Hey friends! Happy Monday and Happy JULY! I am shocked that it is already July, because that means that summer is going to be over in a flash since time goes by sooooo fast. Do you have any fun plans this month? I wish I could say we have some fun things planned, but we don’t. I am just going to hopefully enjoy some sunshine and just take in as much of summer time as I can!
A little while back, I posted a story on my Instagram giving you the opportunity to ask me any questions you may have for me, and I figured I would answer some of them in a blog post! Today, I will be answering questions focused on health, food, and fitness!
Why am I eating a vegan diet?
I’ve mentioned it before, but I eat to make my body feel good. I’ve had stomach issues in the past, and while I can’t say I was “diagnosed” with anything other than the obvious diagnosis that every doctor likes the throw around when you say you are having stomach issues (IBS), there was a time (years ago) when I was SO tired of feeling like absolute trash (having severe stomach pains, not being able to stand up straight or do anything because of these stomach pains I was experiencing, and having to run to the bathroom many times) I decided to start an elimination diet. Before I get into this, I want to say that if you are having any stomach issues/IBS, I am not a nutritionist or anything so I am not telling you to do this, but I am sharing what has helped me and I have had great success with this, and I suggest speaking with a professional. Before (I’m talking years and years ago) I was even vegetarian or vegan, I would eat chicken and turkey, have dairy, and would eat eggs. I started reading blogs, articles, etc. on stomach issues, health, etc., and learned about an elimination diet. The first thing I did was take meat out of my diet while still eating everything else normally, and paid attention to what still triggered stomach pains/cramps, wether it was stress and/or something I ate. A little after each meal, I (literally) wrote down what I ate and what I felt, even if I felt good and didn’t have any issues. I still found that I was experiencing some stomach pains even after eliminating meat (but felt a million times lighter), so I ended up eliminating dairy and whole eggs…which made it so I was eating mostly vegan but eating egg whites. For a couple years I was on the verge of being vegan (even when I started this blog) after having eliminated all dairy and meat from my diet and focusing on more raw and clean foods in my diet, and even though my stomach felt so so much better and I was no longer being hunched over in pain from my stomach pains, I decided to eliminate egg whites also to see if it would eliminate all stomach issues completely. Which is why I am now vegan. I no longer eat meals and have to run to the bathroom (TMI, sorry) or have to lay down because of being in pain. BUT, I will say that of course I am human and I do get stomach aches and stuff sometimes, but I feel significantly overall better now that I am eating mostly raw, vegan food. It’s amazing what your diet can do to your body and how much BETTER you can feel when you are eating better!
What do I normally eat as a vegan?
Lots and lots of fruits and veggies! The best things on this earth! I am almost a raw vegan, but I do have bread also so I can’t fully say that I am. But I love raw, clean, healthy foods like fruits and veggies!
So, what do I usually eat during the day?
To be honest, I really don’t like answering this question because I don’t want you to compare your eats with mine, and I don’t want you to feel like you ‘should’ be eating like me, because I know how that gets (I’ve been guilty of doing that). And, there will always be someone with opinions/judgments of others, but I am just sharing MY life with you, so please be kind and open minded. Now that I got that out of the way, here is a ‘typical day’ of eats for me.
Breakfast: Fruit salad (melons, berries, pineapple, banana), english muffin w/ peanut butter or Walden Farms pancake syrup (omg, so good) or oatmeal
Lunch: Fruit salad, Joseph’s Flax Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash Wrap with a banana rolled up, and an apple. Or fruit salad and garden salad. Or fruit salad and mixed steamed vegetables. Or an english muffin with peanut butter and fruit salad. …You get the idea, right?…it always includes fruit, always include an apple, and then something else!
Dinner: I always have a large salad (and I’m talking large, my salad is always towering over whatever Michael is eating, no shame)! The salad usually consists of: iceberg lettuce, apple slices, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, and cut up banana (don’t knock it till you try it). I usually throw in a handful of raw cashews too (they are my fav kind of nuts), and have some steamed broccoli on the side. I top my salad with my favorite Panera dressing, and have a Joseph’s Lavash wrap on the side to stuff my salad into.
Snacks are included here and there, but I get into some of my favorite snacks in another question.
Do I take vitamins or supplements?
What is my workout routine? How do you handle rest days?
I usually like to share my weekly workout routine here on the blog every week (haven’t in a while), but it pretty much is all obé fitness classes at this point. I still run here and there but I’ve been getting my cardio in other ways (dance, HIIT, and circuit classes). And because the lady upstairs is super mean, I usually don’t run in the morning and have been sporadically running in the afternoon whenever I need to just run here and there. My workout classes range from day to day based on obé fitness’ live schedule, so if they change a class up every now and then, then I am taking a different class than I would normally take on that day. As far as rest days, currently, I haven’t taken a rest day in a while. Actually, ever since I started obé back in November to be exact! However, I will say that I do know my body and I know when I need a break, so if I need a “rest” I will do yoga or something. To be honest, it is hard for me to actually rest, so I am not sure that I am one that ‘handles‘ it well.
How did I get into running?
I started running (on the treadmill) in college because I needed an outlet from all of the stress of papers, exams, lectures, blah blah blah. Running was that for me. But I didn’t just one day start out running, no. I started with walking, and I actually love walking still! I would walk for an hour on the treadmill with the incline all the way up, and adjust my speed so that I was walking super fast (I am a fast walker). Once I got used to that, I started to want to challenge my body and loved hearing about that “runner’s high” people get, so I started adding in bursts of runs, or jogs as I should call them. I would jog/run for a couple minutes and then walk, and keep that up until I could eventually run a full mile or two without stopping to walk, and then I just stuck with running. Not long after, I was running miles on the treadmill and eventually made my way up to HIIT running where I was running at my normal speed for a minute (or whatever) and would bump up the speed to where I was running at my max speed for a minute (or 30 seconds, or whatever). I loved doing HIIT runs (and still enjoy it) because I feel like that is most effective since you don’t need to be running long miles for a long time. Running has become a big stress relief for me still and allows me to just shut my mind off and just run, which is why I love it! I always kind of feel like a fraud when people categorize me as being a ‘runner’ because I don’t ever run outside, BUT I guess since I do run that makes me a runner. It’s funny to me because often I get messages on my social media asking how long I have been a runner, etc. and I always start with “well I am not a runner because I only run on the treadmill, but I do enjoy running”…but I stopped doing that because even if I am not running outside or running a million miles a day, can’t I still be a “runner”?! I don’t know. This is what keeps me up at night sometimes. Hahaha.
How did I train to run as a beginner?
I can’t really tell you that I “trained” to run, other than working my way up to running as a legit beginner, and if you have been reading along for a while, you probably already know I didn’t really have a “training plan” for the 10K’s I have done in the past, but I did incorporate running longer miles into my weekly schedule leading up to the marathon weekend. I must say that running outside is NOT the same as running on the treadmill, and since all I ever do is run on the treadmill, I was sore after the 10K because my legs, ankles, and feet weren’t used to running outside. But, a couple months leading up to the race weekend, I made sure to run at least three times a week with at least running 6 miles once a week to prepare myself for it. If I were training for another race now (about time), I would definitely get my butt outside and run on the pavement, because again, it is totally different from running on the treadmill. I actually find that running on the treadmill is easier for me because you can control and monitor your speed easier. If you are not a runner at all and have signed up/are looking to sign up for any length of a race, I would say to start small. Don’t be spontaneous and just decide to get up one day and run 5 miles because you ‘need to train’ for something. No. That is not how to do it, and you will probably hurt yourself and then curse running forever and ever. Start with walking, and when you feel up for it, begin to jog. Jog for a mile (or half a mile, or quarter of a mile, or for 5 minutes, whatever you can do), and work your way up to running. You don’t wake up and just instantly become a fast runner, running all the miles. If you are training for a Disney race as a beginner, first: I am jealous. Second: I would suggest incorporating running into your weekly training routine now. Start out slow, work your way up, and at least do your longer run once a week so you are prepared for that race day. *I am not a running coach or anything, I am just giving you my experiences, my advice, and what has worked with me.
What do I put in my coffee?
I order my coffee black, and put sweet and low in it when I get back home. I also put a couple drops of Torani Sugar Free Classic Hazelnut syrup in it for flavor.
What are my favorite go to snacks?
I’m not really a big snacker throughout the day, but my go to snacks are unsalted multigrain rice cakes, or a piece of fruit. That being said, I am definitely a night time snacker. I don’t care what you hear that eating before bed is bad, blah blah blah. Say and think what you want, but I usually need a snack before bed. Sometimes I don’t, but most of the time I do. My go to snack before bed is usually a mix of rice cakes, rice chex cereal, & cheerios, or popcorn, and some red grapes on the side. I love snack time.
Do I count calories or do intermittent fasting?
No and no! I used to count calories but that got to be too much for me, because I started getting a little too obsessed with the numbers so I don’t do that, ever. I ‘know’ how many calories I am eating in a day/in a meal, but I don’t necessarily count them or keep track of them or anything. And as far as intermittent fasting goes, you won’t ever see this girl not eating because of the time. Sorry. That would become too obsessive for me too. I usually “fast” (if you want to call it that) when I am sleeping, and when I am working out in the morning. So, from 9pm (my last snack of the day) to 9/10am, I am “fasting”. I find that I feel better when I work out on an empty stomach, than when I work out after eating…but, if I am working out during the day I obviously have eaten before. Intermittent fasting and/or calorie counting might work well for you, but like I said, it isn’t for me.
What is my favorite workout?
Okay so this is hard. Because obviously I love running, but I love a HIIT class. They go by so fast and are so fun, challenging, and sweaty. Along with that, dance classes with certain trainers (who I know are going to make me SWEAT) are my favorite also! And of course I can’t leave out a sculpt class, because it is crazy to me to think that before obé I was HARDLY ever using weights in my workout routine (even if I am only using light weights now). And now I really enjoy sculpt and strength classes!
What are my favorite ab exercises?
I love working my abs out! It’s my most favorite body part to train because it’s my “most problem area” and you don’t need to work it for a long time to feel the burn! I love standing abs the most because you can do them literally anywhere with or without equipment, including a mat! I think I love all ab exercises but I absolutely love planks..there are so many different variations and it not only works your abs but works your full body! Even though I most of the time do an express abs class on obé every night, I still incorporate my own ab workouts in the mix daily. Would you be interested in seeing some of my favorite ab workouts? I would love to start sharing workouts because I love creating them!
How do I stay motivated to workout and eat healthy?
I don’t really have a magic answer for this. You have to want it. It’s hard, I know, but I truly feel like working out is the BEST part of my day and it makes for a better day when I get a workout in. My mood is better, my body feels better, and I am just an all around better person when I work out! And it may sound crazy and not true, but I wake up every morning feeling EXCITED to workout. I can’t remember the day I didn’t want to workout. I actually wrote a blog post about staying motivated, you can find that HERE. The main thing that keeps me motivated to eat healthy is the simple fact that if I don’t, I know I will feel like trash, because when you EAT like trash you FEEL like trash. And I know that I definitely don’t want to feel that way!
That’s all for now! Have anymore questions about health, fitness, food, or anything else about my life? Send me a message! 🙂
Have a beautiful week, friends! Xoxo