How to Stay Motivated with Exercise

Social Media Takeover

Recently, I was a guest host and did a social media takeover on both Instagram and Facebook for Legend Compression Wear. (Read more about their Graduated Compression Guide at their blog Here and receive $15 off with my referral Link.) 

Legend Compression

I was asked to give tips and strategies on how to stay disciplined with exercise. So, here are my 4 ways to keep motivated!

Exercise Motivation 1

1️⃣: choose a goal, write it down, set a timeline, follow a program, tell people!

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Pick an an event, race, or challenge – whether it be a mud run, 5k, 10 push ups or an Instagram fitness challenge with an achievable end date. Commit by journaling, letting your friends or family know, creating an accountability page, then research a program that fits your work life balance and start 👍

Exercise motivation 2

2️⃣: change your train of thought regarding exercise – think of it as an act of daily living as opposed to a chore

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I’m going to safely assume everyday, most of us, wake up and shower, get dressed, eat, brush our teeth, automatically put on our seatbelt in the car, work, take care of children, etc…or something to this effect. We have to think about exercise exactly as we do our daily tasks, that it’s just a part of life…a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

If this is a challenge for you regarding time or motivation, begin with an activity that you find enjoyable and is fun. You like nature? Go for a hike. You like music? Try Zumba. Trying to keep up with your kids? Bike 🚴. It doesn’t matter if it’s morning, lunch or at night, Fit it in as if your life depends on it because essentially…it does!

Exercise Motivation 3

3️⃣: practice daily positive affirmations & actions

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In order to get motivated to create a goal and get our mindset to believe the goal is worth doing and achievable, we need to work on ourselves to get our minds in the right place.

Everyday we should be practicing positive actions including: healthy eating, meditation, journaling our gratefulness, and/or practicing acts of kindness. When we treat ourselves gently we can then transfer it onto others as equally or far greater.

Perhaps today you’ll sign up for a race that benefits your favorite charity, compete in honor of a friend or loved one, or volunteer some hard labor to those in need. When the deed isn’t about you anymore, these small actions lead to big impacts and, in the world today, I think actions certainly speak louder than words ❤️

Exercise Motivation 4

And finally…

4️⃣: plan to reward yourself when you meet each goal 

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You’ve heard keep your eyes on the prize? Well, why not make that a reality?! You’ve worked hard to stay dedicated, spending time and energy, you deserve a little something. Plan a spa day, a night out at your favorite restaurant or new workout gear (like Legend Compression Socks 😉). Then you can stay motivated in your new gear to sign up for your next event!

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Following a Keto-ish meal plan as a Runner

*Let me preface that I am not a nutritionist. I’m new to educating myself on what I’m putting into my body. My trial with the ketogenic meal plan is a self experiment on my energy levels while training for a marathon. 

About six months ago, I met another American here in France. While I was excited to have drinks with a native English speaker, I was amazed to find out she was a big time leader in the Beachbody world; one that I participated in a couple years ago, but have since decided to step away from. Full disclaimer: I’m still a huge fan of the home programs and still do them for strength and cross training.

Anyway, I became Facebook friends with her and signed up for her blog (Fit With Rachel). If you have a Facebook account you are fully aware that it is the largest platform for all multi-level markets to use, so through it I discovered her previously recorded live videos about following a ketogenic meal plan. I saw her before and after pictures of toned abdominals and decreased leg cellulite (since losing 80lbs post-partum) thanks to workouts and change in diet. Although aesthetically, I was impressed that was not the reason I was intrigued by the meal plan. I did a little bit more googling and reading from other keto minded sites like Ruled.Me and Dr. Hyman and was pretty much convinced to give it a go.

What they were basically telling me was that I could, not only be heart healthy and tone up with foods considered high in fat but also, change my energy sources from sugars to fats by being in a state of ketosis.

What is ketogenic?

The short version, essentially you minimize your carbohydrate intake (usually <60g per day, hardcore <20g per day which I found to be extremely difficult considering fruits and veggies have carbs!). By doing so, you put your body into a state of ketosis in which it chemically changes to get its energy from burning fats instead of sugars (digested carbohydrates turn to sugar). 

If this program sounds familiar to the Atkins diet, you’re not far off except for the fact that the foods are much more heavily monitored. For example, you can’t just start eating all the red meat and cook with all the vegetable oils you want and expect that because it’s high protein and high fat that you’ll automatically start losing weight (although there are probably people who will, but what’s more concerning is that it’s not healthy). Instead, you can eat red meat that has been grass fed and oils that are comprised of saturated fats, like coconut oil. 

Why? The difference is that non-grass fed beef has developed over time with chemicals, producing stressed meat that we ingest which can lead to an inflammatory response in our own bodies. When we eat unsaturated, trans, or hydrogenated fats like vegetable oils such as soy, corn or canola, the fat process has been damaged creating free radicals which again leads to inflammation in our own bodies and can lead to i.e. heart disease and diabetes. 

Seems opposite of what some food industries has been informing us for years by stating we should eat advertised low-fat foods. But, unfortunately, the process in which to reduce FAT (damaging the fat particle, as I mentioned above, by producing free radicals) can ultimately lead us to eating more carbs because they have been advertised as lower in fat!  Seriously, wtf?!

As an endurance runner, it’s been ingrained in me to carb up! In fact a former co-worker of mine, when I ran my first marathon, bought me a headband that read ‘will run for food’. Some large races even incorporate a pasta dinner the night before the run included with the race fee. Honestly, I never educated myself on macros and nutritional values. I used to run so I could eat what I wanted regardless if it improved my performance. But after 10 years and 9 marathons with increasing times, I figured my go to plan of eating what I wanted wasn’t working to help my performance anymore. I know, I’m a late learner.

So hearing about a change in energy sources from a ketogenic meal plan inspired me to try it more so than dropping 5lbs or reducing leg girth.

Four weeks ago I started the plan. The first week was the hardest, you’re ridding your body of processed sugars which act like drugs to your body. Some people even develop something called the ‘keto-flu’. I read recently a study in which they gave a group of mice cocaine laced water bottles and another group sugar laced water bottles, and the sugar mice ended up drinking way more. Science. 

Game Plan

To start the process, your first grocery bill will also be quite expensive. You have to buy typically from an all organic market and get essentials like ghee or grass-fed butter, coconut oil, almond and coconut flour, coconut sugar, protein powder, all natural nut butters, full fat cheeses, grass fed, pasture raised and free range meats and eggs, fish high in omega 3’s like salmon or tuna, avocados, olives and fresh vegetables and fruits that are low starch (think a lot of above ground legumes like spinach and less root vegetables like potatos and carrots and for fruits more berries than bananas or apples) etc. 

Here is an example of my first weeks meal plan…

Example keto meal plan

Example keto meal plan


Results

Luckily for me, I didn’t experience any sort of carb withdrawals that first week. The meals were of course tasty but moving forward into week 2 and 3, there were days when all I wanted was an ice cold beer, bread or pasta with my meal. The hardest times were when I went to eat at a friend or family’s place, in my opinion. But I persevered! And although they recommend not drinking alcohol at all because of its lack of nutritional value, essentially spirits like vodka and wine have virtually no carbs so I was still able to have a few cocktails on the weekends, especially when I was traveling to Portugal and Switzerland the past couple of weekends. 

My goal was to complete 3 full weeks and I can proudly say I went 19 out of 21 full days without having bread, and the full 21 days of not having beer or pasta. And while I should have taken my weight and measurements to find objective changes, I didn’t. But here is a before and after picture.

Before Keto/After Keto

Before Keto/After Keto


As for my energy, I did feel low the first week but now feel less tired on runs or training sessions that are less than an hour. As my Berlin marathon training cycle continues to increase in mileage, I’m going to try to continue being in a state of ketosis but I may experiment with carbs again on pre-day runs greater than 90 minutes, depending how I feel on that first longish run. 

Have you tried a ketogenic diet? What are your thoughts or concerns?

Healthy Options for Thanksgiving

While I’m over here in France, I’m missing Thanksgiving (because they don’t celebrate over here)! 

Finding a whole turkey in Metz is almost impossible so we have reservations at Max & Moritz in Luxembourg as they have a prefixed American style Thanksgiving menu. *Gasp, the horror of not having a home cooked meal, but perks are that I don’t have to make it or clean up afterword.

However, my point here is not to say I’m jealous of my American friends being with family, watching football while eating turkey and pies (but yes, I’m just a little jealous). My blog today is to encourage 8 healthier choices you can make and do this Holiday and through the rest of the year.

  1. Eat a hearty and healthy breakfast (eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, fruits etc). Don’t go to dinner on an empty stomach thinking you can eat more that way, in fact, you will more than likely overeat.
  2. Do a turkey trot race in the morning or if running isn’t your thing, take a walk with the family before and again after dinner.
  3. See if you can substitute healthier options for your dishes like fat free chicken broth, fruit purée instead of oil, plain yogurt instead of heavy creams, etc.
  4. Drink a lot of water before and during the meal. Enjoy some wine or a cocktail or two but have a glass of water between each drink to stay hydrated and full.
  5. Fill 2/3 of your plate with fruits and veggies. Reminder: this does not include cranberry sauce which is full of sugar, limit that so you can enjoy some dessert. 
  6. Leave the dinner table after eating. Sitting around talking at the table will tempt you to continue eating.
  7. Enjoy your friends and family and let them know why you’re grateful and thankful this year. This will put out positive vibes for you and the people you are with.
  8. Don’t stress! Don’t focus on weight loss but rather maintenance. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve made over indulgent choices. The holidays are a time to be enjoyed, so do what makes you happiest!

I’m thankful for all of you, my friends, family, supporters. This little blog life has given me a healthy outlet. I enjoy giving wellness advice and keeping you updated on what part of the world I’m venturing off to next. I’m thankful for Julien for putting up with me for a year and extending his home to become our home. I’m thankful for his family taking me in as one of their own. I’m thankful for my friends and family that I keep in touch with on social media, iMessage, FaceTime and WhatsApp to allow me to still feel like I have a piece of home back in the US. I’m thankful for new friends being patient with me on my painstakingly slow Franglish progress. I’m thankful I have the ability to travel. I’m thankful I’ve got a job and business venture with The Fit Wanderluster (P.S. Big Holiday SALE happening right NOW)!!!!!

 The world might seem scary, but if you look within yourself and find the good, it’s not so bad.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Fit Wanderluster Expansion

Big News Alert!!

FW Logo

The Fit Wanderluster has launched it’s first t-shirt and tank top business. Say What!?

My goals with this blog are to share my passions of working out and traveling while giving healthy recipes, wellness and injury prevention advice when I can with friends, family and the world. The blog is a glimpse of what it’s like inside my little bubble on this big, blue planet. I know I’m not the only one out there who loves fitness, running, and traveling. Now my passions can be shared and passed on with a visual statement that can be worn proudly to let others know your fit wandering desires as well.

My t-shirts are American Apparel branded and are classic, comfortable, with a vintage feel. Great for day to day wear, working out, or traveling.

 

The tanks are Next Level Brand with sporty racerback cut to keep you looking and feeling cool.

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Prices start at $23. Checkout is secure, fast and simple and all products can be shipped internationally.

Go ahead and get your Fit Wanderluster apparel today!

The Fit Wanderluster

It’s Time for Change

The world is a scary, beautiful, confusing, wonderful, miraculous, enchanting, loving, diverse, place that I want to learn and be a part of to enhance my knowledge, well-being, understanding, and culture. I love America and most importantly, I am proud of my home and city of Boston. I am not naive enough to believe that all great things on Earth have been developed only here in the USA. Often I think we are our own worst enemies with the daily choices we make that effect our livelihoods. I am wary of our government’s main objectives and lack of protection for it’s citizens from money hungry corporations that do not have our best interests at heart. I am not a political savant and will never claim to be well-informed on foreign policy or how to protect from terrorism or support third world countries. I cannot claim to have the solutions either. But I do know how to have empathy, produce kindness, be charitable and share when I do gain valuable knowledge. I can help someone regain the ability to walk after a stroke or total knee replacement through physical therapy or help prevent either of those resulting conditions, often seen with poor health choice and lifestyle habits, with exercise, nutrition and motivation as a coach. In order to help others, I have to continuously educate and develop myself.

I have been watching a lot of documentaries lately. Some that have hit home include:

  • Fed Up
  • Food, Inc.
  • Super Size Me
  • Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

I’ve also been reading a lot on body adaptations to food, exercise and participating in my own personal development by reading a handful of books including:

  • Spark By: John Ratey
  • Eat, Pray, Love By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Secret By: Rhonda Byrne
  • The Code of Extraordinary Change By: Steve Errey
  • The Compound Effect By: Darren Hardy

I want to put it out there why I have become a health coach. Initially, I thought, “Okay yeah I can do this and get a few bucks out of it because I have student loans, rent, travel expenses and I want to move to be with my love in Europe.” I will admit, money was one motivation. But honestly, it has fallen far down the list. Passion, helping others, commitment, dedication, success – these, these are the primary reasons I coach. I can visibly see the astounding life transformation and changes people are making when they make a commitment to themselves. Yes, making a lifestyle change involves investing money and time, but I’m telling you the long term effects are the sole purpose to your investment. Yes, I can tell you to buy one of the top American home exercise programs, learn portion controls, and delicious clean eating recipes. Yes, I can tell you to buy a shake that provides you with all your daily micro-nutrients you need. I can post as many photos, videos, motivational quotes I want to get you inspired and gun-ho for that next step in your life. But I can’t make you do anything. It’s your choice. I can try to educate you until I’m blue in the face about obesity statistics and long-term costs and complications from diabetes, auto-immune dysfunction, migraines, depression, degenerative joint disease, sleep apnea, cardiovascular dysfunction, cancer. Excuses are monuments of nothing. Rock bottom may be too late.

I’m not on my soap box to sell you a product. I’m here to tell you to get your head out of your ass and realize what your choices are doing immediately and long term, how your child, spouse, family is affected, how your brain is affected. How our government is failing us with lack of nutritional and health education and how that passes on for generations and generations after that. I don’t care what you think of my lifestyle but I can tell you I’ve never been healthier, happier, and more sure of my wellbeing than I ever have been in my life. I’m here to tell you if you are looking for a sign, this is it.


Contact me if you have questions, comments, want to write me a nasty email or seek advice, encouragement, support on Facebook.

Tips to stay healthy while traveling

Over Memorial Day weekend, I spent 6 days with a crew of friends, from France to England to Boston and sometimes New Orleans, in Nantucket for the yearly Figawi boat race event. This was the crew’s 8th year at the best barn-looking house on the island. 31 York St has a “president” and the crew has changed a little bit over time but the crew is still pretty tight and loyal for the most part. I have been lucky enough to experience my 4th Figawi weekend. While I was gone I was worried about my health and fitness maintenance that I’ve been working so hard to maintain especially the past 6 months and since becoming a Beachbody coach. I didn’t want it to go out the window because of a bunch of drinks and bar food. So here are some of my healthy tips I used while I was traveling.

1) Pack your workout gear

I actually hate packing and yes I usually over pack. I plan well but I like my options too. Typically, I go shopping for cute dress up vacation clothes (which I still did and those were my go-out clothes). However, this year I planned sneakers, yoga pants, tanks, and sports bras to wear each day for lounging around the house. I mean if you are at least going to dress the part, you’re half way to a good work out. Am I right?

2) Bring your ipad/laptop/tablet

Beachbody on Demand will travel. This means you can stream up to 1000’s of routines from well-known programs such as P90X, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, etc. Most of the programs can be done with your own body weight and are typically only 30-45 minutes. This means you only need wifi and you. Click the link if you want more info on Beachbody on Demand

Beachbody On Demand

3) Make a music playlist for the weekend

Honestly, music feeds the soul. It makes people dance (as does alcohol). It makes you move. So whether you have your favorite beats to get a good run to the beach or dance late night with your friends around the kitchen, having good music will be motivating.

4) Eat in, if you can

Of course it’s considered a nice luxury to eat out while vacationing. You don’t have to do the work or sometimes it can be reimbursed on a business trip, but if you are trying to watch your diet, it’s important to stick to your meal prep as closely as you can, if possible. 31 York St provides us with a beautiful, huge kitchen and our group has some incredible french friends who are amazing cooks, so in this part we are lucky. They created 5 family style home cooked meals for 13 people! In doing so we had a grocery list and was able to maintain fresh ingredients including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and healthier homemade lasagnas to our good body building friend Chi-Burgers. And we got to enjoy each other’s company for $70 for food for the weekend instead of one meal out at a nice place.

5) Cocktails with fresh fruit

Now while I’m on vacation, I’m definitely going to let loose and relax with a couple of adult beverages. In the past we would rock several 30’s of light beer and not even bat an eye. As we “mature” and some of our metabolisms aren’t quite what they used to be, we’ve calmed down in our partying ways and opt for fresher cocktails. This year we made several concoctions of homemade fruit daiquiris including fresh strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, bananas etc. We even allowed ourselves to indulge in our favorite mudslide but made from scratch instead of at our beloved Gazebo where more than likely a syrup, artificial base is used. Don’t get me wrong, we still had one or 2 when we finally did make our way to the Gazebo and still had light beers but doing most of the work at home saved a hole in our wallets and our stomachs.

6) Enjoy each other’s company

In the past, our goal was to party, get out, dance, meet new people. For the most part, most of us were single so doing all of that was incredibly fun. BUT it more than likely led to overconsumption and careless late night binge eating. The past couple of years have been a little different, we have been enjoying ourselves instead of seeking who we were bringing back to the late night kitchen dance fest.

7) Pledge to stay committed

It’s so easy to lose your focus and to slip from the exercise routine when you are not working and having fun. It’s easy to get swept up into other people’s, lack of a better term, laziness or eating habits when you are traveling with others. I find keeping an exercise journal or calendar can help keep myself in check. I also will just straight up tell people what my plan for working out for the day is. By saying your workout routine out loud, you have set yourself up for accountability and no one likes to fail. Who knows you may even end up with a workout partner…which leads me into my last tip.

8) Invite your friends and take pictures

What’s more fun than doing something alone? Doing something together of course! Invite. The worst thing you might hear is no. Don’t let someone’s judgement of your routine defer you from maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Often naysayers or judgey mcjudgey’s are just jealous of your commitment and are actually upset with themselves internally. I’m not saying workout to make your friends jealous or upset, but do so to maybe motivate and inspire. This at least provides an opportunity for you and them to burn some extra calories from the previous late nights indulgence. And if they are so willing, take pictures, laugh, have fun and enjoy the moment and each other. This is what life’s really all about!

Grocery Shopping!

Grocery Shopping!

Family Dinner

Family Dinner

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Homemade Mudslides

Homemade Mudslides

Chi-Burgers

Chi-Burgers

Easy Riders

Easy Riders

Yoga with Beer

Yoga with Beer

Watermelon

Watermelon

one-good-thing-about-music-when-it-hits-you-you-feel-no-pain-bob-marley

Nantucket, thanks for the memories!

Nantucket, thanks for the memories!