SWEAT

Protein Powder

Protein powder is somewhat new territory for me. When I think of it, I would envision men with muscles drinking protein shakes to get more bulky! But after talking with both male AND female trainers, I learned that it can help me to gain lean muscle mass.

I did a little bit of research into the different types of protein shakes – everything from whey (the most popular) to soy, rice, pea, and even hemp protein. I decided to try the whey protein because in addition to helping to reduce fat and gain muscle mass, it has also been reported to improve the immune system (source: Men’s Health).

And that’s not all. According to Women’s Health, women may benefit even more than men from protein supplements because we don’t always get enough in our every day diet. The average woman consumes 46 grams of protein per day, but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes consume between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram body weight per day. For a 140-pound woman, that would be between 76 and 108 grams of protein per day. (Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/protein-powder-guide)

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I decided to try the Designer Whey Protein because it was recommended by a friend as tasting good, and has no added sugars, hormones, or preservatives (this is not an ad or in any way sponsored by the protein powder company). I got both the vanilla (pictured above) and the chocolate (shown in the blender bottle below) and mixed it with  water, and it ended up tasting pretty good! I liked the chocolate slightly better. I’ve been drinking it for the past 3 weeks, and so far so good; I’ve seen some improvement in muscle tone!

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I also tried several different protein powder shaker bottles (I got one for free from GNC, and one from a friend), and ended up getting the Trimr shaker bottle. I found out that a whole bunch of people in my fitness circle love the bottle too because of its sleek yet efficient, spill-proof design and straw (rather than just a big hole at the top that can leak). I’ve chatted with some friends over there, and they’ve graciously offered a 15% discount to all of my readers with the code TRIMRGRAM if you want to try their bottles too! (This is not an ad; I don’t get commission or anything, just want to pass along the savings to you guys)!

What’s your experience with protein shakes? Please share in the comments; would love to hear recommendations from you guys!

 

Get Outside!

I grew up in a household without nature. Sure, we had grass in the back yard and trees on our neighborhood block like most kids in the suburbs. And I remember that some of my classmates would spend their summer vacations going camping. My mom’s famous line was “I hate nature” and glamping was not yet a thing! Thus, my summer vacations were spent going to Disneyland and or short trips to Carmel in nice hotels.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining at all about our annual trips to Disneyland (a kid’s dream, for sure!), but it took me into adulthood to discover nature, and I wish that I had sooner. There’s something so relaxing about being away from buildings everywhere and getting a chance to just be one with yourself. Not to mention that hiking is great exercise!

And science backs it up too: A study proved that people who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space. Here are some tips on getting outside for busy people!

  • Get a regular hiking buddy. For many people, it’s hard to motivate yourself, but having a regular partner to hike with can help you stay committed and look forward to spending time with them. You can push each other to try more challenging hikes.
  •  Plan in advance. If you schedule your hikes ahead of time and write it down on your calendar, you’re more likely to stay committed. If you plan in advance, it could also be something to look forward to during the day or on the weekends.
  •  Pack your gear ahead of time. If you have everything ready to go, it will seem like less of a burden to actually get out there. Have your backpack, gear, and water ready to go the day before.
  •  Get a hiking group together. You’ll be more likely to go if you make it a fun social activity! It’s great to find like-minded people with similar interests. They might introduce you to some new spots and vice-versa and it’s a great opportunity to explore together!

 

Hope this post inspires you to get outside! 🙂

Wearing: Dona Jo Fitwear https://www.donajofitwear.com/

Work Out With Me!

I was following the Kayla Itsines BBG Guide 1.0 and then finished all of the weeks! I am planning to start 2.0 next year, but in the meantime the great thing about her guide is that it gives you the tools to create your own workouts based on what area of the body you are looking to target!

Here is a workout that I put together and tried myself. It was great! Try it with me!

Time yourself and do each circuit twice for 7 minutes. You do Circuit 1 (7 minutes), then rest. Then do Circuit 2 (7 minutes) and rest again for a few minutes. Then repeat circuits 1 and 2 for a total of 28 minutes of workouts + a few minutes in between for rest!

Circuit 1

15 burpees

15 decline push-ups

40 x-hops

10 medicine ball smashes

 

Circuit 2

40 side taps

25 regular pushups

20 tricep dips

1 plank for 1 minute

November 8 BBG Meetup

A little rain couldn’t keep us hardcore BBG girls away from our workout today. Mickey and I had a blast sweating with all of our BBG sisters by the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. Here are my favorite photos from the day! Look forward to our next meetup. Thanks for coming out everyone and for those of you who couldn’t make it, hope to see you next time!

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Katrina – new mommy to be – made it out to support us!

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SF BBG MEETUP – Video!

Hi Everyone! Our second BBG meetup is coming on November 8th! Check out this video to watch a recap of the last meetup. Hope you will be able to join us!

BBG Meetup #2

November 8, 2015

11:00 AM

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

August 23 – First Ever BBG Meetup – San Francisco!

BBG Meetup in San Francisco-6502August 23 was an epic day in San Francisco because we all had a blast at the first ever BBG Meetup hosted by Katrina England, Mickey Roxas, and I at Crissy Field! The day began with registration and networking, and we all shared laughs and made brand new friends that share the same interests!

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[Shannon checks in people on the registration list]

We then all had an intense workout session led by fitness babe Katrina England. Our workout wouldn’t have been complete with burpees, jump squats, jump lunges, mountain climbers, and more. The workout left us feeling exhilarated yet great!

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[Katrina demonstrates burpees]

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[lay-down push ups]

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[straight-leg jackknives]

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[stretching it out after our workout]

After that, we all sat in a circle and talked about our experiences with the BBG program. We talked about everything from knee injuries to what to do on LISS days to how to work your way into doing push-ups!

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We handed out bags that were screen-printed by Mickey Roxas with KAYLAS ARMY on them! The bags included a charm bracelet that I made for the girls, a healthy snack bar, coupons from Project Juice, an awesome cold-pressed juice shop in the city, and some cream that helps with injuries. We even gave away raffle prizes to a few lucky girls!

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Everyone had a great time. The biggest takeaway was the camaraderie and friendships that came out of this day.

We are really looking to the next event and hope you can join us! Please stay tuned for announcements of the next meetup.

Peace and love,

Shannon

What is LISS?

For those of you guys not on the Kayla training program, LISS is an acronym for “low intensity steady state” meaning doing cardio but not at your max capacity, such as a slow jog. If it’s done along with HIIT (high intensity interval training), it can produce the best results for weight loss and muscle definintion.

I use Classpass for my LISS days. It’s great because I can try a variety of different types of workouts. My favorites so far have been all types of dance, from hip hop to cardio dance, TRX, cardio barre, and cardio pilates. What are some of your favorite LISS workouts?

Happiness

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I’m not sure why happiness is so hard to find. I think from a young age we are taught to be hungry in life, to be competitive, to always be striving for more. While ambition is a good thing to have, it often prevents us from being truly happy because we are always evaluating our own deficiencies based on what others have.

I’m not sure if it’s an Asian mom thing, but back when I was growing up, our parents would always try to one-up their friends in a passive aggressive way. First it was who is better at piano. Then it was whose child got better grades in school. I remember one time my mom actually got mad at me because a stranger complimented her friend’s daughter on being “cute,” and didn’t say anything about me (also standing there). I was told to try to be cuter next time. Stand out more. Be more talkative. Smile more. Stop hiding from the adults. After that, she started making me wear dresses more often and would braid my hair like a little Chinese doll.

I think it’s my rebellion against the Chinese way of competing constantly with your peers, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less and less competitive. My new attitude has been criticized by nearly everyone in my life; people want to know why I don’t do more with my career. Why I still pursue modeling and acting even though I don’t make a ton of money doing it. And why I’m not continuously striving to be a woman CEO, like so many other women in the Bay Area working in tech.

But I think with that much ambition comes a certain level of stress, worry, and discontent. In my opinion it’s just not worth it.

I recently went to a yoga class where the instructor told us to clear our minds and use yoga to release all of the tension from the day. But I don’t want to use yoga as a means of relaxation and escape from my life. I want to have such a happy life that I don’t have to escape from it. A life that is content with what I have and doesn’t compare my accomplishments, ambitions, our material possessions to other people. A life as free from stress as possible and free from comparing myself to others.

For it’s not often that we look at our lives and say, “I have enough.”

Kayla Itsines BBG 1

I am so excited to be starting the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) 1, a 3 month intensive workout series that is supposed to change your body and your life! We do a combination of LISS (click for definition) and HIIT in this workout program. According to Kayla, we should track our progress through a series of photos. I will be posting progress photos to track my changes! You can check them out on my instagram at @caligirlgetsfit or instagram.com/caligirlgetsfit.

Excerpt from her book:  Progress photos will be the primary measurement and your body weight will be the secondary. Although you will be tracking your weight, your full attention will be on the change in your photos. The scales do not always necessarily tell “the truth”. Consistently taken photos under the same guidelines however, will not lie.