Happy Monday!! I hope your weekend was just wonderful :-) I am just a big ball of amazement to be honest...Mine was just what I needed and so wonderful! The only kicker is with this bulking plan (2 weeks left!!) I have gotten a lot more lenient on weekends and "treats" on what is okay because in my mind when I lean out I won't be able to have those etc etc. The whole purpose of bulking is just to put on as much muscle and as little fat as possible and I am sure I have put on a small touch of fat but that is okay I expect it but I need to reign in my eating some!

Any ways more on that in a little bit! We went to see my main man Gerard Butler in Olympus Has Fallen....OMG! I was in love with that li'l Scottish man before but NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! It was a really great movie and I highly recommend it!

oh and also check out these guys!!
We got to add some fish to our saltwater aquarium finally and planned out what we will get next!! I am so psyched for it! I really do think doing things together brings couples much closer so I'm thankful we get to do this.

Just in case you are wondering: we have a 60 gal saltwater tank and to start cycling it through we have 2 fire gobies, 2 clown fish (1 saddleback and 1 maroon), and 3 blue damsels. In 2 weeks we are adding more :-)

But enough about the weekend here is my update for Body Beast and what my plan is to reign in my eating!

Alrighty, so I am in week 8 with 1 week left to go until the leaning out starts so I really need to make sure I take my supplements, eat enough CLEAN foods, and get plenty of sleep. The sleep thing is really my biggest snag because I get 6-7 hours but I really feel my best when I get 7-8 but there are just not enough hours in the day for that! So I will be tackling something I have some more control over...my eating.

I already know I am crushing my work outs, I do those 6 days a week without missing (unless I am sick, I have one back work out to throw onto the end of the bulk phase that I missed but otherwise no missed work outs).

The plan:
I will be running a group to help me stay on track, a free group that I will work with to keep all of us where we need to go. Clean eating, recipes, meal help, work outs, accountability, and fun stuff (Also I just bought some prizes!!).

If you are interested in joining me just send me an email and we will get started with operation swim suit!

Happy Monday!

TGIF! I cannot express just how excited I am right now to actually be on the verge of the weekend! I  just need a break...more so mentally and just some more sleep! Things are pretty crazy right now so I have been a little more careful to make sure I get plenty of sleep and rest so I don't make myself sick again (Or I am at least trying)!! It's really tough when you are burning the candle at both ends so to speak but I know for my health I absolutely must take those times. Being sick was really an awful way to spend a day off  so last night I went to bed an hour and a half earlier than the usual and honestly while a little tired, I feel rested and relieved today!! Just like you need to restart your computer, sleep does that for the human body so make sure you get some :-)

Anyways I wanted to go through some time management stuff today because the biggest kick I hear lately is I don't have time and a lot of variations of that!

Ways to "find" time in the day to be healthy:
~First let me tell ya...you won't find time for things. There are always a million things that need done and until you decide your health, workouts, and body are important there won't be time. You see, we are a really busy people these days, constantly connected and never just taking time. So step number one make it a priority "no matter what comes up today I will work out"

~Schedule the time just like a doctor's appointment or a meeting with your boss. This time is mandatory and actually fun!! It's just for you and you deserve it!

~Stay active all day. Take the stairs, park further away from the store, get up every half hour to stretch and move.

~If you do not have a lot of time squeeze in a mini-work out! Something is always better than nothing!!

Here is one in case you are ever in a pinch!

Equipment free work out:
Speed squats- 50 reps
tricep dips on floor- 40 reps
walking lunges- 50 reps
x jacks- 20 reps
x push ups- 20 reps
russian twists- 40 reps
1 min plank (3x)

repeat 2x!

Happy Friday!

So tell me what do you do to find the time to exercise?
Happy Tuesday! So how was the weekend for you? My favorite are the weekends you don't have much to do but just relax and watch movies...and guess what that is what I did all day Sunday. It was unplanned but it worked!

I do like my weekends to relax but I must say personal training is so rewarding it is so worth it to work with clients when they want to!! So I had a couple of sessions to kick of the weekend. I don't know I am Irish but St. Patty's has never really been a big "holiday" for me so I just enjoyed some sushi instead :-)
But hey what's a girl to do? I wouldn't say Mike and I are much of night owls really (I mean come on I pass out at 10 and could easily go earlier!!) but we stayed up Saturday to finish putting together the masterpiece that will soon turn into our saltwater reef tank and the cat's palace,as I like to call it!!
Did I mention this thing is 6 feet tall and Mike built it entirely? Pretty sweet and the boys love it!

We ended Saturday with some amazing sushi!!! I swear I could eat this every day!!
I think I have been over doing it thought with work stuff lately because weirdly in the middle of the night I woke up and my entire body hurt, not like skin pain from a sun burn but like my whole body! Every way I turned I hurt...it was just so sudden. So unplanned Sunday rest day happened!

I think that between the time change and all the extras I have been taking on lately my body had just had it's fill! I took days off from a planned work out Friday and Saturday too because I have just been so exhausted!!

Now with addressing rest...
In every good training plan there is at least 1 rest day per cycle. A rest day doesn't have to mean doing nothing at all (for me it did on Sunday) but usually I will do more active rest days. So maybe doing some light yoga or doing something not in my work out calendar like a round of tennis or a light jog. Something to just keep moving, heck even a long day of shopping can do the trick ;-)

Not taking rest days can really cause problems and you begin to get into over training. Over training is just that, doing more than your body can handle and you are prone to injury and fatigue! The key is really to listen to your body. I did and I am really starting to feel better! My biggest obstacle is just making sure I get enough rest, that is my biggest hurdle at the moment!

How do you know if you are over training?
~extreme fatigue
~the last time you took a rest day? ha when was that?
~you are constantly tired
~you are constantly sore
~you do not ever look forward to working out but you used to
~you keep getting injuries
~you stopped getting results (can sometimes be a plateau but commonly it is also over doing it!)

Solution? About ever 12 weeks I like to take a full week off and just let my body take some time. This really helps me mentally reconnect and gives my body the time it needs too!

so how often do you take rest days?

Caffeine has its perks but it also has some potential side effects.  So when should you consider cutting back on your caffeine intake?

Well, for most healthy adults, moderate doses of caffeine — 200 to 300 milligrams (mg), or about two to four cups of brewed coffee, a day isn’t harmful.  However, daily caffeine use of more than 500 to 600 mg a day, may cause the following side effects:  Insomnia, Nervousness, Restlessness,  Irritability, Stomach upset, Fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors.  If you experience 2 or more of these symptoms for an extended period of time, it may be time to limit, or even eliminate caffeine from your daily routine.  For more information on the effects of caffeine, check out:


Happy Monday everyone!!

Not sure about you but my butt is dragging this morning so I made sure I got up and stuck to my plan for getting my work out in...that always seems to kick me out of any morning funk I may get into (I am absolutely not a morning person!).

With that in mind I was thinking about you all and wondering where do you work out? What about the days (if you do go to the gym) that you do not feel like it or can't leave? Do you have stuff at home to work out?

Personally, I am a trainer so I almost always have access to a gym but honestly, I prefer to work out at home with my boyfriend. We have a blast plus it takes out that excuse for me. As much as I love fitness and working out sometimes the toughest part is just getting started!
or when I am traveling... that is another occasion I find is necessary to have the equipment you need to get in a good work out!

Here are the essentials:
1) resistance tubing/bands- weight training wherever you need it...while it's effects on muscles are a bit different from weights you can still get in a great work out with these and they are sooo portable!

2) a good pair of sneakers! you can literally make anything into a work out but you need proper foot wear to ensure you do not get any injuries!

3)a good set of work out dvd's you enjoy and can do when in a pinch or traveling (I swear by P90x and turbofire!)

4) a good set up dial up/down weights- we have the boflex selectechs and also the power block! I cannot speak highly enough for how compact these are yet they work just as well as the dumbbells in the gyms

5) a jump or yoga mat-trust me...cushion those jumps and poses!

6) pull up bar...you may struggle with these but you will get there!!!

Some add on's for fun:
~Medicine balls- great for adding a little weight or training with instability
~Bosu ball- this thing pretty much speaks for itself...there are literally hundreds of things you can do on this!! from push ups for plyo you name it!
~Stability ball- great for instability training and abs!
~Yoga block-helps you gain more flexibility when you are just starting out
~Foam roller-pain a first then muscles are soothed...heavenly!
~ab wheel
~push up stands- especially if you have wrist issues with regular push ups!

And of course if you really want to get serious...
~EZ bar with plates
~T-bar with plates

You name it and you can do it...just don't invest in junk that doesn't work (Cue in hokey machines that vibrate away fat).

So what home equipment do you have?

Whoopsies!! A little late I know but here was what I ate on Wednesday!!
It was a snowy-ish day here in Md so I was working at home and my goodness did I enjoy it!! I love my job but nothing beats eating real foods and not rushing all day!!

Meal 1: Protein oat pancakes with chocolate chips and sugar free syrup....I woke up craving these!!

Then I worked shoulders and then came post work out shake!
so meal 2 was shakeology with 1/2 scoop vanilla protein, 1/4 c vanilla greek yogurt, 1 TB pb, oats, ice, unsweetened almond milk and blend!

Meal 3:
Soup with veggies!

Meal 4:
1/2 c Greek yogurt with 1/4 berry granola and one banana

Meal 5: Pasta fagoli! YUM! I am not by anymeans Italian but I sure love to eat like one ;-) Recipe coming! 

Meal 6: not pictured but was some dark chocolate....what can I say I have a sweet tooth this month!

A New Recipe For You!

Pasta Fagoli
Essentially this is Italian chili and the way I was taught to make it is NOT healthy so I decided to clean it up and guess what...SAME TASTE!

1) In a large pot cook 1/2 lb of lean ground turkey, 32 oz of chicken broth (low sodium/fat free), 12 oz of tomato paste (low sodium/no sugar added), 2 red potatoes.
2) add in turkey sausage
3) bring to a boil then add a can of no salt added red kidney beans and a box of whole wheat pasta (I used elbow noodles you can use whatever kind you like...most people use ditalini).
4) cook until pasta is tender and serve!

In all honesty you can probably add more veggies to it but I live with a picky eater so I haven't tweaked the recipe much more...YET!

You've heard it before: The best offense is good defense.

During cold and flu season, nutrition plays a major role in how well your immune system can fight off sniffles and coughs. The better you eat, the stronger your immune power. On the other hand, the more nutrient deficiencies you have, the more vulnerable you are to getting sick.

To keep your immune system working at its best, increase your intake of these foods during cold and flu season. You'll be glad you did. 

1. Mangoes
Mangoes include a broad spectrum of antioxidants, including vitamin A and zinc. Vitamin A enhances immunity by revving up the function of white blood cells, which fight infection. Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for maintaining an overall healthy immune system.

How to get it: Whip up some mango salsa or a mango smoothie, or top yogurt with fresh mango slices. Strive to consume about 1 cup a day for the best benefit.

2. Garlic
Sometimes referred to as the"poor man's antibiotic," garlic has been eaten for centuries for its broad spectrum of therapeutic benefits. It is believed to stimulate the immune system by increasing the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Even more, two compounds found in garlic, inulin and allicin, are thought to be responsible for effectively killing bacteria as well as intestinal parasites.

How to get it: Add fresh garlic to sauces and dressings. Try to eat at least a clove every day during flu season.

3. Mushrooms
Chinese medicine and Eastern cultures have relied on mushrooms for their health benefits and immune-boosting properties for centuries. Beta-glucans, a type of sugar found in both raw and cooked mushrooms, is believed to be responsible for the immune-stimulating properties.

In addition, mushrooms are the only vegetable that naturally contains vitamin D, and decreased blood levels of vitamin D have been correlated with an increased risk of catching the influenza virus.

How to get it: Add mushrooms to salads, sauces and omelets. Eat about 1 cup of white button, crimini, shitake, maitake, reishi or portobello mushrooms every day.

4. Salmon
During the winter months when the air is dry, mucous membranes dry out and crack, providing the perfect opportunity for viruses and other nasty bugs to enter the body. Eating more fish that are rich in omega-3 fats can help maintain healthy cell membranes. Salmon (and other seafood) is also a source of selenium, which has been shown to reduce the severity of a virus once a person is exposed.

How to get it: Broil a salmon fillet or salmon steak and serve with fresh mango salsa. Eat salmon twice a week.

5. Green Tea
Drinking plenty of fluids during flu season is especially important for hydration as it helps the body maintain a strong defense against bad bugs. Green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate, which has been shown to stop the common cold from spreading.

How to get it: Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea each day to get immune-boosting benefits and stay hydrated.

6. Yogurt
Aside from being an excellent source of calcium, dairy products like yogurt provide immune-boosting vitamin D and probiotics (also referred to as"live active cultures"). Vitamin D's production of antimicrobial substances is believed to stop viruses from spreading in the body. Probiotics found in yogurt can help the body fight infections and boost immunity by fortifying the healthy bacteria found in the digestive tract.

How to get it: Yogurt parfaits are the perfect breakfast or dessert. Make tangy salad dressings with plain yogurt or add to smoothies for an extra nutritional boost. Consume two servings of yogurt daily.

7. Almonds
Almonds contain vitamin E, which may help prevent colds and ward off upper respiratory infections. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that works in combination with other nutrients found in almonds, including selenium and magnesium.

How to get it: Make your own granola with toasted almonds, rolled oats and cinnamon. Or use almond butter instead of peanut butter. Eat about 22 almonds (or its equivalent) a day.

8. Spinach
Spinach is a nutrition powerhouse offering several key nutrients that help to boost immune function and health. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, folate, iron, vitamin B-2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B-6, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. With all these vitamins in one food, it's no wonder everyone should be consuming more of this leafy green.

How to get it: Sautee spinach with garlic and onions. Or make a spinach salad with pomegranate dressing, topped with toasted almonds.

9. Shakeology
Shakeology is a super food packed with vitamins and minerals and is a GREAT  way to get all of your vitamins in one meal...especially if you are not a fan of veggies!