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28 days vs 24 hours – a big way women and men differ day to day

28 days vs 24 hours – a big way women and men differ day to day

Women and men are different. (Clearly)

Our minds work differently, we process things differently, we have different needs in regards to calories and energy and even sleep. On top of that we work on different hormonal balances. Men have more testosterone than we do, they do not carry babies like we do. We have different genetic makeups. 

 

PSA ( I am not a doctor but you can do some research yourself to verify what I am getting into today if you have doubts. )

When it comes to hormones, ladies we work off a cycle that goes about 28(ish) days in length. Our hormones rise and fall to help prepare our body for a baby (during reproductive years). 

On the flip side, men have a hormonal cycle that goes about 24 hours. Their hormones rise and fall all in relation to this and they recharge at night during sleep.

Three key things:

Women we do not function at the same capacity we are not supposed to during this time because of hormonal fluctuations (even when they are balanced).

Men can function basically the same way day to day.

We can BOTH get imbalanced through stress and other factors in daily life -for today we are focusing on us ladies though.

If I were to ask you about your day to day, which would you say your lifestyle resembles?

Most likely you would say the 24 hour clock. We tend to wake up and get stuff done and go go go until night time when we crash.

Is that a wrong way to live? Sometimes. Why sometimes? Because sometimes our hormones can support that.

During our first half of our cycle we are good to go, during the second half we need to take more time to let our body rest and reset. Not do all the intense workouts, or work late hours or stress ourselves out because our sex hormones which play into stress hormones are at their lowest.

However – Men can live this way as they recharge every night in a sense. When we are in our reproductive years our recharge and reset time is actually at the end of the month (aka our period). (and ps. This should be a red flag if you do not have one due to meds or any other reason- I am someone who knows first hand about this too).

When we live in a way that does not support this then we are asking for imbalance over time. Our stress hormones will rise, our metabolism will get thrown off and we will suffer other consequences that could range from sleep deprivation to infertility. 

We have to take steps to support our body and hormones in order to get the most out of our day to day. We are NOT the same day to day and we need to honor that. ( I mean somedays I am excited like the picture to the right… others I am the COMPLETE opposite )

 

Small changes can make a BIG difference.

The best place to start is by simply figuring out where you are in your cycle. Meaning when did you have your period last, and if you do not track it then start by paying attention to it next time. Then today start paying attention to how you feel. Chances are if you are feeling good, having lots of energy and focus you may be in the first half. Once you figure out where you are you can start applying things to support your cycle based on that.

  • Things such as adding in certain foods at certain phases.
  • Adding in rest at more pivotal times.
  • Doing certain workouts at certain times.
  • Adding in certain supplements.
  • Etc.

If you are someone who has struggled with weight loss, with hormonal imbalance of any kind, of fatigue, of stress, of anxiety, of depression…. The list goes on. I urge you to start paying attention to where you are day to day., Journal how you feel, track the highs and lows, the cravings, etc. These are ALL insights to our wonderful bodies.

Ladies we have to love ourselves first, this goes hand in hand with that. Taking care of what we are given to get into “sync” and thrive at life.

I have a freebie that can help you get your workouts in sync in you are interested. Just head to the link below and get it today.

Check out my #CycleSyncing 1 on 1 Virtual Program. Dive deep into you and get on track! Limited time savings available now! Contact me to find out more.

Why our Glute Muscles Matter

Why our Glute Muscles Matter

Our glutes (aka booty)- they are so important for a variety of reasons. 

Not to mention we all want good ones, right???

However our booty is so much more important to our daily lives than just how it looks in jeans. The  muscles that make it up play an important role in movement every day.

Our booty is made up of 3 essential muscles that are known as the glutes. We have the gluteus maximus which is the primary mover, the glute medius and glute minimus. Together they all help to extend and rotate the hip in and out. 

Our glute max helps extend your leg back and outward as well as help with rotation of the leg outward.

The medius helps with in and out rotation of the leg and the minimus basically aids with that too (to keep the explanation short 🙂 ).  They also work together to protect the lower back, spine and pelvis (when they are strong).

Oftentimes pain in the lower back, neck, and knees can all indicate weak glutes. Muscle imbalances are common in many adults, especially if you tend to sit alot or do not do much if any strength training. 

Overcompensation in other areas is a result. Simply put this means you put pressure on the wrong muscles when the primary muscle that should be doing the work (in this case the glutes) is not working properly.

So What Do We Want To Work On To Help?
First you want to be sure you can get an eccentric glute load, meaning being able to feel the glutes lengthen when squatting or hinging. If they cannot lengthen then they will never be able to relax and contract in a way where you can load them and strengthen them correctly.

Squatting :

  • When you Squat you are allowing your hips to go back and down while letting your glutes lengthen and support the hip. Then you let them contract on the way up.

Hinging:

(think dead lift or bending over)
  • You want to allow your hips to go back without allowing them to go down as much (depending on the type of deadlift you are doing). With this move you need full lengthening again or you will take some of the blunt in your back. This happens because your pelvis will begin taking over due to possible imbalances in your deep hip rotators or simply tightness (both of which can be fixed with practice and work!).
  • A great way to try this is to stand in front of a wall and allow hips to hinge back until your butt hits the wall. Keep your weight in your heels and big toe. As you are bending over your glutes go back then your upper body (maintaining a neutral spine). You can bend your knees a little bit once you feel those hamstrings stretching too.

How To:

Things to look out for – 

If you have lower back pain:

It could be because you tend to clench your glutes when standing this can cause an issue with learning how to load in extension. Simply pay attention to how you stand throughout the day, and try to relax!

You could be dealing with tightness in your hips. This can cause your hips to not be able to push back as far as they can or should. Simple hip stretching exercises can help and working on true glute activation can help strengthen your hips. 

Your core may be weak – if this is the case starting with something like learning to breathe properly can go a long way. Just keep practicing. It takes time! This blog can help if ya need it!

If you have knee pain:

You may be leading with your knees! Ensure that you are sitting back when you squat.

Pay attention to your feet, are you going more onto your toes or heels? Heels are key!

Do some glute activation work before you start to do full movements. Turn those suckers on first!

Now lets talk about Activation:

Bridging –

It is essentially a form of hinging but easier to isolate glutes and get them to fire. 

Perform the movement by –  laying on your back you will place hands by your sides slowly lift hips up keeping spine neutral and working to squeeze glutes at the top of movement, Drive through heels and keep big toe down. Hinge hips back down and repeat.

Banded lateral walks:

Place a band slightly above the knees. Stand hip width apart and keep feet facing forward. Leave a soft bend in the knee and slightly hinge hips back (key word slightly). Step to the right side and keep tension in the band, return back to start leading with the left foot. Repeat for a few rounds until you feel the burn in the side of that booty! (here are my favorite bands – glute bands)

Slow squats

You can use a band over your knees if you wish or practice without. Hold onto something to be able to keep neutral spine and focus first on breathing. Sit back into the squat keep your spine neutral without looking down. Aim to keep weight in heels and core engaged by keeping big toes down. Go slow and slightly press out on band with knees. Feel the stretch in glutes then stand up and squeeze to the top. Repeat.

Slow hinges:

To learn – stand slightly in front of a wall and plant feet. Breathe deep first and focus on letting hips hinge back then follow with lowering of the upper body while keeping a neutral spine. Once you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings you can bend knees slightly to go a little deeper. Slowly start to contract glutes as you stand back up. Repeat.

 

 

All of these movements should always start with bodyweight then move into adding more external resistance. Build up and progress and do not compare yourself to others.

If you want a whole video on just squatting and how it can help – check this out – 
Achieving optimal glute strength will not only help prevent lower back pain, hip pain and knee pain but it will also help us really ensure we are protecting ourselves when we move during every day life.
All of these exercises can be incorporated to different parts of your cycle and workout routine/plan. For example during your menstrual phase it would be ideal to do more activation and stretching where as during your follicular you would and could focus on lifting heavier and doing more explosive movements to help really build the muscle up.
Bottom line is our glutes are important. We need them to work properly to help us live pain free and get more results in our workouts and in daily life.
You can also check out training programs here – https://candicecfit.com/virtual-training/
Zucchini Fries – AIP and AMAZINGLY EASY

Zucchini Fries – AIP and AMAZINGLY EASY

These are so simple and so yummy! 

Right now easy and healthy is what I am all about. Being stuck at home means more cooking but having to do a big task every night and pleasing my picky husband can be a challenge. That is why I am obsessed with these now. 

What ya need:

Ingredients – 

2-3 decent sized zucchini 

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast 

1/4 cup Cassava Flour or Almond Flour 

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk – my favorite brand is this 

1 TBSP Onion Powder

2 cloves garlic or 1 TBSP garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Add 1/2 cup of milk to another small bowl

Slice zuchinni by cutting off ends then cutting in half and then slicing into fry size strips set aside

Preheat oven to 375 and line a tray with parchment paper

Dip one strip into milk then into dry ingredients to coat then place on tray

Line entire tray then place in oven for 15-20 minutes and flip half way through

Should be golden brown when done

Serve with a dijon mustard dipping sauce and enjoy!

 

 

Why are these ingredients great?

Nutritional Yeast – 

A great altnerative to getting a cheesy flavor minus the dairy! It is also a great vegan option to get a complete protein source  (contains all 9 amino acids) in (granted you must eat a good deal of it but still!) 

It is also loaded with antioxidants and trace minerals as well as b vitamins. 

 

Cassava Flour –

Cassava flour is something that is great to use for those looking to avoid grains, gluten and nuts as well as a good form of insoluble fibre. It is great for the digestive tract and can help reduce inflammation. 

It tastes great and is also easy to use.

Get your FREE anti-inflammatory grocery list here!

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Best Supplements for Decreasing Inflammation

Best Supplements for Decreasing Inflammation

Inflammation we know stems from stress in some way shape or form to our body. Whether it is internal or external, physical, or mental, stress causes us to be inflamed. We want to find ways to offset it, to help us relax. Although I would always want to go a food first route we cannot guarantee anymore that what we are consuming is 1- without ANY sort of pesticide, chemical, toxin, additive and 2- that we are absorbing it internally as we should.

It would definitely be nice to just be able to eat some foods and absorb all the nutrients we need and get rid of all the stuff we don’t… however our bodies tend to not function that way anymore. After being exposed to numerous toxins and other harmful substances over the years our guts get imbalanced, our livers get backed up and we have things leaking into our immune systems. Not to mention so many of our foods are covered with crap we don’t need to ingest and are bodies do not know what to do with.

That is why supplementing is the next best alternative to help us get to equilibrium and rid ourselves of as much inflammatory substances and triggers as possible. I have come up with the best supplements in my opinion to fight this and included links to my favorites. I do have to say as a disclaimer though, ALWAYS consult a healthcare practitioner prior to starting ANY supplementation guide. These are strictly recommendations I am not prescribing anything :).

Important nutrients we need to fight inflammation :

  • Omega 3s – Specifically EPA and DHA. Aim to look for a 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA on labels. DHA has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in relation to gut health and EPA has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the blood and nervous system.
  • Ginger – can potentially help with reducing inflammation in the digestive tract – like colitis and help with indigestion
  • Spirulina – antioxidant found in algae – Helps reduce inflammation and increase immune function
  • ALA– Works for metabolism and energy production but also helps reduce inflammation through its antioxidant properties and helping protect cells and restore levels of certain vitamins
  • Curcumin – found in turmeric can help reduce inflammation and inflammatory markers it is absorbed best when taken with black pepper.
  • Certain Antioxidants
  • Vitamin A– helps fight free radicals (beta carotene converts it in our bodies)
  • Vitamin B6 – one that we don’t hear of as much, but low levels of this tend to correspond with high levels of c reactive proteins which show inflammation in the body
  • Folate – another form of a b vitamin (folic acid) that has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers
  • Vitamin C – improves immune function
  • Vitamin D- connected to inflammatory conditions and when it is low and helps with weight loss when combined with Calcium
  • Vitamin K- helps reduce inflammatory markers
  • Vitamin E- reduces inflammation
  • CoQ10 – reduces inflammation
  • Magnesium – reduces inflammation by decreasing stress, when we are low in magnesium we tend to be high stressed.
  • Glutathione- reduces free radical markers

So where should you start?

I wouldn’t recommend just going all in with everything to start. Not to mention with so many options out there it can be hard to find the best ones – if I had to start with just 5 I would start with these –

 

Omega 3’s

http://track.equilibriumnutrition.com/SH67

Magnesium

http://track.equilibriumnutrition.com/SH4k

Vitamin C

http://track.equilibriumnutrition.com/SH4m

B complex

http://track.equilibriumnutrition.com/SH4l

Vitamin D

http://track.equilibriumnutrition.com/SH68

Or start with a great multi and vegan protein in one

http://track.equilibriumnutrition.com/SH4n

If you still want to focus on the food route that is ALWAYS the best option – you can find the best foods to eat and for which nutrients HERE.

ALWAYS remember if you choose supplementation for things, that you are doing JUST that… SUPPLEMENTING a well balanced diet and lifestyle to get optimum results. 🙂

Six Immune Boosting Tips

Six Immune Boosting Tips

Top 6 Immune Boosting Tips

Need some every day things you can do to help boost your immune system? Right now pretty sure we ALL do! The six things below are great EASY ways to help. And the best part is most of us do these things already.

1 – Hydrate and add some Vitamin C

Hydration is something we should ALL focus on each and every day regardless of a pandemic situation. Hydration keeps our cells healthy. It helps our digestive system our circulatory system our stress response our bodies ability to filter things out (aka bad stuff). It helps with our metabolism function too. Vitamin C is also showing some promising ability to help fight coronavirus and rightly so. It has always been known to be a immune boosting supplement and something we all need to stay healthy. It helps reverse and decrease inflammation within us due to its potent antioxidant compounds. You can find some facts on that here.

Something that helps you get both HYDRATION AND VITAMIN C is Liquid IV and it is something I use everyday. Find out more about it here.

2- Sleep

We all know sleep is important. However do you realize how important it is for our immune health? Sleep is the time when our body recharges and detoxes the most. You know how when you are sick you tend to sleep more? It is because your body is fighting inside of you to knock down the illness. That is the time when you really want to rest because it helps your immune system do its job and you are not taking energy from it by doing other things. You actually do a reset if you will when you sleep. You want quality sleep though as it is not all created equal. Aim to get 7-8 hours a night. Right now should be a rather easy time to get it done too. I mean lets be honest, most of us do not have a whole lot on the to do list right now. It also helps decrease stress which in turn decreases inflammation which can help us ward off invaders if you will. 

More on sleep? You can read about that in my older blog – Don’t skimp on sleep

3- Wash your hands

If you have not heard recently the importance of this you may be living under a rock. But washing hands is the prime way to protect yourself. Warm water. 30 seconds or sing happy birthday or abc’s one or two times through. Washing hands also helps not eliminate ALL bacteria (remember some is good for us) unlike alot of hand sanitizers do as they’re harsher. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

4- Eat Real Food

Real food = organic (if you can) fruits, veggies, non farm raised fish, grass fed/organic meets and eggs. Real food is more packed with nutrients and vitamins our body needs. The vitamins and minerals help our immune system stay strong and fight off things we are worried about right now. These foods nourish our bodies vs. cause inflammation and harm most processed ones do. When our body is able to work at optimal capacity we are able to stay strong and fight off “invaders” better. 

Here are some facts on inflammation fighting foods in an older blog I did. Inflammation Fighting Foods

5- Exercise

Exercise keeps us healthy! This does not mean we have to go all out and super hard with workouts. Simple movement can help too. It just depends on you. A rule of thumb I like to tell clients is that working out should make you feel better not worse. If you are taxed for a day or two after a workout you went too hard. Find something you enjoy, or find someone that can help you. 

If you are interested in learning more about working out and inflammation fighting check out this blog – Key to lowering inflammation through your workouts. 

You can also tryout my four week at home program and save $10 with code CHANGEUP at check out. (head to the link below)

6- Add in quality supplements to fill in the gaps

Supplementation is exactly that. Supplement your diet, supplement your body and add in what you may be missing. Quality is key here though. The best ones for immune health tend to be Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, Daily Nutritional Support (with all vitamins you need) , Glutamine is great, Elderberry and Oregano Oil. 

Here is a list of my faves. Favorite Supplements for Immune Health. 

 

 

 

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