Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Supplements That I Swear By

I briefly talked about my supplements in a recent post in which I highlighted all of my supplements, my daily diet, and weekly workout routine with everyone.

I was asked specifically about what supplements I take and WHY. 


First of all, I love two brands. I love MRM and I love Labrada. However, when it comes to fitting most of my supplemental needs, MRM does that by offering a complete wellness line.

All of their products are natural and great tasting. I also feel comfortable with taking their products while breastfeeding because of the minimal ingredient list and available natural options for whey. Also, my doctor has approved them for use during breastfeeding as well.

My husband has also become a fan and enjoys the veggie pea protein in a yummy chocolate flavor! Yes-they do have a veggie line :)



On a daily basis, I use the following:
Whey Protein Powder:

MRM Natural Whey is different from most wheys in the fact that it is heavily concentrated in amino acids and L-Glutamine to support muscle building and recovery. This protein powder is ultra clean since it has been ultrafiltered and processed at a low-temp (to prevent destroying any nutrients).

MRM Fruit-n-Whey blend is perfect for those who struggle to get enough fruits in throughout the day. Packed with antioxidants from 10 antiozidant-yielding fruits, this powder has an ORAC value of over 3,500 units! This is great news especially since the USDA recommends getting in between 3,000-5,000 units daily.
Everyday stresses can cause cellular damage and free radicals to occur, but this is where antioxidants are known for their healing properties.
Just like the Natural Whey, this protein has been ultrafiltered and processed at a low temp to protect all vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as well as containing a great deal of BCAAs.

Oh, and I also LOVE MRM Flax-n-Whey powder as well!!
Just as with the other protein powders, it is ultrafiltered and processed at a low temp, but this whey combines everything you want and need from a whey protein powder while also delivering you the essential fatty acids from flax!



Fish Oil: MRM Smart Blend Fish Oil.
Containing a variety of "smart fats" that your body needs, this supplement is essential-especially since it is hard to eat enough to meet the daily recommended needs. Also, our body usually does not produce enough!
Packed with Omega 3, CLA, and GLA, fish oil does wonders for decreasing your body fat, keeping you fuller longer, balancing your hormones, and regulating your blood sugar levels. Plus, fish oil is great for your cardiovascular system as well as your brain!

Hair, Skin, Nails Supplement: MRM Biotin 5mg. Biotin is a water soluable B vitamin that is naturally found in a variety of foods that you eat everyday. Taking a Biotin supplement can help speed the growth of your hair and nails, improve your skin quality, aid your metabolism, and assist with cellular energy. If you are trying to grow your hair, this is your go to vitamin!



On workout days, I add the following two:

Pre-workout: MRM's DRIVEN-1 scoop
This is the first pre-workout formula developed with pure ingredients that include natural extracts, amino acids, vitamins and minerals to support the body’s complex metabolic function. I take this before anything else on workout days as it jumpstarts my energy levels for a killer workout. It also helps me to focus to get things done while I have little time to do so!

Post-workout: MRM's BCAA's + G RELOAD- 3 scoops.
This, hands down, is the best tasting amino acid powder that I have ever tried. BCAAs are important-especially for girls who lift regularly! It cuts back on how sore you might be the next day while also boosting your endurance during your workout-not to mention improving your strength and preventing muscle breakdown. Your body uses these BCAAs and burns them as fuel during your workout. 

For all MRM products click here and you can use my personal discount to take 40% off of your entire purchasing by using code 'SIA' at checkout.




Monday, March 30, 2015

11 Ways to Eating Healthy on a Budget



Eating healthy can feel expensive to some people, but there are ways to eat better while still sticking to your budget. Here are 11 of my favorite tried and true ways:
  1. Make a list and stick to it! I am obsessed with making grocery lists. It is how I get what I truly needed and not what I think I may need. It is so easy to get off of track when you are grocery shopping. Everything can look completely appetizing at the time of strolling down the aisle. But with careful planning, you can jot down a note of what is on sale and remember to stick to your list to spend every penny wisely.
  2. Shop produce that is in season. Product that is in season are known for having the best quality for the best prices. Since it is in season, there is plenty of it to go around so markets are less likely to jack up the prices. Make sense? It is the basic law of supply and demand here. Not only will it save money in your wallet, it also tastes better in season!
  3. Cut down on meats or choose meats that are on sale. Meat is expensive and it is only projected to climb, according to recent stats. You can either minimize how much actual animal protein you eat weekly or you can try cheaper cuts of meat. Some great cheap cuts are chuck eye steak, beef sirloin, chicken thighs & drumsticks, ground beef, ground turkey, and bone in pork chops.
  4. Focus on other sources of protein. There are other (and cheaper) ways to get the protein you need without having to eat meat-just ask vegetarians! Popular choices are tofu, tempeh, spinach, non-dairy milk, nut butters, quinoa, beans, and sprouted bread. Get creative and discover new recipes for a "Meatless Monday" and also reap the benefits of cutting animal products out for a day.
  5. Purchase the off-brand. Buying generic brands are a great way to save money. Sure the packaging may not be as alluring or pretty, but many generics are made from the same ingredients as their name-brand counterparts. Some of the best things to buy off brand are: milk, pain relievers or other meds, pantry staples, water, and cereal.
  6. Look for markdowns or sales. Things go on sale everyday-if not every week. Thankfully, there are weekly store ads and even some iPhone apps that you can obtain to figure out when a sale will be going on. If you are not sure what is on clearance, ask a sales associate!
  7. Drink more water. One of my favorite tips ever-do not drink your money away. Nix the sodas, juices, sweet teas, beers, and wines. Not only will you cut down on drinking free water, you will also help your waistline shrink. However, if you live in an area where the water needs to be filtered, I would suggest buying a detachable Pur spout filter. It will typically last you 3 months for around $15. Or you can buy the pitchers that filter your water for you.
  8. Check out store rewards programs. Many stores these days have loyalty programs as a way to thank their customers for their continued shopping experiences. You an earn points to save on future products or even get tons of coupons! Some rewards programs worth taking a look at are:Walgreens, Starbucks, Target, some gas stations such as Shell, CVS, and KMART.
  9. Shop local farmers markets. Shopping local is not only what we encourage, but it is cheaper and healthier for you-not to mention that you are helping to support your local farmers versus a vegetable yielding factory. The only con is that they are not as readily available as Wal-Mart or some other grocery store is so you just have to do your research to find one closest to you.
  10. Start a garden. Starting your own garden can certainly give you a sense of pride and accomplishment-and you will know exactly whats in your food. In a matter of time and some effort, you can easily be growing your own organic fruits and vegetables.
  11. Buy in bulk. Shopping at wholesale clubs such as Sam's club or Costco can end up saving you a ton.. if you are buying in bulk. Some great things to buy in bulk are: alcohol, cereal, dried beans, pasta, toilet paper, paper towels, non-perishables, and diapers.
What are some ways in which you enjoy saving money while still eating healthy?


Friday, March 27, 2015

Why I'll Never Compete in Fitness Competitions

Someone asked me if I ever planned or wanted to compete in a fitness competition. A long time ago, it had crossed my mind.. until I caught a glimpse inside of what it's really like for some ladies.

Everytime I reply "no," I always get the "But, why not! You look great!" response. Well, it has nothing to do with how I look, but how I might think that I look.



Now, this post has nothing against fitness models who do choose to compete. I have TONS of girlfriends who compete and absolutely love it! To each their own-this is not a debate! 

After all, competitions are a way for those who have worked so hard to show off that hard work. 

But, these are just my personal subjective oppinions behind why I am happy not stepping on stage.



It is all in the way you look. Duh. Just like beauty pageants (which I cannot stand either), fitness models are judged by the way they walk, their stance, and, most importantly, their look or physique. 

I dont need the approval of a judge to tell me whether or not I have won or failed in my fight for fitness. 



I have traveled a long road-battled and won against a eating disorder, gained 50lbs, lost 50lbs, fought an obsession with being too healthy (yes, its a real thing), gained a little back, had a baby, and then got into the BEST shape of my life. To me, no judge can ever dare put a number on THAT. 

It is not balanced. Training for a competition is pretty extreme. It starts off normal, but as the weeks dwindle down, things tend to get a little crazy. All of that training and dieting can throw off your body's balance of hormones. Low levels of body fat can be pretty harmful, especially to a woman. 



Some of my friends whom have competed have trained to lower their body fat percentage so much that it caused infertility for them and it took years to allow their bodies and hormones to get back on track.

It messes with your mind. Dana Linn Bailey posted the image below on her Facebook page recently after competing at the Arnold bodybuilding competition. She said that "It's extremely hard to handle your body's bounce back after competing. Emotionally and psychologically it fucks with you!"

You can't blame her. After months and weeks of preparation, when everything is over, what is there to do? Your body is completely in "comp" mode and now you must find a way to ease out of it. It can definitely take a toll on your mental health.

Fitness becomes your #1 priority. You start counting down weeks to the competiton and as those weeks dwindle down, so does your social life. Next thing you know, every spare minute is spent preparing for the big show. You HAVE to train at THIS TIME. You can't eat this or that-so don't even ask! As a fitness blogger, I find myself sometimes pushing my family away here and there to hammer out my articles, so if I were to train to compete, it breaks my heart to think how I might react. Your family might begin to miss you.

There are some dark sides to the industry. Being someone who has battled a diet/eating disorder and body dysmoprhia for years, I am not sure if I could handle the constant standing in the mirror or selfie taking to make sure I was "lean enough" to step on a stage. I cannot handle and will not handle that worry anymore. This was baggage for me and honestly, I just can't. Mainly, because I have no idea how I would react and if I could snap out of comp mode. 

IFBB Biniki pro Ruthie Harrison shared her story on developing an eating disorder due to competing. In her own words, "Four months later, during the competition prep for my first show under a professional trainer, I developed an eating disorder. What started in the same way that many competitors consider a usual occurance: a week of extreme dieting followed by a weekly cheat meal, a post show binge here, a "refeed" there; ended in full blown Bulimia Nervosa, a disintegrated metabolism, a wrecked body, and a self-deprecating and fragile girl struggling to reassemble all the shattered pieces."

I have a family now to look after and I have to make sure that I am 100% well and doing the things that will better me-not regress my long and hard fought battles with body insecurities.

I do not to teach my son that there's a price or award of good health. Sure, winning a prize, money, or a trophy is a definite feel good thing, but I want to teach my children that getting in good shape & health is truly priceless. 



I also want to teach my kids that just because you have abs does NOT mean you are healthy. During my phase when I was counting every single calorie that I put into my mouth, I wasn't healthy- I was obsessed. And before that, with my eating disorder, I was a mere 100lbs and was throwing up everything that I had eaten, but I was in good shape.

Basically, I want my kids to know it starts from the inside out. You simply cannot judge someone's healthy by how they may appear on the outside. 

Lastly, I'm not a fitness model-I am just a wife, author, and mom, and I am definitely okay with that.



If you choose to compete, that is awesome and more power to you girls! These are just reasons why I won't be.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Clothing Line For Good Looking People!

What do you think of when you hear the term "good looking people?" 

A perfect set of abs? Large biceps? A beautiful face?

I have come across a new fitness apparel brand and here is why I am in love. 
The brand is called GLP Fitness. GLP stands for "good looking people" and its motto is "confidence from within." 


This is how GLP sees it: We see a world in which what it means to be “good looking” has less to do with what’s on the outside and everything to do with what’s on the inside. To be truly “fit” is to have a healthy mind, soul, and body…not just a strong physique. In our world, empowerment comes from within. In our world, confidence equals freedom. Together, we see a world where everyone – male and female, athlete and mathlete, disabled and enabled, of any race and creed – is celebrated for his/her holistic beauty, as truly “good looking” people are those who are confident from within.


GLP's mission: to empower every athlete to embrace his/her Confidence From Within. We hope to motivate individuals to shed their preexisting beliefs about what it means to be “good looking,” and to enlighten people around the world to what it means to be truly good looking: physical fitness for the mind, body, and soul regardless of your physical appearance or ability. True beauty is being the best you and finding your confidence from within – we all deserve to be good looking people.

Workout apparel is everything to me. I would go as far as to say that, yes, what I choose to workout in does affect my workout-absolutely. 

Why? Fitness is just as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing. You have to fight everyday to wake up and make the choice to get your butt into the gym. 

Have you ever went shopping for cute new workout clothes that you couldn't wait to wear to your next fitness session? Well, I have another one for you-this time, with an amazing message that reflects my OWN personal goal: FIT MOM status!

Brought to you by, GLP Fitness, this is the GLP Tech Fit Mom Performance Tank. It was designed for the confident mother who loves and balances fitness & motherhood, while ignoring the haters who love to say that you can't make the time to do both. We all know who they are!

As a thank you to all whom are enjoying this post, we would love to offer you at discount code to get 20% off your very own Fit Mom tank! Pssst... the discount code will also work on the whole entire site! So, if there's something else that catches your eye, you can save on it, too.

Use coupon code FITMOMMY at checkout!
Code expires April 9th, 2015 at midnight.



This tank is lightweight, moisture wicked, and a wonder to workout in! It is a performance tank so it isn't made with regular ole' fabric-the fabric actually helps to keep you from sweating your ass off. I love this.

Tank features:
  • Made in USA
  • 100% microfiber polyester pk maX
  • Inherent moisture wicking to keep you dry and comfortable
  • Treated with BodyFresh√© to inhibit growth of odor causing bacteria
  • Extreme softness allows for full freedom of motion
  • ON SALE NOW! (Just sayin')
I was also sent a long sleeve GLP tee which was pretty damn good quality. It wasn't one of those thin, skimpy little long sleeved tees. It was thick, durable, and made with care.

On their site, they share some pretty amazing and influential people whom have some amazing stories to tell and whom GLP uses to model their fitness line-my favorite is Ana, dubbed the first fitness model with Down Syndrome. 



As you can see, there's more to being good looking than your outward appearance. Check out the rest of their line as well as the men's line for your hubbies!

Please be sure to follow GLP Fitness on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Disclaimer: I was given GLP apparel to test, at no cost. All opinions are my very own.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What is a "REAL" Woman, Anyway?


From left to right: Curvy Jada Sezer, Rachel Hollis from The Chic Site, me, and bodybuilder Dana Linn Bailey.

Is it just me or does it seem like the talk of who's a real woman will never end? There seems to always be some degree of shaming going around-whether its fitshaming or fatshaming, shaming is happening amongst us women. We post a picture of what we feel the ideal body type is and dub it as being "real." Nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong, is when you say THIS is real and the other body types are clearly wrong. I see this everyday and it is just so sad. ALL WOMEN ARE REAL. It does not matter if you are plus sized, have some extra loose skin and stretch marks, bounced back right after birth, or have huge muscles. Just because you do not agree with a body type, does not mean it is wrong. ALL shapes and sizes are equally so gorgeous. 

There will always be haters. There will always be jealousy. But, regardless of how you look, confidence and the ability to rock out-in your own skin-is SUPER HOT! That is shit that you cannot buy in stores or see a plastic surgeon about. 

Real women have curves.
Real women have stretch marks.
Real women have loose skin.
Real women have abs.
Real women have muscles.
Real women are whatever the hell they want to be.

Embrace what makes you, you. Don't let anyone shame you and mostly do not shame anyone else.
Embrace all women of different shapes and sizes.
Because we are all real.
Period.


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