Exclusively Lifting

It is day 20 of exclusively Lifting weights – yep that means NO cardio (with the exception of some long walks with Zoe).

I am following (once again) the Livefit trainer by Jamie Eason. Out of all the programs I have tried… Livefit is my favorite. Not only have I been successful on the program, (got me in the best shape of my life) but it just makes since. It is easy to follow and it is the way I personally like to lift in the gym. Of course I always customize the program to my needs, sometimes incorporating different exercises I prefer from other programs.

Anyway, the first phase (4 weeks) is all about gaining as much strength and muscle as you can. And because cardio can eat up your muscles or make it harder for you to gain, cardio is eliminated from the first phase.

And because of pregnancy, I haven’t trained like this in about a year, so it has been nice just to focus on one thing- weight lifting.

My experience so far…

Damn! Even though I have pretty much lost most of the baby weight. I am definitely starting from scratch. Appearance wise- My legs and booty have never been this skinny, my boobs have never been this big. So as you can see my body is the complete opposite of what it use to be. With that being said, it is amazing how with only three weeks of lifting, I am already starting to see some change – my glutes are starting to make a come back.

However, I am not focusing on what my body looks like but rather how it can perform.¬†Muscle memory¬†is an amazing thing. I get to the weight room and it is like riding a bike, right back at it. The first two weeks I took things slow, grabbing lighter weights and working on form. I see it all the time… people lifting heavy who have no business lifting that way because their form is so poor. I definitely do not want to be that girl trying to lift heavy with poor form – I might as well be on my road bike riding with out a helmet. So in the beginning I really focused on form, and now I feel ready and I am upping the weights.

Some of the exercises, I will do a warm up set with lighter weights, just to make sure my form is good and muscles are ready. It is then that I realize I need to up the weight. But there are some exercises mainly body weight exercise, such as push ups or bench dips that I struggle to finish the set. So weird that some exercises surprise me because I need to lift heavier, while others surprise me because they are a struggle when they use to be a piece of cake. I think this is because my core muscles need to be rebuilt. Because of this I am doing as many weight lifting exercises in plank so I am with out doubt engaging my core.

Anyway, I am not weighing myself until the end of the program. I am not worrying about numbers like that because they mean nothing to me. I am more concerned about hitting new PRs in the gym and getting stronger. Plus muscle weighs more than fat, so in this first phase I may not see a drop in weight at all, because I’m hoping for muscle gains. I will post progress pics though.

Diet is 80-90% of the reason why people see results.  This week I am really cleaning up my diet, by eating clean organic mostly plant based. I am also cutting back on sugar, and drinking more water. When trying to put on more muscle you need to eat. Muscle gains are supported by calories. So I will try to eat (clean) every 2-3 hours.
Below is a picture I posted on instagram,  on Day 17 of the Livefit trainer РNO cardio, exclusively lifting!Trying to gain as much muscle/strength back before I start running again. ***FITNESS TIP of the Day: try to do every weight lifting exercise you can in a plank. For example: Tricep Dumbbell Kickbacks or One Arm Dumbbell Row are more challenging when in a plank. That way you are definitely engaging your core. #fitmom #fitspo #girlswholift #liftheavy #livefit

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© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

I don’t like labels.

Last weekend, I went to DC VegFest. It was totally cool hanging out with all of those vegans and vegetarians. ¬†The Veg community¬†is a very friendly group, and most wanted to know my story. I was asked by a couple different people, ¬†“What brought you to VegFest today? Are you vegan?”

My answer to that questions is…

No. I don’t feel it comfortable or necessary to label myself as anything. I don’t want to follow rigid rules of any kind, when it comes to food – I am too much of a foodie to be so restrictive and disciplined. I simply want to eat a healthy well balanced diet – full of color, flavor, and texture. And although, I eat and cook mostly organic plant based, I¬†am opened minded, adventurous, and willing to explore all different types of food lifestyles.

I recently found my new favorite blog called, My New Roots. When reading Sarah’s (the owner of the blog) About page, I thought to myself, ” Wow! She nailed it. This is exactly how I feel.”

Sarah says, “The only label I‚Äôll slap on myself is ‚Äúwhole-food-lover.” Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I¬†never¬†count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.”

I agree with her 100%. Although, my diet is mainly plant based, consisting of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds, I still can not label myself as vegetarian or vegan.¬†There has been weeks in which I have gone meatless, but there are days you can find me eating a greek yogurt. ¬†I absolutely love eggs and eat them a couple times a week. I also can’t live without fish. My favorite thing about summer time is eating a Maryland crab feast or a Lobster bake on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, your main priority is eliminating all animal products. But the most important thing to me is that everything I eat is organic and whole. It is a very rare day, if you find me eating something that is not organic. I avoid GMOs and processed foods. I try to buy everything from local farms, and eat seasonally. If I am eating eggs, they are from cage free hens eating an organic feed. When I eat fish, I only eat wild caught. And on the rare occasion that I eat dairy or any other animal product, it must be treated as humanely as possible, free of antibiotics and hormones.

There are times in which I love labels, and there are times in which I hate them. There are some labels that are simple, while others are more complicated. The times in which I love them is when they are simple and define ones identity. The times in which I hate them are when they are complicated and become stereotypes.  I can label myself as a marathon runner, simply because I run marathons. But, I can not label myself as vegan or vegetarian, although I often cook and eat that way.

I bought this pendant from a vendor at VegFest…

 

Plant Strong 2Plant Strong

 

It says, Plant Strong.

So if I must come up with a label, Plant Strong is a pretty awesome one. I also love the label that Sarah from My New Roots came up with РWhole Food Lover.  Add organic to it and slap it on me.

What’s your label?¬†

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

DC VegFest

Today was a fun and fulfilling Saturday.

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of humidity in the air. It was the perfect day for a quick five mile loop around the monuments. 10653611_10102009897351646_5078060190360476724_nI wore my new running shoes, Newton Gravity. I also wore my new running watch, Garmin 620. It was my absolute first time wearing the watch and I loved it. ¬†However,¬†I will be writing a detailed review on the Garmin 620 later this week so stay tuned.

10702231_10102009114106276_1414548754899070551_nThen it was off to DC VegFest

The DC VegFest was located in South East DC at the Yards Park right along the river. Growing up in the DC area, South East was a part of the city you always tried to avoid, it was poor and dangerous. But now, it tells a different story. The famous Eastern Market is located in South East, and eastern market is one of my favorite markets in the area. There are also some really cool bars and restaurants on the neighboring streets.

But today, the VegFest took me to another area in South East. I would have never thought to go down to the waterfront. Wow! Things are changing everyday. Check out how cool the South East waterfront is…

dc water

DC waterfront

DC water rest

After walking around the waterfront my friend and I headed over to DC VegFest. 10625143_10102009396749856_5438624594030666857_n

DC VegFest

DC Veg Fest

At the DC VegFest, there were some fabulous vendors, delicious plant based food, free samples, and amazing guest speakers.

SPEAKERS

I didn’t get to see all of the¬†speakers, but I saw a couple. They discussed the health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. They also touched on politics, and environmental reasons for becoming vegan. They touched on animal cruelty, and some told their personal stories of why they went veg. The last speaker of the event was actually on the October cover of Runner’s World, wearing vegan compression socks.

VENDORS

Veg Fest soapsThere were some awesome vendors at the festival, but this soap vendor was by far my favorite. I have been using this sugar based shower gel from Blue Mercury which has been irritating my skin. Sugar is bad for you in every way.¬†¬†So when I saw this vendor, I thought perfect just what I needed. Buying soap here, saved me a trip to Sephora or Blue Mercury. All of the soap is free of animal products and both of the bars of soap I purchased have coconut oil in them. Coconut oil is my new obsession… (I will be writing a detailed post on the health benefits later this week so stay tuned.) The only negative thing I saw is that some of the soaps contain palm oil. Palm oil is in everything, and although it is not an animal product, it is not very vegan. Palm Tree farms in South East Asia, are taking away food and habitats from Elephant, Tigers, and many other animals. Anyway, I went home with two soaps a coconut one and and oatmeal one. The coconut soap is free of palm oil, but the oatmeal one may have some small amounts. Unfortunately, palm oil is hard to avoid.

FOODVeg Fest lunch

Going Veg is all about eating your veggies. If you go to DC VegFest next year, make sure you come with an appetite. There were tons of amazing food vendors and food trucks. A lot of the vendors only took cash, so make sure you bring cash. However, there are ATMs for those who forget. The food ranged from pizza to Indian, Ethiopian to mexican. There were sweets, and southern cooking, even greek.

Overall, I enjoyed DC VegFest!

I highly recommend VegFest for anyone who is already living a plant based lifestyle, and for those who are just interested to see what it is all about. At DC VegFest I learned a little more about animal cruelty, politics, and the environment. I also got the chance to eat some awesome plant based food, while learning how I can help create a better food system for the USA. And in my eyes, at the end of the day that is the most important thing. You are what you eat.

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Scott Jurek

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts…

  1. Review on Garmin 620
  2. Coconut oil health benefits.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolution!

Happy New Year!4e777969cd7382b6a99a3809cca1c625

What is 2014 going to be like for you?

You can’t control everything that happens to you in 2014, but what you do have control over is which goals you choose to set and how you plan on reaching them.

Most people hate New Year’s Resolutions. Most people think they are pointless, and never set them. I guess, I’m not like most people, because I love them. I always set them, and I make a great effort to stick to them.

And although, I make a resolution for the year, I also always have other goals I am trying to reach. After reaching my current goals,  I then set new ones.

However, not everyone is constantly making goals, and for some, they dread it. Others set a New Year resolution and by February forget their resolution ever existed.

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So here are some fun tips to get you setting a New Year resolution and sticking to it.

  • Be specific, and well detailed.
  • Have a game plan.
  • Be inspired and find support.

The two most common resolutions are…

1) Diet and loose weight. 

If this is your new year resolution, the odds are you are going to fail. Why? Because there is no game plan. A couple years ago, my resolution was, “I’m going to eat one unique, exotic, interesting food a week.” This resolution being more specific¬†was totally doable. It¬†got me out of my rut of always throwing the same food into my grocery cart. It also got me exploring health food stores, such as MOM’s Organic Market and Whole Foods. I would literally grab one item I knew nothing about, and throw it into my cart. I would go home research it, learning how to prepare it, and what it went well with. This one small resolution changed my life. I began exploring new food options. I discovered a passion for cooking. ¬†I started meal prepping. And with out even realizing it at first, I began to eat healthier and loose body fat.

0019f04590beca7cf63eb89e770abeccSo this year, instead of focusing on dieting, and counting calories, try focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. Focus on making healthier food choices. This may not be as easy as it seems, because the sad truth is that many people are confused and simply do not know what is healthy. If you fall in this category it is not your fault. Advertisements play so many sneaky tricks on us by calling products fat free, low fat, diet, when the truth is these products are really overly processed, full of sugar and chemicals. Even fat free milk, which sounds healthy, is actually processed. They suck out the fat and replace it with chemicals and 12 grams of added sugar per cup. The average woman should only get an average of 25-30 grams of added sugar a day.

So start to educate yourself… This is important!

It’s time to…

  • Read labels and avoid chemicals.
  • Promise yourself that you will choose organic, cold-pressed, raw, unrefined, unprocessed foods.
  • Eliminate added sugars.
  • Meal prep.
  • Cook your own food.
  • Have fun by researching and trying new foods and recipes.
  • Become a foodie, and choose high quality foods.
  • Really make an effort to learn about exactly what you are putting in to your body.
  • Download apps, get the tools, you need to succeed.

This may be a time commitment and a financial investment, but it is worth it in the long run. You deserve this!

Once you have truly learned about selecting a healthy food choice, and your get on a regular routine of living a healthy lifestyle, it is then that you can take it up a notch. It is then that you can count macros and carb cycle.  There are a lot of apps that can help you learn a healthy food choice, and later log your food. My favorite is My Fitness Pal.

2) I’m going to work out more… is another common resolution.

If this is your New Year resolution be prepared to fail. Why? Again there is no game plan. Instead, choose a plan. There are tons of free weightlifting plans on bodybuilding.com.

Weight lifting

961f5fe107c5336873307876076622b7In 2013, I decided, along side of my running I was going to incorporate weight lifting, into the mix. I had been running everyday, but wanted to improve my speed, and prevent injury – so it was time to get strong. When training for a full or half marathon I always had been successful while following a disciplined training plan. Because of this, I knew I needed one when it came to weight lifting. That being said, I saw amazing results in the weight room because I followed the Livefit Trainer, by Jamie Eason.

Honestly, the Livefit trainer changed my life. I have never seen such amazing results in my body, and the best part is my running has significantly improved.

“Change your mind set. Stop focusing on getting skinny! Instead focus on getting strong. If you focus on getting strong, the fat will melt right off.”

f57e16d7b28f64b14239426e40d574f6One way I found success was to record everything. When you write down how heavy you are lifting, next time you lift heavier you will feel more accomplished, by setting a new PR. Also when you record everything, you will be amazed how much you are actually doing. One leg day, after counting all of my reps and sets, I discovered I did 180 squats that day. Pretty amazing!

Running 

22f9d787894089d24454f97454f7d2fcMaybe you don’t belong to a gym… maybe you would rather choose to run as your source of exercise. ¬†Well you are asking the right person, because I am a runner. Running is my thing.

Again you need a game plan and a detailed goal.

Start Racing…

I love racing, so this New Year I would suggest signing up for a race. By signing up for a race, you will have a specific date you must physically be ready to run by. In the summer, in the DC area, there is a 5K every friday in Crystal City. So if you are choosing to run shorter distances such as a 5K, consider signing up for several. Maybe your goal will to be to race once a month.

If you are choosing a longer distance, such as half marathon or full, allow at least 16 weeks for training. There are tons of online training plans. My favorite running plans are written by Hal Higdon. I have trained for all of my full marathons, by using his plans, and I found success.

Log your miles…

Another option is to set a milage goal, for example, maybe you want to run 20 miles a week, or 100 miles a month. (These are all very doable goals.) Maybe you want to do a 30 day consecutive running challenge, where you run at least a mile a day everyday for 30 days.

There are several online running logs, you can use to keep track of your miles.classic-log Because I have a Garmin, I use the Garmin Connect center. But if you do not have a Garmin, you can use a free log on runnersworld.com. Another option is Daily Mile. There are also many apps to record your miles, such as, Run Keeper or Map my Run.

¬†Stay Inspired beyond social media…

Although social media sites, such as Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook can be very helpful and inspiring. There are times when you find an inspiring article in a magazine that you want to tear out and keep. In this case, I find it very helpful to create a story board, or inspiration board/wall. This is simply a physical spot on a wall, or a cork board that you can pin inspiration and notes too. This helps you stay organized. Another option is to join Pinterest, the online option for a pin board.

Also if you keep a day planner, don’t forget to write down your daily workouts, and good eats.

To find support…

The people who see the best results in most cases have a workout partner, or a running buddy. Sometimes it is hard to find someone with the same schedule as you. (I have struggled with this.) ¬†So in order to find support there is a ton of online fitness community you can join. My favorite is What’s Beautiful by Under Armour. What’s beautiful is free, and by joining you are able to learn new things, be inspired by others, participate in challenges, and get never-ending support.

Instagram is another form of social media, that can make a huge difference in keeping you motivated.  People think Instagram is just a personal photo sharing app, but the truth is Instagram has much more to offer.

Instagram is an information source. You can search hashtags that lead you to, personal trainers, running coaches, small businesses, professional athletes, athletes trying to inspire, chefs, nutritionist, foodies, etc.

You can learn new yoga poses, new recipes, new workouts, new equipment, new gear, and so much more. You can follow people who inspire you. You can follow companies. The information and knowledge you can find, is at your fingertips. It comes quickly and is never-ending.  You can also hashtag your personal photos, which your followers and others  might like or comment on Рthis support alone may be just the motivation you need.

Another fun thing about Instagram is you can easily join a challenge. There are tons of challenges going on and all you need to do is use the challenge hash tag. There is also daily hash tags, such as #transfomationtuesday used on tuesday or #flexfriday used on friday.

If an online fitness community isn’t enough, try joining a Crossfit gym, yoga studio, running club/group, or local gym.

So there you have it.  These are my top tips on how to be successful when it comes to nutritional and fitness goals this new year.

Questions for you…

  1. What’s your New Year Resolution?
  2. What tips do you have to stick to a resolution?
  3. How do you stay inspired?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Articles you may be interested in.

  1. New Years Resolution 2013
  2. Food… doesn’t have to be fatty
  3. I’ve been drinking my sugar.¬†
  4. Livefit Trainer and Fitness apps
  5. Transformation Tuesday