Thanks for stopping by. I created this blog to share motivation, ideas, fit tips, product reviews and more. Whether you're here from my Facebook page or a new follower, welcome! I hope you enjoy my posts. Be sure to subscribe and check back often for updates!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Realifit App review

A personal friend of mine (IT Geek turned fitness junky), came up with an idea for an app. New to fitness, he was often unsure of what exercises he should be doing, what muscles they were supposed to work and most importantly, what the correct form was. There are an abundance of websites, youtube videos, forums, etc. with tons of conflicting info and opinions. None of these are very convenient, especially when you are at the gym... So, he took it upon himself to develop his own app to meet such a need.

The app is called Realifit ( and currently has 2 modes; Learn and Workout:

In Learn mode, the app currently gives you instant access to animated 3D renders of 35 exercises (more to come in future releases). These were modeled using real professional trainers performing the exercise to ensure they are displaying proper form. You can pan the screen at any angle to get a complete view and understanding of the movement. Something you could never do with a video. It gives useful tips and explanations. It even has graphical indicators of where you should be feeling the "burn". That way you are sure to get your "burn" on bro!

In Workout mode, it gives you access to a ton of pre-made workouts sorted by type and/or body part. The workout interface is great, giving you timed interval training for some and others click to move to the next exercise (depending on the workout). It also speaks, which is great for HIIT and Tabata. Given that I use Tabatas religiously in my training, the built in standard Tabata timer is awesome.

 Overall, the app is super smooth, responsive and great for beginners and advanced athletes alike! If it sounds like something you might like, please check it out. Its available for both Apple and Android devices. 

You can also follow them on facebook:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Versa Gripps Review

I was so excited to receive 2 pairs of Versa Gripps for my husband and I to use. We've been using them for a few months now and absolutely love them. As a female, I definitely have limited grip strength and these enable me to lift heavier without straining my wrists. I also suffered from a broken wrist recently so they have also been a huge help in getting back in the full swing of my workouts faster. I absolutely love to use them when I'm working back. It's amazing how little strain I feel in my wrists when doing lat pull downs and dead lifts. If you use lifting straps or any other support product, I highly recommending giving versa gripps a try!

This self-supporting grip is the most effective way to increase strength, muscle mass and stamina by eliminating grip fatigue and enhancing muscle isolation. Ergonomically developed for any pulling or pushing workout, Versa Gripps replace gloves, hooks, and lifting straps.

Check out their website:
Be sure to "like" them on Facebook:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Handana Product Review

I recently received a handana to use and review. The "Handana" company was started by Katie Niemeyer to wipe away sweat while running or exercising. Katie is an SJS survivor and also hopes to spread awareness with her company. The Handana sweatband is great. It allows you the ability to wipe away sweat without carrying around a towel or wiping it on your shirt. It’s made of soft, durable wicking SupplexTM LycraTM fabric that wraps around your hand. Your hand and fingers are completely free to keep your stride smooth, steer your bike or to open snacks and water bottles. I don't ever leave home for a run without it!!

If you'd like to purchase or obtain more info about Handana, please visit their website: 
Here is a recent interview with Katie Niemeyer on SJS and Handana:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Honest Tea Review

I was fortunate enough to receive a HUGE shipment of Honest Tea to review. I was really blown away by the amount of tea I received as well as the variety of products they offer. I received Honest Fizz, Honest Zero, Honest Tea and Honest Ade. Every flavor and variety was awesome. I especially love that the honest fizz and honest zero are both calorie free and all natural! I definitely consider myself an Honest Tea drinker now. If you have not yet tried these beverages, I highly recommend you do!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Headband Review - A girl and her band

I received 2 super cute headbands from "a girl and her band". These headbands don't slip, stretch large enough to go over my big bun and I absolutely love them. They have tons of colors and patterns to choose from too!! If you struggle with hair in your eyes or already wear headbands, I highly recommend giving these a try!! Check out my facebook page on Sept 5th for a chance to win one for yourself!!

Be sure to "like them of facebook too!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Strong Confident You - Tank Review

Got my super cute Strong Confident You tank in the mail today and I love it. Really soft, light weight and a perfect length for me!! They do run small so you should probably go one size up from what you would normally order. I also love the bow in the back (even though you can't see it in the pic). I highly recommend grabbing one of these cute tanks!! They have tons of sayings and many for brides to be. Love, love, love!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Why Can't it be Easy?

I've been struggling to find the balance lately and wanted to vent a little. I find it unfair that some people can eat "whatever they want" and not gain weight. I find it unfair that many people don't have to weigh/measure their food or count their calories. I find it unfair that many people can get away with doing NO cardio and still maintain their weight. I find it unfair that men can gain muscle MUCH easier than women.

I've been having a hard time finding a good balance these last few weeks. I'm tired of eating the same meals all the time, tired of doing cardio, upset that my work travels have interfered with my schedule, mad that I can't eat froyo, blah blah blah.

I have a photoshoot coming up in about 10 weeks so I'm supposed to really be giving it "all I've got" and I just don't feel like I've got that much to give. I don't know what the deal is but I'm just not in the mood like I usually am.

I don't know really know where I'm going with this, I know I should just "suck it up" and I will but I wanted to vent. I also wanted all of my "followers" to know that even though I run a page that serves to motivate others, even I have days, weeks, months where I lack motivation. I will post things that aren't even motivating me because I'm just in a mood. 

We are all human and go through phases in life. Just know that it will pass, you just have to stay focused on your goals and keep your eye on the prize.

Thank for listening :-)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Barlean's Review

I was fortunate enough to receive a few products from Barlean's to review. I have used some of their products before but not the Wild and Whole Krill Oil or the new Superfruit Greens. I have been impressed with both products so far. The Superfruit greens are really yummy (even my 10 year old nephew likes them) and have lots of antioxidants, superfruits and 8 servings of fruits and veggies per serving. I really like having these around if I need an extra serving for myself or even the kids!! The Krill oil is also great. When I initially opened the bottle, there was a pretty strong fish smell which had me worried but after taking them for weeks, I can assure you there is no "fishy" after taste or "burping" with these. I have also used Barlean's original fish oil capsules and those are great too. These products are high quality and reasonably priced to meet the needs of any family!

Barlean's has a great video on their Krill Oil, click here to watch!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sinless Margarita Review

I received a shipment of the sinless margarita mixers and they are awesome. they are sweetened with stevia, all natural and only 5 calories per serving. I mixed them with rum and also made some "virgin" drinks with them, they are great both ways. My favorite is to mix a little of the mojito mix with my sparkling water, gives it a nice refreshing taste. If you haven't tried these mixers, you really should :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

You can do it!!

I just have to vent. and also warn you ahead of time that this blog post might offend some of you. That is not the intention, I just want to have a real "conversation" and put my thoughts out there... I have been noticing lately that more and more people are obese. What is going on? I've always noticed the obesity problem but it seems lately when I'm out shopping and pay attention to those around me, that's really all I see. There is so much free information out there these days that I cannot believe we still choose not to do something to improve our health and well being. I have some over weight friends, some don't want to be over weight and "try" to change it. I have other friends that claim they are happy that way because they want to enjoy what they are eating and "live" life. I get it.... I too enjoy eating a bowl of ice cream but if I ate that way every meal, everyday, I'd be sick to my stomach.  I enjoy what I eat. I love the way the food I eat tastes. I don't understand why we've become a society that thinks processed junk food is "good" food. How can we change this? There are shows like "the biggest loser", "extreme weight loss" and others that I think are very inspiring to watch. Then, you have websites like that offer tons (I mean tons) of free workouts, meal plans, advice, etc. There is so much information about the adverse health conditions that are caused by obesity, do we as a society want to live like this? I don't think we do. I think that we want to change but have become lazy and demotivated and live this way because it's "easier" than changing. Then we try to convince ourselves and others that we like being this way because it masks the fact that we are miserable. STOP being miserable. Make the decision today, right now and change your life. Okay, now that I've gotten that off of my chest, here are some small things you can do to start making changes:

1. Clean out your pantry and throw away all of the junk food.
2. Go to the grocery store and stock up on healthy foods. click here: Grocery shopping list
3. Start walking everyday, even if it's just for 15 minutes around the block, then work your way up.
4. Park far from the building rather than up front.
5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Find a workout plan you enjoy and do it everyday, I recommend starting out with an intro like the 7 day beginner and then work your way to something else like Jamie Eason's live fit trainer. There are tons of options on so look at them all and choose the one you will stick with.
7. Get the family involved. It's much more fun to live the "fit life" with others. BUT, if your family doesn't want to do it right away, you have to be willing to do it without them. Don't allow them to be the "excuse" as to why you can't do it.

YOU CAN DO IT, period... end of story. You just have to wake up everyday and decide today is the day you change your life. Say it everyday.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Krave Jerky Review

I recently received a shipment of Krave Jerky to review. Let me just tell you, it is by far the best jerky I've had yet! It's super soft and moist unlike many others I've tried. All of the flavors are great but the Garlic Lime Turkey Jerky is probably my favorite (of the 5 flavors I received). Krave Jerky is nitrate free, MSG free, all natural and they have 2 flavors that are gluten free. In addition to how great the product is, I was also blown away by the packaging. I'm one of those girls that loves a nicely "wrapped" present and Krave didn't disappoint. It's little touches like this that show they really care about representing their brand well. I was super happy with this product and now call myself a "Krave Kustomer" (how catchy). I will be doing a Krave giveaway on my FaceBook page on June 6th, 2013 so keep your eye out!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ultimate Sandbag Review

I received an Ultimate Sandbag for review a few months ago. I did quite a bit of traveling for work so it took me a while to find the time to really do some workouts with this great piece of equipment. Let me first start out by saying that this "bag" might not look like much but looks can be deceiving.The sandbag is so versatile that it's really the only piece of equipment you need for a full body workout. You can easily adjust how much weight is in the bag and you can use it for a variety of different workouts. The handles are positioned in such a way that you can do bicep curls, over head press, lunges, dead-lifts, you name it. The other benefit is that the weight in the bag is less stable than that of a dumbbell or barbell so it forces you to use your core and keep your balance. Using the Ultimate Sandbag is a great way to train to increase your core strength and engage muscle fibers you don't recruit with normal weights. There are proven benefits to adding instability to an exercise. This is why you see people doing curls and things on bosu balls. The big difference with the sandbag is that you are adding the instability to the load and the muscle you are working not just to your body as a whole. This greatly improves the effectiveness of the exercise on the muscle you are intending to work.   Trust me, you'll be a different kind of sore after training with this!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Phit Hair and Body Review

I received a shipment of Phit Hair and Body products to try and I absolutely love them. The daily use and detox shampoo both lather great and smell amazing. The conditioner coats well and you don't have to use a ton. These products are paraben free and made from natural ingredients like Quinoa. They are great for daily use without drying out your hair. This is a great benefit for people like me that get very sweaty in the gym everyday!!  Now aside from the hair products, I also received their lip balm and I am hooked. It coats my lips really well and is very moisturizing. I am somewhat of a lip balm addict and I think this may be my new favorite! Phit Hair and Body gets 2 thumbs up from me :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ripped Cream Review

I received 2 bags of Ripped Cream coffee creamer to try (Lean Vanilla Bean & Chizzled Chocolate). Both of the flavors are great and they mix really well. They "cream" the coffee without using a ton (I found I didn't even need to use 2 tbsp to get the desired taste). I'm more of a vanilla person so that one was definitely my favorite but the chocolate was good too. Since I'm not a huge fan of black coffee, I love that I can have my creamer and consume some muscle building protein first thing in the morning. If you're a person that needs creamer in your coffee, you should give this a try.  This creamer is high protein, gluten free, lactose free and all natural, it also contains 11 amino acids. Why use a creamer with no nutritional value when there is ripped cream?                                                 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Grocery Shopping List

I get tons of questions regarding what to eat and lots of comments from followers stating "I eat clean but can't lose weight". Since everyone's definition of "clean eating" is different, I thought I'd create a list of some basic food items you should include in your weekly shopping trip. There is also a list of "foods to avoid". I hope you find this helpful in your quest to improve your health and nutrition!

Protein Sources:
99% Extra lean ground turkey breast
Boneless / skinless chicken breast
Lean cuts of beef (consume sparingly)
Non-fat plain greek yogurt
Low-Fat cottage cheese
100% Liquid egg whites (read the ingredients)
Light tuna in water
White fish such as tilapia

Carbohydrate Sources:
Brown Rice (either dry or frozen, do not buy the pre-cooked packaged rice. Read the ingredients)
Plain rice cakes
Old fashioned rolled oats (oatmeal, not instant or quick oats and no added sugar/flavors)

Fat Sources:
Nuts (preferably raw or lightly salted, no added oils)
Natural peanut butter (only ingredients should be peanuts and salt, or just peanuts)
Olive oil
Coconut oil

Fruits & Veggies:
Go crazy with these :-)
Brussels sprouts
Green beans
Snow Peas
Some fruits are higher in sugar, they are fine to consume but should be done in moderation.
Fruits and Veggies should be purchased fresh or frozen and should not have any added sauce or sugar.

Miscellaneous items:
Stevia (if you're going to use a sugar substitute, this is the best option)
Ms Dash seasonings
Hot sauce (check the nutrition facts, should only contain sodium)
Vinegar (to use on salads)
Cooking Spray (use this when making eggs, etc to limit calories vs. oil)
Shiritaki noodles (these can help fill the void of pasta cravings)
Quest nutrition bars or think thin bars (if you need snacks to go)
Sugar free jello (optional, to be used to help with cravings) use sparingly

Foods to avoid:
Frozen meals that claim to be healthy
packaged foods
Foods labeled "low fat or fat free"
Diet Soda
Juice (most are very high in sugar)
Granola bars or other "diet bars" (most are high in sugar and chemicals)

This list is by no means "all inclusive". It represents the good majority of healthy foods that should be incorporated into a balanced diet.  There are many other healthy options out there. I hope you find this information useful. Feel free to share any other items you include in your healthy eating in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quest Nutrition Bar Review

I was fortunate enough to receive a 12 flavor sample box of Quest Nutrition Bars to review. Much to my surprise, I liked every flavor in the box!! Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are probably my 2 favorites. There were certain flavors I didn't expect to like (coconut cashew) because I don't like coconut and I actually liked that one too. These bars are made with all natural ingredients, they are high in protein, high in fiber, low carb, gluten free and taste amazing. Many protein bars are basically just candy bars in disguise, Quest bars are actually good for you.  They are perfect as a snack or to take with you when traveling so you don't miss a meal. My favorite way to eat them is to microwave them for 15 seconds first, it turns them into a warm yummy dessert!! I challenge you to compare the ingredient label of your favorite bar to a quest bar. I then challenge you to eat a quest bar and put it to the taste test. I promise, you won't be disappointed!! I actually have 2 boxes of chocolate chip cookie dough to giveaway this week so 2 lucky FMFOP fans will have the pleasure of receiving a whole box of one of my favorite flavors!!

For more information or to order Quest bars go to:

Be sure to follow them on Facebook:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Goal Setting - How to Stay Motivated

Do you remember the New Year's Resolution you set in January? If you're like most, you may remember what it was but have probably "abandoned" it with some intent of focusing on the goal later. The problem is that we set goals that are too big or too broad or we try to set too many goals at once. Effective goal setting is starting with small goals and building on them. If the goals you set are not achievable or realistic, you will begin to feel discouraged and ultimately give up on them.

For the past 2 years, I've been working on one goal, health and fitness. Now, I know that sounds broad but I started with small goals and built upon them. I started by working out 5 days a week, once I mastered that, I went on to the next piece. For me, that was clean eating. I ate what I perceived to be "healthy" before but really wanted to take it to the next level. Once that became a habit for me, I started working on other aspects, I created my Facebook page, started training harder and now really want fitness to be my path. Have I slipped up? Of course... I started training to compete in a bikini competition and when the diet took an emotional toll on me, I went into a binging mode for a few months over the holidays. BUT, I did not let that discourage me, I just got right back to it and refocused myself.

We all have our off days. But, if you find yourself constantly getting off track, here are some tips to keep you focused:
  1. Concentrate on a few small goals
    If you constantly have trouble keeping to your goals, maybe you're spreading yourself too thin. Pick 1-3 goals that are most important to you, and stick to them. Don't get distracted with other goals, trying to do too many things at once will often lead to frustration and ultimately failure.
  2. Learn to say no

    Do you often put your goals aside for other people? It's okay to do that once or twice, but if you keep doing the whole time, something is seriously wrong. You can't always take a backseat for others! I often hear people say that they cannot focus on their own goals because they have children and their children come first. I totally understand that concept but what kind of role model will you be for your kids if don't show them that setting goals and following through is important. This doesn't just have to be about health or weight loss. This can be related to your budget, buying a home, a promotion at work... whatever it is. The point is, if you are not doing things for you, to make you happy; how are you making others around you happy??
  3. Create milestones
    Don't set one big huge goal like "I want to lose 50 lbs". This can be very overwhelming and discouraging if you don't lose the 50 lbs by X date. Instead, set small achievable goals. I want to lose 5 lbs in the month of April is much easier to comprehend. Once you lose those 5 lbs, set a new goal for May. Before you know it, you will have lost 50 lbs :)
  4. Have a plan
    Creating your plan when your motivation is the highest is usually best. So, right when you set the goal is usually when you should plan out how you will achieve that goal. When it's a weight loss goal, you will typically be mapping out your food and exercise for that give time period. You should use a calculator to determine your caloric needs and then keep track of your food and workouts. If you find you are not losing weight as quickly as you'd like, you may need to adjust your calories or increase your activity levels.
  5. Track your results
    This is more than just tracking your food intake and exercise. Each week, track how you're doing, did you lose any weight, how do you feel... this will all help you in the end.
  6. Join a group and have a goal buddy
    Teaming up with others that have similar goals is a great way to be accountable and stay motivated. This can be done in many ways. One way is to set a "weight loss contest" at work where everyone contributes $5 and at the end of the month, the person with the highest % of weight loss gets the pot. This keeps you focused and you can also do activities (such as walking) with others at the office.
  7. Be clear on why you have this goal
    When it comes to weight loss, it can be one of the hardest goals to achieve because everyone "has to eat". It's not like other goals of quitting smoking or drinking, paying off debt or things like that where it's a "choice". We have to eat, right? What makes it hard is deciding WHAT we are going to eat and HOW MUCH of it we are going to eat. Eating doesn't make us overweight, over eating and eating the wrong food does. Most American's don't really know what the right way to eat is so it becomes difficult to achieve these goals. We center our whole lives around food. We use food and drink to celebrate, morn and everything in between. Stay focused on why you have your goal. Do you want to be fit and healthy so you can play with your kids? Do you want to be proud when you look in the mirror? Do you want to get rid of a health problem such as high cholesterol or diabetes? Whatever the reason, keep it at the forefront. It's very easy to lose focus and forget why we are doing something. If you need to create a vision board to help with this, do that. JUST DON'T GIVE UP!!
 I hope this helps you with your goals and staying motivated. Have you recently set goals and achieved them? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chia Seeds - The Ancient Food of the Future

When you think of the word "chia" you probably think of chia pets, for good reason - chia pets are grown with chia seeds, but for centuries before, these tiny little seeds were used as a staple food by the Indians of the southwest and Mexico. Its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as back as 3500 B.C. Once valued so much that they were used as currency, this unique little seed has exceptional nutritive and structural benefits. Little is known, however, of the seeds tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties making them a true super food.
  One of the exceptional qualities of the Chia seed is its hydrophilic properties, “absorbability” having the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water. Its ability to hold on to water offers the ability to prolong hydration. With Chia seeds, you retain moisture; regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids. Because there is a greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids, the electrolyte balance is maintained. In addition to these benefits, when soaked in water for 30 minutes, chia seeds form a thick gel. This gel also forms in the stomach when chia seeds are consumed. Researchers believe this actually slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, making it especially beneficial for diabetics and others with blood sugar issues.  The slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes, diminishing the surges of highs and lows creating a longer duration in their fueling effects.
Chia seeds are about 20% protein. They are digested and absorbed very easily.  This results in rapid transport to the tissue and utilization by the cells.  This efficient assimilation makes the Chia very effective when rapid development of tissue takes place, primarily during periods of growth. This would also include regeneration of muscle tissue for conditioning, athletes, weight lifters, etc.
The word chia is derived from the Aztec word chian, which means "oily." Another unique quality of the Chia seed is its high oil content. Chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3; they have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food,  (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon. It has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains.   These oils, unsaturated fatty acids, are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, & K.         

There are practically unlimited ways to incorporate the Chia seed into your diet. Chia, as an ingredient, is a dieter’s dream food. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.  Chia seeds must be prepared with pure water before using recipes.  They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 12 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel which fills you up faster. Chia seeds are so high in antioxidants that they do not spoil easily and can be stored for long periods, unlike flax seeds, so they are a great addition in cooking, baking, or adding to your favorite beverage.
Uses of Chia Seeds:
Use ground chia seeds mixed with water to replace eggs in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, or cupcakes. Place 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a cup and add 3 tablespoons of water.  Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes.  1/4 cup of hydrated chia seeds equals approximately 1 egg. By substituting chia seeds, you'll still get the binding action of the eggs but without the dietary cholesterol or risk of food-borne illness. And, for a fresh take on classic lemon poppy seed breakfast muffins, fold chia seeds into your cake batter in place of poppy seeds
Ground chia seeds can be added to your favorite smoothies to thicken and add creaminess to the drink while also giving a punch of slowly digestible protein. More good news for athletes is the seeds' ability to help the body retain electrolytes -- great for endurance athletes like marathoners or climbers.
-sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, salad or soup
-add them to any muffin, cookie, or cake recipe
-add them to pancake batter before you cook the cakes
They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don't need to be ground up.
Those are just a few because you can literally add them to just about any food because their flavor is very mild and will not interfere with the taste of the food you add them to.

By: Guest Writer, Brandan Fokken

Monday, March 25, 2013

Can You Do It? Yes. But, Will You?

With only a few weeks to go until I step on stage this year, I have been spending more and more time acknowledging and examining the mental state of where I am and where I need to be.  It seems that the physical aspect of training and nutrition is more concrete and determined than the mental state.  Mentally I find it a challenge because unlike training there is no set plan as to how to think, what to feel, and when.  The mind is powerful and that is where the most discipline must be given.  One cannot measure the state of one's mind.   You can't log it or track it like a training log and check back to see your progress or how much more to add this week.  Thoughts are fluid, ever changing, and sometimes seemingly beyond our control.

The truth is we can control our mind and our thoughts, but it takes great work and some disciplined soul searching.  For me, it has been more of deciding what it is I want and committing, or re-committing to doing it.  Each morning I get up and know what must be done that day to move myself one step closer to achieving my goals.  I know the meals I will eat.  I know the workout I will put myself through.  Can I do it?  Absolutely!  There is never a question.  But it is gut check time.  Each morning I ask myself - Do I want this? Yes.  Will I do this today?  Yes.  Why?  Because I want to go from where I am now to where I want to be tomorrow.  There is no other way around it.  In the quest to be better than I have ever been, I must go through the work and put in 110% effort every step of the way.  If I quit for the moment, or the day, or a meal, or skip a workout...I can't get that back.  That is then done and I have to move forward from there.  But I won't skip out on any of it because that means shortchanging myself in the end results.

Is this hard?  Yes.  But it is meant to be.  Accept that.  Will it challenge and push you harder and further than ever before?  Absolutely.  But you want to do this, not because you have to, but because you have made the promise to yourself to set a goal, achieve a goal, and you will hold yourself accountable.  Yes, you are capable of achieving whatever goal you set for yourself.  The only thing that could hold you back is you.  It is your mind, your fears, and your own self-doubts that can stop you.  Set your mind right.  Control the mental journey and you will not only reach your goals, but exceed them and accomplish what you once thought impossible.

By: Guest Writer and long time follower of the Fitness Motivation for Ordinary People FB page

Frank Gigante, Natural Pro

Monday, March 18, 2013

Traveling: What to pack!

I'm traveling for work this week, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about what I take with me when I travel to ensure I stay on track. What you can pack will vary depending on whether you are traveling by car or by plane. In my case, I'm driving about 2 hours from home and will be staying in a hotel for 2 nights. I called ahead and made sure I would have a refrigerator and microwave in my room. Here's a look into what I'm packing!!

Breakfast items: I put 3 serving of dry oats in a small container with a scooper, 2 sample packets of protein I've received from various promotions (these are really easy to travel with), instant coffee and sugar free coffee creamer.

Meal #2: Quest Nutrition Protein Bars

Lunch: Tuna packets. I will buy frozen brown rice (be sure it's just brown rice and water) and frozen veggies when I arrive. This will minimize what I have to keep cold for the trip.

Meal #4: Greek yogurt and rice cakes. You could buy the greek yogurt upon arrival but I will be at an office with a fridge, so I'm bringing it with me.

Dinner: Grilled chicken breasts in a ziploc. I will also use the brown rice and veggies that I buy to go with this meal.

Meal #6: 2 servings of casein protein powder in small container (one for each night).

Extra's: Vitamins, Cellucor Creatine and BCAA's, Truvia, fork, spoon and knife, salt and pepper (could pack Mrs. dash if you're watching sodium), cinnamon, extra empty containers (to microwave oatmeal in, etc.), shaker cup (for protein and BCAA's), insulated lunch box (to bring food to the office), resistance bands (in case I can't get down to the gym), workout clothes, sneakers, plastic grocery bag (for dirty gym clothes), workout journal and sugar free jello (in case I get a sweet tooth).

This is not exactly what I would eat at home. When I'm traveling, I try to bring as few refrigerated items as possible but still make healthy choices. I also plan to use the hotel gym everyday, but have my resistance bands because you never know what might happen when traveling.

For those traveling by plane, I take most of the non-perishable items with me when I fly. If they are small enough containers, I carry them on. For the larger items, I will put them in a checked bag. You can visit the TSA's website for guidance on what you can and cannot carry on with you. I hope this gives you some ideas for when you travel. Do have other items you bring that I don't have listed? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preparation is key

As with anything in life, preparation is the key to success! This couldn't be more true for fat loss!! How do I prepare? I cook all of my food ahead of time. Then, I weigh and measure everything and portion it out. As for my workouts, I go through my list of saved workouts and determine which ones I'm going to do and on which day. I have a small notebook that says " do what you love" on the cover; I converted that into my workout log!! I take it with me to the gym for a few reasons. First, I write down all of my sets, reps and weight used. secondly and most important, so that I can go back and see what I did last time. Having this info allows me to always push to do more!! I hope this inspires you to take the time to plan your week. If you already do this, how do you keep track of your meals and workouts? what method works for you? Do you feel lost if you don't? I forgot my workout log the other day and almost felt naked at the gym, lol!! As the old saying goes "fail to plan, you plan to fail"

Monday, March 11, 2013

12 weeks out

So here we are, I have scheduled a photo shoot for June 7th and there is no turning back now. I have tried a few times before to get lean enough for this sort of thing (competition, etc.) and have failed. For me, the biggest challenge is diet and cardio. With the diet, it's not what I'm eating... I always eat healthy food, it's the amount I eat. I find that I will graze on almonds and thing like that during the day. Most of you would say "almonds are good for you" and it's true, they are. But, I was eating several handfuls beyond what was planned our in my caloric needs, so..... I would not be at a caloric deficit at the end of the week. You cannot lose fat without the deficit. The other way to achieve the deficit is through cardio and I have a limited amount of time at the gym so getting in enough cardio is a challenge for me. So, what did I do? I got rid of all the almonds and peanut butter in my house so I cannot graze anymore. I will follow my meal plan as it's laid out and get in as much extra cardio as I can. I plan to do cardio in the morning at least 3 days during the week and 1-2 days on the weekend. In addition, I will be doing my weight training at a fast pace so I will have more time after my lift sessions for additional cardio.

Can any of you relate to this? Have you had goals and fallen short? How did you overcome what was holding you back? Most of the time, we hold ourselves back, that is true in my case. No one is feeding me the almonds and PB, I'm doing it to myself. No one is limiting my cardio, if I want it bad enough, I have to get out of bed and go after it. That's exactly what I'm doing this time around. Once I achieve the level of leanness I desire, I will do everything I can to stay very close to that level so I will not have to go to such measures to lean out again.

I will keep updating my blog with progress and hopefully my journey will inspire some of you along the way!

Share with me in the comments, I'd love to hear about your experience


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Amazing Crockpot Chicken

Came up with the most amazing chicken so I wanted to share. The best part, you cook it in the crock pot and it can be done over night!! I used 9 trimmed chicken breasts and 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes. Throw them together in the crock pot with whatever seasonings you'd like. I used fresh rosemary, 2 cloves of garlic, dried basil, thyme, paprika, chipotle, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I just do a few shakes of each, don't really measure them, it's a lot of chicken so don't be afraid to use a decent amount. Cook it on low for like 7-9 hours (if your tomatoes are still pretty watery, you can cook it longer). Once it's well absorbed, shred up the chicken with a fork. Wallah, you have your protein source for almost the whole week. It is so versatile, you could use it in sandwiches, on a salad, reheated with a side dish (that's how I eat it), in a taco or anything else you can think of. Try it and let me know what you think!! The veggies in the picture are just steamed green beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, snow peas and mushrooms. I steam up a bunch at one so I have veggies for a few days!! Happy clean eating!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sweaty Band review

I have had my sweaty band for some time now, it was the only head band I ever wore to the gym. I emailed Sweaty Bands to see if they would want to do a giveaway and they immediately responded and said yes. In addition to sending me one for giveaway, they sent me 2 others to use myself and I like these even better than the thinner one I purchased years ago. They really don't slip and you won't believe it until you try it!! I also love that they come in so many fun colors and patterns!! I am so excited to give one of these away to a lucky Facebook Fan!! If you haven't tried Sweaty Bands yet, you really should, I promise you won't be disappointed! :)

Gripad Product Review

Ireceived 2 pairs of Gripad fitness gloves to use and review. One pair was their standardthickness and the other was a new thinner version they’ve come up with based onfemale user feedback. I used both pairs and really like them. They feel greatwhen using heavy weights and doing pull ups. I even had a few guys at the gymtry them out and they liked them too! I took them off and did a set withdumbbells and just wanted to put them back on. They really spoil your hands inthe gym. Anytime I do pull ups from now on, I will definitely be wearingthese!! Thank you Gripad's for sending them.