5 Recovery Tips Post The Big Game

I know how you are feeling, we’ve all been there. Perhaps in lieu of the Big Game you had a bit too much to drink or ate some crappy food that was “oh so good” in the moment, or maybe it’s a combo of both.  Either way, it’s Monday morning, which is hard enough as is let alone after a late evening full of indulgences. Have no fear, I got your back. Here’s 5 recovery tips to get you feeling back to your old self in no time.

  1. Drink a LOT of water.  Add lemon to your water, it’s a great natural detoxifier and the extra water will help remove the bloat from excess sodium in alcohol, chips and dips.
  2. Have a high protein breakfast. Think a serving of greek yogurt with some berries or 2 eggs and a whole wheat or sprouted toast.
  3. Drink a detox tea. I LOVE Yogi’s detox tea variations. Every time I’ve had a bit too much and I drink it I feel 100x better afterwards. Plus the added fluid helps flush out even more toxins.
  4. Eat you veggies. However you like them whether it’s raw, steamed, or sauteed. While loading up on veggies won’t counteract what you had last night it will help fill you up and get you back on the right track for the week.
  5. Go to bed early. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting enough sleep (think 7-9 hrs). When we sleep our body recovers itself, repairs hormones, and recharges your body and mind.

While these 5 tips seem simple they really are effective. I encourage you to try them out the next time you’ve had a rough night whether that was last night or sometime in the future.

Would love to hear what other recovery tips have you tried? Which work the best?  Comment below.

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3 Easy Ways to Reduce Inflammation Post Workout

You did it, you dedicated the time to work out. However, well knowing in the back of your mind that tomorrow if not later that day you are going to be SORE…  sometimes that alone is enough to instill fear into us to just avoid exercise all together. “I don’t want to be too sore” or “I’m worried I won’t be able to bend or lift or get out of bed tomorrow!”.  I’ve been there, I am currently there and can tell you first hand that whether it’s your first workout in a while or you go daily muscle soreness is inevitable but how you treat it can make a world of difference.

I mean, what is muscle soreness anyways and why does it happen? Simply put, the act of working out creates microscopic tears in muscle fibers.  Because of the tears some inflammation also occurs.  It is both the tears and inflammation that cause the pain or “soreness” we feel later that day or even for a few days afterwards. Now don’t think this is terrible or “I don’t want to stress my body out like that!”.  It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Your body needs to go through this process if you want to grow muscle and see changes in your body composition.  It’s how you deal with/react to what is occurring that can make or break your soreness levels.

So what can you do about it to lessen the inflammation and pain? I have 3 things I like to do after I lift heavy or take a strenuous class like Boot camp or Kickboxing. These work great for me in reducing if not eliminating my muscle soreness so if you are looking for some ways to nip your inflammation in the butt before it rears its ugly head check out the 3 “Honey Crunched recovery essentials” below:

  • Yogi Muscle Recovery Tea – A tasty green tea blend I love to drink post workout. It’s rich with antioxidants and includes turmeric root and Devil’s Claw which is a great herb that targets muscle pain, tendonitis, back pain, and arthritis. So not only is this tea tasty it addresses both inflammation and muscles tears/pain in one cup! Plus Yogi tea’s all include lovely inspirational saying on their tea bags.

 

 

  • Epsom salt bath –  What can be more relaxing/de-stressing than a nice hot bath to loosen up sore muscles? Adding Epsom salt to the bath takes it up to the next level. Epsom salt has been used forever on athletes and those with stiff joint pain like for arthritis. This salt is not to be confused with bath salts, table salt, dead sea salt…. epsom salt when emerged in water breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. Stress whether from physical activity or mentally deplete magnesium levels which by sitting in an epsom salt bath are reabsorbed into your body.  Added perk you walk out of the bath loose, relaxed and in a happy state of mind.
  • Tumeric spice – Tumeric has been used as a medicine for centuries to treat wounds, infections, colds, and liver disease. Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound in turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

So these are the 3 things I do that work for me after a hard workout.  What do you do to help minimize muscle pain/inflammation after working out?  Have you tried any of the suggestions above?  Let us know!

 

 

5 ways to stick to your New Year’s resolution

goals

As the New Year closes in on us, I have been hearing many people proclaim: “this is the year for me to get healthy” or “I really want to start working out again” or “I need to lose these extra 10 lbs this year”.  Which is great to hear!  It means you are thinking about yourself and your body and what you need or “should” do to reach your goals and that’s why I want to help you.

There is nothing more demotivating than having this idealistic goal and bright vision for what you want to achieve and along comes some hurdle or roadblock that kiboshes the whole damn thing leaving you feel like a little kid whose birthday party just got rained on. Maybe life gets in the way or you get sick or injured or you just frankly encounter the winter blues, regardless from what I have seen this is a vicious cycle and this is where MANY people get stuck.  Why do you think people talk about how everyone rushes to the gym Jan to about mid March then all of a sudden those folks are gone and only the veterans are left behind for the rest of the year.  It’s because your human, not a machine and everyone is built differently both mentally and physically.

So now that we cleared the air let’s get into the meat of the topic… how can you KEEP your goals?  You know, honestly I struggle with the same thing…I mean I have 2 jobs one which consumes between commuting making it a 10-12 hr day 5 days a week, I have a daughter to take care of and get to classes/homework/play time, I have a house to clean, bills to pay, groceries to get the list goes on….  but what I feel is the key to my success in maintaining my exercise and healthy habits is that I take as much time in between all of the above for me.  Listen, eating healthy is not just a cool thing and working out won’t just help you omit the cookies you ate.  It is SOOO much more than that….  eating healthy fuels your brain, your cells, your hair/skin/mental capability the list goes on not to mention many health foods have cancer fighting benefits or lower risks for certain diseases…  same with exercise it’s not just a vanity thing there are  very real and proven facts about the roll of excess fat on our body and how especially for certain body types it can be a major health red flag.

Here are my 5 tips to help you sustain your New Years Resolution:

  1. Write down one strong resolution/goal and next to it a list of a few pro’s and cons to keeping/breaking it.
  2. Start slow –  diving in 6 days a week to the gym or eating only plants after your carnivorous diet is a recipe for disaster
  3. Focus on the long term benefits 
  4. Tell others – there is something to say about sharing our goals and holding each other accountable – that alone is motivating
  5. Keep going – yes there will be setbacks but take those to refocus or scale down your efforts but don’t just stop and throw the towel in…

I challenge you to go beyond the superficial goals of “losing weight”, “working out”, “buying a gym membership. Dig deeper and define the why, write it down and most importantly hold yourself accountable. We expect others to keep their word when making commitments or promises to us why would we not expect the same from ourselves?  I believe in all of you. Let’s make 2018 the year to remember. You got this!

 


 

What’s your motivation? 

As 2018 is right around the corner it’s important for us to set our intentions for the new year. In the video below I discuss motivation and why it’s essential in helping you meet and exceed your goals.

Watch the video and then I’d love to hear from you…what are your goals for 2018 (health related or not) and the motivation behind them?

 

5 Holiday Mindfulness Tips

Mindfulness

Happy turkey day Honey Crunchers! We’re back once again to that oh so awesome time of year.  A time for celebrating the three F’s: great food, friends, and family. While the holiday season is filled with joy there is an undeniable sense of stress and anxiety that seems to come along with it.  But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Today’s post is  centered around one simple concept: mindfulness. What exactly is mindfulness? According to Merriam Webster mindfulness can be defined as:

  • the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something
  • a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

So therefore mindfulness means being truly present. While both of those definitions sound great, it’s a lot harder to actually put those words into practice. Whether you are visiting family, hosting family, or just spending time to relax on your own, here are 5 top suggestions for putting mindfulness to action:

  1. Be present when visiting family – put away your phone, make eye contact and really listen to what others are saying (this one is hard for me!)
  2. Eat mindfully – not only will this help you not over indulge, but will heighten your senses and allow you to be present in that moment
  3. Take deep breaths – Feeling extra anxious or stressed?  Take 3 deep breaths, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
  4. Take a walk through nature – Bundle up and get outside, even if it’s a walk around the block. Observe your surroundings the sounds, smells, and sights
  5. Stretch or do yoga – Even 10 minutes will force you to focus solely on what stretch you are doing or pose your holding.  Not only will this help your body but your mind as well.

 

Are Scary Cravings Haunting Your Halloween?

halloween candy

Halloween is just a few days around the corner and I don’t know about you but anytime I even pass my dining room table I get a strong whiff of chocolate coming from the candy bags I have sitting there awaiting the big event. I will say yes it is totally hard to resist opening up the bags early just to have “one”. Not to mention if I do open the bag the rest of my family takes that as a sign the candy is free for all!  Then next thing I know I’m out of candy before the trick or treaters even arrive!

No joke, short story… last year I had the candy neatly set in a bowl by the front door and I was diligently working from home at my computer that day in the other room.  My daughter who was 7 at the time was watching Halloween movies on tv.  An hour goes by and it’s time to go trick or treating and she’s like “my tummy hurts”.  Ok… so why does your tummy hurt you haven’t eaten a bunch of candy yet.  I shit you not, she comes clean and shows me a hidden garbage can with 10 FUN SIZE SNICKER wrappers!  WTH?!?  No wonder the tummy ache… needless to say the candy will NOT be placed anywhere near the room my child is in this year.  The little thief!

Anyways, my point for today is to let you know that it is OK to have Halloween candy and not sabotage your diet. In fact denying yourself the candy actually could cause more harm but causing unnecessary stress….  Now this does not give you the license to eat the whole damn bowl but 1 or two “fun” or “bite-size” treats will not destroy your world.  If I was counting calories then I’d say 100 calories in candy on Halloween would be a good budget just eat clean for the rest of the day/calories AND – this is important – do not continue to eat candy daily until you finish what your trick or treaters did not!!  Get rid of that shit, take it to work, give it to a homeless person, or just dump it.  The faster you remove it from your house the less temptation there will be.

Did you know that according to a study from the journal Appetite the actual mood boost you obtain from eating that snickers or reese’s is a whopping 3 minutes???  Yup 3 minutes of pleasure…so knowing that make sure you ask yourself is it really worth it?  Again maybe the answer is yes for the first piece, but do you really need that 2nd, 3rd, 4th?

So now, we cleared the air about what is and is not acceptable in the realm of candy eating habits.  Let’s look closer at if you are going to indulge your top choices to go for:

The below calories are for 1 “fun size” treat:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter cup – 110 calories
  • Butterfinger – 83 calories
  • Twix – 80 calories
  • Snickers – 80 calories
  • M&M’s – 73 calories
  • Kit Kat – 70 calories
  • Nerds – 50 calories

If you’d like to see the full list, check it out in this Pop Sugar article: Calories in Halloween Candy

Keep in mind a lot of these candy favorites also have a “bite-size” version.  That would be the smarter way to indulge in let’s say a snickers and butterfinger with minimal guilt.

To sum it up, don’t stress, enjoy the holiday and treat yourself as long as it’s in moderation!

What’s your favorite Halloween candy???

 

 

Workout Review: 21 Day Fix Extreme

21 Day FixExtreme

It only takes 21 days to create a habit.  By now many of you are well familiar with Autumn’s first life changing program, 21 Day Fix.  The 21 Day Fix fitness program has been sweeping the nation helping everyday people get back on the horse through cleaning up their nutrition and exercise habits.  But for those of you that maybe are in the been there done that stage, or perhaps are wanting something a bit more challenging, a bit more extreme, Autumn released the second training series based on 21 Day Fix called 21 Day Fix Extreme.  And it’s no joke.

The title says it all.  This, my friends, is not for the faint of heart.  If you found yourself in a pool of sweat during the original 21 Day Fix prepare yourself as this program will have you literally sweating buckets and blasting through plateau’s.  Much like 21 Day Fix, Extreme features the best of cardio, resistance training, and those feel good classes like pilates and yoga for a full body transformation. The eating plan is similar to  21 Day Fix with the containers however it’s even more strict cutting out loving elements like your wine and guilty pleasure of dessert.

What are my thoughts?  I LOVED it.  In fact after completing the program two years ago I still incorporate at least one of her workouts like the lower body workouts, cardio fix extreme, pilates etc within my weekly routine. I really like how she diversified the timing for each exercise.  Before she primarily used the one minute interval approach, which that’s fine but i get bored easily and need changing interval times, exercises etc to keep me engaged.  21 Day Fix Extreme included that.  She mixed things up with one minute intervals, 30 second intervals etc.  Bottom line, if you have been working out on a somewhat regular basis for >6 months this is an excellent workout for shaping up for that wedding, bikini season, or a random trip to the islands.

Let’s take a deeper look into the workouts and nutrition, shall we?

# of workouts included: 6 main workouts, 3 additional workouts

Cardio workouts:

  • Plyo Fix Extreme – jumping, jumping, and more jumping…. oh but with weights, like 10lb weights!
  • Cardio Fix Extreme – cardio intervals mixed with strength intervals
  • the Fix Challenge – no equipment, 13 moves in a pyramid style routine
  • ABC Extreme – Abs, Butt and cardio to finish you off

Resistance Routines:

  • Lower Body Fix Extreme – Every muscle in your lower half will feel it 5 minutes in, sooo good.
  • Upper Body Fix Extreme
  • Dirty 30 Extreme – upper, lower and abs
  • Power Strength Extreme

Flexibility and Core: 

  • Pilates Fix Extreme –  pilates on steroids with bands
  • Yoga Fix Extreme – dynamic yoga flow
  • 10 Min hardCORE abs

I’m not going to go into crazy details on the nutrition plan. Fact of the matter is, I love the containers. I use them daily to transport things to and from work or anytime i need a quick measurement on something but I do not live and die by this plan. If you do not eat the cleanest or are trying to diversify your eating habits then I do recommend you give the nutrition program a chance as it can really help you understand the fundamentals of what you are eating and why and it takes the guesswork out of prepping meals for the week.

Want more insight into the program itself or the nutrition?  There are a lot of great reviews out on the web.  Here are a few of my favorites I recommend checking out:

21 Day Fix Extreme – A Review From a P90X Junkie and Marathoner

How do I get ripped?

The Dysfunctional Parrot – Review: 21 Day Fix Extreme

So did you try this program?  If so what are your thoughts and would you recommend it to a friend?