Introducing: My New Favorite “Age-Defying, Skin Perfecting” Foundation

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Going into the spring and summer months in Texas, I tend to want to wear a lighter foundation, so that it feels like a second skin and not melting down my face in the heat and humidity.

While I still love Araza Natural Beauty’s 7-in-1 Coconut Cream Foundation and Green Tea Cream Concealer, it is full coverage and feels better for me to use during the cooler months when the air is dryer vs. the summer months. If you didn’t know already….in Texas we only really have two seasons….summer and winter-ish.

I recently found / was introduced to (thank you Ulta sales girl) a brand called juice BEAUTY and their Stem Cellular CC Cream

CC Cream

Off the webpage linked to above:

Stem Cellular CC Cream

Side Note: This is my choice for a better and organic ingredient replacement product for BareMinerals’ Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, which I had been using for years.

I’m finding that this new juice BEAUTY CC Cream is the perfect product for me. It is light, doesn’t sit in my fine lines and wrinkles, it has SPF, it has antioxidants, moisturizes, and it blends perfectly into my skin. I do not feel it on my face and my skin tone looks very even with it on.

The one thing…..it doesn’t smell good. I’ve smelled worse, but it isn’t “fragranced”, which is a good thing BUT it doesn’t smell good. I only notice the smell when I’m applying it to my face.

At this time, this is the only product that I’ve tried of this brand, but after exploring their webpage; I think I’ll be trying some other products!

I was told that their PHYTO-PIGMENTS Flawless Serum Foundation is also a very good product and is a medium to full coverage make-up that can be built-up for as little or as much coverage as you prefer.

Phyto-Pigments Serum Foundation

Off the webpage linked to above:

Phyto-Pigments Serum Foundation Benifits

Go to Ulta and color-match the product to your skin and then……if you go to their webpage (I linked it above and below) there is a little button that pops up on the bottom of the page that says “Get 15% off your first order” – do that!

It is very important to me that I use organic, clean, non-poisonous make-up on my skin.

The performance of a product is important, but so are the ingredients used and where they are sourced from.

Finding a brand that is committed to the safety of their products to people, animals, and the environment is truly unique. Check out the links above for more information. Side Note: Beauty Counter is also one of these brands.

I feel good supporting brands like juice BEAUTY, Araza Natural Beauty, and Beauty Counter (I buy through Hayley Mason). They are doing things right!

I hope you choose to check out juice BEAUTY products; I’m loving them!

Lifting Weights / Resistance Training (Part 2)

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Please check-out Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training post where I covered:

  1. Why lifting weights is important to me
  2. Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  3. Things to-do
  4. Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

I completed 5 weeks of the workouts in my Part 1 post with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

Then I was stupid while kayaking and got a really bad sunburn down the front of both of my legs and left arm, which prevented me from working out for a full week. You can check out my pictures on my Instagram page. My knees were swollen for 3 days and my ankle was swollen for 5 days, which made it very painful and difficult to walk…..much less exercise. Soooo, had a rest and recover week.

Below you will find my next 5 weeks of workouts (weeks 6 – 10).

Side Note: I like to super-set my workouts so that I can get them done faster and it keeps my heart rate up throughout the whole workout to obtain the cardio benefits. A super-set is when you move from exercise to another exercise without a break in between. When starting out I usually can only do one set of each before taking a break. Once my ability increases, I’ll be able to multiple sets of each before taking a break. I’ve colored the text below to show you my groupings for super-sets.

Lift Weights Faster

Week 6

Tuesday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Thursday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Sunday – Full Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Week 7

Tuesday – Active Recovery Day  (I was still sore from Sunday’s workout)

  • 15 minute revolving stairs
  • 15 minute treadmill walk
  • Plank
  • Mobility Work & Stretching

Saturday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Goblet Squat – 25 lb dumbbell
  • Hip Thrusts – 40 lb barbell
  • Hamstring Curl Machine – 50 lbs
  • Traditional Leg Press – 90 lbs
  • 10 minute walking cool down

Week 8

Tuesday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: Assisted Pull-ups and Chin-ups
  • Incline Press – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Wide Grip Cable Row – 50 lbs on cables
  • Dips/Press-Down – 50 lb
  • Under-hand Grip Lat Pull Downs – 40 lbs
  • Arnold Press – 15 lb dumbbells
  • Wide-grip Drag Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Lateral Raise – 5 lb dumbbells
  • Paloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lbs on the cables

Thursday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 6-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes treadmill walk
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbell
  • Seated Leg Press – 115, 125, 135 (pounds)
  • Hamstring Curls – 50 lbs
  • Glute Bridge – Bodyweight (1 set)
  • Garhammer Raise (1 set)

Week 9

Tuesday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Incline Press – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Bent-Over Row – 45 lb barbell
  • Dips/Press-Down – 50 lb
  • Under-hand Grip Lat Pull Downs – 50 lbs
  • Arnold Press – 20 lb dumbbells 2 sets, 15 lb dumbbells 3rd set
  • Wide-grip Drag Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Lateral Raise – 5 lb dumbbells
  • Paloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lbs on the cables

Thursday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 6-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Wide-Stance Squats – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbell
  • Hip Thrusts – 50 lb barbell
  • Hamstring Curl Machine – 50 lbs
  • Seated Leg Press – 120, 130, 140 (pounds)
  • Stretch

Side Note: My menstrual cycle threw me for a loop so my 3rd workout this week did not happen…..and that’s ok.

Below are some article that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle:

  1. How to Train with Your Menstrual Cycle
  2. The Underground Guide to Planning Your Exercise Around Your Menstruation Cycle
  3. Training & Recovery During Your Menstrual Cycle

Week 10

Wednesday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Friday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes revolving stairs
  • Incline Press – 20 lb dumbbells
  • Bent-Over Row – 50 lb barbell
  • Dips/Press-Down – 50 lb
  • Under-hand Grip Lat Pull Downs – 60 lbs
  • Arnold Press – 15 lb dumbbells 2 sets, 15 lb dumbbells 3rd set
  • Wide-grip Drag Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Lateral Raise – 5 lb dumbbells
  • Paloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lbs on the cables

Discipline

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

Planning Our Summer Vacation 2018 – South Lake Tahoe (Part 1 of 5)

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I am a planner by nature so planning vacations comes pretty natural to me. Some folks are not planners and have to work harder at it or they do not do it at all. I’m a bit biased towards planning and being prepared. Flying by the seat of my pants is not my style and tends to produce anxiety in me.

I decided to share my travel planning tips and suggestions with you, in hopes to make your next trip smooth and anxiety free.

Our last and first vacation was in the summer 2014 for our honeymoon. We went to Park City, UT. It was a great town; I highly recommend it. We decided early in the calendar year that we were going to make a vacation happen for us this year.

Step 1: Determine where you want to go

We want to stay in the states with easy and fast travel, to maximize our time away on the vacation part not the traveling part.

  • We live in south-east Texas so escaping to some place cooler during the summer is ideal for us.
  • We tend to travel during and around the 4th of July holiday week because I already get a day off work, my boss goes on vacation at this time too, it is close to my husband’s birthday, it’s not far from our wedding anniversary, and it is a good time to get out of the Texas heat.
  • We lean towards going to the mountains for vacation for all the aforementioned reasons.

When figuring out where to go, I make a list of activities I’d like to do or see. For this trip the draw is variety….which, as you know, is the spice of life!

  • Good Food – I don’t think I need to explain this one…..cause GOOD FOOD!
  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries – Local brews, wines, and spirits are a fun way to meet people and experience the local culture.
  • Water Activities – Fishing (husband), Kayaking (me), Boating, Jet Skis, Parasailing, Swimming, Floating
  • Mountain Activities – Nearby hiking trails and natural wonders to experience.
  • Nice Spas – Relaxation

Initially we were looking to go to Washington state or Oregon and explore the beautiful mountains up there. After GoogleMapping (I don’t think this is a real word/verb), I realized that we’d fly into one of the major airports in the area and the have to drive 4-6 hours away to get to the beautiful mountains that were interested in seeing. Once we’d get there it is pretty desolate with not a ton of activities nor people around. I personally didn’t want to drive 4-6 hours somewhere…..seems like a bit of a waste of time. One day I will do that trip, but it didn’t sound very appealing to me for this year.

I then looked around the Yellow Stone area and Wyoming….same sorta thing, but a whole lot more expensive! So, that was a no (for now).

I thought about Colorado, but I spent many summers in Colorado growing up and really wanted to go somewhere I’ve not been before as an adult.

As I was drifting around the map I landed on Lake Tahoe. “YES!”, I thought….it has all the things we are looking for in a summer vacation location.

South Lake Tahoe GM

Step 2: Determine if you can afford to go there

This is where I’m really not the best. I’m not a travel bargain shopper. I’m sure this is my misfortune. I think that if I were trying to go to Europe, Hawaii, or Alaska or somewhere far, I’d be more apt to find deals, even at the expense of my convenience. Since I’m traveling close and I can cater to my convenience.

Keep in mind that things typically are more expensive when it is a holiday week.

Step 2.5: Settle on what days you will be traveling/stay for

The flights and lodging are typically the most costly part of any vacation.

United Airlines has a hub in the Houston, TX area and I determined that we could get a direct flight into Reno, NV. There is only 1 direct flight per day in to RNO from IAH and only 1 direct flight per day from RNO to IAH. Soooo that didn’t leave very much wiggle room; we’d need to book the flights right away to ensure that we can get back and forth on the days we want.

I checked our credit card points to see how much we could apply towards our flights. It wasn’t a lot this time because I kept using my points on Amazon for my dog, but every little bit helps. My Mom also hooked me up for my birthday….chipping in towards the costs of our flights (thanks Mom!).

I then started looking on VRBO.com and AirBNB for places to stay. I originally was looking at North Lake Tahoe, it was not super expensive, really close to Reno, BUT it was far from the mountains. Then I started checking South Lake Tahoe, which apparently is “the place to be”. I found a condo for rent that was within a reasonable price range per night.

Next was checking the rental car prices. Thankfully, I get a corporate discount through my company and it is going to be around $300 for 8 days.

The financial part was looking doable…..sooooo let’s do this!

Step 3: Picking & Securing Lodging

Do not drive yourself nuts with all of the millions of options. I made a board on both VRBO and AirBNB webpages and saved the most appealing ones to the boards. Once I felt like I had seen most of what was available in the area, I started narrowing them down based on the location and amenities that are important to me.

  • Location – Can I walk to things? How close to the water or mountains am I?
  • Kitchenette – Coffee, Snacks, Perhaps cook breakfast.
  • Laundry Facility Access – For an 8 day trip, this is important.
  • On-Site Pool and or Hot Tub (other/more amenities a plus)
  • Patio or Balcony
  • Size and Luxury

Once you have a list of what is important to you in lodging you can easily and quickly narrow down the options in each board. After I narrowed it down to 2 or 3 options, I provided them to my husband to obtain his preference. He chose the same one that I did, so just like that….bam! We had a place to stay.

I booked the room for the dates I had picked and immediately went online and booked our flights. Then immediately reserved a rental car, which will be a small SUV. All the big things are booked and paid for……..

Now the fun part of planning a trip really begins!

Part 2 on Food and Activities – Coming Soon!

I will re-cap our trip and experiences and I will review our lodging location.

I will do restaurant reviews and post them on my other site called: Restaurant Reviews – ByCandace

Do You Need Motivation?

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Throughout my many readings during the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of articles around the idea of motivation. How to stay motivated. How to get motivated.

Do you think to yourself that you can achieve a specific goal if you could just get motivated? Or just stay motivated?

If so, this post is for you.

I know the feeling all-to-well of not feeling motivated to physically do something; even if it is something that I want to do or want to enjoy the benefits of after said thing is done.

So, what’s the issue? Why is there a struggle to do “it”?

It is not about motivation….not the way that we typically think of motivation or the lack thereof preventing us from achieving something that we want.

No Motivation Yes Dicipline

The Nitty-Gritty

You do not need motivation. You need discipline.

Naturally it isn’t quite a simple as that. Discipline isn’t easy.

Find your Why

If you want something bad enough you will prioritize your life and choices to achieve what you want. If you do not make that goal a priority then you do not want it bad enough. Perhaps the timing for achieving that goal is off and going after that goal at a later date may be a better option for you.

Ask yourself why you want the goal. Then ask yourself why 4 more times to each answer you give yourself. If your why answers are strong enough and you are attached to the answers, then the why will drive you / motivate you to make the necessary actions to make the goal a priority in your life.

What You Want Most

Take Action

If your why is strong and your goal is a priority, then you develop an action plan to reach your goal. You will create discipline around those actions because you will be driven by your why. You will go do your action steps regardless of if you feel like doing them or not, because you are intrinsically driven to do it.

discipline-bridge

Reassess

Do not allow your feelings and excuse of “not feeling motivated to” prevent or derail you from the action steps you created. If you are feeling a lack of motivation, I encourage you to determine if your goal is a real priority to you and your life at that time.

If not, fine; readdress the goal at a later time. Make a different goal that is a priority to you now.

If so, then go back through the “find your why” questions and re-prioritize your life in such a way that will allow you stay on-track towards achieving your goal.

Discipline-is

I wrote a post called Pure Gold Nuggets! a few years ago that touches on a similar subject.

 

Fashion: Looking Good & Feeling Good (Part 2)

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It has been since 2015 since I’ve written about fashion (see Part 1 by clicking on this link), but now is a good time to bring it up again.

I take walks around my office campus a couple of times a day, as part of my daily movement commitment to myself. On these walks I see people, different types of people (gender, race, cultural background, etc.) with all different body types.

What I notice is that a lot of people are, in my opinion, not dressing correctly for their body type to look the best their body can look, regardless of height, weight or body-fat levels.

Here are some of my thoughts and guidelines to consider when shopping for clothes and getting dressed.

#1 – Not everyone is built to look their best in low-rise pants.

I actually want to say that most people are not built to look their best in low-rise pants. The fashion powers-that-be made a mistake in popularizing this trend to main-stream shoppers.

This trend often will make people’s (they have low-rise pants for men! WHAT?!?!) proportions between the legs and torso look out-of-whak. The same goes for high-waist pants; they aren’t for everyone….but generally a better option than low-rise.

My Suggestion: Buy and wear mid-rise pants. A mid-rise pant will hit just under or at the bellybutton. Mid-rise pants tend to be most flattering on the majority of body shapes. I personally think they are the most comfortable rise option.

#2 – Ill-fitting shirts.

I see men and women alike wearing shirts that are too small. They stretch, crease, and wrinkle across the chest and back looking uncomfortable and unattractive. Buttons pulled apart etc.  Let’s also touch on shirts that are too short (not on purpose, not talking crop-tops here) that allow your goodies to show. Typically the shirt is old and has shrunk over time through the washing and drying process.

My Suggestion: Please throw these shirts out and get new ones. They don’t have to be expensive, go to Wal-Mart or Target. Then make sure you don’t wash them in super-hot water and either hang them up to dry or dry them on low heat.

#3 – Length of pants.

Folks I’m a short girl. I’m 5’2”. A ‘Regular’ length is too long for me. I either buy ‘Short’ lengths or I take my pants to get hemmed. Almost nothing will make you look sloppier than pants that are too long.

My Suggestion: Buy the correct length or hem pants to the correct length for your legs.

Two Lessons:

  • Just because a style is sold in stores doesn’t mean you should buy it.
  • Just because something is a trend doesn’t mean you should wear it.

Generally speaking, if you are squeezed into clothing with body parts squishing out, you aren’t dressing in such a way that makes your body look its best. It even looks uncomfortable, not to mention unattractive. To my point in Part 1; wear clothes that fit your body.

For the people reading this that know me personally, know that I’m no fashionista! BUT, regardless of my size I do buy and wear clothes that fit my body well. Garments that make my body at that time look the best it can. Mostly I wear them so that I’m comfortable and can move around without my parts popping out.

 

Recipe: Main Dish – Cajun Shrimp, Sausage & Rice

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This recipe is one of my go-to weeknight meals, because it is so fast and easy. The best part of this recipe is you can use whatever type of sausage floats your boat and any type of rice you like. I’ve linked to the ones that I like to use for this recipe.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Peel the shrimp, place in a bowl and set aside.

Cook the rice, in the chicken broth, according to the package instructions. This allows for more flavor in the rice and more nutrients for your body.

Side Note: If you decide to use a quick-cook form of rice or pre-cooked rice, this recipe takes even less time and you’ll need to adjust the time when you cook or warm-up the rice accordingly. You can also use cauliflower “rice” as a low-carb substitute and way to get in more veggies.

While the rice is cooking, slice the sausage and brown in a large skillet. If you want to add spice to the sausage you can sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Once browned place in a bowl and set aside.

Once the rice is about 10 minutes from being complete, in the large skillet you cooked the sausage in (leave the sausage remanence), add butter, squeeze the juice of 1.5 limes, pour in the tequila, and add in the shrimps. Sprinkle liberally with Cajun seasoning. Cook for 4 minutes, flip over, sprinkle liberally with Cajun seasoning, and cook for 4 more minutes.

Rice should be done by the time the shrimp complete. Pick either the rice pot or the skillet to mix everything together in. Adding the rice and shrimp with sauce together, Rotel, lime juice, lime zest, sausage, and stir together.

Done. Eat. Enjoy.

Thrive Market

I highly encourage you to Sign-up for Thrive Market.

Thrive Market allows you to shop for all the healthy food items you know and love at discount prices, because they cut out the middle man, and it gets delivered to your door so it also saves you time. Not only to you save money, but for every paid membership Thrive Gives a membership to a family in need.

The second best part, aside from saving money, is that all your favorite pantry items will be delivered to your door and you don’t have to go to stores which also saves you time and energy. And who can’t use more money, time, energy?!?!

Recipe: Protein Pancake

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I realized recently that I was not getting enough protein in each day to maintain and or grow muscle. Since I’m moving more these days (walking 10k steps and lifting weights 2-3 days per week) it is important that I put forth more effort to make sure I’m getting more protein into my diet. See my post(s) about my weight lifting pursuits here.

So to that end, I decided to bust-out an oldie but a goodie protein pancake recipe that I used many years ago. It is easy, fast, and delicious!

Side Note: The consistency isn’t that of a traditional whole egg and flower based pancake. It is spongier and less like a cake.

Tools:

  • Blender
  • 6” Skillet w/ Lid
  • Spatula

Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg Whites or ¾ Cup Liquid Egg Whites
  • 3 Tbs Low Sugar Preserves
  • 1/3 Cup Oats
  • ½ to 1 pkg of Organic Stevia
  • 1 tsp Grass-fed Butter or Avocado Oil

Directions:

Place the first four ingredients in the blender and blend into a liquid. Heat the pan on a medium-low heat and add cooking fat of choice to prevent sticking. Once the pan is warm, pour the blender content into the pan and cover with a lid. Cook on the medium-low heat for approximately 4 to 5 minutes, until the center is no longer runny. Then flip it over and cook for another 2 minutes, it will puff-up.

Either eat it immediately or do what I do and make it the night before, place on paper towels in front of a little fan to cool, then place in a zip-lock bag and put in the refrigerator for the next day’s breakfast or afternoon snack.

No butter nor syrup is needed. Tastes good cold or warm. I like to warm it a little (not cook it more, just knock the chill off) and eat it with ¼ cup of cottage cheese on top.

The pancake provides about 46 grams of protein and the cottage cheese adds an additional 6.5 grams = 52.5 grams of protein.

In addition to adding the Protein Pancake to my diet, I’m including Primal Kitchen’s Primal Fuel, Vanilla Coconut whey protein isolate powder, which I purchase through Thrive Market at a $6.97 discount + free shipping with purchases over $49.

Good Enough is Good Enough

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As a recovering protectionist, it is actually is shocking to me that I’m able to even say these words…..

Do you find yourself overwhelmed, anxious, stressed-out, defeated or beating yourself up about the ideal, idea of or the desire for perfection? Getting things just so, making things “perfect”?

If so, I have two words for you…..

Stop That

The other day Robb Wolf posted on Instagram the following: “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough…”

Robb Wolf - Good Enough

Today, I listened to the latest Well-fed Women podcast #162 where they had a short discussion about “good enough” and not killing yourself striving for perfection. This discussion was held somewhere between 7:00 – 13:00 minute marks. It is worth a listen.

They got me thinking…..

So many of us are harming ourselves and our relationships by trying to reach an ideal of perfection that is not going to get us any further or any happier than good enough will.

While many people could stand to step-up in many ways in their life to peruse things with more dedication and discipline to achieve goals; doing those things with the idea of reaching perfection is in vain. 9 times out of 10 good enough will get you where you want to be.

We are what we do and think the majority of the time. In my mind, 90% effort is good enough. 90% consistency will get you to your goal. There is no such thing as perfect, so take that word out of your vocabulary. Be good enough.

myth

Having Standards, Having Goals

I do think it is important to have goals. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there. I think it is also important to have high standards. Don’t have-azz things. Do everything to the best of your ability; do it good enough. If you are lacking in ability, learn more, then do it.

There is a false since of failure associated with the idea of perfection and having high standards and goals. Thomas Edison said “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That tells me that 1) Edison made a whole bunch of attempts 2) He didn’t quit 3) He didn’t waste time beating himself; he kept moving 4) Failure doesn’t actually exist or we wouldn’t have light bulbs right now.

Progress

So now there is two more words to remove from your vocabulary and thoughts…..”perfect” and “failure”.

Be and Do GOOD ENOUGH

Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

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I made a commitment to myself that I would re-start lifting weights regularly, with consistency. See “Questioner/Upholder” from The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. It has been a hot minute since I’ve done this (for many reasons). My husband agreed to cook dinner on the evenings that I go to the gym, so we still have a home-cooked healthy meal and I don’t have to worry about it.

Consistancy

Lifting Weights is Important to Me.

It makes me feel good, strong, accomplished, and capable. The health benefits of resistance training are many, but here are some of the important ones to me.

  • Maintain and Gain Muscle Mass: eats more calories at rest = higher metabolism (less body fat), sucks up glucose improving blood sugar regulation, decreases insulin resistance, you can eat more carbohydrates, (in my opinion) muscle physically looks better on the body (even if covered with fat)
  • Increased Bone Density
  • Reduced Risk of Injury
  • Help to maintain hormonal balance as we age. (HGH, testosterone, fight against estrogen dominance)

Ability to move through life without regular assistance; carry groceries, lifting bags of soil, put heavy things on shelves and get them back down again, pick things up off the floor, open jars, move on to the floor and back up to my feet again, get up and down off the toilet and the list goes on and on. There are daily life activities that many younger people take for granted that as we age and lose muscle mass become difficult. The way out of becoming frail and incapable is lifting weights/resistance training.

Let’s Get a Few Things Straight!

  • Women do not have enough testosterone to “get bulky” or “look like a body builder”. The women who carry “big” muscles are those whose job it is to look like that. They have to work really really hard to gain that much muscle and they take supplements to help with that.
  • Lifting tiny weights are not going to have the same positive effects (listed above) on your body as lifting a weight that is challenging (aka: heavy – which is relative to each person and changes along the journey).
  • YOU CANNOT OUT TRAIN A POOR DIET! (No, I’m not yelling; I’m emphasizing)
  • No one in the gym is looking at you. They are looking at themselves.

Cardio isn’t going to achieve what you want or think it will. Cardio will make you look like a smaller flappy version of what you look like right now. If you “lift weights faster” (super-sets and circuits) you don’t need to do traditional cardio.

Lift Weights Faster

Things To-Do

  • Make sure you get plenty of recovery time between workouts. I think 1 to 2 days in between depending on how sore you are. On recovery days, get blood flow through those muscles. I like to walk, stretch, take hot Epsom Salt baths, and use ARES Sports Rub.
  • Make sure you are prioritizing sleep. Sleep is the #1 thing your body needs to heal and recover. If you didn’t get a good night sleep, do not go to the gym, go home and sleep.
  • Make sure you are eating nourishing foods and supplementing well. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is awesome recovery food (I’m an affiliate). (You cannot out supplement a pour diet.)
  • Make sure you are walking every day for at least 30 minutes

NOW TO THE LIFTING

The whole purpose of my post was to tell you what I’m doing! Soooo here goes.

I finally got around to making a commitment to myself that I was going to get back to lifting regularly at the end of January this year. Since it had been a while and I’m notorious for jumping back in full force and being so sore I can’t sit on the toilet or get up from it for that matter, I made a responsible plan to work my way back into lifting without over doing it.

The current plan is 2 days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday is lower body and Thursday is upper body. I’m doing this for 4 to 6 weeks before adding a third workout day.

Side Note: I like to super-set my workouts so that I can get them done faster and it keeps my heart rate up throughout the whole workout to obtain the cardio benefits. A super-set is when you move from exercise to another exercise without a break in between. When starting out I usually can only do one set of each before taking a break. Once my ability increases, I’ll be able to multiple sets of each before taking a break. I’ve colored the text below to show you my groupings for super-sets.

Week 1

Tuesday – Lower Body (2 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Thursday – Upper Body (2 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

Week 2

Tuesday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: Revolving Stairs – 10 mins.
  • Reverse Lunge – bodyweight
  • Wide-Stance Squat – 40 lb dumbbell
  • Leg Press – 90, 100, 110 (pounds)
  • Step-ups – bodyweight
  • Glute Bridge – bodyweight
  • Plank – 15 secs.
  • Stretch

Thursday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps)

  • Warm-up: Assisted Pull-up Machine
  • Arnold Press – 15 lb dumbbells (dropped to 10 lbs on third set)
  • Y-Press – 10 lb dumbbells (dropped to 5 lbs on third set)
  • Rear Delt Fly – 5 lb dumbbells
  • High Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 15 lb dumbbells
  • Seated Cable Rows – 40 lbs
  • Stretch

Week 3

Tuesday – Lower Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps – Increase Weight)

  • Warm-up: Revolving Stairs – 10 mins.
  • Reverse Lunge – bodyweight
  • Wide-Stance Squat – 45 lb dumbbell
  • Leg Press – 100, 110, 120 (pounds)
  • Step-ups – bodyweight
  • Hip Thrust – 30 lb barbell
  • Plank – 15 secs.
  • Stretch

Friday – Upper Body (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps – Add Movements)

I slept poorly on Wednesday night and moved my lifting day to Friday. Which is today!

  • Warm-up: Assisted Pull-up Machine
  • Arnold Press – 15 lb dumbbells
  • Y-Press – 10 lb dumbbells (drop to 5 lbs when needed)
  • Front Raise – 10 lb dumbbells (drop to 5 lbs when needed) – (Video @ 1:00 min)
  • Rear Delt Fly – 5 lb dumbbells
  • High Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 15 lb dumbbells
  • Bent Over Row – 30 lb barbell
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down – 40 lbs
  • Stretch

I feel better now

Week 4 (to maybe 6)

It isn’t here yet, but it will look very similar to the above with increased weight, reps or sets to keep it challenging and progressing as well as preventing my body from adapting (plateauing).

After this 4th week or maybe after 6 weeks, I’ll continue include different movements into my routine for another 4 to 6 weeks, while still progressing in weight. I’m going to attempt to add in a third day that will focus on 10 – 15 minutes of HIIT training (I prefer sprints) followed by stretching. So, it will be a super short workout, but that is all that is needed (more is not better), because HIIT is super effective for fat loss while maintain muscle mass.

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

 

 

Kale vs. Cow

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I listed to a podcast this week by Balanced Bites called Kale vs. Cow with Diana Rodgers. This is a great podcast, please give it an attentive listen all the way to the end.

Podcast 331

  1. Introducing our guest, Diana Rodgers [1:47]
  2. Kale versus Cow documentary [3:00]
  3. Emotion and humanity [10:16]
  4. Biodiversity and greenhouse gases [18:24]
  5. Ethics and intent [25:52]
  6. Food as a religion [34:49]
  7. About the documentary [42:02]

Diana Rodgers has devoted herself to all things that promote sustainability. There have been many one-sided documentaries that have come out as of late that are pure fallacy and biased statistics. Here are my thoughts on one of them in particular. She has taken it upon herself to create a documentary that is based on science and the truth of what animals do for the health of our soil and planet. Here is a link to her Kale vs. Cow the Case for Better Meat page. There are lots of fantastic resource links at the bottom of this page, I highly suggest you check out.

I am so excited about this documentary, as I trust her and know that she will provide accurate and truthful information. As her slogan goes: “It’s Not the COW, It’s the HOW”. Meaning that it isn’t the growing and eating of cows that is the problem it is HOW of the raising of the cows that is the problem.

Diana just put out a new post called: Make America GRAZE Again! It is full of fantastic information and videos.

Diana is on a roll! Her new post called: It’s Not the Cow, it’s the How: New Study Shows Grass-fed Beef Can be a Carbon Sink talks about a new study proving that by using better grazing techniques, farmers are able to “produce healthier cattle and regenerate soils”.

Kale vs. Cow

More and more people I know are choosing to eat Vegan. I am greatly concerned about their long-term health, because of this choice. People naively think that eating Vegan is “saving the animals” and is healthy for their body long-term.

Keep in mind that I do believe that eating lots of organic vegetables and fruit, nuts, seed etc. is very healthy for your body. Here are more of my thoughts on this subject.

I also believe that supporting the operations of factory farming practices is not a great choice. You do not have to become Vegan to not support these destructive practices. You just need to source better quality meat. Here is one of many posts that lists Quality Food Sources. The best part is that our bodies don’t need as much high-quality meat to be healthy, which is also more economical. So, you will be eating less meat and still getting the health benefits from it as well as supporting a soil and planet restoration way of growing animals and plants.

What most vegetarians and vegans fail to realize or admit is that not only are they still killing thousands animals and their habitats through the mass factory farming practices of growing vegetables and fruits, but also poising the planet, animals, and ourselves through the herbicides, pesticides, and transportation of these vegetables and fruits. The monocrop (definition: Monocropping is the agricultural practice of growing a single crop year after year on the same land, in the absence of rotation through other crops or growing multiple crops on the same land (polyculture). Corn, soybeans, and wheat are three common crops often grown using monocropping techniques.) growing practice is also a huge issue for the same reasons provided above, plus they are typically GMO products and hugely subsidized by the government.

mono-cropping-vs-biodynamic.001

The majority of vegans and vegetarians, I know, also eat a ton of processed foods, made with products from the monocrops. Eating vegetables and fruits out of season that are transported hundreds if not thousands of miles. Neither of these things are healthy for the planet nor to animals and I think not healthy for our bodies either.

I love Diana Rodger’s book The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook; perhaps this book will help my vegetarian and vegan friends learn to grow their own vegetables and fruits and maybe animals too.

Homegrown Paleo Cookbook

If you are like me and are concerned about animals and the health of our planet, it is up to you to be fully informed to use your discernment and not believe everything that you are fed (pun intended).

Let’s go to the source, quite literally, the Bible (thus God) says that He gave us every moving things that lives to be food, just as He gave us green plants. God’s intention was for us to grow and eat animals. He wouldn’t have told us to do this, if it were unhealthy for us or the plant. While I found some of what is in this book to be a bit extreme, I love the history and ideas behind it; check out The Maker’s Diet.

The Maker's Diet

I wish all my people well regardless of how you choose to eat. I pray each of you to be healthy and have life-long vitality.