So I have been meaning to post this ever since I started to help share the things that I love and help me to achieve my fitness goals.
1. My fitness Pal (I believe Emily is using this too).
It is a very useful tool to help track all of your calories along with how much cardio you are currently doing. One of the reasons why I have been so sucessful is because I am not allowed to eat anything unless I record it first. This is how you are able to really think about the calories you are about to consume and if they are worth it. You can use the website or the handy iphone app.
One of my main motivators at the gym. This is one of the best things ever invented. Basically it is a music app that you can create playlists and seach any song you want instantly! It has a huge catalogue of songs for you to pick from but it does have a nominal montly subscription fee. I love it because if I am craving a certian song then I can look it up and instantly hear it. Plus nothing gets me motivated more then a good beat.
3. My Iphone!
How could I live without you. You allow me to track my calories and play my music. Combined with a great arm band I am ready to go at any time.
4. Foam Roller
A new piece of equipment recently introduced to me. It has really helped in my recovery post-work out and improved my over all flexibility. Basically you roll out all your muscles and it is very beneficial pre and post workout. It helps by reducing any facscia build up in your muscles preventing those painful trigger points (if you have ever experienced a deep tissue massage). It feels like the nots are just rolling away. They are very inexpensive and are very beneficial. You should try one and incorporate it daily. I have seen a huge increase in my flexibility and post workout muscle soreness.
5. Protein Powder, Allmax Isoflex
A necessary evil. I have spent many hours tasting many different types of protein and I have found a very good protein isolate. There are many things to look at when you pick out a protein powder because they are not all created equal. A whey protein isolate is great post-workout because it ensures fast delivery to your muscles to replace the energy that was just spent on your workout. Remember muscles are built outside of the gym and for muscles to build they need protein. My favourite brand is Allmax Isoflex because it has the most protein (27g per scoop) with minimal carbs (1g) no fat (0g) and no aspartame (which is hard to find in many low calorie protein products. It also tastes the best out of all the ones I have tried and doesn;t have as high of a sodium content as many of the shakes do. This beautiful mixture all comes in at 110 calories per scoop! It is also is made of a high qualty grade protein which is very important. What I hate about comercially avaliable shakes are that they often have so many carbs in the shake to make it taste good that it is around 300+ calories or it has not enough protein to be worth it. Now in a pinch, I have had the muscle milk light chocolate shake but honestly there is too much sugar not enough protein and too many calories to keep it in my routine.
6, My playbook
This has been an unending source of joy while at the gym and a great motivator. I have loaded on some of my favourite shows and then I will not allow myself to watch that program outside of the gym. Recently I was watching seasons 1, 2 and 3 of true blood on it and I would be itching all day to go to the gym to find out that was goign to happen next. I found myself so upset to leave the eliptical and would often do an extra hour because the show was getting really good! I have tried reading books before on the eliptical and it was not worth it because it is so hard to workout hard and fast while reading but my playbook and it's incredibly large font has fixed that! Now I am currently reading an amazing page turner and I find myself looking forward to my cardio sessions! It is slowly becoming one of the best parts of my day and one that I really look forward to!
7. Anything Lululemon....a great workout outfit
Now I will explain here why I think it is important for everyone to own some nice workout clothes. If you are working out in the privacy of your own home then you should wear whatever you like but if you are out in the gym do you really want to be wearing raggy clothes that you would never be caught dead going to the grocery store in? Since I spent about 15+ hours a week at the gym I think that at least 15% of my money should be spent on workout clothes. They make me feel truely great. I love how lululemon (or any nice workout clothes) really accentuate your assests and you just feel like a million bucks wearing them at the gym. This confidence translates into your workout and you jsut feel like a powerful person while working out. It is also great motivation when you see other people checking you out and you know your hard work is paying off. Plus I know when I run into co-workers I want to look presentable. You don't have to spend much but as long as it makes you feel good when you wear it, I think everyone needs to have that motivational piece of clothing that makes them feel great while working out.
8. Water Water everywhere
This should really be #1 but I am not really writing them in order of importance but in the order that they come to me. Water is the single most important piece to your workout more than the eating and working out itself. Water has the ability to change your weight down 5lbs or up 5lbs and it really depends on how much you drink. Now I know there are other factors at heart here but if you aren't drinking enough water your body is not metabolizing your food properly and it will hold on to excess water weight. If you have reached a plateau or went up in weight, drink water. Might sound counter intuitive but if your body knows it is getting a constant stream of water it will be less likely to hold onto water for later use. I normally drink around 4L a day and my body will retain massive water the next day if I dont drink enough. Also remember that for your body to sense that you are thirsty you need to have had a 1-2% drop in body weight. So pee clear and drink up my friends, it will not only help you get faster, stronger, weight less but also it will help you feel more full at a meal.
9. Amylu Chicken Sausages and Carmalized Onion Chicken Burgers
I eat these chicken burgers for lunch EVERYDAY. They are a wonderful protein source at 150 cal, 7.5g fat, 2g carb and 22g of protein and are organic. They are great because they take 1 minute to heat and contain no nitrates that are found in a lot of processed meats. The chicken sausages are 70 calories for 3 sausages and make a great addition to any breakfast. I buy these in bulk at costco.
10. Irish Oats
After 5 years of continually eating oatmeal for breakfast 98% of the time this is still my favourite meal. I now bought the slow cookingtakes 45 minutes to cook these stupid thing oats but it is worth it. I love them so much with a tsp of brownsugar and some rasins that were cooked in the oats and some cinnamon. They really keep me full and are truely delicious. I use to eat oatmeal for dinner before moving to california I loved it that much.