The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

Tag: baby

French Women Don’t Get Fat

I’ve always loved French culture… the way they typically don’t brush their hair even when it’s long… the obsession with skincare… their apothecaries where you can find beauty treasures not available anywhere else!

And… the way they eat!

French women eat carbs!  They enjoy breads and pastries!  They drink wine!

They eat dark chocolate and have dessert!

And yet they typically are well known for not getting fat.

There’s even a book out from years ago (no I haven’t read it – I should!) with this title, “French Women Don’t Get Fat!”

This video explores some of the ways they keep fit into old age ❤  So sweet!  And it’s mostly common sense stuff.  Nothing too hard or difficult to manage.

And the cute way they talk about staying fit, is as if it’s just part of daily living.  And it IS for them.

All it takes is moderation, or knowing your body well enough to understand when you need to “take the stairs” as they say.

When your pants start to feel tight, it’s time to ramp up your exercising, and cut back a little.  They do this on their own as a way of monitoring their weight and staying fit and thin.  No strange, difficult diets, no cutting out desserts or breads, just plain old exercising and eating fresh (not processed), homemade foods and desserts along with their healthy foods (proteins and veggies), too.

Here’s to french desserts, en modération😉

Bon appétit!

Stephanie

 

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Valeria’s Easy Weight Loss Hacks

 

Valeria is  a Russian model, 27, two children, and a long history of taking excellent care of her mind and body.  I adore her ❤

One of the main purposes of this blog is to show women how ridiculously EASY and SIMPLE losing weight can be when you have the correct knowledge and advice.  You DON’T have to stop eating carbs, or start making complicated meals that are super high in fat.

Losing weight should be a relaxing, simplistic, lifestyle change that fits into your already busy routine.  It should be something SUSTAINABLE over the length of your entire life!  I don’t promote the most popular diet fads or pills for weightloss or weird supplements that mess with your hormone production.

None of that.

Just simple, easy, kind of “lazy” ways to change your life so that you start seeing and getting the body you feel strong and comfortable and proud in.

And these tips are so easy & true.  I’ve been implementing the “hacks” she mentions since about 2009.  So that’s almost a DECADE of knowing these things work for maintaining a fit and beautiful body you love.

  • Eat on small, salad-sized plates- you psychologically see the plate with TONS  of food and you feel more satisfied and are less likely to get seconds
  • Fill up HALF of your plate with veggies (greens – dark leafy greens especially – are GREAT for this).  I’ve consistently lost the most weight when I was practicing this daily habit.
  • Chew your food… chew it slowly and take your time to eat.  It’s been proven you digest better and that your brain is able to understand more correctly when you’re “full” and need to stop
  • When you do eat out, always order your dressing or sauces on the side.  Yes!  I don’t bring my own usually, although I know women who do that… it’s too much work for me and this is about “lazy fitness” 😀  But just ordering it to be “on the side” that way you can carefully “dip” your food into the high calorie, high fat flavor, you WIN big time in not smothering your food in that stuff!
  • Detox water – I used to do this with lemon, but her recipe is much better (and she promotes making a big batch to keep in the fridge – yea I totally do things like that)

Hope you enjoyed her tips as much as I did!

Remember… losing weight isn’t really that hard… a TON of what you need to do to even begin is just slightly alter what you’re already doing.

Stephanie

Meal Prep – Pulled BBQ Chicken!

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More gorgeous Meal Preps!!!  Ooooo and this one is so tasty!!!  It’s like a healthier version of “pulled pork” except it’s with BBQ chicken breasts, shredded.

  • 3-4 lbs of chicken breast, boiled and shredded
  • Homemade BBQ sauce (super easy, just look online for recipes!) or bottled BBQ sauce if you’re pressed for time)
  • About 1 cup of white rice cooked for each meal prep container
  • About 1 cup of veggies of your choice.  I chose corn and broccoli this time since it seems to go better with the taste of the BBQ ❤

Soooo delicious!  And again, soooo healthy and makes life a million times easier for us this week when it comes to easy and healthy dinners!

If you have any ideas your family does or for ours to try, please leave them in the comments I’d love to hear new ideas about healthy meal prep options!

Stephanie

Meal Prep Your Way to Fitness

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One of the things I’ve found to be really helpful in maintaining a healthy diet while avoiding bad food in a crunch, is to simply meal prep.

It’s too easy to reach for something on the go – namely fast food – when you’re pressed for time or stressed.  Turns out the Boy Scouts were right in their motto:

BE PREPARED!

Just taking the little bit of extra time to portion out your healthy meals and some handy-dandy snacks you’ll find makes life a lot easier for you!

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Super healthy greek yogurt cups homemade with blueberries & strawberries!

I always try to cook a big dish either on the weekends or Monday night, and have a second or third, smaller option, that way dinners for the week are completely covered!

So. Easy.  It’s. Ridiculous.

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Left: Breakfast Eggs & Chorizo Mix to eat each morning without having to cook!  Just scoop into a couple of tortillas, microwave, add salsa and GO!

AND it saves so much money!

 

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$$$$$$$

Think about how much people pay to have healthy, pre-portioned meals like this delivered, and yet if you do it yourself, you can save hundreds a month!

Seriously, we’ve saved so much through doing this… and it’s all super healthy food that tastes amazing, too!

***

It also makes it easier for your husband if he’s trying to stay healthy as well, to be able to just reach in to the fridge and grab an already perfectly portioned, prepped meal in one  container.  There have been countless times my man has thanked me for doing this for him ❤ his favorite part is that I know just how much of everything to portion out, that way it’s filling and meeting macros but not over-loading.  

It’s the perfect portion control, because everything is right there and you’re discouraged from getting “seconds” – which would mean eating another day’s MEAL!

So…

Meal Prep… to borrow the famous Nike motto:

JUST DO IT!

Stephanie

Pro Tennis Beauty’s Workout

 

Phew!  Keto diet experiment is done finally, my husband actually had to make me stop – it was ridiculous not being able to make enough ATP (keto does make technically “some” and some claim it makes “more” lol, but since it’s actually harder work to convert fat into ATP, it’s not generated fast enough to be able to support high intensity workouts and heavy lifting that we’re currently doing in replacing the kind of energy used and then needed for longterm strength and endurance).  I’ll be writing a scientific post that goes into experts’ thoughts on why and how it’s not beneficial to athletes (unless they load up on carbs before an event… which debunks the entire keto claims that it’s good for athletes to always be in ketosis).

Here’s Maria Sharapova, pro Russian tennis player, working out/warming up and getting ready at a tournament.  Her diet is high protein (which keto limits as well… too much protein apparently knocks you out of that desired “ketosis”), low fat, and low carb.  Basically the way we’ve been eating for 10 years and have never had a problem losing weight.

Something I wanted to call attention to in the video was her usage of resistance bands for strengthening.  They are so cheap to get!  And they really work and can be used for a total body workout all over!!!  Definitely worth getting and implementing into your at home workouts (or to take to the gym – they’re so tiny they can go in your purse!).

And I love the tennis players’ body type.  Lean, long muscles, so strong and yet graceful.  A lonnng time ago I used to play a lot of tennis.  It’d be nice to get back into it!  Watching Maria is inspiring!

Enjoy the tennis beauty!

Stephanie

Zucchini Enchilada Casserole

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This was a fun recipe… even though I messed up the slicing for the enchiladas and had to turn it into a kind of lasagna-casserole dish made up of layers instead 😀  LOL  It still worked and tasted amazing!

And it’s SO healthy!

I created this recipe myself so it’s modified after what I believe to be one of the tastiest, yet healthiest versions of this meal.

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Ingredients:

  • Two Zucchini’s
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (Plain – 0 sugar)
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis (optional – you can just use diced tomatoes and onions)
  • 1 jar Green Tomatillo Salsa
  • 3-4 pounds chicken (I used breast meat)
  • 2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Garlic seasoning to taste (1 tbs on chicken and then mixed into filling)
  • Pepper to taste (1 tsp mixed into filling)
  • Chili powder (optional)

Directions:

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Cut in thin slices, score and season the chicken breasts, then boil until cooked through.

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Slice the zucchinis in the way you’d prefer – either long way to create strips or with a veggie spiralizer if you want more texture.  I tried out my spiralizer thinking the long blade would create wider strips but apparently something went wrong LOL.  They were wider, but they were spirals!

Here’s where I hear Snape’s voice in my head:

After chicken is boiled, drain water and shred the chicken with two forks pulling in opposite directions keeping the chicken in the pot you boiled it in.  Once shredded, add in a little more seasoning to taste (garlic, pepper, etc.), the greek yogurt, the jar of Green Tomatillo Salsa, and the can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies.  Mix all this together in the bowl with the shredded chicken to create the enchilada “filling.”

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This doesn’t show the Tomatillo Salsa… Don’t forget to add it!

Now layer your ingredients in a 9×13 greased pan starting with a layer of zucchini strips or spirals/slices, then roughly 1/2 of the chicken filling, then a layer of cheese (1 cup).  Repeat a second time using the rest of the ingredients.

It should make a pretty huge pan full!

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The thing I loved about this recipe is that it’s a healthy low carb (virtually no carb it’d be perfect for people on the Keto Diet) meal that’s packed with flavor, but without the crash later that comes with normal enchiladas.

The greek yogurt (man I love that stuff!) is a powerhouse of energy, and it tastes very similar to sour cream but with ZERO grams of fat.  Yet in that one cup, you get a whopping 20 grams of pure protein!  It’s just a much healthier option than the Crema de Mexicana or heavy cream or even the fatty sour cream that people tend to throw in this recipe.  It’s also been proven to help in losing fat, and we’ve experienced this effect when we added it into our almost daily diet.

I served it with refried beans and spanish rice ❤  Hits the spot and without ANY guilt!

Enjoy!!

Stephanie

Cycling Your Training

I wrote a post a few years ago about how my husband and I tend to cycle workouts being “on” a few months, and then “off” a few months.  It works out pretty well for the most part, and it’s nice to have a more relaxed period where we aren’t exercising so hard (or at all really), and then feel geared up to go for a few months being hardcore and getting back into excellent shape. 😀

I feel like it brings balance and prevents burnout over the long haul, to cycle your “on” and “off” months.  You don’t get overwhelmed or burned out as much because you have an end in sight and another beginning beyond that to look forward to.  It’s kind of like interval training for runners.  You can go hard for a few months because you know you’re getting a nice “break” coming up, and then once you’re rested, you begin again full power.  And during your rest period, you enjoy a very in shape bod that doesn’t take so much to maintain.

The only problem I could see women having with this is not controlling their eating during their off months, which is understandbly hard – especially during the holidays.  As long as you’re not gaining large amounts of weight through eating excessively (some splurges are normal), then it’s really not such a big deal to get yourself back in shape in a fairly short time frame.  Anything over 10 pounds is probably too much to gain in your off months.  Losing muscle is also something that wouldn’t be fun, but having dumb bells and learning some body weight exercises to use off and on again should keep you from losing too much muscle.

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Here is what I’ve done in the past:

3 months on – Intense cardio and weights or mat workouts (Tracy Anderson)

3 months off – some light exercise every now and then, mostly eating healthy, some yoga, going for walks, playing outside with the kids (easy stuff that feels like relaxing exercises)

3 months on – By this time I’m fully ready for hard training again… it’s like my body craves it!  Heavy weight training upper & lower body, intense cardio either running or HIIT or stair master climbing (doing intervals of fast and slow).  Weight comes off fast but at the same time muscle takes it place.

3 months off – relaxing, maybe some yoga, enjoying feel fit from the months prior of getting in shape, if it’s Summer, we go swimming a lot which becomes our exercise, also a lot of walking at our water park, eating very clean (if it’s Summer lots of fruit and protein smoothies, salads, grilled chicken, etc.).

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And that’s a whole year of cycling your workouts!

In reality, we’ve recently been doing longer cycles.  More like 4-6 months on and then 4-6 months off.  Either way it’s how you personally want to set up your workouts.  There are some very few people who manage to workout hard every. single. day. but our schedules just change too much for that – either because of my husband’s work schedule, our son’s sports seasons, or me being pregnant or having just had a baby.  So now that we have more kids, it’s more realistic to schedule our cycles around what’s happening in our lives at the time or during that particular year.

Anyway, I encourage anyone reading this to try cycling your training in this way!  I swear it makes us feel so much more motivated and like it’s “doable” to know there’s an “end” in sight.  And then once well rested, starting up again feels good.  I’m sure it also lets your body heal and repair muscles and such to cycle it like this.

🙂

Enjoy!

Stephanie

New Year’s Bounce-Back is Totally Normal

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When that muffin top became a full-blown, busted can of biscuits! 😀

Yep, just after writing a post a little disappointed in all the fad diets people tend to try at the beginning of the New Year, I’m going to come out and say that wanting to “get healthy” or “start over” again, is totally normal 🙂 .

There’s something beautiful about a new year.  Maybe it’s the excitement of the fresh days of an early beginning, or the unknown of the future, and the promises that are to come.  I truly do get a little pumped up each time, and not so much in a resolution-making kind of way, but rather a general excitement for the new-beginning the year will bring.  I also enjoy looking back on the past year when it’s closing, and finding beauty in it to treasure moving forward.

So with all that said, I do believe it’s totally normal for people to want to look ahead to new and better things, to make promises to themselves about their fitness or whatnot.  I think it’d be a little strange if a person wasn’t motivated by the optimism a new year can bring… but then again, I am forever an optimist. 🙂

But yes, I am definitely relating to the picture above 😉  My muffin top from Thanksgiving has bloomed into what I would say a busted can of biscuits, as it should be after the holidays ❤  And now it’s my annual time to reset everything and bring a much welcomed balance back to our enjoyment of eating healthy.

The New Year’s “Bounce-Back,” is totally normal.  You’d have to eat ZERO pies or dressing or sweet potato casserole (and live a miserable life) to not feel the need to “bounce-back!” 😀

New Year Resolutions & Diet Fads

It seems every year there are many people planning to pledge or re-pledge themselves to getting healthy or finally losing weight.

And along with those great goals comes fad diets :/

I’m NOT a fan of weird diets… instead I think it’s usually best for people to just eat healthy and see how their body responds to cutting out *some* foods, but certainly nothing that would be longterm forever “you can not eat carbs,” kind of “diet.”

Someone in my fitness group brought up that the Keto diet and Whole 30 both tied for last place in ABC’s list of the Best diets for 2018.  While I’ve known plenty of women who have lost substantial weight with Keto, I still don’t trust it to be a viable option for women longterm (their whole lives).

I think one can lose a bunch of weight while on Keto, but once you start eating normal again (if you ever go back to eating normal carbs, pies, pastries, french fries etc.), you’ll just gain it all back because you haven’t discovered a way to eat that’s truly balanced (“bad” and “good” stuff you can enjoy).

Having been an athlete in school and longtime dancer always interested in health and fitness pretty much, these kinds of diets don’t work in my opinion because they never really teach the person how to take control of their eating longterm (life-long), how to enjoy something once in a while, and not stress about it, and yet still be able to stay on track with their fitness goals.

It’s a careful balance that I’m sure is truly different for every person, but what these fad diets don’t do is to teach individuals how to manage that balancing.

***

Are there certain foods that you should definitely avoid when trying to lose weight?  Yes definitely.

But do you need to stick to a very strict diet that doesn’t allow you to eat entire food groups like carbohydrates for the rest of your life just to stay thin and strong?  Heck no!

Again, just because something may work for a season while you’re doing it, won’t mean it’s always going to work for you.  Eventually there may come a time when you’re working a drastically different schedule or maybe in a depression, and you just want carbs again, and there goes your keto plan or Atkin’s diet.

It’s better to learn how to manage yourself through true discipline in being allowed to eat the “bad” stuff, as well as knowing what and when to eat the good stuff.

 

How Do You Have a “Fit” Postpartum?

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My husband took this picture without me knowing 🙂 my body is still not exactly where I want it to be (so much loss of muscle and probably still some fat to lose), but it does make me happy that my body is relatively back to normal.  I feel strong and full of energy, and am so proud of what it can do so soon after having our 3rd baby.  It’s like a celebration! ❤

Going on a beach vacation and celebrating our 10th anniversary this early postpartum was a little difficult, but thankfully the difficulty wasn’t so much because I was “out of shape,” but just due to having such a little baby.  We’re a very active, athletic family… so being out of shape really lessens the quality of my life as I’m not able to keep up or do the things I want to do.

But why is getting back in shape after having a baby important?  Obviously, it may not be important to everyone, but to the majority of women out there who eventually do want to get their bodies back, it seems like it is.

One woman in my fitness group recently admitted that if she had known how much excess skin would be hanging off her stomach postpartum, and how awful it would feel to even look at it, she would have DEFINITELY changed all her eating habits while pregnant and would have kept her weight down and been only gaining the minimum amount necessary.

I think it’s relatively normal for Western women to disregard their fitness while pregnant, not really understanding (or caring at the moment) how hard it will be to lose that weight, or to get the skin to go back in, after the baby is out.  And then once it’s a few months or a year postpartum, they start to realize how hard they made it for themselves and live with regret.

So what is the “secret” to having a fit postpartum?  What is the secret to having a pretty good body almost right after you have your baby?

The simple answer?

Having a fit pregnancy.

That’s it.  And it’s the truth. 🙂 The more “in shape” you are, the stronger you are and yes, even “thinner” you are while you’re pregnant, normal weight gain aside of course, the fitter, stronger, and even thinner you’ll be postpartum.

If you stay active and only gain what you and the baby actually need, you won’t have pounds of excess fat and weight to lose afterward.

I’m lucky to be in a fitness group right now where I’ve seen many ladies go through pregnancy and come out extremely fit and strong and capable.  They not only don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat anything they want, they don’t even use pregnancy as an excuse to stop lifting weights!!  Or to stop running and working out fairly hard!  It’s amazing to watch these women conquer the usual setbacks of pregnancy with hard work and discipline.  Very inspiring and motivating ❤ 🙂

Will pregnancy set you back some?  Definitely, in those first weeks, doctors don’t want you to workout again until cleared for a reason – because your body really is still healing.  But they also tell you right after you have the baby (the next day in my experiences with all our 3 kids), to start walking like you’re planning to do a walk-a-thon in a month lol!

Walking IS exercising, and they want you doing that 24 hours after having a c-section!

So yes, while you need to wait until your doctor clears you to do more strenuous things, your doctor also expects you to be walking and gently moving your body around actively on your own the day after a c-section.

Why?  Because they know for a fact that it helps you heal faster if you gently exercise those muscles and it keeps your blood flowing which also aids in a faster healing.

We were created to move, and its really no different during and after pregnancy.  Hence the more fit and strong you are during pregnancy, the better (and easier!!) it will be for you afterward.

So take care of yourself during your pregnancy!  You’ll never regret making healthy choices that make it easier for you when you have your baby 😉

It’s already hard having a newborn, but being overweight or weak and fat make it a lot harder.  Be good to yourself, and keep your body in shape.

Stephanie