Sabrina’s 7 Top Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Lifestyle!
Embarking on a lifestyle change can be daunting. If you ever are looking for meal plans, workout plans or general coaching to get that healthy lifestyle going, please check out the online coaching section of the blog!I am a certified Personal Trainer and Health/ Wellness coach through AAAI/ISMA. For now, you can read up on some of my top tips and tricks that I used during my weight loss journey and even still use today for maintaining my weight and healthy lifestyle.
- Keep a food journal! You can also use one online or simply use a notebook as I do. This helps you stay accountable for what you are eating. Seeing it in writing makes you more aware about what you’re putting in your body.
- Have a workout plan: I like to plan my workout for the week and give myself a couple of rest days to recover or do yoga. Crossing out every time you do a workout helps you stay accountable and consistent.
- Make a grocery list before going food shopping: This is something that helped me tremendously. Making a list helps you avoid buying trigger foods that you may overeat. Know your cravings; if it is not on your list don’t buy it!
- Shop around the perimeter of the supermarket: Here you will find your dairy, meats, fruits and veggies. Only go in between aisles for products such as nuts, olive oil, beans and so on.
- Never ever skip a meal! More often than not you will overeat at the next meal because you are most likely starving. Try to munch on healthy foods such as fruits and nuts throughout the day.
- Carry portable snacks: This goes along with #5; I like to buy a jar of almonds and divide a serving into a few zip-lock bags and throw them in my bag or car. I also like to carry snack bars such as Kind bars. If you’re hungry at work or school, you’ll always have something handy and never have to starve.
7. Hungry? Drink a glass of water: I know it sounds kind of crazy, but if you feel hungry drink a nice tall glass of water and wait 15-20 minutes.
If you’re still hungry after then have a light snack like a handful of nuts, string cheese or yogurt. And of course, remember to drink about 3 liters of water per day. #NoExcuses!
I know I am updating on such random days but in case you missed day three; check it out here!
Yesterday I had my cycling certification. Before hitting the road, breakfast consisted of half of a banana nut muffin Quest bar, chia seeds, blueberries, egg whites and nut butter.This cycling conference was through AAAI/ISMA (& IFTA) with Greg Sims. It was a blast learning from a pro about proper technique, form and efficiency. During lunch, I had some Blink energy water for a boost.And by the end of it all? I passed my practical and exam and you are looking at a certified cycling instructor!How are we doing for day nine? This morning I didn’t feel to great since I had to push myself at the conference. I made sure to not overexert myself, but this was the first time I “took it up a notch” since July 17th.
Food wise, I am at the highest end of the macros that I set. Hopefully, I can bring it down to the lower end. I also got a new position and I am excited to finally be working again. I haven’t really worked since July 19th (only one day last week).
This week I will be starting my new work schedule. Big things are happening and I couldn’t be happier! It’s time to clean up this apartment and get ready to head to New York for a Yankee game with the family.
Have a great weekend everyone!
I haven’t posted a throwback Thursday in a while. Even though post surgery I gained almost 10lbs I look back at these old photos and realize how far I have come in the past 8years (currently 163lbs). I was almost at my heaviest weight (240lbs) in this picture (220lbs). I have to remind myself that a healthy lifestyle is just that; a lifestyle.
It’s a journey that is never ending and there are going to be ups and downs. As long as you use those downs for fuel to keep your head up, that’s all that matters.
The guy is something special. The manfriend and I went to Boston to just hang around town. No agenda, just relaxation.Boston is such a beautiful town.My brother also took me to lunch at PF Chang’s this week.Plenty of Starbucks was also involved.Tomorrow is the AAAI/ISMA cycling conference!
I am super exited to be with my AAAI/ISMA family for another weekend of fitnes and fun. My brother, the manfriend and I are also off to New York again this Sunday for a Yankee game. Can’t wait to spend time with the family again and the puppy!
Have a great weekend everyone!
You’ve heard me countless times say that I am restarting my journey; from moving, injuries and more recent, surgery. Life just happens.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you have so much going on, whether it’s by choice or beyond your control. It is important to remember that life is a journey. Just because you set a goal doesn’t mean when you reach that goal, it’s the end.
Life is a process and there will always be ups and downs. You won’t always be progressing. Sometimes you may be at a stand still or maybe even go backwards. It’s easier said then done but you should remember to never give up and keep moving forward!
That being said, let’s check out what I am going to be doing for the next month to restart on my fitness goals. Friday the 15th was the first time I really had a good workout in almost a month. Before surgery, the last time I hit it hard at the gym was July 17th. Crazy to know I didn’t workout for almost a month. I do have restrictions; I can’t do activities such as TRX, Vinyasa Yoga or Insanity like workouts.
I also can’t perform exercises such as deadlifts, back extensions, deep squats or any core workouts until the end of August. My main focus for the next few week will be back, bi’s and tri’s while working a little shoulders, chest and lower body.
I have my AAAI/ISMA cycling conference in less then a week, so I will be training for that. To keep myself accountable, I am going to be posting my workouts each week and discuss my nutrition, which will change every week or two. I will be playing around with my macros but for this week, they are the following:
- Calories: 1750-1900
- Carbs: 180g (190g max)
- Protein: 130g
- Fat: 60g (70g max)
I don’t like to focus too much on calories but usually that’s my range, depending on my workouts and day. Post surgery, I gain about 10lbs and right now I lost a solid 6lbs. I am currently around 163lbs and want to get back to my happy zone of 156-158lbs. I know it may sound like an odd range but ever since I started my weight loss journey back in 2008 and have fluctuated here and there, I know that this range is my best and feel my strongest.
When I am strength training and keeping up with my fitness routine, I start getting leaner and look like I’m 135-140lbs. Most people see me and wouldn’t think I was almost 160lbs, which is why at a certain point, it’s not so much about the number on the scale. Right now I only have about 3lbs to get back to pre-surgery weight.
Workouts This Week (August 17th-24th):
- Sunday: Active Rest Day!
- Monday: Rest Day
- Tuesday: Chest & Tri’s + Spin (45mins)
- Wednesday: Legs + Spin (45mins)
- Thursday: Back & Bi’s + Cardio (30mins)
- Friday: AAAI/ISMA Cycling Conference
- Saturday: Rest Day
- Sunday: Total Body Workout (30mins)
My exercises this week are going to include at least two spin sessions and three strength training sessions. I am planning to take 2-3 rest days a week since my body is still healing, I don’t want to overwork myself. Active rest days just include 2+ hours of walking. And that’s it! That’s the plan to get back on the fitness wagon.
I am definitely feeling good, but I don’t want to push myself because I know its a sign that my body is healing. I don’t want to have to end up hurting myself and needing more recovery time. It’s time to get ready for my Vermont trip with the manfriend. Be sure to check out this week’s WIAW for some Vermont eats.
You may have noticed I changed the blog and Facebook page from “body building beginnings” back to its original state of Healthy & Nutritiously Sweet.
Let’s back up for a second shall we? Since I started cycling, my upper body and back (which is my weakest area) have become stronger and more muscular. Here is a snippet from my AAAI/ISMA cycling studies:
“The postural muscles; these include the neck, chest, back and abdominal muscles. These muscles are active during cycling to maintain the body in a stable position of the saddle and to resist the effects of gravity thus allowing the lower body muscles to generate the power needed to rotate the pedals.”We all know that the lower body muscles such as the quads, calves and glutes are going to benefit from cycling, but would you have expected the upper body and back muscles too?
I knew my arms were getting a workout because when you jog out of the saddle, your body is holding yourself up to balance on a the bike. It would make sense that your back muscles are getting a workout too!Now cycling has allowed me to tone up not only in my upper and lower body, but also the abs and waist. I noticed I am developing a “two pack” as well as the outline of the abs. I have extra skin from my 100lbs+ weight loss, but for the first time I feel very comfortable in my skin because I know progress isn’t going to happen overnight. I am happy being strong and healthier then I have ever been before.
The reason I started cycling was because back in April, I got injured (and sick) and I had to take a break from body building. I still did some workouts here and there, but not to the fullest of my program. I then decided to take a chance on my friend’s spin class. He told me that he would give me a better experience then my previous spin class (since I was traumatized from my first!).
From the moment I took his class, I fell in love with the spin bike. For once in my life I didn’t have any limitation, cycling is much easier on the joints. I have two rotator’s cuff, an elbow spur and had hip and knee surgery over 10 years ago. While I love body building, I was limited with the exercises I could do and had to modify quite a bit. I ended up over deadlifting and injured my back very badly, on top of being sick.
I started incorporating the body building plan while I was cycling and I noticed a few changes; the more I did heavy resistance on the spin bike for a short time, the better my strength training. The more I did sprints on the bike at a longer distance, my performance body building declined. I also didn’t feel like I had the proper energy since I my “diet” was still following the bodybuilding plan; I needed more carbs.
I decided to keep studying cycling and do my own research as well. I decided that I was going to discontinue following the body building plan that I was doing. I went on to create/revamp my own eight week coaching and strength training plan where I could include body building type exercises and still enjoy other activities like cycling and yoga. I managed to drop 10lbs in one month, which was not my intention at all.
But I felt great, energized, nourished and healthy. My youngest brother lives with me and he has noticed that I have been happier and healthier. I don’t view food as strict as I did with bodybuilding, but rather I view it as nourishment and fuel for my health and workouts.
There were times during body building where I feared carbs because you are conditioned to think in “protein.” But as a person who has a bit of kidney problems, too much protein isn’t really a good thing.
I can enjoy my protein truffles as a pre and post workout snack again. Not that I didn’t eat them during my body building plan, but they just weren’t as enjoyable as when I’d add in pure maple syrup or cranberries for some simple sugar and carbs fuel-age.It’s important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Had I not became injured, my love for cycling would not have happened. Cycling even allows me to listen to my body more because I know if I am sore or tired, it ain’t gonna happen. I have never loved something as much as I love baking and yoga.
I feel the healthiest, leanest and strongest then I ever have post weight loss. This September marks the 5th year of my weight loss anniversary and I can say moving forward things are only going to get better.
Happy Sunday my friends!
Did you check out the NEW section of Nutritiously Sweet? Yep it has to to with truffles. Dark chocolate protein truffles of course. And to share this sweet tweet with you, I will be doing a giveaway of a batch of eight protein truffles!
Just head on over to the Protein Truffles tab and comment on THIS post which TWO flavors you’d like to try! Who can say no to free dark chocolate protein truffles?
This week I got an email with a bid of bad news. Let’s just say the direction of my life yet again has to take just a small turn that may last a year. Isn’t that always the case? We all face obstacles but it’s how we deal with them is what defines who we are as individuals. All we can do is keep moving forward.I’ve been studying and training a lot for the AAAI/ISMA conference in August. In case you didn’t know, I am also working towards my cycling certification and even perhaps racing in the future. Just some things that are in the works.Check out those back muscles coming in. Progress makes me happy, may be small but it’s there!My friend took me kayaking (and to dinner) on the Charles River in Boston yesterday. It was such a beautiful day for it.When I headed back home, I made my favorite treat; cut up a dark chocolate protein bar, berries, chia and some natural peanut butter. So delicious!Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the batch of protein truffles! U.S only (sorry:/) and just comment on this post with two flavors from the Protein Truffles tab you’d like to try!Giveaway ends on July 6th! Happy sweettooth 🙂