Monday, December 9, 2013

Are You A Lighthouse, Or A Storm Cloud?

Every day you are going to find yourself in situations that involve other individuals whether it be at work, with your family, in the market, or even on-line. People feed off of people. We feed off of the other energies that are present around us, and yes, even through the computer screen. Have you ever been a round a group of people and you leave feeling like all of the air was sucked out of you? You don't leave feeling revived and upbeat, you leave feeling deflated and miserable! Or have you ever been around a group of people where you leave you feel like you are light as a feather, can't stop smiling, and it is one of those times where you have been away for them from five minutes and you are already texting them planning the next meeting?

Since we feed off of one another, each encounter YOU have YOU need to make the choice: am I going to be the lighthouse, or just another storm cloud?  Don't be that person in the group that is negative or cynical. Don't be the person who drags the rest of the group down and ruins the situation. Be the lighthouse! The one that shines THROUGH the darkness, the one that people LOOK FOR when times get tough! When you change your attitude to a positive one and consistently share that attitude with others, you will help them to create a more positive live thus creating a ripple effect.

Try it!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bite Your Tongue!: How Words Can Change Your Life

Hey there! Welcome to another blog entry. I hope when you are done reading you feel just a bit more fulfilled and uplifted than when you began :)

We always hear that words have power. Do you remember that saying from when you were little, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"?  It's a crock of crap. Words hurt. Words get into our psyche without us even KNOWING it...they are like stink bugs! Infesting the world around them.

But here's the really awesome thing about words: the negative ones can totally infest your life, take you to a dark place, and affect the world around you and turn it into a more negative place...but the positive ones can also totally infest your life, take you to a light place, and affect the world around you and turn it into a more positive place. So we need to learn how to pick and choose the words that fill our vocabulary.  Even JOKING about our appearance or our life can negatively affect our reality if those words are negative.

Gabby Bernstein sums it up beautifully (as always). Make sure you check out this video. Comment below on how you can start incorporating this practice into your own life. And while you are at it, make sure you subscribe to her YouTube channel

GabrielleBernstein

Friday, November 22, 2013

No Sugar Banana Bread

I LOVE BANANAS! which means I also love anything banana flavored.

There is just something about banana bread. I think I love it so much because it reminds me of my grandmother. We would always make it together and the smell of banana bread would fill her house. I can remember always turning the oven light on just waiting for it to be ready.  When it was pulled out, she would let it cool and then sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Nothing will ever beat grandma's banana bread.

But if you are like me and watching your sugar in take, Grandma's recipe might not be for you! But this one is, and it tastes PHENOMINAL!

Ingredients
 
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas

Directions

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Tried it? Comment below! What did you think!


Check back every Friday for a new, fabulous, DELICIOUS, healthy dessert!

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Achieve Goals through Forced Efficiency

There is a lot that can be said for your surroundings. It is not just about the people that you surround yourself most that will determine your success in life, but also what you surround yourself with in your personal work space.

The goal is productivity. This can be said for a white collar job, a blue collar job, a network marketing job, a sales job, etc. Productivity takes preparation no matter what line of business you are in. Just like a surgeon has all of their tools in front of them prior to that first incision, so must you prior to sitting down to finish what you are working on.

Forced efficiency means an arranged desk, pens, pencils, a notepad, a calendar, etc. It means having everything where everything needs to be. It means that things literally need to be within reach, in eye sight, and in the proper place. It means being free of clutter. It means tapping into your OCD side just a wee tad.

Try this: the next time that you sit down to finish a task, take everything off of your desk. Go through the pile and return only those items that are ESSENTIAL to what you are currently working on. By only having the essentials on your desk you focus remains on the task at hand, and distraction is less likely to occur.

Prepare yourself for success, and you shall achieve that success.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chocolate Mug Cake

So I have this Fit Thru the Holidays challenge group that I am running that consists of 40 women pledging to stay true to their health and fitness through the holidays. It's not easy! Especially with all the temptation lurking around. I found this mug cake on Facebook and it looked AH-MAZING, so naturally I had to try it and it lived up to its reputation. Check it out!

 Ingredients


1 scoop Shakeology
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
- mix well in mug
Add in 1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg whites)
3 tbsp almond milk
- mix well
 


Take a big scoop of peanut butter and push down into the center of the mug
Microwave for 90 seconds
Top with more peanut butter


OMG! Fantastic! Delicious! MORE PLEASE!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Life Change Through Friendships

I always grew up believing that old saying, "When you get older you will only have one or two good friends". I was anticipating my friends to dwindle and fall off each passing year of my 20's, until finally in my 30's it was just me, my husband, and my dogs. I was expecting to live a boring life, maybe do some gardening on the weekends (which is a joke because I kill any plant I touch), and just be "normal".

Well I'm on my way to 29 and I have seen some great friends leave my life over the past 10 years: I wish them well. But on the other hand I have had many people find their way back into my life, as well as made some new friendships that I never saw coming. So to say that the old saying is true, would be a lie.

Having the mindset that I do now, it is hard for me to sit here and think back to being 20 and basically accepting a way in which my life was going to go. I didn't even question it, I just accepted that is how it was going to be.  That's how I have been for the majority of my life is just accepting of "life's ways".  "It is what it is" is something you would always hear me say. I certainly wasn't building myself up to be anything great. An average life was just fine.

Then I took this leap of faith and decided to be a Beachbody Coach. I had no idea what that meant, or what I had to do, but I heard the word "discount" and figured why the hell not. I was hoping it wasn't in-home parties, or passing out catalogs, delivering product, or storing it in my house. Honestly..I just wanted my damn discount!  I was so relieved when I learned it was nothing like what I had pictured it to be. But I was pleasantly surprised as I stuck with it and began to see what it was becoming.


Beachbody, as corny as it sounds, has brought old friends back into my life and new friends into my life that I hold very close to my heart. And these aren't just friendships with lack of meaning or bond between them, these are solid friendships - the kind that you had with your B.F.F in 4th grade where no matter what, you were there for each other. There was a glue there, and there is a glue now with the friendships that I find in my life.




Quickly my world began to change. No longer was it "friends" complaining about this that or the other, or "friends" listening to a vent session and then running and telling someone else, it was finally friends that were FRIENDS. Friends that held respect for one another, and held each other to such a high standard that they refused to sit back and watch one another fall on their face. These are the friends with muscle behind them; the kind that can lift you up no matter how down you can be.

Being someone who has dealt with depression in the past and some really poor friendships, this new breed lifted me higher. This new group of friends took me to a place where I didn't accept anything less than amazing in my life (so whether or not you are a Beachbody Coach, if we are friends you must be pretty damn awesome). Through friendships I learned how to live a higher quality of life, and how to expect and accept only the highest quality for my own life.


I know this is a very corny post, and I'm not typically like this; however, all of the "thankful" posts on Facebook made me think of what I was very thankful for and that's for my friends. Honestly, if it wasn't for you guys I don't know what kind of life I'd be living. So THANK YOU!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Achieve Your Goals by Considering the Consequences

Everything that we do in life involves consequences. There is a great quote that says, "You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences". The same can be said for the consequences behind not doing daily activities that move you closer to achieving your goals.

The obvious consequence is that the goal won't happen; however, for some people that is not enough to get them moving. And if that is you, that's okay. There is more that you can do.

Tony Robbins always says that anything we do, or seek, in life is a method for avoiding pain and increasing pleasure. With that being said, the consequences of you not achieving a certain goal can become a lot more serious when you think of the pain it could cause yourself and those around you.

Let's take the example of a woman who needs to lose a good deal of weight as prescribed by her doctor. She puts it off because she doesn't enjoy working out, and she loves food. She has a vacation to Disney World coming up. She has two little girls age 7 and 9, but mom can't ride any of the rides with them because she can't fit in the seats. In addition, mom chooses not to go in the pool with them because she doesn't feel like putting on a swimsuit. The family vacation that the girls were looking forward to is now greatly reduced in meaning and fun because the mother could not take the actions necessary to better herself. Her inaction has caused pain not only for herself by constantly being denied the ability to ride the rides, but by seeing the look on her girls faces. There's a little bit of embarrassment there, resentment, regret. The girls aren't having fun because mom can't join in and they are jealous of the kids around them that have parents playing with them.

As you can see, that example is full of a lot of pain. The consequence is not just, "If I don't watch what I eat I will not lose weight or become more healthy". Now the consequence behind the inaction takes on a much more serious role that dives into the emotions of not just the person not taking the action, but all of those around her.

This is what you need to think of when you consider inaction towards a goal you have. Not just what is the obvious consequence if it doesn't happen, but how does that affect those around you. How does that make you feel? How does that make them feel? How does lack of completion push you forward?  After you have permitted yourself to explore those emotions, turn them around. Think of what happens when you DO achieve your goal. How will that make you feel? How will that make those around you feel? What can you provide them with now that you have accomplished what you set out to do? What can you now push yourself to do that you couldn't do before? Take those emotions, and run with them.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

 I'll admit, I'm a pumpkin-holic. I love all things pumpkin: coffee, bread, pie, and now...cookies! And now I can enjoy them at about 52 calories a pieces, which is LOADS better than the kind at the grocery store! Take about 30 minutes out of your day to try this amazing recipe. You're taste buds will thank you :)


Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. sea salt
1¼ cups pumpkin puree
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup raisins (or unsweetened dried cranberries)
¼ cup chopped raw pecans

Click here to get loads more delicious recipes!


 Preparation:
1. Preheat oven for 350° F.
2. Lightly coat baking sheet with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
4. Add pumpkin, maple syrup, raisins, and pecans; mix well.
5. Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet; flatten cookies with a spatula.
6. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until firm.



Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 103
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 67 mg
Carbohydrate: 18 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 2 g

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Leaning Out through the Holidays

As November starts tomorrow, me and some of my friends have planned a Fit Through the Holidays challenge group. I'm very excited for this group, because this is typically the time of year where I go hog wild on sweets and comfort foods. I cannot help it, I love to eat. Guilty as charged!

But one thing that can get me on the right track is the accountability of others, and that is what this group is set out to do. Each person who has joined can expect uplifting accountability from the others within the group, motivational support at every hurdle they may face, meal planning, recipes, contests, fun activities, and discover ways in which they can make changes that will positively affect their life even after the 60 day challenge group is over.

Our goal is not to be sitting around binging on New Year's Eve claiming how we are heading to the gym the next day to sign up for a year membership, or how we are going to take on Crossfit. Our goal is to be sitting around on New Years Eve telling others how we have already done that and how we plan on bettering ourselves even more throughout 2014. We plan on bragging (maybe a little bit) about how we have already been practicing healthy eating and fitness for the past 60 days and how we are ready to take 2014 by storm without having to make a resolution to lose weight.

For this challenge I am going to be taking Brazil Butt Lift on for the second time. The first round, I achieved AMAZING results. I won't lie, I have remained VERY active and workout 6 days a week, but my day job leaves me sitting on my butt ALL-DAY-LONG. I swear it's getting flat and ain't nobody got time for that!

I'm excited to see what this challenge is going to bring me in the form of increased awareness, fitness, and friendships. Can't wait to report back in!

Want in on this challenge? Shoot me an e-mail at nik4213@gmail.com for details for entry!

Monday, October 28, 2013

How to Achieve Success through Reverse Engineering

When I share my vision board for a new year in January to my social media audience, it is most commonly met with cheers of support from my friends. I mean, that's only natural right? You always want to support your friends and their goals. What surprises people the most, however, is when I post the vision board again at the end of the year showing what I had accomplished, and what still is left to be taken care of.

The difference between goal attainment and dreams is action taken on part of the individual. You can plan for hours, days, or even months on how you are going to develop a life that you feel that you deserve, but it will never amount to anything or go anywhere without action by YOU.

So how do I achieve everything I set out to do? I plan and I permit myself to have some fun in the meantime.

Life doesn't have to be so serious all the time, that's why my vision boards always contain business strategic goals, and fun little goals for myself.  But regardless if it's a business goal, a personal goal, or just a fun goal that you have set for yourself you need to plan.

The first step is writing down exactly what it is that you want.  What do YOU want? I'm not asking what other people want FOR you, I'm asking you what you want. This is not a list you have to show others, you can keep it to yourself. But get honest about it.

The second step is putting a date on it. When do YOU want it by? Now, some people will say go way outside of your comfort zone with this, but this is a step that I usually spend the most time on because I want my goals to be challenging, but not so much so that they seem impossible. When creating a goal, think about what you have now, what you will have in the future, and the amount of time you have to work on achieving it.  Most importantly, and this can be hard, but how much heart do you have behind it, because that is going to determine a lot of what you are willing to sacrifice to get there.

The third step is to write down everything you can think of that is needed to achieve that goal. This is called reverse engineering and is a step that is most often skipped, but one of THE MOST VALUABLE steps to take. This lays it all out for you. This gives you a clear picture of EXACTLY what you need to do. It is the rough draft of the story that you are about to create. After doing this, you might need to adjust your dates a little bit and that's okay, just make sure you are not laxing on yourself to the point where you will get lazy.

The final step: take action. Take massive action to make it happen. Take one goal at a time, look at it reverse engineered, and think of how you can take one step per day (or more) towards achieving those small items on the to do list of your goal. 

At first it's overwhelming, but practice makes perfect. Not to mention, every goal you mark off is a boost to your own self confidence, and your own belief in yourself which will push you further through life to achieve things you never thought possible.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Quality vs. Quantity: Getting the Most Out of What Matters

As you may have noticed, it has been almost a month since my last blog post. A lot is going on in my life right now, which has taken me away from some of my normal and enjoyable priorities.

My last entry was about doing what you love, and what you love becoming just another j-o-b. For me, that is what a lot of things were becoming largely because I had overloaded my plate with activities. I would be lying if I said my plate was not still full; however, after taking some time off to re-evaluate what I was doing, how to do it better, but more importantly how to do it efficiently while also being effective, I believe I have found a good formula.

After talking with one of my best friends last night, she made mention that sometimes when we are very busy we begin to do tasks just to do them. Our brain begins to go on autopilot, and there is not much thought or heart put behind what we are doing. We are simply doing it to get it off of our To Do list so we can move on to the next item and if we are lucky,finish them all that day.

The problem with this method is that your quantity may remain high in the period of stress; however, the quality of what you are doing begins to be negatively affected. When your quality of work goes down the drain, the time (be it short or long) that you spent working on it was largely a waste of time. When you are extremely busy, the best thing that you can do for yourself is make the time you are spending on tasks WORTH your time. After all, your time is valuable and clearly if you are at this point there is not much wiggle room...so if you are going to do it, do it right.

This might mean scaling back, even if you are like me and that idea scares the crap out of you. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a bit of a break. This does not mean quitting, rather re-evaluating where you can offer the most value at the given time with your given responsibilities and obligations. This idea falls back on the 80/20 rule: 80% of your results are going to come from 20% of your efforts. The trick that lies before you is deciding which tasks are your 20% that will yield you the highest results.

Here's how to do it: List your activities for the day and look them over. Which one of them will have a domino effect on other parts of your life? Which ones will move you in a positive direction towards your goals? Which ones MUST you do because they are an obligation?

My suggestion: If you have an obligation that stands in the way of you doing the activities you need to do to move you towards your goals (for example: grad school paper), get that over with first. It is the ugliest, probably most un-enjoyable item on the list, but if you get it done first the feeling of accomplishment you will have will propel you to dive into your next, hopefully more enjoyable tasks with heart.

In addition, once you have picked out the 20% of activities that will give you 80% of your results, work those next. And don't just do them to do them. Remember, the other tasks are not giving you 80%. Sure, they contribute here and there but they are not the "head honcho" of things you need to do. So rather than looking at them and thinking "I must get these done!" Stop. Breathe. And work on your 20% with a lot of thought, effort, and heart behind it. Put your time and effort into these tasks and watch it payoff...then you can go do the other small activities if there is time. By always focusing on what matters most, you can continue to move in a positive direction even when times are tough

Nicole's Method: I use the Reminders app on my iPhone for my daily To Do list. I write everything in there that I need to do for the next day (clearing out my brain before bed) and then when you click on the little "i" icon, you can add a priority to those items. My ugly obligations get highest priorities because I want them out of the way ASAP, then my 20% items get the next highest priority, and the trivial tasks that I would LOVE to get done, but if I don't it won't push me further ahead or make me fall behind get the lowest priority. I hold myself accountable to this list and resist the urge to go to the lesser priority items until they are the only ones showing on the list. I have found this works for me.


Do any of these ideas work for you? Do you have other ideas that you would like to add? Feel free to comment below and don't forget to follow me on Pinterest at Nicole Murray Fitness for various boards pertaining to how you can better your health, your fitness, and your life.

Make today awesome!



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Difference Between Your Passion and a J-O-B

I like to educate myself on the things I do, and while reading a blog titled, "10 Lessons Seth Godin Can Teach You About Blogging" by Neil Patel on quicksprout.com the difference was brought up between blogging because of your passion or blogging because of the money. This got the wheels turning for me...

What you do in your life, are you doing it because it's a passion or because it makes you money? If you are lucky enough, then whatever you do does both of these things, but for many of us that's not the case. Many of us hear the word, "passion" and feel like any passion has been sucked out of us. We don't even know what it means to have a passion or a dream anymore. Or! We know what a dream is: it's a dream. Something nice to think about, but the odds of it happening? Ehhh...not great!

And this is where we lose any chance we have of achieving anything that we want. The moment we succumb to the feelings of doubt, especially doubt in our own abilities, is the moment in which we have admitted defeat, stop trying, and barely find a reason to get out of bed in the morning other than to go sit in rush hour traffic on the way in to work. And if this is you, it's okay. It happens. I've been there. Totally fixable.

Find your passion. Go with it.

I'm not saying quit your job and go be a juggler because juggling is your passion, but hey! if you can get a business going with that and it can support you, by all means, my friend. Do yo thang!

Being real though, a passion creates a fire inside of you that keeps you moving forward towards your dreams when it feels like you can't. A passion gets you through those days at the office where you just want to throw your monitor out of the window. A passion can even get you away from that terrible office if you play your cards right, work hard, and get committed to it.

But there is a word of caution: your passion must remain your passion or you are doomed to fail. This isn't easy, especially once you start doing what you love full time. There needs to be a balance between keeping your passion your passion, and not doing too much that it becomes another J-O-B.

See, you should never want a vacation from your passion. It's what drives you. When you wake up in the morning, it is what you set out to do no matter what! It is something that FULFILLS some need inside that you have. And it does this without obligation, without stress, and without procrastination. That's your passion. Anything else is a job. And if you have turned your passion into a job, and it feels like a job, take it back to its roots. Why was it a passion in the first place? There's meaning behind what you are doing..you just need to find it.

The best way to keep it fresh? Always be learning about it. Always be challenging yourself in new ways to reach new heights with it. Always keep your eye on your "prize"...and while your eye is on it, throw in an added obstacle that you need to clear to REACH it because the more you push, the more you learn, the more you conquer, the stronger you become. When you are strong in an area, nothing can hold you back from achieving your dreams except yourself.

Do you have some crazy, amazing, uuber awesome dream but you aren't sure where to even START! Shoot me an email and let's talk nik4213@gmail.com



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Les Mills Instructor Training: What to Expect

As I was setting off on this journey myself, searching for resources about what to expect at a Les Mills instructor training, I found nothing. It was a bit frustrating because I am one of those people who loves reading reviews prior to setting out to do anything. I had heard a lot of wonderful things from friends of mine who were instructors, but I wanted MORE. So I wanted to type up this quick little blog to give you a tidbit of what you can expect at a Les Mills (LM) Instructor training as I recently attended Body Combat for two days and it blew my mind (yes...they are THAT good).

An LM Instructor training can be summed up with 3 words: Empowerment, Strength, and Friendship

Empowerment: Have you ever just wanted to be yourself? Sure, you might preach that you are always your own person, but I would be willing to bet that there has been a time or two when you have tucked "yourself" away for fear of being judged by others. This was the first atmosphere that mixed a variety of people together where I think everyone felt safe being who they are. I know I did. The shyness wore off VERY quick and it seemed like after lunch that first day you would have thought we all had known each other for years, and not a mere 5 hours.

Beyond getting your true self out there for others to experience (because let's face it...you're awesome) the LM training left participants feeling empowered to follow their dreams, be amazing at whatever they set out to do, and left us all with a mindset that if we want it, we can get it. I know personally, that on my 2 1/2 hour drive home through the high mountains of Maryland and West Virginia that I felt on top of the world (literally and figuratively). I wanted to write a blog, post a video, and tell every stranger I could about the experience that I just had. In fact, I went to pick up some food and treated  myself to a beer while waiting, and it took a lot to not start gushing to everyone at the bar and showing them how to throw a proper punch (no, no, no! Strike surface is the first two knuckles!). I figured that might be TOO much, so I just silently sipped my beer and continued to reflect on the amazingness from the weekend.  If you go to a Les Mills instructor training, be prepared to come out feeling like you are on top of the world.

Strength:  There are two areas of strength that are going to improve by attending one of these trainings: physical and mental. In order to prepare for your training you will be provided with the most current release from your program. For some releases you must memorize all of it, and for others you are designated certain tracks. You should be practicing this every day, multiple times a day, for the two weeks leading up to training. At training itself, it's a 10 hour day full of physical activities designed to perfect your motions and get you comfortable with teaching the LM format.

Here's the crazy thing, though: on a typical day, could you go to the gym for 10 hours, enjoy every moment, and continuously push yourself to a new limit? Unlikely. But at an LM training YOU DO! If you read my blog, follow me on Instagram (@Nik4213) or on Facebook, you know that I am a huge advocate of positive thinking to achieve positive results, and my training proved that theory. I'll never forget, there was a section where we all had to stand in a circle, arms around each others shoulders, and practice our roundhouse kicks for one minute (which we will all agree, it was longer than that!). Each of us was relying on the others to keep a strong core and balance (because you never put that foot down). We were exhausted, sweat was dripping, but we just kept talking to each other and at one point we all started singing the song that was on at the time. It was probably one of the highlights of the training for me, because in that moment we really all came together as one tribe, with one goal. We refused to allow any of us to fail, and if you did see someone starting to go not only did you encourage them to stay strong, but you got a little bit stronger for that person. If you go to a Les Mills instructor training, be prepared to come out mentally and physically stronger than you have ever been, with a new meaning and feeling of respect when you think of the word "teamwork".

Friendship: I have been to quite a few instructor trainings for programs that are not LM. I have been to seminars, networking meetings, and rallies and at these you can typically find a "buddy" to hang out with if you are by yourself. If you come with a group, most likely you might stay within your group. This is not the case at an LM training. Within my group there was a group of girls that all taught at the YMCA where the training was located. At first, being the only one NOT from the state of Maryland I thought that it might be a very long, very lonely weekend. Again, within the first few hours we were all one tribe. There was no division based on who taught what, where you taught, or where you were from. I'm not sure what it was (perhaps just an amazing instructor) but the entire room just ... meshed. Positive comments came in abundance after each practice of a track, we built each other up when we thought we were at a place where "up" was not a reality, and if you ever got the feeling of "this might not be for me", the group reminded you of why you showed up, your abilities, and why you SHOULD be a Body Combat instructor. Never in my life have I experienced such a situation.  This wasn't just friendship for the weekend, this felt real. Two weeks later I still talk with at least one of the girls every day. Though we are separated now, and some are lucky enough to practice together, we are still pushing each other and cheering one another on through the computer screen. I know that these friendships are something that are going to last a long time, and continue to have a positive impact on each of our lives as we continue through our LM journey. If you go to a Les Mills instructor training, be prepared to leave with some new, quality friends that are more like a family.

I cannot say enough about this experience. This blog does not even begin to do it justice. I struggled, I ached, I laughed until I almost peed my pants (thanks, Anne). It was 20 hours of hard work, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Stay with the fight!




Friday, September 13, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

While pinning this week, I came across this amazing blog SkinnyMom.  While I am not a mother myself, this blog is AMAZING because of its healthy recipies that the entire family can really enjoy. Health food is no longer going to be looked at as tasteless and bland with these recipes. Check her out, or in the meantime, try this awesome chicken tortilla soup that you can make in your crock pot..just like Max & Ermas but MUCH better for you!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 16 oz can black beans
  • 16 oz can kidney beans
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 - 10 oz cans diced tomatoes w/ chilies
  • 1 packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 32 oz reduced-sodium fat free chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Nutrition Info and Tips
Per Serving (1/4th of pot):Calories: 358Fat: 6g

Carbohydrates: 38gFiber: 10gProtein: 38gSugars: 12g

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meal Planning Made Easy!

I find nothing exciting about meal planning - nada; however, I find that when I actually take the time to plan out what I am going to be eating for the week, it really helps me to stay on track. As you all know, I love food. I love bar food the most, and pizza..you know, the WORST ones for you, but I know that I am no longer 15 these things can catch up with me pretty quickly.

So, I meal plan. And it's always been boring. It is that one thing I put off doing because it just isn't fun! I don't do "not fun". Blah. Recognizing this problem, I decided to take the task and chop it into smaller tasks. Instead of sitting down for an hour on a single day and figuring out what I'm going to eat and grocery shop for, I do it one day at a time. So for example, today is Wednesday so today I will be making up my meals for next Wednesday.

For me, lunch and dinners are the issue. I have the same thing for breakfast every day (a loaded protein shake), and my snacks are typically a fruit and string cheese, or a fruit and almonds in the morning followed by my Shakeology in the afternoon. Lunches and dinners are scary because if I don't have it planned I'll find an excuse to go out and eat..because again, I love food. So here is what I do:

Step 1: I enter in my "usuals" into my meal planner (template for you below) for the week. There, done, with little thinking involved.

Step 2: If I need anything for my snacks (like grapes, almonds, etc) it goes immediately onto my shopping list WITH the location where it is cheapest (Ex: Aldis Almonds, Trader Joes Bananas)

Step 3: I browse either my nutrition guides that I have received from my Beachbody programs (most common method) or I venture off onto Google and find some random blog. I choose a pretty simple lunch that I can either make and it feeds me for days, or a standard salad for which I use no dressing and instead add in various vegetables for flavors (try sweet peppers! Yum!) Add my choice to my meal plan, and the ingredients into the shopping list app

Step 4: Same thing for dinner. Now me personally, I plan my dinners around the weather. If its a nice night, I prefer it on the grill..if its chilly and crisp, I like it from the crockpot. I try and consider my moods when I plan my food. Think about it, if you know you are swamped at work on Wednesday do not pick some complicated dinner dish! Pick a crockpot meal..simplify your life. Onto the planner it goes, and into the food app

That's it! I'm done! I do this every day and the entire thing takes me 5 minutes at the most!

Here is a simple template that I have developed in Google Docs that you are free to use. I also try and make it a habit to upload my meals onto myfitnesspal.com to check the levels of sodium, protein, etc. to make sure I am not over-indulging in anything https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ap9-a6TgtaAqdHBmWkxfbkRfRlZXWFZGM0I5V2NKMFE&output=html

Oh, and while I'm at it...here's a little tunage to make it more fun. Nothin' like a good ol fashioned meal planning party!
 
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me! nik4213@gmail.com

Monday, September 9, 2013

Body Beast for Women: Week 1 Overview

I have successfully completed my first week of the Body Beast Lean Beast schedule. At first, I thought that I wouldn't care for this exercise DVD and this would be the longest 90 days of my life, but here we are at the end of week 1 and it flew by!

In addition, so far I do LOVE the program! I'm not sure what it is about weight lifting, but it seems to go by a lot quicker than cardio for some reason (and I'm sure some will disagree with me there). This week has been especially challenging because at the same time I am doing work for grad school, working overtime, and learning my tracks for Body Combat certification next week; however, in order to get around all of those hurdles I am waking up an hour earlier in the morning and just getting it done. Sagi says, "Whatever it takes" and while at first that waking up early thing sucked, I'm just fine with it now.

The workouts are not hard, but they are wonderfully diverse. I have done P90X and ChaLEAN Extreme and was never disappointed in the way that each of those workouts introduced new moves that I had never done before. While I have done all of the moves in Body Beast, as they are currently fairly basic, Sagi does stack them in a way where the challenge for the muscles is something completely new to me. I love the way that the "super sets" and "giant sets" really challenge me both physically and mentally. To me, that's what a good workout is all about.

Saying that the moves thus far are basic is not to discredit the program by any means! I have yet to meet a workout that did not give me that awesome muscle shake at the end of it, that did not leave me sore the next day, or that did not challenge my own strength. Every day I am challenged, and each day I can feel myself growing stronger.

I'm really excited to see where this program ends up taking me. So far, I actually look forward to it each morning and it starts the day off on a positive foot. Stay tuned for more weekly updates, progress photos, tips and tricks! Have questions for me? Feel free to email me at nik4213@gmail.com








Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

If there is one thing that I LOVE around this time of year, it is anything with pumpkin in it. I become a pumpkin FIEND. In my opinion there is nothing better than the taste of pumpkin: that mix of spices, cinnamon..it just tastes like Fall. The only thing better would be if I could combine it with one of my favorite foods: Pancakes

Oh but wait....I did. And it is SO simple!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar (optional. I did not use)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  •  1-2 scoops vanilla Whey protein powder (depending on how much protein you want)
  •  
    Preparation
     
    Mix the Bisquick, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Then add in the pumpkin, and finally the protein powder. You may need to add a bit of water, or a bit more Bisquick depending on if your mixture is too watery or too thick.  Drop 2 spoonfuls per pancake onto a greased griddle and flip when sides look dry and top is bubbly.
     
    And that's it! Top it with some sugar free syrup, raw honey, or Agave and you are good to go!
     
    Yields 10-12 hearty pancakes


    Monday, September 2, 2013

    Body Beast for Women

    So today I am stepping completely out of my comfort zone and taking on a new program that combines heavy weights with some intense lifting sets - Body Beast. Body Beast is designed to build muscle through and bulk with Dynamic Set Training (ladies, keep in mind our testosterone levels are not he same as men, therefor the bulk for us will be more a strong, lean look and not Barbie's head on GI Joe's body). The program runs for 90 days and was developed by champion body builder, Sagi Kalev (and ladies...he's not too shabby to look at, either).

    So many people are asking me why I have decided to do a body building program when I am typically a cardio junkie, and that's just the problem - I'm a cardio junkie! I am a big ball of energy housed in a little body, so I love letting loose and dancing, or kicking, or punching..and sometimes I'll even take a break to just swoon over Shaun T and his abs...but cardio is only going to get you so far. If you want FULL results, if you want to reach your goals, if you want to kick a plateau's ass...then you gotta throw in some weight training.

    I am a lazy weight trainer. I am. I'll go for about 3 days, it will last a week, I'll quit and just go back to cardio so I NEEDED a change. No..not even a change, a challenge. One thing that always keeps me on my toes is a good challenge and I think Body Beast is going to be perfect.

    I'm also setting out to prove the myth that women will bulk with this program as being false. My friend did this program and had amazing results as well. Check out her Beast transformation here he

    The bottom line is: I want what is best for my body. Clean eating, proper cardio, and weight training are the three of the best things you can do for your body, in my opinion.

    Do you have questions about trying Body Beast? Feel free to shoot me an email nik4213@gmail.com or you can check out my site for more information regarding the product www.beachbodycoach.com/Nik4213.

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    How to Get Passed a Plateau

    Even the best and most experienced fitness professionals hit a plateau in their progress. It happens. Our bodies get so used to doing what it's doing that it is no longer challenged. When it is no longer challenged, it doesn't need to work as hard meaning the heart isn't working as hard and you are not burning as many calories.

    But there are a two remedies that I'm going to share with you that should help you over your hump. The first one:

    TAKE A WEEK OFF


    Seriously? Yes, seriously. Plateaus can also be our bodies way of telling us that we have been working too hard and it is overly fatigued. Often times the problem with taking a week off (besides the boredom that sets in) is the fact that we tend to overeat when we are out of routine. So in order to keep yourself engaged and not allowing this to lead to a food fest, just make that week a new kind of challenge for yourself. Eat clean for 7 days, try a Shakeology cleanse, or go even longer and give the Ultimate Reset a shot. During your rest you don't only want to rest your muscles, but also revamp your insides too. Make the week about doing the best possible things for your body to repair. This will make your body come back stronger, quicker.

    The second option? Switch it up! I love cardio, and I love lifting weights; however, when it comes time to do both I can easily find excuses why I should slack. Maybe your exercise is stressing you out more? Is your schedule already jam packed? Is this just turning in to one more thing to do? Then switch it up! I find that when I am stressed sticking to a single workout program stresses me out even more. If a workout comes up and I don't care for it (it's too long, etc) then I don't enjoy it when I'm already stressed, so during times of heavy activity I wing it. I go downstairs and look through all of my DVDs and choose the one that fits what I feel like doing at that moment. Or maybe I go for a run instead of doing the DVDs. My muscles are continuously guessing day-to-day what I'm going to be doing with them, keeping my body "on its toes" and keeping my metabolism high.

    If you have reached this plateau and feel like you aren't sure how to get over it, please email me Nik4213@gmail.com so we can talk and bounce ideas off of one another. Also you can check out My Site where there are MULTIPLE options for you to switch it up.

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Jazzed Up Water: Blueberry Vanilla


    I drink water all day long, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t get boring. Instead of reaching for a powder or a shot of pure sugar (or worse, artificial sweetener)-laced water flavoring, do it yourself! It takes 5 minutes and has a whopping 5 calories.  Oh..and it’s delicious!

     

    Ingredients:
    1 cup ice
    ½ cup blueberries
    3 slices fresh lime
    ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
    1¼ cup cold water

    Preparation:
    1. Place ice in tall glass; set aside.
    2. Combine blueberries, lime, and vanilla in large cocktail shaker. Mash well with back of a wooden spoon or muddler.
    3. Stir in water; cover and shake.
    4. Strain into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

    Want more simple recipes like this one? Click here to create a free account and view our extensive library https://www.teambeachbody.com/signup/-/signup/free?referringRepId=128285

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    In Home Weight Lifting Plan


    Have you ever decided that you were going to make a change in your life and head to the gym? Most of us have, and most of these “decisions” come around January 1st. So you get to the gym and you're looking at the machines – it can be intimidating. Things that you pull, things that you push..it can be overwhelming. It is worse as you look at those in the free weight section that clearly know what they are doing as you stand their clueless.

     
    For many of us we are too shy (or proud) to ever ask for help, so we go at it alone. We grab the weights we think we'll “stack up” to the status quo and begin to just do what everyone else is doing. Forget form. What’s form? There’s a form? Before we know it we have either over-worked (or under-worked) our muscles or even worse, sustained an injury.

     
    For those of you guys who want to bulk up (or for you ladies who want to get so incredibly toned you look in the mirror at your own reflection and go “daaaaaaamn”) then let me introduce you to Body Beast.  An in home lifting program designed to help you out in 60 days.  Goodbye confusion, poor form, and the uncomfortable gym….hello simplicity, fun, and results. 

     
    I’ve always wanted to get leaner and gain muscle mass, but I’ve never had any success doing my own program. Getting the nutrition part has been tough, especially since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teenager.

    As I got older, I could tell that I was getting more and more out of shape. That was a problem with my diabetes—and a problem with the way I felt about myself and the way I looked because I just couldn’t seem to lose my body fat.

    So when I heard about Body Beast, I figured that was the answer for me. I’ve always liked lifting weights. And because Body Beast offered me a complete program, it felt like it was something I could really stick to—just follow the plan, no thinking required, right? Shakeology even took care of my nutrition to make it super easy.

    Turns out Beast was the answer. Sagi was awesome. And the program seemed to work my whole body—I got all my cardio from lifting, which is great because I’m not into just doing cardio alone.

    Since completing Body Beast, I’ve lost 9% body fat in a little over 60 days. I’m leaner and stronger. I have more stamina. And I can easily make it through an entire workout without hitting, “pause,” which I couldn’t do when I started. I love that I’m bigger and in better shape.

    But the best came when I showed my doctor my “Before” and “After” photos at my last check-up and he was totally impressed. My A1C (average glucose) over the last 6 months has been right on target and he said that if I continue to eat and exercise like I’ve been doing—I should never have any complications from my diabetes. That made me feel great!


    Are you interested in purchasing Body Beast to try out yourself at home? Visit www.beachbodycoach.com/Nik4213 for all the details and to purchase.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    3 Tips for Crushing an Overwhelming To Do List


    When life hands you multiple tasks to do at once, what do you do? Do you run the other way? Do you put your nose to the grindstone and just “get it over with”? Or maybe you lock yourself in a closet and have a good cry (no judgment). We all handle stress differently, and this past week of my life really had me thinking about the way in which I manage mine.

     
    My life is not simple. I work 50 hours a week at my regular job, do my coaching and other fitness training and meal planning with clients on average another 30 hours during the week, get my daily workouts in (or I would go insane), plus I am a full time graduate student. Life is anything but boring…but at the same time it can get very boring as a social life is limited.

     
    This past week I let the stress get the best of me. I just freaked out, the brain went to a pile of mush, and rather than devising a plan of how to ease the situation – I shut down.   I just shut down, ignored anything that I had to do and did what most girls do best – I went shopping.

     
    Now, here I am on a Sunday night when I could be relaxing trying to make sure that everything I had neglected the past week gets done so that I can start Monday fresh. Had I of just taken 10 minutes to organize my days, this would not be the case and I could be kicking back watching a DVRed episode of Real Housewives (so much better, right!?) 

    Here are my tips to prioritizing your tasks, and knocking them out of the park:

     
    Step 1: Write your shiz down. Anything you have to do during the day, write it down. I even like to write down weekly tasks that I must accomplish, and goals that I would like to achieve. I have a whiteboard in my office where these go and very morning I make sure I look and consider “Where am I with this?”

     

    Step 2: Look for the ugliest, most boring one that you can find. What one do you want to put off the most? Do that first. Get it over with. It’s like a Band Aid…just rip it off.

     
    Step 3: Physically cross things off of your list as you complete them. Believe it or not, this act releases feel good chemicals in your brain helping you to feel accomplished and a bit more excited about accomplishing the rest of your tasks on your list.

     
    Hope this helps! It sure would have helped me to stick with my own advice last week, but you live and learn!



    Want to see my life as it unfolds (along with all the craziness that goes along with it?) follow me on Instagram @Nik4213

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    Why Focus T25 is Awesomesauce

    So for the past week or so, I have been posting on Facebook, Instagram, and on my blog about Shaun T's newest workout Focus T25. This program is seriously so amazing in so many ways.

    You would think that 25 minutes a day would not do much, but Shaun T knows how to work you and when to work you in order for you to achieve maximum results. While some of the movements are more slow and controlled than your typical Insanity movements, they target the muscles to strengthen them and give you the biggest boost in short amounts of time.
    I also want to mention that with any program, this program is what you make of it. If he says, "Punch like you are punching through a wall" and you are doing little wimpy punches, then that's on you .You have to TRY. You have to FOCUS. That's the point :)

    So this week being my first week has been so much easier than weeks past, which is great because my job has had me working late due to things going on there, it is mid term week for school, and I'm trying to pack and clean the house to get ready for vacation. Simplicity (and a glass of wine or two) were DEFINITELY necessary this week in order for me to keep my sanity. Here are some of the ways T25 has helped me simplify my life:

    I have been able to sleep in a bit longer
    I have not had to rush around the house with the fear of "being late", as I have extra time since the workouts are shorter

    I have enjoyed a cup of coffee, every morning with the sun rising and my pups on my patio (my 10 minutes of peace haha)

    I've been able to straighten my hair! and actually DO my make up BEFORE work, rather than in the bathroom at work

    Meal preparation has been so much easier with the extra time I have in the mornings

    I come to work feeling happy as the morning workouts give me a great endorphin boost

    My diet has been more on track due to everything else in life becoming more simple

    Sometimes doing a double, it has helped me relieve any stress that I DID have built up from the workday

    Those are just a few of the ways in which T25 has helped me during this crazy, crazy week. I'm very excited to test it "on the road" as I will be taking it with me to the beach. 25 minutes a day on vacation?! You've got time for that..

    Keep in mind that the challenge pack is only on sale until July 31, 2013; after that it jumps up in price to $205. There is a free gift for my challenge pack purchasers that will help you to speed up your results, too!  Not only will you save money, but you get the full spectrum: Fitness, Nutrition from the 30 day supply of Shakeology, and Support and Accountability from me as your coach. If this sounds like a good deal, head over www.beachbodycoach.com/Nik4213  and click on the link on the right for the T25 Challenge Pack. Have questions? Contact me at nik4213@gmail.com  I'd love to hear from you!


    Monday, July 22, 2013

    Focus T25: Cardio

    Today was my first day tackling Beachbody's newest program, Focus T25. This program was created by Insanity originator, Shaun T and has been said to be "the next big thing".  But is it?

    I just finished Insanity last week. I went through the entire program, so coming into a new program that promises results in only 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week, I was skeptical. I mean, there's no way, right?  Well, that's to be determined but I can tell you that Day 1 was no joke.

    The program starts off just like Insanity does with a gradual increase in your heart rate. Unlike Insanity where Shaun T really pushes you to move, Focus T25 is up to you. It's like the program where you put on your big girl (or boy) pants and decide: Do I want it?

    If you do, you PUSH. You don't go as fast as they go on the television, you go faster. You don't take a breather when you get tired, you push through! And you keep telling yourself, "Just 25 minutes, just 25 minutes". All in all: You Focus.  You focus on your end results that you want. You focus on whatever exercise you are doing during that 30-45 second block, and you focus ONLY on that exercise and cranking it out the best that you possibly can.

    The great thing about this program is it makes the muscles BURN. Woo! Did I feel the burn! But because Shaun T is wonderful, he knows just when to switch it up and focus on a new muscle group. He always knows the perfect time!

    Similar to TurboFire's "Firedrills", T25 Cardio has speed sets as well where you really push yourself for about a minute and a half.  During that time period, you suck it up, and you push forward with more intensity than you have the entire workout. Checking my heart monitor, I was up around 165-178 for the majority of the workout. It said  I had burned about 247 calories, which I think is great first thing in the morning!

    Now, some of you might be saying, "That's not enough calorie burn", okay, so add in something else. It's not like you don't have the time now! Personally, I am going to be pairing my Focus T25 with Les Mills PUMP 3 days a week (Tues, Thurs, Sat) to get some weight training in there and burn a bit additional.

    So have you tried T25 yet? What do you think? Interested in trying? Give me a shout on my e-mail and let's see if it will work for you! www.nik4213@gmail.com

    Friday, July 19, 2013

    Not-So-Terrible Cookies and Cream Milkshake

    I got my inspiration for this recipe from chocolatecoveredkatie.com, one of my FAVORITE blog sites out there. But as I was typing this up, I thought to myself....I wonder if I can make this even BETTER (Sorry, Katie..but I do believe I have)

    The recipe featured on chocolatecoveredkatie.com uses 4 ingredients: milk, Oreos, frozen bananas, and vanilla extract.  Well, I'm pulling the vanilla extract, and adding in your daily dose of dense nutrition!


    8 ounces Unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or rice milk)
    1 packet Vanilla Shakeology
    2 Oreo cookies (she uses 3..I'm using 2 to make myself feel better about the whole thing)
    1/2 frozen banana (optional)

    1/2 scoop protein powder (this can easily be omitted as Shakeology contains 16g on its own)

    Throw all of this good stuff into a blender with some ice and pulse until all of the ingredients are well chopped up. Then blend/puree until you get your milkshake-like consistency. This is sure to be a drink that will not disappoint!

    Note: If you will be using this as a snack, use 1/2 a pack of the Shakeology rather than a full pack.

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    Why Am I Gaining Weight with Insanity?

    One of the most common questions that I get from my friends who are doing Insanity is, "Why am I gaining weight??"

    It's a common question, and before you go to thinking that the program isn't working for you, read on!

    Weight gain is extremely common in the first month of Insanity, regardless of your current fitness level.  New workout programs almost always cause an immediate (yet temporary) increase on the scale. But WHY is this? I mean we just finally decided to take on this beast, and it's not going to work? Ain't nobody got time for that!

    But hold up, wait a minute, let me put an answer in it: When you workout your muscles breakdown and repair themselves. This is how they build up strength and you get stronger.  This is commonly felt by a bit of soreness after a workout, but some people do not experience the soreness at all. As your muscles are reparing themselves they become swollen and retain fluid as the body strives to protect the tissues. This retention of fluid and swelling can cause about a 4 pound weight gain in an average person. This is part of your body going into shock because of the change in activitiy - IT'S OK!

    This phase ends up working itself out as your body gets used to its current new routine, and then little by little the weight will begin to diminish. If you are expecting your excess weight to just drop off like it's no one's business then you are about to get your reality check in 3...2...1...

                                                               *WARNING*SMACKDOWN*WARNING*SMACKDOWN*


    Listen to me: whether you are 100 pounds overweight, or 5 pounds overweight, you did that. You. McDonalds didn't make you gain the weight, you made you gain the weight. You made the decisions that have led you to your current situation.  Remember when you were a kid and you were bad and some consequence usually followed that you didn't like? Well this might be that consequence. You need to work hard. You need to take an honest look at your diet and ask yourself, "Am I eating healthy?" Insanity doesn't make you bulk up. You can tell yourself that excuse as much as you want, but you are "bulking" because of your diet. Point.Blank.Period. And if your diet really does suck, you don't have to shout it out on Facebook, you don't have to admit it to anyone, just make it right.


    LOOK at the nutrition guide that came with your purchase, it was included for a reason! FOLLOW the caloric recommendations (and please don't look and say those are too many calories, because they aren't), TRY the recipes because they really are awesome and do not taste like health food.

    Besides, what does the scale matter anyway? More than the scale you need to take a good hard look at what you have accomplished so far with Insanity. Do you remember your first fit test? How do you compare now, to then? What about the first time you tried doing Level 1 or Level 2 drills? Look at how far you have come! Please take a moment step away from that stupid scale, look in the mirror, and realize the GOOD that you have done for your body just by sticking with it: weight loss or no weight loss.

     The decision that you made to start the program may have possibly been one out of your comfort zone; great job!! There is more to this workout then the shedding of pounds. It changes you both mentally, and physically...on the outside and on the inside. You are doing a wonderful thing here, so before you decide to toss your shoes back in the closet and kick back on the couch with a bag of Lay's, stop and congratulate yourself for a second on what you have accomplished and go push play again. If you quit now, you will never know what you could have accomplished had you of stuck with it. Think about that.

     And I'm not gonna lie...when someone hears of you doing Insanity and sticking with it, they are amazed, and hearing, "Whoa you are doing Insanity!"makes you feel pretty.damn.awesome. Think of the people who already know you are doing it. How is it going to feel when they ask, "So how's Insanity" and you say, "Oh, I quit."  Lame.  Keep up the good work so when they ask you can say, "Kickin' ass and takin' names every day!"
    Need help with Insanity and getting your diet in check? I can do that for you! Contact me or sign up to have me as your free coach here! I'd love to hear from you!

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    "Secrets" of Fit People: Part 2

    Last week I went over 5 "secrets" of fit people, and promised you 5 more to give you 10 awesome secrets that you can start practicing today for a healthier and fitter life.

    Continuing on:

    6) Always carry a water bottle: Water is your go-to drink at any time. Carry a bottle with you, a cute tumbler, something that you can always refill when needed. Often times when we think we are hungry, we are really just thirsty. So sip away! 8 glasses a day should be your goal. At first you might pee all the time (true story), but soon your body will get used to it and those bathroom breaks will become less frequent

    7) Live in the moment of the great feeling you get after finishing a workout: This feeling will keep you coming back for more, and if your workout is challenging enough it will be better than any high you have ever experienced. Seriously, there is no better feeling than an endorphin high. Remember ladies, in the words of our beloved Elle Woods, "Exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't just kill their husbands!" Stay sane ;)

    8) Switch it up: Nothing is worse than when something that once brought you enjoyment starts to bore you. So that this does not happen, be sure that you are always switching up your workouts. Even some of Beachbody's programs can get to be a a little much once you are about 50 days in, so even then...take a day to pop in a different DVD, go for a walk in the woods, or a jog through the park. Not only does it benefit your body to keep it guessing, but it's good for the mind and keeps you entertained and coming back tomorrow for more.

    9) Go SHOPPING! Yes, ladies, I give you permission. Fit people don't reward themselves with food (we are well aware that we aren't dogs), we reward ourselves with nerdy fitness gadgets, clothes, shoes and anything that helps us be even more swag-tastic as we get our sweat on. I am guilty of purchasing tanks that have sassy sayings on them, and if a shoe looks good, I buy it. Not only does this make me feel a bit obligated to workout (because I just spent however much on this stuff), but it's like getting dressed for your first day of school. Couldn't be more excited to show off your new digs.

    10) Learn that a tired body doesn't mean you quit: So many people that I work with begin to feel fatigued, or realize their heart rate has increase, or hear themselves breathing and view that as a sign to scale back with their intensity. It is as if they are going to push themselves too far, but I assure you, you probably will not push yourself to death. Next time you get tired, do a big exhale so you can get some fresh oxygen into your lungs and instead of focusing on how tired you are, keep just saying, "I can, I can, I can" until you reach your goal with the workout. Maybe it's one more mile, or one more rep...whatever it is, just keep repeating "I can" and don't stop until you get there. It's at those points of a workout when you break through those mental barriers that you set up for yourself that you see results, grow stronger, and move into new realms of your workout. So don't quit! Consider it your starting point and hop to! Chop! Chop!

    And those are my secrets! It's nothing you probably didn't already figure out. The question now is, are you going to use any of them? Have any of these worked for you? I want to know! Leave me a message!

    Want my help? Then let me know about it! Make me your free coach here, and let's get this party started!

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    Low Cal Pina Colada

    If you love pina coladas, clap your hands!

    One of my favorite drinks in the summertime and while on vacation is the Pina Colada.  The smooth, pinapply, coconutty icey concoction is definitely a go to drink of mine while I'm at the beach, but WOW are they bad for you!  I definitely reserve these for "vacation only" if I am going to go "all out" with them and just order from the menu. But if the mood strikes you while you are at home, here is a scaled back (but just as delicious) version for you to try:

    1 1/2 ounces Coconut-flavored rum (I prefer Cruzan)

    3 ounces pinapple juice

    4 ounces sparkling water

    1 TBS of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut Lite (found in your grocer's freezer)

    Blend with ice and enjoy!

    You're welcome :)

    OH BUT WAIT! Yes, just wait...I have a Shakeology version of the same thing!!! WHO KNEW!

    1 pack of Vanilla Shakeology
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup 100% pineapple juice
    1/2 tsp. pure coconut abstract

    One of my FAVORITES to have if I am longing for the beach but stuck going into work.