Best sources of protein.

egg-white

With a protein to fat ratio of 60:1, egg whites are unquestionably one of the purest forms of protein in the world. –Bodybuilding.com

I’m really amping up my workouts lately. My goal is to not only tone but build muscle. In order to build muscle it’s crucial to consume the right amount of protein and the right kind. Protein is known as the building blocks for bodily function and maintainance. It is necessary for the development and repair of hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs.

Protein as Energy

Protein is used as energy when your body has used all of the carbohydrates and fats that you’ve consumed. I’ve read that using protein in this way is actually not good because your body needs protein for more important purposes, like rebuilding muscle tissue. However if you consume protein in excess your body will store it as fat and too much of it is harmful to your organs. So a healthy balance is vital.

3 Great Sources of Protein

  1. Egg whites. Everywhere I go I read that eggs are the perfect protein for a fit physique. They contain all of the essential amino acids needed to rebuild muscle and are one of the most efficient proteins in that they are readily used by your body for protein synthesis. Egg yolks have great nutritional value as well, but are high in cholesterol so keep the use of them down as much as possible.
  2. Chicken and Turkey breast. These low fat options are packed with protein. I suggest cooking enough at the beggening of the week to easily use on salads, in brown rice or for a healthy sandwich made with whole wheat bread. They are a great, easy way to add protein to so many dishes.
  3. Beans and Legumes. These are high in protein AND fiber. Fiber is a wonderful source of carbohydrates that helps keep you fuller longer and assists in regulating blood sugar. Kidney beans are a popular options for fitness enthusiasts as they contain 14 g or protein and fiber per serving.

What’s your favorite protein source?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary

3 tips for a fit Holiday Weekend

Holidays are always a tough time to try to stay on track with your diet. Add a “bunny” bringing massive amounts of delicious chocolate and candy to your house and it’s a whole new ball game. I don’t know about you but my sweet tooth is pretty massive.  I already ate a couple Peeps today.

peeps

So here we go…

  1. Don’t get your kids too much candy! I’m guilty of this and have also been guilty of eating about half of the candy I buy them. So do yourself a favor and buy the requisite candy, just not too much of it. Perhaps add a non traditional gift in the basket like a book or last year I put seeds and some garden equipment in there. I know it sounds lame but it provides them a fun learning experience and God willing, they get the joy out of growing their own plants.
  2. Plan to be active as much as possible this weekend. This is always a good idea but especially when you have a party coming where you are likely to indulge. Getting active and therefore feeling healthy will help to curb bad craving and it will encourage you to stay on track. If it’s nice enough, get out and hike or go to the playground and do some HIIT while your kids are on the jungle gym. If not get to the museum, that always provides some good walking and education for you and the kids. Our favorite is the Museum of Science in Boston. If we have time and it’s nice out we walk along the Charles River. What’s your favorite museum?
  3. Saturate yourself with nutrient rich foods. I’m not going to deliver the classic advice that you should make nutritious choices in a party environment. First off, that would make me a hypocrite. I follow a pretty “when in Rome” philosophy when it comes to going to celebrations and eating out. However, I do recommend planning ahead of time by eating healthy, nutrient rich foods the rest of the weekend so you’re  less likely not to over do it when you’re around the delicious appetizers, entrees and deserts that are sure to be served up on Easter.

Have a lovely and safe holiday everyone!

xo,

Hilary

“I forgot my sneakers!”

frustrated-woman

You know the feeling. After treading your heels all morning you finally manage to pack yourself and your kids up to go to the gym only to realize you forgot an important piece of equipment. Your sneakers!

This is what happened to me on Saturday. It’s snowy here in New England so snow boots are the uniform right now. In an attempt to remember everything I need for my kids, I forgot my sneakers. I even went back in my house specifically to get my gym shoes and water bottle. I remembered the water bottle.

As frustrated as this scenario is, there is a solution.

Yoga. You don’t need sneakers, you don’t even need socks, to do a cardio boosting yoga flow. Here’s the routine I do to get my cardio in and strength training exercises to round it out. Sun Salutations are the back bone of this cardio boosting routine, if you do not know how to perform them here is a great instructional video.

sun-salutations

  1. Stretch and warm up.
  2. Perform 3 sun salutations.
  3. Leg Workout.
    1. 20 squats.
    2. 10 front lunges.
    3. 10 side lunges, right and left.
    4. 10 back lunges.
  4. Perform 6 sun salutations.
  5. Ab workout.
    1. 20 basic crunches.
    2. 20 side crunches, right then left.
    3. 20 leg lifts.
    4. 30 second planks, regular and side.
  6. Perform 9 sun salutations.
  7. Arm workout.
    1. 10 push ups, 10 tricep dips (repeat twice)
  8. Perform 12 Sun Salutations .

Rest and stretch.

Any questions?

Thanks for reading!

Xo,

Hilary

Benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training)

hiit

Yesterday I posted a link to my weekly HIIT workout which you can see here. I’m trying to come up with a method to the madness in terms of what I post and when. Every Monday I will post a HIIT workout and Wednesdays I will post some more concentrated strength training exercises.

Today I want to talk a little about the benefits of interval training. I personally love it because I can easily do it at home and my kids sometimes even join in. Here’s a list of some of the other great advantages.

  1. Burns the most calories in the least amount of time. The Tabata format in particular (this is working at your maximum capacity for 20 seconds then taking a 10 second break for a total of 4 minutes per set) has been proven to torch calories and continue burning calories at a high rate for up to 30 minutes post workout.
  2. Mixes up your workout so you never get bored. I love that this type of workout entails doing different exercises. I tend to get bored with repetitive cardio and this solves that problem by changing up what I’m doing every 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Challenges muscle memory. HIIT creates muscle confusion so your muscles do not get bored and are always working hard.
  4. Gives you a full body workout. If you get the right combination of exercises together you will get a full body workout in the process of calorie blasting. Mix it up with some calorie burning running, butt boosting squats, bicycle crunches and planks and you’ve covered all of your body parts. I recommend mixing in strength training with your HIIT, but it’s not necessary since you are already doing strength exercise with this workout.

What’s your favorite workout to do in high intensity intervals?

Thanks for reading!

XO,

Hil

Shape that Booty.

img_5162

On my YouTube channel today I share some of my favorite booty shaping exercises. You can check it our here.

Below are some of the benefits of having a strong, perky behind, other than the obvious aesthetic reasons.

For many trainers the glutes are considered the “powerhouse” of strength and physical fitness. This is because the buttocks is the largest muscle group in your body and helps with most of your physical activity. Here’s more on the subject from Women’s Health Magazine:

The glutes are known in fitness circles as your body’s engine, not only because they’re the largest muscle group in the body, but also because they’re involved in most athletic functions, says Bret Contreras, C.S.C.S., coauthor of Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body. The glutes produce four distinct actions: extending the hips, swinging the leg outward, rotating the leg laterally, and tilting the pelvis backward. “Strong glutes increase your force and power during everything from sprinting, jumping, and squatting to climbing, swinging, and cutting from side to side.

xo,

Hil

Bootcamp Benefits.

bootcamp

I did a bootcamp class this morning at Commit 2b Fit in Quincy, MA. I love bootcamp style classes! Basically this involves HIIT (high intensity interval training) combined with weight training and muscle toning. I always preach about the importance of mixing up your workout and this is the perfect way to do it.

Here  are some benefits of bootcamp style classes:

  1. Torch calories with internal training. It’s been proven that interval training even just a couple of times a week torches calories and helps you lose weight.
  2. Works all your muscle groups. The variety of exercises in this style class usually involves working your entire body so its like one stop shopping for your workout.
  3. Team atmosphere is very motivating! Especially if you go to the same classes and really get to know the instructor and people who generally attend. It so encouraging being in a class with people you are comfortable with and once you know the class, it’s format and people you will be more excited and invigorated to get to class.
  4. Learning new moves to incorporate into your personal workout. For example I learned this great squat move. I often incorporate squat jumps into my HIIT workout but this is a good way to amp it up! Perform a basic squat then jump and pulse a few times before jumping again. I’ll show a demonstration of this on my Instagram and Facebook pages so make sure you are following me there: U Go Baby Fitness on FB ; U Go Baby Fitness on Insta.

xo,

Hil

Practicing gratitude toward yourself.

img_5377I read this article yesterday on embracing your body and loving yourself just the way you are. We expect so much from ourselves and others. Often we want others to love us “just the way we are” but have trouble loving everything about ourselves, including our imperfections. We put ourselves down, body and soul. It’s human nature to be hardest on oneself which serves the purpose of helping us to be better people. But, as important as it is to try to be better, it’s equally important to love yourself.

The biggest inspiration for me to love myself and be confident in who I am is my children. I think about what I want for them and how I want them to feel. More than anything, I want them to have the utmost appreciation for who they are, where they come from, what they have to offer the world and most of all, to be confident. In order to teach them to be this way I realize I need to practice these skills myself.

A good way to kick off your day with confidence is to take a few minutes to appreciate YOU, body, mind and soul. Here are some mantras you can say to yourself when you wake up in the morning to kick-start your day with confidence:

  1. I am enough.  I do enough,  I have enough.
  2. I love myself. I am a beautiful, unique spirit. There is no one else quite like me.
  3. I let my happiness be visible to others. My happiness overflows from me. I can use my happiness to bring joy to others.
  4. I thank my body for taking such good care of me today. It is perfect and takes such good care of me.
  5. My body is a gift and I love and appreciate it just the way it is.

How do you practice appreciating yourself?

xo,

Hil