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Its unfortunate but true. Nowadays people live to eat, rather than eating to live. Socializing consists of food and drinks, and were constantly planning lunch while eating breakfast, and planning dinner while having lunch. Portion sizes have turned into  “King” sizes and “Super” sized. Americas #1 way of consuming a potato is in the form of a French fry. Teas are no longer consumed for a natural remedy or a natural caffeine boost, but rather doused with loads of sugar. We have become so consumed by these changes over time, that we forget that foods are a necessity to live, rather than a luxury of entertainment.
Good Nutrition is simple. Meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, light starches and no sugar. Keeping consumption at a level that will support exercise but not body fat.

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Ingredients:

•6 cups soy milk or skim milk
•4 cups old fashioned oats
•4 bananas, sliced
•3/4 cup chopped walnuts
•6 Tbs. brown sugar (I used Agave)
•2 tsp. cinnamon
•1/2 tsp. salt
•Vanilla yogurt (optional)

Instructions:

1. In medium sized slow cooker, combine milk, oats, bananas, walnuts, sugar (or Agave), cinnamon and salt.
2. Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours, or MEDIUM-HI for 1 hour. Stir occasionally, or until desired consistency.
3. You can serve it with yogurt, and you can also serve it with fresh berries on top.

For the people that ask ‘Do you keep your abs all year around?’

The dreaded off season, year end photos:)
The only way to make gains is by gaining weight- thats just common sense-
If that means losing my abs for a couple of months then so be it!!

The morning began with the taking of progress photos, measurements and body fat testing. For the first time EVER, my measurements were equal on both sides of my body (this is why I avoid using machines when I work out- free weights force the body to do equal amounts of work)

According to my measurements and weight- My estimated lean mass gain for the year is probably around 7-9 LBS. Thats HUGE numbers for me! Where as the newbie in this industry can gain anywhere from 13-15 pounds in a single year fairly easily- for the more advanced trainee it can be very difficult to add even a few pounds of additional lean mass.

My training this last year was a completely different type of regimen than years previous. For many, many years, I trained for endurance. I competed in triathlons, duathlons and endurance cycling. Averaging anywhere from 20 to 30 miles running, 100 to 200 miles weekly on the bike, and 5 to 6 hours dedicated to swimming- I consumed just enough calories to support my training, but nowhere near enough calories for weight gain. For many years during my off season, I would immediately return to a low carb diet in fear of gaining an ounce of body fat (along with many endurance athletes, I unfortunately saw any additional weight gain as a negative effect on my training and would at times reduce calories taking it to extremes).
It took me two years of studying Sports Nutrition, application in my training and putting faith and trust in the process to overcome this unhealthy off season cycle.

While I still thoroughly enjoy bouts of endurance training- My training goals have changed tremendously. My year round focus is training for strength- During race season, my techniques have shifted more into HIIT Training (more muscle sparing) and their is no such thing as ‘low-carb’ in my nutrition program.

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We’re all asked this time of year ‘what are your goals or resolutions?’
A new year exemplifies a fresh start- a new chapter- new beginnings-
A perfect time to put fourth effort into something that perhaps scares us or tests our strengths and weaknesses. What better time than a new year!
I personally love setting new goals and challenges at the beginning of a new year. I am a person that believes 100% in doing something daily to take myself out of my comfort zone. My greatest accomplishments to date have been the ones that scared me the most. Fear is our biggest enemy. To be brave takes courage and strength. Fear causes doubt that tells us we can’t, were not good enough or we will fail. Courage is facing our fears. Accepting the fact that I may not be the best, but I’ll be damned if I don’t put fourth my very best.
My goal every year as a human being is to be better than the year before- and this applies to all aspects of my life and in everything I do. My first and foremost goal is to simply be a good and descent person- to be compassionate, loving and nonjudgmental at all costs. Its not always easy, but each day and year it gets easier. To be good is something that I don’t have too much pride to say- can at times be testing- being genuinely good in this world can be difficult at times.
My second goal that plays yearly on repeat- Worry less about what others think. I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that not everyone will like me- and thats OK! We are all different personalities- we all have different outlooks, beliefs and lifestyles. Not everyone will agree with the way I live my life or the decisions I choose, but that’s just it- its my life and no matter what paths I choose- there will always be someone who supports it and others that don’t. Most importantly, as long as the God that I serve makes me feel ok with my life’s choices…thats ok with me.
And finally- to grow stronger- Mentally and Physically. For anyone that has participated especially in endurance sports or training can understand the power of a strong mind. I know personally, mental strength can be my most powerful source or my biggest enemy. Second tier athletes become top competitors when they train their mind to surpass their physical strength. Once this type of control is understood; applying it to daily life situations is empowering.
I have enormous strength- and in order to use it in a positive manner, I set goals for myself- whether it be yearly or daily, these goals keep me focused. As long as I keep looking forward, I know I’m always headed in the right direction.

New Year’s Eve was spent dining with friends at Giardino Della Serenissima. We ended up downtown in the Sacile square to ring in the new year. Another amazing chapter in our lives begin!!

 

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Crossfit is constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements. It is a core strength and conditioning program. Crossfit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize  physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains. They are cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy. The Crossfit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. To train to successfully perform at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. The totality of fitness the Crossfit Program seeks is focus on the neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, and constant training and practice with functional movements. CrossFit is the sport of Fitness-

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I just finished packing my bags for my move. The airport shuttle will be here at 9am tomorrow! I cannot believe the time is finally here!! Three years to experience Europe!! I am so beyond blessed!!
Korea was the best experience of my life and I know Italy is going to offer even more!!
I speak it, believe it and receive it, that this experience will be life changing and will open my eyes and heart for so many wonderful adventures!! I am so grateful for this opportunity!!!!

My 1st Week in Italy

Our first night in Italy our good friend took us to dinner at his favorite local restaurant. BEFed is known for their rotisserie chicken. It was amazing!!
My first Friday night.
This is what I have been waiting for! Fresh and organic from the local market 🙂
I got my license this week!!!
Breakfast at the local caffe. 
I took a tour of one of the world’s top chocolate shops. This dress was made from milk chocolate!!

I think I will enjoy my time here 🙂

I am a woman in progress. I strive to take every experience and learn from it. All the adversities, troubles and obstacles strengthen me. I am not perfect nor the most beautiful, but I know who I am. I am real. My strength and growth come through continuous effort, hustle and a fire that burns within.

This is why I love what I do. I pray daily that my lifestyle may inspire others:)
As women we all should support one another and lift each other up!

BARBELLS FOR BOOBS
EVERYONE LOVES BOOBS- SO WE GOTTA DO OUR PART:)
TODAY’S WOD:
‘GRACE’
30 CLEAN & JERKS FOR TIME
Today was my last WOD at CrossFit ATB 😦
I love this box and group of people. I always enjoy my time with these guys when in town.

Waking up this morning, gearing up my Ruck, I realized with my new pack, I had to wrap my weight differently to accommodate. Setting me back on my time, I didn’t thoroughly test my pack. BAD MOVE! I headed out on my hike and 2 miles in, my straps were slipping, my traps were burning (and not from the 30Lb load on my back) but the awkward way the sack was slinging. Another 2 miles, my front support strap completely unhooked. At this point I felt like I had an awkward monkey on my back and my turtle pace speed walk at 5mph was doing nothing for my endurance. So another couple of miles and I called it a day.

I headed straight to the Army/Navy Surplus store, bought some old used straps and clasps. Now after jumping up and down like a crazy person and a couple of handstands..She rides like a dream:) AROOO!

The Next Day:

After finally falling asleep this morning at 3am, I was up and at it by 7.
As soon as my feet hit the floor, I slammed a protein drink and headed out the door.
I walked a good, fast pace for a mile to warm up a bit, then a two mile run to follow.
After, I took a 30 minute break, loaded up my ruck with 25Lbs and out for another 3 mile walk/run combo.
I didn’t track meals today. I allowed myself as much fruit, yogurt, chicken and sweet potatoes as I wanted. Maybe even a few Tbsp’s of Peanut Butter:) I could feel my body needed it and nice full tummy will help for a better nights rest.