BIG NEWS Week #2: Nutrition Boot Camps

Welcome to your big news round 2 for this week.

Nutrition Boot Camp was introduced earlier this year as a way to make nutrition science and education more readily available to everyone, not just the people who can afford a personal nutritionist.

So, with 2015 on the horizon I have spent time putting together 3 different Nutrition Boot Camps to suit just about any nutrition need. ALL camps are on SALE for $100 OFF until December 31, so find the one that works where you are NOW and get signed up to start!

Next Level Nutrition Boot Camp

food log

This camp is for fitness enthusiasts and those who hit the gym regularly but just aren’t getting the results you want. How can NBC change that?

  • You’ll learn the science behind macros and IIFYM and flexible dieting
  • You’ll learn the importance of meal tracking and planning as well as the how-to on getting it done
  • You’ll learn how nutrition plays a large role in recovery
  • We’ll go over the mind/muscle connection, aesthetic vs. strength lifts, vacation and traveling, plus rebuilding a broken metabolism

Sound like just what you need? Sign up today!

 



 

 

Family Health Nutrition Boot Camp

Christmas Muscles 2013

Whether you’re struggling to get your kids to eat healthy OR trying to get your spouse on board, this nutrition boot camp will help you cut through the foggy theories and recognize the science that works with the human body.

This NBC will help families to:

  • Learn how to prevent pre-diabetes, teen onset diabetes, and type 2 diabetes
  • We will learn tips and tricks for family meals
  • You’ll learn family recipes and ways to remake common comfort foods healthier
  • We’ll discuss metabolic syndrome and healthy ways to heal
  • You’ll learn to integrate daily movement and make health accessible and fun for all ages
  • We’ll discuss nutrition and wellness for any budget

Are you and your family struggling to feel your healthiest? Sign up today and get started on the path to real health!



 

 

The First Step Nutrition Boot Camp

nutrition

Are you in need of losing weight? I’m talking real weight loss here: 50, 60, even over 100 pounds? Have you been told that you can’t do it without surgery? STOP AND READ! I promise you that it can be done….just not alone.

The First Step NBC will:

  • Teach you nutrient science
  • Teach you how to set achievable goals
  • Help you make the mind/food connection
  • Pinpoint possible emotional triggers
  • Integrate daily movement habits
  • Teach you to recognize FAD diets and nutrition theory
  • Teach you HOW to grocery shop, list and meal plan your way to LASTING success
  • Teach how to implement a healthy reward system
  • Tips and tricks to continue onward

Don’t fall for people telling you it can’t be done….it has been done! And if others can do it, so can you! Sign up NOW!



 

ALL camps are 3 months of education, motivation and support.

BIG NEWS Week #1: Baytown Boot Camp

Disclaimer: if you don’t live in or near Baytown, keep coming back this week as I do have news for YOU as well! I’m also working hard on filming new videos for my YouTube channel :)

Ashampoo_Snap_2012.01.30_17h17m47s_009_

Hey Baytownians! Boot Camp is coming back to your backyard this January! Read below for all the deets:

Basic Training Boot Camp

Start Date: Monday, January 5th, 2015

End Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Days: Monday through Thursday evenings

Time: 7:30-8:30 (I’m going to aim to close out class by 8:15 most nights, but leave extra time for questions/concerns)

Space: Bayway Cross Fit 7210 Bayway Drive, Baytown 77520

Contact: In order to sign up for this session you will need to email Asa at asa@baywaycrossfit.com

Cost: $250

What do you get?

Six weeks of back-to-basics training built around science. You will learn how to move your own body and get the results you want for life. You will also be lead by an industry expert, weight loss success story, figure competitor and sponsored athlete…AKA: me :)

Nutritional Support: You will have the option (free of charge) to receive a 6 week meal plan, complete snack list, food substitutions as well as grocery lists and recipes. All of this will help to expedite your results and keep your body on track.

What should you expect?

The first night will be measurements and biomechanics. We’ll go over proper form in some of the most highly utilized, yet wrongly executed, movements during boot camp. Your safety is of the utmost concern.

How do you snag a spot (they are LIMITED)? Email Asa to get on the list, but it is first paid, first in the line.

Questions:

Is this a Cross Fit Boot Camp?

No. This boot camp is designed primarily for body fat loss and lean muscle gain. I am not certified in Cross Fit and will not be taking you through any Cross Fit style workouts. IF you are interested in Cross Fit, the guys there will be happy to answer questions :)

Do I have to already be exercising?

Not really, but I will be honest and tell you that walking at the least will help to start your engines and get you ready.

Is it open to all levels of fitness?

Yep. I don’t discriminate on fitness levels OR on how much or little weight you want to lose. ALL movements can be modified to your current fitness level and I assure you that your safety, not your pants size, is my number one concern.

What about soreness?

We’ve all heard of people who go to a boot camp and can’t walk the next day. It is never my intention to render you fully useless! Different bodies hold soreness different ways and this will be addressed in 2 ways this camp. 1) There is a built in recovery workout each week. 2) We will discuss nutrition, supplementation and movement to aid in recovery of muscle tissue.

What will I need to bring?

Water, a towel, some aminos (we’ll discuss that the first week), etc. On Thursdays (recovery workout) you will need a yoga mat and you’ll thank yourself for bringing a yoga block as well.

What do I wear?

Comfortable clothing that you can move in works best. Make sure it breathes well! If you’re new to working out, please don’t wear sweats. You can overheat even on cold days. Ladies, make sure you have a bra that supports you during movement. I could care LESS how it looks, just make sure that you can move to the maximum amount of your ability and not be hindered by poor wardrobe choice…..you can look cute later.

Any other questions? Feel free to contact me through this site.

Want in?

Basic Training Boot Camp was already open to a private list and is about 1/3 full, so you’d better contact ASA now!

 

 

What’s SUPP with that? The Beginner Guide to Supplements

Hello again! Today, we’re tackling pill-popping, so strap in for a long ride :)

As a supplementation specialist (cert DotFit via NASM) I have found that supplements are often the most widely misunderstood and misused health and fitness tools. SO….it’s only fair if I impart some supplementation knowledge so YOU can see results. Don’t get overwhelmed! We’ll only be tackling a few supps per post. This inaugural post will cover the BASICS and a very special supplement you may need to add.

Ready for some SUPP knowledge? Let’s get to it!

BB.comsupps

SUPPLEMENTS 101

These seemingly small things can cause mass confusion in the health and fitness world. It’s confusing when you walk into a supplements super store, chain store, or even the pharmacy aisle at your local grocer. The MAIN question you need to ask yourself is “What is it I NEED?”.

Your supplementation needs should coincide with your current health and fitness as well as your goals. Chances are, you don’t NEED most of what is on the shelves. For our purposes, we’ll talk about what the average person (beginning or intermediate exerciser) would need to add to their current diet. As we move forward, I must make this very clear: Supplements are meant to supplement a healthy diet……say that 4 times fast. Seriously, don’t rely on pills and powders for health. The supplements you choose should better your health, not confuse the crud out of your body and have you popping more pills than an addict….

Supps1

What do we need?

The basics are, well, pretty basic. Check it out:

  1. A whole foods based multi-vitamin. These need to be high quality and capsules are better than horse pills. The one I’m REALLY digging right now is Jaime Eason’s Lean Body for Her Multi. Beverly International Fit Tabs are also very high quality. MOST multi-vitamins are going to contain a bit more than you need, but your body is a highly efficient waste management system and will excrete the extra goodies. Just remember, more is not always better. Multi-vitamins are intended to fill the micronutrients gaps we have in our diet due to stress, poor food choices and/or poor assimilation.
  2. Vitamin C. OK, so you should get some of this in your multi and in your diet (so long as you’re being awesome and eating a variety of brightly colored fruits and veggies), but it has been shown in recent years to be a powerhouse. Vitamin C is the only vitamin to not really show an upper limit (a limit at which it is considered harmful) and many studies have shown that taking 3000mg of vitamin C per day can reduce the risk of certain cancers by regulating free radicals. SWEET! The powders seem to work better within the system than the pills, and you are encouraged to up your intake (3000mg/day) during cold and flu season.
  3. Probiotic. Your gut health makes up over 60% of your immune system, so it’s wise to keep it in check. We don’t all need to pop pills for this, as many of us can get active cultures from foods like yogurt or fermented foods. If you feel like your digestion is a bit sluggish or your energy is just a bit drab, consider adding 1-2 probiotic pills before bed. Note: these do NOT help if you simply over ate, so don’t go there.

The extras, for those of us living a bit of a full life :)

  1. Protein powder. Many of us do not get the required amount of protein, especially if we are quite active. The ADA sets the required amount on a large-scale of 0.6-1.6 grams per pound of bodyweight. Of course, the amount YOU need depends on lifestyle and goals. Women in particular seem to struggle with protein intake. Am all-natural whey protein isolate can help boost your protein intake SAFELY. The 2 I am loving right now are Jaime Eason’s Lean Body for Her (the whole line is really phenomenal) and Isagenix Protein. I do recommend 1 shake per day, preferably post-workout. You may have days where 2 shakes are unavoidable, but be aware of failing into the trap of using protein powders ALL THE TIME just because it is easy…trust me, I’m a recovering addict.
  2. Amino Acids. You can drink these throughout the day to help increase lean muscle mass (assuming you are working out) and beat fatigue. These do come in pills, but I find the powdered forms to be far superior. Amino acids are necessary for cell function and found in proteins. Our bodies break them down and pull the aminos out, sending them to repair damaged tissue. The powdered amino drinks offer the break down already so that you can speed recovery. Recommended dosage is 5-10 grams before, during and after your workout, especially if your workout will last an hour or more OR is quite intense. You can also add 5-10 grams to your afternoon bottle of water for stimulant-free pick me up. I LOVE BSN Amino X, Beverly International Aminos, and Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy (which DOES have a little jolt of caffeine).
  3. Glutamine. This is the most readily available amino acid in our bodies. During training sessions, glutamine levels take a nose dive though which can result in slower recovery, more fatigue, and even a compromised immune system. Many protein powders contain glutamine as part of their profile, so if you are already utilizing those then you may be getting enough. If you find that your recovery is lacking OR you’re sick all of the time, consider adding 5 grams of glutamine pre and post workout. I really like Muscle Pharm (unflavored) and Beverly International.

glutamine

So, now you are armed with the knowledge you need to get started on the road to optimum health and wellness. Remember, You’re only seeking that which you NEED. It is important to know your lifestyle and goals when embarking upon a supplement regimen. If you’re confused, contact a supplement specialist (you can email me through the site) and ask! We’re always happy to help you get healthier.

Tune in for the next SUPP guide as we tackle some supplements that are highly misunderstood.

See you next time!

Michelle

Want to save some major dough on your supps? Head over HERE and use the code: SAVE5 when checking out.

Nutrition 101: The Grocery Store

An oldie, but still a goodie :)

Learn how to shop your store and read your labels.

Welcome to December! Stay FIT this month.

December is upon us!

You have already experienced the feast that is known as Thanksgiving (and I hope you enjoyed it) and have possibly begun the quest for gifts and goodies throughout the stores this past weekend.

As holiday music fills the air and the scent of pine trees and cinnamon fills our noses, stress and a sense of being overwhelmed can also fill our spirits.

One sure-fire way to combat stress is by working out.

stressed workout

BUT, for some of us the thought of adding one more thing to our to-do list causes MORE stress, not less.

What is a stressed out person to do?

Easy, follow a few simple suggestions to thrive this season…

flexible santa

1. Be flexible.

Yes, this can pertain to yoga, but we’ll discuss that later. What I’m talking about now is being flexible with your schedule and your eating. Christmas is the WORST time to try to be super strict, because it’s almost impossible to stick to a strict eating and training regimen. When we do fail, we feel like a failure and it compiles even more stress onto our plate. This is the perfect time of year to try some new workouts, check out flexible dieting and look into some new gym classes. All of these things will help keep you focused and motivated without the drama.

2. Don’t skip workouts.

Just because you can’t get in a whole hour or make it to your normal class is no excuse to give in and wait until the New Year (BUSTED!). You can get efficient workouts in less time than you think AND many workouts can be done in your living room. Check out my YouTube channel for some easy to follow workouts, Plus here are 2 others that are slightly more challenging:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight

https://www.youtube.com/user/charliejames1975

3. Take it to the Mat.

Consider a bit of yoga to get your heart, body and mind calmed down and centered. Trouble sleeping? There’s yoga for that. Can’t wake up after a late night? There’s yoga for that. Feeling a bit sluggish from all the sweets? Yep, yoga can help. Yoga can even detox from those extra special drinks during the holiday season. If you can make it to a live class, all the better, but you can get the benefits of yoga in 10-20 minutes a day. Check out these 2 channels for my best yoga picks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ZldqU8Sj7jpB2N36kO79A

christmas fit challenge

4. Take a Christmas Fit Challenge

These are ALL over the internet and social media. Check out some of the ones floating around Instagram and get started. Most of these take less than 5 minutes to complete and will keep you on track to your goals.

5. Take advantage of the slow season.

This time of year is extremely slow for most trainers and studios. In light of this, many will offer reduced fee and sometimes FREE classes or sessions. So check out your local studios and trainers and see if you can take advantage and get re-inspired to be your best self this season.

Remember, the best gift you can give this season is a healthy YOU. Take some time to care for yourself and you’ll be better prepared to care for others.

Merry Christmas,

Michelle

7 Steps to become FITTER through the Holidays

 

Christmas Plank 2013

 

Those who enjoy the regular benefits of eating well and working out can often succumb to the joy of the holiday season with absolute vigor….which can quickly turn to regret. There’s no reason to lose gains, or gain fat, this holiday season. Now, you have the tools of the trade to stay on track and start your New Year fitter than ever.

1.Honor the ROUTINE.

Holiday parties, work deadlines, family responsibilities, endless shopping lines, you name it; it can all disrupt our tried and true schedule. Did you know that sticking to a schedule not only makes you more productive, but will also lessen your stress levels? Plan ahead to make sure you can honor your schedule. You workouts may be shorter, but making sure you move each day will pay off in the long run.

2. Be Prepared.

There is nothing worse than Christmas shopping without money in the bank right? So why would you go out without making sure you have the foods you need? We all know that nutrition is the cornerstone of our health, vitality and energy, so start preparing for the season of overindulgence now. Prep your meals for the week in advance and take advantage of handy coolers and carriers. When you’re planning a shopping trip or dinner, look over the menu first and plan ahead as to what you will eat. Remember, treat meals can be an advantage, but a treat season will leave you feeling like a bloated whale by January first….and then you have to fight the resolutionists for your spot at the rack.

3.Be realistic with your expectations.

You wouldn’t stand around and wait for a piece of equipment at the gym right? Please say no. Of course not! You would take a look at your program for the day and re-write it a bit to keep your workout going. The same thing can happen during the holidays. You may need to switch up your workout time to accommodate family responsibilities or just bad weather. If you can’t make it to the gym, have a body weight workout ready to go in your living room. Too stormy for a run? Give HIIT training a try. Think outside the box and drop the “all or nothing” attitude during the holidays. It will lessen stress and improve results.

4. Move every day.

Make a commitment to do SOMETHING every day. A little too much wine or a few too many sweet treats can take its toll on our energy. Sometimes the gloomy winter weather can leave us feeling a bit low. One sure fix is to get up and move every day. If you find that you battle with low energy during the colder months, try these tricks to spice it up:

  • Take on a group class at your local gym
  • Enlist a workout buddy
  • Try a boot camp
  • Head to a different gym. Many chain gyms offer memberships that will get you into ANY gym. Use this during this season to get a new energy and maybe even play on some new equipment. Sometimes all we need is to change up what we see each day to give the brain and body a fresh energy.
  • Take your training outdoors….if weather allows.

5. Maximize Your GAINS.

You know there are a few key foods you WILL NOT give up this holiday season. Grandma’s pumpkin pie? Your aunt’s homemade dressing? Anything smothered in either gravy or chocolate? Well, you should also know that you can use these foods to your advantage. Look at your workout split now. Take the time to train, let’s go with LEGS, before the big feast. This way, you can utilize the copious amounts of fuel you’re taking in to make some serious changes in your physique. Hit back the next day to capitalize on the extra carbs you know those yams packed in and reap the benefits of nutrition knowledge. The point here is to not just sit on your butt eating all week….move your butt and then you can “fuel” those awesome muscles.

6. Recreate Traditions.

I used to spend most Thanksgivings eating till the elastic on my waist band wanted to give out and downing an entire bottle of wine. This served two purposes: 1) It made the entire event more tolerable, no matter the drama :) and 2) It made me appear to still be “normal” in the eyes of my loved ones. What isn’t normal is the amount of time and energy wasted on recuperating from a holiday binge. Just thing of the sweet shoulders you could be building instead of trying to burn off wine and pie! So, I now bring healthier dishes and fruits and veggies to snack on. If I have wine I cut it with a little tart cherry juice. This keeps me from drinking so much and has the added benefit of lessening the soreness from the sweet leg workout I did earlier that morning. Check out the Bodybuilding.com recipe database for some GREAT finds on healthy fare.

7. Take a scheduled time out.

We can’t sustain ourselves for that long. Even the most outgoing of people need a little time to recharge. If you happen to be an introvert, like myself, then you will need to schedule a time out once a week. I know you think your gym time should suffice, but trust me here, you need something more. What can you do for a time out? You could soak in a bath, cuddle with the love of your life (that could be your teddy bear, we don’t judge here), treat yourself to a movie of choice, have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, stay in your house in PJ’s all day, go for a walk in nature, schedule short walks after dinner, sit by the fire, start reading that book that has been sitting on your side table for months, etc. The possibilities are endless and totally up to you.

Christmas Plank Fail 2013

 

As you can see, you can make it through the holidays stress-free and looking even better in your jeans….as if that’s even possible. Don’t get caught up in the drama, but enjoy the season. Focus on all you do have instead of what you still lack. Find someone to encourage. And remember that the world is a much brighter place with you in it…if you allow your light to shine.

Christmas Muscles 2013

 

Happy Holidays! Healthy Gift Guide

Good morning Lovelies!

Today will start a much needed break from all things fitness related so I can focus on another passion: SHOPPING!

Seriously, I have been blessed to try out different products throughout the year that will make GREAT Christmas gifts for your fit minded loved ones.

Today, I have 3 choices for you and yours. So sit back, grab a cup of hot cocoa and let’s get started :)

Travel, Gym, Play, and Everyday:

6 PACK BAGS

Heads UP! This is a personal fave :)

6 Pack Bags offers a full line of versatile and stylish bags that totes your meals (NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE) as well as everyday items and gym fare. Many of the backpacks come with separate compartments for stinky shoes too. They offer a Women’s Line of elite bags, and they are the ONLY line of bags I would pay the money for honestly. Fashion meets function with these awesome bags. Perfect gift for the fit gal on the go in your life.

6 pack shoulder          6 pack purse        6 pack expidition

 

Pain Free Hair Removal with the Emjoi Epi Slim+

Maybe you don’t think hair removal is an awesome gift, BUT for those fit fans in your life hair removal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg could be the perfect gift! With the Emjoi Epi Slim+ you get practically pain-free hair removal in a sleek and slim design. With technical features like the patented 3 disc tweezers and eRase glide technology, you can erase hair from face, bikini line, underarms, anywhere you have unwanted hair. The 18 tweezer action discs remove hair from the root for up to 6 whole weeks AND its battery operated, so travel is easy. Grab one for yourself or a loved one today. Makes a great stocking stuffer :) (NOTE: I was sent one at no charge from the publicists for Emjoi Epi Slim).

emjoi      emjoi full

 

Performance Fuel Delivered to the Front Door: B-Elite Meals

I get it…this can seem a bit unconventional, but who cares?!?!?! If you or someone in your life struggles with nutrition or simply does NOT have the time to meal prep, then B-Elite is the answer. High quality, delicious taste and ZERO preservatives. PLUS, these meals are designed by folks who understand the struggle. Each and every meal is portioned with the proper nutrients you need to look and feel your best year-round. These can be stored in the freezer and grabbed when you need them most. It’s a winning gift all year long :)

b-elite fuel 1      b-elite fuel 2     b-elite fuel 3

 

That should get your Christmas shopping started! Come back next week for more fit-friendly gift ideas and be sure to have a healthy holiday and a Merry Christmas!

Michelle

 

 

 

Trainer Tip Tuesday

Hello!

I am beyond thrilled to kick off a brand new series called Trainer Tip Tuesday. This series of posts will address personal trainers, coaches and even those who are thinking of joining this wonderful profession.

The goal is to embed knowledge and wisdom while helping trainers and coaches make the most of their education and passion.

Today’s pots is from my dear friend and fellow trainer, Pamela Hernandez, who owns Thrive Personal Fitness.

Read on as she tackles some questions that new and old trainers may not have thought about before signing the bottom line :)

cookie monster

What They Don’t Teach You about Being a Personal Trainer:

 

Congratulations! You’ve passed your personal trainer exam! You’re excited and anxious to get started. Maybe a gym has offered you a place to work or perhaps you’re striking out on your own. Either way, you can’t wait to get your first client.

The problem is they forgot to tell you how to set your prices, find your niche and market yourself. Unfortunately that’s not all your certification program left out.

Your certification leaves you woefully unprepared for the real world of personal training. I compare getting your certification to kindergarten. In kindergarten you learn your letters and some basic vocabulary. You learn to count. But putting together a proper sentence or multiplication is still out of reach.

During your certification program you get your basics of anatomy, physiology and movement. You learn to count reps. You learn about what exercises work what muscles, but no one really shows you how to translate a workout to a program to meet you clients goals. No one prepares you for the unhealthy bodies you will encounter and the behavioral coaching they are going to need. Preparation for the BUSINESS of personal training is completely absent.

Here is the hard reality. If you want to make personal training your full time job, only 20-25% of your time will be spent in the gym with clients. The rest of the time is spent prepping programs, taking continuing education classes, marketing yourself, balancing the books and all the other things it takes to run a successful business.  Your education has only just begun. Here are the important lessons about the business of personal training you need to start with.

  •  Whether you know it or not you have started a small business

You need to set up a separate account for business expenses, set a budget and a separate mailing address. Keep your business finances separate from your personal ones, including credit. While your chances for audit are small, only about 1% according to WalletHub, audits for small businesses are UP 17% since 2009. Keep detailed and organized records and you will be prepared, plus it will help you in the event you decide to seek an SBA loan or other financing.  Also find an accountant you trust. A good accountant is not just someone who puts your numbers into a piece of software to do your taxes. A good accountant will advise you on how to maximize your income while avoiding unpleasant surprises at tax time.

  • Know your value

When I first started training I was told by a gym manager no one would pay my personal training rates. I firmly stood my ground because I had done my research. I compared rates for other trainers in my local area with similar services and priced accordingly. I also knew the personal service I provide ranked higher than the cookie cutter programs at big box gyms. It’s for this reason I also don’t offer discounts. I value what I do and I want my clients to do the same. If I discount my services, I have also discounted myself. For this and many other reasons, stay away from Groupon, Living Social and other discount programs. You might get a short-term burst of clients but they rarely stick around.

  • Find a mentor

My ACSM CPT certification gave me a basic vocabulary. I learned program design and about the business of personal training from other trainers. A good mentor can provide you with the missing pieces of your personal trainer education. They can offer you hands on experience and a sympathetic ear when you have a difficult client or situation. This can be a formal arrangement via an internship or an informal friendship. Online mentor programs, continuing education programs and fitness conferences can offer huge opportunities to learn from experts in your field and expand your professional network.

  •  Read books outside of your field

I used to try to read every new diet book on the market but I couldn’t keep up. I stopped trying when I realized they are all virtually saying the same thing. A better use of my time is reading books on business, marketing, behavior change and nutrition. If you haven’t read Switch by Chip and Dan Heath or The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck do so NOW.

  • Rest

I started training part time while I worked a full time desk job. I offered myself for training appointments 6 days a week at any time the client could meet. On Sundays I prepped workouts for the week and wrote for my blog. The consequences verged on exhaustion and what I believe was the beginning of adrenal fatigue. I had to slow down or else. I implemented a set schedule for training and started taking Sundays off – including taking a Social Media Sabbath. It made a huge difference! I got my health and my sanity back. I also could give every client the energetic training session she deserves. It’s important to set boundaries and make time for OUR workouts, to rest and recharge. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

If you are serious about your personal training career then you have to be smart and passionate both in and out of the gym. If you want to be in this business for the long haul always remember it is a business and never stop learning.

 

Pamela Hernandez is a fitness maven, author and motivational speaker. Her goal is to empower women with fitness and to help women take control of their health and their lives! She has been on her own fitness journey since 1999 and she started her entrepreneurial journey in 2009 when she founded her personal training company, Thrive Personal Fitness. As a former fat girl and natural introvert, her goal is to take her personal lessons learned, from building her own fitness and building a successful small business, and use them to help other women live their dreams.

Pamela Headshot 2014

PORTION CONTROL: Your best tool in surviving the Holidays

 

The Holidays are upon us and that usually causes 1 of 2 responses when it comes to fitness:

  1. Fear and dread thinking about trying to “control” everything and maintain our results.
  2. The generalized “CHUCK IT ALL!” feeling where you just give up and decide to start over, yet again, New Year’s day.

What if there really IS a better way?

Watching your portions can help you keep your waistline and your energy levels in check, whether you eat at home OR out and about. Pay attention to HOW MUCH you eat and you will have a harder time gaining weight this season.

Here are some more tips on monitoring your portions, but still enjoying this season:

  • As the video states, SLOW DOWN. Don’t be the first to get your food and don’t be the first to finish.
  • If your Thanksgiving meal is served buffet style, leave some white space on your plate. You can still enjoy the foods if they are in smaller portions AND the starving children in Africa are still starving when you overstuffed yourself…so stop that.
  • ALSO, make the commitment to yourself to be a ONE-TRIPPER. Get what you really like (avoid the stuff you hate) and only go around once.
  • If your meal is served at the table, don’t sit by a trigger food. If you’re placed there, pass it down and fill its spot with a less-likely-to-binge alternative.
  • Know ahead of time what you will splurge on.
  • Eat plenty of lean protein to keep your blood sugar stable.
  • Try to avoid alcohol. It will lower your inhibitions and before you know it, 3 pieces of pie don’t sound too bad at all.
  • Take a walk after dinner instead of plopping down on the couch.
  • Go outside and play with the kids (though a trampoline after a big meal would not be advised).
  • Get a workout in that morning as studies show we eat healthier when we workout.
  • Enjoy the conversation, don’t feel the need to eat just because others are eating.
  • Watch out for sugary drinks, opt for water instead.
  • Can’t decide which dessert? Serve yourself small portions (1-2 bites) of each on a smaller plate.
  • If you have people who point out your eating habits (OH, so you’re too good to eat…?) I have found 1 key phrase that gets them off my back: “If you feel the need to pick apart my eating habits, then I will be more than accommodating to pick apart yours….” Judge not, lest ye be judges people.
  • Do a little yoga before bed that evening to reset the system. Make sure it includes plenty of twists to detoxify the system.
  • Plan to workout the day after, even if it’s a light workout at home.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. I have NO intention of logging every morsel on Thanksgiving OR Christmas day. Enjoy the spirit of the season and don’t let food be a stressor.

Keep up with more Holiday tips with the newsletter ———>>>>>>>>

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Michelle

Talking about #demabs …and how to get them

A question posed more often than not is, “How do I tighten my abs?”. You can replace that with anything about a tight core, tight midsection, getting rid of the muffin top, etc. You get the point right?

The core is one of my FAVORITE body parts and also one of my most challenging. My core, or midsection, never stays as lean as my back, legs or arms. I do, however, know a thing or two about getting a strong and tight core. So…are you ready to get started?

rockin abs

NUTRITION.

What you eat will determine 100% whether or not people can see your abs. We all have them, but seeing them is a different matter entirely. If there are a lot of salty, sugary or processed foods (OH! and fake sugars) the abs will remain hidden…unless your a 15-year-old male athlete, then eat what you want and enjoy your youth :)

Balance is key when it comes to good core nutrition. You need proteins, carbohydrates and fats in balance to get the most from your core AND digestive system. Withholding nutrients can cause inflammation in the center where the majority of the body’s digestive system and energy are stored. Focus on whole foods first, then supplement as needed with your lifestyle. Pay attention to what you eat and how your body responds. Some of us can get gassy and bloated with certain foods, so make a note of it and try to eat those foods in moderation. The only time a food should be avoided completely is if you have been tested for an allergy OR eating that food causes great intestinal pain.

Veggie belly :)

Veggie belly is a term to explain the bloat that comes from a LARGE volume of veggies consumed in the diet. It is nothing to be concerned with and shouldn’t alter your consumption of veggies unless you’re about to bare all in a tiny swimsuit. Veggie belly will usually only last about 2-6 hours post meal. Regular workouts can help eliminate most of the bloat anyways.

After 1

ABDOMINAL MUSCULATURE

We ALL have abdominal muscles. There are a few key factors to drawing them inward and creating a sleeker looking physique. Women tend to want “FLAT” abs. This is achieved through Pilates like drawing inward and always encouraging the abs to draw in and up. If you’re wanting a 6-pack then you will need to BUILD those muscles out a bit. It’s important to realize that the core muscles are like any other muscle. They have similar functions and will grow when placed under pressure. That side bend with the weight you’re doing….unless you want your obliques (waistline) to grow OUTWARD, stop it. Your best bets for a sleek and strong midsection are plank variations, twisting movements such as bicycle crunches, wood chops, and twists with a medicine ball, as well as hanging leg raises and back extensions. If you want to create a fuller look to the abs try adding weighted crunches and cable crunches to your rotation.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WORK MY ABS?

Abs are like any other muscle, but if worked properly they do not need quite as much time to repair. I work my core 4 days per week, alternating between weighted and non-weighted days.

FINAL ADVICE:
Your abs SHOULD work during every single workout. If you are working legs at the gym, you better have a tight core. If you’re hitting back, make sure your abs are engaged before every single rep. It may take a bit of time to get used to, but if you make sure your abs contract before each movement then your workout will be safer and more effective overall.

Check out these ab workouts to get you started to a GREAT midsection: