Pro Matcha: Green Tea Protein (Whaaat?)

Pro MatchaPeople are constantly asking me to recommend a protein powder to them, but what they don’t realize is all protein supplements are not created equal. Not only are there many different brands and flavors, there are different blends for different needs.

Today I am going to talk about a very unique protein powder that is more than just a protein powder. In fact, I’d have to say it falls under a totally different department altogether. It’s part energy drink and part protein powder – and before you even think about getting it, here are a few things you should know because there’s nothing out there like it – at least not that I’ve seen.

5 things you should know about Pro Matcha

MATCHA GREEN TEA1. Pro Matcha is made of green tea. Pro Matcha, by Vibrant Health is made with Matcha, a specially grown and processed green tea. Yes, you heard right. It’s made with GREEN TEA! We’ve all heard of green tea and how healthy it is, but this particular tea leaf has a host of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in every drop. It’s so potent that 1 serving of Matcha would give you the nutrient equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea. The potency of Matcha makes this one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

RUNNING2. Pro Matcha gives you sustained energy. I’d have to say that Pro Matcha is first a health and energy booster more than a standard traditional protein powder. Most supplement companies throw in a dash of something unique or special (like caffeine) to make it different enough to stand out, but Pro Matcha focused on the health and energy benefits first. The added benefits are not an afterthought. The total body benefits are the focus – starting with the brain.

The energy you get from Pro Matcha is probably best described as a calm alert. Since Matcha is a combination of unique energy boosting amino acids and caffeine, it gives you incredible clarity and the ability to concentrate without the caffeine jitters. For example, I am normally easily distracted. That’s why writing an article like this can take me twice as long as it may for others. Since I have two articles to write today, I had a shake before I started and I’m flying through it with superior alertness and the ability to concentrate, despite all the interruptions. Even after multiple texts, phone calls and emails, I’ve had the ability to jump right back on my computer and pick up right where I left off.

3. Pro Matcha is made for more than just muscle.
Most protein blends try to give you protein that mainly matches muscle protein. While Pro Matcha does have all the essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) for optimal muscle growth and repair, this supplement takes it even further to meet all the protein needs for the entire body – not just muscle.

Even though Pro Matcha has 21gms of protein in every serving, fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders can actually add Pro Matcha to their regular protein shake for even more protein power (as well as all of the other benefits of Pro Matcha).

PRO MATCHA GREEN TEA4. Pro Matcha is green. Don’t let the color freak you out. While you can get Pro Matcha in different flavors, like Vanilla and Chocolate, the Matcha green tea leaf and spirulina protein make the powder green despite the flavor. While this is not my favorite tasting protein supplement, the green color reminds me it’s more than just a protein powder.

The same way I like orange juice more than milk (and can’t fairly compare the two because they are totally different beverages), you can’t compare traditional protein powder with Pro Matcha because they are totally different supplements. Pro Matcha happens to have a great dose of protein in it, but its focus is the energy boost and total health benefits.

vegan5. Pro Matcha is Vegan. Pro Matcha is made up of Algal, Sacha Inchi, Yellow Pea, and Spirulina, but the biggest protein-packing ingredient is from yellow pea. So, Pro Matcha is great for vegetarians and vegans. Finding a quality protein for vegans can be challenging, especially for my fit friends. Pro Matcha meets all the requirements for vegans who are serious about fitness and provides general health benefits to people who don’t yet go to the gym (yet!). Shoot, maybe after starting Pro Matcha, they’ll have the energy to start working out, too!

Pro Matcha Benefits

  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Low Carb
  • Low glycemic index
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Curbs Hunger
  • Detoxifies
  • Pre or Post Workout
  • Non-Allergenic
  • Productive (No-Crash) Energy
  • Digestible
  • Contains all essential amino acids and BCAAs
  • Fiber, vitamins, minerals, nutrients
  • Immune Support
  • pH balancing

Save with this Coupon Code

Use this coupon code: PFITBLOG for 20% OFF the total order! CLICK HERE to shop.

This post is sponsored by Vibrant Health. My opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Suck It Up And Eat It

eat your veggiesDid your parents make you eat your veggies before you had dessert? Did they make you try food you didn’t like. I remember HATING squash and it was my mom’s favorite. Guess what, I had to eat it too. She didn’t make me eat a ton of it, but she did always want me to at least have a few bites. I’m so thankful she made me try these things because it taught me to “suck it up and eat it” – which is something I still have to apply as a grown adult. And, guess what? Eventually, I started liking the same foods I used to not like.

When we grow up, we think we should be able to eat whatever we want to eat. But, it doesn’t take long before we realize that has serious repercussions. Over time, we realize we need to eat what is good for us – whether we like it or not.

Southwest Scrambled EggsFor example, I don’t like eggs. With that said, I eat them anyway because they are good for me. Today, I added sautéed onions, fresh diced tomato, hot sauce and light sour cream to make them a little more enjoyable. My point for sharing this is not to give you an egg recipe but to encourage you that we don’t have to like every meal we eat. We don’t have to hate food either, but sometimes we need to eat what is best, not just eat what tastes best.

We live in a world full of people who are not accustomed to making sacrifices. Most people believe you should be able to have your cake and eat it too. We live in a society that trains people to think of food as entertainment, instead of fuel.

People think “what do I want to eat” instead of “what does my body need to eat”. Again, not that it can’t taste amazing, but food was created to nourish us, not to entertain our tongue at every sitting.

It’s not that we always have to sacrifice taste for quality, but we shouldn’t determine what we eat based solely on what we prefer to eat (or taste – because if it were up to me, I’d want to taste chips and salsa at every meal!).

Eating is no different than any other responsibility we have. We have a responsibility to do tasks at work we don’t enjoy. We have a responsibility to work in order to deserve a paycheck. And, we have the responsibility to take care of our body and that includes eating what is best for our body – doing the work to deserve the reward (good health). Food, like work, will include some things we love and some things we don’t like as much.

People often tell me how much they don’t like certain veggies, like broccoli, asparagus, kale or brussel sprouts to name a few of the most disliked foods I hear about. Of course, we ALL would rather have pasta and pie, but what do you despise more? Being overweight or eating foods that may not be your favorite (at first) – because, seriously, your tastes WILL change.

tasteMost healthy foods really do taste amazing. Some foods I like, you may hate and vice versa. In other words, I’m not suggesting you have to eat tasteless foods and not enjoy eating. I’m just suggesting that some foods you may not be used to eating may eventually be a food you begin to prefer if you give it a chance. It’s good to exercise your discipline by trying new things, training your tongue to enjoy foods you used to not like.

We know this is possible because most people that drink Diet Coke now (and love it), used to hate it (me included). I used to hate Greek yogurt and now I love it and can’t stand regular yogurt. My husband used to hate fish and now he loves it. He also used to hate fruit in his salad and now he can’t get enough.

Expand your horizons (and taste buds) – and expand your health and fitness.

DID YOU KNOW? 

“Up to 80 percent of the flavors we taste actually come from our sense of smell, which is why there’s a link between aroma and appetite, explains Dr. Christina Major at Crystal Holistic Health Consulting in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.” CLICK HERE for more fun facts about taste.

YOUR TURN

What are some foods you used to not like that you now really love?

5 Easy Ways to Lose the Holiday Weight

We all do it. We blow our diet over the holiday weekend. We not only eat poorly, but we just eat too much. After just a few days, we feel fat and miserable; and we feel 10lbs heavier than we really are. Believe me! I am one of those peeps!

I didn’t just have a 3-day weekend, Steve and I took a 10-day vacation for our anniversary and OMG did I overdo it! Although we did workout and stay active, hiking trails and cliffs, we ate higher calorie food and we ate way too much. I came back feeling like I had an extra carry on around my waist! Now it’s time to lose the extra baggage!!

The truth is, although the holiday is over and your mistakes are behind you, they aren’t really behind you YET. You bring those mistakes with you because you still carry all that food in your gut.

The Mayo Clinic explains that the average transit time, from the time you eat the food to elimination, is 40 hours – 33 hours for men and up to 47 hours for women. While you wait to get rid of you poor choices, here are a 5 things you can do to help you feel thinner again, even before the actual body fat is lost.

5 Ways to Lose the Holiday Weight Gain

drink-water11. Drink a LOT of water

Dining out and eating snacks can cause you to hold more water due to increased sodium. Water retention can account for up to 5lbs of additional weight from eating foods high in sodium. Flush your body by increasing your water intake – every day, all week long.

2. Go for a run

Get your sweat on and burn some calories! Not only does running help you sweat out the toxins built up from your poor choices over the weekend, but it tightens the core and will help burn off those extra calories and “erase those sins”. In addition, cardio helps move water around which relieves water retention and swelling.

3. Eat tiny portions

small portionsWork on shrinking your stomach by limiting portion sizes. It will take a few days for your copious amount of weekend food to get out of your system, but you can feel thinner quicker if you immediately go back to small portions. The less you have in your belly, the smaller your belly will look and feel. If you struggle to limit portions on your own, then eat pre-packaged foods to help control portion size.

This frozen entree (pictured left) is the correct portion for a dieter. As you can see, is much smaller than a dinner plate. Of course whole food is healthier than pre-packaged food, but pre-packaged food might be a better choice for you over overeating or eating out.

protein shake4. Go mushy

When I totally blow it, I like to stick to mushy foods for a few days. Like a healthier version of a fast, mushy foods (like protein shakes, oatmeal, greek yogurt and soups) help me to feel full without adding a lot of solid volume to my gut. I only do this for 3 days and I feel a million times better by the end of the week!

5. Plank it out

woman-plankIf you are like me, you’re probably tired of trying to hold your stomach in all weekend. Why? Because it’s hard to suck your tummy in when it is completely stuffed all weekend. Plus, if you didn’t workout over the weekend, your stomach muscles have probably gotten relaxed and stretched out. However, if you tighten up your core with some exercises, those muscles will tighten right back up – and it will be a lot easier to keep your stomach flat.

 

Tighten Your Tummy: Four Your Core Workout

Easy New Meal Plans Are a Click Away

chicken kebabsOne of my favorite Premium features in the Lose It! app (also available for desktop) is the meal plan feature. I wanted to share how you use it to get the most out of it because it’s really cool!

Some of the best Lose It! Premium features (in addition to syncing to your fun fitness devices) is located at the bottom of your “My Day” section (photo below). That is where our new 30-Days Best Body workout will be located too! If you are wanting a new recipe, click on the Meal Plan link. It will take you to the featured meal plans.

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Next, browse meal plans and choose your meal.

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I chose the first meal, Grilled Chicken Kebabs. Click on that link.

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Now you can view the recipe and instructions.

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Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Print Shopping List & Instructions” to add the meal to your app database (so you can add it to your daily log when you eat it)!

Lose It! app

It will prompt you to add the food to “My Foods” list. This way, you can add it to your day without having to log everything manually!!

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Now you can find the item in “My Foods”. How cool is THAT?!

Lose It Meal Plan

Lose It! is constantly adding fun new features like this one!! I’m super stoked to try some of their new foods – and I’m even more excited about offering their first in-app workout program called the “30-Days Best Body Program“. Be sure to enroll for premium today!! It’s only $39.99 a year and you are going to get more than just workouts and meal plans! They have so many cool premium features – plus you will get to workout with ME! <3

CLICK HERE to go premium!!

NEW! 30 Day Best Body Fitness & Nutrition Plan

The Pfiesters Partner with Lose It! to give their users the tools they need to succeed!

Best Body WorkoutSteve and I created a 30-Day bodyweight workout program JUST for Lose It!. We are super stoked about this program because we brought our own clients in to do the workouts WITH YOU!

My passion is motivation and I felt it would be so encouraging to watch REAL people getting REAL results WITH you! So, we invited some of our own clients to or studio to sweat it out with Steve as he leads you through each workout. Some of the Lose It! crew have already lost a ton of weight and some of them are still on their weight loss journey. Either way, you will NOT be doing this alone!!

This program will offer complete workout videos for each circuit AND a written workout with individual links to each exercise for quick access to each move in case you forgot how to do it. We can’t wait to see you in the #30DaysBestBody hashtag feed!!!! WOOO HOOO!!

CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up! FOLLOW the hashtag to join the conversation and post your sweaty pics > #30DaysBestBody

PREMIUM MEMBERS: If you are a Lose It! premium member, you’ll get the starter kit emailed to you – plus in-app access – on May 23.

FREE USERS: If you’re using a basic account, signing up for Lose It! Premium will give you an email starter kit, plus in-app access on May 23.

Meet the LoseIt Crew!

Lower Body Workout Partners

Stephanie, Steve and Heather will be crushing the leg workout!

LoseIt

HEATHER has lost 70lbs – and has kept it off for over a year! Her and her husband competed together for the first time last year to help them reach their fitness goals.

heatherHeather before and after

STEPHANIE – Stephanie has lost 40lbs and has another 60 to go. She trains so hard and we are SO proud to have her doing the workout with us!

12654164_10208469212918009_5273244600871882050_nstephanie steve heather

Upper Body Workout Partners

Ricky, Steve and Tasha will be leading the Upper Body Workouts!

loseit workout

RICKY – Ricky lost 20lbs his first month training with Steve! He has seen serious improvement in such a little amount of time. It’s hard, but it’s worth it!

RICKYScreen Shot 2016-03-06 at 9.32.53 AM

TASHA – Tasha, mom of 3, lost 60lbs with Steve on A&E’s Fit To Fat To Fit. She just completed the W.I.T.S personal training course so she can help more people get healthy.

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Conditioning Workouts

lose it conditioning workout 

Matt, Steve and Tiffany will be leading the Conditioning Workouts!

MATT – Matt is a religious LoseIt logger who started using LoseIt to help him prepare for bodybuilding competitions. He just took 1st place in Men’s Bodybuilding, and 3rd in Classic Physique.

matt 11188243_10155387835980012_4666485371846920839_n

TIFFANY – Tiffany has taught aerobics classes for several years, including Zumba, Body Pump and Pilates. She is shedding her baby weight right along you new moms out there. tiffany tiffany

Conditioning Workout Partners

Here is your cardio crew: Steve, Heather, Vanessa, Mitzi, Alyse, Patty and Me

PS – I’m the one behind the camera taking the video so you won’t see me sweating it out with you!

LoseIt conditioning workout

5 Ways to Avoid a “Snaccident”

SnaccidentI have to laugh when people say, “I do great on my diet during the day. My struggle is when I get home at night”. I’m like, “Duh! That’s EVERYONE’s struggle!”

People seem to stick to their diet when they are too busy to think about eating. But, as soon as they get home, it’s like we have some kind of magnetic force drawing us to the pantry – and, normally, we are not even hungry because we just ate dinner!

I have snaccidents all the time. Mine rarely include chocolate, pizza or potato chips, but I accidentally find myself snacking more than I should at night too. For me, it’s normally veggie straws, popcorn or a fruit and cheese snack plate. Whatever the case, it becomes a snaccident as soon as I eat more than I originally intended (which is too often).

How to avoid a snaccident:

snaccident1.) You can’t eat what you don’t buy. If you struggle with the temptation to snack, keep it out of your house. You wouldn’t stock up on alcohol if you were a recovering alcoholic, so don’t stock up on snacks if you are a recovering foodie.

2.) Change your snack choices. Trade out high calorie snacks for healthier options. Avoid anything with high fructose syrup or preservatives (some flavored salty snacks have preservatives that make you want more). Stick to sea salt flavors and whole foods like sliced cucumber in vinegar, air popped popcorn, thinly sliced cheese (or cheese stick), berries (lower in calories than other fruits), meat jerky, hot tea or a protein shake.

3.) Start new habits. If you are in the habit of snacking, start new habits like stretching while watching TV. Hold hands and snuggle with your spouse. Do productive things that keep you busy like doing a mani/pedi, fold clothes, sip on hot tea, polish your jewelry or clean out your purse.

4.) Reduce TV time. If you struggle with snacking while watching TV, quit watching so much TV.  Take a long relaxing bath to ease aching muscles and help you wind down. Sit on the porch and spend some quiet time with your spouse, or play a board game with your kids. We have plenty of things we can do that are helpful and healthier than just sitting on the couch.

golden girl quote5. Go to bed. How many calories would we save if we went to bed earlier? Seriously! Just recently, Steve had his head in my lap (so I could tickle his head) and when my TV show ended he said “please watch another show” (because he wanted more head tickles lol). What did I do? I tickled him until he fell asleep, which was all of 10 minutes, and then I ended up getting more snacks for the rest of my TV show! I would have just been better off if I went to bed with Steve and called it a night! Ugh!

Honestly, most of us are overworked, overstressed and under-rested. We need more sleep and more time to let our mind rest and our body heal from our workouts. It wouldn’t kill us to hit the sack earlier! A matter of fact, we probably all need it!

How do YOU prevent snackattacks?

Are You Calorie Unconscious?

Calorie ConscousMy friend, Mitzi, came over the other day with a Starbucks coffee. I asked her if she knew how many calories were in it and she replied, “No. I’m sorry. I didn’t know if you were being calorie conscious – or calorie unconscious”. After I died laughing, because that was a REALLY great way to describe a dieter vs a non-dieter, I proceeded to carefully sip the beverage. I could tell it was definitely a drink for the calorie unconscious!

This whole event made me think about how many people walk around calorie unconscious, simply completely unaware of what they are eating. Maybe it’s the “out of site, out of mind” mentality that drives people to not look at calories. I think some people prefer believing they are making good choices just by food’s appearance. However, the fact is, calories will show themselves to you whether you like it or not – eventually.

If you ignore them on your plate, you will not be able to ignore them on your waist. This isn’t to say you can’t lose weight without counting calories, but I will say it is a lot harder to lose weight based on guesses.

Weigh the Cost

The same way you should be aware of what you spend money on, you should be aware of what you spend your calories on. The more calorie conscious you are, the better decisions you can make. It’s just like shopping. It is responsible to look at price tags – and calories are the “price tag” of food.

starbucks coffeeOnce you read the label, then you can determine if it’s something you can “afford” to eat or not. For instance, I looked up the Toffee Nut Latte made with whole milk and it was 321 calories. I only drank half of it, knowing it was going to be high in calories, because I didn’t want to have to work to erase it. It tasted good, but it wasn’t worth the extra work I’d have to do to afford it, which would have been an extra 3-mile run.

Know the cost or pay the price. That’s the moral of the story. Either way, you will pay.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1 These are harsh words (because none of us want to be stupid), but it is a very wise statement. Knowledge is power and anyone who avoids learning and correction is setting themselves up for failure. We need correction, but we can’t correct our mistakes if we don’t seek more knowledge.

Learn More

If you don’t really understand calories and weight loss, or don’t know where to start, get my Get Pfit handbook or our Pfat to Pfit program (which includes the workbook). It really will help you understand how to get a grip on food – and your waistline!

 

Bikini & Bodybuilding: Why Compete?

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterDespite my appearance, or the fact I have been in the fitness industry for most of my life, competing was the very LAST thing I ever wanted to do. A matter of fact, it was at the very TOP on my list of things I NEVER wanted to do. I never wanted to compete in any kind of fitness competition, much less the kind that involves you getting on stage half naked so people could judge you. That sounded completely horrifying and miserable to me.

Nevertheless, Steve continued to ask me to compete with him (more like beg). I always said I wasn’t competitive. Steve says I’m too competitive, saying I don’t want to compete unless I can win. Fear of failure is definitely one thing that kept me from the stage for sure, so maybe he was right.

I already knew all my flaws. I would just rather judge myself and turn in my own score cards, which would be pretty low. I was very well aware of all the things that were wrong with me. I didn’t feel like I needed to be subjected to other people pointing them out. However, I would go on to compete and I would learn a very valuable message; a message I will share with you right now.

“Training for competition is the race and the stage is your finish line.” –  Bonnie Pfiester

Bonnie Pfiester7 Reasons to You Should Compete

1. Competing Increases Intensity

“I’m never at my best unless I’m getting ready for a contest.  I never train as hard as when I have a substantial goal, like a bodybuilding competition.” – Steve Pfiester, Body Building and Men’s Classic Physique Competitor

Steve always told me that I’d never be as disciplined with my diet and training as I would if I competed. I scoffed at the idea since I’ve trained very hard for various jobs and photo shoots. I’ve dieted my body down to what I thought was pretty darn lean. But, as always, he was right.

Goals memeI’m not the only one that thinks that they could go through the same diet and training without competing and get the same benefits. Many people want to look like a competitor, but they (like me) don’t want to actually be one. That’s why we created Bikini Boot Camp – to teach people what we do to get ready for a competition even if they don’t compete. While our boot campers do get great results, the most dramatic transformations are the ones who actually compete. And I saw this for myself when I dropped 5% lower than my lowest body fat percentage when I prepared for competition.

Unlike many other sports or competitions, you physically wear your dedication for all to see. How hard you dieted shows on stage. Every cheat, every skipped cardio – it will reveal itself on stage. Every workout, every extra cardio and every day you nail your diet – it will also reveal itself on stage.

Competing is the ultimate accountability. You can weigh yourself every week, you can join a weight loss contest and you can even compete in marathon or other performance-based competition, but the accountability still won’t be as intense as getting on stage.

2. Competing Increases Chance of Success

Heather before and afterIn a way, competing forces you to succeed. It puts you in a place where you have more motivation to say “no” to the extra calories and “yes” to more workouts. There is more on the line. The stage exposes your body, your goals and your progress. And, when you tell your friends you are competing, it even increases your chances for success simply because of pride. No one likes to fail publicly. Sometimes reaching a goal publicly is just what we need to succeed.

Do you want to lose weight? Do you really want to get in the shape of your life? Maybe you need to compete to help you reach your goals. Maybe, just maybe, competing is exactly what you need to give you the intensity you need to force yourself to get the body you want.

3. Competing Holds You More Accountable

Gym

Working out with my dad while out of town.

I’ll admit it. Accountability is no fun sometimes. Most people run from accountability. We don’t want people holding us accountable for our actions, our words, our food choices and our health. That is also why a lot of people won’t admit they are even on a diet, because they don’t want anyone to know if they fail.

We don’t like getting busted for slipping up so we tend to keep our goals, and even mistakes, private. We hate it when someone tells us what we know is right and what we need to hear, especially when it requires hard choices and a lot of discipline. BUT, we all need more accountability.

We NEED more truth and less fluff. We need more people to say “stop eating!” and less people dragging us away from our goals because they have no goals at all. We need our loved ones to help us get healthy, not enable us because they are scared our feelings are going to get hurt. We need support, even when it hurts. We need discipline, even though it’s hard. We need to set higher goals and expectations even if we have a fear of failure.

Daytona ClassicThe fact is, the higher we aim, the better we become. Even if we don’t quite reach our goal, we’ll surpass any lower goal we’ve ever set before. Aim high! You are worth it! Brave the stage if it can help you break your weight loss plateau.

This is why I love being a part of a team. We are accountable to one another and we are not alone. We’ve made a commitment and we are following through together.

Kimberly Mudge4. Competing Builds Confidence

Kimberly Mudge (in the blue suit) is a wonderful example of how competing builds confidence. Kimmy wowed all of us when she graced the stage for the first time despite her handicap. Not only does she have more confidence, she gained so many friends and workout partners in the process. She was part of something special and it changed her life, and even those who watched her.

I have to admit, the entire experience of competing improved my confidence and taught me a lot too. It taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. It taught me that I have complete control over my body and it taught me so much about science, since I was it was my own science project.

Dave MartoneIt also forced me out of my box and made me proud that I did something so beyond my comfort zone. I was so proud even just showing up, no matter how well I did or didn’t do. I loved that it made Steve proud. I melted when my dad said he cried when I got on stage – to know I made my dad proud was an amazing feeling.

It also gave me more confidence to do other things, like doing the Mrs. Florida pageant and it even gave me more confidence in my career.

“Team Max took this guy, supported him, gave him guidance, boosted his self image and not only got him up on stage, but also (on stage) alone!!” - Dave Martone, Over 60 Bodybuilding 1st-Time Competitor

5. Competing Made Me Strong

Men's Classic PhysiqueIf we avoid all the things we are weak in, we will never get stronger in those areas. Competing made me stronger. I learned I could be stronger in the gym and in the kitchen. It made me stronger with my walk with the Lord, as I relied on Him even more to keep me grounded and focused on His will for my life, in the midst of all that extra training and time working on my outer shell.

Grace became stronger in our home because nothing brings out the ugly in you like being “hangry”. Steve and I learned to extend even more grace to one another. And, doing it together made our marriage even stronger too!

“Competing strengthened more than my muscles. It strengthened me in ways I never would have imagined.” Bonnie Pfiester, Bikini Competitor

Jill Howard competes for the first time in her 50s.

Jill Howard competes for the first time in her 50s.

6. Competing Is For Anyone

There is a division and class for every type of person – from wheelchair to an Over 60 class. You can compete in your age group or compete by weight or height. There is a novas group, for all the people who have never competed before, and more advanced “Open” groups open to all ages for national qualifiers.

7. Competing Makes You Improve

You don’t have to win the competition, you just have to play the game! And, with practice, you can only improve!

You compete FOR you and AGAINST you – not for a trophy or against others. Training for competition is the race and the stage is your finish line. It’s not how you finish that matters most, the real prize is that you finish.  Anyone can do it – and everyone who does do it finishes better and stronger than when they started, making everyone a winner on competitiom day!

Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to COMPETE! You Against You!

Meet some of our Team Max competitors…

We have put over 75 competitors on stage. Here are just a few competitors’ before and after photos, past and present. Follow our team on instagram and facebook to see more transformations!

TEAM MAX

Brian Moore“A lot can happen when you stay focused. On the left (October 10th), I was only a runner, didn’t focus too much inside the gym or followed a healthy diet. On the right (April 2nd) I am still a runner, but I’ve added weight lifting with my friend Will, boot camps at Max Fitness Club, a healthy diet, and AdvoCare Products. I’m a much faster runner than I was before, stronger than I’ve ever been, and feel amazing! I used to be on allergy shots and medication, horrible cholesterol, and pre-diabetic. I’m happy to say that I’m healthier than ever before and off all medication/allergy shots. On April 16th, I will be competing in my first NPC Competition as a part of TeamMax and I couldn’t be more excited! Fitness and Health is important in everyone’s lives and I hope my story will inspire others along the way.” - Brian Moore, 1st-Time Men’s Physique Competitor.

Heather Horwitz

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TEAM MAX.
CLIC HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NPC RULES AND DIFFERENT DIVISIONS.

Mrs. Florida United States: Shock, Awe and Awesome

cinderellaOnce upon a time, in a land far away, there was a middle-aged married woman doing middle-aged womanly duties one quiet Sunday afternoon, when she received a message from the Queen. Ok, she wasn’t “the Queen” and it wasn’t a verbal message. It was a former Mrs. Florida United States and it was a facebook message saying “You should SO be in my pageant!”

If you haven’t figured it out, the middle-aged married woman was me. I quickly replied without blinking, “you are sweet, but I don’t think I’m really pageant material.” That was March 11, 2012 and every so often she would send me new messages saying “still hoping”, despite my efforts to convince her I was not interested.

Two years past and someone recommended my mom do Mrs. Senior Florida. My mom’s first response was also a big fat no. But, after the thought about the opportunity to encourage ladies her age, she decided maybe the answer should be “yes”. I told her if she did it, I would do Mrs. Florida if “that woman” approached me again. Darned if she didn’t facebook message from her that NEXT week!  That woman’s name was Pam Bolter, the director of Florida Georgia United States.

It took me 2 more years to commit to doing Mrs. Florida, but I finally took the plunge. This is my story about the entire experience; what I learned, and the inside scoop on what the Mrs. Florida pageant is all about.

3 “P”s to Pageant Prep

bonnie pfiester

I only decided to do the pageant 4 weeks before the big weekend event. Talk about procrastination! So, after I decided to do the pageant, I hit the ground running. Here were a few things I had to do (and very quickly) to prepare for the pageant.

Procure

First up, I needed all the right clothes which included a full length gown, a cocktail dress, a bathing suit, a sarong and a fascinator for the dinner party. I also needed the right shoes, the perfect big blingy jewelry, makeup and hair accessories…and the list goes on. This required time. I had to shop, search, borrow and do whatever I needed to find what I needed, which was a LOT harder than I expected.

Promote

Next, I had to get sponsors. I had to come up with ads (with my picture on it, which was even more awkward and embarrassing). Asking people to put money on the line for me was incredibly difficult. Then sticking my picture in their paid advertisement was even more uncomfortable. I was completely shocked that anyone said yes quite frankly! This is when it got real. Not only did this mean I couldn’t back out, I needed to do well. This is where the personal growth began. I was officially out of my box.

A BIG THANK YOU to Ayers Wireless, Caribbean Lawn, Route 60 Hyundai, Tom & Julianne, Vein Therapies (Dr. Beckett & Kim Beckett) and Jeanne Mudge from Max Fitness. You guys made me feel SO loved!!!!!!

Prepare

Florida United States PageantFinally, there was mental preparation. As I was reading my 65 page 2-part manual, I discovered the sample interview questions. I admit, I read every single question and did not have an answer for one of them; at least, not an intelligent well-spoken one.

Questions like “If you could cover any news event that has happened in the past year which one would you choose to cover?” Nothing. I had nothing. I was thinking “I hate the news. It’s depressing.” Then, there was, “How do you encourage children to be individuals in today’s society?” or how about “Do you feel today’s women are becoming more aggressive and less romantic?” All I could think was “Oh dear. I’m in trouble”.

I’m a processor. I like to think about a subject and take my time researching it and answering it perfectly. However, this pageant was going to require a quick response – without any “ums” or “lengthy explanations. This was going to require practice.

Needless to say, there were many things still left to do to prepare for my first pageant.

Fast forwarding to today. I did it! I conquered my fears, I showed up and I gave it my best. And, while I didn’t take home a crown, I took home so much more. I learned so much about myself and about pageantry in general – and it was nothing like I imagined.

Mrs. Florida United States:
5 Things I Didn’t Expect To Take Home

While I didn’t expect to take home the crown, I didn’t expect to take home so much more. I went from feeling shocked, to awed, to awesome in 2 days flat. I still find myself processing it all, but here are just a few things I took from this experience.

1. Respect

MRS. FLORIDA UNITED STATES 2016

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

I’ll admit it. I thought pageants were for pretty girls who just like to dress up. I didn’t know any better. I formulated that opinion from watching Mrs. Congeniality and seeing Honey Boo Boo headlines on the cover of tabloids in the grocery store checkout line. While I knew pageant girls were supposed to have some substance, I figured pageants attracted self-absorbed bimbos who just like to play dress up. That is a big reason I didn’t want to do a pageant. I didn’t want that to be me.

I guess I convinced myself that Mrs. Florida would be more mature. Talk about judging a book by its cover! I went in this thing really dreading being these girls and left feeling so honored to be around these girls.

I gained so much respect for these ladies, as they were prepared, educated, well-spoken, experienced, mature women who embraced being a woman, each with a desire to make a difference in their own unique way.

I realized if I were even going to “compete”, I had a LOT of work to master their pageant skills which included good interview skills, quick thinking, poise, class, elegence, stage presence, style and the ability to adapt quickly under pressure. These girls inspired me. I not only left with more respect for them, I earned a little dash of respect myself, as people realized how much this whole thing was out of my comfort zone and people appreciated my willingness to do something I was scared to do.

2. Experience

MRS. FLORIDA - GEORGIA UNITED STATES 2016

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

I’ve been on stage a million times. I’ve been on TV and in front of cameras plenty of times too. I’ve done photo shoots, media interviews and have done a dash of amateur modeling here and there. While I never had been in a pageant before, I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did because I thought I had experienced many of the same things before. Boy was I wrong!

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

If nothing else, I learned how much I needed to learn. Seriously, I learned just how much more I need to work on my professional skills. Pageants are excellent for improving your interview skills – from job interviews to handling the media. I also realized how much I needed to learn how to walk, to pose and to carry myself in public, to be more polished and professional. I am so relaxed in public, I could actually come across too casual. I needed to learn how to present myself in all kinds of situations, from on camera interviews to being introduced to the president. I learned I needed more more polishing.

I also discovered I need to learn how to “rap it up” as my BFF says. I love to write, but writing allows me to take my time with my thoughts. I can type, backspace, delete, cut and paste when I write. However, I have a tendency to talk like I write. Even though I’ve improved a great deal since I’ve had to learn how to do smaller sound bites for TV, I still need to exercise my thinking skills and practice quicker thinking.

In a nutshell, I learned I have a lot to learn!

3 . Friends

ART -- IMG_0016

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

In the opening orientation Saturday morning, all the girls piled in a room and we met all the prior queens and got the low-down on the weekend. All the queens said the same thing, “you are going to make friends for life”. I laughed to myself and I am pretty sure I did a really good eye-roll to go with it (at least in my mind).

I am not a girlie girl. I don’t hang out with girlfriends, I don’t go to Pampered Chef Parties (unless forced) and I avoid pretty much any all-girls events at all cost. I have a few good friends, but as a whole, I really don’t like girls. Girls can be gossipy, complainy, needy, competitive and emotional. I’m kind of into low maintenance friends. So, I have my 2 friends and husband, 2 dogs and that’s enough. lol (Note: I do know this is something I need to work on and I’m working on it – just like doing this pageant.)

MRS. FLORIDA UNITED STATES 2016

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

Of course I was trying to figure out if there was anyone I actually would like, and I met a few right off the bat that seemed pretty likable. By the end of the weekend, I actually realized I liked a lot of the girls – a lot. I had various girls help me back stage – from Jennifer Feinberg curling my hair to various girls helping me decide on which cocktail dress or jewelry to wear. So many girls were so encouraging, happy and helpful (like my stage buddies, Deanna Silva & Kim Freeman). Then there were bunches of people happy to give helpful tips along the way (thank you Dedra Curtis), and setting me at ease with encouraging words.

To my surprise, I have already connected with most of the girls on facebook and many of them have written me, and vice versa. Low and behold, they were right. You do make friends!

4. Fun Memories

MRS. FLORIDA - GEORGIA UNITED STATES 2016

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

I honestly thought I was going to dread every minute of this thing. I had accepted that it was going to be completely awkward (which it was), and I was ready to hate every minute of it. My goal was just to get through it with a smile even if I was a grumpy grump on the inside. Before I knew it, I was having fun.

The photo shoot on the beach was a blast. The dinner ended up being fun too, as I got to meet more girls and their spouses. The interview process was awful, but as the other girls shared their awful experiences and crazy interview questions with me, we had fun laughing about it all.

Then there was the big day. Hours of practice in high heel shoes and running around like a chicken with our heads cut off. All of it was fun! The make-up, the hair, the quick clothes changes – all fun. And, helping each other backstage was also a lot of fun. Finally, the crowning experience, as we watched our new friends get crowned was – yep, you guessed it. Fun! I was so excited for everyone who did well because, by then, I realized how hard they worked to achieve it.

I went in convinced I’d probably walk away never wanting to ever do that again, and walked out full of happy thoughts – knowing I made great memories.

5. Inspired

Ms. and Mrs. Florida Georgia United States

Photography By: Larry Oskin, Art Beautique www.ArtBeautique.com

Normally if I am not great at something, I avoid it at all cost. However, this experience left me feeling so challenged instead of defeated. Instead of feeling like a failure, I felt inspired to do better. I had never thought about doing more than one pageant. This was one of those “one and done” type things – or at least I thought. However, after several of the girls suggested I come back, I realized that it can only make me better.

Not only was I inspired to improve as a woman, I was inspired to serve my community where I am, as I am. I may not have a title, but I can improve as a leader in my own town and do many of the things our queens are doing across the United States.

I’ve always had a heart for missions and wanted to go out of the country, but I have a mission field right here in my own neighborhood. I have a mission field at my business, in my church and in my community. Although my time and finances are limited, there is still plenty I can do – and this pageant inspired me to reach out and find more ways to do it.

Awesome

There you have it! As my grandmother used to say, “Who’da thunk it?!” I never guessed in a MILLION years this would have been such a great experience. Even though I’m still not sure if I will do it again or not, I definitely will be striving to live more like a queen – for my king (husband), for King Jesus and for my “townspeople”. I left Mrs. Florida feeling like a Queen, crown or not!

Deanna Silva“I’ve learned that my self worth can never be defined by a panel of strangers on any given day. No matter win or lose, at the end of the day I will always walk away a winner because I’ve used each experience to better myself and grow as a woman. The crown really lies in the journey of self discovery along the way.”  – Deanna Silva, 1st Runner Up Mrs. Florida

CLICK HERE to learn more about Mrs. United States pageants. CLICK HERE to learn more about Florida Georgia United States pageants.

A Ultimate Role Model: The Wife of Noble Character

 A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

– Proverbs 31:10-31

Want Abs? Here Are 3 Things You Need

Although you can’t change your genetics, you can improve the shape and size of your abdominal muscles with exercise. But you may never see them if you don’t use these three surprising machines.

 

152966654_XSUnfortunately, it doesn’t take much to cover up a good looking set of abs. Five to 10 pounds of fat is more than enough to hide a perfectly sculpted six-pack. So if you want to see the abs you have been working so hard on, you will have to get rid of the fat that’s covering them. That’s where these three machines come in.

It may come as a shock, but these machines have the potential to shape your midsection more than any abdominal machine you can find in a gym.

CLICK HERE to read my latest article on Healthy Way on 3 machines you will need to uncover your abs.

What is YOUR favorite abdominal machine or exercise?

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