athleisure love: tried and true favorites

 I wanted to share a few of my all time favorite fitness items. I loved when blogs first started and I could read about what other girls actually loved (compared to now where it's just the current season/new arrivals/etc.) I'm nosey, so I really just want to know about everyone's favorite go-tos! The things they've been going back to for years. (True story: I used to love watching "what's in my bag" videos on youtube in collge. lol) 

So with that in mind I thought I would share things I have been loving for YEARS. And they are so good they are still available.  Major classics. 

The topic is athleisure (#duh), so this is kind of the basic mom's starter pack haha. But I truly use these things weekly (and my nikes and fitbit are daily).

An I ended up sharing a couple more things at the end! Here we go....

athleisure love- (1).png

 

1. Lululemon Define Jacket. This thing is so popular and for good reason. It's incredibly flattering, well made, washes perfectly and isn't too heavy or too thin. It's stretchy enough to wear over long sleeves or short sleeves, and also layers under a down vest perfectly in the winter. I have it in two colors (black and blue stripes), but seriously I want them all. Shop here. 

2. Gap Sports Bra. I have the medium impact and it's perfect for running. I have a small/medium size chest, and I wear a medium. It's great quality-- I have two and they are about 3 years old. I was also able to wear them through almost my whole pregnancy (so pretty stretchy, but still provided support). They have a bunch of different styles and colors. Check them out here

3. Nike Frees. Again- these are classics. I have 4 different colors and they just work for me. Super comfy for everyday wear or working out. 

4. Gap Tanks with built-in shelf bra. I love a good tank with a shelf bra, but a lot of times they just don't fit perfectly. These really work for me. I wear a small in the tanks (as opposed to medium in the bras) and I can run, but can't do too much high impact jumping/burpees, etc. 

5. Patagonia Fleece. I actually have the full zip (in this exact color). It's heavier than the define jacket, but not too heavy to wear inside. I got it when I was pregnant in a size up and was able to layer long sleeves underneath if needed. Super cozy, and I really like the length too. To me it's a more put-together sweatshirt, but still just as comfy. Check out a bunch of Patagonia fleece options here. 

6. Fitbit. I got my first Fitbit in 2013 and have been using them off and on since then. I now have the Fitbit Alta and I love it. I credit this for helping me lose the last of my baby weight. It keeps me accountable and helps me want to get more activity in my day. 

7. Zella High Waist Live in Leggings. OMG. These are amazing. I've had zella leggings for years and they are super comfy and hold up EXTREMELY well, but the high waist are a game changes. These are perfect if you are pregnant or postpartum as they really provide great support (and no love handle squishiness in the early postpartum days!) Not my fave for working out in, but for everyday wear these are the winner. 

8. Swell Bottle. It doesn't get any chicer than this! I like using straw cups at home, but on the road, these are the perfect size to throw in my bag, and they are just beautiful! They will also keep your beverages cold for 24 hours. More cute patterns here

More faves:

Old Navy Quarter Zip. These are a great length to wear with leggings, and super soft. And you can't beat the price!

Old Navy Seamless Sports Bra. The seamless fabric makes these super comfy and if you want a breastfeeding-friendly sports bra, then these are great because they are so stretchy. Again-- the price is right! I ended up getting a couple different sizes when I was pregnant and postpartum when my old sports bras were getting too tight. 

Lululemon High Rise WonderUnder. I like these high waisted leggings for the same reason as above, but I love this material for working out. I have honestly never found a pair of leggings that fit me better and stay put during runs and workouts better than Lulu!! And I love the 7/8 length for my height. I'm 5'2 and these are perfect! 

Okayyy... so that's it. Who knew I had so many words about ATHLEISURE?! Jk, This is how I dress everyday, so I have big feelings. Please let me know your all time favorites!! Beauty, clothes, boots, jeans... whatevs. I'm nosey and I want to know what you swear by. 

As usual, you can connect with me on instagram (here) facebook (here) or email me at cassandra@vivfitness.com. I love to chat so feel free to dm me too. xoxo

The Super Smoothie

Last week I mentioned why you should ALWAYS read the label on smoothies and juices when eating out (or grocery shopping, etc.).

Today I want to talk about how you can make a deliciously filling and satisfying smoothie at home! It will keep your blood sugars balanced, your hunger hormones in check, and leave you feeling full for hours. 

The super smoothie is a perfect on the go breakfast, or post-workout meal. Honestly, as a busy mom, the super smoothie saves me from eating junk on the go SO often! 

The SUPER SMOOTHIE is full of  veggies, fruits, healthy fats, AND protein. The fat-fiber-protein punch is the winning combo to keep you feeling full! 

The super smoothie is the perfect solution if you are in need of a quick breakfast or a healthy and fast snack! It will keep you full, and fill you with nutrients. A perfect snack for the busy mom.
The super smoothie is the perfect solution if you are in need of a quick breakfast or a healthy and fast snack! It will keep you full, and fill you with nutrients. A perfect snack for the busy mom.

Start with about 8 ounces of liquid + a handful of ice in your blender.Then add fiber, fats, and protein

 

liquid: water, coconut water, green tea, almond milk, coconut milk, or cows milk are great options 

fiber: fruits and veggies are a great source of fiber to help with digestion, balance blood sugars, prevent chronic diseases, and  increases satiety as well.

  • try:  veggies like kale, spinach, celery beets, or cucumber

  • banana, berries, pineapple, or peaches are great options (try to stick with 1/2c or less!)

fats: fats are ideal for that satisfied feeling, and also provide nourishment for our brains, and help with healthy skin too!

  • try: peanut butter, almond butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, nuts, flax, hemp, chia, etc. 

protein: protein balances your blood sugar, which helps you avoid that sugar spike then crash feeling you can get from too-sweet shakes and smoothies. Aim to get at leas 20 g of protein.

  • try: whey, casein, egg white, pea, or rice protein.  

 

MyPlate: the VivFit Way

I’m sure you’ve heard of the food guide pyramid or it's replacement, MyPlate, which came out a few years ago. Well, based on my own preferences, education,  and coaching guidelines...I like to do things a little differently.

Why? Two reasons.
 

Reason #1:  My Plate totally left out fats! And fats are essential for a healthy body. They are so important for optimum brain function and hormone health, plus they keep you full and are DELISH (avocado and peanut butter are a few of my favorite things…). I really don't think you can have a balanced diet while leaving out a whole macronutrient!! 

Reason #2: MyPlate recommends includes dairy as a suggestion for every meal. I don’t have anything against dairy, but I don't think it's necessary for every meal. 

So here’s the VivFit version of MyPlate…

MyPlate: Updated! Simplify the way you put food on your plate with this updated version of MyPlate

 

What does this mean?? Here's a brief introduction to macronutrients (or carbs, fats, and proteins):

 

Carbohydrates/ Starches

benefits: carbohydrates provide your body with energy. Choosing whole grain carbs like quinoa, popcorn, or brown rice in addition to fruits can give your body fiber to aid in digestion, and provide you with long lasting energy (versus simpler sugars like in a candy bar that won't keep you full for long at all). 

how to enjoy them in your diet: fruit, potato, brown rice, or quinoa are excellent sources of carbohydrates. Be sure to eat them in combination with protein or fats (or all three) to keep you full! Add peanut butter to fruit, or eat your rice with salmon, etc. 

Fats

benefits: Without going into the science of the different types of fats (bond structures between saturated or unsaturated fats), the short story is fats are amazing for the body. They keep you full for longer, aid in digestion of important vitamins, and aid in hormonal balance (to name a few...fats are seriously amazing. click here for an in depth article if you're curious). 

how to enjoy them in your diet: avocado, olive oil, peanut butter,  nuts, avocado oil, or coconut oil are excellent ways to get healthy fats into your meal (and if you want to know my take on the recent coconut oil controversy, click here. long story short: in moderation it's perfectly fine!) 

Protein

benefits: The body uses protein to make and repair tissues. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They aid in creating muscle tissue, make enzymes and hormones, as well as provide the building blocks for hair and nails.  

how to enjoy them in your diet: beans, eggs, chicken, steak, fish, legumes, or greek yogurt are examples of healthy proteins

 

More vs Less Mentality

I like to tell clients to focus on adding more of the good stuff instead of worrying too much about cutting out all the bad stuff. For example, more water (and then hopefully you'll be drinking less soda and juice, which spike your blood sugar and mess with hunger cues), more fruits and veggies, more healthy fats like avocado and eggs, more protein to keep you feeling full.

 

MyPlate: Updated. A simple approach to a balanced and healthy diet.

This is a guideline to get you thinking about how you are filling your plate. Sometimes your food will be in a sandwich or mixed in a blender or even a casserole. It probably won’t look just like the example--I personally like my food mixed in one big bowl lol-- but the purpose is to get you thinking about how to improve your nutrition, and what is going on your plate (or bowl or in your blender, etc). 

If this seems like a foreign language, don't worry! I get it. If nutrition was easy to understand there wouldn't be a million diet books for sale. 

Pop your info in below and I'll send you a sample healthy menu + grocery list to take the guess work out of meal planning this week. 

 

Download your free healthy menu and shopping list!

A nutrition Coach's Guide to mindful eating

One of the first habits I discuss with my coaching clients is intuitive or mindful eating. What is mindful eating? It’s the process of taking time and paying attention to what you are eating and why you are eating it.

Have you ever sat down for lunch or a snack in front of the tv and the next thing you know your food is all gone? That is not eating mindfully- that is mindless eating. 

Eating mindfully involves sitting down, chewing your food, breathing, enjoying, and stopping before you are 100% full.

5 tips for mindful eating

You might be wondering, do you really need to use your intuition to eat?

Isn't eating something that should come naturally? Yes, however due to being told various food "rules", yo-yo dieting, eating while distracted, using food as a tool for dealing with emotional issues, and having access to gigantic portion sizes, most people forget how to eat intuitively. 

Because of our go-go-go lifestyle, most people inhale food. Combine that with emotional eating and the insane body standards our culture has placed on us,  and it’s no wonder we don’t trust ourselves to just eat and are always looking for the next meal plan or diet.

5 ways to start eating mindfully this week. Tips and tricks for intuitive eating.

 

Eating mindfully helps you to feel connected to your hunger cues and stop emotional eating. Here’s how to do it.

(p.s. Don’t try all 5 steps at once. Try one or two at each meal and think about how they work for you, then combine them!)

5 steps to eating mindfully:

  1. Next time you open the pantry or fridge, or head to the vending machine or snack bar, or buy a muffin in line at Starbucks...ask yourself “am I hungry?” This might seem like an obvious question...duh I’m hungry...but often times we confuse thirst or boredom for hunger. Truly ask yourself and think about how you are feeling. Is your stomach growling? How long since your last meal? Are you just feeling tired? How long til your next meal? If you are truly hungry, grab a drink of water and your snack and enjoy! (also important to note: sometimes we simply eat because it’s “time” aka it’s noon, so time for lunch. Pay attention to how you feel more than the time!)

  2. What am I feeling? If you aren’t necessarily hungry but are feeling sad, stressed, or anxious...consider this. Do you tend to eat when you are feeling this way? What could you do instead? Are you eating for comfort? Our emotions are SO tied to our food habits. Sometimes this comes from how we are raised (you did a good job, so you got an ice cream so now you reward yourself with food or maybe if you were sad  your mom would make your favorite dinner or dessert)... consider how you usually react to these emotions, and consider an action you could replace it with. Even saying to yourself, I’ll wait 10 minutes and see how I feel can be very effective.

  3. Breathe. When it is time for your next meal stop and BREATHE. I am SO guilty of sitting down and inhaling my food. Sometimes it’s because my daughter needs me, sometimes it’s just out of habit. In between each bite put down your fork and take a breath and slow down.

  4. The 80% rule. This step takes a little more focus. You have to be in tune with your body AND eating slowly to really understand your fullness cues. As you are eating, focus on how you are feeling versus how much food is left on your plate. Stope when you are 80% full NOT when the plate is empty. Why? It takes your brain a while to catch up with your gut. By stopping when you are 80% full, you give your mind and stomach a chance to connect and chances are good about 15 minutes later you will feel 100% satisfied. If you usually go till 100% full or even 110% full, just slow down and scale back little by little.

  5. Enjoy! When it comes time to eat, take the time to enjoy! Feel the food as you chew. Taste it. Pay attention to the texture and the smell. Regardless of if you are eating a healthy snack or a decadent dessert- enjoy without guilt or judgement.

If you need help eating mindfully or could use some guidance or accountability, check out my coaching packages here. I'm also currently offering 20 minute free sessions to work through a specific problem! To schedule a free call, click here