New Year Resolution Solutions! Happy 2013!!!!

FREE Workout Wednesday!

Add pep in your step and try a little something new :)

Turbo Fire vs. Tae Bo

This has to be the ultimate showdown between home based workouts right?

Tae Bo and Turbo Fire are both based on burning fat through fun, easy to follow, high energy kickboxing workouts; however, they are quite different from one another.

Keep in mind I have done both of these and this is simply one professionals opinion.

Tao Bo:

Billy Blanks created Tae Bo decades ago and in his basement. Billy is noted as an ex-military man who has always had a passion for health and fitness as well as a man of great faith. To date, there are countless Tae Bo videos on the market (most of which reside on my shelves!) PLUS Billy has just released Tae Bo TV where brand new workouts are released weekly to keep your routine changing and keep you motivated. Billy’s videos are always in class setting and He is strict on form and function THEN speed. The music is usually house music set to support the rhythms of the class.

Tao Bo is a blend of martial arts and dance which helps burn mad calories and tone lean muscle. Another upside is the positivity of Mr. Banks himself cannot help but rub off on you. Most participants of Tae Bo, either live or DVD, report an overall lift in mood and higher self-esteem. I know I feel much better after a great sweat session where I can fight off all my haters! LOL

Tae Bo is incredibly versatile to any fitness program and while it is intense, it is also suitable for all fitness levels. You heard me right: ALL fitness levels. You are encouraged to “walk it out, but just keep going” many times through the workouts and you never feel as though anybody in the video thinks you’re the couch slug you may view yourself as (hey, I’ve been there!). I have been enjoying Tae Bo videos and DVD’s for a couple of decades now and really appreciate the simple choreography and focus on form. Overall, Tae Bo is one of my absolute favorite home based workouts for dropping inches and trimming the waistline.

For more information visit: www.billyblanks.com

Turbo Fire

Turbo Fire (TF) is a high energy, calorie incinerating workout from fitness mastermind Chalene Johnson. TF comes from the Beach Body line up of fitness products and stands up to all the hype. TF is a blend of choreographed kickboxing routines mixed with some funky music and awesome HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuits.Turbo Fire was originally made for “fitness athletes”. These are the elite in class fitness. It is those who have procured an extreme level of fitness through body conditioning mostly through group exercise and challenging sequencing. There comes a point where a well conditioned body needs more challenge. THAT is what Turbo Fire was made to provide: a challenge.

Turbo Fire has a kid sister, Turbo Jam, that started the rage in fitness kickboxing. These classes were created for those who wanted the washboard abs of a fighter without the bruises and scars. TF is more challenging than Turbo Jam. BUT options are given for lower intensity. TF is not suitable for ALL fitness levels, as it does require some sort of fitness background and an understanding of choreography. Don’t let that scare you off though! Start with Turbo Jam and get used to the slower cues, then work your way up.

Expect serious sweat with any TF workout. You can also expect to see very visible changes in body composition as well as weight loss. All of these results must be hard fought for though. TF is a program, meaning it comes with a meal plan and training schedule to help ensure results (side note: Tae Bo has a couple of those as well, such as Tao Bo Amped). Remember to pace yourself and you’ll be flying as high as Chalene in no time.

For more information on Turbo Fire visit: www.beachbodycoach.com/michellecfit

Turbo Fire and Tae Bo make regular appearances in my home workouts throughout the seasons, though I do favor the feel of my glove actually hitting the bag and my feet hitting the pavement on most days.

Do some research to find the best fit for you and enjoy your workouts!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

THE Best Advice for Flat Abs and Weight Loss

CHeck out the My Fitness Pal APP for smart phone and www.share.com for expert help and tracking your calories and movement everyday!

Money Matters: Getting Your Waistline and Your Wallet in Shape

 

Hello Fit peeps!!!

This will be a great day for those who think fitness must be bought! I have a secret for you….it’s FREE!!!!! It’s true, the best things in life really ARE free!

You may ask, “How can this be?” I understand the confusion. We are inundated with infomercials about weight loss products (hello??? BeachBody, though they have great products, are the #1 infomercials), weight loss supplements, weight loss food sprinkles, and even weight loss perfume. SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!? And have you ever noticed that these blast out right when you are feeling your most helpless? Like late at night when you just polished off the ice cream, or in the car as you’re pulling away from the drive through? It’s not you sister (or brother), these ads make up over 60% of ad space.

So, what’s a fitness seeker with a tight budget to do? Here are a few easy tips to help get you started off in the right direction:

  • Water is FREE!!! And super important.
  • Eat simple. Pick foods in the produce section that are in season. you’ll know they are in season because they are the CHEAPEST.
  • Stay away from the dollar menu. Just don’t. You may think it’s cheaper, but studies show that people usually end up spending MORE than they would if they brown bagged lunch.
  • Buy sale items in bulk. When bread is on sale, buy 2-3 loaves and freeze them. Frozen veg is great to have on hand for quick meals as well and tuna is always cheap.
  • Take up walking or running around your neighborhood or at the local park. You can find suitable shoes without breaking the bank, just be willing to try on many pair and check out local sales.
  • Love workout DVDs? Have your girlfriends over for a DVD swap. Have everybody bring a fitness DVD to the house then people can pick which one they’ll use. Do it again every 4-6 weeks so workouts are always changing. Even better, have a recipe swap too!
  • If you’re a class person, just about every gym offers 5-7 day class passes. You simply download the pass at their website and take it in. You can try out new classes and meet new fit friends.
  • Check out local health and fitness expos. These will usually be full of local vendors and they ALWAYS have discounts for services.
  • Learn to love YouTube. Most fitness professionals have a YouTube channel. If free workouts aren’t available, you can at least glean some massive amounts of knowledge.
  • Host a healthy cooking class. I offer these locally and the hostess always gets to share in the fun for free. Most nutritionists will do the same. Your participants usually between $10-$15 to cover foods used, plus everybody gets to eat AND take home any leftovers.
  • Look to your local community center for free information classes on nutrition, exercise, weight loss, family health, etc. Most centers are always open to trainers, nutritionists and fitness experts sharing knowledge PLUS they usually give discounts on their next class just for attending.
  • Consider group training. Training with a friend is more fun honestly AND you can split the cost of training.
  • Check out your local fitness clothing stores (Athleta and Lululemon for example) for totally free classes offered WEEKLY at the least.
  • ALWAYS ask if you can try one class for free.
  • Consider gathering a group of friends to make a menu and trade-off making dinner for each others families. This can lower your overall grocery bill by 40% and open you up to new recipes.
  • Give Hulu a try. Type in health and fitness and you’ll find a whole channel full of goodies.
  • Check out these sites for fitness tips AND free workouts!
  1. www.toneitup.com
  2. www.peak313.com
  3. www.yogatoday.com

Oh! And don’t forget to sign up for the Drop 10 with a Friend challenge too!

Whew! How’s that for a start? Fitness IS affordable and well within your reach, so the money excuse is no longer going to fly with you because you’re better than that ;)

One last trick: if you are already a workout DVD babe and believe that is the BEST way to fitness for you, you can check programs, such as Team Beach Body, where you can get paid to get results. Be very mindful that all of these programs do require an investment and work like a business so do your research and think about if it really is right for you.

Keep checking in for more Fit Tips and have a healthy day!

Michelle

My HONEST Opinion (review) for P90X and P90X2

Hello guys!

I hope all of you are rocking your day to the best of you.:-)

Today I am going to give you my professional review of BeachBody Programs: P90X and P90X 2. If you’re a devoted Xer, just simma down!

Let’s dive in shall we?

I have done both P90X and P90X2 (my hubs joined me for the latter) and both have their ups and downs. First and foremost, both are more advanced programs so they are not for those just coming off the couch. The truth is that Tony Horton never really intended for these to be weight loss programs, but rather conditioning programs. So, for those just beginning who state “WOW this is hard!” You would be correct.

Now this does not mean that you need to put the DVD away and return to the couch. Rather, I advise steps towards developing more functional fitness platform before embarking on the P90 revolution. Beach Body wants to end the trend of obesity, yes, but they are also a company that makes profits. They focus on the weight loss side because that is what sells.

There are a few things I do not care for with these programs. One is that the instruction revolves around Tony’s large personality. It’s either love it or hate it. I’ve been instructing and training for a decade, so I know that it really matters what people get from the personality in order to stay committed to the workouts. The sequencing of the exercises is fair. Sequencing is a large key in injury prevention. The pace can be a bit much for those just starting AND it seems a bit slow for those more used to a group environment. Now, onto the moves themselves. Professionally, they are showy. There are a variety of moves that can be more effective when coming from the base rather than focused on how awesome you can make the body look. This is a problem for me because I come from a different training style. I train functionally and focus on things from the ground up and the inside out.

All in all, this is not one that I reach for nor do I use any of the fancy moves with clients. For those who are committed to the person behind the screen (and a large part of the Beach Body brand) you will probably force enjoyment and reap some results. My largest problem thus far is the number of injuries that have been reported from those doing the program. Now, are the injuries due to poor sequencing and lack of clear instruction or are they the result of NOT having hands on training for such a difficult program? Really it could swing either way.

Beach Body has some other, lower impact, programs that offer great results as well. They have also recently began certifying instructors for P90X. Keep in mind the majority of these instructors have NO other certification, so proceed with caution.

If you are able to get your hands on a certified personal trainer that can help you set a solid foundation, then the X may work a whole lot better for you. My ranking of this program is about a 2 out of 5 simply for the injuries.

Have a Healthy Day!

Michelle

For strength training that delivers, sans injuries, check out Les Mill’s Pump and Chalean Extreme.

Recovering from the Holiday, Chocolate Peanut Butter Treat Recipe, Beginning the Reset and more!

Welcome back to the fit life people!

I hope everybody had a great Memorial Day and I hope you took the extra time to be thankful for our freedoms and not just focus on your to-do list.

I have LOADS to cover today, so let’s jump in:

Recovery made easy.

It can be trying to get back into the swing of things when you’ve had a long weekend. Family and friends gathered together can mean over indulging in food and often times drink as well. Sunny days mean sunburns for lots of people, and most of us don’t use the extra day off to rest, but rather to work. Here are a few quick tips to get you back into the FIT of things:

  1. Drink LOADS of water!!!! I cannot beat this dead horse enough. Most of us live in a constant dehydrated state, which slows our metabolism and promotes headaches, just to name a couple of things. So, your water goal for the next 3 days straight is 126 oz. Yes, that’s right. Shoot over to Facebook and jot it down for the whole world to see! Let your friends and neighbors in on the challenge and make sure you carry a refillable water jug around with you at all times. After a few days, you’ll notice more energy and fewer aches.
  2. Give sugar a rest for a few days and load up on naturally sweet fruits throughout your day. Watermelon and berries are coming into season and tasting super sweet, so enjoy those to help enhance the immune system with added anti-oxidants.
  3. Try green tea. Green tea does indeed help to boost the metabolism by up to 3% (hey, every little bit counts!) and it also provides anti-oxidants and stress relieving compounds to balance the body internally. The key with green tea is not to let the water get too hot and only steep it for 2-3 minutes to avoid the bitter flavor.
  4. Give yoga a try. Seriously, for toning the middle and flattening the abs, I have one ally and it is yoga! Not into the full class? You can get benefits from just a few minutes a day. Practice some breathing techniques and twists to get you started. No worries, I’ll have some instructional videos for you this week! ;)
  5. Skip the super hot showers and opt for more warm showers. Steamy showers can zap energy and exacerbate sunburns. Try a super light lotion on the skin before you exit the shower while the skin is still damp. This holds in moisture to repair skin, but allows any left over burns to heal.

Today starts my BeachBody Ultimate Reset: It’s not about vanity folks.

So, this morning I began my Ultimate reset. I feel the need to give the disclaimer that this is not about weight loss for me. I want to see what it’s about and be able to give proper recommendations to people and I cannot do that without trying it. I’ll post about it as much as I feel is necessary, but I think a video per day is overkill :) . I have suffered from joint issues for years and, following ancient Chinese medicine, if I am able to rid my body of toxins then my joints should heal properly. I am very intrigued by that. Also, I want to see what it’s like with the meal plan and how accessible it actually is to everybody. Rest assured, I will give you and honest and professional opinion. To see success stories and read up on the Ultimate Reset, click HERE.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

These are my family’s new favorite treat. Best dish ever!!!! These are awesome to take to parties as they are portion controlled and so yummy people won’t even know how much nutrition they are getting. I had to play around with the recipe a bit to make them not so sweet, but you can feel free to alter it to your tastes. Remember, this is a treat :) ENJOY!

INGREDIENTS:

24-30 small muffin liners (I highly recommend using these so they don’t stick together!)

1.5 cups all natural peanut butter (I did 1/2 PB and 1/2 PB2 to cut back on fat and cals)

1 cup local honey

1 cup oatmeal

2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology (if you do not have Shako, any chocolate protein power can be used)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS:

Place a large pot on low heat on the stove and pour in peanut butter and honey. Stir until completely blended and super smooth.

Take off heat and stir in oatmeal, Shako, and coconut.

Chill in fridge for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until set and cool.

Form small balls in hands and place in liners. These need to be kept in a cool place.

Prep time is about 5 minutes max and you can squeeze in a workout while they’re chillin :)

 

I hope you are all getting ready and excited for Summer. MichelleCFitness will be getting some fun new additions, so be on the lookout for cooking tips and videos, plus a section just for the kids. I’ll be filming vids on youth workouts and tips on getting your kids more active this Summer, without breaking the bank! Come back soon and keep living FIT!

Michelle

 

 

Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome to your very first Thirsty Thursday!

Today is a real treat as I am going to post 4 recipes to satisfy cravings, bring more vitality to the body, brighten the skin, strengthen the hair and nails, and just make you feel great all over!

Avocado Smoothie

This smoothie has recently been added to my diet and I am in love with it. It is VERY rich and decadent, not for those seeking a lot of weight loss. If you are trying to drop weight, just use 1/2 the avocado for the benefits of healthy fats, but 1/2 the added fat and calories to your diet.

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado, pitted and halved

1/2 cup organic low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup almond milk

3 tablespoons local honey

1 teaspoon milled flax

handful of ice

Throw into blender and puree. The avocado is tasteless but lends a wonderful, lush richness to this smoothie PLUS it helps with hair, skin and nail health :)

Recipe from Sadie Nardini, www.sadienardini.com

Tropical Shakeology Mojito

This is one of my favorite ways to get my motor running on a blah day :)

Ingredients:

4 oz plain coconut water

6 oz water

several mint sprigs (to your taste)

1 frozen banana

1 scoop Tropical strawberry Shakeology

handful of ice

Blend until smooth, garnish with extra mint is desired :)

Super Quick Hydrating Tropical Wonder

I am a HUGE fan of coconut water! It hydrates the body’s cells faster than regular water and more efficiently (without all the toxins left behind) than sports drinks.

Ingredients:

1 Shakeology Shaker Cup (or ANY shaker cup of choice, as you will not be using a blender)

8 oz O.N.E. mango and peach coconut water (they have other flavors, this just happens to be my fave)

1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology

Put liquid in the Shako. Mix thoroughly until smooth :)

Get up and GLOW Juice

This requires an actual juicer. If you have one, awesome. If you’re thinking of investing in a juicer I really enjoy it and the health benefits are outstanding! I do suggest you do your research and get the best bang for your buck. I drink this to help keep my system in and alkaline state, healthy and strong.

Ingredients:

2 tart apples

1/2 head of romaine lettuce

4 carrots

1 cup swiss chard

1 cup spinach

1 cup kale

1 oz fresh ginger

4 celery stalks

1 cup fresh parsley

few mint sprigs

1 lemon

Rough cut all the ingredients and send them through the juicer. Pour over ice and enjoy! This makes about 28 oz, which you can drink total for breakfast or split into 2 servings. :)

Enjoy the Fit Life today!

Michelle

www.livingbytheblood.com

 

 

DVD Review: Yoga Booty Ballet

Hey GUYS!

It’s that time again :) Today’s review is near and dear to my heart as it is the very FIRST infomercial DVD I ever bought! Back when I was 100 pounds more than myself I saw an infomercial for Yoga Booty Ballet. Now, as with all infomercials, YBB made it seem like it would fix all of my problems. Infomercials can totally suck you in with all the flash right? Well, I got sucked in and ordered, even though we really didn’t have the funds at the time. i must admit, when I frist tried Yoga Booty Ballet I though I was going to die! Check out my take on a popular workout, ahead of its time :)

YOGA BOOTY BALLET

This is by far one of the MOST fun workouts you will ever do! YBB blends yoga, ballet, Pilates, and dance into every workout. Though I realize it seems a little old school, YBB has come out with lots of new workouts which you can check out here. Yoga Booty Ballet is led by Teigh McDonough and Gillian Marloth, two great friends and awesome instructors. The workouts are short enough to be extremely doable in any time budget and they are so much fun that you forget you’re actually getting some calorie burning on!

The Yoga Booty Ballet Live is my ABsolute favorite! It features Hip Hop Abs and Cardio Cabaret, both of which will leave you going “Zumba who?”. I kid you not. The Hip Hop Abs is a great way to work the core while standing and they finish with a full course of ab killers designed to get you the core you want. Cardio Cabaret is a great, get-your-sexy-on workout that blends easy to do choreography with muscle toners and lengtheners.

Gillian and Teigh play well off of each others strengths and give clear, concise instruction so you feel as though you know what you’re doing at all times. The full set comes with the original series, which also includes dynamic strength training. Remember, you train the way you want to look. These ladies specialize in dancers physiques and long, lean body lines.

Even though I have owned these DVD’s for nearly a decade (and yes, it got much easier!), I still keep them in rotation anytime I need to release some tension or just want to feel great. Check them out here and see for yourself! Yoga Booty Ballet was one of the original ballet workouts brought straight into your living room. No special training required :) Just have some fun!

Till next time, choose a healthy life!

Michelle

DVD REVIEW: ChaLean Extreme and TurboFire

Hey guys!

I have a quick DVD review for you today. My very lovely Chalene Johnson’s DVD’s ChaLean Extreme and TurboFire.

These workouts are honestly on constant rotation in my home gym because they ROCK. Clear and concise instruction, pumping music, and oh yeah, RESULTS! I can say that I get far better results with these programs than any others, so let’s dive in :)

ChaLean Extreme

This is an extreme circuit program and it’s great for beginners all the way up to advanced. It is all about the strength training, with some flexibility and cardio thrown into the mix. Chalene focuses on getting more lean muscle mass on the body because MUSCLE BURNS FAT! The pace is awesome and the instructions are clear. Even if you have never lifted weights, you’ll find your stride here. The video come with bands and a tutorial on how to get them to work for you. I personally love the bands since they take up very little space and are easy to travel with. You can invest in weights as you progress. Once you begin to see the results, you won’t want to stop, but as with anything in life, you MUST be consistent! I mean, it doesn’t get any easier than right in your house so suck it up and PUSH PLAY.

This is a periodization program, meaning you go through 3 phases, each lasting about 1 month. This particular style of training is a favorite among most of your very good trainers. Each phase teaches you about sequencing and weight training specifics so that you learn in the process. These DVDs will give you the confidence to walk into any weight room and know what you’re doing as well.

Turbo Fire

So, I’ve already reviewed TF, but I find the need to mention it in this review since there are a few new things as well as the interplay between the 2. Turbo Fire now has the Greatest HIITS DVD with the Ab Igniter. HIITS are THE #1 tool in sports trainers tool boxes to help prepare an athlete for sports. They are also extremely effective in FAT loss, not weight loss, FAT LOSS. YAY! The Ab Igniter is one of the best sequenced core workouts around :) you’ll thank me later.

TF is an advanced cardio workout, but there are modifications given. As a matter of fact, you can now get a Fire Starter pack which has HIITS with NO jumping. Perfect for those just starting out, or those with knee/ankle/foot injuries or issues.

TF is a wonderful component to ADD to your strength training found in CEX. you will be able to expedite your results and see you lean in no time. Like I said, these are in constant rotation here and I’m starting a fresh round of the 2 today. To check out these programs, sign up for a challenge, or get involved in a fitness fanatic community where you can log workouts and keep up with your results, CLICK HERE.

Have a healthy day!

Michelle