Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

The diet and exercise roller coaster ride in life can be frustrating and exhausting, leaving you feeling defeated time and again.  Now, while failure is a healthy part of learning and growing as individuals, success is also an important (and healthy) part of our growth.  How do we achieve this with our health and fitness goals?

Now from a  broad outside perspective, a lot of individuals that ask for my advice or assistance are either stuck in a plateau phase, not really sure where to begin phase, or sometimes in the “I want to have a muscular hot bod without having to change my diet and not having to exercise too much” phase.  The last one is the only one I don’t typically take on as clients.  This is because they are in the wrong mindset.  People in this mindset are not ready to commit to change.  So I tell them honestly what they need to do, and I say, “when you are ready to make the change to better yourself, contact me, and I will give you the tools to be successful”.  I don’t believe in “Get Fit Quick” Schemes, or Miracle Shakes or Pills, or Body Wraps or “Detox Diets”.  I believe in balance.  I believe in fueling your body with the right foods so you can enjoy that occasional slice of pizza or ice cream cone without feeling like dog shit.  I believe in reasonable exercise, and getting enough sleep at night.  Hydrating and nourishing the body, loving and respecting yourself.  Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and really learning about yourself.  There is a famous quote floating around that says, “If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done”.

For my clients that come to me and are ready and are committed to their goals and just want help getting there, I do my best to assist in each situation to make it as easy as possible.  Change is tough!  And we are creatures of habit.   I start with something I learned in my earliest years at school for personal training back in 2010.  I start with S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

S- Specific      M- Measurable        A- Attainable      R-Realistic       T-Timely       Goals

By setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals, I know my clients are choosing goals within reach.  Think of it as stepping stones or climbing a ladder or staircase… You have to take one step at a time.  So we set S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and work to achieve them, and once we do, we set some more… And before you know it the client is exactly where they want to be and feeling positive and motivated and hungry for more!

So I want to end this entry by asking you what your goals are?  Are they S.M.A.R.T. Goals?  If not… Maybe take a step back and re-analyze them.  Prioritize and figure out how to make them work for you.

I hope everyone has a great day!

It’s never too late to begin again…

2017… Smh. Nope. Not my year. One disappointing thing after another, from January until December, always something negative slithering its way into my life. And it’s my own damn fault. I was in a funk in 2016, and let it suck me in and hold me down for the better part of another year… But I am not going to rant on about how much it sucked and how many times I cried and just felt defeated and lost that year… Nope. Instead I’m going to tell you what it did for me… Looking back at 2017, I can proudly say I have overcome my some pretty low points in my life.  I am truly a woman of passion and dedication and I was putting my all into everything, wanting to see Hope everywhere, wanting so badly to have positive changes, wanting so badly to have 2017 be MY year that somewhere in the back of my mind I was also full of fear of the “what if’s” and this was holding me back and preventing me from having the year I wanted… I realized at some point around August that this was getting old, and I was getting tired of it. I looked for a job that made me happier, I dropped a bunch of bullshit and bullies out of my life. And just said EFF IT. I dived head first into life and said I’m going to do things different this time.
In September I took a new job and in December I got promoted to a manager position. I also decided to go back to school because I want to get back into things that bring up my self esteem, like self worth and value. Investing in yourself is never a bad place to start. I interviewed several colleges as to where I want to go for my masters, but in the meantime I decided I wanted to renew my personal training certification and get certified in sports nutrition. During these few months (September to December) I also got my CPR certification renewed, and I got an A in PT school so I am currently, actively certified again as both a personal trainer and a sports nutrition specialist. And that’s just part of it… I also got my fat ass back in shape! And I know, a lot of you are saying… “fat?… You were never fat”… And no, to an average person just passing me by maybe not, but for a Trainer and competitive athlete, YES, I was way off track and my heart was letting me know, because I was feeling winded and weak.  I did 16 weeks of two back to back 8 week vigorous training programs and by December was finally starting to feel like myself so I continued to train my body and fuel it right… And it’s only gotten better. I hit new PRs like 2-3 times a week, and I am feeling stronger than ever!

Now don’t get me wrong… Between September and December negative things still happened in my life, but I had to recognize that sometimes these things are inevitable and out of my control. The key is that anytime negative or bad things happened I had to look beyond them and just keep my eye on the future I want for myself as I pushed forward.

So I guess what I am getting at here is that I am back… I’m not going to go 5 months without posting on my blog anymore or put my passion for health and fitness on hold. This is a big part of who I am and its one of my favorite things to share with the world. Educating people on how to live a healthier lifestyle without having to completely give up the things they enjoy (and for each person those things are different). Finding balance between work and personal life and your health and fitness goals to make sure you can attain them (which means setting realistic goals for yourself).  I’d like to end this post with a powerful quote:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.

Thank you guys for taking time to read my blog! I look forward to sharing more soon! P.S. Check out my newest Instagram- RPTrainer425. Facebook page should be back up soon. I will keep you posted.

Nacho Business… Or is it? ;)

A healthy alternative to a traditional Fall Football Season Dish! NACHOS!!! 🏈 😍

Now FTR, I know there are a million even healthier ways to make these (i.e. Substituting peppers for chips, or toasting pita bread) but seriously? I like chips. A pepper will never taste like a chip, sorry. So I just picked the healthiest tortilla chips based on nutrition info. Ok, so here’s the “scoop” 😂:
The easy way is to pre-cook the meats another day when you do your usual meal prep, and store in fridge so you can reheat! These Nachos I made, are half pulled chicken and half ground bison (you can use beef, or ground turkey or chicken also). I take my pre-cooked pulled chicken (which you can find the recipe in an earlier post) and my ground bison which I just cooked in a skillet, and I put them each into their own skillet to reheat on the stove top. Add taco seasonings of choice to the meat and a little water/oil so it’s not dry. Once the meat is reheated, turn off the burners while you prepare your nacho pan.
*Pre-heat the over to 350, middle rack.
*Line a cookie sheet with foil (or two or three if you’re making tons of nachos)
  (NOTE: If you make sloppy nachos then use a little cooking spray, if you make neat and organized nachos, you won’t need the spray – up to you.)
*Lay out your chips on the foil on top of the cookie sheet.
     -I used tortilla scoop style chips because they hold the meat and veggies but do your thing! Pick what you like! 🙌😊
*Use a tablespoon or small spoon to scoop the seasoned chicken and beef into my tortilla chips. (I make neat and organized nachos, haha. But if you chose sloppy nachos then just try to get the meat onto the tortilla chips and not all over the place, that’s the goal.)
*Now the Veggies!!! Load on the veggies I used diced jalapeño, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Black olives or beans are another popular topping but not on ours shown.
*Lastly, sprinkle with fancy Mexican blend cheese! Toss in the oven!
   -This takes about 12-15min or so, but I usually judge by how melted the cheese is. ✋
I served mine with Fresh salsa, guacamole and fat free plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. 💯💕
Enjoy!  Happy Football Season! 🙂

Vanilla Protein Cupcakes

I know you guys have been patiently waiting for this!  Here is the recipe for my Vanilla Protein Cupcakes 🙂

Because Everyone Loves Donuts!

You always see fit people chowing down on donuts on social media. Not entirely sure why this a favored cheat meal by the fitness population but maybe it’s just because everyone loves donuts! So in honor of National Donut Day last week I decided I was going to use my talents as a baker/cake decorator and my knowledge as a personal trainer and athlete, and try to create a “macro friendly fit donut”. So this is one of my latest projects. Haha. These aren’t quite ready to be recipe shared, since this was the first time I made them and I would like to try a few variations to make sure I get the best recipe before I share! The photo below shows three types of donuts I created from scratch, a cinnamon sugar donut, chocolate glazed, and a chocolate peanut butter (of course). These resemble the old fashion cake like donuts, and are baked rather than fried! While they are not exactly low calorie, they are low carb, low sugar, and are high in protein and fiber. Stay tuned for more variations to my homemade donuts, and for the recipe! 🙂 #Happynationaldonutday #nationaldonutday #donuts #ilovefood #cleaneating #fitchick

Brown Baked Rice… A Meal Prep Staple for Us.

Happy Meal Prep Sunday Everyone! Recently I have been getting a lot of messages regarding my diet. Questions like, what do I eat? How do I find time to meal prep? What kinds of foods do I meal prep? How often do I meal prep? How do I come up with meal ideas for the week? And of course, one of my favorites…Can I get the recipe for that? So I decided to try to start sharing recipes and meal prep ideas and info more frequently! So here is one of our weekly staples! It is a healthy spin on my mom’s famous Baked Rice Recipe from when we were growing up.

Often times people hate changing from white or jasmine rice to brown rice because of the texture. Brown rice is a whole grain so it doesn’t get as soft and fluffy as white rice or jasmine rice does. So, I would like to share with you the way we cook our brown rice for meal prep to get it closer to the fluffy and soft texture of white rice.

Oven Baked Brown Rice

Step One: Measure out your servings of dry brown rice based on how much you plan to eat for the meal or week, and dump into a medium sized mixing bowl.

Step Two: Add water to the rice, in the mixing bowl. Typically the amount of water you use, should be whatever you would use for the ratio to what you measured for dry. So if the box or bag says 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water add a cup of water to the mixing bowl. Make sense?

Step Three: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and “forgettaboutit”. Lol. No but seriously, just let the rice soak up the water! Give it 1 to 3 hours. You can stir the rice after an hour to see if there is any water left in the bottom of the bowl. Again I don’t have an exact time because it depends on how much rice you make. I have set this up on a Saturday night, and didn’t cook the rice until about 11am the next day.

Step Four: Once the rice has absorbed the water and you are ready to cook it. Wash and chop up a red or orange pepper into small pieces (Picture shown).

Step Five: In a small frying pan, put 1 tbsp of olive oil and a tsp of minced garlic. One the garlic is fragrant add in the chopped pepper and stir gently to coat. Cook the peppers about five minutes or so.

Step Six: Preheat the over to three hundred and fifty degrees, set to bake, and position the oven rack to the middle of the oven.

Step Seven: Dump the sautéed peppers into the mixing bowl with the rice and stir to combine, add some seasoning! I typically use garlic powder, onion powder, a little salt and black pepper,and sometimes parsley flakes… Stir to combine.

Step Eight: In a square baking pan (like the one you use for brownies, I use usually a 9×13) dump the brown rice from the mixing bowl and spread evenly.

Step Nine: Slowly add water or chicken broth/stock to the rice. Same amount that the recipe calls for but now we are adding it to the rice to actually cook it. Chicken broth or stock will be saltier and add more flavor, but some people think the seasoning is enough. So it’s really whatever you prefer.

Step Ten: Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Until water is absorbed and rice is soft and fluffy.

Step Eleven: Remove from the oven (turn the oven off). Remove the foil from the rice and let cool. If you want to add a little butter or butter substitute to the rice to prevent it from getting sticky when chilled, now would be the time so it melts. We use 1 tbsp usually for 2 cups of rice.

Step Twelve, transfer the rice to a mixing bowl, stir it and taste it. If it needs more seasoning now is the time to spruce it up! 🙂 Remember that spices and herbs are packed with flavor, and don’t hurt the diet. Go easy on the salt and butter though.

Step thirteen: Transfer the rice to plates or containers.

Step fourteen: Mainly because I didn’t want thirteen steps…. Enjoy! 🙂

Banana Blueberry Fit Muffins!

These Blueberry Banana Fit Muffins are fairly Low Carb, High Fiber, and High Protein providing you with a high energy breakfast to kick start your day!

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used whole milk fat)

2 Large Eggs

¾ Cup Almond Flour

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Banana (sliced into small pieces – I cut it into slices then each wheel slice into 4 pieces)

½ Cup Frozen Blueberries

½ Cup Oil of choice (Coconut Oil Melted, Avocado Oil, Vegetable/Canola Oil, Saflower Oil- I don’t recommend olive oil or peanut oil because they really aren’t the best for baking and alter the flavor of the muffins)

1 Heaping Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein of Choice (I used Gold Standard Vanilla Ice Cream)

1 Tbsp of Baking Soda

½ Tsp Salt

Old Fashioned Oats to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray or line muffin pan of choice (I used a 6 count large for the picture shown- but you can use a standard 12 count muffin pan as well or mini muffins)

Combine your dry ingredients – Almond & Coconut Flour, baking Soda, Salt, Protein Powder in a mixing bowl.

In a second mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients- Greek Yogurt, 2 eggs, Vanilla Extract, and Oil.

Chop up the Banana into wheel shaped slices, they cut each slice into 4 pieces like a pizza! 🙂 Set the Banana aside with the blueberries

Combine your dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly until no clumps of the dry mixture remains.

Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, slowly fold in the blueberries and sliced banana. Over mixing the blueberries will turn your muffins blue! That’s why I suggest mixing this way. Walnuts are another options mix in item at this point.

Now scoop the muffin mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with a few oats if you would like as shown in my picture! Bake on center rack. Depending on the muffin pan size you use, and the efficiency of your oven – this could take between 10-20 minutes to bake. I recommend checking after about 10 minutes and poke ’em with a tooth pick for firmness at the center. Muffins will turn slightly brown (also as shown in the picture).

Once fully cooked, remove from pan, and onto a cooling rack until cool enough to eat without burning your mouth, but still warm enough to enjoy the delicious taste of a fresh baked muffin… Without the guilt! I store these on the counter, in the fridge and also in the freezer in a ziplock bag! 🙂

Don’t forget to turn off the oven and wash all the dishes once you’re done! Thanks for checking out my page and stay tuned for more great recipes by RPTrainer! 🙂

You get out, what you put in!

Did you know that the most successful way to lose weight is through healthy diet and exercise? A common misunderstanding about dieting is that some people think not eating to lose weight is effective (for example skipping meals, or developing an eating disorder though a person with an eating disorder usually won’t admit it). And short-term it can seem effective, but it is actually doing you more harm than good. Although you are cutting calories, you are actually forcing your body into a starvation mode where it slows your metabolism down and forces your body to survive on itself.  This means your body is eating away at the storage it has (like fat and muscle) over time. Some of the long-term effects of this can be everything from weak or fragile bones and muscles, to cognitive issues, to even problems with major organs such as heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, etc. Not to mention a poor diet can cause depression, poor skin conditions, hair loss, a decrease in your sex drive, just to name a few.

The body requires what we call key nutrients for survival. This is why your diet is made up of macro nutrients (fats, carbs and proteins) and then essential and non-essential vitamins and minerals. Proper eating can be hard, but over time your body can adjust to healthy changes. Typically when I take on a new client, the first thing I ask for is a food journal. I ask all clients to make a food journal for one week and to be honest. Log everything they eat or drink and at what time of the day so that I can see how their diet looks. By being honest, not only does it hold my client accountable and make them realize what they are putting into their bodies, but it will allow me to recommend small changes to their diet so the body can adapt more easily rather than write-up a brand new diet plan from scratch, that can send the body into shock and cause cravings or binge eating after a short time. Small changes to the diet, sometimes even just changing the times at which a person eats certain foods, can create a change in the way their body uses or stores that foods key nutrients for nourishment or for energy or whether it stores it as fat.

This is another reason why I love all these apps like loseit, or myfitnesspal.  Because it works like a food journal and really makes you think about what you are eating on a daily basis.

A food scale you can buy for like $10 at a store like Target or Wal-Mart.  So if you feel like your not sure what 4 or 6 ounces of chicken or sweet potato looks like, invest in one!

I guess what I am getting at with my post today is- “you get out what you put in”- so nourish and love your body.  Treat it to good, healthy foods that are packed with delicious flavor and key nutrients for optimal health, and watch how it affects your focus, mood and energy levels. Because it truly is amazing!

Here are a few articles on some foods that can help boost that metabolism! Thanks for reading my blog, and Enjoy 🙂

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20553780,00.html

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/best-fat-burning-foods

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/advice/g781/belly-fat-foods/

Fasted Cardio

Good Morning!

We all have stubborn fat that stores in various spots of our body… Some of us struggle with belly fat, others it might store in your butt and thighs, some of us might get the worst of both!  Whatever your body’s fat storage spot of choice…. Our goal is the same… GET RID OF IT! 🙂

Now I know we are not all morning people, (as I write my newest addition to my blog at 6am on my day off, lol) but whether you are or are not, fasted cardio is something that might help kick start your metabolism… Even just 2 days a week.  Not a morning person?  Don’t go in the morning…Sleep til 9 or 10 on your day off if you want… But before you eat or drink anything (other than water)- go for a 20-30 minute brisk walk or jog, or hit the gym for a 30 minute cardio session of your choice.

So the theory behind this is you burn more fat in a fasted state of cardiovascular activity (like first thing in the morning when you haven’t eaten anything for several hours) because your body is depleted of it’s regular energy stores which it gets from food- so it taps into fat storage for energy, thus allowing your body to burn more fat.  Are their other methods to achieving your goal weight?  Sure… But you need to find what you believe in and what works for you.  I’m just providing you with information here to make a decision for yourself! 🙂

That being said, it might not be for everyone- You may need to try some different things with regard to your eating, exercise and sleeping habits, before you find what works best for you!  So if something doesn’t work… Remember, you don’t give up on yourself… Just try something different!  🙂  Below are a few more articles on the topic.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/assessing-fasted-cardio-training.html

Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

 

Counting Calories… via App

Good Morning!

For some people the diet is the struggle, for some the exercise is the struggle… But for a lot of people it can be a combination of both!  One thing that I have found helpful the last few weeks is being accountable for what I am eating and doing everyday!  It’s very easy to go over your caloric needs for the day if you are a “grazer” (and eat all day as I do) or even if you just decide around dinner time you are starving and have a huge plate of food at dinner time.  Today there are a variety of apps that you can use to assist in calorie counting and exercise/food tracking.  One of the most popular apps today is called myfitnesspal.  There is a website version and a smartphone app to coincide so you can keep track of calories when you are on the go!  Another popular app is Loseit!  I highly recommend browsing your options and finding an app that you like and that will work for you! 🙂  Being accountable can really assist with diet and exercise changes, especially in the beginning of a new routine!  I have been using myfitnesspal and I can pre-populate the day’s food- so I know what I can have when I am doing my meal prep.  It also allows me to make a little wiggle room in my diet so I can have that slice of pizza on a Saturday night with friends if I want to!  I really like the app because it allows me to change my macronutrient needs for the day to match my current program or diet.  It also provides charts that make it easy to track my progress, and see where I can make necessary changes to keep me going strong!

Are there any other diet/exercise tracker apps out there that anyone finds particularly useful for themselves?

Check out my dinner last night!  Homemade chicken quesadillas…And it’s low carb. YUM!

food