Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vegetarian one meal at a time

In recent months I have been attempting to eat more like a vegetarian and sometimes I go as far as eating like a vegan. I say “like” because I’m not ready to give up meat all together or some of the other staple items such as dairy and eggs; but I am willing to learn and replace some meat dishes for two reasons, #1 we do not eat nearly enough vegetables in our home, eating vegetarian forces me to think outside the box when preparing meals; and #2  my oldest son became vegan so I decided to be more adventurous and try different foods. Also, he often sends me recipes and for the most part they are simple and delicious, but most important, nutritious.

Since his transformation I have been more intentional in my choices when we do eat animal products. Yes I do feel a little guilt because I know what he stands for with respect to our meat industry - that’s a whole other post. I have visited more local farms, shopping from locally grown and known farmers and making better choices to reduce our environmental foot print, again, another article. It really has been a great experience and adventure for my palate.

Our youngest and his favorite vegetable, Broccoli 
It can be challenging to feed a variety of vegetables to the rest of my family. I have managed to sneak in several meals that were 100% vegetarian and most times they eat it and ask “if not meat what is it?” or make interesting facial expressions. Other times they do an about face and claim they are not hungry and never will be again... ha ha!!

I came across Delish Knowledge, a blog with many delicious, nutritious and easy to make  recipes. I hope to share many of them here and hopefully you will also find some of these appealing. 

I am not a fan of kale, however this latest recipe from Delish Knowledge is a Tuscan Kale Soup. It  looks delicious and I’m willing to try it, plus I LOVE soups during cold winter days. Check it out and if kale isn’t your thing, visit her website and search the database using your favorite vegetables. Be adventurous.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to School=back to fitness

It's time to get back to taking care of YOU! Back to school also means getting organized and making priorities and not just fitting in your time to exercise but making that a regular part of your day.

Just like your kids need to prepare the night before and pack bags, lunches or plan your schedule if you home school, add your day to that routine and pack your gym bag, plan your fitness routine, your meals, whatever you have to do to be ready to just go.

One of the things that used to hold me back was the idea that I could not leave my house messy, dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch, etc... well guess what, those things will be there when I get back from my workout. Now I make fitness a priority because it makes me more productive and happier the rest of the day.

I do teach fitness classes, this is my job, however I have to fit in fitness for me that does not require me to plan or think about anyone else.  Believe it or not, it's harder than you think to fit in exercise when this is what I do for a living.  I make it a priority by going to a different gym, where people aren't looking at me as their instructor, I run local trails, and join outdoor bootcamp and yoga classes. Because anytime I'm doing any form of exercise I'm giving myself the gift of happiness and health.

Are you on board, let's do this!

Stay well,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Start Exercising Now! Again...

Image result for start exercising today

You know it's been a long time since you worked out if you can't remember where you last saw your workout shoes or clothes for that matter. How about that old water bottle? Many of us have a huge list of good excuses reasons for why we stop a perfectly good workout routine and that's perfectly OK to do. After all, life does happen and sometimes it happens to interrupt whatever we have going on at the time.
I'm not a big fan of making resolutions because I feel sort of paralyzed after a few weeks. It's like I make this decision to do the best ever and then if I can't meet that huge goal I feel like a complete failure. Instead I just jump right in and get started with what was working before or at least adjusting what wasn't working.
So how do you get started?
First - you need motivation. Only you can make the decision to start a wellness program and only you can determine the reason. To lose weight, to maintain weight, to be more active? for your kids? your health? Whatever the reasons, write them down and let that be your motivation to START!.
Image result for start your workoutSecond - gather up your gear & put it on the schedule. Get everything ready the night before - find that old gym bag and fill it up with a bottle of water, towel, exercise shoes and clothes. Be prepared and eliminate any potential pitt-falls. On your family or personal calendar, write your workout plans. Make this an appointment with yourself, your family or your friends.
Third - where are you going? are you going to the gym? calling a friend to join you on a walk? going for a run or bike ride? working out at home? Choose your activity. It really doesn't matter what activity you choose, but choose one and go with it. Be prepared to do that activity and several others throughout the week. Be prepared to do your workout even if your friend cancels. Be flexible.
Fourth - Clean out your fridge and pantry. The last thing you need are temptations to ruin a good workout. You don't have to toss the goodies, although not having them is the best way to go, just tape up the boxes and bags and place them up high or low - you don't want those treats to be easily accessible. Instead, load up on fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks such as nuts and high fiber protein bars and of course, water. Yes, plain old water. Keep the water bottles ready to go in the fridge or on your counter and drink water throughout the day.
Image result for start exercising todayThe first workout might be the hardest but it will be the beginning of a much healthier you!
Stay Well,

Monday, February 27, 2017

Belly Fat

Surprise! There's no magic trick or special thing and we don't even need plastic wrap.

Belly Fat!

We all have it, even skinny people with flat abs have belly fat.  It serves as a cushion for organs and bones and all that stuff in there.

The problem is with visceral fat - the fat that is stored deep around your organs and can't be pinched.  An article in MyFitnessPal repeats what I always say to my clients "you can’t forcefully spot reduce fat around your belly no matter how many crunches you do. The next best thing is to live a healthy lifestyle..."


So what do we need to do? Exactly how do I get rid of this pooch...um excess visceral fat?

Well it's going to take a little time and a lot of patience, determination, and friends to keep you honest.

Here's the magic... Exercise, like for real exercise. Move, sweat, walk, run, swim, bike. Get in there and lift heavy weights. I'm sorry lifting three and five pounds for an extended period of time will only bring on some overuse injuries.

FOOD:  HUGE impact on fat loss.  Lean protein, high fiber, whole foods, eliminating processed foods, added sugars, etc.  There's no trick, it's eating like a normal human being should eat. A french baguette with butter is not one serving just because it's not cut up into little pieces.  Making good choices and being moderate.  All You Can Eat is a recipe for disaster because no one should eat all they COULD eat.

EXERCISE: Yes, you have to move. You have to exercise to burn fat.

REST/RECOVER: You have to recover, give your body a chance to rest before going strong again. 

How do you destress? Yoga, meditation, easy walk in the park, sitting in the sun on a nice day? Whatever you choose to help free your mind of stress for a little while, do it often.

JOURNAL/TRACK:  Keeping track of what you eat and maybe even how you feel can be very eye opening.  I've had days when I think I ate so great and exercised and my confidence is quickly knocked out by the realization that my meal out was not as low fat or cal as I thought and worse yet, my workout, according to my heart rate monitor only killed 200 calories... insert angry face!! Write it down, especially on your most stressful weeks.

Let's do some core strengthening exercises this month but keep in mind, these will strengthen your core, how you eat and how active you are will be key in burning off body fat.  Let's get strong people!! March Challenge coming soon.

Stay Well,


Monday, January 23, 2017

Let's Get Moving - Week 4

Four weeks later and what have you done.  This is our fourth and last week on this Let's Get Moving! challenge.  The goal was to get you out of your seat and working out at home, outside or the gym for 10-15 minutes or more if the energy and motivation were there to push through more than one round.  

As I reflect on this past month I can definitely say that I am working harder in my exercise classes. I even invested in a Wahoo TickrX heart rate monitor to help me stay on track and push harder.  I realize that in my job as a fitness trainer, exercise is not the issue. Also proves that if you don't change your diet, all the exercise in the world wont change the shape of your body... well, it might, just not how you want it to change.  

How do I know this? Because I decided I would just exercise, eat what I craved and clearly all the time in the gym would be enough to burn off whatever I craved.  Well, no. That did not work.

As we take a week off and begin to look at February and what fitness challenges we will have to work through, I will begin to plan my menu, snacks, foods to-go for my after-workout meals as well as what I eat after 2:00 PM --when things seem to go downhill for me.  For the most part, if we are prepared with the right foods, drinks, snacks, etc. it will be much harder to cheat or eat the wrong foods, particularly during those moments of weakness.

I am a work in progress but will never give up. Yes, fitness instructors do struggle with weight gain, muscle loss, lack of sleep and so much more. The goal, once you know this, is to acknowledge this weakness and to make changes that will improve your health.  

OK, on to week four exercises...

There are three rounds each with a different count.  

Round 1.  24 counts 1 minute plank
Round 2.  16 counts 45 sec plank
Round 3.  8 counts 30 seconds plank

1.  Right/Left Lunge with Overhead Clap

*Step back with the right leg, arms extended to the side. Drop knee towards the floor while bringing arms up to clap overhead, complete round on Right then Left before moving to next exercise.

2.  Push Up and Shoulder Tap right/left

*Either on your knees or toes, keep abs pulled in, control each move and breath (inhale down/exhale up); touch right hand to left shoulder and left hand to right shoulder, then repeat the push up---*count only the push up.

3. Jumping Jax - 4 Jax 2 Squats=1 count...Ouch!

*Do four jumping jax then 2 squats to equal 1, repeat to complete the set of 24 for round one, 16 for round 2 and 8 for round 3.


Round 1: 1:00 min
Round 2: :45 sec
Round 3: :30 sec

Let's get to work!!!

Now that you know my secrets...can't stop eating after 2:00 PM, here are some mid afternoon recipes for healthy, high protein, delicious snacks.  I needed this. Hope you'll find some you like.

Snacks from Greatist

Please share your favorite mid afternoon snacks.

Stay Well,