Weekly Cookup: Old Favorites… A Tried & True Fitness Program & A Trusty TJ Shopping List

Phew! It’s been a few weeks without a legit meal plan in place over here. We’ve had a ton going on (refer to my latest instagram post… more on that later), so we’ve been flying by the seat of our pantalones as far as meal prep goes around these parts.

This week, I’ve got something else up my sleeve. Aside from a few occasional flare-ups, my neck issues are mostly in check (aided by dietary turmeric and topical magnesium supplementation, nutrient-dense whole foods, and an otherwise anti-inflammatory diet, and complemented by consistent Pilates rehab therapy), so I’m feeling strong and ready for a challenge. We’ve got a month left on our gym membership before we make the big move back to the land of CLE, and I’m feeling inspired to make the most of it by once again revisiting my favorite workout of all time, Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer. I cannot say enough great things about this workout program, as I’ve followed it before and saw just how capable and strong my body could be. It was a fantastic feeling. That being said, ANYONE can do this program. Any age, any gender, any shape or size. It’s easily modified to your fitness level, aka, completely easy to start where you are.

With this fitness program plan in place, and with all that we’ve got going on in the next month, I want to have some easy, grab+go meals in the fridge. Lucky for me, a while back I purchased these meal prep containers on Amazon, so I’m all set to make this as simple as possible.

This week’s shopping trip is going to stray from my beloved Whole Foods (gasp! I know!), and over to my OTHER BFF Trader Joe! Why, you ask? Simple! I was going through some old blog posts and found a complete 21-Day Sugar Detox compliant shopping list for Trader Joes, so I thought… why make more work for myself? This weekend is going to involve a (cheaper than Whole Foods) shopping trip to TJ, and a mass meal-prep party to stock my fridge with healthy meals that I can grab and go all week. Who’s with me??!

Curious about that blog post? Read it here, all my favorites from Trader Joes… then stock up and get preppin’!

Have a GREAT WEEKEND!

xx

e

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Revisiting The Primal Blueprint

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I’ve mentioned in a few posts recently that I’ve been reminiscing about living in our first apartment in Jupiter, how it has me homesick for Florida and the life we had there. Without getting all philosophical and emotional about the past and present and blah blah, I will say that I’ve been doing a little soul-searching to figure out why things feel so different now and guess what came up for me repeatedly? A major – and I mean MAYY-JORR – contributing factor to living the vibrant, healthy, happy life we enjoyed there was – SHOCKER!! – our diet and workouts. You’d think as a yoga teacher and nutritional therapist, this would be old news to me, right? I mean, duh, Erin. Duhhh.

SO, long story short, I thought back to when I first started getting into fitness and healthy eating, and decided to revisit the first book I ever read on the Paleo diet/lifestyle – that changed the way I looked at food and working out, might I add: The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

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Okay, ignore the cheesy cover – this book is legit.

I first found the book by poking around the internet googling something along the lines of “eat like a female bodybuilder”… I KNOW, I know, make fun of me now, I’m fine with it. I had started working out more (Tim was traveling a lot and I was only working part-time so it became something to fill gaps in my day) but I wasn’t noticing much change in my body. I didn’t actually want to be a body-builder, but I knew my body type was muscular (aka, I was not designed to look like a super-skinny VS model) and I wanted to see what I could do with it. But I was still weak and knew it probably had something to do with my diet because, at that point all I knew of nutrition was the mainstream low-fat, whole grain nonsense… I was clueless (like the majority of the population) about feeding myself for optimal wellness and in this case, athletic performance.

ANYWAY. In my google search, I came across this article, which I could totally relate to… and which led me to this article, which broke down the Paleo diet so I could understand it… which then led me to Mark’s Daily Apple, Mark Sisson’s website. After poking around a bit on his site, I downloaded the 21-Day Total Body Transformation and, as I said above, my life was changed.

Tim and I implemented the lifestyle immediately. I was already getting an organic produce share every week, so my grocery trips to Whole Foods and sometimes Costco meant stocking up on quality meat and fish, healthy fats like organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, and a variety of spices and primal-friendly pantry staples like coconut aminos and almond meal.

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The mother load.

I continued my workouts and noticed changes in my strength and endurance in the first week. I was adding weight to my sets consistently and feeling strong and energized at the end of my workouts instead of depleted and dizzy.

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HA! Nice face. Remember this?! Check my guns, yo!

We followed the advice of the book and started enjoying exercise more by finding things we liked to do outside the gym, participating in group beach workouts and going for bike rides together.

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Six days a week, we ate every meal according to the primal blueprint guidelines, enjoying a glass of red wine here and there, a square of 90% dark chocolate almost every night, and one night a week, usually on the weekend, we’d enjoy a meal at one of many local favorite restaurants. While we tried to stick close to primal blueprint guidelines when we ate dinner out, we knew we couldn’t control what was going into the dish and we didn’t obsess about it. And sometimes, we didn’t stick to the blueprint at all. We were crazy fit, healthy, energized, and happy! Life was seriously our oyster and we were eating it right up… because those are allowed, heyyyy.

Enjoying a burger, fries, and beer (off-meal) after a long bike ride on the beach... and, from the look on his face, also enjoying ESPN on the bar TV. ;)

Enjoying a burger, fries, and beer (off-meal) after a long bike ride on the beach… and, from the look on his face, also enjoying ESPN on the bar TV. ;)

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Eggs (in one of many forms) and veggies for breakfast were ARE the new norm.

***

SIDE NOTE TIME! Now, I will admit that being pregnant has me a little more body-conscious than normal right now, (and that my current total weight gain of 6lbs feels like 20 on my 5’3″ frame) but this isn’t about that. It’s about getting back the energy, the clarity of mind and body, the zest for life, and preparing myself not only for the delivery of a healthy baby, but also for my rebound into a successful run with breast-feeding and optimal post-preg wellness for both me and the babe.

So that is what inspired me, a couple weekends ago, on the way home from our road-trip to Raleigh, to take the 4.5 hours in the car as the perfect opportunity to revisit and refresh my memory of the Primal Blueprint. So that A) I could get re-motivated to clear my kitchen of any lingering first-trimester junk food and replace it with healthy primal-friendly stock, and B) so that I could share with YOU the basic gist of the Primal Blueprint and perhaps persuade you to look into trying it for yourself. (I promise, you won’t regret it!)

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SO, without further rambling (geez, I know, sorryyyy, that was a long intro), here it is.

The Primal Blueprint is about getting the greatest health and fitness benefits you can with the least amount of pain, suffering, and sacrifice […] Today, my goal is to look super fit without having to follow an exhaustive, time-consuming exercise regimen, [and] enjoy the heck out of my meals without the slightest hint of deprivation.  – Mark Sisson

I’m going to outline the key concepts for you here. You can find more information about the lifestyle by visiting Mark’s Daily Apple, or of course, by getting one of the many books he’s written on the Primal Blueprint. (Nope, I’m not being paid to say that.)

Out with the OLD

The Primal Blueprint involves changing your lifestyle, but let me just say this once: IT IS NOT HARD. So get it out of your head that it is. For starters, here’s what you can leave in your past:

  • Grains, sugars, sweetened beverages. All of it. Processed carbs drive insulin production which can lead to inflammation and fatigue among other issues.
  • Hydrogenated oils. There’s the obvious heavily processed snack foods and packaged baked goods along with deep-fried foods, but this also means no more margarine or “spreads”, canola, corn, or vegetable oils either. All this stuff sets the stage for cancer and heart disease, no matter what it says on the label about being heart-healthy, so pitch it! You’ll have plenty of other primal-friendly options in terms of healthy fats that will leave you way more satisfied.
  • Beans and legumes. These babies are just hard to digest, period. They can mess with your gut big time and therefore your immune system and health in general.
  • Dairy. You don’t haaave to get rid of it, but here’s the thing: most commercial dairy isn’t good for anyone. It’s loaded with hormones and other impurities. If you’re lactose tolerant, opt for organic, pastured butter and heavy cream. YES, that’s right. BUTTER. And HEAVY CREAM.
  • Chronic exercise. I’m talking to you, chick on the elliptical. Time to reject your hours spent in the gym and the idea that reaching a certain number of miles, hours, or weekly workouts is the key to fitness. It’s not.
  • Sedentary patternsNow I’m talking to you, chick in front of the computer. Google “sitting disease” and tell me what you find. How about a lot of fat storage, elevated risk of heart disease, joint pain, muscle weakness, and lack of energy? Get up and move.
  • Poor sleep habits. Just go to bed already. Leave the phone plugged in downstairs, use a real alarm clock, and “shut down” at least an hour (preferably more) before climbing into bed.
  • Somber, spartan approach to lifestyle transformationGet it out of your head that you have to count calories, have rigid portion control and specifically timed meals, limited menu choices, guilt, or binging cycles. Does this sound familiar? Well, it’s over. There’s no strict workout regimen, no struggling, and no suffering. Like I mentioned before: IT IS NOT HARD. You’re welcome.

In with the NEW

Is this starting to sound like something you might be interested in trying? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It is that good. Here’s what you can look forward to with  your new primal lifestyle:

  • Primal foodsMeat! Fish! Poultry! Eggs! Veggies! Fruits! Nuts! Seeds! High-quality fats! Eat it up and love your life! Guess what else? You can even enjoy your red wine and dark chocolate, too!
  • Primal eating philosophyEat as much of your primal foods as you want, when you want, however often you want. You’ll begin to notice you’re satisfied with less, after meals you don’t feel stuffed or bloated (you feel amazing), and you can indulge sensibly without having the urge to binge because you’re able to enjoy life guilt-free. If you’re anything like me, this will be HUGE for you.
  • Increase daily movementNotice this doesn’t say, “do this exercise five times a week”. Nope. Did you not read that part above? NO MORE of that. Do what makes you happy. Do what you enjoy. Walk more. Use stairs. Take frequent breaks when you have to sit for a long time (i.e., at work, etc). Basically, get off your behind and move around.
  • Brief, intense workoutsThis may be a curve ball or something new to some of you but give it a shot – it’s essential for maintaining high energy levels and a healthy heart and lungs at any age. Go harder but less often and for less time. So, like a 30-minute (or less) strength workout. Sprint intervals for 15 minutes (or less). That’s all… it’s easy, and you don’t have to do this every day.
  • Calming evening rituals. Like I mentioned above, wind down at night to prepare yourself for a healthy night’s sleep. Turn off the tv, put away the technology, dim the lights, use candles, read, chat with your loved one, take a slow neighborhood stroll. You get the idea.
  • FUN approach to lifestyle transformation. This is your chance to explore exciting new foods, recipes, and establish new eating practices. (Side note: I will never forget the first time we tried sun-chokes or kale… and how my cookbook collection expanded to include what are now some of my favorite recipes of all time!) You’re going to start exercising for fun and energy, and best of all – NO MORE OVERTRAINING! You’re going to PLAY more! And probably best of all, you’ll start to enjoy life more with your loved ones, because you’ll be inclined to be less “connected” and more appreciative of spending time with your family and friends. This really does happen, people! (This is the part where I could go on a tangent about diet and digestion and protein and fat and related neurotransmitter production and mental wellness… but I’ll spare you.) ;)

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What to expect…

So aside from the energy levels and new zest for life you can expect to experience by going primal, what are some other benefits from adopting this new way of life? So glad you asked.

  • Anti-agingI can’t explain this as well as Mark does here.
  • AppetiteYou won’t overeat anymore. You just won’t. Adopting the Primal Blueprint literally cured me of my binging tendencies.
  • Blood markersExpect to see some improvement in your cholesterol. But how can that be, eating red meat and butter?! I’m rolling my eyes at you right now. Get your head out of the low-fat-high-carbohydrate-garbage diet myth you’ve been fed for years and start doing your own research.
  • Body fatYou will lose body fat. Can I say that any more simply?
  • Diminished cravings. People don’t believe me when I tell them I just didn’t want grains, junk food, or sweets any more. Sure, I indulged on occasion, but I didn’t miss them in my daily life. Don’t believe me? Guess you’re going to have to experience it yourself.
  • Digestion. If you didn’t already know, your digestion is probably impaired… yours and nearly 90% of Americans’. The Primal Blueprint follows the guidelines of the diet I recommend as a nutritional therapist for optimal digestion, and optimal wellness. Period.
  • Drug-free. This can mean so many things… you’ll soon be ready to ditch your OTC antacids and pain relievers, then, with your doctor’s support, you’ll be able to work toward eliminating many if not all of your prescription meds, too.
  • Immunity. This goes hand in hand with digestion: healing your digestion leads to optimal immune system function. You’ll probably notice getting sick less often and recovering more quickly if you do happen to get run down.
  • Measurements. If you happen to be keeping track, you’ll see these change, too. Your clothes will fit (and look!) better and looser as you decrease body fat, reduce systemic inflammation, and get rid of the bloating and water retention! Where will you see this first? Tush, hips, thighs, waist – the primary storage areas for fat. (YAY!)
  • Muscle mass. Increase or maintain and sculpt muscle mass while dropping body fat. Um, isn’t that basically ideal and what everyone wants? Awesome.
  • SleepYou’ll fall asleep faster, sleep better and more soundly, and begin to awaken naturally (without an alarm), refreshed and energized. No joke.
  • StressDiet alone affects the way our body and mind respond to stress. The Primal Blueprint will help regulate this and reduce fatigue, burnout, and dysfunction that seems to go hand in hand with a hectic modern life.
  • Total fitness. The Primal Blueprint involves functional exercise and a diet that develops and supports a balanced physique and broad physical competency. See that picture above, the one of me doing my best meathead impression and taking selfies in the gym? Ha. Okay take a close look at the picture of me standing. For most of my life, carrying most of my weight around my hips (like many people), I never used to look like that… even and muscular and balanced from head to toe. And I’ll never forget my mom’s reaction when I carried a huge la-z-boy recliner up a flight of stairs by myself. Simply put, you’ll look good, and you can do more – physically – without risk of overtraining or injury.
  • Optimal wellnessEverything listed above and more. Improved bone density. Glucose tolerance. Insulin sensitivity. Improved blood pressure. Hormone balance. How will you know about all of this if you’re not being tested for it? Simple. You’ll feel the best you’ve ever felt.

So… wow. There you have it. Man, I don’t know about you but revisiting this book has me totally reenergized to get back to that lifestyle.

And you? What are you waiting for?! Get the book and join me!

xx

e

P.S. Nope, I wasn’t paid for writing this. (Sadly!) My opinion is legit. I really do love it and recommend it with all my heart. Go for it.

Weekend FOODIE Recap… and What’s in Store This Week!

Gooood afternoon, fair people of the interweb! Can you even believe it’s already Monday again?! The weekend flew by, as usual.

This happened to be one of three weekends we’ve been able to enjoy alone as a couple since moving into our new house mid-March (hard to believe!). Between visitors and travel, we really needed a weekend of quality time to ourselves, and this weekend delivered.

Since Tim was out of town almost all of last week, we enjoyed a much needed date night (Whaaaat?! Remember those!?!!) at a new-to-us and sort-of-new-to-Sullivan’s-Island restaurant called The Obstinate Daughter. It. Was. Awesome. First of all, they had me at atmosphere – from the nautical rope light fixtures to raw wood, rustic-industrial accents with plush seating and perfectly out-of-place Steve Miller Band and other classic rock playing at a volume high enough to make patrons have to speak up to hear each other… it was pretty perfect.  Custom creative cocktails (in which I did not partake, but I did sip Tim’s) and a simple but SUPER TASTY menu loaded with local ingredients and foodie hot-items like ramps, sorghum, and farm fresh eggs (runny), made this local gem rocket to the top of my new favorite restaurants list. We had the Local Lettuce, Clammer Dave’s Baked Clams, and the Old Danger pizza (which rivals a favorite back home – the Sunnyside at Bar Cento in Cleveland – NOTHING will ever replace you, Sunnyside, but Old Danger was preeeetty good). Love, love, LOVED it. YUM.

photo courtesy of Yelp.com

photo courtesy of Yelp.com – click for link.

Side note: get a reservation – we lucked out somehow and snagged a table… they were supposedly booked up til 10pm when we arrived around 7:30. I secretly think the sweet sorority sister hostesses felt sorry for making the pregnant chick stand… umm, totally fine with using the bump to get seated faster.

Saturday we spent painting the nursery, transforming it from its old, dingy, yellow-orangey tan, to bright and breezy Sherwin Williams “Sprout”. I’m not totally done with the transformation, obviously (hellooo, I need a crib in that crib, a not-hideous light fixture [not pictured], and some stuff on the walls!), but here’s a sneak peek. In case you’re curious, find my inspiration for color scheme here.

Orangey-tan walls... gag.  Also, don't you love my cut-in? I forgot to take a "real" before pic.

Orangey-tan walls… gag. Also, don’t you love my cut-in? I forgot to take a “real” before pic.

 

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I love me a good side note: I’m transforming that chair into a rocker courtesy of a tutorial I found on Pinterest… and also, sorry for the sort of dark pic… that window was messing with me.

I had brined some pork chops for the grill that night (still haven’t perfected my pork chop technique, but they were pretty tasty), and served them up alongside an heirloom carrot and parsnip puree, and some lemony creamed chard (easily my new favorite side… I will share the recipe soon!). Tim was so impressed with my plating that he asked if I was going to take a picture, to which I replied, “I probably should” and then promptly dove in fork-first. Bad blogger.

Sunday, we tested out a new church which turned out to be a pleasant surprise aside from our initial reaction to the crowd requiring traffic direction, and followed up the service with brunch at our favorite dive-y spot on the beach, Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. They are super slow when it comes to putting out the food, but the fried green tomato eggs benedict (sans English muffin for me) is seriously worth the wait. I don’t know how, but their poached eggs are PER. FECT. Every. Time. I need to take lessons from the chef. And their fried green tomatoes are probably the best I’ve had since we’ve been in Charleston… and believe me, I’ve been trying them nearly everywhere.

Photo courtesy of Yelp.com - click for link

Photo courtesy of Yelp.com – click for link

This week is going to be a good one. I’ve got some great posts in store for you, some inspired by re-visiting books on my bookshelf, some inspired by questions and suggestions of friends, and ALL of them inspired by my favorite thing ever: FOOD! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store:

  • Revisiting the Primal Blueprint – why I’m regrouping and and why you should consider giving it a shot, too.
  • What to Eat – how to look at your meals from a nutritional standpoint to make sure you’re getting what you need, along with some quick and easily customizable meal options.
  • The 21-Day Sugar Detox – we’ve been there before and you know I love it… let me share a few ways it might benefit you and how to set yourself up for success.

So pull up a laptop or a tablet, get comfy, and stay tuned for the good stuff!

xx

e

 

The “Y” Word

Good Saturday morning to you all…

I’m BEYOND proud to say I made it through my week with four out of five planned consecutive days of yoga after a three-month long hiatus (read about that here), with a little pre-planning help from my YogaGlo queue and a little self-compassion as I eased back into a regular practice. Mid-week I was so energized and motivated that I joined our local gym (that had been on the to-do list since we moved here) and ordered some pregnancy workout dvds. By Friday, I was beginning to feel like my old yogi self. It’s amazing how quickly your body tightens up, but equally amazing how quickly a yoga practice can feel normal again, thanks to a little muscle memory and ujjayi breath. ;)

With summer right around the corner, warmer Carolina temperatures have me wanting to take my practice outside or even to the beach. Though I’m no surfer (but this totally reignites my desire to learn!), this little video from lululemon has me inspired to connect with nature and reap the benefits of my practice off the mat. Check it out…

 

So make some time for your mat and get your “stretch” on this weekend! See you in a few days!

xx

e

Vive le Vendredi! [Pinterest Edition]

Hallelujah! It’s Friday, and the weekend has already officially begun in our house, as Tim has a friend in from Ohio visiting for the weekend.  It’s a boys’ men’s golf weekend and these men mean business.

So while they’re off doing what they do (and until I learn how to play golf and go pro and play on the men’s tour and win the Masters and whoop both their behinds), I decided to have a little fun myself and test out a Pinterest project or two while I have the house to myself.  Who’s down for some green juice gummies and DIY art projects?

I figured it would be fun to share a few of the pins that caught my attention this past week…

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(see bottom of this post for photo credits)

To make:

Fruit and vegetable juice gummies.  One of the weirdest things I have been craving lately has been, of all things, fruit snacks.  You know, like the gummy, loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificially flavored and colored, fruit snacks you used to eat as a kid?  Yep, those ones.  I compromised with a box of Annie’s Organics bunny-shaped fruit snacks (which don’t have any of that junk in them) but was UNpleasantly surprised to open the box I bought (for $5) to find a mere 5 teeny-weeny packages floating around inside with just a few fruit snacks in each package.  Serving size, schmerving size! I was ripped off! So I figured I’d make myself a bulk order of these babies… how good do beet + carrot + apple gummies sound? I like that combo in fresh juice form, hopefully it’ll be just as yummy as a gummy!  I’ll let you know. (FYI, there’s a bunch of different pins for these… like these adorable gummy bears and these little pumpkins – both made with silicone molds that make the finished product easy to pop right out.)

Whipped coco-cocoa body butter.  I’ve always been a fan of Vaseline brand cocoa butter, but as of late I’ve been paying more attention to what I’m putting on my skin, knowing our skin is our largest organ and whatever we put on it gets absorbed directly into our system.  With my current bottle nearly empty and stretch-marks looming on my horizon, I figured I would give this simple homemade recipe a try.

To paint:

This color, on the walls of my living room, dining room, and stairwell/upstairs hallway.  It’s called Rice Grain, and we’ve already purchased approximately 973 gallons of it to get the job done (I might be exaggerating). Now the question is, should we just hire someone to get it done, because really, we all know how much fun Tim and I had painting his office.  A LOT (…side eye).

This geometric pattern stencil.  It looks awesome on the original artist’s bathroom wall but I think that might be a bit much for my purposes.  I was thinking of using it on a canvas with some rusty orange paint for Tim’s office, which, as mentioned above, we spent this past week painting a really pretty grey (transforming it from it’s original neon banana yellow… yuck! Photos coming soon!).

To do:

This squat workout. Squats are one of the easiest exercises to do anywhere with no equipment required, and they’re also one of the best exercises for you (and for pregnant women, lucky for me!). This workout includes five variations on the basic squat to work different parts of your legs and tush, and works up to 200 squats if you do the workouts for an entire month… seems simple enough.

Obsess over this blog post every single day until my hair grows out of the pixie I’ve had for… six years! Okay, so this is something I already do on the reg, in addition to curating my own collection of pins for those awkward in-between stages. I’ve tried to do this grow-out thing at least a million times over the last six years but for some reason, I feel like this time, it’s really going to happen: I’m going to make it past mid-cheek. Right now I’m somewhere in-between her 3- and 6-month stages, and I’ve been trimming the back regularly to keep it the mullet in check. Maybe I can have something like this by October? (Um, but not blonde.)

That should keep me busy enough for now! What’s caught your eye this week on the interwebs? (Beside my glorious prose, of course?)

(winky face)

xx

e

 

P.S. All right now, let’s give photo credit where credit is due:

http://www.diynatural.com

http://www.humblebeeandme.com

http://www.abeautifulmess.com

http://www.maybematilda.com

http://www.short-haircut.com

 

Be A Gym Rat

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Or not.

I’ve rounded up my top 5 favorite internet workouts… mostly because I wanted to have them all in one place for myself to refer to, but I figured y’all would enjoy this little compilation as well.  Who wouldn’t?  Most of these are free, with the exception of YogaGlo because, let’s be honest, I can’t not include it.

I say “or not” because not all of these workouts require a legit gym membership.  But in the event that you do have one, and you enjoy throwing around a pair of dumbbells or can’t resist checking yourself out in the giant mirror as you do one-legged barbell dead lifts (done it), rest assured, I’ve got you covered.

Side note: I wasn’t paid for any of these endorsements… they’ve all been tried and tested over the years by yours truly and come with an honest recommendation!

  1. Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer.  (for the gym) You’ve probably heard me talk about this one more than once.  It’s my #1 go-to, the one I always come back to, particularly if I’ve spent any amount of time off from working out. Why? Because I hate cardio. Lucky for me, this program starts off with an entire month of strength training ONLY, to get your body ready for month two, where cardio is added into your workouts throughout the week.  That first month is crucial – I develop the habit of going to the gym in the first 30 days doing something I enjoy (lifting weights), and add in the part I don’t enjoy so much after I’m already in the habit of going to the gym… so I might as well do the cardio… genius. (This is really the only workout listed here that includes any amount of cardio, aside from BodyRock which includes quick, interval bursts of cardio like burpees and jumping jacks, etc.)  The workouts in the LiveFit Trainer are fairly simple, and fairly quick, so you don’t spend hours in the gym, because, who has that kind of time?  (Side note: Guys? This isn’t just for the ladies!)
  2. The New Rules of Lifting (For Women). (for the gym) Don’t worry fellas, they have one for you, too. This is not technically a website – it’s book, but it’s worth having on your shelf if you truly want to learn how to lift weights the right way to avoid injuring yourself and most importantly, to get the most out of your workouts. Ladies, this one will get you out of that silly 2-8lb dumbbell mentality, and feeling strong enough for 25lb-ers in no time, which will in turn, show up on your bod in the form of gorgeous, cut, lean muscle mass.  It’s simple, and, my favorite part, the workouts are short.  Trust me and stick with it though, you’re likely to get bored or feel like you’re not doing much, especially if working out is not new to you.
  3. YogaGlo. (at home) Okay, this one isn’t free.  But friends, for the measly price of $18 a MONTH for access to unlimited online classes, I consider it a steal.  Why, you ask?  Because $18 happens to be preeeetty darn close to the going drop-in fee (for a single class) at pretty much any studio in town no matter where you live, AND you’re getting awesome sequences from some stellar well-known teachers such as Jason Crandell (my personal fave), Kathryn Budig, Amy Ippoliti, and many, many more superstars.  You have the option to search by teacher, by style of class, by length, or by level of skill.  It’s the bees knees and my go-to choice for at-home yoga practice.  Love.  (P.S. I’m pretty sure you get a free trial when you sign up for the first time, so it’s worth checking out!) Again, this is not a paid endorsement, I just really do love it that much.
  4. Blogilates. (at home) Do not make fun of me, this is not a joke.  I have a love/hate relationship with Cassey Ho.  Mostly love because I can’t not smile-slash-laugh when she’s talking non-stop through her workouts (warning: some may find this mildly annoying), but also hate because when you’re holding a certain pose or “pulsing” in a pose for 17,045 minutes (what?) while the chatter continues, you may want to collapse and then immediately stab her through your computer screen.  Simmer down, the burn is worth it, and you will be thanking Ms. Ho up and down for your perky new butt in no time.
  5. Bodyrock. (at home) Whoa, this one is not for the faint of heart… and I mean that in ways more than one.  First of all, the workouts are IN. TENSE. and, the first time you’re able to complete a single one (they’re typically around 15 minutes long) you will feel like a damn superhero.  Not even kidding.  Invincible.  The other part of that “not for the faint of heart” thing is… well… what was once a sweet home-movie style free bootcamp workout site created by a husband and wife duo, then turned drama-, break-up-, and slightly soft-porn-filled (complete with the new main hostess/trainer undergoing multiple obvious cosmetic surgeries)… ehh… yeahhh, just a little warning for those of you not expecting the eyeful you may get when you visit the site. Let’s just say it’s not a site I frequent as often as I once did, HOWEVER – that is not to say that the workout content is not still top-notch! It used to require zero to very little equipment (none that you couldn’t makeshift for yourself at home), though now it seems some of the workouts require a bit more home-gym type equipment, probably as a result of the inevitable affiliate links to equipment retailers.  It’s still worth a gander… you may love it, just as I once did.  Let’s be honest, if my bod looked as smokin’ as Lisa-Marie’s, I would be working out in my teeny tiny hot pink bikini, too.  I mean, I’d probably be doing all of my grocery shopping and dog-walking in it, too.  Maybe.  ;)
That’s it for now, but stay tuned AND STAY TONED (that’s right I said it…go ahead, you know you want to laugh… eyeroll, head shake, etc…) I may do another round-up in the near future!
Ciao!
xx
e
*Side note of all side notes: just a reminder that not all workout routines are suitable for everyone and that goes for those listed here or otherwise. To reduce risk of injury, make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any one of these, or any other, workout program. Anyone who chooses to participate in any of the above listed workouts assumes the full risk of injury resulting from performing the exercises as presented. We cool? ;)

What Workouts are Best?

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A lot of the time, when people come to me seeking nutritional advice, they have more questions than just what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  People who want to change their lifestyle, change their level of wellness, have another question in the back of their mind…

That question:  What type of workout is best?

My answer:  The one you will commit to doing consistently.

Often, the biggest mistake people make is creating that squeaky clean 6-month workout schedule spreadsheet with every day planned and no room for error (cough – no, I have never done this, why do you ask???).  So what happens to 80% of us when we try to stick to that plan?  We’re setting ourselves up for failure.  We skip the gym one day, one day turns into two days, and before we know it we’re binging through the rest of the week because, we already blew our gym schedule, might as well call it a loss for the week, order that pizza, and start over on Monday.

It’s a vicious cycle.

So when people ask me what they should do to workout, do I always answer yoga just because I teach it? No! Do I tell them to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, because that’s what the doctors say is best? Um, no. Do I say, hit the gym at least four times a week and lift weights because that’s what I like to do?  No way.

I ask them to think outside the box (pun intended – that one’s for you, cross-fitters) and figure out what it is they enjoy doing.  Still at a loss?  Here’s a list to help you start thinking creatively…

  • Walking the dogs more, playing with them at the park
  • Bicycling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking the mall or an indoor track (if it’s raining or snowing where you are)
  • Racquet ball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball, kick ball, soccer – join an adult league!
  • Boxing
  • Muay thai
  • Acro-yoga
  • Playing tag with your kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews
  • Climbing, indoors on a climbing wall or out in the wild
  • Dancing… any style, anywhere, anytime!
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • … the options are truly endless as long as your body is moving!

Be creative.  Try something new.  Enroll a friend to do it with you – having company always makes exercise more enjoyable, AND keeps you accountable.  Maybe you LOATHE spending an hour on the elliptical at the stinky gym amidst a mix of meatheads and chicks in full makeup and teeeeeny tiny hot-shorts… but spending an afternoon riding your single speed cruiser along the beach or through the park might be a game changer… giving you a chance to log off, miss calls, texts and emails for an hour or more while you get some fresh air and see your day, your neighborhood, the world, in a whole new light.  And then the thought of how great that hour was, the great feeling you had and the clarity of your mind afterwards, keeps you coming back for more.  Success!

But let me guess, you still have an excuse not to get moving, right?  I know, it’s hard to get started, but save it.

Here are some common excuses/complaints and my responses to those:

  • I don’t have enough time.  Fine, but someone else who is busier than you is working out right now.  Wake up an hour earlier, it’s as simple as that.
  • I have an injury / mobility issues / arthritis / pain / etc.  First, consult your doctor… then, find a lower impact exercise that you are comfortable doing.  You may even find that exercising helps to ease your pain.  In addition, excessive soreness after moderate exercise may be a sign of nutritional deficiency, in which case… call me!
  • I’m too old to work out.  Okayyy.  Google “old man workout”.  Or just watch this video.  Or read this article.  Then tell me you are too old.
  • I hate the gym.  Scroll up to the top of this post and start over.  ;)

If you want to be a badass at life, you have to get yourself out there and BE IT.  Not tomorrow, not after the weekend,  not after three pizzas.  Just. Go. Do. Something.  Move your body and the rest of your life will change for the better, too.

Pinky promise.

xx

e