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Read This Before Buying the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan

Is the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan worth it?

So, you’re on the fence about purchasing the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. You just can’t see throwing $150 out there on a glorified recipe book.

That’s how I felt too.

Heck, if I wanted to, I could find all the recipes online somewhere. I could probably find a bootlegged copy somewhere, but that makes me feel dirty.

I followed Tone It Up for a good two years before finally caving. Those thoughts above are why I didn’t make the leap sooner.

But after finally caving, I realized that it wasn’t just a recipe book I purchased.

Oh wait, before we go any further, let me just preface this by saying, I’m not an affiliate of Tone It Up at all. I don’t even think they have an affiliate program, otherwise I would’ve signed up. Their word-of-mouth marketing is strong enough to not need one. This is just me speaking from my own experience of being a 5-year member myself.

 

What you’re actually buying when you buy the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan:

You’re not just buying a recipe book for $150. That’s preposterous. I wouldn’t do that either. Amazon has plenty of amazing recipe books for under $10.

No, what you’re actually buying is your ticket into the inner TIU circle.

When you sign up, you get all the member benefits and you get to play with all the other TIU girls. You don’t have to “wonder” anymore about the plan, searching Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Images for sneak peeks of the pages. Haha, I see you;) (I did it too.)

Along with the recipe book, you also get a nutrition guidebook. It teaches you some nutrient timing basics and reasoning behind the plan. It gives you the plan breakdown and walks you through the benefits of eating lean, clean, and green. It also makes eating this way really fun…and hot! It’s not a crazy serious “diet” like some of the other plans out there. It’s a way to have fun with good nutritious food and hang out with your girlfriends in the process.

The plan also includes the infamous 7-day slimdown, Tone It Up’s proprietary slimdown-for-an-event plan that you’ll hear everyone in the community talking about.

Speaking of which…The level of FOMO that you feel in the community is enough to sign up alone, amiright? You see all the posts on Instagram of what everyone is eating, you feel the excitement when new plans come out, and you see everyone sharing their printed book pictures and you feel left out. There’ll be no more FOMO when you finally get it!

And it really works! You can see the evidence in all the transformation pictures out there. You see my own story! I have a seriously difficult time losing weight, and even I have been able to lose the weight when I follow the plan.

Another benefit of signing up is the member emails and exclusive discounts. Members get their hands on everything first. And they get their hands on some things that others don’t. There are some great members-only sales and discounts on TIU retreats, merchandise, apparel, and Perfect Fit.

 

 

You might say I have a (healthy) addiction. #toneitup #tiuteam #tiuplan #bbg #thekaylamovement #michellebridges #12wbt

A post shared by Jessica Collins (@jess_flashfit) on


Members also get access to all past and future editions of the plan and all the series meal plans. Every time Karena and Katrina launch a series, like the Bikini Series, a new meal plan comes out with additional recipes, along with weekly meal plans and grocery lists. You’re basically getting your eating plans for weeks and months at a time handed to you on a pretty coral and teal platter (probably with an etched mermaid on it to boot!).

It makes it a whole lot easier to follow along with their plans and get major results if you’re a plan member.

Another benefit: you’re only eligible for some of the series grand prizes if you’re a nutrition plan member. To be a Bikini Series grand prize winner, which is being selected right now, you must be a nutrition plan member.

You also get access to some exclusive groups in the community and on Facebook if you’re a member. They’ll only let you in if you are a paid member (and not a bootlegged one either, just FYI).

It’s a one-time fee of $150 to get you all.of.that!

 

As a businessperson, I can appreciate how TIU could’ve used a whole different business model and made a whole lot more money if they would’ve set things up differently. They could’ve created a membership program where members pay a monthly fee, which would’ve added up to well over $150 within a few months. That’s what a lot of other online businesses are doing.

Now it doesn’t sound too bad to pay $150 to become a plan member for life, right?

Do yourself a favor and just buy it already😉 M’kay? Call it an early (or late) birthday present for yourself.

Then come back here, and let me know in the comments that you did.

 

Those of you TIU babes who are already members, what is your favorite part about being a member?

Exactly How the Tone It Up Bikini Series Helped Me Lose 9 lbs (So Far!)

I showed you my transformation pictures in my last post (*shields eyes with hand*).

Complete TIU Bikini Series

And I’ve told you before how I will have a really hard time losing weight, despite working out 6 days a week religiously and eating *pretty* healthy.

Seriously, my weight after baby #2 has crept up past my highest weight ever, despite doing everything I know to do. I’m working out way harder than I did when I was at my heaviest (I was sedentary), more than anyone I know, and eating waaaaay more healthy than I did then (all-you-can-eat a lot).

It’s infuriating to say the least!

I’m still higher than my previous highest weight when I was sedentary, but it’s finally budging. Especially with the Bikini Series.

So, how was it that the Tone It Up Bikini Series finally did the trick?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

I really wanted to get to the bottom of it, because I want to be able to help other people. And I want to be able to return to this whenever I need a jump-start again.

weight loss before after tone it up nutrition plan

How was it that the weight came off this time?

  1. I followed the Tone it Up nutrition plan pretty closely. I chose Meals 1-5 from the nutrition plan and even had a nightly handful of dark chocolate chips. I had a few “off-plan” days for sure, but ate 95% on the plan. I really tightened up on the snacking, which was huge.
  2. I built my meals around veggies and lean protein: Start every meal with veggies and protein, because Lord knows we need more of those in our lives. If you’ve ever tracked your food for a few days, you’ve likely noticed that you don’t get enough veggies. That you eat too many carbs and too little protein. You likely just need to adjust that balance. You can do that by starting with protein and veggies at every meal and then building them out from there. Fats and carbs aren’t evil though. So, I had a lot of protein smoothies and egg scrambles for breakfast, salads and quinoa bowls for lunch, and chicken/veggie tray meals. Which leads to my next point…
  3. Don’t eat starches after 3pm. This is one of the recommendations on the plan. Our dinners tended to be chicken and veggies, sprayed with olive oil and peppered with seasoning. I tried to stay away from potatoes and noodles for dinner. Where I come from, that’s blasphemous. LOL. Meat and potatoes are dinner, not chickpeas and broccoli. But really. There’s something about starches at night that make your body hang onto it. I notice that I always weigh heavier in the mornings after I eat starchy dinners.
  4. Don’t think so much about food! Our culture has so many polarizing emotions around food. But food is just a thing that fuels our bodies. It’s important, but we don’t need to think about it so hard. I didn’t let thoughts about food get away from me in between meals. I prepped all my meals and I had extra snacks on hand, so I didn’t need to think about food all day. I knew what was coming and what to eat next, so I didn’t have to think about it. Without food on my mind, I didn’t feel compelled to keep eating when I didn’t need to.
  5. Don’t eat after 6-7pm. There’s something about eating late at night that makes our bodies hang on tight too. Allow your body to digest your last meal for at least two hours before bed. Your body needs to spend its sleeping time repairing and rejuvenating your body, not digesting. Any food left over in your system that you didn’t need for the day will be stored as fat. No thanks!
  6. Don’t “wing it” on the weekends. I have a tendency to prep meals for the workweek and just leaving the weekends to chance. Bad idea. During the challenge, instead of winging it, I had a plan. I prepped every meal for the week, even on weekends, so the weekends didn’t destroy all my progress.
  7. Build in backup snacks for your backup snacks. You know you’re going to be hungrier some days than others. Instead of assuming you just won’t eat when you’re famished (bad idea!), make sure you have some lean, clean, and green backup snacks. Then, a few backups for your backups. It’s way better to have all these extra snacks within reach than to assume you’ll be fine, only to end up desperately reaching for Lucky Charms or whatever other sugary monstrosity you have stashed away. When you’re hungry, eat. Just make sure it’s nutritious. Don’t starve and then cave!
  8. Jump into a fitness community: whether it’s on Tone it Up, Fitbit, Sparkpeople, Kayla Itsines, Lauren Gleisberg, Blogilates, or wherever else, find a tribe of fit-minded women you can join. The #tiuteam (that’s how you find them on Instagram) is super accepting and supportive of one another. Having hundreds of other TIU girls in my newsfeed and getting encouragement from them on my posts always energizes me. When you scroll through a newsfeed of women who’ve already worked out at 5 in the morning, you feel compelled to jump out of bed and get your own workout on. Several other fitness platforms have communities built around them too. Find one and jump in. The motivation works! They say you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Are those people fit-minded for you?
  9. Drink. Like, a lot. Drink until you aren’t thirsty. And then drink a little more. Honestly, if your body doesn’t have enough water, it can’t work correctly. Your metabolism can’t work correctly. So drink first before you eat to make sure your hunger isn’t thirst in disguise.
  10. Work on getting better every day, not just trying to be perfect on the first day. I think we have it backwards. When we start “diets” or any new goal, we tend to want to jump in with perfection on the first day. But that kills us! What if we started with better-than-normal and just got better every day from there? Do your best, do better tomorrow. When I had a bad day, I just jumped back in better the next day, and it paid off! Constant improvement works out a lot better than all-or-nothing.
  11. Move more. Besides your workout, make sure you build more movement into your life. I noticed that my weight went down whenever my Fitbit stayed in the 8-10k range every day. On days when I wasn’t quite that active, nothing happened. On days when I was over 10k, I woke up lighter. Get up from your desk every hour, stretch, walk around, and don’t plop down at night.
  12. Get your family on-board. My hubby is a trucker, so he’s been gone, and I made my family aware that I was following a plan to eat healthier. Otherwise, ice cream and donuts e’eryday, between my mom and father-in-law. And as much as I’m disheartened by my husband being away for long stretches, it has been really good for my weight loss efforts. Before, he was our chief dinner maker, which weren’t healthy. Hey, I can’t complain about a man who cooks dinner for his family, so I ate anything he graciously made. But once I had to start making dinner for myself and the kids, my weight started going down. I have control over what’s on our plates at night again, so I can make it healthy.
  13. I no longer have work temptations. Yay for freelance life! No more office donuts, vendor treat boxes, birthday treats, vending machines, and catered meals. Everything I grocery shop for and have at-hand are the only things I eat, and they are only healthy things. Makes eating healthy a whole lot easier.

Well, there you have it. My full analysis of why the Tone It Up nutrition plan worked when nothing else did.

To keep the momentum going, I’ve jumped into Round 2 of the Bikini Series, along with another group of women (more support!). So, I’ll be following the plan again for another 8 weeks to hopefully keep progressing from here. It’s working. I’m not going to mess with it. Plus, I love the recipes and the way I feel, so I figure it’s best to keep going. That’s what they mean about making a lifestyle change anyway, right?

 

How about you?

What are the tweaks that you’ve made in the past that have worked for weight loss? Anyone else have an extra EXTRA hard time losing weight?

Third Time’s a Charm: Why Three Sets of Exercises are Optimal

3 sets exercise for optimal lean muscle mass

 

I love how Tone It Up has us doing three sets of all their Daily Moves for the Bikini Series. Because the third time really is a charm!

Three sets of each exercise is perfect for building lean muscle mass.

Let me show you what I mean.

The first set

The first set of an exercise is sort of a warm-up set. It gets your muscles used to the idea of a move. Your brain and muscle fibers start firing to meet the demands of the exercise.

The second set

The second set usually feels easier than the first set, because your body is warmed up now and your brain is ready for the moves this time. At this point, you’re starting to burn through major calories because all your systems are “go,” especially if you run through the sets with little rest in between moves.

The third set

The third set is what counts! On the third set, your muscles should be nearing fatigue. And if you remember this quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’ll know why:

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger quote last reps count

Share me!

 

The last few repetitions of the last set are where change comes from.

Those are the repetitions that you need to burn through to create change.

Remember that next time you’re struggling at the end of your workout. The last few reps are where change comes from, so push through! You deserve it!

The result of this kind of training is lean muscle mass, exactly what most of us women want. Most of us aren’t working toward hypertrophy (muscle building) or athletic power. We’re just trying to lean out and build some definition.

 

How about you…

Where are my TIU girls at? How is the lean muscle building going for you?

5 Little-Known Facts About Pilates

Today I am happy to introduce you to my friend and fellow writer Becky Kay. She is a long-time Pilates instructor, so she has a deep appreciation for the intricacies of the practice. In this article, she discusses a few of these intricacies so you can appreciate them too! 

Over to you, Becky!

 

Interesting pilates facts

Pilates is not new on the exercise scene—not by any means. It’s been around much longer than most people are aware (we’ll get into that later). But a lot of people still don’t really understand what it is or what it does for the body.

I have been instructing Pilates for over eight years and I still get questions like “does Pilates work your abs at all?”. If I’m feeling feisty, I say “no, not at all”.

If I’m being honest, I say that it is one of the most ab intensive exercise methods out there because the focus is on the core of the body which is defined as your rib cage down to your mid thigh—top to bottom and front to back.

Despite its long history Pilates is a new and daunting idea to a lot of people. The lack of Pilates knowledge and know-how prevents a lot of folks from reaping the many benefits Pilates has to offer.

Allow me to shed some light on the amazing exercise discipline called Pilates!

 

1. Pilates Originated in Germany during World War I

The inventor of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, was quite an interesting character! He spent his childhood in a sick, frail body. As a young man he became passionate about physical fitness as a means to strengthen his body and transform it into a strong machine.

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Pilates became a student of many physical fitness disciplines to strengthen his body and build up his health. He was hugely successful! He boasted skills in gymnastics, karate and boxing. He even was a circus performer at one point!

Around the time of WWI, he had developed such an effective method of exercise that he began to make a name for himself. His help was even sought to train soldiers. He declined because he was a pacifist and wished to stay out of wartime activity.

Eventually Pilates found himself in a war prisoner camp but, instead of wasting away, he became stronger and healthier. He began training his fellow prisoners and they, too, became strong and resistant to disease that was claiming lives all around them. He gained much attention due to this phenomenon and actually ended up training prison guards. Pretty crazy, huh?

 

2. Pilates Is Not Just for Women

So often I hear people complain about various aches and pains. From my experience as a former hip and back pain sufferer, I know that Pilates can be instrumental in relieving chronic pain so I often suggest trying Pilates as a method of pain relief.

Many of these conversations are with guys.

Sometimes it’s my brothers. Sometimes it’s my husband’s friends. But the response is almost always the same: they poo poo the idea of Pilates claiming that it’s ”for girls”. Oh, the insanity! Actually, in my class, we have a pretty even mix of men and women. Sometimes the guys even outnumber the gals!

Men and women alike can reap amazing benefits from Pilates because, let’s face it, most of us live a more sedentary life than is ideal. We all get a little stiff or even notice muscular weakness as we get older. The great news is that there is a lot we can do to combat this. Pilates is a great choice!

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Source: An article about why men should do Pilates

Even though men and women are put together a little differently, all the main parts are there—arms, legs, abs, back…you get the picture. Because Pilates primarily stretches and strengthens the muscles of the core, both genders can experience significant changes in strength, tone and flexibility. These physical changes can be dramatic and rapid if Pilates is practiced regularly.

While women love the aesthetic benefits of Pilates, men often take the class to improve in other sports. Some of the regular attenders of my class are avid runners, bikers, golfers and weight-lifters. They range in age from mid-twenties all the way up to one very fit gentleman who just turned 70. He can put many younger newcomers to the class to shame!

 

3. Pilates Supports the Back in Ways Other Exercises Cannot

One of my absolute favorite aspects of Pilates is how it builds and supports a strong back. There are several ways this is accomplished. First, we already talked about how Pilates works to strengthen the abdominal muscles. This, in itself, helps to support the back and keep the spine aligned and healthy.

Add to that the fact that a good class will also focus almost equally on the back side of the body and you now have a nice, strong girdle of protection surrounding your spine. How great is that?

But, that’s not where the good news ends. There is a series within Pilates called the side kick series. Each instructor does it slightly differently and may even call it by a different name but it is always present in a classic mat Pilates class. Each leg is worked, one at a time, in a series of movements designed to strengthen and stretch the small muscles in the hip joint.

Image result for pilates side kick series

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The sidekick series also promotes flexibility and strength in the muscles of the upper leg—the hamstrings and the quadriceps. What’s so great about that? Studies show that a good deal of back pain actually originates in the hips.

Yep, weak hip muscles can either be strained or too tight from sitting too much or from improperly balanced exercise routines. This imbalance causes a pulling on the spine which knocks the back out of whack. This is when people experience back pain and injury.

If the imbalance is allowed to continue unchecked for long enough, it can even create enough pain and physical change in the spine to necessitate back surgery. No fun! And as far as the quadriceps and hamstrings go, you may have already guessed that if they are either too tight or grossly unbalanced in strength, they can pull the hips out of alignment which then affects the back. It’s my guess that, barring specific injury, most back issues don’t start in the back but in another part of the lower body.

Regularly practicing Pilates can naturally help your body combat these effects of overworking or underworking the muscles and help to ensure a healthy back and hips late into life.

 

4. Pilates Is Not the Same as Yoga

There is a misconception out there that Pilates and yoga are interchangeable. That’s understandable because they do have a lot in common. Both disciplines create flexibility and long, lean muscles. Both disciplines tend to be lower key in terms of the atmosphere in the room and the music played during a formal class. However, while yoga is primarily stretching, Pilates is stretching and strengthening at the same time.

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While there certainly are elements of yoga that also can boast this benefit, Pilates is specifically geared to both stretch and strengthen the muscles at once. Also, yoga often incorporates meditation and other spiritual practices and, in some ways, tends to be almost a lifestyle to some.

While living healthy and eating clean is certainly part of a “Pilates lifestyle”, Pilates generally does not go beyond the workout session. There is no spiritual component to Pilates. It is simply an amazing workout done in a similar setting as yoga but when you leave, you leave Pilates there.

If you choose to meditate or focus on a “higher being”, that is done aside from Pilates. This is often a confusing aspect of the yoga versus Pilates debate for religiously spiritual individuals who feel that prayer is preferable over meditation.

 

5. Pilates Supports the Movement of Lymph Fluid Throughout the Body

What?

What on earth does that mean and why should you care?

What a lot of people don’t understand is that the body is constantly in a state of detoxification. Every day you are regenerating cells. In fact, within a year’s time, you have regenerated nearly all your cells so that you have, in effect, a whole new body. Pretty cool, right?

Well, a huge part of that process is detoxification. Your body has an amazing support and transport system called the lymph system. The lymph system is responsible for transporting lymph fluid throughout the body to deliver necessary nutrients.

Image result for lymph cleanse

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It also is involved in collecting waste and getting it on the fast route out of the body. Many factors in our busy lives such as poor diet, dehydration (a state in which many people unknowingly live!) and stress cause congestion of the lymph system. This can lead to fatigue or disease.

One great way to keep the system running smoothly and performing it’s job as designed is Pilates! Any movement is good because the lymph system does not have a pump—it relies on your body movement to circulate fluid. Pilates has been shown to be particularly beneficial with this movement of fluid.

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To sum it all up, Pilates has a lot of benefits that are not well-known to the general population. If you’re like me, the more you learn about it the more you will love it.

If you decide to give it a try you will experience that firsthand. I know I have! I was able to teach Pilates well into the six month of my last pregnancy and I had a very easy, fast childbirth and recovery. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in record time and back to teaching within a matter of months.

Even during times of illness or periods of being too busy to dedicate as much time as I’d like to a regular workout regimen including cardio and weight training, I have consistently been very pleased with how even one Pilates session per week can maintain muscle strength and tone.

While Pilates is great as a stand-alone fitness program, it’s a fantastic complement to any other regimen. I highly recommend it and don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you give it a try!

 

Over to you…

What is your favorite thing about practicing Pilates?

How the First Hour of the Day Can Transform Your Life

Success Habits for the First Hour of the Day

Ok, this post is a little bit different take on the “Change Your Life on Your Lunch Break” series, but this topic is super important.

What you do in that first hour upon waking will set the tone for the rest of the day.

Most of us wake up, snooze, wake up, snooze, finally get up, shower, coffee, off to work, meanwhile wondering exactly how you got to work because you can’t quite remember your drive in. Right?

That, my friends, is exactly what they mean by “life on autopilot.”

But you don’t actually want to live on autopilot, do you? You want to live with purpose!

What you could do instead is be more intentional about that first hour of your day to really transform then way you enter life day-by-day, over the course of a lifetime.

You can change your entire mood, your vibe, your drive, everything, if you do it correctly.

I did my first Facebook Livestream on this subject. Have a listen:

 

 

Success habits for the first hour of the day:

Light therapy or sun: I am drawn to the sun. I think we are wired to be drawn to light. There’s got to be a reason why light and mood are so interconnected. In the winter, I do at least 10 minutes of light therapy or sit in a sunny window to stay ahead of my anxiety and depression.

Daily devotions: God comes first, always. Instead of trying to fit God into my busy schedule, I need to build my schedule around God first. So, I try to make sure I get my nose in His Book every day with guidance from a daily devotion reading.

Workout: I work out 6 days a week religiously: 3 days of cardio, 3 days of strength training. Fridays are usually barre and Saturdays are a long run. Working out immediately in the morning wakes you up, pumps you full of endorphins, and makes you feel ready to take on the day. Working out improves everything about life.

Journaling: my “adult” type journaling consists of asking myself questions about what I need to work on, focusing on my goals, and really stretching myself. The repetitive nature of doing this every day is important so that goals don’t just get ignored like when they’re written on a note posted to my computer.

Water: We all wake up dehydrated, so getting water into your system first thing gets the motors all greased up and running.

Apple cider vinegar shots: I use Tone It Up’s Bombshell Spell from their nutrition plan. I’ve seen so much research about apple cider vinegar. And for some reason, even though acv is harsh, the way they make the spell is addicting.

Self Development: filling your mind with thoughts of potential and empowerment will make you a better person. This was a habit I picked up from my network marketing days. One of the three essential habits was personal development and I really felt like it was powerful. If you can make yourself just a tad bit better every day (read The Compound Effect), you will be amazed how far you can go after a year, or even a few months.

 

***Another thing I didn’t mention on the video is music. I have several playlists on Spotify that are meant to lift my spirits. They’re all songs that personally make me feel inspired and uplifted. My favorite thing to do right now is to listen to “Rebel Beat” by the Goo Goo Dolls while I journal. That song is like my theme song right now. I also like to listen to upbeat music while I’m working out. It changes everything! The difference between a silent workout and a music-ified one is drastic!

 

Most of these morning habits can be done simultaneously. For example, I’m usually listening to music and drinking water while I workout. Then, I use my light box while I’m getting ready or doing my devotions. Journaling takes about 10 minutes, while I’m listening to Rebel Beat. And then self development is typically ingrained in every part of my day. When I have my ear buds in at work, I’m typically listening to some type of personal development content.

If you layer your day this way, and remain intentional about what you’re doing with your body, what you’re feeding your mind, what you’re surrounding yourself with, how you’re feeling, you can see how this would elevate just about everything, right?

And I know when I’m starting to feel crummy about something, all I need to do is turn to this list to refocus and elevate my mood again.

Once all these things are out of the way in the morning, the feeling is euphoric! These habits put everything into perspective and give me a compass for the rest of my day that leads straight toward fulfillment.

Add value to your life by being intentional with the first hour of the day.

 

Let’s hear it…

Do you have specific morning habits that you do to start your day?

Does this inspire you to try being more intentional about your mornings?

My Newest Adventure–Barre Teacher Training

Guess what I’m up to now?

Dun dun Duuuuuun!

I am studying to become a barre instructor!!!

 

 

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What started as a search for a way to fulfill my NASM continuing education requirements, led me to one of the fastest growing, most delicious workouts. I love barre! I’ve been throwing barre workouts into my routine here and there for several years now and when I saw that there were a few barre programs that fulfilled my requirements, I hit “BUY NOW.” I went with American Barre Technique because they seemed to have the least restrictions as far as teaching, re-certifying and licensing are involved. Super straightforward.

Thing is though…I am not very graceful or graceful and I was never a dancer. I hope I’m not too clunky of a teacher. But I just LOVE working out this way, working those muscle with teeny tiny wicked movements.

My textbook and training video came in the mail last week and I devoured the entire book before bed one night. The entire thing.

Then, on Saturday, I tried the workout AND did a 40 minute run. I was hungry…all day. Haha. Now, I just have to work on memorizing the routine. My son and Hubster don’t know what they’re in for. Who else am I going to practice on?

 

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So, my workplace offers on-site exercise classes before work, during lunch and after work. I’m hoping to nab my spot when one becomes available!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a ladies’ only barre party at my house and teach in the backyard, from the deck, and then have snacks and fun afterward? That’s what I’m planning to do to film my final exam video (read: that’s how I’m planning to lure in my friends to be my guinea pigs). Love you, friends!

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Oh yeah, and I published a book of poetry. NBD. Haha. It’s a compilation of all the poetry that I’ve tucked away in boxes and notebooks for years and thought, why the heck not publish it? Get your copy here:

Keep your eye on my Youtube channel because I’m going to be sharing the meaning and stories behind the poetry in a series of videos. In fact, one of them (Dresser for Sale) is already up! Subscribe so you don’t miss any when they go live!

Sometimes I can’t even keep up with me.

Have you tried barre yet? What do you love about it?

Are you a hustler who has one million projects going at all times too?

The Cure for Sitting Disease

Counteract sitting disease with one hour of exercise per day.

If you have a desk job that leaves you sitting all day–or you’re bingeing out on Netflix for hours at a time, you probably already know by now that you need to counter that with movement. Sitting disease is the new smoking. It’s bad. But so far, no one has been able to give any exact recommendations on what the heck to do about it!

Until now…

This article is a great read if you’re interested in a more in-depth look at the study.

Researchers have come to the conclusion that you should do moderate exercise for one hour per day to counteract the horrible side effects of sitting disease.

Maybe that sounds overwhelming to you. But with a few tweaks, it isn’t be hard to manage. Especially since they say it doesn’t have to all be done at once.

 

Here are a few tips for you 9-to-5-ers to get your hour in:

  • Bike or walk briskly to work. Or park far enough away that it will take you 15 minutes to walk to work.
  • Use your lunch break to get a walk in.
  • Stand for two hours: If you sit for 6 hours, you only have to work out for 30 minutes to counteract it. So, get a standing desk and reduce the number of hours you’re sitting. Feel free to sway to your favorite music or do intermittent calf raises.
  • Move once per hour. Sneak into a conference room and do a minute of squats. Be vigilant about this! It’s easy to ignore the clock, but with vigilance, you can make this a habit.

 

River walk: combat sitting disease with a lunchtime walk!

 Thankfully I have this amazing riverwalk at my disposal!

 

If you want to be fit and healthy, this is what needs to be done! Even if you work out in the morning for a half-hour before work and then you sit your shift out, you’re not going to get anywhere. This could be one of those sneaky reasons you’re not losing weight!

So, get up!

Sitting disease is a real thing, and you sure as heck don’t want to catch it!

What are your favorite ways to break up the workday?

Full-Body Back Porch Workout

So, I’ve been loving working out on my back porch lately on Mondays and Wednesdays, when I do my regular strength training. (Tues, Thurs and Sat are cardio/running and Fridays are Pilates/Yoga/Barre day).

I realized what an asset this natural setting is for workouts. Why work out inside when I can work out here, listening to the morning birds and crickets?

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I’d also like to share the workout I did this morning with you. Feel free to pin it so you can try it out this week:

 

quick strength cardio circuit

 

I don’t have visuals of the moves, but you can easily Google them if you don’t know what they mean. I was thinking about Livestreaming parts of my workouts, so let me know in the comments if that’s something that would be helpful.

For this workout, I used 15 lb dumbbells to really burn out my muscles. And I just used the stopwatch clock on my smartphone to time the moves. The faster you go through the circuits, the more fat you’ll burn. I was dripping from head to toe after this!

Let me know in the comments: would you be interested in seeing my workouts Livestreamed?

Where is your favorite workout spot? #FlashMe your workout hideout.

I Got Published in the Huff Post

Eeeeee!!!! Yes I did!

I got published in the Huffington Post!

You’re definitely going to want to earmark this article for workout inspiration!

As a writer, this is a huge privilege and accomplishment. And let me tell you, I was totally fitness fan-girling at some of the people I got in contact with. Autumn Calabrese!!! Karena & Katrina!!! Lauren Gleisberg!!! If you’re a fitness nut, these are some of the celebrities in our world! I got well over 100 replies and selected only the best ones. And I tried to get a good variety in there as well.

I asked fitness entrepreneurs (the ones who live, breathe and eat fitness) how they would work out if they only had 30 minutes. Because if this is how they do it, then you know it must be effective!

This process completely validated the premise of my very own FlashFit workouts that I’ve been designing myself. Total-body strength training and cardio built into one 30 minute workout.

We can learn so much from some of the overarching themes I found:

  1. Do cardio intervals in between strength moves to increase calorie burn.
  2. OR shorten rest periods and move quickly from one move to the next (circuits).
  3. Target your biggest muscle groups as they’ll give you the most afterburn.
  4. Compound moves give you the most bang for your buck.
  5. Intervals are bomb.
  6. 30 minutes is more than enough time to work out every day.

So basically, to build a workout that’s the best use of your time, do one compound move followed by one minute of cardio until you reach 30 minutes. This will scorch the most fat and lean you out in the shortest time.

What do you do when you only have 30 minutes to work out?

Weekly Food and Fitness: Food Prep Video!!!

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workouts:

  • Monday: 30 min Brittne Babe arms, abs and HIIT
  • Tuesday: 30 min run
  • Wednesday: 30 min BB legs and HIIT
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday
    • 30 BB chest, abs and HIIT
    • 30 min walk at lunch
  • Saturday: 35 interval run
  • Sunday: rest

This week I started a new 21-day program from BrittneBabe.com just to switch things up a bit. She sells her programs for just $10, so it was an easy sell. I will do a full review when I’m finished, but so far I’m enjoying it. Brittne is a youngster with a solid business sense and ambition (not to mention a killer bod), which I find really admirable. You can follow along more of my workout journey on Instagram.

On the menu:

  • Breakfast:
  • Lunch: Quinoa burrito bowl (see video description for recipe)
  • Snack: Apple and almonds
  • Dinners: Grilled chicken, burgers, subs, tuna salad, Easter feast!

I filmed a video of my food prep this week, and it only took about 1/2 hour to make. I hope this inspires you to prepare for the week! Food prepping really can be easy, cheap, super healthy and mostly clean!

What are your goals this week?