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Author: sdevolution

Josh & Alessandra are Connecticut natives who moved to San Diego to pursue their passion of spreading the healthy lifestyle through fitness and wellness. Both graduated from Central Connecticut State University however it wasn't until both resided on the West Coast when they decided to join forces not only as a power couple but as business partners. Using their combined knowledge and experience, they have made it their mission to continue changing lives one client at a time.
BEFORE YOU START THAT CRAZY DIET…

BEFORE YOU START THAT CRAZY DIET…

When you think of the word diet, what do you think of? Probably something along the lines of miserable, strict, and/or boring. Dieting gets a bad rap because of the past. Fad diets have proven to be unsustainable for most, and honestly unappealing to even more. Fear-mongers have driven us to think whole entire food groups are not good for us (protein causes kidney issues, carbs make you fat, fats make you fat, and the most recent trend of carbs make you fat …again). There is a plethora of information (good and bad) out there so I can’t blame you for not ever sticking to a diet, nor lacking the knowledge of what exactly makes a good diet anyways.

In my opinion, there really is no “best diet”. In fact, the best diet is highly individual to the person starting it. What works for Jane next door, most likely won’t work for you. Why? Well, to put it simply, you are not Jane. The most important factor when starting a diet is making sure that it is going to be sustainable and fit your lifestyle.  

We compiled a few tips to not only help you ease into a healthier lifestyle, but to also hopefully steer you away from jumping into the next juice cleanse, 30 day detox, or worse.

blog 1This seems to be the first mistake most individuals make when starting a diet. They immediately try to change their entire lifestyle in order to adhere to this new (and pretty large) part of their life. A diet should be like a new relationship. You obviously aren’t going to move in, marry and have children with your new partner all within one week, so why should something that literally keeps you alive every single day be any different? Small, baby steps will not only lead you to success, but allow you to learn more about yourself and this new endeavor in the process which will ultimately lead to sustainability. For example, if you are a total nutrition newbie and really don’t even know where you stand with your current nutrition. Take a few days to track your current intake using an app (We love the MyMacros+ app!) just to see where you current standing is. Are you a carb-ivore? Do you love your fats? Lacking in protein? This will give you a great idea of what areas you need to improve upon. 

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Speaking of protein, shift your focus to protein starting now. With a lot of our new clients we find that most individuals are under-consuming protein. Without getting too technical, a good starting place would be to focus on getting a source of lean protein in at every single meal throughout your day. The RDA for protein is pretty low at only .8g per kilogram of your bodyweight (to get your bodyweight in kilos simply divide it by 2.2). For athletes it is recommended to consume about 1g per pound of your bodyweight. So while everyone requires different amounts, shooting to hit somewhere within that range, while also incorporating a source at every meal should be helpful if you are trying to increase your protein intake. 

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 And no..we don’t mean to go shop at the store. While we don’t advocate a full-blown “clean eating” method as it can be restrictive and also force you to think of certain foods as good or bad, we do suggest filling your day with mostly whole food sources. By doing this, you are getting in quality micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as helping to keep your body full-especially if you need to diet on lower calories (see the next tip for more on that). By replacing packaged food sources with either fresh or frozen fruits/veggies, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products, you will give your body a well-rounded intake of the macronutrients, micronutrients and energy it needs to…well you know keep you alive and kicking. We suggest shooting for the 80/20 rule– 80% of your day should come from nutrient dense sources, leaving around 20% to be foods that maybe aren’t so healthy, but enjoyable. By leaving yourself a little wiggle-room, you aren’t restricting things you may like, you aren’t totally sabotaging your goals, and you can still have that piece of birthday cake, cookie before bed or head out for ice cream with your family without feeling like you totally killed your diet. 

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Drinks add up! Replace any beverages you may drink daily (soda, iced tea, etc) with water. Water is also highly under-consumed and it’s safe to say the majority of people spend their days dehydrated without even knowing it. A good suggestion is to have at least 1/2 of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. So for those of you who are visual: I weigh 125lbs—I need at LEAST 60 ounces of water daily. That number increases if I exercise/sweat a lot. Plain water is obviously optimal, however if you really cannot stand plain old water, adding in some Crystal Light, or zero-calorie flavor shots is a great way to increase the amount of water you drink daily. 

So before you jump into the next big diet that your BFF wants you to do, take these 4 tips first. We can guarantee you if you simply start by adding in these small steps, you will start to not only see a change in your body, but also in your energy levels and overall health. This is certainly just the tip of the iceberg for optimal nutrition, so if you can adhere to these 4 things yet still want more of a change, it may be time to take it to the next level. Email us if you feel that you are ready for more of a push, a higher focus on nutrition, and want to learn quality techniques to give you a happier and healthier life. 

SHOULD YOU CALL IT QUITS ON YOUR DIET?

SHOULD YOU CALL IT QUITS ON YOUR DIET?

Think back to the last time you had to deal with a period of high level stress. Now, I don’t want you to think about what exactly was causing the stress, but more so about how it affected you. Most likely, it impacted your daily life to a certain extent depending on the level of stress you were experiencing. Many individuals use food as a coping mechanism when experiencing high amounts of stress. Maybe you turned to food as comfort, maybe you went the opposite direction and simply did not have an appetite for days at a time. Neither of those options are beneficial to your health nor your goals of weight loss. On the other side of the spectrum dieting can actually induce stress in your life. Low-calorie diets have been shown to increase cortisol production which is our major stress hormone. That along with counting calories and macros can be incredibly stressful for (SOME) individuals. This is why we stress that:

  1. Dieting (or fat loss) should be a phase. Dieting is not a lifestyle, and you should not be in a caloric deficit for the entire year. Spending some time at maintenance, or even massing (gaining weight with the focus of muscle-building) is recommended to not only give your body time to recover from dieting, but also give you a mental break which will ultimately reduce stress levels. If you do however come to the realization that your diet is adding too much stress to your life, it may be time to reassess your goals in order to go through a more productive fat-loss phase at a later time. 
  2. Make sure you are choosing a diet that is a good fit for YOU. Counting macros certainly has a time and place, but it is not for everyone. Maybe you need a more general approach to start, maybe you need a more structured meal plan to follow. Chances are, if you are severely struggling with dietary adherence, it may be time to reassess your methods and try something new. (If you need help figuring out what may be best for you, email us HERE– we can help!)

With that being said, dieting is HARD. Harder for some than others, but it is also important to recognize that you are essentially putting your body into starvation mode (on purpose) when in a fat-loss phase. Your body is going to want to fight you, you will probably experience hunger, and that is normal in this phase. There are however a lot of great ways to combat these issues and in our next blog we will be discussing our favorite dieting tips so stay tuned there!

Obviously we can’t just flip to the next page of our lives and be stress-free (wouldn’t that be nice?), but there are ways to minimize your stress levels and how you handle your overall stressors. There are a few steps you can take to address this and move forward as a calmer, more efficient individual. 

step 1Identify what is stressing you out. Sometimes this is obvious, other times there may be underlying issues that you simply did not realize are messing with your head. Lack of sleep, a big life change such as moving, a restrictive diet, workplace drama or even your marital status can all cause some level of stress. Realizing what it is that is causing you higher levels of stress than normal is just as important as drawing a line between what it is that you can control versus what is beyond controllable. Be old-fashioned and grab a pen/paper (or use the Notes app in your phone is you’re more tech-savvy) and literally jot down everything causing anxiety to you at the very moment. Put a star next to what you have control over and work from there to see how you are going to start managing them. As far as those un-starred items? Simply make it aware to yourself that these are far beyond your control, and let be what will be.

step 3Structure your day. This is something that has really been life-changing for me personally as I have grown from being the most unorganized, late, “hot mess” individual to someone who utilizes a daily planner to schedule time slots for just about everything that needs to be accomplished. When you design a structured day, you are ultimately referring back to step 1 and controlling everything that can possibly be controlled. I find this method great for those who get overwhelmed with the “small stuff”. This can be as simple as using a planner, or just taking a blank sheet of paper and jotting down your daily schedule, what needs to get done and when it needs to be done by. I schedule everything from packing my lunch for the next day, to some downtime to read, to my training, and since I have started acting on living an organized life, I have GREATLY reduced the amount of stress I was perceiving. Every Sunday, I take some time to either mentally or physically take note of the week ahead and what it will consist of so that way when things DO pop up, I can be as prepared as possible to address them.

step 34Practice mindfulness. I can’t preach this one enough. Set aside even just 5 minutes out of your day- maybe after you shower at night, before your morning coffee or right before you hit the pillow- to sit in silence and just ponder your life. I start by pointing out all of the positives I can think of that I have going for me at the moment. Small things such as getting to spend some time with a certain loved one that day, hitting a new PR in the gym, or even a really delicious meal you had earlier. Let the good consume your mind for a few minutes and you won’t believe how much less stressed you immediately feel. When you focus on the positive, you will continue to act, think and be positive. 

While stress will never go away completely, you can do everything in your power to learn how to handle it best for your body and mind that are healthy, productive and will ultimately make you happier while still allowing you to achieve your goals. 

How Seriously Should You Take Your Training?

How Seriously Should You Take Your Training?

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We’ve all been there.. We’re motivated, we’re ready to go, we’re really going to change this time. Time to get back that body you had in high school, or college, or whenever it was that you peaked. And when are we going to start? On Monday.. It’s always Monday. Your friends came over for a barbecue on Sunday, and Saturday you were recovering from Friday night so you couldn’t start then. So Monday it is.

 

Even if you’re already in a regimen we have moments, or ruts, in our training where we seem to just be going through the motions and not making any progress. A lot of times the reason isn’t that we aren’t putting in the work, but that we overreact to small speed bumps. You were counting macros at the barbeque on Sunday but then dessert came out, your eyes lit up, and that’s the last thing you remember. So after that, you just stopped counting. You decided to pick things back up on Monday.

 

What if I told you that you could have your Aunt’s famous dessert at your family cookout and not have to feel bad about it? I’m not talking about “if it fits your macros”. I’m not talking about macros at all. I’m talking about setting up the goals that are right for you.

 

So let’s get into it… First and foremost, what are your goals? Are you a weekend warrior who puts in 60 hours a week at a job and then crushes it on the weekends to stay healthy? Or are you an aspiring fitness athlete who is looking to compete? As you can imagine, these two scenarios are gong to play out with two very different goals. These are two people at opposite ends of the spectrum just to make my point, but there are stages in the middle where most people find themselves. We’ll go step by step and you can decide what category you fall into, and how you can decide how to follow a program from there.

 

Category 1: I just want to be healthy

 

A significant portion of the population will fall into this category. These are the people who have full time jobs on top of full time jobs. They might be married with kids, or travel for work 90% of the time. Or they just might not care a lick about the idea of “fitness” and just want their doctor to give them good news every year. It’s ok to be in this group! It’s not always about aesthetics! SD Evolution preaches healthy LIFESTYLES. Not all of our clients are training for a competition. A lot of them just want to be healthy. And we love that. We are building a fitness COMMUNITY and that covers all goals being HEALTHY and in any way that any of our individual clients views that.

 

SO, what does this mean? What do you have to do? What don’t you have to do? Well, this might come as a shock to hear me say this, but you DON’T have to count your macros. You don’t even need to follow a fitness regimen. The guideline here is just making healthy choices. Here is where I would recommend using the 80/20 rule. 80% healthy, 20% “hey shit happens”. You ate healthy all week, cooked healthy dinners for your family, and then the cookout came up on Sunday and you had an entire plate of dessert. I’m ok with it.. If you had McDonalds all week and ate nothing but Hot Tomales (my favorite candy by the way) while you watched Shark Week every night, then no, I would tell someone to slap that plate out of your hand you shouldn’t eat all that dessert! The world we live in sees most people getting the 80/20 backwards. That’s a whole other topic and I won’t get off on a tangent, but you get the idea. As far as training, a workout program would be helpful, but it isn’t necessary. Maybe you like finding new hikes. You just got a pool and you love swimming. You just joined a basketball league at work. Those are all forms of exercise; they just happen to be so fun that you forget you are working out. With enough frequency and balance, those are more than enough.

 

Why would I say all this when I run a fitness business? Well for starters, because I’m honest. But even still, we offer programs that consist of lifestyle coaching. So someone in this category would still benefit from an online coach, we just wouldn’t be giving them workouts and meal plans. They would be getting outlines of how to make their current lifestyle healthier, and we would teach them how to incorporate those things step by step, as well as keep them accountable.

 

Category 2: I don’t want to compete, but I do want to change my body

 

This category is where the majority fall into. Not everyone wants to go stand on stage and lift heavy weights, or put their sculpted physiques on display. Some people just want to feel more confident. I want to look good naked, I believe is what a lot of people talk about from this stand point. They might have accumulated a few pounds over the years, or they never really did have a great body but they decided they wanted to set their sights on having the mirror make them smile. Either way, they are at a point in their lives where they want to make a visible change to the way that they look.

 

These guys have to go a little farther than the 80/20 rule. To change your body, the numbers have to add up. We have this down to a science where “if you do this, then this will happen”. There are a lot of calculations that go into this, but the most basic form is a topic called caloric balance. If you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight. If you are in a caloric surplus, you will gain weight. There are a lot of other things that go into this, and some of those things actually make my previous statement false, but I won’t bore you with the details. For the vast majority, caloric balance holds true. From there, it is also very important WHERE your calories come from. We’re not just talking about the specific foods, but the macronutrient breakdown of those foods.

 

That is why this group needs to track what they are eating. The simplest way to do so… Counting your macros. More advanced people in this group may not need to do so because they already have their meals planned out and prepped the same way they have been doing it for a long time. But most of us will have to do this on a day to day basis because we will not want to eat the same exact things on a day to day basis. Counting our macros allows us the flexibility to eat with diversity, but also gives us the structure to not overdue it on any one part. You can do this manually, or most phones will let you download an app where you can just punch in the food and the amount you had and BOOM, macros tracked.. **cough cough** “MyMacros+” **cough**

 

Your workouts should also be programmed in this category. You will need to track volume to ensure progress. You don’t have to go overboard, but knowing what you did last week, and how to increase it this week is pretty important. And again, this stuff doesn’t have to be all in the gym. A lot of the peeps in here like to do other activities in place of the gym. But making sure you reach a certain intensity for a certain amount of time during you basketball game should be tracked in order to make sure you are getting to the level you need to, to achieve your goals.

 

Category 3: I want to be the best

 

You want to be the best? You better work harder and smarter than the best. This category is where very few people will take it. Not a lot of people want to compete. The biggest, most shredded dude in your gym might not want to step on stage. He’s just there to be big and shredded, and that’s ok. But some people strive to be the best in everything they do, and they want something measurable to tell them that. That measurement would be which flavor medal you bring home from a competition. Anyway, this category is the easiest to talk about, and the hardest to achieve.

 

Are you tracking your macros? Yes… Unless you’re on a meal plan eating the same thing every day. In which case you or your coach determined your macros on day one and that is set until it is adjusted moving forward.

 

Are your workouts programmed? You better believe it.. One of the easiest ways to determine if your weight gain is lean mass or fat is to look at your lifts. Are they the same weight that you started with when you were 200 and you are now 210? That was mostly, if not all, fat buddy.. Sorry. How do you program for improvements? Very simply put, make sure you do more than you did last time. It could be an extra set, or it could be an extra 5 or 10 pounds on your lift. Your volume must grow for you to grow.

 

What category do you fall in? Are you doing the things you need to in order to reach your goals? Do you now know what your goals are? If you need help, you know where to find us…

http://www.sd-evolution.com/contact.html

Until next time,

Josh

Why the Evolution?

Why the Evolution?

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SD Evolution. It doesn’t say FITNESS. It doesn’t say PERSONAL TRAINING. Nothing about it screams HEALTH AND WELLNESS. So if it doesn’t directly tell the consumer who we are, isn’t it bad branding? I guess that’s up to the opinion of the person answering the question. But I can tell you why our name is what it is, and what it means to us.

I’ll start with the easy stuff.. “SD”. Most people thought it stood for San Diego, where we started the business. It’s really Scutnik Daniele (our last names), but it also seemed clever that it was the same initials as San Diego, so we ran with it. That part doesn’t go much deeper. That was just our personal touch to “The Evolution”.

The Evolution is where we derive our passion for what we do. By definition, Evolution is the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. So by definition alone, the Evolution is what we do. We are taking something simple, something basic, and making it more complex. We are taking your present physical condition, and elevating it to the level you wish to achieve.

I was a nerd growing up and loved watching Dragon Ball Z. For those not familiar, it was basically a show about jacked cartoons characters who trained all day to evolve into their next form, and become more powerful to fight their enemies. There was more of a story to it, but that about sums it up haha. But throughout my life, whether it was during sports, or later on more towards the present time now, I love the concept of working your ass off to evolve into a better form. Whether that’s your body, or your athletic abilities, hard work creates a better product.

This is what we are so passionate about! Not only with ourselves, but being able to build programs to take our client’s goals and make them a reality. Everybody needs a plan. Everyone needs a plan with science and experience behind it. And nothing makes us happier than creating a plan and seeing our clients dominate it, taking their progress as far as they can, EVOLVING. Taking something simple to a more complex form. It’s passion. It’s blood, sweat, and tears. It’s perseverance. It’s fighting to achieve your goals and overcoming whatever obstacles get in your way. We try, we fail, we continue, we grow and learn. EVOLVE.

When we came up with our concept, Alessandra and I knew the name would be crucial to our success. But we took a risk and we did something different. We chose to go with something that made a lot of sense to us, and decided to teach it to others. SD Evolution. Better Your Body. Better Your Mind. Evolve. Join the Evolution!

 

Until next time,

Josh

SD Evolution Intro Offer

SD Evolution Intro Offer

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We have put together an introductory package for those of you who are on the fence about beginning a fitness regimen! It is very common to get stuck in this “purgatory”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients who wanted personal training but felt they weren’t ready yet because they weren’t “in-shape” enough, or they didn’t know what they were doing and wanted to learn before they spent their money on a trainer. That is the exact OPPOSITE of what you should be doing. The point of personal training is to TEACH you what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. It is easy to go into the gym and try to learn on your own, only to see no progress and just quit. A personal trainer coaches you on proper technique and teaches you why you are doing these things the way we do them. It is as much a learning experience as it is a workout. From that point you can choose whether you would like to continue personal training, or continue on your own with the workouts and just have the programming done for you.

THE PURPOSE:

This offer is for people who want to join our online membership, but aren’t comfortable with their form or understanding of the programming enough to just go do it on their own. This is designed to teach you what you will be doing in your program and making sure you are performing each exercise safely and effectively.

THE OFFER:

$279.99 for 4 personal training sessions, meeting once per week for 4 weeks. PLUS you get the first month of your online training membership for FREE! That breaks down to only $70/session! Then after your free month of online membership, it’s only $39.99/month to maintain your personal online coaching- all the benefits of personal training, without the cost of needing us there with you anymore!

Creating a Pre-workout That Works For You

Creating a Pre-workout That Works For You

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There is no doubting the importance of a pre-workout. But your idea and my idea of a pre-workout are probably completely different. You all know how I feel about certain supplements in general, ESPECIALLY pre-workouts, so I’m only going to briefly touch on this and then breakdown how you can build this yourself NATURALLY.

I won’t throw them all together, but the vast majority of pre-workouts are just tasty powders loaded with stimulants and blended chemicals to make you feel like you can run through a brick wall.. At least for about 90 minutes. That is usually followed by a significant crash down to earth, and maybe some jitters, itching, and tweaking out mixed into that along the way. Now I say the vast majority because some companies are starting to get the idea and make different blends that don’t include the stimulants and are built with a somewhat less harmful list of ingredients. (I don’t dare say healthier to anything that needed a lab to create it.)

But if it’s possible, why don’t we avoid putting these substances into our bodies all together? Well it is… So let’s breakdown the reasons we take a pre-workout and then reassemble that using natural sources.

Why do we take pre-workout supplements? What are the effects we are looking for? The main answers you are going to get to those questions are high energy, focus, and endurance. That’s the point right? To help us have better workouts. So what can we eat or drink that will help fill those needs?

Caffeine: This one is the obvious starting point, as it covers all three of those needs. Caffeine is a natural stimulant, and it is hyper-dosed in most pre-workouts. But it’s the easiest thing you could consume naturally to achieve the same desired effect. My go-to in this category is green tea, but the other, most effective caffeine source would be coffee. The optimal “dosage” is about 1.5 cups of coffee, but I feel great with just one cup of coffee or tea. When it is coffee, I take it black (I have no soul).

Protein: More specifically, whey protein, because it is fast absorbing and utilized quickly for your workout. Experts argue about when the best time to drink you protein shake is. My counter? Before AND after. I have two protein shakes per day and this timing ensures it is best utilized. Protein pre-workout is used for fuel because of those building blocks it is made from, AMINO ACIDS! It also increases protein synthesis, which will inhibit muscle breakdown and help with your pump.

Simple Carbohydrates: All of you flexible dieters should already know about this one because you should be planning those simple carbs around your workouts. This should be exciting for the poptart junkies! (myself included..) Simple carbs, sugars, are frowned upon because they are so quickly absorbed by your body and stored as fat if not used. BUT, this is actually a great thing before your workout because when it IS utilized, it’s immediately available fuel for your muscles. The most popular choice here is definitely the poptarts but I also mix in Gatorade and high carb fruits like bananas.

Put it all together: My personal pre-workout usually looks like this:

  • A cup of Green Tea
  • 1.5 scoops of Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Natural Whey
  • 2 Blueberry Poptarts
  • 32 Ounces of Gatorade

I know that’s a lot of sugar but I do utilize it and my diet requires almost 600g of carbs per day. The poptarts I’ll actually eat with my pre-workout and the Gatorade I’ll start drinking on the way to the gym and I’ll finish it throughout my workout.

Your pre-workout doesn’t have to, and probably won’t, look anything like mine. But you can take those basic outlines and plug in what you love and what you know works best for you. Use your outlined macros to figure out how much of each you need to best utilize them for a great workout.

If you don’t know your body’s specific macro needs, or have been interested in working with us, you can always contact us at FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com

Online Training Memberships are currently only $33.99 per month!

Until next time,

Josh

Why I don’t believe in cheat meals

Why I don’t believe in cheat meals

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Splitting a pizza, eating a tub of ice cream, a huge burger with fries and a large chocolate milk shake to wash it down followed by a trip to the grocery store for bags of candy. You’ve probably seen people post pictures of these things on a Saturday or Sunday with the caption “CHEAT” or  “CHEAT MEAL”. I used to be one of them. You predominately see these posts from people who are either on a strict diet, eat “clean” or are prepping for a bodybuilding show.

It has been a year and a half since I started Flexible Dieting and counting my macros. Since incorporating a more balanced intake rather than eating clean, I have cut ties with cheat meals and here’s why.

  1. The term states that you are cheating or being unfaithful to your diet. A successful diet includes sustainability. If you feel the need to cheat on your way of achieving your goals every single weekend how successful can your methods really be?
  2. Let’s relate cheating to another topic for a second. If you cheat on your spouse, or a test let’s say, chances are as a human-being you are probably going to experience guilt afterwards. The same thing happens when you cheat on your diet. Bingeing on foods that you have (for some reason) deemed “bad” by restricting them during the week, will probably make you feel crappy. Over-indulging in these “off-limits” foods, may cause you to feel extremely guilty for not sticking to your goals.
  3. More bingeing=more restriction. Personally, when I would binge on my huge cheat meals on the weekends, I would then restrict myself even MORE the following few days to make-up for it. I would literally eat chicken and vegetables for every meal straight after having half a pizza or a tub of ice cream to my face. This just leads to an extremely unhealthy mentality and overall relationship with food.

I can honestly say I have not had a cheat meal since practicing a flexible lifestyle. Do I hit my macros perfectly every day? No way, but if I want something, I don’t restrict myself from having it. I incorporate things people may consider “cheats” into my daily food intake. Cra

ving a bagel? I eat it. Craving a Pop-Tart? Bring it on. I make these foods that I used to write-off fit into my daily routine if I really want them. I don’t force myself to stick to a strict diet weekly only to plan a ridiculous binge on the weekend and since doing that I have found so much more happiness and a great relationship with food. So instead of planning your next cheat meal, why not plan a more sustainable approach to nutrition?

Need help with that? Email me at FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com and let’s talk nutrition.

FITNESS IS NOT ALL OR NOTHING

FITNESS IS NOT ALL OR NOTHING

Alessandra Daniele, B.S. Exercise Science, CPT, EP-C

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I tend to be a diehard individual. When I start a book, I feel the need to finish it within that same day. When I find a new food I like, I will eat that same food for weeks straight. When I first started my fitness journey, I didn’t take a single day off for months because I didn’t want to fall behind. Giving 100% is definitely not a bad thing, however sometimes that “all or nothing” mentality may be doing you more harm than good. Fitness for instance, should definitely not be “all or nothing”.

From my experience, many of my clients who were “new” to fitness in some aspect felt the need to have this mindset. Whether it was with their nutrition, their obsession with not missing the gym, or just simply giving up when things didn’t go perfectly.

Let’s take macros for example. If you are someone who feels the need to hit their macros exactly down to the gram every single day, that is an all or nothing approach to dieting. If you are someone who goes on a diet and then has a cheat meal that turns into a cheat day because “you already messed up”- that is also all or nothing. This approach is not the answer especially to fitness and nutrition and can even become dangerous at a certain level.

The reason why most diets fail is because they are not sustainable. Things like restricting entire food groups, eliminating sugar and saying goodbye to carbs are all methods that will eventually fail. Sure, you may be able to keep this up for a while, but what happens on your birthday when you want a piece of cake? What happens when you’re out to dinner with your family and there’s uncertainties about what your meal consists of? Life happens and will disrupt your sugar-free quest to greatness at some point or another. This is where flexible dieting surpasses the current fad diet simply because there are no restrictions, and a lot more freedom.

I think one of the reasons why a lot of people may be hesitant to start a diet or fitness regimen is because they feel the need to give up their life in order to do so. Fitness is not about being quintessential. You don’t need to give everything up in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle. To me, fitness is about being healthy for YOU. This includes consuming MOSTLY nutrient-dense foods, moving more to increase your health, taking time to reset your mind and breathe, and with all of this become a more contented individual. Fitness is not a one-way street. There are so many paths you can take to get to your destination, it is just a matter of finding one that best suits you.

For more information on flexible dieting or help with starting your fitness journey, email us at FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com.

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD OF SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD OF SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

blog 1In 2015 I spent a lot of time reading. I found that in college, when I was “forced” to read for class, the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time with my nose buried in a book. So when I graduated and finally had the chance to actually read books and articles that truly interested me, that’s what I did. Ironically in 2015 I seemed to acquire a wealth of information that was useful to me as well as my family and clients. I was constantly trying to converse with as many people as I could because I was so excited to just talk about all of the new information flooding my brain.

Something I also noticed just recently was how much of my time I was spending scrolling mindlessly through social media. Half the time I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was looking at, simply just scrolling for no apparent reason at all. With social media and apps like Instagram greatly impacting our daily life, I realized how easy it is to not live in the present moment. It was at that moment I decided I needed to stop the insta-madness.

While social media is a huge asset to our business, I find that my productivity increases drastically on days that I incorporate self-education, organization/planning as well as 10 minutes of meditation. These activities are something I have adapted just recently but even after the first week of consecutively performing these tasks, I feel happier, more productive and less “clutter-brained”. Last week, Josh also announced our 10 Minute Challenge that you can watch HERE—> 10 MINUTE CHALLENGE. This basically challenges you to pick a task or goal that you have been wanting to achieve, and dedicate 10 days to this task for 21 consecutive days. Which I think quite frankly goes along with this topic wonderfully.

I also have a list here for you of 10 things that you should be doing instead of scrolling through social media. These are things that I find to help me be a better version of myself of the daily. You can choose to try one, or all 10, but I promise incorporating the smallest amount of this change will have you feeling on top of the world.

  1. Teach yourself something new. For me, this “something new” was photography. I got a really nice camera from Josh for Christmas and I have vowed to learn how to properly use it. With so many resources available on the internet and YouTube especially, I have already taught myself so much even sometimes just watching a 5 minute video per day.
  2. Read a new book. 2015 was obviously mentioned as my “year of reading”, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t extend into 2016. I have already read 3 books so far this year, most having to do with business, self-discovery and obviously fitness.
  3. Start a journal. Journaling is also something that has really helped me collect my thoughts, feelings and leave each day with a reflection. Whether you journal at night to reflect, or in the morning for gratitude, jotting your thoughts down is a really great way to appreciate what goes on in your day.
  4. Coloring! Coloring for adults is a method for stress relief that has really taken off in the past year. Not only does it bring you back to your childhood, but it is so soothing while allowing for creativity at the same time.
  5. Practice meditation. I recently downloaded the app called “Headspace” which is a guided meditation that lasts no longer than 10 minutes per session. Side note: try not to do this in bed at night because it WILL knock you into a DEEP sleep as I experienced my first time.
What do I do about my diet during the holidays?!?!

What do I do about my diet during the holidays?!?!

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With Thanksgiving this week and the rest of the holidays a few weeks away, many clients, friends and followers have asked me my thoughts on what they should do. Do they track macros? Do they eat anything at all before Thanksgiving dinner? What happens if they go over their numbers and overeat? So many questions so here are my thoughts on the subject:

The holidays usually mean time that we spend laughing and eating with our families. Personally, my favorite memories from my childhood involve Christmas time which also includes my Grandmother’s lasagna, my Mom’s homemade cookies & just all of that indulgent food that comes with parties. My first tip would be to ENJOY your time with your family and friends. I mean, most of us (sorry to those who work at Macys) get the day off from work in order to give thanks, and create memories with our loved ones. Your macros, food scale, and tracking app will not vanish into thin air if you don’t utilize them for one day. In fact, a day of untracked meals will probably be a great thing for your mentality and in a way “re-charge” you.

With that being said, I don’t want you to arrive at Thanksgiving dinner ready to face plant into the huge bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy. As a Flexible Dieter, you know your limits when it comes to food. Like any “free” meal, eat until you are full and listen to your body. I know how overwhelming all of the choices can be, especially with foods that you may not have had since last Thanksgiving, but there is absolutely no need to go overboard and put yourself into a food coma. I personally fill my plate with turkey (duh) and plenty of veggies first, then choose the rest of my sides respectfully. My plate ends up being colorful, and full of everything I want, but portions remain in control.

For me, portion size is a direct correlation to how hungry I am. In that case, I don’t recommend totally skipping out on breakfast and lunch so you can “save room” for dinner and dessert. Chances are, if you arrive starving, you’re going to want to stuff your face with EVERYTHING in sight. Plan on having a high protein breakfast and lunch to ensure you aren’t ready to eat the entire turkey along with Grandpa’s arm upon arrival.

As always, drink your water. Whether you are indulging in some wine with dinner or not, water will help with digestion, inflammation and will all around make you feel a lot better throughout the day as well as the following day if you are experiencing bloat from sodium.

Last but not least, return to your “normal” eating the day after Thanksgiving. It can be so tempting to want to eat leftovers for days on end afterwards, but continuing eating increased calories will definitely begin to catch up to you at some point. Politely refuse bringing home left-overs if you are celebrating at someone else’s house OR if you are at your own house, offer to give away as much food as possible.

For those of you who know me, you know how die-hard I am about fitness and nutrition, but you also know how important my family time is to me and being able to enjoy that time is something that we all should be able to do without risking our goals. One meal or even one day is not going to totally kill your progress, and with that, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!