Weekend getaway

Sometimes you just need to unplug for a bit and spend it with the ones you love and experience what is right in your backyard! Fortunately for us, we had several waterfalls that we were able to travel to and swim in! We created a ton of lifelong memories with the family and it was SO much fun!

We stayed at the beautiful Mountain Inn and Suites and the staff was just amazing! Super clean hotel and everyone was so nice.

Weekend getaway

Weekend getaway

Did I eat more than I usually do?

YEP!

It wasn’t all healthy food, not in the least bit either. You see…when you are living a continuous healthy and active lifestyle, you can totally “afford” to splurge a bit here and there and not ruin your efforts along the way. Think about the bigger picture…eat right and live active MOST of the time. Then when situations arise and you want be a bit adventurous…it will not sabotage your efforts not even in the least bit. Remember every pound of muscle that you put on your body burns 50 calories even at complete rest, even during sleep, and weekend getaways 😉 .

Creating memories is priceless-pursue them and enjoy them. Stay active and eat according to your goals most of the time and then when you have full fat ice-cream with the family it will be a totally joyous event!

As always, feel free to ask me anything.

In Health-Demi

 

Demi’s Kitchen Counter

Demi's Kitchen Counter

I just wanted to give you a quick sneak peak of what is on my kitchen counter on any given day. The absolute staples are COFFEE, 🙂 , oatmeal, everyday use detox tea, brown rice, bone broth collagen protein, vanilla/almond high protein butter, Super Foods plus, chia and quinoa chips, and my organic chocolate coconut macaroons for my raging chocolate/sweet tooth! 😀

I think it is IMPERATIVE for everyone to be fully “prepared” in a sense for your hunger and nutrition needs. It’s nice that some of it is visible so your brain can SEE what it COULD have if the desire to eat/snack outside of the norm arises (which is different for everyone and changes all the time). Find out what works for you with trial and error and find those products that HEALTH-FULLY meet your need when it arises. Links below to all products. 🙂

Old Fashioned Oats (can be found anywhere)

Brown Rice

Super Food Plus

Bone Broth Collagen Protein Powder

Organic Macaroons; chocolate

Chia and Quinoa tortilla chips

High protein almond/vanilla butter

Traditional Medicinal Detox Tea 

 

As always, feel free to ask me anything!

In Health-Demi

 

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Ask yourself:

What are my specific goals?

What am I doing to attain these goals?

Am I just doing cardio “to feel good?” i.e. ‘endorphins’

There are a TON more questions you should be asking yourself-but one thing I do talk a lot to my clients about is NOT overdoing your cardio. It truly does not matter how much weight you want to lose. Anything over 60 minutes a day is counter productive and will lead to overuse injuries, making you more susceptible to colds and upper respiratory infections because your immune system will be compromised from high levels of cortisol. If that sounded foreign to you: just think that when you do too much cardio your body gets stressed out (cortisol is released) and can make you weak in many ways. The repetitive nature of running, elliptical, etc can put pressure on your joints and ultimately cause an injury over time. You may get into the symptoms of over training, which is a legit illness that can last 3 months and it’s only cure is rest.

When you look at your body-think of it like a sculpture. Draw an outline of your body on a piece of paper if you must. Get out a pen and actually draw where you’d like to see improvements that make sense. I.E. narrower waist, rounder glutes, more defined shoulders, etc and add a weight loss goal if needed.

*Fun Fact:  I used to be a cardio addict. It also was the time when my body fat was very high and I had NO muscle definition.  Cardio truly can be an addiction: because we all know that runners “high” is legit. Fear not-you can break that addiction. Remind yourself that weight training does NOT make you bulky (unless you are male and train a certain way).  On the contrary-it shapes your body. Training with resistance makes you strong and injury proof.*

I will use one muscle group as an example here or else this will turn into a book. 🙂 Let’s say one of your goals is to have bigger and rounder glutes. Your plan of attack should include hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, kickbacks, step ups, lunges, sprints….and about a dozen different varieties of all of these movements. (No matter what the goal-remember not to neglect other areas of your body of course in your training, just train your specific area of interest differently to attain your goal. This is why having a personal trainer is a bonus). Notice ‘sprints’ in bold. If you want bigger and rounder glutes, SPRINTING is your cardio. Along with sprinting on an incline, among MANY other variables. If you do too much steady state long cardio and your goal is bigger and stronger glutes, that cardio will eat that muscle that you are trying so hard to build for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you will see minimum results.

 All this being said, EVERYONE is different, everyone has different goals, and everyone has different abilities.  Personal trainers that are capable streamline plans for each individual that they are training to make your goals a reality. Also-when you are trying to build any muscle, REST is critical for muscle recovery. If you are hitting that muscle every damn day with some sort of cardio-it will never get a chance to recover and get stronger (GROW), plus you MUST EAT EAT EAT the RIGHT way (usually more FOOD if you make the right choices: again this is why a personal trainer is a fantastic investment) if you want any muscle group to get strong and have some growth.

Now speaking of weight loss-this cardio principle still rings true! If you train INTENSE, add in some HIIT (high intensity interval training), and lift with absolute FERVOR, then your training session is pretty much all you need! In 30 minutes I can train a client and leave them dripping with sweat, which means their heart rate went up, which means THERE WAS A CARDIO ELEMENT to it, therefore they burned calories and will be burning calories long after the session is over (after burn effect) SO IN TURN …. they lose weight over time while getting strong. 🙂

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS…actually THINK about your goals. Get specific! Do NOT chase skinny! Chase HEALTHY. Chase STRENGTH. Chase FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. You train hard in the gym so you can live with vitality outside of the gym and not injure yourself! Once you get in this MINDSET everything else “magically” falls into place. 😉

More questions? Feel free to contact me for anything. If you live in the Charleston area, I offer my first session at Exemplar Fitness for free. There are always corporate specials, hospital employee discounts, as well as veteran discounts to train with me personally.

I also offer a “Sweating for the Wedding” training package for Brides and/or their bridal party: 3 month and 6 month packages available.

In Health-Demi

Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

 Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

This is..without a doubt…the toughest ordeal one has to master in their health and fitness journey. If you are reading this, then I promise you it doesn’t have to be so hard. You got this! 😉 Lets get right to it.

I know you’ve heard it before-but you have to start with sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store. The reason being is that obviously that is where your perishable (i.e. FRESHEST) foods are. Start there. Obviously you do need to go in the middle for certain things such as coffee, oatmeal, tea, etc but start on the outside of the grocery store FIRST.

I told you I was going to make this simple, and I am!

Before you go to the grocery store, think of all your favorite proteins, vegatables, fruits, nuts, carbs, etc. Keep that in mind and write that all down if needed.

We are going to break this down into groups.

  1. PROTEINS
  2. COMPLEX CARBS
  3. HEALTHY FATS
  4. FRUITS
  5. VEGETABLES

Acceptable and preferable PROTEINS are the following:

  • 1. Greek Yogurt
  • 2. Cottage Cheese
  • 3. Swiss Cheese
  • 4. Eggs
  • 5. Milk, 2% (I’m not a huge fan of drinking straight up milk, I prefer Almond milk for a variety of reasons, but that’s for another blog post. 🙂
  • 6. Whey Protein
  • 7. Steak (Top Or Bottom Round)
  • 8. Ground Beef (95% Lean)
  • 9. Pork Chops (Boneless)
  • 10. Chicken Breast (Boneless And Skinless)
  • 11. Turkey Breast
  • 12. Yellowfin Tuna
  • 13. Halibut
  • 14. Octopus
  • 15. Sockeye Salmon
  • 16. Tilapia
  • 17. Anchovies
  • 18. Corned Beef
  • 19. Tuna
  • 20. Chicken
  • 21. Sardines
  • 22. Navy Beans
  • 23. Dried Lentils
  • 24. Roast Beef
  • 25. Canadian Bacon
  • 26. Chorizo
  • 27. Pepperoni
  • 28. Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 29. Jerky
  • 30. Peanut Butter
  • 31. Mixed Nuts
  • 32. Bean Chips
  • 34. Tofu
  • 35. Edamame
  • 36. Green Peas
  • 38. Wheat Germ
  • 39. Soba Noodles
  • 40. Quinoa

COMPLEX CARBS

  1. Oatmeal (old fashioned or Steel Cut)
  2. Yams (almost same as sweet potatoes)
  3. Brown rice (love basmati, a long grain rice)
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye, and a few others)
  6. White potatoes with skin (glycemic index be damned!)
  7. 100% whole wheat bread
  8. 100% whole wheat pasta
  9. Beans and lentils (great for healthy chili recipes)
  10. Cream of rice hot cereal
  11. Quinoa
  12. Couscous
  13. Pumpkin
  14. Butternut squash
  15. Fresh beets

**I’m well aware of the gluten free and lactose free needs of certain individuals-if this applies to you, make those selections of the same food, or choose another food altogether.**

HEALTHY FATS

  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Super dark chocolate
  • Whole eggs
  • Fatty fish
  • Raw nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Full fat yogurt

FRUITS

  • Short list: every variation of a fruit is allowed. 🙂

VEGETABLES

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Okra
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Radishes
  • Onions

THAT’S A LOT OF FOOD!

Alright, so as you go through this list-pick your favorites before you go food shopping and think about the meals you want to create. There are tons of meals you can put together with what is above. You do NOT have to purchase all of that food for one week! But these are your preferred options to eat healthfully.

To create a PERFECT meal, this is what you need (as stated above)…

Protein, Healthy fat, Complex Carb, Vegetable, and an optional fruit. 

As far as how to meal prep and put it all together, that is for another blog post. But start here! Now you have the tools to get a feel for what top athletes eat. Remember: you are fueling a Ferrari, not a Pinto. 😉

Also, SHAKEOLOGY is a great way to add in a high protein superfood shake that can be used as a meal replacement and/or snack. Check it out! Vegan options are available.

EAT TO PERFORM!

In Health-Demi