Health Benefits of the Steam Room

Hey Guys!

Lately I have been finding myself hitting the Steam Room after a couple workouts a week. I have been loving my few minutes of alone time in the steam room after a workout and it got me thinking “What are the actual health benefits of the steam room”

Steam Room

I mean there HAS to be some scientific evidence behind the steam room as they are in almost every gym locker room I’ve ever been to and people seem to swarm to them. But beyond sinus congestion relief and it “feeling good” I wasn’t sure if there was anything behind the sweat box I often find myself retreating to. So I did a quick Google Search, super scientific all those evidence-based practice courses I took in PT school are paying off, and found a good amount of articles stating health benefits of the steam room & sauna. And since I wasn’t really sure about them, and wanted to save you the Google search, I thought I would share them here for all of us!

  1. Relieves Tension and Stress
    Sitting in the steam room for a few minutes can help relax tense muscles by soothing your nerve endings and warming up your muscles, according to an article on Health Fitness Revolution. This can help to alleviate joint pain and stiffness along with releasing endorphins.
  2. Clears Skin & Sinuses
    The heat causes your body to literally warm up which opens pores and helps clear out any impurities. Additionally this heat moistens and thins the mucous membranes which helps to reduce congestion related to sinus infections.
  3. Removes Toxins
    According to a Bodybuilding.com article, the steam room will put your body in a “Hypertermia” state which is essentially tricking your body into feeling as though it was ill. This has been proven successful in killing off invading organisms as they are not able to live & thrive in higher than normal temperatures.
  4. Aids in Weight loss
    The hypertermic element of the steam room has been proven successful in removing fat stored toxins from the body. Additionally the steam makes you sweat and remove some water weight.
  5. Treats & Promotes Cardiovascular Health
    The heat stress from the steam room can help to remove calcium deposits in blood vessels and break down scar tissue from the vessel walls which contribute to heart disease. You are also dilating your blood vessels and capillaries resulting in improved ability for oxygen transport throughout the body.
  6. Relaxation
    THE BEST PART! It feels good. Being able to relax in a warm, soothing environment helps promote healthy muscle recovery and heat up to repair the muscles that you just worked.

Bodybuilding.com also had a quick list of different health benefits that I thought was a really nice reference.

Most steam rooms have a recommendation of 20minutes spent in the room at a time. I don’t usually last more than 15 because I get bored and fidgety, and there isn’t a clock so I never really know how long I’ve been sweating. But if you are someone who CAN relax in one for a long period of time I would recommend watching the clock and not going much beyond 20minutes. This is because when your body temperature rises above 102-103 degrees you are at risk of causing protein denaturing (essentially decomposition) not only in your muscles but more importantly in your brain. Similar to when you have a really high fever or are in a hot tub for too long. SO just my words of caution & disclaimer.

So there you have it, the super scientific health benefits of using the steam room.

Enjoy & sweat it out!

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Resources for this blog post can be found here & here.

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What We're Eating – Macro Meal Plan

Hey Guys!

I haven’t done a “What I Ate Wednesday” or food prep post in a longggg time but have no fear, we continue to meal prep each week so we have healthy delicious meals each week. Lately Brent & I have been trying to clean up our meals and get back focused on macros to help cut some of that winter fluff that has accumulated around our midsections.

We dropped our calories and are focusing on a solid macro split so I thought I would share what we are eating this week with y’all today.

Breakfast: 398calories; 6g C; 16g F; 52g P

1 scoop of Protein + 2tbsp Ground Flax
2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites, cooked in 1tsp coconut oil

Macro Meal Plan

Eggs are almost always my go to morning meal & I usually just eat them scrambled up with some hot sauce. Some days I get “fancy” and will fry them but that undoubtably leaves me wanting some bread to soak the yolk up with. Adding flax to my morning protein gives it a little more bang for the buck and a nice nutty flavor. PLUS it keeps all my systems going, if you know what I mean!
Some mornings I eat breakfast at 6:30am and other mornings I eat closer to 9 or 9:30. It depends on if I am going to the gym first thing (then its later) or if I start work at 7 (than its earlier). The rest of my meals will be shifted based on what time of day I eat breakfast, but generally will try to eat every few hours.

Morning Snack: 202calories; 25g C; 2g F; 21g P

2/3 cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1 White Grapefruit

Macro Meal Plan

A whole grapefruit and 2/3 of a cup of cottage cheese makes a super filling nutritious snack. I ALWAYS get hungry around 10-11:00am each day, especially when I start work at 7am and eat my breakfast at 6:30. Having a snack that has some protein, something a little salty and something a bit sweet really makes that time of day better and I don’t go into lunch starving.

Lunch: 245calories; 30g C; 3g F; 33g P

Stir Fry Bowl
5oz Crockpot Chicken (red pepper flakes, fish sauce, rice vinegar & Sriracha)
7oz Roasted Broccoli
1/2c Roasted Mushrooms
1/4c cooked Quinoa

Macro Meal Plan

I love these bowls, they are loaded with flavor and PACKED with veggies. I roasted the broccoli and mushrooms at 375deg until lightly browned and fragrant, then combined the quinoa & lightly wilted spinach with the chicken made in the crockpot. You could use any seasonings for the chicken, I went pretty basic to not add many “empty macros” to a marinade but anything will work! These are super satisfying and make a fantastic filling lunch.

Afternoon Snack: 350calories; 3g C; 13g F; 56g P

1 scoop of Protein
Three 2oz Turkey Meatballs

Macro Meal Plan

These little meatballs are FULL of flavor! I cooked them with lightly caramelized onion, garlic, paprika, chipotle red pepper flakes. I measured out 2oz portions prior to baking them at 375deg for 40-50minutes until they were golden brown. You could easily put any flavors and spices in these to make them your own.
Some days I eat these right before going to the gym but most days I snack on these on my way home from the gym a few hours before dinner!

Dinner: 388calories; 43g C; 10g F; 27g P

5oz Broiled Salmon
120g Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Power Green Salad

((sorry about the terrible lighting guys... it tastes way better than this photo makes it look))

((sorry about the terrible lighting guys… it tastes way better than this photo makes it look))

We are cooking our salmon each night to keep it fresh and will likely use different seasoning to make it feel like a new meal. I love salmon and have been missing it in my diet so am excited about getting to incorporate it this week. We found salmon at Costco for a great price too! For the salad its really just a simple base of power greens, red bell pepper, roma tomato & caramelized onion and I’ve been topping it with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. Simple & delicious!

Macro Break Down:

So heres our macro break down… We are eating just about 1600 calories which ends up being about 107g Carbs, 44g Fat & 188g Protein and almost a 30-20-50 split. Actually is 27-25-50, a little high in fat, 8g, and low in carbs 13g but good enough for us! This is a very protein heavy meal plan which was our intent for this week, we will likely tweak and change our macros again in the next week or two based on our goals/progress.

I hope this is helpful for any of you who are looking to start tracking macros and honing in on the nutrients. I am by FAR not perfect at calculating or creating perfectly balanced meals but I am working on finding balance and freedom with the use of macro management.

Happy Eating,

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Marc Megna Phase 2

Hey Guys!

I am on my 4th week of the Marc Megna Amp Trainer and have been loving it!! If you read my last update during the 1st Phase you’ll know that I was in a total fitness rut and need a boost and this 8 week trainer was a welcome change.

During the phase 1 I did 3 days of total body lifting days and 2 steady state cardio days & it was a fun change to my previous 5 day split lifting schedule. Phase 2 is a little different in its set up, I’m still doing 3 days of total body lifting but now its 3 days of different cardio breakdowns.

Marc Megna Phase 2

The total body days this round went from 4 sets of 5reps (for most lifts) to 4 sets of 8 reps. So my focus switched from hitting max weight & sometimes failing during my 4th set. To really focusing on form during each lift and making sure that I could hit 8 reps (sometimes 6, dang bench press) with excellent form at a challenging weight.

Marc Megna Phase 2 Marc Megna Phase 2

I also love that there is 1 primarily bodyweight workout during the total body days. I sometimes have  difficulty balancing lifting and bodyweight exercises but know the importance of bodyweight exercises because they are super important for maintaining healthy joint alignment and stabilization. I also SERIOUSLY felt those single leg deadlifts, one of my favorite exercises that I do not do enough!

Marc Megna Phase 2

The cardio days are a welcome change to my routine as well. I loved phase 1 steady state cardio and getting to do some personal development reading when on the elliptical. Phase 2 brought a change to the cardio routine and I kind of love it! Lets be real…. I am terrible at motivating myself to do cardio, especially indoor cardio, so having a program “force” me to do the cardio is absolutely wonderful!

Marc Megna Phase 2

During this phase there is 1 day of “Alactic Aerobic Intervals” which is basically 10 seconds of all out work and 50 seconds of recovery/rest for 16 & 18 minutes (depending on the week). I’ve done two of these workouts so far, one on the treadmill & one on the rowing machine. For both of these workouts I upped the work period to 15 seconds and then did an active recovery rather than a straight rest because lets be real, I wouldn’t get back on the treadmill 😉

Marc Megna Phase 2

The other two days of cardio includes a steady state session & then a “Cardiac Power” session. The cardiac power session is a prolonged work/recovery interval session. Doing 2 minutes of hard-but-manageable-work and 4 minutes of active-recovery, 6 times for a 36minute workout. Ive done this once and oh man was it hard! Its pretty sad to say that 2 minutes of hard running is a serious challenge but thats my current reality. I pushed myself through the workout which is EXACTLY why I am doing this program to push myself outside of my comfort zone and previous “gym box”.

I am excited for Phase 3 & 4 because I am truly loving this program and can’t wait to see the results of these 8 weeks.

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5 Core Exercises on your Foam Roll

Use your foam roll for more than rolling out your muscles… These 5 exercises are a great way to engage your CORE & get a whole body workout in! {VIDEO}

5 Core Exercises on Foam Roll

Happy Thursday!

One of the goals I set for 2016 was to post more FITNESS related content for you all! I have been feeling like this blog has gotten away from what my original intentions for it were and has become just a place for me to blabber about my life, which is fine but not ideal. I am going to make it a point to start feeding you all useful and practical fitness posts.

So today I am giving you 5 exercises to do with your foam roll… that ARENT rolling out your muscles!

I love using a foam roller & it is one of the most recommended fitness products that I recommend my patients to purchase, as they are generally not very expensive and a great tool! However your foam roller can be used for WAYYY more than just rolling out those sore muscles and it is a fantastic tool to amp up your body weight workout. PLUS that makes your $20 massage tool become a WORKOUT tool as well, and I am all about getting a bang for your buck! Also most gyms and fitness centers have foam rollers available for general use so if you have a gym membership but not a foam roller at home this works for you too.

This group of exercises focuses on your CORE as the predominant muscle group doing the work. Because of the cylindrical surface of the foam roll you get to really key into your deep core muscles (your Transverse Abdomens, ask my patients its my favorite muscle) and challenge them with a dynamic surface!

1. Plank Holds

The first exercise is a PLANK! Y’all this is a great way to spruce up your boring plank and get some extra activation in. Putting your hands on the foam roller will almost automatically kick in your Transverse Abs and make you stabilize extra hard. This is a DOUBLE whammy exercise because you are stabilizing through your shoulder girdle. Make sure you set your shoulders by externally rotating (try to bend the foam roll and try to rotate your shoulder blade back) which is an excellent way to strengthen those small shoulder girdle muscles important for stabilizing the shoulder during overhead and pressing exercises.

5 Core Exercises On Foam Roll

Recommendations – Perform 4 sets of 30 second holds
Make It Easier – drop to your knees and preform a modified plank on your knees
Make It Harder – perform it single legged, alternate between feet (10 alternations per set) or perform a set on each leg (30second holds)

2. Plank Walks

A foam roll walk is a great way to kick those shoulder stabilizers into high gear and again strengthen them for overhead and pressing tasks. For this exercise you’re going to get into a high plank and then squeezing your core and gluts tight walk one hand out and back then repeating on the second side.

5 Core Exercises On Foam Roll

Adding a theraband kicks these up a notch!

Adding a theraband kicks these up a notch!

Recommendations – Perform 4 sets of 10 walks PER arm
Make It Easier – drop to your knees and preform in a modified plank on your knees
Make It Harder – add a theraband around your wrists to add resistance

{{Freebie}} Another way to amp up your plank is to perform a forearm plank roll out. Starting in a modified plank position (on your knees) and with your elbows on the foam roll, slowly start to flex your shoulders (bringing arm towards your ears) which will lower your abdomen towards the ground. At the point of maximal flexion start to pull your arms back so your elbows are under your shoulders by activating your lats and really focusing on keeping your core tight! It’s easy to let your back sag during this one, so FIGHT it!

these roll outs are LEGIT!!!

these roll outs are LEGIT!!!

3. Dead Bugs

Dead bugs are probably my patients least favorite exercise, they are tricky and look super goofy but are really effective in targeting my FAVORITE muscle and making you work to engage your transverse abs. When doing these on the foam roll you really have to dig deep and kick into your inner balance ninja!

5 Core Exercises On Foam Roll

Using as little upper body support as possible, I used 1 finger of each hand, activate your core and elevate one leg to a 90-90deg position (90deg hip flexion & 90deg knee flexion) maintaining this position bring your other leg up to match before slowly lowering your legs back down one at a time in a controlled manner. Basically you are marching your legs, pausing in table top each time.

Recommendations – Perform 4 sets of 20 marches (up+up+down+down = 1)
Make It Easier – use more upper body support
Make It Harder – try to use 1 or NO upper body support, this is super hard and takes practice. If you can get NO upper body support try to maintain your feet in an elevated table top position without falling over!

4. Bridge Holds

Bridges are another of my favorite exercise, they are great for posterior chain strengthening and engaging your core (obvious trend!). Just like the plank hold, by putting your feet on the foam roll you are required to use more muscle activation and really keep everything tight!

5 Core Exercises On Foam Roll

Make it harder by doing Single Leg Bridges

Make it harder by doing Single Leg Bridges

Recommendations – Perform 2 sets of 10 reps with a 10second hold at the top
Make It Easier – Do not elevate your hips as high, or support your hips with your elbows on the ground. If the foam roll continues to make it too challenging perform on the ground.
Make It Harder – perform it single legged, perform a 10second hold on each leg before switching to the next leg. Make it even harder by alternating without lowering your hips!

5. Hamstring Curls

These are a doozy!!! Starting in a bridge position with the balls of your feet supporting you, roll out into an extended leg posture while maintaining your elevated hip position, then in a controlled manner fire your hamstrings and pull your legs back toward your butt.

Start Position

Start Position

End Position

End Position

KEY TIP :: make sure you are towards to toe of your shoes so when you roll out the foam roll is rolling down your shoe towards your heel. ALSO make sure your core is rock hard and you are not arching your back when rolling out or back, this can lead to back pain and thats no bueno!

Recommendations – Perform 4 sets of 10 curls
Make It Easier – drop your hips and perform without the bridge position
Make It Harder – you can try single legged if these are too easy, however they are pretty tricky as is!

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Alright so there you have it! 5 killer foam roller exercises that don’t involve rolling out your muscles. These moves can easily be coupled together into one workout that will not only blast your core but recruit your whole body, or you can add one or two to your workout to spruce it up! I personally love adding the planks & plank walks to supplement a shoulder workout, and then adding the bridges & hamstring curls with a leg day. They are excellent supplemental exercises!

Hope you enjoy & let me know if you have any requests for future workouts/exercises!

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Fitness Lately – AMP Trainer

Happy Wednesday!

I thought I would update y’all on what my fitness routine has looked like lately. In the fall I started to feel pretty stagnant with my workout routine, I wasn’t loving what I was doing and felt pretty uninspired, you can read more on that here & here. When I still couldnt get my mojo back I decided to turn to Bodybuilding.com and see if there was a program that seemed to fit.

In December I did a 4 week program which was just what I needed to get out of my rut and change up my routine a bit. It was a good program but I wanted more variations, I felt like I was doing a lot of shoulders and wasn’t significantly challenged. Once I finished that program I decided to try a different program that was a bit longer.

Currently I am doing the Marc Megna AMP program from bodybuilding.com and I have been really enjoying it. I technically started on Dec. 28th but after a week of over indulging after the holidays I decided to restart it on Jan 4th. So I am on my second week right now.

Day 1: Marc Megna Trainer

Day 1: Marc Megna Trainer

What I am enjoying a lot is that the lifting days are FULL BODY which I have not done in foreverrrrr and then there are dedicated cardio days which has been a fun change. I really do not enjoy doing indoor cardio, and have to talk myself into outdoor cardio to be honest, so doing cardio after a lifting day almost never happens. Having a designated cardio day really helps me focus on getting it done.

Day 5: Marc Megna Trainer - AMPed up the Split Squat lift by elevating my rear foot & adding a 35# weight!

Day 5: Marc Megna Trainer – AMPed up the Split Squat lift by elevating my rear foot & adding a 35# weight!

I also like that the lifting days have been 5sets of 5reps so I am able to amp up my weight a bit and know that I “only” need 5 reps. It’s a fun change and challenge!

The lifting workouts take about 45-50minutes depending on the day and the bodybuilding.com body space app is a great companion at the gym, its on my phone and makes tracking the workouts, weights and time so easy! The app has definitely improved since the last time I tried it a couple years ago and its much more user friendly. I love that it tells me what weights I did last week so I 1. don’t slack and pick the lighter weight 2. I can remember where I was last week because I never remember!

Bodyspace app is a lifesaver!

Bodyspace app is a lifesaver!

 

The cardio days are 40-45minutes right now and I have been doing the elliptical since I’m dealing with some Achilles Tendonitis that is much worse with running, so the low impact of the elliptical is way better. I have been bringing my iPad and reading Kelley Starret’s “Becoming A Supple Leopard” while on the elliptical, the book is all about improved mobility, stabilizing your spine and properly engaging and stabilizing your muscles when working out or lifting. It’s a total PT nerd book and I love it! I never understood how or why people read when they were working out but it really does make the time go by and I can zone out, similarly to how I zone out when running outside.

Cardio day! Ending cardio session in the steam room is my favorite!!!

Cardio day! Ending cardio session in the steam room is my favorite!!!

Saturday & Sundays for me are rest days, I took advantage of not having a programed workout on Saturday and hit up a yoga class for some active rest. I was a little disappointed at first because the yoga teacher I thought was teaching was out of town and it was in a “normal” temp room rather than a hot room but it was still a really good class and I am starting to feel more comfortable being told “now flow yourself” because before that would just make me mad. I am trying to make getting to at least 1 yoga class a week a priority because my muscles and joints really need that active recovery that you get during a yoga class. Plus I always feel like a happier person after I get done!

Yoga & some ankle mobilizations to put some deposits back into myself and get a little extra out of each day!

Yoga & some ankle mobilizations to put some deposits back into myself and get a little extra out of each day!

We are all up to speed so I guess its time to head to the gym and get my full body lift on. Tell me what workout program you’re doing right now!

Happy Lifting!

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It's beginning to feel a lot like FALL!

Hey Guys!

Can you believe its already October? In the medical world we have been preparing for a big change on October 1st and I remember earlier this year when they started talking about it, and then the emails that I continued to get regarding the changes but I never really accepted that October was coming up on us until it arrived in full fall force on Thursday!

We went from an unseasonably warm end to September to brisk fall weather with chilly mornings, warmish afternoons and then chilly evenings. I have been enjoying the cooler nights and letting the fresh fall air into the house. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year.

Last week I felt a little out of it when we were in the gym and I contribute it to the change in weather and a change in my work schedule. But on Wednesday we did a leg day workout and I went for optimal glute strengthening… which equaled major glute and leg soreness!

Fall

For the bandwalks I used a blue tubing band around my knees and made sure to stay in a squat position through the whole walk, which was super hard. The 200ft is discretionary I walked the clear space distance in my gym and counted Down & Back as ONE lap, probably about 200ft. During the elevated hip thrust I put my shoulders on a 22in box (whatever you have in your gym) and did bridges/thrusts really focusing on squeezing my glutes at the top. For the single leg I also was focusing on keeping my hips as level as possible.

On Saturday Brent & I had a fun day planned with our friends Rich, Anges & Hayley. We actually set up the date in the middle of the summer and it was another date that felt SO far away but came so quickly! We originally had plans to go to Morton Arboretum but decided to head down town and go to the Zoo. But first FOOD!

Brent, Hayley & I on the boardwalk

Brent, Hayley & I on the boardwalk

We headed to RJ Grunts for lunch. Apparently we had the same idea as about 100000 other people and had a bit of a wait so we headed over to the zoo and took a walk around the water and worked up a serious appetite. After a little longer wait it was time to EAT! Since we were all absolutely starved we took full advantage of their salad bar.

I love a good salad bar and the one at RJ Grunts did not disappoint. We stocked up on salad, premade pasta/grain salads and a delicious cream of spinach soup before getting our actual MEAL! WHAT!!! Yes we got a salad bar and a burger, it was insane and probably not the smartest idea but man oh man was it good! I got the green chile burger and it was delicious, I ate 1/2 of it and was completely stuffed.

Brent & I both took home 1/2 of each of our burgers, when we ordered I said “should we just split a burger” but Mr Hanger said no, so we didn’t… but we should’ve! Oh well some homeless man got a good meal from us because after walking around the zoo our leftovers didn’t seem very appealing any more so we left them for someone who needed them more than us!

Fall

We had a fun afternoon walking around the Lincoln Park Zoo, I was a little disappointed because it was “fall fest” at the zoo but it was kinda lame. I guess if you were a little kid it would be fun but oh well! We got to see a few fun animals and had great company! After we got a little too chilly at the zoo we walked over to Molly’s Cupcakes for a cupcake and coffee to warm up!

Brent & I got Chai Lattes and split a pumpkin & a chocolate PB cupcake. Both were AMAZING! We also took a chocolate blackberry home for later… we couldn’t decide which ones we wanted so get got all three… #noshame

Fall

After warming up and getting a good sugar fill we headed to meet my parents & sister for dinner at Rockit bar in River North. My parents were in town helping catherine move into her new apartment downtown so we had plans to meet up and watch the Michigan football game and have dinner. Well the Michigan game time was changed because of the weather on the east coast so we just had a nice dinner. Brent & I were still stuffed from the earlier eating adventures so we split a hummus platter which was delicious and perfectly satisfying!

Lentil Hummus Platter

Lentil Hummus Platter

Once we got home from the day in the city Brent & I plopped down and watched American Sniper. I know we are super late to the party but we don’t rent movies or go out to the movie theater very often so it was free on demand with HBO so we took advantage of it and enjoyed. I really liked it!

Sunday we got up and did our usual sunday stuff, church, costco, food prep and football. Then we headed to target in search of everything pumpkin! Actually we went just for the pumpkin mini-wheats but ended up with a few other fall flavors which didn’t disappoint. The mini-wheats are AMAZING just incase you were curious. You should definitely go get some!

Give me ALL the Pumpkin!

Give me ALL the Pumpkin!

A little Sunday Cocktail when I was working on our meal prep… this bad boy was super simple and super delicious. Just 3/4C frozen blueberries, coconut water, chia seeds & 1tbsp honey all blended together and topped with a few extra chia seeds! I enjoyed it out of my Moscow mule mug because why not!

Fall

The rest of Sunday was spent just relaxing and enjoying a weekend without 8hours in the car! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying this crisp fall weather as much as we are.

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My 5 Favorite AdvoCare Products!

Hey Guys!

I know you have all heard me talk about my love for Spark & AdvoCare products but I have never really said which products I LOVE and why. AdvoCare has a multitude of amazing products that are available and have difference purposes and while I love them all there are 5 that are my GO TO!

5 Advocare products

  1. SPARK

Are you sick of me talking about Spark yet? Well if you are than you obviously aren’t drinking it because lets be serious it’s my savior each day. I flipping love the stuff, and love that it gives me energy and extra motivation during my long days or during that mid-day slump. I love that there is no jittery side effect or post-spark lull like you can get with coffee or other caffeinated drinks. ALSO if you are a carbonated pop fan & can’t imagine losing your POP than add some Spark to a La Croix and you will be in heaven! But it is good enough without the La Croix, I promise!

2. Rehydrate

Rehydrate has been my best friend this summer. I have been feeling like I need something extra to keep me going at the gym or feel super exhausted at the end of the workout if I am not drinking rehydrate during/after a hard workout. When I do drink rehydrate I have very few post-workout fatigue headaches, minimal post-workout exhaustion and usually feel pretty good. Don’t get me wrong you don’t feel like a million bucks, I mean you just worked out, but you don’t feel half as terrible as you might’ve!

3. CATALYST!

Okay this gets caps & an exhlamation point because thats how I feel when I take catalyst. Serious this stuff is like lipo in a bottle… well for me I guess its more like a chisel for the muscles that are close to poppin’ (that pesky belly tire is still hanging around 😛 ). Honestly Catalyst is amazing, it helps your body repair and maintain muscle mass because it contains all your branch-chain-amino-acids. I could easily during BCAA’s but honestly I think they taste like garbage and can’t stand drinking another thing everyday, but I love that I can take a supplement pill which allows my body all the benefits of BCAA’s along with the added benefits that Catalyst has to offer, because its way more than just the BCAA’s.

4. O2 Gold

GOLD is an understatement! I LOVE this stuff & so does Brent. When we know that we are going to do any HIIT or heavy heart rate pumping workouts we alwayssssss pop an O2 Gold. O2 Gold helps your body facilitate the use of oxygen & helps the body adapt to stress. When you pop an O2 Gold about an hour before you do your cardio/HIIT/run your body will be primed to utilize the oxygen you are sending to your muscles. I notice a huge improvement in my breathing pattern, I don’t (usually) find that I am panting or struggling for breath but rather I find that I am still breathing hard but not labored. Similarly to Rehydrate I notice that I can recover from my workout so much quicker with so much less fatigue.

5. OmegaPlex

Last but not least is OmegaPlex! Prior to AdvoCare I had only heard amazing things about how Fish Oil is amazing for you and all the health benefits, but to be honest I couldn’t stand the stuff, so I figured that I would be alright and was eating well enough to get me through. WELL my first 24DC came and I used the OmegaPlex but didn’t think much of it. But then last year when I started to be more intentional with my product usage I noticed a difference. Not a huge difference but honestly I noticed my joints didn’t bother me as much after working out. What I LOVE about OmegaPlex is its more than just a fish oil, there are other great nutrients in the supplement which means that ONE pill = many benefits, and I am all about that!

OKAY thats a wrap! Theres my Top 5 AdvoCare products, I hope that you learned something about the amazing products in AdvoCare & what I use to help myself get the results that I am looking for!

5 Advocare products

Please let me know if there is anything that interests you or anything more you would like to hear about them!

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Cue Rant

hi guys,

I wasn’t planning on posting today but something that happened last night at the gym prompted this post and well I just couldn’t contain myself.

So as a physical therapist & being married to a gym rat who is meticulous about form I have come to be a BIT anal about form and more often than not find my self cringing at people in the gym. I usually contain myself from giving glares, saying something or whispering to Brent about the person.

But sometimes it’s JUST.TO.BAD. and I feel that it’s my professional obligation to help the poor soul out. I mean my biggest fear, and the biggest fear of so many others, is that I am doing something that I think is right completely wrong & look a foul so I would hope someone would politely give me a hand, rather than staring like a jerk.

Last night was a case of the latter. Brent and I were half way through our chest workout when this young kid started to do single arm rows at the bench next to us. I first noticed him because he was a pretty small kid and pretty far down the dumbbell weight rack so I was impressed….

Then I saw his first pull, all lower back rotation & no upper back pull, a disaster in the making. But it didn’t stop there, he continued to heave the dumbbell up with his shoulders and traps then finish the movement with a lower back twist and hike. He followed these spectacular rows with some standing “skull crushers” at wayyy too much weight where I was pretty sure if he continued to do them he would most definitely tear his arms right out of the socket.

After about 3 rounds of this cringe worthy exercise routine & a couple visits from his friend, who I can only assume was telling him how to correct his form, the guy on the bench next to us told the kid “hey lower your weight and do the movement correctly” to which the kid said “this is how we train

At this point Brent jumped in and said “he’s right buddy, if you lower the weight you’ll be able to perform the lift properly” the kid scoffed at this as well & we both said “seriously you’re going to hurt yourself if you don’t lower your weight!”

Then the kid said the kicker… “Dude I’m 15!”

Ah Ha! This made my skin crawl! Not that kids shouldn’t be in the weight room, because I really advocate that and think that SAFE lifting is great for development, muscular growth, bone & joint health, along with a great confidence booster!

BUT, and this is a big BUT, if you are lifting incorrectly & aren’t going to take advice from others around you who are genuinely trying to help you out than you have no business in the weightroom.

If you are in the weightroom OWN it and if someone tries to give you tips listen. If you need tips reach out and I’d be happy to help!
Okay end rant!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Tuesday!

A Weekend Workout!

This 20minute treadmill workout will work up a sweat &
you’ll burn tons of calories without running a step!

Happy Monday Friends!

This was the last weekend for a while where we didn’t have anything on the books and we took good advantage of the RELAXation part of the weekend. We have really enjoyed the past 6 weeks without traveling and getting to see friends and do things around Chicago but I am getting really excited for the fall and football! I am not super excited about driving multiple weekends in a row but HEY you take the good with the not so good!

Anyway’s this weekend started dreadfully slow… We woke up on saturday morning to roll over, turn the TV on and continue to laze for a few more hours. Honestly I made breakfast and then lounged on the couch until about 1:00 when we decided to be functioning humans.

Weekend Workout

I cannot tell you the last time my day started at 1:00 and honestly don’t know when it will happen again. While I loved getting some extra rest, my body was not very happy at my lack of moving and treated me with a mighty headache…. nothing a little caffeine and cardio couldnt fix!

I snapped my daily shaker contents while making this... make sure you follow me on snapchat for more behind the scenes!

I snapped my daily shaker contents while making this…
make sure you follow me on snapchat (mywellnessland) for more behind the scenes!

We decided to go to do some cardio before lunch so we walked over to the gym since it was cloudy and rainy outside. We did about 12 minutes on the stationary bike to warm up and burn a few calories. Then we decided to hit the treadmill.

Brent & I have been “enjoying” walking on the treadmill on an incline during our cardio sessions lately. We both have been having a hard time fitting cardio into our lifting and like I said in my fitness recap we have been really working to focus on adding more cardio each week.

So after our bike session we did this fun and KILLER treadmill workout, where we WALKED!!! yep no running required and you’ll still burn a tonnnnn of calories in just 20 minutes.

Incline Treadmill Workout

If your treadmill doesn’t go up to 30, then just max it out and slowly decrease the incline for the first 10 minutes and then go back up the second 10 minutes.

After our cardio workout we had some lunch and went to a coffee shop for a little Barbell shrugged & photoshop work. It was a productive afternoon after a lazy morning. We ended our night with a fun shoulder lifting session at the gym.

Weekend Workout

I worked on some hang cleans & power cleans then focused on my strict press. I have been stuck at the same weight on strict press for a while so I was going to focus on my form while increasing my weight. I was feeling pretty good so I decided to record myself at 85# and was able to get 2 solid reps, then I decided that I was going to try 90# & guess what y’all I GOT IT!!!!!!!! I definitely struggled when pressing it up which is super apparent but I was able to hold it together and PRESS through, resulting in a 10# PR!!!! Yep 85# would’ve been a PR so I got a 2xPR! BOOM!!!!

Weekend Workout

you can see my 90# lift on Instagram!

 

Sunday we did our usual Sunday stuff to get ready for the week. We have been getting to COSTCO at 9:30 because of when our church gets out so we legit sit in the parking lot for 15-20 minutes before they let us in and are almost always out before 10:10 when they technically open at 10:00. Its awesome and kind of erie at the same time. BUT NO LINES = WINNING everyday!

I have been wanting to try La Croix for a longggggg time but never bite the bullet, well for the past few weeks I have mentioned to Brent each week at the store that i wanted to try it. SO this week we decided to go for it. I blame him for “letting” me get it but I am just as skeptic about trying new things….

Weekend Workout

linking up with Katie for Marvelous In My Monday!

Weekend Workout

The verdict… La Croix + Spark (or La Croix + Rehydrate) = AMAAAZINGGG!!! Its like having a POP without all the crap… I have missed the carbonation more than I knew I did, and its a nice treat!

When I was food prepping I turned the TV to ABC Family and it was the start of Twilight. I have never seen or had the desire to see any of the series but I have to admit the first movie was pretty good & definitely kept me interested when i was cooking!

To finish my sunday I got a phone call to do some “impromptu babysitting”… well actually I got a FaceTime from my step-mom, who I really thought was accidentally FaceTiming me, and when I answered i saw my baby niece cooing away! It was a fun little 5 minute chat with the babe & my parents while they were babysitting for my sister & brother in law. I haven’t seen that lil girl in almost a month and am definitely in need of a baby fix!

Weekend Workout

p.s don’t mind that I look super hit in the picture… I did it for the baby! 

Hope you all have a great start to your week and the Holiday Weekend!!!

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BuluBox Review #lovebulu

Hey Guys!

I am SOO excited about todays post, I have been listening to Jillian Michaels Podcast for the past year and she always raves about BuluBox so when I was given the opportunity to try a box I jumped on it!

Bulu Box Review

BuluBox is all about sharing healthy products with consumers in a sample size so you can try them out before buying the whole shebang!

From the Bulu Box website:
Bulu Box is the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box designed to help you feel your best. Each custom box comes filled with a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try. Every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you.

I have tried other monthly subscription boxes before and I loved getting to try a couple new things each month without having to leave my house, search the store and then hope that I would like it. This is true with beauty supplies, clothing and especially healthy snacks & health food products.

When my BuluBox came to the door I was SO excited to see what was inside!

Bulu Box Review

My box included:
2 Quest Protein Packets
Movit Energy Gummies
1 Mediterra Bar 
Yerba Prima Daily Fiber Formula
Earths Care Anti-Itch Cream

I was SUPER excited about the Quest Protein packets, I have heard so many positive things about quest’s protein powders but have never tried it out because I am reallllyyyyyy picky about my protein and would hate to buy a canister of protein just to not like it. Well I am happy to say that the Quest Peanut Butter Powder was amazinggggg!!!!

Bulu Box Review

I used my first packet to make a protein pancake one morning. It’s a thicker powder than my usual protein so it made my pancake extra fluffy and delicious! I even shapchatted the process, which is mighty tricky with 1 hand 🙂 If you missed it heres how to make the pancake:

Bulu Box Review BuluBox Review

4 egg whites whisked together with the protein powder, add in 1-2tbsp ground flax & 1/4cup oats, combine them all together to make a consistent batter. Pour mixture into a preheated pan with coconut oil & cook until golden brown. I topped mine with 2tbsp of natural peanut butter!

My other favorite product in my BuluBox was the Movit Gummies. It was like eating a gummy bear with a boost of energy. I ate them in 2 servings before two different workouts because I wanted to see if they changed my workout at all. I didn’t notice a HUGE energy surge but I did feel like they gave me a little boost.

Bulu Box Review

I think they would be great during a long run, 1/2 marathon or any other endurance race when you need a bit of sugar & an energy boost without drinking anything.

The concept of the Mediterra bar was on point! I think there are way too many snack bars that are loaded with sweeteners and chocolate when sometimes you crave something savory. I however was not a huge fan of the sundried tomato & basil flavor that I tested, plus I am not a huge bar eater as of late. I think the concept is amazing and would definitely be something I try again especially if I needed a snack on the road or when traveling.

Bulu Box Review

The two products I have not tried yet are the Yerba Prima Fiber & the anti-itch cream. I am excited to try the fiber drink as it is Apple spice flavored and I just imagine it delicious on a cool fall day like a hot apple cider. And well I don’t have anything itchy to try out the itch cream however I can tell you that it has a pleasant menthol scent and has a nice texture on your skin. I just cannot attest to its anti-itch ability.

Bulu Box Review

Overall I LOVED getting to try the BuluBox and learning about new healthy treats and products that I probably wouldn’t try otherwise. I think this would be a great gift for someone who is looking to make small changes in their diet or lifestyle but are afraid to take the lunge and buy products based off of other peoples advice!

Do you #LoveBulu? Well you’re in luck! BuluBox & SweatPink are giving YOU a 50% discount on a 3-month subscription with the code SWEATPINK at checkout! 

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I was provided my BuluBox free of cost in exchange for this review as a part of my partnership with FitApproach & SweatPink. As always all thoughts and comments are my own.