Tag Archives | working out

Links You’ll Love: Working Out & Healthy Living

As we’re heading into Fall I thought it would be a good time for a round-up of posts that will help us with our healthy living goals for the rest of the year. Forgotten about your New Years Resolutions? Don’t despair! There’s still time to get yourself in fighting shape for 2015.

Read on for the latest Links You’ll Love round-up and get ready to be inspired!

Fashion & Beauty:

Keep your gear in fighting condition with these tips from FitSugar: Tried and Tested: The Best Laundry Detergent For Your Fitness Gear.

The chemicals in nail polishes can be a bit scary to contemplate so steer clear with these great alternatives from Mind Body Green – The 9 Best “5-Free” Nail Polish Hues For Fall.

Links You'll Love Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Healthy Living Workout Vegan Gluten-Free

The No Makeup makeup routine that’s perfect for looking fresh after a great workout. Luckily for us, Tienlyn from Thoughtful Misfit is giving us the scoop – #NOMAKEUP.

Magazine editors are known for being, well, in the know. They find out about new products and trends before the rest of us mere mortals so I always look forward to pieces where they divulge their favorites. Check out – 15 Products Allure Editors Always Keep in Their Gym Bags.

Want to give an activity level monitoring device a go but aren’t sure which one is right for you? Check out my FitBit review here or read Women’s Health’s – I Tested 7 Different Fitness Trackers at the Same Time.

Health & Fitness:

I’m loving the StyleCaster food diary series, it’s fun to see the different kind of diets and routines that some seriously fit people are following. Check out two of my personal favorites – Elle MacPherson, because if you’re a former model and your nickname is still “The Body” I want to hear what you have to say, and one of my favorite trainers – Kayla Itsines.

Sick of the recipes currently on repeat in your kitchen? Try this killer Tone It Up approved Thai Stir Fry.

Ready to get your booty in shape for this Fall? Be sure to check out this amazing leg workout and squat challenge from The Fitnessista.

Ready for some BBQ? Try some lighter, delicious fair instead of your old standbys:

Links You'll Love Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Healthy Living Workout Vegan Gluten-Free

Do YOU feel better when you’re working out and living healthfully?

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Working Out & Listening To Your Body

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since I started getting interested in health and fitness a few years ago is the art of listening to your body.

It’s so easy to let your moods or your schedule dictate your workouts. Or lack there of. There are so many factors on a daily basis it’s a wonder any of us every make it to the gym at all – Not enough sleep, too busy, it’s raining, ate too much, don’t feel like it…

Working Out Fitness Gym Health Nutrition San Francisco Lifestyle Blogger Workout Style

While I love sitting down for Sunday Prep each week – Food preparation, meal planning, workout scheduling – I have learned to stop placing pressure and guilt on myself for changing things up.

A perfect week would have a combination of yoga, pilates, weight training, running, and biking. But some weeks all I want to do is run. Other weeks I’m too busy during the day and can only make it to yoga once or twice after work. But rather than letting that guilt ruin my day or my perspective, I’ve learned to roll with the punches.

Take Stock:

Ask yourself – Why do you want to skip your workout? If you’re tired or sore, try something less strenuous like a walk during your lunch break. If you had your heart set on a run but it’s pouring out, try the stationary bike. Are you completely not in the mood for a traditional work out? Try zumba or another new class to mix things up and keep yourself engaged.

Remind Yourself:

Take a second to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Are you trying to fit into a bridesmaid dress? Get ready for vacation? Prepare for a race? If you’re not interested in working out, what else could help you prepare? Going for a walk, scheduling a class later that week, meeting a friend for a hike instead of cocktails later in the week…

Working Out Fitness Gym Health Nutrition San Francisco Lifestyle Blogger Workout Style

That last one is a BIG thing for me these days. Instead of meeting friends for drinks or dinner I’ll suggest a walk or rock climbing or invite them over for a healthy meal. Then I get to see my fabulous friend without worrying about getting off track.

Let It Go:

Whatever you decide to do, accept that decision and move on. This is by far the hardest part for me. Whenever I skip yoga or miss a workout a deep sense of guilt overcomes me. It’s like I’m letting myself down.

One of my resolutions for 2015 has been to stop placing blame and guilt on myself and this is one of the areas I’ve been working on. For me the key is to mentally walk myself through the steps: (1) Yes, I’m deviating from my schedule. (2) No, it’s not the end of the world. And (3) I can try again tomorrow.

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out Healthy Body Inspiration and Workout Motivation.

Working Out Fitness Gym Health Nutrition San Francisco Lifestyle Blogger Workout Style

{Images from Workout Motivation Pinterest Board}

How do YOU approach fitness?

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The Truth About Working Out

That’s an ominous title, no?

Today is all about reality checks and understanding what your goals should be if you want to feel your best.

Working out is great. I love it and can’t get enough. I’ll try anything and you’d do well not to stand between me and my endorphins. That being said… Your workout is just 20, 30, 60 minutes out of your day. If you want to feel – And look – Your best, you NEED to pay attention to the other 23 hours of the day.

“You can’t outtrain a bad diet” is one of my favorite sayings. What’s great about it is that it makes you think – Getting through that killer workout is great, but rewarding yourself with a pizza isn’t the best option.

How you fuel your body and how you spend your day are vital to reaching your goals. Eating a clean diet filled with whole foods and limited consumption of processed “food,” sugar, and preservatives is key.

What else is important? Read on for my top tips on staying healthy while you’re NOT in the gym!

Ellie Fitness Workout Gear Gym Clothes San Francisco Fitness Blogger MCLV

[1.] Walking

Whether you’re running errands on foot, walking to and from your office, or going out for an evening stroll with your pup – Make sure you spend some time on your feet each and every day. You’ll be amazed how much this will help your fitness goals – It clears your head and sets a healthy tone for the day.

After getting my FitBit last year I realized just how much walking I’m getting in each day – Usually between 3 and 5 miles daily during the week and between 5-15 miles each day of the weekend.

[2.] Standing

Sitting down is causing a whole host of health problems for our generation that have never before existed. From sitting on the couch while watching TV to sitting at your desk all day to sitting in your car during your commute – Think about just how much time you’re spending in this position every day.

  • Try biking or walking to work instead. Too far? Try taking public transportation and walking to/from the station. Spend the least amount of time possible in your car!
  • Set reminders for yourself throughout the day to get up from your desk. Even better? Do some stretching or core awareness work throughout the day to loosen up your body.
  • Bonus points if you can trade in your traditional desk for the standing variety. It can be a challenge to make the transition, but your body will thank you all day long!
  • Try stretching, rolling, or doing core work while you’re watching TV home. If I have a movie on there’s also a yoga mat out. Or resistance bands. Or a foam roller…
  • When your 2pm-3pm lull kicks in – Get outside!! Don’t reach for coffee. Don’t reach for sugar. Try getting in a walk or a workout around this time, or just go spend some time soaking up Vitamin D in a patch of sunshine. You’ll be amazed how much more clear-headed you are afterwards!

So tell me… What do YOU do when you’re not working out?

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{Guest Post} Food & The Daily Battle

Welcome to Part II of the Women’s Health series here on Moi Contre La Vie. Today we’re going to hear more from Megan of Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento on the daily struggle to eat well. If you’re new to this series be sure to check out Megan’s bio {Guest Post: Women’s Health} and her previous post – Fashion of the Fitness World.

Part 2: Food… The Daily Battle

I love ice cream, especially cookies & cream. I love cheeseburgers and extra crispy french fries. I can put down a serious amount of pizza. I love crafty cocktails and champagne. I worked in fine dining restaurants for 10 years and was privileged to indulge in some amazing dishes and glasses of wine…

But now I work in the fitness industry. And I constantly try to balance my view of food… Fuel or Delicious Goodness? My answer is both.

The majority of the time, on the day-to-day, food is fuel. Looking at it that way leads me to eating cleaner, leaner, and healthier. I view myself like a machine and if I want to run properly, perform well in my workouts, and feel energetic all day, I need to provide myself with the best fuel available.

I personally feel the best when I eat multiple times throughout the day, always beginning with breakfast. I feel great when I eat lean meat and eggs, lots of veggies and greens, and fresh fruit. I like nuts and trail mix for snacks and dried fruit for dessert. Avoiding the starchy carbs, dairy, and sugar is essential to feeling good.


However, coming from the restaurant industry, I love nothing more than a nice dinner out. I appreciate a perfectly cooked noodle and a salty piece of pork belly. And I absolutely love home-made ice cream and cookies at my mom’s house. These are the good things in life.

So, how do I balance it? When do I decide to devour a sandwich and when do I stick to a salad full of veggies? I practice MODERATION. I try to stick to healthy ‘fuel’ most of the time. When I treat myself to ‘carbs’ and sugar, I view it just that way… As a TREAT. I think it’s better that way anyway. I feel like crap when I eat sugar and bread days in a row and I stop appreciating it.

Everyone has to make their choices, each and every day. But awareness is where it all begins. If you never go without bread, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc., how will you ever know how you feel without it?

Our go-to detox at Kaia FIT is 7 days without the following:

  • All starchy ‘carbs’ (bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  • Sugar over 9g per serving (besides sugar naturally found in fruits/veggies)
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Processed Foods (if you can’t pronounce something on the label, avoid it!)

Eating clean is a great feeling and I highly recommend letting yourself experience it. And remember, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

A big thank you to Megan for this great insight into her way of thinking about nutrition. It’s very easy to get into patterns of binging or restricting, so avoid all the negative side effects of both of those ways of eating and try practicing moderation as Megan has suggested.

What’s your personal approach to your daily diet?

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Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts – Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.


You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}


Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.


Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds


Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.


So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:

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