Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Now is the time... The time to inspire yourself, to find your confidence and discipline to achieve your goals. To take charge and find your best self!
What does it mean to find your best self? We often mistake our best for something materialistic and visual. The automatic answer is "a sixpack" or "getting into my old jeans".
But I have found that those are just the things that come along once you have found your best version of you.
Ask yourself: when am I most happy? What is it about that time that makes me happy?
Now ask yourself...what do I have to do to find myself in those situations more often?

Find the moments that fuel you, that improve your energy and your outlook on life.

Exercise helps me find my find my happy... but it doesn't make me happy. There is a difference. You see, exercise empowers me, it makes me stronger and reminds me that I have to take care of my health so that I can live life and treasure the moments. Travel makes me happy, good times with family and friends and creating new memories makes me happy. But if I am not strong and healthy I can't experience these moments as much as I can when I am healthy and full of energy.
 Over the next two weeks I am challenging you to find the things that will make you a happier person. To know that what you truly want and what you want right now are not always the same thing. To improve your focus and your discipline for the bigger picture. I have given you a challenge almost every day to do something that isn't fun, and isn't easy. Yep you guessed it... the squats, the push-ups, and the abs. Can you do it? Can you achieve and rise to the challenge to get that done 6 times a week for the next two weeks? It seems easy, it only takes a few minutes. But the little voices inside our heads make it easy to believe that skipping a day is no big deal. But it is a big deal. Complete the challenge and set yourself up for success. You will feel amazing after two weeks by successfully getting just that little challenge accomplished each day.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Out Of The Darkness Of Depression And Into The Light of Self Love...

I am filled with gratitude today…I give thanks for my life that is on this day and has been for the last several years. And I think about how far I have come.
In May of 1996 I came home from college to realize I was fitting into a size 16 clothing. I was smoking over a pack of cigarettes a day and had gone from being an active athletic kid to dreading my soccer workouts and struggling to gain my health back. But I was at a place where I realized how far I had fallen… call it my first “rock bottom”. I knew I needed to do some work to regain my health and most of all my energy and confidence.
Exercise and better habits slowly became a bigger part of my life and things got better overall. As my health improved so did my energy, my confidence and my passion for getting out of bed every day.
In May of 2008 I was sitting in a therapists office in Sheridan, Wyoming… Deeply depressed, with thoughts of ending it all as I struggled to deal with post partum depression. Call it my 3rd “rock bottom.” (Yes there was a second one in there…) I was lucky to have a great therapist who helped me and my husband understand what my heart, body, and mind were going through and set me up on the road to better mental health. First on the priority list was daily walks and runs with my son in his jogger to give me the “me time” I needed while still taking care of my family.

And in May of 2016 I sit here today, grateful, healthy, happy, and so utterly thankful for my body and mind health. I am filled with happiness at how exercise has quite literally saved my life, saved my health, and helped me be a better mom, wife, boss and trainer.
I look back at the times in my life when I was so incredibly unhappy, and am impressed that things really weren’t that different back then. What was different was the self-talk in my head and that way I treated myself.  Happiness is a state of mind, but that state needs to be fueled with good habits so we can enjoy all that life has to offer.
Today I treat myself with good habits. They aren’t always the most fun habits, but they are an important part of me keeping my head, heart and body in a place that makes every day enjoyable and achievable. Working out is hard, making the time for it is tough but worth it. Eating right is becoming less hard, but I will still pick a donut over an apple if given the chance. The difference now is that I know that the apple will make me feel way better than the donut and that makes it worth it… most of the time!
Today I graduated from my Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hour training. I am so thankful to be at a point in my life where good habits and health feel like a reward and not a sacrifice.
If you are struggling with depression, if you feel like your life is something you need to endure rather than enjoy, than take the steps you need to make YOU happy. Get help, talk to someone, but also be proactive… Go exercise, eat healthy foods that you enjoy, drink water, get good sleep.
I know these things might sound trivial at a time in your life when you forget what it even feels like to be happy. But good habits create better habits, and better health, and a world that makes you feel so good every day you seriously feel like you might burst with glowing love for the earth and everyone in it each day.
I think picking a few things that you enjoy and that are good for you is a great start. If you enjoy video gaming and biking pick biking first. If you like foods learn to cook some really good ones that are nutritionally full of variety. My wish for you is that you find yourself, find the love inside yourself that makes you your own best friend. Your life is worth living, and it is a gift. It just takes believing it to make it happen. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bombdiggity Pork Loin (Braised Pork with roasted root vegetables)

I have been working on this recipe for a while... It all started when I was looking for a slow cooked pork recipe that did NOT include a bunch of super sugary bbq flavors and ingredients. I will say that the best cut of meat for this is boneless country style ribs. But those babies are loaded with excess fat and calories and not my favorite for a regular week night recipe. So I leaned it up a bit by using a pork loin instead and it turns out great. * This was made in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven but you can finish it in a crock pot. Crock pot instructions are included below.

Pork Loin 2-5 lbs
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine
1 Bag Peeled Organic Carrots
1 Bag of Parsnips
1 whole white  or yellow onion.
1 carton of organic beef stock
6 whole garlic cloves 
Package of grape tomatoes
Two bay leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Start by heating up the oil heavily seasoning Montreal on the pork loin. Then sear both sides of the loin. 
Remove loin and deglaze the pan with red wine

Add all veggies except tomatoes and bay leaves and cook on medium. (8-10 minutes) Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.

Return pork to pan over the veggies. Add tomatoes and bay leaves in pan and cover half way with Beef Broth. This baby will be heavy if you are using a heavy dutch oven like mine so make sure you have your "good" rack in the oven ready to go. Place in the oven and cook 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on size of loin. Pork should fork shred easily when it is done. 

* If you prefer to use a crock pot to finish then you can follow directions through the point of adding all ingredients back into the pan and put it in a crock pot instead. Cook Low 8 hours and come home to an amazing smelling house and tasty dinner. 

Yum! The ultimate comfort food for a week night dinner!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Smoothie Explosion


I try to get as many servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day as I can. A smoothie can be a yummy way to get your greens and fruits in! They are hydrating, can make your skin glow and give a great energy bump to your mornings!

One of the biggest problems I have found though is that I either don't put enough veggies in, or it turns out to be a total sugar/calorie bomb with all of the extras I tend to add for variety.

I once read that the ingredients inside your blender should be the same amount that you would eat on a plate. So as you add your ingredients, keep in mind that as you blend, the ingredients will easily shrink and condense into a "1 Glass" serving. But you might be eating alot more than one serving.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What to eat when you really want some junk...

I teach 3 classes a week at the gym and we often spend the first few minutes of class discussing health or nutrition questions. Last week we were talking about what to eat when you really want junk, also known as how to love the food that loves your body.

General Tso's chicken, french fries, ice cream, pizza... oh the list goes on and on....

If you are trying to improve your eating and possibly your waistline it's handy to know how to cook! Here is the number one thing I learned to make that "diet" a lot less like one and still have the flavors you love.

Craving a slice from your favorite pizza place but know that the extra dough and salt will make you feel awful later? Focus on what you want... Is it the dough? Is it the sauce? Is it the melty mozzarella and romano salty goodness? Eat the part you crave and sub the rest with something healthy! Check out recipes for portabello pizzas, pizza on an eggplant, pizza on an english muffin, or cauliflower crust pizza.

Sometimes if I want to fill a pizza craving quick I will even cook up some veggies and add sauce and cheese to them.

If you think about the foods you crave, whether it is your favorite Chinese dish, or fast food side, or even a dessert... Examine what it is you are craving about it and take the challenge to make it something that you will feel great about and not regret later.

What kind of foods do you crave? What ingredients are you afraid of? Let me know and we can keep the recipes and ideas coming through the month!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cooking with Kweeno...

I freaking love this commercial...
But guess what.. Quinoa (pronounced Keenwah even though I like to call it Kweeno) does NOT have to taste like a "dirty ole tree branch".
Quinoa is a seed that is eaten like a grain. It is extremely high in protein and fiber with lots of other great stuff like flavonoids that are antiviral and antiinflammatory. It is full of amino acids (for recovery) and magnesium.
It comes in 3 main varieties: Red, White, and Black

You cook it by boiling it like rice. I like to cook it in chicken or vegetable broth instead of plain water. I find it takes on a flavor similar to those chicken flavored rice packets we used to eat in college when you cook it this way. Goodbye tree branch!

I made this recipe last week and it lasted the whole week as a solid side for my lunches and dinners throughout the week. It's a little bit crunchy, sweet, salty and fresh. I messed around a bit with the flavors and didn't follow this recipe exactly but since you assemble it cooked you can add or remove whatever you like.

California Quinoa Salad (Found on http://triplantstrong.blogspot.com)

2 cups mixed quinoa from Trader Joe’s – regular quinoa or red quinoa would work well here too
4 cups plain water (for cooking quinoa – I cooked mine in my rice cooker on the white rice setting)
1 package frozen mango from Trader Joe’s, thawed OR 2-3 diced fresh mangos
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 medium to large red pepper, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped 
1-2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
3/4 – 1 cup unsalted, dry-toasted slivered almonds
1-1 1/2 cups raisins (I used a dried mixed berry blend)
2-3 cups frozen edamame, thawed
Juice of 4-5 limes
3 – 4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 
1. Rinse quinoa well, cook as directed.
2. Fluff quinoa well when done, spread out and let cool.
3. Add all other ingredients and toss.
4. Enjoy cold!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

 Congratulations on finishing up the first month of 2015! You succeeded in doing it with a bang. It has been great to see so many new faces in the gym and old ones returning. We love the energy in the gym this time of year. Our resolution for 2015 is to keep it going all year long!

The Wellness Festival in January was a great time to recharge and remind us all  why we work so hard to stay healthy and active. My new personal favorite motto is:
“I practice indoor training for the outside world”
 This was a quote from Tony Horton when he was in town for the festival. There were a few things that he talked about in his Friday night keynote speech that really hit home and are worth a  share if you didn’t get a chance to go.

Do your best and forget the rest: Work hard in the gym, trust the program you have chosen and don’t worry about the chatter around you from friends, social media, or the rest of the outside world.
If it isn’t going to help you get to your goals, it is potentially a waste of valuable time.

Have a plan:
We all live really busy lives, so planning your workouts throughout the week is a huge help in committing to your goals. Not only should you schedule it, but make sure you know what you are doing when you get to the gym so you don’t waste time making a plan at the last minute. If you aren’t sure what you should be doing, schedule some time with one of our 4 trainers or attend a few PURENERGY classes. These are great ways to get new ideas and add some motivation to your current workouts.

Consistency reigns supreme:
You don’t have to be crazy, just consistent. Extreme workouts look cool, but if you can’t recover from them properly you are missing out on the most valuable exercise tool: consistency. If you can get regular workouts you will see better results. So focus on staying healthy, well rested and be prepared for the long haul. Your body will be stronger, better and happier on a moderate program that you can live with every day.

We are starting a 14 Day Challenge on Sunday February 8th!!!
Place your name on the grid on the white board and commit to 14 days of healthy activity. Gym workouts, outside fun, yoga and stretching is all acceptable. The goal is only to make sure you get some sort of activity every day for 14 days. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable and continue those resolutions so they create consistent habits.

Keep up the great work and STAY ACTIVE!