Maya Fit Girl

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3 Ways to To Prevent Bloat March 2, 2015

Filed under: Beauty,Fitness,Food — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:30 am
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healthy-digestion

For years I battled with digestive issues- you know that bloated feeling you get after eating a big meal? Well, imagine feeling that pain and bloat all day everyday. The only time I felt relief was first thing in the morning before food consumption would begin.  That pain was the main reason why I had little to no appetite and would only be able to eat once or twice a day.  I always felt full, so my brain never sent the message to my stomach that I needed to eat.  Until I decided to make these three changes:

Eat Healthier

This was the easiest part for me. Since I barely ate anyway, I really didn’t have to “give up” any bad foods that were in my diet at the time.  But what I did have to do was create a healthy meal plan.  A plan which would force me to eat at least five times per day- starting with a healthy breakfast (like oatmeal, eggs and blueberries), a healthy snack (like granola and Greek yogurt), a good lunch (like a spinach salad with dried cranberries, feta cheese, pecans, salmon, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing), another snack (like sliced apples with peanut butter), and a small dinner (like asparagus and tilapia).

Adding these healthy items not only jump started my appetite, but they also provided enough protein and fiber to help prevent bloat. Oh, and not to mention at least a gallon of water to help with digestion. Speaking of water…

Stay Hydrated

I wasn’t drinking nearly enough water as I should have.  Once I increased my water intake, the bloat slowly, but surely started to go away. But the most effective way I have found to help ease my stomach pain and increase regularity, is to drink water hot or room temperature water with lemon. There are many benefits to drinking water in this way, but the most important ones are aiding in digestion and flushing out toxins, which are key in keeping the intestines and colon healthy. (Take Somaya’s 7 Day Water Challenge here.)

Enzymes Everyday

As my diet is current high in fiber and protein, I found that taking digestive enzymes at least once per day helped my body breakdown those foods to help prevent bloat. Fiber is non digestible and unabsorbable within the intestines. This means that it can travel through the intestinal tract having the potential to clog things up. The enzymes break it down to allow for normal digestion and decreased bloat.

Sometimes a great deal of our health problems can be solved by changing our diet.  Do you research, find what works for you, and watch how your body reacts. You deserve to feel good…make it happen!

Be sure to check out my Fit Girl by Maya website today for more fitness information- recipes, workouts, videos, apparel, and more!

 

 

Photo by: http://www.BanyanBotanicals.com

 

How to Eat Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants September 29, 2014

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[As originally contributed to ThisFitsMe.com on 8/12/14]

We all have been through the scenario where we are pressed for time, we don’t have our prepared meals with us, running errands has taken longer than usual, and our stomach is starting to sound like a grizzly bear. We are down to our last resort—the fast food drive thru.

Here are a few healthy ways to navigate the fast food menu at various restaurants:

Subway

  • Six inch veggie sandwich on the 9 grain whole wheat with spinach and not regular lettuce, it packs more fiber and the essential vitamins needed to reenergize you. Season with a little oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Oven Roasted Chicken salad or the Double Chicken Chopped Salad has everything you need to fill you up without the guilt. You can choose all the veggies you want and add chopped chicken breast. Remember to choose spinach as your leafy green and oil and vinegar as your dressing.

Chik-Fil-A

  • Chik-Fil-A has just added Grilled Chicken Sandwich to their menu. I love that it’s on a multi-grain bun and is seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper. Sea salt is a better salt option than table salt because it is an all-natural mineral while table salt is heavily processed and contains additives.
  • The Grilled Market Salad is another one of their grilled chicken options, packed full of protein and tons of veggies, including Romaine lettuce and baby greens. The red, and green apples, strawberries, and blueberries adds the sweetness and natural sugars you need to replenish body with energy. I would suggest having this salad before noon to give you plenty of time to burn off the extra sugar.

Wendy’s

  • Try the Grilled Chicken Wrap (found on the value menu), but remove the tortilla and ask for a side of sliced apples. Both will give you the fuel you need to keep going until you get home for your next meal.
  • The Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich can be eaten open-faced (with only one slice of bread) or with no bread at all. Ask for it without the honey mustard, which cuts the fat intake in half.

For your beverage at any fast food restaurant, choose water, unsweetened iced tea, black coffee or hot tea (no sugar). Don’t ruin your progress with sugar-filled drinks. They don’t quench your thirst and they are bad for you — diet cola, or not.

Although making your own food is the best option, you don’t have to starve or deny yourself food just because you think you don’t have options while out of the house. It is better to eat the healthy options from fast food restaurants, than to skip a meal. Just keep in mind that you can remove or order your food without the condiments or things that would be considered unhealthy.

Take your health in your own hands. You are in control, so make the right decisions that will help you reach your health and fitness goals.

 

Don’t Get Discouraged…You Can Do It September 22, 2014

Filed under: Exercise,Family,Fitness,Health,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 12:04 pm
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motherjuggling

Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy, especially if you are a mom. We have about 10,000 things on our daily to do list and we are usually very close to the bottom. With so much to do and so much to keep up with, how can we keep aligned with our fitness goals.

Taking time to prepare our weekly meals, plan our workout routines, and then actually carry them out is hard, but we must not get overwhelmed. That feeling of being overwhelmed is what ultimately makes us keep quitting and starting over. We get so excited to start a new plan and reach new goals, but when we see how much work it will take, how much temptation we are faced with, and how little time we have, we give up…until we get tired of unhealthy ways and start the cycle all over again.

Here are five ways I keep myself from getting stressed out and overwhelmed.

1. Take it one day at a time

Try not to think about how many days it is going to take to reach your fitness goals. Just know it won’t happen over night. Period. Each day is a new opportunity to stick to your plan, don’t worry that you may have to eat the same lunch for three or four weeks. Concentrate on today.

2. Talk to yourself

There are times when I am faced with life-changing dilemmas (well, maybe not that dramatic)- should I take a bite of this muffin my son left on the counter or can I wait til my next meal? This is where I have to have a conversation with myself—sometimes out loud. I say, “Will this bite of muffin get me closer to my goal of placing 1st in my next competition?” or “Are the added calories, fat, and sugar worth it to my body and what I am trying to accomplish?” Usually after I ask myself those questions, I’ll throw the muffin away (but not without inhaling the smell of it for about 30 seconds).

3. Find an alternative

When I get a craving for a chocolate bar, fries, or things like that, I have to become creative and figure out a healthy alternative. If suddenly I want a Reese’s peanut butter cup, I will pull out the blender and make a choco-peanut butter smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, chocolate whey protein, a tablespoon of peanut butter and ice. Voila! Craving, satisfied.

For fries, I would slice a sweet potato long ways, drizzle a little olive oil over them and sprinkle on a little sea salt and bake them for about 25 minutes. Yum!

4. Get busy

The times where I am most likely to want unhealthy foods are when I am bored. I’m sitting on the couch watching some random, waste of time show and start wanting some potato chips with hot sauce on top. As soon as I get that feeling, I immediately turn off the television and head to the gym. If I have already worked out, I will start cleaning some area of the house, read a book or magazine or go outside with the kids. There’s always something to do other than stuffing your face with the wrong foods and then feeling bad about it later.

5. Get your own space

I found that when my food is mixed in with the family’s food in the cabinets and refrigerator, I am more likely to want the foods I am not supposed to have. If I see my son’s chocolate chip cookies next to my raw almonds, the almonds may get left on the shelf—not good. So, I decided to have my own cabinet in the kitchen allocated for all of my food items. I even have my own refrigerator in the garage. That way I won’t eat foods not on my plan and my family won’t eat up all my food, mistakenly. The key is out of sight out of mind.

No one said being healthy was easy, as long as you remember your goals, take things one day at a time, and be conscious of the decisions you make, you will make it through. Be patient with yourself and you will be successful.

 

Photo by: http://www.catholiclane.com

 

Don’t Be Afraid of the Weights September 16, 2014

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[As originally contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 8/5/14]

Recently, I hosted a fitness workshop and found that all of the women in attendance exclusively had cardio in their daily routine with Zumba being the favorite.  Zumba is fun and gets your heart pumping, running for miles and miles really improves your endurance, running on the elliptical and treadmill are great for the legs, but what about weight training?

There is a myth, among many women, that lifting weights is a man thing or that if you lift too much, you will end up with the physique like a man. Let me let you in on a little secret…both are false. Women have been lifting weights for just as long as men and the only way that you will end up with the body like that of a man is if you are taking steroids and/or lots of testosterone.

Incorporating strength training into you workout creates a great balance for the body.  Adding a little muscle to can help fill out the body and, depending on how heavy or light you lift, can really get you the curves you desire.  And just know that lifting weights doesn’t mean that you start with a 300 pound barbell. If you are not looking to achieve that ripped, super defined look, lift light, yet challenging weights for longer repetitions (reps). For instance, curl 10 pound dumbbells for 20 reps, instead of 35 pound dumbbells for 10 reps.

Aside from gaining muscle tone, here are five other reasons you should start lifting weights.

1. Lifting Burns that Baby Fat

High intensity lifting and metabolic training stimulates lipolysis or the fat breakdown and release and increases the body’s metabolism hours after your workout is complete. You not only burn calories during your weight training session, but you’ll continue to burn calories long afterwards.

Your body becomes strong, defined, and lean. No more will you feel ashamed or lack self-confidence when you are naked.  You will look and feel better than you did before you had your baby!

2. Post-Workout Burn

A high intensity lifting session burns approximately 500 calories per hour and boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the minimum number of calories your body burns at rest, working out, or lying down.

What this means is that you not only burn calories while working out, you also continue to burn them up to 24 hours afterwards. The more intense you lift, the more you burn through your boosted metabolism.

This also means that the more muscle you gain, the less fat you’ll have. The less fat you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Gaining muscle gets you lean and keeps you lean.

3.  Prevents Your Metabolism From Declining

As we increase with age our metabolism typically decreases, starting around the age of 30.  To prevent this from happening, incorporate frequent weight training in your fitness life.

With your metabolic rate elevated, you will stay in shape well after the kids leave the house!

4.  Improves Posture

Lifting weights strengthens your muscles, including your back, neck, shoulders, and core (abdominal area).  Strength in these areas helps you to stand up taller, improve your posture, preserve the spine and reduces back pain.

Who wouldn’t want to look strong and confident on a daily basis?

5.  Reduces Stress and Improves Mood

Exercise and weight training release endorphins- neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and enhance pleasure.  Endorphins are released during long workouts where the intensity is moderate to high and breathing is difficult.

With all of that release going on, your stress levels decrease, along with any anxieties and depression. You begin to feel happy with each breathless set you complete! The kids love it when you smile, so should you.

Being strong is not a “man thing.” Being strong is what you are everyday and in everything you do. Believe that.

Be sure to visit www.FitGirlbyMaya.com for FREE recipes, workouts, and fitness apparel.

Photo by: http://www.fitsugar.com

 

4 Ways to Boost Your Energy September 2, 2014

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(As contributed on http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.29.14)

I don’t know about you, but there are some days when I feel like my energy levels have reached the lowest of the low.  These are times when I re-evaluate my day-to-day and try to find those things that may be my biggest energy drainers.

Here are the top 4 things that take up most of my energy!

1. No Skipping Allowed

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but sometimes we forget that fact.  Eating breakfast is like filling up your gas tank.  You can’t run all day when you start with no fuel, so begin your day with a healthy, hearty breakfast.  My favorite is oatmeal (not in the packets) with sliced bananas on top to give it a little sweetness and a couple of slices of whole wheat toast with an all-natural peanut butter spread.

This packs enough fiber, carbs, protein, and natural sugar to start your day off with the energy you need.

2. Just Say No

Generally, as women, we find it hard to say “no” to or decline an invitation to something we kind of don’t want to go to or have time for, but we do it anyway just to be polite.

I have started to change my response to things like that.  When asked to do something I may not have time for, I just say, “Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you.” Or if I already know I won’t be able to do it, I give a polite, “No, I won’t be able to attend.”

It’s your time, you are in control of it.

3. Eat Right

Stick to a healthy meal plan. Don’t be tempted by those foods that fill you up and energize you temporarily, but then leave you feeling hungry and tired a few minutes later.  Eat foods that give you real, lasting energy. Foods like lean meats, green vegetables, beans, fresh fruits…you know, natural, non chemically processed foods. Chemically processed foods are generally low in fiber and high in sugar. Did you know it takes more energy to burn processed foods, which can lead to decrease levels of energy?

Bottom line, eat real food to get real energy.

4. Get Your Sleep

The most important thing you can do, besides eating healthy, is to get the proper amount of rest.  Most people need at least seven hours of sleep, but I need about nine hours in order to wake up energized.  Sleep restores your mind, body and spirit.

Having that time to re-energize helps you function better throughout your day.  If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try to get a nap in during your lunch break or at home while the baby is sleeping (Don’t worry, you can do the laundry later!) and BONUS…being well rested aids in fat loss.

In other words, get some sleep!

“If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be strong enough to take care of anything in your life.” – Leon Brown

 

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*Photo credit by http://www.oprah.com

 

Don’t Get Discouraged August 26, 2014

 

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(As contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.28.14)

When we finally decide that we want to start getting active and be healthier to not only take better care of ourselves, but also our families, we begin to realize that we face many challenges as busy mommies.

You vs. You

Sometimes we get in our own way. We talk ourselves out of a workout out because we are tired from working all day at the office or at home taking care of the kids.  Then we talk ourselves right into a heaping bowl of ice cream because we can “start again tomorrow.”  Besides, it’s easier to scoop ice cream in a bowl than it is to make a hearty salad, right?

Easy doesn’t get you healthy. You have to work hard, push through the challenges of life and know you are worth the struggle.

You are Not Alone

Starting the journey can be very difficult, but if you have a support system to help you through it all, you will be more successful. Find a friend, a co worker, someone at your church, an online buddy, someone that will workout with you. You can encourage each other and share your successes.

Having an exercise partner can keep you accountable and committed to your goals. Having someone to answer to increases your fitness achievements.

Cheating is Ok

To keep me sane, I always include one (maybe two) cheat meal in my weekly meal plan.  I have it every Friday night to coincide with date night with the hubs.

A cheat meal gives me something to look forward to each week and it allows me to have my “naughty food” fix.  Once I have my special meal, all my cravings are curbed.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

We all have our moments of weakness where we give in to those temptations that can get us off track- that slice of greasy pizza at the office party, the endless cupcakes at your kids’ birthday party or that two liter bottle of cola calling your name from the fridge.

No worries, if you slip up, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Don’t give up on your goals. Commit to be stronger when faced with temptation again. Take one day at a time and know you have what it takes to reach your goal to live a fit and healthy life.

Be sure to sign up for the Fit Girl by Maya newsletter and be the first to get FREE workouts, recipes, promos and more!

*Photo credit by http://www.click2houston.com

 

How to Find Time to Get Fit August 18, 2014

 

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(As contributed on www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.25.14)

(As contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.25.14)As moms, we all have been faced with the same question. How do I find the time to get fit in my already hectic schedule? Time after time we try to squeeze a workout into our daily lives as if it is a non-priority. Ladies, it is time to PRIORITIZE!

Here are 4 proven ways to add fitness to your life and become your number one priority:

1.  Make an Appointment

Just as you make your weekly nail appointment or schedule your kids’ playdates, make an appointment with exercise.

Even if it’s only a 15 minute walk around the block, a 30 minute yoga video in your living room, or a 45 minute Zumba class at the gym. Take time for yourself and get active. So, get out your calendars (on your smart phone or in that appointment book) and schedule times throughout the week you will commit to get fit and stick to it!

2.  Make it Fun

When planning your workouts, include things that are not only challenging, but also fun.

Remember, workouts don’t always have to be the standard jog on the treadmill or bicep curls in the weight room.  If you love to play tennis, go do that! As a matter of fact, take a friend and go play  at the courts in your local park. Go play tag in the backyard with the kids. Not only will they have fun spending quality time running around with you, but you will too. When was the last time you played outside? You’ll have so much fun you won’t even realize you’re working out!

3.  Plan Ahead

In order to always be workout ready, you must be prepared.

Have a packed gym bag in the trunk of your car, ready for those last minute or impromptu visits to the gym. You know, for those times when you leave work late with no time to stop at home and hit the gym before you pick up the kids? Or, have a bag already packed siting by the front door.  Now you don’t have to take the time to search for your bag and pack it every time you want to go to the gym. It’s conveniently waiting for you as you head out the door. Now you won’t have any excuse to miss your workout. You’ll already have your gym bag packed and ready to go.

4. Get Real

When you decide to start getting fit and live a healthier lifestyle, be sure to set realistic goals for yourself.

Although we want to challenge ourselves, setting unrealistic goals does more harm than good. More often than not, it leads to us quitting and going back to being last on the priority list.

For example, losing 30 pounds in 10 days is an unrealistic goal that will not only send your body into shock, but is so extreme that if you are able to lose that 30 pounds, you will most certainly gain it back and then some.

Let’s take care of our bodies and be patient with our goals.  If 30 pounds is what you want to lose, do it the right way by  incorporating  healthy meal and exercise plans and stick to them and give it time.

Time and consistently are crucial to your success!

Ladies, we all want to look good, feel good,  and be healthy, but the only way to get there is to make ourselves a priority. You take care of everyone else, so be sure to take of yourself.

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*Photo credit by www.getintravel.com

 

 
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