I Don't Always Eat Out, But When I Do…

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Java Juice Box

I got to meet up with my mom today for lunch since she would be coming through town and of course we went to my favorite local place, Java Juice Box. This place is locally owned and managed with only 2 locations open in our area! They’ve been voted best acai bowl in town several times (and definitely live up to that). Usually, I dread eating out because I can’t read a nutrition label for anything and I end up taking a “cheat meal”, but this place is so good and has so many healthy options. I went for this berry acai bowl with bananas, strawberries, almond butter, flax seeds, and chia seeds. After a long workout at the gym, this bowl gave me so much NEEDED energy! On top of that, my mom and I got two full size 24 oz bowls for a total of $20. If you’re in the Knoxville area, I definitely would recommend stopping by here. They have a wide variety of juices and smoothie combos as well. This is your friendly reminder that it is OKAY to eat out every once in awhile and enjoy time with family and friends! There are always healthier options to choose from no matter where you go. Don’t let your fitness goals get in the way of important relationships in your life! A positive relationship with food is the main goal.

My 2 Month "Bulk"

Starting as of January 6th, I am now embarking on a 2 month “bulk”. I put quotes around bulk because I’m definitely not going to increase my calorie surplus to an unhealthy amount and put on a lot of extra weight. It’s not healthy to bulk and cut on a regular basis in that your body can’t keep up with the constant weight gain and loss back and forth. I’ve never done anything even close to a bulk so I’m very interested to see how this goes. I have done tons of research on the benefits and deficits of bulking and cutting cycles and I’ve concluded that it’s much healthier to be able to do heavy lifting and fuel your body as needed but not to an excessive amount.

Why Bulk?

Bulking is a workout and diet completed over a long period of time in order to gain weight. You’re probably thinking why in the world would anyone want to gain weight, and the answer is simple- to gain muscle mass. Your body will not physically show results to lifting if you don’t essentially feed your muscles. Bulking is the fastest way to start seeing results from lifting. During my bulk, I am doing a 6 day workout plan that I made myself. It’s glute, chest, and core focused; I have a workout for each muscle group (Day 1-Day 3). After 3 days, I repeat the same workout sequence for the next 3 days. On my core focused days, I also add in some cardio to get my blood pumping and try to stay lean. I rest on the 7th day of each week. All of my workouts are heavy lifting and very challenging. I enjoy this because I love pushing myself to new limits! My diet has stayed the same except I have been adding in some more rice and other healthier carbs into my meals.

Goals and Expectations

My main goal out of this “bulk” is to come out feeling stronger than before. I want to be able to lift heavier and have a higher endurance overall. To me, being healthy is all about how I feel and not as much of what I look like. Feeling like my best self is the main goal! My expectations for this have already been changing just within the first week. I am on Day 6 and it’s become clear to me that I have to fuel my body more just to be able to complete my workouts. I’m used to being able to eat a banana and granola bar and head out the door to go do my workout- those days are OVER! I have felt so lightheaded and dizzy during my workouts this week when I didn’t fuel properly beforehand. I have been having a heavier breakfast before I lift the last 3 days and it’s really helped. I just have to continue to listen to my body closely and remember that it’s okay to not be able to do some things yet! It’s all a process of getting stronger. I hope that I can achieve a lot of fitness goals in these next 2 months and gain muscle while staying as lean as possible!

LET’S DO THIS!!

My Go-To Breakfast (Quick & Simple)

Greek Yogurt Bowl

This has been my go-to, low carb breakfast for the past few months! It’s so easy to throw together for a quick breakfast and is a great alternative to throwing a toaster strudel in the toaster and bolting out the door.

Ingredients:

✰ Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt

✰ Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Protein Granola

✰ 1 chopped banana

✰ A pinch of cinnamon

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The dark chocolate and sea salt granola I found at Aldi is definitely my new favorite granola. I have a sweet tooth in the mornings so this is perfect to satisfy my cravings in a healthier way than going for a chocolate bar (I have done this before)! This granola tastes like a chocolate spread no lie. The granola has chia seeds in it which contain natural antioxidants and a high amount of fiber and protein. These are known for helping with weight loss because of the low calorie count. This breakfast definitely fills you up but not for long- which is why I usually have 2 breakfasts if I eat this at the beginning of the day. Bananas digest the fastest, so adding an additional fruit to the mix would probably sustain you for a longer period throughout the day.

My Story

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get to know me

Hi! I’m Haley, a serious health enthusiast.

I am currently 20 years old and located in Knoxville, TN (GO VOLS!!). I am a physical therapy major at South College. I love being in the gym and eating food that fuels my body and makes me feel good! Notice that I didn’t say I enjoy eating the status quo of “healthy”. I am in no way close to a vegan or vegetarian, I LOVE my meats! I also never track my macros or calories. I haven’t even weighed myself in years! I believe that being truly healthy is about doing what makes you feel good and being able to listen to your body. That being said, some workouts or food products I mention in this blog that have worked for me may NOT work for YOU (and that is more than okay).

I started my fitness journey around July of 2019. My whole life I have been active, playing basketball year round until my senior year in high school. After turning down several offers to play in college, I decided that a break would be nice for me since I was so burnt out. For a couple of months I enjoyed not having to overexert myself 6 times a week. But then my rest soon became a habit, and my body started feeling the effects BIG time. I was going to work, studying, and then laying in bed in my free time everyday (or going to a party and loading my body with carbs). I felt so sluggish everyday and had no motivation to do essentially anything. I went through a really hard time at the beginning of 2019 so I was basically sulking over that for months. I started to not only feel changes in my body, but I was starting to see them too. Once I decided to start getting back into the gym I felt revived again! Exercise and nutrition is so important for our bodies (and also LOTS OF FUN).

I’m excited to have you follow me along my fitness journey, and hope you will join me in setting and accomplishing your own goals with me!

Let’s kick 2020’s ass.