Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Girls need protein too....

Let me start by saying I am not an nutrionist or expert. This is my opinion based off research and my own results. :)
Protein, protein, protein.
My oldschool way of thinking: Protein means weight gain. Ah-mmm... Um, every girls'worst nightmare- stay away!!! My new way of thinking: getting WHEY protein  is not a gainer but a natural supplement that aides in muscle repair. Here is a fabluous break down of WHEY protein and what its about.. the website is

"Protein levels are depleted through exercise. Muscles require amino acids to prevent deterioation, give endurance and build mass. Protein supply these amino acids to the muscles which is why atheletes use whey protein....."

What is Whey protein?
"Commercial whey protein comes from a cow's milk.Whey is the by-product of making cheese and was usually thrown away as a waste product. Now researchers know that the whey protein is high quality, natural protein that is rich with amino acids essential for good health and muscle building. It is naturally found in mother's milk and used in baby formula. It is being considered for use as a fortifier of grain products because of its considerable health benefits and bland flavor."

Why consider taking it?
"Whey protein has many health benefits including immune support, bone health, sports health, weight management, and overall well being.

Can Whey Be dangerous?
"Whey protein is a food and so it does not have the risks associated with other supplements.That said, too much of anything carries risk. Extremely high use of whey protein can overload the liver which can cause serious problems. Moderation is always recommended."

That is a quick break down from ONE website. Google it and there are tons more articles.

Iniatially I had heard about protein through boys and seeing their containers of "junk" that they take for muscle gain. It NEVER looked appealing b/c all I saw was weight gain.TONS of carbs and calories. Uh no thank you. Then I think the market started opening up for women. Enter Whey protein. I was VERY skeptical of protein b/c I did not want to gain weight. After reading several online things about it to make sure it wouldn't mess with my own natural levels or fill myself up with perservatives and carbs, I decided to give it a go. A trainer at Lifetime also convinced me of its good. That was the final straw b/c she was a girl herself who had drank Whey protein shakes. So I headed over to Vitamin Shop and talked with a worker (a woman) there. Told her my concerns and she showed me the Whey section.  This container which, gosh, laste me I think a month and a half , two months, was 20 bucks. The one I got was this one :

I got smooth banana b/c of the ingredients I make my shake with....they are...
Organic milk, Whey, peanut butter (more protein), ice, and not pictured b/c I was out-- a banana.

I try and drink one when I come in from a work out. It tastes like a milk shake!! I have even had one for dessert instead. You can take it before a work out to help with sore muscles. At bedtime, so it can repair all night. After workouts, to begin to repair and restore your depleted protein. They say the best time is within 30 min of your workout. I also have heard girls take it for a complete meal replacement. Sometimes I am full after a shake and other times a girl is still hungry! SO I eat. :)

For me, I feel like my muscles are stronger, more lean, and tone. That could also be due to the more frequent lifting and muscle toning I have increased. But, I am sure the protein has helped. I also read that it can help with lowering body fat-- um... yes please. I could def use help there b/c I feel like that is such an up hill battle.

 DO YOUR RESEARCH yourself before trying anything. I researched it enough to feel comfortable about taking it after almost every work out. Women will not get bulky b/c of whey. The larger women with HUGE muscles are injecting themselves most likely with an illegal or more potent form of protein. Talk to a trainer at your gym. Talk to other people who have taken it or might know about it.  Its just something that has worked for me. I mean Gatorade has their whole new G series out that has a recover section to it. It is a protein type drink. I trust Gatorade, and they seem to be jumping on the recover board too.
So, would love to hear if you are going to try it or if you come up with a better mix of ingredients. Share on the comments!!
Happy work outs.

Lifetime Fitness, you have a spell on me....

So, I am a gym girl... I mean, I can work out anywhere including outside, but indoor gyms is where I feel home. I am guessing this might be from being in a basketball gym for 10 years and then a few. Ok, so when I was in college, it was free and I was in there by a coach's demands... which changes the whole picture. When someone is telling you what to do, its alot easier to stay in shape. After I got done playing, it was up to me to find an outlet. I am not going to lie, when I finished playing, I was burnt out and took some time off alltogether from the "work out " scene... I was also 18 pounds heavier than I am now b/c of that golden time off. Lovely, I know. OK back to the story... so after school I moved and joined 24 hour fitness b/c thats where I had worked out in the summer during college ( at home.) So I joined. That is where I fell in love with spinning. However, it was always so packed and I was waiting in line for cardio. The classes were super full, and lots of MACHO guys working out in the weights area was a struggle to get in! So, I was there for like 2 years... no BIG complaints.

But I had always wondered about good ol Lifetime Fitness.... I had worked out there once with a girl-friend in Austin and was blown away by the "experience." Hair place, restaurant, fancy locker room where you get your own key, and the agility section. I know it was quite pricey and I stayed away. Until...... my sis joined and would not stop talking about it and how great it was. Ok, so I joined, reluctantly for 64 dollars a month. I know, sounds crazy considering I was paying only 30 bucks at the other gym. I am always there so I am def getting my money's worth. After re-evaluating the situation and thinking about switching b/c sometimes I can't believe I pay that much... I have decided to stay. I can't walk away from the amazing things they offer.The classes they offer are really tuned in to the art of working out. The zones and heart rates are listed in all the class studios. They have classes that have mastered the heart rate and muscled confusion-- which is key in calorie burning and weight loss. I can't list all the classes b/c there are soooo many- but just look on the website. They have yoga, atheletic yoga, spinning ( with screens that come down to show Tour De France type races for motivation or distraction haha), No Limit cardio, spinning/circuit, an outdoor running club, the reformer machine for pilates room, yoga studio.... and so on... I could go on. There NEVER is a wait for cardio b/c they have so many. They have so much equipment available including bosou balls, bands, amazing mats, etc. They have a pool indoor and outdoor (including Aqua work outs)... the outdoor pool has a slide!! Sad to say, I haven't tried that part. Oh and the rock climbing wall seems to be a big hit too.  For the families they have soo much to offer. Tons of kids programs. So I will say, that I am under the Lifetime spell. No, I don't work for them or get any money for writing this post.... just thought I would share this experience with you. If you are up for paying money for a place that you are in alot already then please try it....or at least get a guest pass.I bet you switch and really begin to experience working out in a whole new way:)
Happy work outs...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hittin' the Trails....

I am always looking for new ways to 'freshin' up my work outs, so when I stumbled upon hiking, I fell in love. I had been wanting to go for awhile. Thinking it seemed like such a different way to get some calorie burning time in, me and the boyfriend decided to take it up with the pup. I would NEVER recommend going alone b/c of obvious safety reasons. There are several areas to choose from near where we live and its so fun to take in the scenery and burn up to 386 calories  ( I used to get a closer range since I don't own a heart rate monitor...yet)  Here are some pics of some of our outings....
We def bring Justin's dog for some exercise:) He LOVES it. You will see him in some of the pics...

Some start are on cemented trails...
Some do not....
The top of a hill trail is a reward for getting there... so pretty..

Boyfriend time plus working out?? Perfect combo!

Love the scenery...

So I hope you are now sold on finding some trails in your area and hitting them up with a friend. Its such a fun way to get out of the house and be healthy!!:) Take your dog if you have one b/c he wants to go too!:)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's you work out of choice??

Everyone has different preferences and limits. We all don't have the same goals, nor do we all have bodies that respond exactly the same. When working out, the thing to remember is, Its not about what your NOT doing, its about what you are thats alot easier for me to type than 100% believe in all the time. Some of the best work out advice I read was that your not always going to have a good run or workout, and thats ok. That was a hard pill to swollow and still is some days. I am human. I don't always want to work out. I don't always have a energy limit-less time in the gym. Some days just flat out suck. The thing I had to realize, is that, its normal. I really try taking advantage of the 'good work-outs." Because I know that life happens, and sometimes that effects everything. Some days I am a runner, and some I am not. Some days I kick my own booty, and some days I am little slower than normal. I don't run every day. More like a couple times of week. Some weeks are more run filled than normal and some weeks I am straight classes at the gym.

My Number one choice for a work out  is Spinning class!! It has been something that has been a love of mine for the last three years! It can burn 500-1000 calories in an one hour class...depending on your own body, and how hard you push yourself. I feel its so easy on the knees but will kick your butt. Some of my best instructors have incorporated squats, sprints, and hills in an amazing hour. I feel drenched and exhausted- two things I love to feel when done working out. Plus, some instructors have that good music that makes you want to dance at the same time...ha.. always a plus. If you are unfamiliar of what it is, here you go... You are on a spinning bike that is made differently than the bikes out in the main cardio part of the gym. The instructor gives you intervals. Depending on the instructor or the tempo, it can be mostly hills and/or sprints.  Hills will be a standing climb or sitting climb. A good class is a mix in between. You should be tired after the first 20 min. The changing of tempo is the calorie burner. Form is HUGE in this class. Your bike seat should be at your hips. The handles should be even with your seat. If thats uncomfortable then raise your handle bars. When you are standing, you should be slightly bent at the waist, bent elbows, loose shoulders. Your bottom should be over the seat even when you are standing. You will feel that seat bumping your bottom for sure. Good form! You NEVER want to be going so fast that you  are bouncing in the seat. This can hurt your back. Make sure you have enough on the "fly wheel" or load on your wheels to feel the 'road.' If you are bouncing then just turn your knob more to the right.  If you haven't tried Spinning  b/c of you fear or just didn't know what it was....please do, you might become addicted. If you already spin, I don't want to insult your spinning knowledge,..... so spin on:)
This is my first choice of fitness. The second choice is running. Some days I hate it and some days I love it. Depends on the day. Right now, the heat is a set back and the treadmill has become more familiar again. I try to get outdoor runs in at least once a week. The winter brings alot more frequent runs and I now really enjoy colder weather!! If I want to change it up, I throw in a sprint workout. WOW..these really kick a booty. You can even throw in some hills.... I am telling you, your cheeks will be pink and you might be grunting to finish! Love!Racing has been a "new" found love starting this year.... Its always fun to have something to look forward to and its also a great motivator. Kind of feels like I am on a team again in a weird way. Next race is in three weeks--15k (9 miles) First one at the distance and I am excited/nervous. :) Running:  Try it and push yourself....

Lately I have been throwing stair step in to my work outs and wow, they also are a sweat jerker. You can alternate between front climb, side, and glutes. You can burn so many calories and  I promise if you do it for 20 min or longer, you will be drenched (again, if you are pushing yourself.) Yes, it sucks not being able to catch my breath, but I always feel so great when I get done with those workouts where that happens.

Ok... so my question is ... whats your work out of choice????

Happy work outs!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweaty Bands....

So as a girl with short hair, I am always up for ANOTHER cute headband or Something to keep my short strands up during a work out! So many claim to 'not slip' but after 10 min in a work out the headband is at the back of my head. Or they just plain aren't cute! So, I was at the gym a couple of months ago and saw this girl's way cute headband. She told me it was called a Sweaty Band and you can buy them on the internet. So I looked, and yes they are on for 15-18 dollars per headband. I wasn't sure I wanted to but without trying on for that much. So I was all sorts of excited when we went to Cali for our annual sister trip. The Owner was at the AVP tournament on the beach  with TONS of Sweaty Bands.I tried on so many and somehow decided on just one. I didn't really want to spend all my Cali spending money on headbands. haha...  The secret to making hers stand alone is that there is velvet on the inside so they don't slip!!! I have a couple with the velcro, but know how awful that is for your hair. So as excited as I was  I bought this one... but really wanted like 10 more.
Monica bought this one, which I was in LOVE with too!

Here are some more favorites that I know I will eventually buy!

Check out this website for hundreds more... and it would be smart to go in with someone to split that shipping cost. Tell you right now, its so worth the money b/c they don't slip. Hey, who says you can't be somewhat cute when working out... I am not saying prom dress and curled hair, just a little personality on your head. :) P.S. the owner took a pic of me and my sis to put on their website of headband wearers!!
Happy work outs!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The secret "amazing for you" food....

I want to take a second to tell you about Greek yougurt if you don't already know about it. It is stripped and packed with protein... 18 grams in the Chobani brand! Also, twice the protein, no fat, no cholesterol, all natural, NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, no synthetic hormones, includes live active cultures, and 3 types of probiotics and the list goes on. They have different brands and flavors that you can choose from. Believe it or not, alot of the yogurt that claims to be "healthy" is loaded with HFCS and other additives. Oikos greek yogurt is also another personal favorite b/c it comes in packs of 6!

Ok, off the soap box ... When I found all this out I made the ultimate switch. So, that being said, there are SO many things you can do with this lovely Heaven sent food. I decided to make a salsa dressing/dip with it that I got off the internet. I mixed salsa, one container of Chobani, and pinch of sugar. WOW, so good! And then you get all that protein in there too! The calories of this dish aren't anything to feel gulity about!
Its alot like the sour cream/salsa mix if your a fan of that. :)

Then, for the main course I threw together a Southwest salad. It had drained black beans (also, really good for you!), fresh corn that I boiled (yum!), and salad mix. So easy!! I am all about easy + healthy. Great combo! Then for the dressing, I threw in the dip that is in the above pic. So good! Here are the ingredients..
Make sure you drain the beans real well or it can be super slimey. Then for dessert, I made a random mix pie. I am not known for  cooking. But I sure can eat a dessert. I like to shave off the the little side things for calories. I try and stay organic as much as possible and away from HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Now, I will admit, its hard b/c so many products have HFCS in it! Even most whole wheat bread. That is a whole other post I can talk about! Ok so I grabbed the ingredients and got started on a "sweet tooth" dessert.

I mixed the FAT FREE cream cheese with some milk and the cheesecake jello. I was so mad at myself for not grabbing the fat free and sugar free jello, but what can you do when your already home. Back to recipe... put the "mix" in the pie crust. Stick it in the freezer. Now, its no Cheesecake Factory. Its just a quick fix for a mouth that had to have dessert. :) Here is the finished product.
Haha.... again, no Betty Crocker, but it was pretty good.
Point of this post is to substitute the "bad calorie" foods for " good calorie" foods and you can shave off so much. Try the yogurt- they have different brands and flavors, and comment on what you think!! I will tell you the more healthy I eat, the more prep work it is. I am really trying to do fresh and no HFCS more and more. I am not perfect and there is no way to do this for every meal. But hey, its about what you are doing than what your not. Try to make the switch and be patient with the prep work. I have been making tons of veggie sandwiches latley. Tomatoes, banana peppers, colby jack cheese (yes, I love carbs), cucumbers, and mustard. Soooo yummy. Grill the bread to feel more fancy! haha. With the left over veggies, I stick them in a container or bag and use them for another day. That way you have two sandwiches out of one! This is such a great summer salad. Plus, you can't go wrong with all those veggies!!! Try it out!! Happy work outs!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taking care of my wheels (or feet) ....

So as I promised, the shoe post. I LOVE new running shoes/atheletic shoes. I have a whole big storage tub FULL of athletic shoes... most of which I don't wear. I have my favorites. I feel the shoe thing started with me a little in high school. Then when I was playing college bball, I hung with the boys team alot and they were always buying new shoes! It def rubbed off on me and I caught shoe fever. It has slowed down a little bit after college. But I know I still have it worse than others. My sis is also on this shoe train. :) Right now, for running, I am wearing Nike Air Max. I am loving these shoes!!! I got them for 40 dollars at the Cowtown race in Jan. They normally go for 140! So not only were they a steal, but I love running in them. The first time I was training for a race I was wearing a poor pair of shoes, brand new, but poor. I had so many IT band problems.That and the training was off (more on that later.) Not only do I love how these look, which is a biggie to me, I absolutely love how they feel when I run in them. Here is their introduction to you...
My sister runs in Aasics and swears by them. I think that might be might next pair. Brooks is also very well known for running shoes. Every foot is different. We all move differently. I think its all preference. The next pair, I don't really wear to work out in. They are more my, wear them with jeans and a t-shirt or just out and about shoes. My boyfriend got them for me last Winter and I really dig the bright colors. So fun. I think everyone should have your "show" shoes that you can wear and not ruin.
The next pair I got a couple years ago. To be honest, I haven't worn them half as much as I thought I would. But I think they are just adorable! Such a different type of shoe but still with an athletic touch. I re-found them when I was digging in my shoe bin today and felt like they were new all over again!!
Here is a pair my sis got me for Christmas one year. Personal fan of bright colors if you can't tell. They are on the left. The ones on the right are some I bought at a Nike outlet a couple of years ago. I LOVE them. So comfortable. However, I wore them to a fitness class and there wasn't much support for the side to side movement. My feet were quite sore after that class. But I love the high arch support in these.
I feel like shoes are very important in working out. I just started paying more attention this year to the science end of it. Before, I would just buy based on looks and somewhat feel. Things like shoes only having so many milage before they could be potentially harmful. Had no idea! I was the Nike Shox girl for years. Owning up to 6 pairs (including my bball ones) one year!! I have kind of slid away from those even though I never really had any of the problems that have been reported in wearing the shoes. I think I was the only one on my college team that persuaded our coach to get the basketball Shox for one of our seasons! haha. Plus, this can be such a work out "high" to be wearing fancy new shoes. I didn't post all my shoes, but you can probable tell my taste. What's yours? Post a comment on your favorites!! And treat those shoes well because they will be taking care of you the next few months.
Next post, a great healthy recipe and the greatness of Greek yogurt!!! Happy work outs!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I am a Nike girl but....

Ok, we all have our preference of work out clothes. Some like a plain old t-shirt with meaning and some shorts, while others (ah-mm, me!) love to have the cute little tops and bottoms. Preferably, I wear Nike. I have cheated on Nike a little bit with Under Armour, but am a Just Do It girl at heart. For some reason, the effect of cute work out clothes is huge! Back during my high school and college basketball days, it was a "cut-off-sleeves" shirt with gigantic basketball shorts. After all those years of playing basketball, I have retired the long, overly big bball shorts. May they definitely rest in peace. :) Now even though I love me some Nike brand work out clothes,I love me a bargain (even more) not just with work/play clothes, but work out clothes to. Target has a sale rack that sometimes is just plain unbeatable. I got these two tops for under 10 dollars!! The ones underneath, I believe were under 15 (def not over 20 bucks-- its been awhile since I bought them)

The next two I got at Wal Mart!! These are not new purchases, but they have sale racks all the time too!

Now, We have all seen the next post of Nike Running shorts.... I am a HUGE fan of these! I would not like them to be so baggie up top and inconsistent with how a medium feels on each pair, but they are so cute and great running shorts!! With so many color variations, I think these are the best gift for an female athelete! Be careful b/c some places charge WAY more than they should for these! If you don't own a pair, go get a "starter" one, then get ready, b/c you will want every color after!

It really doesn't matter what you wear when you work out, just as long as you are staying active. I feel it is kind of a 'reward' to get these clothes. It can also be a motivation to get to a smaller top or shorts that wouldn't have looked as good before months of kicking your own butt!  However, they are not a staple, nor do they change how good you will feel after a great work out or eating healthy! Its all opinion girls( I would love to see your preferences in the comments!!) :) Be the best athelete you can be!!
Next post.... lets talk about shoes:)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The very beginning....

This is the very first post and I am so excited!!!! I have been wanting to blog for awhile but couldn't think of what I wanted to write about. Then I realized my passions and lifestyle is also shared by so many of my friends and even people I don't know. Hearing things like "Oh I know someone that needs a running partner," or "I am training for a run too," really tunes me in to see that there are alot of girls out there that put working out and staying healthy as a priority. The name came after MUCH thinking about a cute, girly feel-type title to show that No boys allowed !! Well, they can read if they want, but lets face it, our bodies are made so differently. Just like that commercial where the girl says, 'I stopped drinking coca cola and lost a pound. He stopped drinking soda and lost 5." I feel our battle overall can seem more up hill than our fellow man. :) I feel blessed enough to have legs and arms and a healthy heart to be able to work out and have no physical limitations. SO many people would love to do things and can't because of disabilities and I can't imagine how that must feel. I feel like after the quest to always be my best "healthy" self, I have learned so much through talking to other athletes, my friends, reading articles, blogs, and working out at the gym. I feel like the "business" of working out and staying fit is such an art that is constantly needing to be learned, just to  keep up. I have learned so much through talking to my friends who are also "gym rats "and have tried out things or learned new info. That is where this blog will come in... things tried, wondered about, and things that I am curious of. Hope you enjoy and feel free to leave comments!! Lets make this a forum of women who love to be "fitness finatic divas!"