How Cycling Changed My Relationship With Body Building

You may have noticed I changed the blog and Facebook page from “body building beginnings” back to its original state of Healthy & Nutritiously Sweet.

Let’s back up for a second shall we? Since I started cycling, my upper body and back (which is my weakest area) have become stronger and more muscularHere is  a snippet from my AAAI/ISMA cycling studies:

“The postural muscles; these include the neck, chest, back and abdominal muscles. These muscles are active during cycling to maintain the body in a stable position of the saddle and to resist the effects of gravity thus allowing the lower body muscles to generate the power needed to rotate the pedals.”We all know that the lower body muscles such as the quads, calves and glutes are going to benefit from cycling, but would you have expected the upper body and back muscles too?

I knew my arms were getting a workout because when you jog out of the saddle, your body is holding yourself up to balance on a the bike. It would make sense that your back muscles are getting a workout too!Now cycling has allowed me to tone up not only in my upper and lower body, but also the abs and waist. I noticed I am developing a  “two pack” as well as the outline of the abs. I have extra skin from my 100lbs+ weight loss, but for the first time I feel very comfortable in my skin because I know progress isn’t going to happen overnight. I am happy being strong and healthier then I have ever been before.

The reason I started cycling was because back in April, I got injured (and sick) and I had to take a break from body building. I still did some workouts here and there, but not to the fullest of my program. I then decided to take a chance on my friend’s spin class. He told me that he would give me a better experience then my previous spin class (since I was traumatized from my first!).

From the moment I took his class, I fell in love with the spin bike. For once in my life I didn’t have any limitation, cycling is much easier on the joints. I have two rotator’s cuff, an elbow spur and had hip and knee surgery over 10 years ago. While I love body building, I was limited with the exercises I could do and had to modify quite a bit. I ended up over deadlifting and injured my back very badly, on top of being sick.

I started incorporating the body building plan while I was cycling and I noticed a few changes; the more I did heavy resistance on the spin bike for a short time, the better my strength training. The more I did sprints on the bike at a longer distance, my performance body building declined. I also didn’t feel like I had the proper energy since I my “diet” was still following the bodybuilding plan; I needed more carbs.

I decided to keep studying cycling and do my own research as well. I decided that I was going to discontinue following the body building plan that I was doing. I went on to create/revamp my own eight week coaching and strength training plan where I could include body building type exercises and still enjoy other activities like cycling and yoga. I managed to drop 10lbs in one month, which was not my intention at all.

But I felt great, energized, nourished and healthy. My youngest brother lives with me and he has noticed that I have been happier and healthier. I don’t view food as strict as I did with bodybuilding, but rather I view it as nourishment and fuel for my health and workouts.

There were times during body building where I feared carbs because you are conditioned to think in “protein.” But as a person who has a bit of kidney problems, too much protein isn’t really a good thing. 

I can enjoy my protein truffles as a pre and post workout snack again. Not that I didn’t eat them during my body building plan, but they just weren’t as enjoyable as when I’d add in pure maple syrup or cranberries for some simple sugar and carbs fuel-age.It’s important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Had I not became injured, my love for cycling would not have happened. Cycling even allows me to listen to my body more because I know if I am sore or tired, it ain’t gonna happen. I have never loved something as much as I love baking and yoga.

I feel the healthiest, leanest and strongest then I ever have post weight loss. This September marks the 5th year of my weight loss anniversary and I can say moving forward things are only going to get better.

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Two Months of Progress (Nov 13′- Jan 14′)

Happy Sunday and February 2nd!

Can you believe it’s already February? Me neither! I come to you to show you some progress, February goals and share with you some more body building things. And stay tuned for what I ate Wednesday where I will actually show you a whole day of food versus just showing you random eats throughout the week.

Some goals that I have in mind for February?

  • Do yoga at least 2x’s a week.
  • Sauna at least 2x’s a week or one hour total.
  • Increase my cardio sessions by 5 minutes.
  • Get under 155lbs.
  • Reduce my sugar intake and have any form of chocolate “goodies” only 2′s per week.

In mid-November I began to get more serious about training; seeing a personal trainer and gaining my own knowledge for my coaching plan.I have lost several inches around my waist, not to mention a little ab flattening action. My legs and arms are leaning out and my *ehem* chest has gone down. It’s only been two months and I am quite proud even though it’s only been about a 6.2lb loss. Hey I’ll take it, but I got to make sure to work on this back of mine. Here is a day 11 shot of back and legs (I started bodybuilding on January 22). I am proud however of my legs; look at those quads growing!My brother is even joining in on some body building workouts. I am seriously proud of him and he’s even been eating healthier. It’s all about progress not perfection and everything in moderation.I still have my Green Mountain coffee; usually consists of stevia/ raw sugar, cocoa powder and skim or soy milk. Sometimes I will even mix in a tablespoon or two or protein powder if I drink it post workout. So good!Live, laugh and lift <3

Confession: My Training and Some Truth

Happy Monday y’all!

Let’s get down to business shall we? Many of you follow my Instagram or Facebook page or even my personal Facebook. I am sure you are probably wondering “what is this “training” you speak of? No it’s not a batch of revamped protein pancakes.Well today is day seven of training and let me explain; bodybuilding training. Now I am not talking about crazy bikini competition body building training because well y’all know I love my chocolate, Starbucks and specialty lattes way too much. But I have decided to find my own middle ground and I am further developing MY personal health and fitness plan.Little by little, I am putting a plan together for healthy body building. For those that have my plan, you know I am all about balance and moderation. I don’t like extreme diets or workouts. I like a plan that is fun, effect and suitable for all.Because after all, whatever you did to LOSE the weight, is what you will have to do to keep it off! You don’t want to do some crazy insanity type stuff everyday forever, do you? If you do, that’s cool too!

If you are looking for a new fitness routine or tips/ meal plans to tweak your current diet, I totally urge you to check out my coaching program here. It’s only $39.99 and for two months you get unlimited access to yours truly, a fitness plan, eating plan as well as tips and tricks throughout the two months. Every person who has the plan, will always get the updated fitness plan in their inbox!

So I need to have some form of goal at the end of all this?! Well to be honest, I haven’t been truthful with y’all. Let’s just say long story short I did choose to gain weight for myself (10lbs) but also I gained weight for a boy. Yes, a boy who said I was too skinny in the 130′s and he said he’d like it better if I had more meat. I was already gaining back 5-10lbs for health reason so I thought why not 5-10lbs more?!

After getting out of that relationship and being truly single for almost a year now, I realized that I wasn’t myself. The real Sabrina knows how to be focused, balance treats, workout 5-6 times a week, cook, bake and listen to Nine Inch Nails. The real Sabrina, I realized hadn’t been around for almost five years and that surprised me. I can’t believe (though I was sick a couple weeks ago) how much more happy and vibrant I am.

People even comment on it; just something I never took the time to realized. Okay, what am I training for besides personal goals and my fitness plan development? Certification.

Summer is that time again where I have to renew my certification but I am thinking of either going one of two routes; level two person training (there are 3 levels and a Master personal trainer certification) or YOGA INSTRUCTOR.

Yes you heard well. I just honestly haven’t decided and who knows I may do neither and go into something else. What do y’all think?! What do YOU see me as?

Have a great week everyone :)

Work Hard, WorkOUT Harder

I have been kicking it up a million notches this week.

When I first started to restart my journey pre-challenge, I got up to 168lbs in early November. There is just something about the holidays that makes me want to get fit. For the past four years of end of the year holidays, I have lost weight. I tend to gain weight, if I ever do, around March- April. I don’t know why, that is just me.

One thing I wanted to mention [and it may be TMI!] is that I stopped taking my birth control. I haven been taking it since I was 17 due to my horribly irregular periods. I use to get them about twice a month but the pills helps to maintain one a month.

Hence explaining some of my health issues and increased anemia back then. It’s been a week and so far I notice that I have a bit more energy and my breasts are not as “swollen.” I think this means it’s time for a new birth control pill? But any who, I am happy with how this here Sabrina is looking and I am proud of her to the T!My friend/ trainer has been kicking my ass [and teach me a ton], but I love it. For once, someone gets to push me around, instead of me pushing around my clients. Now I know why they “love/hate me” during a session. Pay back right?

Post yoga or before work, I enjoy a cup of espresso or just coffee with soy milk. Seriously this honey latte from Pleasent St. Tea CO. is bomb!Eats have been nice and clean. Mostly for dinner I don’t have a “starchy carb” like rice or red roasted potatoes. I stick to veggies and I honestly never thought I would get to that point where I crave a bowl of veggies. I am quite impressed with myself.

I’ve been making sure to keep up with my meal planning or at least having foods I can go to in the case that I forget to bring something or cook one day.Still eating a ton of figs and protein pancakes. It’s been established; I have a problem.

  • Pre-Challenge SW: 168lbs (11/1)
  • Challenge SW: 164lbs (11/13)
  • CW: 159.8lbs (12/13)

This means I am down 4.2lbs from the challenge and 8.2lbs from my highest this year! #happydance! And no worries… selfie overloads are only on challenge update posts ;)

Question: Favorite kind of coffee flavor and/or style? Or no coffee at all? The honey cinnamon latte is on my top favorites but I love Green Mountain coffee and Starbucks Lattes!

Keeping Healthy Update #3: Hashtag Style!

It’s week three into the challenge for me!

And I have a bodshot comparison for you guys. I won’t show anymore until the challenge is done, meaning around the last week of December for me. But first how about some breakfast? I changed up my usual protein pancake and added flax seeds instead of the chia or hemp. #FuelYourBody#Bodshot time; week three versus week one!I am so happy at how flat my tummy is getting. If you notice, I do have a pocket of extra skin above my belly button. It’s just something that isn’t going to go away and I am 100% okay with it. As long as I am healthy, feeling good and fit, that is all that matters. #GymLifeHere is a little sample of one of my workout days. Lately I also have been doing more yoga; at least three times a week, one being a hot power #yoga sesh. I am going to be changing it up this week but this was one of my lower body and abs sessions. I started out with a good weight I could handle, then went to a weight I could barely do reps, then dropped it to a super low weight. It’s pyramid/ drop set training. #NoPainNoGainIf you want to know more about that please let me know because it will be in the coaching plan for next year! And oh, don’t forget to enter the #giveaway; last day is tomorrow! If you want additional entries, follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook and let me know in a comment below (and if you already do, post it below too!). You can do this whenever and doesn’t apply to the entry deadline. If you haven’t “officially” entered, you must do so by posting a comment to this post by clicking here!

And one lucky person from the Bronx (#NYC area) will win a free week pass to Excel Yoga (so if you are in one of those areas, comment below! You have til the 24th and I will pick the winner!)

Question: How was everyone’s weekend? Can you believe it’s almost the middle of December already? #TimeFlies

Keeping Healthy Challenge/ Giveaway Prizes?!?!

Okay, so I wasn’t clear about the giveaway prizes! But here they are in plain English for you to read. And if you haven’t entered, there still is a chance! You can (to make life easier) leave a comment to this post (or the original) saying how you plan to stay healthy.

When I do my last “update” for the giveaway/ challenge, you just have to do another comment there stating how you did on managing your goal or what you could have done better. Two comments total; easy enough?

Giveaway includes (Over $80.00 worth!):

  • A copy of my “Keeping Healthy” Handy Lifestyle E-Book Plan
  • Body Toning Wrap from ItWorks (1)
  • Sample of Greens from ItWorks in Berry (2)
  • ItWorks Dark Chocolate Raspberry Energy Bar (1)
  • Health Warrior’s Chia Bar in Acai Berry  (1)
  • Softlips Pure Organic in Pomegranate (1)
  • Mini Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bar (1)
  • Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter (1)
  • Nature’s Path Hemp Instant Oats Packet (1)
  • Hemp Hearts Packet (1)
  • Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate Squares
  • Assortment of tea packets (just cause I am addicted, #sorryi’mnotsorry)

So we have two “health,” five “berry” cool, two chocolate-, two peanut-y butter-y and two hemp-y things (plus teas!) to giveaway. I tried to make it fun! Everyone has until THIS MONDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, to enter the giveaway.

That’s still a bit over three weeks to stay on track or get yourself back on the health wagon to set the tone for the New Year! Thanks to Kendal for giving some of her ItWorks products for y’all to try!

Good luck!

“Keeping Healthy” til 2014: Week One & Updates!

Hello my friends!

Now, let me give you a quick update of things, shall we? I won’t get into detail of anything but I currently now work at Workout World (aka W.o.W) and the YMCA as a health coach and personal trainer to be (sometime early next year!).I am so excited to embark on this new journey. And also? My brother is going to be starting school here in Massachusetts! Yep, we are going to be roomies, that should be quite interesting ;). [My 25th Birthday].Okay, so I’ve been doing sauna action at least twice a week at my new gym (W.o.W). Love, love, love it! Bod shot: It’s not too bad but slowly the bloated is going down.

 This week I had to focus on portions, which went it was not easy at all pretty well. Thank goodness for a good ole cup of java. Here’s a front shot for y’all.

This week I am at 162.8lbs! That is a 1.2lb drop, which is awesome considering I only worked out 4 times in the past two weeks. Just haven’t been feeling well [yet again], but I think this time I am back on my a-game. *CrossesFingers*

Question: Boy, that was a bunch of selfies… my bad! Ever have those over-selfie moments? How are you keeping healthy this week? Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY/ Challenge here :)

Weight Training Vs. Cardio: Which Is Better?

Hello my friends!

I can now officially share with you the good news and announce that I am officially and certified personal trainer through AAAI/ISMA (the other was passing my summer classes, yay)! I put in a lot of hard work to learn the anatomy and physiology of the human body and what is most effective for living a healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t already, check out the Online Coaching sections for a few updates I made to the page.

For today’s post, I bring you some information on weight training versus cardio. A few of people have been asking me about this topic as well as myself thinking what is most effective. I like to experiment with different workouts and I beleive this post will cover my views on both!

The truth to that answer?

It depends. Cardio is a great place to start for weight loss. It kick starts your metabolism and gets your heart rate up. For your cardio, you want to try to do the first 10-15 minutes as HIIT; high intensity interval training mode and then follow that with 15-30 more minutes of low intensity cardio. Since our bodies cannot sustain such high intensities during a cardio session, that’s weight weight training comes in. With weight training, the heart rate is able to stay up longer and you are building muscle for your body. More muscle means less fat.

Think  of it this way; for every pound of muscle you have, you burn an additional 50 calories a day. If you have 10lbs of muscles (which is ideal to gain), you will be burning 3,500 calories per week aka one pound of fat. This means that at rest, your body will continue to burn fat versus if you just this cardio, the after burn doesn’t last that long.

Some great exercises to include in your weight training routine are the following; shoulder press, squat, dead-lift, dips, chin-ups, bench press, curls and lunges. Why?

Well these are what they call “multiple body part” exercises; meaning they will target more then one body part, causing more muscles to be worked on and built. They now include more of these exercises and like I mentioned in my previous post, while eating “maintain weight calories” I dropped a pant size in about a month.

Imagine what you can do when you are giving it 110% and trying to achieve your health goals? With my knowledge as a newly certified personal trainer through AAAI/ISMA, I have revamped the previous workout plan (as well as the online coaching plan). My workout plan includes four different body part days plus cardio.

Your cardio can be done right before your weight training routine or first thing in the morning. Ideally, I would say do your cardio first in the a.m, that way you can kick start your metabolism and getting it foing for the whole day.

Question: Hope y’all enjoyed my first fitness type post! What’s your take on cardio versus weight training?

The Way She Smiles

Even though it is a pain to wake up at 5:00am on the weekends, I don’t mind looking at this beautiful sight. So… a member at my gym the other day walked in and literally stopped in his track. He did a double take and said he was memorized by me. Seriously best compliment EVER.I don’t know what it is, but I find myself smiling a lot more the past few days. Trying to have a positive outlook on life. You guys helped A TON by leaving me all those amazing comments. It really made me feel loved and special.Not to mention I received some amazing news in two different places. I am so excited as to what is in store for me. My mom even sent this e-gift card from Starbucks. She is seriously the bestest and it totally made my day. Thanks mom! Don’t worries, you guys will be in the loop very soon!It’s been nice to relax and enjoy my favorite toffee nut soy latte. Bliss! I’ve been hitting it harder at the gym too. Now that class is over, I can get back to more intense workouts. I don’t like to work out to hard personally when I have class just because I don’t want to be so drained mentally. Since I have been following my revamped coaching plan and now hiting the gym hard, I have dropped a pant size (8 -> 6) in about a month! I pretty much have been eating “maintian weight calories” and following the new workout plan since July 12th. I wasn’t doing it for weight loss purposes but I ended up losing about 6 lbs. I love that my clothes are feeling looser and I can buy some tighter clothing. Like this dress for example; I could never wear it before but now that my body is getting more toned and where I want it to be, I feel confident rocking it!Question: How was everyone’s weekend? Anything exciting happen? For me I ended up working 14 hours on Sunday! It was exhausting but I am gratful for more hours. #ItsTheLittleThings

Coaching Special (Last Chance!) + Recipe!

It’s the last week (offer expires on August 9th)  to sign up for the new “One Month In A Healthy Hurry” health and wellness plan! We all know that for some of us, school is upon us.

Or maybe your vacation is almost over. Whatever the case may be, you might have fallen off the wagon in terms of your healthy habits. Whether you dined out too much or stopped exercising, this quick plan can help you get back on track!

“Thank you for your email, tips and workout program (which I plan to start next week) – your input has been very helpful and very motivating!” -Gretchen

At a cost of only $10? What do you have to lose? Well maybe a couple of pounds, inches or maybe a few bad habits you got yourself into. Like I mentioned, the plan comes with the following:

  • One Month Workout Plan
  • Sabrina’s Top Tips & Tricks
  • Weekly Check-In
  • Plus, Unlimited Emailing Coaching for a whole month

I have been so happy with the results of this new plan. I have more energy and have even lost almost 5lbs* in ten days! If you do have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to leave them below or e-mail me at NutritiouslySweet@gmail.com.

***

Today is Monday and I am already looking forward to the week ending. By the way, I’m not sure if I ever shared how I make my GF laughing cow (hummus for vegan)  tortilla “pizza.” Either way, I am going to share it with you now because I think it’s just so delicious and quick when you are craving pizza.

Which for me happens to be all time. I don’t know why because for the past couple of years I could care less about pizza but now I am craving it like mad. Oh; maybe because I live right next to a pizzeria. Yeah, sounds about right…

Ingredients for Garlic & Herb Tortilla “Pizza”

  • 1 Brown Rice Tortilla (or your choice)
  • 1 Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow (or 1 Tbsp of Roasted Garlic Hummus for Vegan)
  • 1 tsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of Flax Seeds
  • 1 Cup of Baby Lettuce or Spinach (or your choice greens)
  • 2 tsps of Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Nutritional Yeast for Vegan)
  • Dash of Black Pepper (and extra garlic powder)

Take your brown wrap and heat it on a pan or a toaster over for about two minutes. Once it is warm, spread laughing cow (or hummus) onto tortilla. Let olive oil and chia seeds sit together for about five minutes. Drizzle the olive oil over tortilla then add all spices, herbs and seeds on top.

Spread greens over tortilla then sprinkle Parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic on top. Place tortilla back into toaster over (or place in the oven at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes) for 3-5 minutes until tortilla is browned. Remove, cut up and eat!

Question: Do you make tortilla “pizzas”? What do you put on em’? Like Laughing Cow cheese wedges? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

*Results may vary. Remember every BODY is different.