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MMB – Spring Fitness Challenge is Over!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!  Great effort by everyone who attended classes this past week.  Thanks to everyone for being flexible on Tuesday and Thursday nights due to the baseball “flex” schedule LOL!  Depending on how baseball goes tonight, I’ll let you all know if Tuesday or Thursday’s classes will be altered.

The Spring Fitness Challenge for 2018 is a wrap!  I know I threw some tough timed challenge courses at you guys, but you rose to the top and pushed through physically difficult moments.  For those of you who attended on a regular basis, how do you feel now?  Do you feel stronger?  Can you tell that your stamina has improved?  As a trainer, it’s always very rewarding for me when I have the privilege to train you and can see the results.  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out on a regular basis!

For the fitness tests, here are a few of the highlights:

1 minute push-up test: 

1st place – Joanne Vieira – 69

2nd place – Ken Vieira – 55

3rd place – Dave Thompson – 44

1 minute sit up test:

1st place – Cliff Donnelly 36 on week #1 and 40 on week #6

2nd place – Kathleen Jacobs 29

3rd place – Ken Vieira & Heather Thompson 26

1 minute frog jumps:

1st place – Marcey Donnelly 29 on week #1 and 38 on week #6 (most improved)

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 55

3rd place – Ken Vieira 45

 

Weight & Measurement Challenge:

1st place – Christina Mantha lost 7 lbs & 1% point in body fat Wins 4 Class Card!

2nd place – Christy Stevens lost 5 lbs & 2% points in body fat & 3 inches around hips

3rd place – Cliff Donnelly lost 4 lbs 1.5% points in body fat & 1 inch lost around waist and hips

 

Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Memorial Day Running Boot Camp is on Monday, May 28th at 8am!  Mark your calendars now.

2) Cardio Core on Tuesday night – 5:45 (room for 3 more), 6:55 (room for 3 more), 7:35 (room for 3 more)  Please text or e-mail me if you’d like to join in.  Stay tuned if there is a class time change too due to baseball playoffs.

3) Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is starting on Monday, June 4th!  Mark your calendars for some summer fitness with you and your kids!  1st through 6th grade PE is at 9:30am to 10:00am & Moms’ Fit Club (men and teens are welcomed) is 10:00am to 10:30am!  Classes are held at Creekside Park in Pleasanton.  Bring some friends along and let’s get moving and grooving this summer! See flyer below!

Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club Flyers!

Summer Kid Fit 2018

Moms’ Fit Club 2018

 

See you in classes soon!

Jen

 

 

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MMB – Green Hope in New York!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope all of you mothers out there had an awesome Mother’s Day and feel celebrated and appreciated!  As many of you know, I was away this weekend in New York City, so I wasn’t around to teach boot camp.  How did Saturday go for you guys?  Did anyone try the boot camp challenge from my blog?  I want to give a special shout out to Joanne and Ken Vieira because they did the entire boot camp in about 55 minutes!  Lynnda Phillbrook also gave it a shot and completed one cycle of the boot camp in about 29 minutes.  Way to go Joanne, Ken, and Lynnda!  Did anyone else try?  I’d love to hear about it!

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MMB – A “Challenge” Work Out For Home!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  This past Saturday was the 5th Spring Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it out there!  There were eight stations that made up a killer circuit and included; monster band squat and presses, slamming med balls and oblique throws, Dynamax wall balls, burpees w/ med ball tricep push-ups, Renegade Rowing, Russian Twists and lots of running!  You guys were dripping with sweat and gave it your all by the end! 

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MMB – Kid Fit & Moms’ Fit Club!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  This past Saturday was the 4th Spring Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it!  There were a variety of difficult stations you had to conquer including; stairs and sandbags, renegade rows w/push-ups, curls and presses, Jen Jolts (50 jacks, 40 jump ropes, 30 jump squats, 20 push-ups, and 10 mountain climbers), obstacle course w/walking planks & push-ups, leaping, jumping, agility ladder drills, and cardio drills.  Oh….and jog/sprints and lots of running!  Challenges are just that….they are challenging and meant to push and motivate you to the next level!  You guys are rocking it and I’m super proud of you!

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MMB – Why Detox?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Have you stepped outside yet?  Oh my goodness, it’s like a summer morning out there!  After I write this blog, I’m going to head out with the boys and get some morning fitness in to kick off the day!  I hope you find time to get out and move today too!

This past Saturday was the 3rd Spring Fitness Challenge and it was all about “The 500” & “The 300”!  I bet you are wondering what those are? I’m glad you asked!  The 500 is made up of five training circuits that include 100 exercises each.  For example, a block might be 25 push-ups, 25 jump squats, 25 burpees, and 25 star jacks.  These blocks are meant to be multi-muscle group firing, which means that you are using your entire body to complete each set of exercises.  Low impact exercises are also shown so that everyone can participate at their own ability. 

Once a block has been completed, the boot camper must run for two minutes. After the run, the boot camper takes on the next block until all five blocks and five runs are completed and the boot camper has conquered The 500! 

For my 30 minute boot camps, reps are reduced to 15 per exercise so that the format can fit within a 30-minute boot camp and thus, The 300 is the goal!  Either way, The 500 & The 300 are guaranteed to maximize your effort by building muscle, training fast twitch muscle fibers, utilizing and taxing the core, and weaving in burst training to burn calories and shed fat!  Woo hoo!  That’s exciting fitness and it’s why we gather together on Saturday mornings to kick off the weekend!  If you haven’t tried one of these formats, don’t wait any longer.  Come join us!

Here are the winners from Saturday:

7am The 500:

1st place – Christina Mantha with a 17:40.

2nd place – Joanne Vieira with a 19:52.

3rd place – Lisa Dillon with a 20:34.

 

8:05am The 300:

1st place – Cliff Donnelly with a 17:21

2nd place – Debbie Robison with a 17:54.

3rd place – Heather Thompson with a 18:05.

 

Congratulations to all of the boot campers who showed up and put the hard work in.  You are all winners in my book! 

 

1st place winner of The 500 – Christina Mantha!!   Way to go Christina!!

 

1st place winner of The 300 – Cliff Donnelly!  Way to go Cliff!!

 

Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core on Tuesday at Jen’s Studio:  There are (2) spots open at 5:45pm, (3) spots open at 6:55pm, and (3) spots open at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up for this fun filled class on a Tuesday night!

2)  Spring Fitness Challenge – We are 1/2 way through The Challenge!  If you weighed in, how are you doing with your nutrition?  You might want to weigh yourself at home and check in.  If the scale hasn’t moved, it might be time to shake something up.  How are your portion sizes?  Are you eating too much at night?  Snacking on empty calorie snacks?  Are you drinking enough water?  Think through some of these things and be honest with yourself.  I’d be happy to do a 20 minute check in with Jen to help you with this. 

3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, May 6th at 7am.  Mark your calendars for another Running Boot Camp!  Class is 60 minutes and starts from my house.  Drop in cost is $15.

4)  Cardio Fusion is at VBC this week.  Bring your kettle bells!

 

Thought for the week:  Why detox?

Many of us have heard of detoxing, but why should we do it and how should we do it?  This list from mindbodygreen.com might help:

1. Remove toxins from the body.

Long-term exposure to toxins (environmental pollutants, cancer-causing chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial waste) affects our metabolism, behavior, immune system, and leads to disease. They are stored in tissues and cells throughout the body, including the brain, often for years – yikes!

2. Prevent chronic disease.

Environmental toxins are responsible for many cancers, neurological diseases, heart disease, strokes… you name it. Our bodies do have a built-in detox function to deal with these dangers, but those systems are constantly overloaded! Detoxing assists and improves what our bodies are trying to do naturally.

3. Enhance immune system function.

A compromised immune system makes us vulnerable to colds and flus, affecting our quality of life and productivity. Regular detoxing helps strengthen immune system functioning and fights off infection.

4. Lose weight.

Toxins affect the body’s natural ability to burn fat, leading to weight gain. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are directly linked to weight issues. Detoxing rids the body of toxins stored in fat cells and increases metabolism.

5. Slow premature aging.

Detoxing rids the body of free radicals and heavy metals partially responsible for aging. Detoxing helps to increase nutrient absorption, including antioxidants and vitamins that help fight oxidative stress.

6. Improve quality of life.

Simply put, our bodies don’t function very well when they’re loaded with toxins. We may have joint pain, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Depression may be eased and memory may be improved as a result of detoxification!

7. Increase energy.

You will have more mental, physical, and emotional energy after detoxing. People tend to sleep better and need less of it.

8. Improve skin quality.

Diet and environmental toxins undeniably affect skin. Detoxing improves acne, and strengthens hair and nails, and gives us a natural, healthy glow.

9. Mental and emotional clarity.

When the body’s systems are aligned, a shift also occurs with our mental and emotional states. We can deal with more when we’re clear and grounded. We can make better decisions, analyze accurately, and see things differently.

10. Restore balance to our body’s systems.

Our digestive, nervous, and hormonal systems were designed to work together to achieve optimum health. This is what our bodies want to do! When we overload them with toxins and unhealthy foods, these systems don’t work as well as they should and we get sick.

Detoxing brings balance back and helps our systems function properly again.

 

So, what are some ways we can detox? 

Check out this list from mindbodygreen.com  Happy detoxing!

Our bodies can become overwhelmed due to the volume of toxins exposed in its environment by way of water (fluoride and other chemicals), air (chemical trails, pollution and other toxins), food (chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients etc.), pharmaceuticals and other drugs.

True healing requires a detoxification of both the mind and the body. Below are 10 ways you can help your body detoxify naturally so it can flush out some of the everyday toxins to which it’s exposed:

1. Start the day with a glass of spring water and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.

This helps flush out the toxins and alkalizes the body. Alternatively, you can add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of spring water. Hippocrates treated his patients with apple cider vinegar. He found it was a powerful cleansing and healing elixir, a naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria, for a healthier, stronger, and longer life.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to continue flushing out the toxins.

2. Drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily.

Include lots of greens such as kale, spinach and cilantro. I love to start my day with a juice made with apples, carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, beetroot, kale and cilantro. When the seasons change, some of my ingredients will also change.

3. Eliminate toxic oils from your diet.

Toxic oils can include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and canola oil. Substitute with good oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil. Hemp oil, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, -6s, and -9s.

4. Drink green tea and herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles etc.

These teas help the body detoxify and clear out toxins.

5. Eat more raw fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Fruit, vegetables and herbs contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption.

6. Minimize or eliminate white sugar intake.

Also avoid substitutes that contain toxic artificial sweeteners, and opt for natural versions such as stevia, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, or maple syrup.

7. Minimize or eliminate white flour and white breads.

White flour is like adding glue in the body, and it overworks the digestive system. It can cause digestive disorders, and it can make it difficult to have normal bowel movements.

Substitute white flour for other flours such as spelt flour, kamut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal. Switch from white bread to whole grain bread.

8. Take a probiotic supplement.

You can also eat foods that contain live cultures, such as cultured vegetables, Greek yogurt, or kefir. The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines.

9. Eat legumes and less meat, fish and poultry.

Legumes are a great source of protein and the fiber in beans helps keep the bowels eliminating properly.

10. Breath deeply, walk, smile, laugh, be happy and remove toxic people out of your life.

Find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body.

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MMB – Do You Supinate or Pronate?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  First of all, excellent effort by everyone who attended boot camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  It was a big weekend of fitness – yahoo!  It was also the 2nd Spring Fitness Challenge and once again, you guys rose to the challenge and put in the sweat effort and gave it 110%.  I’m very proud of how hard all of you have been working and know that the seeds you are sowing into your health will produce an abundance crop of vibrant living! 

For this past Saturday, I incorporated a military style timed obstacle course that included:  sprinting, jumping, leaping, crawling, tubing resisted push-ups, burpees, & med ball slams.  Wowza!  Tough stuff!  The 60 minute crew had an additional challenge with a 90 second run after each cycle of the obstacle course was completed.  Here are the rankings:

7am crew:

1st place – Kim Mehr  – 5 1/4 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

2nd place – Ken Vieira – 4 1/2 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

3rd place – Joanne Vieira, Lynnda Philbrook, Kathy Schalin – 4 1/4 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

 

8:05am crew:

1st place – Genis Hamilton – 6 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes. note:  This was Genis’ first time at boot camp! Awesome job!

2nd place – Heather Thompson, Christy Stevens, Kathleen Jacobs – 4 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes.

3rd place – Marcey Donnelly, Cliff Donnelly, Debbie Robison, Erin Campbell – 3 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes.

 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday – 5:45pm is full.  6:55pm (3 spots available), 7:35pm (2 spots available)  Please e-mail or text me to sign up.  See you Tuesday at my home studio!

 

  1. Cardio Fusion is CX for this Thursday.  I am cancelling class because I’ll be enjoying a birthday dinner out with my hubby!  The weather should be beautiful, so I encourage you to get outside and find a park to do a version of jogging/running boot camp and incorporate body weight training with squats, lunges, push-ups and bench step ups.  Think 3 minutes of cardio, and then 3 minutes of strength and core.  You can do it!  Let’s keep the momentum going!

 

  1. Summer Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club are around the corner!  Once again, I’ll be offering a morning fitness program at Creekside Park in Pleasanton beginning on Monday, June 4th at 9am.  Traditionally, I have taught a Kid Fit program for 1st through 5th grade.  If you have a middle schooler in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, please let me know if you would be interested in a fitness program for middle schoolers.  If there is enough interest, I will be offering a Kid Fit program for 1st through 5th, and another for 6th – 8th, and Moms’ Fit Club too!  These classes will incorporate cardio, strength, core, and lots of drills and games for the kids that will keep them engaged and exercising too!  I can’t wait to teach your kids!

 

  1. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, May 6th at 7am.  Mark your calendars for the next Running Boot Camp!  Class is 60 minutes long and meets at Jen’s house.  Beginners are welcomed!

 

Thought for the week:  Do You Supinate or Pronate? 

Probably one of the major areas I address in personal training is the issue of supination or pronation.  It’s no fun having pain in and around your ankles, knees, or hips.  If you are suffering from in any of these areas, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your symptoms and carve out some time to foam roll, stretch, and strengthen properly to help correct the program.  Dr. Josh Axe always has a variety of helpful articles and advice in many areas of health.  He’s an avid runner and triathlete too, so he knows his stuff.  Check out this article he put together on how to identify if you supinate or pronate.  The wear patterns on your shoes will give you information about if you supinate or pronate.  It’s a long article, but I think the information is very straight foward and helpful.  Let me know your thoughts and if you need help in these areas.

See you soon!

Jen

Do You Suffer from Excess Supination? Warning Signs & Remedies for This Running Problem

Supination - Dr. Axe

Both supination and pronation are terms used to describe the rolling motion of the heels and feet during the body’s gait cycle, which takes place as we run or walk. Supination describes the rolling outward motion of the foot, therefore oversupinators don’t roll their root inward enough. Excess supination is also called “underpronation” — since supination is the opposite of pronation of the foot (rolling inward). (1) Both oversupination and overpronation put too much stress on the underneath or outside edges of the foot, often leading to leg pains.

For most adults, too little supination is usually more of a problem than too much, but oversupinating the foot can also lead to complications. Who tends to struggle with supination problems most often? Runners with high arches (the opposite of “flat feet” or collapsed arches) and tight Achilles tendons tend to be underpronators/supinators. (2)

Some of the aches and pains associated with supination abnormalities include: rolling or spraining the ankle, developing “hammertoes” (clawed toes), Achilles tendinitis, running injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome affecting the knees, along with general instability and weakness. 

The reason underpronation (or someone with excess supination) causes such an array of problems is that the muscles in the legs and feet become trained to push the foot away from the ground with mostly the outer toes/pinky toes. Considering these are generally weak areas of the feet, they tend to bear more weight and pressure than they can handle, sometimes causing scar tissue to form. Other overuse-injuries can occur, too. You can see why it’s not just the feet that are impacted by supination or related postural problems — but rather these can contribute to muscular compensations that wind up affecting the entire body. 


What Is Supination?

Supination (underpronation) is the insufficient inward rolling of the foot after landing on the ground.  Compared to those with “normal,” healthy posture of the lower body, those with oversupination roll the foot outward too much (less than 15 percent of an inward roll when landing). This causes the ankle and only a small portion of the outer toes to absorb shock when the foot hits the ground, often triggering pain in the ankle, foot and lower leg. (3)

As the body moves, in order to accept weight onto one leg and propel forward, a shift in weight must occur at the feet, knees and hips. A natural amount of supination occurs during the push-off phase when propelling forward. Supination helps the heel lift away from the ground which brings the forefoot and toes down to land in a way that moves the body. However too much supination contributes to common running injuries due to instability in the ankles. Weak ankles set the scene for postural problems, as well, like too much pressure applied to susceptible areas of the lower legs and higher risk for spraining. (4)

Supination - Dr. Axe

Preserving proper alignment through the midline of the body, all the way from the head to the toes — by keeping the feet symmetrical and rolling them properly — is crucial for learning normal weight transference which protects the whole body, including the spine.


Causes & Symptoms of Supination Problems

Some of the reasons that people develop abnormalities related to pronation, supination, dorsiflexion and other motions of the feet or legs include:

  • Genetics (genetics affect the length of the legs, width of the feet, stability of the ankles and curvature of the foot’s arches, for example)
  • Walking on flat, hard surfaces (rather than natural terrain)
  • Wearing worn-out shoes, or those that are unsupportive
  • Muscular compensations due to poor posture in the legs, sacrum and spine
  • Old injuries, including ankles sprains, stress fractures in the legs or tendon tears, which can leave scar tissue behind that causes instability
  • Poor form when running or exercising
  • Overuse, including exercising too much or standing for long periods
  • Limited range of motion and stiffness due to aging
  • Loose ligaments or loss of cartilage in the joints of the feet or ankles (such as those of the subtalar joint)
  • In some cases, leg discrepancy (legs are different lengths)
  • Weakness in the ankles or lower body from too little activity (a sedentary lifestyle)

Here are some common signs that you’re likely an over-supinator (underpronator): (5)

  • Frequent ankle sprains
  • Pain underneath the feet (in the ball of the foot) or pain often in the ankles
  • Clawed toes/hammertoes
  • Throbbing or weakness gets worse when running, walking, exercising or standing for a long time
  • Dysfunctional musculoskeletal problems in the ankles, calves, outer thighs or knees
  • Swelling in the ankle, foot or heel. Sometimes the toes are affected as well and develop calluses or bunions
  • Loss of functionality and reduced range of motion in the lower body

Supination vs. Dorsiflexion

  • Supination and dorsiflexion are terms related to motion and stability of the feet and ankles (they can sometimes also be applied to other body parts that bend back, like the hands).
  • Deviations (abnormal amounts) of ankle supination or dorsiflexion are usually used to describe form and postural problems that cause common running injuries when the foot strikes the ground. These can include injuries like: plantar fasciitis or shin splints, runner’s knee, heel spurs, and Achilles tendon pains, among others.
  • While supination describes the outward rolling motion of the foot, dorsiflexion describes the bending backward of the foot. Dorsiflexion decreases the angle between the foot and the ankle; in other words it means the toes are lifting up and away from the ground, toward the ankle/body. (6)
  • Proper dorsiflexion is also needed to bring the knees over the ankles, such as when bending over, squatting or jumping forward.
  • Abnormal dorsiflexion, or backward flexion of the foot, is a common problem related to not only running injuries but those caused during other sports/exercises. Proper mobility of the ankle is crucial for allowing the body to propel forward, especially when jumping, sprinting or running quickly.
  • Without enough ankle dorsiflexion, it’s also hard to sustain proper form when performing resistance training using the knees, such as squatting or lifting weights. The torso can’t remain vertical due to stiffness in the ankles (too little dorsiflexion), therefore you can’t keep a neutral spine. The knees can also cave in, which adds stress to the back.
  • On the other hand, too much dorsiflexion is also problematic. Stability is equally important in the ankles, because too much motion due to weakness in the muscles and joints of the feet can contribute to ankle rolling or spraining, along with symptoms of runner’s knee.

Conventional Treatments for Supination Problems (Underpronation)

If your orthopedic, physical therapist, trainer or another doctor sees signs of abnormal supination or dorsiflexion in your feet, they will likely recommend improving your form and wearing more supportive shoes with inserts. Changing your sneakers/shoes when exercising is usually the first step, which makes orthotics even more effective. 

Orthotic inserts used in sneakers or shoes consist of arch support and sometimes a lifted heel to control the rolling-forward motion of the foot. They can take pressure off the small toes, and help stabilize the ankle. This is beneficial for protecting the knees and back during movements such as running or lifting weights. Consider using orthotics if your doctor thinks they might be helpful for improving comfort during standing for long periods, for low back pain relief or for reducing heel pain. In the case that pain becomes very bad, you may also want to take an anti-inflammatory medication temporarily (such as over-the-counter ibuprofen) to decrease swelling and tissue/joint inflammation in the feet or ankles. (Of course, adding in anti-inflammatory foods and natural painkillers are options, too.)

Depending on how severe your supination problem is, your doctor might also recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy can “reteach” your muscles and joints how to distribute your weight in a healthier way, starting from your feet upward, allowing you to sustain proper form all the way through your sacrum, pelvis and spine.


5 Natural Ways to Create Proper Supination

1. Fix Your Form

Here are some tips for helping you to correct your stance, which is the groundwork for learning proper running/walking form. Proper form and posture through the spine are especially important when adding extra pressure or weight to the feet, such as when you’re lifting weights or sprinting very fast.

  • When running or walking fast, aim to lower the feet with a soft landing. Some try to image “running on eggshells” or attempting to run on water. Remain light on your feet instead of pounding the feet too hard onto the ground.
  • Focus on landing closer to your midfoot, rather than at the back of the heel. Try to land with a mostly flat foot, attempting to avoid too much curving of the toes inward or outward, or landing too much to the side of the foot).
  • Slightly increase your cadence and potentially shorten your stride to keep proper form in the feet and legs.
  • Run with upright posture through your back and stay relaxed.

2. Stretch to Loosen Tight Muscles (Including the Ankles)

Supinators should do extra stretching for the calves, hamstrings, quads, and iliotibial band (basically the whole leg). Gently stretching/mobilizing muscles in the legs helps break up adhesions and allows you to sustain proper form more easily. (7) Stretching the ankles can also improve dorsiflexion, or ankle mobility/stability. Studies have found that people with reccurent ankle sprains can benefit significantly from performing weight-bearing exercises and stretches of the ankles/low body. (8)

Many soft tissue therapists and physical therapists recommend starting any activity by massaging sore feet, loosening the ankles and stretching tight calves. And since weak, stiff ankles are often one of the major contributing factors that cause supination problems, you can also add some of these leg stretches to your regular workouts:

  • Use a foam roller on the floor, positioning your body on top so the roller is under your calves, then moving back and forth gently. You can practice the same on the back or sides of the calves too. Roll the area and hold tender spots for 30 to 60 seconds, repeating up to five times every day. This should be done right before stretching.
  • Try massaging the fascia (soft tissue) in the underpart of the feet with a tennis ball under the foot, as you roll around while applying mild pressure.
  • Get into pushup position, then walk your feet forward slightly to come onto the balls of your feet (holding an upside down “V” with your body). Lift the heels away from the ground as you balance on the balls of your feet, then lower them back down again. Repeat about 10 times, more than once a day if you’d like.
  • As you lay on your back, lift the legs in the air and flex the ankles back and forth. Or make small circles (turning toes towards your body and away). Repeat for several minutes.
  • Place your toes up against a wall, tilting the toes back towards the body. This releases the ankles and opens up the calves.
  • Use a resistance band (also known as exercise band) wrapped around the ankle to gently pump and improve ankle flexibility. (9)
  • Do basic heel raises by raising and lowering your heels and toes to the ground, then back up. Do 10 to 15 at a time. Try using a step if you’d like.
  • Sitting up on one shin, bend the opposite knee and slowly bring the knee past the ankle, rocking the knee back and forth to improve dorsiflexion.
  • Stand with straight legs and bend forward from the waist to touch the floor or shins. This helps stretch the hamstrings. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also keep your legs wide apart with toes facing outward slightly to loosen the inner leg and hamstrings.

3. Strengthen The Leg Muscles For More Support

Strength-building leg exercises to help reduce muscular weakness in the ankles and calves include:

  • Squats — All types of squats require proper mobility and stability in the ankles (dorsiflexion) but also increase strength in just about every part of the legs. Try basic squats, or squatting while lifting weight overhead. Keep the tailbone tucked and core tight to protect the back.
  • Lunges — Side lunges, lunge dips or lunge twists.
  • Crab crawls — Bend your knees and bring your hands behind you, squatting down in front of your arms. Use your hands on the ground to help you stretch the ankles back and forth to increase range of motion. You can stay in this position while stretching the heels and toes.
  • Calf raises — Perform gentle calf raises by lifting your heel off the floor, then reversing and lifting/pointing the toes toward the ceiling. Make sure you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds, three times per leg.
  • Doing any type of burst-training, HIIT workouts or sprints (good for the whole lower body)

4. Wear the Right Shoes (Not Worn-Out Sneakers!)

Podiatrists usually recommend more flexible, lightweight sneakers for underpronators, especially those who spend lots of time on their feet (including runners or those who do lots of brisk walking). Lightweight shoes can withstand more motion of the ankle while still supporting the feet, especially those with flexible inner edges. For people with wobbly, weak ankles, higher-top sneakers that stabilize the ankles might be a better choice.

Signs of underpronation/supination will show up in your sneakers or shoes, usually causing the outer edge of the shoe to become flimsy more quickly. Replace your sneakers regularly, especially if you exercise or run often. To see if you’re due for a new pair, place your shoes down on a flat surface and look for the outer edge to tilt outward. In addition to wearing the right shoes, consider using some of these inserts:

  • Orthotic inserts
  • Inserts to lift the heels (deep heel cups)
  • Lateral insoles that stop foot rolling

You may also want to consider easing into barefoot running — a phenomena growing in popularity amongst those with recoccurent running injuries. Running barefoot may seem even riskier than wearing the wrong sneakers, but it actually helps the feet learn proper form more easily, builds strength throughout the ankles and feet, and helps increase natural range of motion (supination and dorsiflexion).

5.  Begin Exercise Gradually & Rest to Prevent Injuries

If you’re new to more vigorous types of exercising — such as running, hiking or walking uphill — or spending more time on your feet, try to keep these tips in mind:

  • Aways warm up with a dynamic stretch (described above). Loosening the ankles and calves is most important.
  • Set a goal to practice consistently, but give yourself rest in between to avoid adding too much stress to connective tissue. If your feet, ankle or leg muscles become too fatigued or swollen, you’ll be more likely to develop scar tissue and fall into improper form.
  • Incorporate burst training and cross-train using different exercises to strengthen all over, instead of only certain leg muscles.
  • Choose the right sneakers and shoes. (I can’t stress this enough.)
  • Watch out for uneven or hard surfaces that may be making your form and foot pain worse.
  • Listen to your body. Take time off if pain worsens and spreads up the legs.
  • After workouts, icing, massaging your calves and feet, plus foam rolling are simple ways to recover and help prevent swelling and tightness.

Precautions When Treating Supination

If foot/ankle pain gets worse and lasts for more than several days, or you find that the exercises above don’t help prevent ankle rolling, talk to a doctor about correcting your stance with orthotics. Always be careful when beginning any new exercise program, watch out for signs of inflammation and overuse and consider seeing a therapist who specializes in soft tissue therapies if supination/dorsiflexion is an ongoing problem.


Final Thoughts on Supination

  • Supination and pronation are terms used to describe the rolling motion of the heels and feet as we run or walk forward. Supination describes the rolling outward motion of the foot, while pronation describes the rolling inward. Excess supination is also called “underpronation,” a less common problem compared to overpronation.
  • Signs and symptoms of oversupinating include ankle, leg or heel pain; frequent rolling/spraining of the ankles, calf weakness and tightness, reduced range of motion when exercising or lifting weights and loss of functionality.
  • Natural ways to improve supination include exercising and stretching the ankles, calves and lower body; wearing proper shoes/sneakers; using proper shoe inserts (orthotics); and correcting your form when running.

 

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MMB – 6-Week Spring Fitness Challenge has Begun!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had an amazing weekend and are beginning your week feeling energized and refreshed.  I just came back from the Arnold area and had a mini vacation with the family.  We are so fortunate to live so close to the Sierra Foothills where there is so much raw natural beauty to take in!  We visited the Big Trees National Park to see the Giant Sequoias and take a nice family hike together.  There was so much water from the rain!  It was lovely to see and hear all of the spontaneous streams that were created from all of the rainfall.  It’s good to unplug and get away friends!

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MMB- It’s Spring Break!

Good morning everyone!  I know many of you are on spring break this week and will be away celebrating with your families and taking trips.  Make the most of the time you have and make sure you get outside and move together!  Whether it’s running, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, or swimming, make sure you do something to move your body.  Don’t forget your core work and get those planks, floor bridges, v-sits, and push-ups in!

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MMB – Greens Recipe Contest – Winner & Recipes!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had an awesome weekend and are finding ways to move and groove out there! Excellent effort by everyone who attended classes this past week!  Those of you who are coming to classes on a regular basis are really starting to shine out there with your increased strength, stamina, balance, and endurance!  As a trainer, it’s so exciting to watch you guys progress and grow in your health and fitness journey!  Keep up the great work and know that the best is yet to come!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is Tomorrow night at Jen’s Studio!  Please text me if you’d like to sign up for class tomorrow night!
  2. March Greens Contest is ending this Saturday, March 31st!  Bring your logs filled out with all of your servings of greens and let’s find out who the biggest greenie is!  The winner receives a class card!
  3. Running Boot Camp has been moved to Sunday, April 15th at 7am instead of Sunday, April 8th.  Please make note of this change.

 

Greens Recipe Contest Results:

 The Greens Recipe Contest was held after the 2nd boot camp on Saturday, where boot campers brought greens inspired dishes from home to be judged.  All of the dishes were delicious and all worthy of praise!  Christi Stevenson’s Fennel Soup with Spinach and Spicy Sausage was the winner! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the greens recipe contest and put effort into bringing delicious dishes!  It was a fun way to have some fitness fellowship together and enjoy some yummy food!

 

Here are some photos of the dishes that were brought:

Christi Stevenson’s Fennel Soup with Spinach and Spicy Sausage – top left (Winner of the contest and $25 gift card to Trader Joe’s!)

Kathleen Jacobs’ Garlic-Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds – top right

Jen Allan’s spring mix with roasted beets and carrots – middle left

Erin Campbell’s Spicy Green Hummus – middle right

Heather Thompson’s zucchini fritters – bottom left

The recipes from the contest can be found below so please print them and experiment with your greens!

 

 

Recipes from Contest:

Fennel Soup with Spinach and Spicy Sausage

 
 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spicy ground pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel trimmed, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets about 1 head of cauliflower or 3 cups cauliflower rice
  • 3 stalks celery coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 ounces fresh (or frozen) baby spinach leaves

Instructions

  1. Brown the spicy sausage over medium heat in a large heavy pot, stirring/flipping occasionally until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the fat. Drain any of the remaining sausage fat from the skillet.

  2. Heat the olive oil in the same pot of medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and black pepper, continuing cooking another minute, then add the celery, fennel, and cauliflower florets. Let the vegetables continue to sweat, stirring occasionally, another 6-7 minutes. Stir a little bit of the chicken stock into the vegetables, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the chicken stock, bring to a bowl, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

  3. Let the soup cool briefly, add the paprika, then carefully transfer the soup to a high-speed blender in batches and blend until fully smooth.

     

    4. To serve from a single pot, add the soup back to the original pot and stir in the spinach and cooked spicy sausage. To serve individual bowls, place a handful of spinach leaves at the bottom of each bowl, ladle two scoops of soup on top, and decorate with a scattering of the pork sausage.

     

    Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds – from Genius Kitchen

     Direction
    1. Preheat oven to 450°F (If you’re cooking other things you can use a slightly lower temperature, just increase the time a little.).
    2. Trim ends from green beans. If using thin, long beans, cut in half crosswise into pieces about 2 inches long. Peel and cut shallots and garlic, then place with beans in plastic bowl. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and use a wooden spoon to toss until beans, shallots, and garlic are well coated with oil.
    3. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil, then arrange the vegetables in a single layer. (I like to cover the pan with foil, then spray the foil for even easier clean-up.) Roast 12-15 minutes for thin beans, or slightly longer for regular beans, until beans are slightly shriveled, and shallots and garlic are lightly browned.
    4. While beans cook, toss together chopped parsley, chopped almonds and lemon zest. When beans are done, toss hot beans with parsley/lemon/almond mixture and serve immediately.
  4.  

    Spicy Green Hummus Recipe

    Author Notes: Spicy Green Hummus: Easy & healthy recipe adds a little kick to the classic! With chick peas, tahini, jalapeno, lemon, olive oil, garlic, & herbs.Holly

    Serves 10

    • 1/4 cup tahini
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
    • 1/4 cup rough chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/4 cup rough chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds & stems removed, chopped
    • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 15 ounces can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
    • 2 green onions, chopped (optional for garnish)
    1. Add the tahini and lemon juice to food processor and process for about 1 minute. Use a plastic spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
    2. Add olive oil, parsley, cilantro, jalapenos, onion, garlic and salt. Process for about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
    3. Add the chickpeas and process until the hummus has a thick and smooth texture… normally 1 or 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl a few times while processing.
    4. If hummus is too thick, run the food processor while slowly adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water, until it reaches the desired consistency.
    5. Transfer the hummus into a small serving bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on top and sprinkle with additional chopped herbs and green onions.
    6. Store hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

     

    Baked Zucchini Fritters {Gluten-Free, Keto, Clean Eating}

    These baked zucchini fritters are a tasty, easy way to eat your veggies and compliment the tangy goat cheese so well.

     

    • 1 large zucchini shredded (about 2 cups; no need to peel the zucchini; just cut the ends off and shred with a box grater)
    • 3 oz soft goat cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp Real Salt
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    2. Combine the zucchini and Real Salt together and set aside.

    3. Beat the egg and goat cheese together until smooth.

    4. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper to the egg and cheese mixture and mix well.

    5. Remove all the excess water from the zucchini (place the zucchini in a thin dish towel or kitchen towel and squeeze out the water).

    6. Add zucchini to the egg and cheese mixture and combine well.

    7. Spoon out 8 equal size amounts of the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Silpat.

    8. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, and flip the fritters over.

    9. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

     
 

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MMB – The Best Processed Snack Foods?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had an awesome weekend and enjoyed some St. Patrick’s Day festivities out there….maybe green juice or smoothies? Brussel sprouts?  Cabbage? 🙂 LOL!  Well, if you really enjoyed yourself, that’s o.k. and you are allowed every now and then.   However, today is a new day and it’s time to hydrate and get back to clean eating and allow your body to detox, restore, and recover.  Remember the lemon detox water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper?  Yup, that’s the one and I recommend making up this concoction and downing it today!

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MMB – Embrace Your Greens!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had an awesome weekend!  Did you get out and enjoy the sunshine yesterday?  Take advantage of the sunshine when you can and soak in that Vitamin D!

Excellent effort to everyone who was able to come out for Boot Camp on Saturday morning!  You guys worked it hard and I know I threw some challenging moves at you, but you persevered and conquered it! 

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MMB – Benefits of Burst Training

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Did any of you go up to the snow?  How was it?  If you did, I hope you had a blast and felt strong and capable out there on the slopes!  After all, that’s what fitness is all about – being able to do the things you love to do because you can!  So, keep up the great effort in your work outs and keep the momentum going! 

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MMB – Iceberg Illusion

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend and are feeling energized this morning.  I loved the excellent effort that everyone gave this past week in work outs!  Let’s keep the momentum going by focusing on commitment and consistency because these two things equal change! 

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MMB – Fit For Change Challenge is a Wrap!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a great weekend!  I’m sending my blog out early because I’m going to be leaving early tomorrow to go hiking Mt. Diablo with the boy scouts!  That sounds like fun huh!?  Yesterday morning was the last Fit For Change Challenge and it was so obvious that you guys have been working hard these past few weeks!  I felt like a proud mama as I was busy measuring and weighing all of you, because you all shrunk!  All I have to say is FANTASTIC job everyone!  Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication these past six weeks for laser focusing in on clean eating and consistent work outs.  Does it work?  You betcha and the proof is in the numbers because everyone, who I measured, reduced.  Wowza! 

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MMB – What Energizes You?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I know many of you enjoyed a three day weekend, so I hope you had a fabulous time getting away with your family and doing something fun!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  This past Saturday was the 5th Fit For Change Challenge, and while it was a smaller crew, you guys brought your best and worked it hard! 

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MMB – With weather like this….

Good morning everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend and celebrated this marvelous weather!  Great work to everyone who came to the 4th Fit For Change Challenge on Saturday!  For this Challenge, it was all about drills, skills, and running!  There were six stations that encompassed a variety of whole body strength, core, and agility exercises, followed by a 1-2 minute run.  You guys rocked it and are continuing to improve week over week!  Let’s keep the momentum going!

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MMB – Jen’s Baseball Stretching Video

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and are healthy walking into your Monday.  Wow! Has January been a tough month?!  Raise your hand out there if either you’ve been sick or have known someone who has been sick?  Yup, just about everyone raised their hand!  The weather is suppose to start warming up this week, so it will be great to enjoy some of that California sunshine and lift our spirits up! 

This past Saturday was the 3rd Fit For Change Challenge and you guys worked it hard!  For this Challenge, there were six stations that featured whole body resistance and core  drills:  Bosu squats w/dumb bell over head presses, stair drills carrying sand bags, walking lunges w/tubing flys and burpee combos, Bosu and med ball Russian twists into stand and presses, squats w/tubing bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, and stability ball wall squats followed by stability ball tricep push-ups.  After every station, the boot camper had to go through the obstacle course 2 x’s, which of course was a full body work out all on it’s own!  Lots of crawling, jumping, leaping, and agility fun! The Boot Campers who showed up on Saturday worked it super hard and made it through with smiles on their faces!  LOL!  Great work everyone!

Here are the timed rankings from Saturday:

7am crew:

Ken Vieira – 42:00 min.

Lynnda Philbrook – 42:49

Joanne Vieira – 43:10

 

8:05am crew:

Kathleen Jacobs – 24:38

Christy Stevens – 24:45

Heather Thompson – 25:05

Erin Campbell – 25:10

Kathy Schalin – 26:00

 

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday:  There is 1 spot open at 5:45pm.  At the moment, the other classes are full, but you are welcome to go on a wait list and check in with me the day of.

2)  Fit for Change Challenge – 1/2 way through!  If you weighed in, you might want to check the scale again and see how you are doing.  If your weigh hasn’t changed, you need to make some adjustments.  Here are some things to think about:  Portion sizes?  Not eating late at night?  Too many empty carbs?  Skipping breakfast?  Not working out hard enough?  Not sleeping well?

3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, February 4th at 11am.  Meet me at my house for some running fun along with strength and core drills!

 

Thought for the week:  It’s Baseball Season!

If you hang out with me during the baseball season, you may hear me grumbling under my breath as I walk by some of the teams on the field.  Why?  There are some coaches who believe that just throwing the ball to warm-up and diving right into baseball drills will suffice for preparing the boys’ bodies to play.  Well, that’s not the best approach.

The rotator cuff shoulder muscles and tendons in particular, take a while to get blood flow and oxygen into those areas.  Due to the nature of baseball, with a ton of overhead power throwing, it’s super important to properly warm-up those young shoulder muscles with dynamic stretches in order to avoid injury. 

The other areas that are very important to warm up are the hips.  Baseball is also all about the hips!  Hips and hip flexors, need to opened up and stretched out in order to avoid injury. 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a little league baseball stretching guide and have recently completed it.  Also, this past weekend, my husband Bob shot a video of me demonstrating some of these stretches.  

If you have a son or daughter, who plays little league or softball, and you’d like to incorporate more stretches at home or with the team, please feel free to share these documents!  You can also pass along my info to your coaches and let them know I teach boot camps and strength and core conditioning classes.  I hope these guides give you additional ideas about how you can prepare your son or daughter for baseball or soft ball, either at practice or on game days.  I’d love any feedback you may have too!

Let’s go play baseball!

Jen

Little League Baseball Stretching Guide

 

https://youtu.be/fq8sRMleGtw

 

 

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MMB – It’s Now or Never

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend and are fighting off those cold and flu bugs out there!  A bug found me and it went straight into my lungs, bronchia and vocal chords, causing coughing fits and missed sleep.   So, guess who didn’t have a voice this week!  It’s hard being a trainer without a good Boot Camp voice!  LOL!  I’m definitely on the mend and just need a little TLC and lots of herbal teas with honey.  Can you relate?  Anyone else caught a bug like this?  Ugh, there are some tough bugs out there, but we will not give up!  Let’s keep eating those berries every day, get enough sleep, avoid sugar like the plague, and cram as many greens down your throat that you can stand! 

This past Saturday was the 2nd Fit For Change Challenge and it was an awesome turn out!  Thanks to everyone who made it out and gave 110%!  This was a timed challenge with eight stations offering a variety of whole body strength and core drills, followed by a run after each station.  It was hard!  It was challenging!  You conquered it! 

Here are the top winners from Saturday’s Challenge:

7am

1st  Joanne Vieira – 15:56 min. 

2nd  Lynnda Philbrook – 15:58 min.

3rd  Ken Vieira – 16:20 min.

 

8:05am

1st Kathy Schalin 14:55 min.

2nd Dave Thompson 15:11 min.

3rd Kathleen Jacobs  15:44 min.

Awesome job guys!  Proud of the effort and love to see how you are progressing in your fitness and getting stronger and faster! 

 

  1.  Fit for Change Challenge  – now through February 17th!  Come join us on Saturday mornings for either a 30 or 60 minute timed challenge that will work your entire body, leave you sweaty, and begging for more!   Bring a friend and join in a friendly and competitive environment.  You can do this!
  2. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night.  If you are interested in coming out on Tuesday night, please contact me as there are a few spots open.
  3. Next Running Boot Camps is Sunday, February 4th at 11am!  Mark your calendars! 

 

Thought for the week:  It’s Now or Never! 

 

Sometimes I think we are too free spirited about our health and wellness goals.  Imagine if your job tracked your health and wellness goals and your performance was tied to your salary.  Would you be motivated to do well?  You betcha!  For motivation, how about thinking of your health goals as either extending or reducing years onto your life, based on your level of health right now?  If you knew you could add ten years onto your life by being having a healthy weight with a good BMI and body fat %, limiting sugar, fat, and salt, meat, and dairy….would you do it?  Everything we do every day, is either moving us in the direction of healthy living or diseased living.  What side of the fence are you on?  What is it going to take to make you take your health seriously and put the hard work in so that you can live better, longer, and happier? 

If you don’t start taking action now, then when will you?  Will it take a stroke or a heart attack to get your attention?  Boy guys, I’m telling you, I am more motivated than ever to preach this message because I have been surrounded with loved ones in my family, who have suffered recent strokes or heart attacks, and can see quite clearly it’s been due to a combination of stress and poor diet.  Why does it take a major health event to get our attention focused on action?  Sadly, I’ve also seen quite a few people come out alive on the other end of a stroke or heart attack and be in “game on” mode for about a year.  Guess what happens?  After a while, they have followed back into their old habits and have either put the weight back on or are just as stressed out.  I’m not saying this stuff is easy at all.  It’s quite the contrary actually.  Living well is like a part-time job with full-time benefits. 

Please don’t allow yourself to be a statistic.  If you know you are at risk, don’t wait until it’s too late.  Take a good hard look at your diet and ask yourself, “What is my diet mostly made up of?” or “How many days a week am I exercising with solid exertion and sweat equity?”  Only you know, in the still quite voice that lies deep within you, if you are really trying your best to live well.  If you are falling short, then never fear, because you are about six months away from transforming your health?!  Yup, if you work hard for about six months,  you can drastically turn around your health and reduce those dangerous blood panel markers down to normal levels, such as your cholesterol.  It can happen and you can do it!  It’s not too late for you! 

Some of you reading this might be going through incredible challenges in your life right now and there is just zero time right now to give your health your best.  I totally get that and I feel for your emotional pain and suffering.  But as in all things, life comes in chapters and thankfully, one chapter leads into another that is a completely different theme and part of the story!  Isn’t that good news!  The one thing in life that is constant is change.  So, hang in there.  Pray hard to the Lord because He is faithful and will guide your path if you let Him.  After all, it’s now or never! 

I love you guys!

See you in class soon,

Jen

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MMB – January = Mental Toughness

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a marvelous day in whatever you are doing.  Some of you may have the holiday off for MLK Day, and some of you may be working, but I hope you are feeling refreshed and ready to go in kicking off the week!  This past Saturday was the beginning of the 6-Week Fit For Change Challenge.  Due to the holiday weekend, it was lightly attended, but the fitness crew that came out brought their warrior best and fought hard!  Obstacle courses are all the fitness rage right now.  Why?  Because they work and it’s a fun and efficient way to burn up hundreds of calories, build strength, stamina, and build muscle all from the same work out!  For the next five weeks, every Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a timed obstacle course competition that will challenge you to your core.  Lisa Dillon, who is a regular in my classes, commented after this 30 minute boot camp, “This was the toughest 30 minute work out I’ve ever experienced,” as she said with a big smile on her face and sweat dripping off her brow!  If you are a beginner level, please don’t fret because I can tone down the exercises and make them more low impact.  Whatever your fitness level is, I promise I can craft a work out that will be just right for you!

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MMB – Health and Wellness are Verbs in Disguise!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are walking into your Monday morning with a renewed and refreshed spirit that is ready to take on January!  This is the month that requires a little extra of everything:  motivation, inspiration, a positive attitude, and being purposeful in healthy living.  While we may not have the freezing and blizzard like conditions that our friends on the east coast are experiencing right now,  we still experience dark and rainy mornings that make it difficult to want to get out of bed and start the day.  This is the moment you shake hands with your goals.  Health and wellness doesn’t just happen.  They sound like nouns, but I would argue that they are verbs in disguise!  Being healthy isn’t really a thing, because in order to be healthy, you must do!  In order to eat healthy, you must go to the store, buy nutrient dense food, bring it home, and then DO something with it.  Again, it’s all in the action of doing.  You cannot think your way into fitness.  You must actually put the work in and get your heart rate up and sweat.  Yup, it’s all of the uncomfortable stuff that is painful at times that transforms us into being fit and healthy people.  So, as we are all walking into our first week back, with all of our regular commitments, let’s stay focused on the actions of health and wellness because we want the adjectives of health and wellness such as; fit, vibrant, energized, capable, positive, happy, confident, and charismatic!

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MMB – Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year to you!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed bringing in the New Year!  Can you believe it’s 2018?!  Now is the time to start thinking about what you want 2018 to look like.  How did your 2018 wrap up?  Were you happy with your accomplishments personally and professionally?  Did you grow?  Were you challenged?  As we begin the New Year, let’s strategize how we can embrace health and wellness together.  I can tell you it’s not about a diet and it’s not about a work out.  Wellness is much more than a temporary goal or quick work out.  What’s your mindset like?  Did you know that everything you do throughout the day is either guiding you towards health or disease?  Now is the time to evaluate your behaviors and habits and search for the areas of your life that are hurting your potential to live the best life you can.  This is what we’ll be focusing on in 2018!  Are you ready?  Let’s do this thing!  Happy New Year!

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MMB – Merry Christmas!

Hi Everyone,

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting down to write this blog in a bit of disbelief that tomorrow is Christmas.  Since I’m hosting Christmas dinner, like all of you, I have a ton of things to do today to prepare for Christmas.  Somehow and some way, we always make the “magic” happen because that’s what parents do!  With all the distractions of the “busy work”,  my mind is also pondering the birth of our Savior and the unimaginable sacrifice that our Lord made for us.  To imagine that God came to us as a vulnerable baby 2,000 years ago, is an overwhelming thought to take in.  Yet, this is what happened and it’s because of His birth that we celebrate Christmas.  In my heart, I sincerely want to extend a very Merry Christmas to you, and pray that you too can take in the miracle of His birth and the hope that only He can give us. 

 

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MMB – Wrapping Up 2017

Hi Everyone,

The countdown is on and there is only one week left before Christmas!  Yikes!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and made holiday memories with your family and friends.  Thanks to everyone, who made it out to classes this past week, and special apologies go out to the crew who came on Thursday night – you know who you are LOL!  As I’ve been saying, this time of year is super tough to stay motivated and consistent with work outs, so if you are off pace and feeling a bit blue about it, set new goals for this week and carve out time today to start  moving again.  Even if it’s only 20 minutes of something, that’s better than 20 minutes of nothing!  Be very mindful about what you are eating too.  Over the years and especially at holiday time, I’ve noticed a correlation between an increase in sugar intake and the blues.  The more sugar I eat, the more depressed I feel.  So guess what goes out the window?  Yup, the motivation to move – so the more sugar you eat, the less you move, the worse you feel, and so therefore, the more sugar you eat!  Do you see how this spiral effect is so lethal and destructive?  Trust me, you don’t want to walk into January feeling miserable about the way you look and feel.  Pretend it’s January now and limit sugar intake, increase water and veggie intake, and move as much as you can! 

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MMB – How’s Your Gut Health?

Good morning everyone,

Can you believe we are in the middle of December?  Is your schedule bursting with a multitude of activities?  Are you finding it difficult to find balance with nutrition, exercise, and sleep?  Well, you are not alone friends!  As a trainer, it’s my job to keep reminding you to carve out time for self care so that you don’t get sick, burned out, or depressed.  This is why it is so important to tap into a community of like minded people, who want to take their health to a higher level, and encourage one another to keep charging ahead with healthy eating, consistent work outs, and positive attitudes.  Is it easy? No!  But thankfully, life comes one day at a time and we have many fork in the road moments to make good choices. 

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MMB – To Veggie or Not? That is the Question.

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling great walking into your Monday morning!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  I like the momentum out there and it’s been great seeing some “old” familiar faces!  I was particularly jazzed after Boot Camp on Saturday because you guys are the best!  I love watching how all of you check in with one another and are genuinely interested in how the other person is doing.  When someone comes to class and it’s been a while since they’ve attended, they are always approached with hugs and warm greetings.  This makes my heart smile like nothing else.  For those of you who are attending my 7am boot camp, you know that I’ve been allowing my boys to join in.  They are still on trial with this and as long as they can prove they have the maturity and physical capability for class, then they are welcome to come.  I’ve been teaching them that they are “ambassadors” of Jen Allan Fitness, so know that there’s a lot of teaching going on behind the scenes! 

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MMB – Healthy Holiday Choices

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday week and weekend and took some time off to be with friends and family.  I’m super proud of everyone who was able to keep moving during the holiday and especially for those of you who made it out to either Thanksgiving Boot Camp or Saturday Boot Camp.  I had asked for feedback from some of you about how you felt after you exercised and if it changed your perspective walking into Thanksgiving. The answers I received back varied, but everyone agreed that they were more energized and were more cautious about the foods that they chose to eat because they were more mindful about what was going into their mouths.  Bravo guys!  This just proves that you can enjoy yourself on a holiday, especially if you prepare on the front end with increased work outs and mental preparation.  Also, I can’t emphasize portion control enough!  Yes, you can enjoy a small piece of pie, but if you eat a large slice and then go back for seconds, that’s when we are in trouble.  Balance, moderation, and mindfulness are the tools of the season!  Let’s launch into this holiday season with thankful hearts, gratitude for our blessings, and celebrating our health with mobility and clean eating! 

 

Thanksgiving Boot Camp Photos!

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday:  There is currently 1 opening at 5:45pm.  Please let me know if you are interested.  If you want to sign up for the coming weeks, please contact me so I can put your name on the list. 

2)  Cardio Fusion will be at Valley Bible Church Thursday.  Class times 6:15pm and 7:20pm.

3)  Christmas Boot Camp and Brunch – Saturday, December 23rd.  There will be one boot camp from 7am to 8am, followed by a catered brunch by Jen to celebrate another year of fitness together!  Kids are welcome too.

Thought for the week:  Healthy Holiday Choices

This is the time of year when temptation is all around us.  Every corner we turn, we are greeted by the aromas of sugary sweetness found in cookies, pastries, cinnamon rolls, and syrupy coffee drinks.  Many of us are catching up with old friends, who are visiting from out of town, and so we find ourselves eating out more often and consuming double or triple the calories.  Continuing with this holiday lifestyle, fast forward to the beginning of January and it’s no wonder that we are miserable and signing up for gym memberships like it’s our last chance for redemption. 

So, how do we handle this?  For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a foodie girl.  I love to cook, bake, and entertain and yes, food is love!  Nothing makes me happier than making a delicious meal and watching loved ones thoroughly enjoy themselves.  What makes me even happier is knowing that I am choosing healthy ingredients and creating dishes that are nutrient dense and satisfying. 

During the holidays, you can still totally enjoy the tastes of the season without packing on the pounds.  Here are some common sense approaches that I want to share with you. 

1)  Buffet table – When facing the daunting task of choosing your lunch or dinner form a buffet, think salad and veggies first.  Load up on these items first before going for the starchy or meat options.  Because of the dense amount of fiber found in plant based options, you’ll be less likely to load up on large amounts of carbs or heavy meats filled with saturated fat.  Choose water instead of soda and forget the piece of complimentary bread that comes with your salad.  Avoid anything that looks “glistening” because it is probably loaded with fats such as butter or oil.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  If you do choose to add pasta, rice, or potatoes, go small.  If you are eating out, these foods are going to have extra salt, fats, potential msg, and are loaded with extra calories. 

2)  Holiday choices – Choose yams over potatoes.  Choose brown or wild rice over white rice.  Choose lean turkey meat over roast beef or prime rib.  Choose pumpkin pie over pecan or cream pies.  Ditch the roll and save the calories for a small piece of dessert.  Eat foods that are truly special to you and skip the ones you feel mediocre about.  Mediocre calories aren’t worth it.

3) Salads can be a healthy God send or a wicked fat trap.  All salad is not created equal.  Don’t hate me, but avoid these things:  cream style dressings, croutons, bacon bits, shredded cheese,  salads that have already been tossed with dressing, any fried things such as chicken or wonton sticks.  Add a variety of chopped veggies, lettuces, spinach, edamame, chopped herbs, beans, seeds, lentils, avocado, and a sprinkling of salad dressing. 

4)  Watch those coffee or tea drinks!  This is another area we have to be very careful.  Going to StarBucks or Peet’s coffee has become a national past time as it is a wonderful place to conduct business, meet up with a friend, or go for an afternoon pick me up.  If you are going to order a sweetened coffee or tea, ask for lightly sweetened or only one pump of the syrup, such as a mocha with 1 pump instead of 3.  Better yet, order a regular coffee and add a sprinkling of cocoa powder and sugar at the counter.  You’ll still get the taste of a treat without all of the added sugar and fat. 

5) Don’t slack on your work outs!  If you know you are going to be taking in more calories for an upcoming holiday event, then balance out the equation and carve out time for hard work outs beforehand.  This will make such a difference in how you look and feel.  Keep your metabolism revved up and active so you can manage the extra calories with success.

6) Don’t make a habit of staying up late every night.  Proper sleep equals cellular repair and if you are in a constant state of sleep deprivation, then your body can linger in stress, inflammation, fatigue, and sluggishness, ultimately leading to weight gain and disease.  Hit the hay earlier, rather than later!  You’ll be happy that you did.

7) Fridge stock up.  Make sure you are carving out time to go to the store and have fresh ingredients on hand to make home made meals and snacks.  We are far more tempted to eat sugary treats when we aren’t fueled up on the healthy stuff.   Make  sure you are eating fresh fruits and veggies every day.  I know it sounds simple, but have you noticed how much we need to be reminded about this??  It’s because the pleasure part of our brain seeks out savory and sweets.  The idea of a carrot or cucumber can’t really compete unless you train your taste buds  to eat them on a regular basis so that you begin to crave fruits and veggies.  This is the path to living disease free. 

Let’s make this an awesome holiday season where we are focused on our health, blessings, and wellness!  You can do it!   Together, we can do great things!

Jen

 

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MMB – A Killer Home Work Out for You!

Hi Everyone,

 Can you believe that Thanksgiving is Thursday?  This week will launch the holiday craziness with crowded malls, congested streets, and overflowing waiting lines for restaurants, Starbucks, and ATM’s.  I can hardly wait!  Do you sense my sarcasm?  Well, we all take what we want from the season and I will choose to grab onto thankfulness and watch my kids in wonder as they craft their Christmas lists, make Star Wars Christmas cookies, watch Elf, and go out at night to drive through neighborhoods filled with amazing displays of Christmas lights and decorations.  Of course, the most important aspect we’ll be focusing on is the birth of our savior and can’t wait to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church, Valley Bible Church this year.  You are all welcome to come and join us if you don’t already have plans for Christmas Eve!  See me for details if you are interested. 🙂

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MMB – Yes, the Holidays are Around the Corner!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are walking into your Monday morning feeling refreshed and invigorated.  Glancing down at the calendar, I can’t believe it’s November 13th, can you?  Where has this year gone?  Well, I can officially start reminding you guys on a daily basis that yes, the holidays are here, and it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to manage the holidays without gaining weight and feeling miserable.  You can probably guess that it has something to do with exercising regularly, watching excess sugar intake, increasing greens and veggies, and getting proper rest?  Yup, this is a good list to start with but I’ll have some additional tips for you below, so keep reading!

Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday.  There is one spot open for each of the time slots at 5:45pm, 6:55pm, and 7:35pm.  Please let me know if you’d like to join us!

2)  Cardio Fusion will be at Jen’s studio this week because VBC is utilizing the multi-purpose room.  There will be three classes for sign up just like the Cardio Core format at 5:45pm, 6:55pm, and 7:35pm.  If you are interested in a Cardio Fusion class at Jen’s studio, please contact Jen!

3)  Thanksgiving Morning Boot Camp!  Come get a killer work out in on Thanksgiving morning so you can enjoy the rest of your day with special dishes and treats.  Classes will be at 7am and 8:05am.

4)  The Annual Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch!  Mark Saturday, December 23rd down because you’ll attend Boot Camp and then enjoy a Christmas Brunch directly afterwards.  Come and enjoy Mama Jen’s special breakfast strata, homemade muffins, a fruit salad, Peet’s coffee, and special time to fellowship with our fitness friends! 

5)  New!  20-Minute Check-in with Jen!  Need some nutritional advice?  Want weigh in accountability and measuring?  Need some extra stretching or strengthening tips?  You can meet with Jen for 20 minutes to fine tune the things that are road blocks to your health and wellness goals.  Cost is $25. 

 

Thought for the week:  Managing the Holidays is Achievable!

 

Can you smell it in the air?  Can you see them on the counter?  Yup, it’s the aromas of pumpkin spice lattes, ginger snap cookies, peppermint chocolates, and colorful sugary delights around every corner you turn. What’s a person to do with all of this temptation?!  Well, first of all, don’t panic. 

As a trainer I always say, I don’t worry so much about what you do from Thanksgiving to Christmas, it’s what you do from Christmas to Thanksgiving that I mostly care about.  Capiche? 

If you are a person who is in the habit of moving on a regular basis and eating a well balanced diet throughout the year, then a few delectable treats consumed over the coming weeks should be enjoyed and celebrated.  Life is all about balance and if you’ve been working hard and eating clean, it’s o.k. to enjoy a few treats of the season. 

When do we get in trouble?  Well, if we treat everyday as a holiday and begin indulging on excess sugar, refined carbs, sodium enriched foods, and consuming more sugary drinks and alcohol, then we are going to get into trouble.  These foods are addictive and if you aren’t careful, you’ll start craving sugar every day and the pounds will start to pack on and you’ll start feeling like the Grinch has stole your Christmas. 

I attended a fitness conference two weekends ago and there is new research out about sugar and how it affects the body.  Do you know what sugar acts like in your body?  An antibiotic!  Essentially, a diet high in sugar does the exact same thing to your gut flora as an antibiotic….it kills them.  Many Americans are sick in this country with a whole host of problems because of imbalanced flora in the gut and a weakened immune system.  Have you ever wondered why we have so many food allergies and sensitivities to gluten?  Many of these problems start in the gut because we aren’t consuming enough pre-biotic and pro-biotic foods. 

I found a pretty cool article from greatist.com featuring holiday nutrition tips from nutrition experts around the country.  I found it to be a fascinating and enlightening read and I thought I’d pass it along.  They all have tidbits of wisdom to share about managing the holidays and I hope you’ll be inspired by something you read that will help you stay focused and disciplined during this tempting time of the year. 

Have  great week and see you in class soon!

Jen

 

The One Thing Top Nutrition Experts Do to Stay Healthy During the Holidays by Charlotte Anderson. 

Sourced from greatist.com   https://greatist.com/eat/holiday-healthy-eating-tips

 

Pecan pie! Honey-glazed ham! Candy cane truffles! Holiday food can inspire anxiety or ecstasy—or both—depending on your mind-set. Here’s the good news: The average weight gain for the holiday season is just one pound. Now for the bad: While that might not sound like much, research shows we don’t lose it, and that one pound adds up year after year. And the news is worse for people who are already overweight, who add about five extra holiday pounds each year.

Sweet treats and rich meals can be landmines for health-conscious people, yet no one wants to feel deprived during the hap- hap-iest season of all. No need to fear—there are sensible ways to navigate this territory. And who better to show you how to do it than healthy eating experts themselves? We asked the country’s top nutritionists and dietitians to tell us the single rule they follow to make it through the season without overdoing it or stressing so much that they miss out on the festive fun.

Lindsey Joe, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

My one rule: Eat what you love, leave what you like.

Instead of piling your plate a mile high with things that don’t really tantalize your taste buds (fruit cake, we’re looking at you!), pick only the foods that give you true enjoyment. If something doesn’t make you swoon, leave it on the sideline.

Erica Giovinazzo, R.D., Head Coach and Nutritionist at Brick CrossFit and ​BodyChange Dietitian

My one rule: Keep your treats to one day a week.

The biggest mistake people make at the holidays is making Thanksgiving a four-day feast instead of a one-day indulgence. Then the holiday parties come, and all of a sudden you’re giving yourself an excuse to have treats nearly every day. Rather than letting your holiday feast roll into pie for breakfast, limit your splurges to one event per week.

Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO of NY Nutrition Group

My one rule: Nix the guilt.

Feeling guilty after eating foods you don’t usually allow yourself to eat can breed more unhealthy behaviors. So abandon those negative voices in your head, give yourself permission to enjoy the indulgence guilt-free, and then remember to get back on track with your normal eating routine the very next day.

Justin Robinson, Registered Dietitian

My one rule: Don’t eat something just because it’s holiday food.

Listen to your body; most people eat particular foods like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or down cups of eggnog at a Christmas party because “that’s what we do during the holidays.” Noshing without thinking about what you’re putting into your body and why makes you ignore your internal cues of hunger and satiety. Do you really even like pumpkin pie or eggnog? Or if you could have any treat, would you choose your favorite ice cream or hot cocoa instead? Just because it’s limited doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Deborah Orlick Levy, R.D., Carrington Farms Health and Nutrition Consultant

My one rule: Eat low to high (when it comes to calories).

Start with a broth-based soup or salad, then move on to lean protein, and by the time you reach those triple-fudge brownies, a few bites will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Teresa LaMasters, M.D., Weight-Loss Specialist at UnityPoint Clinic, Des Moines

My one rule: Alternate your bubbly with sparkling water.

On average most adults consume almost 100 calories a day from alcoholic beverages. Since avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether may be hard during this time of merriment, alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a zero-calorie sparkler can help you avoid pouring on the pounds. Plus sparkling water keeps things festive, and, bonus, you’ll avoid entering the hangover zone, a not-so-happy holiday tradition.

Ashley Koff, R.D. for Earthbound Farm

My one rule: Balance acid with alkaline.

Holiday foods are full of “acid formers” like sugar, alcohol, and meat, so make sure you balance all those rich foods with plenty of “alkaline formers” like lemons and organic greens. While not all nutrition experts agree with the alkalinity theory, which says that eating too much of some types of foods can upset the pH balance in the body, it does make sense to balance out your heavier dishes with plenty of greens.

Hannah Disterdick, R.D., Wellness Specialist for One to One Personal Physician Network

My one rule: Bring the punch.

Offer to bring the party punch, then “upgrade” your traditional recipe with natural sweeteners like stevia or 100% fruit juice. To go even healthier, ditch the booze and replace it with club soda for a sparkling mocktail. Although they might miss the buzz, no one will miss the extra calories, and you’ll be comfortable knowing there’s at least one light drink so you can skip the eggnog.

Jessica Setnick, R.D., Senior Fellow at Remuda Ranch at the Meadows, International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians

My one rule: Make holiday treats year-round.

Prevent some of that “last-chance eating” by promising to make your mom’s pumpkin pie in February or your favorite green bean casserole in July. Knowing it will be available again means you won’t feel the urge to “go for broke” and overeat it now.

Adrienne Raimo, RD, and Founder & Director of One Bite Wellness

My one rule: Veg-out on veggies.

Try swapping light pureed cauliflower for carb-heavy mashed potatoes and add side dishes with more vegetables, like ratatouille, to bolster the nutritional value of the meal and keep you satiated so you don’t overeat. Bonus: All that extra fiber will help keep you regular, even if you do overindulge a bit on the cheese platter.

Valerie Orsoni, Nutrition expert, founder of LeBootCamp

My one rule: Don’t be fooled by the “health halo.”

File this under sad-but-true: You can gain weight even if you eat healthy. You can overdo it with the veggies and dip or creamy asparagus soup, just like you can with ice cream—except with the ice cream at least you know it’s an indulgence. So make sure you’re not eating something based solely on its health-food aura and keep an eye on your portion sizes.

Ana Goldseker, CNE, Director of Nutrition for Nava Health and Vitality Centers

My one rule: Go to social gatherings to gather (not to eat).

You go to family gatherings, work parties, and other social events to see your friends and loved ones—so see them! Use these times to socialize and be present rather than rummaging for holiday treats. A good idea is to “pre-eat” something with protein and vegetables to stabilize your blood sugar so you can keep your focus where it belongs: on present company.

JJ Virgin, author of three New York Times bestsellers, including JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet

My one rule: Bring out the skinny jeans.

Elastic waistbands, “relaxed fit” sweaters, and other loose clothing are practically an engraved invitation to overeat. Leave those roomy pants in the back of the closet. Instead, bring out the bandage dresses, skinny jeans, slim-fit suit, or nipped-in blazer—whatever ensemble makes you feel sleek and slim. Not only will you look hot, your outfit will offer subtle reinforcement to keep you from getting seconds (or thirds) on those peppermint bark cookies.

Alissa Rumsey, R.D., Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

My one rule: Just say no… to food pushers.

Whether it’s Grandma’s caramel cake or your best friend’s first attempt at a holiday roast, often you may feel forced to eat certain foods simply because people keep offering them to you. Put on a genuine smile, politely decline, and then offer a compliment. “Oh, Emily, these truffles look amazing, and you’re so thoughtful to make them for me! I’m too full to enjoy them right now, but could I take a couple home?” They’ll feel loved and you won’t feel pressured to show your affection through busting a gut.

Lindsay Martin, R.D., Nutritionist for Hilton Head Health

My one rule: Rock the bed-head.

Between holiday traveling, work schedules, and all that shopping, it can be easy to skimp on sleep in order to get your to-do list done, but getting a consistent six to nine hours of sleep every night helps regulate hormones, promotes recovery from workouts, and prevents daily fatigue—plus it keeps you from face-planting directly into your mom’s apple pie. There’s really no such thing as “catching up” on sleep, so the key is consistency . Bonus: The bed-head tousled look is totally in right now!

Megan Roosevelt, R.D., Founder of Healthy Grocery Girl

My one rule: Be a snack smuggler.

Traveling, shopping, and running errands during the holidays can lead to fast food, skipping meals, or surrendering to the siren call of Cinnabon. To keep your appetite in check, never leave home without a snack. Choose options made with real ingredients to truly energize and nourish your body. Check out our suggestions for on-the-go high-protein snacks.

Lisa Reed, C.S.C.S., Personal Trainer

My one rule: Burn the bird.

No, we’re not telling you to intentionally char your holiday dinner (although that’s one way to save calories). Rather, try a post-feast interval workout like Reed’s “burn the bird” sweat-fest: Have everyone start in a single file line down the sidewalk. Begin moving, with the person in the front of the line setting the pace—you can run, sprint, or walk. Then have the person in the back of the line move to the front of the line and set a new pace. Repeat until you have either reached 30 minutes or completed 2 miles. Consider this a new form of family bonding. Go ahead and high-five the line as you run past, treat your team to a full on sprint, or goof off and perform lunges down the line to the front.

Edwina Clark, Registered Dietitian

My one rule: Don’t “save up” calories.

Fasting before a big meal can backfire worse than posting a Justin Bieber fan video on YouTube. Low blood sugar from hunger increases cortisol levels, which leads to cravings for fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Instead of saving up for the big meal, nibble on healthy snacks like raw veggies, nuts, and fruit throughout the day to avoid a full-blown gorgefest where no crumb is left behind.

Andrea Szebeni, R.D., Nutritionist for the Lighthouse Recovery Institute

My one rule: Detox your taste buds.

Over time we adapt to eating “hyperpalatable” foods that are high fat, high salt, or high sugar (or all three). By eating these foods regularly, we erode the ability of our taste buds to appreciate subtler flavors, and we train them that a hit of fat/salt/sugar is normal. The good news is that you can reset taste buds by cutting out processed foods for just one week. Then when you do indulge in a treat, you’ll be able to appreciate all the flavors and be sated with just a few bites. You may even find that processed foods you used to love don’t even appeal anymore.

Lauren Harris-Pincus, R.D.N., of Nutrition Starring You

My one rule: Three bites and good night.

Stick to the three-bite rule for desserts: The first bite is the best, the last the grand finale, and every bite in between is the same. In three bites, you get the full dessert experience, so really focus on savoring those three and you’re less likely to overindulge.

Simone Gloger, R.D., Head Nutritionist for The Dukan Diet

My one rule: Trim the trimmings.

It turns out that most traditional holiday dishes are really not that unhealthy—think lean turkey, roasted vegetables, nuts—but adding in all the additional trimmings to the dishes are what make the calories soar into the stratosphere. Simply eliminate extras such as gravy, cream sauces, butter, and crust on pies, and you’ll axe loads of unnecessary calories and fat.

Anne Ricci, R.D., Founder of Anne’s Healthy Kitchen

My one rule: Eat mindfully.

It sounds silly, but lots of people don’t even realize when they’re eating. Taking the time to choose food you really want to eat and then actively focusing on enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each bite will naturally help you slow down and stop when you’re full.

Kristy Del Coro, R.D., Senior Culinary Nutritionist of SPE Certified

My one rule: Eat a good breakfast.

Your mom was right: Eating a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the entire day. If you start your day off with a doughnut or leftover pie, you can trigger a relentless sweet tooth the rest of the day. Don’t skip breakfast either, as that will leave you dragging through your morning and more likely to overeat later because you’re starving. Your best bet? Start with something that has lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and some healthy fat to give you energy and keep you satisfied until your next meal. Del Coro’s favorite: An omelet made with one egg and two to three egg whites; easy-to-cook veggies like spinach, mushrooms, or sautéed onions; fresh herbs if you have them; and a touch of grated Parmesan cheese. Add fresh fruit and whole-grain toast to really round out the meal.

Maggie Moon, R.D., Author of the Elimination Diet Workbook, owner Everyday Healthy Eating

My one rule: Eat seasonally.

Summer gets all the credit for tasty fruits and bountiful veggies, but winter has its superstars too. Feast on gorgeous seasonal fruits like pomegranates, mandarin oranges, and red grapefruit. Not only are they at peak season for optimal quality and flavor, they’re packed with nutrients. Pistachios, chestnuts, and walnuts also make special appearances around the holidays, so feel free to eat a handful or two before hitting the buffet. These nuts are packed with satiating fiber and healthy fats to help keep your appetite from going rogue.

Anika Christ, R.D., Senior Manager of Life Time Weight Loss at Life Time Fitness, Inc.

My one rule: Use the “fork trick.”

One of the biggest pitfalls of holiday eating is not being able to tell when you’re full and no longer truly enjoying the food you’re eating. To help you answer this question, try the “fork trick”: Once you take a bite of food, place your fork down on the plate, and let go of the fork. Chew your food, swallow, and then pick up your fork again. The key to this trick is actually letting go of the fork. This will remind you to slow down, enjoy your food, and converse with friends and family. By eating more slowly, you’ll be more in touch with your body’s satiety signals.

Michael Wood, C.S.C.S., Founder of Sports Performance Group

My one rule: Watch out for sneaky sugar.

Sure, you know that pumpkin pie with whipped cream or chocolate lava cake is a sugar-bomb, but the sweet stuff hides in innocuous places like sauces, seasonings, and processed foods. Suss out sneaky sugars and eliminate the ones you won’t miss, like the barbecue dipping sauce or the packaged crackers, to keep your blood sugar and weight stable. Wood says women should aim to stay under 100 calories per day from sugar while men should stick to 150 calories or less.

Ashley Pettit, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Fitness Chef, and Personal Trainer

My one rule: Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water.

It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, leading to mindless snacking that never satiates. To make sure you’re staying hydrated, drink half your body weight in water. So if you weigh 140 pounds, aim for 70 ounces of water over the course of the day. For added detoxification, try adding ginger or lemon.

 

 

 

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MMB – Functional Fitness Tidbits

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling energized as you walk into your work week.  Sometimes we begin our Monday hearing about news over the weekend that is hard to fathom and I’m feeling that way right now.  If you’ve tuned into the news, then you know about the mass shooting in Texas yesterday at a Baptist Church.  I won’t go into the details here, but I wanted to begin this blog by recognizing our humanity and compassion in a moment like this when you hear something that steals your breath away.  So, we hear horrific news, we take it in, and then we pray and ask God to extend his mercy and compassion to the families who lost loved ones.  But alas, we must persevere and press on as we begin our week and focus on an attitude of gratefulness, thankfulness, and our abundant blessings.  So, let’s do that 🙂

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MMB – Fall Movement Mania Results!

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are feeling energized and ready for the week!  A huge thank-you to everyone who came out on Saturday to participate in the trio of Halloween Boo Camp, the last Fall Movement Mania, and the canned food and Santa Rosa fire victim drives!  Wow, you guys were amazing with your positive energy, generosity, time commitment, and effort that you poured out into all of these endeavors!  Thank you again so much!

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MMB – Are You a Mindless Eating Machine?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are all doing well and have been moving and eating clean out there!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Keep up the great work guys and you will see the fruit of your labor in every day life as you get stronger and more capable! 

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MMB – A Way to Help Out Fire Victims

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and have been staying active out there.  Because of the the poor air quality in the bay area, I know we’ve had to come up with more creative ways to get our work outs in.  The winds should be changing this week and will hopefully clear out the smoke so we can safely exercise outside.  In regard to the Sonoma and Napa fires, I heard a news report say that the firefighters are hopeful the fires should be mostly contained by this Friday.  Wouldn’t that be marvelous?! 

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Praying for Safety During Fire Evacuations

Hi Everyone,

Now that it’s daylight and if you’ve smelled the air, you know there is something wrong because of all of the smoke.  I’ve been very preoccupied this morning with the news of the fires in Santa Rosa and Napa and can’t believe all of the devastation that’s going on right now!

I would like to ask for prayers for my cousin Jessica, who lives in Santa Rosa.  I just found out that she had to evacuate her home and all of her animals.  Jessica is a wildlife expert and caregiver at Safari West in Santa Rosa and is trying to evacuate all of the animals this morning.  As you can imagine, this is a daunting task and I can only imagine how challenging this is for the staff right now.  Of course, we need prays for all of the people who are in harms way and in danger of the fire.  I saw on the news that an entire mobile home park was destroyed.

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MMB – Moving is Living

Good morning everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope that as you are reading this blog you are feeling refreshed from your weekend.  The weather is beautiful this time of year and a good reminder of why we live in California and pay the real estate prices that we do!  LOL!  This past Saturday was our 2nd  Fall Movement Mania and it was awesome logging so many of your exercise minutes into miles.  You guys are off to a great start, so let’s keep the momentum going and finding new ways to squeeze in exercise minutes every day!  I want to see those maps filled up by the end of the six weeks and find out who traveled the farthest! 

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MMB – Parental Nutritional Ignorance = Child Abuse

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend and celebrated by moving!  Speaking of moving, the Fall Movement Mania kicked off this past Saturday!  For the next six weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to exercise in a variety of different ways.  With every minute of exercise you log, you’ll earn 1 mile per minute.  So, if you exercise for 200 minutes by next Saturday, you’ll earn 200 miles to travel on your own personal map!  Imagine the places we can go….  Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, disclaimer alert ( this vacation is in your imagination 🙂 )  Someday, Jen Allan Fitness will have amazing funds to award a magnificent vacation, but for now, ladies and gentleman, we’ll have to use our imaginations! So, start tracking those exercise minutes and mix up how you are moving.  The only rules are that whatever it is you are doing, you must have your heart rate up and be sweating.  A casual walk with a girl friend and chit chatting doesn’t really count…sorry! 

Every Saturday there will be a timed challenge for everyone to participate in and I’ll announce the winners on the Monday morning blog.  This past Saturday’s challenge was the following:

60 minute class:

  1. Run 1 lap around the buildng
  2. 20 push-ups & 20 Burpee push-ups
  3. 20 MB Slams & 20 MB Rotational Slams
  4. Running Pyramid – starting at 1 (light run) to 5 (sprint) and back down to 1.
  5. 20 Renegade Rows with a push-up, jump into a bicep press, and overhead press.
  6. 4 – 2 X2 Sprints and Stair drills
  7. 20 MB Tricep push-ups & 20 MB Burpee Tricep push-ups
  8. 20 DB Dead lifts & 20 Single leg warrior rows both left and right

30 minute class:

  • Run 1 lap around the buildng
  • 20 push-ups & 10 Burpee push-ups
  • 10 MB Slams & 10 MB Rotational Slams
  • Running Pyramid – starting at 1 (light run) to 5 (sprint) and back down to 1.
  • 10 Renegade Rows with a push-up, jump into a bicep press, and overhead press.
  • 4 – 2 X2 Sprints and Stair drills
  • 10 MB Tricep push-ups & 10 MB Burpee Tricep push-ups
  • 10 DB Dead lifts & 10 Single leg warrior rows both left and right

Top winner for 60 minute class – Christi Stevenson 28:22

Top three winners for 30 minute class are:  Heather Thompson 16:23, Dave Thompson 16:40, and Erin Campbell 17:50

Way to go guys!  Keep up the great work and let’s get those exercise minutes logged this week! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  6 week Fall Movement Mania is happening now through October 28th!  It’s not too late to join.  You can see me during the week to get weighed and measured and start tracking your exercise minutes this week to record on Saturday!  Bring a friend and shake things up!
  2. Next Running Boot Camp is on Sunday, October 8th at 7am. 
  3. Cardio Core for this Tuesday night is full.  If you’d like to attend, you are welcome to check in with me during the afternoon to find out if there have been any cancellations.  You can also contact me to sign up for the next two weeks for October 3rd or 10th. 
  4. Remember Leah and John Borges?  For those of you who are my regulars, you might remember Leah and John Borges, who used to attend my evening classes together.  They ended up moving to Discovery Bay, so they aren’t able to come to my classes anymore.  However, you might recall that John had announced that he was going to start training for a Triathlon?   Well, this was about a year ago and I ran into John and Leah yesterday and found out that John had just completed his Triathlon yesterday in Santa Cruz!  Here is a picture of John riding his bike in the 24 mile race!  John only started exercising about a year and a half ago.  Before that, he was very sedentary and out of shape.  Based on a decision he made to change, he was able to complete this race of a 1 mile ocean swim, 24 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run!  Way to go John!  We are proud of you!

 

Thought for the week:  Parental Nutritional Ignorance = Child Abuse

My husband and I don’t get out much.  In fact, if truth be told, we are kind of boring and enjoy our simple routines of home cooked meals, family time watching concerts, or bbqing and hanging out in our backyard with family and friends. Because Bob and I are both self-employed, it’s hard for us to get away and have any type of extended vacation, so we typically try to enjoy “staycations” where we are close to home and make the most of the time we have in a weekend.

This past weekend was a special one for our family because it marked the 5th year anniversary of our son Andrew’s open heart surgery at UCSF.  Andrew’s heart is now healthy and strong and thanks to the amazing surgeons and nursing staff at UCSF, he’ll have a bright future ahead of him where he can do anything physically he chooses to do!  We praise God for this!

So, we had an amazing “vacation”  weekend and truly celebrated as a family.  One of the fun events we attended over the weekend was the A’s game on Saturday night where they had a special Star Wars fireworks, which by the way, if you have never seen the fireworks at the Oakland Coliseum, they are spectacular and are better than Disneyland – if you can believe that!

One of the interesting things to do at any large sporting arena is to people watch.  It didn’t take my boys very long to figure out the trends at the Coliseum.  They watched a parade of people march by with tray after tray of loaded up hot dogs, nachos with dripping cheese, sodas spilling over the trays, and lots of sweet treats such as cotton candy and churros being consumed with gusto and speed. 

As you might imagine, this is not how my family rolls.  So, we had many interesting conversations about the observations we witnessed in terms of eating behaviors and choices.  As I reflect on what I watched in front of me the entire night, I am both saddened and horrified at what I observed, but I feel that I MUST share this with you to shed the light on what is happening in our country in regard to the path to obesity. 

First off, in sharing this story, I mean absolutely no disrespect to the mother whom I will speak of.  I don’t know anything about her, except what I saw in regard to how she eats and how she was feeding her daughter.  I am truly saddened for the state of health this woman is currently in.

At a ballgame, it’s hard to ignore things around you because you are surrounded by people in close proximity.  You hear their comments, biases, and yes, observe their eating and drinking habits. 

There was a young mother in front of me, probably around the age of 28, and she was about 150 pounds overweight.  She had a one year old with her, who was about as adorable as they come with her little bow in her hair, and was decked out in her little outfit for the day embracing all of her cuteness.  What wasn’t so cute, was watching her mom feed her.  I wish I was making the following observation, but I’m not. 

At the beginning of the game, the mom brought out a huge bag of nacho cheese flavored Doritos and was dipping the chips into the Frito Lay cheese sauce and handing them to her daughter one by one.  A little while later, she brought out a zip lock bag of pretzels and let her daughter have some of those.  Later in the game, the Skittles candies came out and she fed her daughter a handful of Skittles.  I noticed there was a woman sitting close to this mother, who was munching on blueberries, and offered a handful of blueberries to the little girl.  So, thankfully, the little girl had something decent to eat. 

Of course, after all of the sodium this little girl consumed, she’d be thirsty right?  Yup, she was, so the mom brought out a Capri Sun and handed it to her.  The mom was drinking a huge container of soda and was also eating all of the snack foods too.  During the entire course of the game, this little one year old ate nothing but processed food filled with preservatives, MSG, artificial flavorings and colorings, multiple forms of sugar, and void of any nutrients. 

Guys, my heart sank.  I don’t mean to be a pessimist or judgemental, but based on the size of the mom and what they were eating, one has to assume they are eating these types of food at home too. It’s easy to see the path that this precious, innocent little girl will be on for her entire life.  Imagine what is happening to her brain consuming all of these foods?  How are her taste buds being shaped?  With every bite or drink that little girl consumed, she was being trained to take in pleasure.  How is she going to react when she meets a vegetable or green leafy?  How can plants replace the excitement of a Dorito chip? 

This is why child hood obesity is on the rise and diseases such as Type II Diabetes are baffling doctors because they’ve never had to treat so many ten year olds who are now insulin dependent.  While we enjoyed the A’s game and time together as a family, I also took in the realization that this little girl would most likely grow up to be very unhealthy and will repeat the pattern, so I was sad too.  Of course, you never know, and I hope and pray that she’ll choose differently in her life at some point because CHANGE can happen for any of us at any time. 

As I mentioned before, this was a vacation weekend for my family, so my boys wanted to celebrate by having a slurpee.  They only get a slurpee once or twice a year, so it’s a big deal when they get one.  I thought you’d also like to see a couple pictures of my boys consuming their slurpees and the reactions their brains had!

If you made it this far in the blog, thanks for listening guys!  Let’s inspire our families to eat healthy and nutritious foods, because after all, they deserve the best and it starts with your leadership in your home. 

The boys and I munching on Kale Chips at the Boardwalk!! 

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MMB – Avoiding Pattern Overload

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend and are feeling energized out there!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to Boot Camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  Wow, that was a double whammy of fitness that made my trainer heart happy!  The hint of fall is in the air and the weather will be cooler this week, so it’s a perfect time to put on those running shoes and get an early morning run in or after work to re-energize yourself and de-stress!  You can do it!

 

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MMB – A Moment to Pause and Reflect

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  How are you all doing out there!?  Great effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Now that September is rolling along, I hope that you and your family have settled back into routine and are able to focus on consistency with healthy meals and work outs.  Routine is our friend and our guide because routine allows us to go into autopilot mode and not stress about getting up early for a work out, because it’s normal to do it!  Or, doing meal prep at night so that you have healthy snack and meal choices for the following day.  If you are in the routine of carving out time for things that matter, then eating nutritious food and exercising is just part of who you are and what you do.  Make sense?  After all, you are worth if friend, and so are the people who you care about. 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is at Jen’s Home Studio on Tuesdays.  
    1. 5:45pm – 1 opening      6:55pm – full    7:35pm – 2 openings
      1. Please contact me via text if you’d like to sign up for a session!  925-699-7725
  2. Running Boot Camp is this coming Sunday at 7am at Jen’s house!  Get a 5k distance in with strength and core drills!
  3. Fall Movement Mania begins on Saturday, September 23rd! 

Thought for the week:  A Moment to Pause and Reflect

 

Like many of you, my heart is aching for the millions of people who are suffering the effects of Hurricane Irma in Florida over the last couple of days.  It’s hard to fathom the plethora of challenges surrounding every nuance in the state.  Millions of people are without power and the storm surge continues to wreak havoc on thousands of structures.  Thankfully, we have organizations such as FEMA, which have plans in place for such disasters and are working night and day to rescue people and provide for their needs.  Of course, donations are still greatly needed and there are a variety of ways to pick up the phone and help in that way.  Perhaps the most important thing that we can do is to pray and to ask God for protection over the people and emergency response teams who are putting their own lives at risk to save others. 

Also on this Monday morning, I spent a few minutes listening into the 9/11 tributes and memorials and was reminded about the horrors of that time and could see so plainly how many people are still devastated and affected by the pain of losing their loved ones. 

O.k. so intense stuff right now right?  It’s heavy stuff to take in, but it’s also a good reminder of how fragile and precious life is.  My whole point in drawing our attentions to these two topics this morning is a couple of things:  1) pray for those who are suffering and are in need because we serve a God who listens to our prayers 2) Be aware of your abundant blessings and don’t take them for granted.

So, in knowing that our lives are precious and that every day is a gift, what can we do today that will take care of your body and mind?

  1.  Attitude check – Come on admit, do you have any stinking thinking going on?  If so, why?  What are the thoughts that are consuming you and why?  When we are negative, it affects everything – our body language, voice, demeanor, confidence,  and yes, exercise and eating!  Ever hear of emotional eating?  Oh boy, negative thinking has a direct link to indulgences because we end up with a defeatist attitude and think, “what the hell, it’s only one more cookie and I deserve it because I’ve had a bad day.”  See what I mean…dangerous!  Turn your thoughts around by taking your eyes off yourself and focusing on how to bless other people.  Negativity often comes when our thoughts are consumed with ourselves – how we’ve been wronged by someone, or we aren’t good enough, or we are a failure etc..  Instead, think, how can I bless someone today?  Reach out to a stranger and say Hi!  Tell a checker they are doing a great job and you appreciate the help.  Not only will this uplift the spirits of someone else, but guess what, it will make you feel better too!  Positive words are powerful stuff!  Try it!

 

  1. Storms of life – I’ve always said that the storms of life are always out there hovering over the ocean and we don’t know when they are going to hit land and come crashing into our lives.  Hurricane Harvey is a literal example right now isn’t it?  While we have no way of knowing when we are going to get hit by hard stuff, we can control the the things that go into our mind and body on a daily basis.  For example, when we are more fit and are exercising on a regular basis, we have a constant flow of positive endorphins in our body that help us manage stress and negativity.  Exercising is also amazing for releasing stress, so when we are under stress, exercise is an important tool to help us manage hard times.  I also acknowledge that it’s during these times that we aren’t very motivated to exercise, especially if we are under emotional stress, but if you can be mindful enough to carve out time to start by walking, that’s a good start.

 

  1. Don’t be a mindless eating machine!  When we are under stress, we often eat to soothe ourselves.  The problem is that it’s temporary and the minute we’ve stopped, we usually feel worse because of the types of foods we’ve taken in.  Think about it, we usually don’t binge on celery stalks or carrots when we are blue or angry!  That’s how we know it’s not true hunger.  No, it’s the good stuff like carbs, chocolate, cookies, alcohol etc.  that we crave.  It might feel good temporarily, but these habits can lead to devastating results such as  diseases like Diabetes.  So, stop and think before you eat, especially if you are upset, depressed, or angry.  Instead of reaching for the goodies in the cabinet, put on your running shoes instead and get out of the house for a brisk walk.  You’ll feel better and will have fought off a temptation triumphantly! 

Life is precious guys.  Make the most of what you have and appreciate what you’ve been given in life.  We all only have one life and I urge you to eat well, exercise well, love well, serve well, and life to your fullest potential because you are worth it!

See you soon!

Jen

 

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MMB – The marvelous, mouth watering, bean burger!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend and are feeling great out there!  It certainly was a hot weekend and felt more like we were in the mid-west or east, than in California.  Thankfully, it will start cooling down and returning back to normal. 🙂

Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  Let’s keep this fitness train moving forward and aiming towards consistency and commitment.  It’s only with this combination that you can truly be successful, and you can’t have one without the other!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is Tonight at Jen’s house.  I currently have two openings at 5:45pm for the hour long class and three openings at 7:35pm for the thirty minute class.  Please text me if you want to sign up for tonight.
  2. Fall Movement Mania begins on Saturday, September 23rd!  More details to come!
  3. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, September 17th.  TBD

Thought for the week:  The marvelous, mouth watering bean burger!

Just recently, I have discovered the bean and veggie burger in my kitchen.  Now, I’ve known about this wonderful veggie concoction of stuff smooshed together to make a burger patty, but I’ve never actually made one!!  So, I’ve been thinking quite a bit that I feel like an idiot because there’s nothing new about veggie and bean burgers and they’ve been around for a long time, yet I’ve never made one.  What is wrong with me?  This stuff is right up my alley and I use all of these ingredients all the time! 

So, there’s no looking back right?  What’s in the past is in the past and there’s only looking forward.  As you know, I am always trying to find recipes that promote more of a plant based lifestyle because the bottom line is it’s healthier for us in the long run.  I’m not saying you can’t enjoy animal protein, but it’s the green stuff and veggies that we should mostly be consuming. 

If you are looking for something new to make for lunch or dinner, these veggie and bean burgers are awesome and I’ve been having fun making them!  Now, just like in all foods, you can gourmet them up by adding all kinds of lethal ingredients such as mayo, ketchup, and cheese, or you can enjoy them by themselves, on top of a bed of lettuce, or purchase a small think bun around 100 calories to give you that burger feel. 

The bottom line is that they are loaded with protein, fiber, good carbs, a variety of vitamins and minerals, and will leave you feeling very satisfied.  My son Ryan, who admits that he’s a carnivore, loved these burgers and can’t wait for the next round!

If you are like me and  have never gotten around to making a veggie/bean burger, it’s time to try something new for your family and discover an awesome new recipe that is plant based and delicious!

Ingredients:

2 cans of low sodium beans drained:  use either black beans, kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, or combinations

1 egg

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

1 cup of crimini mushrooms chopped

1/2 cup of red bell pepper chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

1/2 cup of bread crumbs – I used gluten free bread

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1 tsp of ground cumin

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

dash or two of hot sauce

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Saute pan or iron skillet

Extra:  2-3 yellow onions sauteed separately to add to the top of your burger.

Bun choice – this is up to you, but be careful of the big fluffy buns because they cost about 200 to 250 calories and are tons of extra carbs and sugar!

Other ingredients to play around with:  mashed yams, diced jalapenos, green chilis, chopped spinach, finely grated carrot and zuccini, Italian seasonings, Indian seasonings like curry, and roasted corn

 

Directions:  In a medium size bowl, smash beans with a fork until they are mushed up and sticky together.  Add all ingredients and mix well.  Mixture should be dense and sticky.  Make patties with your hands and set aside on a plate.  Note that the burgers will not shrink down like a typical beef patty. 

Heat up skillet with a little coconut oil to medium high heat.  Add burgers and cook about 4 minutes.  Flip carefully and cook another 4-5 minutes.  You can add a lid or tinfoil to cook faster.  Serve and enjoy! These are also great make aheads and enjoy for lunch or dinner the following day.

Note:  You can use the grill for these burgers, but it’s recommended that you place them on a sheet of tin foil because they don’t hold up well like a beef patty.

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MMB – Why Good Sleep is Important!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had an awesome weekend and were able to get outside and move!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Let’s keep the momentum going with consistent work outs and clean eating! 

 

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MMB – History of the Burpee!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you and Solar Eclipse Day!  Although, with this fog in the Tri-Valley at the moment, I’m not sure we’ll be able to see it! LOL!  Now that school is back in session, it’s been really great reconnecting with many of you in class again and helping you get back into routine!  Yeah for routine!  Come on, admit it….you guys really miss a regular schedule of work outs right?  You know you do, that’s why you are coming back to class.  You want to feel energized, capable, confident, and know that you are taking care of your mind and your body! 

Announcements:

  1. Next Running Boot Camp is this coming Sunday, August 27th at 7am!  Join us for a 5k distance as we go around the sports park incorporating a variety of body weight training strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!
  2. Cardio Core reminder is at Jen’s House, not VBC!  It’s by sign up only, so please contact me if you want to join in the fun on a Tuesday.  I currently have one spot open at 7:35pm for tomorrow night, but you are welcome to sign up for the following week if you want to reserve your spot!
  3. Fall Movement Mania is coming on Saturday, September 23rd!  The Fall Fitness Challenge is being replaced with the Fall Movement Mania and will incorporate new movement contests and drills!  Stay tuned for more details.

Thought for the week:  History of the Burpee

For those of you who train with me on a regular basis, you know one of the exercise we’ll be doing often is the burpee! I love burpees!  Why?  Because they are so darn effective!  The burpee is  the creme de la creme of body weight training exercises, because it takes care of the cardiovascular system utilizing HIIT, as well as working practically every muscle group in your body.  It’s easy to regress the exercise for beginners or progress it for more advanced exercises.  Once you have a decent level of conditioning in your body, then you can have fun with the burpee and perform all kinds of combinations and drills!  Think burpee/push-up/tuck jumps or burpee/spiderman plank/lateral burpees! 

I love body weight training because it’s functional, which means it helps us in how we move on a daily basis, and can be done anywhere.  Is it hard?  Absolutely!  This is why it’s critical that we get this type of training into our routine – because we need it and it’s highly effective!

But, what about the history of the burpee?  What about the name and how it all started?  I came across this article on Dr. Josh Axe’s site and wanted to share more information about the burpee so that you can better appreciate and understand the exercise. 

Check out this article below from Dr. Josh Axe:

Burpees: The Single Best Exercise Ever?

 
Burpees - Dr. Axe

If you were to ask me what exercise I would perform if given only one option, it would undoubtedly be the burpee. Burpees hits almost every muscle group while providing the aerobic and endurance benefits. It even helps strengthen the core. (It is important to note, though, the person has to be in proper shape to start off as this complex exercise can lead to injury if the exerciser isn’t ready for it.)

To be clear, this exercise is not an easy one. In fact, some people make breaking world burpee records a priority. On May 17, 2014, in Greenwood, South Carolina,  a gentleman by the name of Cameron Dorn broke two burpee world records. He performed 5,657 within a 12-hour period. He also completed the most burpees in a 24-hour period, finishing with a whopping 10,105. Another world record was achieved on October 21, 2013, in Portland, Oregon, by Lloyd Weema. He broke the burpee world record for the most chest to ground burpees performed in 72 hours with 9,480.

The burpee, also known as a squat thrust, is a full body exercise that incorporates four steps. The basic burpee is called a four-count burpee and starts in a standing position. From there, follow these four steps:

Count 1: Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
Count 2: Kick your feet back, placing your body into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended.
Count 3: Jump your feet back into the squat position.
Count 4: Jump up from the squat position.

Often, the burpee is performed as a six-count bodyweight exercise where a push up and an explosive jump is added to the mix, making this love/hate exercise even harder. The burpee is using so much energy that it is easy to get fatigued very quickly. This is one of the reasons that it is often incorporated into a challenge of some sort such as the 100 burpee workout. The fatigue happens very quickly due to the full body movements and, in some cases, up to three jumps not to mention the push up if you decide to add that.

Spartan Races require participants to do 30 burpees in a row if they choose to skip an obstacle– clearly a form of punishment that goes to show just how tough the exercise is! The Spartan Races are not the only ones that use the burpee as a form of punishment. The popular Cross-Fit gyms require a number of burpees to be performed for anyone arriving to class late. (1)


History

Let’s get into the history of the burpee. A physiologist named Royal H. Burpee developed the burpee in the 1930s by using it as a fitness test. He used the test as part of his doctoral thesis in applied physiology from Columbia University in 1940. It became popular when the United States Armed Services used it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits during World World II. It allowed the military to quickly review agility, coordination and strength. (2)  

We learned more of this through Mr. Burpee’s granddaughter, Burpee Dluginski, who has shared that her grandfather was a “fitness fanatic before the famous Jack Lalanne.” What was important to Burpee was to be able to measure the fitness level of everyday people. Around 1939, the invention and the official test of the burpee began with members of the YMCA in the Bronx, which is where Burpee worked.

Burpees - Dr. Axe

Burpee’s granddaughter says that the official movement has become known as a squat thrust, a four-count burpee, a front-leaning rest and a military burpee. The test was applied by measuring the heart rate of the subjects before and after four burpees were performed so that he could determine how efficient the heart was at pumping blood. This measurement was a good indication of fitness level and apparently so good that the military used it as a fitness test. Initially, the test was for 20 seconds, later moving to one minute with 41 being considered excellent while 27 was considered a poor fitness level. (34)


5 Reasons to Do Burpees

1. Burpees Are a Full-Body Workout

As I noted above, if you told me I had to choose only one exercise, I would definitely choose the burpee. Most exercises work on specific muscles or muscle groups; whereas, the burpee pretty much works it all. You can even modify it to ensure full body work. For example, when in the plank position, throw in a tricep pushup and you are now including the triceps while working legs, core and other upper body muscles!

2. Burpees Add Strength
Let’s face it, burpees are tough and often fall into the the dreaded exercise category. You love the results, but they are so hard, that getting through 10 of them is enough of a challenge for most. The thing to keep in mind is that just like anything else, practice offers more. At first, doing even 3 burpees may be as far as you can go, but if you stay with it, you will be able to do way more because you will get stronger. Those 3 burpees can turn into 43 in no time!

A recent study reported the evaluation of active women and their aerobic fitness and muscular endurance when performing whole-body weight high intensity training to include burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or squat thrusts as compared to specific single interval exercises such as leg presses. The data indicated that although improvements in cardiovascular fitness and strength are evident by both endurance and low volume interval-style training, “whole-body aerobic-resistance training imparted addition benefit in the form of improved skeletal muscle endurance.”  (5)

3. Burpees Can Be Done Almost Anywhere
What I love about burpees is that I can take them with me wherever I go! There is no need for any additional equipment beyond body weight. That makes them the perfect exercise to do almost anywhere, so you have no excuse to keep up with your fitness, even when traveling.

A study of Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets investigated how the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) impacted fitness levels. Twenty-six college-aged participants completed 4 weeks of exercise training in just 3 days. This consisted of 60 minutes of general physical training such as whole-body calisthenics, incorporating “all-out” burpees. The results showed sustained fitness even though the duration of the calisthenics was short. An exercise program that includes HIIT may be the best way to maintain fitness without access to equipment. (6)

4. Burpees Build Definition

Burpees are working arms, chest, butt, hamstrings, quadriceps and a ton of core. With all that work, it is impossible to avoid getting a more defined and toned physique. Proper form is key; however, you need to take your time while performing the exercise to make sure you avoid injury and reap the benefits of this amazing all-in-one exercise. Once you have mastered it, you can start to challenge yourself with increased speed.

5. Burpees Increase Endurance

There’s nothing like 10 burpees in a row to get your heart pounding. A study showed that cardiovascular benefits were gained with calisthenics as compared to cycling indicating that both are beneficial in building endurance and cardiovascular strength. This happens because you are working numerous muscle groups all at one time. The demand for oxygen increases with this work. Over time, you will be able to perform more of them because you your body will have the ability to use this oxygen more efficiently. This is when speed combined with perfect form come into play making you stronger and more efficient at performing the burpee. This work will offer benefits to other fitness endeavors too. (78) 


Burpee Workouts

There are many ways to do a burpee workout. Have you heard of the Burpee Mile? This is where you do a burpee with a broad jump for the distance of a mile. There is the popular 100 Burpee Challenge that may intrigue you. Not ready for that? How about trying one of my burpee workouts and work your way towards your next challenge! (9

Even though the burpee may sound intimidating, it is really simple. Here are the basic instructions for performing the classic burpee.

  1. Start by positioning yourself in a standing position.
  2. Then, drop down into a squat position placing your hands on the ground.
  3. Next, extend your feet back in one quick motion resulting in the front plank position.
  4. Return to the squat position in one quick movement.
  5.  Jump straight into the air as high as possible.

    Now that you know the move, practice it a couple of times to make sure you have good form. Keep the abs tight. If jumping is too much right now, just stand upright instead. Also, instead of jumping the legs out to the plank position, you can walk them out to the position. Once you are stronger, you will be able to perform the exercise consecutively based on the instructions of the workout. If you need a break, take 10 to 15 seconds, then resume. Over time, you will be able to do more at a faster pace.

Basic Burpee Workout — Beginner

Perform 3 sets of 6 burpees with 30 second rest between each set.

Burpee Workout With Push Up — Advanced

Perform 5 sets of 10 burpees with a 45 second rest between each set, but add a pushup when in plank position.

Challenge: Add 2 push-ups with a side knee tuck! To do this, once you are in plank position, perform a push up. As you go down, bring your right knee to your right elbow. Repeat on the left side. Then, resume the burpee. This one is tough, but offers amazing core benefits. 

Burpee Workout with Push Up and High Knee Tuck Jump —Advanced

Perform the burpee as prescribed above, but when you stand up to do the jump, explode into a high knee tuck jump. To do this, as you explode upward into the jump, tuck the knees and try gently slapping your knees as a reminder to brings the knees up as high as you can.

Burpee Circuit Superset Workout

Similar to burst training and some of my Burst Fit workouts, you will perform 4 sets of 4 exercises for one minute each with a 10 second rest between each exercise, and a one minute rest between each set. Do as many as you can during the interval.

Exercise 1: Mountain Climbers

Get in plank position and move the feet forwards and backwards, one at a time, in a fluid movement. Do not touch toes to the ground with the forward foot. Keep abs tight.

Exercise 2: Jumping Jacks

This is the classic jumping jack that you have known since childhood. Simply stand with feet hip distance apart. Arms at your sides. Jump feet out to the sides while taking your arms out the side and up above your head.

Exercise 3: Burpees

Start by positioning yourself in a standing position. Then, drop down into a squat position placing your hands on the ground. Next, extend your feet back in one quick motion resulting in the front plank position. Return to the squat position in one quick movement. Jump straight into the air as high as possible. You can add the push-up and/or the high knee tuck jump as described above for a bigger challenge.

Exercise 4: Squats 

Start with feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Keep the upper body as upright as possible during this exercise. Go down into a squat as if sitting in a chair. Try to go down until the quads are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.


Burpee Precautions

If you are suffering from pack pain and find yourself seeking back pain relief, you may want to avoid doing the burpees. While if performed correctly, it should not cause problems, it is an exercise that uses most of the body. Additionally, if you suffer from vertigo, this exercise may be difficult to perform. And again, it’s best to work with a fitness professional, at least at the beginning, to make sure your form is correct and you’re not exercising with muscle imbalances. This can also lead to injury.


Final Thoughts on Burpees

Regardless of your fitness level, you can work your way up to performing the burpee as part of your workout and strength building. It is the perfect exercise to build muscles and endurance and can go with you just about anywhere.

 

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MMB – Back to school, back to routine!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and found time to move and enjoy the beautiful weather!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  I know quite a few of you are wrapping up your vacations for the summer and are ready to get back into a regular work out routine.  What else is happening this week?  Back to school!  This is good news because it means the entire family will be back in routine. 

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Class Changes – Please Read!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday to you!  I hope your week has been a good one and you are moving and eating clean.  I know many of you are now back from vacation and are eager to get moving and back to routine, so let’s do it!

I wanted to write a special blog and get it out to you as soon as possible so that you know about upcoming changes to my classes beginning next week.

Valley Bible Church has been very gracious and flexible with me as I’ve taught my group exercise classes there for the last eight years.  The church is changing out flooring and carpeting and they’ve now designated the Seminar One room as a “meetings only” room, which means that they really don’t want a group of sweaty people in there and want to keep it more sanitary – so I totally get it, especially when you consider the type of sweat coming out of a Jen Allan Fitness experience, right! LOL!

Thursdays: The good news is that the MPR (multi-purpose room) is still available on Thursday nights, but not Tuesday nights.  So, I am switching my Cardio Fusion class to Thursday nights in the MPR, instead of Tuesday nights.  There are a few reasons for this, but the style of Cardio Fusion, along with the equipment used, is more conducive to the flooring that’s in the MPR.  The timing will be the same with a 6:15pm to 7:15pm one -hour class and a 2nd 30-minute class from 7:20pm to 7:50pm.

Boot Camp:  Boot Camp will still remain on Saturdays at VBC with the 7am to 8am one-hour class and the 2nd 30- minute class from 8:05am to 8:35am, so that’s great too!

The Change: The change will occur on Tuesdays because Cardio Core will now be held at my house in my personal training studio.  The style and approach for this class will feel more like a small group with personal training because I will only be training four people at a time.  This will allow me to really be hands on with you guys in watching your form and challenging you more individually, as opposed to a larger group ex setting where’s there’s a little more room to hide, capiche?  Because the nature of Cardio Core is to laser focus in on ab and back work, you’ll be able to use different tools in my studio that will help increase your core strength and balance in a more personal approach. 

Here are the new class times:

5:45pm to 6:45pm 60 minute class

6:55pm to 7:25pm 30 minute class

7:35pm to 8:05pm 30 minute class

Three classes: Offering three classes will allow me to accommodate up to 12 people every Tuesday.  Whereas my other two classes are drop-in style, sign-ups for Cardio Core will act like a personal training session where you need to sign up for a training spot.  Payment for Cardio Core will be the same as all of my other classes utilizing the pre-paid card, except that my 24 hour cancellation policy applies, so if you cancel the night before or the day of, I’ll need to charge you for the class on your pre-paid card. 

A note on children.  While I love all of your children and they are all very well behaved, I am not a licensed daycare and it’s a risk and liability to have your kids hang out in my house unsupervised.  In my personal training studio, there is a small area with a counter and stools.  Your kids are welcomed to come hang out at the counter and play on their devices.  This way, they are within your eyesight and as long as they are non-disruptive, they are welcome to hang out.  If the weather is decent, they can also hang out in front of the house, so long as you know where they are and can have eye contact with them.  I can probably have up to 4 kids in the garage.  They can also hang out in your car, but that would be up to you and independent from my business.  Does all that make sense?  I hope so!  Let me know if you have questions about this part.  I want to do all I can to make your work outs happen and understand there are times we have our kids with us. 🙂

Sign-ups:  You are welcome to e-mail or text me which spot you would prefer.  After thinking through sign-ups, I don’t want to take more than two weeks at a time for sign-ups because let’s face it, life changes and stuff happens!  I’ll have a sign-up list that I’ll carry with me during my Thursday and Saturday classes, so you can sign up there.  If something comes up and you know that you won’t be able to make it to class, please let me know as soon as possible so I can give someone else the opportunity to attend. 

Hot Weather:  While my gym temperature is usually decent year round, there are those days where it’s too hot to work out in my studio.  On those days where it’s obviously going to be too hot, I will offer Cardio Core early in the morning starting at 6am and will reach out to let you know in advance.

Sign-ups as of 8/11 for next Tuesday, August 15th:

5:45pm to 6:45pm:  Debbie V, Ken V, Christi S, Lynnda P = full

6:55pm to 7:25pm:  Heather T, Erin C = room for 2 more

7:35pm to 8:05pm: Bernie C, Peter C = room for 2 more

My address:  4738 McHenry Gate Way in Pleasanton

A final thought:  Change is good.  Change allows for shake-up and growth and I believe that the Lord is guiding me on this path to help me be a more effective trainer and to work more efficiently with my time.  I know that for quite a few of you, I am your gym and I super appreciate this!  And because of this, I want to make sure that if I’m seeing you 2-3 times a week, I want to make sure that you are getting what you need in terms of cardio, core, strength, agility, and balance training.  Each of my three class formats are designed to compliment one another, so you can feel confident that if you attend my three classes, you’ll be getting exactly what you need to stay fit and healthy. 

Please know and understand that I appreciate all of you immensely and can’t imagine not “doing life” together as we do in our fitness community.  I am here to serve you guys and help inspire and motivate you to be the very best person you are called to be in life!  This requires mobility, strength, and stamina!  Yahoo!  Together, we can do great things, so let’s get to it.  Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.  If you want to sign up for Cardio Core next week, please text me or e-mail me at 925-699-7725.

See ya soon!

Jen

 

 

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MMB- How’s it going?

Good morning everyone,

Happy Tuesday to you!  My word press site was having problems yesterday, so I wasn’t able to get my blog out.  Today is a new day though and so far all is well in the technology arena!  Truth be told, sometimes it’s operator error!  Those of you who know me get this right? LOL!

So, I truly want to know how you guys are doing out there?  This has been an interesting summer for me as a trainer because I’ve noticed a higher level of distractions and a general feeling of “out of control” schedules for many of you.  During a typical summer, gym attendance shrinks because people are on vacations and are busier “doing” life with their families with schedules all over the place.  I totally get this, and as a trainer, I expect attendance to go down in the summer months. 

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MMB – Summer Check In and Reminders

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend and are thoroughly enjoying your summer!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Many of you have stayed consistent with your work outs during the summer and I can see the fruit in your lives ! Can you feel it?  Many of you are looking very strong out there and I can see that you are energized and motivated.  Keep it going!  It’s tough to stay committed during the summer when there are so many different schedule changes and activities.  Proud of you guys!

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MMB – Another Year Together!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had an amazing weekend and are enjoying your summer by moving and eating clean!  This past Saturday was our usual Boot Camp classes in the morning.  Kudos to all of you die hard fitness clients who have been making it to summer classes these past few weeks!  Who knew that summer time proves to be one of the most difficult seasons to stay on task with regular work outs!?  It seems like this would be the time of year when it’s the easiest to stay consistent with long, bright days and warm temperatures, but it actually makes it more difficult, especially with vacations and varying kid’s activities and schedule changes.  So, I get it!  Come back when you can and don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t been consistent.  After all, today is a new day isn’t it!  🙂

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MMB – Benefits of Lemon Water

Hi Everyone,

I hope your summer is going well and you are feeling great out there!  How is your summer going?  Are you enjoying the warm and bright days?  I hope you are finding time to stay active and are eating many summer fruits and vegetables!  If you’ve been off track lately, no worries friend!  Today is a great today to start up again and take care of your mind and body.  If it’s been a couple of weeks or longer since your last work out, ease in do what you can in 20-30 minutes.  Then, do it again in another day or so until you have your habit back of working out 3-5 times a week.  There is no beating yourself up allowed!  There is only acknowledging where you are and making a decision to move forward and not focus on the past.  Cool?

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MMB – Happy 4th!

Hi Everyone,

Summer is in full swing!  I hope you are all feeling great out there and have been moving and eating clean!  I know many of you are on vacation this time of the year, so remember to find ways to stay active and continue with your resistance and core training.  Get creative and inspire the entire family to move too.  Maybe have a push-up contest with mom or dad?  Do a long jump competition on the lawn and measure who can jump the farthest.  If you are around the pool, play pool basketball and see who can dunk the most goals!  If you are all out for a walk or jog, do plank holds on benches or tricep dips.  Create a timed obstacle course on the playground and take turns going through it.  Whatever you do, don’t be a summer slug!  LOL!

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MMB – 30 Min. Circuit Work Out

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling great out there!  I know many of you are on vacation right now, so I hope you are enjoying your time with family and doing some fun stuff!  Hopefully, you guys are finding time to move and are staying on track the best you can!  If you are doing some cool stuff out there like hiking or biking, text me a picture and I can post on the blog!

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MMB – Summer entitlement?

Good morning everyone,

Oh man, is it heating up out there!  How are you all doing with this heat?  Are you guys drinking enough water out there?  Hydration, hydration, hydration my friends!  Try coconut water if you’ve been out there sweating a lot!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  I know that summertime brings on new schedules, vacations, and a different kind of juggle than the rest of the year, so do your best to keep up your work outs and consistency. 

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MMB – What’s a Move In?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling great out there!  Did you have the chance to work out over the weekend?  Did anyone do the Boot Camp I forwarded to you?  Did you do something else? Hike?  Bike?  Run?  Let me know because I’d love to hear how you guys were moving! 

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MMB – Fork in the Road Moments

Good morning everyone,

I bet some of you are shaking your head in disbelief right now that you’ve made it through the past week and weekend!  What a crazy time of the year with end of the year school activities and events, graduations, hosting family, and trying to keep your head on straight!  Well, pat yourself on the back and take a deep breath because you made it!  I’m not a mind reader, but I venture to guess that many of you had to temporarily suspend your usual routines of fitness, nutrition, and wellness in the past few weeks.  Am I right?  That’s totally o.k. and it’s part of the ebb and flow of life and the milestone events that make our lives meaningful.  However, the party is over now and it’s time to get back to the business of living well and healthy!

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MMB – Deprivation = Failure

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Thanks so much for your flexibility these over these past couple of weeks as I moved classes around for baseball playoffs.  This week classes will go back to the normal schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday’s at Valley Bible Church.

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MMB – Wanna Live Longer and Healthier?

Good Morning everyone,

Did you know summer started this weekend?  Well, maybe not according to the calendar, but it sure felt like August out there!  Excellent effort to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week! Some of you attended back to back classes in the mid-week on Wednesday and Thursday nights!  Now that’s dedication!

This past Saturday marked the end of the Spring Fitness Challenge and I wanted to thank everyone for working so hard and putting in the effort.  I will post the results within the next day or two so you can find out how well you did for the fitness tests and weight loss.  Stay tuned for results!

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MMB – One Day to Wellness

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and had a fabulous weekend celebrating all of those special moms out there!  Excellent work by everyone who was able to make it out to class this past week.  I know it was an altered schedule with classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so thanks for all of your flexibility! 

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MMB – Goal Check In

Good morning everyone,

I hope your Monday is off to a great start so far!  It’s hard to believe we are already in the month of May!  How are you feeling out there?  Are you feeling good in your skin?  Are you feeling energized and positive?  I know this can be a super busy time of year for people as end of the school year activities and summer planning kick into gear.  Make sure you are still carving out time for your work outs, good nutrition, and self care.  If you are a bit off track right now and are feeling overwhelmed, take a look at your calendar and revisit your goals and see what has goon awry.  What has squeezed into your calendar that has replaced the time you were committing to your health?  Are you saying “yes” to too many things when you should be saying “no” a little more often?  If so, don’t fret, but take a deep breath and start prioritizing the things that make you centered and more balanced. 

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MMB – Checklist Check-in

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful sunshine!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week and weekend.  For those of you who are coming frequently and consistently, it’s exciting to watch your strength, endurance, and confident rise!  See, this fitness stuff is worth it right? Yes, it is! 

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MMB – Las Vegas Fitness & Nutrition Survival Guide

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and were able to get out an move!  As you know, I wasn’t able to teach Boot Camp on Saturday because my hubby took me away for the weekend 🙂  Before I tell you all about that, I’d love to know who was able to do the Boot Camp Homework on Saturday?  So far, I’ve heard from Lynnda Philbrook, Joanne Vieira, and Ken Vieira.  Anyone else?  Lynnda took a selfie during the middle of the work out to try and show me how much sweat was dripping off of her nose! LOL! 

What was it like trying to do a hard Boot Camp by yourself?  Did you make it all the way through?  Did you push yourself as hard?  I’d love to know, so please give me a shout out if you did the work out and tell me what it was like for you!  Well done crew!  I know it wasn’t the same as working out together on a Saturday morning, but hopefully you felt my “Jen” presence with you in the write up 🙂

The PPIE Run was yesterday in Pleasanton and I know there were a few of you out there who participated.  How did you guys do?  Hopefully you had a great time and felt encouraged running out there with your families.  Marcey and Cliff Donnelly, Nancy Bircher, along with their families made it out to the run, as well as Wendy McHugh and Andrea Hasty and friends.  Excellent job you guys!  Way to go in carving out time to walk/jog/run on a Sunday for a good cause!

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MMB – Boot Camp Homework for 4/22

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter and celebrated with your friends and family over the weekend.  I’m happy to report that I’m feeling 100% better and am looking forward to see you all in class this coming week!  A big thank you  to all of my clients for your patience last week as I had to cancel all of my personal training and class sessions.  My boys and I had a nasty virus and I’m very thankful it’s over and done with!  Now, let’s get back to training! 

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MMB – Moms’ Fit Club & Kid Fit

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are feeling great as you are kicking off your week.  I know many of you have been away on vacation during spring break, so I hope you had a fabulous time!  It looks like many of you were out skiing and hiking, so that’s awesome!  For those of you who were local and were able to make it out to class, you guys rocked it!  We’ve been doing Sgt. Ken’s obstacle course work outs on Saturdays for the Spring Fitness Challenge, so you don’t want to miss out!  It’s amazing how hard you can work with just using your own body weight!  I think there’s a message there – less is more!  I think we over complicate our fitness.  Keep it simple and work your guts out! 

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MMB – March Liquid Greens Winner

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed the beautiful warm weather!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  I know this time of year can be particularly busy with sports activities, school commitments, year end school planning, and now spring break!  Remember, moving is who we are and what we do, so no matter what your week looks like or what activities you are engaged in, find ways to move around what you are doing.  A hint – it helps if you wear your fitness clothes so you are always ready for a spontaneous sweat session!  LOL!

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MMB – An Inspiring Weekend

Good  morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Did you guys miss me?  I sure missed you guys!  Did you do the Boot Camp work out I posted?  I know quite a few of you did the work out because you texted me photos and videos!  Way to go Lynnda Philbrook, Paula and Jason Allen, Joanne and Ken Vieira, Erin and Brian Campbell, and Kim Mehr.  Did I miss anyone?  Let me know if you did the work out and how it went!  Excellent effort everyone!  I love seeing that moving is part of who you guys are and what you do!  Way to make it happen – woot!

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MMB – Boot Camp Homework

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Did you have an awesome weekend?  I hope you are walking into your Monday rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to take life on!  Excellent work by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  This past weekend was special because it was the St. Patrick’s Day Boot Camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  Joanne Vieira, Ken Vieira, and Paula Allen deserve special recognition for making it out to both!  Way to go guys! 

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MMB – It’s Time to Set Goals

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and were able to get out and celebrate the glorious weather and beautiful warm sunshine!  Can you believe it’s already mid-March?  Remember, March is a green month.  Think St. Patrick’s Day, green juice, green smoothies, veggies, salads, awesome right?! 

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MMB – What to eat in spring?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and had the chance to get out and move!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Let’s keep up the momentum and commitment to eating clean and working out with purpose.  Have I mentioned that summer time bodies are made in March?  LOL! 

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MMB-Spring is in the Air

Good morning everyone,

Happy Monday to you! I hope you are all feeling great walking into your Monday! Last week was an excellent week for classes with lots of great energy and effort from everyone who was able to make it out! Let’s keep the momentum going with losing weight and reducing inches!

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MMB – President’s Day

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday and President’s Day to you!  I hope you are finding some time this weekend to do some fun things with your family and enjoy a Monday off!  My family and I just came back from the Arnold area and I couldn’t believe how much rain was coming down hard for hours.  We went sledding by Bear Valley on Sunday and the snow was thick at the top of the mountain with snow walls 8 feet high!   But, below 6,000 feet it was pouring rain non-stop.  As we were coming home, there were spontaneous streams flowing out of the mountain everywhere, along with swollen streams rising along the roads.  It was kinda scary and I’m happy to be safely at home.  If you are traveling out there today, drive safely and slowly! 

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MMB – Negative Thinking Is Your Enemy

Good morning everyone,

O.k. raise your hand if you feel totally inspired, refreshed, and energized by all of the sunshine this weekend? Me too!  I hope you had the opportunity to get outside over the weekend and soak up some Vitamin D!  I know many of you went up to the mountains over the weekend, so I hope you made it safely and avoided the mudslide on Highway 50!  Yikes, crazy stuff going on up there!  For those of you who made it, I pray that you had a marvelous time skiing or snowboarding with your friends and family.  How are your legs feeling this morning?  For those of you who attend my classes on a regular basis, you should be feeling good this morning and not very sore because your legs are conditioned thanks to all of the work we do on the Bosu with squats and lunges.  Hooray for squats and lunges!

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MMB – January Detox Winners

Good morning everyone,


I hope you all had an awesome weekend and were able to get outside and move! Fantastic job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week! Many of you are getting stronger and some have moved up from the 30-minute class to the 60-minute class! Woo hoo! It’s so exciting to watch many of you become stronger, more capable, and confident. It’s a journey though right? Did it happen overnight? NO! It takes time guys. There is no easy, quick fix. But, with commitment and consistency, great things can happen over time, agree?

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MMB – Benefits of Lean Muscle

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend with spring-like weather and were able to get outside and move!  Excellent effort to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week.  Many of you have stayed committed to moving this past month and it shows!  You guys are looking strong out there and are staying consistent during a tough time of year when it’s hard to stay motivated.  Keep up the great work everyone!

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MMB – Attitude of Gratitude

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and are feeling refreshed and ready for your week!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  I know that this can be a very challenging time of the year to stay motivated in your work outs, especially because of all of the rainy and cold days, but many of you are persevering and staying focused with commitment and consistency.  I applaud you guys! 

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MMB – This health stuff is hard

January 16, 17

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend and were able to go outside and celebrate the sunshine and much needed break from the rain!

This past Saturday was the kick off of the 6-Week Winter Fitness Challenge and the Army was the featured branch of the military. For those of you who were able to make it out, you guys made awesome soldiers and worked it hard in your squads! Hoorah!

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MMB January = Detox

Good morning everyone,

    I hope you all had a fabulous New Year’s with your friends and family!  Excellent effort to everyone  who was able to make it out to classes the past week.  Many of you have really been taking your work outs and clean eating seriously and it shows!  The holidays can wreak havoc on our mind and body as sugary goodness goes in and bloat, weight gain and grumpiness comes out!  However, if you’ve been moving and have made a conscious decision to avoid most of the holiday treats,  you should be feeling pretty good as you are reading this blog!

 I’m super excited about my new website.  Garrett Stevenson, who is the designer who built the site, did an amazing job and I’m very grateful for his expertise and guidance.  I hope you’ll find the new site to be more intuitive, user friendly, and helpful as you pursue your goals in health, fitness, and nutrition!  I’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions too!

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MMB – Monday is Moving Day!

Good morning everyone,

    I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and were able to unplug for a couple of days and take in the magic of the season!  Monday is moving day, and no, I don’t mean we are moving out of a house!  I’m talking about moving your bodies!

    I’ve always believed that Mondays are the most important work out day of the entire week, especially the day after a holiday!  When we work out on a Monday, it sets the tone for the entire week in getting your head right and focused on moving and eating clean.

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MMB -Time for Reflection

Good morning everyone,

    Can you believe Christmas is this week?! Yikes!  I want to applaud everyone who has been able to make it out to classes this past week.  I know it’s really hard this time of year to stay consistent, but stay focused on your goals and how you want to feel.  I was chatting with my good friend Marcey Donnelly the other day, who is a regular in class, and she shared with me truthfully that she always dreads coming to class because she knows how hard she’s going to work, but she is always 100% glad she came afterwards.   She also shared a funny story with me that the other night when it was raining and she didn’t feel like coming to class, she flipped a coin and called out heads.  Well, heads meant coming to class!  Again, it was tough getting out the door, but she did it and was very happy she did.  Yeah for heads!  We can all relate right?

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MMB – Holiday Health Tips

Good morning everyone,

How are you all doing?  We are almost half way through December, can you believe it? I hope and pray that you are taking time to “pause” and reflect on the meaning of the season and not be carried away into the sea of retail never land and Grinch grumpiness!  If you are tail spinning in that direction, go get your running shoes on quickly and head out the door for a good run! There’s nothing like a good run to sweat some stress out, agree?

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MMB – Is it time for a liver detox?

Good morning everyone,

I hope your December is off to a fabulous start and you are getting into the Christmas spirit!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  Yes, I know it’s darker and colder, so an extra round of applauds for making the effort to stay on track with your work outs!  It’s this time of year we need extra encouragement to keep each other accountable.  During this time of year, the tendency is to hunker down and get cozy with yummy things to eat and drink!  Beware friends and be on guard for a shift in behavior!  Let’s stay focused on moving and continuing to eat clean!

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MMB – The holidays are here!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend and aren’t too tired from all of the holiday shopping!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  It was a joy to work out with you and sweat together so we can manage the holidays!

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MMB – Thankfulness & Turkey Laughs!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well out there and have been moving and eating clean!  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it to classes this past week.  As I’ve been saying for the last couple of weeks, the holidays are amongst us and every work out counts!  Let’s walk into this holiday season with a renewed commitment and effort in eating nutrient dense foods along with intense work outs that make you sweat, burn up hundreds of calories, and shed fat!  If you put the work in, then you can some holiday treats without guilt or regret.

For this week, I’ll have Cardio Fusion as usual on Tuesday night, so we’ll have the chance to get a good mid-week exertion together.  On Thursday, don’t even think about sleeping in!  Let’s recruit family and friends to come out to Valley Bible at either 7am or 8:05am for a fun filled fitness morning before the big meal!  You won’t be sorry and you’ll feel great the rest of the day!  Please spread the word and let’s have a huge gathering for Thanksgiving Boot Camp 2016!!

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MMB – Changes for 2017

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are enjoying this beautiful warm weather right now.  Excellent effort by everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  It is so exciting for me to watch so many of you get leaner, stronger, and more confident!  When you carve out time for your health in getting frequent intense work outs in along with clean, purposeful eating, transformation is the result!

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MMB – Do you have leaky gut?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend!  This is why we live in California right? LOL!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  As I’ve been saying in class lately, every work out counts because the holidays are almost here!  Let’s stay super committed to carving out time for our workouts and eating as clean as possible.  Sugar addictions often rise after Halloween, so let’s focus on eating our greens, salads, vegetable soups, probiotic rich foods, increasing our water intake, and avoiding processed foods and refined carbohydrates!  Let’s walk into the holidays feeling great instead of bloated, fatigued, depressed, and worn down.  Amen?!

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MMB – Halloween Boo Camp Photos

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  This past Saturday was the annual Halloween “Boo” Camp and it was a great turn out!  A hearty thanks to everyone who made it out and put effort into dressing up and having fun with the holiday!  Also, thanks for participating in the canned food drive for Valley Bible’s Food Pantry.  Your contributions will help bless families in need this holiday season!

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MMB – Fall Challenge Results 2016

Good afternoon everyone,

    I hope you are doing well and feeling good out there!  Sorry it’s taken me a while to get this blog post out.  My son Andrew had oral surgery today, so my schedule was all topsy turvy! Everything went very well in the surgery, so we are thankful to God for that!

    This past Saturday was the last Fall Fitness Challenge!  I hope you guys enjoyed the format and felt challenge and encouraged at the same time!  It’s healthy and inspiring to change up the fitness format every few months and try new things to shake up patterns!  I’m proud of everyone who was able to make it out and give it their best effort!  Here are the winners for the different fitness test categories.  Congratulations Gang!  Way to push hard!

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MMB – Exercise Boots Your Metabolism

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling good out there!  This past Saturday was the 5th Fall Fitness Challenge and you guys were rockin’ it out there!  I love the effort and it’s been so rewarding watching all of you guys get stronger week to week.  This coming Saturday is the last Challenge, so let’s make it the best yet!  For those of you who weighed in, please arrive a few minutes early so I can measure you again or stay a few minutes afterwards.

I will tally up all of your fitness tests and let you know how you did!  Let’s see who will be the biggest reducers with the most weight and inches lost!  It will be fun to find out who improved their 3/4 mile run time the most or who was the fastest!  Who performed the most push-ups, rows, sit-ups, and fast squats?  Inspiring fitness minds are anxious to find out so let’s make this Saturday a great turn with big effort!  Eat lean and clean this week and stay focused on moving and making smart nutritional choices!

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MMB – Fall Flavors can be lethal

Hi Everyone,

    Happy October to you!  How are you all doing this fine Monday morning?  Did you all have the chance to move and get outside over the weekend?  Those of you who were able to make it out to Boot Camp worked it hard and did really well in your fitness tests for the Challenge!  I can tell you guys are taking this seriously by the marvelous sounds of grunts and groans, quivering muscles with the last rep, and a lovely shade of red across your face as you are giving it all you’ve got!

Is it hard?  Yes.  Are you worth it?  Yes!  3-5 days a week you guys should be working it hard with sweat dripping off your face and feeling the burn of hard effort in resistance training for the entire body.  If you are putting this type of effort in and are being a good boy or girl in your nutrition with smaller portions and avoiding processed foods with refined flours and sugars, I promise transformation is around the corner for you!  Keep up the good work guys!  I’m proud of you!

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MMB – Nutrition Tips to Stay on Track

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all feeling good out there and found time to move over the weekend in spite of the heat!  Excellent job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  Keep the momentum going with commitment and consistency, and you’ll see transformation happening soon!

This Saturday was the second Fall Fitness Challenge and I loved watching all of you work really hard in your fitness tests!  Keep putting the work in during the week with specific exercises such as running, push-ups, sit-ups, inverted rows, squatting, and overall strength and core training.  When Saturday rolls around, you’ll be able to improve in your speed and reps from week to week and will see marked improvement in every category!

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MMB – Take the Challenge Seriously

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had an excellent weekend and enjoyed the warm sunshine!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  Now that it’s fall and there’s more of a regular schedule, it’s been wonderful reconnecting with old familiar faces in class!  Now the trick is to keep it going right?!  Remember, commitment + consistency=change!

This past Saturday was the kick off of the Fall Fitness Challenge.  For those of you who were able to  make it out – did you feel challenged?!  Fitness tests are fun right?! LOL! And of course they were followed by a team challenge with cardio, core, and resistance skills to work the whole body!  Woo hoo!  Burning up hundreds of calories and shedding fat is what it’s all about!

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MMB – Fall Fitness Challenge Starts!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and feeling good out there!  I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks due to Labor Day, but I’m back at it today!  Excellent effort by everyone who has been coming to classes the past couple of weeks!  It’s been awesome seeing some new faces, especially during the 30 minute classes!  I’ve also noticed an exciting trend of husbands and wives coming to classes together.  Woo hoo!  That is so fantastic to see!  Have you noticed when we are on the same page as our spouses stuff gets done?!  I can’t wait to see the potential for some of you who are new and coming to class with your spouse!  Keep it up guys and incorporate clean eating together!  Change and transformation is coming, I promise!

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Thought for the week: Taking the Challenge Seriously

So, you came to the Challenge and weighed and you are all set to lose weight…….now what!!?

First of all, don’t panic or freak out.  It took a while to put the weight on and it will take a while to get the weight off.  The good news is that you are mindful of your situation and you are ready to do something about it.  This is the most important part!  If you aren’t ready mentally, then you aren’t ready to change.

Here are some tips for the next few weeks to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals:

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