Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mayo Free Egg Salad (what’s the secret ingredient?)

I am on a mission to help re work where eating and exercise went wrong. Because it did go wrong. We thought restriction with food and exercising all day to burn calories was the answer. It’s not.

I want to make it simple for you because it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as we have made it out to be. So let’s start today with a simple recipe that includes lots of healthy fats. Eggs and avocado.

We don’t need to shun fats altogether, just replace them with healthier choices in moderate portions. If you want to remember anything about food remember that. Healthier choices in moderate portions.

Think less potato chips and nacho cheese and more eggs, avocados, fresh meats and fish, and dairy.

Ok onto this delicious avocado, egg salad recipe.



(single serving)

  •  2 hard boiled eggs (which I did the day before)
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • tsp lemon juice
  • tsp red wine vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt and chili flakes
  • tbsp of diced onions


  1. Peel hard boiled eggs and mash all ingredients together.
  2. Top on toast.



Dead bugs are the new crunches


It’s funny because when I train clients in Pilates I call this exercise single leg stretch but when I train clients in the weight room I call it dead bug.

Regardless it is the same exercise but I think my clients get a kick out of the name dead bug more. I have also gotten texts the day after training sessions. “Dead bug. Surprisingly effective.”

And yes it is when done correctly. So you are probably wondering what the heck dead bug is?!

Dead bugs are the new crunches. The new go-to in core training.  A supine plank you might say. A way to train the core while keeping the torso in a stable and safe position, even when moving the limbs.

In the 90’s it was cardio and crunches but, with research from people like Dr. Stuart McGill, over the past 15 years the way we train the core safely has changed.

Crunches and sit-ups can potentially put more pressure on the spine and leave discs in a vulnerable position when done repeatedly. And we all know people love their crunches as over the years they seem to be THE exercise! Maybe it was the bodybuilding era, maybe it is the “burn” people feel while doing them. Who knows?

From my professional opinion, I do incorporate a variety of movements that do sometimes include flexion of the spine, if appropriate. But I am also a fan of all the planks and love me some dead bugs.

How-to Dead bug: 

Lying on your back with a neutral spine bring the legs to a table top position (90 degrees) and reach the arms toward the ceiling with palms facing each other. Take a deep inhale and on your exhale extend the opposite arm, opposite leg away from the body, pause and return back to the starting position and alternate sides.

Brace through the core (like someone is punching you in the stomach) to prevent the back from arching.

Focus on form, control and your breath. It should feel quite challenging.

If you want to add an exercise ball (like the picture below) hold on to it with both hands, pressed against the knees and bring the legs to a table top position. Extend opposite arm, opposite leg and keep the other two limbs in contact with the ball. Alternate sides.


Now go on and get your dead bug on!


Do you even know what you want? 3 steps to figuring it out.

I have a really cool concept to share with you from the book The Four Hour Workweek, called Dreamlining. It is kinda of like goal setting except the idea is to write down whatever you want in life.

No judgements. No realistic expectations. No feeling bad if that is a fancy car or a daily massage therapist. Essentially dream as big as you can and then decide what’s most important to you right now and figure out how you are going to make it happen.

What was most surprising, and why I wan’t to share it with you, was this assignment was not as easy and effortless as I initially thought it would be. It provided me some great insight of  willing to prioritize in life and made me ask “Do I even know what I want in life?” And I think it will do the same for you.

It breaks down like this: what you want to DO, BE, and HAVE in life.


What do you want to be? A good dancer? An entrepreneur? Fluent in another language?

What do you want to do? Travel the world? Ride in a hot air balloon? Run a marathon? Do 5 pull-ups?

What do you want to have? A personal chef? A home overlooking the ocean? That new handbag?  A new pair of Nikes?

It can be as small or as big as you want but it is whatever you want to do, be, and have NOW. Not when you retire. Not when you have more money. Not when you have more time. Sure a home overlooking the ocean will take time and money to achieve but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working towards it or thinking about it now.

Traveling the world? That may be far fetched for some but he has the whole plan laid out if you want to be brave, take a leave from your job, on as little money as possible. The thing is, it IS possible but most of us have other priorities.

I always say I want to travel the world but when I really break it down do I want to quit my job and be on the road for 6 months when home is one of my favorite places to be?

What I encouraging you to do right now is write down what you want to  BE, DO, and HAVE. Do it right now. Stop reading and don’t pass go until you are done.


My mini vacations over the course of the year keep my travel desires happy. No need for extravagant vacations.


I know you are still reading without doing the list because that is what I do when I read books that ask to stop and do assignments but after reading this I really do hope you set aside some time to do this assignment.

Some things I want I am already working toward (an online fitness business to help more people, travel internationally) and some things are more extravagant like owning a home or to be able to fly to as many fitness conferences as possible without worrying about work or money. Some things I can do this year like hike half dome and buy a new couch.

With slots for 5 things in each category I was feeling a little stuck and it made me realize a few things. One, much of what I think I want I already have. Two, things I thought I have always wanted I didn’t really care so much when it came down to it. Three, I did not automatically list as many material items as I though. I thought for sure I would list all the Micheal Kors bags and watches and Sam Edelman boots.

It took me awhile and I found myself saying over and over again, “For all the things I think I want  in life do I even know what I want?”

Do you even know what you want in life?


My personal spin on the assignment of course comes back to health and fitness.

If body change, health or strength is your goal, what could you be, do or have if your current condition were different? Maybe your current condition already give you everything you already need.

Would it be easier to move around?

Travel new places? Do new things?

Would you really, truly have more confidence and happiness? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Repeat this assignment again in regards to your body. I think it is important because so often we strive for these huge goals, visions and dreams but in actuality do we even know what we want?

Do you even know what you want? Maybe you will realize you want everything you thought you did. Or maybe you will realize you have so much more than you thought you did.

Give it a try and report back. Can’t wait to hear your findings.



5 Meat Free Ways to Add Protein into Your Diet (& recipes)

I am totally guilty of recommending chicken, chicken and chicken to people as a way to get in more protein. It’s not wrong but I get that not every likes chicken or if you do, you probably get tired of it from time to time.

I am a meat eater but I go through this phase occasionally where I have what I call a chicken/meat aversion, where I can’t stand the thought of eating a bite. Then the next day I am back to my normal ways. With that in mind I decided to share with you 5  meat free foods you can eat to meet your protein needs.

But first lets break down protein.  Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids which our responsible for everything from muscle repair to a strong immune system. They also help keep you full, stabilize blood sugar levels and manage cravings.


Foods highest in protein are usually animal based and include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese. These are usually referred to as essential protein sources because they contain all 9 amino acids, which the body can be  obtained through diet only, not created on their own. Their macronutrient count is highest in protein.

Secondary protein sources include foods like beans, seeds, quinoa, and nuts. It is important to note that the macronutrient count is usually higher in fat or carbs and less in protein for these foods.  For example, while nuts do have some protein they are considered a fat. And while beans are also a good source of protein they are considered a carb.

The best way to meet your needs to get a mix of both sources. If you follow more of a plant based diet your best bet is to include protein from a variety of sources like beans, nuts, seeds and vegetables and less processed foods like cereals, which have less amino acids and little nutrient value.

How much protein?

The recommended amount of protein is controversial but generally is .08g per kg of body weight. For example an 150 lb person would require about 55 grams of protein, minimum. Precision Nutrition notes that this requirement is to prevent protein deficiency and that for those who are more active may require 1.0 to 2.0g per pound kg of body weight and that, “we need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need a lot more to thrive.”

Here are a few ways to get a solid amount of protein in your diet without eat meat or chicken. I also tracked down some delicious recipes for you.

Greek Yogurt (1 cup).

Mix with berries. Add into oatmeal. Eat plain or add a drizzle of honey. This is a convenient, easy post workout snack.

Check out one of my favorite, unconventional ways to use greek yogurt here.

Beans (1/2-1 cup).

Make vegetarian tacos, bean salads, or use as a side to your meal.

Quinoa (1/2-1 cup).

Cook and dice up veggies to add variety and flavor.

2 large eggs.

Scramble, make an omelet, or shred a sweet potato, mix with egg and cook like a pancake. 

2 egg whites (or 1/2 cup of liquid egg whites).

Add to oatmeal and cook, use in scrambles and omelets in addition to whole eggs.

Fish (3-4 ounces Tuna, Salmon, Halibut).

Bake in the oven, make salmon cakes (my recipes will be posted soon), add to salads.

Veggies that contain higher protein.

Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Spinach and Peas 5-10 grams per half cup. Roast Brussel Sprouts and broccoli in the oven. Add spinach to omelets, smoothies, or sauté in garlic and olive oil and add to rice and quinoa mixtures.

Additional Reading:

how to deadlift when you are scared of the bar

When it comes to training clients I pretty much want to help teach your mom how to deadlift.

While I know there are plenty of go getters out there who walk right up to the bar, throw on some weight and get after it, I know there are plenty who will never set foot in the weight room, let alone walk up to that big scary platform and load up the bar. Nor does anyone have to do that to get some type of results from weight training.

While I am guilty of posting my deadlift max’s on Instagram and Facebook I still try to convey to others that you don’t have to train for maximal strength to get results.  You can find results, accomplishment, functionality, body change, and improved health in basic exercises.

Maybe you are reading todays post and feel intimated or overwhelmed walking into the weight room or maybe you know someone who feels this way and this article can help. I am going to teach you a basic deadlift variation you can use with a dumbbell as you build up enough confidence to make it to the bar. Because you will.

For weight room newbies: After reading this article, at your next workout, walk straight to the dumbbell rack pick up a heavier than normal dumbbell and find a open space in the weight room to get your awesomeness on.

If you are performing it close to the dumbbell rack be sure you have adequate space around you and that you are far enough away from the rack so you don’t get in the way of other gym goers (little weight room etiquette for ya).

What it is: 

A deadlift is an exercise that builds strength in the lower body and back and mimics picking something up off of the floor most often used with a barbell. You can also use a kettle bell or dumbbell to focus on form, get comfortable with the movement or to add in to a routine when you want to do higher repetitions. 

Why should I even deadlift:  

Because you want to be strong at life. Think picking up boxes, children, groceries and heavy rocks. It works the glutes, core and backside of the body and is uber functional. Plus you feel like a badass and everyone needs a little bit of that in their life.

Using a dumbbell mimics a traditional deadlift without feeling so scary and intimidating with the platform, the bar, and those big weights.

Everyone starts somewhere with exercises and everyone needs to take a step back from time to time to work on form.

IMG_5672 (1)

Pull your shoulders down, hips back, and keep the chest lifted.

IMG_5676 (1)

Tighten everything in the body and lift the chest and butt at the same time by pushing the hips forward.

How-to get it right:

This exercise has tons of variations to choose from.  You can use this version with dumbbells or kettle bells and work your way to the bar when you feel comfortable.

  •  Choose a heavy dumbbell. If you are scared to ever grab the 30, 40, or 50 lb dumbbell, this is the exercise for it. Focus on form and don’t rush the movement.
  • Place the dumbbell vertical on the floor and stand over it, the DB slightly in front of you, with you feet approximately should distance apart.
  • Bend over with a slight bend in the knees, back flat, gripping the top part of the dumbbell like shown in the picture.
  • Pull your shoulders down, hips back and lift the chest so you can look at an imaginary superman logo on your chest at all times without straining the neck back.
  • Tighten everything in the body and lift the chest and butt at the same time by pushing the hips forward.
  • Control the movement back down and and repeat.

All this is fancy, detailed talk for pick up the dumbbell from the floor with good posture, keep the midsection tight.

Common Mistakes to look out for:

  • Squatting the DB. The torso is not as upright as a squat.
  • Butt lifting before the chest. Butt and chest lift at the same time
  • Not using your butt. Squeeze your butt at the top of the movement.
  • Rounding the back. Try to keep the back flat with a neutral spine (the natural curve of the low back).

Please share this article to timid gym goers everywhere to more help build more confident and skilled people in the weight room!

19 ways to create a badass health mindset in 2016

No doubt the health of your mind is as important as the health of your body so don’t be surprised that much of these badass tips are in regards to the way you think about things.

Knowing you should workout and eat well are all good and well but it doesn’t really matter unless you figure out what gets in the way of doing the work. Can you imagine living a life where food and fitness feels a little less stressful and you thrive off of it,  and not feel like you are just barely hanging on to survive feeling overwhelmed all the time. 

Here are 19 ways you can (and will) create a badass health and fitness mindset in 2016!



This must be my badass mindset going on. Time outside? Yes please.


Take the first step. You don’t need to see the full path and know exactly what will happen. In fact you never can predict what happens for sure but instead of contemplating how to workout or what to eat, just do something already. We are so quick to talk ourselves out of why something might now work instead of just putting in the work to see what happens. The best way to build confidence? Just do something.

Surround yourself with people and things that keep your goals and intentions front and center. Quotes, notes, people, places, classes, hobbies. Surround yourself with healthy likeminded people who have similar visions an goals as you. You can’t get everyone on board around you but perhaps someone or something.

Create a theme. You don’t have to write a blog or be in the movies to declare your theme for the year. And the best part is, it can be whatever resonates with you. Edgy? Sensitive? Hardcore? The only requirement is that it inspires you to be better and do better.

Don’t tie your happiness to your body. Being happy when you reach a certain size, lift a certain weight or achieve a certain goal is all good and well but that momentarily excitement comes and goes just like everything else in life. Tie your happiness to the journey, the good and the bad, because that is where the reward lies.

Eat healthy foods because they are damn good for you. Don’t get caught in diet dogma like restriction, low carb, and low fat. Eat whole, fresh food as often as possible because it is full of nutrients and things your body needs and thrives off of. Don’t think you do it just because you are supposed to and it is boring and hard.

Limit your processed food intake because it sucks for your body and your mind when overdone. Basic guidelines: eat food in moderate portions and include veggies often. Don’t overthink it.

Ask yourself what you would be without that thought? I am totally going Byron Katie on you with one of her thought provoking pieces of advice. Ask yourself what you would be without being overwhelmed, unsure, frustrated, upset. You would just be. The power is in the thought and if we think it or not. Feel what you need to feel and move on quickly.

Workout because you want to be strong. Let go of the aesthetic drive and work out because you want a capable, strong body. Set workout goals that have nothing to do with the way you look but the way your body moves and feels. Without realizing it your body will change, whether that is leaner, stronger, healthier, more capable. 

Stop investing all your efforts into believing you are not good enough. You are good enough in this very moment even if you feel you are not where you want to be. Quit feeling like you have to do everything perfect and that if it isn’t perfect it isn’t good enough. Be perfect by being the best you.


“Everything we experience – no matter how unpleasant – comes into our lives to teach us something.” Isyanla Vanzant

Strive to be healthy because you love your body not because you hate it. Hating yourself to success is not the only way. What about appreciating, being grateful and loving your way to success. It is possible but it begins by changing the way you think.

Confidence/Competency Loop. Become more confident by taking action. By educating yourself about making healthy choices and actually doing it, you become more confident and less fearful in your actions. When we feel fear building we tend to resort to not doing anything.

BUT when we start to take action and realize, “Hey, this isn’t so bad. I CAN do it,” we build our confidence, become more aware of what we can achieve and the cycle repeat itself. Our competence builds and so does our confidence.

Pay attention to the way you speak to yourself. “Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right,” said Henry Ford. If you keep telling yourself you are not motivated, you can’t do it, you always mess up, you don’t have time, your life will continue to play out that way. Give yourself a chance by owning all your choices as perfect or imperfect as they might feel.

Put yourself ON the hook. My business coach talks about this all the time. Put yourself on the hook. As in, not off the hook. Because when you are off the hook you are, in a sense, no longer obligated to put in the work and rid yourself of any responsibility. You get to wipe your hands clean and say “Nope, its not on me. I can’t do anything about it.” So in life, in relationships, with your job, with your health, put yourself ON the hook big time! Why? Because there is no better place to be that in your power.

Read new books. Some people think self-help, mindset, and motivational and inspiration books are simply a bunch of woo woo common sense advice and that the universe doesn’t give shit about what you do. While yes a lot of it is quite simple and seems far fetched to some, I can’t think of better way to keep my goals, thoughts, priorities and intentions in line than reading something everyday that keeps my mind in a positive, growing state.

I don’t even know where to begin with recommendations but lets start with The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, and The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

Get into your discomfort zone. You hear challenge? You say bring it! Change happens in your discomfort zone and if you are ready to look discomfort in the face and not shy away you are on step ahead of the game my friend. Discomfort can be unsettling but just know that on the other side is magic.

Act as if you are already where you want to be. In my latest read The As If Principal by Richard Wiseman it says emotion follows behavior. Do you need success to be happy? Or do you need to be happy to have success? Act “as if” you are already where you want to be and the rest will follow. Worst case scenario is you walk around feeling pretty badass! 😉

Say, “How fascinating!” I wish I could remember where I read this (I can’t take credit) but I once came across the perfect response for when daily difficulties, challenges and stress arise and that is simply to respond with “How fascinating.”

I take this as a statement of wonder and curiosity about how during this life and this moment, this is what you are presented with.  Sometimes if feels unfair and frustrating. It is up to you to decide how you will deal with all the good and the bad. What will you choose? Will you let it break you or make you?


Just take action. Failure is not a sign of weakness. Only a lessoned learned.

Figure out what makes you feel alive and do more of that. Make a list of things you love to do. You don’t have to show any one and don’t judge yourself for a second. Write down things, moments and people that you truly cherish and enjoy. Things that add value and joy to your day.

It can be simple things like coffee in the morning, spending time outside, or spending time with a certain person. It could be bigger things like traveling, a day adventure or something you have never done before. For the simple thing add them in weekly. For the bigger things, add them in as often as possible.

Fall in love with your life and this moment.  Woo woo alert! But seriously, it is so easy to catch ourselves in states of searching for a certain moment, a certain experience or a person to make us feel certain way.

We spend time wishing we somewhere else, wishing we were someone else, waiting for someday down the road when we find happiness. But everything you are looking for are moments happening along the way. What you are searching for is right in front of you, it just depends what you make of it.

Don’t forget about 2015. We get so caught up in looking ahead to 2016 that we forget about everything that 2015 has already or can still teach us. What did not work well this past year is as much of a lesson as what did work well.

Before you even think about next year take a moment or two of reflection on how this past year played out for you and only then start to envision yourself in 2017. Yes 2017. What can you do in 2016 that will get you to where you want to be? What is your vision?

Don’t forget to check out my lifestyle membership group to help you learn how to apply what you know and beyond. Make this your year! New year, new you? Nah. New year, improved you. Details here.