weight training


The Definition of Insanity Is NOT Making This Pear Smoothie…

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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Happy New Year! I rang mine in with a midnight race and a bagel.

Whoa. What a holiday season! Parties, traveling, family, food, drinks, and more food, and then some more drinks for good measure. Normally, my plan of action during a period of massive consumption, is to become a cardio queen and hit up every spin class possible. Problem solved, right? Wrong. I still end up feeling puffy, bloated, and miserable by January 1st.

So this year, I handled things differently. I cut way down on my cardio, and instead focused on heavy weight-training. Heavy training includes any exercise that you do for eight reps or less.  Since November, I’ve been training like this 4-5 days a week, by performing basic lifts like squats, deadlifts, chest presses and back rows.  I’ve also been tacking on 10-12 minutes of high intensity intervals at the end of every other session.

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And lo and behold: I’m loving the way I look and feel, despite the fact that I ate my way through my birthday, Chanukah, and Christmas. This is not too shocking. I know that serious strength training is the key to fat loss. But sometimes even a know-it-all like me can get sidetracked by eggnog and stuffing.

If your new year’s resolution is to START working out, then you should definitely focus on body weight and moderate weight exercises for the first few weeks, so you that don’t hurt yourself. But if you’ve been a pretty regular exerciser, then pick up some of those big-ass weights and get lifting. It will make all the difference.

Perfect Pear Post Workout Protein Shake

It’s currently pear season and I was lucky enough to get a fruit-of-the-month club gift for the winter.

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What to do with all of these luscious pears? Blend ’em with some protein powder of course!

This Protein Shake is perfect for breakfast or post-workout. The protein/carb combo is just what your body needs to fuel up your day.

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8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 chopped pear (leave the skin, it’s good for you!)

1/4 cup frozen dark cherries

1/4 cup oatmeal or oat bran (If you’ve never put oats in your shake before, give it a try. It adds a nice thickness to the shake and gives you the extra carbohydrates you need post-workout)

1 tsp Psyllium Husk powder

cinnamon

Ice cubes

Blend it. Drink it. Yum.

Banish the Post-Workout Munchies

Don’t forget the 28 Day Blitz is ON!!! No junk for the rest of the month! Yes, I am aware that football, aka, buffalo wing season has begun. My advice is to have a taste and then move along to something healthier. Here’s the link I posted a few months ago to a delicious paleo-friendly buffalo chicken that is grain-free and baked.

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2014/03/30/crispy-buffalo-chicken-fingers/

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This is the pic I posted a while back when they were made for me. Turkey bacon  wrapped asparagus is optional.

 Your body will thank you!

And now a question for Blitz Your Body …

Amy, I have a question for you. When I do a lot of exercising (mostly walking and biking each for 30 min to an hour), I end up so very, very hungry the entire next day. Is there something that should be eaten before or after exercise to help curb this spike in appetite?–Linda

Before we get to the best foods to fuel and nourish your workout, let’s make sure that what you are experiencing isn’t really thirst. Many times, we are dehydrated and not truly hungry, so you must drink a lot of water, especially on your active days. How much does that mean? Well, there isn’t too much evidence that proves the “8-8 oz of water” per day rule is actually true.  But, the Mayo Clinic suggests that women take in 2.2 liters (9 cups) and that men take in 3 liters (13 cups) a day, adding an extra 1.5 to  2.5 cups when you exercise, which is pretty close the the conventional wisdom of 8/8 glasses of water. 

Here’s an accurate portrayal of what I look like drinking my water, post-workout:

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Yes, I wear pearl earrings when I workout. You don’t???

Now for fuel. We need to pick foods that will satisfy your hunger and be in line with your fitness goals. Pre-workout, you want to make sure you eat healthy carbohydrates that will give you energy without weighing you down. The closer you are to your exercise session, the simpler the food should be.

What I eat BEFORE a workout

A handful of grapes (15-30 min prior)

Banana with peanut butter (30-60 min prior)

Coffee Smoothie (60 min prior-recipe below!)

Half Ezekial English muffin with almond butter (60-90 min prior)

Fruit smoothie with half scoop protein powder (90-120 min prior)

Nothing.

That’s right. Sometimes I don’t eat before I go to the gym. My body is used to a fasted workout and sometimes I just grab a coffee and go. 

What I eat AFTER a workout

Carbs + Protein = a satisfying post-work out meal or snack that will keep you feeling full. Stay away from heavy fats, since they inhibit your body’s ability to quickly process all the good stuff.

Fruit Smoothie with whole or half scoop of protein powder (cardio or weight training)

Eggs with 1/2 cup of rice or half a potato and green veggies (cardio or weights)

Plain 2% Greek yogurt (cardio or weights)

A veggie wrap (cardio)

Roast or grilled chicken (usually left-overs) with veggies (weights)

Coffee Talk

I recently discovered that freezing coffee in ice cube trays is an easy and tasty way to add a little zip to my protein shakes.

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My moose mug is my best friend.

Moderate amounts of caffeine can naturally enhance your exercise performance. The better your performance, the more your calories you burn, and you can have greater strength gains. Just brew a strong cup of coffee, then freeze.  Side note: coffee cubes are also great for homemade iced coffee!

Coffee Protein Shake

Blend the following:

8 oz unsweetened almond milk

half or whole scoop of vanilla protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 TB of peanut butter (if you want to bulk it up a bit. It’s good without too)

1 TB raw cocoa nibs or cocoa powder

1 Tsp of psyllium seed husk powder

3-4 frozen coffee ice cubes

A drizzle of maple syrup (or any natural sweetener) to taste.

Sometimes I throw a TB or 2 of raw oat bran to increase the amount of fiber. 

Try it as a pre-workout fuel source, or a perky mid-day snack. Let me know what you think!

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