Monday, February 23, 2015

Ready to win during the March Madness Fitness Challenge?

Before I start bundling up to head out to class, I wanted to announce our March Madness Fitness Challenge. SO super excited for prizes, spring, and of course results. The actual challenge will run March 9th- April 6th! Click Attend to be added to the challenge and get more info!

You ready to win?
Ready to go mad crazy on your workouts and nutrition?
Ready to take that 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 80th step towards getting healthier?

This will keep you accountable. 1 month of support, sweat, and serious results...but you have to work for it. Will you make your mark on the Final Four?

Click Attend and when the challenge opens you will be added! The actual challenge will run March 9th-April 6th!


Sunday, February 22, 2015


Head to WorkoutTanks Facebook to Enter!! Just let us know what positive changes you are making in your own life to win a fun new Glass!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Should I become a Beachbody Coach?

You probably think you can't right now so.........
I remember before I even joined a challenge group (way before I actually "coached"), and looking at people who were involved with Beachbody. What a scam I thought. I just threw my opinion in with the hydroxycut, slim teas, magical creams, and everything else that once captured my attention for .5 seconds. Something clicked and I got on board. When I first became an active coach (actually helping people instead of just taking advantage of the discount), I was 189 lbs, could not do a push up, and couldn't even fathom helping someone else. You know what I did have? Drive. I wanted to help others while I was helping myself. I wanted to show people that I was real and I understood their struggles.
Here I am a little over a year later, a Fitness Instructor (still a newbie though :) but you got to start somewhere), 155 lbs with more % of body fat to lose, completed numerous programs, eating clean 80% of the time, quit smoking, reading personal development, increasing my energy, opening up my social circle, making decent play money, and the list goes on.
If you are still thinking you can't, you are wrong. What if becoming a coach could improve just 1 aspect of your life? What if your future could be totally different? What is holding you back? If you don't take advantage of the opportunity, someone else might.
 Catch a glimpse next week when we hold an open forum inside of a Facebook group that will expose you to various types of coaches. No commitments, nothing to sign, nothing forced. Just a chance to check out why we do what we do.
Message me if you are 1% ready. No one is ever 100% ready.

Monday, February 16, 2015

21 Day Fix Extreme Week 1 Review

A little under a year ago, I embarked on the 21 Day Fix. I had never portioned my meals out, never fully meal planned, and definitely never stuck to anything for 21 days. It changed my life. It taught me to look at food as fuel. It showed me what an appropriate portion looks like as well as how much of each category (carbs, veggies, proteins) I needed for balance. After a few rounds I did not even have to use the containers again because I could eyeball it. I now knew why the program sold out when it was released. The idea of the containers is so genius that other programs are now coming up with plans to incorporate the containers into their meal guides.

When I heard the 21 Day Fix EXTREME was being released I could not have been more excited. In January, I was given a live preview of one of the workouts when the trainer and creator of the program visited a local event. I counted down the days until I got my hands on the program.

The program arrived within 4 days of ordering it. I opened up that baby and began to study. Now if you are doing the Original 21 Day Fix or the 21 Day Fix Extreme you need to read the books that come along with it. It will only take you about 20 minutes but it will set you up for success for sure. The 21 Day Fix Extreme comes with 3 Meal Planning Options:
1. The 21 Day Fix Extreme Meal Plan
2. The Countdown to Competition Plan
3. The 21 Day Fix Extreme Meal Plan with the last 3 days being the Countdown to Competition Plan.

I chose option 2. I might have been a bit crazy when I chose this but I was ready to take my nutrition up a notch. I am no where near the level of competing but I needed a swift kick in the butt. The Countdown to Competition Plan on the 21 Day Fix Extreme is based on the science of carb depletion. For 2 days you do the comp plan then for 1 day you do the extreme meal plan (those days I get fruit and 2 extra carbs! Yay)! If this sounds confusing, it definitely is not once you read the book. It maps out everything for you. I also only plan my meals out one week at a time so that I am able to tweak anything I am having an issue with. I grocery shop 1x per week so my clean foods don't spoil and go to waste. I base my dinners around the meals I have planned for my family so I do not have to cook twice. Their meals are more "fun" while mine are fix friendly.

For the first 2 days I missed fruit, but chugging water really helped ease my wants and needs. Thank goodness for herbal tea too! On the third day, when I stuffed the banana in my face it was like eating a piece of chocolate cake. So far, 7 days into it I am eating more eggs and chicken than I ever have in my life, yet I have a tremendous amount of energy (especially on the days I have the fix workout to do and teach a live class). I never feel starved and I never feel like I am missing out. On Valentine's day I did have to stay off Facebook and Pinterest for a bit as my feed was flooded with wine and chocolate. On the Original 21 Day Fix you are allowed those two things. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? Yep you are! Unfortunately/Fortunately, on the 21 Day Fix Extreme you are not allowed those goodies. It is called extreme remember?

As for the workouts, I am in love! The great thing about this program is that you get 7 different workouts (1 for each day of the week) so you do not get bored. Each workout is around 30 minutes. I just completed Insanity Max: 30 which focuses on getting you results using body weight. The 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme uses body weight, resistance bands, and hand weights. This excited me. I missed weights! I am currently using 5lb, 8lb, and 10lb weights. Both programs feature a modifier so if any moves made my knees or ankles feel uncomfortable I switched to the modified moves.  Sweat was still pouring though! I have been a little sore but nothing that my foam roller could not fix. Sunday's Extreme Yoga made sure I stretched those muscles out.  At least when you are sore you know it is working!

I  am listing out my first 5 meals below so you get an idea of how much I could eat each day.  I spread it out to eat about every 2-3 hours. Remember, this is about balance, not starving!  At 155 lbs I am in the second bracket of calories/containers. If you have any questions or would like a copy of my chart I use to meal plan, feel free to send me a message! Excited to update you all on week 2  in 7 days!

Day 1 Meals: 
Vegan Tropical Strawberry Shakeology w/ Frozen Kale
4 Scrambled Eggs
Chicken, Power Greens, Balsamic
Celery and Nut Butter
Chicken, Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes
Strawberry Shake

Day 2 Meals:
Greenberry Shakeology w/ Frozen Kale
4 Scrambled Eggs
Chicken, Power Greens, Balsamic
Celery and Nut Butter
Chicken, Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes 
Strawberry Shake

Day 3 Meals:
Vegan Tropical Strawberry Shakeology w/ Frozen Banana
4 Scrambled Eggs, 1 piece of Ezekiel Toast, Tomatoes
Celery and Nut Butter
Raw Almonds and Apple
Tofu, Rice, Veggie Stir Fry
Steel Cut Oats, Sunflower Seeds, Banana

Day 4 Meals:
Greenberry Shake
4 Scrambled Eggs and Red Peppers
Chicken and Quinoa
Celery and Nut Butter
Chicken, Veggies, Power Greens
Strawberry Shake

Day 5 Meals:
Greenberry Shake
2 Scrambled Eggs, Tomatoes
Celery and Nut Butter
Quinoa and Chicken
Turkey, Lettuce Wraps
Strawberry Shake

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Workout Tanks Logo!

So as I am preparing to place a really large order for custom screen printed tanks, I figured a new logo was in order. If you are from Pittsburgh you will totally understand the meaning of the Yinz Work Aht? Tank. If not, there is one other option available now and 3 new options coming. Also in the next month I will be introducing pants! I am super excited about this venture. If you are not a fan yet head over to WorkoutTanks Facebook and make sure you hit "get notifications" or follow so you can stay up to date. I throw a lot of promo codes out on that page along with tips, tricks, and healthy recipes!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Insanity Class 9am Saturdays!

Come this week for a loving edition (haha) of Insanity to celebrate Valentine's Day!

Insanity Max:30 Review and Results!

Whew. This was a doozy. Finished Insanity Max:30 on Sunday. 60 Days after starting the program. Month 1 was tough. Started right before Christmas and then came ...down with the flu. Hard. Didn't let myself quit though. By doubling up some days I was able to finish with the other 50 people in the group. 

 I want to highlight a few things about the program and my own personal results. 

 1. This program is great for anyone who has reached a certain level of boredom with at home workouts. It allows you to compete with yourself each week to beat your time from last week. If you max out at 5 minutes, well you still have to finish the full 30 minutes. Maxing out just means you had to take a break or had to break form. You go as hard as you can for as long as you can. 

 2. I enjoyed the Tabata routines. Those seconds of rest really helped in between.

3. The modifier saved me. I am not strong enough to do all of the moves yet nor did I feel 100% comfortable with the stress it put on my knees so I would modify. Let me just tell you though, modifying was not the easy way out or a cheat. I still sweat and still maxed out. 

 4. Yes, I gained 3 lbs but I wanted to be honest about that. This is why you always should take your measurements when you start and finish a program. A lot of people get frustrated when they don't see the scale move. Remember, the scale is just a number. 

 5. I did not follow the nutrition plan. I did for the first week and then got lazy and allowed myself to cheat. A lot. I am sure my results would be 10x greater if I had followed the nutrition plan.

 6. I started teaching live classes a few weeks after starting this program. Insanity Max:30 not only prepared me by increasing my endurance but also taught me a lot about my mental strength as well. 

 7. Lastly, in all honesty this was not my favorite program. I love the live version of Insanity (probably wouldn't have chosen to teach it if I didn't) T25, the 21 Day Fix (and now Extreme), and Les Mills Pump top my list but this comes in to round out the top 5. The only thing that kept me going was the group I was in. The motivation, the advice, and the accountability saved me. I could not have completed on time if it was not for that extra push. I highly suggest no matter what you do (at home workout, gym, etc) that you find an accountability partner or group.

I hope this was informative! Done and done! Now onto day 3 of the 21 Day Fix Extreme!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What are you giving your lover for Valentine's Day?

With more and more people trying to become healthier, think about that gift before you buy. How about some new workout clothes? New set of weights? Gym membership? Class Pass? 21 Day Fix? Don't worry about "offending" your mate. They will feel that you value them more and want them to be by your side as long as possible. Invest in your health, invest in your life. Let me know if you need help!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Loving the latest health crazes? Looking to try a new supplement? Do your research first.

You are sick.
You are tired.
You are hungry.
You need to lose weight.
You need more energy.
You need to gain muscle.

What do you do first? Google? Ask a friend for advice? Head to the library? Pick up a magazine?

The internet is so amazing for so many things. It gives us a million resources within .2 seconds. What we do with that information is where things go sour.

I constantly see articles floating around on social media with striking headlines that seem to tell you the whole story, yet when you actually read the article or follow up by matching the same facts against other sources you find that the original article ended up being opinion, junk science, or contained a lot of holes. It also depends who the author or sponsor of the article is. Is there advertising included? Does a person profit from what they are telling you?

The major shares that I am seeing this week are disease, vaccination, and fitness related. I decided to click on a few of these articles and dig deeper at my own level. What I discovered was that either the people posting could not have read the article themselves, are ignorant to facts, have done little to no research themselves, or the authors of the articles made sure to attach a really attention grabbing picture to their text in order to keep those shares increasing.

I am not the only one who seems to recognize it. This week alone I saw three friends state that they heard people seriously referencing a source that stated if you drink 1 glass of red wine it can be equivocated to going to the gym for 30 minutes.Why would people believe that? Because the internet told them so.

News also broke this week in regards to a supplement scandal involving Target, Walmart, GNC, and other retailers. The article was scary. The article had a lot of facts but what it failed to mention was that not ALL supplements sold in these stores were bad. Not ALL brands were fake. A large population of people rely on natural remedies, herbs, and oils to prevent and treat illness instead of jumping on the big pharma train. With news like this only telling one side of the story, or giving options of safer and trustworthy manufacturers, the average consumer might immediately believe all supplements are bad.

Not every prescription pill, natural herbal supplement, weight loss shake, shampoo, type of apple, brand of shoes, etc. is bad or created just to "get ya" but with the increased number of people out for profit over people these days, you must be vigilant. Ask your doctor, ask your naturalist, ask your instructor, ask your store owner, ask the brand owner, ask the farmer, and most importantly....ask yourself before you take on or try something new. 

This post is getting a bit long winded but my point is that before you go out and buy 100 lbs of golden rice because it will help you lose 10 lbs in a week, do your research.
Before you buy the product I love and drink daily (Shakeology) do your research.
Before you buy essential oils and pour the whole bottle on your head because you read on pinterest that your hair will grow 18 inches in 8 hours REALLY DO YOUR RESEARCH :).
Before you take any pill, natural or prescribed, do your research.
Before you buy something that says "natural" do your research.

I hope this sparked some interest within yourself to dig a bit deeper and to find all of the necessary information you need to confidently purchase a product that could help with a health or lifestyle goal.

About my choices: *I am in no way a rep for vitacost and am an Independent Beachbody Coach. My opinions are my own and do not represent either company.

I decided to become a coach for Beachbody after falling in love with the shake myself. I would never push it upon anyone just for profit. I recommend it to some because of the benefits I have experienced it after drinking it. I choose to buy most of my essential oils and supplements (first time ever making my own liquid cap) from because of their sourcing and company ethics. If I am buying a probiotic or a random herbal supplement for my family, I purchase from local food coops or health food stores such as Whole Foods and I always read the label.  If you ever have questions about this or that, feel free to reach out for my opinion or personal experience with something.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What are these groups I keep seeing advertised on social media? Challenges? Accountability Groups?

What exactly is a challenge group? Is it hard? What is in it for me? What do I have to do?

By now, you have seen an ad or social media post on one network or another asking you to join a challenge group. There are 30 day challenge groups, 21 day groups, ab challenges, squat challenges, and the list goes on and on and on.

Depending on who is running the group, there are different guidelines and rules. Usually all groups are run online. Some require a purchase of a meal plan or workout routine. Other groups are run to connect likeminded people to one another.

If you follow me on social media you know that I run monthly challenge groups. Our groups run for 30 days and are open to both men and women who are looking to get healthy and fit or to continue to improve their overall health and wellness. Members of our groups reside all over the country and range in ages from 21-65. Currently, we have challengers who choose to workout at the gym, attend live classes, complete at home workouts, or a mix of everything. Those who choose to do at home workouts do everything from Insanity to the 21 Day Fix to Piyo to T25. People who attend live classes usually take Insanity, Bodypump, Zumba, Spin or some sort of aerobics.

Each challenger has their own goals. One person may need to lose 30 lbs while another may need to gain muscle. An individual may want to learn how to eat clean, while another just needs to be held accountable to drink their meal replacement shake each day.

The group requires each member to check in daily with a recap of their workout, what they ate, and what support they are in need of. Once a member checks in, the coaches and other members comment and either congratulate or push that person to try harder. These groups offer a 100% judgment free zone.

Often times we have mini challenges take place inside the larger challenge. Huh? You may be saying....  Well, for example, we will have a thirsty Thursday where we challenge you to meet your water intake or a squat challenge where we ask you to add a few reps of squats to your daily routine.

Along with the support, once you are in the group, you will receive meal planning tips, recipes, fitness knowledge, and the education to quit "diets" for good while making healthy lifestyle changes.

If this sounds like something that might help you, please use the contact form to the right to contact me or use one of the following methods to reach out:

Pittsburgh Hometown Pride Just Became A Little More Fashionable

What is your favorite nail polish color's name?
Daisy Duke?
Emerald City?

How about Chipped Ham? Now, if you are not from Pittsburgh you may be asking yourself what the heck is "chipped" ham? Maybe you call it chopped ham where you are from.

Would you wear So Inclined? A lovely green polish that pays homage to not 1 but 2 inclines that transport "Yinzers" from the bottom to the top of a mountain and vice versa.

Pittsburghers wear black and gold in support of the city of champions' favorite teams year round and no matter what sports' season is in play. With the addition of the Pittsburgh polish line to Gridlock Laquer's collection, steel city nails just got a bit fancier.

Check out the full collection and polish pairings featuring other cities here!

Missy Elliott's Weight Loss Noticed at Superbowl

Oh Missy lost weight! How?
 A Lil Shaun T. and a scare that she would have a stroke. Work it girl.

Check out the article here on the full explanation.