Archive | April, 2013

Having a healthier diet(Part 1): Fiber

20 Apr

Alrighty so, I’ve been doing some research about weight loss and all that good stuff because like most people I want to have a super sexy toned core. The problem is, I love to eat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it I LOVE TO EAT! I come from a family of fabulous cooks….and when I say fabulous I mean NONE CAN COMPARE TO HOW WONDERFULLY EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN MY FAMILY CAN PREPARE DELICIOUS MEALS THAT ARE EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY FOR YOU!….Sorry for shouting….ehem anyway, my grandmother makes pound cakes like nobodies business and anything else she makes is heavenly. From that wonderful turkey dressing, mac and cheese, greens, sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving to the white rice, bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and biscuits for breakfast.

OK……enough of all that my mouth is starting to water. But seriously, I really want to get a really tight core and if you haven’t heard it said before, abs are made in the kitchen but sometimes you just want to fill up on the fried greasy american foods we all know and love. So whats the best way to eat better? Or at least feel full longer so you won’t eat too much of that greasy garbage we call food? Well there is this great thing called FIBER!Image

That’s right ladies and gentleman fiber will help you feel full longer without concern for gaining unnecessary weight. What’s even better is, according to the internet, fiber is a great way to lose weight because of that fabulous way eat keeps you feeling full longer. Some other benefits of fiber is to help you stay regular…..aka have easier bowel movements. Let’s be mature about this y’all. We all do it and some of y’all probably really struggle….pause…..with that in mind fiber and lots of water will be helpful for all of that irregularity.

Now here is my moment of honesty, I absolutely suck at eating healthy. I mean don’t get me wrong I am much better than I used to be. I eat more fruits and veggies and I’ve cut back substantially in the fried food department. However, I do not get enough rest( the life of a college student) and sometimes my idea of a meal is a muffin and slice of turkey all day resulting in ravenous hunger once I finally get home for dinner….resulting in a spread of anything I can dig my claws into. So that’s where I am in life trying to figure out how to eat better on the go. I’ve recently discovered this great thing called meal prep that I plan to put in full swing this summer. Enough about that though, I’ll write about that another time. Now back to the fiber.

The type of fiber I have been referring to in this post is dietary fiber which is found mostly in fruits and veggies. I have never used any of the marketed fiber supplements but hey whatever floats your boat right? Here are some foods that are pretty common that are high in fiber: pears, strawberries, oranges, broccoli, carrots, greens etc. If you want more foods you can just google high fiber foods for a list of different fruits and veggies to try. Next post will focus on consumption of too much sugar. Want to start losing belly fat cut out all the sugary drinks and processed fruit juices. Fresh squeezed is the way to go(you can also use a juicer if you’re into that kind of thing) and the best part about fresh squeezed fruit juices is the increased fiber! Yay fiber!

Stay Sweet,
KL

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Time Management: Finals and the Gym

18 Apr

Alright so I’m a Senior at the University of Florida and the next few weeks consist of final exams, projects, and papers. Because of that, so far I have missed two days for the gym….and you know what….it is soooo aggravating! I just want to be able to get a good hour work out in without my mind wandering to the assignments and exams that I have to do. I would love for the next few weeks to move quickly but I know they will be painfully slow so what is a girl to do about the possibility of missing more days for working out while trying to prepare for my exams?

Right now, all I want to do is scream my head off….I can’t seem to get any early morning workouts in because I spend late evenings trying to review for exams etc…..then normally I am sleeping during the day(after my classes) to try to make up for the sleep I miss in the evenings due to studying. You see the cycle? I really want to balance out the time but when I’m studying I feel like I need to get through as much material everyday that I can. Not because I’m behind but because the oh so wonderful University of Florida seems to love the idea of cumulative exams and 40page projects and 10 page papers. Not only that UF loooovees to schedule your final exams back to back so you literally are driving yourself to your wits end while you are trying to maintain a semblance of a life.

I just want to workout….is that so much to ask? I guess the best thing I can do right now is eat healthy for the next few weeks and try to do squats and lunges and stretching and all that til I can get back into someone’s weight room. Well I guess this post is really just a rant.

Stay Sweet,
KL

Living a Full and Healthy Life

16 Apr

This is gona be pretty short post tonight, I’m taking a break from the project that I have due for my management class this Thursday(God help me). So I was thinking about health of course. The thing I was thinking about specifically was why we even workout or eat healthy. I mean I’m not sure about anyone else but some days I just want to throw it all down the drain and have an extremely pessimistic attitude and say “hey, I’m going to die anyway let me enjoy myself while I’m doing it.” Then I started thinking how absolutely asinine that would be if I did decide to do something like that. The reason I say that is because I would be paying through the nose when I got older to try to stay alive. In other words, all the unhealthy choices I make now at a young age I WILL PAY FOR IT IN THE FUTURE! So what does that have to do with living a full and healthy life or people working out etc? Well, some people workout because they want to “live longer”. Honey let me put your mind at ease right now.

You honestly CAN NOT INCREASE THE QUANTITY OF YOUR LIFE!

NO

Meaning, whatever time you are destined to have that is just how much time you have. Yes I know you’re probably rolling your eyes or scratching your head but guess what every one is leaving here ready or not. What’s even worse is the fact that you can actually decrease the quantity of your life. In other words, bad eating habits, excessive drinking and smoking can all contribute to your life being cut short. Now I know that sounds extremely morbid but hear me out. On the flip side, although you may not be able to increase the quantity…you always have the chance to INCREASE AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY! yes_logo What I mean by that is, you can work out, eat right, get enough rest, drink lots of water and give yourself the chance to live a full life.

So in essence you have two choices. You can eat trash, sit on your butt all day every day, wear your body out by doing self destructive things like drinking and smoking…..ooorrrr you can go ahead and build a better, stronger, healthier you. When you do this, you help your pocket smile because you aren’t constantly throwing hundred or even thousands of dollars into hospitals or doctors laps because you neglected to do the basic things to take care of and maintain your health. Trust me, this is literally going to be a life long journey but it can be done and you won’t regret it if you just give it a try.
Stay Sweet,
KL

One of my biggest challenges: Pull-ups and Dips

13 Apr

Alright so, I love the gym.  I love lifting, squatting, curling….all that jazz.  Lately I have been trying out a new approach to my workouts doing longer and more intense sets with a lighter weight so I can really develop some definition in my arms, core, back, and legs.  So for a minute I considered doing cross fit but then I realized I’m not about that life.  Don’t get me wrong I love a challenge and I know cross fit would make me look like a Nubian Queen but I also know I need to be able to walk across campus without feeling like my legs are jello.  With that in mind, I think I’ll stick to the more traditional approach to working out.  

Most recently I have started the venture of pull-ups and dips.  Now I already do push ups, curls, pull downs, side lats, front lats, dumbbell press etc.  Yes, I do all of that wonderful stuff without making too much of a fool of myself with all of my animal sounding shrieks when I reach the most intense part of the work out.  For some reason though, pull ups and dips are some of the MOST CHALLENGING things I’ve ever done.  It’s something about lifting my own body weight that makes me feel like there is NO WAY I’m doing this.  

Fortunately my mama did not raise me to be a quitter, and with that in mind I recently attempted(once again) pull ups and dips and this time my results were quite different…..how is this you may ask?  I discovered this wonderful thing called ASSISTED pull ups and dips. Instead of struggling to lift my own weight the very first try, I was able to get an extra little boost and cranked out a solid 15 pull-ups and a solid 15 dips. I’ll be honest it was 3 sets of 5 but hey it’s a start.  Hopefully soon my assist weight will be down and my pull-up and dips count will be up or at least 3 sets of 10…whichever comes first.

Ladies, I know some of y’all may be afraid that doing those types of workouts will make you “bulk up” but trust me you will have some lovely definition and your clothes will fit FABULOUSLY! So don’t let the fear of getting toned aka building muscle keep you from trying out different workouts, you’d be surprised at how well you do.  Not too mention, muscle burns more calories than fat(look it up).One last piece of advice….If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you! Don’t let something that seems difficult prevent you from reaching your physical goals whether its losing 50 pounds or toning that core.  Whatever it is you want to do you can do it.  All it takes is some hard work and consistency!  Comment and tell me some things that you’ve struggled with while working out.  I’d love to hear from y’all!

Stay Sweet,

KL

What’s with these guys?

11 Apr

Alright so it’s safe to say that you all know I’m a gym junkie, specifically the weight room.  Unlike most women, I work lower and upper body because I’d prefer not having chicken wings for arms and massive steroidal looking legs.  You know what I noticed though, guys and girls alike don’t work out very proportionally.  For example if my week starts with leg day then I’m going to rotate to upper body the next day and then back to leg day and so forth.  What I don’t seem to get is how folk, guys in particular, will dedicate there every waking moment in the gym to upper body. Case in pointImage

This guy walks in with this massive upper body and the legs of a thirteen year old.  Grant it his upper body is fabulous but will his chicken legs be able to hold all that up for much longer?  What’s even more frustrating, as I mentioned yesterday, is how these guys seem to hog all of the equipment.  I mean seriously bruh?  I’m just trying to get my swole on like the rest of y’all. For some reason, I can’t seem to ever get to the bench or the free weights without fear of being trampled by an army of  big chested but wobbly legged guys trying to strut his stuff.  Don’t get me wrong we all have our vices.  Mine is the absolute detest of cardio. If I could avoid it I would but we all know weight training with know cardio means muscle being built under fat and that is UNattractive.

Seriously, come on guys, lets be proportionate.  Besides, you need to give your arms a break.  Did you know that you get small micro tears in your muscles when you lift? Yep! Its because of the extra stress you’re putting on your muscles lifting the heavy weights.   Because of that reason it’s best for you to rotate workouts because to much tearing can lead to serious injury( especially if you go ham every time) which will push you further away from your goal of being Mr. or Miss Swole.  How can you say that Kyra? After years of basketball and track and field in high school I’ve learned a thing or two from experience.  So guys take a break, step away from the free weights and do some leg presses or wall sits for a change.  It might surprise you but women find nice (guy) butts attractive too. 😉

Stay Sweet,

KL

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears….

10 Apr

So I am a gym fanatic.  Everyday at least an hour, I have to get it in! I’m not the typical yoga doing jazzercise loving chick.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Zumba, but the weight room is my territory.  The thing that sucks about being a weight lifting chick is the competition to use machines or weights in the weight room.  For example, yesterday was leg day for me but everybody and their mama decided to be in the weight room which meant I had to sit and wait for longer than 5minutes between exercises and sets to try to workout.

Let me back track and tell y’all some of the leg workouts I like to do.  So we got: leg press, squats, wall sits, box jumps, lunges, leg extensions, calf raises, mountain climbers and burpees.  Ok just to be clear, I am in no way shape or form beast enough to do all of these in one sitting….yet….but that’s just because I try to do 4sets of 10 of each one.  Anyway I’ll tell y’all later about how much weight I do for each another time.

Now back to this crowded weight room.  So yeah, it’s expected at the beginning of the year when everyone jumps on the new years resolution band wagon, but last night was out of control.  I do partly blame myself because I do normally go to the gym at 6am but being a college student that doesn’t always work out when you stay up til 3am doing homework, studying, or partying(not me of course) LOL! So days that I don’t make it to the gym at 6am. I go later in the evening, but last night was just out of control.  This is how the gym looks at 6am Image

This is exactly how I like it.  Very few people, freedom to take my time during my sets.  No fear of people looking at me crazy cause of all the weird animal noises I make cause I’m lifting “that much weight”….pause….anyway this is how the gym looks at night around 8:30-9pmImage

This is just ridiculous.  The weight room is swarming with people that have no idea what they are doing.  So lets examine the different type of people you have in the gym.

You’ve got the bodybuilding hulk type people, you’ve got the trying to be cute type, you’ve got the struggling to get buff type, and you’ve got the being healthy/gym is my life type. Now, the faithful body builders are there everyday at the same time. They have this goal to super freakishly huge, do you boo! Then you’ve got the trying to be cute type(normally chicks) that wear the spandex shorts that let half of her butt cheeks hang out while she prances around and lifts a 2pound weight to “tone her arms”.  Then there is the tiny guy, also known as the struggling to get buff type, trying to build muscle to get the attention of the “butt-cheek” girl who is to busy trying to get the attention of the body building cat.   Then you got me and my type, the healthy living/gym is my life type who just wants to get a good work out in and push my body pass my limits and get RIPPED! Or at least have a sexy core LOL!

Ok soooo we got a gym full of people all with different purposes and goals and some of these people are IN THE WAY! You don’t even know what you’re doing. Like you’re staring at the leg press machine trying to figure out how to put weight on it….seriously?! Please ask for some help or move out of the way.  Not trying to sound like a gym snob but although I love the gym, it’s not my goal to be in their longer than an hour and a half because I have to wait 15minutes for each machine or a bench or whatever because you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re being cute.  Go be cute somewhere else or after I finish my workout. The gym is not where you’re trying to be cute or impress somebody.  The gym is where you work on your body! Get your priorities straight!

Stay Sweet,

KL

Where to Begin…..

9 Apr

Alrighty, so I am giving this blog thing another go….this is my first time on wordpress.  I used to use blog spot but I didn’t really have something I was passionate enough about to write consistently.  This time around I’m blogging about something that I am extremely passionate about and that’s being healthy.  The good thing for me is I can make this blog extremely broad or extremely narrow.  I’m going to include things like awesome recipes(that I will try of course).  New work outs/exercises and even just general health info I find online. Oh and I’ll even post videos and of course I’m going to talk about my family….alot 🙂  

I guess to kind of explain why I am starting this is mainly because of the women in my family.  The majority of the women in my family are less than 5’6″ and are morbidly obese.  I call it the Hancock curse( my grandmothers maiden name).  Aside from being petrified of the idea of not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without needing an oxygen tank, my Granny Fae-Fae and my mother are the other inspirations for me trying to develop a healthier lifestyle.  

First lets talk about Granny Fae. Image So about four years ago, Granny was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started treatments, had surgery and was BREAST cancer free.  Unfortunately, the cancer had spread to her lungs and bones which called for more chemotherapy and radiation.  She is a fighter and is still going strong and her struggles motivate me to want to treat my body the best that I can so I will have a stronger immune system etc.  Yes I know, diet and exercise won’t exactly prevent cancer per se but I know being an overall healthy person can give me a fighting chance if something like that were to ever come up!

Like most folk, my mama is also my inspiration. Image She’s my inspiration because she is what I don’t want to be.  Don’t get me wrong I love my mama to death and if I could I would give her the world, but my mom is like most other Americans….lazy and addicted to processed foods and sugary drinks and sweets.  Grant it, I love my sweets but I have been training myself to have those things in moderation because as a black woman I have an increased risk for diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease just to name a few.  My mom used to be a superstar on her highschool basketball team, worked out consistently and tried to eat healthy but she got lazy and fell off.  She didn’t and doesn’t see her health as being important so she pushed it aside and slowly she is starting to experience the consequences for it.  Sooooo the point I’m trying to make is, I don’t want to allow myself an excuses for why I can’t work out or be healthier.  If I can’t get to a gym I can try to go for a run.  If I can’t get any exercise in that particular day, I can at least make sure the food I’m eating is top noch and offers the nutrients I need.

Well I think this is enough for now! Let me know what you guys think.

Stay Sweet,

KL

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