This is one of the most popular posts on my blog and since I have so many new followers I thought this would be great #TBT post to share. I get asked about my fitness routine daily so hopefully this will answer some of those questions.
The intro video to this post explains my thoughts, opinions and what I will be sharing so make sure to watch. I share a bit of how I stay fit and detail all of those things below.
DIETS DO'S AND DONT'S
1. DON'T DIET! yep I said it. Dieting is insane and always ends up being harder then anticipated to stay on track for any length of time so stop it. Instead of dieting just change your eating habits because dieting is temporary but life changes are what will keep you in the state you want to be in always.
What I Do: I stop eating fast food and drinking soda! I only drink WATER or fresh juice made in my juicer in the mornings, I replace my white rice with brown rice, add veggies to my lunch and dinner, if I can't pronounce it I don't buy it and don't eat it and I try to buy organic, free range protein when possible. If I want to enjoy something when out with friends or when I feel the urge I eat it in MODERATION and only once maybe twice a week. I avoid eating anything that is processed and honestly fresh and clean food always taste better.
When I am trying to lose weight I remove the carbs except for good ones (usually found in veggies) and I still allow myself corn tortillas for dinner or lunch or potatoes once or twice a week (usually during lunch) I try to stay away from pasta and bread during these times but if NOT trying to lose weight and just maintaining I eat what I want with a 80%-20% ratio; 80% clean and fresh 20% not so clean and fresh.
Here is a sample food day for me:
Breakfast: I juice (handful of spinach or kale, 1/2 lemon a small chunk of ginger and 1 apple) or Cantaloupe juice with a lemon wedge (it helps clear your skin) or I will have 2 hard boiled eggs and 1 slice of whole wheat toast.
Lunch: I love salads and always add protein (chicken usually) I will have tuna salad, turkey wraps, previous nights left overs ;-)
Dinner: Lettuce Wraps (my favorite and recipe below) Tilapia Tacos! love recipe HERE, lean steak and veggies and if I feel I need something starchy I'll have brown rice or potatoes, brown rice and beans (3/4 cup rice only) a like to add a salad because I wont over eat the other stuff of I have a salad first, lol
For my snacks I usually have a few almonds, yogurt, crackers or dried fruit.
The thing to remember is to PUT MORE GOOD IN YOUR BODY THEN BAD!
My body does not respond to cardio alone NEVER has, I don't know if it is because of my ethnicity, body shape, genetics I have no idea. But I can KILL myself doing cardio and will see little result and because I know this I know that strength training always works for me and I will talk about that a bit more below...because I know I have to lift I take just a few supplements, here is what I include for nutrition purposes during my training:
Opti Women HERE (multivitamin) / BCAA Caps HERE (Supports New Lean Mass) / Smart Blend HERE (Supports Bodyfat Reduction And Optimal Cardiovascular Health)
I hate protein drinks but this one is VERY good and does not have that protein nasty after taste. It blends perfectly without that grainy feel and it goes great with fruit for smoothies because the vanilla taste is subtle. MRM 100% Natural Whey Protein HERE
EXERCISE AND ROUTINES
I mentioned above that cardio alone does not work for me and if you are a shapely woman with a thicker lower body then you MUST do weight training to burn that excess fat. I love dance cardio and I do it because it helps in conjunction with my strength training and it is fun, gives me energy and I can do it at home in a matter of 30 minutes and feel great. I turn on some merengue and in 20 minutes my body is hot and sweaty! lol I like to dance to THIS mix in particular especially because I incorporate ab work in my cardio and merengue is the best way to do that ;-) I will show a little video of how I do this in the next few days, lol
Since I just mentioned AB WORK let me share my opinion on that. I have given birth 4 times and even through that I have always maintained flat abs. There is no secret to it and you can do a million sit ups and crunches BUT if you don't EAT RIGHT you might as well give up. Abs come from what you eat and the muscles in your abs become visible from the loss of fat, the more fat you have in your belly the less you will see your abs. LOSE THE FAT, EAT FRESH AND CLEAN FOODS along with your full body workouts you will start to see your abs. I cant stress this enough, CLEAN AND FRESH FOOD = ABS. Yes, crunches and sit ups and hard ab work will shape increase and define your abs but if you don't eat the right foods you wont see the change, plain and simple.
I have tried SO MANY different routines mostly because I am always curious so I am going to share my top 5 and why I like them and don't like them and then I will end with my favorite, why and how I use a little of all of them to stay int he shape I am in.
#5 Jillian Michael's Body Revolution: Not that pricey but still $100. The workouts are good but I fond her boring. Her plans work OF COURSE! her meal plans quite good and if I can eat crab cakes for lunch I am in but for me I found it to be boring and not motivating. Jillian is great if she is in your house yelling at you to move your ass, lol
#4 P90X: This will kick your ass no doubt and the routines are excellent for using your full body as opposed to isolated parts. The meal plan is not overly complicated but has it's challenges. The 90 days will give you results absolutely. My cons: It's pricy at over $100! The workouts for me were too long (1hr-1hr 20m) and I was bored. I felt like I just didn't want to tune in every day. I also have a really bad knee that I must watch for and this program made it a little hard to really give it my all and I hate jumping by way, LOL If you have the time to and energy to spend on the longer workouts and have time to prepare meals for the week this can work for you but it is too "strict" in the sense that I cant see myself doing this for the rest of my life only for those 90 days and I don't need to be in shape in 90 days, I need to be in shape for ever.
#3 Insanity: Man! this is serious stuff and I will tell that every time I finished a workout I felt like I was on the verge of passing out, lol but I did see results. The meal plan was relatively easy to manage, had great food options that made me feel like I was eating (turkey burgers, wraps, "fried rice") and it tasted great. Probably one of my favorites in the meal plan area. The workouts are good but I could not give it everything I had for more then a few weeks before my knee started to swell and cause pain and with a workout so JUMP intensive it was not worth half doing it. You really need to give it everything in order for you to see the results you want. It is also a little pricey at $150
#2 Zumba: BUT only if used alongside weight training. I love Zumba and if you have a class near you go now. It is fun (if you find a good teacher that had rhythm) lord knows I have been to so many classes where I wondered if they actually were certified and trained; I could have taught the class. BUT if you find a good one it is invigorating, the group atmosphere is motivating and you burn calories no doubt! but you need to make sure to include 3-4 days of lifting especially your lower body so you can tone as you lose. Cost wise not bad at all.
#1 Jamie Easons LivFit Trainer: My favorite fitness guru and who I follow like a hawk because we share the same exact ideas about women's weight loss and body goals:
She has so much advice that has helped me to understand why my body reacts the way it does, why weights are good for women and will not bulk you up but instead create lean muscle, her eating plan cant be any easier: Include protein, veggies and good carbs in your three large meals. I do my eating the way I posted at the top and along with this plan I stay in the shape I am in. It is critical to my body shape to lose, burn and TONE my butt and legs because that is where I gain my weight. She tells you exactly what to work out every day and the site gives you alternate workouts if you cant get to the gym. I do my workouts at home and substitute the gym machines with the alternates or my own with free weights. I don't have to over plan and I can do my own eating routine using her guidelines and it works for me. I feel it in my body and I can see the changes when in this program and after the 12 weeks of her plan you have learned so much and know the exercises so well that you can build your own maintenance routine . When in maintaining mode, I only work out 3 days a week and eat well, that's it. I also include dance but that is because I like it and I enjoy walks with the hubby ;-)
Here is the kicker folks...IT'S FREE yep. I just pull up the program ONLINE and there she is everyday and it doesn't cost me a thing. I also include zumba after the first phase of the program because the first phase actually has you do NO CARDIO AT ALL, no jumping, no running ;-)
I have been doing my workout at home because getting to the gym is hard for me and sometimes I just like the privacy of my own home (ever workout in your undies? very liberating) LOL!!!! anyway I have a few things I use during my workouts that I keep in the house and take up NO space at all.
1. Excersie Bands (these are great for walking side squats)
4. Adjustable weights (take up little room and they are just enough weight for me) These are great! and sturdy.
I hope this helps some of you and please leave a comment or question of you have one. I am starting phase 1 day 1 of Jamie's plan again this Sunday so if you want to start with me make sure to read up on her page and let me know ;-)
LETTUCE WRAP RECIPE
1lb Ground Turkey
1 small white onion (diced)
1/2 red pepper (diced)
1/2 yellow pepper (diced)
3-4 garlic cloves
Salt & Pepper
Green Salsa or Pico De Gallo (personal Preference)
(I am puertorican so I use Adobo and 1tbls of sofrito in place of salt and pepper found at almost all grocery stores)
Season your raw ground turkey with salt and pepper set aside. Using 1tsp of olive oil saute chopped onions until clear, add garlic and sauté a few more minutes (don't burn the garlic) add ground turkey and brown, add pepper and let soften a little, mix well. Once cooked taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add chopped cilantro and mix. Let sit. Toppings: Slice your avocado and chop your cabbage (I like cabbage for the crunch)
Scoop some turkey meat in the lettuce leaf, top with avocado and chopped scallions and your salsa and you are all done. I can eat this everyday!!!
This is my second favorite meal to have, Tilapia Tacos (click for recipe)