Bust a Move to 38 calorie brownies

brownieOriginally written: 3/1/2016

This body building adventure has sure gotten complicated. I thought I would just eat healthy, move more, and then saunter on stage in a skimpy bikini whilst sporting a fake tan and some even faker costume jewels. Much to my surprise, THIS IS NOT TRUE! My body building coach, Kyle Glickman, has informed me that we can go two ways here… fitness or figure, so I need to be prepared for both. Posing coach, Megan Cormack, has informed me that the Athletic category means I have to perform a routine-BUST IT. The mere thought of having to memorize some moves on stage puts me into a new category of anxious! My eyes bug out of my head and I start mumbling nonsense. After I take a few deep breaths I am calm and a new sense of confidence washes over… YOU CAN DO THIS. I didn’t accept this challenge just to be scared away by some silly steps and moves, so bring it….


Megan’s first question to me: “What do you want your music to be?”

“What do I want my music to be??? What do I want my music to be????” I thought. “I don’t even know what I want my moves to be, much less my music!” I spent the better part of the day listening to snippets of popular songs and some chill beats that I like, but really have no clue. This was a job for the protein brownie. Yup-I simply needed to eat a decadent protein brownie and I’d find my music. I’ve already made a few batches of this brownie recipe that I modified from Pinterest. I found that they’re much better when made in cupcake tins! Here’s my version of the 38 Calorie Brownie:

  • 1 container light and fit greek yogurt- I used toasted coconut-this also works with plain fat free greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk-30 cals
  • ½ cup Cocoa powder (I like to use the special dark)
  • 1/3 cup Old fashioned rolled oats (like Quaker)-grind these into an oat flour first
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend (or any natural/stevia based sweetener that pours like sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE)
  • 10 g Nestles mini morsels
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except chocolate morsels) into a food processor or a blender, and blend until smooth (about 1 minute).
  3. Fold in chocolate chip morsels
  4. Pour into lined muffin tin-should fill it half way
  5. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure middle is cooked. Wait until fully cooled about 10-15 minutes before eating! I’m so impulsive with my food I always end up burning the roof of my mouth!



In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I decided to share some of my FAVORITE food hacks! I know that some of you fellow If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) people have some of your own too. I’m all about sharing because, let’s face it, this dieting thing is NOT easy. I hate watching people’s scrunched up faces as they stare at the nutrition facts on the backs of peanut butter and tubes of cookie dough while wasting precious time in the grocery store. I’ve been there and will offer up advice whenever I see the “huh-uh-erggg” face.

“What’s a “macro”, you ask? (what’s the right way to write that I ask) A macro is the shortened form of “macronutrient”.  All food has macronutrients composed of Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate. These macronutrients (macros for short) each have a caloric value. Pay attention, this is why eating Paleo may not be working for you. One gram of Fat (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, lard, etc) yield 9 k/cals, while one gram of protein yields 4 k/cals, the same goes for carbohydrates (1 g=4/kcals). You can see why eating a lot of almond flour or avocado might be adding a little too many calories to your diet! That being said, most people who choose to eat Paleo don’t eat enough carbohydrates-so the fuel comes from the fat. Just be mindful and start looking at food as fuel. You’ll also want to make sure you get lots of fiber and water in there too… fiber = happy.

Many people have the misconception that fruits and vegetables are not considered “carbs” because they’re not starchy-correction- Fruits, Vegetables, Breads, Candy, half and half, milk, even some marinated meats and ground meats HAVE CARBS, be mindful of this. You’d be amazed at how many things you think are low in fat or carbs are actually not. Some good examples of this are almonds (1 cup of almonds has 45g fat, 20 g carbs, 20 g protein-not really a great source for protein), peanut butter, granola, and dried fruits.

Alright, now that we have that covered-according the the FDA an average woman should be consuming around 1600-2000 cals/day give or take a few hundred due to size, activity level, and other health factors. Men should be consuming 2,200-2,400 cals/day, same rules apply. Here’s my disclaimer-I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist-if you want solid nutritional counseling please look up Kyle Glickman-he’s phenomenal and has his master’s degree in nutrition and strength and conditioning. He’s also a fitness model, competitive body builder, a strength and conditioning coach, and an all around nice guy! He will meet you where you are without any judgement. He has been my coach for the past 8 months and I’ve lost close to 30 lbs of FAT since working with him. Note-It has only been a month since I have been extremely strict-dropping 10 more lbs. I wasn’t always strict which is why it took so long to get to where I am now.

Moving forward… My daily macronutrient goals are going to look very different than yours and yours may look very different than someone else you know. I’m training for a body building competition, so my macros are high in protein, but my carb and fat intake varies depending on my training etc. We will make up some macros here for instructional purposes.

I keep track of what I eat with My Fitness Pal, it makes it easy to track my eating. It’s a free app that let’s you scan a bar code- try tracking what you put in your gullet for one day.. it’s pretty eye opening. A friend of mine text me the other day when he did this for the first time-he was AMAZED!

It’s way more accurate if you weigh your food, so I invested in a $20 digital food scale-“The Biggest Loser” is the best I’ve found, don’t skimp and get the cheap one at wal-mart, it’s no good.

OK- Pretend I have 150 carbs, 135 protein, and 40 fat for each day-that’s 1500 calories/day (if my math is correct). I have to make sure I eat this much of each macronutrient, but not any more. It can be tough when faced with doughnut or cupcakes, maybe you love a good marbleized steak? Well, here are my favorite food hacks so that you can enjoy some of the indulgences you really love once in a while! Here are some screen shots of my daily intake to give you an idea of what typical meals look like:


Without further adieu-MY FAVORITE THINGS!

Sweets/Ingredients for Sweets:

Arctic Zero Ice Cream- Cookie Dough ALL THE WAY

Teddy Grahams

True Whip– I love this because it’s a better option than Cool Whip-more natural ingredients

Nutter Butter Wafers – I love these because one serving is 5 wafers-so I can eat one or two and they are delish!

Maple Grove Sugar Free Maple Syrup

Hershey’s sugar free chocolate syrup

Nestles mini morsels

Nestles Fat Free/sugar free hot cocoa

Protein Fluff-Click for various recipes-you’ll need XANTHUM GUM

Stevia in the Raw, Truvia, and Splenda Brown Sugar and White Sugar Granules-I’m not crazy about stevia or splenda, but I spent a ton of money on huge bags and will finish them. Next time I will try monkfruit.



Tumaro’s Let’s Skip The Sandwich Multigrain Wraps

P28 Protein Flat Bread (high fiber and protein) and Bagels-careful of the fat content here

Kontos Flax-Oat bran and whole wheat Lavash

Explore Asia Soybean, Edamame, Adzuki Bean, or Black Bean Pasta

Shirotaki Noodles (6 Carbs for 2 servings) –

Yam fiber  No oodles that are gluten and soy free I believe

Gold Fish Pretzels and Crackers-check the label-23 carbs for almost 50 pieces

All Bran Buds- HIGH IN FIBER- I like adding 10 g of this to my yogurt some mornings

I caution you against any granola-I LOVE granola, but it’s not worth it-you’ll eat it and then be hungry the next day


Dairy/Yogurt/Cheese- Includes Dairy Free Substitutes

Laughing Cow Light Swiss & Regular Swiss (wedges)

Fat Free Cream Cheese

Franklin Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese

Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Mozzarella and Mexican Blend Cheeses

Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican Blend

Kraft Fat Free Shredded Mozzarella and Shredded Cheddar

Oikos Triple Zero yogurt-high in fiber, low in carbs, high in protein

Plain, fat free Greek Yogurt- I use this as a sour cream substitution all the time!

Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk (30 cals)

Almond Breeze Coconut/Almond Milk  (45 cals)

Olivio Light-olive oil spread 1 TBSP=5 g fat



Fat Free Refried Beans

Baby Bok Choy -I make a ton of this (steam it) and dress it with low sodium Hoison)-again careful there are 5 carbs per serving here

Spaghetti Squash

Broccoli-though it’s not my favorite




Cherry Tomatoes

PICKLES!!!!- these can be high in sodium-careful

Yams (be careful-these are high in carbs)

Romaine Hearts

Raspberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries (high in fiber)

Granny Smith Apple

Stay away from fruits high in sugar like mangoes and bananas-limit your consumption



Just Great Stuff Powdered Peanut Butter

Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter

Sugar Free Peach Apricot and Passion Fruit  Spread

Olivio Light-buttery spread

Bolthouse Farms Cucumber Dill Dressing

Spicy Mustard


Jalapeño Tabasco



Egg Beaters Liquid eggs, not egg whites (same as buying an 18 pack egg carton)

Free Range Eggs-Poached in these little cups. Be careful with eggs, yes high in protein, but also high in fat-I mix eggs and egg beaters to get the healthy fats from the eggs and the amino acids from the egg beaters

Gianelli Turkey Sausage

Chicken Breasts




Smoked Salmon-lower fat-need to check

GNC AMP Wheybolic 60- cookies n cream, chocolate and vanilla ice cream- Cook with a lower grade whey that’s a little less expensive-use the isolate for after workouts

Dymatize Elite ISO (this is isolate-don’t cook with it)

Jay Robb- Egg White Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition Casein – I LOVE making my protein fluff with this before bed-Casein releases into your muscles slower than the isolate which curbs morning hunger


What are some of your favorite healthy foods???


Macro living is great because you can pick and choose what you eat, as long as it fits. A lot of diet foods are filled with chemicals which can be more harmful than healthy.

Be careful not to consume too many products with aspartame. I think eating sugar substitutes are great for a small treat, but these can have ill effects on your body and mental function. I know that I have adverse reactions to stevia and think it can be quite bitter tasting. Back to aspartame-try not to consume this more than once or twice/week. I can’t tell you how many people have told me about aspartame poisoning-symptoms can be found here.

Bottom line: I need to remind myself of this too… Regardless of the sugar substitute you use, you’re tricking your body into believing something is sweet. Your body can’t process it like it would glucose which can cause issues-possibly even pancreatic cancer and Grave’s disease. Again, I’m not a doctor and I only have a limited understanding of this stuff, if you want to know more I’d suggest a google search.


Pancakes, syrup, and a brownie… That’s what I call breakfast!!!

I have been scouring the web for some butternut squash and chicken crockpot recipes. I have had this squash sitting on my counter for more than a month and it is ready to be roasted or baked. I originally sliced it to make cheese sandwiches-I can post that recipe another day. I found a bunch that call for quinoa and I’m not really a big fan of using my macros for quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah), but I did find a recipe for butternut squash pancakes that knocked my socks off- or if you were using correct grammar-it knocked off my socks. NOTE you must roast the squash FIRST. I hastily split open the squash and to my surprise there was life inside! Little sprouts ready to push their way through the flesh of the vegetable. I even took a picture to share with you! See below. Moving on.. These were soooo good that I made a second batch right away (with a few alterations) and packed them up for lunchfast the next day. You see, I’m supposed to complete my cardio in the morning in a fasted state, which means NO eating before (read why here). Then I wait a few to eat, maybe insert a work day at school, then eat some more carbs and heavy lift. Today was Saturday (and a game day-GO USA Rugby!!!) and a very very cold Saturday at that. The temp was -1, but -30 with the wind chill, so I wanted to limit my outdoor time as much as possible. I made the decision that I would power through a few hours at the gym and take a break between cardio and strength (#bodybuilderproblems) to write reports or put some time into this here blog. I packed up my computer, student files and work out clothes and got to it. I could only think about those pancakes while crushing the stair mill, (yup folks we are kicking it up a NOTCH and going leg heavy on the cardio). Walking and climbing stairs makes me want to bang my head against a rock. I really dislike it even with all of the entertainment options. Life is really hard some times…. (this is my attempt to make fun of myself-laugh here). The wait was worth it! I topped these pancakes with strawberries and some sugar free maple syrup, the taste was divine! I promise-these are WORTH it! Try them for yourself, let me know how they turned out or if you modified in any way!


Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes- Macros for the whole pancake recipe: Cals 200, F:3.8, P: 29.9, Carb: 12.9, Fiber: 3.8 (I usually divide in half)

45 g (.25 cups) roasted (not oiled) butternut squash or canned pumpkin

1 TBS  pumpkin spice

1 TBS cinnamon

1 tsp stevia

1 oz Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk (30 cals/1 cup)

26 g of GNC pumpkin Spice Anabolic Whey Protein Powder (you can sub this for any protein you’d like)\

7 g Hogeson Farms Flax Chia seed blend

69 g liquid egg whites or egg beaters

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. heat skillet on med-low with a burst of nonstick spray
  3. pour 2 large pancakes, or 4 smaller sized cakes onto skillet
  4. wait for cakes to start bubbling and the outer edges to be cooked-then flip
  5. Pancakes should get golden brown on each side
  6. Add your favorite toppings-I prefer sliced strawberries, sugar free maple syrup by Maple Grove Farms AND a protein brownie (link for recipe coming soon! (macros for 100 g of strawberries and 4 oz maple syrup= ADD 9.6 Carb, .8 protein, and 2.5 fiber for strawberries and 2 carbs for syrup)

My favorite was made with GNC wheybolic cookies and cream whey powder and 1 tsp of vanilla- Eliminate the cinnamon and pumpkin spice for these. Just writing this makes me want MORE!!!!! I know what I’m making in the morning! I might even bring some to Megan Cormack (no longer an amateur, she’s pro), my amazing posing coach AND competition suit creator!


Here’s the pic of the sprouting squash! It’s so pretty!





Tales from the CRV, Random Acts of Kind-Jess

Yesterday was Friday. This was not just any ordinary Friday, this was the Friday before winter break. This Friday means only one thing… SUGAR-HIGH in elementary school. The kids were all a buzz with sucralose, glucose, and god knows what other chemicals coursing through their veins. I was offered cookies, candy, donut holes, and some birthday cupcakes. I’ve been subbing in a third grade classroom, for a teacher friend who is out on medical leave, during enrichment. The classroom teacher gave me strict instructions to “give the kids the healthy snacks, please don’t leave them in the room to rot all weekend.” I let the students have some free time, most of them chose to play on their chrome books, but a few requested to play mancala with me. I complimented them on their choice to play real life interaction games, one girl shrugged and said, “Miss Hayden, we like playing with you, it’s fun”.  Be still my heart! In that moment I realized how much I miss daily interaction with kids in a classroom setting. My job as a school psychologist allows me to have interaction with students, but usually only in one-on-one interactions. These kids are very special to me, if only I didn’t have to test and write so many reports I could do more with them… but I digress.. moving forward.

Before we knew it the announcements came on to dismiss students and we hurried to pack up. I practically shoved food into their already stuffed bags, but what kid wants an apple when they have a bag full of high fructose corn syrup???? The students were adamant that their teacher wanted all the food GONE. I couldn’t justify throwing it away, so I gathered up the bags of pretzels, raisins, apples, oranges, and containers of carrots and threw them in a large canvas tote-reserved for snack pick up (Zito-I have your bag). I lugged the tote outside with me while I walked the children to their buses. I went back to my suite after the last student boarded the bus and found one last suitemate straggler. I told her about the bag of food and asked if she’d like to bring any home because I really can’t eat all of this! Oranges, raisins, craisins, and pretzels are not on my preferred body building food list! She gasped at the sight and came up with a great idea.

“I know, let’s give some of it to the guys on the corner, you pass them everyday too right??”

YES! She was on to something! I always feel badly passing them by with nothing to give-I plan my meals and eat them all. We divvied up the food into plastic bags, said our good byes, and lugged our computers, files, and the food out to our cars.  I didn’t run into any of the guys on the corner on my way home, but thought I might when I went to the gym. I was feeling so good about this act of kind-Jess, visions of a gracious smiley guy on the corner filled my head with happy thoughts. I hurriedly got ready and headed for treadmill heaven-or hell (you choose) armed with my bag of goodies. I was dismayed to see the temperatures dropping and the snow flurrying.. there was no way the guy would be on the corner tonight. I slowly approached his usual haunt and was surprised to see the faint glow of his cigarette through the haze of the cloudy snow.

The excitement brewing inside, I quickly rolled down the window and chirped, “I brought you some food!!!” He looked at me and said nothing. The cigarette glowed bright as he inhaled slowly. I repeated, “I brought you some food! Carrots, apples, and oranges!”

He slowly walked over to my CRV and said, “I can’t eat that sh*t.”

My stomach dropped and the birds that were chirping in my mind took a nose dive, plummeting to the ground. “Uh, you can’t eat them? I’m sorry.” I replied.

He got closer and said, “Don’t be sorry, you’re being nice. I have no teeth They pulled all my teeth. I’m out here begging for money so I can get some new teeth put in!” I noticed this as he was talking.

“STUPID, STUPD, STUPID”, I thought. “How did you not think of these things when choosing the foods to give away.”

“Oh, oh my, I’m sorry! I didn’t know, ” I said in a remorseful tone. At that moment a horn honked and I realized the light had been green for quite some time. I started rolling the window up and he looked up, tapped on the window, and said, “Don’t be sorry, that was really nice of you..”


I drove away with mixed emotions. On one hand I was laughing hysterically because of my oversight and on the other hand I was feeling even more badly for this man on the corner with no teeth. I consider myself so lucky and am grateful for all I’ve been afforded in life. I may not be rich, but I have had rich experiences and have had the good fortune to be loved and supported by my family and friends. In the end, that’s really what is MOST important.

If you’re interested in joining the Rochester Kindness Movement please check out ROCking in Rochester. Some of the kindest people in the Rochester, NY area. I’m so lucky to know the founder of this group, she has a heart of gold and I love her for all of who she is and for what she does. Here’s a recent post:

ROCKING in Rochester was born 3 years ago today. It occurred one cold evening when the hopes from my heart officially joined the visions in my mind. The question rattled around for me: Was it possible to encourage individuals to be more compassionate and thoughtful to others on a local level so we could really feel the impact? 3 years later with1600 + rocking fans and numerous kindness stories we are doing it. KINDNESS MATTERS

A few afterthoughts:

A) I realize this post might evoke some different feelings and emotions-maybe some anger and maybe some joy? I too had some mixed feelings about my encounter-please read on:

B) Why is this guy smoking if he needs teeth and is trying to save money? Answer: Addiction, Mental Illness, and a big FAT who are you to judge-you’ve had a pretty nice life-this guy is on the corner in the freezing cold begging for money-I have skills, he may not.. etc. We are not all created equal and we are not all from the same background. There is such a thing as privilege and it hurts us to think about it because we don’t want it to be there… but it’s there and should be considered. I work with students who are starting a few miles behind those of their suburban peers. They have to have the skills and the talent to catch up-an extremely difficult task when resources are few. I try to keep this in mind as much as possible.

C) Next time I will be more cognizant of the items I choose to give.

D) Dental work is expensive, how’s he gonna come up with a few thousand dollars???? That’s a lot! I’m lucky to have insurance for these things-but even my insurance is terrible and a simple filling costs a couple hundred dollars.

Chirkey Broccoflower and Banza Soup

I started this soup before I went to the gym tonight, decided to make an “everything but the… refrigerator” soup. I had cauliflower and broccoli that needed to GO stat. I quickly threw the green and white florets into my food processor and then dumped it all in the crockpot. Set it on high and dashed out the door to destroy my lats and lower traps. I returned from the gym and could smell this soup from the driveway, the odor wafting through the large cracks in the door frame (note to self: get door seal fixed). I was so excited to try it (AND HUNGRY) that I threw in the pasta and then took a spoonful straight to my gullet, BIG MISTAKE-HUGE.  The roof of my mouth is now raw… UGH. Enough babbling… here’s the recipe!


3 Box Containers Wegmans Organic Chicken Broth

1 lb Turkey Breast cutlets

6 oz chicken breast

400 g broccoli (food processed/blended)

400 g Cauliflower (food processed/blended)

3 stalks celery

5 baby carrots

100 g chopped onion

2 large garlic cloves chopped

Few sprigs of fresh parsley

1/4 cup sherry

1-2 TBSP Trader Joe’s every day seasoning (to taste), cracked red pepper

170 g Banza chickpea pasta

As much salt as you need to taste (I try to keep it low bc it affects my weight too much)


1) Shred broccoli and cauliflower in your food processor or blender until it looks like confetti. You will have to do this in small batches so you don’t muck up your food processor or blender.

2) Combine Broccoli, onion, garlic, celery stalk (in-tact), carrots, parsley, seasoning, chicken broth, and sherry in your crockpot and turn on high. Cook for 4-5 hours

3) Take out chicken and turkey and shred, return to pot

4) Remove celery and carrots

5) Add Banza Pasta and wait 10 minutes-or until pasta is soft

6) Serve and season more if you’d like! Makes 8 large servings (1.5 cups each)-careful not to burn your mouth like I did! It was so good I couldn’t help myself!

Macros: 233 cals, Fat: 2.1, Carbs: 18.8, Protein: 35.4


Low Calorie Enchiladas

I love these little pouches of heaven. Easy to make and great macros with tons of fiber!!! The wraps (Let’s Skip the Sandwich) are from Wegmans, and you can only find them at the larger stores like Pittsford or Ridgemont. There’s another brand that gets close (Ole Xtreme Wellness) to the same macros, but you’ll have to adjust. Here’s the basic recipe, but you can add or subtract anything you’d like.


1 pkg Tumaro’s Let’s Skip the Sandwich

Overnight Beer Shredded Chicken

Fat Free refried beans (I use Old El Paso)

Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce

Kraft Fat Free Shredded Cheddar

Sargento OR Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Mexican Blend

Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

Green Tabasco Any type of Hot Sauce you’d like-as long as it has no cals!


1)Preheat oven to 350 first. Then set up your work space by placing a small plate on your digital food scale and lining up the ingredients-I like to start with refried beans because I can smear them evenly on the wrap. I typically put the wrap on the plate, tare it and then add an item, tare-add another-etc. Each wrap should have this much of each item in order to get the same macros in each serving. Makes 8 servings.

1.5 oz shredded chicken

14 g fat free shredded cheddar

14 g reduced fat Mexican blend cheese

41 g fat free refried beans

1 TBSP nonfat plain Greek Yogurt (.1 oz)


2) Roll them however you want, but make sure they will fit in your casserole pan

3) Pour the can of enchilada sauce over the entire pan, make sure each enchilada gets some saucy love!

4) Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes


Macro breakdown for one enchilada: Cals-186, Fat-4.3, Carbs 18.7, Protein 24.6, Fiber- 8.5


If you want less protein reduce your chicken or nix the Greek yogurt! Sometimes I add peppers and onions! YUM




Overnight Beer Shredded Chicken


3-5 lbs boneless chicken breasts

3 cans of beer

1 packet of taco seasoning

water if needed to add


1) add all ingredients to crockpot

2) add water or more beer to cover the chicken

3) cook at low heat for about 12 hours ( I cook overnight)

4) Chill-skim off hardened fat (or skip this step and drain the chicken with a slotted spoon)

5) The chicken will fall apart naturally- I store it in some of the juices from the crockpot so it doesn’t dry out too much

Use it in enchiladas, salads, tacos, quesadillas, spaghetti squash dishes-so many more!


Go Figure…

It’s January 21st and I haven’t written anything original in over a year. I can’t say why, only that I have been a busy  lady, busy living other people’s lives and not creating my own. I was just perusing old posts and I think that the theme became very centered on me finding the real Mr. Right, which side tracked me from finding myself.

These last 10 months I’ve been prepping for a new goal… figure competition. You know, the kind of competition where girls and guys put on the skimpiest of outfits, prance around stage, only to have their bodies be judged by someone else? The kind of competition where the bodies glow a bronze-like orange, with ever so bright white teeth, and you just want to feed everyone a cheeseburger ? Yeah.. that kind of competition.

It’s been quite the journey. I started out in February of 2015 by trying a ketogenic diet, but this was too strict for me, and it put stress on my already strained relationship. I then transitioned to “if it fits your macros” diet and found a lot of success when I was actually weighing and measuring my food. It seemed so tedious and time consuming, not the kind of eating I was used to doing; which consisted of coconut oil and meat. The weighing part was annoying and always seemed to get in the way of actually enjoying my meals. The good news was that I wasn’t limited to broccoli, rice, oatmeal, fish, and chicken. The world was my oyster, as long as it fit my macros… bloody hell.. how was I to make three meals fit my macros??? This was a challenge.

The transition from being a Crossfit junky to a pure Gym Rat was different. I wasn’t used to using machines and isolating muscle groups. The experience was humbling to say the least. I thought I was strong until I attempted a tempo style leg press and leg extension. Starting out with thirty five pound dumbbells for bicep curls was pretty stupid too!

Ten months later and I am in the zone. I generally prep my meals for the week so I know exactly what I have left for snacks and desserts. I’ll post some of my favorite recipes and food hacks tomorrow because it can be quite overwhelming. I’d do anything to help someone else NOT spend hours on end in the grocery store staring at nutrition facts.

My workouts are all programmed by my coach, Kyle Glickman;  I just have to go out and tackle them. If you see me staring at my iphone for a few minutes, it’s because I am looking up an unfamiliar movement on YouTube. Hours in the gym have morphed into an hour and a half and cardio isn’t all that bad when you’re watching Netflix! It will be interesting to see how I feel about all of it as the show gets closer, but for now I can handle it.

Never attempt a lifestyle change without talking with your loved ones and friends. It’s important that everyone is on board with your goals. People feel uncomfortable when you’re not eating what they are eating, drinking alcohol with them, or can’t spend as much time hanging because you have to walk that 400 calories. This is especially important if you’re in a relationship; because your significant other may get jealous of the time you spend with “My Fitness Pal”, Pintrest, and your $20 digital food scale You have to make sure that you’re both on the same page and they’re going to be supportive of your goals and the means in which you’ll need to obtain them. Bottom Line: You’re going to need some cheerleaders-and if your people aren’t in your corner you’ll need them to sit the flock down.

Now is the time when I give my thanks to all of my friends and family who have been extra supportive and “in my corner”. I so appreciate you!!!!! I can’t tell you how awesome it has been to walk the 400 cals with a friend or have someone push me through a tough super set. I appreciate those of you who have just said, “awesome, keep it up, so proud”. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

pull downs


Tabata to Body repost 2011

What’s Tabata you ask???? Sounds like a crazy torture device or some greek dish right????  WRONG. Well, actually, it is kind of akin to a torture device (those of us who have experienced it can attest!). Tabata is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Their groundbreaking 1996 study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, provided documented evidence concerning the dramatic physiological benefits of high-intensity intermittent training. After just 6 weeks of testing, Dr. Tabata noted a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity in his subjects, along with a 14% increase in their ability to consume oxygen (V02Max). These results were witnessed in already physically fit athletes. The conclusion was that just four minutes of Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance exercise.


A Tabata workout can be performed with just about any exercise: sit-ups, pull ups, jump rope, thrusters (not the hip pumping gyro action you’re thinking of), squats (yeah especially when you rest at the bottom position), sprints, cycling, YOU NAME IT.  Work non-stop, full on for 20-second intervals, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for a total of 8 cycles. You should be well into your target heart rate here- so don’t pace yourself. This whole workout lasts a total of 4 minutes… yep FOUR. Don’t let it fool you though, it’s four minutes of hell- especially when your doing tabata through a four exercise circuit (16 minutes), like we did today, as many reps as possible in each interval- 8 intervals of 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest for pull ups (count your reps-or count the lowest rep in the bunch of 8, I didn’t realize I was supposed to do that today, so we estimated based on my total), rest 1 minute- then on to push ups, rest one minute-sit ups, rest one minute-then squats. I don’t really understand the concept of counting the lowest number and then adding them up- seems to me like people would then pace themselves???? Anyone have an answer to that. I AM the google queen, so I could probably look it up, but I’m feelin’ SUPER lazy today.

Back to the FOUR minutes- You’ll be amazed at how intense just four minutes will feel. Still a skeptic??? (I took this straight from www.crossfit585bjj.com, they did such a good job of explaining) You may think you’re burning more calories doing “Cardio” type work outs (running, rowing, eliptical, cycling), but it’s what’s happening after the exercise period that’s most important (check post WOD recovery for more on this). The intense intervals in tabata training are so taxing to your body; that it can take up to 2 days to recover; meanwhile the typical “Fat-loss” calorie burning incurred by “Cardio workouts” ends when you stop moving. That equates to about an extra 48 hours of fat burning when doing high intensity interval training (HIIT)!!! Scientifically, these intervals lead to a huge EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) causing your body to burn calories to get back to normal.
Some of your goals are different (better power, long distance running with a faster pace, and/ or better work out times), but the studies found that this type of training not only builds your Aerobic capacity (Up to an increase in VO2max (maximum oxygen volume) of 14% in only 6 weeks) but your Anaerobic capacity as well (up 28%). What does this mean? More power, better endurance and better times!!! For you Long Distance Addicts, studies have also shown that excessive aerobic exercise can lead to muscle loss, testosterone degradation, and does not increase anaerobic capacity.

How much HiiT should you be doing? Kyle Glickman, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Nutritionist, says, “no more than 10 minutes of HIIT for the beginner athlete.” This means high interval for 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds.
Want to learn more about Tabata and some tips on how to incorporate this type of training into your fitness routine? Click These links:

Interesting interval tabata workouts for the advanced athlete:

Life is short.

I haven’t been totally motivated to write the past five months, so much has happened and unhappened. I’ve made so many new friends, maintained very special old friendships, and have celebrated life and have mourned the loss of life. A colleague of mine recently lost his battle with cancer, two of my friends have lost their wives to cancer, and one of my former students was killed. Life is short.

Life is short… It’s so crazy to me that we can enter someone’s life for just a brief moment and then something happens to disconnect those ties and the people vanish from the life you once knew. I have been so wrapped up in my life plan that I failed to see what was true around me. This plan for life has created a lot of anxiety and has taken the love out of life and the life out of love. I should practice what I preach… just be, let it happen, just be… be what? Be who? Be where? Be when? Just be present… means being in the moment and not thinking about the future. What would happen if my life didn’t go according to plan? What has happened???? I’m still here, I’m still learning, I’m still loving, I’m still breathing.

Life is short… People come and go and regret can burn in your brain forever. Taking chances and being vulnerable is what makes life happen-not taking chances means being stagnant; and being stagnant is a slow death. Brene’ Brown talks about the power of vulnerability and how the most successful people make themselves vulnerable because they took chances and pushed through the pain of failure and humility. Check out her ted talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en

Life is short… I don’t ever want to live with regret of what could’ve or should’ve been. I hope you don’t either… I’m not sure about most things and I always make mistakes-like 10 every minute… but I do know that you’ll never know if there is a possibility of something unless you put yourself out there and make yourself vulnerable-to all the feelings and possibilities. Be vulnerable, be open, and allow yourself to feel and fall… know that everything is not always the end.


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