WELCOME TO THE LIFE OF ANG

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What is “The Life of Ang?” 

Well… it all started with Fitness.

“Fitness by Ang” started out as a Tumblr blog back in April of 2016 as a second coming of “Believe and Achieve,” which was my original health and fitness blog that I started in February of 2013. So – I guess you could say I’m 5 years in the making. Kind of a big deal. (Totally kidding.)

I jumped ship from Tumblr to Instagram in the spring of 2016 in hopes of reaching a bigger, more active audience – which, luckily ended up working out for me! Within the first few months of running my account, I became a Virtual Health & Fitness Coach with Beachbody, and a “social media ambassador” for Unite Fitness when they had a location on the Main Line in Wayne, PA. I also continued to deepen my knowledge of wellness, mindfulness and functional movement by working at Pilates and More. In 2018 I took a few college courses on exercise physiology, health promotion and disease prevention, and obtained a certificate of being trained in Functional Movement at Balanced Athlete.

Now, I currently exercise (no pun intended) my passion by eating healthy, creating my own strength training and cardio workouts, reading endlessly about health, fitness, wellness and mental health, and of course – coaching others.

Through “The Life of Ang,” I share all different aspects of my health, fitness, wellness, and overall journey of life every day via social media – with the sole purpose of motivating and inspiring others to live their best life.



Going Through the Motions

March 8, 2019

“Going through the motions” is a phrase deemed to the idea of doing something without believing it is important or having much interest in it.

When you’re going through the motions, you start living without really feeling anything.

When you’re going through the motions, you can feel a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.

When you’re going through the motions, you can lose touch with who you are.

Going into my junior year of college, I thought I knew exactly who I was. I spent my whole summer exercising, eating healthy, going to concerts, taking photos, traveling, spending time with new people, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and becoming the best version of myself. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more healthy, happy, energized and alive.

Then my third and hardest year of college came around, and I lost touch with myself. Little did I know that walking into September 2017 would be my first step down a long, winding road of going through the motions.

Going through the motions for my professors, my boss’, my parents.

Going through the motions and saying “yes” to this, and that, and the other, to please everyone except myself.

Now, here I sit, in March of 2019. Wanting nothing more than to break away from this life that I unintentionally built, of going through the motions.

I have this new vision that I can’t get out of my head…

For some reason… it starts with me changing my hairstyle. Having long, dark, healthy, brunette hair, and bangs. Then, it goes onto my style. Wearing more vintage and floral patterns, and dresses, and ankle boots. Light weight things that are actually comfortable on my body. Then it goes onto my “fitness/exercise” schedule. I stop “going to the gym.” Instead, I do yoga, and meditate, and fully dive into restoring the insides of my body, mind and soul – instead of trying to aesthetically had abs to lose weight or fat or build muscle. I learn to truly love my body for the way that it is, from the inside out. Then it goes onto my diet. I stop eating all gluten and dairy. I eat very little processed/refined foods, artificial sugars and meat. I slowly adapt to a plant based/whole foods diet, that fuels my body and mind and energizes me to go through each and every day. A diet that lowers my stress levels, gives me healthier hair and SKIN. I drink loads of water, and tea morning and night. [So essentially, up to this point, I’m doing all that I can do improve my skin. Because right now, it appears pale and tired and broken out and sad. Which I hate to say, but I think is a reflection of me from the inside out. But clearing up my skin is something I want to do so badly.] I stop taking my anti-depressants. I learn to manage my stress better, and maybe turn toward more natural vitamins/supplements to take every day instead. On the weekends, I prioritize going to church, shopping for whole foods to eat during the week, and playing piano and singing at small, local restaurants. I do this out of complete joy, not to make tips, or become the next big music star. I do this to try something new, push myself outside of my comfort zone and gain more confidence. I continue to take photos, preferably of musicians. I treat myself to a massage monthly, without any guilt for how much money it may be. I take more bubble baths. I journal, and read more books. I start going on social media less, and living more in the present. Oh, and of course, I prioritize getting 7+ hours of sleep a night. I allow myself to go to sleep when I am tired, and wake up naturally when I feel well rested. Oh and I’m a minimalist, of course. Living with not next to nothing, but also no kind of “excess” whatsoever. I want to live without clutter in my physical space or mentally in my head.

I feel like… right now, I am a seed. And I need to grow some balls, plant myself in the dirt, and start watering myself in order to bloom into the big flower that I dream of becoming, as I just described above.

I don’t know where life is going to take me, but I feel like I know how I want my life to be. Just as I described it above.

And when it comes to sharing my life with someone… I just want them to be along for the ride with me. To have the same ideas, values, etc. as I do. To be supportive of me and everything I do, and not push against the current. To accept me for my imperfections and every part of who I am – and not attempt to re-mold me into the kind of person they want me to be. I am who I am, and that’s not changing for anyone.

Except myself.

I’m ready for winter to end, for spring to come, to plant myself in the ground, start watering, and BLOOM.

Life is too short to go through the motions, and be anything less than happy, and the best possible version of yourself.

I want to refresh, to become new, to become better…


My Biggest Takeaways from a week of the “Elimination Diet.”

February 25, 2019

On February 18, I made a decision. It might’ve not been January 1st, the first day of a new month, or anything like that. It was the 18th. Just another random day. But I was listening to my body, and mind, and they were telling me something. That was…

“GIRL – YOU GOTTA CLEAN UP YOUR DIET!”

This was after another Saturday night of drinking, and Sunday of feeling painfully hungover. (Oops.)

But… I knew my body and mind were in pain from more than just another night of some alcohol. It was what I was putting in my body day to day.

Sure, I eat “healthy.” And ya’ll might think I never eat a cookie, or a piece of pizza, or whatever kind of “treat” food it might be. But, I do! My diet IS NOT PERFECT.

I don’t eat 100% clean. I will not and do not want to live a life of restriction. And, when I do make conscious choices to put foods and drinks into my body that are good for my health, I do it for that reason exactly. Because they are GOOD for my HEALTH. My mind, my body, my mental thoughts and overall well-being. My present, my future. They are good for ME, as a whole person.

SO – On February 18, I decided that on February 19, I would attempt an “elimination diet.”

First of all… an elimination requires a person to remove certain foods FROM their diet that they think their body might have trouble tolerating.

For me… I decided to eliminate dairy, gluten, refined sugar, eggs, peanuts, alcohol, caffeine, corn, and soy. These were my main focuses.

You eliminate those foods from your diet completely, then reintroduce them later on, one at a time. But you still keep your body and mind on and conscious of whether or not you are feeling any kind of reactions.

I eliminated these foods for the sole purpose(s) of wanting to feel less bloated physically, have more energy, clearer skin, and feel more at peace and level headed mentally. I was getting tired of having days where I would get enough sleep but wake up sad and tired and stressed and completely unmotivated. I’m getting tired of being broken out, and just wanted to start feeling better and not even necessarily “looking,” better, but just looking like I had more of an energetic glow. I wanted to rekindle my glow from the inside out.

SO! I went a solid 3-4 days without consuming any of those foods. WOOHOO! But went off  the bandwagon on day 5 and consumed gluten, refined sugar, and alcohol that day. Oh well. Whatcha gonna do.

Day 6 was better, and then day 7, I had a realization.

I don’t want to do this for a month straight – like people normally do. 

Not because I don’t think I can, or I don’t have the mental motivation or energy to. But because, I think, within 96 hours, I got the answers to the questions I was looking for.

The culprits of my “sufferings” were 100% dairy, gluten, refined sugar, eggs, caffeine from coffee, and not ALL alcohol – but specifically, vodka.

SO – I have decided to embark on some permanent dietary changes for the month of March, to start. This is AGAIN – not to LOOK a certain way, but to focus on having healthier skin, healthier hair, and a healthier mind (less stress/anxiety) and body (less bloating/more energy). And because, I don’t want to go through 3-4 weeks of restriction and food obsession.

  • The foods that work best for me for breakfast are oatmeal with berries and nuts, or my Shakeology with almond milk, a banana, nut butter and ice.
  • The foods that work best for me for snacks are nuts, whole fruits like apples, berries like strawberries, maybe vanilla dairy free yogurt, rice cakes with peanut butter, or a Kind bar.
  • The foods that work best for me for lunch and dinner are protein like salmon, chicken, or tuna, vegetables like a garden salad (romaine lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, salt, pepper, basil, olive oil), broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, and a sweet potato or brown rice.
  • The foods that I can tolerate from time to time are eggs, peanut butter, some gluten like veggie pasta with tomato sauce, turkey burgers, turkey meatballs, and SOME processed foods and refined sugars. These are things that I could have 1-2 times a week, but NOT every day, or frequently.
  • The foods that my body cannot tolerate well are dairy, heavier gluten like bread, crackers, and pretzels, caffeine like coffee, refined sugar in processed sweets and baked goods, harder alcohol like vodka (I do okay with wine), and many drinks outside of water, tea, non-dairy milks, and kombucha.

SO… my BIGGEST takeaway from eliminating a LOT from my diet for 4 consecutive days, is that, basically… refraining from certain things like dairy, gluten, and refined sugar are SO GREAT for your body and mind. Or, at least mine! I started feeling better, looking better, and realizing that it wasn’t about not being able to have those things, but just reaching for other healthier foods in replace of them.

Swapping coffee for green tea, bread for greens, white rice for brown rice, a white potato for a sweet potato, regular oats for gluten free oats, etc.

It’s the SMALL decisions, changes, and realizations that can have a BIG impact in the long run!!!

Thanks for reading 🙂


Self-CARE is NOT Self-ISH!

February 13, 2019

Okay… so I don’t have a dog, but I do have two cats! My mom retrieved them from a friend of a friend at work, shortly after I headed off to college in 2015. (What a coincidence! Lol – not.)

When we got them, they were tiny, little kittens, only weeks old. They had been living outdoors in a box before we welcomed them into our home, so they were basically scared of anything and everything for a while.

They look almost like twins, so we wanted to name them something that went together.

My dad made his fair share of jokes, like naming them “Lady” and “Gaga.” Gotta love it. But we ended up agreeing upon “Leah and Mia.”
I came up with Leah because I’m into zodiac signs and horoscopes and all of that, and “Leo” is the zodiac sign for Leah. Since “Leo” is more masculine, I altered it to “Leah,” since she is a female feline. Then my mom picked Mia just because it rhymed with Leah.

ANYWAY!

Just to rehash… my mom welcomed these kittens into our home shortly after I went off to college. I was a freshman, my older brother was a senior, and my little brother was still in elementary school. Sure, he was and still is a handful, but not enough of a handful for my mom I guess.

I saw, and still see, her purchasing our cats as a way to be able to “baby” something again. All of her actual babies were growing up very fast, and I feel as if she needed something to get her mind off of that.

I also see them as therapy animals for her, because they bring her peace, happiness, and responsibility. They take her mind off of the hectic and stressful full time mom / full time job life that she lives from 5am to 10pm day after day.

Basically her after I left for school:

So yes, if you have any pets at all, whether it is a goldfish in your bedroom or a farm full of animals, you know that they come with responsibility. I think this is why a lot of young children get puppies too. Sure, most of their parents probably just want A) For them to quite top begging and pleading for a puppy, and B) to see their happy face when their wish finally comes true.

But, like my mom… being the designated person in the household to love and care for an animal can be a lot of work.

So let’s take the average household dog for example.

First of all… you have to make sure they have food, and the right food.

You might have to go through a few different types, flavors or brands of food before you find out what works for them. This is whatever kind of food(s) they are able to digest comfortably, that give them energy, and basically don’t weigh them down into laziness or give them uncomfortable or unnatural looking waste inside or outside your house. Make sense? Ya feel?

Then, you have to make sure they always have food available. No puppy (or cat, in my case), likes to see an empty food dish when they are hungry.

After food comes activity.

You have to take the dog for walks, daily. Let it outside to play, and play outside or inside with it. You have to let it out to use the bathroom. You have to make sure that it does more than lay around all day long for it to grow and be happy and healthy. An active puppy, especially one that gets activity and time outdoors, is a happy puppy.

Then comes sleep.

Some dogs may have so much energy and excitement in them that it seems like they will never wind down and get some shut eye. However… you all make sure that your dog gets sleep. Right?! Whether you let him or her nap with your during the day, sleep by your feet at night, or sleep comfortably in their own doggy bed somewhere else in the house. When the sun goes down, you’re not taking them outside to play. They’re going to get their shut eye!

So… what is my point of all of this ranting about dogs and cats and animals (oh my)?

All of these thoughts stemmed from a quote in a brilliant article I read online today.

That was:

“If we treated out body the way responsible dog owners treated their dog, we would live a much happier life.”

[This quote was from an article on The Conversation website, titled, “To feel happier, we have to resolve to the life we evolved to live.” All credit goes to the author Arash Javanbakht, who is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University.]

Reading that hit me nearly just as hard as the big yellow school bus hit Regina George in Mean Girls.

Javanbakht, the author, also says:

“When we adopt a pet, we learn about their normal environment, activity level and nutrition. Isn’t it interesting that we do not apply that to the animal we live in?”

Brilliant.

So… think.

How many of us have dogs, cats, any kind of animals, and make it an unnegotiable priority to care for them? Many!

And how many of us are human, and make it an unnegotiable priority to care for ourselves?
Not many.

Yet…

We both require food, and specific types of food that we were made and designed to be able to comfortably consume and execrate.

We both require movement, and thrive off of movement that is paired with sun exposure and other individuals. Movement increases our energy, our strength, our cardiovascular health, our mood, and so much more.

We both require sleep – a proper amount of it, with proper preparation and a proper setting for the utmost results of waking up feeling refreshed, recharged and reenergized the following morning.

So – why is it that we can do all of these things for our dogs, our cats, or pets, etc – but we fail to do them for ourselves?

Javanbakht’s article was published on January 2 of this year, which shows that it obviously goes along with the whole “New year, new me!” theme and phase that people go through from January – March every year.

So… if you made it this far, and can take away anything from reading this post, have it be this:

CARE. FOR. YOURSELF.

Self-care is NOT self-ish! It’s actually self-less!

We all have priorities. We all have obligations. Life is crazy. Life is stressful. Life is hectic. Life is busy. We have good days and bad, ups and downs.

But that is life. And you can not and SHOULD NOT put yourself on the backburner of it.

You are important. You are special and unique. You are talented. You are beautiful. There is NO OTHER YOU on this planet. No other person that is just like you.

How cool is that?!

And how dare some of us take that for granted, by not respecting and honoring and taking care of this body and life that we have been given. Right?

You don’t have to be religious to “give thanks” for the life you’ve been given.

You can actually give thanks to yourself and the Universe EVERY single day. By living a life in a body with a mind that is glued to habits that align with who we are DESIGNED to be.

Eat like you’re supposed to eat.
More whole, unprocessed, unpackaged, foods. Meat, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, etc. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, everything. Fuel you body with the food that it wants and deserves.

Move like you’re supposed to move.
Move, climb, flight, chase, flee, etc. Be ACTIVE! Increase your energy, your strength, your heart’s health, improve your mood, and elongate your life as a whole. Exercise and movement have both short term and long term benefits. JUST DO IT! (@Nike – you right.)

Sleep like you’re designed to sleep.
Ditch caffeine, screens, eating and anything that turns your mind on like a light switch 1-3 hours before you go to sleep. Welcome drinking tea, reading a book, journaling, meditating, deep breathing and going to sleep in a dark, cool and relaxed environment instead.

If you can purchase an animal and welcome it into your life and home and prioritize taking care of him or her every single day – you can, and should, go back to the bare boned basics of life, and with that, prioritize taking care of yourself.

[HUGE thanks to The Conversation and Arash Javanbakht for publishing this article which inspired me to write this today.]


My February Non-Negotiables

What is a “slow morning” to you?

I see this phrase used on Instagram all the time. And sure, I’m even guilty of using it myself. It’s usually a photo of coffee, a journal, or a seemingly perfect breakfast with a filter slapped over it, captioned with “Starting off this morning slow with coffee, breakfast and a little journaling! #selfcare”

Again… I’m guilty of this. But, I’m also guilty of saying I’m taking it “slow” when I’m really not. I feel like the same thing could be said for taking a rest day/day off from exercise, when you don’t really need to.

I feel like it’s very easy for us, as humans, to confuse or disguise a “slow” morning, a day of “relaxation,” or a “rest day” off from exercise with bland, unnecessary, laziness and lack of productivity. (For example: I know that when I have a full day off from work, I could be doing a LOT more than laying on the couch binging Grey’s Anatomy and eating 3-4 meals inbetween and calling that my day.)

Or… the other way around! You say you’re taking it “slow,” or “relaxing,” or taking a “rest day,” but then find yourself unable to stop your body and mind from going, going, going.

So… how does one actually take it “slow,” morning and night, and find balance within bland laziness and being overly productive? 

Non-Negotiables. 

“Non-Negotiable” is an adjective meaning, “not open to discussion, modification or reconsideration.”

So, the way I’m looking at it is… it’s basically things that I will promise myself that I will do every single morning and every single night, for the rest of February, without discussion, modification, or reconsideration.

If anything, I may take a Friday or Saturday night off if I’m unwinding from my week and going out with friends. But otherwise, if I’m at home, there is no reason why I can’t find 10-15 minutes every morning and every night to seriously take things “slow.”

I feel like when we say we’re taking things “slow,” that should entail that we are legitimately taking the time to slow down our bodies, our minds, and our lives as a whole.

Do it with me for a second right now! Just fix your posture, sit up straight, unclench your jaw, relax your tongue and your whole face, inhale through your nose for 6 seconds, and out your mouth for 6 seconds. Relax your body. Take it slow.

So, this is why I question if sleeping in, making a big, photo worthy breakfast, drinking a cup of coffee (which will give you a buzz of caffeine shortly after its finished), watching Netflix, etc, can really be considered taking it “slow” on a day off. Sure, it may not being rushing out the door like you normally might have to. But… ask yourself: Is that the BEST way to slow down your life? Does that make you feel TRULY relaxed, and at ease? If so, more power to you!!! (Everyone is different, do what works for you.) But for me, I’m seeing things a little differently.

Every morning, I want to wake up at 5:30 a.m. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I don’t have to be out the door until after 8, and at my internship until 9. But I’ve found that waking up at 6 doesn’t allow me the time to “take things slow” and start my day off on a calm, positive note – free of stress, anxiety, and rushing around and out the door. And, even if I have a day off and don’t have to be out the door at 8, why shouldn’t I keep my routine consistent and just start my day off early and productive? We don’t need to sleep in.

After I wake up… here are my morning non-negotiables:
1. 5+ minutes of meditation
2. Stretch my whole body (no time limit on this! Just until I feel good.)
3. Drink a big glass of water
4. Listen to acoustic music or a positive podcast while I get ready for the day
5. Have a good, filling breakfast and a cup of green tea with honey
6. Set my goals/make a to-do list to conquer by the end of the day

Before I go to sleep… here are my night time non-negotiables:
1. 5+ minutes of meditation
2. Stretch my whole body
3. Take my new “OLLY Restful Sleep” gummies (with Melatonin, L-Theanine & Botanicals)
4. Essential oils diffuser
5. Drink a cup of lavender tea
6. Read or journal about the day
7. Fall in a cold, dark room, with calming music

I don’t expect every day to be perfect. I know I might slip up, miss a day or two or three. But my hopes and expectations for myself are to really look at these things as non-negotiable actions to slow down my life, relive any morning/nighttime stress and anxiety that might be in my body, and better my life as a whole.

Do you have any non-negotiables?

Share them with me! @_thelifeofang on Instagram.

I would love to hear what you think of this post, and how YOU “take it slow” in your day-to-day life 🙂


FOOD IS FUEL!

I feel like a broken record some days. But, I really don’t mind it.

Two things I always tell myself, and other people, are this:

1. Food is fuel.

2. Abs are built in the kitchen.

I’ve said these things so many times before. And I actually had a conversation about them with my mom the other day! Which triggered this big a** blog post. So, here we go!

So my mom keeps complaining about how badly her back hurts. She is 50 years old, but she eats wicked healthy and works out 5-6x’s a week, so I thought – this can’t be from the typical poor posture, poor diet, or lack of physical activity. She treats her body very well!

So why does her back hurt so bad?

As always, when she comes to me with a problem, I sit with her and talk until we come up with a plan of action for a potential future solution to her problem.

I figured, with the basic knowledge that I have, her lower back pain may be from lack of muscle mass, specifically in her core and legs. Because, the stronger you are, specifically in your core, the less a part of your body like your back/lower back will hurt 24/7. So, I told her that she needs to do less cardio (especially on an incline like she has been for months now), lift more weights and eat more protein to build more muscle – especially because she has lost SO much weight and lowered her body fat percentage dramatically over the past year.

She also told me that she did not have a good week fitness/workout wise last week overall. She said she felt very fatigued and worn down come Wednesday, when she only worked out twice that week so far.

After a few minutes of talking, I helped her realize that this was because she was doing FASTED weight lifting and resistance training early in the morning right after she woke up, and only refueling with her Shakeology afterwards, until it was time for a morning snack or lunch. (She normally does fasted cardio as soon as she wakes up in the morning and feels great afterwards. But I had to explain to her that lifting weights fasted isn’t ideal, and how she will have to change things up a bit if she is going to do that in the morning.)

This is when we talked about how FOOD IS FUEL! I said, think about it like this.

~* Your body is like a car. *~

First, let’s talk about how that is related to SLEEP.

When you sleep at night, you are parking your car (self) in your driveway (bed/garage). If you decide to do things like read a book, meditate, journal, stretch, listen to calming music, etc before bed, I would consider that as taking the keys out of the ignition and letting the car turn off properly, before it is parked in the garage and at rest for the evening.

If you choose to snack, sit on your phone, watch Netflix, or do anything else that keeps your mind running and active right before bed, I would say you are keeping the keys in the ignition and keeping the car on in the garage, when it really should be turned off and at rest.

So first thing is first – Wind down properly, turn your car off, and allow it to rest for 7-8 hours at night, so that you are able to mentally and physically give all that you can to the next day.

Seconds, let’s talk about CALORIES – AKA, FUEL!

A calorie is a unit of energy. Calories make up all of the food that we eat. Food is fuel. Food being put into the human body is comparable to gas being put into a car.

HOWEVER – While we can turn a car off, our living human bodies never turn off completely. It is important to remember that we CONTINUE TO BURN CALORIES EVEN WHEN WE ARE AT REST – which includes, when we sleep at night!

So, when you wake up in the morning, your body is either running on empty, or close to running on empty. Which means… for someone like my mom, that wants to lift weights early in the morning… She should probably be fueling up her car properly before driving it at 50 mph for 30+ minutes, and then refueling her car AGAIN after that… Instead of trying to drive her car at 50 mph on empty, and refueling her tank up like half way after that.

Make sense?

So I told her this: Less cardio, more weights, more protein, carbs before and after working out, and eat every few hours to prevent your blood sugar from dropping.

I told her: If you want to work out early in the morning, wake up and eat protein and carbs (oatmeal and a banana or eggs and toast), work out, then refuel with your shake (more protein and carbs), and have another small meal (like chicken and veggies or a turkey avocado sandwich) 1-2 hours after that.

I told her she has to comfortably transition out of her calorie deficit, which she set for weight loss/fat loss months ago, into not quite a caloric surplus… but into eating a bit more calories than she is use to, in protein and clean foods that is. So that, the muscle she breaks down when she lifts weights, is able to efficiently build itself back up. THUS, maintaining her weight loss, but encouraging muscle growth and energy, and preventing fatigue and muscle soreness.

Will this solution work for her? Only time will tell!

Then we moved onto how “abs” are built in the kitchen. 

I told her this: She can lift ALL of the weights, do ALL of the crunches, medicine ball twists, leg lifts and jacknifes in the world… But the muscle mass that she wants to build and have show visibly will NOT show unless she prioritizes the importance of her nutrition, ESPECIALLY pre and post workout, and protein intake for the rest of the food she consumes throughout the day. That’s why I instructed her to wake up, eat, workout, eat, and then go about the rest of her day.

This is something that can be very frustrating to me. I’m literally not even a personal trainer, a nutritionist, or anything like that. I’m just, I guess a “fitness guru” or whatever. But something that still gets under my skin is how people lift their weights, do their cardio, and then eat like s*** and complain about how they want “muscle” and they want “abs” and still don’t have them and still aren’t seeing the results that they want.

(DISCLAIMER: I do NOT have a perfect diet at all!!! I still drink and eat french fries and pizza and what not on the weekends. I know I have some work to do. But I also know that is a big reason why I do not have those super sleek, slim abs. I have a bit more body fat on me right now because of those decisions. But I’m cool with that.)

So guys… I am SO sorry to be the bearer of bad news here. But having a goal of losing weight and body fat, and/or gaining visible muscle (whether it’s your core or your arms or legs or all of the above), most likely CANNOT be achieved with a consistently poor diet.

You NEED to eat the right foods. You need to fuel your car properly. 

So…  with ALL of that being said, I will leave you with this. A simple list of foods that you should be consuming MORE of day to day, for meals and snacks, for “abs,” but MORESO energy (fuel in your tank) and overall health (to keep your car in good condition).

Some foor “abs”:
Water, lemon water, cucumber water, green tea, chamomile tea, black coffee. Eggs, turkey, tuna, salmon, lean chicken, apples, berries (blueberries), quinoa, whole grains (bread, oatmeal), nuts (almonds), greens (broccoli, spinach), yogurt, sweet potatoes, avocados, almond butter/peanut butter (in moderation).

Bless up! Message me with any comments, questions, etc.

-Ang


Q&A: How do you balance your healthy lifestyle with going out?

December 07, 2018

***DISCLAIMER: If you don’t want to read all about my past, just scroll down to “THE PRESENT” section!***

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Happy Friday, friends! Last Sunday, someone messaged me on Instagram asking, “How do you balance your healthy lifestyle with going out, friends, and things like that?”

She said she felt like she does so well on her own when it comes to making healthy choices, but then gets easily influenced by her friends when they want to go out for drinks and pizza and such – and this STRESSES HER OUT. She wants to go, but she knows she’ll end up eating or drinking badly, which she knows she doesn’t really want to do and wouldn’t do on her own.

So… the question was, how do I do it? And what should she do? And my answer was…

GIRL, I DON’T!

Seriously though, if we’re being honest… I feel like I have really not mastered the art of balance of healthy living and going out in college. This is something I have struggled with since my freshman year.

THE PAST:

Let’s rewind and start from the very beginning. It was never a problem for me in high school. Sure, there was some drinking here and there in high school. But I just didn’t take part in it. Or, if I did, I would only have one or two. I never wanted to “get drunk.” I honestly had anxiety about what the feeling of being “drunk” would be like. I really didn’t have the urge to drink to that point. It wasn’t even about health for me. It just flat out wasn’t of interest to me, at all.

Things changed in college though. Beginning my freshman year, drinking was just part of the social scene. Sometimes on a week night, always on a weekend. On campus, off campus at parties, it’s just what goes on. And of course, you don’t have to take part in it. But just like the girl who messaged me last weekend said.. It’s easy to be influenced by people around you. And it’s easier to just go along with it, than to fight the current.

So, that’s what I started doing. I was never an excessive drinker. It was never a crutch, or even an “escape” from stress for me. My escape from stress have truly, genuinely always been positive things like exercise and photography. Drinking has kind of always been something I only do when everyone else is doing it.

But Ang and alcohol have come a long way over the years. During high school and my first few years of college, I really didn’t drink anything except beer and Mikes Hard Lemonade. Honestly, because they were both cheap, and kind of like a safety net for me. It was alcohol, and I could drink it to hang out with my friends and have fun, but without getting to the point of “drunk” that I didn’t want to get to.

However… when you’re around other people though, it can be very easy to get carried away. So one Mikes Hard would turn into two, then three, then four… and before I knew it, I had… (oh God this makes me so sick to say...) literally 880 calories, 132g of carbs, and 128g of sugar floating around inside of me. And, like I said, these drinks wouldn’t even get me drunk. So I was basically just putting my body into a cruel high calorie, high carb and high sugar coma – to participate in the social scene of things. And that was kind of my sophomore year in a nutshell.

My junior year is where I would say it got “bad” though. I carried on with my sophomore year habits of drinking to drink, only I moved on from Mikes Hard to wine and spiked seltzer (thank God) and wasn’t afraid of getting drunk anymore. BUT – I’d say it truly got “bad” because I was combining alcohol with an unhealthy diet (I removed my Shakeology, dairy, meat, and a lot of carbs and sugar from my diet- which lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies), hormonal inbalances (from stopping my birth control), and a HIGH amount of internal stress and anxiety from everything that I had taken on that year. I always had a full plate of responsibilities, but never like my junior year of college.

So when I continued to drink once or twice a week, it started to become dangerous to me. My brain and body were already suffering on their own, but I was too busy and distracted to tend to that. So I just continued to drink here and there.

But I will never, EVER, forget how I felt on my 21st birthday.

Turning 21 is supposed to be exciting, right? You’re supposed to be excited about finally being able to drink legally, purchase your own alcohol, go to bars, etc. You’re supposed to feel good inside and look good outside and be happy and glowing and thriving. After all, that’s how all the girls with their crop tops and high heels and bottles of champagne and golden 2 and 1 balloons on Instagram look, right?

Well… this is the complete opposite of how I felt. I don’t blame it on alcohol, but alcohol definitely didn’t help. I really have nobody to blame except myself for how I felt. I trace it back to the nutrient deficiencies, hormonal inbalances, and stress and anxiety overload that I kept all bottled up inside of me. Which then ruined a day that should have felt very special for me. I smiled on the outside, but literally ached so much mentally and physically on the inside. I was so unhealthy that I remember wanting to sit outside with my friends and literally just sip a beer, but when I tried to drink the beer, my head hurt and I felt a twitching in my neck, and I honestly felt like my body was going to shut down on me. I know that sounds dramatic… but I was in a really bad place.

Why am I telling you this? Because by the time I finally turned 21 and could participate in drinking and all of the fun that 21 year old’s could, my body didn’t want me to.

I will never, EVER forget going to bed at 7 p.m. on my 21st birthday.

I felt like I literally had no other choice but to go to sleep. I felt so sick, tired and warn down, mentally and physically. I didn’t have the energy to even fake it through the night. I tapped out and didn’t even celebrate my birthday on my birthday. I ended up going out to a bar a day or two later. But again, if I’m being honest with you and myself… I was literally pushing myself to do this because of the stereotype that celebrating your 21st birthday holds. I felt like I had something to live up to, and that there was something “wrong” with me if I didn’t go out to a bar during the week that I turned 21. So I did it. But I remember, again, feeling so sick, and tired and warn down as I was getting ready. I was curling my hair and dancing and smiling as I was getting ready, but remember feeling like I lost my sense of “feeling” as I was doing this. Again, sorry if this sounds overly dramatic… but it’s true. I felt like I was completely numb and couldn’t even feel my hair as I was curling it. But I ignored all of this and continued to act like I was fine, and went out anyway. (Stupid!)

THE PRESENT:

SO! That was May of 2018, and it is now December. I am very lucky to not be in the same place that I was in May anymore. But, like I said, I still would not say I have found a beautiful, clear, simple balance with going out and living a healthy lifestyle in college. So, what do I do?

If I’m going to drink, I drink! 

There are some things that just flat out aren’t good for you and your body on this earth. And I would classify alcohol as one of them. Alcohol is a depressant, so when it is consumed in excess, it can take a toll on your mind and your body in the present and the future. Same thing with unhealthy food and habits as well, of course.

So I say, if you want to find “balance” with something like drinking, you have to learn that: MODERATION IS KEY!

For me, moderation is choosing one night out of the weekend to not go “out of control,” but to just drink and eat and be merry without any restriction.

Right now, I’m in my 20’s and I’m still a college student. I feel like, if I am going to “ball out” with drinking and eating food like pizza and french fries for one last time in my life, this is my time to do that. Before real adulthood and all of that hits.

I personally chose to not restrict myself from “going out” and enjoying being 21 now. But I also know that excess eating of unhealthy food and drinking is NOT good for me.

So I try to go out once a weekend, and stick to drinking red wine beforehand, and vodka mixed drinks while I’m out. (Vodka seltzer, lemonade or gingerale). My guilty pleasure has become Malibu and coke, which I know is a guilty pleasure because rum and coke (especially a cheap one from a bar) is sooooo not healthy in any sense. But if it’s once a week, I might get one when I’m out, if we’re being honest. And I might have chicken tenders or french fries or pizza afterwards too. Because I DON’T RESTRICT.

SO, MY ADVICE TO YOU:

As always… DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! If you don’t want to go out, you don’t have to go out! If you want to go out once a week, go out once a week! If you want to go out MORE than once a week, do it – but watch WHAT and HOW MUCH you’re drinking and eating when you do so! Going overboard is NOT HEALTHY.

But at the end of the day… it’s YOUR LIFE. You only have 24 hours a day, and one life to live! So, YOU have to stay true to YOU and what makes you happiest. Always!

 


“Brain on Fire” – SHAKEOLOGY FAQ!

December 02, 2018

Shakeo

No… I’m not talking about the Netflix movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz. Although, that was a pretty good movie and I would definitely recommend watching it if you have any interest in mental health and mental illness.

I’m talking about Shakeology. Oh – WHAT A SURPRISE! Right?! I know, I’m a little obsessed. But now, my mom is too. And she keeps telling me,

“I feel like my BRAIN is on FIRE!”
(In a good way. Not a Chloe Mortez neurological disease kind of way.)

Week, after week, after week, she tells me this. And I’m like, “Mom… I know.” And she’s like, “I just CAN’T BELIEVE I waited THIS LONG to try Shakeology.” And goes on and on about how it’s literally changed her life, and that she hates how money was the thing holding her back from feeling as good as she feels now.

These are HER WORDS, guys, not mine!

But… instead of posting a photo of my Shakeology with a plain, old, average caption of my daily recipe for “brekkie :)!!!” (not sure when the fad of saying “brekkie” instead of breakfast started but like – can we please make it stop?) or what I LIKE TO CALL breakfast… I thought I would FINALLY write a post about what the heck Shakeology is – and why it makes my mom, and thousands of other people feel like their brain is “on fire.”

Here are ALL of the answers to the FAQ that I get about Shakeology! Enjoy!

1. WHAT IS IT?

Shakeology is advertised as your “Daily dose of Dense Nutrition.” And that is quite literally what it is. ONE serving of Shakeology consists of protein, super-fruits, antioxidants, greens, adaptogens, probiotics and digestive enzymes. Nutrition wise, I currently drink the Vegan Cafe Latte flavor, and that is 170 calories, 3g fat, 18g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g sugar, and 16g protein.

2. WHAT DOES IT DO FOR YOUR BODY/MIND?

Now let me tell you what the heck all of that Shakeology’s does for your body and mind when you drink it regularly, (which is typically as a meal replacement or snack every day).

1. GOODBYE CRAVINGS
Protein: The protein in the Vegan Shakeology flavors is made up of chia, pea, flax, quinoa, rice and oat. This all helps to build lean muscle and reduce cravings.

2. HELLO HEALTHY GLOW (Inside AND out)
Super-Fruits/Antioxidants: These are from different types of “exotic” fruits and berries, and even green tea – which all help to fight free radical damage. You can read about free radicals here. (They’re probably affecting your body and your mind and you don’t even know it.) 

3. GOODBYE FATIGUE
Greens and Phytonutrients:
This includes spinach, kale and matcha – three things you might not typically reach for day-to-day. BUT, these nutrients help prevent disease and improve the way your body works – from your immune system, to your vision, to the health of your skin and your bones. Phytonutrients are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, grains and other plants.

(IMPORTANT SIDENOTE: IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH MAINTAINING A BALANCED DIET, meaning… filling HALF your plate with different forms and colors of fruits and vegetables 3+ times a day EVERY day… your body is probably missing out on all of the benefits that come from consuming phytonutrients. In other words… if you aren’t eating 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every single day, you don’t even know how good your body and mind can feel inside (and look outside). And that is what Shakeology can do for you, in that one “dose of dense nutrition.” Sorry got sidetracked!!!)

4. HELLO TO (ALL NATURAL) STRESS MANAGEMENT
Adaptogens: Okay so I’m a HUGE advocate for reading all of the ingredients that make up the foods/products that I consume. And I also like to live by that phrase… “If you can’t pronounce it/read it – don’t eat it.” But… the adaptogens in Shakeology make me contradict myself, because I can’t pronounce any of them, except “maca.” BUT, I do know what adaptogens are! And I’ll tell you why they’re so great. In a nutshell, adaptogens are herbs that literally help your body to adapt to and respond to stress more positively. They’ve been used for centuries. So if you pair drinking Shakeology with daily exercise, like my mom does, stress management will become second nature to you.

5. GOODBYE BLOATING
Prebiotics, Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes: All I can tell you is that, drinking Shakeology every day will make you “go” every day. You feel me? Probiotics and digestive enzymes help support digestion, and bowel regularity. So, any feelings of extreme bloating, stomach discomfort, or constipation (which is defined as having three or less bowel movements per week) become nothing but a feeling of the distant past – AS LONG AS YOU MONITOR YOUR FIBER INTAKE, which you should be cautious of anyway! Shakeology literally regulates your bowels so that you’re getting a nice clean out every 24-48 hours – making you, again, almost never feel constipated or “backed up.”

6. HELLO WEIGHT LOSS! 
Calories in < calories out. Weight loss happens when you lower your daily caloric intake. So, if you exercise regularly, drink Shakeology as a regular meal replacement, and eat your fruits/vegetables/protein for your other meals (when you are hungry and stop when you are full), Shakeology can be a VERY helpful puzzle piece in the bigger picture of weight loss. It can also make you feel more full, crave healthier foods (literally wanting to snack on apples and fruit), crave junk food less, and help you focus less on eating and more on your day-to-day tasks.

So… can you BLAME my mom for feeling like her brain is ON FIRE? Absolutely NOT! Every single day, she puts ALL of these nutrients into her body – along with 45 minutes of daily physical activity, eating additional fruit/vegetables/protein for snacks, lunch and dinner, and keeping hydrated from morning to night.

If you are looking to control your sweet tooth, protect your insides, feel less bloated, have better focus, mental clarity and energy, look and feel younger, and manage your stress better… Shakeology could be for you.

That is… if you are willing to pay the price.

3. IT’S “TOO EXPENSIVE.”

Genuinely… the one, single downside of Shakeology is that, you’re right… it is EXPENSIVE. You are either paying $130+ a month (price for a “customer”) for your 30 servings, or $99 + $15 (price for a “coach” even if you don’t coach) a month. BUT… it is truly all about HOW you look at that expense.

Shakeology challenges you to not only change the way you look, feel and function in your day-to-day life as a whole… but ALSO change the way you look at and feel about your finances. Because, you have to step outside of your bubble/comfort zone and be willing to invest in YOU. You have to be willing to put $99+ a month towards yourself, EVERY MONTH, without guilt, knowing that you are WORTH IT.

That’s really the only catch. And, like I said, after you finally go all in and somehow find the money to invest in you and your health, SO many people (like my mom) always say, “WHY did I wait this long.” They KICK THEMSELVES for allowing money to hold them back.

4. DOES IT REALLY WORK?

So… I’m totally guilty of saying ‘it’s too expensive” myself. I’ve literally been there, not too long ago, actually. I stopped drinking Shakeology during my junior year of college (winter/spring 2017-2018) solely because I felt stress and guilt from spending all of that money on myself. So I cut myself off, thinking that would make me feel better. HA, yeah RIGHT. Instead, everything good that Shakeology was doing for me disappeared, on top of a massive amount of stress that I was already dealing with. So my brain and body started fighting against me. Not good, not fun. But as soon as I caved and added Shakeology back into my diet… my brain and body started thanking me again.

So… the fact that I have been on a steady Shakeology grind, went off of it, THEN went back on it, makes me TOTALLY attestable for all of the amazing affects that it has on your body and mind. It works. It’s worth it.

5. IS IT A MEAL REPLACEMENT?

Yes, and no! I believe it’s truly what you make of it. For my mom and I, it’s always worked best as a meal replacement. But we prefer to “build it up” with a banana, spinach, peanut butter and almond milk on top of the Shakeology powder/water/ice. BUT, it can also be made THAT simply – with just water or milk, and ice! So, it’s up to you! The powder itself is usually 150+ calories and 16+ grams of protein itself, per serving. So it’s up to you to decide how many other calories (or how much protein) you want to add onto that. How much of a “meal” do you want to make it – or do you want it to just be a small snack? This is all up to you! But, again, I personally prefer to build it up as a meal replacement!

6. HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?

It’s SO simple, really! Every day, I grab my nutribullet. I throw 2 handfuls of ice, a cup of almond milk, a banana, a spoonful of Crazy Richard’s PB, a handful of spinach, and a packet of Shakeology into a cup. I screw the lid on, blend it all up for 45-60 seconds, and it’s done. Wash off the blade, put the nutribullet away, stick a straw in my cup, and I’m out the door! That’s the beautiful thing about it – aside from how good it is FOR you and how good it makes you feel 😉 You can take it on the go, drink it in a few minutes, and know that your body is nourished and that you won’t be reaching for food for a few hours. You’ll be energized and focused on other things!

7. HOW CAN I TRY IT?

Shakeology can only be purchased through a Beachbody Coach! Like myself 😉 So all you have to do is send me a message with your email, I’ll ask you which flavor you’d like to try (there are single flavors and combo packs), and if you want to be a “coach” (cheaper) or a “customer.” I’ll email a “cart” to you, so that all you have to do is fill in your address/payment information, and just like that – your order will be at your doorstep in 5-7 days!

ALSO… it is important to know that there is a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! You can try Shakeology for 30 days, and if you decide it isn’t for you, get your money completely refunded. I’ve been on the phone with Beachbody’s Customer Service multiple times and they’ve never given me any issues at all.

You also pay for the shakes month-to-month, so you can always change the date that your next shipment will be shipped to you (when your payment will go through on your bank account), and also cancel completely at any time – usually when someone is struggling financially and can’t pay for it anymore. (Which, again, I’ve actually done myself. So this is trustable!!!)

And I think that just about covers it all! If you have ANY more questions about Shakeology, feel free to send me a direct message on Instagram! I hope you have a better understanding of WHY I drink it every day for breakfast, WHY I post about it daily on my story and Instagram page, and of course… why my mom won’t stop telling me why her brain is “on fire” 😉



Pre-Workout Booster Review Continued
(Using before HIIT)

November 29, 2018

SCROLL DOWN TO READ MY FIRST REVIEW OF THE PRE WORKOUT! THIS IS MY DAY 2 CONTINUATION!

Well, that didn’t take long! As I said below, was super eager and uber excited to try my pre workout in the rhythm of a morning routine. This was – waking up relatively early, getting ready for the gym, having my pre workout as my fuel instead of food, and then doing my workout. So, that is exactly what I did today!

I woke up at 6:50, meditated, stretched, had some water, got ready for the gym, had 2 scoops of my Womens Bet pre workout with 600 ML of water, and then was off to the gym!

I hopped on the treadmill as soon as I got there and did a 27 minute Orange Theory workout (CLICK HERE to see what it is!). I use the “Runners Speed” the whole time, which is a 3.0 mph walking pace, 5.5 mph “base” pace, 6.5 mph “push” pace, and a 7.5-8.0 mph “all out” pace. The first push of going at 6.5 mph for 3 consecutive minutes is always a bit challenging for me, considering that I’ve adapted and become comfortable with the HIIT style of pushing myself with sprinting 30 seconds then taking a 30 second break. But that’s SO not what this workout is. The pushes are 2-3 minutes long, the sprints are no shorter than 60 seconds, and you don’t stop going the whole 27 minutes. It’s 27 minutes of giving it ALL that you got.

So it’s safe to say that having pre workout before was pretty fitting! I needed a kick to push me through those 27 minutes and keep me focused the whole time, which is exactly what the Womens Best Pre Workout Booster did for me. It, again, did not make me jittery or shakey or feel uneasy at all. If anything, I almost felt like I could’ve even had a bit more of it to be honest. Because I knew it had an effect, but it wasn’t anything super strong or uncomfortable or overbearing, which something as simple as a cup of highly caffeinated Starbucks coffee can sometimes be for me with my anxiety.

So I pushed through my 27 minute workout and didn’t feel distracted or fatigued at all. I didn’t have feelings or thoughts of “When will this be over,” or “This is too hard,” or “How will I be able to finish this.” I wasn’t concerned about anything going on around me. I had just the right amount of energy and was completely focused on and confident about my workout. I gave every minute all that I had, and felt great when it was finished.

SO – my thoughts after using the Womens Best Pre Workout Booster twice in 24 hours? I like it! BUT, AGAIN! This is also the FIRST pre workout powder I am using! So I do not have anything else to compare it to. I’m not oblivious. I’m sure there are better or cheaper products out there. But, for now, I am enjoying this one! And if you are curious about trying a pre workout powder for the first time, I guess I would recommend trying this one!

To me – It tastes good, gives you energy but not an overbearing amount of energy, keeps you focused on your workout as you are doing it, and makes your workout more efficient because of all of this.

Send me a message on Instagram if you have any further questions or comments about this post! Hope this helps everyone that messaged me asking whether or not I liked the pre workout booster. 🙂


Respect your sleep, and make time for meditation 

November 29, 2018

Sleep

I meditated for the first time last night. I was working on my new self made workout plan in the afternoon and decided to put a “Healthy Habits” section in it, after the workouts and healthy eating ideas. I bullet pointed some positive things that you can add into your morning routine when you wake up, and your night time routine before you go to bed. Something I put in both the morning and night sections was “Meditate for at least 5 minutes.” And I stopped and thought – I can’t preach this and influence other people do do this if I don’t even practice it myself. So I decided that yesterday was the day to begin meditating.

And it – was – AMAZING. I don’t know how it happened. But I took a shower, cleaned up for bed, got my bed ready, stretched, then just went right into some meditation. I played a “Soft Meditation” playlist on Spotify through my airpods, sat cross-legged and up right, and focused on deep breathing and clearing my head. My head got down to the nitty-gritty, thinking about things that I guess I push under the rug day after day and week after week. But I finally stopped everything going on around me, and thought, and replaced negative thoughts with positive thoughts and affirmations and intentions for today. It got so deep that I kind of lost feeling in my body, in a good and safe way. I went into this place of deep relaxation that I didn’t want to come out of. Which is something that I NEVER feel, because I go, go, go as soon as I wake up, all throughout the day until I go to bed. And I’m sure you might do the same.

SO – My advice to you! TRY MEDITATION! Just TRY it. Try to get in the habit of allowing your brain to rest for 5-10 minutes before you go to sleep. Along with this also comes eating and drinking. Try to not put anything except water into your body 1-3 hours before bed. If you are truly hungry, of course have a snack, don’t starve yourself or make yourself go hungry if you have food and you need food. But also be aware of the fact that food is FUEL for your body. It is burned into energy and your body USES energy itself to do that. It turns your brain ON and makes it want to start working.

It’s like putting gas into a car, or even plugging your phone in to charge. Your phone charges faster and more efficiently when you plug it in, close out of all of the apps that you have open, and allow it to simply sit and recharge. If you can do that for your phone at night, why can’t you go an extra step and do that for YOURSELF?

Not eating close to bed time, and making the time to sit and meditate for 5-10 minutes, is like closing out of all of the “tabs” and “apps” your mind has open. After you do that, you crawl into bed (which should be in a chilled, dark environment), and can continue deep breathing until you fall asleep – which is 7-9 hours for your body to recharge so that you are able to wake up with energy to go about the following day to the best of your ability. Close out all of your apps mentally, and allow your body to recharge to a full 100%.

I also read in a book recently (Genius Foods by Max Lugavere) that sleep is similar to a washing machine. When you sleep, your brain and mind go through a cycle that is similar to one of a washing machine. If you eat close to bed time, or do not release stress and anxiety from your body sometime throughout the day with things like exercise or meditation, and get in the habit of doing that, especially with carbohydrates and sugar when it comes to food, this can prevent that “washing cycle” from working efficiently. It literally builds up a type of plaque in your brain which will make you get a subpar or overall poor night of sleep, which will then lead you to be tired and possibly cranky and irritable the following day.

Respect your body. Respect your mind. Respect yourself. And practice the self care habits of mediation and preparing for a proper night of sleep. ESPECIALLY if you feel like you are struggling with fatigue and lack of energy day-to-day.

Believe me – I might not know you or your lifestyle personally. But I’m sure you have ENOUGH going on in your head all day long. I’m sure your brain really doesn’t stop working until you hit bed at night. So, before you hit bed, allow it to rest, clear, and then efficiently recharge. This can do wonders for your life as a whole!


Womens Best Pre-Workout Booster Review

November 28, 2018

Womens Best.jpg

You got enough sleep. You had a pretty easy, laid back morning. And you even had 16oz of coffee and breakfast. Yet, for some reason, you are STILL tired. Ever had one of those days?

That’s what today was for me. I don’t know why, but even after I had my coffee and my breakfast shake and got myself up and going, I was still exhausted. So I went to class, took a test, and then immediately went back to my room where I spent 4 hours on the couch unproductively watching Netflix Christmas movies. These basically give me the same brain-numbing, mindless effect as Lifetime movies. You feel me? They’re all so similar, having to do with some predictable, bland plot line, and always end with two people falling in loooovvveee. And you’re like – OH, DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING! But you totally did.

And then you get to the point where you realize what you’re doing, how unproductive you’re being, and that you should probably get up and do something with your life. So, that’s what I did! I texted my roomate and asked her if she wanted to hit the gym before dinner and she was in – which by the way is SUPER motivating. If you can’t get motivated to go to the gym yourself, ask a friend if they want to go with you! It’s someone to, motivate you, and also hold you accountable for getting yourself up to go, which at least for me, is usually the hardest part.

So I opened some windows, turned on some lights, pumped up some music, and started getting ready. I was pretty unproductive all day and had my shake for breakfast, some chicken and vegetables for lunch, mixed nuts, dark chocolate and Kombucha as a snack, so I knew I was fueled. But I still didn’t have that kick of energy that I needed. So, I decided that today was the day to try my new Women’s Best Pre-Workout Booster.

(I purchased this a few weeks ago in hopes of having something to wake me up and give me a kick before my morning or evening workouts, because my Seasonal Affective Disorder just has me NOT feelin’ it lately.)

I’ve been hitting the gym and working out for years now, but I’ve never been the person to have anything except food as my fuel before working out. It’s always been a protein bar, a carb like oatmeal, or a snack like mixed nuts or an apple and peanut butter. If I’m turning to pre-workout powder now, you know I must be kind of bored with what I’m doing, and definitely feeling tired and overall a little unmotivated.

SO – pre-workout it is!

I was a little anxious about how this was going to make me feel, so I only mixed one scoop of the powder into a glass with around 600 ML of water. I sipped it for a few minutes – strategically around 15 minutes before my workout, and instantly started feeling the effects, in a GOOD way. It didn’t taste fantastic, but it does taste pretty good! Good enough for me to want to have it again. So I didn’t feel jittery at all. I just felt a little more energized, awake, and alert, and wasn’t afraid of feeling that a bit more. So I took another half scoop and mixed that in with 400 ML of water. And after around 10 minutes of getting up and moving and letting that set in, I was READY TO GO!

For my workout I warmed up with 5 minutes of jogging at 5.0 mph on a flat 0.0 on the treadmill. Then I hit the weight room to do some basic dumbbell and body weight abs and arms exercises. I created a workout that had 2 circuits, 8 moves total, and multiple sets of each. It took me around 30 minutes to complete with breaks throughout, but I was totally focused the whole time. I loved this because I was so in tune with what I was doing, and not thinking about anything else or anyone around me, which I can struggle with in the gym some days. I definitely don’t have “gym-timidation” of any sort anymore, but I can get easily distracted by what is going on around me, which throws me off mentally.

This effect totally lasted after my workout ended too. I got dinner with my friends and I noticed I was much happier, focused, and engaged in dinner and our conversations. Again, I didn’t care about anything that was going on around me. My head felt clear, and I only cared about what was going on right in front of me. I’d say this all “wore off” about an hour after my workout ended, which is when my natural post-workout endorphins usually wear off as it is anyway.

SO – all in all, I enjoyed my first experience with Women’s Best Pre Workout Booster! I am not sure that I would necessarily recommend it to others just yet, because I am writing this post after only trying it once. But I liked it enough after my first experience to want to try it again! It tasted pretty good, didn’t make me feel jittery, and kept me focused throughout my workout – which is exactly what I wanted.

I am eager to try it in the morning with a potential scenario of waking up early, rolling out of bed, drinking my pre-workout, and hitting the gym before the sun comes up. This is ideally why I got the pre-workout: To have it as a morning pick-me-up to enable me to get up and work out early in the morning. Because ya girl just cannot get herself to do that on her own right now during the winter. BUT, if my workout schedule continues to have me working out in the afternoon before dinner, around 5pm, I will still consider having it then as well! Potentially only before my strength training sessions though. So I am only having it 3-4 days a week, instead of 5 or 6. Because I don’t want to start relying on it for energy or become addicted to it by any means.


NOVEMBER MEAL PLAN:

Meal Prep.jpg

Breakfast: Shakeology with 1-2 cups of unsweetend vanilla almond milk, a few handfuls of ice, a handful of spinach, a banana, and a spoonful of Crazy Richard’s peanut butter. Blend it up, and enjoy! It tastes delicious and keeps you full and also full of energy for 3+ hours.

Lunch: Salmon salad (Salmon, spinach, quinoa, sliced almonds, blueberries, 1/2 an avocado, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) or chicken and vegetables or salmon and vegetables

Snack: Mixed nuts and Kombucha (Other option could be dairy free vanilla yogurt with blueberries, a rice cake with 1/2 and avocado and sea salt, hard boiled eggs, or dark chocolate)

Dinner: Whatever I didn’t have for lunch! Ideally chicken and vegetables and quinoa, salmon and vegetables and quinoa, or a turkey burger and vegetables and a sweet potato.

Aside from my Shakeology, you can purchase ALL of this food at Walmart! That is where I usually do my grocery shopping because of their very cheap prices.

Here’s a grocery list for you:

Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Crazy Richard’s 100% Peanuts
Bananas
Avocados
Rice cakes
Hard boiled eggs
Mixed nut packets
Blueberries
Dark Chocolate
Lactose free yogurt
Salmon
Chicken
Ground turkey
Seeds of Change rice
Mixed vegetables (Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)
Asparagus
Brussels sprouts
Sweet potatoes (Steamable bag)
Extra virgin olive oil

Send me a message on Instagram if you have any questions about this grocery list or meal plan!