Your BEST Bikini Series Yet!

It’s finally here, the most motivating time of the year-the Bikini Series! Read below for my top 5 tips for making the next 8 weeks COUNT! I started to implement these just 2 months ago and below are my results! I’ve stayed the same exact weight, but seen enormous changes in my body. I plan to continue on with you to make this summer one of unforgettable adventures and confidence! I’ve already seen some amazing energy from this community and you inspire me to get my butt moving every day-so thanks!

Bikini Series 2016 Before

#1 Don’t QUIT! Do something EVERY DAY (with an active rest day)  Here’s one of my favorite words- DISCIPLINE. It takes 21-30 days to see changes in ourselves, and can sometimes take longer if you’re half-assing it. Cut that crap out-you are waiting your time! You won’t change anything by keeping it in your comfort zone. During EACH of your workouts, I want you to focus on your form, your power, and your strength. (Keep your butt down during planks, do those pushups on your knees if you can’t fully extend your arms, keep your back flat not rounded during deadlifts!) Don’t save your energy for later in the workout. I promise you will still have some power left and then you’ll be wondering ‘why didn’t I push myself harder?!’ If you feel pain-STOP, if you are burning- KEEP GOING! If you are BRAND new to working out, your goal is going to be finishing your workout while pacing yourself. Need to take breaks? Need to miss some reps? That’s a part of starting out-take those breaks! Just keep going and promise me you will try your best to get to the end. Yes, you will be sore for the first few weeks, but when you push PAST this point there is some magic that happens and you will feel AMAZING! Don’t quit on me, I’m right here with you!

#2 Do NOT spend hours on Instagram looking at other girls bodies-its not yours! This is beyond emotionally damaging and also degrading to yourself. You do not deserve to view yourself as anything but beautiful, and if you’re unhappy then only YOU can make a change. Don’t compare your life or circumstances. If you find yourself in this pattern, put the phone down and go for a walk (even if it’s just around the office or the block).

#3 Don’t try to do everything at once- meal prepping can be extremely overwhelming. If you’re following the 8 week plan, I suggest trying out 1 or 2 recipes for lunch and dinner PER WEEK. Don’t buy all the ingredients or you will let them go to waste (your $$ too). I promise you will not be in the mood for something one day. Instead, keep the standards at hand so you can whip up some quick chicken or turkey and broccoli at night- there’s NOTHING wrong with routine or repetition. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Personally I prep my proteins and veggies at the beginning of the week and store them in containers that are easy to reach. Some days I want apples or bananas, and some days I want tacos-just being honest. I will be trying my best to avoid processed food for the next 6 weeks (until my wedding!) but I allow myself wiggle room since I need to reach 1800 calories per day and my days are very active. Don’t make it a habit, but don’t beat yourself up!

#4 It’s going to take hard work-I don’t have to remind you we are all created differently but this fact holds true for any woman-changing your body is HARD! There’s a reason studios and fitness corporations have been coming out with more challenging and even grueling workouts over the past 5 years. For numerous reasons (American’s have horrible diets) and we are extremely sedentary, it takes some extra umph to get rid of those stubborn lbs. When you feel discouraged remember you are doing this to be the healthiest you, and yes passing on that night out of drinking will bring you closer to your goals-celebrate with a like-minded girlfriend.

#5 WATER! Eating 6 meals a day requires you to be hydrated (plus those workouts) wow, that’s a lot to digest! My current goal is 100 oz (that’s about 6-7 of my 16oz plastic cups). Buy a new water bottle or a cup to stay motivated to drink. I keep track by writing on the top with a dry-erase marker-water works right? I can’t stress this last point enough. It will do wonders for your skin, and the rest of your body! Drink up ladies. 

Happy Bikini Series!

xoxo, Ari

 

 

Advertisements

Drink up Sailor: 6 Reasons to Drink More Water!

Drink More Water

I truly, 100% believe that drinking half my weight in fl oz./water every day, is the reason that I feel and look my best. I can definitely tell when I haven’t had enough water. I can also certainly tell during my exercise or workouts that I am tired, dizzy, or nauseous. Helloooooo! You’re dehydrated! If you are going on any time of adventure, water is nothing to skimp on! So please drink up, and enjoy these benefits from Web.MD below.

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

“Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves,” says Guest, who is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, Guest says, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee — anything but alcohol.

“Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration,” he says.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

“What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake,” says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer,” says Guest.

Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

“Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” he says. “But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.”

water-health-benefits-485212_650x488

You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate,” he says.

When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates, Guest warns.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.

“Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly,” says Koelemay.

Water Bottles

How do you get more water in your day? Get a new bottle! Click the pic above to go to the VS site and snag one up! 

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
  4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

♡Introducing P90 , the ON Switch to Fitness

IMG_4211

Never say ‘I could never…’ all it takes is one step in the right direction to start something BIG. I was never a runner! I hated running in high school and middle school. I dreaded the mile! I dreaded those stupid suicide drill we had to do in basketball. But I did like teamwork. I liked feeling fit. In college, that all changed….my mindset that is. When I had a running partner (or two or three) tell me to train with them. It was the last step I needed to take to try this new thing. COMMITMENT. I couldn’t believe what I could do if I set my mind to it. I ran my first half marathon when I was 20…which was a HUGE accomplishment for me! It took baby steps for me to get into fitness. And now I’m in the best shape of my life, and hope to be an active skiier and tennis player when I’m 80. Watch me.

I am so beyond thrilled about the newest Beachbody Home Fitness Program, P90 !!! Brought to you by the MAN himself, Tony Horton!!!!!

If I’m to be totally honest with you, when first announced, I wasn’t totally ecstatic about the launch of this baby … Being an avid Beachbody product lover, I am always looking for something to push me further … and P90 was created to be “the ON switch to fitness”. I was actually a little disappointed. I seem to be attracted to the programs that leave you dripping in sweat and out of breath (WHY?!) haha I don’t know…but this is a total game changer.
No one says that’s the ONLY way! If you actively follow my posts on Instagram or my blog (Thank you!), you’ll notice that I have been so excited about helping people realize their potential even when they think they could give up.
I can’t forget where I started. Everyone starts SOMEWHERE!
Today, I am calling out everybody who’s ever considered starting or rekindling their relationship with health & fitness… if you watch me or any other “fitspo” Instagram account from afar and have thought to reaching out for support… I can totally understand that sometimes even just the act of asking for a helping hand can seem so incredibly daunting (I know it was for me). I would love to get to know you.
Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 11.19.04 PM
So here’s my promise to you; if you have ever considered getting that healthy happy YOU back or even if you’re starting from scratch, please take this as a sign. I promise to do everything and anything I can to make sure you accomplish all of the goals that you have for this healthy new life and best possible version of YOU.
P90 is a game changer and I’ve never been this excited about a program … PERIOD. The amount of people this program will help is REAL … and this solution is REAL … and I’m real… and I want to help you. This isn’t about some “quick fix” or “magic pill”. Just real sweat, real food, REAL RESULTS.
Have you ever done or heard of the original P90X??? That stuff is crazy hard!!! Have you ever tried P90X and failed?!?! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I tried 1 (ONE!) workout …(the shortest one on top of that! lol) and gave up because I just wasn’t at that level yet!!!
Do you want to do P90X but you don’t feel like you are at that fitness level just yet? Maybe a stepping stone to build a base level of fitness is just what you need so that you can tackle something like P90X or Insanity !!
Tony Horton and the fine folks at Beachbody saw the need for a program like this. A program that could really HELP more people! Not just another KILLER workout ! They wanted to create a  foundational program that went back to basics and back to the beginning, to truly help build that strength and skill that is so necessary! P90 was designed for people just like you and me! HUMANS! not machines! lol
We want to be in the best shape of our lives RIGHT?  But the thing is, we really need to start at the beginning! We need to build that core strength, stability and learn to have the correct form so that we don’t injure ourselves and end up back at the start again! It’s about creating a safe and effective starting point for people to introduce fitness into their lives.
So Who exactly would this program be for?
Id say its perfect for:  people that :
– People that need an “ON Switch” to fitness
– People that are trying to start their journey and aren’t sure how to.
– People that are not looking for a hardcore workout.
– People that are looking for a stepping stone to a more intense program like P90x3 or Focus T25
– People that don’t really want a crazy workout but do want to lose weight.
– People that want to get back some muscle definition back.
Maybe you are just someone who wants to be in good health, get regular exercise and feel strong !
Then this could be just the program you’ve been looking for.
 
Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 11.28.16 PM Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 11.28.23 PM
So what is this program all about?
It’s not a high intensity,  pound your joints type of deal. It’s literally simple cardio, simple workouts, nothing sexy …no fluff just 25 minutes a day for 90 days.  All the moves are always able to be modified (and they show you how) so that everyone can do the workouts. Completely transform your body and your lifestyle. This is so much more than just a workout program. P90 comes with a simple nutrition guide that will help you clean up your daily habits and focus on the right foods to properly fuel your body.
So when can I get P90?
Today!!! The program JUST launched ! You can order through a Team Beachbody coach which is exactly what I do! Check out the “shop” section of my blog and website to see all the details and place your order!
So what’s the plan once I get it?!?!
I want to be the first to tell you ! Lets make 100% sure that this doesn’t become another fitness program that you invest in that sits on your shelf and collects dust. I want to make totally sure that when you get this program in the mail, you rip it open (like i did lol) and you make a plan that you can STICK TO and SUCCEED!
My job as a coach is to do one thing. and that’s to be your support system. I’m here to help you  figure out your schedule, layout the meal plan, help you put together your grocery list, and to hopefully start TOGETHER as a team on October 21st!!
We will set goals, track our progress, stay accountable, inspire each other, stay motivated and encourage one another to get into the best shape of our lives.
So I am hosting an EXCLUSIVE P90 TEST GROUP where you can get support from a me..one on one and you can also surround ourself with other like minded people if you’d like.
And hey! you can even enter to win $500 or more for your transformation! Pretty cool right?
So what is this P90 Test Group you speak of?
It’s a totally private Facebook group where no one but the members of the group can see what is going on. I will walk you through how to set realistic and measurable goals for yourself, how to meal plan, prep, how to set yourself up for success!!
You will log into the group and check in everyday and check out a post of the day. There will be ample motivation, workout breakdowns, tutorials, videos, recipes and tips.
We will track everyones progress through our online group and you will succeed!
 Trust me, if you can 100% commit to this I will give this my ALL! and  I won’t ever let you give up!
Are you ready go for this? What’s the worst that can happen? You could lose a few pounds, kick some bad habits, win a free tshirt and have more energy! Pretty sweet deal!!!!
What you need for the Test Group
All you need to do is purchase the P90 Challenge pack through me as your coach. I can send you all of the details to get the package once you complete the application below. I must be your coach and only my customers and coaches are allowed to participate in this group. The actual group and my coaching is 100% included in the price of the challenge pack.
Make this investment for you. Do this for your health, for your body, for your energy, for your family….for YOU!
I’m only accepting 10 people into this exclusive group. So please complete the application below to be considered for a spot and gain more information!Even if you are the least bit curious or the least bit interested in getting started on a health & fitness journey … leave me your e-mail… I promise you won’t regret it!
All you have to do is make the decision that now is the time for you to make a change!!! Let’s do this together!!! Fill out the application below and you’ll be hearing from me shortly! 🙂

 

 

Wednesday’s for your health!

Acne

 

Charlie Rose

Hi guys, I’ve been wanting to share my battle with acne with you for quite some time! And honestly, I’ve tried every trick in the book. You can read more about my journey in my page ‘My Journey’. But the things that have truly truly worked the best for me and transformed my skin in just 3 MONTHS, can be found best summed up in Lauren Conrad’s article about these nutrient dense foods! That’s right. Food! I’ve tried everything from Tea Tree Oil, Accutane, Anti-biotics, Black Soap, Whitch Hazel, this facial toner, that benzoyl peroxide. NONE of it would get rid of my cystic acne! I still break out…and you know why? When I eat junk food…it shows in the next few weeks or less. As frustrating as it is to limit yourself, it’s liberating to enrich yourself! So stop sneaking all that ‘white’ food into your diet. It’s disgusting, and it will show up in zit form. We all covet different beauty traits of course! But clear skin can truly help you put your best *face* forward, and help you gain the confidence you might be lacking. If you’ve been struggling with acne or cystic acne, read about the foods below and re-evaluate your grocery list! I can’t get enough Kale and Spinach (juiced in my Vitamix)

Acne Fighting Foods

 

  1. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids. This includes salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids have been known to give skin an almost instant glow. These foods can also help reduce inflammation, so any blemishes you do have won’t be quite so red. I love making grilled salmon for dinner. Adding flaxseed to a fresh fruit smoothie is another simple way to boost your omega-3s.
  2. Antioxidant filled foods. It’s no surprise that antioxidant foods are great for your health, but they also give your skin an extra dose of goodness too. Antioxidant rich foods like cherries, berries, green tea and spinach attack free radicals in your body that cause skin damage and breakouts. Eating a handful of berries or a is a yummy way to add antioxidants into your daily food routine.
  3. Foods rich in selenium. Brazil nuts, almonds, onion, garlic, and whole grains are all sources of selenium, which is also a powerful antioxidant. These foods help preserve your skin’s elasticity and reduce inflammation. Just eating a handful of almonds a day is an easy way to up your selenium intake.
  4. Foods rich in vitamin C. Melons, oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries all boost your immune system and strengthen your cell walls. These foods will help protect your skin from acne scarring and activate healing powers to amend damaged or irritated skin.
  5. Foods rich in vitamin E. This category includes nuts, soybeans, almonds, leafy greens and eggs. Vitamin E rich foods also help protect your skin from scarring. An easy way to get your daily dose is by drizzling olive oil on a salad or using it to cook. (I always use it on my pan when cooking my Tone it Up Slim Down Scramble in the morning.)
  6. Foods in high water content. This means…drink water, water and more water! Keeping your body hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And this healthy habit translates to your skin too. In addition to drinking your 8 glasses a day (a daily requirement in my book!), eating foods with high water content like watermelon and cucumbers, and also parsley will free your system of toxins as well.
  7. Foods rich in vitamin A. Foods that give your body vitamin A are rich in beta-carotene, which enhances the benefits of selenium–that powerful antioxidant I mentioned earlier. Your skin will thank you if you include carrots, bell peppers, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes into your daily diet.
  8. Foods high in magnesium. These foods are awesome acne fighters because magnesium helps to balance out acne-inducing hormones. Try munching on artichokes, oatmeal, brown rice, and figs to get hormonal acne under control. I’ll have to find a recipe for y’all for this one!
  9. Low sodium foods. Foods that are packed with salt not only make your body bloat up like a balloon, they also wreak havoc on your skin. To avoid pimples from flaring up, try to limit the amount of processed or prepared foods in your diet. Substituting canned or frozen vegetables with fresh ones can make a huge difference. You will also feel so much better if you eat “clean foods” that are unprocessed and have low sodium. I’m going to do a post on simple salads in a few weeks-stay tuned!
  10. White foods are the wrong foods. Foods like white bread, white rice, white refined flour, French fries, and mashed potatoes are some of the worst things to have in your diet if you want clear skin. Refined sugar is another culprit in this category because it makes your blood sugar levels spike, which then causes acne outbreaks. No thank you! Stick to whole grains and brightly colored fruits and veggies like these no-bloat foods. If anything else, just remember this: White foods are not the right foods if you want clear skin.

I’m not sure when it finally clicked for me…maybe I just needed to read this! My best friend has been telling me for years that her psoriasis clears up when she’s following an alkaline diet. But please do more research if you like, and make a new grocery list! Start introducing these foods, and turn down the daily donut. We are what we eat is very true! You will feel beautiful all over when you have clear skin on your side =)

Which acne fighting food is your favorite? Personally, I’m partial to spinach, eggs and berries.

If you have a Wednesdays For Your Health request, leave it in the comments below.

XO Ariana Michelle

MOVE-Who’s done watching?

This video by Arc’teryx has hit the ground running and I’d love for you to take a quick look! I understand that a lot of you may need some motivation like this, so I’ll be posting more adventure videos every week. We may spend most of our days behind the desk, but start thinking about life in front of the desk. One of these days, I know you will start an adventure of your own.

“We all try to be busy, instead of trying to be alive.”  Do you remember the last time you felt alive? Felt proud of a hardship or sacrifice you made for your body? Or maybe for a family member or friend? Coached a team? Taught someone to ride a bike? Or has the fear of failure kept you chained to the couch, watching others fight and work and achieve their goals and dreams. WHY NOT YOU?  Not enough time, no victory in sight, not sure where to start. Well guess what, we can all win by being better. Better movers. Better motivators. Better friends, athletes, teachers, pet owners, siblings… But the fundamental ability to move is a privilege. If you have it and you’re wasting it, someone will gladly take it off your hands or your feet.

Our life on Earth is but a tiny blink in the span of the cosmos. A speck. A mere reflection of human adventure and interaction-or lack of? We spend more of our time looking into the lives of others, researching how we can become more like someone else, practicing, gossiping, lying about accomplishments and defeats. Watching. Watching. Watching. Who’s done watching?

To put it best…”Me, I’m moving., because life’s more fun when you move. “

Summer Sweat

Summer-Sweat_photo

Hellooooooo-Summer is still in full swing! You may not have sunny days every day where you live, or maybe you do-make every one of them count! I feel guilty when I’m not outside on a nice day.  Living in the north-east, the sunny days are a bit scattered. But even when it’s raining, I’d still rather be outside than the gym. (However, we all have priorities-studying, kids, cooking, cleaning, working-let’s get serious, eating is important too). Now you’re probably wondering what you will do to challenge yourself for the next 30 days, and for August, because you are just so excited to keep up your new pace of happiness. What will you do besides lift weights???

I’m challenging you to 30 minutes of activity EVERY day. You may be in the middle of getting back to your routine, or you’re not sure if it’s the ‘right’ time to start getting in shape because summer is almost over. WRONG!  Summer bodies are for the binge work-out fiend. We want an EVERYDAY body! So I don’t care if you are walking every day, or biking-playing kickball, walking the dog, roller-blading, hockey, basketball, tennis, softball, yoga, biking, swimming, running around with the kids, playing on the playground, swimming in the ocean, kick-boxing. GET OUTSIDE!  Find something you love, and make sure you are sweating for 30 minutes a day. You will be amazed at the energy boost you get, the happiness that comes with losing weight because you are doing something you love. How rewarding is that? Check in with me on the Facebook page-Fitgirl Mechanic, Ariana Michelle. Or on Instagram. I want to see what you’re doing, it makes me happy too 🙂

Sweat everyday, sweat often, be grateful. Healthy first. Happy Second.

p.s I’ll be adding a new toning routine for you every week too 😉