12.24.2014

LBD on NYE

LBD on NYE

I've been trying to nail down New Years Eve plans here in our new home in Orange County, California. With Los Angeles so close, the options seem nearly unlimited compared to small town Indiana where we came from. Either way, while I ruminate on where we'll be, I can at least plan what I'll be wearing.

New Years Eve seems to be a holiday where girls take what they are wearing very seriously, as if it's an adult prom where sequin dresses are ubiquitous. I've worn sequins before on NYE, but now I prefer materials and details that stand out. This faux leather dress from Zara is not only interesting with a side slit, but has a nice amount of sex appeal without being over the top sexy the way many NYE cut-out dresses can go.

The lace up shoes and Moshcino also add special details that add interest to what is otherwise a little black dress. The Rolex watch, available on invaluable.com contrasts nicely with the heavy gold hardware on the bag, and I've really been feeling a vintage watch moment lately. For several years, the trend in women's watches was "boyfriend" this or oversized that, and it seems like there has been a return to simple, leather watches for women. There are many to choose from on invaluable.com, which is a luxury auction site, and can be a huge time saver if you're trying to scour Ebay for that perfect vintage designer item.

The coat, and closed toed shoes are a nod to the midwest, the east, or anywhere with sub freezing temperatures where coats, tights, and closed toed shoes are always a good idea.

Have a very merry holiday and a happy new year.


12.01.2014

Lost but not forgotten





Outfit Details: Express Tee, Gap distressed skinny jeans, Loeffler Randall bag, Rayban sunnies, vintage plaid Keds sneakers, Urban Outfitters flannel


Since October, I've successfully passed my personal training exam (email me for workout plans!), moved from small town Indiana to southern California, and traveled between Seattle, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara for work. Not to mention, I successfully cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, which may be my greatest accomplishment from the last couple of months. This outfit is from the weekend before last, when I had a day off in Santa Barbara to take in the sun, explore the awesome vintage stores and State Street, and enjoy some Saint Ynez vino.

I didn't mean to ignore my blog for so long, but life has been exceptionally hectic, even for someone who spends about half of their time on the road. I have so many ideas about things that have been inspiring me lately that I can't wait to share with all of you lovelies.

Follow me on instagram and twitter for more frequent content!

10.14.2014

Nutrition Tips & Meal Planning


Hey there lovelies,

I mentioned on Instagram yesterday that I would be discussing nutrition tips, meal planning, and common diets myths and misconceptions on today's blog post. I first would like to acknowledge that I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, and to seek out a licensed expert for more specific recommendations and guidelines on nutrition. Rather, I would like to discuss nutrition from a factual standpoint, with some of my own tips and strategies to reach your fitness goals.

First of all, whether your goals include losing weight, building muscle, or fat loss it's a good idea to know how many calories you burn in a day. There are lots of useful calculators out there that take into account your height, weight, gender, and activity level. The Harris Benedict equation may be old, but with an activity factor, it is a good general approximation, click here to calculate your total daily caloric needs.

Once you have a general idea how many calories you need, I am a firm believer in food journaling. Particularly if you are new to working out, have had lackluster results in the past, or have never kept a food journal before. By writing down exactly what you eat as well a portion size and nutrition info (e.g. calories, carbs, protein, fat) you realize how much you are eating, as well as any habits that may be inhibiting your progress. For example, skipping meals can lead to poor choices or huge meals later in the day that can prevent weight loss.

Though food journaling can be time consuming, using it as a tool for even just a few weeks can be huge towards accomplishing goals and making permanent lifestyle changes. If you've never done it before it is a great exercise to get an understanding of portion size and nutritional content of foods. I would strongly encourage anyone trying to lose weight to keep a food journal. This includes measuring out how much food, and tracking portion sizes in terms of volume and weight as well.

How Do I Plan My Meals?

Based on the total daily calorie need calculated, I like to spend a little bit of time on the weekends planning what I will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I like to eat a minimum of 300-400 calories a meal (right now my meals are probably about 600 calories each), incorporating lots of lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and lots and lots of veggies and fruit. Particularly since studies have suggested lots of vegetables and fruit lead to optimum health. Again, see a nutritionist or registered dietitian for specific guidelines. 

Prepping things ahead of time will prevent moments of weakness and stopping off at the drive-through when there are no other options. We've probably all heard it before, but when you fail to plan you plan to fail.

I usually like to make something I can take for a week's worth of lunches, and pack it in microwave safe containers for each day. As for dinners, I get a little tired of eating the same thing again and again, and usually like to make something Sunday night that I can eat for a few days. Then, I'll make another large meal midweek to portion out for dinners through the rest of the week. I also like to make things for breakfast the night before, especially something like overnight oats. If I haven't posted a recipe for this yet, I will soon!

Some of my favorite meals on my recipes page (from the top: turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash, blueberry protein pancakes, cheesy broccoli kale casserole)


What is gluten-free? Should I try it?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. About 1% of U.S. adults have Celiac disease and about 10% have a less specific sensitivity according to the Mayo Clinic, though some argue this is just the latest diet trend. Because gluten can be found in things like enriched bread, white pasta, and fried foods (the breading) cutting out gluten can be beneficial merely by cutting out lots of processed foods from the diet. However, if you don't actually have Celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, there may be no need to cut out things like whole grained bread and pasta.

Is low carb a good way to lose fat? 

Low carb diet plans can lead to rapid weight loss, but a lot of this weight loss in fact comes from water loss, and can be hard on the kidneys and lead to dehydration. Low carb eating can also lead to a lack of energy. Typically, it is recommended to eat no less than 100 grams of carbs a day to prevent ketosis and other negative health effects. With that in mind, cutting out processed foods that are high in carbohydrates is probably not a bad idea. The picture of me posted above is from last April-May when I was trying out low carb/high protein eating, and while I looked nice, I definitely noticed a difference in my energy level. Again consult an expert before beginning a specific diet plan.

If you guys have questions tweet or email me @chicinsneakers and chicinsneakers.blog@gmail.com 

Have a wonderful week!

10.06.2014

Meal Makeover: Spaghetti & Meatballs


This past week I passed my personal training exam, which means I am officially a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I'm so excited about this, and this next week or so, my posts will focus more on workouts and eating as 99.9% of my clothes are packed. Within the next few days all of my stuff is getting shipped across the country from small town Indiana to Orange County, CA. I'm so excited about this, and I can't wait to be settled in our new home in the OC.

This recipe makeover takes a classic indulgent dish, and slashes the calories and fat by replacing a classic meatball with turkey, and swapping spaghetti squash for enriched flour pasta.

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash
2 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1/2 chopped italian parsley
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
2 large eggs
1/3 low sugar ketchup
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, as desired.

Directions:

Peel and grate onion into large mixing bowl. Add fresh chopped parsley, minced garlic, lean ground turkey, ketchup, shredded parmesan, eggs, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Mix and combine with a spoon or by hand, and shape into golf ball sized meatballs. Place on cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Bake at 375 F for 25-28 minutes, until meatballs are cooked thoroughly inside and lightly golden brown on the outside. 

For the spaghetti squash: Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds from the middle using a spoon. Lightly coat the squash with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the squash, cut side down, on a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and bake approx. 30-35 minutes at 375 F, until the squash can be shredded easily with a fork.

Once the squash have cooled (approx. 10 minutes) shred the inside of each half with a fork, creating what looks like noodles. I prepped my squash ahead of time, and then once the meatballs were done, heated up the squash with some low-sodium tomato squash.

Recipe makes about 4 generous servings. I'll post calculated nutrition info later on today or tomorrow.

*Updated, Approximate Nutrition 

for 1 oz turkey meatballs (recipe makes 10+ oz)

Calories: 85
Carbs: 7 g
Fat: 4 g 
Protein: 7 g

Enjoy!





9.23.2014

Chest & Triceps Smasher




Hey lovelies, I'm getting ready to take my CPT exam in a few weeks. I've been trying to really push myself in my workouts, while still being really time efficient. Below is a great chest and tricep workout I did on sunday. I tried to keep my rest between sets to 45 to 60 seconds. On the last set of each exercise, I did a dropset.

A dropset means reaching failure, dropping the weight by 5-20% and continuing the set with more reps to failure. Usually a dropset is done with about 2-4 drops. If you have questions about the workout tweet me @chicinsneakers or shoot me an email (chicinsneakers.blog@gmail.com)!

I included video links you can click on to see a quick video of the exercise with forms cues if you're not familiar with these moves. 

Enjoy!

Barbell Bench Press
4 x 10-12
Bodybuilding.com - Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

Dumbbell Bench Press
3 x 10-12
Bodybuilding.com - Dumbbell Bench Press

Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 x 10-12
Bodybuilding.com - Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Close grip barbell bench press
4 x 10-12
Bodybuilding.com - Exercise Popup

Tricep Pushdown
4 x 10-15
Bodybuilding.com - Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment - Female

Overhead tricep press
3 x 10-12
Bodybuilding.com - Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension - Female

Tricep bench dips
3 x failure
Bodybuilding.com - Bench Dips - Female





9.22.2014

Jewel Tone



Outfit Details: Gap Sweater (available here), Ann Taylor pants, DKNY watch, 10 Crosby Derek Lam shoes, Loeffler Randall bag (similar version here)

The weather is already starting to turn here in the midwest, this weekend was full of rain and wind, making it apparent summer is long gone. I've been trying to mix in some of my favorite fall pieces like this soft camel sweater and jewel tone pants with more summery pieces like to 10 Crosby flatform sandals. While the look is elevated for a Sunday brunch, it's still casual and comfortable enough to wear running errands.

I'll moving to southern Orange County in less than a month, the lease is signed; it's official. Mentally preparing myself for the move means letting go of the idea of fall, and learning to dress for "perma-summer". It will definitely be a transition, and I'll try to keep posting as much as possible during the moving process. You lovelies can follow me on bloglovin or twitter so you don't miss a post.

I'll also be sharing some workouts this week, I'm planning to take my personal training exam right before I leave, fingers crossed. 


9.19.2014

Fall fashion wants

F/W 2014



1. Zara sweater $80
3. Zara cape $249
5. ALDO necklace $18
6. Zara brown coat $169

I just signed a lease this week for an apartment in southern Orange County, California. It's crazy to think I'll be moving in less than a month, given how much I have left to accomplish before then. 

Even though fall won't quite be the same in the sunny oasis that is the OC, I can still dream about luxe coats and bright pops of burgundy and jewel tones. These are some of my picks for fall that I would add to my wardrobe in a heartbeat. The items themselves are all fairly classic, but with modern twists and special details that make even a pair of black boots or a camel sweater feel new and interesting.

What trends are you guys adding to your closet this fall? The item information above are all links, so click for shopping details.
























9.15.2014

Fall Uniform



Outfit Details: Loeffler Randall Junior Work Tote (similar here), 10 Crosby Derek Lam shoes, Gap coated jeans (available here), American Apparel tee, DKNY watch

Hi lovelies, I'm so sorry my posts haven't been as regular as I would like. I'm traveling for work and gearing up for my big move to California in less than a month, needless to say there are a lot of moving parts in my life right now.

Lately, I feel like I've been living in skinny jeans, tshirts, and comfortable shoes. These coated jeans and striped tee add a little interest to what could be a very basic outfit. The giraffe and snake print on the shoes and bag, respectively, also give a little extra pinache to my everyday errands uniform. I was thinking that maybe I would do a post on some of the furniture makeover or decorating once I've moved.

Is that something you guys would like?




9.09.2014

Thoughts on diet and exercise



I promised I would share some of my diet and workout routine with you lovelies today. I have mentioned it before in some of my instagram posts, as well as here on the blog, that I have been "bulking" for roughly six weeks now. 

What is bulking?

Traditionally, body builders would divide their diets in bulking where they would focus on putting on mass and then switch to cutting during contest season to lower body fat. First of all, I am not trying to be a bodybuilder.

I say that I am "bulking" (with the quotes) because in reality, I spent several weeks reverse dieting. For long periods of time, I was trying to eat too few calories for my height, activity level, and body type; and because of this, my workouts and energy levels suffered. I feel that I have spent a long time eating too few calories and unintentionally compromised some of my fitness goals without realizing it.

Because of this, I decided to reverse diet, where I increased my calories about 50-100 a day, and continued this for several weeks. So, for example, on the first week I was eating about 2100 calories a day, week 2 about 2200 calories a day, etc. I did this for about four to five weeks. I was trying to eat high quality foods with lots of protein during this time, though I did allow myself some wiggle room. 

After these several weeks, I started noticing significant improvements in all of my lifts, which felt amazing. However, I did not put on any noticeable weight or inches during this phase. Because of this, I decided that maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to try a traditional bulk, particularly since I regularly have to lift heavy equipment at work. 

So, what has that meant for my current diet and workout plan?

I am currently eating roughly 3000 calories a day, shooting for 40%/40%/20% carbs, protein, and fat respectively. I lift five to six times a week focused on legs, back and biceps, chest and triceps, and shoulders. I alternate doing calves and abs each day as well. My rep ranges are more geared towards hypertrophy (maximal muscle growth) so each exercise is 3-4 sets of about 8-12 reps, often with the last set being a dropset.

I've tried to focus on feeling like I've really pushed myself during each workout and feeling a pump in the muscle even if I'm only at the gym for forty-five minutes. I am just now starting to do cardio again, but haven't done any for about two months.

What are my goals with this? Why would you want to "bulk"?

My goal right now is to focus on building muscle, and to develop a more toned, strong figure, particularly as I transition into cutting and losing fat in the upcoming weeks. A lot of people have the idea that women should not lift weights or eat too much because it will make them unattractive.

I am still wearing the same size jeans as I was before I started this process, approx. size 25-26, which is really fairly small. I can tell I have put on a few pounds during the bulk, but a significant amount of it has come in the form of noticeably more shapely legs, back, and butt. 

I am perfectly fine with this, I don't look like a man (which many people warned me I would), this process is a means to a leaner, stronger, more beautiful figure and I'm happy with where I'm at. I remember trying to put myself on a 1200 calorie a day diet and wondering if I would ever be able to deadlift my bodyweight. Today, I do my deadlifts with a plate on each side of a barbell (135 lbs) and pictured below I am doing romanian deadlifts with a 100 lb weight. Mission accomplished.

Have more questions? Email me at chicinsneakers.blog@gmail.com or on twitter @chicinsneakers

9.08.2014

Weekend Chic


Outfit Details: Loeffler Randall Junior Work Tote (similar available here), J.crew boxy top, Gap distressed skinny jeans (similar version here), Steven by Steve Madden heels, Nasty Gal Cat Eye sunglasses (similar here), DKNY watch

This weekend was one of those where I felt like I was constantly running around, trying to get as many errands done as possible. New York fashion week is wrapping up, so maybe that the was the inspiration to step up my weekend uniform, but either way this is a definite upgrade to my normal t-shirt, jeans, and kicks.

These Gap skinnies are an awesomely affordable pair of distressed skinny jeans, that not only fit well and flatter, but also transform in the distressed holes and tears as you wear and wash them. Paired with the structured J.crew top and heels, it elevates what would otherwise be a comfortable, yet generic weekend look. This bag is one of my new favorites; I read an interview in this month's Lucky magazine with Jesse Randall, which totally sold me on the brand, as if I really needed convincing. She talked about wanting to design special pieces for the modern, multi-dimensional girl, and I was inspired to pick up a few of their pieces on Piperlime.

Hope you guys had a great weekend, have you been keeping up with nyfw? Any favorite trends? Tomorrow I plan to post some of my workouts and info about my diet. I've been "bulking" for 1-2 months now, and am getting ready to start my "cut". More on this soon!



9.05.2014

Digital Print



Outfit Details: Stuart Weitzman tassel loafers, Zara digital print skirt, Michael Kors bag, Banana Republic wrap top

I picked up this Zara skirt during their winter sale this year, drawn in by the print. When I saw it, I knew I had to have it, but this is the first time I've actually worn it out of the house. It amazing how I (and I'm sure many women out there) can have a full closest, but still feel like I have absolutely nothing to wear. It's a little ridiculous when pieces I love, somehow fall through the cracks, and amidst the multitude of clothes, they get lost in the dark recesses of a closest. I can see myself continuing to wear this skirt into fall dressed up with a blazer and heels or dressed down with a chunky-knit sweater and boots.

The loafers are a new favorite of mine, the silver is so multi-dimensional, I can see myself wearing these with laid back weekend outfits or to work. 

Hope you lovelies have had a great week, I'm going to try to record some workout videos over the weekend and post some of my workouts on here next week. 

Have an awesome weekend! xo



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