Sunday, December 23, 2012

Certified Personal Trainer

When I was in about Grade 10, I would tell people that I wanted to be a personal trainer and everyone would be a little surprised. Especially since I didn't have a clue about working out at this age. I went to University forgetting about this idea I had of being a personal trainer. Then my sister reminded me of it this summer. So I went for it! At the time I was really big into working out, nutrition and was on my own journey of losing weight and getting healthy. 

It was a lot of hard work and long hours of studying at night while working a full time job. But it was so worth it! Last Wednesday I passed my finals and am now a Certified Personal Trainer.

Its official! I have my personal training certificate and my associates with an Emphasis in Health Science. It has been a little bit of a dream come true and I can't wait to share my passion with the world. In February I start my pregnancy class, and within the year I will be a Women's Specialist, specifically in pre and post natal health!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I think this is something that a lot of people look over especially women. I had no clue I needed protein until I got myself a trainer, now I realize how important it was for weight loss and my health.
No, you will not get bulky, you will however have the proper nutrients in your system which will help you is reaching you goal! If someone tells you that you'll get bulky just laugh at them!

A lot of things effect what protein requirements you need such as:

1. Daily Physical Activity: the more active you are the faster your protein in used

2. Daily Calorie Consumption: if you are decreasing you calories for weight loss protein will provide you with energy

3. Body Composition: if you are trying to change your body composition protein is important for its satiety (fullness) factor along with energy production

4.Sports Performance(endurance): lean body mass can be lost, protein intake will help reduce this chance

So now you might be asking how do I know how much I need:

Sedentary/not active 0.4 g/lb
Strength Athletes 0.5-0.8 g/lb
Endurance 0.5-0.6 g/lb

For example I am working of strength training right now and I weigh 133 lbs but I also want to keep my weight down so I am going to go to the higher range of protein to help with energy and feeling full

0.7x133= 93.1

So I need around 90-95 grams of protein every day to make sure I am keeping my lean muscle mass, which in turn makes my metabolism run higher (you want that!)

Good ways to get in low fat protein: 
Rice and beans
Milk and Cereal
Whey Protein Shake
Whole Eggs
Cottage Cheese (My ultimate favourite)
Hummus with whole wheat bread
Natural Peanut Butter with whole wheat bread

**Remember to keep your fibre and water intake high to go along with your protein**

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nobody is Perfect

No perfection needed! Yup, just take a deep breath and erase the "perfect" imagine, or the idea from your head, it's not needed; I'll go as far to say it is healthier not to be. How would we learn if we were?

I got a big job promotion which also meant triple the hours, and responsibility. It happened pretty quickly and within a couple days I felt I had thrown all my progress out the window but was too tired, stressed, and consumed by how my life had changed to do anything about it yet.

I was used to being slow at the gym, taking my sweet time and enjoying every moment of it. Then all the sudden I hadn't gone to the gym in 2 weeks which is a big change. I feel grumpy, chubby, sluggish, all my muscle ache, my body hurts, I can't seam to get a good night sleep and today it finally hit me. I needed to work out. But the gym was closed since it is sunday so I loaded up my purse with canned foods and used it as weights, then I did some cardio with cans in my hands to get my arm workout in. I was instantly happier, I felt so much better!

Also did I mention that I was eating chocolate bars, pretzels, subs, bacon daily - I totally fell off the band wagon big time!

It takes this imperfection for me to realize why I love what I do. Why being a personal trainer excites me! It changed my life, and it can change everyone's life. Eating healthy and working out today made me realize I can't let it slip again, it may take time but I will be 10x more effective at everything else through out the day if I am feeling healthy and good about myself. So next time you have a bad day, just let it roll of your shoulder and try your best tomorrow. It is never too late.

I pulled up a picture of me at the beginning of the summer to remind myself of the progress and how much happier I am now. I was actually more then a little shocked at the transformation. I lost 25lbs and I never want to let myself go back to my old way of life were I am grumpy and ached all over.

Disclaimer I meant to write June 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cardio Eggs

This is the breakfast I eat on days I do cardio. Let me tell you it never gets old it is a little twist on classic eggs that I am in love with.

Chilli Powder on eggs with the yolks a little runny! Try it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry

I don't think I would call this "clean" only because of the cornstarch. But I modified the recipe to reduce it by half. But this was so delicious I had to share it! I eat chicken and veggies almost ever night for dinner so this was a really great way for me to feel like I got a treat. Mmm Mmm Good.

Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry

  • Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • (1-pound) turkey tenderloin, cut into thin strips
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets 
  • (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce


  1. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to pan, and tilt to coat evenly. Add turkey, and stir-fry 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink in center. Remove turkey, and set aside.
  2. Combine broth and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; add pepper strips and broccoli; stir-fry 1 minute. Add water chestnuts, and stir-fry 30 seconds. Increase heat to high. Stir broth mixture, and add to pan with soy sauce, turkey, and any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mind, Mouth, Muscle

The MMM formula is full of truth, and wisdom. It is taken from the book Body for Life for Women.


MIND: Attitude about balancing and managing the stresses of her life while caring for and honouring her mind and body
MOUTH: Way of nourishing herself to optimize her body composition and health
MUSCLE: Use of specific physical activity to attain and sustain her optimal body comp and performance

Power Pancakes

My sisters breakfast and with chocolate protein powder really yummy! 
Cook these in advance and you have 6 breakfasts ready to go!

1 cup of egg whites
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 scoop of protein powder
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Blend in blender and cook on griddle sprayed with Pam.
This recipe makes approx. 12 large pancakes.(I actually found it made 6 large pancakes, so I just have 1 for breakfast instead of 2.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

This is my new favourite meal! It is also super healthy and clean, what more could you ask for!?

1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 apple squash peeled and cubed
28 oz Chicken broth
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup greek yogurt
3/4 tsp cuman
Salt + Pepper to taste
Hand full of cashews or almonds
Garlic + Onion Powder

1. Put butternut squash, apple, and broth into a pot and cook until tender. 
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.
3. Test and adjust spices as needed.

So simple, and my new favourite comfort food. Yum, Yum, Yum!!

*You can caramelize real onions and garlic if you have that on hand*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest Blogger

I would like to Welcome our Guest blogger Ashley Reina. She won two 1st place prices this year at the IDFA Fitness Model Competition. You will be amazed by her transformation pictures and her advice is spot on!

There has been an overwhelming response from people asking me, how did I accomplish this goal.  So I wanted to give a top ten list of things that helped me to achieve this goal, how I saved time and how I made it function with a busy life of family and work.

1. Hired a trainer - I accomplished the first half of my transformation using the "Body for Life" program by Bill Phillips, I really liked the program and was able to manage it myself. To accomplish the second half I needed a push (from several people). My trainer does on-line diet and workout plans, I checked in weekly and he kept me accountable and modified my diet and workouts as needed to fit my life and to fit the needs of my goal which was to compete in the Fitness Model Competition.

2. Home Gym - I live 2 blocks from my dad who has a home gym, I did the majority of my workouts in his basement, its a simple set up a bench, full set of weights and an elliptical, nothing fancy. Monday (chest/shoulders/triceps) and fridays(legs) I worked out at his house and wednesday(back/biceps) I would go to a local gym with babysitting. I would time my workout during my sons nap and put him down for a nap while I worked out, it didn't always work that smoothly, but that was the plan. On Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday I would walk or run outside depending on what my trainer had me doing, using my jogging stroller. Weight training is important for burning fat because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn in a day.

3. Aerobics - During this 4 months I did aerobic 6x a week, I learnt that HIIT training or interval training burns 2x the amount of calories in half the time. It is challenging but very effective. M/W/F after my weights routine, the after is important, most people make the mistake of doing aerobic before, but this depletes your reserve for your muscles and you have less power to lift. HIIT training is usually 20secs sprint, 40 sec rest. Over the 4 months I progressed from 12 to 20 intervals with a warm up and cooldown of 2 minutes each.

4. Diet - High protein, low carb diet, eating 5-6x a day smaller portions. Making sure to have a protein and a carb for all meals and adding veggies to the lunch and dinner meal. That is a very simplified version of what I ate for most of my competition prep/weight loss, most of what I ate was measured and weighed.
When you are starting to lose weight the first step is to remove processed foods, refined sugar, breads and pastas out of your diet. Depending on your discipline you can allow yourself 1 reward meal a week in which you eat whatever it is you are craving, some programs allow for a day, others a meal. Some people believe if you need a little something in the middle of the week go ahead as long as its small and then you get right back to your diet.

5. Meal Prep - I had a day usually sunday evening or monday morning depending on when I worked, in which I would prep food for the week, I would cook chicken and measure it out for my meals, I would cook enough oatmeal for my son for the week and divide it into portion sizes in Tupperware so it was quick and ready to go, I would do the same thing for his cottage cheese for lunches. Oatmeal Pancake, I would make my pancakes for the week on one day, then it was quick for the morning.
Quick Foods - canned chicken became something I used lots of lunches, I was allowed a chicken wrap with chicken, veggies, mustard and salsa for the majority of my prep. Using the canned chicken made it so quick. Thrive Foods, this has made my life easier with oliver because I can just open the can and feed him fresh veggies (freeze dried) and my self, if I didnt have food prepared or a salad ready to go, I would measure out myself a cup of freeze dried brocoli and eat that for my meal. It was so nice to have the change as well, to eat something crunchy like a chip, but healthy. 

6. Tupperware Smartsteamer - this is not an advertisement just truthfully what helped make life simple. In the smart steamer, if I wasn't planned with chicken already cooked and measure (because I started to find that it would go dry after you re-heat it or it sits to long), I could cook  a meal of chicken and veggies in 15 minutes. Just put it in the steamer, put it in the microwave and done. Sooooo easy, and perfect juicy chicken.

7. Support of my Husband - this has to be mentioned, because honestly without his constant support I would not have had the determination to finish... well maybe. It is difficult to stick to a food plan and not slip up (especially as a woman), if I faltered, I could come to him, ask him to hide the chocolate and he would do it. We also had a rule in our house where he did all the dishes and I cooked. He would watch Oliver saturday mornings so that I could enjoy my run by myself (some of the time). Mostly he believed in me and that this is something that I could accomplish. At the beginning, I didn't believe that I could get into shape like this, but my trainer and Mike did, so I went on that.

8. A Plan - if it isn't clear already from what I have said, you need to have a plan. You need to know each week how you are going to attack it, when workouts will happen and how meals are going to be prepared.

9. A Goal - I dont know about you, but I have never set out to accomplish without having a specific time frame and an end goal. That is how you continually motivate yourself. Hanging pictures around the house, signs of what you are working towards. Clearly define what it is you want to accomplish, eg. lose a certain amount of weight, or drop a dress size or two, have defined muscles, or to stick to a meal plan X number of days. Whatever it may be, make sure it is specific and time oriented.

10. Take pictures - we are our own worse critics, taking pictures along the way helps you to step outside of yourself and see what you are accomplishing. You dont have be crazy like me and share them with anyone. It really helped me to look back and remember how far I have come and to realize what I had now accomplished, it wasn't until the photo shoot with liz last week when she showed me a few pictures that I went, "oh wow...that's me!"

September 1, 2011
June 28, 2012
Mother and Daughter

Honestly speaking, my life has pretty much come to revolve around my food and workout schedule. So yes, it takes time and I have decided to make it a top priority. What I love is that now I have been doing it for 4 months like this, it isn't a question of if I am going to the gym, I know it will happen, sometimes it is just juggling the when.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For those of you who are trying to get into running, and need a little coaching this is a great app. You can have it tell you how far you have gone, your speed, your time, and also set up intervals for HIIT or interval running! I would highly suggest it

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is my favourite thing to eat for lunch.
I have green and yellow squash with broccoli - Put in a fry pan with a little water then when they get soft enough shake some soy sauce and they are done, seriously so simple and delicious. I also had onion and garlic powder.

I find the inspiration for this wrap on Pinterest and I modified a lot it to be "clean"

Whole Wheat Wrap
Turkey cooked with spices and worscheshire sauce 
{I always have this pre-cooked so I just pull it out of the fridge when I'm ready}
Spicy and yellow Mustard
Then stick in on the griddle for a minute on both sides

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Because Calories Counting is Stressful

"Calorie counting is not really a part of Eating Clean. I never count calories. We now realize that different foods react in different ways in our body.  Whereas we may lose weight on 2000 calories per day of Clean food we may gain weight on 1600 calories per day of junk. Many, many people have messed up their metabolisms by worrying too much about calories and not enough about just getting good nutrition regularly throughout the day." - Tosca

Many people ask me, "How many calories am I allowed." I always find a hard time answering this questions because there is no right answer to that without getting specific about every food group. I think Tosca puts it great, it isn't so much about calories but more nutrition that will lead you on the path you want to go. Do yourself a favour and don't get hung up of counting calories. 

Here is a good outline of what you want to be eating:
Breakfast: Protein and Fruit or Carb
Snack: Whey or Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Lunch: Protein, carb, vegetable 
Snack: Whey or Cottage Cheese and Nuts
Dinner: Protein, carb, vegetable

For those of you who are wanting to lose weight try to make sure your carbs are minimal at dinner, and even choose to go without them every day or every other day.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Food Matters

I used to have the mentality that I worked out so that I could eat whatever I wanted. A lot of people think this way, and for many this doesn't quite work if you want to maintain or loss any weight. You will never be able to outwork what fatty foods and sugar does to your body. But the good news is you can eat 6 times a day and not be hungry "dieting" by changing the way you think about food and the type of meals you eat.

I found this site today which is great for getting a fun meal plan however they do allow for some extra carbs that are unneeded if trying to drop weight so keep that in mind. This would be a great place to get a start or even just take some ideas. Eating small meals through out the day is very important to keep your metabolism up.

This is an example of how I would eat when starting out:
I am 5'7 pear shaped and weighed 159

3/4 Fibre One Cereal
1/2 skim milk

25g Whey Protein Shake or 3/4 cup Cottage Cheese

3oz Chicken
3/4 Rice, cous cous, or quinoa
2 cups veggies

25g Whey Protein Shake or 3/4 cup Cottage Cheese
Hand full of almonds or cashews

3oz Chicken
3/4 Rice, cous cous, or quinoa
2 cups veggies

This just shows you the balance of foods and break up of a healthy diet. If you would like a personalized meal plan specifically designed for you please contact me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Business Launch

Today we are launching our business into full swing! That means deals, who doesn't love a deal!?

If you are in Rexburg, Idaho area we are offering a free training sessions to start you off. This can be done at BYU-Idaho Gym if you are a student or Anytime Fitness if you are not a student. Please contact us to set up your first appointment.

Mention this blog post and you can receive 10% of all packages which can be found here.

Refer a friend who purchases a package and receive $25 off your service. This means if you refer 4 friends that is $100 off.

Contact info:

Discounts will be valid until September 22nd, 2012
Refer a friend program valid always!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yummy Chicken!
Thanks Ashley Reina for the Recipe

Combine 1 cup lemon juice (or lime)
1-2tsp of chili powder
1-2 tsp of paprika
1-2 tsp Tupperware spice southwest chipotle
Ground pepper.

Combine with chicken (thawed) and leave in fridge all day or over night to get the most flavour.
Either bake in oven or 30 minutes or pan fry (no oil), just add extra juice/ marinate to pan and cover. Cook evenly.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Common Gym Mistakes

Here is a couple of things I have noticed being done that shouldn't, and also things that I have done at the gym before I knew any better myself.

  • Not Lifting enough weight
  • Not doing any or enough reps
  • Starting cold: You should always start with a lighter weight when working out a new muscle group then after one rep you can increase the weight
  • Thinking if they work off the junk they ate before coming to the gym they will look and feel different... Sorry but what you put in your body still counts
  • Cardio after weights - no exception
There is this idea that doing some time on the treadmill will help warm your body up so that you are ready to lift weights. Big mistake this depletes your muscles and therefore build less muscle and burn less fat; ending in a less effective workout.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gaining weight is hard work
Maintaining weight is hard work
Losing weight is hard work

You get to choose which hard

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clean Eating

I mentioned clean eating in my blog a few weeks ago. Many of you may have thought, all right what exactly does that mean?

Clean eating is a lifestyle choice and this article explains it perfectly.

Although I do not eat 100% Clean I try to make most of my week and all the meals I make clean. My favourite clean eating recipe source is right here. You can find just about anything including deserts and cookies. Yum!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How far I have come

For those of you who are trying to lose weight, or feel unhealthy and want to change it; I can sympathize with you. I have been there and know how it feels!
 Five months ago I was unhappy, sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself and couldn't fit into any of my clothes. I literally had to go by new pants so that I could leave the house not in sweats or yoga pants. It was sad... When my sisters saw me on FaceTime they both said "Ohhhhhh" out-loud. Depressing to say the least.

Now: I have lost 20 lbs

I feel so much healthier, I am happier, my skin has calmed down, my body doesn't hate me, and my old jeans are almost too big to wear! Sometimes I want to cry because I am so overly grateful, and ecstatic that I was able to turn my health around. My Mother is really the one who made it happen, and my husband and sister Ashley have provided me with such an amazing support. This is a really big accomplishment for me. I feel like a new person; Taylor and I like her much more!!

Some things I did to make the change:
Eat 3 meals and two small protein snacks everyday
Cut out sugar 6 days of the week
Work out 5-6 days a week
Lunged my butt off, no literally I would do 100 lunges in one day and my butt really has shrunk
Set up incentives for myself - shoes, new lulu lemon, once I lose 20lbs I am going to buy some new jeans
It takes effort but let me tell you it is so worth it! I can't wait to be a personal trainer and help people make this kind of difference in their own lives.

Big Salad right? This is one of my favourites! 
I eat this for dinner 4x a week (everyday I run and sunday)
I pile up a ton of romaine hearts chopped up, 3 oz chicken, dash of turkey bacon bits, and low cal dressing. The dressing I make is thinner so it can spread over the whole salad, because I hate dry salads!

Ceaser Dressing:
1 tbsp low fat ceased dressing
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Whey Protien - this is what I have as a snack two times a day. This is also what I have most of my clients do while trying to lose weight, or gain more muscle mass. Protein shakes are your friend!

Whey protein shake and apple - my mid morning snack that I day dream about while my lungs burn while sucking in the hot humid air in Virginia on morning runs

Friday, August 17, 2012

Health is such a broad topic and there is so much "junk" or people that put out their own plans that are at super hard levels and unsafe for beginners to be taking anything from. So...

I am going to start a new little section on my blog. I know almost everyone out there strives to be more healthy and I would love to help teach you about the NASM model and help you incorporate some things into your own life. I am going to do this considering I am speaking to beginners since this is the target group that will essentially learn the most. I will promise to only preach what I am learning from my textbooks and classes and not be adding to any false ideas or my personal opinion.

There are three phases of training:
1. Stabilization
2. Strength and Endurance
3. Hypertrophy
(Most women will want to skip this phase 3+4 since it is bulking bulkier muscle)
4. Maximal Strength
5. Power

I want to talk a little about phase one of stability. This is a very important phase because it prepares your body, muscle and joints for the other phases. A lot of people skip this phase and this often ends in injury or over working the muscle. This phase helps you strengthen those stabilizing muscles, and increase difficulty by challenging your balance. You also want to do a low load and high repetition.

Things in the gym to help you do this: Stability disk (those half ball looking things), balls, foam rollers, bands, and my favourite TRX.

Example of a superset using this idea would be:

2x 10 reps of push-ups
2x 10 reps stability ball push-ups

This will work what is called your prime movers and then immediately after challenge the stability of the same area. This will help you body develop the balance and control needed to lift heavier weights and endurance later on in your journey in the gym!

If you have questions feel free to leave a comment with an email for me to reply

This information was taken from the
NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training Fourth Edition
Editors: Micheal A. Clark, Scott C. Lucett and Brian G. Sutton

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Rules to feel Better in just Days

Two rules that will have you feeling better in days!
No Sugar, and Clean Eating
This means no processed foods, make everything from scratch and don't add cream, fatty cheese, or condensed soups. It's that simple. Use cottage cheese, and milk as subsitutes.

Yup I said it...
No Sugar
You can however pick a day to treat yourself. Every Saturday we eat out and I make a heart stopping yummy desert. But only one day a week - feeds that craving and helps keep you on track.

Paired with working out and cutting the junky food from my life I have toned up a lot, and lost weight. But better yet I just feel so much better!