My Take Tuesday: Cutting Carbs and Cardio.

my take tuesday: cutting carbs and cardio
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ll start off by telling you my position on both matters: In regard to cutting your cardio, I am very much a pro! But, in regard to cutting your carb intake… I am a solid heck no!

cutting cardio: when too much sweat is not sweet

Being the erstwhile cardio-queen that I am, I can completely understand why people absolutely love cardio. And, I am not going to sit here and say that isn’t a good form of physical activity, at all! But at the end of the day, I don’t think it is the most important for, by any means!

I guess it really all depends on your goals, but even in the even that you’re looking to lose weight, I think cardio should merely be something to further your toning regime. In my opinion, cardio is extremely harsh on the body. Don’t get my wrong, I love a good sprint or HIIT on my spin bike, but my cardio is usually broken up into small, intesne 5-20 minute blasts. If it is a mainly cardio day, I’ll warm up for five minutes, do a 20 minute HIIT routine, then cool down for 5 minutes. Alternatively, if I am doing Barre/Pilates or Yoga, I will often add 15 minutes of cardio into the circuit, just to keep my heart-rate elevated. That’s it, though. No long distance running. No two hours on the elliptical.

First of all, what is that really accomplishing? Unless you’re training for a marathon of some sort, long distance cardio has virtually no benefits if continued for longer then an hour (depending on your energy expenditure, this time could easily lessen). The more fuel your body burns, the more fuel your body requires. Therefore, after a certain amount of time running on the treadmill, while you’re thinking ‘I’m awesome’, your body is thinking ‘you’re nuts’. By the end you look down at your caloric burn, seeing a high number (which is probably incorrect) and get a feeling of accomplishment.

Then, you go eat a lot because you’re starving.

In my opinion, long distance cardio is best at a low intensity for about 45-60 minutes. If the idea of it didn’t bore me so much, I’d probably adhere to committing to doing this once a week, but eh, it’s not for me. Not to mention, who really here has the time to be at the gym that long? If you do, you might want to evaluate your life a little. Fitness is a great additive to any lifestyle (one I think more people should include in their own), but I don’t think it should ever become the main part of your life. For me, fitness is huge. But not that actual doing of it. Yes, I work out daily, but what I love more is the feeling after and the learning of new and inventive moves. And from there, sharing it with everyone I know! Teaching, inspiring and growing. Not just the part where I sweat.

In the event that you are looking to lose weight, I would suggest HIITs as well as longer distance cardio. Maybe twice a week do a HIIT routine lasting 20-3o minutes, then two times a week do a long distance cardio routine lasting 30-60 minutes. Pair this with ample stretches and toning exercises and you’re set. Oh, and of course – let’s not forget – a clean diet.

Abs be made in the kitchen, not the gym!

 

cutting carbs: when you can have you’re cake and eat it, too… kind of… 

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the healthy living phenomenon of the ‘low carb’ diet.

I’d like to go on record to say:
This, right here, is bullshit.

Excuse my french.

First of all, I will never condone the ‘cutting’ of any major macro-nutrient from one’s diet.  Second of all, carbohydrates are the best form of energy out of the three! Carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses – give your body ample energy! So, if you’re looking to increase your cardiovascular activity, please don’t think for a moment that you’re allowed to cut out these bad boys! In all honesty, if you were to talk to a marathon runner, you’d probably find yourself shocked with how many carbs they eat. Why? Because they’re burning so much fuel in their work outs, that that need to refuel with – yes, that’s right – carb-y carbs!

What people don’t seem to comprehend is that fruits and vegetables are carbs. When people hear the word carb, I think they’re actually registering the word ‘cake’ or ‘cookie’. Carbs are not the enemy! What is? simple sugars, processed and refined carbs and even starches in high amounts.

This is where things get a little tricky.

While I don’t ever want you to cut carbs, I am a huge advocate of focusing on getting your carbs from certain foods, instead of others. If you were to read the Canada’s Food Guide, you’d see that you should be getting seven to 11 servings of grains a day. I think that is a load of crock, to be completely truthful. You can get the same nutrient value from fruits and vegetables. You just need to eat more of them and focus on vegetables with a lot of fiber! Broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, squashes, cauliflower… etc. They’re all starchier, but they’re full of vitamins and fiber. Not to mention your body is meant to process them, so during the digestive process your body knows exactly what to do! This is why eating refined foods – like cakes and chips and stuff – causes weight gain. Sometimes your body isn’t sure how to react to the fuel your giving it. So, instead of thinking too hard, it stores it as fat. It’s kind of like your body’s ‘when all else fails’ approach. Aside from produce, whole grains are a great way to get your carbs! I have committed to having four full grain servings (around 90-110 calories each) and four full fruit servings (60-80 calories each) and an unlimited supply of vegetables. Eat your greens!

yum, carbohydrates!

This works for me, but it may not work for you. Remember when eating listen to your body and you’ll see great results.

That said, I also don’t condone refusing yourself treats. I am kind of a weird girl who doesn’t crave baked goods. If I want a bite, I’ll have a bite. But I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (okay, honey aside) so I don’t really ever want it. I’d much rather suck back on a spoonful of nut butter, to be honest.

Probably with some honey…

and some Greek Yogurt…

Regardless, if you want a slice of cake, I am in no way saying that you can’t have it. That’s, again, denying your body of something, which is just not at all productive. Treat yourself to cake!

 

Gosh dang, Mama makes a good looking baked good, hmmm.

 

That’s my take
Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

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Silver and Gold, Sweat-y Sandwiches and Sweet Mornings

I absolutely love mornings like this one!

Usually, when I wake up, I feel extremely stiff. I can’t really explain why that is, but it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I think it is a result of my now moving during my eight hours of glorious rest. I know people say you can’t know if you’re really that still while sleeping, but I’m telling you I am; I’ve conducted experiments.

This morning I woke up – not stiff – but refreshed. The sun had been shining and it was only 5:30 in the morning! You all know what that means: summertime! The temperature was quite unpleasant, however, so I wasted no time getting out to create this morning’s bowl oats.

Ah! Oatmeal.

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of an apricot craze. I love them.

After devouring this beautiful bowl, I decided to take, yet another, plunge and design my very own interval work out.

Strength and Speed Sandwich Workout
You’ll need: Interval Timer, 5-10 pound weights and a mat
Set your interval timer for two rounds of ten minutes;
Set your intervals for 90seconds/30 seconds.
You’ll be completing five different exercises, which will each consist of two exercises (one cardiovascular and one toning) back to back. Essentially, they’re supersets.
At the end of your first ten minute circuit, lightly jog for 5 minutes, then repeat.

Exercise Duo One:
90 seconds of jump squats at maximum effort
30 seconds of squats with side leg raise, alternating left and right

Exercise Duo Two:
90 seconds of toe touching skaters at maximum effort
30 seconds of curtsy lunges with bicep curls (with weights), alternating left and right

Exercise Duo Three:
90 seconds plank jacks at maximum effort
30 seconds of in-plank rows and tri extensions (with weights)

Exercise Duo Four:
90 seconds flying jumping lunges at maximum effort
30 seconds of lunges with lateral arm raises (with weights)

Exercise Duo Five:
90 seconds oblique jumps (preform a jumping squat, but twist your body coming down and touch your toes – hand to opposite foot)
30 seconds tummy tucks (please keep a neutral spine)

Rest for one minute, then lightly jog for the remaining four minutes of your resting period and repeat the circuit.

Since I’ve decided to partake in Sweet Tooth Sweet Life June Yoga Challenge, I knew my work out couldn’t stop there!

Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

I completely a quick ten minute yoga routine and called it a day.

Think-y Thoughts

I think… a lot. So, in every post, I will include one of my ‘Think-y Thoughts’.

Today’s Think-y Thought is about friendship. Recently, I’ve rekindled a friendship with someone who I used to love greatly.

After a lot of hmming and hawing, we spent a lovely afternoon together walking around Point Pleasant Park, then enjoying a lovely meal at my favorite local restaurant, The Wooden Monkey. Since then, we’ve kept in contact – she’s even come to me to be her personal fitness guru and I love it!

As a result of this, I’ve been thinking a lot of friendships. This particular friendship had been on that I had somewhat written off. It was not that I wanted it to, but we hadn’t spoken in a long while. In fact, the last time we had seen each other, it was evident that she was having a difficult time looking at me. At that point, I was not healthy. I looked frail and it scared her, understandably. Finally, we discussed this. I told her how it made me feel, and she told me how she had just been scared.

I’m so thankful that we made this connection. There are certain people in your life that you should never let go. And, in the event that you do, I beg that you try to reconnect with them. Friendships – true friendships – should not be passing ships, but rather those little house boats than just stay put at a dock! So, today, rather think fondly on an old friendship, or if you’re really brazen, reconnect with someone from your past to whom you miss!

How about you? Are there any friendships or people you wish you still had in your life?

Stay sweet,
tata
Caitlyn