ALL New Stuff…..

Well….hello there….

gym creep

IF you have followed the blog at all, then you will notice my absence as of late. To be real, it was a myriad of different reasons.

First, I did have surgery and decided to actually take some downtime.

Second, I was truly questioning why I do what I do and if it matters at all in the grand scheme of things (jury is still out on that one).

Third, I was working to try and fill in the gaps of training, so to speak.

While first and second will be saved for another day, I’m going to share a little of the third with you now.

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I have been truly bogged down by the fact that a lot of people who come for help don’t get very far. Truth is, it felt as though there was a part missing…..let’s say, a spoke from a wheel wasn’t there. So, it made it very difficult for us to get anywhere. So I began to research other areas of expertise and talk with other trainers who have been successful at making their client, well, successful. The answer came again and again: an online training platform.

If you’re like me and you don’t dig technology all that much, then the thought of online training can seem daunting. The fact is, in today’s fast paced environment, you need something that will stay a step or two ahead so you can focus on life and not be overwhelmed by workouts. This online training platform can be held in the palm of your hand and is as easy as checking in on Facebook so everybody knows you’re handling your business ;)

TrainerizeKB

I have teamed up with TRAINERIZE to offer plans to help you reach any goal. Since my specialty is Corrective Exercise, this can be used in conjunction with your current training program. The app itself is extremely user friendly and you can track your progress in-app so you can see exactly where you’re headed, whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger, be quicker, or simply move through life with less pain. You can see it all and track it all here.

It’s also simple to set up and doesn’t keep you bound to JUST seeing your trainer on certain days/times.

Start by checking into Pricing and available Schedules (online only option is available). Then, you will receive a message from your trainer to confirm a time for training that week. You have the option to see your trainer face to face 1-2 times per week, depending on your goal and schedule. For example, Olympic lifters usually see me once per week to focus on mobility and flexibility. Fat loss clients usually opt for twice per week. Once established, you will also get training programs uploaded into your app. These program will be personalized for your goal and lifestyle. This way, you know exactly what to do and can keep track of your workouts in-app. Your trainer can keep track as well and is informed of workout consistency. This creates an accountability that will propel you forward DAILY.

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I’ve also added meal planning capabilities to the app (all plans are done by me, not generic) so you can choose to add that option OR simply opt to get your nutrition in line while staying with your current trainer or training program.

Important Notes:

  • ALL face to face sessions are semi-private.
  • Private training sessions ARE offered, but are priced differently and not available for purchase in-app.
  • Meal planning is priced separately and requires a brief Q&A with your trainer.
  • You are totally allowed to switch times during the week, but must let your trainer know.
  • All plans are month to month and must be cancelled NO LATER than 2 weeks prior to next billing cycle.
  • Specialty training, such as MMA and Sports Performance, are also offered in a group setting.

This allows you to finally have the tools you need to reach THAT goal and start setting new ones. So, check out the app today, pick your program, get in a group, and start seeing and feeling results within a week!

Nutrition 101: The Grocery Store

An oldie, but still a goodie :)

Learn how to shop your store and read your labels.

Welcome to December! Stay FIT this month.

December is upon us!

You have already experienced the feast that is known as Thanksgiving (and I hope you enjoyed it) and have possibly begun the quest for gifts and goodies throughout the stores this past weekend.

As holiday music fills the air and the scent of pine trees and cinnamon fills our noses, stress and a sense of being overwhelmed can also fill our spirits.

One sure-fire way to combat stress is by working out.

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BUT, for some of us the thought of adding one more thing to our to-do list causes MORE stress, not less.

What is a stressed out person to do?

Easy, follow a few simple suggestions to thrive this season…

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1. Be flexible.

Yes, this can pertain to yoga, but we’ll discuss that later. What I’m talking about now is being flexible with your schedule and your eating. Christmas is the WORST time to try to be super strict, because it’s almost impossible to stick to a strict eating and training regimen. When we do fail, we feel like a failure and it compiles even more stress onto our plate. This is the perfect time of year to try some new workouts, check out flexible dieting and look into some new gym classes. All of these things will help keep you focused and motivated without the drama.

2. Don’t skip workouts.

Just because you can’t get in a whole hour or make it to your normal class is no excuse to give in and wait until the New Year (BUSTED!). You can get efficient workouts in less time than you think AND many workouts can be done in your living room. Check out my YouTube channel for some easy to follow workouts, Plus here are 2 others that are slightly more challenging:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight

https://www.youtube.com/user/charliejames1975

3. Take it to the Mat.

Consider a bit of yoga to get your heart, body and mind calmed down and centered. Trouble sleeping? There’s yoga for that. Can’t wake up after a late night? There’s yoga for that. Feeling a bit sluggish from all the sweets? Yep, yoga can help. Yoga can even detox from those extra special drinks during the holiday season. If you can make it to a live class, all the better, but you can get the benefits of yoga in 10-20 minutes a day. Check out these 2 channels for my best yoga picks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ZldqU8Sj7jpB2N36kO79A

christmas fit challenge

4. Take a Christmas Fit Challenge

These are ALL over the internet and social media. Check out some of the ones floating around Instagram and get started. Most of these take less than 5 minutes to complete and will keep you on track to your goals.

5. Take advantage of the slow season.

This time of year is extremely slow for most trainers and studios. In light of this, many will offer reduced fee and sometimes FREE classes or sessions. So check out your local studios and trainers and see if you can take advantage and get re-inspired to be your best self this season.

Remember, the best gift you can give this season is a healthy YOU. Take some time to care for yourself and you’ll be better prepared to care for others.

Merry Christmas,

Michelle

7 Steps to become FITTER through the Holidays

 

Christmas Plank 2013

 

Those who enjoy the regular benefits of eating well and working out can often succumb to the joy of the holiday season with absolute vigor….which can quickly turn to regret. There’s no reason to lose gains, or gain fat, this holiday season. Now, you have the tools of the trade to stay on track and start your New Year fitter than ever.

1.Honor the ROUTINE.

Holiday parties, work deadlines, family responsibilities, endless shopping lines, you name it; it can all disrupt our tried and true schedule. Did you know that sticking to a schedule not only makes you more productive, but will also lessen your stress levels? Plan ahead to make sure you can honor your schedule. You workouts may be shorter, but making sure you move each day will pay off in the long run.

2. Be Prepared.

There is nothing worse than Christmas shopping without money in the bank right? So why would you go out without making sure you have the foods you need? We all know that nutrition is the cornerstone of our health, vitality and energy, so start preparing for the season of overindulgence now. Prep your meals for the week in advance and take advantage of handy coolers and carriers. When you’re planning a shopping trip or dinner, look over the menu first and plan ahead as to what you will eat. Remember, treat meals can be an advantage, but a treat season will leave you feeling like a bloated whale by January first….and then you have to fight the resolutionists for your spot at the rack.

3.Be realistic with your expectations.

You wouldn’t stand around and wait for a piece of equipment at the gym right? Please say no. Of course not! You would take a look at your program for the day and re-write it a bit to keep your workout going. The same thing can happen during the holidays. You may need to switch up your workout time to accommodate family responsibilities or just bad weather. If you can’t make it to the gym, have a body weight workout ready to go in your living room. Too stormy for a run? Give HIIT training a try. Think outside the box and drop the “all or nothing” attitude during the holidays. It will lessen stress and improve results.

4. Move every day.

Make a commitment to do SOMETHING every day. A little too much wine or a few too many sweet treats can take its toll on our energy. Sometimes the gloomy winter weather can leave us feeling a bit low. One sure fix is to get up and move every day. If you find that you battle with low energy during the colder months, try these tricks to spice it up:

  • Take on a group class at your local gym
  • Enlist a workout buddy
  • Try a boot camp
  • Head to a different gym. Many chain gyms offer memberships that will get you into ANY gym. Use this during this season to get a new energy and maybe even play on some new equipment. Sometimes all we need is to change up what we see each day to give the brain and body a fresh energy.
  • Take your training outdoors….if weather allows.

5. Maximize Your GAINS.

You know there are a few key foods you WILL NOT give up this holiday season. Grandma’s pumpkin pie? Your aunt’s homemade dressing? Anything smothered in either gravy or chocolate? Well, you should also know that you can use these foods to your advantage. Look at your workout split now. Take the time to train, let’s go with LEGS, before the big feast. This way, you can utilize the copious amounts of fuel you’re taking in to make some serious changes in your physique. Hit back the next day to capitalize on the extra carbs you know those yams packed in and reap the benefits of nutrition knowledge. The point here is to not just sit on your butt eating all week….move your butt and then you can “fuel” those awesome muscles.

6. Recreate Traditions.

I used to spend most Thanksgivings eating till the elastic on my waist band wanted to give out and downing an entire bottle of wine. This served two purposes: 1) It made the entire event more tolerable, no matter the drama :) and 2) It made me appear to still be “normal” in the eyes of my loved ones. What isn’t normal is the amount of time and energy wasted on recuperating from a holiday binge. Just thing of the sweet shoulders you could be building instead of trying to burn off wine and pie! So, I now bring healthier dishes and fruits and veggies to snack on. If I have wine I cut it with a little tart cherry juice. This keeps me from drinking so much and has the added benefit of lessening the soreness from the sweet leg workout I did earlier that morning. Check out the Bodybuilding.com recipe database for some GREAT finds on healthy fare.

7. Take a scheduled time out.

We can’t sustain ourselves for that long. Even the most outgoing of people need a little time to recharge. If you happen to be an introvert, like myself, then you will need to schedule a time out once a week. I know you think your gym time should suffice, but trust me here, you need something more. What can you do for a time out? You could soak in a bath, cuddle with the love of your life (that could be your teddy bear, we don’t judge here), treat yourself to a movie of choice, have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, stay in your house in PJ’s all day, go for a walk in nature, schedule short walks after dinner, sit by the fire, start reading that book that has been sitting on your side table for months, etc. The possibilities are endless and totally up to you.

Christmas Plank Fail 2013

 

As you can see, you can make it through the holidays stress-free and looking even better in your jeans….as if that’s even possible. Don’t get caught up in the drama, but enjoy the season. Focus on all you do have instead of what you still lack. Find someone to encourage. And remember that the world is a much brighter place with you in it…if you allow your light to shine.

Christmas Muscles 2013

 

PORTION CONTROL: Your best tool in surviving the Holidays

 

The Holidays are upon us and that usually causes 1 of 2 responses when it comes to fitness:

  1. Fear and dread thinking about trying to “control” everything and maintain our results.
  2. The generalized “CHUCK IT ALL!” feeling where you just give up and decide to start over, yet again, New Year’s day.

What if there really IS a better way?

Watching your portions can help you keep your waistline and your energy levels in check, whether you eat at home OR out and about. Pay attention to HOW MUCH you eat and you will have a harder time gaining weight this season.

Here are some more tips on monitoring your portions, but still enjoying this season:

  • As the video states, SLOW DOWN. Don’t be the first to get your food and don’t be the first to finish.
  • If your Thanksgiving meal is served buffet style, leave some white space on your plate. You can still enjoy the foods if they are in smaller portions AND the starving children in Africa are still starving when you overstuffed yourself…so stop that.
  • ALSO, make the commitment to yourself to be a ONE-TRIPPER. Get what you really like (avoid the stuff you hate) and only go around once.
  • If your meal is served at the table, don’t sit by a trigger food. If you’re placed there, pass it down and fill its spot with a less-likely-to-binge alternative.
  • Know ahead of time what you will splurge on.
  • Eat plenty of lean protein to keep your blood sugar stable.
  • Try to avoid alcohol. It will lower your inhibitions and before you know it, 3 pieces of pie don’t sound too bad at all.
  • Take a walk after dinner instead of plopping down on the couch.
  • Go outside and play with the kids (though a trampoline after a big meal would not be advised).
  • Get a workout in that morning as studies show we eat healthier when we workout.
  • Enjoy the conversation, don’t feel the need to eat just because others are eating.
  • Watch out for sugary drinks, opt for water instead.
  • Can’t decide which dessert? Serve yourself small portions (1-2 bites) of each on a smaller plate.
  • If you have people who point out your eating habits (OH, so you’re too good to eat…?) I have found 1 key phrase that gets them off my back: “If you feel the need to pick apart my eating habits, then I will be more than accommodating to pick apart yours….” Judge not, lest ye be judges people.
  • Do a little yoga before bed that evening to reset the system. Make sure it includes plenty of twists to detoxify the system.
  • Plan to workout the day after, even if it’s a light workout at home.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. I have NO intention of logging every morsel on Thanksgiving OR Christmas day. Enjoy the spirit of the season and don’t let food be a stressor.

Keep up with more Holiday tips with the newsletter ———>>>>>>>>

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Michelle

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 :)

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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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The KEY for Success

Unlocking your potential takes hard work and dedication in whatever area you are setting to work.

Continuous  effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our  potential.
Winston  Churchill

Your potential to reach your goals is hinged on your effort. How hard are you truly willing to work towards your goals? What are you willing to give up to reach your goals? Are you willing to work daily to cultivate the discipline needed to reach your goals?

Many people come to me with one blanket goal: WEIGHTLOSS.

That’s a wide-spread goal for sure. It comes from the stay at home mom who feels as though she’s lost herself. It comes from the former college football player who wants to relive his glory days. And it comes from women of all ages who want to step on the great fitness arena stage….yet it’s always presented as the same goal.

Weight loss is a timely goal right now, since over 66% of our population suffers from disease that is directly related to our expanding waistlines. We have become sedentary and lazy due to the technological advancements of our age. Unfortunately, these advancements have also brought forth information technology that can be completely overwhelming and leave us confused amidst the haze of opinions. So, let’s hash out the keys to weight loss success shall we?

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  1. Know your science. There is scientific data that backs up weight loss, sports training, bodybuilding and performance. Invest some time in learning about YOUR specific goals.
  2. If you’re wearing it, you ate it (or drank it). OK, so I know most people take this as harsh, but pay attention….I am afflicted with comments daily that say, “I just don’t know why I’m gaining weight, my diet is pretty clean..”. That word “pretty” (or mostly, really, kind-of, etc.) tips me off to the fact that the diet is probably the main problem. The key here is CONSISTENCY. You can’t expect excess weight to run fleeing from your body at the first introduction of celery. It takes a full 6-8 weeks of consistently clean eating to notice a difference in the body. Keep an accurate record of your food AND drink to track the progress you can expect.
  3. Workouts are essential. If you’re looking to lose 20, 50 or more pounds, you NEED to be moving consistently 60 minutes per day, 6 days per week. Those with less than 20 pounds to lose or those seeking to add definition to the body can get away with 4-5 workout days. Am I discriminating? Yes I am….the more you have to lose, the more you need to move! Period.
  4. Your feelings are of little concern. Feeling motivated will not get you far. Don’t skip a workout because you don’t feel like it. You can modify a workout, change a workout or take a rest day IF necessary, but simply leaving your workout because you don’t feel like is a sure-fire way to stay out of reach of your goals. BE CONSISTENT.
  5. Find a program. Programs are available (I know an AWESOME one that will be available at the end of December!) to help you with meal plans, meal prep, meal timing, workouts, motivational words, brain training and even behavior modification. Make the financial investment to your health and fitness. Programs put professionals within your reach to keep you on track towards your goals.

Did you notice something in those 5 points? CONSISTENCY is the word for the day. You won’t get anywhere without consistency. When you were a baby, your parents didn’t rejoice in your first step just to carry your butt all over the world for the rest of your life right? They let you walk wherever you could. I bet you even walked everyday! For some, I bet you walked more then than you do now, but you have the power to change that. Be consistent in your fight towards your goals. Be realistic in what you are WILLING to accomplish daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Make it a point to move forward every single day.

Stay with the fight and stay fighter fit!

Michelle

 

Healthy Holiday Travel Treadmill Shredder

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The Holidays are upon us and for many that means travel. Don’t let your workouts fall by the wayside! This is the treadmill program I did while in New Orleans this past weekend :) BONUS! Healthy recovery shake below. I do my workout track by track on the Ipod, instead of having to time things.

Treadmill Shredder

Warm up at 0 incline, 3.0 speed  for 3-5 minutes

Track one: 5.0 speed light jog at 0 incline

Track two: 20 deep squats off the rails (feet wide, belt between). Speed 3.5, incline 15. Every chorus, 20 deep squats, verses are climbs.

Track three: easy run at incline 3.0, speed 5.3

Track four: super slow speed, 0.8 walking lunges at 6.5 incline

Track five: quick run, 2.0 incline, 6.0 speed

Track six: recover and 3.0 pace for 2 minutes. Light jog, 0 incline, 3.8 speed for remaining track

Track seven: 20 deep squats off rails. Side shuffles at 1.5 speed, 0 incline. Repeat squats every chorus and alternate shuffles during verses.

Track eight: hill run/climb. Set incline at 15, speed at 3.5 during chorus. Verses, incline down to 7.5, speed to 5.0

Track nine: incline between 5-10, speed alternates between jog (5.0) and sprints (7.0-8.0) between chorus and verses.

Track ten: 15 incline, 3.0 speed, slow climb entire song.

Cool down with flat walk and make sure to stretch!

Post workout Recovery Smoothie

In blender:

4 oz water

4-6 oz skim milk

1 whole banana

1/2 tablespoon natural peanut butter

1 scoop whey (I use BSN Syntha 6 chocolate peanut butter)

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

ice to taste

Blend well and drink within 30 minutes of your workout :)

THRIVE (don’t just survive) through the Holidays

Below are some KEY points to keep you on point and start next week refreshed and ready to go!

  1. Plan ahead. Know what you will be splurging on and what you will save.
  2. Keep weekday meals light. Fuel up on lighter meats, plenty of vegetables and fruits during the week so the holiday meal splurges won’t catch up too much.
  3. Aim for maintaining, not losing.
  4. Get an accountability partner for workouts.
  5. Plan your workouts for the week, including one Thanksgiving morning (it can be as simple as a walk/run just to get your metabolism going).
  6. Know your weight loss rules:
  • Your body can only process up to about 600 calories per meal! There is no such thing as “saving calories”.
  • You cannot out train poor nutrition.
  • A walk after a heavy meal has been clinically proven to help improve digestion.
  • Deprivation and guilt never work. Enjoy your holiday and move on!

Here are a few extras to keep in mind as Thanksgiving day gives way to Thanksgiving weekend….

  1. Try to plan the big meal for early evening. Studies show when Thanksgiving is eaten early in the afternoon, we are 3x more likely to go back for more helpings during the hours that follow.
  2. PORTION CONTROL IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.
  3. If you are doing more than 1 meal, know when to say “No thank you”. Another great tool is to tell your hostess thanks, but since you just ate you will pass; HOWEVER, if there are leftovers you would be happy to take a plate :)
  4. Remember that you are building a lifestyle. This takes practice and is never going to be perfect. Enjoy the treats in life, don’t try to punish away food “sins”, and live to the fullest every day.
  5. Avoid the booze! Yes, I get your family drama is more enjoyable with drink in hand, BUT we are all likely to let down our guard when it comes to holiday drinking. Recent studies show that when we drink normally we are more likely to consume an extra 300-800 calories from the drinks themselves, but we also take in about 2x more calories than we ever intended too! How do the holidays change those stats? Our calorie count can be upped by a whopping 5x! So not worth it. Consider adding seltzer water (PLEASE stay clear of sodas and more important, diet drinks) to your red wine for a spritzer. You’ll sip slower and take in far fewer calories.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and be back here next week for a new workout and a fresh take on Christmas!

Michelle

Welcome to Healthy Holidays!

We’re diving in by tackling one of the main causes of Holiday weight gain: emotional eating! Don’t let it claim you as a victim, just take a few steps to be prepared :)

 

 

What’s Your Relationship Status?

No, I’m not trying to pry into your personal life! The status I wonder about is your relationship with food. For some, this relationship is more sensitive than any other. Just as children learn how to treat members of the opposite sex from their parents, studies show that childrens’ relationship to food is also derived from parents. What does all this mean? Well, how you perceive food is more than likely a product of how you were raised. If you are raising children, you’re passing that relationship on as well. I hear a lot of people complain about the fact that they can’t get their food under control because their mom, dad, grandma, aunt, etc. always used food as a crutch. In their household food was used as a reward and at times also a punishment: “No desert if you don’t clean your room!” Getting the picture? Well, although this is very common in most families (especially those of the past 2 generations); it’s still just another excuse. And as you have heard me say time and time again, where excuses end progress begins.
You may be sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute. You have no idea how I was raised and what a toll that had on me”, and you’re right: I don’t. I do however know how I was raised. Food was the center of our house. It was used to celebrate everything, but it was also used as a punishment and as a cure all for everything from night terrors to skinned knees to broken hearts. Food was always there in a very emotional way. I learned to become attached to it. I learned to need it. I had to have it. I was a bonafide, emotional, closet eater. GASP!
So, maybe I know more than you thought. What happened then? Well, it’s simple really. I’m an adult now. I am in charge of my decisions. I decided a few years ago to dig deeper into the nutrition aspect of my life. Here’s what I found out:
It’s not the food you eat, it’s your relationship to that food!
Food is nothing but calories. Calories are units of energy. Units of energy are what keep you alive. Plain and simple. The truth of the matter is that food has no feelings. Food doesn’t love you, nor does it feel your love (hello, chocolate, sigh…). It has NO feelings for you, about you, blah, blah, blah; it could care less basically.
So how do you break those bonds? First off, stop blaming mom and dad! They did the best they could and you know what? You’re alive now, so they didn’t screw up that bad! Everything you do is all on you now. You have the ability to be awesome lurking deep down, but you have to let go of every single excuse, take responsibility for you, accept your own mistakes and take that first step forward. You are in control now. Suck it up and stop handing me the old, “Well, my mom always….” Seriously? How old are you now? Does mom still have to remind you to wipe and wash your hands? Ok then. Make a commitment to yourself, for yourself and your family to be a healthy, fit person. A cycle is only a cycle if it’s repeated.

Now let’s talk about justification.

We ALL do it…….
Well, I can have this piece of cake because I work out so hard.
I deserve an extra helping.
It was bad, but I only ate a tiny portion.

All justifications. Bottom line, if you have to justify your food to yourself, it’s something you really shouldn’t be eating. That’s the part of your brain that’s trying to facilitate change. It’s really trying to help you.
If you feel stuck in a rut, get real! Just because you tell yourself you’re watching it doesn’t mean you’re not justifying several slip ups a week. And several slip ups equals a habit: one that must be changed.
Without a change in behavior there can be no permanent change of body. You have to be fully present in each moment that you fuel. If you start to throw out a justification (“I’ll work it off in class”), then pass it by, it’s not worth your time.

With the Holidays moving to a halt and the new year picking up steam, make a conscious decision to MOVE MORE! All it takes is a few 10 minute sessions 3 times per day top reap major results and benefits. These benefits start with your energy. Fuel all this movement with the pumpkin French toast recipe below and get ready for a new, energetic you by the time January 1st rolls around!

I’m listening,

Michelle

 

 

Pumpkin French toast
calories: 360
fat: 6
sugar: 1 (without any sweetener)
serving size: 2 slices

3 whole eggs
1/4 cup egg whites
1 scoop cinnamon protein powder
3 TBLS pumpkin pie puree (no sugar)
Pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon will do)
whole grain bread

Mix ingredients together with whisk until smooth
dip bread in until saturated and cook in non stick skillet (a little Pam goes a long way!)
Sprinkle with very little pumpkin pie spice
if you need something on it opt for a light drizzle of agave nectar and enjoy every fall tasting bite