Well y’all, I haven’t done so well keeping up with blogging this new year like I had hoped, but I am excited to share my newest series with you all, “F45’s 8-Week Challenge.”

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We are now coming to the end of week two, so let me catch you all up.
Beginning week one I had my body composition broken down using the In-Body Test. This service was offered by our F-45 gym as part of the challenge; however, your girl here had not had her pedicure and was not about to get bare foot and show off these half painted, runner’s toes! Instead, I made an appointment on the military base and had it completed the next morning. I weighed in at 131.8 pounds with a body fat of 20%. When competing, my off season body fat would usually sit around 17-18%. Although it was a bit higher than what I expected, I’m not terribly disappointed seeing as I haven’t tracked or logged nutrition consistently in over a year.

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My goal throughout the next eight weeks is to attend at a minimum, three F-45 classes while still incorporating three to four days of Olympic Weightlifting and/or Power Lifting and squeezing in at least 15 to 20 minutes a day of yoga and mobility. I typically coach three to four days a week, so I usually go in before coaching and complete the days workout. This allows me to get my workout in and heart rate up which in return, gives me plenty of energy for coaching (also allowing me to burn another 200-300 for each class coached as well).

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The challenge gives guidelines to support members during the 8 week Challenge. The F45 nutrition team provides weekly meal plans with mainstream and vegetarian recipes specific for male and female body compositions. These nutritional guidelines are what you will traditionally see with any “healthy eating” meal plan prescription: lean proteins, whole grains, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, no sugar and no alcohol. The F-45 8-Week Challenge isn’t a magic pill or prescription. It is an approach to “challenge” each individual to put forth their best effort to reach personal goals.

 

An observation within myself since the challenge began is, cardio improvement. If you aren’t familiar with F-45, the HIIT training is incredibly intense! We do a lot of agility training and explosive movements with extremely short rest periods. Only two weeks into the challenge and I am seeing great improvements in my speed and recovery rates (a tighter waist and glutes are just an added bonus).

As for my menu, not a lot has changed. I typically stick to healthy eating habits all year round (with the exception of my weekly pizza and beer indulgence on Friday evenings). Last week (week 1 of the challenge), I had midterms for school and didn’t adhere 100% to my schedule. I always keep it real with you guys, so I have to report my slip ups as well. I missed a day of training and the same evening, indulged in a bit of late night snacking due to excessive studying. You know what though, its okay! Just like I tell my clients and fellow challengers, “one slip up is not detrimental to your progress, just like one workout doesn’t make you fit”. It’s all about consistency and getting back to the grind.

Having said that, week two has been, LIT!!
This morning’s workout (deemed Hollywood) is our longest workout of the week. On Saturdays, our F-45 classes are 60 minutes long, rather than a typical 45-minute class. We also have a DJ that comes in and keeps the energy high and the class hyped. You can’t even begin to imagine the flow of energy without the experience first hand! We weren’t able to get in a workout before coaching this morning, so instead we hung around after class and got it done.

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Hang around over the next few weeks and see what the challenge brings!!

Happy New Year!!

Y’all, I cannot believe that 2018 has come and gone!!!
Last year at this time we were just moving back to the United States from Italy. We pit-stopped in Indiana where we spent New Years Eve with Wesley’s dad, and then the next two days we made our way across the country to our new home in Las Vegas. This last year has primarily consisted of getting settled. We bought a new home which anyone knows takes time to fill and make your own. I also took the entire year off from competing and racing, and invested most of my time into school. It wasn’t until just recently that I decided to take on work aside from online coaching.

This year’s New Years Eve was spent a little different compared to those of past. We got a puppy! Oh my gosh y’all, when I say he is the cutest thing I have ever seen- I mean he really is!

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This is Jack, our little curly headed Goldendoodle. He is seriously the sweetest little thing. We started out our New Years Eve at  Woof Gang Bakery where we scored Jack some yummy (all organic) treats.


After, we took him on his very first trip to the park. Floyd Lamb Park is a hidden little gem just a few miles from our house that we stumbled across this past summer. It is full of wildlife, vegetation, lakes for fishing, and actual real grass!! (It’s the little things when you live in the desert!) He ran and played and wore himself out just enough to sleep through lunch at Big Dogs. As I have mentioned verbatim, this is one of our favorite local spots. They have an outside patio that is dog friendly, so we stopped in for some lunch. We indulged for our final outing of the year. We each had a beer and shared a big ole bowl of Wisconsin cheese curds (delish!). We were home by 5, piled up watching Netflix by 6, and passed out by 8. Quite the party animals this year!

 

Like most people, entering into a new year has forced me to take a look and reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and reevaluate some of those moments- raising the question, how can I create more highs and perhaps elude some of the lows?

I find that “sweating the small things” is something I do all too often. Looking back over the last year, nine times out of ten when I worried about particular situations, the things I worried about most never came to pass. Worrying is a product of fear, and fear is not real. It is something that we merely create within our own minds from our own thoughts. It is a success-stalling inhibitor that causes us to miss out on opportunities because we are afraid of what “could” possibly happen. This year, I refuse to let fear or self-doubt have any power or control over my decisions.

Of course I have goals that consistently reappear each year such as, hitting new personal records in the gym, or making improvements to certain areas of my coaching; however, this year’s biggest goal is to simply be a better human.

Due to the fact that I am taking on a lighter schedule for this upcoming semester, I hope to be more consistent with my blogging!! Heres to an amazing New Year and I wish us all HEALTH & HAPPINESS!!!

 

 

 

Good evening y’all and merry Christmas!
I am writing you all from my comfy couch where I’m cozied up here in Las Vegas. Wesley and I decided to hit up a movie earlier today at Palace Station, but apparently everyone else in Vegas shared the same idea. There were 2 seats remaining in the very front row, so we decided to pass. We opted for lunch at Big Dogs, a restaurant nearby that we tend to visit fairly regularly (and is always amazing). Wes had a cheeseburger and onion rings, I had the seared Ahi Tuna with sweet potato. My Gosh, the Ahi was topped with the most delicious raspberry vinaigrette slaw I have ever tasted! After, we came home and have been piled up ever since.

I just returned home the day before yesterday from Alabama. I spent five days with my family to celebrate the holidays. Wes was unable to come because of his schedule, so that meant time for just us girls (mom, sis and I). We had the most incredible time!
They scooped me up from Birmingham airport Wednesday evening. Mom and I sat up until 2:00 am cackling and carrying on like high school girls. We were able to once again get in our routined visit to Unclaimed Baggage– only the most incredible second-hand store you will ever encounter!!! Mom scored me a pair of Birkenstocks, brand new with their tags, still in the box for $60! And yes, I still wear Birks.

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While running around Saturday morning, we found ourselves with the most marvelous photo opts… posh reindeer posted up around town. We couldn’t resist!


Everyone was spoiled again as always for Christmas. I made out with a new coach bag and matching wallet, Chrissy Teigan’s newest cookbook, an autographed copy of Rupaul’s latest hardback, pjs, clothes, and the list goes on. I met my newest nephew Zackary for the first time who was too precious for words. My nieces and nephews again, were another year older and all with a bit more personality.  My family has grown so much since I left home 13 years ago. I find that each year when I head back home from a visit it tends to get harder. I miss out on so much. To keep it real with you all, I find myself nowadays having a big ole dose of self-pity a day or two after returning home. Don’t get me wrong, my life is incredible and I have experienced more of this great world than many ever have the opportunity too; however, it is never easy to feel like you’re missing out on so much. Thankfully we have social media nowadays which helps a lot, and my mom is world’s best grandma when it comes to sharing pictures of them babies.

Tomorrow, we will all be back to reality. The grocery stores will be up and running, which means no more gingerbread men and hot chocolate for breakfast- meal prep will be back in full swing. Workouts will be structured for a greater purpose than to keep off excess holiday gains, and new years goals will be set;  I don’t know about you all, but I look forward to this new year!!

 

Hey y’all!! It has definitely been a minute since my last blog upload. I blame this on the fact I decided to take on five classes both this semester and last. By the time my poor eyeballs have sat in front of a computer for eight hours completing nutrition analysis, reports and papers, the last thing I wan’t to do is write and edit a blog. It has been a hectic 6 months to say the least; however, this next semester I will be dialing it back with a lighter load and focusing a bit more on life outside of school.

I recently decided that I would find myself another coaching gig. I uploaded my resume and had several responses, but nothing that I really felt led to do. I am extremely blessed with a husband that supports whatever decisions I make regarding work and my career, so jumping into something that I am not 100% about is not an option. After a few weeks of deliberating on where I wanted to invest my time and knowledge, I received a phone call from F-45. If you have never heard of F-45, let me see if I can break it down. F-45 began in Australia only a few short years ago, and since has become the 4th fastest growing franchise in the world (I believe that speaks volumes in itself). F stands for “functional.” Functional training means that each workout is built upon movements that one completes on a daily basis. With a database of over 3,500 exercises, each and every workout is different. No workout will ever be the exact same. F-45 incorporates strength training days, as well as interval training & cardio days. You will not find machines in an F-45 gym, but what you will find is: dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, ropes, rowers, spin bikes and pull up bars. Functional training attempts to adapt or develop exercises which allow individuals to perform the activities of daily life more easily and without injuries.

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As you guys know my last coaching position was as a CrossFit coach. Coaching on a military base was probably the most rewarding coaching experience of my life. I love CrossFit and the community, so when my CF friends ask how F-45 compares, here is my response… The greatest difference I have found among the two is, Olympic Weightlifting. Olympic Weightlifting is not included in F-45 training. For those that are unfamiliar, Olympic Weightlifting consists of two movements: the Clean and the Snatch. They are deemed “Olympic” because they are the only two weightlifting moves completed in the Olympics. They are not only very advanced lifts, but extremely technical. Don’t get me wrong, if you have followed along for a while now, you know that you’re girl here loves her some Cleaning and Snatching. I incorporate Olympic lifts weekly within my own training, but when it comes to teaching such technical lifts, I had rather teach someone one-on-one as opposed to a 15-minute movement breakdown in a group setting before class. First, this will ensure each individual is getting all of my attention, as well as he or she will not feel pressure to increase their weight or load until there form is perfected. Now, this is not me saying that I prefer F-45 over CrossFit or vise versa. I think there are so many great aspects to both (and so many other training methodologies), and no matter what form of exercise you choose, one will benefit greatly from either.

An element that I very much appreciated and cannot go unmentioned is the F-45 interview/hiring process! In all of my years as a trainer, I have never have a more thorough interview.  It began with an email which then led to scheduling a phone interview. During my phone interview I was informed that I was not the only one in the running for this position (oooooh, you know your girl loves a good competition!) After a successful phone interview I was sent over a script via email. This script was to be memorized and executed as if in a classroom setting. The interviewer gave me a calendar with several dates and times that I could come in and audition, so Miss Competitive here chose the soonest one, which allowed me one afternoon to get this script perfected. I didn’t want to run the risk of one of the other interviewees coming in before me nailing it, and knocking the rest of us out of the running, so I got to studying. The next morning I went in for my audition and felt confident with my performance. I was told that I would be contacted the following day. The next day, I went back for a follow-up audition. This time it would be on camera, and sent out to headquarters. Once again, I felt confident and secure with my on-camera audition. I was told that I should hear the final decision by the evening or the following morning. Within an hour I received a phone call that I got the position. Boom, nailed it!! This attention to detail and thorough interview process showed me how crucial quality is to the F-45 community. As a fitness professional who has dedicated years to continuing education, I feel my knowledge and execution were not only acknowledged, but appreciated. Keeping it real with you all, this attention to detail when hiring trainers is why this is one of the best paying positions as a group trainer that I have ever come across. This sophisticated and intricate interviewing process ensures the best trainers, which in return allows F-45 to charge members $65 per week.

My first session flying solo was last Saturday. On Saturday of each week a DJ comes in and mixes beats live throughout the entire class to hype up the group. It’s a fun class to say the least, and made for a great first day!

Perhaps, as time continues I may find that I don’t enjoy this approach to fitness as much as I thought, or maybe I find that it is an evolutionary approach to the fitness world. Either way, I am excited to jump on board with this rapidly evolving community, and see what it has to offer.

The video below speaks intricately on the franchising aspect of F-45, but the first 5-minutes gives a great explanation of what F-45 stands for along with what you can expect to see within a class.

 

Hey everyone! It seems as if I have been away from you all for forever! School has been incredibly hectic with exams and assessments, but I had to make some time this morning to share a recent food journey with you all.

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If you follow my food log on Instagram (tiffanydietetics), you have probably noticed that my meals include a lot of greens and fibrous veggies…this is nothing new. What has changed as of recent however, my protein sources. As of June 5th (my 36th birthday), I made the decision to cut out all meat from my diet with the exception of eggs. Although Veganism and Vegetarian diets are more popular now than ever, I know there are many of my fellow bodybuilding friends out there that are saying, “What the hell for?”

I made this decision after completing an assessment for school regarding the effects of a Vegan diet on muscle building. Not only was the information completely opposite of everything I thought I knew, but study after study in my opinion, showed a vegetarian diet to be the healthiest nutritional approach of all.

I would assume this transition would be hard for a lot people, but I can say in all honesty  I haven’t had any struggles. I traded red meat and pork about a year ago for turkey and chicken, so I didn’t have those cravings to worry about. Becoming bored with eggs was a concern in the beginning, but that was never an issue either.

The main highlight of this trial for me has been the loads of energy. Granted, I have since been reverse dieting to increase my overall caloric intake for winter gains, but I noticed the energy increase immediately.

So, were there any downsides? There was something that I found to be really odd and random, and I will say that it almost made me pull the plug on the Vegetarian trial and call it a day…Cellulite!!! What?! Ok, slow down. Don’t let this be a determining factor if you are considering the Vegan road. Let me explain. When I decided to take on this journey I was mid-way through my summer shredding program, which meant a lower carb intake than usual. I knew that once changing to a vegetarian approach I would have to switch up my macros, which automatically meant an increase in carbohydrates to make up for the decrease in protein. Because I had been in a deficit, my carbohydrate intake was around 160 grams per day. When I made the switch, I increased those carbs immediately to 200 grams per day. For someone like myself that doesn’t eat a lot of processed foods to reach 200 grams a day, is a lot when you’ve been in a deficit; therefor, this meant adding in more grains. Don’t get me wrong, I love oats and brown rice, and these are staples in my diet year round; however, when Im doing a cut, I had rather fill my belly with loads of fibrous veggies. Well, keep in mind, I had been doing a cut for about 10 weeks, so my body hadn’t been accustomed to all the grains I was now packing in to make up for the carb increase.  Am I saying that grains give you cellulite?! NO! I am saying that carbohydrates absorb water. When the body is not familiar with something, and then you throw something at it, out of the norm, it’s going to respond negatively. Just like most females, I hold any excess fat in my hips and butt.  I manage to keep excess fat at bay, and stay relatively lean year round, which keeps cellulite to a minimum, but we all have a dimple here and there. But man, oh man…one week in and I was stressing. I felt heavy  and fluffy, and a bit dimply all over. I was ready to call it quits. The best comparison I can give is that feeling when you have had way too much Chinese food and the next day you feel like a puffer fish. Thats how I felt for an entire week. Basically, the increase in carbs was causing me to retain loads of water, and my body wasn’t accustomed to that. To fix the problem, I simply increased my water intake. Although it sounds counter-active, an increase in water will keep you from retaining water, so that was my approach. I also coupled the increased water intake with an am HIIT session everyday for the following week, which forced me to sweat, A lot.

Week one was a hurdle, but by week two I felt great. I stuck to my Ovo-Vegetarian approach for just over 15-weeks. Week 16, I gorged on sushi with my fellow foodies following the Olympia. I have had chicken twice since my Vegetarian food journey, and have since cut it back out as well.

As of now, I will continue my vegetarian journey. Feel free to follow along as I share my thoughts on this approach to nutrition.

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Fit Fam, happy monday! I wanted to share an exciting experience with you all from this past weekend, the 2018 Mr. Olympia!

I received a message a couple of months back from one of my girlfriends that I competed with in Korea; she is head of sales for Gorilla Wear in the United States and asked if I would like to come help out with their booth for the Mr. Olympia 2018. If you have been around the bodybuilding scene for a descent amount of time, then you are familiar with the brand, Gorilla Wear. GW is based out of the Netherlands and has been a staple apparel brand in the bodybuilding industry since 1982. GW is sold in 48 countries and house some of the most notorious athletes in the bodybuilding community: Dennis “big bad” Wolf, William Bonac, “Big Ramy,” Dennis James, Kevin Osazee, Patricia Alamo, Catharina Wahl, and Valeria Ammirato, just to name a few.

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When my girlfriend approached me with this opportunity, I was beyond ecstatic to say the least. Little did I know, not only would I be in the same venue with the biggest names in the fitness industry, I would have the chance to talk with these individuals and hug the people that I have admired and followed for so long!

It all began bright and early on Wednesday morning. I was up at 4 am to get in a quick bout of cardio before heading to the Las Vegas Convention Center to begin set up for the “O.” I met my team there at 8:00 am, scooped up my all access, fast-pass badge and we went to work. To see the convention center on day 1, and then again on day 4 is like day and night. I can say that I now fully understand all of the work that goes into such an extravagant event.

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Wednesday and Thursday were long and tiring, but the build up to the weekend kept us eager and excited. Friday morning I was up at 5am and getting ready for the day! I arrived at the venue at 8am, and while walking to the front entrance I see a familiar face, Michelle MacDonald. I have admired this woman for years, and if you check out her Instagram you will see why. Any woman that can hold a physique such as hers at any age is an incredible feat, but even more impressive, Michelle is 47 years old! I was in a bit of a hurry because of traffic on the way in, so I didn’t get to stop and fangirl. However, once arriving at our booth, another member of my Korean team was there as well, and I told her who I just passed on my way in; she grabbed my hand, walked me three booths over and introduced me to her old coaches wife, Michelle! The expo still had about 30 minutes before the doors opened to the public, so both being die hard foodies, we gabbed about recipes and nutrition. Can you all imagine?!  It was truly a surreal moment for me, and exhibited promise for an amazing weekend ahead.

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Friday afternoon, I had the chance to walk around for a bit while scarfing down a protein bar. I got about three booths down and realized I didn’t have my phone, which meant no camera. I turned around to go back to get it, and thought to myself, “you will have more of these moments, just enjoy this moment.” And that’s what I did. I walked around and was able to see what I had only seen on social media and just enjoyed being part of such a spectacular event.

Friday evening when wrapping up, I walked over to the booth directly behind us and said hello to the beautiful Cass Martin. I have followed Cass for a long time, and it was such a pleasure to say hello and to see that she was just as sweet in person as she always appears to be.

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Friday night the Gorilla team went for sushi. After a good 10 platters or so (have you seen bodybuilders eat), we called it a night. Saturday morning I was up once again at 5am to get the final day of the Olympia rolling. Saturday was just as busy and exciting as Friday. I got the chance to meet the rest of the GW athletes, as well as many other Olympia competitors.

Overall, this weekend was so incredible! To be a part of something within a community that I am so passionate about was extremely cool, to say the least. Most of all, this weekend allowed me to spend time with my old teammates who became family so many years ago. Almost five years later, and we are all still grinding and chasing our dreams and following our passions in this incredible industry.

Thank you Gorilla Wear for having me and allowing me to be part of this amazing Olympia weekend!!

Hey fit fam! I wanted to share with you all a highlight of my week last week.
I was having my morning coffee last Sunday and began scrolling through IG. I had a message in my inbox from a client; it was a photo of the scale, and in between her bare feet read, 144. This day marked 30 weeks that she had been following my customized training and nutrition program, and this marked exactly a 30-pound weight loss.

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When you see that as a reader it looks great on paper, right?! Thirty pounds in 30 weeks for a female in the 35+ age range is perfect; that’s a pound a week! It’s enticing and seems doable, you think to yourself, “I can do that!”

What I’m going to tell you is the same thing I tell everyone when they begin a training program; yes, it is very doable because it’s based on science. Is it easy, no. The reasons it isn’t easy however isn’t because of the reasons you would think. Most everyone can agree that working out is the easy part and diet is the hard part. While I think this is true as well, I believe a lack of patience is most peoples primary detriment.

Take my client above for instance. If she lost a single pound the first week, another the second, another pound the third and this was a continuous pattern that she knew to expect every week, that in my opinion seems fairly promising. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. You may begin a new training/nutrition program and the first week lose 5-pounds merely because you aren’t eating sodium filled processed foods everyday. While this is exciting and a great feat in itself, these numbers aren’t typically realistic over consecutive weeks. In fact, some weeks you may show no weight loss at all. This is when people lose their patience. “You mean I have followed my menu and workouts to a T and haven’t even lost a pound this week.” Yes, it sucks! It absolutely sucks to step on the scale one day and read 132, and the very next day weigh 133. How in the world does this happen?! It’s defined as homeostasis and electrolyte balance, it’s called being a human!

My client above didn’t throw in the towel at 15-weeks when the scale didn’t show a loss, or at 21 weeks when once again, nothing on the scale. Instead, she emailed me and said she was going to stay off of the scale and only weigh in every two weeks along with her bi-weekly measurement updates. This made me so happy! I check in with my clients every week. Each week they fill out a questionnaire regarding their menu, workouts, how they feel and so on. I have them weigh in once a week (the morning of their check-in), and every two weeks I request measurements. When she said she wanted to weigh in bi-weekly this showed me that she was no longer relying solely on the scale to determine her progression, which ultimately shows me she has found her “fitness and wellness lifestyle.

I have said it over and over, verbatim …slow and steady progress trumps fast fat loss any day. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you must commit to a healthy “lifestyle.” If you weigh yourself every single morning, you can guarantee that at least three days out of the week you will begin your day with doubt and uncertainty. Why would anyone want to do this to themselves? More importantly, why would you let a scale determine a moment of unhappiness in your life.

It’s ok to occasionally get discouraged, once again, we’re human; however, one must learn to control emotions of discouragement and not overeat and dive head first into a pattern of binging when these feelings come into play. One must realize that every week will not be a rewarding week on the scale. Every week you will not be motivated. You may slip up and eat two too-many cookies on your treat day, but the main thing is to remain patient and consistent.  If you are consistent with a program science will prevail, but you must have the patience while waiting on the bigger picture. 

 

 

Hey fit-fam. I hope everyone got to enjoy an extended weekend for Labor Day!

First off, I cannot believe that it is already September! What is even more unbelievable is that we have been living in Las Vegas for 9-months now! I have to say that I do absolutely love it here.

You guys know that I love to hike, so we spent our Labor Day at Red Rocks. We chose to tackle a shorter trail than usual because there was a good bit of thunder rumbling around when we began, and we had already spotted rain in the distance on our drive in. We decided on the Calico Tanks Trail; it is ranked as a moderate trail, mainly because of its terrain. The rain never came and the overcast made for a perfect low 90’s temperature. It was a beautiful hike. I also have to plug in here that it is normally $15 per vehicle for a pass through Red Rock’s scenic drive, but a military I.D. gets you in for free!!

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Earlier in the weekend we met up with a couple of friends for a day of Top Golf at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on the strip. I had never been to TG before and had no idea what to expect, and was excited to see that it was basically just a gigantic driving range. I haven’t picked up a golf club since way back in my Hooters days, and even then let’s just say my par score wasn’t a factor when playing for charity. I did manage to score second to highest on the last game, but I attribute most of that to my girl Maddie that filled in for me during a bathroom break.


We hit pause for a lunch break and I had the sugar cane shrimp lettuce wraps. This was my first form of seafood other than Sashimi in 12-weeks; while the flavor was spot on, the texture of crustaceans has always been a bit of an issue for me. They held me over though throughout our golf game, until we headed to dinner at Las Vegas’s Tacos and beer.

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Our friends are regulars at Tacos and Beer and swear by the street tacos, so it was a must try. I had the pineapple and black bean tacos, and they did not disappoint! To beat it all, they were only $3.50 each!

 

To finish off the weekend, we checked out The Tipsy Robot which is located in the Miracle Mile Shops of downtown. When you hear of a robot bartender, one gets a bit intrigued. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not that great. It is literally a robot arm that mixes a drink. There is no flare, no interaction, and no discount for a water. Your girl ordered a soda water with a lime and it was $7.00, redic! This is absolutely fine for the Las Vegas tourist that is willing to pay money for the “non-traditional Vegas experience,” but definitely not a spot for the local resident. Either way, we checked it off our things to see list, and now on to the next.

 
I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend and have an amazing week ahead!

Good morning guys! I am going to jump right into this post because I am super stoked to share this new blog series with you all! I invite you to follow along over the next six weeks as I attack Las Vegas’s  Camp Rhino  6-Week Challenge.

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I should probably begin by stating my reasons for joining this challenge. You guys know that since being back in the states I have been working out in our home gym with a few random drop-ins around town. Most of all, I wanted to find a place that I could be surrounded by like-minded individuals, and it was a priority to find a gym that offered variety. After scoping out a few different places, I stumbled upon Camp Rhino. Camp Rhino not only offers CrossFit, but has multiple boot-camp locations across town (indoors & outdoors), and to top it off, obstacle training. I read into the 6–week challenge and was convinced to join when I realized I had the potential to earn my money back. To join the challenge costs $300. If you attend a total of 24 classes, meet all nutritional requirements and strive for daily improvements, you get every penny back. This was incredible incentive!

I attended the initial athlete’s meeting at the beginning of the week and was accompanied by a room full of eager and motivated individuals. There were people that had previously battled cancer, men that were powerlifters but joined the challenge to support their wives, competitive athletes, and people like me, simply looking for a new gym to call home.

Tuesday morning (day 1),  I woke and logged my stats. This was the first time that I have been on the scale since my initial “summer-shredding” weigh in. I began my cut (before the challenge) at 143 pounds and dropped to where I currently sit at 137 pounds.
Starting Measurements:
• Weight 137#
• Chest 36″
• Waist 28″
• Hips 33.5″
• Glutes: 39″

Once I established my starting point, I laced up my Nanos and to the gym I went. This was the first CrossFit class that I have attended since leaving Italy at the end of last year & it felt incredible! Days 1 & 2 complete!!

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Now, fast forward three weeks….This week marks the halfway point and I am feeling great! So what is the challenge providing me that was lacking in my previous training program? This is easy,  more intensity. As I mentioned before, Rhino does offer boot camp, obstacle training and mobility classes, but my focus has been on CrossFit. I still begin my mornings as I have for months now, with a pilates/yoga/core session at home, and then I head to CrossFit. I try to maintain this routine at a minimum of four days a week, and two days a week I focus strictly on  isolation training at home in place of going to CrossFit.

As for my diet, my food choices relatively remain the same all year round; however, since beginning this program I have replaced my weekly “treat meal” with just an increased calorie consumption of the foods I already eat (the camp-rhino program allows for a weekly cheat, this is a personal choice). If you follow my personal food log on IG (tiffany dietetics), you will see that I consume primarily whole foods. My top carbohydrate sources are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, with higher-glycemic foods structured around my workouts. I avoid saturated fat and trans fats as much as possible, and I use olive oil 99% of the time when sautéing veggies. I incorporate nuts and seeds at least 3-4x a week and typically include one small avocado a day. As for protein, I have gradually converted to a plant based diet with the exception of egg whites and the occasional raw sushi roll (this has been a gradual transition since the beginning of this year for a nutritional study. I will share my reasons behind this decision in a separate post).

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So what about my stats? As of this morning, I have lost 3 pounds and a total of 4 inches, which is awesome considering my primary purpose for this program has been to find a new gym to call home; so, tighter abs and glutes are just an added bonus!

That’s just it you all, I wish I could stress the importance of a healthy, well-balanced diet! If you adhere to healthy eating habits and couple that with a few days of intensity within your training, you are guaranteed to yield results.

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Now here it is, 6-weeks later and I have completed Camp Rhinos 6-Week Challenge!!!!!
I had my final check-in Wednesday afternoon and earned 100% of my money back! If you recall from my first post introducing the challenge, the total cost of the challenge was $300. To earn back your money one must meet the nutrition recommendations, attend 24 classes, and track and log progress stats for 6-weeks.

I reached my lowest weight of the challenge earlier in the week at 131.8 pounds; I chalk this up to the fact that I failed to meet my water intake and woke up a bit dehydrated.  I weighed myself the morning of my final check-in at 133.5 pounds and that was the final weight logged. Overall, I showed a weight loss of 4-pounds and a total decrease of 6-inches. Most importantly, I found a new gym to call home. I collected my $300 dollars and rolled it over to pay for the following two months.

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My plan is to continue with my cut for a few more weeks until Olympia weekend (look for me at the Gorilla Wear booth!) I did allow for a night out this weekend with some friends and indulged with a few gin and tonics and had a veggie loaded thin crust pizza on Saturday night, but this morning it was back to the grind.

Good morning you all. I believe my last blog entry was an introduction to my interpretation of “wellness” a couple of weeks back. Today I want to address questions that I often get asked regarding flexible dieting versus a diet constructed of whole foods.

Take the picture below for example: both options provide 500 calories. So if you look at it scientifically, no matter the food choice, 500 calories is 500 calories. A calorie is defined as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius; therefor, no matter where the calories come from, a calorie is still a calorie.  

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So what does flexible dieting mean? Flexible dieting is just as its name depicts. As long as your macros (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) fit within the totals that are prescribed for your diet (whether it be for weight gain or weight loss), then you will yield results. 

A diet that is constructed of whole foods means that the individual chooses foods that are non-processed and in there most natural state. The same goes for this approach, as long as your macros (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) fit within the totals that are prescribed for your diet (whether it be for weight gain or weight loss), then you will yield results.

So if both styles yield the same results when it comes to fat loss (or gain), then what is the best approach, or the correct approach to a strategic diet. I will share with you all my personal opinion of each approach and the reasoning behind my choices.

To begin, I want to address my thoughts on flexible dieting. Flexible dieting is an approach to eating that allows you to eat any food you want as long as you can fit it into your prescribed totals. I personally find that this approach works great for a variety of people: those that are new to dieting, those with an untrained palate, individuals that like to incorporate “treat meals,” and the list goes on. Most individuals are familiar with a typical American diet. Americans tend to consume a lot of high-sodium, high-fat, processed foods. If you take an individual such as this and remove all of the foods that they currently consume and replace them with broiled fish and broccoli, the chances of them sticking to this unfamiliarity is slim. If the individual can still consume their usual Tuesday evening Tyson chicken nuggets with the only change being to bake them in the oven and trade in the traditional ranch dipping sauce for a healthier yogurt based dressing, they will be more apt to follow a plan.

How many times have you heard someone say, or have even said yourself, “I don’t like vegetables,” often followed with admission of having never tried it, or haven’t tried it since the initial taste (years prior). If I gave this person a menu constructed mainly of fibrous veggies, then he/she would probably do one of two things: one, he/she would totally skimp on the veggies all together not meeting their totals for the day, or second, he/she goes on a binger three days in because their body is craving everything it’s not allowing for.

I think for someone to dive head first into a new eating pattern and replace everything they are familiar with is a disaster waiting to happen. The flexible approach can be a great introduction to healthier eating patterns, not only for those new to calorie (macro) tracking, but can be extremely beneficial for those that suffer from an unhealthy relationship with food. 

What about the “whole foods” approach to nutrition? Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed, meaning they have no additives or preservatives. This menu consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Most often than not, you will find those who adhere to a whole foods approach are thoroughly interested in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) of each food just as well. The idea of a whole foods diet is for improving health and preventing disease. Heavily processed foods are full of refined flours and processed sugars often replacing the numerous beneficial Photochemicals and Antioxidants. 

You have heard “you are what you eat?” Well, if you aren’t getting enough micronutrients (those vitamins and minerals that prevent certain cancers), then what are you eating? Often the most recent fad-diet online is what people believe to be truth, and unfortunately this information is usually incorrect.

 

Here’s what it comes down to, and its pretty simple really. Everything in life is about balance. We are human and one of our primary pleasures in life is food. If you find yourself consuming more processed foods than whole foods, make certain that you are choosing options low in fat and fortified with essential nutrients. Also, try slowly implementing vegetables into your meals to familiarize (or introduce) your palate to new flavors. If you aren’t consuming 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day with two of those being greens, then it is wise to consider supplementing with a multi-vitamin (women over the age of 30 should consider adding an additional calcium supplement paired with Vitamin D).

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A healthy diet is one that helps to maintain or improve overall health. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be seduced by the occasional piece of  chocolate cake.

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