Black Bean & Quinoa Salad
- 4 cups cooked black beans.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.
- 1 cup corn (frozen, or canned).
- 1 chopped red bell pepper.
- 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes.
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro.
- 2 tablespoons lime juice.
- 1/4 cup olive oil.
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss together. Cover and chill.
This isn’t my typical post. This isn’t going to be as light hearted as you’re used to. If you can deal with that, please keep reading. If you don’t think you can, please try to keep reading anyway. If you’ve been following me for a while you may remember that back in November for Veterans Day I introduced you to a non-profit that is near and dear to my heart. Lift for the 22 is doing wonderful things for our nations veterans, and is ran by a couple of amazing guys. If you’re not familiar with Lift for the 22, they’re a non-profit who purchases one year gym memberships for veterans across the country. 22 is the number of veterans who commit suicide each and every day. LFT22 is fighting to reduce that number. These gym memberships provide a sense of community and an outlet for service men and women transitioning from the military to civilian lifestyle.
Recently, LFT22 was the victim of an elaborate con. They were promised a rather large donation of $425,000. This donation would be enough to provide gym memberships for every single veteran who is currently on their wait list. It turned out the individual who promised this donation was not able to follow through on his promise, and had never planned to. You can read the full news story here.
I believe whole heartedly in their cause and have experienced first hand the impact their organization has had on veterans. My husband is heavily involved in the program and I’ve had the honor of meeting some incredible people because of this. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to me that this happened and it’s going virtually unpunished. I’m not the type of person to watch this kind of thing happen and not do anything. I’m going to do whatever is in my power to help them recover from this. So what can YOU do to help? It’s simple, really. You can visit Liftforthe22.org and make a one time cash donation, or set up a reoccurring monthly donation. You also have the option of purchasing Lift for the 22 apparel and all proceeds go straight back to helping our vets. If you don’t have the cash, no sweat. You can help spread the word. Share this post. Share the news article. Not only do we want to help LFT22, we want to ensure nobody else falls victim to this mans schemes.
Today, I have a guest post from buildingyoubetter.com! Gym etiquette is super important, but what’s even more important is gym safety. This guest post highlights just a few ways you can protect yourself in the gym;
When we go into the gym, we usually have some specific goals in mind. Whether it’s to lose weight or to build muscle, or just to feel stronger and ready to take on life’s challenges, we’re there on a mission. While some of us practice good gym safety rules, some of us tend to make a more hardcore approach in an attempt to get results quickly. When I first started training, I fell solidly in this group. I wasn’t worried about gym safety nearly as much as I was getting to my workout and lifting as much weight as possible. In fact, it took a severe shoulder injury to make me realize how important taking a few precautions was.
Training in the gym is very much a physical activity, and it places stress on the body. With any physical activity, there is a certain chance of injury. But by playing smart, we can greatly reduce those chances with some gym safety precautions. Some things we learn through experience, and some things we should know from common sense. I should have known better than train the way I did when I was first starting out. But hopefully, by sharing what I’ve learned with you, I can help you avoid any injuries of your own.
- Warm-up before your workout. This may be obvious to you, or it might be something you overlook. I have never enjoyed warming up; I’d rather get right to the heavy lifting. But what I’ve learned over time is that I enjoy soreness and injuries even less. Trust me when I say that a good warm-up is important. And don’t even think about stretching before a workout. Your warm-up routine should consist of moderate physical activity that will pump blood into the muscle group you plan on training. Try some light sets of your main exercise, or try another exercise that’s less challenging. Just don’t take it to failure; take it easy and get ready for the heavy work to come.
- Don’t lift too heavy. No, I don’t mean you need to make your workouts easy. I’m just saying you need to keep them manageable. Make sure you control the weight, instead of the weight controlling you. Whether you’re lifting moderate weight for high reps, or heavier for just a few reps, be sure to perform each rep with proper technique. If you can’t get the weight up with good form, then it is too heavy for your rep scheme. Either scale back the reps, or drop off some of the weight.
- Use a spotter or proper safety equipment. This rule doesn’t apply to every exercise: spotting someone on curls is just silly, and asking for a spot on deadlifts can get a little weird. But heavy bench sets, squats, or overhead presses definitely warrant a spotter for gym safety. And if you’re lifting heavy enough that you need a spotter, that spotter needs to be competent. You’re trusting this person to have your back if something goes wrong in a potentially dangerous situation. Make sure they know what they’re doing, and make sure you talk to them before you begin the set. Let them know what you want to do, how many reps, when to step in and help, etc.
- Use supplementary exercises. While failing to follow this gym safety rule won’t cause an injury right away, it can lead to some serious problems over time. Focusing on just one or two lifts, or even just the Big Three, can cause imbalances in your muscles. Imbalances in your physique not only look bad, they’ll also cause problems in your posture, and leave your joints and weaker muscle groups vulnerable during a big lift. While the major lifts should be at the core of your weightlifting program, smaller exercises are important as well. By focusing on a balanced approach that works the support muscles as well as the major muscle groups, you’ll see better development overall and also stay safe and strong in the gym.
These are just four simple rules for gym safety. If there is any piece of equipment you are unfamiliar with in the gym, ask someone to show you how to use it safely. Consider getting a personal trainer if you still feel uncomfortable. Sometimes being in a hurry and forgetting gym safety can actually set us back further in the long run.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more great articles at buildingyoubetter.com!
Anyone who has ever grown zucchini in their garden knows that you almost always end up with more zucchini than you know what to do with. Sure, there’s always zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, or deep-fried zucchini. One can only eat so much zucchini bread before they are completely over it though. These are some of my favorites I’ve found on Pinterest, consider trying these out before you start delivering zucchinis to your neighbors;
Happy June everyone!
I know I’ve been MIA, and I’m starting to try to get back in the swing of things. I didn’t realize that after being a night shift workers for 5 years that going into a daytime job was going to be a less than flawless transition. I’ve felt that there isn’t enough hours in the day for me to get enough sleep, get proper nutrition and go to the gym. I can say my diet has improved over the past few months, but my fitness regiment has been less than ideal. I’ve been able to consistently continue to get to the gym 3 days per week, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I’ve seen very little progress since I started this journey nearly a year ago. I think that should be motivation to try harder, but it’s been discouraging more than anything. I don’t want to turn to supplements but I’m wondering if it’s the extra push my body needs.
What have you guys done when you’ve felt like you’ve hit a plateau?