SMART Fitness Motivation

Happy Sunday!

Hope your weekend is going amazing so far. Hopefully the first weekend of Summer has been kind to you. It sure is over here, but today we’re not talking weather. It’s all about fitness motivation today.

you are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way

This was a guest post I received from Michelle, who has recently taken an interest in inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle. She has tons of knowledge in the health and fitness industry and since everyone asks her about her healthy lifestyle, we thought it would be great for her to share her amazing knowledge with all of you!

With that being said, welcome Michelle.

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Talk is cheap in the world of fitness, and just about any person can say that they want to get back in shape. Many people plan to lose weight, and those people often lack a clear plan on how to turn that goal into a realistic result. One of the most common problems is trying to lose all of the weight at once. Individuals can experience burnout, and they can quit their diet before real results come about. They might hurt themselves by trying to do too much too quickly, and they might just grow bored of their routine. If you haven’t been active for a long time, trying to run a 5K can be extremely difficult on all parts of your body. The better approach is to start slow with your fitness routine, building up strength and stamina over the course of time. If you are serious about getting your body back into top shape, then you should create and follow SMART goals.

S stands for Specific. Too many people go vague when they put together a plan. If you are serious about getting into shape, then you need to have a specific goal. Do you have goals related to body measurements? Do you want to improve certain muscle groups? Do you have a poundage goal?

M stands for Measurable. In order for goals to work out, you must be able to measure the results. Come up with goals that you can easily measure.

A stands for Attainable. Some people start out with goals that they can never achieve in a given amount of time. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds in a month, then you will almost certainly fail, as the only way to do that is to cut off a limb. You need to ensure that you are working toward something that is actually possible. Don’t set the bar too low, though, and be sure that your goal is something that will lead to a worthy result.

R stands for Relevant. Make sure that your goal is relevant for where you are in life. If you are in your early 20s, then you might think about fitness goals relating to sports. If you are getting older, then lowering your cholesterol might be the goal.

T stands for Time-Bound. Your goal must have some tangible time measurement. Without knowing the time frame in which you need to achieve your goal, it can be very difficult to stay focused.

June is the perfect month to get out there and improve your body. With the first day of the month being National Healthy and Fitness Day, and with the right plan, you can get your body back to the top.

Use an inspiration board to help plan your goals. Here is an example:

success in fitness

* I love reading inspiring quotes on Pinterest. This one is from Live Gourmet. So simple, but so true!

* Nutrition is also something I need to work on for sure. Eating poorly is taking an effect on my energy levels during the day. I’m looking for a long-term improvement, not a temporary fix. I’m looking to experiment with healthy recipes and swapping bad snacks for healthier options. I plan to cut back on those tempting sugary cocktails, and opt for a fruity-smoothie version instead. I found a great recipe from Bar10der. Makes for a fun alternative to water or tea. I may even try them as an afternoon pick-me-up, or a power breakfast. There are thousands of great healthy cooking resources out on the internet. For example, have you ever tried a Mediterranean Paleo Pizza? I have not. But I found the recipe, and I can’t wait to try it.

* Everyone has his or her own source of inspiration, but to me the outdoors is my inspiration, so I’m using this as the anchor of my motivational board. As part of my initiative to spend more time doing activities outdoors, I’ve started to learn to golf at Atunyote, a New York golf club near my work. I usually golf 9 holes, it’s nice to be able to spend most of the time walking. What I like about it is that it’s a leisurely sport, nothing too strenuous.

* I would like to start running more. I’ve read from a lot of resources online about a great Couch-to-5k program that would be perfect for me to start with. It involves a mix of walking and running which is great for beginners. Hopefully by the start of fall, I’ll be ready to sign up for my first race!

***

What’s your healthy inspiration?

What’s your SMART goal for this Summer?

Have a beautiful Sunday, friends!

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

strawberry ice cream

Strawberry Ice Cream (single serving, vegan, gluten free, and super duper easy)

  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • a little sweetener if desired
  • *a few handfuls of ice (for added thickness if needed)  - optional

strawberry ice cream

- Blend all the ingredients together in a blender of food processor and blend until nice and creamy.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Single Serve Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


Single Serve Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Single Serve Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (vegan, gluten free)

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (I use gluten free oats)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup water or almond milk (I used silk unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • sweetener of choice (I used 1/4 teaspoon stevia)

- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in an oven safe dish and lightly grease or tinfoil that dish to prevent the bake from sticking.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes
- Finish off with adding the toppings of your choice! (I chose peanut flour frosting and a few fresh chopped strawberries)

I love the added coconut flour into this, but don’t I usually. It adds that nice cake-like texture to it

Chia Banana Protein Smoothie

It feels like I’ve been gone forever, in reality it’s been three days.

If you saw on twitter, my blog was in commission for most of the weekend, or so I thought. Somehow, I managed to block my own IP address from my website. Not even sure how that’s possible, as I don’t know how to black others. That would happen to me…

green power smoothie

Going green is quite easy, just throw a few spinach leaves into a smoothie and you instantly have a more nutrient filled meal. You can’t taste the spinach, I swear.

These have been my go to Dinners as of late. I just make sure to jam pack them with good stuff.

Chia Banana Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop sun warrior protein powder
  • a big handful of frozen spinach (so simple – just freeze a fresh bag of chopped and rinsed spinach)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 of an avocado (optional for added creaminess)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Just blend and enjoy!

What’s your favorite green filled food?

Vegan Banana Bread

For the recipe, I wanted to get the most bang for my buck and combine 3 flours. This way there are more nutrients added between the different flours, and I love creating unique textures, tastes, and nutrition profiles that each flour contains.

banana pumpkin bread

Banana Pumpkin Bread (gluten-free, vegan)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup oat flour* (I used gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup protein powder (I used sun warrior, I recommend a vegan protein powder – it does best in baked recipes)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (this may sound like a lot, but it’s a must for vegan and gluten-free baking)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chia seed (grind the chia seed into chia seed powder, using a coffee grinder or replace with flax seed)
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (this helps the bread rise, so it won’t come out flat)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 large bananas)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 full dropper of vanilla stevia + 1 teaspoon stevia

* alternatively, you could use a mix of flour that equals 1 1/2 cups.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix your ground chia seeds with the 3 tablespoons of warm water and set aside for ~5 mintes until it thickens up into an “egg like” texture.

3. Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.

3. Mash banana, melt the coconut oil (separately), and add the rest of the wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

5. Once the batter is all combined and smooth, place the mixture into a lightly greased or tinfoil covered loaf pan.

6. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. When fully cooked, allow bread to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

What’s your favorite type of quick bread?

What’s a meal or food that reminds you of your childhood?

Vegan Banana Pancake for One

vegan banana pancake

Vegan Banana Pancake for One

  • 1/3 cup oat flour (ground my oats into flour)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 banana (mashed)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ~2-4 tablespoons almond milk (start with 2 and add more if they need more moisture)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • touch of sweetener (for desired sweetness)

Hopefully you already know how to cook a pancake, but you basically mix the dry, mix the wet (after allowing the flax to “gel” for ~5 minutes). Add wet mixture to dry, coat your pan with a tad of oil of choice (I used coconut oil). Finally, cook for about 4-5 minutes per side on low-medium heat.

Top with desired toppings and enjoy.

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The Simply Bar

A few weeks ago, the kind folks over at the Simply Bar sent me samples of their bars and protein chips.

Each bar is gluten free, vegan high protein and low glycemic. All bars are around 160 calories, filled with 16 g protein and only 3 g of sugar.

These bars to me, taste like a lighter version of a rice crispy square.

I was sent four of the flavors to try out. Lemon coconut, caramel peanut, peanut butter chocolate, and cinnamon.

Two flavours stood out to me the most: the caramel and the peanut butter chocolate. I’m not a fan of lemon in sweet things, so this was obviously not going to be a favorite of mine.

I was surprised at how full these actually kept me. Usually when bars are this low in calorie, I don’t get full from them easily.

Unfortunately, a minus for me was that they contain soy protein isolate (I should note the soy is non GMO). I try not to consume soy in large amounts, so these are great for days when I’m in a rush. But, I wouldn’t consume them daily.

I still say they are a good option if you are looking for a crispy like treat, but don’t want all of the sugar from a crispy square and would be more filling as well.

Since they are certified gluten-free, these would make a great energy bar option for people suffering from Celiac disease.

Check out their site for more information!

Saucony Review

*The wonderful team at Saucony; thanks to a great partnership from Fitfluential, sent me these lovely runners.

The release of these shoes kicks off Saucony’s new Find Your Strong campaign. It is a very motivational one too, it’s about believing in your achievements. I wore them during my walk, and really liked the way they fit my feet.

They were also extremely comfortable, with lots of support and a cushioning feel to them.

I have very flat feet, so I appreciated the support and I like the fact that they aren’t “heavy” running shoes.

The colors are also pretty darn cool as well. They’re super bright, which always makes things more fun.

I’ll update again when they have more wear in them!

What’s Beautiful?

* Disclaimer: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

Under Armour has an amazing campaign set for female athletes. Every one of us is an athlete. Whether you run, walk, do yoga, or lift weights. We all have an inner athlete within us. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert in the field or just beginning in your fitness journey.

We are constantly bombarded with messages and ideas of what the “perfect body” should be. As women, we are used to magazines telling us we need to be thinner, fitter and taller.

Beauty is more than skin deep, it is being confident in who you are as a person and where you are going in life. Beauty is more than an image. You are beautiful simply because you are healthy, and you are worthy. Beauty is more than a number on the scale. A number doesn’t define who you are as a person. It never will ,so don’t let it.

Fit looks different on every Woman. We should be supporting each other in our goals and lift each other up for accomplishing healthy habits.

I love waking up every morning knowing that I have an hour each day to spend bettering myself. I have that time to do what I want during the day, where I focus on the goals I have set for myself.

Fitness makes me happy, my whole life has involved exercise in some way. By working out I can work out, I can relieve the stress I feel  some days and after a workout, I’m like a new person.

I’ve come a long way in my journey. I grew up thinking that thin was beautiful. That I had to be a slave to the treadmill to be considered fit.

I’ve gone from overweight to severely underweight, and I’m beginning to find my balance. Fitness is my passion. I love to spin, swim, lift weights, do burpees, squat, and learn everything I can about fitness.

When I found out about Under Armours new campaign. The what’s beautiful campaign; I knew it was a great opportunity to share with others. And for others to share their fitness goals.

The What’s Beautiful Campaign encourages all women to set a goal for themselves and share it within the community. You can share your goal with other members, and receive motivation from one another. Under Armour wants to show that every Woman has her own journey to her personal fitness journey.

Along the way, you are eligible to receive motivation, support, and free gear.

The best part? 10 Women with the most inspiring journeys will be chosen to head to Florida for the first Under Armour Women’s Camp Sweat.

This contest allows everyone to stay accountable and what’s more inspiring then sharing fitness goals with each other and seeing achievements within others! It’s a beautiful thing.

My goal for this October is to be active everyday. Allow myself to get away from my thoughts, while I’m at the gym or at home and get active. It doesn’t have to be anything super intense each day, but at least get in a walk or a plank workout everyday.

Bodies are made to move. Not too much and not too little. Treat your body with respect and it will reward you with amazing benefits.

Now, I want to challenge you to set up your own fitness goals! Anything will do. There is no goal that is too small for a fitness challenge. Whether it be stretching everyday to running a marathon. This is your goal and will benefit you and your health.

This challenge can allow you to participate with others, get accountable, and watch other Women accomplish some amazing things in the name of fitness.

Simply enter this campaign by visiting the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign site and submit your story and your goals.

This contest is open to anyone over the age of 13 and resides in Canada or the U.S.

* Disclaimer: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

What are some of your fitness goals for this October?