Fit Friday: Staying Fit Through the Holiday

One of the most difficult things to do over the holidays is to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle. With the constant barrage of cookies and candy and fudge and cocoa and eggnog and rich creamy sauces and ….. well you get the picture…. you are going to take a nibble or two or even twenty.  Unless you completely cut yourself off from all holiday gatherings, it’s inevitable, you are going to eat too much or drink more than you planned, then feel like crap the next day.

One of my goals for this year was not to gain a pound.  With the average American putting on 10-12 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I decided to buck the trend this year and not gain even an ounce!  Now I didn’t say I was going to be able to lose weight, but I do plan to maintain control.  Why would I sabotage the hard work I’ve put in to get into shape?!

Here are a few ways that I plan to help keep my holidays healthy, merry and bright:

1.  Find Balance. Remember this time of year is all about enjoying yourself with friends and family. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you love most about the season.  Just be sure to stay on track during the days before and after a party. When you stick to a healthy lifestyle and stay consistent, you have wiggle room for a little indulgence here and there.

2. Plan ahead.  Make a plan that you can stick with.  The minute someone invites you to a gathering, offer to bring a dish. While this may not be an option for every gathering, it’s always worth offering. This way you know the menu will include at least one waist-friendly dish.

A cold chickpea (garbanzo bea) salad makes an awesome dish for a potluck; and festive as well

A cold chickpeas (garbanzo bean) salad makes an awesome dish for a potluck; and festive as well

3.  Don’t make the mistake of not eating all day when you have a dinner party or event that night. Stick to small, nutrient-dense meals throughout the day, including greens, lean protein, fruit and a bit of healthy fats. This ensures you get the fuel you need without going overboard come dinnertime. The same thing goes for skipping meals the day after the event if you had a few too many treats. Don’t do it! If you overindulged, don’t stress about it. Move on, eat clean the next meals and just make healthier choices next time. And do a full body workout for good measure.

While I'm not big on yogurts with fruit already mixed, a greek yogurt(make sure you find one with live and active cultures) is great for a little protein snack.

While I’m not big on yogurt with the fruit already mixed, a greek yogurt (make sure you find one with live and active cultures) is great for a little protein snack and to tide you over without bloating until your next meal.

4. Find something active you can do.  Don’t just sit and watch TV because you are bored.  Take a walk with your children or grandchildren, or even your sister.  Jump up and gel clean the kitchen.  And park as far from the door at a mall or market as you can and walk!  Take the stairs. Grab a partner and go dancing.  Involve the whole family!  There are so many little things you can do to stay active over the holidays. And if you can, be sure to hit the gym a couple of times.  An early morning workout, lasting just 30-45 minutes will truly invigorate you as you kick off your day.

The best part of a 6:00 AM workout is watching the sunrise!! Gorgeous!

The best part of a 6:00 AM workout is watching the sunrise!! Gorgeous!

5. Don’t fill out your waist out with what your drink.  One large mocha from Starbucks has over 500 calories. A glass of wine can have anywhere from 110 to 300 calories plus quite a large amount of sugar. Eight ounces of eggnog (non-alcoholic) has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat! Indulging in these drinks continuously over the holidays will definitely add to your waistline.

6.  Drink up with the right things!  If your body is dehydrated it literally cannot function, and it increases cravings too. It’s easy to forget to drink the water your body needs with all the holiday chaos, especially when the weather outside is cold. Your body needs half its body weight in ounces daily — if you weigh 150 pounds, get at least 75 ounces of water each day.  Also drinking a full glass of water before your meals will have you feeling a little full, keeping you from over-indulging at the dinner table.

Iced cold water with fresh lemon slices is totally refreshing

Iced cold water with fresh lemon slices is totally refreshing

7. Try to get some rest!  When your body is tired, it just doesn’t function properly.  A tired body often equals a tired mind and slower reflexes.  You will crave more junk because the sugar rush will give you extra energy.  That energy will be short-lived and you might find yourself crashing just when the real fun is set to begin.

Are you trying to be a little more careful this holiday season or are you all about indulgence?  What are you doing to help keep the pounds from adding up?

Fitness Friday


‘Til Next Time,



Fitness Friday: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Yogurt

If there is one thing I have discovered over the last two years is that it is so difficult to stay away from the sweets and treats during the holidays.  From workplace potlucks to family gatherings temptations galore surround us at every trip to the buffet.

The average American puts on 10-12 pounds each year between Thanksgiving and the New Year, so my goal is not to be a part of that statistic this year!

To help curb my own serious sweet tooth and stay focused on a healthy lifestyle, I have put together this delicious Greek yogurt snack that has become one of my favorite treats this holiday season.  With four simple ingredients & two minutes of your time you can’t make any excuses to it taking too long to prepare!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt


4 ounces Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt (plain)

1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter (creamy)

1 Tablespoon local organic honey

1 Tablespoon Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (no dairy or soy)


Stir together the Greek yogurt, peanut butter and honey; Top with the mini chocolate chips and you’re all set!


There are several things I love about this sweet treat.  First, it’s so very easy to assemble.  Secondly, it is extremely filling and with 16 grams of protein it also makes a great post workout recovery snack.  And finally, make several servings of it, serve it up in pretty little bowls and you have a healthy treat for everyone looking to eat a little better over the holidays!


Look out for a few other healthy treats over the next several days!

As the year is winding down it’s a great time to get an early start on a healthy lifestyle for the New Year!

Fitness Friday


Fit Friday: Easy at Home Circuit & Skinny Iced Coffee

Sometimes, even though I work in a gym, I just can’t get my workout in.  Let’s face it, after a day of working with  clients there are times I just want to get home.  I try to get something in everyday whether it be weight training or cardio, so easy at home workouts are always welcome.  I found this quick circuit to be quite effective and perfect for using I at home in the evening just so I know that I did something productive during the day.

Fitness at home in just 20 minutes (unsure of the graphic credit)

Doing this little circuit three to four times is honestly a great series of exercises that really targets your core area, as well as touching on your legs, chest and arms.  Even with several round of the exercises, you can knock out a productive workout in under 30 minutes.

There are times after a workout, I love to treat myself (with healthy options of course).

I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but thanks to the many influences I have at work, Iced Coffee has become a most enjoyable treat for me.  Unfortunately with the syrups and additives in a commercial iced drink, they really aren’t that healthy, even if they are “light”.  While playing in the kitchen last weekend, I put together my own Iced Coffee drink that totally skips on the calories as well as the corn syrup additives, AND it tastes wonderful!



3 cups brewed coffee (I brew two K-cups on the largest setting), chilled

1 cup organic skim milk

2 Tablespoons Organic Vanilla Extract (make sure it is Corn Syrup free)

1-2 Tablespoons Stevia (depending on how sweet you like your drink)

Sugar-Free Whipped Cream

SImple ingredients .... You have to love simplicity!

SImple ingredients …. You have to love simplicity!

Making your coffee:

Whisk together the coffee, milk, vanilla and stevia. Pour over ice and top with the whipped cream.  You can garnish your drink with any flavor from cinnamon to grated dark chocolate (just a touch).  One thing I liked about making this at home is that you can change-up the vanilla flavoring with Caramel, Hazelnut, or Vanilla Butter & Nut extracts which is absolutely fabulous, or instead of plain coffee you can make it with scrumptious Godiva Chocolate laced coffee.


Refreshing, Easy AND Healthy.... Oh how I love those words!

Refreshing, Easy AND Healthy…. Oh how I love those words!

I love these iced drinks as they make a wonderful dessert or serve up oh-so-pretty for company.


This skinny iced coffee really does taste great, and with 55 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 sodium and o sugar you have a much better product than Starbuck’s version with 20 grams of sugar or  Dunkin Donuts version with 25 mg of sodium and laced with high-fructose corn syrup!

Skinny Iced Coffee

Fitness Friday

Have a wonderful weekend!


Fit Friday: The Flywheel Experience

So many times I’m asked what all I do for my workouts.  It’s been awhile since I put together a Fitness Friday post that I thought I would share one of my favorite workouts today: Spinning.

Fitness Friday

While I lost almost all of my weight with weight training and diet, I have found myself rather bored in the gym lately.  Variety is one thing that can make or break a fitness routine, so I decided it was time to change things up a little and add a bit of cardio.  What I have discovered is that hidden inside this woman is a cardio junkie looking for the next adventure!

But, let me clarify, I still love to lift & weight train, just not everyday now.

Repping out Curtsy Lunges for leg day

Repping out Curtsy Lunges for leg day

Spinning or indoor cycling as it is also known is an exercise class that focuses on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity, and recovery using a stationary bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting.

There are spin classes and studios popping up everywhere (including the gym where I work and train), but Flywheel Sports has become mine and the Mister’s destination for a good workout.  The Flywheel concept was originally from New York and a break off from the ever popular Soul Cycle studio.  Now Flywheel Sports can be found in many areas from Atlanta to LA, with a studio in Charlotte.  We love to spend time in Charlotte on the weekends so working out there is a welcome break from the gym where I spend so much of my time.

Audley and I took out first spin class back in June and have been hooked ever since!

You buy credits and book your classes online either through the web or an app downloaded to your phone.  When you book you class you can choose your bike, so if you want to be in the front of the class (not me!) you can.  You can also hide out in the back of the class as you learn the basics of this new adventure.

It’s really simple to do.

When you enter the Flywheel Studio, you check in on the computers in the foyer and pick up your shoes from the cubby that is also your bike number (the first time you register on Flywheel you will give them your shoes size).

There are four computers set up for you to check-in on and your shoes for the class will be in the cubb below.

There are four computers set up for you to check-in on and your shoes for the class will be in the cubby below.

Shoes for spinning are absolutely necessary as they latch onto the bike pedal and keep your foot from slipping off as you are spinning 100 mph!

Shoes for spinning are absolutely necessary as they latch onto the bike pedal and keep your foot from slipping off as you are spinning 100 mph!

The spin room is set up in an arena atmosphere with all of the bikes facing the front of mirrored lined walls.  There is a bike for the instructor set up as well as all of the equipment to control the awesome tunes that will motivate, pump and carry you through your workout.  After everyone is set up with their bike (they have plenty of help to get you going), the lights are dimmed which will definitely help get you  in the zone for the intense hour ahead.

Arena style spin studio

Arena style spin studio

Each bike is set up for you to control as well as keep progress throughout the class.

The blue torque knob increases or decreases the intensity of the ride as if you were going up and down hills.  To the lest is the panel that lets you know how you are doing.

The blue torque knob increases or decreases the intensity of the ride as if you were going up and down hills. To the lest is the panel that lets you know how you are doing.

I love the intensity (without stupidity) and challenge of the workout.  Each class is 45-60 minutes and the intensity begins the moment you first turn the pedal.  The music for each class is pick to match the rhythm of each hill, sprint and decline of the ride.  Recently Flywheel Charlotte was doing rides to mimic the stages of the Tour de France.

Talk about challenging!

Le Tour de Fly chalkboard

Le Tour de Fly chalkboard

Throughout the class, the instructor will tell you how to adjust your bike for the maximum ride and workout.  As a beginner, you can lag a little behind until you are ready to tackle the class head on.  No one judges you as they are too involved in their own workout.

If you are competitive with yourself or even with others, this type of class is perfect for you.  You can keep your stats to yourself or you can have them published on a torque-board in the room using your nickname and see how you compare to others in the room.  I haven’t reached that stage yet, but I love seeing my results improve after each session.

Dressing for spin is easy.  You want comfortable, but tighter fitting clothes.  You don’t want to catch your attire on the bike during a ride!  I usually stick to Nike dri-fit crop pants and a tank top.

Here’s what you get in each class: a certified and totally energetic instructor, super awesome music with a beat to get your heart pumping, a high intensity ride, a light arm and shoulder workout, the opportunity to burn 800-1000 calories in one class, and the satisfaction of accomplishing something that two years ago was impossible.


Flywheel is by far the sweatiest and most intense cardio workout I have ever been through.  If you do not like to sweat I wouldn’t recommend this for you at all, but if you are up for challenging yourself and competing with others this is the place for you!  It’s a blast to do alone or with a friend.

Check them out here for a location near you and get to spinning!