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Month: August 2014

My 3 phases of Carbohydrates: A Love/Hate/Love Relationship

My 3 phases of Carbohydrates: A Love/Hate/Love Relationship

      If you don’t know my story, you also don’t know that there was a period of time where carbs were literally all I lived off of. Pasta, pop-tarts, bagels…multiple times per day. We’ll title this the “Carb-aholic Phase”. I don’t think I ate a single vegetable during my entire high school life- and well into college. Due to my speedy metabolism, this is what worked for me, and this is what I enjoyed. Now by no means was I at all fit at this time. Ironically, this was also during my affair with the elliptical- when I thought burning 100 calories in 20 minutes was a LOT.

 

   

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Luckily, it was not long after that I became an Exercise Science major and flooded my brain with knowledge that I am so thankful for. The next few years I experimented with many “fad” diets including Paleo, clean eating, carb-cycling and last but not least the Ketogenic Diet. Many of these diets did work yet none of them stayed in my life for more than a couple months. The chemistry just wasn’t there! I would say that being on the Ketogenic (low-carb) diet is where I saw the most change in my body in the shortest amount of time. Bring on the “Anti-Carb Phase”.Obviously this was exciting! But then again….only taking in carbs from vegetables seemed to get old fast. No sweet potatoes, no rice, no peanut butter, no oatmeal. Not even ketchup! Since my carb intake was so low, I had to make up for it elsewhere by increasing my fat intake-tricking my body into using fat as fuel instead of glucose (carbs). I had researched and researched and the evidence seemed wonderful, in fact they use this diet for Epilepsy patients to reduce seizures…so it had to be good…right??

While this diet “worked” in the way that I lost body fat, it did not “work” for me personally. I was constantly worried about knocking my body out of ketosis by consuming too many carbs. I got to a point where I was obsessed with reading nutrition labels before putting anything into my body. It wasn’t worth it. Now I am not saying this diet is bad….or doesn’t work for anyone, however since it took control of my life, I finally realized this was not for me.

 

Welcome back carbohydrates!

Since moving to San Diego, and moving in with my best friend/boyfriend who happens to be certified in Nutrition, we balanced my diet back out to 40% protein, 20% fat AND 40% carbohydrate. I have to admit transitioning back to this was hard for me- I had somewhere down the line put a label on carbs that said “BAD” in my head. How could the pasta-loving, bagel-eating girl think so poorly of what she basically lived on half of her life? Slowly adding carbs back into my diet, while continuing to eat clean not only has made me happier, but my body is slowly leaning out. I couldn’t believe that eating the foods I loved in the right portions could cause such positive results. To get things straight I am certainly not eating pasta and bagels. I stick to complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, old-fashioned oats, rice cakes, fat-free yogurt and even some high-fiber cereal (Kashi is my favorite!). I can finally say I am a carb-lover again, and not only is my body thanking me, but so is my mind! Finally, the “Carb-balanced Phase”.

 

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Find what’s right for YOU.

With so many diets out there, it is SO easy for us to be confused or want to try something because a friend had success with it. After my years of experimenting, I can finally say that none of those fads worked for me. What does work is a clean, whole-foods lifestyle. There truly is no shortcut or magic trick that will slim you down so if you are looking to better your body from the inside out, start with nutrient dense foods.

Need assistance with jumping on the clean-eating train? Email fitgirlmoves@gmail.com for personalized training plans and nutritional advice.

 

**Disclaimer: I am NOT a physician or dietician. I just believe in sharing my successes and failures to help as many individuals make the change to the healthy lifestyle.

 

Endings are simply new beginnings in disguise

Endings are simply new beginnings in disguise

Hey FITGIRLMOB! It has been a crazy hectic couple of weeks and it just hit me the other day that I have now been living in Cali for 3 months! So many amazing experiences have come out of that 3 months and it really feels like my life is sort of falling into place. With my internship ending last week, then heading up to Anaheim for the IDEA WORLD Conference, I have been nonstop but luckily yesterday I had something that I haven’t had in a while- a day off! It’s funny that when I first arrived in SoCal, I had two weeks of “days off” before starting my internship and oh how quickly did that change. Being the energizer bunny that I am I truly don’t mind working 12-16 hour days, but when you are doing that for 2 months it definitely starts to wear you down which brings me back to creating that balance in your life to make sure it is not all work.
With the internship over, 3 months ago I would have thought I would be returning back to my home in CT, but since San Diego has been everything I could have asked for and more, I knew it was the right decision to stay. So many things have been running through my mind nonstop these past few months like where am I going to stay?, will I get a job?, how will I get my car out here? But I kept my main focus on my internship and knew that if it was meant for me to stay, it would all work itself out.

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Luckily for me, it has. I am officially all moved in with Josh who has been so supportive of everything I do, I got a job as both a Personal Trainer and fitness instructor, as well as starting an outdoor Bootcamp, and I am in e process of shipping my little Nissan Altima out here. Although I have put in a crazy amount of work to even be out here, it’s kind of funny how things just seem to happen so “easily” when they truly are meant to be.

The second I realized that fitness and health was what I wanted to do with my life, I made it my mission to turn that passion into a career. It wasn’t until I looked back at the past few years that I realized how important it is to find your passion. Why be stuck doing something for the rest of your life that doesn’t inspire you? Do yourself a favor and figure out what your passion is, do what it takes to live through that passion, and let it shine out to as many people as you can.

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The BEST diet out there!

The BEST diet out there!

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to head up to Long Beach, CA to attend the Perform Better 3 day summit. There were so many amazing presenters however the title of one in particular when reading the schedule stuck out to me the most. Dr. Christopher Mohr was presenting on a title called, “Eat Your Medicine”. We have all seen this photo …

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or something like it yet we continue to live off of processed food loaded with chemicals, sugar and who knows what else. Dr. Mohr quoted,”Lifestyle and environment account for 90-95% of our most chronic illnesses.”-Pharmaceutical Research Journal. With that being said, nutrition and exercise are more powerful than drugs and can cure disease. So with America’s obesity rate still rapidly rising, what can we do to fix this epidemic?

Get back to the basics.

With so many fad diets these days (Paleo, Keto, Low-fat, Low-carb, Atkins, etc) it is easy to get confused about what is “right” or what diet is the best out there. So do you want to know what it is??

The best diet is the diet that YOU are going to follow. There is no single diet that is better than any others and many diets work differently for different people. Why? Well do you have the same exact body as your best friend? Is your DNA exactly the same? Definitely not. Science has compared every diet to one another and the winner every single time is real food.

I have experimented with plenty of diets the past few years including Paleo, low-carb, Ketogenic, your typical “bodybuilder’s diet”, and although I didn’t realize it, a high-carb diet for most of my high school and college life. Not one of the diets listed above lasted longer than a few months for me and although maybe I lost body fat on some, or gained it on others, I was never able to sustain any of those and on most of them, I was dissatisfied and unfulfilled while on them. If you are currently on a diet, ask yourself: “Does eating this way make me feel good during and after my meals?” If the answer is no, then it is not the right diet for you regardless of how great it worked for your friend.

Today, I eat a balanced diet of carbs, protein, and fat for every meal and I eat about 6 meals per day. My caloric intake is higher than it has been in years, I am doing less cardio than I have in years and I am lifting the heaviest weights EVER. When I want an ice cream cone, I have it. I don’t restrict myself from anything (yet I also don’t go binging on treats) and I truly just eat clean foods that make me feel my absolute best.

It obviously takes time to figure out what works for you and your lifestyle but here are my top healthy eating tips to get you started:

~Calories DO matter but do NOT count them obsessively. Have a daily target but going over your target is not the end of the world. At the same time, the quality of your food also matters: for example if all you eat each day is 3,500 calories of carrots, you will still gain weight.

~Keep protein intake balanced throughout the day. This will keep your insulin levels balanced and it has been proven that having 25-30g of protein for breakfast will cause you to eat significantly less throughout the day.

~“The more you cook, the better you look.”-Dr. Mohr. When you cook, you know exactly what goes into a meal, as compared to processed foods or microwave meals.

~Feel good, look good. Your food intake should make you feel good while eating it, as well as after eating it. No Thanksgiving dinner bellies here!

For more dietary advice or questions: email fitgirlmoves@gmail.com !!

Eat clean & train mean!

Energy flows where intention grows.

Energy flows where intention grows.

With it being my last two weeks as an intern at Fitness Quest 10, it is so important to keep my energy going. The past few months have been the most amazing and most physically demanding of my life and as long as some days have been I am incredibly sad this experience is coming to an end.

I think one of the most important things I have learned being at FQ10 is to always have a contagious, positive energy about you. From the first day I walked into the gym back in May, I felt at home. There is simply no other way to describe it. Moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, leaving my family and friends, and knowing less than a couple people out here it was safe to say I was nervous. I had never lived more than 30 minutes from my house in Connecticut so this huge life change was new in so many ways for me yet upon walking through the door of “the roots” (FQ10’s upstairs facility) I suddenly felt comfort. I felt so welcomed and somehow knew that these people were going to become my family for the summer and that became true in so many ways.

All of the employees at FQ10 are unique in their own way, and I could go on and on about how each one of them has impacted my life but I think the take-away for me is that they all have one thing in common- they are passionate about their jobs and that passion spreads like rapid fire. My mentor and friend Janet “B-Train” Bertrand expressed to me that “You either are fueled or repelled by greatness.” and that comment has stuck with me throughout the duration of this internship. For me personally, just being in the same room as many of these people inspires me to want to become better. I want to continue to follow my dreams of establishing FITGIRLMOVES, become the best trainer that I possibly can be and make a name for myself. I am filled with such motivation just being able to surround myself with such positivity and greatness each day and ultimately I have become the happiest I have ever been in my life. On the other hand, I have also witnessed certain situations here where the “greatness” is too much for some to handle. Janet was right in every aspect of that statement and although it took me a little while to understand both sides of it, I realized that being able to respond to this “greatness” is truly a gift.

Energy is defined as the strength and vitality for sustained physical and mental activity.

Although there are just 7 days left here for me, I believe in bringing all of the energy I have to the gym. Something I always tell my clients is to “finish strong” and being someone who practices what they preach that is exactly what I intend to do. The positivity and overall “energy” at Fitness Quest 10 is something I intend to take with me upon my departure. If I can impact one person per day like Todd, and the staff do to every single one of their clients then my daily goal has been met. Although spreading health and fitness is my true passion, spreading positivity to people you encounter on the daily is just as important and fulfilling to me.

 

So my question to you:

What can you do this week to bring a positive, contagious energy to your work, home or friends??

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Stress-Less!

Stress-Less!

Happy August 1st Fit Girl Mob!

 

I decided last night when I was taking a few minutes to relax from packing to kind of do an “overview” of my life. SO much has changed for me in the past few months and I am going through some huge life changes. I learned back in stress management with one of my favorite professors, Dr. Michael Voight that these big life changes all factor in to be the top stressors in our lives. Now when I say stressors, I don’t necessarily say that as a bad thing. Eustress is another word for good stress (I know what you’re thinking: how could stress be good?) and this type of stress is related to desirable events in a person’s life. 3 months ago, my move to California, starting a new internship and beginning a new relationship was the eustress in my life. Today I would say marks “step 2” of the journey and a whole new list of stressors as I move in with my boyfriend Josh today, start a real job in the next few weeks, and basically begin to cut the cord from Mom & Dad.

Since I am going through an exciting, yet stressful time in my life, I decided to share what I think are the best ways to cope with stress. I have always dealt with stress extremely well (for the most part!) thanks to my Dad. Our personalities are very similar in the fact that we stay calm, look at all aspects of the situation, and just “go with the flow”. Here’s what I came up with to help you keep your “cool”!

1. Exercise! – Obviously this would be my first choice, right? Release those happy endorphins and sweat out the bad!

2. Focus on what you can control.-This one is important because I find that most of the things I stress about usually are out of my control. What’s the point in working yourself up over something that you cannot fix yourself?

3. Smile.- “Fake it til you make it” and eventually that fake smile will turn into a real one…it’s almost inevitable!

4. Think about the positives in your life. When you’re not having the best day and it feels like just about everything is going wrong, stop and think of something in your life that is GREAT, something that you’ve done that is GREAT and remind yourself that you really are GREAT!

5. Meditate, relax or sleep it off.- When all else fails, take a nap and get over it. Rejuvenating and allowing your mind and body to repair itself through sleep has helped me through some of my most stressful moments in the past. Wake up and start fresh!

Follow these 5 simple steps to reduce and even eliminate the stress in your life!