When someone feels lightheaded in class…

They are like this:

I ask them if they ate food today and they say:

My Response:

So healthy people make sure you’re eating healthy foods especially with this whole “swimsuit season” crazy phase happening right now. Be aware of your friends too! Act as support, because we all need it! Not eating won’t make you super skinny. Super skinny is not a good look anyways. Haven’t you heard fit is the new sexy? To be fit you need to fuel your muscles. Otherwise your metabolism will get all f*ed up. So take care of yourself. Don’t reward yourself with food because you are not a dog. But do think of your body as a machine. Power it with the healthy foods we are designed to consume…all the fruits, veggies and whole grains you can imagine. And of course plenty of aguaaa baby!

Make sure you’re keeping up with this week’s health challenge too by taking photos with your camera phone of your food or write down what you eat! Bring awareness!

What are you having for lunch today? Yesterday I had a yummy falafel salad! So goooooood

 

 

Plus healthy foods taste better anyways and make your body feel AMAZING. Trust me ūüôā

Happy Eating and Exercising,

XOXO

Jess

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Weekly Challenge 4/22,”I love food more than I love people”

Helllllllo Healthy People!!!

You have one night left of jumping jacks and planks before you brush your teeth (last week’s fitness challenge) …since this was a fitness challenge this week we are going to change and do a health challenge. ¬†It seems someday’s after the weekend in particular we wake up and feel like this the next day:

How did that happen? Ha. Well specifically on the weekends we tend to let ourselves “cheat” on our diets¬†more-so¬†if we’ve consumed a few alcoholic beverages. ¬†I know especially for people in college they say the weekend is the most difficult time to keep a healthy lifestyle like they do throughout the week.

This is where I propose…we are going to journal. No no no not like I’m your Dr. Ashley Psychologist…but more so just to record anything and everything you consume. ¬†So here’s the plan…you can either carry a small journal around with you and log what you eat and drink throughout the day. That includes that finger dipped in icing….you know what I mean ūüėČ

So literally record everything for a week. If you don’t want to write it down, simply take a photo of everything with your cameraphone and that will serve as a record that you can look at later. This will challenge you to be more aware of the things that go into your mouth (insert dirty joke here…) and you’ll also gain a sense of the times of day you are most hungry, the times you are bored and snack instead of exercising for instance and the days you were strong and aware of what you were consuming. Don’t let yourself be a trashcan. Eat clean.

Not like Patrick:

grossssss

And even if you are this guy, you can still take part in this challenge…just make sure you are consuming healthy foods that are good for your body and soul (and remember portion sizes!):

I hope you have a wonderful week!!! I will be posting some new exercise ideas soon ūüôā

Happy eating and exercising!

XOXO,

Jess

PS Like my FB page here!

Remember when we had snack time at school?

Heyyy Healthy People!!!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thursday! I wanted to blog about SNACKS. Remember when it was so much fun to hang out during snack time in our grade school years? Pass the snacks, trade your mom’s cookies for someone’s mom’s other type of cookies. HA.

Well tonight I wanted to blog about VEGAN snacks since that’s what I have been eating and I think it would be great even if you don’t want to become a vegan to eat vegan option from time to time. Or maybe a way to transition into a more vegan focused lifestyle. Have you seen Forks Over Knives? You can rent it on Netflix and it’s a MUST see.

Here’s a few:

ANDDD for all of you non-vegan’s I hope your face isn’t like this:

1.) Veggies and Hummus…mhmm (I like to add fresh chopped up Garlic to my hummus)

2.) SOY Yogurt!!! Check it out: I get the vanilla and love to add frozen raspberries to it, SOOO good!

VEGAN!

3.) Handful of pretzels

4.) OREOS?? WHO knew these were Vegan?? Pretty cool/full of sugar so eat in moderation!

5.) Edamame!

6.) Vegan Trail Mix (Just look at the ingredients or buy at a specified vegan section, a lot have yogurt bits and chocolate etc…)\

7.) Rice Cakes…you can spread Natural PB on them or add garlic powder!

8.) Nuts and Sunflower Seeds

9.) Granola Bars or Protein Bars (just double check the ingredients, no eggs, dairy, butter etc etc etc)

10.) Organic Applesauce

11.) Banana Chips

12.) Any fruit Obviously!

13.) Or veggies mhmmm

14.) Smoothie!

15.) Veggies with  goddess dressing

16.) Dried fruit such as dates, mangos, raisins (beware a lot of these have added sugars)

17.) Popcorn! You can top it with nutritional yeast! (make sure it’s air popped, everything else has butter on it!)

18.) Banana or organic apple with Peanut Butter

So these are just a few options but you can get fun and creative with vegan cheeses and dressings and stuff! The whole idea is to not go hungry and have everything be tasty and satisfying!

As this week finishes I have exactly one more week of classes in my undergraduate career. Seems crazy to me how fast time has flown by! I look forward to moving back down to Florida and Working at my new job at Athletic Edge in Bradenton, FL. But I will miss JMU more than I can probably even imagine at this point. So blessed and thankful for all of these experiences and opportunities.

Have you been keeping up with this week’s fitness challenge?

Don’t forget to head over to my FITfloridian Facebook page and like it!!!

Enjoy your day tomorrow.

Happy eating and exercising!!!

XOXO,

Jess

7am Cycle Fitness…Favorite class

GOOOOD Morning Healthy People!!!

When I teach morning spin classes… I have a 5:00 am wake up call… Something I actually¬†volunteer for, call me nuts.

Even though I wanted to lay in bed like this…

I was ready to go and happy to give everyone a great morning workout. Here was the playlist we used:

1.) Boyfriend by Justin Bieber (don’t laugh this song is good lol)

2.) Jet Lag by Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield

3.) Where Have You Been? by Rihanna

4.) Rain Over Me by Pitbull feat. Marc Anthony

5.) Free by Graffiti6

6.) Lights (Bassnectar Remix) by Ellie Goulding

7.) Enough is Enough by Avicii

8.) Epic by Sandro Silva and Quintino

9.) Glad You Came by The Wanted

10.) Cinema (Skrillex Remix) by Benny Benassi

11.) What is Love? -Reloaded by Haddaway

12.) Show me Love (club mix) by Michael Mind

13.) Waiting for Tonight by Jennifer Lopez

14.) Drunk on You by Luke Bryan (favorite song right now, reminds me of summer)

15.) Come Away to the Water by Maroon 5 (aah the Hunger Games soundtrack….)

This playlist is great for running, cycling or working out in general!!!

Disclaimer: whatever you do please refrain from dancing like this:

It is Hump Day today so get your workout on. Remember to keep up with our no Sugar Challenge of the week and don’t forget to like my facebook page for extra motivators ūüôā

Happy eating and exercising!

xoxo,

Jess

Health Challenge of the Week!

Hey Healthy People!!!

I hope you had a restful weekend and Happy Easter. ¬†How many chocolate bunnies did you eat? haha just kidding! So I hope you got your needed sugar fix in this Easter because the fitness challenge of the week is…..

So this will be tough!!! You will have to say no to all desserts (choose fruit!!!). No cookies, sugar in coffee etc… Don’t go all Splenda on me eitherrr friends…that stuff isn’t good for you. Try Stevia!

Also if you haven’t already please go to my facebook page and “like” it/me!!! Wooo http://www.facebook.com/FITfloridian¬† I will be checking in this week to see how we’re all doing. And if you’re reading this blog now and it’s not Sunday night…No worries. You too can start this whole health nut thing and cleanse your body of sugar starting now. Give it a try for a week. ¬†It will be hard at first but eventually become easier and easier as you gain control over your cravings. Don’t let sugar be the enemy!

What to do? Load up on the fruits and vegetables. Drink tons and tons of water! Remember this is basically a detox so the water will help cleanse your body! Drink herbal tea with stevia or just plain. ¬†Have a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to help satisfy those cravings. Also…check out my sugar free “Earth” cookies, but remember portion sizes (1-2 cookies/serving)¬†YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!

Happy Eating and Exercising!

Xoxo,

Jess

Let’s Juice it up!

Hey Healthy People!!!

I haven’t blogged the past two days because we had a BLACKOUT! Seriously candles and flashlights for the majority of the night on Wednesday…perfect timing for Wednesday Wine Night of course. ¬†Anyways that killed the Internet until today. Andddd by the way I made a Facebook page, so if you like my blog please like my page!!!

I saw a comment from a reader about juice recipes. Maybe some people don’t even know what “juicing” is…I for sure was confused about it a ways back. ¬†You may even be scared at the thought of it. Like ew…gross..vegetables and fruit in a drink:

BUT!!! Seriously what it gives you is a phenomenal amount of micronutrients…those little bad boys located in healthy fruits and veggies. ¬†It’s basically the best vitamin you can get. ¬†I wrote in a previous post ( click here ) about the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that actually convinced we to start juicing. ¬†People do it for all sorts of reasons such as cleanses, addition to their weekly diet, or weight loss. ¬†Today I started to do it for a two day cleanse because I wasn’t feeling so hot these past couple of weeks and could use some nutrients to kick my immune system back into gear!

Here’s my grocery list: (choose Organic!!!)

1.) Kale

2.) Apples

3.) Lemon/Lime

4.) Ginger Root

5.) Carrots

6.) Celery

7.) Cucumbers

8.) Oranges

So on my Juicer there are two speeds, low and high. ¬†Low is for items that are softer such as orange slices and kale. The high speed is for apple slices (with the skins on!), carrots, cucumbers etc…

I always begin with the prep stage of course. Make sure no matter how organic or how much they say they washed the item…WASH IT! My parents even convinced me to invest in a “veggie wash”

Then I chop up or divide my items.  For instance Kale just pulls apart, I use about 1/3 of the bushel.

I cut up one apple into wedges leaving the skin on!

Keep the skin on a lime and cut one wedge off of it. Refrigerate the rest…this is flavorful!

Carrots are good as is (I used 3 large ones).  I slice a cucumber in half perpendicularly to how it is length wise. Skin stay on for that too, the Green skin of a cucumber is a great nutrient source.

I chop a little piece off of the ginger root…it definitely looks weird and adds A LOT of flavor I realized…so be weary if you hate that taste don’t use it!

Ginger Root

Then the fun part starts. Turn on that babyyy and let’s juice! I start slow adding the kale and lime. Then speed it up and add the rest. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go. You will notice the skins and other parts are being disposed of in a¬†separate¬†area (compost??).

It might not look the prettiest but I stick a straw in it and slurp it up. The thing with juicing is that the micronutrients once broken down into this form dissolve very quickly so you won’t get the same effect from it if you don’t drink it right away!!!

It’s actually quite filling and surprisingly tasty. ¬†I will be posting other juicing recipes in the future as well! I hope you have kept up with the fitness challenge of the week, night time planks before bed!! And that you have been exercising at least almost every day. ¬†Thanks so much for reading my blog. Don’t forget to like my facebook page!!!

Happy eating and exercising!!

XOXO,

J

My future husband.

I hope this is what my future husband is like.

Hope it made you laugh! That is manyyyy many years away though, a girl can dream though lol (Still single and mingling…)

Anyways I just wanted to catch your attention and give you a fitness challenge to add to your usual workout routine:

STEP IT UP A NOTCH! 

Plyometric Fitness Workout:

1.) Begin with a 20 minute run on the treadmill or outside. Then without stopping go right into the set.

2.) Here’s the set you do this for time so as many as you possibly can– we’re gonna do it for 2 minutes each set with 30 sec water break in between.

Set One:

5 Burpees

Plank -> Ski Plank (in plank position send your legs to right side and to left) 8 times

4 Jack Push ups (legs go out as you lower your chest to the ground in a push up)

4 mountain climbers (by 4 I really mean 8 so count your R knee coming up to chest 4 times)

REPEAT AS MANY TIMES AS YOU CAN FOR TWO MINUTES (set a timer, watch the clock, have someone yelling at you with a whistle…etc)

Set Two:

5 Power Squats (Squat, jump in the air)

10 forward jump kicks (switch kicks, kick, jump, switch legs kick)

5 tuck jumps (literally jump as high as you can and tuck your knees into chest)

10 push ups


REPEAT AS MANY TIMES AS YOU CAN FOR TWO MINUTES (like before)… then a 30 second water break.

Go ahead and repeat both sets one and two, 2 more times. Doing as many reps as possible for the allotted two minutes. 

So you should total about 12 minutes of plyometric work.

THEN–> hop back into a 10-15 minute run/jog (SERIOUSLY.) Allow the last 5 minutes to be a cool down, and don’t forget to stretch!

>>>>>>>>>>>WHAT to remember with plyo? 1.) LAND SOFTLY, otherwise your joints will hate you, so bend your knees try to be as quiet as possible. 2.) CORE ENGAGED, tighten those abdominals the entire time. 3.) On planks and push ups keep gaze down. 4.) If you’re feeling way too light headed take a breather BUT never stop moving your feet!!!

CAN YOU HANDLE IT????

YES!!!!

Happy eating and exercising!

XOXO,

J

P.S. Shout out to my friend Clayton who is up in Indiana for his NFL Combine tryout tomorrow. You’re gonna kill the 40 Clay! Props to all the Athletic Edge athletes who have worked so hard and have been killin’ it in the NFL Combine!

Juicing…and my first video? yikes.

Hey all! So I woke up today knowing I wanted to blog but not sure about what and if I would have the time. I ran into this gentleman at the grocery store who shared his story of juicing with me and I thought it was really inspirational…and I was so proud of him… that I decided to tell his story via video. But let me¬†forewarn¬†you…I am noooo media design girl. I have no knowledge of anything that has to do with editing or what not so this is rough.

I’m just talking into the computer trying to pretend someone is listening…

Don’t laugh? or do ! haha I don’t care but I do hope you get the message.

 

HAHA. Well…all I can say is that hopefully I get better at this video thing or this might be my first and last one.

 

 

What should you do?

Go to the website: FAT SICK and NEARLY DEAD CLICK HERE

 

Then go to Netflix or buy the documentary and watch it. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK, believe me. ¬†Maybe think about doing the 10-day challenge. I did it for five days during the summer and noticed a great change in my skin, my feelings etc. I incorporate juicing every now and then because it’s a quick jolt of nutrients that the body responds to quickly.

 

Good luck!

Happy juicing…xoxo

J

 

Just Keep Running…Just Keep Running…

 

Before I started running (post Cross Country Years) I had excuses too.

“I don’t have time”

“I’m not a runner”

“I can’t”

“I don’t need to”

“…haha that’s a funny joke…”

“It’s bad for my knees”

blah blah blah blah blah.

ANYTHING was an excuse:

Until one day I decided to give it a try again…

I started out slow…run/walking a couple miles about 3 -4 times per week. I tried to be on the treadmill a lot because I could monitor exactly how fast I was going, the time, and the pace.

I was determined to become a runner.

And so I did!

If you know me, you know I don’t like to take it easy on myself. ¬†I had a goal in mind right away to train for a half marathon. So at the end of my freshman year I began training for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March of my Sophomore year. I had plenty of time.

But first of all.

…I had no clue what I was doing. Absolutely no idea. Granted I ran a half marathon with my Cross Country team in 8th grade…my coach was the one who knew the running plan, the shoes, the form etc etc. I just sort of ran back then without thinking about it.

But now, I was subject to my college independence. I was too nervous to join a running club because the thought of people who could run way better than me was intiimidating. I bought shoes because I liked the colors and the idea of “gel” in the bottom of my feet as a comfort mechanism seemed like the right choice. Little did I know shoes matter a lot and they don’t go by color or descriptive words.

In the fall I decided to actually go to a running store for some perspective. I was told I had actually the opposite shoes I needed. I pronate which means somehow I strike on the side on my foot (outside) and my ankles and knees roll in. Also I have an extremely low arch so I needed a stability shoe. Whatever that even means.

New shoes were EVERYTHING. They changed my mechanics and helped me with form. Who knew?

Since this Half Marathon I have ran 2 more and a number of other smaller races. Running changed my life and it can change yours.

 

 

If you are still coming up with excuses or injury concern I have attached an article from runner’s world about what to be aware of and keep in mind for injury prevention.

Happy Running,

xoxo

J

 

Runner's WorldRunner's World
Injury Prevention: Staying Healthy

The Benefits of Running
The Benefits of Running

Running makes us well-oiled machines–ankles, knees, and hips included.

By Judi Ketteler
PUBLISHED 10/25/2007

Published 10/25/07

“What about your knees? how are your knees?” chances are, you’ve fielded those questions more than once. Not from physicians, exercise physiologists, or physical therapists but from nonrunning friends and family members who assume that pavement pounding wreaks havoc on our bodies and that we’ll all eventually need knee replacements and motorized scooters because of our arthritic joints.

Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis, occurs when cartilage, the spongy tissue that cushions our joints, breaks down and deteriorates, making weight-bearing activities painful. From there, many people believe that running accelerates this process. And while most of us credit our running for keeping our heart, lungs, and soul healthy and happy, a twinge in an ankle or stiffness in a knee makes us wonder if our nonrunning buddies are right and our joints are bearing an unreasonable burden.

The fact is if we run responsibly–wear supportive shoes and replace them when worn out, rehab injuries properly, incorporate cross-training and rest days into our schedules as needed–we’re no more susceptible to OA than the general population, say medical experts. Actually, it’s the doubters on the sidelines who could have a better chance of developing it.

Weighing In on Knee Pain

The number one risk factor for OA is excess body fat–a problem most runners don’t have. Sedentary, overweight people are 45 percent more likely to develop OA than those who are active. “The more you weigh, the more pressure is placed on the joints, which seems to accelerate the breakdown of cartilage,” says Patience White, M.D., chief public health officer for the Arthritis Foundation. Since losing weight is one of the best ways to prevent OA (losing 10 pounds can take about 45 pounds of pressure off the knee), and running is one of the most effective calorie burners, hopping on the treadmill for a tempo session could help you sidestep joint issues.

But running does more than just lighten the body’s load. “Aerobic exercise improves most body functions–including joint health,” says James Fries, M.D., professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. When you exercise, the cartilage in your hips, knees, and ankles compresses and expands. This draws in oxygen and flushes out waste products, nourishing and keeping the cartilage healthy. “Without exercise, cartilage cells get weak and sick,” he says.

Furthermore, running strengthens the ligaments that help support joints, making them more stable and less susceptible to sprains and strains, which can damage cartilage and eventually lead to OA.

In 2006, Dr. Fries presented research that compared rates of OA-related disabilities between 539 runners and 423 nonrunners over a 21-year period. At the follow-up exam, researchers found that the nonrunners were worse for wear–their increase in disabilities was twice that of the runners.

The runners in Dr. Fries’s study averaged about 60 minutes of running five days a week. But even higher-mileage runners don’t seem to risk bad knees. A 2006 study conducted at Germany’s University of Heidelberg looked at the incidence of OA among elite marathon runners. After comparing 20 former elite German marathoners with a control group of nonrunners of the same age, gender, and body mass index, the researchers found that the marathoners did not have a higher risk of OA of the knee.

When Injury Strikes

That said, while running itself doesn’t increase the risk of developing OA, running injuries can–especially when you delay treatment or rush recovery. Ankle sprains, in particular, have been linked to the development of OA. Almost half of those who twist or turn an ankle experience additional sprains or ongoing weakness and pain. This is typically because the original injury wasn’t well cared for and activity was resumed too quickly.

A 2005 study from the University of Basel in Switzerland found that 70 to 80 percent of patients with chronic ankle instability end up with arthritic ankles within 20 years. Doctors and physical therapists had always suspected this, but this was the first study to conclusively make the link between joint instability and arthritis, says Steven L. Haddad, M.D., associate professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Arthritis can occur because of uneven mechanics of the joint,” Dr. Haddad says. “If your joint is shifted and it’s even one millimeter off, it increases the stresses placed on that joint by 42 percent. This incongruity of the surfaces leads to an erosion of cartilage.”

This can also occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome, a.k.a. “runner’s knee,” says Dr. White. If you neglect strengthening the muscles and ligaments that support the patella (kneecap), it can become misaligned, causing pain and eventually OA (see “Preventive Steps,” left, for strength-building exercises). “If the patella is tracking just a little bit off, it can rub the cartilage in an abnormal way and wear it down,” Dr. White says.

Luckily, all of this is avoidable. As Dr. White advises, “Don’t run through joint pain, stick to soft surfaces when possible, wear supportive running shoes, and include strengthening exercises in your routine.” Addressing joint issues sooner rather than later will not only help you avoid long-term damage, but it’ll also help you run circles around your nonrunning friends for years to come.

Breakfast > All other meals.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and therefore breakfast foods can be consumed at any point throughout the day… Breakfast for dinner anyone? ¬†In the morning however, it is also substantially one of the most important meals because you are essentially breaking the fast. Waking up your metabolism and preparing for the day. If you skip breakfast you are more likely to have cravings and eat unhealthy throughout the day.

So this whole vegan thing is realllllly changing me. I’ve read a few books on it, watched a few documentaries and as my personal experience can confirm it is definitely challenging. But is it worth it? Almost two weeks into the process and I would say…yes.

I know in the beginning of the experiment I was almost pained by the difficulties of becoming a vegan. ¬†I was naive in assuming it wouldn’t be that large of a change between being a vegetarian to a vegan (I mean we already both ate lots of tofu)… I even posted how ridiculous it is to confine yourself to something so restrictive. ¬†But after educating myself on a lot of different issues I find myself leaning towards the vegan lifestyle completely. I mean we as humans are the only species that drinks another animals milk? weird huh.

 

Well anyways here are my top ten VEGAN Breakfast foods:

 

1.) Irish Style Steel Cut Oatmeal topped with berries and agave syrup

2.) Cereal (I prefer Hearty Bran) with Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I love unsweeted vanilla almond milk)

3.) Amy’s Brand Tofu Scramble-doesn’t taste like eggs but it’s good!

4.) Breakfast Burrito sans eggs, WW tortilla with black beans and veggies.

5.) Green Power Smoothie with Soy Protein instead of designer whey

6.) Vegan Pancakes: Apparently (Haven’t tried this yet) You can replace each egg with 1 T ground flaxseeds and 2 T water, and sub soymilk with a little bit of cider vinegar for the buttermilk. ¬†Instead of all white flour I recommend subbing half for whole wheat and always topping with some fruit!

7.) Fruit Salad! All your favorite fruits. Sprinkle some Truvia (stevia naural sweetener) if you need some extra sweetness.

8.) Frozen Vegan Waffles! I like the Van’s Lite or Blueberry Kinds

9.) Soy Yogurt (check the labels, some have milk products, I prefer Silk in Raspberry)

10.) Vegan Breakfast Bar (when you’re on the go!)

 

So now that you have a few breakfast options, maybe think about incorporating more Vegan meals into your everyday routine. You too might find some benefits in veganism, one bite at a time.

 

 

 

Happpy eating!!!

xoxo,

J

P.S. Monday starts a new fitness challenge of the week, make sure you are keeping up with this week’s parking as far away as possible from any place you drive to! (ie grocery store)