Mmmmm, the fresh smell of a new year! How to make this year totally rock :)

Picard new year

 

Happy New Year to you and yours!

There’s nothing quite like that FIRST Monday of a brand spanking new year right?

Full disclosure, I’m in my pj’s and seriously contemplating another cup of coffee……and it’s 2 in the afternoon.

I did workout already! Then I showered and put pj’s on, cause that’s how I roll.

In honor of a NEW YEAR, I have some goodies for you today :) Are you excited? Cause you really should be……

Goodie number ONE:

Resolutions! Are you a resolution maker? Or do you refer to them as goals, life plans, wishes, or dog gone it I will do it this year???? Whatever you want to call them, I have some tips on how to crush your life and come out winning.

  1. Make it positive. Instead of the bland “I’m going to eat less” (what the heck kind of goal is that anyways?!?!?!?!), try a more positive spin on it. Something like, “I’ll add vegetables to one meal a day” is both positive and doable AND it really does help change your health for the better. Instead of viewing exercise as a chore, put a positive spin on it by trying some new things you might enjoy. Think outside the box and see what happens. Just remember, keep it positive.
  2. Avoid overcommitment. We all tend to have commitment issues. Those issues seem to be blaringly loud at the start of a fresh year. On New Year’s Eve we vow to hit the gym 5-6 days per week, cut out any and ALL junk food, down our own body weight in water, forgo sugar in any form, and never drink alcohol again…..then we wind up killing ourselves at the gym, hating the fact that one is so easy to get to (cause there goes that excuse), choking down dressing-free salads and dry chicken breast, and forcing a restless sleep out of our bodies. By Friday evening we are crying into the warm arms of a hot pizza, sipping our second glass of wine and binge watching Netflix. We have a food hangover Saturday and simply want to crawl back into bed….SLOW DOWN NELLY! The problem isn’t the commitments, but the amount of them. Changing EVERYTHING overnight is a shock to all of your systems and you end up overcommitting and underdelivering. Then, you just feel poorly about yourself. The fix? Focus on ONE habit change per week and you’re SURE to see results.
  3. Pay the MOST attention to the small stuff. Did you know that there truly are only 4 things that matter when it comes to fat loss and physique goals???? No lie. They are simple things that can change EVERYTHING for you once you learn to pay attention to them and master them. So why aren’t people everywhere focusing on these things and seeing results? Because these things aren’t flashy and don’t come with free T-shirts. They seem way too easy, but I am here to tell you this is what counts! Want to know them? Of course you do! Simple….

1) Quality nutrition

2) Mindful movement that includes the foundations of strength training, cardio, and flexibility

3) Sleep

4) Stress reduction techniques

Four simple things that yield BIG results. It may seem too simple to work, but it’s in the simplest things that we create the most effective habits.

Confused where to start? I’ll be offering an online challenge group to help you master the basics and you can sign up for information at the end of the post.

Goodie number two:

I’ve been working out at home lately (forgoing the gym for the time being) due to some medical issues and just the fact that I’m a bit of a homebody.

So, here are a few of my very FAVORITE things happening right now to help you see your very best self :)

BEST website for all things weightlifting: bodybuilding.com

My favorite blog of the moment: Thrive Personal Fitness

Awesome workout STREAMS: Beachbody On Demand I like P90X2 and X3. They do NOT offer the newest releases of other workouts, but old favorites (I do a lot of TurboFire) are on there and the cost is better than most streams

My favorite YOGA channel: Yoga with Adriene

Supps I’m Into: ONNIT I like the alpha brain, Matcha tea and coconut oil

OK, that should keep you rolling for now!

Get this year off to a good start…..even if you’re lucky enough to be in your jammies ;)

Michelle

 

If you want to know when the next ONLINE challenge starts and what it’s all about, hit me up here….

 

Gym Talk: Making the MOST of Your 2015 Goals

Good Monday Morning!

This morning as I entered the gym (around 6 a.m.) I noticed an electricity that had been dull the past couple of weeks. There were a few new faces there this morning and a little more body heat, for which I was grateful because it is COLD here. Seeing these fresh faces mixed with the old-faithful ones brought to mind some simple ways we can all help each other reach our gym-time goals and answer the question, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

new year res

There seems to be some underlying animosity between those who frequent the gym all year long and those who re-up their commitment (or begin anew) in the New Year. My hope for 2015 is that we can all truly get along and live happily in the iron and cardio den together.

In that light, I offer some tips for gym newbies AND those of us old hands….because we must never forget we were once newbies too ;)

For Our New/Returning Gym Goers:

Here are a few tips to help you reach your goals and not feel so left out at the rack.

  1. HAVE A PLAN. Don’t go in to the gym with a blank slate on your brain. The seasoned can see this and it can make you look vulnerable. Need a plan? Try the cheap route and check out bodybuilding.com for plans (you can follow my workouts there too). Write it down or download the app…whatever floats your boat.
  2. Learn your terminology. Don’t worry, I’m not talking sets and reps here…I’m talking basic gym etiquette. If you want to use a piece of equipment, but somebody is being a hog with it, simply ask “Are you still using this?”. If so, it is acceptable to ask if you can work in, especially if you’re doing circuits and will only need the equipment for 1 set.
  3. Be mindful of interruptions. You’ll find that most true blue body builders are SUPER nice….so long as you don’t interrupt their set :) . If you need to ask a question (like “Can you please get your nasty towel off that machine if you’re not using it?”), wait until the weights are down and they come up for air. We usually feel accomplished and are far more eager to help people then.
  4. Hold your head high. Repeat after me: “I belong here.” Don’t get intimidated by muscle or prowess. You belong in the gym just as much as anybody else. Don’t get discouraged, just remember that we really do all start somewhere.
  5. Swallow your pride. If you’re just embarking on the weight game, don’t get cocky. Ask for help (just not during a set) and don’t feel like you must have it perfect. Nobody is really watching you….but the awesome people will be more than happy to help you.

For the Seasoned:

Cut the newbies some slack and share the love.

Thos of us who have found our “happy place” in the gym are always going on and on about how everybody should do it….until they do. Then we get aggravated because not only are they on the equipment we need, but they’re using it totally wrong (I’m SOOOOOO guilty of this feeling, sorry). Here’s a few tips to keep you going strong and NOT being a deterrent to the progress of anybody else, including yourself.

  1. Have a backup plan. Any seasoned lifter SHOULD be able to find a way around somebody using “their” equipment. Ham curl machine backed up for half an hour? Try stiff-legged deads or a ham curl on the exercise ball. YOU have been at this for a while and should be more apt to make adjustments as needed.
  2. Download new tunes. Music makes you happy. Grab some new tunes to set your mood a little lighter while dealing with the increased traffic.
  3. Be willing to be bothered. You want others to feel as great as you do right? So be willing to answer questions or help out if needed. Offer a spot on the bench, help somebody unrack the bar if needed, and if you see somebody about to sustain a major injury…..step up.
  4. Switch up your routine and/or your time. There are certain pieces of equipment that are a draw to gym newbies. If you’re a slave to the smith machine try the squat rack. If you’re always doing pec flys on the pec deck, try free weights. Your muscles will respond favorably to the change and you’ll see better results…..plus you won’t be super stressed.
  5. Give the newbies some space. Don’t bring 5 towels to the gym to mark your territory people. True lifters will find a way to get their workout in, no matter what…and they won’t do it at the expense of others.
  6. Lastly, take your workout outdoors. If the gym is just too crowded for you or there are no treadmills left, take it outside! Your muscles will thank you and you’ll enjoy the fresh air.

My final piece of advise to all: don’t do bicep curls in the squat rack…….seriously

Now, go out and get it! Happy 2015 and may THIS be the year you reach your goals!

Michelle

Out with the Old: 5 Steps to Totally ROCK 2015

Another year has slipped by and while some are nursing hangovers (either from alcohol or rich foods) others are getting ready to tackle this year with the vengeance of a Spartan.

Before you dive head first, check out these steps to Totally ROCKING this coming year….and keeping your sanity :)

  1. Use one word. Instead of writing down every goal you want to accomplish, and transferring the ones that weren’t accomplished last year, try setting the tone of your year with ONE word. Believe it or not, 12 months can hold many life events and a whole lot of change. So, instead of writing goals in January that you’ll forget by March, try setting your year up with a word. This word should encompass what you wish to see in your year throughout all facets of your life (work, relationships, creativity, etc.). You can choose any word that really MEANS something to you and then place it on display where you will see it each morning. Here are some examples, but please use what’s in your heart: SUCCESS, LOVE, FORGIVENESS, PRESENCE, ORGANIZATION, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, KINDNESS, CONSISTENT, CREATIVE, BOLD, DARING, ADVENTUROUS….you get the picture. Be creative in your own way and let this word speak to you. NOW, about those goals…..
  2. Instead of 1 list of goals once a year, it is far better to set aside some time to write out MONTHLY goals. I know it seems a bit time consuming at first, but writing your goals for each month will enable you to reach far more goals by the end of the year. This gives you a timeline to accomplish your goals and sets you up for success. No more than 10 goals per month you over achievers! Keep it simple, but dream big. Each month, mark off what you have accomplished, then mark off what no longer matters to you, then you can add what is pulling towards your word for the year.
  3. Prioritize. This is a skill that anybody can learn, but few of us want to slow down long enough to do it. Do you ever feel like you are fighting against your true nature? Well, that is a sure-fire sign that your priorities aren’t in line. Take a few minutes to write down EVERYTHING you do (OK, for some this may take more than a few minutes), then start to check off what is either not necessary (like scrolling Facebook all day) or simply doesn’t feed you in any way. Take what is left and begin to prioritize by importance. For me, my top priority is to spend quiet time each morning setting myself up for a positive day. Next is my husband, then my kids. Time with them (together and separately) is highly important, so I make that a priority and no job or client can get into that time. Prioritize by what feeds your soul and you will find that life falls into place more easily.
  4. Have some FUN. I know all this talk about lists and priorities can drag some of us into school mode, so stay with me. Do you remember when you were a kid and you did things just for fun? I mean, I know I did some STUPID things that were just plain fun! Don’t lose that ability as you grow older. Walk barefoot in the grass, sing on the swing set (granted you haven’t gotten old and swing sets now make you sick), go to the zoo, eat the cotton candy (just not all the time), bake cookies, play with your dog, look like an idiot at Disney World! Make time to let go of how you think you should present yourself all the time and make a little time for FUN. This act will keep you balanced and keep stress at bay.
  5. Give back. One of the MOST rewarding aspects of life is giving to others. Choose to make 2015 your year of giving. You can redo your household budget to give more to your local church, charities or missions. You can donate your time to those in need of your talent. Think you don’t have a talent? There are many children who LOVE to read to and have nobody able to do it. Everybody has something to give. Take a treat or meal to your neighbor, give your kids friends a ride, offer to walk somebody’s dog, help your elderly neighbor with grocery shopping. There are ENDLESS ways to give, so tap into your resources and get giving! You will never be the same once you start :) And should you ever want to travel with me, just let me know and I’ll be happy to place you on my team.

There you have it, 5 simple steps that will change this year into a year like no other. Time stops for no man, but we can learn to use the time we have wisely.

Rock on,

Michelle

profile rolling

The New Year is HERE!

I know it’s November, but you know it’s coming…

You can hear the footsteps of the New Year as clearly as the Christmas songs in the grocery stores.

The. New. Year.

The New Year can hold hope for some and dread for others. Many of us start the New Year with the exact same resolutions as last year….and possibly the year before.

Fear not, fitness seeker! There are loads of NEW options through MichelleCFitness.

Awesome FREEBIES:

Check out my INSTAGRAM feed to follow my journey to the stage. You’ll get to see my foods and some unaltered gym locker room selfies…woohoo!

My YOUTUBE channel is being infused with videos that break down form on popular exercises AND some free workouts as well.

Sign up for the NEWSLETTER over there ———->>>>>>>>>>>>>>> for FREE recipes to get you out of your food rut.

NEW ONLINE OFFERINGS:

Online coaching is available NOW and can keep you from gaining weight during the Holidays.

The best part? It’s totally affordable! Initial set up is $99 (what that covers is below) and monthly training cost is $50.

Online coaching covers:

  • Nutrition evaluation
  • Macro calculations
  • Fitness assessment
  • Goal setting
  • First month workouts, rotations, meal plans and/or macro plans
  • Access to your trainer via phone, text, or email
  • Bi-weekly evaluations

1 to 1 training sessions

The Slaughter House Gym is accepting clients on the list for sessions in the New Year. Sessions are sold in packages and range from $600-$1100. Packages include nutrition counseling and macro calculations.

Specialty Diets

Feeling a little lackluster after all the sugar and over indulging? I can hook you up!

  • Yeast free diet help
  • Elimination Diet
  • Allergen assessments
  • Special situations
  • Eating disorders

These are assesses on a case by case basis. Please email michelle@michellecfitness.com

Nutrition Boot Camp Sign Ups have STARTED!

It’s official, Nutrition Boot camp is back! The Holiday Edition is HERE.

Check out the video for info on the WHY and WHAT of NBC:

This boot camp will cover SO MUCH information, but I always narrow down the focus so YOU Can see results.

Is it possible to NOT gain weight during the holidays? You bet! It’s even possible to lose weight during the holidays if you are given the right guidance.

Check it out:

Januray 13 2014

This pic I was taking in under 1800 calories, about 80 grams of carbs, 160 grams of protein, and only about 20-30 grams of fat. My diet was MOSTLY veggies (not a bad thing really). I was having a hard time getting muscle definition to show and was all-around slowed down by stubborn fat and low energy.

prepweek4

I know the angles isn’t the same, but I don’t take a lot of photos in my bra :)

OK, so this one I am working my was up to roughly 2600 cals per day, 200 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat.

I’m eating WAY more and losing fat like CRAZY while I gain muscle. It’s a nutrition science miracle.

March 20 2014

As of TODAY, I am sitting at 2600 cals, 254 grams of carbs, 152 grams of protein and 60 grams of carbs.

If you think you can just eat the same and see results….I hate to disappoint BUT your nutrition is as unique as your fingerprint.

That’s why YOU need nutrition boot camp!

I figure your macros, yes, BUT I also teach you how to do it on your own so as things change you still see results! I make it easy for you.

PLUS you get recipes, meal plans for the BIG days (and the shopping days when time is scarce), workout plans to burn off major calories….not time, plus more.

Why wait until the New Year when you can start the New Year at your goal?!?!?!?

Sign up today!

The Key to Success

Happy Monday!

Question: have you set up health and fitness goals for 2014? Are you totally ready to go all in and give all you have to reach these goals?

More than most likely you have answered YES! However, it’s only the first full week and statistically many health and fitness resolutions fail by Valentine’s Day….but you’re not going to be a statistic this year.

So, why do they fail? Lack of preparation can be one answer. Lack of planning or goals that are a bit too lofty can be answers as well. I think it goes deeper though. Many of us have already done the prep work. We’ve thrown out the Christmas candy, set up our workout space or purchased a gym membership, and even begun researching meal plans (which is probably what lead you here). Can I be honest though? All of that is the easy part. I can get clients to throw the junk out and start moving…the tricky thing is to keep junk from coming back and to keep moving.

So what’s the trick? HABIT.

I receive emails all the time from people who have the equipment. They have new shoes, a treadmill, P90X, weights, shakes, etc., but they don’t know how to stick with a program. That’s part of the bigger picture: stick with the program :)

In all honesty, even I have a hard time sticking to DVD programs, which is why I will often mix them (follow me on Twitter to get a better feel for my personal workouts). The biggest thing you can do to help yourself reach your goals is to figure out what works for you. We all have different motivators, which will help us develop habits. These motivators are wide in variety and change from person to person as well as different times in our lives. Take a look at just a few of the motivators that have played a role in my own success:

  1. Health. My mom died when I was young and I was well on my way down the same path at 22 years old. A kind-hearted but stern radiologist told me to change my lifestyle or face the consequences.
  2. Kids. I want to set an example for my children. Not only do I want them to see that taking care of your health is important, but fitness requires a commitment to change that many fail to exhibit now.
  3. My husband. I won’t lie on this, I want to look hot for my honey :) . I like when he’s proud of my hard work and when he wants to show me off. He is my biggest fan and supporter.
  4. To be a good steward. Just like the money I have been entrusted with, I have also been entrusted with this body. It is my right and honor to take care of it, grow it, challenge it and use it as it is to be used.
  5. To be my own hero. I enjoy not having to wait for people to help me with mundane tasks like moving a few pieces of furniture or grabbing a huge bag of dog food. I still believe in chivalry and enjoy the doors being open, but it feels good to also know I can kick it down if needed.

There are LOADS of other motivators that have come up in my fit life. Often times I will enter online contests or run challenges to keep me going. The fact is that you have to create a habit in order for it to stick as a lifestyle. You don’t create habits in 2 days or 2 weeks people! It takes a minimum of 40 days for something to become a habit.

Simply eradicating a poor choice (like too much sugar) but never replacing it with something healthier doesn’t work either. One of the most popular things I see happen this time of year is that people will “give up” sugar (including candy and sodas) for the month. The problem is that they usually only give it up for a month. Once February hits they are right back on the train, often times eating MORE in order to make up for the deprivation.

So how can you avoid the pain of goals-never-met? A few simple steps will get you started:

  • Set achievable goals and share them with somebody who can help you make sure they can be reached (I am available by email).
  • Set a time to reach them.
  • Set up healthy habits over the next 40 days. Don’t go clean slate and cold turkey here…set up 1 nutrition and one exercise habit to conquer over the next 40 days. Example: workout 3x per week and stay away from sugary foods and beverages.
  • Develop a program that works. Write your goals down and place them EVERYWHERE, set the timer on your phone for workouts, or enlist an accountability partner. Make these 2 things NON-NEGOTIABLE.
  • Stick to it. If you don’t see results in 3 days (you know who you are!) or you get tired or just don’t feel like it, SUCK IT UP! Do it. Don’t wait for somebody to come give you the half-time pep talk OK? Be your own motivator and find your own success.

Set your footing right with these tips and you WILL see results. Stay with it and fight for it. Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Michelle

Rockstar Training

 

Looking back to the past and forward to the future…

 

Happy Monday!

Today marks the FINAL Monday of 2013, and what a year it has been. :)

I have recently become OBSESSED with the Flipagram app and highly recommend it if you’re wanting to see your recent year in pictures. Upon my discovery of this app, I found myself becoming quite teary eyed over what had actually happened in 2013. I think we can all fall prey to thinking too much about the future and forget about what has been accomplished in the past 365 days. I would like to take a moment to encourage you to take a look back at your own 365 before we engage in the next round of adventures :)

MY 365:

Can I just take a moment to say WOWZA!?!?!? OK, so much has happened this year, but it must be shared in short hand.

In January I made my very first overseas trip to Chisinau, Moldova and managed to leave a part of my heart there. I was fortunate enough to let go of my need for control long enough to make some lifelong friendships and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. I am also looking forward to more trips there.

Moldova 4

February marked my 35th birthday, and may I be honest here? ALL the things you read about your body changing, holding on to fat, harder to lean out, etc.? Seemingly true for me :) However, a change in training can yield results.

In May, I celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary to the first and only guy I ever fell in love with…altogether now: AAAAAWWWWWE.

July saw another trip overseas. This time I was fortunate to be accompanied by my oldest and the trip was to the BEAUTIFUL and majestic Ethiopia. It was a trip I will never forget as I saw what true joy looks like, even in the midst of poverty. I met friends whom I will never forget and I was able to see my boy become a man.

Ethiopia with girl

I had a short hitch to my plans by October, but have learned that there are times when we may have the best laid plans, but there are far better times for these plans to come to fruition.

I have seen many days and many challenges in the gym here at home, and have set up my goals and desires for the coming of 2014. One thing I will change is instead of making “Goal Sheets” or “Vision Boards” I am going to make ADVENTURES. See, the thing about adventures is that they leave some wiggle room for life. Life is, after all, a series of adventures. Our lives can be a series of our own adventures OR it can be the planning, waiting and watching of others. I for one intent for 2014 to be FULL of great adventures!

Here’s a sneak peek into my adventures for 2014:

  1. MORE TRIPS! Yep, I hope to leave this country a couple of more times before the year is through and I plan to take more family with me.
  2. FIGURE COMPETITION. Yep, I’ve been toeing the line on competitions for  a couple of years now. Upon a little bit of self-reflection I have realized THIS is the year it’s happening! I need to get out of my comfort zone and be pushed to the max…or I fear I will regret it.
  3. HIRING A COACH. Due to the aforementioned competing, I will be hiring a figure coach. WHY? My specialties are weight loss, corrective exercise and MMA. I need somebody to hold me accountable to my goals and help with posing and all too :) My first interview with a potential figure coach is today!
  4. NEW BUSINESS! I know I’ve made mention of it, but I am starting a brand new business to introduce a new way of thinking that will help in weight loss for ALL levels. We had originally intended to launch this week, but I felt that the time wasn’t enough to put out quality information. So, we will be launching in March, just in time to recommit to a healthy way to reach your weight loss and fitness goals for 2014…cause by then you’ll be tired of starving;)
  5. I want to take a BIG family adventure by the end of the year. You know, one of those crazy cool family vacations you see people ? Yep, that will be us this year.

Those are my top 5 adventures for 2014.

What adventures do YOU have in store? And how will next year look different from this year?

Until 2014, PEACE, LOVE, and PLENTY of LUNGES!

Michelle C

*Disclaimer Note: Video made by Flipagram (FREE app, go get it). Song, CHAINSAW by Family Force 5. Download legally, don’t be a butthead.

 

 

BIG News for YOU and a FREE E-Book

So, how did you make out through the Thanksgiving Holiday? Even my international friends were wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving this week :)

In light of the holiday spirit, I wanted to share some extremely exciting news with you. I have been working tirelessly on developing a program to help you reach all of your health and fitness goals in 2014. That’s right, it’s a program that will walk you step by step through everything it takes to become fit, energetic and the envy of all your friends and loved ones! Joking, you seek to become the inspiration right? ;)

What’s the deal with this new program? For starters, it is unlike anything else that is available and we’ve done the research to make sure. This program will stay with you for an entire year to ensure you reach those goals and resolutions so by 2015 you are truly healthy, fit and ready to take on even bigger goals. What do you get? Here is just a taste:

  • WEEKLY meal plans, easy recipes and a print and go grocery list
  • WEEKLY motivation and encouragement
  • WEEKLY workouts designed to teach you how to make the most out of your time
  • MONTHLY downloadable e-books that will give you a leg up on reaching your goals for that month
  • Seasonal recipes to help you stay on track and healthy
  • Tips for eating out and parties
  • Tips for skin care to keep skin in top shape during weight loss and body transformations
  • Access to monthly Q&A sessions
  • Exclusive videos on exercise form, meal planning, meal preparation and more
  • MUCH MORE!

Who is this program for?

This program is designed for those who are sick and tired of falling for fads, standing at the back of the diet line every year and those seeking guidance to LEARN how to live a healthy life. There are no gimmicks, no secret formulas and no deprivation here, just honest work and knowledge to help you get where you want to be. If you’re looking for a magic pill or a silver bullet, this is not the program for you. I’m just trying to be honest about it because there are 3 things that it takes to reach AND maintain your health and fitness goals: Time, Practice and Patience. At the end of 2014, you will have mastered all three :)

How do you get in on it? That’s easy! Email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com with the subject line: SIGN ME UP. Once you do that, you’ll be placed on a FIRST TO KNOW LIST and you’ll receive my new E-book Five Steps to Surviving the Holidays. This book is full of recipes to keep you on track, workouts to burn extra calories and tips to reduce stress. It’s yours totally FREE just for signing up. Then, mark your calendars for December 29th for a  webinar that will answer all of your lingering questions and get YOU started towards a healthier life.

My question for you is this: are you totally happy with your level of health and fitness right now or are you already looking into the fads that are coming up for 2014? If you’re starting to look, I beg you to give this a little thought and a little time. Hey, you get a free book out of the deal anyway! ANYBODY can reach their goal in a year with the right tools. I have the tools ready for your use, you just have to show up :)

Peace, Love and Lunges

Michelle

Rockstar Training

Top 10 Nutrition Lies That STOP You from Losing Weight: Part 2

Welcome back as we finish out this segment on nutrition lies that STOP you from reaching your weight loss goals. Remember, if you’ve fallen for some of these lies there is still hope! It’s not your fault, it’s just good marketing :)

Photo Mar 12, 4 21 19 PM

6. Heart healthy whole wheat is for EVERYBODY.

Ask your best friend about that. Now, I in NO WAY want to perpetuate this gluten-free cycle we have been running around with just to lose weight, SO we’re going to discuss good old-fashioned facts.

Gluten is quickly catching up to dairy (lactose) in the areas of sensitivity and allergies.

Whole wheat is the largest source of gluten.

Signs of gluten sensitivity are CHRONIC digestive issues, abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, chronic bloating (ahem, weight gain and bloating are 2 very different things), constipation, diarrhea, etc.

Best option to find out if you have a gluten sensitivity: YOUR DOCTOR! Don’t go gluten-free until your doctor says this is your only option. Whole wheat settles well with over 85% of the population and helps keep cholesterol in check as well as provide a preferred source of energy. Gluten does not make you fat or cause weight gain….stop trying that excuse.

Realize that what works for your friends will most likely not work for you, so pay attention to your body. Wheat products, just like EVERYTHING else, require moderation.

7. Meat is BAD.

This is crazy. Why? We are steadily blaming new problems on old foods! Go tell your great-grandfather (the one that lived to be 100+ and ate bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning) that meat is the enemy and the reason why you can’t lose weight. Let me know how that conversation goes for you. The PROBLEM is our butts have gotten lazier, not that we’re suddenly failing in our carnivorous approach…but that’s for another day.

While meat itself is not the culprit, what we have done to it is appalling. If your meat comes out of a pop top can, you can totally blame that (though don’t call it meat please). The over-processing of foods has “convenienced” us into the health crisis we are now fighting.

What about the statements that meat causes cancer? Well, they aren’t scientifically backed. The tests that have been done conclude that it is the CHARRING of meat (crisp it UP!) not the meat itself. Your best defense? Stop burning your meat.

Studies DO support that unprocessed red meat does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

What to do? About 4% of people on this planet can get EVERYTHING they need from a strictly vegetarian diet. If you are the other 96%, remember that moderation (that word again) and portion control are key. Learn how to properly cook your meat and stay within your recommended portions to reap the benefits.

8. Low carb Diets are dangerous and ineffective.

Before it gets confusing, I’m not talking about Atkins here. The diet I am referring to is a lifestyle where lower carb intake is required based on the life you live. For example, a 3x per week fitness class taker needs far fewer carbs than an Olympic Gold Medalist specializing in endurance sports. For our purposes here, we’re looking at the 40/30/30 split of macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats, respectively). Over 20 randomized controlled trials around the world since 2002 have found the following about this particular diet:

  • decreased blood pressure
  • increased weight loss compared to low-fat diets
  • increased HDL and decreased triglycerides
  • changed the pattern of LDL cholesterol from small and dense LDL to large LDL (easier for the body to utilize and dispose).
  • decreased blood sugar and reduced the need for medication in Type 2 diabetics.
  • Easier to stick to most likely due to increased satiety as opposed to low-fat diets.
  • Useful to fight obesity, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.

What can you do to jump on the health train? Look into healthy protein sources and figure out how much you need per day to follow the 40/30/30 plan. This is the same plan that I give clients seeking weight loss as well as performance enhancement and overall health and wellbeing.

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9. “Healthiest” diets are low-fat, high-carb.

Interesting enough, the low-fat, high-carb movement came in around 1977…about this time is when obesity is charted. The irony is not lost people.

Bottom line: a low-fat, high-carb diet is hard to stick to for life, therefore it is not a lifestyle change. Once you deviate from the diet, BOOM, the pounds are back and they brought friends. This diet is also proven to be dangerous for those suffering from diabetes, metabolic syndrome and/or obesity. Ditch it. Moving on…

10. Sugar is BAD…due to “empty calories”.

False. You’re excited now right? Hang on: sugar is bad for MANY other reasons…oh, sad face :( Keep reading anyways.

Sugar contains absolutely ZERO essential nutrients.

Excessive, regular sugar intake can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Sugar can increase insulin resistance, elevate blood sugars, elevate triglycerides, increase small, dense LDL, and increase abdominal obesity.

Added sugars in foods (check your labels!) have been associated with diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers.

Important note: This does NOT include natural sugars found in fruits and even some vegetables. This sugar is processed and used differently, so hit up that fruit bowl people!

Second important note: PLEASE DITCH FAKE SUGAR! Splenda, Sweet n Low, etc. these are not recognized as a useable fuel source in your body. They are therefore stored in the nearest storage bin, AKA your belly fat, where they sit and play havoc all around. Diet Coke drinkers, step away, take a deep breath, go for a walk and remind yourself that just one calorie isn’t worth your mental and physical health.

So there you have the truth to the top 10 nutrition lies. If you have fallen prey to one or more, have NO FEAR! Information can be obtained to help you reach past the bull and into the light of what actually works. At the end of this year, I’m launching a system to help you reach your goals once and for all. It’s not a silver bullet or a magic pill BUT it will have you feeling magically well in no time. Stick around for more news and until then…

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

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Ready. Set. GOAL!

I had promised that I would share my goals for the new year with you, and I hate to break promises :)

Ambitious goals are what keep life quite interesting in my opinion. These are the goals that begin as just a fleeting thought in the corner of one’s mind, but over time the thought becomes bigger and , in my case, flashier. I do love sparkle and believe everybody’s life could benefit from a bit more.

So, in the spirit of keeping it flashy I will share some of my 2013 GOALS with you:

  1. I am working towards a physical space of my very own. A gym to call my own :) THIS will actually not be as flashy as one may expect since I truly LOVE the feel of a good old garage gym.
  2. I do have physical goals to accomplish this year, but most fall in the realm of strength and endurance, not jean size or numbers.
  3. I have entered and will COMPETE in my very first fitness show this May! I’ll be sharing that journey with you as well.
  4. I will travel to Moldova this month, but have set a goal to travel to Africa this year as well…as often as I can :) I am partnered with Hopechest ministries and will continue to go where I am called, without questioning.
  5. I will finish 2 books this year: 1 is on weight loss and my specific specialty (keeping the skin tight!) and the other will cover my mission trips and tell the stories of the girls who have been caught up in sex trafficking. I will give a voice to those who feel as though theirs has been taken.
  6. In light of #5, one of my final goals is a publishing deal. Why? Publishers get the words to more people.

So, there are the majority of my goals. I always set goals for my personal life as well, working on relationships and growing in my faith daily.

The question I pose to you is “How big are your goals?” Do you stick to the “safe” goals? Maybe you hang around the ones that are a bit easier. Or perhaps you park over the same ones you’ve had for years, knowing if you don’t make it all will not be lost. Friends, those kind of goals keep you simply existing. What would happen if you believed that great things can happen through you? What if you set out to leave a few footprints through this life? What would happen if you decided to stop existing and truly LIVE life as loud as you could? Who might be affected? I’ll be honest, once you change your mindset to make a change, YOU will be the one to benefit the most.

Live out loud this year!

Michelle