Kick in the Pants Monday

This video series will be replacing Tough Love Tuesday.

THIS is one you will want to hear, especially if you’re struggling with reaching goals….

 

Tis the Season! Pumpkin Pancakes and Leg Work

Breakfast can be a tricky time for some people, but with the right ingredients and a little planning you can make it through with flying colors and bright energy.

These pure protein pancakes are SUPER for carb cycling days (low carb days) and are ready in under 5 minutes. BONUS: you can make them in bulk ahead of time, store them in serving sizes in the fridge and be enjoying them within 1 minute.

PURE PUMPKIN AND PROTEIN PANCAKES

Ingredients (just 3!):

1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix

1/2 cup pure egg whites

1 scoop low sugar whey protein (I dig MetRX Vanilla whey OR BSN Lean Dessert Cinnamon for this recipe)

Mix together and cook on non-stick griddle. These will start your day in a filling way and eliminate some carbs as well as excess fat. The protein gives them sweetness BUT if you must have them sweeter try a little drizzle of local honey. Serving size is 3 pancakes.

pumpkin pancakes

LEG WORK:

Your legs offer a vehicle on which you stand your ground AND move forward in life…so make your leg workouts count! Here is a shorter leg workout I use when time is of the essence OR I just feel like I need an extra burn for the day. It’s great to do for those who enjoy running, but don’t want to overwhelm the legs that work so very hard for them.

NOTE; ALWAYS WARM UP

20 kettlebell swings (no KB, no problem! Use a dumbbell or a gallon of milk, just make it work)

50 alternating step ups (I use 20 pounds dumbbells in each hand, you may choose the weight)

20 pop squats (feet on either side of a step with no risers, squat then explode up and land on step. No step? Do it on the floor)

100 walking lunges….you read that right and you can do it!

10-15 Sumo Squats (wide stance, toes out slightly, send butt back and down)

10-15 stiff-legged dead lifts

Make sure the weight you choose for each exercise challenges you and up it after a while. Do 3 total rounds of the circuit and add this workout to your weekly routine 2-3 times to help rid the thighs of cellulite and garner more strength than you thought you had :)

leg work

Peace, love and lunges!

Michelle

 

Benefits of Proper Training: Knowing HOW TO Reach Your Goals

“Why do you train?”

It’s a common, yet confusing question. Each of us have slightly different goals when it comes to training. This is why we must approach training (and choosing a trainer) with a glass slipper approach: one size most definitely does NOT fit all….

COMMON TRAINING QUESTIONS:

What’s more important, cardio or weights? Honestly, there is a scientific theory based on how the body works and then there is one’s own knowledge of how their own body works. The muscles of the body are particularly designed to move the skeleton of the body. If the muscles atrophy and are no longer used, we can no longer move, period. While some of us may think the muscles are designed to help us look good in bikinis or fill out our jeans….they actually serve a more functional purpose. In order to gain strength (I’m not talking size at this point) we must place a certain amount of pressure upon the muscles in order to force them to adapt. The absolute GREATEST thing about being human is that we have been created to adapt. In order to create the needed pressure for the aforementioned adaptation we need some resistance training. Here is where it can go haywire for some: resistance training and body building are NOT the same thing. Training for muscle growth is vastly different (in both training and nutrition) from training for fitness, overall health and better strength. What would I consider resistance training for our purposes?

  • Weight training (obviously)
  • Resistance Bands
  • Exercise ball
  • Body weight exercise
  • TRX/suspension training
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Barre
  • Dance
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts

Honestly, I’m sure there is more but these examples will suffice for our purposes. These activities all help to build lean muscle and therefore allow the body to burn at a more efficient rate, meaning you’ll have a higher metabolism. Various workouts, such as kickboxing, dancing, body weight, etc. can actually help with cardiovascular health as well as maintaining and building lean muscle and are favored among those strapped for time and seeking more efficient workouts. So, where does all the confusion come in? In my opinion, it’s due to far too many opinions being thrown out there…..

One thing that is always remarked upon is weight training and women. I hope at some point we will get over this, but alas, we have not. Weight training will not make you BULKY. Women lack the needed testosterone to get super big. As a matter of fact, the women who compete in body building (the huge muscles) have to work far harder at gaining and maintaining muscle growth of that capacity. Nutrition and supplementation have to be spot on 24/7 and these athletes devote their lives to growth. Which is why people like me tend to lean towards bikini comps :) Case in point:

flat abs before                      weight training abs

So, the pic on top was taken at the tail end of a cardio rush, where I was simply doing cardio (running, kbox, etc) with no weights. The pics on bottom were 4 weeks later(2 weeks and 2 more weeks) after I picked up heavy weights again. See the point? Now, here’s the rub: weight work brilliant FOR ME. They happen to be my go-to and when I’m prepping for pictures, a show or even just the water park, I stick to weights and have minimal cardio. This is my gig nad by challenging and listening to my body I have found what truly works. It’s backed by the exercise science and my routines are pretty old school. I don’t throw in all this super crazy stuff….I lift things up and put them down LOL!

THE WEIGHT LOSS FIX:

What I always try to remind my clients is that our goals are not the same. My goal at times is to put on muscle and drastically cut fat. Theirs can be that the doctor told them they have to lose 50 pounds stat! These are 2 very different goals and should be approached differently. When you are just beginning a weight loss journey consider this: just move it. I really don’t care the type of cardio weight loss clients choose, it just has to be done consistently. I know Fitness Magazine had an article about how HIIT training can cut body fat faster, but I also know from experience that jumping repeatedly with over 200 pounds on your frame is not an activity you will keep up with! So, when you’re at the very beginning, JUST MOVE! Now, once you start to get your footing and you’re very focused on nutrition (water and greens will get you anywhere you want to go), start adding resistance training in order to bump up the metabolism and keep the skin tight.

MOTIVATION:

Here’s the deal with the M word…it is short-lived, but necessary. Where do I find motivation? EVERYWHERE! I can find it in past pictures (I mean, if my body did it once it can do it again!), old pics (AH!, I don’t want to go back THERE!), YouTube videos, magazine articles, movies, etc. I also keep plenty of fit friends in my circle and all up on my social media. When I decided competing would be in my future, I started gaining friends who were already doing what I wanted to do. That’s a key component to constant motivation right there. So think of your life a little different. I may not get paid big bucks to keep my booty in shape for a movie, BUT I train like I do…..so I’m ready when the call comes ;) Change your perception and make good choices on who you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

Now we’re moving forward, but I warn you not to get distracted and lose momentum! Think like a freight train, not a kitty cat….

Much fit love,

Michelle

Finding My Happy Space

Happy Hump Day!

This morning I was able to spend some time in one of my favorite places in the house: my kitchen.

While some won’t think this odd at all, I must confess that I times I disregard my love for the kitchen. Sometimes I simply don’t want to enter it for fear of dirty dishes and big messes. Can any other moms and dads relate here?

The kitchen has always been a vital part of my life. On weekends, my mom could often be found in the kitchen making a true southern breakfast, complete with biscuits, eggs, pancakes AND bacon! I also remember baking chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen and learning the bare (EXTREMELY bare!) basics of baking. The kitchen has always signified a place of nurturing. Unfortunately, as I embarked upon my weight loss journey, my love for  the kitchen dimmed.

My second confession today is that I love food! I really do :) I love crisp, fresh salads and rich, creamy soups just the same. And I can get really excited over  a well cooked hamburger too! Food has seemingly always been a passion for me, so it’s natural that I became a nutritionist. The funny thing is that with my emotional roller coaster with food, I haven’t begun to utilize my nutritionist skills until recently. Here is the very basic thing you need to understand about food: IT WAS MADE TO BE ENJOYED.

You read that right! When did food become the enemy? Ahem…..somewhere in the early 80′s when “diet gurus” starting butting in and telling us what to eat. Have you noticed something? The DIET industry is BOOMING…and so are our waistlines and worse, disease. Coincidence? Well, that’s another post entirely and it is coming :) Food is not your enemy and your enjoyment of food needn’t be martyred to lose weight. In fact, if we would learn to relax and nourish our bodies with what they need (NOBODY needs a Big Mac and fries people), then the body is more complying with letting go of unwanted weight. I speak the truth!

So, I have made a shift from killing my body in the gym to pouring my heart out in the kitchen. My husband and kids LOVE when these moments come around! My intent is to spend time in my happy space every day, preparing meals that nourish us from the inside out. So, that’s all great, but what’s in it for you right? Well, I’ll be sharing my happy space journey with you. I’ll let you in on all the happenings, including the kitchen updates and new gadgets. I just got a Vitamix (OBSESSED!) and I’m in desperate need of picking a color for the kitchen walls. All of it, from recipe remakes to failures to videos on how to ensure you shop your store smart, stock your pantry with confidence, travel light (intestinally speaking) and even make your own dressings and kimchi (oh yes, YOU can do this!).

Why am I doing this? Every good nutritionist (the GOOD ones!) have periods of self experimentation. This ensures that what is being recommended actually works. Through years of research, I have noticed the one common denominator for those seeking help to lose weight or overcome illness is this: FOOD. It’s not that our bodies are just lazy, our food isn’t working FOR us. Actually, over the past couple of decades our food has begun working against us. Any kind of workout will help most people feel better IF they are feeding themselves well. My intention is to make that possible. Eating healthful is not impossible, no matter your career choice or current life situations. Come along for the ride and get ready for vibrant health, renewed energy and all the weight loss your body needs.

From our kitchen to yours,

kitchen help

 

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. :)

20120823-091040.jpg     20120823-091050.jpg

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

 

Final Challenges: GAME CHANGERS NOTE: NOW FULL

Hello Hello!

I hope you are enjoying Spring already. I went to the grocery store today and loaded up on fresh fruits and veggies. It’s already getting hotter here, and that calls for cooler fare on the table :)

Your final list of Spring Challenges are what I call Game Changers. THIS is the group I will personally be joining and working out with daily.

So, who is it for?

This group is for anybody who is a little more consistent with their fitness (you’ve been working out consistently for 6+ months at least), those who have already finished a program and want to add to their challenge, those who are truly committed to the “lifestyle change” and are wanting to continue moving forward, athletes looking for a competitive edge, and the just plain crazy people (ME ME ME, PICK ME!!!).

So, here’s the deal. You can take on any of these challenges by themselves OR you can mix and match them :) I will be mixing up a storm and posting my schedule to the group page. How is that beneficial? How cool would it be to work out to the same thing a seasoned master trainer works out to? Pretty cool… I’ll also be sharing my meal plans and, of course, my struggles, whiny moments and awesome injuries. JOKING! I have NO plans to get injured and neither should you.

Let’s take a peek at the challenges and THEN I’ll tell you which ones I’m taking on….

P90X2

Get blown away by your visible results. AND performance.

P90X2® continues the Muscle Confusion™ with the latest cutting-edge training technique used by pro sports trainers. Twelve workouts help you focus on your abs/core, powerful athletic function, and lightning-bolt agility. Expect to chisel your body and virtually blast right through your plateaus.

Also available on Blu-ray™ Discs. FREE lifetime disc replacement is included with Blu-ray orders.

Here’s what you get with P90X2:

12 breakthrough, muscle-challenging workouts –

  • X2 Core. Works your core using instability. Master this routine for overall improved movement.
  • Plyocide. Explosive movements combined with mind and coordination drills for super speed/endurance.
  • X2 Recovery + Mobility. Realign your body with a foam-rolling technique and complete stretching routine.
  • X2 Total Body. Push your body to use the correct muscles and proper form to handle resistance and instability challenges.
  • X2 Yoga. Increase your isometric power and range of motion, and build stabilizer muscle strength.
  • X2 Balance + Power. Push your limits through strength and explosive movements while improving alignment.
  • Chest + Back + Balance. Achieve superior strength gains over those achieved through traditional weight training by working on unstable platforms.
  • X2 Shoulders + Arms. Keep your shoulders and arms strong and in balance to help minimize your risk of injury.
  • Base + Back. Give your two largest muscle groups a super workover with a pull-up and plyo extravaganza.
  • P.A.P. Lower. Give your lower body a cutting-edge workout with four-round complexes that boost performance.
  • P.A.P. Upper. Regain your youth with Post-Activation Potentiation training for your upper body.
  • X2 Ab Ripper. Upgrade your concept of what an ab workout should be with a series of demanding core movements.

Plus, get these information-loaded tools:

  • Fitness Guide. Get all the facts and tools you need to maximize your P90X2 results.
  • Nutrition Guide. We’ve evolved the diet along with the exercise program. Now in addition to traditional high-performance food choices, you can customize your plan with grain-free and vegan options.
  • How to Bring It Again Video. Get a quick overview of the complete P90X2 training system.

And even more tools to keep you on track:

  • 90-Day Workout Calendar. Set P90X2 workout goals each day, and schedule your recovery week when you need it.
  • Online Support. You’ll have access to Tony Horton and our panel of Beachbody® experts as well as peer support from other people doing P90X2.

NOTE: THIS workout is the BOMB!!! Why? Oh, they just so happened to employ the help of my senior NASM Master Trainer to help work out the kinks of the original P90X. X2 offers more active rest and recovery for greater strength gains, better cues on form and function and less risk of injury. Rock. ON.

P90X2

Body Beast:

Pack on up to 20 pounds of muscle in 90 days with Body Beast. Created by world-class trainer and former “Mr. Israel,” Sagi Kalev, this proven growth-inducing program includes 12 extreme workout DVDs, plus valuable fitness tools to help you get healthy, increase your confidence, lose fat, and give you the physique of a bodybuilding champion.

Here’s what you get with Body Beast:

12 workouts:

  • Build: DVDs 1-4 Lay the foundation for a huge new you. Give every muscle in your body a major pump with Super Sets and Giant Sets.
  • Bulk: DVDs 5-9 Force Sets, Progressive Sets, Combo Sets, and Multi-Sets build on the size you gained in Phase 1. Now the focus shifts to muscular hypertrophy, the technical term for the muscle cells enlarging, bringing about explosive muscle growth.
  • Beast: DVDs 10-12 With fat-burning cardio, relentless circuit-training, and intense core work, you’ll be amazed at your increasing capacity to lift heavier weights and grow bigger, more defined muscles.

You’ll also get these valuable tools:

  • The Book of Beast. Get huge without wasting a second. This info-packed program guide gives you tips on proper form and safety, explains the science behind growing your muscles, breaks down the nutrition you need to reach your goals, and even boosts your motivation.
  • “How to Eat Like a Beast” Eating Plan. Exceptional bodies are made in the kitchen. This comprehensive guide provides a calorie calculator, portion charts, food lists, and suggested supplements to help you bring out your inner Beast.
  • 90-Day Daily Workout Calendar. We’ve done the work for you, so you always know which exercises to do, when. Just follow along and chart your progress.

Body-Beast-2

 

Brazil Butt Lift Master Series:

Launch your booty sculpting sky-high in just 30 days with Leandro’s advanced breakthrough moves and tools. The 30-day Master Series program includes 3 new workouts that work multiple muscle groups at the same time, plus smart tools to help you sculpt lean, sexy muscle and get the tight, sexy bikini body of your dreams.

Look your bikini best in 30 days.

Brazil Butt Lift Master Series includes 3 advanced new workouts, plus the tools you need to sculpt lean, sexy muscle in just 30 days. With the Master Series, Leandro adds more tools, resistance, and angles to work multiple muscles at the same time and help you get your best overall bikini body ever.

Here’s what you get with the Brazil Butt Lift Master Series Base Kit:

3 Advanced Workouts:

  • Bikini Body. Sculpt sexy muscles all over with hand weights and Leandro’s expert moves.
  • Higher & Tighter. Elevate your bum bum and trim your core with multiple cycles of advanced moves using the stability ball.
  • Ipanema Booty. Shape a firm, round booty using heavier ankle weights during intense sculpting on the stability ball.

Get tighter with 3 tools:

  • Stability Ball. Keeps you engaging your core with every move, for your ultimate bikini body.
  • Sculpting Guide. Follow Leandro’s fitness and nutrition plan to succeed.
  • Master Series 30-Day Calendar. Leandro shows you which workout to do each day, plus a hybrid option that includes the original Brazil Butt Lift DVDs.Brazil-Butt-Lift-Master-Series-DVD

 

Alright, so I totally get there are only 3 listed….here’s the deal.

These 3 programs can totally stand alone and take your health, fitness and body to the next level…

OR

You can mix and match with programs you already own.

Here are the ones I’ll be mixing for 90 FULL days…and the Game Changers will have full access to my schedule.

  • P90X2
  • Insanity
  • Insanity: the Asylum, Volume 1
  • Les Mill’s Body Combat
  • Turbo Fire

You got it! 5 programs, 90 days, sequenced to ensure success, make the changes I want, and make sure I don’t get injured (THANK YOU P90X2 Recovery and Mobility!).

ALL you do is click the program link above, sign up for a FREE player membership, then head over to the Challenge Packs and get your goods.

So that’s that.

How bad do you want it, how crazy can you be?

I double dog dare you to find your limits…..then blow them away and find new ones. You never know what you really may be capable of just reading about others…make your own story!

See you tomorrow!

Michelle

 

FUN FRIDAY!!!! International Women’s Day!

Wow, am I excited about today! Why? Well, to start, I happen to BE a woman :) Also, I happen to know a LOT of inspiring women!

Today is also the start of some brand new things that I wanted to share.

Fun Fridays will consist of challenges for your weekend. I’m filming some now (well, right now I’m writing) and all you have to do is commit to it and follow along…THEN post that you completed it and share it on Facebook and Twitter so your friends get all jealous, I mean inspired.

First up: CHEST AND BACK CHALLENGE!

back and bis

That’s from this morning’s workout…which I KILLED! LOL

When you work your back and chest, you’re working MAJOR fat burning muscles PLUS getting the added benefit of nice arms. It’s a win/win.

So, the challenge is SUPER simple and requires ZERO equipment.

Are you ready for it?

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is 100 walk out push ups this weekend!

You read that correctly ;)

You can split these up as you see fit, doing 10 walk out push ups every few hours or so. Remember the golden rules though:

  1. Always warm up.
  2. Always stretch.
  3. Don’t eat your work away just because it’s a hard move! Focus people!

So there you have it. Once you have completed your challenge, post in the comments and SHARE it with your friends. This makes you the influencer and may help ignite a fit fire in somebody you care about.

In honor of International Women’s Day, I would like to honor a great inspirer in my life, Mrs. Tosca Reno! Though she and I have not officially met, yet, she has been a source of knowledge and inspiration to me for years. Her ease and approach to nutrition and life are a great guide to follow and she exudes grace and strength in one awesome package.

Who is your woman of inspiration? Give them a shout out today!

Empower others,
Michelle

http://bit.ly/XKLiLQ

 

Weight Loss Secrets Day 12

Day 9 Secrets of Weight Loss

What is going on with my skin?

OK, so this could imply so many different things….but for today’s blog, we’ll be talking about loose skin. It seems to be an overwhelming concern among fitness enthusiasts.

Loose skin is not your lot! You can do some preventative exercises to prevent loose skin. Here are a few of the basics:

  1. Focus on resistance training. Cardio queens, step off the elliptical machine! Cardio alone will not help rebuild collagen in the skin which is essential to skin elasticity.
  2. Get your diet right. Make sure you’re getting enough protein. If you think your aren’t, chances are…you aren’t. Think lean protein and get it at every meal.
  3. Ditch the sugar. Cellulite and loose skin have 1 common denominator: they both LOVE sugar. Simple sugar such as candy, baked goods, white breads and pastas all contribute to lower collagen and saggier skin, PLUS they feed those lovely little dimples on your backside.
  4. HYDRATE! Just like protein, if you think you aren’t getting enough water…you aren’t! Chug a minimum of 3 liters throughout the day and add in some herbal teas to boost immunity and cell health :)

Is it easy to keep the skin tight? No. Is it easy to tighten loose skin? Absolutely not! BUT, it is doable and totally worth it in the end…..get the pun there ;)

Seriously, put in maximum effort and you will reap maximum results!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle