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Meal prep – where do I even start??

Sure, we all have grand ideas of eating healthier and making 2016 our best year ever. But..you get home from work and haven’t defrosted any chicken, and all the veggies are still in their natural state, as in, they’re not ready to go and you have to get things figured out for dinner. The easy solution is to order takeout, right? Of course it is. However, that will quickly add up, not only calorie wise, but it’ll hit your wallet!! The best way to prevent this is to meal prep!! You have to set yourself up for success!! So where do you start?? I came across a great article that helps give some ideas to help get started, and prevent the boredom from eating the same things every night – yaaaawn!!

How to Meal Prep Chicken

1. Season meat three ways using just one pan.
If you’re sticking to lean meats like chicken, chowing down on the same flavors can get tedious after a while. Save time without boring your taste buds by preparing two or three variations of chicken at once, using aluminum foil dividers in your pan. Sriracha, BBQ, honey mustard — you can have it all. Three birds, one pan!

How to Hard Boil Eggs for Meal Prep

2. Hard-boil eggs in the oven — not in a pot.
An excellent source of protein, vitamins A and B and healthy fat, eggs should be a staple snack for any health fiend. The problem: You can usually only fit up to five eggs in a pot. To make a delicious dozen in one go, bake your eggs in muffin tins for just 30 minutes. Ta-da! You’ll get a perfectly hard-boiled batch. Pro tip: Do a small test run first to ensure your oven doesn’t run too hot or too cold before cooking a full pan of eggs.

Coffee Smoothie Cups

3. Freeze blended smoothies in muffin tins.
Never have the time to measure out a million fixings for a morning sip? Save time by buying the ingredients in bulk, blending your favorite beverage, and then freezing the mixture in muffin tips. Next time you need a shake, stat, toss two or three “smoothie cups” in a blender for a quick and easy breakfast. Photo and recipe: Matt / Muffin Tin Mania

How to Store Vegetables for Meal Prep

4. Chop or spiralize raw vegetables in advance.
Too hangry to make dinner at the end of a long day? Cut veggies in bulk ahead of time to avoid wasting precious minutes chopping on busy weeknights. Zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) and butternut squash noodles will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days, and chopped vegetables like carrots, onion and pepper will last a week when refrigerated properly in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware.

How to Roast Vegetables for Meal Prep

5. Roast different vegetables with same cooking time.
Roasting vegetables is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness, but waiting 30 to 40 minutes for each pan of nutrient-rich goodness to cook can be time-consuming. To prep a large batch of veggies, try pairing them based on roasting time. Fast-cooking vegetables that can bake in the same pan include asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; slow-roasting vegetables include carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips.

Portion Control Jars for Meal Prep

6. Make portions crystal clear.
Guard against overeating by portioning your nuts, pretzels, veggies or favorite nibbles into plastic baggies or portable jars. It’s easy to mindlessly munch when you’ve got an entire bag sitting in front of you, but having just enough ready to go for lunch or a snack will keep you from going overboard.

Pick a day to shop and prepare your food for the week, and you’ll never find yourself aimlessly reaching for the phone to dial in a pizza again!!

For more on this article, please visit Dailyburn.com

Image sourced from youtube.com

10 Surefire ways to stay motivated when all you want to do is quit..

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a rut with your fitness and nutrition? I know I certainly do! I think it’s common to let life get in the way of truly pursuing your goals, but to get to where you want to be, quitting can’t be an option. Here are a few ways to keep yourself on track so you don’t completely derail and have to start over!

Make It Cost You

Even if you already have a routine and know which machines to use and how, pay for a personal trainer. Since most of them charge you if you cancel last minute, you’ll be less inclined to recline on the sofa watching Wife Swap instead of hitting the gym like you’d planned. Sure, times are tough for most of us financially. But that means you should be cutting back on unnecessary costs—and your health doesn’t fit the bill.

Rise to the Occasion

Literally. Get up an hour earlier three days a week and work out first thing in the morning, before work. If you plan to go after work, it’s a lot easier to tell yourself you had an especially exhausting day and throw in the towel.

Have a “Lazy Day” Backup Plan

Invest in the basics for a quick at-home workout: an exercise mat and two 5-pound free weights. That way, when you really don’t feel like making the trip to the gym, you’ll have the resources to spend 30 minutes flexing your muscles at home. Even if you do fewer crunches, lunges, and bicep curls at home, it’s better than skipping out on your workout altogether.

Keep a Log

Hang up a calendar in an obvious spot that is devoted solely to tracking your workouts. Every day you don’t work out, mark it with a giant red “X.” If you skip two or three days in a row you’ll be faced with all of those giant “X”s–a visual reminder that it’s time to get your butt in gear.

Some of my favorite workouts actually come from at-home workout programs I’ve got in my collection, and I can plan ahead and take them to the gym with me. On those lazy days, all I have to do is pop in a DVD and do something, anything at home to keep moving! Check out some of the videos I have on the site if you want to get up and move!

For full article please go to WomensHealthMag.com

Image source: Image source: Copyright: bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo

Waking up sore? Here’s why (and what you can do about it)

Have you been hitting the gym since January 1st, but waking up sore as hell? The day after leg day is NO JOKE. Stairs, sitting down, going to the bathroom, breathing..it all hurts!! I came across this article on Buzzfeed that helps explain the soreness and what you can do about it.

If you made fitness your New Year’s resolution, you’ve probably had your fair share of sore days in the last month. But don’t let the dreaded day-after-leg-day keep you out of the gym and sitting sadly on the couch. We reached out to two fitness experts: Dr. Harry Pino, Ph.D., exercise physiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, and certified strength and conditioning specialist Tony Gentilcore, Boston-based personal trainer and fitness coach, to find out more about why you’re actually sore and how to make it a little less terrible.

1. First of all, soreness is a natural physiological response to exercise.

That strained, sore feeling you have after working out actually has a clinical name: “delayed onset muscle soreness,” or DOMS for short, says Gentilcore. “The skeletal muscle — what you work during exercise — actually swells a little so it feels stiff and tender to the touch and there’s a temporary reduction in muscle strength,” says Pino. It’s a totally normal part of your body’s healing and recovery process. DOMS is especially common in beginners who aren’t accustomed to the intensity or volume of exercise, but it can happen to anyone no matter their fitness level.

2. The pain is actually from tiny micro-tears in the muscle that your body is repairing — which is how muscles get big!

“DOMS is really a side effect of the repair process that develops in response to micro-tears and muscle damage from high-intensity exercise,” says Pino. So when you run for a few hours, it literally causes disruptions of muscle fibers and connective tissue. “When the muscle has tears, you feel sore but it will heal by developing this kind of scar tissue called sarcolemma, which makes it thicker and thicker over time and that’s how you develop bigger muscles,” Pino explains. So soreness is really just a side effect of the repair process and your muscles getting swole.

3. Soreness isn’t really caused by lactic acid, which was a popular belief for a long time.

A common myth is that soreness comes from a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle, but this was debunked about ten years ago. “Lactic acid is a product of exercise, but it’s getting burned off so it’ll disappear in the body within five hours,” Gentilcore says. “It’s important that people understand soreness isn’t from lactic acid, but repairing micro-tears, so they don’t try to jump back into exercise or shake it off and end up with an injury,” Pino says.

See next page for more samples from the article…

 

You don’t need a gym membership..

Hi! You may have noticed that going and spending hours at the gym isn’t nearly as popular as it once was. What can we say, we live in a much busier time now than we ever have, and we need to get in and out of our workout as quickly as possible so we can live the rest of our lives by design! The important thing is that we MAKE the time to be active and schedule it into our lives, so it no longer becomes a drag, but instead just a daily part of life!

Here’s one of my very favorite videos that show just what you can do if you find yourself stuck at home with no equipment. Make your body become your gym!!

 

Enjoy your day!!

<3 Emily

5 Ways YOU can get and stay fit!

I came across this awesome article on Bodybuilding.com the other day, and it struck a chord with me. How many times do we, especially as women and mothers, make excuses like “I don’t have time to workout”, or “I’m just so busy with work and kids”? Here are 5 different ways you can make small changes and get your body back to where you want it?

Plan your meals

meal prep

Trying to save time by eating fast food and ready-made meals is one of the biggest mistakes busy moms make. Although it may save you time and energy to run to Burger King instead of cooking a meal, you’re actually jeopardizing your long-term health. Don’t forget: Your health and well-being has a huge impact on your children, both now and later.

Although it’s going to take time and energy, it’s far better to spend half an hour preparing healthy, nutritious meals for the day ahead. If you have the time, you can also spend a few hours on one day preparing food for the whole week. Just freeze the portions you won’t eat in the next couple of days.
Each meal you make and eat should include protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Each of these macro nutrients is an important part of a healthy diet. Just make sure you keep an eye on those portion sizes!

Be Open to Change

exercise quotey

I know, this tip may seem to be at odds with the first one about planning, but hear me out. Being a busy mom generally means things don’t always go as planned. No matter how well you’ve scheduled your week, it only takes one thing—like your child getting sick—for the whole thing to fall apart. That’s why it’s important to be open to a bit of spontaneity.
Think of health and fitness as an integral part of your lifestyle rather than a fad you adopt for 6 or 12 weeks at a time. So, if you get really busy, snatch whatever time you can for exercising, even if it’s not the gym session you were planning. Having one workout or even a few workouts that don’t go as planned will not ruin your fitness, and you can definitely still get in a good sweat session with a solid at-home workout.

This positive perspective will give you the freedom to adjust you life as needed and to forgive yourself when things don’t go quite as you thought they would. Don’t let the small hiccups interfere with your lifestyle. Find a way to make health happen.

See page 2

Exercise is not my thing..

Hi!
What do you do if the idea of exercise in general eeks you out? How are you going to get into shape?
Do you say screw it, I’ll be happy where I am, or do you make the decision to find SOMETHING that you will like?

The best part about working out to me is the feeling I get when I’m done. But how do YOU get that feeling?
My suggestion is to find something that you can do and actually enjoy. For some, it’s weight training. For others, it’s dancing. For others, it’s a boot camp style workout or Crossfit.

My point is simply to find what you like to do, and make THAT your exercise. You can always branch out later once you’ve found something that you can commit yourself to doing consistently, but it’s just baby steps to start.

I LOVE dancing. It just makes me happy! I’m that girl who is bopping around whenever I hear music that makes me move. It’s not always been that way, I never knew how much I loved to dance UNTIL I TRIED IT!!!!

Get out of your comfort zone and try something new so you can move forward..yes, it might be scary and make you nervous, and you might hate it…but that’s the worst that can happen! You might just LOVE every second!!

If you’d like any suggestions on a good way to get started, comment below! I’d love to help you on your journey!

Emily 🙂

Image source: hdimagegallery.net

ROM is where it’s at..

Hi!

I was thinking about my latest post – and I felt the need to piggy back on it really quick.

Like I said, lift weights. Strength train. Make your body stronger.
BUT on this note – don’t jump into something that your body isn’t ready for.

I’m not suggesting you go marching into the gym, picking up a pair of 40lb dumbbells and start doing shoulder presses. Find out what works for you as a STARTING point, and go from there.

The title of this post could be a little deceiving, so let me elaborate on it.
ROM = Range Of Motion.
This is where you are working your muscle from the top of your range of motion, to the very bottom.
Don’t you want to work ALL of the muscle correctly, if you’re going to be working it at all?

A lot of people are guilty of not working through their full Range of Motion.. Men and Women both. For example, I can walk into the gym on any given day and see people loading up the squat rack with 2 45lb plates on each side, so including the bar, that’s 225lbs. Now, if you can pick that up, and squat down to where your thighs are parallel to the floor, and your butt lands on the same line as your knees..more power to you!!! You’re getting the most out of that squat! But if you’re like a lot of people, and you can squat that weight but only go down and up 3 inches, well, it’s time to unload the bar a little, bud. You’re not going to get all the benefits of a properly performed squat (which is a phenomenal lower body exercise, BTW) if you’re not working through your full ROM!

Check out this article on Range of Motion – it’s SCIENCE!!! 🙂

http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/science-says-full-range-of-motion-is-best

Enjoy your day!
Emily

Do you even lift, bro?

Hi there!

I’m sitting here enjoying my coffee on this rainy Sunday morning, and wishing instead it could be something cold and I’m by the pool. Nonetheless..I’m ready and waiting for summertime so we can be poolside and lakeside ASAP!

I have to admit, a few months ago, I was absolutely NOT bathing suit ready. And I’m a fitness instructor! But I’m also human, and as you have probably already read about me – I love food 🙂 Cold weather screams comfort food to me, so I’m going to cook some delicious, make-your-belly-warm types of foods. These tend to come with a nice layer of winter weight..so I made the decision to change up how I was eating, and my workouts.

I have just completed a 12 week lifting program, that is designed to build muscle and destroy fat in the process. I have never felt better about myself, and now I have a lifestyle change that will only continue to make me happier in my own skin!

I hear SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many times from women, “I don’t want to get bulky, so I’m going to stick to my light weights”. This makes me CRINGE when I hear it – and I offer myself up as an example. I lift weights that challenge me, and push me to muscle failure. They’re HEAVY! And I have seen no bulking up from this – I’ve only noticed that while my muscles are growing, the rest of my body (as in, FAT) is shrinking. We simply don’t have the testosterone levels that men do, to get big and hugely muscular.

Check out this article on why women should lift weights:

10 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

Not only will it help prevent osteoporosis later in life by helping with bone density, but fights depression, diabetes, and increases sex drive! (And who doesn’t want all THAT in their life!)

No matter where you are on your journey – if you’ve not seen a dumbbell since you first got a gym membership and took a tour, or if you’re watching workouts from the comfort of your couch on YouTube, make a plan to do SOMETHING to get strength training into your life. Trust me, your body will thank you!

If you need a little push to get you started – or if you’re looking for some new ideas, comment below!

Have a fantastic day! (even if you’re stuck inside in the rain like I am! 🙂 )
Emily

Put some Windex on it!!

Hi, Emily here!

Have you ever seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Do you remember the Dad, who had some kind of weird obsession with Windex? “You got a burn? Put some Windex on it. You got a scratch? Put some Windex on it!”

This is pretty much EXACTLY how I feel about Coconut Oil! I’m sure by now you have heard about the HUUUUUUUGE trend behind Coconut Oil – but for SOLID reason!

Personally, I have 3 different main uses for it, and I have 3 different places in my home that I keep it.
#1 – The Kitchen! I cook with Coconut oil – well, I love the flavor first, but it also has a high smoke point, and is such an amazingly healthy fat why not sneak some into my food!
#2 – In the Shower! I use it to moisturize my skin while I’m still in the shower, plus it’s the BEST shaving cream I’ve ever found 🙂
#3 – By my vanity! I use it to remove makeup, moisturize my face after I’ve washed it for the night, put it in my hair (it’s heaven to a curly haired girl), use it for oil pulling (swoosh it around your mouth for 20 mins to pull out bad bacteria and toxins) and I keep it handy to put on any owies or burns my sons get. It has antiseptic properties, all natural, AND it smells like the beach! WINNING!!

If you haven’t given Coconut oil a shot, I highly recommend grabbing a tub of it and seeing what you can switch out in YOUR home! Make sure you get the Unrefined kind – it should smell and taste like coconut – so you’re getting the most bang for your buck as far as all the benefits it has to offer!

Check out this site for some great ideas on how to get it into your daily routine 🙂
http://greatist.com/health/genius-ways-to-use-coconut-oil

Thanks for reading, and comment below if you have any spectacular uses for Coconut oil to share!

Have an amazing day!
Emily

How much are you feeding yourself??

Hey there,

There are many different “diets” out there..some say you can eat anything as long as it comes from a certain “list”, with no kind of self control when it comes to just HOW MUCH you’re consuming. Everything we eat and drink has calories (OK, maybe with the exception of water!) so it all needs to be tallied in if you’re keeping track at all. What it boils down to, is calories are not all equal! Take for example, what does 200 calories look like?
To some – it’s a few bites of food.
To others – it’s a full plate.
Which do you choose?

For me personally, I love food, and I will take a full plate of nutrition dense foods anyday over a few small bites.
The small differences REALLY add up and you will start to see a change with little to no effort, for example, switch out the mayo on your sandwich for mustard (or avocado, yum!). Sub out the heavy salad dressing for oil and vinegar. You’ll find the small tweaks much easier to accept, and then the ball is rolling towards an overhaul of your diet towards a much healthier lifestyle!

Take a look at this video:

Eye opening, isn’t it?

How many of the “Good” choices of the 200 calories vs. the “Bad” choices are you making?

Comment below!

Till next time – have an AMAZING day!

Emily

 

Image source: ifood.tv

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