Monday, February 23, 2015

Next Fitness Bootcamp STARTS March 2nd!

To say I'm EXCITED for the next Fitness Bootcamp would be an understatement. I am so ready for spring, shorts and all things WARM…and this bootcamp is going to get us closer :) And the best part, you'll be feeling really confident and happy by the time March 23rd rolls around.

The programs I am focusing THIS bootcamp on is the 21 Day Fix OR the 21 Day Fix EXTREME! They are both on promotional pricing this month and it's the best deal you'll ever find.

The promotion is on the Challenge Pack which consists of the workouts (a full 7 days worth of 'em!); the nutrition plan that tells you EXACTLY how all of it works; the portion control containers; 30 Days of Shakeology; 30 days of the club membership which allows access to more recipes, meal plans and support; and a BONUS workout because you've ordered through me (your coach!).

The first question I KNOW you're thinking is… why is this girl so excited about these programs and WHY do I need to buy it?

I'm a nutrition nerd. There. I said it. I'm a Registered Dietitian and preach healthy eating along with exercise…but healthy eating will always come first in my book. You will not reach your goals if you do not commit to them in the kitchen! These programs emphasize that. The portion control system helps you learn the correct sizes of food that you SHOULD be eating (yes, you can OVEREAT healthy food too). There is no drastic, crash diet to these programs. You are fueling your body so that you can accomplish the workouts. All foods fit…and that's the way I like to live my life. That's the way I want my team to live their life! Not in fear of "bad" foods but knowing they can eat what they want, as long as it fits into their daily eating.

On to the workouts…the workouts aren't easy. I've never gone through an entire one without modifying at least once. And I'm proud of that. That means that I'm pushing myself. So don't get discouraged if you think you're not in "workout" condition. The modifier will help you along the way. I DO suggest that if you're a beginner, you order the 21 Day Fix. These workouts are a little less intense and are a great introduction to plyometrics, strength training, pilates and even yoga! If you consider yourself advanced or have completed programs like Insanity, Insanity Max:30 or P90X… you should get the 21 Day Fix EXTREME. The workouts incorporate more weights and harder moves.

Finally, I'm excited because it WORKS. And here are some of the amazing before and afters of real people who took these pictures in their home…just like you will.

21 Day Fix Results

21 Day Fix Results

 21 Day Fix EXTREME Results

WHY do you need to buy it? I don't want to have to convince anyone to change their lifestyle if they're not ready. But I'm pretty sure a lot of you are ready. Do this for YOU. A lot of times people are stuck in this never ending cycle of starting over every Monday, only to fail by Wednesday. Or they commit and prep food and then LIFE HAPPENS and they come up with excuses to not follow through. Believe me, I've been there. Eventually you start to feel like you'll never be successful because you've failed so many times. But NOT THIS TIME! Not with me, not with this program and not with the support group that we have. You will do it. You will lose weight and get stronger. THAT'S why you need to do this. 

Our group will have the following features:
-Secure group, where nobody can see what you post except others in the group.
-Meal plans. My personal meal plan for the program, week by week, WITH a grocery list.
-Accountability. A "sweaty selfie" REQUIRED daily to show us that you got your body moving that day :)
-Support. Because I KNOW this is hard and life gets in the way. There's no greater feeling than someone cheering you on who is going through the same thing.
-Money TIPS. I'm no accountant or financial planner, but I have found a way to save money on the 21 Day Fix. I will share them with you!
-PRIZES! You'll all have Shakeology & a Shakeology cup which are usually my go-to prizes…so for this round, I'm upping my game. The WINNER (to be determined by me, based on activity in the group, encouraging others and posting a before/after story) will receive a 21 Day Fix (or 21 Day Fix EXTREME) zip up hoodie! The perfect item for spring :)

So there you have it, all the reasons I'm excited.  

Submit this application to get started!


Friday, February 20, 2015

My PreWorkout Routine

PreWorkout…everyone has their own routine. Here's mine:

If I'm working out in the morning:

  • Alarm goes of at 5:30am. Hit snooze 1x until 5:40am. Make Joe get up with me.
  • Head downstairs to where my pre-workout (Energy and Endurance) was already scooped out the night before. Add water, chug. 
  • Hit the restroom.
  • Change into my workout clothes.
  • Move the ottoman so there's enough space for Joe and I to workout.
  • Pop in the DVD of the day….right now, it's Insanity Max:30, but next week… 21 Day Fix EXTREME! So pumped.
  • Push Play!
Yep, it's really not that extreme. Working out at home allows me to be up and working out within 15 minutes. I only make it take that long so that my E&E can kick in! It gives me a pep in my step WITHOUT jitters, tingles or other side effects that I've experienced with other kinds. E&E is flavored Lemon-Lime with natural sweeteners. It tastes so good and not grossly sweet. (Click here if you want more info on all the different kinds of pre workouts on the market.)

Want to become a morning person? Read my tips here!

Working out at home > going to the gym, at least for me and my lifestyle!

Now, if I'm working out in the evening, it's a little different:
  • Leave work, drink 16oz of water with scoop of E&E on the way home 
  • Get home, pull out my laptop and do some checking in with my team. I'll usually put some FRIENDS on the tv, or turn on my PopFitness Pandora station :)
  • Prep what I can for dinner as I wait for Joe to get home
  • Once Joe gets home, we move that ottoman and push play
Again, nothing crazy. A pre-workout routine is whatever YOU have to do to get yourself motivated. I get motivated in the evening by checking in on my team! When I hear that they have had a success that day or pushed further than they ever had before, I get SO EXCITED and want to do just as well as they did. 

What motivates you to workout hard?


Thursday, February 19, 2015


Recently I was sent a pair of Vionic Venture Walking Shoes to help promote their February Walkabout! The shoes are made with Orthaheel Technology, a biomechanics orthotic footbed that naturally aligns your feet and can help relieve heel pain, back pain, knee pain…any pain caused by alignment issues!

These are totally NEEDED in my life. I'm on my feet all day for 9 hours. And when I work a sporting event, that day turns into a 12 hour day! I'm always complaining about foot pain, heel pain and eventually, back pain. The Black Venture shoe that I was sent looks great with my black work pants! I'm excited for to keep breaking them in :)

Anyway, back to the Walkabout! Vionic's annual Walkabout challenge started February 1st, 2015 (National Heart Health Month). The Walkabout encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle by walking everyday for 30 days (for as little as 30 minutes). The initiative is co-promoted by Vionic spokespeople Dr. Andrew Weil and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska. 

This year, Vionic is partnering with SparkPeople, an online platform that helps users to reach their goals and lead healthier lives through free nutrition and fitness tools, expert created content and a vibrant, supportive community. SparkPeople has about 15.5 million lifetime members, many of whom lost weight and achieved better fitness through walking. Sparkpeople will host the Vionic Walkabout challenge through the month of April, at which point, users will be given the option to extend their SparkPeople memberships and continue on the journey to realizing their health and fitness goals.

As a participant you receive daily emails with motivation and healthy living info including recipes and wisdom from Dr. Weil and fitness moves from celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska. Also a a 3-month free subscription to Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness and Vionic's Guide to Getting Active: Tips from the Experts!! 

There is also a walk to win aspect - daily prizes include shoes, cookbooks and more and the grand price is a trip to Napa Valley! The grand prize is based on social media participation. 

*I was provided these shoes for free; however, the thoughts expressed here are all my own!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Why I Use Shakeology: Supplement Series Part 3

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the Supplement Series before jumping into My Shakeology Why. To summarize: Part 1 tackles the questions about WHO needs supplements and WHY; Part 2 helped identify and describe the categories of nutrients that are most commonly deficient in the American diet.

With so many products on the market, where can you find a reliable and trustworthy resource for a daily or occasional supplement?? (After all, even TODAY an article was released about companies cheating it's customers!)

Okay, this is gonna be a little lengthly, but that’s because it is SO important.

Personally, I have a series of questions that I ask myself when choosing supplements.

Is the product primarily made from high quality ingredients? Is the product made with NO artificial ingredients or fillers?  Is the product free of artificial sweeteners? Is the product manufactured by a company that stands on integrity and has a consistent reputation of creating quality products in the health, fitness and nutrition industry?

Why I choose Shakeology:

1. WHOLE FOODS: Finding a product that is made from whole foods or minimally processed foods is the first priority when I am choosing a supplement. In my personal research ofreviewing ingredients labels of the most popular supplements available on the market, Shakeology® always ranks #1 when it comes to filling this bill.

Why am I focused on whole foods as a source for my nutrition and supplements?
It’s simple, you can’t reengineer or redesign whole foods—try as many companies might. From a biological standpoint (how our body responds to what we take in), you can’t get the complete benefit of a supplement when it is not derived from whole foods. What you end up with is just pieces and parts of real food rather than the “complete matrix.”

Shakeology® ingredients include high-quality and potent foods, herbs, grasses and ingredients that are minimally processed to preserve the integrity of each ingredient. Minimal processing ensures the benefits are delivered in bioavailable ways.

Many “health’ shakes on the market today are soy based or sweetened with sucralose or high fructose corn syrup. Artificial sweeteners can actually increase insulin, increase carb cravings and inhibit weight loss.  Shakeology® does not contain soy, artificial colors, or sweeteners.

2. PROTEIN: High quality protein is made up of the essential amino acids needed to build and repair lean muscle, improve the condition of skin and hair, and helps reduce cravings.
Shakeology® contains a protein blend that includes whey, sacha inch, chia, flax, quinoa, amaranth and pea. Vegan formulas are also available.

3. VITAMINS and MINERALS: While the majority of the vitamins and minerals in Shakeology come for the whole food sources (“nutrition right off the vine,” as the product creator would say), the product then goes one step further. Shakeology backs up those whole food nutrients with an additional well-balanced vitamin/mineral profile. I like to think of it as insurance on the nutrient insurance. Why is this extra bit necessary? Daren wanted to protect against the fluctuating nutrition profile of crops.
Shakeology contains 13 of the essential vitamins and 10 of the essential minerals needed for proper body function.

4. ENZYMES: Enzymes are vital to optimal health. Enzymes are made from amino acids and are the fuel for the chemical reactions of every single process in the entire body including: digestion, absorption of the nutrients we eat, and the creation of new cells in our bodies.

Why do most people require enzyme supplementation? 
Two reasons. For one, enzymes are only present in the last few days before a food is ripened. Secondly, enzymes are killed during the cooking process. Unless you are growing your own food and eating it raw, the addition of enzymes is critical.
Shakeology contains 7 necessary digestive enzymes.

5. PRE-and PRO-BIOTICS: The proper balance of good intestinal bacteria (probiotics) helps our bodies to digest and absorb the carbs and sugars that we eat. Our body can produce its own probiotics if we feed it prebiotics but many of us eat in a way that creates a great environment for unhealthy bacteria to survive and thrive. Result? Candida, fibromylagia, and mental/emotional fatigue.
Shakeology contains Yacon root, a pre-biotic that creates a healthy environment that allows the creation of healthy probiotics.

6. PHYTONUTRIENTS AND ADAPTOGEN HERBS: Phytochemicals are non-nutritive chemicals found in plants that have been shown to protect us from disease. Adaptogens protect the body from stress, support endocrine and hormone balance, contribute to a strong immune system, and support brain function to help promote alert thinking and a positive mood.
Shakeology contains a blend of supergreens and phytonutrients, including mooring, chlorella, spiraling, spinach and kale.

7. SUSTAINABLE: When Darin Olien set out to create Shakeology, he put an emphasis not only on resourcing high quality ingredients that he could find but on resourcing the highest quality ingredients that would also support Fair Trade. The 70+ whole food ingredients in Shakeology are resourced from around the world. In other words When you choose to make Shakeology® a part of your daily nutrition you are also helping create jobs for and train farmers in sustainable cultivation practices so our environment is protected and the risk of deforestation is reduced. How cool is that?

So what does this mean to all of us back in the US and Canada?
1 serving of Shakeology is equal to 5 plates of salad plus all the vitamins you need daily. Who has the time or desire to eat 5 plates of salad each day? Not to mention the cost!

Speaking of cost, what would you expect to pay for a healthy meal? If you consider a value meal from a fast food restaurant costs at least $3-7, would you expect to pay more? You certainly would not expect to pay less! Surprisingly, Shakeology is on the low end of that price range.

Bottom Line: For me, Shakeology takes the guesswork out of it all. Even with my obsession over nutrition, I still can’t manage to get it right every day of every meal. Shakeology gives me that dense nutrient insurance in one delicious shake a day, rather than a collection of pills and powders.

If you would like more information on Shakeology, just CONTACT ME.

There are a lot of products on the market claiming to do great things. A lot of comparison and finger pointing and claims of “my shake is better than your shake.” The best suggestion I can offer is to choose a product and put it up against the questions I shared in the beginning of this article. From there you will be on the trail to finding a product that fits your needs based on your current habits, fitness level and future goals.

*Getting your nutrition and supplement right is a very individual process. The best resource is always to work personally with a Registered Dietitian. While I AM a Registered Dietitian, unless we consult IN PERSON please do not consider my blog as a “prescription” for you. This is simply what has worked for me. I would LOVE to talk to you one the phone, via Skype or in person though!

After personally using Shakeology® for 2 years, I chose to distribute the product so I could have a nutrition solution for those clients I coach. Please CONTACT ME if you would like to learn how to make Shakeology a part of your daily dose of dense nutrition.


6 Essential Supplements: Supplement Series Part 2

Part 1 of this Supplement Series helped define who needs to supplement and more importantly, WHY. This section will help identify the Top Six Supplements that the Post-Grad Athlete might consider to create a nutrition “insurance policy” to cover the losses of nutrients found in even the most nutrient dense super foods.

There are 6 areas where most people fall short when it comes to nutrition. Even the most conscientious healthy eater will have good days and bad days. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the majority of Americans are falling terribly short on the bad days and even the good days are marginal.

If you fall in one of those categories (I know I do), then consider adding one or more of the following supplements on your bad days or daily as a nutrition “insurance” on your good days. Working in Athletics, you might think I’m surrounded by healthy food—but NOPE! I’m mostly surrounded by deep fried foods, hamburgers and high fat dinners that people who attend sporting events want to eat. Even the best healthy eating plan can come crashing down if I’m not well prepared before a game. So to keep my body running at peak performance, I rely on some supplements.

The following are what I consider essential!

  1. Protein: While lean meats or plant based proteins are best, a high quality protein supplement is a real time saver for the busy post-grad. The average woman needs 20-30 grams of protein and men should get about 40 grams. I know I fall short almost every day because I don’t have time to have chicken or eggs with every meal (my go-to’s). Soy based products are off of my list as well, because I’m at high risk for developing estrogen-based breast cancer (soy has estrogen in it and can increase a woman’s blood value by a lot). What’s left? A protein supplement that is NOT soy based.
  2. Fish Oil: Our body functions best with a diet that consists of a 1:1 Omega 6:Omega3 balance. Seafood, wild game and some plants have a high Omega 3 profile. Because the SAD (Standard American Diet) includes high intake of corn/corn oil, soybeans/vegetable oil and factory farmed meat and poultry, most people end up with a 16:1 Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio. It’s no wonder so many people suffer from inflammation, heart disease and poor metabolism. Omega 3 fats also keep our cell membranes fluid, which is critical for brain function. All of these reasons make Fish Oil an essential supplement.
  3. Greens Supplement: You should be eating 5 or 6 cups of fruits and vegetables a day to meet BASIC nutrient needs. Falling short? A greens supplement will help fill in the gap.
  4. Multivitamin: Most people are at least marginally deficient in several micronutrients. A multivitamin is a no-brainer.
  5. Protein+Carbohydrate Recovery Drink: If you are involved in high intensity exercise (a gym rat for at least an hour, or a HIIT workout, or PLYO) your body will recover faster and improve athletic performance when you use a recovery drink after those workouts. It will replenish glycogen, decrease breakdown of muscle and increase protein synthesis. In other words—it will make you feel better in less time after you workout, it will preserve the muscle that you do have and help create more.
  6. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): BCAAs are also recommended during workouts when fat loss/muscle preservation is the goal. If you’re interested in losing FAT, opt for the BCAA’s instead of a recovery drink.

So, at first glance this list might be a little overwhelming. When you break it down, its actually just filling the gaps that are meant to be provided from a diet rich in nutrient dense whole foods. A diet that is increasingly difficult to create in today’s busy over-processed world.

In Part 3, I’ll share a product that I personally use (and why) as well as some other product recommendations from myself (Registered Dietitian).


Are Whole Foods Enough? Supplement Series Part 1

You don’t have to look far to realize that Americans LOVE supplements. After all, in just 2 decades the number of supplements on the market has increased from 4,000 to nearly 70,000!! We love supplements for ourselves, our kids and even our pets. Before asking if supplements are necessary, it seems we should go back to the starting point and ask the big question:

What is wrong with the food that we eat that could require even the most healthy-eater to need a supplement?

Well, hello controversy. But, it’s my belief (and research proven) that our soils have been depleted of essential minerals that we need. In fact, numbers say that we need to double our intake of fruits and vegetables to get the same nutrients as we could 50 years ago. Dietitians suggest that active men eat 2.5 cups of fruit per day and 4 cups of vegetables per day; active women should eat 2 cups fruit and 3 cups vegetables per day. Now, I’m pretty focused on eating whole foods, but I will admit that hitting those numbers 7 days a week NEVER happens.

Let’s face it—between grab and go meals and highly processed snacks, most Americans are lucky to get 1-2 servings of NON-starchy vegetables a day (noticed I said non-starchy, so no potatoes, corn or peas).  When you go through the drive through or packaged foods, the main ingredients are most likely corn, soy and wheat. Even if those were in the UNPROCESSED forms, those 3 ingredients are pretty low on the nutrient density ladder. The fact is; our bodies don’t even recognize what we eat on a cellular level, no matter HOW many claims are made on those labels. It cares about the quality, macronutrients and micronutrients. 

In addition to eating fruits and vegetables, we also need a serving of quality protein with each meal (either animal OR plant based). Women should be eating around 20-30 grams of protein PER MEAL; and men should get about 40 grams. To round out the healthy plate, we need a daily balance of fats. Yes, FATS. That includes polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats. No, FAT doesn’t make you fat…it’s actually required for your brain and nervous system to function properly. Not to mention keeping all of our hormones in balance.

What exactly does it mean to eat nutrient dense foods?

It means you get the most nutritious BANG for you calorie BUCK. Nutrient dense foods give you a high amount of nutrition with only the necessary calories. Spinach, broccoli, mixed berries, lean beef, chicken breasts, salmon, quinoa and even EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) are all examples of nutrient dense foods.

The sad truth is that evn if you were able to find and afford a diet of all organic (CHA-CHING) nutrient dense super foods, it is STILL likely that you would fall short on your daily micronutrient requirements.

The SAD – “Standard American Diet” – results in decreased performance, decreased immunity and a decreased quality of life. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, increased heart disease, and an increased risk of cancer are just a few of the “side effects” from neglecting your body’s nutrient requirement.

Does this mean every person needs to go to the organic health food store and buy hundreds of dollars on well-advertised nutrition “breakthroughs?” Um, NO! In Part 2 and Part 3 we will discuss the 5 essential nutrients for occasional or regular use, as well as suggestions on how to choose those supplements.

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