Get In Your Veggies! Without Having to Hide Them

I am so excited about spending March focusing on nutrition.  Are you Ready to Be…MindFULL of Nutrition?  Does that scare you a bit?  Do you ever wonder HOW MUCH produce you need?

I turned to Choose My Plate as a great resource for this. Check out their website here.

General guidelines have women ages 31-50 needing about 1.5 cups of fruit daily. This is for women who get less than 30 minutes of exercise daily so it can be increased if you are more active!  In case you’re wondering – children ages 4-8 also need about 1- 1.5 cups of fruit a day.  You can check this chart for more on what a cup of fruit looks like depending on the type!

For veggies, women ages 31-50 need 2.5 cups of veggies daily (again this is for women who get 30 minutes or less exercise each day so it can be increased with increased activity).  Children need 1.5 cups (ages 4-8).  If you want more on this or for other recommendations based on kids age and gender check here).  This page also has a really cool chart based on how many veggies per week you need from each sub group – kinda cool!

Please note these recommendations are generalizations and can change based on other factors!  

So we know we need them….how do we do it?  This is where my great friend Valerie from Nalls Produce.  Valerie is a great resource for all things veggies and produce.  Our family LOVES OUR CSA  with Nalls but it can be tough sometimes to figure out HOW to get the veggies in.  But Valerie never fails to help  – check out her NINE tips I love her involvement in the community and her desire to bring healthy meals to our homes:

Valerie shares:

You want to eat more fresh veggies. You really do. You want to have a crisper that is full of vegetables that you know are good for you and your family, and you want to USE them. You want children that won’t turn up their noses at cabbage steaks. YOU don’t want to turn your nose up at cabbage steaks. But you know that pureeing butternut squash every other day to include in your mac and cheese is not realistic either.

Most of us with moderate to low levels of willpower, children, and responsibilities, the “want” is not enough. New habits are really hard to create. Period.  But you WANT to, right? Try these tricks to make it happen!

    1. Write down your goals. Make them quantifiable and specific. Just saying “I want to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit” is not enough. To be quantifiable and specific you need to say something like “ I want to eat fresh fruits and vegetables with dinner at least 4 nights a week for the next 30 days”. This gives you a specific number that you can measure. The 30 days part – of course you will want to extend this habit beyond the 30 days, but your brain can better handle the challenge of achieving this goal if there is a set end point. At the end of 30 days you will want to look back and evaluate your performance and set a new goal for the next 30 days.
    2. Track your progress Make a chart with 120 circles on it and color in the circle every time you have a fresh veggie with dinner. Place this chart where you can see it every day and have written on it “Fresh Fruits & Veggies with Dinner 4x weekly for 30 Days”. Marking off the circles is a fun way to get your kids involved, too!
    3. Prepare yourself for success!  Stock your kitchen with enough fresh veggies to make this happen. If you come home in the evening late on a weekday and you have no fresh veggies in your kitchen, it is going to be hard to make it happen that night. Buy enough to have plenty on hand.
    4. Buy plenty!   See trick number 3. Also, most of us have a compelling need to not waste food. If you have an abundance of fresh produce but you know it is going to go bad soon, you are more likely to hurry up and use it.
    5. Try new recipes!  If you enjoy playing in the kitchen, find new recipes to experiment with. It can get you excited to play around with new ingredients!
    6. Repeat winning recipes!  There is nothing wrong with knowing you love roasted cauliflower and incorporating it regularly into your meal planning. A veggie eaten is a veggie eaten, it doesn’t have to be a new, exotic, exciting recipe to “get credit”
    7. Reverse plan your meals!  Instead of thinking “What’s for dinner?” think backwards. “I want my dinner to include cabbage, so I will make cabbage steaks. Kielbasa goes well with that, and I will add whole wheat dinner rolls to finish the meal” This works even better when you have the veggies on hand. “I want to use this cabbage — what can I make? Oh, cabbage steaks, plus kielbasa and rolls”.
    8. Grow your own!  Tomatoes and peppers are fairly easy to grow, even for those of your with self-proclaimed “Black Thumbs”. If you have grown the veggies yourself, you won’t want them to go to waste. You will have pride in your accomplishments and will be eager to reap the rewards! Visit a independent garden center, they can get you set up to handle a few plants successfully, even if you have your doubts.
    9. Join a CSA!  Many farms or produce shops offer packages of pre-selected produce on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, or CSAs. They will include a variety of items that are in-season and ready to eat. This forces you to try new things, based on what you receive that week, fills your crisper, and, best of all, forces you to use it relatively quickly. You know that you are receiving another share soon, and you will need the space in your refrigerator.  Hopefully you can try these methods and get some more fresh produce into your diet easily! Sometimes it’s best to just think about ways to manipulate your brain and thought process rather than just thinking about the desired outcome!

Ahh – these tips are great. I specifically love the idea of setting specific goals and CHARTING them. That makes it fun for the family and makes your progress tangible.  Thanks so much Valerie for sharing with us.

Valerie Nalls is the manager of Nalls Produce, 50+ year old family operated garden center and fresh produce shop in Alexandria Virginia. Learn more about the Nalls CSA program at nallscropshare.com

 

PowerFull Mental Messages – Amy’s Tips

powerfull-mental-messagesAs part of our series on PowerFull Mental Messages, I’d like for you to meet Amy. I love having this lady as part of our community and I love the tips she shares about her own journey and how she created PowerFull Mental Messages.  Make sure you take time to read this blog about why what we think is just as important as any other part of our FITness journey.

Today, Amy shares with us.

First off, what “challenge” were you facing? Was it more of a nutritional thing you needed to change or a physical/fitness thing?

I had lost weight but still wasn’t feeling particularly healthy. And my mom, who is only 75, is really deteriorating mobility-wise. I became determined to be healthier and stronger than I’d EVER been and also to NOT age the way my mom has.

What do you think you were most “scared” of?

I was scared of looking stupid. Being the one in the worst shape. I was afraid of not being able to do it.

Why did you have that mental block about your newest goal?

Not sure why I was scared of those things and not really sure how I overcame them except that I just kept going to class and started seeing a difference in my body.

How did you keep going?

There’s always a bit of a negative voice – saying “give up. You aren’t an athlete and never have been. This is too hard for you.” But then other voices – yours, Stephanie’s, Eileen’s and Amanda’s drown the negativity out!!!  I keep going because of the people there and because of the improvements I’ve seen in my strength and health.  I really find that I am most successful at Piyo and doing that class helps calm negative voices best. I am SO cranky if I can’t do a full Piyo class at least once a week.

What is your major piece of advice you’d give another woman who may be struggling with the mental road block of her FITness journey?

My advice is to not say “I can’t…” Can’t get up that early? You’d be surprised. Can’t exercise?   You can ease in at your own pace – something is better than nothing. I’d also say – do you want to enjoy your grandchildren?

Thanks Amy for sharing with us.  Guys – you can do this!  Find the class YOU LOVE like Amy did with PiYo whether it is barre, boot camp, piyo, toning or speed and make it happen.  Challenge yourself, embrace the workout, and be ready to see those changes in your body and mind as well.

PowerFull Mental Messages – Mandi’s Tips

powerfull-mental-messagesAhh – super excited to chat with Mandi.  Start by reading this article on WHY what we think is soo important for our FITness journey.  And then dive into Mandi’s story and encouragement.

First off, what “challenge” were you facing?
Overall, my biggest challenge was getting healthy, and figuring out where to start. I was heavy, out of shape, and eating poorly. About the only thing I had going for me was that I was young. But other than playing social sports (for fun and drinking beer) I wasn’t doing anything that was good for me! So I had to figure out what to do and how to change my life. The first step, was to get out and get moving. At first I tried to tackle it all at the same time, but that didn’t work. So then I had to focus on just one thing at a time.

Was it more of a nutritional thing you needed to change or a physical/fitness thing?
At first I decided to start with the physical side of things, and once I got that under control and it became a normal part of my life style, I changed my goals and focused on the nutritional side of things. So I’ve had struggles on both sides of the plate! Don’t get me wrong, the physical side is still a daily choice I have to make. It would be a lot easier to just chill on the couch, but I have to remind myself how far I’ve come, and how much better I feel now than I did when I weighed 100 lbs. more! But my most difficult struggle currently is nutritional!!

What do you think you were most “scared” of?
Failure! Who isn’t afraid of failure right? I fear that I will end up back where I started (or worse), that I won’t be healthy and I’ll have all the health issues associated with being obese.  I fear I will get sick or injured and get so out of the routine of working out that I won’t be able to get back into it. Or that after one  weekend of bad eating, all I will do is crave the yummy and unhealthy junk foods again. I also fear that once I stop working with the nutritionist, I might not know how to continue or if someone isn’t checking in with me weekly, that I will allow myself to slide back into my old ways and I will balloon back up to weigh more than I did before.
But you can’t let these fears hold you back and consume your thoughts!! I have to live every moment of every day as its own moment in time. I can only succeed at this moment. I can’t change the moments in the past and I certainly can’t get worried or scared about things that haven’t even happened yet! All I can do is take it one workout and one meal at a time. I try to set myself up for the most success I can. I do this by having all the tools I need to successful, like surrounding myself with like minded people, and having friends and family in my life to help me when I struggle or feel down!

Why did you have that mental block about your newest goal?
Because I’ve always been heavy, ever since I was a kid. I was always the big kid! So I had just accepted that’s who I was and had tried to convince myself that’s just how it was going to be and people had to just like me for who I was (and by people I also mean me!). So it was really tough to wrap my head around becoming a new person. I feared I would lose my old friends because they wouldn’t want to hangout with the new boring healthy me. I honestly didn’t know if I would be strong enough to hold myself accountable when I was alone, with no classes or workout friends, or boyfriend and nutritionist to hold me accountable to my foods. But I have been, I struggle, I fall, I have a bad week… But I focus on the next day and the next meal and getting myself back on track. Again you can’t change the past but every day is a new day to succeed!

Can you share with us the journey you took to overcome it?
The biggest thing I’ve done to help myself overcome these mental blocks is set small goals. I set one large end goal but I set a bunch of small goals to reach along the way. Take training for my first half marathon. Yes that’s crazy (or half crazy as runners like to say), and once I started running I honestly thought, “there is no way in Hell I’ll be able to do that!” Insert large end goal!! But instead of setting out with the intent to go from running 1 mile and being exhausted, I set small goals. Enter a 5K, run the whole 5K, get a better pace on a 5K, run a 10K… I didn’t hit that at first. I ran/walked the first 3 I entered so each time I changed my goal. After the first 10K I wanted to walk less times in the next race, then I planned to run the whole race without walking. You have to set small reachable goals and when you don’t achieve them, don’t throw in the towel and say “I can’t do this, this is impossible”. What you do is change your goals. Along the way, instead of running a half marathon, I found the Ragnar relay and decided that looked awesome and TOUGH. So I ran 2 of those before I ended up running my first half marathon.
When it came to my weight, my big goal had always been to get down 100lbs. That seemed impossible!! So I started by 5lb, 20lb, 50lb, then I hit a plateau and couldn’t seem to get over it by myself and I needed help! So I looked into how I might be able to get some help and what my options were, and then I ended up working with Max Muscle and now I’m finally near my “HUGE” goal! Once I hit that goal I will look for another goal and keep working on things from there. Maybe I’ll try to add muscle mass, or add a new race goal, who knows what’s going to be next for me!!

How did you keep going?
The feeling of success when I reach a new goal or when I can do something I didn’t even think about setting as a goal. Things like running pace, distance or strength goals. Also things like burpees, lifting weights, push ups etc. All of those things give me such a high that it reminds me of why I started this journey. Or when I play sports with my friends and now I’m one of the fastest players on the field and I can guard the quicker player! It’s also all the amazing friends I’ve made along the way. Having such an amazing group of friends to do things with is also what keeps me going!!

Now that you have overcome that hurdle – do the old fears ever creep back in? If so – how do you handle it?
Oh of course they do, those nagging little thoughts are always there! Every time I go on vacation or get sick or just have a stressful day I start to slip and feel like all this hard work isn’t worth it. Or when I try new clothes and don’t like how they fit. There are a number of times that these thoughts creep back in. But then I just focus on the things that are going right for me, and I focus on how far I’ve come!! I don’t want to get back to where I was EVER AGAIN! So I just focus on that as my true goal in this journey!

Is there a negative “voice” in your head you’ve had to quiet down….and do you have a strategy for doing that?
Yes, it is usually more of a voice saying “you can’t do that, you are not strong enough” or “you don’t have the cardio to run for that long/far’, blah blah blah…”.  Mostly I just have to reach down, find whatever motivation and internal strength I can to push through, and keep moving. When it’s something I’ve been struggling with for a while, I will reach out to my friends, tell them what I’m struggling with and ask them to help push me and keep me moving.
For my half marathon I had a HUGE mental block about the 10 mile mark. I could not seem to run any further than that without giving up. So one day, I just set out with the soul purpose of running 10.5-11 miles no matter the pace…. Well it took me 2 attempts and lots of encouraging text and conversations with friends/family, yes even while on the run/walk that day. But I kept pushing and I eventually got there!! You have to find what works for you and tap into that.

What is your major piece of advice you’d give another woman who may be struggling with the mental road block of her FITness journey?

I guess its a few things. Find that circle of friends/family that you can lean on when you’re feeling weak. That support system can truly be the best thing you have. Even if they don’t realize it, they are more important than they usually know. It can be the running buddy you ask to join you on a long run, or the friend you ask to hold you accountable when you are having food cravings. Part of the group of friends you workout with that text/email/call you when you miss a workout. The significant other that is there to remind you why you started, and that you are stronger than you think you are when you feel like you can’t do it. Or even the long distant family/friend that randomly comments on all the work they see you putting in cause you post things on social media. You have to find what motivates/drives/inspires you on this fitness journey. Maybe its seeing your kids choosing to play outside instead of playing a video game. Or seeing your kids join you in your workout, or asking when you and them are going back to a class. This journey is so personal you have to find what works for you!
If you’re  struggling with the nutrition side of things, start slow! This is a journey not a diet, so start slow. Change one thing at a time until that becomes like second nature to you. Then adjust and change something else. Maybe you start by cutting out soda or that late night sugary snack. Or take lunch from home instead of buying lunch at work everyday. Then when that is the new normal, adjust! If you need to increase protein, don’t start by cutting out all carbs and fats and trying to force 150g of protein down everyday. Start by adding in a protein shake in the afternoon when you usually snack or crave sweets.
Everything needs to be in moderation and in small steps. If you are like me and struggle with the overwhelming fear of FAILURE, that’s because you’re probably looking at things from the overall view of everything at once. But when you break things down into small steps and small goals they start to look more achievable. Plus, then as you reach each and every small milestone you’ve set, you get the confidence of knowing you can do this and you can make the changes. Plus you get the reward of setting a new goal and the motivation of being that much closer to that HUGE goal you set. Like I said, I honestly never thought I would be able to reach my 100lb weight lose. It took me about 6 years, but now I’m just 5lbs away. These last 5lbs are HARD and I’ve been sitting here for about 3 weeks now, and I’ve even put some back on and then lost some. But I’m not letting that discourage me. I know if I stick to my short weekly goals I will eventually get there. And if I don’t, at least I know where I started and where I am now, which is amazing on its own! I’m not going to let 5lb derail me, let me feel like a failure or set me back up 95lbs. Even if I never lose the last 5lbs, I know I won’t let myself give up, or stop this new healthy lifestyle I have become accustomed to. I enjoy the new me, my new friends, and this new life I’ve created!! All I can do is focus on the things in front of me and not get derailed by things that have happened in the past!!

So if you are struggling with a mental block along your journey, let me or any of the powerful fitness ladies know, and hopefully we can help you find a way to work past it! We are all part of this #specialkindofcrazy family together, and we are here for each other!!

PowerFull Mental Messages – Kira’s Tips

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I reached out to Kira to hear her take on PowerFull Mental Messages.  She has made so much progress in such a short amount of time from FITness Foundations to serious PiYo Pro!  Take some time to read this story – it will inspire you  – GUARANTEED.  Start here if you haven’t read our series opener on Mental Messages and why they are important!

First off, what “challenge” were you facing? Was it more of a nutritional thing you needed to change or a physical/fitness thing?

I’ve struggled with nutritional challenges all of my adult life. In the past, I’ve made the dietary changes necessary and found some success, but my biggest problem was I would always plateau and then gradually gain the weight back. Back then, I was not putting any effort into fitness. I thought I could fix it all with only nutritional changes.

What do you think you were most “scared” of?

In August, I took the first step toward fitness. I knew if I ever wanted to be healthy I had to find the right balance between fitness and nutrition. I was so scared! I thought others would judge me because I was so out of shape. I felt nothing but shame and guilt for my body. I think I had this fear because I had been bullied about my weight in the past. When I was invited by my best friend to join the Fitness Foundations class, I thought I could give it a try. The first class was so challenging that I couldn’t even make it all the way through and I felt so embarrassed.

How did you keep going?

I didn’t let this discourage me from sticking with it. I didn’t quit because the things I was most afraid of didn’t happen to me. No one was looking down on me. I didn’t feel judged or like I wasn’t good enough to be there. Instead, all the new ladies I had just met were encouraging me and motivating me to keep trying. In the past, I kept all of my fitness and nutritional struggles to myself. I wouldn’t openly share what I was experiencing or feeling with anyone. I thought I could do it by myself. This is probably the most important lesson I’ve learned since joining Powerfull Fitness. I don’t have to do it alone! Having this group of amazing women to share life with has been my biggest motivation and the reason I’ve been able to keep with it.

Now that you have overcome that hurdle – do the old fears ever creep back in? If so – how do you handle it? 

Sometimes, I would still feel discouraged because others were so strong and I continually felt weak in comparison. My mother always tells me, “Comparison is a robber of joy.” I had to stop comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle. I’m learning to celebrate my own victories (no matter how small), while also celebrating alongside others for their personal accomplishments. Negative thoughts tend to creep in if I stumble or let myself “fall off the wagon.” I feel guilty for eating something or missing a work out. I keep telling myself that each day is a new opportunity. I can’t beat myself up about the past, I can only make better choices in the future. Another time when I feel discouraged is when I think about just how big my ultimate fitness goal is. It’s easy to think I’ll never get there or that it will simply take too long. In these times, I remind myself that the time is going to pass any way. So what if it’ll take years to reach my goal? The time is still going to pass, so why not work toward my goal?

I have first hand seen Kira’s progress. She is an inspiration to me and all the women around.  I am so glad she came into my life!

PowerFull Mental Messages – Leah’s Tips

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We are so lucky to hear from Leah!  I want you to start by reading this article on WHY what we think is soo important for our FITness journey.  And then dive into Leah’s journey.  Her honesty is heartwarming and encouraging – just what I needed!

First off, what “challenge” were you facing? Was it more of a nutritional thing you needed to change or a physical/fitness thing?

I can so be my own worst enemy. I’m not a black or white person, but I do want to give things my all and sometimes can talk myself out of things if I fear I won’t do it 100%, or perfect, or consistently, or … well… any doubt of success. I keep a pretty clean, vegetarian diet – but what if I was really trying to loose weight and didn’t? What if I aimed to exercise 5 times per week and didn’t? My challenge was getting out of my own way, giving it a try, seeing what feels good and just going for it!

What do you think you were most “scared” of?

This is so ridiculous….but I was afraid of knowing I was working out and focusing on my eating and nothing happening. Nothing visible to the outside world that is. What if other people didn’t notice? (really, Leah? Are you in junior high?) I say it’s ridiculous because SO MUCH has changed I can hardly believe I had that fear.

Why did you have that mental block about your newest goal?

Fear of failure, probably. As a professional musician I am constantly critiqued, analyzed, hired for another gig or not – there’s so much pressure because every performance is so personal. And it’s hard not to take it all personally. Same with working out. This is my body, my health, my life – I want to feel successful.

Can you share with us the journey you took to overcome it?

One step at a time. Not sure I’ve overcome it, but finding the right workouts and meal plans has helped a lot. I love doing online challenges of short workouts (15-30 minutes) and always have one running. I do those workouts first thing in the morning. I’ve learned that I really like to get up and do productive things before my girls wake up. Starting the day on my healthy terms sets a great tone for my day. Often the girls catch the last few minutes of my workouts and that’s become a really fun and goofy time for us. I’m still working on the meals and eating. The past two weeks I’m finding a good balance.

What was your first step?

First step…seeing a post from Laura “come try a class for free!” Free? What did I have to loose? Bring my littles with me? PERFECT! I’m stubborn and was going to keep up with every push-up, every burpee, every sprint. Laura’s classes are the real thing and it’s reminded me how much I like to sweat and really work this body!

How did you keep going?

The community of Powerful Fitness has helped a lot. I enjoy seeing the mamas every week and their motivation is priceless! Also, each success makes me want more, makes me want to keep trying and working. Goal now is to be able to do killer push-ups.

Now that you have overcome that hurdle – do the old fears ever creep back in? If so – how do you handle it?

Don’t think I’ve overcome it but I’m learning to ignore the fears more. Watching as my body changes, but especially feeling the changes, and challenging myself. Recently I went on a long and difficult rock scrambling hike and there was a sign a few miles in that basically said “know your limits. There’s no turning back from this point and no one can come rescue you.” I blazed past that sign – I knew I could do it! That was an awesome, powerful feeling.

Is there a negative “voice” in your head you’ve had to quiet down….and do you have a strategy for doing that?

TOTALLY! That little voice in my head never quite goes away. Sometimes (don’t tell) I’ll feel my biceps for a little motivation. There’s definition there that I’ve never had before. I’m also a big believer in “fake it ‘till you make it.”

What is your major piece of advice you’d give another woman who may be struggling with the mental road block of her FITness journey?

Take comfort in the community of women that we’ve all built. We are never alone, in struggles or successes, and the support is there. Take pride in your strong, healthy body. And most of all – enjoy yourself!

Q & A with Aspen

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Join us on this special series as we chat with real #specialkindofcrazy mamas in our crew about their experience with PowerFull Fitness!

These responses are brought to you by Aspen:)


  1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages? I have two kids, ages 3 and 7. My 7 year old is in school and has only attended a few evening classes, but my 3 year old is with me all of the time.
  2. What scares you about working out with kids? I’ve always dragged my kids with me to mommy-and-me workouts. I have never been afraid of them being bored or not having enough stimulation for 45-60 minutes because it’s such a short amount of time relative to the rest of the day! My biggest fear about working out with my kids is that other moms will judge my parenting when the kids act up (and they DO act up – they’re kids!). I was very self-conscious about this for a while, especially when my little guy was going through a rough time and not getting along with others. With some encouragement from Powerfull friends, I realized that we are all in this together. No one is perfect and no one expects perfection from you or your kids. I’m so thankful for that!  
  3. What did you find happened when you brought your kids to class? When I brought my kids to class, I found that they figured out how to entertain themselves. Sometimes they played with friends (sometimes they fought with friends). Sometimes they played with toys. Sometimes they ran laps with me or climbed on my back while I did planks/push ups. Sometimes they cried and wanted to be held. When they do the latter, all it takes is a little attention from me to get them back to entertaining themselves! You’d be amazed at how much a preschooler giggles while being “squished” under mom when doing a push up, or being used as a weight during squats!
  4. What is the biggest change you’ve noticed since joining PowerFull Fitness? My biggest personal change is that I’ve regained some of the muscle tone I had in my 20s. I’ve always been thin (thank you, genetics) but most people don’t understand that being thin does not equal being healthy. I had honestly forgotten that myself! I hadn’t been pushing myself to workout and didn’t notice that, while I maintained the same number on the scale, I began to lose muscle and replace it with fat. I’m heavier than I was when I started Powerfull Fitness classes in January, but my clothes fit better and I don’t feel like pile of skin, fat and bones anymore! There’s MUSCLE under my skin!
  5. Best advice for finding balance between FITness and Real Life? My advice for finding balance between FITness and Real Life is to find what works for you and stick with it! Walking, classes with kids, classes without kids, early morning boot camps, piyo, running… whatever it is, love it and keep at it. You will have a bad week or a bad month, but don’t quit for good. Just pick yourself off, dust yourself off and drag yourself back to class.  
  6. What is your favorite thing about being a part of our ‪#‎specialkindofcrazy‬army? My favorite things about being part of the #specialkindofcrazy army are the accountability, accessibility and acceptance. You begin to get to know people and they start looking for you at class and wondering where you were – that helps keep me accountable. The Facebook group and website are wonderful places to find fitness resources and experts – the accessibility is something you won’t get anywhere else. And finally, Laura and her instructors truly meet women where they are in their fitness journey. You don’t have to come in knowing anything about working out. They are there to help you get started and keep you on track no matter what your situation – which helps us all feel accepted and wanting to come back for more!
  7. And your go-to Fit tip? Favorite snack, favorite way to sneak in a workout? Favorite way to stay active during the day? My go-to Fit Tip is to find a water bottle you LOVE and can bond with. When I’m out and about, I love the flip-top squeezie disposable water bottles and will keep one well past its intended life to reuse! At home I always get the biggest cup I can find and fill it with ice, water and a smoothie straw. I find that I don’t drink nearly as much water when I don’t love my cup!

See the rest of the series here!

Watch Out for Misleading Recipes!

Yesterday a fellow boot camper and I were chatting about making our own snacks. One thing that can get me in trouble is finding recipes labeled “healthy” or “protein packed” only to find some pretty high calorie counts. So here I am thinking I’m eating a healthy snack and really I’m inhaling a ton of unnecessary calories.
 
NOW – do I want you to feel like your snacks have to be teeny tiny little flaky things? NO! The exactly opposite. Your snacks need to filling, clean, and full of protein and other good “energy boosts.” If you just eat lettuce for snack, YOU WILL BE HUNGRY later and will find that you take in much more later during the day. BUT we have to wary of people saying something is “healthy” when it is packed with high calorie, low nutrient ingredients.
 
One tool I use when trying out a new muffin, bread, granola bar, or snack recipe is this.  Being able to plug in the recipe gives me some pretty good info.   Once I enter the recipe, I can play with the serving size to make it fit my calorie needs. I also play around the substitutions (ie swapping honey for sugar, bananas for oil etc)
 
Today – think twice on what you are believing from Pinterest. I’ve been fooled a couple of times!
 

Q & A with Paige

Q&Apic2

Join us on this special series as we chat with real #specialkindofcrazy mamas in our crew about their experience with PowerFull Fitness!

These responses are brought to you by Paige 🙂


I was literally dragged one Saturday morning to Sara’s awesome boot camp by my darling friend. She and I had been talking about wanting to get fit forever and one morning she texted “let’s go”. Little did I know it was the start of new lifestyle.

I’ll admit I was terrified to go that first morning. I am not a gym member, I didn’t even own work out shoes or clothing and I thought I’d feel terribly out of place. That group of ladies just welcomed us in like it made their day to have new gals join. No one cared what I wore, and they cheered each other on all while toddlers played happily.  I walked out exhausted but totally inspired.

I have been going strong with PowerFull Fitness for a few months now and my biggest change was my energy level. Even though I get up before the sun for boot camp I have more energy then ever before. Which helps a lot while I’m chasing my 3 kids around. Those 5am workouts are my time and I love it. I get to hang out with a fabulous group of ladies and I get my workout in before the kids are awake. I come home awake and ready to jump into a new day!

Add to that all the nutrition advice and ever growing schedule of classes. My family is benefitting from my healthier eating habits, and…wait for it…loving it. Plus, if I miss a morning because my toddler was up all night, I grab the mommy-and be class that morning or even an evening Piyo class. I love how flexible the schedule is.

I cannot say enough about how much I love this team of fabulous ladies!


See the rest of the series here!

Try it Tuesday – Baking Substitutions!

try it tuesdayToday’s Try It Tuesday is a direct results of me not having any butter in my house. I wanted to make cookies yesterday and didn’t have ANYTHING. But there are ways to get around that. And I also found – there are HEALTHY ways to get around that.
 
Here are some options for replacing:
 
White flour for whole wheat flour – adds extra fiber to the cooking. Replace every 1 cup white for 7/8 cup whole wheat flour.
 
Unsweetened applesauce for sugar – one cup of sugar has 770 calories while one cup of applesauce has about 100 calories. Here’s the way to do it – replace one to one ratio BUT reduce the liquid in the recipe by about 1/4 cup.
 
Unsweetened applesauce for oil/butter (I use this one!) – Start with half so if recipe calls for 1 cup oil do 1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup applesauce. If you like the taste – try subbing out more next time.
 
Mashed banana for fat – this is another way to replace oil. Replace one cup oil for one cup mashed banana. The consistency is the same and you get more potassium!
 
Out of eggs? No problem! Flax seed to the rescue – I also use this one often.  Mix 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons warm water. Whisk with a fork and let it sit in fridge for about 5 minutes. This is “one egg.”
 
So today’s challenge – try a simple substitution and see what ya think…see if your family notices! If not – sub away and increase your vitamin intake by decreasing your fats and calories.

#morethanthat … Part 6

MorethanthatPart Six:  #morethanthat in real life

So a ‪#‎morethanthat‬ personal story. I debated posting but I want to be REAL with you guys – letting you know that I am here for you and working with you and the things I say – I say them because we are in this together. This is not a brag post but a – we are in this together – post.

So as you know my PCOS can flare up and lately I’ve had flare ups and it isn’t fun. Weight fluctuations, lack of cycles, grumpy – you name it. And when this starts happening, I can be down on myself. And this is where the#morethanthat came from.

So some background:

Part of my PCOS plan is to incorporate more endurance cardio in my life. I am not a runner. Used to be – but not big on it now. I love a burpee, love a push up – not so much a mile.

Anyways – I called a great friend because I knew she was a runner and she would kick my butt out the door. So begrudgingly at first, we started running together (I was begrudging having to run). But here is the thing – tonight we went further than I have ever personally gone (7 miles!!!). EVER. And at a great pace too!

And this is where the #morethanthat comes in. Forget the scale, forget the bloat, forget all the other things that come with feeling down on myself and the PCOS. I am physically FIT enough to do something I have never done. It is because of classes with my mamas- because of the accountability I have with my FIT community. It is because they let me walk on this FITness journey with you.

I want all of the women working with me to feel this sense of empowerment – this amazing sense of pride I feel tonight. I am NOT saying this to brag but to say – JOIN ME IN CELEBRATING OUR STRENGTH. Screw the scale – forget what size your clothes are – and celebrate the things you never thought you could do..

  • run
  • do a push up
  • get up a 4:30 am for a class
  • workout with your kids beside you
  • jump squat up bleachers
  • do ladders on a track
  • hold triangle pose with

Celebrate what makes you strong today. Celebrate how far you’ve come.