Archive of ‘Mindset’ category

10 Lessons to Live by in 2016

The end of a year is a time for reflection, a time to remember both high and low points — and to learn from both those moments. These are lessons I’ve learned in 2015 that I’m going to carry with me to make the most of 2016 and beyond.

People will doubt you. Brush off their negativity.

We all want to be accepted, whether it be by our parents, friends, or even a random follower on Instagram, it feels good to know that people approve of us and what we’re doing. However, not everyone is going to agree with all our decisions and actions, and that’s totally fine. When I left an amazing job a year and a half ago to start an online business, doubters were coming at me left and right. Man, it was easy to let people get inside of my head. Their concerns were certainly valid and I shared many of them: “How does a personal trainer take her business online?”, “How will you pay the bills?”, “Do you even know how to design a website?” And then there’s my favorite: “But you’re doing so well where you are, why on earth would you leave for something unknown?” These were all sensible points, and there were times (and sometimes still are) when I would have freak-out moments in response to them. But it turns out that the less I let these thoughts take over my mind, the less they mattered. After all, not everyone is going to approve of things we do and it can be really exciting and invigorating to be the one swimming against the current. It’s important to ask for advice and listen wholeheartedly, but at the end of the day you’ve gotta do you. Don’t let someone else’s fear get in the way of your dreams. A lot of us stand still in a world that’s constantly spinning. Don’t let that stagnant person be you.

(Read more on this topic here)

Learn to say No.

I know, you’ve got things to do. Your mother-in-law wants to have lunch; you need to help your brother’s girlfriend move into her new apartment; your neighbor just had a baby so you’ve got to cook her enough meals to last for two weeks. Yes, doing all of these can make you a good person when it comes to helping others. But what’s the point of being a good person if you can’t be good to yourself? We all have a lot on our plate, which makes it so easy to think we don’t have time for the gym, or to make a healthy lunch to bring into work the next day. Each of us needs to find what is important to us and to make time for it. The more you say “No” to things that don’t matter so much, the easier it is to say “Yes” to the things that do.

Trust yourself.

You will never get anywhere if you don’t believe you can. Lack of trust in one’s self is one of the biggest limitations when it comes to being successful. If you go out on the edge and give something all you’ve got, you’ll make it a lot further than if you don’t try at all. The beauty in self-trust is that we may not accomplish everything, but we can always learn and improve along the way, getting stronger as we go.

You “can’t”? Or you “won’t”?

Get the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary. If we think we can’t do something, it usually means we won’t. Let’s try it like this: “I can’t go to the gym today; I don’t have time” would translate into “I won’t go to the gym today”. Then we admit that we have made an active choice not to go. In fact, I could probably wake up 45 minutes earlier than usual and make time for the gym, but it is my decision not to, and therefore, I won’t go to the gym. Try this one on for size:
“I can’t eat healthy foods today because I’ll be at a party with lots of junk food.”  In a world without the word “can’t,” this would become: “I won’t eat healthy foods today because I’ll be at a party with lots of junk food”. You could eat something before you go to eliminate the amount of crap you have at the party, but it is your decision not to. Usually we “can,” but we “won’t.” There is a difference; own it

Life is messy. Let it be.

Anyone who has all of their shit figured out doesn’t have enough shit going on. I used to think that my house had to be spotless before I could sit down on the couch to watch a tv show. Then I got two dogs and a job and realized life went on even if there were some fingerprints on the coffee table. Things can and will get a little messy and crazy at times. Learn to deal with this part of life when you can and embrace the messiness when you can’t.

Twenty minutes is all you need.

I’m a personal trainer who doesn’t like spending a lot of time for my own workouts in the gym. So I plan workouts that last for about 20 minutes. This makes my workout very realistic and easy to fit into my schedule. Every single one of us can find 20 minutes for exercise in our day. If the workout is intense enough, 20 minutes is all you really need.

You’re not perfect and that’s ok.

We all have our own version of what being perfect is. But no matter which definition you apply, I can tell you that no one is constantly perfect. You may admire someone who seems to have it all together in every aspect of life, but that person has probably dealt with imperfections and foibles of his or her own. Social media is one reason many of us feel “less than” in this day and age. Sure, it is a great way to let others into our lives, but think about it — we mostly only show the perfect stuff: The selfie when I just got my hair blown out, my living room after I’ve finished cleaning it. How about that photo with the perfect family in which everyone is wearing the cutest outfits and biggest smiles? Well, perhaps their youngest had a temper tantrum three minutes before the photo was snapped. We aim to get to this perfect point in our lives and in doing so forget that where we currently are is real and fabulous. Leave perfect behind; you’re good enough right now.

Being comfortably uncomfortable is where the magic happens.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is unbelievably invigorating. This took me a while to get used to. We like to feel safe, to follow a routine, to be surrounded by familiar faces. Doing something unknown is scary. Not too long ago I signed up for a seminar where I was going to travel alone and spend a weekend with a bunch of people I did not know. I was terrified; I even cried a bit and thought about cancelling. But I put on my big girl panties, flew into the unknown, and had the best time. I believe that self growth, independence, and success all happen tenfold outside of our comfort zones. We are certainly our own worst enemies when it comes to setting ourselves free.

Be kindmost of the time.

Of course we should treat others as we’d like to be treated; it’s a lovely concept. However, I don’t think it’s realistic 100% of the time. There will be things other people say and do that piss us off. How we respond and deal with these unpleasant moments is what makes us who we are. I think very highly of those who say “Always be kind.” But for me, I know life contains arguments and comments tossed around that aren’t nice. So I will focus on three things: being mindful of kindness; thinking before I speak; and apologizing for the moments when I’m human and say something hurtful. It’s a start in the right direction.

Forget goals. Find your tune and sing it!

Some people love setting goals; others think they’re bullshit. In order to do your best you’ve got to find what works for you. Maybe instead of saying you’re going to cut out processed foods for 2016, you decide that you’re going to eat foods that nourish you the majority of the time. A new year means we get to start off on a fresh, clean slate. I want you to find one thing that’s going to make you better over the next 365 days. This is your tune. Compose your personal aria on that blank slate, belt it out from the mountain tops. The possibilities are endless. Your possibility is endless. Never forget that.

Happy New Year.

 

 

Be A Badass Bride: Get Fit for “I do” and Beyond

I don’t think of myself as your typical bride-to-be. We’ve been engaged for two weeks and endless amounts of people have been asking me where the wedding will be, what theme I’m going with, what color the bridesmaids dresses will be? UM..I have no idea. 

But I could tell you exactly what type of hardwood floor and kitchen countertop I’d like in my future home, how I’m going to decorate my office and that there will be a kick-ass gym in the garage. 

So the other day I was looking at a bridal checklist organized by months up until the wedding (that we still don’t have a confirmed date for) and one caught my eye:

“Find the perfect dress.”

Oh hell. Can’t I just wear some Converse and Lululemon leggings? I kid, of course. I’m sure dress shopping will be fun, it’s just not something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little girl. Then this thought popped into my head:

“I have to get into shape before I start trying on dresses.”

MEME 1

WHAT? Did I really just think that? First of all, what does “getting into shape” even mean? If I really had to define goals for myself at the very moment, it’d probably be putting on some muscle; I’ve had low energy since my celiac diagnosis and my workouts have been lacking.

So basically I need to start lifting some heavy shit. But for a dress fitting….NO. To me, this frame of mind is just not ok. Perhaps the thought popped into my head because it’s so common to hear women say they need to lose weight, get toned or whatever it may be for their wedding day.

First off, how about we love ourselves as we currently are and if we do want to make a change, we do so for ourselves. So that beyond the hectic wedding planning days and the short five hours of the reception, we continue to go to the gym and eat well.

Living a continuous healthy lifestyle vs. getting fit for a special event.

It’s drilled into our heads. We set goals so that we look a certain way for something, rather than for ourselves. I know so many brides who come back from their honeymoon feeling like crap and having gained a minimum of a few pounds. Why?  Because we practically starve ourselves during the months leading up to the wedding and once that last photo is taken we’re eating and drinking everything in sight so we no longer feel deprived.

So how can we overcome this frame of mind?

1. Know that you are good enough, right now. Your fiancé did get down on one knee and ask you to spend the rest of your life him, and I doubt he said “Will you marry me, once you’re in better shape.” You are enough, just the way you are.

IMG_4665

2. If you want to change your body, do it for you. Not for the dress, photos or because you want to look better than your fiancé’s ex who is also getting married soon. Do this for you and let the new healthy habits become a part of who you are so they stick around long after your wedding day.

3. Put down the Skinny Latte and magazine, get off the elliptical and lift some heavy shit. Not sure where to begin when it comes to an exercise program? Start with these five workouts in my free workout booklet

4. Please, please don’t starve yourself. Instead of removing foods from your diet, add healthy ones in. Have two servings of veggies with lunch and dinner and make sure each meal has a protein in it. This way you can still eat some of the delicious foods you love while adding in extra nutrients, all without feeling deprived.

We all want to look good as we’re up at the altar saying our vows, I get it.  But the idea of getting in shape just for the “I do” doesn’t sit well with me. Yes, doing intense workouts and staying on top of my nutrition is something I’ve been thinking about a bit more than usual since I said yes, and that isn’t a bad thing. But forget doing it for the big day. 

I lift heavy and eat well because I want to be a bit more badass. There, doesn’t that sound better?

5 Ways to Dine Out and Not Feel Fat

I get it. Dining out while adhering to a nutrition plan is tough. The yummy warm bread on the table, delicious wine, tempting menu options..we’ve all been there.

IMG_4336Here are a few common struggles clients have come to me with:

 

“Cait, how am I going to be good when I go out to eat tonight?”

or..

“Cait, I have a trip planned and I just know I’m going to eat crap all weekend.”

or this..

“Cait, I have plans with friends who I love but every time we get together there is way too much alcohol involved, I know this isn’t going to end well.”

 
So let me tell you how I would have responded to these when I first began working as a Personal Trainer….
 
“Are you kidding me? I’m pretty sure no one is going to be force feeding you food or alcohol. Get a grip, find some willpower and eat only protein with veggies with a 1 drink limit.”
 
Now although this advice may still be true, it’s a little mean, not realistic and boring–I wouldn’t want to go to brunch or out to dinner with these guidelines. So here’s my take on this now that I’ve got much more experience and oh so much wisdom 😉 under my belt.
 
1. PLAN AHEAD: If you are going on vacation, pack some protein bars, nuts or other snacks with you. (Here are some of my favorites). This is an easy fix to what could be a sticky situation. Traveling can often mean the best food options are not available at all times, so take some of the edge off with your favorite bar instead of paying the food court at the airport a visit.
 
I do this one often: Don’t go to a restaurant ridiculously hungry. Have a little something beforehand! This can be anything from a protein shake or bar to a few slices of turkey breast or some fruit and veggies. You’re less likely to eat the entire bread basket and you’ll order from the menu with your eyes instead of your stomach. Speaking of the menu, look at it before you go. I enjoy doing this, it gets me excited about the cool new place we’re going to try. I usually choose 1-2 options from the appetizers and main course and then make my decision once there. This way I’m not persuaded by what others at the table are ordering, I’ve made up my mind.
 
2. STOP EATING WHEN YOU’RE ALMOST FULL: Wherever you are, don’t stuff yourself. It is ok to leave a bit of food left on your plate. Stop eating when you’re no longer hungry, I usually say at 80%. You know that feeling when you’ve eaten so much you feel like you need to unbutton your pants and lay down? Yeah, no one likes that. So don’t let it happen to you.
 
3. WHAT’S YOUR DRINK MAX? How many alcoholic beverages can you have before you’ll feel like crap (both mentally and physically) the following day? For some this may be 2, for others it could be a few more. Know how many drinks you’ll have before you get to where you’re headed. And don’t tell me you had planned on having 3 but somehow you ended up with 5, that’s just nonsense, you’re better than that. Take some control over what you’re putting into your body. A trick that works for some is this: if you’re going out with a significant other or friend tell them your drink max. So if you’re allowing yourself 2 glasses of wine and all of a sudden the waitress comes over to pour everyone a third, your friend will have your back and remind you “Hey, you’ve already had those 2 glasses.” Friends are the best.
 
4. WORKOUT BEFORE YOU GO: Put your body in a state where it’s going to use what you’re eating as fuel. How is this done? Exercise before you go. It should be an intense workout like intervals and doesn’t have to be long. 1 minute as fast as you can on your choice of equipment, 2 minutes at a lower intensity, repeat 7-10 times for a total of 21-30 minutes. The more intense your workout is the longer you will burn calories even after you’ve finished working out. This is called EPOC or excess post-oxygen consumption, it’s pretty cool and something we all should take advantage of.
 
5. YOU’RE GOING TO BE OK: So you went to an amazing dinner party and ended up not eating well and drinking too much. Now you feel awful not only physically but you’re pissed at yourself as well and totally guilty. Get over it. There’s nothing you can do about it now. Hopefully the food was delish and you enjoyed yourself, and it’s time to move on. Use this as a learning experience, get to the gym the following day and eat foods that will nourish and fuel you. Life will go on and your goals are all still attainable, I promise you that. 
 
Food is meant to be enjoyed, don’t drive yourself nuts over what you could and should be doing. Just do your best each day, you owe it to yourself.

The Disease That Saved My Life

As I finished my last bite of grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers with balsamic dressing on a roll, my phone rang with news that was going to change my life forever. I have Celiac Disease. The last few words of the conversation with my doctor were what I can no longer eat and that I should start implementing this as soon as possible. My response, while smiling, “Well, I guess that’s the last roll I’m ever going to have.” I threw away the brown paper bag from the deli and haven’t looked back.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten damages the small intestine. We’ve got these little fingerlike projections that line the small intestine and promote nutrient absorption. So when someone with celiac eats gluten (a protein found in rye, wheat and barley) our immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and damaging the villi, making it really hard for our bodies to absorb nutrients properly. Thus leading to abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, arthritis, osteoporosis, migraines, depression, infertility and so on.

So why was I smiling when told I should say goodbye to pizza, bread, stuffing, cookies, granola, pancakes, bagels, croutons, pies, sauces and everything else we’re supposed to eat on a Friday night, for our birthday or on Thanksgiving?

Because from that moment on, I knew I could start to feel better.

No more leaving a restaurant mid-meal because I was sick, waking up at 2am extremely bloated or canceling dinner plans with friends due to nausea. I’m still in the process of having tests done to see exactly how depleted my body is of certain nutrients (I’ve most likely had this for a minimum of 2 years which can lead to lots of vitamins and minerals not being absorbed). I know that soon I will start to have enough energy for a kick-ass workout, I can get rid of the anemia and not have these bruises on my legs and work for more than a few hours without that brain fog.

I am lucky. How I feel going forward is up to me, my health lies in my very own hands (or shall I say, fork).

Sure, going out to eat is a pain in the ass. I have to check menus when choosing a restaurant and know every ingredient a meal consists of. But that will get easier. I’ve been cooking more and made a dish that somewhat resembled chicken parmesan which I’m confident will be better than the real thing once I have more practice. I may or may not have tried a few products that proudly display “gluten free” on the box. (I haven’t had macaroni and cheese in years but you know when you’re told you can’t do or have something and you suddenly want it even more?) Well, that happened. Annie’s gluten-free mac and cheese isn’t so bad!

What I’m loving most is I get to totally geek out. “The Gluten-Free Bible” by Jax Peters Lowell, “Gluten is my Bitch” by April Peveteaux and “Simply Gluten-Free Magazine” just to name a few books scattered across my coffee table right now. Food shopping has become quite educational, reading every ingredient on labels and realizing how much crap we are all actually eating. As a fitness and nutrition coach I’ve always suggested clients purchase foods that are minimally processed. I now believe that more than ever.

I was diagnosed two weeks ago. I remember my symptoms becoming quite bad almost two years ago. Yep, you did the math right. It took me about two years to get my butt to the doctor. What the eff? Aren’t I a health and wellness advocate? “Listen to your body and give it the love and respect it deserves” are favorite words of mine. So why not follow my own advice?

I was busy, life got in the way, I’ll give myself another month and maybe it’ll go away, it’s probably nothing. Also known as, I’m an idiot. Not feeling well day after day and making up excuses. What example was I setting for my clients? And for those of you who aren’t taking care of yourselves as best you should, what example are you setting for your loved ones?

Celiac or not, we’ve all got goals. Whether you just want to feel better, have more energy, lose fat, get stronger, run a half marathon, you’ve got to show yourself some love. Be kind to your body. Exercise it, nourish it, love it. And if something doesn’t feel right or if you’re working your ass off in the gym and still not seeing results, get it checked out. Who knows, it could be something as small as a bread crumb keeping you from being and feeling your very best.

 

My Fridge, Exposed.

I recently heard a radio show talking about that awkward moment when you’re at the register of a grocery store with all of your food laid out on the belt, and you can feel the person behind you staring at your almost purchase. I thought, “Ha, that is SO true”! It does feel a bit invasive. What we choose to eat is a big part of who we are, so if you’re in line with me at Whole Foods you’re kinda getting a sneak peek of well, me.

Then I flipped this around and realized I am pretty judgmental of what other people choose to buy. I will often be in line thinking “Oh no, you’re going to eat THAT?” or “They should really use butter instead of margarine.”

Who the heck am I to judge? Sure, if it’s a client I’m food shopping with of course I can make suggestions about what should go in that cart. But poor Susie who is trying to leave the store quickly before her kids flip the shopping cart over just wants to buy the sugary cereal and cookies and get the heck out of there. She doesn’t need me staring at her food choices with my jaw dropped to the floor .

I will work on being less judgmental while food shopping. But in the meantime I thought I could make it up to all of you by showing what’s in my fridge at this very second.

IMG_3775 2As I look through this I realize it isn’t perfect. I bought organic half & half but the milk could be better, and the chicken we grilled yesterday should be in a glass container rather than plastic.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

If non-organic milk and a plastic tupperware or two are my biggest fridge problems, I think I’ll be ok.

Here’s what we’ve got:

Fruits & Veggies:

-Organic pre-washed arugula

-Organic pre-washed spinach

-Organic kale/ swiss chard

-Organic asparagus

-Organic lemons

-Organic strawberries

-Organic blueberries

Dairy:

-Whole milk

-Organic half & half

-Grass-fed butter (Kerrygold brand)

-Organic sliced white American cheese

Proteins:

-Chicken breasts (we like Bell & Evans organic)

-Eggs (Usually Nellie’s Cage Free or Pete & Gerry’s)

-Grass-fed ground beef

-Wild-caught salmon

-Sliced ham

Dips & Dressings:

-Guacamole (if not pre-made at Whole Foods then a container of it that I’ve made)

-Organic salsa

Drinks:

-Water (we like the Zero water filter)

-Lime seltzer

There’s usually almond milk in there too but crap, I forgot to put it on my list

Here’s what you can’t see due to my lack of photography skills:

-Roasted red peppers

-Balsamic dressing

-Frank’s hot sauce

-Organic ketchup

-Probiotics

-Fish oil (for the dogs!)

-BBQ sauce

-Tahini paste

What’s in the freezer, you ask? The entire freezer is currently stuffed with raw meat, spinach and carrots ground up for the dogs (No, I don’t do that myself, we have it shipped every few weeks). But when a new shipment comes in it leaves room for nothing else. Not even our ice cream. Bummer. When it isn’t so stuffed in there we usually have organic frozen broccoli and wild-caught frozen cod.

Everything that’s in here now is pretty standard. Maybe the meat or fish will change if there’s something on sale or if I’m trying a new recipe. I buy organic, grass-fed or wild-caught as much as possible. Always trying to keep the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” in mind.

This food will last us a few days, we usually need to restock on the proteins and some veggies mid-week. Over the summer most of this will be thrown on the grill for easy burgers, chicken breasts, fish and veggies accompanied by a big salad.

So there you have it, my fridge exposed. Stay tuned for what’s in the pantry and a few of my favorite easy recipes.

7 Healthy Snacks I Love to Travel With

Sticking to a healthy routine while traveling can be tough. Let’s be honest: the foods offered at airports and on planes aren’t all that wonderful, leading to some sort of fast food choice, feeling sluggish and regretting having eaten anything in the first place.

The solution: I’ve created a list of my favorite foods to bring along, not only for the travel day but some snacks for the trip too. And yes- you will have enough room to stuff these into your bag along with everything else (if I can do it, you certainly can too).

Travel snack tips (blog)

A Blender Bottle: I have a ton of these but my favorite to bring on a trip is the mini, just because it’s simple to fit. It’s so easy to bring along a package of protein or greens and fill with water, almond drink or your drink of choice. Having these has made trips much more pleasant knowing I can have a shake to hold me over for a while.

Aloha: I take these little packets with me everywhere. They have greens pouches in a few flavors which taste good and have a serving of fruits and veggies in each pouch. There’s also protein packets which I haven’t yet tried but will be sure to check out. Mixing with water is easy and yummy!

Vega One: I get the packets at Whole Foods or Whole Body. This is one of my favorites because they use plant-based protein which is easier for some of us to tolerate. My favorite is the Nutritional Shake chocolate flavor which has 20g protein, 5 servings of greens, probiotics and fiber.

Quest bars: While Quest Nutrition may have a longer list of ingredients on their protein bar than I’d like, I still enjoy these bars. They taste good, have very little sugar and around 20g of protein depending on the flavor. However, they are made with whey protein so if you have a dairy intolerance this may not be the choice for you. (But the next one is!)

NuGo Fiber d’Lish: This bar has more sugar (around 9g depending on the flavor) and isn’t all that high in protein (around 4g) but the ingredients are simple which is important to me. Worry less about the sugar in a bar or shake while on the road because it is usually a better option than the other foods available at the airport, convenience store or wherever you may be.

Kind bars: These are another fave, lots of nuts and seeds and always tasty no matter the flavor with simple ingredients.

Steve’s Paleogoods: I usually bring along a package of the Paleokrunch Cereal and just munch on it right out of the bag. My favorite is the pumpkin which has: Raw Almonds, Shredded Coconut, Raw Pumpkin Seeds, Raw Sunflower Seeds, Honey, Coconut Oil, Pumpkin, Baking Soda, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves. It is SO good and I sometimes need to stop myself from eating the entire bag at once 😉

So there you have it, my favorites for travel. I don’t bring ALL of these at once, who has room for that in a carry on?! Choosing a few packets of greens, protein and some bars or granola is a perfect way to stay on top of your nutrition while on the road. Simple and stress-free 🙂

 

This Is How You Get Results

One of the most popular questions I’m asked is “What is the number one way to get results?”

My answer: be consistent.

Consistency is the path that will lead to long term, sustainable success. Yet often times it’s ignored.

Consistency

It is CRAZY how many people get so excited for a fourteen day cleanse, exercising each day and eating clean as can be, only to gain everything back come day seventeen. Why does this happen? Because a temporary cleanse isn’t consistent once it’s over. It’s just over. And you go back to your prior behaviors consisting of eating poorly and skipping out on the gym.

And you know what, it’s not your fault.

We are living in a world of detoxes, one month challenges and quick fixes. So it’s only natural for you to think that you just have to be on point for a short time period and you will see results. Most of the time with these “short cuts” we do see positive changes, but they don’t stick with us because we’re no longer taking action, the cleanse is over so we are finished.

Now I’m just using a cleanse as an example, and let’s keep going with it. Let’s find a positive in these types of challenges.

People are usually pretty compliant and consistent during the allotted time period. Why? Most likely because you are being held accountable (maybe you are doing it with a group of friends or have a challenge going on at work), and because there’s a specific timeline. It’s fairly easy to be on your best behavior when you know you only have to be good for fourteen days or whatever length of time the cleanse is running for. You can see the finish line and probably have a date to the nearest Shake Shack planned the second it’s over, so you’re able to stay consistent for a few weeks.

Well, I have news for you. Cleansing is unrealistic. We can’t be on a constant detox in the real world. So we’ve got to find a way to get on that road to consistency that is sustainable.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Find something you enjoy doing that will help toward your wellness related goal. You have to want to do this activity, it can’t be something you dread doing.
  1. Create a schedule to do this action. It has to be specific and repeatable. Write it down. Hint: If you don’t have a planner or calendar (a real live paper one, not on a laptop or phone) click here to print one of these out and keep it where you’ll see it every day.
  1. Do it. For how long? Well since we are creating sustainable healthy habits there shouldn’t be a time frame. What I mean is that if your action is to eat a vegetable with breakfast each morning, I don’t want you to only do this for the remainder of May and be done with it. Eating veggies have a long list of benefits so why would we only do this consistently for a few weeks? You can, however, change the action up a bit as time goes on. The goal here is to become so consistent with this action that it becomes a habit and a part of your day to day so you no longer have to think about it. Sort of like brushing your teeth in the morning.

I’m going to give you a few examples of actions and how to plan them out, but first you need to know this: Start SMALL. You are choosing one single action to incorporate into your day. This is where we all set ourselves up for failure. We think we have to do everything all at once: eat zero carbs, have ten servings of veggies each day, exercise for an hour six days a week, get eight hours of sleep, meditate for twenty minutes each afternoon, attend one yoga class per week—sheesh, that’s exhausting. No wonder we can’t stay consistent. So choose one action you’d like to do on a regular basis, one that you can make time for in your schedule and that you’re happy to do.

Examples:

Goal: Fat loss

Action: 30 minutes of strength training every Monday, Wednesday and Friday before work (Do you see what I did here? We are getting SPECIFIC. The action isn’t just to exercise three days a week).

Calendar: Write down what time you’re going to workout in the mornings, so a simple “7am- workout” listed on each M W F for the month of May will do just fine. When June comes around re-evaluate. If you’re doing well and enjoying the workouts then keep it up. If you feel you can add an extra day in then go ahead. If you feel you can continue to do three days each week and want to add in another action like have protein with each meal, then write that down as well. But don’t overwhelm yourself. Keep it simple and realistic.

 

Goal: Have more energy during the day

Action: Be in bed reading by 9pm each evening, lights out at 9:30pm

Calendar: 9pm- read / 9:30pm- sleep (each evening)

 

Goal: Increase veggie intake

Action: Have a green smoothie for breakfast every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Calendar: Breakfast- Green smoothie (Tues, Thurs & Sat) IMG_3265

You see, your actions don’t have to be grand enough to save the world, they just have to work for you Now before you start planning on what you’re going to be consistent with, one more thing: You are not perfect. 

I’m sorry if this is the first time you’re hearing this, but it’s true. None of us are. So it is ok if you miss a workout Monday morning because you overslept, or whatever your action may be. Stress, shame and guilt will not get that workout back. Allow yourself to be human and move on.

 

The Workouts You Should Be Doing

If there’s one thing this world is not lacking, it is workouts. They come in all shapes and sizes, with endless possibilities. Don’t belong to a gym? Pregnant? Have back pain? Want to lose fat? Need to put on muscle? Jeans not fitting like they used to? Could you use more energy? Think you want to run a marathon? No worries, you can go online and find a workout for anything and everything. 

But which is the best choice for you? What type of workout should you be doing?

The kind you enjoy.

Oh yes, it’s that simple. Here’s the thing- if you like your workout routine, you’re going to do it. If you don’t, you won’t. Isn’t it best to do something we enjoy, so we stick to it? This way we set ourselves up for success rather than failure.

Let’s say you want to lose a few pounds of fat before the summer begins, but the only exercise you can get in right now is going to a yoga class two times a week. Do it. Will you see massive amounts of fat loss doing this? No. But there are a few other outcomes here: yoga may be a stress reliever for you which will lower your cortisol levels, decrease inflammation and make it easier for your body to let go of fat. And now that you have signed up for this class, you become inspired by the instructor or those around you, making you want to implement healthy habits outside of the yoga room as well. So you start to eat a little bit better and notice that your body begins to change even though you aren’t burning a ton of calories during your new routine.

Now it’s a few weeks in and you’re fitting into those cute workout outfits better and getting the hang of this downward dog thing. You want to be able to hold the pose longer but your arms get tired, so you decide you need to increase strength a bit. Ah- why not try some simple weight lifting exercises, this way you can impress not only yourself but that cute person who keeps setting up their mat next to you in class.

So you join a gym or purchase some weights for your home. You begin with the basics. Squats, push-ups, bent-over rows, planks, chest press, lunges, pull-downs. You get pretty good at these and feel stronger in the gym and in the yoga studio. Your confidence is at a high and you’re getting closer to that fat loss goal without giving all of your attention to it. You incorporate 2 days of weight lifting into your routine, only 30 minutes at a time because you’re pretty busy, but it’s working. And more importantly, you enjoy it.

This can be said for all sorts of exercise. What tends to happen is that once we find a routine we enjoy we make it a part of who we are. It becomes a staple in our week and gives us confidence. Now we take little bits of ourselves and devote more attention, like choosing a healthier breakfast option that gives us more energy for the afternoon workout. Once we feel ourselves becoming better, we strive for more and implement small changes to increase our results.

The thought of going to a killer kickboxing class that bothers your back, “but that’s ok because it’s burning lots of calories and now I can go home and eat that pizza and then feel totally guilty, sleep, repeat the next day” – is a thing of the past.

Find an activity you enjoy doing. Something that makes you happy, that drives you to get better. If it isn’t totally in line with your goals that’s ok. Because moving and doing something is better than doing nothing, or doing something you happiness firstdislike and will only last for a few weeks. It’s often thought that if we are successful we will then become happy.

I believe happiness should come first, which will then yield success.

Let this be your mantra and the world will offer you a whole new realm of possibility.

Your Green Shake Ain’t Got Nothing On My Ice Cream

Want to know a secret?

I eat ice cream. Probably 2-3 nights/week.

Whoa, WHAT?! A fitness coach eating something other than apples with peanut butter for dessert? YUP. I know what you’re thinking. It must be fat-free or maybe I measure it out only allowing myself to have 2 tablespoons. No way, I like the real stuff, and if by measuring out you mean picking out the chunks of cookie dough or peanut butter before having the rest, then sure.

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Honestly I don’t have the patience for that “measure your food” shiz. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to do so, especially if you have a goal such as a competition or a photo shoot coming up. It’s just not for me.

Currently there are a ton of restrictive diets we are trying to follow. Don’t eat any carbs, no sugar, limit fat, eat only protein and veggies etc. You may lose a few pounds while doing one of these, but how sustainable is this? If you have only protein and veggies for 2 weeks you’re probably going to feel low on energy and end up binging on a pizza or whatever it may be. Because let’s face it, we are human. We like to indulge in food from time to time, go out with friends and have a burger and a beer or a glass of wine. Diets are a short term solution that do not yield lasting results. And once that time is up you go back to the way you ate previously and gain it all back. Yikes, that sucks.

So why not practice eating in a way that becomes a lifestyle change for you? Something sustainable and stress- free.

Here are 3 tips to help you do so:

  1. Eat food you like. If you’re waking up and slamming down a green smoothie while holding your nose so you don’t taste it just because you heard it’s a great way to start the day and will help you lose fat, STOP. Have something for breakfast that you can actually stomach. Try eggs with a side of veggies and bacon, and double up on the veggies while having just enough bacon to satisfy your needs. The point is to eat something that is healthy but that you don’t mind having. This way you can continue to eat this each day rather than looking forward to the 14 day diet being over.
  1. Before you eat something think about how it will make you feel afterward. Confession: I LOVE Italian food. I used to happily polish off a plate of eggplant parmesan with angel hair pasta, but afterward I’d feel like crap. My stomach would bother me and I’d be bloated for the next few days. So I stopped eating pasta. WHAT KIND OF ITALIAN DOESN’T EAT PASTA?! Me. Oh well. I still have the eggplant parm but I get veggies with it instead. I leave the restaurant feeling guilt-free and I don’t need to unbutton my jeans before sitting down in the car.
  1. When you’re full, stop eating. This is how I eat ice cream in the evenings. A few nights a week my boyfriend and I eat dinner and watch tv for an hour. Half way through the show, we pause it and clear our plates and take out our containers of ice cream to thaw a bit. We then finish the show and eat our deliciousness. NOT the whole container, just enough to feel satisfied and back in the freezer it goes. For those of you who need something more measurable, it probably ends up being ¼ of a cup if I had to guess.

To sum up: eat foods you like, that won’t make you feel like crap afterward, and stop eating when you feel full. This seems like a manageable way to still eat what you enjoy while not feeling guilty about it, right? Making these adjustments to your daily nutrition will help promote a lifestyle change you can stick with.

 

 

 

Get Lost

Yep I said it, get lost. Well, intentionally. Get lost intentionally. As I’m running on the treadmill listening to Timothy Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Workweek,” he utters these words to me, and I find myself repeating them throughout the day. To get
lost, veer off track, not go according to plan- these are often frowned upon, But why? Is there really anything wrong with getting lost if it is intentional?

I’ve always been a big planner. I’ve known where I want to end up and mapped out steps to get there, never missing a beat. So when I ended a long term relationship and left my job (that I worked very hard for and was going quite well) you could imagine how I caught my family and friends by surprise. I may as well have died my hair green, joined a punk rock band and set off to tour around the world on a bus. “Has Cait gone crazy?” was a common thought amongst many. But no, I hadn’t. I just wanted more than what I had originally intended for myself. I didn’t know what exactly. But I knew where I currently was wasn’t going to get me there so if I were to start somewhere, I had to change that. And so I did.

I made some big decisions that I knew would get me lost, but I did this purposely. I needed to go to the opposite side of where I was headed to help me figure out a Get lostnew route. It was scary, there were tears and a ton of uncertainties along the way. Heck, there still are. But intentionally throwing what I’d known and worked for to the wind ended up placing me back down in a more grounded space. One that I am grateful for, that is constantly challenging me to become better in all aspects.

In a world that is so focused on planning each day and checking off boxes as you go along, getting lost intentionally is a way to purposely find yourself in a better place than if you had stayed on track. You don’t have to make changes as drastic as mine, start small. Do something that makes you comfortably uncomfortable first before turning your life upside down. Just know why you are doing it. To better yourself, to follow a dream or your heart. Give yourself a reason for uplifting yourself from your current day to day routine, and go get it. I wish you all the best, and I hope you end up where you truly belong.

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