Fitness


Yoga and a Deconstructed Key Lime Pie Fitness

This week has gone by so quickly!

I go to work later than usual on Wednesdays, so I use Wednesdays to sleep in a little and still get in a good workout. This Wednesday, I was up at 6:00 and at the gym around 6:30. I worked shoulders and triceps. I was really excited that I increased my weight for shoulder press.  thumbs up animated GIF

After lifting, I did 25 minutes on the elliptical. I try to avoid the elliptical, but I didn’t want to run and my week-day gym doesn’t have a working stairclimber. Instead, I put the elliptical on 10/10 incline and 8/10 resistance and watched a little bit of a Lifetime movie on Netflix.

I forgot to pack a lunch Wednesday so I went to Kroger to see what I could find. Y’all, this Kroger is insane. I’m talking has a jewelry store and a shoe section insane. It’s the biggest grocery store that wasn’t a Walmart that I have ever been in. I was going to get sushi but I noticed they had a salad bar, so I got that instead!
salad

Whenever I get a salad, I always make sure to add a good amount of protein to fill me up. On this salad, I got chicken and half a hard boiled egg-white as my protein.

On Thursday, I decided to take a rest day. I was pretty tired and I needed the extra sleep so I woke up at 6:30 and got ready for work. I went to Whole Foods for lunch. I love the salad bar at Whole Foods! It’s not too expensive either, as long as you pay attention to the weight of your salad as you go. I also picked up 2 macarons as a treat. I got one salted caramel and one raspberry.

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(this looks kind of gross, but it was awesome. Their Herb Ranch is SO damn good)

Last night for dessert, I made an awesome little key lime pie dessert out of graham crackers and key lime greek yogurt.

key lime pie I froze the greek yogurt (I used Oikos) during the day. Then I crushed up 2 graham crackers, added a teaspoon of butter and stuck it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I stirred up the butter and crackers so it got mixed together well to make a “crust.”  Then I put the frozen yogurt in the bowl with the “crust” and ate it. It was SO freaking good and pretty good for you too!

After dessert and a few episodes of Friends, I did some yoga in our spare room. I want to start doing yoga more. I really like doing it, but I get stuck because I don’t know what to do! I need to go to a yoga class at the gym sometime soon.

Do you do yoga? How did you get into it?

Carrie Signature


The Skinny on Counting Calories (and Why I Stopped Counting Them) Fitness / Life

Counting calories. So many people who are losing weight or getting fit count calories and/or macros. While calorie counting apps are incredibly useful, it is so easy to end up a hostage to counting calories. I know for me, personally, a lot of my day was spent figuring out what fit into my day and what didn’t. Another part of my day was spent worrying about whether or not my goal was set correctly. It is emotionally draining and mentally exhausting.

 

I lost a lot of weight counting calories. I won’t deny that. But then I gained a lot. And then I had trouble losing it again.

timelineb

I learned a lot about counting calories throughout the years.

  1. Calorie counting can be useful
    Calorie counting is a great tool to use when you are first starting your weight loss or fitness journey. Calorie counting for a month can really teach you a lot about what foods are worth snacking on and what foods are best left for “every-so-often” snacks. Calorie counting can open your eyes to how many calories are in some of your favorite foods and it can show you what you may need to moderate.
  2. Calorie counting can cause problems
    Calorie counting opens your eyes to how many calories are in food which can, for some, make eating more stressful than helpful. It also is very hard to do long term. Are you going to log into an app every day of your life? If you find yourself in a position like I was, spending a lot of time obsessing over what would fit and what wouldn’t fit, counting calories may not be the best thing for you long-term. Many people I know have become obsessed with counting calories. So much that a day they go “over” can ruin their day. Even if it’s only 50-100 calories over! That’s not a healthy way to live your life. The extra stress isn’t any less healthy for you than an extra couple of pounds.
  3. Calorie counting is confusing
    The more weight you lose, the more your calorie goals change. You may be told to eat more or less than you currently were. Either change can make weight loss confusing. Calories in vs. calories out, they say, but it is much easier said than done. Once you lose a certain amount of weight after eating at a certain deficit, your progress stalls and your calorie goals must chance and that can cause a lot of anxiety for people. I was progressing and now the scale isn’t moving or even creeping back up: I must be a failure. Not an uncommon thought. But you are NOT a failure.

 

 

 

That’s great, Carrie, but how did you STOP? Quitting calorie counting is hard. Especially when it is something you’ve done for a long time. In my case, I was quitting a 4 year habit. You think you’re going to end up where you started. You may feel like you’re not in control of anything anymore. It easy, but, let me tell you something: it was SO worth it! It may seem daunting at first, but here are the 4 things that really helped me stop counting calories.

  1. Delete (or modify) your app
    I relied heavily on a calorie counting app and, while I didn’t delete it, I use it for the community support and for the recipe builder (so I can share nutrition content with others). If you find that you can’t go into the app without logging, just delete it.
  2. Use common sense with your food choices
    Go back to the basics! The food pyramid is a great resource. Fill your plate mostly with veggies, then protein, then starch. If you can choose between and apple and chips, choose the apple. If you really want the chips, eat the chips but choose an apple for the rest of the week. It sounds super simple because it is! Eat nutritious food all the time and junk food in moderation.
  3. Eat mindfully
    This can take some practice after using calories to tell you when to stop, but rely on your body to tell you when you’re full and when you’re not. Before you snack, think about what you’re craving and think about why. Could you eat some carrots and be satiated? If not, you’re probably not really as hungry as you think. Make sure your snacking isn’t mindless.
  4. Enjoy yourself
    It is 100% ok to go out and enjoy yourself every once in awhile. You don’t always have to get salads or chicken when you go out to eat and you don’t have to only hit up the veggie trays at Superbowl parties. Every once in awhile, it’s ok to indulge and you shouldn’t feel bad about it!

See that picture at the top? I was counting calories in all of those photos, except for 2- the first one and the last one. The first one was before I decided to change my life and the last one was a month ago.  The photo in 2011- I weighed 115 pounds. I was following my calorie plan. But I quickly gained back a lot of that weight because it wasn’t sustainable for me. After I gained back weight in 2012, there doesn’t look like much of a difference in weight for the rest of the photos. Even when I stopped counting calories, I didn’t back track. You don’t have to be scared of what might happen if you stop counting calories.

What will happen, however, is you will feel less stressed and more confident about yourself. You don’t need to rely on an app to help you lose weight. You can use what you learned from those apps to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but you do not need to rely on them to continue that lifestyle. That part is something you can do on your own!

 


5 Exercises to Work Your Legs! Fitness

Everyone loves new workouts!

On Monday, I worked biceps. I’ll make sure to go into more detail about my bicep exercises another day. I don’t have very prominent bicep peaks and, while peaks are genetic, I’m trying to improve them the best I can!

bicep workout

 

Yesterday was a busy day! I started out at the gym, per usual. I worked legs (my favorite day!) and was able to increase my squat and deadlift weight (yay!). When making up a routine in the gym, I make sure to work things that I know will not just look good (ie. the booty) but also things that will help me in other areas. Sure my hamstrings will look good, but strengthening my glutes and hammies will also help me when I run. I have an IT band issue and strengthening my glutes is one of the best ways to help heal that and keep it from being a consistent bother when I run.

leg exercises

 

 

In order to get a good workout in in a good amount of time, I added a super set to the end of my workout to make sure my heart rate stayed up! It’s easy to get stuck sometimes at the gym. Sometimes you just kind of look around thinking “What do I do next?”

Well, here’s a workout to put in the holster for next time! There are 5 exercises to work your legs and these are the exercises I do, for the most part.  I’ve really seen a difference in building my glutes, quads, and hamstrings doing these exercises!

leg workouts

 

 

What are your favorite leg exercises?

Carrie Signature

 

 

Disclaimer: I am not and I do not claim to be a licensed personal trainer. All exercises suggested are exercises I have performed myself and I recommend based on opinion.  Please consult a physician before attempting any exercise you have not done before or are not comfortable with. Perform exercises at your own risk.


Turkey Gyro with Ranch Yogurt Sauce Recipe Fitness

turkey hyro

Yall. Just. I can’t. Last week, I decided to get creative in the kitchen. We buy a lot of meat in bulk and freeze it because that’s the cheapest way to do it, and we had about 5 lbs of ground turkey to use. I got some out of the freezer and thawed it and whipped together some dinner out of random ingredients we had in the house. What started as some simple meatballs ended up tasting exactly like a Greek gyro…sauce and all. It was like an episode of Chopped. And I was the champion. It turned out SO delicious, you wouldn’t even think it was healthy! I decided to make it again and share the recipe! The nutrition content does NOT include the pita bread as pita bread can vary and you really don’t even need the pita if you don’t want it. It’s that good.

 

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Turkey Gyro with Ranch Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 c finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 container plain Greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 c 2% milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together turkey, onion, panko, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. Form into small balls and place on a greased (I used PAM) cookie sheet.
  4. Flatten each meat ball a little bit and place in the oven
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. While the meatballs cook, mix yogurt, milk, and ranch seasoning together until smooth.
  7. When the meatballs are done, plate on top of the lettuce and tomatoes, or put all inside a pita and top with the yogurt sauce.
  8. Stuff your face.

Here is the nutrition content (again, NO PITA).

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If you make this, let me know what you think in the comments!

Carrie Signature


10 Things Healthy People Do Fitness

Sometimes, we look at people who are fit and think “I will never be able to live like they do!” There are a lot of misconceptions about fitness lifestyles as well. Eat clean. Do Crossfit. Do cardio. Ever wonder what the keys to staying healthy and on track are? They’re simpler than you think!

10. Plan ahead

Food prep, out-of-town gym trips, weekend hikes- planning ahead is crucial when sticking to a fitness regimen. Even the most basic healthy concepts involve planning ahead. If you know you’re going out on the weekend, don’t over indulge during the week. Balance is key!

9. Make time

Lie doesn’t always give us an hour a day at the perfect time for exercise. We don’t always have enough time to prep a weeks worth of dinners at one time. When you make health a priority, you make time to do these things. Do people love waking up before dark to exercise or cook their food for the day? Most people would say no. But it has such a great return that it’s worth it! You have to MAKE time, sometimes.

8. Sleep more

Good rest is crucial to good health. Your body cannot run on 5 hours of sleep a night. Over time, it will tire. You need to fuel your body properly and part of that is sleeping enough. Don’t skip out on the Zzz’s!

7. Exercise

This is a given. Healthy people exercise. Whether it’s walks in the park or marathons, exercise is key to good health.

6. Stay focused

It’s easy to get off track. Sometimes it’s even a little bit necessary. But living a healthy lifestyle is easier when you have a goal and stay focused on it. You owe it to yourself and to your body to be and stay healthy!

5. Make wise food choices

Notice I didn’t say “eat clean” or “eat healthy food?” I said make WISE choices. A burger and fries is not going to be the bane of your healthy existence. Every day burger and fries will. Be smart. If you can sub chicken for ground beef, go for it! But if you’re really craving a burger, then get one. Just make sure you have something wholesome at your next meal. You don’t have to restrict yourself to “clean” foods. Just be strategic and smart about it. For example: you have a party to go to. You know there will be pizza and beer and wings and everything that is good in the world. Instead of stressing about what you can/cant have, have nutritious and wholesome food for breakfast and lunch and enjoy yourself at the party. Eat until you’re not hungry and move along.

4.Stay active

“Isn’t this the same as exercise?” No. Staying active involves incorporating activity into daily life. Park at the back of the parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. All the things you hear a thousand times? You hear them because it’s true. A healthy lifestyle is a lifestyle. Not an hour a day in the gym and meals.

3. Drink water

Sodas and juices taste great, but water is the king of all drinks. Not only does it keep you hydrated, drinking water can often help regulate water weight gain. A good rule of thumb: drink half your body weight in ounces each day (ie. a 150 lb person would drink 75 oz of water a day).

2. Don’t compare

You are different than everyone else. And that is a good thing. You cannot compare yourself to anyone but yourself. You are only trying to be better than who you were last week, last month, last year. Other people’s progress has no impact on the progress you can make. Like I said before, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

1. Stay positive

Some days are most definitely better than others. Want to know how to stay in a healthy mindset? Start over fresh every day. Yesterdays workout, lack of workout, bad diet, whatever it is, happened yesterday and has nothing to do with today. The sooner you realize that each day is a fresh start, the easier it will be to stay focused and healthy. Everyday won’t be perfect, but being able to see a silver lining or make something good out of the bad days will improve your mental health dramatically. Believe it or not, mental health can have an impact on physical health. Be positive and your body will thank you for it.

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Superbowl S’mores Bites! Fitness

smores bites

If you’ve known me for a little while, you know that, before I was Keeping Carrie Fit, I ran a food blog called “A Guiltless Glutton.” I posted one of my go-to tailgate/party foods on that blog and now I want to share it with you: S’mores Bites!

The Superbowl is tomorrow and, if you’re anything like me, it’s a huge food day. Someone always throws a party and everyone is in charge of bringing something. 9/10 times, I bring theses. Here’s why:

  • They may not be healthy, but they’re a hell of a lot better for you than other things that can be made. These are bite sized and portioning isn’t hard at all.
  • They are so easy to make and they take no time at all.
  • People love them and there are never leftovers to haunt you in your kitchen.

If you signed up to bring dessert, you’ll want to make these.

Servings: 12 (2 bites per serving)

Amount per serving: 159 calories—20g carbs—9g fat—1g protein—10g sugar

Ingredients:

  • 7 graham crackers- crushed finely ( I used a food processor)
  • 6 tablespoons butter—melted
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 12 large marshmallows cut in half (hamburger style, I guess would be the way to describe it)
  • 6 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grind your graham crackers and melt your butter
  3. In a bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, butter, and powdered sugar until it form a dense crumble mixture
  4. Separate the mixture in an ungreased mini muffin pan and mold the mixture into a crust once in the pan.**I use a teaspoon measurer because it helps make a pretty dent and it takes less time. Don’t be scare to add more to one if you think it’s too thin!
  5. Bake for 3-4 minutes or until the crust looks bubbly (it won’t be hard yet).
  6. Take 4 tablespoons of your chocolate chips and put them inside the crusts (2-3 chips per bite). Then top each bite with a halved marshmallow like this:
  7. Put back in the oven and back for another 3 minutes or so. Until the marshmallow looks really puffy!!
  8. Take out of the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then transfer the bites from the pan to a plate.
  9. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the remainder (or more, if you’d like) of the chocolate chips, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
  10. Drizzle the chocolate over the bites until they’re covered as you desire and tad-a!
  11. Enjoy!

See? Easy and delicious. Pictures of the process can be found here.



Leg Workout // Friday Plans Fitness

I love Fridays because I can dress casually at work. Dressing casually means I don’t need as much time to get ready which means I don’t have to leave the gym until 7 which means I don’t have to get there until 6 which means I can sleep until 5:30. Fridays are awesome.

Today, I worked legs. Well, mainly glutes. It was an awesome leg workout! I did a warm up exercise on the glute kickback machine- 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg with 40 pounds. After that, I moved to the squat rack where I did the majority of my workout. My weekday gym is fairly small. It only has 1 squat rack and 1 smith machine. Lucky for me, I was the only one there, so I was able to use the barbell from the squat rack for deadlifts too.

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I did 5×5 squats with 115 pounds. My PR on squat is 135. Shortly after I hit my PR, I started training for my half marathon so I stopped lifting. I’m working my way back up and it’s coming along faster than I thought. I’m working out with 20lbs less than my max which is really awesome. I think I’ll be able to do 5×5 with 135 soon.

After squats, I did 5×5 deadlifts. My weekday gym may be small, but it has everything you need- including the foam plates for deadlifts. I used to avoid deadlifts because I had access to foam plates when I started doing them. I got used to the motion of the full plate. When we moved, our new gym didn’t have foam plates so I didn’t do deadlifts because I could never find a way to do the exercise and be comfortable doing it. We moved again, and now both the gyms we go to have them so I’m back in the deadlifting game! I lifted the most I ever have on DL today! It was only 95 pounds, but I did 5 sets of 5 reps with that weight and I’m working towards getting stronger now that I have access to the equipment.

After deadlifts, I did a circuit of hip thrusts and lunges, both with a 15 pound weight. It looked like this:

3 rounds- no rest between sets
Exercise 1: Hip Thrust- 15 reps (I used a 15 pound weight)
Exercise 2: Weighted lunges- 10 reps each leg

After that, I went home and got ready for work.

I’m excited because tonight we’re going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner! It’s date night which means it’s my treat meal (where I don’t count calories or macros). I have been craving Texas Roadhouse for WEEKS!

What’s your favorite treat meal?

Carrie Signature

 

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Back and Cardio Exercises Fitness

back exercise fitness

“Workin back… on a Tuesday.”

No one? Ok, nevermind.

I woke up bright and early on Tuesday morning and drove to the gym. It was SO cold. My gym is so close that my car doesn’t even warm up before I get there. First World Problems. I spent my time working back and I did some time on the bike. I tried [again] to watch The Office and I couldn’t do it. I have tried to watch it so many times but it is just never funny. I want to think it’s funny so badly, but I don’t.

school animated GIF

Anyways, after the gym, I went home and got ready for work. I start work at 8:00 and leave my house around 7:40 which means I have to be done getting ready by 7:30. I usually get home from the gym at 6:50, so I have about 40 minutes to shower and get presentable for work. It sounds tough, but I have it down to a science. I will share all my secrets, I promise! They just get their own post.

My favorite superset of the day today was a lat pull down super set. Technically this also worked biceps, but it was killer and I felt super pumped after I finished it!

I did this 3 times:

Exercise 1: Lat Pull Down- Regular wide grip, 10 reps
Exercise 2: Lat Pull Down- Underhand wide grip, 10 reps.
Rest

What’s your favorite back exercise?

Carrie Signature

 


Day to Day // Triceps, Biceps, and Shoulders Fitness

gains biceps workout healthy

Yesterday I woke up at the butt-crack-of-dawn like I usually do on week days. My alarm goes off at 5:05 am, I hit snooze, then it goes off again at 5:14 am.

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I grumble for a minute and I get out of bed at 5:15. After stumbling over all the crap I leave on my floor (I apologize to my husband daily…his side is clean, mine is a land mine), I find workout clothes that usually don’t match, get ready, and head out the door. I’m usually at the gym working out by 5:45 (the gym is less than a mile from my house).

I follow workout programs on days I don’t feel like making up my own routine. Generally, when I make up my own routine, I stick to the “push/pull” method. One exercise that pushes (ie. leg press) followed by one that pulls (ie. hamstring curl). When it’s too early for me to think about it, I hit up bodybuilding.com and find an exercise. I usually pull one from Jamie Eason’s Live Fit, or the Labrada 12 week Trainer. Recently, I’ve been doing workouts from the Labrada Lean Body Competition.

Yesterday I mainly worked shoulders and triceps but I added some bicep exercises in there too. It’s one of my FAVORITE workout days because:

a) It’s a big weak spot for me so I’m always seeing improvements

and

b) I always see awesome pump after my workouts (great for shameless gym selfies)

 

My favorite exercise of the day was a superset that targeted triceps and shoulders. I did 3 sets of the following:

Exercise 1: bench dips without weight- 12-15 reps
Exercise 2: Seated dumbbell shoulder press- 10 reps (I used 15 lb DBs)
Rest

I basically feel super buff now.

bugs bunny animated GIF
Just kidding. But it definitely got my heart rate up and worked my tris and delts!

What’s your favorite arm workout?

 

Carrie Signature


Carrie’s 30 Minute Bomb-Diggity-Go-To Workout Playlist Fitness

A good workout playlist can often be the difference between a great workout and a not so great workout. For me, a good playlist is upbeat, has epic chord progressions, and a steady rhythm. Most of the time, all of those qualities can be found in rock music. I take a lot of time making them perfect so I don’t have to skip songs and I like to put them in an order that I know will match what I need at the time I’m listening. Good music helps me avoid things like this:

 

 

 

Making playlists can be a lot harder than it seems, so I’ve created a 30 minute playlist that is sure to get you super pumped at the gym. I use Spotify to make my playlists. Spotify Premium is the best $10 a month you’ll spend, if you upgrade! With Premium, you can download playlists to your phone so you can listen offline. If you stick to the free version, you’ll have to be connected to WiFi to hear your songs. All of the songs below are available on Spotify!

Whether you’re lifting or running, these songs will keep you pumped up!

*Note: some of these might have explicit words- I’ve noted which ones you may want to find the edited version if you aren’t a fan of cursing.

  1. “Remember the Name” -Fort Minor*
    This song is awesome for getting in the mood to workout. Perfect for a short warm up.
  2. “Till I Collapse” – Eminem*
    This is a great song to keep you motivated! He literally says “Until my legs give out from underneath me, I will not fall.” SO awesome.
  3. “Jungle” – X Ambassadors
    I love this one to keep me in a rhythm. There is a consistent beat (like a boom-clap) that just really keeps me pumped up. It’s also great for running as a pace song.
  4. “Becoming the Bull” – Atreyu
    This one is awesome to just make you work hard. It talks about struggling but taking those struggles “by the horns,” facing them, and conquering them by becoming the bull. Super upbeat.
  5. “Let’s Go” – Trick Daddy ft. Big D & Twista*
    This one is just awesome. It starts super heavy and ends heavy. Just a great workout song all around. Plus, Twista kills it in his verse.
  6. “Painkiller”- Three Days Grace
    I love the chord progression and constant building of this song. It really pushes me to work harder as the song builds.
  7. “Killin It”- Krewella
    This is a great one for the end of your workout. When you’re feeling a little tired and this song comes on, it reminds you to pick it up and keep killing your workout until the end.
  8. “This Is The Time (Ballast)”- Nothing More
    Last, but DEFINITELY not least, this is my favorite one of them all. Even when I hear this song on the radio in the car, I’m like “OMG I’M SO PUMPED RIGHT NOW.” The climax of this song is one of the most epic and it will TOTALLY get you to get that extra rep or sprint that last ¼ mile.

 

If these songs don’t pump you up, I really don’t know what will.

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I’ll be sharing more playlists with yall, just in case you’re not the rock/alternative type (I’ve got a Throwback playlist that will keep you smiling the WHOLE time).

 

Until next time,


Carrie Signature

 

What is your go-to pump-me-up song?

 



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