Sunday, 24 April 2016

Eating & Exercise & Staying On Track...

Before you ask, no I am not a personal trainer nor am I a nutritionist. These tips and words of advice are just what I am currently doing and what I find is working well for me. I have a degree in dance and I teach dance and cheerleading so I do know what foods give my body energy to teach as well as what makes me feel absolutely awful!

I have arranged this post into sections so it's easier to read or if there is something currently in your routine that you are struggling with you can scroll through until you find what you are after.

Routine
As well as teaching dance and cheerleading I work in a school. Being in a routine is just what I need. Before Easter I said to myself "Over those 2 weeks you will work out twice a day whilst you are off work and you will eat really healthy meals and not snack"...that didn't happen. It was Easter HELLO, Easter eggs! So the healthy eating went straight out of the window as did the exercising. I was waking up later, eating at random times and doing anything to not put on my gym clothes and walk 2 minutes down the road to my gym. The last day of Easter came and I was ready to get back into a routine and here's what I did....

Food

Get Organised!

Food Prep & Plan- and no, I don't mean putting 5 lots of meals into tupperware and leaving them in the fridge all week. That doesn't work for me I'm afraid! I did however get a small whiteboard and plan our meals as well as who was cooking them and what we needed to defrost for the next day. My boyfriend and I really stick to this. If I don't plan our meals we can never decide and that ends up with us eating something unhealthy or ordering a take away. 

Research!

Google, Pinterest, Instagram- Research and find healthy meal options. I am always looking up new recipes to keep us interested. This is great if you are a fussy eater too because there is so much more out there than you think. I personally love Pinterest because you can really narrow down your options "Cheap healthy meals" "Quick healthy meals" "Healthy Italian recipe". Someone who both me and my boyfriend have followed on Instagram for years is The Body Coach. Many of you may have seen Joe on Instagram with his cheeky #leanin15 video meals. He has also brought out a book which we are looking to buy. #leanin15 has a mix of curries, wraps, pastas and even burgers that are so tasty and filling.

Weaknesses!


Sweet tooth?- I didn't realise how much of a sweet tooth I had until a few weeks back when I started this. For me, this new way of eating and exercising wasn't to cut everything out. I knew from attempts in the past when I have tried to eat healthy and diet that if I completely cut out chocolate I could last about a week and then I would pig out. So, this time I decided to change it up. I made a chocolate slab! Using dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (Usually above 70%) I melted it in the microwave, poured it onto a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper and scattered over dried fruit and nuts. After leaving it in the fridge over night I then break off a few small pieces and have them as a snack. Yes, it is still chocolate but it's better than milk chocolate and the added fruit and nuts are a bonus!

Things I have decided to cut out-
Bread-I cut it out last year for lent and surprisingly didn't miss it. As I am writing this post, the last 2 days I have however eaten bread of some sort and my eczema has flared up really bad. This is a good reminder as to one of the reasons why I am doing this.
Chips- I think before it was just so easy to chuck them in the oven however, by cutting them out it has given us the chance to explore different side options which I actually enjoy more!
Coke- I never drank that much coke before but I did used to have a bottle to give me energy before teaching. Which is awful really! 
Tea- Not that I ever had sugar in my tea and not that drinking tea is the worst thing in the world I just decided to switch it up for green tea or chamomile. 
Eating/Snacking Late- Chocolate, toast, crisps were all things before that I used to eat after I had eaten dinner. They had no benefits and after a few days I just got used to it!

Hydration!

Water- I have set myself the task of drinking more water. After just 2 weeks I have noticed that my skin looks better and my eczema isn't as noticeable. Whenever I read about 'Benefits of drinking water' I see that it says it can help reduce how much you eat because you may feel more full. For me this just doesn't work. My body knows I am trying to trick it! However, I feel so much more awake, full of energy and efficient. 
I have never had a problem with drinking water but I know a lot of people don't like it. Try adding a few slices of lemon or lime to give it a little taste. If you are aiming to drink more water too, you could make marks on your water bottle for example '11am' '1pm' etc and make sure you get to those lines by that time. It's amazing how competitive you can get with drinking water!

What I have been eating-
Breakfast- Shredded wheat or a fruit smoothie with coconut water.
Break/Snack- Fruit salad. I make one every day for me and my boyfriend. Strawberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, banana and apples. It doesn't take long and I cut up a melon and pineapple at the beginning of the week put it in a tupperware box and straight into the fridge. That way I am not rushing every morning and I only have to prepare a few of the fruits.
Chocolate slab pieces, yoghurt.




Lunch- Protein shake. Not for everyone and having protein shakes may seem a bit daunting. I've linked mine so you can read about the benefits etc. I am never usually that hungry by lunchtime so this shake is perfect, it's not too heavy on your stomach and it keeps me full of energy ready for my workout after work.
Dinner- Chicken stir fry, Chicken and Avocado rolls, Beef mince stuffed peppers, Prawn curry, Chilli Con Carne in lettuce leaves, Meatballs and spinach, Parsnip and Sweet potato rostis with chorizo.
I try to eat as many vegetables as possible and substitute chips for salad. Try to be a bit more adventurous with your salad or sides. I like to mix different types of leaves and we've even had a beetroot salad which is one of my favourites! 

Exercise

Please don't be under the impression that you need to join a gym to stay fit and exercise. I know some gyms can seem really intimidating and I completely understand, maybe try out a few classes instead and see how that goes. You can also exercise at home, yoga mats are cheap to buy and if you are lucky to have space in your garden then use outdoors too!

Get organised!


Clothes- Lay out your gym clothes in a place where you are going to see them when you get back in from work or put them in your gym bag ready for the next day. 

Workout-
 If ever I went to the gym before and didn't have something planned I would just do something easy. I mean I was still working out but I wasn't challenging myself or doing anything productive. Now I either plan a workout or my boyfriend plans one for us that we do together. Tom is a PE teacher and has always had a huge interest in sport. He's also the most competitive person I know! He wants us to achieve a good time in a workout and is really encouraging. If you have someone who you can workout with then try it!


You may have heard of the term "WOD" which stands for Workout of the day. My gym has lots of these up on the whiteboard which change weekly and you can choose to write down your time or score. Here are some examples of the WOD's I do-

At home-

5 x rounds
50 x skips
10 x walking lunges
10 x push ups
10 x seated twists
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

15 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
40 x star jumps
30 x crunches
10 x squats
5 x push ups
5 x burpees

5 x rounds
100 x skips
25 x squats
25 x sit ups
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

At the gym-

3 x rounds
20 x pull ups (With a band)
20 x squats
20 x burpees
20 x sit-ups
20 x push ups
20 x tricep dips
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

30 x clean and jerk (20kg) 
2 minute rest then-
4 x rounds
400m run
20 x weighted sit ups
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

20 minute on the running machine
30 sec on 30 sec off sprints. 
I change between levels 12-14
If you happen to be near open space or a field you could try this one out here instead of on a running machine.

As you can see the majority of these workouts aren't very long. For me I haven't got a lot of time. I want to change, go to the gym, workout, get in, shower, eat, done! I don't work out in the morning but as the mornings are getting lighter I do want to try going for a run. I hate running, with a passion but I know it is so good for you so my aim is to learn to love it! Even if you haven't got time for a full workout or don't want to get changed try going for a walk. Yes, I know you may not burn as many calories but getting some fresh air into your lungs won't do you no harm. Plus, you will feel a lot better than just slouching on the sofa. 

Finally-

I am only 5 "2 and have a smallish so frame whenever I talk about weight or wanting to lose weight I can get a few funny looks. I am small and I know I am not overweight by any means but when I was a teenager I was a gymnast and dancer. I could eat whatever I wanted to and never gain weight and yes I did used to hate that. Now at the age of 24 my body has changed believe it or not! When you have lost muscle definition and don't look as toned as what you used to do that can really get you down. I don't want to be stick thin and it wouldn't suit my body shape anyway. I have bigger thighs but thats good because they give me the strength to lift more in the gym and support myself and others when teaching tumbling. 
I just wanted to mention that I didn't weigh myself before I started this either. How much I weigh or others weigh means nothing to me. I was asked a few days ago actually to put the weight of 3 people I know into order. I got it completely wrong! For me personally, it's about how my clothes look and fit and how I feel inside not how much do I look like I weigh?!

This post has been very long but I hope that you have found something in it that has helped. Let me know if you have any tips too!
Thanks for reading and much love as always,
Jade x

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6 comments

  1. Having a meal board is so handy, would help us out so much more. I'm terrible with chips, they're so easy to have with something. I do make them in my acti-fry so they're not AS bad but not good either. Tho I don't think I could cut them out completely. I love the Body Coach, I may grab his book as I love his meals on Instagram! I'm still teaching myself to run on the treadmill, I am so unfit! I'll get over my fear tho ha. This post is so helpful, thank you :) x

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

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    1. Hello Tamzin, thank-you for your comment! Honestly, it can be hard at first cutting things out but you just get used to it!? It's so weird, I don't crave any take-aways or quick sandwiches and it's only been just over 2 weeks for me. As long as I have my meals prepared and I know what I will be eating in the evening I have something to focus on! I am glad that you found it helpful, it was helpful for myself just writing it all out!

      Much love x

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  2. I cut out carbs as much as possible - making toast for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch is just a lazy way to eat. I also cut out sugar in everything that I make or drink. That is harder than no bread by far, especially with the bitter Turkish tea, but I did find stevia cubes (natural and no cals) for when I really can't face a drink without sugar, as sweeteners leave a nasty aftertaste. I eat something green with every meal including breakfast - often spinach as it is so versatile. I love courgette ribbon salad too. And I eat A LOT of eggs. To prove my new resilience I have had bars of Galaxy and Ripples sitting in my fridge for over a month untouched. I didn't buy them, they were a gift btw! Wish I could drink more water - I've used apps to remind me, in an effort to help, but I still don't get enough. Add in three months of almost daily gym routines and I am 10 kilos lighter and can now wear clothes that I haven't gotten into for years. I've plateaued at the moment - stayed the same for a month now - but I know that more weight will shift as I carry on eating so much more healthily and sensibly. Happy days!

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    1. Hello, that is really good that you have something green with every meal. That is definitely something for me to aim for! Good for you leaving those chocolate bars in the fridge-well done! It must feel great to lose weight but to fit into clothes that you haven't worn in years is a huge achievement! You must feel amazing! It's so good to hear someone else is on a similar journey!
      Much love, Jade x

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    2. Just fall in love with spinach and that helps! Perfect raw in salads and yummy steamed with a bit of salt, pepper and grated nutmeg on the top before a poached egg goes on for breakfast x

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    3. Yes, we tend to use it in our curries and as a salad! Haven't tried it steamed yet so we will definitely take a look into that! Thank-you Aunty Debs!

      x

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