Health and Fitness, nutrition, Personal Journey, weight loss, workouts

Shaun T’s Hybrid Program: My Journey

Has anyone else been off of their ‘A’ game in their health and fitness since school has let out? My routine has been all out of whack and if I’m being honest I have taken a much too long hiatus on my workouts, on my ‘healthy’ eating and even focusing on inspiring and helping others. It wasn’t on purpose but just kind of happened. We have had several personal matters that have developed in a short amount of time that I’m not at liberty to talk about and I have allowed those circumstances to completely distract me. I bet you can totally relate to that as well. Whether it’s a sickness, a family member being sick, maybe you or your spouse losing their job, maybe a death in the family or maybe your summer schedule has just been super hectic with vacations, weddings and graduations that you feel like your days are just too jammed pack for working out right now. I’m here to tell you that I TOTALLY GET IT!

This past Friday I decided that I couldn’t continue living that way. You see, for me working out and eating healthy helps me feel in control over my life even when things are crazy. Plus right now more than ever I need my workouts to be my therapy session. It’s during these thirty to forty minute workouts that I can focus on me…in that moment…and allow the stress and anxiety to melt away. So rather than waiting until a Monday, I decided that any day that ends in a ‘Y’ is a great day to start. Therefore I decided to fully commit to myself for the next 30 days with day one being this past Friday.

Part of my commitment was to treat myself as if I was one of my clients. I began with planning. First, I took my day one photos along with my weight and measurements. I haven’t weighed myself in ages since I go off of how I feel and how my clothes fit so hopping on the scale again was terrifying. I didn’t care for the number that I saw however I didn’t allow myself to dwell on it since I have been able to go down a size and my body fat percentage has been dropping. The scale is NOT the deciding factor of my success!

Second, I had to choose a workout plan. I decided to follow a combination of workouts by one of my favorite health and fitness motivators and trainers…none other than Shaun T! I’m sure you have heard of him but in case you haven’t he is the creator of many Team Beachbody at home workouts like Insanity, Insanity Asylum, Insanity Max 30, Cize and Focus T25. He recently launched a seven day workout series on Beachbody OnDemand which also includes an extended calendar using workouts from all of his programs. Because I needed to increase my intensity AND needing mental clarity I decided to go with Shaun because the motivation and the words he uses to push you during your workout are simply amazing! So much so that I have not completed one workout since Friday without crying at some point. Partly because I have been pushing HARD, partly because Shaun speaks to my soul and partly because I have had so much stress built up inside that I seriously had to let it out.

Here is week one’s schedule:

  • Day 1 – Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance
  • Day 2 – Insanity Max 30: Cardio Challenge
  • Day 3 – Shaun Week: Insane Weights
  • Day 4 – Insanity the Asylum: Speed & Agility
  • Day 5 – Focus T25: Alpha Speed 1.0
  • Day 6 – Insanity Recovery
  • Day 7 – Insanity Max 30: Sweat Intervals

The last component was setting up a plan to get my eating under control. Lately my meals consisted of too much pizza and beer so I took it back to basics. I started my planning process by choosing an 8 hour eating window. I do normally follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle however again since summer break and having the boys home I got out of my routine. In a nutshell, intermittent fasting, at least the method that I follow, has a 16 hour non-eating window and an 8 hour eating window. I chose 12PM to 8PM as my eating window. I also know that tracking what I’m eating is extremely important therefore I decided to use MyFitnessPal to track my calories and my Apple Watch to track my activity level. One thing that I also keep in mind is the portion fix system which encourages you to create meals with a variety of foods such as lean protein, tons of veggies, healthy fats, complex carbs and fruits. I’m keeping this system in mind when drafting my meal plan for the week and using MyFitnessPal to ensure that I’m in a deficit daily (burning more than I’m taking in).

I will be sharing my weekly recap every Monday here with you however if you would like to be part of the discussion and learn helpful tips so that YOU can start living your healthiest life then feel free to join my free Healthy Lifestyle Community Facebook group. This is where you will receive an exclusive look as to what I’m doing and how it’s working. This is also where I do monthly 5 day free challenges that allows you to get a jumpstart on your own health and fitness goals.

Hope to see you in the Community!

Xoxo,
Jennifer

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Health and Fitness, meal plan, Uncategorized, weight loss

Building Consistency in 2017

Happy Saturday Healthy Lifestyle Community! Can you believe that it’s the last day in 2016?! I seriously cannot believe how fast this year has gone and the thing is…it goes by faster and faster every year I get older. I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to 2017 and ready to tackle new goals!

As I look over 2016 regarding my health and fitness goals the one main area that I need to improve is consistency! Not so much with my workouts because I do workout daily however when it comes to nutrition…well, that needs improvement! To help me improve this area of my journey I have decided to create my meal plan along with grocery list and recipes each week…and….SHARE IT WITH YOU! Not only will this allow me to focus more on my nutrition but it will also help you learn how to create your own meal plans. Many of the people who I work with in my online health and fitness accountability groups just don’t know where to begin when it comes to eating. They get overwhelmed by figuring out how much to eat, when to eat and what to eat. This is why I know without a doubt that this will help you and myself crush our goals in 2017!

Now, before I share my meal plan for this week I need you to keep one thing in mind. I normally do follow a dairy free and gluten-free lifestyle however going into 2017, I have decided to test the waters in living a paleo lifestyle. So what does that mean? It means that you will see a ton of lean protein, veggies, several servings of fruit but NO grains, dairy, legumes or processed foods. I decided to implement this style of eating for several reasons. First, I haven’t been sleeping well and from my research, living a paleo lifestyle improves your quality of sleep and resets your internal clock. Second, I have had an increase of aches and pains in the past several months which may be a form of inflammation. Consuming paleo friendly foods decrease the amount of inflammation in your body which decreased aches and pains. Lastly, with not being on my anti-depression medication any longer I really need to tap into whole foods with limited processing to maximize my body’s natural mood enhancers.

Along with following a paleo lifestyle, I will be continuing a 16:8 intermittent fasting eating schedule. This means that I fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours. One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is you burn off your stored fat rather than burning sugar since you are fasting for 12+ hours. Intermittent fasting is NOT a diet change…it’s a behavior (schedule) change. During my eating window I will not be counting calories. Instead, I will follow a portion control system based off of the 21 Day Fix meal plan created by Team Beachbody. I do have a certain calorie bracket that I stay within based on my activity level and my goals. Within that bracket I am allowed so many calories from veggies, fruits, lean protein, carbs, healthy fats, seeds/dressings, and oils. You will see these container allotments on my meal plan at the top then below each meal you will notice a break down of containers within that meal.

So…in a nutshell….
How much will I be eating? Each day I will be between 2100 – 2300 calories. Out of these calories my goals are to each 6 veggies, 4 fruits, 6 lean protein, 4 carbohydrates, 1 healthy fat, 1 seeds/dressings and 6 teaspoons which is oils.

What will I be eating? My ‘fuel’ will come from lean protein such as chicken breast, lean steaks, ground turkey and Shakeology. I will also be consuming any veggies and non-starchy fruits. As far as carbohydrates are concern, I will be consuming thinks like sweet potatoes, plantains and unsweetened almond milk. I will NOT be eating grains since grains are NOT paleo friendly. This includes oats, quinoa and rice. Healthy fats will come from avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and nut butters.

When to eat? Since I will be following the 16:8 intermittent fasting lifestyle I will be having an eating window from 1 PM to 9 PM. During my fasting window my only consumption will be a TON of water and my pre-workout prior to working out. You are allowed to have up to 50 calories during your fast window and my pre-workout falls below that which is great!

Now that I shared the back story of this new journey let’s get to the meal plan! Below you will see my meal plan for the coming week. You will notice that Saturday and Sunday are ‘pending’. The reason for this is I like to eat based on what I’m hungry for. With today being Saturday I have no way of knowing what I’m going to want next weekend or what I may have left over from this weeks meals. So…come Thursday or even Friday, I will start planning my weekend meals. Also, by doing this, it ensures that my produce, fruits and meats are going to be fresh since I’ll have to hit the grocery store again later in the week. I hate spending money on food and tossing it out because it went bad! This strategy works for our household.  Feel free to print the below meal plan and shopping list and use it next week along with me!  If you require fewer calories due to your activity level just make the necessary adjustments 🙂

Meal Plan

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Shopping List

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I would love to know if by me sharing my weekly meal plan with you is going to help you create the healthy lifestyle you are wanting so please leave me a comment below! Also, if you would like to receive the Healthy Lifestyle Community weekly newsletters with recipes and tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle sign up HERE

Super excited to start 2017 off on the right foot and be equipped with the tools that are going to get me closer to my goals!  If you would like to start 2017 by making yourself a priority but not sure where to start, need extra accountability or want to change your routine to maximize your efforts then simply email me at JenniferHepkaFitness@gmail.com and let’s see how I can help!

Now, off to get my workout done.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Much Love,

Jennifer

Fitness, Health, nutrition, weight loss

New Health Bet Coming: Get Paid to Get Fit!

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I have changed a TON in 4 years! I use to be a person who would try every fad diet out there, anything that promised to help you lose weight. I would lose 2-3 pounds then get frustrated because I wasn’t losing the weight fast enough which resulted in me gaining those couple of pounds back plus several more. I have finally found a program that works….something that focuses on fitness, nutrition and ACCOUNTABILITY!

I am looking for 10 serious people who are READY for a change and want to start living life to the fullest….and just start feeling better! I am super pumped up for September to get here because Beachbody is doing its very first Health Bet and I would love for you to join me! We will workout at home using 30 minute workouts, following a super easy meal plan and incorporating a super dense, boosted multi-vitamin shake that will literally be the healthiest meal of your day!

Beachbody’s September Health Bet pot is already over $1.2 Million where it will be split between ANYONE who tracks their new healthy lifestyle in Beachbody’s new Challenge App! If you are interested in joining this exclusive group or want to learn more, please complete the below form or email me at JenniferHepkaFitness@gmail.com

Looking forward to crushing goals with you in September!

Fitness, General Health, Health, Uncategorized, weight loss

Weight Loss: Where Do You Cross The Line?

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OK, OK, OK…..I normally don’t post things like this, in fact I don’t think I ever have and I know that I am opening up a can of worms by posting this. Having said that, I have always promised to be real and honest with my followers and this new FDA approved weight loss method has me lost, confused and completely angered.

The device that I’m referring to is the AspireAssist device. It is a device that allows a tube to be inserted into your stomach that is connected to a‘port’ on the outside of your stomach area. Basically once you are done eating an external pump is attached to the port which allows the undigested food to be removed from your stomach and emptied into the toilet. I’m sorry…what?!

I completely understand that losing weight is difficult and for some seem impossible. Food addiction is by far (in my opinion) the hardest to overcome. We need food to survive, we have emotional ties to it, we celebrate over it, there are times that it’s our best friend. However…in my opinion….this is NOT healthy!

There is a vast amount of reasons why a person may be overweight/underweight. I don’t understand why it’s easier to create a device that has been referred to ‘assisted bulimia’ instead of creating healthier options to the public to PREVENT obesity. Our society has become a reactive one when we should be PROACTIVE. It’s time for us to take responsibility for our own health and stop trying to make excuses or find a ‘magic’…something to get us to our results.

It takes exercise, focusing on nutrition, hard work, support, and motivation. We need to get to the root of what is really going on with a person and help them to stop abusing food. The ‘magic’ whatever….pill, wrap, surgical procedure and now this pump is a bandaid. The true fix is learning balance. How to manage stress, work, family responsibilities, etc.

Lastly, I have seen so many morbidly obese people in our virtual fitness/accountability groups getting up, working out and doing what they can to take control over their life. They are doing it the healthy way, one that will build their self worth, their confidence which will change their mindset.

What’s your take on this?? I’m curious as to what your stance is.

Emotional Eating, Fitness, Health, Motivation, weight loss

Introducing the Badass Movement

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There’s a reason why I named my team of coaches Team Healthy Lifestyle Journey, because it’s just that….a journey.

>>The picture on the left…I never worked out, I ate out 90% of the time, I always ordered ‘large’ anything, I drank tons of alcohol, my self esteem was in the gutter, I was depressed and just felt like I was going through the motions of daily life. I had no dreams, no drive to really push myself to be better.

>>The picture on the right…this is me NOW in my comfort zone!! I no longer diet, I no longer have a weight goal and I feel AWESOME! Sure I still have weightloss goals but rather than obsess about the scale I focus on how my clothes are feeling, how I feel when I look in the mirror, how much more activity I can do today compared to yesterday. I make smart eating choices daily and yes there are times that I induldge…nobody is perfect but I do it in moderation. I don’t let one meal ruin my entire day because I do have goals and I am going to achieve them! I’m confident, I know that I’m worth being on this planet, and I now know that I’m living with PURPOSE!!

Some may have seen the girl on the left like I saw myself originally but looking back…I know that I went through the things that I did for a reason. It was a learning opportunity for me to find a way to live with depression, overcome emotional eating and self-esteem issues so that I could pay it forward and help YOU!

My point? I could have given up in 2013. I could have settled for the life that I was living. I could have kept going through the motions and of just ‘getting by’. However…I made a CHOICE….I decided to start living my life by MY DESIGN. I decided to let my inner Rocker Chic come out and be a total badass.

What decision are you going to make? Just ‘get by’ or join the #BadassMovement ?

If you want to join the Badass Movement then email me at Jennifer.S.Hepka@gmail.com and let’s get you going 🙂

XoXo,

Jennifer

Fitness, Health, weight loss

Good Morning Everyone!!  My nutrition has been all over the place these past couple of weeks.  I have given in to cheese, alcohol and comfort foods..well no more 🙂  I was getting headaches pretty regularly and just felt drained then it dawned on me…my eating like a garbage can was causing me to feel this way.  So this past week, I put my head down, planned out my meals for the week and went shopping.

Being two days into this week so far, it’s amazing how great I feel!!  I’m sleeping better, I don’t have brain fog, I can concentrate and be more creative, I’m pushing harder in my workouts and I’m not craving sweets or high carb dishes.  It’s seriously amazing how getting your nutrition back on track can have positive effects in so many different areas of your life.

Every Tuesday in my online wellness accountability group I like to devote Tuesday’s to healthy meals. I know that it’s difficult for some people to always come up with healthy ways how to fuel their bodies. Sharing healthy meals once a week allows us to learn some new dishes and bring variety to the table 😉 I wanted to share a daily mid-morning staple that provides me with an efficient amount of protein, healthy fat and complex carbs. This combination helps me focus, allows me to stay full until lunch and totally helps me crush my afternoon workout!

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I cook two whole eggs,two egg whites scrambled with one handful of organic baby spinach in one teaspoon of coconut oil. Along with that I have one serving of steel-cut oats cooked in water, sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with berries. It’s seriously delicious and look at that picture….It’s so pretty!!

Remember….we only get one body therefore we need to fuel it properly every single day to get the most ‘miles’ out of it. Make smart choices and I promise you that you will feel better, your skin will be clearer, your belly will be slimmer and your energy will increase.

I would love to hear what your go to meal is. Leave a comment below and share it…who knows, someone else may just add it to their meal rotation.

XoXo,

Jennifer

Fitness, weight loss

7 Minute At Home Workout Circuit

TGIF Healthy Lifestyle Friends!! I’m always trying new workouts, dances, and even creating my own circuits based on what I’m trying to accomplish. I tend to get bored with working out so I definitely have to keep things fresh! I wanted to share with you a new circuit that I started this past Thursday. The entire circuit takes me about seven minutes and you can totally modify to meet your specific needs. I would give this a try and if you find it way to difficult, then decrease the reps by five. If you find it was to easy, then increase your reps by five. No matter where you start, I would increase on a weekly basis by five reps to keep challenging yourself.

Please leave a {{Comment}} below and tell me how you did. Also if you like videos like this and would like me to do more of them, let me know that as well 🙂 Have a great weekend and remember to stay focused on your goals!!

XoXo