There’s A Snack For That

Quick Snack Ideas

Quick and easy, that’s where it’s at.

If you are anything like me, while looking for a snack you…

Open the pantry, grab the first thing you see, mindlessly eat it.

Five minutes later, you feel not so great and still NOT satisfied.

Ugh, even writing about it is unsatisfying…

Never fear! There is hope for people like me!

Yep, you heard me. Snacking doesn’t have to be all chips and cookies!

(Although, let’s face it, sometimes you NEED a cookie in your life.)

There are plenty of healthy foods that are quick and easy, and they’re out there, waiting for you….

To get your nosh on!

Time to think outside the box/bag!

Since I get requests all the time for quick, easy snack ideas, and also because I find myself staring mindlessly into the pantry, from time to time. ¬†I thought I would share the love, and hopefully a little inspiration for snack-time! ūüėČ

Without further ado,

Some snack ideas for you….

Healthy Snacks (1)

Super Food Series #1: ACV

I get so many questions about foods. ¬†I decided to start a series about SUPER foods! I am excited to share these awesome ingredients over the next few weeks! Here’s our first superhero:

Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

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According to my 76 year old dad, ACV cures anything that ails ya!  I laughed him off for a while until I did a little research of my own.  Turns out dear ol’ dad was right!  There are WAAAAYYYY too many benefits for me to list here (some of which are scientifically proven, others not so much).

Not only are there a gazillion and one benefits, evidently people have been tuned in to this truth for ages! Records have ACV showing up on the scene since before 5000 BC!

Turns out, ACV was one of Hippocrates fav prescriptions to hand out (he had his patients mix it with a touch of honey).

So, I am not sure it will raise the dead, or make you immune to rattlesnake bites, but there is solid research out there to back up the multiple claims of ‚ÄúAmazing ACV‚ÄĚ!!

Turns out it is a ‚Äúhealthy elixir‚ÄĚ after all.¬† Thanks Daddy!

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Amazing ACV & the Super Abbreviated Benefits list:

#1 -Aids in weight loss

Amazing ACV is a weight loss advocate!  Sending all it’s lovely goodness into your body to: suppresses appetite, increase metabolism, & reduce water retention!!!  There are also studies that suggest ACV blocks starch absorption, meaning fewer calories for you!!!

#2 – Helps maintain healthy blood sugar

Studies have shown ACV¬†to decrease blood glucose concentrations by MASSIVE amounts! (I’m still trying to convince Brent of it‚Äôs AMAIZINGNESS‚Ķ.he and his diabeetus just ain‚Äôt listening)

#3 – Improves nutrient absorption

#4 – Antioxidant properties

#5 – Promotes healthy cholesterol

#6 – Reduces heartburn and acid reflux

#7 – Antibiotic properties

#8 – Cures hiccups

#9 – Eases sore throat symptoms

#10 – Clears stuffy noses

#11 – Natural cure for acne

#12 – Boosts Energy

Let me stop right here and put my RN/PT expertise to work…

Apple cider vinegar is full of goodies like: potassium, amino acids, enzymes, etc.¬† Exercise and stress can cause lactic acid to build up in your body. This causes soreness and total ‚Äúdrag ass‚ÄĚ syndrome (aka- fatigue).

Have no fear, Amazing ACV is here with an amino acid antidote for that lactic acid!!

And what’s that?  Oh yeah, Amazing ACV is also packing that potassium and those enzymes mentioned earlier…take that tiredness!!!

#13 – Reduces leg cramps

See Potassium reference above…Have cramps?  You may be low in potassium!

Amazing ACV is high in potassium!

#14 – Controls bad breath

#15 – Detoxifies body

#16 – Reduces sugar cravings

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So now that you have a list of why’s….here’s a how…

How to take it?

ACV has become part of my morning ritual.  I typically have 2 Tbsp. mixed in my lemon water in the morning, often sweetened with a little local honey.*

*I also suggest rinsing your mouth afterward.  ACV is extremely acidic, I don’t want that hanging out on my tooth enamel all day!

Don’t wanna drink yours in water? ¬†Find your own fav way to down your daily ACV!

You can add it to food as you cook.  You can dilute it with water.  You can add some honey to it.  You can pour it in your smoothies.  Limitless possibilities folks (just a Tbsp. here and a Tbsp. there…you feel me?)!!

What’s your favorite way to take your Amazing ACV for the day?

Food 101: Start a Food Journal

Food journals work!

When changing your eating habits you need stability, accountability, motivation, record of what works, etc.  Food journals give you all of that and more!

I personally use a food journal when I have a fitness/weight loss goal in mind. ¬†When ¬†my pants fit a little too snug, when my body feels¬†“off” (and I’m feeling¬†sick, or sluggish, or even depressed), when I OD on sugar…habitually…¬†(I’m human…and I have a problem…first step is admitting right?), after one too many nights of dining¬†out. ¬†These are times that I reach for¬†the trusty food journal. ¬†My food journal hasn’t failed me yet! ¬†(Although, I must admit I have failed my food journal…)

Q:What the heck is a food journal?

A:  Whatever you want it to be!

Do you keep a journal? ¬†Have you ever? ¬†Is your journal the same as it was when you were 12? Is your journal/diary the same as your siblings (come on, you know you have taken a peak at someone else’s diary…)?

Food journals are like any other kind of journal or diary = Unique to the individual using them. ¬†They can be uber detailed, or scribbled onto a legal pad. ¬†No matter the level of detail, a food journal is serves as a record of everything that your put in your mouth. ¬†Scary thought? Maybe…but…

Are you a facts & figures type of person? ¬†My husband is. ¬†When he keeps a food journal he figures everything out…all the way down to percentages of food groups consumed each day!

Or are you like me?  You like the idea of organization but ALL those numbers are just TOO much to keep up with!

Doesn’t matter! ¬†Either way you CAN BE SUCCESSFUL with a food journal!

Q:  What information should I include?

A.  Record of EVERY food item that crosses those beautiful lips of yours!

The most detailed food journal is USELESS, unless you are TRUTHFUL!  Be truthful with yourself.  There is a reason you are thinking about starting a food journal right?  Always remember your goals.

Do you want to lose weight?  Eat more protein?  Drink more water?  Stick to a vegan or vegetarian menu?  Do you need balance in your eating habits?

Don’t lose sight of why you are doing this. ¬†With those goals in mind be sure that you include these facts for every entry:

  • Time of meal
  • Number of Portions
  • Food Item
  • Beverage

Those are the basics.   You can begin that simply.  You can also become more detailed, like my husband, by adding these facts to your entry:

  • Number of calories
  • Grams¬†of proteins
  • Grams of carbohydrates
  • Grams of fat
  • Grams of sugar
  • Ounces of water

Q:  How will a food journal benefit me?

A: Three words:  Accountability, Reality Check, Motivation*

*(ok, so that was 4¬†words…three ideas?!? You get the point!)

Accountability:

As a personal trainer, I have seen the importance of accountability. ¬†I know you’ve done it…we all have…

You get ready for the gym. ¬†Suddenly the phone rings. ¬†You get tied up on a phone call. ¬†Well, it was a nice thought, but since my routine was interrupted by that phone call I will just skip the gym today….I will get back into the swing of things tomorrow…

If you are anything like me, tomorrow may come.  Or it may come a couple months from now.  Or it may never come.  Who cares?

Now take that same scenario and add accountability…

You get ready to meet your workout partner at the gym for your 8:30am, regularly scheduled, workout. ¬†Suddenly the phone rings. ¬†You explain to the person on the line that you are on your way to an appointment and you will have to return their call in an hour when you finish up…You head out the door, make it to the gym on time, hit the gym hard and leave feeling accomplished.

Accountability can make all the difference. Food journals are like workout partners.  Not only are you putting that food in your mouth, you are now responsible to write it down.  This simple act can make a huge difference in the way that we perceive food.

Reality Check:

My reality is….I eat bad shit. ¬†Not all the time, not tons of it, but I still eat bad…on the reg. ¬†Keeping a food journal is like someone standing beside me saying, “You really gonna eat that piece of chocolate cake? ¬†Did you see how crappy you ate yesterday??”

“Knowing” what we have eaten, and seeing it written down in black and white are TWO totally different things!!!

There’s power in documenting your diet! ¬†Power and control, but first there’s reality… IN YO FACE…saying THIS is what you are putting in your body. ¬†This is the fuel that you have chosen.

Motivation:

One good choice leads to another. ¬†If you make your workout, chances are you will eat healthier that day. ¬†If you eat healthier, chances are you will make your workout. ¬†When I make it to my yoga mat, I find time to meditate. ¬†When I meditate, I find time for yoga. ¬†Good things….good vibes…good foods…good brings more good….makes sense right?

Food journals can keep you motivated. ¬†Along with my food journal entries I keep track of my progress. ¬†What progress am I making towards my goal? ¬†(Always keep those goals in sight…there is a reason you picked up your food journal)¬†If my goal is weight loss, I record my daily weights. ¬†If my goal is water consumption I record my intake with each entry as well as each day. ¬†If my goal is balance, I go all in…I will then keep up with all the details and numbers that my husband utilizes on his food journal worksheet. ¬†Use your goals to help you decide what information you will keep record of.

Questions? Comments?  I want to hear from you!  

Here’s a FREE (detailed)¬†FOOD JOURNAL TEMPLATE for Excel:

nutrition-log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Being in the fitness industry for over ten years has definitely opened my eyes to LOTS of mistakes people make when they begin a new routine. ¬†Weight loss seems to be¬†super easy for some and then for the rest of the world it is a GIANT mystery! ¬†Why does this work? ¬†Why doesn’t this work? ¬†Is this healthy? ¬†Can I eat that? ¬†Etc. ¬†Etc. ¬†I am in the process of putting together some SIMPLE tip sheets for my personal training clients. ¬†I thought I would share a few with you guys as well!! Here is the first one! ¬†Let me know what you think!!! ¬†Comments? Questions? ¬†Suggestions for my next Tip Sheet?? I want to hear from you! ūüôā

common-weight-loss

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

I confess I am a wannabee Yogi.  I don’t practice nearly enough.  I am a professional procrastinator which has taken a toll on my yoga goals.  Those times that I do make it to my mat to practice, my soul is revived! Yoga is like medicine for me!

When I grow up, I want to be a 20-something tan, blonde chick living in Aruba teaching yoga & rescuing animals, okay??  Seriously, doesn’t that sound fantastic? The author of this book meets all of that criteria!!

Rachel Brathen

I discovered this bad ass Yogi through her Instagram posts.¬† Her name is Rachel Brathen, aka ‚Äď Instagram‚Äôs @yogagirl.¬† What I love most about her is that she is full of honesty.¬† Her Instagram posts can be quite emotional; therefore, they aren‚Äôt always pretty.¬† She has bared her soul more than a few times to her followers.¬† That‚Äôs what made me buy her book.¬† That‚Äôs what this world needs more of.¬† Raw, honest, emotion.¬† So before I climb farther on top of my soap box, let‚Äôs talk about it‚Ķ

The Book

yoga girl book(This cover makes me want to head on over to delta.com and book a flight to Aruba ASAP!)

 

While reading Yoga Girl, Rachel gives readers a deeper glimpse into her life.  Openly sharing childhood tragedy, troubled teenage years, and her struggle with labels.   She talks intimately about her triumphs and her failures.  She shares beautiful pictures, yoga routines and even some delicious recipes!

As I stated earlier, I am a WANNABE.  This chick is the real deal!  No worries though, her book is written to ANYONE who gets, or wants to get, on a mat (in fact, she says so in her book dedication).

PHOTOS:  Just like the book cover, the photos included within these pages are breathtaking!  There are candid shots, yoga poses, and the most beautiful natural scenery!  They are truly a feast for the eyes and add even more impact to the message of the book.

YOGA ROUTINES: ¬†The yoga sequences are written so that anyone can master them.¬† They are beautifully depicted and underneath each movement is a description that when read aloud sounds just like your typical day in yoga class.¬† ‚ÄúInhale to lengthen the spine‚Ķ‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúExhale to step back one foot at a time‚Ķ‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúCome to a standing position‚Ķ‚Ä̬† Seriously, you can just have someone read these to you while you do them and save your $15 drop-in yoga class fee for the day!

RECIPES:  Rachel includes step by step instructions on how to make some of her favorites dishes!  I have already tried a couple!  The carrot ginger soup is YUMMO!!!!  Her holistic approach to food gives you permission to enjoy eating while at the same time fueling your body with healthy nutrients!

KEEPIN’ IT REAL: ¬†I love that Rachel talks about real issues that everyone faces.¬† Body image.¬† Expectation. Disappointment.¬† She is open to the fact that we are all human.¬† We will never be perfect.¬† We may never live up to someone else‚Äôs expectations, but she also lets the reader know, that is okay.¬† We are all here for a purpose.¬† We are here to live our lives in a way that produces health and happiness. ¬†We don’t have to settle for anything less.

Rachel encourages readers to shed the weights that have been holding you back.  She encourages living!  True living!  This book is truly inspiring!!! I have read it at least three times, and each time I discover another truth to carry with me as I journey through life.

If you need a boost, a pick me up, a smile.  If you are looking for direction in life.  If you are searching for peace, but aren’t quite sure how to find it.  This book is for you!!!!

THOUGHTS: Leave me comments.  I want to hear from you!  Have you read this book?  What were your thoughts?

After you check out the book, head over and check out Rachel’s website oneoeight.com.  It is an amazing tool with yoga videos, guided meditations, advice, recipes and so much more!! 

namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Fitness Journey: Part Two

I’ve been a personal trainer for 10 years now…whoa…. it’s been a minute!

Thanks to personal training I’ve had the pleasure of working with some pretty cool folks! I landed my very first personal training job working for two professional bodybuilders John DeFendis and the late Mat DuVall (…talk about an intimidating interview! These guys are HUGE!). I owe my start in the business, and a lot of knowledge about training/nutrition, to them.  They gave me a foundation that to this day remains timeless.  In a world of fitness fads, they taught me that new isn’t always better.

Many trainers and individuals have served as inspiration for my fitness journey.  Each and every one of them pushed me to break past intimidation and reach for what I wanted out of life.  There is one trainer that does happen to stand out from the rest…

kb

Love this guy!

I met my handsome husband, Brent, at the gym.  He was a fellow trainer, just some crazy guy that tended to loiter in my office a little too long.   He and I began working out together and to be honest I stole a LOT of training ideas from him (shhhh it will be our secret).

Fact is, no one has been more inspiring/encouraging to me than my hubs, Brent (note: no one has ever driven me more crazy either!).  He has taught me tons in our crazy life together. He helped, still helps me, face my fears. My fears of not being good enough.  My fears of being left behind.  My fears of other’s opinions.  He taught me it was ok to fail (in & out of the gym).  He held my hand and led me to accept myself for who I was.

Enough of the sappiness…he also taught me proper form, weight-lifting technique, how to use hand wraps, the importance of having a decent spotter and a TON about eating to be lean. Brent is an old-schooler when it comes to fitness.  If you wanna know how to get the best physique quickly and efficiently he’s your man! He is responsible for the fact that I am, and forever will be, a lifter at heart. I mean for real, I like the movie Pumping Iron.  I blame him completely.

I have lazy days (ok, weeks).  I am a real person (with real shit to deal with). I work a full time job. I am no longer able to spend hours and hours at the gym.  But…

I still love all things fitness! While Brent is an old-school iron pumper.  I am random.  Especially in fitness!  I get bored with the same ol’ routines, same ol’ classes, same ol’ results.  I am constantly switching things up.  I am a lover of Crossfit, Yoga, Zumba, Kickboxing, Boot Camp, Bodybuilding, Tabata, Cycling, Hiking, etc.

I have recently been slacking off in my eating and exercise routine!  What a difference in how I feel.  I am dragging!!  I am logging off now, I have a hot date with my stairs…Look for a full body stair workout post soon!!!

I hope that by sharing my story I can inspire someone else to push past the fear! Take charge of your life! If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Give me a shout out! Tell me about your fitness routines!

 

 

Fitness Journey: Part One

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (ok maybe just one state over from where I am right now) lived a chick who NEVER had ANY weight issues.  She had never given THOUGHT to working out at a gym.  Then the UNTHINKABLE HAPPENED!!!!  The girl had kids!  Her body turned into a stranger!  She was overweight, unhappy, unhealthy and was clueless as to how to deal!!!

Yep, you guessed it…I’m the chick.  After the birth of my third kid (I have 5 total! They all ROCK!) I got tired of being tired.  You feel me?? I hated to look in the mirror.  I felt worn down all the time.  I had to do something, but what?!?  I tried a million workout videos and just as many quick weight loss schemes.  I would lose a few pounds but then put it back on.  Depression, a presence I have dealt with since the age of 18, began to tighten its grip.

I was either going to fight back or give in to the darkness.  I chose to fight.

I was going to DO THIS!  I was going to lose the weight and be a hot mama!  I headed to the local YMCA.  I joined, did a short cardio session.  Then I went home and didn’t return for another month!  I had three young children at home to deal with.  I had more important things to think of.  I had places to be. I had a plethora of excuses and let me tell you, I used them!

The truth is, I was terrified of the gym.  Saying I was intimidated would be an understatement!  I had never even SEEN most of those machines so of course I had NO IDEA how to use them!!! There were days I put on my gym clothes, got in the car, drove to the gym. Only to sit in the parking lot for 10 minutes before deciding to turn around and go home.  It took multiple times to actually step my foot in the door, but I DID IT.

I found a comfortable elliptical in the corner out of the way.  That became my go-to spot at the gym.  It was there that I became a cardio queen!!  I was killing it on that thing!!  I starting losing a little weight & I was digging the weight loss but it was not a quick process.  I was growing increasingly bored in my corner spot.  Lucky for me, I caught the eye of a couple trainers.  These two took me under their wing & let me join in on their personal workouts.  They poured knowledge out and I soaked up as much as I could!

Those two changed my life.  That small act of kindness, allowing me to join their workouts, was pivotal in my life.  Kindness has a tendency to produce some pretty awesome shit!

I began to LOVE the gym. It became my refuge.  I could take my frustrations and fears there & leave them!!  I felt great, like I could conquer anything.  For the first time in my life I felt comfortable going to the gym!! GO ME!

I lost the weight I wanted to lose and then some.  I went from being overweight, unhappy, defeated to being healthy weight, energetic and happy! From a size 14-16 to a size 4-6.  I didn’t have to dread getting dressed!!! Wooo hoooo!!!!  I wanted to pass along that kindness I had been shown, so I became a trainer myself.

Hope sharing this helps someone else!  If I can do it YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!

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Tell me about your own successes/failures.  What are some of the fears you are in need of conquering??