Ringing in the New Year

Happy New Year! 2015 went by like a blur didn’t it? Now it’s time to set our intentions for the upcoming 12 months, and do our best to stick to it. A lot of people make fitness resolutions for the new year, and a lot of people fail those intentions.   So, for the month of January all my blog posts are going to include things you can do to actually stick to those resolutions and start heading down your path to a fitter you!   For today, I am going to share my resolutions for the new year, so here goes! Ringing in the New Year!
  1. Keep a Fitness Journal
  I have never actually kept a fitness journal. I track my Crossfit progress with wodify through my box, and keep absolutely no track of my yoga progress (sad but true). For me to feel like I am getting to that next step, I need to start tracking my food and workouts.   I recently purchased Cassey Ho’s 2016 fit planner. Holy guacamole this thing is gorgeous! Give it a look here (this is not an affiliate link so there is nothing in it for me if you click it). It just landed on my doorstep and I can’t get over how beautiful it is. Fitness tracking doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Have fun with it!   So, that’s what I plan to do. I am going to take a before picture to print out and put in the before and after slot, and try my damnedest to log what I eat and what my workout is.  
  1. Drink More Water
  I have toted on this before in blog posts, and now I’m going to take it to the next level. I have a half gallon water bottle that I purchased recently on Amazon, and I intend to work up to drinking two of those a day.   Notice I said working up to. I firmly believe in baby steps especially when it comes to new years resolutions and goals. If you try to make too many changes too quickly, it’s too much to deal with and will discourage you quickly.  

Making instant, drastic life changes when it comes to your health is a set up for failure, trust me, I know.

  Staying hydrated has been an issue for me lately, so I plan to change that.  
  1. Be Consistent
  This resolution is mostly spawning from my holiday slump. It really surprised me to see how easy it was for me, despite all my hard work for over a year, to just skip days (multiple days) and eat junk. What the hell happened!?!?   But you know what. It’s all good, because we all fall, we all falter, but we have to remember to always get back up. So, that is what I am going to do.   With my handy dandy new planner I just bought, I am going to keep a weekly schedule for working out. I am going to plan out which days are for yoga and which are for Crossfit, and after I get into the swing of things, I’ll add in two-a-days (doing two-a-days has been a goal of mine for a while).   It’ important to stay consistent even if you falter or get sick, because if you plan for consistency, it’s easier to get back up and into your routine than if you just wing it. That’s where I went wrong this holiday season.  
  1. Run One 5K a Month
  So, this is my last resolution, and I actually got this idea from a good friend of mine who is now training for marathons. She did this during 2014 and I ran a few 5Ks with her then and one or two last year.   I usually look for races on runningintheusa.com and they have a huge list! You can search by state, by county, by city, and even narrow it down further by the type of race you want. It’s great!   I want to do this mostly because I LOATH running. It is one of the best activities for your health, but I just hate it. I can’t pick a speed, my breathing gets uneven, and I feel like I am going to die. But, it’s time to put on my big girl running shoes and reap the benefits of this torturous activity.   Running is about mind over matter. It’s like doing planks. In your mind you want to quit, it hurts, and you want to drop your knees or slow to a walk. In reality your body can keep going and with some concentration and determination you can make it!     So, what are your 2016 new years resolutions? Let me know in the comment box. We can do this together!
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Pills and Powders and Supplements OH MY!

One of the things that overwhelmed me the most when I started working out regularly, especially lifting heavier at Crossfit, was what supplements should or shouldn’t I take? IMG_5245   If any of you follow #fitspo people on social media, these products may be getting shoved down your throat. I see ads for all sorts of supplements all the time. I can’t open my Instagram without seeing them.   So, how do you know what’s good, and what’s not so good?   I start with the ingredients label. If it’s chock full of artificial sweeteners and things I can’t pronounce, I put it down. If it advertises tingling sensations or anything else that sounds ludicrous to me during a work out, I put it down. I try (keyword is try here) to keep what I put into my body as clean as I can. Artificial stuff is a no go for me, well most of the time. It’s hard to avoid these days, am I right?   Another thing I do is ask. Never be afraid to ask!   My Crossfit coach, Tony, is a great resource for me. He is super honest, and wouldn’t recommend anything he wouldn’t put into his own body. Tony is a little intense, because he is shooting for the Crossfit Games, but someone that dedicated and informed is a good resource. I don’t have the time to sort through articles and reviews and stuff to figure out the best products (and quite frankly it makes my head spin). Tony does, and so do your coaches!   I have a feeling I know what you are going to ask next. So, Sara, what do you use for your workouts?   Well, funny you should ask! As of right now, I only use protein powder. I use a whey isolate, chocolate flavor (of course) powder that I mix with almond milk. The brand I use is Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard. The only criticism I have of this powder is the sweetener. They do use an artificial sweetener, but that is a problem you will run into with most protein powders. Here’s a link if you want to give it a try (this is not an affiliate link, so I don’t get any money for you clicking on it).   I drink my protein shake right after a WOD and even after yoga. Most people look at me funny when I say I drink protein after yoga, but that’s how I roll. I may not have picked up anything heavy or run a mile, but I still worked those muscles, and I want to feed them. I drink 1 scoop with about 8 ounces of almond milk. Water is fine as well, but I like my shakes thicker in consistency. It’s a preference thing.   If wanting to know more about protein is something you’re interested in, leave a comment below and I will add it to my ever-growing list of things to talk to you about!   I have asked Tony recently what he recommends as a supplement. He told me the one thing he would recommend to anyone is beta alanine. What does it do? So, the way it has been explained to me, and in my other research, is that it balances the pH level in your muscles. What does that mean? It means your muscles wont get as tired as fast, and recovery from intense workouts is quicker. Tony recommended to me 1 scoop of this stuff daily.   I have some of the beta alanine waiting for me at my box that I need to pick up. I’ll try it out, and let you guys know what I think. That may become a regular thing. I try products and practices, and let you know what my experience has been with it.   I am also getting back to taking a multivitamin. I am so bad at taking vitamins you guys! Recently, my health hasn’t been that great though, so I am trying to get that back under control. Being proactive by taking a vitamin is a good place to start.   I picked a women’s vitamin that has a B complex in it. B complex is known for giving more energy, which I need, because after internship naps have become a regular occurrence.   I also take zinc and magnesium (not the most consistent with it if I’m being honest) because I have had some muscle tension issues lately. I have been told this is stress related (yay to my last year of graduate school!). These two are a good combo for muscular health, but aren’t really necessary unless you are having some problems like I do at the moment. My boyfriend, who is also a Crossfitter and knows a thing or two about supplements, recommended I add these in for the time being. I don’t intend for this to be a permanent addition to my supplement regime. With a good diet and a good multivitamin, you shouldn’t need these either.   When it comes down to it, knowing what sort of results you want to see, and how you want to feel before, during, and after a work out is going to determine what supplements you choose. Personally, I don’t like to take a lot of extra stuff (even though I am right now). You can get most of what you need from a balanced diet.   I am also going to say that if you have health issues, consult your doctor before adding any sort of supplements to your daily routine. I am not a nutritionist or dietitian, I am just speaking from my experience.   Leave some love below if you enjoyed the article! I love to hear from you! This won’t be the last on this topic and I look forward to updating you when I try the new stuff!
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Lets talk about the booty

Let's talk about the booty   Yes, you read that title right. We are talking about booties today. They are quite the hot topic lately. My Instagram feed is filled with posts about “get you best booty today” “turn that flab booty into fab” “12 weeks to a perfect butt” and the list goes on.   If you haven’t checked out my about me page, give it a look over here. I talk about how you won’t be seeing any of my booty on this blog. I’m talking about those mirror selfies where girls pose in their skivvies to show off their assets. That’s not me. Yes, there might be an occasional bikini picture on here and me in my leggings for yoga and Crossfit, but that’s about it. So, enough about my booty.   What is our generation’s obsession with booties? I see more marketing on social media for getting a better booty than getting a beach body these days. I’ll give a rant about social media and their perfection marketing tomorrow, don’t you worry.   You want to know what I think? I think the perfect booty is whatever makes you feel sexy and confident. I don’t think other people should tell you what your assets should look like, and I don’t think you should listen to them when they try.   If you want to build you best booty, go for it girl, I know you can do it. If you are happy with your booty, you go girl. I love that confidence!  

If you feel confident and sexy with what you got, no one should tell you otherwise.

  There always seems to be media on what the perfect butt looks like. It has to be big but WHOA not too big! It has to be round, it has to be perky, it has to be bouncy, it has to be bubbly.  

Why do others feel the need to tell people what their body should look like?

  That doesn’t fly with me. If there is one thing you get from this blog, it’s that I wont ever tell you how you should try to shape your body. I only want to inspire you to live your healthiest and happiest.   On that note, I am going to say goodnight, and see you tomorrow!
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5 things to bring to your first yoga class

IMG_4828 To go off of yesterday’s post, I have some recommendations for your first yoga class! This is another type of class where people might be intimidated by equipment. Here are the basics.  
  1. Water.
Are you picking up on the theme here? If not click here to check out my post on what to bring to your first Crossfit class. Water is so important. For life in general, as well as your workouts whatever they may be. As far as yoga is concerned, bring water to every class, and for the love of God don’t forget it for a hot yoga class! I also don’t recommend you do hot yoga as your first yoga experience ever. It is literally hot in that room and you will sweat buckets and get light headed if you don’t hydrate yourself.  
  1. A yoga mat.
I highly recommend getting your own mat from the get go. Yes, most, if not all yoga studios have mats to rent, but getting equipment of your own really solidifies your commitment to it. What I have done, is buy a cheap mat that has a little padding ¼” thick mat, or thicker if you have knee problems and need more padding. I bought my first two mats from TJ Maxx, no joke, they were like $12. From there, you can better understand your needs in a mat and get something on the pricier side. You don’t need a $50 mat to start, but something of your own is great to have. I am still using a $12 mat, because my cats think they are scratching posts at the moment, soooo I’m sticking to the cheaper mat until I can get them to stop.  
  1. A towel.
Girl, you are going to sweat, so you need to have something to wick away what’s making you uncomfortable as well as wipe off your mat. Some people really have an issue with being sweaty. I do not. I also do not mean a full size bath towel; I mean a small hand towel or sport towel. You can also get a “yoga mat towel” which is just a towel you put on your yoga mat. It soaks up sweat and also prevents slipping of the hands and feet. I keep meaning to try out the yoga mat towel, but haven’t gotten around to buying one, I’ll let you know when I do.  
  1. A yoga strap.
These are also relatively inexpensive. My yoga strap came in a set with two blocks. They are also great to wrap around your yoga mat. But the real reason you want one is to help you with any movement you have problems with. I mentioned my short hamstrings in my first post (click here to read that), so having a yoga strap really helps me with those. I use it in sitting forward bend. I will wrap it around my foot and bend from the hips with my back straight to really feel those hammies stretch. You can also use them for poses that require shoulder, back, and quad flexibility. If you are trying to make your way to the splits, using a yoga strap can help you along the way (fun fact: I still can’t do the splits). Overall, a handy piece of equipment.  
  1. An open mind.
Also on the list from yesterday but a good one for both lists, and it doesn’t cost anything! Keep that mind open, it can be oh so strange to try new things, but it is oh so worth it. There will be breathing techniques taught, and many Om’s to go around. Some people are put off by some of that stuff, but I say embrace it. It may feel or sound silly especially the first time (anyone doing lion breath for the first time), but it all has a purpose. Just savor the moment and go with the flow.   So, those are my suggestions. Now you are ready to head to your first yoga class. No excuses! Get out there are get your Zen on! Stay tuned tomorrow, cause we are talking about the booty! Yes you read me correct, booties. See you tomorrow!
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