The Fat Loss Journey: Slow and Steady Wins!

The Fat Loss Journey: Slow and Steady Wins!

 

I want to talk about fat loss.  I want to talk about body image. I want to talk about how in the case of fat loss…nothing that is meant to last can be created overnight. If you are like me, you have been through or are currently going through a phase where you are simply not happy with your body. You spend time on blogs, reading fitness magazines, following fitness models on instagram, all while jotting down things that you think you ‘should’ be doing to achieve your ideal physique.

So Fitchick45xo got has an inredidble body by lifting 5 days a week and she was always eating rice cakes with whey protein…but Sassygal89 did fasted cardio 5x a week, ate paleo but one day a week she ate anything she wanted…I’m going to try BOTH methods and see what works for me

Can you relate to this?

I know that I can. We LOVE to see what our role models are eating, what they are doing day to day and especially how they are working out-in the hopes that it will work for your body.

The GOOD news about this is that it is amazing to have a role model; someone whom you look up to for more reasons than just a physique that you yearn for. Having a role model and following a certain someone can truly help you stay on track, focused and furthermore–attain all of your goals!

The BAD news about this is that you have to realize that your body is unique and fat loss takes TIME. We so often hope to see a diet, workout or a specific ‘fat burning’ food to eat and change our whole  way of thinking because it worked for ‘Sally’ Well the truth is-what works for Sally most of the time won’t work for YOU.

I myself have been a victim to this as well. I have read religiously a workout plan or diet in Oxygen Magazine years ago and figured “Okay, Naomi…lets do this!” I followed the plan but was not seeing any results. It was not until working 1-1 with a coach that It finally clicked to me that my body was 100% unique. My organs, skin, body, definition, hormones, food intolerances, exercise effects are not the same as anyone else on this earth!

The truth is–we live in a world of instant gratification. We order a movie on Netflix or iTunes and we get it that instant. We order food-we get it. We text someone-we want a text right back. We’re bored, we browse social media to see what the world is up to. We. Don’t. Stop. We want things NOW. 

Sometimes, it’s okay to want things in an instant, but when it comes to our bodies, we can’t even understand why that 3lbs hasn’t budged in 2 weeks. We want instant transformation. 

When it came to my body, it took me some time to realize that this wasn’t going to be an overnight process. I stopped with the gimmicks such as taking CLA and fasted cardio and finally decided to commit to a plan that I know would transform me from the inside out.

My body is unique and I wanted something long lasting. I wanted to experience the highs, the lows, the journey, the excitement, the struggle, the fun, the friends, the tears and the laughter. I wanted to do this in the healthiest, happiest way possible. I was not only unhappy, but I was beyond confused with all of the suggestions of what I ‘should’ be doing by reading articles and magazines and blogs.

You have to give your body time to follow one plan and one plan only.

If there is one thing I want you to take away from this post it is the importance of consistancy. One of the main issues I see my clients do is that they will follow a plan for 3 days and then try another one, and another one. The same goes for their workouts.

“Pshh, I stopped with that because nothing happened” Ummmmm you have to be PATIENT, guys! Things worth having take TIME.

If you want to enjoy your journey,  you have to weigh your options

1) Do you want to kill yourself with getting lean in a very short period of time which will probably last you only a couple of weeks until you bounce back?

2) Do you want to practice patience when it comes to fat loss, all while enjoying the process, your social life, smile, challenge yourself and stay motivated?

I’ll take option numero DOS

We all love ‘the struggle’ For some sick reason we love to beat ourselves up and make fat loss ‘so hard’. I see posts on instagram and Facebook that go something like this

“Omg I wanted that cookie so badly, but NO! I will ‘sad face’ eat my chicken and green beans while watching everyone else enjoy themselves #Icandoit”

You really CAN have the cookie, but you chose not to, so when I see these posts about making it out to seem like people should go give them a pat on the back for ‘being so good’ it makes me sad.  The choice of strict dieting is in their power so one thing I can’t stand is when they take the blame out on everyone else and play the ‘victim’ card.

I can tell you right now that living on broccoli, tilapia, boiled chicken and brown rice will only last you so long. Sooner or later, your body will not be able to maintain this rigidity and you will see the opposite results of what you thought would happen. You will be grabbing that cake, bag of chips and nachos in NO time.

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With this picture above, I want to explain where I was at at this point in my life.  This was back in August, 2010, right when I joined Cathy Savage Fitness. I was doing probably 5-6x a week of cardio for about 40-60 minutes at a pop. I was running or on the elliptical, lifting weights here and there, but nothing crazy. I also was in an awful relationship that was taking on toll on me mentally and emotionally.

I was WAY overdoing my cardio which in itself is an issue when it comes to fat loss. Why?

  • Sooner or later, the body adapts and uses energy and oxygen more efficiently during cardio, which thus makes it ineffective for fat loss. The reason we see people day in and day out running for 45+ minutes or elliptical for that same time without really being ‘out of breath’ is because the your body gets accustomed to this. Your body stops reaping the metabolic and fat burning effects after a period of time. You have to change something for your body to respond.
  • You will experience tremendous muscle loss by overdoing cardio.
  • Repetitive exercise stress could lead to altered hormone balance.
  • Increased cardio means increase food intake. It’s not rocket science that increased cardio make increases our appetite to the max! Moderate intensity cardio will not deplete energy stores and the biggest misconception is that we have to eat extra carbs and protein pre and post cardio when in truth, this isn’t the case
  • Increased cardio leads to increase in cortisol which is a growth hormone that will  cause your body to hold onto fat.Cortisol can be linked to chronic stress as well which can cause our bodies to crave those sugary, fatty foods.

In the picture above, I was eating extremely clean ALL of the time. I ate all of the ‘good foods’ tons of veggies, salads, proteins, healthy fats (maybe a bit too much nut butter) but no doubt, I almost never gave in and had something that I truly was craving. I was eating clean. 100% of the time. I would try to restrict my calories well beyond what I should have been doing and only grabbing healthy foods. Bread? Cookies? Chocolate? NO WAY. I thought that the only way to drop body fat and change my physique would be doing it hardcore.

We all know this doesn’t set one up for long term success in the fat loss department and what would end up happening is I would binge on food and not only that, I was extremely unhappy with myself, my body and did nothing but beat myself up.

Bottom line–I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually miserable.

I felt lost, confused and out of control. I didn’t know how I let my body get to this point, but I didn’t care. I was going to do something about it and I KNEW it would take time. I never had a crazy ‘toned’ physique, but at 5’2, I felt uncomfortable with the extra bodyfat that I was not used to. Of course I saw models on fitness magazines and in complete awe of their physique, but I was also realistic.

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September 29th, 2010

After starting with Cathy Savage Fitness and working with a coach 1-1 who understood my body, what works for me and what doesn’t and customizing a plan that fit ME…things started happening. I also began to realize that taking a more conservative approach would yield the results that I was looking for.

  • She told me I could eat bread.
  • She told me I could eat chocolate.
  • She told me I could still have my social life while doing so.
  • She told me there was no food that I could not eat. I listened.
  • I gave my body a break and starting tuning into how I was feeling after eating certain foods.
  • I gained a whole new perspective on working out and eating.
  • Portion control became my best friend when I realized that there was no food ‘off limits’
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April 2011

This Picture above was after about 6 months of following my newfound plan.

What was I doing differently that caused me to completely transform my physique?

  • I stopped doing so much cardio (3x a week for about 30-40 minutes tops) When I was used to doing about 50 minutes 5x a week.
  • I used moderation and ate everything using portion control–Measuring cups and the digital scale were my best friend (temporary until I figured out portions on my own)
  • Variety when it came to food and exercise increased 10 fold. I was introduced to new fruits, veggies, starches, protein sources and the abundance of good fats such as avocado oil, sesame oil, tahini and udos oil.
  • I didn’t spend hours in the gym. 1 hour 15 minuets tops
  • I never once tracked macros/micros
  • I Stopped stressing about not being comfortable in my own skin and started to appreciate my body for all that it is able to do. I GET to workout. I GET to make good choices. I GET to compete in fitness shows. I GET to be happy. These are all choices that I make every single day. These are privileges that I am so grateful for and when I realized this–stress melted away 

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This picture was taken about 2 weeks from my first show. I finally had my suit which I never thought would fit me in a million years. I was so proud of myself for taking my time my body needed to come in naturally.

I never once took a supplement, I never once underestimated the time it would take to get me to this place. I never once was so rigid in my routine that I gave up my social life. In fact–starting this journey made me realize many things, one of which was what a horrible relationship I had let myself get wrapped up in. New found self esteeem and happiness from the inside out meant that I had the control to take care of my body, mind and mental health.

I realized the importance of EATING. Fat loss will not happen if you do not eat!

What happens when we under eat?
When we avoid food the hormone, cortisol increases in your body, causing the body to store fat. The “eat less” approach will not get your body where you want it to be if fat loss is your main concern. When you drastically cut down calories or skip meals, this will lead to a loss in muscle, slowing of metabolism and possible weight gain in the long run. Of course, you want to be aware of your body, listen to its hunger signals and cues.

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August 2013

If there is one thing I know about my body having competed in 5 shows, watching my body transform and undergoing the scariest surgery/procedure of my life, I have certainly learned what my body can handle and what is too much. I also have chosen to take the path of HAPPINESS when it comes to fat loss.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, there are many many ways to go about losing fat, and some are not only not glamorous, but they can put your body through some extremely unhealthy measures. Going about fat loss in this way will give you results in the short term but more serious health issues in the long run.

I for one, would never sacrifice my health on this earth for a set of washboard abs. Not only that, but I also wouldn’t miss a fun social event or skip a glass of wine because life is too damn short.

This is what my fitness/nutrition/health life looks like these days

  • 4-5 days of workouts per week with two FULL REST days (yoga or a run is not ‘rest’)
  • 1 hour tops for my workouts (usually 45 min. Yoga is the only form of physical activity that can go past 60 minutes but I do not take Bikram or ‘hot’ yoga because I do not like it.)
  • I’m on my feet all day and rarely do ‘steady state’ cardio. I haven’t been on an elliptical in about 3 years
  • I lift weights 3x a week
  • I practice conditioning workouts 2x a week, 30 minutes tops (Kettbell/boxing/ calisthenics)
  • I drink wine weekly
  • I have dark chocolate every other day
  • I make time for social events
  • I smile
  • I eat anything that I crave/want (of course watch portions) but I never label food as ‘bad’ or ‘good’
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August 17th, 2014

 This picture above is my good ole’ norm these days. I am a work in progress like everyone else. I have goals to compete again in the near future but it is not the main priority in my life. ( I mentioned that because I get asked that question all the time!) While I love competing and everything that goes along with it–I also am so happy living in freedom and training for life.

I wanted to post this because I want to share that there are MANY ways to get to your physique goals, but without being happy mentally and emotionally, it will be a long road to get there. Stop comparing yourself to others when it comes to diet and workouts. Find what works for you. I would NEVER tell someone to eat chicken 4x a day with brown rice and broccoli because I KNOW that this is not sustainable, will make that person miserable and also is extremely depressing. There are so many ways to lose fat and I wanted to share what worked for ME. It is so important to be in tune with your body and how you feel after eating certain foods. If you are truly uncertain and not seeing any results or feel not 100%…think about hiring a qualified nutrition coach NOT following a diet in Fitness Magazine or that you see in a blog. This was not written for you.

 

Please reach out with any questions, Naomi@1fitfoodie.com

Be sure to SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER in the RIGHTHAND COLUMN! You will get notified anytime I send out a new post and other fun stuff along the way!   

 

6 Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas Under 5 minutes

6 Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas Under 5 minutes

I love breakfast. For me, it truly is the most important meal of the day. I love waking up and thinking about what I am going to fuel my body with to start the day on a positive note.

When I hear those say ‘ohh I can’t stomach eating in the morning’ well honestly? I think they’re CRAZY, but I respect that everyone is different! I am a true believer that Breakfast is SO important–that will never go away. Having protein with breakfast can optimize the brain’s ability to send messages to the rest of your body, signaling energy and alertness in the morning. The combination of  food groups such as protein, carbohydrates and good fat will force you to gradually digest your breakfast, thus staving off hunger and keeping you satiated until the next meal of the day

Why is breakfast important, you may ask?

Having breakfast is a good way to get your metabolism working better for the day. If you eat in the morning, your body tells your brain that you are going to need to start working to digest it which wakes up the system and warm ups your metabolism. So you are ready to steady!

Skipping breakfast can actually result in a slower metabolism. If you are not signaling your body to eat, it responds by trying to conserve energy because it is not getting adequate nutrition. A decreased metabolism can result in a decrease of calories burned in a day, not to mention you will be RAVENOUS later on.

 Skipping breakfast can also cause you to be HANGRY by mid afternoon. You may notice you can become moody, irritable, hungry, fatigued and lacking energy. You will keep cravings at bay and much less likely to grab those sugary treats in the office mid afternoon. I have found that clients of mine who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat in the evening when they get home–no kidding since their bodies didn’t start off on the right foot!

I always think about my breakfast in terms of:

  • Protein (Eggs, protein powder, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey, chicken)
  • Good fat (coconut oil, nut butter, nuts, coconut butter, avocado)
  • Carb (Whole grain wrap, Ezekial bread, oats, quinoa, squash, sweet potato)
Once I have something from these food groups, I am good to go! In parenthesis are the typical foods that I eat for breakfast!) You read correct–there is turkey and chicken in there! Who says breakfast has to be ‘sweet’ or not include meat? Sometimes there is nothing better than eggs with shredded chicken!
On the weekends or when I have a bit more time, don’t get me wrong-I take my time and make a delicious and leisurely breakfast. Here are some OTHER BREAKFAST IDEAS!..

But I don’t Have Time!

Seriously? This is the oldest excuse in the books! So now you may be saying, ‘ But I don’t have the time to get up and have breakfast’ or ‘ I want to get that extra sleep!’ or ‘I don’t have the time or I can’t eat ‘… Well the truth is, you have 5 min. Especially if you prep the food the night before, you most certainly have 30 seconds to grab it! BUT these recipes are meant to be made the morning of and they truly take 5 min, guys! I have made all of them!

All of these breakfasts are packed with nutrients and will keep you satisfied to start your morning and power through the first part of your day. I have listed the nutritional information below the recipes so if you like to track that, I have done the work for you

Let’s have a closer look: 

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Banana Coconut Pancakes (grain free)

  • 2T coconut flour
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4C oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein
Nutritional Info

  • Calories: 411
  • Fat: 16g
  • Carb: 36g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 32g
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Vanilla Avo Protein Shake

  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2C almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1C ice
  • 1/4C oats
Nutritional Info
  • Calories: 405
  • Fat: 16g
  • Carb: 39g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 31g
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Sweet Potato Greek Yogurt Parfait
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 4oz or 100g)
  • 1 6oz container Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1T almond butter
  • 1/2C fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1T flaxseed meal
Nutritional Info
  • Calories: 357
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carb: 43g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugars: 16g
  • Protein: 22g  
The “airport On the Go” Breakfast
  • 2 Hardboiled Eggs
  • 2 slices Ezekial bread
  • 1T peanutbutter
Nutritional Info
  • Calories: 400g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Carb: 35g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 23g
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Quinoa Protein Delight
 
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Avocado and Turkey Toast Topper with Fruit

  • 100g avocado
  • 1 slice Ezekial bread (toasted)
  • 3oz nitrate free turkey breast
  • 1 small apple or peach or any fruit you would like

Nutritional Info

  • Calories: 393
  • Carb: 45g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugars: 23gP
  • Protein: 18g
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 Soooo now that I have gotten you hungry…there is also no reason why you can’t make these delicious and quick meals for lunch, dinner or anywhere in between. Who says we can’t have ‘breakfast’ for dinner and dinner for breakfast? There is NO reason why you should be rushing out of your house without nutrients in your body. Everyone has 5 minutes, and if you truly don’t, set your alarm 5 minutes earlier to ensure that you DO have time.  Yes, sleep is important but feeding your body and keeping it on track with balanced, delicious, nutrient packed meals is JUST as important.  I shared links to some other breakfast favorites at the top of this post if you missed it! 
 
Let me know if you try any of these recipes and remember–Results happen when you feed your body proper fuel! 
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xoxoxo
Naomi
Grain Free Coconut Blueberry Pancakes!

Grain Free Coconut Blueberry Pancakes!

I just made some pretty amazing pancakes. I rarely make something and then turn right to my computer to blog about it, but I really really felt the need to share this with you guys. I was craving something sweet, but light, as I wasn’t craaaazzzzzzy hungry, but certainly needed something in my system. I have to be honest that some of the best recipes that I make, I totally think up on the fly. Because there are certain ingredients that I always keep in my kitchen, I knew this would be a no brainer, but I had no idea how they would turn out!

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You want the recipe?  Here you go!

COCONUT BLUEBERRY PROTEIN PANCAKES

Ingredients

  • 2T coconut flour
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (I used Cellucor Cookies N’ Cream)
  • 1T flaxseed meal
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3C blueberries (FRESH!)
  • 2T Almond flour
  • 2T almond milk
  • 3oz Greek Yogurt (1/2 of a individual size) I used Siggi’s

Directions

  • Mix Flour, protein powder, baking powder, flaxseed together. 
  • Mix egg whites, almond milk, Greek yogurt separately. 
  • Add wet to dry and let sit for about 60 seconds
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray or use coconut oil (Nutritional facts are with cooking spray)
  • Spoon out desired sized cakes. I made about 4-5 medium sized. 
  • Once on the pan, add the blueberries evenly throughout
  • Once bubbling (about 3 min) Flip!
  • Cook an additional 1-2 minutes and plate. 
  • Add desired toppings! (I made a PB2 ‘sauce’ using 2T PB2 and some almond milk. 

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NUTRITION BREAKDOWN (For the whole recipe)

  • CALORIES: 196
  • FAT: 3g
  • SODIUM: 246mg
  • CARBOHYDRATES: 17g
  • FIBER: 6g
  • SUGAR: 6g
  • PROTEIN: 23g

When Do you eat these? Whenever you would like! They are not crazy filling in stats, so for me, this would be a bit of a snack…definitely not a whole meal!  They were satisfying for sure and SOOOO delicious, but these are perfect if you don’t want a full stomach before a workout or after a workout paired with some extra carbs such as Kamut puffs or oatmeal and a more substantial fruit such as a banana.  Basically, when it comes to pancakes-you can eat them any time of day!

Looking for more PROTEIN PACKED RECIPES?!

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU TRY THE PANCAKES!!! Love you all!
 
xox
Naomi
Wraps, Breakfast, Summer Recipes WITH a Spin Playlist!

Wraps, Breakfast, Summer Recipes WITH a Spin Playlist!

You guys. I have been getting cuuuhhhrazy in the kitchen. Okay, I take that back. In fact–the summer is usually when I ease up on spending time in the kitchen because its just too darn nice out to spend so much time in there. Don’t get me wrong, I am still cooking up a storm like you wouldn’t believe BUT just not spending AS Much time on it (if that makes sense) I am all about the quick and easy meals that I can throw together in a jiffy. The other week I was on a total wrap kick! 

Sometimes I have time to run home for lunch midday and other days I am not home for 12-13 hours. It totally depends. This day, I had time to go home and make myself a BOMB sandwich!!

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Ingredients

  • 1 Josephs Lavash wrap (or any wrap of choice)
  • 4oz shredded chicken (I made in my slow cooker with orange juice/coconut water and coconut milk–Yes, amazing combo!)
  • handful of spinach
  • 1/4 diced avocado
  • Grainy mustard
  • Sprouts
  • Thinly sliced english cucumber
Directions
  • Spread the lavash with mustard and layer on the veggies. 
  • Add the meat, avocado last. 
  • Roll it up!
  • Stick it on a heated skillet with a bit of olive or coconut oil for added good fats and pure deliciousness.
  • Heat on both sides for about 7 minutes. 
  • I sometimes place a heavy pot on the wrap to press it down like a panini!

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Something else I have been enjoying? These BLUBERRY COCONUT COOKIES were amazing! I made them on a whim and they turned out even more fantastic than I thought! I always like to have some sort of frozen ‘treat’ in my freezer at all times Such as THESE CHOCOLATE COCONUT COOKIES or THESE ALMOND FLOUR PROTEIN BITES

BLUEBERRY COCONUT-ALMOND COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1/3C coconut flour
  • 1/3C almond flour
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/3C frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1TBSP coconut oil
  • Almond milk (enough to make a thick batter if it is not already)
  • 2 Packets stevia (optional–I did not use but if you have an extra sweet tooth then go for it!)
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix flours, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add in egg whites, oil and almond milk. Mix batter together.
  • Fold in blueberries.
  • Spoon out the batter on a greased cookie sheet or greased aluminum foil into about 1-1/2 inch thick cookies.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the heat of your oven.
  • ENJOY!
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I also was SOOO excited a couple weeks ago when I was asked to teach spin at my club where I work. I know myself from taking spin classes that an instructor as well as a playlist can make or break the whole class. I once have walked out of a class because the instructor played Bruce Springsteen the entire time. There is nothing wrong with Bruce, but a whole spin class of Bruce songs? No thank you!  I spent some extra time putting together (what I think is) an amazing playlist-a mix of upbeat, hill climbs, sprints, house, rap, dance…you name it. Check out the playlist below if you need some new ideas for workout music!

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I take a lot of time putting together music for my spin classes to make sure that everything flows. I typically choose house music/dance/top40 and VOILA! If you teach spin out there and reading this post you know that when you hear a song on the radio or elsewhere you think in your head “hmm could this be a good spin song?” At least thats what goes on in my head!

Soooo Back to the food…I have been making this breakfast which I used to be OBSESSED with! Likeeee too much that I had to take a break. Well I brought it back last week and Yup…just like I remembered! When I posted this picture I got a lot of questions so I will break down the recipe below.

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COCO-EGGY OATS

Ingredients:

  • 1/4C oats
  • 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg
  • 1T coconut flour
  • 1T flaxmeal
  • 1/4C blueberries (or any fruit you like)
  • 1tsp cinnamon + dash of nutmeg
  • Water

Directions

  • Cook the oats in water and set aside
  • Cook the eggs on a skillet until 3/4 done. 
  • Add the eggs to the oatmeal and mix
  • Add in the coconut flour, spices and flaxmeal
  • Mix well and nuke again for 60 sec.
  • Add in the blueberries and nuke again for 60 sec
  • ENJOY! (I top with either coconut oil, coconut butter, almond butter, diced almonds or shaved coconut)
So yes, I cook the eggs and oats separately and then combine them together and add the fruit and other goodies. I sometimes have tried mixing the eggs into the oats which is also good but I prefer it this way. Give it a try :)

In need of some other breakfast ideas? CLICK HERE! 

 imageSummer eats? Yes, Please. Cape weekends calls for lots of seafood. Eaten Outside on picnic tables with oysters served on paper plates.

imageThat view doesn’t hurt either!

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Fresh veggies and avocado with homemade balsamic dressing and (un-pictured) grilled salmon was another lunch that I enjoyed to the fullest. Summer is the best time to experiment with different fruits and veggies. Get out of the box and pick something up that normally you wouldn’t! Cherries, kiwi, mangoes, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, peppers, green beans—Just try to throw something new in your cart. Your body will thank you!

 Whats going on with me in the fitness world? Wellllll, I am giving some thought to the Boston FAP show this October. Right now, it is just a thought and I am 50/50 training/thinking about it. I would LOVE to do it with all of my heart and I am not one to half ass anything. I love the support I get from being a part of Cathy Savage Fitness as well as my fellow Savage girls. I will know for sure within the month if this is on my radar. I have some other priorities right now in my life that take precedence over a show, so things would have to fall into place for me to compete. With 5 shows under my belt (one of which I wasn’t mentally all ‘there’ for) I know the importance of going all or nothing. I want to ensure that I am going to give it my all! If I do decide to compete in the show, I know it will be another amazing experience with memories and be sure to keep you all posted throughout my journey!

 

xoxoxo

Naomi

How to Stay Motivated This Summer!

How to Stay Motivated This Summer!

We all love the warmer weather.  Beach days, vacations, weddings, BBQ’s, flex time at work ANNNDDD Shorter shorts, smaller tank tops, bikini bods and outdoor workouts! People generally are more social, smiling bigger, enjoying life just a little bit more this time of year, right? The one “problem” when it comes to the summer time is that it can be THAT much harder to find the motivation to exercise, eat sensibly and get back into a routine. I want to share some awesome tips to help you FIND MOTIVATION again in the summer time! Beat the heat :)

Check Out a New Route

Nopppeeee…still not a runner! But I do have to say that in the warmer weather, I am much more apt to take my workout outside and go for a nice jog. As you can see by the picture below, I am no speed demon. I Am not training for, distance or training for any long distance running events, I am running because when I feel like it, it feels good. I have a cool app on my phone ‘map my walk’ and it tracks the route and breaks down the split time and total distance while you are running or walking (downside, you have to carry your phone) BUT for me, it works because my runs don’t last much longer than 3.5 miles TOPS. I find it exciting and fun to get out and try a new route especially in a new area. I live right downtown, so some days I will run along the esplanade and other days I will cross the bridge and run on the Cambridge side. Some days I run toward downtown and other days I run toward Brighton and Newton. I like to switch it up

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Get Outdoors and Try Something New

As much as I love being in a gym, surrounded by hard working bodies and metal, its so refreshing to take advantage of the outdoor bootcamp workouts that you can find in your area! Most big cities offer a wide range of outdoor workouts that you can attend (some for free!) These workouts you can go to with a friend and are FUN. They will bring a whole new level of challenge to your routine and you may learn a few moves or two that you can incorporate into your own routine.  You will be moving constantly challenging different muscle groups while laughing with friends…and hey! You may even meet some new like minded fitness peeps

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FRUIT IT UP! 

We all know fruit is uhhhmazing in the summer time. It is abundant and full of flavor and color. They are also nutrient packed. Post workout- you will replenish your glycogen levels in both your muscles and your liver. Fruit provide a great mix of protein and carbs for a perfect post workout addition! My favorites include berries, cherries, peaches and pineapple (which contain bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory that’s been proven to heal bruises, sprains, and swelling. They’re also high in vitamin C, a key component in repairing tissue)

 

Fresh fruit drizzled in honey

Fresh fruit drizzled in honey

 

Fresh berries over oats mixed with flaxseed and egg whites (great post workout!)

Fresh berries over oats mixed with flaxseed and egg whites (great post workout!)

Set a New Goal

Many people have goals of shedding a few pounds or leaning out when summer rolls around. Its as if we have this fear that our bodies are not good enough to wear shorts and a tank top. While I am all for these goals, it is also great to think outside the box. Working toward the same old goal summer after summer can get old.  Pick something NEW this summer. Join a co-ed softball team, sign up for a half marathon or 5k, workout with a friend 2x a week, set your alarm clock 30 min earlier to hit those AM workouts. Just make a commitment to try something new each week. Make the goals EXCITING and you may just be inspired.

Try a New Protein Shake!

You all know I love a good protein shake and there is no better way to cool down and refuel after a great workout whether that be a run outdoors or a hard strength  training session than with an ice cold protein shake! Sometimes in the summer, the last thing I want to do is cook a heavy meal post workout such as eggs and sweet potatoes or even heat up chicken. All I want is a thick, flavorful protein shake in a cold glass. Well  Now is the time to experiment! The optimum time to eat more higher glycemic index foods is within 30 minutes of an intense weight training workout. (replenish lost glycogen stores)   When eaten immediately post workout and combined with a good source of protein these fruits aid in the recovery process and protein absorption and can actually help the body to build muscle and burn fat. 

 

THE BEST PROTEIN SHAKE RECIPES <– Click this link to see some amazing protein shake recipes! 

Here are some simple guidelines for making a recovery protein shake!

1. First, the liquid! I like to use only about 4-8oz liquid because I like my protein shakes thicker like a milkshake!  The possibilities are endless! I sometimes use almond milk, water or even cherry juice which is great for recovery. If you had a very strenuous strength training workout, you could use a fruit juice higher in sugar which will aid in recovery such as pineapple juice (anti-inflammatory benefits as well) Or 1% milk which has protein and carbs as well. 

2. Fruits and Veggies! I always throw in frozen fruit and some sort of green veggie into my shake. You could try frozen berries, mango, cherries, pineapple, banana Try 1/2 to one cup of produce! I love using FROZEN fruits and veggies because it can substitute the ice. 

3. Add Protein and (fats)
  Choose your protein wisely. My favorite brands are Isopure, CellucorSunwarrior (brown rice protein) and Jay Robb.  1 scoop of  protein will be perfect! I put FATS in paranthesis because this can be person to person dependent. Ideally, right after an intense workout you want to get Protein and carbs into the bloodstream and body ASAP to aid in quick recovery and muscle growith. We all ideally want to seek highly digestible sources, such as fruit, higher GI carbs and whey protein. Things you can absorb fast, that don’t spend a long tim

e in your stomach and get into your blood stream and muscles quickly. 

  • Fat can slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach, so while fat can keep hunger at bay and keep your tummy from growling, it doesn’t get into the bloodstream as quick as the protein and carbs. Fats can tend to slow down the digestion and absorption process post workout.
  • If you are looking for increases in athletic performance and weight gain, then keeping your post workout meal lower in fats would be very beneficial for you since you want to recovery in the most optimal way possible, just ensure that after your post workout shake, you are eating a REAL meal after about an hour later.
  • If you are looking for fat loss primarily, you can add in some good fats post workout, as this will aid in keeping you satiated and won’t leave you HANGRY within 30 minutes after eating, thus overall taking in less calories. When we are hangry, we tend to grab anything in sight!


4. Spices, Sweetners and herbs! 
Try adding in honey, agave and fresh herbs! I love fresh mint and basil in my protein shakes as well as a little raw honey for some quick carbs and sweetness. Another great idea is cinnamon, nutmeg or unsweetened cocoa powder. If you want to get crazy try adding different extracts such as coconut, vanilla, peppermint or orange!

5. ICE! (1 cup) will give you a thick, milkshake-like consistency, while less ice (1/4 to 1/2 cup) will produce a thinner smoothie. Use less or no ice if you’re using frozen produce. 

Cookies and Cream Protein powder (1 scoop) with ice, almond milk,  1/2 banana, spinach and flaxseed

Cookies and Cream Protein powder (1 scoop) with ice, almond milk, 1/2 banana, spinach and flaxseed

OUTDOOR BODY WEIGHT WORKOUTS 

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 TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEATHER

Summer can be an awesome time to chill out with such a rigid routine which can be amazing! With all of the traveling, weddings, events, BBQ’s, vacations, less structured schedule, it can be easy to throw workouts to the way side as well. I am not suggesting that you stop physical activity all together, but rather embrace the unknown and take advantage of the weather. longer days and outdoors. Post dinner instead of sitting in front of the TV, take it to the streets for a walk outside in the fresh air. MOst of us work inside all day so it can feel amazing to get some fresh air which will help you stay energized and invigorated. Grab a friend or loved one or furry friend and hit the streets!

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Make time for yourself, decrease stress and sleep!

We all know that toomuch stress can have a negative effect on ones health. The body functions best when well rested. When the body doesn’t get enough sleep it can experience stress which will thus force you to store more fat. When we are tired, we also have a tendency to grab food that may not be the healthiest so you could be taking in extra calories without even knowing it! 

Stress comes into play when our bodies go into fight or flight mode and thus slows down the metabolism and aids in fat storage. The hormone also slows the production of testosterone, which is essential for muscle building. Chronically low testosterone promotes loss of muscle mass, which ultimately can slow your metabolism.During the summer months, it is just as important to do things that you enjoy and bring your stress levels WAY down. Whether that be an outdoor yoga class, or long walk outdoors, swimming in a nearby lake or pool or spending carefree time with friends and family. You choose what makes you feel at ease!

Spend time with family....Be goofy!

Spend time with family….Be goofy!

Take in every moment

Take in every moment

De-stressing with a yoga class!

De-stressing with a yoga class!

 

DO YOUR THING THIS SUMMER AND MAKE IT THE MOST MEMORABLE ONE YET!!! 

How do you stay motivated in the summer months? 

Rowing Kind Of Sucks. But. Its Awesome.

Rowing Kind Of Sucks. But. Its Awesome.

I have a new love in the gym. Well its sort of an old love that I most recently have been revisiting.  As you know I go through phases of ‘new loves’ Kettlebells, TRX, Yoga, Spin, Sprints, Lifting. I love it all and somehow try to make time for it all in my crazy schedule. I am a true believer in balance when it comes to workouts and with the body. I also am not one to follow a strict schedule ‘because that’s what is written down and what I SHOULD be doing’ After years of stressing my body to the max, I have come to a happy place where I do things that feel good and make me happy, not just because it is something that is written down on a piece of paper and I have to do. If I am tired one day, I rest, whether or not it was a ‘planned’ rest day. If I am feeling extra good one day, I will crush a workout.

Recently, I have gotten back on the erg wagon. Back in High School I rowed for the Charles River Community Boating Company. My high school didn’t have a rowing team and I was always intrigued by getting out on the Charles River in a boat and learning the mechanics behind rowing. I fell in love with it instantly. There is no better feeling than the sun beating on your skin while working hard at a sport that you love. The rush of your heart beating with every stroke and the water crashing against the oars is such a sensation. So these days, although I can’t get to the Charles to row that often, I can take my competitive streak inside to the gym .

Every stroke requires you to work your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, obliques, pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, upper back, and lats. Every single stroke on the rower is a leg press, deadlift and a back row. You are literally working every muscle in your body and because of that you are challenging your body well beyond what you think and is the main reason why the rower is ‘hard’  Your heart rate is elevated the entire time and you have be totally focused the entire time to ensure form is spot on. Rowing is not like jumping on the elliptical and mindlessly moving away. You have to use your brain, body and mind with each stroke and because of that THEREIN lies part of the challenge! 

Rowing kinda sucks. Let me explain. It is a hell of a workout. It’s one of those ways to conditioning that you hate but you also sort of love. It kicks your a$$ like WHOA.  If I throw rowing intervals into my own workout or a clients workout–it becomes a whole new ball game. Whenever I say “Ok 500M on the erg” they usually respond with “I’ll run instead!” and I respond with “why?” and they respond back “because rowing is hard!” And then we hit the erg. Once you make rowing a part of your routine, you will be more conditioned like a MO FO.

 

Concept 2 Indoor Rower

Concept 2 Indoor Rower

Source 

HOW TO ROW

The Form: The form of rowing has 3 main parts: the catch, the drive and the finish. I am going to try as best as I can to break down the 3 parts of rowing because one thing you absolutely want is to work your personal best while on this machine. You want to come off feeling, strong, invigorated and a bit pooped, but not in ‘pain’. There are a couple things ot keep in mind as you are rowing.

At no point do you want a rounded back or your head tucked between your arms. If you were to look at the video sideways, you notice that the ‘drive’ of the rowing motion is that of a deadlift.

You also want to make sure that the handles don’t ‘dip’ near the ankles OR pulling the handles very close to the chin.

Basically you want to think in your head “LEGS THEN ARMS, LEGS THEN ARMS” What this means is you should be driving with your legs FIRST and then pulling with your arms SECOND.  Pull the rowing handle into your chest/abs and once your legs are extended, you let your arms release  and bend your legs after your arms are straight. See what I mean here? Legs then arms, legs then arms. Make it a little jingle!

1. The Catch 
Place your feet in the stirrups and slide all the way forward to the flywheel, with your knees bent and pressed against your chest. Grasp the handle with an overhand grip. Lean forward slightly from the hips, but keep your chin up, shoulders back, and spine straight. Tip: Throughout the movement, be sure your feet remain flat and that you don’t tuck your chin or hunch your shoulders.

2. The Drive 
The trick to starting your drive back is moving your hands and butt at the same time. A rower’s power comes from the lower body—as you drive back with your legs, think about pushing your feet through the footboard, like you’re using the seated leg press. As you slide back, don’t start to pull yet—your arms will naturally straighten.

3. The Finish 
Once your legs are extended, knees straight, maintain a straight spine and lean back slightly from the hips, bracing your core. Now pull. Bring the handle to your chest, driving your elbows over the plane of your hips and behind you. On the pull, think about leading with your elbows. The trick to getting back to start position is bracing your abs, driving your hips forward, and pulling your knees into your chest.

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WHY I LOVE THE ROWING MACHINE

All Fitness Levels Welcomed! — Indo-Row was designed to bring the benefits of rowing to the masses. Crosby has had students ranging in age from 10-94, as well as coaching students who were severely overweight and unable to perform other types of exercise.

Total Body — The biggest myth about rowing is that it is an upper body workout. Rowing works 9 major muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps. In addition rowing is an amazing cardio workout.

Low Impact – Rowing is great for injury prevention, rehab and runners because it is a low impact alternative to other activities. For those who are overweight, the sliding seat displaces ones weight so the load on their body is less and they can make a smooth transition to other activities as the weight comes off.

Easy to Learn – The basics of indoor rowing can be learned in 10 minutes or less.

You’re In Control – Resistance is created by how hard you push or pull, so you control the level of your own workout.  The harder you catch, drive and pull, the harder you will work and the more resistance you will create. Your pace time and strength will increase 10 fold.

Calorie Burn –The combination of  full body movements with elevated heart rate will cause your body to becaome a fat burning machine! The potential to burn between 600-800 calories in a 45 minutes is easily attainable

Measurement Is Motivation – All rowing machines have a gauge of where you are at throughout the workout so you can constantly be checking in on yourself. You can set the dial to ‘distance’ ‘time’ or even an ‘interval’ of whatever work to rest ratio you desire. No matter what people say, seeing a display in front of you while working will push you THAT much harder. It is a main reason why I love Flywheel classes as well! Seeing my torque, speed and total RPM on the gauge as well as seeing my name on the torque board during class, I KNOW will push me over the edge to work at my personal best. On the rower, I personally like setting a distance and from there, it counts down until 0. Those last few hundred meters I really get out of my comfort zone and push myself! It also shows the split time and approximate finish time so you can try to beat your last interval!  Having milestones provides motivation to continue working hard!

Shorter Workout, Quicker Recovery- You all know I am a HUGE fan of quick and dirty workouts like the ones from THIS POST Longer than an hour? Pshhh for the birds. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time fo that! With my crazy days I want to get in the most efficient work in the shortest period of time and THAT is why I love the rower–it serves this purpose

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FULL BODY RIPPER ROWER COUNTDOWN!!

TIME

WHAT TO DO

ESTIMATED 500M TIME

0-3

WARM UP ROW

2:30

3-5

ROW

2:15

5-7

REVERSE LUNGES (Hold 10lb DB overhead or by sides)

———

7-10

ROW

2:20

10-11

Jump Squats

———

11-14

ROW

2:40

14-16

ROWER PIKES (see picture below

———

16-18

ROW

2:15

18-20

PUSH PRESS (using those 10lb  dumbbells)

———

20-23

ROW

2:30

23-25

Knee to Chest Sit ups

———

25-30

ROW

AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

 

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OTHER IDEAS 

1. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes <—-OMG this one is KILLER

2. 500 Meter row with 60 sec rest 5 times through

3. 3×1000 Meter row with 120 sec rest in between 

4. 200 Meter row. 10 push ups, 10 burpees-8 times through

 

HELLO!!! I have 2 Protein Pancakes Recipes for YOU!

HELLO!!! I have 2 Protein Pancakes Recipes for YOU!

Hey!!!! I have been a crazy busy lady over here, so I apologize for the lack of posting. Just a heads up for those who don’t know–Follow me on my Facebook Page—> ONEFITFOODIE  https://twitter.com/1fitfoodie–> @1FITFOODIE and Instagram–> @1FITFOODIE where I am constantly posting workouts, recipes, clothing, things I love, motivation–you know the drill!

Well the Marathon was on Monday and I have to say it was an incredible weekend/week.

I can’t even put into words the emotions I was feeling the weekend leading up to and on the day of. I live basically at the finish line and being so close to the bombing last year, I chose to get out of the city for the actual Marathon day. It all felt too real even a year later and although I wanted to watch and support, I felt that there would be no better way than doing it from my hometown. Walking to work on the days leading up to the race, seeing the energy and vibe in the city, I will say there were some tears shed. I loved looking at all of the faces of the runners and fellow Bostonians and knowing that we are all together in this. It was an extremely special week and I am so proud to call Boston my home. It is times like these that make me find it hard to think about living anywhere else

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Jil and I had some fun in the Hynes Expo Center on the Saturday before the Marathon!

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Cheering from my Hometown! (right near Heartbreak Hill) Needless to say, It was a great weekend and incredible day. I can’t even say how many 80+ runners passed by us. I had chills, tears, smiles, anxiety all in one. It was truly phenomenal.

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Now what else have I been up to? Well, I am LOVING my new job and feel both challenged and energized. The atmosphere at my new spot is extremely motivating and the people are beyond knowledgeable and fun to work with! There is always someone around to talk to, bounce ideas off of, learn something new from and also workout with! As you all know, I go through workout ‘phases’  and this is an important way I have found balanced over the past several years when it comes to my health, mind, body and soul. I love talking to the trainers at work because each trainer has a different ‘speciality’ or something they love. Who knew I would wrap my hands and take a stab at boxing?! I most recently have been re-visting the erg which I have been loving as a form of my cardio. I will be dedicating a whole post to rowing (including videos, form, my advice) in the near future so stay tuned for that!  AND of course, I am keeping up with the strength, yoga and SPIN! I have to say I have turned into a Flywheel gal. I try to take at least 1 class a week at the studio in the Prudential. The convenience is incomparable for me and the energy and competitive nature in that studio truly pushes me to the limit (when it comes to a sweaty cardio workout!) WIth that said, I am taking my first Soul Cycle class this weekend at the new Chestnut Hill Location with one of my best friends, so I will be super curious to see the difference between the two! I will for sure keep you all updated and share my personal breakdown of the styles of classes. (It is going to be hard to beat Fly!)

What have I been eating? Well you know the usual-Lots of veggies, proteins, avocados, fish etc. Oh and macaroons, Pinkberry and dark chocolate. BALANCE, ya know?!

Greek Yogurt with cinnamon, sweet potatoes and fresh raspberries

Greek Yogurt with cinnamon, sweet potatoes and fresh raspberries

coffee infused dark chocolate

coffee infused dark chocolate

Turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash and roasted brussels sprouts

Turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash and roasted brussels sprouts

 

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I have recently made two protein pancake recipes which both turned out DELICIOUS! I wanted to share these recipes with you! Both times I made these pancakes

The first set of Protein Pancakes I made on Marathon Monday. This pancake was fruit filled and deliciously light and fluffy! Right when I put it on the plate I added some coconut butter on it as well.

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You  could obviously change up the flavor of protein powder or fruit to make it to your liking! I usually use up what I have on hand first when it comes to recipes so the berries in my fridge made their way into this pancake! Other times I have used bananas or blueberries.

My next recipe for protein pancakes is a chocolatey one indeed!!

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Chocolate Protein Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1T coconut flour
  • 2T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 Egg, 1 egg white
  • pinch of baking powder
  • ¼C chopped fresh spinach
  • 1T flaxseed meal

Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Spray with cooking spray
  4. Spoon out the batter into evenly sized pancakes (I made 3)
  5. ENJOY!

If you are looking for more protein pancake recipes try one of my other favorites

———> Cocoa cinnamon paleo pancakes 

15 Things I have learned From Ages 27-28

15 Things I have learned From Ages 27-28

 Hey Friends!! I want to thank you all for the Birthday Wishes if you already sent me a message, Facebook post, email or what have you. I feel so thankful for you, my blog, my family, friends, and life. I always track back on my Birthday to the past year and look to see where I am and what has really taken place over the past year. It seems as I get older, the days, weeks and months simply mesh together and its easy to forget about simple things. I take every Birthday to reflect and see if I really have grown or if I am the same person. Of course, we all change a bit, but I always find it interesting to see what I have picked up each year. Here goes my list of 15 things I have learned. ENJOY! 

1) If you are unhappy with where you are. Do something about it.  This year was pretty transformational for me in terms of work life. I was forced to make some decisions that I knew would benefit me and my career in the long term, but during this time when I was making these decisions, it was extremely challenging. I have always lived life by going with my gut. I have learned that sometimes rash decisions are not the best, and the most important decisions take time. I weighed my options and knew that for me to grow professionally and remain content while LOVING what I am doing, I needed to embrace change. To say I was scared would be an understatement. I left behind my amazing clients, some of whom I had been training for 2+ years. I was so grateful that a few followed me to my new location, but I knew I would be starting from the ground up. It was time to get out of my comfort zone for sure and I was so hungry and ready to tackle this challenge. I absolutely LOVE what I do. I am so thankful that I can wake up and help people feel better, move better and know that that 1 hour I spend with them during their workout may be the highlight of their day. In less than 3 months, I have managed to grow a solid business and work my tail off (hence the lack of posting as often) I was so thirsty to embrace my new place of work and immerse myself with the other trainers, my classes that I was taking for the past month and focused 100% on growing my business Yeah-you can say I have been a little selfish when it comes to work, but I knew that this was my priority in my life right now. I have passed my first test to bump me up and happier than ever.

2) Life is Short, Eat the Key Lime Pie.  Well, Key lime pie is my favorite dessert so this is what I will use as the example.  There was a time in my life I never touched anything that was ‘bad’ and yes, I also labeled food this way. I would look at that cookie or cupcake or piece of bread in awe and ‘wish’ that I could have it. I remember my family always saying, “uhhh, so have it” and my response was a chuckle AKA “of course not!” wow. I am even ashamed to admit this now. After my surgery, I truly realized how grateful I was to have my health. I was taken home in a wheelchair as I watched those still staying in their hospital beds, moving nowhere anytime soon.  Balance and health is the most important thing to me and I have taken this into focus big time over this past year. Pass up events for the gym? No way jose. Of course, I always pick and choose my battles. I am not saying I’m over here stuffing my face with Ben and Jerry’s every night, but when I truly want something, I eat it-guilt free. There are more serious issues in the world-seriously. Eat the piece of bread and while your at it-stick a piece of cheese on there!

3) Be Proud of your Change. I have learned to be proud of myself more. I work my tail off and know that I am the only one who can dictate and change my thoughts, attitude and decisions.  When someone is surprised on how much you have changed, I don’t see this as a bad thing at all.  I have learned to be proud of my growth.

4) Don’t feel sorry for yourself when everyone else is getting engaged and having babies This seems to be the time in my life where I can’t open my Facebook Newsfeed or any other social media platform without seeing someone else getting engaged, married or pregnant-and most of them are younger than me. It came to a point where I would feel really sorry for myself. Why wasn’t I engaged and why was my camper who is 4 years younger than me already married? What was I doing wrong and will it ever happen for me. Screw this talk. My life is pretty damn good and I have no interest in marriage at this moment anyway. When the time is right, it will be right and I will embrace and be so ready for it. I am so happy for those who have babies and beautiful engagement rings, so looking at the pictures and hearing the news is nothing but happiness for these people rather than disdain

5) Dating is….Interesting. Well, over this past year, I have had some amusing interactions to say the least. I have met some pretty incredible people and I have also met some pretty low life men who think they can get away with pretty much….anything. Dating in and of itself is strange. Meet someone for a drink or coffee and see if there is chemistry. You hope they are cute and you hope they meet your expectations and then you meet them and all you want to do is run into a black hole. For two people to meet and have that ‘can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t live without you’ type chemistry–takes work. Serious work. I have turned down men and I have been turned down as well. I have had men treat me like crap and also have had men send me flowers at work. It’s a game and I have learned to go into everything with a positive attitude. Being open is a huge part of the game and just because you ‘don’t like their jeans’ this is not a reason to throw someone out the window. I could write a whole blog on some of the interactions I have had, but I will spare you the fun stories :) May this year bring about fun and happiness!

6) Do it If you Want to. Who is judging you? Last September, I was bored with my hair, so I chopped it off. I had a fun run with the short bob, but honestly? I miss my long hair. A WHOLE lot. I went for it and got myself a birthday present. Hello extensions.

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7) Workout With Friends: This past year I have definitely made an effort to try new things when it comes to physical activity. I have finally found a balance in my workout routine  and have realized that I love having a workout buddy. I used to be a total solo gym go-er and yes, I still love working out on my own, but I have a balance between that and working out with a buddy!

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8) My family means the world to me. Ok, so this is something that I haven’t realized this year, but every year it amazes me how incredible they are. I am so lucky to have a support system that will always be there for me no matter what. It makes me so happy to know I can pick up the phone at any time of day and they will be there.

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9) If it doesn’t make you happy don’t do it. Why do something that makes you miserable. Why be with people who bring negativity? I will never understand people who put themselves in this position and then complain about it.  Do things that bring you HIGHER. Make you HAPPY. Add variety and be open to everything!

10) Good Friends are Hard to Find and when you find them. Keep them close. Having good friends is a necessity to me-like peanut butter and Channing Tatum. I just need friends in my life. I am not in anyway what you would call a people collector-you know those people who you meet and they want to hang out with you but they’re just ‘omg sooo busy’ that they can only squeeze you in at 4pm on a Friday because they have better things to do when 7pm rolls around. Yeah-that’s not me. I focus on the quality of my friendships with the gals in my life. I have found that most things in life are temporary but  good friends will always be there, especially when you need them the most. I love my friends and so grateful for them

11) It’s okay to watch happy videos on YouTube for an hour. Guys-we spend most of our days working and I realized the other day that I spend more time with the people I work with and at work more than anyone else in my life-its the truth. Sometimes I get home after a 12 hour day and just want to watch some funny videos that have nothing to do with work or life. I want to laugh and watch other people be silly. I’m okay with it.  Oh and here you go…You’re welcome

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12) Its okay to feel like crap one day and like a million bucks the next Guys- we all have good and bad days. You know, those days you wake up, look in the mirror and think “damnnn, I look good” then there are those days where you get out of bed and all you want to do is cry. Those days may even be back to back. Its weird, right? Well, I have come to accept that crap happens and I may not feel 100% every single day. If I want to cry, I cry. If I feel amazing, then I will feel AAAAMMMAAZINNGGG. We are not perfect people-we are humans and it’s okay to feel emotions without hiding them all of the time.

13) Put Down My Phone: We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, stay updated on everyone else lives through social media and email etc. We can easily forget that we just can’t do it all-in fact, trying to do it all may drive us crazy!  It’s okay to miss out. I have realized that staying up an extra half hour at night to see what’s happening on Instagram or Facebook will not change my life. I have learned to just shut down and relax. I do not have to respond to every single email or call right away. I can wait-especially if it is not something I need to get done right that instant. I always want to be part of the fun stuff–try new restaurants, go to the newest show, be out and about-but I have realized a little secret: life is better when I don’t try to do everything.  When I am doing what I am doing, I enjoy the moment. Someones status update about their new car will not change my life.

14) Spend Time With other Professionals In Your Field I, in no way know everything, in fact I am learning something new every single day. There is no better feeling than spending time with a superior who is as passionate about what they do and learning from them, how they came to be where they are, what their focus is, why they do what they do. I have been amazed at some of the conversations that have motivated me to change a certain style or cue differently, or simply try something new!  I have spoken to not only other trainers at my facility, but strength coaches, TRX instructors, Dragon Door Leaders, Pure Barre instructors, Flywheel Spinning instructors, Yoga instructors… you name it-I have learned something from every single one of those people I have had conversations with. Just because they are not doing ‘exactly what I am doing’ I still love to hear how they go about their personal business and what brought them to where they are today. I am so lucky to be in Boston where the Health and Fitness is so Prevalent everywhere I go. That feeling of being around so many other hard working, passionate leaders everyday is truly inspiring.

15) Spend money on things that matter to me. Money is a funny thing. Everyone wants more of it, but sometimes we look at the way others spend their money and want to pull our hair out. Bottom line-the way we each spend our money is our call. I personally know that I spend my money toward things I need and a couple bucks on things that I want. In addition to putting a hefty amount of my money in savings, there are some categories that I will never skimp out on, for instance-shampoo and face products. I spend a butt load on these items but I would rather buy higher quality products on these items. Another one would be workout sneakers–not that I buy the most expensive pair BUT I but a lot of sneakers and that’s okay because I am on my feet in them about 13 hours a day. **ahem** insert same goes for Lululemon. At this point in my life, I have no need for a car so I could never understand someone who spends big money taking care of theirs. As times change,  I know my money will used towards other important people, places or things, but right now, I choose how to spend it on what matters most :)

 

 

XOXOXOXOXO

-NAOMI 

 

How I Have Come to a Happy Balance With My Weekly Workouts Over the past 3 Years

How I Have Come to a Happy Balance With My Weekly Workouts Over the past 3 Years

People love to read and hear about what others are doing for exercise-Lets face it. You see a hot body and the first thing you want to say is “what do you do for your workouts?! You must workout likeee everyday, right? ughh tell me what you do!!” The truth is that every single human is built differently. Its a beautiful thing when you think about. You are unique and there is not one person on this entire planet that is built like you. We all can handle different amounts of stress, need different types and amounts of food and types of exercise effect all of us differently. When I hear this question (which is more often than not) I really don’t know what to say. Over the past 4 years, my workouts have changed within themselves tremendously (as has my body for the good and bad) I have gone through ups and downs with my own body image and transformation as well as find things that I enjoy rather than do just because I think thats what I need to do.

The Cardio Queen Phase

Working out is something I could never do without, however, I definitely have taken a step back from being the obsessive, crazy lady I used to be. Years ago, I felt unstoppable, no matter what. I would workout 2x a day (at a high intensity) and watch what I ate WAY more. I would constantly be thinking about my next workout, and also plan out the next workout during my current workout. If something got in the way, I would get anxiety. I HAD to exercise.  You would think I looked like a fitness model, right?

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Meh, not so much. I am in NO way ‘overweight’ here. I am normal, little softer than I would have liked but the craziest thing is that at this time in my life (late 2010) I was doing about 6 days of cardio for 45-55 minutes at a time. That was the bulk of my workouts. I didn’t do any yoga, pilates, classes and lifted weights about 1-2 times a week AFTER my crazy cardio sessions. I was eating healthy food–really really healthy food but I was eating quite a bit because I was always hungry (which is a side effect of too much cardio) My body was storing fat and I was very uncomfortable in my own skin. You can even see in my expression that I truly felt uncomfortable. I am sure some of you are reading this and can 100% relate to what I am saying.  You are one of those people who grab a magazine and their ipod and grab that elliptical or treadmill for your extended cardio session yet your body does not budge.  I know that some exercise is better than none but in the long run, I realized that stepping away from so much cardio was one of the hardest but best decisions I have made.

 I also realized that I was fatigued. A lot. I was tired, irritable, moody–classic signs of over training but beyond that–Too much cardio will actually cause your body to store fat because it increases cortisol which is your stress hormone. Too much aerobic exercise will increase oxidative stress which causes the breakdown of muscle tissue and in the long run can cause cancer. Excess cardio can also increase appetite 10 fold and could cause some binging eating patterns.  Along those same lines, cardio burns a small amount of calories compared to the time spent. The calories you burn are the calories you burn. Thats it. When you add strength training in the mix–THIS is what will sky rocket your metabolism and help you to burn fat all day long!

I won’t say I quit the cardio because I still to this day have a time and place for it BUT when I knew that I needed a change and I wasn’t at peace with my body, mentally and physically, I did know I had to cut WAY back. It was mentally very challenging for me, I am not going to lie. When I first joined Cathy Savage Fitness and was put on 3 days of cardio for 30 minutes…I was like “whhhatttttt” I actually remember emailing my coach back asking if I can do more and why is that low? It was explained that to that cardio was and I still believe is used as a tool. It shouldn’t be the ‘focus’ of any workout program.  When I was training for a physique competition, the bulk of the time in the gym was spent in the weight room. Although hard to swallow, I listened. To this day, when I hear “oh I’m taking a rest day–I’m just going to run” this is NOT a rest day, folks. This is running.  I actually had this ingrained in my head at one point as well.

There was also a time when I figured that I needed to do all of my cardio first before lifting weights in order to ‘tone up’ Losing weight is pure science really. Stop eating so much and you will lose weight, but when it comes to fat loss this is a whole different story and many of us out there have this as our goal. Cardio and strength work hand in hand in any balanced workout program but when fat loss is the goal, I have to say that cardio takes second place which I found out post cardio queen phase. Weight training increases the metabolism’s after-burn, so that your metabolism burns more calories after the workout is long over.  You can read all about some myths that I bust in my post on FITNESS RANTS! 

The second I started lifting weight and focusing my energy elsewhere, this is when I truly saw my body and mind change!

The Weight Room Warrior

Besides getting my nutrition a little bit more in check, this phase I will call the “weight room warrior” I started following a strict strength training program that was a 4-5 day split bodypart workout. My workouts would be split up more or less like this. They would change every 4 weeks to keep the body making gains and split up which body parts were working together but this is just an example.

  • Chest/tri
  • Back/Bi
  • Glutes/hams
  • Legs/quads
  • Shoulders/Abs

Now, the second I saw what my workouts would entail, I had to take some deep breaths and realize this was going to take me WAY out of my comfort zone which terrified me but excited me all at the same time. What would my body look like? Would I be able to do this? Will I really really miss my cardio sessions? I had a plan and I had a goal and I was sticking to it. I started following these workouts to a “T” I would bring my workout sheet with me and write down everything I did.  There were and still are some pros and cons about a strength training split that is set up this way

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Advantages:

  • For a physique or fitness competitor this old school style of lifting is great for muscle growth and asthetic/visual purposes
  • You can mentally focus on 1-2 body parts so you are spending all of your time and energy for instance JUST on your shoulders and Abs. You don’t even have to think about the chest or triceps until the following day
  • You can allow for more volume on the bodypart that you are lifting. You can hit the muscle from different angles with various sets and reps

Disadvantages

  • At this time in my life, I also had the benefit of being able to have time for this style of workout. I could fit in my strength and cardio (If I had cardio on that day) I know it can be very challenging for some to get to the gym this often for this split routine which is why 3 day or full body workouts may be more beneficial.
  • Not the best for beginners. It can be hard to follow and also hard to build muscle when you don’t have a solid foundation to work with first. Now, I want to make sure my clients are moving and feeling better before splitting body parts and getting very specific.
  • I also realize this is not the smartest workout regimen to balance the body. It is set up for a fitness competitor who gets looked at from all angles on stage and meant for muscle growth, not necessarily to function better.

So, I was taking the old school path and thats what got my lifting! I liked it and certainly saw major changes in my body! I was shocked at how my body could transform the way it did with a drastic cut back on the cardio. This style of training took me into my very first show. After I began getting more in tune with my body, what worked, what didn’t, what body parts were stubborn and which ones packed on size fast, I began tweaking my workouts to my liking. After about a year (2011-2012) of following this sort of workout regimen, I not only got a little bored, but I realized that I didn’t have a balanced routine. I LOVED lifting, but wanted more variety. I had accomplished 2 or 3 shows at this point and now I wanted to play around and not be so tied to a piece of paper with a workout regimen on it. I also had begun personal training, writing programs for clients and educating myself on the benefits of the FMS (functional movement screen) and saw the importance of functional exercise and training muscles not movements.

Following these set workouts day after day, week after week was great for a while, especially when I began competing and getting into lifting. It gave me something to look forward to, my workouts were already set for me, all I had to do was show up. THe important piece of the puzzle that was missing for me was that after a while, I realized these workouts may have not been serving me the best. I started feeling tired and overtrained. Working out with such intensity (lifting) back to back days was very taxing on my body. I realize that some people can do this with no problem at all, but that is the thing–all bodies are built different and for me, I was feeling very over trained and began to see a decrease in muscle mass and strength. I was losing that initial vigor that I had when I began. I also noticed parts of my body weren’t recovering due to the lack of mobility and flexibility I had. I was doing yoga about  once a month and like most people “stretching was a waste of time” when in fact, it is the MOST IMPORTANT part of any exercise program. If you want to see increases in strength, move through wider range of motion thus burn more calories and overall feel better–flexbility and mobility should be superior to anything else.  I was noticing pain in my body (shoulders especially) because I may have not been warming up properly and also had some muscular imbalances that I kept throwing to the wayside.

All in all-my body was slowly breaking down and I knew it was time to incorporate some different forms of physical activity into my routine to get myself more balanced.

Training for a purpose where everyone is looking at you on stage was the only goal in my mind-I didn’t care how I got there-meaning that if I felt pain in my body, I pushed through it because it was shoulder day and I HAD to get through it. There was no place in my schedule for yoga let alone spend 10 precious minutes foam rolling or stretching. When I started listening to my body more, I realized I was no superwoman and had to scale way back.

I began to learn the importance of working out with the goal of feeling better, moving better and injury prevention, not to mention the importance of rest and recovery

Bodyweight Training + Kettlebells + TRX

When I look back at how long I used to spend in the gym, I actually cannot believe I had a life outside of that place. The idea of going to the gym twice a day can scare most people, let alone go once a day consistency, but somehow when I first started competing I thought I HAD to go twice a day, everyday to achieve what I wanted. As I began getting more in tune with my body and listening to the cues it would send, not to mention incorporating more functional style workouts, I learned the importance of being effective and efficient. Then get the hell out of the gym! Lifting weights will always have a place in my workout program and I believe that keeping the body strong through strength training. After my first two shows, I felt unbalanced and I needed to take control. I want to inspire you, help you take control of your health and realize that the world is a bigger place than the gym. You can achieve exactly what you want in way less time than you think. Enter the Bodyweight training, kettlebell and TRX phase.

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As many of you know, fitness trends can literally change overnight from the newest piece of equipment that you HAVE to try to the newest class that is “OMG so amazing!!” After a few shows and getting way bored of the ‘bodybuilding style’ workouts,  I found myself utterly infatuated with kettlebells the moment that I started playing around with them. It wasn’t until 2011 that I really got turned onto them when I first started at Fitcorp in Boston.

The benefits to kettlebell training are endless but what initially got me interested in them was the fact it is functional training with the goal of increased strength and power throughout the whole body not to mention complete and utter focus and engagement of every single muscle in your entire body. When I found myself starting to working well past considered ‘full time’ as a personal trainer, I was in need of efficient, effective and challenging workouts that I could incorporate so I wouldn’t be (nor did I have an interest) spending more than 60 minutes in a gym. So long are the days of seated biceps curls and leg extensions. As I began incorporating them into my own workouts and my clients workouts alike,  I traveled to NJ to get my HKC certification which was incredible!!

Kettlebell exercises such as the Turkish get-up, Bent Press, and Windmill will develop a rock-hard midsection and increase shoulder flexibility and stability. Whether you are a guy who wants to increase size and strength or a woman that wants to lose weight and tighten up your glutes, quads, abs, and arms, get kettlebell training into your weekly routine!

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Kettlebells develop REAL strength 
Kettlebells develop strong, defined, dense muscles that deliver when you need them. KB training is so much more functional than the typical ‘body builder’ style workouts. By forcing the muscles to support the KB you end up activating the deeper, harder-to-work, stabilizing and supporting muscles. This is the type of strength that is REAL and is there all of the time. It helps you with your day to day activities and you will be amazed at the results. Too many times I see people bench way more than they even should be loading, yet they cannot even do a proper push up! Something is not right with that picture. After a mere few weeks of KB training, I have even increased my assisted band chin up (working my way to no band!)

Here are TWO amazing Kettbell Routines that I have posted

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Body weight training also helps to increase fat loss and  simultaneously build muscle. The biggest misconception is that  you MUST throw around heavy weights in order to achieve strength. Yes, strength training should be a part of anyone’s exercise program but I strongly believe the same should be said for body weight training.

Body weight training allows for  full range of motion and also require complete and utter body awareness meaning you are more likely to be properly engaging all muscles while performing exercises like the walking lunge, plank, pull up (to name a few) 

The combination of weights AND body weight training is truly unstoppable and will provide a wide range of benefits including improved speed, power, strength  as well as extremely effective to develop beautifully sculpted muscles AND provide you with a complete metabolic, fat burning workout

Here are two body weight workouts that I have posted before, but for ease…I figured I would post them again for you all!

I have also posted a link that you can check out for some added info!

Focus on BODY WEIGHT TRAINING info and workouts! 

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  The Yogini

I swear I have been living under a rock due to the fact that I never really really immersed myself in yoga until last year. When I was in High School, I took a few classes with my mom here and there but I never truly ‘loved it’ because I don’t think I was in the right mindset. I never felt that it was a ‘workout’ and I got bored and antsy. Stretching? and mobility? pshhh ain’t nobody got time for that! (that was my attitude) Years and years later, after going head first into strength training, I realized I needed a huge balance in my routine. Yoga is not only an amazing addition for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. After my health scare in 2012, I needed to find outlets to let loose of my anxiety and stress.  I began incorporating yoga as a form of stress relief. I think my issue with yoga is that I always looked at it as a ‘workout’ and didn’t take advantage of the other amazing properties that come from this form of exercise. Yoga is a complete mind, body, spiritual, holistic experience that will not only challenge your body but it will challenge your soul.

We are a society who thrives of moving fast, staring at our cell phone screens, responding to emails, always go go go go go. We never take the time to…just…be. I know that for myself, I have suffered from extreme anxiety in the past and have found outlets to deal with this. We all carry some amount of anxiety and the way to relieve that can be different. If I hear someone that says “oh the way I deal with stress is go to the gym–I truly believe that CAN work for them, but for me? I have to stay AWAY from the gym. I work there, and am surrounding all day long by this place. I love what I do, but when I am trying to deal with extreme anxiety or stress I need to remove myself from a gym and do something for my soul.

When I began to incorporate yoga, not only did I get more in tune with my body and its responses to stress, but it made life more enjoyable because I literally leave every single class with a clear heart and mind. I know that when I go into that yoga studio, I just focus on me and that 90 minutes I have. I am so grateful to be able to take that time to give something to myself. The breathing, the meditation, the time to not think about anything but practice is the best form of stress relief I have found for myself. 

On a physical side, yoga is incredible if you performing other acts of physical activity such as endurance training, weight lifting, barre classes, tabata, pilates, crossfit etc. Yoga will help to increase mobility and flexibility which in turn will help you become a stronger, more efficient and better lifter in the gym. You will be able to move through a wider range of motion, thus recruiting more muscle fibers and getting the most bang for your buck with 100% proper form. You will feel challenged like no other!

Taking a yoga class is not a ‘rest day’ however I love to perform yoga for active recovery days. It is extremely effective and low impact work that will still get you to move without the stress of lifting weights when your body needs recovery .

No matter what your goal may be in that studio, you will leave yoga feeling better, clearer, level headed and 10 times better than when you entered.

So What Now?

As you can see, I have been through a whirlwind of working out, still am and will continue to be. Right now, for my cardio, I am loving Spin classes and HIIT sprints outdoors or on the treadmill  such as this HIIT SPRINTS workout or THIS WORKOUT I love incorporating all aspects of fitness into my weekly routine and am absolutely not rigid and set in stone about anything. I am a HUGE believer in balance and when it comes to exercise there is no better way to stay sane than having variety. The reason the fitness industry changes so often is because there is always something new different to spark our interests. New research is put out daily that we must keep up with and when new ‘gadget’ comes on the market-we have to try it! It’s not a bad thing! I think as much as we are  creatures of habit, when it comes to physical activity, people do love to try new things! The take away message here is that is is so important to get out of your comfort zone and stay open to trying new things! It is key in building a healthy, happy relationship with exercise!

I used to have ‘planned’ rest days which looking back, I cannot believe I actually followed. What if I felt 100% on a ‘rest day’ and wanted to workout? On the other end of the spectrum, what if I felt like crap on a day that I was ‘supposed’ to be doing HIIT sprints and a chest workout? I pushed through-and I shouldn’t have. Listening to your body is superior to anything that is written down on a piece of paper.

My week may look like this:

  • Monday: Upper body lift with Kettlebells, DB, Cables etc
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: HIIT sprints
  • Thurs: Lower body lift+ core/mobility
  • Friday: REST
  • Sat: Spin
  • Sunday: Rest or Metabolic/bodyweight circuit work
The same routine can be great. We all love doing something that is routine, habitual, waking up and knowing exactly what our day will have in store and knowing exactly what we are going to do for physical activity. I know I have some daily regimens that will never change. For instance, before bed, I like to have a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter. Its just part of my routine. I also love my morning coffee, hot with a touch of cream. It needs to be this way and I am not willing to sacrifice those things I love. Did I mention I usually fall asleep watching Nick at Night. Most of the time Full House is on TV and I watch it. Its mindless and makes me smile and think of my youth-it bothers no one and I enjoy it :)
When it comes to physical activity, it can be easy to be so caught in routine that trying anything new gets pushed aside.  We need stimulation that draws us into new experiences and challenges both our bodies and minds. We need balance and moderation when it comes to physical activity–it is such an integral part of growth and change.  Trying new workouts, new classes, getting out of your comfort zone  and  being open to change will transform your whole outlook on life. It will help you become way more in tune to signals that your body is sending you. If you have a ‘planned’ rest day but feel awesome-then workout, if you feel like crap on a ‘planned’ workout day, then rest; its THAT simple. Your body is an incredible machine and once you can listen to it? You will feel better than you ever have in your life.
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Try this for me:
1) Stop the self destruction
2) Stop listening to what others are telling you to do
3) Try something new
4) Realize that we are all starting somewhere
5) Change your attitude
9) Dazzle your senses with new people, sights, smells, touch, experiences, workouts, recipes
10) Say YES.

 

9 Tips to Add VARIETY To Your Routine + Your Life!

9 Tips to Add VARIETY To Your Routine + Your Life!

Back in college and just thereafter, I thought there was only one way to train–My way. Why do anything else if I am comfortable? Yoga?! PSHHH Boxing? Uhhh no. Barre? HAHA! There was no budging with me when it came to my routine. Then I got out of my small little box. As I became exposed to new people, new environments, got my own trainer post college, and got inspired along the way by some pretty amazing people, I realize how important it was to get out of my comfort zone of exercise and try new things! I CHOSE to have an open positive mind and take advantage of everything there is out there.

If you think something is silly and refuse to try it, you probably should. I myself have tried workouts and classes and styles of exercise that I NEVER thought I would. I still have yet to try Prancercizing :)

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I went from running to lifting to yoga to kettlebells to TRX to spinning and you know what? There is a time and place for it all. I love that there truly is something for everybody in fitness. You truly never know what may catch your eye when you begin or try something that you NEVER thought you could. This is the exciting thing about life! Not just in fitness but all around. It is so important and mentally stimulating to just say YES to things. Remember the Jim Carrey Movie, “Yes Man” The movie was a little wonky, but the theories and idea behind it was spot on. Just say yes to everything and you never know where life will take you! The same thing can be said for exercise?

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  • I realized with too much heavy lifting that lack of flexibility will get in the way  being able to move through a large range of motion,  In turn, this causes your muscles to weaken. Taking time to improve your flexibility will help your muscles joints overall.
  • I realized that there is no stronger feeling and complete utter awareness than there is with kettlebell training.
  • I realized that there is a time and place for cardio and for me I became in love with hard core sprints and Spinning classes!
  • I realized the power of bodyweight training and utilizing the TRX to take bodyweight training to the next level!
  • You know what makes any program well rounded? VARIETY.

Tips To Add Variety To Your Routine 

1. Add In Something New This Week: If you know there is a class at your local gym or class offered elsewhere that you would NEVER try–go on a limb and try it. I know that in Boston, most yoga and barre studios have a ‘first class free’ trial or a very do-able price for a week of classes to give you a taste. Last April, before my Foxwoods competition, I tried barre for a month. Yes–me. I did Barre. Trust me I felt SO funny because I never ever thought I would have been the girl to take that class but ya know what? I kind of liked it mainly because it was something I was so not used to doing!

2. Stop the Negativity: You may hear certain workouts or classes and immediately think of an article you read or stories from a friend about how horrid that workout was so of course you won’t waste you’re precious time doing it. You know whats amazing? You are YOUR OWN PERSON! It is empowering and important to have your own opinions. I once went to a restaurant where the reviews were very mixed on Yelp. Some were so-so, some were horrible, but I went and LOVED it. So maybe those people had a bad server or bad experience, whatever the case may be–I tried it for myself. Same goes for exercise. If your friend tells you to stay away from the zumba class because she had a crappy time–go for yourself and stop the negativaty often associated with certain classes or workouts. You allow your choices and actions to dictate your thoughts and how you feel. You thus, execute these thoughts into your actions. Stay positive and go after all there is out there!

3. Be OPEN! Be open minded to oppourtunity! I know that something trying something new when it comes to exercise can be an extremely daunting experience. My very first yoga class at the local yoga studio I went to–I was terrified. I had taken yoga maybe 4 or 5 times and not for several years. Will I be looked at? Will they know I’m new? Will I fall behind everyone? What if I am not flexible enough? All of these thoughts entered my mind and my heart was racing.  Since that first day…I have come to fall in LOVE with Yoga and now feel a sense of community. I can take yoga at my new beautiful facility where I work, but I truly love going to my studio because I feel a sense of love, support and where I can fully immerse myself. I NEVER thought I would say those words about yoga, but I was open minded and loved it!

4. Play Team Sports! If working out in the gym or taking classes is getting boring then check out how to get involved in team sports! I know that in Boston, the BSSC (Boston Ski and Sports Club) offers so many oppourtunities to get involved in everything from dodge ball to softball. There is also plenty of salsa dancing classes! Thinking of something more intense? Check out a free bootcamp class!

5. Have a NEW Goal! Sign up for a race, train for a fitness competition, go try a Tough Mudder or simply have a challenge set with a friend! I know that a trainer I work with is having a competition with a friend right now to see who can score more Nike Fuel Band points! You get different points for moving differently so she is trying all sorts of new workouts this week. Its pretty cool to see her push herself in a new way.  Having that new goal in the forefront of your mind may push you that much more to really switch things up!

IMG_6411 IMG_32496. Play with Your Strengths but Challenge Your Weaknesses: We all love doing what we’re good at, right? If you love your job and know you are good at what you do, it can be empowering and amazing to see your hard work recognized. When it comes to exercise and physical activity–it is important to get a little uncomfortable sometimes! “struggles develop strength” as Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Think to yourself if you can think you handle it. The answer is you 100% can but your mind may be saying otherwise. Challenge yourself and try something NEW. I guarantee you will shock yourself!

tumblr_lkyjgy7th81qbvqopo1_5007. Exercise different muscle groups: You may have a routine right now that focuses specifically on weight training OR cardio which means you could be working the same muscle groups in the same way repeatedly. Not only will this get boring and your body may hit a plateau but the addition of new workouts and exercises can add some incredible benefits to your body and mind! If you weight train specific body parts, try adding strength moves from Pilates, yoga, and bodyweight programs. Small substitutions or variations in the way you train each muscle group can challenge your muscles in new ways and keep you from getting bored.  If you just stick to cardio, try adding a new cardio style class such as tabata or zumba! 

8. Check your Local Hometown website for Free Fitness Events: I know that In Boston there are so many oppourtunties to join in on FREE fitness. Boston is a super active city year round and you don not have to be a member of a gym to get involved!

  • Check the Community section in Lululemon because they usually host free workouts every week (yoga to run club to strength workouts)
  • Athleta hosts free events in their store and also affiliated with other studios!
  • Boston.Com has some great ideas for workouts
  • EventBrite has so many free events if you just search “fitness”
  • Signing up for local studio’s newsletters will get you on the ‘know’ for when events are happening
  • Marathon Sports hosts Run Club
  • November Project is a community based club where you can join in on the early morning fun up to 3 days a week!
  • City Sports hosts free workouts
  • THIS WEBSITE sums up all of the free workouts that are happening this week in Boston
Free Lululemon Bootcamp that I hosted this past summer!

Free Lululemon Bootcamp that I hosted this past summer!

9. ENJOY IT: What I am getting at here with all of these tips is above all-enjoy what you are doing. I just want to share the importance of being open minded, not just when it comes to new workout programs and physical activity, but also in life. Say YES more and NO less. Don’t pass up opportunities to learn, to spend time with others, to gain knowledge in areas that interest you and to challenge your body mentally and physically.  Make it a goal this week to try something new!

What will you try this week?

gotheextra mile