WELCOME TO THE THOUGHTS OF “FITNESS BY ANG”

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Who is “Fitness by Ang” ?

“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.

As “Fitness by Ang,” I share my health and fitness journey every day via social media with the sole purpose of motivating and inspiring others to live healthier and happier lives. 



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

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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:

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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!

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