Getting Back In The Groove – HIIT

After a couple months of maintaining, I am finally getting back in my groove. My friends on MyFitnessPal and Instagram have really helped get me motivated! I have been eating good and working out on a consistent basis, but it is time to up the intensity! In addition to switching up my meal plan, I am going to start incorporating more cardio into my workout sessions. Something that I have found which really helps me burn fat is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

What is HIIT?
It is a technique for training your body in which you alternate between high and low intensity periods of exercise. After warming up, you would work as hard and quick as possible (full intensity) for a short period of time, followed by a recovery (low intensity) period. An example of High Intensity Interval Training is if you were to sprint full force for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds. Rinse and repeat. In addition to cardio, you can also use weights in a HIIT format.

What are the benefits?
>>   It is efficient – You can get an hours worth of progress in just 15 minutes
>>   No strings attached – Many HIIT Programs don’t need equipment
>>   Great for your Heart – Helps build endurance
>>   Boosts Metabolism – You burn more calories during & after HIIT
>>   Keep your Muscle – Unlike steady state cardio which can damage it
>>   Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Muscles get energy, not your waist

When to HIIT it?
HIIT is not something you should do on a daily basis. Most advise that you should limit this type of training to 3-4 times per week. Since research shows that HIIT raises your calorie burning power for up to 48 hours, I would suggest adding it to your routine every other day. That will give your body time to recover and be at it’s best for your next HIIT session. As far as what time of day, its really up to you. In general, it is a good idea to workout in the morning because it will kick start your metabolism and give you a nice energy boost to carry you through your day.

At the moment I am focusing on my cardio for a run so I am doing HIIT on the treadmill to increase my endurance. I have a handy mobile app, Gymboss, that helps me keep up with my intervals. To start, I have been doing shorter sprints and longer rest periods…. slowly increasing my sprints and spending less time recovering. Here are a couple examples of intervals you can try out…

Option 1:

5 minute warm up
15 second sprint (5-8mph, give it your all)
45 second recovery (2-3mph, catch your breath)
[repeat intervals for 8-10 rounds]
5 minute cool down

Option 2:

5 minute warm up
30 second sprint (5-8mph, give it your all)
60 second recovery (2-3mph, catch your breath)
[repeat intervals for 8-10 rounds]
5 minute cool down

If you have tried HIIT before, share in the comment section below what kind and what results you saw.

References:
www.builtlean.com
www.shape.com
www.fitnessblender.com

StepKids & Omelets

Usually on the weekends it is a bit of a juggling act between the kids’ extra curricular activities and my husband’s unpredictable work schedule. However, by some miracle this weekend worked out perfectly! We managed to work in a basketball game, a barbecue with friends at the park, and a family workout at the gym.

One of my favorite things about being a StepMother is getting to teach my kids something new. I especially like teaching them “life skills” that they will be able to use as adults. Recently I got the chance to do just that.

I’m not exactly sure where it came from, but out of the blue Tanner, my 13 almost 14 year old boy, asked me if I would teach him to make an omelet. Oh, how my heart swelled! I love cooking, I love teaching, and I love my kids!

So we decided I would make one first to show him and then he would make one. Of course as soon as Maddie, my 12 year old girl, heard the butter hit the pan, she was over our shoulders wanting to learn too. After Tanner and I each made one, Maddie decided to try her hand at it. They both did great!

I have created 2 little omelet making monsters 🙂

Pre-Workout Nutrition

If you want to get the most out of your workout, it is important to have an understanding of Pre-Workout Nutrition and how it affects your body. I can tell you from experience, that if you don’t fuel your body properly before you get started, you won’t get the results you are working for. Those of you that have read my Bio know that I learned the hard way. So, if you are not keen on the whole light-headed thing & you want your body running its best, today’s post is for you!

Meal Timing

There are many different ingredients that can be beneficial to include in your Pre-Workout routine. In today’s post, I want to start with the basics which will help you get started. Both Protein and Carbohydrates are important not only to fuel your workout but to help your body recover.
Protein & Carbs

(Men you need 25-45g of Protein & 30-45g of Complex Carbohydrates)

When planning out your meals, you should choose a lean protein source (i.e. egg whites or chicken breast) and slower digesting carbohydrates (i.e. an apple or grapefruit). The best way to discern if a carbohydrate source is slow digesting is to use the Glycemic Index (GI).

Glycemic Index Range

Often used by diabetics, the Glycemic Index rates foods on how they affect your blood sugar. Foods with a higher rating digested and absorbed quickly and results in raised blood sugar levels, while foods with a lower rating digest and absorb more evenly so you do not experience a sugar spike.

What does this mean for your workout? Choosing foods with a low GI as your Pre-Workout Carbohydrate source will keep you from experiencing an energy crash mid-session.

P-W Meal Example

Bottom line, what you put in your body determines how well it will perform. Make sure you are choosing the right fuel & you are well on your way to reaching your goals!

Shout out to Kalie for always giving me honest feedback. Thanks girl!

Reference Links:
www.muscleandfitness.com
www.glycemicindex.com
www.diabetes.co.uk

Oven Roasted Lemon Broccoli

Fresh from the Oven


Broccoli is one of my favorite Super Foods. Most people don’t normally think of veggies as a source of Protein, but just one cup of chopped broccoli contains 3 grams of muscle building goodness! In addition to protein, Broccoli has high levels of all kinds of great nutrients. My husband and I usually incorporate Broccoli into our weekly meal plans so I am always looking for new ways to prepare it.

This is definitely one of my top 10 ways to cook Broccoli!

It’s Quick, Easy, and Super Yummy!

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • Fresh Broccoli (2lb bag of florets/2-3heads)
  • A Lemon (for Zest & Juice)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (I use Fat Free)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Other things that will be helpful:

Instructions:

  1. Pre-Heat your Oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
    (also make sure your rack is placed in the middle)
  2. Cover a sheet pan with Aluminum Foil & spritz with Cooking Spray
  3. While the oven is warming up, Wash your Broccoli and separate it in to florets if needed
  4. Zest the whole lemon, then juice one half. You will need about 1Tbsp of zest and 1.5-2Tbsp of juice.
  5. Then mince your Garlic Cloves
  6. In a large bowl, combine the Broccoli, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, & Garlic
  7. Mix until the broccoli is evenly Coated
  8. Spread the Broccoli evenly on your pan then sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt & Pepper
  9. Bake for 20 minutes
  10. After you have taken the Broccoli out of the oven, garnish with the lemon zest.

                       

 I would say this recipe makes about 5-6 servings. We were able to eat it with dinner and I still had plenty to pack up for my husband’s lunches. Let me know in the comments below if you have tried this recipe or if you have another Broccoli recipe you would like to share!

Weight Loss Secret Weapon & MyFitnessPal App Review

I want to share with you one of my personal weight loss secret weapons…. Food Journaling!

The best way for you to gain an understanding of what you are putting in your body on a regular basis is to keep track of the meals you are eating. If writing down everything you eat all day sounds like a headache in the making, don’t worry, there is an app for that!
Check out MyFitnessPal!

 ***

       Some of my favorite app features:

  • It takes just a few minutes to set up an account.
  • The app creates a plan that is based on your personal information.
  • They have a huge database of foods so all you have to do is search & add.
  • It will remember your most used foods & you can also save meals to use again later.
  • A great recipe function, just add ingredients & it will calculate nutrition per serving.
  • Oh & you can access your account from any computer.
    (in case using your phone at work is taboo)

Another awesome feature is that you can connect with other MyFitnessPal users! I love being able to share motivation and progress with my friends and family. If you are already on MyFitnessPal or you are signing up for a new account, be sure to add Fit2BeQueen so we can encourage each other along the way!