Getting back on the blog wagon

It sure has been a while since my last post. Life has definitely sped up (in a good way) and I just let blogging slip through the cracks. I am still in the process of figuring out what kind of style blog I want and what content I want to focus on. Over thinking all of this has caused me to just avoid it all together. Starting a blog these days is challenging! There are so many amazing blogs out there and I feel overwhelmed about where to start/ how to keep up.

Then I took a step back and realized that I just simply need to write and be real. I want to use this space as a journal, as inspiration and as way to reach out to others with similar interests. Since my last post in June- A LOT has happened! A lot of big life things that I am proud of and that I worked hard for. So I want to re-visit this space and stay consistent with it going into 2017. I don’t have to put pressure on myself to have a beautiful blog with a ton of followers. I just need to put myself out there and write! Simple as that.

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Protein Powder 101

I used to think that protein powders were meant for body builders or those trying to bulk. I didn’t think I really needed one since my goal is to gain lean muscle and improve my cardiovascular fitness. However, when I started to track my protein intake per day, I realized that I was not getting enough protein. How much protein is enough? Well that can probably be its own separate post, but I like to go by 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body mass as a daily guide.

The first time I walked into the nutrition shop, I felt completely overwhelmed! The stacks of massive cases of powders, supplements, bars and products was a lot to take in. I had no idea where to begin. There are a lot of different powders out there, so I decided to go back home and do some research first. Here is a quick explanation of the different types of protein powders:

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Working during mealtime hours? How to stay on track with Nutrition

Working in the service industry or in any job that requires you to work through mealtime hours without a real “lunch break” can make it really difficult to eat healthy. Your running around like crazy from from 4pm-11pm and surrounded by delicious food the entire time. Ugh. When blood sugar levels start to drop, its really tempting to drink soda or to eat the mozzarella sticks that were ordered by accident. However, snacking mindlessly throughout the shift does not really even satisfy you, and those calories add up. Then by the time the shift is over, your will be craving a carb-heavy meal and devour about anything.

So between a few sodas, mozzarella sticks, a couple soup samples and your actual meal, thats could be around 1200-1600 calories consumed. This seems nuts because you spent most of the night feeling hungry. Yikes!

So how do you work around this? I have worked in the service industry for 3 years and learning to eat healthy during work has definitely been a learning process. Here are five ways to help you stay on track:

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Fitness Certifications: How I became ACSM Certified

So if your interested in working in the fitness industry, getting a professional certification is a must-do. Whether you want to be a personal trainer, health coach, group exercise instructor or work in a clinical setting, there is a certification that fits all of these positions. Professional certifications will help you secure a job in the field and give you credentials to prescribe exercise.

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Tame that sweet tooth with these healthy treats

I don’t track my food on the reg, but I will from time to time to make sure I am on track with my nutrition. The first time I tracked my food using myfitnesspal, I was shocked at how much extra sugar I was eating. I don’t add a ton of sugar to things and I avoid processed foods, so I thought I was good. However, when you take a closer look, you realize that there is hidden sugar in almost everything. From yogurt to condiments, sugar is literally everywhere! You also have to account for natural sugar found in fruits. Although natural sugar is much better than the processed stuff, it’s still sugar. The USDA just recently updated the recommendation for sugar intake and it does not allow for much. See below:
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Mud Run/ Spartan Race Guide: How to be race day ready

You have signed up for a race, trained hard and now you are approaching race day. Planning out food and workouts the week leading up to the race can be challenging. The goal is to have peak energy and strength on race day and be as prepared as possible. I completed a spartan race about 2 weeks ago. This is a guide to how I got race-day ready, as well as tips and photos from my experience!

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How I trained for my first Obstacle Course Race

Last weekend I completed a Reebok Spartan Sprint in Charlotte, NC. There are three different types of spartan races. The Sprint is 3-5 miles in length and has 20-24 obstacles throughout the course. The Super is 9-11 miles with 25-28 obstacles and the Beast is 12+ miles and 30+ obstacles. Since this was my first obstacles course race and I am not much of an endurance runner, I stuck with the sprint. For this post, I am going to focus on what I did to train for the race. My race experiences and tips for race day will come later 🙂

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Meals for Prep: Spaghetti Squash, Chicken and Veg

Have you ever had spaghetti squash before? If not, you need to try it! Its a delicious and healthy alternative to pasta. The consistency is similar to rice noodles and it pairs well with anything you would cook with pasta.

I just started meal prepping at the beginning of the year and I have noticed that it makes a big difference in my eating patterns throughout the week. Not only do I save time, but I make healthy choices more consistently. I use my prepped meals as a quick “go-to” instead of stopping for take out or just snacking on random stuff until Im full. This week, my bf and I made a layered spaghetti squash. Its super easy and quite tasty. Here are the simple steps:

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Weekly Workouts + Happy St Patty’s Day

Happy St. Patricks Day! I remembered it was St. Patricks day this morning as I was getting ready. I don’t ever do anything to celebrate, but I figured I would at least change out of my all-black outfit and put something green on.

Over the weekend, my boyfriend Shan and I went to our first Charlotte Hornets basketball game. The basketball game fell on the same night as  Charlotte’s St. Patricks Day Pub crawl…and holy cow! We did not know what we were walking into. The pub crawl was huge and there were people everywhere (apparently 20,000 people participated). By the time we got uptown, the crawl had been going strong for a couple of hours. So everyone had a dazed look in their eye. It did look like fun, but I was happy that we were heading to the basketball game. The hornets played great, beating the Houston Rockets 125-109.

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Snack on something different

For the longest time, I was creature of habit when it came to snacking. Constantly reaching for yogurt + granola or hummus + pretzel chips. Now don’t get me wrong, I will still always have these items on hand. However, I have gotten a lot more creative with my snack options lately. I love it when I can look forward to a snack and really enjoy it rather than just munch away mindlessly. I am the type of person who always has a few snacks handy. I think healthy snacking is a good way to keep energy up throughout the day and avoid extreme hunger come meal time. Here are a couple of my current go-to’s in the snack department:

1. Sweet Potato Bowls

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These are absolutely delicious, nutritious and filling. They are a great breakfast option as well. All you do is roast a sweet potato at 425 degrees for 45-60 minutes (depending on the size of the sweet potato). Then simply mash it up, add a bit of ghee and then get creative with toppings. I like to top it off with almond butter, chia seeds and raisins. I have also played around with coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. I know it seems a bid odd, but trust me on this one. Its real good!

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