Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How I Toned it Up in 2012!

What a year! 2012 was a pretty solid year for me.  I finally moved back to my home state, closer to my family, friends and the water.  I made it through my 25th birthday, which in my opinion, is an accomplishment in itself.  

I learned this year that life is full of uncontrollable forces and that I pretty much have control over nothing, no matter how many lists I make or how perfectly I plan things in my mind. Being a type A psycho who beats myself up over EVERYTHING, I channeled this crazy energy into getting myself in shape. I know that when all else fails, I have 100% control over my health and wellness. So that is exactly what I did in 2012.  I had the general goal of losing weight and toning up.  I finally lost ALL of the weight I gained over college and after graduation.  I went from 155 down to 141 , and got some serious muscle definition I haven't had since my competitive high school swimming days. 

Keep reading to see how I changed my lifestyle in 2012 to achieve my goals! Hopefully, as is my primary goal with this blog, this inspires you to take steps to improve your health and fitness too!

This picture is kind of embarrassing (judge all you want), but it keeps me motivated.  In this pic back in August I was about 148. I'm pretty sure I was close to 160 in the one from 2010.

Here are the 5 biggest things that helped me achieve my fitness goals! 

1. Tone it Up Nutrition Plan
courtesy of toneitup.com
They say that fitness starts in the kitchen, and I truly believe that. Becoming a member of the Tone It Up community was the BIGGEST change in my lifestyle over the last 25 years of my life! Seriously, I know that sounds dramatic, but I owe my new and improved outlook on nutrition to these awesome girls, Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up. For those of you who don't know, check out their website at www.toneitup.com.

They have a nutrition plan that you can purchase as a lifetime member. They provide TONS of free recipes, workouts, printable workouts, motivation and an interactive community of women to support you along the way. I have gone away from processed foods, and have focused more on clean eating and eating the right foods at the right times during the day. They also have these awesome "5 Day Slim Down" and "Seven Day Slim Down" plans to help you prep for big events, vacations, etc. that actually work!

I highly recommend this to you if you find yourself intimidated by "healthy" choices or if you are just unsure of what to eat to lose/maintain weight. These girls have created a fantastic and fun way to educate yourself and make the best choices for your body. You can find out more about their plan here.

2. Nike Training Club App
Downloading and using this app literally was the biggest change I have made physically to my body in terms of workout routines.  If you have not heard of it, it is like having a personal trainer in your headphones. You can select from 15-45 min workouts that are targeted or full body. The app shows you video and step by step instructions for each exercise to make it easy to learn the moves. Before this, I typically would go on the elliptical for 40 min followed by some ab work and pushups. Since I am naturally pretty muscular to begin with, I had shied away from doing strength training in fear of looking too butchy.  This app completely changed my mind.  By doing these strength circuit workouts, I have seen more muscle definition, less cellulite, a six pack (!), increased flexibility, and leaner muscles.  The best thing is, you can do these workouts anywhere!  When I travel, I bring a set of hand weights so that I can workout on vacation :)

3. My Fitness Pal App
This is the best calorie counting app ever. It really impacted the way I ate because it kept me accountable for what I'm putting in my body. It also breaks down the percentages of fat/protein/carbs so I know if I should be eating more of a certain thing. It also lets me keep tabs of everything I eat and physically do, so I know how much to eat to lose weight/maintain my weight. DEFINITELY recommend getting this app! 

4. Mind/Body workouts (Barre, Yoga and Pilates)
I have always done Pilates. It did a number a few years back when I did it everyday. My new fave form of this low impact type of workout, has to be the barre workouts that are popping up everywhere.  When I do circuits at the gym, I add in moves that work tiny muscle fibers that you learn in barre workouts to mix up my routine and keep my body guessing. I can definitely feel a difference in the "tightness" of my muscles! Especially my booty :) Check out YouTube for some great videos! My faves are found on Livestrong Woman!

5. Kettlebells
Holy crap! If you haven't tried these wonders, you are MISSING OUT! Kettlebells are my favorite workout prop in 2012 for sure. They are WAY better than regular dumbbells because you use your whole body to steady yourself as you perform different moves. So you not only are working your primary muscle for the given exercise, but you body is burning a ton of calories using stabilizing and secondary muscles. In a 40 minute kettlebell workout, you can burn between 450-600 calories! Talk about efficient! I unlocked a kettlebell workout in Nike Training Club and have been making my own workout routines using those moves and other ones I have found online. I set my interval timer to 1 minute intervals and get swinging!

I don't normally make resolutions, but I do have some goals I want to achieve this year to keep my body guessing! The biggest one, besides trying new classes, is to complete a half marathon. I hate running inside, so this might be something to try for in the spring when the weather gets warmer. I've never done a race before, so I'd like to check this off my bucket list!

What are your fitness goals? Did you achieve what you wanted in 2012? Let me know!

Happy New Years!!

xo, Victoria

Monday, November 26, 2012

5 SUPER Easy Holiday Detox Ideas

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday weekend! I really did enjoy myself and I am so thankful for being able to relax and spend quality time with my friends and family. I definitely did indulge, but I really tried to make an effort to keep up my activity level and not overdo it too much. If you don't feel quite yourself today, here are a few ways to help flush out your system and get you back to normal.

1. WATER! I drank literally a gallon of water on Black Friday. (Probably more than that actually.) That is about 7 water bottles of water throughout the day. I added lemon slices to some, and also Lipton's Tea and Honey To Go Packets to my water. I have been a big fan of the Lipton To Go Packets for a while because they are sweetened primarily with honey compared to Crystal Light that not as good for you. AND, the Lipton has the added benefit of tea (black tea and green tea varieties) that speed your metabolism and give you a little caffeine boost!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

100 Cal Protein Whole Wheat Pumpkin Protein Muffins!

Because I just can't get enough of pumpkin in anything...

Here is a quick recipe for Whole Wheat Pumpkin Protein Muffins that are 103 calories per muffin, 2.5 grams of sugar, 15 grams of carbs and 7.3 grams of protein. The only thing I would do next time is add ground flax seed which would add more fiber to the 1.7 grams currently in this recipe. Make sure you get pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. 

This is adapted from a recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny that I found on Pinterest.  She apparently adapted hers from Martha Stewart, so basically this is my hybrid. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving is a Sodium Death Trap

We have all heard that the average American eats over 3000 calories on Thanksgiving (makes me want to vomit just thinking about it!!) But, Thanksgiving isn't just wreaking havoc on your calorie totals, it is completely throwing your body out of wack by all the SODIUM that is hidden in traditional American dishes.

I was in Target today, and picked up a box of Kraft Stove Top stuffing.  You may think this is nuts, but I have only had stuffing twice in my whole life. Yes. Twice. My family is Spanish (read my "about me" section!) and we never had stuffing at Thanksgiving. So, anways, I read the nutrition label and the first thing that stuck out to me was the insane amount of sodium.  A serving, which is 1/2 cup prepared, equates to 390 mg of sodium, or 20% of your daily value. Now, keep in mind, that is for someone eating 2000 calories a day.  I eat between 1250-1500 per day, so that percentage is even higher. 

And that is just ONE serving of a side dish served...