Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Top 3 Workout Videos

Myth 1: At home videos are boring.
Myth 2: You need to work out longer than 20-30 minutes to see a difference.

Fact 1: They save you time and money, and you WILL have results. You just have to stick to the program.
Fact 2: Some videos can be boring (or weird), but finding the right ones will fix that problem. Some of them are actually fun! 

So, to help convince you I am writing this blog to share my favorite  workout videos. I do three videos all the time. In fact, I rarely go to the gym anymore. 


Before I share, here is a video that did not make the list. It is a good video but it falls in that weird video category. There's a guy that plays drums the entire video like he's at a rock concert. Also, the bodybuilders mixed in with normal people throw me off...might just be me.

Crunch: Fat Burning Pilates with Ellen Barrett   

OK, here are my top 3 workout videos!  

     1. Look Better Naked
This video is nice because it only takes 30 minutes (5 minute warm up, 20 minute workout, 5 minute cool down). The video has two different workouts to chose from: metabolic and weight training.


Metabolic: This is your full-on cardio workout, and it is tough! Lots of squats and even more lunges.
Weight training: Great workout! And, you can make harder by increasing the weights you use Yes, lots of lunges...



The video also comes with a book that will guide you through a 6-week program that includes beauty, food, and fitness tips.


Pros: 
1. Great instructor. She is easy to follow and doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. Although, she does do a few moves I have not seen before. 
2. The entire video only takes 30 minutes.
3. Minimal equipment/space required. Just a set of dumbbells for the weight training video and an area within your living room is sufficient. 

Cons:
1. My only con is in regards to the book, and it's not even a real con. I'm vegetarian so I cannot use the recipes. Also, some of the beauty tips are ridiculous. Shaving instructions can be found on page 177. Really? Maybe if I was 13 years old again I could use this information. However, I am old enough to earn money and buy this book/workout video,so... 

     2. Kickbox FastFix by Jillian Michaels
This is one of my newest videos. Even though I've only done the entire video two times, it definitely makes my top 3 list.


Pros: 
1. This video only takes 20 minutes! And trust me, it's the toughest 20 minutes.
2. I really liked Jillian. She doesn't try to look pretty. She is there to kick your ass and that it.
3. She kicks ass sufficiently.

Cons:
1. She saves time in the workout video buy cutting out most of the cool down. I am big on stretching so the fact that the cool down is about 2 minutes is disturbing. I think she could have added 3 minutes to the video for a proper cool down. A 25 minute video is still marketable AND safe. 

     3. Insanity by Beach Body (feat. Shaun T.)
Wow! This is one of the craziest video sets. 



Pros:
1. Also kicks ass sufficiently.
2. He's great looking ;)

Cons: 
1. Oh my! This is by far one of the hardest workout video sets I have ever done. 
2. I get bored sometimes, so I turn the volume down and blast Salt & Pepper on Spotify.





Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Top 10 Vegetarian & Healthy Snacks

Ever think "Hey, I wonder what DeAnna snacks on". Probably not... BUT, if you are looking for some snack options, then I have some great suggestions! I aim for about 150-250 calories for snacks, and I eat about 2-3 snacks a day (in between regular meals). Here my list of healthy vegetarian snacks I eat pretty much every day. 

FRUITS
Natural boost of energy. Easy to clean up and dispose of once done. Light and healthy. I like grapes, gala apples, bananas, and oranges. Make sure you wash them before you leave the house! Also, try to buy organic fruits (and veggies) that you eat raw to avoid those chemicals that are hard to remove by washing/cooking.

TRAIL MIX
You can buy the pre-made ones anywhere. If you really want to watch the calories, I would suggest making your own. I'll post my personal trail mix recipe soon!

HUMMUS AND VEGETABLE STICKS
I like to mix it up by buying pre-made hummus with different seasonings. Currently, my favorite hummus is a Central Market hummus with roasted hatch chilies. I default to cutting up celery and carrots, but you could get more creative with squashes, radishes, broccoli, etc.



COTTAGE CHEESE AND FRUIT 
I love cottage cheese! I like to mix in about 1/2 cup of berries, pineapple, or peaches. it's actually pretty versatile so you can add pretty much whatever you want to it. I usually buy the fat free cottage cheese and add about 1 tbsp of ground flax seed. I also like to cut apples into "chips" and eat the cottage cheese with cinnamon as the dip...yum!
 
 
CHEESE STICK
I like the 100 calories low-fat cheese sticks. Since it is so low in calories, I usually add a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit to the side. 


LOW-FAT YOGURT WITH FRUIT
Add a little honey for sweetener. Get creative with your fruit choices! I love all berries and kiwi. If want more texture you can add a little granola. 



LOW-SODIUM CRACKERS AND PEANUT BUTTER
 Read the labels! Some peanut butters have a lot of sugar. Remember, we are aiming for about 150-250 calories. Portion out the crackers and peanut butter appropriately to stay in the "healthy snack" range.
 



KETTLE CORN POPCORN
 This is my favorite popcorn! Even if you get greedy and have another bag you're still good :)

   
RICE CAKES AND PEANUT BUTTER
I love peanut butter. I also love crunchy things. This is one of my favorite go-to's.  You could also use jam, fruit, honey, or Nutella!
 
WHOLE WHEAT FIG BARS
They are delicious...enough said!
 
What are your favorite healthy snacks?! 

How to Start Promotional and Trade Show Modeling

Have you ever watch a live demonstration at a convention or seen the Red Bull girls giving away free product? It seems like an easy and fun job, right? Well, it is AND it pays even better than you might imagine.

Promotional modeling involves attractive females and males promoting (hence the job title) a product or brand in a live setting. I say attractive because this is marketing, and brands tend to be particular of who they want representing their brands. By no means are they looking for a runway model, however, a fresh face and good social skills are desirable attributes.

Trade show modeling is similar, but they look for people that have experience in public speaking. Trade show modeling pays a lot better than promotional modeling because of this skill. For example, I worked for Samsung in June of 2013 as a model at a trade show (not a presenter). The presenter made twice as much as me each day!

Other than the money, promotional and trade show modeling has some awesome perks. Sometimes you will be given free product and/or free clothes. Some of the things I've personally ended up with are Cliff bars to last me at LEAST a year, shoes, shorts, and vodka. Lots of vodka. :)

From working promotional and trade shows, you can also make great contacts. If the client likes you, not only will you have the potential to work with them again, but you could also be given other opportunities to work with them. I've personally made some great contacts over the past year.

Disclaimer! Be aware of scams and use agencies. 
I had a bad experience the first (and last) time I tried that...

Here are a couple of things you will need to take care of before you can do any work:

1. Get professional photos. I find that many girls/guys think that you have to pay for professional photos. However, there are several ways to get free photo shoots. One of my favorite ways is to search for local photographers on www.modelmayhem.com (my model number is 2756882, if you'd like to add me). I have only paid for one photo shoot in my career so far. Funny fact- the shoot I paid for had the worst turn out of all my shoots! You can also ask friends/family members that are handy with a camera. You will want at least one headshot, one full body shot, and possible a bikini if you're comfortable with taking one.


2. Create profiles on many marketing websites. From my experience, it is very hard to have consistent work if you rely on only one staffing agency's customers. Most of the time the contracts to electronically sign with these agencies are not exclusive. So you can do as many as you want/can. I've lost count, since I haven't worked with all of the ones I have profiles with, but I think I have around 15 active profiles. Here is a few agencies that have booked me recently:
www.pushmodels.com
www.360promonetwork.com
www.cmtagency.com
www.model4tradeshows.com

Now, once you are booked for an event make sure you do the following:

1. Put the event in your calendar AND DON'T FORGET. Never back out unless you absolutely have to (really sick or a death in the family, seriously). Agencies have so many girls/guys wanting to work so you will automatically be put on the back burner if you cancel without a honest excuse.

2. Make friends with the girls you work with. This may not be the last time you see those faces, so don't trash talk or be snaughty. In fact, you may not ever get booked again if word gets back to the agency that you're no fun to be around.

3. Make nice with the clients. These are the people that are paying you to represent their brand, and they take it very seriously. You should too.

4.  Get a photo of you at work! In addition to your professional photos, a lot of clients will want snap shots of you in action. Make sure you get at least one at each job.

4. Thank everyone that you've worked with, and follow up with the agent. Tell them what you thought about the event. They love feedback. In fact, sometimes they require you to write a review in order to get paid. Be honest and descriptive. If you give them what they want, they will want to work with you again.

Some other advice:

1. Stay on top of your profiles to keep them up to date.

2. Create a resume with your promotions jobs so you can send it off when requested.

2. Keep track of receipts, miles logged, and any money made.

3. Withhold taxes for yourself. I've been withholding 25% in a separate bank account that earns 5%.

4. Save some if possible. I put most of mine towards my student loans.

I hope this helps answer most of your questions regarding promotional/trade show modeling. It's not everything, however, it covers most of the questions I had when I started. If you'd like more information, leave a comment at the bottom and I'll get back to you!

Friday, September 13, 2013

3 Reasons Why Being a Vegetarian Can Suck


Football games. Or parties in general. I'm usually surrounded by a combination of chicken wings, mini sausages, and/or burgers. Meanwhile, I am limited to the veggie platter with ranch, salty store-brand chips, and beer. The only way to avoid these situations are the following:
  • Don't go. That's boring...don't chose this one.
  • Go, but eat first so you are not hungry. Yeah, right. That's like trying not to yawn when everyone around you is yawning. Eventually, you are going to want to eat. And, if you're like me you have to eat when you drink. Then what? Health magazines are lying to us!
  • Go, but bring a vegetarian dish of your own. This takes a lot more work but it would be effective. Plus, everyone will be impressed you made something. Bonus points (if you care about your friends).
  • Suggest a public place where you know you can eat something on the healthier side. This is sort of hard to do when you're going out to watch a sports game, but it is possible. Pizza spots tend to always have a veggie option.
  • Host the game at your place. That was exhausting to even write down! Hosting a party is a ton of work, but it would give you complete control. 


Traveling. Last month I had to go to St. Louis for a week of training on the job. Breakfast is always an easy meal to cover since 90% of the foods available at the hotel or restaurant do not contain meat. Snacking is also an easy task. I can usually cram an apple or trail mix into my bag. Lunch and dinner are not that easy. I'm either eating at the company's cafeteria or carpooling to some chain restaurant for a quick meal. Here are some options if you are ever in this situation:
  • Don't eat. Boring and not good for you. Again, don't choose this one.
  • Don't eat with the group. Pack stuff in your luggage or go to the store when you arrive to get stuff you can take for lunch or make easily for dinner. This may mean fruit and PB&J's every day, but this is an option.
  • Go with the group and make strong suggestions on where to go eat. "I'm craving sushi", or "I'd like Mexican food right now, anyone else down?" Asian, Mexican, and Italian are the friendliest cuisines for vegetarians. American restaurants tend to be your worst nightmare.
  • Go wherever they want to go and deal with it. This may be the day that you have to have a "flexible" day and have some seafood (salmon, tilapia, tuna, shrimp, etc.) I allow these occasionally, but nothing else.

Dating. I've been in a relationship for over 4 years with a meat eater who has no desires of being a vegetarian. Nor does he really strive to live a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. This makes evenings and weekends hard to plan together sometimes. What can you do about these situations?
  • Don't date him/her. As soon as you find out they are meat eaters and don't care to live your lifestyle, just run for the hills and start over.
  • Deal with it. Get over it and do you. Cram in your workouts and clean meals before meeting up with him/her.
  • Change them. Not the easiest (or recommended method) but you can try to convince them that vegetarianism is the best way to live.
Even with these obstacles I still choose a vegetarian lifestyle because it makes me a better person than everyone else. I'm kidding, but I will probably live longer. That has been proven.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/plant-based-diet_b_1981838.html

Happy football season!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Flexitarian: What it means and why I love it



Not too long ago I tried the vegetarian diet for about 6 months straight. Living in Austin, Texas and being around “all those liberal hippies” has really influenced my choices lately. It took 7 years of living here, but I'm finally beat!

While I was eating a purely vegetarian diet, I experienced an energy boost, weight loss, and the feeling that I might be helping the environment. Yeah yeah yeah...I know it’s what every healthy person will say. But seriously, it worked. I also liked that I might have been saving some piggies from being butchered. Pork was my favorite…tears

A few months ago I decided to start eating meat again. I didn’t stop because I was really craving meat. Surprising to myself, I really didn’t miss it. I stopped because I could tell that I was losing muscle. I didn’t really know how to balance the diet properly. And me being a fitness person, this wasn’t a good thing. I worked hard for what I’ve got! Plus, I spent a lot of time trying to plan balanced meatless meals…It was exhausting!

I think it’s a pretty common fear of most meat eaters, that if you don’t eat meat you are not going to get all of the nutrition you need. My grandma swears up and down that it’s just not right that I don’t want to eat meat. But that could because she is from Houston… I am from Houston as well, which is why it took me so long to open up to different food options.

Once I stopped the vegetarian diet, I started to eat meat about 4x’s a week (still pretty conservative). I did this for about 3 months before I decided that I wanted to make a permanent change towards a plant-based diet. Still concerned about diet and nutrition, however, I knew it was something I wanted long term.

So, I started to do more research on how to do it right. I started buying books like Vegetarian for Dummies and numerous vegetarian cookbooks. The Vegetarian for Dummies book was actually pretty informative! However, one particular book helped make sense of the diet that I could definitely adopt forever. It’s called The Flexitarian Diet by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN.

 
The information isn’t ground breaking by any means, but it makes what I’ve been doing for the past year or so seem like the perfect diet. (By the way, I hate the word “diet”. It’s more of a lifestyle change). The author defines a flexible vegetarian, or flexitarian, someone that has occasional meals with meat while still staying conscious of the ingredients and nutrition. Whether you are eating meat at a social event, or because your grandmother really wants you to try the fried oysters, you can still balance these days with your healthy lifestyle change. In fact, she gives you five weeks’ worth of meal planning ideas as well as how to make those same meals with meat!

I’m about ½ through the book at the moment, and I am feeling pretty good about this change in my life. There are weeks that I don’t eat any meat, and then there are those trips back to Houston… The whole idea to me is this: I am being thoughtful of what I put into my body, and I'm considering what went into bringing that food to my plate before eating.

So, I am not saying you should be a flexitarian, vegetarian, or even vegan (good luck with that!), but to just make conscious decisions about your food. Be an individual when you make your choices, and know this: you only get one chance to live. How do YOU want to live?
 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why is working out so unappealing?!


These are good reasons, right? One of the most common excuses for not working out is that there is no time to do it. Sometimes it can seem like a hassle to get your gym stuff together, mentally prepare for a self ass-kicking, and then physically go to the gym.

To save time, people will buy videos or do the exercises printed in health magazines, like SELF (one of my favorites) at home. Then, the problem is motivating yourself and not getting distracted by everything on your to-do list that's hanging on the fridge. Or your dog won't stop licking you every time you do a plank. That one might just be my problem...

There are issues that EVERYONE deals with when exercising. Take a look at the cute girl/guy model demonstrating the workouts in the video or magazine, or the guy/girl you always see in the gym. They are dealing with the same distractions!

It's definitely not your fault, it's just how we are built. Humans are designed to conserve energy, which is also why we store fat (?!?!?!?!?). So, it's your mind and body telling you instinctively to conserve energy, making working out seem unnecessary.

Then there's always that person (like me) who likes working out. Am I super-human? Yes, yes I am.
Not really... It's because I am addicted. Just like we are built to conserve energy, we are creatures of habit. Eventually, you get use to making those trips to the gym or going on your morning jog. You don't have to think about it anymore; you just do it. The hard part is getting to that point.

The best way to make it easier on yourself is to switch up your workouts. 'If we're creatures of habit then why would I not keep the same schedule?' It's complicated, because although we like things to be the same we get bored.

My advice: don't lift the same three days a week or do the same cardio routine every other day. Switch up your routine on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Some routines you can work in are weights (always recommended), sprints, plyometrics, workout videos, and/or classes. Pick something new as often as you can. Even if it's not going to burn a lot of calories, like yoga, it will still be good for you mentally and physically.

Another trick I always here is to work out with a friend. If you struggle to motivate yourself without the social appeal, then by all means work out with a friend. However, this strategy hasn't really workout out for me yet. We all have that friend that flakes or just doesn't want to make that 6:30pm class every Wednesday (don't be that friend!).

So, what usually happens when your partner cancels? You cancel. It's kind of like still going to a friends friend's party when they are not going anymore. Instead of the class being a personal goal it is now a group thing, so you don't fell comfortable going yourself. Try to pick a dedicated friend, or just stay dedicated yourself no matter what!

Conclusion: It is a pain in the butt to get started, but if you stick to it you will succeed!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vacation in Vegas


 Viva Las Vegas!

Who doesn't love the idea of living out a scene in the Hangover? Super wasted, beautiful people, and big messes you don't have to clean up...Vegas is like a year-round spring break for adults.

This wasn't just any trip to Vegas for us. Jon was booked as a feature comedian at the Laugh Factory in the Tropicana Casino and Hotel. He worked and I gambled :)

I thought I might get bored or that we wouldn't be able to have fun since he was really there to work, but it was absolutely the opposite. In fact, BECAUSE he was working at the Laugh Factory we got to enjoy so many cool things we wouldn't have been able to otherwise. For example, I got to hang out in the green room with Gallagher and chat about stocks, his career, and our mutual liking for Ellen Degenerous. So awesome! Jon was also working with Tom Rhodes that week so we got into plenty of shenanigans with the two of them all week. 

The food was delicious, drinks were expensive, and it was f'ing hot in Vegas. Here are some photos from our trip: 

The Aquarium at Mandalay Bay



The Luxor
 

Gordon Ramsay's Pub & Grill at the Ceasar's Palace


Side note:
Still got a workout in! Should have been more than one, but hey...I tried! Going to bed around 3-5am every day is my excuse. 

Dessert in Paris (the hotel, that is)



More fun!

I love panads! His name is Vegas, of course

Great food along the way back to Texas

 


Vegas was a very much needed vacation for me, and I am so happy that it worked out the way that it did.  I prefer beach or naturalistic vacation scenes, but I have to say that I look forward to the next opportunity I have for round two!