Monthly Archives: August 2015

Guilt is not going to help you

AJ-21-1When it comes down to it guilt is not going to you. Or me for that matter.

I spent years in the eat, guilt, eat, guilt cycle and I really wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Because the thing is, guilt doesn’t change our choices, it does not undo our mistakes and it sure doesn’t motivate us to do better next time.

I have been socializing and traveling a lot of more in the past couple months than I ever usually do and this use to be hardest for me because I was “off” plan. I would have food and drink that I normally won’t “on” plan as I was super rigid with my diet. And even with as rigid I was, my body didn’t change a whole lot. Sure it did when I nailed it for a month, but in the big picture, the more I worked out and the stricter I was with my diet, the less change I saw.

And if you have experienced any similar feelings I really feel for you because it is no fun and I if I am going to eat something a little more indulgent I would rather just not feel guilty all together. I recieved great feedback from my email about this topic and though I get a bit more personal in my newsletters I wanted to give you a few ways to work through these guilty feelings.

3 Ways to not let guilt hinder your progress.

Accept the reality of the situation. 

When you simply start looking at the situation for what it was, not what it should have been, everything changes. Because when you look at it simply for what it is, you have nothing to compare it to. One of my favorite perspectives is from Byron Kaite. Ask yourself what you are without that thought?

I ate too much.

What are you without what you should and should have not done? What is the reality without the emotion attached to the thought? It simply is that you ate to much.

When you are able to look at the situation for what it is not what it should be, it takes away a lot of the struggle, the suffering and the pain.

Forgive yourself.

There is not point in stressing over something that you simply can not change. Move on and grow stronger. Feel what you need to feel and move on quickly.

Compassion is a greater motivator than criticism and studies actually show that. Guilt and resentment keep you in the past and forgiveness and acceptance keep you  moving forward.

Practice gratitude.

I go in spurts with how I practice gratitude. Some days I journal, some days I shoot a friend a text or email, some days I let my mind wander and think about all i have to be grateful in my life. Because perception is everything. We can view the world as full of opportunity or view it full of misfortune. It is all in how you choose to view it, even in the lowest of moments.

7 ways to stick to your fitness goals

No one is ever always motivated to eat healthy and workout. Even the fittest people on the planet struggle with motivation from time to time because motivation is not something you have, it is something you create.

I have included several tips for you to help you be more consistent which in turn will help you to better your body and reach your fitness goals. And the key here is consistency. The more consistent you are, the more likely you are to reach your goals. I hope that these strategies will keep you motivated and give you some workarounds for what to do when you feel not so motivated. Pick one and put it into action!


Do what you love, enjoy or can at least tolerate.

The absolute best exercise for you, is exercise you love, enjoy or can at least tolerate. Because exercise you love, enjoy or can tolerate, is exercise you will do more often.

I get that not everyone loves or enjoys working out and sometimes the mere thought of doing “exercise” can be enough to simply turn away from the gym. But  another tip I use is to view exercise as movement or play. Ask yourself how you are going to move more or play more today?

Mark your workout on the calendar.

Put it on your calendar. I know you hear this all the time but if you plan in advance, you won’t stumble upon Friday and realize you have not worked out one day this week. Pick a few of your least stressful days during the week, put it on your calendar and ask your family/friends to help you commit to that day and time.

Value it like any other appointment. Designate one back up day during the week that you will use to make up any days where exercise goes to last on the priority list.

Commit to less.

It seems counter intuitive but the best way to make a habit stick is to commit to less before you do more. Trying to overhaul your life and exercise 6 days a week, for an hour a day is the quickest way to set yourself up for falling off the wagon because you are trying to do to much, too soon. Commit to 1 day a week more than where you currently are, and once that becomes a habit, then you can 1 more additional session or even additional minutes of exercise until it become routine.

If you feel this method does not work, it is probably because you started too big with your initial goal. Start small.

Reward yourself.

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy getting a reward or credit. Put $5 in a money jar each time you work out and save it for something you want. Watch the money grow along with your motivation. Put a star on a chart or a check mark on your calendar. Looking at how much effort you have already put in, not how far you have to go. Set a goal for yourself and treat yourself to something special when the stars or dollars add up.

Back up plan.

Right this moment, right down a workout you can do when you either can’t make it to the gym, are short on time, or just need something different to do. Don’t wait until the moment you need it to create the plan, create it right now. That way when a day comes where you just don’t have the time, you can grab your notes and see your back up plan and do that workout instead.

My favorite? 5 squats, 10 push ups, 30 second plank for as many rounds and I have time for. Or do a few sets of stairs in your house, run around the block, or have a youtube link saved on your phone of a workout that fits your time and preferences. Planning for when you may potentially skip your workout is one of your greatest tools.

Get a sneaky start.

When you don’t want to workout, just start moving. Go for a walk, get some stretches, do some squats. About 95% of the time, if I least get started I know I will finish my workout. The other 5% is when I start and give myself an honest 15 minutes of effort. If I am completely not in it I will give myself permission to let 15 minutes be my best for the day and leave it at that.

Find someone to help you.

There is no shame in asking for help. This could be a coach, trainer, friend or family member. Hire someone or find someone who will hold you accountable to reach your goals. It is absolutely amazing will happen when you have someone to check up on you, help guide you through the process, and support you along the way.

3 must have protein smoothies

Well according to me that is.

Sometimes protein smoothies and convenience bars and foods get looked down on because they are not the healthiest of choices. And i am not saying that they are healthier than vegetables but I am saying that if using these things can help you make healthier choices in the big picture, it is not so bad.


And for me personally,  they help because of convenience, the taste and the satiety they give me. Notice I said nothing about excluding bananas because they are high in sugar, how whey protein is the enemy or because processed foods are the enemy. Are they the ultimate choice of the gold standard for the perfect health food? No. But can they be used in moderation as part of a healthier diet? Sure.

So with that, here are 3 yummy protein shakes that I am loving right now. (Note. I am a fan of green juices and smoothies in addition to meals or snacks, but when it comes down to it, it breaks down into straight sugar so that is why I am an advocate of adding protein and or fat to my drinks).

Almost Fall Pumpkin Smoothie



2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 cup pumpkin, unsweetened (canned or fresh)
1 banana
1 cup mango
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Blend spinach and almond milk until smooth.

2. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!


Chocolate Coconut Almond Smoothie


  • 2 cups of unsweetend vanilla almond milk
  • 1 TBSP of almond butter
  • 1 Serving of chocolate protein powder of your choice
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • Ice
  • Coconut Flakes to top


  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Top with coconut flakes.

Pineapple Avocado Protein Smoothie


  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple


1. Blend and enjoy!

What should I eat pre and post workout?

As always, let’s keep it super basic because unless you are training for some endurance event or are training to step foot on stage as a figure model, this stuff does not need to be complicated.

More often than not I see people skipping their pre and post workout nutrition and this is a huge mistake in terms of recovery and how it could affect your goals long term.

If you skip either, you may find yourself dragging during the workout, find that it is harder to recover after your workout (more soreness and fatigue), have low energy and high hunger and cravings.

My general rule is


Pre workout

Keep it small and eat at least an hour before you workout. (See below for working out first thing in the morning).

If you eat breakfast at 8 a.m. and your workout is at 10 a.m. you are probably fueled enough to not worry about having an extra snack. If you eat at 7 a.m. and want to workout at 11 a.m., I would suggest having something small around 10 a.m. Here are a few examples.

An egg and toast.

Greek yogurt and fruit.

A protein bar or shake with fruit.

Post workout

Post workout is what I see skipped most often because sometimes it seems so wrong to eat after your just worked so hard to make progress. But this is completely the wrong mindset. Post workout nutrition is so important because your muscles are ready to be replenished so it is the PERFECT time for protein AND carbohydrates! If you are fearing carbs do yourself a favor and have them at least post workout, even if you skimp on them during other times of the day. It is also a great time for protein to help build and repair your muscles. By skipping this you are potentially hurting your recovery which in turn can  prolong getting results.

Your post workout fuel could be the same as above but maybe just a little bit more volume. If you need numbers start to play around with 15 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbs. One reason protein shakes work well here is because you don’t have to think a whole lot. One scoop of protein, some fruit and maybe a bit of honey and you have everything you need. Taking post workout nutrition in a liquid form also helps your body access fuel easier and is a good choice for those who don’t have an appetite right after exercise.

When it comes to timing throughout your day, if you are working out at 5 p.m. and plan to have dinner after your workout that is perfect. When my schedule allows, I like to workout before I eat a meal. That is not always the case though, so  I rely heavily on post workout snack and shakes in between.

I hope this helps and here is some more information, with my take, on these commonly asked questions.

What are supplements and should I take them?

Supplements are products that essentially supplement your nutrition and I don’t really ever recommend them to my general clients who are looking to lose weight or just stay healthy. Could they help? Potentially. But are they required? No. For example what would a pre workout supplement do? It may be designed to increase energy, hydrate your body and prevent muscle breakdown. But couldn’t you get those things in a cup of coffee, a bottle or water and some eggs or chicken.  I may recommend protein bars or shakes to my clients if it is convenient for them and they enjoy them. See below why I don’t think they are the end of world.

Does my meal the night before affect my workout the next day?

This is great to consider, if you have not before. For me personally, I can 100% tell the difference if I eat carbs the night before for dinner or if I simply stick to protein and veggies. So in my experience, I know if I want to hit the gym hard the next day, I need carbs in my dinner the night before. I know some people who this is not true for but it is worth experimenting if you notice a pattern of having low energy.

What if I workout first thing in the morning?

Following what I said in the previous answer, I can get away with not eating first thing early morning if I have a dinner high in carbs the night before. If I am waking up and walking out the door to workout I may have a banana or protein bar, I may not. I really pay attention to what my body needs. Some people can not stomach anything first thing in the morning and have great workouts. It is highly dependent on your preferences and your body. Start to notice your patterns and if you are unsure of what to eat, start with something small, like a few bites of a protein bar, a little bit of greek yogurt and fruit, and see how it affects your body.

But I thought protein bars and protein shakes are bad?

The whole food gurus may frown at my answer but  I am totally ok with protein shakes and bars here and there. Is it the absolute best choice, with the purest ingredients? No. BUT if it helps make your food choices easier then go for it. The goal is to not to have to put a lot of effort into your food choices and there are much bigger rocks to worry about. Sometimes for that very reason these types of supplements can actually help you make progress because of the convenience factor.

Notice your patterns, eat foods you like, and that fit easily into your schedule and start experimenting with what pre and post workout foods work for you.

Why I weigh more than you think (and why you do too)

I am going to break the news gently to you, that you weigh more than you think you do. But it is ok, I do too.

I am not implying that muscle weighs more than fat here.

I am saying my worth is more than just a number on the scale.

And yours is too.

Decide right now the number on the scale does not define who you are a friend, a spouse, a parent or a person.

Decide right now that because of this you will, not only accept yourself for who you are and what your body is in its current state, but also work towards your highest potential.

Decide to treat your body with some love and respect so that it can provide the healthiest home possible for you.

And this is why I chose to focus on living healthy rather than simply changing my body. Before I dive in deeper, my absolutely FREE and 100% inspirational 15 Day Healthy Habits Challenge start this Sunday, and I can’t wait to join together with other women to focus more on health and less on looking a certain way.

Details here —->
Sign up here —->


Accepting yourself is not giving up. The outcome will still be the same.

Love your body now while working towards what you want. What a concept? You don’t have to hate your way to success.  You don’t need to be miserable along journey to health. This if/then story that you tell yourself gets you all caught up in thinking that you will be happy “when.” When you have more money, when you lose weight, when your spouse is less stressed, when your job gets better.  But the truth is your happiness is not always tied to these circumstances.

Happiness and joy is how we choose to perceive the world day in, day out, when things are going great and when things are not going so good. When we get a new job and while we are in the same one. When we lose weight and while we are working towards it.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to change or improve as long as it comes from a place of knowing your are worth it right now. You can blame and judge yourself along the way to losing 20 pounds or you can love and appreciate yourself along the way. The outcome will still be the same.

Weigh your worth on more than your appearance.

Be perfect, in your own sense, not the in the perception of others.

Sometimes I think we weigh our worth on our good hair day, the cute dress we show up to an event in, the cleanliness of the house, the firmness of our legs, or the few pounds lost. I mean when these things are happening, we feel great, we feel worthy.

But when we show up not feeling put together, our house is a mess, the scale goes up, the less than ideal body, we feel unworthy. We feel shameful and not good enough. These are just examples and you could swap out for anything outward that you translates to inward value. But the thing is, it is all based on perception.

In the book The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown, she talks about the perception of perfectionism. “Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame.”

While these are all emotions of the human experience, we can minimize them by focusing more on our authentic self and less on how it determines our worth.

When does the way you look not matter to you?

Perception is everything and this is one of my favorite tools, thanks to my moms constant reminder growing up, to put things in perspective.

When does the way you look NOT matter to you?

When you are fully engaged in an awesome conversation?

When you are in the middle of from the gut laughter?

When you are getting down on the dance floor?

Working on a skill or creative project?

Consumed in meaningful work?

Watching your child take their first steps?

When I talk human experience, this is what I am talking about. The experience of meaning. The experience of connection. The experience of play. When you can focus more on these things in life, it takes less of how you look. I love these moments and I live for these moments. In these moments I could care less about how my body looks and I love that.

So instead of focusing SO much on body change focus more on healthiness change. Because you deserve the healthiest body possible!

Sometimes you just need a little boost so be sure to check out the 15 Day Healthy Habits Challenge!


What to do when you know what to do but just do not do it

Do you over-know and under-perform?

In other words, do you spend more time researching and gathering information than actually implementing and applying it?

I have learned one thing for sure. When you have the knowledge, doing > knowing. Because while desire, knowledge, and intention are valuable, they do translate to success without action.

Before I share with you my story be sure to join my FREE 15 Healthy Habits Challenge, where I will guide you by focusing on doing just 1 thing each day to help creating healthy choices that serve your goals. You can sign up here!

I tried for years and years to make healthy eating and fitness feel effortless. Not to stress about it. Not to let it consume my life. To put into practice what works for me. But I got caught up in the clutter of information overload.

I was always researching the next best thing. I had the knowledge. I had the drive but I could never manage to implement a way of effortless healthy living because I wasn’t really applying anything, for that long anyways. I was simply being an information seeker.

My story looked something like this.

The Clean Eating Diet. What do I eat? What do I avoid?

Oh that new cookbook of low carb meals? Look at all the pretty pictures.

Ah what workout does that fitness model do? It looks really good on paper!

Paleo. Look how healthy all the meals look. I could do that. I really like bread and oatmeal but I think I could give it up.

Bodybuilding? I like lifting weights.

Some of these plans I would actually attempt and follow for some time. I would start off really excited, making my grocery list, planning my meals and workouts and feeling super motivated to finally get on the “right” plan. But at some point my motivation would wain and I would fall off my latest mission. I didn’t get it. What was stoping me from doing what I already know? What was stoping me from what was laid out right in front of me, telling me EXACTLY what to do?

I found the  missing links and it all started with the way I was thinking, the approach I was using and the action I was not taking. And that is exactly how I developed my 3 part approach. 

Be careful of your thoughts, for your

Affirmation + approach + action = results/success/change

Your life will unfold based on how you choose to think.

Maybe you don’t really want it. But I think you do. I know you do.

Though you must change the way you think and you must believe that you are capable in this journey. Even if you feel you have tried everything. If if you feel like there is no hope. Even if it feels challenging.

If you believe it really hard, it will continue to be hard.

If you believe you have not self control, you will continue to have no self control.

If you believe your sweet tooth is your downfall, it will continue to be your downfall.

If you read this article and think that what I am telling you will never work, then you are right, it probably won’t.

Wherever you area in your journey, start fresh. Believe that you will succeed because every road to success begins with a thought, a belief, an affirmation of what is possible. If you don’t have an affirmation ingrained within your soul, chances are you will not apply what you actually know. Because you simply do not believe it.

So decide what you want and say it out loud. Write it down. Repeat it over and over and over. It might feel a little awkward and ridiculous at first and you may even laugh about it. But the more and more you say come back to it, the more likely the scenario will unfold. Create whatever statement suits you.

I believe I can reach my goals by doing small things every day to improve my health.  I am capable. 

The direction you head will be based on the belief you choose, so choose wisely.

Is the old way really working anyways? 

Once you have your affirmation set and your mindset in check, you need to find the right approach that works for you. So is information important? It sure is! But too often I find that people are using the wrong approach. Not in the sense of what to eat or not to eat but in trying to do everything all at once. This is tough because it utilizes all your mental energy and you are left exhausted fighting willpower until it fails and then your poor habits take over.

But remember, something is better than nothing. And you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be consistent and honest with yourself about what is and is not working. When was the last time you thought about getting in great shape and said “You know what? I am going to focus on just 1 habit to work on.” 

This type of approach is not very exciting and it may not drive that initial motivation like a complete overall attempt at a transformation. Chances are though, the previous approaches probably did not work. And if they did it was for a very short time only. So start by choosing ONE habit to focus on.

Start so small there is no way that you can’t not succeed.

The key is to make your NEW habit so ridiculously easy that there is not way you cannot succeed.  You should roll your eyes at the habits I suggest at how easy they seem.

Take a multi vitamin everyday.

Get 5 minutes of activity in.

Eat one serving of vegetables each day.

Don’t think for a second that this will not contribute to your success. That is the only way you can fail at this. So right now say out loud one habit you want to improve on.

Where do you struggle most? And breakdown that habit into one doable step that you can implement consistently. Once you implement that habit so effortlessly you don’t even have to think about it, you can build on that habit, or move on to the next. This is sooo important because it help converse your mental energy. Trying to do everything breaks your willpower and leaves you exhausted fighting your body on what choice to make so you just give in.

Food and fitness should enhance your life, not take away from it.

And remember the Healthy Habits Challenge starts August 9th!

Start small, be accountable and reach your healthiest potential!