I ADD SPINACH OR KALE TO TWO MEALS A DAY.
It’s so easy! If I have soup for lunch, I’ll add a handful of kale to the dish. If I have pasta salad, I’ll add a bed of spinach to it. If I have nachos, I’ll sprinkle greens on top. Etc. etc.
For dinner, I always have a side salad. It’s the best way to fill up on nourishing food without breaking my caloric budget. Or if I have a smoothie, kale or spinach will always be added the mixture.
Friends: spinach and kale is LOADED with nutrients. It has magnesium, iron and vitamin K to name a few. Also, Trader Joes sells RED SPINACH. Uh huh, that’s right! Red spinach contains a LARGE amount of Vitamin C and also helps with digestion. The dark color is what makes the nutritional make-up of the spinach unique.
I FREEZE A LARGE BOTTLE OF WATER THE NIGHT BEFORE A LONG WORK DAY.
Cold water helps speed up your metabolism. Therefore, it helps you lose weight. Drinking 48 oz. of ice-cold water throughout the day can help you burn an extra 100 calories. Say what?! YEAH! To take it a little further, I add lemon, cucumber, cinnamon or cayenne pepper, blackberries and/or strawberries and a dash of coconut water. All of these extra ingredients are SOOOO good for your health and also contribute to the metabolism boost. Every. Little. Change. Helps. Don’t forget it!
I SNEAK MY RUNNING INTO MY STRENGTH TRAINING.
I do not like running. I actually despise it. However, my body loves it. Running improves cardiovascular health, helps reduce stubborn belly fat, builds strong bones, strengthens muscles and relieves stress.
I specifically throw cardio burst into my UPPER BODY WEIGHT TRAINING DAYS.
Let me give you an example:
Warm up: Jog 5 minutes
Circuit 1: UPPER BACK
Cardio Burst: 5 minutes @ 50%
Circuit 2: BICEPS
Cardio Burst 4 minutes @ 60%
Circuit 3: UPPER BACK with BICEP SUPERSET
Cardio Burst: 3 minutes 70-80%
Circuit 4: CORE AND UPPER BACK SUPERSET
Cardio BURST: 2 minutes 90%
Cool down: Walk 5 minutes
That’s 24 minutes of CARDIO! It goes by SO FAST when you integrate your running into your strength training. It also helps you break one HECK of a sweat, keeps your heart rate elevated and obviously, you will burn more calories.
MY CHEAT DAY IS ONE OF MY HARDEST TRAINING DAYS.
I use to take a rest day on my cheat day. Self talk coming: “Hello! Knock, knock Courtney…anybody home?” Let’s sit around and eat and drink all my favorite foods, consume well over my caloric budget, then not move. Great idea… NOT!
In the beginning of a lifestyle change, even one terrible day of eating, can throw off your mental game for the remainder of the week. It’s important to keep yourself in a motivational rhythm.
Now, with working out on a cheat day, the workout is rough. However, like I said in my previous blog, even if you go to the gym to walk for 20 minutes, it’s better than nothing!! Nutrition timing and portion control is SO important. It’s absolutely crucial on your training days. If you are not properly timing your macronutrients, carb/fat intake and protein intake, your weight training will feel like the loooongest routine of your life. However, on a cheat day, it’s important you MOVE. Whatever that may look like for you, just do it!
I HAVE A BIBLE VERSE BOARD.
(That my sweet husband made)
Visuals are EVERYTHING when it comes to achieving a short or long-term goal. I have a bible verse board. It’s my beautiful little note to never give up on the specific goals I set for myself. The most successful people have a vision of what they specifically want to accomplish. Create your vision, map out your plan of attack and hang up creative pictures, artwork, motivational sayings or simple reminders to KEEP YOURSELF FOCUSED. Some days will be great and many days will be hard. However, this is the path YOU chose. Do whatever it takes to maintain mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness. Your quality of life and longevity depends on it.