Quick and simple lunch! Every once in a while I just crave some buffalo flavor but I don’t want to revert to fried wings. I love adding some buffalo flavor to a clean slate of baked chicken! This wrap is very high in protein by combining chicken and the chick peas. Sample grocery list here*Chow down!!
Grocery shopping is not my favorite. But it is a necessary means to an end. That end being cooking and eating. I like the eating part. Grocery carts are fascinating. Looking inside someone’s cart is like looking into their soul. Ok, too deep. It’s more like getting a Polaroid of their personality. It also makes you think a little. What do they have planned this week? What are they using that chicken stock for? (so many recipes!?) How do coffee and shrimp go together? Should I judge them for their cat food and sriracha? NO! Those 2 things are amazing… separately. I want to invite you to jump inside my shopping cart on a basic grocery trip for me. Granted I shop for between 1-3 people (depending on how hungry I am), so your quantities of specific items may be slightly different then mine.
Almost every trip my list looks the same. A few anomalies show up based on season, events or guests but my go-to items stay fairly consistent. This list includes small suggestions and explanations. There will be an easy to read, printable list at the bottom of this page!
The Starting Line Up:
Tomatoes– (whatever is on sale-roma, cherry, etc.)
Peppers-red, green, yellow and/or orange
Hummus– Food Lion Brand Everything Hummus is my fave right now.
BBQ Sauce– Weber’s Brand has no crap in it- DELICIOUS*
Beans– kidney, pinto, garbanzo!
Plain Greek Yogurt
Cheese– feta, bleu crumbles, cheddar, pepperjack…
Seasonal Fresh Vegetables– (aka who’s on sale?) Zucchini, squash, green beans, etc.
Avocados– I only buy them when they are about $1 a piece (it’s like an internal rule of mine).
Herbs– parsley, cilantro, basil etc.
Seasonal Fruits– melons, berries, lemons, limes, etc.
Dried Fruits– cranberries, blueberries- 1 bag every other trip
Nuts– Almonds, walnuts, pecans etc. (personal preference!)
*balsamic vinegar and olive oil are always in my cabinet. I shop for them as needed.
Almost every meal I make includes most of The Starting Line Up ingredients. The recipes change with the seasons, and if there is a special event, guests or a new recipe I’m trying. Knowing that when I open the fridge I always have that Starting Line Up, I’m able to easily grow a meal from those items. Variations in seasonings are a perfect way to shake up the Line Up.
Example: Using red onions and bell peppers (red, orange, yellow and/or green).
Option 1– basil, oregano, black pepper, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Sautee together.
Option 2- Paprika, cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes and lime juice. Sautee together. Serve. Eat. Wait for someone to clean up. Sleep.
Both options are DELICIOUS but very different based off seasoning! Spice it up!!
Whatever your goals, lifestyle, or event you are training for:
Plan your meals. Bring your lunches. Have health snacks HANDY.
In honor of my birthday month, I’ve constructed a filling and festive smoothie! All of the ingredients are easy to find in your neighborhood grocery store. If you are using an individual serving blender, like a Nutribullet or similar, I blend for 15-30 seconds and then stop. I take the sealed container and shake it up vigorously. It mixes up the ingredients that may be stuck at the top or bottom. Then blend for another 15-30 seconds. If you are having trouble blending or it’s too thick, add more coconut milk!
This is an awesome smoothie for post workout and/or a big snack or small meal! What I love about smoothies is not just the taste but all the multi tasking a smoothie accomplishes. An entire meal in one cup, I get need grams of protein in – which helps me recover from workouts and/or life, clean up is faster than fast, drinkable – sometimes you just don’t feel like chewing, AND portable – put a lid on it and roll out!! Get excited!!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
1 whole peeled orange
1 small peeled carrot
5-7 fresh strawberries
1/4 cup frozen mangoes
1/4 cup frozen peaches
2 scoops Dymatize Orange Dreamsicle Protein Powder
1/2 cup unsweetened almond coconut milk
Combine into a blender and add “milk” until desired consistency! Top with peaches or other fresh fruit!
Millions of people ask that question daily. You spend hours in the gym, try to eat healthy, take your vitamins and do your kick butt workouts. You lift heavy weights and heavy responsibility. You complete 5Ks and half marathons. You wrestle toddlers like the Crocodile Hunter (they are strong, feisty little buggers). You multi-task through your workouts better than a Google search engine, and no matter how much time and effort you put into your sweat sessions you are still staring at your thighs in the mirror.
Cellulite is not a serious medical condition. It is not harmful or detrimental to your health. It is only visually a thing that bothers the individual. It does not restrict body function, skill or ability. Cellulite is normal. The cause of cellulite is not bad karma. You did nothing wrong in a past life. A gypsy did not curse your thighs with dimples. Cellulite is caused by connective tissue that tethers your layers of skin to your muscle. Between these fibrous connections and your skin is a layer of fat. The fibrous tissue is pushing down and the fat is pushing up and the result is dimpling or puckering seen on your skin.
In the era of summer rag mags gracing every grocery store checkout line, (my mom told me not to read those when I was a kid, she said it would rot my brain; I believed her and used to walk through the grocery store line staring intently at the floor.) They always include a hot or not issue which circles any awkward body angle they’ve caught a celeb at, saggy butts and of course, cellulite. If everyone has it how come we point it out and glorify it? That’s like circling someone’s wrists and saying OMG! Look! Those are in fact wrists. There is at no point in my beach day that 99% of people are close enough to me to see my freckles, let alone my cellulite. Iggy Azalea just went through a paparazzi and social media whirlwind over pictures of her in a bikini and she left social media because of it. The cruel comments and scrutiny are truly unnecessary. Google any female celebrity and there are pictures circling their cellulite. It doesn’t make any sense. In the year of booty, it makes me wonder, what does everyone think is in a curvy, round derriere? (peaches, clouds and cinnamon buns?) NO! Muscle and fat!
There is a laundry list of procedures, of varying levels of invasiveness, that are available. There has been very little conclusive evidence that any of them actually work or give you long lasting effects. For now, the best option is exercise. A loss of body fat, if needed, may also contribute to the decrease in visible cellulite. Talk to your doctor or fitness professional about normal body fat percentage for your body and activity level. The most effective routine is one that incorporates aerobic exercise AND strength training.Lifting heavy and focusing on the glutes, hamstrings and quads will show positive improvement to areas you may have an issue with.
I’m staying away from lasers and liposuction, that is not my purpose here. The FDA has approved massage and combined laser/massage therapies for the TEMPORARY decrease in the appearance of cellulite. These are both costly and time consuming and require continuous treatments to maintain any effects. Patients should be very cautious before trying out surgical procedures, dietary supplements, or elaborate techniques of unproven value. Beware of “snake oil,” meaning an advertising company has done its job of trying to convince you to buy a product that has no scientific merit. Unfortunately, there is no compelling or statistical evidence that creams containing caffeine, aminophylline, or theophylline can have a beneficial effect on cellulite. There are also no studies that back up the claim that topical herbal creams can penetrate deeply enough to have a real effect either. Some of the chemicals in these creams may also cause allergic reactions in some people.
I’ve include 5 possible treatments that run a very low risk of complications or adverse reactions.
Strength training 4 days per week + increased hydration level + vitamins through a variety of fruits and vegetables+ getting your daily amount of calories (not starving or omitting food groups) = Increased metabolism and resting metabolic rate + decreased body fat percentage + decrease in cellulite visibility.
5 POSSIBLE TREATMENTS FOR CELLULITE:
1. Exercises to Strengthen Muscles-
Hamstring Curls on a Stability Ball- Lie on your back with feet on the ball. Lift hips and curl ball towards and away from you. 3X15
Romanian Deadlift (RDL)- With dumbbells or kettlebells, knees are soft (not locked but not bending either), back STRAIGHT, chest out, push your hips back and lower down until your back is flat like a table, then stand up (squeeeeze your glutes!) 3×15
Sumo Squats- Feet wider then hips (about 2-3 feet apart), toes slightly turned out, push your hips back (your BUTT moves first!) and lower down into a squat, knees are looking the same direction as your toes. Try a few with out weight then add some weights! 3×15
Women won’t get bulky when we lift heavy weights, we don’t have nearly enough testosterone in us! BUT we do get stronger, more definition and more shape to those body parts! Yay!
Mix coffee with a little olive oil and you will have your own homemade cellulite scrub. Coffee is used as a possible topical treatment because it’s a stimulant. It works because caffeine, supposedly, amplifies circulation and extracts water from the body, which improves the look of cellulite. Again, not proven but also if you are not allergic, has very low risk factors if you try it. So you come out smelling like a Starbucks and looking like a grande macchiato. http://us.frankbody.com/ make it yourself or check our Frank! Your skin will be smooth and smell delicious even if you are still rocking your cellulite.
3. Massage– A firm massage improves circulation and redistributes the fat back under the connective tissues. Either done manually or with a method called Endermologie which uses a hand-held machine which kneads your skin between rollers. It sounds quite uncomfortable to be treated like Play-doh and only get brief results.
4. Less Stress– Cortisol (a hormone released by stress) and insulin change the way fat cells function. Some ways to maintain low stress levels, include but are not limited to: yoga, meditation, enough routine sleep for your person, actually taking your lunch break, leave work when you are scheduled to, maintain active hobbies, green tea, look for whole grains, no preservative foods and lower sugar intake.
5. Hydration– Foods with high water content will boost skin hydration. Melon, cucumbers, celery and leafy greens are excellent examples of fruits and vegetables with an increased amount of water. Staying hydrated means drinking enough for your size and activity level. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. A 150lb. female would want to consume about 75 oz. of water daily.
Find what works for you. Recognize that anything you rub on whether it’s a scrub, or cream, is not a permanent fix. A balanced diet and exercise may not get rid of your cellulite but they will improve muscle definition and strength, body composition and may reduce the desire for cellulite therapy. Cellulite is not a medical condition.
In the age of the selfie, gym check ins, bathroom mirror pictures, and #FlexFriday, it’s no surprise that men’s and women’s mirror muscles rule our social media feeds. In general, these infamous muscles are the ones you can easily see in the mirror: chest, biceps, abs, and quads. Each gender has 2 muscles (groups) that they are consistently checking out, taking pictures of and training (overtraining?) Chest and biceps rule as king among dudes and bros. While glutes and abs are the emphasis of the ladies. I even had a male client one day say he didn’t want to work on glutes because he wasn’t a girl. So wrong. It has definitely been the year of the booty in the gym and in the media. I like big butts and I can not lie. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working these muscle groups, the problem is that other muscles and entire movements and body parts are forgotten or neglected. Ex) Never Skip Leg Day
The purpose of this paradox is to incorporate the training of the entire body into a person’s program. Being one sided in any aspect of your life will only leave you skewed, crooked and more susceptible to injuries.
Let’s play with scenarios.
What if men trained glutes and abs 3 times per week along with their normal one- sided routine? What if while training glutes they were simultaneously training abs!? Glutes are powerful muscles. Strengthening glutes leads to increase speed and power output during sprinting and running and in Olympic lifts. Functional, firing glutes support movement patterns of lower limb joints (hips, knees, ankles). A number of glute exercises involve the hamstrings as well which are often under developed in athletes who focus mainly on front of the leg, quads. We are not built like pyramids; from the ground up. We are built from the middle out. Therefore, your strength radiates out from the middle of the body known as the core. The core includes layers of abdominals, back muscles, and around the rib cage. Olympic lifting (i.e. deadlifts and squats) recruits the core for stability during their movements.These movements are functional and involve not only the abdominals but the back as well. Core is the center of most kinetic chains in the body. Moving through that entire kinetic (caused by motion) chain develops each aspect of the body parts involved.
What if women trained chest and biceps 3 times per week along with their normal routine? Women tend to be comparable to men in lower body strength, but men have a head start in upper body strength simply because they have more testosterone then women do. A strong upper body not only aids in weight lifting, but also posture, and effectively completing daily activities. Training the chest muscles directly benefits shoulder strength and stability. Certain exercises (single arm press, cable flys, bottom up kettelbell overhead press) strengthen the “push” muscles of the chest and shoulder. Training chest and biceps adds shape and definition to arms. A simple push up works shoulders, chest, core (back AND abs), triceps and biceps! (Tank top arms? Arms like a tank?) Woo!!
The average gym goer is training for appearance. Functionality? Ability? Balance? These get put on a back burner. I dream of a social media world where men are showing off their strong, powerful glutes (have you seen baseball players swing? Where do you thing that power comes from!?) Who else isn’t skipping leg day…have you seen soccer players? Every single member of the USMNT are perfect examples of why men should train legs. They can drop a soccer ball on their foot and a millisecond later it is flying past the goalkeeper at 80+ mph! Helloooo glutes!
I dream of a social media where a woman can flex those guns and it’s known how much harder a female has to work to get that definition, strength and cut then a male has to do. (That whole women have less testosterone thing). Defined, arms are beautiful!!
*Remember your whole body is connected, front to back and top to bottom. Train for your goals but don’t leave out entire body parts!
Play Hard Get Fit
Okada, T., Huxel. K., Nesser, T. Relationship Between Core Stability, Functional Movement, and Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. January 2011. 25(1), 252-261.
A combination of awesome and tough, tightness and strength, hurt-so-good movements built around the idea that movement should be on purpose. It goes through a series of 5 dynamic (active), full-body movements. Dynamic stretches are excellent as pre-workout movements to prepare you for activity, after a warm up to compliment the warm muscles or after exercise to take time and thoroughly move through the actions you just completed in your workout. When: Daily Before your workout After a short warm up End of your workout Next day when you’re sore
5 Dynamic movements: Hold each for 3-5 seconds.
1. Lunge– Step forward with one leg (about 2 stride lengths). Bend the front knee while keeping the back knee straight and the leg extended. Arms are both on the inside of the front leg with the hands flat on the ground.
2. Twist– In the lunge position, take the arm closest to the front leg and reach it to the ceiling while twisting your torso all towards that front leg. Let you eyes and head follow the path of your arm so your final gaze is up at the ceiling.
3. Hamstring– Untwist your torso so your chest and eyes are facing your front leg again. Place the hand you just reached to the ceiling on one side of your foot and your other hand will be on the opposite side of the front foot. Straighten and lengthen that front leg by extending the knee and lifting your toe to the ceiling.
4. Groin– Replace your front foot flat on the ground. Lift your entire torso to the upright position. Bend your back knee and sink into a lunge. Lean your torso back slightly to elongate from your shoulder, through your groin and down to your back knee.
5. Triple Extension– Drive that back leg up and forward until you hug your knee into your chest. In the same motion, the foot on the ground will elevate into triple extension. The 1. ankle will fully extend, you are on your toe, you 2. knee extends fully and so does the 3. hip. *To transition to the other leg, simply step out with the knee you are hugging and repeat the entire stretch on the other side. Movement should be practiced, repeated, and done well. If you practice it correctly, every time, when it comes to applying those movements to everyday life or to competition it will come naturally and without overthinking. Each of these movements in the Worlds Greatest Stretch are transitioned into seamlessly. Play Hard, Get Fit *L*
Mom at your son’s track meet. Dad at your daughter’s soccer game. Gym rat looking to get outside on gorgeous days. Athlete in between classes and jobs. This workout is for each of YOU! Busy schedules, time constraints, and specific locations are the constantly changing variables involved in your workouts. For all those bleacher creatures, bench riders, and pop up chair cheerleaders, there is no excuse left to stop you from getting a sweat session in!
Equipment: Bleachers, Bench, Stairs, or other safe elevated surface.
Sets X Repetitions: 2X15
Burn More Calories: Walk, jog or run 1 lap (2-3 mins.) in between each set! Add an extra set!
*Working out on bleachers requires an increased level of fitness and balance. If you suffer from vertigo or have other balance issues, do not attempt to work out on steps.
1. Uneven Squats: One foot on a bleacher or bench so that it is elevated higher then the other. Push your hips back and squat like you are about to sit in a chair.
2. Step Ups with Sprinter Start (on bottom step) -Video Below: Step up with one leg, as soon as that leg is fully extended on the step, follow by driving the other knee straight up into a march position, lower that leg down and repeat on the same leg.
3. High Knee Quick Feet-Video Below: Alternating between right and left feet tapping them quickly and lightly onto the bench.
4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up: Complete your push up and rotate your body weight onto one hand until you are in a side plank position. Return to the push up position and complete the other side.
5. Climbing Squat Jumps onto the bleachers: (all the way up and down) Squat down and jump on the first bleacher, then the second, third and so forth.
6. Squat Jumps (on and off of bottom bleacher)-Video Below: Squat onto and off of the bleacher landing with soft knees, abs tight, hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.
7. Elevated Lunge + Sprinter Start- Video Below: Lunge as pictured below and left the back knee up and drive that knee forward into a marching position. *be careful with your balance! notice in the video it takes me a second to get centered. Also, watch your dismount OFF the bleachers!
8. Elevated Push ups + Single Leg + Single Leg bend and extend-Video Below: 3 levels of difficulty include:
1. basic push ups- bend your elbows until they are at 90 degree angles, squeeze your armpits as you straighten your arms and press up into a straight arm position.
2. push ups with one leg off the group
3. push ups bending your knee while you lower down and extend your leg when you push up.
Cartwheels and Handstands: My version of a fun workout intermission, ending, or just because! (Do not attempt if you are not trained. Can result in injury.)
This workout makes the best use of your time and resources all while hitting major, calorie burning body parts! Focus on your form, take your time completing each set properly and have FUN! get creative with your locations, keep gym clothes in your car and don’t hesitate to get a great sweat session in!
Play Hard Get Dirty, Play Hard Get Fit!!
Questions or feedback: feel free to comment below or message me on the links on the top of the page by email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
Entry number 1! The best place to start is at the beginning.
Everything our eyes absorb started as a culmination of ingredients and efforts, including ourselves. We Are What We Absorb. Sunlight. Nutrients. Information. Experiences. Your body responds to the information you give it directly and indirectly. OK, you just ran a mile on the treadmill. You have directly told your body its time to burn calories, release endorphins, increase the heat, increase the sweat, oxygen and blood flow, and be ready for the rest of the workout
This blog is here for you to arm yourself with the materials to get moving! I’m here to make you think about what your current fitness status is doing for you and your goals. Your future self will thank you for taking the initiative. Choosing to make changes to your wellness status will positively impact every single aspect of your life.
I want to jump feet first into what changes you see for yourself and your body. I want to dissect the pitfalls in your diet, road blocks in motivation, and the abyss that was once your workout plan. Even the most elite athletes, avid triathletes, and extreme gym junkies get in a funk and need a reboot. That’s why I’m here! To put a foot in your rear and get you back in gear! To jump start what you haven’t started or stuck with. To sift through the clutter that is the fitness industry and bring you real information the way your body really works.
The outcome of your comfort zone is staying comfortable. Moving out of that comfortable place allows for movement, growth, change and achievement. These are all things necessary to reach weight loss/gain goals, break personal records, and succeed at that new activity, pose, or move you’ve been wanting to conquer.
I am excited that you are along for this ride with me. I want to share my energy and passion and hope you absorb the info that will benefit you the most! I also want you to enjoy reading something that brings positivity and inspiration to the forefront.