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SOULCYCLE x GOFITJO

There's no other exercise that fuels my soul the way SoulCycle does and its even better when you're doing it with a community of women who are committed to sweating together and bettering our lives together. 

I've had the incredible honor to host two events over at SoulCycle in Walnut Creek and both have been filled with so much fun and buckets of sweat. 

SOULCYCLE x GOFITJO || 09.24.2016

SOULCYCLE x GOFITJO || 09.24.2016

If you've never had the chance to hop on a bike at SoulCycle and are wanting to know the experience read my thoughts on my previous blog post.  

This morning we spent 60 minutes getting down with John, who's incredible playlists can get you tapping back and putting a little spice to your moves on the bike any day. After SoulCycle, we walked on over to True Food Kitchen to enjoy some post SOUL refreshments and conversations that fueled the heart. (photos below are from the wonderful, Kat Chen)

This year I've been exploring the idea of hosting events and gathering community together. It's been so much fun to connect with the women in the Bay Area and to learn more about their stories. Each person has an incredible story to tell and those stories provide a sense of comfort, a the opportunity for personal growth, and simply the chance to laugh and bond with people you may have never get the chance to meet in your lifetime. Its been a great experience to see people bond over things they barely found out they had in common. 

SOULCYCLE || 10.23.2016

SOULCYCLE || 10.23.2016

Many thanks to the incredible sponsors: Core, Go Raw, Squarebars, SF Salt Co, Vooray, and Denik who provided each person with goodies for the day.

The notebooks are by this incredible brand called Denik that has an awesome mission. They believe that art can help change the world. Proceeds from each of their notebook sales goes directly to building schools and to support the artists. They are a small team of passionate individuals from Utah. And if you can spread their mission to those around you, that would be so incredible. If you know any artists who might want to submit their art, send them here.

I strongly believe that writing is such an incredible tool for your health. If you can spend a few moments in your day to slow down, write all the things you're grateful for and write about your hopes and dreams, it'll be incredible to see the type of change you manifest for yourself and for others around you. 

How to meal prep like a BOSS!

The most questions I get about own fitness journey is around meal prepping and meal planning. They typically are "How do you start?" "Where you start?" "How do you know what to prep for?"

Now first and foremost I think the most important thing to remember about nutrition plans is that proper ones are personalized and catered to the individual's goals. Not everyone's meal plans will be the same because not everyone's body is the same nor are their goals. As far as what you'll see me lean towards more often when creating my meal plans are simple meals that don't require a ton of prep and are not a lot of fuss when it comes to eating. My meals are typically animal protein enriched and a balance of carbs and fats. If you're looking for some recipe ideas feel free to check out my Food + Recipes section or #gofiteats on Instagram. 

So here are some things to note before you get started, I like to eat the same variation of proteins for 2 weeks and will switch up the proteins depending if I'm getting bored. I do this so that I can see if there's any physical reactions to the things I'm eating such as bloating, lack of energy, too much food, not enough food, etc. I spent about a year and a half prepping for body building competitions and because of that experience I've become more in-tuned with what works with my body. For example, I function better when I have healthy fats in my diet, so I don't cut out olive oil, avocado, nuts, or fatty fish. I have a rule of about 30% of my diet requires that when I'm trying to maintain my current health state or gain more muscle. If I'm trying to lean out or cut down, I'll reduce my fats to about 20%, but only for a small period each time to make sure that I'm not completely denying my body of important macro nutrients. 

I'm 33 years old, 5'2" currently weighing 110lbs and trying to gain about 5lbs of lean muscle mass with no specific target date. My daily macros should be around 1700-1900 calories for this target and I'm following a 40/40/20 rule, meaning that my carbs make up 40%, protein makes up 40%, and fats make up 20% of my daily intake. I like to eat about 1 or 2 really good refeed meals per week. I like to refer my eat whatever the heck I want to meals, as refeed meals vs cheat meals because cheat meals sound as if you're doing something bad when eating a meal outside of your regular plan. Refeed meals are a method that helps to increase the leptin in the body which can help increase metabolism for fat loss. It also helps keep people committed by giving them a small break in their nutrition plans especially while on a weight loss plan. 

Remember folks, food isn't earned; its fuel. Our bodies are earned. 

I'm breaking down my meals for this upcoming week of October 17th - October 22nd.

Below is my macro breakdown for the week. Here are some things that I'll be looking out for as I work through this plan before I make any adjustments:

  • How do I feel before and after a workout?
  • Is this enough food or is it too much food?
  • Am I craving anything outside of this, such as sugars, fats, salts, etc.? (these cravings is your body telling you something, pay attention to it)

Steps for a successful meal prep

Step 1: Plan your meals for the week around your life schedule.

People often start their meal planning feeling like its a chore already because they are looking at it as yet another thing to change or add to in their life. I'd like to suggest to pick a day that you can commit to prepping 3-4 days out of the week worth of food. This way you can keep things fresh and in the event that you want to switch up the flavor of your meal you have a mid week day that you can prep a whole new set of menu items out of the meal plan you've created. Also make a list of the things in your life that are non negotiable and where you might need to eat outside of your meal plan. I touched briefly on this in an Instagram post with regards to the things you love and want to do more of vs the things you're already doing. So now you're going to do this with your meal planning. 

Take out your calendar and start to add the things that you have to do and might require for you to eat out on those days such as meetings, dinners with friends, etc. If you're really working towards a goal, then I would suggest to only have one or two of these social functions in your calendar that will "get in the way" of your fitness goals. Spread those social outings out throughout the month if you can. 

Then start to plan your breakfasts, lunch, snacks, and dinners. 

Prepping meals are great for travel too.

Prepping meals are great for travel too.

Step 2: Make a Grocery List

Now that you know what you want to cook, it's time to list down those items and go shopping. Take inventory of what you already have in both your fridge and pantry so that you're not buying more of what you don't need or already have available to you.

If you wanna try what I made for the week feel free to copy this list of groceries:

Fruits

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas

Veggies

  • Green Beans 
  • Salad Mix (its a staple for us)
  • Asparagus
  • Lemons

Protein

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • White Fish: tilapia, cod, catfish, or swai

Dairy

  • Eggs or Egg Whites
  • Greek Yogurt

Grains & Good Carbs

  • Oatmeal
  • Granola
  • Sweet Potato (another staple, in case mid week I get tired of rice I'll swap to sweet potato)
  • Rice

Etc

  • Protein bars
  • Protein powder

Step 3: Prepare your kitchen for prepping your meals

When I meal prep I like my kitchen counters clear, my kitchen sink emptied and cleaned out, pots and pans ready to go, and my meal prep containers and scale ready for my 2 hours in the kitchen. I also have my cutting board, knives, and any other items I need out to make things quick and easy when it comes to step 5. 

Step 4: Cook like a MOFO

One you have your kitchen all set up start the cooking. I love to grill most of my chicken or use recipes similar to my Lemon Basil Chicken that require one pan to make things really easy. When I'm using my grill I can grill up several proteins at the same time like chicken and steak while the rice is boiling or the potatoes are cooking in the oven. Strategize your meal planning so that you can use several different cooking elements simultaneously so you don't feel like you're in there for days! One other meal prep hack: grilled veggies are bomb dot com and anything on the gril is amazing because you don't have any pans to wash off. 

Step 5: Measure out your meals and pack them away!

Now that all the cooking is done its time to measure all the items, wait for it to cool down a little, and pack it away. I find a lot of power in meal prepping because its that day where you've realized that you've already done something healthy for yourself every day of the week. It's that moment of gratitude and feeling of accomplishment that really helps to start your week of the right foot.

Hope this helps and comment below if you have any tips for meal prepping, I'd love to hear them! 

 

 

 

 

 

A little struggle never hurt nobody

Part of me should just leave my blog blank because I feel that the title tells it all. The past few months have been a bit of a struggle and readjustment with all the priorities in life that I've been juggling: motherhood, marriage, career, fitness, and blogging. It's so easy for us to say "HELL YES!" to everything that comes along the way because these things bring us joy in different ways.

But I'm here to admit that by saying YES to all the things, I broke my own cardinal rule of making sure I had my fitness and health a NUMBER 1 priority before others. Some of the examples of the rules I broke are:

  1. Not looking at work emails before a workout. 
  2. Not reserving a weekend in the month free to unplug, unwind, and spend it with the family.
  3. Saying yes to too many social networking events and gatherings. 
  4. Staying up WAAAAY past my bedtime. 
  5. Eating way too many treats and sipping on a little too many cocktails. 

It took this weekend to take a step back at it all to remind myself what was really my priority about this journey in the first place? MY HEALTH AND FITNESS. I spent well over two months trying to reprioritize my jigsaw puzzle called "balanced living" to see if I could find new ways to fuel my passion and the truth is I stopped fueling the things that make me truly happy and make me feel really centered which was waking up at 5AM to get my workout in before work, prepping every single meal I brought to work and while out and about, and spending my free time with my family. Don't get me wrong I love all the relationships and experiences that I've had over the past 2 months and I wouldn't change one second of it. But the relationship I was having with myself was suffering and control of it all was almost slipping out of my hands. 

This past 4th of July weekend I spent the time unplugging as much as I could from my phone and if you follow me on IG, then you'll notice that I've been a little quiet on the forefront about my daily ramblings. Mostly because work has been incredibly busy and I've been in and out of back to back meetings needing to focus more of my headspace with work rather than play. It felt really amazing to slip into my little Oasis called home. We didn't have any exciting events planned, photo sessions or weddings booked, and for one weekend this summer we found ourselves without an agenda. And it felt so incredibly amazing. 

Most people know me as a woman who keeps it authentic and real as a much as possible. Juggling my world isn't easy. It's down right difficult at times and there are seasons where my stress levels and sleeping patterns are so messed up because of all the the things on my plate I like to pile on. But like the title of this blog says, "a little struggle never hurt nobody" it truly does allow you to grow a little further, stretch a little higher, and learn more about what you are capable of doing each and every day. 

After this little reality gut check and a whole lot of conversations with my husband about working out and health priorities. I spent my 4th of July working out A LOT. I got all my weight training given to me by my fitness coach done, BBG, and cardio in because I placed it as the number 1 priority of the weekend. The hubs even took his first Soul Cycle class with me and my BBG sisters. All in all it was an incredible weekend and the biggest lesson learned is sometimes we have to get a little derailed from our path to know and understand how important it was to be on it in the first place. 

#youcansweatwithus

Around the corner is the next BBG Meetup and I'm so stoked to be hosting this lovely event with my dear sweat crew: Mickey, Shannon, and Lucy. They have been nothing but girlbosses about the entire thing and getting an event like this together with all the moving parts has been such a breeze because of these ladies.

Eventbrite - SF BAY Area BBG Meet UP

In honor of this event I'm doing a little throwback of photos from our last one. Thanks to Encarnacion Photography for donating your time to photograph this for us as a way to remember our times together. 

SPOTLIGHT: Shannon Michelle (@caligirlgetsfit)

I'm excited to be partnering up with three amazing babes in the area to host our first 2016 Bay Area BBG Meetup. For those who don't know much about BBG, check out the insane amount of hashtags splattered all over Instagram. BBG is a 12 week workout guide created by Kayla Itsines, its simple to follow, and it builds a really great foundation of movement for any fitness level. I picked up the guide several years back, but never put it into use until the tail end of last year while I was recovering from a shoulder injury. Now I use the guide to supplement cardio or circuit training in between my strength training days with weights. 

To intro some of these babes that I'm collaborating with I wanted to do a little spotlight on each of them so that you can get to know some of these bad-asses and how fitness plays a role in their world. First up on my spotlight, Shannon Michelle. 

 

How has making fitness a mindful part of your life affected your day to day?

For me, it's all about the little things. Rather than take the elevator, I take the stairs. Rather than drive everywhere, I walk to do good for my body and the environment. I am more mindful of what I put in my body by trying to eat clean when possible, but also treating myself when I feel like I deserve it. Sometimes exercise = extra fries if I need something to give me a little extra motivation!

Have you always been so fitness oriented...was there an ah-ha moment that changed this for you? (you can tell your story here)?

Several years ago, my mom was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. She regularly consulted with a nutritionist to keep her health in check. I started educating myself on health and fitness because I was so worried about her. She is now doing much better by keeping her sugar under control, eating clean, and exercising on a regular basis. From then on, I began my fitness journey because I want to be healthy and live a long life to be there for my future family.

What does your workout schedule look like on a weekly basis?

My workout schedule consists of either a TRX warm-up or a weightlifting warm-up + the Kayla Itsines BBG guides 3x/week. On the other days, I typically do hip hop dance, yoga, or pilates. I also try to be active on the weekends by hiking when the weather is nice!

If you could give one piece of advice for anyone starting their fitness journey, what would it be? 

Make sure you are embarking upon this journey for the right reasons. Many times people want to "lose weight" because of negative words someone said to them and they feel insecure. Other times people compare themselves to others and feel like they are not good enough. In order for your journey to succeed, you have to be doing this truly for you and not to impress anybody else. Because at the end of the day all of the compliments, likes, and acknowledgement from others should be secondary to the pride and sense of accomplishment that you feel for yourself.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for empowering women. As women, we are taught at a young age that self-worth is derived from physical beauty and appearances. Intelligence, wit, and strength are not valued as much as being "pretty," whereas for men, more importance is put on these non-physical attributes. I would like to to change this way of thinking and remind our young women that smarts, sense of humor, and strength are just as important. I want to empower them to aspire to be the next woman president, rather than the next Playboy bunny.