Quality Yet Economical Active Gear, Must Have’s!

Just as you would pick out an outfit for work or going out on the town, you should do the same when throwing on workout clothing and gear! First of all, it should be comfortable and specific to what you will be doing. Going for a run? Make sure you have pants/capris/shorts that are light, yet somewhat form-fitting and made for cardio exercise, it will make your run so much more enjoyable. Pick colors and text that inspire you to do your best and give your workout your all! You should feel beautiful and sexy in that workout clothing, not blah!
Performance tank tops are my favorite and I have a wide variety to choose from. Good shoes that are ‘sport specific’ are a MUST! Get a pair of running shoes at your local running store to avoid injury to your joints and make your runs more efficient. Also, getting some ‘trainers’ for when you hit the gym for strength training or cardio kickboxing or ZUMBA;) are good to have on hand so you don’t wear out your pricier running sneakers.

Arm bands to hold your ipod or music device are key to an enjoyable workout as well, music really helps push you through the burn! Also, a good water bottle (B.P.A. free!) that has a built-in filter is great so when you run out of water you can fill up from the sink and know that your water bottle is filtering out all the ‘nasty’ stuff! I got my Brita water bottle for just under $10.

Material quality is important BUT it does bring up the price a bit. If your watching your budget just get the moderately nice quality gear and you’ll be good to go! I absolutely love Under Armor & Lulu Lemon and have a good amount of their active apparel and gear in my wardrobe; however, I understand that all of my workout attire can’t be this expensive because I’m not a millionaire. So, I’ve found that Gap, Adidas, Reebok are brands that are good quality yet moderately priced. Also, believe it or not, Ross & TJ Maxx and also Marshalls & Kmart have decent workout apparel at very good prices.

I just got my ‘Ripped Ass Women/RawFitnessTV.com’ tank top today. I was a little apprehensive because I had no idea what the material would be like and how it would fit. Well, I was pleasantly surprised because it was really nice quality and fit perfectly! I ordered it a size larger than what I usually order (I got a medium, I usually get a small) and I definitely suggest ordering 1 size larger so it’s not skin tight. Click Here to view the tanks and t-shirts with RawFitnessTV.com motivational graphics!

The next time you go shopping for clothes, pick up a hot workout outfit to pump up those guns in style and feel beautiful while burnin’ those calories chicas;)!

Multi-Taskin’…Healthy Diet & Exercise No Matter How Busy Your Day Is!

A day in the life of Natalie!

Don’t fret, I don’t really think that you care what my day is like, I’m not that vain! I wanted to give you an example of how I fit in healthy eating habits and consistent exercise into a very busy schedule.

I usually wake up at 5am and don’t finish work until 7:30pm. So as you can see, I have LONG days…don’t be misinformed though, I LOVE what I do for a living and I DO get breaks here and there throughout the day. I use those breaks to eat healthy and exercise and it makes getting through my day all the better and easier! Exercise gives me stress relief and stamina, healthy eating gives me a clear mind and energy!

I wake up early enough so that I have at least 1 hour to get ready and eat breakfast before I need to hit the road to train my first client. Right out of bed I down 1 scoop of fiber dissolved in a 16oz. glass of water. Then, I usually eat oatmeal & Shakeology (for protein/vitamins/energy/health). I have a cup of coffee with a splash of unflavored almond milk. I head out to train my clients usually until noon or 1pm. Then I have my afternoon ‘break’. I eat lunch, which is either a salad with chicken or a ‘green smoothie’ (pics below) and get to work in my ‘office’. This is when the multi-tasking comes into play!

In my ‘office’ (which I’ve moved outdoors since the weather is beautiful right now in MD) I do admin, marketing, blog, emails, and anything else it takes to make my personal training business run! During this ‘office work’ I fit in intermittent workouts. I use my body weight, dip station, TRX, stability ball, kettlebells, resistance bands and sandbag. I will do a post tomorrow on exercises I do using these different pieces of equipment.

I also have a gym membership. I go there daily as time permits and do cardio on the arc trainer, step mill, treadmill, and spin classes. I also use the bench, barbells, smith machine, cable machine, kick boxing bags, dumbbells, and other equipment that I do not have at home. While I’m working in my ‘office’, I do exercises for the muscle group I’m focusing on that day that I can do using my home workout equipment so when I hit the gym, I can get in and out of there faster. For example, I do push ups/chin ups/dips/core work at home while working on my upper body days so that when I hit the gym I only have to do the remaining exercises on the equipment that I don’t have at my house, such as bench presses and cable rows and the step mill!

When I need a power packed lunch but will be working out within an hour or so and don’t want to feel ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ from undigested food, I eat a green smoothie! I throw 8 oz of water, a few dashes of cinnamon, a handful of spinach salad leaves, a scoop of my chocolate Whey protein supplement and 1/2 scoop of my Shakeology, a couple frozen organic strawberries, ice cubes in my Bullet Blender cup and blend. I LOVE the ‘Bullet’ because it has single portion cups that you throw all your ingredients into and blend and drink out of the same cup, then throw the cup in the dishwasher and go!

Finally, after my last personal training client, I come home to eat a light dinner. I won’t be doing anything quite physical after dinner so there is no need for a huge dinner, you just don’t need the fuel because you’ll be sleeping soon! Today, I trained a client outside at a park that overlooks downtown Baltimore City…it was BEAUTIFUL today! I came home and threw a salmon filet in my skillet and cooked it in 8 minutes on my stove top, I also threw together a quick side salad.

So that’s my day! Jam packed yet I get in my workout and healthy nutritious meals to fuel my body and help me achieve my goals!

If you find that your schedule is busy and it is hard to get a workout in or eat healthy food while on the go, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAN AHEAD. I prep meals the day in advance if I know the following day will not allow me time to cook or I won’t be home for lunch. I ‘schedule’ my workouts in my calendar so I know exactly when I am scheduled for my daily workout and don’t end up at the end of the day, out of time and no energy to exercise.

Hope this helps! Health & Happiness,

Nat

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Tricks of the Trade…or shall I say TREATS!!!

Hi All,
If you are human, then there is no stopping those cravings for sweets! Don’t deprive yourself of what the good lord gave us, alter the ingredients a bit so that your treats have more nutritional benefits

As a lady, I of course love chocolate and crave some from time to time (every day, LOL!). So I make sure to include it in some of my meals. But, it must be high quality and “healthy” chocolate. RAW CACAO powder is absolutely fabulous to add to my protein shakes or fruit smoothies that I make daily. I get my chocolate fix without feeling guilty and my body reaps the benefits of this wonderful ingredient. Click Here to learn benefits of Raw Cacao Powder. I also drink Shakeology (Chocolate) for post workout or as a meal replacement when I’m in a rush, you can also blend it with frozen strawberries and ice and make a strawberry chocolate ice cream healthy treat! Check out Shakeology by clicking here! 

Coconut Oil or flour is an amazing ingredient to add to your daily consumption. It does have saturated fat but is a medium chain fatty acid and is metabolized by your liver differently, so it ends up being good for you (similar to how Olive Oil is good for you). You can use coconut for cooking, take a tablespoon for energy, great for your hair and skin, aids in weight loss, etc. Click here for the benefits of Coconut.

My favorite herbs, spices & natural flavors to jazz things up in the kitchen are:

  • Cinnamon – in smoothies, cook in steamed veggies and chicken, in oatmeal/couscous/quinoa, dash on salad
  • Basil & Scallions – chop fresh and sprinkle atop salads, veggies, omelettes
  • Cilantro – great blended in green smoothies and added to chicken
  • Rosemary & Thyme – cook with chicken and salmon
  • Cayenne pepper – use just a dash or two in veggies or scrambled eggs
  • Mint – blend in smoothies
  • Balsamic vinegar – dash on top of salad with spices for home-made dressing
  • Lime & Lemon – squeeze fresh juice on top salads, on cooked chicken and veggies, in water
  • Orange – Fresh squeezed juice and zest on top chicken while grilling/cooking it for a zing

Now for a great recipe I got from the World Wide Web…. Here is a great way to have your cake and eat it too! Pancakes that is!

Protein Pancakes

Ingredients (makes 5 pancakes)

9 medium egg whites
1 tub of natural fat free cottage cheese (8-9 oz.)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey (or unrefined sugar, only if you must)
1 cup of oats

Cooking spray


Instructions

1) Combine egg whites, cottage cheese, sugar/honey, cinnamon and oats in a bowl and blend until smooth.

2) Now use a small omelet pan and spray with a cooking spray. On a medium heat pour in mixture until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.

Wait until small bubbles appear on top and then flip the pancake over and cook for another 2 minutes. Place cooked pancakes on a plate and cover w/another plate to keep heat in and keep cooked cakes warm while you finish cooking all pancakes.

Once you have all the pancakes cooked, you can top with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a side serving of your favorite fruit, apple/banana goes really well.

Women eat 2 of these pancakes as a meal. Men eat 3 as a meal.

Enjoy!
Nat

Cheers to Big Thighs, Butts & Bellies…or the opposite!

Hi Gang!
St.Patty’s day is this weekend and I know that some of you will be engaging in ‘drink fests’, so in hopes of ruining your fun 🙂 I thought I’d post about calories in alcoholic beverages! And for those of us who drink alcoholic beverages, our intake of alcohol usually increases during the holidays! There are more holiday parties and family gatherings and opportunities for drinking when there usually wouldn’t be. Guess what, a few extra drinks here and there adds up! Top o’ da mornin’ to ya!

Just how much extra am I depositing into my caloric bank, Natalie? I hate to tell you but some drinks may pack on an extra 1000 (that’s right, one thousand) calories with as little as 3 drinks….

Now, for my RawFitnessTV readers who are working hard to lose weight, these extra calories can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts. So I wanted to educate you all about the caloric content in popular alcoholic drinks so that you can make the right choices! Below are a few misconceptions people have when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages.

“Vodka, Rum, Gin (Liquor) drinks are low calorie”. WRONG! Did you know that one measly shot of vodka is on average 85-95 calories, and the flavored vodkas are 100-160 calories per shot! Well, even if you get a diet whatever and vodka…it is probably going to cost you about 170-320 calories…and if you do a cranberry and vodka, add on the caloric content of the cranberry juice, you get the point. Here is a link for caloric content of some popular alcohols: Calories in Alcohols/Liquors

“I’m okay because I’m drinking red wine…it’s healthy for you…only 60 calories or something…” WRONG!
Yes, red wine has good properties, but in MODERATION. Opt for Dry Red or White Wine to hit 75-85 calories per approximately 3.8 ounces (not your average pour, more calories when you have a full glass of wine). The average pour is about 130-150 calories per drink…
Here is a link for caloric content of wines: Calories in Wines

“Margaritas, Martinis, Oh My”
…need I say more. Lots of sugar = lots of calories…your average Margarita costs you about 450 calories….oh so tasty martinis are around 175-200+…not good!

“Beer is no good”…Wrong and Right. Look, I’m not going to tell you that drinking beer is all fine and dandy but when it comes down to it, you can get a light beer for low cal, like 80 calories. This adds up of course, but the good thing about beer is that it comes in a bottle or a can and you can measure exactly how much you have been consuming. When you get a mixed drink or wine, the size/ounces/amount of your drink vary and you never are quite sure the caloric content of your drink. At least with beer you can be, this is the only reason why I give beer some props…so grab a Heineken Light and throw on your beer goggles!

Overall, just watch the number of alcoholic drinks you have. Drink a glass of water in between drinks. Avoid high sugar drinks with lots of different ingredients. Realize that even if you have diet soda (which I never suggest anyone drink) the liquor in your drink adds a hefty number of calories.

Don’t take part in the ‘Irish Yoga’ and work on melting away those excess fat pounds by doing a little Irish Jig and watching what your caloric and sugar content is in your drinks at St.Patty’s day celebrations;).

To Your Health and Happiness!!
St. Patty’s Day Party Pooper Nat 😉

Keep Your Ass on Track w/Weight Loss…The Most Important Question

The Most Important Question….

What is keeping me from achieving my weight loss goal?

CONSISTENCY!

If you aren’t consistent with your diet and exercise routines, you will have a hard time reaching your fitness goals. What do I mean by consistent? Exercising 4-5 times every week using a structured exercise program designed for your goals and needs. Eating healthy on a consistent basis, following healthy eating habits 99% of the time, eating to live instead of living to eat.

Why is this so important? Because, you need to live a healthy and active lifestyle in order to look healthy, remember the saying “You are what you eat”. Eating unhealthy meals and snacks here and there add up over the weeks, months and year. It adds up to a couple extra or several extra added pounds of fat, and fat is not what we want to add to our body…we want muscle! You must follow a healthy diet ALWAYS! No twinkies, snickers bars, bacon-wrapped filet mignon here and there!

If you are trying to shed the pounds you have got to be CONSISTENT! Fight your cravings for the nutrient deficient snacks by creating healthier snacks and meals for yourself. For example, if ice cream is your choice learn how to make natural strawberry sorbet at home, which is fat free and much healthier for you. And most importantly come to the realization that food is just simply food! Don’t let it run your life or it will ruin your life. EAT TO LIVE, DON’T LIVE TO EAT!

Exercising regularly is key too. Keep that blood pumpin’, burn calories, and build muscle. Increasing your muscle mass will increase the number of calories your body burns daily as well as increase metabolism. You will have more energy, feel happier, be less likely to succumb to cravings, and exercise will aid in weight loss and fat loss. When you workout, you are more likely to eat healthy that day because you don’t want to reverse all the hard work you just put in lifting weights or doing cardio.

HOW CAN I STAY CONSISTENT? IT IS HARD TO, I KNOW!

Just like anyone else, I get cravings and maybe get a little lazy here and there…so what is the number one thing that keeps me on the right track? GOALS!!!!!

I don’t just workout everyday and eat healthy everyday for the hell of it, I have goals that keep me motivated and push me through every workout. YOU MUST HAVE GOALS, long term and short term goals, TO STAY CONSISTENT! Goals should always be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

Short Term: Daily, Weekly & 30 Day Goals. Everyday you should challenge yourself to eat healthy and workout. Take it one day at a time. Each week you should plan to complete a certain number of workouts and eat healthy 99% of the time. Your 30 Day goal can be a 5 pound weight loss goal, decreasing your body fat by 3%, adding 1 mile to your longest running distance, etc. Your short term goals should help you get a step closer to some of your long term goals.

Long Term: 1 Month, 3 Month, 6 Month, 1 Year, etc. 1 month is in between a short term and long term goal. In 1 month you could train to run a 5K. In 3 months you could lose as much as 12- 24 pounds if you work really hard. Have you ever wanted to bike in a cycling event and maybe raise money for a charity? Than sign up for a 20, 40, 63 or even 100 mile cycling event that is 6 months – 1 year out. Knowing that you have to be in shape for this event, getting people to sponsor you, and the desire to finish the race well will keep you motivated to stay consistent with your diet and exercise routines!!

So…SIT DOWN NOW AND WRITE DOWN YOUR SHORT & LONG TERM GOALS, STAY CONSISTENT, STAY HEALTHY!!

Yours Truly,
Nat

Fears – Roadblocks to Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

Read this if you…overeat, binge eat, for anorexia, hate exercise, can’t keep from eating sweets or salty snacks/treats, ‘live to eat vs. eat to live’…..
Fear’s, we all have them. Some people are afraid of spiders, some of public speaking, and some…of the dark! I’m not here to talk about arachnophobia today though. I’m here to talk about “limiting beliefs” that lead to “limiting behaviors”.

Fear’s and limiting beliefs are similar in that they’re created by imagining some negative outcome in the future. You may be afraid of public speaking because you imagine that you will forget your lines, sound/look silly or uneducated, or be laughed at. Well it’s time to face these fears, feel the fear and do it! Don’t let these limiting beliefs and fears stop you from taking the necessary steps to achieve your dreams.

Usually, when trying to overcome a fear, you will have to TAKE THE RISK OF THE UNCOMFORTABLE…remember, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

All decisions we make are based on our associations to what actions will produce, PAIN or PLEASURE.
PAIN – linked to a negative outcome, situation, fear, or negative loss.
PLEASURE – linked to a positive outcome, experience, or positive gain.
We link some ideas, images, sounds, and situations to ‘PAIN’ and some to ‘PLEASURE’.
People have differences and similiarities in their linkages to PAIN and PLEASURE.
The MAIN POINT here is this. The FEAR of PAIN and OUR BELIEFS that an action will LEAD TO PLEASURE are driven by our PERCEPTIONS OF REALITY, NOT REALITY!

These ‘Perceptions of Reality’ are created based on past experiences/life events. Over time you’ve developed associations and beliefs based on past experiences. The problem here?…some of these past experiences created ‘limiting beliefs’ within you that now affect your behavior to future situations you deem are similar to this past experience and in turn, this leads to limiting behaviors.

Limiting Behaviors
are those that are holding you back or are ‘disempowering’ you.
Example: An association to public speaking – ‘you will fail, people will laugh’ – leads to limiting behavior…you don’t share your opinion/voice, don’t excel at job or don’t get promoted as a result.
Example: An association to eating sweets – developed as a child, ‘you feel satisfied/happy when indulging in sweets’ – leads to limiting behavior…now when you’re unhappy/stressed, you eat sweets to feel happy, but it keeps you from losing weight and achieving your fitness goals!

So What Do I Do????
1. FACE YOUR FEARS AND QUESTION THEM! Write down a list of all of your fears, disempowering beliefs, and things you associate with pain. Questions their validity. How rediculous is this belief?
2. ASSOCIATE EACH DISEMPOWERING BELIEF TO PAIN. For each disempowering belief say, ‘If I allow this belief to negatively impact me it will cost me or keep me from __________.’
3. For each disempowering belief write down, ‘I want to _______, but I scare myself by imagining ______.’
4. REPLACE THIS ‘IMAGINATION’ or ‘FEARFUL FEELING’ with feelings you associate with positive outcomes.

Example: Indulging in sweets or Overeating – ‘Living to Eat instead of Eating to Live’
=> You Say: “If I don’t eat/snack on this donut, I’ll miss out on the feeling of satisfaction/fullness.'(False!)
=> Rather Realize: “If I keep believing this and eating sweets too much, eating when unnecessary, and ‘living to eat’; I will gain weight, suffer from health problems, and undo all my hard work at the gym!
=> State the Truth: “I want to eat healthy/avoid sweets, BUT I scare myself by imagining that I’ll be missing out on something good, the feeling of satisfaction, and filling of some void.”
=> The Reality & New Associations: “If I stick to a healthy diet, avoid unnecessary sweets and unhealthy foods, and learn to ONLY ‘Eat to Live’; I WILL lose weight, improve my health, feel proud and confident, and see the results materialize from my workouts.”

YOU CAN overcome the roadblocks, YOU CAN face your fears, it may be uncomfortable and challenging, you may experience setbacks, but be determined to achieve your goals and push through day-by-day! You can apply these methods in all aspects of your life. Get out there, achieve the unexpected, be strong, and FACE YOUR FEARS!!

Need Motivation to Stay Consistent with Exercise & Diet?

Hi RawFitnesser’s!
So as some of you may have already experienced, when you start up an exercise plan and new healthy diet, you may be totally on-point and motivated for the first few weeks to maybe even a month or so…but eventually a lot of people lose that drive and motivation they first had when starting out. Today I want to talk about how staying consistent is key to achieving the weight loss and wellness goals you want so bad. Without consistency, you will not achieve those goals, and without motivation and drive it will be impossible to stay on track with your fitness program and remain consistent.

So how do I get the motivation and drive I need to stick to my plan?

Follow these tips below, take into consideration that everyone is influenced differently in what may motivate them

Visualize:
What works for me best is if I have a ‘role model’. Choose your favorite celebrity, athlete, or whomever you think has a healthy physique and aim to sculpt your body to have similar characteristics. Again, I want to reiterate the phrase ‘healthy physique’! By healthy, I mean toned, strong, attractive, positive. My three ‘role models’ are Felicia Romero/Linz Kaye/Kathleen Tesori. Print out photos of your ‘role models’ and post their pictures on your refrigerator, when temptation knocks at your door, look at those photos and remember your goals, and avoid going into the fridge for any unhealthy or unnecessary eats!
Also, visualize yourself leaner, stronger and more toned. Visualize yourself feeling healthy and more energetic!
Music:
Find the right beats to beat procrastination and pump up your motivation! Get a good playlist, and not just one playlist, make several different playlists so that you have variety for each workout to avoid boredom! Music should be upbeat, inspirational, positive, hardcore, whatever type of music that puts a little pep in your step. Studies have proven that music helps people get motivated to exercise and helps them push harder during their workouts, as well as make the exercise more enjoyable!
Competition:
Compete against yourself if you aren’t into participating in competition or sports. Try to beat your previous week’s records, whether it be in reps, sets, or time, set a goal for each workout you do so that you have something to work toward during each daily workout.
Fitness Buddy or Group:
Having another person to keep you accountable and help you stay motivated is an awesome way to keep on track and stay consistent with your exercise and diet plan. Whether it be a personal trainer, a friend, or a group of people; I suggest having someone there who will take no excuses, be strong for you, push you, and make you check in each week with them with your prior week’s achievements and performance.

My “Role Models” Below: Felicia Romero, Linz Kaye, & Kathleen Tesori

To Your Health & Happiness!