Monday, April 30, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 2

Today is day 2 of my 90 day challenge. I'm so exited to see where this journey takes me. I really want more energy and want to lean out. I know the leaning out piece is going to take some time. Honestly, I thought the energy part would take some time too; but it hasn't.

Yesterday I had a (snickerdoodle) shake for breakfast, then a regular shake after my workout. I took the vitamins as directed, some in the AM and some in the PM. I felt fantastic all day. Day 2, the energy has kept up AND I totally rocked it at the gym today. I was crushing poundage that I have never done. My workout buddy even commented on how much I was doing. LOVING this challenge so far!

Some people have commented that it could be all mental, but I can't fake my energy level. Also, my cousin started the challenge with me. She is doing her challenge for weight loss. She said she also has had a lot of energy and didn't feel hungry at all. She is going to do so fabulous on this! I also gave my boss a sample of the shake to see what she thought. She took it after her workout and commented a little while ago that she's had so much more energy all day long.

There are so many skeptics out there, but you can't deny personal testimonies. I'm STOKED to see the progress from all my pals that are doing this challenge with me. I'll be posting lots of success stories on here. Real people are having real life changing experiences with this challenge.

Do you have a personal health goal? Join me on my challenge and share your success with the world.

P.S. I love this little guy - isn't he the cutest thing ever? He's my Body By Vi Guy ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baby Steps

Slow and steady finishes the race!

I've found that if I try to make too many changes all at one time, I get really frustrated and just want to quit them all. I realized when I started small and took baby steps, it was easier to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

I want to eat healthy a majority of the time - probably 95% and maybe one day I'll even want to do it 100% of the time. I can't make that change overnight though. So, I started small and did something I knew I could do. I started eating healthy 3 days a week (all day) and then built myself up to 5-6 days.

This is just one situation. You could take the same concept and apply it to exercising. If you don't workout at all right now but you really want to start doing 4-5 days a week (or more?), you can start by planning 1-2 days of exercise and then work your way up to where you want to be.

My days at the gym are right where I want them to be and I did the progression method. It really makes me enjoy my rest days knowing that I am scheduled to rest that day. Thoughts of "gosh, can I fit the gym in today? No... shoot, I'm such a failure" no longer go through my head!

There are always things we can do to improve our health though! Today I decided to use a stability (yoga) ball while I worked at my computer. It keeps your core engaged which is so important for strength and posture!

What is one small thing you can do today to improve your health?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Exercises for this week

Hi everyone! I LOOOOOVVEEE Sunday's. For me, it's a day of refreshing and planning for the week to come; planning my schedule, my eats, and my workouts. Right now I'm doing a modified version of the Jamie Eason Live Fit trainer. I noted in my previous post that I only want to be at the gym 4-5 days a week and for her first phase, she eliminates cardio, which, I'm a cardio nut, so I have it added into my week. My modified version is centered around 4 good workout days, then the 5th day is abs and cardio that I can do from home.

Sunday 4/22 - Rest
Monday 4/23 - Chest, Triceps , Abs, Cardio
                         Chest/Triceps (3 sets of 12 with 1 min rest after each exercise)
                         Wide push ups
                         Dumbbell bench press
                         Flat bench cable flyes
                         Narrow push ups
                         Standing dumbbell triceps extension
                         Triceps push down with rope attachment
                        Abs (3 super sets, 30 reps each)
                        Boat crunch
                        Oblique crunches with feet on bench (15/side)
                        Regular crunches (slow and isolated)
                        Plank for 40 seconds then 20 side to sides
                        Reverse crunch
                       Cardio: 40 minutes, your choice
Tuesday 4/24 - Back, Biceps, Cardio
                       Back/Biceps (3 sets of 12 with 1 min rest after each exercise)
                       Wide grip lat pull down
                       1-arm dumbbell row
                       Seated cable row
                       Underhand cable pull down
                       Alternating bicep curl
                       1-arm preacher curl
                       Standing bicep cable curl
                      Cardio: 40 minutes, your choice
Wednesday 4/25 - Abs, Cardio  
                      Abs (3 super sets, 30 reps each)
                      Boat crunch
                     Oblique crunches with feet on bench (15/side)
                     Regular crunches (slow and isolated)
                     Plank for 40 seconds then 20 side to sides
                     Reverse crunch
                     Cardio: 40 minutes, your choice              
Thursday 4/26 - Shoulders
                     Shoulders (3 sets of 12 with 1 min rest after each exercise)
                     Seated dumbbell press
                     Front delt raise
                     Side lateral raise
                     Seated bent over rear delt raise
Friday 4/27 - Legs, Calves, Abs, Cardio
                     Legs/Calves (3 sets of 12 with 1 min rest after each exercise)
                     Leg press
                     Leg extensions
                     Wide stance barbell squat
                     Seated leg curl
                     Standing calf raise
                     Seated calf raise
                     Abs (3 super sets, 30 reps each)
                     Boat crunch
                     Oblique crunches with feet on bench (15/side)
                     Regular crunches (slow and isolated)
                     Plank for 40 seconds then 20 side to sides
                     Reverse crunch
                     Cardio: 40 minutes, your choice
Saturday 4/28 - Rest
Sunday 4/29 - Rest

I found some really great core exercises to do with yoga blocks. I didn't have any so I ordered some and they arrived in the mail yesterday. Next week I'll add those into my routine!

Try some of the workouts and let me know what you think :)

If you missed my last post about my new business adventure, be sure to check it out here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A New Business Adventure

For anyone who didn't know, I'm a little in to health and fitness (shocker!). I have heard a lot of people talking about Visalus (/Body By Vi). This is a 90 day challenge that caters to your individual health goal. I have family and friends who are doing the challenge and seeing great results with it! One of my friends went on the challenge to lose weight before his wedding and dropped 30lbs during his first challenge!

I really wanted to look in to the products since they do have plans for different types of health goals. I don't want to lose weight, but I do want to tone up and be healthier in general. When I started researching, I became a little reserved because the shake, which is the core of each kit, has artificial sweetener in it. My body does not respond to artificial sweeteners very well so I didn't even want to touch it with a ten foot pole!

Then one day, I was talking to Kris at iheartwellness and she told me how little sucrolose is actually in the product. She said if you had 3 shakes a day for 5 years straight, you still wouldn't have the amount that comes in a table packet of splenda. That's pretty amazing if you ask me! SOOOO... I decided I would at least try the shake to see how my body responded to it. Amazingly enough, it tasted DELICIOUS and my body didn't have any negative reactions to it.

I decided I wanted to try the shakes for their amazing nutrition benefits. I also knew that if I signed up as a distributor, I would have the opportunity to get my kit for free though. So after a TON of questions and phone calls, I decided to become a distributor. I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am about this! I am so passionate about helping other people get healthy and now I get to follow along side others during their challenges.

I'll be starting my personal 90 day challenge next week. I will be posting my workouts and eats so you can follow along :)

If you want to know more about the 90 day challenge, go here.

If you have questions or are interested in joining the challenge or becoming a distributor, contact me here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

At Home Legs and Abs Workout

I was supposed to go to the gym today to crush some legs and abs. Due to unforeseen circumstances, that didn't happen. Sooooo.... I threw together an at-home workout that killed me just as much as the gym would have! All you need is a mat, a chair and a small stool or stack of books. If you have free weights, you can add them in, but they are optional.

Do 3 sets:
30 Regular Squats (hold dumbbells if you are using them)
30 Narrow Squats (hold dumbbells if you are using them)
30 Alternating Lunges (15 on each side - hold dumbbells if you are using them)
30 Single Leg Lunges (15 on each side - hold dumbbells if you are using them)
30 Standing Calf Raises on a stool or stack of books - be sure to place your hands on a wall for stability (hold dumbbells if you are using them)
20 Boat Crunches
20 Oblique Crunches with your feet on a chair  
20 Regular Crunches (slow and controlled!)
20 Reverse Crunches (legs straight in the air)
Rest 1 minute

Side note: I think I need to start making my own videos. Some of these are just silly!

Easy and Delicious Fruit Dip

I am really trying to venture out and try new healthy snacks. I would  LOVE to have more time playing around with recipes. For now, I have limited time so I go with quick and easy, and pray for delicious.

I teach a Christian health and weight loss class at my church on Thursday nights. Last night was the end of one of our sessions and we had a 'celebration' night. Everyone brought healthy snacks, we got to sit around and just enjoy one another's company. One of the girls (who has lost over 100 lbs!) gave her testimony about how this journey has been for her. At first she is really shy, but when you get to know her, she isn't :) She did an amazing job - I was SO proud of her, and there was not one dry eye in the room. Maybe one day she'll let me post her before and after pictures?!?

I leave straight from work and go to class, so I had to  make something quick and yummy. I tried this for the first time and it was a HUGE hit!!! 

Nutella Fruit Dip:
1/2 Cup Nutella, 1 Cup Greek Yogurt, Mix and enjoy with your favorite fruit!

What's your favorite go do dish for parties / events?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To do or not to do

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a fantastic day! It's been a little while since I've posted because I've been debating if I should keep blogging. While I really enjoy posting, I can't decide if I want to make writing a priority. I have a lot of other things going on that are very demanding of my time. Today I decided to post just to give you an update since it has been a while.

While that actually falls into the subject of my post, that's not what this is about ;) I have been debating starting an at home business. I've tried one of these before, but honestly, I really didn't believe in the products because they didn't work for me. This one would be different though; it's right up my health and fitness alley! So, right now I'm definitely praying about it. I will give it much thought and consideration!

In fitness news: I am 0.8% away from my body fat goal and I am SUPER stoked! I just finished the Jamie Eason Live Fit Triner.

What a fantastic program! I have never seen this kind of results before! I am scheduled to get my stats done again in 5 days, so I will post my progress then; maybe even before and after pictures.

What's next you ask? I am thinking of starting the program over again. While phase 1 has easier workouts, I can increase the amount of weights I'm lifting. This go round, once I hit Phase 2 and 3, I would definitely combine a few days. 6 days in the gym is too much for me. I feel like I am constantly in the gym. 4-5 days is a fantastic balance for me.

What are your current workouts? Have you ever done a home based business? If so, what are your thoughts on them?

Friday, February 3, 2012

PureFit Nutrition Bars

I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout for new protein bars. For me, a good protein bar needs to be lower in calories, high in protein, no artificial sweeteners, taste delicious, be reasonable in cost, and preferably have mostly natural ingredients.

I had the pleasure of sampling PureFit Nutrition Bars. Granola crunch and Almond crunch were the first two I tried because I thought they looked delicious. The Granola crunch was really, really good and the Almond crunch was good - but also a little dry for my taste. Then I moved on to the Berry Almond crunch. I'm not sure why I didn't save this one for last. Normally I do not like bars with fruit in them, but this one was SOOOO good! Next was on to the brownie crunch. It really did taste like a brownie! This one upset my tummy a little bit, but chocolate can have that effect on me anyway. So, if you don't have issues with chocolate, this is an amazing bar. Last but not least was the Peanut butter crunch bar. This one was good, but a little dry also like the Almond crunch.

Overall, my favorite of them would have been a tie between the Granola crunch and the Berry Almond crunch.

Here are the stats on the bars:
Calories: 210-220
Fat: 6-7
Saturated Fat: 0.5-1.5
Trans Fat: 0
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 150-180
Carbs: 24-26
Fiber: 2-4
Sugar: 13-14
Protein: 18

Overall, I highly recommend these bars. They do not have artificial sweeteners, they taste delicious, they're lower calorie and they have a decent amount of protein. The ONLY thing that may prevent me from getting these again in the future is the price. Even with a discount, they run about $2/bar. I tend to wait until my normal protein bars go on sale (they get all the way down to $1) and then I stock up. With all of the other benefits of these bars, if you are okay with paying $2/bar - they are definitely worth it.

PureFit sent me these products free for review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions.

Guest Post

Hello everyone - today I'm excited to have a guest blogger :) Liz seems very passionate about the benefits of exercise to cancer patients.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

Exercise for Cancer Patients

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life changing event. All patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do three hours of exercise every week. Recent studies have shown that exercising at least two hours and a half per week could reduce a breast cancer patient's risk of recurrence by up to 40 percent. Exercise also helps reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.

The New Natural Wonder Drug for Cancer

Scientists refer to exercise as the latest "wonder drug" for cancer. Exercise should be a regular part of lifestyle for all cancer patients, regardless of their age. Several studies have associated physical activity with a reduced risk of breast, colon, mesothelioma, prostate, and endometrial cancers. Research suggests that regular physical activity can improve health by promoting psychological well-being and reducing the risk of premature death. Exercise can is a good thing to turn attention to after receiving a pancreatic cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis, or another cancer with low survival rates since it has the ability to increase mental well-being so much.

Exercise helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. It also lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies indicate that physical activity can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by up to 40 percent. Exercise may protect against cancer through its role in hormone metabolism, energy balance, and insulin regulation.

Getting active can help cancer patients overcome the effects of the disease and its treatments such as nausea, fatigue, and muscle weakness. Physical activity is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment. Exercising three to four hours a week reduces the odds of dying from breast cancer by over 50 percent. Prostate cancer patients who exercise moderately have 30 percent more changes of recovery.

Exercise Improves Quality of Life

Researchers have found that being overweight after completing treatment increases the risk of cancer recurrence. An understanding of the benefits of physical activity is helpful. People who are fit experience less fatigue, feel happier, and have greater cardiovascular endurance. Even a modest amount of exercise is beneficial and can improve quality of life in cancer patients.

Some cancers, such as neck and gastrointestinal cancers, are associated with body wasting. Exercise can help prevent muscle loss and reduce pain. Studies have shown that physical activity can boost energy after treatment and help patients combat fatigue and nausea. Exercise and diet recommendation for each cancer patient should be based on his age, weight, general health, and type of treatment. Physical activity after a diagnosis of cancer may be beneficial in assisting with energy balance and reducing symptoms. Patients who exercise on a regular basis are less likely to have a cancer recurrence.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Southern Unfried Chicken

I honestly don't remember where I got this recipe from. It was either Runners World Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, or Clean Eating Magazine.

Southern Unfried Chicken:

1 cup buttermilk
2-3 tsp hot sauce (3 was pretty strong, next time I'll use 1.5-2)
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
1.2 cups whole-wheat panko bread crumbs (I used Italian breadcrumbs because it's all we had in the house)
3 tbsp Parmesan
1.5 tsp onion powder
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp hot red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
cooking oil spray

In a bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauce. Mix well. Submerge the chicken breasts in the buttermilk marinade. Allow to soak at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While the chicken is marinating, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and the rest of the spices in a gallon-size plastic bag. Shake to blend. Using tongs, remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and place directly in the bag of bread crumbs and spices. Shake the bag well, until the chicken breasts are evenly coated in bread crumbs. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and lay flat on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Allow to chill uncovered in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Lightly coat each chicken breast with cooking-oil spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Serves 4

Per serving:
Calories: 323
Carbs 27g
Fiber 4g
Protein 39g
Fat: 7g

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

I tried this recipe and it was delicious; definitely on my re-make list. Thank you Runners World Magazine for this!

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

15 oven-ready, rippled style lasagna noodles (soaked in piping hot water for 10 min) (I used whole wheat noodles)
4 cups shredded chicken
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
12 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cups marinara sauce (no sugar added)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400. Combine chicken, basil, 8oz cream cheese, and 1/4 cup broth. Mix remaining cream cheese and broth in a separate bowl. Spread 1/3 cup marinara on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish; assemble 4 layers as follows: 3 noodles, 2/3 cup sauce, 1 cup chicken mixture, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons parmesan. Top with last noodles, the broth mixture, and the remaining cheeses. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Leaving dish on the same rack, turn oven to broil. Remove foil and broil until golden brown, 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Welcome to WHF

Hello everyone and welcome to Wholesome Health and Fitness. My name is Christal and I am the author of this site.

I have developed a huge passion for health and fitness over the years. Personally, I went through many roller coasters on my journey to finding a healthy me. Through everything I have learned that health is not just about food and exercise. Those things are important but are not all inclusive. To be the best and healthiest you possible, there are four areas you need to focus on; spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical.

In developing a passion for health and fitness, I have also developed an interest in body building. In this, I've come across many fitness models that I looked up to. Unfortunately I always seemed to end up disappointed when I found out more about the models. I do not have anything against seeing a woman in a competition or in a bathing suit. But when you start taking seductive photographs to show off your body, I am immediately heart broken. I know there are Christian women out there who are healthy and maybe that do a little body building that don't take it to the extreme. I really want to find them! If you are one of these people, contact me because I would love to feature you as a guest on the blog!

In this blog you are going to get entries mostly on the spiritual and physical aspects of being healthy, but there will also be the occasional posts on the mental and emotional aspects as well.

As a short disclaimer, I am not a certified personal trainer or certified nutritionist (yet). The things I post are just what I have found personally work for me.

I hope you enjoy what you find here.