. Since mornings are rushed as it is, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to prepare breakfast the night before. I love my overnight oats and overnight steel cut oatmeal as quick and healthy options! The night before I leave out everything I can. If I made overnight steel cut oatmeal, then I even place a bowl and spoon on the kitchen counter. I also make sure that my travel coffee mug is clean and sitting right next to the coffee maker, so I don’t waste a second cleaning or looking for anything.

Coffee

 

I hope you found these 5 tips helpful — I promise you that they work! Maybe I even persuaded you to try switching up your workout routine!

For those of you who like to workout in the morning, what else helps you get out the door?