Yeah, Don’t Put Me Down for Cardio

Ugh Cardio. I really don’t love cardio. But you know what I do love? Donuts.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted a workout but since I’m currently up to my eyeballs creating personal workouts for people (personal training cert, wuddup), I figured I might as well just put up a quick cardio post for when you’ve had one too many donuts (like I do, consistently, on the reg).

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This workout is tabata-inspired, with :30 seconds of work and :20 seconds of rest before moving on to the next exercise. Complete all four exercises before resting for two minutes. Repeat for 7 rounds. Obviously 7 rounds might be excessive for some so modify as needed (trust me, there are some days where I’m just like f*** this & will only do three or four rounds. No one will judge you if you do).

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I love when clients snapchat me during the workouts I’ve created for them (sorry, RC. HAD TO). 

Also, for anyone who might need a little extra push, here’s my cardio playlist on spotify. I’ve included a lot of different kinds of genres on this playlist, but that’s just so I never get bored. My mood always varies depending on when I step into the gym, so I decided to just cover all the bases before I start my workout.

Boys Go to Jupiter to Get More Stupider (Or Do They…?)

Let’s be honest: men like to talk a big game. They’re constantly competing with each other and it’s always a never-ending game of, “anything you can do, I can do better.” The men in my life are no exception. There are a couple things that they swear by…so I decided to test out their fav phrases and activities to see if what they preach is actually good for me.

Obviously the heavy hitter, how can I not start with my dear, old dad: We argue a lot and pretty much never agree on anything. Regardless, I look up to him for strength and direction. Anything that he’s ever done, or told me, has been with my best interest in mind. It’s been almost 23 years and he has yet to fail me. The guy is a smart dude.

  • Run your sprints. I’d like to record to show that my dad is a much better athlete than I am. He always was and I’m sure he always will be. With that being said, I’ve heard him yell “run your sprints,” more times than I’ve drank PSLs. AKA: The number is substantial. I thought this would be a relevant statement to start with since HIIT workouts are the latest gym trend. HIIT workouts, literally, “high intensity interval training,” focus on getting your heart rate up quickly and efficiently. These workouts are designed to be shorter, but much more difficult. Popular exercises include burpees, mountain climbers, battle ropes, etc. Personally, I used to love being at the gym for an hour or two a night but recently, since my schedule has changed, I don’t have that kind of time anymore. I typically have about 45 minutes to dedicate to a workout but since I go to the gym before work now, I also have to keep in mind that I need to include showering and looking like presentable human to the general public. Add in the fact that sometimes you have to wait for a shower? Well then you’re just done for. So realistically, I sort of only have 15-30 minutes to make those workouts count. When I go to the gym, I want to sweat…so I’ve been giving these shorter, harder workouts a chance. And what do I hate more than slow walkers on the NYC streets? Cardio on treadmills. So over the course of a week, I tested out running on a treadmill for 15-30 minutes a day at a high speed. Here’s usually how my workouts went down:
  1. Starting out: I walk on the treadmill and I’m all like, “I got this.” 15 minutes? No problem. It takes me 15 minutes to drive to Starbucks at home. That’s half an episode of friends. This’ll be cake, man. Jack the speed up to 9 mph.
  2. A couple minutes in: I was such a cocky little shit. How foolish of me to think I could do this! I check the treadmill clock as if my life depends on it. 15 SECONDS?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S ONLY BEEN 15 SECONDS?! I’VE BEEN RUNNING FOR DAYS.
  3. Halfway: Oh. This isn’t so bad. I’ve caught my stride and I don’t sound like I’m gasping for air anymore. I wonder if the guy behind me can see how fast I’m running?
  4. 3/4 done: Ugh, okay…are we done yet? Like how bad will it actually be if I just end like a minute early? NO. YOU’RE NOT A QUITTER. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT. MENTAL TOUGHNESS!
  5. Finishing: Crushed it. I can do that in my sleep.

So after all of that torture, I typically burned between 200-400 calories, depending on the day. I liked the fact that I could get my workout finished quickly and efficiently but there were times where I’d leave the gym feeling as if I hadn’t done enough. Regardless of the duration and intensity of the workout, that week taught me that as long as I burned enough calories to eat ice cream, I don’t really care how long a workout took me.

  • “Path of travel.” Ohhhh man, does he love this one. In my household, I’m a big proponent of leaving your shit wherever is most convenient for you. Not because I’m an asshole but because I’m the first one out the door every morning and I don’t need to be fumbling to find my keys at 4 am. Typically, my jacket hangs on the back on the kitchen chair, my running sneakers will be by the garage door, my work/gym bag will be by the phone, yada, yada, yada. Usually during the week, it’s totally fine. I’m the last one in the door every night and the first one out the door every morning. It’s not in his way: out of sight, out of mind. But on the weekends? Oh, god forbid. All hell breaks loose. For his job, my father focuses a lot of his time and energy on safety. I can’t expect the guy to be structuring proper safety techniques in the work place for at least nine hours of his day and then not implement them in his own home. To an extent, I get it. I’ve definitely tripped over lacrosse sticks and cleats and I’ve definitely shouted profanities in their wake. But I think that as long as you’re making a conscious effort to not be a douchebag, then it’s not too much of an issue. Just be courteous.

Ironically enough, this is the email that I just received from my father. No, he has no idea about this blog post:

“Below is a training announcement. We are teaching our people how to be more efficient through improved organisation (that is the French spelling). What the training will tell us is that each individual has to account for some time to maintain this after the initial effort. So, I am telling you to plan for it. An extra minute or more here or there to put things away where they belong or discard them or, to straighten during the course of the day.

5S is not just about housekeeping, but concentrating on maintaining the standards and discipline to manage an organization – all achieved by upholding & showing respect for the workplace every day.

The 5 Steps are as follows:
Sort: Sort out & separate that which is needed and not needed in the area.
Straighten: Arrange items that are needed so that they are ready and easy to use. Clearly identify locations for all items so that anyone can find them and return them once the task is completed.
Shine: Clean the workplace and equipment on a regular basis in order to maintain standards and identify defects.
Standardize: Revisit the first three of the 5S on a frequent basis and confirm the condition of the workplace using standard procedures.
Sustain: Keep to the rules to maintain the standard and continue to improve every day.

See, I am NOT “Type A”, just efficient, because it make my life simpler.

-Dad”

The guy slays me.

  • “STOP USING OUR DATA.” This is actually one of my favorites because I think about 97% of the millennial population can relate. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t get a “stop using our data,” text. It’s been months, if not years. Most of us probably don’t take this seriously. I know I definitely don’t. I even tweet (@MarisaTomsky) about how ridiculous it is pretty frequently.  But even though my father is saying this statement from a place of frustration, he’s got an underlying point: let’s get our noses out of our phones. The other day as I was walking to my office, I noticed a freshly painted sign embedded into the concrete streets of Manhattan. It simply said: LOOK. How sad is it that we have to start painting streets in order to get people’s attention? You’re in Manhattan for Christ’s sake! Look around you! Part of the allure of the city is that it never sleeps! You will see so many different kinds of people doing so many different kinds of things at so many different kinds of places. All you have to do is LOOK.
  • Homemade EVERYTHING. One of the greatest joys in my life is food. I love food so much. People who say they don’t think food is important are dumb AF and they personally offend me. Fortunately for me, in my family, we cook everything ourselves. Tbh, I would probably be a solid 40 lbs lighter if I lived with another family. And honestly, it’s not because we cook poorly or unhealthy. We’re extremely healthy. We’re all athletes and we know the importance of fueling our bodies. It’s literally because I can’t stop eating (everything is just too good). Portion control is key. But who actually wants that? No one in their right mind, that’s who. Anyway, there have been a lot of studies surfacing lately about the importance of cooking at home vs. going out to eat. That in itself is a whole another blog post just waiting to happen. With that being said, and because this post is already longer than I originally intended, I’ll just briefly touch upon why you should eat at home:
    • You’ll be saving money. Especially if you work in NYC like I do, you can easily drop $20 on breakfast alone. Add seamless into the equation for lunch and/or dinner and you’re f***ed.
    • You know what’s in what you’re eating: Pretty much all the time, unless you order something like grilled chicken (how can someone mess up grilled chicken…), you don’t exactly know what’s going into your meal. This could be dangerous for a number of reasons. The first is if you’re allergic to something. Typically you’ll know what you can and can’t eat but you just never know. It’s also dangerous from a nutritional standpoint. How much salt is actually going into that soy sauce concoction? Sure, it tastes amazing. But you just probably hit your sodium intake for the week.
    • It’s easier to track: This goes hand-in-hand with knowing what’s actually in your meal. Fitness and meal trackers are quickly gaining popularity and for accurate calories and nutrition, it’s much easier when you’re doing it yourself.
    • Portion control: When you order from seamless or any other sort of take out, you’re likely to get a huge container of food. I mean don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome. I’m a firm believer in the more food the better. But it’s too easy to keep the container in front of you at work and mindlessly eat for a pretty long time. My suggestion would be to save some for lunch the next day. And drink a lot of water as you’re eating.
  • “Stop spending my money.” Now that I’m a functioning adult (HA! I got jokes today), this statement doesn’t typically apply to me. I’ll still hear this being shouted every so often at my brother or sister, though. I like this statement because it reminds me that I should be saving money (for the big picture). I added in the last part about the big picture because I don’t think you should be taking saving money too seriously. I think you should be going out with your friends and having a good time. But with that being said, I do think that saving a couple hundos from your paycheck every other week will seriously benefit you in the long run. I like to keep this in mind when it comes to paying rent vs. living at home. I would rather have the long ass commute that I have now verse throw it away on a shitty apartment that I really don’t want or need. I’d rather have the money down the road when I’m looking to buy a house and start a family. Down the road, I know that I won’t want to compromise on things like location, or the safety of my family, because I decided to move into a rando apartment when I was 22. It’s all about the big picture, people. And honestly, my commute isn’t awful because I can sleep. I mean maybe I’ll change my mind in a month (I know I will) but still. Keep your future in mind when making those sorts of decisions. Experiences are priceless, so I typically don’t give those a second thought. If I can do something fun with people I love and we can make a memory out of it, I don’t really mind how much it costs. When it comes to buying something materialistic, though, my typical rule of thumb is that if I really want something, I’ll give myself five days. If I’m still thinking about it after five days, I can reassess and start thinking about purchasing it a little more seriously.

My brother:

  • Bacon, Egg and Cheeses: I don’t remember the last time I didn’t see my brother eat one of these things. He loves them. And yes, I already know these are terrible for you but I wanted to break it down from a nutritional standpoint. I hope you’re paying attention, Eric.

I looked at a couple articles to compare sandwiches that are homemade vs. Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. As mentioned, we cook a lot so typically my brother will make one of these sandwiches himself. On average, a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich will be between 400 and 600 calories. The eggs (72 calories), bacon (2 slices, 84 calories) and cheese (112 calories) aren’t really the problem. Honestly, it’s not even the bread (if you use whole wheat, it’s 138 calories). It’s the butter. The fat in these sandwiches is outrageous. If you’re consuming 1,600 calories a day, you’re only supposed to intake 36-60 grams of fat. A bacon, egg and cheese typically has 27g alone. And don’t even get me started on the sodium. I mean I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to have fat, I’d rather eat a cheeseburger thankUveryMuch.

A dunkin sandwich has 470 calories. 

A McDonalds’ sandwich has 450 calories. 

So what does it take to burn one of these things off?

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Table via BreakingMuscle.com

Still not satisfied? Here are a couple more options:

If you like cardio, you won’t after this workout regimen.

Because what would this post be without some ridiculousness? 7.25 Hours of lying still and quite? That doesn’t sound so bad.

  • Music. You may not always be able to see my brother, but you can certainly always hear him (playing his guitar, that is). My brother’s guitar comes with us everywhere. It’s a real inconvenience when we’re flying tbh (he already knows; he doesn’t care).  But he actually might be onto something. Let’s take a look at how music effects the brain.
    1. It can change your mood.
    2. It can improve overall performance.
    3. It reduces stress.
    4. It can help you get in touch with your emotions.
    5. It boosts dopamine (aka the pleasure-reward system).
    6. It helps you learn: i.e. improved language development, (small) increase in IQ, increased spatial intelligence, etc.
    7. Music therapy is a real thing and it can be used to help Alzheimer’s patients.
    8.  It can help with pain relief.
    9. It reduces blood pressure.
    10. It can aid in relieving chronic headaches and migraines.
    11. It helps improve athletic performance (pump up playlists exist for a reason).

Check out this cool little video from CNN that can help explain it a little further.

Okay, so overall, some of the things they do aren’t all that bad. Realistically, it seems that they might actually have my best interest in mind. Regardless, I’m stuck with them.

Here’s to you, boys.

xoxo,

Ris

Look Good, Feel Good

Unless you love working out, it might not always be the easiest thing to get in an hour of activity, or even 15 minutes, a day. Let’s be realistic: we all live busy lives and we all have those days. It’s so easy to put working out to the side. Other things take priority. We have families and deadlines and Fido needs to be taken to the vet.

I feel like a big part of the first couple of months of a new year is following through on your resolutions (orrrr not so much). It’s now a month and a half into 2016 and if you made working out your resolution and you might be struggling for inspiration, I thought I’d give you a reason to make working out a bit more appealing: shopping for new workout clothes, of course. It’s actually sort of amazing what getting new (workout) clothes can do for your attitude.

While on the topic of attitude, I know a lot of us probably made our new years resolutions to lose weight, start going to the gym and “to get skinny.” But, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to make a quick suggestion to edit those resolutions. Instead of losing weight, let’s change it to, “feeling good in my own skin.” Instead of go to the gym, let’s say, “live a more active lifestyle.” Instead of getting skinny, let’s realize what we’re putting into our bodies and the true value of a portion size.

Now I totally understand that creating another whole wardrobe may not be in your schedule or your budget (I am a broke 20-something, after all), but there are ways to make it a little bit easier. Scroll down for a few suggestions to make your wallet, and your body, happy.

The Classics:

Nike (I’m a huge fan of their runner’s shorts).

Under Armour (Check out some of their apps in the appstore for added inspiration. I’m obsessed with MyFitnessPal…but they have a ton more. Also make sure to sign up for their emails; they’ll send you recipes and tips to keep moving).

Adidas

Champion

If you’re trying not to break your bank:

Target

Kohl’s

GapFit

Forever 21

Nordstrom

Old Navy Active

Urban Outfitters

H&M

Yoga:

Lulu Lemon (Easily one of my favorite brands, but $$$$).

Athleta (Another favorite).

Soybu

Yoga Smoga

Mika Yoga Wear

“Celebrities don’t need more money but I’m going to buy this anyway” Apparel:

Fabletics by Kate Hudson (If you sign up to be a member, they offer really great deals right off the bat so it might be worth it to kind of splurge here…just to get a couple solid pieces in your arsenal). BUT BE CAREFUL. They charge you every month if you do not skip the month’s payment. It’s a real bitch so be on the lookup for fabletics emails from the first to fifth of every month.

CALIA by Carrie Underwood (SHE SLAYED AT THE GRAMMYS…So how could I NOT support)?!

I have something you don’t have (brands you’ve probably never heard of):

Sweaty Betty

Zella, by Nordstrom

NUX

Electric Yoga

Lucy

15Love

Nancy Rose Performance

Sport-Specific Apparel:

Universal Lacrosse (Lacrosse) (I’ve been working on their communications, blog and website in my spare time so please check them out if you get the chance)!

DBA Sports (Lacrosse)

Venum (Boxing) (I love this brand! I feel like such a badass every time I wear it. For the record, I am not actually a badass).

Everlast (Boxing)

Do You Even (Lifting)

Muscle Club Apparel (Lifting)

Oiselle (Running)

Road Runner Sports (Running)

Rapha (Outdoor Cycling)

SoulCycle (Cycling)

Dover (Equestrian)

SmartPak (Equestrian)

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Sports Bra: Venum; Pants: LuluLemon and obviously I never go anywhere without my Fitbit

What Happened When I Stopped Being Italian for Two Weeks

I lost 10 pounds.

Yup, you read that right. I lost weight. No, I wasn’t even trying.

Let me backtrack and explain: when I say I “stopped being Italian,” what I really mean is that I stopped making enough food for a small army; I stopped eating until I felt like I was about to burst; I stopped not eating enough protein and I cut down my carbs. When you’re Italian, or at this point when you’re American, you tend to overeat…just because you can. I was giving my body way more than it actually needed and because of that my body had way more than it could process. I was feeling tired and weighed down.

I needed to make a change, especially now that I spend a good majority of my time working at my desk. I can’t just get up whenever I want and go to the gym like I did during college.

What I did:

  • Drank no less than 64 oz. of water a day…I had the most water before, during and after meals to increase fullness.
  • Cut back on intensive workouts to give my body a break. Instead of my usual two hours of boxing, I decided to go for a brisk walk for two hours around my neighborhood. We have a nice, big hill so I made a game out of it: I called my friends while I walked. It was a great way to get in my cardio and maintain all of my friendships as well.
  • I ate 6 small meals a day, instead of 3 big ones. I made sure to include drinking my coffee black, hot green tea and more vegetables into my diet. It kept my metabolism going throughout the day. If you really want to be all dedicated, try cutting sugar completely out of your diet. I couldn’t. I wasn’t that strong.
  • My portion sizes were A LOT smaller.
    • If you’re struggling with smaller portion sizes, try these simple tricks:
      • Use smaller plates and bowls. Not only will there be a limit on the amount of food that you can fit on them, but your mind will think you’re eating more food.
      • Cut your food into smaller pieces…just another way to trick you mind into thinking you have more food on your plate than you actually do.
  • I tried not to eat 4 hours before I went to bed. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t. I’m not sure how much of a difference this really made.
  • I listened to my body. Being full doesn’t mean that you’re about to burst with your pants zipper down and your buttons undone. Being full means that you’re content…and the best part about it was that I could eat again in another two hours. So who actually wins here?
  • If you need some encouragement, use the MyFitnessPal app. It helps you log your food intake and track your progress. Downloading workout apps also make for quick and easy at-home workouts that you can complete at your own pace. Some that I’m trying out: SWORKIT lite, Hot5, Nike Training, Daily Yoga, Pump Up, StrongLifts 5×5, and Nike Running.

What happened when I went back to being Italian:

  • My body couldn’t handle all of the food in front of me. It wasn’t really sure what to do eating such big meals. I felt sick a good majority of the day.
  • I had a headache from the lack of water.
  • I found myself bored-eating. Never good.
  • It was easier for me to lounge on the couch.

I want you to make no mistakes: I didn’t go on a diet. That’s such a harsh word. It makes me think that I’m not allowed to eat ice cream or cheeseburgers…and I love ice cream and cheeseburgers. I still ate everything that I loved. All I did was regulate my diet and I made sure I was actually paying attention to the actual serving sizes. They’re there for a reason.

 

 

Pre-Christmas Workout: Cardio

Let me just preface this by saying that you’ll love this but you’ll hate it. It’s definitely quick but it’s certainly not easy. If you’re not huffing and puffing by the end of it, then you did something wrong.

Workout:

  • 1 min. jump rope
  • 1 min. mountain climbers (you can place your hands on a bench for an incline or on the floor). The floor is harder.
  • 1 min. burpees (include the push-up).

Repeat 5x.

If you’re not tired after that, do a 5-min interval workout on the treadmill. :30 sec on (running)/ :30 off (hopping onto the non-moving part of the treadmill for your rest period). Speed at 10 mph. No incline on the treadmill.

End with 5-min abs.

Ideally, the total workout should take between 20-25 minutes to complete if there’s no stopping between exercises.

Post-Thanksgiving Post: Wears and Workouts

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. I pray that you’re all happy, healthy and full as ever. I know this post may be overdue but I was recovering from my food coma…and writing a 20-page paper (sup finals week?).

Let’s get right down to it. What I wore for Thanksgiving and some post-Thanksgiving workouts to get your metabolism moving.

(Also, special appearance from dad-o).

 What I Wore:

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  • Talbots 100% Pima Cotton Grayish Green Bunched Neckline Top Blouse XS

This shirt is a couple of years old. My father got it for me for Christmas one year and I’ve loved it ever since. I did some searching and I actually found my exact shirt for sale on eBay. I don’t even use eBay so this was sort of awesome that I could find it. If you’re interested, here’s the link:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/321576299864?lpid=82

  • Skirt: The Limited. It’s just a standard white skirt with a pattern…nothing too special but it’s one of my favorite pieces to wear because it goes with everything.
  • Vince Camuto VC Signature Aliah Loafer in Tawny. I got them from Rue La La but I also found them on sale on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Vince-Camuto-Signature-ALIAH-LOAFER/dp/B00NPCPTWE

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Accessories:

  • Nail Polish: OPI “Funky Dunkey”
  • Tory Burch Bag: Gloria Suede Crossbody Clutch Bag. You can find this bag on eBay, Lyst, Neiman Marcus, and Cusp. The purple is sold out but I believe red and blue may still be available.

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Workouts:

As mentioned previously, my workout is usually boxing. I just recently tried muay Thai…I even have the bruises on my feet to prove it. But don’t worry, I’m not going to give you those types of workouts just yet. I wouldn’t even know how to begin.

So let me begin with something simpler: the treadmill and light weight. My suggestion is to go for a run on the treadmill or outside (even though it’s cold) to get your metabolism going. If you like to run, then I suggest making running the majority of your workout. If you hate running, like I do (with a passion), then I suggest using your run as a quick warm-up and then focusing on weights.

Some quick and easy workouts you can do to help tone your body. Fun fact: lifting weight burns more calories than running. Just make sure that you stretch both before AND after and take care of your body. I always like to have a protein shake after I lift because it tastes amazing and helps rebuild my muscles. I’ll tell you what I put in my protein shakes another day.

Here’s a quick full-body workout.

Unfortunately I took videos for this post and they didn’t upload so for those exercises that don’t have a picture, I’m trying to find something to replace them.

Headband: LuluLemon: http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/women-headbands-and-hats/W-Fly-Away-Tamer-Headband?cc=4278&skuId=3585283&catId=women-headbands-and-hats

Squats

Squats are tricky because if you’re not doing them correctly, chances are that you might think you are.

Some important things to remember:

  • stay in your heels so you don’t rock forward
  • ass to grass (or glutes to boots)
  • make sure you’re either looking up or straight ahead
  • Keep your legs parallel

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Dead-lifts (straight leg vs. bent leg)

Straight Leg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpzRX3slWjE

Bent Leg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Q3nelBXEQ

5-minute abs (see “Preparing for Thanksgiving” post)

https://wearsbyris.com/2014/11/07/workouteating-preparation-for-thanksgiving/

Skull-crushers

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Dips

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Around the world

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rza8CiisZg

Push-ups and tri-push-ups

Regular push-ups:

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Tri-push-ups:

The only difference is the shape of my hands.

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Workout/Eating Preparation for Thanksgiving

Halloween is officially over (thank goodness…) which means that we can finally move onto probably the most important holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. I mean it’s the holiday that lets you eat all day. What’s better than that?! Other than Christmas and probably your birthday, Thanksgiving is the holiday that keeps on giving (food to my stomach).

If you’re anything like me then you love to eat. Thanksgiving provides everyone the opportunity to eat whatever they want, whatever amount they want, whenever they want, and then sleep it all off afterward without feeling guilty (I know I certainly don’t)…but for those few of you who actually do feel guilty (you really shouldn’t), here are a few tips and tricks to get through the holiday.

We’ll cover three main topics you can use on your own to start preparing yourself for the greatest holiday of the year:

  1. Exercise
  2. Pick healthy alternatives
  3. Portion control.

Let’s first talk about exercise. Exercise is extremely vital to living a healthy lifestyle. You should already be exercising regularly as it is but if you’re not, definitely start as soon as you can. A common misconception is that you have to kill yourself while exercising in order to get result. While for some this may be true, you need to do what is best for yourself. If you can’t run a mile, it isn’t a big deal. Walk a mile instead. Do what you can do but make sure that you’re doing something.

One of my favorite exercises that you can do is “five-minute abs.” There are a couple of ways you can do this: five abs exercises for one minute each; 10 abs exercises for 30 seconds each; one abs exercise for five minutes. I don’t recommend the last one because you’ll only be targeting one area of your stomach; you want to get the most possible out of your five-minute abs. I recommend doing five abs exercises at a minute each. The pictures below indicate which exercises I like to do the most for my five-minute abs.

Once you’ve gotten exercising down, you need to make sure that you’re eating to support what you’re working off. If you go to the gym for an hour and then go eat a cheeseburger, chances are that you just canceled out your workout. I may do this on the reg but it’s because I love cheeseburgers too much to say no….and I also workout multiple times a day…so it’s fine.

Getting back to my point, it’s important to make sure that you’re not eating poorly. This brings us to some healthy alternatives. There are certain things you can eat that taste the same but are actually better for you. My favorite example is eggs verse egg whites. Egg whites have about 100 less calories than regular eggs and hardly any cholesterol at all. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had an egg white omelet this week because the number is actually embarrassing. Here’s a little hint, I’ve had them for dinner…

If you’re nervous about not feeling full, don’t be. Add things into your omelet. I like to add vegetables: mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach. I also like to add cheese. I switch between mozzarella and the cheese that you put on your tacos (you know what I’m talking about…four cheese Mexican or something…I forget what it’s called, but it’s delicious). Salt and pepper are a staple in my omelets.

A great example of a healthy alternative for Thanksgiving is sweet potatoes verses regular potatoes. I’m not personally an advocate for sweet potatoes, I actually hate them, but they have much more nutrient-rich centers verses the traditional potato (which I do love).

It’s extremely easy to find healthy alternatives for pretty much all food. You can normally just Google what you’re trying to replace (I Google basically everything) or there are also plenty of books on it as well. Personally, I like the “Cook This not That” books.

Okay, let’s move onto portion control. It’s extremely easy to over-eat on Thanksgiving. I do it every year (no regrets). But again, for those of who are concerned, there are a couple of ways to prevent this:

1. Drink a lot of water. Water always fills you up. Add a lemon or lime to your water for a little extra kick, too.

  1. Eat slowly. Your food will still be there in five minutes, don’t worry. It’ll also be there tomorrow when you have those awesome leftovers. Fun fact: the more slowly that you eat, the faster you’ll burn off the calories you’re eating…so if you eat more slowly, you’ll actually be able to eat longer.
  2. Try to get three different food groups onto your plate: Turkey can be your protein; green beans can be your vegetable; and sweet potatoes can be your carbohydrates.

I hope this helped!

As promised, here are the five-minute abs exercises I like to make sure that I’m targeting my entire stomach.

I’m 100% apologizing now for the fact that I can’t keep a straight face in any of these and I just look straight-up silly (I’ve never taken pictures of myself while working out before so it was a new experience). Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at, amiright?

And before you ask, yes, those are boxing bags/a boxing cage behind me. Boxing is my primary workout (I also do weight training and cardio but that’s for another blog post).

What I’m wearing:

1. Thai Sit-ups

I love this one…because it requires me to lay down.

Start with your entire body stretched out on the floor. It’s just like a crunch but you keep your legs flat on the floor. Crunch as far up as you can. You’re basically trying to touch your toes.

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2. Russian Twists.

Start in the middle and then move from side to side. Make sure that you’re touching the ground on each side to really get the full effect. Also, keep your legs up in the air; do not cross them.

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3. African Sit-Ups.

I have no idea why they’re called african sit-ups but they’re awesome and I love them. They hurt but they hurt so good.

This exercise is three movements in one. So today, 3=1.

Crunch up first with your left leg; then crunch with your right leg; then crunch with them both.

That’s one rep. So if you want to do 10 african sit-ups, you’re actually doing 30 movements.

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4. Plank

Everyone knows and loves (hates…?) the plank. It’s difficult but it really is one of the best things you can do.

This is a standard front plank but I also like to add an additional :30 seconds on both my right and left sides. You obviously don’t have to do that.

Keep your body flat, do not arch your back, and keep your stomach in.

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5. Rub your shins

Quick appearance from my double chin hayyy (insert peace sign emoji).

Anyway, start with your back on the floor and your legs up at a 90 degree angle.

Crunch up, rubbing your shins.

Do you see where the name came from…?

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All photo cred goes out to my FMPFL (focus mit partner for life): Mel

Okay, I know this was a seriously long post and I really appreciate you guys putting up with all the nonsense I just threw at you.

I hope this helps you prep for Thanksgiving. If it does or if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, don’t be afraid to contact me!

xoxo,

Ris

P.S. they should really get emojis on computers.