Fitness · Food · Uncategorized

What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking

selters fruit

I am currently wearing a shirt that reads:

Coffee

Contracts

Cocktails

You see I love coffee and wine almost as much as my family. O.k. that is a complete stretch but not a long stretch. Before I go any further I need to preface by saying I am not a raging alcoholic and my wine intake was typically 1 glass of wine/night, 2 glasses maybe a few nights/week. I started by cutting back to wine down Wednesdays and allowing 1-2 glasses, and  2 nights during the weekend 1-2 glasses. Lately I have been trying to cut it back further to strictly a social situation where we are out to dinner or out with friends.

I recently have really focused in on my nutrition. I have always been a fitness guru and tried to eat healthy and clean but I really have taken it to the next level. It’s really a lifestyle as cliche as it sounds. So I needed to start putting extremely healthy and nutrient foods into my diet. This means healthy and adequate amounts of nutrient rich oils, legumes, greens, protein, etc…you get my drift. So what gives? My 200 calories worth of wine had to give. Say it isn’t so?! If you know me you know this was a huge step in my journey towards a truly healthy self both mind and physical. You probably see where I am going with this. What the heck do people drink at night if it doesn’t contain alcohol? Sugary juices? and something other than water? and what do you do if you are really really craving that glass of wine?

There are a million options out there, some complicated, some not but I was too annoyed to really research; annoyed with myself and my new found journey to be healthier. HA! I joke. Kind of…So here we go:

monika-grabkowska-317238

Seltzer waters are always a safe bet (but don’t sip on these all day you really do need pure water intake and 1/2 your body weight friends). Add a splash of cranberry or limeade (just a splash/watch that sugar), some fresh fruit dropped or muddled. I personally love adding basil or mint into plain old soda water.

alisher-sharip-117976

Tea is also a great option. Specifically Sleepytime or Chamomile so you can get sleepy and forget about the wine. I seriously sound like I have a problem, but I promise I do not.

shopping

Kombucha I recently discovered and absolutely love b/c it is definitely something you sip on and it is said to have pretty advantageous health benefits.

A few nights ago I was really just wanting that glass of wine and it was like Sunday so it was absolutely not going to happen. So I popped in a handful of grapes (love me some grapes) and poured myself an ice cold glass of orange seltzer water in a wine glass. I kid you not the pairing truly worked.

Here are my findings after cutting back the wine. I have way more energy (for obvious reasons). I wake up and am not lagging to get out of bed. I’m up and no stress or rushing around in the morning. No more morning bloat (well for like 3 weeks until Aunt Flo visits). I perform better in my workouts and am seeing so much definition and progress, b/c again the bloat and inflammation is down.

So I’m sticking to this new way of life and honestly it’s not so bad once it becomes a part of your life. It’s just the first few weeks/month of transition to new habits that is the hardest part.

-Yesenia

Fitness · Uncategorized

Feel The Burn – Booty & Abs

abs-and-booty

Combining a good booty and ab workout? Ahhh yes, thank you!  I would venture to say they are my two favorite muscle groups to work. Getting that perfect burn I tend to struggle towards with other muscles groups (ahem those darn arms and shoulders) seems so much more satisfying in that booty and those abs (o.k. well the lower abs might be a bit of a struggle for me after 2 kids) . So guess what today was? Yes! Booty & Abs! I like to mix up my workouts each time so here is a run down of my workout today.

Reps for each – 3 sets of 15 reps. Two ways you can run through these. Do one set of each exercise and then start over 3 times or you can do all three sets of one exercise with 30 seconds of rest in between. What did I do? I did one set of each exercise with a little cardio between each set. See below.

Deep weighted Squats – 1 set of 15 reps. Feet hip distance apart, weights at your shoulders, lower that tush to the ground as low as you can go and then squeeze everything as you stand back up. What have I learned with these? The lower the better. Do you know how you can strengthen those muscle groups to get you lower? Besides trying to get a little lower each time you do these, squeeze the tush and those hamstrings every time you come up and increase those weights as you get stronger.

CARDIO TIME – Burpees. To love ’em is to hate ’em but man are they effective! 30 seconds. Come on you got this!

Plank knee to elbows – 15 reps on each side. In plank position bring your right knee in (keeping that plank position and that body in a straight line) to your right elbow. Extend right leg back out into plank and bring the left knee into the left elbow and then extend that leg back out. If you need to modify this move bring those knees down to the ground to start; as you get stronger keep one knee to the ground and try extending just one leg out until you are strong enough to get into a full plank position.

CARDIO TIME – Jumping Jacks. Basic? Yes? Heart rate rocking? Yep. 30 seconds baby!

Pikes– 3 sets of 15. You can use paper plates or two kitchen towels if you do not have an ab dolly. In plank position slide those feet in towards your chest while keeping your legs straight. You are just extending that booty up in the air. Bring your legs back out into plank and repeat.

CARDIO TIME – High knees. 30 seconds. You will get through it I promise!

Plie squat pulses – 3 sets of 15 reps. O.k. let me walk you through this one. Get into a wide stance with the heels off the grounds (tipy toes), feet pointing outward and squat down as low as you can. Come up just halfway and then back down pulsing through each rep.

CARDIO TIME – Jump squats. Make sure you squeeze that tush when you jump up and land soft on those feet. 30 seconds and you are almost there!

Weighted Russian twist – 3 sets of 15 reps. And no you cannot take a shot of vodka after this move. Get it? No? O.k. bad joke…. sit on your tush with knees bent and feet on the ground. Grab a weight and hold it in front of you. Lift those legs up off the ground, lower that back slightly behind you to get those muscles engaged and twist from side to side. For a modification you can keep those feet planted on the ground.

CARDIO TIME – Running man. Not the dance but hey if you want to do the dance you’ve gotten this far so go right ahead and kill those dance moves! Or you can get into plank and run those feet and knees in towards that chest.

AND REPEAT 3 TIMES

That was AMAZING! I had a great time, worked my booty and abs out, and now I’m ready for a smoothie and a shower!

-Yesenia

Fitness

The Stairs To A Healthier Body!

stair-climbing

What is an activity that can be incorporated in virtually everyone’s lifestyle? Well there are many. One of my favorites is taking the stairs on the way up or down. Whether you purposely find a set of stairs to climb or choose the office or high-rise set of stairs you can take advantage of an activity that will help you lose and maintain weight loss.

According to Livestrong.com “Doctors also recommend stair climbing as an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease.” Furthermore “Harvard Medical School reports that stair climbing is an effective way to lose weight and keep it off, since people who walk up stairs, even at a slower pace, burn calories three times faster than when walking at a faster speed on a normal surface.”

Fitness experts say 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity 3-5 days per week provides for most optimal health benefits. So why not add some diversity into that activity by adding some stair climbing.

If you have any cardiovascular conditions, or injuries involving your ankles, knees, or hips be sure to consult your doctor. And as always make sure to wear appropriate footwear.

So grab a friend, find an awesome set of stairs, and climb away!

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness

The Thursday Seven – Seven ways to… Sculpt and Tone Those Butt and Thighs

Good morning! I’m excited to introduce a new series to all my readers. The Thursday Seven will highlight 7 ways to…

cover for thighs butt post

This weeks topic is butt and thighs! I highlighted seven exercises that can be done virtually anywhere with or without weights. Gone are the days where sexy was skinny stick like legs. Muscle and tone are in so here are seven of my go to sculpting workouts.

weighted squats

1. Weighted Squats with weights, kettle balls, or whatever adds some resistance. This exercise will work your glutes and thighs. Try varying your squats between regular squats (legs hip distance apart), sumo (wide stance), and even small pulsating reps sprinkled in between or during sets.

single leg bridge

2. Single Leg Bridge – this seemingly easy exercise is actually a killer on the hamstrings and butt. If your form is on point you will be struggling to get through the last few reps. Try increasing resistance by adding ankle weights.

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3. Plank Jacks – will not only target those inner thighs, but it will also engage your arms, chest, core, and gluten. Add a resistance band around the middle of your thighs for a more challenging sequence.

Beautiful Caucasian woman in blue Capri and top doing ten steps of surya namaskar, sun salutation Exercises at white background with the sun in the center. Step by step

4. Sun Salutations – I included Sun Salutations because this sequence works you literally from the inside out. You will gain mental, digestive, relaxation, and physical benefits from this sequence. Physically  you will be working on toning and flexibility for virtually your entire body.

kickback donkey

5. Glute kickbacks – weighted or not kickbacks will define and build those hamstring and glute muscles. During the entire – lift your leg so you’re your thigh is parallel to the floor and your lower leg (below the knee) is pointing straight up. Pause at the top of each lift for 2 seconds. Be sure to focus on just using your glutes through the whole range of motion.

side lunge

6. Side Lunges are probably my least favorite because like many I struggle with hip flexor flexibility and movement. It just feels awkward, but this is such an effective exercise. Targeted muscles are Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, and Adductors/Hip Flexors. This is one exercise you don’t feel as much while you are performing it, however, tomorrow you will be SORE!

wall sits

7. Wall Sits work virtually every lower body muscle from your hips to your calf muscles. Such an amazing exercise that can be versatile by adding weights, leg lifts, and even incorporating some bicep curls in there while you sit and work.

So there are is my Thursday Seven! Hope you enjoyed!

Stay tuned for next weeks Seven ways to…topic; and if you want to see a topic covered (it can be about anything) comment below and I will make sure it gets added to the list!

Happy Thursday!

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness

A side of none of that please!

Squats won't make you look manly... but they will give you a nice ass I love her thighsImage credits: Fitness Magazine/Pinterest

You know those foods you absolutely know 100% are bad for you and well you need to give up or modify? Yes yes we know what those are. It’s the first thing we naturally cut out of our diet if we want to lose some lb’s and get fit and healthy. Then there are the foods that we know are probably not the greatest but we don’t consume them in large quantities or every single day numerous times a day so we say “ah the heck with it; it’s fine”… right? WRONG! I am GUILTY and FAMOUS for this! O.k. well maybe far from famous but you get the point. Those foods add up fast and can make the difference between hitting a plateau, getting rid of that access fat, and/or shredding those last few pounds or gaining that sleek toned physique.

Body Rock published a great list of these every day foods (like coffee creamer and ketchup? Noooooo! Yep!) we don’t even think would make a big impact; yet they do! Check it out: 15 Unhealthy Foods You Should Never Eat If You Are Serious About Fat Loss

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness · Food

Pre and Post Workout Snack Tips

Hi everyone!

Eating healthy and working out go hand in hand. However, do you know what the best foods to eat before and after working out are? I did some research and found some great tips on this topic so of course I wanted to share.

One of the things I discovered is how important it is to eat before a workout. According to Livestrong when you eat prior to working out you will not only maximize your workout, you will also increase your energy levels throughout the day. Our bodies need enough nutrients to carry us through not only pre workout but also during and post. Your immune system will operate at its optimum level and your blood sugar levels will be balanced all day.

Some great tips to try to establish into your routine are:

banana oatmeal

  • Morning workouts: eat something within 30 minutes of waking up. This will rev up your metabolism. Some good eats are banana, small portion of oatmeal, non-fat plain yogurt. Try to choose foods that are low in fat and fiber for pre-morning meals.

apples and peanut butter

  • Afternoon workouts: If you are like me I am always ready for an afternoon snack. So if you also tend to work out in the afternoon try eating a small portion of oatmeal, apple slices or banana with peanut butter. A small bowl of vegetable soup is also a great option.

shakeo

  • Post workout: You should eat at least 30 minutes after you work out. This will prevent your body from burning muscle. Protein should be your go to. Protein shakes my favorite being my delicious Shakeology, raw almonds, and hard-boiled eggs are great to consider.

small meals

  • Eating small meals every 2-3 hours will maintain a sustained balance of nutrients and energy; in turn charging your metabolism to run at its best. This will also keep your hunger levels at bay so you do not end up overeating when it’s time for your next meal.

water

  • As for water, it goes without saying hydration is just as important as feeding your body the right foods. You should drink ½ of your body weight in ounces every day. Not only does your body need water to operate, but it also needs to be replenished of the water you sweat out during a workout.

What are some of your favorite snacks for pre and post workouts?

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness · Food

Do’s and Dont’s to a flatter belly

abs

Abs are made in the where? Kitchen! How many times have we heard this? Well you are hearing it for a reason so here are some tips and tricks to get rid of some bloat and get that envious set of chiseled abs.

Let’s start with exercise. The best thing you can do for your abs is to work on your Core. “Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.

It is likely not reality to have absolutely flat abs every single day of the week. A lot comes into play like the foods we eat for example. Some foods contribute to bloating, gas, and water retention. So on those days you really want to avoid the bloat and squeeze into a bikini or a pair of your favorite skinny jeans try to avoid the following foods:

broccoli

  • Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale – do not say buh bye to these nutrient rich foods all together. What to do: smaller portions, and steam them to soften the fiber and cook some of the water out. This will allow for more space in your GI tract and easier digestion.

beans

  • Legumes (or beans) – Not new news but beans cause gas. Combine them with whole grains like rice or quinoa and your body will eventually start to get used to them. The more sporadic your bean intake the more likely you will have bloat and gas.

dairy

  • Dairy – Dairy products can cause gas and bloating as your body may not have the enzymes necessary to break down lactose. Try to choose non-dairy alternatives; there are a slew of products that are just as good if not better without the lactose.

salt

  • Salty Foods – it is hard to avoid salt these days. Sodium can be found in so many foods. Look at the amount of sodium in your foods and eventually you will become familiar with what to avoid or eat less of. If you cannot avoid salt at times you should drink lots of water to help flush it out

Incorporating these foods will contribute to getting rid of bloat, gas, and stomach discomfort:

ginger

  • Ginger – a natural anti-inflammatory that helps with your digestion, ginger will reduce puffiness and gas. Try adding ginger to salad dressings, smoothies, and teas.

lemon

  • Lemon – add lemon to your water. Lemon has so many wonderful benefits like antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers. Lemon is also a digestive aid and a cleanses your liver.

tea

  • Peppermint and chamomile tea – have some peppermint tea in the evening to relax your GI muscles and dissolve gas in your stomach.

asparagus

  • Asparagus – a natural diuretic, anti-bloating super-food will help rid that pesky water weight away.

cucumber

  • Cucumbers – contains quercetin, an antioxidant that helps get rid of swelling. Add to your water, or just snack away on some cucumbers and say goodbye to that puffy belly.

banana avocado

  • Bananas, avocados, pistachios, oranges, and kiwis – these delicious treats help to regulate sodium levels in your body.

Please share your tips and tricks on obtaining rock hard abs! I would love to hear from you!

Having shared these tips and tricks I do want to disclaim that I am by no means a doctor or nutritionist. I am a personal trainer and fitness and health enthusiast. The information provided comes from my personal experience and if you have any concerns, questions, etc… you should always consult medical professionals.

-Yesenia Whipple