Saturday, April 18, 2015

10 Easy Toddler Meals {Part 2}

So many of you LOVED my original 10 Easy Toddler Meals post. Therefore, I decided to do another one! 

My son still eats pretty much whatever we eat-he really isn't that picky. His favorite food still seems to be CHEESE. He cannot get enough! So, as you can see, I include it with most meals. 

Hey, calcium, right??

Here are 10 easy meals that my little man ate this past week:


Meal #1:
Tortellini 
Grapes 
Carrots


Meal #2:
Pita Bread
Orange
Eggs
Bacon


Meal #3:
Carrots (he loves them frozen due to his teething)
Multigrain Roll
Chicken Tenderloin


Meal #4:
Kosher Beef Frank (The only hotdog I will eat! Hewbrew National brand)
Cheese
Orange


Meal #5:
Grapes
Cheese
Eggs


Meal #6:
Chicken 
Pasta
Sweet Potato Fries


Meal #7:
Waffle 
Bananas
Cheese


Meal #8:
Eggs
Bacon
Orange
Bananas


Meal #9:
Broccoli
Apple
Chicken


Meal #10
Deconstructed Chipotle Burrito Bowl:
Avocado
Steak
Cheese
Beans

Feel free to pin the following image by hovering your mouse over the center of the image to save for future reference!




My Newest Favorite Workout MUST HAVE for Shin Splints & Calf Pain!

Hey ladies!

Are any of you out there dealing with shin splints or calf cramps while or after working out? 

I remember when I was pregnant, specifically, my ankles would swell so badly-especially while working out. It was actually quite painful at times. Someone had told me about the use of calf compression sleeves, but I never really gave it much thought.

Nowadays after baby, I have been getting tons of shin splints whenever I run or do my cardio. I am not sure if my body's circulation has completely changed after birth or what, but it sucks!

Thankfully, I have finally found a solution. I decided to give the calf compression sleeves a try and chose Physiofinity. After reading a lot on their brand and their product, I felt pretty confident and excited to try them out!

As soon as I put them on, my legs immediately felt lighter. It was quite lovely! I started running on my incline trainer and surprisingly my calves no longer hurt when I raised the incline level. I was shocked and relieved!

I never really understood calf compression sleeves so I never gave them a try. It is such a shame that I am just NOW using them because they would have been SO helpful during pregancy!!!



The primary benefits of calf compression sleeves:
  • Reduces Shin Splint Pain
  • Decreases Recovery Time
  • Increases Warm Up Speeds
  • Prevents Calf Strain
  • Minimizes Lactic Acid Build-Up
  • Relieves Heavy Aching Legs
  • Reduces Calf Cramps
  • Increases Circulation
How the calf compression sleeves work:
  1. You wear both compression sleeves on your lower legs or calves. You can wear them under your pants or shorts-however, you would like. 
  2. The lower portion of the sleeve, near the ankles, creates a funnel-like effect with decreased compression as you move towards the top of the sleeve. 
  3. This effect moves de-oxygenated blood from the lower legs back to the heart more quickly, which boosts circulation - increasing the rate at which oxygenated blood flows into your muscles. This reduces the effects of fatigue, aids in faster recovery and decreases muscle soreness post workout.

My husband and I both love our Physiofinity calf compression sleeves. It is great knowing that there is a lifetime guarantee on these and I do plan on using them especially during my next pregnancy to help reduce the swelling and pain in my legs as I workout (and in general)!

They are only $19.99 and you can purchase them exclusively through Amazon.com by clicking here

However, we would love to offer you a gift of $5 off of your purchase by using promo code FITMOMMY at checkout!



Also, Physiofinity would like to offer you a copy of their free Stretching Guide by clicking here. Pretty sweet, huh?

Don't forget to check out Physiofinity on Facebook and Twitter!

Disclaimer: I was given calf compression sleeves to test, at no cost. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 17, 2015

CLEAN EATING 45LB. TRANSFORMATION DIET PLAN


Something that I don't speak of much these days is my 45lb. weightloss. 

Wayyyy before pregnancy happened, I was slightly overweight for my height, according the BMI charts. I was 150lbs and steadily climbing. I was so unhappy with my size and how my clothes fit that I decided to stop all of my bad habits and dive into the healthy life headstrong.

Within 9 months, I dropped 45lbs. This was back in 2010-2011-such a long time ago it seems! I almost forget about it these days. But every now and then, I will get a question about how I started eating clean, which I address all in my Guide to Diet & Fitness.

I rememeber going through my pantry and cleaning out all of the bad, boxed junk food that I could find. I sat down, grabbed a pen and paper, and made a new, healthy grocery list. Finally, I went shopping. I tried new foods that I had never heard of and forced myself to like good foods that I had put of for years such as avocado and peppers.

Here is a sample diet plan for the way that I ate to drop the weight. I honestly did not start seeing the scale budge until about 8 weeks in. Girls, it won't happen overnight, but that does not mean that things are NOT changing. You will be amazed once you start noticing because people are going to notice your weightloss way before you do!



Here's the plan:

Meal #1
-Banana Nut Oatmeal:
  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • dash of cinnamon
Meal #2
-Protein Shake:
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • Water
-5 Strawberries

Meal #3
-Grilled Chicken Salad:
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, grilled
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • unlimited veggie toppings
  • 2 tbsp. lite balsamic vinaigrette
-1 medium sweet potato

Meal #4
-2 oz. cheddar cheese
-10 multigrain pita chips

Meal #5
-2 filet tilapia
-1/2 c. brown rice
-1 c. steamed green beans

Meal #6
-1 c. Greek yogurt
-10 blueberries
-drizzle of honey

I pretty much ate like this the entire time and I pretty much still eat like this today. You can use this as an example, as well as my Guide to Diet & Fitness to help you to get on track to getting the body you so desire.



How to Balance Motherhood & Fitness


When some people think of a "fit mom," they think of a "selfish mom."

I've never understood this. 

I remember a comment someone had made on a blog post of mine revolving around my postpartum body and how I got my abs back right after giving birth. I think it was something along the lines of "You shouldn't be worrying about working out right after having a baby. Instead, you should enjoy motherhood and take care of your newborn."

Ummmm, excuse me? Since when did a mother making fitness a priority in her life become a sign of selfishness or not enjoying motherhood? I had to sit back for a minute and try to not let my feelings dictate the words I wrote back to her. I was doing what was best for me so that I could do what's best for my family. After all, setting a healthy example is so important to me, as a mother.

One of the most common questions that I get asked is: "How do you balance family and motherhood while still managing to sneak a work out in?"

There comes an art to balancing motherhood and fitness. I've been into the fitness world long before I gave birth, but once we arrived, the world as I knew it had turned upside down-for the best. What a lot of people don't even know is that I really did not start back working out until 12 weeks after my son was born, due to a lot of events going on. I focused solely on clean eating until that point.

But once I got back into my groove, I had to find that balance. 


When my son was younger, he napped very frequently, which left me lots of time to do whatever I wanted. However, as he grew older, the naps became less and less. This led me to include him in my workouts whether it be wearing him with a carrier while I lifted or using him as a weight. I did whatever I could to give both my full attention. However, nowadays, he sometimes won't cooperate and that means I have to put him in his Pack'N'Play while I try to get a workout in. And yes... sometimes I feel VERY guilty.

The secret to finding the perfect balance is to start with you. If you do not get your workout in, you will be upset and regretful. That regret is not good for you or your family. You must put yourself first sometimes in order to be fully happy. I don't know about you, but I feel ECSTATIC after a workout! It is like an instant endorphin rush to my brain!

I know, I know you may feel slightly guilty about putting your child in their Pack'N'Play to go run on your treadmill for 20 minutes, but I promise your baby will live. You will feel even more energy and happiness afterwards which will result in an even more fun playtime experience with your child.

Remember, ladies: happy mommy=happy family.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Refeed Days: One Day of "Overeating" CAN Benefit Your Weightloss!

Lastnight, I posted a photo on my Facebook page of me eating a slice of Papa Murphy's pizza and I had commented that I was having a "refeed day." 



Naturally, most of you asked, what the hell is a refeed day?

If you have been on the dieting train for a while and have hit a plateau, a refeed day can do you a world's full of good.

Refeeding is a technique that tons of fitness and bodybuilding afficiandos use to boost their Leptin levels back up quickly. This helps to spike your metabolism and sort of "wake it up." With time, out metabolisms can get stuck. This is why weightloss plateaus happen.   Refeeding also boosts your testosterone and dopamine (the "happy" hormone) levels as well as descreased the instance in which you may binge out.

A typical refeed meal is higher in carbs. Why carbs? Because carbs is the most effective way to raise Leptin levels quickly. 

But, you still want to choose somewhat good carbs. Stay away from the sugary stuff. This will raise your levels too quickly and then you will crash. After the crash, you will crave MORE SUGAR. Then, you will gain weight. The vicious cycle continues... 



Let's talk about the hormone Leptin for a second. Leptin's main function in the body is to regulate hunger, food intake, and energy expenditure. If you are starting to crave those donuts that you have not eaten in months, guess what? Your Leptin levels are likely to be low. It is also responsible for your libido and motivation-notice how those two seem to go hand in hand sometimes? 

When you are cutting calories and losing body fat, your Leptin levels drop along with all of that, sending your body into complete havoc. Notice how when you are hungry, you aren't yourself: you are moody, crabby, bitchy, tired, etc. This is because Leptin also has an effect on your mood. See how it all ties in here?

Let's take a look at my transformation below.
 
Me on the left: I ate whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Didn't care.
Me in the middle: I ate very clean, only 1200 calories per day. No cheats. I was obsessed with skinny.
Me on the right: I ate clean, but still allowed myself refeed meals every once in a while. I wanted to gain muscle while still burning fat.

Amazing the three different body types, right? You would not guess that body type #3 allows herself a cheat meal or "refeed" once per week.


"How much should I eat?"

This is the shaded area that varies from body to body. Basically, the lower your Leptin levels, the more calories you will need to consume. Usually, a refeed should consist of 20-50% more calories than required for maintenance for 12 hours to two days.

"How often do I refeed?"

This is a case by case basis. It just depends on how long you have been on your diet and your Leptin levels. If you are feeling pretty weak, tired, or crabby, then I would suggest one day every week. 

"When should I refeed?"

At best, try to refeed on your workout days. 
You want to fuel your body with as much energy to synthesize muscle while recharging your metabolism.

Refeeding does not mean to go crazy and eat whatever you see for 24 hours-this NOT the case!! 

Just as with "cheat days," refeeding is a very slippery slope. If you mess up, go wild, and eat too much then you will put that weight back on. You have got to have some willpower to refeed in a controlled manner. One downside to refeeding is that you are more likely to gain some fat back, but it will most likely be burned the next week. However, the pros certainly outweight the cons when breaking your weightloss plateau.

Happy refeeding!




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