Health Bites #1

Image

Health Bites is a new meme I’m gonna do about sharing tips for a healthy life.

Sticking to your healthy resolutions can be hard. Especially if you go about them the wrong way. So for an example you want to lead a healthier life in general and therefore you want to shed some pounds or drink more water or take the stairs or whatever…

The most important way you need to think about achieving your goals is NOT to think about it as until this and that date I need to be fit or lean. Try to achieve your goals setting tiny goals that help you to achieve your overall goal instead. For example you noticed you should drink more water in order to make your skin glow, go about it with one glass of water upon waking every day for as long as you need to make it a habit. Once it becomes a daily routine set a new small goal like walking the stairs in your apartment building instead of taking the elevator. Do that as long as it becomes a habit and you don’t need to remind you about doing it.

You’ll see, in order to stick to your resolutions about leading a healthier life, learn how to incorporate small healthy changes in your daily life and you’ll get to your goals. It might take longer but at least you stick to it. I know that you can do it.

Look out for more health bites next Monday. I’ll try and share healthy tips from a beginner’s point of view on a regular basis with you.

What do you do to stay focused on a goal or not drop your resolutions right after you made them? Share away!

Is this scoop of ice cream gonna make a difference?

Summer is finally here. With it comes the time I am usually grabbing some delicious Italian ice cream while being out with friends. Only this year I don’t know how to balance my goals with eating ice cream and having fun with my friends. I am determined to keep eating clean. And that means no white sugar which ice cream surely has. So what am I supposed to do. Give in because eating 80% clean is still eating clean and thus deprive me of my goals. Because surely it must then take longer or more exercising to get what I want.

Actually I don’t think that it is really about eating the ice cream or not. It is more about what my best friend said to me recently. It was something like this: “With your new diet you won’t be as much fun as all the other summers, seeing you won’t eat ice cream anymore.” And you know, that somehow hurt. Obviously reaching for my goals made me suddenly not fun. And it hurts because of inconsiderate opinions like this I question what I do, although I was determined that what I do is right for my body, not so long ago. Other than that I see a lack of willingness to help me reach my goals by just being supportive of what I do. And that makes me kind of sad.

I am positive that you know that this is not only about ice cream but all the other delicious sins I want to bypass, be it cake or chocolate or whatever. It’s hard for me that my friends think I will deny me any pleasures. Because in the end working out, being fit, healthy and in the future lean is a pleasure for me.

I am glad that at least my BF gets what this all means to me. He is very supportive and I am thankful for that.

How do you deal with things like this? Do your friends bring cake when visiting or offer you chocolate when hanging out?

Bodypop! HIIT really does it for me.

I’m impressed. I follow Cassey‘s April Calendar and stumbled across her Bodypop! HIIT Bodyweight workout (it’s no. 38). The first time I did it four times as Cassey recommends. And I was so done afterwards. But in a good way. She promises that one would see results, when doing this extensive cardio training as often as one is able to do. Well and I did. Before I was kind of stuck at a certain weight. And suddenly I recognized a drop agian. YEAH! Now I try to incorporate it in my exercise at least three times a week. And you know what? It still does the same as the first time around. That’s CRAZY!

The most important thing I learned from this is that one can not lose weight without cardiovascular training.  So the following is important for everybody who seeks the same like me, a lean and healthy self.

If you are a little chubby and you do strength training only you’ll not see the result. You’ll probably feel the result as you are getting stronger. If that is all you want? Fine. But still if you are a little overweight like me your beautiful muscles will stay hidden under the fat. So what can you do? Do something that gets your heart pumping. If you like jogging or cycling do it. Or you could try (like me) some HIIT. That means High Intense Interval Training. Cassey’s video I linked to above is one example of how HIIT can look like. Mainly it is one move that gets your heart rate up for 50 seconds, 10 seconds break, then another move that gets your heart pumping for 50 seconds, 10 seconds break … You get the hang of it. So in the video you see a  set of 10 such moves. If you are finished with them the important thing is to do it again right away, so your heart gets training over 40 minutes. What I like most about Cassey’s videos is Cassey herself. She never fails to motivate me. And other than that the best thing for me is that I can do the exercise at home. I like the outdoors but jogging is not for me. Well not yet. Maybe if the weather gets better and/or I get even fitter.

Anyways if you wonder that the pounds won’t come down although you eat clean and do your strength training, the reason possibly is that you are missing your cardio. So I recommend you to incorporate cardio into your exercises. You’ll see the results. Like me.

Stay tuned for another weigh-in where I will share some before and after shots and see if I reached my goals for April.

Eat Clean Recipe: Treat: Chocolate Chip Muffins

Weekends are perfect to make a little time to bake and treat yourself. In the style of clean eating I tried this recipe from The Gracious Pantry. Chocolate Chip Muffins are a favorite eat of mine and I am happy to have found a healthy way to make them. I also used the little silicon pans the first time. I got them for my birthday from my mom. So the muffins look as great as they taste.

Image

I added the suggested peanut butter to half the muffins I made. And instead of any kind of milk (cow, almond, soy) I used half a cup unsweetened apple sauce. It was really easy to make them, too. I’m glad that the people I shared them with couldn’t tell a difference to “normal” muffins. I’ll definitely will make those again some time.

Also I will try out other recipes to treat myself and the ones I love. Healthy style. Watch out for those.

Eat Clean Recipe: Avocado & Egg Salad

If you are wondering what you should do with the remaining colored Easter eggs, why not make an egg salad with avocado. I came up with this recipe using only ingredients that I had at home and of course because I had left over eggs in my fridge.

Image

You’ll need (serves 4):

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs (using egg whites only from 2 eggs), peeled
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
  • the juice of 1/2 a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Chop the eggs and the avocado into little chunks and add into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix it all up with a fork.

Tip: You can add some chopped green or other onion. As I don’t like raw onions, I didn’t use them.

I like my egg salad with a sandwich using a whole-wheat sunflower seed bread. You can also dip rinsed and cut vegetables.

What are you doing with your remaining Easter eggs?

Goals for April.

ImageMarch is gone. For me it was all about a makeover of myself. I changed the way I eat by adopting to clean eating. And I started to exercise regularly which I didn’t do at all before. My exercises include to take all the stairs that cross my path in daily life and to do Pop Pilates powered by Cassey Ho at blogilates. I improved myself and already was able to see some results.

In April I want to set more detailed goals than just saying I wanted to live a healthier life. Don’t get me wrong, this has been successful. But now that the stone is rolling I feel like I could use more of a plan. I thought about what I want to achieve this month and feel like I should go with five explicit goals for April.

1. I want to keep the good habits I picked up in March. That means I will keep clean eating, exercising regularly and walking all stairs I come across.

2. I want to follow Cassey’s April Calendar closely. Cassey dares the Popsters to do all of her workouts available on you-tube. I say closely follow as not every single video is available in my country because of the Gema, which is Germany’s state-authorized performing rights organization. I can’t watch every video because of some music that is played in the videos.

3. I want to lose at least 3 more kilograms this month. There is a wedding at the 31st of May me and my BF are going to attend. I want to look gorgeous, as healthy and as lean as possible.

4. I want to keep blogging. I’m going to write about exercising, healthy recipes and other tidbits I think worth sharing. I also want to work on the blog, making navigation easier and giving it a still more personal touch.

5. I want to get involved in the fitness community out there. I want to read your blogs and comment on them. I want to get to know you and why you are all into healthy living and fitness.

So my question for you is: Have you committed to some specific goals in April? And what are you doing to actually achieve them?