Over the years, I have tried lots of proteins, but only two of them have been deemed the best protein shakes for me.
What do you look for in a protein? I like my protein to have the necessary nutrients, of course, but I also like my protein to taste good and mix well. There are many protein powder shakes on the market with the necessary nutrients but taste awful!
It has taken a lot of trial and error (several bad purchases) to find the best proteinon the market that I truly enjoy. This protein not only has the proper nutrients, but it tastes awesome and mixes well.
This protein (Vanilla) is only 100 calories and 3 grams of net carbs. It has a protein blend which contains whey and caesin for a total of 22g per serving.
Another cool thing about this protein is that you can cook with it as well. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes! I’ll keep you updated on the recipes that I try.
It comes in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, vanilla, cookies and cream, and many more. I’ve tried both the vanilla and the strawberry. Both reminded me of having a milkshake. Tasty!
If you workout, then you know that owning a pair of good workout gloves is a must have! I recently had the opportunity to try RimSports wrist wrap workout gloves. Initially, I thought they were going to be just a cute pair of gloves for show. I soon found out, they not only look good, they’re functional as well! I received my pair in pink and black because I’m a girlie, girl. I enjoy lifting heavy while preserving my femininity so I appreciated the option of being able to get them in pink and black. No worries men, they do come in all black as well.
These gloves are extremely comfortable. They run true to size. I wear a small & the fit was comfortable. There is a mesh fabric on top of the gloves and between the thumb and pointer, which makes them breathable. I didn’t have sweaty hands after pulling them off. However, my wrist area was moist upon removing the gloves. The wrap support does not get much ventilation. The wrap support does however, provide adequate wrist stability and support, especially when lifting heavy. During my workout, I lifted free weights, did presses on the bench, and used various machines. The grip the gloves provided was amazing. There was no slip at all.
Overall, these are a great pair of workout gloves, especially if lifting heavy weights and you don’t mind a little moisture around your wrists. They are cute (for the ladies) and also functional. Give RimSports workout gloves a try! Let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge for my honest, unbiased review.
If you’ve checked out fitness posts on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen the term “macro” mentioned within the post. Everyone is talking about their macros and you may be wondering, whatsa macro? Macro is short for macronutrients. Let’s break it down. Macro means large. Nutrients are substances needed for growth and metabolism in the body. Therefore, macronutrients are substances needed in large amounts for growth and metabolism in the body. There are three macronutrients: Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Importance of Protein
Protein can help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve your overall general appearance. It aids in growth, tissue repair, helps with your immune health, makes essential hormones and enzymes, provides energy when carbohydrates are not available, and preserves lean muscle mass. The daily recommended protein intake is 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Currently I’m taking in 1 gram per pound of body weight, putting me at 140 grams of protein per day.
Importance of Carbohydrates
Generally speaking, the majority of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates (may vary depending on your specific goals). Carbs are the body’s main source for fuel and energy. They provide glucose to all of our tissues and cells in the body. Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system and other main organs such as our brain, heart and kidneys to function properly. Carbohydrates can be stored and later used for energy. Carbohydrates also play a role in our intestinal health. Your carbohydrate intake is your total daily calories less your protein and fat calories. My total carb intake per day is 160 grams or 640 calories. Again, the amount of carbohydrates you take in will depend on your current goals.
Importance of Fats
Contrary to popular belief, consuming fats do not make you fat. Consuming an excess of calories, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbs, makes you fat, not the intake of fat alone. Now that we have that settled, let’s continue. Fats help with normal growth and development, gives you energy, helps with the absorption of some vitamins, gives cushion to your organs, maintains your cells, and gives taste, stability, and consistency to foods. There are three main types of fats: trans, saturated, unsaturated. Trans fat is the unhealthiest of all the fats. It has been shown to lead to an increase in your bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. They should be avoided. Trans fat is typically found in fried foods, fast foods, chips, cookies, etc. For the most part it is found in all the foods we know we shouldn’t be eating anyway. Saturated fat is not as unhealthy as trans fat, but it’s still not good for you either, especially in large amounts. Saturated fat has been known to cause high cholesterol. Saturated fats can be found in beef, veal, lamb, pork, butter, lard, and cream just to name a few. Intake of saturated fats should be limited. Unsaturated fat has been shown to decrease the risks of heart disease as well as lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Unsaturated fats are most commonly found in fish, nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, and seeds. The majority of our fat intake should come from unsaturated fats. Fat should be 20-30% of your diet. Personally, I choose 25%. My daily fat intake is 44g. Calculate your macros here.
For myself, this is the diet that I am currently following. If I were competing, I would follow a stricter plan or incorporate some form of carb cycling to get my desired results. At times, people take the IIFYM approach to the extremes. Some will consume a lot of unhealthy foods and then give the excuse that it fits their macros. Yes, at times I will have Oreos, skittles, or peanut M & M’s and yes, it does fit into my macros but there’s a downfall. Per example, 1/4 cup of skittles is 37g of carbohydrates with no nutritional value. They’re 160 calories, contain 1.5g of fat and 30g of sugar. 1/4 cup of fresh pineapple is only about 5-6g carbs and provides vitamin C. The pineapple is only about 20 calories and only has about 4g of sugar. It’s obvious which snack would be more beneficial to you but if you just have to have the skittles or your favorite snack, have them; just know that you are giving up a lot of calories for non-nutritional foods and will need to adjust your macros accordingly. Many people feel less restricted when following the IIFYM method. Which method of eating works best for you?
Carb cycling is an eating plan with alternating high-carb and low-carb days. You can even choose to add in a reward day! How awesome is that?
High carbohydrate days promotes muscle growth by stimulating an insulin response, which sends nutrients to your muscle cells. High carb days also replenishes your glycogen stores (fuel for muscles) and makes you feel energized.
Low carb days promote fat loss. You may notice feeling a little tired on your low carb days. The body is tricked into burning fat for fuel instead of the sugar the body would typically get from carbohydrates. It’s just that simple.
There are multiple ways that you can choose to do a carb cycle. You can choose to alternate your high and low carbs daily, once every two days, even three days depending on the results you are trying to achieve. Alternately, depending on your training habits and goals, you may decide to have two high carb days to one low carb day. You may also decide to manipulate your carbs by only consuming them in the morning. You may have to play around with different carb cycling patterns to see which one works best for your body and your lifestyle.
Below is the easy carb cycling meal plan I followed along with the experiences I had.
This morning 1/12/15, I began my carb cycling. I have chosen to alternate my high and low carb days daily with a possible cheat day on Saturday or Sunday. This morning I weighed in at 136.5. I planned out my carbohydrates for the day. My goal is to stay below 70g. I normally take in approximately 250g. Here is what I planned for my low carb day:
Planters honey roasted peanuts-7g
Total 68g carbs
My first low carb day went well! I took in more carbs than planned but stayed below 100g. I took in an additional 10g of carbs. The extra carbs came from miscellaneous foods such as lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sausage. I use the myfitnesspal application to keep track of my foods. I didn’t eat my 1/2 grapefruit. I instead had 1% milk with my protein shake. I have recently realized that I do not enjoy my protein mixed with water only. It may be time to search for a new protein. My energy level was great throughout the day. I had a short, but effective workout today. I trained legs. My workout last 39:01 and I burned 772 calories. I drank just under a gallon of water throughout the day. My total calorie count for the day was 1564.
Day 2 (1/13/15)
I weighed in this morning at 133 lbs. I didn’t plan my carbs for the day. In general, I tend to stick to eating healthy carbs and don’t typically go over my goal intake. My total carb count for the day was 154g. My total calories were 1786. The carbs that I took in included oatmeal, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, mozzarella cheese, walnuts, pineapples, 2 slices whole wheat bread, banana, peanut butter, and a protein bar. I was able to get in a nice long workout today. I worked out for about 1 1/2 hours and burned 1848 calories. I trained back and shoulders. I also did cardio and abs.
Day 3 (1/13/15)
As you can see, I’m looking a little “fluffier” this morning around my midsection due to the increased carb intake yesterday. My weight remained consistent at 133 lbs. I have an unexpected day off from work due to the weather. Hopefully, I can still stick to the plan. My plan is pretty much the same as it was Monday, my last low carb day. Today, I did very well sticking to the eating plan. I took in 72g of carbs. However, I couldn’t push myself to get in a workout. It was a lazy day of eating and sleeping.
Today, I did very well sticking to the eating plan. I took in 72g of carbs. However, I couldn’t push myself to get in a workout. It was a lazy day of eating and sleeping.
Day 4 (1/14/15)
Looking fairly good after my low carb day. My weight remains the same. Today I took in 197g of carbs, all healthy carbs except one. I decided to have a small bag of Cheetos. Hey, what can I say? It fit my macros, but that’s a topic of discussion for another day. I did a callisthenic home workout along with some free weight sets for my arms. I burned just over 1000 calories.
Carb cycling is a great way to lose weight. It helps you get rid of excess water weight as well as burn off more calories.
Looking at pictures, it seems as though my body peaked and looked its best at day 4.
If you are looking to make subtle changes over time, then the every other day cycle would be the route to take.
If you are looking for more drastic changes, then I would recommend 2-3 low carb days followed by 1 high carb day.
Bottom line, if you are looking to lose weight, carb cycling may be an option for you.
If my plan seems to loose or if you are looking for a more specific weight loss meal plan, you may want to check out this carb cycling book that includes recipe ideas.
If you happen to give it a try, let me know what you think.
According to the Urban dictionary, the phrase “The struggle is real”, denotes a situation where the user wishes to express that they are encountering some sort of undesirable difficulty, but dealing with it. Currently, my undesirable difficulty is food. I struggle with it on a day-to-day basis. During the off-season, my goal is to put on more weight. I have therefore increased my daily caloric intake. Unfortunately, I have been slack. I’ve been indulging in my favorite fast food restaurants and eating my favorite candies as though it will not be present tomorrow. I try to “make up” for it by doing a little extra in the gym. As most of you know, you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Maintaining a proper diet during both the on and off-season is important. It is frustrating to me because I know what I need to do to get back on track. I am however having difficulty putting it into action. Each week begins with me setting the goal to get my diet in order. I approach the week ecstatic about my goals because it’s a new start, a new beginning, a chance to make improvements. By the end of the week I’m having BoJangles and eating peanut M&M’s. Unfortunately, what you eat in private, you wear in public. It’s such a true statement. My midsection is a clear indicator of what I have been eating in private.
What are my plans for change? Well, I began writing this post about 2 months ago. My plans from 2 months ago has definitely changed. My plans have changed because my goals have changed. When I began writing this post, I was planning for the upcoming competition season. Due to scheduling conflicts, I do not foresee any competitions in the new year (sad face). That of course does not stop my grind. I continue to train hard because I love it. I see it as an opportunity to bring a better package when I do step on stage again. Not participating in competitions does not give me an excuse to have poor eating habits and indulge in all of the junk that I love. I still plan to keep up with my macros and only indulge in treats sparingly. What are your fitness goals for the new year? Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
In the beginning of my fitness journey, I had no clue what I was doing or what I was really getting myself into. Growing up and into my adult year I was always considered “skinny”. I thought I could eat what ever I wanted and would not gain weight. Boy was I wrong! My reckless eating habits eventually caught up with me. Initially, I was okay with the extra weight because no one was calling me “skinny”. Apparently the weight gain was more out of control than I thought. My mother purchased me a scale for my birthday, then weights with a workout video for Christmas. Her subtle hints clued me in that I needed to make some major life changes.
Like most people, I thought losing weight meant do lots of cardio and that’s exactly what I did. For about 2 years, my exercises consisted of the treadmill, running, and Wii fitness programs. I performed them diligently and I did lose a few pounds, but nothing dramatic to write home about. Last year I began to watch fitness videos on YouTube. The young lady I was watching at the time incorporated weights into her routines. I began to do the same I was following along but I still mostly did cardio workouts.
In January of this year, I made a conscious decision to make attempts to get fit and stay fit. I immediately began surfing the net for workout programs that would yield the best results. I came across the Butt Bible by Pauline Nordin. I followed the program for 6 weeks. For the first 3 weeks, I only did lower body. I began to see results! I continued with the program and also incorporated the upper body workouts into my weekly schedule. The more I saw results, the hungrier I became, the more I wanted to workout and learn more. Although I was seeing results, something was still missing. I learned that I needed to change my diet as well to yield the maximum results. If you ask me, maintaining the diet is the hardest part.
I eventually hired a trainer and competed in the GK Classic, a non-sanctioned competition held twice a year in March and August. Thus far, I have only competed in one show, but have plans to compete in other shows along with the GK Classic next year. I have learned many things along the way and still have lots more to learn. The journey in the fitness world can be both exciting and exhausting. The awesome thing is you are always working on a better you!