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It does not matter how much I exercise, if I do not put healthy foods in my body, I will not be healthy.  It is really that simple.  Outside of my workouts, I maintain my body mostly with healthy food intake.  An hour of exercise at least five days per week is sufficient for me, and allows for great recovery and rest for my body.  How I feed my body is the maintenance work that takes place all day long, until I hit the sheets for sleep.  Even then, it is important to eat healthy food that promotes sleep as well. 

Yes, I build my body in the gym and prior to that ensure that my body is ready to go with the proper fuel to get me through my workout.  I purposely create a space on my client calendar where I am the client for a workout.  I give myself one hour of bodywork time and that is enough.  If my hunger bell rings just before my scheduled time, I will slam an apple or a few pieces of watermelon, and if over the top hunger hits, there is no way I am missing what my body is telling me…GO EAT.  It happens sometimes and I will not allow my metabolism to be thrown out of whack over one workout.   Most of the time though, a small piece of fruit and water will allow me to push forward and I fuel directly after my workout.  I have become quite the strategic eater and workout gal with my career as a personal trainer and coach.  

The maintenance work is always on call and important for a healthy body.  Like I shared earlier, there is no amount of exercise that will create a healthy body without the healthy food.  Some get caught up in a vicious exercise punishment cycle of I got to work that “shit” off or starvation mode the following day.  That creates a negative thought process about working out instead of looking at it as a gift for the body.  Before any backlash, I need to clarify that exercise is great and important for the body even if unhealthy food is being eaten, so please do not think I am saying not to exercise if your nutrition is not dialed in yet. The human body was made to be active and move, not remain stagnant and sedentary for hours on end.  So any steps taken to create a healthy body with exercise are POSITIVE steps. I understand that beginning and adapting a healthy lifestyle can be a struggle in the food department and if exercise is the first thing on the agenda to incorporate…that is great. 

What I am saying, and I will use my personal life as an example, is that my body is at its’ healthy best when I am simultaneously eating healthy and exercising consistently.  It is a LIFESTYLE of building and maintaining that has been fine tuned over the years.  It does take years to develop muscle, maintain that muscle and fuel the body in ways to keep that muscle.  Without healthy food and not eating, I would lose all the hard work made in the gym, and that is just not going to happen, besides…I LOVE to eat!

My main maintenance foods consist of lean proteins, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber.  Examples would be boneless skinless chicken breast, lean ground turkey, eggs, yogurt, nuts, seeds, oats, all types of greens and vegetables along with fresh fruits, and healthy oils.  I prefer to purchase all my healthy food products organic, humanely and sustainably raised, and non-GMO (genetically modified organism).  If I am on track at least 90% of the time with my healthy food intake for maintenance, I feel pretty good enjoying my occasional treats.  I do not deny myself if I want to enjoy a cookie, brownie, pie, frozen yogurt, etc. as long as the dessert or “cheat meal” is quality.  There is no way I am downing a packaged processed non food item for a “treat meal”…did you catch how I changed that up?  The indulgence would have to be home baked or gourmet, all natural quality ingredients and provide over the top fabulous flavors in my mouth.  

Overall, the combination of work in the gym, maintenance with the food, plenty of rest, and balance of life with work and play is what makes up healthy ME.  I do not believe in calorie restriction, over exercising my body to risk physical injury, or overworking myself to unmanageable stress levels.  Life is about being healthy and the work in the gym and maintenance with the food is just a part, but very important part, of the success of living a healthy life, feeling my best, and enjoying the results of living this way. 


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