5 Ways To Invest In Yourself Next Year

When I was thinking about my goals for next year, I realized that in order to achieve them, I have to make investments in myself. The best way to achieve your goals is to become the best you can be, in all different aspects of your life, from your health, to your career to your social life. When you invest in yourself, you’re giving worth to yourself and your goals. You’re allowing yourself to get to the next level in achieving your bigger goals and dreams, whatever that looks like for you.

Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself this year.

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1. Education

I was NOT your best student. My school years consisted of sports, interested in sports, and day dreaming and wishing I was running around outside (Actually I still do that) But college changed it for me, when I was finally surrounded by like minded people and learning about subjects I was really interested in, I flourished. Since then I’ve done numerous courses, workshops and researched stuff in my field and since then I’ve always been keen on learning more. But now that I’m no longer in school, doesn’t mean I’ve stopped educating myself.

As a personal trainer, blogger and business owner, there’s always something new to learn and strategies to keep on top of. I’m constantly researching new courses and books and investing in ones that will help me and business grow. The second you stop learning is the second you stop growing.

2. Creativity

You should continuously be investing time into creativity. This may mean something different for everyone, from painting to interior decorating to writing to photography to cooking to learning a new language. Creativity allows us to have fun, be inspired and take our focus off the stressors in our lives. If you do something creative for your job, try another creative outlet outside of your work. Next year I want to focus even more on writing, maybe improve my photography skills, and interior decorating will definitely be high on the list as well 😛

3. Fitness

Fitness is so important to invest in for yourself. Whether it’s a gym membership, surfing lessons, yoga, boxing, or running club, or whatever exercise you love, investing in fitness is always worth it. I will continue my all round training regime as I do currently, but I want to get as fast possible, as strong as possible and spend the summer water skiing, surfing and wake boarding as much as possible.

4. Your Mind

Nurture your mind by reading, writing, engaging in discussions with others who may share a different view point than you, meditate, journal, learn a new skill. Make sure you’re always feeding and nurturing your mind. It’s key for your mood, memory and focus, and should be one of the top things you invest in for yourself.

5. Your Diet

The last few years I’ve really been noticing just how much food affects me – both in terms of how I look and how I feel. So many foods (like ones high in sugar), make us feel tired and sluggish. I’m pretty good with making most of my own meals instead of eating out, just because I am an extremely picky eater but investing in cleaner foods helps you feel better all around and boosts your productivity, energy and mood. Be mindful of the foods you buy at the grocery store and what you order when you eat out.

Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to achieve your goals and dreams. Are there any other ways you’re planning to invest in yourself next year? 

Self-Care Practices Beyond Beauty

Ain’t no bathing recommendations today.

After spending a month abroad, a day back home and leaving again for the next conference, today is my first full day back home, and I’ve decided to turn this Tuesday into a self care Sunday. Today is SUCH a gloomy day here in CPT and I would wish more than anything else to take a long hot bath but because of the CPT drought, this is what I got up to instead…

Self-care ideas are so often packaged up as a beauty-related posts. Now sometimes it is and unless you’re an avid bathing hater, there’s not many people who would argue that having a bath doesn’t make you feel absolutely fantastic.

The same goes for a face mask. Or doing your nails. All these things things involve you cutting time out of your schedule to do something for yourself. However self-care doesn’t necessarily need to involve partaking in an activity that concerns itself with aesthetics. Self-care means dedicating time for yourself to anything that replenishes and revives you. Something that ups your energy levels, decreases stress and tends to both your physical and mental needs.
So, I’ve got thinking about the self-care practices that I’ve incorporated more and more over the past couple of months as the work pressure has increased, but I haven’t been able to switch off by taking my daily bath like I did in Germany. #capetowndraught
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Find your crowd. There are certain people that whenever you are around they have such a calming and uplifting effect on you that just leaves you feeling energized. For me that’s JD, my parents, my dog and a few selective friends. I never look at my phone, we laugh, we tell stories and we eat. It’s heaven. Identify the people you have in your life that make you feel this way and organize your schedule so that you get to spend as much time as possible with their company.

2. Exercise. I know it’s such a classic cliche coming from a personal trainer, but there really is something special that happens when a client or friend says ‘I LOVE THIS’ instead of ‘DO I HAVE TO DO THIS? Exercise doesn’t just have to be one thing, and you don’t have to like the same workouts as I do. It’s about empowering yourself and mind through movement, whether that is weightlifting, running, yoga, or all of thee above. Whatever you decide, it’s a time for you, phone-free, where you’re taking the time to exclusively care for yourself both internally and externally. Find your thing and participate in it as regularly as you can.

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3. Outdoors. Growing up we ventured out on camping holidays every weekend and school holidays, so I spent a large amount of my childhood making dens in the woods and exploring most of the country I grew up in, South Africa. Even when I go away with my friends now a big part of the weekend is camping and hiking. There’s such simplicity in following a trail, eating your jungle oats bar, not seeing anyone else for hours at a stretch, being completely off the grid. I mean if that’s not the ultimate self care then I don’t know what is…

4. Music.  So this is something that I’ve been trying to do more; making playlists on Spotify and downloading albums I enjoy and then just putting them on and listening. I love anything acoustic, live or in my room. I use to play the piano, and although I’ve lost most of my skills and being able express myself creatively in that way, music will always be a part of me. Even if it’s just a throwback playlist taking you back to a certain time in high school, or your holiday from last year. Music has an amazing impact on my mood.

Carla (48 of 79)

5. Writing. The irony, as I’m writing this now, but writing, blogging and instagramming if that’s even a thing is how I love to express myself. If you, as a reader had to know how much I write, that never get’s published, I hardly post 10% of what crosses my mind or get’s written, because sometimes I just need to get things out. I don’t need anyone else’s judgement on my opinions, but writing my thoughts down definitely organizes and clears my chaotic mind.

6. Organisation. Now this is SUPER LAME I know, but a re-organize or just a little tidy-up is really up there with my most chill-inducing tasks. A little Sunday spring clean, fresh sheets, starting your week on a organized and clean note. I can’t think of anything more satisfying haha

3 Biggest Workout Program Mistakes + How to Fix Them

3 COMMON TRAINING PROGRAM MISTAKES + HOW TO FIX THEM

FIRSTLY…

A training program should have PURPOSE. You’re following it for a specific reason, I hope… These days almost anyone can be a “personal trainer.” But let’s be real, just because someone does a workout themselves, likes it and puts it on their Instagram, or worse on paper and SELLS it, DOES NOT MEAN THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE DOING THAT. It also does not mean it is a proper program.

A training program should be progressive, should work towards a specific goal, and in my professional option should be functional. If that’s not your jam, well then by all means go buy the 6 week summer shred from literally any insta-famous fit chick. But if you want to learn, and train with purpose, this one’s for you sister.

These five things are typically missing from most workout, fitness, or training programs. I have come to find this through my own clients telling about other programs they’ve tried, as well as purchasing and trying programs myself.

First up…

NO PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD

Most online programs and training templates in general are 4-8 weeks long and then they end. Then you jump onto a new program each month, but the phases don’t build on one another.

You will not improve if you do not use progressive overload somehow. Progressive overload refers to overloading your body in comparison to what it has previously experienced. You can do this through tempo, sets and reps (volume), increasing weight, or decreasing rest periods. There are many ways to use progressive overload in order to make gains. These are just a few of the big ones.

So if you’re not told to add weight, or reps, slow down your tempo, or decrease rest periods, you are likely NOT using progressive overload and need a new program.

Progressive overload does NOT mean to try crap loads different exercises every time your enter the gym. Which leads me to my next point…

LACK OF CONSISTENCY (TOO FANCY)

Most workout programs try to be too fancy. Perhaps the creator thinks they need to change things up weekly, or even every day. And again, if you like that type of training, you do you boo. Just don’t expect to get REALLY good at anything when you focus on everything (which is really focusing on nothing).

How do we measure progress in strength or movement quality or pain reduction if we do not train some of the same movements consistently? You can’t! Movement patterns are skills. Skills need repetition in order to improve.

Yes, muscles need to be surprised and challenged from new angles. But for the most part, functional, compound movements will get you what you’re looking for in terms of strength and physique. Be consistent, and embrace getting GOOD at a few movements. It all goes back to mastering the basics. If you have not yet done so, there is LITERALLY no need to get fancy. Unless you’re into getting injured.

NOT FUNCTIONALLY FOCUSED OR BALANCED 

Listen, movement and workouts for most humans just need to be balanced. You spend the majority of your day sitting, or unaware of the way your body moves (or doesn’t move).

Often times, workout programs are created with a heavy “bodybuilding” focus. Are you trying to be a body builder? Or live functionally for the rest of your life? If you’re trying to be a body builder, then duh, follow a body building program. But if you’re a normal chick who wants to lift weights, get stronger, and move functionally, then you should be doing that.

HOW IS YOUR CURRENT PROGRAM DOING? 

Does it prescribe enough rest, or are you working out 2 hours a day and drinking juices for 28 days long?

Is it functionally focused?

Does it provide consistency but still include progressive overload?

If yes, then girl you’ve got yourself a kick ass program.

If not, then I have just thing.

CWF GYM training guide is a 12 week progressive strength and hypertrophy program designed with these principles in mind. And it will change the way you look at “workout” programs forever. (Shameless plug)

 

Contact me at carlawestfitness@gmail.com for more information

My BIG Project reveal | The CWF Real life nutrition guide

Everything you need to know about it!

 

It’s been a long time coming….. and I swore I would never open that can of worms, or cross that bridge but here we are….

 The first ever CWF meal plan and nutrition guide is finally here! 🎉🎉

50 pages of information and education written by yours truly to fully help you understand your body, nutrition and how to meal plan! 

It includes 2 MEAL PLANS with detailed macro friendly meals, focusing a lot on micro nutrients and woman’s health. 

WHY you ask? And why NOW?

Because after a few weeks into the first challenge, the girls were killing it, smashing their workouts but the ONE thing holding them back was nutrition? “They could’ve gotten better results if their nutrition was better”, “workouts were great, but my nutrition wasn’t” and I wanted to change that. 

By providing a detailed informational healthy eating plan, that if you are in the middle of exams, started a new job, moved house and everything in between you have your plan and your meals prepared and zero excuses! 

In this Ebook, you will find:

Table of contents

What you won’t find in this book:

  • Difficult to follow, time-consuming recipes which long lists of glorified ‘superfood’ ingredients that you have to source from a niche supermarket or foreign country.
  • A restrictive set of dietary rules, health fads or extreme diets.

Few important notes: 

1. By purchasing this ebook, you will receive a discount code to get R100 off any product off the @naturesnutritionsawebsite.
2. If you purchase this, you will get any of my other 2 training ebooks HALF PRICE! (Next week only!)
3. If you have already purchased my training ebooks and partook in my first challenge you can get the other ebook for half price (when purchasing this one) (Next week only)

This plan will go on sale on Monday, the 6th of August. 🎉🎉🎉🎉

To buy the guide

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/2057576590960441/

or
Email me at carlawestfitness@gmail.com for more info

 

Chili lime steak fajitas

Chili lime steak fajitas are so juicy and full of incredible flavours! Perfect for a summer braai. They are super easy to make and perfect for a quick throw-together meal!

Steak fajitas marinade

You’re going to start off by marinading your steak using my favourite chili lime marinade. All you need is:

  • Lime juice — freshly squeezed!
  • Parsley
  • Garlic — minced or finely chopped
  • Honey
  • Ground cumin
  • Red chili flakes — optional

Don’t have time to marinade?

No worries! You don’t NEED to, because this marinade has so much flavour in it already, you can get away with letting it sit for 5 minutes while you get your skillet and other ingredients ready.

Grilled Chilli Lime Chicken Fajita Salad | https://cafedelites.com

How to cook beef fajitas

Straight on the braai or in the pan if you wish.

What do you serve with steak fajitas?

  1. Stuff them in tortilla wraps (corn or white flour)
  2. Use lettuce leaves for a low carb option
  3. Avocado slices
  4. Grilled/seared peppers
  5. Sour cream

 

All photos credit to: Cafe delites

Chicken breasts with potato and mixed veggies

What is easier and more basic than this? But this is def a staple for me and one of my favorite meals ever. (Yes, I’m basic and boring like that)

Use this recipe to easily make a baked chicken main dish with potatoes, and any vegetable of your choice. 

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Ingredients

Cooking spray

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1 package frozen mixed veg

3 potatoes, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spread chicken pieces, mixed veg, and potatoes into the prepared baking dish, respectively. Drizzle olive oil over the ingredients in the dish and season with mixed Italian herbs, rosemary, oregano, parsley and salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until the chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, 45 to 60 minutes.

Tip:

If you prefer it, you can steam your veggies and add them afterwards as well.

 

Spinach, Bacon and Cheddar stuffed Sweet Potato

These easy Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a tasty way to pile on the veggies!

Serve up a twist on the classic Spinach and cheddar potato by swapping the typical  potato for a sweet potato. You can keep things simple by topping a baked sweet potato with steamed Spinach, bacon pieces and cheese and melting it in the microwave just before serving. Anything goes!

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Sweet potato cooking time:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Poke holes in the potato using a fork.
  3. Lightly oil the sweet potato.
  4. Using aluminium foil, wrap the potato.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.

Cut open and add your wished toppings.

You are more than welcome to do this with normal potatoes as well.

Here are the difference between the two:

“By the USDA method, though, a medium potato contains 170 calories, versus just 105 in a medium sweet potato. … Carbohydrates and protein, though, are more plentiful in the regular potato, which boasts 37 grams of carbs and 5 grams of protein versus 24 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein in a sweet potatoSweet potatoes, however, have more fiber and are slightly lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes. For this reason, blood glucose will rise a little more gradually with sweet potatoes than with white potatoes. As far as nutrients go,sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene.”

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