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

 

 

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Eat Clean Train Dirty-FREE HIIT class at Katy Trail

Harvard Entrepreneurs Team up to Offer Dallas’ Hottest Free Health Event of the Summer

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Happy Monday my lovely readers! I am so excited for this fun event on Thursday. Who doesn’t love a good happy hour workout before hitting the social scene? It can be tough to meet people who have the same interests, so we are giving you a great opportunity to do both! I have recently joined the Dallas Grit Fitness Dream Team and am proud to say we have loved getting to know our Dallas community! There’s always room for fun in fitness….I would say it’s one of the things we do best, but don’t worry, you will work up a sweat this week in just 30 minutes. Read below for a snapshot of what to look forward to on Thursday! Register below….it’s already set to be a packed house and a ton of fun! Please be sure to wear sneakers, bring a towel if you like, and plenty of water.

Megan Lyons and Brittani Rettig are teaming to up to offer an energetic evening of fitness, food and freebies!  Lyons and Rettig both left their consulting careers to start businesses in nutrition and fitness respectively.  These two are thrilled to host a free event on the Katy Trail to promote health, wellness and fun!  The first 35 guests to register and attend will receive Fabletics swag bags to go along with their free high intensity interval training workout, healthy treats and nutrition tips.

GRIT HIIT Class Description:

High intensity interval training (HIIT) class designed to push you to your max! Power through a tabata-style, body weight interval circuit that’s sure to spike your heart rate while building muscular endurance. Enjoy a jamming playlist to energize your workout and leave feeling fit and fierce!  Sneakers required; 30 minutes

Class participants must register online at: http://bit.ly/1gbNqKx

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: Thursday, July 23

Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm

Location: Katy Trail, Snyder’s Union (entrance on Carlisle Place, between Lemmon Ave. and Hall St.)

Cost: Free & open to the Dallas community

Details: Fabletics giveaways, raffles, nutrition tips, healthy treats and 2 free, 30 minute GRIT HIIT workouts:

Session 1 – 6:30pm

Session 2 – 7:15pm

About The Lyons’ Share Wellness & Megan Lyons

The Lyons’ Share Wellness offers personalized health coaching to help clients lose weight, increase their energy, and feel their best through nutrition and lifestyle.  Our clients have lost up to 100 pounds, solved chronic digestive issues, dramatically reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, and turned picky kids into healthy eaters.  Owner Megan Lyons also writes a biweekly health and nutrition column titled “Trail to Good Health” in the Katy Trail Weekly.

Megan holds a Certificate of Health Coaching/ Holistic Nutrition from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2011, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University.  She received her MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2012, and graduated from Harvard University in 2007.  Prior to founding The Lyons’ Share, Megan spent 5 years as a management/ strategy consultant.

 

About GRIT Fitness & Brittani Rettig

GRIT Fitness brings an innovative approach to boutique fitness by providing a customized set of energetic, music-driven classes.  It’s Dallas’ 1st and only one stop shop for Kickboxing, Dance Cardio, Hip Hop, Body Sculpt, Barre and upbeat Power Vinyasa Flow classes.  Located in the heart of East Dallas, GRIT Fitness opened to the community in January 2015.

Prior to founding GRIT Fitness, Brittani Rettig worked at Deloitte Consulting, LLC.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University.  She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and numerous fitness certifications.  Rettig continues to author her leading fitness/lifestyle blog, Grit by Brit, which receives national recognition from SELF Magazine, POPSUGAR and Greatist.

To learn more visit http://www.dallasgritfitness.com or http://www.thelyonsshare.org

FAQs with Ariana Michelle: Eating Habits

Acne Fighting Foods

My typical eating habits

Can you believe that it’s week 4 of the Love Your Body Series and Spring Break in 60 days Challenge? The new year always brings amazing challenges up and it’s no surprise that it might seem overwhelming by all of the choices out there! Here are my suggestions on what to eat, to fuel your body for an active life!

Ok ok, so why do you keep seeing this stupid hashtag #Absaremadeinthekitchen?! Well Skin is also made in the kitchen….I think that needs a hashtag! #eatcleanclearskin? Someone come up with something! Well, because it’s true! For most….*disclaimer, not all abs are created equal.* Some of us eat SOOO healthy, what gives?! Well first of all, we all hold weight in different areas and sometimes it DOES take pushing to your MAX every day to see results over time. (I struggle with my thighs and bum….Plyo Squats and Lunges and HIIT workouts are my secret!) if you’re not burning calories during the day and completing toning routines to strengthen and lengthen those muscles, chances are you won’t see much definition. I’m sorry! I know it totally sucks, but after you turn 25, sorry babes, you gotta work at it every day. It’s just part of life. Not only is it great for your heart, and diabetes prevention, it helps us feel more confident in our clothes! Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to require hard work? Yes. Is it going to pay off if I am consistent day after day for a few months and then a year? YES! Is it fair that guys seem to lose weight faster and easier than women? Nope. But I’m not here to talk about fair, haha life isn’t about comparing yourself. This is YOUR journey. Buckle up, put your big girl pants on, and remember that you were created to be a bombshell. So we’re embracing that this month. It takes both exercise and great foods to keep a healthy weight. Abs are another level of clean eating. I’m sharing my tips that help me see definition, AND clear skin below!

*My routine changes every 60 days because our bodies need variety to maintain our goals! My personal goal is to always have abs. lol. It’s possible with clean eating and I’m proud of that!

I follow a meal structure of 5-6 small meals a day. This is typical of the Whole 30, the Paleo Diet (Crossfitters hollaa), The Tone it Up Nutrition Plan, and all of the Beachbody Meal Plans. The basic idea that you need to learn here is, eating less will not make it any easier for you to tone up! If you are looking to lose a substantial amount of weight, yes your portion sizes might need to be re-evaluated, however I have found that by eating MORE, I have been able to get closer to the lean and toned body of my dreams!

The Stipulation is that you must be eating whole, natural, raw, and fresh foods to keep you fueled and fabulous! There are so many amazing foods that can prevent acne! While I write this I’m actually snacking on a honey crisp apple and natural ground (sugar free) peanut butter from Kroger *$1.19 fresh ground lasts me a while! Read up more on my favorites here

Best-Diets-2015

Portion Size: I like to follow the portion size that Tony Horton preaches in his P90X3 plan. (Weight watchers does a similar thing) Use the size of your fist as a portion size! I know that sounds small, but it does take time to adapt your body to healthy portions. Add variety to your plate in these sizes and you will still get full, but it’s not OK to eat 5 portions of Mac and Cheese every week!

Eat enough during the day! To avoid that crazy Hanger (hungry anger) at night, please make sure you are fueling yourself during the day! When I eat all of my small meals throughout the day, not only is my body burning them and storing up those nutrients, because I worked out earlier, it’s keeping my blood sugar levels steady *very important! I am not typically drawn to junk food at night because:

A) I don’t keep anything tempting in the house, sometimes Marshmallows and Coconut Ice cream, and Kind Bars, haha #cheatclean! And B) I’m fully satisfied by all the meals I had during the day

The Great Grain Debate: Ok, there is a GREAT debate on the evil word CARBS. Some immediately think of all things that could be a starch or carbohydrate, immediately a bad food. Not true! Carbohydrates are essential to our diets because they help us maintain healthy blood sugar levels! They just take longer to break down, which is why I avoid them at night. I eat them in the morning, mid morning, or during lunch while my body is still moving and burning my stored up energy in the form of complex carbohydrates. Not ALL are created equal! It’s great to replace your standard oatmeal with something less refined like steel cut oats, and replace the pasta with quinoa, millet, brown rice. You can read up on grains here!

Cut the Crap! The easiest way to start a healthier flexible diet is to cut out *most things that come out of a package. 80% of your diet should consist of fresh veggies, fruits and meats. If you’re Vegan or Vegetarian than beans, nuts and grains are likely your best friends! Like I always say “When in doubt, throw it out!”

No Booze: I have about 0-2 drinks per week. Ok limited booze. I had a pretty substantial beer this past weekend lol I loooove Revolver Blood and Honey, or a Sam Adams. You know, Lagers or Wheat beers. HOWEVER, I have learned to know my body really well, and I do have an intolerance to gluten. Not an allergy by any means, but as a result of Accutane, my body developed an intolerance to dairy and all processed foods. Super fun! What does that mean? Let’s be honest, my tummy doesn’t like it ok? Lol my body literally hates me when I eat fried food in combo with beer *aka the best football foods ever*and ice cream-for some reason greek yogurt is ok, you just have to learn what your body responds to. For real though guys, start to replace the bad stuff with the good stuff….veggies and humus instead of friend wings and cheesy nachos. And instead of fruity cocktails, you could try vodka soda…which is extremely boring to me! Keep the drinking to a few drinks a week, and if you are preparing for an event, NO booze! I promise your face and abs will thank you for it!

Bottom line: What you put into your body, will literally come out in all types of forms on your body. For me-that’s acne. Put nutrient, colorful food in your body (Lucky Charms does not count!!) Choose more veggies over starches. Dairy makes my skin break out, and refined starches, like pasta, white bread, white potatoes, and fried anything make my skin sad. If you can find a colorful option of said starch *purple potatoes, sweet potatoes* include it in your diet! The more colors the better.

Looking for more healthy recipes? I honestly use tons of resources but I use Pinterest a lot! I refer often to the Teambeachbody.com blog as well as my Tone it Up Nutrition Plan. But I’m a creature of habit so I typically put a lot of things together and don’t follow a recipe at all times! Don’t overwhelm yourself, follow an easy plan for the first few weeks of your lifestyle change, swapping pizza for veggies, and burgers for lean meat! I probably only follow a recipe once a week haha, you don’t need complicated stuff, you just need more of the RIGHT stuff!

Example Day:

M1: Chocolate Vegan Shakeology-this is a meal addition, not a replacement! You still need more veggies throughout the day. It’s full of Superfoods *Gluten Free & *Dairy Free Please read here if you have questions about Shakeology!

M2: Fruit and nuts, or nut butter (apple, orange, berries, grapefruit, banana)

M3: Salad with everything under the sun *recipe to come!* or a wrap with extra veggies, grilled chicken, or a black bean burger. Long grain rice, sweet potatoe or quinoa option (I don’t really eat these enough actually) I eat the most veggies at lunch!

M4: Lara Bar, Kind Bar, Cliff Bar, or fruit and nuts, or veggies and hummus, I’ve found that the extra veggies in the afternoon really help me stay on track!
M5: Veggies and Lean protein. Turkey meatballs, turkey chili with tons of veggies, asparagus, brussels sprouts, loaded salad, broccoli, grilled chicken, beans, etc.

I hope that these principles helped you guys! I’m really excited to start sharing more options with you all.

xoxo, Ari

Pink Dress and Bun

Start your week fresh with 3 Day Refresh!

 

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Why are there so many parties and barbecues in the summer? Sugary drinks, bread, pasta salad, ice cream…let’s not forget the ice cream. Because food is fun! We love to eat, and share in fellowship over a good meal. It’s all good on the weekend, and then Monday rolls around and we feel like we have to start over again. And that’s ok! Don’t think you’ve blown it by just having one wild weekend. Sometimes you just need a kick-start coming back from vacation. OR you might be going on vacation and want to fit into your skinny jeans by the weekend!

I’m literally buying this for the upcoming week because my nutrition needs a little refresher. Join me in this new cleanse called 3 Day Refresh!  Lose weight and kick-start healthier eating habits in just 3 days with the 3-Day Refresh. This program is designed to fast track your weight loss by detoxifying and cleansing your system while helping you break bad eating habits. In just 3 days you’ll feel lighter and healthier, without starving. You will still eat healthy meals, but you get the benefits of a cleanse to lose a few pounds and inches by the weekend!

I always recommend a challenge pack, because you will get a whole bag of Shakeology, compared to other protein powders, its a 30 serving bag and you can use it to make amazing pancakes- hello? Delicious!  If you want the cleanse with just a few packs of Shakeology, there is that option, and then there is the cleanse without the packets at all. An option for everyone! If you really love Shakeology and want a whole bag to yourself, you will save $70 with the challenge pack option =)  Feel free to email me with any questions of course, arianamichellefitness@gmail.com