Top 10 Benefits of Walking

Walking is one of those things that there’s really no down side to. Anyone (almost everyone) can do it, it’s easy and it’s FREE! We all like free stuff right?? Especially freebies that will help us with our health goals.

Walking is an incredibly good way to start, or continue your fitness journey. It’s not physically exerting – unless you are walking 10 miles a day, but hey all the power to ya – and it’s a good way to get your heart rate up and joints oiled up.

So what else is so great about walking? Well, let me tell you..

1. IT STRENGTHENS YOUR BONES

It can stop the bone loss of osteoporosis. One Nurse’s Health Study found that women who walked a minimum of 4 hours a week (less than 30 minutes per day) had a 40% less risk of hip fracture.

2. ENHANCES CIRCULATION

Walking regularly is great for your heart. It can increase blood circulation, helping to lower blood pressure and can end up reducing the risk of a stroke.

3. BOOSTS YOUR MOOD

Physical activity stimulates your brain. It also releases chemicals called endorphins, these chemicals interact with the brain in a way that reduces pain and improves ones mood.

4. IMPROVES SLEEP 

Walking can help you fall asleep faster, and into a deeper sleep. Walking outdoors is especially beneficial because the exposure to sunlight will help keep your vitamin levels happy. Physical activity will also tire your body out where it needs to hit REM more than normal.

5. STIMULATES YOUR MIND

A study done by the University of California found that women who walked about 30 minutes per day had a slower decline in memory loss than those that didn’t walk as much.

6. IMPROVE BALANCE AND COORDINATION

Walking utilizes every part of your lower body, and thus strengthens it. The more one walks, the stronger the lower body will be. Studies find that those who do not walk as frequently have weaker muscles in their shins and therefor tend to lose their balance more.

7. PREVENTS DISEASES

It lowers the risk of Alzheimers. Studies show that those who walk more than just a quarter of a mile per day have a greatly reduced risk of obtaining Alzheimers Disease.

8. RAISES YOUR IMMUNITY

Regular exercise will help maintain a healthy body weight. This will in turn keep your body at it’s full potential and have a strong immune system. Your body will then be able to fight off more diseases and illnesses.

9. SUPPORTS YOUR JOINTS

Your joints are made of cartilage, and many of our joints do not have a direct blood supply. Joints get their nutrition from juices and oxygen that the body circulates when we move. The more we walk, the more oxygen and nutrients get into the joints. The healthier our joints are the more painless our day to day life will be!

10. HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Last but not least, walking helps with weight loss. It burns calories! It also builds muscle. Walking several miles a day will help jump start your journey to a healthier life.

So, let’s get to walking! Take an early morning stroll, a lunch time break to clear your head, or an evening walk in the park.. However, whenever, just move your feet!

Do you walk every day? Why/why not? 

When is your favorite time to go on a walk? Do you jam out to music when you do, or do you like the silence? 

Comment below!!

That’s all for today!

Xo, Dev

Are You Eating Enough?

Many people think that the only way to lose weight is to starve themselves. There are SO many diets out there that include restricting your diet so heavily that you constantly feel hungry. WHO wants to be on a diet where you feel hungry all the time? More so, who wants to be on a DIET in general!?

Fun fact: You don’t actually need to starve yourself to lose weight. Feed yourself, people!! 

I have been one of those people. I have eaten far less than what I should. And not only that, I haven’t been eating the RIGHT things either! Well, it’s a lot easier than you think to make sure you eat the right things, and enough of them to help you along your fitness journey.

MACROS

What are these? There are three macro-nutrients, Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein. Fat has 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram.

IIFYM (If it fits your macros) is my absolute favorite macro calculator. You input your gender, height, weight, activity level and goals (if you want to lose weight, maintain or bulk) and it calculates how many calories I need in order to achieve my goal, and it breaks it down by macro group. For example, my macros are below:

Macros

So now that you have the macros down, how do you determine what to put into your meals?

First… PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.

What is your schedule like? When do you like to eat? Do you do intermittent fasting? Do you like to have three main meals or six small meals? It doesn’t matter what you like, it’s just important that you can figure out your meal schedule so that you can plan your meals accordingly.

Example of a full day of meals for me:

  • Breakfast – 1 C Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon, 1 Med Banana
  • Lunch – 6 oz Grilled Chicken breast, 1 C White Rice, 2 C spinach cooked, 1/4 Onion sliced
  • Snack – Protein Shake
  • Dinner – Spinach Salad with Tuna, Tomatoes and Avocado. 1 tsp Italian Dressing

So much food right here!!! And it all fits inside my macros. The key is to make sure you are eating the RIGHT things, and it should align with your macro goals.

Xo, Dev

5 Healthy Ways to Cook Chicken

Whenever I think of “healthy meals” I always resort to grilled chicken, brown rice and broccoli. How BORING, amirite?! I believe a lot of people fall off the health bandwagon because of these types of thoughts.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is SO much more to healthy food than that! You can be so creative with what you eat so that it keeps you interested, and you continue to eat right.

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Instead of giving you some recipes today, I am going to talk about 5 ways to cook chicken that will most definitely keep you coming back for more! This way, you can put your own spin to the cooking styles, and enjoy for meals to come.

COOKING STYLES:

Grilled

I like my grilled chicken super simple, so I usually take my chicken breasts and season them with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Plus, this helps the flavor of the grill come through in the meat. Make sure the grill is clean and oiled up (don’t overkill it) and lay the chicken on the grill. You really don’t want to overcook the chicken (165 internal temp is ideal) so using a fire that’s between 375-400 Fahrenheit will work perfectly.

TIP: Pounding out the chicken before grilling will help even out the temperature throughout the breast, This will help ensure that the thinner edges don’t get overcooked while the thicker middle is undone.

Baked

Baking is an easy way to keep chicken moist, but it’s also an easy way to overcook and dry the chicken out. You’re going to want to heat your oven to 450 degrees and bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes. This will allow for a nice crispy outer layer, and a tender, moist inside.

TIP: I like to season my baked chicken with Mrs. Dash lemon pepper. GUYS. SO. GOOD. Try it, you’ll thank me later.

Roasted

The main difference between roasting and baking is the form of the meat you are cooking. Generally you will ROAST a whole chicken, while you would BAKE a breast or thigh. Roasted chicken is amazing, and there are so many options to stuff it, season it or cook with vegetables and potatoes.

Poached

Poaching can be seen as boring, but it’s a good healthy way to cook your poultry. It will also ensure that your meat is incredibly moist. WOOHOO! I like to season the liquid in which I am poaching my foods in, because that flavor will end being the seasoning.

TIP: Use a base of chicken broth, I normally go for a low sodium one! Throw in some garlic, bay leaves, some sliced lemon and any extra spices laying around and you’ve got yourself a great base.

PS- Poached chicken is PERFECT for a chicken salad!

Braised

Braising is a cooking style that incorporates both the wet and dry heats. You will first sear the meat (dry heat) and then finish it in a liquid (about 2/3 of the way up the meat) at a lower temperature.

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Try some of these new cooking methods and play around with the seasonings! It will definitely help ‘spice’ up your life 😉

Eat up my friends, I hope you enjoy!!

Xo, Dev

Reform yourself

I used to be a firm believer that weights and a treadmill would give me everything I wanted. But have you ever tried the reformer machine? HOLY. MOLY.

The reformer is a Pilates based machine that helps regulate resistance for its exercises. It generally helps target your upper and lower abs, obliques, glutes and hamstrings.

It looks like a single bed with pulleys, cables and straps. Does this sound like a torture machine to you? It might, but you'll thank me later. The cables and straps are connected to springs that help adjust tension and resistance. The bed portion slides forwards and backwards and connects to the pulleys and springs. In order to use this machine, you have to utilize your core strength.

The biggest difference of utilizing a reformer machine vs doing Pilates on a mat is the ability to adjust the resistance. The more resistance, the faster results will come. Generally speaking you will see much quicker results when using a reformer vs doing Pilates on a mat. Usually you will see muscle definition and toning by the 10-12th time using them. But even for me, after doing one hour in the machines I can feel my abs (under my little chubby layer) strengthen quite a bit.

It looks like a scary machine but I promise – it's not. Many people take a private class before jumping into group classes so that they can really learn how to use the machine to get he most benefit.

Classes are a bit pricey, but totally worth it! Checkout Groupon or Classpass to see some of your local reformer studios!

TOTALLY WORTH IT. Rock {your abs} on.

Xo, Dev

The transformation

Some of you may be wondering "who is this girl and why should I even listen to her?"

Completely understandable. There are so many food and fitness pages out there for you to go to, so why stay on mine??

I used to be decently in shape, I mean, I was skinny fat. You know.. when you look like you're in shape but you don't have much muscle you're just skinny. All through the high school and college that's how I would describe myself. I wasn't happy with my body, but I sure as heck wasn't unhappy. I looked good in my clubbing clothes and that's all that mattered at that time. You know how it goes.

So then I moved from Rhode Island to Georgia. Best move I've ever made. But guess what there's a ton of in Georgia that there isn't in Rhode Island?? FRIED CHICKEN. Plus I wanted to make some friends so ultimately I ended up drinking, a lot. Then in met my boyfriend, Wesley. He's amazing, but he likes Taco Bell for dinner. You see where I'm going with this?

Life kind of just snowballed into a high caloric, sedentary lifestyle. I was happy with my new life, but I quickly became unhappy with my body. October 2015 I decided to change my lifestyle. I called off drinking, started making my meals at home and headed to the gym.

Now, I went to school for culinary so I have a ton of nutrition knowledge just sitting in my brain. That made it so much easier to get a head start on how to get the right nutrition and calories into my body. That's what I'm want to be sharing with you. Food is delicious, it's comforting and it makes you feel good… but it's also a fuel. You need to ensure you're eating the RIGHT ones so that your body stays happy.

On the fitness side of things I started by following a few different guides, some body building programs, and did a TON of research. I started learning what worked for my body and began creating my own training regime. I feel as though I'm very knowledgeable but there is still so much to learn on that front.

So here I am, its august 2017 and I'm ready to show the world my transformation. I'm ready to tell everyone about my experience- the good, the bad and the ugly. Im here to share my knowledge and hopefully gain some more from you!

Please hit the follow button and start this journey with me! I will be starting some newsletters in the near future and promise to keep everyone updated on that.

Xo, Dev