Pumpkin Protein Overnight Oats & Fitness Help

So as some of you know, a few months back my husband and I made the quick decision to rent out our condo, pack our bags and move almost 400 miles south to the desert of Nevada. Over the weeks leading to and following the move, I really didn't make the best nutritional choices. Let's be honest. Sometimes running to In-and-Out a few times a week is a lot easier than meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. AMIRIGHT? To make a long story short, 3 weeks after our move I reluctantly stepped on the scale to see that I had gained 10 lbs. I was soooo furious! I had put in months of hard work to get rid of that weight and within a few weeks it was back. I kind of paused at that moment. Either I could keep doing what I was doing and unravel everything I had learned and worked for or I could buckle up and get back to work. I chose the later. The next day I went to the gym and signed up for a membership. Smooth sailing from there right? NO! I had the hardest time pulling myself out of bed to go to the gym where I would put in a half effort workout because I would tire out easily and go home and try to control my extreme appetite.

I needed help.

Now in my last fitness post I mentioned that I wasn't trying to promote any specific brand, but I wanted to include what helped me and that is what I will do again.

Because of my lack of energy and extreme appetite I decided to run up to GNC and look for something to help me out. I typically try to avoid caffeine at any cost mostly because I don't want to get hooked and create a dependence...but yes I cheated and got a thermogenic. I purchased the TRANS4ORM EVL Energizer which is an appetite suppresent, energy enhancement and thermogenic supplement. Let me be clear about something. I DID NOT BUY THIS AS AN EASY FIX. I just wanted something that would help me create healthy habits. For this supplement it is advised that you take 2 pills a day 2x a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). I did this for 2 days. I was able to get up earlier, sleep better, complete a full workout without filling absolutely drained, as well as complete my other work responsibilities. HOWEVER each afternoon and evening I had extreme jitters and restless legs. It really helped my appetite, but it helped by making me extremely nauseous if i took more than a few bites of anything. After the first couple days I only took 2 in the morning. I still had the great energy and suppressed appetite, but I didn't have the jitters and nausea. I took 2 each morning for a week while I consistantly worked out for 2 hours a day. I really REALLY didn't want to get hooked on these so the next week I bumped it down to taking them every other day. Although I didn't feel quite as energized arriving to the gym on the days I skipped it, I still felt an energy buzz that was created from the workout itself once I left. The week after that I only took 1 pill in the morning every other day and still felt the same effect. By the 3rd week I wasn't taking any but I had created a strong gym habit. Going to the gym was no longer a chore, but it was something that I looked forward to! I also didn't feel controlled by food anymore. I preffered eating light because my stomach felt better with healthier options. Foods with high sugar and fat content left me feeling bloated with an upset stomach. Choosing good portions of lean meats, veggies, and fruits was easier because I felt a HUGE difference.

I'm glad that I took the supplement because it really worked for me. It helped me find a balance that I was comfortable with. I had never tried a thermogenic supplement before but I would recommend this one to anyone who needs a stepping stone to better habits.

Here are some quick tips that have helped me create healthy gym habits!

-GET UP EARLIER: Many of us simply have a difficult time finding time to make it to the gym! I've learned that getting up earlier makes getting to my workout much easier for several reasons! 1. There aren't as many people at the gym at 6 a.m. so I don't have to be as worried about being embarrassed by my rats nest and drool marks on my face. 2. I have more time to do other things with my day! 3. I have more natural energy and endorphins which give me a much better mood (a happy wife makes a happy life)

- STAY HYDRATED: Staying hydrated is soooooo important. Not only does it keep you from wanting to puke while you work out but it is a natural metabolism booster. Being even slightly dehydrated will slow the metabolism down by as much as 3% while drinking 17 oz of water (1 water bottle) increases the metabolism by as much as 30%!!! A good rule of thumb for hydration is to drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. (If I weighed 150 lbs I would need 75 oz a day)

-CREATE ATTAINABLE GOALS: The best way to reach a big goal, is to break it down into smaller attainable goals. Breaking it down gives you a way to create mutiple opportunities for success while keeping a bigger prize in mind. My goal was (is) to do 5 unassisted pull-ups. This is something I've never done before! I started doing assisted Pull-ups with a 60lb assist. I made sure to do at least 30 every day. As soon as I felt like I could handle a little more I would take 10lbs off the assist. Within a couple months I was down to where I could comfortably do 10 with a 30lb assist. Out of curiousity I decided to see if I could do any without. As I lowered myself down and pulled up, I was surprise! For the first time ever I did a pull-up! And even more surprising was the feeling that I was strong enough to do another....and another! Haha actually the third was was extremely strained but I still pulled my chin above the bar! I was 60% of the way to my goal! Whether it's weight loss, muscle gain, or running; working towards small goals will give you the confidence to keep pushing towards your big goals!

-FOLLOW PEOPLE THAT KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING!: I used to have beingembarrasedatthegymophobia. I would see all of these big pieces of equipment with these super skinny and muscluar people on them and I was soooo intimidated. I wanted to use the shiny pieces of large equipment.....but I was also terrified because I had no idea how to use them! I would mostly run for a little bit and then drag a yoga mat to the lonliest corner of the gym where I could do crunches. CRUNCHES=SIMPLE=NOT DROPPING A BIG PIECE OF EQUIPMENT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE AND KILLING SOMEONE= HAPPY

I started seeking out videos and tutorials from Instagramers. *****side note to all those people that take videos of the workouts they are doing at the gym: Thank you so much!!!!!****** There are thousands of unique workouts on instagram that are short and sweet and really show you how to use the equipment. Some of my favorites are @_mackenziekathryn @stansleyfitness @kiahmfit and @niniboogets_fit. They create easy to follow workouts that break down how the equipment and regular weights are used.

Now I wanted to make sure to leave you guys with my favorite fall recipe!

Pumpkin Protein Overnight Oats

These legitamately taste like pumpkin cookies!

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of old fashioned oatmeal

- 1 scoop of MusclePharm Cookies and Cream Protein Powder

- 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin

- 1 T Maple Syrup or Honey

- 1 t Pumpkin Pie Seasoning

- 1/2 cup of unsweetend vanilla almond milk

- 1 T of unsweetened chocolate chips (optional)

I like to use a 16 oz mason jar but you can use anything as long as it has a lid. First start by putting the oatmeal, MusclePharm Cookies and Cream Protein Powder, and pumpkin pie seasoning in the mason jar. I've tried a few different protein powders and this is the only one that I've liked. I like it because it is low in sugar and doesn't have that protein-y aftertaste that makes me want to gag. You can get the large 5 lb containers at Costco for a great deal. Once they are in the jar, put on the lid and shake it for a few seconds. This helps distribute the powder and spice evenly.

Next, open the lid and pour in the almond milk. I prefer 1/2 a cup of almond milk because it creates a consistancy that is a bit more thick. Add or decrease almond milk based on preference of consistancy. Add Canned Pumpkin and Maple syrup. Mix thoroughly until you can't see any dry spots in the jar. Place lid on the jar and put in fridge to sit overnight.

Dish out into bowl and stir to ensure all ingredients are mixed evenly. Add unsweetened chocolate chips and enjoy 370 calories of pure pumpkin joy!

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