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?

Sweet Oporto

What an amazing week I’ve had! Not only did I begin training for my 10th marathon for Berlin in September and adapted my nutrition to start following a ketogenic meal plan (high “good” fat and low carb), more to come on these on later posts, but I also spent a long weekend visiting Porto, Portugal. 

Visiting the 2nd largest city in Portugal started as a trip to visit a couple of American friends traveling through. However, a friends flight got cancelled twice, due to strikes, cutting 4 days out of her trip so she decided to stay back, meaning I was venturing on my own. I took a 2 and a half hour direct flight late Thursday afternoon from Luxembourg to Porto. From the airport I was able to get a metro ticket for less that 2€ to get me towards Trindade stop in the historic portion of the city, and also where my airbnb was located. After a quick check-in and shower I took to Google trips to get myself acquainted with sights to see nearby. Here’s a recount of what I did daily:

Thursday:

Livraria Lello

Famous Bookshop

Famous Bookshop

Red Staircase

Red Staircase

 

The Historic District

Town Hall

Town Hall

Ingreja da Santíssima Trindade

Ingreja da Santíssima Trindade

Typical tiled buildings

Typical tiled buildings

Praça de Carlos Alberto

Praça de Carlos Alberto

Igreja do Carmo

Igreja do Carmo

French inspired architecture

French inspired architecture



Street Art 

Street art is legal with a permit. It brings bright colors to the already lively city.

17th Restaurant & Bar

Views of Porto

Views of Porto

Rosé on steroids

Rosé on steroids

 

Dinner at O Buraco

Fresh and inexpensive traditional Portuguese restaurant

Fresh and inexpensive traditional Portuguese restaurant


Porto Walkers Pub Crawl
I signed up for a pub crawl for 12€ which started at 11pm going til 5am, if you could make it that long. With 5-6 stops visiting bars mostly on Galeria de Paris, a drink special was included at each stop. I’m glad I went because I met a bunch of English speaking backpackers from US, Canada, and Australia. Albeit, I was the oldest by 10+ years, but was able to dance the night away (or at least until 2:30am, I admit I couldn’t quite hang as long).

Friday:

Early Morning Run

Free Walking Tour
I can’t recommend enough taking this free 4 hour walking tour with a passionate local from Porto Walkers (Do this!) I learned a lot and felt it was necessary to share a few important points…

1. Porto’s tourism is relatively new (think 15-20 years new). Thanks to UNESCO and budget flights like RyanAir, the city has seen an influx in visitors and most of the locals are appreciative for the economic boost but…

2. In the poorer sections of town, where the buildings create narrow, quaint winding, colorful, clothes-lined drying alleyways, some families monthly wage is 500€. There used to be laws to protect them, where monthly rent was grandfathered over to keep prices low to protect them from losing their homes. Due to greed and a change in law, rents have skyrocketed from 50€ per month to 800€ per month, to create Airbnb’s for tourists like myself. This results in families getting kicked out of Porto or ultimately leaving them homeless.

3. Here’s what we can do to help: Don’t rent Airbnb’s within the Riberia district or support the overpriced, tourist restaurants and shops along the river front. Do eat at local Portuguese restaurants and shop off the typical tourist beaten paths. You’ll know the difference immediately because there will probably be a wait to get in because they are small and the prices will be extraordinarily less expensive.

Ponte Luís I

Ponte Luís I

Ribeira District

Ribeira District

Ribeira District

Ribeira District

Ribeira District

Ribeira District

View of Douro

View of Douro

Old Tram

Old Tram

Igreja paroquial de Santo Ildefonso

Igreja paroquial de Santo Ildefonso

Inside São Bento Train Station

Inside São Bento Train Station

 

Port Wine in Vila Nova de Gaia

I did a self tour visiting several wineries of the sweet port wine.

Ramos Pinto

Ramos Pinto

Croft

Croft

Inside Taylor's

Inside Taylor’s

Taylor's Courtyard

Taylor’s Courtyard

Taylor's

Taylor’s Port Wine

 

Saturday:

Praia do Molhe
I got up early and took the old Tram line 1 along the river to where it meets the Atlantic Ocean and spent most of the day at the beach. 

Dinner at Tapabento
Ranked #1 Restaurant in Porto, there are advantages to eating solo. I didn’t need a reservation! Fine dining in a quaint restaurant, you’d never know from the outside. 

Seated Tuna

Seared Tuna

Red Mullet

Red Mullet

Pistachio Sufflé

Pistachio Sufflé

 

Sunday:

Last day in Porto and started it with another early morning run. Expecting to find the streets deserted I was actually weaving in and out of the drunks making their way home at 6:30am.

Breakfast at Zenith
Best Brunch Ever

Detox Smoothie bowl (I also got 2 eggs with avocado not pictured)

Detox Smoothie bowl (I also got 2 eggs with avocado not pictured)

Armazém
Vintage Flea Market and bar. Cute, artsy and unique.

Portobello Rooftop Bar

Finished the trip with a couple cocktails at Base

I hope you all get a chance to visit and take into account the need to respect their culture, heritage, and people. And drink all the port wine 🍷. If you’re waiting for a reason to go, the weekend of June 23rd is a huge street party for Saint John (Sao Joao) with plastic hammers, drinking, dancing, and fireworks. A celebration not to be missed 🎉

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

Calling all Luxembourg Foodies!

Being a newbie to the Luxembourg area (reminder to my US followers, Luxembourg is a small country sitting on top of France and between Belgium and Germany), I have to admit I haven’t found that Luxembourg has any famously known cuisine. In fact most restaurants I’ve visited, have been borrowers of surrounding palates (like Italian and French). And on another note, I’ve not found a huge array of options for the health conscious individual.

Bearing in mind, I’m one to try to cook everyday (inside joke with my French friends but I’ll let you know the secret…I was in the middle of, what I thought, was an interesting French conversation that I thought I understood and I thought I was asked about my cooking/eating habits. I answered, “I cook everyday”. And unbeknown to me, the subject, which I can’t even remember, was not about food at all. This probably doesn’t even sound funny…guess you had to be there). But in all honesty, I do try to cook each weekday meal with my goal being that the food is fresh, local, and organic if possible, while trying to cut out processed foods. This is to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, assist in workout performance, and help maintain my weight.

I, from first hand, know how sometimes recipes can get monotonous and buying groceries can get expensive when you are trying to plan ahead or it may even be difficult to find certain ingredients, ex: like what the heck is saithe!? It’s a fish, I had to google it. Where can we find a solution for fresh, local food, to create homemade recipes in less than 45 minutes and for as low as 7.50 euros a meal per person??

Fear no longer, as my peers in Luxembourg has created Avocado.

Avocado.lu is a food box home delivery service for all of Luxembourg. Providing fresh, bio foods and inspiring recipes that cater to your preferences whether it be low-carb, vegetarian or vegan, with the flexibility of frequency of delivery, all your anxieties on meal preparation can be taken care of. What a grand idea!

My readers even get a lucky 30% discount on their first order (new customers) if an order is placed before the 30th of August! Use this promotion code (PR16N-N-30).


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.