Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gluten Free All Natural Fruit & Nut Bars

Often times figuring out healthy, convenient and satisfying snacks is hard, especially if you have a dietary restriction or allergy. I wanted to create a gluten free, guilt free and naturally sweetened grab-n-go snack that I could recommend to my clients. These fruit and nut bars provide a heatlthy balance of proteins, fats and carbs and are yummy too! They're super easy to make and don't require any baking or cooking (except to warm the liquid mixture), so definitely worth giving a try! Each batch will make 10 bars. Macros (per bar): 173 cals, 8g fat, 22g carbs, 7g protein. 


-1 1/2c gluten free oats (I used this nut/oat blend, but you can just do GF oats and + 2tbs of pumpkin seeds)
-1c packed pitted prunes
-1/4c unsalted smooth natural peanut butter
-1/4c pure maple syrup
-1tbs vanilla extract
-1/2c whole almonds


-In food processor blend prunes until ball forms (about 45 sec)
-Dump prunes into large mixing bowl and add oats/seeds
-Put almonds in food processor until roughly chopped (about 10-15 sec)
-Dump almonds into oat/prune mixture
-In a small saucepan stir together maple syrup, peanut butter and vanilla over low heat until mixed 
-Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and stir until well blended and evenly distributed
-Line 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper
-Spread mixture in pan evenly
-Chill for 15-20 minutes in refrigerator 
-Cut into 10 symmetrical bars

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Off Season Training

I wish I could say I have a more structured and consistent training program for my off-seasons, but my excuse is that I spend so much time programming for my lovely clients that I neglect my own pro able to pay attention to if I need a day off or if I just need to adjust what I had planned to do that day based on how I am feeling. 

It is my off-season, but I am in limbo right now not sure of what my next competition will actually be. I adore powerlifting and find it to be extremely gratifying and fun to train for, but I also want the satisfaction of competing in and gaining the more muscular figure competitor status. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me either way, but at this point I am thinking of training more toward my next bodybuilding show. This time though, I won't accept falling short and competing bikini again. If I commit to something I want to be able to give it 100 percent, so after I get settled in Colorado next month I think I am going to take a look at the list of shows in various natural federations for next year and set a Spring time date.

I have been consistent with my regular working out though, but the focus has been a little all over the place. Usually my week consists of a deadlift and squat day where I do go heavier, which is more powerlifting oriented and then the others are accessory/volume days where I focus more on hypertrophy for a potential bodybuilding show. I can't really reach my full potential in either if I continue to try and do both, so that's where setting a date to hold myself accountable will come into play.

Here are some of my recent shenanigans (not all on the same day...)!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Another Client Rave

I can't brag enough about the amazing, strong, fearless women I get to work with! My "job" really is so rewarding and everyday I am thankful that I found my calling so early in life. I will be graduating in May and know that I want to start my own gym, and after working with only women for over a year am really considering making my future business a women's-only facility as well. I am making a big bittersweet transition soon, but know it won't be the end to any of these relationships! Explaining a little more about that will have to be a later post...

 One of my favorite times during my week is during my Monday night TeamTRAIN class! Love these ladies! 
 Rachael crushing some pause squats. These are always a huge hit...especially on day 2! 

 This partner team makes for a badass duo! I paired them because they both had the goal of perfecting their form and lifting heavy. Music to my ears! 

 Steph being her usual awesome self. This was taken upon completion of by far our hardest workout yet! 
 Had to do a back-to-back with Gail to prove that we do sometimes do things other than deadlifts...like accessory work to improve said deadlift of course! Hehe

 Who needs an assisted pull-up machine when we can look way cooler with some banded pull-ups out of the squat rack?!
 Love these ladies! They both work for Healthworks as well and can never seem to escape me! They certainly do keep me entertained throughout our entire workout! 

 Probably the one time I got Julianna to actually stop and take a drink break...talk about loving HIIT--she's the queen. 
 I hope someday I'm as much of a badass and as cool as Sheri! Great minds think alike--we hate unnecessary cardio! #bringontheweights

 A little more TeamTRAIN fun during my 6am Friday morning class! 

 Deadlifts for errybody! 

 Proof that I didn't actually kill Sarah Mae this time! So worth all the torture...once it's over that is! 

 Because if you don't look absolutely adorable while planking with a giant plate on your back you're not Steph! #stud

 Miss Alexa getting in some heavy leg work to jump start her week! #happymonday

 If only we could see her face; Sheri really loves wall walks! 

 Monday night TeamTRAIN working on that anti-extension training! 

TeamTRAIN from this past Tuesday! Such a die-hard 6am crew! 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Misconceptions about Weight

That number on the scale has always been and will always be the major mark of physical change people pay the most attention to. It really does not at all determine how fit or in shape a person is, and that weight can (and should) change if you are incorporating strength training. After all, muscle weighs more than fat and to achieve that great beach body we all want there needs to be some muscle and tone there.

Not obsessing over weight is something I still struggle with, and these past two weeks in Europe have been great and very indulgent, so of course when I weighed myself for the first time in over a month today I freaked out that I had gained 3 pounds. But then I thought about it and recalled how great my workouts had been during the trip (if I was able to make it into a gym), how amazing of a time I had trying all those foods and how great of self control I have to be able to return to my normal life after that I really should not worry. Plus, with not allowing my body to gain weight, I am sure I was holding myself back from gains I have been working so hard for! 

I really liked this article and also loved the documented pictures throughout the process. I compiled some of my progress pictures throughout my journey, and the middle one still makes me cringe. The far left was 2013 when I was in college back home in Missouri (127lbs), middle was autumn of 2014 when my eating disorder was at it's worst (89lbs) and right was during my bodybuilding show this April 2016 (115lbs). I can honestly say I'm still not where I want to be, but I am a lot healthier now than in both of those previous pictures. My current goal is to enjoy this transitional period in my life while working to gain weight in preparation for a figure show next spring. Listen to your body, learn to love your body and find a lifestyle routine that works for you, but that also pushes you to achieve your best self.

Before & After Weight Journey

                     2013 (127lbs)          2014 (89lbs)               2016 (115lbs)