Exercise Update

5 Feb

Happy weekend! Is everyone getting amped up for game day tomorrow? I sure am! Of course, I am more focused on what snacks I’m going to make than the actual game itself…but it still counts. 🙂

I haven’t really talked a whole lot about fitness lately and I want to start doing a better job of that. I love my food and sometimes I get caught up in that alone, but exercise is something that I love too and I want to include it more in my blog.

So where do exercise and I stand now? Well, things have definitely changed over the past few months with my workout schedule and what kinds of exercises I do. Cardio used to be my main form of exercise. I didn’t feel like I actually got in a good workout unless it included at least 30 minutes of running, elliptical work, etc. Now, I turn to strength training and lifting weights for the bulk of my workouts and have got to say that I am loving everything about it. In the past, when cardio was my main workout, a lot of the time I would feel really tired and drained of energy afterwards and for the rest of the day. With strength training, I feel SO energized and strong! It leaves me feeling amazing and accomplished, in a way that I never felt with cardio. I’m also working out LESS and seeing MORE results than before.

April recently got me thinking about my metabolism. I don’t count calories but lets just say for an example that I took in 1500 calories and was able to maintain my weight with that. What is going to happen later on down the road when I start to get older and my metabolism slows down? I would have to live off of maybe 1,000 calories a day to maintain. Umm, thanks, but no thanks…that does not sound like a good time to me. So what can you do to fix this? You have to EAT, that’s what! Eat clean, healthy food and eat lots of it! Pair that with some good iron pumping and in my personal opinion, you will be set. Thanks to lifting heavy weights and eating more food, I feel like my metabolism is revved and where it should be.

I have been having fun experimenting with strength training. I do not compare myself to others because it is a very individual thing. I am a smaller girl and what my be heavy to me, is light to someone else. I’m okay with that though…it’s a work in progress and if there is anything I’ve learned it’s that gaining strength and muscle take TIME. Patience and just sticking with it is key. 🙂 I do feel that I have packed on some nice lean muscle over the past few months and am excited to keep on going. Do I look like a man? Heck no. I look shapely, toned, and most importantly: healthy. Ladies: don’t be afraid to light heavier weights. You will not look like a body builder..it just simply is not in our genes to look that way, unless you take steroids or something.

Here is an example of my current workout schedule:

Monday: strength. tricep, shoulder, chest day

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: strength. lower body day

Thursday: rest

Friday: strength. back and bicep day

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 20 minutes of light cardio, OR between 4-16 minutes of Tabata

I like how my weights workouts are split like this so that I can allow for plenty of rest for each muscle group. And can I just say how important rest is??? Why did it take me so long to realize this? Rest days are just as important as workout days. The right combination of both will have you feeling amazing and reaping full benefits of your workouts. I used to workout EVERY day and feel so ‘blah.’ Now that I have cut back, I feel so empowered and energized. I now know how to use my workouts to my advantage. If you feel tired a lot and sleep isn’t the issue, you could very likely be over-training or under-eating. This was a huge eye opener for me and I’m so glad that I finally realized it before I did any more damage. You only get one body in your life, so please take good care of it! 🙂

So cheers to strength training and good eats. Can I get an amen?!

If you need some ideas on the food part, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered…here is a glimpse of what I’ve been loving lately:

blueberry oats:

013 (3)

with protein cream and preserves. (protein cream = protein powder mixed with almond milk)


023 (2)

snack plates:

013 (2)

Hummus toast:

009 (6)

post workout snack:


Scivation whey protein powder blended with almond milk and ice. With a bowl of fresh fruit.

Baked protein cake in greek yogurt:

002 (7) 

014 (2)

1 serving Sun Warrior protein, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, a splash of almond milk, and stevia, topped with peanut butter.

Vitalicious goods:

013 (5)

Stirfry action:

014 (3)

cajun cauliflower “rice” with shrimp, pinto beans, kale, and sundried tomatoes. I steamed a head of cauliflower and then put in in the food processor and pulsed until it was the consistency of rice. Then I added cumin, garlic, pepper, nutritional yeast and chili powder. Delish!

002 (6)

baked tofu, roasted brussels, and roasted parsnip bites.


Couscous with kidney beans and brussels.

021 (3)

sautéed cabbage (with Bragg’s liquid aminos) topped with broiled chicken, avocado, and edamame.

cottage cheese meatloaf: (recipe to come!)

015 (3) 

Cabbage action:

018 (2)

topped with balsamic and hummus.

I hope I turned some of you to strength training with this post. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite hobbies. I can’t wait to share more of it on the blog in the future and hope you guys will like to see more fitness in addition to tasty eats.

Have a wonderful weekend, whatever your plans may be!



31 Responses to “Exercise Update”

  1. Devyn February 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Hey great post! I want to get into strength training, right now I just do some basic exercises I know without any real schedule and do hours and hours of cardio most days. I really enjoy cardio, but I do want a better balance!

    One thing I am unclear on, even after reading April’s blog, is how eating more gives my metabolism an oomph. How much more or is it just eat enough? What is enough. I never know. Do you have any tips or more information about this?

    • Sweet Cheeks February 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

      “enough” is very subjective and varies greatly for each person. I believe that it is important for each individual to find out what the “right” amount is for themselves. But if you are very active, chances are you probably should eat more to fuel your workouts. Honestly though, I would not recommend hours and hours of any exercise at one time (unless you are training for an event, such as a marathon) as it can be very draining for the body.
      And about metabolisms: eating enough food will ensure that your metabolism runs correctly, whereas under-eating makes your metabolism take a huge hit. Your body thinks it is starving so it goes into survival mode meaning it slows down everything and holds onto fat. This is based off my own research on the subject. 🙂

      • Devyn February 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

        Yes thank you, I agree with everything that you said. I am trying to find out what the optimal amount for me is! Glad that you have found yours, although I think it changes day to day, no? 🙂 Love your blog!

    • april February 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

      There are certain ways to figure out your calorie needs- your body kind of adapts to whatever you get it. So my body used to maintain on 1200- but was that what it needed? No! Now I maintain on 2100 🙂

  2. Jess February 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    AMENNNNN!! I’ve been thinking about my metabolism a LOT lately, and I’m gonna up my eats–I’ve been REALLY pushing my body lately and need my fuel.

    Love your blog!! 🙂

  3. Christina February 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Your meals look really delicious and balanced!! How do you like the scivation whey? Ohh and what’s in your protein cake???

    • Sweet Cheeks February 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

      I really like Scivation. I bought the chocolate flavor and it tastes like hot chocolate/cocoa to me…really good! The protein cake is April’s recipe: http://foodsofapril.com/?p=7857

      • Christina February 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm #


  4. Jenny February 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    Blueberry oats and overnight oats? How delicious! I love vitatops so I can only imagine how good those vitabrownies must be!

  5. Katie February 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    you know I love strength training girl! Its the best ever! I rarely do cardio , except for dance ; )

    Strong is the Sexy!!!!

    Oh my cottage cheese meatloaf! I need that recipe for sure!

    Love you! happy weekend! xoxo

    • Sweet Cheeks February 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

      I will try and post the recipe tomorrow!

  6. Katie February 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Strong Is Sexy! typo!!!

  7. april February 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Thanks for the shoutout!! And I’m so happy to hear that I’ve helped you come to some realizations! And the crazy thing is most of us naturally don’t eat enough, especially if we DON’T count calories oddly enough. When I gave up calorie counting I ended up naturally eating wayyy too little! So now I have to count to make sure I’m eating enough!

    But anyhow, you’ve got it down with the food, heavy weights, and rest! yay!!

  8. Kat February 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    yum everything looks incredible! I def have a really horrid time taking rest days. Usually friday is a rest day because my bestie comes over and I dont have time to exercise, but other than that its my only day off. Your post got me thinking maybe I should add in another though. You are so right when you said we need to take care of our bodies!

  9. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 6, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    What an AWESOME post. I never thought about my metabolism slowing down because lack of eating when I’m older… I eat healthy but I probably don’t eat enough. I weighed 135 over the sumber and am 5’5 But right now I weigh 118 because of all the cardio I’m doin I need to start strengthening myself. Tomorrow No cardio for me just a nice long Jillian Michaels work out… I find that those workouts are just as good as lifting because I life my own body weight (planks, sideplanks, Burpies etc.) i’m going to do arms tomorrow too do you have any good arm workouts?

    • Sweet Cheeks February 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

      Yes! Upper body workouts are my favorite. I will do a post on some of my favorite moves soon. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Olivia February 6, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Hi there! I just thought I should tell you that I’m in absolute paradise right now that I found your blog and can read all of your posts:) Seriously, I’m really loving reading it and I’m so glad to have stumbled upon here! I loved reading what you had to say and couldn’t agree more with you that we need to eat a lot now (when we’re young!) so we can still eat and be normal by the time we’re 60. Oh, your eats all look so good! Can’t wait to read more; I’m subscribing!

  11. Katie February 6, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    Love the eats! And, yes, lifting rocks! I rarely do cardio anymore, and I am just loving the results. 🙂 I am currently doing the New Rules of Lifting program. Love it! If you are looking for more structure in your workout, I def. recommend it!

  12. katshealthcorner February 6, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    I LOVE THIS POST GIRL!!! Strength Training is one of my favorites. It makes me feel SO good. I’ve also discovered running, which I love too! I totally agree with everything you mentioned! 🙂

  13. movesnmunchies February 6, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    you have SUCH good eats! the problem with me is that i dont have a gym to go to… i only have a treadmill at home and a few hand weights that aren’t really a good fit for me.. and i ALS o have no idea what workouts to do!! when ppl say tricep, chest etc.. i dont know what exercise that actually is? where did you find exercises?? thanks for this post.. it was really really helpful!!!

    • Sweet Cheeks February 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

      I do have a gym membership but honestly it is super easy to do strength training at home. I actually do a lot of my workouts at home! I’d recommend buying a pair of weights that is a good fit for you…I have a 10 lb set that I use a lot. The bulk of my strength training exercises are done with a basic pair of dumbbell weights! And Google is my best friend when it comes to looking up different exercises and routines…that and, Oxygen Magazine are my two main sources 🙂

      • movesnmunchies February 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

        oh great! i think i should invest in some weights for home!

  14. Gill (snaxandthecity) February 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    hey girl, love the blog! I am also quite into weight training, love it! And April’s the best, huh? 🙂

  15. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) February 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Your workout schedule looks great! And so does all your food – yum, yum, yum!!! 🙂

  16. Colleen February 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    I love strength training so much! It’s really changed the shape of my body in a way that cardio alone couldn’t do. I love the “sore” feeling the day after a good workout 🙂

  17. julie February 7, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    i’ve tottalllly cut back on my cardio except for my two days of spin which i adore to no end and will never stop haha but i’ve been lifting like a beast and loving my body more then ever!

    i’m excited for that cottage cheese meatloaf recipe!

  18. Olivia February 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    I just re-read this whole post and it all looks seriously DELICIOUS!! 😉

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