Thursday, August 27, 2015

Foam Rolling! Love to Hate it.

Hey everyone!

Wanted to pop in today while I am taking an early lunch before my 4 HOUR meeting! I know...Don't even get me started. What we are talking about for 4 hours I have no idea...meeting ended up lasting 2 hours but still!! I hope you all had a great day! 

But the reason for today's post is because I want to talk about something that we all may love to hate. 

Now if you don't do this already - go out today and buy yourself a foam roller because you need it! So Foam Rolling...

If you've never heard of this, foam rolling is a method to 'roll out' and loosen up the muscles after working out or any sort, also known as Self-myofascial release. The scientific facts behind this tell us that self-myofascial release aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles. By putting this pressure on muscles with foam rolling, we are able to also recover faster! 

For a lot of you, you may find that you hold stress in certain areas too. This in combination with tight muscles can cause knots or trigger points in our muscles that have to be worked out too and you know when you hit those because they cause pain when trying to work them out. You can utilize foam rolling to release this as well - and sometimes like this morning it hurts! I had waited a few weeks to foam roll before tis morning and when I got to my outer quad sweep I almost cried (I had done legs today hardcore). Lesson to the wise: foam roll often! When you don't release the tension it can build and build; plus the torn muscle tissue needs recovery and lactic acid build-up has to be released in order for us to recover fully. My husband and I have also taken to initiative to get regular massages to reduce stress and treat our bodies more to this tension release for better health and recovery. And boy is that nice! Also, regular cardio after hard workouts can help to release the lactic acid. I would also recommend regular stretching! 

And to go a little bit further into the reasons behind this for you guys - if we ignore the fascia tissue and don't properly stretch out or release the tension, we are not doing ourselves any good. Stretching out the fascia tissue, or the layer of connective tissue surrounding your muscles, bones and joints, will help with flexibility, strength, performance and pain relief. So, bottom line is, if you want to get bigger, perform better, move faster and get stronger, I suggest paying attention to these huge parts of your health and fitness! I think we will do a follow up on Fascial Stretching for you too!

With foam rolling, you are able to control the pressure and process really and let's face it, you know your body best! I even rolled out my abs yesterday. You are able to foam roll just about any muscle group, and the big ones especially need it! I even put a roller on a wall sometimes and will roll out my arms and shoulders. 

So foam rolling, needless to say, is especially important for lifters. We do so much damage and put our muscles through so much every day that we need to take the time to also rehabilitate as much as we work. I know after lifting for 1-1.5 hours a day and then cardio, in addition to sitting at a desk all day plus the stress that tightens my neck...You see where this is going. We are hard on ourselves! And I have taken the initiative lately to put myself first in every aspect of my life - professional life coming soon! - especially my health. 

I hope I was able to provide some info for ya as well as maybe teach you something new! If you like it definitely subscribe on the right and you can receive updates via email!

And I really wanted to give a shoutout to my friend Diatta over at Femme Fitale Fitclub for Workout Wednesdays but I just didn't finish this in time. Im also moving this weekend as well as helping friends with resumes! Jack of all trades I know :)

So better late than never!

Femme Fitale Fit Club

Have a great day!!

Helpful Links!

What is a foam roller...
Fascial Stretch Therapy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to have a Better morning!

Hey there! 

Let's get this week started right shall we? So I am definitely not a morning person if you haven't figured that out from following me lol! So I have to constantly work on it and try to make my routine better and more efficient to get the most out of my mornings. Let's talk about...

How to have better mornings! 

I heard this on the radio one day and it really stuck with me. Oddly enough I was on the way to meet a gal friend at the gym! 

Here are a few pointers that I like to/have to do to make my mornings a lot better!

R - refrain from hitting the snooze 
I - increase your activity first thing
S - shower
E - energize your metabolism by eating within 30 mins - 1 hr of waking
U - listen to upbeat music 
P - phone a friend

First thing is first:

Refrain from hitting that snooze!

Did you know that if you wake up on your natural sleep cycle end point, that you'll wake feeling more refreshed and awake than if you keep hitting that snooze? Some of us naturally are good at waking up on the first alarm, but if you're like may need an alarm clock like this: 

I got this in college and it was one of the best clocks I've ever bought. I still use it from time to time to break bad habits of sleeping in. Like pressing snooze after getting out of bed, then going back to bed habits. Can't do that when the clock rolls out the open door your roommate leaves!

But I also did quite a bit of research on it to try and improve my sleep habits, and even found an app that works too! So, your body takes around about 15-17 minutes to fall asleep give or take the person, and you sleep in 1.5 hour sleep cycles. So if you calculate the time you need to wake up and what time you should go to bed, it should be a simple formula for an awesome night's sleep! Try this website to help you out and if you want an app for that, this Sleep Cycle app was the best one I found! It also allows you to track the data over time to really see what your sleep is like and what has an effect on it. It uses the body's signals to wake you around your sleep cycle to get the most out of a good night's sleep! I use it in waves and this morning woke to it feeling just as good as always right one time!

Hit that gym or get in a workout - first thing!

If you're like me, there's not much I like doing early in the morning. But...getting active sure does make me feel better and sets the tone for a productive day. I mean if you haven't checked out my instagram you'll see a trend 😜 early mornings = motivation and always a good start to the day! It's proven that you get more done in the mornings anyways when your mind is fresh and your head is clear from a nights rest. So do yourself a favor, roll out of bed, grab your pre-made breakfast and hit the gym! Can't eat right before-- get up earlier! My gains aren't getting lost because I don't eat in the mornings, I get up and take time to eat before a hard workout (unless the plan or prep calls for fasted cardio.) you can do it too! 

Jump in the shower!

This works for a lot of people, like my husband for example, and i'll even agree on days that I don't workout in the morning. It alerts your senses and wakes you from the sometimes groggy feeling you have when you wake up.  Plus an invigorating scent for bodywash like my favorite, White Citrus, will be energizing and set the tone for coffee and breakfast time! Plus who doesn't want to have time to enjoy a warm shower in the morning? I don't like to rush, so count me in!

Energize your metabolism

I LOVE breakfast! Can I get an amen?? And if you love breakfast as much as I do - why wouldn't you want to eat a good meal before your workout or before you head out the door to work? To truly get the most benefit out of your metabolism, you need to eat within 30 minutes of waking up - seriously. So with that, here are a few of my favorite breakfast options and recipes! And most of these are tailored to my macros, so feel free to manipulate the portions. 

Breakfast Scramble with baby reds
How-to: I use 4-5 egg whites (on my plan), a few tbsps of pico, Flavor God seasoning (low sodium!) and low-sodium salt. Then I like to add spinach, tomato or pico, and the baby red potatoes (already prepped) to give more flavor!

Turn up the Tunes!!

I know in the gym I can go from tired and slow moving to upbeat and perky in a matter of minutes when I put my music in. I love having my Rhapsody playlist and Soundcloud for some Drum and Bass and techno on the right day! 

Here are a couple of my favorites lately! And my playlist ranges from Rock to metal, to pop and hip hop, techno, drum/bass, House, the list goes on! Anything to get you moving and humming along or dancing will obviously be enough to get your heart rate going through a workout, or make you feel good while you're getting ready!

And last but not least, 

Phone a friend

Now, at first I looked at this one and doubted this. But I often call my Mom or Dad sometimes on the way to work, or the hubby...especially when I was carpooling, carrying on a conversation for me is energizing and gets me thinking for the day ahead. For some, talking to people first thing is not easy; so take this one with a grain of salt. Being outgoing and an extrovert, people easily energize me in the mornings! One of my favorite things is to write a blog post in the morning to get my creative juices going. Or check out my instagram for the latest motivation that comes my way!

So there's a few tips to get you going in the morning and boost your not-so-morning-ness to chipper and ready to take on the world! Don't forget your coffee! ;)

Let me know what you think if you try out the recipes or apps!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekend recap + For the love of Lobster!

How's it going?? Hope everyone had a great Monday! 

After this weekend I would love to have had a few more days. It was just nice to relax after a not-super stressful week and just enjoy doing things with the hubs. 

Like Friday we went to eat Mexican. I had a simple taco salad fajita style, sans shell and taking the clump of cheese off too. Guac on the side and some chips and salsa! Always a good choice - meat, veggies, and chips if you love them like me lol. Then we went back home and just watched TV and I am pretty sure I studied some :)

Then Saturday I met a girlfriend at the gym for a truly awesome workout. My workouts lately with her have been though. I'll tell you having a workout partner can really make your workout great! 

Both of us were sleepy, kinda grouchy and even made coffee to drink on the way over! I never do that before my preworktout! I even went up in weight some and we just goof off and have a good time in the gym but still get a ton of ish done! Love it always. If you ever find a good workout buddy, don't miss out on the opportunity to have workouts with them. 

We had so much fun that I was about to do 2 things for cardio! WoW. Yeah, but in my bliss of an awesome workout I completely forgot about my other great gal friend waiting for me at the nail salon! Oops! 

But I made it just in time. I am IN LOVE with this color by the way! Plus it makes me look super tan which I am not lol. 

Then me and the hubs went to a local place my gal friend told me about that was supposed to have some awesome pasta salad...So I planned to have this as my carbs.

And it was pretty awesome. I had a plain chicken breast with mushrooms on top, the the green beans (which were a little greasy :/ ) then the pasta which was good.  

And I definitely attempted to take a good pic of my makeup which just didn't turn out... I used a taupe shimmer with brown in the crease and a cream shimmer on top; then aqua blue liner underneath and it just wouldn't photograph. 

And I had to take a selfie - bathroom lighting was too good! ;) 

But Facebook photos are definitely not...

After dinner, we went to see The Gift movie, which wasn't bad at all. It was a good suspense movie; but the ending could have used some work. It was pretty messed up which was expected but also was not scary like I heard one person mention. Looking for a good suspense? This is your movie. 

And Sunday we really didn't want the day to end. We ate breakfast then went to the range to go shooting. I'm actually not a bad shot but still need to work on getting more comfortable pulling the trigger. 

mine are all but the two on the side of the head! :)

Hand-guns are just not my comfort zone, but I'm getting better especially thanks to my hubby for being super patient and teaching me. 

Then we cooked (meal prepped for me) and made seafood and veggies for dinner. So I want to finally share the super easy lobster recipe that my hubby makes SO well! So I am pulling from him to help with this. 

For the Love of Lobster

You'll need:

2 Lobster tails
¼ cup Lemon Juice
2-3 tbsp Olive oil
 ½ tsp White pepper
1 tsp Paprika
 ½ tsp Lower-sodium salt
a dish to marinate

You'll need to pull the lobster out of the tails - but keep the tails. Then in your dish, combine all ingredients in the dish and whisk together. Then place the lobster tails in the marinade (cover in it) and let soak (in fridge) for 15-20 minutes. Then place the lobsters back in their tails. On the grill, heat to 350 and cook lobsters for 15 minutes of so or until a white in color (hubs says golden looking). And the come out AH-mazing!!!! Seriously go buy lobster this weekend and try it. Ours are usually between 5.99/7.99 a piece which is pretty good for sale!

Then I also want to share my easy roasted veggies method for a combination quick and easy healthy dinner! 

Easy Veggies!

You'll need: 

The veggies you have in the fridge ;)
I used: 

1 ½ Zucchini squash
1 yellow squash
broccoli chopped
mushrooms if you have them (mine were bad :( )

Then to season:

Olive oil
Garlic (mine was a mix)
season salt/low sodium salt
garlic/Onion and Herbs Ms. Dash if you want (they make both)

I used what you see plus a little season salt. 

Place chopped veggies in the bag, 1 tbsp olive oil, the shake seasonings in the bag! I don't measure...

Preheat your oven to 350 thenplace veggies on foil sheet for easy clean-up, on a baking sheet. Place in over for 15 minutes and check after. Any longer, they get mushy and I don't like mushy veggies :)

Then you have an easy and super yummy dinner for two! And we also made shrimp that I'll be sharing the recipe for later too! basically a white wine and spices sauce that is SO good too! Can you tell we love seafood?? 

Also, another thing I've been loving...

Yes Arctic Zero Ice Cream!!!! YAS! Very low fat, lighter tastes but still has the satisfaction of ice cream and still lets you have abs too! I haven't tried the PB Chocolate yet but I am super excited to! Key lime is by far one of my favorites if not the favorite! Which ones do you love??? I am on the hunt for cookie dough chip! 

Hope you guys have a great week!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Strawberry Protein Breakfast Squares!

Hi there long lost blog family! Yeah we won't even get into the why Rachel can't keep up with blogging!  😳😁 

Anyways! I made a great little breakfast recipe that turned out good last night and wanted to share it with you! 

It turned  out pretty good- I may do some tweaking to it or cook them longer next time - Ill recommend what I think is best below - but overall it filled me up and tasted really good this morning!

Strawberry Protein Squares! 

And I ate them for breakfast ;)

And the recipe is really easy too! 

What you'll need:

1 C Quick Cooking oats
1 C unsweetened Applesauce
1 Scoop SLAP Vanilla Whey Protein
4-5 packets Truvia
1 heaping spoon of greek yogurt - I use Fage 0% Fat
1 C All Whites pasturized egg whites OR 4 Raw Egg Whites

I separated mine into 7 squares in my "larger-squares" muffin tin (if that makes sense) so it would make tw days. Next time, I may use smaller portions or a regular muffin tin. I filled each square spot up to ¾ the way full. Then bake on 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes checking the last 10 minutes with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. 

And like I said, they were easy to grab and go because I ate while doing 50 other things; and sweet enough t hit the spot! Try it out and let me know what you think!!

Have a great rest of the Monday!