Healthy Starbucks Drinks & Food

Healthy Starbucks Drinks & Food

Most of us will admit to how much we love Starbucks. Even if it’s not our favorite coffee shop, it’s still a dependable substitute. Some of us get a Starbucks fix every morning, and for others, it’s a once-in-a-while treat. Healthy Starbucks Drinks Unfortunately, most of the specialty drinks and treats are full of sugar and fat. There are definitely some healthy Starbucks options, but in reality they aren’t even that great for you or your waistline. So let’s take a look at a few drinks that won’t break your calorie bank. Plain Coffee or Tea The best drink you can get at Starbucks is plain brewed coffee or tea. They essentially have no calories, if you don’t add a ton of cream and sugar that is. If you like strong coffee, order an americano which is espresso and water. Cafe Misto Less well known than it’s latte counterpart, a cafe misto might as well be a latte. It’s half coffee or americano and half steamed milk, racking up at around 60 calories. If you want some flavoring, ask for a sugar-free syrup. Latte The next healthiest drink you can get is a nonfat latte for 100 calories. If you want flavoring, make sure it’s a sugar-free syrup unless you want to add another 50-ish calories of sugar. You can also asked for an iced skinny latte which brings it down to 70 calories. Skinny Frappucino If you want something blended, your only healthy Starbucks option is a tall skinny frappucino which ranges from 100-150 calories depending on the skinny flavor of your choosing. Even so, a tall will get...
Things You Need for Your Affordable Home Gym

Things You Need for Your Affordable Home Gym

Header photo via Modernize A drive to the gym after a long day can seem too inconvenient to be worth it. Sometimes you just don’t feel like waiting for machines or dodging small talk when you’re simply trying to break a sweat. If you enjoy working out but find yourself groaning about going to the gym a few times a week, you may be better off investing in your own personal gym. It could pay off both physically and financially in the long run–you’ll avoid perpetually spending money on a gym membership, and it’ll be plenty easy to get off the couch knowing a tough workout is just a few steps away. If you have an extra room in your house (or even if you don’t), here are a few ways to turn an average space like a garage or guest bedroom into a home gym. Install Rubber Flooring Via Flickr The first step toward creating your perfect home gym is installing rubber flooring. Interlocking rubber tiles are cheap, durable, comfortable, and elastic. Rubber flooring also does wonders aesthetically, swiftly transforming a bedroom, den, or garage into something that feels like a true workout center. Carpet will take wear and tear from hard workouts, and any other surface is too slippery to be safe. You won’t regret installing rubber flooring, but you may regret an injury sustained from trying to cut it on another surface. Keep it Small & Simple If you’re used to working out in a club, you’re accustomed to having access to big machines and lots of space. You may think you need to invest thousands...
How to Make Your Kitchen Healthier

How to Make Your Kitchen Healthier

We all know how easy it is to succumb to poor food choices when they surround us. If there is one among us who can honestly say that they’ve never had a piece of leftover pizza for breakfast, well, let’s consider that person superhuman. For the rest of us an occasional poor choice may creep up when the opportunity presents itself. After all, an oatmeal cookie does have oatmeal in it, right? The trick to healthy living is to minimize these sorts of interactions. The best way to do that is to have and maintain a healthy kitchen. So how do you go about putting together a kitchen that leads you and your family towards beneficial and successful eating habits? Try out a few of these suggestions and you’ll be well on your way to creating healthy habits in your kitchen. Toss the Junk Food Having high-fat, high-calorie options in your home is a temptation. Give yourself a break from having to resist the goodies by not even bringing them into the house. You know the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind?” This is a perfect example of how that phrase works in real life. Prepackage Healthy Snacks As you toss out your junk food, begin to stock up on snacks that are aligned with your healthy eating plan. Prepackage servings of each food in plastic baggies or reusable storage containers to make it easier for grabbing on the go. Fruits and veggies are a great choice, as well as snacks high in protein, as they keep you fuller longer. Consider these: Travel-ready fruits like bananas or oranges...
How to Be More Productive Before Noon

How to Be More Productive Before Noon

Rise and shine! Are you ready to kick your sluggish mornings to the curb? We have some great tips to keep you focused and organized so you can slash through that To-Do-List before the day is over…and still leave time for fun! 1. Rise with the sun We’ve all heard it before- “the early bird gets the worm.” No matter how much we want to roll our eyes as the cliche and hit that snooze button one more time, that little birdy has the right idea! There are only so many hours in a day, so what better way to be productive than to utilize every hour you can? Set your alarm for the a.m. and make sure to get to bed at a decent hour the night before! 2. Make a plan The day before, map out a plan of attack. Write down everything you need to get done. Throw in some things that aren’t a huge priority so you can tackle them if you find yourself with extra time. Rearrange your tasks by location so you can conquer multiple tasks in the same area of town. Keep in mind, even the most detailed plans can fizzle. If you get all the way to the dry cleaner’s and they’ve decided to be closed for repairs today – don’t sweat it! The plan is there to keep you organized and give your day a simple structure. 3. Fuel up No one wants their stomach rumbling while they’re trying to conquer the day! Make sure to start your day with a healthy and filling breakfast, such as a piece of...
Pump Up Playlist

Pump Up Playlist

Do you find yourself bored of the same music ringing through your ears during a workout? Well we’ve got you covered! We have a playlist that will amp you up for your workout and keep you going strong ‘til the end! We’ve hand-selected songs with lyrics that will not only motivate you but also with beats that will energize your body! Here’s a peek at the line-up! How can you not be ready to kill a sweat sesh with these lyrics?! Bring it on, ring the alarm Don’t stop now, just be the champion Work it hard, like it’s your profession (Work B*tch)   How you’re gonna upgrade me What’s higher than number one you know I used to beat that block Now I be’s the block (Upgrade U) These songs take girl power to a whole new level. Whether you’re getting ready for that cute bikini in your dresser or going for a PR – pump these tunes through your headphones and show everyone…Who run the world? Girls!   Click here to listen to your free Pump Up playlist in your browser!   Angie is a Business-Marketing student at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California and a fitness enthusiast. Apart from teaching Zumba, Angie loves weight lifting and hiking the beautiful trails around SLO and her home-state of...
Why Vaccines Rock – as told by awesome infographic

Why Vaccines Rock – as told by awesome infographic

Now that Geoff and I are getting closer to having kids, decisions like this come up. I’ve always known that we’d vaccinate our children, but I appreciate learning why it’s necessary. Here’s an awesome resource about vaccines, how they work, and answers to any questions the vaccine nazi’s try to...
Why Eating MORE is the Secret to Fat Loss

Why Eating MORE is the Secret to Fat Loss

Today, I received an awesome email that explained everything about fat loss that I’ve ever wanted to say perfect. It came from Adam Bornstein, owner of BornFitness. If you’ve never heard of him or read his stuff, I highly recommend you subscribe to his email list. He has a very honest and straightforward writing style that covers a multitude of subjects. I’ve probably spent hours on his site since I’ve discovered him. Although he sucks at Twitter (You’re supposed 80% other people’s articles that you like and 20% of your own. Obviously he thinks he’s awesome because he only shares his own.) But that’s beside the point. I couldn’t find this article on his site, so I’ll summarize it for you and talk to each of his points. First of all, calories count. There’s no doubt that any diet that works inherently uses some sort of calorie manipulation, but calories aren’t the entire story. Other things that impact how you gain or lose are: diet composition, amount of body fat, hormone issues like insulin resistance, nutrition, food quality and exercise. This shows, and Bornstein put it perfectly, “So calories are important and essential, but they don’t occur in a vacuum.” He goes on to say that we need to examine our eating patterns and change how we eat. That many of us fail in our diets for the wrong reasons, none of which people really think about. Reason 1: Willpower You need to plan for the least amount of willpower. Plan everything not to rely on it. We have less control over behavior than we’d like to think, and are often...
The Comedown

The Comedown

I realize that it’s the name of a song, but how do you follow up the campaign with a blog post about daily life? Umm….there’s no way. After getting on the Huffington Post, I’ve been contemplating what to do next. Another campaign? That was pretty fun and well received, though I think I’d want to orchestrate a large collaboration next time. Perhaps get some prizes to give away? Life since the campaign has been a little slow. I tried to buy this couch. It was on clearance and Presidents Day sale for $800! Then I received a call that my order was canceled. Huge bummer because it was a great deal for a semi-aniline top grain leather couch! I don’t have Pottery Barn or West Elm funds but I want something classic that I’ll have forever. Anyone have ideas where I can get a high quality leather sofa that isn’t a bajillion dollars? And yes, I’m totally crowdsourcing options. Craigslist has yet to deliver a great deal and I’ve been watching it for over 6 months. I love House*Tweaking’s style and am going for something similar to her living room below. Although I don’t think I’ll do the shag rug. Not thinking little kid spills and dirty dog paws would be so good for it. In other fun news, Geoff and I finally went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. We’re not much of a crowd type, so we had our own little dinner at home and went out on Tuesday to Foremost Wine Company in SLO. It’s a hipster/trendy place, and the menu didn’t have much on it that...
You’re all #whatslovely

You’re all #whatslovely

Hello you lovely ladies! The #whatslovely campaign has truly been a wonderful experience. I never expected so many wonderful people to join in and participate, much less have the infographic be featured on the Huffington Post! But I can’t take all the credit for myself. My interns, Amber and Angie, did a wonderful job working hard on things they’ve NEVER done before with little direction. Both of them jumped in and produced deliverables that were better than I asked for. And my guest posters provided incredible content that seemed to resonate with a lot of you. I hope you’ve all been encouraged and uplifted this week. Valentine’s Day can bring about lot’s of nasty feelings that simply aren’t true. Disappointment, falling short, feeling unloved, unwanted… the list goes on. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this holiday isn’t kind to everyone. The goal was to remind you of everything that was good, wonderful, and lovely about your life. And of course, it doesn’t have to stop here. Feel free to use the #whatslovely hashtag and reflect on what’s lovely about your life. Please feel free to email me with your stories or feedback about this campaign. I’m all ears to what you have to say! Here’s a summary of what we covered: #whatslovely YOU – Susie from Suzlyfe #whatslovely FRIENDSHIP – Paige from Healthy Hits the Spot #whatslovely EXERCISE – Jenna from Little Green Running Shoes #whatslovely FOOD – Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean #whatslovely STRENGTH – Ashley from Coffee Cake and Cardio and Angelena from Happy, Healthy, Balanced #whatslovely LOVE If you haven’t taken a look at these ladies posts...
#whatslovely LOVE

#whatslovely LOVE

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you lovely ladies! You’ve reached the final day of #whatslovely and we hope you’ve had an amazing week thinking about all of the lovely things in your life. For today’s challenge, we want you to spend some quality time with someone you love. This can be your significant other, best friend, family…anyone who you care about! We want to encourage all types of love on Valentine’s and not just love specific to couples. So grab that special someone and go get coffee, catch a movie, go hiking, or go out to lunch! Whatever you do, remember to make it quality time. Don’t get distracted by the small problems in your life or your cell phone. Quality time is where that person has your undivided attention. Nowadays, it seems like we are always glued to our phones. We’re either constantly checking social media and emails or waiting for a notification. Let today be the day to step back from it all. Be present with that lovely person in your life and enjoy the moment. How to make today lovely… Go for a hike! Have a do-it-yourself spa day! Spend all day at a coffee shop catching up with a friend! Go try a new fitness class with a family member! Try a new lunch spot! Gather up your closest gal pals for a chick-flick marathon! Cook a new dinner recipe with your significant other! Go wine-tasting! Now go find #whatslovely about your loved ones! Share your experiences with us on social media and enjoy your day! Check back in on Monday to see highlights...
#whatslovely STRENGTH

#whatslovely STRENGTH

Strength is #whatslovely. Strength means something different to everyone. One person may feel strong running a marathon while another person may feel strong by giving a powerful speech. Many of the challenges we are faced with in life present a silver lining because once the hard part is over, we become stronger. Everyone has their own story of strength and today we want to share TWO stories with you. First up is Ashley from Coffee Cake and Cardio has shared with us her story of strength after becoming a mother and learning to love her body for the amazing things it is capable of! Never in a million years could I have imagined how strong and resilient my body was until I got pregnant and became a mom.  Sure I competed in powerlifting, threw the discus and hammer in college, played professional women’s football, and ran numerous races before then, but this was a different kind of strong.  This is a strength that has carried me through the past year and has completely changed my view of my body and its capabilities. As a woman who has struggled with her weight off and on her whole life, it is so easy for me to be hard on myself and to feel inadequate.   In the past I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to be someone I’m not, and let me tell you, that begins to suck at your soul!  What I learned last year, both during pregnancy and post-partum, is that our minds often stops us from achieving greatness and we have to get out of our body’s way!...
#whatslovely FOOD

#whatslovely FOOD

You’ve made it halfway! We’re in the home-stretch now. Today’s challenge is all about food! We can’t contain our excitement. We have our favorite recipes ready to go and can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves! A healthy, happy life is more than staying active and keeping a positive mindset. We need fuel to fill our bodies and prepare us for the healthy lifestyles we live. You can’t overcompensate an unhealthy diet with absurd amounts of cardio…and who would want to do that?? We love food and love what it can do for our bodies. A healthy lifestyle is all about having a balance! Lindsay, a Registered Dietitian and avid blogger, has some nutrition tips to keep our food lovely!   As an RD, I get a lot of questions about how to choose the best foods to eat. I love the message behind Jenni’s challenge and am always happy to share my knowledge, so I put together a few tips for choosing healthy recipes. There are SO many recipes out there on blogs and websites, in cookbooks and magazines, in recipes boxes, etc that it can sometimes be hard to narrow it down and choose ones that not only taste good, but are also healthy fuel for you and your family. Here are 4 tips for choosing recipes: – Check the serving size. Sometimes recipes might appear unhealthy if you look at the ingredient list, but if you realize that the recipe is designed to feed 12 people instead of 2-3, then it might work out to be a fairly healthy choice. -Look for balanced...
#whatslovely EXERCISE

#whatslovely EXERCISE

Hello lovelies! I hope you’ve been enjoying the #whatslovely campaign as much as I have. Can’t believe we’re halfway through the week already! Today, we’re talking about exercise. Yes, that love/hate relationship with working out. The funny thing is that everyone seems to have their own special relationship with exercise. Some people love it, do it everyday, and can’t get enough. Some of us hate it. Even though we know we’ll feel better, we know that it’s good for us, and we know that it’ll get us to where we need to be, we still can’t get ourselves to love working out. Today, I want to give you permission to hate it. Well… maybe not completely. I am the one running a fitness blog after all. But you don’t have to love running. You don’t have to love CrossFit. You don’t have to love lifting weights. BUT it is important to find some way to stay active that you love. Maybe it’s golf. Maybe it’s building furniture (yes, this is totally a workout). Maybe it’s kayaking. Or maybe it’s hiking. So today, I’m challenging you to find a way to move your body that you love. Try a new fitness class. Go for a trail run with a friend. Join a walking book club. Or splurge on a personal trainer. Whatever it is that you try, be sure to share on Instagram or Twitter using the #whatslovely hashtag. We’ll feature you next week! And now, I’ve got some workout wisdom by no other than the lovely Jenna from Little Green Running Shoes (cutest blog name BTW)! She’s been kind enough to...
#whatslovely FRIENDSHIP

#whatslovely FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is lovely. Spending time with friends is an all around gratifying experience. It is also good for your health, mentally and physically! Hanging with a friend can take your mind off the stress of everyday life and improve your mood. Scientific studies show that social connections can strengthen our immune system and even motivate us to recover from injuries. (<-pretty awesome stuff!) There isn’t anything better than a good friend who understands you and loves you for who you are. Paige from Healthy Hits The Spot is here to let us know what her friendships mean to her and how she is motivated to be a better person by her relationships with like-minded women. It’s a great read, I guarantee you will be dialing your best friend’s number by the time you get to the end! Let us celebrate what is lovely today… our friends, the family we choose.   When Jenni asked if I would contribute to #whatslovely with an article on friendships, I was thrilled! Since moving from my home town, Ventura, to my new town, San Luis Obispo (which I am loving!) I have learned to treasure my friendships. I’ve been shown the immense value of staying connected. I have done this by calling friends from back home to keep up, sending little treasures/surprises (a box of tea, a card) to those I value from far away, and investing in new friendships. I’ve learned to show up when friends ask you to be there, to say “YES!” more often, and the importance of commitment and follow-through. Following through on your commitments builds trust and adds...
#whatslovely YOU

#whatslovely YOU

Hello lovely ladies! Welcome to day one of loveliness. We really have something special planned for you! This campaign is designed to help women become aware of what’s lovely in their life and encourage you to love your life, just the way it is. Why? Because we LOVE YOU! Because you’re amazing and because you need to KNOW IT. In a time where there’s a lot of discontentment and wishing (ahem, Valentine’s Day), we want you to know that you don’t have a significant other to appreciate love in your life. And no, we aren’t just saying it, we’re living it for this whole week. And day one, as we discussed on Friday, is about loving YOU, all of YOU. And who else do we have to help us think through why you can (and should) love yourself other than Susie, the lovely, thought-provoking, genuine, and very honest author of the blog, Suzlyfe. I’m honored that she graciously accepted to kick us off, you’re in for a treat! Hi! My name is Susie, and I command the corner of the internet known as Suzlyfe, a blog where “I run, I write, I opine, I cook, I eat, and I show Crohn’s Disease who is boss.” I also drag my dear doctor husband (and crazy cat) along for the ride. I am a huge fan of Jenni’s–I think that she is a brilliant resource for health and fitness for all. Most importantly, she is just as gorgeous inside as she outside, and that is why I jumped at the chance to help her with this fabulous #whatslovely campaign. I think that one of...

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Healthy Starbucks Drinks & Food

Healthy Starbucks Drinks & Food

Most of us will admit to how much we love Starbucks. Even if it’s not our favorite coffee shop, it’s still a dependable substitute. Some of us get a Starbucks fix every morning, and for others, it’s a once-in-a-while treat. Healthy Starbucks Drinks Unfortunately, most of the specialty drinks and treats are full of sugar and fat. There are definitely some healthy Starbucks options, but in reality they aren’t even that great for you or your waistline. So let’s take a look at a few drinks that won’t break your calorie bank. Plain Coffee or Tea The best drink you can get at Starbucks is plain brewed coffee or tea. They essentially have no calories, if you don’t add a ton of cream and sugar that is. If you like strong coffee, order an americano which is espresso and water. Cafe Misto Less well known than it’s latte counterpart, a cafe misto might as well be a latte. It’s half coffee or americano and half steamed milk, racking up at around 60 calories. If you want some flavoring, ask for a sugar-free syrup. Latte The next healthiest drink you can get is a nonfat latte for 100 calories. If you want flavoring, make sure it’s a sugar-free syrup unless you want to add another 50-ish calories of sugar. You can also asked for an iced skinny latte which brings it down to 70 calories. Skinny Frappucino If you want something blended, your only healthy Starbucks option is a tall skinny frappucino which ranges from 100-150 calories depending on the skinny flavor of your choosing. Even so, a tall will get...
#whatslovely YOU

#whatslovely YOU

Hello lovely ladies! Welcome to day one of loveliness. We really have something special planned for you! This campaign is designed to help women become aware of what’s lovely in their life and encourage you to love your life, just the way it is. Why? Because we LOVE YOU! Because you’re amazing and because you need to KNOW IT. In a time where there’s a lot of discontentment and wishing (ahem, Valentine’s Day), we want you to know that you don’t have a significant other to appreciate love in your life. And no, we aren’t just saying it, we’re living it for this whole week. And day one, as we discussed on Friday, is about loving YOU, all of YOU. And who else do we have to help us think through why you can (and should) love yourself other than Susie, the lovely, thought-provoking, genuine, and very honest author of the blog, Suzlyfe. I’m honored that she graciously accepted to kick us off, you’re in for a treat! Hi! My name is Susie, and I command the corner of the internet known as Suzlyfe, a blog where “I run, I write, I opine, I cook, I eat, and I show Crohn’s Disease who is boss.” I also drag my dear doctor husband (and crazy cat) along for the ride. I am a huge fan of Jenni’s–I think that she is a brilliant resource for health and fitness for all. Most importantly, she is just as gorgeous inside as she outside, and that is why I jumped at the chance to help her with this fabulous #whatslovely campaign. I think that one of...
14 Fitness Gifts For Men & Women That You Can Buy on Amazon

14 Fitness Gifts For Men & Women That You Can Buy on Amazon

Need to find something for that friend of yours that loves to workout? Look no further! I’ve put together a long list of useful fitness gifts for men and women that you can find on Amazon. Most of them even have Prime shipping! (Which is necessary considering how expensive shipping can be for some of these heavy items). These gifts are affordable and versatile. When researching, I really didn’t expect that this workout equipment would be this cheap! Forewarning: While this list may not look “girly,” there’s plenty of fitness gifts for women in here, especially with the advent of the female strength training movement. We all want to get our friends and family something useful. For me, that’s the one thing that’s REALLY important. No one wants to spend money on a gift that’ll be tossed in the back of the closet. If your friend is a self proclaimed fitness buff or have voiced their fitness goals for the new year, this list contains a lot of ideas that you can put to use. Also, these things are too big to put in the back of your closet.   Fitness Gifts for Men and Women on Amazon It’s a sturdy squat rack made by the dependable CAP Barbell! I was so surprised to see that it’s only $163! Now you’ll never skip leg day with your own home workout equipment. I really like this rack because you can also use it to do pull-ups or TRX. If you have a squat rack, then you obviously need a barbell to go with it. Again, another dependable piece of equipment from CAP. This is an olympic,...
22 awesome alternatives to alcohol

22 awesome alternatives to alcohol

Alright, last week we talked about why alcohol isn’t really your friend during fat loss. Today, we’re discussing strategies to make abstaining easier. Please note I’m not saying that you should just give up alcohol. I am saying that it’s easier to do without when you’re trying to lose. Obviously, there’s a time and place to indulge. For me, that’s special occasions like my birthday, Christmas, wine tasting, brewery visiting, or celebrating occasions like the first time we bought a house, a new job etc. But if you’re craving wine every day after work, that’s a different story. That has to do with coping with life. And you really don’t need that beer, cocktail, or daily vino to get through life. (Or you shouldn’t. If you do, that’s a serious issue. Please seek out a counseling professional.) Here’s a few strategies for making giving up alcohol easier whether it’s a social situation, relaxation, or just because you like to sip on it. In social situations: Water. Duh! Are you drinking enough? Club soda with lemon. If you love having something tasty to drink, soda water is a great substitute when everyone else is getting a drink. It makes you feel a little fancy and tastes great. Carbonated lemon water, what’s not to love? Diet coke in a short glass. If you’re the type that doesn’t like questions, ask for diet coke in a short class. It looks like rum and coke, so your teetotaling habits can skate on by unnoticed. Fruity water in a wine glass. I love to do this at family gatherings. Putting stuff in a wine glass makes...
Why protein is the best macronutrient ever

Why protein is the best macronutrient ever

If you’ve read any of my articles about diet and nutrition, you know that I recommend a high protein diet. There’s many reasons I do this, but the primary reason is that a high protein diet helps you lose weight. Protein is not only filling, but it’s satisfying. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to finish that big steak when you’re out at a restaurant? Protein preserves your muscle when you’re dieting. Trimming down is made easier because the fat peels away to reveal pretty muscle underneath. Another less touted fact is that protein helps your skin. Have I piqued your curiosity yet? Read on to find out more. Protein is satiating Protein is incredibly satiating because it takes a while for your stomach to digest. There’s many studies that have found protein to be the most satiating macronutrient, more so than carbs or fat. So it’s natural that eating a higher protein diet helps you lose weight. If you’re satisfied and full, then it makes it easier to eat less food and therefore less calories. Conversely, if you eat a lower protein diet, you’ll naturally eat more food in order to feel full. If you’re dieting, this makes it very hard to stay on track. No one likes being hungry and adding dieting to the equation results in disaster. So how does this work? The presence of protein in your stomach stimulates a hormone that slows digestion. Your body is obviously very smart, and the presence of other foods, like fibrous vegetables, also have an impact on how fast your stomach works. When your food moves more slowly through your intestines,...
Plyometric Workouts: why they rock plus three workouts

Plyometric Workouts: why they rock plus three workouts

Plyometric workouts are my favorite type of cardio for many reasons. The first and most important reason is that plyos are effective. They’re effective for athletes, normal people who want to be fit, senior citizens who don’t want to break a hip and children. Plyometric exercises are effective Here’s why: jumping exercises are terrific for cardio HIIT workouts and fat loss plyos require more muscles than other exercises, thereby increasing calorie burn and strength plyometrics increase balance and coordination plyometric workouts improve your explosive strength and acceleration, making you faster jumping exercises make your body smarter (neuromuscular response) plyo workouts increase joint, tendon and ligament strength There’s a lot of science that goes in to plyometric workouts for athletes. I’ll give a few workouts that make you faster and improve your vertical jump as well as fat loss. At a basic level, any jumping exercises will make you faster and stronger while burning fat. If you want to lose fat, plyo workouts are a great way to do that. You push yourself pretty hard, so it doesn’t take long to get results. Are you worried about your grandma’s coordination? Senior citizens can benefit from a toned down version of plyometrics. Low box step ups, skipping and hopscotch-like activities can definitely help. Here’s how to incorporate plyometrics in to your workout routine For fat loss Tabata-like intervals are perfect for fat loss. High intensity intervals like tabata or other HIIT workouts increase your resting metabolic rate more than steady state cardio (like running). Frequency: twice per week on nonconsecutive days Workout 20 seconds on // 10 seconds off // 8 rounds each //alternate exercises...
Healthy Pulled Pork – Paleo, Clean & Delicious

Healthy Pulled Pork – Paleo, Clean & Delicious

I have a confession to make. I LOVE pulled pork. Unfortunately, healthy pulled pork is a bit harder to come by. My husband I visit BBQ joints often (there’s quite a few good ones in San Luis Obispo!) and no fail, I opt for pulled pork. I’m sure looking back in my Instagram feed, you’ll see quite a few pulled pork meals. Here’s one of the best ones I’ve had at the weekly Thursday Farmer’s Market.   BUT, I know that these guys aren’t that good for you. They’re cooked in BBQ sauce (AKA liquid gold). And as wonderful as BBQ sauce is, it’s full of sugar and whatever secret ingredients BBQ joints use to make you want more. In my quest for something more diet friendly that I can enjoy often, I found a lot of paleo pulled pork recipes. As much as I wanted to make a paleo BBQ sauce, it takes a lot of time and planning. This healthy pulled pork does not taking time and planning. All you need to do is thaw out your pork butt, tenderloin etc the night before your meal. Rub the spices on in the morning, throw it in the good ‘ol crockpot or slow cooker and enjoy it that night. If you like your pulled pork saucy, then you’ll have to find a healthy BBQ sauce recipe. Here’s a list of sixteen that you can choose from. I really was surprised at how easy this healthy pulled pork recipe was. I was prepared to do some mixing and cooking preparations before the slow cooker, but I found a ton of...
Health Tips for Women: Advice from 18 Healthy Bloggers

Health Tips for Women: Advice from 18 Healthy Bloggers

Everyone wants to be healthy, but getting there isn’t the easiest or direct route. And as I’ve mentioned before, we’re all different. We all struggle with staying healthy in different areas of our life whether it be stress, motivation to workout, nutrition or sleep. So how do the web’s awesomest bloggers stay healthy? I asked them! Read on to find out the best health tip they’ve ever received. Health Tips for Women from Women Amanda Instead of focusing on what not to eat, focus on what TO eat – aiming for the gold standard of 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily has changed my whole outlook on food. Run to the Finish Instagram   Monica The best help tip I heard was from Dean Karnazes who said, “Listen to everyone, follow no one.” I LOVE that advice. He is saying that was can take tips and learn from everyone, but find out your own way. Ultimately, you can get information from others but do what works for you. RunEatRepeat Twitter   Taylor The health tip that has been the most helpful to me is simple, “listen to your body.” If I’m really tired on a day that I was planning to workout, I skip the gym and feel so much better. I listen to when my body is hungry and when it’s full, and have maintained a healthy weight. If I’m tired, but I have things to do, even just a little nap helps. I know it’s simple, but your body truly knows what you need- you just need to trust it! Food Faith Fitness Facebook Anne The health...
Why you don’t want to look like a model

Why you don’t want to look like a model

Note: this post represents my opinion as a personal trainer. I encourage you to respectfully voice your opinion in the comments below. Let’s talk about what’s normal for women. Let’s talk about the picture perfect women we see in ad magazines and then discuss what’s realistic. Many of us want to look like a model. Some are on a quest for six pack abs, perfectly toned arms or that dreaded thigh gap. I’m not going to bash on those goals, but I’m also going to tell you that it’s ok if you never have a six pack. Fitness is different for everyone and you don’t have to be a size 2 model to be physically healthy and fit. Where Pressure Comes From Social media, as awesome as it is in connecting people, sharing ideas and spreading knowledge, also has a downside. The sexy things get shared the most. Think about magazines, advertisements, commercials, and plain TV. You’re seeing images that sell. You’re seeing the most beautiful people in the world as the faces of TV, plastered on advertisements, or center-fold in magazines. The human eye has an affinity for beautiful things and the perfect people you see are the most common denominator for the general public’s eye. And this article isn’t condemning that. It makes sense from a business perspective to choose attractive people to represent your brand. However, it can put pressure on women (and men) to strive for an unnecessary standard. If we’re surrounded by beautiful images and we don’t feel confident in our own NORMAL beauty, it’s natural to feel less than, to feel like we aren’t ok just how we are....
Healthy Fast Food: The Complete Guide

Healthy Fast Food: The Complete Guide

We all want to feel good. And if we’re honest, most of us eat healthy to look good too. But what if you don’t have time to make lunch to bring with you? What if you’re in the airport and there are nothing but fast food chain restaurants as far as the eye can see? It’s important to prepare for whatever situations you might find yourself in. Enter The Complete Guide to Healthy Fast Food. Below, we’ll go over what to order at common fast food restaurants and discuss strategies for staying healthy when you can’t find an obvious healthy choice. Before we start, here’s a good rule of thumb. Order a burger, no cheese, no sauce wrapped in lettuce. Not all fast food restaurants do it well enough that you can eat with your hands (ahem, Burger King and McDonalds). But if you have a knife and fork, it works. Also keep in mind that this is not condoning frequent drive-through runs. These options are healthy for fast food. Most of the picks noted below are extremely high in sodium, processed fats (example: manmade soybean oil) and manufactured ingredients. They’re also low in fiber. Drink a ton of water during and after eating out, no matter what restaurant you’re at. Make your next meal at home full of fresh vegetables and meats if you can. The Healthy Fast Food Picks McDonalds Ah, the poplar mega-lith of the fast food industry. They’ve caught the healthy fast food bug and created a “Favorites Under 400” menu, but not many meet our definition of healthy. Most are protein-poor and carb-rich, which doesn’t provide for a filling meal. Here’s the...
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