Hey guys! Today marks one week since being back from vacation, which means my summer shredding series has officially wrapped! I wanted to share with you all what our cross country road trip looked like: the foods, the workouts, and the indulgences.

One can only eat so healthy while on the road without packing a lunchbox of prepped meals. Here are a few snips of some of the on-the-go snacks I had on our drive.

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coconut clusters paired with an iced latte (almond milk and sugar-free vanilla) from Starbucks, kale chips with a sugar-free Monster, hard-boiled eggs and a veggie cup (tomatoes and broccoli)

While I was never a big fan of Subway when I was a meat-eater, I’ve found that since turning to more of a plant-based diet, I do occasionally enjoy a good veggie sub; fortunately, there are more subway restaurants attached to gas stations than any other on-the-go eatery. Needless to say, Subway was my go-to. I took along a bag of corn tortillas as well and would eat half of the sub on bread, then toss the bread and opt for tortillas for the other half.

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Finally, after driving 2000 miles, we found our way to the beach.

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I always get asked what I drink when I have a night out. In this case, a day out. Seeing that we were at the beach, I did indulge in a skinny margarita that paired perfectly with my Mahi tacos (minus the tortillas and rice). Typically, I drink vodka and soda or wine, but when at the beach, one must indulge a bit.

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The highlight of our trip to Florida was definitely seeing my “wingman.” She and I trained together religiously before Wes and I moved to Korea. She recently began coaching as well, and while I would have loved to have taken her class, Florida was all about chilling and celebrating my birthday!

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Here we are the day after my birthday. I ate anything my heart desired! I began the day with biscuits and gravy from IHop, had a mega burrito from Tijuana Flats for lunch, and almost an entire pizza for dinner (not to mention the birthday drinks). Hey, it’s only your birthday once a year, indulge a little!

After Florida, we made our way north to Alabama to see my family. Although it rained literally the entire visit, it was nice to have some downtime. My favorite part of visiting home is sitting around the kitchen table with my mom. We will drink coffee and kiki for hours and hours. They finally got to meet Jack, and of course, they were obsessed with our little muppet.

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Immediately upon waking our first day in Bama, I found a gym and got a pass for the week. Every morning began with a quick 30:00 workout, followed by 20:00 on the treadmill.

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While we did eat out almost every evening, my cravings for anything salty and processed (after my birthday splurge), had almost completely subsided. I was eager to get back on track. Our first night out, we went to a local diner and I had a loaded veggie plate, sweet potatoes, broccoli, okra, and a side salad. The following morning we went to breakfast and I had eggs, grits, and potatoes. For dinner, we had Ruby Tuesdays salad bar. It’s all about balance when on vacation. You should be mindful of your choices for most meals, but allow yourself to enjoy some added extras (like the white chocolate Oreos my mom always has waiting for me in the freezer).

After a few days in Bama, we continued north to Indiana. We had a couple of nights out, and I stuck to vodka and soda for my drink, and although we ate out for every meal, we had plenty healthy options.

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I didn’t go to the gym while in Indy, but I did manage to go for a run every morning and squeeze in some yoga.

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Throughout our trip, I was somewhat stressed regarding the fact that we were driving back cross country, and I had to be back to coaching immediately upon arrival. My sweet husband bought me a plane ticket to fly home so I could have a couple of days to recover before returning to work, which left him driving back solo cross-country with Jack O’doodle.

While walking through the airport I was trying to decide what to eat when I stumbled upon the Farmers Fridge. Is this for real? Can I really get a salad loaded with chickpeas, grapes, apples, cashews, and avocados from a vending machine, and it is fresh and crisp?! Oh my God, yes, please! It was absolutely delish!

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I had a straight flight back to Vegas and landed just after midnight. And just like that, vacation is over, that’s a wrap. While my physique was nowhere near what it is when competing (nor was that the goal), I was happy with the results from my mini-cut. I think to feel comfortable in a bikini and walk the beach with confidence is a great feeling for any woman.

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An end of vacation check-in. Feeling a bit fluffy  after birthday/vacation indulgences, but a couple of days of cardio and I’ll be back on track. It has been worth the fun!

Thank you all for following along throughout this series.

 

Good evening guys and happy Sunday!! I hope you all have had an incredible weekend! Mine was low key and mostly spent at home, and that is okay with me!

I am going to dive right into today’s blog topic, which refers to something that I get asked about a lot…a typical day of eating.

To begin, I am an early riser. I am up by 3am (4 at the latest), and begin my morning with about 16 ounces of water. Most of us are dehydrated upon waking, so immediately downing some water kickstarts hydration, digestion, and coats the belly for the oh-so acidic black coffee that usually comes next. I like to get in a sweat first thing, so I either hop on the elliptical at my house or if time permits and I want added intensity, I will head to the gym just down the road and sweat it out on the stair mill. Although I take in BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) while completing my cardio, by the time I am finished, I’m ravished. Breakfast for me at the moment is either oatmeal and egg whites topped with Texas Pete (the best hot sauce ever), or riced cauliflower mixed with shredded potatoes, bell peppers and egg whites with a side of fruit, or I opt for a protein shake made with coconut water if its close to my workout time.

Three days a week I coach the early classes at F45, which leaves me getting ready and heading out immediately after breakfast. When coaching in the am I typically cover three classes, and am done by 9:00. My calorie expenditure is always at least 200 cals per class, so by the end, I am more than ready for meal two. I try my best to have something prepped and waiting for me at home or I mix up my daily green smoothie while I fix up something. A typical lunch for me includes 1-2 veggies of some sort (the last two weeks has been broccoli and red potatoes), a protein source (a veggie patty or egg whites), and fat (almost always avocado or oil).

Once my lunch settles, the pup and I will take our am neighborhood stroll. Our walks are divided into two sessions now that it’s getting warm, so we’re back home within 15 minutes. I use the next couple of hours of the day to take care of my “to-do’s.” By noon I’m munching on my pre-workout snack if I haven’t lifted yet, which almost always includes some sort of fruit, whether it be on top of oats, yogurt, or mixed within a smoothie.

On a typical training day, I’ll spend about 60 to 90 minutes in the gym depending on my programming. I try to make certain that I eat within 1 hour of my weight training (for optimal recovery). My post-workout meal always consists of a faster absorbing carb and a protein. Protein pancakes with fruit has been a recent favorite!

If most of you are like me, I find that I have a good amount of energy for a couple of hours following my workout. After my post-workout meal Jack and I will either take another short stroll or take it to the backyard for a few minutes of playtime. My afternoons are spent completing client check-ins, studying, or taking care of things around the house. I go to bed fairly early, so I am usually prepping dinner around 4 or 5. I find (like most), I am much hungrier in the evening. In order to feel completely satisfied, I load up on fibrous veggies: broccoli, okra, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, and cauliflower are my usual go-to’s.

 

There is no rule stating how many meals one should have per day, nor is there enough evidence stating that meal timing is detrimental to training; however, for me, I find that 4 to 5 meals spread throughout the day works best. Some individuals may react better to 2 to 3 larger meals. The bottom line, the foods you choose to eat are far more important than when you eat them.

Cheers to an incredible week ahead and staying on track!

Happy Tuesday Fam!! I have been a busy woman! I volunteered to coach at our second F45 location in Henderson, Las Vegas for a couple of days (in addition to my already loaded schedule), so it has been, go-go-go-  Segueing into today’s’ blog topic..eating on the go.

The key to staying on track on days that you don’t have time to stop and cook your food is to prepare in advance. We have all heard the saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Well, it couldn’t be truer! Meal prep is key when it comes to staying on track, particularly when calorie restricting for something such as summer shredding.

Below, I have given some of my favorite on the go meals along with some tips that seem to help me stay on track.

For breakfast, overnight oats seem to be a big hit with a lot of my clients. These can be prepped in larger quantities so you can have several days planned in advance, or simply prep an individual serving the night before and it’s ready to go in the morning. Overnight oats can be eaten cold straight from the fridge, or popped in the microwave for a quick minute, and served warm. Below I have given my most recent prepped oats with the macros included. Any fruit that you traditionally combine with oats will work as well: strawberries, blueberries, and bananas are some of my faves. For additional fats and fiber, chia seeds, almonds or walnuts would be a perfect addition, and when trying to bulk, I would add in some nut butter.

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Another great on-the-go breakfast, smoothies. Simply blend up your favorite fruits and veggies and any add-ins that you wish (protein powder, collagen, etc), and freeze in individual servings. I personally use ziplock baggies. When morning comes, I grab one from the freezer, pop back into the blender, give it a quick spin, and it’s good to go. You can also toss the baggie into your gym bag, and by the time you have finished your workout, it’s unthawed to a perfect slushy texture. Simply dump into your blender bottle, give it shake.

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For lunch, I find that sandwiches and wraps work really well for most; however, if you prefer to avoid bread and grains altogether, alternatives are available as well. When prepping your sandwich (or wrap), preparing the night before is perfectly fine. I suggest adding any condiments (mustard, hummus, etc) just before eating. This prevents the oh so gross, soggy sandwich. I suggest using the little 2 oz plastic cups that come with a lid. These can be purchased at just about any store, and make for perfect condiment/dipping containers. Sandwiches will hold up for a couple of hours at room temp, but I suggest an insulated lunchbox anything beyond that point. My favorite sides to pair with any sandwich or wrap are celery, bell peppers, apples, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots. Again, fill your 2 oz cup with a dab of hummus or yogurt-based dressing for a dipping sauce for your veggie/fruit of choice. If you aren’t a sandwich or wrap eater, you can simply prepare your desired lunch in a compartmented lunch box. These too can be prepped the night before and tossed in your work bag on the way out the door.

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Dinner, for many, is a meal that they can prepare at home, or at least put a few extra minutes into; however, it’s a good idea to have the foundation of the meal prepped and ready to go. Spaghetti squash, for example, is a big hit among my clients. Two squash can be prepared on meal prep day and for four days you have the “shell” of your dinner ready to go. Spaghetti squash can be stuffed with chicken (also prepared on meal prep day), cheese, chopped peppers and onions, chickpeas, corn, beans, veggies, the list goes on.

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If eating out, or picking up fast food on the go, it is much easier to track nowadays thanks to the FDA’s Menu Labeling Requirements. My favorite salads are from Panera Bread, Chick-Fil-A, and Jason’s Deli. While all offer low-fat dressing options, I prefer to take my own. Yes, you heard right. If I know ahead of time that I am having a salad while out and about, I will fill up one of my little 2oz cups with a yogurt-based dressing. Your girl here has been known to take the whole damn bottle in her purse. If I have to stop and grab a bottle on my way to the restaurant, I will. Salad dressing can be detrimental when eating out.

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My other go-to option when dining out is usually Mexican. Mexican restaurants will almost always have corn tortillas, which pair perfectly with sautéed peppers and onions (fajitas).  You can add chicken or steak, top with salsa and guacamole, and you have a healthy, balanced meal.

Meal planning and meal prepping aren’t always easy, but it’s key when aiming for specific goals.

Hey you all, let’s catch up!

I ended last week with a kickball game on Sunday with my F45 fam. Y’all, it was so much fun!! The weather was perfect, and I couldn’t have been in better company. Oh, and my team won (btw).

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This leads me to today’s topic…treating yo-self when summer shredding. I have been asked repeatedly since beginning this series, “Do you have a cheat meal when summer shredding?”

I decided throughout this series that I will allow myself a little treat here and there. Take Sunday for instance, I celebrated with a beer following our game (blue moon for those with inquisitive minds), but my snack plate was full of fruit and raw veggies, and I brought a protein shake in my bag. Fast forward to today, and while grocery shopping after my workout, I bought myself one chocolate covered honeycomb. I kept looking at the bulk section where they have all the yummy extras, and decided, why not. The five minutes it took for me to figure out how to weigh this 30-gram piece of yumminess was worth every second and all .36 cents. I sat in my car with the air conditioning blowing and enjoyed every single bite (well it was a small piece, so it was only two bites), but it was delish!

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Throughout the week I typically have three to five meals a day, which consist mostly of whole, non-processed foods. I stay away from sugar (hence why that honeycomb was so delectable), drink lots of water, and aim for 20-25 grams of fiber.

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I am typically in a fasted state for the first 3-4 hours of the day. There is no reasoning behind this approach, other than I am just not hungry when I wake. I am up at least four days a week no later than 4 am, and usually eat around 8.

I think it’s important to remember that having a full-on “cheat meal” can stall progress; however, some people plan a cheat meal the last day of the week as a reward or something to look forward to. While this may work for some, other individuals find that a cheat or treat will send them into full-on binge mode and opt to avoid the temptation altogether. The bottom line, I think it’s important that each person finds their own approach and what works best for them.

Cheers!

Happy Sunday y’all! Here we are approaching the end of summer shredding, week 2!!
In today’s post, I want to focus a bit on food balance.

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Above, I have shared a week’s worth of breakfast choices. While each breakfast is a bit different, they all contain almost identical calories and macronutrient totals. I am a creature of habit and could eat the same breakfast almost every day of my life; however, I find this approach does not work well with clients. People don’t necessarily like change in general, but when it comes to food, most like a variety. This is where macro tracking comes in handy. Take the above for example you will see some of the photos show clementines (baby oranges), which are mostly made up of carbohydrates, and others do not. On days that I have orange slices, I will not add fruit to my green smoothie, instead, I opt for yogurt, almond milk, and spinach only. On days that I have avocado which is considered mostly fat, then I will skip the oil when cooking my peppers or egg whites.

Every meal needs to have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. If you are having two slices of bacon, then you should choose egg whites as opposed to whole eggs to pair it with, due to the fat found in the bacon. I love, love, love shredded potatoes (aka hash browns), but I know that potatoes are strictly carbohydrates, so on days that I want to add fruit to my meal (or my smoothie), I will substitute half of my potatoes with riced cauliflower (which contain half the carbs of potatoes). This allows me to hit my suggested macronutrient totals, without going over on my carbohydrates.

I also want to make it clear that not everyone has to follow macros. I haven’t tracked macronutrients consistently in over a year. I am now because of summer shredding, but otherwise, I like to eat intuitively. Macro tracking is perfect for individuals that need and appreciate discipline, and have specific goals in mind. For those that are looking to simply live healthier lifestyles and eat a more balanced diet, intuitive eating is absolutely fine. Intuitive eating means listening to your body, eating when you are hungry, and being mindful of what is on your plate- striving for balance. Not all of my clients are macro trackers. For those that track macros, I have them tracking and weighing each and every piece of food that they put in their mouth; whereas, my intuitive eaters begin by creating their plates using measuring cups and spoons. After a few weeks, they are able to “eyeball” each portion size. This approach allows people to become aware of what they are eating and how to pair foods together to create overall balance, eventually leading to a healthier way of eating.

I challenge you all to be more aware this week of creating balance on your plate. If you choose whole eggs for your protein, then avoid any other fatty foods (bacon, avocado, cooking oils). If you choose egg whites, then enjoy a couple of slices of bacon, or some avocado, or use cooking oil to sauté your veggies. If you choose a banana then skip the potatoes and opt for riced cauliflower. If you are an on-the-go breakfast type, have a smoothie that includes a balance of each: almond milk with a 1/2 tbsp of nut butter (fats), paired with your carb of choice (any fruit), and a protein, this could be in the form of greek yogurt, liquid egg whites (they are pasteurized you won’t die), or protein powder. While you’re at it, toss in some spinach (a multitude of vitamins and nutrients). The taste of spinach is masked by the other ingredients!

Creating a healthier, more balanced lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. It takes small steps that will eventually generate greater health and wellness.

Thanks for continuing to follow along as I share my tips and personal journey throughout 8-weeks of Summer Shredding.

Good morning y’all and happy Monday! I am going to jump right into this post because I am super stoked! The time has come, today officially marks the beginning of my 8-week Summer Shredding Series!

While I was already looking forward to beginning this series for summer, my husband shared some news with me this weekend that sweetened the deal even more! We have officially booked our two-week summer vacation! We will be taking our annual road trip the first two weeks of June to visit family and friends in Alabama, Florida, and Indiana. My birthday, June 5th, will mark the end of this 8-week series, just in time for the beach! I won’t begin this series by promising to blog every single day, but I do hope to check in weekly.

After typing up this blog entry over a cup of coffee, I decided to take a break and get in a good stretch session. My back and hamstrings have been incredibly tight recently, so a little extra TLC over the next few weeks is a must to make certain that I can bring my best to each and every workout. I spent about 55 minutes stretching, really concentrating on the areas that are lacking in range of motion and flexibility.

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Following my morning stretch session, I had a big bowl of oatmeal mixed with liquid eggs and topped off with nothing other than Texas Pete hot sauce. On the side, I had a green smoothie made up of cashew milk. spinach, greek yogurt, and coconut water. I take my supplements in the morning with breakfast. Currently, I am taking in a tablespoon of Turmeric, fish oil, glucosamine, calcium, and a women’s multi-vitamin.

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After breakfast, Jack and I made our way outside to do some lemon picking. The biggest harvest for lemons is during the fall, so this is the final batch before summer comes along.

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Lunch was a big bowl of brown rice, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and avocado.

I had to coach this afternoon, so I made a point to go in early and jump on the In-body to have my stats recorded for a starting base. I am sitting where I was last week at the end of the F45 8-week challenge. I am just under 133 LBS (132.7 to be exact), and my body fat read to be 18.9%. My body fat percentage showed an increase, but this is why it is imperative that you follow procedures when having these tests completed. I tested after having two meals and almost a half-gallon of water, so I am not sweating the inconsistency.

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After coaching, I decided to hang around and take today’s class. It was 45 minutes of intense intervals that left me dripping with sweat and completely spent!!

It is now 8 pm and I am finally finishing up my dinner, which consisted of a veggie burger, two corn tortillas, carrots, zucchini, and avocado.

I would say that day one of summer shredding has been a success!! Cheers to the next 8-weeks!!!