Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taking Running to New Heights

So on Saturday, I took my running to some place new. The location isn't really new, as I have been going there since I was out of the womb, but the run was completely different.

A little background: I live 2 miles outside of the city center in Pittsburgh, so I am surrounded by house on top of house, on-street parking, loud music, and buildings. I can't remember the last time I heard a variety of birds chirping at once, or found myself under the shade of multiple trees.

Okay, back to it. I took my running to the trails of West Virginia this weekend to a place that is very special to me: Coopers Rock. I had this little trip planned for a whole 2 days ( a bit last minute) and had it in my mind how it was going to work out, what I was going to do while I was down there, etc.  I held myself to a schedule, stuck to it, and did absolutely everything that I wanted to. People don't realize the high you get after doing what YOU wanted to do. I have experienced this high on a few occasions and it is like no other-where you dedicate yourself to doing something, and you do it and it is as great, if not better, than you thought it was going to be. This was one of those days. No one to answer to, no one to check on to see if they were having as much fun as me, no sticking to anyone else's schedule..just mine. I would have enjoyed this experience with my hubby by my side, but he said he wouldn't have enjoyed the running portion so I guess it is a good thing that his schedule didn't permit him to enjoy it with me. I took it all in. I took in the air (esp. the's nice to not breathe in city air), listened to the birds (there were so many!) and felt the sun on my shoulders as I ran through the trails. I ended up cover 10 miles that day, and rewarded myself at the end...
Originally I had planned to take the road to the overlook, but figured I'd take the trail as there are plenty of roads to run on in the city...

The trail run was 3.1 miles..which quickly turned into 4 as I went down the WRONG trail (largely downhill..which means correcting my mistake was largely uphill)

When I say I was running through the woods, I really was. It was wonderful. So glad I decided to take "the road less traveled"

Another picture of my trail leading me through the middle of nowhere. I had no clue how much longer I had, or even if I was going the right way...but that day I didn't really care..

                       Stumbled on this little guy as I nearly biffed it. I did NOT see that root coming
                                                           Destination #1: The Overlook
Made it before the heat hit!

As I looked out, I could see Destination #2 off in the distance: Raven Rock. Had to laugh as a group of serious-looking hikers with their Camel Backs, hiking shoes, and sunscreen talked about the trail to Raven Rock, and how they were going to tackle it as it is the "hardest trail here", and then said, "C'mon! Let's get in the truck!" I'm thinking..."Truck?? No thanks, I'll run there"

                     The trail to Raven Rock was not as friendly as the first. Thank God for Plyo!!

                                                         This hill was the most un-friendly...

                                   But the view from the top is you just gotta keep climbing!

                                                  A view of Destination #1..from Destination #2

               It felt great to be about 7 1/2 miles into my 10...but time was a tickin' and I was getting hungry

Took myself to the lake, for a little R&R where I met this awesome lady, Pam, who let me use her boat dock to swim off of. Despite the fact that the water was probably 70 felt amazing on my sore muscles!

Whatever you had planned for your workout today, try and take it somewhere new! Whether it's a run, a walk, or even lifting...take it somewhere different and watch how you develop a new passion for it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And God said, "Let her enjoy french toast!"

One of my weaknesses is french toast - I LOVE FRENCH TOAST! I get it just about every single time I go out to breakfast..made with Texas toast, 3 slices, cut into triangles....with powdered sugar sprinkled on top (that's just how I roll). I think french toast is one of the best foods on the planet.


It's not exactly the HEALTHIEST food on the planet, and while an FT splurge a couple of times a year is not going to kill you, over-indulgence will most definitely put all of the hard work you have put into working out in jeopardy.

I decided to do some research on this topic, and here is what I found:

Eat n Park Calories: 419 Fat: 15g Carbs 47.8g Protein 21.5g

Denny's (FT Slam) Calories: 780 Fat: 58 (!!) Carbs: 35g Protein: 21 g

IHOP Calories: 920 Fat: 50g Carbs: 88g Protein: 18g

So depressing...

But there is great news for those of you out there like myself who still want french toast! Introducing french toast eggs! All the joys and deliciousness of french toast with virtually NONE of the calories (that's right! I said virtually none!)

4 Egg Whites
1 Whole Egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all of these ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a frying pan, either scrambling the eggs or cooking them more in a pancake form.

I prefer mine with 2 slices of turkey bacon and small side of fruit
153 calories, 21 g protein, 2 g carbs, 5 g fat **
now that's money...
Try it out and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! You can also drizzle it with sugar free syrup for an added touch! Takes about 5 minutes to make!
**does not include turkey bacon and grapes

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

I pulled this information from the HBO documentary series that started to air last night call The Weight of the Nation. It was extremely eye-opening and if anyone has access to HBO, I recommend that you watch it! Wait until you see the artery of someone severely will never want crap food again!

1. Start Small

So many times people think that these fad diets will work. They mentioned South Beach, Adkins, Hampton Diet, Cookie Diet, Grapejuice Cleanse, Cabbage Soup Cleanse, Nutrisystem, and Weight Watchers as a few diets that those being interviewed had tried, and gained all of the weight back. The one woman interviewed said that she did not believe in those diets, and instead made simple small changes in her daily life, starting by couting the calories that she DRANK (1500/day). A simple switch of going to water from pop or juice will make a world of difference. She also talked about how she was a chef and if she would make too much bacon or eggs she would eat she just portions out her meals. From those simple switches, she has gone from 407 lbs to 328 lbs.

The problem with fad diets is they promise the world, and while some of them may work , they lack the aspect that instructs you how to maintain your weight.

2. Make sure your goals are realistic

I would never have a goal to weigh 100 lbs (personally) because that would mean that I was physically unhealthy. You can have a goal to lose 100 lbs and it be perfectly achievable..but how you are going to achieve it is what is going to make it realistic or not. The trick to this is to break a large goal into more manageable steps; two pounds this week...another pound next week. Always remember: slow and steady wins the race.

3. Seek support from those who share in your struggle

As a Team Beachbody Coach, I create challenge groups multiple times a month and group individuals together who either have the same goals, same struggles, or are utilizing the same workout program. This is so they can seek support and accountability through like-minded individuals. How many of you get eye rolls when you tell your family you are watching what you are eating, or just bought a new workout program? How many of you get snide comments from friends as you share your success in weight loss? Well in these challenge groups that is where that negativity does not happen. It is nothing but love and support in there and these challenges run ALL the time.  It has been scientifically proven that more success is found in a small group of supportive, like-minded individuals than if someone goes at it alone.

4. Keep portions under control

This kind of goes back to #1 where I talked about portion sizes. Portions are a pain in the butt, I can tell you that; however, I can also tell you that it doesn't take long for your eye to be trained to recognize appropriate proportions. It only takes a couple of times of having 4-6 oz of steak, instead of 10 oz, for your eye to know the difference. It only takes a few times of measuring our your cereal , grapes, vegetables, pasta, etc. for your eye to be trained to know what is an adequate proportion size, and what is an unhealthy proportion size. So you trade a few weeks of annoyance for a lifetime of knowledge that in turn helps you get healthier. It doesn't sound so bad when you put it like that!

5. Keep careful track of your caloric intake

You can do this in a notebook,,, and At through the club membership, the meal planner does everything for you from keeping track of your calories consumed, to creating your grocery list for you, and giving you recipes for the week. If you have not tried this tool yet, I highly recommend it. It def. makes life a bit easier.

Another thing that I should note, and that they hit on in the documentary, if you lost 40 lbs and you are now 120 lbs and are hanging out with your friend who has ALWAYS been 120 lbs..that does not mean that you can eat what that person is eating. They discussed certain genetics and fat cell make-up that I won't get into, but that is where a lot of people run into issues and gain weight back. They think, "Oh, I made my goal weight which means I can eat like a normal person at this weight can eat." Wrong. You must still be mindful, still portion out your food, and rather than hating the person across the table take that moment to pat yourself on the back at what you have accomplished and remember that over-eating will only get you back to the starting line.

6. Plan and structure your meals

The worst thing you can do in a weight loss or health journey is to fly by the seat of your pants. This is a journey. If you were to take a journey, or go on an adventure..would you just be like "Hell! I'm goin!" and go treckin' off into the unknown in your cutest shoes, top, and handbag? NO! You'd get the proper shoes, you'd pack supplies, you'd make sure you were comfortable. Think of your health journey as a hike: be prepared or have a miserable time. I just started meal prep on Sunday nights. I washed all of my grapes this Sunday and bagged them into groups of 20, same with cutting my celery, so when it comes time for me to pack my lunch, it is grab and go, grab and go. I pre-made dinners and breakfasts so its just throwing it in the microwave and it's done. It saves so much time, and prohibits you from saying, "I don't want to cook tonight, let's just do pizza" <--I'm so guilty of that one!

7. ALWAYS make physical activity a part of your daily life!

If you are searching for a workout plan that is right for you, then I invite you to my site  There is literally something out there for everyone. If you have something else in mind such as walking or running, I would love to be your accountability partner for that, too! The important thing, no matter how you choose to do it, is to get active. Go take a walk, start the Couch to 5K program (this is how I started running, I swear by it!), or try hiking. Get out there, and get moving!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Welcome to My Own Little World...

Hello from a Bombshell! My name is Nicole and I am a member of The Bombshell Dynasty, a team of Independent Team Beachbody coaches that spans across the United States. I have been with Team Beachbody since January 2012, and it has been the best decision that I could have made for myself.

I stick out like a sore thumb ;)

Why the blog??
Great question. No, it's not to sell products, it's not to force my beliefs onto you, but it is to invite you to come with me on my journey and perhaps start your own along the way. It's about sharing experiences, difficulties, celebrations, downfalls, and discoveries. It's about entertainment. It's about being a part of my life. It's about learning from my mistakes and taking inspiration from the challenges that I write about.

Throughout this blog I will be documenting my experiences with various workouts, life goals, etc. I will be posting honest accounts of what I am experiencing, as well as ways that I feel I could have done things differently. Hopefully my experiences will help others with their own experiences.

So Why Beachbody?

Why did I become a coach? It's simple, really.

For years I had focused on myself. I focused on the things that were going wrong in my life, I focused on what had happened to me, I focused on how I couldn't turn my life around and finally, one day I realized that my life wasn't going to change itself. It was going to take action on my behalf to start to turn my life around. I began looking at things differently, and while at first I may have not been a driving factor for change, the realization that it was going to take an army of one (me) to turn my life around, and get what I wanted out of life, made me push a little bit harder everyday.

I have always loved fitness. Since I was 5 years old I had been competing in various sports, and found myself to be naturally athletic. What I was missing out of all of those years, and what ultimately stopped me year after year from achieving the results that I wanted from all of that work, was proper nutrition. My friend introduced me to Shakeology, and after falling in love with the product she recommended that I became a coach. At first I was skeptical, like many, and thought that this wasn't going to be for me. Once I realized that this opportunity was my niche, my calling, and what I was put on this world to do, everything changed.

No, I'm not meant to sell products. No, I'm not meant to put on home parties. No, I'm not meant to push my beliefs and values onto others with no regard or respect for their own. That is not what this is about. This is about taking your journey, and opening it up to others to jump in and join you along the way. This is about banning together and ending the trend of obesity through fitness and nutrition. This journey is more than selling products, it is about changing lives.

I always knew that some day, some way I would do something great with my life. Since I was about 16 I have wondered what that "something" was. I had this feeling deep inside, that I was meant for something great, but I seriously had no idea what. I was an average student, I preferred my friends over studies, and I thought, "How am I ever going to get anywhere? I'm not special." This went on through college as I lead myself blindly through a business degree. Then, I stumbled on Organizational Leadership (literally...had no clue what this major was about but figured-whatever. It will get me a degree). They say that God works in mysterious ways, and I'm not here to preach religion, but I think this was one of those times that he intervened. I was meant to be a leader. That degree process is what started me down my path to helping others, to focusing on a good that is not self-centered, and to my ultimate happiness. I might make a ton of money in this business, be able to move away, and never have to go back to my "real" job; I might make a bit of extra money, but still have to work-but the one thing that is GUARANTEED in this job is that I am doing something that I LOVE every single day. I go to bed feeling fulfilled, feeling accomplished, and feeling truly needed in the lives of others. I know that what I do makes a difference.

So, I hope you enjoy my writing. I am not the grammar police, I make mistakes, and quite honestly those types of things do not bother me. I'm also new to this particular site so while my blog is a bit "naked" right now, I do hope to make it something special down the road. Feel free to "follow" me, or contact me with any questions or comments that you may have at