Cardio Cardio Cardio!

Hello Monday! Happy Memorial Day to everyone! Hope you got a chance to catch some of the warm rays out there; it’s so been beautiful all weekend!


Recently a handful of my clients have been asking me about cardio, what exactly should I be doing? I try and load up my clients with as much information as I possibly can in 25 minutes but it’s just never enough time!

To sum it up there’s a ton of ways to do cardio but I like to categorize cardio two ways. The first (and my fav)is HIIT training which stands for high intensity cardio and second LISS which stands for low intensity steady state.  HIIT training is 15-20 minutes of high intensity intervals which may not burn a lot of calories initially but triggers your metabolism to run a little faster all day creating a larger calorie deficient overall. LISS is moderate cardio for a greater amount of time, for most around an hour staying under 65% of your max heart rate. Since you are working out longer initially you will be burning more calories however it doesn’t trigger your metabolism in the same way so you don’t have as great as a after burn throughout you day.

Even though I personally prefer HIIT and I think it is more effective I think using both HIIT and LISS is the best approach for fat burn. Remember our bodies are built to adapt so we have to continually change our routines to reach our goals.

I recommend doing HIIT on days that your not doing heavy lifting and placing a little bit of LISS after you’re lifting.

Here is a HIIT Cardio workout to throw into your routine to break the repetition.  This can be done on the treadmill or outside.

10 minute brisk walk

5 sets of 10-30 second intervals (all out, everything

you’ve with 1-4  minutes rest In between intervals)

10 minute brisk walk to cool down

Hope this is helpful Remember if you have any questions please shoot me an email I would love to help you out! 



Whole Life Challenge

Pain Managment

I’m reposting The Whole life challenge because a lot of my clients have been asking me about Paleo….Athough the whole life challenge isn’t entirely Paleo it’s a good transition into a paleo lifestyle. The main difference is legumes are allowed for whole life while they are not part of your paleo diet. These are your guidelines and some helpful links! Keep in mind its ok if you’re not perfect 100% of the time.

I am a big fan of paleo because it is something that personally works for me and makes me feel good.  I would say I’m Paleo about 80% of the time, which leaves me a little wiggle room to enjoy some goodies with friends 🙂

I suggest making a committment to give it your all for 30 days and see how your body reacts, remember this is not a calories restrictive diet its an approach to food that teaches you how to eat clean whole foods.

Whole Life Challenge


Why you need the whole life challenge more than you think!

The Whole Life Challenge is not a Paleo Challenge. Vegetarians can partake in this event, and legumes are allowed. Guar gum, honey, grains, corn, dairy, soy and sugar (except in the form of natural Stevia) are not. (Guar gum is found in a lot of canned coconut milks. Find a brand without it! Coconut water is also approved, just find a version without sugar.) The same goes with any canned substances: even plain old canned tomatoes; look for a brand without any added sugar. They are out there.

Check out the list RULES. Print it out, tape it to your forehead.


Helpful Documents

If you eat just from this list, you’re golden! A Cheat Sheet of Approved Foods (Google Doc)

Get prepared! Checklist (Google Doc)

Nutrition (All links contain drool-worthy photos)

Breakfast Ideas

Paleo Crock Pot Recipes

Stupid, Easy, Paleo Recipes

Paleo Project Recipes (divided into categories)
Nutrition from Paradiso CrossFit
Our Recipe Ideas from CrossFit Midtown

My Favorite WLC Approved Recipes

Whipped Coconut Milk and Berries for dessert

Paleo Pancakes from Marks Daily Apple

Coconut Flour Zucchini Cakes


remember  keep active everyday! 3-6 days of strength training and cardiovascular exercise (that means anything that gets your heart rate up!) On your rest days yoga, stretching, a moderate bike ride or walk are all great options to keep moving and keep those feel good hormones pumping!

This challenge is adapted from, as awesome blog site if you havent checked it out yet!

Questions? As always, I’m only an email or comment away.

Branch OUT! BCAA??? What’s that….


 Basically there are 9 essential amino acids that are bodies cannot produce on their own, which means we NEED to consume them through diet. Of these 9 there are 3 branch chain amino acids, these BCAAs play a BIG PART in muscle growth and repair!

And now studies are showing BCAAs provide energy to muscles, help the body burn fat and build muscle at the same time. On top of that they speed up the recovery process and reduce muscle soreness.

 IF BCAAs are taken while on a strength training program it can increase your testosterone levels and reduce your cortisol. If you’re not to familiar with hormones that’s a GOOD thing! Testosterone is necessary for building lean muscles for men and WOMEN and high levels of cortisol can cause fat storage.

 BCAAs also have benefits of stealing energy from fat cells and giving in to undernourished muscle tissue.  It is extremely important especially if you’re trying to lean and you’re on a restricted diet. The last thing you want is to be lose muscle because you’re not consuming the proper amount of amino acids.

 And of course less soreness and more energy mean a faster recovery. The quicker you recover the faster you can train again which can lead to bigger gains no matter what your goals are.


Where do you get your BCAAs?

BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine and are primary found in meat, dairy and protein powders. You can also find BCAA suplements in powders, liquids, and pill form.

I have a hard time swallowing pills and personally find it easiest to take a quick shot of a liquid supplement. There are tons of powders out there I have tried a couple but havent found one I LOVE yet. Experiment and see what works best for you!


I want Abs!

If there’s one thing I hear more than anything, lets work on abs! I want a toned stomach!!!

Truth is a circuit training routine or high intensity cardio routine is going to do more for toning your stomach then 25 minutes of abdominal exercises.

A six pack requires two things.

 Low body fat percentage

Toned abdominal muscles. 

How this is done…

Sensible diet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (So Important for anyone without a gifted metabolism)

 Intense, muti joint strength trainin

Intense cardio

Intense abdominal crunches

 The most effective and quickest way to lower your body fat is through intense strength training.It increases your resting metabolic rate which increases your fat burning rate.

 Focus on mutli joint routines that target major muscle groups such as back squats, back work and chest work.

High intensity intervals training can be done on equipment or outside and should be done 2-3 times per week. You want to push yourself to the max for about 30-60 seconds followed by a moderate recovery from 2-4 minutes. Repeat this for 20-30 minutes.

You only need to spend 5-10 minutes about 3 times per week on core exercises. Intense abdominal workouts will make the abs tight and firm. In my opinion the best abdominal exercises are one in which you aren’t using other body parts to achieve the exercise motion.

Nothing better than abdominal burn with some old fashion sit ups!!!

Primal Protein Bars

Just made these for the first time and they turned out pretty darn good!
Enjoy 🙂
Primal Protein Bars

Adapted from Petitie athleat and Mark’s Daily Apple


1 Cup Mixed Nuts + Seeds (I used raw cashews, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup nut butter (I used Trader Joe’s unsalted Almond Butter 1/4 cup coconut oil (I used Tropical Traditions Gold Label)

4 tbsp flax meal or 1/4 cup almond meal

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup protein powder (or about 3 large scoops) (I used plant fusion chocolate)

1 large egg + 1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup dried berries (I used dried apricots, as they have lower sugar, pulsed in the food processor and orange flavored dried cranberries)

2 tbsp unsweetened coconut to sprinkle on top

How To:

On a cookie sheet, toast your nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes for a few minutes. Shake the tray every few minutes to keep them toasting evening.

Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until just chopped. You want it like chunky bread crumbs. The more chunkiness, the more hearty your bars.

In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.

Add vanilla extract and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.

Fold in nut mixture, almond meal and protein powder until mixed thoroughly.

Add whole egg and egg white and mix thoroughly.

Fold in berries.

Press mixture into an 8×8 or 9×9 loaf pan (a modification that we made to keep everything crisper and help the bars to hold together).

Cook in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, sprinkle a ¼ cup of shredded coconut on top and place under broiler until top begins to brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces/bars.

Enjoy or stack on wax paper/parchment and store in an airtight container.

195 calories-10g carbs-4 g sugar-13g protein

Do the Jumpy Jump!



What is a plyometric you ask? We’ll let me tell you….

A plyometric movement is one in which the feet leave the ground at the same times , such as a jump squat, and then land together as well.

A jumping squat is superior to a regular squat for building power, coordination, and stability. Don’t get me wrong a weighted squat has many advantages and it great for strength building. I love me some back squats!!!

However the reason plyometric should ABSOLUTELY be a part of your workout routine is due to the positive impact on bone growth, functionality, and improved body composition!

Plyometrics  = Improved body composition =  ripped!

When exercise is done at higher intensities like 85 percent of your heart rate max or to muscle fatigue hormones such as (HGH) human growth hormone and testosterone are released into the bloodstream. These hormones along with adrenaline and cortisol have been proven to create a fat burning effect on the body.

Don’t be afraid ladies, natural producing testosterone is absolutely necessary for lean muscle mass that will rev up your metabolism and sculpt your body!


Clean Eats

What is clean eating exactly!?!


Quite simply, clean eating is about going back to nature for our foods – swapping processed and refined foods for ones that occur naturally and have little, if anything, added to them.

The concept is simple – avoid eating anything that is:



contains artificial ingredientsgrown using chemical fertilisers or pesticides

red with the help of hormones and antibiotics

The result – a diet packed with fresh foods in their natural state.

 The benefits are…

Eating a ‘clean’ diet means you fill up on nutrient-rich foods whilst avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar and additives. As a result, your whole body – from top to toe – should benefit.

Eating a diet that’s packed with vitamins and minerals, full of high-fibre carbs and low in saturated fat and salt will help

improve skin, hair and nails

prevent conditions such as anaemia and osteoporosis

eeling tired, sluggish and irritable

lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers

Fresh, natural foods tend to be nutrient-rich foods. In other words, they are packed with protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – great for optimal health and helping protect us from disease. In contrast, many refined or processed foods are low in nutrients but packed with added sugars, saturated and trans fats and salt, which are all linked to disease.

What you want to shoot for

 Eat six small meals a day. Eat every 2-3 ½ hours.
Eat breakfast every day, within an hour of rising
Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each
Eat sufficient (2-3 servings) of healthy fats every day.
Drink 2-3 liters of water each day.
Carry a cooler packed with Clean foods (so you are never stuck going
thru a drive thru!)
Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and
enzymes. Limit your starchy complex carbohydrates to 2-4 servings
each day.
Proper portion sizes

Portion Guidelines:

.Protein = Palm of one hand
Starchy complex carbs = what can fit into one cupped hand
Complex carbs from fruits and vegetables = what can fit into two hands
cupped together
Healthy fats = one scant handful of nuts, 1 to 2 Tbsp. of oil

Top 10 Things to AVOID:
1. SUGAR, white flour and over-processed foods
2. Artificial sugars
3. Sugar-loaded beverages such as soda and juice
4. Super-sizing your meals or portions
5. Alcohol (try to limit alcohol)
6. Chemically charged foods
7. Foods containing preservatives
8. Artificial foods such as processed cheese slices
9. Saturated and trans fats
10. Anti-foods (calorie-dense foods with no nutritional value)
Top 5 Ways to Make Eating Clean EASIER:
1. Pack a cooler EACH day
2. Carry a water bottle with you
3. Make a shopping list and stick to it
4. Prepare planned leftovers
5. Keep your pantry stocked with staples


Meal Planning

By packing a cooler everyday (esp. when you can’t be at home) you
increase your steady weight loss and maintain your loss once your goal
is reached.

6 portions each day. A portion is:
1 cupped handful or piece of fruit, such as berries, grapefruit, melon,
apples and mangos
2 cupped handfuls of vegetables including broth-based/vegetable puree

2-4 portions each day. A portion is:
1 scant handful of high-protein, sugar-free cold cereals, such as Clean
musli or granola
1 handful of cooked cereal
1 piece of whole-grain bread or wrap (7 inch)
1 handful-sized serving of sweet potato, yam, banana, corn, carrots or

6 portions each day. A portion is:
1 cup/1 handful of dairy products (low-fat soy, almond, rice or skim
milk, cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt cheese or plain, fat-free, sugar-free
1 scant handful of raw, unsalted nuts (healthy fat!)
2 tablespoons of all-natural nut butters (also a healthy fat!)
1 palm-sized portion of lean meats
Good-quality, sugar and chemical-free protein powder (hemp, soy or

2-3 liters per day of water
Clear herbal tea (unsweetened)
Black coffee (in moderation)
Green/black tea
Sweeteners: Use these in moderation
Agave nectar
Maple sugar flakes

If your goal is to lose weight keeping track of your calories is also helpful just to make sure your staying on track untill your goal weight is reached. For women trying to lose weight you want to consume between 1400-1600  per day and men 1600-1800 calories per day depending on how active you are. I recommend to help track your progress and nutrients!

helpful clean grocery list!!!!

Whole Grains
Bran, brown rice, brown rice cakes, couscous, ezekial bread, ezekial
buns, granola, millet, multi-grain flour, oatmeal, popcorn kernels, whole-grain bread, whole-grain English muffins, whole-grain
pasta, whole-grain wraps, lentils, oats,  sweet potatoes, quinoa, unflavored
rice cakes, sweet potatoes, tortillas (corn, rice, spelt), wheat bran

Alfalfa sprouts, apples, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, bamboo shoots,
bananas, beets, blueberries, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts,
cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chicory, chives,
coconut, collard greens, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, endive
escarole, fennel, grapefruit, green beans, jicama, kale, leafy greens,
leeks, lemons, lettuce, limes, mushrooms, onions, oranges, peaches,
peas, pineapple, pumpkin, radicchio, radishes, raspberries, bell peppers,
rhubarb, sauerkraut, scallions, snap peas, spinach, squash, strawberries,
tomatoes, water chestnuts, zucchini

Nonfat cottage cheese, nonfat milk, nonfat plain yogurt, part skim ricotta
cheese, string cheese, egg whites
Bison tenderloin, beans of all kinds, beef tenderloin, chicken breast
(boneless, skinless), eggs, lamb chops, quinoa, salmon, water-packed
canned tuna, chickpeas, cottage cheese, lean ground turkey, turkey
breast, natural nut butters, unsalted nuts, lobster, shrimp, tofu, all-natural
ham (nitrite free), lean pork, wild game, cod, flounder, halibut, tilapia,
high quality whey protein

Avocado, coconut, coconut oil, flax oil, flaxseeds, macadamia nuts,
natural peanut butter, olive oil, olives, pecans, pumpkin seeds, raw
almonds, almond butter, raw cashews, raw walnuts, sunflower seeds
Agave nectar, almond butter, unsalted almonds, apple cider, baking
powder, baking soda, balsamic vinegar, bee pollen, black pepper,
unsalted cashews, coconut butter, coffee, cumin, dijon mustard, dried
mint, dried oregano, flaxseed, green tea, chicken stock, vegetable stock,
olive oil, olives, protein powder, pumpkinseed oil, raisins, red pepper
flakes, saffron, sea salt, unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened dried
cranberries, walnuts



You are what you eat

I have spent the last few days watching documentaries about our food industry and the HORRIBLEness behind it!!!

food_matters (1)

If you haven’t watch Food Matters or Forks over Knives I highly recommend them, Netflix has them as well as many others.


With that said today is Day one as vegetarian! Wish me luck!

I have spent the last day researching vegan and vegetarian athletes and what their food intake looks like.


Here’s a list of the top-7 plant-based foods high in protein:

 1. Quinoa: 11g Protein / Cup

 A grain like seed, quinoa is a high protein alternative to rice or pasta, served alone or over vegetables and greens. It provides a good base for a veggie burger and is also a fantastic breakfast cereal when served cold with almond or coconut milk and berries.

2. Lentils: 17.9g Protein / Cup

 Delicious, nutritious and super easy to prepare. Trader Joe’s sells them pre-cooked and I’m not afraid to just eat them cold right out of the package for lunch or a snack on the run.

3. Tempeh: 24g Protein / 4 Ounces

 A fermented soybean-based food, tempeh is a healthy protein-packed alternative to it’s non-fermented cousin tofu. It makes for a great veggie burger and doubles as a tasty meat alternative to meatballs in pasta, or over brown rice and vegetables.

4. Seitan: 24g Protein / 4 Ounces

 An excellent substitute for beef, fish and soy products, one serving provides about 25% of your RDA of protein. But not for those with gluten sensitivities, as it is made from wheat gluten.

5. Beans (Black, Kidney, Mung, Pinto): 12-15g Protein / Cup

 I love beans. Great on a veggie burrito, in chili and soups, on salads or over rice with vegetables, beans of all varieties are a daily staple of my diet.

6. Spirulina: 6g Protein / 10 grams

 A blue-green algae, spirulina is a highly bioavailable complete protein containing all essential amino acids. At 60% protein (the highest of any natural food), it’s a plant-based protein powerhouse that finds it way into my Vitamix blends daily.

 7. Hemp Seeds: 16g Protein / 3 Tbsp

 With a perfect ration of omega-6 and omega-3 EFA’s, hemp seeds are another bioavailable complete protein rivaled only by spirulina.


 Today’s Workout 

 Snatch Practice (hip/above knee/ below knee) #45 (4,4)
Power snatch #45 (4,3)
Power cleans #45/55/65/65 (4,3)
Back squat #95/100/105/105 (4.3)

I mile run
2000 meter row
run 8:57
row 10:54.3
total time: 21:03

I have Kettlebell tonight….not sure what’s in store, but I’m sure it’s horrible wonderful!

Any vegetarians out there?



Hey nice snatch!

Have I mentioned lately how snatching has taken over my life! One of my fellow Lifters told me she has more of an emotional relationship with the barbell than anyone else in her life. LOL-Yeeeessssss I couldn’t agree more! Sometimes I want to throw that miserable bar across the gym and jump up and down like a little kid! Then again I guess that’s why I want to master the dam thing…the sweet success it will be!

Today’s workout started with an hour of lifting

Full Snatchs/Power Cleans/Back squats

I got a PR on my snatch AND back squat-snatch PR was 70lbs & back squat was 110lbsx2

After the gym I had a little free time so I made a pit stop at F&E (fresh and easy) to pick up a few items to follow a  banana brownie protein muffin recipe from a blog I LOVE to follow This recipe was perfect for the 2 containers of protein sitting in the pantry that the boyfriend and I don’t particularly care for but not want to waste.


Banana Brownie Protein Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

 3/4 cup (about 2 medium) frozen & thawed bananas

3/4 cup egg whites

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)

1/2 cup oats

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 scoops protein powder

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

dash vanilla

dash cinnamon

 Directions: Mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients together. Slowly fold both mixtures together until well incorporated. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with silicone baking cups. Spray baking cups with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the batter into each of the 12 muffin cups. Place in the center middle rack and bake for 18-20 minutes.

 If you would like these to be plain Banana Protein muffins (just like regular banana bread!) then use vanilla or unflavored protein powder and nix the cocoa powder.

 Macros: 75 calories, less than 1g of fat, 3g fiber, 9g protein, 6g carbs


 After some rest and refueling I was feeling pretty good and decided to hit the Crossfit gym for the WOD.

Snatch 5-5-5-5-5 55lbs



Deadlifts 155lbs

Handstand Push ups

I modified my Diane….it looked like this

Deadlifts 95lbs

Shoulder push ups

Final time 8:18

Can’t wait to see that RX by my name more often!

How long did it take you start a regular cycle of RX WODS?

Burpee Love

So I’ve seemed to have taken an unintentional hiatus from blogging. To be honest I think I was in a conflict on whether I was being professional enough, since some of my clients follow me. What I realized however is that I intended for this to be a blog of my thoughts, feelings, and progress. Why should I try and filter myself; I’m a little dorky, a fitness nerd, totally emotional and passionate when it comes to weight loss and a new found self! I love the biggest loser…yes I cry 99% of the time I watch it! I’m Not the best cook, but I try really really hard! I’m still recovering from an eating disorder and still battling to be the best I can be, even if I’m not perfect every day.  I have an awesome family and an amazing boyfriend so I would say I’m one lucky lady!!!


Let’s see over the past month my life has been filled primarily with crossfit and oly lifting.


 It’s been a solid 4 months of consistent crossfit and I’m finally starting to see my progress and feel myself getting stronger!


Olympic lifting is the single hardest and frustrating thing in my life….but I am getting better which makes me ecstatic! Practice, practice, practice!


I finally got DU’s pretty consistently now, I can string about 30 or 40 of them together. I can do 2 handstand kipping pushups back to back! I can confidently clean 65 lbs, my PR to date is 75 lbs. I can back squat 100 lbs for 4 sets of 4, I can do one body weight dip, and getting really close to that darn strict pull up. Overall I feel like my form and weights have gone up all around!

My biggest goal over the next month! Strict pull-ups!


any thoughts on strict pull-up and kipping?

My coach says no kipping till you can strict!

How long did it take you to get a strict pullup?

Did you try kipping before you could bust out a strict?