Week#4 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

Week #4 is the PUSH-UP CHALLENGE!  

Week #1:  the CLEANSE - if you hated it, I get it, but if nothing else stuck from that challenge, try to start as many days during the week as possible with a cup of warm lemon water... you can ditch the apple cider vinegar if you have to... the warm lemon water is like an all-natural scrub for your insides and it WILL pay off to use it a few times (or more) per week :)

Week #2:  couch to 5k - this was meant to get your cardio kicked off.  I hope y'all are getting in to this challenge!  (If not, send me a private text... we can come up with a plan B for you).

Week #3:  sugar detox - how'd it go, guys?  I would love to hear some feedback on this one!  If you struggled, or are still struggling, give yourself a few more days.  This is the most life-changing of all the challenges.  YOU HAVE TO DO IT!  

.... and now Week #4!  

PUSH-UPS!  Look, I know they are not fun, but they work!  If you want your arms to look ah-mazing for Spring, this is the BEST way to do it!  A little honesty... when I don't have time to work out, I do push-ups.  I set a goal (let's say 200), I start doing laundry, and do sets of 20-30 in between loads.  By the time laundry is done, my arms are fried.  Push-ups, when done correctly, use every upper body muscle, as well your core.

This is a parter, patty-cake, push-up :)  Do them however you can!

This is a parter, patty-cake, push-up :)  Do them however you can!

YOUR CHALLENGE:  (break into sets of 10, 20, etc.)

  • LEVEL 1:  100 Full Push-ups per day!  
  • LEVEL 2:  50 Full Push-ups per day!
  • LEVEL 3:  20 Full Push-ups per day!

Start wherever you are... if you rarely do pushups, start at level 3.  If you do them pretty consistently, start at level 1.  This should be a 'challenge'!!  

BASIC STEPS TO A PERFECT PUSH-UP:

  • Start in Plank - hands under, but slightly outside, shoulders
  • Lower your body as close to the floor as you can, while bending arms into a 45 degree angle.  Pause, breathe out and push off, back to the start position.  SQUEEZE CORE throughout the movement.  
  • If your hips move up or down during the movement, form is broken and you should modify (use your knees).  
  • If push-ups hurt your wrists, try using dumbbells in place of your hands on the floor - this creates a more neutral wrist for pushing off the floor.

GOOD LUCK!

XO,

Meg

Week #3 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

Week #3 is a 7 day SUGAR DETOX!   Here are the reasons why you NEED this:

  • Added sugar is a major contributor to obesity, stroke, diabetes, cancer, disease.
  • It is 8 times more addictive than cocaine
  • It makes you fat... it alters your metabolism and gets stored as health destroying belly fat
  • It causes your blood sugar to rise, causing irritability and depression
  • It ages you, causing wrinkles, decreasing collagen and elastin 
  • It creates brain fog and long term cognitive decline
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If you crave sugar on a regular basis, you are addicted.  Here are the steps to detoxing:

  • Simplify your diet for 7 days, by eating fruits (berries are best), vegetables, and lean protein.  You can do anything for 7 days!   
  • Watch out for added sugars in all processed foods, condiments, etc.  Some of the common ones are:  sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, lactose, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose, brown sugar, corn syrup, caramel, dextrose, etc.  
  • No artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose).  These can be worse than real sugar (because they are carcinogenic), plus they alter your cravings the same way regular sugar does.
  • Choose healthy alternatives to sweeteners:  honey, maple syrup, or stevia.  Still use these sparingly, especially during this detox.  You can use these alternatives for cooking substitutes as well.  

When you need a sugar fix, try this...

PROTEIN BITES:

1 cup dry, old fashion oats

2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup nut butter (no sugars)

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together.  Chill, covered, for an hour.  Remove from the fridge and roll into balls - any size.  Store in an airtight container.  (After the detox, try adding dark chocolate chips to this recipe!)

Your goal at the end of this week is to kick your constant craving for sugar.  You can eat the occasional sugary dessert, but it may be that you can no longer like that super sweet taste.  

Good luck!

Week #2 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

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Here we are at Week #2 of the PHIT Challenge!  My challenge for you guys this week is CARDIO!  Before you hit that X in the top corner, please hear me out :)  Wherever you are on the cardio spectrum, I want you to push yourself to the next level.  If you are not doing anything on your off days, then you need to start... if you want to see results.  If you are currently walking, add some run/jog intervals.  If you are currently running, run longer/more/harder/add sprint intervals.  Basically, just take your cardio up a notch.

I'd like for you consider the COUCH TO 5K program.  (If you'd like to train for something longer, I'd love to help you put a plan together.)  Couch to 5K is a 9 week running program. It is a gradual schedule that takes you all the way from 0 miles to 3.1 miles.  The first few weeks may seem frustrating... hard... just plain horrible, but I PROMISE, if you are anything like me, it could possibly be the missing link in the progress/success you've been looking for.  For me, running is a mental/emotional escape that I have come to look forward to.  The key for me is to commit with a friend.  The time, central location, and person, are all things that I've locked in on and will not cancel unless circumstances are dire.    It is also a thigh shrinker for my stubborn legs.  

If you are not yet convinced, please know that the plan is EASY... there's mobile app (C25K).  So, find a first-rate friend that you can pour your soul to on the flats, and that will push you through the hills, and get going!   I encourage you to start this week (so we can run a race together in March ;)  ).  The St. Patrick's Day Run is the goal!  It's on March 17th... in Athens, no less... and has a 5k and 10K option, depending on your goal.   For more info:  www.utscetner.com/race    Apparently bagpipes sound at the start!  Come on PHIT followers!   I'll be right there with you :)

 

2018 PHIT Challenge!

Happy (almost) NEW YEAR!  So excited to see y'all again after the break!  I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas with your family!  

In the upcoming year, I am hoping to motivate and challenge you with new goals and steps to make your year healthier.  This first challenge is kinda tough, but one that I know will bring success.  It's ideal to start tomorrow (the 1st), but do what works with your life right now.  

I hope you'll join me for a 5-day cleanse!  Here's the challenge for the next 5 days:

- drink 90 oz of water per day - to mix it up, add lemon, cucumber, or fruit 

- drink one cleanse shot each morning (recipe below)

- substitute one meal with a protein smoothie/shake per day (recipe options below)

- NO added sugars (NONE)

This is meant to kick-start your healthy game plan in to gear for the year!  After 5 days, I promise you will feel better, de-bloat, re-set your appetite and cravings, feel more energetic, and you may even drop a pound or two (depending on your current diet)!  

I'm starting tomorrow!   Shopping for my ingredients today... Here's what you'll need:

Grocery list:  lemons, apple cider vinegar, eggs, protein powder (I recommend Vega), almond milk, frozen berries, leafy greens, chicken, various veggies (best:  kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, arugula, avocados, beets, carrots, onions, cabbage, etc.), apples...

YOUR A.M. CLEANSE SHOT:   8 oz water + 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar + 1/2 lemon squeezed + cayenne pepper (optional)

YOUR A.M. OR AFTER WORKOUT MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE:  1 scoop protein powder + frozen berries + 1 cup spinach or kale + 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 TBSP chia seeds (you can jazz this up in any way, just watch the added calories and sugar)

An Ideal day of food:

  • breakfast:  cleanse shot, wait for 10 mins, then coffee or tea, and one of the following...  
    • protein shake
    • egg white scramble:  2 eggs + 1/2 cup diced veggies + avocado slices (optional)
  • snack (if needed):  apple slices with cinnamon sprinkled on top (cinnamon is anti-inflammatory)
  • lunch:  green salad with baked/grilled chicken + veggies + lite dressing (my go-to dressing is evoo + lemon + balsamic)  OR Protein shake!
  • snack:  choose one:  cut up veggies, apple slices, protein shake...
  • dinner:  so many options:
    • salad as above
    • protein and veggie bake (1 cup of your fave cut up veggies + 6 oz lean protein + 1/2 cup onions + 2 garlic cloves minced + 2 tsp olive oil + salt, pepper, and rosemary... bake 20 - 40 mins at 375
    • turkey burger with no bun + grilled veggies of your choice on the side
    • soup - any clean option will do, but here's my fave right now:
      • In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil... add 1 yellow diced onion and 6-8 gloves minced garlic... cook until translucent (2-3 mins)
      • add 6 cups vegetable broth + 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes + 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs + salt and pepper
      • bring to boil, then simmer for 5 mins
      • stir in 4, 15 oz cans white beans (cannellini) + 4 cups baby spinach 
      • cook about 2 mins until spinach has wilted
      • stir in 3 tpsp parsley
      • to make thicker, you can add 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese when you add the broth

So, that's the plan for the next 5 days (or whenever you choose to start)!  

Cheers to your healthy body this 2018!

XO,

Meg

 

How to create your own favorite smoothie(s)

I love smoothies!  My kids love smoothies!  You should really consider finding or creating your own 'go-to' smoothie arsenal.  Why?  Smoothies are the best way to get more nutrients than at a meal - extra fruits and veggies!

The purpose of substituting a smoothie for your typical meal is multi-purposed.  On a typical day, you should be eating 3-4 meals (one of these may be a snack, and a smoothie can also substitute your snack).  When timed correctly, a smoothie can actually be a better alternative than a meal.  The reason for this is that it is easier for your body to digest and use the contents quickly.  Example:  a high protein smoothie after your workout - the body can digest this quickly and get protein to the fatigued muscles faster. 

Another great advantage is that the ease of digesting a smoothie creates extra energy for your body to repair cellular damage, give you a physical 'boost,' as well as decrease inflammation.   

My last reason (and attempt to win you over on this) - consider the 'add-ins' for extra nutrients!   Here are my favorites:

  • all-natural nut butters, flax or avocado for healthy fats and vitamin E

  • ginger or cinnamon for additional antioxidants

  • honey for anti-bacterial or anti-fungal, as well as allergy prevention

  • a vegetable-based protein supplement for energy, muscle repair, etc.

  • cacao, chia seeds, and flax for extra fiber, good fats, and blood sugar control

My favorite is so easy!  Blend 1 cup frozen berries, 1 scoop Vega Proteins & Greens (20 grams of protein!), a handful of kale, a splash (or more) of almond milk, a sprinkle of chia seeds or 1/2 T flax oil, and unsweetened coconut chips on top!

Now, go whip up a smoothie (mine above or your own) and enjoy!

How to do a correct side plank

Side Plank is a great exercise to work your core/abdominal muscles.  By holding this static exercise for 15-30 seconds per set, you force the abdominal wall to engage and support your body weight while holding the plank position.  I love this exercise because it can help you regain abdominal and lower back strength, help with posture, and aid in training the other muscles that assist in holding this position (arms, shoulders, hips, etc).  

Correct form is a must with this exercise, so here are my tips...

  • Everything should be stacked:  feet, knees, hips, shoulders
  • Raising the non-supporting arm towards the ceiling will help keep the upper body aligned
  • Engage (squeeze) your core and glutes for balance and stability
  • Make sure that your bottom hip is lifted to keep the body in a perfect line (TIP! Try doing this in front a mirror a few times to get the form down.)
  • Modifications:  to make this easier, you can bend the bottom knee to the floor for additional support.  

Welcome to Get PHIT!

 

Hi!  I am Meg. I am the health and fitness trainer behind PHIT.  PHIT stands for Private Health Instruction & Training. My goal is to show you how to make your health and fitness a priority, while keeping things simple. I understand that lifestyle change can seem overwhelming when you're looking at it from 'step one', so I'd love to help you see just how easy it can be to make small, but important changes that will bring big results.  That's where this blog comes in! It is a place where I will share health and fitness info to help you get to know me and my philosophy.  My hope is that clients and non clients alike can further their understanding of health and fitness, through the form tips, recipes, and encouragement I will share here.  Enjoy!