Have you always been gluten free? If not, how has your diet changed since becoming GF?
NO I have not always been GF!! I found out in 2016 that I had celiac disease and basically my heart SANK. Because I have always been very active and exercise regularly, I used to LIVE on carbs. I ate pasta for dinner at least 4 times a week, bread almost every night and LOVED everything soy and wheat based. After my diagnosis, I actually gained weight, overcompensating with foods like rice, gluten free pasta and gluten free bread thinking that because it was GF that I needed to eat more of it to supplement for the lack of gluten. It took my body a few months to adjust to my new gluten free diet after that. I began using more veggies when I cooked and eating more fish. I did discover gluten free bread crumbs, which literally made me SO happy because chicken cutlets are like my favorite food in the world LOL. For me, changing my diet honestly kickstarted a huge lifestyle change that lead me to be a healthier person and live a healthier lifestyle. At first I thought my celiac diagnosis was a death sentence but it actually led me to be what I am today: a healthier and happier me.
I work in an office and tend to snack during the day. What are some good healthy snacks that I can eat that aren’t going to make me gain weight?
I hear this question all the time!! It is totally fine to snack, I do NOT believe in depriving yourself. If your body is telling you it’s hungry… EAT. One of my favorite snacks to munch on are my roasted chickpeas!!! People often forget about chickpeas but I swear if you make them properly they are DELICIOUS and NUTRITIOUS! You can find the recipe in the Recipes section of my website! This is a snack you can make ahead of time and eat before or after lunch whenever your body is telling you it needs nourishment. Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein and help you lose weight in an unexpected way. Other healthy snacks I like are fruit, yogurt and granola!
Do you eat before a workout or after? What do you usually eat?
I work out first thing in the morning so I will usually eat after my workout and maybe have a very small something before like a piece of fruit. I think this really depends on when in the day you exercise. After my workout I usually eat scrambled eggs and avocado or two hard boiled eggs. I was never a breakfast person growing up so I usually don’t go too crazy in the eating department for my breakfast meal. I save that for dinner ;)
What are the best workouts if I really want to become leaner and more toned but I don’t want to look bulky or big?
This is a great question and something I feel like a lot of women struggle with. We all want to get leaner and more toned but we don’t want to look like “The Hulk” in the process. I totally get it. What I would suggest is to do cardio, like running, spinning, elliptical and boxing, and mix it with doing barre classes where you don’t need to use a heavy weight to see results. I like to do Barry’s Bootcamp and usually the instructors tell you to use minimum weight of 12-15lbs for women. Unless it’s butt & leg day (Tuesday’s) I usually never take more than 10lb weights. Barre classes are great because instead of using heavy weights they use small weights and you do more reps. You need to find the mix of workout classes that give you variety in your workouts while helping you achieve the goals you set for yourself.
What do you do to motivate yourself to actually get your butt to the gym? LOL
HAHA I love this question. The absolute HARDEST part of ANY workout is actually GETTING out of bed and getting there. Once you’re there, it’s all downhill because you’re there and you’ve made the effort to be there so you’re going to put in the work. My thought process on this is basically that I know that I will feel better and more productive in my day if I exercise... and the endorphins don't hurt either ;). Exercising for me gets my blood flowing and brain thinking. It helps me feel energized throughout my day and knowing that I sweat it out already makes me feel more confident and productive when doing everything else I have to do that day. For me, working out is not so much about losing weight but about having a healthy routine. Once you have a routine established, you begin to look forward to the daily workouts and seeing the same “gym friends” or “class friends” that you see weekly. It becomes like a community.
What small steps can I take each day to get myself to eat healthier? Usually I try something drastic that only lasts a short while.
Great question! I would say some small steps that you could take would be to replace carbs with veggies, grains or protein. For example, if you eat pasta regularly, try replacing the pasta with spiralized zucchini noodles or butternut squash. Spaghetti squash is also a great substitute for pasta. On any of these veggies you can put tomato sauce, pesto or even a little olive oil to make the flavor great. If you start doing this regularly your body will begin to crave it and you won’t crave the pasta as much (except on cheat days of course!) Ever since becoming gluten free, I have gotten really big into eating grains like farro and quinoa. They are actually very filling and don’t have the same unhealthy feeling you get after eating carbs. As for protein, I absilutely LOVE it and need it for my meal at least once a day. For lunch, eating a salad with a protein like chicken or shrimp is super filling and a great start on a healthier lifestyle.
Do you prefer workout classes or going to the gym? What is your routine if you go to the gym?
I love both! I love classes for the accountability you feel having signed up and usually prepaid for your workout (so you’re more inclined to be there) but I also love the discipline and motivation it takes to be on your own schedule, get up and go to the gym on your own. My gym routine usually consists of about 30 minutes of cardio. I usually run on the treadmill or mix treadmill with elliptical or bike. Then I use a couple different machines for about 10-15 minutes depending on what part of my body I’m working on that day. I always do abs for about 10-15 minutes and then stretch and foam roll, another 5-10 minutes. In total my gym routine takes me about 1 hour and 15 minutes.