Happy Monday everyone! As you guys know, fitness is a very important part of my life. I plan my entire day around working out, and there are times I’ve even canceled plans just so I could go to the gym. Although there’s no need to cancel plans, the idea is that it will always be number 1 on my list of priorities. I don’t consider myself an expert at all though – I just experimented for a while and found different workouts and foods that make me feel and look my best. If you’re interested in seeing the fitness hacks I swear by, keep reading!
I stand by this statement 100% because fitness is not just about getting a workout over with every single day. It’s about having the discipline to say yes to a new lifestyle and saying no to foods and ingredients that will only harm your body (but there’s always a balance… you’ll see in the last rule). I’ve always seen the greatest results on myself AND on other people when they truly focus on what they’re putting into their body. Working out is only 30% of fitness – 70% is what you eat.
When I first started my journey with fitness, I thought cutting out the “bad stuff” was all I had to do. If I didn’t eat sugar/carbs/fats, I thought I’d be fine. But honestly, that wasn’t the way for me to achieve my goals. Over the past year, I looked for key substitutions to foods that I loved to eat that would satisfy my cravings, but wouldn’t kill my healthy eating regime. Here are a few hacks for amazing substitutions to foods we know and love:
- Craving chocolate chip cookies? Find recipes that substitute all purpose flour and sugar for oat/almond flour and maple syrup/honey/coconut sugar. Google is your best friend. Click here to see my recipe for Banana Almond Butter Cookies!
- Love peanut butter? Go buy yourself a huge container of PBFit or PB2 (peanut butter powder). I honestly feel like this is one of the greatest inventions to ever grace the planet, because it tastes exactly like regular peanut butter, but with 80% less calories than the original. All you have to do is mix it with a little water or almond milk, and you have a healthier version of peanut butter. You won’t regret it, and neither will your body. You can add this to shakes, put it on top of toast, or even bake with it.
- Craving pizza? Fried rice? Pasta? Cauliflower is here to save the day. By now, you may have heard of how insanely popular the cauliflower trend has become – and with good reason. Go buy the $3.99 box of Trader Joe’s cauliflower pizza crust, put some marinara sauce or pesto on top, and finish it off with goat cheese. You’re welcome.
- Looking for bread? Reach for rice cakes instead. Rice cakes have a total of 7g of carbs, compared to the average 13g carbs in bread. These are great for pre-workout meals — I usually top them with some PBFit and half a banana. SO GOOD!
Do you ever go to the gym and see people drinking gallons of water-like substances but they’re all different colors? That was always me – until I started doing my research on what type of protein/supplement would be best for me, what BCAAs do, and how important multivitamins are to boosting fat loss. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Whey protein comes from cow’s milk and is one of the most popular sources of protein today – you can get these in SO many different flavors and it can make for an amazing post-workout shake. I prefer the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Whey Protein mixed with greek yogurt, half a banana, and 3 strawberries. Check it out here.
- Plant-Based Protein is (obviously) made of plants, and can be just as helpful as whey protein is in your diet. Both provide the same amount, but the one you take just depends on where you prefer to get your protein from. Some people have a hard time digesting whey protein, so this one is a better option.
- BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids): These are amino acids that you don’t readily make in your body, so you have to get it from food or another source. If you do choose to take them, they help fuel your workout with lasting energy, especially if taken during the workout. They do this by preserving glycogen stores in your muscles, so that you have a steady state of energy during your workout. Since I started taking BCAAs, I’ve definitely been able to power through my workouts faster and more efficiently than usual – now I’m never going back. Check this option out!
- Creatine: Although Creatine is created in your body naturally, it may be beneficial for those of you looking to gain muscle mass. It also aids in increasing muscle strength, helping to level up in workouts, which naturally will increase your muscle mass.
*These are just a few of the supplements that are out there – if you’re interested in diving deeper into this subject, I suggest you do your research and find what’s best for your body and goals*
Eating healthy and seeing results feels so amazing – except when you feel hungry at random times throughout the day and realize that you meal prepped everything else, but don’t have any snacks. Snacks are also extremely important, given that they fuel your metabolism throughout the day and keep you going during those long, boring work meetings. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks that are easy to prepare:
- Granola made by baking instant oats, honey, PBFit, and nuts of your choice
- Create your own trail mix with nuts, raisins, etc
- Smoothies (pack your fruits in a ziplock bag ahead of time)
- Frozen yogurt pops for when that ice cream craving hits
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Yogurt Dip
This one may be a little hard to grasp, but it’s the only thing that’s kept me going. Having an airtight workout schedule has always helped me make sure that I would be on track for the week, and this goes hand in hand with knowing what you’ll be eating for that day. Everything complements everything else. If I know I have plans in the evening, I make sure to work out earlier in the morning (and vice versa). Pro tip: If you have a planner (the calendar app on your phone works just as well), make sure to schedule your workouts. I’ve found that if you put something on your calendar and set aside time in advance, you’re more likely to follow through with it.
This is something I still struggle with to this day. I’ve definitely learned to treat myself when I need it, but there are times I end up feeling bad or guilty afterwards. One of my new years resolutions is to accept that I’m human and I’m going to have certain cravings. If I set aside one day of the week where I satisfy that craving, then my body’s not going to retaliate or add 5 pounds. Lately I’ve realized that if I satisfy my cravings, I’m a lot stronger the next day and have more energy to get through the week. I don’t believe in dieting 24/7 — think of it as a reset button for your body!
I hope these tips help you in your fitness journey just as they’ve helped me in mine — and if you haven’t started yet, it’s never too late! I’m still learning new things every single day and I’m not an expert on this by any means. If you guys have any tips that you love, PLEASE let me know. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions and keep checking back – I’m dropping a bunch of new recipes on the blog soon 😉