Healthy Choices While Working From Home

Hey guys!

I’m back! Sorry for the long silence I have been absolutely swamped with school lately. As much as I wanted to get a new blog post out my guilty conscious kept telling me I should be studying instead! These past two weeks have been filled with final exams but, I am happy to say I aced my exams and can now get back to some writing! Yay!

I know it’s been awhile since I answered a fitness question so I’m going to get back to it with the topic of: Healthy choices while working at home.

While I do not 100% work from home (while I would like to), I have been a stay at home mom. When my son was born, I was a stay at home mom for a little over a year until I started my working on my Master’s degree and teaching yoga. I know how hard it can be to make healthy choices when you are cooped up at home, especially in the winter. Let’s discuss some helpful ways to stay fit while staying home.

  1. Clear out the Crap: This is pretty much my go to rule ALWAYS! And I will probably come back to again. Don’t keep junk in your home! Just don’t do it! Here is a perfect example: A few weeks ago my husband had the opportunity to order Girl Scout Cookies at work, being the thoughtful loving man he is, he decided to order one box of gluten free cookies for himself and one box of Thin Mints for me. Well I was very thankful that he thought of me when ordering, I did not realize how deadly a temptation those things are! Not only are they tempting but they are such a light and thin cookie that after having one you wonder if you even had it in the first place! Sadly to say the box of cookies only survived a little over a week. Damn you Girl Scout cookies!

 

So, the lesson here is that even some of the most resilient people can revert back to the self-control of a 4 year old when faced with the right temptations. Clear out the crap, or should I say CRACK from your cupboards it will help you so much in the long run.

 

  1. Meal Prep and Meal Plan: When you work at home or are a stay at home mom chances are you will be visited by boredom, overwork, or complacency at some point during your day. I remember being a stay at home mom, there were days I didn’t even want to get ready. Although, I still got things done there were moments of restlessness that I just wanted to do something different. I had days where I felt like I did the same things day in and day out and this left me feeling unmotivated and quite frankly unpretty. During these times of frustration it can be extremely hard to make the right choices for your health. Or maybe the issue isn’t frustration but boredom. Meal prepping your food and meal planning for your day can help to eliminate poor nutritional choices out of boredom, frustration, or just being too tired to cook.

 

Meal prep your food ahead of time so you always have healthy, home prepared foods ready for when you are hungry. Having 3-4 dinners prepared for the week allows you to just grab and enjoy the foods that may have been a hassle to prepare in the midst of your busy week. PLUS, since you already got rid of the crap in your home you now have only healthy choices! Yay!
Meal planning is also a big part of healthy choices. Planning out the food you will eat during your day, in the morning or the day before, will help you stay on track with your goals. Maybe your goal is to hit a certain calorie intake, a certain serving of fruits and veggies or just simply eating only home cooked unprocessed meals, planning will ensure success!

 

  1. Move Your Muscles: When you work from home chances are you spend a lot of time at a desk or computer. When we spend a good amount of our day sitting this causes poor circulation causing us to feel tired, achy, stiff, sluggish and quite honestly it doesn’t help us accomplish our fitness goals. Set aside time during your day to get your booty moving. However you do this is up to you here are a few ideas:
  • Taking a morning and afternoon walk
  • Every 3 hours of work take a 15 minute HIIT break
  • Schedule your morning gym time and add an afternoon walk
  • Do some lunchtime yoga
  • Every hour do 25-50 of one exercise (crunches, push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, etc.)

Incorporating movement into your day will not only move some blood and help you feel better but will help you work more efficiently as well. If you have a friend that also works from home maybe challenge each other to stay active daily by setting step/distance goals, squat goals etc.

Secure Your Success: Make goals and stick to them. Make these changes your new habits and keep them for long term success. Each week avoid the junk that hinders your healthy eating success, meal prep and meal plan looking forward to keeping your promises to better yourself, and move to stay motivated and healthy.

There are many perks to working from home but ensuring we do not become complacent is very important. I hope this was helpful. What habits have helped you stay fit working from home or taking care of your family from home? Please share, I would love to hear from you!

Hope you have a wonderful week! I promise I you will be hearing from me again soon!

Lots of love,

Andrea B Fit

 

Healing Your Slow Metabolism

Good morning all!

I hope your week is going absolutely amazing! For many of us we are starting to feel the warmth of spring moving in! For some of us not so much, if you’re in the North East I’m sending you lots of love and warmth as you push through the snow storm! ❤

So this week I want to talk a little about healing your metabolism. Last week I wrote about fitness struggles and I will continue sharing what others have shared with me this week. So stay tuned! Also, this is a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you would like answered if you have any! Today however, I really want to focus on a topic I think MANY women struggle with, healing your slow metabolism.

In my experience, I have seen a lot of women struggling with eating a very low amount of calories (1500 or lower per day) and STILL struggling to lose weight. Why is this?! If you are essentially not eating much food at all why is it so difficult to lose weight?

In this post I will first discuss how eating a calorie restricted diet not only leads to binges but damage to your metabolism. Next, I will discuss a method I personally use when coming out of a competition prep diet to boost your metabolism, limit weight gain, and eventually begin working on losing weight.

First things first:

Why am I not losing weight?!

The Binge/Deprivation Cycle

If you have read any of my previous posts, you may be familiar with the thing I like to call the “Binge/Deprivation” cycle. What I mean by this term is the cycle many people get into when trying to diet. The thought “this week I’m not going to any sugar” or “I overate last night, today I only need to eat 800 calories or only smoothies for 3 day”, Sound familiar? What happens next? After depriving ourselves of food we love or food in general! It almost always leads to a binge!

In my own life, when prepping for a fitness competition there is always some degree of calorie restriction or elimination of certain foods. I consider myself to be pretty strong willed, which gets even stronger when I know I’m going to be up on a stage in a tiny bikini! During prep, I am human and I still have cravings but, I have found some really successful ways to combat these. I would be lying however, if I told you I don’t look forward to the night after the show when I can have my beer and pizza!

This lifestyle of competing in shows is tough and it takes a ton of self-discipline not only leading up to the show but after! The reality of rebound after competition is very likely and even for some of the most disciplined of athletes, it is a struggle. So if you are stuck in this cycle don’t feel like you’re the only one on this planet that has ever suffered from it. You are not alone and you can break the cycle and return to healthy eating habits. We must start by eliminating the deprivation step and slowly begin controlling our binging tendencies.

You Are Killing Your Metabolism

The second downfall of a calorie restricted diet is the damage it does to your metabolism. As you begin to limit the amount of food you take in on a daily basis you may not see the effects right away, you may even lose a little weight. Fast forward a few years down the road when you have been counting every calorie that enters your body to hit the 1400 mark and you’re still struggling to lose the weight you have so desperately wanted to for years! What’s the deal?

Humans are made to survive and the human body is such an amazing, complex, miraculous thing that was created with such precision. There are processes that happen every second inside our bodies that are so complex and choreographed perfectly. Consider the miracle of something as simple as respiration, the transportation of oxygen into our bodies via the lungs that is then transported into the smallest of cells simply because there is a difference in concentration is phenomenal! We don’t even have to think about this and it happens!

Our bodies were made to survive. When it gets cold our bodies create heat by shivering and raising the hairs on our skin to limit heat loss. When we are hot our pores open and we begin to sweat in an attempt to cool the body. When we are thirsty our bodies begin to limit the loss of water through perspiration and elimination. When we are hungry our metabolism slows to preserve resources.

After sticking to a calorie restricted diet for years your metabolism has slowed as a basic defense to keep you alive! This is not a bad thing, we should appreciate that our bodies are functioning and surviving the way they should! However, if you are trying to lose weight this basic survival mechanism is not helping you out. So, what do you do now in order to lose the weight you have been holding on to?

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Reverse Dieting

In order to lose weight after abusing your metabolism for years you must begin the process of healing your body, mind and metabolism.

The first, and most important, step in the process starts in the mind. You MUST stop beating yourself up and hating your body TODAY! There is no room for that here. You must remember that you are a beautiful, creative, amazing being created with a purpose and passion that MUST NOT be kept within you simply because you are unhappy with your body. Whether or not you are happy with your body you need to stop hiding yourself from the world! Your spirit is literally crying out asking to be expressed and shared and your journey will only become more beautiful if you let it shine! Let it shine today because you are BEAUTIFUL! ❤

Next, we begin healing our body.

After my first fitness competition I did not anticipate the weight gain that would follow if I returned to my normal eating habits. I know, this is a pretty basic thing but somehow I thought I was the exception. In turn, my metabolism was still slow but my appetite was not and I not only gained weight but, I felt heavy and tired all the time. I just wasn’t digesting all the food I was putting in. It did not occur to me until a few weeks later that I should have approached my diet coming out of the competition the same way I approached it going into the competition. Just as I slowly decreased calories and specific foods going into prep I needed to increase these things in the same manner. Hence, the term: Reverse Dieting.

How exactly does one reverse diet?

As I mentioned before, for my first fitness competition I did not practice reverse dieting and thus experiencing the effects. After starting my reverse diet a few weeks post competition I began to see my weight gain slow and eventually halt. In the end it was my delayed reverse diet that kept me from gaining a ton of rebound weight and overall struggling in my journey.  This time around I have started my reverse diet 2 days after the competition and overall things are going really well. (If you are interested in seeing the progress of my reverse diet I will be sharing frequently via Instagram and Facebook)

Here is what my reverse diet looks like: for the next few months I have been adding 50 extra calories to my diet each week. Every week on Sunday I add another 50 calories to my previous set point and see how my body reacts. (I personally do not utilize a low carb diet so messing with my macros is not a huge factor but for those who are currently limiting carbs try adding 20-30g of carbs each week until you are consuming about 50-60% of your calories from carbs.) Second, the food I consume is important! I cannot expect to come from a very clean diet to eating junk and not see ill effects. Right now I am choosing 2 desired foods to have each week. This week I have had one dessert (Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie) and will have 2 beers (Fresh microbrew to be enjoyed on St. Patty’s!).

Each week as I add these calories I will check in with my body and see how things are working out. A small amount of weight gain is normal as a ‘show leanness’ is not maintainable for most people. But, overall you do not want excess weight gain.

During this time it is also important to return to your normal fitness routine! You cannot expect your metabolism to work for you if you’re not working with it and staying active.

Here is how you apply this to your life!

  1. Take a look at your set points right now. Maybe you’re aiming for 1500 calories a day and only 30% carbs. If you’re using My Fitness Pal great! If not, start. My fitness pal will show you how many grams of carbs you are aiming for at 30%.
  2. This week at 50 calories to your diet. You are now aiming for 1550 calories.
  3. Next, add 20-30 grams of carbs to your diet. (Let’s say you’re at about 113g bump it up to 143g)
  4. If you have a set fitness routine stick to it. If you don’t have one start one maybe aim for 3 days a week this week then add another in 2-3 weeks. You can stay at 4 days a week or even better hit a 5 day a week routine in another 2-3 weeks. Consistency is best do aim for something that is doable for you!
  5. See how you feel the next week after manipulating your diet. If you’re interested in checking your weight check it after 2 weeks and no sooner, this allows your body to adjust. If you feel bloated after week one maybe subtract 10g of carbs and only add another 20g the following week.
  6. Don’t freak out if you gain weight at first, this is normal. Just stick with it. This is a process, especially if you have been depriving yourself for years!
  7. Continue this process until your calorie intake is between 1700-2000 depending on activity level and your body. Some people may even have a higher set point over 2000.
  8. Keep up the great work and celebrate doing something good for yourself and your body!!<3

**REMEMBER: You are ALWAYS working on improving the quality of foods you are putting in your body. If you are eating 1500 or 2000 calories of junk, IT’S STILL JUNK and this will not help your journey to success. Aim for whole, unprocessed foods and see how cleanly your body runs and feels.

Alrighty, well that is all I have for you today! Please share your experience, struggles, questions etc. I want to hear it all! As always, I hope you have a beautiful day and a restful weekend!

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