kid flexing muscles

Who’s Watching you?

Getting fit and healthy is an individual journey.

It takes focusing on yourself, your choices, your progress, and ultimately your results.
And so it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that it’s all about you.

Sure, it is about you, but at the same time, each and every choice that you make, and action that you take, is being noticed by someone.

Who’s watching you?

Your kids.

Kids care very little about what we say. They will wait for you to finish talking and will then take note of what you do.

Are you following the advice that you give?

Who else is watching?

Your partner, your friends, your co-workers, your parents, your siblings, your neighbor…

We are all in this together, so the next time that you are tempted to throw in the towel on your quest for a healthier, fitter, happier, BETTER you, remember those eyes watching you.
When you aren’t strong enough to stick with it for you, stick with it for them.

If you’re ready to take your fitness to the next level, I’m here to help. Call or email me now to get started on a fitness program that you will be proud to accomplish.

Let’s do this together!

man stretching

Anti-Fitness Habits

The following 3 habits will result in weight gain faster than you can say ‘anti-fitness habits.’ Break these habits quickly.

Drinking Calories. Soda pop, coffee drinks, smoothies, and fruit juices are filled with calories. Since liquids won’t give you a ‘full’ feeling, these drinks slide by without notice of how many extra calories you’re getting. Stick with water to avoid extra calories.

Not Exercising. Skipping the gym day after day, week after week, and month after month will lead to muscle loss and reduced metabolism. Exercise 3-5 days per week to keep your muscles strong and metabolism high.

Eating a Heavy Dinner. Eating a large heavy dinner sets you up for weight gain. Instead of eating the majority of your calories late in the day, spread it out over the entire day.

peanut butter protein bars

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Dessert Bars

Here’s a dessert bar that you can feel good about indulging in.

  • It’s not loaded with sugar, and yet it tastes sweet.
  • It has a healthy serving of protein, and yet it’s creamy and decadent.
  • It has delicious chocolate and protein flavors, and yet contains zero refined sugar.

These Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Dessert Bars are the perfect dessert to make and share this holiday season. Make tons! These disappear very quickly…

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 25

  • ½ cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted pepitas
  • 1 cup Pitted Dates
  • 1 (16oz) jar of natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 (9oz) bag Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chip
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon flake sea salt (optional topping)

Instructions
1. Line a 9×11 casserole pan with parchment paper.
2. Place the seeds in a food processor and pulse until fine. Remove and set aside.
3. Place the dates in the food processor and pulse until creamy.
4. Add the seed powder, peanut butter, and protein powder to the food processor and blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
5. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil. Pour over the bars and place them in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill. Sprinkle with some flaked sea salt. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Nutrition
One bar equals 198 calories, 14g fat, 86mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 6g sugar and 10g protein.

Healthy dinner plate

Are You Sure Your Dinner Is Healthy?

This is your year to finally lose the weight and get fit…and it all starts with dinner.

You may be exercising hard, getting plenty of sleep and staying diligent in your hydration, but if you’re eating the wrong food for dinner then sadly you will never reach your goals.

Most dinners are too high in calories to allow you to steadily lose weight and progress towards your ideal body. This goes for restaurant dinners as well as homecooked meals.

However, the good news is that it is possible to enjoy wholesome, fitness dinners that support your fat loss results whether out-to-eat or cooking at home.

I want to make this as simple as possible for you so that you’ll actually use it to transform the way that you select your nightly meal. Rather than worrying about calories and measurements simply ask these 3 questions before you sit down to eat your next meal and visualize a clock…

Fat Burning Question #1: Is there Lean Protein?
Your meal should start with a lean source of high-quality protein that’s cooked in a healthy way. Choose a protein that has been grilled, baked, broiled or steamed. Fish, chicken, turkey, egg, lean red meat and beans all make great choices.

Picture your plate as a clock and fill it from 12 o’clock to 4 o’clock with your choice of protein. This is roughly 1/3 of your plate.

Fat Burning Question #2: Is it mostly Fibrous Veggies/Greens?
Next, come fibrous veggies and greens. Fiber is a huge part of eating healthy and being lean. Fibrous foods will fill you up while delivering vitamins and nutrients in a low-calorie package. Salads and seasonal vegetables make perfect choices for your fat-burning meal. Just be sure to watch out for heavy dressings or fattening cooking methods that may add additional calories to the dish.

On your plate fill between 4 o’clock and 10 o’clock with these fibrous veggies and greens. This is roughly half of your plate.

Fat Burning Question #3: Is the Starch in Moderation?
Are you gaining weight or not able to lose weight? Chances are your meals are filled with too many starches, including potatoes, pasta, rice, grains and bread products. To make these starches more fattening, they are often cooked with added fats that increase the calorie count. For your starch stick with wholesome, complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, sprouted grains and legumes.

On your plate fill between 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock with these wholesome starches. This is the smallest portion on your plate for a reason, as these starchy carbs are calorie-dense and just a little goes a long way. Fight the urge to push the line by allowing yourself to eat more starches than you need.

I hope that these 3 simple questions make it easier for you to choose your next fat-burning meal by cutting through some of the confusion. While there are certainly more specific, measured meal plans that lead to body transformation success, this guide is meant to keep you on track when you aren’t sure what you should be eating.

For the most effective results, pair your clean eating with a challenging exercise routine. That’s my specialty!

Call or email today and I’ll get you started on an exercise program that will transform your body once and for all.

motivational quote

21 Universal Benefits of Exercise

The number one reason that most people are out-of-shape is that they don’t exercise enough.

I’ve often wished that I could give each and every one of you a personalized pep talk to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form – 21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise.

Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement simply read over this list and feel your motivation soar.

You’ll reset your body:
Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.

Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also, exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.

You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life – it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it will the most powerful tool available: exercise.

You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.

You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.

You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.

You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets.

You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.

You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs, and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.

You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.

You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.

You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.

You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your bloodstream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.

You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.

You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, boot camps, workout centers, and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.

You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key to disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.

You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.

Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!

You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks, you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.

What are you waiting for? Lace-up your shoes and get moving!

looking at fitness tracker

Getting Back On Track

So you took a break from your fitness routine. You ate, you drank, you relaxed, and ate some more.

Well, now it’s time to face the music.

As you look in the mirror after a period of less-than-healthy eating… Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight.

Maybe you are feeling that way right now.

Here’s how to get you back on the fitness fast track.

1) Find Your Focus
It happened. You ate things from the “never eat these” list, you drank more that you should have…but now it’s over.

Draw a line in the sand. You’re back now so the bad eating stops now.

If you’re serious about your fitness goals, then the past few weeks were the exception and not the rule. Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get focused.

2) Get Hydrated
While vacation can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore your balance is to get hydrated.

Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day.

Don’t add any artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will sabotage your hydration efforts. For flavor, add sliced fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to your water, just like at the spa.

3) Cleanse Your System
For your first few days getting back on track, I need you to be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Whole, real foods will help to restore balance and block out cravings.

Don’t eat any packaged foods for the next few days. This means no snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods or alcohol.

4) Get Some Rest
As relaxing as vacation days are, most end with the feeling of exhaustion. Make catching up on sleep a priority over the next few days.

When your body is low on sleep, it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. You’re also less likely to get back into your workouts if you don’t give your body a chance to rest.
Aim for getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night.

5) Jump Back Into Your Exercise Routine
It’s time to sweat out all those indulgences. So lace up your shoes and put on your favorite gym clothes. When you start your first workout, ease in slowly. Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid 30-minute routine.

I have just the exercise plan for you – one that will not only help you recover from your summer but will help keep you motivated and going strong in the future.

If you haven’t joined yet, now is the perfect time for you to start. Together we will get you to your goals with my results-driven method.

mixed green salad

Eat Your Greens

Getting a daily serving of greens (such as spinach, kale, or broccoli) is a simple way to brighten your complexion and fight aging. These dark greens are packed with carotenoids that contribute to healthy, perky skin. As a bonus, a daily dose of fiber-rich greens will promote fat loss – especially when you eat these greens instead of a calorie-dense side, such as rice or potatoes.

Healthy breakfast and fruit

13 Tips for a Healthy Body

You know that diet and exercise are important when it comes to creating your best body, but you may be overlooking other techniques for getting into the best shape.

Turn the following 13 simple tips into habits and watch as your body transforms.

1) Eat a Smart Breakfast.
Most people load up on carbohydrates and simple sugars for breakfast. Cereal, pastries, smoothies, and juice are all poor choices when it comes to starting your day off right.

Center your breakfast around protein and healthy fat, and you’ll have energy for hours. Try a protein shake, eggs, lean breakfast meat, or a handful of nuts.

2) Get More Sleep.
If you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night then you could use more sleep. This is especially true if you’ve reached a plateau with weight loss. Give your body the 8 hours of sleep each night and make weight loss easier.

3) Just Do It.
If you’re really ready to achieve your best body ever, then dig down deep and commit. As Woody Allen famously said, “80% of success is showing up.” This is absolutely true when it comes to fitness. Show up to your workout. Even if you’re tired. Even if you’d rather be doing something else. Just do it.

4) Plan Ahead.
Take one day each week to plan your healthy meals for the following week. You don’t have to do all the shopping and cooking on that day, simply jot down what you plan to eat. This small act of planning ahead will keep you on track with healthy meals even when the week gets crazy busy.

5) Cut Out Gluten.
Many people don’t realize that they have a certain level of sensitivity to gluten, which causes intestinal inflammation and bloating. Also, gluten-filled foods are typically high in carbohydrates, which contribute to weight gain. When you cut gluten-filled items from your diet don’t fall into the trap of simply replacing those items with other high-carb items. Choose non-packaged, whole foods instead.

6) Believe In Yourself.
Do you believe that you have what it takes to transform your body? If you want to succeed in weight loss then you have to believe that it’s possible. Give yourself a pep talk and dig down deep for the courage and discipline to apply these healthy changes to your life.

7) Eat Less Dairy.
Dairy products like cheese or cream add extra fat and calories to your meals. Pass on the dairy and you’ll eliminate unnecessary calories, making weight loss quicker.

8) Sleep and Wake at the Same Time.
This tip sounds so simple, and yet it’s a powerful way to increase your daily energy. Get your body on a schedule and watch how much more productive and energetic you become.

9) Include Veggies at Every Meal.
Most people aren’t too crazy about vegetables, and probably eat less than they should. Make it a point to include a vegetable with each of your meals – even breakfast. The increase in fiber and other nutrients will give your body that extra boost that you’re looking for.

10) Ditch Packaged Food.
Throw out those packaged foods! This is one of the easiest things you can do to achieve quicker weight loss results. Packaged foods contain chemicals and additives that will slow your fitness results.

11) Drink More Water.
Being hydrated is key when it comes to creating your best body. Drink water throughout your day and limit caffeinated beverages to once daily.

12) Forget Artificial Sweeteners.
Sure, these sweeteners don’t contain calories, but they are known to increase your appetite and cravings for carbohydrates. In the quest for your best body, put down the diet soda and reach instead for some water.

13) Exercise With a Pro.
Are you exercising as efficiently as possible? Do you challenge your muscles enough during each workout? Are you keeping the routine new and fresh? These are all factors that will be taken care of for you when you work with a trained fitness professional. Working with a pro ensures that you make the most of your exercise time.

So there you have it, 13 tips that will take your results up a notch.

woman drinking water on the beach

The Simple Fitness Habit You’re Not Doing

Start the new year off with this easy yet effective fitness habit, something that I can almost guarantee you’re not doing. By making this small change to your daily routine you’ll quickly find those unwanted pounds coming off quickly and easily.

***Warning: This fitness habit is going to sound so easy that you may be inclined to simply dismiss it. My advice is to try it out before writing it off as too easy.***

The simple fitness habit that you’re not doing is to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily.

Now I know that sounds boring but take a moment to calculate your water intake over the past few days. Did you even get close to a minimum of 64 ounces? Really, for optimal fat loss, you want to be drinking closer to a gallon of water each day.

Why is water such a big deal? Here are 3 serious reasons why drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day will help you drop pounds and achieve a stunning transformation…

#1) Water Helps Fat Metabolism in the Liver

When it comes down to the technical process of losing fat, your liver is where the action is. The key to having a highly functional liver, one that quickly removes metabolic waste and built-up toxins, is to be properly hydrated by drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day.

Your liver is a filter for your body. When you aren’t drinking enough water, your liver accumulates a buildup of waste product that slows the process of fat metabolism down.

#2) Water Helps Balance Hormones

Without getting too technical about the science of fat loss, it’s important that you understand that your hormones play an important role in your body’s ability to lose fat. When your body enters a state of dehydration, your organ and digestive functions are compromised, which in turn negatively impacts hormonal balance.

This stress, brought on by dehydration, impacts your adrenal glands, signaling the need for an increase in cortisol, which encourages your body to begin storing fat, rather than burning it.

#3) Water Reduces Calorie Intake

By drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily, your desire for high calorie, sugary drinks like soda and high fructose juices will diminish. This decrease in fattening calories really adds up!

In addition to weight loss, drinking water has an infinite number of benefits – including improved skin complexion, boosted immune system, cleansing toxins out of the body, etc.
While it’s important to drink plenty of water in general, be sure you’re increasing your amount before and after your workouts. The more you sweat, the more water you lose, and it’s important to replace that lost water to avoid dehydration.

Does this make sense? Remember: Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day.

I hope that you find this simple fitness habit to be helpful in your quest for a new and improved you in 2020! Remember that participating in a challenging and consistent exercise program is absolutely vital when it comes to getting into great shape