Monday, October 4, 2010

How Far Can 1 Chicken Go?

This isn’t some chicken joke…no punch line here. I literally mean, how far can one chicken go…by eating it.

My boyfriend travels a lot, so I spend much of my time eating on my own and due to a crazy busy schedule, need meals that are easy on the go. Since it’s just me in the house, I don’t want to have a bunch of leftovers of the same meal either…gets boring! So, this week I experimented with how far one chicken will go.

Using a crock-pot has saved my life in my busy schedule. It’s simple to just set the food in the pot, go about your day and not worry about having to monitor it. So, on Tuesday that’s just what I did. Cooking a whole chicken in a crock-pot is so easy…

- Lightly coat with olive oil or coconut oil and then season to taste. I put oregano, fresh basil, and minced garlic on mine. Pull the skin back over the breast and rub the herbs on directly on the meat to get a bit more flavor. Then just put in the crock-pot (breast side up) on low for 4-5 hours (or until cooked thoroughly).

Here is a play by play of the meals I created with this juicy crock-pot cooked chicken to make it through my week.

Dinner Day 1

Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, and ½ Sweet Potato

Right out of the crock pot, I had a few slices of chicken with steamed broccoli and ½ boiled sweet potato. For a little flavor I drizzled some olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice on my broccoli and sprinkled a little cinnamon on my sweet potato slices.

After the chicken cooled I carved it up and stuck it in the fridge for the weeks’ meals. Here’s what I came up with.

Lunch Day 2

Chicken Salad (vary the ingredients to what veggies you want)

Romaine Lettuce

Cherry tomatoes



Added Chicken and topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Dinner Day 2

Leftovers from Day 1 Dinner

Lunch Day 3

Cabbage Wraps

2 leafs of red cabbage

½ avocado

½ small yellow bell pepper

cherry tomatoes


romaine lettuce


Spread mashed avocado in bottom of cabbage leafs, add in fresh veggies and chicken mixed together to fill wraps and eat like a taco. SO GOOD!

Dinner Day 3

Had a late lunch so didn’t eat dinner this night.

Lunch Day 4

Chicken and Fresh Veggies

On the go and nothing prepped so I just grabbed a chicken leg, fresh okra and baby peppers.

Dinner Day 4

Chicken Fajitas

2 small bell peppers

½ large red onion


olive oil

½ avocado

lemon juice

black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, cumin

Saute onions and peppers, add chicken and season to taste. I also whipped up a quick, simple guacamole recipe. Mash up avocado, splash in lemon juice and season with black pepper to taste.

Lunch Day 5

Leftovers fajitas with ½ avocado and 2 chicken wings

So, to answer the question…for a SINGLE person, a whole chicken will go for about 4-5 days, give or take a few.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Paleo Solution - Robb Wolf

Getting Robb's John Hancock last night at his book signing event.

Success!!! Last night Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution that was released 9/14/10, held a book signing here in Chico at Lyon Books. It was the FIRST book to sell out at the store, the line was long and energetic. It was a cool atmosphere, a great crowd, and a monumental event in the lives of Paleo followers here in Northern, CA. Not to mention there were delicious gluten free cookies. :)

Robb is a local Chico-ite and owner of Norcal Strength and Conditioning. He is the guy that introduced me to the Paleo Diet and has been my leader (whether he knows it or not) through the last 1.5 years of strict paleo eating. His vast knowledge blows my mind every time I listen to his podcasts, talk to him and now read his book. His expertise has helped me help my clients, my family and myself eat cleaner and look/feel/perform better.

Robb, a biochemist, is way "brainier" than I could ever dream of being, but in his book he has a way of bringing a highly in depth topic down to the level of the average Joe. Unlike most nutrition books, he makes it entertaining while still being incredibly educational. It's hard to put down!

If you don't have this book yet, go to your local Barnes and Noble, Borders or order from Amazon TODAY! As of last night, #10 on the Barnes and Noble top sellers list, this book is selling out fast everywhere so don't wait...go get your hands on it NOW! You won't regret it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trainer's Day - Day 4

Being a trainer, I often work when other's don't so that clients can get workouts in before or after work. Getting up at 5am everyday isn't ideal for my health due to lack of sleep and waking up when it's still dark. But late last night I had my morning clients call and cancel (both my 5:30am and 6:45am clients) I got to sleep in!! I feel like a whole new person today with 8.5 hours of sleep under my belt compared to my average 6.5 hours the last few months. I mentioned in a earlier post, the importance of sleep and am a bit hypocritical due to having to adjust my schedule to fit other's. Today was a bit of an eye opener though, I seriously feel like I could take on the world today with having adequate rest under my belt.

So, after waking up at 7am, I hit headed for an interval workout on my spin bike (my road bike is out of commission right now).
Warmup 10 min
30 sec on/30 sec active recovery of sprint/heavy resistance/standing/standing sprint/jumps x 5 rounds
Cooldown 5 min + Stretch

It felt great to get some sprinting action in without having to pound on the ground running. A bit of a break for the legs.

After my spin, I trained a few clients and then came home to breakfast made by my boyfriend (nice surprise!)

Egg Scramble with chicken sausage, lots of veggies and topped with avocado and salsa. I seriously don't know that I will ever get sick of this breakfast! ;)

After breakfast I did some computer work and then walked downtown to Peet's coffee for a change of scenery. I accompanied my cup of decaf coffee with a lara bar and hammered out more computer work for an hour or so before lake time.

For those of you that don't boyfriend, Marcus, is a professional waterskier so we spend quite a bit of time at his parents' house on the lake so he can train. I am able to do my online work, programming, and enjoy some R&R out there. Not bad to call the dock your "office" a few days a week! :) I skied a set again today and let's just say it wasn't as good as Tuesday, but hey, I got out and had fun! Today I also took advantage of the time at the lake to BBQ a bunch of meat. 6 chicken breasts, 1/2 turkey breast, and 4 big steaks. We are set for meat for the weekend!

We drove home from the lake, ate dinner (steak, chicken, fried okra) and I jumped in my truck and headed out to teach class.
The best part of today came tonight...we headed to a local theater, the El Rey, to a Ryan Bingham concert. These guys are phenomenal! He wrote a bunch of the music for the movie Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges and is performing with country music legend Willy Nelsen in Bend, OR tomorrow night and Eugene, OR Saturday night. It's a late night and going to be an early morning, but was definitely worth it! :)

BF - Egg Scramble with avocado
S- Decaf coffee and cashew cookie lara bar (ingredients are cashews and dates). As far as bars go, these are about the only ones I really allow in my diet because they are simple, whole ingredients and grain/dairy/soy free. They are still a bit high in sugar, but better than most bars.
L- Chicken Breast, handful red grapes, 3 cherry tomatoes, handful Trek Mex
D- 2 oz Chicken Breast, 3 oz steak, 5 fried okra (fry in pan with olive oil and season with garlic powder and just a touch of sea salt).
S- Handful of mixed nuts, clementine

*Food intake wasn't the best today...but still paleo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trainer's Day - Day 3

Wednesday morning...5am wasn't as welcoming today as Monday, but I was up and at it ready to do the day's deeds. Clients from 5:30-10a did great with their workouts. Something that I find with the majority of my clients (as well as myself sometimes) and most likely you're guilty of it too, is that we don't engage our core stabilizers. Even if we have the strength, we get lazy and our poor posture takes over our lives. This can lead to low back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, etc...injuries are often caused by improper posture. Tip today is to think about keep your abs tight, your glutes squeezed, and your chest proud (shoulders back with ribs down). Think about it in your car, at your desk, picking up your kid, or working out.

In between clients today I wolfed down my breakfast on the go 3 hard boiled eggs (only 2 shown because I gobbled one up before I remembered to take the picture), 1/2 avocado and 3 strawberries.
The rest of the morning consisted of email correspondence with my online clients, grocery shopping (pictured below), bookkeeping, website updates and cleaning house.

Combo of Trader Joes and a local farmer's market groceries...
TJ - Broccoli, romaine lettuce, trek mix (almonds, cashews, cranberries), marinara sauce (no sugar), roast beef slices (no nitrates/nitrites), and dried mango (my treat!!)
Market - Okra, butternut squash, green onions, red bell peppers
That's not a full grocery list, just stocked up on some veggies and few 'snacky' things. Not pictured, Marcus headed to costco to stock up on meat (chicken breasts and steak), avocados, melons, and eggs. Tip, Costco is one of the most affordable places to stock up on cage free eggs.

After working hard all morning, I realized I had ignored my poor lil pup all morning. She was literally laying at my feet with her head resting on her paws just whimpering. So...I headed out for a quick 5K run around Lower Bidwell Park with her. It was HOT today! Lunch followed the run and then more nose to the grindstone.

At 5:30p I headed to the gym for a workout. It was a diagnostic workout called Elizabeth through CrossFit. Coming off of a hip and shoulder injury I didn't push too hard, but still got a good workout in. Workout was as follows.
Strength work with Presses and Power Clean movement practice then
Power Clean 95lbs
Ring Dips
My Time - 8:55

Followed the evening workout with a homemade "to-go" dinner before a bit more coaching, then home by 8pm and now ready to hit the hay!
BF - 3 hard boiled eggs, 3 strawberries, 1/2 avocado
S - fresh apple from the tree with handful of Trek Mex and two pieces of dried mango
L - Left over london broil over locally grown greens, tomatoes, green beans, green onions with hard boiled egg, all dressed with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
S - handful of Trek Mex
D - Wild Atlantic Salmon burger (from Costco...good for fast/easy meal...not good all the time though), 1 small bell pepper, green beens, 1/2 tomato.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trainer's Day - Day 2

Sorry for the late post for yesterday...our internet was down last night so I had to wait until this morning to get up Monday's blog.

Today has been a great day in sunny Northern California. I am fairly new to Chico, CA (been here for about 4 months now) and I seriously thought I was going to melt this summer. Literally! But it's cooling off and the air is crisp in the morning...I LOVE IT!

The day started with that lovely 5am wake up call, but once my eyes adjusted to being open, I headed out the door. I didn't mention this before, but one avenue of my personal training business is that I travel to people's homes. It's very convenient for my early morning clients who have kids that are still in bed at that time, but want to get their workout in before work. So my 5:30 and 6:45 clients rocked their Tuesday workouts and then it was my turn. I busted butt over to Upper Bidwell Park here in Chico and hit the mtn bike trails for about an hour. The riding here is pretty rough because it's full of rock (lots of loose rock), but it forces you to be alert and be in the moment when you're riding. After my ride, I jetted to the gym for a workout. I work out at a gym here in town called Norcal Strength and Conditioning. It's great to go in there and be told what to do in the classes. I program for people all day long, so it's nice to go just do a workout and not have to think about it or set it up for myself. My workout went as follows...

35 min - (I got in 6 rounds)
5 x Hang Clean 35# dumbbells
10 x Jumping Pullups
20 x Box Jumps (24 in box)
30 sec Hollow Rock
40 sec Single Leg Plank (20 sec ea leg)
1 x 100m sprint or 2 x long shuttles (I alternated each round)

After a good stretch, I came home ravenous so busted out my go-to breakfast. I waited too long to eat today, but didn't want to eat before I worked out.

Scrambled 2 eggs with chicken sausage and veggies (zucchini, broccoli, red peppers, green onions). I also had 1/2 avocado and some strawberries. After breakfast I was still a bit hungry so I snacked on a hard boiled egg.
The rest of the morning/early afternoon consisted of computer work and studying at Peet's coffee, where I enjoyed a nice hot cup of decaf coffee with a bit of half n half (a little treat). After that I packed up a quick salad and we headed out to the lake for a bit of fun. I took my first ski set for the first time in 2 months (due to injury) and it went great! So nice to be back on the water. I did a bunch of mobilization work (stretching, rolling, range of motion exercises) while I was throwing the ball 9 million times for Ziggy. Boy I wish I had her energy! :)

A grilled chicken salad consisting of grilled chicken (pre cooked this weekend), baby greens, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cucumber all from our local farmers market. Delicious!
Post ski, I headed home for more work this posting, client programming, responding to nutrition/workout logs from my online clients all while munching on my dinner.

The last of my prepared chicken breasts from this weekend, 2 slices of tomato from my garden, 1/2 avocado and some steamed broccoli.
Overall, a great day today. Got a little wordy with the explanation of how my day went. Hope I didn't bore you too much. Please leave comments/questions about meals, timing of meals, workout etc.

Gotta finish a few things before I'm off to bed. Running on too little of sleep the last couple nights, my goal is to be in bed by 8:30 for 8.5 hours of sleep tonight. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow! :)

Trainers Day - Day 1

It's Monday! Monday's give a lot of people a bad vibe, but why? It's another beautiful day to be alive! I am making a new vow to start each day with that sort of an attitude...try it with me, see how it works...

This morning's 5am alarm came sooner than I had wanted since I could fall asleep until 11:15pm, but I rolled out of bed, did my early morning primping (consisting of nothing more than brushing my teeth and splashing my face with water) and hit the road to get my early morning clients off to a great start for the week. I don't eat first thing when I wake up because number one it's too stinkin' early, number two I'd have to get up even earlier (having the first number on the clock be a 4 when you wake up sounds like a REALLY bad idea), and number three I'm not hungry at 5am. Typically when I get home I go workout, but today is a rest day for me and I was really hungry when I got home at 8:30, so I made a delicious breakfast.

Chicken Sausage and Egg Scramble

After breakfast I unfortunately had to spend several hours at the computer writing blogs, doing email correspondence, updating my website, working on programming, etc.

A tip for the "desk sitters" though...get up and move AT LEAST every 15 minutes. Our bodies get locked in a position for too long and our muscles start to tighten. Sitting at a desk/computer, our chest and hips get really tight and those tight muscles start to cause posture problems. So, get up do a few stretches, walk around, lengthen that spine, open the hips and chest and then get back to duty.

After I finished my work, I decided it would be a good idea to paint my living room (after mowing the lawn of course). Not sure why I decided today was the day. I really probably should have taken a nap because of my lack of sleep last night. But, it's done and it looks good!

With my spontaneous decision to be Martha Stuart for the afternoon, I'm glad that I had pre cooked some chicken breasts and had fresh produce waiting for me in the fridge. Remember, successful eating is all about being prepared and having healthy options ready to go.

I took a few minutes after painting to lay in the sun while throwing the ball for my dog Ziggy. Then around 5:30 had a nice dinner with Marcus. Thank goodness for crock pots...they make cooking so much easier.

Before starting up the paint job I had prepped the london broil for dinner. First I cut away the visible chunks of fat and then seasoned with garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and fresh rosemary. I pan fried for 3 minutes on each side in olive oil and then set on low in the crock pot for 5 hours with 1/4 cup red wine. We gobbled it up with a fresh garden salad drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

On a trainers schedule, I have to hit the road for my evening coaching. Then home at 8:15pm, stretch/roll and then to bed.

Chicken Sausage and Egg Scramble
- Adelle's Chicken Sausage (sliced into rounds)
- 1/2 cup of red bell peppers and zucchini (pre cut for week prep)
- 2 eggs (cage free)
- Olive Oil

Saute chicken and veggies in pan with olive oil, scramble in eggs. Serve topped with 1/2 avocado and salsa. I also had a handful of blueberries and of course my fish oil!

AM Snack:
Hard boiled egg (I keep these stocked in the fridge at all times) and handful of almonds

Chicken (pre cooked this weekend) carrots, celery, 4 strawberries, handful of almonds

London Broil with garden salad...recipe above

Water Intake: 120 oz.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Next week...

WOW...where did I go?? Sorry for falling off the face of the earth...things have been crazy in my life. I don't have much time to post a whole lot right now, but wanted to get people ready for next week. I am going to be posting (in detail) what my days are like....sleep, workouts, food intake (recipes included), stressors, relaxers...pretty much how my life works. I am going to show how my lifestyle choices effect me positively or negatively and why. I am going to give tips on how to make better decisions for your health on a daily basis. I am going to lead you through a week from the viewpoint of a 28 year-old personal trainer, coach, athlete, girlfriend, and mom (to a VERY active yellow lab :).

Please post anything you'd like to hear about, questions you have, or just say hi.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Processed Food

We all hear that processed foods are bad for us. Yes...most of them are. However "processed" means that they have been altered from their natural state, which isn't always "bad". With that said, eating fresh, whole foods is best.

Processing involves canning, dehydrating, refrigerating, freezing, and aseptic processing of foods. Frozen veggies for example are processed, but they aren't necessarily bad for us. They may lose some of their vitamins and minerals, but they aren't bad for us. The trouble we get into with veggies and fruits are when they are frozen or canned with lots of sugar and salt. The nutritional value plummets and our health risks go up each time we consume these items.

Now, the processed foods we all usually think of are boxed foods (cereal, crackers, chips, cakes, cookies, etc). We all know those aren't good for us...that holds true. No ifs, ands or buts about it. They are loaded with processed grains (yes even the whole grains), they are loaded with sugar and salt and other perservatives...stay away!

But, an often times overlooked processed food category is meat. As Paleo eaters, we consume a lot of meat. If we're not careful we can be doing our body quite a bit of harm by consuming junk meat. First of all, animals that are fed processed food (grain fed beef, caged chicken, etc) are loaded with the food we are trying to avoid (therefore we're indirectly consuming those foods). Even worse than that are the packaged meats (hot dogs, lunch meat, sausages, etc). These are loaded with sodium and several other preservatives to keep them fresher longer. These are the chemicals that can cause serious damage in the long run.'s best to support a local rancher and buy grass fed/cage free meat or to spend the extra buck at the store to get the same meat that is already packaged for us. Take a look at the most recent food recall...seriously, we have to recall the food we put in the stores...that's scary!

I understand that in our world it isn't realistic that we can all go out and get fresh eggs from our cage free raised chicken in the back yard, pick fresh apricots from the tree and cut up fresh zucchini from our garden each morning for breakfast (wouldn't that be ideal though!). So when hitting the grocery stores take the above into account before throwing items in the cart.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Different Purpose

View on run up Storm King Mountain in Canyon Creek, CO.

Working out isn't just about how your look, feel, and perform. Those are definitely a good percentage of the perks, BUT we can't forget to enjoy ourselves. I am guilty as charged when it comes to this. Although I enjoy throwing weights around, sprinting as hard as I can, and trying to take off on the row machine, sometimes I need a dose of "reality"…meaning getting outside and enjoying being active without having anything but what's already there. No plan, just going and out doing.

This has been very evident to me the last couple weeks as I have been home, in the Colorado Rockies, with adventure at my finger tips. There's rafting, kayaking, hiking, etc.

A few days ago I had planned a morning hike with family/friends up Storm King Mountain. Running on not enough sleep, I reluctantly drug myself out of bed and threw on my running shoes to find that all my other "hiker buddies" had bailed on me. My first thought was to go throw my head back on my pillow, but instead I took advantage of getting up with the sun and went for a hike with Ziggy.

Driving up to the trailhead, I started to wake up a bit more and realized it was going to be a great opportunity for me to get a good trail run instead of just hiking. IT KICKED MY BUTT…lots of hill climbs at high elevation…but every step of the way was amazing. I stopped a few times to snap some pictures (below) to try and capture the beauty of the CO mountain morning.

The "reality" of this trail run was more than just being in nature though. In 1994 there was a horrible fire that due to some unfortunate situations, took the lives of 14 fire fighters. This trail was made in order to honor these brave men and women and provide knowledge to hikers of what happened. The trail leads to the memorials of each individual who braved the Storm King Fire on that tragic day.

The "reality" and "purpose" of my run that day was different than getting stronger and healthier. These activities need to be included in our "program" to keep us from getting bored and to give us something to look forward to besides the gym.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tracking Your Nutrition

So I am one of those people that absolutely hate counting calories, measuring food and watching every little ounce of macronutrients that enter my mouth. That's not a way to live, you're not going to maintain that and's a pain in the butt!

With that said, keeping your nutrition in check is necessary if you're having trouble reaching health and fitness goals (performance, body composition, everyday life). In my opinion that still doesn't mean you have to measure everything. If you are a person that has no idea what 4 oz of meat, or a cup of broccoli, or a tbsp of olive oil look like, then measuring may be beneficial at first, but then go by sight, by hunger level and by paying attention to your body.

Now, tracking nutrition doesn't mean that you have to write down every macronutrient and do all of the above, BUT I have seen in my profession and in my own experience that writing down what you put in your body helps to keep you honest and will make you learn how what you eat effects how you look, feel and perform.

Our world is controlled by computers. I guess you could say that I'm not exactly technologically savvy, but I do own a smart phone and I know that there are a lot of cool apps with regards to health and fitness that can help you along way. The following apps can help you track your calories, macronutrients, exercise, etc right at your finger tips. There are also apps that provide the ability to set interval times for high intensity training.

Below are the top 4 iphone nutrition apps on the market.

Livestrong Calorie Tracker- tracks calories, monitors weight, nutrition info, exercise calorie burning info

Daily Burn- allows you to scan UPC of product with iphone to get nutrition info

Mint Nutrition- allows you to create "plates" of food and also tracks nutrition info in your own recipes

The Carrot- allows you to create journals, take photos and look up health info on a variety of health issues

These 4 apps all apply to a different aspect of tracking nutrition. Pick which you think will benefit you the most and try 'em out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flying Solo

So this post isn't going to apply to everyone, but for those of you that are single or end up eating on your own a on. Even if you don't live this lifestyle, read it may learn something! ;)

For the last several weeks I have been flying solo with Marcus on the road for skiing tournaments, promotional stuff, and testing. Of course I miss him, but in many ways it's been good for me as well. I have had time to spend on myself...reading, meditating, gardening, and just being on my schedule. One of the challenges that I found though was cooking for one. It's been several years since I've had to do this for a long period of time (more than a couple of days) and the first time since I've been paleo. Here's what I found...

Eating paleo, you are eating fresh food that won't last for more than a couple of days without going bad so it's important to know how cook enough so you're not cooking all the dang time, but not cook too much where you're feeding the raccoons in the garbage behind the house.

A trick is to be able to use the veggies you make for more than one meal....
For example, I made a curry chicken stir fry for dinner one night. The next morning I scrambled some of it in with my eggs (YUMMY!!!). For lunch I cooked up two chicken breasts and made a salad (big enough for 3 portions). While cutting up veggies for the salad, I cut up a bit extra and put them in a container for sauteing with eggs the next morning. Dinner consisted of sauteed brussel sprouts and a turkey burger (cooked 2 servings worth). The next day breakfast I cooked up those precut veggies with eggs and topped with 1/2 avocado. Lunch was turkey burger and salad with other half of avocado mashed on top of burger for (sauce). Dinner was that Chicken breast cut up and warmed up with the rest of the brussel sprouts.

So...however boring, and maybe confusing it was to read that, hopefully you can see how with just a few items I can make several different meals. I am not a person that likes to eat the same thing over and over again so it's good to be able to know how to use leftovers to make different meals.

Next time I get the excuse from someone that they can't eat paleo because "it's hard when you're single. The food goes bad.", I'll know what to tell them.

By the way, this doesn't just apply to people who are single...but if you have a family and just don't want to feel like you are cooking all the time...make extra of everything and experiment ways to make items from different meals mesh to make a completely different plate.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Workout Buddies

I’ve always been one to like to workout on my own. I put my ear buds in, crank up my tunes and hit it hard. A few weeks ago, I joined a local gym, Norcal Strength and Conditioning, for several reasons…but a major one was to be able to have people to workout with for a change. As a trainer, I know how to program workouts and I have the discipline and desire to do the workouts on my own. However, I was beginning to get bored and I knew that I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could be.

The gym I am at offers different levels of high intensity group classes, so I am being pushed by people of similar fitness levels to me. The community at the gym is very encouraging and supportive as well, so as a result, I know that I have picked up the intensity of my workouts the last couple of weeks. Even trainers need motivation and encouragement when it comes to exercise.

Another benefit I have found is that I am developing a group of friends that are interested in the same thing I am – health! On days away from the gym, I am getting people to join me for track workouts, hill runs, etc. I love it!

So, moral of the story, find some people to work out with (friends or not) and you will push yourself harder, you will be more accountable, and you might just make a friend or two! You will be more motivated to follow the workout and nutrition plan when surrounding yourself by those doing the same.

Granted, I still like my own solitude time during my workouts, but I leave those for mindless steady state runs/rides.

Find some workout buddies and push yourself!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.”- Dan Millman

We all have things that we hold as higher priorities than others (work, families, health, play, hobbies, etc). We also often times use those items higher on the list to "excuse" us from not getting to the others.

As the quote above says, it's not about what you do it's about when you do it. One of the most common things to put on the back burner is our health. By health I mean both exercising regularly and eating healthy. Often times people will do one but not the other, BUT they are one. You can't separate them and expect to see/feel/perform at your best.

In my opinion, health should be up there on everyone's priority list because if you don't have your health, you don't have anything. We've all heard that. But it's true. If you aren't healthy, you will not perform your best and work, you will not have energy for your family and friends, your attitude and mood overall will not be as good as it could be.

If your health (exercise/nutrition) isn't top on your list of priorities, then time it around those things that are. If you know that your days are filled with getting the kids up and out the door by 8, working until 5, getting home making dinner and spending time with family at night. Then get your butt out of bed first things in the morning and pump out a good workout. If you know that after work you have poker with the guys and your weekend is filled with fixing up that old car, then get a good workout in on your lunch break. With nutrition, we've talked about this a ton, it's just about preparation. Have healthy food available so you know you'll be getting proper intake throughout the day no matter what is thrown at you. Whatever your schedule is, lay it out on paper and I guarantee you will find time that you can spend on your health!

For example, as a trainer I work crazy, inconsistent hours, so I have to revisit my schedule book daily to plan for the next. I was up at 4:30 this morning to train clients at 5:30 and throughout the day I have meetings, online training/website work, and more clients. After my morning clients, I took my dog for a run in the park (killing two birds with one workout and my dog's exercise). I had a piece of steak and a sweet potato to chow on after my run. Now enjoying a cup of Joe at a local coffee shop I am getting work done, while also taking in the community (watching cars cruise by, people visit, business' opening for the day). I am having to shower at my friends' house (since I live outside of town where I have to be all day) when I finish up my work here. After meetings and more work, I am hitting up the gym tonight for my strength work and then get home around 6:45 in time to grab some good grub for dinner and chill out on the couch for a few.

Moral of my story...even crazy busy days provide time for our health. You just have to make a plan and stick to it. No one wants to be unhealthy. You just have to figure out how to fit your priorities into a healthy lifestyle. It's about when you do it, not if you do it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Try something new...

Norcal Strength and Conditioning competitors left to right. Lani, Shawn (coach), John, Myself, Colin, Matt

Almost 2 weeks ago, Marcus and I joined Norcal Strength and Conditioning here in Chico, CA (where we just moved back to). It's been great to be able to have people to workout with since I've been working out by myself for about 2 years now. The coaches are great and the community is very supportive and motivational. See, even trainers need a boost every now and then. ;)

After just a few days in the gym, one of the trainers "suggested" to me that I should sign up for a strength challenge just a week away. I was pretty hesitant to agree because I was clueless as to what it was all about, what my ability level was compared to the competition and even if I was going to be able to do the workouts. But, nervous out of my mind, I agreed to do it 2 days before the competition began.

Friday night I did some prep work...packed my fuel (sweet potatoes, applesauce, chicken, strawberries), my essentials (extra clothes, hair ties, shoes), my first aide (bandaids, triple antibiotic, athletic tape...for my huge heel blister), and then knew I had to get good sleep or I was going to be worthless the next day. To my surprise I actually slept pretty well that night. Saturday morning I woke up before my alarm went off, showered, took Ziggy for a short walk, ate a couple of hard boiled eggs and some fruit, grabbed my bags and headed to Level 10 Crossfit in Oroville, CA where the competition was held.

Pretty much sick to my stomach, the events begins...
The day consisted of 5 workouts with about 1.5 hour or so between each workout. Here's how the day was scheduled.

9:00am- Workout 1
Row 350m, 50# Sandbag Run down 75m hill, drop sandbag, run back up hill and grab 140# for 50m down and back (100m total) farmer's walk, run down hill again, pick up 50# sandbag and run back up to top.

10:30am- Workout 2
7 minutes to get max height box jump and max weight strict press

12:30pm- Workout 3
5 rounds of 20 seconds on/15 seconds rest of...
44# Kettle Bell Swing
Lateral Burpees
15# Weighted Pullups
87# Clean

2:30pm- Workout 4
3 min of max reps 105# Front Squat (getting weight from deck). If drop weight to deck, must do 10 double unders before picking weight back up.

4:00pm- Workout 5
4 rounds for time of...
185# Deadlift - 5 reps
100ft Sled Push High Handles
35# Kettle Bell Snatch - 7 reps each arm
100ft Sled Push Low Handles

Hard, intense workouts, great competition and a lot of fun! I ended up shocking myself and winning 4 out of 5 of the events and getting 1st overall female. I think part of it was my adrenaline, but a big part of it too goes to Shawn Gower, my coach from NorCal that helped me strategize. Also, the crew from the gym that came out to support us and cheer us on the whole day.

So, in a matter of 2 weeks, I joined a gym, hesitantly signed up for my first ever strength challenge, and won it. Most importantly though, I overcame my fear of trying something new. I walked into an event not knowing what to expect and walked away from the event falling in love with a new type of competition than I have ever done before.

Moral of the story guys...try something new. If you're a competitor find events like this, or endurance races, or local adult team sport events. Find something that you're interested in, that's going to be a challenge, that's going to put you out of your comfort zone. You'll be surprised with how you do and you'll be surprised with how good it feels to dive into something new.

Below are some pics from the day...Thanks to everyone that came to support, to coach, to spectate and a big thanks to Level 10 Crossfit for putting the event on.

John crushing the Sled Push Low Handles!

185# Deadlift

Front Squats in 3 min - 41 reps total for me

Adam Mattis killing the Kettle Bell Snatch

End of the day...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keep those muscles loose...

Summer is pretty much here and that means that people are going to be way more active on the road, on the trails, on the water (running, riding, skiing, etc). This is a great thing! Unfortunately, and I am VERY guilty of this myself, when we aren't in the gym and in our routine, post workout stretching gets put on the back burner.

It's so easy after that grueling 2000 ft elevation mountain bike ascent to just get off the bike, guzzle down the rest of your water, and then get back in the car to hit the rest of your day. Or after your a long 4 hour hike to just want to throw your feet up and call it a day. But, with increased activity level and especially activities that require repetitive motion (like riding, running, hiking, etc) our muscles get really tight. This over and over again ends up causing a lot of problems that can prevent us from performing as well as we would like or even worse taking us out of the game due to injury.

I've talked about this before, but the benefits of stretching are HUGE.

-Injury Prevention
-Muscle Recovery
-Increased Circulation
-Improved Posture
-Pain Relief
-Enhanced Performance
-Stress Reduction

Hips and low back seem to be things that really nap people because our hips are where our power comes from. Below are 3 stretches for your hips and legs that you can do pretty much anywhere and NEED to do right after your done with your workout. Happy Stretching!

-Hamstrings - Lie on back, keep one leg out straight on the floor and pull the other leg straight up by grabbing back of calf or wrapping something around ball of foot.

-Hip Flexors - Kneel down, put one foot out in front so you're in kneeling lunge. Press hips forward and try to straight back leg. Lean back slightly if you don't feel the stretch.

- Periformis - Lie on Back and cross right ankle on left knee. Pull left leg toward chest while pushing out on right knee. Do on both legs.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The heat is on...

Summer is pretty much here (well unless you're in the CO mountains and getting snowed on right now)!! But wherever you are, summer is just around the corner. This means everyone is more motivated to get outside and ride bikes, run, hike, play sports or just be outside.

A few things to remember...

1- ALWAYS wear sunscreen - put on each day before you leave the house!
2- ALWAYS stay hydrated - drink water even if you're not thirsty. 90-120 oz each day and more on days that you're more active
3- Eat enough - sometimes people don't eat enough in the summer because the heat makes us not as hungry
4- Don't eat too much - BBQ season is here...that means lots of food on display...make sure you eat good portion sizes and also avoid the junk (desserts, potatoes, corn, beans)
5- Have fun - enjoy the warm weather activities. Try something new outside that you've not done before (mtn bike, water ski, golf, something...)

The heat is on...enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Endurance Training Myths vs Truths

*Finishing my marathon in Ft. Collins, legs were done!

Typical endurance training has a way of taking over your life. If you've ever trained for a marathon, ironman, ultra marathon or the like, you know what I'm talking about. I can speak from experience. In the fall of 2006 I was talked into running a 1/2 marathon with my friend...3 weeks before the race! Without much knowledge on how to train for an endurance event, I did quick research and developed a plan that got me up to running 10 miles 1 week before the event. So, in two weeks I went from running max 5 miles, to now running 10 miles in preparation for a 13.1 miler event 1 week later. How's that for gradual training and tapering? Now, I wasn't going into this blind or out of shape. As an athlete my whole life and personal trainer I was active and strong, just clueless as to what 13.1 miles felt like. Turns out my body was okay with it...I placed 3rd in my age group and that sparked a flame for my love of running.

About a month after completing my 1/2 marathon, I decided to go for the full that next spring. I excitedly signed up with an online running coach and went for my initial testing at the Chris Carmichael Institute in Aspen, CO. I found out my VO2 Max was close to that of an elite male, while my lactate threshold needed a bit of work. At the time I was running probably around 8-10% body fat, 140lbs at 5'7". Needless to say, I was a bit shocked by their suggestion that I needed to lose weight to be faster. They said I needed to lose muscle mass, since I didn't have a whole lot of fat mass to lose in order to stay healthy. They told me to stop strength training all together and just focus on my endurance training and nutrition. It didn't seem right to me to lose muscle, wouldn't that make me weaker? But...I went with what the "experts" said and stopped strength training for 5 months and just hit the road for miles, upon miles, upon miles, upon miles.....

Come May, the race day was finally here and I felt great...or at least I thought I did. I beat my goal time of 3:30 with a 3:19 which qualified me for Boston...not too shabby for a beginner, eh? After the race, I did some thinking. Stoked about the fact that I had qualified for one of the biggest running races around, I had this empty feeling in my gut about putting my body through the constant pounding and the monotony of the hundreds of hours of one foot in front of the other for months at a time to prep for the event. I didn't want my life to revolve around running each day. I didn't want my joints to hurt. Not to mention the personal battle I was having with my image. I had gained weight through this whole deal...up to 145 and definitely a higher body fat % due to no strength training and consuming mostly carbs per my coach's instruction for fueling. After all, carbs are our main source of energy, right? WRONG!

Anyways, my waffling of whether or not to tackle Boston resulted in a definitive "NO" for the reason that I was more concerned about walking past the age of 40 (with my own joints) and getting my health and fitness back (leanness, strength, sanity)!

So...where am I going with this story?... prepared for this...if you're an endurance athlete or if you have hopes of becoming an endurance's time to toss what you've thought to be true about training with lots of miles, lots of carbs, and lots of time.

Often times you'll see in an endurance training program some anaerobic intervals interspersed. This a is a great thing!!! But it shouldn't be the majority of your training. Anaerobic training benefits the ATP/Phospho-creatine system, lactic acid system and aerobic system. The time/distance and rest periods determine the system(s) that are stressed. They are all intertwined though and as you are working all three simultaneously you are working the aerobic engine. The good news about this is that you are able to cut back on your training volume which saves you from the pounding the body takes during typical endurance training. So...why not train anaerobically if you're getting the same benefits (if not more) as long slow distance (LSD) training and you're saving your joints and your time?

I mentioned above that I was told to stop my strength training in order to lose muscle mass to be lighter on my feet. Think about that a second, how is losing muscle going to make me stronger? I may be "lighter", but I also will not have the stamina and muscles to keep me going for a long time. So, incorporating 4-6 days of high intensity strength training is extremely beneficial to endurance athletes as well. Now, with strength training, endurance athletes are often told to do high reps and low weight. NO!!! If you are constantly using low weight you are not reaching the systemic stimulus needed to improve and get stronger. It is essentially a waste of time and energy unless you are challenging your body. You have to think that strength training isn't a "supplement" to your sport specific IS the training for it!

The next part that is HUGE and more important than "pushing through", is the recovery time. Rest is where we get stronger and where we recovery in order to work to our maximum capacity when training. Recover comes from fueling right, resting adequate amounts, hydrating well, and sleeping enough each night. This topic is another blog post completely though.
Hopefully this gives you all some insight as to why higher intensity, anaerobic training is crucial to reaching your full potential as an endurance athlete and why constant slower aerobic training can be detrimental.

What do you think...?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Food in a Rush...

Eating Paleo is simple. Meaning not hard to understand...meat, veggies, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, healthy fat. However, eating Paleo isn't always easy. Meaning not convenient and fast....unless prepared!!!
That is the key word to eat right and be successful at it..."prepared". If you have meat already cooked in the fridge, veggies already cut up and ready to grab, healthy snacks that are at the tip of your fingers, then you'll be fine. It's when we're so busy (or lazy) and don't make it to the store or don't have time to cook or have "junk" in the house that we start to fall off the wagon.

With that said, even then it's not always easy. Sometimes life throws us curveballs and we have to be ready for them. I know that I've been guilty of going long and hard all morning and realizing that I am starving and if I don't eat in the next 5 minutes I might bite someone's head off and so I go for a less healthy a "protein bar" or something like that at the convenient store. By the way, those are pretty much candy's all marketing.

I have learned it's crucial to always have a snack ready. I usually keep a little bag of my own homemade trail mix and some jerky in my truck. That way, when the urge hits, I grab that rather than sugar filled garbage.

Below are some easy things to keep with you to prevent bad food choices when you're in a rush.

1- Trail Mix - Raw Walnuts, Raw Macadamia Nuts, Dried Berries (no sugar added)...maybe a few dark chocolate pieces...but it's getting warm so they will probably melt in your car now.
2- Jerky - grass fed beef...cut into 1 inch wide and 1/8 in thick strips. Season to taste (no salt). Bake at 140-150 degrees in oven with door propped open from 4-12 hours. Cook until meat is jerky like.
3- I came across this site through CrossFit NorCal. This lets you make your own bars. Make sure to go with Whey Protein and honey for your ingredients when given those options.
4- If you have a cooler to keep things in, go with fresh veggies and berries, lean meat, and an avocado. eat healthy food in a PREPARED! Please if feel free to comment with your own favorite on-the-go recipes as never hurts to have as many as possible!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fatten Up

I just watched a documentary on the History Channel about how beef gets to the restaurants and had to blog about it right away because it makes the concept about NO GRAINS clear as day!

Grass fed cattle are brought to the "farms" weighing in around 700lbs. In a short amount of time, being fed a mixture of grain, corn, and hay they leave the farm to be "harvested" (as they put it) weighing around 1200lbs. That's almost doubling their body weight!!! These animals are fed grains and starches because it fattens them up. Well duh...what do you think it's doing to you.

Think about it for a second, that's about how long it should take, and make the decision to stay away from grains for your health. Try to stay with grass fed beef and free range chicken to avoid the grains the other meat is fed. It's simple. Our nation is severely overweight because they majority of our diets are grains and sugars. Eliminate that and we'll be back to being grass fed cattle before they hit the "farm".

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The next chapter...

~The view outside of Peet's Coffee in Chico (my "office" the last month).~

Starting anew is scary, exciting, worrisome, and adventurous all at the same time. In the last month we have moved from the beautiful mountains of CO (my home) to the spring weather of Chico, CA (Marcus' home) and now today we are moving to Truckee, CA (maybe our future home). These are 3 very different places, with different things to offer and experiences to endure.

The excitement of this next move, for me, is that we are going back to the mountains, we are going to a place where we know no one, we are trying a new place out to see if we like it, there's a ton of exploring to be had. The fear comes from those same things.

As a personal trainer, I have to be in one spot in order to have a clientele (besides my online business Going to a new location where you don't know a soul is a hard adjustment to get your name out there and starting all over again to build a business. But, it's going to be fun, it's going to be an adventure, and it's going to make me a better person because if it.

The thing with this move is to keep the stress down to a minimum and remember the potential that is there and the amazing opportunities we are likely to be presented with.

Here's to the last few hours in Chico! Cheers!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Paleo Food

True Paleo...last night I made meatloaf and this is a "goof" picture of me pretending to bite into it raw!...haha!

Have you heard of The Paleo Diet? This is the way I have been living my life for over a year now and I have never felt this good, been this lean, been this healthy. I've been active my entire life and have been what I thought was healthy my entire life. From the age of 3 I was hiking 10 miles in the mountains with my family, I have been in sports since the age of 8, I've been a personal trainer for 6 years and I have always eaten "healthy" according to the food guide pyramid and what our society preaches.

Last March I was approached by Robb Wolf ( about this thing called The Paleo Diet. Being a fitness professional and studying some nutrition in college, I was skeptical at first but agreed to try it for a month. The month of March 2009 changed my life. I could go into depth about the science behind this way of eating, but instead I am going to give you the simple version of why this is the way we need to eat. To check out more go to and order "The Paleo Diet" or "The Paleo Diet for Athletes".

First of all, The Paleo Diet stems from the word paleolithic...basically time of cavemen. This approach to nutrition suggests eating what is natural and whole - lean protein, vegetables, nuts/seeds, and some fruit. This is a low carb diet (no sugar, no grains, no corn, no beans, no potatoes, no salt). Gluten (ie: wheat) is probably the worst of all. We have harvested all of these things. Even though they come from the ground, we have brought them here and grow them. They weren't around way back when.

Science proves that high carb diets negatively effect our body because we are not made to break them down. They cause insulin spikes in our systems leading to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. This list goes on and on with the negative effects of a high carb diet.

All of the diseases that are plaguing our society can be drastically reduced by a simple change in diet. That is something that our doctors often don't tell us, they just simply get on on some meds to "help". Low fat, high whole grain diets are all over the nutrition industry right now, however the percentages of people effected by these diseases continue to rise. What does that tell us? With fast food, processed food, and chemically enhanced food, our bodies are being fueled with crap. That's the other aspect of eating Paleo. Not only will you be healthier on the inside, but you also will feel better, perform better, sleep better, and look better. Getting rid of the high carb diet will lean you out, better fuel your muscles, and better feed your body/mind.

So basically you want to think each meal should have good lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fat. Cutting out carbs your body's primary fuel source will now be fat so getting in good healthy fat is critical to making this diet work.

Expect when starting this diet to feel a little fatigued the first 3 weeks or so as your body is in transition mode. Key is to get enough protein and fat.

Below I am going to list a "go to" grocery list that you can make several healthy paleo meals from...there are some foods missing that would qualify as Paleo I am sure, but this is a solid list.

Protein: (Grass fed beef, Free Range Chicken, FAS Fish if not fresh, salt free)
-Chicken Breasts
-Lean Steak
-Pork Loin
-Lean Beef or Bison Burger
-Ground Turkey or Chicken
-Bacon (beef or turkey)
-Lean Sausage
-Eggs (cage free)

Vegetables: (Locally grown/raw is best, but frozen will work, no canned)
-Lettuce (dark leaf)
-Brussel Sprouts
-Bell Peppers
-Sweet Potatoes/Yams

Fruit: (Locally grown/raw is best, but frozen will work, no canned)

Healthy Fat:
-Fish Oil (take EVERY day)
-Avocado (in fruit list too)
-Olive Oil
-Coconut Oil
-Coconut Milk
-Raw Nuts (Walnuts, Macadamia, Almonds)

-Tea and Coffee (decaf in my opinion)

-Anything except salt or products with salt in them

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


- Last year when I got my new road bike. -
All winter I was in my beautiful home state of Colorado...the mountains of Garfield, Pitkin, and Summit counties are some of my favorite places on earth! I spent the winter working on my downhill skiing skills, but more to my like, I spent quite a bit of time skinning up the mountains on my skis. For those of you unfamiliar with skinning, it is basically a big adhesive that you put on the bottom of your skis that allows forward motion but not backward. can climb up the hills, take the adhesive off, and then rip down the hills. SO fun!

Recently I have moved back to northern California and am spending a few weeks in Chico before moving to the Sierras (Lake Tahoe area). Chico is a different world than what I've been in the last several months. There is no snow, the weather is warm, and most of it is fairly flat (compared to CO mountains of course...not quite Kansas style). It's been in the mid 70's for about a week now so I figured today was the day to bust out the road bike and change my climbing from skis to on the bike. It all started out great, my legs were feeling awesome. The climb I took is from Chico up to Cohasset. It's about a 2000 vertical climb (nothing crazy, just a good start to the season). By the time I got to about 1500 ft my hamstrings and glutes knew this was a different motion than the last several months.

With a quick thought of wanting to turn around at that point, I dug deep in my gut and knew that I would be disappointed in myself if I quit climbing early. So, I started cranking harder, the faster I go, the faster I'm done, right? Right! About 1:10 out and 45min back...a good ride for the first of the season.

Moral of the story: Keep going even when your mind thinks it's time to quit. Our bodies are stronger than our minds most of the time and will pull through if you put your mind to it. So, when those last few reps of your strength training routine or the last mile of your run seem impossible, KNOW that you can do it and that if you push a bit harder and dig deep in your heart, you'll finish that workout. It will change your attitude, it will get you more fit, and it will make it that much easier next time around.