Sunday, January 31, 2010

Almost time for month 2 of 2010, are you ready to rock it?

So January 2010 is about to wrap up...have you accomplished what you had hoped to in the first month of the decade?  Did you have some goals or resolutions you made on January 1st?  Maybe you are well on your way to conquering them...maybe you have slipped up a bit along the way, but there are still 11 more months to go!  It is difficult to adjust to change.  Whether it is fitness, nutrition, behavior, habits...we like to do what we like to do.  So the trick is to change what you like to do!  Sounds easier than it is!
You need to find new things that you like that help you work towards your new goal or resolution!  If running isn't your thing, maybe you can manage the elliptical at the gym?  Maybe if step class isn't your thing you can try TurboKick (had to plug myself ;)).  Is there a sport you loved in highschool?  Look for a team to join.
Eating is a similar predicament.  You love french fries?  Try baking thinly sliced sweet potatoes, add a touch of olive oil and salt and bake in the oven...even better, try zucchini baked this way!  You love the convenience of drive thrus? Find out what your safe options are.  These aren't only salads (btw if you get a salad go easy on the dressing they provide).  Do you hate vegetables?  Try Shakeology.
You may have to work a tiny bit harder but aren't you worth it?  Isn't your health worth it?  Try a little harder now, soon it will become habit, and you are well on your way to a happier and healthier lifestyle.  Learning to love to eat healthy will add years to your life, learning to love to exercise will add even more!  And these will be quality years!
The only person who can decide to do it is you, the only person who can keep you accountable is you, the only person who get you out of bed every morning is you!  I can help encourage you, I can help push you at the gym...but only if you make the choice to help yourself!
So keep going, you are on your way to the finish line :)

If you would like regular encouragement sign up with beachbody and make sure nicolabx is your coach that's me).  Let me know what you need and I will be more than happy to help you!
I am going to focus my blog on good nutritional choices this week as what goes into your body can effect 70% of your results if you are exercising regularly!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Shakeology and how it can help YOU!!!

So you’re heard rumors about Shakeology but you want to know, are they really true? Does it really make a difference? Isn’t it expensive?
The better question is “What is your health worth to you?”
What would you pay to lose 10 lbs in 12 weeks the HEALTHY way? Or to know that you can continue to lose weight? What is it worth do reduce your risk of heart disease by 24% (on average), other degenerative diseases by up to 90% and lower your “bad” cholesterol by 38% (on average)? What would you pay to wake up full of energy, to be able to think clearly and to have healthy skin, hair and nails? What would you give to be “regular” again?
All this from one shake a day? Yes! I’m not going to go into all the how’s and why’s…you can look up that information on the website ( but I can tell you who needs this shake and what it’s done for me, personally.
If you have “crashes” during your day, crave carbs or feel “foggy-headed,” you should try Shakeology.
If you have brittle nails or hair that seems to have no vitality, you might want to give it a try.
If you suffer from intestinal issues (ie. gassiness, belly cramps), you should try Shakeology.
If you have a weakened immune system or a malabsorption issue, you might want to try Shakeology.
If you suffer from regularity issues or have inflammation, you should try Shakeology.
If you have been told that you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, drinking Shakeology could help lower your risks.
If you hate eating right and find yourself skipping meals or avoiding fruits and vegetables, Shakeology can make up for your nutritional deficiencies.
If you are using other energy drinks, juices or antioxidant formulas, Shakeology can provide your antioxidants and more!
In the last few years I have found that white bread and bagels caused some stomach upset.  Despite my healthy diet and high vegetable and fiber intake, I have had a bloated feeling by the end of the day.
Since I have started taking Shakeology, I have found that a lot of my problems with my digestive system disappeared. My skin is clearer, I’m full of energy (I ran my half marathon in less than 2 hours, and was able to teach TurboKick 3 days later with higher intensity that usual) and the weight has begun to fall off with no other diet changes (I was already eating clean).
I have found that I no longer need 2 cups of coffee to get me going in the morning ($9/mo), I don’t need my other vitamin supplements ($19/mo), or the meal replacement bars I used to live on ($25/mo). I am able to take my Shakeology with me wherever I need to go so I no longer buy meals, smoothies or coffee drinks while running errands (at LEAST $20/mo). I have saved over $73/month just in things I DON’T buy any longer. This doesn’t even take into account that I am now getting my antioxidants, phytonutrients, all my fruits and vegetable servings in a day, and prebiotics and digestive enzymes that help my stomach issues.
But for those of you that are still thinking, “Well, that’s fine but there is still another $50 you’re paying.” Not really, because I am on the Shakeology Home Direct (autoship), it is less expensive to sign up as a Coach and get a 25% discount which brings my price down to $90/mo. Even after adding in my fee for maintaining two websites ($14.95/mo), I would still save over $15/mo on the retail price. BUT, I’ve had several people contact me and want to buy Shakeology for themselves. For each one that has purchased Shakeology (and I’ve never had a customer that I’m aware of return the product), I earn about $30. With only one person I know ordering Shakeology per month (I have several people each month), I can order MY supply for only $45! That works out to be about $1.50/day. Even if NO one bought Shakeology from me, it would only be costing me $3/day.
I know times are tough right now but rather than complain about how it’s hard to afford what we want and need, a better option is to figure out a way around the obstacles of what we want and need. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at or to check out my websites at or
I hope this has helped some of you make a well informed decision on whether or not Shakeology is an option for you. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How do you know you are getting the most out of your workout?

As a fitness instructor, an avid exerciser and a competitor, I work hard, I use my time wisely and I pay attention to how to get these things done best.  I often have only a few hours to spend at the gym a week, so when I go, I bust my butt!  Training for my half marathon was difficult as I don't want to spend more than an hour running at a time (unless it is race time).  Going to a yoga class is difficult for me as I know it is good for my body, but it takes an hour away from my cardio and weight lifting that I often don't have time to make up elsewhere.  I'm a go hard or go home kind of girl---I think that is why TurboKick is my class of choice!
Someone reminded me yesterday of the "Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)"---a great way to keep tabs on how hard you are working.  Read the following article, it could prove very useful to helping you get more results in the gym!

How do you know if you’re getting the most out of your workout? You can use the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale to guide your exercise intensity. This scale was originally designed to help fitness professionals gauge how a client is feeling during exercise compared to how hard they’re actually working (measured by a heart rate monitor).
The difference between the perceived exertion and actual physical output says a lot about how your state of mind is affecting your workout. In other words, this scale uses not only the body’s physical response to gauge exercise intensity, but also the psychological response to working out.

For simplicity, you can use a scale of 1-10 (1 being very easy, 5 being moderate and 10 being maximal effort.)

As you're exercising, ask yourself where you are on this scale. If you would honestly say you're only at a 4 or 5, bump up the intensity; the harder you’re working, the more calories you’re burning. But just be careful that you don’t overdo it, otherwise you won’t be able to complete your workout.

Aim for a 6 or 7 and bump up the intensity in intervals to an 8 or 9, and then bring it back down to a steady 6 or 7 again for a great calorie-blasting workout. And just remember, as you get fit, a workout that used to rank an 8 on your personal RPE scale will become a 5, which is a tangible achievement well worth noting.

I think this article is great to help you help yourself!  My only suggestion is don't worry about overdoing often does someone fall off the treadmill because they worked too hard...if you need a break, take one, but bust your butt for as long as you can before you take it!  You will survive!  Most people never make it to a 9 or 10 as they are too scared they will overdo it!  Don't be scared, just go go go!!!  Drink lots of water before, during and after, get rest after...just not during!
Also don't assume the level you were are two weeks ago is an appropriate level this week.  You are probably ready to increase the workload, whether it is a higher speed on the treadmill, heavier weights, deeper know what you need to do!  On the other hand, if you are having an off day, you can take it easy...just don't stop altogether!  As long as you get a few hard working days a week, you can have a few easier days too!  Make sure you are working hard towards that goal!
I would love to hear how you are doing!!! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reaching Goals!!!

I did it!  I reached a goal!  I ran my second half marathon in less than 2 hours!!!  Actually 1 hour, 57 minutes and 19 seconds.  That is an average pace of less than 9 minutes per mile!  Was it easy...not at all!  Was it worth it...120% yes!
Choosing a goal is a great way to encourage yourself to work harder, to push yourself and to motivate yourself.  This was my second half marathon.  I knew I could run the distance, I knew I could run an 8 to 9 minute pace in shorter distances, I knew I was physically fit why not set myself a big goal. (my first half marathon in October was 2 hours and 18 minutes but had many more hills...and it was my first).  To reach my goal I added a bit more running to my regimen and I psyched myself up to the job.
On Sunday, I started the race at a decent pace...not too fast so I didn't tire too quickly.  1/4 of the way through I made sure I was within range of the 2:00 pace setter (although he kept sneaking away when I grabbed water at the water stations).  My IT bands (on the outside of the thighs) were tightening up causing pain on the outside of my knees...I rubbed them while I kept running...I had a mission!!!  In the last mile I sucked it up and pushed myself HARD!  I passed the pacer, I pushed myself, I encouraged myself on, I got my music to a faster song and I got myself over that finish line.  Am I suffering better believe it!  I am physically muscles are tight, my left outer knee is I still think it was worth it...YES YES YES!!!  I am competitive.  I am driven.  When I do things I give it my all as otherwise I don't see much point in doing it!
Everyone's "all" or best attempt is different though!  If you are going to run a race or try something new, you need to choose a level that is reasonable for YOU.  If you surpass your goals easily, you know to set your sites a bit higher next time.  If you don't make goals though, if you don't set big plans for yourself, how do you know where you want to go, where you want to be?
They can be as basic as losing 5 pounds in a month.  They can be to try a new class every week...or even sticking with a class that seems a bit tougher than you thought you could do for a whole month! (try Turbo gets better every time you come). Increase your weights you lift and keep at it for a month then increase again!  Keep tabs of what you accomplish and when you reach goals...take before and after photos so you have proof, take before and after measurements (these often mean more than actual weight)!  If you have difficulty keeping accountability yourself get some help.  Get a personal trainer at the gym, if you are running a lot, sign up for the nike+ program with also have an online nike women's training club now....there many other online programs you can log your activities on too.  Or just write them down on paper and keep tabs on where you are! to me about how I can help you!
Through Beachbody I have some amazing at home programs you can try that will push long as you follow what they tell you to do....and you will see results.  I will soon be offering a free body fat analysis before, during and after you start a program that you buy from added bonus!
I am off to have a nap...back to the gym tomorrow, I think I have earned a day of rest ;)
Have a great week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nutrition advice----check out Primal Blueprint

Nutrition can be a confusing topic when you get different opinions, suggestions, recommendations from different people you talk to!  It can be very frustrating when you are working hard to improve your health as nutrition is a key part of the puzzle!  I have learned of a new book that doesn't focus as much on total calories, but what macronutrients are in the food you eat and how they work with YOUR body and what your body does.  Some people are just trying to lose weight, some are trying to build a lot of muscle too, some are hard core athletes...we are all different.  The basis is the same.  I have a excerpt from "Mark's Daily Apple" web page  and it lists the four basic principles of the Primal Blueprint eating style---a new book that touts to reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy!  Sounds good to me!  The process surely won't be effortless with a thorough evaluation of everything you put in your body, but the results surely may be worth the effort.  Here's the excerpt:

 I start with these four basic principles to guide my Primal Blueprint eating style:
1) 80% of your body composition will be determined by your diet. Yes, exercise is also important to health and to speed up fat-burning and muscle-building, but most of your results will come from how you eat. I’ll write more on this later, so just trust me on this one for now. Suffice to say, people who weigh a ton and exercise a ton, but eat a ton, still tend to weigh a ton. I think I’ll have that made into a t-shirt…
2) Lean Body Mass (LBM) is the key to life. I’ve said it many times on this site: lean mass (muscle and all the rest of you that is not fat) is directly correlated with longevity and excellent health. Rather than strive to “lose weight”, most people would be better off striving to lose only fat and to build or maintain muscle. Since other organs tend to function at a level that correlates to muscle mass, the more muscle you maintain throughout life, the more “organ reserve” you’ll have (i.e. the better the rest of you will work). Refer back to rule #1 and eat to build or maintain muscle.
3) Excess body fat is bad. Most human studies show that being significantly overweight increases your risk of nearly every disease (except osteoporosis – because ironically it responds to weight-bearing activities). Fat just doesn’t look that great either. See rule #1 and eat to keep body fat relatively low.
4) Excess insulin is bad. We’ve written about it here a lot. Chronic excess insulin may be even worse than excess sugar (and we know how bad that is). All animals produce insulin, but within any species, those that produce less insulin live longer than those who produce a lot. Eat to keep insulin low.

If you want to read more, check out the site

(I have no connection to the site or the author, just some information I came across that I thought would be of interest to you)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How are those goals?

We are in the third full week of January 2010!  How is the new decade working for you?  You should have your feet and most of your body wet with your new routines (and the rain if you live in California ;)).  Now is about the time that people start to lose interest in these plans they have set in motion, these goals they would like to meet, these new lifestyle they have striven to live!  How about you?
I returned from my Christmas holidays of little exercise (which I blamed on the cold weather, lack of a gym and lack of time), lots of sugar and red wine (it was Christmas, why not indulge a little), and with a nasty cough and cold!  Hmmmm.  Bloated, scale up a little and sick...not so good.  I made some goals to get back to the exercising 4+ days a week, eat healthier (maybe cut out wine at least during the week)-less desserts, more veggies, and stay healthy!  I am training for a half marathon...which is in 5 short days (yikes it better stop raining down south), so that has ensured I keep moving.  I have plans to increase my weight lifting once I recover from my race and I am hoping to challenge my body to P90X...designed to transform my body from regular to ripped in 90 short days!!!  In attempt to improve digestion, health and workout recovery I am starting a supplement called Shakeology.  You drink it as a shake and it boasts to increase energy, regularity, weight loss, and to make you feel great!  Not cheap but if it does all that, I think it may be a keeper.  I will give the Shakeology a few weeks with regular exercise before I start P90X, just so I don't get the results confused and I will let you know how it goes.  These two products are both produced by Beachbody and you can ask me more about them or learn more on my website.
So enough about me, what are you doing to keep yourself focused on this crazy thing called exercise and getting/staying fit?  If you want to keep yourself accountable you can join the message board on the Beachbody site...for free...and I will get on there daily, post these blogs there too, and we can chat about how you are doing and where you want to progress to.  Right now my thread is called "Working out in Bakersfield", but you don't need to be from Bakersfield to join in!
Let me know how you are doing and how I can help you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food Journaling

Can food journaling really help you lose weight? According to a group of researchers involved in the Weight Loss Maintenance study, the answer is a resounding yes. In the study, which was conducted at four locations across the US including Johns Hopkins University and Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, nearly 1,700 overweight and obese Americans were asked to keep a daily journal of both food and exercise and attend weekly classes on healthy eating and moderate exercise. After six months, participants lost an average of 13 pounds. When researchers analyzed the data, they found that weight loss virtually doubled between those who kept a journal and those who didn’t.
According to J. Graham Thomas, Ph.D., Co-Investigator for the US-based National Weight Control Registry (which monitors the habits and behaviors of more than 5,000 individuals who have lost weight and kept it off for at least a year), “Keeping a food log ranks up there among the top three or four most important strategies people use to lose weight and keep it off.” In other words, in addition to cleaning up your diet and exercising regularly, writing down what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to lose weight and best of all, keep it off. By Jennifer Sygo, MSc, RD

We put things in our mouths without even thinking about it.  A few goldfish while we dole some out for the kids.  A handful of cereal while we are pouring the bowl.  A sliver of dessert from someone else's plate! It is easy to think "oh, it was just a small amount", but when you are trying to reach a specific weight loss goal...every calorie counts!  The other end of the spectrum is---Are you eating enough!  Some people cut out all the snacks, limit the portions and end up not losing weight when their body goes into starvation mode!  Balance is key.  The way to see if you have some balance is by writing down everything that goes in, knowing how much you should be eating each day and making sure they are in the same ball park!  If you are exercising to lose weight you don't want to eat all of the calories you burn, so don't use that as an excuse to eat more!  Keep your intake set at what your body needs to function (at least 1200 calories for the average woman)!
If you have a time of the day that usually gets you snacking at least choose wisely.  A low calorie protein shake, raw vegetables and 2 tbsp of hummus, a piece of fruit, 1/4 cup of almonds...but first try a big glass of water or chewing some gum.  You may not be hungry, you just be thirsty of bored!!!  If you like a sweet after dinner, try a sugar free calcium chew (chocolate flavor)---bite it into small pieces, chew well, savor the flavor.  Or a big cup of tea...find some flavors that satisfy your cravings and enjoy every calorie free sip!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Biggest Loser

I dusted off my treadmill today as I wasn't able to make it to the gym and I couldn't bear to watch the Biggest Loser from my couch as I usually do!  Some squats and lunges followed by a high incline, fast walk for 30 minutes...pretty sad compared to what those poor souls were doing on the TV, but they are celebrities now ;)
It is hard to believe how much a body can tolerate!  We get tired, we slow down, but do we need to?  Often we don't!  How often do you see someone fall down while they are running (other than tripping of course) often do we see someone actually vomit because they are pushing themselves so hard (other than on the Biggest Loser)...we start getting tired so we slow down like we are saving ourselves, but for what?  If you do work so hard you get light headed THEN slow down...if you do get close to vomiting THEN slow down.  Don't assume you will!
Our bodies can take a lot and if we want to see progression and change in a timely manner we need to push ourselves HARD!  You can take it slow and easy and get there when you get there, but it may be a long ride and you may get distracted along the way and never make can make the decision to go hard and not slow down until you reach your destination!  Which route do you think is more likely to reach the destination?
You need to be ready, you will probably have to remind yourself that you are ready and then you have to do the work.  Find things you enjoy, change it up if you are getting bored, but keep pushing!  Make sure you have a support system and use them!
I have been exploring all of the exercise and nutrition tips on the Beachbody site and it is amazing what they have to offer.  Many offerings are free!  The WOWY workout gym allows you to log in your exercise which makes you eligible for daily prizes.  It presents you with other members who are also exercising should you want to chat about it....get inspiration if you are lagging.  There are message boards to help answer any questions you may have about exercise and nutrition, and access to asking your, whatever you need.  Sometimes you need a change that the gym might not be able to offer like a new program.  Slim in 6 is a great sculpting program, 10 minute trainer is a great option by Tony Horton if you have limited time, but still will give you amazing results, then you have Turbo Jam-the at home version of TurboKick (the best gym workout ;)), and P90X which is everywhere in infomercials....amongst others.
I am going to start the nutrition supplement Shakeology next week so I will be able to share all about it!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Avoiding temptations!

Why did I just eat that cookie?  Initial thinking...well, I didn't eat a cupcake at the kid's birthday party, and it is JUST a cookie! is a cookie and I have set a goal, and that cookie does not help me reach my goal!  Next time I will take a healthy snack along with me to a kid's party.  I know there won't be many (if any) healthy options for me, so to prevent me from being tempted by that giant tub of popcorn and those bright pink cupcakes, I will have an apple...and some water.
We need to set our goals and stick to them.  Choose a time frame, stick to it, take a break if you need it, but if you have a destination in a weight goal or a pant size, you need to go hard and not let little temptations pull you down.  Inevitably there will be wrenches thrown in your plans, sometimes you will waver, but don't let that stop you.  Workout for an extra 30 minutes tomorrow maybe!  That will help.  But keep on going!

It is weigh in day for the Bakersfield Loser contest.  The goal is to be in the top 85% for % weight lost!  If you didn't make that, you may be out of the running for the big money, but you are not out of the running for the biggest prize of all...a healthier and happier you!  So keep it up, work hard, and just say no to the cookie ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Bakersfield Loser has begun!!!

This is the first week of the Bakersfield Loser contest at Body Xchange in Bakersfield, CA and it is such an amazing thing to see 300 people come out and make the commitment to change their lives for the better!
Last night I taught a group exercise class to over 75 people...we didn't have enough equipment so we marched, we lunged and squatted, we did some pushups and is amazing what you can accomplish with no equipment. My favorite part was that most participants seemed genuinely happy to be there, to come out and try something new. Group exercise won't be for all of them, but it is a nice venue to learn some basic exercises, to feel the energy of the group...and maybe to scope out the competition for who might be the stiffest competition on the scales!
My biggest advice to start would be to find some support and use it! Like this message board! Some family to help, a workout buddy, a friend...but be careful...encourage each other, but don't let their excuses take you down too! Not everyone is ready at the same time, so if you are ready, work hard and write down your plan for both exercise and fitness, don't stop because your workout buddy is busy though...that could be your downfall!
Do not eat something because you earned it. Once you are past the contest a treat occasionally is OK, but don't sabotage yourself because of a sweet tooth! Focus on the goal...even if you don't expect to win (miracles do happen though), use this time frame as a chance to focus on what you want for you and your body!
Work hard, have fun and drink lots of water emoticon
Don't forget group exercise classes at the NW sports club on Monday mornings at 9:30am and Wednesday evenings at 7pm. Plus trainers on Friday evenings and Saturdays! And take advantage of those seminars they are offering on Saturdays!!!!
Let me know how you are doing and what your plans are for succeeding!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Exercising and not losing weight?

I have many more ideas to share on this but here are some suggestions from Jennifer Gruenemay, ACE-Certified through LifeScript:

You would think that going on a strict diet and exercise regimen would help you drop pounds quickly, but most people actually gain weight during the beginning stages of the weight-loss process. If this has happened to you, don’t give up on your goals just yet. Not only can certain types of exercise, like strength training, make you gain weight from added muscle, you could also be retaining water.

But what about those cases when the weight gain is actually fat, not muscle or water? There are a couple of scenarios that could explain this. Athletes training for triathlon events and even new runners training for their first 5K may easily make the mistake of abusing the “carb-loading” concept. Eating too much pasta and bread will pack on the pounds, so if you’re carb-loading, make sure you know what you’re doing.

Another common mistake exercisers make is overusing protein bars and drinks. The average protein bar easily packs 300 calories, which isn’t a problem unless you’re eating one right after your workout and then eating a meal on top of it all. Unless you’re burning thousands of calories every day in training, protein bars and calorie-rich protein shakes need to be a meal replacement, not a snack.

When consumed correctly, these foods can help you to power up after your workouts and give you lasting energy.

Check out for more great articles like this!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 is here!  I am excited and ready for this new decade! 
Any resolutions, plans, or goals to start the new year?
I am planning to fit into the cute pair of jeans I couldn't quite zip up at the store last week by March!
So that would be a goal of cutting out the crappy food I have been ingesting over the holidays...getting back the gym on a regular schedule...and making time for making me healthy!
How about you?

Get your schedule worked out, schedule in your exercise and gym time and your menu planning!  It all makes a difference.
I will also get to work on keeping my blog updated with ideas, encouragement and inspirations as we Get Moving!
Happy New Year,