Inspiration, workouts, and healthful foods! Enjoy!
There are even more ready to go meal plans here! Pictures of all the recipes are on that page too! :)
Here’s just a few of the recipes featured in these meal plans:
Italian Meal Plan: 15 minute pasta with homemade spicy eggplant sauce
Italian Meal Plan: Roasted Vegetable Alfredo
Quick & Easy Plan: Vegan Tomato & Chickpea curry with quinoa
Quick & Easy Plan: Vegetarian Crispy “Chick’n” Ginger Salad
Simple Plan (first one): Italian Stuffed Peppers (topped with fresh mozzarella!)
Simple Plan: 15 Minute Italian Quinoa Stir Fry
There are TONS more workout plans here, check it out! :)
Want to learn more about any of these workouts? Click the links, many of them have printable calendars, extra challenges and ways to customize them!
One of my favorite parts of coming home is creating a new meal plan and getting a fresh start in the kitchen. However, coming home also means that my family has usually filled the fridge so I have to make some space! I hope this guide is especially helpful for anyone who doesn’t have a fridge of their own because I know how tough it can be to live a healthy lifestyle when that differs from the rest of your household.
Here’s the three things that have helped me maintain my meal plan:
- I have my own space- my sister and I share a love of salt and vinegar chips; my mom and I share a love of good cheese. Of course I eat these from time to time (moderation, not deprivation!) but it’s easier to stick to the foods I know are good for me when I don’t have to rifle through all the other options in the fridge!
- I honestly enjoy my meal plan. I look forward to every item on it every day. What I eat always feels satisfying, is delicious and makes me feel good. I don’t find myself longing for other foods because a- if I really want it I’ll have a serving, b- I can usually find a healthier way to make that item and c- there’s TONS of food I love that just happens to be good for me!
- I eat frequently; every 2-3 hours. Every time I start getting hungry my meal plan is set up to give me another meal or snack. It’s easier to stick to my plan because it always has an option for me!
If you’re not a meal plan person that’s totally fine too! If you eat intuitively, based on what your body demands you can still use these ideas to help stick to the foods that are best for your body.
For more healthy living tips & ideas go here! :)
This month’s workout plan! I included a printable workout tracker to help you stay focused, motivated, and to see your progress! To use it just count your reps and record them each time you exercise. By the end of the month you’ll be able to see gains in both strength and stamina (for exercises that are a minute long hold just record how many breaks you take). I also included a spot to give a check mark for days when you stretch and days when you drink enough water! Finally there’s the calendar at the top to record how much cardio you do (and what type) daily!
This plan is designed to really keep you motivated. You have a different workout each day of the week so it never gets boring and every strength move is one you can do from home- no gym necessary! I also included a short list of just some of the many ways you can get cardio in!
Since I’m only a few weeks away from my first bridal fitting (eep!) I’ll be doing this plan along with you! I’ll be posting my progress and my own chart each week. Plan on joining in? Post your chart & progress and tag it piecesinprogress! Each week I’ll give a shoutout to all my February fitties!
ps- Exercise is only one part of a healthy lifestyle so make sure you’re eating a healthy, nutritious diet along with this plan! Looking for some meal plan inspiration? Check out my meal plans page and the weekly meal plans I’ll be posting all month! :)
Take It To The Gym! The Slim Workout
This is a 6 week cardio plan that you can take to the gym (or do anywhere). All you need is a stopwatch (or timer).
The beauty of this plan is that it leaves you TONS of flexibility: you can follow the intervals with any cardio machine you like (treadmill, elliptical, rower, bike) OR take it outside and run, jog, hike etc. Simply boost or lower the effort you put in to the right level for YOU.
If you’re using a heart rate monitor, find your maximum (220-your age for men, and 226-your age for women), and simply add a percentage point to each of the suggested intensities. (2-3 becomes 20-30% of your maximum heart rate. 5-6 becomes 50-60% of your maximum heart rate, and 7-8 becomes 70-80% of your maximum heart rate).
If you don’t have a monitor, use the ‘talk test’ & the guidelines below and check your breathing. It’s YOUR workout, so while you should push yourself, you can dial things back if need be.
2-3: Easy. You should be able to talk normally, and notice a small boost in heart rate.
5-6: Moderate. You’ll start breathing a little more frequently, and can speak in short sentences. You’ll feel like you’re working, but know that you can push harder.
7: Hard. You’re heart rate is up and you’re pushing yourself. You can speak a few words at a time, but your breathing should be more labored. You won’t want to be speaking very much.
8: Really hard. This is an intensity you only reach and keep up in short intervals. Give it your all (it’s not long). Speaking is very difficult, and breathing is fast. Your heartrate should be WAY up.
Add 2-3 cardio interval workouts like these to your routine each week for 6 weeks, in addition to your resistance workouts. Each workout is only a half hour, and you’ll work up to tougher intensities as you go.
Save a copy of this for your phone/timer! Switch up the machines/exercise you’re using from week to week (or willy nilly) for best results.
Printable version here.
My tips on making a healthy, fitness transformation:
- Set realistic goals… both small (ie. drink a gallon of water everyday), medium (ie. lose a pound a week) and major ones (compete in a bikini competition). “Perfection” is not a realistic goal.. aim to be the best YOU, you can be.. not “perfect” and not exactly like someone else! =)
- Get rid of the junk food! Make your own meals from wholesome lean proteins, veggies, fruits and healthy fats. No soda, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, white breads and pastas, fruit juice, sugary cereal, fast food or packaged, processed crap.
- While you’re at it.. cut out the alcohol. It shuts down your metabolism, promotes fat storage and breaks down muscle tissue. (lovely eh?)
- Plan ahead… prepare your meals and workouts in advance, always keep workout clothes, a water bottle and protein powder with a shaker cup in your car so you never have an excuse not to hit the gym. “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”.
- Stay positive… setbacks will happen, don’t let your mistakes define you! You’re only a failure if you quit. Rid yourself of negativity (including the people who try to belittle your healthy dreams and goals).
- Track your progress… take before pictures and weekly progress pictures.
- Also, keep a journal of everything you eat and of all your workouts (including how many reps, sets and weight for each workout).
- Be patient… losing weight and getting fit takes time!
- Make a motivational posterboard of quotes, pictures, anything that will remind you of your goals and keep it where you can see it!
- Ask questions.. don’t be afraid of looking dumb! I asked millions of them when I first started (and still do sometimes!) In fact, the first person I ever asked was an NPC Fitness Competitor!!! And guess what? She answered every single one of my questions, and we have continued to stay in touch! Believe in yourself, believe you can do it. “The best way to predict your future, is to create it”.
If you are into healthy eating you might wanna watch HungryForChange. It’s great, it helped me so much!!