Tuesday, March 31, 2015


    Why is it that when you look at magazines you see ALL kinds of titles that "shrink", "eat less", and "look smaller"?? Why is that woman focus on LESS of and not MORE of ?
    I am not a fan of being "less" I am all for being MORE! More beautiful, more healthy, more fit, and get MORE out of life! Sure there was a time that I did want to eat less, shrink a little here, and maybe just blend into the "ideals" society puts on women. NOT ANY MORE !!!
    Who really wants to be ORDINARY ? The problem with society thinking "less" is more has it all wrong. Did you ever start a weight loss program soon to see it doesn't work and then it makes you feel like a failure, which drives you out to seek another trick that might work. But going day after day constantly striving for “less” is exhausting, frustrating, and definitely not fun. That’s why it’s time to choose to be MORE, and stop looking for ways to be less.
    No matter what, if you want to lose weight, improve your health or just feel more confident... choosing to be MORE is the right first step to achieve this !

    First off stop trying to "diet" !
    -Forget about dieting and finding ways to trick yourself into eating less. Eating less is just as bad as eating too much. I always say stick to the basics of nutrition. Eat clean foods that are found in nature.These will ultimately turn into effortless, lifestyle habits that will remain LONG after a diet fad. Food is not to be feared and we don’t have to apologize for eating satisfying meals. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and nutrition is not complicated.

    Focus on GROWING !
    -Instead of looking for ways to constantly eat less and weigh less, let’s focus on building up and growing.
    For example:
    INCREASE your self-confidence
    Add MORE weight to the barbell
    INCREASE your physical (and mental!) strength
    GAIN a better body-image
    BUILD UP your stamina and energy levels
    ENHANCE your overall life

    Focus on performance and what your body CAN do!
    -Biggest setback with people trying to lose weight is they get caught up in the number on the scale instead of their performance. Choosing a performance based goal vs. a weight goal is a better way for you to focus on what your body is designed to do, LIFT HEAVY THINGS ! Weight training allows you to discover a lot about yourself. You learn your body in a different way and really appreciate what it can do and what it does do for your life !

    Stop making things so complicating !!
    -Why does it have to be complicating ? It's not, its actually simple. So many people want a special "diet" that they think is magic until you see it and your like... that's it? Yes it's as simple as eating foods in their NATURAL and UNPROCESSED state. If its not something that was grown, picked, or hunted and has multiple ingredients, its processed ! So if you stick to the basics no matter what you can't go wrong. Simple as that ! Eat more of the foods that make you feel good and give you energy. If you’re hungry, then eat. Stop eating when you’re satisfied, but not overly full.

    -Choose to avoid things that make you feel inferior or flawed! YOU yes YOU are beautiful just as you are today, tomorrow and everyday here after. No matter what size or shape you are, you are worthy and created like a masterpiece ! Don't let others tear you down. And more importantly DO NOT LET MEDIA make decisions for you! A real woman is whatever the hell you choose to be so embrace that ! Be YOU !
    It’s time we realize we are way, WAY more than how we look. It’s time to put the emphasis on the amazing things we can do and contribute to this world. There is more to life than trying to sculpt the perfect pair of glutes or pulling a triple bodyweight deadlift. Those goals are perfectly fine, but they should not consume us.

    Love yourself today! Don't wish for things but work for them and set realistic goals to accomplish them!

    You have ZERO limitations !
    -Just because you can't do something today doesn't mean you should stop trying to reach that goal. I always have my clients set a performance based goal. This can be doing one pullup in the next 2 months or learning how to do a proper squat! We all have something that we need to work on to grow and develop. I even have things that I need to work on and make goals for. Right now I am learning how to do an unassisted pistol squat. It does take time, practice, and patience. Banish those thoughts and barriers, follow a proven plan, focus on what you CAN do, and shatters those limitations. Chances are very high you’re stronger than you think.
    Forget try to make the numbers on the scale go down and focus on making your weights go UP

    -Forget about trying to weigh less and eat less. Focus on making other numbers go UP.
    -Try to add more weight to the bar or perform more reps than you did last time. These little challenges will enhance your performance and physique. Eventually you will be able to perform a more challenging exercise variation or increase intensity by pushing a little harder or adding in plyo-metrics. There are so many ways to do MORE !

    Who CARES what that other person thinks !
    -Life is too short to simply go about life attempting to please everyone. It can’t be done, and it may make us miserable in the process.
    -If someone is ignorant enough to say a hurtful comment about you or your body, learn to shrug it off. This is easier said than done, but you must practice it, and it will get easier. What other people think of our bodies does NOT matter, and I speak from personal experience. I’ve received many comments from people when training for shows from “You look like a man” to “You’re flat chested” and other derogatory statements. The first few times, these comments shocked me and I couldn't understand why people would say such things but I realized that it's my life, my body and my decision to do what I want!

    What other people think means absolutely nothing. I choose instead to keep being awesome and live a wonderful life.It’s not about trying to look like someone else or live like anyone else. Sure it's ok to have someone you look up to but not someone who you want to BE.
    Do not try to fit into the standards of society. Women don’t have the same desires, goals, bodies, personalities, or characteristics, so the only option is to be the best you possible.

    So I am leaving you with the challenge to be MORE !

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weight loss Myths !!

Right about now we are all in that "bikini" mode, getting excited for the summer that is nearing and ready for vacation and summer dresses.. But are you now in panic mode because you slacked off your nutrition and workouts the past few months?

This happens to many people. You set a New Year's Resolution goal to lose weight or get healthy by working out and somehow "life" gets in the way. Now is the time to start challenging your schedule and fit in time for YOU! Set some time aside for yourself, for working out, and for eating right. You deserve to be happy and healthy!!!

One of the biggest mistakes that happens so often is people want the "quick fix". It would be nice if we had a magic pill that made all the problem places go away and enhance your physique without doing much. But that is not the case and there isn't anything like that out there or we would all have it. Another common mistake is people go on these crazy restrictive diets!! Please save your body and mind the starvation and eat healthy while working out.

There are some common misconceptions when it comes to weight loss that I would like to clear up a little ! Yes there are SO many theories out there and many different protocols like IIFYM, 3 square meals, Intermittent fasting (IF), 6 meals a day and so many more. So many people who ate well BEFORE a diet tend to have a hard time with food after ending a diet because of the labels you create around "healthy" and "non healthy" foods. After going on a diet, the restriction tends to spark a restrict/ binge cycle with food, and many people end up gaining weight from their "diet" and feeling worse about their bodies than before they engaged in the initial diet. And this is how "yo-yo" dieting starts.

Myth 1: Eating too much causes you to gain weight so just eat less.
-Sometimes you do not lose weight because you are actually eating too little! Eating too little in calories can have a similar effect to eating too much. Your body needs to have something to run on or it will tap into muscles for fuel. Not eating enough actually slows the metabolism and prevents you from losing weight. The problem is the media represents all these "fad" diets and they tell you to eat 1200-1500 calories a day which is NOT enough for your body to be efficient and function optimally. Everyone should be eating a minimum of 1700 calories per day, no matter what your weight is and if you workout you need to add more calories in !

Myth 2: You need enough will power to reach your goal weight.
-This has been proven incorrect. Research shows that willpower, is just like a muscle and it will fatigue and burn out. Relying on willpower alone to help you lose weight will not work. If your meal plan is not balanced and provides satiation, eventually you will not be able to stand being hungry and deprived anymore. This is where you go off and binge because you have been deprived for so long your body is looking for fuel. When this happens you tend to start gaining back the weight that you lost. This is the single most reason why 99% of people “fail” on their diets. Strict diets simply do not provide enough balance and satisfaction for a normal person in everyday life. This is also why I never give people diets and I preach lifestyle eating. Diets with limitations are harmful and cause deprivation and rebound binging. You need to eat balanced meals and learn to eat when you are hungry and stop when full.

Myth 3: You will feel happy when you reach your ideal weight.
-So many people think that they will be happy when they lose weight but guess what .... chances are you won't be. You are only going to want to push more, lose more and the cycle doesn't end. No matter what your outside appearance is you are still YOU on the inside and having the outer body does not change that. If you feel insecure and you lose 20 pounds, you will still feel insecure just in a body that is a little bit smaller. If you want to feel better work on strengthening all of the things you think will be different when you lose weight. And start working on them now, in the body you currently have. Learn to love all aspects of the journey. There are going to be GREAT days and then days that fell defeating. You need to learn how to be happy, confident and comfortable in ALL areas of the journey.

I will be the first one to admit all of these myths I have been a victim of. I have restricted calories to try to lose weight, then I used will power as a source of action to feel in control of my weight loss. I too fell into the trap of wanting to be a certain size to feel more confident and guess what ? When I reached that size I was still insecure and not confident. I am learning through all of this that you need to be doing this for YOU not for anyone else. You are beautiful at ALL moments of insecurity and deserve to live a happy life.

We all need to learn to intuitively listen to our bodies and nourish them with food. We also need to stop putting labels on foods as good or bad and just eat according to how you feel. If you really listen to your body and hunger, it tells you what it wants and needs. Love the journey, its a process and you will need to take time to let yourself love who you are TODAY !

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Embrace the Fitness Lifestyle !!

Recently more women are embracing fitness, muscle, and embracing their health. This has led to an increasingly number of high caliber athletes in ALL types of sports. However, as amazing as it is that more women are becoming involved, there is still a stigma held over women that we are delicate beings. There are some misconceptions about females that sometimes lead you astray from really challenging yourself to embrace the beauty of being strong and fit.
I am going to tear down these boundaries one by one and really show the powerful tiger that lives deep down inside each and every one of us !!!

Being Strong is BEAUTIFUL ! Being Healthy is BEAUTIFUL! Classifying our body types.... that's one thing that needs to GO !

-People make comments like : "Her legs are thick", "She's too muscular", "She has no butt", or "Her body looks bulky".....yea the list can go on and on! Comments like these are a good clue as to why so many women suffer from body image problems and low self esteem. It's hard to feel confident if you are constantly surrounded by negative comments made by others. The next time you want to or hear someone make a comment about a girl for being too muscular and looking like a "dude" or something similar don't just sit back and accept this form of thinking. We ALL work hard in the gym to better our bodies, outside the gym to eat healthy and create balance overall to be better people.
Now THAT is beautiful.

Just because we sweat a lot, wear workout gear like its our wardrobe and lift heavy doesn't mean we don't like lipstick and heels too!
-Sure we run, lift, sweat and lift heavy things BUT we still like looking pretty! I think it's funny how people don't realize that even though we LOVE working out and getting ourselves fit, each and every one of us has a girly side. Sometimes, those girls at the gym that you see with make up you automatically think that they are "stuck up" but in reality, maybe that makes them feel better overall!!

Your weight might fluctuate day by day and you might feel like your body is doubling in size right in front of your eyes!
-Striking the balance between eating enough but not too much is NOT easy. Some girls feel like they can gain weight just looking at a piece of pizza and some girls can finish off a box of Krispy Kremes on their own and not gain a single ounce. Not fair I know but it's the reality of things. So what if your legs are bigger than the girl next to you, you are beautiful just the way you are !!!
Going to bed before 10 pm is completely OK !
-Have you ever tried to workout hard while running on four hours of sleep? It’s like trying to pull a truck by a string of dental floss. Your body needs rest and recovery. Many people get irritated when you pass on going to dinner or going to a party but please understand tomorrow morning we will be at the gym and you might be a little hung over. So what if I am like a grandmom?? I love my training and I love my body enough to treat it right!

Yes it's important to watch what you eat as a fit girl but don't you worry we can probably polish of a plate full of food as well !
-Any athlete with half a brainstem knows that success in the sport is impossible without major skills in the kitchen. On that note, don’t be surprised when you see us hit up an all-you-can-eat buffet and go back for seconds. Our bodies need a lot of fuel. Iceberg lettuce and a little bit of carbs just won't cut it ! Some of us want heaping piles of tasty vegetables, burgers, sandwiches, tons of healthy carbs and fat and occasionally cake, pie and fries. We need food to fuel our bodies to keep strong and lift heavy !!!

Sometimes we get angry, frustrated, jealous and insecure of others .. its ok !!! We’re human.
-We already feel like we’re being compared. Whether we admit it or not, we do not take kindly to not doing well in something. When you are working out and you see others in the gym who might see "more" than you, stop yourself right there !!! Jealousy is a nasty thing and we don't need to feel that way. You are amazing just as you are today. Just remember that someone always has to come in first and it just gives you an opportunity to better yourself.

Everyday might not be a 100% day !!
-More than often I have to really TRY to get into the mood at the gym and some days you are really going to have to push hard! We have high expectations for ourselves and when we feel we’ve fallen short, we don’t feel good about ourselves. I know that some days I have to really challenge my mind and body to bring my intensity into the gym. We as women tend to have moments of defeat but hey that's life !! Just because you didn't have a great day today doesn't mean that tomorrow won't be better !! Always find a way to make it fun and interesting when you are having a low day!

We are not obsessed we are dedicated .. don't confuse the two!
-Working out, eating right, and trying to have a great life is not being obsessed, its about being dedicated to living a long life ! You need to take care of your body right now instead of waiting until you NEED to take care of yourself because by then it's too late !!
Make sure that you do not let society rule your thoughts on how you should look or what is ideal as a female body. You are beautiful and amazing just as you are in this moment at this time. Imperfection is beautiful !

Thursday, March 26, 2015

You put WHAT WHERE !?

Now that the weather is changing and the farmers are bringing in some of the best veggies. It's hard not to want to buy them all. But if what you are doing is wasting more than what you are using it might be partly from the way you are storing them.

If your like me, you might think that because of the cute little storage bins in the fridge marked for "freshness" that you can put in anything and it just stays fresh. Well that may not be the best theory to follow.

And as it turns out, the refrigerator is not the go-to storage unit for all your produce. Below I am going to give you some common foods that should not be kept in the fridge and I will tell you why!

-If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, then you know that they love the heat and hate the cold. Turns out even after they’re plucked from the vine, they still hold their aversion to cold.The fridge is not the ideal place to store tomatoes.If you store them in the fridge your perfect tomatoes turn into a disappointment. They’ll still be good for cooking, but not the best for eating fresh. Instead store them on your counter but not in direct sunlight and enjoy them when they’re ripe.

-Tomatoes and basil cook well together and they also store the same way. Basil loves the heat, so extended periods of time in a cold environment like a refrigerator causes it to wilt prematurely. Basil will do best if it’s stored on your counter and treated as you would fresh cut-flowers. But don't do what I do with flowers and forget about them. A fresh bunch of basil can be stored for in a cup of water and change it every day or two. Be sure to keep it away from direct sunlight.

-Potatoes like cool, not cold temperatures. They do best at around 45 degrees F, which is about 10 degrees warmer than the average refrigerator. Most of us don't have a dark room in a basement but there is an easy way to mimic this. Place your potatoes in a PAPER bag and put into the pantry. You want to use paper not plastic because it is more breathable. And the reason to leave out of the fridge is because storing potatoes at cold temperatures converts their starch to sugar more quickly, which can affect the flavor, texture and the way they cook.

-Onions don’t come out of the ground with that protective papery skin. In need to be developed. In order to do that it needs to be kept in a dry environment so the shell can "cure". You want to keep them in the pantry which is not as damp as the refrigerator.Lack of air circulation will cause onions to spoil, as will storing them near potatoes, which give off moisture and gas that can cause onions to spoil quickly. Store onions in a cool, dry, dark, well-ventilated place. Light can cause the onions to become bitter in taste.

-Avocados don’t start to ripen until after they’re picked from the tree. But if you’re buying a rock-hard avocado, don’t store it in your refrigerator. The fridge will slow the ripening process. On the other hand, if you have a perfectly ripe avocado that you’re not ready to use, storing it in the refrigerator may work to your advantage by prolonging your window of opportunity to use it before it becomes overripe.

Make sure that you are taking good care of your fresh foods so you don't waste any. Many of these foods are stored for a while if kept in the right conditions which increases the life span for you to enjoy them longer !

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mud Run Vs Obstacle Races !!! Which is which ??

With all the hype created around fun runs, 5k themed races and the new mud runs and obstacle course races but there are some big differences between them all !!!

You hear people talk about completing a mud run or obstacle course race and you might think well aren't they the same thing?? Both of these events will have you crawling, climbing, jumping and possibly facing a few fears along the way. Not to mention scaling walls, sliding down slide or using the monkey bars over a pit of water!! Both races have you covering a running distance of anywhere from a 5K to a marathon and sometimes even longer distances on trails ! However, there are a few characteristics that make a mud run and obstacle course race different.
So here are some ways to decipher the two !

Mud Run!
-Mud Runs are mostly non-competitive events. There may be a clock running, but the even is not timed.
-No prizes are given to the fastest runners which makes Mud Runs a great introduction for those worried about competition.
-Costumes are encouraged!
-Mud Runs have a team building type obstacle. The most common one is the Everest. Everest looks like a skateboard quarter pipe. It requires help from another participant to get over the edge. Another team obstacle is the ten-foot climbing wall.

Obstacle Races!
- The number one way to know you are at an obstacle course race is you are handed a timing chip at packet pick-up. Your finishing time is recorded, and results are posted after the event.
-Obstacle Course Racing normally sets aside one or two heats a day that are competitive, and those heats’ participants race for prizes and, sometimes, money. Make sure you sign up for the right one to fit your ability.

-There are penalties for missed obstacles. If you try an obstacle and fail, you could be penalized with a workout, time or something else before continuing on with the race.
No matter which you sign up for you are going to have an amazing time! Remember it's all about the experience that you are having as well as having FUN ! The important part is to know what type of event you are headed to before you show up on race day. There is nothing worse than thinking you are headed to Mud Run for a little fun with friends only to find you have actually signed up for a competitive race.

Now lets get in a workout to get you ready for any of these races !!!

25 minute AMRAP
-400 meter run
-20 ball slams or thrusters with dumbbells or a bar
-15 wall balls
-10/leg jump lunges
-5 man makers
Have fun !!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Embrace the darkness!

Embrace the darkness!

-First off your room should be dark and you should be using a dimmer light before bed to prep your body for sleep. Also think about a lower temperature in your room.The lower light and temperature combine to create a relaxing environment and help set off the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. If you are exposed to artificial light, this suppresses melatonin and increases alertness making it hard for your mind and body to fall asleep. Make sure to try to disconnect from the TV, phone and computer before you start to wind down for the night.

Relax with some Yoga
-Try an evening flow or meditation. An evening flow which combines yoga and breathing seems to help calm your body, mind and muscles after a long day. It can be as brief as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. You can find peace and calm while enjoying a series of movements designed to help you sleep.
An example would be:
5-move yoga routine for sleep
Simple Forward Bend
Child's Pose
Supported Wall Inversion
Supine Stretch
Corpse Pose

Set the mood for your body with relaxation techniques and deep breathing to calm yourself.
-Breathing oxygenates your blood. This simple involuntary act can also be the center of your focus to help calm your body and calm your mind for a restful night's sleep. By making it voluntary, you can enhance your calm and lower a stressed mind. Combine this with the above flow sequence and see how much your stress levels will decrease.
Try this out !
Deep Breathing Technique
Lie on your back.
Slowly relax your body.
Begin to inhale slowly through your nose if possible.
Fill the lower part of your chest first
Do this slowly, over 8-10 seconds.
Hold your breath for a second or two.
Quietly and easily relax and let the air out.
Repeat cycle

Create a sleep schedule and make it routine.
-Maintain a regular sleep schedule for when you wake up and whe you go to bed, YES even on the weekends!!! Our circadian rhythm thrives on consistency. Most of you can already relate to the power of consistency in our lives in the weight room, in healthy eating and in work so why wouldn't this follow the same pattern? Make your nightly routine special, take a hot bath, read a good book, or even just sit and do muscle relaxation techniques.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Begin this exercise by lying down.
Starting with your feet, tense the muscles and hold tightly.
Inhale as you tense and hold your breath for a few seconds.
Exhale and release the muscle tension in your feet.
Continue with each muscle group until you reach your head.
Another good tip is to journal and organize your thoughts. There is nothing worse than laying in bed thinking about EVERYTHING that needs to get done!

Try to get in your 8 hours a night !!
-This cannot be stressed enough. Give your body enough time to rest and repair.We make time to exercise and eat healthy, as well as manage our stress, but if we do not get a solid eight hours each night, we undermine all these efforts. One of the biggest issues in getting enough sleep is reinforcing bad sleep behaviors. This will only perpetuate the problem. Try to avoid getting out of bed for that drink of water and try to not look at the clock. Creating habits like this reinforces poor sleep. Correct it by not giving into these small setbacks and think about how great you will feel in the morning!
Try to make sure that you are getting enough sleep to support your efforts! Your life, work, and body will thank you !!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

5 important questions to ask yourself !

<<<Five questions >>>

Below are five questions you really need to ask yourself and be truthful about when it comes to changing your lifestyle! Sometimes taking a second to look at what you are doing and being truthful and honest can be the difference you need to see changes !

1.) How much do I weigh?
-Sure the scale is NOT the best determiner of your body composition but it does serve some purpose. First, it gives you a starting point of accountability and maybe a real eye opener. Skinfold readings and circumference measurements are all helpful metrics to use when judging body composition changes but knowing how much you weigh is the precursor to determining your optimal caloric intake and how much you need to eat to maintain, lose, or gain weight effectively.
-Being sensitive about how much you weigh is ok. Daily fluctuations in weight can be disappointing at best and frightening but you need to also understand that you don NOT need to weigh yourself daily. Whether your goal is to lose body fat or put on some muscle, hopping on the scale once in a while is going to give you the information you need to determine if things are headed in the right direction so you can make changes to your eating patterns or increase in daily activity.

2.) How much am I eating??
-You need to be HONEST about what you are eating. For one week track everything that you eat and drink. No matter how big or small. A little nibble there can add up to calories that your not taking into consideration. The reason you want to track is because you can be UNDER eating or OVER eating and not even know.
-Think about it like this: if your estimated daily energy requirements sit around 2500 Calories, but you’re only eating 1300 a day right now, you probably don’t want to bump things up by 1200 Calories overnight. You’ll feel bloated and probably put on a little bit of fat. Gradually increasing Calories is the way to go! This also applies to losing body fat if you eat a 2000 Calorie diet assuming that it will result in a 500 Calorie deficit, but you’re only eating 2000 Calories to begin with…you aren’t gonna lose any body fat!

3.)How active am I ?
-Activity level is important for a lot of reasons but when you are trying to determine the amount and type of food you are supposed to be eating. Knowing your goals such as losing fat, building muscle or a combination of the two can increase your chances of success.
-A good example is this:If you are in the gym six days a week but only eating 1700 calories a day, a hypocaloric diet isn’t the best place to start. Eating less is just going to push you closer injury and burnout. Remember that leaning out/reducing body fat percentage can be accomplished two different ways: by addition and by subtraction. In other words, you can either add muscle or lose body fat.

4.) Do I understand that this process is not linear?
-You will have moments of highs and lows. Your body will change, adapt, and YOU need to create more outside force to continue to change things.
- The most common scenario is this: You workout, see changes and feel GREAT ! Now your progress is stalling. What do you do ??
*Chances are you will increase your workouts and decrease calories. What happens next is your body and progress really stalls and you being to GAIN weight. OH NO!
*Now you hit it even HARDER but are becoming tired and unmotivated. So you stop completely.
-Truth is: To achieve your ultimate goals, you’re going to need to understand that when you encounter hurdles, you can’t just push harder and harder to get there faster. It’s going to take as long as it’s going to take, and there will be periods where you feel like you aren’t making as much progress as you should. This is why we believe performance is so important, even for people who aren’t competitive athletes. Getting better at exercise gives you something else to be proud of and focus on when you feel like you’re stagnant.

5.) Am I ready to FULLY commit?
-Trying to cut out EVERYTHING all at once is not the best place to start. Try finding things that you can cut out slowly and continue to add other things. Overwhelming yourself will only lead you to get frustrated.A patient approach will take you where you want to go. Patience opens your mind to a realistic, sustainable approach where maintenance and building most of the time are the norm, with the occasional period of dieting each year to emphasize fat loss.
-You do not want to start something and then quit because it gets difficult. Set yourself up for success by taking it slow and with small steps of progression!!

NOW ask yourself: Are you ready to workout?
Round 1 : 21-15-9
(Complete 21 reps of all four exercises, then 15 and 9 )
-jump squats
Round 2: 15 minute As Many Rounds As Possible ( AMRAP)
-15 kettlebell swings
-10 burpees
-15 goblet squats
-10 Pushups with side knee on bosu ball

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Don't let Jealously impact your life !

Think back into high school when there was that one group of people that you looked at and just thought "If I could be just like them I would be_____!" and you insert your blank. Most of us know this feeling of being jealous of someone in our lives. Somehow the feelings of jealous go from high school pettiness of who is cool and who isn't to women shaming each other, creating rumors, or making hurtful comments.

The thing is, that as long as you are looking for a "reason" to be jealous, you will always find someone who has something that seems better than what you have. It's human and it's natural.
There is always a woman who just seems to have you beat in some way and it just gets to you. She may appear more successful in her career, personal relationships and lifestyle. She seems to have her life together, seems to be smarter, more charming, more whatever....
BUT the truth is...
There is someone also looking at YOU wishing to have the life you live. Don't let jealous rule your life or make you bitter towards someone. Remember that jealousy stems from your lack of confidence in a particular area and your looking to validate your life. Be confident in what you already HAVE now and use these tips when jealousy rears its ugly head !

**Give yourself a break**
Jealousy is a normal emotion. It can even be helpful because it is illuminating our own desires and insecurities that we aspire to have and see in others. There’s no reason to beat yourself up because you find yourself looking at others success. Use it as motivation to push yourself. You are not your feelings, and you get to choose how you react to them.

**Stop yourself from becoming negative**
Often when we feel jealous, we are putting someone else on a pedestal and looking at their "highlight" reel of everything great they accomplished.But what you don't see is HOW they got there.What may seem like a huge accomplishment to you on the outside, might have taken years of failure to get there. OF course the most common reaction is to knock them down to rationalize your life but that isn't necessary.
We’ve all experienced these conversations: One woman makes a comment about another’s amazing body (or significant other, or life choices, etc.), and there is that one person who starts to just put her down and others just join in. Be the standout and avoid conversions like these. Instead insert a compliment about that person and then walk away!!

**Become curious about WHY your jealous**
Here is a great point to think of : All we see in the world are reflections of our own perception. Jealousy is a powerful indicator of where we’d like to go but we didn't find ourselves there quite yet.

Find out where are your feelings coming from and then you can see where you need to improve in YOUR life to make it better.
For example : If you find yourself envious of someone else’s job, are you dissatisfied with your own?
Do you secretly want to change professions?
Is it really her schedule and freedom that’s appealing to you?
Instead of directing that energy outwardly by being negative, shine that light back unto yourself and find ways to make your own life better based on the desires you see in others. Explore where your feeling is coming from.Not only is this less negative, it’s productive! It can help you explore what you want for yourself and drive you forward!

*Share praises and complements often*
his takes practice, but it’s so gratifying once you get in the habit.
Does that woman have an amazing deadlift? BRAVO!
Does your neighbor seem to have a super supportive relationship? Good on her!
Is that lady on the talk show doing something you’d like to do in the world? High-five, talk show lady!

I truly believe the sooner you start applauding those ahead of you, the sooner you’ll join them. Like the saying goes: Surround yourself with like minded people!
But if every time you see someone doing something you’d like to do, you give them a big, nasty thumbs-down, you sure haven’t indicated that’s what you want for yourself. You are literally saying “no” to your desires. Your attitude is half the battle in success. You need to be motivating and positive to those around you because you want them to do the same for your success.
Women are taught that we are in competition against each other. For significant others, for the perfect body, for being the best Mother, and on and on.Rarely does this elective competition actually serve us.

When it comes to having what you want in life, there is room for all of us. One person’s success doesn’t keep you from it. In fact, that may be just the person to help pull you along.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Find your SOLE mate !

Find your perfect SOLE mate!!!
Ever take into consideration that in order to WANT to be active and train, you need to also be comfortable while doing it? We all know the importance of a great new outfit and sports bra so now we need to think about another important aspect... your FEET !
Having the right pair of shoes for the right type of training can be all the difference in training. Believe it or not,there are shoes that are designed for different things such as weight training, running outside on the road, trail runs and indoor cardio! Wearing the wrong shoes will only lead you to become discouraged, form blisters on your feet and my hinder performance. Check out the things you need to look for in a cute pair of kicks !!

If you are a runner.....
While it can be tempting to shop for the biggest bargain at your local department store, investing in a quality running shoe is money well spent. Wearing poor quality shoes that don’t fit your unique anatomy and training goals can have major problems in the long run. A good running shoe will offer the right amount of cushion, flexibility and breathability, but what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. In order to determine the right running shoe, it helps to know a little bit about your foot type such as if you have low, normal or high arch as well as your pronation which is how much the foot rolls in or out when it makes contact with the ground. Most specialty running stores offer a free analysis of your foot and gait to find the best shoe for you. Wearing a shoe that fits improperly like too big, too narrow or too small can impact everything!

If you walk or hike .....
Just like running you need to purchase a quality walking shoe. It is a smart investment if walking is a primary mode of exercise for you. Although some running shoes can be used for walking, the inverse isn't usually true. Walking shoes are more flexible through the ball of the foot to allow a greater range of motion through the roll of the forefoot. They also have greater arch support to protect where the force is heaviest on the foot. The type of walking shoe you need will depend on a number of factors, including your foot and the typical walking terrain. If you typically stick to the side walk your walking shoe will be different than a hiking shoe which has a different sole to grip the terrain.
Aerobics, Cross-Training or playing sports....
Cross-trainers or aerobic shoes are suitable for a wide variety of activities other than walking or running. They are also an option if you participate in many different kinds of activities without a primary mode of exercise dominating your workout schedule. Cross-trainers tend to have a wider out-sole, lateral support all over which benefit for activities that take place in directions other than forward motion such as a group fitness class and additional support for the heels and legs. Lateral support is important for the side-to-side motion of activities like aerobics classes and certain sports. If you do participate frequently in a specific sport like basketball or tennis, it's worth investing in a shoe designed for the sport and the surface you'll be playing on. The more comfortable you feel the more participating you will do in that activity.

Weightlifting can encompass a wide variety of workouts, from a strength training to a CrossFit class that incorporates Olympic powerlifting and plyometrics. The type of workouts you do will determine which kind of shoe is best. You want to find a weight lifting shoe that has little to no cushioning or support. This allows you to feel the ground and really focus on your form without the cushion to through off your balance.

Cycling ......
Cycling shoes have a stiffer sole that gives extra support and efficient energy transfer as you pedal away. They also protect your feet while riding and can help prevent foot cramping and fatigue more effectively than a traditional shoe. The type of bike pedal you have will also determine the kind of shoe needed. For example, platform pedals don't require a special type of footwear, but clipless pedals require special shoes which have a cleat fitted into the sole.
Use this information to find a shoe that fits your needs then hit this workout with your new shoes !!

Workout Wednesday !!!
Total Leg burner!
Complete 3 rounds of the following:
-25 reverse lunges
-25 jump squats
-25 mt. climbers
-10 pushups
-25 walking lunges
-25 side step lunges
-25 crunches
-25 bicycle crunches
-25 flutter kicks
Working on those Humps for Hump day !

Monday, March 16, 2015

Be just like an ANT ~!!

No more using working out as a way to control your eating. Exercise is not "Damage Control"! Think of this scenario :
You worked out hard at least a 4 times out of the week and you ate good 90% of the time, don't you think you deserve to just let loose? This mindset of "I worked out hard" or "I will just do EXTRA cardio tomorrow" are phrases I often hear and sadly, we have all done this !!
How much further would you be if you decided not to do this as often as you do ? Technically, you are taking one step forward in the gym, then taking one step (and often 2 steps) back with our lack of discipline in eating. This cycle then keeps repeating and your not seeing noticeable results and moving at a snails pace where you could be making remarkable improvements.

A lot of the times its not about a lack of control rather than a lack of motivation when your alone. Sure, it's easy to eat healthy in the morning. It's a nice fresh start to the day and you have ALL the motivation in the world. Then you get to work, hopefully you packed a great lunch and you eat healthy. The stress of the day happens and BOOM you go home. Your now tired, stressed and have food available without reserves and you might use food as a coping mechanism for the feelings you have and not for hunger. We as humans like comfort. We like to comfortable and typically that's food related to help comfort our feelings. You need to start to learn the difference between hunger cues and feelings. Sometimes we need to just learn from ANTS !!!

ANTS, yes ants are amazing little creatures that may seem like nuisance but have a purpose. We can learn a little from them and here is how to use Ants to help control your feelings and motivation.
In your life you don't have a boss besides YOU.Ants labor hard on their own will. They aren’t doing all the hard work for someone else, they are doing it for themselves. We too should want to work hard because it is beneficial to us and to everyone around us.
Ants plan ahead.They labor hard all summer and gathering food for the winter. While there are instant benefits to working out like healthy endorphins, what we do today is an investment for our future. If you labor now for a reward later you increase the motivation factor of starting TODAY. If you want to be healthy enough to play with your grandchildren and go on vacations in your 80s, then you labor hard now in your 40s. You must plan for the future and be willing to work now for a healthier life later.

Live life with a purpose. It is so easy to fall in the trap of laziness. Commit to being active, to fight laziness, to not give into napping when it isn’t necessary, to go to the gym after work even though you just want to hit the couch and relax. Also eat with a purpose. Eat to nourish your body and for nutrients not always for comfort.

Here are some simple ways to live like an ANT :
Live like an Ant

-Protect your environment, creating boundaries in your life to keep you safe and healthy
-Work on constantly improving
-Clean your space regularly. The more disciplined you are at home, the more disciplined you will be at work and in your extra time.
-Don't procrastinate!! Get it done early!!
-Remove the toxic things in your life !!
-Prep cook and PLAN ahead of time.Making that a priority is the key to being successful !
-Take initiative and do things on your own. Don't wait for others, you might be waiting a LONG time.
-Don’t do life alone. We need a support network to help us stay on course and reach our goals.
-Carry heavy weight regularly. I am saying, don’t be afraid to lift heavy stuff. Haven’t you ever watched an ants pick something up? It, oftentimes, takes several attempts. You can see them trying to tackle it from different angels. You might even see them drop it along the way. Be like the ant, and look at the impossible with a desire to attempt it ! You’ll get stronger and stronger with each attempt!
-Walk 12,000 steps a day! Get your body moving regularly !!!
Take the simple advice from an ANT.... Be productive, Try and try again, and Don't wait to start living !!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Heathy Recipes !!!

Hey guys !! It's been a while since I posted about some amazing recipes to enhance your meals. Don't forget the secret to eating healthy is to make it taste amazing and still remain healthy !!! Many people start these "diets" causing them to think that chicken, brown rice, broccoli and oatmeal are ALL you eat. Sure that does sound boring and you won't want to stick to it long term. But what if I told you that you can cook with a variety of flavors, make it tasty and keep it healthy!!!
Below are a few new cooking ideas for you to enhance your already amazing kitchen skills !!!
~Chocolate Fudge Pancakes~
**Only 5 ingredients and super high protein and DELICIOUS. Not to mention its gluten and lactose FREE !
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder (35g)
-1 TBS Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour (14g)
-1/3 cup pumpkin (77g) (NOT PIE FILLING)
-1/2 cup egg whites (120g)
-1 Lindt 70% dark chocolate square
-Add all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl
-Add the wet ingredients
-Cut dark chocolate square into small “chunks”
-Mix it all up!

**Pre-heat electric griddle to 300F or pan on medium
-Spray non-stick or spread coconut oil onto the griddle/pan
-Pour the pancake mix evenly onto the griddle/pan
-Flip the pancake, take it off when both sides are just lightly browned
Salad for Lunch !
~Blueberry Almond Orange Kale Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette and A side of chicken~
-1 bunch of kale, rinsed and torn
-1 handful of spinach
For the vinaigrette:
-1/2 cup blueberries
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
-1 tbsp. water
-2-3 drops liquid stevia
*Blend in blender and massage onto kale.
Top with:
-1/2 cup blueberries
-2 clementines
-a handful of slivered almonds
-4 oz. chicken
~Superfood Energy Bites~
-1/2 cup cacao powder
-1/4 cup hemp seeds
-2 tbsp. almond butter
-2 tbsp. coconut oil
-2 tbsp. spirulina powder
-2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for rolling
-2 tbsp. raw honey
-a few dashes of cinnamon
-a pinch of sea salt
-Mix all ingredients together, you can start with a spoon but you'll end up using your hands.
-Form into small balls and roll in coconut flakes.
-Set on a plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour to firm up.
-Store in the refrigerator or freeze
~Peanut Butter Bacon Carmelized Onion Pizza on Spinach Cauliflower Crust~
**makes 1 mini personal size pizza
For the dough:
-throw 1/2 head cauliflower &
-2 handfuls spinach in a food processor
-add 1 whisked egg
-3 tbsp oat flour
-1 garlic clove, minced
*spread on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 min.
Remove and spread with sauce & toppings. Broil a min or two until cheese is melted.
For the sauce:
-2 tbsp pb2
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tbsp sf maple syrup
-1 tbsp water
-carmelized onions
-2 strips bacon, crumbled
-a tiny bit of white cheddar, shredded on top
~Chocolate Avocado Pudding~
-1 ripe avocado
-4 tbsp. cacao powder
-2 tbsp. raw honey
-1/4 cup canned coconut milk
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-Mash avocado with a fork.
-Add the rest of your ingredients, stir well and blend with an immersion blender to smooth out clumps.
-Refrigerate until ready to eat.
-Top with berries and enjoy!
***Feel free to flavor with other extracts like mint, orange or raspberry. I would start with 1/4 tsp. on those and taste first, adding more if needed.
I hope these give you some creative ideas to try for this upcoming week! It's always better to create HEALTHY and FLAVORFUL meals that you want to eat!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Are You OVER-Training ?

You are working out with intensity, pushing yourself to the limits, to the brink of exhaustion EVERY workout yet it seems that you are not really reaping the benefits of it? Programs like hTe Biggest Loser, Insanity, P90x, Jillian Michaels DVDs, and other exercise programs advocate going 110% during your training. They advertise this perception that if you don’t walk away after your workout saying “that workout kicked my butt” then you didn’t train hard enough, you phoned it in, and you aren’t going to get results.
For some reason there is a mental correlation between working out to exhaustion and that being "satisfying". As humans we think MORE is MORE when actually more might stalling your results !
I am not saying that training hard and giving your all is a bad thing, far from that as I advocate training hard. But there’s a difference with training hard and literally kicking your butt to the ground every session. And I am going to tell you why.
Training to failure EVERY session can become counterproductive.
Here’s what you need to know about training to failure:
-Training to failure is a tool, it’s a useful tool but you have to be careful to not over use it
-Training to failure has to be cycled and volume needs to be cut down a bit
-Constantly training to failure will have counterproductive effects, but if you train to sub maximal sets you will be able to make better gains
-If you’re constantly training to failure, your energy for your central nervous system drive will eventually crash, your neuromuscular system will have nothing left to put out and your strength will start to regress
-Constantly training to failure will induce a lot of muscle damage, which leads to excessive soreness, and when you are constantly sore you can’t train at an optimal level.
In theory, there is a such thing as "over-training"
-The National Strength and Conditioning Associations standard text books states:
“Overtraining which is typically caused by extreme levels of training frequency, volume, intensity, or a combination of these variables without sufficient rest or recovery.”
But there is also a concept of over-reaching that is often confused with over-training.Overreaching consists of performance going down, losing a bit of strength,and losing a little endurance. Hormonal profiles might be out of whack, and you might end up losing drive to train. Research shows if you give yourself time to recover after an overreaching period, your body has a snap back effect where you get a lot of gains.
The catch is not your muscles but your mind that need the break! What you need to know about overtraining is you can overtrain your neuromuscular system, but as far as overtraining your muscles, there has never been any evidence that shows a muscle has been so overtrained to become catabolic. You will literally lose the will, the drive, and the mental focus before you ever overtrain a muscle.
To avoid overtraining your neuromuscular system, you need to use proper periodization when programming your training which includes strategically manipulating training frequency, volume, and intensity.
Kicking your butt every single workout will only lead to these issues:
-Training to failure too often can be counterproductive
-Excessive muscle damage leads to too much soreness and can be counterproductive
-Kicking your butt every workout will lead to mental burnout
Remember to train HARD but also SMART! Use periodization and find a training program that’s going to fire you up every day to ensure consistency and adherence which will thus lead to results.
Make sure you give yourself a mental break every now and then. Change up your workouts often and take it outside every once in a while. Switch things up, try new classes and most of all be EXCITED to hit the gym !!!
1. Fry et al. Impaired Performances with Excessive High-Intensity Free Weight Training. 2000
2. Heavens et al. The Effects of High Intensity Short Resistance Exercise on Muscle Damage Markers in Men and Women. 2014
3. Essentials of strength training and conditioning. NSCA. Baechle and Earle. 2008. Third edition. Pg. 137

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How long is LONG enough? Plus a BONUS WORKOUT !

So how long should a typical workout be? With a 4 minute Tabata that is claiming to be the quickest workout ever to people who grind it out for hours everyday, how long is long enough? You might wonder how people find hours on end to workout (or are they just saying that ?) or how long it should take to get the work done! So let's get down to it!!

- A typical lifting routine in terms of one or two body parts should take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Rest periods should be no longer than 1 minute between sets and 1:30 seconds between different exercises.

The reason behind this this simple: your testosterone levels will peak at 45 minutes (yes ladies, we have test levels too). At the 45 minute mark you will have reached your maximum growth potential. Anabolic activity also peaks at this time as does muscle glycogen. Your muscles can only expand and stay expanded for so long before they start to deflate. This means there will be a decrease in muscle size and strength and growth is limited.
The 45 minutes to complete a workout is meant to be focused and working, not talking to others or just "resting" for long periods of time. 45 minutes of hard dedicated work is what will yield results in good time! That is why it's so important to have a PLAN when you go into the gym because you are a time crunch if you care about actually getting all the benefits from your weight training session.
After 45 minutes, your body will start releasing less and less testosterone and your body will go into a catabolic state after 60-90 minutes. At this point your body needs fuel, so your body will resort to what it needs and it will start to consume your muscle. Not the ideal when trying to BUILD muscle. This is why you probably see people in the gym all the time who never look like they have made progress. However a lot of other factors can come into play like diet or lack of intensity.
Now lets talk about cardio and how long that should be done. In an ideal state, cardio should be done at a separate time than your weight training. But, due to the fact we don't all have time to split it up, weight training FIRST then cardio for 20-30 minutes post workout is the way you want to go for maximum benefits. You might wonder if order is important, it is! When you weight train, you are using your muscles when they are in peak and prime working condition not in a fatigued state. If you perform cardio first, you are taking away from the amazing gains you can have because you are fatiguing your muscles prior to weight training.

As always, make sure you eat within 30 minutes after you lift so you don't go catabolic. Try to drink a protein shake post workout and a full meal within one full hour to restore your glycogen levels and maintain your lean muscle mass.

Now lets get those muscle moving with this workout!

Here is a perfect workout that you can do at home or anywhere with just a set of dumbbells !!
- Forward lunges with Lateral raises x 10/ leg
-Squat jumps x20
-Hand release pushup with knee in x 10/ leg
-Burpees with star jump x10
-Walking lunges with bicep curls x10/leg
-Jumping jacks x 50 reps
-Plank rows with t-roll x 10 total
-seated Russian twists with weights 30 total
Have an amazing day !!!

Don't Make thses Mistakes !!

-Taking what you see on TV and the gimmicks that is proposes are widely used as marketing tricks. Due to the reason that many women want to find the best, newest and greatest way to lose weight. Programs that show people eating pizza, cookies, and sweets while losing weight, is very counter productive when it comes to adopting those strategies into real life circumstances. Many of those programs are designed for a short amount of time, you get results quick because they cut out calories, carbohydrate and food groups. And since these programs hardly advocate for weight training, once you start to eat "normal" again you might even end up gaining weight!
-Programs with point systems or premeasured foods keep women in the dark about permanent change, and by setting them up for weight fluctuations and long term failure, they increase the odds that former customers will come right back whenever they want a quick fix in weight loss. Sadly, any program that allows you to eat pre-packaged foods or use a crazy point system will create habits over time that don't allow you to learn how to eat which then has a 97% failure rate post program. A solution to this would be to become educated on nutrition and training and utilize them for your own benefit and see lasting results that may take time !!
-Many companies are now trying to make everything "healthy". Problem is that many foods that have the words "healthy" or "weight loss" may not be as healthy as you may think !!! When health conscious women hear that they need more protein or fiber, many will choose fortified / processed foods. More often than not, these fake health foods are appetite-inducing sugar bombs.
-What many women don't realize is that sugar is listed under a ton of different names and they all do about the same thing in the body, even earthy sounding ones like coconut crystals and organic agave nectar syrup. Likewise, fat free, sugar free, high fiber, organic, and gluten-free foods can still make you fat.
-Some of the biggest offenders are: Ensure, Boost, Slim Fast, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Special-K protein shakes and protein cereal, Kashi cereals and cookies, Kind Bars, Fiber One "protein" bars: These are the most insidious forms of junk food because they masquerade as nutritious.And because these products appear healthy, they're easier to rationalize eating in excess. These foods only lead to excess hunger because they are not as satisfying to your body as whole foods that are not processed !
-Women who seem to ALWAYS be on a diet usually are the ones not really seeing the results they are after. WHY is this you might ask? Most women who continually make fat loss a priority don't realize that they'd become more efficient at burning fat if they simply had more muscle. Eating to weigh less will make women smaller, which will require them to eat less in order to stay smaller. Muscle is lost, metabolism is sluggish, calories have to be lowered again and again, and the downward spiral eventually spirals out of control.Most fat loss strategies work at first, but then the body adapts, plateaus, and regresses as muscle is catabolized. This is bad especially in the midst of lots of strenuous exercise, because a loss of muscle just leads to a skinny-fat body and a handicapped metabolism.
-Late night eating happens to all of us. If you tend to eat lighter meals all day, no wonder you are hungry at night. This is your body telling you IT NEEDS FOOD ! Those hours of lacking nutrition can lead to elevated cortisol for lengthy periods of time. This combo of high cortisol, exhaustion from an insufficiently fueled day, and any other incidental emotions become a trigger for late night food feasts.If you choose to eat substantially during earlier meals and fueled up appropriately for workouts they wouldn't struggle so much with nighttime cravings and second helpings of dinner or dessert.
-Carbohydrates are NOT the enemey! The problem with low carb plans is that many weight-training females eventually get fatter while sticking to them. Athletic ladies who eliminate starches tend to have an insatiable appetite for fat. This happens because their need for carbs isn't being met.Then the yearning for excessive fat-filled, calorie-dense foods comes into play. These high fat foods, healthy as they may be, aren't as effective as carbs at doing all the things their weight-trained bodies require.The more muscle a body has, the greater its capacity for storing carbs as glycogen. And when you deplete your muscle glycogen, your just draining their muscles of usable energy and water.
Take this advice and use it to make smart decisions. Remember that what people SAY vs what people DO to lose weight or follow the "newest" trend is not always the best or right way to do it. Staying consistent over time with good solid nutrition is the way to go !