Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thinking Tuesday- Nutrition Knowledge

So I'm thinking of starting a new's called "Thinking Tuesday".  I've got some things for you to think about today.  Maybe I won't have them every Tuesday, but today I do!
I have been in my Principles of Nutrition class for a whopping 2 days! (psst- got an A in BioChem)  In that time I have learned several pieces of random info that I thought was interesting and worth sharing.  Our professor, Dr. Betty, is very intelligent and well-credentialed.  She helped design food for astronauts, specifically the butterscotch sundae that was eaten on the moon.

Sometimes I think that if we thought more about what we were eating and why, then we would eat better.

Here's is your first edition of Thinking Tuesday's "Food for Thought":

  • The stomach of a 6-month-old infant is the same size as an adult's stomach.
  • Eating fresh pineapple, papaya, or kiwi prior to a meal will help breakdown the protein you eat.
  • The word health comes from the root words "holy" and "whole".
  • Tartrazine is a yellow food coloring used in cheesy chips and boxed macaroni and cheese.  It is a derivative of coal tar and has been linked to increased hyperactivity in children.
  • Dimethylpolysiloxane.  It's an anti-foaming agent added to fast food chicken nuggets to keep help the different ground up chicken parts stick together.
  • Asparagus is the #1 veggie you should be eating! It has iron, sulfur, and folate.
  • Ground beef used in fast food restaurants has been treated with ammonia. This is gross and it denatures the protein in the meat.  Meaning you don't get the benefit of the protein from what you just ate. 
  • At any time you have 3-4 pounds of bacteria (good and bad) living in your gut.
  • 70% of your immune system resides in your small intestine.
  • We should all take probiotics.
And finally:
  • You have as many neurons surrounding your intestines as you do in your brain.  So that raises the question....which one is your "first brain"?  Which one controls the other?
Think about it.  

Did you enjoy Thinking Tuesday?

Love and deep thoughts, 
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, July 18, 2011

Strength Workout for Beginners

We talked this week about High Intensity Strength Training.  Which we love!  It pushes you and your muscles hard to get results.  It's great to bust through plateaus or for those of you who have been strength training for a while.
Strong is the new sexy.
What about those of you who might be new to strength training?  Or those who *gasp* have never done strength training before?  Today we have a blog for you!

Why is strength training so important?  Cardio torches calories.  We got that one down.  

BUT, weight training can torch calories too.  How?  By replacing fat tissue with muscle.  Huh?  Muscle tissue consumes more energy (burns more calories) at rest than fat tissue.  Meaning that if you burn fat and build lean muscle through strength training that your body will actually burn more calories in a typical day than it did before.  Can you do that elliptical? Didn't think so!
Lat Pulldown Machine
Also if you move through your strength exercises quickly and with limited rest you will keep your heart-rate elevated.  This give you the cardiovascular benefits of an aerobic workout.

This workout is a full body workout based around machines.  Machines are good for beginners.  They will help teach you proper form and there is less risk of injury.  As you feel more comfortable with machines then you can progress to dumbbell lifts and more explosive free-standing exercises.

Beginner Strength Circuit Workout
Ready to leg press

Goal: Move through each exercise with minimal rest between machines. Use a weight that is difficult for the last few repetitions.  

  • Leg Extension 1x15
  • Leg Curl 1x15
  • Leg Press 1x20
  • Shoulder press machine 1x12
  • Lat pulldown machine 1x12
  • Leg Press 1x15
  • Lateral Dumbbell raise 1x12 (this is the only free weight exercise. Hold dumbbells by your side and raise laterally to shoulder height keeping your palms down)
  • Row Machine 1x20

Leg Press- don't hyperextend your knees at the top and push through your heels.
Lying leg curl - for hamstrings
Aim to perform this (or another full body workout) 3 times a week on alternating days.

Also don't be afraid to check out some classes at your gym.  Bodypump is a good way to get cardio and strength training, while learning some of the classic strength training moves. can always hire a knowledgeable, certified personal trainer to kick your butt and teach you how to dougie workout!

Are you ready?  Get out there and lift some weights!

Love and pumping iron, 
Carissa & Kyle

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2011 Central Florida Blogger Conference

I love Journey. I walked down the aisle to a strings version of "Don't Stop Believing". True story. Today could be described by "Open Arms". 

What I mean is this....I am a newbie blogger. I am just learning how to share our passion for healthy living with the online world. 

Today I attended the Central Florida Bloggers Conference. I was nervous at first, but blown away by how warm and welcoming all our O-town bloggers were. You could say that they welcomed me guessed arms!
Awesome bloggers, awesome women!
I'm happy to say that today was a success! (once I got there- my Navigation was not so hot today!)
I learned a lot about growing our blog (and I hope I can implement all I learned).  My twitter followers grew...yeah! (@CarissaAnneB @Fit2Flex do it).  And I became part of the Orlando FitBlogger community!
GPS I can't turn into a brick wall!
I was especially excited to meet and connect with other bloggers I admire.  By this I mean- Julie, Meghann, Christie, Mora, Michelle, Carolina and Victoria. Please check out their blogs, you will LOVE them!
Wanna be blogger?  Lizard in the bathroom!
The day started with a fantastic and motivating speaker Marc Middleton of Growing Bolder.  Those of you from Orlando may recognize him as a former sports anchor for WESH 2. He was my favorite speaker. Here are some of the "gems" I took away from his presentation:
  • Life is a series of leaps or should be.
  • How to attract creativity? Fearlessness, hard work, persistence
  • How to succeed?  Eliminate the option not to.  (my fave)
I wanted to share Marc's wisdom with you because I think its very relatable. 

If you want to run a marathon, if you want to lose 30 pounds, if you want to write a successful blog, if you want to achieve anything...the only way to get there is to TRY!  Don't be afraid to fail. Don't let that fear hold you back. The only way you will certainly fail is...if you don't try. Commit to a goal and grow in that journey. If the roads gets bumpy, you know what to do..."Don't Stop Believing"!

Today was a great day and it only fired me up more to grow my blog and share my passion.  Bloggers are really wonderful people who genuinely want other bloggers to succeed to. 

I also had my first food truck experience too.   Can you believe it?  Big Wheel Truck fed all the bloggers.  They are well-trained chefs who use fresh, local ingredients. I tried to make healthy choices and opted for the curried chicken thigh and local green salad.  The salad was so good!  They had tamarind scallions which tasted like I was eating at Kobe! :)

Great food, great people, great event!  Thanks to Bess for putting it all on.
I have a nametag.
For the bloggers out there- what's the best "blogging" advice you have?

Love and taking risks, 
Carissa & Kyle

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sample Diet Plan

Hello friends and hello to some of my new followers!  We're so happy to have you!  
I like to think that I am pretty fitness/diet saavy.  I spend...I least 4 hours a day thinking or talking about one of those topics.  

That being said I still find times where I don't make the right food choice or I blank on what healthy snack to have.  That's why I surround myself with fitness magazines, health journals, and other awesome bloggers to remind me of things that I might have "forgotten".  

For all of us who might need a little diet-brain re-start here is another sample diet for ya!  Remember I am not a registered dietitian (yet) and every person's body and metabolism is different.
This diet is a little less strict than our Clean Eating diet. I'd give it a 4 out of 10 for difficulty.  As always:

  • Try to keep your food as clean and unproceesed as possible
  • Eat 5-6 times a day
  • Include protein at every meal
  • Fill up on veggies especially in the evening
  • Drink tons of water
  • Don't forget the fiber :)
Fit2Flex Sample Diet:
  • Breakfast-  Smoothie on-the-go- 
    • Mix one scoop protein powder, 1/4c oatmeal, fruit, ice, and any liquid.  Optional- flax seed, chia seeds, spinach. You can also sub Greek yogurt for protein powder
  • Snack 1- 
    • 1 apple with peanut butter or Luna/LaraBar and apple
  • Lunch- 
    • Power wrap- Whole wheat tortilla with chicken, spinach, tomato, hummus, and feta (or any combo of healthy ingredients)
  • Snack 2- 
    • Mix1 protein shake or Greek Yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Dinner- 
    • 4oz lean chicken, shrimp, or lean beef with 1 cup steamed veggies, 1/2 sweet potato, and a spinach salad with a vinegar based dressing
  • Dessert- 
    • Sugar Free Jell-o or 1/2 cup of pineapple
Keep focused and keep healthy!  If you have a weight loss goal- tell us.  The support will only help you achieve your goal!

What's your favorite "diet" food?
Here are some other diet posts you might enjoy- Clean Eating dietPreparation, Clean eating in photos, the importance of breakfast, beating junk food cravings

Love and dropping ell beeees, 
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, July 11, 2011

High Intensity Strength Training

There are a lot of "fads" in fitness.  There are also a lot of different exercise methods that people like.  What we like; what we preach, what we live, what works, what fires us up is high intensity strength training
Here's a little insight on HIT:

  • HIT began in the 1970's by Arthur Jones, the founder of Nautilus. 
  • It focuses on performing quality reps to momentary muscle failure.  
  • High intensity training focuses on perfect form, through a full range of motion, taken to momentary muscle failure.  Perfect form = less risk of injury! No rounds of 80 deadlifts here, kiddos! (you're welcome lower back)
  • With HIT you are focusing on the overload principle, which means you are constantly increasing your weight and reps to produce improvements in strenght and size.  
  • Using high intensity principles, the duration of your workout will actually be less.  It will be more intense, thus shorter.  You will get a better workout in less time.  
  • Once your muscle is taken to a place of muscle failure, you have succeeded.  No need for the 90 minute chest workout here either!
  • HIT also keeps you constantly moving between sets, which keeps your heart rate elevated.  This gives your body all the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic training.  Bodybuilder Mike Mentzer even went so far as to suggest that you didn't need cardio!

There is significant evidence to suggest that HIT provides better results, in less time, with a far lower risk of injury.  If you are stuck at a plateau, take a closer look at high intensity training.
Training with Kyle has transformed my body and the way I think about working out.  Gone are the days of the 3 sets of 15 bicep curls with 10lb weights.  That took a lot of time and got me NO WHERE!  HIT is hip.  It's where it's at! :)
Kyle and his buddy Denny have spent extensive time studying and learning HIT principles.  We traveled to Tampa this past weekend to spend some time with Kyle's college friends AND get in a great HIT workout.  
Our training destination: Sports & Field, which is where Denny trains at.  It is an awesome facility with the best equipment.  I do have a little equipment envy!  I love sports & field and training so much, we drove to Tampa so I could train on my bday!  True story!
If you want to learn more about HIT we LOVE to talk about it so just ask us!  Think of how you felt when you finished your last workout....where you done? Exhausted? Muscles taken to fatigue?  If you weren't then you aren't maximizing your time in gym!  
Kyle and Denny
Love and HIT, 
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oatmeal Yogurt Cookies

Hi friends!  Kyle and I are enjoying a wonderful 4th of July weekend. I'm looking forward to a great dinner...I'm a hungry girl.

This afternoon I had grand plans of making Blue Velvet cupcakes...but..I had the worlds longest pedicure (1.75 hours!) so I didn't go to the store. I still had the urge to bake when I got home, so I decided on oatmeal raisin cookies. Then Kyle reminded me that we didn't have any eggs!  Shoot!

I improvised. Did you know you can use Greek yogurt in place of eggs?  You can!

Here's my eggless, butterless yogurt oatmeal cookies:

-1.5 cups whole wheat flour
-1.5 cups oatmeal
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup Chobani blueberry yogurt
-2/3 cup natural applesauce
-1 1/2 t vanilla
-1t baking soda
- 2T cinnamon
- pinch of fresh nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 2T of almond milk (this was added to combat dryness. You your best judgement
-Optional- raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, ground flax

Mix your wet ingredients. Mix your dry ingredients. Then combine.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

No butter. No oil. No eggs. No problem!

Love and super swaps,
Carissa and Kyle

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stomp out Stress

Happy 2nd of July!  
The cats are patriotic too!
ps- looking for great holiday gifts for me?  More random holiday decor! :)
Can you believe we are halfway through the year?

Now is a good time to take inventory of your January goals and see where you are.  
Are you proud of the progress you made or could you use a little kick start to get back on track?  

I'm very proud of the progress Kyle and I have made on our goals this year.  We're both working hard to make our career dreams come true.  In the fitness realm, Kyle completed his 1st 5k, which was also my fastest 5k and we've continued to learn more about high intensity strength training techniques to maximize our muscle.  

I also try to make a monthly fitness goal.  For June it was to whine less and workout harder.  I think I've done a pretty good job!  Still some whines, but....if you only knew how tough Kyle can be you'd understand!

How about for July?  

For July I'm going to try to keep my stress level in check and incorportate more Yoga and relaxation.  I underestimated how hard some of my classes would be. My first degree is in communications and I was not prepared for the complexity of BIOCHEM!  I'm working it out though, because I know through hard work I can conquer anything!  Anything, but my stress level.  

Stress is bad because it causes your body to release cortisol. Cortisol increases the amount of sugars (glucose) in your blood.  It also diverts your body's attention away from non-essential functions like digestion and growth.  I want my body focused on digestion and fat burning!  But if I'm pulling my hair out over an acid dehydration reaction then that won't happen! Long term stress can also cause heart disease, sleeping problems, digestive problems, depression, and memory impairment.

Things that help me "de-stress" are working out and my runs.  In the past few weeks I have also found that yoga is a major stress killer.  I just follow a 10-30 minute routine on my Exercise TV on demand and feel better.  Wine also helps.  Haha!  The big help, however, is thinking about the "big picture".  In the big scheme of things, the little stresses will pass.  There is so much to be thankful and grateful for.  I hate that sometimes little frustrations take that away.  
My July mantra will be "keep calm and carry on".  I saw that on a sign in Target!  haha!

What is your July goal?

Before June is a distant memory in the rearview mirror here is a recap of the best June posts:

Today started with an overnight chocolatey oats bowl with berries.I'm off to study for my Biochem exam Tuesday, get a pedicure, and try to tackle some "from scratch" healthy cupcake baking!
I also want to thank my Mamma for the sweet gift she sent me!  Dr. Scholls fold away flats.  Perfectly portable, comfy black flats to wear in between heels!  I'm notorious for waiting until the last minute to put in my heels at work and these take up barely any space in my purse.  These are great to stash in the car too for emergency shoe-tuations (shoes + situation...get it?)
Love and deep breaths, 
Carissa & Kyle