Eating Clean for Beginners

I started the Eat Clean Diet in January 2013. Before this time I had no idea what eating clean meant or how to do it. Tosca Reno is the creator of the Eat Clean Diet and it is, simply put, eating foods in their most natural state and not eating anything processed (put down the Oreos!).

If it was made from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t eat it.

The first thing I did when I decided to eat clean was purchase Tosca Reno’s book Eat Clean Diet  Extended Version (which can be purchased from Amazon here).

Eat Clean Book

This book is worth its weight in gold! It explains everything you need to know about starting to eat clean and even supplies some meal plans for beginners in the back.

Making the transition from eating processed and unhealthy foods to eating clean can be difficult, especially if you aren’t the type to eat any veggies or fruit to begin with. I suggest starting small and incorporate one clean meal into your diet a day and gradually keep adding more clean meals until you are comfortable with eating clean. It is important to set small, attainable goals for yourself or else you will just set yourself up for failure.

Feel like taking the dive into eating clean? These are a few tips that helped me when I first started:

1. SHOP the outside of the grocery store. Everything fresh you need is on the outside (fruits, veggies, butcher, etc.) I only step into a food aisle for the odd item, such as coffee and whole grain pasta.

2. READ the labels on everything before you buy it. You may think it’s time consuming, but a lot of products have added salt which isn’t necessary. And if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, put it back.

3. DRINK lots and lots of water! Recommended daily intake for adults is 8 glasses per day. It’s important to stay hydrated and sometimes your brain mistakes thirst for hunger.

4. SNACK if you’re hungry (and you know from number 3 above that you aren’t in fact just thirsty) it’s okay to grab a snack. A list of 100 Calorie Snacks from Eating Well is here, or you can just grab an apple!

5. PLAN ahead. Meal planning and prepping is really important if you want to stay on track. When you prep your meals ahead of time you have no excuses for straying from your plan.

If you have any questions about eating clean please feel free to leave them in the comments section!

Fitness Apps: My Favorites

In my fitness journey there have been 3 apps that I have used since the very beginning: Cross Trainer by GAIN Fitness, Nike+ Running and My Fitness Pal. One app I only came across recently, but it quickly became a favorite: Fitocracy.

Here’s a brief breakdown of what each app has to offer and why I love them:

Cross Trainer by GAIN Fitness 

It was actually my husband who came across this app and told me I absolutely had to download it! Cross Trainer by GAIN Fitness is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. I dislike lifting weights in a gym because it makes me feel self-conscious but with this app I get a good workout in the comfort of my own home. Below are a few screenshots on what this app looks like on your phone:

GAIN Fitness

GAIN Fitness describes their app:

We sought-out top notch personal trainers to create interactive, customizable workout packs that guide you to your goals. Get workouts and plans—matched to your fitness level, goals and time constraints—instantly, from the convenience of your mobile device

Some of the features of this app include (but definitely not limited to) the following: customizable training packs, audio cues (of a real-life fitness pro), data tracking, workout sharing, and GAIN plan.

The GAIN plan is awesome (shown in bottom left of picture above). You create a custom 5 week plan that is tailored to your needs, including duration and location (home, gym and even on the go).

iPhone or Android? This app is currently only available on the iPhone.
Cost? Free!

On May 31, 2013 I was featured in their blog under GAINster spotlight. For the full story visit: http://blog.gainfitness.com/2013/05/31/1172/

For more information on this app, visit: http://gainfitness.com/

Nike+ Running 

This is a great app if you’re a runner or would like to become a runner. When I first starting running I, well, sucked at it. Nike+ Running tracks your speed, distance using GPS, weather conditions, calories burned, where you ran (road, track etc) and even lets you document how you felt after the run. You can also share your run on social media sites and ask for Cheers during your run by posting to Facebook!

Here are a few screenshots from the app:

Nike+ Running

Other features include adding and competing with friends, challenges, badges and achievements and positive feedback from Athletes who are sponsored by Nike.

iPhone or Android? Both!
Cost? Free!

Want to add me on Nike+ Running? Search Lisa Woodcock and run with me!

For more information on the Nike+ Running app, and other apps offered by Nike+, visit http://nikeplus.nike.com/plus/

MyFitnessPal

This is a great app for tracking your food and calorie intake. MyFitnessPal describes their app as:

A diet and fitness community built with one purpose in mind: providing you with the tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals

This app really help get me on track with my eating. I had no idea how many calories were in what or even how many I was consuming. I found it to be a bit time consuming to add all of my food but if you’re dedicated to creating a better life for yourself, it is so worth it. They also have over 3 million foods in their database so finding something you ate shouldn’t be an issue.

Here is a screen shot of what this app looks like:

MyFitnessPal

Other features of MyFitnessPal include automatic syncing of your journal to their website, where you can also track from, adding friends, tracking exercise, and syncing certain apps directly to MyFitnessPal.

iPhone or Android? Both! (also available for Blackberry and Windows)
Cost? Free!

For more information about MyFitnessPal visit http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

Fitocracy 

I just discovered this app this past summer and if you’re a gamer this app is for you! Earn points by completing workouts! Every activity earns you points depending on the length and difficulty level. For example, running 2.76 miles  in 40 minutes on the treadmill earned me 200 points this morning.

Here are screenshots of this wicked app:

Fitocracy2 Fitocracy

There are so many different features in this app! In addition to leveling up you also complete Quests and Challenges and can compete with friends! There are also groups you can join which have additional challenges and the app syncs online so you can track on your computer as well.

iPhone or Android? Both!
Cost? Free, however there is an option to upgrade your account and get more features for $4.99 a month or $44.99 a year.

Want to learn more? Check out http://ftcy.me/eva8DD

Well, there you have it: the 4 fitness apps I would be lost without! Please feel free to comment and share your experiences with these apps and tell me what fitness apps YOU love!