WORKIT WEDNESDAY: Stability Ball Circuit…..plus a cookbook review

Got a stability ball?

Check.

Any idea how to use it? Aside from just sitting on it….

I got your back :)

We all know that results TRULY happen in the kitchen (please tell me you know that by now). My colleague and coach, Julie Lohre, has written an AWESOME cook book that will make time spent in the kitchen a breeze.

RecipeBook2_copy__51349_1411500283_1280_1280

You can grab a copy of this cookbook HERE for $9.95 (which is a steal!). Want it for free?!?!?! Sign up for my newsletter because I am sending out a code this Friday :)

What can you expect?

Easy to follow recipes that don’t bog you down with ingredients you have to travel across town to acquire. The cookbook is full of fun, family-friendly treats (Julie gets families!) that will leave you feeling satisfied all while helping you reach your goals.

Check it out for yourself and get to cooking :)

Stay healthy,

Michelle

#fuelyourbetter A Look at Vega Sport Performance Protein

Today is the day (well, one of the days) that I review a product I have been testing.

VEGA SPORT PERFORMANCE PROTEIN

Yeah, did you get that? Cause you should…

Let’s get through the science first…I love science!

What’s the big deal about this protein when there are like a BAJILLION other proteins on the market? Check it out:

  • Vega Sport is a PERFORMANCE protein, not just a meal replacement or tasty protein.
  • Vega Sport is designed to help YOU recover quicker so you can get back out and do what you love sooner.
  • Vega Sport is a CLEAN, plant-based fuel source so it doesn’t upset the digestive system like some protein powders.

What are the claims of Vega Sport?

  1. It’s the very FIRST completely all-natural, plant-based performance recovery drink.
  2. It is dairy, gluten and soy free (the BIG players in food allergies and intolerances).
  3. It burns 100% clean, leaving no extra work for your liver.
  4. It contains NO artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

Cool right? Trust me, it is.

So, what does it DO?

  1. Complete, synergistic, alkaline-forming protein blend helps to #fuelyourbetter without creating a stressful environment in the gut as most proteins do. Who needs more stress in their gut?
  2. It contains 5,000 mg of BCAA’s which are basically little magic things that bond and repair to muscle tissue. What does this mean? More recovery + less soreness = a more fun YOU.
  3. Improves strength and exercise performance.
  4. Repairs and builds lean muscle mass, creating a more functional physique.
  5. Reduces recovery time between training.

OK, I was totally sold on that last one there :) I love to train and I would live in my gym if my family didn’t think that was totally weird. All of my training created a whole new world of problems to deal with when it came to recovery. If you know my story, then you know I have to be careful with the food/supplements because my body is a walking, ticking time bomb of inflammation…..and I’m over here just trying to make it da’bomb.

Another nerdy but cool fact about this protein is that it is tested for banned substances. Since the FDA doesn’t control or regulate supplements, we all just trust the packaging until somebody drops dead. Even then, we blame the person and not the company. Well, a few companies (very few) decided to pay the piper and stand out from the crowd with testing from informedchoice.org (that’s a listing for tested products, check it out). This small fact really makes me more apt to reach for this protein as opposed to what passes for protein on the grocery store shelves nowadays.

How about the taste? I mean, we won’t ingest it if it doesn’t taste good right? Unless you’re me… If you’re me then you will chug anything they ask you to test :) but at least I’m honest about it!

I tested the Vanilla flavor. I’ll be honest, of all the flavors of protein, vanilla is my LEAST favorite. Why? No clue. Even when I was younger I felt vanilla was boring, but could be greatly improved by copious amounts of chocolate (as can ANYTHING)….but I digress. Taste: it was actually quite decent on its own, even for vanilla. Let’s take a look at the good points first:

  • It wasn’t gritty! Oh my gosh, plant-based protein scares me due to the fact that it can often times be super gritty….like trying to swallow watered down grits, blech! This was smooth as can be just mixed with water.
  • The vanilla wasn’t overwhelming. I hate when companies pack too much in to the product and you leave your smoothie smelling like a Starbuck’s barista just gave you a sponge bath in vanilla….
  • Absolutely ZERO yucky aftertaste. You know what I’m talking about. You have a protein shake post workout and can still taste it on your tongue 3 days later. Grossness…. The reason for most aftertaste is the crap they put in as fillers.

Anything bad? Not really as far as protein shakes go. The taste was good, but not overwhelming. If you are a protein shake junky (we have a support group that meets every Monday at the smoothie bar…counterproductive), then you’ll notice a HUGE lack of sweetness. Take a deep breath, this is actually a good thing.

What’s a review without a couple of pictures documenting how I’ve been #fuelingmybetter right? PLUS, recipes at the bottom! Don’t scroll down! Cheater…

vega yoga

Me, channeling my best dancer after a killer workout…fueled by Vega Sport, duh

vega sport

So, what is the sport I fuel? It’s called life people! I hate running, so much so that I bought a tank top for $20 just to shout it to the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love runners, just not a fan of me running. So, my sports revolve around yoga, MMA, weights and the exhausting task of kicking butt fabulously every single day….

vega mission

I happen to do a little humanitarian work and spent 2 weeks in Chisinau, Moldova (go look it up and come back) with people you would be blessed to know

vega recipe

I promised some recipes right?

Check it out. This made a HUGE blender full….and I drank the whole thing :) Don’t judge me! I’m fabulous, not flawless

INGREDIENTS:

Vitamix (shout out!)

8 oz unsweetened almond milk

1/2 mango

1/2 banana

like 3 handfuls of spinach…just fill the whole blender up

1/2 cucumber

1/2 avocado (no judgement if you eat the other half while the blender is running)

3 celery stalks

Vega Sport Vanilla Protein

Ice if you like it chilly

AND…BLEND.

Second, slightly sweeter, recipe

I had this yesterday after a killer body-weight-based leg day (I never knew my body weighed so much!)

8 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 cup frozen cantaloupe melon cubes

1/2 frozen banana

Vega Sport Vanilla Protein

It blends into ice cream and is light and fluffy and full of deliciousness!!!! Enjoy :)

What to do now? Click on the link and check it out for yourself. I got to try it for free, but have decided it’s so good I think I’ll pay for the stuff :) #fuelyourbetter

That’s high praise right there..

Until next time, stay happy and healthy y’all!

Michelle

 

Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Quest Bars :)

I love to eat! How about you? I mean, what’s the point of having food if you can’t enjoy it?

Welcome to QUEST Nutrition! Quest bars (and now pastas!) came on the scene a few years ago and dramatically changed everything. You can now #cheatclean and stay lean thanks to whole foods ingredients and bio-available protein in every bite. That means more bang for your buck. Follow Quest Nutrition on Twitter and Instagram for delicious recipes and posts on health, wellness and keeping your body its fittest year round. Flexible dieters unite! Quest Bars are totally acceptable in your “meal plan” :)

Need to stock up?

Check them out at Bodybuilding.com below!

 

Quest Bars By Quest Nutrition

Let’s get real about weight loss

OK, so there is this thing that has been bothering me. It’s the entire reason why so many of us feel like failures when it comes to weight loss and I have even peddled along with it. But NO MORE! There is a reality to weight loss, but we aren’t really let in on that reality are we?

  1. You cannot deprive the body into losing weight. At least, you can’t deprive it into losing weight for good. Every time you embark on a deprivation diet of ANY kind, your metabolism, NOT YOUR BODY FAT, goes down. It is better to invest some time building your metabolism up instead of falling for quick weight loss fads.
  2. There is a definite science to weight loss…and most trainers don’t even know it. Basic CPT training courses do NOT teach the science of actual weight loss. They teach trainers how to take assessments and protocol for training programs. All of this is very important, but now the market is flooded with trainers that spit out meal plans like a weight loss ATM. Then, when the meal plan fails the client…the trainer blames the client.
  3. NUTRIENTS are far more important than calories. Nutrient help insure health, bone density, longevity and quality of life. If you focus on cutting calories, you inadvertently cut nutrients, leading to more fat gain and inflammation issues as you age.
  4. WOMEN: wrap your pretty head around the fact that you need to train like a man. Start thinking like men (grunting and throwing weights optional). You don’t see too many men starving themselves to fit into a certain size or see a certain number on the scale. Build your muscle, feed your muscle. And as for the flat-out lie that you’ll get BULKY…in the infamous Disney voice, LET IT GO.
  5. Get smart. Choose your trainer wisely. This person is not just responsible for helping you shed a couple of pounds….they are responsible for your HEALTH and wellbeing. Don’t take that lightly and don’t allow them to take it lightly either. If you see them training other clients exactly like they train you, run for the door. You deserve a personalized approach to your own health. Put it on the list as IMPORTANT.

Here’s one final thing that bugs me in the “weight loss” industry (aside from the fact that it should be the health industry…but that doesn’t sell as much):

MANY people fall for fancy marketing. I have blog posts about home workouts on this very blog. I also used to peddle them, but I have since seen a few issues come to light, especially since I started counseling:

  • You ONLY see the success. Let’s take Beach Body for example (please note, they are not the only ones): they KNOW infomercials. They have a specialized team that knows exactly what to do, right down to the lighting, colors and time placement. When Beach Body develops a new program, the program gets sent to beta testing. There is a controlled group of people who sign several documents stating that they will not breathe a word. In return, they get to work with celebrity trainer, get a meal plan and hopefully, a brand new body. Here’s the question: do you see the people that didn’t succeed? You know, the ones that did it for 2 weeks and got bored, injured or just didn’t mesh with the program? UM, NO! They’ve signed contracts that disable them from saying it failed for them, therefore we only see the success. Since we only see success, when we do not finish we feel like a failure….
  • Home based training is not bad, but over promising is. When I take online clients in, they are told up front that my methods aren’t super fast…they’re built to last. Trainers and fitness companies need to step away from the flash of fast and move towards better health and wellness overall. Maintainable fitness and nutrition is what keep you fit, healthy and happy with life.

Now that my soap box can be folded up :) Here’s an eye opener for you:

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

I know I’ve posted these before, but stay with me here! These are no filter, no fancy lighting pics, just the real deal.

Pic on the left: I was down to 1400 calories, about 80 grams of carbs (that’s low people), no breads, pastas, rice, etc. and I was working out 2-3x per day.

On the right: my calories were worked up slowly to 1700 (I’m now up to 1800 and holding steady), carbs at 150 grams, zero steady state cardio, four 25 minute sessions per week and two hour long sessions to focus on building.

I have more energy throughout the day (carbs!) and I’m leaner than when I was following a plan.

The point? Learn the facts, learn your body and stop depending on people who don’t even know what they are doing! You’re health is worth the time and investment.

Want to learn more about nutrition? Join the next Nutrition Boot Camp that starts in June.

See you soon!

Michelle

Nutrition Boot Camp FAQ’s

Nutrition Boot Camp starts in just days! I’ve opened up a few more spots, but I am trying to keep them small so we can get to everybody’s questions. Today, I wanted to answer some questions that have come up and clear up what might be holding you back :)

  • How much time will this take?

Well, the answer is: however much you’ll give it. Bootcampers will be given exclusive information sent directly to their inbox for the subject matter we are covering that week. You can read it all right then, or put it in a folder and still have access to the knowledge well into the future. Calls are limited to 1 hour or less every Monday night and will be recorded (or at the very least, typed out) and put into an email within the following 48 hours.

  • What if I can’t make the call?

As stated above, the call will be recorded and sent. I encourage you to email questions that you have prior to any call you may miss so I can answer it for everybody. This also works if you’re just a little shy about asking questions :)

  • What is the difference between Nutrition Boot Camp and Nutrition Counseling?

Nutrition Boot Camp is a class-style environment designed to get the most education and information to a broad range of people. We will be covering basics in Nutrition Boot Camp (more in-depth boot camps will be coming soon!). Nutrition Counseling is one on one personal nutrition, tailored to meet your goals and overcome your own personal obstacles. Nutrition Boot Camp is a 6 week course. Nutrition Counseling takes 3-12 months to complete.

  • What can I expect to have covered in Nutrition Boot Camp?

Here is an overview of our 6 weeks in Nutrition Boot Camp:

  1. DIETS: They only make us fatter
  2. Eating Style vs. Diet
  3. Emotional Eating: Pitfalls and Fixes
  4. Common dis-ease nutrition fixes
  5. Why any kind of deprivation is a BAD idea
  6. Metabolic Damage: We’ll touch briefly on what it is, what causes it, how to identify it and ways to avoid it. There will be an in-depth class offered later on repairing the metabolism.
  • At the end of the day, what will I learn?

While we will al walk away with different things, here are a few I am hoping will stick:

  1. To NEVER trust a diet again…no matter who is doing it
  2. To trust that I can make the right nutrition decisions for myself (and my family)
  3. What the heck is a metabolism really?
  4. Food is fuel, but it should also be enjoyed
  5. I don’t have to live in deprivation to reach my goals
  6. How to clarify my goals and make my nutrition meet my lifestyle.

Those are the basics of what you can expect by enrolling in Nutrition Boot Camp. It’s not a boot camp about my eating style, or why you should change everything you’re doing, or meant to make you feel terrible about the way you are eating….it’s quite the opposite. We learn and then apply that knowledge to suit our lifestyles. Keep it simple people!

Sign up by clicking the NUTRITION TAB or email me: michelle@michellecfitness.com

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

 

These pictures were taken 3 months apart and were the result of loosening up on food restriction and LESS gym time! I’m no super hero…I just like to share what I know :)

Hope to see you there,

Michelle

National Nutrition Month Close: How to Get from A to Z

Hello Lovelies!

As we end the month of March (yes, END!) I wanted to share a few key point that will help in your journey.

Let’s recap just a little though…

THIS was me on January 13th of 2014.

Januray 13 2014

It’s not the worst shape those abs have ever been in, but I wasn’t doing too well internally and my nutrition focus had become quite distorted. Even the most learned of nutrition professionals can resort to lifelong habits…

So, here was my plan:

  1. I entered a contest online (hey, everybody’s watching then)
  2. I set upon research about tried and true nutrition…not diets
  3. I started logging foods like a mad fool….but always making sure I logged the time of day, how I felt before and after
  4. I changed my workouts several times to find what suited my body
  5. I focused on NUTRITION, not food

March 20 2014

This pic was taken February 13,2014

This was upon the implementation of HIIT training.

Now, HIIT seems to be confusing most people, so let’s get to it:

H- High

I- Intensity

I- Interval

T-training

Some people will try to sell you a magic HIIT formula, but that’s bogus. HIIT is a style of training. Here is what mine looks like (I use a Tabata timer, and I will save that for another post): I pick 5-10 exercises, depending on if I am focusing on certain body parts OR total body. I set my timer and hit it HARD from start to finish. HIIT in truly about intensity. That means I can cut my workout time down to 20-40 minutes and still see results.

Come March…I was losing my butt (everything I have back there is built, not blessed!). So…my eating style changed to accommodate some internal digestive issues (don’t judge, we all get them!) AND I switched my training up a bit…

rockin abs

This pic was taken March 23, 2014 I was pretty pleased with my abs since genetics will dictate those puppies don’t pop. When I tell you I work HARD for that, I’m not lying.

So what changed?

I gave Intermittent Fasting (the LIFESTYLE, not the diet…) a try. I’ll be going over this style just a bit in the Nutrition Boot Camp and will blog about in a couple of months.

I kept the HIIT workouts on 2-3 days per week, but added HEAVY, slow lifting  3-4 days per week (note: I usually workout 5-6 days per week).

Do I sweat as much lifting heavy weights only 4-6 times? Maybe not right off the bat, but THIS style has been proven to rebuild the metabolism by changing the hormones. Does it work? For me, it does :)

So, what do I suggest to YOU?

  1. Get to know YOUR body. Strop following what other people are doing…cause you totally know you just wrote down what I did. Stop that! Can you pick something to try? Yeah, give it a few weeks and see how you respond.
  2. Track your macronutrients. This is the pivotal point that will change EVERYTHING. How? I cover that…in the Nutrition Boot Camp!
  3. Be a little flexible. Be willing to make changes as needed.
  4. Get help. Whether it be nutrition or training, seek out a little extra help to get you there.
  5. Set your goals and be CLEAR. What do I mean? Well, I had to ask myself this question: “Do I want to be super lean OR really strong?” Is it impossible to be both? Not really, but you can’t train for both at the same exact time. Right now, I would like more muscle to my frame and I want to challenge my strength. Therefore, my eating and training will suit those demands.

Follow these guidelines to push you towards your goal and you’ll see results…maybe in just a couple of months :)

Michelle

 

 

National Nutrition Month: The intro into the bare basics of nutrition

Need more help?

Check out the NUTRITION TAB for information on Nutrition Boot Camp and Nutrition Counseling.

Thirsty Thursday: #CHEATCLEAN Recipes

Welcome back to National Nutrition Month!

What is food if it’s not enjoyable? Well, technically it is fuel, BUT if you don’t enjoy your fuel then you’re not very likely to stick with it right?

So, today I am presenting you with 4 (yeah, I said 4!) #cheatclean recipes to keep you trim and fit, but also satisfied. :) ENJOY your food!

The common ingredients you will need for these recipes are Quest Bars and protein powder. I’ll list what I use, but I always recommend you experiment! All items can be purchased at bodybuilding.com

protein PB cup

1) #CHEATCLEAN Peanut Butter Cups

I’m a Reese’s PB Cup ADDICT! And these come pretty dang close in taste, up my protein, and don’t jack up my hormones with all the sugars. Super easy recipe:

What you will need:

Foil muffin tins and non-stick spray

1 scoop BSN Syntha 6 protein powder in Peanut Butter Cookie mixed with just enough water to make a paste

1 scoop BSN Syntha 6 protein powder in Chocolate Peanut Butter mixed with just enough water to make a paste

What to do:

LIGHTLY spray muffin tins (makes 2 big ones)

place about 1/2 chocolate pb mix into both tins

Place in freezer for about 10 minutes

Place peanut butter cookie mix on top (the whole mix between both cups)

Freeze for 10-15 minutes

Place the remaining chocolate pb mix on top and freeze until done….or in my case, until you just can’t wait any longer.

Peanut Butter yumminess for less than 6 grams of sugar! WINNING!

oreo brownie bites

 

2) #CHEATCLEAN Oreo Brownie Bites

What you will need:

1 Quest nutrition Oreo cookie bar

1 Quest nutrition brownie bar

1 thank you letter, ready to be sent to Quest Nutrition.

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Place a bit of plastic wrap over a plate

Tear both bars into pieces and microwave for 20 seconds

Wrap plastic wrap around Quest bars and SMOOSH

Transfer your smoosh to a small baking dish

Bake for approximately 6 minutes

Cut into squares

Write thank you card.

 

chocolate ice cream

3) #CHEATCLEAN Chocolate Heaven Ice Cream Dream

What you will need:

An ice cream maker…seriously, they’re like $20. Go get one, I’ll wait…..

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology (I chose this for nutrient density, YOU may use any chocolate protein powder you like….it’s not an anarchy here)

1 scoop Syntha 6 protein in Peanut Butter Cookie

1 spoon natural peanut or almond butter (um, I use BIG spoons for this, but feel free to use a tablespoon)

6 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped (don’t wrinkle your nose at me! just do it…)

What to do:

Put it all into the blender, put the lid on  (DUH) and let it rip!

Pour into ice cream maker

Try not to look too desperate as you stalk ice cream make for the next 10-15 minutes

Enjoy :)

BTW: If you’re totally against modern technology and refuse to purchase an ice cream maker….place in container and freeze for 1-2 hours.

peanut butter stuffed cookie

4) #CHEATCLEAN Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie (OH….YEAH)

Um, words cannot express how deliciously delightful these are….do NOT share. I warned you :) If you share people will always be at your house…it’s dreadful.

What you will need:

1 Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar

1 Quest Nutrition Cravings Peanut Butter Cups Pack (you’ll use 1. feel free to nibble on the other, OR you can make a cookie for a very dear loved one)

an oven…

A phone! So you can take a pic of your cookie and a pic of your hot body and say “HA!” cause you have totally figured it out…

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

SMOOSH halves of the Quest cookie bar and place one on lightly sprayed cookie sheet

Place a peanut butter cup in the middle

Place other SMOOSHED half on top and close up the sides as best you can.

EAT any chocolate pieces that fall off…

Bake for 3-5 minutes

Find a dark corner to indulge your taste buds and have a little party all to yourself…cause we don’t share these.

 

There you have it. 4 awesome recipes that will revolutionize the way you see “diets”. I hate diets. I spit on them…but not after I’ve eaten a cookie cause I don’t waste that stuff.

Open your mind, realize that you are full of AWESOME potential just as you are RIGHT NOW. You don’t need to lose weight or get swole to live to your fullness…start now and it will come. #youareenough

Grace, peace, chocolate and a few lunges,

Michelle

rockin abs

Want abs like these? Head over to the NUTRITION tab to see how you can get in on Nutrition Boot Camp OR personalized nutrition counseling. Have your treats…gain results!

 

National Nutrition Month: Weight Gain Issues

We’re going strong for National Nutrition Month!

Keep your eye on the prize and don’t let a little bit of weight gain get you down. Learn the basics and you’ll succeed every time!

Sign Up for NUTRITION BOOTCAMP TODAY!

National Nutrition Month: Tough Love Tuesday…the real TRUTH

Tough Love Tuesday revisited!!!! Nutrition focus, thanks to National Nutrition Month :)

Need a little more help?

SIGN UP FOR NUTRITION BOOTCAMP! It starts April 7th and will run for 6 weeks in the comfort of your own home. Sign up HERE via email: michelle@michellecfitness.com