Sunday, November 11, 2012

Carb Cycling Update

I know I've slacked off on blogging and I apologize! I promise to be a little more active on here. I've been carb cycling for a little more than a month now and have LOVED the results. I've managed to gain muscle, yet shred the fat that bulking gave me. I weighed in this morning for the first time in over a month, and gladly saw that I was up one pound! But I have also shredded some of the extra fat which means- MUSCLE GAINS! I have noticed a huge difference in my quads and glutes which are my main focus these days. Abs are showing more now with cycling as well which I can't complain about. Carb cycling also is much easier for me to keep up with then bulking was. Not having to eat a crazy amount of carbs each day is a relief, as weird as that sounds. I recommend carb cycling to anyone who is trying to cut fat but also make muscle gains. I've also added a little cardio back into my routine since carb cycling which has helped shred unwanted fat. I took a before picture pre-carb cycling which i'll be posting for all of you to see the difference it has made. Also, I'll be posting my "No cheats until Thanksgiving" update to see how my body has changed! A couple more weeks and I can enjoy a lovely cheat meal! I know a lot of you are doing this as well so I encourage you all to stick to it, we have a great reward at the finish line :)! Again, I promise to be more active on here guys! My busy schedule has been a bit overwhelming!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What is carb cycling?

So, you've heard everyone talk about it. You've been wondering what the hell it is or what it means. What is it? Carb cycling is basically the process of simultaneously building muscle while keeping fat levels low by cycling carbohydrate intake from low days moderate days to high days. Carbohydrates are used as energy by our bodies. They fuel our workouts, replenish our glucose and glycogen levels after our workouts, and of course give us energy to get us through the day. So how does cycling the carbs help achieve fat loss? Cycling helps use fat for burning as fuel in our bodies, instead of burning muscle tissue and carbs for fuel! So, back to the three phases. Essentially, you cycle between 3 different carb phases. Low carb, moderate carb, and high carb. How do you choose what kind of rotation cycle is best for you? It all depends on how your training routine is. Normally, one would have there high carb days when bigger muscle groups are trained, such as back and legs. Moderate days would be more like biceps and shoulders. Low carb days are normally cardio only days or rest days. High carb days would mean calories are higher obviously, where as your low carb days will contain much fewer calories. In order to compensate for the low carb intake on low days, fats are normally upped in order to sustain energy levels and help keep your body satisfied. Healthy fats, of course. I too am still learning a lot about this subject but have decided to give it a try. I went a few months with sticking to a calorie surplus and keeping my carbs high. My macro breakdown that I aimed for daily was 50c/30p/20f. This allowed me to gain muscle, and the weight and size that I was looking to gain. Now remember, everyone's bodies react differently so what I do personally may not work for you. I do not share my calorie intake with you all simply because what my body requires is most likely not exactly what yours does. I know many people don't understand that concept and would still do exactly what I do in hopes of achieving a similar physique. I will however, share how my macro breakdown will look like on each day and how my cycle will look like. I'm hoping to see some progress through this and I'm excited to experiment with my body since I've always wondered about this. What I am looking to achieve by doing this is more muscle gains/maintaining what I have now, shredding some of this extra fat that came along with the calorie surplus, and maintaining and gaining more strength of course! I don't mind staying somewhat soft since its easier to maintain. I will of course have updates on progress and my thoughts on this program. I also will be adding one cardio day back into my routine withinin the next few weeks, but nothing longer than 30 minutes. This is what my cycle will look like:

Tuesday- high

Low days: 50p/30f/20c
Moderate 40p/25f/35c

Remember what I do may not work for you. Please figure out what works for YOU and YOUR body and dont dwell so much on what me or others do. WAY too many people ask about my diet and how calories and carbs and proteins etc look like and IT DOESNT MATTER! It's all about trial and error. This is a trial for me since I've never done this, so I may have to tweak some things depending on how my body reacts.

Again, I will stress that you need to educate yourselves about fitness. There are so many great websites out there that can help expand your knowledge in certain areas. I promise no one was born with a brain full of facts about how to be fit and what our bodies need. I will post some websites that all of you should become familiar with. Google is such a great way to answer questions you may have. Knowledge is power, teach yourselves!

These sites have more articles about carb cycling if you want to go more in depth on the subject.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Banana Coconut Protein Bread!

goodness!! :o

Those were my exact thoughts as I took the first bite of this delicious cakey bread. I felt like experimenting today and boy am I glad I did! You'll be happy as well ;-) This bread is surprisingly moist considering how low in fat it is which is a plus!! This is PERFECT to have pre OR post workout! The best part about it, ITS CLEAN!! I'm sure you're all ready for the recipe, right? 

1 cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup protein powder
1 cup liquid egg whites
2 banana's (1 for batter, 1 for topping)
1/2 cup Gluten Free brown rice flour (substitute coconut flour)
3/8 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 packet stevia
a dash of vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened organic coconut flakes (for topping; optional, but I recommend it!)

Throw all ingredients besides 1 of the banana's and the coconut flakes into a food processor and pulse until combined. Pour the batter into a pan ( I didn't have a loaf pan so I used a circular pan). Stick the other banana right in the middle and let it sink into the batter(it wont sink all the way in). Sprinkle with coconut flakes and bake at 320 degrees for 40 minutes. Stick a tooth pick in the cake to make sure it's done (it will come out clean.)
I topped this baby with some chocolate pb2 and I'm pretty sure this is comparable to heaven.. maybe.
I know a lot of you like nutrition facts so I calculated all of that as well!

1 slice of cake (1/8 of cake)
Fat-1.5 g
Carbs-22 g
Sugar-6.4 g
Protein-11.1 g

Like I said, PERFECT for pre and post workout, or just to snack on! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gluten free Crispy Chicken!

Just tried this new recipe out and it was delicious! And the best part about it, it's gluten free! No, I do not have a gluten allergy but I know a lot of my followers do or choose to eat gluten free. I'm trying to incorporate more gluten free items into my diet to help avoid that "bloat" that most of us experience when eating gluten rich foods!

  • 1/4 cup GF brown rice flour
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • lemon pepper
  • mrs. dash chipotle seasoning
  • rosemary
  • boneless skinless chicken breast
Clean chicken breast off, rinse off, and cut off any excess fat. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (as much seasoning as you like). Dip chicken breast in egg whites, and coat the breast with the flour mixture. Make sure you coat it evenly and pat it down on your chicken breast! Spray with PAM cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Raise to the top rack and broil until the top is brown and crunchy. (be careful not to burn!) I topped mine with spicy brown mustard and sriracha (the usual condiments I use). Delicious quick and easy! You can even use smaller chickens to make "chicken strips" to get your kids to eat healthier! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The importance of meal prep-Plan ahead to succeed.

So here's a little insight about me. I'm a BIG planner, with EVERYTHING in my life. I have to know details about everything all the time (not because I'm a nosy person). Leave it to me to plan a girls night out, where we will be going, what I'll be eating, what time I'll be leaving my house, etc. It might be a little sick haha. ANYWAYS, back to the point. In order to live a healthy lifestyle, you MUST learn how to plan ahead. Why do most people fail at "eating clean"? Because as normal working human beings, we are put into situations where we might not be able to "grab something healthy" all the time. The result? Grabbing a McDonald's burger because its quick and convenient. With a little planning ahead, this can ALL be avoided. I plan everything that I'm going to eat the night before, and plug it into the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. I make sure my macro's will be on point, and this also helps me pack the exact food I'll need for the next day! I'm a hair dresser, and trust me when I say it is difficult to "find time" in between clients to scarf your food down BUT it's possible! I do it all the time! Sure, I'll have to maybe schedule clients around my lunch time, but when I say that I mean maybe a 10 minute off period! While clients are processing, I'll eat my other meals as well. There is no reason or excuse to NOT eat clean. It would probably be a lot more "convenient" for me to eat all the pastries that are put out for clients everyday and more "convenient" to pick something up to eat instead of packing it the night before. But I refuse to do that. And if you want it bad enough, you'll refuse as well. Here are my tips to healthy clean eating on the go, and planning ahead!:

  • Set aside about 2-3 hours on a Sunday afternoon, or a day off from work. Replenish groceries if needed (check my grocery list post for a list of examples!). Have a "game plan" when you get home. For instance, "Cook brown rice. While that's cooking, clean all proteins, season, and bake in the oven. Cut veggies and roast in oven as well.", something along those lines! (meal prep can get a little overwhelming if you don't have a plan!) Put all foods in Tupperware's and label "meal 2, 3,4" etc. (PS: Proteins will last in your fridge for about 3 days. Cook enough to last for 3 days, and replenish when those are finished!)
  • Plan your meals the night before. A few hours before bed, usually after dinner, I get on my handy dandy MyFitnessPal app and plan the next day's meals. I make sure everything is in check (calories, macros, etc) and then pack the necessary things to take with me! 
  • Always keep a bottle of water on hand(a gallon would be even better :p). Leave some in your trunk if necessary. Not only do you not want to resort to grabbing a hamburger, you want to stay away from those soda's and coke icee's as well! Staying hydrated throughout the day is SO important.
  • For all you ladies out there, I KNOW there's room in those purses for an apple. I always keep a few things on me besides my meals incase of an emergency. Things like almonds or other nuts, quest bars, apples, and tuna packets won't go bad if they aren't in a fridge, and are so easy to carry around! You never know when you'll get stuck in traffic, stuck at work, etc.
  • Set goals and stick to them! Don't let temptations get in your way. I am always surrounded by temptations at work, but when I have my mind set, there's no changing it (I'm very stubborn haha). Learn how to be stubborn when it comes to your diet. If someone offers you a cookie for example, don't show weakness so they can "talk you into it". The mind is so much more powerful then we think it is. If you set in your mind that you are sticking to your packed meals, then nothing should change it. Sure, cheats are okay once a week and it's okay to treat yourself, but if it isn't a planned cheat, it can get out of hand. I always like to keep my cheats at the end of the week, usually Saturday. Why? Because I know if I can hold off all week and eat clean, I'll have a treat waiting for me at the end. I know if I have a cheat on Tuesday for example, I'm going to end up wanting one again during the weekend. That is why I plan my cheats. I also recommend doing this if you plan to incorporate cheat meals. That's 1 MEAL, not day! 
So there you have it. A little guide on how to prep and plan ahead, and set yourself up for success. Remember, clean food doesn't have to be bland and boring! Incorporate different spices and find out what you like! It will make it all more enjoyable. I LOVE what I eat, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do this. I love food and if I don't enjoy eating what's on my plate, there's no way in hell I'll eat it again let alone every single day. Find out what works for you and stick with it! Remember, proper nutrition is key to living a healthy and fit lifestyle. The gym is only about 20 percent of it. All that hard work you put into working out won't mean anything with a poor diet!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

At home upper body workout

So because of this "tropical storm" that passed yesterday, my gym was closed this morning! It was a scheduled leg day, but I don't have heavy enough weights to do legs at home, so I did upper body instead! Tomorrow can be legs :) So here's the workout for those of you who can't get to the gym, or simply don't have a gym membership! I highly recommend investing in some dumbbells! Very worth it!

5-10 minute warm up (if you don't have a treadmill, elliptical, stair master, etc. , do some ballistic stretching to get your heart rate up. Jumping jacks, running in place, jump rope, WHATEVER!)

Alternating dumbbell curls-4x10

Single arm dumbbell row-4x10

Overhead tricep extension- 4x8

Clean and press-4x10

Shoulder press-4x10

Bent over rows-4x8

Decline floor bench press-4x10

Seated bicep curls-4x10

Superset: pushups/bench dips 4x8(or as many as you can do)

Focus on each move you make! Really contract your muscles and make sure you don't use momentum. You want every move to be crisp and clean so you work every fiber in those muscles!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beginner's guide to fitness

Ever walk into the weight room, look around, and walk back out? Many women feel intimated by the weights. Everyone in the room knows what they're doing, so you don't want to look "dumb" if you do something wrong. Ignore those fears. You have to start somewhere right? Just be patient with yourself, you'll get there! Here are some tips for beginners, and a good place to start at:

  • First and foremost, plan ahead. I cannot stress this enough. Whether its with your meals or workouts, PLAN PLAN PLAN. I ALWAYS plan my meals the night before. All of you should download the MyFitnessPal app for your iphones or make an account online. Log your meals to keep track of exactly what is going in your body and how much of it is! This app is also a great way to help you start your clean eating journey. You can plug in all of your stats and goals, and it will give you the right amount of calories to eat, and how much more you can eat when you exercise! Remember, never go under 1200 calories! 
  • Make sure you are warming up properly to avoid injuries. You ALWAYS want to warm up cold muscles, especially if you're working out first thing in the morning. There are two different types of stretching, Static, and Ballistic. Ballistic is the kind you want to do to "warm up". Static stretching is for AFTER you're done working out, or your "cool down" phase.
  • FORM-please, practice good form. You don't want to pull muscles or cause injury! You will obviously feel a burn during your workout, but your joints shouldn't be in pain! Not sure if you're doing it properly? Use sites like youtube and You can watch videos of people actually doing the moves properly. Also, don't be afraid to ask people! Most people would be more than happy to help! Just ask politely and make sure you aren't interrupting them in the middle of their workout. It won't take more than a few seconds for them to show you, so it shouldn't be a problem anyways! Just say thank you and leave it at that, no conversations until after you're done, gym etiquette rules lol.
  • Keep the rest between sets between 30-50 seconds. You want to try to keep your heart rate "in zone" for most of your workout. If you go over your zone, this can be dangerous. Stop, take a minute to breathe, and continue. 
  • You want your workout to be a slight struggle by the time you have 3 more reps to do. For example, if I say 4x12, it should be burning by 9 or 10. If not, go heavier. As long as you're maintaining proper form of course! Sloppy form is no bueno.
  • Split your workouts up, never do the same muscle group two days in a row. Try to keep it at 5-6 days, with one rest day. Remember, you break down muscles in the gym, but your muscles GROW when you're resting! Cardio should be done after your weight training if you can't split them into two different times of the day. Keep cardio around 30-45 minutes. HIIT is the best form of cardio for burning fat while maintaining muscle. 
Schedule: (5 days)
Tuesday- Back/shoulders + Cardio
Friday-Arms +cardio
Saturday-Chest +cardio
Sunday-active rest (light jog/ walk/abs etc)

(6 day split):
Saturday-active rest

Barbell Squats:4x10

Sumo Squats:4x10

Step back lunges: 4x10 each leg

Walking lunges with barbell: 4x8 back and forth, each leg

Straight leg deadlift: 4x10

One-legged lunges: 4x8 each leg

Side lunges: 4x8 each leg

Leg Press(machine): 4x12, feet high, push from heels, not toes

Wall squats-until failure with dumbbells in hand
-cool down/stretch-

Front raise with dumbbells:3x12 

Side Lateral Raise:3x12

Upright barbell row: 3x12

Front Plate raise: 3x12

One arm dumbbell row: 3x12 each side

Wide grip lat pull down: 3x12 

Narrow grip lat pull down: 3x12

Seated cable rows:4x10
-cool down-


Stability ball crunches: 4x20 (slow, pause at top)

Bicycle crunches: 4x12 each side

Pulse ups: 3x10

Feifer scissors (p90x lingo ;-p): 20

Side crunches: 2x12 each side

Plank to failure

-warm up-

Barbell squats: 4x10

Deadlift with dumbbells: 4x10

Leg press: 4x15

Cable Kick back: 4x10 each leg

Cable Squats: 4x12

One Legged Floor Bridge: 4x12 each leg

Calf Raises w dumbbells: 3x15 (toes pointed out, toes pointed forward, toes pointed in)

Leg extensions: Pyramid (light weight, high rep, to heavy weight, low rep) 4x
   ex: 30 lbs, 15; 50 lbs, 12, 70 lbs, 8; 90 lbs, 6


-warm up-
Alternating Dumbbell curl- 4x10

Overhead tricep extension- 4x10

Standing Cable curls- 4x10

Tricep rope push down- 4x8

Tricep dumbbell kickback- 4x10 each arm

Superset (two workouts after another with no rest between each set) pushups and bench dips; 4x10
-cool down-

Cable Cross overs- 4x12

Barbell incline bench press-4x10

Dumbbell bench press- 4x10

Pec Dec flies- 4x12

Pushups -4x as many you can do
-cool down-

HIIT Cardio example: total time-20 minutes

MINUTES                   SPEED                      INCLINE
1-3-                                 3.5                               0
3-4-                                 5.0                               3.0
4-5-                                 4.0                               3.0
5-7-                                 5.5                               7.0
7-8-                                 4.5                                4.0
8-10-                               6.0                                5.0
10-11-                             4.5                                2.0
11-13-                             6.5                                5.0
13-14-                             4.0                                5.0
14-16-                             7.0                                3.0
16-17 -                            4.0                                3.0
17-18-                             8.5                                4.0
18-20-                             3.5                                8.0          

If you are unsure of a workout, is a great site that can explain how to do each move! Write your workouts down before going to the gym. Even if you have to write little notes to help you remember how to do the move! Don't be scared or nervous, you're perfectly capable of doing it! Remember to lift as heavy as you can while maintaining good form. Your 2nd/3rd to last rep should be somewhat of a struggle. Adjust the reps accordingly. This is a good place to start out, but over time you'll learn to incorporate different workouts and find out what works for you! Educate yourselves and read as much as you can. I wasn't born with all of this knowledge, I learned it over time! Consult with your doctor before starting any workout routine, and remember I am not a personal trainer or dietitian! Can't get to a gym? is an amazing website for at home workouts. NO EXCUSES!

Fasted AM cardio.. yay or nay?

So I know I just wrote a post about how important pre/post workout meals are, BUT, I forgot to mention one slight detail. The controversial topic of fasted cardio. Should you, or shouldn't you? In all honesty, it's up to you. If you can handle running or doing whatever you're going to do on an empty stomach, then go for it. ONLY if you're doing cardio IN THE MORNING. I used to do fasted cardio when cardio was actually a part of my routine.. and I loved it. I would have a cup of coffee in the morning and hit the gym about 30 minutes after I woke up. The only thing about fasted cardio is, it can't be lengthy. You want to make sure you keep it at an hour or less, otherwise you'll begin to starve. Why choose to do fasted cardio though? A lot of people believe this is the perfect time for your body to use fat for fuel, which means you'll be burning through that stubborn fat on your body! When you first wake up on an empty stomach, your hormones and metabolism are in perfect alignment for fatty acid mobilization, basically meaning what I just stated above about using fat for fuel. Some people, however, experience nausea  and dizziness if they don't have anything in there stomachs before their cardio session. Everyone is different so what works for someone may not for you. Give it a try, see how your body reacts. BUT, what I would not do, is lift on an empty stomach. I have tried doing this, and trust me, it's not a good idea. So, if you choose to do cardio in the morning, you might get away with doing it fasted. As far as lifting goes, make sure you get a good source of protein and carbs before you hit the weights. Hope this clears up some confusion!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Building a Beautiful Booty-The difference between a butt and an ASS.

Who would say no to having a round, tight, curvy ass? I sure as hell wouldn't. A lot of girls aren't, well, blessed, with a round bottom. But THERE IS HOPE FOR YOUR PANCAKE ASS! That is the beauty of lifting heavy weights! Your glutes are a muscle, just like your biceps, shoulders, and quads are. You're able to build those up, so why wouldn't you be able to do the same with your bum?! With a little hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, (jk about the blood..maybe), you can have a round booty! The gluteal muscles are 3 different muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. It's important to hit these muscles in all different directions to maximize growth and stimulation! I stick to the basics. Squats, lunges, deadlifts. All with heavy weights. There are different variations to these moves but you can't go wrong with them. Use free weights as much as possible. Machines are a little easier to use the just free weights. It's definitely more challenging when you start using the barbells and dumbbells. But you won't regret it that's for sure! Here's an example workout to hit your glutes hard! I have my current workout posted in a previous post, but i'll post this anyways for those who aren't ready for that:

Barbell Squats:4x10

Sumo Squats:4x10

Step back lunges: 4x10 each leg

Walking lunges with barbell: 4x8 back and forth, each leg

Straight leg deadlift: 4x10

One-legged lunges: 4x8 each leg

Side lunges: 4x8 each leg

Leg Press(machine): 4x12, feet high, push from heels, not toes

Wall squats-until failure with dumbbells in hand

This is just an example of what you can do! Reps and sets will vary on your goals, but this is a good starting point. Lift as heavy as possible while keeping proper form. Make sure you stay on your heels and don't push off your toes! You will engage your glutes through your heels! Really focus on squeezing your glutes in when you come back up. This will also engage your glute muscles, you'll start to really feel the burn. Don't fear the heavy weights, once again. If you want curves, LIFT HEAVY! 

The Importance of pre/post workout fuel!

I'm sure you all know by now how crucial it is to get the proper fuel before a workout, and also refueling afterwards. But some of you still may be asking why it is so important. So here's a breakdown of what you should and shouldn't eat, and why. Pre-workout meals should mainly be composed of "slow-burning" complex carbs: fruits, veggies, whole-grain bread, brown rice, wheat pasta, and oats. Given that they are your body's main source of energy, you want most of your pre-workout meal to be composed of carbs. Complex carbs take longer to convert to glucose. So this will keep your blood sugar level consistent and keep you from crashing in the middle of your workout! The other 15-20% of your pre-workout meal should consist of protein: egg whites, lean meats, fish, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. Fat takes the longest to digest in your body, which will use up more energy in your body. Try to avoid fats before your workouts. If your meal is between 100-300 calories, give yourself about 45-60 minutes to digest the food before you hit the gym. If your meal is bigger, more along the lines of 400-600 calories, it'll take your body longer to digest it (up to 2-3 hours!) Since I wake up really early, i'll have a small bowl of oats and egg whites topped with blueberries, along with my cup of coffee. Now, as far as the post workout meal goes, timing is crucial. You want to get something in fast after your workout, in that "window of opportunity", between 15-45 minutes after you do your last rep.Whenever you lift weights or strength train, what you're doing is breaking down old muscle fibers, in order to build new, bigger, stronger ones. Exercise breaks down our muscle carb stores and protein structures. So what exactly do you need in order to rebuild those hungry muscles? Well, carbs and protein. As far as protein goes, you can't go wrong with a whey protein shake. As I explained in a previous post, whey protein is a fast digesting protein, so it will get to your muscles quickly! It's crucial that you get a source of carbs after your workout along with your protein shake. You need the right amount of carbs that will give you an adequate insulin release. When you consume carbohydrates after your workout, you will promote a large insulin release, increase glycogen storage, and increase protein repair. A good "amount" to refer to is about .8 grams of carbs per kg of body weight. Fruit is a great way to get carbs in fast after your workout. Even blending a banana up with your shake can be delicious! But a big mistake a lot of people make is incorporating fat in with their post workout meals, because as I stated before, it takes the longest to digest. A lot of people like to add peanut butter to their post workout shakes.. Don't! Your muscles only require protein and carbs immediately after. And boy are they hungry for them!I always have my whey shake, 1/2 or 3/4 of a banana, and a rice cake. About an hour after, try to get in a whole meal. It's so important to nourish and feed your body after an intense workout. If you want to see results, don't skip out on the pre/post workout fuel! Be sure to drink plenty of water to re-hydrate as well! 

Supplements-broken down.

I know this can get confusing. So many different kinds of supplements out there, and you probably wonder what are the best to take? what brand should I use? what's safe? Here's a breakdown of supplements that are safe to use, and can HELP get you to your goals. Taking supplements alone won't do anything. And for the record, I did not start taking supplements until about a month ago. I cut fat and built muscle with no aid at all (besides whey protein).

Whey Protein: Whey is a milk based protein. It is known for its quick digestibility, so when you consume whey, it breaks down rapidly in the body and sends amino acids to your muscle tissue. Whey helps build lean muscle, the sexy curves and lines that most women want to achieve! Muscle speeds up your metabolism which in turn causes you to burn more calories throughout the day, just by doing your everyday things (breathing, walking, sitting, etc). So when should you consume whey? The best times to take whey is before and after your workouts(about 30-45 minutes before your workout and within 30 minutes after.) It's also good to add to smoothies and shakes throughout the day or in the morning.

Casein Protein: Casein-another milk based protein. Casein digests very slowly. While whey rapidly sends aminos to your muscles, casein is sent at a steady pace over a longer span of time. Casein helps build muscle. When should casein be taken? Before bed is when most people consume it. That way your muscles are still being "fed" while you're sleeping! 

CLA:  (Conjugated linoleic acid) is an omega-6 fatty acid. CLA can help boost metabolism, and promotes fat loss and muscle growths. 

BCAAS:(Branched Chain amino acids) are three essential amino acids with a special branched structure– leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Helps maintain lean mass as well as prevent muscle breakdown.

Glutamine: This is the most common amino acid in your muscles. The levels of glutamine in your body are depleted during intense workouts, which is why it's good to take it in supplement form. It helps your muscles from breaking down, and also aids in muscle recovery and healing.

Fish oil: contain omega-3 fatty acids that aid in treatment of heart diseases, high cholesterol, and also can help prevent cancer.

There are so many supplements out there, but these are ones that I would recommend. I personally use whey,casein, bcaas, glutamine, vitamin C, biotin(hair skin and nails), and plan to start taking fish oils as well. Remember, I am not a doctor, so you may want to consult with yours before starting any of these.

How I got here, Why I do it, and How to start

I often get asked "how did you get to where you are today?" "what motivates you?" "why are you so into fitness?" "how do I get started?". All of these are great questions, and here are some answers. It all started in about August of 2009. I decided it was time to join a gym, and get into shape. I was always an athletic person growing up. I played soccer for about 8 years of my life, and also played basketball in middle school. So I ended up joining a gym, and of course, fell into the "cardio bunny" category. I would run for numerous miles, spent way too much time on the treadmill, and not enough in the weight room(if I did, I was playing with the little beauty bells). My diet was poor as well. It consisted mostly of cereal and granola bars during the day, and for dinner I would eat cereal again. Thinking this low calorie diet and burning so many on the treadmill would make me skinny, and I guess I thought abs would magically appear? Who knows. I continued to do this for about a year, but never saw results. I ended up switching gyms in January of 2011, and continued to do the same thing. I began to read articles and attempt to educate myself more about fitness. I slowly started incorporating weights into my routine, but still fearing the "bulk" that most women do. I also added protein powder to my diet, drinking a shake after my workouts, with doubts still in my mind about protein making you "fat". Continuing to read articles and attempting to educate myself more, I realized the importance of DIET and the weight room. I was barely eating anything, I wasnt lifting enough, I was running for endless miles, so how did I expect my body to grow lean sexy muscles? In January of 2012, I moved to California for 6 months. I didn't want to get a gym membership because most of those come with a year contract and I knew I wouldn't be there for that long. So I started p90x. And my life was changed. I began to eat more, every 2 1/2 hours or so. I was using weights with the workouts and doing them consistently. And what happened? Results. My body began to change. I started to notice abs. I started to notice the fat melting off. Granted, I wasn't fat before. I was actually fairly tiny. But my body responded to well. I leaned out, and all that muscle underneath began to show. I loved the results. So why stop? That is why I do this. That is why I love to workout. I realized that I have the ability to form and shape my body whatever way I please, because lifting weights allows you to do that. No, you can't spot reduce where you lose fat, But you sure as hell can build curves in all the right places. Ever since then my life has changed completely. The way I used to think just makes me want to slap the old me in the face lol. But I dont regret anything. I made my mistakes but have learned so much along the journey. I've grown to be a different person. I used to be someone who thought cardio was the answer, that eating small amounts of food would make me skinny, drinking alchohol frequently was ok.. The results of that was the old skinny fat me. I looked good in clothes but when they came off, I just looked soft, with no muscle definition at all. I'm not only stronger physically, but mentally as well. And why wouldn't anyone want that? I moved back home in June and joined the gym again, and really started hitting the weights even harder. I currently don't do any cardio because of my fast metabolism, it keeps me from making any gains, and that's my goal right now. I won't ever stop this lifestyle. I feel better when I workout. I look better as well. I have no reason to quit.

So how can someone starting from ground 0 , build there way up? Well, this is what I suggest. Evaluate your goals and what you want to achieve. Are you serious about it? How bad do you want it? What does your health mean to you? Ask yourself these questions. Remember, this is a lifestyle. It isn't something you can do for a few months and then quit. You learn to find a balance between eating clean and indulging, time in the gym and time off, and working it into your daily routine. Here are a few tips on how to start your fitness journey:

Step 1-Evaluate your goals and what you want to achieve. Make small, reasonable goals. This way, you won't get discouraged if you don't reach your ultimate goal in a certain amount of time. For example, if you want to lose 30 lbs, make a goal of first losing 5 lbs by "x" date. Do this until you reach your ultimate goal! Make sure you're serious about this, and realize how important this is to you.

Step 2-Clean up your diet. I cannot stress this enough. People always ask me "how do i get abs?" "what are your ab workouts?". YOU WILL NOT GET ABS BY DOING AB WORKOUTS. You'll only strengthen the ones you already have. The only way to see your abs is dropping your overall body fat percentage, and that starts with your diet and eating clean. If you're eating foods that are packed full of sugars and are way too processed, you aren't doing anything good for yourself. Check my "clean eating 101" post for a checklist of things to help remove the processed junk from your diet.

Step 3-Join a gym. Some memberships are as low as 10 dollars a month. Start slow and build yourself up. Remember, this doesn't happen over night. Even if you can't afford a gym membership, there are plenty of workouts you can do at home. is a great website for at home workouts.

Step 4-Make a budget and plan ahead. If you make "x" amount of money a month, find out how much you can spend on food and your gym membership. When you prepare your own foods and buy in bulk, this can save you money as well. Places like costco and sam's club allow you to buy in bigger quantities which may save you money!

Step 5-DONT be so hard on yourself! We all have slip ups. As long as you're trying, that's what's important. You just read earlier how many mistakes I've made. You get up and learn from them. As long as you keep moving forward. Don't ever look back or quit. It isn't called a journey for nothing. Trial and error is what I tell everyone. You will learn what works for you and what doesn't. Listen to your body and nourish it accordingly.

Please everyone, take this advice and run with it. If I would have known what I know today about 3 years ago, who knows where I'd be right now! But that's ok! But learn from these mistakes. I look better now then I've ever looked before and it's because of what I do with my body. You are all capable of doing the same. Don't ever give up! :)

for great articles, tips, workouts, advice, and message boards, check out these websites:

Monday, August 27, 2012

A typical day of clean eating

Since I'm a hair dresser, I had to learn how to eat in between clients, and basically shove food down my throat whenever I get a chance. Since I eat every 2- 2 1/2 hours, you can imagine how difficult that might be! Well, no excuses. I still get it done some how. Even if I have to schedule my clients accordingly. It's that important to me. I've been asked to give an example of what my day would normally look like. I'll do a heavy day (leg days) and a lower day (abs or rest day), so you all can get an idea! Remember, your goals may not match mine. Your weight and height may not be the same either! EVERYBODY is different. So please, don't change everything you do now in order to "look like me". Portions for me are probably different then yours!

This is what a typical Monday leg day looks like for me (i'm off of work on mondays as well)-this is actually what my diet looked like today.)

6:15- Preworkout: 1/3 cup oats, 6 tbsp egg whites, 1/3 cup blueberries, cinnamon; cup of coffee(glutamine and BCAAS)

8:15-Postworkout: 1 scoop protein, 8 oz water; 1/2 or 3/4 banana, 1 rice cake(glutamine, and BCAAS)

9:15-Breakfast meal 3-  oats (cooked with almond milk, flax meal, egg whites, protein powder, cinnamon, etc)topped with pb2 and blueberries; green tea

12:30-meal 4- small green apple, 2 rice cakes or ezekiel toast

2:30-meal 5- 2 1/2 oz whole wheat penne, 3-4 oz lean filet mignon steak, 1 tbsp hummus, sriracha, and 6 asparagus spears

4:30-1 baked sweet potato topped with 1/2 quest bar

7:30-Baked tilapia, 1 cup brown rice, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup roasted cauliflower, mixed greens with balsamic

8:30-green tea

9:30-casein peanut butter mousse

Tuesday-lighter day (abs only, this is just an example)

6:30- Preworkout- 2 rice cakes, coffee

8:45- Postworkout- 1 scoop protein powder, 8 oz water, 1/2 banana

10:00-protein pancakes, topped with pb2, blueberries, coconut oil (refer to recipe post); green tea

1:00-2 1/2 oz whole wheat penne, 1 chicken breast, 1/2 cup brocolli, 1 tbsp hummus

4:00- Oatmeal smoothie (oats, almond milk, spinach, blueberries, egg whites, pb2, flax, etc)

7:00-Oatmeal crusted turkey burger, quinoa, 1/2 cup brocolli, 1 tbsp hummus

8:30-green tea

9:30-Chocolate cottage cheese with peanut butter ( refer to recipe post)

Proof, that food is NOT the enemy. I eat like a beast, to look like a fox ;-) your body NEEDS food to function. In order to grow lean sexy muscles, you must put CLEAN nutritious food in your body! I'm probably intaking more carbs then a person trying to maintain or lose weight, but my situation is a little bit different. When trying to gain or "bulk", intake and portion sizes are a bit different. But even before I increased the carbs, even 2000 calories wasn't enough for me. The more muscle on your frame, the more calories you burn just by being alive. Which means your metabolism is faster, which means your body needs MORE FOOD! Honestly, it's all trial and error. Everyone is different so it's hard to say what I do will work for you, or what you do will work for me. Experiment and see what your body and what it doesn't like. My body is not carb sensitive at all. I still remain fairly lean considering the amount of carbs i'm taking in. Don't fall for diet gimmicks and companies that swear there product will help you lose weight! and DO NOT fall for the little 3 day diets, cabbage soup diets, juice fasts, ITS ALL BS! Just eat clean wholesome NUTRITIOUS food. Plain and simple. Your body will thank you, and you'll thank yourself after you see the results ;-)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hooker Heels and Protein "nutella" and apple sandwiches

Got back from shopping with my mom after buying these sexy heels! I fell in love! They're by Jessica Simpson in case anyone else likes them too ;-) it was time for me to eat when I got home and of course I was craving something sweet. I toasted a piece of Ezekiel toast, and while that was toasting I mixed 1 scoop of whey, 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa, 1 stevia packet, a drop of vanilla extract, and some water together until it was a thick consistency. I spread it on my toast and sliced half an apple to top it all off. Reminded me of the nutella sandwiches I used to eat once upon a time haha! The "chocolate" was dripping everywhere it was a delicious mess. I'm wondering if hazelnut extract exists.. then it would really taste like nutella! hmm... need to get some of that! Choco-holics, you'll love this.

My current workout routine

Most of you follow me on instagram. You all know I'm trying to gain, which is why cardio is not a part of my routine. Here is my routine broken down for you all! And yes, you can still do this if you're trying to lose weight as well. Remember, the more muscle on your frame, the more calories you burn which= fat loss!

Monday: Legs/Glutes
10 minute warmup
Barbell squats: Pyramid sets(4)-50 lbs x 15 reps
                               -70 lbs x 12 reps
                               -90 lbs x 8 reps
                               -110 lbs x 6 reps
                               (back to 50 for 15 reps..burn baby burn ;-) )
Deadlift with dumbbells: Pyramid sets(4)- 20 lbs (each hand) x 15 reps
                                        - 35 lbs x 12 reps
                                        - 40 lbs x 8 reps
- 45 lbs x 5 reps
Leg press: Pyramid(8 total, 4 up, 4 down)- 60 lbs x 20 reps
- 95 lbs x 15
- 130 lbs x 10
-200 lbs x 6
        (reverse back down)
Cable Kick back: (4 x 10 each leg heavy)

Cable Squats: (4 x 12 heavy)

One Legged Floor Bridge: (4 x 12 each leg)

Calf Raises w dumbbells: Pyramid (8 total, 4 up 4 down) -10 lbs(each hand) x 30
-15 lbs x 25
-25 lbs x 15
-35 lbs x 10
(reverse back down)
Wall squat with dumbbells in hand-(4) 60 sec, 45 sec, 30 sec, until failure.

Tuesday: Abs
-P90x Abs/Core plus video(20 minutes)

Crunches: 30(slow and hold at top)
Air Bike: 30 seconds
Feifer scissors: 20
Pulse ups: 20
Steam engine: 50
Plank: until failure
(repeat 1 more round beginning at crunches)


Thursday:Legs/ Glutes
10 minute warmup
Sumo Squat: 4x10 heavy
Reverse cross back lunge w/ barbell:4x10 superset w/
  Good mornings:4x10
Step back lunges w/ dumbbells: 4x10
Walking barbell lunges:4x10
One legged lunges with plates: 4x10
Side lunges: 4x10
Leg press calf extensions: 4 drop sets
Wall squat with dumbbells-(to failure)

Friday: Back/Bi's/Tri's
10 Minute Warmup
Barbell bicep curls: 4x10
Single arm dumbbell row: 4x12
Overhead Tricep extension:4x10
Wide grip lat pull down: 4x10
Reverse grip lat pull downs: 4x10
Seated Cable Row: 4x8
Standing Cable Curls:4x8
Straight bar push downs: 4x10
Superset: pushups/ bench dips 4x8 (last until failure)

Saturday/Sunday: rest


Pyramid Sets  Pyramid sets are weight training sets in which the progression is from lighter weights with a greater number of repetitions in the first set, to heavier weights with fewer repetitions in subsequent sets.

Drop Sets:  Drop sets are weight training sets in which the weight is decreased in each subsequent set in a group of sets.

Youtube these workouts if you're not sure what something means. Or google it! Educate yourselves! And remember, what's heavy for me may not be for you, or may be way too heavy! Do what you're able to do while keeping proper form! SO important! 

livefiteatclean recipes!

Blueberry Protein pancakes:
1/3 cup oats
1/2 scoop protein powder
2 stevia packets
a dash of cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa
vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flax meal
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 egg whites
1/2 cup blueberries

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse! Don't over work your batter! Makes about 6-7 pancakes around 300 calories without toppings.

Oatmeal Crusted Chicken breast:
1/4 cup of oats
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
lemon pepper
dry basil
dry rosemary

Pulse in a food processor until its all ground and incorporated together. Dip your chicken breast in an egg white and then sprinkle the crust on both sides. Bake in the oven on 375 for 30 minutes!

Chocolate casein peanut butter mousse:
1 scoop casein protein powder (i use optimum nutrition chocolate supreme)
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 raw stevia packets
a drop of vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter(or 2 tbsp pb2 for those watching calories)
1/2 cup almond milk (or water)

Add all ingredients in a bowl and slowly add the liquid and stir, until its a thick consistency. Freeze for 45 minutes and enjoy this amazingness. I have this almost every night!

Chocolate cottage cheese:

SAY WAH?!? I used to hate cottage cheese until I had it like this.

1 cup fat free cottage cheese
2 raw stevia packets
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
walden farms chocolate syrup drizzle

Mix together and enjoy! top it with a tbsp of peanut butter and some more chocolate syrup. Don't judge until you try it! ;-)

Spot reduction doesn't exist

You read that right. You can't pick and chose where your body loses fat, unfortunately. "How do i lose my love handles" or "How do i lose the fat on my legs" are common questions people ask, but there is no legitimate way of doing that. Dropping your overall body fat by eating clean and working out will aid in this, but you can't pick and chose where you'll drop the fat. Some people are heavier around there lower bodies, some in there upper bodies, depending on genetics. 1000 crunches wont whittle away the belly fat either! Don't let companies trick you into buying there products that swear will help you lose belly fat, etc! Hard work and dedication to eating clean and working out is the answer!

Focus on losing weight or building muscle first?

BUILD MUSCLES! Why? The more muscle on your frame, the faster your metabolism will be and the more calories you will burn, just by being alive! It will be easier to lose fat when your metabolism is increased. Muscle burns 3x as many calories as the same amount of fat! Crazy right? Also, eating every 2 1/2- 3 hours is crucial to keep your metabolism working fast! At first you may find yourself eating when you aren't even hungry, but once your body gets used to the routine, you'll be more than hungry when those 2 hours pass! That's because your metabolism is working crazy fast! GOOD SIGN! If cardio is going to be a part of your routine, stick to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)-Moderate intensity cardio alternated with high intensity intervals. HIIT is considered more effective then regular cardio because you burn through fat while still maintaining muscle! Most cardio sessions are lengthy and can start to burn through precious hard earned muscle. BAD. Stick to HIIT!

Women and Weight Lifting

One of the biggest misconceptions about women and weight lifting-"I dont want to lift weights because I dont want to look manly." Really now? Let me just break this down for you all. It is VERY hard for women to build muscle. We do not have the testosterone levels that are necessary to get "bulky". Even if you're lifting heavy weights! Body builders use steroids to aid them in building that much muscle! Lifting heavy weights will give you curves in all the right places! Women have the ability to build there bodies and curves, and they think cardio is what will give them sexy lean muscles! WRONG! Extended amounts of cardio will burn through muscle and leave you looking skinny but not tight! Playing with 5 lb beauty bells won't make a difference either. Your purse probably weighs more than that! GO HEAVY! DON'T BE AFRAID! PUSH YOUR LIMITS!' Your body listens to anything your mind says. Also, protein powder WILL NOT make you fat/gain weight/gain bulk. The only way you'll "gain weight" is if you eat over your daily caloric needs. Protein is crucial in our diets! High protein diets along with the combination of weight training and cardio will help you get the sexy lean "toned" muscles that most women want to achieve! Get in there with the boys and don't fear those weights ladies!

Grocery List

Abs are made in the kitchen. Plain and simple. You want abs? Its ALL about your diet. Abs don't need to be trained more than twice a week. Visible abs come with eating clean! Here's an example grocery list that I would have if I were to run out of everything at once!

  • Banana
  • Apples
  • Any type of berry
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Arugula
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Lemon
  • Sweet potato
  • Hummus
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Beans (white beans)
  • Low sodium tuna in water
  • Sriracha/ Tapatio
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Extra Virgin Coconut oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Unsweetened cocoa Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Stevia (all natural) 
  • Mrs Dash seasonings
  • Almonds
  • Flax Meal
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Wheat Bread 
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Old fashion oats
  • Rice cakes
  • Pb2
  • Walden Farms Pancake syrup/Chocolate syrup
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Chicken breast
  • Tilapia
  • Lean Ground Turkey
  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Protein Powder (I use ON gold standard double chocolate whey)
  • Glutamine and BCAAS (also ON brand)
So this is basically what my list would look like if I was out of everything. You kind of get the idea of what kind of purchases I normally make! A good tip, dont go shopping hungry! it will only make you want to buy junk food or whatever you're craving at the moment! Make a list before you go and stick to it! If you dont buy bad foods, there wont be a temptation to eat them! Also, If you go on the PB2, Quest bar, and Walden Farms websites, you can find out what store near you carries these products. I know theyre hard to find but I constantly get asked where to find them! I DONT KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! lol :p 

Clean Eating 101

Some of you are probably still wondering what "eating clean" really means. It means eating as close to natural as possible. People go to different extremes with this however. A lot often mistake this with a "raw" diet as well. Many don't realize just how important the diet aspect of this lifestyle is. I would go as far as saying that its 80% diet, 20% gym! What you work so hard for in the gym is pointless if your diet is poor. You need to nourish your body in order to grow lean muscles and shred fat! DO NOT FEAR THE FOOD! I used to be the little cardio bunny that would eat maybe 1200 calories a day if not less, thinking this would keep me skinny. Yeah, it kept me skinny fat. No muscle tone or definition. You must eat enough for your body to make changes. Plain and simple. There are so many online calorie calculators that can help you reach your goals. I swear by the MyFitnessPal app on the iphone. You can even make an online account. It can help track your calories and keep a food diary. SO IMPORTANT!! Here are a few tips on how to start eating clean:
  • Start preparing your own foods. That way you control EXACTLY what goes in your body!
  • Cut out all the sodas, ice cream, candy, chips, white pastas and breads, cereal, granola bars, salad dressings, and anything that has a list 2319381983 ingredients that you can't pronounce. I don't care if it says "low fat" or "low calorie" or "healthy and all natural". Companies often use these words to trick people into buying there products, when in reality theyre packed full of sugars and overly processed junk! For example, Lara bars may only be about 200 calories, but most of them pack over 18 grams of sugar. WAY too much! Almost a days worth! Quest bars are WAY better trust me :)
  • Slowly make the changes needed and don't get discouraged in the beginning. It all takes time to get used to the new lifestyle! 


Finally jumped on the blog bandwagon. All of you know how hard it is to communicate via instagram. There's so much knowledge to share and instagram wasn't enough anymore! I love all my followers so much so I'm excited to start this off and help you guys even more. I kind of don't know where to begin haha its a little overwhelming! I'll leave my first post at this for now, until I think of how I want to organize this thing! Be patient with me ;-)