I have come to the conclusion that winter stinks. I really never remember a winter when we had so much repetitive snow! Its one thing to snow 5 or 10 inches, get it cleaned and move on, but what seems to be happening is that we are getting 5-10 inches then 2 days later getting more, then more and it is never ending! Lets put it this way: I cannot wait for SPRING time!
My lunch yesterday was delicious and of course I want to share it with all of you. Lately I have been roasting up big batches of veggies and keeping them in a tupperware for the week. I use them in my salads and with my dinners. The addition of roasted vegetables on a cold salad is so delicious!
This salad contained:
- Baby Spinach
- Red pepper
- **Roasted brussels sprouts and squash (sprinkled with paprika and turmeric) roasted in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes
- Salad dressing made with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 oz turkey meatloaf
- 4 oz sweet potato (eaten on the side)
When I wake up, I like start my day with a glass of lemon water. I simply squirt in some lemon juice that I have in the fridge. When I have fresh lemons, I will use that but buying a container of lemon juice from the supermarket is a great way to save some time!
Tall glass of lemon water
Oh and did I mention I passed my AFAA Group Fitness Certification? If you recall, I took teh workshop in December, and I just got word in the mail that I passed! To be honest, I wasn't that surprised, the exam was pretty easy for me and I enjoy being in front of a crowd, teaching exercise. Not to mention, I already have my ACSM Personal Trainer Certification and have a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science, but still it was a great accomplishment!!
The second drink of teh day to hit my lips is...DUH...Coffee!! I used my new mug to hold the delicious, hot contents of freshly brewed coffee. I had a drop of half and half along with some stevia
While sipping my coffee and heating up my breakfast, I spotted a book on the countertop. This book was given to my mom from a friend of hers whose son just got married. It is basically a "Getting Married Bible" (my brother just got engaged) Each chapter has a different topic and takes you through EVERYTHING from engagement to wedding planning, to wedding gowns, cake tasting, thank you notes to starting a life together. It is awesome! As some of you know, I am pretty much obsessed with Wedding Gowns, as Say Yes To The Dress is one of my favorite shows.
I immediately flipped to the Wedding Gown chapter! (Kleinfelds is the Bridal Salon where Say Yes To The Dress is filmed located in NYC)
There was a lot of things I knew, but a whole lot I did not know! There are specific names for different trains to the back of wedding gowns, and specific names for sleeve type! (good thing I am not getting married anytime soon! I have a lot to get familar with)
After finishing reading about trains and sleeves and A-Lines and Empire waists, breakfast was ready. I heated up some oatmeal that I cooked last night and kept in the fridge. It was made stove top with tons of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg
I topped the oatmeal on some egg whites and fresh blackberries. Flaxseed makes a great oatmeal topper and not to mention is packed with healthy fats! I have been having about 1 tsp of Flaxseed on my oatmeal lately
And now for some Fitness Info!
The Bulk Up Myth:
But I don't want to bulk up! I want to 'tone'
I hear this more often than you can imagine. Women come to me and want a workout program but this is exactly what they say. You want to change your body, you want to rev your metabolism, you want to feel strong-I tell all women to lift heavy (this is all relative, as what is heavy for one may not be heavy for another) When I say heavy I mean to pick a weight that allows you to keep proper form and breathing throughout, yet you are still struggling through those last 2-3 reps in the set.
When we see huge big muscles on others, this is the result of years of intense training in the gym, following a rigorous schedule, strict diet and extreme dedication. I have found that women tend to avoid the weight room like the plague because they think the only way to lose weight is to stick to the cardio machines. Many are either scared of 'bulking up', don't know what to do or are unaware of the benefits of strength training in achieving a healthy, fit physique! Trust me, you can weight train until you are green in the face-you will not look like Arnold Schwartzenneger!
Another factor and one that needs to be realized and is not under direct control of an individual is the actual amount of muscle fiber that there is to potentially develop. Women, on average, have 30% less muscle fiber to develop than a man does, which means a woman's ability to get bulky, even if she wanted to, much more difficult than a man's. Another thing a woman needs to realize is that any training effect can be reversed and "detrained" if that is something that is so desired. No training effect is permanent, it needs to be regularly stimulated if it is to be retained or improved upon.
Next time, you see a picture of a woman with a large amount of muscle mass just understand that a minimum of about 10 years of vigorous training and dieting went into that body (maybe with the help of other supplements) and unless you want to strive to make that same kind of commitment, then you have nothing to worry about
- The magic numbers are 8 through 12: 8-12 is the generally recommend repetition range for overall strength. To find your 'perfect weight' this may take a few tries. Pick a weight that allows you to complete 8-12 reps with proper form, but something that you still feel somewhat challenged by the last rep. If you can lift the weight more than 12 times, feel free to up the weight to something heavier. If you can't lift it at least 8 times, you need a lighter weight. I would recommened 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps to start out!
- Work the large muscles first: Small muscles fatigue quickly. If you work them first, they will have a hard time assisting the larger muscles. For example: For the Bench press exercise which is a primary exercise for your chest, you do not only use your chest muscles. Your back and triceps also have to work quite hard to lift the weight. Working smaller muscles first can acutally reduce your strength for working the large muscles......So, work the large muscles first (chest, back, shoulders, thighs) and the smaller muscles last (arms, calves, abdominals).
- Remember to breathe!I know, its a natural thing to breathe but starting out, many people will hold their breath during lifting, which can cause a sharp rise in blood pressure. It doesn't matter whether you inhale or exhale during the lift; you decide which feels more comfortable. Just remember to do it!
- Wait 48 hours between sessions: Muscles need rest! Make sure you are giving your muscles 48 hours to repair (different muscle groups-so you can work legs one day and upper the next, just make sure you are not working your triceps on back to back days). Muscles need time to recover so that you get the fat burning benefits.