Fitness Blog

How To Train Like An Olympic Level Horse Jockey | It's Harder Than You Think!

How To Train Like An Olympic Level Horse Jockey | It’s Harder Than You Think!

When it comes to exercising like a champion, some key sports always come to mind. Football, Baseball, and Basketball. One of the more demanding sports that people often overlook however, is horse racing and a professional horse racing jockey trains just as hard, if not harder, than everyone else.

While the horse does a lot of the heavy lifting so to say, riding a horse at speeds of around 40 MPH requires the riders to stick to a very strict fitness regimen. Surprisingly, jockeys focus on training their legs, lower body, core, as well as their upper body and they do this daily.

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Since balance and overall core strength are essential for these athletes, they typically do body weight squats that are both against a wall and on top of a wobbly cushioned platform, slow rep sit ups, push-pull band exercises, and core strengthening planks.

These exercises are intended as pure strength and balance builders as well as maintenance since weight is a jockey’s secondary focus when training. While most football players wouldn’t mind gaining some extra bulk in the offseason, a jockey needs to maintain their weight to ensure their horse can still run like the wind.

Most jockeys are typically smaller and leaner in stature but each one must work hard so they want to remain this way. In fact, there are weigh-ins before a race (usually conducted by the sponsor) to make sure their race continues to meet this requirement. If a jockey fails to hit their goal, they’ll be forced to “cut” their diets which are a fancy way to say, find some way to lose weight before the race. To this end, their daily meals are meticulously calorie counted to ensure their weight remains consistent with neither any gain or loss as either could mean extra weight on the horse or less balance and control for the rider.

The impact of rider fitness in a horse race is extremely significant as not everyone can magically maintain their weight and still have enough strength to manage the massive animal. However, this is where true all around fitness comes into play.

To achieve this, they not only do the exercises mentioned above but also engage in frequent aerobic exercise to keep their heart pumping and their lungs expanding. Racing a horse is extremely adrenaline filled and increases heart rate and breathing as excitement starts to peak. To combat the fatigue that comes from this, most professional jockeys take part in swimming, jogging, and everything in between to make sure they aren’t short of breath when they need to focus on keeping their horses in order.

Most jockeys concede that the exercises they perform are based on gym exercises with equipment everyone has access to although they tend to be more focused on the stance they will take for maximum performance during the race. In addition to their weighted exercises, they also participate in flexibility programs such as Yoga and Pilates which adds to their muscles’ ability to continue functioning during the continued shock of riding a horse.

It’s no stretch of the imagination to understand exactly how in shape jockeys keep themselves to continue operating at their best. So the next time you hit the gym, why not strive to “train like a jockey”.

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Finding Diet and Fitness Inspiration from a Retired Olympian

Finding Diet and Fitness Inspiration from a Retired Olympian

Aside from having world-class skills in their respective sports, Olympians are known for their amazing self-control when it comes to their diet and fitness. Victoria Pendleton MBE, a two-time gold medal winner, is one those. Many consider her as one of the most revered British athletes of her generation, claiming she’s the embodiment of a bona fide role model. Though Pendleton has completely turned her back on cycling, and found herself another sport to stay disciplined and fit at 36-years-old.

Finding Diet and Fitness Inspiration from a Retired Olympian
Victoria Pendleton found horse racing to be an extremely rewarding sport. In March 2015, she surprised her fans by announcing her shift from one saddle to another, with the aim of competing in one of the UK’s biggest races, the Grand National. Pendleton made her professional debut five months after the declaration, impressively bagging second place in the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Riders’ Handicap at Ripon Riding Royal Etiquette.

Following her successful first appearance, Victoria Pendleton’s interest peaked. She trained under the guidance of Paul Nicholls, a renowned horse-racing mentor who also writes tips for Betfair Grand National. The next year, Pendleton and her racehorse, Pacha Du Polder, competed in other major events like the Foxhunter Chase, where she finished fifth. This, according to her interview with the BBC, was a monumental life achievement.

Victoria Pendleton wouldn’t have reached the level she did in her sporting career without self-discipline that starts with her food intake and her training regimen. In terms of her diet, being a vegetarian, she prefers snacking on olives and almond butter. She also likes to dip chopped up carrot sticks in hummus. A basic one-day meal features muesli and/or mixed fruits with yogurt for breakfast, corn crackers with avocado, cheese, and tomatoes for lunch, and Thai or Indian food for supper.

During the peak of her cycling career, Victoria Pendleton’s coaches didn’t allow her to do a lot of outdoor running. It was due to the fact that the sport specifically targets the quad muscles, while running focuses on the calves and hamstrings. In addition, her trainers didn’t want to put her at risk of injuries. Now that she’s retired from cycling, she regularly jogs at a steady pace for her daily intake of cardio.

For her strength and conditioning routine, she leans toward kettlebell exercises and bodyweight training. The key to horse racing is to build upper body strength in order to control and endure the challenges the sport presents. Moreover, she cross-trains in boxing, a sport that mixes power, speed, and endurance.

In essence, Victoria Pendleton isn’t one of those retired athletes who relish a relaxing life after sport. She’s the epitome of an athlete who finds new passions, as well as stays disciplined throughout. People can look up to her in such a way that they see a true role model in a somewhat obscure sport. For more diet suggestions, fitness tips, and sports articles, be sure to visit the blog section of The Body Master.


4 guilt-free pasta recipes

4 guilt-free pasta recipes

It’s hard to find a dinner more satisfying than a steaming plate of flavorful pasta, but by now you’re well aware of just how fattening that is. Let’s not give up on our favorite pasta dishes…let’s make these dishes lighter, healthier and just as delicious by using noodles made from vegetables, rather than traditional, carb-laden pasta.

If you’re new to cooking with veggie noodles, have no fear! It’s simple and satisfying to create comforting guilt-free pasta dinners, and I’m going to show you how…

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #1: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is the easiest of all the veggie noodles to prepare since the noodles are already formed in nature. Cut a spaghetti squash in half and you’ll find a mess of seeds and stings in the center of thick, firm, yellow flesh. The seeds and strings are discarded, and that thick, firm, yellow flesh is cooked until tender and scraped off the skin, into a neat pile of soft spaghetti-like noodles. Pretty cool, right?!

Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Rub the inside of each spaghetti squash half with coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.
Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #2: Zucchini

Zucchini is such a tender squash that it really doesn’t require cooking, and in fact cooking zucchini noodles quickly turns them to mush. I’ve found that pouring hot spaghetti sauce over a pile of zucchini noodles is all that it needs to heat it up without causing it to get mushy. You’ll need a spiral slicer –a little kitchen contraption that spirals zucchini through grating holes to create long, spaghetti-like noodles.

Make Zucchini Noodles:
Wash the zucchini and remove the green skin with a veggie peeler. Run the peeled zucchini through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.
Top with warm spaghetti sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #3: Butternut Squash

While zucchini and spaghetti squash noodles are light and soft, noodles made from butternut squash are a bit heartier. Not only does this translate into a more filling meal, it also means that need to be cooked on their own, before applying the spaghetti sauce, in order to achieve a tender consistency.

Now there’s a little bit of technique involved with cutting your butternut squash in the best way to run it through a spiral slicer. I’ve found that the narrow part of the squash, that’s completely solid, is the piece that works really well with a spiral slicer. Slice off the skin and then simply run it through the slicer. The part of the squash that’s hollow in the middle is trickier to use with the spiral slicer, since those pieces are pretty thin. A quick option is to simply chop those pieces thinly and use that along with the long noodle strands.

Make Butternut Squash Noodles:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the narrow part of both squash off and peel off the skin. You should have 2 nice solid pieces of squash (no hollow section). Run this through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.
Toss the noodles with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.
Serve immediately with the spaghetti sauce of your choosing. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #4: Asparagus

Talk about truly guilt-free pasta – one made from asparagus spears! Rather than serve this one with traditional spaghetti sauce (although you could) I’ve included a dressing to toss the noodles with and I’d recommend serving it with meatballs for some added protein.

Make Asparagus Noodles:
Wash one bunch of asparagus spears. Resist the urge to chop off the tough stalks, these are your handles! Cut off the asparagus tips and save. Hold onto the tough stalks and use a vegetable peeler to peel long asparagus noodle strands into a large bowl. Mix in a Tablespoon of fresh dill.

In a small bowl combine 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of sea salt and black pepper.
Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the asparagus noodles. Sauté for 2 minutes then remove from heat. If you’d like, sauté the asparagus heads by throwing them in the pan after 1 minute. Toss with the dressing.

Serve the noodles warm and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!
Eating healthy, low carb meals like these are what it takes to have that lean, sexy body that you want. But don’t forget that a fit body also requires a consistent, challenging exercise program! Call or email me today and get you started on the fitness plan that’s custom designed for you. Let’s do this!

Eat with Purpose
Judge the food that you eat based on how nutritious it is. How full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein is it? Does it contain vital nutrients in each bite? Be picky about what you eat – and avoid those items that aren’t crammed with nutritional purpose. This is another reason that veggie noodles are superior to traditional noodles – simply compare the nutritional content of the two!

Flat Zucchini Noodles with Parm
flatHere’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you! You won’t need a spiral slicer for this one, simply use a regular veggie peeler – like the kind you would use to peel the skin from a potato – to create long, flat zucchini noodles.This recipe has a scrumptious, nutty flavor that will make you forget all about traditional noodles.

Feel free to serve with some sliced chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled eggs or steak for added protein. Enjoy!

Servings: 4


Here’s what you need

1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon almond flour
4 large zucchinis, peeled with a veggie peeler
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes. Add the coconut oil, and once it’s melted, add the almond flour and a pinch of salt.

2. Stir often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about two minutes. Remove crumbs from the pan and save for garnish.

3. In the same skillet, add the peeled zucchini noodles. Sauté them until just tender, about one to two minutes. Turn heat to low.

4. In a new pan on low heat, combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring with a spoon until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

5. Transfer the zucchini noodles to garlic and oil mixture. Toss and stir until they’re coated.

6. Turn off the heat and add parsley, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle with almond flour crumbs before serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis:

One serving equals: 165 calories, 12g fat, 72mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 6g protein


The one-two punch for fast fat loss

The one-two punch for fast fat loss

How many times have you looked in the mirror and wished that you could make your belly fat vanish before your eyes? Unsightly fat around the stomach is one of the most common body frustrations that I come across with my clientele.

No one wants a chubby stomach! Unfortunately for most, losing body fat is a slow and steady process, rather than an instantaneous fix.

However…I do have an extremely effective method for losing belly fat faster than ever, and I’d like to share it with you today…

The One-Two Punch For Fast Fat Loss. This deadly, fat-incinerating method fights fat simultaneously on two separate fronts for maximum effectiveness: your sugar intake and your high intensity workouts.

First Punch: This is the punch that requires zero extra effort on your part! In fact all you have to do is NOT do something that you’re currently doing! You stop consuming refined sugar, in all its forms. This means no sodas, no desserts, no packaged snacks, no candy, no mocha lattes, NO SUGAR AT ALL!

When you stop to evaluate your diet, it may be shocking to find out how much refined sugar has crept in. Nothing will contribute to fat gains as swiftly as consuming sugar, so it makes sense that cutting sugar out is the top must-do for shedding those unwanted pounds.

It’s not necessary, or beneficial, to starve yourself during this time of rapid fat loss – you should fill in your diet with lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds as you cut out the refined sugar. Keep your metabolism high by fueling up on high protein, high fiber, low carb, and zero sugar foods whenever hunger strikes.

Second Punch: Here’s the punch that requires some effort, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. You crank up the intensity of your workouts to a whole new level.

Most people take exercise on with the slow and steady mentality – moving, pushing and pulling as little as possible while still “getting the job done”. I’ve got some news for you…if you still have belly fat to lose then the job wasn’t getting done.

If you can comfortably hold a conversation, hardly break a sweat or feel the same when it’s over as you did when it began, then you’re simply not pushing yourself hard enough while you exercise.

Increasing the intensity of your workouts requires focused intent. You must go into the session with the goal of pushing your body to the limit. Remember, it’s a contained timeframe that will be over shortly, so bear down and deal with the discomfort. With practice you will learn to embrace the burn.

The safest and most effective way to crank up the intensity and effectiveness of your exercise time is to work with a qualified fitness professional, such as myself. I would love to hear from you! Call or email me today and together we will get you started on your fastest fat loss ever!

Increase Protein for Accelerated Fat Burn
Want even more fat loss? Studies continue to prove that diets with high in protein encourage more fat loss than diets high in carbohydrates. Each of your snacks and meals should be built around a centerpiece of high quality, lean protein.

Fitness Chicken Lettuce Boats
1I love recipes like this, where the flavor and enjoyment outshine the health benefit. One bite of these Fitness Chicken Lettuce Boats and you’ll see what I mean – the crunch, the collision of flavors and the creamy enjoyment will push all thoughts of calories and fat grams out of your mind…but rest assure that this recipe is highly healthy and will keep you on track towards your fat loss goal. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

2 small apples, cored and chopped
1 Tablespoon orange juice
3 cups roasted chicken, chopped
¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
¼ cup black raisins
1 (4oz) can mild diced green chiles
½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup light, balsamic dressing
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 head butter lettuce
red grapes – optional for serving

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl combine the chopped apples and orange juice. Mix to combine.

2. Add the remaining ingredients (save for the lettuce and grapes) and mix well. Chill, covered, for 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Use an ice cream scoop to place the chicken salad on each lettuce leaf. Garnish the plate with red grapes and Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 224 calories, 8g fat, 140mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 23g protein


Kill those cravings – once and for all

Kill those cravings – once and for all

cravingsIf you’ve ever tasted packaged junk food (and who hasn’t) then you know just how addicting it can be. There’s a reason for this – the food companies actually formulate each bite for maximum craveability. This is done with a special tantalizing balance of sugar, fat and salt.

But while junk food tastes pleasing…it’s detrimental to your fat loss results.

Unclear on what exactly classifies as junk food? You’re not alone, especially these days as many junk foods are being deceptively marketed and packaged as healthy choices.

Here’s the checklist on what classifies something as junk food:
Junk food has little to zero nutritional value
It is processed and packaged
Soda pop, convenience foods, packaged snacks, frozen treats…
Junk food is high in sugar, fat and salt
It is high in calories

4 Steps to Kill Junk Food Cravings

Picture the next 30 days of your life being 100% free of junk food. How would your results improve? How many empty calories would you save yourself from? Now let’s take some action!

Step #1: Clear Out the Junk
Step one is simple: get rid of all the junk food that you currently have in your home, office and car. Go through with a big garbage bag and toss anything that remotely resembles junk food. Remember, junk food is stuff that is high in empty calories.

Step #2: Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Now you didn’t think I was going to let you starve, did you? Step two is where you go to the store and stock up on delicious, nutritious foods that will take the place of the junk food. Nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, hard boiled eggs, meatballs, and hearty salads or burrito bowls (like the recipe below) are great items to have on hand. You’ll eat less of these healthy snacks, since these aren’t empty calories, but rather nutrient-filled calories that satiate.

Step #3: HALT!
When the next craving strikes you, tell yourself to HALT! This word is actually a handy acronym. Ask yourself, “Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?” If you’re hungry then reach for one of the healthy snacks from step two. Do you feel angry? Then explore the issue and seek resolution. If you are lonely, then reach out to a friend, instead of reaching for junk food. What if you feel tired? Then make the time to grab a nap or get to bed early to catch up on sleep.

Step #4: Stick With It
The first day that you go without junk food will be the hardest day. On the second day will be a smidge easier. The third day will be a smidge easier than the second…and so on. The fact is that your taste buds adjust to the foods that you exist on. When your diet is filled with junk foods then that is what your taste buds will crave, but as you shift to a diet that is filled with fresh, nutritious foods then your taste buds will forget all about that old junk food. Stick with it, one day at a time, and you will break free from the grip of junk food addiction.

BONUS! Step #5…Join a Challenging Exercise Program
When you include exercise as a routine part of your day, your body shapes up quicker than ever and junk food cravings fade faster. I am the expert in body transformation, and I am here to get you from the body your currently have to the one that you KNOW you deserve. Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

Fiesta Bowl with BBQ Tofu

When it comes to your diet, small and steady changes made in the long term will make the biggest impact on your fat loss goals. Take this fiesta bowl, for example. We’ve taken a traditional burrito bowl and have lightened it up by using quinoa instead of rice. Feel free to top this flavorful bowl with chicken or steak, if you’d prefer rather than tofu. Enjoy!

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need…
cravings1 (14oz) extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
One-fourth cup BBQ sauce
2 cups red quinoa, cooked
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
A teaspoon olive oil
A teaspoon fresh lime juice
sea salt and black pepper to taste
One half cup canned corn
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole pan with olive oil. Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer in the pan and bake for 30 minutes, flipping each slice halfway through. Cover the tofu with the BBQ sauce, turning each slice to coat each side. Bake for 15 more minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients, and top with slices of the BBQ tofu. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis:

One serving equals: 266 calories, 4g fat, 67mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, and 15g protein


The ONLY fitness lesson you need

The ONLY fitness lesson you need

fitness lessonAre you working towards a specific number on the scale? Or are you hoping to fit into a certain size dress or jeans? While having this goal is great, it will NOT ensure your success.

Think about how many people you know who have had a specific number that they wanted to reach. You are probably one of them. This number might have been posted up on a sticky note on the fridge, reminding you to watch what you eat and consistently make it to the gym. Maybe this number was updated and recorded everyday, to enforce accountability.

How long did that last? A week? Two weeks? Statistics dictate that it likely didn’t last longer than a few weeks until that “goal number” began to fade from your life. Then you took it down off the fridge, or you stared at it defiantly as you reached for the off-limits food. You began to look at your goal number as an adversary rather than something good.

I’m going to clue you in to the ONE AND ONLY lesson that you need to know when it comes to fitness, fat loss, and achieving any goal. Listen up; this one is worthwhile.

IT’S NOT ABOUT REACHING A NUMBER.

This may go against everything you’ve come to believe about achieving a goal, but then, your techniques haven’t exactly been working. The number that you’re hoping to magically be one day doesn’t matter one bit, and here’s why…

IT’S ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENTUM.

Can you remember how it felt the last time that you ate clean, exercised hard and got adequate sleep for a few consecutive days? A feeling of momentum came over you, didn’t it? There was a buzzing in your cells and a rhythm in your pace. You felt alive, you felt sexy, and you felt empowered. Never mind that you weren’t yet at your goal number, you were headed there!

Getting down to your goal weight, and fitting into your goal size, is the direct result of living in that state of momentum for an extended period of time. You see, the momentum can be felt immediately, once you start eating clean, exercising hard and taking care of your health, whereas that “goal number” simply can’t be felt until it is achieved, and so it’s not as powerful a motivator.

My challenge and advice to you is to find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal number is achieved. Focus only on the momentum, not on the number.

Fitness is a way of life. Being lean is a lifestyle. Neither of which can be had by going about it halfheartedly.

You have to become the momentum.

Call or email me today and we will get your momentum started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

Reasons Why Sugar Ruins Your Health

Have you forgotten how terrible refined sugar is for your body? Despite being well-known as the most fattening ingredient, most of us still eat it everyday! Here’s reminder of why sugar ruins your health:
Sugar contributes to obesity
Sugar suppresses the immune system
It causes hyperactivity and anxiety
Sugar consumption contributes to disease
Sugar interferes with absorption of minerals

Easy Green Bean, Egg and Quinoa Salad

Here’s a tasty way to eat your green beans – tossed with quinoa, sliced plum and topped with hard boiled egg. This type of salad, where the base is a steamed vegetable and protein is added on top, makes a phenomenally fit meal that will help get you to your fitness goals faster than ever. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…
fitness-lesson1 cup cooked red quinoa
2 cups green beans, steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 ripe plum, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
ground black pepper

Instructions:

Combine the quinoa, beans, plum and egg in a large bowl.

Drizzle with the sesame oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis:

One serving equals: 225 calories, 7g fat, 270mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 10g protein


4 Body Changes From Eating Low Carb

4 Body Changes From Eating Low Carb

Low CarbHave you ever stopped to wonder what would happen to your body if you stopped eating refined carbs?

It’s no secret that refined and processed carbs contribute to weight gain, and so reducing the amount of these in your diet would logically lead to a leaner, fitter you.

But is it true, or is it hype? And is it really worth giving up your carboholic ways?

Here’s what really goes down when you give up refined carbs…

Body Change #1: You BURN FAT

First of all, when you stop eating simple carbs your body no longer has readily available calories to burn, and so it clicks over into burning stored fat as energy. This means that your pants will start feeling looser around your waist and thighs.

Body Change #2: You FEEL LESS HUNGRY

Another is that, fat burns longer and slower than simple carbs and so your energy stores will take longer to deplete. This means that you’ll find yourself skipping that afternoon pick-me-up snack and powering through until mealtime without hunger pains. You’ll also notice that it takes longer to feel hunger in the mornings after waking up, once you’ve cut the simple carbohydrates and refined sugars out of your diet.

Low Carb Body Change #3: You HAVE MORE ENERGY

Living on a diet of simple sugars and refined carbohydrates puts your body in a continual energy roller coaster. Right after you eat your energy is high and then, whoosh, an hour later your energy levels crash. All of that changes once you cut out those simple carbs. The low carb meals that you switch to are full of nutrient dense foods that sustain your energy levels for hours at a time, saving you from that frustrating roller coaster.

Low Carb Body Change #4: Your STOMACH GETS FLATTER

Probably the most coveted of the low carb body changes…once you’ve been off of simple carbs for a few weeks your stomach will visibly become flatter. It’s a well-deserved reward and one that will motivate you to continue your healthier eating habits.

While eating healthy, nutritious meals is awesome, don’t forget that exercise is half of the battle when it comes to getting and staying fit. Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

The BEST Carbs

Before you decide to go carb-free, it’s important to know that there is a big difference between simple, refined carbs (which cause rapid fat storage) and complex carbs (which are necessary and healthy). By switching from simple carbs to more complex carbs like fruits and vegetables, sprouted grain bread, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and other whole-grain options—you’ll reap the fat loss benefits and will have a steady flow of energy while you avoid the ups and downs that simple carbs cause.

Quick Pumpkin Soup

Craving pumpkin yet this season? Well rather than falling into a major calorie trap by getting your pumpkin fix in a sugary coffee drink or baked goods, give this simple and quick pumpkin soup recipe a try. Made from canned, pureed pumpkin, this soup comes together in minutes and brings out the most comforting flavor of the season in a healthy, satisfying way. Enjoy!

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need…
Low Carb1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
One teaspoon garlic, minced
2 (15oz) cans pureed pumpkin
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 Tablespoon coconut palm sugar
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper
1 (14oz) can coconut milk

**To garnish: pepitas and sour cream

Instructions:

Place the coconut oil in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, coconut palm sugar, allspice, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the pumpkin, broth and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. Return the soup to a simmer and add in the coconut milk.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Garnish with pepitas and sour cream. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis:

One serving equals: 175 calories, 13g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 3g protein.


5 Super Fast Dinner Recipes

5 Super Fast Dinner Recipes

dinner recipesMost of my clients want to eat healthy – they really do – but a single detrimental factor gets in their way…they simply don’t have the time.

I get it, we all lead busy lives that leave very little extra time for healthy meal prep, but the alternative of fast food meals, frozen dinners and restaurant fare is making us lose in the battle of the bulge.

All too often I see clients exercise hard everyday, and then flush their results away with irresponsible eating. Don’t let this be you!

To get you on the fast track to quick, healthy eating here are 5 healthy meals that take only 5 minutes to prepare:

Fast Meal #1: Traditional pancakes are filled with carbs, grains and a plethora of simple sugars – not something you’d consider healthy. In fact, eat pancakes regularly and you’ll find your fitness results quickly disappear. However, this simple, wholesome, 3-ingredient pancake recipe is the exception. It’s a pancake that you’re able to enjoy without guilt.

3-Ingredient Pancakes

Here’s what you need:
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons almond butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ground cinnamon *optional

Mash the bananas in a bowl (or blend in a food processor). Add the eggs, almond butter and flavor additions. Mix until smooth.

Preheat a griddle or skillet. Lightly grease with coconut oil. Pour the batter in ¼ cup scoops.
Once you see bubbles form, flip and cook the other side until golden.

Serve with fresh fruit.

Fast Meal #2: Tuna is a wonderful fish that’s packed with muscle-building protein. However, most tuna salad recipes drowned out the benefits with a boatload of calorie-packed mayonnaise. Scroll down for a refreshing tuna salad recipe that, in addition to being quick to prepare, avoids the trap of high-calorie dressing.

**See below for Simple Tuna Salad and picture**

Fast Meal #3: Yogurt has often been advertised as a healthy, guilt-free snack or meal replacement. This always bothers me because I know just how many simple carbs and sugars most flavored yogurts contain. Many people are deceived into thinking that the creamy, fruit flavored snack will help them lose fat, while it does just the opposite. Here’s a recipe for a creamy, fruit flavored snack that is actually packed with protein and free of fattening sugars.

Creamy Protein Mousse

Here’s what you need:
1 cup chopped fruit
One (13.5oz) can coconut milk, full fat (chilled in the fridge overnight)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 frozen banana, peeled
One Tablespoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup stevia-sweetened vanilla protein powder

Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Do NOT shake the can up at all! Carefully turn the can over and open from the bottom. Drain out the liquid and scoop the white cream into a food processor. Discard the liquid.

Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend on high until creamy. Enjoy chilled.

Fast Meal #4: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and not only because it’s the meal that breaks your overnight fast. What you decide to eat for breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your food decisions for the day. A donut or breakfast sandwich grabbed from a drive thru will set you up to eat junk for the rest of the day. On the other hand, a wholesome, nutritious breakfast will get you geared up to eat good-for-you foods all day long. This quick breakfast recipe is packed with amazing, natural flavor as well as protein-filled eggs to power your day.

Zucchini Egg Scramble

Here’s what you need:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons green onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 organic eggs

In a small skillet place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini, green onion, chives and rosemary. Cook until the zucchini is lightly browned on both sides.

Crack the eggs into the skillet and continue to cook, mixing, until the eggs are set. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately.

Fast Meal #5: I’ve saved the best for last, in this list of 5 Fast Meals. There was a time when most people would turn their nose up at the idea of a salad being a meal, but times are changing, and we are now more aware than ever how traditional meals are too heavy and lead to obesity. I’d like you to consider a ‘Everything Salad’ to be the perfect, quick and guilt-free meal. Sure, there are plenty of ways to take a salad and make it fattening, but that’s not what we want to do. By taking a big bowl of fresh greens and topping it with lean protein, colorful veggies and a light, homemade dressing – you’ve got yourself the perfect meal!

Everything Salad

Here’s what you need:
Dark leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale)
Lean protein (chicken, turkey, lamb, hard boiled egg)
Colorful veggies, chopped (bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini)
Fresh Herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, mint)
Homemade dressing (see recipe below)

Raid your fridge for fresh, organic produce and lean, cooked protein. Add in some fresh veggies and chopped herbs and mix together with a simple, homemade dressing. There you have it, the perfect meal!

While eating healthy, nutritious meals is awesome, don’t forget that exercise is half of the battle when it comes to getting and staying fit. Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

Motivation: Your Reason Why
Motivation comes from having a goal. What is your goal? Why do you want to get into great shape?

Take a minute to really uncover the reason that you want to lose the weight. Don’t say something vague like you want to ‘Be thinner’ or ‘Look more attractive.’ Dig deeper – there is a very specific motivator in your life, you simply need to uncover it. Here are some possible motivators…

I want to have more energy to keep up with the kids.
I’d want to improve my health through weight loss to extend and improve my life.
I want to lose 15 pounds before my vacation.
I’d want to restore my confidence to wear sleeveless shirts.
I want to regain my figure to impress and attract my significant other.

Simple Tuna Salad

Here’s a simple and light version of tuna salad. It cuts out high-calorie mayonnaise and adds some chopped fruit and vegetables to really liven it up. This is a great recipe to enjoy as you journey towards your fitness goal.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

Dinner RecipesFor the salad:
1 green apple, chopped
2 green onions, tops only, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cans albacore tuna, in drained
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup red grapes, halved
sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. I like to serve this salad in large butter lettuce leaves, or scooped onto avocado halves. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis:

One serving equals: 222 calories, 16g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 19g fiber, and 14g protein.


7 Ways to Manage Your Weight

7 Ways to Manage Your Weight

manage weightYou’ve heard that managing your weight is all about the lifestyle, and not the quick fix, so today I’d like to give you 7 habits that fit people have. These following seven habits are held by successfully fit people…wonder if you could apply a few to your own life.

1. Approach Each Day with Perspective

Fail to meet your fitness goals today? Move on. Tomorrow is another day to make smarter decisions. When you wake up, rededicate yourself to your fitness goals without beating yourself about whatever mistakes you made in the past. After all, you can’t change what you did yesterday. All you can control is right now. So get to it!

2. Know Your Body

When you finish a workout, you should feel good. If you don’t, then something needs to change. Either your diet or routine is throwing you off. Fit people know how everything they do affects their body and they take steps to avoid those things that make them not feel and perform their best. Learn how your body responds and care for it accordingly.

3. Find Ways Around Excuses

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t quite get fit, it may be your proclivity for caving to pressure. And that pressure may be self-induced. Fit people do not give into excuses for why they shouldn’t exercise. Quite the contrary. They are continually finding reasons why they should hit the gym and find pockets of time to do it—even if the trip to the gym is shorter than usual.

4. Eat and Sleep Well

Study after study has shown the benefit of eating whole, unprocessed foods. It provides energy and strength, helps you feel full throughout the day, and makes your time in the gym as fruitful as possible. Getting good sleep is equally as important, as it keeps all your bodily systems in rhythm. Put these two fit activities together and you’re well on your way to optimal fitness.

5. Track Your Progress

For some, keeping tabs on health progress is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Once you get into the routine, however, you will become a believer in the power of tracking your progress. Tracking serves to both reward and motivate you, as you see that the countless hours in the gym and smart food choices lead to a healthier weight and greater strength—a.k.a. better overall fitness and health.

6. Think While You Exercise

It can be easy to mindlessly run on a treadmill at the gym if you’re not careful. Just remember that fit people don’t do such a thing. They’re very intentional about everything they do at the gym. This means if you want to be fit, you should put some brainpower into what you include in your workout and how you perform each repetition. This allows you to get maximum benefit from your gym time and reduces the risk of injury.

7. Lean On Your Trainer

The final thing fit people do is rely on someone with lots of knowhow in the realm of fitness. This is why my clients have such a high success rate in achieving their goals – because I make sure that they stick with it! I have a sincere interest in your overall health and well-being and know how to help you reach the goals that can seem so far away when you’re trying to achieve it on your own.

Call or email today and let’s get started on your fitness journey!

Are You Even Hungry?

When you find yourself reaching for a snack—WAIT! Are you really even hungry? Or are you simply eating out of habit? Next time you find yourself gravitating toward a junk food fix do a short burst of physical activity instead. A dozen jumping jacks, 15 crunches, a walk around the block… you get the idea! By the time your heart rate returns to normal you will find that your craving has passed—and not only did you save yourself from empty calories, you burned extra calories as well!

Smoked Salmon Mini Frittatas

Mini frittatas are a fantastic, high protein meal that is quick to whip up and throw into the oven. This recipe calls for smoked salmon to be whisked into the egg mixture, however feel free to use any cooked meat that you have on hand, as well as any chopped veggies you might have on hand. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup diced shallots
½ teaspoon sea salt
⅛teaspoon black pepper
4 oz smoked salmon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
6 eggs
8 egg whites
¼ cup coconut cream or Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons minced chives, divided

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease 6 (8oz) ramekins with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a medium skillet add the olive oil, shallots, sea salt and black pepper over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the smoked salmon and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Divide the salmon mixture between the 6 ramekins.
4. In a large bowl combine the eggs, egg whites, coconut cream and half of the chives. Whisk until fully blended. Divide the egg mixture between the 6 ramekins.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until fully set. Garnish with the remaining chives. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 156 calories, 10g fat, 642mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 15g protein


Fat-Burning Ab Exercises

Fat-Burning Ab Exercises

ab exercisesAre you still wishing for flat, washboard abs?

Traditional crunches are old news, so let’s take your ab routine to the next level with the following Fat-Burning Ab Exercises. The most effective ab exercises strengthen your core as a whole –which helps prevent dreaded back pain, increases your agility and, of course, makes you look good.

In your new ab routine the focus is on quality over quantity. A few concentrated movements are always more effective than dozen and dozens of old fashion crunches.

1) Plank: When performed correctly, a simple plank is one of the most effective ways to tighten your entire core. Proper form is key. Keep your back flat and your belly button pulled in toward your spine.

Lie face down on mat resting on your forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.

2) Mountain Climbers: This vigorous variation of a standard plank kicks the core tightening up a notch. Angling your knees toward the opposite shoulder is a wonderful way increase the intensity even more.

Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.

3) Russian Twist: Nothing quite brings the burn like a properly done set of Russian Twists. By holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in your hands, the exercise becomes even more effective.

Sit on the floor with knees bent like in a “sit-up” position. The feet should be kept together and slightly off the floor. Keep your torso straight and your back off the ground at a 45 degree angle. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands. Next, the arms should be swung from one side to another in a twisting motion, with each swing to a side counting as one repetition. Move slowly for a more challenging workout.

4) Knee Tucks: All too often I see people neglect their lower abs in favor of quicker, easier exercises. The fact is that our lower abs typically need the most work, so give them the attention that they need with these Knee Tucks.

Start on your back, bend your knees with your feet on the floor and knees touching. Extend both arms overhead on either side of your ears, palms facing up. Exhale and bring your knees up towards your chest. Slowly lower your hips back down to start position.

5) Side Bridges: In yet another variation of the fantastic plank, Side Bridges are much more challenging that they appear at first glance. While the focus is mainly on your waist, due to the stabilizing nature of this exercise, you’re also working your entire core as a whole.

Put your feet and legs together as you lie on your right side. Place your right arm under your body and lift your upper body so that your right elbow is directly under your shoulder. Your left hand should be resting on your left hip. From this position, slowly raise your hips from the ground until a straight line is formed from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold the position for a moment, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.

Even the best exercise routine in the world is fruitless if you throw away your results with sloppy eating. Remember to keep your meals lean by avoiding processed carbs, packaged foods or fried items. Fill up on lean proteins and fresh vegetables and reward yourself with organic, seasonal fruit. That, my friend, is lean living!

Ready to take your fitness results to the next level? Call or email me today and we will get you started on an exercise program that’s designed to deliver massive results. Come on, you deserve it!

A Simple Mind Shift

Want to eat less without feeling deprived? This simple mind shift will help you do just that:

Instead of eating until you feel full, stop eating as soon as you are no longer hungry.

Frozen Dessert Bark

It’s important to have go-to healthy desserts to turn to when your sweet tooth strikes. Treats like this Frozen Dessert Bark will keep you from making regrettable food choices even in the face of ice cream cravings. Enjoy this sweet treat without guilt!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…
2 cups unsweetened, Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
10 drops liquid stevia
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3 Tablespoons stevia-sweetened mini chocolate chips, divided
5 fresh strawberries, halved and sliced
2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions:
1. Find a tray that fits in your freezer and line it with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl mix the yogurt, honey, stevia, almond extract and 1 Tablespoon of the chocolate chips.
3. Spread the mixture over the prepared pan to ½ inch thick. Sprinkle with the sliced strawberries, coconut flakes and remaining chocolate chips. Place in the freezer for 3 hours, until completely frozen.
4. Remove from the freezer and use a knife to break the dessert bark into pieces. Store in an airtight bag in the freezer. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 87 calories, 3g fat, 25mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 8g protein