A Gallon a Day Keeps the Bloating Away: How to properly hydrate and the benefits behind it

We all remember that cliché fact that we learned in the 3rd grade about how our bodies’ weight is made up of 60% of water. It was really cool for about ten seconds and then it was on to the next for us. Little did we know how important that fact really was to our health and bodily functions. As a whole, most of us do not even get nearly half the intake of water we should a day, and what is crazy is that it doesn’t seem to faze anyone. HUMANS NEED WATER TO BE HEALTHY; it’s basic biology and common sense.

As an athlete I always knew the importance of water because it was something that was always stressed about concerning hydration. My soccer days are a foggy memory constant “make sure you are hydrated”’s and “ladies start hydrating NOW”’s (two days before a big game). I drank water like crazy because I was thirsty and my body craved it. I never dug deep into the reasons as to why making sure my body was hydrated on a consistent basis could truly benefit me. Needless to say, I really wish I would have because ever since I have become a regular customer at the hydration train station, I have noticed a WHIRLWIND amount of differences in my workouts, moods, skin clarity, muscle aches and so many other things.

Yeah, yeah we get it. Water is good for us and we should definitely begin to drink more of it. I know that’s exactly what you all are thinking at this very moment. But I truly want to reap how important and nonetheless AWESOME being hydrated is.

When I began my journey of fitness and clean eating I always saw others carrying around gallons of water like obnoxious meat heads in the gym. Don’t judge a book by its cover is the lesson I learned for the 50th time that day. As I started learning more about the fit life, I realized that they were all carrying those jugs around because it was the gallon of water in which they were required to drink that day. I later took in this concept and WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE IN MY PHYSICAL APPEARANCE.

From that point on I have made it a point to drink a gallon of water a day. Any chance I get I am chugging that gallon. Peeing more frequently yes, but man, after about three days of consistently hydrating, bloating was non-existent, my skin started to clear up and my tummy was flatter than I had ever seen it in my life. My digestive system was regulated and the healthiest it had ever been in my entire life. It was so crazy to me that a SIMPLE change in my daily routine could provide me with such astounding and positive results. But silly me, it only makes so much darn sense!

Since my words only have so much credibility, I have gathered a list of important reasons from an article that the LIVESTRONG Website posted as to why we should all start taking our H2O consumption a little more seriously.

  • It’s a natural lubricant for our muscles and organs
  • Also a natural body cleanser
  • (an obvious one) Keeps us hydrated and ready to perform any physical activity at our best
  • Clear skin and better skin elasticity
  • Faster muscle recovery after weight lifting
  • Bloating is diminished almost completely
  • Digestion and bowel movements will naturally regulate and make you feel lighter and leaner

At the end of the day, water should be the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you go to bed. Chug some water upon waking up and right before you go to bed. Water, water, water. Keep track of how much you are drinking and in no time notice all the differences something so simple is going to change your life. I swear by this method and I am hoping that many of you give this concept a shot. It will not only aide your fitness progression and healthy eating consumption.

Get to drinking folks!

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Banana Sammies

If there are three things that I love more than an amazingly delicious, guilt-free treat, it is most definitely peanut butter, bananas and chocolate. So naturally, my food mixing obsessed self had to find something that contained all three of those heavenly substances and you best believe that I did just that. I am not even going to tell you all where I found this recipe because at this point it should be more than obvious that it was my favorite unhealthy addiction, Pinterest. This recipe was extremely easy, cheap and so so yummy. When I needed a quick snack in the middle of the day or a late night treat before bed these little guys came through for me every time.

Continue reading

Running For Fun: How to make yourself a better runner

10477627_10203510154092012_2122513690_n

“Running”. When most people hear that one single word, they cringe just thinking about having to physically take part in any form of it. Unfortunately, running is the red-headed step child in a world with beautiful models and workout routines. At what point does one ever truly become comfortable and passionate about running, though? The truth is, it very well may never happen for you. Becoming a runner and finding a love for it comes only to some people. Not everyone loves to run, just like not everybody loves to jam out to Taylor Swift every day (even though they should). The differences that becoming a runner can make in your life are extremely positive and will ultimately create yet another strong asset to your fit lifestyle.

Whether you are just beginning to get into running or you are an avid marathoner that puts in over 80 miles a week, there will always be one common factor for all levels of experience: finding ways to keep it fun is the ultimate challenge. I have heard so many people sigh and proceed to explain that running sucks because it’s boring to them and they would much rather be doing something else that is just as torturous. Sometimes it makes me sad because for me, running is a stress relieving hobby of mine that also reaps obvious and amazing health benefits too. I only wish that others could see why or how it is something that I have learned to enjoy and love for so long. PLUS, who wouldn’t want to experience the infamous “runner’s high”?! (It’s as awesome as they say).

Continue reading

How Yoga Can Change Your Life: The Mental and Physical Benefits of Yoga

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Professionals, we are not. Perfect, these poses are not. But me and a good friend of mine hope these fun and challenging beginner yoga poses can inspire you to get into this fun and healthy lifestyle.

So recently I began venturing into the yoga life. I have always heard of the “amazing” benefits and how it is one of the greatest workouts one could think to do. Even though people I knew swore by this practice, I was still just not sold on it being a workout worth my time. Where are the weights? Or the sweating? And what about those dumb yoga mats…yeah, no thank-you.

UNTIL NOW. Until YOG- “AAAAAAAH”.

The time finally came that I, Brenna O’Donnell, caved and decided to give this yogi life a chance. It has almost been a year since I stopped playing college soccer, and it was clear that my workouts were in extreme need for a change up. Open for many suggestions, my roomies were actually the ones who sucked me in. The worst part was that they weren’t even going to classes and paying buckets of money to get their yoga on. In fact, it was in their pajamas on their yoga mats in our living room, which they were on YouTube via laptop T.V., where they drew me in. The fact that I did not have to leave my house to lose myself within a world of stress free peace for 30 minutes, was entirely too enticing to me. Ever since that first trial of yoga I was completely HOOKED.

I just remember lying on my back after the workout sprawled like a dead rodent, nirvana engulfing my entire mind and body. I was at total peace; my mind was clear of any stress, anxiety, worries. In addition to that, my physical body was tired and exhausted… something I never thought could happen from such a baby weight workout right? WRONG. I was extremely pleased to find that yoga is not a “baby weight workout” and very well worth my time.

Continue reading

Avocado Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Not only has Halloween come and gone but the holidays are on the brink of us, and that means chocolate, candy and more chocolate. YEP. I am that girl. Every year I am thankful for chocolate pies, help-yourself bowls of dark Hershey kisses lying around homes everywhere, triple chocolate chunk cookies, chocolate cheesecakes, mini chocolate candies (that were obviously made for women to stash in their purses), left over candy from Halloween on a three-week extended-sale and even, dare I say, mocha coffee. The reason I “dare say it” is because I actually think mocha coffee is not coffee at all, but for some “white girl” reason I always find that my mocha-loving taste buds re-surface during the 3 month takeover of everything pumpkin/chocolate/cinnamon. Chocolate and sugar are two very essential components for a woman’s mental health, but mostly chocolate. Sad? Chocolate can fix that. Happy? Have a chocolate cupcake to celebrate. Is Aunt Flo in town? How about a chocolate-covered chocolate cookie and a fountain of white chocolate fondue to get you past that? Needing my chocolate fix, I hopped on over to the ever-so-faithful Pinterest app and as always, Pinterest won again. Help wanted turned into help found as I searched my way around the multitude of health food junkie pages. I finally came across a recipe that almost seemed (and looked) too good to be true. I skimmed through the list of ingredients, procedures and reviews to finally decide this might be something worth trying. The ingredient list is extremely simple and did not have anything exotic or pocket detrimental which was also a huge plus to this recipe. Continue reading

Interval Training: Maximizing endurance and fat blasting results

One of my favorite forms of cardio is interval training. We all have those days where our cardio game is in the pits. Where cranking out another 15 minutes of cardio on top of the 10 minute run that we just died on is just not going to happen. You can’t forget the weight lifting session that is scheduled to proceed your cardio either. But somehow all of these things have got to be completed one way or another.

Therefore, what I have learned to do on days like this is incorporate cardio INTO my weight lifting workouts via circuits, and utilize my short amount of cardio capacity via interval training.

Interval training is one of THE BEST ways to cut fat in a short amount of time. Not only does it ignite both your slow twitch and fast twitch muscles, but it heightens and lowers your heart rate the entire time you’re working; the key part being the heart rate action.

Here is the interval workout I did the other day during my cardio session. It was only a 15 minute workout, and it was the maximum amount of time in which I spent at the gym on a cardio machine. Of course if you’re still in the beginning stages of increasing your cardio, you will want to construct your workout according to what you are capable of. Always be conscious and aware of depicting the differences between pushing yourself to new limits and potentially injuring yourself.

Continue reading

Quinoa Enchiladas

So lately I have been dealing with a ridiculous Mexican food craving. Like when I say ridiculous, I mean weeks on end of passing by Rosa’s or Mamacita’s and having to physically restrain myself from pulling into the parking lot for a bag full of Taco Tuesday tacos.

Finally there came a point when I decided that something had to be done about this monster of a craving. I took this matter to the women’s version of Playboy; Pinterest. We women LOVE us a quality pinning session, almost as much as we love downing a bottle of wine mid sob while watching The Notebook. SN: Men, if you’re reading this and wondering what in the mother of pearl is Pinterest, it is your golden ticket to the inside of our girly desires, wants and dreams. So if you ever need tips on how to win that hot girl you sit next to in FDOM over, just take your confusion to her Pinterest boards; you will know everything about her in less than ten minutes. You are welcome.

ANYWAYS back to my Quinoa Enchilada journey. (If you couldn’t tell I also have an unhealthy addiction to Pinterest). I looked through every delicious meal I had pinned to my “FOOD” board and stumbled so perfectly upon this brilliant recipe. The ingredient list was simple, I already had half of them in my pantry and my trip to the grocery store for the rest of the ingredients was quick and easy.

Continue reading