Monday, January 26, 2015

I think therefore I am !

René Descartes: "I think therefore I am"

This statement is widely know as he was discussing the nature of self-awareness and identity. Descartes believes ideas are formulated into three components of self-awareness: fabricated, adventitious, or innate.
-Fabricated ideas are mere inventions of the mind.The mind can control them so that they can be examined and set aside at will and their internal content can be changed.

-Adventitious ideas are sensations produced by some material thing existing externally to the mind. Adventitious ideas cannot be examined and set aside at will nor can their internal content be manipulated by the mind.

-Innate ideas are placed in the mind by God at creation.These ideas can be examined and set aside at will but their internal content cannot be manipulated.

So what does this have to do with fitness ? This is a pretty profound topic that may help you discover the willingness and drive to succeed through any goal or task that you may encounter !

Your thoughts play a HUGE role in your life. Do you know why you choose to do things the way you do ?? Your behaviors are directly linked to your feelings and your thoughts. Most of what you do is designed to reassure yourself and reinforce your perception of the world and the role you play in it.

Any time you make changes you are trying to modify a pattern or schedule that you have created for yourself. When choosing behaviors to modify, you also think about how these modifications will have an impact on the outcome in your life. They need to not only fit into your scheduled behavior patterns but also they need to fit into your belief system and morals that you created for yourself.

In psychology, the cognitive behavioral theory explains a theory as to why you might struggle to change behaviors that you have created over time. For example: Every time something happens in your world your brain tries to make sense of it. It wants to understand what a situation means for you and what it says about you. Over time, you form larger assumptions, constructs and beliefs that guide you as you navigate the world, your relationships and your goals. Your thoughts about any given situation dictate how you will feel about it.

So lets try this out !!!

Say you won a contest for a full year to have your very own lifestyle wellness coach. This would include someone who would be with you for a full year to help transform your life from the inside out. You would get a Personal Trainer, nutritional guide, professional chef, full gym access ..etc.. You get the point!! Everything you would need to become successful at transforming yourself !!!

SOME people would have emotions such as excitement, ecstatic, relieved, happy? That is if this is something that you truly want and desire. IF you are ready for a change in your life.

BUT what if you had the opposite reaction. What if this thought was terrifying, scary, embarrassing, and anxiety ?? What if the thoughts of working out, eating right, and losing weight was too much CHANGE to handle ?

The bottom line here is that how you feel is not a function of what is happening to you, so much as it is a reaction to your assumptions about the situations you are facing.

When you are presented with a "change" your brain tries to make sense of it and that is what your thoughts are. Based on your interpretation of a given situation you then form an emotional reaction and your feelings are just a manifestation of your beliefs. Behaviors are simply a more concrete expression of these two factors. They are your solution to a given set of assumptions and the feelings elicited by this reaction.

What you do has a personal connection to who you are, and how you see yourself and your world. It is a direct response to your beliefs and your feelings. Think of Facebook, the more you click "like" (behavior) and comments you agree with (thoughts) the more you receive feeds from those sites which reenforces your thought process.

Many of you are embarking on living a healthier lifestyle. You want to improve your diet, and become consistent with working out. You have made a personal commitment to change what and how you eat, as well as how you move. You have made this commitment to yourself because being healthier really matters to you. Your iniatal reasoning for becoming healthy might be founded on the idea that with a good nutrition and weight training program you will see results and become "happy" with your life.Unfortunately, we are complex beings, and you actually have a whole bunch of underlying assumptions, beliefs and personal rules that are also going to positively or negatively impact your chances of success.

Your thought process on getting healthy can illicit many outcomes both positive and negative. What if you view training and lifting weights as painful, uncomfortable and hard? This though process now makes training have a negative belief that can bring anxiety and stress thus stalling your progress. It creates a personal barrier that needs to be overcome to change the outcome. This kind of thinking is responsible for more failed goals than any kind of physical barrier. These types of thoughts, especially the personal beliefs about strength, worth or competence can make the difference between persistence in the face of a challenge versus giving up.

How can we change this thought process?

1.)Recognize that any time you try to make a change you are not only modifying a behavior, but you are challenging a whole cycle of thoughts and feelings.

2.) Don’t expect big changes to be linear, or easy. Rather understand that the process will involve some great successes and some set backs.

3.)When you find yourself struggling with a goal you can try strategize. Sit down, and outline what your thoughts and feelings are about both behaviors: the one you are trying to change and the new one you are trying to implement. This will help you understand why you’re not doing what you committed to do.

4.)Use those insights to create a plan that is right for you, one that not only contains the best strategies, but also addresses your assumptions and feelings.

Create SMALL obtainable goals. WRITE them down. Post them somewhere you can see them everyday. Re and re-read them daily. You are in control of your thoughts and behaviors ! Research shows that we have 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. That is 60,000 to 70,000 opportunities to help or hinder your progress. Luckily the majority of they have NO impact on our lives but just come and go but some of the major setbacks are real roadblocks that need to be challenged and overcome!

So if you have been struggling to change a behavior or habit despite feeling motivated and having a great plan of action, the one place I recommend you go is to your mind – it holds all the answers!


Friday, January 23, 2015

What to look for in a Personal Trainer !

When going to the gym and trying to figure out how you are going to stay motivated and accountable, it might be a good idea to look into a personal trainer. There are a few things that I want to address when looking into a trainer!!! Just like you will not get along with EVERY person you meet, you need to be honest with yourself and your trainer which means you need to be extremely comfortable addressing concerns and possibly embarrassing issues! Sometimes, clients find it hard to really connect and build that relationship that is very necessary when training. Don't forget, this person will be a part of your life in many ways, not just in the gym!!

When first looking into a trainer, you might want to be the observant one first. Learn who the trainers are in the gym and just watch how they interact with other clients. This will give you a good representation of how they will be with you. Keep in mind each client is different and has different needs, so do not fear a trainer if they seem to act tough with one client. Be sure to watch the trainers with a variety of people because a good trainer adapts workouts to fit each person and their individual needs.

Next is to make sure your trainer is certified with a current and a creditable personal training certificate. Trainers need to continue their education every two years through further certificates or a retest of the personal trainer course.You want to know the background history of each of the trainers as well. You wouldn't go to a optometrist with a foot problem would you? Your health and well-being is extremely important. Make sure that you find a trainer that has credibility farther than just a certificate. Also ask questions about their past history. How long have they trained people for? What type of past experience do they have past a certificate? What were previous jobs? These are all things that make a trainer creditable and more valuable to you!

One thing you should always look for in a personal trainer is someone who gets to know your motivations, goals, and weight loss history. One of the first questions a trainer should address with you is HOW they are going to set a long term plan up with you to reach those goals, set short term and long term obtainable goals, as well as talk about nutrition and a training plan to follow on the days you are not with the trainer. This seems like a lot of things but don't forget that in order to be successful, training with a training one time a week for 30-60 minutes is not going to get you the best results. BUT if you have a good plan to follow on the days you are not with a trainer, you will have a better chance of reaching the goals you desire!

Make sure that you have a good chemistry with your trainer ! If you are not developing a relationship that you feel comfortable with, you might want to decide to change trainers. Yes, it might be hard to tell the trainer that you are with that it is not working out BUT in the long run the trainer will have your best interest at heart and choosing a different one will only make you better! Also realize that each trainer will educate you and train you in a different way. IF you do not respond to a trainer that will push you then you need to find one that will work around your needs ! Sometimes it does take time for a trainer to learn how to train each client and being comfortable with each other is the best way to really get the best results.

Having a trainer is also a commitment! Not just a time commitment but also a commitment to each other. Your trainer can only do so much to give you the tools that you need to succeed. Ultimately it is up to YOU to follow these guidelines. You and your trainer will work as a team and if you are willing to open up and work hard, your trainer will also do the same to make sure that you have all the tools, education, and plans set up for success !!!

Start off on the right track and find a personal trainer that really understands what your needs are! You are important and your trainer needs to value you as their client just as much as you need to put the effort in when working out and eating correctly!! As a personal trainer I only want the VERY BEST for each of my clients and their success is ultimately your own success. I just guide the way !!! Stay focused on your goals, be motivated, and stay driven to succeed !!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The TRUTH behind the gym !!!

In the fitness industry there are a lot of common misconceptions that are floating around the gym, especially now that it's the new year and people are looking to get "fit" quick!! There are many thingsu that NEW and OLD fitness people believe to be true and will listen to almost ANYTHING when it comes to the new and improved way to get in the best shape with the least amount of work! Sorry to say this but there is no QUICK or EASY way to become fit/athletic. All of this takes hard work and dedication... hence why it's called working out ! For you to be sucked into a gimmick about some fad diet, workout plan or pill you might want to think twice and hear what I have to say below.

As a fitness professional, it's my job to give you the truth. Sometimes the truth is hard facts about fitness and nutrition other times it's to bring you realization of all the FALSE information that can be very misleading to you and jeopardize your health. I would never tell you something that I did not research or do myself. So lets begin with a few common things that you might have heard or experienced while learning about fitness and transforming your life.

If a workout plan or trainer tells you that you can lose "x" amount of weight in "x" amount of days this is a cold hard lie. I say this because a lot of factors come into play. First off, if a trainer tells you they can shed "x" amount of pounds or body fat off your body, they are just lying to you. There are so many external factors that take place that in fitness there is no guarantee that you will lose, gain, or change body fat over a certain period of time. Just as people learn, develop and grow differently, the same is true for fitness. You body will go through so many changes and constantly adapt to change. It takes changing life long learned habits to create results. Secondly, a fitness program will not give you immediate results. For instance, if a program can claim for you to lose 12 inches in 12 workouts, that's a bit far fetched. BUT to the average person looking for a quick fix this sounds great !! Nothing good comes out of fast and easy....

Weight loss is actually very complex. From how much activity you do, to your metabolism and what you eat, they all play important roles in weight loss. Not to mention what shift you work, your eating schedule, and how much you sleep. Everything works in unison or against one another. It takes time, sometimes a LONG time to put all the pieces of weight loss together. In the beginning, if you have a lot of weight to lose, weight loss will be easy. Then your body will adapt and you will hit a plateau. Now what ? Most of the time this is where people just give up. But this is now the time to really learn how to adapt to this change and pick up the intensity!!!

Transforming your body is a big commitment but it is not the hardest thing you will have to do in your life. You might have days where you just don't feel like working out. There will be times that you will stray from your diet maybe for a day or others it might be longer. You will have moments of great success when weight loss occurs and then the mornings that you want to give up and throw the scale out the window. Just remember that health is about becoming the best version of you to be able to be around for your family in the absence of disease. It's about being productive members of society and when push comes to shove it's about survival of the fittest. Just think, if you take good care of your body, through solid nutrition, exercise and rest, in the end you will be able to remain healthy, strong and have a stronger immune system than those who do not follow this same lifestyle.

There is not a "right" plan for everyone to follow. There is no manual of how to be successful when becoming fit. Everyone is different. Every approach is different. Everyone will have different results. What works best for me, might not work for you at all. What my body responds to in terms of nutritional goals may not be the right protocol for you. SO before you dive into a fad diet or "new" training program, first analyze what DOES work for your body. I can tell you that I can build muscle a lot faster than most women. My body loves heavy weights and that's what I learned over the years. Fitness is like a giant science experiment. You need trial and error to find out what your body responds to and then you can tailor your needs around that. But don't just do what your friend is doing unless you and your friend respond to the same things.

Lastly, when you see a fitness professional or someone who is ripped in the gym, they might give you some hokey pokey about how they only workout for one hour 5 times a week and that they can eat what ever they want and have a 6 pack... TOTAL LIE! We (fitness professionals) put a lot of time and effort into the gym. Don't allow someone to tell you they do minimal work for amazing results. It just does not happen that way. I will tell you the truth when you ask me about what I do when I workout and all the time, dedication and hard work it really does take. This lifestyle is completely within EVERYONE'S reach!!! All it takes is time management, commitment, and dedication. Never feel as if you will never get to that level because you totally can!!! Just like everything else you have worked hard for this is just anther aspect of your life if your willing to put the effort in!!

Yes it might seem obsessive to some but for me training is my "ME" time and that I value. Just like some people value shopping or massages I value fitness! Take the time to embark on this journey and realize the truth behind some of the false lies people may tell you! You are an individual, you need specific plans to achieve specific results !!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Breakfast Made Easy !

Eating breakfast can be important to start of the day and its a great way to get healthy eating started off early. However, what I am finding are people who HATE oatmeal !!! I personally love oatmeal, I do eat it every morning! But what if you just can't stand the taste or texture of this breakfast staple !!! Here are some alternatives to your breakfast oatmeal blunders!!!

So if you want to try an alternative to oatmeal for breakfast here is a quick list of hot cereals to try!

-Cream of Rice either brown or white

-Cream of Wheat

-Grits ( not as high in fiber)

-Cream of Buckwheat

-Rice ( put with eggs !!! )

-Rice and Shine (Arrowhead Mills )

Don't forget you can always add cinnamon, fruit, protein powder, pumpkin and some honey. Be creative!!

There are also other options like:

-Kodiak cakes - pancake mix just add water

-Sweet potato hash browns

-Protein pancake

-Mug muffin

Or try out one of these quick make ahead breakfast ideas that you can cook for the week and have something for each morning !

Breakfast Cookie

2 cups quick oats* (not whole oats)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup apple butter*
1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional)


Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

-Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Mix until all of the ingredients are combined. The dough will be quite stiff.
-Take 1/4 cup of dough and drop onto prepared cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the tops into desired thickness. The cookies will not spread in the oven.
-Bake for 15-16 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets completely.Cookies stay fresh at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies can be frozen up to 3 months.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites


1 cup oats
⅔ cup toasted shredded coconut
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup mini chocolate chips
⅓ cup honey
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla


-Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
-Roll and compress the mixture into 1 inch rounds and place on parchment paper
-Refrigerate a few minutes until firm and then transfer to an air tight container.
-Refrigerate and enjoy for up to one week

Crunchy Granola Bars


7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole almonds, pecans, walnuts or peanuts
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and set the temperature to 375 degrees.

-Line an 18 x 13 inch rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil.
-Combine the oats, oil and salt in a large bowl and mix until the oats are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until pale gold, 20-25 minutes. Remove the oats and lower the oven temp to 300 degrees.
-Place the nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Or just chop coarsely with a big sharp knife.
Combine the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon (if using).
-Combine the oats, nuts, and honey mixture in a large bowl and stir with a large rubber spatula until the oats are thoroughly coated with the honey mixture. Spray the baking sheet (still with foil sling) with non-stick spray then transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Spray a large metal spatula or a square dish with non-stick spray and firmly press the mixture into the pan. Make a flat, tight, and even layer. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes.
-Cool in the baking sheet, on a wire rack, for 10-15 minutes before cutting into bars, I used a pastry scraper to cut. Cut the bars all the way through and then allow the granola bars to completely cool. Do not wait longer than 15 minutes before cutting the bars. They harden up significantly as they cool. Any longer and you’ll have a very hard time cutting thru them.
-The bars can be stored, covered for up to 2 weeks

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Perfect as you are !

I want to become more.....

- Fit??

In order to do this you NEED to lift weights ! For any of the above statements, lifting weights is incorporated and necessary for your body to change. But so many people try to stray away from the weights and hop on cardio trying to lose weight. Why don't you just lift heavy ???


With that being said, why does this term "bulky" float around the fitness realm so often? And why is this a bad thing? Saying “lifting weights won’t make a woman bulky” is downplaying the hard work and dedication it takes to be strong. It’s downplaying all those who aspire to build “bulk” (muscle) and strive for their own personal perception of being fit.

Being fit is not a one size fits all approach to fitness. You need to put in a lot of work, time and commitment to achieve the 'look" you desire. This type of dedication takes character, it builds the mind just as it does the body. Lifting allows me to surround myself with supportive people who acknowledge and appreciate hard work, Theses are like-minded people who are strong physically and mentally too.

I want to let everyone in on a why I do what I do in terms of fitness. Sometimes it may seem excessive. Sometimes I might intimidate others. But I think muscle is beautiful ! Some people think women like me who lift "heavy A** weights" do it to look good. That is not true. Women who move heavy weights around do it because its a sense of strength, accomplishment, and pure love of fitness. It comes from a place of passion and is embedded in our minds.

The problem with our society is perception. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Those who look down upon any woman regardless of what they do, are already under you. Never let the opinions of others take your shine away. You deserve to work towards your goals and dreams. One person may perceive me as “bulky” or “too big for a woman.” They may “never want to be as big as me.” That’s just their perception. I have to admit, words do hurt, they start a record player in my mind and if I don't control it with positive thoughts they can alter my day.

I want to share with all of you that you NEED to be proud of all the accomplishments you have. y IF you work hard and train hard you WILL have “bulk”…if you didn’t, it would mean you built no muscle mass. Likely this “bulk” others speak of, you are very proud of as you should be! People who love you for you will be there for support others opinions DO NOT MATTER. Just think of how you make others feel by comments that are made. Just as someone would say "I would never date/marry a female with that much muscle" or "Why do you want to look like a man?" these words are discriminating and harsh. However, if you would comment to an overweight person that is harassment and people will attack you for making that comment!!! It goes in both directions. If you wouldn't want something said about you don't say it to someone else !!

We need to build a community of beautiful, powerful, intelligent, people !!! Lets pick each other up and become a force of strength for all people!

Now get your butt moving and get in this workout !

5 rounds

1 minute of work 30 seconds recovery
-Bike, row, run, jumping jacks etc ( any cardio to get your heart-rate up )
-battle ropes *sub weighted punches * light dumb bells
-kettlebell swings * sub dumb bell swings *
-box up and overs * Sub jump squats*
-burpees ( add a pull up for advance move)

I hope realize the beauty you hold!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why are all special events related to food ??

Just think about this ...
What do all of these have in common ?
-Birthday parties
-House parties

They all revolve around food.. and LOTS of it. It is not often that you go out and and just sit at around a table and stare at each other, you gather around food and drinks which is the norm and expected throughout society. This along with lives that are more sedentary, obesity rates among Americans are starting to become more prevalent especially children.

Recently, if you have noticed at some restaurants they are now posting the calorie counts of the foods that you are about to consume. The FDA is now starting to place regulations on businesses that serve food to include the calorie counts for the consumer to see. What is your opinion on this? Do you feel that it would deter you from eating "unhealthy" if you saw the calories ?

The labeling rule will require any restaurant, movie theatre, grocery store amusement park, or convenience store to label calories.
The main question raised by this new rule is whether or not seeing the calorie amount on the menu will deter people from ordering.
A huge contribution to the weight gain issue is the choice to consume high caloric foods which are readily available and quick!

Now don't get me wrong, eating a higher calorie meal once in a while is ok to do. But every single day is a health risk that can become life threatening leading to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Most of the time our choices revolve around a few factors: availability, finances, taste preferences and knowledge regarding nutrition. Many people who understand nutrition or have a basic idea regarding it may find calorie counts helpful. But did this make a difference when it was implemented at a Starbucks in NYC? In a study of Starbucks customers in New York, people ordered only 6% fewer calories once nutrition information was posted on their menu.
It is likely that mo st people who consume these high calorie items on a regular basis know the foods are unhealthy and choose them anyways.

Personally, I find knowing calorie counts on foods important. Even if it is just the total amount of calories that the food is, knowledge is power and choosing a healthy option is important to me. Just knowing the foods that I am consuming are within a calorie budget that I have allows me to make smart choices as well as keep my body and health in check !

What are your thoughts and opinions regarding posting calorie counts on menus? Do you choose a healthier option if you know how many calories you are eating ??


Monday, January 12, 2015

Weight loss, calories or as I like to call them: Monsters that eat clothes !!

Weight loss is not just simply cutting calories. There is a lot more to it than that and many are unaware of how many factors influence the impact of calories in your diet. There is a common misconception that to lose weight it is simply calories in vs. calories out. BUT this is simply just a little portion of the equation.

So what is a calorie??

If you ask me I will tell you that a calorie is a tiny creature that sits in your closet and shrinks your clothes so they don't fit.

In real simple life a calorie is a unit of energy based on the food we eat or drink.

Let's dig a little deeper!

Calories IN are the foods and beverages we consume. That is easy. Now calories OUT are a little more confusing.

Calories out:
-Resting energy which is the energy used to handle basic, day-to-day physiological functions and maintenance.
-Thermic effect of food which uses the energy to digest food and process nutrients.
-Active energy expenditure used during movement both deliberate activity like lifting weights, jogging, and walking, plus spontaneous activity like shivering and fidgeting.

If you eat MORE than you burn you will gain weight.. Yes that is true. If you eat LESS, you might lose weight... for a short period of time then hit the dreaded plateau. Why does this happen? Well your body is a well adaptable machine that realizes that you are not eating enough and maybe working out more. From the OUTSIDE that seems like it would be a good thing. From a fat loss standpoint this is not so good. During calorie restriction, the body “defends” itself by holding onto weight and lowering resting metabolic rate. To keep weight loss going, you often have to lower food intake even more to counteract the reduced metabolic rate.

The idea that a calorie is a calorie is just untrue. So if I ate 100 calories right now. I have a choice to make. Imagine sitting in front of you was an apple or 3 star-burst candies. Both are 100 calories. Are they equal ?? Sure in caloric numbers they are, but they are definitely different on a nutritional standpoint. You need to be mindful of the types of foods you choose. For instance, healthy unprocessed foods take LONGER for the body to digest thus keeping hunger pangs longer a part because you remain full for a longer period of time. As compared to a processed food that will give you a quick high of insulin and then you feel sleepy, lethargic, and hungry in within that hour. Not a great way to feel if you are actively trying to lose fat.

This brings me to my next misconception. Fat loss is not the same as weight loss. I know that I have touched on this before but I really do feel that people are more preoccupied with the "numbers" on the scale rather than focusing on body composition. Yes losing weight is the overall goal BUT you need to also be concerned with body fat composition and lean muscle mass. Just saying a number or that you want to lose/gain "weight" tells me nothing. Be very specific with yourself and your results will have more meaning to you!

Exercise, the calorie pooper scooper! So many of you think that if you ate a HUGE meal you can somehow negate those calories by working out.. NOPE !!! Sorry it doesn't work like that because if it did why would you not just eat while working out to cancel those calories out ?? Everyone would stay the same size or reduce into nothing if that was remotely true. With that being said, exercise is used as a tool for weight loss. 3,500 calories need to be lost for 1 lb of body fat!! Who has time for that ? So by combining weight training which boost your metabolic rate far beyond your training session with high intensity cardio your upping your weight loss efforts. Keep in mind I stated HIGH INTENSITY cardio. Walking on an incline does not cut it. You need to be exerting yourself !!!

A simple way to see what your eating is to monitor your calorie intake. There are a bunch of ways to do this. You can do it the old school way by keeping a food journal or you can use technology like MyFitnessPal to track your calories for that day. You want to see where your nutrition is lacking. There is a nice pie chart on MyFitnessPal that shows a picture of your macronutrient breakdown. You want to have a 40% protein -30% carbs and 30% fat breakdown as a rough estimate for the daily person! See what you are REALLY consuming.. drinks and all !!!

I hope this information helps you figure out some missing components to your fat loss efforts. Use these to help make smarter choices and really push your body to enhance your fullest metabolic potential and lose that unwanted body fat for good !

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Don't Panic !!! Your goals are within reach !!!

Happy Hump Day !!!

Right about now many of you are just in the 1st week of you "new" years resolution. Hopefully you are sticking to it and staying motivated. For all of you who have health and fitness goals that you are working towards, I want to give you a quick list of common mistakes that you might be making that stalls your efforts in your fitness journey!

Don't Panic !! These are easy and quick fixes to enhance your journey and help you achieve the results your looking for !

Are you ready ?? Here we go!

-Chronic cardio ! Please step off that treadmill ! Unless you are a hamster in a wheel there is no need to do hours of cardio. You might have heard the term "skinny fat" this is because after time your body will adapt and STOP changing because you are doing the same thing over and over again! Use cardio as a tool for your training not as your training !!

-Don't be scared of the BIG weights ! Lifting does not make you bit! A bad diet and lack of exercise makes you big. Lifting heavy creates muscle and muscle burns more calories at rest. Your body WILL change when you start incorporating weights into your routine!

-Cutting calories will not help you lose weight over time. Yes initially you will lose weight, that will stop. Then you will be stuck in this position of underfed, tired, and no energy to workout. Sounds like a horrible position to be in for weight loss. Eating a healthy well balanced diet is the only way for steady weight loss over time !

-You can't spot reduce! Sorry but you can't really pick and choose where you want to lose fat. Your body will let go of "unnecessary" fat stores in your body before essential areas like your stomach which protects your organs. This is why fat likes to accumulate there. To see muscles you need a lower body fat. That can be done through a healthy diet and exercise routine.

-Cut the alcohol out of your diet ! It will stall fat loss. Besides, when you drink you tend to eat more "unhealthy" foods because you are not really concerned with healthy foods at that moment. Alcohol slows down your metabolism which is never good if your on a fitness journey !

-Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily! Many people fear eating too much lean meats and protein products but in reality they are natural thermogenics. This means it HELPS your body to burn more at a resting state. Yes fruits,vegetables, and carbs have their place but if your in a pinch, lean meats or lean protein sources are your best options.

Now use these simple tools to change your mindset about training and eating. You will start to see results in no time !

Couple these tips with this awesome workout !!!

50 seconds of work-15 seconds of rest

-dumbbell squat to front raise
-kettlebell or dumbbell swing
-plank climbers
-weighted sit up
-plank jacks x5 then one push up

Have a great day and as always keep striving for your goals!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pain in the .... You fill in the blank !!!

Raise your hand if you have every experienced any of the following :

-Neck pain
-shoulder pain
-elbow pain
-wrist pain
-upper back pain or lower back pain
-hip pain
-knee pain
-ankle pain

Ok well now that we ALL have our hands raised, its safe to say that we all experience some type of discomfort in our bodies at some point in our lives. Pain as it relates to exercise is sent to our brain by nerves from our muscles.YOUR JOINTS DO NOT HAVE NERVES IN THEM. They are articular cartilage which makes the surface of the joints slide on each other to allow joints to move smoothly thus it has no ability to send signals to your brain.

The pain you feel in your joints is not due to the joint itself or the health of the joint. It is due to the tissues that support the muscle or are supposed to be supporting the joint. In movement, force is put into these supporting tissues. With that force the tissues are able to dictate what movement is needed to be performed. Think of muscles as your body’s shock absorbers. If they are not working properly, you will experience some "painful" movements and not as smooth glide in the tissues and muscles.

Now to fix the issues that we have which how your body absorbs the pressure of movement depends on a few basic factors that you can learn to practice and adapt into your lifestyle for better performance in and out of the gym.

Position by definition is defined as what angles are moving or holding our limbs ?? This means that when I put my limb at a different angle than you do, I am going to use muscles differently than you will, even though we have the same bones and the same muscles.s humans, anatomically we are all generally the same. However, the musculoskeletal system is designed to work most efficiently in one position for absorbing or creating force in any movement. This is why emphasis on correct lifting with consistent and proper form is so crucial. Form should look the same every time, and should be based on an understand bio-mechanics of the body.

Here's the problem, position doesn't start at the gym. No it starts in your life, your work, and how you stand. Our brains are constantly learning from the information being sent from our muscles. They are learning what length and tension muscles should be held at to support us and allow us to do what we need to do, and also learning where it should deposit scar tissue as a protective means, keeping force away from tissues and neurologically blocking communication with areas of muscle.

So for example, if your constantly hunching over a desk at a computer for 9 or more hours, then going home to sit on the couch for the night time, chances are your posture/position is suffering. Your chest is rolled forward and your back is hunched which causes an imbalance in the length of the muscles. This will now lead to issues in the gym with overhead squat, handstand pushup, pullup, pushup, press, or any upper body exercise. The foundation of your positioning due to hours of bad posture is now being compromised by your efforts in the gym.

So this happens!!!

Your brain believes that shoulders rolled forward, neck forward, chest shortened and upper back over-stretched is the normal position it should maintain. No that your body feels misinformed your muscles become overly fatigued in areas or simply cannot keep up with the demands of our workout. The result: PAIN and RESTRICTED MOVEMENT.

The same goes for your pelvis and the angle at which you stand.
As a general rule, the more right angles and straight lines we can keep when standing/sitting/moving/lifting. There are two positions to practice to yield the best results of better posture:

1.) Neutral Pelvis Position
2.)Elevated Sternum Position


-Stand with your feet hip width apart, feet parallel with each other and equal pressure between balls of feet and heels as well as between insides and outsides of feet.
-Keep a very slight bend in your knees.
-Use your hamstrings to tilt your pelvis so that your pubic bone is in line vertically with your sternum. (note, this should not involve much forward or backward motion of the hips, mostly tilting.)
-This should make you feel as if you are standing very tall and upright.
-The same concepts can be kept when sitting or lying down.


-Engage your lats (latissimus dorsi) to lengthen your pecs (pectoralis major) and your traps (trapezius).
-This muscular action should not move the spine, it should move the scapula.
-An elevated sternum position does NOT involve arching the back.
-If you stand with your back against a wall, pulling your shoulder blades back and down to flatten them to the wall will accomplish elevating the sternum.

I hope by reading this you understand how important it is to be aware of your body positioning. Always keep a tight core when sitting or standing. Pull your shoulders back and slightly stick your chest out. Practice keeping neutral pelvis positions when standing. And as always in the gym practice good form for ALL exercises!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Very Scary !!! Please become educated on this subject !!!

I read an article that I feel the need to share, It is not often that I come across something that really bothers me on an ethical level and maybe after you read this you might think twice about the food you are eating !

I preach the benefits of good nutrition all the time. It is important to know what you are consuming, how to read a nutritional facts label and how to make healthy choices. The one thing that many people are unaware of are the products that farmers use on produce and wheat products prior to harvest which is extremely alarming and scary for our health and the health of our children !

As a professional in Health and Physical education, I want to share this information to all. Here it goes !!

A study done by an MIT researcher is inquiring that by 2025, half of all children will be autistic due to Glyphosate Herbicide. Evidence points to glyphosate toxicity from the overuse of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on our food. There is an alarming relationship between this toxic byproduct linking with children and characteristics of autism. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder.

Anything that you eat containing corn or soy has this byproduct on or in it. Because it is used on corn and soy, all soft drinks and candies sweetened with corn syrup and all chips and cereals that contain soy fillers have small amounts of glyphosate in them, as do our beef and poultry since cattle and chicken are fed GMO corn or soy.

Wheat is often sprayed with Roundup just prior to being harvested, which means that all non-organic bread and wheat products would also be sources of glyphosate toxicity. This may be a link between the many autoimmune disorders that are popping up more frequently! Our gut bacteria is crucial to be healthy because these bacteria supply our body with crucial amino acids. Roundup thus kills beneficial gut bacteria, allowing pathogens to grow. This will interfere with the synthesis of amino acids including methionine, which leads to shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate; chelates (removes) important minerals like iron, cobalt and manganese.

Here is the scary part :

Although there were detectable levels of pesticide residue in more than half of food tested by the agency, 99% of samples taken were found to be within levels the government deems safe, and 40% were found to have no detectable trace of pesticides at all. The USDA added, however, that due to “cost concerns,” it did not test for residues of glyphosate. So they DID NOT test for the most ACTIVE ingredient in these herbicides.

Wait it gets worse!

Chemicals in Roundup are untested because they’re classified as“inert,” yet according to a 2014 study in BioMed Research International, these chemicals are capable of amplifying the toxic effects of Roundup hundreds of times over.

I feel this is a HUGE concern for us as Americans and the future of our children. It's very scary to think that our government will allow such harmful pesticides to be used on crops even when knowing there MIGHT be a correlation to autism!

We NEED to be aware and educated. Check your food, wash your produce and make sure that you are staying up to date on current issues regarding your health. Eat organic as much as you can and protect your body!

You can read the FULL article here !

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I hope that you are bringing in the new year with some awesome goals for 2015! I know that we all have high hopes coming into the new year but make it a priority to stick to those goals ~!
I know that I have BIG plans for 2015 !! I hope that many of you are just as excited as I am to get down to business and rock this year !
So lets start it off right ... with BREAKFAST
Sometimes what should be the easiest meal of the day is the hardest meals to find something quick to eat. If you are thinking of skipping out on breakfast you should think twice! All it takes is a little planning before hand to make an effort to eat right and start your day off full of energy ready to take on any challenge !
Breakfast is the really just breaking the fast from sleeping and lack of nutrients throughout the night. When you sleep your body is repairing itself and that does require calories to do this. Your muscles are being repaired, your body is replenishing it's cells and you are becoming stronger for the next day!!!
However, many people skip breakfast due to lack of preparation and lack of time management in the morning. When you chose to eat a nice and healthy breakfast, you are more likely to chose healthy foods all day long! Sounds like a win win!
So put down that cereal spoon and sugary eats and lets look at some healthier alternatives to breakfast that are quick, easy and on-the-go!!
- Protein shake ! This is the simplest no excuse breakfast ! You can't tell me you don't have the time to put powder in a shaker bottle the night before and put water into it before you leave??? You will get healthy protein to jump start your day! Pair it with some fruit and nuts and you have a healthy meal !
-Good Old Fashion OATMEAL ! Sounds boring, bland and plain but you can spice it up !!! Add protein powder for flavoring and some fruit! You can also prepare it the night before and just heat it up !
-Eggs are a staple breakfast item and the easiest way to eat on the run. Hard boil some eggs and peel them making it easy to grab and go. You can also make your eggs the night before like I do and just heat them up in the morning !
-Have a greens smoothie ! Most of the time you will add your greens, protein and some fruit for natural sweetness ! This is great for on the go!!
-Eat some greek yogurt with fruit and a spoonful of nut butter. Be sure to measure that nut butter to about 16 grams or 1 oz of nuts so you are not over indulging which is easy to do !
Eating healthy for each meal is important. Make breakfast a new priority and try out some of these healthy choices. Feel free to add in the comments your favorite healthy breakfast !!!
Remember to plan and prepare! There are no excuses to be unprepared!!! I make my meals for the next day the night before. I am up super early and I still make it a priority to eat breakfast before I train !!! Make healthy choices in the morning and your day will follow those choices !!
Have an amazing day !!