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

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

How do you go to the gym if you’re out of town? How do you make sure you eat well when you can’t cook at home? How do you ensure that you’re taking care of your body?

Ugh, it’s been a LONG day. I travel for work generally every other week and it’s wicked hard to keep up a healthy lifestyle.

When I think of training arms, I usually think about hitting the weights at the gym. Today, I wanted to go over some key exercises that you CAN do at pretty much any hotel that has a gym, and most of this routine you won’t even need a gym!

I always stay at a hotel that at least has a fitness facility. That can mean that there is a room with a treadmill in it, or it can mean there is a whole rack of weights. You never know!

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Arm Circles: Standing up, move your arms in forward circles for 30 seconds, and then backwards for 30 seconds.

Push-Ups: Get in plank position with your hands shoulder width apart. BONUS: Put your hands in a diamond shape for a harder training. 15 per set.

Decline Push-Ups: Create a decline by resting your feet on a box, bench or exercise ball with your hands on the floor shoulder width apart. Bring your elbows to a 90 degree elbow. You will feel more tension in your shoulders and upper arms. 15 per set.

Tricep Dips: Position your hands shoulder width apart on a bench or box, slide your butt off of the bench with your legs straight. Slightly bend your elbows and make sure to keep tension on your triceps and not your elbow joints. 10 per set.

Planks: Place forearms on the ground parallel to the body, keep your butt and abs tucked in, hold for 45 seconds.

Planks with Dips: Get in plank position, but drop your left side to the ground, then rotate your right side to the ground. You will feel this in your oblique muscles. Continue for 45 seconds.

Decline Mountain Climbers: Get in handstand position using a wall for support, hands shoulder width apart. Slowly bring your left knee in to your stomach, then straighten. Next bring your right knee in to your abs and straighten. 20 times each side.

Medicine Ball Sit Up Throws: Grab a medicine ball and get in a sit-up position. Bring the medicine ball over your head so that your arms are parallel to the floor, holding the ball. As you curl your abdomen to do a full sit up, bring the medicine ball with you. At the peak of the sit-up, toss the all in the air and then catch it. Once the ball is caught, release your position and decline back down to the ground bringing the ball back above your head.

All of these exercises are able to be done with little to no equipment! And I promise you – your arms WILL feel the burn if you push yourself and do it correctly. The key to these exercises is form!

Let’s continue to travel, but live a healthy life along the way 🙂

Xo, Dev

The Worth of Water

Hi dear friends! Lately, I’ve been really bad about drinking water. I’ve been finding myself extremely dehydrated, and therefor feeling sluggish. I notice that when I DO get dehydrated, when i finally start drinking again I start to feel bloated.

THE WORST!

Side Note: For all of my lady friends, bloating is NO. JOKE. You know what I’m saying… I know you do! It’s like you have a brick in your stomach that hurts and you just can’t get rid of.

How does water do this to you?! Here’s the thing. It’s probably not the water, it’s the LACK of water. When you don’t drink enough water, and ingest saltier foods, your body will retain the water that it does receive. Water retention = BLOAT.

Alternatively, drinking a large amount of water will increase the fluids in your stomach (naturally). This will cause a temporary bloat. However, this type of bloat will go away quite shortly, as the water will flow through your system cleaning out toxins, and you will sweat and/or urinate it out.

WHY WATER? 

So what’s so important about this stuff? Well, water makes up the biggest part of our body. Our bodies are comprised of about 60% water, our brains 70% water and our lungs approximately 90% water. Uhhh… That’s a LOT of water!

On top of that, our bodies use that water on a daily basis. Generally, our body goes through almost 2.5 quarts of water a day and we need to replenish that by eating nutritious foods and drinking lots of wawa.

THE BENEFITS

  • Increase Energy and Relieve Fatigue
  • Boost your immune system
  • Promote weight loss
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Improved skin conditions

…and many mooooreee!!! (in my opera voice).

All in all, water is an incredibly important substance that we need to make sure we are getting enough of. Our bodies won’t make it too long without it, and maintaining our intake of it will truly help us out in the long run!

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Drink up, my friends!

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

The Basics of Meal Prepping

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It’s Monday morning. You wake up late, your hair is a mess, you rush to take a quick shower and throw it up in a bun. Frantically, you are running around the bedroom throwing clothes on without a care of whether your socks match or not. You snatch your purse from the counter and run to the car.  Glancing down at your watch you think to yourself, 9am meeting? I’m pushin’ it. You pull out of the driveway and *phew!* you’re on your way to work. As you start driving you remember, “Oh my goodness I didn’t have time to make breakfast AND I didn’t pack a lunch!!!” *sigh*

PAUSE. REWIND. 

Sounds like a familiar scenario, huh? It’s happened to me… A lot. And I am sure that it has happened to you, too. If it hasn’t – you must be some sort of God and I’d like to know your secret. But for those of you that have experienced this type of Monday morning, read below.

Imagine if there were a different outcome for this situation. Imagine if – though you were running late- you had breakfast and lunch already prepared and all you had to do was grab them from the fridge and go. Imagine if these were healthy meals. You’d be a lot less stressed out on that morning car ride, a lot less HUNGRY, and you would feel more prepared to take on the day.

Well, guess what? I am here to help you make that happen! The solution: Meal Prepping.

For me, Sunday nights are my nights. They help me prepare for the upcoming week and really let me feel like I’ve got my life in order. I lead a crazy busy life – My 9-5 job often turns into a 7am-7pm job.. add in my hour commute, taking care of my dog, making it to the gym 5 days a week and oh yeah, having a social life? I don’t have children right now, but for those of you that do I can only imagine how hectic your schedules are. Meal Prepping will help check one thing off of your long list of to-do’s.

First, check your calendar. What’s going on this week? Dinner with a client? Your sons soccer game? Family outing with the in-laws? Know which days you need to prepare for, and those you don’t.

Look in the pantry and see what you have on hand. Then pick out some recipes that you love. Need some ideas? I’ve included some below. To make it easier, make them in bulk so you can have the same meal 2-3 times. Maybe dinner with the family on Monday night and lunch leftovers the next. Generally speaking meats and poultry will last around 3-4 days, while rice and pastas will last 3-5 days. Jot down a list and head to your local grocery store.

Once you’ve got all the foodies – you can decide what to make now, and what to make later. Maybe you want to make 2 days worth of food and cook again on Wednesday- That’s what I do to ensure I have fresh food the entire week.

Prep the foodies. Wash and cut your fruits and veggies. Cook and brown your meats. Cook your rice and pastas.

Once they are done and cooled, split it all up into Tupperware. You can get them anywhere! It can be as simple as Gladware – or portion control containers with separate compartments. I order mine from Amazon.

TIPS:

  1. Go in with a plan
  2. Take an hour NOW to save multiple hours LATER
  3. Portion control
  4. Stick to fresh, healthy ingredients
  5. Make delicious meals so that you are more apt to eat them

Remember: Crock pots are amazing. Good Tupperware will save you. Keep Ziploc bags for the little things. Lunchboxes will hold you together.

Now, Mondays wont be so hard! You’ll have quick, healthy (and I forgot to mention CHEAP) meals at your fingertips!

MEAL PREP RECIPES

Buzzfeed Top 5 Meal Prep Ideas

8 Seriously Easy Meal Prep Recipes

25 Healthy Recipes for People Who Hate Salads

Meal Prep Ideas to Save Time

Chicken Breast Recipes

Meal Prep Bowls

xo,

Dev