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Fit After Pregnancy
Allyson started out as a certified boot camp instructor and since then has become a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. She competed in her first WBFF Fitness Atlantic competition taking second place in her category and was awarded her pro card in her second show. She has appeared in World Physique Magazine, has been a model of fitness wear in the Caribbean Islands is a frequent special guest on FTNS radio and has appeared in the movie “The Heat” and a hip hop music video.
Fit After Pregnancy
Having a baby is the most joyous time of any woman’s life, but after 9 months of weight gain and watching your body get larger and larger, a woman may start to wonder if she will be able to lose the weight, as quickly as she gained it. I have always been a thin woman but I would not say I was “fit”. During my pregnancy I was taunted by women who would make comments that I should not expect to ever be thin again; or that pregnancy will ruin my body. I began to believe what these women would say. I was bothered by their comments and feared that I would never lose the weight. I wanted to prove them wrong and prove to myself that losing the weight was achievable. I was motivated but wasn’t sure where to start. I had joined gyms in the past and used personal trainers, but I never saw the results I was looking for.
We always hear about “Diet and Exercise” but what does it actually mean? I had to learn about CLEAN eating. I had to take my workouts to a level I never thought possible. I think the biggest misconception about losing weight is, people often confuse eating clean as a diet. A diet to me restricts what you can and cannot eat. I have always been a good eater; I cook fresh home cooked meals and do not rely on the closest fast food restaurant. I didn’t have to change much, but I needed to realize when I had a craving for something sweet I could still have it on my cheat day and not at that point in time of my craving. I had to look temptation right in the eye and beat it!
I fed my body every 2-3 hours, sounds easy right? Not so much when you are taking care of an infant. My worst enemy was that I did not eat breakfast. I would not eat my first meal until lunch. Once I was able to train my body, it became very natural to eat small meals every 2-3 hours. The second misconception I had was eating that many meals would make me gain weight. I learned you need to eat the right foods and have the proper exercise program to give your body the fuel it needs.
I am often asked where I find the time to juggle my family and workouts. It is very simple; you find and make the time for yourself. For me, it is very easy. I want my daughter to grow up proud of her mother. I want to teach her to live a healthy life style. With the epidemic of child obesity and obesity in general, it is up to me to teach my family the importance of living a happy and healthy life.
I have become so motivated and so dedicated to living a healthy style, that I have reached my ultimate goals of inner belief, self-confidence and an amazing body! I am now a Fitness Model, a certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and most importantly a mom! I competed in the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Competition taking second place in the Diva Model Division and Fourth place in the Diva Bikini Division in my first show and ultimately being awarded my Pro Card at my second show. I have been featured in magazines, commercials, a Sandra Bullock movie, a music video and am a frequent special guest on a fitness radio show.
So many women have told me how inspired they are from hearing my story. I hope to continue to inspire other mother’s and women around the world, that they too have it within them to reach their goals, especially after having a baby!!
Lisa has been competing in the bikini division with the NPC organization since July 2011 and fell in love with it. Competing keeps her body in the best condition it can possibly be in and keeps her laser focused on eating 6 healthy meals a day. She has 2 children that are competitive athletes, so it is important to teach them how to take care of their body for maximum performance. She works a full time job as a pharmaceutical representative. Excuses are not apart of her lifestyle. She is striving to be a professional athlete in the IFBB league and to be an internationally published fitness model.
So many times I have been asked the question “Lisa what do I buy at the grocery store? You say to eat 4-6 clean meals a day to boost metabolism and lose weight but what exactly is an example of a clean meal?” So I thought I would share my staple grocery list of things that I buy every single time I am at the grocery store and recommend some great cookbooks that support clean eating that I keep on hand for fresh ideas for my family as well as myself. Just so you know I am a mother of 2 and a full time pharmaceutical representative so I have to plan ahead and keep fresh veggies and fruit on hand to pack in my cooler. I typically go to the grocery store once a week for my staples and end up going again later in the week. Both of my children are athletes and I feed them like they are training for the Olympics next week so that requires multiple trips to the grocery store sometimes
Here is my staple grocery list: Apples, Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, Broccoli, Zuchinni, Radishes, Cucumbers, Lemons, Limes, Egg whites, Vegetatrian fed eggs, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews, Cranberries, Oatmeal, Rice cakes, Natural Peanut Butter, Stevia, Tuna, Salmon, Scallops, Chia Seeds, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Black beans, Quinoa, Spinach, Romaine
Now this is not my total grocery list keep in mind I have a family. If I lived alone this would be my entire list. These are the items that I keep on hand so that I do not run out of healthy options and have to eat fast food. So now you are probably wondering what I do with some of these items. Lets start with fruit.
Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Bananas I eat in the morning for breakfast with egg whites and almond milk. They are also packed in my childrens’ lunches for the fiber and carbohydrate content. I typically wash and cut up a big bowl of strawberries and set them on the counter and when my kids come in from practice they see the fruit first and will eat it!
Broccoli, Zuchinni, Radishes, Cucumbers I like to eat raw, uncooked. So I cut up all my vegetables and mix them together in a big bowl. Add a dash of pepper and drizzle with sesame oil. I put this in 6 small containers and refrigerate. These are packed in my cooler for the week for me to eat while I am on the road. Spinach and Romaine I use for salads at dinner. I sprinkle Chia seeds on salad for my family for the nutritional benefits. Chia seeds are a powerhouse nutritional source, loaded with fiber and protein. Chia seeds can be used many many ways be creative.
Brown rice, sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa are my carbohydrate sources that I pack in individual containers as well for my cooler. These are also the staples I cook for dinner with grilled salmon, seared scallops, and grilled tuna. My daughters favorite meal is spinach salad with seared scallops. Oatmeal I eat in the morning for breakfast as well and mix in 1 teaspoon coconut oil for some good healthy fat!
Snacks can be the detrimental part of anyone’s diet. So I make my own trail mix in large plastic bags for the entire family. Almonds, Cashews, Dried banana chips, Pistachios, and Cranberries is a great mixture to start with. I have also added in dried mango and papaya but make sure you only eat 1/4 cup of trail mix a day if you are trying to lose weight. Another snack for me is rice cakes with peanut butter.
I drink 1 gallon of water a day and sometimes I like to have some flavor. I juice lemon and lime and the pulp and add stevia (plant based sweetener) to give myself a change to get my water in.
Well I hope this helps you in your grocery shopping! Please feel free to reach out to me with comments and success stories!!!
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Carine Duval is a fitness Pro who works as a dental hygienist who started competing in fitness two years ago at the age of 42. She won her pro card eight months later.
How many times have you told yourself: “I will start exercising every day,” “I will commit to eating healthier,” “I will lose a lot of weight.” People make promises to themselves every week! This is such a common thing to do, but even more common is the alarming rate at which these promises are broken.
To me, this is not surprising. I explain it with a simple analogy. Making a generic statement like “I will start exercising” is like saying “I will be a better person.” What’s wrong about that you ask? Nothing, if you believe that one can just become a better person by saying it aloud. If you truly aim to bring about a change, the key is to define the ‘what’ and the ‘how.’
How will you lose more weight? What exercise routine will you follow? What eating habits will you change? Don’t let these questions overwhelm you. It’s actually quite simple. When it comes to fitness, there are a few rules to follow as sacrosanct. Especially if you are trying to achieve a goal like weight loss or better health.
If you’re clueless about where to begin, here is a list of my ten best tips to get you started!
1. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and white foods such as white pasta, white rice and white bread. These foods get absorbed and digested quickly, causing a high spike in energy levels, however followed by a crash which could lead to increased hunger pangs in between meals. Healthier alternatives such as whole grains and whole wheat deliver the necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber and a host of phytonutrients.
2. Drink a lot of water. And I cannot emphasize this enough. Drinking atleast 8-10 8oz of water in a day will not only keep you hydrated – good for your skin and vital organs – but will also give you a sense of feeling full.
3. Exercise at least 4 times a week. Try to make it fun, choose something you enjoy so that you follow it rigorously. Join a biking or running group. When you make a commitment to others, you are more likely to keep it. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise with weight training. Cardio burns fat and is good for your heart. Weight lifting increases muscle mass which burns fat as well.
4. Eat 5-6 small meals a day. This will keep your metabolism high, and you’ll burn more calories. When you eat three big meals a day, your body is unable to metabolize too many calories at one time, thus the food gets stored as fat. With 4-5 smaller meals, you’re only eating the amount your body needs at one time. Combine 3 0z proteins, ½ cup veggies, and ¼ starches into each meal. Also include ¼-1 cup of fruits a day.
5. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. This may sound funny but when you go to a grocery story on an empty stomach, you’ll end up buying all kinds of high-fat food that you will later regret. Make sure you have eaten well and importantly, make a list of the foods you need, and stick to buying only what is on the list.
6. Isagenix. Choose a weight loss program and regimen that is safe and healthy. Trust and recommend Isagenix to maintain my lean physiques and build muscle. Their products are all natural and organic. They offer products such as a 30 and 9 day cleanse, gluten free protein shakes, healthy low calories snacks, and other supplements that comprise of ingredients from the earth.
7. Prepare your meals ahead of time. When hunger strikes, it’s common to want to eat everything that is in sight. If you have a proper meal already prepared, you could make a much healthier choice as opposed to reaching out for the bag of potato chips.
8. Maintain a daily log and take weekly photos. Record all that you eat in a day, including small meals. If you have to, make yourself answerable to somebody. This will make it easier for you to keep focus and stay on track. From the time you begin your health/fitness routine, take full-length photographs of yourself every few days. This will help you to visualize the changes your body is undergoing
9. Don’t sign off foods that you like, for life. If you hold back too much, over a period of time you’ll tire out your self-restraint and end up eating a lot more. Allow yourself the occasional treat and don’t feel too guilty about it.
10. Don’t stock up on food that is tempting and unhealthy. When you have processed food, colas, high-calorie desserts, foods that are high in saturated fat and sugars, etc., at home, it’s easy to get tempted and cave in. Don’t keep such options too handy.
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