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  • How To KEEP Your New Year's Resolution....REALLY!!

    HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION… REALLY!

    Are you among the millions who plan to make a New Year’s Resolution? If you are, you like the majority of those millions will choose a resolution that will revolve around health, fitness and/or nutrition. Of all the millions making resolutions a very small percentage actually keep them. Whether it is to lose weight, stop smoking, volunteer more, eat healthier, live a healthier lifestyle, etc. – many people start off great then as the days turn into weeks, the momentum starts to fade. I don’t want this to be you.

    One of my favorite quotes sums it up perfectly, “New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.”

    What people tend to forget is every single day is a NEW day to start over, change your direction, modify your “resolution”, etc. That is the beauty of it all – you don’t have to wait until January 1st to make a change – you can do it at any time. The key is having tools in your “tool box” to grab when you find times getting tough, your motivation is lacking, “life” gets in the way, etc.

    The ultimate goal is for your New Year’s resolution not to be revolved around losing weight, beginning to exercise and/or eating healthier because you have already adapted the healthy lifestyle.

    (1). BE REALISTIC

    It is with with utmost importance that you choose a realistic and attainable resolution. It’s great to think “big” when it comes to setting your goal but you may become frustrated and discouraged in the process. It’s okay to have a big goal but break it into several small achievable goals. Key word in that is achievable!! For example: It is easy to say “I’m going to start working out every single day.” Your enthusiasm is high and you have good intentions BUT you have to think about what you have been doing up to this point. If you are going from a sedentary lifestyle and have not worked out in months/years – you are only setting yourself up to going back to square one – a sedentary lifestyle. Going from nothing to working out every single day is just too ambitious. The last thing you want to do is find yourself waving that little white flag to your goal(s). I always want to encourage people to find ways to send themselves positive reinforcement. Instead of saying you are going to workout every day, start with twice a week. This may be just 10-20 minutes – it may be longer. The point is getting into the “habit” of exercise. Stick with this for a couple weeks (or more if you still find it challenging) then bump it up to a third day or add more time to your twice a week habit. You are now sending positive reinforcement back to yourself saying “I CAN do more” instead of “dang, I’ve done too much!”

    Another crucial element to KEEPING your New Year’s resolution is to think back to past years. Are you making the same resolution each year and each year not sticking with it? If so – time to re-evaluate your resolution. Think about the realistic nature of it. Ask yourself – is it achievable? Am I being realistic based on what I have been doing/not doing up to this point?

    (2). DON’T CHANGE EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE

    Adapting a healthier lifestyle is all about changing habits. If you want to become more active AND eating healthier - pick one. Which one ignites your desire the most? Which one would have the most positive impact on your life when/if achieved? Changing your lifestyle all at once is a recipe for disaster. Again, good intentions but it’s just too much “change” at once. You must realign your priorities. Until you change your habit(s) and make the time for your new commitment(s) - initial attempts to succeed are limited. You must understand in order to see a change; you need to make a change. Once you have reached that goal – no matter how long it takes – THEN start working on your next goal.

    (3). P.E.P.S → Plan, Educate, Positivity and Support

    PLAN - You would not go on a road trip without a map/directions, right? Nor would you start a new meal from scratch without a recipe, correct? Your goal(s) needs to be treated the same way. What plan of action are you going to take to ensure you achieve it? Create an action-oriented plan that states what you are going to do and what you need to execute those goals. Be as specific as you can. What obstacles might you encounter along the way? What is your strategy to overcome them before/when they arise?

    EDUCATE - It is the utmost importance to know what you are doing before you start any kind of workout regiment or modifying your diet. Unfortunately - media has saturated people’s minds on what to eat…..what not to eat…..lose weight this way….do this workout…do that workout. Your healthy lifestyle is all about YOU. We live different lifestyles. We all have a different body. One way of eating may work for your friend but not necessarily for you. Your co-workers workout regimen may be for his/her goals but not yours. In order to successfully adapt a healthy lifestyle - you must do what is enjoyable to you. You must eat foods that you enjoy. Find exercises that you enjoy. There is something out there for everyone. You just have to look for it. If you do anything that is not enjoyable, inconvenient, dreadful….you will not continue to do it. Get your questions answered that specifically pertain to your goals. To ensure you have the correct answers to your questions - turn to fitness professional or the a QUALIFIED source(s) from the Internet.

    POSITIVITY - Everyone falls off the wagon at some point. You will have a bad day of eating and/or miss a workout and when that happens - you should not be discouraged. Remind yourself you are human and “mistakes” will happen. The trick is not having that bad “meal” turn into a bad week/month of eating poorly or missing a workout to being missing weeks/months of workouts. Get back on track as soon as possible. Recognize why the “mistake” happened and learn from it so you can avoid the mistake again. Treat yourself like you would a cherished friend or adored child. Don't be mean to yourself; slip-ups are inevitable. Rather than, "I knew I would fail," tell yourself, "Of course you'll succeed. You just had a bad day yesterday.”

    SUPPORT - There is NO shame in asking for help. Anyone who has had great success in any area of their life had a mentor, teacher or significant relationship with someone who supported and guided them along the way. Your support can come from work, home, friends and/or at a fitness club. Without the proper support - these changes will become more challenging as time goes on. Find a friend/co-worker that wants the same “changes” or has the same goals as you. If your budget allows – consider hiring a personal trainer that will customize a plan specifically to you and your personal fitness/health goals. Working with others who truly care about your success makes the process more engaging and fun. Letting your friends/family know about the goals you have set for yourself will not only keep you accountable but an outside set of eyes will help you see creative solutions to areas where you sometimes feel stuck.

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  • 5 YEARS OF THANKS

    Friday night I celebrated the 5 year anniversary of Lacey Lee FItness. I felt it was important to dedicate this blog to YOU. With each and every one of you, there would be no Lacey Lee Fitness. As most of you know, earlier this year I learned I had Lyme Disease. Before that, I had been dealing with two herniated discs that just would not heal...which lead to the diagnosis of Lyme. One of the hardest changes I had to make was not doing everything for my clients and for those in my classes. I had to adjust how I taught class, demonstrated exercises, etc. Without hesitation you started getting your own weights, moving Bosu’s, kettlebells, mats, volunteered to help demonstrate, etc. For me to not go above and beyond for my clients was not easy for me to do. Still isn’t. I’m still a bit hard-headed when it comes to this but I can always count on a reality check from someone to “yell” at me when I do attempt to pick up weights, move something, etc. Although I already knew I had an amazing group of people at Lacey Lee Fitness, after my health forced me to make changes, I was was quickly reminded how incredibly amazing and special they really are. Just another reason why I refer to everyone as a friend instead of a “client” or “member.”

    I have always been an open book about my life and my life’s experiences. Having Lyme Disease has been no different. To say this past year has been a challenge would be an understatement. As an athlete you learn very quickly to push through pain, injuries, etc., which I became an expert in doing. When I learned I had Lyme Disease, I assumed I would be able to do the same thing -- push through whatever this disease meant. The first thing the doctor who broke the news to me said was “You need to become an expert in this disease.” I did not know why she said this until I started to learn about Lyme. Not only did I have Lyme, but I had Chronic Lyme. This means I have had it for a VERY long time and it was going to be a very long and bumpy road to recovery. I was told on a Friday and that whole weekend, I did nothing but learn about Lyme Disease. I just assume when you develop a disease, just like any other ailment, you take medicine or do a treatment and you become better. I had NO idea the depth, craziness nor the controversy around Lyme Disease. As I learned more and more about Lyme, my jaw dropped closer and closer to the ground. I am not even sure if my jaw has left the ground.

    I’m telling you all about this because it’s YOU and your part at Lacey Lee Fitness, that has helped keep that smile on my face and my positive attitude. When I walk into my studio, you see the best of me. Well...the best of what I currently can be at this time in my life. If it wasn’t for the love of my job and for each of you - dealing with disease would be much harder than it is. I know I help people everyday in achieving their personal fitness/health goals, create a healthy lifestyle, etc. but what you may not know is YOU help me more than you realize. Knowing I have such wonderful people to see each and everyday keeps me pushing through this crazy and so very unpredictable disease. I thank YOU for helping create such a warm, inviting and fun environment at Lacey Lee Fitness over the past 5 years. Like I said before, it’s YOU that has made Lacey Lee Fitness what it is. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

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  • NO EXCUSE WORKOUT

    To ensure you stay active throughout the holiday chaos - I have provided at home/outside/in your hotel room workouts that require ZERO equipment. The key in staying active throughout the holidays is to keep the habit of doing “something” going. As I have mentioned before - the longer you go without working out - the harder it is to get back into the swing of things. These workouts “may” not be the same as a workout you would get in a boot camp class, with your personal trainer or whatever workout you do regularly BUT it keeps the habit of you working out. Remember that is the KEY mindset. Not only will you be happy you did “something”, eleviate some holiday stresses, keep you on track with your goals but more importantly it will prevent your workouts from stopping all together!!

    I have provided these workouts in as much detail as I can so you know exactly how to perform each exercise with proper form. You will notice modifications to make an exercise easier or harder. To make the workout longer - simply do a 3rd or 4th round of each group. If you want to change up the workout - you can group any 2 or more exercises together. If these exercises are new to you - do what you can and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! When in doubt of form and/or exercise, don’t do it. It’s not worth hurting yourself just do get an exercise and even the last repetition in. FORM IS EVERYTHING!

    WARM-UP

    It is absolutely critical to warm your body before getting into your workout. Take a few minutes to move your body to ensure you do not injury yourself.

    A couple important form “pointer outers” when it comes to form:

    SQUATS - ever notice how a baby squats down? This is the perfect squat. Your butt is low, knees do NOT go over your feet/toes and chest is out.

    LUNGES - Whether you are doing a forward or backward lunge, keep your shoulders over your hips/chest up. When lowering yourself into the lung position, go as low as your body will take you withOUT letting the back knee touch the ground.

    HAND PLANKS & HILL CLIMBERS - arms are straight as you keep your shoulders over your wrist the whole time. Do NOT let your butt dip below your shoulders - meaning - keep your back straight. The higher your butt is in the air - the easier it will be to hold the plank. As your core gets stronger, you will be able to lower your bum.

    ELBOW PLANKS - When propping yourself up on your elbows and toes - make sure your shoulders stay over your elbows. Just like hand planks/hill climbers - the higher your bum is in the air - the easier it will be.

    NO-EXCUSE HOLIDAY WORKOUT #1

    PERFORM THE BELOW 4 EXERCISES FOR 30 SECONDS - 1 MINUTE EACH (you will do a 2nd round later in the workout)

    #1. HIGH KNEES - Bring your knees up and high and as fast as you can

    #2. HILL CLIMBERS

    #3. SQUAT JUMPS

    #4. PLANK JACKS - Staying in a plank position (on hands and toes) jump your feet in and out as quickly as you can (kinda like jumping jacks).

    ========================================================================

    ----> PERFORM THE BELOW EXERCISES -- 15-20 repetitions each or 30 seconds - 1 minute <-------

    Do #5 then #6 and Repeat

    #5. BACK LUNGE w/ A TWIST.

    Standing shoulder width, take one leg back into a lunge and take both hands OVER the leg that is in the front to that hip...creating a twist. Alternate legs and continue twisting your arms over whichever leg remains in front.

    #6. ONE LEG PUSH

    Lay on the ground – keep one leg bent w/ your foot flat on the ground – your other leg is up in the air. With the leg that is on the ground push with your flat foot bringing your bum up as high as you can. Lower your bum but don’t let it rest on the ground. Do one leg 15-20 times then switch legs.

    ======================================================================

    Do #7 then #8 and repeat

    #7. DIPS

    Find a secure chair, bench, etc. As you sit on the chair/bench, place your hands on either side of your hips. Scoot just off the chair/bench with your legs out in front of you. **The straighter your legs are - the harder it will be. So start with your legs in a 90 degree angle and then adjust your legs out to keep yourself challenged. As you lower your body down to the ground, bending at your elbows - it is VERY important that your keep your elbows back. Do NOT let your elbows bow out to the left and right or go down past a 90 degree angle. Keep your chest up/forward. If you don’t have a chair/bench/etc. you can use the floor- you just won’t be able to lower yourself as low.

    #8. SQUAT w/ A LATERAL LEG RAISE

    With your legs shoulder width apart squat down and as you stand up lift one leg out laterally (keep your leg straight). Squat in between alternating legs.

    ----> REPEAT THE CARDIO YOU DID IN THE BEGINNING (30 SEC - 1 MINUTE EACH) <----

    CORE -Do #1, #2, #3 and #4 and repeat

    #1. WINDSHIELD WIPERS. Laying on your back, straighten both arms out to your left and right. Bring your feet off the group and bend your legs in a 90 degree angle. Keeping your legs in a 90 degree angle, lower them to the left without them touching the ground or letting your shoulder come up off the ground. Continuing lowering your legs left to right. The straighter your legs are when you lower them, the harder it will be.

    #2. LEG LOWERS w/ A REVERSE CRUNCH.

    Laying on your back, keep your legs straight and lower your legs as low to the ground as you can (the lower you take them, the harder it will be). As you pull your legs back up to the ceiling, roll your hips up all while keeping your head down. Your arm placement also makes makes the exercise easier or harder. Placing your arms alongside your body will make it easier. Bringing your arms behind your head makes it harder. Arms over your chest will be the hardest.

    #3. SIDE PLANK TWIST. Lay on your side. Prop yourself up on your bottom elbow and the side of the bottom of your feet. *Easier position: prop yourself on your bottom knee and elbow* Keeping your hips up the whole time, place the hand that is facing the ceiling on your ear. Twist towards the floor by taking that elbow towards the hand on the floor.

    #4. BICYCLES. On your back, place hands behind your head. Staying in a crunch position, keep one leg bent as the other leg extends out in front of you. Cross the opposite elbow towards the bent knee while the other elbow stays open. Continue to bring one knee in at a time in a slow, controlled manner as you continue to cross your elbow to the bent knee.

    NO-EXCUSE HOLIDAY WORKOUT #2

    ---> PERFORM THE BELOW EXERCISES 15-20 repetitions or 30 seconds - 1 minute <---

    DO #1 then #2 and Repeat

    #1. QUICK LATERALS

    5-10 steps in each direction or whatever space you have to work with. Facing one direction - move laterally keeping your toes facing the same direction and at the end of 10 steps – squat down and touch the ground.

    #2. PLANK w/ ARM EXTENSION

    While on your elbows and toes in a plank – extend one arm out in front of you (keeping in a plank) and repeat arms

    =====================================================================

    DO #3 then #4 and Repeat

    #3. IN & OUT SQUAT JUMPS

    Starting shoulder width apart, jump out wide into a squat then jump back into the shoulder width...landing in a squat. Go as quickly as you can moving into each squat position BUT making sure your form is on point!!

    #4. REVERSE CRUNCH

    Lay on your back with legs up and roll your hips all while keeping your head down

    ====================================================================

    DO #5 then #6 and repeat

    #5. SPLIT LUNGE JUMPS

    Instead of just taking a step back to alternate your back lunges, you simply jump to alternate

    #6. Plank with STRAIGHT LEG RAISE

    Holding a plank on your elbows and toes, keep your leg straight (don’t bend your knee), bring it up off the ground towards the ceiling. Continue same form with your other leg and alternating

    legs.

    =======================================================================

    DO #7 then #8 and repeat

    #7. BURPEES

    Yes, with push-up. Remember to keep your bum down when you jump in from plank position so your chest opens up before you jump up/stand up. DON’T let your chest face down as you stand up! Your back will thank you for not doing that!

    #8. RUSSIAN TWIST

    Sitting on the floor, balance on your bum with your feet off the ground. *Keep one foot down and the other up if you can’t keep them both up, then work towards keeping both up* As you are balancing, take your hands from hip to hip creating a twist in your core. To make this more challenging, put your hands behind your head and twist your torso withOUT pulling on your neck.

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  • MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - JEAN TRASK

    DECEMBER MEMBERS SPOTLIGHT - JEAN TRASK

    Meet Jean:

    Since her thirties, she routinely exercised at a gym. Hiking and biking were her hobbies, and her goals at a younger age were simply to stay fit and strong enough to do the activities she enjoyed. Now, at 72, she wants to gain strength, especially core strength, so she can improve her balance, keep a strong back, and continue to be active -- and easily put her luggage in the overhead bin when traveling!

    * What made you start training with Lacey? Why did you think personal training was something you needed to start doing?

    A couple of years ago, my physical therapist was treating me for chronic back issues and told me to find a professional trainer to help me strengthen my core muscles even more to avoid further back injury -- I had routinely pulled muscles doing my own workouts and in gym classes. By that time, I had lost interest in my gym and despite walking a few miles a couple of days a week, I was not happy about this more sedentary lifestyle. Lacey is my neighbor, and I knew she had her own fitness business. I reviewed her website, liked very much what I saw about her own personal experience with back problems (I figured she’d understand), and decided to give personal training with her a try. I assumed I’d learn a few exercises that would help me, and then I planned to return to my gym to exercise on my own. But now, two-and-a-half years later, I’m still happily working out with Lacey twice a week and feel so much better and newly energized.

    * What have you gained from working with Lacey? What benefits in your day to day life have you noticed? What can you do now that you were not able to do prior to training?

    Because of Lacey’s expertise, I have a new commitment to strength training and a healthier lifestyle, plus much stronger abs and back muscles. I have gained more strength than I ever would have on my own because Lacey pushes me harder than I would’ve pushed myself. In my everyday life, I’ve noticed that I can haul a heavy load of groceries up the stairs to our third floor condo – we have no elevator -- and am still breathing normally (sort of) when I get there! Plus my part-time job requires long hours of sitting at a desk, but now I have much better posture and less back discomfort. Hiking and walking are still my favorite outdoor exercises and both are much more fun and doable with my increased strength and endurance. Everything I could do prior to training with Lacey I can do so much better now – I can even help you put your luggage in the overhead bin as well! Based on my experience with Lacey, who tailors her training to your level of fitness, other people in my age group – and older – should have no hesitation about starting a personal training program – it has made a huge difference in my daily life. Plus, I look forward to going to Lacey Lee Fitness and working out with “The Expert”!

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  • 5 TIPS TO AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN

    Thanksgiving may be over but between leftovers, family/friends visiting, traveling, etc. the eating and drinking may still be going on. Whether this is true for you or not - I want to help you get back on the healthy, active track as soon as you can. The easy thing to do is to wave the white flag and just succumb to the greatness (and by “greatness”, I mean all the extra sugary treats, drinks, high calorie/fat foods) the Holiday season brings and start fresh come January. But is it really worth it? Is it worth sabotaging all the hard work you put into your workouts? Your healthy eating?

    You may have already felt the wrath of Thanksgiving if you ate foods you are not used to eating. Did you notice how you felt after you ate? That next day? The foods we eat are supposed to make us feel good.

    I’m not saying, you cannot enjoy some of your favorite foods but it is the over consumption and the continuing day after day of these foods that gets troublesome. The more you get used to eating higher calorie/fat/sugar foods - the harder it will be to stop. Same thing goes with working out. The longer you go without working out - the harder it is to get back into the groove.

    You can still enjoy the Holiday’s WITHOUT losing sight of your personal health/fitness goals. I don’t want January to come around (and it will be here before you know it) and you are beating yourself up by needing to get back in shape and wanting to feel better. By following the simple tips I have provided you below, you will feel and look your best hitting up all your Holiday parties and start the New Year NOT having to feel like you are starting over. AND the best part - you can use these tips all year round!!

    TIPS TO AVOIDING HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN

    (1) STAY ACTIVE

    Keep your workouts on your schedule. Don’t let shopping for presents or holiday parties take the place of you burning those calories. On days that you really lack motivation or simply “think” do not have time for your complete exercise routine – there is ALWAYS something you can do. Whether that means you do just 10 minutes of exercise, wake up a half hour earlier, do a workout in your house (Google options that require NO equipment), hit the gym instead of grabbing lunch with co-workers, etc. Once you get out of the habit of working out – it is MUCH harder to get back into the swing of things.

    (2) STAY CONSCIOUS

    No, I’m not saying “stay alive” or don’t “pass out” (although both are very important) but I mean --> be mindful. Life alone gets hectic, then you add the Holidays and our “good thinking” can go right out the window. You first have to get yourself in the correct mindset. Thinking “It’s the Holidays, I’ll get back on track January” WILL backfire on you. Plus, have you ever “planned” to get back on track then “life” happens and your “plan” continues to be pushed further and further away?! We all have gone off track in our life and have had the dreaded experience of getting back in shape and/or start eating healthier. We ALL have been there. Remind yourself of when this happened to you in the past and what that experience was like for you. Remember how it felt to get back into the swing of things. Ask yourself again “Is it worth it?” This may sound silly but putting up sticky notes with whatever “saying” you have to tell yourself helps. Having something that makes you stop and read will keep you mindful and remind yourself of your goal(s). You want to make sure you are placing these notes in places you go throughout your day. Some examples of what to put on the refrigerator and/or inside on one of the refrigerator shelves, on a cabinet: “Will this get me closer to my goals?”, “Remember how you felt after eating after dinner.“ An example to put in your car for when you have the urge to stop at drive-thru, on your way to a Holiday part: “I don’t want to sabotage the hard work I put in today towards my goals!”, “I have food at home that is healthier and won’t take me long to prepare/cook.”, “I want to wake up feeling great!”, “I will focus on socializing with friends not food/alcohol.”

    Lastly, when you eat more than you should and/or eat something high in fat/calories, do NOT waive the white flag on eating bad the rest of the day, the next day or the rest of the week/month. You WILL do one or both of the above because you are human and that is okay, the key is getting back on track as soon as possible. Get to your workout that day/next day, plan a healthier meal, etc.

    (4) BE KIND TO YOURSELF

    Why is it that food is always our “go to” for most everything. When we celebrate - we eat. When we are bored - we eat. When we are sad - we eat. We eat. We eat. Yes, we need food to stay alive but let’s turn the focus away from food and to all the other amazing things in life - family, health, love, friends, nature, etc.

    We obviously cannot avoid eating all together As I mentioned earlier - You will make a bad food decision. You will eat more than you intended. It will happen…but the key is to become aware of your bad choice and learn from it. A mistake we all tend to make is when you “fall off the healthy eating wagon”, we give up. We turn a bad meal into a bad day into a bad week, etc. Do NOT strive to eat perfectly. Be kind to yourself.

    This time of year can be especially stressful for many reasons. Food is high on the list of things people go to when under stress. Eating may feel good in the moment but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. Chances are you will feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You may beat yourself for messing up and not having more willpower. Choosing food to help cope with stress will get you stuck in an unhealthy cycle. Again – be kind to yourself. Get back on track as soon as you can.

    (5) BE PARTY PREPARED

    Holiday season also means – holiday parties –-> a.k.a. food and drink temptations EVERYWHERE!! Whether you going and/or hosting these parties – the temptations are going to be there. Be prepared.

    A>Have a nutritious snack or a meal before you head out to the holiday party. Arriving hungry will have you pouncing on the food table. Maybe twice. Once you are hungry - you will make a bad food decision. Guaranteed. Our stomach will over-ride anything you “intended” on eating.

    If you work in an office setting be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you won't be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3:00 snack time.

    B>Remember one of the great things about the Holidays is spending time with friends and family. Take advantage of catching up with friends and/or family you have not seen in a while.

    C>Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. I know, I know – party pooper…but… it is not just about calories but about control. If you drink more than intended - you won't have as much control over what you eat. Should you partake in having a cocktail or two – be aware of the alcohol you choose. Stay clear of the desert drinks as they pack a lot of calories, save calories with diet drink and liquor, opt for sugar-free red bull and vodka, etc.

    D>Whether you are at a Holiday party, someone else’s home or in the comfort of your home – use small plates. When you use big plates, chances are you will fill up that plate. Using a smaller plate will limit how much food you put on that plate. Before going back for 2nd - wait 30 minutes to decide if you really are hungry. It takes about that long for our body to reach our brain letting us know if we are full or not.

    E>Should you hit the buffet of food, fill your plate with the healthy choices first. Pay attention to how you feel before going back to more. Are you content? Full? Do you want to go back because you have had your eye on dessert? Trying to kill time? Think before you go back….if you go back at all. This one goes back to “being mindful” of how you feel. As yourself those questions you have on your sticky notes.

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  • HEALTHY THANKSGIVING RECIPES

    I hope you have kept last week’s tips for Thanksgiving in your mind and will remember them when Turkey Day comes (just days away)!! It’s one thing to “know” the healthy options but to actually MAKE THEM is key!! To ensure you have the best and healthiest choices possible - I have provided healthier versions of your favorite foods, along with some that you may want to try this year. In fact, I have provided a healthy option for each “staple” so your Thanksgiving meal could be right in front of you. You are welcome ;-)

    Although you may not want to know some of this, before I get to some yummy, healthy recipes for Thanksgiving, let me share the amount of calories and fat in some Thanksgiving staples. My hope is by you knowing how many calories/fat are foods, you choose differently. A question that is good to ask yourself before reaching for a certain food - “Is (insert food) going to help me get closer to achieving my goal(s)?

    MEATS:

    Rib Roast (4 oz. or 3 slices) 336 calories, 21g fat

    Turkey, roasted dark meat (4 oz or 4 slices ) -- 323 calories

    Turkey, roasted white meat (4 oz or 4 slices) -- 180 calories, 1 g fat

    Ham (4 oz or 3 slices) -- 122 calories, 4 g fat

    CASSEROLES:

    Green Bean Casserole (1 large spoonful or 1/2 cup) -- 350 calories, 17 g fat

    Sweet Potato Casserole (1 large spoonful or 1/2 cup) -- 250 calories, 12 g fat

    BREADS:

    Cornbread (2-inch square) -- 173 calories, 5 g fat

    Stuffing (1 cup) -- 320 calories, 18 g fat

    SIDES:

    Mashed Potatoes (1 cup or 2 large spoonfuls) -- 237 calories, 9g fat

    Creamed Spinach ( ½ cup or 1 large spoonful) -- 150 calories, 10g fat

    Gravy (about 1/2 cup or 3 small ladles scoops ) -- 100 calories, 8g fat

    DESSERTS:

    Pecan Pie (⅛ slice) -- 503 calories, 27 g fat

    Apple Pie (⅛ slice ) -- 411 calories, 19 g fat

    Pumpkin Pie (⅛ slice) -- 316 calories

    Now on to some great recipes to make this Thanksgiving your healthiest one yet!!

    GRILLED HERBED TURKEY BREAST

    Ingredients:

    2.5 to 2.75-pound turkey breast (if bone is included)

    1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

    3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

    1.5 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves

    5 teaspoons minced garlic

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    Directions:

    Remove skin from turkey breast and discard. Cut the turkey breast away from the bone into two equal-sized fillets.

    Start preheating your indoor grill on high. Meanwhile, combine herb rub ingredients -- parsley, sage, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil -- in a processor bowl by pulsing for about 10 seconds.

    Use your hand or a spatula to spread the herb rub on both sides of each fillet. When grill is ready, arrange turkey fillets on grill so that the grill top rests evenly on both pieces of turkey. Cook about 14 minutes (if fillet is 2 inches thick). Test the thickest part of the turkey fillet to make sure turkey is cooked throughout. You should be collecting some drippings in the tray of your grill (you can use this and scrapings from the top and bottom grill plates to make a gravy)

    Remove turkey fillets to a serving platter and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

    Serving Size: 6

    Calories: 215

    Protein: 39 grams

    Carbs: 0.3 grams

    Fat: 5.5 grams

    STUFF-LESS STUFFFING

    Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without stuffing. But, as you know, butter-soaked bread cubes (aka stuffing) aren't exactly low in calories. And nobody should be stuffing-less on Turkey Day.

    Ingredients:

    6 slices Wonder Light Bread, any variety (or another light bread)

    1 cup chopped onion

    1 cup chopped celery

    1 cup chopped mushrooms

    1 cup fat-free broth, chicken or vegetable; room temperature

    1/4 cup Egg Beaters, Original

    1 tbsp. LAND O LAKES Whipped Light Butter

    2 cloves garlic; finely chopped

    salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme

    Directions:

    For best results, leave bread uncovered for a night or two, until slightly stale. Otherwise, begin by lightly toasting bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. In a medium-sized pot, combine broth, celery and onion. Cook for 8 minutes at medium heat.

    Remove from heat and add mushrooms and garlic.

    Season mixture to taste with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Spray a medium-sized baking dish with nonstick spray, and place bread cubes in it. Once veggie-broth mixture has cooled slightly, add Egg Beaters and butter.

    Pour mixture evenly on top of bread. Mix gently with a fork. Bread cubes should be moist, but not saturated. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.

    Remove foil and fluff/ rearrange stuffing. Return to oven (uncovered) for 10 - 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serves 5.

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    Calories: 88

    Fat: 1.5g

    Carbs: 16g

    APPLE CIDER GRAVY

    Ingredients:

    1/2 c turkey juices (leftover from roasting and fat removed)

    4 c chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)

    1 1/4 c apple cider

    pinch salt

    pinch black pepper

    1 t dried thyme

    3 T all-purpose flour

    Directions:

    Remove turkey from roasting pan. In a small cup, combine the flour and 1/2 cup of the stock; set aside. Skim any visible fat from roasting pan with cheesecloth.

    Place the roasting pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. (Remember there might be fat remaining in the pan or on the outside, so don't let the heat get too hot--it will burst into flames!) Vigorously scrape the bottom of the pan with a long-handled spoon to deglaze it, and add the apple cider.

    Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half--it should take about 5 minutes at medium heat.

    Slowly add the remaining 3 1/2 c stock; whisk it into the cider mixture. Allow to simmer for 6 minutes. Whisk in the flour and stock mixture; bring gravy to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

    The gravy will start to thicken. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain.

    Servings Per Recipe: 16

    Calories: 20.0

    Fat: 0.0 g

    Carbs: 4.1 g

    Protein: 0.9 g

    CHERRY CRANBERRY SAUCE

    Ingredients:

    2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries (no sugar added)

    One 12-oz. bag whole cranberries (fresh or frozen; no sugar added)

    1/4 cup Truvia spoonable no-calorie sweetener (or another no-calorie granulated sweetener), or more to taste

    Two 1/4-oz. envelopes dry unflavored gelatin

    1 tsp. orange zest

    1/8 tsp. salt

    Optional: additional no-calorie sweetener

    Directions:

    In a medium pot, combine cherries, cranberries, sweetener, and 1 cup water. Set heat to high, and bring to a boil.

    Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water.

    Remove pot from heat, add contents of the small bowl, and thoroughly mix. Stir in orange zest and salt.

    Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.

    If you like, add additional sweetener to taste.

    SERVING SIZE: 12

    1/12th of recipe (about 1/3 cup)

    33 calories

    0g total fat

    11.5g carbs

    MASHED CAULIFLOWER

    Don’t let “cauliflower” steer you away from giving this a try - you will save yourself up to 100 calories without sacrificing taste. I personally would make it and not tell anyone that it is cauliflower. See what happens. You and your guests will be pleasantly surprised!!

    Ingredients:

    1 large head cauliflower

    1 cup goat cheese

    4 tablespoons low-fat cream

    Liberal dashes salt and pepper

    1 tablespoon butter

    Directions:

    Chop cauliflower up, including stems. Place in a large microwave safe bowl and heat for about eight minutes, until soft.

    Place warmed cauliflower, goat cheese, cream, salt and pepper and butter into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Garnish with butter and extra salt and pepper and enjoy!

    Serving size - 6 (1 cup)

    LEAN BEAN CASSEROLE

    Ingredients:

    Two 16-oz. bags frozen French-style green beans, thawed, drained & thoroughly dried

    Two 10.75-oz. cans Campbell's 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup

    One 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

    1 bag (about 1 oz.) Crispy Delites Red Onion Chips or 1 oz. (about 25 pieces) onion-flavored soy crisps, crushed

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    Make sure green beans are thoroughly drained and completely dry -- use a towel if you need to. Then, place half of the green beans in a casserole dish (a 2 - 3 quart rectangular one works best).

    Cover with remaining green beans, and then top with the rest of the soup. Evenly top with the remaining water chestnuts. Place dish in the oven, and cook for 45 minutes.

    Top with crushed soy crisps, and return dish to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until chips turn golden brown.

    Serving Size: 10

    Calories: 76

    Fat: 2g

    Carbs: 13g

    ROASTED SQUASH SOUP

    Ingredients:

    1 T olive oil

    1 c onions, chopped fine

    1 large butternut squash, approx. 3 lbs

    4 c low sodium chicken stock

    1 orange

    1/2 c orange juice

    Garnish:

    1/2 bunch cilantro, fresh, leaf only

    1/4 c unsweetened coconut, flake

    1 orange (zest, juice, and fruit)

    1 serrano chili pepper

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Peel, halve, and remove the seeds from the squash.

    Dice into 3/4 inch cubes. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray, add cubed squash, and spray the top of the squash. Roast 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender.

    Remove from oven. Place oil in a dutch oven or medium size saucepan. Sauté the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened.

    Add the squash and stock; cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for 10 minutes.

    Add the orange zest and the juice; simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

    Using a blender or food processor, purée the mixture in batches. (For a smoother texture, strain the soup through a sieve, but you'll remove some of the fiber.) In a blender or food processor, blend the coconut, hot pepper, cilantro, orange juice and flesh until mixture forms a puree. If mixture is too thick, add warm water to thin it.

    Ladle the soup into soup cups and garnish each serving with about a teaspoon of the pesto.

    Serving Size: 8

    Calories: 128.6

    Fat: 2.8 g

    Carbs: 25.6 g

    I CANNOT BELIEVE IT’S NOT SWEET POTATO PIE

    By substituting butternut squash for sweet potatoes and using some key light ingredients, you can save over 200 calories and nearly 17 grams of fat per serving on this Turkey Day classic. And it tastes EXACTLY like the real thing (yes, EXACTLY)

    Ingredients:

    1 large butternut squash (large enough to yield 2 cups mashed flesh)

    1/2 cup Egg Beaters; Original

    1/3 cup light vanilla soymilk

    1/3 cup sugar-free maple syrup

    1 tsp. cinnamon

    1/4 cup SPLENDA (or any other calorie-free sugar); Granular

    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    2/3 cup miniature marshmallows

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Peel squash and cut into large chunks (removing seeds).

    Fill a large, microwave-safe dish with a half an inch of water.

    Place squash into dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for approximately 8 minutes (and drain). Squash should be tender enough to mash, but not fully cooked.

    With a potato masher, food processor or fork, mash squash.

    Measure out 2 generous cups, lightly packed, and place in an oven-safe baking dish. Add all ingredients except for marshmallows.

    Mix ingredients thoroughly, but do not over-stir; squash should still be pulpy. Allow to cook for 45 – 50 minutes.

    Remove from oven, and disperse marshmallows over top of pie. Return to oven for 5 minutes, until marshmallows begin to brown. Allow to cool.

    Serves Size: 4

    Serving Size: 1/4 recipe; approx. 2/3 cup

    Calories: 110

    Fat: <0.5g

    Carbs: 25g

    If these recipes don’t meet your taste and you want to cook/make a healthy meal - use everyone’s friend - Google. You can find unlimited recipes that will save you hundreds of calories and most importantly - still enjoyable meals!!

    Stay tuned to next week’s blog as I will continue to provide tips and information to make this holiday season your healthiest!!

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  • TIPS FOR A HEALTHY THANKSGIVING

    Going on a personal fitness/health journey is just that – a journey. Creating a healthy lifestyle will have its ups and downs. The goal is to not let those “down” times last long nor lead you away from your path. Challenges and temptations happen all year long but the hardest time for a lot of people has already begun.

    Yes, it has begun.

    Most think of Thanksgiving as the beginning of the dreaded “weight gain season” but Halloween really is the “appetizer” to the season. It starts with those bite size pieces of candy that seem like no big deal but they (just like everything else) add up quickly in calories – and let’s be honest – who can just have one?!? These candies then stick around the house/work for a couple more weeks and WHAM!! - it’s Thanksgiving!! Then before you know it you have been to every holiday party under the sun, you have skipped your workouts and you feel more sluggish than ever. Somewhere in between Thanksgiving and towards the end of the year - some of you will say, “I’m going to start working out/eating healthier on January 1st” or “My New Year’s resolution is (insert any health/fitness goal).”

    Let’s make this Holiday season different. I don’t want you feel like you are “starting over” when 2016 comes. And you know it will be here before you know it.

    Thanksgiving typically provides a feast for all to enjoy...and to enjoy it in one sitting. Did you know the average Thanksgiving meal is roughly 3,000 calories!! WHOA!! Then add to that 3,000 calories for any beverages, other foods you eat/drink throughout the day, etc. An important note I want you to always keep in mind - 1 pound = 3,500 calories. So when you find you have gained one pound. This means you have consumed 3,500 EXTRA calories than the calories your body has burned.

    Sure indulging one day is not the end all be all to your goal achieving efforts BUT too much splurging can create a domino effect for bad eating habits for the rest of the year. Yes, we typically have food options that we don’t get throughout the year (especially if you have a family recipe, not used to home cooked meals, etc.) but you can still enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without sabotaging the hard work you have put in towards your fitness/health goals.

    Remember, Thanksgiving is one day. Done right, you won’t set yourself back too far.

    TIPS FOR A HEALTHY THANKSGIVING

    1. Know Yourself. What part of Thanksgiving Day gives you the most trouble? Is it dessert? Portion/quantity? Alcohol? Snacking?

    We all have an area (or area’s) that we find challenging...and that is okay. What’s important is knowing what your challenges are so you can devise a strategy. Some examples:

    For alcohol, tell yourself, “I’ll enjoy a half glass of wine with appetizers, and a half glass with dinner,” or decide to stick with water at first, saving your alcohol for the main meal. If you have a tough time putting on the brakes once you get started, don’t start. Steer clear of the bar – and relish everything else the day has to offer – good conversation, good food, good memories.

    If you have a sweet tooth, know the healthiest options. You can even offer to bring your own healthy dessert. Go ahead and enjoy yourself dessert but make sure you make the best choices for the main course.

    2. PLAN AN ACTIVITY. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t be active. It’s a perfect time to get your family and friends involved too. Plus - being active with others is so much more enjoyable!!

    Some great options:

    *Plan a family walk before the hectic day begins or walk together after you eat.

    *Sign up for your local Turkey Trot race.

    *Do a quick 15 minute (or more) workout at the house (check for my at home workout that I will be posting or email me if you want something sooner).

    *Turn on the tunes and have a dance party with your friends/family.

    *Get a game going outside like football, soccer, tag, etc.

    ---> Just to give you an idea of what you would have to do to burn off for the average Thanksgiving meal (roughly 3,000 calories) - check out how many HOURS you would have to workout.

    Walking 4 mph: 10 hours

    Running 6 mph: 4 hours

    Elliptical trainer (moderate effort): 12 hours

    Yoga: 17 hours

    That’s A LOT of activity, y’all!!

    3. EAT BREAKFAST/LUNCH. A mistake a lot of people make is not eating anything up until the Thanksgiving meal. You may think you are “saving calories” by waiting for the big meal but it WILL only lead you to overeating. If you are having a Thanksgiving dinner then eat lunch too. Choosing a healthy breakfast and lunch is also recommended.

    4. KNOW HEALTHIER OPTIONS. If you don’t know...you don’t know. Making small adjustments with some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods do make BIG differences. Just like calories can add up quickly - they can just as quickly not enter the picture (or your stomach)

    *Use a small plate. The tinier the dish, the less food you will take and the less you will eat. That is, if you don’t go back for more and more. If a small plate is not an option - then fill up your plate???

    *Choose lean, white meat turkey to get the most bang for your calorie-buck. Dark meat has about 15% more calories and 30 - 40% more fat than light meat. Also ditch the skin while you're at it (that's where most of the fat hangs out!).

    *If know you are going to eat dessert, make sure you allot for the calories elsewhere i.e. don't go back for that seconds, making the suggested choices I have listed here, etc.

    *For green bean casserole, swap out fried onions with toasted almonds

    *For dips, use Greek or plain yogurt instead of sour cream — the consistency is similar, but yogurt has less fat and more protein

    *Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and to make gravy

    *Substitute cranberry sauce, loaded with antioxidants, for fatty, high-calorie gravy.

    *Avoid butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream on your potatoes, yams, etc. Instead substitute low-fat yogurt or nonfat/lite sour cream or just eat them as is.

    *Leave out the bread. Not only will you save yourself from a carb-overload you can add a couple more slices of turkey, more vegetables, healthier options, etc.

    I hope these tips will help motivate you to have a healthy Thanksgiving!!! I am here to help you stay as active and healthy as possible throughout the holiday season. For the next 6 weeks I will be providing tips, healthy recipes, workouts, etc. to help you stay on track. So make sure you stay tuned for my blog post each week!!! Next week I will be offering healthier recipes for some favorite Thanksgiving staples.

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  • GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WORKOUT

    There is a small percentage of people that are self motivated, know how to challenge themselves during their workout, have the tools to change their regimen, etc. The majority of people need some sort of guidance. This is not a bad thing it is just reality. There is a whole host of reasons why people need help when it comes to working out, they either don’t know what to do, don’t want to hurt themselves, aren’t motivated, have no accountability, the list goes on...

    The beauty of taking a fitness class and/or having a personal trainer is you have a certified trainer motivating you and making sure you have proper form and are getting the most out of your workouts. This is not always an option for people which means they need to fend for themselves during their workouts. A problem that occurs all too often when you work out on your own is getting too comfortable in your exercise routine. It’s easy to get into that “comfort zone” simply because it’s comfortable. The problem with getting and staying in your comfort zone is you will not burn calories as efficiently as you did when you started therefore your progress and achieving your goals will come to a stop. You also risk becoming bored by doing the same exercises or routine each and every time you workout. Both are more likely to have you stop exercising altogether from becoming frustrated and/or discouraged from lack of results.

    There are numerous tricks and tips along the way to ensure you are achieving your goals, keeping your workouts interesting, not wasting your time/efforts and more importantly, getting out of your comfort zone.

    We all have busy lives and finding the time to exercise is a challenge all on its own. When you do find the time and I truly hope you do - you want to be able to get the most out of your workout.

    TIPS TO GETTING THE MOST (AND PROBABLY MORE) OUT OF YOUR WORKOUTS

    TREADMILL TIPS:

    1. The goal in doing cardio is to get your heart rate up. The ultimate goal is to get it up and keep it up for a long duration of time. Most people go to a point of no return. Meaning you do too much too fast and are then forced to stop. Remember you are in control of how fast you walk/run. You won’t know if you can go a bit faster until you try. If it is too much, just slow down. If you do the same speed on the same incline each time - you are in your “comfort zone.” Either increase the speed (just a few notches) or increase the incline.

    2. Did you know that most treadmills are designed at a slight decline? Yep. If you put the incline on 3, it will simulate a flat terrain. Also if you take the speed to 3.5 on incline 3 - this is the average gate of someone walking down the street. If this is too fast for you then this is a good goal to work towards. The main reason this is too fast/hard just means your legs don’t support this pace. The stronger your legs get the more endurance you will have. And just like anything, the more you do it, the easier it will become.

    3. Once you are on the treadmill, do not hold on. By holding on, you are not allowing your body to work as much as it can. If you feel you cannot walk without holding on, you may be walking too fast. It is better to slow the speed down, let go then work the speed up over time as you get more comfortable.

    KICKING UP YOUR TREADMILL WORKOUTS A NOTCH

    Did you know the treadmill can be used for more than just walking and/or running?

    Sure you can get a great workout by walking/running on a treadmill especially if you enjoy it AND can continue to challenge yourself BUT it is just as easy to stuck in that comfort zone, get bored and/or in a rut. Change up your routine by these great treadmill workouts. These workouts will certainly take the “boredom” out of just walking/running AND turn it into great calorie and fat burning workout!!

    TREADMILL with WEIGHTS:

    Anytime you are in motion and you move your arms above your heart, you challenge your heart that much more which in turn gets your heart rate up higher.

    *Start with the speed slower than you would have if you were just walking. Slowly increase your speed as you get comfortable. Increase the incline for more of a challenge but we aware the higher the incline the slow you will need to walk. Start with 3lb dumbbells and go for 30 seconds then put the weights down and walk for 1 minute (or more) then do another round for 30 seconds. Increase your time (no need to go longer than 1 minute) before increasing to a heavier weight. Doing these exercises are an extra bonus for your muscles as the goal is to challenge your heart rate.

    SHOULDER PRESS - grab one weight and use with both hands or two weights to have in each hand. As you walk, extend both arms up over your head. If you have a weight in each hand, bring arms down to a 90 degree angle and continue that motion. If you are using one weight, bring the weight down just below your eye-line.

    PUNCHING - with a weight in each hand, extend one arm out in front of you and as you bring that arm back to your chest, extend your other arm. You will be mimicking a punching motion.

    BICEP CURLS - with a weight in both hands, you can either alternate your arms into a bicep curl or curl both arms at once as you walk.

    NOT YOUR TYPICAL TREADMILL CARDIO:

    SIDE TO SIDE SHUFFLE- Put the speed to the slowest pace. Holding on to the rails of the treadmill, turn to one side on the treadmill and move your feet/legs side to side. Do not cross your legs over each other. As the foot closest to the end of the treadmill pushes along with the track of the treadmill your other foot has to lift up quickly to keep your legs “shuffling.” Learn to do this without holding on before you increase the speed. The ultimate goal would be to get into a “trot” as you increase the speed on the treadmill. Do the same thing facing the other way on the treadmill.

    BACKWARD WALK/TROT - Make sure the speed to the slowest pace and on a flat terrain. Holding on to the treadmill rails, turn around so you will be forced to walk backwards. Your toes must touch first THEN your heels. Get comfortable doing this without holding on before you increase the speed and/or incline. The ultimate goal will be to “trot” backwards. You will have a feeling of bouncing on your toes as you “trot.”

    STRENGTH TRAINING TIPS:

    1. FUNCTIONAL TOOLS - i.e. stability ball, bosu ball and TRX

    Use these tools whenever possible. By using one or all of these tools - your body is working harder simply because it is being forced to balance. When your body is forced to balance you work your stabilizing muscles and core… not just the muscles you are intending to work. Not only are you working harder but you will burn more calories. *If you don’t have access to these functional tools then use dumbbells instead of machines* If you don’t have any equipment - your body is the best piece of “equipment” you have. For example: Instead of doing a chest press on a bench - do push ups on the floor.

    2. SUPERSETS. This means you move from one exercise to another without rest. This not only saves you time but you keep your heartrate up which taps into a little bit of cardio workout as well. For example: Do a set of bicep curls then go right into a tricep exercise. While you are doing your triceps, your biceps are resting then when you go back to biceps, your triceps rest. To make your superset more challenging, group exercises that use similar muscles. Or group a “cardio” like exercise with a strength. For example - squat jumps with push-ups.

    3. TOTAL BODY MOVES. If you have ever taken a class at Lacey Lee Fitness or trained with myself, Nick or Darrell - you are very familiar with these. There is a reason we do these often - you get more “bang for your buck.” Anytime you do an exercise that is recruiting more muscles, you are burning more calories and most of the time will elevate your heartrate while doing them. Total body exercises are combining lower and upper together. For example - bicep curls with back lunges, burpees, all kettlebell moves, etc.

    CORE STRENGTHENING TIPS:

    QUALITY VS QUANTITY. Just like any exercise you do - form is the utmost importance. It is better to do 10 correct and quality core moves than 100 wrong. You don’t need to spend more than 10 minutes on your core. As important as it is to do core exercises, it will not be the answer to a slimmer waistline. We can’t just say “okay, stomach, I want you to be slimmer” - your body will lose weight where you are specifically designed to lose weight. Bummer, I know, but true. Your goal in doing core is to keep your muscles strong, prevent injury, etc. You will condition your core and improve its function (and look) by using it the way it is design. Hopefully you are using the functional tools (stability ball, bosu, etc) mentioned above which means you are using your core while training other muscles.

    WORK YOUR CORE. It’s easy to focus on your stomach because that is the area we see (and let’s be honest - want it to be tone/slimmer) but our back muscles are just as important. We can’t neglect the muscles that support our spine. Our core (abs, sides, back) is essential for EVERY motion we make. When you reach for something - that motion originates from your core. We would not be human if we did not want our “core” to look good but it serves a greater purpose. We need a strong core to have our body function better. To get the most out of your core exercises ensure you are activating your front, side and back. For example: Planks and twisting are my top choices. The twisting motion is especially great because you twist in so many different ways. You can twist from low to high, from high to low, side to side, etc.

    At the end of the day, you want to find a workout that is challenging and keeps you going back for more. I realize that for many, working out is a necessary evil. Which makes finding something that keeps you going back so important. If you are not being challenged then you are most likely not achieving your personal fitness/health goals. If you are not achieving them, then you will most likely stop. Luckily there are so many workout options these days to choose from. Finding what works for you is key to adapt exercise as a lifestyle. If you ever are having a hard time finding something that works best for you - let me know! It doesn’t matter where you live, what limitations you have, etc. - I can help guide you. There IS something out there for everyone.

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  • MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - LYNN NEUMANN

    LACEY LEE FITNESS MEMBER SPOTLIGHT -- LYNN NEUMANN!!

    A FEW WORDS FROM LACEY:

    It has truly been an honor having Lynn apart of the Lacey Lee Fitness family! She not only brings an amazing energy to the studio but she is constantly trying to improve/challenge herself in one crazy way or another. We love nothing more than to hear someone’s goal (even the crazy ones) and help them achieve it! I always encourage people to set short term personal goals to keep you motivated. I love hearing what new goal(s) Lynn has because both Nick and I know she is going to show that goal who is boss!! I personally love when runners come in to train because I know the training we provide will only improve their running. And if you are a runner - you know the best feeling in the world is to set new times, feel better during/after your runs, etc. The training we gear towards runners will strengthen your stabilizing muscles (which are the muscles that support our major muscles) and strengthen your core (which is responsible for every motion we make), improve your overall cardio endurance and prevent injury. All of these condition your body to perform better when running (and in any other sport) and in your day to day life. It’s a win-win situation for anyone wanting to just live your life with more efficiency and ease.

    MEET LYNN NEUMANN!!

    What made you contact Lacey Lee Fitness and start training?

    I knew strength training was important both from my past and from reading, but I had not done it in years. I made time for my workout of choice which was (and still is) running, but would just half-heartedly try a few weight machines at the gym after a run, then go home. I needed a push. I'll be honest. I have always enjoyed exercise, generally speaking, and used to wonder what kind of person couldn't get moving on their own, but instead needed to pay a trainer to get them exercising. Well, ends up, at least with strength training, I was that kind of person! I just wasn't making it happen.

    What were your goals going in?

    To be able to open the door to Luna Maya effortlessly. Luna, why so heavy??? Seriously though, my goal was to consistently place strength training into my workout schedule because I knew it was good for for me. I also hoped it would help me be a better runner. I had run a half-marathon just before coming into Lacey Lee but still felt just so-so fitness wise. Because the class offerings didn't mesh with my schedule then, I went straight for personal training. Lacey's schedule was full so she placed me with one of her trainers, Nick. My plan was to just do personal training for a few months as a jump start then transition out and do things either on my own or in class. But I liked it so much I didn't give it up.

    Was there any improvement from working with a personal trainer?

    For sure. I'm overall much fitter and healthier. Everything from carrying the groceries to turning the steering wheel feels better, although I still wish someone else would carry those groceries in for me. Since running is still my first love, I was and still am pleased to notice that my workouts at Lacey’s has definitely improved my running. My running times definitely got faster and I noticed that intervals and tempo runs felt better (meaning didn't make me feel quite as miserable). I usually do those by perceived effort, but decided to time myself on mile repeats as a marker. Those got faster every month! Also, my times in all the distances I had run previously improved (5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon).

    Last but not least, I think that my strength days are a much needed rest (both physically and mentally) from running. Running is the easiest exercise to fit in, and as a result, most runners do it too much. On the days I train with Nick, I don't run. Nick's work outs are very hard but in a different way than running, which I think must be good for me. Also it's just so nice to have someone tell you what to do for your work out instead of figuring it out yourself. What a luxury!

    Have your goals changed at all?

    Yes they have. I successfully train regularly now with Nick. Sometimes I throw in a class as well, so initial goal obtained. I don't care about how much I lift or how many reps I can do, so those aren't goals I work toward. I don't even pay attention to what "number" is on the weight I'm lifting. But I do like setting different kinds of new goals and working on them. Like one day I looked at the pull-up bar and decided I wanted to be able to do those. Now I can. Somehow I ended up watching Drew Brees on YouTube in the TRX and got Nick to have me try the mom versions of the exercises. That's has to be good entertainment for others at the gym! I also had him train me up for a Tough Mudder and Spartan race. Those take a bit of upper body strength to do. Nick is a great trainer because he pushes me pretty hard, harder than I would ever do on my own, and works with my weird goals. I still struggle with the door at Luna Maya though so I can't quit yet!

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  • TO EAT GLUTEN or NOT TO EAT GLUTEN?

    There is no denying that we as a country are sicker than ever. It’s not like our “genes” have changed but boy has the modern Western diet changed. The fact is, the human body has not evolved to consume such sugary substances, refined high-calorie carbohydrates, processed foods, etc. We certainly don’t help ourselves by consuming “these” foods. Food is supposed to make us feel good and help us be healthy, not make us sick.

    Research and studies about the foods we eat and how they affect our body are being done everyday. Media then takes these “findings” and spins it in every direction to make us think “this way” of eating is the best way or “that way” is the worst way. However they spin it, fad diets appear. We all know a new “diet” comes out every day. They have been around for awhile and they certainly are not going anywhere so I am going to help clear up the newest ways of eating - gluten-free!

    Going gluten-free has many people believing it’s the best way to eat for weight loss, improve digestion, provide more energy, etc. The market for gluten-free products is exploding yet we have been eating wheat, and the gluten in it, for at least ten thousand years. Why all of a sudden does gluten seem evil? Is going gluten free for me? All of these questions are answered below.

    WHAT THE HECK IS GLUTEN ANYWAY?

    It is a general name for proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and other crossbreeds. Gluten is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. It helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. It actually is one of the most heavily consumed proteins on earth. When people think “gluten” they typically just think of breads. Gluten can be found in many other everyday foods and drinks (unless of course if they are labeled “gluten-free”) such as beer, salad dressing, pasta, cakes/pies, soy sauce, french fries, certain soups, etc.

    WHY NOW DOES GLUTEN SEEM SO THREATENING?

    Gluten is only “threatening” to those that are “gluten-intolerant.” In fact, going gluten-free is essential for these people. Having an intolerance to gluten means your body produces an abnormal immune response when it breaks down gluten from wheat and related grains during digestion. The most well-known form is Celiac Disease where the body sees gluten as a predator. When ingested, the immune system reacts by attacking the small intestine (where gluten is digested) and generating inflammation that prevents people from absorbing important nutrients. This causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss and fatigue. When left untreated, Celiac Disease can lead to other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, infertility and neurological conditions. A test can be done through your doctor to see if you have Celiac Disease.

    You can also have wheat allergies and/or gluten sensitivities. Symptoms range from classic food allergy markers such as skin, respiratory or gastrointestinal reactions to diarrhea, headache, fatigue, joint pain etc.

    ---> The crazy thing is the number of people eating a gluten-free diet far surpasses the number of people suffering from celiac disease.

    DOES THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET BENEFIT EVERYONE?

    Yes and no.

    Yes, because those that go gluten-free stop eating the extra “crap” which then means you are not eating as much fat/calories which obviously leads to feeling better, weight loss, more energy, better sleep, the list goes on…. If going gluten-free means you eat better - then go for it.

    No, because now that you can find almost everything “gluten-free” people just assume it’s healthier. Going gluten-free will NOT help you if you still choose to eat more calories than you need - even if they are gluten-free. Gluten-free pizza….it’s still pizza. Eating a box of gluten-free cookies/crackers/etc…...is still a box full of calories. Many of the gluten-free products have added fat and sugar to make them taste as similar as possible to their gluten-containing counterparts. Unless you are careful, the gluten-free diet are often nutrient-deficient, lacking vitamins, minerals and fiber. Gluten itself doesn’t offer special nutritional benefits BUT many of the whole grains that contain gluten do. They are rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, as well as fiber.

    SHOULD YOU GO GLUTEN-FREE?

    The best way to find out if you have issues with gluten is to do an elimination diet. This means you would not consume gluten for a month and then reintroduce it. Since gluten is a very large protein the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better. If you feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when you reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem. In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.

    I hope this will help you in decide to “gluten or not to gluten.” I personally had to go gluten-free when I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. So I have some inside knowledge and am here to help answer any questions you may have.

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