Self-Motivation vs. Self-Accountability
Raise your hand if you’ve set your alarm to get in a workout before work, only to lay there in the morning when it goes off thinking of an excuse to validate hitting snooze. We’ve all been there. You are not alone. I mean it’s hardly even fair given how comfy our beds and pillows are!
When it comes to health and fitness, the number one thing that people struggle with is accountability. Often, we are the only ones holding ourselves accountable, which makes us more likely to be lax when it comes to creating and sticking with good habits!
Sure, the world has created mechanisms for helping with accountability. There are apps, trackers, challenges, contests, programs, goal setting, etc. But guess what! Each of those things still require self-accountability. That’s right! A tracker only works if you input your information consistently and accurately. An app only holds you accountable if you actually open it up each day.
Believe me I am a huge fan of accountability helpers. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to YOU and your commitment to the goal that you set for yourself. No buddy system or month-long challenge is going to be a cure all if you haven’t found an effective way to stay motivated!
As a personal trainer, I know a thing or two about motivating others, but it’s a whole different game when it comes to motivating yourself. Often times we can be our own worst critics, and our own worst enablers. So how do we break the cycle and find a way to truly motivate ourselves? I’m sharing my four favorite tricks for sticking to your health and fitness goals that will make you a self-motivating machine!
Self-motivation is all about being your biggest fan
It’s not easy, but it’s the best gift you can give yourself. If you need a place to get started, or just want to change up your fitness routine, sign up for my virtual personal training program Body In Motion and take my Four Week Tone-up Challenge. This challenge gives you what you need to follow the four tricks we just talked about.
Spring is here!!!! So, let’s get out there and motivate ourselves to live the healthiest and happiest lifestyles we can!
Oh that hurt so good feeling a day or two after a workout that lets you know that you got a good one in. Have you ever felt this after a tough or intense workout? This is known as Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is caused by damage of the tissue from the eccentric (Where the muscle is lengthened) load of a movement that your body isn’t used to in regular activities or in training.
I like to use it as a sign of how well your body is adapting with a current program, especially in beginners. It allows me to understand if we need to adjust the program and how we adjust. This isn’t about the “no pain no gain” mentality. It is about adjusting your program with progressive overload to allow your body to adapt and change while helping you reach your goals. You can use DOMS as a tool and understand that when you damage the muscles and have soreness, you’ve changed something in your routine, you’ve challenged the muscles and increased the intensity in a way that has put stress on those working muscles.
In order to grow, and get stronger, you have to allow your body to adapt to the change before adding another factor to the routine. This will allow you to safely progress, help prevent injuries, and also a way to help minimize your DOMS affect. You don’t need soreness to build strength and see progress, but it can happen when there is a change in the routine that your body has to adjust to.
So when you are feeling DOMS after a workout, how do you cope with it?
Here are some ways to help manage your muscle soreness:
1. A thorough warm up
Warming up properly before a routine can help prep your body for the impact and/or load it is about to receive. A warm up of 10-20minutes can help get your muscles ready. An example of the warm up order may look like this:
2. A thorough cool down
At the end of a routine once the muscles have been worked, It’s important to bring your heart rate back down to resting and to stretch the muscles that have just been worked. Taking 10-20minutes to cool down can have your body feeling good after a routine, and will greatly benefit you. Here is an example of what a cool down may look like:
3. Move your body the next day
The movement should be different from what made you sore. It doesn’t need to be high intensity, it can be light movements, but it’s important to move. Moving your muscles that have been worked the day before can help loosen them up.
4. Eat food!
Part of your recovery after a workout is to refuel and replenish your nutrition and calorie intake.
In order for your muscles to rebuild and grow after a routine you need the right nourishment to help the process along. You need to replenish your carbs for energy, you need to eat your fats so your body can transport vitamins and nutrients to the muscles needed, and you need protein because they are the building blocks for muscles. Other nutrients like vitamins play different roles in the recovery process as well. So remember to eat a variety of different foods to nourish your body properly.
5. Hydrate well
After training, you may lose water from sweating. It’s important to replenish that water, and keep yourself hydrated because your muscles need water to help repair and grow. Water helps to transport nutrients to the muscles and remove toxins and waste from the body.
6. Adequate sleep
Allow yourself to sleep. Especially after an intense training day, a long run, or a heavy lifting day. Your body takes this time to repair, rebuild, and grow the muscles.
Smoothie Bowls are so easy to make
When the temperature begins to rise we all crave cool and refreshing beverages.
I love love love smoothie bowls! And when I'm not in the mood to cook or I want something to grab and go, I'll usually get one from the closest smooth bowl shop in town. But this dish is SUPER easy to make and doesn't take much prepping if you want to throw one together yourself. So if you have all of your favorite ingredients at home, go ahead and blend one up.
A smoothie bowl is definantly something that can easily be high in calories depending on how excited you get over the toppings. But guess what! When you put it together yourself, you can adjust what goes into your bowl, and how much. You can nourish your body properly with this tasty treat and still enjoy the delicious sweetness of the fruits and toppings you choose.
Tips to enjoy your bowl while keeping it low in processed sugars:
Acai Bowl Ingredients to make 1 bowls
Blend the frozen acai, cherry berry medley, banana, spinach, and water together. Pour the mix in your serving/cereal bowl and add your toppings. I like to layer the crunch first (granola and chia seeds), then the fruit, and drizzle the top with nutella.
Makes 1 bowl and is about 376 Calories.
49g Carbs. 16gFats. 7g Protein.
You can add whatever toppings you'd like
You can add whatever toppings you'd like to your bowl. Get creative, nuts, coconut flakes, goji berries, peanut butter, etc. I even added cheerios to my 11month old son's bowl so he had a crunch that was age appropriate. Fuel your body, and enjoy this sweet treat.
This soup was not only delicious but so easy to make. Normally when making a celery soup, the starch from potatoes help thicken it. When I was creating this soup, we didnt have potatoes, so I decided to throw in the cashews for a nice thick texture. The cashews help to fill the soup up as well since they have a good fat and protein density.
Makes about 6 Servings
About 147 calories per serving
2 Cups Celery Chopped
1 Cup Carrots Chopped
1 Apple Cored and Chopped
1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
4 Cups of Water
1 Cup Raw Unsalted Cashews
1 Tsp Ground Pepper
1 Tsp Thyme
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper *Optional
1 Tbs Olive Oil (enough to cover pot - may use less)
Salt to Taste
Takes about 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook. Total cook time is about 30 minutes.
1) Prep all veggies and fruit.
2) Heat dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Once pot is hot, add oil to cover the pot.
3) Add Celery, Carrots, Onion, Apple, and Garlic to the pot. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add water. Bring to boil. Add seasonings (ground pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper). bring the heat down to a high simmer and cook for 5minutes. Add cashews. Cook for about 10-15minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4) Once vegetables are tender, turn off the stove. Use your emersion blender to blend the entire soup.
Resistance Training Vs. Cardio
Resistance training is so important for women to add to their workout regimen. Cardio is so popular and the easy thing that seems to get done without a thought. If a day is going to be skipped, for a lot of women, it ends up being a resistance day. Some of the reasoning behind this is that they want to burn more calories because they had a busy day of doing nothing and cardio just makes sense and another reason may be because they aren’t comfortable with resistance training - the idea that it is known as a masculine activity sets them back. Do either of these reasoning ring a bell for you?
6 reasons why resistance/strength training is important for women and why it should be a priority to have in your routine.
Helps you lose fat
Resistance/Strength training is so important for fat loss. When you put physical stress on your muscles during a training session, you break them down, causing them to repair and build during the day(s) you are resting. This process requires energy, which means your body is going to break down carbohydrates and fats from foods you eat and from nutrients stored in your body. This allows your body to burn calories more efficiently and effectively at rest.
What is toning up? It’s building lean mass in your body - muscle. In order to get the lean and sexy muscle definition you need to focus on strength training. When it comes to this type of training, progressive overload is going to help you reach your goal. This means increasing your intensity/volume lifted overtime. It will help you grow and build strength and muscle safely and effectively.
A study (Ludin, A.F.M. et al 2015) with 30 participants showed that after 10 weeks of high intensity progressive resistance training there were positive changes in DHEA, which is a hormone that can help relieve stress and improve your mood. So not only does aerobic/cardio help with stress relief, but resistance/strength training can also aid in it.
Resistance training can help you prevent injury in your daily activities. It helps you create a balance in your muscles, and strengthens the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. When your muscles and tendons are strong, they can help support the body during movement. With ligaments and bones getting stronger, they’ll be able to better withstand the impact that your body takes on.
Improves bone density
Osteoporosis is when your bone density decreases and causes your bones to become weak and fragile. When it comes to exercise, it is recommended that weight bearing exercises (strength training) are best for bone health. This type of physical activity helps activate bone remodeling.
Post menopausal women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men due to the changes in hormones. So it is important to begin resistance training to help your body build its strength, improve bone density, improve coordination, and to help prevent falls from occurring in your older age.
A study by Wallace and Ballard showed a correlation between lean body mass (muscle) and bone health. Individuals who had more lean mass, were regularly physically active and showed greater bone health.
There is something about building strength that causes you to walk a bit taller. It could be that with the right strength program you improved your posture, or maybe it’s because you feel good about knowing what you are doing in the gym (in a world that is known to be more masculine), you feel happier and have more energy to power through your day, you can move better because everyday tasks are easier, and on top of that, and you begin to appreciate your body as you learn how to better care for it.
MAT LUDIN, ARIMI FITR, et al. “The Effects of High Intensity Progressive Resistance Training on Psychological Stress and Biochemicals Parameters.” Jurnal Sains Kesihatan Malaysia, vol. 13, no. 2, 2015, pp. 53–60., doi:10.17576/jskm-2015-1302-06.
Wallace LS, Ballard, JE. Lifetime physical activity and calcium intake related to bone density in women. J Wom Health 11(4): 389-398-2002
There is nothing like having a soup that warms the heart and fills the soul. This is one of them. This lentil soup is super tasty and nice and hearty. It's easy to prep, and doesn't take long to cook. About 10minute prep time and 20minute cook time.
Celery Stalks Chopped
3 Carrots Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
½ Yellow Onion Chopped
2 Cups Dry Red Lentils (rinsed)
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
Yield 2 Cups of Water
1tsp Dry Oregano
1tsp Dry Thyme
½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
½ Lemon Juice Squeezed
Salt to taste
1tbs Olive Oil (Enough to coat the pot)
After you chop and prep your vegetables, heat your dutch oven or pot, add your olive oil - just enough to lightly cover the pan. Once oil is hot, add your vegetables (celery, carrots, red bell pepper, and onion) to the dutch oven and saute for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Rinse your red lentils and add them to the veggie mix, let them cook for 1-2 minutes while you stir.
Add your vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add your seasoning (Cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme, black pepper). Lower the heat to a high high simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add water as needed.
When lentils are tender, stir in lemon juice and add salt to taste. Let cool, and enjoy this tasty lentil soup.
Makes about 6 servings.
1 Serving is about a cup.
2.4 grams of fat.
48 grams of carbs.
18.8 grams of protein.
How to incorporate veggies into your dishes.
We all know that vegetables are good for you and that they are healthy to eat. But some of us have a hard time getting these nourishing bites into our system. It might be that you don’t like them or maybe you just don’t know how to prepare them in a way that you CAN enjoy them.
I love salads. I’m one of those people who could have a salad each day, not get tired of it, and be super content with raw veggies over a green leafy bed. But this isn’t the case for everyone. You don’t have to only eat salads to be healthy, there are other ways to eat your nourishing colors.
I started to play around with different ways that I could add vegetables into our meals and snacks at home once my son started to get a little picky with his solid foods. At first he seemed to enjoy eating veggies, and now it’s a hit or miss. So I got creative with some recipes and mixed some of the nourishment into dishes that I know he would enjoy.
The recommendations for vegetable intake (for an adult) is: 4-5 servings of vegetables a day. A serving of vegetables can look like: 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables or ½ cup cut up raw or cooked vegetables.
8 Ways To Incorporate Vegetables In Your Lifestyle To Help, Not Only Nourish Your Body, But Help You Enjoy The Foods
My ME time is uninterrupted time for myself, my mind, and my health
Before being a mama, keeping a work-life balance came easy to me. I stayed productive with work, household needs, made time for friends and family, along with time for myself - with ease.
After having Baby Boy, things got tougher. I am even more busy juggling my work-life balance. Having a tiny human attached to the hip is a beautiful thing, but also makes it challenging to do something for only myself. My thoughts are consumed with things to better his life, to make him happy, to make sure he is feeling the love always 💕So my needs don’t cross my mind during the day, or if they do, it is quickly forgotten with this mushy mom brain I have acquired 🤦🏽♀️😆.
During his waking hours, all my attention is on Baby Web. Trying to find the time to do anything else is tough - I will continue to try, but it is tough 😆 When he naps and is down for the night, I can focus on work or household chores -whatever the priority is.
I love the time I spend with Baby Boy, but let’s be real, we all need some time to ourselves, even if it’s for a moment - to meditate/to breathe/to just step away and do something we love. With being a mom I’m finding that the window of opportunity for uninterrupted time is limited and small. (At least for right now. I hear it gets better 🤞🏽😊)
For me, the time that I have, uninterrupted, is in the morning before my hubs has to begin work. So, the amount of time I have depends on when I wake up. And with my tiny human alarm clock, I’m guaranteed an early rise to start my day with some me time. 😂
I sometimes spend it with a workout/run and a shower. Other days I may use it to catch up on some sleep and a shower. I use the time for the things that make me happy and help me function better through the day. Comment below and tell me what you enjoy doing during your alone time.
Whatever time is open in the day for you - make sure you take it. Even if it’s just for a short moment. Take that time to do something for yourself, take the time to focus on your health (mental & physical), take that time to do what you need to do so you can be better, so you can feel better. LOVE AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. ♥️
How can we make sure we get this time for ourselves? Here are 4 tips to having your ME time.
Body Weight Workouts
Body weight workouts are some of my favorites! This type of training can go from simple movements, to challenging your body’s strength in unbelievable ways. Not to mention, body weight routines can be done ANYWHERE, because most don’t need equipment. And if there are pieces of equipment that need to be used (ie: steps/benches/chairs/poles/etc), they can usually be found around the house or outside at parks.
With the pandemic going on, and all of us being stuck in our homes ALL day long, it can be tough to get ourselves moving. But it is more important than ever to do so.
The more sedentary we are, the more we put our health at risk for joint problems and diseases.
So, that being said, what is 20-30 minutes out of your long day? If you are utilizing some space in your home for your workouts, or heading outside in the yard, or to the park, you can get a quick and efficient resistance workout in, using just your body weight. No it’s not a gym, and no it’s not heavy lifting - but there are ways to manipulate the movements to give your muscles a different type of challenge and to help you build and maintain your strength.
There are so many ways you can challenge your body. You don’t always need weights, you just need to manipulate what you do have and start moving!
When it comes to working out at home, the biggest question that I get is, "What equipment should I get?" And with that, it always depends on the individual. If you live in a small space and don't want your gym equipment out in your living room every day, then you can look for pieces that are easy to store and still very efficient. But maybe you have enough space to have an entire space just for working out and don't mind displaying your gym equipement, then you can get multiple dumbbells and kettlebells - maybe you want to get a rowing machine, or another piece of cardio equipment as well as the weights. Each individual is different when it comes to purchasing equipment for your home. But it's always great to have the extra resistance.
Whether you are somebody who religiously heads out of the house to workout in a gym facility or you would rather stay home to workout, it’s always a great idea to have some equipment for those home workout days. We are all home more so now than ever before with the pandemic, so it’s a good idea to have a few things that will help you keep up with your routine when the gym isn’t an option.
Here are some of my favorites to help get you started with your home fitness collection. The equipment that I recommend is easy to store and very versatile - So whether you live in a spacious home or a studio apartment, you’ll find that these pieces can be very efficient in building strength and endurance, while making it easy to pack/put away.
5 Pieces of Equipment to Start Your Home Gym/Studio