Lift The Fork EP.3: Uptown Veg, Harlem Ny w/ Walth the Wizrd

On this episode of Lift The Fork, Irv and Robin J head uptown to Harlem World to kick it with VH1’s Black Ink Crew cast mate and photographer Walt (@da_wzrd). Just blocks away from the famous tattoo shop, they dined at Uptown Veg , a vegan spot with Caribbean flair. Watch as we chow down on soy bites, find out Walt’s dating preferences (tree huggers welcomed) and Irv’s back at it again with the wheatgrass shots.

  

Snacks Save Lives 

Irresponsible snacking is the diet killer. And when I say diet I don’t mean that temporary “get slim quick” starve yourself for 3 months diet. I mean diet as in this is what you eat daily-may it be good or terrible. 

Anyways, having a treat or something bad occasionally is fine, making it a daily ritual, not so much. When considering your snacks keep in mind. A snickers bar is not a good snack, nor is potato chips or any other sugar laden “food”.

So here are some nutritious, tasty but low cal snack options that I’ve been using over the last couple weeks of this challenge. 
  

Peanuts and all their nut cousins (I try to get low sodium options) – I like pistachios and peanuts 
Fruit – I like apples, plums, kiwis, grapes, and berries
Raw veggies – broccoli, peppers, carrots 
Shrimp cocktail – I can get fancy. 
Popcorn (2 cups) – for Netflix and chill nights. 
Pretzel
Salsa & chips!
Guacamole
Humus 
Yogurt- I ideally try to keep it Greek yogurt. 
1 packet of instant oatmeal, yes, I know old fashion oatmeal is better, but God is still working on me. 

  

If you want to put things into high gear, portion out your snacks for the week, so you don’t over eat. Keeping yourself full also will prevent you from over eating. And don’t eat till the point you feel stuffed. Snacks between meals will provide you with the necessary nutrients so you don’t over eat. 
  

I figure I’m eating 1200 calories for the day,( everybody’s intake is different ) use them wisely. Don’t waste them on things like greasy chips and candy. 
  
Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 

Follow her antics on IG, EatWithNia, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia
And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though. 

Is Stress Weighing You Down?

  

Usually when people think of stress related weight, they think weight loss. But stress can also make you fat. And I don’t mean 5 or 10 pounds fat I mean like 25+ pounds fat. 
I know this because I’ve lived it. I’ve spent the last few weeks focusing on emotional and mental health because it can and does significantly impact your physical well being. 
In 2009, I weighed 188 pounds and I didn’t even know it. Now if you recall I’m 5’2 so think about how much weight that is on my frame. I had no clue I weighed that much. My eating habits weren’t that different than my current ones, small and balanced portions. But I did eat more sugar back then in comparison to now. And it wasn’t until my then boyfriend blatantly called me fat one day did I realize that I packed on the pounds. Unlike most people, I was at advantage. Usually when I gain weight it’s evenly distributed throughout my body, so I didn’t really notice the weight. I went to the doctor shortly after and sure enough 188 pounds sat there mocking me on the scale. My doctor was scared for my healthy bc she said my test results showed that I was otherwise healthy and she didn’t understand how I got so big, so quickly. 
So now I became self conscious of my weight and trying everything to lose it, even those weight loss pills, (by the way they don’t work). 

Nothing worked. Six weeks after my doctor’s visit I break up with my boyfriend and two weeks later people start telling me I look like I’ve lost weight. I get on the scale it reads 142. I immediately contact the doctor. During our visit she tells me she believes the weight gain is stress related. 

  
And after two weeks I lost 17 more pounds. Which is absurd! Who would’ve thought such s thing was possible. 
Why does this happen?

According to WebMD, stress releases both the adrenaline and cortisol hormones. Adrenaline gives you the energy meanwhile cortisol helps you to replenish. So basically, elevated cortisol levels will leave you feeling famished causing you to eat more. Furthermore, chronic stress, (and this is particularly common with women), can cause one to store visceral fat. 

See below….

  

  
So what can you do?

Well as I’ve told you over the past few weeks shit happens. Life happens. It’s about how you handle it. Monitor your stress and energy levels. Channel that energy into something that will makes you less stressed. 
Now I’m not saying all your fat comes from  stress related issues or any of it. For that matter  But there’s a possibility that some of it can build from here, just be mindful. 

  
  

Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 
Follow her antics on IG, EatWithNia, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia

And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though. 

LIFT THE FORK, VBurger, New York NY w/ Kam of Hennypalooza 

  

On this weeks Episode of Lift The Fork We met up with Kameron Mccullough, the founder of Hennypalooza. Kameron has built a legacy by creating the biggest party of this generation. But the rockstar lifestyle isn’t always the healthiest. So they swapped out his fried chicken and Hennessy for unchikn and kombucha at VBurger- a Vegan Fast food spot in Union Square NYC. Watch as the three attack some delicious Vegan bites. Shot by Julius stokes


  

LIFT THE FORK: The Leftovers (Bonus Footage) w/ Kris Kasanova

  

The Feedback and love for episode one has been great!! And because you guys have been great supporters we want to leave you with some “food for the soul, you do the dishes” moment with Kris Kasanova at Natural Blend in Brooklyn! We got to touch on some deep topics about hip hop and being healthy. Enjoy. 

  

Energy… I don’t have any

So I’ve been going through some shit, some real stressful shit. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have the mental dedication to stick to my exercise regimen. Sometimes, it only takes one thing to throw a wrench in your day or mood and you’re just completely out of it. That’s what happened to me. I was emotionally drained from this week’s on-going drama. Needless to say I only worked out on Monday.

And you know what? This is normal. This will happen. So don’t panic, it is normal for real life to get in the way and take over. Don’t beat yourself because you weren’t able to make it to the gym or you ate terribly. It happens and again it’s normal. You have to take care of you and those real life issues in order for you to get those abs and stay on that healthy eating track. Stress can make you fat. I’m speaking from experience, (I’ll address this next week). This goes back to my post, last week of Eating Your Feelings.

How did I stay focused? Well, I ate good. If you’re not going to work out you definitely need to keep your eating in check. First off on days you’re not exercising or you don’t exercise period, you need to keep your caloric intake to a minimum. Now as I told you guys before I don’t calorie count, but you do know for the most part when you shouldn’t be eating something.  So here’s what my meals look like on a non-exercise and exercise days, on top of the 3-5 cups of herbal tea and 1-2 liters of water daily.

Non- Exercise Day:

  • Breakfast – oatmeal and croissant and green tea
  • Snack – fruit
  • Lunch – 1 protein, 2 or more vegetables (generally a chicken wrap or left overs – see my Instagram for left over descriptions)
  • Dinner – 1 protein, 2 or more vegetables and 1 starch

Exercise Day

  • Breakfast – oatmeal and croissant or egg and bagel sandwich with green tea
  • Snack – fruit
  • Lunch – 1 protein, 2 or more vegetables (or tacos)
  • Pre-workout snack – Clif bar or bagel (depending on what I’m about to do, if I’m running it could be either and if it’s cross training it’s a Clif bar)
  • Dinner – 1 protein,  2 or more vegetables and 1 starch
  • Dinner 2 – carbohydrates or fried rice (this is only eaten late on Friday nights so that I don’t wake up starving early on Saturday mornings for my long runs, which require that I have some extra gas in the tank)

As we already know you can’t just exercise away your fat, you have to also change your eating habits. So if you’re not going to exercise, keeping up with those healthier eating habits its a great start to getting those abs.

LIFT THE FORK ep1 s2 Natural Blend, Brooklyn w/ Kris Kasanova

  

Season 2 of Lift The Fork is officially underway and we are shaking some things up this time around! Irv returns with a new sidekick Robin J. This season, Irv and Robin J are bringing some friends for the ride as they uncover the tastiest, healthiest eats in NYC. 
  
For this episode they take it to the borough of Brooklyn and are joined by local rapper Kris Kasanova. Dining at Natural Blend- a restaurant specializing in Jamaican-Vegan cuisine, the three dig in to some Caribbean classics with a twist, while convincing Kris not to put Hennessy in his Wheatgrass. Hope you’re hungry!


  

  

Eating My Feelings Part 5

Between social media and fitness magazines I’m surprised more people don’t suffer from depression. These outlets make a “30 day weight loss” transformation seem so easy. And while I understand that dedication equals results,  I’m here to tell you it’s not that’s simple when factoring the lifestyles of many .  The one thing I don’t see often discussed is emotional eating. So, this week I’m not going to talk about my progress, but rather I want to address a common road block.
  

When people often think of emotional eating, it’s generally associated with depression and morbid obesity. You can be pleasantly plump, like myself, or severely slim and be depression free all awhile  being an emotional eater. This is probably the number two reason, besides the fact that I’m addicted to sugar why Im still having a hard time successfully changing  my eating habits.

  

See I don’t just indulge when I’m having a bad day, sometimes I do it because I’m celebrating a good oneListen, I can find any excuse to justify eating some bad shit. I’m learning how to stop. And it’s something a lot of people  deal with but don’t openly discuss. We have to find a better alternative to obtaining that comfort. It’s hard because certain foods release endorphins or give you sort of a high and have you feeling all warm inside. And once you get that feeling, well it’s pretty damn hard to resist, especially when you’re having a shitty day. So I get it. However, it’s not getting you or me any closer to that flatter tummy.

  


What is my strategy?

  • Stay away from certain restaurants
  • Leave  my wallet when I go out or keep a limited amount of cash
  • Using exercise as an outlet instead of food
  • Making healthier food choices
  • Drink more water 

While I’ve been under much less stress in comparison to the months prior to this project, I find myself eating less and less due to bad day and more because I feel the need to reward myself. You know, like “hey Nia you did great today on your run, killed those splits, you should try out that new donut shop.

So right now I’m just focusing on changing that behavior, and hopefully that will help these abs muscles struggling to poke through my fat. In the meantime, I’m not watching the scale, just focusing on changing these habits that will help me get closer to that goal.

  
Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 

Follow her antics on IG, EatWithNia, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia
And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though. 

How To Naturally Get A Bigger Butt

  

Everyday I go online and look at fitness topics and the one topic that is consistently number one is ” How To Get A Bigger Butt” now, I wrote about this before and explained that a large part of this is genetic. But, since y’all don’t care about your aunts hips I figured I’d cover the fitness side of this spectrum. So let’s dig into what it’s going to ” really” take to get that ass you want.
WORKOUT 

It’s going to take a combination of cardio and weights to build a bigger butt. In order to change the body you must challenge it past what it’s accustomed to, adding heavier weights will build lean bigger muscles . Cardio such as running and walking doesn’t really challenge the glutes enough to change the muscle, unless your sprinting( CC: every track runner in America ) but they can be used for fat reduction. Stair climbing and incline hill walking are a bit more effective, but no substitute for the weight training. When it comes to weight training you have to exhaust the muscles so lifting semi-heavy for a high number of reps ( 12-15) is how you create change. Gradually start adding heavier weights to your routine in order to make this work and contract the flute muscle by squeezing them on all extension motions.

Routines :

Hell raises are the perfect exercise for a rounder butt. You can do it without any equipment or if you want a faster muscle growth in the hamstrings and glutes you can use ankle weights , resistance bands, or the weighed machine at your local gym. 

Get down on the ground on all four in a tabletop position. Push one leg backwards toward the ceiling, keeping it bent at the knee at a 90 degree angle. When you reach the top of your movement flex your glutes for a second. Start lowering your knee back at the start position as you exhale and cross it over the opposite knee. Start with ten repetitions for each leg and slowly increase the count as you feel stronger.

  
* couldn’t find a black women doing this, damn you google *

Side plank abductions:

1. Start in a modified side plank position, with your top leg extended over your bottom leg

2. Lift your top leg as high as possible and then lower it back down.

3. Repeat and then switch sides.

  Glute bridges : 

1.Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.

2.Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.

3.Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.
 

NUTRITION :
So now that we covered a bunch of workouts that I personally cosign for getting the butt you want. I also want to explain that exercise alone isn’t enough. You also have to pay attention to your diet. If you’re familiar with fitness trends, you might think this means to eat more protein. While it’s true you need more protein in order to help build your muscles, protein won’t help your butt in specific. Loading up on extra protein simply won’t help your butt get bigger by itself, though eating protein right after working out is a good idea.

  
One thing you will want to do with your diet is to change up the kinds of carbohydrates you eat. Try to cut out as many refined carbs as possible. That will help keep your weight and your shape at a decent level. Also, pay attention to where you tend to store fat. Many women store fat around their hips and their butt, which means that increasing the amount of calories you take in will help you get a bigger butt if that’s how your body works. However, if you store fat elsewhere, then losing weight first is a better idea.

  

Now that you have the tools, go fourth and prosper … Sundress season is coming.