Start With a Clean Slate

Happy New Year! The start of 2017 marks a new opportunity to wipe the slate clean. It’s time to hit the reset button and gain a more pleasurable approach to fitness. Turn the page, and get off to a good start.  Replenish your body and re-energize your life.

“Change your food to change your mood.”

You already know the way you eat is central to your well being. But you may not know exactly what meals yield the most satisfying and healthful results. The back to basics, old fashioned approach to nourishing our bodies is truly the way to go. Making meals from scratch with whole foods, eliminating processed foods, and enjoying all the colours of the rainbow is your answer. A simple clean eating and exercise plan incorporated into your way of life will be the catalyst to making 2017 healthier and happier.

If a desire to wipe your fitness slate clean is on your 2017 resolutions and you are looking for some direction, don’t miss our New Year New You Challenge launching next Monday, January 9th.

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!


Featured Recipe

Anti Inflammatory Green Drink

Combine everything in a blender:
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 stemmed and chopped large kale leaf
1 chopped apple
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3-5 cubes of ice

Get your Groove Back

Summertime, vacations, cook-outs, what’s your excuse? For me it was a bad landing on an exercise jump that left my knee in a big mess. Forget about squats and lunges, I was struggling to bend the leg enough to get in and out of the car. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) this happened right before taking the flight to our Florida family vacation. So initial plans of beach workouts, filming new videos for my online bootcamps, runs along the beach, and water aerobics changed to sitting in the chair, elevated leg, ice, and a good dose of patience. Maybe a little R&R isn’t so bad every now and then.

Despite billions of dollars spent on gym memberships, diet programs, etc., a recent paper published by the Mayo Clinic reports that fewer than 3% of American adults are living a healthy lifestyle.

Less than 3%. Wow! Just Feel it Fitness has a lot of work to do! 😉

The study defined living a healthy lifestyle as meeting these four parameters:

  • Being sufficiently active (150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week)
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Being a nonsmoker
  • Having a recommended body-fat percentage (5%-20% for men, and 8%-30% for women)

The results of the study showed many people accomplished multiple healthy lifestyle goals. 16% met three of the healthy characteristics, 37% had two, but fewer than 3% met all four. Women were more likely to not smoke and to eat a healthy diet, and were less likely to be active, compared with men. Older individuals were more likely to be nonsmokers and healthy eaters, and were less likely to have a normal body-fat percentage and active enough.

Granted, this is only a study of 5,000 American adults, but the bottom line this study does an excellent job at providing four concrete steps anyone can take to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Things happen like injuries and vacations and busy periods at work. Life gets crazy. Getting back into a fitness groove can be tough. I know. But get your groove back. None of these steps are easy to take. However, even small improvements make a difference and any effort toward these 4 lifestyle goals can have a life changing impact. Become a nonsmoker, be sufficiently active, eat a healthy diet, and achieve a recommended body –fat percentage.

I’d love to help you towards meeting these healthy lifestyle criteria.  Do you need help getting your groove back?

Our next round of Summer Slim Down starts July 18th. This is a 6 week Challenge. For more details, click here.

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Tuna Salad Boats

Tuna Salad Boats

1 can tuna
1/2 very ripe avocado
1/2 cup chopped purple grapes
Splash of white wine or champagne vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Large Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves

Mash the avocado with a fork. Combine with all other ingredients. Spoon onto large lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.

The Troublesome “Tech Neck”

Take a look at your posture as you are reading this. Chances are you are hunched over looking down at your tech device. In today’s society, this “Tech Neck” posture is all too common. We spend so much time looking at our devices, our shoulders round and heads jut forward into a troublesome position that now feels natural.

In actuality, the natural position should be shoulders back and down, with the chest open. Try it. Pull your shoulders back and pull your head in line with your spine. If you’re like most, this “natural” position probably feels very unnatural at this point.  Try to become aware the next time you are hunched over in the “Tech Neck” position. The “Tech Neck” might have found its way into your posture, but the good news is there are ways to fight it.

With some simple exercises focusing on strengthening and stretching the upper torso, we can retrain our bodies to good postural habits.  Here are 3 exercises to add to your fitness routine. You won’t need any weights or equipment, so no excuses!

  1. Bent-Over Reverse Fly

Begin by standing up straight with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Hinge forward from your hips, maintaining a neutral spine, and arms dropped down naturally. Lift your arms up laterally and feel your shoulder blades retract. Lower your arms and repeat 12-15 times. Perform 2-3 sets.
Progress this move by adding weights in each hand.

  1. Superman Breast Stroke

Begin by laying flat on your stomach. Extend spine and lift chest and legs off the floor while reaching forward like superman. Begin circling your arms to hips like the breast stroke. Repeat 8-10 times. Perform 2-3 sets.
Progress by alternating straight-leg kicks as your arms circle.

  1. Chest Expansion

Begin by standing with feet wide, toes facing forward. Clasp your hands behind lower back. Slowly hinge forward from the hips, while your arms reach toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 4 deep breaths and return to start position.  Perform 2-3 times.

  1. Wall Snow Angel

Stand up straight against a wall. Try to have three points touching the wall: tailbone, shoulder blades, and back of head. Reach arms out to the side and raise and lower like you are making snow angels.  Repeat 8-10 times.  Perform 2-3 sets.

By strengthening and stretching the upper torso, these simple exercises will help you fight the troublesome “tech neck.” Focus on your posture when you stand, when you sit, when you eat, and when you read. Pull those shoulders back, bring your head in line with your spine, and breathe in the air of confidence.

Make it a great day,

Featured Recipe

squash chick pea pecan salad

Savory Squash Salad

1 Buternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 can chicpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup pecans
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, preheat oven to 400.
Combine squash, chickpeas, pecans, oil, and maple syrup. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the cooked squash mixture. Serve on top of your favorite greens. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “The All-Day Fat-Burning Diet” by Yuri Elkaim.

How to find time to exercise

One of the most common things I hear is “How do you find time to exercise?”

From someone who values exercise as much as I do, my quick response to this question is how do you not find time to exercise? We know and are well aware there are so many benefits of exercise. Aside from the instantaneous benefit of feel good endorphins, there is a whole gamut of long term health benefits. We all know these facts, so why is it so difficult to prioritize our own health?

And the most common answer is “time.” “I just can’t find the time.”

I believe there is something deeper and more meaningful to this answer. Possibly lack of motivation or fear of getting started and being out of shape, or possibly lack of enjoyment, but there is more to the answer than just “lack of time.”

We make time for things we have to do. When was the last time you didn’t show up to work because you didn’t have time? Or have you ever not taken your children to their doctor’s appointment because you didn’t have time? Our health is just as important as these things. Without long term health, how we will be able to keep living?

So my simple answer is to prioritize your health the same way you prioritize the other important things in life. When something is a priority, it is planned into the calendar, it is discussed amongst other family members and it gets done without fail because it was prioritized.

Top suggestion is to put your fitness plan into your calendar. Whether it is 10 minutes of yoga when you wake up, or a 30 minute walk on your lunch break, or a Bootcamp that you plan to attend, put it in your calendar. Set the reminder alarm. Make your subconscious mind start allowing “time” for these activities. When you review your day and see what time you have to be places, you will also see the blocked time for your exercise. Get your brain involved in finding the time.

Here are some other suggestions:

  1. Start somewhere. Even if it is only 5 minutes, that is a great place to start. Just find 5 minutes, and allocate them to your health. Maybe you have to combine activities, that’s OK. If you can wait for a hardboiled egg to cook, you have 5 minutes that you could do some heart pumping activities. (here’s an idea: 1 minute jumping jacks, 1 minute jog in place, 1 minute crunches, 1 minute burpees, 1 minute stretch) Maybe you’ll start with one round for a couple weeks and by week 3 you might be up to 15 minutes. Just start somewhere.
  2. Let money be your motivation. Sometimes putting money on the line will give you the motivation you need to make it to that yoga class, or race you registered for, or to actually participate in that weight loss challenge group you signed up for.
  3. Be the early bird that gets the worm. Exercising first thing in the morning will ensure you fit it in.  A smart tip for this one is to set your workout clothes out the night before and get up before the rest of the household is awake. By 7am you can have your workout done and feel ready to tackle the day with a clear mind.

Stop trying to find the time. Make the time, and make it work for you.

Have a great week,

Jump start June

Our next Challenge Group starts Monday, June 8th. This portion controlled meal plan with daily workouts and accountability will definitely jump start your weight loss goals for summer. Message me ASAP for more info.

Healthy, Happy Holidays

You’re busier than usual, you’re more stressed, and it’s cold out … so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year?  There’s not enough time for everything, so why not just slack off on your fitness program for a few weeks?

NOOOOOO!!!!  Don’t do it.

Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holiday season will only leave you with more pounds and more stress come New Year’s.  I get it.  The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser, but it’s also the most critical time to stick to your exercise program.  Your exercise regime will actually help you get through the season with less stress and more clarity to focus on the joy the season brings.  And maintaining some type of a workout schedule is even more important this time of year because most of us are eating more than usual.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay fit during the time-crunched, temptation-packed holiday season:

  • First, acknowledge that the holidays most likely will affect your exercise program to some extent. And then don’t beat yourself up when you can’t fit in every workout.
  • Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out and make sure you actually schedule time into your day for exercise.  Be flexible when your days get busy. Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour earlier and do a home workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches are just a few of the many exercises you can do at home without any equipment. Or fit a brisk walk into your lunch hour.
  • To save time, try combining exercising and family commitments. For example, hauling the kids up a hill a few times can make a sledding trip as beneficial as a jog. Or take the family out for a long walk to look at Christmas lights.
  • Create a holiday wish list that includes something health and fitness related (some new workout clothes, a pair of dumbbells and gliders for your home workouts, or how about a block of personal training sessions? – check out the Just feel it fitness holiday promotion!)
  • Have a snack before you head out to the holiday party. Some carrots and hummus, or a small piece of cheese and some almonds. This way you won’t be starved and tempted to eat every single hors d’oeuvres that is passed.

Give yourself a little slack during the holidays.  After all, it’s a time to have fun and be with family and friends, and if you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may end up just giving up because you’ve set the standard too high.  Allow yourself some “cheat” days. In reality, what matters is the overall total calories you consume and the overall total you expend through physical activity over the entire holiday period. One or two splurges aren’t going to derail your efforts. Just make sure you’re still fitting in time to exercise. Make it a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

Have a great week,

shrimp salad

December Holiday party recipe ideas

Shrimp Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

For the Mango Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup peeled fresh or thawed frozen mango pieces
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 tsp minced chilis
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dash salt
-Combine all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

1 bunch of asparagus spears, blanched and chopped into 2inch pieces
1 1/2 cups peeled orange sections, pith removed (about 2 oranges)
1 bag (about 3/4 pound) of cooked shrimp

Mix together the asparagus, oranges, and shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the mango vinaigrette over the mixture and toss well.


Have you found your Soul Mate?

Are you the type of person that loves to workout? Or do you struggle with thoughts of every excuse in the book before each workout? If you never get excited about your workouts, and if you never look forward to them, then maybe you just haven’t found “The One.”  Because there is one. There is one that will get your heart pumping with adrenaline.  And there is one that when you finish will leave you feeling stronger, happier, more confident, and ready to take on your day.  It’s called your Soul Mate Workout.

I’m encouraging you to keep searching until you find it. Don’t settle, don’t get complacent, keep dating until you find the one. Because when you do, it just works. When you find the one that gets your heart pumping, you won’t think of exercise as “working-out” anymore. Like a good relationship, you don’t have to say anything, you just get it and you want to give it your all. You want to push yourself because you love it and the more you give, the more you will get.

So what am I talking about? What is a Soul Mate Workout? Maybe it’s a long run, maybe it’s a Zumba class or martial arts or swimming or yoga or PiYo or weight training or circuit training or dancing. Like finding a partner, there are a lot of fish out in the sea. And it’s different for everyone. But it’s out there. You just have to find it.

Here are some questions that might help you figure out what your soul-mate workout is:

What do you prefer: Indoor or outdoor, group or solo, team or individual, dance or athletic, competitive or noncompetitive, high-impact or low-impact, music or silence?

The sport you enjoy the most is?

What were you doing the last time you felt young and alive while exercising?

What kind of music inspires you?

Do you workout harder in the presence of others?

If you could go back in time and have really mastered a sport or activity, what would it be?

Reread your answers to these questions and try to summarize the type of exercise or activity you might have described. Now take a moment to write a list of the activities you commit to “trying” in the next month. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the One. And when you do, don’t be swayed by new fads, or new promises of instant weight loss, doing what you love is the surest way to ensure you will be fit for life!

Have a great week,


Eat that Frog!

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.”
Mark Twain
There is a great life management skill underlying in this quote. One’s ability to target the most important task, to begin it, and to stay focused on it until it is complete is the key to high levels of accomplishments.  Author Brian Tracey goes in to great detail on this subject in his book “Eat that frog.” Tracey says your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.  This leads to accomplishments, not just activity.
So what does this have to do with Fitness?
It has EVERYTHING to do with your health and fitness.
People often ask me what to do first- cardio or strength training? Well… There’s a lot that goes in to answering this because I personally like to do cardio and strength training together (more functional training) but let me answer simply. Think of the frog philosophy. Whatever it is that is hardest for you- do that first (after a good warm up of course). For me, this means I like to knock out a “go hard, go fast” HIIT circuit for a good 20 minutes.  This uses all my major muscle groups, and gets my heart really pumping. Once I’ve finished that, if I have more time, then I’ll add in a more extensive abdominal workout or I’ll go for a run. If you do heavy weight training, do that first. Work your major large muscle groups first. Eat your frog.
Maybe it is exercise in general that is your Frog. If you really dislike exercising, try doing it first thing in the morning. Get it over with and then tell me if you don’t feel better the rest of the day!
Have a great week,