Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

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.

Gym Safety: Four Simple Ways to Stay Safe and Strong in the Gym

Gym Safety: Four Simple Ways to Stay Safe and Strong in the Gym

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

7 Fitness mistakes you didn’t know you were making

7 Fitness mistakes you didn’t know you were making

7 common fitness mistakes

If you’ve just started on a fitness regiment it’s highly likely you’re making at least one of these mistakes and you didn’t even know it. I know I’ve made not one, but almost all of these at some point.

  1. Thinking more weight is better, yes you do want to gradually increase your weight to see greater results. The important thing to note here is quality over quantity, do not sacrifice good form for more weight.
  2. Cardio = weight loss, while having a good cardio regiment can lead to some weight loss it’s not necessarily the most effective way. If you combine cardio, weight lifting, and a good diet you’re guaranteed to see results faster.
  3. Watching the scale, I have said it before and I will say it again, STOP LOOKING AT THE SCALE. I’m guilty of it too, and it can be discouraging when the numbers aren’t changing or you see them go the opposite way you want them to. What’s more important is how you’re feeling, not what the number on the scale is. If you want to track your progress focus more on taking pictures and measurements.
  4. Thinking supplements will do the work, while supplements can be a good catalyst to push your results along, they can not do all the work for you. If you’re not willing to put in the time at the gym, or focus on a good diet, supplements will do very little for you.
  5. Never taking days off, I understand being motivated to want to see results but days off are important. Your muscles repair themselves while you sleep, and not getting enough rest can be not only harmful to your fitness regiment, but your health in general.
  6. Giving up too soon, a lot of people get discouraged when they don’t see the changes they want. It can take 2-3 months for your body to even start registering you’ve made a major diet or fitness change. Keep going, and the results with soon follow.
  7. Only working on one part of your body, you think your arms are fat, so you only work out your biceps and triceps. You’re going about it the complete wrong way. A lot of people don’t realize that targeted fat loss isn’t a thing, if you want your arms to slim down you need to focus on your diet, not just doing bicep curls every day.
Jacked Pack Review

Jacked Pack Review

This is one of my favorite things to review to date. Jacked Pack!

If you’re into supplements and you’ve never heard of Jacked Pack you need to check it out. Jacked Pack is a monthly subscription box that sends you a variety of supplement samples for just $15 per month (even less if you pay annually). I absolutely love this because I hate it when I drop a lot of money on a new pre-workout or BCAAs and I end up not liking them. I’ve found some of my favorite products through Jacked Pack and I highly recommend checking it out. Here’s a peek inside my February Jacked Pack;

Pre-workouts, whey, fat burner, protein bars and some other goodies! As you can see this box does not disappoint. When you subscribe you even fill out a flavor profile that way you don’t get any flavors that you know you hate. If you’re interested in receiving Jacked Pack you can sign up here.

Product Review – Natural Calm

Product Review – Natural Calm

February is heart health month and in honor of that I wanted to leave you all with a review of a hearth healthy product. Did you know that heart disease is the #1 cause of death among men and women? Gotta start taking care of those hearts now, ladies & gents!
A good start to being heart healthy is getting your daily recommended amount of magnesium and guess what? Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm has 81% of your daily value per serving! Natural Calm supplement facts

Maintaining proper levels of Magnesium has been shown to aid in reducing stress and anxiety, which as most of us know is a good way to keep your heart healthy. If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of Magnesium you can visit http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org and sign up for a free informational newsletter.

Natural Calm comes in a powder form which you simply throw a little hot water in, wait for it to stop fizzing like crazy, then top it off with hot or cold water. It was easy peasy to prepare and it’s super nice that you can drink it hot or cold. As an added bonus Natural Calm is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Oh, and it tastes pretty good too. I tried the raspberry lemon flavor, but if that doesn’t really sound like your thing it comes in a few other flavor options. You can see Natural Vitality’s full line up of products by clicking here.

As I’ve shared with you guys in the past I do suffer from anxiety disorder, and maybe it was just a placebo effect but I do feel like this product helped chill me out a bit. I didn’t have any weird side effects from it and overall have been very happy with it the few times I have used it.

Overall Rating:

StarStarStarStarStar

 

Annnnd if you’re viewing this post between February 16th and February 23rd 2017, you can be entered to win a free bottle of Natural Calm! Just visit my Facebook page and enter there!