Monday, January 30, 2017

Leg Exercises and Workout Schedule

It's been a while since I addressed my workouts but I am still hitting the gym consistently! I've seen strength increases so I'm happy about that! I've been doing strength workouts 4 times a week and cardio 3 times a week purely because I enjoy it!

I no longer do a body part split because I've learned that frequency of exercises utilizing a full body workout is superior to a body part split. It triggers the muscle fibers more often, thereby leading to gains!

Think about it, if you do a killer leg workout and then you can't train them for several days, or even a week, you're no longer adapting, simply recovering, which does not equal strength gains. Adaptation is what we're after. If you instead do a leg workout that's not too lengthy or intense, and do that 3-4 times a week, you'll see more muscle adaptation! I squat 3-4 times a week!

Here's a few leg exercises I've been putting together during my full body workouts:

Hip Thrusts 4x10
Barbell Squats 2x10, 4x5, 1x10
Barbell Lunges 4x10 each leg

I begin with Hip thrusts to activate the glutes when I'm trying to focus on glutes. You could alternatively do a leg extension if you want to focus on quads or a hamstring curl if you want to focus more on hamstrings.

Without going to failure (I don't want to fatigue my muscles), I then move on the foundational exercise: barbell squats. Barbell squats are such a good exercise because they are a compound movement that requires a lot of different muscles. I do the first set of ten with just the bar, the second set is a reasonable weight for me and the 4 sets of 5 are pretty much  my max weight. The last set of ten I return to a lighter weight and I may incorporate pause squats or pulse squats just for a nice burn lol. Then I finish up with some barbell lunges to really focus on each glute.

This is just something that's been working for me! What does your workout routine look like?

Gains?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Grocery Staples!

I thought I would just share some of my staples that I purchase for groceries. I'm on a budget (aren't we all) so I do take that into consideration and shop sales! I also use coupons when I find ones that are for items I purchase anyway or have been wanting to buy.


  • Oats - I buy quick oats which make for a pretty cheap breakfast and I've had success with store brand on oats as well 
  • Nut butters - Every fit girl needs a pantry well stocked with nut butters! I put it in my oatmeal!
  • Almond/Cashew milk - these go on sale and offer coupons a lot!
  • Greek yogurt - great protein snack, also offer coupons and sales a lot!
  • Chicken breast - pro tip: buy it from the meat counter, it's way cheaper!
  • Truvia/store brand - My sweet tooth is insane, so I buy stevia sweeteners for my oatmeal or to make healthy hot cocoa
  • Popcorn - I'm so in love with popcorn! It's pretty cheap, there's a lot of variety and it's whole grain!
  • Eggs - Eggs are a great well-rounded source of macros, buy 'em on sale or shop a store like Aldi's for good deals 
  • Apples and bananas - these are my go to fruits! I just love them! There's typically at least one variety of apples on sale and bananas are super cheap
  • Other fruit/veggies - Whatever's on sale!
  • Frozen broccoli and cauliflower - again just my favorites and I buy frozen for ease and convenience
  • Sweet potatoes - I just love sweet potatoes 
  • Whole wheat bread/english muffins/bagels - My local dollar tree gets name brand wheat bread items that are going to expire in a few days so I check there and put it in the fridge or freezer when I get home! 


Splurge Items:
  • Halo Top Ice Cream - I am in love with halo top and probably splurge on it too much lol but a girl needs her ice cream!
  • Zevia - I love zevia for a healthy soda substitute, check them out on Instagram because they have giveaways pretty often, they also go on sale, offer coupons from time to time and I've noticed deals on Target's Cartwheel App
  • Fancy Nut Butters - no explanation required 
  • Deep Dark Chocolate - It soothes my soul. Check the clearance sections - they put discontinued or seasonal flavors there, or just splurge. I like high quality dark chocolate!
What are your grocery store staples? Splurges?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Product Review: New Pop Skinless Popcorn

Skinless popcorn? What?

As a popcorn lover and self-proclaimed aficionado, I love to try all sorts of popcorn! I had never heard of skinless popcorn until now!

New Pop has a revolutionary process where they remove the skin and then pop the kernel, so you will never get that kernel "skin" stuck in your teeth! They pop the kernel under high pressure with no butter, oil or salt. They then add raw, organic cane sugar and natural flavors for the different flavors they offer: original, hot and sweet, and sweet cinnamon! They are also certified NON-GMO, vegan, and gluten free. So it seems like a pretty good snack choice!

How does it taste? So far, I've only tried the Sweet Cinnamon flavor. The flavor is on point! It's moderately sweet (not too sweet, not too bland) with a dash of cinnamon spice. The really interesting part is the texture. I likened the texture and appearance to packing peanuts (kind of styrofoamy?). That being said, it wasn't displeasing to me. It was actually strangely addicting! I think the texture could take some getting used to and is not your typical popcorn texture.

By the time I finished the bag, I loved it! lol! I'm intrigued to try the hot and sweet flavor which has red chili peppers and raw, organic sugarcane. I'm also curious to see if the original flavor is bland or sweetened enough! I look forward to trying these flavors and will keep you posted!

UPDATE: I've now tried all three flavors and love them all! The original flavor is sweet and addictive, just minus the cinnamon. I was a bit hesitant to try the hot and sweet flavor but I think they did a good job with it! The hot spicy part is not overwhelming. It gives a nice litte kick to the sweet delicious snack!

Have you tried New Pop? You can check it out at newpop.com. What's your favorite popcorn?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lemon Chia Seed Mini Protein Muffins

Recipe time!

I did "cheat" and use a protein pancake mix as the base of this recipe. I do this often because adding protein to recipes can often lend itself to a gummy texture, so why not play it safe (and easy) but using a protein pancake mix?!

Also, I used chia seeds because that's what I had. If you have poppy-seeds and want a more classic combination, go for it! These mini muffins are so easy, cute, macro friendly and perfectly poppable!


Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Slap Jacks Protein Pancake Mix (May use one serving of any brand)
  • 1 packet Devotion Nutrition Lemon Flex Flavor
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp imitation butter flavor
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • lemon zest as desired
  • Sugar Cookie Gbutter for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray or line a mini muffin pan. 
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. 
  3. Pour or spoon the batter into the mini muffin tray. 
  4. Bake for 8-9 minutes. The muffins should be golden on the bottom and remove easily from the pan. 
  5. Top with sugar cookie Gbutter spread for the ultimate enjoyment!
Macros for 3 mini muffins (1/3 of recipe) without topping:
90 cal 2.7f/7.5c/8.4p

Let me know if you try these! Lemony recipes: yay or nay?

Naked Muffins!
Naked muffins!









Feeling Foxy! Foxy Athletics Leggings

Fit Girl Problems Number 1: Addiction to buying workout clothes.

Who's with me? Seriously, though, every time I go shopping, I'm checking the athletic section. Online, I'm always looking for sales on leggings and sports bras. It's a real problem. However, I don't just want an abundance. I want quality! 

studio-session-079
Photo from Foxyathletics.com
I had seen Foxy Athletics workout gear on Instagram and obtained a coupon code so I decided to give it a go. I went with the Carla Tights in Jet Black.

They're high waisted and feature a side pocket specifically designed for your phone! They also have flat seams, sweat wicking fabric, four way stretch, and soft fabric. 

They basically say these leggings are good for anything and everything!

My leggings came in very quickly! You've gotta love fast (and free!) shipping! I tried them on that day!

I was very impressed with how comfortable they are. I have other high waisted leggings that I love but are not nearly as comfortable.

Then, a few days later, I did a typical workout in them. The phone pocket is very secure and they were comfortable throughout my workout. However, I wasn't convinced to wear them running because I always think running in high waisted leggings would feel weird. However, about a week later, my favorite running tights were dirty and it was frigid outside. I slid on my foxy leggings over the top of a pair of fleece lined leggings from Walmart and went for a run! They were comfortable even for running. My legs were plenty warm with the dual layers but still moved easily. My pace was a bit slower but I attribute that to the snow and ice on the ground. It was my first time running in the snow!

Overall, I really love these leggings and would definitely purchase from them again. I experienced good customer service, quality, comfortable leggings that deliver on their promises and are squat approved!

What are your favorite leggings? I'm always in the market lol!
Trying to flex in my new leggings!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Should I Take Supplements?

Supplements are flooding the fitness industry. They're so heavily promoted by serious athletes and casual gym-goers alike. From pre-workout to creatine to beta alanine to branch chain amino acids to whey protein to caesin to glutamine, etc. - the list of supplements are virtually unending! So what do we really need?

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/find-a-plan-supplements.png

Well, the term supplement literally means to add to, enhance, or complete. If you choose to use supplements, I think they should be supplementary to healthy, well rounded diet. That sounds simple, yet, it's very easy to find yourself having two protein shakes, a protein bar and amino acids all in one day. Can you say bye bye money? lol

Some things to consider:

  • Do I need to supplement protein to reach an acceptable protein intake?
Sometimes it seems common for people to be consuming 1.5 grams of protein per pound, but maximum benefit can be seen from .7 to 1 gram per pound, which is quite easy for me to consume personally. Maybe you don't really need additional protein! 
  • Why should I take pre-workout?
Pre-workout is primarily used as a stimulus, so I've heard of many people who simply switch to a cup of coffee pre-workout and are just fine with that. In fact, I've heard that coffee has many health benefits! Maybe Lorelai Gilmore knew what she was talking about!
  • Amino Acids in food?
Amino acids are beneficial for muscle recovery, however, amino acids are found in proteins. If you eat a good meal post workout, it's possible you will never need to supplement with these!
  • Convenience
One big reason people turn to supplements, shakes and bars is purely for convenience. I do it too! It's not too easy to tote a real, balanced meal to the gym or when you're on the go, but it is easy to grab a protein bar on the go! I try to give consideration, not only to the macros and taste (although, let's be honest, I do consider that), but also to the ingredients. What kind of artificial sweeteners/sugars are used? What type of protein is used?
  • Special diets
If you choose a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle or some other special diet, there may be certain things that you need to supplement. For instance, you may want to supplement with creatine, and/or amino acids. Be smart and consider your personal intake and dietary needs. 

If you choose to consume supplements and/bars, just be conscious of what you're putting into your body. Don't just buy something because your favorite Instagram model told you to.