Leg day exercises

Leg day! These are 3 of my favorite exercises to do on leg day. Really easy and sure to get your butt and inner thigh sore the next day!

•Side step squats with plate

•Front lunges

•Barbell deadlift

The side squats take a little coordination since you’re squatting then lifting the plate. Sometimes I look funny because I zone out, get off on my squat/lift and get myself all confused. 😂

I typically do 4 sets of 12 for each. But you can adjust to what’s best for you! Happy lifting!

A twist on cheat meals

I went out to dinner on a cheat meal night and was craving a burger. The restaurant burger and fries totaled to 1273 calories. Mind you, it would have been a little less without the bacon and fried egg but some cheat meals are worth the extra calories!

During the week one day I was craving a burger but it wasn’t a cheat meal day. So I decided to make a healthier version of the cheat meal I love. The burger is topped with a little cheese, cilantro, tomato, onion and a tsp of chipotle catchup. The fries are lightly tossed in olive oil, pink salt, and pepper, then baked. The homemade burger and fries totaled to 599 calories. That’s less than half the calories of the restaurant version! This is a great trade for the restaurant version if wanting a healthier twist on a cheat meal!

When you’re doing a healthy diet, you don’t have to eat boring meals. Granted I wouldn’t recommend eating a homemade burger and fries every day. That’s a little more red meat than you need and there are better options than white potatoes. But this is definitely a great option on occasion. I love to take my favorite restaurant foods and mimic them at home in healthier ways. It beats eating baked chicken, rice and broccoli every day like I used to do! Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. You just have to be cautious of what you are putting into the meal or on the meal.

Happy eating!

The secret to losing weight

I want to lose weight, how did you do it?” This is a common question I get from my friends and former athletes (I’m a cheer coach). There isn’t this huge secret of how to do it. I’m not wasting money on products that claim to make you lose weight. I just watch what I eat and I make sure to workout. That’s literally it!

If you aren’t losing weight and you have been trying, these are some reasons that may be affecting you!…..

1. You aren’t being patient. Losing weight won’t happen over night. It would be awesome if it did, but that’s unfortunately not how the body works. For some it takes weeks, others months. Everyone’s body is different.

2. You are comparing yourself to others rather than comparing yourself to where YOU started.

3. Too many cheat meals. Are you eating good during the week then eating everything in sight on the weekend? Or are you adding in too many cheat meals during the week? Cheat meals are great! They’re a good shock for your body. They’re also a great reward for yourself. However doing too many that are too high in fat and calorie will set you back.

4. Water retention. I’ve explained it before in a past post. When you lose weight your body depletes itself of fat cells. However the fat pockets that held the fat cells take a while to diminish so your body fills them with water till it can get rid of them.

5. Eating the wrong things. Some foods are deceiving. We claim them as healthy but in too big of amounts they can actually have reverse effects

6. You’re only doing cardio and not building muscle to burn fat. Cardio burns both fat and muscle. Cardio is fantastic for building endurance but it’s not the only thing you should be doing in your workout routine. Weight training builds lean muscle mass, which elevates your metabolism and burns more fat, even when you’re not exercising!

7. Calorie Deficit. By definition this is reducing the amount of calories consumed relative to the amount of calories required for maintenance of body weight. Multiple your body weight by 10-12 (depending on your activity level. I do 12 since I lift and do cardio weekly) Recalculate every 2-4 weeks as you lose weight.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, don’t give in and go buy diet pills or the teas that claim you’ll lose a ton of weight fast. Work with your body. You’ll be amazed what it can do on its own when you fuel it properly and workout!

Smoothie Truth

It kills me when one of my friends says they drink a smoothie on a regular basis instead of eating meals. I will admit I grab a smoothie sometimes when I’m out and about because it’s convenient. My husband does it too. We love them! Smoothie king is our guilty pleasure! BUT we try to eat regular meals as often as possible and not supplement a smoothie in place of a meal.

Smoothies tend to have way too much fruit in them. They also have syrup which the fruit was sitting in, that’s incredibly high in sugar. I don’t know many people who get veggies in their smoothies so you’re basically getting an overload of sugar. The average fruit smoothie is 500-600 calories with around 49-60g of sugar. That’s twice the amount of sugar you should have in a day!

If you are making smoothies at home, this can be a different story. I will still argue that they shouldn’t be replacing meals. However, you can work them into your diet to your benefit! I make a “smoothie” protein shake. In my protein shake I mix protein powder, fruit, spinach, milk and sometimes an avocado. This is my post workout drink. The difference is that there is WAY less sugar than the smoothie places! I measure out the amount of fruit I need for one serving. I also add in spinach for extra magnesium and iron which is great for you post workout!

Remember, just because it has healthy items in it, doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Read your nutrition labels. Check the sugar and fats! And for goodness sake, don’t replace meals with smoothies on a regular basis. Occasionally is ok. Eat your fruits and veggies in the proper portions!

Mustard vinaigrette chicken

Ingredients:

•1/2 oz apple cider vinegar

•8 oz asparagus

•2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

•1/2 oz feta cheese

•1 tbsp grainy mustard

•1/2 oz light brown sugar

•2 zucchini

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400. Trim ends off asparagus and dice zucchini. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.

Combine vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Grill chicken on grill (I used stovetop cast iron) for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to baking sheet and baste with 1/2 vinegar mixture. Place in oven for 15 minutes.

While chicken cooks, place asparagus on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook asparagus for 10 minutes.

Toss chopped zucchini in a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place zucchini pieces on stove top grill. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes.

Once food is cooked, plate food and top chicken with remaining vinaigrette and top asparagus with feta. Enjoy!

The grocery store diet

I love telling people I’m on a diet. They always ask “which one?” I respond with “the grocery store diet.”😂 I typically get a confused or blank stare. Then I explain it’s where I go to the grocery store, buy food and that’s what I eat.

People often confuse the meaning of the word diet. A diet is what you eat! If you eat only fast food you have an “unhealthy diet!” If you follow something like Atkins, it’s called a “fad diet.” If you eat a balance of fruit, veggies, etc you have a “healthy diet.”

When I go to the grocery store I get 90% of my food from the walls of the grocery store. Next time you go to the grocery store, look at how it’s laid out. If you follow along the wall you’ll see veggies, fruit, meat, dairy, etc. In the middle of the store, where the aisles are, is all your processed foods. I try to avoid those aisles unless I’m getting something like crackers or tuna. Plus, if I roam the aisles I’m sure to get something not on my list that I really don’t need!

Next time you go to the grocery store try the “grocery store diet” and stay along the walls when getting food. Happy shopping!!

Note: Some produce departments are spread out in one area and they have just the veggies along the wall. The fruit will be on islands. I still consider this “the wall” because it’s not in an isle. 😉

Fridge storage times

I love this image that’s going around IG! My husband always asks me “is this still good?” when he pulls leftover meat out of the fridge. I have a habit of cooking in bulk and some days I just forget when I made certain meals so I just toss it to be safe. Sounds like a waste but it’s better safe than sorry!

Here are what I call the meat rules! Screen shot it, memorize it, do whatever you need to remember it because it comes in handy often!

Never take a chance. If you can’t remember how long it’s been that the food was in the fridge just toss it!