Why Are You Waiting?

just go for it
Everyone wants to get into better shape and eat healthier. I see posts all the time about it being a new month…new week…. and what not. But I have a question for you…

Why wait until then?

If being healthier and getting into better shape is something you really want to do, why not start right now?

Why wait for a Monday, or a new month or even a new year…when EVERYONE joins the gym and it’s super crowded? Why not join now and get comfortable with it while it’s empty?

Why wait to start eating healthier?

Do we really need to eat every food offered to use at BBQ’s or parties? Or drink ALL of the alcohol?

Why don’t you start practicing balance with food now? Say no to the things you REALLY don’t enjoy and allow the things you do, but without stuffing yourself to the point of regret.

I was the girl who set the resolution EVERY DAMN YEAR to lose the weight and get my shit together, but I failed EVERY DAMN YEAR because I felt I had to be perfect with my “diet”. Check out Monday’s post Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible for my thoughts on this.

Making the decision to change your habits now can really be a deciding factor for if you stick with them for the long haul.

Being healthy isn’t about deprivation, it’s about balance. It’s about making time to take care of yourself and ensuring it’s priority. Perfection is NOT part of the process…if you think it is, you need to change that mentality now!

There are going to be good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. You’re going to want to give up but you can’t… you have to believe in yourself and know that YOU ARE WORTH IT.

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Life gets hectic and we get pulled in many directions at once, but we can’t pour from an empty cup! Being a healthy version of yourself shouldn’t have to wait until a new week, new month or even a new year…so why are you really waiting?

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Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible.

Be Stubborn Yet Flexible
The quote above is probably the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years.

When we first start out, we form this plan in our heads. We will workout every day, we eat healthy/balanced meals and we love every minute of it.

Then reality sets in.

We have families that need stuff ALL THE TIME. We get tired… not to mention sore after the first day at the gym. And why is that we crave EVERYTHING that is not going to help us get to our goal as soon as we set the goal to eat better?!

It’s like the odds are stacked against us. It just becomes easier to stay overweight and out of shape. Right?!

Nope.

You just need to become flexible in the methods you use to achieve your goals. You need to remember that you didn’t gain the weight over night, so you’re not going to lose it overnight. Perfection doesn’t exist. You need to have patience with yourself and realize that one misstep doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and face fuck a pizza because you’re a failure.

Just keep challenging yourself and find what works for YOU.

Maybe you start with cardio or yoga and then end up switching over to weight lifting.

Maybe you start with clean eating, then go vegetarian, back to clean eating and now keto.

Maybe you only do at-home workouts and then finally build the confidence and join the gym.

Maybe it’s all of these examples but in reverse.

The point is that you gotta keep challenging yourself and remain mindful of when something isn’t working for you…then change it up!

You gotta try new things.

Be flexible about what route you take to reach your goals. The path that you take to get to them doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that you don’t forget what your goals are.

Realize that sometimes we encounter detours on our way to the final destination and that’s okay… you just gotta be determined to get there.

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Don’t allow frustration to set in when things don’t go as planned. Chances are they didn’t work out because you weren’t on the right track.

(I’m a big believer the Universe is guiding us through life and if we miss the subtle hints it leaves for us, it will just keep rerouting us toward our destination.)

Just keep your eye on the prize and keep moving toward it!

 

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Celebrate the Small Things

The Secret of Change Quote

You have to keep your mind positive on this journey.

If you only focus on the mistakes you make or how far you have to go, you’ll get discouraged and quit.

(Raise your hand if you’ve been there and done that. – If you don’t raise your hand you’re lying and we both know it!)

When you’re feeling frustrated I want you to make a list of all of the new habits you’ve started or something you did today that the old you would have never done. Once you list is complete, celebrate the fuck out of it.

Examples of what could go on this list:

  • Ordered a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.
  • Only had a few fries or skipped the fries instead of inhaling a large without thinking twice.
  • Boxed up half of an order before eating, while at a restaurant.
  • Woke up early to workout or read some personal development.
  • Did a workout after work instead of laying on the couch watching Netflix.
  • Did a workout even though you really didn’t want to.

You get the point, right?!

These might sound like small things, but those small things will snowball into an avalanche that will change your life!

If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading this blog for awhile, you might be sick of hearing me talk about the small things, but it’s true. Small positive actions compound over time to make drastic change!

Don’t believe me, go read a book called The Compound Effect or The Slight Edge!

You have to keep your mindset positive and if you have a hard time doing that, you may want to take a closer look at the people you surround yourself with.

Those closest to you should be supportive, celebrate your small accomplishments and  remind you of them when you’re feeling down. They should want to see you succeed!

If instead, they are fueling the negative thoughts or peer pressuring you into behavior that won’t get you to your goals, it might be time to look at that relationship a little closer and maybe put some distance into place.

I know no one wants to hear that, and it’s even tougher when it’s a family member, but you have to make yourself a priority and your goals are important!

So what small thing can you do today to help get you closer to your goal? Leave a comment below or let me know via Twitter or Instagram!

 

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Intention vs Motivation

 

Get Fit With Nikki - Before & After

I’m by no means full of myself, but when it comes to weight loss, I like to think I know a thing or two about it.

Back in late 2009 I started my fitness journey and when I did, I had no idea that by 2010, I would be celebrating a 100+ lb loss. I also REALLY had no idea that I would keep that weight off until today.

You see, all of my attempts before weren’t successful. I tried all of the fad shakes, teas, weight loss programs, women’s gyms…you name it. But shortly after starting, I’d always find a way to stop and lose “motivation”.

It wasn’t until I changed how I looked at things that I saw REAL change.

Intention vs Motivation is what it came down to for me.
Intention
When I sat around waiting to be motivated, I left my fate up to an outside force.

We’re all guilty of turning to Pinterest for some motivational quotes to fire us up. Or maybe you log on to Instagram for some motivation but end up feeling bad about yourself and your progress after scrolling through everyone else’s posts (Comparison is the thief of joy and needs to be it’s own post.)

It wasn’t until I intentionally began to schedule my workouts and meal prep, that I stuck to it.

Once I made the things that would get me to my goal a non-negotiable, a positive shift began to happen. At first it seemed like a punishment, but after a little time, I began to look forward to it. The workout and the meal prep was my time… it was self care, things that I did to take care of myself and you know what?! ….making yourself a priority is a good thing, people!

We schedule things like doctor appointments, play dates, volunteering at our kids schools and lunch/dinner with friends, so why shouldn’t we schedule workouts and meal prep for ourselves?

Would you cancel any of the above things last minute, because you just wanted to sit on the couch and watch Netflix? I’m going to assume the answer to that is no, but I know you should never assume anything.

Anyway…what I have found to be the key with this healthy living stuff is NOT motivation, but rather INTENTION… because intention puts all of the power in your hands. It puts you in full control of the outcome because you’re not relying on an outside force to motivate you into action.

Basically it means you have to own your shit, there is no blaming anyone or anything else when you live with intention. That’s not an easy pill to swallow, but if you’re looking for a magic pill with this weight loss stuff…this is the one you need.

See how powerful that shift in mindset can be?! Crazy right?

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I Started A T-Shirt Shop!

As you all know, I haven’t blogged much over the last year, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t eating heathy(ish), working out or working on new things.

Earlier this year I launched a t-shirt shop!

Nicole Hynes Designs

It features fitness and lifestyle t-shirts, with a snarky/sarcastic edge to them. I wanted something that allowed people to show their sense of humor without having to say a word.

Funny. Fit. Fierce. You.

That’s what I was going for. Something to balance out the world of perfectly filtered, social media highlight reels. A way to embrace progress over perfection….to find the humor in your imperfections, celebrate the little things (like putting on non-gym clothing).

A way for you to be fierce as you pursue your goals and share your sense of humor as you set new PR’s….but most of all, to JUST BE YOU!

Fueled by 90's Hip Hop & Coffee - Nicole Hynes Designs

I Workout Because Punching People Is Frown Upon - Nicole Hynes Design

If Only Sarcasm Burned Calories - Nicole Hynes Designs

There are many other fun designs over in the shop! Please stop by, check them out and let me know what you think!

Like what you see? Use code GETFITWITHNIKKI for 10% OFF your order! SHOP NOW

I also have an Instagram page for the shop @NicoleHynesDesigns – so be sure to follow to see the newest designs, promos and giveaways!

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Low Carb Products I Like

It’s almost disturbing to me that I, the carb lover that I am, is writing a post about low carb items I like. However, low carb is the reality of the keto lifestyle, so you have to embrace it if you want to be successful, and you might as well like what you’re eating too, right!?

So this post will go over products I’ve stumbled upon, tried and enjoyed. Here we go…

Rao's Tomato Sauce

Rao’s, Mid’s and Victoria are all great sauce options when following low carb. They range fro 3-4 net carbs per servings and have a clean ingredient list. Just be sure to check the label…not all flavors are low carb!

Crazy Richard's PB

Crazy Richard’s is one of my favorite brands of PB (along with Teddy’s) – it is inexpensive but only contains peanuts and salt as the ingredients!

Just

This stuff is amazing on burgers, tacos and of course salad. It’s 2 net carbs per 2TBSPs and full of creamy, delicious flavor.

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G. Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauces are 2 net carbs per 2 TBSP and a summer must have!

One Bars

So these are my favorite things ever right now. (My absolutely favorite is the Cinnamon Roll which is not featured in this photo because I hadn’t found it at the time). These range in net depending on the flavor (remember, for net carbs you subtract the fiber and any sugar alcohols from the carbs on the label) – They are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth or while traveling!

Enlightened Ice Cream

Low Carb ice-creams are a must for me. I’m sorry, I just can’t live without ice-cream. I know they’re high in sugar alcohol & some people don’t like that, but as an occasional treat, why not?! My favorite flavors are Cold Brew by Enlightened and I LOVE Pancakes & Waffles by Halo Top.

BANG

Energy drinks have never been my thing. They typically taste gross and make me feel sick to my stomach, but these….uh…game changer! I’m a caffeine junkie (not proud of this) and there are days when coffee just doesn’t cut it, so I’ll have one of these. They have zero calories, carbs or sugar. The contain creatine, caffeine and CoQ10. The only other flavor I’ve tried besides these are the Pina Colada and they’ve all been good.

I feel like this post is getting a little long so I’ll stop here. There are so many great items on the market like: Nekstella (it’s like Nutella), ChocZero, Lily’s SF Chocolate, KetoFeed protein and more.

Follow me on Instagram to see what new items I’m trying and if you have a favorite Low Carb item you can’t live without, please comment below or reach out to me on IG!

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Fat Bombs: A Keto Staple

I think the hardest thing to wrap your head around when starting keto is the amount of fat that you will be eating per day. It just goes against everything we have learned over the years. It’s also not as easy as it sounds…and that my friends, is where the fat bomb comes in.

Below are a few of my favorite bombs. I also posted on for Cookie Dough fat bombs in my first keto post which can be found HERE.

CINNAMON PEANUT BUTTER FAT BOMBS

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•1/2 cup melted coconut oil
•1/4 cup natural pb
•1.5 tsp cinnamon
•1 tsp pure vanilla
•liquid stevia (to taste)

Mix everything together in a bowl. Add 1TBSP of mixture to candy mold or mini cupcake liners and freeze. (Makes 13-14 Fat Bombs)

CHOCOLATE COCONUT FAT BOMBS

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•1/2 pkg HERSHEY SF chips
•1TBSP coconut oil
•1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Melt chocolate & coconut oil together. Add shredded coconut to chocolate and stir. Spoon into candy mold or mini cupcake liners and freeze. (Makes 12 Fat Bombs)
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*Optional: sprinkle a little Celtic Sea Salt on top*

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP FAT BOMBS:

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•1/2 pkg HERSHEY SF chips
•1TBSP coconut oil
•2TBSP natural PB (I used Crazy Richard’s Creamy)

Melt chocolate and oil together. Spoon a little into your candy mold or mini cupcake liner  and freeze until solid. Spoon a little of your pb into each cup and freeze again. Top with more chocolate and freeze one last time.

With all of these fat bombs, pop them out of the mold or liners and store in a a ziptop baggie in the freezer. Then you can just pop one or two out whenever your sweet tooth kicks in or you need to bump your fat up for the day!

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My Adventures In Keto

Last September, I decided to give the Ketogentic style of eating a try. If you’d like to read about why I finally decided to give it a try after being super skeptical about it, check out this post.

After 3 months of following keto, hitting the gym at least 5 days a week and incorporating Intermittent Fasting (IF), I dropped almost 30 pounds and saw muscles that I had never seen since starting my fitness journey.

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The photo on the left was Day 1 of joining the gym in September,
Photo on the right was late November.

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Photo on the left was August 2017, Photo on the right was May 2018. It’s crazy how I didn’t feel like I had gained so much back at the time, but looking back,
I don’t know how I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t.

I learned a lot while doing keto. Starting out as a carb/sugar junkie was rough….I’m not going to lie. Thankfully as I mentioned in the above referenced post, I hit Pinterest for Keto-friendly recipes that would help me with my bread and sweets cravings – Need inspiration? Check out my Keto board over there – I think it’s really important to plan things out before jumping into this lifestyle change because there are NO CHEAT DAYS while following keto.

There is science involved with keto. When you’re body is in a state of ketosis, it’s completely changing the way it fuels itself. 

Keto Flu is real. Don’t roll your eyes about it when reading about keto on-line. When you drop your carb intake, your body naturally begins to dump excess water that it normally holds on to. This will result in a big number drop on the scale because you’ll no longer on to excess water, however this fluid dump will also leave you low on electrolytes and leave you feeling like you have the flu. NOT. FUN.

Ways to combat this is to up your salt intake…but not with regular table salt, you’ll want quality salt like Celtic or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

Electrolytes like Nuun can also be added to water, but be careful which ones you buy. Some of them are high in carbs and will kick you out of ketosis (or slow down the process of getting into ketosis). I am a fan of these electrolytes…

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They come in these handy little packets that you can easily stick in your bag or pocket, but if you prefer, they also come in a tub. I picked them up at Vitamin Shoppe but I’ve also seen them at Whole Foods and Amazon also has them. They come in different flavors and Amazon sells a sample pack so you can try the flavors and see what you like best.

Another great way to combat Keto Flu is to sip on bone broth throughout the day. It is full of minerals that your body needs and if you’re doing Intermittent Fasting, you can sip on it and not break fast! My favorite brand is Kettle & Fire which I have found at Vitamin Shoppe as well as Whole Foods.

My workouts also suffered a bit when I first started keto and I had to change my mindset about things. I couldn’t move the same kind of weight I was able to move while fueling my body with carbs and that was a punch to the ego. Dropping down in weight after hitting new PR’s is a painful thing, but I sucked up my pride, adjusted what I was doing and my body rewarded me by burning fat like it was nothing and allowing my muscle to finally show through!

While eating low carb/high fat I also no longer suffered from the 3pm slump. You know that feeling when you need a coffee IV, sugary treat or a nap? Yeah….I didn’t experience that anymore and THAT was an amazing feeling.

Despite all of this, I stopped following strict keto toward the end of December. Between the holidays and some travel, I just wanted to try to find balance that allowed me to not have to stress over food and freak out about wanting to have a few beers with friends. I simply kept my carbs low and my fat higher, but not to an extreme that allowed the body to switch over to producing ketones on a regular basis.

Of course adding carbs back into the mix triggers your body to hold onto fluid again, so my weight increased by 3-5 pounds but i’m totally okay with that.

This experiment taught me a lot of things about my body. The most important one being that despite how much I love carbs & sugar, my body does not. They leave me feeling tired, lost in a brain fog and fluffy feeling. None of those are good feelings.

I also learned that I really like Intermittent Fasting and incorporating lower carb days into my routine. This style of fueling my body leaves me lots of energy and helps me to find the balance that I feel is so important in life. I’ve been using an app called Zero to track my fasting and I highly recommend it.

So will I go back to strict keto? Probably! I definitely saw the benefits of it and felt great while following it…however I also love real pizza, beer and donuts from time to time.

I’ve made a promise to myself that I will find balance this year. I won’t keep my nutrition & workouts so strict that I go off the rails as soon as I have something that doesn’t fit plan. Life is short and I want to enjoy it, but I also don’t want to lose all of the hard work I’ve put in over the last 7+ years. That’s where balance comes into play and it looks different for everyone. I’m not 100% sure what my balance is yet, but I feel like I’m a lot closer to finding it.

Keep an eye out for more low carb recipes and keto information! I promise there is more to come soon!

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Recipe: Low Carb Keto Pizza

Well hello once again everyone! I know…I know I posted a few months ago all excited about starting keto and promising to share my thoughts and results with it and I failed to do so.

What can I say? Life happens. Between work, meal prep and starting a new routine at a gym, I was short on time and focus. I really do apologize and yet again, I’m vowing to try to be better about posting here.

Now…for those of you who are just here for the Low Carb Keto Pizza, I’ll shut up and post the recipe now. I’m even going to include a second recipe for a Low Carb White Pizza, as a consolation prize for reading my rambling.

(I’ll do a separate post about how the last few months on keto went for me for those who care tomorrow!)

Low Carb Keto Pizza

I used 1/2 of a Joseph’s Lavash bread.
2-3Tbsp of Mid’s pizza sauce (Rao’s is also a good low-carb sauce option)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
5-6 tsps ricotta cheese
A sprinkle of basil, Black pepper & red pepper flakes
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I brushed the bottom of the lavash with some olive oil and placed it on my griddle pan (you could cook it in the oven too). Topped it with the sauce, cheese, ricotta & spices and cooked it until the lavash got crispy and the cheese became bubbly.
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Easy peasy, yummy, low-carb goodness!

Low Carb Keto White Pizza

For this White Pizza I used:

1 Mission Whole Grain Low-Carb tortilla (you could use a 1/2 of a Joseph’s Lavish too)
!/4 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
Broccoli that I sautéed in garlic and oil
A sprinkle of whole milk mozzarella

This can be cooked just like the pizza above. I then I drizzled it with chili oil for a little kick, but you could just use a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an added kick.

I hope you enjoy these quick, low carb pizza options and I thank you for stopping by the blog after all of these months with no content!

My goal is to share my keto experience, foods that I found that helped me with cravings and to just overall share my journey again.

If you’re on Instagram and we don’t follow each other yet, please check me out there and shoot me a message saying “Hi!”

(I am THE most consistent with posting over there…it’s just a quick and fun platform that I really enjoy!)

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Adventures in Keto

In my last post I mentioned that I started doing Keto and if you’re like me, you’ve heard the term on social media and know it has to do with eating large amounts of fat…but you don’t really know what it’s all about.

I’ve been friends with people who follow a ketogenic diet on social media for quiet some time and I thought they were insane because all they ever posted were chicken wings, crazy amounts of cheese, bacon, steak and butter. Now there is nothing wrong with any of those items…. I’m actually a huge fan of all of them! I just couldn’t wrap my head around how eating those could possibly help you lose weight and be healthier. Then I met a dude who was super passionate about Keto and how it helped him and he explained it all to me. I mean he totally explained it all… like science nerd explanation complete with YouTube videos and books! After falling down the YouTube rabbit hole and taking a shit ton of notes I decided I couldn’t judge these people on Instagram without trying this and the science behind it all actually made a ton of sense to me.

I am not about to attempt to explain it myself. While I’ve read tons and watched a bunch of video AND took notes, I’m too new to actually explain it. So if you want to learn more about ketosis, read this: What is the Keto Diet 

Prefer videos? Check out Thomas DeLauer on YouTube he is easy to understand (and easy on the eyes) and really gets into the science behind the ketogenic diet.

Now as a sugar junkie, carb loving woman, my inner fat girl threw a hissy fit when I decided to give this a try. No pizza, no bread, no sugar….how was I going to survive?! No really…. I was pretty sure I was going to die. (I can be quite dramatic at times.)

But I didn’t. As I type this I am just about a week into it, intermittent fasting and all, and I gotta tell you, I feel awesome! I am never bloated, I don’t get hungry during my fasting (except for that one I baked a cookie cake before I even had my first cup of coffee, lol) and eating a ton of healthy fat is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Yes, I did have some “keto flu” symptoms. I had a headache one day and brain fog another. I also had some bad charlie horses in the middle of night because I need more electrolytes and I had this feeling that I can only really describe as “energy buzzing”  for a short time on days 3 and 4, but all in all it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, having a Keto Guru in my corner helped A LOT in figuring it all out and answering all of my dumb questions when I was too lazy to Google them. (Thanks dude!)

As you know I’m also a total Pinterest junkie so of course I did my “keto homework” and found lots of “fake keto” recipes. What’s fake keto you ask? Well, it’s recipes that are keto friendly but simulate the delicious carb heavy foods that you love! Recipes like the ones below have been my saving grace in all of this because if I can simulate a carb or sweet treat, I’m a happy camper. These Fathead bagels and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs have been staples in my diet this week! They are sooooooo good!

Want the recipe? Check out Wholesome Yum’s blog here!

Want the recipe? Check out PaleoMomNoms blog here!

So  stay tuned for more Keto updates from me as well as life saving recipes that I try along the way. If you’ve done Keto before or currently follow a Keto Lifestyle, I’d love to hear your best tips and tricks to making it through the first few weeks!

 

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