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Self Love Every Day


We’re about four weeks out from the holiday season now and some people are still holding on to more than just their Christmas lights. Well you may be one of those families that keep their lights up well into February (Guilty! Lol) I’m going to be talking about a little more than Christmas decorations! I’m talking holiday weight! But, I say that with the utmost love and appreciation! Here is why and how you can start practicing self-love TODAY!

OK ladies, we all know it happens to everyone! When someone mutters the phrase ‘holiday weight’ we don’t naively look at them with confusion in our eyes and ask “What’s that?!” No, it’s more like an eye roll followed by a sigh as we meet their frustration with a “Here we go!” or “Tell me about it!” I mean let’s be serious! If someone gave you the choice of sitting on the beach sipping cocktails or sweating it out at the gym which would you choose? (I’m a bit of a workout freak but guuuurl I would still choose the beach cocktails!) It’s the exact same thing when it comes to the holidays. Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year’s all full of delicious, rich, heavy, did I say delicious? Foods! Let’s not forget all the mulled wine, spiked nog, and seasonal brews! We have the choice of healthy veggies and lean protein or the previously mentioned food! I don’t even have to ask which you would choose!

The biggest thing though, is not the fact that we may have overindulged during the holidays but the loved ones we shared the food and great times with. During this Christmas I thought “I can totally make it through the holidays eating healthy, just watch” and I made it through Thanksgiving great! I made a healthy vegan Thanksgiving lentil loaf and nice cream for dessert and I silently gave myself a HUGE pat on the back. But, as Christmas approached it became harder and harder for me to resist temptation. We were surrounded by family, as we are every Christmas. Our time together was filled with beer and game nights, skiing trips, and day trips. Also, my mom is a baking machine so every time I walked into her house I almost had to shield my eyes from all the goodies that littered the tables and counter tops! Occasionally, believe it or not, I gave in and tried some of her creations and let me tell you, NO REGRETS!. On Christmas day we went snowboarding in a town that was MUCH smaller than I had remembered and since it was Christmas day there was nothing open but the ski resort. If you have ever been a vegan at a small ski resort you will know there is NOTHING they can fry up for you but potatoes! So, Christmas dinner consisted of canned re-fried beans and beer! But, it was all OK! The memories spent with family, even in the most unhealthy eating situations (canned beans and beer lol!), is far more valuable than a pat on the back for eating healthy all Christmas.

I’m sure your story was pretty similar too. Be proud that you spent the time with family. Be proud that you allowed yourself to enjoy small indulgences. I’m not saying it’s OK to OVER-indulge but it is OK to say yes to dessert or add something a little unhealthy to your plate on occasion. This could easily go overboard too and be turned into eating crap all day, every day, for the entire month of December. If that happened to you, oh well. Shit happens! But like I mentioned in my post “Resolutions Don’t Work” don’t beat yourself up over it. We cannot change what happened yesterday, or last month, or last year but we can change what we do right now, in this moment and how we will work on things tomorrow.

So how do you love yourself today despite how you may feel or how many pounds you gained?

  1. Stop obsessing over the extra weight!

I know your clothes may feel a little tight and you may feel like a bloated blimp. Believe me I have been there and I know I will be there again. It’s just normal. Most women will experience weight fluctuations throughout their life and it’s just how it goes. So, you can either obsess over the idea (or reality) of gaining weight, for the rest of your life or just start accepting the fact right here, right now. It’s OK!

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  1. You are still the beautiful and amazing you!

Just because you put on a few extra pounds doesn’t mean you are any less beautiful. I know when I gain a little weight I tend to fall into the obsession trap and worry so much about how frumpy and dumpy I feel instead of focusing on enjoying life despite how I perceive myself. When I gain a few pounds I often feel like I have to hide myself from the world until I am once again satisfied with my weight and how I look. THIS IS JUST BULLSHIT! Ladies, we need to stop letting our size determine how much we enjoy life from one day to the next. Housed within that beautiful shell is an even more beautiful soul and you need to let that shine as if the world depended on it! Cause guess what, it kind of does… but really, when we are so obsessed over how we look, which causes us to hide ourselves, we miss opportunities to experience the beauty of life or opportunities to brighten someone else’s day because we are stuck in a cloud we created ourselves. A cloud that not only did we create but we are the only ones who see it! No one else cares about the 5,10,15 extra pounds you put on they just see your personality, your kindness, your light, and how you make them feel. And quite honestly if someone is judging you for your weight or making rude comments about it, Forget them! You sure as hell don’t need that kind of person or negativity in your life.

  1. Where you are now does not determine where you will be tomorrow.

One of the biggest affirmations I say to myself when I feel yucky is “The more I love and accept myself, the more motivated I become to accomplish my goals” OK that’s a lie I’m not even that eloquent in my own head, it’s more like “Yeah I’m a little chunkier today, but I’m going to crush this workout and feel better tomorrow!” Your mindset absolutely affects your success today. So put your big girl panties on and get past the barriers you are creating for yourself and focus on crushing your diet, workout, or insecurities today! Then, wake up tomorrow and do it all over again! The best way to succeed from Monday to Friday is not to focus on Friday but to do your best today and take care of tomorrow when it comes.

  1. Finally, find small ways to show yourself love and appreciation today

Appreciate your beauty today. That might be something as simple as picking one thing to love about your body today and focusing on that throughout the day! Maybe you choose to do something that makes you feel beautiful like dressing up and going out or picking an activity that you excel at like singing, playing an instrument, dancing, or practicing yoga. Whatever it may be, do it, and appreciate your beauty and uniqueness.dba79b62-b9d6-4c88-a39a-66a0fc53daf8Now go out there and rock it girl! Own where you are then show yourself how much you are capable of accomplishing when you put all the insecurities and worries aside. Let your journey be an inspiration to others.

You ARE beautiful. Let it shine!

Have a wonderful #SelfLoveSaturday!

Sending lots of love your way,

Andrea B Fit

Vegan Mighty Bowls

We’re a little over half way through the month of January now and if you set any fitness related New Year’s Resolutions you may be getting burnt out with your bland ‘healthy eating’ recipes. Here is a SUPER simple and delicious recipe to add to your stash for those busy weeks or when you just don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. Now, I could go on and on about why I like the recipe or how it fits into my lifestyle but, let’s be honest you guys are just going to scroll right past it to get to the goods, right?! I’ll save my breath and your time and just hand over the goods now! 😉

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My lunchtime mighty bowl! (I used kidney beans here but black beans are my preference!)

Ingredients:

Organic Quinoa Cooked

Organic Black Beans (canned or dry; if dry cook ahead of time)

Organic Kale

 

Peanut Sauce:

1 tbsp Peanut Butter

2 tbsp Sesame Oil

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 tsp Sesame Seeds

 

Preparation: Cook quinoa according to package usually 2:1 water to quinoa. Chop kale into 1-2 inch pieces. Place kale in a large pan with about 1 tbsp of water over medium heat. Steam until wilted. Prepare Peanut sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small container.

To Serve: In a bowl place 0.5 cups of quinoa, top with desired amount of steamed kale and black beans (about 0.5 cup) top with peanut sauce and enjoy! Serve hot.

In a serving that includes 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup kale, and 1.5 Tbs Peanut Sauce the nutritional value comes out to: Calories: 516 Protein: 26g Carbs: 96g Fat:8g

This is my go-to, quick, delicious and healthy meal plan item! They are so quick to make, delicious, and filling! Great for pre- or post-workout! 😉 If you try the recipe please share your thoughts!

Have a beautiful day! Lots of love,

Andrea B Fit

Stop Doing Nothing!

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your week!

I’m coming to you super excited and pumped to share some great news! Last night I finally became a Certified Personal Trainer! This is pretty exciting not only because I want to help so many people accomplish their fitness goals and feel great about their bodies but also because this has been a goal of mine for so many years! Accomplishing this goal had me thinking of all the other goals we seem to put aside because of life, money, energy, motivation, [Enter Excuse Here] etc. And when I finally completed something I have wanted for a long time I can’t help but think “Why did I wait so long?!”

How many times have we put aside goals possibly because we are too busy or maybe we have a false perception of your goals just being too big or challenging? Our fear often leads to inactivity and eventually we stop looking ahead at the goals we want and instead focus on complaining about the things in our life we don’t want and wish we could change. Or maybe we are just lead to complacency which is even more dangerous than failure!

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For me, my excuse or complacency was rooted in my focus on school. While I’m not saying that I should have been less absorbed or focused on school, I am suggesting the reality that school does not take up 100% of every day. I cannot tell you how many times I thought “I’m too busy right now to focus on that” which was a lie! I was never too busy for those college parties, or to waste a weekend away being lazy, or to watch TV! So why didn’t I just GET IT DONE?!

The reality is, none of this can be changed and I’m OK with that! I’m excited and overjoyed with my accomplishment and my focus is still on the future! So, how does this pertain to you? Well, it’s January and maybe you have set a resolution this year that you are ready to see happen this year! That is amazing! What are you doing right now, this moment to help in your success? It’s also Monday and if you told yourself Friday night as you were out having drinks and delicious oil drenched salty foods with friends that Monday you were going to start eating healthy. How are you planning for today to help you succeed in this goal? Whatever it may be that you want to accomplish start today! Yes, I understand you are busy! But, let’s be honest the problem is not limitation of time it’s a limitation of desire! Because if we want something enough we make time for it!! So make time for YOU today!

“The Problem is not limitation of time it’s limitation of desire!”

Finally my success is also potential for your success as well. I will soon be offering online personal training packages that you can take advantage of to help you accomplish your health goals! If you’re looking for personalized meal planning, training plans, one on one consultation, motivation or yoga guidance I’m your girl!! It is time you stop making excuses and start seeing real results! If you are interested in any of these tools to kick off your success send me an email and I will be sure to contact you first as things get rolling! Until then keep of the great work and keep setting small goals that will get your closer to your BIG goal this year!

Have a beautiful Monday! I hope today you show yourself and your body a little love and appreciation! Because you deserve it!

Lots of love,

Andrea B Fit

Vegan Nice Cream Recipe

Recipe Time! Since transitioning to a plant-based diet over 6 years ago I quickly learned that you have to be creative when it comes to cooking meals! All the time, every day, constantly trying new things. Which is great because you learn how to season and cook so many different, delicious and healthy foods that you can add to your vegan repertoire. If you’re not being creative you find you are eating a lot of the same boring beans, salads, soups etc. and nobody wants that.

If you’re anything like me the simpler the better! Sometimes we just don’t have the time to cook an amazing complicated meal but we still want the AMAZING! Don’t get me wrong I like to get a little crazy in the kitchen every now and then but on the daily, healthy, simple and delicious are just want I need.

For those of you out there with a sweet tooth this is the PERFECT simple, healthy, and delicious recipe! Vegan Nice Cream. Just like regular ice cream but a nicer plant-based version ;). The best part is it’s made from frozen bananas! It really doesn’t get any healthier than that!

I know what you’re thinking…” frozen banana ice cream? Come on, when I want ice cream I’m craving junk! This can’t possibly satisfy that craving.” Oh, but it can! And it will. I cannot tell you how many skeptical, dairy-loving, people I have made this for who later became Nice Cream believers! So, what have you got to lose? You might just gain a healthy ice cream alternative you can enjoy totally guilt-free!!!

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 Frozen Bananas (freeze without the peel!)

1 Cup Almond Milk (can use hemp, soy, coconut etc.)

Add-ins of your choice!

Today I chose to add a half scoop of Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein in Chocolate and some cacao nibs

Other options: frozen or fresh berries, peanut butter, graham crackers, nuts, mint extract and chocolate chips, coconut flakes, espresso, the possibilities are endless!!

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Method:

Place bananas, nut milk, and add-ins you intend to puree into the nice cream into a blender. Blend until smooth. You may need to stop the blender periodically and mix with a spatula to ensure all banana chunks get blended. Pour into a bowl, top with additional goodies, and enjoy!

Those interested in the macros of 1/2 this recipe: Calories: 250 Carbs: 50 Protein: 9 Fat: 3.5 perfect fit into the high-carb, plant-based diet!

This seriously takes 5 minutes if you freeze the bananas ahead of time. When my bananas start to turn from perfect to kind of squishy that’s about the time I place them into the “To Be Nice Cream” freezer bin and they are ready for the next time I’m craving sweets!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe! Try it out and let me know how it goes! If you have some awesome Nice Cream recipes I’d love to hear about them!

Have a beautiful day!

 

Andrea B Fit

Resolutions Don’t Work

It’s that time of year again! When many people around the world are anticipating the New Year, brainstorming which resolutions they are going to set to FINALLY make a change in their lives. Someone out there is standing in front of the mirror repeating the mantra “New Year, New You! New Year, New You!” Many of those resolutions are fitness related as well, and gym rats around the world are sighing knowing that in two days the gym will be flooded with people ready to get in shape! Which is great! But we also know the gym will only stay busy for about 2-4 weeks, then the excitement of resolutions fade and many people go back to their normal routines. This DOES NOT have to be you!!! You CAN reach your fitness and health goals! I’m going to tell you why resolutions don’t work and give you simple steps to start working toward your goals today.

Do resolutions really work? No. Why not? I believe there are 3 big reasons that resolutions don’t work: 1. Overindulgence 2. Cold Turkey doesn’t lead to consistency 3. Expectations are too high.

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Let’s talk about the first, overindulgence. The holidays are almost over and even though I’m sure all of us have done our share of overindulgence over Christmas this is not the kind of overindulgence I am referring to.

Many years ago when I was struggling to get fit I was an “I’ll start again Monday” person. You all know what I’m talking about, you messed up today and ate too much junk or failed to get a workout in and instead of trying to do your best starting right now you say “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll start Monday”. Then what do you do? Make your poor decision today WORTH IT and have another piece of pizza, cookie, drink, etc. You wake up tomorrow morning in a food or booze hangover and the first thing you want to do is work out and eat healthy… NOT!! Some of us deal with this crap feeling by eating more junk because we have already fed the sugar addicted monster or we resort to depravity thinking we can somehow undo our poor decisions last night back only eating celery all day or eating less than we normally would.

It’s the SAME cycle with it comes to New Year’s resolutions! How many people out there are ‘getting rid’ of holiday goodies by consuming them so they won’t be a temptation in the New Year? Or making 2016 worth it by overindulging so you can start over in 2017. DON’T DO IT!! I’ve been there and the cycle will not end until you do something different. Put that junk DOWN and step away! You will thank me later. 😉

The second big reason resolutions don’t work is The cold turkey method never leads to consistency. The reason people make resolutions is because they have taken a look at their vices in 2016 and have decided they don’t want to carry these another day. It really is a beautiful thing to have the desire to better yourself and release things that are no longer healthy for you or those around you. Goals are great! But, we have to realize that the bad habits we have were not created nor sustained in one night. The habits we have are a part of our routine and these are going to take time to change. Thinking your love of junk food is going to change to a love of veggies or that your hatred for cardio workouts is going to turn into passion overnight is just not realistic! Don’t wait to make a cold turkey decision on New Year’s Day set small goals today and start making real changes. Maybe you want to swap your love of ice cream for a healthier banana nice-cream, or your love of soda for kombucha or water with fruit or maybe start a daily walk. All of these goals are accessible to you right now!

Finally let’s talk about our Expectations. When we set New Year’s Resolutions we really are expecting a whole lot from ourselves. To think that you can set a HUGE goal on a whim to sustain for a whole YEAR is just crazy! Let your goals be HUGE no doubt, but giving yourself a shorter time frame will help you succeed. Choosing to do a 5k, 10k or half marathon in March is more likely to motivate you then setting a goal to lose 50 pounds by December 2017. Heck, sometimes my goal is to get to the end of my day and be happy that I fed my body healthy, nourishing food. You are capable of anything when you set your mind to it! Set goals within a time frame and crush them! By June you will be so proud of all you have accomplish and wonder why you ever limited yourself to one goal for the whole year.

When New Year’s Eve rolls around don’t just set a goal because it’s ‘what people do’ instead start considering today what you are passionate about. Think about something that you want so bad that you will not end THIS day without taking a step in that direction. Then GO FOR IT!!! You CAN and WILL achieve those amazing goals!

So, what can we do today? When I have set backs these are the simple things I focus on to get myself back on track the healthy way and in a way that will set me up for success in the long run.

First, Start Eating Better NOW. Whether you started or ended your day with a bad decision the good news is this decision does not have to ruin your entire day. So what if you gave in to temptation or decided to be lazy. Guess what!?… YOU’RE HUMAN! We have ALL been there I don’t care how fit the person is everyone gives in sometimes! And it’s OK! Enjoy the splurge just don’t make it a habit and DEFINITELY don’t get into the ‘I’ll start tomorrow mentality”. Choose better now, if it was lunch that tripped you up have a healthy dinner. If it was dinner make sure to hydrate and set a goal to eat better tomorrow. The most important thing is DO NOT beat yourself up. You made a mistake so what you are still on track if you accept the splurge then be encouraged that you are capable of attaining your goals.

Second, Plan Ahead.  Start planning to eat healthy and get active tomorrow. Maybe that means getting in the kitchen and preparing your meals for tomorrow so you don’t even have to think about your nutrition during a busy day. Maybe that means scheduling and planning your workout. Setting your sights on tomorrow is one step closer to success. Don’t stop there either, when tomorrow comes and goes begin planning for the day after tomorrow! You will be surprised how quickly a week of healthy decisions goes by when you focus on one day at a time.

Lastly, Get Moving! When I have a day of that I know I didn’t make the best food choices I feel yucky. I feel as though my ass grew 2 sizes and my energy is just crap. I can either choose to sit my (now 2 sizes bigger) ass on the couch and be lazy or I can get it moving! No matter how crappy the start of your workout feels the great news is you will ALWAYS feel better after it! Just trust me in this! I’m not saying your workout has to be an all-out heart pumping, sweat dripping, balls to the wall activity! Just get moving. My favorite thing to do when I just don’t want to work out is walk. Yup, just that simple get out a go for a walk. Not only will being outside put you in better spirits but getting your blood flowing will definitely make you feel like maybe your ass didn’t grow as much as you thought!

Alright so there are some thoughts about resolutions and my action plan to making sure a splurge does not ruin my week! I hope some of this information was helpful! Let me know what your action plan is! If you didn’t have one, try this one out and let me know how it goes! What will your goals be starting today??

Have a beautiful day and New Year! Even if you’re feeling a little extra tightness in your clothes after Christmas LOVE your body and yourself RIGHT NOW! And be encouraged that you are well on your way to accomplishing your goals!

Lots of love from 2016!

Andrea Brogdon

When Plans Change

A little over a week ago I wrote about staying fit while traveling. I was so excited to be sharing my own personal fitness tips to keep on track while traveling but plans got changed last minute. If you have been a mom for any length of time you know things NEVER go as planned. Yes, sometimes there is a vague resemblance of the plan you had all mapped out in your head but, most times you forget you ever made a plan to begin with, because well, that is the #MOMLIFE!You just need to have a backup plan for when plans change because we all know that they will!

A day before we were about to leave for our trip my son got a really nasty cough and was overall feeling terrible. In the end, we decided it was better for him and I to stay home. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to share real time updates about staying fit while away and let’s be honest, fabricating the circumstances wouldn’t be as helpful. So, I decided to share all my meals and workouts for the weekend which I will include in this entry.

First! The DISCLAIMER: while I may have done my regular workouts my diet was definitely out of the ordinary. Every mom knows that when your child is sick taking care of yourself is usually put on the back burner. Along with cleaning house, cooking dinners, doing laundry, bathing…. OK, we try not to skip the last one but let’s be real. IT’S EXHAUSTING!! Most days are filled with cuddles and trying to find something healthy AND appealing to try to force feed your sick child. Most nights are sleepless. This weekend pretty much consisted of eating what was either in the fridge or food that took less than 10 minutes to prepare. The GOOD NEWS though is that despite the circumstances your goals still do not have to go out the window! Here is what my weekend looked like:

Saturday:


Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana and raspberries
0.5 cups oats
Handful of raspberries
1 whole banana
Splash of almond milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Lunch: Brown Rice and Black Beans
0.5 Cup of Brown Rice
1 cup of Black beans
Bragg’s Aminos to season

Snacks: Handful of mixed nuts, Post workout protein: 20g (currently using Nutrasumma Fermented Pea Protein: I decided to try this one out and I am not a fan it mixes too thick it’s like having pudding)

Dinner: Homemade Posole Rojo
1.5 cups homemade posole (hominy+ vegetable broth)
Couple tablespoons red chile
Cilantro + lime

Workout: Each exercise was 5×5 (5 sets for 5 reps) all heavy weight with only 30 sec rest between sets
Squats
Lunge
Glute Kickbacks
Hip Thrust
Hamstring Curls

Sunday:


Breakfast: Acai Bowl
1 pack of Sambazon acai with protein
0.5 cup Oats
0.5 banana
Handful raspberries
Handful pomegranate
Coconut flakes

Lunch: Nachos
Organic Tortilla Chips
0.5 Cup organic vegetarian re-fried beans
0.5 Cup organic black beans
0.25 cup Beyond Meat ‘beef’ crumbles
0.25 cup Daiya mozzarella
Lettuce + tomato + cilantro
Salsa

Snacks: Post Workout Protein

Dinner: I did not have a real dinner this day because of sick baby plus I had almost been on my bum holding my son all day so I wasn’t my normal hungry self.
0.5 cup Black beans
1 piece of gluten free/ vegan millet and chia bread

Workout: All 3×8 and heavy weight, 30 sec rest between sets
Wide Grip pull ups
Bent over row
Single arm row
DB bicep curls
Single arm preacher curls
Hammer curls

So that’s what my weekend looked like in regards to fitness and nutrition. Of course it was full of much more mommy duties and trying to time my workout just right while the little one napped. Complete with constant check-ins to ensure he was not having trouble breathing or to ensure his fever wasn’t coming back. Hopefully soon I will get the opportunity to re-visit the traveling post but, for now I hope some of this may serve as helpful or encouraging in your own fitness journey!

Have a beautiful day!

Andrea

Stay Fit While Traveling

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So, I’m pretty excited to be doing a segment this weekend about staying fit while traveling! This is something that really never seemed super important to me or even pertinent to my life but recently has become more of a stumbling block! This year our family has unexpectedly traveled more than ever before and I started to find I had to start over every time we got back from our trip. Sometimes I even felt more behind in my fitness goals than before we left! That’s never a great feeling so I began being more conscious about my action plan to stay on track when away from home. Some of my biggest struggles while away from home are eating healthy (especially if you’re depending on restaurants as your main meal source), staying fit, and booze! Here are some of the things I do to solve these issues and stick to my goals.

Eating healthy while traveling can be so difficult sometimes because we don’t often plan ahead so we depend on other people to make our food. There are 4 problems with eating most of our meals out at restaurants 1. They drench almost everything in oil, butter, salt, or fat because let’s be honest it just tastes better! 2. Food quality is not always the best, I can personally count on one hand in almost every city I have visited the number of restaurants that use organic ingredients. So our food ends up not only being drenched in fat but chemicals!  3. Portions are completely out of control and we usually eat more than we would normally because what the hell were on vacation! 4. Lastly if we eat out for most of our meals we often end up choosing much richer and heavier options than were used to having for meals like pancakes for breakfast followed by a burger and fries for lunch and an equally heavy dinner.  I won’t start on the difficulty of eating out vegan.

The best way to avoid all of these issues is to PLAN AHEAD. Choose an affordable hotel or rental that has a refrigerator and some way of making hot water, at least, and at most an entire kitchen in which you can prep foods. Many affordable hotels will have a small refrigerator and coffee pot for heating water, this will allow you to keep foods such as yogurt, non-dairy milk, sandwich ingredients, etc. and the hot water will allow you to make healthy breakfasts such as oatmeal and organic coffee! If you are able to find a place with a full kitchen such as a home rental or room rental in a home where the kitchen is accessible then you’re set! I’m not saying every meal has to be prepped in a hotel or home but you can ensure you start your day right with a healthy breakfast and maybe pack lunch so you don’t have to stop when you’re busy sightseeing.

Exercise! Now this may be the LAST thing you think about when traveling and that’s OK! If your intention for staying active during your trip is walking while checking out the downtown area, that’s great! Just have the intention to move, walking is the BEST way to see a new place, hiking even better. But, if you are really set on a fitness goal of maybe leaning out, gaining muscle, or training for a race you want to do a little more than just walk while you’re away from home. So, if you have ever intended to hit the hotel gym while staying away from home you can relate with the disappointment that comes when you wake early, throw up your hair, and strap on your tennies to find a hotel gym that is well, lame. There are very few times that I have gone into a hotel gym and been overjoyed with the variety of equipment at my disposal. So what do you do in these situations?

Your first option is to get outside, maybe take a long run, do an outdoor HIIT workout, or take a hike. If your focus is strength building you just might need to search around for a gym. The great thing about finding a gym is that most gyms have free introductory time periods where you can try their gym for free for a couple of days up to a week! Take advantage of these! The other great thing about a gym is that most gyms also have childcare so if you have kids they can have play time while you get your workout in. I love checking out new gyms too there just something about going to a new place and seeing all the equipment, classes, and amenities that’s so exciting! Maybe that’s just me but I’m like a kid in a candy store when someone offers a gym tour!

And finally we come to one of my last struggles while traveling, alcohol! So, you may not know this about me yet but will quickly learn with time but I am a micro-brew addict! I love locally brewed beer, I just love beer but specifically local brews. When given the opportunity to try a new brewery I go nuts! Have you seen the lists of beers they present you with?! As you can imagine it’s pretty easy to get out of hand while traveling to a new place. Now I know I’m not the only one who has a drink or two while on vacation or away from home especially if the place you went to get burgers has a bar so maybe some of you can relate. You have a drink, then maybe another drink then an hour or so later you’re ready for post drinking snacks! Veggies and fruit are not going to cut it either we want salty and sweet and greasy…. Oh my! Then before you know it you have way overshot your healthy eating goals for the day, and God forbid you have a hangover the next day and want greasy hash browns or a loaded breakfast burrito.

To claim I have this part of the struggle down to a science would be a lie. This IS my weakness, but I’m getting better. So the goal now is to shoot for maybe one night to check out a brewery and keep my splurge to one drink. I have found personally that once I have two drinks I begin to have those junk cravings; this may be different for everyone. However, one drink is not necessarily going to way overshoot your goals for the day and won’t lead to junk binging either. Now I refer to this drink being a beer but of course this can go for whatever your drink of choice is. Yeah, I know we’ve all taken note of drinks that are less caloric than others such as vodka soda or the dreaded diet coke containing drink (just DON’T do it!) but these all still have the potential of the tipsy junk binge later.

Alright, there are my struggles and this coming week I will share just how I actively solve this and stay fit through traveling so I don’t have to start over when I get home. Meanwhile, I would love to hear about your own struggles while away, can you relate? Or do you have other struggles that you want to share? Please comment! I’d love to hear them!

Have a wonderful week! And don’t forget to love yourself and your body!

❤ Andrea

P.S.  I will be sharing this journey through Instagram and Facebook so if you want to follow the journey please check in there.

Why Plant-based?

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“You’re going to have a hard time building muscle as a V-E-G-A-N”

This phrase was actually spoken to me a few months ago by a trainer as I was preparing for my first fitness competition. Well it took almost all of my strength to avoid getting super defensive as the blood visually began rushing to my face in frustration, I am now thankful for these words that were spoken at just that time. Instead of allowing this perception of my lifestyle to bother me and leave me feeling defeating the first thing I did when I got home was write these words where I could see them during every workout. I did this because I KNOW this perception can’t be more wrong and because its perceptions like this that motivate me even more to show how healthy, fit and happy a person can be on a plant-based diet.

One thing you will notice about me from this day forward is that I choose to use the term “plant-based”. Although I personally identify as a vegan I will NEVER be the one to tell you you’re not a vegan for such and such reason or make you feel ‘unworthy’ of whatever term you use to describe your diet or lifestyle. I have seen too many people in the vegan community berate one other for their failure to follow a strict vegan lifestyle or be a complete jackass for no reason at all. What I don’t understand is how someone can claim to have the utmost compassion for animals yet absolutely fail to have compassion for other humans. That aside let’s talk about how I began my plant-based journey and why I believe a high carb plant-based diet is best for health and fitness.

In 2010 I made the conscious decision to transition into a plant-based diet after being vegetarian since age 13. During this time I was experiencing some symptoms of hormonal health issues that, despite extensive tests and visits to my OB, were going undiagnosed. The solution of my Doctor was to prescribe birth control and hormones to regulate that which was out of balance despite test results suggesting there was nothing wrong with my hormones. This did not feel right to me, if nothing was wrong with my test results, why was I going to artificially change the symptoms that were abnormal? My body had to be telling me something.

About a year before experiencing these health issues I had done a spiritual fast called The Daniel Fast which entails eating only plant-based unprocessed food. During this fast I felt great! Digestive issues that had been bothering me cleared up, acne which I’ve had since my early teen years was reduced, and overall my energy was amazing! So, when considering how to take steps toward healing my body this experience immediately came to mind. I began researching how to incorporate a plant-based diet into a daily lifestyle while making sure to get all essential nutrients needed to stay healthy. Thus, began my transitioning process.

Long story short after transitioning to a plant-based diet and sustaining this for a few months all the symptoms I had been experiencing resolved themselves! This was so amazing for me especially since I didn’t have to submit to taking prescription hormones. What was even better was the various other affects a plant-based diet had on my body. I no longer experienced frequent bloating, my acne continued to improve, my energy was phenomenal, and overall I felt great! That was more than enough to keep me committed!

The weeks continued to go well. Transitioning was kind of tough like the fact that I had to read a shit-ton of labels to avoid animal products and I won’t even get started on eating out but, it was all worth it. Eventually I began to notice that I was also losing some weight that I struggled to get rid of before my transition. I was no longer consuming chemical ridden foods but now focused on a whole foods diet and I clearly noticed the difference.

In the years that followed I started to become more aware of the way animals are abused every day in factory farms or other industries that utilize their furs, feathers, hides etc. Even though I hadn’t been consuming any animal products I began realizing that the things I wore or used might have contributed to the mistreatment of animals and this bothered me. The personal decision to exclude the use of any animal product was my response.

That’s a little bit about my journey to a plant-based diet, in my next post I will discuss my experience with training on a plant-based diet. Please share your experiences or questions about a plant-based diet below and I look forward to sharing more in my next post!

Love yourself and your body every step of the way!

❤ Andrea

About Andrea

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Hey guys! Welcome to Andrea B Fit! This is where I will be sharing lots of awesome fitness, yoga, lifestyle, and food related stuff. My hope for you is that you will find inspiration and recipes to help you stay motivated to accomplish your own fitness goals!

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A little bit about me, I am a wife, a momma, a student, and I work as a part time yoga instructor at a gym. As you can imagine I lead a pretty busy life so taking care of myself and my health is very important. This also means that finding time for myself can be tough sometimes and I intend to share my secrets to success with you all in the months to come.

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Since I was old enough to get a gym membership I have been passionate about fitness and health. My journey has taken me to compete in triathlons, do my first fitness competition, become a yoga instructor, a group fitness instructor, and now finishing my personal training certification. During all this I have also experienced plenty of set backs and obstacles, some bigger than others. What I have learned is that it takes persistence and passion to push through despite feeling defeated because there is no way in hell that you will choose failure. I am also very passionate about getting strong and lean on a HIGH CARB plant-based diet. That’s right ladies I used the forbidden four letter word, C-A-R-B! Guess what, you can have your cake and eat it too! OK, not always in the literal sense because every one knows we cannot reverse the laws of nature but, I intend to show you just how vital the right carbs are for optimal energy, avoiding rebound weight gain, and feeling satisfied!

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I look forward to getting the opportunity to get to know you and hear your story. Stay Positive. Stay Motivated. Stay Strong. And ALWAYS love your self and your body every step of the way!