The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
I get this question a lot and while it’s different for everyone, I think having a routine is so, so important. Here’s a look into my routine and while yours may (and probably should look a little different), you can use it as a framework to build your own and see what works for you.
disclaimer : all opinions are my own and based on what I’ve found works for me. I’m not a personal trainer, nutritionist or you. While I hope you find this post to be helpful, remember that everyones routine may look different and that’s ok. Take bits + pieces, find what works for you and stick to it!
The key in my opinion to a good workout routine is variety. I typically workout 5-6 days per week taking a full body approach incorporating aspects of cardio, pilates/yoga and strength training.
My main form of cardio is running. From tempo runs to long runs and occasionally speed work. It’s important to listen to your body when it comes to running. Ramping up your mileage to quickly, to soon can lead to injury – hello shin splits. Also make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Think of your shoes like tires on a car. This is another easy way to get injured – especially your hips and knees.
Other ways I like to incorporate cardio is through spin classes and HIIT workouts. My goal is to take 2 spin classes per week, but between picking up barre subs and a bootcamp class this summer it’s usually more like one. Nonetheless, spin is a great calorie torching exercise – you can expect to burn between 400-600 calories per class and studios are popping up all over.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) incorporates anaerobic elements like strength training with aerobic elements like cardio. Think bursts of speed and endurance. HIIT workouts can be done in 30 minutes or less and are an easy addition to your weekly workout routine. Checkout these two posts for some ideas – Tabata Training and HIIT Ladder Workout.
Yoga and pilates classes aren’t for everyone, but it’s still important to incorporate aspects of these workouts into your routine. Benefits include improved flexibility, range of motion, balance and posture. I occasionally take a yoga class at Core Power Yoga, but typically get my yoga/pilates fix from barre classes. Barre incorporates aspects of yoga and pilates, along with strength conditioning behind dance. Think lengthen, strengthen and tone. If you are looking for lean, long and tone muscles – definitely try a barre class. Different studios offer different styles, so if you try one and aren’t convinced, I strongly recommend checking out another studio. Personally, I’ve found studios like Bar Method to be more instructional. At Bar Method I felt like I spent a majority of the class stretching, not sweating. I teach barre twice a week at REV Cycle Studio, but when I’m not in Baltimore, I like taking classes at Fly Barre.
While the 3 and 5 pounds weights used in barre provide a surprising burn, I still like to incorporate bigger weights into my weekly routine. Typically 2-3 days per week (ideally I’d like it to be more like 3, but I spend more time running/working out outside during the summer aka less time in the gym with access to weights). I spend 30 minutes once a week working with a personal trainer. If you have access to one, I strongly recommend it for two reasons – 1) you can push yourself to use heavier weights if you have someone around to assist/spot you, 2) I’ve learned so many new exercises that I then am able to incorporate into my own training outside of these sessions.
Post sweat stretching is so important. As I get older (getting closer and closer to 30), I realize that making time to stretch is so important (and an area that I need to continue to focus on because I’m guilt of blowing it off too). I try to incorporate stretching into my daily routine – even if that means when I wake up in the morning or before I go to sleep. Also, everyone should have a foam roller – game changer when it comes to tight muscles and knots.
If you’ve been following my IG/blog, you probably know by now that I follow a strict gluten free diet (thanks to genetics / Celiac disease). If you want to know more about celiac/my gluten free diet, check out this post I wrote a few months ago – The Low Down on Eating Gluten Free.
Aside from gluten, I don’t completely restrict anything in my diet. However, I do make swaps to minimize things like dairy and meat. In January, I did my own vegan experiment – I cut out animal products (including meat and dairy) from my diet for 30 days to see how it would impact my body. I have since re-introduced meat and dairy into my diet, but still use dairy alternatives and try to make more plant based meals.
Here are some of the dairy alternatives that I use :
- Earth Balance buttery spread (vegan / lactose free / non-dairy / gluten free / no MSG / non-GMO) *you can buy this buttery spread in tubs or baking sticks – so it’s an easy swap for butter/margarine when baking too*
- Follow Your Heart Parmesan – not all vegan/dairy free cheese is created equally..some of it is actually pretty terrible, but this one is an exception. I always keep this vegan parm in my fridge.
- Vega Plant-Based Protein Powder (vanilla + chocolate)
- Almond milk (unsweetened vanilla)
I eat meat – but try to incorporate a few plant based meals per week (swapping chicken for plant-based proteins like chickpeas and tofu).
Here are some of my favorite plant-based meals :
- Cauliflower Parm – swap the chicken for breaded cauliflower and noodles for spiralized zucchini noodles **I use a 50/50 mix of Ian’s GF breadcrumbs + Follow Your Heart Vegan Parm to coat the cauliflower**
- Roasted Chickpea + Cauliflower Tacos – toss chickpeas + cauliflower in EVOO, lime juice, chili power + cumin and roast in the oven
- Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza – swap chicken for cauliflower, toss in Frank’s Red Hot + a little Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, “fry” in air fryer or roast in the oven
- Stuffed Sweet Potato – with all of the fix-ins (my go-to are black beans and avocado)
In my opinion, your nutrition routine should be more of a lifestyle and less of a diet. Rather than following a diet with a strict set of rules, I follow this simple philosophy – eat clean 80% of the time and indulge the other 20%. Making small changes and swaps is much easier to maintain and keep up with than a crazy, restrictive fad diet. So what do you need to know?
Eat: Real foods. Meat (in moderation), seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and good fat from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. The best foods have few ingredients and all pronounceable ingredients.
Avoid: Dairy, artificial sugar, high starch foods (white bread/rice/pasta), processed foods, soft drinks
Eat breakfast every day. Get your metabolism started and you wont be starving by lunch time/tempted to eat a big lunch. I typically workout in the mornings, so breakfast is crucial.
Here are some examples of a typical breakfast :
- 2X hard boiled eggs
- granola + almond milk topped w fresh fruit
- Perfect Bar
- Protein shake (almond milk + frozen fruit + Vega protein powder + Blender Bomb)
Eat smaller meals through out the day (substitute snacks in between).
Here are some examples of typical snacks :
- Hummus and vegetables
- String cheese (low in calories + high in protein!)
- Rice cake + almond butter
- Tomatoes (I seriously just love snacking on cherry tomatoes)
- Almonds / Trail Mix
Eat balanced meals (protein, vegetable, “starch”). *eat tons of vegetables, some protein and limit starch.
Alright, now onto the easy stuff.
Water. I try to drink as much water as I can throughout the day. I always have a water bottle with me and try to drink a minimum of 4 bottles a day (my water bottle is 30.4 fl oz).
Sleep. I feel like I can always use more of it, but try my best to get at least 8 hours a night. When I’m craving a great nights sleep, I use It Works Deep Sleep pillow spray. It’s Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile blend is super calming – plus it’s proven to help you fall asleep faster and wake up more refreshed.
Skincare. I’ve always been a Clinique girl. I use Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion and Dramatically Different Clarifying Lotion every morning and night. Clinique Post-Workout Face + Body Cleansing Swipes from the CliniqueFIT line are a must have gym bag essential (hello happy skin, goodbye clogged pores and breakouts).
I think I answered most questions from IG in this post, but now that I know you guys are interested in what I’m eating, I will try to remember to document more often on my IG story.