Glow-Up Week 1: Recap

Glow-Up Week 1: Recap

Yum!

So I have week one under my belt! It was really hard for a few days due to my impending period (I have an appetite increase before I start bleeding).

Here is a recap of my first week.

Diet

I did okay on calories in my opinion. Way lower than what I usually eat. The carbs were also lower than usual.

On Saturday evening I decided to have two cups of puppy chow that I made for my family. That obviously shoved my calories and carbohydrate amount way higher for that day. Every other day I was at 1400 calories though.

I am still happy that I was able to have six successful days. Hopefully week two will go even better.

A drink that has already become my favorite is Dunkin’ Donuts Dulche De Leche Cookie flavored coffee with sucrolose and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. It is fairly low carb and tastes divine! I also enjoy sugar free jello with whip cream on top.

Exercise

The week of my period is always awful for me when it comes to exercise. I got in four days of weight lifting with cardio intervals but did not do HIIT. Week two will definitely be better.

Skin

I totally forgot to do a chemical peel! I will make sure to do it in week two.

My first week in summary

I feel like this was a good first week overall. The mini pig-out that I did on Saturday night probably wasn’t good. To be honest though, I felt great afterwards. Energized and happy.

I lost one pound despite the puppy chow. Most people would like that result so I can’t complain.

Week two will be great for exercise because I will be done with my period.

Are you on a glow-up journey? How is it going?

#glowup #fatloss #weightlifting #momlife #exercise #lowcarb

Awesome HIIT Workout!

Awesome HIIT Workout!

I love to maximize my time when it comes to my workout sessions. This means that I will be going as hard as I can in a short amount of time instead of dragging the workouts out. Doing HIIT is a perfect example of a quality workout.

I had been doing HIIT with a cardio ladder for a while but a few days ago I decided to change it up. My reasoning behind this was because I was getting bored with the ladder and I also knew that I could make the HIIT harder.

If you don’t already know, some of the benefits of HIIT are as follows:

1. Burn a good amount of calories in a short amount of time.

2. Have a boost to your metabolism

3. Increase cardio endurance fast

4. Burn fat

I wanted to show you what I came up with! It might look easy but it wasn’t to me. I am sure you can figure out how to make it harder for you if you want.

Here it is:

10 moves done for one minute each. After a minute goes by, walk in place for 30 seconds and then move onto the next move.

1. High knees

2. Mountain climbers

3. Forward and backward jumps

4. Donkey kicks

5. Plank jacks

6. Star jumps

7. Butt kicks

8. Side to side jumps

9. Turn jumps

10. Really fast punches

That is it! Let me know how you liked this workout.

#hiit #fitness #workout #exercise #health #pcos

Should Trainers Be Lean?

Should Trainers Be Lean?

I have only been to one personal trainer before. She appeared to be in great shape and knew a lot about exercise. Her body indicated that she too was interested in a healthy lifestyle.

During my times at fitness centers, I have seen other people being trained by certified trainers. The thing that stuck out to me was that these trainers did not look like they worked out themselves.

Should trainers look a certain way?

In my opinion, yes they should. If they are going to be talking to and helping people with getting fit, they should look like they know what they are talking about. Which means they practice what they preach.

This might sound snotty of me but it is just what I believe. If they went through with getting a certificate for personal training, that means they should like fitness. If they truly value being in shape then they would look the part too.

Having an athletic looking body will provide inspiration for the clients. They might think that if they are consistent with the workout routines they are given, they will be able to obtain a leaner look as well. This makes a happy client!

Looking fit is also great for business. Personal trainers are walking advertisements. The way they look can help them get and keep clients. If people see a great looking personal trainer walking around the fitness center, they are probably more likely to inquire about training services.

If I were a personal trainer…

I would be happy as hell! Being able to help people get fit and healthy would be a dream come true for me. That being said, I would need to get in better shape than I am right now.

Cleaning up my eating habits would also be something necessary. Not only would that help my body look better but I also would not be practicing hypocrisy if I were to talk about diet/nutrition with clients.

Do you think personal trainers should look lean and athletic? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#fitness #workouts #exercise #personaltraining #womenshealth #pcos

15 Ways To Get Through Intense Workouts

15 Ways To Get Through Intense Workouts

Looking into upping the ante on your workouts?Awesome! Doing more intense workouts than you are used to can be really uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are things you can do that will help you to successfully complete your sweat sessions. This post will give you some ideas.

The 15 ways

1. Mentally prepare yourself beforehand- Psych yourself up! Think about how good you will feel afterwards.

2. Make sure to put rest days in your routine- Recovering from your new, higher intensity workouts will make it easier for you to keep doing them in the long run. Our bodies need rest once in a while!

3. Let injuries heal- If you get injured, you need to make sure it heals before trying to get through your intense workouts. You definitely don’t want to make things worse because overtime it will be hard to do the type of workouts you really want to do.

4. Listen to your body while doing the workout- Don’t push yourself so far beyond what you can do at the time because you may be at risk for injuries.

5. Make it worth your while- It is easier to keep going through the workout if you know it will lead to you reaching a goal you have for yourself.

6. Correct form- Keep your form right so you can actually get through the workouts without injuries.

7. Wear something comfortable but not too loose- If you are feeling stuffed in your outfit or it is too baggy causing you to trip/ get caught under things, it will be hard to have an intense workout.

8. Turn a fan on if you can- This will help because you are bound to start getting really hot during an intense workout.

9. Take water breaks- Hydrating throughout the workout will help keep you going. It is hard to keep up the intensity with a really dry mouth. I have found that taking sips of water instead of gulping a lot down is better.

10. Eat two to three hours beforehand- This will help so that your belly isn’t full while you workout. You might puke if you workout intensely shortly after you eat.

11. Put on some good workout music- If playing music is your thing while you workout, pick songs that will rev you up so that you can keep going.

12. Remember that It won’t last forever- Keep reminding yourself throughout the workout that it is almost over.

13. Put on an entertaining show/movie- This might help if music playing during your workout isn’t your thing.

14. Keep track of your workouts (see this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1712307479)- This can be helpful to look at before you start working out. Seeing how far you have come might help motivate you to get an intense session in.

15. Consider a pre-workout supplement- These can help you get energy and power that will help with getting through an intense workout. You must be aware of the risks and side effects though. Remember that I am not a medical professional so I am not telling you what to do or not to do. Just an idea!

This is all I can think of right now. If you have more ideas, please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading!

#workout #exercise #pcos #health

Caffeine: Coffee VS. Pills

Caffeine: Coffee VS. Pills

I, like many people in this world, have a daily intake of caffeine. It is wonderful in my opinion! I have taken it in various forms-pills, patches, teas, coffee and energy drinks.

My favorite ways to get in caffeine is by either having coffee or pills. Both of these ways of taking caffeine yields different effects for me. In this post, I wanted to compare them.

As always, remember that I am not a medical professional. I am not telling you what to do or not to do. I am simply presenting my findings and personal experiences.

Why caffeine anyway?

According to science and anecdotal evidence, there are some benefits to caffeine. I think a lot of people can attest to feeling these benefits and that is why it is popular.

There seems to be a lot of research that has been done on caffeine. This is especially true recently. Some of the conclusions from the studies are interesting. I can only hope that research continues to be done because like a lot of other things, the benefits are not solidly set in stone yet.

Here is a list of what caffeine intake can do to us:

1. Cardiovascular energy: Caffeine can provide physical energy. One may be able to withstand tougher cardio workouts when they supplement it beforehand.

2. Physical power: Caffeine can help with the strength needed to perform weightlifting moves.

3. Fat burn: There appears to be some fat burning effect when taking caffeine. This is why it is found in fat burning blends and stacks.

4. Mental energy: Caffeine causes one to feel more awake and can also increase cognitive functioning (mainly memory).

5. Mood: Caffeine may cause one to feel a sense of well-being.

6. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: Caffeine may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease according to some research.

It is important to consider that there are some negative side effects that one can experience. They can occur if too much is taken (for most, over 400 mg) and/or if someone is just naturally sensitive to it.

Here are some of the negative side effects of caffeine intake:

1. Nausea and vomiting

2. Anxiety

3. Jitteriness

4. Anger

5. Headaches-Especially when quitting cold turkey!

6. Insomnia-You do need to sleep!

7. Loose stools

8. Heart palpitations

9. Possible negative affect on hormones

10. May interfere with fertility

My experience with caffeine intake

I started consuming caffeine when I was in eighth grade. It started off with a few cups of green tea everyday and then graduated to cups of coffee/energy drinks in 11th grade. I liked the energy it gave me and my friends would drink a lot of it too (peer pressure?!).

When I started going to college, I found out about pre-workout energy supplements as well as the ECA stack. These provided even more of a boost for me so I was able to engage in my new-found love of working out.

Currently, I take in about 350 mg a day. So that is under the maximum recommended dosage of 400 mg.

My opinion: coffee VS. pills

To get the bulk amount of caffeine I want during the day, I either have coffee or Jet Alert tabs. Even though they might have similar amounts of caffeine in them, there is a definite difference in the way I feel when taking one or the other.

Here is what I experience with each of these methods of consuming caffeine:

Coffee

When I decide to drink coffee the affect takes a shorter amount of time to happen than swallowing a pill. I think this is due to the liver not having to break anything down (correct me if I am wrong!). I also rarely put any cream in it so I don’t know if that might be a reason too.

Shortly after drinking it, I notice a jittery and jumpy feeling in my body. I feel like I need to get up and move. It definitely does get me burning more calories!

I also find myself getting sweaty after it kicks in. This isn’t the best feeling for me but I deal with it. I usually end up having to reapply my deodorant. I guess that means that my metabolism is increasing?

In terms of pre-workout use, it definitely helps! Taking it 30 minutes before a workout causes me to be able to push myself more during weightlifting. I also have more endurance for the cardio aspects of my workouts.

With coffee, I could get by on just one cup (8 oz) a day. The energy effects can last for a long time for me. My go-to type of ground coffee to brew is Dunkin’ Donuts.

Jet Alert Pills

What I love about these pills is that they are so convenient. I can just swallow them down where ever I am and not have to wait for anything to brew. Also, sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking coffee but I still want the effects of the caffeine.

The Jet Alert brand pills are the only kind that doesn’t mess up my stomach. I have tried other brands of caffeine pills and they all made me feel really sick. The list of inactive ingredients in Jet Alert seems to be shorter than the others.

Unless I am taking these pills on an empty stomach, the effects take about 45 minutes to kick in. This is in contrast to coffee which has a near instant affect on me. This doesn’t particularly bother me though.

When the pills start to kick in, I feel a tingling sensation in my chest and head. It is actually kind of pleasant. I also experience a strange effect where I get a distinct smell in my nose. I can’t describe it very well but it happens every time I take them.

In terms of energy, it seems like the same amount as I get when I take coffee. The difference is that it doesn’t last as long. This is one gripe I have about taking them. Admittedly, I have taken 500 mg of caffeine in pill form before. I didn’t have any negative effects from it but I do know that it is probably not a good thing to do everyday.

Something that I experience with the pills and not with coffee is the unmistakable mood lift I get. It picks me up out of the doldrums and brings me to a euphoric state. I get the physical energy with coffee but not the mood lift.

In terms of exercise, I would say that I experience a little less power when I take a pill instead of a cup of coffee. I can still get in a great workout session though!

So which one wins?

I have to say that it is a tie. Even though they may affect me a little differently, I like both methods of caffeine intake. I will continue to have both of them on hand.

What worries me about caffeine intake

I do have to admit that the whole thing about caffeine possibly affecting estrogen levels worries me. Am I making my hormone wackiness worse? Am I decreasing the chances of me getting pregnant? I don’t really know.

I know that I got pregnant when I went through a phase where my intake of caffeine was higher than it should have been. Also, I have taken breaks from caffeine a few times and my hormone related problems (excess hair and stomach issues) were just as bad if not worse.

So I guess at this time I will continue to have caffeine on a regular basis.

Do you take in caffeine? If so, what way? Also, have you noticed it having any affect on your hormones? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3260075/

https://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/effect-of-caffeine-consumption-on-womens-hormones-varies

https://www.caffeineinformer.com/harmful-effects-of-caffeine

https://examine.com/supplements/caffeine/

#pcos #health #caffeine #coffee #exercise

Activities I Hate doing

Activities I Hate doing

I have done a lot of different types of indoor and outdoor activities that make for great exercise. Some of them I really do not like. Here are just a few of them…

Yuck: swimming

I was put into swimming lesson classes when I was little and passed them. As a little kid, I really liked to go swimming like a lot of other kids do. Once I reached 13 and decided that swimming was absolutely not something I was ever going to do again.

Not only did I hate the way I looked in swimming suits but I also hated the way the material felt. That combined with all of the dirty pool areas, locker rooms and bathrooms made for a horrible experience. It all seemed so gross!

A year or so ago I decided to give swimming another shot after reading articles about how it is allegedly the best workout ever (see one of them here: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/swimming-is-the-best-workout-you-need-to-do#1 ). Well needless to say, it was still horrible and gross to me.

I will never swim again. If anyone reading this likes to swim, that is great and I wish I did too.

Just no: biking

I do know how to bike. My parents taught me when I was five and it did not take very long to master it. That being said, I hate biking.

I get nervous about being able to stop even though I know how to. This causes me to go slow and grip the handles so hard that it hurts. Not only will I not get a good workout but I will also not get anywhere.

My step daughters love to bike and I really wish that I could do that with them. It would be awesome to have a family biking trip on some beautiful trails. Good exercise and fresh air sounds amazing!

Too bad I would be crying the whole time.

Ugh: rowing

Image result for rowing fails gif
Green creature

I have tried rowing both on an actual boat and on rowing machines at fitness centers. It is definitely not for me.

First of all, doing actual rowing on a boat involves me being in a swimming suit. If you read the swimming section you would know how I feel about those. Second of all, I greatly dislike water dwelling creatures.

When it comes to the rowing machines, the sound of them drive me insane.They actually make me feel dizzy for some reason. Also, the air that shoots out of them at my face is extremely unpleasant.

Last one: Tennis

Funny Dogs Dachshund, Playing Tennis, Video, Gif

People have had the annoying assumption that I like tennis just because I am black like the Williams sisters. That is not true at all. It is great to see black women winning though.

Trying this sport was embarrassing to say the least. I could not serve correctly and it scared me when the balls were coming at me. That meant that I missed every single one of them.

The person who was playing against me ended up with an ego boost because they thought they were really good.

No. I am just really bad.

Honorable mention

  1. Golf
  2. Softball/baseball
  3. Handball

Exercise/Nutrition During Pregnancy And A New Recipe

Exercise/Nutrition During Pregnancy And A New Recipe

Related image

We all know that exercise is important for a healthy life. That means that when a woman is pregnant, they should still be exercising if they are able to. It will help in getting back into great shape after the pregnancy and dropping the pounds that were gained.

I know that in the first trimester (or for the entire pregnancy!) there can be mild to severe morning sickness or even Hyperemesis Gravidarum. In these cases I feel like finding the things that make one feel better is the more important than anything else.

When I was in my first trimester I had really bad evening (8:00 PM) sickness. Since that was the time that I was used to exercising, I had to adjust and try to exercise in the morning or earlier in the evening.

I was doing weight lifting until around 33 weeks and then I switched to body weight because I was getting uncomfortable. My belly really popped all of the sudden at 37 weeks and I felt like a complete whale.

I have seen women on social media showing themselves lifting weights at like 38 weeks pregnant. That is good for them but I would suggest for women to do what works for them and not feel bad if they do not feel comfortable enough to do that in the gym.

Nutrition during pregnancy

There is a big list of things to avoid eating as well as putting on your skin when you are pregnant. It is good to be aware of these things because you need to keep your baby and yourself from harm.

Admittedly, I did not follow the whole caffeine avoidance thing. I realize now that it could have really harmed my son and if I am ever pregnant again, I will try to give it up completely.  I just felt so incredibly tired and did not know how get any energy to work.

The cravings I had during pregnancy were banana bread and pizza. These are obviously not very healthy especially given the quantities I ate them in. I did manage to keep my weight gain at 25 pounds total for the whole pregnancy somehow. The OB/GYN scolded me for that even though it was within the recommendation range.

I do not think a women should feel ashamed if they gain more than the recommended 25-30 pounds during pregnancy. Even if a woman gains 150 pounds, they can still lose the weight after they give birth. It just might take some time and effort or it could even fall off quickly!

My new recipe

This has nothing to do with pregnancy but I decided to add it in the post.

I got up super early this morning and felt like baking for whatever reason. Homemade donuts sounded like a good thing to make for the family. There was some buttermilk in the refrigerator that was still good so I wanted to use that as my wet ingredient.

Since I am all about cooking with tea, I decided to put four Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea bags into one cup of the buttermilk. I let that steep for 30 minutes and squeezed out the bags afterwards to get more of the tea into it. I then poured it in my bowl with the other ingredients (one egg, flour, salt, baking powder, butter, sugars, almond extract and vanilla extract) that were already mixed together.

I put the dough in a donut pan and cooked it at 400 degrees for 11 minutes. The result looked like this:

dav

Not quite donut-like but still wonderful! We can really taste the soft flavor of the tea in every bite. The texture of them is light and fluffy. I tried to make purple icing for them but it came out really bitter. It does not matter though because they are so great on their own.