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

Food

3 Avocado Clean Eat Recipes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Avocados not only taste good but they are packed with almost 20 essential nutrients. They are nutrient dense and enable the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

Here are avocado inspired recipes you can incorporate into any breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, and/or dessert.

Avocado Tomato On Whole Grain Toast

Avocado tomato on whole grain

Chicken Avocado Burger

chicken avacado burgers

Ingredients
1 pound ground chicken
1 large ripe avocado – cut into chunks
½ cup panko crumbs or other bread crumbs
1 chopped clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Toss the chunks of avocado, breading and garlic together.
2. Blend mixture into ground chicken being careful not to mush the avocado.
3. Form into 4-5 patties and grill until done

Avocado Lime Frozen Yogurt

Avocado Lime Frozen Yogurt

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium ripe avocados

1 cup strained low-fat natural plain yogurt

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup lime juice

Pinch sea salt

Optional Garnish

3 cups fresh tropical fruit (such as pineapple, mango, melon or passion fruit), cut into chunks

Directions:

  1. Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop flesh out from skins with a spoon. Cut flesh into large chunks, about 3 cups. Place all ingredients, except garnish, into a food processor and purée until smooth, about 2 minutes. While puréeing, stop mixer every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Scoop mixture out into a shallow nonreactive freezer-safe container – 9 x 9-inch is ideal. (NOTE: At this point, if using a commercial ice cream machine, freeze mixture according to manufacturer’s instructions.)
  2. Place container with yogurt mixture into freezer for about 30 minutes, or until mixture begins to freeze slightly around the edges. Scrape down the edges with a spatula and mix yogurt thoroughly with a whisk, blending in ice crystals until mixture is creamy again, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place container with yogurt back into freezer for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and repeat the process of scraping the sides and mixing 2 more times, for a total of 3 times. Each time the mixture will get a little harder to whisk. After the third mixing, place mixture back into the freezer until hardened and ready to eat, about 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Remove from freezer and scoop into serving bowls. If yogurt is too hard to scoop, allow it to warm slightly for a few minutes on the counter until softened. Top with chunks of fresh tropical fruit, if desired, and serve immediately. Best if consumed within 1 week. Store covered in a sealable freezer-safe container in the freezer.

Nutrients per 1/3 cup serving (not including fruit garnish): Calories: 120, Total Fat: 8 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 14 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 35 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

TIP:
For mixing, a food processor may be used in place of a whisk. Be sure to break up any large chunks into smaller pieces for easy processing.

Fitness

A New Year A New You

New Year New You

So yes the holidays are coming. I think it is a great time to start making healthy decisions and changes and staying on track before losing control over the holidays.
HOWEVER, I know for some this is just not possible. But rest easy. Instead of thinking the impossible; realize you have 2 entire months to start planning for a healthier lifestyle come January 1st.
That is:
*2 months for me to find you the right fitness program that you love and are excited about. 
*2 months to start thinking of the type of nutritional changes you want to make to your lifestyle. 
*I got you covered on the support and coaching!
Sooooo what do you say? I say you are worth the time, energy, and investment.
You.Are.Worth.It…my friend.

Image Credit: http://www.stylezilla.com

-Yesenia Whipple

#MOMLIFE

Where to? Hawaii, Italy, Napa Valley, or Spain?

My husband and I took a mini road trip this past weekend. On our trip we made a list of both individual goals and ‘together/family’ goals. One of our long-term goals (within 5 years) is to take a big trip.

So I need your help! Our Top contenders are:

hawaii

Image credit: http://themavensplace.com

Hawaii – We have always talked about Hawaii b/c of the many different things you can do there. We enjoy relaxing by the pool and beach; however, we also like to take in the sights, go on some adventures etc…

venice-gondolas-canal-night

Image credit: www.adventuresbydisney.com

Italy – The architecture and the food top the reasons we want to visit Italy.

PrideLunch

Image credit: www.undiscoverednapavalley.com

Napa Valley – We love wine. This is one that could be a second trip within 5 years if we do a big trip. We are huge wine enthusiasts so that is obviously the reason we want to go to Napa Valley. However, we look forward to taking in California, going on bike rides, visiting some great restaurants, and staying at a charming and romantic cottage or Inn.

Spain

Image credit: http://www.topvisitplaces.com/unforgettable-spain/

Spain – To visit where my ancestors are from and take in the history, architecture, and culture Spain has to offer would be amazing.

So these are the places we have in mind. What do you think? Have you been to any? Recommendations? 🙂 Thank you friends!

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness

My Go To Fitness Tools

Good-Diet-And-Exercise

Photo credit courtesy of Richmond Renew Me Today

1. Nutrition and Exercise – number one is by far my diet and nutrition coupled with a healthy exercise regimen. Nutrition is 80% of the reason I am fit today; 20% is the exercise. So what do I do to stay healthy and fit? I drink a nutrient dense shake everyday, balance my foods with the right balance of protein, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and starches; as well as maintain a constant exercise routine. Sometimes I do PiYO, sometimes I follow the 21 day fix, sometimes I just take the family with me on a long walk and clean the house; the key is staying active and making sure you get at least 30 minutes of heart pumping activity into your day.

fitbits

2. Fitbit – Oh my Fitbit is like gold to me. I have owned the Zip, the One and now the Fitbit flex. I have to say my favorite is definitely the Flex. I like the convenience of not having to take it off unless to charge. It’s even waterproof! I just wrote a great post on Fitbit Flex accessories to add some chicness to your flex band so check it out 🙂 Fitbit is great because it tracks your steps throughout the day, activity, and sleep. It tells you how many calories to eat based on your given activity. So you really get amazing accuracy on how many calories in vs. out. My favorite aspect is that it syncs with Myfitness Pal. They talk to each other to calculate food, exercise, etc. You only have to log food and exercise in Myfitness Pal and it will automatically sync to the Fitbit database.

myfitnesspal

3. Myfitness Pal – is an amazing tool which I have also written all about in the past. It allows you to set goals with regards to gaining. maintaining, losing weight and it tells you how many calories you need to accomplish that goal. It also tracks the nutrients in the foods you are eating to let you know if you are above the percentage for carbohydrates or fats for example on a given day.

FT4

4. Polar Heart Monitor – I am a huge advocate of wearing a heart rate monitor when doing cardio. It really will give you the most accurate number of calories burned based on how hard you work that day. You also can track your heart rate throughout your workout as well as calories burning to determine if you need to step it up or slow it down. I log my calories into Myfitness Pal and am able to see how many additional calories are in my ‘bank’. I recommend getting one with a chest strap; you will get the best results that way.

These pretty much sum up the tools I use daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay fit and active. What are your go to fitness tips and tricks?

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness

Why does PiYO work so well!

why-piyo-works

I’ve been practicing PiYO which is a fitness program which incorporates a little Pilates and a little Yoga; a fusion of the two. So why does this work so well? As mentioned above you are using Pilates to sculpt your muscles, Yoga to increase flexibility, and nonstop movement to keep your heart rate up and calories burning.

I cannot believe the results I am seeing with such a low impact program. My legs are stronger, leaner, less cellulite! My abs are starting to chisel, and my arms are just a whole new level of tone. My rear end is getting plump and pretty!

I am in love with this program. Each workout is only 30 minutes long and there are a few cardio-ish (I know that is not a word! :)) workouts thrown in which also incorporate the hybrid Pilates and Yoga practices. Oh did I mention my flexibility and balance are improving too; which I struggle with. I have never been flexible and don’t aspire to do a split in this lifetime; but it is awesome to see flexibility and balance getting better and better every week.

As for my diet; well that of course plays a big part. I eat very clean. Lean meats and veggies and balance my healthy fats, starches, and proteins, fruits, and veggies to give my body what it needs to be at its’ best.

I am happy to share any tips with you if you are looking for a program like this in your life! It truly is amazing!

-Yesenia Whipple

#MOMLIFE

Happiness is…

Happiness is

‘Realise that it all comes back to happiness. Do what makes you happy.’ – Antoniette Gomez

I am currently on a self discovery journey. I didn’t know this until about 3 weeks ago? I think I have been on this journey for a while and just realized it one day. One afternoon I was thinking about the last couple of months, my actions, intentions, outlook, and I discovered my mindset had shifted tremendously. I was feeling lost and having what I believe was an identity crisis after realizing I had left a lucrative career to start a family and now 2 kids and 3 years later I didn’t know who I was anymore, I had changed but didn’t know who I had changed into it. I was introduced to an amazing company that literally has changed my life physically and mentally. That is when I started seeing a shift in my outlook on everything. I was excited about life, about the future, about my contribution outside of poopy diapers, laundry, and keeping the kids alive long enough to hand them over when my awesome and patient husband came home from work every day 🙂

“Realise that it all comes back to happiness. Do what makes you happy.” – Antoniette Gomez

I saw this quote and thought WOW … I am doing what makes me happy right now and it has absolutely changed everything. I find the happier and more positive I am outwardly the more I end up feeling that same happiness and positivity within myself. I am a happier me.

I encourage anyone to find what it is that makes them happy, do it, and share it with everyone you know. Don’t wait; life is too short!

-Yesenia Whipple

#MOMLIFE · Fitness

Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful

A Tastier Life - Be your own kind of beautiful

I came across this little gem today and had an Aha moment. See we sometimes think beautiful can be defined by one or two things when in reality beautiful is a state of being and feeling when it is thought about by ones’ self. Sure you may think a certain piece of clothing, bag, fitness model, is beautiful; but what makes YOU FEEL beautiful can be completely separate from what you externally view as beautiful. You may feel beautiful in a fantastic  black dress, a gorgeous pair of shoes, a certain hairstyle, etc… you get my drift right? So my Aha moment was we often times strive for what we think others view as beautiful instead of being content with our own beauty, quirks, style. We likely have people who view us as beautiful for things we don’t even realize. The ever turning wheel right?! So for the next week my challenge is finding something every single day that makes me feel beautiful.

So let’s start with today. Today I felt beautiful AFTER my sweet husband told me I looked beautiful. I looked in the mirror and said wow I guess I do feel beautiful today. I got to do my hair and make up which is often times not a possibility when you stay home with a toddler and a baby 🙂 and I wore clothes other than workout attire. What made you feel beautiful today?

-Yesenia Whipple