How to Become a Certified Pool-Spa Operator (CPO)

Hungry and Fit are HUGE supporters of education and continuing education. It is obvious by our occupations that we love teaching people how to do certain things properly in order to be healthier and happier. We also feel that everyone should be able to be educated so one of our goals is to spread that education throughout the world. We feel that the best way to do that right now is to prepare ourselves to be the best teachers we can be through our own education. Just last week, Hungry added another expertise by going through a course to become a certified pool and spa operator.

The course run by the NSPF (National Swimming Pool Foundation) is an in-depth look at many different aspects related to operating a pool. It is a reasonably-priced and length course but you should definitely be passionate about aquatics or water safety in order to take it. The information can be quite dry if you aren’t interested and there is a lot of math involved. The certification lasts for five years before it needs to be renewed. There is no practical exam, rather there is a written exam that consists of 60 questions. It is an open book test and is rather easy, in my opinion.

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Since I am around pools for over 50 hours a week, it is a useful piece of education for me to have. It helps me run the two pools that I work at and understand the multiple pools that I swim in. It also teaches you a lot about hot tubs as well. I have to say that you should use discretion when using hot tubs in commercial locations. A single person can lose a quart of body oils in a hot tub by sitting in it for merely 15 minutes. If those places don’t cycle their water properly or drain the pool enough you are bathing in other people’s filth. I am not trying to gross anyone out but I want you to think about the facility you are using. Most major pools are forced to abide by regulations because they are inspected but many hotels and apartment complexes get away with not treating their pool properly so please be aware.

Fit and her Dad in a hot tub in New Zealand

Fit and her Dad in a hot tub in New Zealand

I am a huge supporter of water safety and making sure that no one ever drowns if it can be helped. My lifetime goal is to make sure everyone in this world knows how to protect themselves from aquatic environments so that they can survive dangerous encounters with water. This CPO course has helped expand my knowledge and if you are looking for a course I would recommend going to NSPF’s website and looking up the class closest to you.

If you have any questions related to pools, hot tubs, spas, aquatics or water safety please leave them in the comment section below! We may not be waterproof but being safe and knowledgeable around water is a part of being hungry and fit! Stay educated and keep educating others!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria sitting on Sajah

Nymeria sitting on Sajah

Hungry Eats… SUGARFISH (Los Angeles, CA)

I love sushi! My favorite food is probably a toss up between sushi and ramen. It’s hard to say depending on how I feel, one being hot and one being not so much. If you’re going to find warm sushi anywhere in Los Angeles, it would be Sugarfish. I talk about the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi all the time. It’s one of my favorite films of all time and it highlights the way that traditional sushi is made. The rice should be fresh and warm, the fish is fresh and cool, and the combination is not tainted by the addition of soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. Any of those are applied only by the chef so that they compliment the fish perfectly. Sugarfish follows these standards and, although the have those condiments on the table, they recommend not using them. So let’s back track and start from when we entered.

Editor’s Note: WARNING: DROOL ALERT AHEAD FOR ENTIRE POST

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Fit’s family and I, along with Fit’s brother’s girlfriend (confusing right?) stopped by Sugarfish in downtown Los Angeles at 11:00 a.m. right when it opened on a Sunday (I think). Kai had recommended it and knowing that we are in Boulder where good fish is hard to come by, he decided to treat us to a nice meal. Not nice–amazing is more like it. Their quality control in their recommended dishes is second to none. The six of us were seated immediately and service was very good throughout the meal. It was quite empty but they took dirty dishes immediately and all of our dishes, or nearly all, were delivered warm. One hand roll had soggy seaweed but the rest were crisp and well toasted.

Sophie, Fit's brother, and Fit's mum

Sophie, Fit’s brother, and Fit’s mum

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Hand roll

Hand roll

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Nearly all of us got the recommended “Trust Us” with one person ordering a la carte, one getting the Trust Me Lite and me getting the super trust me (extra… for hungry, as always). The meal is not fresh in my head but nearly everything was great. The tuna sashimi salad was one of the highlights. Its dressing was spectacular and I must have licked the plate clean. The edamame was normal and the rice was always warm. The nigiri was all high quality with the exception of the unagi, which was just slightly off for me. Not quite sauced or toasted properly, but still tasty. It just didn’t match up with everything else. The seaweed on the handrolls were almost all toasted and I even enjoyed the blue crab handroll, which is typically something I would not order. Fit said it was the best hand rolls she had ever had. We drank water and it was refreshing and helped keep my mouth cool and fresh.

Tuna sashimi salad

Tuna sashimi salad

Edemame

Edemame

Unagi

Unagi

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All in all, I would say that Sugarfish is a very high-quality restaurant that utilizes the Nozawa style of creating simple but elegant sushi. If you are interested in complex rolls then you should venture elsewhere. If you are looking to get full on a budget, this is not the place either. The atmosphere is unfortunately very industrial and cold, despite efforts to warm it up. The concrete ceiling is hard to cover so I would advise couples that romantic dates might not be the best here, but they can still be great due to the food. It probably looks nicer at night so that might be a good time for a date. If you find yourself here I would almost certainly tell you to only get either the Trust Me, Trust Me Lite, or the Nozawa depending on how hungry you are. I did the math and the amount of food you get on the Trust Me for nearly 25 dollars would be over 35 dollars if ordered a la carte. Not only is it their best deal but it also highlights the dishes they do best. That is what I got out of our visit and I hope it helps you on yours.

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photo 1 (12)

So mouthwatering I can't even handle it. One of the best dishes -Alana

So mouthwatering I can’t even handle it. One of the best dishes -Alana

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Perfect

Perfect

The obesity rate in Japan is over 30% lower than the United States so eating sushi is certainly one way of staying hungry and fit!

Editor’s Note: I made sure to keep all the pictures nice and big to emphasize the drool effect. Can’t wait to eat there again. -Alana

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Facebook: Come Like Us!

Since the conception and foundation of Hungry & Fit, we have worked hard to expand our reach to more and more people through various ways. Although we are nowhere near content with our progress, we are excited to announce that our Facebook page is officially ready to go. It might be rather skeletal and boring but it’s another work in progress.

hungry&fit.3

It’s similar to the Twitter and YouTube accounts that have not quite yet picked up as a result of our lack of effort. The YouTube is one that haunts me everyday since I have been on YouTube for so long. We are currently working with a start up company called NationBuilder in order to tie together all of our branches so that we can manage them together and keep things sync-ed. We also have our Bodyspace accounts on Bodybuilding.com but that’s less of a business related and more of a personal thing. All of this information can be found on our “Nation” page.

Facebook is an international social media entity that is a great way to stay in touch with individuals from all over the world. Although it is not a tool that we have personally used for the past three or four years, I still have my friends on it and have used it to spread the word about Hungry & Fit. So if you are on Facebook, please friend “King Tucci” in order to find out more about Hungry & Fit! Every and all likes towards our page will be appreciated and hopefully returned!

Keep an eye out for our YouTube channel’s latest additions and Facebook page if you are interested in staying hungry and fit!

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My Hell Week is Over

Disclaimer: I would never suggest this “diet” to anyone else. For me, it was just a willpower test I’ve wanted to try. I am highly against crash or fad diets.

Second Disclaimer: This is kind of a long post, but only because it means a lot to me.

I did it. I did it! I did it! If you’re wondering why I’m seemingly raving mad right now, direct yourself to this postIf you don’t feel like reading the whole thing (even though it’s short), I’ll give you a little summary. I did a crazy thing of subjecting myself to 7 days of 560 caloric hell. The actors from Spartacus did this to get lean and in slave-gladiator-like shape for their show. It was a prescribed four water protein shakes a day. That’s it. For an entire week. And that was while they were at “Gladiator Camp” doing 4 hours of combat work each day. I unfortunately had no such camp to attend, so every other day I completed the hellish Spartacus Circuit (3 times over). And on the other days, I did other cardio and strength exercises.

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

So last Wednesday I forwent food, subsisting on only 4-5 protein shakes a day (water mixed with protein powder). If any of you know me, I am hungry most of the time. Why do you think we named this blog Hungry and Fit? I didn’t choose to do this to lose weight or lose inches (even though I am doing this contest), I did it for the sole sake of testing my willpower. And I did it. I didn’t touch any food for that entire week though I drooled and craved it constantly. I’m waiting for someone to send me my “Willpower Extraordinaire” plaque, but I guess it takes time to mail.

My only sustenance

I am very proud of myself and happy I pushed through. Water, gum, and ice are the three material things that really helped me get through it. Oh, and video games. Thanks, nerdy side of myself, for helping me get lost in that while I wasn’t working out or working. More than those, Chris and friends really supported me. Chris was there for me every step of the way and my friends would text me each morning say, “Alana, still staying strong?!” I appreciated it more than they know. Because I was definitely an infinitely more grumpy person during that week. You can especially ask Chris, but also my workmates like Daisy or Kim too.

How I felt

How I felt

Again, I would not suggest this to anyone. After only consuming 560 calories a day, working out every day, and continuing an active-paced job, I lost ten pounds (I know my mum is yelling at me right now back home). Ten pounds in a week is NOT GOOD. Listen to me, I’m a trainer. That’s what you call a bad crash diet. Again, I want to reiterate, I did it for the willpower test, because for me, I think at the end of the day, if you don’t have your willpower, you don’t have anything. It was extremely rough the first few days–who am I kidding, it was rough for the entirety, but I started getting used to not consuming food. However, by the end, my body was pretty mad at me, making me a little sick and weak. Again–DON’T do this. I’m just sharing my achievement. It ended up de-motivating me for my contest because I was so miserable without food and feeling weak.

"Before"

“Before”

"After"

“After”

I’m showing you pictures of how my body slightly transformed, not as motivation, but to document how this affected me.

You can imagine how blissfully amazing this day of rebirth into food has been (if you think I’m being dramatic, blame my dad, he’s an actor). I had my meals planned days in advance (because what do you do when you can’t eat? You think about food!). I was in such a better mood than I had been all week and I was just happy because I did it. I accomplished something I had wanted to for a long time now. I’m all for celebration, but I’m still on track for this contest. And although today is a “cheat” day (you’ll get descriptions and pictures after this of my meals today), I’m going right back to strict eating of lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and complex carbohydrates to get to my “extremely fit” goal with Chris at my back as a coach.

This wasn’t even close to my cheat day before the Spartacus Hell Week (in terms of bad food), but it was cheat enough for me because it was real, beautiful FOOD. Let’s look at the menu.

For Breakfast: Dot’s Diner

Small House Breakfast...that's fake meat

Small House Breakfast…that’s fake meat

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I really tried slowly eating, but you can’t understand my excitement and happiness. I ate most of it, but not the whole biscuit. Stomach felt funky for a few hours, but it just needs to get used to solids again.

For Lunch: Snarf’s 

Tuna sandwich...mmmm

Tuna sandwich…mmmm

Face of bliss

Face of bliss

The mouth-watering in this situation happened to be ridiculous. Again, tried to take my time. 

For Dinner: Korea House

Korea House in its amazingness...we would eat here every night if we could afford it

Korea House in its amazingness…we would eat here every night if we could afford it

Happy last meal

Happy last meal

I wasn’t going to (or supposed to) have any thick dairy like milk or ice cream, but we were served it by our favorite Korean chef and we always put respect, honor, and morals before anything else.

All in all, I’m glad I did it. I’m proud of myself. But I will never do it again.  I only wish to inspire people to try to reach higher and higher, because you never know what you’re capable of. Wish me luck on the rest of my 5 weeks til the end of the contest! Going to be on an eating plan of tuna, beans, rice, vegetables, grapefruit, banana, fish and oatmeal! Use your willpower to stay hungry and fit!

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Ultimate Chest Workout – Machine Militia Meetup

Last Thursday morning, after sleeping about zero hours for two nights in a row, amidst an absurdly busy 70-hour work week, I “woke up” at 4:30 a.m. in order to travel down to Wheat Ridge, Colorado in order to meet an expert in the fitness industry. Marc “The Machine” Lobliner of Tigerfitness.com and iSatori (A Golden, CO based supplement company) was hosting a meet up at Armbrust Pro Gym.

Armbrust Pro Gym in Wheat Ridge is the home of Phil Heath and many other professional bodybuilders, including Alina Pope. Let me start by thanking Armbrust for letting us all work out that morning. It was the best weight lifting and strength training facility I have seen in Colorado and one of the best in the country. If you ever have the opportunity, stop by for a workout. I hope to return in the future. It isn’t too far from Boulder. It is clean, well-organized, well-run and the equipment is legitimately top of the line.

David Sandler, iSatori’s Director of Science and Education, was accompanied by some other iSatori representatives. I would like to thank him and the company as well for helping put this together. I left early so I’m not sure what happened at the end of the workout and I have not yet finished watching the YouTube videos of the event. David has put together some great natural products and I might even sell some of their products in the future. They stand apart from competition in the industry by offering more natural supplements. I think they could be extremely popular in Boulder, Santa Monica and other health-conscious cities. I will keep you all informed on my relationship with them.

The real reason I decided to wake up so early and train chest for a second time in 72 hours was because of Marc. Tigerfitness is one of my favorite online supplement and fitness equipment stores. They offer products you cannot find anywhere else, including Marc’s own “Machine” Whey and Drop Factor. Fit is currently using that same whey in her week long Spartacus challenge. Marc is the CMO of Tigerfitness, a pro heavyweight bodybuilder, the CEO of his own supplement company, and the vice president of the ANBF. Here are three of the reasons I dragged myself down there.

The protein I'm using

1. I wanted Marc to write Fit a motivating note in one of his books. He did it without a second thought and I appreciate that greatly. Whether it’s helping her or not, I think she was happy that I got it done so it had to have been beneficial in some way. It reads: “Alana, winning contests is not a game. ML

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2. I wanted to introduce Hungry & Fit to Marc and his 60,000 plus subscribers and fans online. I tried a cheap plug while they were filming me doing cable flyes and asked him jokingly if it would make it onto YouTube. He said of course. I thought it wouldn’t happen but Marc seems to be a brutally honest person and sure enough… it made it. Hopefully this will help spread the word about what we are doing here. Although we are not aspiring professional bodybuilders we are all in a similar industry.

3. Tying into the last point, I wanted to ask Marc about professional physique competitions. While I have no interest in becoming a professional bodybuilder, I am interested in earning a pro card in natural physique competitions. I asked him what organization I should involve myself with and as I expected he answered the ANBF. Unfortunately, the majority of their events are on the East Coast, but if I ever return home there will be plenty to do. I can always travel as well, if I feel I am ready to compete and win, of course.

Basically, we all met up and split into groups. You can see this all on his YouTube video by following the link below. I recommend subscribing to his channel for great information about anything related to fitness. He knows his stuff, obviously. He’s also a very honest family man and although the language isn’t always G-rated, I don’t mind. The substance is worth it and it’s entertaining.

Marc and I

Marc and I

Despite training chest on Tuesday and being extremely sore and in recovery mode, I pushed myself relatively hard. Although I wasn’t putting up 365 for reps like in 2010/2011 I was proud to push 245 on the incline, despite a spot from Marc that gave me a ton of help. Marc said that he got the workout from the great Dorian Yates while they trained in Australia. Once again, see the video for the workout. Otherwise here is a quick summary of what I did.

Incline Bench 3 sets working up, one main set to failure

Flat Chest Press Machine (looked like a transformer) – 2 sets to failure

Incline Dumbbell Flyes2 sets to failure

Cable Flyes – 2 sets to failure

Then I left to make it to work right on time. Not a minute early. I believe they threw in some biceps after. I hope I didn’t miss any free giveaways but I can always buy another blender bottle or t-shirt. Still would have loved to stay until the end but life is life and work is work. All in all I am very grateful to all the parties involved for the opportunity and remember, staying hungry and fit IS NOT A GAME!

The link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ8v0zfkquk&feature=c4-overview&list=UUzzYnZ8GIzfB1Vr3hk2Nj9Q

Oh, please ignore the comment section below the video. YouTube viewers are known to “talk” quite a bit and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I have seen that problem grow ever since I joined YouTube the year it was introduced. There is an unfortunate lack of support and positivity in that community.

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Fast & Furious 6 (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

I will try to make this a review for all, although it will be difficult to do so since I am a huge fan of the series and have seen all of the previous 5 installments, most if not all in the theaters when they were released. Initially, I have really good feelings toward this picture, although if you haven’t seen any of the prequels then the story will not mean as much to you. Justin Lin returned to direct his fourth straight film while Chris Morgan wrote his fifth story for the franchise. This duo has done a tremendous job tying one movie into another and creating a true series, not just a run of sequels. Even though the franchise continues to grow in revenue, budget and Hollywood flair (big booms) it is still true to the originals that focus on street car racing and a love for cars and family.

A majority of the cast returns to reprise their roles and the series stands out in my mind by never replacing characters with new actors or actresses. Even minor roles like the one played my Eva Mendes in the second film is renewed with a cameo in the end of the fifth. I am obsessed with attention to detail in series such as these, so bringing characters back wins points in my book. Also, this movie has everything I need. A fitting but ridiculous soundtrack, a true villain, a set of heroes, ideals to explain and follow, romance, adventure, and more. It also has the Rock, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. I love action movies and these guys have been there for me since I was a teenager struggling to find myself. I am not saying that I necessarily use their characters as role models but I definitely pay great attention to them. The supporting cast is tremendous as well and my positive feelings towards the characters that have developed throughout the series brings constant laughs and smiles to my face throughout the movie.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

The standout moment of this movie came towards the end when they continued to advance this series. They finally brought the third film, Tokyo Drift, into the timeline seven years after its release. Tokyo Drift was truly an outcast but now it is right there, as a buffer in between the sixth and upcoming seventh film. Jason Statham looks to be the new villain, playing the brother of the villain in this sixth film. He seems to be out for revenge against Dom Toretto and he instigates a conflict by killing a member of Dom’s family. We all knew Han died in Tokyo Drift but now we know why and how. It is somewhat of a fitting death after the death of his girlfriend in the end of this film. That was definitely one of the sadder moments in the franchise but I’m sure it will be touched on in potential Han flashbacks in the next film. Unfortunately, Universal was greedy and wanted to film immediately so Lin and the Rock definitely won’t be returning.

Diesel, Walker, and Statham are the only confirmed stars for the next film and Morgan will be writing the story, thankfully. I cannot wait until July of 2014 to see where they go. In the end of Tokyo Drift, Dom returns to Tokyo and this is likely where the story will pick up. Killing a member of his family was a mistake that Ian Shaw (Statham) will regret making by the end of the next film. The theme of the series is strength in family and cars are merely a medium they use to explain that bond. Dom always does whatever it takes to maintain the bond within his family, especially take revenge.

All in all, it was a complex and fun film for fans but might have been nothing more than explosions and vroom vroom sounds for non-fans. Fit had only seen the previous prequel and gotten an in-depth explanation of the story from myself. She seemed to enjoy it since it was a fun and humorous adventure. She thought of it as Ocean’s Eleven in fast cars. I absolutely recommend seeing the previous movies (not Tokyo Drift… watch it after, I wish I knew what they were planning so I could have) before this one. I wouldn’t say it’s a must see in theaters although the effects are not bad. Definitely gets a thumbs up from Hungry due to my love for the series.

Drive safely in order to live hungry and fit!

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The Best Way to Cut Calories: Swimming

This post was inspired by an old swimming friend that has more recently gotten involved in lifting weights and trying to transform his body. He is an extremely experienced and skilled swimmer so he has a lot of tools at his disposal. He does not enjoy running or biking as a means to burn calories but he is interested in cutting for the summer.

Cutting is a term used in the fitness industry, primarily among physique based competitions, that refers to a stage after bulking where you lower your caloric intake and increase your caloric deficits in order to lose fat. Through this process of lowering body fat percentage, the muscles that a person developed and strengthened during their bulking phase will be more defined, visible and prominent. It has a certain aesthetic effect.

Not exactly your typical lap swimmer (it's Alana)

Not exactly your typical lap swimmer (it’s Alana)

Mr. M (we will keep his identity a mystery) asked me if swimming was a suitable substitute for cutting and the answer is yes. Anything that helps you achieve your caloric deficit amongst a cutting phase, with proper diet and rest, is a proper form or substitute for the classic “cardio machines.” Most professionals have ellipticals, treadmills, steppers or even bikes in their home gyms. There are a few reasons why swimming does not receive attention on the same level. Those reasons are primarily seen as a disadvantage and therefore complicate the process. However, there are certain advantages as well if you are cutting for your own reasons and not trying to be like everyone else. Here are the reasons why people do not use swimming to lose fat:

1. Most people do not know how to swim. That’s true, believe it or not. Beyond that, many people that do know how to swim don’t know how to swim properly. The number of people that can swim the four competitive strokes and various other safety strokes properly is extremely small. Many bodybuilders are among this population and are not interested in learning how to swim. However, for Mr. M, this is not a concern and with strokes such as backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and butterfly it is very easy to burn more calories than on a machine that plugs into the wall.

2. It is much harder to calculate burned calories while swimming. Machines that plug into walls have abilities to calculate these numbers, therefore making it extremely convenient for someone tracking these figures so strictly to hit their marks properly. This is not the case while swimming, as every stroke will burn a different amount of calories. Pacing yourself will also affect this greatly. Swimming a 100-yard freestyle on 55 seconds and following with a second 100 yard freestyle on 1 minutes and 15 seconds will result in different calculations that need to be made. If you are not extremely strict on your figures, then this is not an issue as you can estimate. You can also buy some new devices in the market that are waterproof and track your calories that are burned. Fit will be doing a post soon about these devices so keep an eye out for that.

3. It is generally more difficult to find a body of water, especially year round, that is safe. You can run and bike on land. You can run indoors in the winter no matter where you live. Finding a safe swimming spot is harder as it is a much more dangerous activity due to the medium of the water. In developing countries swimming is a luxury and something that the majority of the population does not know how to do. Overall, it is simply not as safe.

Despite these factors, I highly recommended Mr. M to swim in order to cut to achieve his goals. The best way is to use all the strokes that you know and incorporate them into a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Switch up your strokes and change your pace consistently to challenge your body to work harder and burn more calories. Swimming for an hour at the same pace does not do much unless you somehow can maintain your full speed, or something close, for that whole time. I love to do 100 and 200 IMs (individual medley- butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle) with the 100s being all out and the 200s being at a steady pace. I will do 5-10 of each depending on how I feel with minimal rest in between. It makes me feel good, keep my skills fresh and avoids putting extra impact on my heavy flat feet.

If you are interested in specific questions related to swimming or cutting calories please leave a comment below. And look forward to more entries in the Best Way to Cut Calories series. Use this to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Meow

Meow

4 Ways to Be More Mindful Every Day

In our “I can multitask better than you” society, mindfulness can be a hard thing to achieve. The American way is to work harder, sleep less, and do more. And I should be specific, do more all at the same time. When do we have time to be in the present moment–that very moment–if we’re doing 7.5 things at the same time? Where’s the breathing room? Where’s the healthy mentality? I’m working on these constantly, and am nowhere near perfection, but it’s worth it to try. Take these 4 tips to sneak mindfulness into your day every day.

1. Get off your phone/tablet/computer. Yes I know you might have a new text waiting for you, or maybe somebody could’ve just uploaded a new Instagram pic. Just leave it. For a few minutes each day, and throughout the day, just leave it. We are all starting to have addictions to our personal phones and computers, and thus, it is more the necessity to leave it alone. I didn’t even say turn it off–just step away and enjoy the sunshine without Billy, Sally, and Fred buzzing you. Do that for yourself and smell the roses. It’s worth it.

Sometimes, you get off the computer by yourself. Other times, your cat steals it

Sometimes, you get off the computer by yourself. Other times, your cat steals it

2. Listen to those who are talking with you. Don’t think you can multitask a conversation. For one, it’s rude. For another, you really can’t. Talk to my brother about multitasking and even as up to date with technology as he is, you will get a negative response. He believes it significantly decreases efficiency and effectiveness, getting the actual opposite of what we think when we multitask (and think we’re getting so much done at once). But back to conversing, listen to whoever is speaking to you. Look in their eyes, understand what they’re saying, absorb it and come up with a reply. Don’t text and talk. You will develop a deeper relationship with whoever it is, understand them more, and find yourself more so in the present moment. Which is what this is all about.

My best friend and my dad enjoying a laugh

My best friend and my dad enjoying a laugh

3. Take a walking meditation. People hear the word “meditation” and they get weirded out. Well, don’t, because you’re going to hear it a few more times. All a walking meditation is, is taking a walk and being mindful when doing so. Take a tip from #1 and don’t bring your cellphone with you. All you are to do is walk, preferably outdoors where you won’t be bothered, and turn your awareness internally. How do you feel? What does your body feel like when you walk? When your feet hit the ground? What noises can you hear? What smells can you pick up? Take all of it in. Enjoy the present moment.

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4. Do an eating meditation. I warned you I’d say it again! But this time you get to eat, and who doesn’t like that! Take a meal–any meal, could even be a snack. Eat it alone without your phone or tv. Take each bite slowly and really get into your meal. What does it feel like in your mouth? Notice the textures, maybe the different tastes, and what it feels like to chew it. Take it slowly and you will notice a whole new experience of mindfulness. Be present with your eating and you will also not overeat. Just try it. One meal. Let yourself solely focus on that.

One of our last meals together in college (Mary Kate and I)

One of our last meals together in college (Mary Kate and I)

Just 4 things you can practice every day. And they don’t take up much time and they will improve your health. We are always talking about getting healthier and having a healthy lifestyle, but are we actually doing it? Especially for your health, action speaks louder than words. And mental health is a big part of your health, because guess what–your everything is controlled by the mind! Be present, be mindful, be humble. Use these tips to stay hungry and fit!

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Do NOT Mix Thermogenics and an “Empty” Stomach

If you don’t know what I’m doing this week, please read hereNow that you understand my Hell, please know that I made a big mistake last night. So yesterday was Day 2 of this awful protein-shake-only thing I’m doing. And I know I have a tough workout coming up, to be more specific, the Spartacus workout3 circuits of it. So I was thinking…I should probably take a pre-workout so I have enough energy for the workout. Unfortunately, the only thing we had left was little thermogenic sample packs. If you don’t know what a thermogenic is–it’s basically a fat burner. However, it also has energy in it–concentrated caffeine. If any of you know me, you know caffeine tears my body apart.

So I take it. Feeling alright, feel as if I have enough sustenance in my body (because I previously just had my #4 protein shake) and head over to my workout. Now I am proud of myself for this workout. Nobody was watching me, I set up a timer, and did every set, every rep as hard as I could. When I felt like giving up, I would push on and fight harder. So that felt awesome–3 circuits through, 10 stations, 1 minute each. And I did it. Felt shaky by the end, but I was expecting that.

Near the beginning

Near the beginning

photo 5 (1)

photo 4 (4)

photo 3 (4)

photo 2 (7)Then I get home. And it just hits me–I get the shakes all over and become incredibly nauseous and cold. I really felt like throwing up, but didn’t. All I could do was lay down on the couch, trying to watch the NBA Finals game (boo, Heat!), but feeling so tremendously awful. I have one last protein shake to drink, the one I probably needed the most, but I just couldn’t do it. So I go to bed very early and have a rough night of tossing and turning with the taste of bile in my mouth, but I woke up feeling better and hungry.

How I felt

How I felt

Still feeling a little off today, but it’s Day 3 and I’m hoping it will be easier from here on out. My body is getting accustomed to less food, so I will be less hungry. My body is pretty sore, especially my back and rear delts, but it feels good. I brought an ice cube tray to work to munch on and it feels like I’m eating real food!

My cute ice cubes

My cute ice cubes

Moral of the Story: DO NOT HAVE THERMOGENICS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Period.

Cheers! Stay hungry and fit!

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