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.


Yes there were chips and dip, yes there were hamburgers and hot dogs, and a fair share of desserts, it was a Super Bowl party after all! Like many of you, I’m sure, yesterday was all about getting together for the Super Bowl. If not for watching the game, at least for watching the commercials. One campaign that really stood out to me was the Always #likeagirl campaign.

Men and women of all ages were asked to describe what they think the phrase “like a girl” means. The results shown in the ad are troubling. Waving hands and flipping hair, the participants pretend to run “like a girl” and throw “like a girl.” Everyone except the young girls demonstrate that “like a girl” is often perceived as an insult. Yet the young girls who are asked act out strong, athletic and deliberate motions.

When did doing things “like a girl” become an insult? As the commercial states, female confidence plummets during the teenage years. But how have phrases like this become so common? I know I catch myself saying this all the time, “it’s OK to go on your knees if you need to, do girl push-ups.”

Expressions like this are degrading, and they are furthering the belief that women aren’t as strong as men.  Acting “like a girl” is not synonymous with weak, inferior, or silly.  Doing things “like a girl” should bring to mind power, beauty, and gracious determination. Young girls should grow up believing that they too can achieve their dreams. They too are also strong and bold.

Maybe they’ve been labeled girl push-ups for the longest time, but, hey, I challenge you to do one full minute of push-ups “likeagirl” and see how strong you feel! Let’s all try to empower the younger generation around us and inspire confidence in our individual strengths and abilities.

What other commercials stood out to you?

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Cauliflower Rice

This rice substitution is so easy to make. It is low calorie, and gluten free. It can be eaten as a side alone or as a base for dishes like stir-fries and curries.

1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

Wash, remove core and leaves, trim, and coarsely chop the cauliflower. Make sure the pieces are completely dry before placing into food processor.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat.

Meanwhile, place cauliflower pieces in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice.

cauliflower rice food proc

Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the prepared cauliflower to the pan. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.

cauliflower rice cooking

Season with salt and pepper.

cauliflower rice plate


The number on the scale.

Recently a client asked me “how often do you weigh yourself?” I found this such a great question with a really complex answer. So let me tell you about my relationship with the scale. This is by no means what yours should be, because let’s be realistic, everyone is different and everyone’s weightloss journey is also extremely different. Some people are trying to put on weight, some are trying to maintain, but most are trying to lose weight and my hope is that people in the last mentioned group are doing it in a healthy way without extreme dieting.

So back to the question- how often do I get on the scale? The truth- never. But that hasn’t always been the case. In fact prior to my 2 pregnancies and throughout them, I would weigh myself every single morning. And during the pregnancies, I wrote it all down in a chart and compared the two pregnancy’s weight gains. Why? I don’t know! I think I read too many “preparing for baby” books that talked about what the recommended weight gain should be and why. It didn’t make a bit of difference though, I still ate when I was hungry and I ate a lot. And I knew the number would go up each week, I just didn’t know how rapidly so I liked being able to monitor that. It gave me a sense of control in an experience that is completely out of our control. Like I still had a bit of control in what was happening with motherhood! Then what? Well, post pregnancy I lost the baby weight rather quickly. Nursing and running after the baby and my already fanatical fitness tendencies helped the weight to come off. And I continued to weigh myself daily until I reached a number I was happy at.

And now I am at a place in my health and fitness where I have realized that the number on the scale doesn’t matter that much. What is more important to me is how my body feels. I know exactly how much I weigh based more on my clothes and my emotions than that number on the scale. I know without a shadow of a doubt in the past 10 days I have put on 5-7 pounds. From heading to Chuy’s for Tex-Mex the minute the airplane landed (yes, after 4 hours on the airplane with 2 toddlers by myself, a beer was imperative!) to an absolutely beautiful wedding weekend with the best lemon wedding cake I’ve ever tasted, to girls dinner at Rise, to a Friendsgiving wine tasting at Times Ten Cellers, to Good ole Thanksgiving Dinner, brunch at Taverna, and of course pizza night atCane Rosso and a few other Mexican dinners thrown in the mix, this girl is ready for some serious clean eating! I wouldn’t trade any of it for a second but I know how my body feels when my diet is cleaner. I’m craving that feeling- the feeling when I’m not as bloated in my stomach and face, and when I’m not tired and lethargic. I need all the energy I can get to chase after my boys! So back to clean eating, December will be hard enough to stay focused with all the holiday parties and get-togethers so I’ll be starting off right with my December Graduates Challenge Group that begins today. We’re going to help hold each other accountable and stay focused all month long.

So how often should you weigh yourself? There’s not a one size fits all answer. If you’re the type of person who is motivated by the numbers, then by all means weigh yourself everyday. But if those numbers are going to make you crazy and you’ll not eat for a day because of the number, then weighing daily is definitely not for you. Once a week would be a better option. And please don’t think I’m suggesting that you never weigh yourself. Your weight is a total picture of your overall health, and it’s important that we keep good tabs on it.

I’m very curious, how often do you weigh yourself? Do you weigh yourself at the same time everyday? Can you tell what your weight is based on your emotions or by how your clothes fit? Let me know!

Have a great week,


December Holiday party ideas

For a beautiful and scrumptious  addition to your holiday party this year, try this salad of persimmon, pomegranate, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts, served over arugula.

1 packet of arugula
1 pomegranate (seeds removed)
3-4 persimmons cut into wedges
1 small log of goat cheese
3/4 cup of walnut halves, toasted

Lightly dress the arugula with a bit of olive oil and balsamic. Layer on the bottom of a large serving tray. Next assemble the persimmons, pomegranate, goat cheese, and walnuts on top. That’s it! Enjoy!

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,


Hide the Candy!

I knew we had reached the breaking point Friday night when my 3 year old started jumping up and down faster than a kangaroo and was screaming at the top of his lungs “Give me MORE Candy!!”  The effects of so much sugar on his little system were coming out full force and I knew it was time. Time to call it a night after another fun-filled Halloween for the memory books, and time to Hide the Candy.

After Halloween weekend, it’s easy to look toward the next couple of months and get distracted. We’re still on a sugar high and we know that holiday parties, dinners with family and friends, and cookie exchanges are all quickly coming.  Add to that buying gifts, sending cards, and everything that goes along with the holidays and it can be quite stressful. It is common when your schedule fills up and the stress gets high that self-care is the first thing people give up.  When in reality it should be the #1 thing you hang on to.  We should hang on to the things that give us more energy and the things that help us feel our best for all the coming activity.

Discipline means having a plan. Start now. Hide the candy. And make a decision right now as we start November and look toward the holiday season that this year is going to be different.  This year we are not going to start 2015 with an extra 10 pounds put on from the holidays. This year we are going to enjoy our favorite holiday dishes but stop when we are full. This year we’re going to keep time in our busy schedules for exercise.  It’s all possible and it starts today.  It starts with you hiding the candy.  I know you have a big stash lurking around somewhere. Hide it. Or better yet, throw it out! Start November with your health as a priority.

Have a great week,
Pumpkin Bean soup
There are still more pumpkins in my fall display that need to be cooked! Here’s what’s cooking this week:

Spicy Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Slice pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds, drizzle a little olive oil and roast at 375 for about 45 minutes.
Scoop out the tender flesh and set aside. Once cool, blend to a puree.

Soup Ingredients:
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
5-6 Tomatoes, Chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Box of vegetable stock
2 Cans of Pumpkin Purée (Or 1 medium pumpkin roasted and puréed)
1 Tbsp. Curry powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add onion, red pepper, and tomatoes. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes. Add all the spices, black beans, and stock.  Bring to a boil, then add pumpkin purée and more water if needed. Let everything simmer for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!

I CAN Do It!

4 simple words.  I laughed the first time the Coach at my son’s sportball class made all the 3 year olds raise their thumbs up into the air and repeat “Je suis capable, I can do it.”  I thought it was cute and it made me chuckle inside.  But those 4 words have come to mean a lot more than a little chuckle in our house.

I first attempted reusing this “technique” during a major meltdown as I like to call it.  Some call them temper tantrums, some call them the terrible twos or the terrible threes. Whatever you want to call it, we’re in the thick of it.  I have a strong-willed, independent child who wants to do everything “all by myself.” Including attaching the 5 point harness of the car seat.  You know the buckle system that has been engineered to protect children’s safety in the incident of an automobile accident?  My son insists on buckling this “all by myself.”  But this is a very difficult task for his little fingers that are still developing dexterity.  Sometimes this means I’ll sit and wait 10-15 minutes before we drive off, sometimes I don’t have that kind of time so it means I buckle it and I hear blood curdling screaming until our next destination.  So lately before he has a chance to get frustrated and start with the whiny “I cant’s”, I tell him to put his thumb up in the air and say “I can do it.”  I’ve been using the 4 words as a positive mantra for my 3 year old.  And you know what? It works.

And of course once he’s buckled I make sure to high five him and insist that he says “I did it.”  The proud smile that beams across his face is priceless.  So I have found it’s worth a little patience, a little persistence, and a lot of “I can do it” chanting.

This isn’t just a lesson for someone with a toddler.  Believe me this mantra also works for young and old alike.  The mind is a powerful tool and your body hears everything your mind is saying.

To my Challengers this month who have committed to 21 days of a healthier lifestyle, say “I can do it.” To my 3 year old trying to cut with scissors, or put on his own shoes, or buckle his own seat belt, say “I can do it.” To any of you out there starting a new workout program or trying to run your first 5k, say “I can do it.” Put your mind to it, and yes you CAN do it.

Have a great week,

i can do it