Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday + Recipe Fail

It's that time again! A peek into what my hodgepodge meal plan of the day looks like. As you can see from the photo on the bottom right, my 'chicken and rice soup' didn't quite come out as I had imagined.. ha! I didn't get home from training until about 8 last night and on my way home I called B to ask how the soup was. He said it tasted great but that it wasn't very soupy which just made me think it would be almost more like a stew than a soup. Well, not quite. In my head I had imagined the rice cooking in the pot like it would normally cook on the stove but instead it soaked up literally all 6 cups of chicken broth and turned to mush. Much to my surprise though it still tasted really good! Almost like a mix between soup and stuffing- it doesn't look very appetizing but I'm about to eat my second serving of it (insert monkey covering eyes emoji here)! Just one of MANY recipe fails seen in my kitchen. 

Breakfast- Egg whites with turkey pepperoni and two slices of Dave's Killer Bread 
PWO- MRM Chocolate protein shake 
Lunch- Tuna mixed with mustard and lots of sweet pickles and Way Better brand black bean chips. I love these with tuna and they have great ingredients in them and a good fiber to carb ratio too. 
Snack- Quest bar and Coffee 
Dinner- Chicken and rush mush lol 

* Don't forget to take advantage of my online training sale- available through Friday! 

Vívofit 2

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Garmin through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about vívofit 2, all opinions are my own.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, it’s no secret our health and fitness goals can easily fall to the wayside. It’s important to keep up on workouts and nutrition throughout the holidays to avoid starting the year off wondering what happened to all your hard work, and using an activity tracker is the perfect way to do this. The vívofit2 makes sure that you stay moving in the most convenient way possible. All of your stats are available right from your wrist and it even lets you know when your activity level has been low so that you can get up and get moving.

 With my sleep issues in full swing lately, one of my favorite features of this device is the sleep monitoring which tells you how long you slept and breaks it down into awake, light, and deep sleep. This helps me when I’m trying to pinpoint things I do or don’t do before bed and the way they effect my sleep and also helps show just how many times I’m waking up during the night. I’ve been wearing the vívofit 2 every day and it’s great because the battery lasts a full year so I never have to worry about charging or taking it off at all because it’s completely water proof too.

The stopwatch feature is really handy at the gym for timing my rests between sets and also for tracking my steps, distance and how many calories I burned during a specific workout. It’s super light and not too big so it never gets in the way, and the interchangeable bands allow Mrs Matchy Matchy (me!) to coordinate with my outfit, a must obviously!

I’m so excited it’s finally cool here in Arizona and I can continue wearing my vívofit 2 on all the awesome hikes we do this fall and winter. It’s going to really help keep me moving through the holidays so that I can indulge in some of my favorite treats guilt free! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grocery Haul and Food prep

Here's another food haul for you guys to look back on when you're making your own shopping lists! Remember to stay on top of your nutrition especially for the next couple of weeks so you can thoroughly enjoy your Thanksgiving guilt free! PS How it is only 2 weeks away!? 

Rotisserie chicken- will just pick off this throughout the week and use for salads or with rice and veggies. 
Applegate Chicken Sausage- for breakfast 
Del Real Chile Verde Pork- easy for quick meals, sometimes the meat is pretty fatty though so I don't get it too often. 
Boars Head Ever Roast Chicken- for sandwiches 
94/6- lean ground beef- for meat sauce 
99/1 ground turkey- for buffalo turkey meatballs (I usually get 93/7 but they were out) 

Fruit- apples, bananas, grapefruit 
Uncle bens 90 second jasmine and basmati 
Whole wheat pasta 
Daves Killer bread 
Wine- Is that a carb? ;) 

 Spinach, romaine, artichoke hearts, tomato, onion 

B's frozen Evol burritos, tomato sauce etc. for meat sauce, 90 cal coconut ice cream sammies 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

High Volume Arm Workout

I switched up my arm workout yesterday so I wanted to share it here in case you're looking for a little change as well! For the past several weeks I've been trying to lift heavier on arm days and do fewer reps so in this workout I focused on volume and dropped my weight a bit. I also mixed up my super sets by grouping one bicep exercise with a tricep exercise instead of running through all tricep work first then moving on to biceps. My arms are pretty sore today compared to last week so I think the change up was much needed! 

Straight bar cable curls 4 x 15 super set V bar pushdown 4 x 15 
Preacher curl machine 4 x 12 super set tricep extension machine 4 x 12 
Alternating dumbbell curls 4 x 15 super set Seated tricep dip machine 4 x 15 
Single arm cable curl 4 x 15 super set rope pushdown with 3 second pause at the bottom 4 x 12

You can expect an awesome pump with this is done! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pumpkin Maple Protein Muffins

Finally time for a new recipe! I've been making these every week for quick breakfast options or a snack as I'm running out the door and they're great for pre or post workout too! 


1 cup oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 scoops MRM Vanilla Whey
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
½ T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar mix
½ tsp baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350 
2. Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix well. 
3. Place batter in a prepared muffin tin- recipe makes 10 muffins 
4. Cook for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

As always make sure these are stored in the fridge since they don't have preservatives they'll go bad within a day on your countertop.

Don't forget you can use the code "Brittany" on for 40% off your order!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

Good morning! My current situation is me blogging on the couch with a huge blanket over me, looking out side at the 58 degree weather wondering how I'm ever going to make myself go train legs! Eeek! This is really the first cool day in AZ, but don't worry--it will be 80 again by Saturday. Going to the gym in the winter or when it's cold outside is SO much harder for me. I'm not a cold weather kind of person and do not like being cold but I also despise working out in pants, so you see my dilemma. <First world problems much?> Anyway leg days are the highlights of my week in the gym so as soon as I'm done telling you guys about what my food looked like yesterday, I'm out! Promise! 

Breakfast- Egg white scramble and Daves Killer Bread 
PWO- Pumpkin protein shake 
Snack- Turkey sandwich with Ever Roast Chicken, turkey pepperoni, lettuce, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano. (Best sandwich ever)
Late lunch- Chicken Enchilada Soup 
Dinner- Grilled salmon with jasmine rice and sautéed spinach 
Before bed I also had a whole egg and a couple whites but totally forgot to take a photo. 

How do you guys get up and get to the gym when it's cold out? I need your tips! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

30 Minute Shoulder Workout

We don't always have all the time in the world to spend at the gym- okay we never do, so it's important to make the most of the time we do have. If we are running behind one morning and need to get in and out I try to be really strategic about what my workout looks like so that it's quick yet still effective. This is the shoulder workout we did yesterday and my delts are sore to the touch today so I'd say it did the job! 

Warmup: 2 light quick sets of shoulder press 
 Shoulder press (heavy!) 3 x 10 
Single arm linear press (can use a T bar row for this too) 4 x 10 super set lateral raises 4 x 10 
Giant set 3 x 12: Cable upright row, face pulls, bent over rear delt raise
Burnout: External rotations with cable- as many as possible for 3 rounds 

Don't plan on brushing your hair after this one ;) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Meal Prep + Grocery List

Happy Monday and Happy November! I can't believe it- does anyone else feel like July was last month? November is going to be a busy month for us with 2 charity dinners, a baptism, an engagement party, my birthday, and Thanksgiving so staying on top of nutrition and workouts is going to be really important. In fact, November and December are in my opinion the most important months to focus on your fitness goals because there's almost no getting around all the sweets, dinners, holiday parties etc. It's important to be able to enjoy these events but if you let your day to day nutrition/workouts slip and then add all the holiday extras on top of that you're setting yourself up for a rough start to the New Year. On the other hand if you set some goals for yourself, maybe even start a new program or repeat one you've liked in the past, indulging a bit throughout the holidays isn't going to have a big impact. 

With that said, I actually skipped the meal prep company this week (okay fine I forgot to order) so I made sure to head it to the grocery store today since our fridge was looking pretty bare this morning. I'm asked all the time about my grocery list so I figured today was a perfect day to share what a typical grocery trip looks like. This week I've planned to make chicken enchilada soup, Salmon with spinach and rice, and turkey meatballs so I made sure to shop for all the ingredients I'd need for those plus breakfast items and snacks. 

Here's a breakdown of what you see above (left to right): 

Meats: lean ground turkey, chicken breasts, salmon 
Daves Killer Bread- this is the Power Seed but they're all good 
2 Cold pressed juices 
Cheerios Ancient Grains for post leg day- I usually get the protein Cheerios but I wanted to try something new 
Wine because... wine. 
Almond/Cashew milk blend- haven't tried this either but I like both separately so I figured this would be good. 
Spinach and Romaine lettuce 
Enchilada sauce, black beans, onion, and diced tomatoes for the soup 
Sugar free jelly 
Pre-cut butternut squash- I like to bake this and then mash it up with cinnamon 
Met-Rx bars for B and the evol burrito for him too 
Boars Head Ever roast chicken-- This is SO good! By far my favorite deli meat 
SO Delicious 90 calorie mini ice cream sandwiches 
Powerade Zero 

As soon as I had everything put away I got started with some prep. I have the enchilada soup in the crock pot as we speak and I just pulled the muffins out of the oven. The soup recipe is super easy-- literally just throw all of this in the crock pot: 3 chicken breasts, onion, black beans, diced tomato, corn, 15 oz enchilada sauce, 2 cups chicken broth- that's it! Cook for 6 hours on low and shred the chicken before serving. The recipe for the muffins is ready for posting so I'll definitely have that up this week. Check back tomorrow for a quick and effective 30 minute shoulder workout! 

Did you guys meal prep for the week? If so leave some of your favorites in the comments below! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

First off, can I get a hallelujah for all the greens in my food!? Getting enough veggies in always seems to be a struggle for me so when I see days like this I get really excited. Anyway, like I mentioned in my previous WIAW we are using a meal prep service for a lot of the basics which takes a big load off of me as far as meal prep goes. In the meals below I used pre-prepped potatoes, steak, and chicken twice and it just makes everything so much easier. On top of that, we have cut down on eating out for lunch or in between meals a ton because our fridge is always stocked with something quick and easy to grab and I also did a little additional cooking/baking this week on my own so our fridge is actually on overload right now! 

Pre workout- my new recipe! Pumpkin Maple Muffins which will be up soon! 
Post workout- scramble with flank steak, russet potatoes, egg whites and spinach. 
Snack- Simple salad with fat free vinaigrette dressing and a chicken breast. 
Lunch- Chicken, baked butternut squash, and sautéed spinach with lots of garlic. 
Dinner- Sausage and Kale soup with potatoes- this is so good and just a recipe I pulled off Pinterest

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday + New Food Prep

Hey There! Back today with another rendition of WIAW which will hopefully give you some new meal ideas or ignite love for an old one :) 

As usual, I'm not strictly counting macros but I am eyeballing and using my prior experience counting to keep myself on track. 

I started the day with a quick protein shake and banana before I hit the gym and then came home and made some Kodiak Cakes which I had actually never tried before. I ordered them off Amazon after hearing so much buzz about them on social media and they are so yummy! I added a scoop of protein powder to mine and they kept me full for hours and hours--also great for a post workout meal. 

When I was finally hungry again I made myself a turkey sandwich using Daves Killer bread and Board Head turkey and also had the rest of my kale salad that I posted about on Instagram. You can head over there to check out all the ingredients. 

For a snack I had a home made taco salad using ground beef, lettuce, tomato, a broken up taco shell and salsa. When I got home from work I was hungry but not starving so I just scrambled up a couple egg whites and threw that in a bowl with chicken, rice, and zucchini and of course added some hot sauce. 

I also wanted to share a new meal prep service that we are using called Lifestyle Healthy Foods. They are a local company that does food prep and luckily for me they deliver straight to the gym I work at so I finally (after 2 years!) decided to give it a try. This is our second time ordering and so far so good! I love having all the staples on hand without having to put in a minute of work. In this photo we have 2 kinds of chicken, sea bass, flank steak, ground beef, corn, zucchini, russet potatoes, and peanut butter protein balls. If you're not local to the Phoenix area I highly suggest looking into a local company that may do something similar- sure does make life easier and for a very small cost. 

Enjoy the rest of your day! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Carb Cycling Q & A

I get asked all the time about carb cycling so here's a quick Q & A that will hopefully answer some of your questions!

What is carb cycling?
A program that cycles your carbohydrate intake between high and low carb days.

Why carb cycle?
Many people carb cycle as an alternative to a completely low carb diet which can help prevent severe drops in energy, hunger, cravings etc. Many competitors and models also carb cycle as a big show or photo shoot approaches to tighten up as much as possible as their prep comes to a close. Simply put, the theory behind carb cycling is to confuse your body by not providing a consistent form of fuel and this manipulation allows the body to drop fat fairly quickly. 

How do I know how many carbs to have during my cycle?
There are many different methods of carb cycling-- I've seen anywhere from high, low, high low, etc. to 3 low days followed by a high day, even a high, medium, and no carb day. In short your specific needs would be based on a multitude of factors so your personal carb cycle would need to be determined by someone who knows the specifics about you.

Should I carb cycle?
In all honesty, I think carb cycling is unnecessary for the average person trying to get in shape. Keeping your nutrition on point and your workouts intense is what will get you the results you're after-- carb cycling tends to be more of a quick fix method of weight loss which I'm not really a fan of. It's not something that can be easily maintained long term which is why I tend to stay away from it personally and rarely put my clients on a hard core carb cycle. This isn't to say I haven't done it in the past, I've done Jamie Easons 12 week trainer carb cycle (which is VERY intense) and I've also more recently talked about doing a mini-type cycle which honestly didn't last long. I cut my carbs from every meal to 2-3 meals a day except for leg days and I almost immediately noticed my muscles looked flat and I just hate that feeling so I ditched it. 

Moral of the story-- unless you're trying to get lean for a photo shoot or competition I say stick to the basics and you'll be just fine. Carb cycling isn't easy and isn't maintainable long term so if you do decide to test one out, just keep in mind when the cycling stops and you introduce more carbs back into your diet you'll likely gain what you've lost back. As always remember this is just my personal opinion-- there's tons of info out there on different types of carb cycling so make sure you do your research and never take anything too extreme! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Back Workout

Hello and Happy Tuesday! Yesterday was back day for us and I woke up really feeling it today so I thought I would share what we did. But before I do, I wanted to share a little tip that I shared on my Instagram about how to have a more effective back workout-- 

You must have mind muscle connection otherwise chances are you will be using your arms to move the weight. Always engage your back first, then move your arms to complete the rep. It usually helps to have someone take a photo or video of you doing a back exercise like lat pull down or seated row so that it's easier for you to visualize the muscles working as you do the movement (Something I'm definitely still working on!)

Here you go! 

Stiff leg deadlifts- 2 warm up sets and 4 working sets of 12 reps 
High row machine (photo in bottom right) 3 x 12 
Pulldowns on cable crossover (top photo) 4 x 12 super set seated row 4 x 12 
Low pulley rope row (bottom left photo) 4 x 12 
Single arm dumbbell row 3 x 12 super set bent over row 3 x 10 

We threw in some stair sprints at the end and called it a day! Hope you enjoy :) 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

Hey guys! I'm back with the first WIAW in a while-- ask and you shall receive! Sleep is going much better for me this week (fingers crossed it stays this way) so I've been hitting the gym hard and have also food prepped a little which always makes things easier. Yesterday was leg day and  I was hungry  all day so I made sure to get in plenty of carbs and food in general. Here's a quick glimpse at my workout: 

Warmup: spin bike 5-10 minutes 
Walking lunges 3 x 20 
Hip Thrusts 5 x 12
Leg extensions 4 x 10 super set plie squats 4 x 12 
Glute kickbacks 5 x 15 
Cursty lunges 4 x 15 

And here were my meals for the day! 
Breakfast- The usual egg white scramble with toast and a couple slices of grapefruit 
PWO- Protein cheerios with MRM Strawberry whey and almond milk 
Snack- Oatcakes or pancakes or whatever you want to call them! Basically just oats, egg whites, 1/2 scoop protein powder, applesauce, cinnamon and sweetener and then topped with microwaved and mashed strawberries. 
Lunch- My version of a cobb salad with Ever Roast Boars head chicken, lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg and a light vinaigrette dressing. I couldn't figure out what to have as my carb source here so I ended up making another piece of toast :) 
Dinner- super simple, just green salsa chicken and a red potato-- both of which I covered in hot sauce of course! 

I also had 1/2 of a Complete Cookie while I was at work yesterday-- if you haven't tried these yet they are super yummy! Just watch out because a serving size is only 1/2 the cookie, unfortunately! 

PS- my veggie game sucked yesterday... ugh darn veggies. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Easy Crock Pot Meat Sauce

Thank you all so much for your responses to my blog post earlier this week! If you haven't had a chance to comment yet, please do! One of the things a few people asked for was more recipes and specifically those that will last more than one meal, and dinner last night just so happened to check both of those boxes.  

I got my sauce in the crock pot at around noon yesterday and let it cook on the warm setting all day until we ate at about 730 last night and it made the sauce SO delicious. 


1 container marinara sauce (I actually ended up using Newmans Own sauce because I realized this particular one has parmesan cheese in it, and I'm allergic-- bummer!) 
1 lb lean ground turkey or beef 
1 can fire roasted tomatoes 
1/2 yellow onion, chopped 
1 T garlic salt 
2 T italian spices 
Pepper to taste 
noodles of choice-- I just look for anything that has whole wheat as the only ingredient 


1. Place chopped onion in large pan and cook until translucent. 
2. Add ground turkey or beef and 1 T garlic salt and cook through. 
3. While meat is cooking add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, and spices to crock pot. 
4. Once meat is browned add to crockpot and mix everything together well. 
5. Place on low for 1 hour then allow to simmer on warm setting for up to 6 hours. If you are going to let it sit in the crockpot for a while, I suggest adding about 1/2 cup water. 
6. Serve on whole wheat pasta or noodles of your choice! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In Need of Your Inspiration!

 Helloooo! It's been way too long since I've blogged which is actually the reason for this post. As I'm sure you've noticed, my posts have been pretty sparse lately, and it's not because I suddenly stopped working out or eating well but more so because I'm in a little bit of an inspiration rut. I want to make sure I'm providing content that you all enjoy and find useful while also making sure I enjoy creating it. 

So, I guess I'm asking for any and all ideas/topics you would like to see me cover and if there are any particular types of posts you like over others. For example I haven't done a What I Ate Wednesday post in a while because to be honest I figured you guys were sick of seeing my food haha but if thats something you enjoy, I'm happy to start it back up again. Would you like to see more informative type posts, day in the life type posts, giveaways, workouts, etc? Please feel free to shoot any ideas my way by commenting here or on Facebook! Thanks guys!! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

4 Fitness Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

1. Rules are made to be broken. 

Eat every 3 hours, do cardio an an empty stomach, don't do cardio on an empty stomach, fruit is bad for you, don't salt your food... the list goes on. When it comes down to it there are no set in stone 'rules'. The reasons there are so many methods to health and fitness in general is because they've all worked for someone- not to say they all work long term or improve health, but it some way or another someone has succeeded by implementing one or many of these rules. That doesn't mean it's going to work for you and it also doesn't make it wrong to try another approach. Do your research, nourish your body, and remember you can always change your mind.

2. You don't need to be squeaky clean.

When I first started eating clean and working out, I'll be the first to admit I was super anal when it came to food. I went from 0 to 100 really fast and only ate the cleanest of the clean, wouldn't eat out, never had cheat meals. Looking back that definitely taught me discipline and I learned a lot, but I know now that bread is not going to kill me (BTW I can't stand the taste of Ezekiel bread now... yuck.) and neither is pasta, or fruit or or my bi-weekly bowl of Cheerios. I like eating healthy foods because I want to take care of my body and provide nutrients for it, and for the most part they taste good, but you can still achieve your fitness goals without eating celery if you get the midnight munchies. Learn about macros, pay close attention to your body, and you can have a lot more freedom with food.

3. Not everyone can have Jamie Easons shoulders.

Comparison; we are all guilty of it. When I started lifting I wanted Jamie Easons shoulders SO bad. 4 years later, I still don't have them but you know what I do have? MY shoulders. My shoulders that I have worked my butt off for and there is nothing more rewarding than that. If you (or I) are constantly comparing yourself to the best of the best you will always fail and fall short and I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty miserable. Do not compare and do not wish- work hard and you will achieve what you are meant to.

4. Haters will hate.

Why are you always on a diet? Can't you skip the gym one day? You don't want to look like a man! Just have one cookie it won't kill you! (It won't, but that's besides the point.) We all know them and chances are they are the people closest to us in our lives. Remind yourself that you are doing this for you and not anyone else, so when someone does have a negative comment or opinion on your lifestyle, do your best to smile and shake it off. Sometimes they're trying to help but oftentimes they see something in you that they want themselves but don't have the strength or determination to go after-- so take the negativity as a complement and YOU DO YOU!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mini Food Prep

Hey there and happy middle of the week! (I hate the word humpday, anyone else?) I actually can't believe it's already Wednesday, life is just flying by I tell ya. Anyway I realized I hadn't really prepped much for the week so before I head in to train clients this evening I decided to do a mini prep to get us through the rest of the week and some of the weekend. Some of you asked for more details on how I'm changing my diet now that I'm circuit training besides just "cleaning it up" as I mentioned here. As you know I don't really track macros diligently but since I did for a long time in the past, I'm pretty good at eyeballing and knowing my portions. 

With that said, basically on the 3-4 days that we are circuit training I know that my goal is not to build muscle but to keep my heart rate up and burn some calories so I make sure my nutrition reflects that. On these days instead of having carbs with every meal of the day I'm cutting back to carbs in 3 of my meals. This obviously reduces the number of carbs I'm eating (since I don't need as much as I do for muscle building) but it also reduces my overall calories somewhere in the range of 200-400. Then, on days that I'm doing legs (2-3x a week) I know my goal is to build so I make sure to get my carbs in with every meal so that I have enough carbs and calories to build. So, I guess you can say I'm doing somewhat of a carb cycle BUT my overall calories are still pretty high even on low days because let's be honest who wants to feel like they're hungry all the time? Not me! 

So here's what I threw together for the rest of the week (obviously we will eat more than this but these are good as staples). 

Top left- grilled chicken with mesquite seasoning. I'll use this for pretty much everything from wraps, salads, in my eggs and also just plain with some jalapeno ketchup. 

Top middle- my buffalo chicken meatballs. I love these with brown rice! 

Top right- roasted red potatoes that will be used for breakfast or to accompany chicken. 

Bottom- Jamie Easons lemon protein bars for snacks and to eat in the early morning before our circuit workouts. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Easy Meal Ideas

I decided to call this post meal ideas because it's clearly Thursday and not Wednesday when I planned to write this post. What can I say the day got away from me and before I knew it the clock said 8pm. Anyway, I figured I would share my food since I'm putting in a (pretty) diligent effort to eat really healthy and clean for the next 4 weeks or so while we are also amping up our training. Not to say I haven't been eating healthy because honestly I think that's something that's going to be part of me forever, but definitely been skipping meals, eating out lots, and picking up food when I should just be making it at home. So this week we really put in effort to have lots of food ready to go at home and we've done a great job! Although you will see we ate out this particular night since we were celebrating my grandmas birthday, but I kept it nice and healthy. As much as I wanted to eat the whole basket of chips and salsa and get a million tacos, I stuck to the shrimp salad and used salsa for dressing, go me! :) 

Meal 1- Egg whites with Applegate chicken sausage and turkey bacon, Dave's Killer bread and strawberries 
Meal 2- Rotisserie chicken with basmati and spinach 
Meal 3- Taco salad with romaine, roasted corn, turkey ,basmati, and salsa 
Meal 4- Grilled chicken,  veggies and basmati (can you tell I'm on a rice kick?) 
Meal 5- Shrimp salad 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How To Break Through a Plateau

Whether we like it or not, we are all likely to hit a plateau in our training or find ourselves just coasting instead of having a  serious goal or plan. This actually isn't a bad thing, it gives you time to kind of relax a bit (as still as you're making an effort to get to the gym and eat well) while not losing too much progress. This is where I've found myself the last couple of months-- still training pretty hard and eating pretty well but not going above and beyond to excel at either, so I decided starting this week it was time to kick it up a notch. B and I are implementing circuit training into our routine 3-4x per week and then 2 heavier lifting days where we focus on muscles we want to grow (glutes for me chest for him). Additionally we will do cardio on 2-3 of our circuit days since those workouts tend to be a bit shorter. I will admit, these last two circuit days in the gym have been HARD, like verge of puking, heart pounding out of our chests, dizzy, hard but we have pushed through and are definitely liking it so far! We are going to do this for the next 4 weeks and then re-evaluate what we want to do when September rolls around. 

Here are a few tips to refer back to when you're in a plateau or just want to change things up: 

1. Change your style of training. If you have been training for strength, move into higher reps for a while. If you haven't done cardio, try adding in circuit training or active rests to your lifting schedule. It's easy to get comfortable with a certain style of training and it can be hard to force yourself to do something you may not like as much, but if you really want to make some changes sometimes its necessary. 

2. Manipulate cardio. There are so many ways to get your cardio in, and if you're someone that has been doing 30 minutes of steady state cardio for the last 6 months its probably time to switch it up. HIIT it is great for fat burning; I like doing 20 second all out I might die before 20 seconds is up and then recovering for the rest of the minute (40 seconds). Repeat this 15 times. You can also do tabatas, hiking, circuits, bleachers, swimming, biking etc. 

3. Pay closer attention to nutrition. If you've just been coasting through your nutrition and eating 'mostly' healthy try cracking down on yourself a bit. Get out the ol' My Fitness Pal app and start taking a closer look at your macros and what you're actually eating. If you've been a bit more lax with more processed foods, condiments etc. cut those out for a while and see if you can tell a difference in your physique. 

4. Make sure you haven't been overtraining. Sometimes when people hit plateaus it's because their bodies have just had too much for too long. If you've been training heavy and hard for 12+ weeks it may be time to take a break. Taking 5-7 days away from the gym can really make a big difference mentally and physically, and don't worry, you won't regress in just 5-7 days I promise!! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chicken and Veggie Pasta

Hey guys! I'm sitting here eating lunch and figured I would share this awesome recipe I threw together on Monday (with some inspiration from a dish my mom makes!). Both B and I have eaten off of this multiple times and there's still more in the fridge, so this is a great recipe to make as part of your meal prep since it will last a while. I made the noodles and the rest of the recipe separately so that I can add in the carbs as needed or I can choose to just eat the chicken and veggies alone. Hope you enjoy! 

3 large chicken breasts diced 
1 jar of artichoke hearts in olive oil and spices, chopped (found in produce section) 
1 jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and spices, chopped 
2 large zucchini, chopped 
1 T minced garlic 
1-2 T red pepper flakes 
1 tsp EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 box whole wheat noodles of choice (only ingredient in mine is whole wheat flour) 

1. Cook noodles according to packaging and set aside. 
2. In a large pan, add garlic and a tiny splash of EVOO (about 1 tsp) 
3. About a minute later add chicken, salt and pepper and allow to chicken to cook until the outside is white but the inside is still raw. 
4. While chicken is cooking, drain and rinse your artichoke and tomatoes. This step is optional but because they come in olive oil you will be adding a lot of additional fat to the recipe if not rinsed. 
5. Add remainder of ingredients (not noodles) to the pan and cook until chicken is cooked through. 
6. Place on top of whole wheat noodles or eat alone! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Progress and Perfection

I wrote a blog a couple weeks ago about women and negative self image, and today I wanted to touch on another aspect of that- perfection. All too often I see clients that get so down on themselves because they snuck a cookie or had a cheat meal they didn't plan on or missed a workout. I'm here to tell you that progress does not just come from perfection. Progress comes when you dedicate yourself, over time, to this lifestyle. It comes with consistency. 

Health and fitness should be one of many positive components to your life but unfortunately it often ends up causing negativity, body shaming, and this quest for perfection that doesn't exist. Remind yourself that you are not a failure because you missed a workout, in fact there will be many many many more times in your future that you miss workouts-- but that doesn't negate all the workouts you did complete. You haven't failed because you ate a cookie, you've succeeded because day in and day out you hit your macros pretty darn close.

I'm not saying there's no need to hold yourself accountable, because of course you want to reach the goals you've set. But I do want to remind you that you should be HAPPY as a result of a workout. You should feel GOOD and energized after eating a healthy meal. Don't ever let something that should bring positivity to your life bring you down instead. 

Remember: consistency, not perfection. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back Workout

Hello friends! Hope you all had a great holiday weekend and are now back in the swing of things. My gym is closed this week for renovations so we've been jumping around to different locations and it's been kind of fun seeing some new equipment and stepping out of our comfort zones a bit. Yesterday we did back and I'm not sure if it was being in a different place or just happy to be back in the gym after vacation but I hit a PR on lat pulldown- hooray! I did 105 lbs which is my bodyweight 6 times at the end of my set! My back is definitely feeling it today so I thought I would share our workout with you, enjoy! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

Hey guys! Hope your week is going well and you're staying cool, unlike us! Eating has honestly been a bit of a challenge while adjusting to the higher temperatures, I feel like every time I'm hungry (or should be hungry) nothing sounds appetizing so you'll see my food yesterday wasn't really 'normal' for me, but it worked! Thankfully we are escaping the heat again this weekend and heading back to San Diego (so lucky we live a short 5 hour drive away!) so I'm making sure to get all my workouts in before we take off friday morning. This weeks split looks like this: 
Monday- glutes 
Tuesday- shoulders/tri's 
Wednesday- legs 
Thursday- back/bi's 
Then I'll take Friday- Sunday off and pick back up again on Monday. As much as I would like to say I'll workout while we're gone, I know the chances are slim so as long as I get some good lifts in this week, I'll be all set. 

Here's what yesterday looked like: 

Breakfast: Egg scramble, Oatmeal English Muffin, strawberries 
PWO: Shake with banana and spinach (not pictured) 
Snack: more egg whites with grapefruit 
Lunch: I was craving a sandwich like crazy so I grabbed a 'mini' from Jersey Mikes. It had turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalepeno and red wine vinegar. 
Dinner: homemade turkey tacos with lettuce tomato and salsa. 

What are your favorite things to eat when it's super hot out? 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Negative Self Image

Until I started working with women clients on a day to day basis, I didn't realize just how many women suffer from body dysmorphia and/or negative self image. I have so many clients that work their butt off every day, stick to their diet, and achieve awesome weight loss or muscle gain mile stones yet still look at themselves in the mirror in a horribly negative light. 

With all of the social media, magazine, movie images that are stuffed down our throats every day, I can completely understand why this issues exists but I wanted to write this post to encourage each and every one of you to change your thought process. When you look in the mirror instead of first seeing the cellulite you want gone, or the fat under your bra you wish wasn't there, or the lack of muscle in your legs that you've been working so hard to put on, find the positive. So you have cellulite-- but you also have ab definition, or you have skinny quads but boy have you built up those shoulders. By lifting yourself up and looking at your negatives as opportunities instead, I guarantee you will be a happier person, because I myself have made this change. 

If you look at my Instagram how many pictures of my mid section can you find? MAYBE 2 or 3 and those were from right before or right after a photo shoot when I was dieted down and pretty lean. Why? Well because my mid section and lower back is where I store my fat. Everyone has that one place that hold fat first and that leans out first-- its just genetics.  So unless I'm really diligent and really dialed in as far as nutrition and cardio goes my body likes to hold fat in those areas. For so long I compared my abs (or lack thereof) to others I saw on Instagram and guess how that made me feel? Like garbage of course because mine look nothing like theirs. But you know what? As soon as I started changing my mindset and looking for the positive I became a MUCH happier person. When I look at the photo above I see strong, muscular arms that I am so proud of and quad muscles that I have worked my butt off for over the last year. Sure I don't have a crazy ripped mid-section and you know what, chances of that happening probably aren't the best but that doesn't make all the hard work I've put into being a strong, healthy human negligible. 

So next time you look in the mirror and start to pick yourself apart, look for the positive instead and remind yourself you are YOU. You're not the fitness model in the magazine, or the actress on TV (but I guarantee they have their own insecurities) and that's okay. 

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