#MotivationMonday: Paleolithic Diet (ft. What Does Science Say?)

Happy Monday All!

I hope you are enjoying your second Monday of 2019! In the midst of transforming to be healthier, you may wonder what diet you should follow in order to reach your goals. There are tons of diets out there–Paleo, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Keto, Blood Type, etc. It seems impossible to  know which one is the one is right for you!

After receiving a few emails encouraging me to convert to Paleolithic (paleo) Diet, I decided to look into the diet’s benefits!

The paleo diet requires you to eat less processed foods and eat more protein, mono- and ployunsaturated fats, and carbohydrates with low glycemic indexes. Basically, paleo diet followers consume mostly fruits, veggies, lean protein, and nuts. This diet is based off the human diet during the pre-historic times.

Current research shows that the paleo diet may improve fat mass, insulin sensitivity (hormone that controls glucose levels), glycemic control (blood sugar level control) , and leptin (hormone that regulates appetite) levels in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. A randomized control trial from 2017 followed 32 patients with type 2 diabetes who followed a Paleo diet for 12 weeks. The 32 patients were then split into two groups: one with exercise recommendations and the other with an hour exercise session three times per week. The researchers found that both groups decreased their fat mass (more so in the exercise group), improved their insulin sensitivity, glycemic index control, and leptin levels.

Of course, this is merely one study and looks specifically at individuals with diabetes. However, it seems the paleo diet can be beneficial!

Want to read the study yourself? Click here.

Do you follow a special type of diet?

Talk soon!

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#MotivationMonday: January Challenge

Happy Monday All!

The first Monday of 2019 and January calls for a new challenge, am I right? Plus, monthly challenges help motivate me to stay on track! This challenge is a little different from my previous ones. Rather than building on each other, each day entails a healthy task to complete! Check it out below:

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What are you doing to keep yourself accountable for your fitness goals?

Talk soon!

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#MotivationMonday: Let’s Talk New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year’s Eve All!

I was very fortunate this past year not only academically,  but I was also able to travel outside the United States, land a scribe position, and step outside my comfort zone to start a blog!

With 2019 approaching quickly, I can’t help but think what I want to achieve in 2019.  At the same time, I don’t want to say I am going to do something and not do it either!   In the past, I have failed to commit and achieve to my prior New Year’s Resolutions–can you relate? However, I decided this year is going to be different! In fact, I wanted to share some of my strategies I am going to use to hold myself accountable.

Plan/Write It Out

I am a stickler for organizing and planning my days. In fact, one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was my brand new 2019 planner! Because I have experienced success by making checklists and setting weekly goals, I decided to use this strategy to help me achieve my resolutions. Last week, I actually sat down with a notebook and wrote a list describing my “ideal” 2019 in terms of graduating, applying to postgraduate programs, traveling, and fitness. At first, it was hard to think about what I want my life to look like in a year from now, but it really helped me physically see what I want my 2019 to look like!

Set Deadlines

I know what you are thinking– how can you write deadlines months in advance if you don’t know where you are going to be or what you are going to do. Hear me out: while I did not give an exact date for each of my goals, I did give myself a time window. For example, for graduation, I am planning of leaning out. Therefore, starting January 1st to the second week of May (about 20 weeks), I want to hit a specific weight. New Year’s Resolutions are usually long term, or they require you to form new lifestyle habits! Both of these ideas are hard to stick to! Dieting is discouraging when you can’t see the end in sight or you hit a plateau. Similarly, it’s hard to say you are giving up soda or certain processed foods cold turkey. Therefore, by giving yourself a timeline to achieve a goal, you won’t feel so discouraged if you “break” that resolution in the first few weeks!

Don’t be too Ambitious

Because New Year’s Resolutions tend to include difficult lifestyle changes, it is easy to get ahead of yourself. Unfortunately, you probably are not going to lose 50 pounds by February. So, when you are giving yourself deadlines for your overall goals, remember that you are human, you have to have balance, and healthy is a lifestyle! It takes time and continuous effort to maintain, lose, or gain weight!

Break It Down

Finally, to help keep motivation up and prevent yourself from setting unrealistic goals, break your goals down into smaller ones. For example, if you have 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds, set a goal to lose 1 pound per week, and track your progress in the same notebook you wrote down all your New Year’s Resolutions. This will prevent you from feeling as if your goal is unattainable!

And, that is it! After writing down my goals, I am super excited to see what 2019 entails!

What are your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions?

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#WorkoutWednesday: Let’s Talk Legs

Happy Wednesday All!

I finished up my finals AND last fall semester as an undergraduate this week! Whoop, whoop! Now, I plan on enjoying some holiday festivities with my family and ending 2018 on a high note! But, first, let’s hit a leg workout!

2×10 Back Squats, Moderate Weight [Use these sets to warm up.]

2×6-8 Back Squats, Working Sets

3×15 Reverse Lunges 

3×12 RDLS

Superset 3×10 Dumbbell Goblet Squats

3×10 Lying Hamstring Curls

3×15 Weighted Calf Raises 

What did you workout today?

Talk soon!

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#MotivationMonday: Don’t Be a Health Grinch!

Happy Monday All!

With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to address lack of motivation and how to combat it! Sometimes, it’s hard to get a gym session in when family is around and doing holiday festivities. However, I usually follow these five tips to help ensure I am moving everyday and eating healthy food in addition to the occasional Christmas treat. Check them out below!

Get an early start.

Personally, I know the likelihood that I will complete a workout during the holidays increases exponentially if I get my workout done first thing in the morning. It limits the amount of time you have to talk yourself out of going to the gym, and if you want to indulge in some treats at night, you won’t worry about feeling “gross” during your workout. 

2 On Track Meals/Day.

My mom is a great cook! However, eating pie for breakfast and crackers and cheese for lunch does not make me feel 100%. Therefore, I aim to eat my same typical breakfast and lunch foods every day to limit my intake of all the Christmas goods! 

Plan it out. 

Being a planner, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing something of my to-do list. I always write in or schedule my workouts and treat them more like an appointment. It’s just an extra way to keep me accountable and prevent me from pushing my workout times back because of other holiday festivities!

Increase Intensity, Decrease Time. 

Working out is great, but spending time with your family and friends is even better, especially around the holidays! So, switch your workouts up! Rather than spending an hour or hour-and-a-half in the gym, opt for circuit training and limit rest time to keep your heart rate elevated and minimize your time spent at the gym!

Don’t dwell on imperfection. 

My most important rule: even if you don’t follow all of my above rules every single day, don’t stress! A couple off-track days won’t keep you from achieving your goals, and they will likely entail making memories! The holidays only come once a year, so enjoy them! 

It’s the 6th day of Christmas all, are you doing the 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge? It’s never to late to join!

Talk soon!

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#WorkoutWednesday: Snowy Blues At Home Full Body Circuit

Happy Wednesday All!

Sometimes, it’s too cold to walk or get motivated to go to the gym! Fear not! This is an equipment free full-body circuit you can do to get in a quick workout at home. Check it out below:

5 Minutes – Stretch/Warm-up

Circuit – Complete 4 Rounds 

20 Squat to Oblique Crunches

10 Push-Up Burpees

20 Russian Twists

15 Curtsey Lunges

20 Shoulder Plank Taps

12 V-Sit Ups

20 Calf Raises

5 Minutes- Stretch/Cool-Down

After finishing this quick circuit, be sure to check out the 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge! Today is the first day of Christmas, and you don’t want to miss out!

Talk soon!

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#MotivationMonday: 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge

Happy Monday All!

With the 12 days of Christmas approaching quickly, I wanted to challenge myself (and you if you’d like!) to complete a circuit before bed every night.  Are you up for it? Check it out below: 

On the first day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me…a one and a half minute plank.

On the second day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me….two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank.

On the third day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me…three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me….four sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me…FIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITS, four sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the sixth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me…. six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the seventh day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me… seven mountain climbers six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the eighth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me…eight russian twists,  seven mountain climbers , six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the ninth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me….nine jumping squats,  eight russian twists,  seven mountain climbers six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me….ten push-up burpees,  nine jumping squats,  eight russian twists,  seven mountain climbers , six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me… eleven curtsey lungesten push-up burpeesnine jumping squats,  eight russian twistsseven mountain climbers six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my trainer gave to me…12 shoulder presseseleven curtsey lungesten push-up burpeesnine jumping squats,  eight russian twistsseven mountain climbers six lateral raisesFIVE 30 SECOND WALL SITSfour sets of sit-ups (10 reps), three sets of jumping lunges (10 reps), two sets of push-ups (10 reps), and a one and a half minute plank. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Are you doing the challenge?

Talk soon!

#WorkoutWednesday: Back Day

Happy Wednesday Day All!

As a college student, I am counting down the days until winter break starts! This semester has been good to me, but I am ready for new classes and a different routine. However, even with my academic rut, my workouts have been on point lately! Check this one out below!

3×10 Pull-Ups [Warm up — Can Use a Resistance Band to Add Assistance if Need Be!)

4×10 Barbell Rows

4×12 Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs 

3×15 Wide Grip Seated Rows

3×12 Close Grip Lat Pull Downs 

3×15 Back Extensions [Weighted or Unweighted]

What did you workout today?

Talk soon!

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#MotivationMonday: Christmas Specials to Relax With

Happy Monday All!

It is FINALLY December, and by default, the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the decorations, music, gift giving and receiving, cooking, and spending time with my family!

To emphasize my Christmas spirit, I try to incorporate all things Christmas into my daily routine. With that being said, I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas shows I flip on at night to destress before bed. Check it out below!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 Minutes)

While Jim Carrey killed his performance as the grinch, I still favor the grinch cartoon from 1966. It’s only 26 minutes long (short and sweet) and perfect to flip on with a cup of hot chocolate before bed!

The Year Without Santa Claus (51 Minutes)

If you have an icy heart this holiday season, I highly suggest watching this Christmas special to melt it! The “I’ll Have a Blue Christmas Without You” song is adorable. 

Christmas Vacation (1 Hour 37 Minutes)

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THIS movie is another classic and holds a special place in my heart. In fact, growing up, my family and I put this movie on repeat. It’s funny and relatable in the sense that sometimes, things just go wrong! 

The Polar Express (1 Hour 40 Minutes)

I saw this movie in theaters with my dad and siblings one snowy, December evening. I adore the “Hot Chocolate” song and the symbol of Christmas bells! It’s a great reminder that you are never too old to believe in abstract ideas.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Talk soon!

#WorkoutWednesday: Killer Shoulder Workout

Happy Wednesday All!

I started off this week with a killer shoulder workout! Check it out below:

4×8-12 Military Presses (increasing weight)

4×12 Seated Lateral Raises 

4×10 Barbell Front Raises 

Superset 4×10 plate raises

4×10 Rear Delt Flies 

Superset 4×8 Incline Front Raises

3×10-12 Trap pulls 

How’d you start off your workouts this week?

Talk soon!