The Dangerous Art of Blending in

Social media in 2018 can be super intimidating. When you try to standout most people have an opinion and try to shut you down. Just think, how many times have you wanted to try something new? Or have an idea for something creative to post but you had this fear it wouldn’t get likes. 

I GET IT! Don’t think I don’t. Most of the time that happens to the best of us. Especially when it comes to social media. It’s easy to quantify someone’s self worth based on how many followers they have. Therefore, most content similar to what others are posting.

Guess what? It doesn’t work. The reason I am telling you this is because I tried it. I am an athletic women trying to make a name for myself in the world so naturally I thought I should follow the trends on social media and do exactly what the other fitness women are doing. I mean, it worked for them, why wouldn’t it work for me?

By doing this I basically started blending in with all the other fitness accounts out there. Then I got to thinking what am I really about? What do I have to offer to people? How can instead STAND OUT above the crowd?

And this is what I have learned:

 

  1. Play to YOUR Strengths.

 

 Think about what you have to offer. What makes you unique. Mine was that I played football and that I have a vast knowledge about training and conditioning for athletics. Not the most interesting topic for most people on social media but its what I know and am passionate about.

I started posting more videos about my specific training. Plyometrics, Olympic weight lifting, football drills and sports nutrition. People started to pay attention and I stood out.

 

  1. Sunny Side Up

 

There is a ton of negative energy online. Be the shining light that sees the silver lining in every cloud. When I started posting positive inspiring stories with my pictures I found more engagement. Comment on the posts. My rule is if people take time out of their day to comment something uplifting on something I posted then I will take the time to engage with them. Be a happy human.

 

  1. Time to Get Real

 

It time to share your personal life trials and tribulations. I’m not saying post your feelings everyday. But rather make a post about a tough time you had and how it challenged you but yet changed you for the better. Sharing life experiences can help people relate to you more on a personal level. They feel connected to you and you will gain a life long follower.

 

 

  1. Be Different

 

If you have a different creative idea for a video chancers are it will be a hit on social media. The times I just playing around with videos and made something up on the spot seemed to be popular. I would look for inspiration for videos on social media. I looked for to what people are NOT doing that I could do. From that I was able to create something that is my own.

GO LIVE! I noticed there wasn’t a lot of people doing live videos on Instagram that had a plan behind it. So I decided to be different. I started a segment called “The Amanda Show” which is a live Instagram show 3 times a week. I have a plan all written out either about trending sports, healthy cooking or inspirational advice.

 

  1. Learn & Grow

 

There are 3 things I have learned from posting on social media that people LOVE. 

  • Humour
  • Emotion
  • Inspiration

I found these topics to have the most engagement. Yes, you can post a picture of your butt and get 1000 comments, but did it inspire? I ask myself that when I am posting content. Keep a good mix in your posts about how you want to been seen to the world. After all your reputation is your resume.

Now take this information and keep killing it online. Just be different. Don’t find yourself blending in or you will be forgotten. Cheers!

 

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6 REASONS WHY YOURE NOT SEEING RESULTS AT THE GYM

When you’re going to the gym all the time but you can’t seem to be getting the results that you want there could be a few things standing in your way. You want to see actual results if you’re going to be putting in the work! Right?
Here are a few things that I’ve noticed that might be the reason you are not getting the results you want in the gym.
1. You Are Not Eating Enough
Our bodies need a certain number of calories a day to function properly and at an optimal level. If you are not consuming enough calories a day, especially on days you workout, your body could be feeding off your muscles for more energy if the calories are not there. You need to eat more to provide your body enough energy and fuel for muscle growth. It helps to know what your macronutrients are going into a health diet and exercise plan. This way you can be certain about the quality of calories you are taking in per day that are helping in your muscle growth.
2. You’re Not Lifting Heavy Enough
I say this only because I don’t see people pushing themselves that often in the gym. Remember that time under tension helps the muscle grow. This term is a commonly used in any strength and conditioning or bodybuilding fields. In short, time under tensions just refers to how long the muscle is under strain during a set. A typical set of 10 repetitions for an average lifter will take anywhere from 15-25 seconds depending on lifting speed. Lifting heavy is one of the best ways to stimulate muscle growth. If you are not challenging your body each and every workout with either higher weight or more reps, you will not put on as much muscle as you would like to.
3. You Haven’t Been Training Long Enough
It’s typical when people try something for a couple weeks and don’t see the results they want to just give up on it. You can’t just get six-pack abs or put on 10 pounds of muscle overnight. Progress takes time and consistently. The combination of eating clean, challenging yourself every workout and going to the gym often WILL result in progress. You just have to be patient. One of my vary favourite examples of this is how Usain Bolt trains for 4 years at a time for that one moment at the Olympic Games when he runs the 100m for only 9-10 seconds. All that effort and training for that result so far down the road. Now that is ultimate dedication to the process.
4. Your Diet Isn’t What You Think
When it comes down to it, food is fuel. What you put into your body will either help you or hurt you. If you aren’t seeing the changes you’d like to be seeing, your diet is a good place to start. Lean proteins, veggies and complex carbs are a good staple in any healthy diet. Consult a professional on the matter if you want to do it right!
5. You’re Measuring Your Progress Wrong
Progress is progress, no matter how little or large. If you want to gain 10 pounds of muscle, but have only gained 6 pounds so far you are still on track of doing something right. Just be patient, keep working at it and stick to your plan because the hard work will pay off. Progress shouldn't be measured in numbers anyway, its measured in how you feel and if your health is improving.
6. You Are Not Recovering Between Your Workouts
Sometimes being in the gym too much can be bad for your body. If you are overtired in the gym the chances for injury will significantly increase, so it is important to take rest days for your body to recover. That way you can go ALL OUT in the gym your next workout and see maximum results. Above all, it is important to listen to your body and go by how you feel. Put house in at the gym but get some good sleep, quality calories and get an athletic massage once in a while. Your body will thank you!
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CLEAN EATING RULES TO FOLLOW FOR SIX PACK ABS

It’s a New Year! Let’s start it off right by talking about some essentials to clean eating and how to shop healthy.

Your trip to the grocery determines your eating habits for the week. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Follow these dos and don’ts to make sure you make the right choices and bring home good-for-you foods.

DO…

Avoid the middle of the store. Yes, you’ve probably heard this one before. And while we don’t think you should avoid it completely, it is a good idea to spend the majority of your shopping time in the perimeter — which offers produce, meat, dairy and frozen items — rather than the inner aisles, where most of the packaged foods reside.

Keep in mind, however, that many supermarkets have started littering the perimeter with desserts and high-calorie prepared foods, so look out for those. And the inner aisles of the supermarket do offer some healthful foods, such as dry beans and whole-grain starches.

Bring a calculator. Or use your smartphone if it has a built-in calculator. Sometimes food-purchasing decisions require a little math. This way, you won’t get frustrated and inaccurately estimate which of the two cereals with different servings sizes contains the least sugar.

Shop after your workout. You’re feeling good about exercising and staying committed to your health goals, so it’s a good time to shop for food and continue making healthy choices while you’re in that mindset.

Look for short ingredient lists. The shorter, the better. Many processed foods are packed with additives and chemicals you can’t even pronounce.

  • Buy low-sodium deli meats and cheeses instead of the regular versions. We guarantee you won’t even be able to tell the difference.
  • Buy low-fat or skim dairy products — such as milk, cheese, sour cream and cream cheese — instead of the full-fat versions.
  • Buy whole-wheat and whole-grain pasta, bread and other starches instead of the kind made with refined grains.
  • Buy skinless chicken — no matter what cut you’re buying — instead of the skin-on pieces to significantly reduce your meal’s fat content.
  • Buy lean and extra lean meat instead of the fattier options. For ground meat, extra lean is 95% lean with 5% fat, and lean is 90% lean with 10% fat. For cuts of meat, extra lean contains no more than 5 grams of total fat and 2 grams of saturated fat per 100-gram serving; and lean contains no more than 10 grams of total fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat per 100-gram serving.

DON’T…

Shop hungry. Sure, this sounds like common sense, but we’re willing to bet it hasn’t been long since you last made this mistake. There are even studies proving we make bad choices in the grocery aisles when we’re feeling ravenous. Just don’t do it.

Buy something just because there’s a deal. “Oh, look! There’s a two-for-one deal on those baked potato chips!” Repeat after us: “I do not need them.” If they’re in the house, you will eat them. It’s smart to buy in bulk when the food is healthy and nonperishable, but stocking up on packaged snack food isn’t going to help your diet.

Forget your list. This is just as crucial as going to the grocery on a full stomach. Create a list before you go and stick to it. Your waistline, and wallet, will thank you.

Assume “fat-free” or “low-fat” means it’s healthy. Food labels can be deceptive. Sure, the product might be low in fat, but food manufacturers often make up for the lack of fat with salt. Always read the Nutrition Facts label and the ingredient list to get the full story.

Buy canned vegetables. Not everybody can afford to purchase all fresh food and make sure it gets eaten before it spoils. And sometimes we need the convenience that comes with packaged food. But if you’re considering buying those cans of veggies, turn yourself around and head to the frozen food aisle where the produce won’t be so loaded with sodium.

Buy it if it contains trans fats. This man-made fat has been linked to too many health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Research also shows that trans fats increase LDL cholesterol levels, according to WebMD. Even if it says it contains only 1 gram of trans fat, put it back on the shelf.

NOW, go out there and shop for quality foods! Healthy eats + Exercise = six pack in no time...

 

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STRENGTH TRAINING FOR BEGINNERS

From playing sports all my life I have had countless strength and conditioning coaches from all over! Over the years I have gained a lot of useful advice and picked up some great tips on how to prefect my strength training. I want to share some of my knowledge with you today!
Strength Training Tip #1 - Perfect Your Technique
Working over the years on breaking down just my squat form or my clean technique has been the best thing i’ve ever done. Once I took a chance to scale back the weight and actually work on how the lift is to be performed perfectly you can then see improvements. It can be challenging to focus on different parts of the lift instead of its whole movement. I don’t think many people realize the mobility that is needed for a perfect lift. Master this and I promise you will be able to life more in the long run!
Strength Training Tip #2 - Get Your Warm Up ON!
Strength training can be very tasking on your body. I would invest in a programming that includes a great warm up to get your muscles peeped for what they are about to do. If you plan on lifting big weight I would really increase blood flow and perform movements similar to the lifts you are about to perform. To increase mobility even more you should look more into banded distraction, which is creating space in the joint-itself, traction relaxes the nervous system – which you could say ‘distracts’ the nervous system to allow for a deeper stretch. Its one of my favourite warm up tools.
Strength Training Tips #3 - Muscle Over Miles
If size is the goal, it’s best to prioritize muscle over miles. That doesn’t mean zero cardio, just a different kind. Think about it: A pro football player doesn’t train the same way as a world-class endurance athlete does. Focus on preserving muscles and burning fat. To accomplish those goals I would suggest using hills sprints and Farmers Walk as part of a cardio routine. And if you really want to do some bad ass strength word do sled pushes, which combine strength training with cardiovascular conditioning.
Strength Training Tip #4 - Eat Up To Refuel
You’re pushing your body to the limits and stressing your Central Nervous System (CNS) with each lift you do. After your body need to refuel and recover. This is your chance to take in quality over quantity calories. By avoiding processed foods, refined sugars and alcohol, and opting for lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, lifters can then fuel their body to make gains in the gym. 
Strength Training Tip #5 - Timing Is Everything
I get asked this question a lot by people in the gym. In regards to STRENGTH training your optimal rest period should be  between 3-5 minutes. (For endurance athletes it is very different) The reason for this is because it takes 2.5 to 3 minutes for the phosphagen (Creatine Phosphate / ATP) stores to fully recover from a set of intense exercise. Full recovery allows you to produce the greatest muscular force possible for each set performed, and thus receive the greatest absolute strength gains from your training. Another good reason for this rest interval is that when combined with heavy training loads, it appears to produce greater testosterone levels in experienced strength athletes. A higher testosterone level equates to greater gains in strength. SO, rest up a little longer.
I hope that you enjoy some of these quick strength training tips. Happy Training!
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BETTER BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

If you’re as big a fan of PANCAKES as I am, rest assured that you can double, triple, and even quadruple this recipe with great success. In addition, the batter will keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. I personally like to mix the batter fresh and enjoy the pancakes with a friend... otherwise, I find myself tempted to eat more than one serving.

INGREDIENTS: 

1⁄2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk
1⁄2 cup whole-grain oat flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spray
1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
The most Canadian Sugar-free, low-
calorie pancake syrup you can find (optional)
100% fruit orange marmalade spread (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 200°F.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, flour, egg white, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Whisk just until blended. Stir in the blueberries. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is hot enough for a spritz of water to sizzle on it. With an oven mitt, briefly remove the pan from the heat to mist lightly with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! cooking spray. Return the pan to the heat. Pour the batter in 1⁄8-cup dollops onto the skillet to form 3 or 4 pancakes. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the tops and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until browned on the bottom. Transfer to an oven-proof plate. Cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with cooking spray and the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes total.

Place 4 pancakes on each of 2 serving plates. Serve immediately with syrup, and/or fruit spread, if desired.

Makes 2 (4-pancake) servings

Per serving: 140 calories, 8 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (less than 1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 687 mg sodium

ENJOY!
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