health

Workout Motivation After A Full Work Day

First post on the new site is up!

Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out ūüôā

Enjoy & be sure to follow on bloglovin to get updates from me as I am pretty decided on deleting this wordpress.com site in a bit.

xx Sarah

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Kayla Itsines BBG Week Two!

Woohoo!
Two weeks done already (:

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This week, overall, went better than the first week. Well, fitness wise it did at least. Eating was not so great again, but it was a holiday weekend and we were out of town, so that’s my excuse (which still shouldn’t really even count). I worked out with my sister all week. I’d do circuit one while she would do circuit two and then we’d just switch. It worked out really nicely & provided me with the motivation I needed to complete the circuits a few times. A workout partner is a wonderful, wonderful thing to have.

Circuits:
Monday was legs & cardio day. The circuit I think was easier than the legs & cardio day from week one, but this could very well be due to the fact that I may be getting slightly stronger already. Jumping lunges, skipping, and raised reverse lunges were introduced. Skipping was killer. Ugh, it just hurt so bad especially my calfs. Jumping lunges were also possibly a form of torture. But I got through it. It actually felt really great to push my body and to complete the circuits. I could tell I was really going to benefit from this day.

Wednesday was arms and abs. ¬†Commandos were the new thing here. Just, awful. Just so so awful. It hurt so bad. But I did it! If those didn’t make me stronger then I don’t know what ever will. If you are unfamiliar, as I was, with a commando the best way that I can describe it as is a push up starting in a plank position but rather than using both hands, you use one hand at a time to get up. Not fun, but really effective.

Friday was an optional all body work out, which of course we did. It included most of our new workouts, the skipping, the jump lunges, and the commandos. I could tell that the skipping was a lot easier to get through the second time around after having done it on Monday. The commandos did not get better, but I’m hopeful that by the next time I run into them I will have an easier time. I could tell on the lay down push ups that we did on Friday that my arms were getting stronger because I was able to have a better posture and my back didn’t curve as much as it had used to – so that was a great feeling!

Liss:
For my LISS this week I did the elliptical Tuesday for 35 minutes.
Thursday we were at the lake so my sister & I paddle boated for 30 minutes which is more of a workout than you think it would be.
Saturday we walked all around the city of Springfield & the museum for the entire day, so we sorta cheated and counted that as our LISS.

Overall:
At the end of week two I am feeling pretty great. I don’t know if my body has really changed too much yet, but I think that just because I am working out everyday I feel more confident about myself. Like, even if the changes aren’t there yet I personally feel just a tad bit stronger and I know I’m well on my way and things will only get better. Feeling more confident makes my whole mood increase.

Week 3 circuits are a repeat of week 1 circuits so I’m looking forward to seeing the difference in how easy/hard the workouts are to complete compared to the very beginning. I’m hoping to feel some clear strength improvements. I’ll keep you updated of course (:

Thanks for reading & following along with me on my fitness journey!

xx Sarah

 

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Kayla Itsines BBG Week One

Okay, week one has officially been completed!

It went … alright.
The first day of circuits was legs & cardio and it kicked my ass. It’s only 2 circuits with 4 exercises¬†in each. You repeat each circuit twice. Also, you’re supposed to set a timer for 7 minutes for each circuit. I finished usually with 2 or 3 minutes left though so I would let myself rest until the timer went off. I’m not sure if that was the best thing to do, but yea, that’s what I did. I went into it thinking that the first day wouldn’t be so bad and glancing at what I was going to be doing, I wasn’t too intimidated. But then I did it. And It was a struggle. I think what surprised me was that the step ups were the hardest part for me. They were just such a struggle to get through and it burned.

The next day I didn’t feel too sore until the afternoon and then it hit me. My butt & my legs were very very sore, but the good kind of sore. I love feeling sore and knowing that I’ve done something to improve myself and make myself stronger.

Tuesday was supposed to be LISS, low intensity steady state. Kayla recommends walking for this. I plan on jogging LISS, but for the first week I was going to just walk it. Anyways, long story short a giant destructive tornado was heading straight for my work & tornados are my biggest fear so after that ordeal and barely missing it, I just said screw it to the whole day. No excuses, but yea. That was my bad day.

Wednesday was arms and abs. It was much easier to get through than Monday but I think it’s because it wasn’t cardio heavy, just strength exercises. It felt good though. I usually don’t work out my arms, but I’m excited to start toning them & getting stronger.

Thursday was LISS again and I just went to the gym and did the elliptical.

Friday was an optional full body workout. Maybe I was more motivated, or maybe I have improved a very slight bit, but I could do my push-ups better as well as the burpees.

As far as eating goes, I tried (not as hard as I should have) to eat well, but changing my eating habits completely all at once just wasn’t going to work for me. My goal is to gradually change my meals.

I’m excited for this coming week as I am quite motivated and feeling great!
I have so much room for improvement, especially as far as eating habits go, and I hope to make even more progress this coming week.

Perfect Mid-Morning Snack

As I’ve said before, I’m quite the picky eater. Getting my greens is almost a chore for me, but one way I have found that I will actually eat, is to put my greens into a smoothie!

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I know the color doesn’t look so great, but trust me- it is yummy! And If I like, basically everyone will like it!

Last summer is when I picked this trick up & I’ve been trying to make them as often as possible, but lately, I’ve been slacking.

However, this morning when I was going over the H.E.L.P. Nutrition Guide by Kayla Itsines, I noticed it called for a smoothie as a morning snack!
I was quite excited to be motivated to make more smoothies, as sadly it is my main source of veggies.
I usually make my smoothies with kale, spinach, frozen berries, coconut milk, Greek yogurt, flax seed, and sometimes half an orange.

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I decided this morning to go with Kayla’s recipe, which is quite similar to mine. My smoothie today has 1 cup kale, 1 cup spinach, yogurt, 1 cup of frozen berries, and one banana.

I actually really enjoy the banana taste in this as it sort of helps to mask the taste of the spinach and kale.

I take my time finishing this & it actually leaves me decently full afterwards.

You’ll have to give it a try! Also, let me know if you have any variations of a smoothie similar to this one- I’d love to hear it!

Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide: Day One!

It has finally begun!
Today I was able to start the Bikini Body Guide, thanks to my sister’s return from California. She insisted that we stay on track together, despite not wanting to¬†actually¬†work out with me. Whatever.

I couldn’t be¬†more excited though! I’m also following, as best I can, the H.E.L.P Nutrition guide. It’s recommended that you do them both together for the best results. I am such a picky eater though, so it’ll be tough for me I think. With that being said, I’m hoping that by following the nutrition guide I’ll force myself to try new things and if I eat it enough, maybe I’ll like it eventually‚Ķ. Or if not, maybe I’ll find my own little variations of healthy things that I actually like to eat. We will see – that’s why it’s a journey!

I wanted to make this post to let you all know that I have actually started the guide (sorry for the delay) and that I plan on making a weekly review post each Sunday. On Evernote I have a note dedicated to each week of the guide and each day I’m recording what I ate and my thoughts on what I was eating. Did I like it? Could I not finish it? Did I cheat a little and go off of the guide? You know what I mean. I’m also recording my thoughts on the workout circuits right after I do them. And I’ll record, starting in the morning, how I’m feeling the next day.

I thought about doing a day-by-day guide and giving you guys a little update each night. But I think it’ll be better if I just give an overall review each week. I figured it will be much more concise and much more helpful¬†that way.

If there is anything else you may want to know about either of the guides, feel free to let me know. If need be, I can record more information each day in my note.

 

xx Sarah

 

Making the switch from coffee to tea

So, if you are following me you probably already know that I have started a fitness/health journey.
One easy & simple step you can do to cut unnecessary calories is to change what you drink. Having recently started my internship and working a 40 hour week, my love for coffee has skyrocketed. I’ve been getting Starbucks every other morning almost. Thankfully though, I also have a love for tea and have a wonderful earl grey tea that I can go to in the mornings. I’m trying my best to refrain from buying coffee (for both health & money reasons) and to drink my tea instead.
I typically get a caramel macchiato which is about 230 calories. Tea has virtually NO calories. I believe I saw one stat that said 5 calories per glass and one that said only 1 calorie per glass- either way, virtually no calories. A small change like this can really add up and make a difference.

Not only does black tea have zero calories, but it also has several health benefits! First off, it contains antioxidants, which is great. I briefly explained antioxidants in another post. The antioxidants in black tea can help to lower the risk of clogged arteries & a heart attack. In addition, it has been found that black tea can help lower the risk of:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney stones
  • Parkinsons disease

The amount of caffeine in black tea is about half as much as the caffeine levels in coffee. I however, don’t feel guilty drinking two glasses of black tea in the morning. Due the the caffeine, it can increase your blood pressure (just like coffee) for a very short period of time. This does not have any long term effects on your blood pressure.

Of all teas, black tea has the highest concentration of caffeine. If you prefer, you can drink a lighter tea such as oolong or white tea.

Now, I know that I said that black tea does not have any calories, but this is only if you drink it plain. I personally don’t feel the need to add sugar or milk to my tea, although I know that some people do. It’s a taste that I have acquired and now I am in love with it. The smell of black tea instantly relaxes me, I love it so much.

 

Let me know if you have any favorite teas to drink instead of coffee in the mornings or if you know another small & simple switch to improve your health!

Delayed One Week

Okay, so I had stated in a previous post that I was going to be starting the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide & the nutrition H.E.L.P guides on Monday, which would be today.

My sister, however, is the one that actually went out and purchased these (not knowing I even knew what they were/ who Kayla is) and is guilting me into waiting until she comes back from San Diego to start the BBG with her so we can be at the same pace (ugh, whatever). Since she did purchase them & kindly let me download them onto my iPad I am going to respect her wishes & wait another week to start.

I am actually quite bummed out about this, but I’m going to take this week to begin using some eating tips and meals from the H.E.L.P Nutrition guide book. In addition to that, I’m going to work out daily at my gym to get my body ready for 12 weeks of intense workouts.

If you have any good tips about specific workouts I should be doing to get ready for the Bikini Body Guide, please feel free to let me know. Or if you have any yummy healthy food options that I should try out.

 

xx Sarah

Fruit Infused Water // Spa Water

So, inspired by Diana’s post the other day, I decided to make my own version of spa water!

I’ve heard wonderful things about it & it just seems so summery & happy. I thought that making spa water a regular part of my day would be a great start for my health/fitness journey.

I just used whatever I had at home, which happened to be lemons and frozen berries. Now, I’ve seen people make lemon infused water, and I’ve seen people use berries in their spa water, but I do not think that I have seen them used together. So‚Ķ this may be an interesting tasting water. I’ll keep you updated. ¬†¬†It’s yummy!¬†

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First off, I chose to add lemon for the obvious reasons. For one, lemon is probably the most common fruit to put in your water, so it had to be good. Second, lemons have so many great benefits for you body:

  1. Boosts your metabolism by helping to detoxify your liver
  2. Gives you a boost of energy & even can have a calming effect, reducing anxiety.
  3. Helps fight food cravings
  4. Aids in digestion
  5. Helps your complexion because of the antioxidants it contains.
  6. Freshens up your breath

I added berries because – yum. But also because¬†strawberries are high in vitamin C and folic acid. Blueberries are jam packed with antioxidants, which is amazing. Antioxidants help fight the free radicals in our bodies which can cause us damage. If you don’t know what free radicals are, you should look them up. I don’t want to get into all the science behind it, but a free radical is basically a single oxygen atom. This doesn’t sound like it could be damaging, but oxygen is diatomic and typically always found in nature as two oxygen atoms together, except for free radicals, obviously. Basically, just know that they are damaging, and antioxidants help counteract that. Our body doesn’t produce enough antioxidants on its own to compare with the amount of free radicals, so consuming foods high in antioxidants is a must. Antioxidants mainly help improve your skin and your immune system.

 

The next time I make some sort of spa water, I think I’d like to include some herbs. Also, in researching this topic I found that a glass of¬†warm¬†lemon water is supposed to be really good for you as well. I may have to give that a try, too. If ¬†you have any of your own spa water recipes or anything related, I’d love to hear it!

 

xx Sarah

 

Fitness Journey

So my sister recently bought the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and the H.E.L.P Nutrition guide.

I had no idea she followed Kayla so I was so surprised/happy when she told me she’d share it with me. I cannot wait to get started! I plan to start on Monday. Before then I have to go out and buy a few things required like a jump rope and some small weights, etc.

If this is something you’d be interested in hearing a bit about/ seeing progress, just let me know. I think I may do a review of the program as I go through it week by week. Also, I’m totally changing my eating habits so I was thinking I might also make some posts about foods that have been working really well for me & some healthy recipes that I learn along my journey. I know it won’t be an easy thing to do, but I am ready to take on the challenge and really make a change in my lifestyle.

 

I’d love to hear from anyone who has done the Bikini Body Guide before or anyone that may have some quick pointers for me.

 

xx Sarah