FAT to FIT Help Center

TashaFollow Tasha’s success!

Steve was tasked to put his own training methods to the test on National Television. He accepted the challenge, and after gaining as much weight as he could, together they lost over 120lbs using the our diet and exercise program we offer at our gym, Max Fitness Club. Tasha’s program included educational tools, meal plan, workout regimen and weekly weigh ins.

Pfat To Pfit Book CoverPFAT TO PFIT PROGRAM

After being flooded with questions, we decided to share our program with people outside our gym. We created a similar workout to give you the same results whether you belong to a gym or not, called Pfat To Pfit (the “P” in Pfat To Pfit is a play on our last name, “Pfiester” in case you wondered! The “P” is silent). It includes the following.

1. Get Pfit Handbook: addressing diet, exercise and the mental battle of weight loss
2.  2 Workout Routines: 1 for the gym and 1 for home, including links to how-to videos for each exercise
3. Meal Plan: 7-day meal plan with recipes & shopping list
4. Bonus Material: Q&A with Steve, Steve’s Weight Training Routine and Workout Worksheet

80% of your success depends on this education. It’s a small investment for a BIG reward!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Pfat To Pfit Program and get started!

CLICK HERE for more video footage of Tasha & Steve.
CLICK HERE to follow all content on Fit To Fat To Fit at PFITblog.
CLICK HERE to watch the full episode on A&E.com.

Dr Stopper Workout ProgramNEW!!

Not ready for to take the plunge into following Tasha’s program? We have a brand new introductory program that starts with only 15 minutes of exercise a day and builds each week – perfect for someone who needs to take things slow, safe and easy.

CLICK HERE for the DOCTOR STOPPER Beginner Basic Training Program

Awesome & Affordable: Bluetooth Headphones for the Gym

I recently got a new pair of August Bluetooth Headphones to try. I’ve never had bluetooth headphones before – and these are also my first “ear muff” headphones. LOL! I have to say, I tried them before I found out how much they were. I was recommending them to someone and they asked me how much they were. I wasn’t sure but I was guessing the’d be somewhere between $75-$100. I was SHOCKED to find out they were $29.95 on Amazon! Whaaat?! What a GREAT deal!!!  So, I decided to pass it along to my peeps!

 

Click HERE to shop!

Key Specs
Operating Range: Up to 10m
Working Time: 14 hours
Charging Time: 2.5 hours
Standby Time: 480 hours

Sleek and ultra-light headphones
Only 4.5 ounces with soft padded ear pieces and a headband cushion!

Bluetooth v4.0 and NFC
Connection via its Bluetooth version 4 chip is swift and simple – and it also includes NFC technology allowing you to pair simply by tapping them with your phone or tablet.

Integrated remote and Inbuilt mic
The earpiece remote control allows you to skip back and forth through your track list, answer and hang up calls. You can answer calls with the built in mic that can also be used with VOiP services like Skype and AOL for handsfree headset for internet calling or PC gaming.

12+ hours of play time
A quick 2.5 hours charge via its Micro USB connection provides over 12 hours of playback. Great for commuting, night shifts and even marathons.

 

 

 

Awesome Abs & Arms Workout

This is the workout we did on LiveExercise today! Do it WITH US on our BCx Boot Camp show on www.LiveExercise.com or follow the written workout below. It should take just a little over 30 minutes to do.

horizontal kneeABS

10 Weighted Crunches
10 Sit Ups
10 2-Count Bicycle Crunches
10 Diagonal Knees

ARMS

sqaut pressRIght Arm:
1- Arm Squat Press (also called a Thruster)
1- Arm Burpee
1- Arm Bent Over Row
1- Arm Lateral Raise
1- Arm Bicep Curl
1- Arm Tricep Kickback

bicycle crunchABS

10 Weighted Crunches
10 Sit Ups
10 2-Count Bicycle Crunches
10 Diagonal Knees

ARMS

1 arm shoulder raiseLeft Arm:
1- Arm Squat Press (also called a Thruster)
1- Arm Burpee
1- Arm Bent Over Row
1- Arm Lateral Raise
1- Arm Bicep Curl
1- Arm Tricep Kickback

sit upsABS

10 Weighted Crunches
10 Sit Ups
10 2-Count Bicycle Crunches
10 Diagonal Knees

SHOULDERS

3 Position Shoulder Press

15 Standing Shoulder Press
15 Kneeling Shoulder Press (On Knees)
15 Sitting Shoulder Press (back straight, long sitting, legs straight in front of you)

TRY LIVE EXERCISE FOR 2 WEEKS FREE!

 

Shoulder Sculpter Workout

thermo heatI can’t raise my arms today. I actually can’t really use them at all after my shoulder workout from Tuesday! I had the BEST workout, so I had to share it. I think it was extra good partly because I started taking Thermo Heat again AND I was jamming music on my new August EP636 Bluetooth Headphones (I never wear headphones at the gym because I hate dealing with the dang chords) – but I had such a great workout, I think I’m hooked on training with these bad boys!! They are super affordable! You can get them online for $35-$42 and they sound great! AND, they aren’t HUGE on the ears like the big earmuff kind. lol Steve and I both have a pair and LOVE them!!

Here was my workout!!

Barbell Shoulder Presses Set

  • 12-15 Military Press (warm up with just the 45lb bar)
  • 12 Military Press 55lb (bar + 2 5lb plates)
  • 12 Push Presses 65lb (bar + 2 10lb plates)
  • 10 Push Presses 75lb (bar + 2 10lb and 2 5lb plates)
  • 10 Split Jerks 85lb (bar + 4 10lb plates)
  • 8 Split Jerks 95lb (bar + 4 10lb and 2 5lb plates)
  • 10 Push Presses 65lb (bar + 2 10lb plates)
  • 10 Strict Military Press (just bar, no weight)

Here is a video on the different types of pushes – press, push press, push jerk and split jerk. :) It’s a little hokey, but it gets the job done! If you’ve never tried all of these, give them a try! I bet you can do more weight than you think!!

Upright Row Set

  • 12 upright rows (with just the bar)
  • 12 upright rows 55lbs (2 5lb plates)
  • 10 lateral raises with 2 5lb plates
  • 12 upright rows 55lbs (2 5lb plates)
  • 10 lateral raises with 2 5lb plates
  • 12 upright rows 50lbs (2 2.5lb plates)
  • 10 lateral raises with 2 5lb plates
  • 12 upright rows with no weight
  • 10 lateral raises with 2 5lb plates

barbell-upright-row-performed-by-woman

3 Sets of Cable Front Raises with rope (20-25lbs)

cable-front-raise

Shoulder Raise Super Set

  • Lateral Raises (5lb dumbbells)
  • Rear Delt Raise (5lb dumbbells)

rear delt raise

3 Sets of Face Pulls with Rope for rear delts (45-50lbs)

face pull

 

Massage Your Muscles Into Shape

This blog is part of a sponsored Moji campaign. All of my opinions are my own.

VITAMINSI recently got into muscle rolling. I know! It’s been around for a while, but I’m a slow learner!

Let me be honest! The only thing I don’t like more than exercise is prevention and rehabilitation. It’s not that I don’t like it. I’m not good at it. Prevention and rehabilitation takes time and patience, which I have none of. So, it’s like pulling teeth to get me to ice an injury, take a yoga class, stretch and take my vitamins. I know, you are probably screaming “BONNIEEEEE!” Hey, I may be into fitness, but I still have my struggles and weaknesses too.

Since I’m married to a guy who really cares about me and has a degree in Physical Therapy (so he knows the importance of preventive health and therapeutic modalities) I am working on these weaknesses. While I do admit that he still sets my vitamins out so I don’t forget to take them, one thing I’m actually being proactive with is muscle recovery.

Muscle Injury Cycle

BonnieI’ve had several injuries over the last year. It started with a sprained ankle and that old injury is now affecting my entire body – all the way up to my neck. It’s funny how one injury can throw your whole body out of proper alignment and mobility. Ok, so it’s not “ha ha” funny, but it’s “interesting funny”. Who would ever think an ankle could eventually cause a back spasm?

My ankle threw off my gate. Before I knew it, my gate put extra pressure on one knee. I didn’t even realize it was changing the way I moved…but it did. I was overcompensating on the other leg and eventually pulled a hamstring. This tight hamstring pulled my low back out of whack and now I’m dealing with back and neck issues.

I sound like a hot mess, don’t I? The truth is we all struggle with things like this. Sadly, most people just think they are stuck with it. Even worse, they tend to avoid exercise altogether in fear of further injury. I knew I needed to work through it, and I am confident my weight training prevented it from all becoming much worse.

The lesson I learned was that a lot of it could have been prevented if I was more proactive with my original injury and muscle recovery. And, while it took my injury snowballing into more issues to learn my lesson, I did learn – and now it’s time to start repairing my broken body.

Sore-Muscles-After-WorkoutI have always known that everything is connected but I’ve not personally experienced it for myself. As I was explaining my little revelation to someone, Steve said, “Come on, you knew that!” and began singing, “The thigh bone is connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the backbone. The backbone’s connected to the neck bone. Doin’ the skeleton dance.” (LOL.)

Seriously though, in order for us to be truly fit, we have to address it all. We have to address our body as a whole unit – all of our parts working together as a team. This means we can’t just expect to break down muscles in the gym and not make the effort to help them repair. (no change!) One of the best ways to do this is with massage and ice.

3 Ways to Massage Your Muscles Into Shape

Moji Muscle RollersSo I’ll start this section off with another confession. I have a really hard time spending money on myself, especially when it comes to “pampering myself”. At one point I even owned a spa where we had massage therapists on staff and I only got a massage when I was interviewing new practitioners.

Not only do I feel guilty for just laying there for an hour while someone works on me, but I have a hard time even staying still and quiet for that long. I guess that is another thing I have to work on. (Note to self: learn how to relax.)

With that said, owning muscle recovery tools is essential for me. Since I will never be the one to spend money booking regular massages, I need to have the right tools at home so I can do my own muscle therapy. That’s where Moji massage products come in.

I had the opportunity to put their products to the test and I really LOVE them! They are totally different than any of my other products. Each product has these awesome stainless steel balls that roll across your body with such ease. Unlike some muscle rollers that distribute more even pressure, Moji Massage Products can give you that muscle roller feel while also addressing trigger points.

Moji Mini ProFor instance, I used the Moji Mini Pro like a muscle roller on my sore legs, applying even pressure across my quadriceps, but I applied deeper pressure on my VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique), which is that tear drop shaped muscle located just above and to the inside of the kneecap.

Since the rubber material that supports the massage balls is flexible, you can determine what areas get most of the deeper pressure by simply bending your hands and pushing on the exact area you want to address, unlike fixed muscle rollers.

I pretty much have used the Moji Mini Pro everywhere, including my legs, arms, neck and shoulders.

Moji Pro CurveThe Moji Curve Pro is more like a traditional muscle roller. It has 2 sturdy handles on either side, so you can control your pressure with ease, and 4 large massage balls in the center. I personally like the balls over the rolling discs because they don’t just roll in one direction. Not only that, they seem to dig in more for a deeper massage.

I really fell in love with the Moji Curve Pro when I used it on my neck and low back muscles. The slight curve in the Moji Curve Pro conforms more to your body and gives you a much more comfortable massage. It also seems like the balls are just perfectly placed so you can navigate around your spine. The curved body, along with the nice big handles, makes it easy to do a self-massage.

Moji Foot ProFinally, I got to try the Moji Foot Pro. For those of you who followed Steve’s Fat To Fit To Fat journey on A&E, you might have seen him walking around in a boot for plantar fasciitis. The Moji Foot Pro is PERFECT for treating plantar fasciitis. He was rolling his foot on a lacrosse ball for myofascial release and then applying ice to manage inflammation. Now, he can get all of that using one product.

The sturdy non-stick base makes it easy to use even on tile floor. By massaging the heel area, you can use the Moji Foot Pro for myofascial release to reduce pain. But wait! That’s not all! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! LOL!) I’ve been saving the best for last. Mojo Pro products are made so that you can put them in the freezer for ice massages. That means Steve can massage AND ice in one sitting.

Ice massagerIce massage is the most effective method for applying ice. Ice massages are proven to drive the ice-cold healing temperatures deeper into the tissue. It also doesn’t require as much time as applying an ice pack. You can get some serious healing with one 10-minute ice massage – and it feels good too.

Steve did ice massages on patients all the time in physical therapy, but we haven’t done it much at home. It takes time to prepare your ice cups and you have to wait for them to freeze, which takes awhile. Moji Massage Products make ice massaging easy and less messy, since there is no melting ice to deal with. And, they’re ready for use again after just a short visit back to the freezer!

As I write this blog, I’ve been periodically using my Moji products while I read and proof everything – and really love how easy they are to use. They aren’t as bulky and awkward as some other products I’ve used.

I’m really excited about being more proactive with muscle recovery and having all the right tools to do it. And lastly, I’m excited about the Moji massage Steve’s going to give me tonight (even though he doesn’t know it yet).

Moji products get 2 thumbs up and a fist bump!

This blog is part of a sponsored Moji campaign. All of my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Love Fitness? Then #GetACECertified 

This blog is part of a sponsored ACE Fitness campaign. All of my opinions are my own.

1989 Nu Life GymI worked at my first health club at the ripe young age of 18 in the late eighties (don’t judge the hair! lol). I knew nothing about fitness; I just thought it was cool. The club I worked for seemed to attract out of shape people who really didn’t know anything about exercise. Within just a few days of new-employee training, I knew more than the members – but that wasn’t saying much.

I didn’t know names of muscles. I didn’t really know how many repetitions or sets to do. My job was just to show people how to use equipment and that’s about it. My title was “fitness instructor,” which was a pretty accurate title. I gave people instructions, but no explanations or context. I just regurgitated what I was told.

walton fat rolling machineThe manager of my first gym was far from fit. He was all about signing up new members and tracking sales. He was the type of guy who would celebrate a new sign-up with a smoke break. There was no one to look up to and no one to learn from. I was on my own.

Our gym didn’t have any personal trainers. As a matter of fact, I had never even heard about personal training. After a few months of working the gym, I realized I wanted to learn more. It became quite clear that a gym that used old fat rolling machines wasn’t exactly what I needed.

I began doing homework and learning about weight training, supplements, and the whole fitness lifestyle. I continued using my body as a science project, putting everything I learned to the test. I still had no idea I could make fitness a career. Fitness was just fun for me and it made me feel great.

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterA few years later (1994) I met my husband, Steve Pfiester. He attended Florida State University to study Exercise and Nutrition. During the first year of our marriage, Steve decided to become a certified personal trainer. I remember we traveled three hours away for him to attend a weekend training certification course. At the time, we didn’t know the difference between certification programs. Steve came home with his piece of paper, but he was completely frustrated with how little he learned.

Steve responded to his frustration by seeking more knowledge. He continued his education, graduating with a degree in Physical Therapy. After his finals, we bought our first gym. Since Steve was the brainiac of the family, I relied on him to stay up with all the trends and credentials. He would teach me everything he learned and I soaked it in. I even took some small specialty certification courses along the way, but it was not enough.

Taking My Profession to “The Max”

IMG_6655

IMG_9676

Steve and I own Max Fitness in Vero Beach, Florida, where we run BCx Boot Camp and Team Max competition team.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted more. I wanted to start teaching our boot camp training program with Steve and to be more hands on with gym members. I wanted more credentials and more respect. It was time to get certified. I took it very seriously (what I really mean is I was terrified). I was so scared of school. I was never a great student, but now I realize I never really studied something I love the way I love fitness.

ace personal training materialsAs I thought about getting certified, I knew I didn’t want a piece of paper from just any online or weekend certification company. I wanted to get certified by a respected school with a great track record. I knew this meant it wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew it was the right route to go.

I studied so hard and was so scared I wouldn’t pass. Testing has never been something I’m good at. And while I was a nervous wreck come test day, I passed with flying colors.

Why do I tell this story?

Because as I look back, I can’t believe it took me over 25 years to get certified in a business I love. Sure, becoming certified took time. It was a commitment, but the feeling I got when I hung my certification on the wall was so worth it. I was no longer a businesswoman who was a fitness enthusiast. I was a fitness professional.

personal trainerThere are so many trainers out there who are either not certified at all or not certified by a reputable school. There are a lot of people (like me when I was 18) who enjoy working out and helping people but have no real clue what they are doing. And there are people (also like me, later in life) who have a ton of experience but lack the credentials to take their passion to the next level and make fitness training a solid, respected career.

If you want to be respected in your field, if you want to be proud of your career and if you want to be taken seriously, you need to take your education seriously. You need to get certified by a school that will give you a certificate you will be proud to display on your wall. Don’t procrastinate the way I did!

Start Your Fitness Career Now

Now is the time to start your career off right. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a personal trainer, don’t put it off any longer. The longer you put off your education, the longer you put off the success.

ACE Fitness Blogger Image02 (2)

There are hundreds of personal trainer certification options on the market, but only ONE rooted in 30 years of science-based research from ACE, the world’s largest nonprofit health and fitness certification organization. The ACE certification is created to help health and fitness professionals deliver the type of individualized programs people need to adopt long-term, healthy behaviors.

Max Fitness5 Reasons To Get ACE Certified

  1. Personal training matters. There are a lot of jobs that seem to be centered around meaningless tasks. However, personal training is a career with purpose. You get to impact people’s lives in more ways than one. You get to help your clients become healthier, stronger, faster, thinner, happier, smarter, more confident and simply better. Every day you plant seeds of health in people’s lives. You may not always see that seed grow fully, but you can know you are making a difference no matter how big or small.
  1. Live ExercisePersonal training is fun. Fitness is fun. Unlike working in a cubicle, personal trainers get to work in a fun environment. Personal training is very social and a great opportunity to surround yourself around like-minded positive people. Your clients become your friends and family.
  1. dollar days HEATHER5Personal training is rewarding. There are not a lot of careers as rewarding as helping people get healthy. Knowing you have a career that has a very clear purpose is so satisfying, but the real satisfaction comes in when you and your client get to celebrate success together. You not only get paid to do the work you love to do, you get an additional reward watching your clients’ hard work pay off too.
  1. Personal training is successful. Personal training is projected to be one of the fastest growing professions in the next 20 years. With the help of reality TV and social media, people have seen what personal trainers can do for their clients. Those results motivate people to also get the help they need to succeed.
  1. Personal training is flexible. Whether you are a stay at home mom or you work another job, personal training can be very flexible. You can set your own schedule around your family and other jobs. You can work at home, in a park or at a gym. The sky is the limit.

CLICK HERE to Get Your Career Guide

Follow ACE to get more industry news, fitness tips and career help!

Follow #getACEcertified to see what’s trending in the biz!

This blog is part of a sponsored ACE Fitness campaign. All of my opinions are my own.

 

Monday Motivation: It’s Time To Refocus

nearsightednessAre You Near Sighted?

What if every decision you made was not based on how you feel now, but how you would feel later? I believe too many of us approach our life with a near sighted view. We only make decisions based on what we can see up close, because everything far away is a blur.

If we want to succeed in ANYthing in life, we MUST take a far sighted approach. We must look way off into the distance and see how the decisions we make NOW will affect us LATER.

Keep your eye on the prizeSuccess Is Easy (IF)

If we keep our eyes looking ahead, succeeding is EASY!

It is EASY to get that run in
(KNOWING WE WILL FEEL AMAZING LATER).

It is EASY to not snack in night
(KNOWING WE’LL WAKE UP FEELING SO THIN).

It is EASY to not hit the snooze button
(KNOWING WE’LL AVOID FEELING REGRET).

It is EASY to not give up on our fitness program
(KNOWING IT WILL ALL PAY OFF AND WE’LL BE A TOTALLY NEW PERSON).

Beyond the Now

distractionsWhether you are working to lose weight, improve your marriage, grow in the Lord, raise your kids right, get that promotion at work, pay off debt (and the list goes on), you will NEVER reach your goal if you focus on the now.

Sacrifice is required NOW. Pain may even be required NOW. Denying yourself things you would like may be essential NOW. BUT, LATER? OH MY! Later, is going to be amazing. Later, is when you will be so proud you didn’t let the now get in the way.

Here is one of my favorite verses that reminds me of the reward of discipline. “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Hebrews 12:11

Today is the day you are going to get your eye back on the prize!

Today is the Day

HOPE: Motivation For Success

If you are reading this and you are on a fitness journey, I need to encourage you to stay the course. I want to remind you why you have to succeed. Of course I want you to reach your goals for your own health and wellbeing, but there are SO many more reasons why you need to succeed, why you have to do what is right and why you simply cannot fail.

People are watching. Not that you should be doing this for anyone else, but you are fooling yourself if you think that no one else is affected by your failure or success to get fit. Besides the obvious people (like your spouse or your kids) who are affected by your health in more ways than one, there are many other people who may never get fit if you don’t.

The Power of the Underdog

What in the world do I mean? Well, let me give you a little story about a man who lived in the 1800s named Dwight Moody. Trust me, it’s worth reading. Mr. Moody became a famous evangelist and publisher. He started churches, a Bible Institute and a publishing company called Moody Publishers – which still thrives today. So what, you ask? Well, wait until you hear how he started!

Mr. Moody lost his dad when he was 4. As a child, his mom sent him away to work for his room in board because she couldn’t afford to raise her 5 kids. At 17 he moved to Boston to work for his uncle’s shoe store, but one of his uncle’s requirements was he had to go to church. This is where it gets good – and believe me, there is a very strong message in just this story alone that will touch your heart and impact the way you look at your life, your goals and your potential.

Dwight MoodyAt 17, Moody decided to join the church. His uncle’s church required church members to fill out an application. Can you image getting rejected by a church? Well, that’s what happened to him. His Sunday School teacher said this about Moody, “I can truly say…that I have seen few persons whose minds were spiritually darker than was his when he came into my Sunday School class; and I think that the committee of the Mount Vernon Church seldom met an applicant for membership more unlikely ever to become a Christian of clear and decided views of Gospel truth, still less to fill any extended sphere of public usefulness.”

WOW! is all I can say. He basically was voted less likely so succeed by his Sunday School teacher. However, his transformation eventually proved worthy to join the church, because he was later accepted into the church. He quickly started actually teaching and sharing what he was learning.

One man witnessed some of his early “teaching” (at an abandoned saloon might I add! ha!) He said this, “the first thing I saw was a man standing up with a few tallow candles around him, holding a negro boy, and trying to read to him the story of the Prodigal Son and a great many words he could not read out, and had to skip. I thought, ‘If the Lord can ever use such an instrument as that for His honor and glory, it will astonish me.”

Of course, you already know that his poverty, lack of education (he only had a 5th grade education) and even his past didn’t stop him from God using Him in a mighty way. He had all the odds against him, but don’t you know his testimony and his ability to reach people would impact SO many more people than a guy who group up in riches, with the best education and seemingly had not much to overcome? He was the spiritual underdog. His spiritual transformation is what was so powerful and gave so many people hope. If God could use him, He can use anyone.

Now, let me tie this into fitness, life and goals.

People Need Hope

hopePeople need real people with real challenges to succeed because they need hope. In many ways, Moody started out spiritually obese, ignorant and out of shape. However, he never gave up. He invested time and energy in learning how to live right and was obedient to what he learned. He didn’t let his pride get him down, and he applied to the church again even after being rejected. He even taught before he probably felt ready to be used in that capacity. He could have easily refused to teach because he didn’t read well. He did what he could with what he had – and it was more than enough to impact the world still today!

While this story is about spiritual health, don’t you know it applies to all areas of our life?  How many people hear what they need to do but just don’t do it. How many people simply just don’t have much knowledge about what to do, and they let that stop them, instead of just doing what they DO know? How many people let their pride get in the way of going back to the gym after experiencing some kind of failure or rejection? How many people feel like the aren’t not capable or able to accomplish certain tasks or exercises? How many people let their weaknesses keep them from getting stronger?

Moody not only reminds us to keep pressing on but he reminds us of how people need the “average person” to succeed.

“If this world is going to be reached, I am convinced that it must be done by men and women of average talent.”

This is why we must succeed. Someone who is exactly where you are right now needs to see you succeed to have hope that they can do it too. No one else will be able to relate to them or impact them like you can. Whether you are striving to lose weight or save your marriage, you have to do it with all you have because your story WILL impact others – for good or for bad. Which one will it be?

moody success quote

 

The Need For Hope

Hope changes the mind:

“Hope allows people to approach problems with a mindset and strategy-set suitable to success, thereby increasing the chances they will actually accomplish their goals.”  - Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D.

Hope is healthy:

“When people feel hopeful, they tend to face fewer mental health concerns.” – Good Therapy

Hope grows you:

“Those lacking hope, tend to adopt mastery goals. People with mastery goals choose easy tasks that don’t offer a challenge or opportunity for growth. When they fail, they quit. People with mastery goals act helpless, and feel a lack of control over their environment. They don’t believe in their capacity to obtain the kind of future they want. They have no hope. – Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D.

Hope is contagious: 

“Your hope is actually dependent on your entire social network, including best friends, role models and secondhand associates. And your hope can be shared with others.” – author and Gallup senior scientist Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D, in his book Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others.

 

330-Calorie Zesty Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Zesty Spaghetti SquashI got a wild hair to make a new creation. Steve had bought some spaghetti squash on his last grocery visit and I had a really good idea what I wanted to do with it but i had not recipe. I was in the mood for ITALIAN. It was time to get creative! The end result was amazing!! Steve freaked the heck out and I had many of you guys say “RECIPE PLEASE” when seeing the finished product on social media!

Even though I didn’t follow a recipe, I did log all the food in the lose it app so I can share with you what what I did. My goal for this meal was to get my spaghetti/lasagna fix without the crazy carbs – and I succeeded. Totally amazing and I do plan on making this again and continuing to tweak it so stay tuned for more!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 package of frozen spinach (1 1/4 Cups)
  • 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Can Drained Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cottage Cheese 2%
  • 1/4 Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Reduced Fat Sharp Finely Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Light Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic
  • 1 Cup Diced Onion
  • Stevia

#1 Prep the Spaghetti Squash for Cooking

The first step is to cut and cook the squash. Here is a great little video to show how you get the spaghetti ready for baking. Just like the video, I cut it in half, placed it in a dish (with about a 1/2 inch layer of water in the bottom) and cooked the squash until it was soft, producing nice spaghetti flesh when scraped with a fork. If it is still hard in spots, you will need to put it back in the microwave until the squash softens more. You’ll be periodically attending to the cooking process while you continue working on the next steps.

 

#2 Prepare your Meat

While the squash is cooking in the microwave, put your ground turkey in a nice big frying pan and season to your liking. I put salt, pepper, red pepper, a dash of season salt and italian seasonings in my meat mix and covered it on medium heat. While the meat starts heating up, dice up your onion and toss at least half of the diced onions into the pan with the meat, along with 1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic. Continue cooking on medium heat until fully browned.

#3 Prepare your Casserole

Once you have your spaghetti squash removed from the shell and ready to rock in a nice big mixing bowl, and your meat is fully cooked, you can start making magic!

Preheat your oven on 375. Add the butter and the other tablespoon of minced garlic to the hot spaghetti. Add the rest of the onions, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (I used a nice sweet basil sauce), ground turkey, parmesan cheese and defrosted drained spinach. I added 2 packets of stevia to sweeten the sauce and bring out more flavor.

Next, place 1/2 of the mixture in a greased casserole dish. Spread the cottage cheese across the top of the first layer. You can throw a dash of salt and pepper on that layer for fun, or you can replace that layer with a traditional lasagna ricotta cheese mixture. Spread the rest of spaghetti squash yumminess on top of the cottage cheese and sprinkle a light layer of the shredded sharp cheese on top.

Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, which was about 15 minutes. I then bumped the oven to broil for 3 minutes just to brown the top. Let the dish stand and cool a little before serving.

Nutrition Information

This made 6 HUGE servings, or 8 medium-sized servings. The nutritional information below is for 6 large servings. AMAZING flavor and nutrients for only 330 calories – and a great meal for #NoCarbNights! Yes, it has carbs, but spaghetti squash has only 10 grams of carbs for 6 ounces but pasta has nearly 70gms of carbs for the same amount – making this a great lower carb meal!!!!

Spaghetti Squash = 10gm Carbs & 54 Calories for 6 ounces
Spaghetti Noodles = 69gms Carbs & 291 Calories for 6 ounces

Zesty Spaghetti Squash

NOTE: If you are cooking this for friends, it is doesn’t present well when it’s nice and hot (it falls apart into a spaghetti mess, so you may want to serve it in bowls the night you cook it). I actually may add 1-2 egg whites next time to see if that helps keep things together. However, this is an EXCELLENT dish to cook ahead of time, as it is easier to cut into pretty squares for serving when it’s cold AND, like pasta, it continues to be more flavorful as it sits. If you want to entertain guests with a nice presentation, reheat each square and serve with a nice italian salad to impress guests with yummy eye appeal as well as taste! ENJOY!

 

 

No Carb Night 30-Day Challenge

Who is willing to step up the diet and commit to doing NO CARBS after 5:00PM (or after last workout)!? Of course, when I mean NO CARBS, I really mean LOW CARBS. Even green vegetables are carbs, but we can make better lower calorie selections at night.

Why should we eat lower carbs at night?

man tiredFood is fuel and carbs are a great fuel source for activity. Unless you work a night shift, you don’t need a lot of fuel before you sleep. You DO need carbs to help fuel you through the day or get you through resistance training or tough workout. But, you don’t really need carbs for fat-burning activities.

What are some fat-burning activities? We burn the highest percentage of fat when we sleep. We also burn a higher percentage of fat when we do moderate activity like a light jog, steady run or power walk. That’s why you can do those things on a mostly empty stomach so you can tap into your own stored fat for fuel. However, if you need to be powerful, explosive, strong and alert, you need carbs to help power you through it all.

When do you need protein?

protein2 of the best times to get a boost of protein is right after a workout (within 30-40 minutes following your sweat-fest), and before you go to bed because we do a lot of muscle repair while we sleep. So, that’s why we do more carbs and less protein in the morning and more protein and less carbs at night – because protein isn’t that great of a energy fuel source, but it’s awesome fore repair.

Fats should stay pretty even through out the day for smooth energy and to help slow digestion (and keep us feeling full longer). That’s why dieters are tired and hangry when they are on a low-fat diet. lol Fat helps you stay full and gives you more energy for a happy dieter.

If you use food as fuel and think before you eat, you are simply giving our body the fuel it needs as it needs it – which means purposeful eating and fewer unused calories being stored as fat.

What are good carbs and bad carbs?

CarbsMost food is all good in moderation to a certain degree. There are just higher calorie carbs and lower calorie carbs. There are carbs that have more fiber in them and are healthier, and there are carbs that have a lower glycemic index (they don’t cause your blood sugar to go wacky).

Instead of saying good carbs, bad carbs, maybe I should say “good carbs and even better carbs”. Obviously cake would fall under the bad carbs, but when I talk about good carbs vs bad carbs, I’m really referring to all good food, just good choices and better choices, depending on your activity.

For instance, potatoes and rice may be considered “bad carbs” to some people but it’s not bad if you are eating it when you need it and plan to use it up. You can use these fuels to your advantage if you time them right. One of our local doctors (Dr. Deepti) prefers us not to have rice at all for example, but she understands we use it as fuel and said “as LONG as you use it all up and get rid of it!” We agree!

Gi_graphSome carbs turn to sugar really quickly and can really mess up our blood sugar levels – plus, they can be stored as fat very quickly too. While I’m not saying go eat a candy bar before your workout, it is important to use your higher calorie carbs wisely, using them as fuel to be more productive, have better workouts and more energy when you need the energy. You just want to make sure you are burning them off, even when you are eating healthy carbs like sweet potatoes.

There is SO much more to say about carbs, but that’s a blog for another day! lol Let’s just keep things simple! Let’s just work to eat our high-cal carbs during the day and before workouts, and reduce high-calorie carbs at night and see how we feel – and see how it affects the scale.

Here is a easy list I found on lowcarbediem.com of low-carb items to help you if you decide to take the No Carb Night challenge.

SAY NO:

Say no to high-cal fruit, bread, chips, popcorn, crackers, rice, potato, rice cakes, sweets, flavored yogurt, high-cal condiments, high-cal drinks and anything with high fructose corn syrup in it (start looking – it will AMAZE you what it’s in – from bread and crackers to pickles and cottage cheese!).

High Carbs Examples
Potato (1/2 baked) 29.0
Rice (1/2c) 21.0
Banana (1 small) 23.0
Popcorn 25.0 (bag of 100-calorie popcorn)
Beans (1/2c) 19.4
Corn (1/2c) 14.4g
Sweet Potato (mashed to fit 1/4c) 14.5
Low Fat Wheat Thins (8 crackers) 11.0
Apple 25.0
Bread (1 slice) 15.0
Light Yogurt (1 small container) 15.0
Rice Cake (1) 7.0g
Beer 4.2 (Mic Ultra) – 7.0 (ales, IPAs, etc) – up to 9-10.0 (stouts), 12.0 (malts)

SAY YES:

Say yes to low-cal veggies, meat, avocado, low-cal fruit, boiled egg whites, cottage cheese, sugar-free yogurt, sugar-free jello, cucumbers in apple cider vinegar, cheese, nuts, jerky, dill pickles. CLICK HERE to get a printable low-carb grocery list.

The following list is a list of fruits and veggies that are considered lower in carbs – look for the ones LOWEST in carbs. :)

Vegetable | Net Carbs – Serving Size: 1/4 cup,
Artichoke 6.9
Asparagus (6) 2.4
Beans, green 2.9
Beets 6.5
Bok Choy 0.7
No Carb NightsBroccoli 1.7
Brussels Sprouts 7.6
Cabbage 1.1
Carrot 5.1
Cauliflower 1.5
Celery 0.8
Collard Greens 3.0
Cucumber 1.8
Eggplant 2.0
Garlic (1 clove) 1.0
Lettuce 0.5
Mushroom 1.0
Onion 4.0
Parsnip 9.0
Peas 6.5
Peppers, Green 3.4
Peppers, Red 3.3
Pickle (1 medium) 2.0
Pumpkin 6.3
Radish 0.5
Rutabaga 4.0
Spinach 0.2
Squash, yellow 1.4
Tomato 3.2
Turnips 2.3
Zucchini 3.3
Fruit | Net Carbs, Serving Size: 1/4 cup, unless otherwise indicated.
Applesauce 6.2
Apricot (1 whole) 3.1
Avocado (1 whole) 0.5
Cantaloupe 3.0
Carambola/Starfruit (1 whole) 3.0
Cherries 4.2
Coconut 1.3
Grapes 6.7
Grapefruit (1 whole) 9.0
Honeydew 3.6
Kiwi 6.5
Lemon (1 whole) 3.8
Mango 6.3
Orange (1 whole) 12.9
Passionfruit (1 whole) 2.0
Peach (1 whole) 8.9
Pineapple 4.3
Plantain 12.0
Plum (1 whole) 7.6
Watermelon 2.6
Berries | Net Carbs
Acai Berry (1 oz) 5.0
Blackberry 2.7
Blueberry 4.1
Boysenberry 13.0
Cranberry 2.0
Currant 4.0
Elderberry 4.0
Gooseberry 9.0
Huckleberry (3.5 oz) 8.0
Loganberry (3.5 oz) 8.0
Pokeberry shoots 1.0
Raspberry 1.5
Salmonberry (3.5 oz) 8.0
Strawberry 1.8

CLICK HERE to get a low carb grocery list!
Share YOUR low-carb treats with #nocarbnights and I’ll repost and share!!

Atkins-Low-Carb-Grocery-Food-List-to-print-e1423165252997

New Promax Bars Make Me Very Happy

This post contains sponsored material. All opinions are my own.

Searching for the Perfect Protein Bar?

promax barsThere are so many protein bars on the market these days – but not all protein bars are created equal. Some so-called protein bars don’t even count in my book. Some of them are just as bad as a cereal bar or candy bar. They have all the ingredients and calories of candy bars, and then they just add a little protein to make you feel better about eating junk food!

PFIT TIP: I put my bars out where they are easy to see so I don’t forget to grab one out the door. Out of site, out of mind.

Low-Calorie Bar

promax BAREveryone is different with unique needs and tastes, but when it comes to protein bars, you still want to make sure you are getting a healthy bar and not just a candy bar with a healthy-looking name on the label. You want a bar that is going to help you toward your goal – not sabotage it. You should look for a bar that will not just satisfy your hunger for a minute, but that will satisfy you for a while. It should have quality ingredients to not only fuel your body but also sustain it.

In my opinion, there are very few protein bars that actually do this. There are PLENTY of bars out there, but most are too high in sugar, carbs, or fat. Another big issue is that many protein bars are way too high in calories. If I’m going to eat 400 calories, I’d rather eat a full meal!

Healthy Bar

I was recently introduced to Promax Nutrition Carb Sense bars. They are high-protein bars (18g protein), which are perfect for people who watch carbs and are trying to manage their weight. There are only 5-6g of net carbs per bar with a whopping 12-13g of FIBER. Another thing I love about these bars is that they’re perfectly balanced! I typically try to follow the 33/33/33 principle of eating equal amounts of each macro-nutrient (33% calories from fats, protein, and carbs).

Promax Nutrition Carb Sense bars fit my nutrition plan perfectly!

  • 35-40% calories from protein
  • 30% calories from carbs
  • 30-35% calories from fat

Plus, they’re healthy!

  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No preservatives
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • No trans fats
  • No maltitol
  • No gelatin
  • Gluten-free, kosher, and vegetarian.

Traveling Bar

 

“If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”.

I always say “if you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. Too many people make poor decisions simply because hunger creeps up on them and they are unprepared. That’s why I always have a bar on me at all times. I keep one in the car, one in my purse and one in my gym bag.

If you are a chocolate lover, you have probably experienced the hot mess a bar can leave if you leave it in your car. That’s another reason I like Promax Nutrition bars. In addition to having chocolatey bars for the chocolate lovers, they have great tasting bars without the chocolate coating, which can melt in hot temperatures – and can crumble in your lap (pet peeve!), if you are like me and eat them on the go.

(This was me eating a Promax Bar on the way down south to the LiveExercise studio. Since it’s an 1 1/2 drive, I often eat a bar in the car so I can fuel up closer to show time!)

Promax BarsAnother reason I like the Carb Sense bars is because they taste more like food than candy. Since they are mildly sweet, they don’t make me feel like I’m trying to eat a Snickers Bar for breakfast (that’s not a habit I want to start teaching myself!).The Carb Sense bars are more along the lines of the sweetness of a muffin. I personally can’t eat sickeningly sweet bars in the morning or around my workout (they make my stomach uneasy).

However, if you are having a sweet tooth craving, they have you covered there, too with many other delicious options. I hear their chocolate bars are a popular item, so I guess that will be the next one on my list to try – especially for those nighttime sweet cravings!

Today is a good example of eating on-the-go. I had to be up at 4am to teach boot camp and I knew that I’d need to eat before I worked out later in the morning after classes were over. So, I threw a Promax bar in my purse. Once classes were over, I poured a nice hot cup of yummy coffee and enjoyed my Carb Sense bar with my coffee as a breakfast meal replacement, which was perfect pre-workout fuel. The only problem was I wanted to only eat half of it, but it tasted too good so I ended up eating the whole thing! Ha! Good thing it was only 180 calories!

promax barsMy Experience with Promax Nutrition Bars

The 2 bars I got are the Carb Sense Salted Caramel and the Carb Sense Honey Peanut and I really am enjoying them so much. To make them last even longer, I cut them up into pieces (my mom taught me this trick!) and snack on them as I get hungry. One bar has lasted me 2 hours this morning as I just pop a couple pieces in my mouth with every few sips of coffee while I work!

Where to get them:

You can get them online in a few simple, easy steps or you can use the store locator to find a store in your area. I just found out that they sell them at the Vitamin Shoppe near my house… Yay! I can’t wait to try more flavors! Check them out and let me know what you think.

 

 

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