Skin Savers

Hello People!

Today’s post will be short and sweet, but extremely helpful.

Winter has been hitting hard this side of the world, and since I’m not so used to it my skin has suffered greatly!

Well, there is a great tool you can use to get your skin (and even your hair) into shape during the cold months…or if you  happen to live in a low-humidity climate.

So, without wasting too much time, here’s what you need:

Coconut oil (preferably organic)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Peppermint oil (or the scent of your choice)

Boar’s head bristle brush (optional)

Here’s what I do to get my skin back in check…and if you’re wanting to keep/get your skin tight, this is a GREAT regimen to have for beauty purposes.

Dry brushing. Basically, you get all kinds of naked, start with short strokes of the bristle brush from the feet up the legs completely. Then from the fingers into the arms. Torso is last and the brush moves in a clockwise motion at the abdomen. You can skip this step, but I highly recommend it. Dry brushing helps to remove toxins, get the lymphatic system roaring like it should, and tighten the skin by stimulating collagen production.

Warm the oils in a coffee cup (or bowl, if you’re anti-cup).

Grab some oil with your hands and apply to the whole body, starting with the feet. You can even get your scalp and it feels AWESOME! This is safe for the face as well.

You can sit on a towel and read a magazine for a few minutes, or do some stretches (that’s what I do) to further stimulate the lymph flow. Then, hop in a warm (not super hot) shower and rinse away. Don’t scrub with a washcloth or use loads of chemical laden soap here! Allow some of the oil to adhere to the skin to help provide moisture and protection.

You can do this everyday if you want. I do it a couple of times a week now. During the winter, I prefer doing it during the day, but when it gets warm I do it right before bed. Your skin will be ever so grateful, and will even tighten up some for you (like always, THAT takes time).

So, feel free to go get the quick results of oil bathing for pennies per use. Have fun and enjoy your super soft skin :)

Michelle

Bikini Comp Meal Plan and Workout Split

Whether you’re planning on strutting your stuff in a glittery suit on-stage, walking the beach with your loved one, or simply sliding into your fave Summer shorts with no hassle, this meal plan and workout split will cover the bases! Remember that your food is your #1 source of fuel and calories give you energy! You can’t starve your way to a sleek physique people. Eat the proper foods at the proper time and you will see results! Tighter, clearer skin and leaner, stronger muscles take a little time, but can totally be obtained through a little practice, patience and what I like to call gusto! If you’re in comp season, this is your gig for the next 8-12 weeks. If you just want to feel and look better, treat your food and workouts like a job, Monday though Friday keep it tight and leave a little room for treats in the weekend….just don’t get crazy :) Gentlemen, you can make this plan your own by adding to the portion sizes so you get enough calories to fuel the muscle your growing! So grab a partner and let’s go!

Bikini Comp Meal Plan:

Upon waking: 6 ounces hot water with the juice of 1/2-1 whole lemon. 16 oz pure water.

Breakfast: 1/3 cup dry oats (quick cooking), 6 egg whites, 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein (I love BSN Lean Dessert). Mix it all together for some Bikini Comp pancakes, top with berries and enjoy a cup of coffee, skip the cream and sugar.

Mid-Morning: Juice 5 carrots, 1 small green apple and a 2 inch piece of ginger. Drink cold and have a handful of almonds.

Lunch: 2 cups mixed greens, 5 ounces salmon (either grilled or from the can), cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers all drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Serve with 1/2 baked sweet potato, spiced up with salt-free spices (like Ms. Dash)

Afternoon Snack: the ultimate beauty smoothie :) In a powerful blender combine 6 ounces water, 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 handful spinach, 2 celery stalks, 1 kiwi, 1 small green apple, juice of 1 lemon and 1/4 (OK, I usually do 1/2) avocado. Optional: add 1 tablespoon chai seed and ice to taste, stevia if you like it sweet!

Dinner: Slim soup. This gives you muscle repairing protein and more veggies to help combat bloat. Find the recipe HERE.

Bedtime Snack: 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with about 20 crushed walnuts. Option 2: 1 scoop whey protein in water. Finish it off with some herbal tea and rest well!

Bikini Comp Workout Plan:

I adhere to a 6 day regimen, with Sundays being my active rest days.

Monday Wake up: 15-20 minute HIIT

Monday Weights: Glutes and Legs, particularly hamstrings

Tuesday Wake Up: 15-20 minute HIIT

Tuesday Weights: Biceps, Back and Boxing drills

Wednesday Wake Up: 3040 minutes yoga

Wednesday Weights: Heavy Shoulders and Abs

Thursday Wake Up: 15-20 minutes HIIT

Thursday Weights: 2nd Glutes day with a focus on light weights/heavy reps and plyo

Friday Wake Up: 15-20 minutes HIIT

Friday Weights: MMA Strength Conditioning

Saturday Wake Up: YOGA

Saturday Weights: for this workout I’ll either do 100′s (which I do about every 4 weeks) or a track workout

Sunday: YOGA

Now, it’s a great week if I get ALL of this in. Some days I may wake up super sore, or have had a bad night’s sleep. On those day I may opt for yoga or barre. I simply try to never STOP moving, even if my schedule or circumstances change. If competing isn’t on your radar, try a 3 day split with weight work M/W/F and some cardio of choice T/Th. You’ll see results and feel better in no time.

Just remember to always honor your body and that the MOST results are found in the kitchen! So stay clean to get lean and as always, have a healthy day!

Michelle

After 2

Bikini Body Daily Meal Plan

It’s Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome to your day in the life of a bikini body meal plan :)

Now, not everybody reading this is planning on donning a bikini and I totally understand that! This meal plan is a staple in my home to keep me ready for trips and pictures. It is designed to keep the belly flat, skin tight and complexion glowing. Throw away the old calorie counter and just focus on the nutrients! You’ll be glad you did :)

There are a couple of high-tech kitchen gadgets I do LOVE: a Vitamix and a juicer. If you do not own either, I’ll give you options. Pretty much EVERYBODY has a blender, so make use of it!

Upon waking (for me that’s about 4:30 a.m.): 1 mug hot water with the juice of 1 lemon

First Breakfast (we’re speaking hobbit now): Get GLOwing Juice

Turn your juicer on and start dropping them in! If you use a blender, simply blend and strain. If you don’t have either, have 3 celery stalks, 1 small apple or pear

Ingredients:

  • about 1 cup spinach
  • 3 celery stalks, washed and chopped
  • 4-5 carrots, washed and chopped
  • 1 small tart green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • Fresh ginger, peeled. I use about 2 inches which is strong
  • 1 kiwi, washed and chopped, skin on
  • 1 cucumber, washed and chopped
  • Optional: wheat grass

Run it through and pour over ice if desired.

Second Breakfast (this is usually about 7:30)

Avocado Toast:

Toast 1 piece Ezekiel bread OR whole grain bread of choice. I use Vegannaise (instead of mayo since it’s whole foods based). Spread that on top and top with 1/2 sliced avocado. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Don’t say no to healthy fats! You need these for tight, clear skin. Steer clear of mayo and if you want you can omit the spread altogether or use low-fat Greek yogurt.

Lunch. My favorite protein packed humus and salmon salad

  • 1-2 cups arugula (or greens of choice. I like the spice in these)
  • 1 tablespoon humus
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 ounces salmon (I do use canned salmon a lot for this one)
  • veggies of choice: cucumber, tomato, cabbage, squash, etc. Make it colorful!

Place ALL ingredients in large bowl and toss. Honestly, the sheer size of this salad is enough for 2 people, but I polish it off by myself :)

Snack Time Smoothie. Mango, Kale Miracle Shake

  • Flesh of 1 ripe mango, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 3-4 kale, leaves removed from ribs
  • 1/2 banana
  • 6-8 ounces water OR coconut milk for creamier texture

Blend all ingredients together and add ice/water to suit your texture. If you’re seeking extra protein and calories (for a heavy training day perhaps) add some yogurt.

DINNER. Stir Fry Quinoa and Veggies

I do prepare my quinoa in advance in the rice cooker, but you can cook it on the stove top in about 20 minutes.

In a large frying pan:

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil, unrefined
  • 1/2 to 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • veggies of choice. I use frozen veggies that contain peppers, yellow and orange carrots, green beans, etc.

Once coconut oil melts, add onion and let simmer until almost clear. Then add quinoa and veggies and cook through. If you need more protein, add chickpeas to the oil/onion mix and brown. Delicious!

That’s my day of good eats. The foods have all the nutrients needed to keep the abs flat and the skin tight and clear. Not to mention the fact that the healthy fats help improve brain function.

Keep it clean, keep it lean and have a healthy day!

Michelle

The Essential Tight Skin Diet Smoothie

Good Monday Morning!

So, you know that I am a big fan of the kitchen right? I love to play around and come up with clean recipes and tasty treats, but these won’t do me a lot of good unless they fuel my body and help propel me towards my goals. So, I wanted to share with you a Tight Skin Diet staple for my mornings. Yep, I blend this beauty up and drink it every single morning. It’s great for those of you who are dealing with weight loss plateaus as well as skin issues. The nutrition in this smoothies gives you 5-7 servings of your fruits and veggies for the day! You read that right. And it’s great for all you veggie haters out there (you know who you are!). The fruit is what you taste and I’ll even give you some tips to make it more palatable if need be. I drink an ENTIRE blenderful every day and it has even replaced my daily multi-vitamin. This shake is great if you’re just starting out on whole foods or trying to incorporate some more veggies into your diet. It helps increase fat burning, decrease free radicals and amp up that healthy skin glow. Think of it as your beauty shake, from the inside out. :)

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Ingredients:

8 oz pure, clean water

1/4 cup low-fat yogurt, plain

1 handful spinach

3 romaine lettuce leaves

2 celery stalks

1 small green apple

1 small green pear

1 banana

1/4-1/2 small avocado

2 carrots (I suggest these ONLY if you have a Vitamix or high-powered blender)

small handful of berries (I usually use blueberries as they are a TSD staple)

Ice to desired consistency

Stevia or raw honey to taste if necessary

If you are the happy owner of a Vitamix, throw it all in and blend on high. If you another blender, start with the water and cruciferous veggies (spinach, lettuce, celery) then add the fruits with the avocado and banana being last. Make sure all fruits and veggies are washed!

Like I said before, this is a big blender full and I personally drink the whole thing every morning :)

If you aren’t in the mood, I suggest placing the rest in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and place in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 48 hours after making it. You can feel free to drink some in the morning as well as the afternoon if you like and play around with your fruits and veggies! Be playful in the kitchen. Some fruits/veggies to try:

  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Mint leaves (a little goes a LONG way)
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi

There really isn’t an end. Pineapple has a stronger flavor and can mask veggie taste if you desire that, although growing up and getting over it is another option for you ;)

Be adventurous in your own kitchen! Don’t have time to whip this up every morning? Do it at night and have your jar ready to go as you walk out the door.

It takes me less than 4 minutes from fridge to cup for this bad boy and I reap the benefits of going green daily.

Let me know what you come up with!

 

Michelle

 

NEW SERIES: Flat Abs Diet and Exercise Program

Hey guys!

Today I am starting my 3 weeks to flat abs series. I’ll be posting pics ALL DAY on my instagram feed (michellecfitness) so hop over and follow for all the goods :)

This is the beginning:

flat abs before

These are my self-professed squishy abs and I’m embarking upon a 3 week journey to see a difference. Why? Um, because I want to! LOL, no really I have noticed some back pain as well and aches and pains popping up, which generally means my core has gotten a bit lazy. So, what’s my plan? It’s easy enough:

Every morning starts with a mug of hot water, apple cider vinegar and cinnamon. This is followed by a Shakeology shake right before my workout.

My workouts are 6 day splits with 2-3 days focused on glutes and shoulders and the rest covering everything else. Here’s the schedule for this week:

Monday: Butt, shoulders, abs, cardio

Tuesday: Arms, boxing, HIITS

Wednesday: yoga

Thursday: Butt, shoulders, abs, cardio

Friday: Arms, Boxing, HIITS

Saturday: 100′s, lower body focus

Sunday: rest and recover

Now, the number 1 rule of flat abs is NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST!

flat abs breakfast

I have cut my breads out and opted for oats, cut the creamers or milk from coffee and eliminated ALL sugars. Yeast feeds on sugar and yeast can build in the abdomen causing that bloated feeling.

My goal is to lift heavier and not have any treats or cheats for 3 full weeks. I’ll be out of town for a few days so this should be fun :)

In order to avoid cravings, I plan my meals and snacks ahead of time as preparation is key.

flat abs snack

Herbal teas are my friend, especially green tea and a sweet cinnamon tea that helps quiet the sugar monster.

So, check out the pics on Instagram! If you don’t have it, I’ll be trying to throw some on Twitter or Facebook as well.

Feel free to follow along and let me know what YOU accomplish in 3 weeks :)

Live Loud, Live Fit,

Michelle

Day 5 Secrets to Weight Loss

Tight Skin Essentials

Hello Fit Lifers!

Welcome to the end of your week! Or at least close enough to it to do some booty shakin happy dances :)

Everybody’s favorite subject is on tap today: SKIN!!!!! Mind out of the gutter….not showing skin, but tightening it up. Once it’s tight, feel free to do what you wish ;)

After losing 100+ pounds (with NO tucks mind you), you get asked how to tighten skin in regards to weight loss…..you get asked that a lot. Today, we’re going over some essentials.

Tight Skin Essentials 101

  • Water. Drink it all day, everyday. You need a gallon per day (shush!) and you can count some herbal teas. Steer clear of elixirs and for goodness sake, put down the Crystal Light! It is so NOT helping.
  • Strength training. I hate to burst your flirty bubble, but Zumba will NOT tighten your skin. Interesting fact: I know the girl on the infomercial that has had 6 kids and they try to make you believe she flattened her tummy with Zumba (her name is Julie and she really is a superstar). Yeah, she has a personal trainer who puts her through rigorous weight sessions and super focused ab workouts, PLUS she’s a runner. We have the freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean the commercials always tell the truth….
  • Protein. All that strength training needs a solid base of protein to build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have the tighter the skin. Why? Well, for starters you’ll be burning calories all day and not blowing up in size and shrinking back down, which makes the skin lose its elasticity. Also, the more muscle you have the more collagen your skin will produce. Collagen is a natural product produced in the skin (the ones you rub on are NOT THE SAME) and helps keep the skin’s tight, youthful appearance. Last, you can build muscle where the skin is a little looser to “fill out”. Think about the back of your arms for example…. Yeah, you’re eating protein now right?!?! Good sources include: eggs and egg whites, chicken, lean beef, lean game, fish, whey and casein powders, etc.
  • EAT YOUR VEGGIES! I shouldn’t have to keep repeating this…… A diet high in vegetables has been proven to be more heart healthy AND it fights off free radicals. Those nasty little boogers are no good for tight skin. I don’t care if you like veggies or not! You’re no longer a toddler, so suck it up and eat your veggies!
  • Avoid SOY! OK, I don’t want to cause a riot, but here’s the deal. Weight loss has gone beyond a mere numbers game and into a hormone game. Soy increases estrogen levels as it contains natural estrogens. Estrogen makes us hold on to body fat. Now, read that carefully. It does not cause body fat, but it does make our bodies hang on to it. Even though soy is an acceptable source of protein, if you’re battling loose skin get it out of your diet! If you cannot tolerate dairy (which is NOT necessary for tight skin) you can use almond or coconut milk.
  • Use oil. Coconut oil to be exact. Yes, I get that you are probably tired of hearing about how awesome coconut oil is, but stay with me. You can run this wonder oil on the skin and it has actually been proven to help. How? It naturally fights free radicals (which break down collagen) and keeps the skin hydrated. Hydrated skin will stay tighter, so keep it happy! Rub it on at night after a warm shower. It will absorb quickly and you don’t need much at all.
  • Take your vitamins! A good multivitamin will help with your energy levels. I also recommend a good oil such as fish oil or Omega 3 capsules. Obtain them from reputable companies. I get all of my supplements from Bodybuilding.com
  • The extras: regular massage also helps to tone the skin (it does NOT take the place of regular strength training people!), but I rarely get massages so I consider it an extra :) . You can invest in some good creams and lotions. Most have high amounts of caffeine, which temporarily dehydrate the skin to give it a tighter, smoother appearance. Ones I like are Bliss Fat Girl Slim and Nivea CoQ10. You can also consider using a coffee scrub to rub into areas that may have a little cellulite hanging on. This creates the same dehydrating effect and can be coupled with the creams. Works great for bikini season, but again…it does NOT take the place of a healthy diet and exercise! Tanning is a great cover up for any lingering issues we see as well. AVOID THE BEDS!!!!! Overexposer to UVA/UVB can break down collagen, leaving your skin ragged and lifeless.

Those are my basic secrets to tight skin. I’ll be sharing more and keeping you up to date as always!

Live out loud this year!

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 :)

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Sorry about the no makeup thing I have going on! LOL

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The vid above tells you a little about Les Mill’s Pump but you can always click to find out more :)

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But wait, there’s more… hehe. OK you get ME as your coach. Total access. I check your food and keep those motivational saying coming because I know YOU can do this! See? There was motivation right there. Also, BeachBody has asked me to document this particular group, so to make it a little more interesting, the first 4 people to sign up for the challenge get 2 free one on one sessions with me so that we make CERTAIN your results are inevitable. Awesome? You bet! I’m taking 10 people into this challenge group and all 10 get guaranteed access to my online class about rockin your life (mind, body, and soul) this summer. Pretty cool deal right? You get the tools needed to make the physical change, the trainer/nutritionist/coach to ensure that happens, 2 FREE sessions with me (if you live far away, it’ll be online or by phone, but still me!), and access to a course that truly will rock your life. Steps are super easy: JOIN MY TEAM and let me know you want to PUMP! I’ll get you where you want to be :)

To the FIT LIFE!

Michelle