Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taking Applications, Sunday Chicken Scampi, and My Why's

Happy Sunday Y'all. I am officially taking applications for Utahn's looking to fill the positions of my sisters who have now both left me. Yesterday, my sister Linds and her family left Utah for their big move to Texas. So sad...I hate to see them go. I am really going to miss them! Lindsay Cotter...I'm hoping everyone there is as great as you are!!

My sister Nichole left with her posse today, and I'm going to miss them too! I just love having all the people that I adore close to me, and I HATE when they leave! I said, I'm currently taking in-state sister applications. You must love to work out with me, go shopping, make trips to sonic for DDP, eat frozen yogurt, and lay by the pool. Pretty intense, I know.

It is a good thing I still have my mom in town for one more week, or I'd be even MORE sad! I am also glad that she and my dad decided to make me an AMAZING dinner tonight. We had one of our favorite healthy recipes Chicken Scampi.
My dad did an awesome job of grilling the chicken on the bbq, which always makes it taste great. We had a side of grilled veggies and fresh fruit and dip. All of of my favorites!
This recipe goes especially well with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Very fresh and healthy. I LOVE it.

I mentioned last week that I am changing up my normal workout and eating routines. Some of you have been curious about my new work out routine, and the reasoning is behind the way I am formatting my workouts and my meals.

My main goals are: 
1. Lift three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting.
2. Cardio 3 times a week on my off days of lifting... 25-30 mins of intervals. 
3. Increase the fat content in my diet.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. Look at quality of food and the way it increases my blood sugar, and cravings instead.

The reason I have these goals is because I want to increase my metabolism by increasing my lean muscle mass, which I am hoping will lead to helping to drop my body fat percentage. I have been doing cardio very intensely and eating very lean for so long, that I feel like my body has suffered some hormonal imbalances. The reasoning behind each of my goals...

1. Lifting three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting. 
I have intensified my lifting by duration and intensity. I'm doing full body three times a week with a high amount of weight. I want to be sure to burn the max amount of calories in my lifting and fatigue each muscle group. I am allowing 48 hours between each lifting session to allow my muscles to recover fully. 
2. Cardio three times a week for 25-30 mins at a very high intensity. 
I will be doing intervals here, trying to really maximize calorie burn in a short amount of time. I hope to help my body get some more recovery time here by cutting down my cardio. I was doing 60-90 mins a day previously, so mentally this is very hard for me. I think it will be a good revamp time for my body. I just need to remember that!
3. Increase the fat content in my diet. 
I have cut out almost all fat as of now, so to add in the good fats has been something I have had to really plan and be conscious of. Fat is essential in helping your body obtain the vitamins and nutrients Fat is a key in the structural components of hormones, which could explain hormonal imbalances due to a lack of fat. Fat is also a great energy source for the body.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. 
This is really hard for me. I mentally keep a caloric score of what I am eating, but I am still trying to work on focusing on the good foods I am eating and not to caloric values. My diet will be comprised mainly of lean proteins, good fats (nuts, olive oil, peanut/almond butter, avocados, etc.), fruits and veggies, and a few servings of whole grains.

Hopefully this gives a little more background on why I am doing what i am doing! I will continue to keep you updated on the progress, and the effectiveness of the process. 

Are you applying any of these practices in your life right now? If so, how are they benefiting you (or not)? Any takers on my application quest?? ;) I hope you are having an awesome weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smoked Pepper Turkey Pesto Avocado Wafflini: aka the best lunch EVER

Remember the day I decided to stop crying about my lack of a panini maker and I got creative with my wafflini creation? Well round two of the wafflini is back, and I'm not going to rocked my socks.

Sometimes the creative juices just flow. They flow into the form of a fabulous meal that may just be my new favorite. Today those creative juices turned into a...

Smoked Pepper Turkey Pesto Avocado Wafflini
Is that a mouthful or what? I can tell you something. It tasted good when my mouth was full of it. 
1 La Tortilla Factory Whole Grain Low Carb Tortilla
1/2 small avocado ( entire half)
about 3 oz of shaved smoked pepper turkey
1-2 tsps of pesto
 Combine and put in a hot waffle iron until crispy. 
Very easy. Very enjoyable.
 I expressed yesterday that I am looking to increase my fat intake. I'll explain a little more about my goals in a later post because some of you have asked about they why behind my actions. Don't worry, I won't leave you in the dark, however you can see that starting today I'm trying to get some good fats into my diets.

Most people hear "increase fat intake in diet" and think...ooohhh...cheeseburgers, cookies, french fries, and pizza. Those foods will all definitely increase your fat intake, but I'm talking good fats. All of those foods are fats laden with refined/processed flour and sugar that I'm not including.

Today was also my first Cardio-less day. I did a tough 50 minute full body lifting workout that went something like this.

5 min warm up on treadmill

3 sets of each
Leg press 250 lbs x 12
alt with
Single leg shoulder front raises with 25 lb plate x 12

3 sets of each
Lat Pull Downs 65 lbs x 12
Alternating Bicep curls with reverse lunge w/15 lb DB x12
Alternating lunges with 15 lb DB x 12
Rear bent over rows with 15 lb DB x 12

3 sets of each
Slow 3-count triceps pull downs with ropes x 12
Full Pushups x 15

3 sets of each
Single leg right squat touches w/knee up in between x 15
Single leg left squat touches w/knee up in between x 15
Ab leg dip and lift on bench x 15

I felt great after I was done! I'm weighing myself daily, and I'll be checking my body fat at work to see the difference that this makes. I'm excited/nervous to see what the outcome is.

What "good fats" do you enjoy? My favorites are definitely peanut butter, almonds, and avocados. Do you eat a lot of "good fats" or do you stay away from fat in general?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This is gonna be TOUGH.

A lot of the satisfaction I get from my eating habits and my exercise regimen is mental. I like to know that I can check things off my "list," so to speak. Doing the amount of exercise that I do makes me feel good physically, but a lot of it is also mental. The adverse is true as well. I feel like if I don't get in that hour plus of cardio every day and I happen to walk past a cookie while catching a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye I will gain 5 pounds.

It sound ridiculous. I know.

Nonetheless. It's who I am. It is who I have created myself to be. Having been in the fitness industry there is a definite pressure to look and act a certain way. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that I only do what I do because of my job, I'd say the opposite in fact. I like to do what I do, and that is why the job I have is perfect for me.

I like working out everyday. It is a stress reliever for me, BUT I do NOT like feeling like if I don't work out I'm going to digress in a big way or gain extreme amounts of weight. I want to be in a healthy place where I workout a good amount. I think that is possible. Let me rephrase that...I want to think that is possible.

Today as I was at the gym doing my cardio, one of my good friends came to say hello. He and I have the same gym schedule for the most part, and we have for what seems like a long time. He's always up for talking fitness, health, and nutrition with me, and today we had a very interesting conversation.

Now, let me interject here by saying people LOVE to give me their fitness advice. 98 percent of the time it makes me laugh because people will recite what they just read out of Fitness Magazine, or what they saw on the Today Show and call it credible. There probably is some truth to a lot of the things we hear, but I am not one who is so quick to jump on the latest tv segment's suggestions and call it good. I am open to new ideas, of course, but I like to research what I hear and decide if the information is legit or not.

Now back to my convo with gym friend. I trust his opinion. He does a LOT of research. Real research, not just googling and reading the top search result. He is legit, and he knows how hard I work to accomplish my hard to take random advice from just anyone.

We talked about some of the issues I'm fed up with, and what has worked and what hasn't and he suggested a few things to me that I'm going to try REALLY hard to incorporate. I'm going to tell you now, this is going to be really, really, REALLY hard for me.

I am going to...
1. Lift three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting.
2. Cardio 3 times a week on my off days of lifting... 25-30 mins of intervals. *OH MY GOSH...scary. Do you realize this is like 1/4th of the cardio I've been doing??
3. Increase the fat content in my diet.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. Look at quality of food and the way it increases my blood sugar, and cravings.

I am looking to increase my metabolism by increasing my lean muscle mass. Increase my energy levels by increasing recovery time and decreasing cardiovascular exercise. Maximize the time I am doing cardio by incorporating intervals. Control my blood sugar levels with meals that don't spike my blood sugar...more on this as I incorporate these principles...and try to get myself away form obsessing over calorie count. I am still going to journal my food because I want to see what works what doesn't, and which foods cause sugar cravings as opposed to the ones that keep me satiated. Still avoiding sugar and refined white flour, as well as a lower intake of whole grains.

A lot of these principles fall in line with what I incorporated last July when I was studying up on hormones and how our diets can effect them. I know that it's going to be difficult. The reduced cardio may kill me mentally...we'll see though. I'm going to do my best to stick this out to see how the effects really come into play for better or for worse. I will definitely keep you updated along the way. This is a good time for me to focus on something else being as how my running has been lessened with all of the injuries here and there. We'll see what happens! wish me luck :)

Are my goals similar to any of your current habits? How often do you do cardio? Lift weights? Any thoughts on how this may pan out for me? I'm still researching and studying out what I think can happen if I stick to it. Let's hope it is a good thing and that my experimenting can benefit you all in the future!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Could Get Used to This

My whole fam is in town still. I love it SO much. Today my mom informed me they were making dinner tonight. When I heard what was for dinner I was even more excited. On the menu...a salad bar. Yep. You know how much I like my salad. I was in heaven.
My dad grilled up some amazing chicken, hard boiled eggs, kidney beans, and sunflower seeds.
Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, green peppers, broccoli, grape tomatoes, avocados, diced pineapple, beets (yep we all love them...we're weird like that.)
 So fresh and so delicious.
 An easy dinner idea that feeds a lot of people, can be individualized for whomever is eating it and makes GREAT leftovers.
I ate mine with a side of fat free ranch and a slice of chibatta bread.
Thanks Mama Cita. Please don't go home and keep feeding me, k? Thanks.
A delicious meal indeed.  

I am so appreciative of my families love of healthy good food. I know a lot of it comes from the way we were raised, and my mom is the one to thank for that. Do you have an easy go to meal that is fresh and delicious? Is your family healthy or not? If they aren't have you tried to influence them in any way?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sugar Addicts

You know I talk about sugar all the time. I think that eliminating sugar from your diet is a huge part of weight loss, toning, and improving athletic performance.
Today while I was working out I was watching Rachael Ray and there was a super interesting segment on being addicted to sugar. I don't know much about the doctor that was on the show or, The Hamptons Diet, which is what he promotes, but it was super interesting.
Definitely worth checking out if you have a sweet tooth.
Click HERE if you are interested.

In the show he challenged people to go on a three day sugar detox.

My challenge to you?
Try going a week sugarless. 
I dare you. 
See how you do. Read HERE to see why it makes such a big difference to eliminate sugar from your diet.

Cutting sugar out of my diet is one thing that has helped me more than anything else to reach my goals. Most people eat it in addition to whatever else they would normally eat. Think about it...when you consume sugary foods it's usually something "extra." Think of the amount of calories you could be  cutting out by getting rid of it? So, take the challenge. Try it!

Have you ever eliminated sugar out of your diet? If so, how long did you go for and did you notice any difference? Are you going to take the challenge?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Get Creative

No, this image was not emailed to me. I saw this vehicle in the grocery store parking lot last weekend, and of course had to snap a photo.
You want to know what I see here? Aside from a crazy form of transportation that is taking up two parking spots? Creativity. Some inventive person decided to do something new and inventive to get themselves from here to there.

I think creativity is a BIG part of living a healthy life, losing weight, and staying motivated with your exercise and eating routines.

Creativity in your diet...eating the same foods can be awfully boring if you let it. You will want to toss your broccoli out every time you look at it if you eat it the same bland way every time. That just gets old.

Creativity in your exercise...nobody likes to do the same thing day in and day out. You HAVE to mix it up. Mix it up for your sanity and for your progression. I am a huge believer in muscle confusion. Doing the same things will only help your body become really efficient at burning the least amount of calories to do the same things. Keep your body guessing.

Creativity in your motivational methods...try new exercises, go to a different class, add some hills to your workout, go hiking, rollerblade, try swimming, throw in a circuit workout, mix up the music you are listening to, set new goals every week...there are SO many ways to keep changing things up. You should never get bored!

Some of my BEST creations have come from my creativity.
and my Fiesta Chicken Salad to name a few...

It might not always turn out...remember the steel cut oats/whey protein incident? Yikes...

So...break your mold! Get creative! Try something new and find a great new love that you can add to your list of favorite foods or great workouts! What are some of your favorite experiments that turned into a great favorite?? I'd love new recipe links!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Date With The Littles

Today after work my sister texted me to come meet up with her and my little monkeys for a Yozone date. Yes please.
In attempt to get some shots of the babeskis...we got this...
and this...
and this...
and then Savy wanted to show my her chocolate beard...
Oh my gosh I love these little guys. 
 How can you not love these faces?
 I mean seriously?
 Good luck with family pics next week Linds...
Remember my post about eating like a kid?

Well here is proof of this...once again. 
Boston's fro yo upon finishing.
 And mine...
 No I didn't get a fresh bowl for this photo, I just licked mine clean. Man that stuff is just too good!

How in the world do you leave a bowl of frozen yogurt half eaten? Amazing...I wish I had that dis-interest in food. I was quite content with finishing every bite of my double oreo, peanut butter, and pistachio combo with a few banans and some slivered almonds on top. Yum. Yum. Yum. 

Some clients of mine this morning and I were talking about how some people prefer to have the whole real deal when it comes to ice cream and just not eat it very often, and how others prefer to have the lower fat less calorie option and feel like they can eat it more frequently. I think that different methods work for different people. I prefer the lower calorie option, but that doesn't mean that is the only way to go. It just means I like my treats, so I chose to eat something I can have more frequently!

Are you a full fat dessert eater that would rather have something really good every once and a while or one who prefers the lower fat/lower calorie option more frequently? What is your favorite fro yo combo? I get the same thing every time. I should probably branch out? Give me some good suggestions here??

Monday, July 18, 2011

Whatcha Wearin' ???

I am constantly in workout clothes. It seems like I always am on the hunt for good deals on active wear because it is all I wear. I thought I'd fill you in on what I've been wearing as of late...

I'm loving the neons these days.

I picked up THIS tank top from Forever 21 for $9.80. 
I actually got the orange and grey striped color, but this was the only one available online. It is SUPER soft and really bright. I love it. Sometimes I like to get the cheap-o tanks from places like F21 because all I do is sweat in em and wash em over and over again, so I just wear them until I wear them out. 

I picked up this grey and black striped Soffe tank at Sports Authority, but you can purchase it HERE for $9.99.
It is also available in some other REALLY cute colors. I like it because it's soft, long, and racer back. All favorites.

I got THESE shorts at Target.
They are reversible, and I love the neon green and yellow. These pictures are kinda horrible, so let me start by saying...
1) I do not tuck my tank tops in
2) I do not pull my shorts up to my belly button
3) the top waistband folds over, showing the other color at the same time.
4) they really are cute in person.
I realize these pics make them look like they are not-so-cute...but they're pretty cute. 

I also always love my Nike Tempo shorts and my Forever 21 Ribbed tanks for $3.50, and I am a HUGE fan of my Adidas running capris. I have some great Nike and Under Armor tanks that I like as well, but I wanted to focus on my cheap-o finds for the week!

What are your favorite workout clothing items?? Where are your favorite places to buy new gym clothes? I feel like all I do is wash and wear the same gym clothes over and over again. Probably because I do :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

10 Ways to Show You Really are a Nerd

 You should probably know that deep down I am actually a total nerd. I have already told you that I love to read. Well...I just so happen to love to read Harry Potter.

Was I excited for the last movie to come could say so. If you were wondering how I manifested that excitement, I'll go ahead and show you in my ten quick ways that are sure to prove your nerdiness.

1. Re-watch the Harry Potter Movies 1-7.1. Check. 
2. Reserve tickets to the closest theater with reserved seating for you and 17 of your closest friends. Check.
Pretty sure we were the most action the Spanish 8 had seen in a long time. 

3. Make some sweet shirts to wear to view the film. Check.
4. Make treat bags with themed treats for each and every one of your friends.
Our Harry Potter treat bags were complete with...
Droobles Gum
 Pheonix Feather Wands
 Jelly Slugs
 Acid Pops
(blow pops rolled in honey and then pop rocks)
and of course...Pottercorn
(Cinnamon Caramel Corn)
 I know, I should be ashamed. Not an ounce of healthiness to be found.  However, SO MUCH FUN. 
I seriously LOVED putting these together with my bff Sara Beth. Don't worry... I didn't eat any of it, but I loved putting it together.
 5. Get more excited over planning out treats/plans to sneak our treats into the theater/surprising our friends with their goody bags than the actual movie. (That is almost true. I was pretttty excited about the movie too!)

 6. Meet up with the crew for some Cafe Rio pre-movie goodness, and for some Potter Talk.
7. Take pictures outside the movie theater to show excitement.
 8. Sigh. Cry. Yelp. Cheer. Etc. The entire movie long because it was so AMAZING.
9. Take pictures inside of the theater.
10. Dedicate a whole blog post to Harry Potter.

Did you see the movie?? Did you love it as much as I did!?!?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Saturday Smackdown

Oh Saturday...You are my favorite day for so many reasons.

1. I don't have to get up early. Mind you, I still wake up about 8, but that is a lot different than 5. I also don't have to wake up to an alarm, which is BLESSED.

2. I always get a good two hour Saturday morning gym session in. I get to go make up free which is my favorite way to sweat...and usually I get to workout with Benita which I LOVE! During the week I usually work out solo because of my schedule, so having someone with me is always a treat.

Today's workout went as follows...

45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical
15 minutes on the stair climber

50 minutes Full Body

3 sets of each
12 rear pull down rows with the free motion machine @60 lbs
alt with
24 alternating plyometric lunges

3 sets of each
12 squat curl presses with 20 lb dumbbells
alt with
20 right leg up and over the bench step ups with a 15 lb db
20 left leg up and over the bench step ups with a 15 lb db

This workout may seem short because there aren't a ton of exercises but it is a heart rate killer and a leg burner for SURE. The exercises in the second set take a while as well, so it stretches it out. 

3. I get to stay totally scroungy for most of the day. We usually spend a few hours in the sun at Seven Peaks, run errands looking like rag-a-muffins, and relax. Now, don't forget that I usually am in my gym clothes all day anyways, BUT not having to put makeup on is always a bonus.

4. I get to work on my projects! I always seem to have some sort of project I want to work on, or new baked good or dish I want to try out, and Saturdays are the perfect day to do so. Thanks to my current obsession with Pinterest, I have about one million projects I want to work on right now. Last weeks project was these paintings for my sister.

I took photos of my nephews and niece and made some high contrast paintings.
I have seen a few other people do them before, and I wanted to give them a shot for myself. I am obsessed. They were SO fun to make. 
 I took the pictures of the paintings with my phone so they're kinda off-colored, but they are 8x10 canvas black and white paintings. I think they turned out pretty great!

I cannot WAIT to show you what my Saturday project for today was. I'll post it much fun!
5. I still have one more day of weekend left. Sunday means another day to sleep in, my rest day, and when my fam is here...great Sunday dinners. Love. Love. Love.

I hope your Saturday has been AWESOME. Do you get to sleep in on Saturdays? I love getting a full nights sleep. I think sometimes we get so busy we forget that sleep is so good for your body! Do you prefer to workout alone or with a buddy? I love both. I usually like to do my cardio solo, but I'd MUCH rather do my resistance training with someone else!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Your Core and Mine

Life has been so busy you can probably tell from my lack of frequent posting. My mom has been in town, which I LOVE.
 She is the most amazing woman on the planet, and she asked me to help her while she was here to get back into her workout groove. She's been coming in to train with me three times a week, and it has been so much fun. She is one tough cookie. I will tell you that. She works her tail off and she is determined. We have been working a lot on core strength and balance because I think having strength in these areas is SO SO SO important, especially as people age.

I have noticed with all of my older clients that the more core strength and balance they have the more capable they are in general with all the exercises we do. Having a strong core makes a world of difference. If you aren't doing core work, start now. It will benefit you so much. I promise!

I have also wanted to spend as much time as possible with my sweet sis and her little kiddies before they leave for Austin in a couple weeks.
 I don't know why she thinks moving away from me again is a good idea...I am so much fun...sheeeesh. ;) She'll learn one day.

I can't wait for my older sister to come in a week with her fam, as well as my brothers joining us from SLC. The happiest times in my life is when my family is all together. 

Speaking of core...If there is one thing that is essential to MY core health it is my family. I don't know what I would do without them.
They inspire me.
They love me no matter what.
They are always willing to help me out in any situation.
They encourage me to do better and remind me that striving to be better in all that we do is what life is all about.
They forgive me for being me sometimes...when that version of me isn't the greatest.
They let me dress like a scrounge 98 percent of the time.
They are always willing to make a frozen yogurt run or go get a DDP when necessary.
They make me laugh.
They know how to help me feel like everything will turn out ok.
They think I'm funny...or at least they are really good at faking it.
They believe in me.
They make me feel safe.
They give me examples of love, charity, health, selflessness, integrity, and ambition.
They may be crazy, but they are the most amazing people I know.

If being with my fam means a little less time blogging I think it's a pretty good trade...

Do you do core work? If you don't you really should...Click HERE for some good core training tips. Is your family essential to your core health?