Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Workout?

Welcome to the second Food and Fitness Friday! Did any of you take the time to look at your nutrition labels and ingredients this past week? I hope so! How about this part... "take 3, 30 minute walks this week and challenge yourself to a 30 second to 1 minute plank each day (as long as you are cleared to do so by a Doctor) and check out these 3 videos (on Netflix): Hungry For Change, Forks over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." 

How did you do?

If you did makes some changes GREAT! If not today is a great day to start!

I had some fitness inquiries this week so I am going to be focusing on that today.

Why workout? 

According to the Mayo Clinic (my doctor points me there all the time for information) there are 7 benefits to regular physical activity:

  1. Exercise controls weight (uh huh, it's true!)
  2. Combats health conditions and disease: "In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls". 
  3. Exercise improves Mood. Get out there Mr. or Mrs. Grumpy pants and perk up!
  4. Exercise boosts energy: "Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores".
  5. Exercise promotes better sleep. Too tired to squeeze in that workout? Think again!
  6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life. Say WHAT!?!
  7. Exercise can be fun.
Take a look at the link for details on each of those 7 benefits. I have experienced every single one of those benefits (sorry if this may be a little TMI because of reason 6 but it's true).

Now to the act of actually exercising. You should always check with your doctor if you have any injuries or conditions that may limit your ability to complete certain exercises but for most of us the following will be just fine.

My Favorite Exercises and Why:

Squats- I use a 12 lb kettle ball with my squats for that extra umph I need now. Squats are your biggest fat burning muscles burning those fat cells right off. Squats workout much more than the thighs. When doing them properly they help your core, your back, full legs, glutes and balance. 

Planks- This requires only your body and a floor. Gravity activates your core, arms, legs and sides. This is one of the ONLY moves that can give you a flat stomach, crunches will not! I repeat CRUNCHIES WILL NOT!  Check this out.

*if a full on plank is too hard at first, drop your knees but keep form.

Arm/Shoulder Workouts... Any, because that is one of my focus areas right now. Working toward leaner arms and get rid of the "extra wave"... you may know what I am talking about 

Yeeeeaaaah no one loves that... so do these:

Cardio- Now most people assume that you need to run a marathon to get cardio in... FALSE! There are non-running cardio exercises too! Such as punching or anything in this video below. Now... Cardio is not may favorite because I like doing it but getting your heart rate up is very important protecting you from heart disease, and keeping your oxygen levels good and lungs healthy plus it does feel good AFTER you are done. The below video is great if you are at home or in a small space. Running is great to do if you don't absolutely hate it. Grab some tunes or don't and let the experience of running clear your mind. 

ALL of the video's linked in this post can be done at home. Get your self a set of weights, start small and work your way up. Warm up your muscles by jumping rope (with  or without an actual rope), jumping jacks, leg swings, and arm circles are all good warms ups to do for about 5 minutes before your workout. Then create for yourself a circuit where you focus on 15-20 reps (reps=repetitions) of one move and then move to another move for 15-20 reps, and then a 3rd or 4th move with 15-20 reps. Take a 30-60 second break in-between your circuit and repeat it 3 times. Per my old personal trainer ALWAYS do Cardio (besides in the warm up) last so you are not fatigued when doing the circuit and do a 15-30 minute cardio workout after and pace yourself at a just beyond comfortable pace. Try to make your workouts no shorter than 30 minutes but a hour is ideal.

AND remember it's called a "Work"out because it actually will require work to see results, but well worth it in the end.

If you are a Stay at Home Mom or have your kids around you when you are trying to fit in that workout, check out this Link for some tips.


For the food portion of this post I have found a very helpful blog that has TONS and TONS of recipes all categorized so you can find what you are hungry for! Check out The Gracious Pantry's Recipe Index to find foods that are clean and tasty! Let me know what you end up trying and what your thoughts on the recipe are.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20
    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Where do we begin?

Welcome to the very first Food and Fitness Friday! I am excited to get started and to have you be a part of this journey! Let me jump right in!

So January 1st 2014 rolled around and you probably thought… I am going to lose weight this year. Well you are not alone in that resolution, but how do you start? Some join a gym and think that is all they need to do, while others plan to add a few more fruits and veggies to their plates and squeeze in a walk or two.  Others try going full blown healthy but find they don’t have the tools to make it very far on their own. I have been there.

The most critical things you can do is eat food. “WHAT? I am already doing that” is probably what you are saying, or saying something like “That’s my problem I eat too much food”. Well you may be surprised to find out most Americans are not eating very much food. America is consuming a lot of food like products but most of it isn’t actually food. If you read the ingredients on most of the things in an American cupboard it probably has a ton of ingredients you can’t pronounce. That is not a good thing.

So where do we begin? Right here; My challenge this week is to eat “Clean” and throw out your processed foods. Those are pretty much anything in a box, can or prepackaged meal. Look for REAL foods, toss out anything with “Enriched” in front of the ingredient, soy and/or soy lecithin or anything with the word soy, high fructose corn syrup, or fake sugars such as sucralose and aspartame for starters. I will be doing more detailed posts on these ingredients and why it is so crucial you exclude them from your diet later on. If you question a food ingredient, please take a picture of the item's ingredients and leave me a comment below and I will be able to tell you if it is a keeper or not, and why in short.

These processed foods are empty calories (calories that have little to no nutritional value but are high in calories) and chemical concoctions to make food cheap and trigger sensors in your brain to make you think it tastes good, and to crave more.
Unfortunately, most processed foods are laden with sweeteners, salts, artificial flavors, factory-created fats, colorings, chemicals that alter texture, and preservatives. But the trouble is not just what’s been added, but what’s been taken away. Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients designed by nature to protect your heart, such as soluble fiber, antioxidants, and “good” fats. Combine that with additives, and you have a recipe for disaster” (Readers Digest Association, 2014).

Americans are set up for failure when they walk into a grocery store. You may find the above ingredients I told you to toss in 99% of your everyday foods. Well, in short, this is why America is fat and has outrageous medical issues like no other first world country. You can find small changes that make a huge difference in your daily dishes though (unless you eat fast food, and in that case… just don’t do it or do it as little as possible). Simple things like choosing a whole grain pasta (still check the labels on these… they can lie too), brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice, frozen fruits and veggies instead of canned, fruit instead of candy, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The list goes on and on.

The biggest argument is “well that stuff just doesn’t taste good”. Well if that is you (or could/will be if you change your diet) your taste buds are tainted. I am not kidding! America’s taste buds have been overwhelmed by salts, fats and sugars, give it a few days to a week or two and things will start tasting so much better and you will find you can’t believe you used to get something as sweet as a white mocha with whip cream!

Shopping tips: Read ALL nutrition labels and ingredients. Shop on the outer isles at the grocery store and only get frozen fruits and veggies in the freezer isle. Go for Organic if you can (real food not genetically modified). Buy sprouted grain bread if you can. Wheat and white bread/tortillas really are nutritionally no different, 100% wheat or not at all.

Here are just a couple links to great recipes that are clean and nutritious that can help you plan grocery shopping for your next trip:

29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the [a]surface of all the earth, and every tree [b]which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 

Genesis 1:29(NASB)

Hope you visit me again, next Friday, for more ways to get healthy! But until then take 3, 30 minute walks this week and challenge yourself to a 30 second to 1 minute plank each day (as long as you are cleared to do so by a Doctor) and check out these 3 videos (on Netflix): Hungry For Change, Forks over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Was this helpful? What would you like me to talk more about? What is something that can help you personally? All questions and comments are gladly read and will be answered if posted below.


Readers Digest Association, (2014). 4 Harmful Ingredients in Packaged Foods. Retrieved from:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Hello and Welcome to Food and Fitness Friday!

This blog is going to be focusing on food, fitness and overall wellness and post will be up weekly on Friday's! Hence the name of the blog! I am so excited to be able to share and help anyone who wants to get healthy and in shape and learn to love their bodies and a new lifestyle. If you want to get skinny, this is not the place to be. If you want to learn how to eat, get recipes, advice, exercise moves and tips and learn to achieve a healthy size a weight and dare I say get lean, then this is the place to be.

In the last 3 years I have gone through a life transformation. I was a size 16 and 188 pounds after giving birth, and it wasn't just being pregnant that got me there. 

I really had no idea what healthy was. Pregnancy craving and a life time of unhealthy habits and a lack of knowledge is what got me there. If that sounds like you follow this blog. I am now a size 4 and 134 pounds. I do not have a degree in nutrition but I have done my share of research and probing between credible websites and personal talks with nutritionists and personal trainers/workout instructors. I have learned how to "decode" food and balance my life with exercise and food. If I can do it so can you, but you have to be ready to change. You can no longer do the same thing over and over and expect different results. 

Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you committed? Do you want change?

If yes, join me here on Fridays to see what I have for you! I am reaching out to nutritionists, personal trainers, credible sources and other health bloggers to bring you information to get you on the right track.

I can't wait to share with you, and don't forget to share this blog with your friends and family!