Monthly Archives: October 2013
Here’s a fun and challenging way to brighten up your workout routine. I introduce to you, The Countdown! Pick a number you are comfortable with (for the sake of this example I chose 10) and do each exercise 10 times, then 9 times, and so on until you get to 1. No rest between sets until you get to the end of the circuit, rest 60 seconds.
This is a physical endurance exercise as well as a mental one. Regardless of your desire to give up, you must keep going. If you chose your starting number correctly, this is the kind of workout that will leave you exhausted and sore. Remember to hydrate properly before and after, eat right, and, as usual, talk to your doctor before attempting anything that is outside of your comfort zone.
It is most definitely soup weather and nothing warms me up better after a long run than a nice bowl of rich and creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Acorn Squash Soup. It tastes like comfort and packs a serious nutrient punch. It is easy and fairly quick to make especially if you have chicken or veggie broth on hand. I prefer to make my own broth and roast my own peppers, but you can use store bought if you are strapped for time.
1 Acorn Squash
4 Red Bell Peppers
2 Cups Broth
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Rotisserie Seasoning (any rotisserie chicken seasoning will do)
1 tbsp Marjoram
1 tbsp Basil
Dash of Cayenne (optional)
Dash of Cumin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, peel and cut Acorn Squash into a few pieces, coat with olive oil, rotisserie seasoning, and salt and bake for 25 minutes or until tender.
In the mean time, roast peppers on the hot grill until the skin blisters and chars. Put the peppers into a large bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
After the peppers have rested, peel the skin (it should come off pretty easily) and take out the seeds. Cut the peppers into small strips.
In a medium sized pot, combine the remaining spices and 2 cups of broth. Add the squash and the peppers and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Allow the soup to cool and blend in a blender until silky smooth or use an immersion blender to do the same.
Garnish with your choice of toppings and enjoy!
Most of us have incredibly full schedules, family responsibilities and things that we would rather be doing instead of spending the time in the gym. However, if you want to look your best and impress your friends and family this holiday season, you have to dedicate the time to achieve your goals.
Setting up a schedule is one of the key parts on a successful weight loss journey. You need to know when you are going to be shopping, cooking, and working out. Here are a few factors to consider in order to set up the best schedule for you:
Make sure that the time fits your routine:
Developing new habits takes time and effort. Make sure that you are not setting yourself up for failure by playing to your weaknesses. For example: If you are not a morning person, it is probably not a good idea to commit to an early morning workout. If you know that you will have a hard Wednesday at work, it may not be the best day to shop for groceries.
Look at your schedule, figure out what times work best for you and play to your strengths. If you are at your best, you will enjoy your time at the gym more and will be more likely to keep your commitment than if you are tired, hungry, and have a million other things to do.
Planning ahead is the best way to insure that you will actually keep your commitments. If you have food that is already cooked, prepped, portioned, and ready to go, you will be less likely to eat something that you will regret later. If your gym bag is already packed, you are more likely to go to the gym, etc. Set aside at least half of one day a week for planning and prep.
From my experience the best planning and prep day is Sunday. That’s when I usually cook all of my food, organize my workout clothes, write my workouts and get ready for the week.
Your Time is Your Time:
Make sure that people around you understand that you will require time that is only yours for the next few months. During that time you will be training, planning, and prepping. That time is none negotiable. That time is YOURS! In addition to staying on plan, setting time aside that is meant just for you can make you feel better about yourself and your goals. After all, your time with you is long overdue.
You Get What You Put In
Let’s be realistic for a moment. If you really want to achieve your weight and fat loss goals, you can’t be eating junk, skipping workouts, and then wonder why you only lost three pounds when you should have lost twenty. You need to keep yourself accountable.
The best way to do that is to embark on this journey with a partner, get a trainer, or join and online group of people whose goals are similar to yours. Yes, you can do it alone, but it will be harder and you will need to have the iron will to succeed.
I find that a combination of a training partner, tracking your food, and working with a personal trainer seems to be the best way to succeed, especially when you are just starting out.
Abs Are Made In the Kitchen
I say this time and time again: your fitness goals will be achieved only if you are eating right. Dieting is not a quick fix, it is a life style. That means that you have to have a diet that is sustainable long term, that isn’t crazily restrictive, and that you can deviate from. That means that you should eat carbs, fats, and protein from healthy sources with a reasonable amount of calories a day. An 800 calorie diet is NOT going to work! Eating 10000 calories from healthy sources isn’t going to work either. You need to research and find a diet that is right for you and is sustainable.
Cardio Is Not Always King
Yes, sure you can get on the treadmill and run until you are blue in the face and the weight will initially come off. However, regardless of how hard you try, you will never get that “toned” look you are going for unless you lift some weights. Don’t worry, you won’t get “bulky” after a few months of weight training unless that is what you are trying to do. Despite the common misconception, a woman will not look “manly” after lifting without some serious dedication to muscle building and diet.
Lifting heavy will however help you build stronger muscle that will burn more fat (yes, imagine that!) than just cardio alone. Not to mention it’ll tighten everything that is loose preventing you from having that “skinny fat”, malnourished look.
Another benefit of heavy weight training is that you get to eat more calories. Imagine actually being able to eat a scoop of ice cream every once in a while without feeling guilty the next day because your body can sustain it!
Now that you have set your schedule, researched your diet, and are working with a trainer, it might be tempting to go to the store and get any one of the “help me get skinny” products that you can get over the counter. But before you do, ask yourself this: do you want to be looking fit for 12 weeks or do you want to actually be fit for life? Do you want short term results and almost instant gratification at the expanse of your health, or do you want to accomplish your goals and be healthier as a result? That’s what I though.
There isn’t enough research to support the effectiveness and safety of the over the counter fat burners, but there is enough research and evidence to support that they are an ineffective way to remain tight and lean year round.
Don’t sell yourself short by taking a short cut, instead, bite the bullet and take the time to build new, healthy habits that are guaranteed to keep you in shape and on track long after the Holidays are over.
We have all heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” and although I agree with this phrase 100%, I am also a firm believer in training my abs every once in a while. Below is a circuit that I usually pair with HIIT cardio session or a leg workout. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments below!
All of us, at one point or another, knew that we could use a little more speed, a touch more endurance, and a bit more mental strength to fight through those last miles, or even, those last few feet.
Recently, I remember crossing the finish line of a race so exhausted and drained that I honestly didn’t think that I would make it. Needless to say, I placed and PRed, but reaching both of those goals simply means that now I have to beat them. This week I present to you a workout that is sure to help you step up your game just like it helps me to step up mine.
This one is all about endurance and mental strength. I usually do a short warmup, stretch, and begin this circuit with an easy, 1 mile run. During the workout, I do not stop. It burns, it hurts, but that just simply means that it is working! Remember, your brain will want to quit before your body. Train your mind to stay strong, fight the negative voice that says “can’t”! After the workout, I cool down with another 1 mile run and stretch.
If you are an advanced athlete and want to make this workout a bit harder, you can always raise the reps and add weight. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments below!