7 Ways to consistently stay motivated in your weightloss journey

In a weight loss journey, motivation and consistency are some of the hardest things to maintain. Once I discovered how to stay motivated, things changed consistently, and fitness is now a lifestyle. 

Many tips will help you become consistently motivated, but I feel these are seven ways I feel helped me on my journey. I’m sharing seven ways to stay consistent. 

The first tip to be consistently motivated:

Remember your “Why?”, Often!

A way to mentally stay consistent is to remind yourself of your why and remind yourself often. Why did you start the goal? Was it to get a specific size. That only lasts for a moment, and then it falls by the wayside.  Dig deep and find something that will get you up on those hard days. What’s motivating you to change your script and make a change. It prompted you to begin, which is probably the hardest part. 

Be careful how you speak to yourself. 

Another tip to help you stay motivated on your journey. It is how you speak to yourself. Be careful about how you talk to yourself because you’re listening.

Too often, we say what we believe we’re unable to do. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do something; you’re powerless. You don’t have time; you don’t have money. There are so many reasons why you can’t do so many things.  You need to figure out what you can do, and you start telling yourself that you can. 

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Stop feeling guilty and stop seeking perfection.  

When people look at me they think, she does everything entirely. I remember being eight-five pounds heavier, scrolling watching other perfect people.  But we all started as a beginner. It took me over two years to achieve my goal. You’re never going to climb a mountain without mishaps.  There will be slips, falls, and stumbles throughout the entire process. Setbacks and progress, and even when you reach the top, you may trip up a little, and that is okay.  

 Stop feeling guilty about the things that you messed up and are already done.  Stop worrying about what you did yesterday; it’s already happened. Just focus on what you’re doing today and what you can do for your next decision.

 

 

Perfection is overrated!  To get you to where you want to go, you may have to stop getting caught up in perfection. There’s only one perfect person that walks this planet, and His name was Jesus, who knew we would never meet perfection without Him.


Prioritize Yourself

We prioritize what we feel is important; usually, our own personal care is last. I remember when I did not prioritize myself, and it affected everything that I did.  When I began taking time to do devotions every day, being mindful of how I nourish my body and moving, that took the time that I had to make within my day to care for myself to be my best.  I had to sacrifice some of my habits and replace them with better habits.  I had to combine some things within my day to make time, but ultimately. I had to prioritize what I felt was necessary. 

Do you have 20-30 minutes a day to spare for yourself?  You can prioritize your favorite television show. Making sure you don’t miss that you can’t miss the appointment.  You also prioritize your children’s time. They will get where they need to be when they need to be there, even if it’s something as simple as a playdate.   Put yourself on the schedule for 20 minutes a day and see the difference in how you show up in other areas of your life. 

Find some good accountability.


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We were meant to live in the community so that we could hold each other accountable. Even as we walk different journeys together, we are to be there for each other. Whether it’s online or that person in your life that loves you unconditionally, find some accountability. 

A right accountability partner loves you and can support you by letting you cry on their shoulder but, at the same time, pick you back up and tell you to get back out there and do it all over again. So pray and seek out the right accountability partner.  If you are having difficulty finding one, I would love to hold you accountable in my Bible and Bootcamps program or on my FaithFueled Life App. Once you find that accountable person, you create boundaries for those who don’t qualify to join your support team.

 Set Boundaries

There are people in your life who, despite how much they love you or you love them, are not significant influences on living a healthier lifestyle. Those people need to create boundaries.  They won’t understand why you’re changing your habits or the funny stuff that you may be eating, and that’s okay. Don’t let other people’s judgment affect your conviction to honor your temple.  Just pray that your transformation is a motivation for them to live a healthier lifestyle.  Protect your peace by finding other ways to love them that do not involve food.  It may change the dynamics of your relationship for good.  

If you set up proper boundaries, you think this would be a given, but sometimes we let other peoples’ opinions run rampant in our head.  At least, I do.  I sometimes care what I think others will consider or what other people don’t approve that I don’t try something that I might enjoy. For example, the Backlash when tried the Keto Diet or Intermittent Fasting and found that those things work for my body despite others’ opinions.  We are all different, so don’t let other people’s opinions dictate what you’re doing on your journey.

 


If you’re going to try any of my tips, I will start by celebrating the small win that you are trying to make a change in your life. Don’t focus on the end goal. Take it day by day, moment by moment, and enjoy the process.

 

Which one of these tips are you going to try? 

 

 

 

How the Pandemic Changed Me

Here we are a year into a pandemic, and we can reflect and see how the pandemic has changed us. A year of quarantine, presidential elections, racial injustice, and life’s challenges will change you. Add on a global pandemic, and it’s one of those memorable years of your life.  Usually, when I reflect at the end of the year, I look at accomplishments and setbacks I’ve had over the year.

I feel following the year 2020; survival alone is an accomplishment that trumps all others.   There were many losses and gains during the pandemic.  People have lost many loved ones this year, I have been blessed not to lose too many families to COVID, but I have experienced many losses this year.  I’ve also gained so much more.

This pandemic has changed me in so many ways: physically, spiritually, mentally, and relationally.  This year I could categorize as three r’s: removal, revealing, and restoration.  As I wrote early into the pandemic, throughout it, all God is still good.  I don’t think anyone can say they haven’t been changed from all this.  I wanted to share what has changed for me over this past year.

How the pandemic changed me physically?

Physically? I’ve gained some weight in all the right places.  I haven’t felt so good in my skin in a long time.  I’ve gained about 13 pounds. I’m about 7% more body fat than I was last May, but I am in a completely different space in my life. I have nothing to prove and am happily living an active lifestyle.  I am no longer prepping to be on stage for a figure competition.

I have mixed emotions about bodybuilding. I loved prepping.  The regimen being told what to do. I focused on a goal and seeing the results of my labor.  When it comes to how I eat and how I move, it looks completely different than a year ago.  Over the last year, we had to adapt in all areas of our life.  It’s been the most transitional year for some people.

The word “pivot” was a common annoyance and, at some points, a necessity.  Over the last year, I’ve learned to love so many different forms of movement. I now train differently, and my body feels different. I’m no longer rigid and stiff.  I don’t panic if I miss a workout session, and I am really moving my body every day how I feel I should move it somedays its yoga, barre, pilates, weight lifting, kettlebells, running (those days are rare), playing, medicine balls. It is very random because my goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, not hit a certain number on the scale or body impedance.  It’s liberating and freeing and enjoyable, not a task or a to-do to check off. It’s an “I get to try” or “I get to do.”

I’ve had so many new experiences this year by just trying and doing.

I also feel that my body has changed but for good. It’s softer and not so chiseled. I’m still super strong, and I still love to box jump, but I feel more fluid and less creaky in my motions. Recovery is a major priority for me and something that I incorporate daily.  I feel amazing in my skin, and my confidence has increased this year.

How did my mental health change during the pandemic?

That has been a mental change in this pandemic. I have gained so much confidence in myself and my abilities.  So much so that I left the gym I was working for to work for myself and, by the grace of God, have been booked solid since.  A year ago, I was praying for clients. Now I have a waitlist, app members and each Bible and Bootcamps round keeps growing.  All because I decided that if I trust in God and believe in His promises, He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I have entrusted my business and ministry to God, and He has blessed me abundantly in this last year.

How did my spiritual health change during the pandemic?

My spiritual health has changed too.  I have always prayed to have an intimate relationship with God and to find others. God has supplied me with that and so much more. In the last year, I have been in God’s Word more than ever before, and it has been the peace I needed to weather the uncertainties of this world. My faith and trust in God have grown exponentially throughout this year and really given me the authority to step into God’s calling for me.  I feel bold in my faith and eager to be used for God’s glory.  The passion has grown fervently within this last year.

How did my relationships change?

My relationships have changed as well. As I said, this has been a revealing year, and from the companies I represent, my church I was attending, and some personal relationships have ended.  I’m not sure if the pandemic caused these revelations or my growth, but I am finding that there has been much pruning in my relationships. And God has brought people in my life that I never knew existed. I often prayed for them, but when you see answered prayers in new connections. It’s exciting.

My family has also grown stronger over this year which I am grateful and blessed. We weathered a very challenging year some families didn’t end the year more connected. There were many stressors and strains but we focused on God and He truly delivered my family through the bad times.

The pandemic has changed us

This pandemic has changed us all. Some things may have been revealed that you didn’t know that needed to be addressed.  Some people may have been removed from your life unexpectedly, and you may have gained a few pounds from filling or controlling your feelings with food.  But when you count your blessings, you realize that “God is still good,” and sometimes changes is for good. Even if we can’t see it now.  God is always for our good.

Check out my podcast

I’m a co-host for a podcast called Fit Black Queens podcast. We share the black girls’ perspective of health, wellness, and fitness, and I’d love for you to subscribe and see how my co-host has changed during the pandemic. As well as other episodes.

So, my question to you is: How has the pandemic changed you?  Are you carrying forward with the good or staying stuck in the bad?

7 Natural Alternative to Relieve Muscle Soreness

I received a $50 gift card t shop at Swanson’s Health Products in exchange for a blog review post. I have also received free products from Tp Therapy and Dirty Bird Energy. Although I received these items for free, they do not affect my opinion. My Full Disclosure Policy

I don’t know if it’s my age or the fact that I am active every day, but I don’t remember having muscle soreness on a daily basis.  I tell people if I don’t wake up sore something is wrong. Muscle soreness is a part of my life and just like anything that makes you uncomfortable you want to find a better way.

I was in Las Vegas this summer at the IDEA World Convention. During my first day, I spent 9 hours of getting certified for STRONG by Zumba, at which, I believe six of those hours were exercise. (At least it felt like it; I may be being dramatic so maybe 4.5) But it was more than an hours worth of group fitness.  At the end of the day, I was whooped and sore. I had a nagging issue in my pec that radiates to my shoulder; now I know its bicep tendinitis, but at the time I had no idea what was wrong. It’s not an injury or strain just the fact that I am 35 years old and I do push-ups and pull-ups almost every day could probably be the problem.

Regardless, by the third day of IDEA, my usual nag had become a scream. I was in tears because of the pain.

I have a high tolerance for pain and yep, pulling the natural birth Mom card. “I had my babies naturally!” So, for it to bring me to tears meant it was pretty painful.  I hate taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen. My stomach is really that sensitive.

My roommate offered me two things that I had never heard of before.  5 Arnica 30c tablets and a Salspas patch. Can I say Magic?  I placed the Arnica 30c under my tongue, slapped that patch on my shoulder and next thing you know I was waking up. The pain must have subsided and allowed me to go to sleep.

When I got home, I had to get this fantastic homeopathic remedy, so I checked out Swanson Health Products which is my go-to for affordable Natural and Homeopathic needs and was able to stock up on everything Arnica.

Being the nerd that I am of course, I had to see why many people didn’t know that this natural pain reliever existed. terrific  I have sent many to Swanson’s to get their own, and it’s in quite a few of their gym bags.

I also carry the cream and one day I have hit my shin on the grocery cart (have you ever done that “OH MY GOODNESS”) put the cream on my shin and it stopped throbbing in about 2 minutes and didn’t leave a bruise for once. I now swear by it like Windex, and my girls are always asking for the Arnica Oil at home for their “Boo boo’s” well actually that’s just Mimi my older ones just get it themselves.  I am grateful my Roomie shared her homeopathic goodness, and now as always, I feel obligated to share too.

Why not Tylenol?

Other than being really conscious of what I put in my body (that whole honor your temple conviction thing I got going) I am one of those people who hate taking pills. It’s not that I can’t I just don’t want to and if I can get relief by letting little candy-like pellets dissolve or rubbing cream; sign me up, for pain relief. Other than that I will suck it up and deal with it. There are also many adverse side effects associated with prolonged Acetimophrin consumption.

According to Dr. Dennis Lee, “Even though Tylenol most likely does not cause serious liver damage in recommended doses, it can cause elevations of liver enzymes in the blood suggesting injury to the liver. In a study of 145 healthy subjects who were randomized to receive placebo or 4 grams of Tylenol daily for two weeks, subjects in the placebo group experienced no elevations of ALT, a liver enzyme, but 33%-44% of the subjects in the Tylenol group had ALT elevations greater than three times the upper limits of normal. The highest ALT elevation was greater than 500 which is approximately 10 times the upper limit of normal. All enzyme elevations returned to normal after stopping Tylenol. Thus, recommended doses of Tylenol given to healthy subjects for two weeks can cause mild to moderate reversible liver injury. Tylenol, like all other medications, should be used cautiously under a doctor’s supervision with monitoring of liver enzyme levels.”

If you take Tylenol too long it will elevate the liver enzymes in your blood once you stop; it reduces. How about avoiding that in general?  Some things are necessary for Acetaminophen and muscle soreness is not one of them.  There are so many ways to either avoid or treat your aches and pains without popping a pill. It also takes so long to give you the relief  I have a suggestion of some alternatives reliefs to muscle soreness.

7 Things you must have to Relieve Muscle Soreness

7. Arnica Montana

Arnica 30c is amazing it works almost instantly, and it is a safer alternative to reduce your pain relieve from muscle soreness, joint swelling, and bruising.  It is non-drowsy and doesn’t react any other drugs because it’s homeopathic. It comes in a Pellets, Gel, Cream, and Oil. In concentrated form, the herb is toxic if eaten but the pellets are highly diluted making it edible and pure Arnica has been classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb.  I only recommend getting homeopathic diluted tablets and not using the herb itself orally.  It has been used since the 1500s it’s a yellow flower that grows in Europe and the US also known as Leopard Bane, and it will be your new best friend.

6. Foam Rolling

Self-Myofascial release (SMR) is something that I hope you have heard of and if you haven’t you need too. SMR is a corrective measure for muscle imbalances and helps to reduce trigger points which are those tender muscle soreness you get those extra sore spots.  It is best to do SMR before and after workouts along with stretching.

Foam Rollers come in many shapes and sizes and is necessary for anyone who exercises period whether its regularly or sporadically you should Foam Roll before and after every workout can help prepare you for your next work out.  I am a Trigger Point Ambassador, and I use a variety of their products. I love their products because they have created great tools to make foam rolling simple and straightforward. My personal favorite is the Grid Stick it’s a hand-held foam roller that works wonders on my traps, neck, arms, and back. I can use it by myself or with one of my mini assistance.

I am also in over with their massage balls put your lacrosse balls to the side and try the MB1 or MB5 Massage ball. It is entirely unbelievable on my shoulders, pecs, and hips.  It’s layered, and each color is a different density it’s like a deep tissue massage in all the right places. I use it pretty much daily. The MB1 is a half the size of the MB5 measuring at 2.6 inches in diameter the MB5 is 5 inches both are great investments if you plan on being active.

5. Oils and Soaps- Or in Soap

“When I was at Rugged maniacs this summer cheering some of my clients on I got to try Dirty Bird Energy Soap sample.  They also gave me the Recover Soap that comes in their resealable container.  I am in love this soap is fantastic and junk free made with all natural ingredients. “No Parabens, No Sulfates, Only the Good Stuff!”

It is a fantastic exfoliate which is what helps you absorb the muscle relieving ingredients. It contains Arnica, Eucalyptus and Rosemary extract which is the ultimate combination of body repair oil treatments.  It helps to reduce the bruising and inflammation, and it is invigorating coming out of the shower. I also love the case because it makes it easy to travel in my gym bag and keep it away from the lil divas!

4.  Diet

I can’t stress enough that we have to honor our temple. How we fuel our temples affects every aspect of how it functions if you want to be your best you have to treat it that way.  There have been studies that show that people who ate a whole based nutrient dense diet that has little to no processed food recovered at a faster rate than those who don’t.

3. Water

A study in the Journal of Athletic Training concluded that if you are dehydrated, you can increase the “severity” of DOMs or delayed onset muscle soreness which occurs within 12 to 48 hours after exercise. It is the soreness from your muscle repairing themselves and growing. It is critical to muscle injuries and tears from strength training. When your body cells don’t have enough water that can delay the protein synthesis used to repair your muscles. Dehydration can also cause the breakdown of muscle tissue which is defeating your workouts.   Drinking water before and after exercise will help reduce muscle soreness and promote growth. Water is a naturally powerful way to ease your pain.

2. Massage and Stretching 

Massages and Stretching are essential for muscle soreness and workout recovery. I know you have heard it before but it so true. I really didn’t realize the value of Self-Myofascial and Stretching until attending school and practicing it myself. I am guilty of wanting to jump into the workout and get it done. I have found when I foam roll and stretch first I can challenge myself greater in the workout and the recovery isn’t as painful.  Starting the habit of warm-up and cooldown can be helpful in decreasing muscle soreness.

1.Heating Pad and Ice Pack

What is your go-to for pain relief?

7 Ways to Correct my Squat form

Need to find ways to correct my squat form

I have been working on adjusting my squat form lately. Ever since I got out of the boot from my ankle injury my squat form needs to be corrected. It is awful guys! My foot turns out, my weight shifts and my arms fall forward its like textbook muscle imbalances.  I know from my recent NASM Corrective Exercise Certification what I need to do. The other day I was thinking, my corrections could help others too but first let’s talk about what happened?

What happened to my ankle?

Early in December, my first day of what was supposed to be my second Figure Competitor prep. I was training a Small Group at the gym I work at, and I was starting the warm-up. It was less than five minutes into the session when I did a hop off the ground maybe 3 inches (really it was a bunny hop) and came down and felt my ankle shift right and then left. It made the most awful sound like two gunshots.

Instantly, my entire gym stopped because like I said it sound like gunshots. I knew it wasn’t right but I was hoping it wasn’t “that’ bad”. Immediately, I lifted my foot up and started praying until I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out.  One of our members was like, “Oh good! Color just came back to your face.” It was unreal. 

First Real Injury

I have never experienced a real serious injury.  I had a hairline fracture in cheerleading in high school that required a six weeks cast being young. I was in and out of the cast with little rehab afterward. Young bones heal quick. This injury I didn’t break a bone, well kind of, I tore two ligaments my anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), which connects the front of the talus bone to the fibula, or shin bone. The calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), which connects the calcaneus, or heel bone, to the fibula. I also chipped and bruised my fibula because the impact when my bones hit each other when I came down and my ligaments popped.  

The pain that I still feel at the end of the day is from the chipped bone and bruise that is still tender under pressure.  Bone bruises take months to heal. In the meantime, I need to keep my ankle in motion and continually work on correctives. Also, because of Worker’s Compensation limbo. I was in a boot for 5 weeks too long which caused other issues of muscle tightness and compensations. 

Finding the good in everything-even an injury

The result is a really ugly and unsafe squat. Making sure that I perform a correct squat will prevent me from other injuries in the future.  Recovering from my lethal bunny hop has been mentally and physically hard.  It wasn’t the start of my new year that I wanted. Silver lining reflections, it has taught me a lot about appreciating my body for being healthy and functional. It is awful not to be able to do what you want with your body and can be very frustrating even for those who have lived most of their life impaired. 

Thankful for the progress I have made

I am so grateful that I can walk unassisted and even jump now. My newest challenge has been consistently working on correcting my squat. Due to the last 7 months of overcompensations, I have to train my body again to have proper movement patterns. I thought I would have recovered quicker but I was in my boot for 5 weeks too long while seeking second opinions with doctors.  

I was trying to avoid having surgery and wanted to take a conservative approach which included lots of physical therapy. In between waiting for things like workers compensation approval, appointment availability. My ankle was immobile 5 weeks longer than it should have been.  Ankles are meant to move and when they are in a static position for a long time they will lock up which is what I am working on now.

My left leg has extremely tight calves that won’t release my posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL), which connects the rear of the talus bone to the fibula. Laymens turns my calves are tight and won’t let my foot flex and point properly. My hamstrings also take on a lot of work because that’s what your body does it adapts. My right hip flexor and piriformis are overactive because it’s been taking on most the work for the last 4-7 months from me not using my left leg correctly. Without fitness geeking you out any further pretty much my kinetic chain is offline and I am pretty jacked up and so is my squat.  

The Benefits of Squats

7 things to correct my squat and eventually progress it:

1. Rollout

Grab a foam roller and get to rolling and I am not talking. A casual few rolls back and forth and good to go.  SLOWLY. Apply pressure to your BACK OF CALVES (gastrocnemius) shift your leg side to side and then roll it out again, OUTSIDE “CALVES” (peroneal) do the same thing. Get your (biceps femoris) and your TFL or Tensor Fascia Latae that muscle gets a lot of action because it works in all planes of motions and pretty much you move it moves so make sure that you roll those out too.

Grab a good foam roller

I really love the Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller. It is really firm so it seems like fingertips as well as the tubular ridges on teh foam roller.  The flat side is like the palm of your hand when you really need to release tension from a muscle. It’s nice to hold it on the flat side for 20 – 30 seconds and allow the muscle to release. It’s great because of the pattern on the actual Grid foam roller channels blood and oxygen to the muscles which helps to repair and increase circulation.  A fantastic tool to use for recovery.

Remember, I said I have extremely tight calves. Most people do. We need to really work on loosening these easily, increasing circulation and blood flow and releasing tension from these small but mighty overactive muscles.  Just imagine how much work they get in there day to day activities. Calves are usually the culprit is something I have learned in training and through this injury.

2. Stretch

I know I always talk about stretching but it really is important and if you want to have a correct your squat.  

A lot of people don’t stretch and when they do it’s only for a breath moment.  Most people stretch first and then foam roll second.  I would recommend to do these two preparation/recovery techniques in reverse- Foam Roll and then stretch. 

My professor in college used this analogy that I tell anyone who is listening (or reading) thanks, Professor Amber Boyd.  “When you get a knot out of your shoelace. Do you pull the laces tighter or massage the knot out first and then pull on the laces?” I know AH-HA moment.  

Always foam roll then stretch. So whatever you foam rolled once you’re done go ahead and stretch those muscles out that you rolled.  It also may not be the best idea to strength train them until another day but if you then make sure you foam roll and stretch at the end of your training.

Here are some suggestions on easy ones you can do for each of those muscles:

Stretching Calves

Calves or Gastrocnemius Stretch from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

Stretching Bicep Femoris

Bicep Femoris Stretch aka Hamstring Stretch from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

3. Dynamic Stretching

Most people associate stretching with static poses that are held for brief moments of time.  I personally enjoy dynamic stretching and include it in my clients warm-up routine.  Activating the muscle that is UNDERACTIVE and preparing them to fire up while using movements that make them for the workout. These are the muscles that should be used but aren’t because the tight muscles or OVERACTIVE muscles are doing all the work and not letting them do their job correctly.

In my case since I have an ankle injury, it’s my Posterior Tibialis, Anterior tibialis and Medial Hamstring; I suggest about four reps starting off slow and then increasing the movement as you feel your body release tension.

KNEELING CHOPS 

Bridge Kicks from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

4. Start from the beginning

I started off Dowel Hip Hinge to make sure that I am aligned and keeping all points of my kinetic chain in line while Squatting.  Also, using physical cues by squatting on a bench with a reach to help with balance. It helps me make sure that my feet are correctly placed (shoulder width apart, with my big toe, lined up with my shin; and yes you feel knock-kneed you are doing it right). Hinging my hips properly and correcting forward lean as you see is still something that I am altering my squat.

Dowel Hinge

Dowel Hip Hinge from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

Squat to a box with a reach

 

Squat to Box reach from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

5. Work on Counterbalance

I have an asymmetrical weight shift as you see in my picture. I also have limited Dorsiflexion which if you look at my left ankle you’ll see it’s not as flexed as the right side. These are the things that I look at in my clients and when I watch people working out at the gym. Little compensations in your movements allow to get the job done, but it’s not always getting the job done well.  Using offset weights is functional.

You usually carry your laundry, purse, groceries, and kids on the same hip (unless you have twins or lots of groceries).  That is your dominant side and probably stronger than the side you use less often.  It’s okay to pick up two different weights and balance yourself.  Also, in my case with weight shift, I like to do offset squats holding the kettlebell on my left weaker side to strengthen it and activate it during movement.  My right side will take over if I let it.  Here are two squats you can use counterbalance to fix compensations.

Offset kettlebell squat

Off Set Squat from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

Double kettlebell front squat

Double Kettlebell Squat from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

6. Work on Front Loads

Working on front-loaded squats can be helpful to solve problematic squat forms.  When you have the load on the front, it helps you to consciously feel the right movement. The weight loaded in the front forces you to sit up straight and hinge back correctly.  

Goblet squat (kettlebell or dumbbell)

Goblet Squat from FaithFueledMom on Vimeo.

7. Progress to a Correct Squat

Barbell back squat

Working on each of this exercise is to build up your strength and form. Doing these several regressions are preparing you to execute the Barbell Back Squat. Back squats are a great strength exercise that works most of the muscles in your lower body mainly, your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.  

Barbell squat is an exercise that permits you to lift heavy loads throughout your entire body.  It helps strengthen your core as well as legs because you need to brace the load and protect your back when squatting.  It is essential to progress to this exercise and not begin with this exercise. Often poor squat form is the cause to back injuries, knee and neck injuries.  


Barbell overhead squat

When your correctly and consistently Barbell Back Squat I would then progress to an overhead squat. Pressing the Barbell over your head as you squat.

It is critical when trying to correct your squat form that you follow the order and don’t skip around.  Each stage builds on the next. I would spend a lot of time starting from the beginning. Mastering those skills and then moving on to the future ability.  Proper patterning is vital so that when you progress to the more challenging squats, it comes with greater ease.

Also, don’t be afraid to progress. Don’t get stuck on skill because you’re scared of the challenge. Development is how change is made so don’t be scared to move on to the next skills once you feel really proficient. Correcting your Squat not only protect you from injury now it will help you function better in your future.

Is there a skill that you wish you were better at and want to correct?

I received the Trigger Point Grid as a gift.  I chose to blog about it and my opinions are my own. My Full Disclosure Policy 

Meal Prep with Mason Jars

Meal prepping with mason jars helps save time, money, and food waste.

It seems like a daunting task, but meal prepping for one person can be intimidating, but for an entire family of six can be overwhelming.  Not only did I decide to meal prep for my whole family, but I wanted to do it sustainably.

Sustainable Meal Prep

I’ve always tried to live sustainably, but for our family, we have had to ease into the process. From changing our skincare, household cleaners, and now I am trying to be a “Less Waste” family, which I don’t think that’s a term but my goal is to be a “Zero Waste” family.  I probably should run this by my family, but like most things, my influence will help guide my family to different choices. 

Mason Jar Meal Prep helps to reduce waste.

Reducing our plastic and waste is much more challenging than I expected. Just when I think I am doing good, I see a bright plastic container, and I purchase it.  But for the most part, our kitchen is glass and stainless steel. I  try to buy pollution-free plastic and BPA free plastic, but sometimes I shop on impulse and realize my mistake afterward.  So, I would not say I am a Zero Waste Blogger, but I aspire to be, and meal prepping without plastic is one way I feel I can make an impact.  

Meal prepping with Mason Jars Investment

Mason Jars seemed like an inexpensive, simple way to meal prep for a family of six.  The initial prep took some thought, but very quickly, I think I have created a straightforward system to have meals prepared for everyone.  I figured even if my crazy idea isn’t sustainable my investment in Mason Jars will be they are great for storage, we use them as drinking glasses and last until you break. Whether I continue this meal prep, which so far I have or not, the investment wouldn’t go to waste. 

Meal prepping with mason jars has many benefits:

    1. Sustainable
      Using glass containers unless we break will have for years to come.  There is nothing to throw away.
    2. Less Food Waste
      With pre-portioned food that is custom to each family member, we are throwing away very little food these days—getting the most out of our groceries.
    3.  Make better food choices.
      We live by convenience.  The more natural something is better and once you figure out your system. Meal prepping with mason jars becomes super easy, almost methodical. It also has excellent fresh options available on hand, which makes it easy for my family.  Most of my family members loved the meal prep with mason jars, except for one.  They loved the convenience and appreciated having the option to customize their meals while having healthy food choices. Most of our food choices were because we weren’t getting the nutrients we needed, so we ate mindlessly.  When you have healthy choices at your convenience, its easier to make a better decision. It also creates ownership of how your family members nourish their bodies.  They get options to choose from, but they are all excellent options. It’s quite empowering for my six years old to make her lunch.Check out my Instagram Highlights. I share several meals Mimi “made by herself,” she felt like a big girl and gave this mom so reprieve from meal assembling which has been a part-time job since the pandemic. I swear these kids eat all day. Now they have jars to grab and go.
    4. Budget-friendly
      There is an initial investment of Mason jars, but Mason Jars are inexpensive storage compared to plastic disposable.  Once you purchase your jars, you pretty much have them for life.  Your grocery budget will also decrease, which may allow you to buy more organic options over conventional.

Meal Prepping with mason jars can help maximize your budget.

Some ways I suggest to make the most of your food budget:

  • I recommend buying in bulk in both protein and produce.
  • Consider frozen organic vegetables over fresh. I always recommend fresh vegetables, but sometimes frozen are more affordable.  For your salad jars, FRESH IS BEST; nothing is worse than a soggy salad.  I also sometimes buy fresh produce and freeze it myself, which is another idea. Meal Prep in Mason jars will save you time and money and afford you to have organic options for your family.

Ways to successfully Meal Prep with Mason Jars

  1. Start small.
    I started prepping for three days. I made three options for every meal; breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  2. Make food your family will always eat and keep it simple.
    I gave my family three options for meal jars: Rice & Broccoli, Pasta & Mixed Vegetable, Salad Jars.  I substituted my pasta and mixed vegetables for cauliflower rice and mixed vegetables. Gluten-free pasta doesn’t hold up as nice the second day, so I was concerned and made the switch.
  3. Make all your food first.
    The initial meal prep took me three hours because I had to make all the protein, chop all the vegetables, make the rice, and pasta.  I made enough for an entire week but only prepped for three days because that is all the space I had for our jars. My second meal prep of the week took forty-five minutes. All I had to do was measure and pour down the line each item like an assembly line. I felt like a rockstar!
  4. Better convenient food options.
    I think our problem is that we want food quickly. Prepping, planning and preparing is too much work, so we go out to eat, the order in, pop it in the microwave.  The three-hour time investment has saved me so much time throughout my week.
    Some days I make dinner, but on the days when I don’t want to, there is no guilt.  I have perfect portioned meals ready for my family to eat at will.  We only sit together for one meal throughout the day is “free for all.” Meal prepping with mason jars has made better food options available to my children.

Meal Prep with Mason Jars Menu and Recipes

I tried to keep my menu simple but with variety.

Breakfast

No Sugar Protein Mug Cakes: Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, and Strawberry 

Super Simple to make these mug cakes.

 

Lunch or Dinner

Salad Jars

Base:

  • Kale, Spinach, Lettuce Mix or Spring Mix or Romaine
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Cucumbers (in Jar Divider)
  • Sliced Rainbow Peppers

Salad Toppings Ideas:

  • Roasted Sunflower Seeds
  • Sliced Roasted Almonds
  • Cranberries & Glazed Pecans
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Dates, Apples and Pecan Blend
  • Bacon Bites

Sauces Ideas:

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Chimichurri
  • Pesto
  • Teriyaki
  • Orange Ginger Sauce
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Cilantro Lime

Others considerations for Meal Prepping with Mason Jars

  1. Sterilize and Sanitize-  If you have a dishwasher that gets hot enough to sterilize, that is probably the easiest way. If not, making sure after you clean your jars that you boil and sanitize them is essential to avoid growing bacteria in your Mason Jar Prep Jars.
  2. Airtight- Make sure that you properly seal the jars by removing as much air as possible. This helps keep the food fresh.
  3. Refrigerator space- This was my problem because we have a small standard refrigerator. Make sure you have enough room for all the jars you prepare.

 

Meal Prepping with Mason Jars is a lifestyle change.

The Mason Jar Meal Prep has been great for my family to get on track. Make better decisions and give me comfort in knowing they are conveniently eating healthy without the additives of processed food.  

Our pallet has changed as well, and eating out does not have the same appeal as it once did.  This little experiment seems to be an excellent solution for my family.  I will continue the Meal prep with mason jars four days a week.  That way, we can fit them all. I plan on making family meals, but if I am too tired, my family can have a nourishing meal ready for them. It’s a great solution. 

I share the entire experience on my INSTAGRAM Story Highlight! Check out how we ate for a week with the Mason Jar Meal Prep.

Have you ever tried to meal prep with mason jars before? Or meal prep for the family?

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