Today marks one week since being back from our cross-country road trip.

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)

I do occasionally enjoy a good loaded 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 also took along a bag of corn tortillas, so I would eat half of the sub on bread, then tortillas for the other half.

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Finally, after driving 2000 miles, we found our way to Fort Walton Beach.

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Seeing that we were at the beach, I did indulge in a skinny margarita that paired perfectly with my Mahi tacos (minus the tortillas).

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The highlight of our trip to Florida was definitely seeing my wingman, Michelle. Michelle and I trained together (religiously) before Wes and I moved to Korea. She recently began coaching CF as well, and while I would have loved to have taken her class, Florida was all about chilling and celebrating my birthday, so we opted for a local brewery 🙂

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After Florida, we made our way 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 tread. It felt great to sweat after all of the birthday celebrations.

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After a few days in Bama, we continued north to Indiana for more time with family. 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 was over, that’s a wrap. While my physique was nowhere near what it is when competing, I felt comfy in my skin.

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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!

 

We wrapped up the F45 challenge this weekend with a kickball game to celebrate all of the challenge participants and everyone’s progress! Y’all, it was so much fun!! The weather was perfect, and it sure didn’t hurt that my team won!

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I had my final in-body scan on Friday and had some pretty good progress with the challenge. I lost 4 pounds, and while that is amazing in its itself, my greatest improvement was my cardio game!

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Over the next 8-weeks I plan to continue implementing 2 F45 classes each as we prep for our trip to the beach!

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.  I weighed in at 132.7 pounds with 19% body fat.

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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 day’s 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 to 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, it’s 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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Since talking with you all last I had a birthday, here’s to 36!!

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I spent many days leading up to my birthday reminiscing birthdays of past. The last five birthdays were either spent prepping for a show or reversing out from a show. Competing was such a major part of my life. For many years, it was the primary center of my life. It was a great experience, it allowed me to meet a lot of people and it taught me stringent discipline- but somewhere over the last year, there was a shift.

When I began my fitness journey so many years ago, my intention was to become stronger, fitter, and happier. I became stronger, a lot stronger. I became fitter and I became happier- but, sometime, somewhere along that road I allowed the aesthetics of fitness to drive me rather than the dimensions of wellness. Do you know what I mean by that? Let me explain. When I first entered the world of weightlifting my primary focus was the weight on the barbell, not my weight on the scale. I noticed immediate changes in my physique as a result of training, not because of restrictive eating and endless amounts of cardio.

As time continued, training became a chore and my diet was solely for fat loss, as opposed to eating foods because they had certain antioxidants that battle cancer, or because they were optimal for recovery. I was training merely to chase a certain physique. Don’t get me wrong, a nice set of glutes and abs will always be a major motivator, but loving your body through the process is just as important. 

For me personally, achieving optimal wellness means achieving your fullest potential in the following dimensions: physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and environmental. Wellness is becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, following a strategic meal plan, or looking good naked; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.

At some point, we all get sidetracked and deviate from our path, and sometimes we may not even know our path- Either way it’s OK. Adjusting our visions are just part of growth and improvement. It’s important to rememberer to occasionally take a moment, reevaluate your goals, and check your path. 

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Physical Wellness: Improving physical wellness means a number of things to me. This means focusing not only on maintaining, but improving physical health through resistance training, flexibility, and mobility, and improving cardiovascular output. Physical wellness not only means exercise but it means adhering to a healthy diet, consuming responsible amounts of alcohol, abstaining from tobacco, and all substances that forge depression, anxiety, or disease.

Social Wellness: Reaching optimal social wellness means that you are fulfilling interpersonal relationships. These are relationships with family and friends, as well as everyday people you meet in society. To enhance social health you must be willing to communicate with others. You must be reliable, honest and most of all, acquire the ability to listen attentively with an open mind and a closed mouth.

Intellectual Wellness: Mental stimulation is a major component of intellectual health. We should continuously strive to stimulate our thought process; it can mean finding ways to be creative, developing good study skills, practicing time management, challenge yourself to see all sides of an issue. Every day is an opportunity to learn new concepts and expand our knowledge. 

Emotional Wellness: The greatest component of emotional health is the ability to not only control our behavior but to better understand it. This means taking time to look at ourselves and acknowledge why we feel certain emotions; learning to recognize what brings on feelings of anger, stress, anxiety, or sadness, and those of hope, love, joy, and happiness. Once you know what brings on these feelings, you are more equipped to dictate your emotional wellbeing. 

Spiritual Wellness: This is finding peace in knowing that you provide a purpose for existence. A person may find spiritual contentment through organized religion, volunteering, mediation, hiking; whatever fulfills your spirit and creates harmony in your life.

Environmental Wellness: We cannot always determine our environment. There are threats from our surroundings that can play a hazardous role in our everyday lives: people’s negativity, pollution, infectious diseases, crime, and the list goes on. This means taking time to do all of the extra little things that can add up to make a big difference: caring about your skin enough to apply SPF, wash your hands after public interactions, make an appointment at the doctor if you feel something isn’t right, get regular check-ups, and for God’s sake make time to floss. Minimizing the negative effects of environmental hazards is a major contributor to wellness