BIG NEWS Week #1: Baytown Boot Camp

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

Ashampoo_Snap_2012.01.30_17h17m47s_009_

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

Basic Training Boot Camp

Start Date: Monday, January 5th, 2015

End Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Days: Monday through Thursday evenings

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

Space: Bayway Cross Fit 7210 Bayway Drive, Baytown 77520

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

Cost: $250

What do you get?

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

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

What should you expect?

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

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

Questions:

Is this a Cross Fit Boot Camp?

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

Do I have to already be exercising?

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

Is it open to all levels of fitness?

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

What about soreness?

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

What will I need to bring?

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

What do I wear?

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

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

Want in?

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

 

 

Don’t Forget to Play

This morning as I ambled onto my yoga mat set up in my bedroom, I decided to do things a little different. I threw away any pre-conceived “stuff” that had to be accomplished during this time and I threw on some Lorde (always good for yoga, in my opinion). Then, I just let go. I began to move through the stiff joints and muscles caused by teaching high impact classes and I began to feel invigorated and much freer than if I had just focused on flattening my abs or burning what I was about to eat for breakfast. There was an element of play involved in the process.

meghan yoga

Yoga helps many athletes to find balance within life. While life will never be completely balanced, yoga helps us find that internal balance that can lead to more focus and less freaking out. I find that this is better accomplished through a sense of play. In the world of fitness that I reside in (that would be weight loss), there seem to be more rules than actual fact. There are always new diets promising big results, but only if you follow their rules. There are workouts promising the body you always wanted, but only if you follow their rules. It gets to the point where many seeking weight loss do begin to take things too seriously and feel as though they must be told how to eat and move on a daily basis. Welcome to the land of crazy…

Without an element of play, we can begin to feel stifled by the very thing that we are working so very hard to obtain. If we feel as though it is always against the “rules” to eat the cake, then we feel guilty if we eat our own birthday cake. Life itself demands a certain amount of enjoyment and rules for the sake of rules can leach that enjoyment away over time. Then we are left with possibly smaller waistlines and a feeling of want all over.

sadie yoga

So now you’re probably thinking, “Cool, so I need to add yoga to my list of things I must do right?”

Well, personally I think we could all benefit from a bit more yoga :) I know my family enjoys it when I’m doing a lot of yoga, as it calms me down quite a bit. The Super Bowl XLVIII Champs the Seattle Seahawks incorporate it into their training regimen. So yes, if you want to be a winner, do more yoga…. I kid! What I do suggest is finding the fun in life again. The worst feeling in the world is to be so very devoted to your workouts that you don’t have the time and energy left over to play. So, in the spirit of play, try a lightening up a little with these ideas:

  • Host a fitness party. These can be super cheap or super expensive and it’s really your call. You can hire a personal trainer to come put you and your friends through your paces, but make sure they know it’s in good fun. My favorite way to have some fitness fun? Have everybody bring a healthy dish and an exercise DVD. Then pick 1-2 from the pile to do together (clear the living room!). When it’s time to go home, have a DVD exchange so people can leave with a new workout…bonus points if people bring Tae Bo :)
  • Get off the track. If you meet for walks or runs at the same track everyday, switch it up. Walk in the grass sometimes, head to your local beach or take a hike. A change of scenery is good for the senses.
  • Try a new class. We are now in an age where there is almost no limit to workout classes. We have pole dancing classes, hip hop, salsa, kickboxing blended with Pilates, Pilates blended with yoga and yoga blended with cycling….and that’s just the short list. Contact your local gym or studio and see if they’ll let you try one on for free.
  • Get out of your food rut. Are you tired of chicken, tuna and green beans yet? As Winter gives way to Spring, more brightly colored food is becoming available in the grocers produce section and NOW is a great time to take advantage of it. The brighter the food, the more vitamins and minerals available for you. Play around with salad ingredients: try adding berries to your salads and topping it off with the juice of an orange mixed with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (CRAZY! I know, but so very good). Try lightening up your meats in favor of fish that you can either grill, skewer or make into yummy tacos. Ask your fit friends for ideas on new recipes or host a recipe swap to get you over your food rut.
  • Ditch sugars for a while. Over time, too much of a good thing leaves us feeling foggy and constantly craving more of that good thing. Sugar is one of those “foods” that causes more and more cravings as we take it in. So, ditch the sugars (both real and fake) for a week to reset your system back to normal. Need more of a challenge? Ditch it for a month then :) but 1 week has been shown to suffice in breaking the sugar cycle.
  • Do a gut check. Make sure your intestines are running smoothly as we enter into a new season. How is this playing? Oh, it’s not. I don’t play around with gut health :) But really, the healthier the gut, the healthier you will be and the more attuned you’ll be to playing, PLUS you’ll be able to handle stress better.
  • Get away. It doesn’t have to take all of your savings to get away from it all for a while. In today’s world, you may suffice by taking a staycation that involves turning off the ringer and NOT checking statuses on Facebook. Choose a weekend to chill out and turn off. Tell everybody you’re going away and be unattainable for a weekend. Take a long soak in the tub, do a sugar scrub, relax, etc. Hey, you could even rub on a little tanner so they think you really did go somewhere :) Often times what we need to get away from is our own expectations of life, so chill and let it go.

These should get you started towards a more playful time. Remember, you can’t control everything…most of the time you can only control your reaction to things :)

Lots of peace and playful thoughts,

Michelle

Thirsty Thursday! Lean Diet, Light Body Book and more!

Happy Thursday everybody!

I hope that this week has been fabulous :)

I have a couple of pretty cool anouncements on happenings in this part of the world.

I am working on a book titled Lean Diet, Light Body which will include tons of recipes on eating lean and lightening up in all ways. In preparation for this undertaking I’ll also be posting a lot more videos from my kitchen, so I’m pretty excited about that. The kitchen is the heart of the home you :) My kitchen is where most of our best ideas and strongest bonds are formed. There will be a Kreative Kitchen section that will discuss bringing children into the kitchen with you and how to most effectively spark their imaginations and boost their cooking confidence. I am also planning a Mindful Meals section right here on the site, which will be full of delicious family recipes for all occasions. Whoo, tired already :)

Today I have a new recipe for frozen yogurt. My daughter recently got braces and the fro-yo and ice cream help ease a little of the pain, however the added sugars just cause grief. So, last night we headed into the kitchen to test our intuitive cooking skills and came up with a simple, delicious, no added sugar delight. I use a frozen yogurt maker, but if you don’t have it you can simply blend and put into a container in the freezer for about 3 hours.

Debbie’s Special Berry Fro-YO

Ingredients:

1 cup organic no sugar added vanilla yogurt

1 cup low fat milk

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 hand full frozen blueberries

1/2 frozen banana

2 pitted and chopped nectarines

Puree in blender until smooth, pour into machine and let spin into a luscious treat for about 20 minutes. Feel free to serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup if wanted :)

Any leftovers can be frozen in a container OR spooned into popsicle molds for a grab and go treat.

Enjoy!

Michelle

How to Flatten your ABS and promote spinal health

Change the mindset to evoke changes

I know the above phrase can make you think of Confucius saying, but stick with me as I have noticed some very powerful changes in just the past couple of months.

There has been quite a bit happening with my physical body here lately. It took me several months after pregnancy to get back into the draw of working out. I tried to beat my body into shape again, thinking I could do it just as I did before. This only caused massive amounts of inflammation and serious discomfort. The more I struggled and fought with my body, the worse it got. So, I figured running a sprint triathlon would be the answer, as it would force my body to train harder (um, yeah, I’m not really the sharpest crayon). This resulted in several weeks of forced time off and some really awful internal issues of which I will spare you the details. This then sent me on the path of cleansing, which only made matters much worse.

So, after weeks of prayer and persistence, I finally gave in to backing it off. You see I had started on a yoga quest of sorts, simply committing to add yoga daily to my other fitness ventures. After all went South, I resolved to at least stick with yoga. I have now been doing yoga for 40 straight days. Now don’t be fooled by what Western minds can lock into yoga, I practice a very vigorous style. I did, however, fall back into old habits of believing I would end up frumpy and flabby if I wasn’t degrading my body into a tight pool of overused muscles. Want the truth on what has changed? Keep reading, I’m saving that for later :)

There are a few things that were brought into light during this more mindful time. Most of them were about the way I had trained myself and others. As I was noticing these things I began to see them across the board and it worries me for the future. You see, I cannot find many health and wellness trainers, meaning trainers who are concerned with integrity. All to often I meet trainers with no integrity, but that is an entirely different post. I’m speaking here of integrity of the body. What if we could let go of the outer body (surface muscles forcing to create movement and carry load) and train the inner body (stabilizing muscles) to make life easier? Here are the things I noticed about my training when I was thinking about competing:

  1. I didn’t really CARE about my class or clients. I began to think everybody should embrace pain. I was told pain meant results so why should they get a break?
  2. If my clients had trouble losing weight, it was their fault. I allowed myself and my training to be boxed in. Life is constantly altering, training should too.
  3. I felt that my “lifestyle eating” of anal retentive food control was normal…it’s not.
  4. I thought anybody who wanted results should adapt to the anal retentive eating plan.
  5. I felt like everybody else just wasn’t trying enough.
  6. AND…I looked at myself in the mirror ALL THE TIME! Looking for flaws, not admiring anything.

This way of life left me feeling more trapped than free. I was usually a little perturbed when I went into class or session and more so when I came out. My break over my body not responding (God will slow me down if I am running full speed down the wrong path) allowed me to take a step back and see what had happened. I had become a pusher of perfectionism. This attitude took a toll on my health (due to imbalance) and my family.

So what’s the big deal with the past 40 days? Well, a lot has changed. My outside stressors have increased, and even though it’s all for great news (homeschooling Deb, kids out of school for Summer, writing assignments and opportunities) it’s still stress. The strange thing is that I have altered my responses so that I become more of a responder to stress instead of a reactor. Points for centering! Also, there have been quite a few outer changes as well. My skin is so healthy it glows (that’s not the Shako, it’s my own concoction of healthy juicing and smoothies) due to the detoxification from the practice. I have NOT lost my temper in quite some time! OK, that’s a big one for me people. I can feel it rise then bring it into balance. I have lost lots of inches and not gotten all flabby! What??? It’s true. I struggled for  a few months to get back into my pre-pre-baby clothes and they are now fitting! And all this time I have not been following the anal retentive meal plan (that’s totally what I’m going to start calling it). So, what have I been doing?

My food is really simple. Really. Simple. I eat what’s in season and what I want, when I want it. I do love smoothies with fresh fruits and all, so I usually have at least one of those per day. I eat fruit whenever I want (gasp! go the anal retentive diet devotees!) and I have enjoyed dinners out and even a few trips to the local frozen yogurt shops. My practice varies from super physical to near restorative based on the day and right now most are 1-2 hours due to teacher training in Core Strength Vinyasa. Debbie and I have just started jogging together 2-3 mornings per week. The best part about that is I have been able to let go of the expectations (time, pace, distance) and just ease into it to be with my daughter. It’s become our “girl time”.

In short, my body, mind, and spirit are happy. I feel as though the shell that was covering me has been broken and God just said “GO.” It’s a wonderful feeling of freedom that I’ve never really experienced. Does it mean I won’t slip back into bad habits? Of course not. I still find myself afraid of a hungry belly. One reason is that I spent the first 2 decades of life on deprivation diets. The second reason is that when following the anal retentive meal plan, one can get quite crabby when the tank starts to near empty. :)

Now, you may wonder how a Christian can embrace yoga so fully (due to yoga’s spiritual influences). I hope you are wondering because I fully plan on exploring that. You see, we are called out into the world to witness. My ministry is not behind the closed doors of church or in my office, it is wherever I am. Ministry is not a vocation, it’s a dedication. I am ready to be used through all of my imperfections, and I am happy to stop judging what I see in the mirror. This alone helps us to judge others less (whole different post!).

So, figure out your balancing point. Know where you feel happy and follow God’s guidance. Happy and comfortable are 2 very different things! Just ask anyone who has mastered the forearm stand :)

Here’s to true health,

Michelle

P.S. For those wanting to figure their balance point and find a new neutral where the body can become what it was created to become, I have LIVE CLASSES coming in the Fall and sticking around for good :)

Summer Solstice is here! What does that mean?

Hello Yogis!

Even if you are not a yogi, keep reading as this post is great for all :)

THIS Wednesday, June 20th, Athleta is offering free yoga classes in honor of Summer Solstice.

Athleta, the Sonoma, CA based premium fitness and lifestyle brand for women, will welcome the Summer Solstice on Wednesday, June 20 by inviting yogis across the country to join together and share a collective ‘om’ on the longest day of the year. In conjunction with the Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness all-day yoga event in New York, where over 9,000 yogis are expected, Athleta will provide yogis of all skill levels with the chance to find tranquility and peace at its 16 stores.

 

Visit the local Athleta store in Houston at Town & Country Village for a free outdoor yoga class from 9am – 10am on June 20, led by local yoga instructors from Yoga West.  Yogis will meet four instructors in-store at 9am, and travel outside for a “round robin” style yoga class, during which each instructor will offer her individual style practice in the park at Town & Country Village.  Visit www.Yogawest.com for more information.

Following the class, My Fit Foods will offer breakfast in-store.

One lucky participant will receive a free Athleta yoga outfit and yoga mat and another will receive a $75 gift certificate.  The first 20 yogis to check-in will receive headbands and other Athleta goodies.

Visit www.athleta.com or call your local store at (713) 463-8847 for more details.

 

 

OK, so there is so much going on here! First, you get some free yoga. Let’s go over the benefits of yoga for a moment, shall we?

  1. Stress relief!!!!
  2. Increased flexibility.
  3. Increased lung capacity and VO2 max. This means better oxygen consumption and better sports performance.
  4. Better mind/body connection.
  5. Weight bearing poses produce stronger and more resilient bones by increasing bone density and warding off osteoporosis.
  6. Joint mobility.
  7. Awareness.
  8. Improved mental capacity.
  9. Energy!
  10. Better sleep.
  11. Better (LOTS OF THINGS!).
  12. Best of all: as Summer befalls us, yoga can help you feel passionately grateful for the body you DO have and what it CAN do as opposed to grieving through bathing suit season.

As you can see there are plenty of reasons to check this out. But wait , there’s more!

Another reason to visit the FREE YOGA CLASS this Wednesday is that the teachers leading are from Yoga West, located in Katy. I just so happen to have received my yoga teacher training (the first 200 of many hours) at Yoga West.

Um, FREE BREAKFAST! Do I really need to say more? I think not.

Oh, and I’ll be there to experience it with you. I’ve already signed my son up to be my personal photographer and would love to post pics with you on the site and DUH, Facebook!

So, I hope you’re making plans now to celebrate the longest day of the year with some movement, healthy self-esteem, free food and good fun. I’ll see you there!

WHEN: Wednesday, June 20th

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Yoga

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Breakfast and Raffle

WHERE: Athleta Houston Store

Town and Country Village

600 West Sam Houston Pkwy N

Houston, TX 77024