Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween ! Now keep your hand out of the jar !!

Happy Halloween !!!

Goblins, ghosts, and candy .... OH MY !! Don't let the beginning of the holiday season send you into a blunder !!! Halloween is the start of the next three months of sugary sweets, treats, and savory foods that can send anyone into a sugar high. Halloween is a holiday that is a nutritional pitfall for many but don't worry I have some tips and tricks to use to keep you sane and healthy along the way!

With candy floating around EVERYWHERE you look, from chocolate to gummies and homemade treats its no wonder people just derail and give in. Being the "odd" one out and saying no is hard to do when everyone around you is gorging on their favorite childhood candies. But you don't have to say NO to everything and feel deprived, you just need to play it smarter one step ahead of the temptation. Follow these simple yet effective times to enjoy the holiday's without the guilt !

Eat some treats in moderation. You can indulge but don't overindulge in those sugary treats. For example, eat a snack size bar of your favorite candy instead of a regular size bar. The average miniature/”fun” size bar of chocolate has 75-95 calories compared to the 200-250 calories in the regular-size bar. Or if that big open bowl is always tempting you to stick your hand in each time you pass it, choose something you REALLY want and savor it. Then move the bowl or go a different route so you are not tempted all day long.

Eat your normal, balanced meals throughout the days. Don't skip meals to save on calories. This will just lead to binging and then allowing yourself to eat whatever you feel because you will feel like you already ruined the day. Set yourself up for success and eat normally but just keep in mind to save a little room for dessert!

Eat BEFORE you go trick or treating with the kiddos. If you are hungry when you leave, all that candy will be readily available for you and you will be less likely that you can say no. Be smart and just eat a small snack of protein and carbs before you go so you are not so hungry which will help tip number one when it comes to moderation.

Try to squeeze in a good workout when you know that you will be indulging in a little extra. Be sure to recognize that exercise is to keep your body moving and burning just a little bit more on those days when your metabolism will need a little boost. Exercise does not eliminate calories consumed it will just enhance your bodies ability to burn more overall during the day,

Plan your holiday treats. Instead of just eating whenever you feel, plan special times that you can utilize and control the amount that you eat. Post workout would be the optimal time for a sugary treat because you body can utilize the glycogen to restore what was lost. This does not give you a FREE pass to eat anything and everything but to enjoy something sweet like candies and gummies as fast digesting carbs which is a win-win for a post workout treat along with a protein shake.

The key to success is to ensure that you have control over what you are eating and not let the holiday control you. Plan your normal meals according to your day. Have a small snack prior to trick-or-treating and walk instead of drive. Also utilize your post workout carbs for sweet treats and keep it all in moderation !!!

Have a great Halloween and Spooktacular Day !!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time it right for great resutls!!!

Working out is only part of the equation when it comes to getting a killer body. You diet right all day long but then at the end of your workout the hunger monster strikes and you feel like you can eat anything in sight. What you need to do is make sure that you are fueling your workouts with the proper nutrition but sometimes post gym hunger strikes at the worst time.

Unfortunately, we tend to OVER-estimate the amount of calories that we burned when working out and decide to overindulge on your post workout meals because you "earned" it. Post workout meals need to be planned and not just on the fly. In order to see results follow this plan of attack to fuel your body and be a lean mean fat burning machine.

First off, PLAN your post workout meal. Eating after your workout is a critical part of recovery. Make sure that you bring a post workout meal with you. A good post workout meal will consist of protein, fast digesting carbohydrates, and a little fat.
Don't decide to go to the grocery store hungry. You will just tend to grab anything and everything will look good to eat. Make sure that you choose healthy foods on the perimeter of the grocery store and stay out of the middle isles!
Make sure that you are properly fueled for your workout. Being hungry before working out only makes you more hungry. Working out depletes your energy reserves and might tap into your hard burned muscles. Pre-workout is the time to get energizing carbs and proteins. Try a berry smoothie with some almond milk and flax seed pre workout !!
Supplement your workouts properly. During your workout try to sip on BCAA's or whey protein to keep your hunger at bay and to refuel your muscles during your workout.As you work out, your body burns through nutrients to fuel your muscle contractions, this causes a shift in your muscles’ nitrogen balance. When your muscle nitrogen drops, muscle-building shuts off and muscle breakdown can start to occur.
Post workout is the time to feed the beast. Try to make sure your getting at least 20 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs in your post workout meal. A good post workout example is a fast-digesting whey protein, along with a couple of rice cakes within the first hour post-workout. Then, eat a proper meal again, within a few hours. This method has been shown to help maximize muscle replenishment and efficiently kick-start muscle rebuilding processes.
Working out depletes your body of glycogen, but that doesn't mean you can go overboard on carbohydrates post workout to refill them. The main reason for post workout overindulgence is not fueling our bodies properly ALL day long and then you are famished after a workout and ready to eat everything and then over-eat because of this. Be sure to not use working out as a reason to "treat" ourselves. You just did an amazing thing for your body so why would you want to "treat" it with garbage food when you can fuel it to repair muscles ???
So here is a little recap of what was just stated !!
-Plan your post workout meal
-Don't grocery shop hungry or post workout
-Eat a proper meal before working out
-Drink whey or BCAA's intra workout to curb hunger
-Eat a proper post workout meal with a 20/40 protein to carb ratio
-You don't need to "treat" yourself with food post workout
-Mindfully think before you eat so that your fully aware of what your feeding yourself.

Now time to be a little muscle monster and get you lifting on in the gym !! Be sure to refuel before, during, and after your workout !!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Strong is the NEW skinny !


Strong is the new skinny !!!

Day after day we are bombarded by pictures of celebrities that are less than realistic. What we see is the Photoshopped image that shrinks, slims, tightens, brightens and sometimes eliminates body parts on accident.
What does that really say about those photos and the people we admire?

THEY ARE NOT REALISTIC GOALS FOR NORMAL PEOPLE !
It is hard to believe that the people we idolize and look up too are just like us.. They have curves, cellulite, wrinkles, pimples, bloating, etc....

When are we going to wake up to this unrealistic expectation of what we should look like ? We as women need to stop the crash dieting, stop the self-hate, put that scale away and stop trying to be "skinny fit" and decide to be STRONG and FIT !

If you didn't already know, muscle weighs more than fat but is less dense in size. So if you put muscle and fat side by side on a scale... muscle would be smaller in size than fat but weigh more. Now let translate this into your life and body. You might fear the weights because you don't want to get "bulky" so you stick to the treadmill and cardio. Sure you might lose some weight but what does your body look like ? If you want to create a lean physique lifting weights is the way to go !!!

Another example is the scale number. That darn thing can haunt you in your sleep and bring anxiety to the calmest of people. Lucky for you the scale is only a tiny representation of your weight. A lot more goes into the number you see. That number on a standard scale is the OVERALL number of everything you encompass. So that includes your lean body mass, total fat, bones, muscles, water retention, hair,,,etc. The scale can only tell you so much. If you want a more accurate form of measurement use a 7 point pinch test for body fat that takes your age, weight,and 7 points of skin fold to assess the difference between your lean body mass and fat in your body.

So what should you be doing ?? Focus on wellness and overall fitness in the gym. Set up performance based goals instead of the scale. Eventually the scale will stop moving, you hit a plateau, and now you need to make a decision on how to break it. But if you constantly have bigger goals to reach already in place, that plateau will be harder hit and your body will always be changing. Not to mention the more lean muscle mass you have the smaller your body composition will be REGARDLESS the number on the scale.

Here is an example of performance based goals:
Each month perform this routine and record the results. Your goal is to always improve your scores !!

1 minute of each with 1 minute rest in-between each for one round.

-Air squats to a box ( this ensures you don't cheat!!)
-Push ups ( do as many regular pushups as you can and record then finish with modified push ups for the remaining time.)
-Sit ups ( anchor your feet to something and do full sit ups)
-burpees (just for a fun challenge)
Then:
Run 1 mile for time for cardiovascular endurance testing.

Next time your in the gym, think about the GOALS you want to achieve when lifting. Strive to reach and set new goals. The scale will only tell you so much but your performance is what will keep you strong and fit !!!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Small steps BIG results !

ime to get up and get moving !! It's workout time !!!

This is a quick little beauty !!! All you need is a kettle-bell and a place to run at least .25 miles or row or spin or whatever quick little blast of cardio you want to do !

Part 1
Run, bike, row...etc .25 miles
50-40-30-20-10 reps of
-kettle-bell swings
-air squats
-hand release push ups
-sit ups (any kind- but if you do bicycle double it up )
*so do the whole series at 50 reps then start back to 40... etc to 10

Part 2
run a lap or cardio burst and do the following:

21-15-9
-burpees
-sumo squat with high pull (kettle-bell)
Finish with your cardio burst !!!

Now lets talk about setting realistic and manageable goals ! When setting goals its better to think smaller than overall. Author Leo Babauta the author of the book, The Power of Less, stated these statistics :

-Adopting one new habit at a time results in an 85% chance of success
-Adopting two new habits at once: a 35% chance of success
-Adopting three or more new habits at once: less than 10% chance of success

INTERESTING HUH???

So when you think about setting goals for yourself, don't overwhelm your mind with wanting to do EVERYTHING all at once. Try to focus your intentions in one direction and start there. For example, try to work on eliminating one "bad" thing from your diet and replace it with something good. Once you can successfully accomplish this for more than 2 weeks add in one more goal to work one. Success comes from being consistent. Setting up too many goals will leave you overwhelmed and feeling deprived !

Also in goal setting be very specific on what behavior you want to change. It's one thing to say you are going to eat healthy EVERY meal vs. changing out soda for water at lunch. Make sure that you are picking goals that you can work on each day. Small changes add up in the long run making you more successful to change that behavior.

When it comes to your fitness and health goals set small manageable stepping stones to accomplish. Try not to set HUGE goals and be very specific in what you want to accomplish. Make sure those goals are realistic and can be maintained over a LONG period of time !

Now go out there and set up some goals that challenge you and help you to make positive changes in your life !!!

This is how we SWING it !


Kettlebell Swings... either you LOVE them or HATE them but no matter which you prefer they are extremely beneficial to any training program. When performing a kettlebell swing, having the correct form is the MOST important aspect of this move. Kettlebell swings develop powerful hips, a strong posterior chain, and builds a solid core. Due to the explosive nature of this move, you get an added metabolic boosting bonus that lasts after your workout is complete because you are utilizing your ENTIRE body!!!

Steps on how to perform a kettlebell swing:
1.Stance set up.
2. Place your bell a foot or so in front of you.
3. Hinge, load your hips and grip your bell.
4. Spine is neutral and eyes are on the horizon.
5. Root your feet to the floor.
6. Grip and visualize breaking the handle of the bell to engage your lats.
7. Sniff in some air.
8. Hike the bell and keep it close to your body.
9. Snap the hips and match the tension breath at the top with the hip snap.
10. The bell should float momentarily at chest height while you are in a standing plank.
11. Throw the bell back for another rep.

Check out the video below for instruction!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=smwrpG1FE1E

Some common errors with kettlebell swings :

1. Pulling or muscling the bell with the arms/shoulders
2. Shrugging your shoulders
3. Hyper-extending the low back at the top of the swing
4. Chicken necking
5. Squatting vs hinging
6. Not finishing with the hips (stopping short)
7. Not matching the breath to the hips
8. Scooping the knees
9. Flexing the ankles

Here are 5 reasons to add in kettlebell swings into your training !!

-They burn a TON of calories because they are ballistic and require the entire body to complete each rep.
-Strengthens the posterior chain and core muscles
-Strengthens and builds muscle in the upper back, glutes and hamstrings.
-Provides cardiovascular conditioning
-Creates a metabolic fat burning furnace for up to 24 hours post exercise.

If theses reasons aren't enough to intrigue you to try kettlebell training I don't know what will help change your mind ! So go out there and try it out !!

References:
http://www.shapingconcepts.com/blog/top-5-reasons-kettlebell-swings/
http://www.girlsgonestrong.com/exercise-spotlight-kettlebell-swing/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper ! BUT don't forget to SNACK LIKE A QUEEN !

We all know that eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are essential times to fuel our bodies. Now what do you do at those critical hours when those hunger pangs strike !??! I know for me around 10 am and 3 pm is when I am HANGRY nope, not a typo---hungry and angry put together.. not a good situation

In order to keep hunger at bay, snacks can be added into your diet granted that you are still within your macros for the day. For some people adding in 2 extra snacks can feel like your eating ALL day. For others it's almost an essential part of their day. I do have to admit, choosing healthy snacks can sometimes be confusing and difficult to do. Since breakfast, lunch, and dinner are "normal" meals, snacking can throw you for a loop and potentially derail your goals if your not choosing the proper foods !

I am going to give you some great snacking ideas that you can implement into your diet each day or maybe for those HANGRY days !!

Snacking should be thought of in three seperate categories:

1- when you eat it is depending on your main meals. You want to fill in the gaps between eating times specifically between breakfast and lunch then lunch and dinner.
2- Make sure it has enough protein, slow digesting carbohydrates and some fats to ensure it will keep you satisfied !
3-Try to eat 20-30 grams of protein, 20-30 grams of slow-digesting carbs and about 10 grams of healthy fats.

Try these out next time your in a pinch !

GREEK DELIGHT
- 1 scoop whey protein powder
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat (2%) Greek yogurt plain
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. almond butter

BERRY SHAKE
- 1 scoop whey protein powder
- 1 cup water
-1 cup ice
- 3/4 cup raspberries or blackberries
- 3/4 cup blueberries or strawberries

CEREAL SNACKER
- 1 scoop whey protein
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup All-Bran cereal ( little to no sugar)

AVOCADO DEVILED EGGS
-6 boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise, yolks removed and set aside
-1 large or 2 small ripe avocados
- 2 Tbsp. greek yogurt
-paprika
-salt and pepper to taste

FEELING CHEESY
- 1/2 cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
- 1 Tbsp. whole roasted flaxseeds
- 1/2 scoop protein
- 1 apple

These are just a few of ideas that may require some thought before you prepare them. You can also do the quick and dirty snacks, each - is separate idea.

- almonds (12-15)
- 1 package of tuna
- trail mix mainly of mixed nuts
- ants on a log ( peanut-butter on celery with raisins.)
- hard boiled egg whites
- rice cakes with almond butter

Treat snacks like this phrase:
Keep wood burning in the fire to keep it going.
* Just like your metabolism needs fuel throughout the day in order to keep it fired up! Just make healthy snacking choices !!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Above average

Hey time for a motivational post to set the weekend off right...

In life we tend to set our standards around the "average" of the population. Meaning if its a societal standard we tend to lean towards that as what is expected of us...

But wait who really wants to be just average ??? Think about it.. Being average means just blending into the masses.. I for sure want to stand out among the rest as a leader and strong force to others.

Why not go above and beyond the average? Why not strive for excellence in everything we do ? Why not help others without expecting anything in return?

Maybe if we live life like this we would all have a better life set for us. Leading in excellence requires others to step up to that standard. If you go beyond in what needs to be done, others will respect you and treat you above average.

Next time you feel like being just "average" take the next step and be above it. Don't avenge those who hurt you, help them. Give the shirt off your back to those in need and above all be the best version of you each and everyday !!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

RISE and SHINE !!!

R I S E .. and shine all my beautiful people out there !!! But did you know that this simple word, RISE, is actually an acronym for something pretty cool in the fitness world that might just be your go to guide on how to schedule training each week!! By using this simple set up you can create positive changes to your physique and it's as simple as this:

~RISE~

R- Resistance
I- Interval
S- Stretching
E- Endurance

Now let's take a deeper look into each term !

Resistance training is based on using an outside force such as your body or an implement such as weights to create greater stimulus in the muscles with a period of adaptation. Over time this resistance must be increased to facilitate growth. Another term for resistance training is also known as strength training. Here are a few examples of resistance training: Olympic lifting, power lifting, and weight lifting. Try to add in resistance training on non consecutive days with full body lifting.

Interval training can be described as any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, running sprints on a treadmill or track as fast as you can for 30 seconds and resting for 20 seconds for 8 total rounds. The benefits of using interval training are excellent for those days your short on time in the gym. You burn more calories during a HIIT workout, and it will kick your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after a steady-pace run. Add intervals into your routine 2 times a week!

Stretching has many benefits such as increased flexibility, reduced muscle tension, enhanced muscle coordination, and increased energy levels. Make sure that you are sufficiently warming up your muscles BEFORE stretching them out. Also, try to incorporate one long duration stretching session like yoga or Pilates per week to de-stress your body and mind.

Endurance training is performing steady state cardio for longer than 30 minutes consecutively. Endurance training is great to add into your regular routine along with doing interval training on the other days of the week to facilitate muscular changes. Endurance training is great for your heart to maintain healthy functions. Endurance training also enhances your immune system by creating extra proteins necessary for production of white blood cells and antibodies. As with any exercise, long duration cardio will help you to sleep better and have increased circulation throughout your body.

Try to keep RISE in mind when planning your training routines for the week for a balanced training program !!!

And now a little treat for you !!!

Here is a healthy night-time craving busting snack that won't derail your results:

Healthy protein packed yogurt with apples !
-3 oz of pumpkin puree
-3 oz greek yogurt
-1 tbs. cinnamon
-1 scoop of protein powder
-1 tbs. or 16 grams peanutbutter
-1 apple

Mix the greek yogurt, pumpkin, cinnamon, and protein powder together. Serve with a sliced apple and Peanutbutter!!

Yum Yum... this is high in protein, fiber, and fat. The best combination for muscle preservation while you sleep !!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SEE WHAT I EAT!!


Grocery shopping .... ugghhh ! Who really likes to go grocery shopping each week? It's one of those duties that just needs to get done each week but it can be pretty painless if you can plan ahead of time and stick to it !

So many people ask me what I eat so I am going to tell you exactly what I get each and every week ! It doesn't change unless I try a new recipe that I need extra ingredients for. 99.9% of the time I buy and eat the same foods each and every week. Lucky for me I am a creature of habit. I don't like changes and I like when things are planned out for me ahead of time. The biggest benefit of planning everything out is having your meals in mind and that will help you stay on track. Mindless shopping for random things to cook with will only lead you to be frustrated and buying items that are not the best for you. So here is a list of what I buy each week !! The items with a ** are bought maybe once a month or until I run out !

Protein Sources
-Chicken breast ( 2 packs of breasts and 1 of tenders)
-Ground 97% lean turkey (1 lb.)
-Eggs ( 6 or more 18 packs)
-**Tuna canned

Vegetables
- Fresh spinach ( 2 bags)
-cucumbers (8)
-celery (2)
-carrots (5 lbs bag)
-peppers (6)
-spaghetti squash (if on sale)
-sweet potatoes ( 6 large)
-frozen green beans ( 2 bags)
-frozen broccoli ( 1 large family bag)

Fruit
-apples (6)
-mixed berries frozen bags of blueberries and strawberries
-mixed bag of frozen cherries and blackberries

Carbs
-**oatmeal in the big container
-salt free rice cakes
- **cream of rice ceareal

Fats
-Mixed nuts ( almonds, Brazilian, cashews)
-almond butter all natural from a grinder
-Peanutbutter all natural from a grinder

Misc. items
-Cinnamon
-Mrs. Dash
-Pam spray
-Cystal light packs ( I know not great but 2 gallons of water needs some flavor )
-Gallon of water
-Mustard (yellow, spicy brown, horseradish)
-**Hot sauce
-**Protein powder

And there you have it... Not much too it ! Now I prep ALL the meats, boil 1/2 the eggs and prep my veggies on Sunday. Everything for the week is ready to rock and roll ! No excuses and no other foods to cheat off of. If you don't have it, you won't eat it !!!!

Let's workout now !!! It's Wednesday so today is a day to really kick that mid week slump and HIIT a great workout !

4 rounds for time
-20 walking lunge steps with a plate over head hold
-10 kettle-bell swings
-10 burpee deadlift with a weighted bar
-10 kettle-bell goblet squat

then 21-15-19
-Jump squats
-Mt. Climbers
-Push ups
-Sit ups

~ENJOY ~

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DIET.. EKKKKK

I have a challenge for you !!! For the next 7 days... Keep a food log ! If you put it in your mouth, you write it down. Yes this includes drinks, food, condiments, gum, candies, tick tacks whatever goes in gets written down. Too many times people "think" what they are eating is clean and healthy but far too often we underestimate those little nibbles and bites that add up over the course of a day. Even gum has about 5 calories in it and those candies that you pop for a nice sugar rush can have up to 30 calories for just a few pieces !! Over time those little added extras can add up and be the small problem to why your weight loss efforts are stalled.

Here are some reasons to keep a food journal and why it's so important to track your meals as a check-in at least once a month !!! You can do it the old fashion way and track it on paper then look up the calories and nutritional breakdown or use a nutritional tracker like MyFitnessPal to track your calories !

-First and foremost by writing it down it will keep you accountable for what you are eating. This will be an eye opening experience for better or worse. Some days you will feel good about what you wrote down and other days you will look at it and say "why did i just eat that?" No matter what the reason it's good to be able to identify the good days and bad and then the reasoning of why you ate that way.

-Keeping a food journal will help with learning if you have a calorie imbalance of too many or too little. Too few calories over time will cause a plateau however too many calories over time will lead to weight gain. Keeping track keeps it straight with no room for cheating yourself.

-By seeing what you are eating and how much you are eating, you are learning portion control. Think about it, if you are honest with your food journal (which you should be) you might find that you overeat when stressed out or when you eat out. By identifying these areas of slight "binge eating" you can then reverse the behavior when in those situations. Who knew that the dressing on your salad is MORE calories than the salad and meat on it !! You will be surprised!

-Tracking your food on an app will help you learn your macro-nutritional ratios or at least put it into a pie chart that is easier to understand. You can see if you are eating too many carbs,fats, or protein throughout the day and then make adjustments.

-When you eat out, I strongly suggest doing your research on the menu BEFORE you go. Many times the food you order which you "think" is a healthy choice is not. The salads are great to eat.. minus the dressing and those croutons, and crispy toppings they use. You need to learn the lingo on how to order so that you get a great healthy meal minus the calorie trap!!! Always order your food with just seasonings on your meat, no butter, steamed veggies and dressings and toppings on the side. Hey you might sound picky and specific but just think..now you get a fresh piece of meat and food because it's specially ordered !!!

Now find an app or go old fashion. Write down your food which includes the amounts that your eating. BE SPECIFIC and keep track. This will be the best way to keep yourself in check and find out where you can fix your diet.

Monday, October 13, 2014

DIET... EEEKKKK ... It doesn't have to be so dreadful !

The word DIET... what does it mean? What does it mean to you? What does it mean to others ? If you are thinking to yourself well that's an easy answer and your most likely thinking of these phrases in a nutshell...... Deprivation of food, calorie restriction and boring meals probably come to mind. But in all reality the word "diet" as described in the Webster dictionary is :

DIET
1.)The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
2.) A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
3.)To restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.

By definition number 3 is the one that we are most commonly thinking about. Now that we have an understanding of what DIET means think about how it applies to you ?

For me when I "diet" it means I am following a specific plan that is set up for me. To you, it may mean that you are trying to follow a regimented plan to lose weight. Did you know that the majority of people who start a diet by following a plan only last up to 3 weeks before they find it hard to continue eating a strict meal plan?!! I know so many women who start and stop diets so frequently they are in a chronic yo-yo state causing your metabolism to backfire on you in hopes that you will discontinue the ups and downs of weight loss and stick to a healthy eating pattern on a consistent level.

In order to keep your metabolism happy and revving each and every day try keep these key factors in mind.

-Try to avoid giant weight fluctuations. Losing weight and regaining weight over and over again causes your metabolism to slow down. and weight loss will be more difficult each and every time. Weight loss is a matter of calories in vs. calories out. In order for your body to adjust to an increase in calories you need to "reverse diet" by slowly adding in calories to your diet over a longer period of time. Always strive to stay within 5-8 pounds of your maintenance weight at all times.

- Many diets are low in carbohydrates to enhance fat loss but that makes the body dip into fat stores. Over time your body will reduce its serotonin levels, which can result in serious sugar cravings and low to no energy which is no good. Eliminating carbs is not essential to weight loss but using them around training times and early mornings to afternoons is vital to weight loss. Stick to healthy complex carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and rice.

-Strict dieting tends to lead into binge eating due to you feeling deprived. This leads to major eating issues and may cause problems with control over food. Binge eating on a Friday and Saturday ALL day long as a "treat" is causing more harm than good. Strict dieting causes low levels of serotonin causing your body to crave greater amounts of sugar in an attempt to increase serotonin production. And, once you have stimulated this pathway, it becomes very difficult to stop overeating. Instead of binging all day try to eat normal meals throughout the day and then use dinner as a treat meal once a week. Then stick to a lower carb diet the following day.

Follow these simple concepts and keep your metabolism in check and remain healthy and happy !!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Comfort others

Today I wanted to share something close to my heart.... Comfort others with the same comfort that you were given by God in struggling situations. We all have periods of time when we feel as if we cannot move forward. Its hard to see the bigger picture when your focused on the now and not the whole picture.

Use what you have learned in your own experiences to help others around you who are now experiencing what you have and offer comfort to them. Use the degree to which you struggled to offer hope to them. Be their peace and love in their times of need!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Take off your blinders ladies and pay attention !!!


Are you wearing your fitness blinders ? Do you tend to focus only on certain "target" areas in hopes of slimming down in those exact spots?? Or are you a cardio queen always on the treadmill or eliptical logging away hours at the gym without seeing significant changes? Does the though of lifting or the weight room scare you ? Don't worry you are not alone. Each gender whether male or female tends to train differently. Men typically are heavy lifters, grunt HATE cardio and leave sweat marks everywhere. Women on the other hand will chose hours of cardio, little and light weights only to find they are not seeing results! What GIVES !!!

I am going to discuss some common pitfalls that women make and how to effectively correct them so your results are amplified and you are learning how to effectively train your body !!!

*~Doing too much cardio !!! ~*
- Cardio.. ughh that dreaded word to some but a stress reliever to others. Gym goers spend hours upon hours on cardio machines reading magazines, watching tv, or zoning out. It's great your doing your 30 minutes of cardio but wouldn't' t it be more beneficial to bun the maximum amount of calories in the shortest amount of time? Think intensity over time in this case... yes the machine "says" you did 30 minute and burned x-amount of calories but did you ?? Chances are if you didn't put out maximal effort the results will not show that !! If your doing cardio and not seeing your body change you might want to consider lifting weights to increase your metabolic rate after you workout ! Try to add HIIT training to your cardio routine for at least 2-3 times per week to start seeing better results !!

*~ Lifting like a girl ~*
- I say this kindly.....Don't be such as girl !!!! Yes as a female lifting weights, getting your hands dirty and building up callouses is not for everyone but lifting weights that CHALLENGE your muscles will help you see the results you desire. Toning is NOT REAL... you can't spot reduce nor target just one area. Fat is lost through dieting and consistent training. If you want to build curves you NEED to challenge those muscles! If you are not struggling to complete the final few reps the weight you used should be increased next time !! Have no fear of getting HUGE like the hulk, we as women do not have enough testosterone to build that type of muscle... oh your thinking what about them bodybuilding women ??? The majority of them are using some type of supplement to increase testosterone in their bodies to create that much muscle size. Rule of thumb, complete 12 reps and if the last 3 are really easy up the weight next set !! Simple as that and you will build some sexy curves on that body of yours !!

*~ Fearing dumb-bells, kettle-bells, and Bars ~*
-Sure a machine looks easy to use and that's because they are designed that way ! A machine is very isolated to the specific body part you want to target. Don't let playing in the weight room with the big boys scare you away from using the free weight equipment! Mindlessly going through the motions on the machines will just lead to a half workout without much thought. Now add in some dumb-bells and all those little accessory muscles need to work harder to stabilize that muscle. What does that do for you?? Well it causes more muscle growth to happen which means faster results !! Make sure to use free weights for your lower body to help maximize the burn along with machines !!!

*~ Neglecting your backside ~*
- The most under trained muscle in a female is your back !! Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. Women who are large chested or have a lot of visceral belly fat in the front are the ones who need back training the most. No one wants a hunch back but it's more common than you think from a lack of training those muscles plus having a sedentary desk job hunching over a computer for hours at a time. Women need to train their backs by incorporating bent over rows, lateral pull downs, pull ups and reverse flyes to name a few exercises. Plus one huge benefit from back training is reducing back pain !!

Now take off those fitness blinders, head your butt into the weight room and start creating that sexy body you wanted!! Don't forget your backside and lift like you really mean it !!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No more BORING clean meals !!


Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, broccoli, spinach and protein shakes... Yup that about sums it up alright ! I'm talking about a typical "bodybuilding" diet. If you ask anyone who is trying to lose weight, lean out their bodies or just eat a bit cleaner, chances are theses are going to be the typical foods on the list. Over time you will notice that if you are not ok with it be monotonous each day, your going to derail, eat something that "tastes" good and fall off the wagon a bit. But keep one simple thought in mind before you do that... FOOD IS FUEL ! If everyone can see it that way we wouldn't have to worry about making it taste good... however that's not life. So in order to spice things up a bit or change the way you prepare it, check out these simple upgrades to you meals !

Breakfast ideas !!

Protein Pancakes

-1/2 banana
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 cup oatmeal
-1 scoop protein powder
-2 egg whites
* optional add in: Berries, coconut flakes, nuts, raisins..etc
Mix ingredients together and cook like a pancake !!

Mug Muffin

Now use the protein pancake recipe and spray Pam into a mug. Place the mixture into the mug and microwave for 1min and 30 seconds. Don't worry the mix will rise in the the mug just pay attention that it doesn't spill over. Now you have a Mug Muffin!

Protein and oats
-It may sound to simple but to add flavor to your oatmeal add in protein powder AFTER you cook it. The protein will replace the eggs in your breakfast and give your oats a new flavor !

Snacks.. One big question I get is "What can I eat as a snack that I can take to work or eat on the go ?" Here are a few quick ideas !!
-hard boiled eggs
-hummus and rice cakes or peanut butter and rice cakes
-cottage cheese and fruit
-Mixed nuts (2oz)
-apples and yogurt
-frozen grapes

Lunch or dinner ideas !

Chicken Salad
-3 1/2 ounces cooked chicken breast
-1 corn tortilla
-1/3 cup boiled or canned black beans
-2 cups mixed chopped onions and peppers
-1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
- 3 tbsp salsa as a dressing

Healthy Ground Turkey Meatloaf

-24 oz. ground turkey
-3/4 cup oats
-1 egg
-3/4 cup chopped onions
-4 tbsp. tomato paste
*Seasonings In a bowl, put ground turkey, oats, egg, onions, tomato paste. Add black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, parsley flakes. With your hands, mix the mixture. Take a pan and spray with cooking spray. Put mixture into pan. Put in oven for 350F for 50 min. Makes 6 servings. Serves green veggies of your choice.

Crock-pot Salsa Chicken

- 4 or 5 chicken breasts
- 1 jar of salsa of choice
- hot sauce (optional)
* place all ingredients into a crock pot, set on low for 6-8 hours and enjoy !!!

Side dishes

Spaghetti Squash
-1 spaghetti squash
- 2 tbs. olive oil
-Pepper to season

* Cut the spaghetti squash vertically. Remove the seeds in the middle. Pour olive oil on the inside of the squash. Place the halves of the squash skin side up on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook for 40 minutes or until the skin is soft !

Carrot or zucchini chips
- 1 lb. carrots or 3 zucchini squash
- spices ( Italian seasoning, garlic and herb, onion)

*Cut vegetable of choice and place onto a cookie sheet. Heat oven to about 400 degrees. Cook for about 45 minutes or until crispy.

Faux Potatoes
-1 head of cauliflower
-1 tbs. olive oil
-seasonings of choice

*Steam cauliflower until soft. Add to a food processor and blend until a mashed potato consistency. Add in the olive oil and seasonings. Serve with meat.

I hope you can see that food can TASTE good and be good for you!! Incorporate some of these ideas into your standard routine and I bet you'll think again about it being boring !!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mindless Eating !!

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the fridge looking for something to "snack on" after work or dinner but have no idea why...Don't worry many of us do the same thing. Problem is that it creates a habit of mindless eating that can create problems down the road. BUT did you know that we make more than 200 food choices a day? Do you want a salad or soup? A little or a lot? Water or Soda? the list can go on and on but these choices are not as conscious as we think. If you look at society, we have many "outside" influcences that shape what we choose. Think of the "low fat" or "100 calorie" pack or "250 under" menu. What happened to just eating clean and healthy food? What if I told you that if you really paid attention to the food you are eating and focused on just that, losing weight and making healthy decisions would be a lot easier than you think! I have a few smart choices that you can make each day to help you eat mindfully and really shape the way you see food !!

At home you want to shape your environment for the best mindful eating outcome. Here is what you can do !

DISPLAY THE GOOD STUFF
- when you open your fridge, make sure you have all the vibrant fruits and veggies in plain sight and cut,prepared and ready to eat !!!

HIDE THE BAD STUFF
- one trick I tell everyone is to put the "bad" stuff that shouldn't really be eaten on a regular basis on the bottom shelf or cabinet out of sight and in the back. Not only will you need to consciously bend and get it but now you have to dig it out. Who wants to do all that work for some chips or cookies??

USE SMALLER PLATES
-so what if you can clean polish off dinner without any left overs. Thats ok! But it's a visual thing that will help you shave off a few calories to your meal. If you use a smaller plate you can't fill it as much and you will have better portion control.

COVER TREATS WITH FOIL
- chances are that if you can see it you will be tempted to eat it. Especially those left over brownies from that last birthday party you had. If it's out of sight, it's out of mind. Sure you might remember that those brownies are under that foil but not seeing it out in the open can be the difference in eating one piece vs. out of mindless munching.

Now we can't always eat at home and if you enjoy the occasional dinner out here are a few tips to help you there too !

PAY ATTENTION TO THE WAY IT'S COOKED
-the wording on the menu can be the BIG difference in calories saved for something yummy like dessert. If the high calorie words like buttery, creamed, smothered, alfredo or white sauce, any type of fried, scampi or load are in the description, those meal options will be higher in calories. Try to find the hidden low calorie words like seasoned, light, roasted, fresh, broiled, marinated or reduced to give you a healthier option!!

SCOUT THE MENU BEFORE YOU GO
-nothing is worse than going into the restaurant and not finding something that fits your dietary needs. Some people like myself need to check the menu beforehand to ensure there are clean and healthy gluten free options. It's always a good idea to look at the nutritional content of the food before you go and have a plan so that you can make healthy choices when you are there.

ASK TO SIT BY THE WINDOWS OR FRONT OF THE RESTAURANT
- sitting in the light or in the front of the restaurant may influences the food choices you make. If you are in a well lit area, choosing foods based on feeling may end up saving you calories as apposed to sitting in a dark corner where food can be eaten mindlessly.

I hope some of these tricks will help you make healthier choices, eat mindfully and create healthy habits both at home and when you go out to eat !!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

We all struggle .... it's how you handle it !

Life has a way of challenging us from all angles. As soon as one thing is figured out we are faced with what seems like one after the other after the other.... Does this sound like your life? I have to just express something to all of you, it is one of those days that I need to keep it real with myself and to all of you who follow.

I STRUGGLE ... Life is about learning to live through struggles, learn from them and not repeat the same mistake twice. But what happens when you continue to struggle day after day with the same problems and nothing gets fixed ? This is where I am at in my life today. I am grateful, humbled and blessed. I would never tell you that I am complaining about my life but I feel that being someone who is in a "leadership" role like I am as a trainer, I have a responsibility to always be on my "A" game. I focus my life to help others. To INSPIRE, create HEALTH habits, to find SELF-LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. You see the bold letters represent the beautiful things I want all the people around me to acquire, but what happens when I don't have all that under control myself? Does that make me a hypocrite? I always say practice what you preach....what if I preach what I KNOW I should do but I am human and STRUGGLE just like you? What if I said that it's OK to just admit that. I am admitting it to you right now.

My goal is life is to make sure each person I can come in contact with I influence to make YOUR life better. To take the struggles of that moment and let you live free ! What if I told you that I have had my share of life long battles that I struggle with daily? I am a fighter, I will preserve through my limitations and I will never give up. Just like I promised myself I would not allow any woman to fight the battles I am fighting. I want to start a movement. I want to create change in the world for self acceptance. I want to learn to LOVE MYSELF ! Yes I have problems accepting who I am. Yes I pour myself into others in hopes that it will rub off on me. Yes I struggle daily but I WILL NOT GIVE UP and I will never give up on others to find that special something each of us possess.

You might wonder where this is coming from.... Why I feel the need to express myself to you.... well I want you to get an inside of the why behind what I am and what I do. The reason I fight so hard to push everyday to be better. The reason I will let no limitation stand in my way. And the reason I will always make sure to focus my passion on others to ensure no one has to struggle like I do.

To be successful you need to maintain a positive focus no matter what is going on around you. Stay focused on YOUR goals and don't let small minded people destroy your dreams. Go for the things you believe in and fight when your heart tells you that your doing good !  Focus on the present moment because soon it will be in the past but look towards the future with striving progress to become the best you possible. You can choose your life. Your destiny. Your dreams ! Life is about thriving and not just surviving. If you feel like your surviving.... find the things in life worth living for and do that ! Your amazing and have the ability to do anything you put your mind to !!!

Do good in this world ! Be that positive change!! Love your self and accept every beautiful flaw you have !!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When did eating become a scinece project ?

Nutrition ... the key component in healthy weight management and body composition adaptation. Nutrition encompass all aspects of obtaining foods necessary for human growth and development. Since when did it become so complicating ?? I bet at one point or another you have heard at least one of the following statements:
"Eat fat to burn fat!" , "Protein is a fat burner!", "Stay away from carbs!".... feel free to add in a few of your own but the idea of so many theories out there can make your head spin!!! All this information just leads to confusion and possibly setting you up for a nutritional disaster !!

I am going to break down the basic components of nutrition for you to be knowledgeable to make great decisions in the future!!

Lets start off with an easy one:

Protein
- Protein is the major foundation or the building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein is also used for hormones, enzymes, and vitamins. It can help to decrease body fat as its considered a thermogenic, it increases lean muscle growth and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Some good sources of protein include grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken, eggs, fish, bison, pork, venison, lamb, elk, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Carbs
-Carbohydrates have many sub categories and it's not a one size fits all approach. Some people are allergic to certain carbohydrate groups like complex carbs.

*Fibrous/leafy carbs can be eaten in large quantities, about
5-6 servings per day.Examples include: spinach, broccoli asparagus, chard, cabbage, celery, sugar snap peas, and kale. A typical serving size is 1 cup. Word to the wise: If you introduce to many fibrous carbs to your diet you may experience some digestive problems.

*Fruit/sugary carbs can be eaten 1-2 times a day. These carbs include but are not limited to berries, apples, oranges, grapefruit, carrots, beets, and cherries. When eating fruit carbs be sure to add it will protein to keep you satisfied.

*Starchy carbs are the ones typically recognized. These carbs are utilized post workout for glycogen restoration and energy. Examples include: rice, oats, all varieties of potato, quinoa, etc. A serving of these carbs is typically around 1 cup cooked.

*Refined carbs.... STAY AWAY haha these are your cookies, cakes, icing, brownies.. anything that is comfort sugar foods !!! You can enjoy these on occasion as a special treat !!!

Fat
*Fats are an important component to a healthy diet. Healthy fats are used for a quick energy source as well as maintenance of a healthy well being. A diet high in good fat has the ability to reduced body fat, reduced sugar cravings, reduced inflammation, increased ability to heal, more stable blood sugar, lowered bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, increased good cholesterol (HDL) levels, increased absorption of certain vitamins and increased production of mood-boosting chemicals in the body. A serving of these fat sources is between 10-15 grams. Good examples of healthy fats to add to your diet are avocado, coconut oil, whole eggs, nuts especially walnuts and fatty fish sources like salmon. Try to stick to fats that are minimally processed and fresh grass fed or organic.

Choosing your meals with a healthy fat,carb and protein source will help you build a great physique !!a

Now to the other component of wellness is fitness ! Let's workout !

AMRAP 40 Min

-run .25 miles
-20 Kettlebell swing
-20 overhead plate hold alternating reverse lunge
-20 leg raises holding a plate above your head
- run.25 miles
-20 burpees
-20 sumo squat high pull
-20 sit ups

Repeat starting at 20 kettlebell swings !!