Friday, May 30, 2014

Scale.. Me not

Happy Beautiful Friday Folks! The sun is shining and it is the best day of the week! I hope yall have something fun planned for the weekend, the weather is supposed to hold up for us so why not get outside and try something new?

I want to address the scale… You know that thing that sits in your bathroom and stares at you, calling your name to just take one step up on it? That thing that some may fear, some may despise and some may not even use. Yea that thing! Listen to me very carefully… Do NOT let that THING define YOU. Have you ever found yourself stuck at a certain number and no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t budge? That number is not who YOU are. That number does not tell the true story about the amazing person behind it.

Many use the scale in order to track their weight loss progress. Some may get extremely frustrated when it doesn’t move in the direction they hoped. You know what? Progress is not solely measured by what number the scale exhibits. Progress is in the eye of the beholder. Progress is defined in soo many different ways; you just have to know where to look.

When someone tells me that their weight hasn’t gone done or maybe it has even gone up, I reassure them not to worry about it. If you are following your lifestyle plan ie eating right and exercising, that is progress in itself! If you have more energy throughout the day because you are eating balanced meals every day, that’s progress! If your clothes fit better and you are wearing items that you used to not be able to, progress!

What about this… If you find that you are overeating less or you are eating more vegetables, progress! Maybe your body weight has remained the same but your body fat percentage has reduced, that’s progress!! Maybe you find that you are more positive, more determined and more focused than before, yep that’s the progress I am talking about!

Please do not get stuck on what that number on the scale says. Do not let it put limits on who you are and where you are going! If you are going to weigh yourself, aim to do it first thing in the morning after things Try to stay consistent, so if you weigh yourself with only socks on, do that every time. Also, do not weigh yourself every day! If you must weigh in, do it once a week and move on. Life is too great to be held back by a number on the scale.

Take care of you!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Supplements, Part One

A very common question I get asked is what to take pre/post work out in regards to supplements. There are thousands of products out there that promise to do this or enhance that but for the purpose of this post, I am going to include the basics that I take daily (or almost daily) that I personally incorporate to help me achieve my goals and provide stamina through my workouts.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)- Branch Chain Amino Acids or as commonly referred to BCAAs, are amino acids that have an aliphatic side-chain with a branch. The BCAAs are Valine, Leucine, and isoleucine and are part of the nine essential amino acids intake through diet. When taken during training, BCAAs have been shown to prevent loss of lean body mass (muscle breakdown or catabolism), increase energy, enhance protein synthesis and aid in recovery. I use the pill and powder form throughout the day. I use the pill form pre-cardio especially if it happens to be fasted to prevent muscle breakdown and in between meals when dieting. The powdered form is fantastic to throw in your water for pre-, during and post-workout. 

Glutamine- This has been my lifesaver multiple times! You know when you are so sore from working out you can barely walk up the stairs of put your hair in a ponytail? Yea me neither! Just kidding, that is every dang week! Glutamine is also an amino acid that is the most abundant free amino acid in skeletal muscle and human blood. Glutamine is very important for protein synthesis, cellular energy, gut and intestinal health, and prevention of muscle catabolism. I take this in the pill and powder form throughout the day especially post-workout because it has been shown to re-synthesize glycogen levels in muscle. Just like the BCAA powder, the powdered Glutamine is great to throw in your water or protein shake. 

Fish Oil- Fish oil is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which are essential fatty acids that we must ingest through our diet because they are not synthesized in our bodies. Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles cognitive functioning, heart health, vision and joint health. Fish oil also helps tremendously with exercise-related inflammatory and oxidation by reducing the inflammation and aiding with recovery. Fish oil, especially EPA and DHA, have been suggested to aid in protein synthesis and possibly limit muscle breakdown. I typically take fish oil pills with breakfast and dinner, but it is more of a personal preference when to take it. 

Arginine- Surprise! Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that the body normally produces. Arginine is found in animal products such as dairy, beef, poultry, and seafood and in plant sources such as chickpeas, oatmeal, nuts, seeds and wheat flour. Arginine plays a role in wound healing, immune function, and release of hormones and is a pre-curser for nitric oxide synthesis. When working out, arginine is beneficial in muscle tissue repair, muscle growth, and since it is a precursor to nitric oxide (a vasodilator), it increases blood flow to the working muscles thus increasing muscular endurance (think more oxygen delivered to your muscles). I typically take Arginine in pill form about 30 minutes prior to weight training.

As I mentioned, there are soo many different pre- and post-workout supplements on the market. I encourage you to do your research or ask about products before spending a fortune on things you may not need.

A while back, I found a recipe for protein bars and decided to make some changes to come up with chocolate-vanilla swirl bars.


3 Scoops Chocolate Protein
½ cup Brown rice flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 medium banana
½ cup water
2/3 cups liquid egg whites
1 scoop Vanilla protein
¼ cup liquid egg whites


Preheat oven to 350. Mix chocolate protein, brown rice flour,
and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Using a mixer, blend
banana, water and 2/3 cups egg whites until well blended. Slowly add
wet ingredients into dry until well mixed. Spray baking dish (I used an 8x8
glass pan) with non-stick spray and pour batter in until evenly distributed.
In a bowl, mix vanilla protein and ¼ cup egg whites. Slowly pour vanilla
mixture on top of chocolate in straight lines. Drag knife through vanilla to
create swirl design. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

June AB Challenge

It is already Wednesday <insert happy dance here> The week is flying by and so is this month! Yesterday's challenge was all about YOU but for the month of June, I am launching the AB Challenge and would love for all of you to join me! I previously discussed the importance of a strong core (including abdominal muscles)  HERE including a quick training session for those muscles. This challenge can be performed at home, on the road, at the gym, in your backyard, with your friends or even your kiddos! Summer is just around the corner so lets have some fun and start shaping up our midsections together! 

Comment below to take the pledge for June! Lets do this together!! 

I have had some requests for healthy dessert ideas. That sweet tooth can really get the best of me sometimes but instead of indulging in a bunch of crap that will make me feel not soo good the next day, I have a couple "go-to's" that satisfy the craving and leave me feeling on track with my goals. 

Take care of you!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10 Day You Challenge

Hope you all enjoyed the nice long weekend and are ready for a challenge! This is not your ordinary challenge, but a fun way to express and share YOU. I have seen this pop up a couple times on blogs that I read and wanted to share with you a little more about me! I won't post it all in one day because it seems a little long for one post. I'll start with the 10 secrets:

  1. I have more ideas than I have energy to complete them. I have a huge list of goals, dreams and things I want to do but it gets exhausting looking at them. lol
  2. I’m a sucker for love stories ie Nicolas Sparks books/movies. They get me every time.
  3. I have enough clothes in my closet (and the hall closet and the guest room closet) for at least 10 people!
  4. I should open a gym on the beach in Hawaii...barbells and tans, now that's what I call work!
  5. I love climbing into freshly washed sheets. It feels like a mini vacation!
  6. I have loved vegetables since I was little. At the age of 5, I requested a salad at McDonald's during a birthday party.
  7. I may complain about early mornings but I secretly LOVE getting a lot done before most are even awake!
  8. I'm a true cowgirl at heart. I love to wear my dirty cowboy boots while covered in horse hair listening to country music in an old beat up pick-up truck. That is my ideal life!
  9. I just recently found my first gray hair and plucked it out IMMEDIATELY! Stressed me out!
  10. I could never ever give up chocolate. Okay so maybe that's not a secret ;)
I would love to hear from you! Join in on the 10 Day YOU challenge! I will be posting once a week for the next 10 weeks and hope you join me :) 
A little recipe that I can not get enough of is veggie egg white cups that quick and convenient. They make a great breakfast, snack, pre- or post-workout meal and super easy to make! 


Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank you

To our men and women in uniform- past, present, and future- God bless you and thank you for serving our country!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Who Inspires YOU?

Welcome to Thursday, the NEW FRIDAY! This post is dubbed ‘Thoughts for Thursday’ and will be a post dedicated to some amazing women I follow. They are women who empower. Women who radiate beauty from the inside out. Women who take time to feed and nurture their souls. Women who actively live a wholesome lifestyle. Women who share their trials, tribulations, ups, and downs because that is what life is all about. I encourage you to check them out for they might just be what you need to fill your inspiration tank.

Brooke Erickson

Brooke Erickson is a woman of truth. She shares the nitty gritty of juggling fitness, diet, motherhood, competing, and entrepreneurship all in one day. She will make you laugh and cry and she might even make you think “thank goodness there is someone else out there who struggles with the same things I do”. She encourages you daily to discover your inner strength and reminds you that YOU ARE ENOUGH. 

Eat Clean, Be Happy

 This is a blog written by a good friend of mine. She shares great information about health and nutrition especially from a scientific stand point. She radiates beauty and because of her, I have found a passion for meditation and self-discovery. 

She is More

This site is fantastic. The women of She is More bring their expertise and wisdom in a spiritual manner to inspire your heart. There are articles for every aspect of life and I have found several that speak and encourage me to stay true to who I am.

Erin Stern

I love Erin Stern! She is a track athlete turned figure competitor but leads her life by example. Her workouts are fantastic, her meal ideas are delicious and she also finds balance in an otherwise unbalanced sport (when all you think about is competing versus trying and enjoying new things in your life). 

Pioneer Woman

I adore Ree! I first read her book ‘Black Heels to Tractor Wheels’ and it was a book I did NOT want to end. I love her humor, her kindred spirit and I am extremely jealous of her umpteen million acre ranch in Oklahoma! She provides humor, delicious recipes, and fantastic photography of her kids, dogs, horses and of course Marlboro Man!

There are SOO many more that I could share with you but what I really want to know is… Who or what inspires YOU? Please let me know where you go to seek inspiration for your mind and body!

Take care of you,


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

To Fridge or Not To Fridge?

Raise your hand if you have ever come home from the grocery store, arm full of bags (let's be honest, who wants to make more than ONE trip from the car into the house?) and wondered what produce should be placed in the fridge and which items would be better off if left at room temperature. Growing up, my mom always hid the potatoes in a cool, dark spot in the pantry and I have always wondered if this was for a specific purpose. Do all the fruits and vegetables go in the crisp drawer or can they sit in the fruit bowl (and add a pop of color to your kitchen counter!) 

When it comes to fruits, its a toss up of which ones are best when kept in the refrigerator versus room temperature. When stored in the fridge, they tend to last longer and taste better (with organic fruits this is a huge bonus since they contain less pesticides, their life is not as long). Fruits that should be kept in the fridge are: 
  • Apples
  • Beans 
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
Fruits that are good to store at room temperature are:
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Melons
  • Pears 
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
Surprisingly (I have always kept these in the fridge) but citrus (think lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) is apparently better when stored at room temp than in the cool fridge. 
A majority of vegetables should spend their life in the fridge versus at room temperature. I will admit, I am guilty of storing some of these in the fridge when maybe they would do better in the pantry. 

Veggies that need a spot in the fridge are:
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers 
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs (EXCEPT basil)
  • Jalapenos
  • Leafy Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini 
Vegetables that need a home in the pantry or in the fruit bowl are:
  • Basil (stored in water)
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
Notice the Jicama? It is probably the least common veggie that would be found in your pantry but it is delicious! Jicama is that white, crispy tuberous root that for one cup, has 49 calories, 0.1 g fat, 11 g carbs, 6 g fiber, and 195 mg potassium. It is a great addition to salads, substitute for potatoes, and addition to recipes like pico de gallo. This recipe is an alternate to one of my go-tos! 

Jicama Fries


1 Medium Jicama
1/4 TBSP Coconut Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp onion/garlic powder
1 tsp fresh lime juice

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Rinse and pat dry Jicama.
  • Peel and slice Jicama into 1/2" slices (like french fries). 
  • Place coconut oil, salt, onion/garlic powder into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the jicama sticks to the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Lay the jicama sticks on greased baking sheet (I use foil for less cleanup!)
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, tossing half way through baking time.
  • Remove from oven and squeeze lime over the fries.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Backside Builder

As many of you know, it takes time, persistence, dedication and a lot of work to achieve your goals. If one of those goals happens to be a nice derriere then this is the workout for you! Let’s be honest, when you see a nice booty you can’t help but notice. ;) A bodacious booty is something that takes time to build and sculpt, just like any other body part but with the right tools, you will be well on your way!

“How do you get your butt like that?” is a fitness question I hear a lot and yes, genetics plays a part in that but genes aren’t everything. Some may up their cardio to build their backside using the step mill or elliptical but weight training is the first stop in improving your glutes. When it comes to training the glutes, I like to stick with the basics. You do not need to do 15 different exercises per workout to get results. You need to work hard and push your behind out of your comfort zone.

Do skip on the light weights. Your butt gets bigger as it gets stronger. You need to challenge your backside with enough stimuli if you want it to grow. Training your glutes 1-2x a week is plenty when working on building it up. More is not necessarily better; you also need to provide sufficient rest and recovery to achieve gains. So if you are ready…. Here is your “Get Cheeky” workout! (I am planning on doing this workout this week and will post a clip of each one)

  • Squats- Squats are the King (or queen) of lower body exercises! Squats work your entire posterior chain (Low back, glutes, hammies) AND your anterior chain (quads, hips). Squatting just below parallel requires your booty/hammies to actively engage and work under more stimulus than parallel squats…so get low. The narrower your stance, the more emphasis that is placed on your quads so keep your feet shoulder width apart with your toes slightly pointed out. There are MANY variations of squats but for starters start with a back squat, placing emphasis on form and depth before adding in variety.

  • Walking Lunges with weight- If you have ever performed these then you know your heart rate elevates and it is hard to sit down the next day! You can either hold dumbbells at your side or use a straight barbell on your back. Start by taking a big step forward, performing a lunge and alternating sides as you move forward. The bigger the step and lower you go, the more activation of your glute/hammies.

  • Barbell hip thrusts- This exercise is fantastic for building the glute medius (think upper booty). Start by sitting on the ground with your back against a bench and your feet firmly planted. Place a barbell across your lap (use a pad if you need) and raise your hips towards the ceiling by driving with your glutes. Rise until your torso is parallel with the floor and squeeze your glutes at the top. Return to the starting position, hovering over the ground before raising your hips again. 
  • Straight leg Deadlifts- Start with your feet hip width apart, holding a barbell against your thighs. Keeping your back straight, bend at the waist allowing the weight to slide along the front of your legs while you push your hips back until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Contract your booty and slowly bring yourself back to the start. 

  • Deep Lunge Step-ups- These bad boys allow you to really stretch the posterior chain and activate each glute when rising to the top. Start by standing facing a bench or high step. Place one foot on top of the bench while placing the other foot slightly behind you (enough that you can drop the knee towards the floor). Start by dropping your knee towards the floor (on the leg that is behind you) and push yourself up until you are standing on top of the bench on the front leg. Repeat 12x per side before switching. 

Train hard, devote time for a great work out and be diligent in your training. If it starts to burn, keep pushing and you will receive a good response. Good luck!

Take care of you,


Monday, May 19, 2014


Welcome to Monday! What a fantastic weekend it turned out to be with decent weather and farmers markets opening left and right! If you live in the area, the Everett waterfront farmer’s market is a must try! Live music, fresh organic produce, great crafts and local organic meats fill the sidewalks and most vendors are reasonably priced!

A common question that continues to pop up may be one that you find yourself dealing with. How do you stick to a plan, primarily composed of the same foods over and over, without the lack of flavor and creativity getting the best of you? Well… You get creative! There are several ways you can ‘dress up’ your foods without increasing your waistline with a little preparation.

For instance, varying the way you cook your foods is a big player! I get really sick of foreman grilled chicken but if I BBQ it, it not only tends to stay fresher longer, but the flavor is 100x better! Try using the crockpot instead of stovetop, try broiling instead of baking or Sautéing, roasting, and steaming your veggies.

Add fresh herbs! Nothing is as delicious as fresh cilantro, basil, oregano, or mint when added to a dish. Not sure if the herb pairs well with your food? Check out this website that I use (HERB GUIDE ) it does a great job pairing proteins with the herb and the herb with the dish. Plus growing your own herb garden is an easy way to pick fresh organic for every single meal.

Use spices from around the world. The spice isle at World Market and Trader Joes is a great place to start if you are looking to expand your palate and infuse your dishes with flavor. The availability of spices at World Market is amazing and they come from all around the globe. Try an Indian curry spice on your white fish or Jamaican Jerk Spice on your chicken. They offer a great travel pack (SPICE KIT TO GO) of different spices for only $14.99 that provides variety without breaking the bank.

Use your imagination. If you eat brown rice, chicken and broccoli every day for lunch, add some slivered almonds, golden raisins and fresh garlic to your brown rice or coat your broccoli with a touch of coconut oil and fresh sea salt. Eat sweet potatoes? Bake them and stuff them with your protein and chopped veggies. ANY meal can be transformed, this I promise! If you don’t believe me, send me your questions and I will create recipes for you!

Here is a twist on a chicken dish that is super easy AND Advocare friendly! It can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Fiesta Chicken Scramble


2 egg whites
1 whole egg
2 oz grilled chicken
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers and onions
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning
1 TBSP salsa
1 TBSP 0% Greek yogurt
2 slices Avocado


Scramble the eggs together in a pan. When cooked, place in a bowl
and set aside. Sauté chicken, peppers and onions until tender. Add in
egg mixture and cook for 3 minutes. Mix avocado, Greek yogurt, and
salsa together and place on top of scramble. Enjoy! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fro-Yo Friday

Friday is here! Hope you smashed your goals and had a fantastic week! As promised, I have four separate Tabata workouts which you can do each on separately or combine a couple of them. Any exercise can be turned into a Tabata and it is up to you to be creative when planning your workout. Grab a workout partner, pick 2-4 of your favorite exercises, and boom! It’s Tabata time!

The four listed workouts incorporate two exercises that you rotate through four times to get an entire session completed. If you feel like really challenging yourself, combine workout 1 and 2 for a longer (kick a@#) session!


Saturdays usually involve a treat meal, but I was recently presented with a fantastic opportunity and will be carefully watching my diet for the next few weeks! A typical treat meal involves some sort of frozen yogurt with all my favorite toppings! (think more toppings than actual yogurt) However, it is time to clean it up and so I wanted to share my homemade froyo recipe that is satisfying but does not leave your tummy wondering what just happened!

Have a great weekend. Take care of you!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gym Bag Essentials

I am guilty. I am guilty of carrying WAAAAAAAY too much crap around in my purse, my gym bag, and sometimes the back seat of my car! You know how it is, the bigger the bag the more stuff you tend to put in it (c’mon I know I am not the ONLY one). After cleaning out my gym bag the other day, which mind you it HAD to weigh at least 10 lbs, I decided to show you an inside look into my gym bag and provide what I find are the essentials while getting rid of the unnecessary crap-o-la.
  • Versa grips! They are an absolute must for me! I use them on heavy back days which include lots of pulling and ending with heavy shrugs. They save my hands and help me lift more, especially if I do not have a spotter. If you prefer weight lifting gloves, then those replace the versa grips and are a must for your bag.
  • IPod Shuffle- This little clip on is awesome! I used to lug around a traditional iPod in an arm band and it would either come unstrapped in the middle of a lift or it would start stinking (sorry TMI). With the shuffle, it was love at first use. I clip it on to my sports bra or tank and it stays out of my way during my workout, just how I like it! 
  • Extra headphones- If you have ever pulled out your head bands and realized A. you are missing the rubber piece for one of your ear buds or B. one of your ear buds has shorted out, then you know why an extra pair is a must! 
  • Hand Sanitizer! I carry a bottle of this stuff in my car, purse, and gym bag. After reading a scary statistic that 90% of all infectious diseases are carried on the hands, I would rather be safe than sorry! I know using this stuff is not the same as washing with hot water and soap, but if you are in a bind and do not have access to a sink; I think it is better than going without!
  • Resistabands-These are great to use for assisted pull-ups, resisted running training, and monster walks. I keep a long one and a short on in my bag so no matter what body part I am training, I can always incorporate something new.
  • Jump rope! This has been my go to when I need a good butt whoopin! I keep a jump rope in my bag and use it for quick cardio intervals in between sets especially on leg day or if I cannot make it to the gym, I can always use it at the park, on the trail, or in my driveway!
  • Protein powder- I ALWAYS always keep some type of protein powder or bar in my bag in case of emergencies. Typically, I have my post-workout meal in my cooler or I am heading straight home to make it but when I am on the go and end up running an extra errand or two, I keep something reliable and easy to eat. This has saved me especially when I get stuck in traffic with low blood sugar lol
  • Water bottle/shaker- An absolute must! Normally the shaker is filled with my pre-workout and I re-fill it with water during training. I like shakers because I can use them for pre, mid and post-workout beverages and shakes. 
  • Hair ties/bobby pins/Head band- Yep I am the queen of bobby pins! I have them everywhere and my husband makes sure to tell me when he finds one! You never know when you (or someone you know) might need a hair tie. Plus if you are running around after the gym, I will mask my sweaty hair in a braid with a head band. 
  • Face wipes- I really like the Yes brand at target. I keep them in my bag for the same reason I do the headbands. I want to wipe the sweat off my face before I run a bunch of errands (yes I am that girl who doesn't care after a workout)
  • Extra Sports bra, socks and tank- On several occasions, I will head out the door in the morning with the intention of hitting the gym after work to realize I have forgotten socks, a bra or both. I try to keep an extra with me so I don’t run into any excuse not to hit the gym but it is also a refreshing moment to put on a dry sports bra after a hard training session if you are not heading straight home.
As you can see that is a peak into my bag, but I know there is justification for it weighing 10 lbs! J Okay so maybe it is down to 6 after I eliminated duplicates (even threesomes) of everything!

One obsession I have to share with you is the veggie spiral cutter (Spirelli Slicer). I am in love with it and actually have a tasty treat if you want another way to prepare your sweet potatoes! It has also come in handy with zucchini, eggplant, and beets.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oil Pulling

Recently I noticed a lot of buzz about oil pulling and after my massage therapist told me how she has been doing it and the benefits she has witnessed, I decided to look into it. If y’all have done any reading on oil pulling, it sounds quite interesting and the thought of swishing oil around in my mouth makes me queasy.

Oil pulling started in India thousands of years ago, and through my research, it was brought to the United States in the early 1990’s by a medical doctor who used it in his practice. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health that pulls the bacteria out of the mouth, teeth, gums and throat. However, research has shown this remedy to help conditions such as headaches and migraines, inflammation due to arthritis, correcting hormone imbalances, help reduce eczema, aids in reducing pain, whitens the teeth, and helps eliminate and detox the body of harmful metals and organisms. In traditional practice, oil pulling was performed with sesame oil was used to reduce inflammation and problems associated with the mouth. Reasoning behind this originates from the theory that bacteria and infection can enter the blood through the mouth, thus causing infections that impact other parts of the body.

So how do you oil pull? The theory behind it is that “like dissolves like” so the oil cuts through plaque buildup and removes toxins without causing harm to the teeth and gums. In order to oil pull, you swish a teaspoon or two of vegetable based oil (such as coconut, sesame or olive) around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, spit it out and rinse your mouth. Research has shown it is best to perform oil pulling first thing in the morning before eating/drinking but can be done after every meal if there are serious dental problems.
  • Place 1-2 teaspoons of oil in your mouth. I like organic coconut oil and warm it up by placing the teaspoons in a small dish and set the dish in a little bit of warm water. I do not like the texture of solid coconut oil. The oil will liquefy in your mouth once it is warm enough, I just prefer to start with a liquid versus a solid.
  • Swish around for 15-20 minutes. Timing is key here according to some studies, for this is long enough to break through bacteria but before your body has a chance to re-absorb the toxins.
  • Spit the oil into the waste basket. Do not spit it down the drain and do not swallow the oil! Hopefully it is full of toxins that were drawn out so you want to completely rid your body of them.
  • Rinse your mouth well with warm water to clean out the oil.
  • Brush your teeth well to kill all bacteria. 

So does it work? Why not see for yourself? There is no harm in trying it and if anything your teeth will feel incredibly smooth and after a couple weeks, you will notice they become visibly whiter! It’s a win-win :) A great resource that explains oil pulling in great depth and provides a free e-book for your reference is Oil Pulling Reference  I hope you all give it a try and I would love to hear what it does for you!

Since I am on the topic of coconut oil, I thought this would be a great recipe to share, especially if you like chocolate and coconut. I found this recipe on Original Recipe and adapted it to my own version.

Chocolate Coconut Oil Fudge

2 scoops Chocolate Whey Protein
2 TBSP Cocoa powder
3 TBSP Organic Coconut oil
¼ cup Nuts N More Chocolate coconut almond butter (Buy Here)


Mix together all the dry ingredients. Melt the coconut
(microwave or by placing it in a dish and putting the dish
in warm water). Add the Nuts N More and melted coconut oil
to the dry ingredients and mix until a fudge forms. Spoon fudge
into a greased mini loaf pan and spread evenly. Place in fridge for
an hour or more then Eat! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tabata Time

Happy Monday Mornin! Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend and got to celebrate all the amazing mothers in your life. Changing up your workout is a great way to kick your own butt and keep your routine from becoming monotonous. I love me a good Tabata workout and actually used it as training method for my group exercise classes I taught during Grad school. Wondering what the h-e-double hockey sticks Tabata is?? Here’s the 411 on an awesome workout!

Tabata (Ta-ba-tah) is named after a researcher named Izumi Tabata who is a major player of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Japan. If you have four minutes to spare (ya heard me!) only four minutes, you can get a killer workout in. Remember when I talked about HIIT training? Well, Tabata is a form of HIIT that is challenging, fun and will leave you breathless! You probably will never look at four minutes the same way ever again :)

Tabata can be performed anywhere (in the gym, at home, in a park) and you can program it to where no equipment is needed. This training method is designed to last four minutes in which you perform eight intervals. Each interval is 20 seconds long, performed at a very high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest. You should perform the 20 second period of work at maximum intensity, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 minutes (20 seconds of HIIT + 10 seconds rest) x 8 = 4 minutes.


How do you know if Tabata is for you? Give it a try! If you are bored with your current routine or feel you have hit a plateau, this method might be just the thing you need to revamp your workouts. Always use caution with HIIT, if you are not used to pushing your heart rate to a maximum level or are very new to working out, this might be a tool you put in the back of your mind and use it when you are ready. **It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor if you are unsure if this is for you.

If you add Tabata into your routine, it is not something you would want to perform on a daily basis and you will want to keep your heart rate under your max heart rate. (You can use the age-predicted heart rate max equation to figure out what your max is by: 220 - your age). I encourage you to start slow and work your way up if you are not used to performing high intensity activities. Possibly start with only 4 intervals and work your way up to 8. I encourage you to incorporate it into your training once a month or so and if you really enjoy it maybe add it in a couple times per month to switch up your training program.

If you are ready to give it a try, you will need a stop watch or a counter (the app store has a couple great timers that talk to you through your head phones) or a partner to keep you on track with time. Don’t know where to start? Start with body weight movements or sprints/stairs. Sprint for 20 seconds followed by walking for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of eight times. Jump rope Tabata is awesome as is using the row machine, biking, elliptical, kettlebells, and circuit workouts. This is where you can be VERY creative and utilize the equipment you have (or lack thereof).

The benefits of Tabata training are plentiful. It is a great way to maximize your training in a short amount of time. If you only have 20 minutes to get your workout in, this is the way to go! You can do a couple different circuits and boom! You have finished your workout. It is great for aerobic and anaerobic training and it helps rev up your metabolism not only during but after your workout as well. Plus it beats the ho-hum boredom of your normal routine! I will post a couple great Tabata workouts later this week for those brave souls who want a kick butt workout!

Last night I was really craving something sweet. Since I have been trying to be really good about not eating sugar, I made mini protein balls that are made from whole foods, low in sugar and just one will take away that sweet craving. My hubby usually makes the big boys but I didn’t want that type of commitment lol so I made these perfect petite protein balls that are divine, especially if you put them in the freezer!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Tribute to Mamas

Mother's day is Sunday (in case you didn't know ;)) and I want to wish all you mothers a very happy day! Whether you have been a mom for many years, are about to be a mommy for the first time or are a proud mama of a four-legged furry kid, you all deserve to be loved and appreciated for all that you do! This post is dedicated to my best friend... My Mama!

She is the most amazing woman in the world and if you have not met her, you are missing out. She is my confidant, my friend, my crutch, my everything and I do not know where I would be with out her by my side. I know with out a doubt that if ever I fall, she will be there to pick me up, skinned knees and all. From the earliest days she has been encouraging me to become anything I want to be as long as it makes me happy.
She drove me to every dang club volleyball tournament in the Northwest with a smile on her face, sitting there watching patiently. Little does she know I have been watching her in admiration for years and I will never be able to tell her how much she means to me nor will I ever be able to describe how much I love her.

My mom has picked up the pieces when everything shattered at once, she has been there, no questions asked, when I needed help out of a sticky situation and she has saved me on several occasions by delivering prepped meals for competitions! She has pushed me when I felt like giving up and throwing in the towel.She has encouraged me to be a woman of strength, courage and independence. I have watched my mom work her butt off for our family and never complain about it nor give up when times got a little rocky. 

I am proud to say I am like my mom for I have her genuine heart, her loving nature and times of indecisiveness (I never thought I would be proud to say that....) I love the way my mom will send a card of the blue because she just wants to check in or will surprise my husband with special treats like a bag of fresh black licorice because she can. I remember my mom cheering for me at every school function and staying up late to make sure I had a clean uniform. I remember snuggling next to her on a bad day and feeling as if everything would be okay, no matter how crummy it was because she would always hold me like her little girl.

She once gave me a book with the lyrics and cd to this song. Every time I think about this, my eyes begin to well up with tears. 

Thank you mama for everything! Thank you for being my rock when I needed to be strong. Thank you for being my leader when I needed guidance. Thank you for my friend when everyone else walked out on me. Thank you for funding my many expensive hobbies :) Thank you for giving me everything I have and making me into what I am today. 

I am a strong healthy independent woman wishing for the world and chasing her dreams because of you. You have allowed me to spread my wings and fly. Thank you. I love you!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Training Splits

Holy smokes can you believe we are already 8 days into May?! Time is flying by and summer will be here before you know which means shorts, tanks, and swimsuits. Are you ready? A friend reached out and asked about strength training and body parts to couple together. This can be confusing especially if you lift 6-7 days per week or maybe you weight train 2 times per week with a group exercise class thrown in mid-week.

How you program your weight training sessions will depend on your individual goals, your training frequency, your starting point (novice, intermediate or advanced), and many other factors. First let’s look at training frequency and by frequency, I mean how many days a week you weight train.

If you weight train 2 days per week, it is best to do a whole body circuit that includes the chest, back, legs, shoulders and arms. You can combine exercises such a squat and bicep curl or lunge to overhead press or you can rotate through exercises such as incline chest press, lat pull downs, goblet squats and incline shoulder press. This way you are targeting all the major muscle groups twice a week. Depending on your training goal (whether it is endurance, strength, or hypertrophy) your sets and reps will vary. If you are training for an endurance event you will most likely stick with 3-5 sets of 15+ repetitions but if you are training for muscle hypertrophy the recommendation 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

If you weight train 4 days per week say Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, your sessions could alternate between upper and lower body. Monday would be an upper body day consisting of chest, back, shoulder, and arm exercises. An efficient workout might include rotating through each body part, performing 2-3 exercises per muscle group. Tuesday would be a lower body workout consisting of exercises for your glutes, quads, hamstrings and I would add in abdominal/core training. Again, you could rotate through legs and add in core training towards the end of your workout, after you have performed your major lifts such as squats and deadlifts.

If you train 5-6 days per week, your sessions will most likely consist of training individual muscle groups on separate days. For example, if you train Monday through Friday, you might start your week with shoulders on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, Chest on Thursday, and arms/core on Friday. You will want to give sufficient rest (48+ hours) before training the same body part again, so if you train shoulders on Monday, you will want to wait at least 48 hours before training shoulders again. If you have a body part that you are really trying to develop, you could incorporate training it twice per week or separate leg day and do a quad only workout followed by a hamstring/glute workout a few days later. If you are training 5-6 days per week, I highly recommend taking a day to completely rest and recover or if you can’t stand the idea of taking a day off, have a day of active recovery in which you take a yoga class or go for a stroll around the park. Take it easy and allow your body a chance to recover before you hit another strenuous week of training.

Depending on you and your goal(s), your training program should be programmed just for you! If you are unsure how to program your weight training sessions, please please feel free to contact me or if you are working with a trainer, they should have your workouts tailored for you.

I am always looking for delicious post-training or recovery meal ideas that are quick and easy. I have found that taking certain products post-workout make a HUGE difference in my recovery, especially with muscle groups that take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to recover! This is one of my favorites that I can make ahead of time and freeze or right when I get home from the gym.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cocktail Fun

I am sorry about the post being delayed yesterday! I set the auto post with a time and the jerk did not post it… So here it is!

Happy day after Cinco de Mayo! I totally spaced about it yesterday until it was too late to change my post. In light of summer and boating, BBQ’s, Cinco de Drinko.. I mean Cinco de Mayo.. I decided to do some research and compile a list of “figure-friendly” beverages that will not completely derail your progress.

Some tips to stick by when you are sipping on a cocktail are to choose freshly squeezed juices versus sugar loaded concentrates. Juice can add a lot of calories to your drink, so try just adding a splash for flavor. Choose seltzer water over soda and add a piece of fresh fruit for a little sweetness or stir in a tough of stevia. Try to stick to light-colored alcohols versus dark and stick to one shot per drink. If you are out at a restaurant, try drinks on the rocks versus blended and read the ingredients list. A classic margarita on average has 268-500 calories (a frozen has 740!) where as one shot of tequila on ice with a lime wedge has 100 calories. A Cosmopolitan has 212 calories for 4 oz and a daiquiri has 250 calories on average. Daiquiris vary but some are upwards of 600 calories and a mudslide can be pushing 850 calories!

· Margarita- Mix 6 oz lemon-lime seltzer water with 1 shot of tequila and top with 2 TBSP fresh lime juice served over ice. Calories- 100 *skip the salted rim*

· Cranberry Cosmo- Mix 3 oz diet Ocean spray cranberry juice with 1 shot of vodka and top with 2 tsp fresh lime juice over ice. Calories- 100

· Mojito- 5 oz lemon-lime seltzer water with 1 shot of light rum mixed with 10 mint leaves, 2 lime slices and served over ice. Calories- 98

· Spiked Lemonade- 5 oz Minute Maid Light Lemonade mixed with 1 shot vodka served over ice with lemon slices. Calories-90

· Strawberry Daiquiri- Mix 1 packet strawberry sugar-free powdered drink mix with 4 oz of water and blend with 1 shot light rum, 3 frozen strawberries, 1 tsp fresh lime juice and ice. Calories- 120

· Mudslide- Mix 1 packet diet hot cocoa mix with 1 TBSP sugar-free syrup (white chocolate or vanilla) and 3 oz hot water. Once dissolved, add ¼ cup light soymilk with 1 shot vodka and 1 tsp sugar free chocolate syrup. Blend with ice. Calories- 150

I do not drink often but if I do, my go to drink is a vodka soda with either lemon/lime slices or orange slices. I usually ask for potato vodka (distilled from potatoes) because it is gluten-free and I tend to feel better than drinking liquor distilled from grains. If you are a beer and wine person, try and stick to light colored beers for they are not as calorically dense. A glass of red wine has antioxidants and has been shown to be heart healthy. Whatever your drink of choice (if you drink), there is usually a way to clean it up! Enjoy