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.

stressed workout

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…

flexible santa

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

The New Year is HERE!

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

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

The. New. Year.

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

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

Awesome FREEBIES:

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

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

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

NEW ONLINE OFFERINGS:

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

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

Online coaching covers:

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

1 to 1 training sessions

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

Specialty Diets

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

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

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

National Nutrition Month: Nutrition for Weight Loss

 

I love videos! So entertaining right?

Tough Love Tuesday is making a comeback on Friday to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Stay healthy,

Michelle

 

Thirsty Thursday: My Superfood

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RAISINS!!!!!

I promised you on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM the other day that I would give you the details on my latest Super Food obsession and here they are!

Raisins seem pretty simple right? I mean, other than being a dried out version of a grape, what can they possibly do for fit folks? Hold on to your hats, cause raisins are about to take your game to the next level.

Some of us (like me) enjoy our raisins in all different varieties and variations while others tend to keep it simple with dried fruits. Either way, you can reap benefits like these:

  • lower blood pressure
  • lower blood sugar
  • more intense training sessions

Let’s break it down…

LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE:

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that simply munching on raising for a period of 12 weeks, those with slightly elevated blood pressure levels lowered their systolic (the top number) by as much as 10.2

LOWER BLOOD SUGAR:

This may come as a surprise considering raisins general sweetness, but the American Diabetes Association  found that eating raisins 3x daily significantly lowered post-meal blood glucose levels by 16% in non-diabetics who experienced prolonged mild elevations of blood sugar levels, when compared to other snacks. Meaning: choose raisins over candy and protein bars.

MORE INTENSE TRAINING:

Don’t freak out! This doesn’t mean your sessions will actually get harder, but studies do show that raisins (most likely owing to natural sugars) can help you work harder. Researchers from the University of California, Davis compared the effects of raisins, sports chews and water on running performance (cardio). They found that those who consumed raisins had similar increases in performance as those who ate sports chews.

So there you have it! Science to back your dried fruit addiction :) Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. 1 ounce of raisins contains 85 calories. That’s about 1 small handful.
  2. Heating raisins, or throwing them into hot cereals, does change the texture and release a bit more sweetness.
  3. If you’re like me and can go overboard, consider purchasing the boxes of raisins to keep stashed in your purse or gym bag.
  4. Experiment with different colors and recipes.
  5. Add raisins to cookies, breads, crisps (a holiday fave around here), cottage cheese, yogurts, small bowl of nuts, hot cereals, salads, etc.

So, have a blast and boost your drive with these super sweet power houses.

 

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Peace, Love, and Lunges,

Michelle

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

April Challenges! Something for Everyone

Sometimes, taking on a challenge can seem undoable. Even I can admit that some programs and workouts are a little scary:)

The April Challenge coming up really does have something for everyone. Les Mill’s COMBAT is like having the gym right in your living room. You can kick, punch, block and throw down to your best body and slimmest jean size yet. The best part? You don’t have to feel uncoordinated with the moves. You get expert tutorials from top trainers to give you an edge, in your living room and in class. Look like a pro, feel like a pro, stay with the fight! This is my pick for my own challenge and my favorite cardio to date.

Day 5 Secrets to Weight Loss

GOALS!

Tabata Thursday

Every day seems to have some significance to it now right? I kind of dig that though :)

There’s been a lot of talk about tabata training and how adding it to your regular training can enhance fat loss and sports performance. This is very true, but I think there are far too many of us who are unclear as to what Tabata training really is. Buckle up, here we go…..

Tabata is based on time. 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, 8 cycles through. Can anybody break out the calculator and tell me how long that is? I’ll wait………………….2 minutes is correct and YOU ARE A GENIUS!  :) Now, some people just bust out the timer (you can totally score a free app for your smart phone and it ROCKS!) and time moves. THAT is not Tabata. This style of training is meant to be intense. In other words, crunches for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest is using a Tabata method, but not really the training. During your work period, you should be pushing an 8-9 on the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion). That’s a hair away from barfing for me personally…..

So, in order to make it more doable, I put together a Tabata training sequence mixed with core work. REMEMBER, during those 20 seconds you’re giving everything you have! If you feel like it’s easy, it is. Easy doesn’t cut it around here. So, clear some space and about 20 minutes from your calendar and get ready to burn some major calories all day long!

Tabata and Core

ALWAYS warm up for 3-5 minutes (more if it’s colder)

Opposite arm/leg reach (bird dogs) for 20 reps

Tabata 1: wide jump, low skaters (it will take 2 minutes)

Reverse Crunches and Bicycle crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 2: BURPEES! Always add the jump at the top, it’s only 20 seconds :)

Plank dips and toe taps for 3 sets, 20 reps each

Tabata 3: Jump sumo Dorothy—from sumo squat, jump straight up and click your heels together

Side plank pulse and butterfly crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 4: Pop squats—squat low, explode up and hop feet together and back out

All Tabatas are performed for 2 minutes and it should be killer! If it’s not, push harder or add light weights :)

Let me know how you do! I’m feeling the soreness from this morning :)

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

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I’m in SHAPE…the magazine!!!

I just wanted to take a minute and share this with ya’ll :)

I was featured in a SHAPE Magazine article, along with 19 other beautiful ladies, about getting fit without running. If you know me, then you know I’ve struggled with wanting to be a runner, but never quite making it due to past injury. Just because I can’t pound out marathons (and trust me, I have MUCH respect for those who do!) doesn’t mean I can’t get fit and sculpt a functional body to boot. You can check out the entire article HERE: http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/20-super-fit-chicks-who-dont-run?page=2

 

Have a healthy day!
Michelle