Muscle is Magic

Groovy muscle pic

 

I just put the finishing touches on my first book Lift to Get Lean! I am so beyond excited to share it with you because I know that it holds the power to help you shift your life in radical ways.

That’s a pretty bold statement, huh? Yeppers. I know that my book is going to be powerful for women everywhere for two reasons: 1) because I put my heart and soul into it, and 2) it is backed by tons of research.

Here’s the deal…muscle is magic.

I recently found a photo of myself when I was 23 that would blow your mind. I looked like a train wreck and I am shocked at how unhealthy I appeared. It reminded me of how miserable I was back then. Despite my degree in exercise physiology, I had no idea how to eat and train properly.

I was ravaged by sugar cravings, energy slumps, constant hunger, tummy bloat, aches and pains, and general malaise. I couldn’t get through the day without coffee, was always sore from my workouts, and felt fat all the time. Clearly I was a lot of fun back then…not.

I happened to find this picture over my birthday weekend this past December. A side by side comparison of that photo and one from my birthday tells an incredible story. I literally look like a totally different person today.

My commitment to strength training over the past 5 years is the biggest influence over my health and appearance today. Muscle truly is magic. For women, there is tremendous hormonal and metabolic fallout due to age-related muscle loss, and strength training is the first line of defense.

Research shows there is a direct correlation between strength training and carb cravings, fatigue, moodiness, and hormonal imbalances. Lean muscle mass has the power to reduce belly fat, fight diabetes and heart disease, stabilize blood sugar and increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). For women, muscle is literally magic.

I am leaner than when I was 23. I am more fit than when I was 33. I am stronger, fiercer, and more resilient than at any other age in my life….and in December that birthday was number 43.

Muscle is magic. I believe it is the panacea that we’ve all been looking for in our search for energy, happiness, confidence and strength. A consistent practice of proper strength training will influence your life in so many ridiculous ways you’ll be shocked.

I am committed to helping you navigate the confusing world of strength training. A great place to begin is by getting a copy of my book. You can pre-order it HERE. The next step is to stay connected with me via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (links below!) where I share little nuggets each day to help you. I will be sharing more about Women’s Strength Nation in the coming weeks. I’m on a mission to improve the ratio of women to men strength training in gyms everywhere. I hope you’ll join the movement. The first step is to make a commitment to yourself to strength train 2 times each week. Let the magic begin….

Here is a simple strength training program that you can use to get started on your journey. Complete the following workout two times every week. Complete 3 sets of each exercise with 60 seconds of rest in between each set. Complete all 3 sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

Leg Press – 15 reps

Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down – 12 reps

Seated Chest Press – 12 reps

Barbell Overhead Press – 15 reps

Creating muscle magic truly is as simple as that! Try it, and please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. Stay strong, friend.

Newsworthy…

  • Holly’s book Lift to Get Lean is now available for pre-order! Click HERE.
  • Ready to take your fitness and life to the next level? Women’s Strength Nation LIVE will be kicking off in April of this year. Join us at our inaugural weekend experience and workshop. Visit the Women’s Strength Nation website HERE and stay tuned for deets!
  • Get ready for a total body transformation! Holly is teaming up with Women’s Health magazine for an exciting fitness challenge and you can follow along! Stay tuned for deets.

Big Announcement!

Baldadea Laugh Original crop

If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been absent from here. In case you weren’t counting, it has been 9 months. And I have something very exciting to share with you…

It’s a girl!!!!

This month I gave birth to a baby girl!

Oh all right…I fess up. I didn’t birth a baby in the traditional sense – like a real life human baby. But I’ll tell ya what; she is a beautiful, healthy, precious baby in my eyes.

The truth is, I don’t have any real children. But I do feel like I just went through an equally profound experience. I created, gestated and pushed out something very near and dear to my heart. I felt it was my turn to become a momma.

9 months ago I found myself at rock bottom. Without getting into details, I will share that life has some grand plans for me and the only way I was going to get on the right path was for a series of events to occur and break my heart open.

I realized that I needed to create life. Just like many of you moms, I found myself wanting to birth something magnificent. I wanted to feel that my life had a profound purpose. So I went on maternity leave. I walked away from the life that I had known for 17 years. I reassessed everything and decided that in order to create new life I had to make space. I cleaned closets and took out the trash (and I don’t mean in the literal sense, if you catch my drift). I got really hungry and the cravings kicked in. I put my life in the Vitamix blender and whipped up a recipe to feed my baby. As the months continued I became tired and exhausted. My hormones went bonkers. There were days when I was so emotional all I could do was eat cookies and cry. I isolated myself. Many of my friends didn’t understand why I was out of touch. I was just trying to get through each day and didn’t have much left to give. It was a rough time. That’s why you haven’t heard from me in so long.

But I kept whipping up recipes, and feeding my baby, and I’m proud to say that I made it through! The past 9 months have been the most challenging, defining and magical months of my life thus far. I’d like to introduce you to my baby girl…

Introducing the Women’s Strength NationTM

In the coming months I will be that proud new mom who posts photos of her newborn. I’ll turn to Facebook in the middle of the night. I’ll be sending you weekly emails with all of the exciting details of my growing little one. I am bursting with excitement and a newfound joy for life! I can’t wait for you to meet my little nugget.

The past 9 months have been very challenging for me. It’s been an experience that was both difficult and magical. Through the hardship, I found strength. My heart broke wide open, but I was able to fill it with meaning. My body felt foreign to me, and I turned to strength training to get me through and rebuild me. It was a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual test. And it turned me into a better version of myself. It turned me into the gal that I’m supposed to be.

The Women’s Strength Nation is a movement to help women discover their inner strength through the practice of strength training. It is a place where you can turn to find a community of support– a sisterhood – passionate about health, and dedicated to empowerment. It is a resource for you to learn why strength training is critical to your health. It is your tool for answering every question you have about women’s strength training.

Welcome to the Women’s Strength Nation. Join the Movement.

I am passionate about helping women around the world to find strength and empowerment alongside their fitness. You can help me to make this nation strong! If you have a friend who would dig this, please share this letter and encourage her to join the movement by entering her email addy HERE.

The Definition of Insanity

6 plates

A little over two years ago I started my 40 Body Project because I haaaaad to arrive at the big 4-0 in the best shape of my life. I have always hit the weights, but I took a new strategy for my 40 Body Project. If you didn’t get to follow along you can see my Before and After photos below.

Since then I have been following the same exact strength training and diet program. For the past 9 months or so I have been battling problematic cycles: I would be “on track” for about 10 days and then KAHBLAM! I would get smacked in the face by a bunch of carbohydrates as they forced themselves into my belly. Literally, I would crash so hard that I had no choice but to eat more than what was spelled out “on my program.” It would then take me 5 days to pick myself back up from feeling like I had failed and get back on track. Each time I would say to myself: “I just need to get back on track. I know what I need to do, so I just have to do it.” I would eventually get myself back on track for ohhhhh, about 10 days, and then WHA-POOO! Those darn little carbohydrates would hide behind the door in my kitchen, tackle me and force themselves on me.

“I just need to get back on track. I know what I need to do, so I just have to do it.”

And the cycle would begin again. And again. And again. Can you relate?

These cycles were also reflected in the gym. When I was on track I would feel energized and strong during my strength training workouts. Then about ohhhhh, 10 days in, I would hit a wall and my strength would plateau. For the life of me I could NOT push more than 5 plates on the Leg Press (it doesn’t really matter, but I know you’re wondering: 5 plates is 225 lbs). I felt like I was doing something wrong, because I know I should be able to push more weight. “I know what I need to do, I just need to work harder and do it!”

Recently during one of my crash cycles, I remembered one of my favorite quotes:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein

That dude is dope, so I applied his idea to my situation. Clearly I’m insane, because I keep doing the same thing, experiencing the same obstacles, and yet I expect different results!

Last week I went totally cray cray. I listened to Al’s advice and, for the first time in my entire fitness career I decided to radically change my strategy.

I decided to go on a “Bulking Program” where I intentionally eat more than I need as a means to improve strength and muscle mass. Say whaaaaat??? Yes, I might gain some body fat, but it will also help to scare off those little carbohydrate gremlins in my kitchen. This is the strategy that those big, scary, muscle guys use to get big and scary!

I told you I went cray.

Guess what happened today? For the first time ever, in my entire fitness career, I pushed 6 plates on the Leg Press for 2 sets of 10. That’s a new personal record. Now THAT’S insanity.

If you want different results you’ve got to take different actions!

Take a moment right now and assess your challenges. Where in your life do you keep running into a wall? What areas are knocking you down in your attempt to make progress or create change? What systems are not working for you? Do you stumble over and over?

You can do this. You’re stronger than you think.

Try a new strategy.

If you feel like sharing, I’d really love to hear about the areas that challenge you. Do you experience cycles like me? Please share below….

Holly Transformv2

 

 

Tired and Hungry From Workouts?

nebula_heart_rate_pulse

I remember a time many years ago when I was excited and eager to workout and get skinny. I would go to the gym and kill it! And the next day I would go to the gym and kill it again! And the next day I would…be starving, sore, exhausted and bloated. Wha!?!?!

Yeah, not exactly the result that I had in mind. I felt like I was tired and hungry all the time with mega sugar cravings (well helllllooo lemon pound cake…).

Who on earth wants to keep working out if that’s the payoff? Can you relate?

Here’s the dealio: Your body looooovvves to use fat as its fuel. Your body does not like to call upon carbohydrates for fuel. Fallout occurs when you are calling on carbs to fuel your workouts. It’s mad science.

As exercise intensity increases, your need for carbohydrates increases to fuel the workout. The need for carbohydrates is in direct proportion to your heart rate – the higher your heart rate, the more carbohydrates you will need. Afterward, your body must replenish these carbs and will cause a lovely array of symptoms like sugar cravings, fatigue, hunger, and crankiness. These symptoms often cause you to eat more – often unconsciously -and therefore stall weight loss or cause weight gain!

No bueno!

The key to effective weight loss and superior fitness is to teach your body to burn fat as its predominate fuel source.

Here are some tips that I share with my clients to help them feel great from workouts and to facilitate weight loss:

  • The more out of shape you are, the more you need moderate exercise that progresses gradually.
  • Keep high intensity workouts of any kind to twice per week until you are at a higher level of fitness.
  • Monitor your heart rate! I know, I know, this can be complicated. Get yourself a heart rate monitor and keep your intensity to 70-80% of your theoretical maximum heart rate. Huh? Check out the link below so that you can accurately calculate your heart rate range.
  • Eat a small meal or snack 30-60 minutes before workouts. Do the same within 1 hour after your workout. Read more about this HERE.

If you experience the symptoms I mentioned above, you are most likely working out at an intensity level that is too hard.

Ease up on your effort level for 2 weeks and the symptoms will go away. As your fitness level increases you can gradually increase your effort level during workouts.

Exercise will make you feel great if you get smart about your workouts. I know that it can be confusing! Stick with me kid and I’ll do my best to help make your life better through fitness.

New Balance has great heart rate monitors that are easy to use and inexpensive. Click HERE.

Click HERE to read about the most accurate way to calculate your Theoretical Maximum Heart Rate.

The Magician of Your Dominion

Angry

How are you? I hope you’re awesome, because I’m MAD!

Yep, I’m maaaaaaaad. I received a note from a woman this week that has been dealing with the all too common issue of thyroid problems. As you may know, I have been treated for thyroid issues and have shared this with my community. This friend reached out to me because she inexplicably gained 20 pounds in one month, feels terrible, and her doc isn’t helping her to find a resolution. On top of that, she’s getting the message that her situation is simply a fact of life, that the issue is somehow her fault, and that her imbalance is a function of age and hormones.

CUT TO: Holly pulling her hair out and on the verge of imploding from anger.

I am a crusader for change. I am an advocate for progress. I am a proponent of self-reliance.

And I get so mad when I see someone suffering who has been told that there is nothing they can do to change their situation.

There is always something you can do about your predicament. 

The human body has tremendous propensity for change. That is the core of our very ability to exist and survive. We adapt. That is why we are still on this planet!

For 20 years I’ve heard that the following issues are a “fact of life” a “function of aging” or “hereditary”:

  • Arthritis
  • Cellulite
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Trouble zone body fat
  • Hormone and thyroid imbalances

And for 20 years I have successfully helped people reverse these conditions. Nope, I’m not a doc. And yep, I’ve watched my clients take action and gleefully overcome their challenges.

Human beings need hope. Without hope desperation sets in. You have a choice to believe that you are powerful and a crusader for change. You are the magician of your dominion. You have everything you need inside of you to find a resolution for your challenges.

Arthritis? Is irritation and swelling around a joint because the bones are not integrating with proper alignment. You can strengthen the muscles that support the bones and stretch.

Cellulite? Is simply body fat that gets damaged from sitting on it. You can exercise, eat a clean diet and strength train!

Back pain? Excluding an acute injury, back pain is most often caused by a weakness in the core that results in a misalignment of the pelvis.

I could go on and on, but I won’t because I don’t have any hair left to pull out. I used to have pretty red hair, but now I’m bald because I’ve pulled it all out.

I want you to make a pledge to me that when you are faced with a challenge, you will take a deep breath, bow your head, and use your big beautiful brain to determine some action you can take to correct your situation. You can do this. And you’re worth it.

In the Comments below I want you to make a pledge with me to be the magician of your own life.

To sign up for my weekly email love, click HERE.

To follow me on Facebook, click HERE.

Stay STRONG.

Enchilada + Greek Yogurt + Workout = Barf

Protein Shake collage

I get asked allllll the time what to eat before a workout. So today I’m going to dive deep into some spicy Mexican food and share with you what to eat and what NOT to eat before a workout. I bet you’ve got this one figured out already.

Facing major changes in my business and a big year ahead, I had a mucho meltdown over las vacaciones de Navidad(that’s Spanish for Christmas…even though I’m not Spanish). All of a sudden I realized that everything I had worked towards for 20 years was finally coming to fruition. I felt like I needed to seize the day but didn’t have the manpower hours to accomplish everything. Thankfully, Papa Noel (Santa Claus) brought me the gift of intuition in the form of a quiet whisper: “Your sister would be an incredible asset to your team.” It was the best Christmas gift ever.

Cut to today, I am thrilled to announce that my sister Kelli is officially part of my team! Kelli is a marketing genius and like me, she values the importance of fitness. Kelli is not Spanish either, but for some reason she ate an Amy’s organic enchilada last week before a big workout. To top it off she ate some Greek yogurt with it. This is foreshadowing – guess what happened next?

She barfed during her workout!

I applaud her for pushing herself to that intensity during a workout; and I applaud her intention to eat healthfully. Both of these decisions were great! It’s just that they don’t fit well together.

When she shared this with me I felt as though it was an opportunity to review what to eat and what NOT to eat before workouts. I used to make the same mistakes until I finally learned how to eat to support my body during the “stress” of workouts. Game changer.

Holly’s 3 Rules for Pre Workout Fueling:

  1. Choose foods that are easily digestible.
  2. Choose a combination of easily digestible protein plus a slightly higher glycemic carb.
  3. Minimize fat.

The key is to eat a small meal or snack 30-90 minutes before your workout and make sure it is simple and easy to digest. The name of the game is to pick foods that will hit your belly and then sprint to your muscles. Therefore, you want to avoid fat because it slows digestion in your system. Protein can also be hard to digest, so you want to choose one that is simple and easy to digest. Am I making Rule #1 crystal clear? The food needs to be easy to digest!

Here are some easily digestible foods that I suggest to my clients:

Proteins

  • Low fat dairy
  • Whey and egg white protein powder
  • Vegan protein powder
  • Egg whites
  • Promax LS bars (this also includes the carb)

Carbs

  • Banana
  • Tropical fruit: mango, pineapple, papaya
  • Agave nectar
  • Honey
  • White rice
  • Promax LS bars (this also includes the protein)

Therefore, with one small tweak, my sister could have turned her barf-session into a power session. The Greek yogurt was an awesome choice (assuming it was low fat) and would have paired well with honey or agave.

Proper fueling before my workouts was a mucho grande game changer for me. The right fuel ensures that you’ll burn like a high performance machine; and that means you can work harder during workouts. And that’s what fitness is all about. Work strongly in your workouts, then play wholeheartedly in your recovery.

Stay STRONG!

 

From Darkness to Light

Now What? v2

Monday marked the very first day of writing for my very first book. Yowza! How fun! Wait, I mean, terrifying! I have the great honor of writing a book that will be published by Rodale in April of next year. I can’t say too much, but it is a book for women and it’s going to be grrreeeeeat. I know it’s going to be great, not because I have an ego the size of Kim Kardashian’s bee-hind, but because I am bursting with passion about helping women find their strength. My book has to be great because the message is important. Even if I have a terrible week of writing – yep, more on that in a minute – I know that the message will get through and inspire women. I cannot wait to share it with you.

I had two fantastical days of writing this week, then all of a sudden BAM! I COULD NOT get my brain to work. I absolutely could not write a sentence let alone a 10,000-word chapter. So what did I do? I freaked out of course, what else would I do? I then spent two days beating myself up, criticizing my lack of quality writing, and punishing myself for any reason I could drum up. I worked myself into a very bad space.

Thankfully a very dear friend made me sit down, close my eyes, breathe into my belly and reconnect with my softer, more emotionally spirited, inner self.  It was a major game-changer.

I realized that I had gotten off track earlier in the week in regards to my health and fitness. In order to feed my brain for writing, I allowed my diet to slack, and had been eating foods that aren’t really ideal for my delicate system and brain. Sugar? Who me??

I also had more caffeine than usual and therefore wasn’t sleeping deeply. Because I wasn’t sleeping deeply, my workouts were disastrous. Trust me, you don’t want Holly after a bad workout. All of this led up to the trouble I felt on Thursday and Friday.

I’m happy to say that I’m feeling a million times better today and I want to share with you what I did to get back on track. I know that we all get off track at times in a variety of ways. Maybe you can try some of my tactics the next time you feel outta whack.

Here are the actions I took to wrangle myself back into a space of positivity, creativity and light:

  1. I immediately shifted my macros to 40/30/30. This is the sweet spot for blood sugar stabilization, optimal brain function, and hormone balancing. If you are still trying to figure out what the macro I meant about macros, click HERE.
  2. I stepped away from the source of my frustration – my computer – and took my neighbor’s dog for a walk. Getting outside for movement, fresh air and sunshine works magic on my physiology.
  3. I took a self-mandated, day-long break from social media. It helps me to reconnect with my inner voice if I don’t distract myself with the fun activity on Instagram!
  4. I laid down on my living room floor in savasana (yoga anyone?) for 15 minutes. I came back feeling renewed.
  5. I washed my hair. Yep. It was one of those weeks.

What do you do when you are desperate to get back on track physically, mentally or emotionally? I’m always eager to learn, so I hope you’ll share your tips with me in the Comments below.

I’ll be back on Instagram soon! Follow me HERE.

 

Reframe Yourself

Pink Side Plank v3

When I was in my twenties and thirties I was plagued by crippling fatigue, low self-esteem and a never-ending sensation of “feeling fat”. Ohhhhh, the number of times I said to my romantic partner “I feel fat” would officially earn me the technical medical classification called “Cray Cray.”

Deep down I knew I wasn’t fat. How on earth could I be fat? I was 5’6”, 125 pounds and worked out all day long. My rational brain understood the silliness, but in all honesty I genuinely felt fat!

Flash forward to yesterday. I am now twenty years older (good laaawwd!). I’m still 5’6” and 125 pounds. Here’s the unbelievable awesome sauce that my life has whipped up:

Using a very highly accurate system for muscle mass testing, I found out that I am an 83% lean, mean, kale-eating machine! Say wha!? Most people call this “Body Fat Testing” but I say “Noooo way, Jose!” I spent the last 20 years calling myself fat. I don’t need to go have a machine tell me exactly how much fat I am! I decided to reframe the name of this test. Thus: “Lean Muscle Mass Testing!” Way more positive, right?

What’s remarkable about this is that back in my twenties my Lean Muscle Mass was only about 77%. That’s a very big difference between where I am now at 83%. Due to the aging process alone, we lose significant muscle as we get older. It’s a battle that you have to fight tooth and nail, and here’s why:

Your muscle is the driving force behind your metabolism, stamina and general resilience. Your muscles are responsible for holding together all of the bones in your body. Metabolically active muscles improve your body’s ability to manage and process blood glucose. Lean, strong muscles improve your body’s natural and optimal levels of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Yeppers ladies, I’m talkin specifically to you! You naturally have testosterone and lemme tell ya, be thankful for every drop of it. Testosterone keeps you young, energetic, vibrant, and is key for managing body fat levels, appetite and sex drive. Meow. Increasing your lean muscle mass through strength training is the best way to keep your testosterone at your personal optimal level. And maybe most importantly, there is an incredibly powerful and beautiful sense of personal strength that happens when a woman cultivates her own physical strength.

Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I spent time in the gym lifting weights. But it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I started strength training properly. And this was when the magic appeared. Yesterday’s Lean Muscle Mass assessment inspired me to step back and assess my overall health, fitness and vitality. That’s when it dawned on me: I don’t remember the last time that I used my old language of being or feeling “fat”. Occasionally I’ll slide back into the pattern, but it’s usually because I haven’t been hitting the weights like usual. I’m still 5’6” and 125 pounds. But today 83% of that is muscle. And I feel strong. And lean. I feel younger, healthier and better than I ever did before.

So I propose that TODAY you and I make a commitment to focus on cultivating, loving and nurturing our lean muscle mass! Banish the words “fat” and “body fat” to the land beyond The Wall. Let’s get them out of our vocabulary! Forget the phrases about “being fat”, “feeling fat” or “looking fat”! You are holding in your body around 800 beautiful, viable, capable muscles just waiting to rise up and cheer “Yay Me!!!!!” Give them the push and pull that they crave. Give them some obstacles to overcome. Be brave and expose them to the opportunity they were built for.  I promise, it will change your life.

In some ways I feel like my life began at 40. I woke up to the me I’m supposed to be. I trained myself in strength, and hope that you will join me.

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Time Under Tension

Promax Holly's Back v2

It has been an incredible week for me filled with so many awesome new developments. The highlight of this week was a call with the editor of my first book marking the official beginning to the writing process. Say wha?? Yes! I have the massive honor and gift of writing a book! I am bursting with excitement and personally promise you that this book will change your life in regards to your fitness efforts.

As you may know I am particularly passionate about strength development. My life’s path changed dramatically after I developed personal strength as a result of exploring my physical strength in the gym.

So today’s blog identifies the seed that is essential to the development of your physical strength.

No longer is strength training for women simply a means to get buff. Nor is it simply a tool to prevent osteoporosis. Finally women like you are embracing the value in feeling strong physically, emotionally and spiritually. Mark my words, there will come a day when all experts agree that strength training is as essential to a woman’s overall health as pap smears, mammograms and annual visits. Strength training has the power to optimize your hormones, obliterate fatigue, super charge your self esteem and empower you like nuthin else.

One concept that is particularly important to effective strength development – both physical and personal strength – is “time under tension.” You know I love me a good metaphor! This basic principle in physical conditioning influences how well your body will respond to your strength training efforts.

In order for a muscle to adapt and become stronger, it must spend some time under tension. The more time a muscle spends exerting itself, ie under tension, the stronger it will become. Therefore, my #1 rule in the gym is this:

Execute your movements with precision by choosing a weight that allows you to have Holly approved technique. I know- we need to talk more about what good technique looks like. Stay tuned for future posts on this. I watch many people at the gym using weight loads that are too heavy. When the weight load is too heavy, your body will compensate in a way that takes the “load” off the intended muscle group. For example, if you are doing a Lat Pulldown (and you better be cuz it’s a goodie!) and the weight is even a little bit too heavy, you’ll end up using your Trapezius (aka “Trap”) muscles instead of your back muscles. And lemme tell ya, big traps aren’t exactly the most feminine look. Therefore, assume you are weaker than you think you are and begin with low weight loads to be certain that your technique is pure awesomeness. Then, perform your repetitions deliberately with precision and control. This will increase your muscle’s time under tension. Bam.

That being said, effective strength training also requires that you use weights that are heavy enough to challenge your muscles. It’s important to find just the right weight to ensure Holly approved technique, but a weight that is also heavy enough to stimulate strength.

This, my friend, is “Time Under Tension.” And just like in life, the more you are exposed to a challenge, the stronger you will become.

Stay STRONG!

I’d love to hear from you. Do your strength training workouts reflect what I’ve said above? Do you feel like you are seeing progress as a result of your strength workouts? Share your thoughts with me below in the Comments!

I like to share secret tips with my closest friends. If you want to get on my list and receive my once weekly emails, click HERE

I’ve updated my website and you can now read all of the articles where my workouts and advice have been mentioned in magazines like Women’s Health, Fitness, SELF, Redbook and Oxygen. Check it HERE

 

Protein for the People

Baladea Yellow v2

Why Protein is Important

Hold on! Hold your comment…Imma incredible mind reader and I know what you’re going to say:

“I thought Americans eat too much protein!”

In my 18 years of experience I have found that women tend to eat too little protein. It’s the men that tend to eat more protein. I’m not going get into what’s considered “too much protein” today.

“But I thought protein is hard on my kidneys!”

In truth, in 18 years I have met ONE person who had problems because of his protein consumption. He was an obsessed bodybuilder who was drinking blended chicken three times a day (true story) and had a preexisting kidney problem. Just sayin.

One key to optimal health is to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day. Protein and carbohydrate work synergistically to do this. Protein and carbs are besties. It is critical that you pair the carbohydrates that you eat with a reasonable amount of protein.

Each week I offer my Inner Circle members exclusive content that isn’t included here in my public blog. This week I included key steps to determine how protein you need each day. If you want to be a part of this list, click HERE to add your name. It’s free and never spammy. Promise!

It’s a long list, but here are my go-to proteins:

  • Egg whites
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat or skim milk
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Canned tuna
  • Low fat breakfast meats
  • Vegan protein powders
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat cheese
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Low sodium deli meats
  • Protein powders
  • Tempeh
  • String cheese

Some creative ways to add protein to your day

“Proatmeal” is still a favorite of mine when I’m rushed in the morning. I add one scoop of whey protein to my oatmeal with berries.

Protein powders are awesome because they are so versatile. They bake well so you can add to muffins, cookies and even pancakes. I also keep an envelope of protein powder and a Blender Bottle on me most of the time. This way I can simply add water and have a solid source of protein in a pinch.

I love protein bars as a convenient option when I crave something sweet, or need an alternative to skipping a meal. Missing a meal or snack is disaster territory for me, so I always have a box (yes, a full box) of Promax bars on me. Thankfully, there are so many bars on the market these days. I choose Promax as a brand because their bars have no preservatives, no scary ingredients, and no high fructose corn syrup. They are gluten free with no artificial sweeteners, maltitol or gelatin. They are one of the cleanest bars that I’ve found that taste awesome and digest well. One of my favorite meals is oatmeal with raw cacao nibs and a chopped up Promax Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Lower Sugar bar. Like, whoa. Click HERE to check out their bars. Last year I created a recipe for the most decadent Molten Lava Cake using a Promax Lower Sugar bar. It’s off the charts! No longer does a high protein dessert exist only in my dreams! Click HERE for the recipe.

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If you have some creative ways to incorporate more protein into your day please share in the Comments below! I’m always looking for more fun ideas!