All Posts By

Michelle Albright

Strength Workout Moves for When You’re Short on Time and Equipment

Working out can seem like a big time commitment, especially if it’s not easy for you to get to the gym. With classes coming into full swing, working out may not be your top priority. But if it is a priority to get in a good sweat sesh, there are plenty of options if you don’t live near a gym or don’t have the time to get to one. Here are some easy moves you can add to your workout at home, in the park, or anywhere else you are able to get a good sweat in!

1. Jumping Jacks

I really like doing jumping jacks to warm up before a workout. This plyometric movement involves getting your heart rate up and limbs moving quickly. Doing 100 at a moderate pace usually gets me warmed up enough to start doing dynamic stretching or other movements before I start my workout. No weights and no space required for this one!

2. Squats

If you’re looking for a booty burner, this is it. Squats are such a versatile movement- you can do them with or without weight, fast or slow, or add a jump! The weights don’t have to be dumbbells or barbells either. Use whatever you have on hand, like the books you said you’d read this semester. 😉

3. Push Ups

Okay, so push ups aren’t exactly my favorite exercises. But that’s only because I’m not good at them…YET! Push ups are a great exercise for your entire upper body, both core and arms. To make them more difficult (or easier), you can add weight on your back, elevate your legs or arms (or do them on your knees), or add a clap in between. The possibilities are endless!

4. Burpees

Burpees are one of the classic no equipment workout moves, and for good reasons. But have no fear! They incorporate both strength and cardio movements, and can also be easily altered. A simple burpee starts by dropping to the ground by placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Once you’re in a plank position, hop back up and jump in the air; that’s one rep. To increase the difficulty, you can add a push up when you’re in a plank and increase the speed at which you do them. To make them easier, slow down, step back instead of hopping back, or take out the jump at the end of each rep. 

With these four moves, you can create endless different workouts for yourself when you’re short on time, space, and equipment. By changing the reps, speed, and variation of each movement, your workouts will stay interesting and keep you motivated to getting fit and staying fit!

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Vanilla Matcha Green Smoothie Bowl You NEED to Try

If you’re anything like me, when you want a smoothie bowl, you NEED a smoothie bowl. I love my usual chocolate or banana berry combinations, but the other day I decided I wanted to switch it up and try to find a new flavor. When I saw my matcha tea on the shelf, I knew I had to try it in my post workout bowl. 

Introducing, the matcha smoothie! Naturally sweetened with bananas and with an extra green boost from spinach, this bowl will have you crawling out of bed in the morning!

 

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Time: 10 minutes

When to eat it: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, pre/post workout, literally anytime you want something delicious in your belly

Sh*t you need:

-1 frozen banana

-2 tsp matcha powder

-2 handfuls of fresh spinach (about 1/2 cup frozen)

-1/2  tsp vanilla extract

-1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice (optional)

-almond milk to blend (about 1/2 cup)

-ice if needed

-Toppings: granola, chia seeds, melted nut butter, bee pollen, chia seeds, or anything else you can imagine!

The Recipe:

1. Put everything except toppings in a blender or food processor.

2. Blend until smooth and put into a bowl.

3. Add ALL THE TOPPINGS

4. Eat that sh*t.

Show us your smoothie bowl by tagging @fituniversity and using the #fituniversity on social media!

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Easy Ways to Add A Little More Green in Your Life

With the month of St. Patrick’s Day upon us, and that I’m currently one country over from Ireland, celebrating the luck of the Irish has been on my mind. Since this day is all about wearing green for good luck, I figured there’s no better way to get lucky than to EAT your greens too! Green vegetables, both leafy and cruciferous, are full of vitamins and minerals that are great for your health, but a lot of people find it hard to eat as much as they should. If that sounds like you, here are four ways to add some more greens to your life!

1. Smoothies

 

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Green smoothies have become very popular recently, and are a great way to sneak veggies into your diet first thing in the morning! Start off small by throwing a handful or two of spinach into your favorite fruit smoothie recipe (you won’t taste it, promise!). If you want to add even more green veggie power, throw in some kale, and maybe even replace some of the fruit with avocado to bring down the sugar content! Play around with the recipe until it’s just how you like it.

2. Eggs and Greens

 

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My favorite way to eat greens is for breakfast with fried eggs on top. Sautee some onions, garlic, and broccoli in olive oil until cooked through, and then stir in kale and spinach. Add fried eggs on top, and if you really want to take it to the next level, add hot sauce and avocado. The runny egg yolk will cover the greens in goodness, convincing anyone to have greens for breakfast!

3. Kale Chips

Simple and delicious! Rip kale leaves off the stalk and into large pieces, and toss in avocado oil and salt. Put into a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out when crispy. Snack away!

4. Add to Soups

 

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Adding spinach, kale, chard, or collard greens to soup is an easy way to eat more greens. Toss in a few handfuls at the end of a full recipe, or add a handful when heating up a single portion of leftover soup. The greens will wilt down in size and mesh perfectly with any soup, from beef stew to thai curry.

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Easy Travel Snacks to Keep You From Getting Hangry

For people with allergies or those who follow specific diets, traveling can sometimes be stressful. Especially with long itineraries, you might not always know what kind of food can be available. Airport food is usually expensive, so packing compact and tasty travel snacks is the best way to save your stomach and wallet! Here are some of my favorite travel snacks, starting off with the easy ones, and ending with those that take a little more time and preparation.

1. Fruit and Snack Bars

 

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 This is probably the easiest option. If you have a favorite snack bar (I personally love Epic, Lara Bar, and Rx Bars), that plus a piece of fruit can be good for flight where you just need something to hold you over. Hard fruits, like apples, or small ones in a tupperware, like berries, are probably the best, since fruits like apples can get easily smushed in a backpack.

2. Homemade Trail Mix, Fruit, and Almond Butter

Trail mix is super easy to make at home, without added sugars or oils. I like to mix almonds, walnuts, cashews, raisins, golden raisins, and coconut flakes for a perfect trail mix on the go! That, plus an apple with some almond butter, should be a good meal replacement if you’re in a pinch. Make sure to find the prepacked nut butter squeeze packs, as TSA WILL confiscate your entire jar of sunbutter if you try to bring it through security (not that I know from experience…)

3. Dates with almond butter and dark chocolate

 

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This one you could either make ahead and put in a small tupperware, or make on the plane! Just split the dates in half and fill with your favorite nut butter. Then top with a small chunk of dark chocolate or cacao nibs. It’s a great combination of salty and sweet, and smooth and crunchy!

4. Veggie frittata

 

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This is my favorite option for long flights where I know I’ll need a full meal. There are thousands of frittata recipes out there, but I like to make mine with eggs, bacon, loads of spinach, mushrooms, and onions. Be sure to get a good balance of protein and veggies to keep you full!

5. A combination of these!

If you’re on a super long flight, you might need a small meal and a snack, or a few snacks, to keep you from getting hangry. If your carry on has enough space, pack a few options to keep you satisfied. I’m a notorious over packer, especially when it comes to food. Make sure to keep all of the food on top when you pack it for easy access, and so it doesn’t get smushed!

Hopefully you’ll try some of these recipes the next time you travel, whether its by bus, car, train, or plane! 

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Hot Chocolate That Will Keep You Warm and Healthy

The weather outside is frightful, but this hot chocolate is soooo delightful.

Winter is in full swing, and you’re probably starting to feel the affects of the cold weather. Freezing fingers and toes, runny nose, maybe even some frozen hair?

While meals like soups and stews can be great, nothing warms me up quite like a cup of hot chocolate! With a few substitutions, this traditionally sugar-heavy beverage can easily fit into your fit lifestyle.

 Time: 10-15 minutes

When to eat it: after sledding, after going outside, dessert, breakfast (I won’t tell anyone)

Perks: No refined sugar, gluten-free, can be vegan, prevents you from getting hypothermia

Sh*t You Need:

A mug, saucepan, spoon

2 cups of almond milk (or milk of choice)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 

A pinch of salt

6 Tbsp chocolate protein powder

2 Tbsp cacao powder

1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or to taste)

The Recipe:

1. Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Blending them will make it a lot easier, but if you don't have a blender stir with a fork in a saucepan.

2. Heat ingredients over low heat until simmering. Pour into 2 mugs, and top with whipped cream, coconut cream, or drink as is!

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Did you make this recipe? Tag us at @gofitu and use #fituniversity!

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Finding Balance After The Freshman 15

If you follow me on Instagram, you can tell pretty quickly that I’m a foodie that loves to cook healthy. I’ve always had an active lifestyle, but making the connection between using my body and fueling my body didn’t come easy to me. It wasn’t until I sparked a love for cooking that I found a healthy balance between eating well and treating my body the best I can.

 

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Before College

During my senior year of high school, I really started to understand that what I put into my body would make all the difference in my athletic performance. I played competitive club volleyball with the goal of being a recruited college athlete, and making a commitment to healthy eating was a big step forward in the recruiting process.

That year, I completed my first Whole30 and realized that a paleo diet made me feel amazing. I learned that I don’t do too well with gluten and dairy, and also that a lot of restaurants didn’t offer the best choices for my new healthy balance.

Rather than giving up, I became a master chef. Within the parameters of my college apartment, of course. I cooked my way through numerous books, and learned to love it. For the rest of the year, I was eating mostly paleo, and I felt great. I also lost around 10 pounds. I ended up getting recruited to play Division III volleyball, and couldn’t have been happier with the result.

Freshman Year

Then, I was thrown into freshman year of college. 

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Pretty, yes. But I’m not walking to the grocery store for healthy snacks in this mess!

Playing a fall sport and being on a required dining hall meal plan meant that a paleo diet was nearly impossible to maintain. Since I couldn’t cook for myself or plan my own meals, it was almost as if I had started over. I no longer knew the best way to fuel my body with these unfamiliar options.

Coupled with the stress of school, I had gained the freshman 15 by December. I was no longer happy with how my body performed or felt. I knew something needed to change.

Finding a Healthy Balance

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Healthy balance for me- a bunch of my favorite things on one table!

The summer after my freshman year, I did some work. I retaught my body how to understand food as fuel. I lifted 4 times a week and did cardio twice a week to keep up with out of season training. I started journaling my food choices, and went back to my paleo diet, with the occasional gluten free treat or grass fed cheese.

As a result, by the end of the summer I could feel my body embracing the healthy balance between foods I loved and foods that fueled me. Since then, I’ve lost most of the weight I gained my freshman year, and have taught my body and mind to have a better, balanced relationship with food.

Today, I stay active through my sport and lifting. I have my own kitchen on campus, which makes preparing for a healthy lifestyle that much easier. If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone wanting to stay healthy in college, whatever that means to them, it would be to plan ahead.“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Whether that’s planning time to meditate, work out, or take a nap, make sure to leave time for you.

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