Monday, July 25, 2016

My 3 Favorite Fitness Apps

Hey everyone!  With all of the fitness programs going around these days (I mean Beachbody has 27 alone at the moment), it's hard to know what to do, how to stay on track, and how to achieve ultimate results.  What can I say, it's an INDUSTRY people!  One with good intentions for sure, but man are there a lot of products to sort through! 

Wanted to make it easy on everyone and talk apps today.  Specifically the ones I use regularly and have made it in my life through the long haul.  Why apps and not programs?  Because it's 2016.  And in 2016, many of us live on our phones. Yes, we might pop in a DVD or stream an online workout once a day, for the other 23 hours, we're attached to our phones, or at least have them in very close range.  So, here are my favorite apps to keep me on track through life!

1. 21 Day Fix app.  It's free and honestly you don't even have to buy the program to use it.  In fact, I use it as a guide on the regular, even when I am not necessarily following the full 21 Day Fix program.  Pros to this app are that it is quick and easy to track what you eat throughout the day.  The app subtracts it and tells you what you are left with.  I like that it is set up by type of food and not by calories or grams.  Highly simplified.

2. My Fitness Pal.  I like this one because you can literally look up any food of any brand or from any restaurant and it's probably on there along with the nitty gritty of every single nutrient contained.  It can be overwhelming though.  And time consuming because you have to enter each slice of bread, leaf of lettuce, and type of lunch meat separately.  It's a lot of work, but definitely worth trying if just for the sake of seeing exactly what is IN all of these foods you are eating. 

3. My Challenge Tracker app.  This one is also free BUT you would have to be invited by a "coach" to actually use it.  You get an access code and can then log into your app's group.  Here you find motivation and way to track your workouts and Shakeology.  So it's basically everything that the other 2 don't provide.  The missing puzzle piece if you will.  It's also interactive so you can connect with other people and have someone to ask questions to when they come up.  If you'd like access to THIS app, I'd be happy to chat with you about how you can start using it to help you reach your fitness goals!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

I Skip Breakfast and It Works

Good morning friends!  Happy Monday!  I have to say I couldn't be more excited to announce that I am finally having my first week of summer at home, without company, just me and my girls and (fingers crossed) and opportunity to get sh*t done!  Between chasing toddlers, feeding them, changing them, rescuing them, and keeping them entertained that is... but nonetheless, we are back to our version of normal. It's refreshing.  It's invigorating.

And as I take time to refocus myself on the goals I have set for the year, I'm reminded of one of the first promises I ever made to myself when I entered this business: to be completely and unapologetically ME and to share my truth with the world.  And in the spirit of truth telling, I'm about to share something really key with you all.  In fact, it might be considered shocking and a bit taboo to all you health minded people out there, but like I said, above all, I am sharing MY truth.  So take it for what it's worth.  

Over the past year, as I've dabbled further and further into this fit biz (ok I guess it's more like a dive at this point), it's really caused me to evaluate my eating styles.  What have I been doing all these years?  Why is it working?  Am I honestly that healthy most of the time? Am I just blessed by good genes that are eventually going to catch up with me?  

I guess I won't know the answer to the latter question until later in life, but after fully recovering from a twin pregnancy and returning to pretty darn decent shape, I figure I must be doing something right.  I'm feeling a little more confident in my methods, and therefore willing to share them with everyone interested, judgers included.  And you know what I've realized?  I rarely eat breakfast.  In fact, very very rarely do I eat anything at all before 11 am.  Sometimes 12... or 1.  It depends what time I got up.  

And no, I am not sleeping in until then either.  I have 1 year old twins for Christ sake and no my husband does not wake up with them.  It's an unspoken agreement in our marriage that we are both very pleased with.  I am a morning person.  I like to get up early and start the day.  

But what the heck, Michelle?? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Surely you can not be healthy and skip breakfast.  How dare you post something like this on a health site.  Yea, I know.  I've lived with this secret for a long time.  I've probably even told people to eat breakfast a time or two, or tried to force myself to in an effort to do what's "right".  But like I said, I'm on a mission.  And it's not to force feed advice that you've read on every other health site.  It's to share MY truth in an effort to help others, validate others, connect with others.  And that, my friends, is what works for ME.  

Now before you think I'm telling you to go skip breakfast, let me clarify something realllllly important.  My theory on why this works for me is because I am listening to my body, and in all honesty, I am just not hungry when I wake up.  It takes me a while to get the day going, to accomplish a few things, to feed my little ones, before my body actually reminds me "hey, I'm kinda getting hungry here".  And by all means, when I am hungry, I eat.  If you wake up in the morning starving, by all means, eat breakfast.  A healthy one. Your body is telling you what you need.  But if you don't, there is no need to force food down your throat that you're not really ready for.  At least that's my opinion.  Take it or leave it.  

In fact, since I've made this realization that I just don't eat breakfast usually, I've done a little bit of research.  It turns out that intermittent fasting is actually a thing that I guess I've been doing my whole life without realizing it.  And you know what else I notice about lifelong, naturally lean people?  Many of them do the same thing!  If you want to learn more, I've found these articles pretty interesting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

5 Intermittent Fasting Methods: Which is Right for You? 

Intermittent Fasting according to Chalene Johnson

How about you?  Are you a breakfast eater or do you wait it out until lunch? 

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Healthy Habits for Vacationers

We finally made it!  I'm currently sitting on the couch in our beachfront condo, staring at the waves, and taking advantage of a little time to write while my babies nap nearby.  Does it get any better than this?  I highly doubt so.  

This morning we got up earrrrly (thank you children) and played for a long time before going to my husband's softball game.  I wore my workout gear, got in a good long walk with the stroller and a super short leg circuit on the sidelines of the game.  Not a killer workout, but definitely the umph I need to keep me going when I'm all in vacation mode.  I mean, we work all spring to get our body's ready for summer, why do we completely destroy it on vacation?  Am I right? 

Today I'm sharing my simple, every day tips for keeping your healthy lifestyle from going to complete crap while you're on vacation. I promise, you will still have plenty of room to splurge, relax, and drink yourself silly.  So here goes...

1. Pack pre-sliced veggies and fruits.  When I go to the beach, there are enough things I look forward to devouring.  Things that contribute to the experience of the vacation... fresh fish tacos, crab cakes and hush puppies, late night ice cream sundaes... it's all a part of the "beach life".  I go into vacation looking forward to these things and I am unwilling to go through an entire beach week without them.  What I am willing to go without is a random cheeseburger that I could get just as good back home or a random handful of potato chips because I'm starving and that's what I have on hand.  Keeping fruits and veggies on hand ensures I still get them into my diet and that I'm not wasting empty calories on foods that do not contribute to the experience of the trip.  

2. Walk as much as you can!  Try to keep your car parked as much as you possibly can.  Want a donut from that amazing shop you can only find on vacation? Headed to happy hour or out for a night with friends?  Stop the habit of immediately heading for the car and ask yourself, is it a feasible walking distance?  If it is, use this as an opportunity to get your exercise in!  And if you really want a challenge, I'll let you borrow my twins to carry with you ;) 

3. Drink low calorie cocktails as opposed to beer.  If you're worried about drinking your daily calorie intake, stick to vodka soda or my personal favorite, ice picks (vodka with unsweetened iced tea). It can be a little bitter if you're not into unsweetened by oh so refreshing once you get used to it. 

4. Pack your Shakeology (or shake of choice)! Same reason as #1, it's quick, simple, and ensures you are still getting all of the nutrition your body needs.  I personally do not want to spend my vacation sitting around cooking meals (unless of course that's what you love to do, then go for it), so this definitely helps me to stay on track! 

Got any more vacation tips you swear by?  Leave 'em in comments below! xo

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Let it Shine
Mingle Monday

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chicken Fajitas on a Stick!

Just in time for grilling season!  Sharing this delicious and healthy recipe I made last week for my mom's birthday.  Her name is Rita so we had margaritas ;)  See what I did there?  Pretty genius.  I think we may do this every year! But with the margarita indulgence, I wanted something delicious that wasn't going to kill my diet.  Chicken fajitas on a stick were a huge hit, even with the hubs!  

You need:  Cubed chicken and veggies to your liking.  I used zuchinni, peppers, and red onions.  I also suspect that you could use steak if you wanted.  Definitely on my "to try" list at some point this year.  

For the marinade:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
Juice from one lime.
1/4 teaspoon each of sugar, salt, cumin, dried oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

I marinated the chicken for a few hours before skewering it with the veggies.  Grill about 7 minutes each side, less or more depending on the size of your chicken.  

Served with a side of wild rice and a cilantro lime dipping sauce: Lite sour cream mixed with chopped fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and honey!  The perfect accompaniment to this delicious meal!