Here's the plan! December 1st marks the day of a brand new month.. a month that a lot of us have a majority off from school or work and the luxury to sit around and eat a ton of AMAZING food.
But we're not gonna do that, are we?!
From tomorrow until AT LEAST December 24th you have 24 day's to improve your health and fitness. You have 24 days to get yourself ahead of the crowd and crush some goals before the rest of the world goes on this health and fitness fad for a short month.
To move forward the next 24 days here's how I suggest setting yourself up:
1) Print out a calendar and list your daily workouts so you know what you will be doing ahead of time.
2) Under each workout write what time you will be working out each day.
3) Create a meal plan that is nutrient dense to stick to for the next 24 days.
4) Plan your next cheat day for December 25th! (or Christmas Eve).
5) Write down your #1 goal to accomplish in the next 24 days and hang it beside your calendar.
What are you going to do with the next 24 days?
Here's the 25 days of fitness calendar my clients are following:
Along with this calendar we are going to be following the 21 day fix meal plan that keeps us full, fuels our workouts and gets us fat burning results!
My number one goal for the next 25 days is to stick with the meal plan to a T and see more tone in my abdominal area by December 25th.
I am SO EXCITED to indulge in a piece of pie (virtually) with my clients on Christmas and feel completely guilt free!
Did you know the fitter you are the more efficient your body is at burning fat? Do you want to spend the next 24 days gaining weight only to indulge on Christmas and gain more weight? Or would you rather get fit and healthy the next 24 days and feel AMAZING eating shitty on Christmas!?
The average American gains 7-10 pounds during the holidays... let's not be average people.
Whether you're going to be on the road to visit family this year or flying to a tropical destination to avoid the holiday madness, it's not impossible to keep up on your workouts and clean eating.
A Lifestyle is the way you live, learning how to fit a healthy routine into your life permanently with room for holiday and vacation cheats will be the most beneficial thing you do for yourself. Life is much more enjoyable when you allow yourself pizza and beer every once in a while!
I am always on the go! Over the years I've been between Africa, Nicaragua, Hawaii, New York, trips home across the state, trips to Texas, Nashville, Florida, back to Washington and 15 other states.. I travel way too often to allow myself cheat meals all the time.. but here’s how I travel and reward myself, guilt free!
The times I'm not traveling I have a 95-5% diet, meaning I eat healthy 95% of the time and 5% I treat myself, (It often turns into 100% clean eating). When I'm traveling I follow more of an 80-20% rule. I find it intriguing to find local healthy options where ever I go. A large part of vacationing is enjoying the food, but the food doesn't have to be the local garbage.
The biggest advice I would give about your diet when you're traveling, is enjoy the most delicious local healthy options 80% of the time, and indulge 20%.
Another tip from my personal experience, I bring healthy snacks or go to the grocery store when I get to my destination and stock up on protein bars, bananas, dried fruit, apples etc. so when I'm hungry I don't turn to a bag of chips on the beach. This is also a good technique to help save some $!
So, whether you’re in a tropical vacation spot or at your grandparents for the holidays, head to the store and find some healthy treats you can eat to satisfy your cravings instead of eating 100% crappy.
I never use traveling as an excuse not to exercise. But I can certainly understand being out of place as a guest and having no means to get to the gym or being too busy with family to workout.. However, if you make time and create a priority around exercise when you’re traveling during the holidays you will feel SO MUCH BETTER about indulging in the holiday foods.
Be guilt free and take 30 minutes to do some form of moderate exercise, a long walk, some jumping jack lunge circuit, a bike ride or laps in the pool. If you exercise in the morning your body will be burning calories throughout the day.. I don’t know about you but this would make me feel better about drinking that extra rum and coke!
When I was volunteering in Africa I went on a run a few mornings a week when time allowed. When I was in Hawaii I went on a run every morning before I hit the beach. When I stay in hotels I have the luxury of using the mini hotel gym. In Nicaragua I was walking every day and doing yoga. Where ever you go there is always going to at least be a beach or road to run on, a grassy spot to do abs and/or burpees, or a pool to swim laps in.
Even better, over the last 5 months (since I've found my obsession in Beachbody) I've been taking my 21 Day Fix workouts with me everywhere. I'm able to stream them online so I can do my workouts from my phone, kindle, ipad, or laptop, anytime, anywhere. And the awesome part is, it's only 30 minutes. So it doesn't take up a ton of vacation time!
The biggest struggle for myself, and I know many others, is the amount of junk within arms reach and the crazy business of traveling and family gatherings.
During Thanksgiving weekend I wouldn’t have eaten as crappy had food not been sitting out for the taking. And I would have exercised had I not been a guest traveling between several homes.
I know it can be hard to avoid the temptation, and sometimes we need to allow ourselves the cheat and have rest days, but not for the entire month of December!
1. You’re working them everyday: Just like you don’t have leg day every day, you shouldn’t do abs every day. Your muscles need recovery time. I tend to schedule abs every other day or 3 days a week.
2. You’re not sucking in: You could be doing hundreds of abs and not feeling a thing. If your core is not tight you may not even be using your abs. Additionally, if you’re not sucking in and tightening your core it could provide abs that bulge out instead of slim you down.
3. You’re using neck and shoulders: If you find your neck getting really sore after a session targeting your abs, it’s likely that you’re using your shoulders and neck to pull you up instead of your abs. Tuck your chin to your chest and keep your shoulders back.
4. You’re not using weight: An 8 pound medicine ball might not be enough. I didn’t start seeing growth in my abs until I braved the free weight section of the gym. Grabbing a 15-20 pound dumbbell is incredibly beneficial. Adding more than just your body weight will help build more muscle.
5. You’re not getting variety: 100 repetitions of the same exercise may not be as beneficial as 20 repetitions of different ab exercises. Doing 100 sit ups wont transform your abs the way 20 fifer scissors, 20 oblique v-ups, 20 in and outs, 20 seated crunchy frogs, & 20 mason twists will transform your abs. Catch my drift? And yes, that’s the p90x Ab Ripper X workout!
6. Other muscles take first action: When you’re working any muscle group you want to feel those muscles take action first. If you’re doing abs and you feel your quads working, or your shoulders, you may not be targeting your abs at all. Remember to suck in and tighten up. If your abs aren’t the first thing you feel, make an adjustment.
7. You’re getting too much assistance: Someone holding your feet while you do sit ups, or your hands holding a stationary object behind your head, may be hurting your ab workout instead of helping it. Having assistance like this decreases the resistance you’re forcing on your abs, making it easier and in turn not tearing the muscle like you want.
8. Not enough rotation, or too much: Depending on the workout, you want to find a happy medium. Some workouts, such as leg raises, you may want to lay your back on a plyo box so your legs can rotate more than 90 degrees. Others, such as working your “upper abdomens” you may want to have less rotation. Doing a full sit up may not be as beneficial for your “upper abs” as mini pulses, where you’re only coming 2 inches off the ground.
It’d be worth it to youtube ab workouts to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workouts! If you’re putting the effort in and not getting the results you want, you may be doing something wrong without even knowing it!
A little sneak peak of what's been going on in my free clean eating group this week! We've had lots of amazing questions, some great lessons, and takeaways. The 25 people participating in this group get to walk away with a Free Clean Eating Guide Book that walks them through how to create their own CUSTOMIZED nutrition plan based off of their weight and fitness goals!
Today we talked about pre and post workout snacks/meals and what your body needs!
If you're interested in getting your hands on a guide that helps you create a customized plan for YOU as well as corresponds your nutrition directly with your workouts, email me ASAP. I want to help you get started before the New Years Resolution Folks start knocking down my door!
Obviously the most important thing is to listen to your body. If you've got the flu or an extreme sickness take it for what it is and get some rest!
However, there’s a huge difference between listening to your body and letting your mind convince you you’re too sick to workout.
If your body is exposed to sickness that means your health is compromised… well don’t we workout and eat clean to become more healthy? Wouldn’t that be even more important to do while sick?
So you’re feeling drowsy, your nose is stuffed up and you’ve got a bit of a sore throat.. Common fall/winter cold symptoms right? All you want to do is curl up on the couch with some tea and watch Friends all day.. oh oops, sorry that’s me.. that’s all I want to do…
Motivation. Although I want to lay around all day and hang out with Monica and Rachel there’s the other side of me saying,
“You’ll regret it tomorrow if you don’t get your workout in…”
Which I most definitely would.
Doing my workout isn’t going to make me feel worse, so why wouldn’t I just do it?
Motivation. If I skip today’s workout I’m not going to be any closer to that transformation I want.. I’m not going to be able to put that big check mark beside the workout on day 10 of my program. I’ll likely be putting that check mark there tomorrow, or the next day… meaning I’ll be days behind.
This cold won’t win.. I will workout today!
What I did to kick today’s butt even though I’m sick:
Today's blog Provided by Beachbody Author Sean Abrams
As a kid, vegetables were never the food group you were eager to fill your plate with, but, over time, colorful, nutrient-rich plants became a regular part of your daily meals. And now, they’re more prominent in your life than ever before.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan who snacks on raw veggies every chance you get, are content with the idea of ordering them as a side every so often, or still bribery to get you to eat a cup of Brussels sprouts, it’s hard to deny the benefits of eating vegetables. Produce is packed with an abundance of vitamins and nutrients. But how to do you make the most out of them?
Eating raw, well-washed veggies is probably the healthiest way to reap all of the health benefits they provide. “The worst thing you can do to a vegetable is boil it; the flavor and nutrients end up in the water, not the vegetables,” says Teresa Dotson, M.S., R.D., C.D.-N.
The Three Healthiest Ways to Eat Cooked Veggies
OK: Roasting Roasting is a healthy way to bring out the flavors of your vegetables, and to make nearly any veggie more appetizing thanks to the natural caramelization that roasting does to their natural sugars. And who isn’t into a little sweet and savory combination?
Depending on the produce of your choosing, the time spent in the oven may alter nutrient levels and vitamin content. “Roasting vegetables helps bring out their sweetness and can be very helpful for those with sugar cravings. Using a variety of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and beets produces a beautiful, and tasty, result,” says Adrienne Raimo, R.D, L.D.
In order to save time, combine the vegetable(s) with a dish that can also be roasted at the same time. Incorporate similar spices or flavors (for example, citrus zest or smoked paprika or crushed red pepper) in both dishes to enhance whatever healthy cuisine you’re putting together. Add fresh herbs, or a little salt and pepper, for even more flavor.
Try These Roasted Vegetable Recipes
Better: Stir-Frying A cousin to sautéing, stir-frying is best done over high heat. You’ll want to constantly move the contents of the wok (or pan) around to prevent your veggies from burning. This method exposes veggies to high heat very quickly, and results in tender-crisp vegetables that retain more nutrients than if they were exposed to heat for a longer period of time.
As long as you stick to the proper methods and don’t over-do it on the oil, this is a pretty solid healthy cooking method. Make sure to pick a cooking oil that can stand up to the heat. “Be careful not to add sauces that are high in sodium or fat,” says Dotson. “Cooking with wine is great because it adds flavor but little extra calories (and the alcohol burns off at high temperatures).”
Try These Stir-Fry Recipes
Best: Steaming As expected, steaming is the healthiest cooking method. It’s also the most efficient. A gentle steam is best; it allows vegetables to maintain their nutrients because the vitamins and minerals don’t leak out into the water you end up discarding. “Steaming is one of the best ways to retain nutrients, and tends to be one of the quicker methods of cooking vegetables,” says Raimo. Steaming can also help you knock out meal prep like a pro, as you can put lots of veggies in the same pot to cook as long as they share similar cook times. Don’t switch off the burner when one batch is done; pile the next round of veg into the steam basket and repeat.
I know you’ll roll your eyes at this, but I have to start this blog off with talking about the mindset. If you go to a restaurant knowing you’re choosing a healthy option it will make it easier to avoid the temptation of ordering a bacon burger and fries.
A client asked me the other day, so when I go out to eat, how do I stay strong and order something healthy over something like a pizza or burger?
My response to her was.. well, your goals and your ‘why’ have to be bigger than your desire to eat the unhealthy food. You need to figure out how to be strong willed enough to not given in to your desires. And if you’re not there yet, consider avoiding eating out for a couple months until you’re further along on your fitness journey and you’ve acquired a mind set and motivation to not give in.
To aid in avoiding the temptation, here are a few tips:
At the start of every new program your nutrition plan should be reevaluated.
For consistent athletes, their nutrition plan may be revamped every 2-3 weeks.
The reason for this is because your nutrition needs to take into account and be reflective of:
Not only do those topics need to be taken into account, but you also need to know how many calories your body needs to reach your goals and of those calories what the MACRO makeup should be for your daily meal plan.
I know you're thinking...
Well luckily, our nutrition guide SIMPLIFIES it all for you and today, I'm going to give you a sneak preview into how it all works!
Step 1: Together, we would determine your goals. If you're looking for fat burn we would get you into an exercise program that fits your goal, such as Core De Force or Country Heat and we would calculate your calories subtracting 750 to aid in weight loss.
However, if you're looking for fat burn and muscle growth, we would match you up with the 21 Day Fix Extreme or Hammer and Chisel and we wouldn't subtract the 750 calories because extreme muscle growth aids in fat burn and requires more calories.
Step 2: We would refer to the guide provided in every program to calculate your caloric target:
Step 3: We then take that caloric target and match it with the food plan for your calorie range
These guides tell you exactly how many servings of each macronutrient you should include in your meal plan!
So you don't have to worry about figuring out any of the previously stated complicated tasks that make up a nutrition plan!
Not only that.. but the guess work is completely eliminated by telling you EXACTLY HOW MUCH a serving should be for each macronutrient with our PORTION CONTROL CONTAINERS!
So let's take it a step further. Alright great it tells me how many of what type of food I should be eating and in what serving sizes but what carbs, proteins, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats are best.. what about dressings?
Every single guide provides a list of foods from each food group that are good to eat on the plan. From dressings to health fats, seeds and proteins... You will NOT GO HUNGRY! + Recipes are also provided!
Step 4: In step 4 you will pick your top 5 favorite foods from each food group provided in the guide.
Step 5: I take your top 5 favorite foods and I put them in a CUSTOMIZED plan so you won't even have to guess about what the best times are to eat certain foods!
After our Spartan Race this weekend my body is SORE. My back is tight, my hamstrings are achy and my upper body is pretty much immobile.
Imagine what would happen if I decided to take a few days off to let my body recover?
Many assume taking days off is the best option, rest and recovery is obviously much needed, right?
Yes, rest and recovery is much needed, but rest and recover doesn't mean ignore your body all together.
If I went back to sitting at my desk for hours at a time during the day and then crawled into bed for 8 hours the next couple of nights, my body isn't getting any form of motion.
If I don't move my body and stretch out my muscles, they will likely tighten even more and be sore for a longer duration of time. My range of motion will decrease and I'll likely get injured when I start my normal routine again.
Not only that, but I'm prone to lower back, hip and knee pain and I can feel when I've ignored the 'rest and recovery' aspect of fitness.
My Rest and Recovery routine depends on how my body is feeling.. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Yesterday, the day after race day, I did 40 minutes of yoga and stretching and walked my dogs. I got in stretching and 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. So even on my rest and recovery day I still maintained the minimum recommendation of exercise.
Today I was feeling up for leg day but my upper body is still shot. I did lower fix today followed by more stretching and foam rolling! If you are sore from yesterday's workout, do an exercise that targets a different group of muscles. It doesn't benefit you to take the entire day off because your lower body is sore. Doing upper body will get your legs in motion and aid in muscle recovery, instead of sitting on your butt all day immobile allowing your muscles to tighten and likely fatigue.
If you have me on snapchat you heard me explain today why cool down's are also important (Ktalley3).
BONUS: We all know the benefits of stretching.. Foam rolling is also always a part of my rest and recovery days, why?
Here's what foam rolling does for you!
Foam rolling is a soft tissue massage that allows for myofacial release and can be utilized pre and post-workout.
During exercise, your muscles contract. This contraction causes the muscle to shorten which can inhibit flexibility and microscopic tears from overloading the muscles cause muscle soreness. Foam rolling elongates the muscle back to allow for normal functioning, which can be characterized by normal blood flow and the ability to be used without delay.
In order to get the greatest benefits of foam rolling, be sure and roll from the origin to the insertion (top/bottom) of the muscle, focusing on points that seem more sore than the rest. This will ensure that the entire muscle is worked. Spending about 30+ seconds at each muscle is ideal, similar to how long a static stretch should be held post exercise.
That increased blood flow and circulation allows for a decrease in muscle soreness and increased flexibility. Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage after a long day of work; take advantage of it.
-Tanner Lowry, B.S. Sport Science, USAW
“Overload Principle: In Training. In Life.
"It's a hurts so good kind of thing!"