Happy Sunday, friends!
I hope your weekend was filled with relaxation and rejuvenation.
A couple of weeks ago I took a poll and asked everyone which topics they’d be most interested in reading from me. My two winners were Life/Inspo and Health/Wellness! I want you all to enjoy what I’m putting out there, so please feel free to make suggestions and recommendations to me at any time!
You guys know I can write about life for days…but I’m constantly asked what I do to stay in shape/what I eat and how I maintain my health and body. It has never been my focus to write about fitness because I feel like it’s become so mainstream in today’s culture but I figured I’d delve into this a little bit and give you a simple breakdown of some of my daily tips and routines.
Please keep ONE thing in mind- I am not one of the many Insta fit models or personal trainers out there right now that’s going to preach about protein products and rigorous workout regiments. Don’t take what I say as such because I’m not a professional! I just learn as I go and have fallen into my own routines throughout the years. I will tell you that I’ve never done any extreme dieting, fasting or cleansing designed to starve the body..I feed my body what it needs and if I want something, I will eat it in moderation! (Hello, I grew up in an Italian household) I don’t believe starving yourself is the answer at all. Keeping your body moving is 100% necessary, though.
Since the young age of 6, I was involved in sports (gymnastics and cheerleading)..if you don’t believe cheer is a sport, we’ll debate that at a later time. 😉 Anyway, exercise was always a part of my life and as I got older in school, my body was used to practicing at least 5-6 days a week. From tumbling and conditioning training, to tossing people up in the air and catching them, every muscle in my body was being used frequently. It became second nature.
Because of this, as a teenager, I used to eat whatever I wanted with zero repercussions. Hamburgers, chicken nuggets and a large sweet tea before practice (almost every day, no joke) and all of the sweets and snacks my mom had readily available in my house.
Flash forward to 25 and having given up my cherished past time, (ugh) I realized I just can’t eat like that anymore. If I ate what I used to eat before practice, today, I’d probably need a stretcher! I also realized that I need to push myself just a little harder to see the results I desire. While the 25 year old body is still a young one, I’ve noticed that I require more self-care now than I did even at 21 years old. There are foods that no longer agree with my stomach and if my body is telling me I’m tired, I listen.
The hardest part of exiting a sport is wondering how you’re going to maintain your fitness now that no one is pushing you to do so. Giving you a set work out. Holding you to a specific standard. What type of workout am I going to do? How many days a week am I committing myself to? Wait, I have to workout alone now? This stinks. I will be the first to say that I have tried many gyms/classes and workout routines. I have done kickboxing, yoga, home fitness videos and more. However, I find that the best workout for me is the one I create for myself at the gym. Classes are sometimes great, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t offer room for straying from that particular workout. Home workouts don’t always work for me because well, it’s so hard to stay focused at home!
For this reason, I try to get to the gym at least 5 days a week and rotate the focus of my workout each time. One day, it’s arms, the next day back, another day legs, etc. I always start my workout with 20-30 minutes of cardio (preferably, the treadmill) and do a little bit of interval training with it. I’ll switch off between running and walking on a consistent incline just to spike my heart rate. Weights are honestly my best friends. Everyone has a different body type that responds to a different type of workout, but I find that my muscle memory responds best to lifting. The end of my workout always finishes with some sort of circuit training..I get all of my circuits from either Krissy Cela or Whitney Simmons on Instagram. They’re the best and have an array of workouts to choose from dependent upon what you’re looking to improve!
Obviously, there are days I get home and want no part of the gym at all. Sometimes my body is just plain tired. If that’s the case, I listen to my body and take the day off. More often than not, on days where the gym just isn’t appealing to me, I make sure to get myself outside and either talk a walk or go for a run (at least 2 miles), weather permitting. Otherwise, I’ll use my home treadmill. Cardio is super important in getting rid of unwanted body fat and it’s so much better than doing nothing at all. Combine that with the below ab circuits and I promise you’ll feel a burn!
Okay, so what about the diet…
As I mentioned, I am not one of those crazy dieters that cuts absolutely everything out and won’t touch something if it’s unhealthy. I believe in eating something if you’re craving it because if you deny your body, you’re probably just going to binge on it at a later time.
However, you really won’t catch me eating a lot of fried food or bread ever. Not because I don’t love it but because it doesn’t really love me. Over the last few years, I’ve had to shift my dietary patterns and have finally fallen into what works best for me. I noticed that once I started to eat less bread and sweets, my stomach felt and looked better. It gave me more energy and I saw results faster. I try to always stick with lots of fruits, vegetables and proteins, especially to repair the muscles after a workout. I’m pretty regimented during the week, especially with what I bring to work for lunch. God bless you if you can eat a cheeseburger or burrito at lunchtime, but sadly, my body wouldn’t like me for it. You’ll usually catch me eating chicken, turkey or a veggie burger and some brown rice or a salad. If I’m craving something sweet (which is often), I have a bag of dark chocolate chips on deck at all times. I strangely grew up hating soda so that has never been an issue for me…if you’re a soda drinker, I guarantee you’ll notice an immediate difference if you cut it out for a week! I drink a lot of water and it really makes all the difference..even for your hair and skin!
I get a little more lenient when it comes to dinner because it’s my favorite meal of the day. (not saying I’ll eat fried junk, but I let myself have whatever it is I’m in the mood for) On the weekends, I definitely treat myself and eat whatever I normally wouldn’t during the week. Guys, I’m head over heels for pasta and all sorts of cheeses..you can’t take that from me if you tried. If you’re a pasta and carb lover too, I’ve found great alternatives…black bean rotini from Trader Joe’s, TRY IT! If you love something that’s not so good for you, no one is saying you can’t eat it ever again. Just watch how much of it you eat. Moderation is key.
I don’t take any sorts of supplements or diet pills, but I have gotten back on my Vitamin train which I think is super important for immunity and just keeping your body generally healthy. After a bad run in with the flu this winter, I knew I needed something. I’ve always had a very sensitive stomach and have been prone to bloating which is super annoying when you’re trying to workout and see results (abs, where are you?). I’ve tried many different remedies over the years but nothing has helped as much as my discovery of probiotics. I’m a frequent Kombucha drinker (Health-Ade, Pink Lady Apple from Trader Joe’s is my favorite! It’s at Whole Foods, too.) and I take probiotic gummies every day (Olly is my preference). I find that the probiotics eliminate the bloat and keep your digestive track running smoothly. This makes it a lot easier to see results after a good workout.
Aside from diet and exercise, your body gets its strength from rest and self-care. Sleep is probably the most important thing we can do for ourselves and I’ll be the first to say, I don’t get nearly enough of it! This is a goal of mine in the coming weeks. You can’t build a better body without letting it recharge and catch up.
Yes, I’m an occasional drinker like many, but a nonexistent smoker! People, if you’re still smoking cigarettes..put them down! They do you absolutely NO GOOD and will hinder any hope of progress you may have..
To everyone on their fitness journey, whether ex athletes or first-time gym goers, the only person you should be striving to look like is the best version of yourself. Don’t use anyone else’s body as your marker for success because we all have different body types! I applaud you for wanting to be better and look better and taking the steps to do so..but always remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be consistent with your workouts, whatever they may be, and fuel your body with the healthy stuff! I promise you will see the results you’re looking for if you remain persistent and consistent. But also, remember to have your cheat days and forgive yourself if you ever feel tired or lack motivation some days. Just use your rest days to push yourself harder the next time.
We only get one body so let’s treat it the best we can!
Thanks for reading my little health tid bit and please let me know what you think or if you have questions! We’re all on the healthy body journey together!