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

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

Do weights make you bulky?

“I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to be bulky. I want to keep my girlish figure” – my friend says the other day at an interval training class.

I can’t even begin to talk about how often ladies will say this. There seems to be some misconception that the moment you pick up a dumbbell you’ll walk out of the gym looking like The Hulk.

Let’s talk through this. Bulk; it’s subjective. Everyone has their own perfect image of what type of body they’d like to have and anything above that is viewed as “fat” or in some cases “bulky muscle.” For me, I prefer to be strong, I don’t strive for the skinny arm or the thigh gap. Some girls do. I also don’t strive for big gluts and hamstrings. Other girls do. My goal is to feel healthy. To be happy with myself, my body and the way that I feel when I wake up in the morning. The image that comes with that is icing on the cake.

Another favorite quote of mine is “I don’t want to build more muscle. I just want to tone the muscle that I have.” 

Muscle is muscle. There is no difference between bulky muscle and lean muscle. “Lean muscle” is just muscle that has less body fat surrounding it and thus looks to be more defined. Building muscle will burn more calories, and even burn calories when you are not working out – thus continuing to burn the fat. Repeat: building some muscle WILL help burn calories and LOSE fat. *Cough* toning *cough.*

Muscle toning is muscle building, but muscle building isn’t necessarily muscle toning. Say WHAT?

Anytime you increase your muscle tone, you will increase your muscle size. But when you increase muscle size, you are not necessarily increasing your tone. WHY? Because in order to see the muscle definition, you need to have less body fat. Not really the case in terms of how large your muscles actually are.

Fun fact: Many fit, active women have a 6 pack. Many of those same women have a layer of fat covering said 6 pack (guilty as charged!)

In order to truly bulk, it requires serious strength training, lots of time and dedication and putting your muscles through hypertrophy. You will have to go beyond the initial toning in order to build. See below for the process of muscle growth.

Hypertrophy: the enlargement of tissue through growth of its cells. This is different than cells growing in number, Hyperplasia. As adults, we can’t produce NEW cells. We can however change the size of those cells, thus supporting our “muscle growth.”

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So, if lifting isn’t bad for women.. Where do we start?

Great question!

First step: Go to the gym. If you don’t want to go to the gym (god forbid Carol from the PTA sees you working up a sweat), buy a set of weights from Dicks Sporting Goods and start at home. Once you feel comfortable lifting at home, you’re gonna want to go to the gym for more equipment!

Second Step: Take charge of your body. Do some bicep curls, some lat raises or dumbbell rows.. Whatever it is just pick up the darn weights. Start basic. Get to know your body and what you are comfortable with.

Third Step: Once you are comfortable, push yourself. Do an extra rep. Increase your weights. Try a new exercise.

So go grab a dumbbell, grow some muscle, be a boss ass babe and ROCK your workouts! You’ll find it will help no matter what image you are working towards.

Xo, Dev