Friday, June 30, 2017

Training vs Working Out?

Are you training OR working out ?
Believe it or not there is a difference between these two terms. If you are going into the gym with goals, intentions, and purpose, chances are you are training. However, there are many people that are just concerned with moving around a bit to become healthier versions of themselves.
Why is this important? You should know your goals. If your goals align with your training, nutrition, and lifestyle, you will be more likely to stick to it and be successful Training usually requires you to have a plan of what you are going to do in the gym and how you are going to move forward. Knowing where you are going helps create the path to get there.
If you desire to see a significant or specific result carry over into your life, you need more than activity or exercise. You need a destination, and "healthy" and "strong" aren't specific enough. You need a strong sense of your goal to accomplish!
Training has smaller more specific goals. The activities, loads, and frequencies you use are vital. You do what you need to do, not just what you want to do.Have you been doing the same thing week-in and week-out, with no progression in mind? It may be fun, and it may get you some results, but it's not training. It doesn't matter if you're doing cycling, Crossfit, weight training, or running. If there aren't specific, smaller goals that fit into a larger progression, refer to it as exercise.
Here is the BIG one, training focuses on your weaknesses ! Yes, many times I have things programmed for my clients that I know will make them better athletes but they would not choose to do it themselves! Can you say doing a 1 mile run then 100 burpees for your conditioning work ? NO ONE would just say yes on their own. Which is also why people hire trainers to help them reach their goals. You see, a trainer will push you to be better and overreach what YOU thought you couldn't do.
Carry over is also important when you are training. You don;t want to be doing exercises that don't have any rhyme or reason for what you are doing. For example, if you are doing total body workouts constantly but want to be a bodybuilder, it might not lead you to the isolation movement results you are looking for. Don't worry I got stuck in this pattern too! I tried to do too much and it didn't all carry over into the sport that I wanted to compete in. This is where you need to make a decision about what direction you want to be in!
Last but not least is progression. You want to be progressive in your training, Are you doing work that is measurable? Can you see your progression when you are tracking your training? Are you even tracking your training? These are things that do have an impact on what your goals are. IF you are looking to train for something, you will want to track your workouts, weight lifted and progress achieved ! Use a small notebook and keep track of your training.
Do you need help with your training plan? Let me know and let's set one up for you so you can TRAIN for your goals !

Thursday, June 29, 2017

What do I need for a home gym?

Sometimes making time for the gym can be difficult. I get it, you work long hours and you get stuck in traffic. Even if you pack your bag with you to go after work, something pulls you to just go home and relax. I know for me the best thing I did for myself was to get a home gym. Now you don't need all the bells and whistles to make it work. You just need a few simple things that will make doing a home workout easy for the days that might catch you by surprise!

The first thing I would suggest are getting power block dumbbells. If you don't have them they are the best investment I have gotten myself years ago. They are interchangeable weights on a stack so you don't need to by couples of every weight as you get stronger. I got the the 5-50 pound weight stacks that I have had for over 6 years! They come with me on every travel road trip because we all know the quality of gym hotels !

Next up I would invest in a Kettlebell. Yes they are awesome for cardio OR strength work. Again, when choosing a weight, always get something a little bit over reaching. So if you use a 25# shoot to get a 35#. This is because you will only get stronger not weaker! They do have a lot of variety when it comes to kettlebells, I have a Rogue fitness one (53#) and one that I got at Wal-Mart ( #30). They allow me to be able to have 2 weights to choose from to pick whatever type of workload I need for my training.

Also, I would get an adjustable bench. The one I got years ago was a Reebok adjustable stepper/ bench that can be at two different heights and also different levels of incline. The down fall is that it's not that comfortable to lay on but it gets the job done ! From step ups, flat bench, incline bench, seated press, it works for a multitude of things.

Last but not least is a bar bell and plates if you are an advanced lifter. Having just a barbell can change up your workout and give you more variety. Once you work with a trainer and learn good form, having a barbell at home is super beneficial to increase your training sessions IF a home gym is the route you might see yourself taking.

So for now, those are my top picks for home workout equipment. Of course there are many little things like jump ropes, bands, a rig, and some other advanced items but the above is a great start ! If you want to learn more please message me and i would love to give you some ideas ! None of these are sponsored reviews, just thinks that I picked up over the years that has helped me when i workout at home !

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I want to get "fit" but what does that mean?

What would you think of if I told you I wanted to get fit? Most of the time you are going to think that person wants to lose weight ( primarily) and then possibly "tone" up (build muscle). As far as fitness goals are concerned, the two most common goals are:
Goal #1: Lose Fat
Goal #2: Gain Muscle
No surprise there right! However, the method you chose to get to those goals are very different. I am always interested in seeing the way people try to go about this. It seems to me that most people’s concept of “getting fit” is primarily centered around weight loss. Weight loss would mean that you are chasing a number on the scale. This is why many people get discouraged when the scale doesn't move and then they quit before they even start.
When changing your body composition, you really want to dig deep into your reason and method of how you are going to get there. You often hear me talk about reverse dieting. This is so we can actually build your food intake UP and increase your food so that we have a great starting point for fat loss. However, many people are very antsy about increasing food in fear of weight gain. Let's put this into perspective. If you are already not eating a lot and your body composition is not where you want it, then how do you expect it to change? Step #1 repair your metabolism and reverse diet!
Next you should think about performance and getting stronger during this time. No better way to build muscle than to utilize the food you will be eating for muscle !! Yes muscle will create that "shape" you are looking for. If you don't have a foundation of muscle when you lose weight what will you have left over when you are trying to shed body fat? If you lose weight first without adding muscle, then that’s all you’ll do: lose weight without having any muscle underneath to show so you won’t really be changing your physique other than being a smaller version of the same shape you were before the weight loss.
Once your body is now in a better place for losing weight, we then can start to create a deficit. A deficit is lowering your caloric intake or adding in exercise or a combination of both! Once you start a deficit, your body composition will start to change. If you have a foundation of muscle all of that will start to shed through. When you diet, your body will lose fat and muscle which is why you should be first concerned with adding muscle.
To maximize your time, your expenses, your energy, your efforts and all other resources you are putting into changing your body composition, you need to focus on one or the other either gaining muscle or losing fat for a certain period of time in order to truly get great quality, long-term, measurable results.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

So done with DIETING !

Dieting is cool for a little while, but what happens when you can't "diet" anymore? You need to learn to maintain your new routine of healthy eating and keep living a life of balance. When trying o find balance, sometimes you get stuck on the little details, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed and farther away from your goals. During these times, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible while you explore what being healthy means for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help simplify your diet:
-Keep it SIMPLE ! I can't stress this enough. You do not need to re-invent the wheel! Don't try to be a gourmet chef. Build your relationship with food first. What are healthy choices that you can eat every day? What foods do you enjoy eating that will fill your body with nutrients ? If you can find 5 meals you enjoy eating you have your week set. Just rotate between them all or keep everything the same day to day. If you need ideas and want to look at my boring food entries : Saraburda7 on MyFitnessPal !!
-Don't stress ! No really, just stop stressing. Stress leads to increased cortisol levels.Over-stressing can change the way your body breaks down food due to the increase of cortisol, which in turn can produce more insulin than needed. That insulin can then cause excess fat storage in the body, so even the healthiest of meals have the potential to be harmful once consumed if stress levels go unregulated. Don't give yourself an excuse to let loose but also find balance in the food choices you are making.
-Food is REAL. If you don't eat real food it goes bad. Yupp like those bananas that you might try to salvage for banana bread! Start to eliminate the processed foods. Why? This is because toxic chemicals found in most processed junk can result in your body acting against its nature, which could have devastating effects on your health goals. Sticking to real fruits, veggies and meat even if they aren’t organic is better than backtracking to anything overly processed or artificial.
-Don't make it complicated. You don't need a special diet for you to eat healthy. Just start eating healthy. Classic recipes that focus on high quality, sustainable foods are always a better choice than possibly risking metabolic damage from a trendy diet. You are looking for LONG TERM sustainability. Focus on food quality and making your meals taste good with real food !

Monday, June 26, 2017

Find your Positive vibes

Are you in a funk? I know the past few weeks there was moments where I let everything affect my mood. Here's the thing, you can either choose to stay in your funk or learn to get out of it. Do you know what got me out of my funk? I received a book from my Jason Phillips Fitness team who sent me it for my birthday. It's called The Five Minute Journal. It's a journal that allows you to start and end your day with positivity and self growth.

It asks you to dedicate at least the first 5 days of this book to journal each morning as soon as you get up. What I did was create a rule that I wasn't allowed to look at my social media until I wrote in my journal. So far, so good 
It's good starting my day with something I am greatful for and also the ability to reflect on the day as I write in it at night time. It has opened a a door into my emotions that I really needed to tap into. I have also tried some other things to help me get out of the funk.

One of them is to actually allow myself to feel feelings. Yes sounds corny but in reality I was pushing emotions aside. Things that I didn't want to think about i was keeping inside and it was slowly breaking me down. If you don't allow yourself to feel, you are masking the issues that are present around you. Give yourself a moment to feel happy, sad, lonely, excited, greatful etc. One of the biggest things that helped is to disconnect from social media. Take some time to just sit in silence with your thoughts. You might find out what is truly bothering you!

Lately my life felt unpredictable. With my job as a trainer, it ebbs and flows. Some months are great and others I struggle to find my self worth. So I find a goal to accomplish. This month I started a new certification. This way I am focused on what I need to get done. I am accomplishing something for myself and I am working towards a bigger goal. It always feels better when the task is competed 

Last but not least is to take some time and breathe. Life is overwhelming but you do not need to put yourself in a position to overreact. Fight that urge of stress by meditating or adding in deep breathing during your day. Maybe you can go for a long walk. Unwind and de-stress!

Friday, June 23, 2017

What is "healthy"

If you are only counting macros, are you healthy? If you only eat clean does that mean you are getting the type of nutrients you need? Do you think your performance and your food quality can have both a positive and negative impact on each other ? I love questions that make you think and ponder over the things you are doing in your life. Eating for fueling your training is a mindset I want to shift in everyone I talk to. Yes your performance might just be your life, but it's important to view it that way!
So many times I have clients who come to me with a photo of an Instagram account and it's of a model that has everything right going on. Unfortunately, the backstory is not told often enough. Do you know how that person got there? Do you understand that maybe it was months of restricted food intake, training for hours a day, lighting, posing and PHOTOSHOP? Instead of worry about the other people, learn to embrace what you have right now, and choose the long route to get healthy first.
Let's start off with this, if you come to me and your diet is all full of artificial and processed foods, and you want to "diet" and lose weight, my first response is this, change your nutrition. Are you serious enough to take that step? Are you committed to change your behavior and habits? If you can't adhere to one week of eating right, then why do you think that dieting is going to change things ? You need to first be eating quality foods. Foods that are not in a box. Foods that are not packaged, Foods that bring longevity!
First step, eat real food, yes it's that simple. If you eat 80% real foods you are already on the right path ! Eating healthy foods is imperative for you to have the proper fuel and recovery for your training and overall life longevity. Why are you pumping your body full of chemicals ? Why would you want to treat your body like a garbage can? Treat your body with respect and it will treat you right long term.
OH let's talk body goals! So you want a six pack or lean legs but I am telling you that first is cleaning up your diet. That really is step one. Step two, lift some weight. Yes lean muscle mass is important for you to have the foundation so when you lose fat you have muscle left over. If you focus on performance, the body will follow !
But tracking is hard, eating clean is boring, and I simply don't have time. ok those are excuses and sure you can use them but NOTHING will change. You have to have an honest conversation with yourself. How bad do you really want it? Is this really something you can commit to and work on? If the answer is yes, then doing the above mentioned is not a huge deal. However if you had to think about it maybe you really didn't convince yourself yet.
Take a second to think about your life. How do you want to spend it? Do you want to enjoy life, feel energetic and have the ability to move your body ? Or do you want to keep looking at the photo-shopped pictures and "wish" you can look like it too. All you need is some time to commit to yourself !

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Empty calorie vs. Nutrient dense foods.

Empty calorie vs. Nutrient dense foods.
While all foods contain nutrients, nutrient-dense foods are more beneficial for maintaining optimal health, as they provide more nutrients than calories. Unlike nutrient-dense foods, empty-calorie foods or energy-dense foods are nutritionally poor food choices, as they contain more calories than nutrients.
A high intake of empty-calorie foods may cause weight gain, especially if your intake of calories exceeds their utilization. However, having a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods will help to maintain healthy weight in addition to supplying nutrients that protect against diseases.
Let's dig a bit deeper shall we. What are empty calorie foods ? Most empty-calorie foods are highly processed foods that contain added fat and sugar. Examples include baked products such as cakes, cookies, pies and pastries as well as puddings, doughnuts, fries, jams, syrups, jelly, sweetened fruit drinks, breaded fried burgers and ice cream.
Empty-calorie foods also make up most of the long shelf life foods and beverages sold in vending machines such as chips, salted snacks, candy, soda, energy and sports drinks. Although empty-calorie foods are cheaper and more readily available than nutrient-dense foods, habitual consumption of these foods can have a negative effect on health.The major disadvantage of frequently consuming empty-calorie foods is that energy, f not used for physical activity, is now stored in the body as fat, and over time, result in weight gain and obesity.
Nutrient dense foods on the other hand are packed with vitamins, minerals and energy sources that your body can use. Eating a healthy, balanced diet of nutrient-dense foods provides many nutrients that are required to maintain health.
This means planning meals that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products, nuts, beans, seeds, turkey, chicken, fish and lean cuts of meats. These foods provide fewer calories but are excellent sources of nutrients such as the B-vitamins, vitamins A, C, D and E, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids. A plate of colorful vegetables and fruits, whole-grain foods instead of foods made with refined carbohydrates and broiled or roasted, lean meats will provide foods that are nutrient-dense.
70% of the foods at an average U.S. grocery store are comprised of empty calories and carbs that provide little, if any nutritional value. The foods that are high in sugar may even be toxic for your health. So instead of looking for foods with a catchy slogan on it, opt for foods that have no label at all! Yes I do mean veggies and fruits with lean cuts of meat !

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fact Vs. Fiction

Fact or fiction?
When you think of nutrition it's hard to find the "black and white". A lot of times you hear one thing and within the next week you find out that it's not as good as you thought. How can you possibly keep it all straight? Let's look into the common things people try to throw out there as nutritional myths.

-Eggs raise your cholesterol. Research shows that dietary cholesterol from eggs, you know the yellow part, may have a negligible effect on blood cholesterol. Yolks contain nutrients such as vitamin D, B12, choline, riboflavin and iron. Yolks, in moderation, can be a part of a healthy diet.
( checkout the article I posted In the group about eggs ! ) 

-Fat makes you fat. No excess calories make you fat. Food is food. Just like if you ate that fatty donut or had dessert you are not going to just gain weight. Now if you are over consuming these foods beyond your caloric intake then yes, you can gain weight. Fats are energy dense at nine calories per gram as compared to carbohydrates and proteins, which are both four calories per gram but this does not make them bad,

-Low carb diets make you lose weight. Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes provide fuel for working muscles, supply glucose to the brain, and keep energy levels up! They are typically a good source of fiber, and provide essential vitamins and minerals. The key is to balance your meals with complex carbs, good-quality proteins and healthy fats and adhere to appropriate portion sizes.

-Stop eating at 6 pm to lose weight because fat gain happens at night. Here is the funny thing, your body doesn't know what time it is so why are you limiting your food at night? Here is what is the issue for many, you are eating the high calorie snack foods mindlessly watching tv. Yes, now eating without actually paying attention can cause you to mindlessly eat. If this is an issue for you, maybe having a time limit can work to break that behavior.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Training, performance and your nutrition!

Does your nutrition plan fall in line with your training? I think the bigger question you need to ask yourself is if you are training and eating to fuel that performance? If you are noticing your energy levels are zapped at the end of a workout, you might want to look into your nutrition and see if your "diet" is harming your performance and enhancing it.
When you are training for performance, making sure your body has enough carbohydrates can be the one missing link in your results. Yes, can you maybe get away with low carb dieting? For a short amount of time yes it is possible but what happens when your training performance goes down?
Carbohydrates, specifically, carry out four roles in relation to exercise performance:
1. They’re an energy source. Particularly during high intensity exercise, energy (ATP) is derived from blood glucose and muscle glycogen.
2. They spare protein. When muscle glycogen is in short supply, glucose is derived from fat and, to some degree, amino acids (proteins). This can deplete amino acid stores and potentially lead to muscle catabolism.
3. They’re a metabolic primer. There’s a saying that “fat burns in a carbohydrate flame.” In other words, carbohydrate catabolism during exercise actually serves as a “primer” for fat oxidation.
4. They’re fuel for the nervous system. Carbs don’t just sit there in your body, boost insulin levels and turn into fat. No, in addition to acting as a fast form of fuel and a metabolic primer, they’re the primary fuel for your brain.
Carbohydrates, specifically muscle glycogen, provide a very fast source of energy, making it possible for you as an athlete to perform at peak levels during intense exercise. Your body is constantly using a mix of energy substrates (fats, carbs and sometimes amino acids) for fuel. It rarely uses just fats or just carbs.Because your body is highly efficient, it adjusts the ratio of fats and carbs used for energy production based on the intensity of the work you’re doing.
Carbs are stored as blood glucose and muscle and liver glycogen in relatively limited amounts. This means if you use up your glycogen stores during prolonged or intense exercise, you won’t have more stores to tap into, unless of course, you eat more carbs.Low stores don’t mean you can’t exercise, they just mean your body won’t be able to react and respond as quickly, stunting your athletic performance.
If your looking to lose a few pounds and not concerned about losing some performance gains in the gym. you can easily get away with cutting out some carbs from your diet. However if your training is your focus, keep those carbohydrates in your diet around training times to optimize your session!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tracking progress means more than the number on the scale !

Tracking your gains and losses ! What is the best way to track progress? What should you be doing in order to accurately track and measure your progress? For my clients, I go over these things often with them especially when they start with me on day one of training or macro coaching. There are a few things you can be doing in order to track your progress and see how you are doing when weight loss or muscle gain is a factor.

Starting with the easiest one, weigh yourself as a tool for evidence based data. Many people get caught up in the number they see on the scale and that can be a huge impact on your mood/attitude for the whole day. If you have a hard time weighing yourself daily, doing it 3-4 times is also ok as long as you take an average for that week. When looking at your weight, you should only be concerned about the overall trend, up or down in weight fluctuations. If your average weight is trending down and weight loss is your goal, this is a good thing! If your weight is moving up, looking at your macros and other factors that play into your body composition can be considered.

Second step, take progress photos. It might sound silly but you won't notice significant changes by looking in the mirror. You see yourself every single day so the changes are happening right in front of you and you don't see it. However, photos taken over the course of month increments can definitely show you the changes you are making. Take the photos under the same conditions each time you do them. Take them with the same outfit and around the same time of day to give you the most accurate results you can see.

Last but not least is taking your measurements. If you use a measuring tape and see inches being lost but the scale isn't moving, this is also a sign of forward success and progression. Your body composition is far more important than the scale number. Make sure that you are taping yourself in the same areas such as around the smallest part of your waist, your largest part of your waist and you thigh if that is another point of concern for you.

The scale is not the only nor the best way to make changes to your body composition. Try out all three methods and start seeing the changes you want !

Friday, June 16, 2017

What is your relationship with food !?

Dieting, deprivation, and eating disorders. Yes this is a scary but very real topic. The relationship you have with food is very important. Those who can separate emotions from hunger are a step ahead. "Diets" that are depriving you of a certain food or food group is causing more harm than good in the journey of weight loss.
There is the emphasis put on food as "good" and "bad". Food is food, it's calories and made up of protein, carbs and fats. The "good" vs. "bad" is a marketing scheme that companies use to make you think their product might be better for you health wise. Truth be told, if it comes from a box, it's processed and already the goodness is taken away. Speaking of which, all the buzz words that come along with "clean eating". However what does that even mean to you?
Clean is a subjective term, depending on who you ask. Here are a few examples of how different groups define the word:
-Paleo: Only “caveman” food. Nuts, meat, berries, vegetables.
=Vegetarian: no meat
-Vegan: no meat, eggs, dairy
-Holistics: no processed food
Looking at that list, there is at least one common theme, they are all pretty natural foods that are not processed. Here's the catch, ALL foods in all categories are good for you in some way shape or form. Variety is key, so why do many fad diets limit this?
When you see a diet that is very restrictive such as a "bro" bodybuilding diet, which is mostly chicken, eggs, veggies, and rice, it's limiting the micro nutrients your body needs. One of the most damning aspects of “clean eating” and being so rigid is the negative mental effect. It’s very easy to fall into an all-or-nothing mindset, don't believe me,? I can tell you! While eating healthy, nutritious food is important, the question of mental balance comes into play.
Healthy is a term used for physical health, but just as important is mental health. Clean eating is becoming a disorder in itself. You can call it health and wellness all you want, but when taken to extremes, it actually is a disorder. Same thing goes for exercise. If you start restricting food and working off your calories that is the starting stages of an eating/exercise disorder. If you start to notice these behaviors, talk to someone about it. I also struggle with this aspect of training/ nutrition so I am here to listen as well.
This is where flexible dieting and macro counting is so beneficial. it makes much more sense both mentally and physically to follow a mostly healthy, widely varied, nutrient-dense diet, peppered with a treat here and there. If you learn how to track your food, you are giving yourself freedom from this yo-yo diet you might have been stuck in. Your body can have the foods it loves and craves given the fact that you can track it and maintain your numbers for the day. No need to binge on foods you can have daily!
If you are struggling with yo yo dieting, clean eating or even trying to lose weight, contact me today. Together lest talk and work on the things that might be causing you to struggle. Sometimes all it takes is someone to open your eyes to a new way of thinking !

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Getting a tad bit #raw and #real !

That darn scale. Ya I know, I preach this to my clients ALL the time, yet I get suckered into the same feelings. Whelp I am human too and the darn scale can play some mind games on you! What is hard to comprehend is that the number on the scale says NOTHING about your health on the inside and outside. I can be 20# less than I am right now with little muscle mass and eating a crappy diet. Is that healthy? Nope, not at all but guess what? I hit that darn number I was striving for and now I am still not happy.
Classic "Grass isn't greener on the other side" story. You want something, get it, then realize it was nothing more than just a perception of what you thought would make you happy. I have been going through this a lot lately. This "scale" thing, and I know better! Time to drop some honesty on you guys who actually read this, I have been struggling too! My weight has been creeping up on the scale over the past few years and just like all of you, feel uncomfortable!
Now before I can hear the eye rolls and the superficial comments about how "muscle weighs more than fat' I still feel the same way because of that number! I know you can all relate to me. Yes, muscle is more dense than fat so I will weigh a bit more, however, years of seeing my body composition change has been a huge eye opener.
I am a lifter, no doubt about it that I enjoy lifting heavy things. Mass moves mass. So if I want to become stronger, my weight will have to go up at some point to compensate for that. Ok cool, but I still want to have a "smaller scale number". You see how absurd that sounds? ok we are on the same page now. When I get caught up in this cycle, I ask myself the same thing I ask every one of my clients: If you didn't hit your goal number BUT you looked better, went down 2 clothes sizes and had more energy, would that number matter???
Ok really think. Think about this from a logical standpoint. So by not hitting my "goal:" number on the scale but I got all the things I thought I wanted, would I be happy ? And the answer is NO, I will still want to see that darn number.... haha yes I know you all agreed with me on that !
Here's the thing, the number shouldn't mean much to you other than your gravitational pull on Earth. You need to be confident right now in who you are. Sure can you make improvements? We all can, however we shouldn't be so concerned with being less in the world. It's time to focus and be more. Being comfortable in your own skin is essential to your happiness, and therefore will affect the types of people you attract. You want to give off the vibe that you love yourself, no matter what, because then other people will have no reason not to love you too.
Even if you achieve your goal to go down a dress size, you’ll always find something else that isn’t right. Being happy with yourself is a lifelong thing, not just a goal to meet and then forget about. So stop obsessing over every little detail (like the 5 pounds you still need to lose), and start living a healthy lifestyle instead. Insert powerlifting. Yes, I found a sport that #thickness is a good thing. My legs are strong. My body can withstand a lot of weight. I am able to show myself how to mentally grind through training and not give up even when its hard. Oh and guess what? My body is strong, healthy and powerful! I now embrace the curves I built. I love the legs I have that make me able to do things I thought I couldn't. Most of all, I feel confident.
Life is complicated, and there’s always something to worry about. Freaking out over your weight isn’t going to make life any easier. Do something to change it if that’s what you want, but don’t obsess. You can have the body you want, but let yourself off the hook with the number on the scale, and you’ll be a lot happier and healthier in the long run. You are beautiful! Embrace it !

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fat loss mistakes you might be making!

Fat loss mistakes 
Did you know most people attempting to lose fat will use diet and exercise strategies that make it impossible to preserve muscle.
I want you to keep something in mind, more muscle is more calories burned  Yes, you need muscle to burn more and one of the mistakes people make is doing things that are counterproductive to that! If you make the mistake of dropping a lot of body weight ( fat AND muscle) you will weigh less on the scale but look the same if not worse. Kind of the "skinny fat" issue that is common with many females.The number one priority when trying to lose fat should be keeping muscle.

Ok so here's the deal, lifting will not make you big and bulky. You should be lifting heavy and it's a great thing to have a lot of beautiful muscle that shapes your body. If you reduce the amount of weight you're lifting, the body will "assume" that you don't require as much strength and that it's okay to lower your muscle mass. Why? Because muscle uses a ton of calories every day and the body will see it as expendable.You cannot get a muscle more cut. You can only make it bigger or smaller. To get more "cut" you need to get rid of the fat while keeping the muscle large and full. Do everything in your power to at least maintain your strength when dieting down, and this will not happen if you stop lifting heavy to focus on doing more pump work.

Cardio, if you decide to add cardio to your fat loss regimen, you have two options and both are at opposite ends of the spectrum: low-intensity like walking, or high-intensity like sprints and HIIT. Low-intensity cardio will not be intense enough to stimulate much cortisol release. In fact it might actually lower cortisol levels by having a relaxing effect. High-intensity work, on the other hand, might lead to a lot of cortisol being produced, but the duration of the activity isn't usually long enough to lead to a large elevation.Choose wisely on how you want to manage your stress and cortisol levels.

You should be tailoring your training to your goals. Don't get fight against yourself to try to get ahead. Slow and steady is the pace you need to have.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Failing a diet doesn't mean you failed forever! Try a better approach !

Have you tried dieting?

How about multiple diets?

If you answered yes to either than you are part of the common issues that I see on the daily.Diets do not make sense as a means to getting healthy. They’re temporary and good health should never be temporary.The hardest part about getting healthy is understanding that “healthy” is not a state; it’s a lifestyle. Lasting positive physical changes only come with the realization that what we put into our bodies on a daily basis is every bit as important as being active.

Here is my favorite analogy: Your body is sports car. The gas that goes into an expensive sports car is premium. WHY? So it runs better and more efficiently. If your body is a sports car, why are you loading it up with diesel fuel and expecting it to run properly? If you are loading your body with processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and foreign chemicals, do you really need to wonder why your body isn't changing for the better?

Even if you are to downgrade a little for regular gasoline in a high end sports car, you might work pretty efficiently but you will still have hiccups that set you back. Your body is the same way. Sure you can feed it pretty good most days of the week, but those weekend benders of fried-fast food plus alcohol is not making you perform or look better. Same concept goes for the foods you just "can't" give up, like your bread, grains and dairy. Maybe those things are causing you inflammation and gut stress ! You are slowing yourself down!

What you put into your mouth matters. Stick to foods with high nutritional value: grass fed lean cuts of meat that are free of antibiotics, organic fruits and veggies plus some nuts and seeds. If you start thinking of your body as a performance machine, making the switch to higher quality will be easy.

A healthy lifestyle doesn't mean deprive yourself, all it means is treat your body with respect. Nutrition is quiet simple, you choose foods in the most untouched form and enjoy the benefits of it. Don't worry about reading food labels because the healthy foods are made without them. Keep it simple when you plan a meal:
Pick a protein sources
Pick a green leafy veggie
Pick a complex carbohydrate ( potato, fruit, rice etc)
Pick a healthy fat ( oils, nut butters, seeds, avocado)
If you start to think of eating healthy as a lifestyle, it is no longer a diet!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Your "diet" SUCKS !

Is being on a "diet" keeping you unfulfilled ? always having to be “on a plan” is a trap.

In my opinion being on a plan is a crutch. Why ? Because you never learn how to do it on your own. Many people go from expert to expert, diet book after diet book, looking for that perfect meal plan. They hire coach after coach thinking, “This will be the one, finally!” and they always end up feeling let down and defeated.

Here's what happens and I have fell into this cycle as well. You have a coach and feel like they don't understand you. From here you start blaming yourself for not having enough discipline for being in control of your program. Now the fear of failure and embarrassment sets in. It's not YOU its your approach that sucks! Guess what? I have been there and done that. Even when i was relying on myself to do my nutrition, I would find that I seconded guess every single decision that I needed to make for myself out of fear? Well I would just abort mission and go back to old habits that didn't really change much in the first place. BUT, they were safe !

Why does dieting from a meal plan method fail? At some point you need to do it yourself ! There will be a point in time where you will need to figure it out on your own. From my viewpoint, I don't want to feel fearful of not being able to go out with my friends or to eat a meal that isn't 100% accurate. Learning how to do this on your own is a great skill!

Do you know what works? Trial and error. Yup, there isn't a magical formula, there isn't a specific program that will get you shredded. It just takes time and learning your body. The biggest take away, don't be afraid to mess up. We all make mistakes and guess what, you can just diet some weight off. Sure don't go off the deep end and blow it out of the water and not recognize what is happening but be critical and be able to evaluate your progress.

Having a goal is great, but knowing that your goal can be extended or shortened is also a benefit for lifelong learning !

Friday, June 9, 2017

Travel and Nutrition !

Traveling, vacations, BBQ dinners... how in the world can you stay on your nutrition program? It's 100% possible to stay on track you just need to know how to do it and be consistent in your efforts.
The most common issue I get from clients is how to track, plan, and eat when they are not home. Is it harder ? Yes. Does it take planning? Yes. You need to be willing to execute and follow.
Personally I have had some of my own issues with poor planning with traveling. Sitting in the car for long hours, getting mostly protein snack bars ( GI upset) and very little fruits and veggies, I know struggle. 100% my own fault for poor planning. Here are some ways that you can plan ahead and stay on track.
#1- Search for protein rich foods first. Protein is one macro that seems to be under the radar. You can find fats and carbs easy but hunting down good protein is not always that easy to do. First thing you want to think about is your protein source. Order that "dry" or sauce on the side. Try to get a lean source of meat and then split it in half if it's a larger portion for later !
#2- Measure and weigh your food. Ok yes carrying a food scale isn't that cute but if you are on a cut or need to make weight for a meet, being precise is key. If not, then just make your best decision while eyeballing it.
#3- Pack foods you enjoy and like to eat as snacks. You want to be eating as "normal" as possible when you are traveling. Flights, jet lag, time changes and an unfamiliar place is already enough stress. Think about foods that you eat daily, for me that is nuts, fresh fruits, veggies and then rice cakes and single packs of oatmeal If it can be packed and consumed while traveling then bring it. I always pack protein powder in individual baggies that make it super convenient when traveling.
#4- Choose quality foods over taste. A lot of people are getting in the mindset "live to eat" vs. "eat to live". Keep in mind that restaurants add in a lot of butter, sugars, and oils to make it taste better. However that increases the caloric intake by a lot and can mess up your day of eating in one meal. Be smart about what you order. Choose foods that are steamed and not fried. Ask for dressing on the side and without any added sauces.
#5- Exercise when you can and adjust your nutrition accordingly. When you are eating for performance, you need to be filling up your body for muscle recovery. However sometimes exercise takes a back seat on vacation. This is where you can leave your protein and fats as is then fill in your carbs around it. If you train, add more carbs. if you had an active day, biking, swimming, hiking, then treat it like a training day. Adjust where you see fit !
The most important thing to remember when traveling is you need to CARE. When you care about something it will be much easier to make better choices, stay the course, and execute what you want. It is allow important to remember that staying the course doesn’t have to include a lack of enjoyment or a missing out on fun. It just has to include some thinking ahead, some responsibility, and a solid assessment of goals and priorities.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Are you addicted ?

What is the #1 diet issue holding you back? Are you addicted to sugar? Are you consuming too much processed foods? Maybe you are not even eating enough food overall. Well maybe the truth is that you are consuming too much gluten and or wheat products.
What is gluten? Well gluten is a product that is found in breads, pastas and anything that has the ingredient “wheat”. Start checking those labels!!! Yes, this includes 100% Whole Grain bread too. Even though only 1.8% of the population has celiac disease, gluten sensitivity affects millions.
Exposure to Gluten Proteins From Wheat Can Cause:
● Inflammation
● Headaches
● Joint Pain
● Digestive Issues
Sound familiar? Do you have any of these issues? I do for sure, especially when it comes to bloating and gas. You know that bubble gut feeling you get? Well it happens to the best of us and there are reasons why !Look on the box on any processed food item, sauce, dressing, marinade or other foods. the ingredient wheat or wheat flour is found in almost everything! It’s extremely cheap to produce and has a long shelf life.
Gluten affects your mood. Feeling a bit angry? Irritated? Maybe just foggy? It can be the gluten in your foods.Gluten has multiple effects on the body. When gluten is in the gut, in acts as an anti-nutrient, preventing the proper absorption of other nutrients and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and B12.
Gluten can prevent the raw materials from getting into our system that we need to function optimally! Not to mention, this stuff is addictive.
Sugars and grains can act on our neurotransmitter function. Specifically, sugar consumption has been linked to a boost in dopamine levels. Our digestive tract is designed to be a closed-loop system.In other words, the things that we put in there are supposed to stay in there! Except, when we consume gluten, the “seal” of the gut is split apart. When this happens, toxins and undigested food particles are able to sneak into the bloodstream. This causes inflammation, bloating and can make you fatigued.
So now that gluten is out what can you have?
Easy Switches to Gluten-Free Foods
● Instead of spaghetti and meatballs, opt for the gluten-free brown rice noodles
● Instead of bread and butter, eat an organic potato with butter
● Instead of a bagel with cream cheese, try some full-fat organic yogurt
Not sure if you have a gluten issue? Take it out for 30 days, then at the end of 30 days re-introduce yourself to foods one at a time. Did you notice a reaction? Did your body feel good or bad once you started back with gluten? This helps you understand your fatigue and gut sensitivity issues !

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Oh no I ran out of.....

Finishing up Macros at the end of the day seems to one of the struggles for some of my clients.
Here are some helpful hints:

1. Program in all food you plan to eat the day before ... if possible. It makes life SO much easier if you plan out your day. You then know what you are going to eat, how much and if your macros fit by the end of the night !

2. If you can't program the day before, put food in before you eat it and monitor where you are throughout the day. This does take time and some practice. I have a helpful sheet that gives you a list of all the foods that are broken down into macros to make it visually easier for you to see.

3. Always put dinner in before you eat to make sure you haven't gone over or if you could add a little more to dinner to make meeting numbers easier. The same goes for dessert, if you know you want something track it first then you know it fits in.

4. Figure out foods that are just Protein, just Carbs, and Just Fat and keep those in the house for the final snack of the night to get numbers on point. There are so many foods that are combination macros, peanut butter being one of them. When looking at your macros for the day, if you only have one macro left, you need to know which will fulfill that requirement.

5. Reach out to me at the end of the day if you need help. I have been doing this awhile and may be able to easily solve the problem. I have been helping clients with nutrition and macros for a long time. This is an easy task for me to give you ides for your nightcap !
Happy Counting!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Workout tips for GAINS

Best workout tips for you to get GAINS !
-Train your muscles more frequently. Unless you are specifically training for a body building competition, doing an upper push, lower body and upper pull split might be more effective for hitting those muscles more frequently !

- Consistency is KEY ! The best program is the one you are going to do most often. Don't become sidetracked with the latest and greatest workout plan. You need to be in the gym consistently in order for the results to happen!

-Mobility work is important just like lifting. Your body needs to be taken care of in a way that you can use if for a long time. Don't allow yourself to get stiff from training. Take rest days and work on the mobility aspect of your training.

-Train your glutes and build a powerhouse booty. Yes your legs are important to your training. if you want to have a stronger deadlift and squat you need to train your glutes. Not to mention you will fill out your pants nicely!

- Along with glute work is posterior chain work. Having a strong backside from your back to the bottom of your legs will help you in everything you do in life!

-Time under tension for muscle growth. If you want to have bigger muscles, spend more time with the weights. Do a lot of drop sets in your training. Add in work that challenges your muscles to grow!

-Metcon work to finish it off !! Get your body moving and moving with speed. Do EMOM ( every minute on the minute) workouts and get your heart rate up ! Challenge yourself to push that threshold just a little bit !

Monday, June 5, 2017

What is your ONE thing !

What fires you up ? What makes you excited to get up in the morning or stay up late at night working on? We all have that one "thing" we enjoy doing. Maybe it's working on an old car, planting and taking care of a garden, even rescuing animals. Whatever your "thing" is keep on doing it for all the right reasons.
My thing is training. I love it and can't wait to get up and start working out. Some think it's obsessive while many don't know the full story. Training is more than "looking" good, it's feeling good too. I had a rough few months, where my passions, my thing, started to represent something else. It started to turn into a pathway for destructive old behaviors to start lurking around again. When my passion turns into a desire from the mind not from the heart, it's time to re-evaluate my goals.
I enjoy all and any kinds of training so to be honest, picking one and sticking to it has been an issue. I would say that I am good at many forms of training but not "great" at any. I learn to just be good enough and see what I can do. For instance, Crossfit is so much fun to me but I loathe Oly lifting. I am just not passionate about that. Oh wait, there's the gymnastics part too, yea not a fan of that either :) If I wanted to be competitive in that sport, I would have a crap ton of work to accomplish. Not saying I can't do it, but it's not a priority to me. So I find things that i am relatively good at and do them.
Recently, I was going to do a show. I made the decision to walk away. Quitting is not the right term because I made a full thought out decision that my health and longevity is way more important to me than a trophy. I enjoy training for shows, it keeps me motivated but what people didn't see was the other side of it, the dark side. The side that you need to brace yourself for when you are not stage lean or as far as you want to be. I was starting to bring back the good old eating disorder tendencies and instead of saying sure it's ok, I made the choice to stop.
If I would follow that path, I would be going against everything I preach and talk to clients about. Which is making sure you are taking care of your mind and body. To rest, recover and follow good nutritional habits. Yes the sport requires a lot of sacrifice but not at the cost of my health and well being. With that being said, i am shifting gears and doing powerlfiting. It's a performance based sport. It's me focusing on being strong and healthy. Its me learning to conquer demons about training.
To me a 3 hour workout without resting is normal. Cardio for 1 hour and lifting for 2 is normal. So now, shifting gears to less training, more intense training, lifting heavy and eating MORE is hella scary !!! But at what cost ? My health will be better, I will be strong AF and i will be able to be a role model for those around me.
Take away from this is that you need to focus your priority on what you see is necessary and an asset to your life. If you are doing something and it causes more stress, more anxiety and more health issues, rethink that ! Find people who know how to program accordingly and are there to help you!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Soreness is NOT a factor in determining if it was a good workout!

Muscle soreness, you know that achy feeling you get in your body when your done with your workout and then usually the day after. Is it really the proof of a good workout? Nope. The saying "no pain, no gain", does not hold as much effect for determining if your workout was good or not.
I used to think that if I wasn't SORE AF after a workout that I didn't go hard enough. I wish I knew this information that I am going to tell you about muscle soreness. Beings sore the day of or day after is no joke. It hinders your next training day and your body feels like I might have got hit by a truck.
DOMS- delayed onset muscle soreness is that achy feeling you get the day after a workout. Common symptoms can include:
– Swelling of the affected limbs
– Stiffness of the joint accompanied by temporary reduction in a joint’s range of motion
– Tenderness to the touch
– Temporary reduction in strength of the affected muscles (lasting days)
DOMS appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain. Which kinda sucks when you have a great training session and then the next day you can't move. However, along with the soreness and pain, your body repairs it and then you become stronger as a by product. Here is where people go overboard.
DOMS is a sign that there is some level of muscular hypertrophy going on in the body, and it’s usually present when you present your body with a new challenge or change in programming. But with time, your body becomes more adept at adjusting to new stimuli, so the effects of DOMS may not be as pronounced. This is not the best way to gauge if your workout was good or not because hypertrophy can occur from mechanical tension and/or metabolic stress, both of which can come about without muscle soreness.
Ask yourself YOUR definition of what a good workout is. A good workout doesn’t need to be tied to how sore your muscles feel afterward.What about the workouts where you finally achieve a new movement for the first time, or nail down a new technique? Does that not constitute a good workout? Yes we all want to feel the effects of a good workout by being sore however, there are many other factors you should consider when determining how a good workout really was.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Carbs are life !

CARBS ! Eat them, enjoy them and most of all don't fear them. Carbohydrates are integral to an athlete’s diet because provide the body with a source of energy. Because everyone has a different goal, the macronutrient needs differ based on our training volume and goals, you should measure our carb intake in grams, not as a percentage of our diet. Daily recommendations vary from as low as .5g of carbohydrate per 1lb of body mass on a non-training day to as much as 2 or 3g of carbohydrates per 1lb of body mass on high volume days.

So many people I meet, have some sort of carb phobia, I used to be one of them! Because the human body is an incredible machine, it gives clues to help you understand when you might need to increase your carbohydrate intake to function at max capacity. If you want to see your training and energy go up, adding more carbs to you diet might be the trick ! Below are some questions for you to think about:

- Are you constantly hungry? What source are your carbs coming from? Are you eating mostly simple carbohydrates like breads, processed foods and sugar? This is usually why no matter how many refined carbs you eat like potato chips or chocolate chip cookies you feel hungry again quickly. The solution is to eat healthy carbs that are rich in fiber, which are slow to digest and provide the body with a slow-burning fuel that will keep your energy up throughout the day.

-Is your training taking a hit? I know when I go low carb, my training suffers. If you constantly feel sluggish during workouts, consider upping your carbohydrate intake before you train. Glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrates in the body, is the first source of energy for physical activity. When the body doesn’t have enough glycogen stores it burns existing protein stores in our muscles for energy. It’s not uncommon for people on low-carb diets to feel lethargic and fatigued during the day away from the gym. You still need energy to perform basic functions and operate during the day, so make sure you’re eating enough carbs to operate at your best.

-Has your fat loss stalled? If you’re not supplying the body with fuel from carbohydrates, it will turn to your stored fat and muscle tissue for energy. If you don’t have enough glycogen or fat in your body, you may experience rapid muscle tissue loss. In addition, a loss in muscle mass volume will slow down your metabolism. This is because the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn at rest.

Do you need help learning what your body needs? Contact me today and we can talk all things FOOD !