Allowing yourself a cheat meal here and there is manageable, but what happens when those cheat meals happen every day? Then maybe multiple times a day? Now you're at the point where you're not even motivated to workout. So you're basically eating poorly, not moving your body and BAM you've fallen off. We have all done it where we just care less. Life gets in the way and becomes way more intense then usual. You begin to feel tired all the time, sluggish, unmotivated, bloated, any of these sound familiar?
I have fallen off my game many times, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I may find every excuse in the book as to why I have again, but at the end of the day I know the deal. It all starts and ends with me. No one is force feeding me or stopping me from exercising. I make all of my own decisions which is sometimes a blessing and a curse.
This past "fall" we can call it, I fell hard. I stopped eating healthy altogether, along with my workouts. When I had enough of my pity party and was ready to put in the work I got clobbered with a cold that knocked me right back on my ass. Once I started to regain my strength and breathe out of my nose, I needed to make a new plan. I'm pretty sure everyone's New Year's resolutions is to lose weight and be healthy. But without a plan your goal is nothing more than just a wish. I refused to let this time around be like the others.
It's easy to order in a pizza when you don't feel like cooking or snuggle up on the couch during these winter months instead of hitting the gym. But easy isn't so easy after awhile. After awhile you start to gain weight, you don't feel great and in the end you'll still have to put in the work to get rid of those extra lbs.
So what was my plan? Well, as a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist I obviously knew what to do. I had all the knowledge from my certifications and experience with my own trials and my clients. But I still needed to make a new plan. If an old one didn't work, why would I try it again? That is the definition of madness; doing the same thing again and expecting a different result. Our bodies change which means our regimens need to change with us.
First I made a list of bad habits I had adopted to switch out for some new ones.
Bad vs. Good
No breakfast vs. Cooking breakfast at home
Latte vs. Black coffee
Buying lunch vs. Prepping lunch at home
White pasta vs. Brown rice / Whole wheat pasta
Crackers/Chips vs. Fruits/Vegetables
Cheese/Mayo vs. Hummus
Skipping meals vs. Green drinks
Taco shells vs. Lettuce cups
Taco/Burrito/Nachos vs. Make it a salad
Margarita vs. Tequila w/ Soda & Lime
Protein bars vs. Home made energy balls
I had adopted other poor habits that had nothing to do with eating and everything to do with my mind, body and soul.
Bad vs. Good
Staying up late vs. 8 hours of sleep
Messy bedroom vs. Cleaning and doing laundry
Social media scrolling vs. Reading books
Watching TV vs. Writing (My favorite hobby)
Elevator vs. Taking the stairs
Putting errands off vs. Allotting time each week for errands
Small changes make a big difference. It's hard to quit everything cold turkey but small steps lead up to big goals. You have to start somewhere.
This is how my clients and I start after a downfall:
-Start prepping on Sunday
-Start on Monday to intergrade your routine in with your work/daily life schedule
-Buy a calendar to track your daily progress
-Always have water and a healthy snack with you
-Meal prep enough for the week so you don't miss a meal and binge on bad foods
-Don't make dinner plans for at least two weeks; get yourself in a healthy routine before you interrupt it
-Purchase a workout guide, hire a trainer, workout with a friend or get back into your previous workout routine
-Keep healthy food in the house (try to get rid of all negative temptations)
-Take pictures of yourself as a reminder to see how far you've come
*Have fun with it! Becoming the healthiest version of yourself shouldn't be a chore. Your body deserves the absolute best nutrients you can give it.*
How can I make pizza a part of my weekly meal prep, you may ask? Easily. I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to give up any of your favorite foods to lose weight. Learning moderation and different options of the same dish are always my go to. Like any other human I crave pizza, tacos, margaritas, cookies and all the other yummy foods. You will never find me giving up margaritas or pizza so I had to figure out how to make it a part of my meal prep without ruining my weekly goals.
Pizza is one of the best foods that are quick and easy. While there is nothing I love more then a hot slice with goo-y cheese and crunchy crust, there are variations of your favorite slice thats healthier.
Crust: Instead of the typical crust that's dough and typically not whole wheat, make it out of vegetables. Yup! And the best part? It tastes so good too! I've used spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini. To create your "dough" is so simple and you can make different variations of that also. Add any spices you'd like, an egg, maybe whole wheat bread crumbs, cheese, get creative with it!
Cheese and sauce: Like any slice of pizza, its all up to how you like it. If you like the traditional marinara sauce, you can make your own, purchase organic or low sodium sauces. Same goes for the cheese. Look out for vegan cheese if you don't want dairy, or low fat/ low sodium cheese.
Toppings: This is where it get's fun. The toppings are endless. If you want to pack it out with protein choose your favorites like sausage and chicken. I like to slice up spicy chicken sausage, grilled chicken and turkey bacon as an example of my meat lovers pizza. Or if you want to keep it animal protein free, top it with all the veggies you've got!
These pizzas are delicious, super easy and healthy. To make the crust and toppings can take all up to 20 minutes and then its time to bake! Great meals for the kids, and yes even meal prep. Like any good pizza, these are just as delicious the next day! Comment your favorite slice below :)
Booty gains are the craze of this past year. The figure everyone aims for is that small, snatched waist and some curves. Being a personal trainer, I know its much more than just squats and crunches. To grow a certain muscle group takes hard work, dedication, practice and persistence. And while you can't target certain areas like just wanting to lose weight in one area, you can definitely focus on certain muscle groups to better develop them.
Something I often do is give out free advice since I love helping others. While I am working on my own ebook I decided that giving away some workouts and tips are helpful for those just starting out. Here are some of my favorite circuits for the booty.
Circuit 1: 15 reps for 5 sets
Circuit 2: 15 reps for 5 sets
Walking lunges (15 reps each leg)
Circuit 3: 15 reps for 5 sets
Donkey kicks (on mat or with cables) (15 reps each leg)
Fire hydrants (on mat) (15 reps each leg)
Step ups holding weights (on bench or anything sturdy) (15 reps each leg)
Circuit 4: Band Work 15 reps for 5 sets
Walking squats with band over your knees (15 reps each leg)
Standing kickbacks with band around ankles (15 reps each leg)
Standing side kicks with band around ankles (15 reps each leg)
My booty before and after below!
There's always the common excuse that eating healthy is so expensive. True and false. Eating all organic can have a hefty price tag but that doesn't mean its all organic or nothing. As a recent college graduate I definitely can't afford an all organic diet at the moment. But there's also nothing wrong with that nor do I neglect taking care of my body because some foods aren't organic.
I typically meal prep for my week and have ready to go snacks to bring with me to work. I found that there are a bunch of ways around the expensive budget of buying healthy food.
Check out the list below:
1. Dollar Tree : I love the dollar tree, I literally swear by it. They have actual name brands and everything's a dollar. Question me all you want, I've gotten the following; coconut oil, canned tuna, olive oil, oatmeal, pistachio nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, popcorn, coffee, tea bags, beef jerky, yogurt, water jugs, eggs, and list keeps going. I've spent less than $10 on food that I eat almost daily that's typically double or triple the price in a typical food market.
2. Bjs or Costco : Purchase in bulk. Yes you are paying a little bit more up front but it's worth it in the end. If you are eating salad every day, putting lemons in your tea, making fish/chicken daily, or basically any meal prepping you're saving money in the long run.
3. Coupons : It might sound like something only your grandma does, but it makes a difference if you're shopping on a budget. Get your local circular or go online and print out coupons for your usual purchases. Every bit helps.
4. Plan ahead : Make a list of items you need to purchase before going food shopping. A list will keep you from purchasing anything unnecessary.
5. Thrive Market : I discovered this gem a year ago. It's a healthy market online that you can subscribe to, to get discounted prices on healthy items. I first subscribed because I found avocado oil mayo that I preferred over regular. This gets shipped to your door and often has sales and promotions that can be cheaper from your regular food market.
6. Circulars : Keep an eye out for circulars for stores like Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. All of these stores carry typical items like snacks and now offer produce.
We all do it. It's the holiday season and it's easy to put your health second. From Thanksgiving to New Years I always find myself a little less strict with my usual regimen. For a decent five to six weeks it feels like life is more chaotic than usual, but not in a bad way. There is nothing I love more than the holiday season. I love shopping for others and the gift of giving. But that should also not be the reason I don't prioritize myself.
It's just as easy to get back on your schedule as it is to fall off. Holiday parties with drinking and catered food, family parties and just the nonstop chaos of the holidays keeps you in constant motion. Here are a few ways to keep you on track and aligned with your goals this holiday season.
1. Always have water on you. Keep yourself hydrated through out the day as your body needs it.
2. Always keep a protein bar in your bag/car. With the constant shopping and running around, sometimes we forget to eat. Don't let yourself become "hangry" and binge on something you may regret.
3. Have your caffeine. For me I love either green tea or black coffee. It gives me energy, curbs my appetite a bit and is a natural diuretic.
4. When eating out or at a party, eat something before hand. Have a protein shake or a small meal so you aren't completely famished going into an event that may not have food you want to eat.
5. Also when eating out, if you don't have the option to eat before hand- think more consciously before you dig in. Remember the balanced plate you should have during every meal. Load up on vegetables, proteins and healthy carbs (if you can find that). Or get creative if it's slim pickings.
6. Alcohol can be tricky since you're literally drinking your calories. Pick your favorite liquor (for me its tequila) pair it with seltzer and a bunch of fruits like lime, lemon, orange, whatever the bartender has to offer and muddle it in. It tastes delicious and the calories are few especially compared to something like a margarita.
7. Keep your stress level down. I know this one can be tough with the overall stress of the holidays. Between your regular day to day life plus shopping for gifts, cooking and so on, a lot can pile up quickly. My suggestion is do online shopping and get it all shipped right to your door step! (If this is something that stresses you out, of course). My other biggest suggestion is make time for yourself. Give yourself alone time everyday, whether it's your tea time in the morning, taking a fitness class, or simply watching your favorite tv show. You need to give yourself time to unwind.
8. Keep only good food in the house. If you aren't the person who does the food shopping for your family make a list of things you want to be able to snack or make for meals. If you are the one food shopping don't tempt yourself by purchasing the foods that will make you fall off the wagon again.
9. When you're making your list of foods to cook for the holidays whether you host or just bring a dessert, make it healthy! Pinterest is my go to for healthy recipes. There are so many alternatives to classic dishes that still taste amazing and delicious. Plus everyone enjoys a healthy and delicious dish.
10. Enjoy the holiday! Life comes and goes so quickly. Just enjoy yourself. Enjoy shopping, cooking, spending time with family and friends. After all the holidays are all about spending time with your loved ones.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. There is so much happiness and positivity surrounding the month of December. It's like for one month it feels as though anything is possible with holiday magic in the air. Being from New York, New York City is one of the best places to go to during the holiday season. The city has so much to look at and so many pictures to take!
Here's your guide to NYC for this holiday season!
1- Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
2- Christmas Spectacular show with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall
3- St. Patricks Cathedral
4- Wollman Ice Skating Rink in Central Park
5- Macy's Holiday Window Display
6- Winter Village at Bryant Park
7- The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
8- New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show
9- The Nutcracker at Lincoln Theatre
10- Meet Santa at Macy's, Bloomingdales and The Plaza Hotel