Archive for the ‘S&S Tips&Tricks’ Category

Pain and Struggles

Posted: December 15, 2012 in S&S Tips&Tricks
One of my professors in college said something like this once and I try very hard to remind myself every time I meet someone new.

One of my professors in college said something like this once and I try very hard to remind myself every time I meet someone new.

I’m not sure what happened this week, but it slipped away. And today…. Today feels off. You ever been there? Your body aches, your mind feels all discombobulated, and you’re not sure what to say, when.

And when it rains, it pours. And it’s often at inconvenient times.

I’m not here to pour out my soul about what’s “wrong” in my life, or my views on what’s happening in the world (although my heart and mind genuinely do hurt because of what’s happened in Connecticut), or to gain sympathy, or vent about anything. I’m just saying that life as an adult is hard. It’s hard to hold everything together at all times and it’s hard to make it all work with a happy ending.

But these are the times that you need to focus on keeping two things consistent: your eating habits and exercise habits.

No matter what happens or when it happens or how it happens, you may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. Pain happens to everyone, in all sizes, shapes, forms, and attacks on the heart.

Which leads me to emotional eating. It’s real. When things go bad, I have a tendency to eat. When things go well, I have a tendency to celebrate by eating. Sound familiar? You do that, too?

What can you do? How do you break that? Find your new “out.” Take a walk, call a friend and walk around the house, go to the gym, write about it in a journal, have a go-to buddy that you can call in times of struggle.

This holiday season, through the deaths, the stress, the darkness, the happiness, the excitement, the frustrations, remember what and who you’re alive for. Remember that what you put into your mouth is going to determine how your life goes. That may sound super-harsh, but it’s true. Over time, how and what you eat will either keep you healthy and strong, or will kill you slowly. The same goes for exercise. The more you sit and don’t use your muscles, the more they will hurt and refuse to perform daily activities down the road.

Be thankful for what and who you have. Respect them and their love for you by respecting yourself. Working out and choosing not to eat something full of fat isn’t rude or selfish, it is often healthier for your mind and body. Love. And say it, too. Every time you can. To everyone you love. Have faith, don’t give up on hope, and pray. Even if it’s just to say thank you for being able to pray. And don’t, please, please don’t judge someone on how they act on one occasion. We all struggle. Sometimes you have to fake it ‘til you make it, and sometimes you just need a little extra kindness and a few more hugs.

Take care of you this weekend. Mind, body, and soul.


Foodalicious Friday

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Recipes, S&S Tips&Tricks
Make smart choices and exercise regularly. It's not rocket science, it just takes willpower and persistence.

Make smart choices and exercise regularly. It’s not rocket science, it just takes willpower and persistence.

This post is going to be a little scattered. Brace yourself.

#1) Did you hear/see my big announcement!?!? Click here.

#2) Did you hear/see/LIKE my other big announcement!?!? See/LIKE it here.

#3) My goal these past few weeks has been one simple tweak: Stop eating by 8pm (unless I teach or train late, then I have to eat a lil somethin’-somethin’). It has already paid off hugely—I don’t wake up as hungry, I feel stronger, I feel less bloated, and I feel a little trimmer.

#4) Holy this looks yummy: Banana Nutella Fat-Burning Milkshake|
• 2 scoops BioTrust Low Carb Vanilla Protein (I have never tried this kind, however, any regular or vanilla whey protein will do.)
• 1 c. unsweetened almond milk
• ½ c. of plain yogurt
• 1 Tbsp. Nutella
• 1 frozen banana
• ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
• Stevia (to taste — optional)
• 5 ice cubes

Directions: Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

This really doesn't have much to do with the months changing, but I thought it was funny :)

This really doesn’t have much to do with the months changing, but I thought it was funny 🙂

Holy cow…. It’s Christmas music time. Let’s say goodbye to November with a quick recap!

Best Quotes:
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”—Vince Lombardi

“Courage is only an accumulation of small steps.” –George Konrad

“The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.” –Denis Waitley

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” –William James

Best Songs:
“Everybody, Everybody” by Black Box
“Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil Wayne
“Im’ma Shine” by Youngbloodz

Best Recipes:
Black Bean Burgers
Spaghetti Squash

Best Articles:
My “There’s No Easy Way Out” post
My “The Day After: Game Plan” post
Leo Babauta’s “Why the Fitness Habit is More Important Than the Plan”


Best Workouts/Moves:
My “The Day After: Game Plan” WO 

1/2 Burpee: In plank position, jump the feet together toward the chest, then back to their starting position, then jumping jack them out wide, then in together, then complete one pushup. Continue for 30-60 seconds.

BodyRock’s Sexy Sweat On Me WO

Blogilates’ Victoria’s Secret Modal Ab WO

Was this you last night? Stop being full and mad at yourself and do the work to feel and look better!

I did forget one HUGE thing I’m thankful for: The ability to follow my passions of fitness and writing by being both a fitness instructor and trainer as well as a freelance writer and editor. Not to mention, I’m very lucky and thankful to have such a great group of people that I work with and work out every single day. Thank you all for supporting me, encouraging me to be better, and motivating me to keep going. You all rock!!!

Okay. So. Are you still full from yesterday? I was a little too full last night, but luckily I stopped early enough so I didn’t feel too bad before bed. How did your day and evening go? A little better than planned? Congrats! A little worse than planned? That’s okay, just DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. You can start undoing some of the damage today. Right now!

Your Day-After Game Plan:

  • Drink as much water as possible. A glass an hour would be great, so you’re taking in 10-12 throughout the day.
  • Stick to tea for your non-water drink. Or coffee. But be careful on the cream/milk and sugar in both. Opt for as little as possible and choose green tea. It’ll help you digest, give your immune system a boost, and kick your metabolism into a little higher gear.
  • MOVE IT! Multiple times. All day on and off, if possible. Get a workout in, but also try to stay active all day. Power walk it while Black Friday shopping. Go up and down the stairs as much as possible. Take a walk with friends outside.
  • Minimize TV and computer time. Or, when you’re watching TV, get some squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and sit-ups in during the commercials.
  • Eat as many whole, raw, real foods as possible. And whole grains. Choose fruit and oatmeal for breakfast, a salad (with very little dressing or none) with a piece of fruit for lunch, and brown rice, lean protein, and steamed, raw, or roasted veggies for dinner. Keep snacks to fresh fruits, raw veggies, and nuts.
  • It’s okay to have a little left-overs, just don’t recreate Thanksgiving! Try to only choose one leftover to have. Like a piece of pie and whipped cream for dessert. Or turkey for a sandwich at lunch. Or leftover potatoes or stuffing for dinner.

Your Day-After Workout:
*Complete 10 reps of each exercise below in this order, then repeat for a total of 2-3 times.
*To make it harder, hold light weights or increase the number of sets.

  • Regular squats (feet just wider than shoulder-width)
  • Jumping jacks
  • Pushups (make it harder: put your feet up on a step)
  • Close-legged squats (feet together or directly under hips bones)
  • High knees (count every RIGHT knee)
  • Tricep dips (make it harder: put your hands on a step and straighten your legs)
  • Wide-legged squats (feet wider than shoulder-width, toes out)
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bicycle crunches (count every RIGHT knee)
  • Alternating forward lunges
  • High knees (count every RIGHT knee)
  • Pushups
  • Alternating backward lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Tricep dips (make it harder: put your hands on a step and straighten your legs)


Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted: November 22, 2012 in S&S Tips&Tricks

He he. This sounds like something I would do. But I didn’t. Dangit. I dropped the ball.


I am thankful. For a great many things. I encourage you to make a list of things you are thankful for today and make a promise to take advantage of and then also respect them.

I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive, loving family. I’ve already told every one of them that and I am also spending the day with my parents.

I am thankful for my amazing, encouraging, fun, loving boyfriend.  I already told him that, too, and plan to stay in touch with him all day, despite us being apart for the weekend.

I am thankful that my eyes can see, my ears can hear, and my body can move. I will be taking a walk/jog outside later, talking and listening to family and friends, and exercising for a second time today (I already got one sweat session in!).

I am thankful for the privilege of an abundance of delicious food. I will try a little of everything that looks good, but only stick to homemade stuff versus the store-bought goodies. And I’m promising myself not to go overboard. Just because I don’t have it often doesn’t mean I can’t have it again, so there’s no sense in gorging myself and feeling disgusting.


What are you thankful for and how are you going to honor those things?


A few tips and tricks to get you in the mindset of a happy, healthy Thanksgiving:

  • Create a lighter dinner by substituting: skim milk for whole milk, roasted veggies for creamed ones, and fresh veggies and fruit versus canned versions.
  • Focus on still getting in your servings of veggies and fruit in. Eat some fruit for breakfast. Break it out as a snack. Request it as a dish at dinner (or bring it!). Same for veggies. Snack on raw veggies throughout the day and get some in at dinner, too. It won’t negate all of the other calories, but it’ll fill you up a bit and help you get your daily vitamins, minerals, healthy carbs, and natural fiber servings in!
  • You can let yourself indulge! Just stick to modest proportions and don’t go back for more than one serving.
  • Savor every bite. Focus on the taste, the smell, the color, the texture. Experience your food.
  • Don’t even think about how you’ll have to go on a diet tomorrow. There is no better day to focus on control and a healthy LIFESTYLE than today.
  • Try not to imbibe too many cocktails. Alcohol means cravings.
  • Remember the day is about way more than eating and Black Friday shopping planning. ENJOY your family and friends. RELAX. Spend QUALITY TIME with people. Listen, learn, talk, and smile.


Enjoy. Laugh. Smile. Love. And play. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

There’s No Easy Way Out….

Posted: November 21, 2012 in Music, S&S Tips&Tricks

What you’d have to do in order to burn off what you usually eat on Thanksgiving…. Are some foods really worth it?

This is my pre-Thanksgiving pep talk, brought to you in part by the wonderful car and old-school workout jam “No Easy Way Out” by Robert Tepper. Yes, it is the song from Rocky IV after Apollo dies and Rocky is cruisin’ in his car deciding whether or not to fight Drago. Yes, Rocky IV is my favorite of the Rocky movies. Yes, I do hope it’s on TV tomorrow. Yes, I do dramatically sing along to it in the car. And while I teach Spinning….

Aside from that, this post was inspired partially as I spun to that song this morning. Because it’s true when it comes to fitness–there’s no easy way out, there’s no shortcut home. What do I mean by that? There is no shortcut to health and fitness. There is no magic pill or magic machine to get you lean and ripped. It’s all about hard work, because we’re not indestructible–we need to take care of ourselves. You can’t eat like crap today, say you’ll do better tomorrow, and then expect everything to be easy. Same goes for exercise. Being, feeling, and looking healthier is a matter of constant vigilance (Mad-Eye Moody, anyone?)–you need to be constantly aware of what you put into your body, when, how much, and what you do to expend calories. No, it’s not rocket science (vegetables are better than candy, water is better than juice), but there isn’t an easy way to achieve those things. You have to work at it day in and day out. Truthfully, I do, too.

I have a lot of trouble during the holidays because I am such a simple eater at my own home. When I’m with my family for the holidays, there is food that I never cook or bake, so my eyes and taste buds go into overdrive. And because of my history of being a binge eater, I really have to watch myself. It sucks. It’s hard. I’m not pretending it’s easy. And it’s not always fun to stop eating something before you feel like you should, but sometimes you just have to in order to save yourself.

It’s very true that Thanksgiving meals can pack an extra few THOUSAND calories on you. Most people eat a good two times as much as normal. Don’t be one of the statistics. Be your own statistic. Choose homemade foods over store-bought ones. Take walks throughout the day. Offer to play with the kids outside or run laundry and food up and down the stairs.

There’s no easy way, there’s not shortcut home, but givin’ in CAN be wrong.

Take care of yourself this Thanksgiving.

Motivation Monday

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Music, Quotes, S&S Tips&Tricks, S&S Workouts

Look at that perfectly-executed squat! He’s going to have a good man-booty some day.

It was a weekend of indulging. And not hitting the gym very often. Doug and I decided to make it our cooking-baking-relaxing-Halloween-movie weekend. It was cold, lazy, and fun. But honestly, I’m ready to get back at it. I’m ready to work out hard, to sweat, to try some new, yummy, healthy recipes, and to spend less time sitting and more time being productive. That may sound crazy, but it feels great! I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, not tired, not sore. I feel motivated to get back into high gear.

You know you wanna join me 😀

So how can you feel as great as I do?


Tricksy Trickster (Tips and tricks to make you healthier)

  • Put a drop of two of lemon juice or peppermint in your water. Both give your water a hint of taste and freshness while giving your metabolism a little kick in the rear-end.
  • Make it a point to do squats, lunges, jumping jacks, or standing ab twists every time you’re waiting by the oven or microwave, or during commercials of your favorite show. Burns calories, keeps you from getting too bored, and keeps you warm!
  • Take 10 minutes and look online at your favorite/usual grocery stores’ ads. Find out what’s healthy and on sale (Meijer has apples on sale!) and load up this week. Make it a point to each whatever is on sale that you buy at least once a day.
  • “Like” health and fitness magazines’ pages on Facebook. They always link to workouts, recipes, music, articles, and other health-related issues so you don’t have to subscribe to the magazine!
  • Find a workout video on YouTube of some form of exercise you’ve been waiting to try. Guys, you been curious about Zumba or Pilates? Ladies, you been too nervous to try Kickboxing or a bodyweight challenge class? YouTube it and try it in the comfort and privacy of your home. Bonus: You don’t have to put on socks, shoes, or even a shirt in your own home!

Drop a Beat! (Music to work it out to)
“Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce
“Turn Around, Pt. 2” by Flo Rida & Pitbull
“Remember the Name” by Fort Minor

To Thine Own Self Be True (Quotes to read over and over)
“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” –Henry David Thoreau, American author and poet

“I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, every day, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing, and the action which follows becomes as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every action necessary for my success. I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.” –Og Mandino, American author

Do It To It, Lars! (My workout challenge for you)
*Complete the following exercises back-to-back for 1 MINUTE EACH, no breaks if you can. No need for weights. Complete 1-3 rounds through.

  • Butt kicks with bicep curl arms
  • Regular squats
  • Jumping jacks
  • Pushups
  • Wide-leg squats
  • Bicycle crunches
  • High knees
  • Close-leg squats
  • Tricep dips (preferably off a table, chair, desk, stool, or couch)
  • Forearm plank