Friday, May 31, 2013

Beat Cellulite - No Creams or Lotions Required

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you had an amazing week. I’ve been posting a lot about preparing for summer in my Fitness and Health Blog and then I realized… CELLULITE! It plagues even the youngest and skinniest of us. =[ Working out doesn’t eliminate cellulite, it can actually make it worse because when the muscle is developed it can squish the fat making it more visible! Pinterest is flooded with anti-cellulite cream this, DIY cellulite treatment that and the reviews don’t have raving fans. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the benefits of dry brushing and it’s the highest rated for cellulite reduction, toning and tightening of skin. Dry brushing isn’t just for the physical benefits either, it actually Increases circulation, cell renewal, digestion, kidney function and lymphatic drainage (draining of toxins)! So it’s healthy. I just got my dry brush so I’m going to start ASAP!

What kind of dry brush to get: I ordered this dry brush on amazon – it’s all natural and made with vegetable fiber bristles. You want something stiff but not too rough. The bristles should be natural not synthetic.

How often: It’s recommended to dry brush daily, up to 2x per day and not just your cellulite prone areas, your entire body! It’s called dry brushing for a reason, so do it in the am before your shower and at night before bed.

What direction: Always brush towards your heart in long sweeps, not back and forth. BE GENTLE! =D Start with your feet and legs.

I’ll keep you all posted on my results in a couple weeks. =]


Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY Flawless Face

I don’t think you have to spend $100’s of dollars on makeup to look great. I’ve broken down my daily face makeup routine for a fool-proof, flawless look. I’ll admit that I have horrible skin; blotchy, bumpy and it’s either over oily or dry and dull (depending on what products I use). As much as I complain about how horrible it is to have oily skin, my mom tells me I’ll be thankful for it when I’m old and not-so wrinkly. Anyways, needless to say I have to be very selective about what products I put on my face. I’ve tried just about everything in the book and I've narrowed it down to the following products for a flawless face without making my skin act up and without spending a fortune on name brand beauty products.

I always, always, always wash my face before applying makeup. I use a bar of non-scented Dove soap everyday and every other day I use the DIY Microdermabrasion for polished skin. The recipe for this DIY Micro can be found HERE.

Step 1: I apply a dime-sized amount of the Revlon Photo Ready Color Correcting Primer all over my face, including my eyelids; I think it makes my eye shadow stay in place better.

Step 2: Starting with my forehead, I use a half-pump of the Studio Gear Flawless Foundation. Then I do a full pump on each side of my face. This stuff will set after you rub it in, so you have to work somewhat fast. I love this makeup because it provides good coverage without making you look cakey. It’s also water based so it will easily remove with soap and water AND it has SPF 10!

Step 3: Again starting with my forehead, I use the Eco Tools Kabuki Brush and lightly dust my entire face with the Pur Minerals Matte Pressed Powder. This step could be optional depending on your skin type, again I have super oily skin so if I don’t seal it with this powder ALL the oil comes out of my face! Most of Pur Minerals products contain an SPF, this 4-in-1 contains SPF 15 and Vitamin E. This can be for light or heavy coverage, on the weekends I usually skip step 2 and just brush a little of the Pur Minerals on and it’s a nice coverage.  

Step 4: Next I use the Rimmel Natural Bronzer, this ALSO has SPF 8! I lightly dust this onto my cheeks, the sides of my face by my eyes and just above my eyebrows (all the places the sun would usually hit).

Step 5: I use a smaller foundation brush to apply the Physician Formula Organic Wear Shimmer for contouring under my eyes, down my nose, just on top of your upper lip line and my chin. This is great because it’s all natural and it’s not shimmer overload; it gives you just enough highlight to make you pop.

Step 6: I do a quick spray of the Evian Water Spray. I know it might sound silly but it sets my makeup so I don’t look like I just dipped my face in a bucket of powder. I’ve used the Mac Fix+ Setting Spray but for some reason it makes me skin feel sticky and itchy? Lol

And that’s it! Stay posted for a How to: Highlight and Contour tutorial! =]

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DIY Framed Letter

With the arrival of baby Logan quickly approaching (17 weeks left!), I'm frantically trying to get her room perfectly decorated and organized. I think this DIY Framed Letter will be a great little accent. 
These wood frames are at Michaels for $7 right now and there are a couple other designs and sizes as well. Hobby Lobby might carry something similar. I think I might end up “roughing” mine up a little bit for a more rustic/weathered look. I’ll post pictures of it hanging in the baby room as soon as I get it up!

Organic Anti-Wrinkle Mask

Bananas contain several vitamins that rejuvenate the skin and prevent future wrinkles from developing. Apply this organic mask 1-3 times per week.
½ of a ripe banana
½ cup of natural yogurt
1 tbs of natural honey
1 tsp of coffee grounds

Mash the banana until smooth, stir in yougurt, honey and coffee grounds. Apply the mask evenly to your face and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
*Mask will save in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Bikini Butt Workout

I wanted to share 3 plateau shattering exercises along with a couple important things to remember when building a firm booty.

1.       Do a full squat – How low can you go? The lower you squat, the more range of muscles you’ll work resulting in a bigger, rounder, firmer rear.

2.       Split Squats – Another awesome exercise to shape and firm your booty. Split squats will also target your abs and hamstrings. Remember to go as low as possible in the downward position, also lengthening the step you take will put an added emphasis on your hamstrings for optimal results.

3.       Step Ups – Targeting your entire lower body and it will absolutely kill those calories. The higher the step you take, the more thorough your exercise and the more you’ll be working those gluites.

These aren’t necessarily exercises to do every single workout, just every once in a while to help you get through a plateau.

*Keep in mind that running isn’t the number 1 cardio choice when you’re end goal is a round firm butt. Running will actually flatten out your body. I would suggest incline walking or stair stepping as an alternative.

Another thing to consider is your calorie intake, if you don’t have much shape to your butt to begin with, a couple extra hundred extra calories added to your diet each day will aid in building more muscle mass; if you’re burning more calories than you intake, you can’t build muscle. If you’re more concerned with toning your butt, consider cutting back on some calories or being more selective about the type of calories you’re in-taking. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3 Simple Exercises for Lower Back Dimples

There are lots of opinions on whether or not lower back dimples (Venus Dimples) are just genetics or if you’re able to develop them through exercise and strength training. I strongly believe that dimples can be developed, take a look at celebrity athletes, the majority of them have lower back dimples.

So how can lower back dimples be developed? Simple back strengthening exercises, a proper diet, and lower body fat percentage, (a healthy body fat percentage for women is 14% - 20% and for men 6% - 13%). I’ve compiled the following 3 exercises to target those sexy lower back dimples.

1.       Superman – lay face down on the floor; raise your arms and legs to the sky with your feet together. Your tummy should be the only part of your body touching the ground. Hold this for 30 seconds, 3x.

2.       Dead Lifts – With feet flat beneath bar, squat down and grasp bar shoulder width apart. Lift bar by extending hips and knees to full extension. (This exercise will also target your quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes!) Do 3 sets of 12.

3.       Bulgarian Split Squat - Extend leg back and place the top of your foot on a char or bench. Squat down flexing your knee and hip of front leg until knee of back leg almost touches the floor. Return to original standing position. Do 3 sets of 12 on each leg

These are great exercises to get those dimples to show – you’ll also experience improved back strength for better posture and core strength. Incorporate these into your routine 1-2 times per week. I recommend starting with little to no weight for your first week or so to master the movement and avoid straining your back.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fruit Pizza Recipe

In honor of Memorial Day we're having a company BBQ at work! So I decided to make a Fruit Pizza, not only is it so fun to make, it also feeds A TON!

1 pkg sugar cookie dough
1 pkg of cream cheese
¾ cup of powdered sugar
½ cup of white sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1tbs of cornstarch
1 cup of orange juice
2 tbs of lemon juice
assorted fruit

1.       Spread cookie dough out onto a pizza pan. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes and then set aside to cool.
2.       Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread evenly over the cookie dough.
3.       Chop your fruit and lay it on top of your pizza in the pattern you like! I used strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries and mandarin oranges.
4.       In a small sauce pan combine white sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and cornstarch and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes. Let it cool and spoon it over your entire pizza. Chill in the fridge until serving. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ultimate Fat Burning Cardio

Cardio is necessary to lose fat all over your body but Interval Training is the ultimate fat burner and pertinent to giving your body that boost it needs to lose those stubborn extra pounds. Pushing yourself for the short bursts and then slowing down just enough to recover so you can push yourself again.

Top benefits to interval training:

1.       Increase your overall speed
2.       Increase your stamina
3.       Increase your afterburn. What does that mean? Afterburn is the period of time in which your body continues to burn calories post workout. Did I mention that interval training targets your waistline! =O

So you’re saying I can burn more overall calories in a shorter amount of time? Yes!

Here’s the latest interval workout I’ve been working on:
-3 Minutes on the Treadmill - your speed will vary depending on your height, but you should be running at a quick pace
-3 Minutes on the Stair Stepper – this is your recovery time

Interval training works for all types of cardio, so if you prefer the elliptical and the rowing machine, pair them for 25-45 minutes. The key is to push yourself on those short bursts, it’s only for 3 minutes, YOU CAN DO IT! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How To Get An Inner Thigh Gap

I’ve recently learned about “the inner thigh gap”…. Aside from the booty, the inner thigh gap is the most talked about part of a woman’s body – according to Troy. =] Especially in the summer time. SO, if you aren’t naturally blessed with this “inner thigh gap”, get busy on these exercises!
Inner Thigh Pulse – Lay on your side grabbing your ankle on your upper leg. With the lower leg, flex your foot with your heels up and your toes down. Pulse your lower leg up and down – do this 20x each side
Single Leg Lifts – Lay on your side with your toes pointed, raise and lower your upper leg – do this 20x each side.
Froggers – Lay on your back with your feet off the floor, knees to your chest and arms and hands off the ground by your side. Bring your heels together in a “V” shape. Extend and flex your legs making sure to keep the “V” shape in your heels – do this 20x.
Scissors – Lay flat on your back, point your toes with your legs straight in the air. Spread them apart and then cross them back in the center keeping your toes pointed – do this 20x.

Do this 4x all the way through, combined with some light cardio while maintaining healthy eating habits and you’ll be well on your way to a perfectly diamond shaped inner thigh gap!

What’s the first thing you notice on a man’s body?

Metabolism Boosting Snacks - Day #3 - Brazilian Butt Challenge

It's Day #3 for the 2-week Brazilian Butt Challenge. Honestly, I'm a little sore today! But thanks to Pinterest, I always find these little motivators to keep me in check.

Here's a few quick snack ideas to keep your metabolism up while satisfying your cravings and filling your tummy.

Whole Wheat Toast + Peanut Butter + Banana Slices (my favorite!!)

Mozzarella + Cherry Tomatoes + Basil

Non-Fat Yogurt + Berries + Sliced Almonds

Cucumbers + Carrots + Hummus (yum!)

Of course it's always best to be healthy when it comes to food and snack choices but it's unrealistic to completely restrict yourself from your favorite guilty pleasures and cravings. Stick to smart eating habits throughout the week and then treat yourself to ONE of your favorites on Saturday OR Sunday. =]

What are your favorite metabolism boosting snacks?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

9 Reasons to Set Goals for Yourself and The First Steps to Achieving Them

1.       Goal setting will improve your identity; you’ll be surprised how much you learn about yourself.

2.       Setting goals for yourself makes you aware of your strengths; in turn you can use them to overcome obstacles.

3.       You’ll also discover your weaknesses - use these weaknesses to begin setting new goals to improve them and turn them into strengths.

4.       Once you’ve establish successes with your goals they will ultimately motivate you towards new goals and you’ll be unstoppable.

5.       Setting goals creates a step-by-step path to reach your goals – set your goals and work backwards.

6.       When you set goals, it forces you to set priorities and establish direction.

7.       Once you establish goals, you are no longer day dreaming, you’re taking the right steps to achieving them.

8.       When you set goals for yourself, you’re defining your purpose and meaning in life.

9.       Once goals are set in place, decision-making will be easy.

Ask yourself what brings you a sense of accomplishment, what are your personal strengths, and what areas might need more work. Be honest with yourself and share your goals with someone close to you to help keep you on track. Establish your goals in detail, put them in writing and give yourself a deadline! A realistic one of course… You’ll be surprised at how powerful your goals are when you map them out for yourself!

What’s your real ambition or private plan for that “sometime” in your life?  

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to get your boyfriend to the gym

Is your boyfriend a "couch potato"? These tips should get your boyfriend to the gym without being a nag:

1. Be involved with his progress be as interested and excited as he is about his training and development. For example, help him measure his arms and other muscle groups.

2. Do the workout where they feel comfortable - the gym can be intimidating, especially when their man-card feels threatened. 

3. Use the workout as an excuse to build on your relationship - go on a jog together around the neighborhood or take a group exercise class, you might even meet a few new workout buddies to keep you both accountable. 

4. Reward him - set goals together and reward him as he achieves his goals. He'll stay motivated and have something to look forward to.

5. Find the right activity - be creative and join an adult softball or volleyball league. Some people hate spending their evening at the gym after a long day at work. 

Is having a less active partner a deal breaker for you?

I'm in love with this infant car seat cover that my sister-in-law Cara got for our new baby! I can't even wait for it to come in the mail!

DIY Micro-Dermabraison

I live by this DIY Micro-Dermabraision! It's the bee's knees! This will brighten your skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and scars.

mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water

I usually make it in bulk and just take a little jar and fill it 2/3 of the way full and put some water over the top and mix it until its a thick paste.

Rub it in a circular motion on your entire face and rinse off with warm water.

I use this scrub every 3 days or so and I definitely notice a difference if I don't. ENJOY!

10-day Brazilian Butt Challenge...Ready GO!

Alright ladies, this one is for us! We have 2 weeks left in the month of May, and let's face it.. bikini season is here! These quick exercises can be squeezed into your day, I promise! Do them in the AM  to kick start your day, before your shower, while you're waiting for your coffee, or if you're like me and you're trying to kick your coffee addiction do it after your protein shake. I take 100% Optimum Whey first thing in the morning and I've got so much more energy throughout the day and not to mention it gets my metabolism working right off the bat. You'll definitely feel the burn with these butt and leg exercises, but power through it. WE CAN DO IT!

If you have questions about any of these exercises, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email! =]