Stop Starving!! How to Eat for a HAPPY BODY!

Ah, January! It’s resolution season! So many seasoned dieters come out of the woodwork with hopes of achieving their dream body. The sad part is, they go about it in all of the wrong ways. Starving themselves, religiously counting calories, beating their bodies to the bone at the gym, with the only result being failure. According to Forbes.com, only about 8% of resolution-ers actually follow through with their Jan 1 goals.

LET ME HELP YOU!

Have a HAPPY body!

Let’s break it down! In order to achieve LONG-TERM success with your weight, you have to give your body what it NEEDS! Happy bodies are full of good food and nutrients. Sad bodies are starving and very tired 🙁 Don’t have a sad body….read on!

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What is a Macronutrient?

Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body need in larger amounts. In order for your body to stay healthy and work FOR you, you need these three nutrients: Proteins/ Carbohydrates and Fats.
Without all three of these nutrients, your body won’t function the way it’s supposed to. These nutrients provide us with energy and are needed for growth, metabolism and overall body function.

Proteins are imperative not only for muscle repair and recovery, but also for weight loss. Foods that are high in protein take longer to digest and metabolize which means you burn more calories processing them and you feel fuller for longer. The body uses more energy to digest protein then it does for carbs or fat. (1)

Examples below for protein sources:
– Meat/ Fish/Poultry-chicken, turkey/ Eggs/ Soy

Carbohydrates provide our body with glucose. Glucose is the major source of energy for most cells in your body–including your brain and muscles. Without glucose, your muscles and brain cannot function properly. The best sources of carbohydrates are the one that are broken down slowly in your body, thus providing energy for a longer period of time. These carbs are unprocessed or minimally processed. (2)

Examples below:
– Whole grains/ Oats/ Quinoa/ Legumes/ Beans/ Chickpea/ Greek Yogurt/ Almond Milk

Fat is necessary for many reasons. Your body needs fat to cushion your organs and keep your body insulated. The fat your body gets from your food, gives your body essential fatty acids (called linoleic and and linolenic). They are called essential b/c your body cannot MAKE them. These fatty acids are crucial for brain development, inflammation and blood clotting. With that being said, there are two types of fats found in foods: saturated and un-saturated. We want to steer clear of the saturated fats ( raises LDL “bad cholesterol”—found in butter, fatty meats, cheeses, creams, fried foods, etc). We do want to eat foods that contain un-saturated fats.(3)

Examples below:
-Avocado/Olive oils/ Nuts–peanuts, almonds

–In today’s society, there are SO many fad diets that eliminate carbohydrates or significantly reduce fat. This leaves the dieter feeling ill, fatigued and without any energy. No wonder!! Your body NEEDS those carbs and fat in order to function properly and work FOR YOU! Stop the endless cycle of restriction, people! It’s not only detrimental to your health, but certainly won’t help achieve long-term success with your weight.

Onto Micronutrients—what are they?

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Micronutrients are the components that your body needs, just in smaller amounts. These come in the form of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are essential for development, disease prevention, increasing immunity, repairing muscle tissue and overall well-being. Most are not made from your body, so they MUST come from your FOOD! (4)

Examples of micronutrients below:
– Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamin.
—You can get most micronutients with a diet full of leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats, other nutrient-rich foods.

So, now that I have bombarded your brain with all that information, where do you go from here? Creating a healthy meal plan is all about balance! Getting enough of both macro and micronutrients and can be tricky, but it’s all trial and error.

Here are a few tips to creating your own plan!

– Breakfast is a must! Eating close to the time of waking can help kick-start your metabolism. When you skip it, your body is essentially “fasting” so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight. Choose a breakfast high in protein/carbs to start your day off on the right foot! (5)

– Eat every 2-3 hours Aside from your 3 basic meals, add in 2 snacks during your day to keep your metabolism cranking! Your body is a machine…keep it fueled to run efficiently! Choose snacks like celery and peanut butter/ Red pepper and hummus/ Greek yogurt with granola/ Apple and handful of raw almonds—the possibilities are endless! Just make sure there is a protein element and your are steering clear of sugars/saturated fats. Veggies and whole grains are the way to go when pairing.

– Don’t forget to drink….WATER that is! – At the very minimum, get your 64oz in and say no to sugar/energy drinks!

– If you’re on-the-go, don’t skip a meal! There is another option! Don’t let yourself starve b/c of your busy days (let’s face it, we’re ALL busy). A protein shake can be a great option when time is limited. Choosing a whey or soy protein powder that is low in sugar(less than 5g) and pairing it with almond milk and water can be a great option

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– Prepare as much as you can before– I will shout this one until my face turns blue! BE PREPARED! Chop up vegetables/fruits, grill or bake lean meats,etc. Do whatever you can to help yourself be successful during the week. I promise….this tip will be the most helpful!

**Overall, when trying to eat cleaner and lose a few lbs or just get healthier, balance and moderation are the way to do it. If you feel like you’re missing something (carbs/fats/etc) or you are always hungry, your body is trying to tell you something! Give it what it needs and I know it will work for you instead of against you. Finding what works for YOUR body will help you feel better and look better from the inside out. Happy body, happy mind, happy life.**

Contact me for more info on personalized meal plan/ workouts. I have clients all over the nation!


(1) Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004; 23:373–85.
(2) http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/
(3) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000104.htm
(4) http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/nutrition/improve-your-health-with-micronutrients.html
(5)http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-eat-breakfast?page=2

A Day in the Life of my Remote Clients!

I’m sure you have heard me talk about my “remote coaching” and wondered what in the world I was talking about!! Let’s dive deeper and I will explain!

When I started Kelli’s Lean Body Coaching almost 2 years ago, I wanted to help as many people as I could get healthy and feel great about their body. I started strictly in-home training, grew it into in-home and studio training and realized I could be helping people not only in MI, but all over the US! Alas, my remote coaching was born!

I realized what most people need in order to be successful is accountability. If they know that they have someone to “answer” to at the end of every week and someone always looking out for their progress, the chances of success are MUCH higher! So to break down my remote program: I send an initial assessment to get to know the client a bit more and from there, they are emailed their meal plan on the following Saturday and all workouts on Sundays. Each program is 12 weeks long with 3 different variations; 2 workouts/week, 3 workouts/week or 4 workouts/week. They choose which variation works best for them and we get started! Every Saturday is “check-in” day where they have a set of questions to answer and a picture to submit. The picture tells me how compliant they were and how their body is responding to the meal plan and workouts. From there, we modify where we need to. There are no two workouts that are the same. I try my hardest to switch things us and keep their bodies guessing at all times! I am SO proud of all of my remote clients and their progress each week continues to blow me away!

 

Below is a sample workout, similar to what a remote client of mine would get via email. Try it out and tell me what you think!!

This is a full body workout…weights needed 🙂 Alternate “A” and “B” for each set and complete 3x through before going onto the next set.
***Each weight suggestion is just that….a SUGGESTION. Listen to your own body and take it up/down where needed.

Warm up—10 mins on cardio machine of your choice

1A. Squat, curl with punches at the end. 5 lbs weights.
Weights are held at your chest. You squat down and and as you do you curl. When you stand up, you extend your arms back down. On the last rep of each set, you will HOLD the squat and do 10 punches in each direction. Punch your R arm across your body to the L side and visa versa. (3rd pic shows the punches) J12 reps

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1B. Weight pass. 1, 5lb weight.
Start with your feet together. Step back in a lunge with your left leg, as you do, pass the weight under your right leg from your right hand to your left hand. Stand up. Step back with you right leg and pass the weight under your left leg from your left hand to right hand. TIP: Hold the weight at the very end so it’s easier to pass J Do NOT use your back…go down lower with your legs to pass the weight.20 reps total (10 passes per leg)

2A. Wide squat hold with “sunshines”. 5 lb weights.
Come down in a wide squat (toes point out) Face your palms forward. Lead with your thumbs and draw a big circle with your arms ending at the top where your weights will touch (thumbs touching at top). Come back down the same way. Stay in the squat the whole time. 10 reps

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2B. 21’s 8lb weights

  • 7 reps- All the way down to half way up (90 degree bend in arm at the top of the motion)
  • 7 reps – From the top, stopping halfway down
  • 7 reps- Full bicep curl

Shoulder series. Make sure you RELAX your neck .Stop the weights at shoulder height. If you have to drop down to 3lbs…drop down. Listen to your body!
 

3A. Basic front raise 5lbs- 10 reps
 

3B. Basic side (lateral) raise. 5 lbs- 10 reps
 

3C. Combo with a hold! Side raise-to –front raise- to side raise hold for 5 SEC. So it’s side, front, side and HOLD, then drop. 8 reps
 

4A. Calf raises 3 ways—holding 10lb weights in each hand

  • Toes front—20 reps
  • Turned in-  20 reps
  • Turned out- 20 reps

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Try not to set your heel down all the way…keep the muscle active the whole time!


lungepressfull4B. One arm shoulder press with lunge. 5lb or 8lb weight. Start with your L foot foward and R foot back. The weight is in your R hand. Bend your arm at 90 degrees. Lunge down and as you come up, press your arm to the ceiling. 10 reps on each side.
 


5A. 1 leg kneeling push-up. On your hands and knees, extend your Right leg back, attach your left foot to your right knee. You are going to shift all of your weight forward and come down in a push-up. At the bottom of the motion, your extended right leg will be up high. 10 reps per leg. (shown is the bottom of the motion)
 
1legpushup

5B. Push-up with heel lift. In a push-up position (hands and toes) cross your R foot over your left. Come down into a push-up and as you come up, lift your R foot up a couple of inches. Set it back down and repeat for 8 on each side.

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Ab series! Each exercise will be 15 crunches with 10 pulses at the end. So you will hold at the top of the motion on your last crunch and pulse from there! Make sure when you crunch, your CHIN is going to the ceiling…never pull your neck forward!

  • A. Basic crunch–feet down
  • B. Table top crunch–legs bent at 90 degrees.
  • C. Extended legs–legs are extended all the way  up! You are crunching towards your toes!

Enjoying your Social Life while Keeping your Diet in Check!

Spring is officially here!!! Finally!!!

418707_10101807532447303_2064166252_nWarm weather, activities outside and {my favorite} outdoor patio dining!! There is nothing better than eating outside with great company and enjoying a cold drink! This time of year restaurants are starting to open there patios and we can finally eat outside…now all we need is the weather to cooperate! As fun as eating out with friends and enjoying great food can be, it can also be tough on the waistline. I have compiled a list tips on how to still enjoy your social life while keeping your diet in check! After all….that’s what life is all about, moderation and still enjoying some indulgences every once in awhile!

Look at the menu before you go
– Checking out what’s on the menu before you go is an easy way to ensure a good {diet-friendly} choice! If you arrive to the restaurant starving without have looked at the menu, the chances of you choosing something healthy is slim. If you make your choice before you go it’s much easier. Every restaurant is going to have some sort of lean protein and vegetable option. Make your own salad places are my fav because it let’s you be in control of what you’re eating! Know before you go!

Ask for a to-go box right when they bring out your food
– We all know American portions are out of control! More times than not, a restaurant is going to give you a serving for at least 2 people. Asking for a to-go box not only lets you give yourself the correct portion, but gives you a second meal for the next day! Bonus!


girlsWater, water, water!

– We all forgot about water when there is a nice glass of chardonnay in front of us {guilty!} Make sure when you are eating your meal, you are drinking water. This will help to prevent over-eating and water helps with your food digestion…something alcohol can’t do.


Be picky!
– If you are in the food service industry, you will probably kill me for this one! {Sorry!} When ordering, be as picky as you want! If you don’t want your broccoli slathered in butter or your chicken fried, then say something! You are the one paying for the meal! Always ask how things are prepared before confirming your choice. Be specific about how you would like your things cooked and what you would like omitted {and make sure to leave a good tip 😉 } There is nothing wrong with knowing what you want!

Slash the calories…..Make a spritzer out of it!!
– This is one of my favorite tips! I love me some champagne, but know that I need to limit myself when watching my figure. Instead of a full glass of champagne {or white wine}, add a flavored seltzer to it! Most bars/restaurants have flavored seltzers, just ask! Its a great way to be social, enjoy your drink with half the calories!


576998_10102491883252804_526842573_nIndulge a little if you want to!

– If your friends are up for dessert…don’t be the odd man out! Enjoy 2 bites and be done with it! Taking a couple of bites of chocolate cake or whatever it may be will certainly not ruin your diet. Allowing yourself to taste can actually be helpful in reducing sweet cravings. So go ahead and enjoy and move on! J

Get movin’!
– Instead of just getting in your car and going home after your meal, take a walk! Walking after you eat not only helps burn calories {duh!}, but aids in digesting your food and can help regulate your blood sugar. So take 10-15 mins and stroll around a bit before going home. Enjoy the fresh air and warm spring weather!

Spring and Summer are all about enjoying great memories in warm weather with family and friends! As long as you are conscience of most decisions, it shouldn’t deter you from making progress with your health goals. Keep consistent, enjoy a few indulgences and have fun!

Accountability At Its Finest…MY Progress Pics!

Well….Here goes nothing!

I was dreadfully trying on bathing suits yesterday and a light bulb came on! With all of the clients I work with, I require them to send me a “progress pic” and weigh-in every week. This way, they can SEE changes in their bodies and not just focus on the what the scale says. It’s well known that muscle weights more than fat, so it’s important to see how body composition can change as muscle increases and fat decreases. This concept is especially hard for women to understand, but I am working everyday to change that!

I got to thinking…..I really need to put my money where my mouth is! I preach all the time to my clients about their photos and they always begrudgingly send them and subject them selves to criticism (which is ALWAYS constructive…and nice). They put themselves in a vulnerable position, and I really appreciate the trust they have with me. I am posting today, to let ALL of my clients (in person and remote–present and future) know that I am not a “do as I say and not as I do” kind of coachI am right there with each and every one of them on this journey and I know how hard it is! I really do work my booty off everyday to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

Just like everyone else, I need the accountability as well. I am a normal human being (most of the time) and I need to SEE changes and not worry about what the scale says. I have good days and hard days with eating and although working out is my therapy, sometimes I need a kick-in-the-pants to get there! We are all on the SAME journey!

So………..today I show you MY personal progress picture (eeekk). I want to stress to you that my “before”  and my “now” are the SAME WEIGHT (give or take 1-2lbs depending on the time of day,etc). 


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The picture on the left (in the middle of summer, hence the tan) was taken 2 years ago before I decided to get serious about my eating and working out. I was a cardio bunny and lifted every once in a while and was very strict about calories. The picture on the right (in a bathing suit I did NOT purchase) was yesterday. I lift 5 days/week, do 1 day of cardio and eat  A LOT! I just eat the right things. I am a work in progress. I am constantly looking to improve myself and absolutely love the journey I am on. I feel stronger, leaner and healthier everyday.

Join me!! Go on this journey with me and find YOUR best self in 2014!!

Drive and Motivation!

I’ve written about motivation before and how to STAY motivated…but let’s dive a little deeper.

Where do I find my motivation? Why do I lose my motivation? What REALLY drives me to get out of bed in the AM?

snowThese are some probing questions I hear from clients ALL the time! We (myself included) are all guilty of losing motivation every once in awhile; whether it’s motivation to workout, motivation to eat healthy or just plain ‘ol motivation in our everyday lives. This time of year, especially, the shiny new resolutions have lost their luster and lack of drive starts to set in. It’s not quite Spring yet, definitely not summer…it’s the DEAD OF WINTER. Getting out of bed sometime seems like an accomplishment all on its own when it’s -10 degrees out! This is the PERFECT time of year to re-visit your goals and stay MOTIVATED! Who’s with me??


How do re-motivate ourselves?
For me, it all goes back to my goals. “Why am I doing this in the first place?” is the questions I ask myself constantly. I have to remind myself of why it is that I started a particular goal. I have to force myself back in the place of excitement when I first made the goal AND think about how I will feel after my goal is accomplished. I know how great it will feel…so I must KEEP GOING! Figure out your “Why”!


How do we avoid losing motivation in the first place?

dowhatyoulovePassion has a lot to do with motivation. If you are passionate about what you are doing (work, life, healthy living, etc) you will avoid “slumps” much more easily. If you are constantly doing what you are truly passionate about, why would you want to stop? You wouldn’t! Find your passion and GO FOR IT!

Switch up your routine every once in awhile! While it’s nice to form habits and get up at the same time everyday and do the exact same thing until it’s Friday and you can finally “let loose” it’s also nice to add a lil’ spice! Maybe you get some gym time in before work or you get up a little earlier to make yourself something great for breakfast…whatever it is, change it up a little! Find little things during your week that make you excited for your day.


What is it that makes motivation go away?
Maybe you’re bored of routine or maybe you are scared to try something new or maybe you really don’t know what the next step is. All of things are totally normal, but only YOU have the power to change them. We are all controllers of our own destiny. You control your happiness and success…CHOOSE to be happy!

Enlist in the help of a friend or your spouse and tell them your very specific goals that you are working towards. This person can play a key role in helping you reach your goals. I have mentioned accountability before but I cannot stress enough how important it is! In every aspect of life, it’s much easier when we are held accountable. Do whatever you need to do to keep your goals in the fore front of your mind!


Once motivation has returned, how do we get it to stay there?

unnamed (2)Once you are back in that “ah-ha” moment, STAY THERE! (I know, easier said than done!) Reward yourself for small successes to keep yourself on the right track. Everyone needs that “carrot” in front of them to keep going…find out what yours is. Make smaller, more attainable goals first. Reaching those small goals will in fact add up to your larger goal…so, stick with it, consistency is key!

Lastly, stay POSITIVE! Negativity never ends well, nor will it get you any closer to your goal (plus, no one likes a “Negative Nelly”). There is positive in every situation. Positivity equals power!


As always, I am here for you! I know what it’s like to lose motivation, find it and lose it again! We are all in this together…. I am happy to help!!!

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2014… A New Year, New You, New ME!

Happy New Year Fit Friends!!!

I never post about anything personal (there is a reason for that) but I thought I would share some of my own thoughts and goals for the upcoming New Year. (throughout the blog I have just a couple of my favorite memories from the past year—it was hard to choose!)

I like to keep my blog pretty informative about health and fitness and overall wellness, but I do realize that any sort of heath journey can be emotional. Whether your goal is to lose weight or lose body fat or tone up, it can weigh on your emotional well-being and can get to your head pretty quickly.

blogpic1Most of my closest friends know that I struggled with an eating disorder for much of my young adult life. I had always been conscious of my weight and my body but it started to get unhealthy. Everything took a turn for the worse when I started college. All of the external changes around me made me feel “out of control” so I turned to the one thing that I could control….my body. I restricted myself from eating and forced myself to fit in 2 workouts/day. I was miserable. My otherwise happy/carefree demeanor was gone. I learned to “put a face on” and get through most of my days that way. I was a shell of what I wanted to be. After about 7 years (and a lot of therapy) I was starting to feel like myself again. I was able to find happiness in my friends, my family and my husband. And I could look at food not only as fuel for my body but actually as something that tasted good! I was enjoying life again like I knew I could. For any of you who have struggled with disordered eating, you know it’s not fixed overnight. It’s a constant inner battle and some days are good and others are pretty challenging. I am incredibly fortunate to have support from those who love me and I couldn’t get through anything without them.

Through this journey I have learned to love my body for what it is and am constantly working at bettering myself. It’s no longer about being skinny, it’s about being STRONG and keeping myself healthy.


blogpic12In this day and age it’s SO hard not to compare yourself to others…especially other women. It’s almost impossible! The competition to keep up with others can be brutal! In a profession where your “body is your billboard” I often feel extra pressure to keep up. After all, people tend to hire trainers whom they wish to look like. After a lot of soul searching and conversations with some incredible women over the years, I have realized there is SO much more to life than that. Obviously, this is a lesson we already know…but LIVING it is totally different. It’s not about what size you are or what the scale says….its about how you FEEL. Your body is your temple and you only get ONE!


So here’s where the resolutions come in…….

blogpic5-I want us women to EMBRACE our DIFFERENCES and SUPPORT each other instead of COMPARE each other. We are all wired so differently and God has made each of us special in our own ways. I have found with clients, friends, (and with myself) you will LOOK your best when you FEEL your best. Healthy eating/living and regular workouts are wonderful for not only the OUTSIDE, but the INSIDE as well. Yo-yo dieting and restricting and working to exhaustion will only leave you tired, cranky and miserable with yourself. Not to mention, you probably won’t look your best! Stop trying to look like someone else and start wanting to look like YOUR best self.


blogpiv37-Everyday think about all the things you are grateful for. It’s a crazy world out there, but at the end of the day I have a family that will never stop supporting me, friends who loves me, a husband who adores me and a career I could have only dreamed of. What more do I really need from life?! Be grateful

-Set realistic goals for yourself and STICK to them! It’s amazing how gratifying is is to achieve something you have always wanted to do. In 2012 I competed in my first fitness competition. Given my past, the thought of putting on a bikini in front of hundreds of people and terrible lighting was PETRIFYING. But, I set my mind to it, trained hard for 3months and DID it. Was I the best looking physique there? Heck no! But I felt amazing!

blogpic35I had set a goal (one that I wanted to quit several times) and I stepped onto that stage oozing with confidence. I heard my support system screaming in the audience and knew that I was good enough. Good enough for them and FINALLY good enough for myself. So do something in 2014 that scares you! The feeling afterward is one that can’t be replicated.


-If you’re unhappy in ANY aspect of your life…..change it!! Whether it’s your relationship, a friendship, your career, etc. If you don’t like where it’s going or it doesn’t make you a better person, for heaven sakes, do something about it! Leaving the corporate world of working for someone else and getting a steady paycheck for the unpredictable world of working for yourself was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not to mention, one of the things I am most proud of. It is not only freeing, but so incredibly satisfying. My career is so important to me and I don’t think the passion I feel for helping others love their bodies will ever go away! I encourage you to find something you LOVE to do too! Life is too short!
 
blogpic27-Leave your judgments at the door. We are all guilty (me included) of being judgmental. Let’s all try to replace judgments with support. The world is already harsh enough, no need to add to it! Reach out to those who are struggling, keep your friends extra close, cherish every relationship you have and try to be your best self this year!

-And last but not least….just BE HAPPY


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Whatever happiness means to you….do it! Keep doing the things that make you feel good and cut the things out of your life that don’t. Try your hardest at everything you do and never give up on yourself. You are worth it…I am worth it…we are all worth true, unconditional happiness.

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These are a few of my own personal resolutions, join me! Let’s try to make 2014 the best year yet!

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XOXO
Kelli 🙂

Gym? Not Necessary! Get Real Results from HOME!

This HOT new mom is one of my very FAVORITE clients not only because she works HARD, but because she never gives up. She is such an inspiration and a testament to how effective at-home workouts can be! 

Jomariepost1

Below is an example of one of her workouts!All you need is a pair of 5lb (or 8lb) weights 🙂 

Let’s get started!!!

Alternate A and B and complete each set 3x through. 

Warm-up! Screamers! 
One side at at time. These are done FAST. Start in a lunge position, quickly bring your knee to your chest and back down. The leg that ISN’T moving stays low in the lunge. It may take a second to get your balance, but once you do pick up your pace! 20 screamers per leg. Complete 3X through

screamerscreamer2

 


Legs
1A. Step back lunge with knee up. Stay on one leg at a time and complete 15 reps per leg. If you want added resistance, hold 5lb weights in each hand

fit2bfit2a



1B. 3-pulse squats. (no picture shown) Foot stance is hip distance apart. When you squat, make sure your weight is in you HEELS and you cannot see your toes! 3 pulses at the bottom of the squat and come back up. 20 reps

Biceps
2A. Basic bicep curl (5lbs or 8 lbs)—15 reps

bicep

 

2B. Hammer curl (5lbs or 8lbs) —15 reps (palms face IN)

hammer

 

2C. Wide curls (5lbs or 8lbs)—15 reps (make sure to keep your elbows dug into the side of your body)-15 reps

wide

Full body/Shoulders

3A. Plank-to-push up–start in a plank position (on forearms and toes) “walk” yourself up to a push-up position. 10 total (Up, up, down, down is one rep)

plank1push-up


3B. Renegade row (5lb or 8lb weight). Start in push-up position. Place one hand in the center of your body (think of making a triangle with your hand and 2 feet). Grab your weight and do a row. Keep your elbow close to the side of your body and your hips square to the floor the whole time.10 rows per arm.

fit3a

4A. Plank with heel lifts. Start in plank position. Concentrate on one side at a time (on the 3rd set you can alternate). Lift your heel up to the ceiling. Consciously SQUEEZE your abs so you don’t feel anything in your low back.  10 reps per side. 

plank

4B. Kneeling arnold press. (5lbs or 8lbs). Palms face you at the bottom of the movement and out at the top of the movement. 12 reps

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Mountain climber series

5A. Basic mountain climbers. Try to do these as fast as you can! Keep those abs tight! 20 total (10 each)

push-up (1)mountain climber



5B. Modified mountain climber. These are done SLOW. Start just like a normal mountain climber only this time when you bring your knee in you will bring it into the CENTER first, then across to the OPPOSITE elbow, then to the SAME elbow, then back down.  (Ex. if you start with your right side you will bring your right knee into the center, across to the left elbow, across to the right elbow and back down) Alternate legs. 10 each leg.
 

Good luck!!! Have fun and let me know if you have ANY questions!

Don’t Let the Holiday Season Weigh you Down! (literally!)

With the first snow fall and the weather dropping, we all know the holidays are FAST approaching! Before we know it, the new year will be here!

Although I love, love the holidays, I also know the struggle my clients and others go through to stay on track and stick to their programs! With all the wonderful dips and desserts and yummy cocktails, sometimes it’s just too hard. The gym gets left behind as the big sweatpants and coats come out! I totally get it. The holidays are the time to spend with friends and family and indulge a little.

I’m here to remind you that you CAN stay on track while enjoying your holidays! You can go into the New Year with a clear conscious that you don’t have any “making up” to do! Here are some tips for a guilt-free holiday!

 

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1. Eat BEFORE the party (a “pre-eat” as my husband calls it)

Going to any holiday or cocktail party hungry can be disastrous for your waistline. Think about the MAIN reason you are actually there….to spend time with friends/family….not to eat! Eat your normal meal/snack before you go so you don’t show up starving.  Enjoy tasting the delicious selections at the party and move on! A little bit of everything is much better than a lot of one thing (unless it’s veggies which is typically not the case!) Grab the cocktail of your choosing (a wine spritzer or vodka drink is typically your best bet) and ENJOY the company of your loved ones.

 

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2. Get your gym time in BEFORE the holiday festivities.
Getting your normal workout in before all the fun starts is going to ensure that it’s actually done and you’re not even letting yourself procrastinate. The “oh I will just go after” most often times doesn’t happen (we are ALL guilty of that). Also, after your workout your cravings change and typically the sweeter/heavier things are not what you will reach for. Go for any veggies or high protein dishes and chances are, you will be filled up and satisfied 🙂


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3. Enlist a friend/sibling/parent to join you for a workout

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, a workout buddy is SUCH a great tool! Accountability is everything when it comes to weight management. If you two sign up for a class together or have a meeting time at the gym, chances are much higher of actually doing it than if you did it alone.


4. Pick one outfit and stick to it!!!
Now I know this one sounds silly, but I hear WAY too often, people bringing an extra set of clothes (pajamas) to the homes of their loved ones to change into after they eat. As a health professional, this makes me cringe!! You are going to changes into larger clothing for your expanding waistline as you eat?!! That just sounds crazy! You know your comfort level in terms of when you are getting full and when you aren’t. Listen to your body just as if it was a normal day and don’t over do it. Enjoy, but don’t overindulge.

5. ENJOY your time with your loved ones
That’s what this season is really all about right?! Not the food or the drinks or the desserts…it’s about being together. Cherish this time of year without compromising the goals you set out beforehand. Stick the course and go into 2014 better than ever!

You can do it!! Happy holiday season!!! God bless!

xoxo

Motivation

According to Wikipedia: Motivation is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits,controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors. It can be considered a driving force; a psychological one that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal.

So often I find that when the weather starts to get colder and the darkness sets in faster, my clients lose their motivation! So where can we find our “driving force” for working out and being healthy in the chilly  winter months?! How can we stay “goal-oriented” when it’s so miserable out and we can easily wear baggy clothes?!

Here are a few tips to keep your motivation high and your enthusiasm rockin’ through the winter!

1. Take progress pictures
This is one of the easiest (and my personal favorite) ways to hold your own self accountable! It’s far too easy to hide behind clothing in the winter. Taking weekly progress pics allows you to see changes (good AND bad) in your body and adjust your routine accordingly. After all, the scale only paints one picture….it’s the actual picture that can show amazing changes in body composition/muscle mass/ and body fat! Don’t be shy, snap away!!

2. Set monthly goals
If you actually write down a specific goal and tell others about what you are trying to achieve  you are much more likely to reach that goal! Whether the goal is to lose five lbs or make it to the gym consistently 4x/week or even to add a vegetable to your dinner every evening. Whatever the goal maybe be (big or small), write it down and challenge yourself to set a new goal at the beginning of every month.

.Keep your favorite picture of yourself in plain view
 It doesn’t matter what you are wearing in the picture, typically your favorites are ones where you FELT the best and had the most confidence. If the picture is out all the time (bathroom mirror, refrigerator,etc) then you are reminded constantly that you CAN do it and you CAN achieve your health goals and feel great about yourself. This is another wonderful tool in holding yourself accountable.

4.Find a buddy!
– Having a friend to workout with or eat healthier with is such an amazing way for both of you to succeed! You can motivate each other and help hold each other accountable for staying on track. Let’s face it, we all have times when we would rather sit on the couch than go to the gym, if you have a buddy that has the same goals, chances are this lack of motivation won’t occur at the same time! Partner up and succeed together!

Just think of how proud you will be when Spring/Summer rolls around and you ALREADY have the body you want!! Make it about the lifestyle change…not just the short term rewards! You CAN do it!!!

xoxo

Don’t Let Your Summer Abs Turn to Fall Flab! 5 De-Bloating foods You Need to Put into Your Diet!

5 Foods You Need to Be Eating to Keep the Bloat (and weight) Down!

We’ve all experienced it….the dreaded BLOAT. Whether it’s from over-indulging at the dessert table or maybe enjoy a few too many cocktails, bloating is no fun! Below are my top 5 foods that will help to de-bloat so when Fall comes, those jeans will fit like new!

To keep your tummy looking lean and your digestive tract running smoothly, it’s important to eat slowly and drink lots of water. Staying active and exercising are also important for preventing bloating.

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Asparagus — natures best natural diuretic. This wonderful green will help flush out any excess fluid you may be carrying around. Asparagus helps ease gas buildup and has many probiotic properties.

Dandelion/Dandelion root- Recognized as being rich in nutrients, dandelions were ranked as one of the top four veggies in overall nutritional value by the USDA. This common “weed” has the ability to release excess water and gas. Two for one! It can be taken in a pill form, tea form or just put into salad!

Coconut_WaterCoconut water–this refreshing beverage is high in potassium which is a powerful aid in bloat reduction. Potassium naturally flushes out any excess sodium from the body. You can find coconut water just about anywhere and it comes in several different flavors. Bottoms up!

 

Fennel–  For fast relief, add some fennel seeds to your protein shake or salad or enjoy a cup of fennel tea. The compounds found in fennel help relax the muscles in your digestive tract and allow trapped gas to pass!

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Avocado –  Aside from the good fats found in avocado, these tasty fruits are also very high in potassium! Eating 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado a day will help keep your digestive tract happy and your waist slim!

 


Have a happy,healthy, bloat-free month!!!