A Few of My Favorite Things: an updated version :)

Hello Lovelies!

It’s Friday in my world and I thought it would be nice share some of the things that keep me on track and going no matter what life may throw at me. Ready to do some shopping? :)

Let’s GO!

1. When I’m down and out and just can’t hit the gym.

This is a bad case scenario for a competitor BUT we all go through it (or maybe we just hate the gym). Lately, I’ve been enjoying a few different home based workouts that have kept me on track and even helped to even things out a bit.

Turbo_Fire TURBO FIRE: this high intensity training program is helping shed the fat and keep me going strong. You can check it out at www.turbosister.com

PIYO PIYO: this all-in-one powerhouse workout has been incorporated into my weekly schedule due to an influx of inflammation and issues in my lower back and hip. This program has allowed me to continue to see results without killing an already warped body. I HIGHLY recommend it to ALL fitness levels. You can grab yours here as well: www.turbosister.com NOTE: I am no longer a Beach Body Coach, but still love the programs :)

CRN Come Ready Nutrition Bars are great for nutrition on the go and for those needing some extra protein in their diets, but not wanting to pick it out of their teeth later during the day ;) . Come ready Nutrition has affordable bars (you can get them at Costco for less than $1 a bar) and they truly are an excellent nutrition profile. The company is also hard at work to get our youth moving. You can find out more about them AND place your order here: www.comeready.com

Lindi skin Lindi Skin Care. Oh my goodness! This skin care line is beyond fabulous! Lindi Skin is extremely gentle to all skin types and works phenomenally well. I was a little leery about it since I am prone to breakouts, but it has actually helped to clear my skin. Lindi Skin uses the magic of oils and only the highest quality natural ingredients. My favorite product and a MUST for all is the Eye Hydrator. I have always struggled with dark circles and lines around my eyes and with Lindi has all but erased my lines and softened those circles right up. So even if I don’t feel my best, it doesn’t show :) PLEASE check them out here: www.lindiskin.com OR run by your local CVS and see if they have it in stock yet!

SPECIAL ALERT!!!!!! You can use the code BLOG25  for FREE shipping and 25% off all purchases at www.lindiskin.com now through May 31st. AND they will also make a donation to the American Cancer Society Look Good, Feel Better campaign.

What are you waiting for? Go grab your beautiful skin and do a world of good in the process.

That will wrap up my favorites of the moment. I am off to walk my daughter to school then come home and get some PIYO in :)

Take care of yourself and pass it along to others….the caring, not yourself. ;) Be smart, stay active, be alive!

Michelle

My FIT Time at Disney

Good Monday morning all!

I’ll try to make this quick as many of you may be playing catch up on this beautiful Monday :) and hopefully it is beautiful where you are.

Last week I had the privilege of escorting a whole bus of teens to Disney World for a band trip….well, we drove and skipped the bus thing. The majority of the trip rocked and I was able to stay on track nearly the whole time, yay me!

In this post I’ll answer 2 questions for you:

How did I come back with a concussion?

How did I stay on track?

Ready, set….wait, what?

Yeah, I brought the gift of a concussion back from good old Disney. It was from a ride at Epcot. While there are MANY warnings about motion sickness, Mickey does fail to mention possibly concussion and the 2 deaths which occurred on this very ride….well played Mouse, well played. I won’t bore you with all the moanings of a concussion while on vacation, especially not when this particular blog captured my feelings almost exactly. Click the link and check it out, you’ll be glad you did….

Anyways, I am back now and almost functioning normally. There is still a bit of healing to do and I plan on avoiding this ride at all costs in the future.

Now, how did I manage to stay on track?

This part was easier and cheaper than I expected.

FIRST, I had an awesome back pack provided by 6 Pack Bags.

6packbagDisney

 

This bag (which my hubs sported like a real trooper) has enough space to fit ALL my food for a 12 hour day at the most MAGICAL place on Earth. FYI, you can take food into Disney, so there goes that excuse.

My meals were bland to say the least, but they did the job well. I packed plenty of tuna and salmon packets for easy travel as well as cucumbers and snap peas. I also cooked some tilapia and packed some mixed veggies too. I did enjoy a few fries on occasion and I even splurged on dessert one night. The Disney brownies were awesome, but the ice cream was far too rich and one bite was all I needed.

Food1 Disney

MOST days I actually didn’t hit all of my macros, which proved detrimental……carbs were hard as I did not pack many besides veggies. So I was low-carb livin! Sorry kids at Disney…..

My FAVE morning treat before each workout was protein coffee. I used Beverly International (got questions or need to order? HIT ME UP!) chocolate UMP with about 6 ounces coffee from the good old hotel room. This gave me the energy I needed for my workout and my next meal was PROATS….1/3 or 1/2 cup oats mixed with a scoop of whey protein and some raisins cause I’m on vacation!!!!!!

Protein Coffee Disney

Now, if I’m honest I will let you in on the fact that I did let a few more “treats” come in after my near brush with death. Truth be told, when you have a concussion you go through a phase where you really just don’t care. Not all is lost though! I walked all day AND worked out each morning there. I had a limited but awesome hotel workout facility and made sure to get weights and cardio in each and every morning BEFORE the day of walking. Notice, walking is NOT your cardio nor is it your workout……another excuse bites the dust.

Disney Hotel Gym

I used Tabata or HIIT style workouts to save on time and hit all the major muscle groups…..plus the pretty ones too :) I’ll be putting these travel friendly workout into printable forms soon!

Since I was less than 10 weeks out (and ABS are a huge problem area) I took ab progress photos to ensure I wasn’t getting too crazy.

ABS checkin Disney

I know it’s lame, but I’m ok with being lame as needed :)

I totally get why so many of us fall off the healthy living monorail when in magical places. And I do believe Disney sucked the calories out of those brownies….it is the magic kingdom people. The point is that  a little preparation goes a LONG way and you can come through your vacation without feeling the need for booking a marathon to make up for nutritional sins. It’s all about the balance of things ;)

Oh…and the bag. Grab your 6 Pack Bags asap so you’re ready for your next vacation!

Next vacation destination?

A driving trip to California!!!!! Excited to keep a live blog on what and where we eat (cause I really love food) and how I stay fit for IdeaWorld.

 

National Nutrition Month: Youth Athletes

Good morning!

I hope all is going well on your side, wherever you may be :)

Since March is National Nutrition Month I thought we could tackle the tough call of youth nutrition.

Our youth athletes nutrition needs differ from that of us old fogies, so we need to address some common concerns and mistakes as well as some thoughtful ways to help our young athletes thrive.

WATER.

Youth athletes (aged 8-18) dehydrate much faster than adults. In fact, they can dehydrate 40% faster than most adults in the same sport. So, it’s very important that we encourage our athletes to stay hydrated in a variety of ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Nix the sodas on game and practice days.
  • Pack a bottle of water for lunch.
  • Remind them to get a drink from the fountain EVERY time they pass it.
  • Pack or take water to them for the game and/or practice.
  • On very hot days or practices lasting longer than 60 minutes, make sure they have a beverage to replace electrolytes. I prefer G2 for my athletes, but regular Gatorade is fine and can be watered down to reduce the sugar.

As you can see, it’s not about the time spent practicing. The majority of youth athletes ENTER practice and games already dehydrated! If you have a young athlete in your home, the responsibility is YOURS to educate them on hydration and cut the sugar and sodas out to ensure proper mental focus and muscle repair during periods of training and playing. Encourage them to drink throughout the day and they will begin to feel and see a difference in practice.

Pre-Game/Practice Fuel

Unfortunately, here the schools will not allow student athletes to eat prior to practice or games. Since lunch times often fall before noon and practice can extend past 6, many athletes are under nourished during game time and practice. If the school doesn’t allow it, what can a parent or guardian do? Lucky for us, we have resources to help :)

Many companies such as Gatorade now offer pre-game solutions. Gatorade has a carbohydrate chew that is safe for youth athletes (12 and up) and provides fast digesting carbs to fill the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. This is precisely where we get energy. Youth can run out of these stores faster than adults simply due to the growth process. The trick with these is to remind your student to drink LOTS of water with the chew, otherwise it can upset the stomach.

A more whole foods approach can be found in certain bars.

My favorite for my guys is the Come Ready Nutrition Bar.

Come Ready Bars

I’ve spoken about this bar before and truly believe in it. It has a very good nutritional profile with ingredients you recognize. The taste is far beyond other bars on the market AND if you get them from your local Costco (mine is in the Galleria area in Houston), you pay less than $1 a bar….that makes it easy to share with the whole team. Go YOU!

If Costco isn’t working for you or nowhere near you, I recommend a virtual trip to Bodybuilding.com

Now, if your athlete has an issue with gluten** you’ll be glad to know that Come Ready Nutrition now has gluten-free kids bars that can help to fuel your athlete without the fuss. Check out more on those bars HERE.

Timing is key, so I have my kids take a bar to school. Before practice they can usually eat 1/2 the bar while dressing and then they eat the other 1/2 after. During games, I take a bar and meet them at the bus. Just last week my daughter had a tennis match and the coach told her she couldn’t eat her bar on the bus, so my daughter ate it with lunch (they love the bars). SIDE NOTE: most coaches have English or Math degrees and know NOTHING about nutrition. You CAN take food to your child pre game or practice….that is YOUR right as a parent or guardian. Moving on…..that match my daughter had a very hard time focusing and her energy was all over the place. THIS week, my husband took a bar to the match and she ate it when she got off the bus….her doubles won and she had focus and energy to spare.

Hydration and nutrition play the largest role in energy output, yet we do nothing to equip our athletes for success. Give them a fighting chance to be the best they can be!

Remember, nutrition matters :)

 

**Another side note here, because as a professional I feel it must be said: IF you think your child has an issue with gluten, PLEASE have them take a simple blood test with their doctor. By preemptively pulling gluten from their diet because you read something on Google, you can actually end up doing more harm in the long run. I know gluten-free is a big deal right now…..but fat-free was big in the 80′s so please proceed with caution. Same goes for yourself. If you think you have an issue, ask for a test from your doc to confirm.

 

 

Why am I not seeing results? Part 3

AND….we’re back!

If you need to catch up on why you may not be seeing results from all your hard work in the gym , check out part 1 and part 2 before you move on.

As I am getting ready for a BIG trip to Disney World (accompanied by a couple hundred high school band members and parents), I wanted to hone in on one particular downfall to many gym patrons. You may hit the gym every day and work far harder than the guy checking his Facebook status every set (HUGE pet peeve), but you aren’t seeing results. I’m going to enlighten you with a bit of science on the subject of results :)

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You grab your gear and head for the gym, possibly after getting the kids to school OR after a long days work. You mentally prepare, grab a locker, hook in the old headphones and head for your favorite cardio to warm up…..where you spend the next 30-60 minutes hoofing it out on the hardest setting cause you came to work! Take that Facebook guy!!!! After this, you head towards the weight machines OR maybe even some free weights. About 6 minutes into lifting you are feeling beat down. That’s the sign it’s working right? So you trudge on. You may even throw some plyometrics and jogging in place right into your workout. You are killing it today! That magazine article inspired you to get after this workout hard, but you seem to be lacking a little in strength. No worries, we can pick up lighter weight. After a beating like that, you grab your stuff from the locker room and head home or to the office where you are beat down…..but that’s how it’s supposed to feel right? When it comes time to eat, you may indulge in a slightly larger portion or maybe something a bit sweet….cause that workout was KILLER! The next day you wake to do it again and again and again.

Question: If your workouts are so epic, why do you look exactly the same?

gym tread

There are 2 MAJOR things working against you here.

#1. You’re wasting your energy on cardio. Don’t roll your eyes cardio queen, pay attention. Your body is an energy store house. Energy comes from the calories you eat. Calories come from food. If you’re cranking away at the cardio for 30-60 minutes BEFORE you ever hit weights, you’ve doomed your actual body shaping. Cardio CAN help with weight loss, but not jiggle loss. Don’t like your thighs? Get off the treadmill and head to the squat rack. You need to lift heavy in order to create the tight body you covet. You need a LOT of energy to lift heavy….stop wasting it on the cardio pieces!

Am I saying cardio is bad? Of course not. We do need cardio as an integral part of training, but it shouldn’t be the proverbial cart before the horse. Strengthen your horse first. Want faster results? For a full MONTH try this:

  • Warm up on cardio equipment for 5 minutes at a light pace. It’s your warm up, not your workout.
  • Either place cardio at the end of your workout OR at a separate time. OR….
  • Perform cardio on alternating days from weight lifting.

This will enable you to utilize the proper muscles while lifting and strengthen the mind/muscle connection. Give it try. What do you have to lose?

cupcakes and women

#2. You’re not fueling post-workout.

I always find it odd that I’m the only one at the bar in the locker room mixing my shakes….while others are doing their hair :)

Your body needs nutrition post-workout because unless you were taking selfies, texting, or Facebooking between sets, then you worked through your fuel. Try for a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein and keep the fats out until about an hour or 2 post-workout. This has been shown to enhance recovery, slow down muscle loss and increase the loss of body fat. If you think eating post-workout will make you gain what you just lost……you really need to look up some scientific facts about how the body works. Fueling post-workout also keeps your immune system healthy so you can continue to workout regularly.

My preferred meal after a workout is a scoop of whey protein in water and an orange. This gives me the right ratio and a double whammy with vitamins and minerals from the orange. I usually eat a larger meal about an hour later to continue recovery.

What to try this month: pack some food with you! You can keep it in your car if needed. Have some fresh fruit ready to go at home. If you need protein, you can check out some of my faves HERE. If you prefer whole foods, opt for tuna or chicken breasts so the fat stays low (higher fat post-workout slows the assimilation and absorption of proteins).

Stay with it, try something new, and go get your results!

WorkIT Wednesday: Hump Day Workout

Hey Mike! Mike, Mike, Mike!!!!!! It’s HUMP DAY!

Oh yeah, baby. Today’s workout is dedicated to your lovely humps. Whether you are building the booty of your dreams or tightening what your momma gave you, incorporate this superset focused workout once a week to see results.

Hump Day Workout:

Warm Up. I usually only hop on the cardio equipment for leg day. Warm up for 5-10 minutes.

First set:

Dumbbell Squats. Run the rack with these. Start with a heavy weight and do 10 reps, then drop weight 3 more times of 10 reps. Do a total of 4 sets.

First Super Set (perform first exercise and immediately follow with the second; rest for 30-60 seconds in between sets):

Barbell Squat. 15 reps

Pop Squat (some people call it a jump squat, but move the feet out and in). 30 seconds.

Repeat 3x

Second Super Set:

Weighted walking lunge. 40 reps (20 on each leg).

Switch lunges. 30 reps (15 on each leg)

Repeat 3x

Third Super Set:

Quad Extensions. 15 reps

Seated Hamstring Curls. 15 reps

Moving lateral squat. 30 reps

Repeat 3x

Finisher:

Bring a band (one that is a circle with no ends and LOTS of resistance) and perform Monster Walks for 2 minutes. Rest and then do it 2 more times.

Monster Walk: With band snug at mid calf (NOT the ankle or knee joint!), separate feet and assume squat position. Without losing your position, take large steps forward and then backward. Try to cover some ground.

If you have any legs left, hop on the stairmill for 20 minutes :)

Here’s to your humps!

Strong Camp 107 Photo by paulbuceta.com

Because I’m APPY…..A look at some notable apps to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

BTW, you’re welcome that the Happy song will now be on repeat in your head all day long.

This blog was written by request :) What apps do I use to stay on track and what apps do I find notable for reaching health and fitness goals?

Great question! Let’s dig in shall we?

1. My Fitness Pal. Should you track your food? Only if you want to reach goals. I have been tracking food for years (and used several apps) to reach both muscle gain and fat loss goals. Once you do it for a while it does become a habit. MFP is extremely user friendly and even remembers your meals. You can save foods or entire meals if you’re like me and tend to eat the same thing over and over again. The FREE version allows you to set your macros (to a point) and set goals for yourself. Word to the wise: Don’t put your exercise in until the END of the day since MFP will recalculate your macros based on caloric burn. By the way, I don’t trust that it knows how many calories I burned…..  Runner up: My Macros (GREAT for bodybuilders/competitors) and Lose It (though most is NOT free).

MFP

2. A-Note. It seems odd for a fitness post, but hang in there. I keep my to-do list on my phone because my phone is always there. A-Note allows you to keep a detailed to-do list all the way up to your goal for the whole year! Want to lose 50 pounds? Your daily to-do better be pointing you towards that goal.

3. Tabata Pro. Not all of my workouts revolve around reps and sets at the gym. I LOVE Tabata Pro (there is a free version, but not quite as good). TP allows you to set your rest, work and preparation times and you can play any playlist through the app. I don’t know about you, but I cannot workout without music….it’s physically impossible. This app is awesome for all the FREE workouts I have on the blog.

4. Inspiration: I’m not going to lie; I use Instagram for inspiration a LOT. Be careful who you follow and make sure that they are making life brighter. Pinterest is also a great source of inspiration, but be warned; it can also be a HUGE time sucker.

 

Notable APPS:

  1. Nike Training Club.    NTC       This is marketed to women, but fellas can enjoy it too! I do use this app during the off season to help with cardio. You have access to loads of different workouts and you can track what you have done. As you complete workouts you receive badges and prizes like smoothie recipes and all-star workouts. You can also play your music through the app and set up daily reminders so you stay on track.
  2. Nike Running.     Nike Running             You don’t have to have the fancy shoes to make this one work. Just wear it with you on your run. You can friend people in your virtual space and even challenge them to running games. It keeps an accurate record of runs that you can go back and check out as well so you can celebrate the small victories along the way. It also has options to join a training program for your first 5K, 1/2 marathon or full marathon. Get trained by the trainers who know running.
  3. The Fitness Games. This one seriously rocks if you’re the type who likes a challenge or needs to be held accountable for workouts. You gather virtual friends (or real friends) and issue and participate in fitness challenges. The large database makes it easy to incorporate challenges that will suite any fitness level. Have some buddies sign up and get motivated to MOVE.
  4. Map My Fitness and Armour 39. This is Under Armors answer to Nike :) These apps can work together with the Armour 39 wearable device. Map My Fitness can also be run without it. It can be a little more costly, BUT you get a more accurate reading of calories burned, heart rate and even your WILL. The device actually measures how hard you work during your workout.

 

Hopefully, any number of these 8 apps will get you moving towards your next goal. Remember, in the digital age all the information you need is right at your fingertips….

 

Now I want to hear from you!

Do you use any of these apps and how do you like them?

Are there apps not mentioned that you enjoy?

Put your response in the comments below and let’s talk about it!

 

As always, have a healthy day :)

 

Work IT Wednesday: Ab and Cardio HIIT

We are ALL short on time right?

You can still get a great workout using a properly designed HIIT sequence.

I am in a constant battle with my abs, so I designed this sequence to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

It’s easier if you have my FAVORITE APP, Tababta Pro. If you aren’t into apps, make sure you have a stop watch or a watch that you can see the seconds tick off :)

tabata pro

What you will need:

  1. A jump rope (real or imaginary)
  2. A workout mat
  3. A bar/captains chair for leg raises (alternate will be given)

Set your timer for 40 seconds of WORK and 10 seconds of REST. If you need a break between rounds you can set PREPARE to 30 seconds.

10 moves, 4 times through and you are DONE!

The Workout:

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Forearm Plank
  3. Jump Rope
  4. Hanging Leg Raise (if none available, do leg drops on back)
  5. Jump Rope
  6. Bicycle Crunch
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Dead Bug
  9. Burpee
  10. Full Sit up with Twist

It’s super simple and ab focused with a cardio component. This way, you get more done in less time. Genius right?

Give it a try and let us know how you do in the comments BELOW!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

Strong camp 110 Photo by Paul Buceta for Strong Magazine

Why Am I NOT Seeing Results? Probably the MOST Important Reason Yet

Welcome back to the blog!

Hopefully, the first in this series served you well. IF you haven’t seen it, you can check it out HERE.

Now, another reason you may not be seeing results lies in who you surround yourself with, especially when working out. Read on to see what I mean…

Strong Camp 50 Photo by Paul Buceta

Every day when I’m at the gym I have a hard time tuning out everybody around me. It’s just a part of who I am. I’m not nosy, but I do like to be aware of my surroundings (safety and a bi-product of my ministry job). So, I notice things. One thing I have noticed lately is an overwhelming amount of people getting help….from completely under-qualified people. I see the slightly pudgy guy following the slightly (only slightly) more muscular guy around the weight. I see gaggles of girlfriends teaming up on each machine. I see ladies blindly following the advice of husbands or boyfriends. You know what I don’t see? Any change since August…..

Am I saying that it’s bad to workout with your BFF or love of you life? Of course not. Many people enjoy the company and some can use the spotter (correct spotting technique is a whole other blog post though….). A workout BUDDY can provide motivation and that last push through a hard set. They can also take photos at just the right time (which is why I have locker room ninja selfies….#lonerforlife), but they should not always dictate your workout. So, let’s read what to look out for and how you can get educated and get he help you need on the cheap.

Strong Camp 21 Photo by Paul Buceta

Her are a few people to be warned about:

  • The meat head boyfriend who like watching you do squats while he slings weights around for 50 sets of biceps. This guy is usually big on muscle and testosterone but knows NOTHING of training the female body OR fat loss….I mean, most of the time you can tell he doesn’t believe in fat loss and that bulking is a 24/7 job.
  • The BFF who gets ALL of his/her info from magazines. Don’t get me wrong, I love fitness mags. They can be super inspiring; however, they shouldn’t be considered the Bible of fitness and not everybody really needs the latest celebrity workout.
  • The Know It All. These men/women are usually in slightly better shape than their friends (BTW, they like it that way) and maybe they even studied to be a trainer, worked as one through college, or maybe even competed. They think they know more than you about everything gym and nutrition related, but they really don’t have the education to back it up. That doesn’t matter because to your naked eye their physique means they know more. FALSE.

Now that you have spotted the trouble makers in your life, how do you make sure they have YOUR best interest when they offer to “train” you? Simple steps:

  1. If your friend puts you on a piece of equipment (they love to use equipment man) ASK them exactly what this is to be used for. In other words, “Why am I doing this?” should be a common question. To grow muscle or tone up is not an answer. The equipment in the gym has a purpose and YOU need to know what it is. Are you widening or thickening the muscle? Is this working on pure mass or power too? Knowing the WHY of each exercise helps you retain the exercise better, recruit the correct muscles, see results and maybe even help somebody else one day.
  2. If your friend is doing the lifting for you, call them out. I saw this the other day with a group of ladies. The “leader” put one lady on a lat pull down weight she could NOT pull down….so, the leader pushed it to her chest and “helped”. This helps no one people, but it does make your friend feel better about their own abilities. Always lift with weight that is challenging, but that you can maintain good form.
  3. Ask if you can have some input in the next workout. Does your buddy ALWAYS have you on chest and arms? Dude, you don’t want chicken legs! If they don’t let you have some input, drop that time with them. You would be better off on your own.

What if you just realized you are getting the short end? Have no fear! There are plenty of ways to get the help you really need without spending all of your hard-earned cash (cause you’ll need that for clothes, shoes and that spray tan).

Strong Camp 48 Photo by Paul Buceta

Check out online resources. Bodybuilding.com is a GREAT website for all the FREE info you can handle. There are even free trainers and printable workouts. You can pick something for your goal and your current fitness level. Check out my page HERE to follow my workouts and see which trainers I have enjoyed in my years as a member there.

Also, there are plenty of trainer (myself included) who offer training plans online that are tailored to your goals. And guess what? They’re pretty cheap! For about the cost of that gym membership you can get 3 workouts a week.

Personal training isn’t as expensive as you might think, especially if you get some buddies to split the cost. I have small groups that pay $20 a session for face to face time with me in my private gym (no looky-lous here). This also comes with nutritional guidance for most cause I’m cool like that :) Gyms like Lifetime Fitness have trainers who specialize in groups as well. Don’t think you can’t afford a great trainer based on gym trainer prices.

Hopefully, these tips will help you see results a bit faster. Remember, YOUR goals matter, so go get ‘em!

Michelle

P.S. If your BFF is a GREAT trainer, hold on tight to them and value their input :) They are a rare breed.

Supp Thursday! Product Review, News, Views and anything else I can think of :)

Happy Thursday!

Hope ya’ll are feeling fine today.  I’m on very first ISACleanse (is that a thing? That’s what I’ll call it) which I will detail you on BELOW. For now, let’s get to some reviews and tips shall we?

HEADS UP! I’m doing a fat burner review

So, I’m not a HUGE fat burner fan (except for the ones I have sculpted into fat burning furnaces…..AKA, muscles), but it is a question I get asked ALL THE TIME. So let’s tackle it.

Good to know: fat burners were originally created to help competitors and avid body builders garner more energy for workouts while living a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. The body digs carbs for energy and when you eliminate them to shred the body, it can retaliate with LOW energy and even rebel at the gym. SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!! But it is. While the original intent of fat burners and stimulants was to give a boost to the fit masses, studies now show that more and more average Joe’s (don’t roll your eyes, unless you’re cranking away HOURS in the gym per day then you fall here. Accept it and be proud!) are turning to so-called fat burners for weight loss. Weight loss was not the original intent of fat burners and ANY product that promises HUGE results with little effort should be approached with caution.

So, is there a fat burner I CAN use?

There is one stack (I dig stacks since no ONE supplement works awesome all on its own) I have been trying and totally dig for many reasons. It is the BLISS Weight Loss Stack from 1st Phorm.

Even though I am in the fat loss phase of competition, I still only take 1 pill a day.

What’s so special?

Well, they don’t try to make you believe this is a miracle drug. In this pack you get 3 products:

  1. Thyro-Drive which utilizes a mixture of amino acids and herbs to increase thyroid production. BE CAREFUL HERE: anytime you mess with hormones (like….when you eat) you can set yourself up for success or failure.
  2. Bliss which is a highly functioning thermogenic (what you think of when you think about fat burners) that uses all the heavy hitter in lower doses to decrease the risk of the jitters.
  3. Downtime PM is my FAVORITE since rest and recovery is where I struggle the MOST. With this product you get your melatonin and also your valerian root and black cherry (for soreness), PLUS digestive enzymes and even MACA root (for sexual health). It is magic! I kid….no such thing. It does help to promote more restful and deeper sleep though.

You can check out the links above and read up on the info (they provide EVERYTHING you need) if you’re interested. Men, they have you covered with the Commander pack.

One thing I HAVE to address is the customer service of this company. I have heard from the founders (after entering the athlete search) and after my purchase of the above product I received an email from Kit Kitson just checking up on me and seeing how I liked it. They didn’t know I was a blogger or trainer and were not trying to butter me up (mmmm, butter), but they even offered help with training and meal planning if I needed it :) . That’s a pretty awesome thing to witness…..a company that goes above and beyond.

1st phorm

 

THE CLEANSE!

So, my awesome contest prep coach (Busy Mom Gets Fit) suggested I give Isagenix a try during prep. If you know me then you know I’m a research junkie so I spent the past 4 weeks pulling up everything I could behind the company and ingredients. Most of what I found was super awesome, so here I am on my cleanse day :)

What is it?

It’s a very simple nutritional cleanse backed up with research on intermittent fasting. I am also a huge fan of intermittent fasting and have seen great results. The Isagenix cleanse takes it a step further by taking your fasting day and replenishing the body with nutrients. Fasting itself is highly beneficial and now you can fast and do a great rewire to your entire system.

Since I’m just starting I’ll be giving YOU updates on progress (including some pics you WON’T see on my INstagram) and keeping you up to date on what it’s all about. If you’ve already been doing research and want to cheer me on by completing a cleanse yourself, then jump on it HERE….or you can just get more info.

I mean, if Lori Harder does it, why don’t we ALL do it? LOL

Lori Harder

 

For now, I’m taking my fasted self downstairs to fix a cup of tea :) So far, so good.

Rock on with your day and I’ll see you back here next week!

Michelle

 

Why Am I NOT Seeing Results? ….a blog series to get you where you want to be

Hello Fit People!

This particular series will last 4 blogs (crazy right?) and will be posted weekly. So you get a month to learn what could be hold you back from your very best self.

If you are one of the MANY ( I have high hopes) who have continued on with those New Year’s goals long after that the groundhog came out of his hole, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

But here is the million dollar question: Are you where you thought you would be? Are you struggling with your goals already? Are you asking yourself, “Am I there yet?” Have no fear. I’ve been in this game long enough to know a thing or 2 about habits and hangups that could be holding you back from your goals. How do I know? Cause I have them too :) But if I stayed with them I would never be where I am today.

BTW, these are in NO particular order, so tackle what is relevant to you right now.

Strong Camp 90 Photo by Paul Buceta for Strong Magazine

1. You think the food will just work itself out.

Here’s the deal, you HAVE to be aware of what you are eating, period. Even the guy that ate Twinkies for the study was AWARE of how many Twinkies he was eating. In my opinion, that’s probably why that little experiment worked. Know what you’re eating and know how much. The only reason that person at the gym seems to have more definition than you is most likely because they know what they are eating and they track their food.

Choose the style that works best for YOU. Macros rock my world, but close into my competition I prefer a pretty simple diet of eating similar foods every day. This is just because it is easier to be prepared. I’m not a fan of just counting calories as we can often fill those calorie requirements with foods that do not serve us very well. You know what I’m talking about ladies. How many of you eat MORE carbs (cause girls love carbs!) and run out of calories for your protein? The body works better in balance of all 3 macronutrients so give it a fighting chance. Track your food and know what works for you.

2.You really like your “cheat” meal……like REALLY.

Do you know why “cheat meals” were termed? Body builders would run out of stored glycogen (carbs get stored as glycogen in the muscle fibers and are used for energy during heavy lifting workouts) due to low carbohydrate diets. When glycogen is depleted, strength can fade. So, the bodybuilder began to implement refeeds (which are actually PLANNED days of eating more carbohydrates to refuel the glycogen stores) and some, cheat meals.

Here is the problem……90% of the gym population are not bodybuilders (not that we aren’t working hard, but really) and yet we try to eat like one. This can be particularly true with those just starting on a strength training program. We can get all geared up and hop on a deprivation diet which is followed by a cheat meal, which turns into a cheat weekend, which causes shame and we get back in line on Monday to start the cycle again. Sound familiar?

A treat is warranted if you have been withholding calories AND especially if you have been withholding macronutrients (I don’t believe EITHER should be very low, even in weight loss), but it should be contained to ONE small treat per week with the goal of refueling a system, not bingeing to good glory because you deserve it…….

NEXT WEEK we will tackle some common mistakes in the gym and figure out how to make your membership work better for you :)

Stay Strong!

Michelle