Thursday, July 12, 2018

Quick Grab 'n Go Meals

So you have forgotten your lunch again, you're STARVING, and limited on options. Now what? Well, there are alternatives to a drive-thru fast food restaurant. I went to King Soopers yesterday and happened to walk through the prepared food section. I was so surprised by the options they had! There were full heat-and-eat meals, fresh salads, and fresh protein snack packs.

Of course, there were unhealthy options as well, so stay focused, avert your eyes from the microwave pizzas, and go for the salad! Do pay attention to the sodium if you are at risk for health complications, but most of us are okay if we have a little extra salt.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Setting Summer Goals

This will be a brief post; I want to highlight strategies I use for myself and my clients to stay on track all year long (but especially important in the summer)!

What do you want to accomplish? 

So let's set some SMART goals. Do you want to run a marathon? Which one? How are you going to train? What are you going to do each day from now until then to prepare? How are you going to record your progress along the way? 

Do you want to lose weight? How much? Why? Have you been at a certain weight before where you felt proud, strong and confident? What will your daily diet look like to get you there? How will you record the progress? When do you expect to have lost 5 pounds? 10? 50?  

So, make the goals very specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. 

Now let's make a calendar!

It seems silly and juvenile, but I promise, it works! It's an accountability tracker. If you're not working with me or another personal trainer to hold you accountable to your goals and the timeline you have set for yourself, it will be tougher than expected. You absolutely CAN make a lifestyle change without the help from a personal trainer, but to make sure you're doing everything correctly, it would certainly help! 

Feel free to steal this calendar template, print it out and fill it in with your diet/workout plan for the day! Fill out the entire month at one time, and stick to it the best you can! 

Favorites for under 400 Calories!

With school out for the summer, it's hard to resist the food temptations that go along with spending days with the kids at the pool, summer barbecues, vacations etc. While we're feeling nostalgic about the days where we could eat whatever we wanted without a care in the world, let's keep our eyes on the prize. So how about some healthy recipes to curb the cravings without causing you to lose progress?

 Some of these recipes on MyFitnessPal have been AWESOME, and some I have yet to try!

1. Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza

Serves: 3 |  Serving Size: 2 slices
Per serving: Calories: 299; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 502mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 23g

Serves: 16 |  Serving Size: 1 brownie

Per serving: Calories: 83; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 23mg; Sodium: 72mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 4g

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 2 cups
Per serving: Calories: 261; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 132mg; Sodium: 132mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 24g

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 piece
Per serving: Calories: 379; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 665mg; Carbohydrate: 48g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 21g

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 4 tablespoons yogurt mixture, 1/3 cup strawberries, 2 tablespoons cracker crumbs
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 185; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 24mg; Sodium: 148mg; Carbohydrate: 23g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 6g

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 chicken burger and 1/2 sweet potato

Calories: 345; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 34g

How "Super" are Superfoods?

All fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals, and that's why for most diet regimens, they remain the largest sections in the food pyramid. But is it possible some choices are superior to others?

"There are some foods that seem to confer more benefits compared to others in the same category," says nutritionist and educator John Bagnulo, PhD, MPH. The term 'superfoods' can be misleading, I like to say 'nutrient-dense' instead. But whatever you call them, they're definitely worth considering as an addition to your meals."

In many ways "superfood" is a vaguely-defined word in the food industry, much like "natural" or "healthy," and like those terms, it gets tossed around a great deal in the midst of marketing hype. But as Bagnulo notes, some of these foods do pack a lot of nutritional benefits in comparison to other options.

Why Superfoods are so "Super" 

It is tough to find a consistent and standard list of superfoods, but the various lists you do find will contain mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. In addition to vitamins and minerals, superfoods contain compounds that offer additional benefits. They don't just nourish you and give you energy, they also protect your health. Some known benefits include reducing inflammation, lowering cancer risk, improving bone health and boosting cardiovascular health. 

For example, a common superfood is salmon due to it being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce triglyceride levels and slow the growth of plaque in the arteries. Berries are also great due to the antioxidants causing a reduction in inflammation, so great for anyone with arthritis, Crohn's disease, asthma etc. Certain nuts that are high in omega-3's (like walnuts and almonds) will help reduce the risk of certain diseases too. 

Some other superfoods we know and love (well most of them anyway) include: eggs, black beans, sardines, flaxeed, greek yogurt, green tea and any fruit or vegetable, especially dark greens). 

What about Frozen Food?

Opting for frozen fruits and vegetables isn't as much of a nutrient sacrifice as some would think. If fresh produce isn't in your budget, go for the frozen option to save a little money and make it last longer. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

MJ Fit's Upcoming Events

I am also doing more community outreach events, including:

"The Creative Health and Wellness Open House" Wednesday, June 27th 6-8pm at the Cherry Knolls Natural Grocers in Centennial. Just show up!

MJ Fit Bootcamp, Saturday June 30th 9-10am at Wallace Park in DTC, Denver. Please purchase tickets ahead of time, or show up day-of with $10!

Eventbrite link to buy tickets

Fuel for Exercise nutrition & sampling seminar, Wednesday, July 11th 6-8pm at Cherry Knolls Natural Grocers in Centennial. Just show up!

Almost to the Finish Line!

I know I am 5 weeks away from my anticipated gym-opening day, but it doesn't feel like it! This year has gone by so quickly, and it's crazy to see all my aspirations falling into place. "Falling into place" makes it seem like everything is going well and has been easy, but that is far from true! Granted, I have learned a lot from the obstacles I have faced, but they were challenges nonetheless.

What I am up to now

I am still building my current personal training business, and gearing up for the group exercise classes I will be offering once I open in August. I am looking to take on 2-3 more personal training clients and 2-3 more online personal training clients, so if you are considering training or know someone who is, I hope I stay top of mind! Don't forget, I only train women and children!

I really really love what I do, and am so happy to have the unwavering support and interest of all my friends, family and clients. I absolutely could not be where I am or doing what I am doing without my support system!

In  addition to my day-to-day, I am also having meetings with sign designers, my attorney, bankers, my real estate broker, people interested in subletting etc, so I am staying quite busy! Though stressful, I love every second of it! 

Getting the line of credit

It's a bit different than a college loan for those of you who have never had to get a line of credit directly from a bank. Interest rates suck if you: don't have collateral to back it up, don't have a business that has officially been incorporated for 2 years or more, and don't have much credit history to look back on. Guess who this describes...ME!

Anyway, a 16% interest rate just didn't sound fun to me, so I asked about my other options and discovered I could use my parent's collateral to help me qualify for a lower interest rate. Thankfully I have awesomely supportive parents who are able and willing to help me cosign!

Aside from this line of credit that is available if I need it, I am "bootlegging" the entire venture. I have been saving for this for 2 years now, and am hopeful I won't need much of my revolving line of credit, but it is there just in case.

The space

The important part, right?! So I have chosen a space with great street-facing exposure, ample parking, a rear entrance, ADA bathroom, spare room, big open space, and great location right off the highway. It doesn't look too pretty right now, but it will! Obviously, this is not my sign, but mine will soon replace "TAILOR."

Buying equipment

I have quite a few pieces of equipment already, but before I get the lease signed, I can't buy much more. I have a small storage unit and a third floor apartment--neither suitable for large pieces of gym equipment! I want my gym to be well-equipped and organized, so I am very particular on the items I am selecting.

Friday, June 22, 2018

PB + Cocoa Protein Bites

Who likes recipes that require throwing everything into a bowl, mixing it up, shaping it and ta-da?! I know I do! I was in a rush one day last week and decided to whip up a quick snack. Thankfully my experiment turned out to be a success! This recipe should make right around 15 bites.

Macros (per bite): 98 cal, 5g fat, 11g carb, 3g protein


-1/3c oat flour
-1/2c almond/peanut butter
-1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4c honey
-2tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
-2tbs chia seeds


-Mix everything together into dough consistency
-Shape into balls
-Allow to harden in fridge!