Thursday, June 30, 2011

Making the most of your summer cookout

The 4th of July is upon us and you know what that weiner roasts are a must. It’s tempting to shove unhealthy food into our bodies especially if Aunt Laura asks you one more time “Honey, what are you doing with your life? My friend Gertrude has a handsome grandson I could introduce you to.” At which point you could say “Laura I’m married. You were at our wedding.” You know saying anything will just turn into a fight so it’s just easier to stuff your face with another deviled egg.  The good news is there are lots of healthy choices you can make while barbequing with the fam that won’t bloat your belly.
When going to a barbeque or a picnic it’s always a good idea to bring along a dish or two to guarantee there will be some healthy choices to fill up on plus the host or hostess will love you for contributing. BONUS!  Cut up strawberries mixed with blueberries served with some string cheese, and yogurt on the side is not only festive but provides you with antioxidants and saves you tons of unneeded calories. Another idea is to scoop the inside of a watermelon out add some cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and strawberries for a refreshing side dish. Maybe bring some coleslaw made with fat free mayo, or some grilled peaches. Shrimp and veggie skewers are a good option to bring or serve instead of hotdogs. If you’d rather not bring your own dish some ways you can cut out unnecessary calories is to have the hamburger but skip the cheese and bun. Watch the amount of beer you consume. I know sometimes it’s the only saving grace at these functions but many brands of beers have lots of empty calories. The same goes for soda pop. Hydrate yourself with water with a slice of fruit in it for some sassy taste.
Instead of focusing on the food get active. Play a little Frisbee, go for a walk or try bocce ball. It’s a fun way to stay connected with the people around you and you get to work up an appetite.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Get your girl guns

Tank top season is upon us. You can’t hide your arms anymore. Almost every sassy summer top is sleeveless requiring you to bare your arms which can be scary. Hiding unwanted flab is harder than tightening those arm muscles. Here are a few steps to help you showcase your “girl guns.”
The most amazing news for women….we can’t get bulky! Those body builders you see looking totally ripped and manly are taking serious drugs ie: testosterone supplements. Normal women don’t produce very much of this hormone so you can train without worry! We all are built different so don’t get upset if the workout your BFF does brings you different results. What works for her may not work for you. Listen to your body and fix any errors that may arise.
Having sleek arms is possible! Here is what you have to do:
- Eat healthy; 5-6 small meals a day. Diet is 50% of the game plan. Watch what you eat!
- Do arm workout and workouts for all other body muscles. Make sure you train the biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back muscles.
For each of the following exercises do 2-3 sets per 8-12 reps. Try 2 different sets of weights, one light and one heavy. An example: one set of 5lbs and one set of 8lbs.
Go Heavy to Begin
·         Bicep Curls full range of motion, 1/2 way up and all the way down. ½ way down and all the way up, alternate curls. Do 8 of each and make sure to move smoothly from one series into another.
·         Back:  2 armed Lat rows with palms facing in, alternating rows with palms facing up, alternating rear delt flys
·         Triceps: Kickbacks (one arm at a time and remember to keep the shoulders squared. The upper arm should be parallel to the floor), overhead tricep press, tricep dips
·         Shoulders: shoulder press, front raise, side arm raise (when you raise the arms be sure not to lift above shoulder level. When you do so you risk impinging the joint. Your body will not like that later so don’t risk it)
Try mixing the order that you do them all in. You risk getting bored and your body will get used to the series if you do the same thing all the time. Try to do all the exercises but move fluidly from one move to the other.
*If you are a beginner, start exercises for biceps with weights that are not so heavy for you. You have to be comfortable while handling bigger weights. Gain self confidence for a few workouts then DO NOT be scared to kick it up a notch! You’ll never know what you can do unless you try.
Choosing the right weights can be confusing. Here are some guidelines to follow when picking your poundage:
- If you do more than 12 reps in the first set, these weights are light for you. Go a few pounds heavier and you’ll notice changes right away!
- Take bigger weights and try again, but don’t do all weight tests in one workout, because after a bit your muscles will be tired and you can’t get a real understanding of what you can do.
- Here is a great guideline for everyone: 1st set should be manageable, 2nd set should feel difficult, 3rd set is super a no-go.
Keep pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and before you know it you’ll have knockout arms.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Get slim without the gym! Take it to the park

Have you noticed the trend of being “green” is totally and utterly fab? I’m as green as the next girl but some companies are taking it too far. Recently I saw an advertisement for “green” fitness (aka an outdoor fitness class in your local park) for only $90 a month. WHAT? Here is an idea go to your local field, amphitheatre, or pit. It’s free! Forget those expensive gym memberships and fancy work out equipment. You can still improve your mood, self-esteem and your muscles for $0 and you can get in on the “green” action.

A park is an ideal workout playground. Benches, trees, railings, steps and hills all provide a varied 'gym'. You want to shoot for 3x a week on non-consecutive days. On the off days keep yourself active. It DOES NOT mean you can lounge on the couch eating a pint of Chunky Monkey while you watch a marathon of the Bachelor. Go for a walk instead of driving your car and if you have to drive park a little further away from your final destination so you have to walk to get to where you are going.
It’s important to note that to lose weight you MUST work up a sweat and work outside of your comfort zone for 30 minutes 5 times a week.
Here are some ideas to challenge yourself and keep things funky fresh.

*Your kids can join in on the fun or play near while you exercise.

Find a hill that will take you about one minute to run up at a brisk jogging speed.
You then slowly jog back down, ideally using a zigzag pattern or a longer route that will take you about two minutes.
You should be doing one minute of hard work with two minutes of active recovery.

If you don't have a hill or steep incline, sprint for a minute and then jog for two minutes.
If you are new to exercise, aim for six runs. Intermediates should manage eight and the super-fit should be able to do ten.
This is an intensive session that will increase your cardiovascular fitness and metabolic rate so you’ll be burning tons of calories all day.
Want to mix up your cardio training? Break it up! You will improve your strength and dexterity while burning major calories! Stop your power walk, jog or run every 4 to 5 minutes to perform these moves.

Bench push-ups: Normal push-ups using a bench. Works your arms, shoulders and chest.
*If you are a beginner, put your hands on the high back of the bench
If you are intermediate level, put your hands on the lower level of the bench or do a normal push-up on the ground.
If you are experienced, face downwards with your feet on the bench seat while you put your hands on the floor for a decline push up.
Repetitions: Do as many as you can until you lose your form. About 20-30 then continue to power walk or run.

Bench step ups: Quads, Derriere, Calves, Abs Step up and down on park bench. Make sure your entire foot makes contact with the bench. Move at a quick pace. Use your abdominal wall to keep your posture upright.
Repetitions: About 12 to 20. 2 sets on each leg

Ski Jump: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads
Place four to six small rocks in a zigzag pattern, about 1 ½ feet between each rock. Keep your feet together and jump to the outside of each rock. Turn around and repeat when you reach the end.
Repetitions: 1 minute

This is just a small sample of things you can do to spice up your outdoor sweat sessions. Do what feels good for your body and also feels challenging. If you don’t have a little bit of fun chances are you won’t stick with it.  There aren’t any rules you have to follow so sass it up however you want!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tone Those Thighs?

Time and Time again I hear “I am pretty happy with how I look but I hate my legs. How do I make my inner thighs and outer thighs thinner?”
Well plain and simple you can’t spot train. Meaning you can’t lose weight just in one specific area. When you lose weight, you lose it all over your body. You can’t choose where you will lose it in your body or we’d all be perfect! I suggest helping your thighs out with different kinds of exercise and eating healthy.
What you can do to help shape those stems is doing specific exercises to help tone them. The following are oldies but goodies! They work so do them!

Complete as a circuit. Meaning do one right after the other. 1 set each for 12-15 reps. Repeat the circuit 2-3xs
Lunges  (forward, back, side), squats (also try on one leg for more of a balance challenge), leg lifts
In line skating, bike riding, and even dancing targets those gams and also gives your heart muscle a nice workout too. Try to incorporate them into your workout mix.

If you belong to a gym use the equipment for an additional leg challenge. Remember if you have questions about your form ask a trainer. They can guide you in the right direction.

Remember the more you put into your workout the more you get.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sassy Summer Vacay Fit Tips

My girlfriends and I are planning a beach vacation. I am so excited and
can’t wait for some well deserved girl time! The downside of getting away
from it all is the temptation to stray from my workouts. That combined
with the oh so delicious margaritas and sinful foods that I allow myself on
vacation has a downside. On the first day at the beach I am all about the
bikini but by then end I feel like throwing on a burkah.

But taking a vacation from the city and the stress doesn’t have to be a
break from fitness. Here are a few stay fit tips for your vacation and it
doesn’t matter if you are at the beach or skiing in the mountains. There are
exercises you can complete without a single piece of equipment.

Here are some tips to keep you motivated to say fit while traveling.

Plan ahead

You probably won't be able to fit in your normal weekly workouts and that's okay. Shoot for completing at least half of your normal regimen.
Before leaving town, find out what type of workout facilities your
accommodations will have. If there is no gym at the hotel ask if
there is a jogging track nearby. Also be on the look out for local
fitness centers. Lots of them offer daily or weekly rates to travelers.

Pack a resistance band in your suitcase. It’s light, easy to pack, and
offers a full body workout.

Try out your travel routine at least once at home. A trial run will help
you to figure out what does and doesn’t work and help to maximize
your workout time. After all you are on vacation and don’t need to be

Step outside of the box

Do something fun and different . 
You can bike, water-ski, beach volleyball. You don’t just have to use the fitness
machines at the gym to get a workout in. You are on vacation.
Make fitness fun. Prepare snacks. If you are in the car a lot during
your trip, make sure you pack some healthy snacks so you don’t
stop at McDonalds for a quick fix.

Don't forget to pack comfortable workout attire that fits your
destination's climate.

Here is a quick, simple circuit workout that only requires a resistance band
and can be done anywhere. Complete at least one set of 8-12 reps of each

Bicep Curl
Tricep Dip
Lat Pull Down
Front Raise
Abductor lifts
Adductor splits

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sassy secrets to a sexy summer

You can’t stand in line at the grocery store with out seeing all of gossip magazines covered with Celebrites showing off their bikini bods.  It’s easy to get frustrated and think that you are never going to look like that.  But the good news is that they don’t look like that either.  Those images are photo shopped and subject to more trickery then a deck of cards in a magicians bag. 
But still there is no reason that you should live in fear of wearing the same teeny bikinis that your favorite stars wear.  It just takes a little bit of work and a whole lot of fun.  Summer is here and that means that the days are longer so there is more of an opportunity to making fitness fun. Here are some tips I find helpful in staying or getting in shape with out a ton of effort.
1 – Think Sassy, Eat Locally
Strawberries, peaches, apricots, watermelon and blueberries are in season! Stock up on these bad boys and make sure that they are where your main source of nutrients is coming from.  All of these low sugar fruits are low in carbohydates and high in anti-oxidants! SCORE! The most awesome thing about these fruits is that you can eat large quantines without guilt.  
The same goes for Vegetables. There are so many fresh options available. It’s a perfect time for Guacamole. I’m actually eating some right now! If you are not into Gucamole try some hummus or salsa for your dipping pleasure. When you eat local and fresh you bypass the need for a multi vitamin!
2- Get a Jump ON your Day by Jumping Around!
Get up in the morning and move! It can be a long walk while catching up on your favorite podcast. (One of my faves is the Movie Preview Review.) Go for a bike ride, body weight circuit, intense run or whatever it is that you love to do. When the day is just beginning and the city isn’t awake yet it’s an amazing time. You will feel refreshed and ready to tackle your day.  Plus you’ve already done your workout so at the end of your work day you don’t have muster the energy for exercise.
3- Solo isn’t Sassy!
Making dates with friends, finding time to spend with family and fitting in exercise is stressful. Why not kill two birds with one stone? If you workout with a friend chances are you will push yourself harder and you will also have motivation. BONUS! You must make sure you are doing this with a friend who is also into making fitness a priority. Go for a run together, workout in the park, pop in a DVD, or even better yet start a sport together.  You’ll get to bond over the experience, laugh, and chat. What’s better than that?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to get and keep your sassy self fit:

 First off…If you are just starting out discuss fitness plans with your doctor, especially if you are unfit and/or overweight. If you're already fit, consider whether you're working outside of your comfort zone. We all tend to just “go through the motions” and not put our mind into the muscle. Listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. If you find a form of exercise that works your body, fits in with your lifestyle, and leaves you feeling awesome chances are you will stick with the plan. It takes 30 days to form a habit. I suggest if you really want to commit to fitness you make a deal with yourself that for 30 days you stick with it. Unfortunately there isn’t just one quick fix. If you need some help finding what is best for you I suggest speaking to people who are in tune with physical fitness. Remember your long term goal is about having a strong heart muscle, fighting disease, and keeping the doctor at bay. Short term goals like fitting into a specific dress for an event are motivating only for a short period of time.  4

Some Great exercises for the popular “special” spots:
o    For a tigher tummy: Air pedaling is a great way to tone your abdominals. Lie on your back with your knees raised, bend your knees and lock your hands together behind your head. Alternate touching one elbow to the opposite bent knee, as you extend the other leg. Repeat.
o    For a tighter backside: Lunges. Stand straight, place your feet shoulder-width apart. Take one long step forward with your right leg while keeping a straight back; lower your body and bend your knees. Move back to a standing position in one smooth motion.
o    Great forms of total body exercise include running, swimming, cycling, and kickboxing. These focus on your mid-section and help to burn fat.
2.      5
Mix up your exercise choices. Only doing one thing is boring and you risk stopping! Picking different exercises to do on specific days of the week is a fun way to constantly challenge your body and your mind!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Secrets to looking great for every sassy girl

Summer is here and that means you can't cover your body up with a coat. Well you can but you'll be so sweaty I'm not sure over heating yourself is even worth it. Getting in summer shape is achievable! A few simple steps can help you get in your tank and leg baring skirts in no time. Most of you already know that good physical fitness and healthy eating are a huge part of the mission but other factors go into play when planning your summer frocks. Knowing your body type and which type of clothing accuates your assets and deflects any flaws. With the knowledge you have there will be no stopping you.
Today we will talk about body shape.
Be honest with yourself. Assess your shape. I know it so easy to compare yourself with the models you see on TV and in Magazines but they are in a different class. You can't determine your clothing by what looks good on them. They might have a completely different shape and height than you. Start by really looking at your shape in the mirror. Try not to judge just analyze your shape. Imagine you are looking at your BFF. You wouldn't over examine every single dimple on her thigh would you? So don't do it to yourself. You'll only end up miserable and Ben and Jerry might come to the rescue. Then you'll have a whole new problem to worry about. Focus on what you want to show off and what you want to hide. This is important when you are picking out clothing. Everytime you get dressed think about what part you want to attract attention to. You can use this tool when picking out a bikini too! If you just put a little time and thought into what you wear you will no doubt leave the house feeling and looking sassy!

Tomorrow I'll discuss targeting your exercise for an awesome summer body!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fourty Winks is key to being sassy

We’ve all been there. You have a big morning ahead of you and you can’t sleep. UGH! You spend hours upon hours staring at the clock only to get yourself all riled up. There are some things you can do to help yourself get your beauty sleep.
What you decide to eat before bed is just important as what you eat for breakfast. What you eat determines how well you are able to sleep. The food you choose to eat can even cure restlessness! Tomorrow you’ll want to be at your sassiest so I’m here to share some tips with you. Scientists haven’t proven that eating before bed causes weight gain but common sense says that if you shouldn’t just eat and lay there, your thighs may not thank you later. Remember it’s only supposed to be a snack! Treat what you eat as such!
So what should you eat?
Whole grains with protein, dairy foods, oats, bananas, poultry and peanuts.
·   A small bowl of oatmeal or cereal with low-fat milk
·   Yogurt with granola sprinkled on top
·   Half bagel or crackers with peanut butter, 1 ounce of cheese or a slice of deli turkey on top
·   Hummus on a whole-wheat pita or a rice cake topped with tomato and a slice of turkey breast
·   Sliced apple with 1 ounce of cheese

Watch out if you have trouble sleeping that may your body’s way of telling you that you have problems bigger than those bags under your eyes….go see a doctor!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Got time?

If you are reading this blog you are at least motivated enough to take an interest in fitness and healthy living but the question is how do you get motivated to get active and to stay active?

Consistency is key. No complaining. Everyone is busy. It is not an excuse. I hear it time and time again “I want to exercise but I have no time.” Maybe you think that celebrities and everyone else has it easier than you but if you are honest with yourself you will make the time to exercise. After all your health depends on it. I assume you are your #1 priority. So make the time. Just do it! Even though my days are always packed I know there are tons more people in the world busier than I am. They inspire me to slip on my sneakers and work out.
A fit person is committed to following their fitness plan no matter what life throws at them. They are not deterred when they have long work hours, children to take care of, or when holidays appear on the calendar.

Here are a few tips to make sure fitness is #1 in your life.
·         Try a shorter workout. If you only have 10 to 20 minutes give it all you got. Keep your workout short but jam packed. If you only have a little time don’t waste those moments. Commit to filling the time you do have with challenging moves. Your heart and your sassy physique will thank you.  

·         Break it up. You don’t have to complete 30 to 60 minutes at once. Maybe you do 10 min in the morning, 10 min mid day and finish with 10 min at night. You can focus on one section of the body at a time. For example the first 10 of the day could be committed to your upper body, 10 for your lower body, and 10 for your core (remember to do both the front and the back)

·         Limit your tv time. If you have time to watch Gossip Girl, then you have time to exercise. With the novelty of Tivo and DVR you don’t have the excuse! You can watch it later. You have time to hit the gym, run the trail and cook healthy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Belly Bloat is never Sexy! Easy tips to avoid a belly bulge.

You just bought a super sassy summer outfit for a party and you finally get to wear it out. Awesome! As soon as you put on your new threads you notice your belly is bigger than it was in the dressing room at the shop. UGH! Belly bloat happens to everyone but it can be avoided. Certain foods cause that full gassy feeling. Here is a list of foods to avoid:
  • Salty foods: They taste great but the sodium causes you to retain water. That is decidedly un-sassy. Plan ahead and skip the salt 24 hours before the party.  Sodium doesn’t cause gas, but it absolutely makes you retain water.  Make sure you don’t exceed 2,300 mg a day
·         Caffeine: It’s a stimulant as should be used as such. If you don’t need a pick me up opt for water instead of coffee, tea or soda. You’ll cut down on calories and reduce the caffeine induced bloating.
·         Vegetables: Brace yourself! Vegetables are not always good for you. Veggies are high in fiber and take longer to digest. They can make your tummy look less than trim. That being said it is important to get 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day. Just stagger your servings to help your body digest them easier. Try to get all you servings in at least 5 hours before you put on your outfit.
  • Carbonated beverages: Of course sodas are full of sugars and nasty things that will contribute to unnecessary fat in the long term but in the short term the carbon gas is blowing up your belly like a balloon.
  • Gum and hard candy: For a hard belly hard candy is a hard NO! Chewing on candies and gum causes you to take in more air which just like the carbon gas causes bloating.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Even a sassy girl needs a day off!

Today I am taking the day off from exercise. As much as I don't want to I know that my muscles need time to recover. It's like a good night's sleep or a relaxing day at the spa, you're better for it! That doesn't mean I'm lying on the couch with my arms crossed just thinking about my boyfriend from the Twilight books. I'm taking a casual bike ride, getting a pedicure, and spending the day pampering me. After all a sassy girl can’t still for too long. Taking breaks from the daily workout grind-meaning that super important day off per week helps to boost training achievement and reduces injuries. If you keep yourself injury free you then can sass it up on the dance floor without any problems.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Eating right is a sassy girl's secret weapon

A client asked me a question that I seem to get all the time....

"How can I satisfy my desire for eating junk food?"

Well the answer is simple. Eat a balanced diet! Seems easy right? It is but you have to have the desire to want to watch what you eat. Your body is just like your ipod. If you don't charge the ipod it has no "fuel" to give you awesome songs to jam out to. If you don't eat a combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains don't expect your body to respond the way you want. You will never make a mistake if you eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and vegetables are under 100 calories so you will never go wrong with munching on an apple, orange, cucumber, celery or carrots.
Eat every 4 hours. I'm not talking a huge meal. The key is to snack in between meals. Keep your snacks under 150 calories.  You should never have snacks more than 150 calories because it's actually a meal.
Keep your fridge stocked with fresh cucumber and carrots, and in the freezer frozen grapes! If you have these items at hand you will be less likely to reach for the twinkie!  Every once in awhile you won't feel guilty eating the twinkie. You can't spend the rest of your life depriving yourself of "junk food" but if you eat well more often than not you will be happy with the way you look in your party dress!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Super Sassy Sneakers

So I'm in love! I've been dealing with a terrible case of Plantar Facitiis for the past year. It's been awful. Without going into detail of my ordeal I haven't felt relief until today. YAY! I heard from a friend who has had the same issue about these New Balance sneakers. She said they were a life saver. For some reason I put off getting them for months. Finally this week I had enough. I couldn't take the pain anymore so I thought "what the heck" and I ordered them. They came today and the result...Heaven on my feet. They feel amazing. It's only been one day but I can tell they are different from any other fitness shoe I've had before.
They look a little silly but frankly I don't care. If you too suffer from this annoying pain check them out. New Balance Rock and Tone sneaker.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fit tip of the day


Hydrate with what?
 Most sports drinks contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals and chemical compounds like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium that are necessary for your body to function properly.
The problem with only drinking water is that you lose electrolytes when you sweat but water alone doesn’t replace them. Watch out for high calorie sports drinks. They undo all the efforts you put into your workout. Read the labels

Hydration also keeps your joints and ligaments lubricated. Can you imagine how painful it would be to run or bike without having your joints lubricated? OUCH!
Proper hydration also means you’re able to glisten aka sweat and cool your body.

Sweat till you bleed your bank account

I was having lunch with a friend and she asked me how I keep in shape on a budget. I thought about it and answered "well keeping in shape is making me broke." I do tons of different things...I teach body sculpt, bootcamp, Physique 57, personal train but there is where the money making stops. I also spin, take pilates (mat and reformer), take yoga and basically take any kind of class that charges at least $30 per workout. HA HA!! 
I look at it like is my career so it's all research...right? I love to workout and challenging myself physically is where I feel most at home. People spend millions and millions of dollars a year on what makes them happy so it makes sense that I would spend my extra income on different fitness classes. They make me happy. 
The truth of the matter is only doing one thing is boring. I like to mix it up! My bank account may not like it but my muscles sure do!