Move-Meant: the importance of recovery and meaningful movement

Happy Monday Morning!!!!!!

In my neck of the woods, we woke up to much cooler temperatures….which meant a much stiffer hip during rehab this morning :) But it was completed none the less.

quads on fire

Anyways…..

Today marks the first post in a short series about recovery. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT get recovery right every single time…but I DO know the importance of recovery and how many body systems are involved in true recovery. So, let’s dive right in.

funny robben-dive-meme-2

Let’s get the layout and ground rules for recovery set up first:

  1. RECOVERY refers to recovering from a certain aspect of your lifestyle, preferably an active one. In other words, if you’re still on the couch about working out, skip to a different post :)
  2. You can utilize many things in RECOVERY, including foam rollers, bands, balls, yoga (the right kind) and even diet (oh yes!).
  3. RECOVERY involves more than just lazing about….I know, I am as shocked as you on this one. Most of my “recovery days” have always involved Netlfix binges…who knew????

The act of recovery is utilizing meaningful movement to de-stress and decompress the joints and soft tissue of the body. That’s a pretty broad explanation of true recovery. I like to take it a step further and implement mindful movement AND anti-inflammatory diet practices to rid the body, mind, and gut of the excess stress that can keep us feeling tight and pent up in our own bodies. Today, I’ll be listing some great forms of recovery, giving a comprehensive recovery schedule, and making sure you leave with some good resources.

TYPES OF RECOVERY:

  • Foam Rolling. When done correctly, foam rolling helps to manipulate soft tissue (aka, muscles and fascia) and alleviate pain, plus it’s cheaper than a massage. If you’re new to the roll, I suggest purchasing a soft roller and working your way up to the big boys. Here are videos for foam rolling the Upper Body, Lower Body, and an all over foam roll for active individuals. Consider foam rolling before and after activities OR in the evening when you are watching your favorite show.
  • Stretching. Stretching can help to elongate the soft tissues, tendons and ligaments surrounding the joints. The key is to not overstretch. So, pay attention to your body and go for a stretch in the belly of the muscle. I have an easy full body stretch here.
  • Yoga. Yoga is more than stretching and is requires ZERO flexibility to get started. Yoga puts your joint through their full range of motion and helps the skeletal system to realign for more efficient movement. If you have NEVER done yoga, I recommend seeking a qualified teacher/class to get you started. If you have a little knowledge, Morgan Day Cecil is my fave yoga girl of the moment.
  • Massage Therapy. Manual manipulation of soft tissues helps to decrease tension AND helps to force stress induced toxin build up out of the body. In order to keep massage more budget friendly, I suggest seeking a massage school close to you. New therapist need  hours and are often very attentive to your needs.
  • Ice baths and Epsom salt baths. Both of these help ease soreness. If joints or inflammation are your main concern, go for an ice bath (exactly what it sounds like). If soreness is your gig, a 20 minute soak in some warm (not too hot) water with about 1/4 cup Epsom salts should do the trick.
  • Diet. If you suffer from chronic soreness or inflammation, I would suggest checking your diet. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, feel free to contact me in the form below and get started with a diet profile review. Often times, many issues in the soft tissue and joints can be a reflection of what if going on in the gut (more on this in week 3).
  • Active Rest. respect active rest days by scheduling out actual active rest. You can take a walk, go for a light swim, enjoy some time at the beach, attend a yoga class, etc. Even if you’re sore, move with a mindfulness and the soreness will dissipate over time. The human body CRAVES motion.

I know it can be a lot to soak in, but recovery can be the missing link to fast tracking your results ;)

Weekly Recovery Schedules:

  1. Foam roll 1-2x per day, around workout.
  2. Stretch post workout for 5- 10 minutes, more in the evening if you are sore.
  3. Schedule a massage once a month.
  4. Use Epsom salt and ice baths as needed.
  5. Implement an anti-inflammatory diet for at least 3 weeks.
  6. Schedule at least 1 active rest day into each week.

Happy Recovery Trails!!!! And keep me posted on how you do these next 3 weeks.

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.

trainerize Slider-Banner-2

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.

trainerize meal-plan-promo-email

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!

Oh, that fluffy feeling……

I have issues…….I think you know that if you’ve read my stuff :) If this is your first visit, well then, I’m human and have issues. Welcome.

This has been an off week for me. It’s actually quite beautiful here in Southeast Texas, but I have been fighting with wicked allergies. I haven’t struggled with allergies like these since my childhood days! The severity of my cough which stemmed from a head full of snot (not the exact term the doc used), resulted in two allergy meds and an asthma med….with little relief as of yet. I was also told to rest…whatever that is ;) . I am perpetually not a rester. I like to DO things. Unless we’re watching a movie, then I just sit there like a stump on a log. Moving on…rest to me is yoga, Piyo (great program!), low impact circuits, etc. You know, rest :)

This forced rest and fuzzy head could be a great time to work on the devotional book I am writing, but I have been utilizing it to allow my head to enter into a dark space instead. My competition was a little over a month ago and I have put on about 7 pounds since then (give or take a pound). My coach is trying to reverse diet me to a lean, mean, lifting machine……I find myself in a panic. These days I feel much more mean than lean. I call it “fluffy.” You cannot feel fat. Well, you can if you stick your hand into a tub of Crisco, but that would be gross. Fat is a nutrient that we need, fluffy is when you just don’t feel as lean as a certain part of your brain thinks you should be.

During the competition itself I was excited for this time…..then I realized that this time is summer time and includes swimsuits (see previous post for a good laugh on that one). This past Sunday we spend time at my brother in laws pool for Father’s Day (thanks MIKE!) and I realized from the reflection in the window that my mind isn’t always right. Even at 7 pounds heavier, things are still healthy looking. I’m not sporting a six-pack (I’m also not a teenage boy….so there), but everything looks in shape. Body fat is there, but not nearly as noticeable as the muscle and I seem to be in good proportion. I promise I wasn’t standing in front of the mirror for hours checking myself out, this was just in passing.

Musclemania 2015 Front Side Pose First contest pic on the blog! Thanks to Alfonso Aguire :)

OK, so the above pic is not a realistic version of where my body can stay. That’s why we get pictures at competitions! Duh….. So, the logical part of my brain knows this, but the junior high girl who was made fun of for her weight (and yes, I remember all the comments and all the names…..issues) wants to stay there for special occasions. This part of post-comp is hardly ever talked about though.

So, why am I talking about it? Well, for the .01% of you who may compete, I like keeping it real. For the rest of you, there is something you keep comparing yourself to that holds you back from progress. Let that sink in.

See, my goal right now is NOT to look like I did during my comp (well, I wouldn’t mind that when I hang at the pool…). My goal right now is to add muscle, increase strength AND set aside quality time with my family. That means I can’t spend all day in the gym. Holding on to a past version of myself hinders any progress because my mind is not taking in the present and looking towards the future. I am allowing what was once a small thought to fester and become overwhelming.

Don’t get me started on the old videos and pics before I started to put on muscle.

This can happen to all of us. We get fixated on what we used to look like or what we think we should look like. I cannot tell you how many clients have said, “You should have seen me when…” Well, what’s so bad about now?

I don’t know about you, but right now I do not have any bikini photo shoots in the next 6 weeks. I do have a family vacation, but if your family can’t love you then who can? Most of the time we are harder on ourselves than anybody else. This drives us to a sort of obsession and can literally keep us from reaching our goals!

What can we do?

You know I love it when you ask that! I have a few action steps to get us ALL on the right track:

  1. Get real about your goals. For me personally, I had to realize that I could not want to add muscle and want the body of a svelte supermodel at the same time. That did not lead to consistency of any kind. Muscle is good for me cause let’s face it, I really like to eat.
  2. Enlist some help you trust. Pay for a coach (mine has been so helpful post comp) or join a challenge group. Having this accountability and knowledge is super helpful.
  3. Consistency above ALL. I have said it time and time again: consistency is king (small king, big King is God just to clarify). You must stay consistent to reach any goal you set. If your brain is all over the map, so will your goals follow.
  4. Get a power song! I have a lot of them and my playlist is full of NF, Lacrae, Andy Mineo, and even some AC/DC  :) I’ll share my song of the moment with you though.

There you have it. Four simple steps to a better you! Don’t let the world tell you who you should be or how you should look and don’t let past events dictate it either. Strive for a better you to give back each day and things will start to happen :)

mc-7159 I wanted to use this one for a while :) Photo by Kendra Harwell Photography (in the Baytown/Houston area)

NOW, let’s hear it! Leave your tips and suggestions for reaching goals and not heading into a negative mind space in the comments below :)

 

RECIPE: Jamie Eason Middleton’s Pumped Up Pancakes:)

I LOVE a healthy recipe makeover!

Furthermore, I love a healthy recipe makeover that tastes GREAT!

These Pumped Up Pancakes from Jamie Eason Middleton provide needed protein without tasting like protein pancakes (you know what I’m talking about!). These can sub for the real deal and make a TON to last through the week. My kids have been noshing on these this week, which makes my mornings much smoother. FIRST, you need to grab some Lean Body for Her Whey, which you can get HERE or at labrada.com

JE pancakes Image from bodybuilding.com

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons no calorie sweetener (I used Truvia)

3 cups oat flour (just grind up your oats in a coffee grinder)

3 scoops Jamie’s Lean Body for her natural vanilla protein

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1—-6 oz Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or 9 tablespoons liquid egg whites for most)

1/4 cup un sweetened apple sauce.

DIRECTIONS:

You know the drill here right?

In a large bowl , combine all the dry ingredients. Do the same to the wet ingredients in a slightly smaller bowl……then mix them together just until blended. There is no need to whip your pancake batter to no end and that is often what makes it so gummy.

Preheat griddle to 350 degrees and either use non-stick spray OR butter if you’re throwing caution to the wind ;)

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure the perfect pancake serving. Wait until tiny bubbles form, then flip with all the grace of a samurai warrior! Wha-cha!

Serving: 3 pancakes

Calories: 198

Fat: 3.9g

Carbs: 22.2g

Protein: 17g

I am LOVING this protein powder and Labrada.com has a ton of recipes for it to help calm even the crankiest of sweet tooth(s).

So check it out, add it to your macros, and get ready for results!

Eat, drink and keep moving!

Michelle

 

 

Gym Talk: Are Fit Pros Helpful or Hurtful?

Happy Monday fit peeps and geeks! Cause if you follow my posts, you’re bound to have a little geek in ya ;)

Today’s Gym Talk session will hit hard on a subject pretty close to me: are fitness professionals HELPFUL or are they hurtful?

Little disclaimer here….I am what is considered a fitness professional. I value my career and love that I can spend every day doing what I truly love. If you don’t know me, trust me when I say EDUCATION is the paramount of my success as a trainer, nutritionist and coach. Never stop learning…..i.e. Stay in school kids.

The thought for this post actually came along while I was in California this past Summer for the Idea World Convention. I was a guest with Blogfest (along with a couple hundred other lovely ladies…..and like one man, Hi Laird!). Idea World is the world’s largest fitness convention with a completely mind-blowing array of fit goodies, but I really went for the education. One of my first classes was a nutrition class taught by a registered dietician. Let me break this down real quick: she is an RD, I am a nutritionist. She is more highly educated and knows more than me on the subject of nutrition science. I went to soak up the knowledge :) Sadly, MANY participants acted a bit more like the old guys in the rafters on the Muppets. It was disturbing to say the least. These people travel in packs too, because they cannot defend their unrealistic views without help….any guesses as to the crowd? I’ll never tell….

At any rate, people in the audience started questioning science. Not the good kind of questioning, but the kind that was pretty clear that GOOGLE is their personal nutritionist. When the RD (Jessica Crandall for those who want to know) would answer the question professionally, she was met with theory and statements that made no sense in the nutrition science realm of things. Then, when these people were dissatisfied with her lack of agreement in their argument, they left in the middle of the class….and they did it as loudly as they can. Jessica handled the entire thing FAR better than I could have hoped to.

Another thing I noticed (since I was attending alone) was that many of these fitness “professionals” would travel in their packs and literally walk through others. Keep in mind that the convention hall with all the goodies is open to the public (or commoners as I’m sure this group refers to them). Shoulder back and sauntering, fit pros would look over the heads of those deemed less than functionally fit…..and I believe it is professionals like this that hinder progress on any level.

Even now I notice this behavior in the gym. Trainers look over their own clients and watch others. People new to working out are intimidated to ask a trainer for help. Many trainers don’t make themselves available…unless they think they can get a sale. A lot of the latter can be blamed on how large chain gyms are run, but the previous 2 depend on professionals to put their professional pants on and make a difference.

As a fitness professional, what can you do to create an environment of change, wherever you are?

  1. Maintain an approachable demeanor, especially if you’re on the clock. Make eye contact with patrons, walk up to those who seem to be struggling and ask (with no expectation of being picked up as their trainer) if you can help them with a certain machine or movement.
  2. If you are training a client, pay attention to that client….the whole time.
  3. When you’re off the clock or at a convention, resist the urge to stay comfortable with “your” people. We’re ALL people. None of actually have super powers, so stop acting like you’re better than the rest of the population.
  4. Remember that training is customer service and customer service grows through word of mouth. I have always had a wait-list due to how I treat people, not because of how I look or the demeanor I project.
  5. Get a mentor. They don’t have to live near you, but find a trainer who has been successful in this business and LEARN from them. Learn about people skills, programming, education, etc. Never stop learning.
  6. Make it a point to watch everything around you. As you walk through a convention, stand tall but don’t be intimidating. Give others the right of way for a change and expand your vision past your own 6 pack.

It’s time for fitness professionals to set a standard. I know a lot of trainers don’t turn this into a career, but for those who do it can be very rewarding. The world needs the knowledge we have. We need those in the world to be able to put food on the table.

At the end of the day, we are all PEOPLE. There is no one better than the other or with more willpower or self control……we all have something others need. Carve your path, but carve it mind fully.

BTW, big thanks to Pamela with thrivefit.com for making the convention more fun for this fellow introvert :)

Be you,

Michelle

Out with the Old: 5 Steps to Totally ROCK 2015

Another year has slipped by and while some are nursing hangovers (either from alcohol or rich foods) others are getting ready to tackle this year with the vengeance of a Spartan.

Before you dive head first, check out these steps to Totally ROCKING this coming year….and keeping your sanity :)

  1. Use one word. Instead of writing down every goal you want to accomplish, and transferring the ones that weren’t accomplished last year, try setting the tone of your year with ONE word. Believe it or not, 12 months can hold many life events and a whole lot of change. So, instead of writing goals in January that you’ll forget by March, try setting your year up with a word. This word should encompass what you wish to see in your year throughout all facets of your life (work, relationships, creativity, etc.). You can choose any word that really MEANS something to you and then place it on display where you will see it each morning. Here are some examples, but please use what’s in your heart: SUCCESS, LOVE, FORGIVENESS, PRESENCE, ORGANIZATION, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, KINDNESS, CONSISTENT, CREATIVE, BOLD, DARING, ADVENTUROUS….you get the picture. Be creative in your own way and let this word speak to you. NOW, about those goals…..
  2. Instead of 1 list of goals once a year, it is far better to set aside some time to write out MONTHLY goals. I know it seems a bit time consuming at first, but writing your goals for each month will enable you to reach far more goals by the end of the year. This gives you a timeline to accomplish your goals and sets you up for success. No more than 10 goals per month you over achievers! Keep it simple, but dream big. Each month, mark off what you have accomplished, then mark off what no longer matters to you, then you can add what is pulling towards your word for the year.
  3. Prioritize. This is a skill that anybody can learn, but few of us want to slow down long enough to do it. Do you ever feel like you are fighting against your true nature? Well, that is a sure-fire sign that your priorities aren’t in line. Take a few minutes to write down EVERYTHING you do (OK, for some this may take more than a few minutes), then start to check off what is either not necessary (like scrolling Facebook all day) or simply doesn’t feed you in any way. Take what is left and begin to prioritize by importance. For me, my top priority is to spend quiet time each morning setting myself up for a positive day. Next is my husband, then my kids. Time with them (together and separately) is highly important, so I make that a priority and no job or client can get into that time. Prioritize by what feeds your soul and you will find that life falls into place more easily.
  4. Have some FUN. I know all this talk about lists and priorities can drag some of us into school mode, so stay with me. Do you remember when you were a kid and you did things just for fun? I mean, I know I did some STUPID things that were just plain fun! Don’t lose that ability as you grow older. Walk barefoot in the grass, sing on the swing set (granted you haven’t gotten old and swing sets now make you sick), go to the zoo, eat the cotton candy (just not all the time), bake cookies, play with your dog, look like an idiot at Disney World! Make time to let go of how you think you should present yourself all the time and make a little time for FUN. This act will keep you balanced and keep stress at bay.
  5. Give back. One of the MOST rewarding aspects of life is giving to others. Choose to make 2015 your year of giving. You can redo your household budget to give more to your local church, charities or missions. You can donate your time to those in need of your talent. Think you don’t have a talent? There are many children who LOVE to read to and have nobody able to do it. Everybody has something to give. Take a treat or meal to your neighbor, give your kids friends a ride, offer to walk somebody’s dog, help your elderly neighbor with grocery shopping. There are ENDLESS ways to give, so tap into your resources and get giving! You will never be the same once you start :) And should you ever want to travel with me, just let me know and I’ll be happy to place you on my team.

There you have it, 5 simple steps that will change this year into a year like no other. Time stops for no man, but we can learn to use the time we have wisely.

Rock on,

Michelle

profile rolling

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

Want to train with me? New services offered.

You’ll see a lot more happening around the site in the next few weeks. I’m opening up some new services I have been working on so that YOU can reach your personal and physical goals.

Check out what’s coming SOON:

ONLINE PERSONAL TRAINING

This is designed for those who either can’t get to me, can’t get a spot, OR find themselves ready to prod their own hiney out of bed and get it done! If you’re in that last category, then we have something in common: awesomeness :)

What does it include?

  • Macronutrient calculation and meal planning help individual to YOU and your goals
  • Macro adjustments as needed
  • Strength training plans adjusted to suit your goals AND your current abilities and facilities (no gym, no prob)
  • Cardio/conditioning programs for body fat loss
  • Tips and tricks

Who is it for?

  • Competitors (novice and experienced) looking for an edge and fresh concepts
  • Athletes needing conditioning, strength and nutrition for their sport
  • Youth athletes seeking and edge to a scholarship
  • Athletes who have struggled with injury and need help getting back on top of their game

Need more info? Email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

Cost varies based on the length of training.

 

SPECIALTY DIETS

Feeling low on energy ALL THE TIME?

Having trouble focusing?

Do you feel the need for a nap right after you eat?

Struggling with achy joints?

Did you know that even a small food intolerance OR yeast buildup can cause these symptoms and many more?

I can help guide you through getting to know what could be plaguing you in a safe and effective way.

Each case is handles individually and I do also work with doctors. Email for info: michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

QUICK DROP

What is it?

This program is designed for a guaranteed weight drop, as fast as SAFELY possible. I utilize the highest of safety standards and stay in contact with each individual to make sure it is done correctly.

Who is it for?

Those in need of cutting weight quickly for a sports or insurance related issue (known as making weight). Nothing over 20 pounds on this one :)

Those who need a plan laid out and easy to follow. The QUICK DROP plan comes with easy to follow meal plans and effective workout plans to increase results.

Need more info? Shoot me an email michelle@michellecfitness.com

Cost is $250 for 4 weeks

 

21 DAYS TO HOPE

Are you truly desperate to lose weight?

Do you just not know where to even start?

Do you think, or have you been told, that surgery is your ONLY option?

All you need is 21 days to start changing the habits that put the weight on! You can do this, because others have.

In just 21 days, here’s what you’ll see:

  • Increased energy
  • Lower body fat
  • Water weight loss
  • Less bloating
  • Fewer gastrointestinal issues (acid reflux, gerd, IBS, etc.)
  • You’ll learn how to ditch the negative thoughts
  • You’ll find hope

Why wait? Get started by sending me an email and let’s talk about your goals! michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

Skype Sessions

These sessions are an hour in length and can cover any area where you feel you need a little more guidance such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Proper exercise sequencing
  • Proper recovery
  • Supplementation
  • Nutrition
  • How to hush the negative thoughts that hold you back
  • How to embrace your changing body
  • How to get your family on board
  • How to handle haters
  • Special subjects for trainers as well

BRAND NEW 30 DAY GROUPS!

Want to get a trainer, but money is a little tight?

I am now offering 30 day challenge groups for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain (2 separate groups) that make your goals affordable and within reach.

Email now to get on the wait list michelle@michellecfitness.com

New groups start October 20th.

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NOW is the time to take it to the next level!

Michelle

 

 

 

 

The 8-Week Transition Diet by Steve Edwards

Below is a DETAILED 8-week transition diet. This is NOT a quick weight loss, who cares what happens as long as I drop 10 pounds DIET! It’s about restoring health and ramping up your fitness levels.

Now, I don’t enjoy calling them “cheat” days, as I believe we are treating and we should be eating in ways that we don’t feel deprived (MUCH MORE on that in a later blog), but I do love the way Steve has laid this out.

Want more articles like this? Check out Teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog

 

The 8-Week Transition Diet

Author: Steve Edwards

woman eating a salad

Transition diets are one of the easiest ways to become a healthier eater.

I’ve been doing them since the ’80s and, in fact, one of the first articles I ever wrote for Beachbody, in January 2001, was a 6-week transition plan. They’re not only great for first-time dieters but are also great for any time you feel like cleaning out your system after a period of slacking off. That’s why I do a variation of this plan almost every year. Here’s my latest creation.

It’s often said that no one diet works for every individual. While this is true, you may have noticed that all Beachbody eating plans target a similar goal: Eat more natural, whole foods and less junk. That’s because there are no secrets to healthy eating. There are strategies that can lead to various performance benefits, but 99% of the goal of eating healthy is to minimize junk and get your diet to consist of real food (you know, the stuff nature makes). With this in mind, our Beachbody nutrition guides use various strategies, all designed to lead you to the same place.

While those nutrition guides tend to be detailed, the 8-Week Transition Diet is for those of you who want simple. Outside of a small list of what you can’t eat, you’re free to chow down on anything. How hard can that be? You should also find that by making your transition gradually, the road to healthy eating is pretty easy.

 

Week 1

No junk. Eliminate junk food from your diet. That’s it, just junk. Other than this, you can eat whatever and whenever you like. The definition of junk is obvious stuff, like potato chips, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. You may be stricter if you’d like, but for Week 1, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just stay out of the 7-Eleven. For many of you, this step alone will reap huge benefits.

Cheat Days: 2. Since no one’s perfect, you get two days to cheat. That’s right, two days where you can eat anything you want! A trick on cheat days is to listen to your body. At first, it’ll probably tell you it wants whatever you’ve been denying it. However, over time, it’ll start to crave nutrients you’re deficient in. Learn to read your body’s subtle signs. If you’re craving ice cream, you may be short on essential fatty acids. If you crave a hamburger, your diet may lack protein. By listening to your body and learning what it really needs in this way, you can make better food substitutions. It’s a way of getting in tune with yourself that will benefit you for your entire lifetime.

Weekly focus: Water. Not swimming in it, though that’s good, too, but staying hydrated with it. “They” say you should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, but I say you should drink more. Shoot for a gallon (though don’t worry if you fall short). Yeah, that probably seems crazy but almost all of us walk around dehydrated for most of our lives, which not only hurts the way we function but also makes us hungry when we’re actually thirsty. A glass of water when you feel hunger pangs both staves them off and helps you fill up faster when you do eat. As for other drinks, juices and sugary sodas also (obviously) fall into the junk category. And alcohol should be kept to a minimum. We tend to forget (purposely or not) that alcohol has calories. A lot of them: 7 calories per gram. Mixers can be even worse—not only can they add calories, but these sugary calories influence the way alcohol reacts with your body.

Week 2

Each week’s rules are cumulative, so the “no junk” rule from Week 1 will apply until the end, as will each subsequent week’s rule. Remember that this is a process. Treat it as though you’re in school and the subject is your own body.

Eat small, eat often. Eat every couple of hours while you’re awake and try not to eat anything for about three hours before you go to sleep. Following these rules will keep your blood sugar levels more static and your energy level will stay consistent. Try to keep each snack or meal balanced. Something like a 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 30% fat ratio, though you don’t need to worry too much about it. Just realize that you need a bit from each macronutrient group. Eat based on what you’ll be doing for the next few hours (if you’re working out, eat a little more; sitting at a desk, eat a little less). The three-hours-before-bed rule is important, especially for fats and carbohydrates. By allowing time for all the carbs you eat to get into your bloodstream, your body will sleep in fat-burning mode, rather than in calorie-storing mode. This is important because undigested carbs in your stomach at night are stored as adipose tissue (fat).

Cheat Days: 2

Weekly focus: Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs them, just like it needs proteins and fats. The trick is to choose the right carbs. As a society, we eat too much refined sugar. Complex carbs, like whole-grain breads, whole-grain rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes are outstanding foods. Even fruits, which have simple carbohydrates wrapped in fiber, are exceptionally healthy. While you don’t want a diet based on nothing but carbs, making the right carb choices will maximize your body’s potential. Try to avoid white rice and flours. Read labels, and try to avoid ones that use the word “enriched,” because this means these products have been stripped of their natural nutrients, overprocessed, and then fortified with a few random nutrients.

 

Week 3

Eat some colorful, low-density food at every meal. These are foods that take up a lot of space without a lot of calories. Veggies are the most obvious example. You can eat a salad bowl overflowing with lettuce and veggies and you most likely won’t exceed 100 calories. By eating low-density foods like veggies and fruits, you’ll keep your portions under control naturally, because they have very few calories for their size. Conversely, high-density foods, like chocolate and butter, are loaded with calories in even the smallest amounts. So beware of salad dressings and other things you add to salads and veggies. Only add enough for flavor; don’t fill up on them. When it comes to live foods, the richer the colors, the fresher the products tend to be. Try to eat a variety of colors in your diet. This simple-yet-random-feeling act will help ensure that you’re covering all your nutrient bases.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Protein at every meal. This becomes even more important as you eat more low-density food, because protein tends to be high-density. Many veggies have a lot of protein, but the quantity you must consume starts to become prohibitive. Try to get some protein—meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, or seeds each time you eat, especially when you’re working out hard, because you need to repair broken-down muscle tissue. Since your body can only utilize a certain amount of protein at once, do your best to eat small amounts often (starting to see a theme?) Reading labels is a simple way to learn how to estimate your protein intake. You’ll notice natural foods don’t have labels but once your diet is comprised mostly of these you’ll no longer need them. More on this later.

 

Week 4

Cook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which hopefully happened in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients (most will be savvy enough to make a point of how healthy their food is). As you may have seen in the news, restaurants tend to use alarming quantities of salt, among other things. This single step will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance). This can be hard for many of us because we now have to plan our meals and prepare ahead of time, but try to treat it like vocational school—you don’t learn a new “job” without a little retraining.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Remember that fat is a vital part of your diet, not just something that makes you fat. What is not vital is junk fat in processed foods. Healthy fats come from fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, etc.—natural sources. You need to be careful about that amount of fat you eat because it’s very dense. At 9 calories per gram, it contains more than double the calories of carbs and protein.

 

Week 5

Reduce starchy carbohydrates. Starches include rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and other legumes. While many of these are in no way bad foods, most of us eat too much of them. The goal here is to cut way down on them, if not totally out, and then add them back in when your body feels like it needs energy. This will teach you the relationship you have with carbs. They are vital for energy but eating too many of them leaves us lethargic (and eventually fat). Once you figure this out, your entire relationship with food will change.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout or during a long one. Your body doesn’t need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can’t avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the one-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you’ve used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and eating sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further.

 

Week 6

If man makes it, don’t eat it. This is likely to be the hardest week of your diet. You want to eat only whole foods and eliminate all processed foods, even good ones, for the week. This includes breads, most salad dressings, all cereal, luncheon meats, cheese, dried fruits, anything with preservatives, and alcoholic beverages. What you can eat are whole foods such as fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, meat (sans any type of sauce), natural whole-grain rice, poached eggs, etc. Since your eating habits have been slowly changing, this shouldn’t be that big a shock to your system, but it will still likely be hard. Try and get creative. There are now many raw and whole food “cook” books that can help keep you entertained.

Cheat Days: 1. The “cheat day” mentality is a good one. Decadent desserts, a night at the buffet, drinking with friends, etc., can be good for you as long as they are rewards and not habits. Studies proving this have been steadily appearing for about as long as we’ve been studying things. All work and no play does, indeed, make Jack a dull boy.

Weekly focus: Nuts and seeds make great snacks. A handful of raw almonds or cashews is a quick and easy snack that goes a long way. Don’t be put off by the high fat count of nuts, because this means it takes fewer of them to satiate you. Nuts and seeds are loaded with important phytonutrients, as well as good fats, proteins, and fiber.

Week 7

Be yourself. No rules—just try and eat as healthily as you can and do it by feel. Trusting yourself might seem like a lot of responsibility, but by now you’ll be up to it. Learning to eat by feeling what your body needs is an important step in your transformation. Consider the way you’ve been eating over the last six weeks, but don’t worry about what you should and shouldn’t do. Just fuel yourself. The point is to take a mental break. Relax and allow yourself to eat in a way that feels normal. You may be surprised to find yourself craving something healthy instead of a candy bar or soda. You’ll be better at listening to your body because it’ll tell you what it needs to eat, as opposed to what you’re used to eating. Your body should feel somewhat transformed.

“Reward for a Life Well Lived” Days: 1

Weekly focus: If you’re so hungry at night that you can’t sleep, try a protein shake. A recent study confirmed what’s been a focus of this diet for two decades; that protein before bed can raise amino acid activity for a full night of rest.

 

Week 8

Eat a perfect diet. Let’s get after it. No one is better able to tell you what you should eat than you. Our bodies are all different, and the key to your own perfect diet is learning about how your body reacts to different foods under different circumstances. Your journey over the last seven weeks should have brought you to a new understanding of how food affects your body, both for good and for bad. The time has come to test it. See how well you can eat for a week. In fact, see how well you can eat for the rest of your life. Live and enjoy.

Reward Days: 1, of course!

Weekly Focus: Don’t bonk. Bonking is a state when your body runs out of blood sugar and glycogen for energy. If you feel like your workouts are going backward instead of forward, this is a likely culprit. Use your energy level as your gauge. As soon as it starts to drop, start adding carbs back into your diet until you feel energized all day long. When you feel energized during your workouts and the rest of the day, you’ll know you’ve found the right balance between carbs and other nutrients. Also, remember that as your body puts on more muscle, you will need to eat more. Muscle weighs much more than fat, so as you gain muscle and lose fat, your body shrinks without losing weight. You will also require more calories in order to maintain your muscle. So, when you’re working out hard, don’t be afraid to eat more carbs than you do otherwise.

 

Need more help reaching your goals?

Check out www.fitnesshaus.co for meal plans, recipes, grocery lists and more!

The Struggle

Hey folks!

Welcome to near the end of the week (for most of us at least). Today I have one thing that I am truly trying to accomplish: BE REAL.

It has come to my attention that there truly isn’t enough real in the world today, especially the world of fitness. I’m attempting to change that and in the spirit of Ghandi….I’ll be the change I wish to see in the world :)

As many of you may know, I have a BRAND NEW project launching in just DAYS! Stress is becoming a daily part of my life and if I’m being real then you must be told that I don’t deal well with stress. This is real life people.

commercial prep

In the midst of filming for the launch of the new membership site (full deets next week…and it’s SUPER awesome), getting all the content done and trying to keep up with training clients, I had a few other things on my plate as well.

I am the mother of a 15-year-old driver. He is an excellent driver, but if I were to tell you that my heart doesn’t skip a beat thinking about all that is to come, I wouldn’t be very real. I celebrated my 16 year anniversary with the best gift God ever gave me, my sweet and supportive husband. School ended for my kids, which any mom can tell you means that the activities have only just begun. There was also a mission trip and ongoing missions in between all of that. Compiled with all of that, I began having major health issues that rendered me bed-ridden and about 15 pounds heavier than I was in May.

sick days

Why do you need to know any of this? Well, I think we can ALL fall into the false lie that people actually have it all together. I spent a lot of my sick time scrolling through Instagram (as Facebook just tends to upset me) and comparing my couch potato existence to the active lives of seemingly perfect and awesome people. One incredibly important note here is that I have overworked my body into a state of chronic inflammation (which I talk about often) and stress compiled through my overwhelming thoughts and feelings simply makes it worse.

So, what has been happening that has me down? I’ve been listening intently to the wrong voices in my head. I sat yesterday to create a cool little promo video for the new site and I automatically regretted that decision. I looked up pictures of myself just a few months ago and almost felt shame that I wasn’t “as good” as I was then. It’s a slippery slope to get caught up in, and I dove in like a cool pool of water on a hot Summer’s day! By now you would think I know better. I mean, I work in health and have counseled many people off the edge, but I still have very little patience with myself. I keep thinking my body should just comply….is that just too much to ask?

I started to lose who I was, as I think many of us do. I began to think “IF ONLY”. You know the thoughts I’m talking about:

  • If only I had more control over my body.
  • If only I could just get over it.
  • If only I could bring myself to work harder.
  • If only I could go back to where I was then.

The list can go on and on, but you get the point. It’s a pity party without any favors. While the inflammation makes its happy home in the nooks and crannies of my 36-year-old body, I feel swollen, fatigued, and flat-out washed out. So, I decided to take a break…. Now, I have taken breaks before, sometimes up to 3 days! Shocking. You see, I fall into the same assumptions many of you can be prey to as well. I think I have to do it all…or suffer the dire consequences. I have vowed that this break will be different. For starters, it will last MUCH longer. I’m kind of thinking all Summer long really. I want to drop all overbearing expectations of my body (I mean, I’m not competing and my 15-year-old son would be MORTIFIED if I wore a bikini anyways, so no time like the present!) and focus more on the ENJOYMENT factor of life. Who cares if I don’t have cellulite if I’m still NOT happy with what I do have people?????

So, what will this break look like?

  1. YOGA. Yep, every single day. Sometimes it will bust a sweat, sometimes I’ll just put my legs up a wall and breathe….either way, it works.
  2. Taking the time to thank my body for WHAT it does, not HOW it looks.
  3. Nourishing my body: no potions, powders or pills for the next few months…just whole foods and plenty of water.
  4. Weekly date nights. We can stay in our room or go out on the town, just so long as I reconnect him weekly away from work and future plans.
  5. New fitness adventures (but staying pretty safe). I want to face some fears (my bestie wants me to try roller derby…I’m thinking there is no time like the present!) and try some things I’ve put off (HOT YOGA) due to my social issues.
  6. Daily journaling. I still have quiet time everyday, but I want to take the time to journal and get some thoughts OUT of my head before they can take root and cause problems.
  7. PLAY. Whether it be in the kitchen with my kids or on the rink with my bestie, I need to bring an element of play back into my life.

date night

One great thing of being couch ridden is that you can take the needed to evaluate what it is you truly WANT to do (I fully encourage you to do this same thing, sans the sickness) and it has led to some changes for me. I have 2 things I not only love to do, but also fully and completely believe in: FOOD and YOGA. These 2 things can change a life. So, I’m going to be doing more of them during this off time.

What’s my challenge to you then?

  • Take a little time to re-evaluate your own life. Yes, it can be scary to think about, but it can also be very rewarding in the end.
  • Instead of adding more to your plate to try to make life better, try taking some away.
  • Sit in silence with just yourself for a little while and imagine the life you want to live and leave behind.
  • Try breathing deeply for 3-5 FULL minutes.
  • Let go of expectation and live in the now.
  • PLAY.

Life only comes around once. Some get a second chance through life altering circumstances such as illness or even the death of a loved one…the good news is you need not wait for a grand life-altering occasion; you can change your life for the better starting today.

Until next week,

Michelle

yoga glow