I Can’t Eat Another Bite, Oh Look Pie!


A Survival Guide For The Holidays

  • Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that the kitchen nope, the WHOLE house smells like Heaven. You have waited all day patiently for food to be served, you have your buffet pants on and you are ready to dive in! However, there is a map for this quest! Taste everything…but don’t finish everything. Take 2 to 3 bites of all of the delicious items on the table and then stop. Oh and if you are going back for seconds…don’t take seconds of everything…pick just a few items that tasted amazing.

 

  • Many of us celebrate the holidays with food, football and family. We gather together in one house, all 47 of your closest family members. We crack open beers, pour drinks and snack while the big meal is being prepared in the kitchen. I mean, seriously, it is impossible to not be hungry and eat when the house smells like a pilgrims dream! Hint #2 Don’t stand near the appetizer table! I can see it now, Uncle Harry has trapped you to talk about politics and the only thing you can do is to continue to nosh on the spinach & artichoke dip. Make a small plate of a few appetizers and excuse yourself to a different area of the house. Redirect Uncle Harry’s uncomfortable conversation to the football game! Exit the danger zone!

 

  • Cheers! It is easy to get caught up in the holiday toasts and parties. The adult beverages are flowing and friends are having a great time…just watch your liquid calories. Rotate in a glass of water into the flow of drinks you are partaking. Your hangover will thank you.

 

  • BE ACTIVE! When you travel or when you have guests at your house, it is easy to fall out of your normal exercise rhythm. While you may not be able to attend your favorite HIIT class or ride your spin bike, you can still move. Move as much as possible! Walk, Walk Walk…go for a run, tour uncle Harry’s neighborhood on a run…just move every day!

 

  • Are you headed out tonight? Eat a small healthy meal before you go to the party. I love party snacks, but they don’t always add up to the healthiest meal. Make yourself a hearty and healthy snack/meal before you get dressed. You can fill up with healthy calories and then enjoy a few pigs in a blanket at the party!

 

  • Don’t give up, Stay on track! Holidays break our routines, but you don’t need to throw in the towel! Every morning you wake up, it is a new day with new choices. Before you go to bed tonight, make a plan on how you can be more active the next day or how you can make smarter food choices. Even if you fall off once or twice…just get back on! Tomorrow is a New Day!

 

  • Enjoy being with your family – don’t always focus on the food & treats. There are 47 people at your house, enjoy their company! Go for a walk with your favorite cousin Jeff, throw the football with your crazy aunt Beatrice, or play cards with grandma Nita. Food is a wonderful addition to the amazingly crazy times spent with family, but FAMILY and FRIENDS are the real focus!

 

  • Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you to all of my family, friends and clients for the joy you bring me every day. I am beyond blessed to have the support system you provide myself and my family. I pray that I can bring you the same joy and laughter that you bring me. May your holiday season be filled with love, joy and peace on earth.

 

Posted in Fitness, Health, Health & Wellness, Holidays, Mental health, motivation, Stress, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Words Run Deep!


People keep asking “what will it take to end these mass shootings?” I have an idea. It is not a quick fix but it starts with a change in our everyday behavior. It starts with US!

Attention Adults – each time you tell an ‘off-color’ joke or make a snide comment that degrades women, belittles a person because of the color of skin or birthplace, makes fun of a person because of their special needs or demeans another human being because of who they love…the young people around are listening! YOU are planting a seed that will grow and can grow to a point that murder is the choice thay make. These mass shooting are by people who were taught and influenced to believe that other people are below them because of race, gender or sexual orientation. They were not born with that hate!

When you are trying to be ‘funny’ at the expense of another persons self-worth…you ARE NOT FUNNY; when you chant – ‘Send Them Back’ at a political rally because you disagree with a persons political views YOU ARE WRONG; when your religion says a wife should ‘obey’ her husband, YOU ARE CRUEL….you are teaching these beautiful and innocent children HOW to hate and HOW to discriminate!

We cannot be shocked by the actions of these murderers but we MUST BE DISGUSTED by them and vow to change how we speak, how we act and what we teach our children!
😢😠🤯❤️
#ElPasoStrong
#937Strong

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Oh No! Bathing Suit Season!


The weather is getting warmer and thoughts of bathing suits and tank tops are looming in our heads. While we all reflect on our winter goal of getting our bodies ready for summer, I am here to tell you that you have set the wrong goals. Year round health and fitness is the most important goal you can set for yourself. There is no “preparatory season”. If you set these cyclical goals, you may end up deeper in the trenches of weight gain and frustration.

Lets walk together through a typical year for many of us…

Workout Hard and Cleanse  (January – March)
We begin the year with good intended New Years resolutions. We tell our friends that we are no longer eating carbs, we are only eating food grown from the earth, we are cleansing (UGH…blah, don’t get me started on this), we are joining a Bootcamp or a new gym. We use winter as the season to focus on weight loss and increase our overall fitness. We suffer through difficult diets and fitness classes because we have set a finish line. We have the focus and the drive to dive head first into these adventures, but these life changes are usually not sustainable. Remember this is not a sprint to the finish line, it is a life long journey.

Oh Crap! I’m Running Out Of Time  (April – June)
Spring is here and so is the panic that may settle in as we realize that we may not have achieved the goals we set out on New Years Day. We know that bathing suit season is right around the corner and beach trips are booked. We try as hard as we can to achieve those lofty & sometimes immeasurable goals. Nevertheless, some of you may have achieved the goals you set in January, but the method you may have used to get there was not a long-term solution. The elimination diet or “Dry-uary” is now over (thank God!) and you jump back into your regularly scheduled programming. The life we led before the extreme diet takes over again.

Oh Well! It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere!   (July – September)
Time to settle into summer, where our schedules and calendars are as different as night and day. The kids are out of school and you don’t have as much personal time as a parent. Pool side cocktails and vacations fill our days along with delicious snacks and happy hours. This time of year is a weight-gain ninja! It sneaks up and attacks us…we never saw it coming! July and August can be the biggest weight gain season of the year. We have accepted how our body look and our days are filled with a more relaxed state of mind. Vacations and pool time replace our fitness class and boot camp.

I Have No Time During The Holidays  (October – December)
Thank God summer is over and you can get back to your regular schedule…oh wait – It is now Holiday Season! We may find ourselves just accepting the results of the year behind us and preparing for the fun-filled holidays that will completely take over our lives for the next 3 months. During the cold months, it is difficult to make time for fitness. It may be too cold outside, you may dislike going to a gym, there may be too much to do before the family visits, whatever the reason…cold months are hard to make fitness happen. As we enjoy “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”, we also may place our fitness further down on our priority list. We now may just push it off until January, when we will refocus and get our lives in order for the New Year…(sound familiar?)

All of these things are done with good intent but do not address the bigger picture. A LIFESTYLE of health and fitness. One of the most important things to accept is that we are going to have good days and bad days. We are going to set goals and we are going to achieve some of them. We may miss the mark on a few goals or lose the battle of a basket (or two) of chips on taco Tuesday, but that does not mean we give up the war! Every day we wake up to new challenges, no day is the same. We have to prepare by setting ourselves up for success. Goals are great but keep them small and achievable. Try to avoid extreme methods that cannot continue (at least in part) once you achieve your goal. Be fair to yourself and accept that Life Happens. You may go on vacation and not get to workout like you do at home, but continue to be active and don’t throw in the towel!

Strength in Moms is here to support you in achieving your fitness goals! Do you have a dream to run your first 5K, start weight lifting at the gym, finish a Triathlon? Do you want to keep your fitness and strength up throughout your pregnancy? Whatever your goals are, Strength in Moms is here to support you! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

We are such a strong force and our mission is clear –

Making Women Stronger, One Mom at a Time!

Posted in Exercise, Fitness, Health, Health & Wellness, Holidays, Mom, motivation, Resolutions, Stress, weight loss, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Years resolutions, cleanses, juicing, extreme dieting…WHAT DO I DO?


New Years resolutions, cleanses, special extreme diets, elimination diets, juicing….so many choices of ways to start the year off clean and healthy. What Should You Do?

Do these really work?

Every year we are bombarded with ideas of ways to clean out your body and get rid of the toxins…and every year I remind all of my clients that your liver and your kidneys are AMAZING organs that clean out your body EVERY SINGLE DAY, not only in the month of January. If you take care of your body throughout the year and feed it good food and keep a balance in life, your body will take care of you. If the new year is the kick start you need to make a healthy change in your life, than please go for it….but do not look for a cleanse or a crazy diet to fix your health concerns. There are many pieces that work together for weight loss…calorie consumption, hormone levels, vagal nerve stimulation, appetite and BMI. The toxins that you put into your body are not eliminated because you drank a juice cleanses for 3-4 days. Every day your organs are cleaning your body and working to rid it of chemicals and so called toxins. There is no storefront fix that will do the cleaning for you. Your diet and lifestyle choices are what determines how successful the cleaning process will go.

Ideas for your New Years resolutions:

  • If you feel like you have consumed too much alcohol, make a decision to significantly reduce your consumption. Be aware that if you decide to eliminate alcohol for a specific time, when the time is up, do not over compensate after and return to your regular consumption. Make a decision to reduce your consumption as a lifestyle.
  • If you want to “clean out your digestive system”, do not rely on an expensive cleanse system to do it. Begin to make your own meals and reduce your meals out at restaurants. Plan for you meals throughout the day and don’t skip meals. If you skip meals, you are more likely to over eat at the next meal. Choose whole foods and eat all of them. Eat the skins of certain fruits and vegetables. Don’t just drink the juice, eat the fruit…chew, chew, chew. Buy healthy proteins and make a balanced meal. Your plate should include protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains. This will allow your body to have fast energy from simple carbs, slow release energy from the proteins, and fiber from the vegetables and fruits.
  • Take care of your body! Feed it healthy foods, move it as often as you can and rest it every night. If you have a vacation or evening out and you go overboard with food or alcohol, don’t give up! The next day you can get yourself right back on track!
  • If certain foods seem to make you feel bad (dairy, too much gluten, certain vegetables, etc…) then try an elimination diet. For a few weeks, eliminate that type of food to see if you feel better. Your body may have a sensitivity to that particular food. You may be able to reintroduce those foods again, you just might have to reduce the amount you consume.
  • Don’t fall for the EASY solution to your weight loss problems. There Is No Easy Fix! There is no magic pill that will put you back in your high school jeans, DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES!
  • Weight loss is hard work. You have to put in a lot of energy and work in order to loose the weight.

Take care of your body & it will continue to take care of you!

Posted in Diet, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Health & Wellness, Holidays, motivation, New Year, nutrition, Resolutions, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holiday Regrets…the morning after!


The holidays are here and so are the parties, the celebrations, and the family gatherings. At this time of year we can find ourselves snacking more often and eating items that are not typically on our normal diet. We are surrounded by chocolate, candy treats, delicious casseroles and appetizers. We take in more liquid calories than normal through alcohol, frapachinos, and mixers. All of these items add up! The imbalance occurs when these calories in outweigh the calories out. During the winter season the outdoor weather is not very inviting. We typically have to find time to get to the gym or workout at home. This ends up creating a tailspin to frustration for many of us.

I am not here to preach the obvious…we all know that we need to stay active and eat a well balanced diet. What I hope to express today is my support! Many of us will take our fitness and diet frustrations and implement them into our New Years resolutions. We will enter the holidays with an acceptance that the battle versus food is lost and we will restart after January 1st. What I want you to understand is that even if you lost control last night at the holiday party, the war is not lost! Get out of bed today and begin anew! Refocus on your goals and get back on track. Don’t give up and wait until January!

This is also not the best time for quick weight loss. There are so many temptations and our schedules are atypical. Some of us will try to significantly cut calories as a means to drop weight fast. When you cut significant calories you will drop weight…but you also will increase your hunger hormones, you will slow down your metabolism and ultimately your body will fight you to return to the balance it had before the weight loss. To explain that simply, once you lose the weight, your body will fight you to put the weight right back on!

Here are my suggestions for surviving the Holidays!

  • Taste everything…but don’t finish everything – 2 to 3 bites, and stop.

  • Don’t stand near the appetizer table.

  • Watch your liquid calories

  • BE ACTIVE! Track your steps…move as much as possible!

  • Eat a small meal before you go to a party. Fill up with healthy calories.

  • Stay on track! Even if you fall off track once or twice…just get back on!

  • Enjoy being with your family – don’t always focus not the food & treats.

  • Have a Blessed and Happy Holiday!

Posted in Christmas, Diet, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Health & Wellness, Holidays, motivation, New Year, nutrition, Thanksgiving, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Curse of the Summer Puff


Last March I began writing a blog entry to submit, but I never actually finished it. It sits unpublished in my post inbox. The problem that this has caused is that this summer, I fell victim to my own summer warning. The blog post was addressing the “Curse of the Summer Puff”.

The story begins with a woman thinking about bathing suit season. It is early spring and she knows that soon she will be sitting at the beach or along the side the pool with her family and friends. This image encourages her to stay on her fitness schedule. She workouts, she lifts weights and she eats a well balanced and healthy diet…..for a few weeks. She does her best, but life happens.

Spring soon becomes summer and she finds herself now sitting at the pool with her girl friends. At this point she has no choice but to love & accept her body. The story takes a sharp turn as July enters into the picture! July is one of the top months for weight gain in both men and women. People don’t typically think of summer as the time for weight gain. Most assume that the winter holidays are top of the list. For many of us, July can be a crazy and chaotic month filled with travel, lazy days of summer and relaxed schedules & rules…for everyone. This is what creates the “Curse of the Summer Puff”.

Recently I was sitting in my car on the phone, while sitting in the drivers seat I looked down at my midsection and noticed a “puff” that was not there a few months ago. My eyes could not believe what they were seeing…I fell victim to my own warning!

Don’t Let Summer Take Over Your Body!

You see, once July hits, most people have accepted that they are in their “summer body”. There is nothing more they can do to change that….this acceptance leads to complacency. With July schedules, we lose control of our fitness routines, we have a few too many cocktails & we eat differently.

In August, many of our kids go back to school. Parents find themselves back on a regular schedule with earlier morning starts and calendars filled with meetings, activities and family responsibilities. This is when we realize the unfortunate results of our summer fun. BUT….we can fix it!

*  Get your life back on schedule  *   Put the fitness classes back in your calendar  *  Go back to the gym  *  Begin lifting weights  *  Find a friend to keep you accountable  *  Make nutrition a priority again  *

You can get your fitness and health back on track.

Do you need help finding a fitness routine? Do you feel lost and confused when you go to the gym? Do you know how to strength train? if not, we can help you! Strength in Moms is here to be a part of your team!

Reach out with any questions and we can try to answer them and guide you towards your fitness goals.

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Adults & Sports – Reduce Your Risk of Injury


Over the last two months I have been researching the possible cause of the many lower body injuries in women. I know that injuries are a part of sports and being athletic. Nevertheless, I have become concerned with the number of female friends who have had some unique & severe injuries. The number of calf injuries among women my age is rising. You can tell when a person has suffered a calf injury recently or in the past because they now wear compression socks to help prevent being re-injured. The questions that came into my head were: How are these women working out? What they are doing outside of tennis that may be increasing their risk of injury? Are they stretching? Are they strength training? Are their muscles particularly tight and shortened?

For many adults, the muscles on the posterior side of our bodies (aka the backside) are often tight, shortened or underused. We tend to focus our exercises, our functional activities and most of our day on the front side of our bodies. The way we sit and work at desks and drive our cars, the strength exercises we perform, the cardiovascular activities we choose are often ones that involve the anterior or the front of our bodies. If the posterior side of our bodies are tight and we decided to play sports that ask for significant lateral, forward and backward movements (ie: tennis, basketball, soccer, etc…), HOW will our bodies perform?

I have been involved in sports my whole life and began playing tennis a year ago at 40 years old. When you are a part of a team as a kid or taking a fitness class, the instructor or coach is directed to get the team to warm up before they play and also to stretch afterwards. As adults, we RARELY do this…(I am as guilty as the rest of you). In college while playing lacrosse, the head trainer realized that a increasing number of girls were tearing their ACL’s (knee injury) during sports like soccer, lacrosse and basketball. He found that if they performed certain warm-up exercises before practice or a game, these severe injuries declined significantly. You can now see his research being incorporated in many female sports programs all over the country. His research is what has me concerned with the number of injuries in women out of college.

Playing competitive sports with significant lateral and stop & go movements are already increasing the risk of injury, but there are many ways we can reduce that risk and continue playing.

Everyone needs to ask themselves these questions:

  • Are you performing dynamic stretching before you play?
  • Is your fitness program supporting your lifestyle or sport?
  • Is your nutritional need being met?
  • Are you stretching and cooling down properly afterwards?

I am a realist and know that most adults are rushing to their game or match right before it begins and afterwards are pouring a beer to celebrate their friendships off the court or field. Nevertheless, I feel that with the recent spike in achilles, calf and hamstring injuries, we NEED to reevaluate our routines. Even if you can add just one of these into your workout, your body will thank you! (I am going to use tennis as the sport for these suggestions)

  1. Warmup: add in a dynamic warmup! This means move around, don’t just stand there and stretch your quads & hamstrings. Jog around the court 1 or 2 times and get the blood flowing, side shuffle your feet back and forth along the baseline 1 or 2 times, high knee skip up and back along the baseline 1 or 2 times.
  2. Make sure that your fitness routine supports your sport! If you play tennis or basketball or other sports that involve a lot of lateral movement and twisting, then your fitness routine should also incorporate these movements. Make sure that your strength workouts do not focus only on lineal movements, add in side lunges and side hops or slides to your routine. Also, make sure that your core is STRONG! Your core should be engaged in every movement (even if it is a lower or upper body move). If your core is engaged, your whole body is committed to the move and this can reduce your risk of injury.
  3. Stretch your lower body, most importantly your calves & hamstrings.
  • Standing Heel Raises: while standing, raise up on your toes and release back down
  • Wall Calf Stretch: Leaning against a wall with your hands, step one leg back and stretch, switch legs.
  • Step Stretch (A): Standing on a step, alternate dropping a heel off the back of the step.
  • Step Stretch (B): Standing in front of a step, place toes up on the rise of the step, keeping the heel on the ground, lean in for a deeper stretch.
  • Ankle Rotations: Rotate each ankle around in circles (both directions) as well as flex and extend your toes (point & flex).

4. Pay Attention To Your Body! Listen to what your body is telling you. There is a difference between “acknowledgment” & “pain”. Being sore at times is a normal part of a good fitness routine, nevertheless, your body may be telling you something. If there is a muscle or muscle group that is excessively sore or you feel pain, slow down and reevaluate your fitness plan. Remember that we are involved in recreational activities and not professionals. Also make sure that you are well hydrated and fueled for your match or practice and after wards you are refueling your body. If you don’t take care of your body, you will miss out on its greatness!

5. Cool Down & Stretch (& Ice, if needed)! As good as that cold beer or glass of chilled chardonnay sounds right after your match, you have to give your body time to recover. Stretch your upper and lower body afterwards and if there is a muscle or muscle group that is giving you some feedback, ice it! You can sit down, enjoy your adult beverage, ice you muscle and ask your friends to join you.

*** Originally I planed on only writing this blog about injury prevention. As I was collecting information & talking to other professionals I was led to the topic of a second blog – Trainers need to get over themselves!
Stay tuned…

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