Breakfast is my favorite meal of the deal and it’s arguably the most important. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” was a slogan popularized by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, in an effort to promote breakfast cereal-which many now side eye this idea, pushed largely in the name of capitalism. Skepticism aside, break-fast quite literally breaks the overnight fasting period, meant to replenish your body and provide a boost of energy to kickstart your day. And what’s more important than actually eating at any particular time of the day is what you’re actually consuming.

Note, there are varying meal timing schedules, with intermittent fasting being a popular one, which typically involves skipping or delaying breakfast, which I have tried and enjoyed, but always revert back to a more “normal” eating pattern (breakfast, lunch, dinner and light snacks). I’ve found that a wholesome, nutritious breakfast, inclusive of unprocessed, whole foods from a mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins/poultry, helps me to be my most effective and alert while also helping me to maintain a healthy pattern of eating throughout the day.

Below are a list of my favorite healthy breakfast ideas, let me know which of the items below you’d try!

Acai Bowl

top view of homemade acai bowls topped with fresh fruit and granola

Acai bowls are basically “smoothies in a bowl” and are typically nutrient-dense, high in fiber, antioxidants and nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium. An average acai bowl typically contains 250 calories. It’s best to make your own bowl as many that are pre-made and sold are high in added sugar and calories and are often sold in a larger portion size than recommended. I typically buy unsweetened acai puree from Trader Joes and add my favorite mix-ins and toppings (bananas, berries, coconut strips, chia seeds and granola).

Check HERE for a list of 5 homemade Acai Bowl recipes.

Omelette

One of my favorite breakfast meals is a veggie packed omelette, made from beaten eggs, on a frying pan with any filling of choice. I typically fill my omelettes with spinach, onions, tomato, green peppers, mushroom and sometimes a bit of cheese. I also use olive oil to lightly line my pan vs using butter. The average omelette has roughly 100 calories, but with the various fillings you can quickly pack on the calories and the fat content.


Check HERE for a healthy omelette recipe!

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great breakfast option as a whole-grain food, high in fiber, it can help to keep you feeling fuller, longer! Depending on how you prep it, oatmeal can also be very healthy, made with oat or almond milk for example, and topped with chia seeds, nuts, bananas, or other fruits!

When opting for oatmeal, I would say it’s best to get dried oats, preparing your dish from scratch, versus using quick, easy solutions such as Quaker Oats which tend to be high in added sugars.

Check HERE for a list of 50 great oatmeal recipes.

Overnight Oats

Best breakfast ideas with chia pudding and overnight oats.

For folks with busy schedules who’s excuse is finding the time for a full, wholesome breakfast, overnight oats are your answer. Opposed to oatmeal, which you typically cook on a stovetop (or in a microwave), overnight oats are prepared by soaking “raw” or uncooked oats in milk overnight. Just like a regular bowl of oatmeal, you can get creative with both the type of milk that you use and any toppings or mix-ins you want to add. Overnight oats are typically served chilled, straight out of the fridge, but you are more than welcome to heat them up to eat them warm.

Oats are great as they are high in fiber, which helps to keep you satisfied and feeling fuller longer. Additionally, depending on your mix-in and milk of choice, you can keep the calorie, fat, and sugar content relatively low. On average, a cup of overnight oats (with 2% milk) is roughly 200 calories for reference.

Check HERE for a super simple overnight oats recipe.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Not your regular muffin (which I love a good blueberry muffin), breakfast egg muffins use eggs as the base, mixing in whatever add-ins you choose, from various veggies, cheeses and even meats. Typically, when making egg muffins, I will batch cook for about 3-4 days, cooking 1-2 egg muffins as a serving, filled with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and scallions. I will usually eat my muffins with a side of turkey bacon, avocado, and fruit!

As mentioned, you can batch cook egg muffins as they freeze pretty well and taste pretty yummy even being reheated in the microwave, I sometimes use the oven or my airfryer.

Check HERE for a recipe for healthy breakfast egg muffins.

Yogurt Parfait

Best Yogurt Parfait Recipe with Granola | How to Make Yogurt Parfait?

Whether for breakfast or an after dinner snack, I love a good yogurt parfait. I have been trying to reduce my dairy intake lately, so I’ve been swapping traditional yogurt for fun dairy substitutes, either coconut yogurt from Trader Joe’s or the Oui brand dairy free options. Both are quite delicious, they’re just higher in sugar content than I would prefer. For my yogurt parfaits, I always start with a plain, vanilla, or coconut flavored yogurt, then layering on my favorite fruits, usually strawberries, blueberries and bananas, topping off with granola-and sometimes a drizzle of honey.

Calories for a yogurt parfait range on average from 125-210 depending on milk used, mix-ins and portion size!

Check HERE for a list of 5 healthy yogurt parfait recipes.

Breakfast Smoothie

Similar to the overnight oats, a breakfast smoothie is great for those who need a quick, no-fuss breakfast solution. I love a good breakfast smoothie and find that my friends who tend to not enjoy breakfast, love them too, they’re just so easy! You can prep 2-3 smoothies at a time and store them in the freezer/refrigerator until you’re ready to consume. For smoothies, there are a few watch-out’s I caution on:

  1. Buying smoothies vs making them-you aren’t aware of what the exact ingredients are/they tend to carry more sugar than recommended for a healthy serving
  2. Pay attention to the sugar count of your various add-ins, most fruits then to be naturally high in sugar, like avocado

Check HERE for a list of 20 breakfast smoothie recipes.

Avocado Toast

Similar to the other breakfast options listed (and almost anything else), avocado toast can be really healthy but you can quickly pack on the calories depending on the way you prep, your toppings and your portion size. Avocados are a “healthy fat”, but they’re still a fat and everything should be eaten in moderation. About 1/3 the size of a medium avocado is roughly 80 calories and should be the portion you’re targeting. And according to Healthline.com, here’s a list of the 7 healthiest breads you can choose:
1. Sprouted whole grain
2. Sourdough
3. 100% whole wheat
4. Oat bread
5. Flax Bread
6. 100% sprouted rye bread
7. Healthy, gluten-free bread

I typically build my avocado toast on a whole grain rice cake vs using bread-just personal preference and I always sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s and a bit of red pepper flake.

Check HERE for a list of 6 avocado toast recipes!

What are some other fun, healthy meals you typically have for breakfast? And should we do a similar post for lunch or dinner?

The questions that I get most often in regards to my weight loss journey:
1. How did you get started? (You can catch up on that HERE)
2. How did you lose weight in your arms?
3. What did/do you eat?
5. How do you stay motivated to workout?

I want to use this blog post to address that last question, sharing how I stay motivated to workout, so grab a pen and some paper and let’s dig in! Though I always say that there’s no “secret sauce” to this whole “healthy lifestyle” thing, there are a few things that have helped me to succeed:

  1. Setting Small Goals

    It’s sooooo easy to get discouraged in this journey, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain it, it can be easy to feel demotivated when results take longer than we want. I had to remind myself, “I didn’t gain this weight or develop these negative habits over night, so I can’t reverse everything overnight either.” Instead, I started setting small, chunk-size goals, that could feel like little “home-runs” or wins to keep me going.

    “I will lose 5 lbs. in the month of May”
    “I will workout 4x a week this month”
    “I will meal prep 90% of my meals and only drink alcohol 1x a week”

    Once I started keeping my word to myself, hitting these smaller goals, they started to roll into the larger goals, 5lbs turned into 15lbs. and 4 workouts a week in one month drove 5 workouts a week in the next. With each “home-run” I allowed myself to celebrate, but I’d also set a new target and begin the grind against these new goals. I’d celebrate with new workout clothes or shoes, a massage, a new outfit or something else that I’d been wanting!

    Note: I had to reevaluate the manner in which I was celebrating my wins early on, watching when I would celebrate with food, for example. Being that an unhealthy relationship with food is what drove the majority of my weight gain, I wanted to be mindful of how I was gifting myself for hitting goals, so no cupcakes, wine or other snacks as a gift. Because, on the other hand, I didn’t want to deprive myself of these things and kick back to those bad habits of overeating or “sneak-eating” if I didn’t achieve a particular goal.

  2. All Of Your Goals Shouldn’t Revolve Around Weight

    We talked about goal setting, but what should those goals be? Well, anything you want to achieve, but I caution you against hinging all of your success on the scale/a number. Why? Well for one, your weight can be so finicky, fluctuating based on water, your menstrual cycle (for women) and so much more, causing the scale to go crazy, in turn, driving you crazy! So while I wouldn’t suggest you abandon the scale completely (though I have for the time being), I think it’s critically important you also consider other tangible ways that your body is changing. What are some of my goals?

    Being able to gradually increase the amount of weight that I can lift
    Correcting/perfecting my form
    Increasing my reps/time/performance
    Fitting into my clothes better
    Visibly noticing changes in my body/losing inches


  3. Developing A Routine

    It’s so easy to fall of the wagon or lose motivation to workout if it doesn’t fit into your schedule. I always tell myself that I can’t “squeeze my workout into my schedule”, that I need to work my schedule around my workouts. If I am planning to travel, I plan my schedule so that I can still hit my weekly workout target (or get close to it), before heading out on vacation. If it’s busy season at work, or in life (see hot girl summer), I make sure to build my schedule so that my workouts do not have to be sacrificed. Develop a routine and stick to it to the best of your ability. After 30 days of consistency, something will become a habit, once you have this habit and routine, it will feel weird when you break it.

    Another tip, if you need to, schedule your workouts on your calendar or add them to your to-do list! Having that calendar reminder or having to cross off the action from your to-do list is a great daily reminder to get moving!

  4. Making It Fun

    We talked about routines, and though I personally have developed a habit of working out an average of 5 days a week, fitting my lifestyle and workouts together, I still have days that I don’t feel like working out. Work becomes a lot, life gets in the way, last minute plans may pop up, and even PMS or other moodiness try to keep me out of the gym and oftentimes, it takes some personal convincing. I do this by telling myself, “we’ll only do workouts that you like to do”, or “we’ll only workout for 30 minutes,” for example. Most days I am not a huge fan of cardio, but I do it because I need it for my body type (not sure of your body type? check HERE to read my post on body types), but on those days that take convincing to even get to the gym, I’ll typically tell myself, “we’ll skip cardio”. Instead I’ll go straight into weight lifting or some other HIIT workouts that I enjoy doing, like squat jumps or jumping jacks, I’ll focus on legs (my fav) and I’ll just build my routine around my favorite exercises. After about 20 minutes or so into my workout, I start to mentally adjust, getting into the workout and 9/10, by the end of the session, I’ll be ready for some form of cardio.

    Develop a bomb playlist, find a workout video or app to get inspo for workouts and make it fun! Take a class or two! Switch it up when you need to. Workout outside if and when you can! Just keep it fun and fresh, we don’t want working out to feel like a chore or a have to do.

    I’ve also started saying affirmations to myself, switching my mind from “I have to workout” to “I get to workout”, “I get to try a new move today in the gym”, “I get to work on my body/temple today”, helping me to reframe my relationship with working out and going to the gym.

  5. Having A Support Group/Accountability Partner (AP)

    I am all about community! I love having a group of likeminded friends who I can share grievances with, talk about wins, and ask feedback. Throughout the years, I’ve cycled through many accountability partners, but each served their purpose for the moment they played the role! From physically working out together, sharing recipes, sharing workouts, programs or workout accounts on social media, AP’s can serve various roles/purposes.

    Sometimes AP or Support Groups are trainers and/or workout classes! I’ve gotten trainers at various points in my journey and they’ve helped to challenge me to get better/stronger, helped to hold me accountable and call me on my bullish! If a trainer would help keep you on track, even if on the short term, do it!!!

    In 2021, I started doing daily check-ins on my IG stories, sharing with my followers whether or not I got my workout in and asking them to share with me if it was rest day or if they also got some movement in! My followers have now grown to look forward to these check-ins, reaching out to me if I miss a day or sharing their reason for missing a workout any day, or even sharing if they’ve reached a new goal and I LOVE THAT! My entire IG family is now a part of my virtual support group and they hold me accountable!! You can join my virtual support group by following me on IG HERE.

    I also have a mini accountability group, the Healthy Hoes, and we’ve made a new promise to ourselves, if we don’t hit our goal of at least 3 workouts in a week, we owe each member in the group $5 dollars, if nothing motivates me, losing money will!

  6. Checking In With Your Progress

    Keep track of your progress, it is always a great reminder to see where you’ve come from vs where you currently are. We often forget, without reminders, where we started, what we looked like when we started, how we felt, etc. I recommend either keeping a journal of your experience, taking pictures or documenting some other way so that you can continually check in with your progress. When I am feeling really stuck or hit a plateau, I can go back to my journal from 2015 or 2017 and see what my measurements were back then, see what my workouts looked liked, I can check pictures, and I get inspiration to keep going. I am reminded of how hard running for 5 minutes was when I first started vs now completing 5ks and running 3 miles on average! It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, forgetting how hard you’ve worked and how much progress you’ve made, especially when you’re not yet at your goal, but don’t let tomorrow’s worries steal today’s joy, celebrate the now, recognize the past and know you’re only getting stronger for the future!

  7. Remembering The Ultimate Goal

    And finally, it’s really about grounding yourself in why you started this journey to begin with. Whether it’s a life or death situation in needing to develop a healthier lifestyle or simply wanting to look good naked, there was a reason (or several) that you started this journey and you have to consistently tap in with that goal, especially when you’re feeling demotivated. Write it down somewhere. Repeat it to yourself daily. Share that goal with a friend. Whatever you have to do, just don’t lose sight of that!

There has never been a time that I’ve left the gym or completed a workout and thought, “I am so mad I just spent my time doing that” or “I wish I wouldn’t have worked out”, where on the other hand, I almost always regret unnecessarily skipping my workout. Developing these habits where my body and mind are used to working out, making it important to me and making it fun, have been the biggest drivers of my success thus far and what will keep me going for years to come!

I hope that one or all of these things on this list can inspire you to keep on your own fitness journey!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been working out in the same old clothes, free t-shirts, old sweatpants…you know the uniform! When I first started my workout journey, in order to make the process of getting to the gym as easy as possible, I didn’t fuss over what I was wearing, as long as I matched and the outfit was clean, it was a go! I actually kept wearing the same clothes, even after losing 50+ pounds, just tying them as the became to big. There was no reason for this other than being lazy, and as I began to enjoy and look forward to my time in the gym, I wanted to also step up my style! I slowly began building my workout wardrobe and realized that looking nice, feeling good in the clothes, helped me to feel and perform better during my workouts! I also began to use the purchase of new workout clothes or equipment as a reward to my wellness goals, vs rewarding myself with food or cheat days. For example, when I hit 300 miles run in my new running journey, I bought myself a new pair of Nike tennis shoes for working out!

Three things I consider when I’m purchasing new active gear:
1. Quality: Will it the stand the test of time? Well at least the test of my workouts? Too often have a gotten less expensive items and I am often reminded, “buy cheap, buy twice”, I had to replace items that either fell apart at the seams or didn’t last past 1 wash. I like to read reviews to help with this or buy familiar brands/from familiar stores.
2. Cost: Not to contradict looking for great quality, I also am mindful of costs as I will be sweating in these items, so I prefer to not break the bank. I shop during sales, I use coupons, I shop on sites like Amazon, etc. to make sure that I am getting a great deal!
3. Fit: “Does it pass the squat test?” The squat test is exactly what it sounds like, when you get into a squat position or any position with extreme bending and lower body movement, do the pants stay in place? Also, is the item comfortable? What is the material? If it’s a sports bra, is it built for high impact vs medium vs low? I stick to high impact as I do a lot of HIIT workouts!

So, with all of these qualifications, where do I shop? See below for 11 recco’s for purchasing your activewear sets:

  1. NIKE: one of my favorite brands, Nike is a well known and well respected brand in the fitness industry, most of our favorite athletes train in Nike, so if it’s good enough for Serena Williams, it’s good enough for me! I love Nike’s sports bras, the Nike PRO line, and their various tops! In my opinion, the quality of the shoes have gone down when compared to price increases, but these remain my go-to shoe brand! I typically shop for Nike items at my local Nike store, my favorite place-the Nike outlet which offers deep discounts, or at retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods!


Purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods (Pants); Nike Outlet (Sports Bra)

Amazon: I am sure everyone who’s on social media has heard about the Amazon tik tok leggings, but even before this new craze, Amazon was one of my go-to sites for finding workout gear! From sports bras, to workout pants to cute active tops, Amazon has a lot of stylish workout gear at a range of prices depending on your budget! Just search “workout gear for women (or men)” or “workout tights”, etc. I’ve gotten outfits for $23 USD or separates for under $10USD thanks to Amazon!

Purchased from Amazon

TJX Companies (TjMaxx & Marshalls): You can really get some “steals” shopping in TjMaxx or Marshalls, from name brand workout clothes to designer-less fab styles, all for great prices! I’ve actually been shopping less at these stores due to the covid-19 pandemic and loving amazon and Fabletics at the moment, but you can always find a cute pair of 90 degree leggings for $12.99 USD or so in one of these stores!

Fabletics: Despite their subscription service, which might be a turnoff for some, Fabletics has really cute and quality workout gear! I purchased a few workout pants and tops from them a few year’s ago and it remains of my favorites. Recently, I did another haul and am super excited to workout in my new stylish gear! New members qualify for 2/$24 USD leggings + discounts on other products like tops and sports bras and they have options for both men and women! If you are worried about the subscription service, know that monthly you can opt to skip the month and you won’t be charged, or if you forget to opt out, you’ll be given a credit toward your next purchase. (Alternative is to cancel your membership). Head to their website HERE for more details and information.

Shein: I understand that there has been so much controversy around this company, in addition to the harms of fast fashion on our environment, but I’d be dishonest if I didn’t mention a few of the items I’ve purchased from this site! If you’re looking to avoid fast fashion, definitely check out Fabletics or Amazon for similar styles and colors as seen on Shein for comparable prices! I always read through reviews before purchasing anything from this site and $100’s of dollars later, I’ve never been disappointed with any of my purchases or shipping time.

Purchased From Shein

Dick’s Sporting Goods : Their slogan, “every season starts at Dick’s” is so accurate, I find myself, at the beginning of every season, updating my wardrobe and Dick’s is one the stores I will pop in to for new hoodies/sweatshirts during fall and winter and then in the summer heading in for new tees and tanks! Dick’s carries all of the top brands from Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Calia for example! They often have sales or deals available so be sure to sign up for their email list to be alerted!

Purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods

Gym Shark: For a while, I feel like this brand was the latest and greatest as tons of women rushed to grab a “gym shark” outfit, and understandably considering the looks and quality. A pair of leggings will run you $55USD on average but the quality commands the price as you’ll have these items as staples in your active-wear closet, as long as you take good care of your garments.

Nordstrom: If you’re a frequent shopper, you’ll want to put those “nordy bucks” to good use…but even if you aren’t, you can still get some goodies (click HERE for more information on Nordstrom’s Rewards Program). Nordstrom carries a range of brands, but one the standouts is Zelle, Nordstrom’s brand that can be compared to Lululemon! Leggings can range from $35USD -$75USD, in addition to sports bras and tees!

Purchased From Nordstrom (Hoodie)

Athleta: If you didn’t know, Athleta is owned by Gap Inc, making high quality workout clothes exclusively for women. The quality warrants the higher price tag, but I often like to wait until they mark their items on clearance before making any purchases. Gap also owns Old Navy, who sells more affordable, yet jut as fashionable with good quality, activewear. Old Navy is another store that I will wait until a decent sale (like their semi-annual sale) before purchasing!

Purchased from Old Navy

Target: Okay, hear me out, similar to Amazon fashion, Target has a lot to offer and for not a lot of money! Target’s All in Motion and JoyLab brands, amongst the other brands carried, offer affordable dupes to some of your high end favs like Lululemon.

Purchased from Target (Top & Sports Bra), Purchased from Shein (Biker Shorts)

Asos : I tend to get items that will be low impact workouts or activities like hiking, but know that Asos carries brands like Reebok, Puma and Nike and carries a wide range of sizes!

Place’s on my list to order from:
Mezam Apparel: Afro-Athleisure Fashion Brand
Dressed in Joy: Statement making athleisure

Other fitness related brands I’m currently loving:
Fit With Curves: Heavy Resistance Band

Note: This list will be updates as I find more retailers or small-owned businesses to shop with for activewear. I am always taking suggestions of new places to check out, so please drop any reccos in the comments below.

Start by getting started.

Often, I am asked, “how do I get started” or the popular “where do I start” and as annoying or as simplistic as it may seem, you really must start by starting. I’d procrastinated losing weight for years, for more reasons than one, but finally I just decided to start, and then 1 day turned into 1 month and 8lbs eventually turned to 80!

It’s 2021, we are out here not only setting goals, but crushing them, getting everything, we deserve, being not only “where the money resides”, but where the health, peace & enjoyment are as well!!

First things first, make a plan. But let’s KISS is. Keep it simple, sis.

Let me explain, yes we want SMART goals, which I’ve written about HERE. But let’s not overcomplicate it, do you want to lose weight, do you want to tone, do you want to have abs? What are you trying to achieve?!

Processed with VSCO with g6 preset

Hi, I’m Kalyn. In 2021, I want to lose 10lbs and tone my trouble areas, back, stomach (isn’t this most of our trouble areas!!) as well as my legs.

You know what you want to do, now let’s not “someday it”,  aka “I’ll start Monday” or just arbitrarily set this goal for all of 2021- make it plain!

I want to lose these 10lbs and tone up by bikini season, thong bikinis only! Bikini season for me will start in April.

Now, you not only have your goal (losing 10lbs & toning), but you have an achievable target that you’re working towards. A tangible goal & date that you can write down (for your manifesting purposes) as well as share with an accountability partner (because we all need these).

So now we have our goal & we know when we want to reach them (because you should be writing yours down – pen to paper, please!), let’s put together building blocks that we’ll use to achieve the goal-this is how we (and our accountability partners) will hold ourselves accountable.

Any fitness goal is achieved through nutrition (80%) and exercise (20%)– these are the building blocks. And weight loss= more calories burned (exercise) than consumed (nutrition). This does not = eating less necessarily, but eating more whole foods, controlling portions, eliminating unnecessary calories (that pepsi is *usually* hella unnecessary), and getting your body moving.

Let’s not complicate this, here are some simple adds to your building blocks (and things I’ll be doing)

Nutrition

  • Drink your water. This is not a negotiable, this is step #1, get in loads of water! Read my post HERE on how water can help you lose weight or HERE for the 6 reasons why water can help with weight loss. I’ll list two reasons below if you don’t want to click on the links:
    • Water increases calorie burning
    • Water helps with workouts!
  • Make smart swaps
    • Swap out juice/soda for more water (will also help your skin)- do it, it’ll become more natural the more often you do it! Juice and soda has SOOOO much sugar!
    • More complex carbs vs simple carbs. Carbs are what provides our body energy-aka we need them! But we can be maker smarter choices on which ones we consume. Complex carbs take longer for your system to digest and tend to be a more stable source of energy and fiber when compared to their counterpart. Complex carbs tend to be found more in pastas/breads where simple carbs will show up in sugars.
      • Optimal complex carbs-whole grains (brown rice, wild rice, whole grain, quinoa), sweet potatoes, fruits (bananas, raspberries) , kidney beans
        • Other refined grains that are complex carbs but do not contain as much nutritional value (white rice, bread, flour)
      • Simple Carb examples- sugar, corn syrup, products with added sugar, syrups, sugary drinks,
    • Whole foods opposed to processed foods. Processed foods generally= convenience and less money but are usually less nutritious, hidden with tons of simple carbs, fat, sodium, etc. When possible, opt for making your own foods and using “whole foods” vs processed foods. (Click the links/words for more information on what a whole vs processed food is.)
      • One example: premade/frozen meals vs buying the ingredients to make your own meals. I really suggest you cook more in 2021- build this into your goals. Control the ingredients being used in addition to the portion sizes you’re consuming.
    • Fun, healthy alternatives to foods you already love. I LOVE pizza, but instead of ordering out, I get all the ingredients, load my whole wheat pizza dough with veggies and enjoy! Dark chocolate vs milk chocolate is another example. Additionally, I’ve been loving trying the varies candies offered by Smart Sweets, a healthier candy alternative that’s also not packed with artificial sugars or ingredients (I buy mine at Target).
      • If you have a snack or candy that you love, it’s really easy to google a healthy alternative for that (especially when you make it home vs buying)- this is true for ice cream, some baked goods, pizzas, candy, etc
  • Enjoyment– but in moderation. You can and should have a “cheat” meal or day throughout the week, you don’t want to completely deprive yourself of your cravings, just control them. I love WINE and would have a glass every single night (well I did this in 2020 because pandemic), but I will pull back and limit my indulgence in the name of health (and thong bikinis).


Exercise

You do not need to overcomplicate working out and there’s also no need to be intimidated. You just want to get your body moving! I wrote a post on body types (endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph) HERE, explaining what the different types are, how to determine your body type and the listed exercises that work well for the varying body types—but while this post was great and I suggest you check it out, the goal for the year is KISS, keep it simple, sis.

If considering all of these things above overwhelms you, just set a plan to move your body at least 40-60 minutes at least 5x a week (more if you’re feeling fancy but give your body time to rest/reset/recover).

You know yourself better than I do. Do you need a workout class or a buddy to hold yourself accountable? Call that person or find that class NOW (well after you finish reading the post, and then sharing with a friend).  Or, can you follow instructions relatively well and rock out solo? Find a YouTube workout or IG page that you love and get to it! Can you workout at home? Set up a space where you will workout and hit up AMAZON, Target, Five Below, etc. for your workout equipment needs. Get outside and walk/jog/run/jump rope! Do you need a trainer? Because get one, if you need one (and can afford it).

 We are in a whole panoramic (pandemic) so you may not want to go to a gym- but there are options! We aren’t making excuses this year, sis!

Here are a list of some of my favorite IG accounts for fitness inspo:

frantzcesca.casimir
therealashleynic
fitgentlegiant28
fitbaechey
fitwithcurves
bodygawd
fitwithkeela
sara_bowmar

You owe it to yourself to not only make a plan, but to commit and to stick to it, and not just throughout 2021, but for life. Most of this is 100% mental, get out of your own way! Making these small changes and then building these healthy habits will naturally become your routine and will be sustainable if you KISS it, write it down and start by starting!

 I challenge everyone to make your plan TODAY, right after reading this, “Hi I’m _____, and I want to ________ by __________” and feel free to share it with me, I can be your virtual accountability partner!

Be sure to follow me on IG for updates as I prepare for #thongbikini season at @fitflyflournoy and subscribe (for more posts), save (for future reference) and share (don’t be stingy with the gems)!

Happy 2021 Folks! Let’s kill it this year, one lb. at a time.

Sources & Such:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325171#complex-carbohydrateshttps://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322296#six-reasons-why-drinking-water-may-help-you-lose-weight
https://smartsweets.com/pages/our-ingredients
www.weightlosstravelgains.com

Dairy-Free​ Alternatives

Whether you’re lactose intolerant, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle or simply want to cut back on your animal by-product intake, you may be looking for viable alternatives for the dairy products many of us grew up on. I’ve had an intolerance to lactose my entire life but as I’ve been getting older I’ve been able to ignore this discomfort less and less. As such, I’ve been on the hunt to for good options that wouldn’t cause irritation to my stomach but still pack the same flavor that I’ve grown to love and wanted to share with all of you.

There are everyday items that I use in my daily routines that I needed to not just swap out but to find products that would serve as seamless replacements. Check out the list below for some of my new favs.

  • Ripple Plant-Based Milk & Plant-Based Half & Half
  • Trader Joes Brand Almond Milk & Vanilla Soy Creamer
  • Almond Breeze Milk
  • Silk Soy Creamer (Both Vanilla and Original)
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt Alternative & Cheese Shreds
  • Halo Top Dairy-Free Ice Cream (Oatmeal Cookie is my favorite flavor)
  • Daiya Foods Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
  • Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
    • Or mash avocados to sub for butter

Outside of any dietary restrictions leading to the need to eliminate dairy from one’s diet, there are many health benefits to reducing our dairy intake. Switching to a dairy-free diet, or drastically reducing intake can lead to less bloating, better respiratory health, weight loss, clearer skin, improved digestion and decreased risk of cancer, amongst other benefits. There are also many ethical reasons to want to decrease dairy intake, such as animal cruelty awareness and reducing the footprint on our air quality and ecosystems.

What’s My Body Type and Why’s It Important?

No, I’m not talking “thick” versus “slim thick”,  I’m also not referring to apple shaped versus pear shared, instead,  I want to discuss how your body responds to diet and training. There are three main body types: Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph, understanding your body type enables you to plan a successful diet and exercise program. Note, height has little to do with body type.

What are these body types?

  • Endomorph endomorph

Do you feel like you gain weight by me just mentioning pizza and donuts? Then you may be an endomorph. People with this body type tend to gain weight more easily and then keep it on, but they also gain muscle easily.  As an endomorph, you may have a wider frame (sometimes pear shaped), when compared to the two other groups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as healthy, if not healthier. Endo’s tend to also have more muscle mass, since they can more easily gain it. When it comes to weight loss for this body type, though more challenging than the other groups, it is not impossible, it’ll just take extra effort.

How Does an Endomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?

This body type responds well to a high fat diet as they use fat for fuel. Weight training and consistent cardio is also an effective measure of working out. HIIT training would be great for this group, though HIIT is recommended as a great workout for all groups in moderation. Getting your heart rate pumping is great for calorie and fat burn, two things this group will want. Don’t know what HIIT is? Read up on my post on What HIIT is and Why You Should be Doing it HERE

Exercises: HIIT, Sprints, Jumping Jacks, moves that use body weight (squats, lunges, box jumps, etc.)

Endomorphs also tend to have a large appetite and as such need to eat foods high in fiber (oats, brown rice and veggies) and high in lean protein. Be wary of overeating.

*Not there are healthy fats and not so healthy fats, so be sure to know the difference when choosing meals. 

I’m between an endomorph and a mesomorph. 

  • Mesomorph mesomorph

Built with broader shoulders, the mesomorph gains muscle faster than the endomorph and tends to gain fat faster than the ectomorph, the “easy gainers”. This body type tends to be naturally more muscular and relatively fit, though they have to work to maintain this physique. This group can more easily bounce back to a healthy weight than the other two groups. Their body fat also tends to be distributed more evenly and with a quick response to new exercise programs, they tend to also have an efficient metabolism.

How Does a Mesomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?

This group also responds well to weight training and cardio is just a supplementary. Though all groups need to watch their calorie intake, it is critically important for this body type. Using machines like the stair stepper in the gym or plyometrics (like Jump & Jacks) are great for the mesomorph, incorporating cardio 2-3 times weekly.

Exercises: Train w/ a variety of rep ranges, tempos and methods, Circuit Training (running, pushups, squat jumps, squat thrusts, dips- 30 each exercise followed by 30 sec recovery), Strength Training (sets of 8-12 reps done at a moderate- heavy weight), Pilates, Yoga and Boot Camp Training.

  • Ectomorph ectomoprh

Ectomorphs tend to have smaller frames and usually struggle to gain weight, body fat and muscle. This group has a high carb tolerance and an even higher metabolic rate, but that doesn’t mean that they should overindulge or overdue their calorie intake, everything in moderation. This group can achieve the physique they desire, as with the other groups, it’ll take work.

How Does an Ectomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?

Those who are classified as ectomorphs should focus on compound movements as well as short intense workouts, not overdoing the cardio. Focus on lifting with proper form, use YouTube as a guide as how to complete certain movements.

I mentioned the high carb tolerance of this group, so a balanced diet inclusive of a lot of protein and carbs will do well if in weight maintaining mode. However, built more lean, this group would need to pack on the calories if they want to gain weight or muscle. Nutrient and calorie dense foods such as nuts, dried fruits and vegetables are good to increase shape or muscle.

Exercises: Core Training, Kickboxing Classes, Walking, Strength Work ( Chest exercises, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, etc.) Focusing on every rep and with consistency and accuracy.

It is possible to not only switch between the groups in our lifetime, but to also be somewhere in between these groups at the same time. I mean the only constant thing in this life is change, so it makes sense that our body and needs of our body changes as we age. If you find yourself in between two groups modify the information above to fit your individual needs, combining training plans.

Use this information as a marker or as a guide when building your workout or nutrition plan to maintain a healthy weight, understanding your body handles certain nutrition and exercise types.

Not sure what your body type is? Take a test HERE

As I’ve been trying to switch up my workout routines as to not get too complacent and keep it fresh, I’ve stumbled across the wonderful world of HIIT Training.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training which is quick intervals or bursts of intense exercise followed by short periods of recovery.

Why Do HIIT?

  1. Efficiency, you get and keep your heart rate up fast and burn more fat in less time than traditional workouts
    • Ideal for a busy schedule, those who think they don’t have time to workout
    • 2 weeks of HIIT improves your aerobic capacity compared to 6-8 weeks of endurance training
    • Increases metabolism over time
  2. Effectiveness, increases your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your workout (you’re burning fat even after you’re workout is complete)
    • You’re kicking your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive (ie. burning more fat and calories)
    • You burn fat not muscle, we all want to preserve our muscle!
  3. Ease, the actual workouts may not necessarily be easy but HIIT workouts tend to be quicker (most are 30min) and they’re convenient as you do not necessarily need a gym or equipment as using your body weight is sufficient
    • Though jump ropes and treadmills can fit great into a HIIT program, we are focusing on pushing our heart to its max and can do so through jumping squats, jumping lunges or, high knees
    • Having the ability to complete HIIT anywhere makes it easily accessible, HIIT workouts would be great for the #AroundTheWorldin10k Steps challenge, easily incorporating some activity on your vacations

A lot of people, myself included get bored with mundane, day in and day out sameness and there’s a need for a change of pace. HIIT workouts can provide the variety needed while still leading to or maintaining results.  Those who are new to working out can also incorporate some level of HIIT into their routines, moving at their own pace.

What Are Good HIIT Workouts?

  • Buttkicks
  • Squats (Jump, Sumo, etc.)
  • Lunges (Jumping, Back, Forward, Side)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank (Side, Forearm, Alternating, Jacks)
  • etc.

There are more moves that could fit into a HIIT routine, find your favorite and have at it. The most important aspect is to give each exercise your all, in short bursts, about 45 seconds, have a moment of rest, 15 seconds, and repeat. Find one of my favorite 24 min HIIT workouts HERE, including videos showing how to complete each exercise. Also look to youtube to see how to correctly complete workouts, watching for form.

How Often Should I Complete HIIT? 

Two to three days a week is a safe mark for high-intensity interval training. Anything more is not allowing your body the necessary recovery time. Completing other sessions such as resistance training in between HIIT is a healthy balance. Ideally, you should have a recovery day (rest or strength training) in between your HIIT workouts.

The first time and just about every time after I have completed HIIT I am super sore, during the workout I am out of breath, but afterward, I am always happy to have challenged myself and pushed my body to continue to get better and stronger.

What’s my workout schedule look like lately?

  • Sunday – Cycling w/ Strength Training 60min + 45 min of Barre 1x a Month
  • Monday-Bootcamp Strength Training/HIIT 60min
  • Tuesday- Bootcamp HIIT 60min
  • Wednesday-Rest Day
  • Thursday-Kettlebell Training/ HIIT 60min
  • Friday-Rest Day
  • Saturday- Cycling 45min

Watchouts: Going too fast or not paying attention to your form can lead to injury, as with any type of workouts, so be mindful and listen to your body.

Have more questions on HIIT? Leave a comment below.

 

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