Category: Uncategorized

How to Workout in the Morning

6:00, 6:10, 6:20… I would hear the alarm and just keep hitting snooze… Finally I’d roll out of bed around 6:30, drag myself to the shower and slowly get ready for the day… This was how the first 9 years of my professional life would go.

And then in the summer of 2016, I moved in with my now husband. And while moving in together was one of the best decisions ever, we quickly in July had to learn a lot about each how, how to communicate and how to be flexible while occupying 550 square feet in Brooklyn.

And if you know me, I’m not flexible… I like things a certain way, and usually think my way is the best way (and yes… I’m working on it and sorry for anyone I’ve offended!) So in those first few weeks of being roommates as I used to call it, I learned about something that he did that drove me insane… he hit snooze! I am a teacher and in the month of July, I don’t want to hear an alarm… but when I was hearing his multiple alarms go off every morning, and for some reason to Veruca Salt, I knew something had to change… and that was that neither of us would press snooze if the other person was in bed.

So as September began, and school started, and the schedule filled up quickly, I knew that if I wanted to workout, it had to be done before work and early. And since I’ve made that decision, I have never missed a single planned morning workout and here is how…

1. Do Not Press Snooze! The second you hear the alarm, get up… You won’t register how early it is or how tired you are before you’re well out of the bedroom!

2. Lay your clothes out. Sounds simple but taking the guess work out of what you’re going to wear is huge! I know some people sleep in their workout clothes (aka my hubby) and that’s helpful too!

3. Have some caffeine! I swear by my pre – performance workout drink! The best thing about it is if I drink it and then don’t work out, as the substance is running through my body, I get tingles… so you might as well workout to prevent the tingles!

4. Have a plan! The programs I follow at home have calendars so I know weeks in advance what the workout is and how much time I need! This also helps me mentally prepare for it!

5. Give yourself some time to reflect on the day. After my alarm goes off at 4:30, I don’t work out for 20 minutes… I usually drink my energiZe and check my day. This helps me wake up a bit!

And here is the most important:

6. It’s all about mindset and this is the most important! I go to bed with the intention of waking up and working out… If I have any self doubt about it, I can’t make myself get up to workout. Trick your mind into saying, I can’t wait to get up and workout… I promise you, if you only think about how great it will be and remove all the negative thoughts, you will do morning workouts…

I recently heard on a podcast, that you should do something everyday that makes you uncomfortable… Try the whole morning workout thing for 21 days, get uncomfortable and see how you mentally and physically change.

Does Your Stomach Shrink?

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I have no idea… but I do know how I feel after being so conscious of my meals and portions…

About 45 days ago, I started a new program that wasn’t just about exercise, but also about food. While I’ve done programs in the past that also had nutrition components, I never really committed and I knew that this time had to be different… partly because I wanted to look the best I could on my wedding day, but also because I knew if I wanted people to trust me, I had to go all in.

I’ve been about 80 – 90% on this program (I love my wine too much… and when you’re planning a wedding, sometimes you need it) and for some reason, the past four days I haven’t been focusing on it as much. I’ve been making salads, but not measuring portions… I’ve been eating prior to working out, but not being mindful of portions or the type of food… I’ve not been taking my post – workout recover and fruit… and I’ve had a lot more wine that normal, which also means some (okay many) bad food choices… pizza twice, and Chinese food (I can’t believe I’m even admitting it).

With these changes in my diet in just four days, I miss my old way of eating, and I actually can’t wait to get back to my routine tomorrow. The past few days I have had trouble sleeping, due to being so full, and starting my workout was beyond difficult today.

Tonight, prior to dinner a Facebook friend and fellow bride and I were talking about does your stomach shrink? And while I don’t know the answer, I can’t even tell you how full I am tonight and luckily I’ve learned to stop. While nothing on my plate was unhealthy or even artificial, I ate my veggies and felt so so full. I had two choices… The old me would have made choice number 1, which is realizing how delicious the food is and continue eating and the new me, made choice number 2, which realized I was too full and could just finish the food tomorrow.

No one ever said this journey was going to be easy… and depending when you are starting, you have to overcome years of bad habits. I have always been someone who has trouble recognizing I am full and stopping… I have often been the person who goes back for seconds, thirds, and sometimes sixths, because the taste is so good, without realizing my body was saying no more or even worse… wanting the food because it sounded good, even though I wasn’t hungry.

Commit to yourself and your goals. You are worth it and you deserve to get to the point where you question, “Is my stomach shrinking?”

Mindset

MindsetI

I don’t know about you, but I actually prefer lifting weights over cardio… while I am definitely a runner, I like a workout where I lift weights… however, it does not always burn as many calories as cardio.

Today, in 80 Day Obsession was one of my favorite workouts – Totally Body Core – complete weight lifting. Last week was the first round of phase 2, which is always challenging for me because I am not sure how much weight to lift or the correct form of the moves. Last week in the hour, I burned about 220 calories. This week, I was amped to workout. I think it had to do with more sleep, more time between waking up and working out, and having a tight agenda for the day… In that same hour and with a different mindset, I burned over 100 more calories.

It made me realize that some days will be good days working out and some days will be bad days working out. Sometimes we will feel like working out and sometimes we will not feel like working out. It is all part of the process, but having a plan will get you through the hard days. One of the reasons, and probably the first reason I fell in love with Beachbody was the workouts provided a plan… a calendar for each day of the program. There was no guessing and it made it so I still pressed play on those days I didn’t want to.

80 Day Obsession is hard, and I know 100% if I didn’t have the right mindset, I would never press play each and everyday. It took a positive mindset before I started on Day 1… Whether you join me on July 1 for my next 80 Day Obsession challenge group or you are starting another workout program, make sure you have the right mindset going into it to be successful.

 

 

 

 

Health Hacks

With a feels like temperature of 94, walking the 1.6 miles to the train was less than ideal today… but as I got ready and planned my outfit and my bag accordingly, I never once stopped to think of the alternatives. As I began the walk, I saw few people out, and began to wonder what others might be thinking of me… Who was the crazy lady out, walking in this weather?

I was struck with the realization that I could have Ubered or I could have even driven, but since embarking on this health journey, the small daily “health hacks” have become my norm. The semi – conscious desire of hitting my step goal each day adds up… the 30 minute walk burned 193 calories, which is better than the 10 minute car ride, which could have cost me $8.00.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about daily workouts and clean nutritious meals, but also about those small changes that occur daily. Darren Hardy writes about, small insignificant actions, done daily, compound over time, for big results. I’m going to continue to think about the health hacks I do daily and share them with you.

How to Plan for 21 Day Fix

How to Create a 21 Day Fix Meal Plan (Plan A)

I’m almost halfway through my first real time with 21 Day Fix! I’ve done the workouts before, but I’ve never followed the nutrition… mostly because I was scared to try and didn’t think there would be enough food! Since committing this round and knowing my wedding is in 90 days, I’ve actually stuck with the nutrition 90% of the time… I’ve had wine and a few extra pieces of fruit and that’s basically it!

So I wanted to share how I plan for it each week! I’ll be going live on my Facebook page Cair4Health soon with videos of me planning so make sure to head over there and like the page if you haven’t already!

1. Plan dinner for the week first! I try to use recipes that use one veggie 💚, one protein❤️, and one carb 💛. This is my one meal that fluctuates each day… and a go to is chicken, quinoa/sweet potato, veggie and a different spice!

2. Then plan your breakfast! I recommend doing the same breakfast each day. I personally love ricotta cheese, blueberries, and unsweetened coconut! ❤️💜🧡

3. Do the same for lunch. Similar to dinner, I try to do a protein ❤️, veggie 💚, and carb 💛

4. Then I look at what I have left and fill in remaining containers for snacks. It usually consists of veggies in the morning, nuts throughout the day, and a shakeo with fruit in the afternoon💚💙❤️💜

5. I then write my grocery list

6. When I get pack from the grocery store, I do as much meal prepping as possible. I often cook about 2 pounds of chicken, portion then into 5 baggies so I can easily take them to work! I also bake 2-3 sweet potatoes and cut up fruit and veggies for the week and put them in plastic baggies too!

Hopefully you found that helpful as a good place to start!

Want me to send you a one week plan for free? Let me know if the comments section and any foods you donot want!

Sausage Minestrone Soup

Oh my gosh! This was maybe the best soup I made and so so easy! I adapted it from Fixate which is a cookbook/show that focuses on clean eating and correct portions! I was very pleased with how this came out and how filling it was!

Ingredients 

  • Chicken sausage (remove from casing)
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 gloves of garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 lb of Swiss chard
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomato
  • 1 can of canenneli beans 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or similar for sauté

Directions

  1. In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots, celery, and sausage in oil until sausage is almost cooked. Add garlic 
  2. Add vegetable broth and continue cooking over medium high heat
  3. Cut tomatoes and place in pot with liquid remaining in can
  4. Chop swish chard (remove stem) and add to pot
  5. Drain beans and add to soup
  6. Add salt & pepper for seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 minutes 
  7. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired

Notes

  • I would definitely make this again and play around with vegetables 

Chicken, Bacon, Broccoli Casserole 

When this came out of the oven, I was nervous… I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was thinking a bland, seasonless meal and boy was I wrong! Super easy to make and very flavorful!

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken (I recommend vegetarian/grass fed)

1 head of broccoli, chopped

1 head of cauliflower, chopped 

4 strips of bacon (what kind depends on you… I used the nitrate free organic kind, but I may try turkey bacon in the future

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 egg

1 cup full fat coconut oil

Salt/pepper to taste

Cooking Oil ( I always prefer coconut)

1/2 cup slivered almonds.

1. Pre-Heat oven to 350. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and cook until mostly done in cooking oil. While cooking, season with salt and pepper.

2. While cooking, layer a 9 x 13 baking dish with the chopped broccoli and cauliflower.

3. Take almost done chicken and sprinkle on top of vegetables mix.

4. Add bacon. Make sure it’s spread out to get the fat evenly spread.

5. In a bow, whisk together egg, chicken broth, and coconut milk. Pour over vegetable, chicken, and bacon mixture. Season with salt and pepper and make sure it’s evenly distributed.

6. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.

7. Remove foil, add almonds to top, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

8. If desired and I always do, add hot sauce! Sracha worked well with this!