Okay time to work up a sweat and burn off any excess calories you may have indulged in over the weekend. I needed to get my butt in gear this morning after a couple of wines last night and tonight I’m heading out for an early birthday dinner with friends! So no doubt more wine!
I posted a video of the BURPEE DEADLIFT, check it out if you haven’t seen it. Grab yourself a timer (you can download an app for your phone). You want to set it to the following –
1 minute per exercise
30 seconds rest between each exercise
1 minute rest between rounds
You should have a total of 19 minutes on your timer. Make sure you warm up your body sufficiently for at least 5 minutes before kicking off the circuit. Here are your three exercises –
Full Kettlebell Swings
Weighted Reverse Lunge
I selected a moderate weight for the kettlebell and used dumbbells for the lunges as the rep range is pretty high with a full minutes work. Hope you enjoy it! Happy Sunday!
It’s a common myth that thirst is a good indicator of your hydration.
When you develop a dry mouth and feel thirsty you are already DEHYDRATED and a glass of water is not a quick fix to rehydrating your bod. Exercising when you’re dehydrated can lead to headaches, dizziness, poor performance, tiring early and cardiovascular stress. It’s gonna be a struggle!
Water makes up approximately 60% of the adult body by weight and you can only survive a few days without it. NASM indicates that a fluid loss of even 2% of your body weight will affect circulatory functions.
TIP – IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOOSE WEIGHT – Drink an additional 8 ounces of water for every 25lbs above your ideal weight.
So what can you do to avoid dehydration?
Drink regularly throughout the day – get creative and add fresh berries or slices of lemon and lime to your water beaker for added flavour.
Eat an abundance of water-rich foods like fruits and veggies – watermelon, melon, pineapple, zucchini, celery tomatoes and spinach.
Studies have shown it takes approx 2 hours to hydrate. To avoid a heavy belly of fluid sloshing around during your workout DRINK 2HRS IN ADVANCE.
Drink 6-12oz’s of fluid for every 15 to 20 mins of exercise. Stick to water rather than a sports drinks unless you’ve been exercising OVER 60 minutes.
Sports drinks are for endurance based exercise. If you need one, choose one containing up to 8% carbohydrates. Read the small print and watch out for added sugars.
Your hydration goal after exercise is to replace sweat losses!
There is no one size fits all for water, but a standard guide recommended 3L for the average male and 2.2L’s for women. This is for the sedentary person. Therefore drink over and above this if you exercise regularly or live in a hot climate.
TIP – If you take your average daily weight and use this number as your euhydrated (NORMAL) state. Weigh yourself after exercise and ingest 16-24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost! This is a great method for any endurance athletes out there!
Following on from my last post about your winter waistline, I thought I’d scour some healthy eating blogs and find some tasty recipes to try out in preparation. I came across Chocolate Covered Katie and love her creative recipe ideas! Since moving to Houston I’ve been blown away by cookie dough. I wish I’d never tried it as I’m hooked! If you haven’t visited Marble Slab Creamery then take a trip there. Oh. My. God. it is the cream of the crop when it comes to cookie dough ice-cream. It’s my go to place when I want to indulge and treat myself.
So when I spotted this recipe for a Healthy Cookie Dough Dip, I was excited. My excitement soon faded however when I looked at the ingredients. Chick peas. Say what?! I really doubted that this could taste good but curiosity got the better of me and I tried it out. Well I was wrong, it’s delicious and I encourage you to try this out and see for yourself. I have such a sweet tooth and this really hit the spot. It’s not a bang-on equivalent to cookie dough but it is a seriously tasty dip that resembles cookie dough flavours. It’s protein rich from the chick peas, gluten-free and contains no refined sugar. I have pretty much demolished the whole tub. Winner.
1 can chick peas / garbanzo beans (drain and rinse well)
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/3 cup choc chips – I used 62% cacao dark chocolate chunks
3 tbsp rolled gluten free oats
I very simply combined all of the above ingredients (apart from the chocky) into a blender and mixed until it was a paste-like consistency. I then added the chocky chunks and blasted it in the blender so that it was still pretty chunky throughout the dip. Put in the fridge overnight and serve up with rice cakes, crackers, chips or shortbread. Featured in the photo is mini star-shaped shortbread cookies I picked up!
I’m sure you’ve noticed the increasing number of articles flying around the net about ‘fighting the holiday bulge’ or ”what NOT to eat during the holidays’… and being a bit of a health-freak it’s making me anxious!! I don’t want to feel like this!! Holidays should be about relaxing and indulging with friends and family. Letting your hair down and enjoying these precious times together. You only have one life to live and it would be SO boring without treats along the way. Now I’m not saying forget about all the hard work you put in keeping yourself fit and healthy, what I’m saying is don’t stress too much about having a mulled wine (or two) and a christmas pie! My view is if there is a time in your life that it’s OKAY to put on a few pounds, it’s the Xmas holidays (or your honeymoon!!) You’re all wrapped up anyway in your cosy clothes, hibernation sets in and that little bit of extra fat will keep your body a little more insulated. So try NOT to freak out over what you’re going to eat and drink over the holidays and follow some simple pointers –
Portion control. Enjoy all the trimmings of your Xmas dinner but opt for smaller portions. Avoid overeating. It’s hard I know.
Workout! Complete a 30-45 minute circuit targeting the entire body in the MORNINGS and get the metabolism fired up. This will leave you the rest of the day for fun times with the family and reduce those guilty pangs when you pick up a glass of red!
Make your own desserts and treats! Have fun with your family cooking clean and delicious Christmas delights to enjoy with half the calories. There are endless websites/blogs out there with recipes that provide healthy alternatives without all that added sugar. Get creative.
Eat filling healthy snacks throughout the day as you normally would. Don’t starve yourself prior to having a large meal or you definitely will overeat. Your body will also be in starvation mode and will cling onto every ounce of fat that you eat during that meal.
Don’t stress! When you’re stressed your body releases the hormone cortisol which will increase your cravings for comfort food and BAD treats. Relax and enjoy.
With a drop in temperature your appetite will increase. I know I’m craving warm, high-carb foods like there’s no tomorrow! The temperature rarely drops to freezing in Houston, but you definitely feel the colder weather after such a hot and steamy summer. I’ve been making hearty soups to keep me warm and full and as soon as it’s a little cold I’m armed with a scarf and hat. But getting all wrapped up isn’t quite enough to keep your body protected from the cold. With colder temperatures, comes colder bodies. This is what encourages the cravings for warm and comforting foods.
Fox News reported that a study from Texas Tech University followed 48 men and 100 women between the ages of 18 and 65 for the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. At the beginning and end of the study, researchers measured the subjects’ weights and body fat percentages. On average, the volunteers gained one and a half pounds (men about two pounds each, and about a pound for the women), far less than the 7 to 10 pounds often cited this time of year!! So cheers to the holidays everyone and enjoy!!
Here’s a simple guide to follow when selecting the number of sets and rep ranges for resistance training. Ultimately the GOAL of your training will determine the number of sets, reps and rest time.
Building MUSCLE (Hypertrophy): 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps, resting 0-60 seconds between each set.
In order to increase the size of your muscle you MUST lift heavy. Aim for 75-85% of your maximum. The last three reps of your set should be really tough. No amount of body weight lunges will build a juicy butt!
Increasing STRENGTH: 4-6 sets of 1-5 reps, resting 3-5 minutes between sets.
Strength exercises should be performed fast and explosive at 85-100% of your maximum. So go heavier and do less!
Muscle ENDURANCE: 1-3 sets of 12-20 reps, resting up to 90 seconds between sets.
To build endurance, keep the intensity lower than your strength and hypertrophy training at approx 50%-70% of your max. This will allow you to perform a higher number of reps. This is a good range for beginners to resistance training. Exercises should be performed slow and controlled!
BUT WHAT ABOUT FAT LOSS I HEAR YOU CRY!!!
Fat reduction is generally what the ladies are aiming for. Reduction of body fat will be a result of combining strength and hypertrophy training… and absolutely your DIET.
FAT LOSS: Aim for 4 to 5 sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise. Keep the intensity high with shorter rest periods of 30 seconds between sets.
Incorporate circuit training into your strength-training program for increased fat loss. Circuit training consists of performing a series of exercises, back-to-back, with little rest. Because of its intense, fast-paced layout, circuit training can help your body burn calories throughout the day. Utilise a high rep range and multi-joint exercises for maximum caloric burn and efficiency. Try a full-body circuit-training routine.
Engage in resistance training 3-5 times per week with a couple of cardio sessions on your off days AND of course a rest day is compulsory! Do not forget that increasing lean muscle mass will result in more calories being burned during exercise and throughout the day, promoting fat loss. Do not be afraid to pick up some heavy weights and keep your workouts varied. Try alternating days between hypertrophy and strength using the ranges described above to keep your workouts challenging! I hope this helps!!
So I’ll start by giving full credit here to my hubby, who whipped up this AMAZING carrot cake yesterday whilst I was out at CrossFit. It’s SO good that I had to post and share this wonderful recipe to all those that love to eat clean but still get that sweet sugary hit. After indulging quite a bit over Thanksgiving, we were both craving a sweet to follow our Sunday dinner! Ross is a dab hand at baking so I put in a request for a clean recipe that was free from added sugar and butter so we can treat ourselves, GUILT FREE. He adapted a recipe from a fellow bloggers site – Amy’s Healthy Baking.
I had another slice earlier and I’m blown away at how bloody good this cake is. It’s moist, fluffy and sweet with warm spices. I guarantee a lot of happiness when eating this cake!
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour – be exact with measurements
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ cup nonfat milk
3 medium carrots, grated
1 small orange (cut in half and squeezed)
Large handful walnuts
Large handful raisins
8 oz nonfat ricotta cheese
3 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat your baking tin with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
For the cake, whisk together the flour and next 5 ingredients (down to and including the salt) in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup and Greek yogurt, thoroughly mixing with a whisk until it’s lump free. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, stirring just until incorporated, Add in more milk if the mixture is too dry. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins and add the squeezed orange juice.
Spread the batter into the tin, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, using a knife insert it into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Ross’s needed another 10 minutes or so to cook right through. Cool in the tin before removing the cake from the tin. Cool completely to room temperature before adding the frosting.
To prepare the frosting, stir together the ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, agave, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on top of the cake and let it set for at least 1-2 hrs. We couldn’t wait beyond the 2hrs mark! We put it in the fridge overnight and I swear it tastes even better today and the frosting has really set.
The frosting is really sweet and balances the cake out perfectly. Enjoy a slice with a hot cuppa!! YUM!!
Here’s FIVE reasons why you should be including fat in your diet:
1. FAT IS THE MOST CONCENTRATED SOURCE OF ENERGY IN YOUR DIET. EAT MORE AND RAISE YOUR ENERGY LEVELS.
2. FAT FREE FOOD IS STRIPPED OF THE TASTE AND REPLACED WITH CHEMICALS. FULL-FAT OR ‘LIGHT’ PRODUCTS WILL MAKE YOUR FOOD TASTE BETTER. A FAT FREE DIET IS SAD AND BORING.
3. FAT WILL RELEASE A HORMONE CALLED CCK (CHOLECYSTOKININ) FROM YOUR TUMMY AND SIGNAL TO YOUR BRAIN THAT YOUR SATISFIED, FULL AND IT’S TIME TO PUT THE FORK DOWN.
4. FAT WILL KEEP YOU FEELING FULLER FOR LONGER AS IT SLOWS DOWN THE DIGESTION OF FOODS (CARBS) INTO YOUR BLOODSTREAM.
5. FAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. IT SURROUNDS AND PROTECTS YOUR PRECIOUS ORGANS!
If you’re unsure what I mean by ‘healthy’ fat, here’s a list to take on your next grocery trip:
These fats are rich in MONUNSATURATED FATS (GOOD)
Almond butter/Peanut Butter
Almonds, Macademias, Cashews, Peanuts, Brasil NUTS
Olive oil, Peanut oil, Grapeseed oil, Canola oil
These are less favourable fats containing SATURATED FAT (BAD). These are fine as long as you’re not consuming them everyday – moderation is key!
Sesame Oil/Soybean oil
Half and half / Cream
Mayonnaise light / vegannaise