Keep Going

It’s the holidays. Thanksgiving just passed. And around this time of the year it’s cool to be a bit heavier. But if your goals are to have a rocking bod – and be healthy, it’s the little christmasthings that count. Like –

  • eating one piece of pie instead of two
  • one plate of Christmas dinner instead of two
  • maybe two pieces of Hershey kisses a day instead of five
  • one sugar Christmas cookie instead of two

You catch my drift. I love the Holidays. Actually I’m crazy about it. I love the food, I love the sweets, I love the Holiday music and I love the fact that it automatically makes you happy. That’s what the Holidays does to me. That’s what Christmas does to me. It’s hard to be upset when everything is just so jolly.

But what I want to say is that you don’t have to break out of your healthy eating habits or your health kick or your fitness regimen just because it’s the Holidays. Moderation is key.

Always. With that being said – Keep Going my friends 🙂

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Keep Going

You ever heard that song “Don’t stop, get it get it!” It’s a great song to workout and dance to. But it’s what I want to live by. I want to keep on going and get all the good that’s coming my way.

So what I want to do with this blog is simply motivate you just a bit more –

Feeling tired and you don’t want to go to the gym –

That’s okay, take a walk around the block, park further when you head to the grocery store, take the stairs at work. Do a little something and keep going 😉

Or let’s say your in the middle of a workout and you just don’t want to continue (happens to me all the time) That’s okay. Slow down the cardio or shorten the amount of reps. But whatever you do keep going. tumblr_o2pnkdaTme1qjl5rvo1_500

YOU GOT THIS. 

Only you can do what you do. Only you can wake up, shower, go to work and handle your business. Only you can make the changes you want in your life. Only you can decide whether your going to have a good day or a great day. No one but you can help you keep going and reach for your goals. The power to do what ever you want is within you. Remember that. I also need to remind myself to remember that. Because we humans are amazing beings that can do anything we put our minds too.

We are just that awesome.

P.S. Today was my 3rd day in the gym – did cardio and back. I feel good about it cause I woke up early to do it.

So keep going.

❤ Carol.

Fall into Change

It is the first day of October. That can mean several different things. A new beginning. A fresh start. A new change. Cooler air. The list goes on. For me: it’s the start of new possibilities, new plans to stick to and new goals!

This fall I want to do what people in the Summer do. I want to challenge myself to go to the gym daily (at least 5 days a week) and BLOG about it! I feel like I don’t show this blog enough love. To be fair, I’m a news producer for a living so I spend at lest 8 to 9 hours of my day in front of a computer. Sometimes, the last thing I want to do is go back in front of a computer to write! But honestly, I feel like I owe it to myself and my readers. I feel like I need to follow through on this fitness journey and complete it.

I use to want to do soo many things. Like run a marathon and compete in a body building competition. When did that all escape from me?

Maybe it was when I didn’t have weekends and was consistently working 10 hour days fallovernight. Yeah, that could’ve been it. But wait. What’s that? An excuse? Yeah it is. Because a wise person once told me You make time for what you want to make time for. This fall I’m going to do just that.

I’m going to make time for my health – share it on here – see what works for me and what doesn’t. And I hope that in turns helps others who are on the same path as me. To find their healthy groove in the best way possible.

So on this Sunday here’s what I’m going to do fitness wise:

30 minutes of cardio and arms. By arms I mean biceps. My goal is to do at least four different exercises for arms (using whatever I can comfortably in the gym). I will do four sets of each; every last set will be ’till failure. That means my muscles will tear but that will also help create more muscle. Also, consistent reps helps give you a more defined look which is what I’m looking to do with my flaps.

Until tomorrow.

Keep it healthy.

❤ Carol. 

Let’s Talk Water

There is no wrong with water, there is only right. I mean think about it. Water is the substance of life. We absolutely can NOT survive without water. That’s incredible.

Our bodies need water so they can stay properly hydrated. I mean think about it – you can starve yourself all you want – but you can only go about 3 days without water. Google it.water2.jpg

Every time you drink water it goes to all of the major components of your body: your brain, lungs, kidneys and even your joints. How do you expect to run long distances or lift as heavy as possible if your body, your cells and your bones aren’t filled with the substance to keep you going. It’s simple, you can’t.

I know there are some people who just don’t like the taste but that’s an easy fix. And I’m not talking about Gatorade or any high calorie sports drink for that matter.  In fact, there are natural ingredients that can replenish electrolytes when mixed with water (if you really are working out that hard). Whatever the case – if you needed a reason to drink water, here’s a few:

  1. – Our bodies are 60 – 70 % water. (remember it’s going to brains, blood, muscle all that jazz)

2. – It helps you digest and absorb all the nutrients you need properly. How do you think the chemical reactions in your stomach go about? Not with air, that’s for sure. You need water to help transport all of your nutrients.

3. – Water apparently also helps us metabolize store fat. (okay, that I didn’t know) Not only that but it suppresses the appetite naturally, which I can attest to.  Think about it: when you think your hungry, and then you have a glass of water naturally that thought dissipates (get it?). Conventional wisdom will tell you people mistake hunger for thirst all the time.

4. Lastly, and probably the most obvious, water helps you cool down. Ask any runner, ask any lifter. Nothing taste better than a swig of water after a good race.

Personally, I’ve loved drinking water for as long as I can remember. My dad would say I’m a fish. However, as I’ve aged, I have noticed I have to remember to drink water. I can get so engulfed in my own work that I don’t even realize I’m thirsty. And then I end up going for the wrong thing. Like apple pie or ice cream, when all I really need is some water.

Now, I’ve researched how much water the body needs and the general consensus is 8 glasses of 8 ounces a day. But here’s the kicker – there’s no real evidence supporting that. If you have time, check out this Dartmouth Medical School study – or this comprehensive article on hydration and water. Prepared to have your mind blown.

water3].jpgThe one thing I have come to agree with is that you drink when you are thirsty.  Also, there’s water in almost everything natural that we eat. If you don’t know whether your hydrated or not – you can always check your urine. Your body will not, can not, lie to you.

The main thing is to keep hydrated and if you are working out hard body, drink more water
. It really does help keep you full and help that digestive system, you feel me. 

I’m thirsty right now writing about water but I got a nice cup of ice-cold water right next to me.

Alba ❤

Sources:

Bodybuilding.com; USCG Water School, Nerdfitness, Fitday, and good ol’ WebMD.

Love Yourself

I cannot stress this enough. You need to love yourself. You need to send out positive energy into the world, and receive it back. If you don’t love yourself, if you don’t do what’s best for you (not someone else) then, the only person your letting down is.. yourself.

sunset-successconcept

Love yourself. Feel it, believe it. 

I had a horrible day yesterday and I uttered the worlds, “I wish I could change myself, I don’t want to be me.” How horrible does that sound? Extremely. Don’t let that happen to you. Smile when your feeling bad, hold it in for a minute. It’ll change your whole mood. I’m still learning, granted, but what I do know is that I didn’t feel better by downing myself. I do, however, feel better when I’m loving myself. Admit your faults but don’t beat yourself up for it. Grow. Become better. Do better. But most importantly. Love yourself.

Put a little Kale on it

Kale smoothies, Kale salads, Kale chips, Kale in your sandwich, or even in your panini; if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, I’m about to change your mind.

To be honest, I thought Kale was straight up nasty rabbit food, just nasty. However, once I saw just how many nutrients it packed, I thought maybe it’s time to implement it into some of my meals.

Let me give you little brief on the benefits of the leafiest of greens, ever. (Seriously, Kale sometimes smells like grass.) kale2

For starters, Kale is known as a super food.  What the heck does that even mean? In a nutshell, it means if you eat enough of this daily you won’t have to see the doctor as often. It’s kind of like the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and the funny thing about that is an apple is a superfood too!

Kale is like a veggie superstar in it’s own way, according to Mind Body Green’s article 10 Great Health Benefits of Eating Kale:

  • It’s filled with powerful antioxidants, like flavonoids, and that my friends helps protect against various cancers.
  • Kale is also rich in Vitamin K, A, C and even in calcium, what! That means from keeping your skin youthful — to aiding your metabolism and preventing bone loss, the vegetable carries a powerful punch.
  • Kale is also filled with much fiber, which is great for detoxing.
  • Not only that, but one cup of raw Kale is only 33 calories and zero fat. Zero.(Uh yeah, sign me up.)

And if your not convinced yet on why you should try it, five health experts in a Time article gave it the all clear as the cruciferous king of superfoods. In fact, “Kale’s so hot because it packs in more nutrition than practically any other whole food,” says Many Oaklander of Time Magazine.

kalesmoothieNow to incorporate Kale into your meals I would simply start off with a smoothie.

Here’s my favorite: Kale and Banana smoothie

I like to use it as a base and sometime I change it up and add a vanilla protein, or use strawberries instead of banana. It’s so delicious it’s almost like an ice cream shake. Personally, I love adding fresh mint leaves because it gives it a super fresh taste too. So good.

If your on the go, Panera Bread also has Roasted Turkey and Carmelized Kale Panini that’s heaven.

Kale salads aren’t my cup of tea and I haven’t tried Kale chips because I honestly prefer the smoothies.

So if you haven’t tried Kale yet, I would highly suggest it — at least once 🙂

And don’t feel rushed to try it immediately, you can try it on National Kale Day (coming up in October), if you want. Yup, it’s a real thing.

Protein in the Morning

Not the most yummiest sounding thing ever — but it’s actually kind of nice.

It’s 9 a.m. in Florida and I have a track workout in an hour or so. Instead of making the typical oatmeal and scrambled egg whites, I decided to go for a blue berry protein shake with Kale. There I have my greens, protein and sweetness. It’s definitely different without the hassle of having to use pots and pans. And even better, it’s easy.

If you have a blender, or my favorite a magic bullet, all you have to do is put all the ingredients in the container and blend. Here’s what I use:

  • cup of milk (Lactaid for me)

    Photo on 7-20-16 at 8.57 AM

    My shake is in this christmas mug, because I’m desperately waiting for the most wonderful time of the year. #reallife

  • half cup of ice, give or take
  • All the leaves off of a long stalk of Kale (doesn’t matter what kind)
  • Two fresh mint leaves (minty taste, yasss baby yasss)
  • A spoonful of chia seeds
  • Two or three spoons of frozen blueberries
  • and my fav — Jamie Eason’s Vanilla Protein one scoop

Make sure it’s super blended and creamy, and enjoy my friends.

Change!

Momma, just don’t understand.

It’s like a play on the song “Fame.” Get it? Yes, no? Maybe.

Well that’s what I want to write about. Change. It’s a simple word and it’s an action type of word, a verb. When you initiate change something is going to be different. Most likely your actions to a particular thing that you always do, for instance a routine.

By definition, change specifically means to make or become different (google it). Working out is a former of change. Whether it be your mind, or your body its actually transforming it into something that was not there at the present time. Essentially change is progress because whatever it is that your aiming to change is in turn causing you to do something.

Just two months ago, I spoke about progress and how taking little steps towards your goal

One lit bulb among unlit ones

Change.

can help you achieve some amazing feats. Now, I want to push myself and all of you to embrace change.

So why don’t you change up your daily routine, or even your gym workouts. It’ll help alleviate the same monotonous actions and bring some variety into your life. And lets be honest, variety is the spice of life.

Here are three things to help you spruce up your routine for a healthy happy life:

  1. Wake up and say thanks. You can achieve this by meditating even if it’s just for five minutes. Or you can pray. Or just wake up and say “thank you.” Sounds a little nuts, but it’s showing appreciation for all you’ve have at that very moment you wake up like: your home, your bed, beautiful early morning sky, food in your fridge or clothes in your closet. It’s a way to refresh your day the very moment you wake up and set yourself up for a successful day — and it even gives you a piece of mind. Try it.
  2. Sip some tea. The benefits of tea are crazy good. Not even playing. I know some of you have seen the flat tummy tea posts on social media sites. But aside from what some tea companies claim to offer, there are different kinds of tea to help you clear your mind, make your body feel good and even clear your colon. To name a few benefits
    • Tea is full of antioxidants.
    • Tea has less caffeine than coffee. (And for some us, coffee is like crack in the a.m.)
    • Herbal Tea can help smooth the digestive system. Yeah buddy.
  3. Lastly, put on your favorite song on and turn up the volume. Let loose a little bit. Create your own routine to your favorite song and dance like no one’s watch, because technically you’re all alone at home with at least 30 minutes to yourself and no one is watching 🙂 . It also helps get the blood flowing, heart pumping and you get to let loose a bit.

Change is scary, starting a new gym program is scary or even a new routine. But change is definitely what you make it. So why not let change work for you.

Why the “Time of the Month” isn’t your worst enemy

Note: This post is strictly for the ladies, unless you fellas want to be in on one of our little secrets. You’ve been warned.

Yup, it's that "Time of the Month" Image Provide by Fuck Yeah Reactions via Tumblr.

Yup, it’s that “Time of the Month”
Image Provide by Fuck Yeah Reactions via Tumblr.

My #getmybodytight flow has been doing really well lately. I mean like really REALLY well. I’ve been working out, every day. Hitting the gym hard. And pretty much giving it all I’ve got. And every other day, I feel the pain of my efforts, in my triceps, quads, calves EVERYTHING!

Still, there comes a time when all the will power in the world can’t stop you from breaking out of your groove and getting what you really want – the dreaded “Time of the Month.” Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. All rules are broken and that chocolate cake you were eyeing at Publix in the bakery section is up for dibs! I’m not going to front on here and act like I’m really good at keeping on track, because I’m NOT. I’m human!

Yesterday, I had a Jr. Cheeseburger from Wendy’s, only ketchup – and it was the BOMB. I also had a little bit of a frosty and some sea salt fries. Now, I’m not condoning those kind of actions and I’m definitely not telling you to give into your cravings, but sometimes hormones speak louder then the sensible thoughts saying “You know you shouldn’t be eating that.”

But just because that happens, doesn’t mean you have to throw everything you’ve worked for away. I’m certainly not. I’m also not going to let a natural body function dictate the progress I make in getting my body the way I want; in fact I’m going to do something better. I’m going to learn from it.

 

Image Provided  @f0o0od via tumblr.

This is what magnesium looks like to us. Chocolate cake. Image Provided @f0o0od via tumblr.

You see, when we (women) binge eat or eat unnecessary foods around the time we get our monthly visitor we’re not listening to the needs of our bodies. In an article by nutritionist Kate Leinweber, she says during a women’s menstruation the need for magnesium increases, our caloric needs fluctuate and our hormone levels change so, the adrenal glands work a little more than usual.

However, the changes in our bodies can easily be met by supplementing them with the right corresponding nutrients, in order to appease our wants. Kate informs, ” Naturally the body looks to replenish its stores by craving foods high in magnesium. Guess what is high in magnesium? Cocoa beans.” Which explains why I’m probably craving chocolate cake right now, but dark chocolate is a great substitute for that!

As for the change in our caloric needs, which makes us want to eat more of just everything, Kate advises to eat appropriately and nourish our bodies the week before the period begins. She says, ” When hunger signals are ignored they can turn into voracious sugar cravings! Always eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full and make sure to consume enough protein and healthy fats during the week before your period to reduce sugar and carbohydrate cravings.”

Now, the “Time of the Month” doesn’t always have to be the end of our “diets,” or the ultimate run you off your track thing. It doesn’t. In my opinion, we shouldn’t be depriving our selves of the things we like. We should try moderation and little by little cravings will cease to be a big deal. Also, normally if your actively working out drinking your gallon of water a day and eating those small meals – cravings don’t normally occur.

What I believe happened to me was that I hadn’t had much water because I was lying in bed all day (in pain). Therefore, when I finally got up I was hungry for the wrong stuff, and I gave in. Simple as that. But it’s not the end of the world. It’s the beginning of understanding your body and embracing it.

You know the time of the month is going to kick your butt, so prepare. Drink water. Have fruit around and maybe some nutella (so you could dip it in). No, but seriously, preparation, as always, is key.

That “Time of the month” sucks – no doubt. But we don’t have to let it run our lives into dirt. We make mistakes, and if you so happen to give in to one of those cravings around that horrid time of the month, just remember to kick ass on your next meeting to the gym — or that next run that you go on!

That’s the plan for today, anyways! Later 😉

 

 

 

All You Need is a Little Bit of Vitamin E

Vitamin E in my book stands for ENERGY!!!

I kid, I kid. But seriously, let’s discuss vitamins and why they are so significant in one’s life. Let me tell you a little story.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve really been working my butt off in school, at work, and at home. I just moved into a new place (which I love) so I’m constantly fixing it up, and I just recently, finally, moved everything out of the boxes; all the while, I’m getting up at 5am for work and spending about 5-6 hours at school and(or) doing homework — literally — everyday (except for Sunday’s, my rest day). It’s not easy to do. As a woman, and as a college student, I tend to keep busy 24/7 and I didn’t even mention the fact that I make it a point to try to fit in my workouts! It’s just what I do! Well, last week it seems like my body had enough. Although, I came back from my vacation in the Dominican Republic refresh, I was so extremely busy through out the week that I couldn’t find the time to workout and I couldn’t find the time for myself. I just couldn’t.

What’s the point?

Yesterday, I had the most amazing workout — ever. Although, I had been up since 5am, later on in the evening my boyfriend and I went to Wal-Mart and did some groceries. One item I hadn’t had in my pantry for a while were my Multivitamins, so I picked those up; and while I was in the health aisle, I also picked up some B-complex and Calcium. Now, when I say that after I took those vitamins, two hours later I was ready to go to the gym — I. DO. NOT. KID. I went to Bailey’s Total Fitness and had the most amazing one-hour cardio session listening to my Beyoncé’ playlist. Yes Mam! Then, I started working on my abs and I just felt absolutely amazing.

It was the vitamins! I hadn’t been taking my vitamins in so long and my body was craving it! And yes, if your eating healthy then usually you don’t have to take vitamins, or as many. I get that, I really do. Still, as a college student with little to no time, who at times forgets to meal prep (or didn’t make the time) I lose out on a significant amount of vitamins and I’m not able to replenish them all with the healthy foods that I do eat. I mean let’s be real, sometimes I don’t have time to steam my broccoli or bake my asparagus. Sometimes, I forget I have vegetables in my fridge and let them go to waste. I know! Terrible!

That’s why I must take my vitamins. Let me breakdown the vitamins that I bought, in case you didn’t know what they’re good for and what they help in.

Image Credit: Living Well Magazine

Image Credit: Living Well Magazine

1st my Centrum Women’s Multivitamins. Yes, your pee will probably look highlighter yellow just drink water, your fine; but the multivitamins are perfect, it has a little bit of everything! From Vitamin A to Minerals Zinc, when eaten with meals the multivitamins are there to compliment the foods we eat and make us work better. Your body needs them! And my body, apparently loved it.

A little brief description from the Centrum websites states that the multivitamin assist in:

“For Women’s Health; helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins, helps maintain immune function, helps maintain healthy skin and helps in development of bones.”

Next, B-Complex. What I didn’t know, and what you should know. It contains all eight of the B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (panthothenic acid) B6, B7 (biotin) B9 (folate) and B12. What attracted me to the bottle was the “promotes energy metabolism” on the bottle (Sundown Naturals Brand). All I saw was the word energy, than I read about the all natural ingredients and allergen facts including: free of artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors; free of dairy and lactose; free of gluten and wheat and vegetarian.

According to whole living some of the benefits of B-complex are,

  • ease stress
  • treat anxiety and depression
  • aid memory
  • relieve PMS
  • Reduce heart-disease risk

All are so, very, important! Especially the ease stress benefit because college is all about stress (at least it feels like that at times).

Lastly, good ol’ calcium. I hate to sound like a brat that doesn’t like their vegetables, but I just absolutely can’t stand milk. I can barely drink almond milk, rice milk it just doesn’t sit right with me. I do like T. G. Lee milk, sometimes, but it’s very rare. So, “I got’s to have my calcium for strong bones”. I like to workout, and sometimes working out puts stress on the bones. You need to make sure they’re strong so that you can work out to the fullest without being afraid to break a bone. I mean when you go to the gym you have to go hard right? Absolutely.

I’m not a nutritionist, but I do believe that if you’re not getting your nutrients from your food, then multivitamins are the next best thing. You should also probably consult your physician or doctor to make sure, especially if your taking other types of medicine. Also, I am not being endorsed to promote any of the brands I talk about in this blog or in any other blog. In the words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” 😉

Forreal.

Forreal.

Seriously, take care of yourself and your health. Happy healthy living and remember to take your vitamins!

-Alba