Fitness


5 Things Losing Weight Has Taught Me Fitness

When you go through challenging things, you tend to learn a lot about your life. I have had my fair share of challenging times and I have learned so much about myself through each of them that some of them don’t seem so bad. Learning and growing from those experiences is a silver lining to the bad things.

Losing weight is one of the hardest things I have done. Not just 5-pounds-for-spring-break weight loss, but a “I’m a pre-diabetic which high cholesterol at 19 year old” type weight loss. It was medically necessary and it was hard. There were definitely times that I wanted to just give up because it was hard, I was working my ass off, and I wasn’t seeing any results. Spoiler alert: I didn’t give up and I learned a lot along the way.

  weight loss lessons

  1. Willpower can get you through anything.
    There’s a show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s hilarious and you should watch it, but that’s besides the point. There’s an episode where Kimmy says that you can get through anything for 10 seconds. I think Tina Fey read my mind when writing the script for that show because I lived by that motto throughout my weight loss journey. I would tell myself I could do anything for 15 minutes and then say it again 15 minutes later. It got me through workouts, cravings, anything. I knew I could do what I needed to do for 15 minutes.As long as you can really push yourself and hold yourself accountable, your willpower can get you through anything.
  2. Fast progress isn’t always the best progress
    While it feels amazing to see weight fly off, it’s often not the best thing. At the beginning, my weight came off like crazy. I also had a lot of weight to lose. As I lost weight, it came off slower and slower until I plateaued- which is normal. What I should have done, however, is not attempted such a fast loss in the first place. While websites will tell you you can lose 2 pounds a week safely, it is much safer and more long-term if you stick to half and pound to a pound loss per week. Losing too quickly will throw your body out of whack and lead to faster plateaus. You also may gain back that weight. I did and it was so discouraging. When I regained the weight, it came back differently so I don’t look as heavy as I did when I weighed what I weigh before, but the weight came back and it can be frustrating.Learn from my mistake: slow loss is better!
  3. Negativity breeds negativity.
    When you’re going through a major life change, it’s important to evaluate your surroundings and prioritize what is important to you. On the top of that list should be getting rid of negativity in your life. You will realize that there may be people in your life that cause more stress, drama, or negativity than positivity and it’s important to minimize your interaction with them. Sometimes it can be hard because they may be family or old friends, but it’s important to realize that you deserve to have positive energy around you. You are a person, not an emotional punching bag. If you notice someone is complaining to you about their life more than they are being uplifting, have a conversation with them. You are bettering yourself and you need positivity in your life.Which brings me to my next point…
  4. A positive mindset can be the difference between success and failure
    Staying positive will always give you the push you need to finish a workout or choosing a healthy meal. Removing negative self-talk will help you view yourself in a positive way which will lead to a much more happy and healthy journey.
  5. How you look on the outside doesn’t reflect who you are on the inside.
    Out of all the things I learned, this was the most important. It is so easy to get caught up in wanting to look a certain way, but it’s important to separate looks and self-worth. You are so much more than your weight or your pant size or the number of abs that you have visible. The scale doesn’t show how strong you are or how fast you can run or how kind you are. Don’t let the scale have an impact on those things because it doesn’t indicate anything other than how much force is being exerted on your body due to gravity. You are much more than that.

If you have gone through weight loss, what kinds of things did you learn?

Carrie Signature

 


Healthy Dinner // Enchilada Casserole Fitness

I am definitely the type to plan my meals in advance. We grocery shop once a week and base our grocery items on what we need for dinners every week.  I try not to rotate recipes too often because it’s easy to get sick of something if you eat it too often, but one of the recipes we eat on a regular basis is my Enchilada Casserole.

Ya’ll… this casserole is so good. It mixes all of your favorite Tex-Mex flavors, puts them in layers, covers them in cheese, and makes you really, really happy. I have had so many people tell me it’s on their weekly rotation and now I’m going to share it with you!

I originally posted this on A Guiltless Glutton but it deserves a place at Keeping Carrie Fit, too!

enchilada casserole

 

 

Servings: 4

Amount per serving: 309 calories– 23g carbs– 16g fat – 35g protein

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground turkey (97/3)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz container fat-free refried beans
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but it adds a lot of flavor!)
  • 2 soft taco sized tortillas (I used La Banderita)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried cilantro
  • 1/4 cup black olives (optional)

 

For directions and photos, click here!

I promise, if you make this, it will end up as a favorite!


Healthy Eating on a Budget Fitness

One of the most common excuses for not eating healthy is expense. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen/heard “Eating healthy is expensive!”

Healthy eating is not expensive, but it does take work! You have to prepare it and plan ahead. While fresh fruits and veggies can be pricey sometimes, those aren’t the only things you buy when eating well!

There are so many things you can do to eat well on a budget.

healthy eating

 

 

 

 

 

One of the biggest ways we save money is by shopping in bulk. Getting a membership to a wholesale club will save you a lot of money! If you have a student ID, you can get a discounted rate. The club we use is around $35 per year for the membership and we save more than that on gas savings alone. When buying in bulk, you can buy things that keep for awhile like nuts and rice. They also offer healthy snacks, meats, and veggies. We often buy chicken, ground turkey, and broccoli in bulk and freeze them until we need them. One trip can last us up to a month! We may spend $150 at the club and then maybe $40 a week on other items from the grocery store. Total, that’s less than $100 per week on groceries.

Another way you can save money is by shopping for fresh items in season. In the winter, peaches can easily run over $2 per pound. In the summer, you can get them for $1 per pound. If a fruit or veggie is local and/or in season, you will get a much better price!

helathy eating

Saving money also takes preparation. The easiest way to stay on budget is to make a menu, make a grocery list based on that menu, and stick to it! You will know exactly what you need for each meal and you won’t be guessing while at the store. This is especially useful when buying in bulk! You will be able to knock out most of your shopping in one trip if you plan your bulk trip based on what your meals are for the month.

How do you save money when grocery shopping?

Carrie Signature


Laptop Lunches Bentoware // Review + Giveaway! Fitness

sponsored post I am really excited today! This weekend was amazing. We hung out with friends and spent some time outside at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. We saw some of the most amazing flowers there! There is a green house full of orchids and a lot of them were blooming (spiking, I think, is the correct term for orchids- I’ll have to ask my dad, he’s an orchid expert).

orchids

 

They were gorgeous.

We ate out at restaurants a LOT this weekend, though, and I am so ready to get back into my regular routine.

Part of my routine is making lunch for work and it can be difficult sometimes. Portions can be tricky and too often I say “forget it” and end up going out to lunch when I really shouldn’t. Queue: Laptop Lunches Bentoware.

Laptop Lunches is a company that designs bento style lunch boxes. When they sent me some of their product for review, I was so excited! I’ve had a couple of lunch boxes like this before, but this one was the easiest to use by far.

bentoware

 

Each box can hold something different and you can include all, some, or none of the inserts in your laptop lunch, depending on what you want to pack! It is really versatile and it is easy to pack into a purse or a backpack. I was able to fit this into my purse along with all the other stuff I carry without any issues!

Some of the inserts have lids and others don’t. I put carrots and blueberries in the lid-less ones and never had any issues with anything falling out. The bento box is very well designed.

bentoname1

 

I thought it was really cool that there was a space to write your name. This is especially handy if you have kids and use it for their lunches! No more getting things mixed up between siblings or classmates.

Another bonus: the bento box and the pieces inside are all dishwasher safe! I put all of my pieces in the top rack of the dishwasher.

I found that the days I used my bentobox, I made much healthier choices. I stuck to what I packed in the box and I was satiated with the portions I had available to me. This is definitely a product you should have in your house!

I can make it a lot easier for you to have one in your house too! Laptop Lunches is being gracious enough to give one reader their own set of Bentoware! You will get everything you see pictured here! All you need to do is:

  • Head over to Laptop Lunches’ website and browse through their products.
  • Comment on this post with the item you’d like to try the most.

You can also visit Laptop Lunches Facebook page for an extra entry. Like it, if you get a chance!

This giveaway is for US residents only. The contest is open until Thursday night, 11:59pm EST and I will randomly select a winner on Friday, March 13!

Good Luck!

Laptop Lunches Bentoware Giveaway!

 

 

 

 


Breakfast Hash Fitness

Breakfast foods are some of my favorite foods. I’m not talking about your toast and fruit or yogurt and granola. I’m talking about good, hearty breakfast foods. Pancakes, waffles, crepes, eggs, eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, all of that. I love them!

In our house, we save good breakfasts for the weekend. During the week, a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt will suffice, but on the weekends we go all out! We usually wake up a little bit later and I’ll make donuts or eggs benedict or french toast.

This past weekend, I wanted to make something different. We had a potato leftover from the week before so I decided I would make a breakfast hash.

breakfast hash

 

Let me tell you, it was easy and so delicious! It was the perfect amount of savory, along with being warm and filling. I curled up in a blanket, watched Friends on Netflix, and ate breakfast with my husband. It was such a little moment- eating breakfast- that really started my day off on a positive note and I want to continue that tradition.

Breakfast Hash

Breakfast Hash for Two

Ingredients

1 russet potato- diced
1 onion (I used red)- diced
1-2tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbs basil
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs parsley
1/2 tbs garlic powder
1-2 tbs olive oil

 Directions

Heat 1-2 tbs olive oil in a pan on the stove (medium, high heat)
When the pan is hot, add your potato and onion
Add all seasonings
Cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are done- stirring often.
Top with an egg or some bacon and enjoy!


breakfast hash

What is your favorite meal tradition?

Carrie Signature

 

 


Thinking Thin // Abandoning the “Fat” Mentality Fitness

The desire to lose weight is one that many people can relate to. For some people, the goal is maybe 10 pounds. A difficult task, but definitely doable without any other sort of necessary changes. For others (myself included), those who have to lose 20, 30, or even over 100 pounds, there is more to lose than just weight. We also have to lose our “fat” mentality. We need to think thin (or curvy or healthy or whatever your goal is!).

think thin

Losing weight is hard, but it is often the mental aspect of weight loss that is harder. Let’s use a hypothetical example to explain. Jane needs to lose 50 pounds. Jane changes her habits and starts eating better and moving more. Her clothes get loose and she has to buy smaller sizes. She notices that her tummy is flatter and her arms are getting smaller. People comment on her weight loss and it makes her feel good. She gets to her goal weight and, while she sees the loss, she still doesn’t FEEL like she’s at her goal weight. Instead of being happy that she made it, she feels like she failed because she doesn’t look the way she thought or she still needs to make some changes here or there. She still feels fat. This is much different than an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder. Those diseases are exactly that, diseases. This is someone who has spent their life (or more recent life) as “fat” and now does not know how to identify as being not “fat.” That can be a tough time! I’ve been through it and it’s not fun at all!

 

It’s a tough thing to avoid, but it is possible. In order to avoid this way of thinking you have to be proactive and you have to learn how to stay positive. It is so much easier said than done, but if you put in the work to make your mind right, your body will follow and you will thank yourself later.

 

After I gained back a lot of the weight I lost initially, I worked hard to lose it again– the right way. I took it slow and didn’t over do it. I made my goals more realistic and I gave myself more wiggle room. More importantly, I adopted habits to keep me from feeling negatively about myself for gaining weight back.

 

Instead of focusing on the scale, I focused on what I was capable of. I became stronger and faster and I used that to push me to keep up my good work. I also made sure to (try) to balance out all negative thoughts with positive ones. If I thought something bad about myself, I would find one positive thing about myself so I could continue thinking positively.

 

Lately, I’ve found that yoga has really helped. Yoga is great for your muscles as exercise, but it is also great for your mind. It gives you an opportunity to just be with yourself for an hour (or however long your class is). How often do you have time to just be with yourself and focused on you for 100% of the time? It’s very rare. Meditation during shavasana (the last part of a yoga class, generally) can be a time that can really open your mind up to things that you may be too busy to realize otherwise. Use shavasana to reflect on positivity and mantras of self-worth and self-esteem. It will change the way you think!

 

Lastly, and most importantly, the best way to avoid the “fat” mentality is to set realistic goals. Don’t say “I’m going to weigh 120 pounds and have a 6 pack” because you don’t know that! Set goals like “I’m going to get stronger and I’m going to improve my blood pressure.” If you must set a goal that has to do with weight, don’t add anything. Talk with your doctor about a healthy weight. Don’t aim to be 110 pounds if you’re 6 feet tall because, for most people, that wouldn’t be healthy. Don’t put any aesthetic expectations with a weight because 120, 130, 150, 170 pounds will look different on everyone.

 

If you already are dealing with the “fat” mentality, I strongly encourage you to take some time to write out what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. When you put it all down on paper, you’ll see that that standards you set for yourself can be ridiculous. At the end of the day, what you are capable of is important and the only person who needs to love what you look like is YOU.

Carrie Signature


9 Ways to Jumpstart Your Workout Routine Fitness

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Even though it’s still cold and there are eleventybillion feet of snow up north, Spring Break is, in fact, almost here. After Spring Break comes Memorial Day and everyone knows Memorial Day is what kicks off the summer. It’s when you can start to wear white again (even though I wear white year-round- what a rebel), you start seeking out the friends of your friends that have boats, trips to the lake/beach/river become more common, and life just feels a little happier in general.

 

Unless…

 

You know you acted like a bear and hibernated from the gym throughout the winter. I’m not judging you. It happens. We get cold and the warm bed is a lot more enticing than the gym in the mornings. What you CAN do, however, is shake of that mentality. It’s March! It’s time to wipe our winter-fogged eyes, pull out our sandals (even if they just sit there and look nice because, after all, it is still snowing in places), and get ready for summer.

 

Curvy, skinny, muscular, voluptuous, whatever skin you’re comfortable in, getting your butt to the gym for some post-winter sweat sessions will help you feel better and be more confident this summer.

 

It can be hard to get back into a routine if you’ve been out of one for awhile, so here are 9 ways you can jumpstart your workout routine!

workout routine

 

  1. Join a gym
    This seems obvious, but there’s a method to the obvious madness. When you buy something, you are committed to it. You will be more likely to go use something you pay for than you are just saying “I’m going to go running this week.” If you pay for a membership, you are invested and more likely to get your workout on.
  2. Find a class you enjoy
    Most gyms offer classes to members, so find one you enjoy and get in there! Zumba, aerobics, cardio-lifting classes, yoga, kickboxing…whatever it is, get in there! You’ll be more inclined to go when you know you enjoy your workouts!
  3. Find a workout buddy
    Things are always more fun with a friend! If you need that extra push to get to the gym, find someone who will go with you and keep each other accountable!
  4. Incentivize your workouts
    Make a goal and reward yourself for meeting that goal. Did you go to the gym 4 times this week? Go get your toes done. Did you lose a pound? Put a dollar in a jar and save for some new shoes or a night out.
  5. Keep yourself accountable.
    Set goals and don’t blow them off. It is really easy to say “well, I’m not going to meet my goal, so I’m gonna give up now.” DON’T DO THAT! Make smaller goals and think about them. The first week back, maybe aim to get to the gym 2-3 times. Be reasonable and keep yourself accountable!
  6. Try a pre-workout
    Let me tell you something. Nothing will get me off my butt faster than a pre-workout. I recommend C4 by Cellucor. Pre-workouts can really help pump you up. I like C4 best because I don’t crash afterwards.
  7. Get a new outfit
    New clothes always motivate me to workout! I always want to wear my new stuff so I like to go to TJ Maxx and look around for new workout clothes whenever I get in a rut.
  8. Find a program to follow
    If you’re really lost and don’t know where to start, there are a ton of free workout programs out there. Bodybuilding.com has a ton of workouts on their site. Pick one you like and follow it!
  9. Always get dressed
    This sounds like a “duh” point, but hear me out. Anytime I don’t know if I want to workout, I always put on my workout clothes. Shoes and everything. Once I do that, I very rarely ever stay home because I’ve already taken the time to get my clothes on. If you’re still not feeling it, get your stuff and get out the door. Then you really won’t turn around.

 

At the end of the day, you have to be determined. You need to commit. That run won’t happen if you don’t make it happen, but these tips will get you going on the days you feel like skipping out! If you want more tips and tricks, head over to the Shop tab and check out my new eBook!

Carrie Signature


Meal Planning // Keeping You Fit Fitness

I’m really excited about today!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time creating a few things for you guys. First, an eBook! I get a lot of questions about how I lost weight, how I was able to stay healthy, and how I live a healthy lifestyle. I love responding to everyone, but I thought it may be nice to have all that information in one place, so I wrote an eBook about it! healthy living ebook

This eBook includes some tips on living healthy, a short grocery list, some healthy cooking tips, and more!

I also created a few printables!

The first is a weekly meal planning printable that allows you to plan your meals for the week, write out a list of groceries you may need, and add some notes (like where to find a recipe).

weekly meal plan

The second is a monthly planning printable. I really like the monthly planning printable because it allows me to take the events I have planned into consideration when planning meals and grocery trips!

monthly meal plan
All of these are available for download in the “Shop” tab! And as a bonus: You can download them as a bundle!  When you download them as a bundle, you get the weekly printable for free!

I’m really excited about these products because I find them really useful and I think you will too!

Let me know what you think!

Carrie Signature


4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip No Bake Cookie // No Flour, No Eggs, No Oil, No Butter Fitness

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I have a huge sweet tooth so I love making cookies. The problem with making cookies is that you have to make a lot of them and who can really only have one cookie when there is a plate full of them sitting on your kitchen counter? Most cookies aren’t very healthy either. While I am all for having fresh baked cookies in moderation, sometimes I just want something sweet that won’t throw me off track.

Enter: the cookie that will save your diet. The 4 ingredient chocolate chip no bake cookie that has no flour, no eggs, no oil, and no butter.

I posted this the other day and, let me tell you, I’ve made it twice since then. It is seriously awesome and so easy to make!

All it takes is 4 ingredients and 3 minutes of your time. Not too bad of a deal, huh?

 

no bake healthy cookie

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 tbs PB2
  • 2-3 tbs vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbs mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips- start with 2 tbs almond milk and add more as needed (it will be a sticky consistency- a little drier than regular cookie dough).
  2. Add chocolate chips.
  3. Microwave if you want to melt the chocolate chips

 

It is so good! And so easy!

no bake cookie

 

It would also be good if you add vanilla.

Talk to me below!
What’s your favorite cookie?

Carrie Signature


Protein Packed Vanilla Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie + Summit Nutritions Whey Protein Review Fitness

 

 

 

After back to back weekends out of town, I am seriously feeling the sluggish effects of eating poorly. Last week, I had a tough time getting back on track after New York City and then last weekend I went to Atlanta to surprise my mom for her birthday. We went to a restaurant called McKendrick’s. It’s a really nice steakhouse and the food was AMAZING. They had this lobster mac n cheese that was to DIE for.

On Sunday, I met up with Becca for brunch at J. Cristophers. I got the Eggs Cristopher. It was like an eggs benedict, but it had tomato, bacon, and turkey. Based on my history with brunch, it’s obvious that I love eggs benedict.

eggs benedict

The weekend was a lot of fun, but I was so stuffed full of rich and delicious food that I felt so blah.

I decided to come at this week hard, so I started the week off with a delicious smoothie. It was a protein packed vanilla peanut butter banana smoothie and it was AMAZING.

peanut butter protein shake

All I used was 1 packet of Summit Nutritions 100% Pure Whey Protein Isolate in Vanilla Alpine flavor, 1 cup of vanilla almond milk, 2 tbs of dry PB2, and 1 banana.

protein shake 1wm

Summit Nutritions sent me some of their protein to try in exchange for an honest review so I decided to mix it into a couple of smoothies.

Summit Nutritions 100% Pure Whey Protein Isolate is a protein powder that has far less carbs and fat and the same amount of protein as other protein powder brands. It is gluten-free, lactose-free, has no GMO’s, and it is sweetened with Stevia.

I tried it mixed with 8 oz of water and, honestly, I wasn’t a fan. It is incredibly good for you, but the taste isn’t very strong. You would need to mix it with milk or almond milk. It IS however, amazing in smoothies. It has a faint sweet taste and is perfect for sweetening up a smoothie and adding a ton of protein.

I would definitely purchase this product again simply because it is a great way to add a lot of protein to something drastically changing the taste of what you’re trying to make. I think it would be great in iced coffee (NOT HOT- The whey will bake- YUCK).

Overall, I’d give this product a 7/10.  It didn’t knock my socks off, but there were definitely more pro’s than con’s!

Do you use protein powders in your smoothies?

Carrie Signature

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above in exchange for an honest review of this product. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
  



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