Protein, pumpkin, banana, dark chocolate chips and oatmeal come together to make delicious protein packed muffins!
After having our son I was determined to get my core back. I wrote myself a 30 day program, that never took more than 20 minutes. Having a newborn meant I didn't have a lot of spare time and I needed to make the most of every workout. There were mornings I was super tired from being up Cash, but I stuck to it, ate clean and drank A LOT of water. 30 days later and I felt great! So great that I decided to make my program into an e-book to share with all of you! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!
* 4 weeks of effective results driven ab exercises
* Step by step instructions with pictures
* Printable calendar to keep you on track
* Over 40 different exercises to flatten and tone your
* No gym or equipment required
Are you ready to take the challenge???
While scrolling through Instagram not too long ago, I came across a post about a meditation app called "Headspace." I remember that app I thought, heck I downloaded that app! But when was the last time I used it??? With the constant GO that comes with working and living in NY/NJ, preparing for our first baby's arrival, training clients, getting to the gym to train myself and the million other things on my "to do" list, I had become totally caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. How did I let this happen, I thought. I had spent a month in the jungle of Costa Rica, meditating for hours a day, vowing to never let life get so crazy that I couldn't even find 10 minutes for myself, and yet here I was, stressed! So with New Year's resolutions still fresh in the air, I opened my app and vowed to get all Zen and shit!
The Headspace app is a free program for the first 10 meditations, which last 10 minutes each, they call it the "Take 10 Program." Free AND only 10 minutes? Well you can't beat that I thought! I knew how to meditate, but I liked the idea of an app that held me accountable, plus Andy's step by step guided meditations and British accent were easy on the ears. Within a few minutes my breath had deepened, my shoulders had relaxed and my mind was at ease until...did I shut off my flat iron, what should I have for breakfast, I can't forget to reschedule Monday's client, I can't forget to call the vet, should paint the nursery?...AUGH! FOCUS Kalene! Ok, so it wasn't that easy, but Andy warned me that my mind would wander and that was ok. Just breathe and bring your focus back to your breath.
After completing the Take 10, I have truly found inner peace and am at one with the Universe. HA! NOT SO MUCH! BUT by meditating first thing in the morning, I have found that I am able to set my intention for the day, slow down the constant "chatter" in my mind and generally not want to steam roll over tourists while trying to get to work through midtown Manhattan. Now that's progress if you ask me!
As of today, I have meditated 19 of the last 21 days and have signed up for the monthly Headspace program. I recommend this app to anyone who has ever thought about meditation, but doesn't know where the hell to start! Or for those of you like me, who know the benefits of meditation and how great it can make you feel, but have gotten so caught up in your caught-upness that you stop making time for the most important person you know...YOURSELF!
Love the Headspace app as much as we do at Sweat & Flow? Shoot us a buddy request!
Allie Whitesides from DailyBurn.com stopped by Sweat & Flow, a private personal training, yoga and boot camp company, to find out how Owner and new mom-to-be, Kalene Walsh is adjusting to pregnancy. Kalene and her partner Andrew Addonizio, Co-Director and Boot Camp Instructor, will welcome a baby boy in late March of 2015. We sat down with Kalene, now 7 months pregnant, to see how she is adjusting to the challenges of pregnancy.
Allie: First off, congratulations mama! We’re so excited for you! We know this is your first baby, how has your pregnancy been thus far?
Kalene: It’s definitely had its ups and downs. I feel fortunate in that I had almost no morning sickness, but I was plagued with horrible headaches for 4 months straight. I’m feeling much better now though!
Allie: It must have been challenging to keep up with your workouts with headaches everyday. How has being pregnant changed your workouts?
Kalene: Being pregnant has been a very humbling experience. I will be the first to admit that I am extremely competitive and stubborn (she laughs). Having to modify the weight used in my workouts and seeing my running times get slower has been a tough pill to swallow, but I keep reminding myself that I’m making ANOTHER HUMAN BEING! But finding alternative activities like hiking and running 5k’s has been great!
Allie: Do you have any advice for other first time moms?
Kalene: Yes, keep moving! As long as you were working out before you got pregnant, continue to do so. Growing up, I always had awesome fitness role models. My paternal grandma was a lieutenant nurse in the Navy during WWII, I’m telling you, even at 70 something years young this woman was no joke! I think she’s where I got my knack for teaching great boot camps! My maternal grandmother lived to be 98 and until her very final years was like the energizer bunny! She never got her driver license, not because she couldn’t, but because she preferred to walk EVERYWHERE! Growing up and watching them, I’ve always thought that as long as you keep moving and are strong willed nothing can stop you. I’ve really tried to adopt that same philosophy during this pregnancy. Since I was working out consistently before I got pregnant, my Dr. gave me the OK to continue doing so. I really think continuing to stay active is what has kept my energy levels up. I can see how it would be REALLY easy to use pregnancy as an excuse and glue myself to the couch all day watching Sex and the City reruns!
Allie: What has been your greatest challenge thus far?
Kalene: I recently received some negative comments on social media for announcing a 5k I plan to do in January and additional negative comments from a friend about continuing to perform certain weight-training movements throughout my pregnancy. As far as judgment is concerned, what may seem too “hard core” to one person, could in fact, be very modified or scale downed. On the other hand, what may seem low intensity to one person, could be extremely challenging to another. I see so much negativity and comparison in women, wouldn’t it be amazing if we all just supported each other and didn’t judge until you’ve walked a day in that persons shoes?
Allie: That’s very true and a great point. Have you had any strange pregnancy cravings?
Kalene: Yes! In the beginning of my pregnancy I was obsessed with watermelon and I don’t even like watermelon! Now I’m crazy for oranges! Oh and salt and vinegar almonds! It’s been a challenge having so many holiday sweets around, because I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I’ve been able to fill those cravings with healthy alternatives. I also keep a food journal and write down everything I eat and drink. I’ve found that when I’m conscience of what I’m choosing to put in my body, I make better choices. Pinterest is also great, I’ll admit I’m slightly addicted to Pinterest, they are my go-to source for finding healthy and exciting recipes!
Allie: Do you worry about losing your pregnancy weight?
Kalene: I’m only human, so of course! Maybe even more so, because I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 10 years and have always been a big believer in leading by example, so I put extra pressure on myself. But I’m confident that since I’ve been following a healthy and very active lifestyle for many years and I know what works for my body, that it will work once again. I’m also really excited to announce that Sweat & Flow will be expanding it’s Group X classes to include Stroller Fit in the Spring of 2015. I have a whole new appreciation for helping moms get in the best shape of their lives!
Allie: So this pregnancy has even inspired you to expand your Boot Camps! That’s great! Well thank you so much for meeting with me, and best of luck with your soon to be new addition!
Kalene: Thank you so much! We’re so excited, 2015 is going to be a great year for Sweat & Flow!
Allie Whitesides is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She has been in the fitness industry for over 16 year and is currently a fitness/nutritional coach for DailyBurn.com and Fitness Concierge/Personal Trainer at CLAY Health Club + Spa.
Being a trainer, it’s in my blood to want to help people reach their goals. While I’m with my clients, I give 110% of myself and I ask for only one thing in return... That my clients give me 110% of themselves. This doesn’t mean throwing around massive dumbbells or pushing beyond your limits. This means training with INTENSITY! Training with intensity and just going through the motions is the difference between clients who see results and those who don’t. Training with intensity starts before you even get to the gym. Get PSYCHED! Write down exactly what you’re going to do before you get there, so you can plan and attack your workout. Listen to your favorite music on your way to the gym, whether Beyoncé is your girl or Metallica gets you pumped, turn it up! Below are my tools to get you ready for a sweat dripping, heart pumping workout, but remember intensity is a state of mind! You have to raise your standards and what you expect of yourself. Whether you’re just beginning on your fitness journey or a seasoned athlete, training with intensity, passion and focus is what will play a major factor in helping you reach your goals.
1. Train with Intensity Every Minute of Every Hour
Your workouts aren’t a time to check emails, post to Facebook or pose for a perfect Instagram selfie. I have a game I play with myself, as soon as my headphones are on, the world is off! Think about how crazy your day is, a million emails to respond to, phone ringing off the hook, crazy commutes, kids to feed, dinner to cook, your time at the gym is for YOU. When you walk out of the gym ask yourself, “Did I make every second, of every minute count? Did I give 100% of myself?” If the answer is no, remember the only person you’re cheating is yourself.
2. Don’t Just Punch the Clock
Nobody gets a gold star for just showing up at the gym. A lot of people get to the gym 5 – 6 times a week, while their consistency is admirable, what they do with the time is less than stellar. The difference between just going through the motions of your workout and pouring every ounce of yourself into your workout is what separates the people that look the same a year later to those who have transformed their bodies a year later.
3. No Sloppy Seconds
More isn’t always better. Short, intense sets are the goal. Adding on sloppy sets for the sake of doing more will not give you results. Making each set count will.
4. Power Hour!
“Bro I killed my chest for 2 hours today, check out my stellar pump!”…Don’t. Be. This. Guy. "O.M.G! I ran on the treadmill for an hour today, then went to this killer spin class, then shook what my momma gave me at Zumba, then sweated out like 10lbs at Bikram yoga!”…Ladies… Don’t. Be. This. Girl. Seeing results and reaching your goal isn’t about how much time you can spend in the gym. It’s about the quality of the time spent. If you’re workouts are over an hour, I’m willing to bet you aren’t training with intensity. Workouts should be between 45 - 60min max. Get in, get the job done and get out. Rest periods should be limited to 30 – 60 seconds.
5. Write it Down
Write down the exercises, sets, reps and rest periods before you get to the gym.
Go in with a plan and take the guess work out. When you get to the gym, record your sets, reps, weight and rest periods. Being able to look back on what you did yesterday will make you want to strive to be better today. Remember, your biggest competitor is yourself. Be better than who you were yesterday and know that you will be better tomorrow than who you are today.
6. Push Through (Good) Pain
While we certainly aren’t all trying to emulate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physique, I have to agree with his statement, “The last 3 or 4 reps is what makes the muscle grow.
This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion.” When that lactic acid starts to kick in do you think about stopping or do you push through? Having the mental toughness to keep going when something is difficult is the key to success, not only in the gym, but in life. Don’t get me wrong, I do not endorse pushing through with sloppy form and risking injury. Be smart, know the difference between pushing through “good” pain to reach your goals and throwing your back out trying to get 2 more squats because your ego got in the way.
7. Turn a Negative into a Positive
Ever get in an argument with your boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other and hit the gym, only to find you had the best work out ever!?!? Using negative emotions to get a positive workout is a “trick” I use all the time when I really have to dig deep to finish a set. Life isn’t easy, your boss is going to piss you off, your coworkers are going to get on your nerves, your kids are going to throw temper tantrums, NYC traffic is always going to be a nightmare, but instead of letting these negative feelings consume you, use them to get through a tough workout. Turn a negative into a positive and walk out of the gym knowing that you have left it all on the floor.
Training with intensity is going to force you to get out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to
convince yourself that you’re training with intensity, but are you truly putting in 100% effort 100% of the time? Be honest with yourself, and if the answer is no, then commit to becoming better. This is the only body you get, let’s make it GREAT!
Oooh the feeling of a sugar high!... A satisfied feeling, elevated mood and the sudden relief from cravings and anxiety. But as quickly as this pleasurable feeling rushes in, it rushes out as serotonin levels plummet and the vicious cycle repeats. If this description sounds like a drug addict looking for their next fix, then you aren't too far off!
Here are some sobering facts;
1) Over 95% of Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades
2) By 2050, 1 out of every 3 people will have diabetes
3) 80% of food items sold in America have added sugar.
Yup, you read that right, 80 PERCENT! Researchers at Princeton University have found that sugar is a highly addictive substance, effecting our brains in the same way as heroin and cocaine! Sugar triggers the release of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine in the section of the brain associated with addictive behaviors. The dopamine release produces a drug like “high.” But the brain adapts, and what used to be enough to trigger this high, is no longer enough, so the sugar addict is forced to consume more to produce the same effect. Reducing sugar makes the body want more dopamine. Cut out the white stuff all together, and the abuser experiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The body is addicted. Moon pies and Krispy Kremes aren't on the DEA's list of controlled substances, but maybe they should be!
If sugar effects the same parts of the brain as heroin and cocaine, then going cold turkey may be too extreme. Start by keeping a food journal. Jot down what sugary foods you consume, when you crave them and your mood. This can help you to understand what brings on your cravings, such as stress, boredom, tiredness and allow you to plan better in order to combat these desires when they do strike.
To simplify this process, start by reading food labels. Sugar comes in many forms. Below are just a few of the different forms of sugar lurking in your food.
Avoid the following ingredients:
Barley malt Corn syrup Dextran Diastase
Ethyl Maltol Fructose
Fruit Juice Concentrate Galactose
These are just a handful of the different forms of sugar in your food. No wonder it can be confusing trying to decode food labels!
Eliminating packaged foods from your diet and shopping for whole foods is an easy way to abolish sugar. Shop the perimeter of grocery stores and stay out of the isles. The isles are typically filled with packaged, GMO laden, plastic wrapped FRAN-EN-FOODS, while the perimeter is where you will find fruits, veggies, meats and dairy. Also, steer clear of refined carbohydrates. That NY style everything bagel from the corner deli elevates blood glucose just as quickly as a Twinkie, so while I love a good NY style bagel as much as the next New Yorker, these delicious doughy treats should be avoided like the plague!
We’ve all heard the term, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and whoever said this was right! Your blood sugar is typically the lowest upon waking up in the morning, and yet what do you find on most breakfast menus? Muffins, bagels, pancakes, pastries, french toast and sugary cereals! These choices are loaded with simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar to skyrocket and then crash, leaving us feeling more hungry and sluggish than before we ate. Replace these sugar packed energy zappers with protein powerhouses and healthy fats, such as a spinach and egg white omelet with a side of avocado, the real breakfast of champions! Combining fiber, protein and healthy fats with carbs slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. So remember, if you can’t resist those home fries, combine them with fiber, protein and healthy fats to avoid the release of high levels of insulin.
Last but not least… Move! Daily exercise not only helps rid your bloodstream of sugar, but also produces feel-good endorphins. No one ever said breaking a sugar habit would be easy, but I can guarantee you it will be worth it!
Feel like you are addicted to sugar? Take the "Fed Up Challenge" and go sugar free for 10 days. Learn more about the Fed Up Challenge at http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/fedupchallenge
It seems hard to believe that we’re already half way through April! It seems like yesterday, I was yelling “Happy New Year” and writing out my 2014 Resolutions, which got me to thinking… Am I on track to reach my fitness goals this year? Was your New Year’s Resolution to finally lose those last stubborn 10lbs? Maybe it was to run a 5k or a marathon? Maybe it was to compete in a fitness, figure, physique or bodybuilding competition? Whatever your resolution was, ask yourself, “Am I on track to reach my goal? Have I plateaued? Am I repeating the same workouts and expecting different results? Have I given up?” If you aren’t where you wanted to be by now or if your resolution seems to be the same year after year, then peep my checklist for tackling even your toughest fitness goals once and for all! Ask yourself...
1. What is it I Desire?
Whether it’s increasing muscle, losing fat, increasing cardiovascular endurance, or sticking to a healthy meal plan, ask yourself what is it that I desire? When a workout gets tough or you can’t find the motivation to get out from underneath the blankets on a cold, rainy morning, remind yourself of your desires and why you started in the first place.
2. WRITE IT DOWN!
A goal is not a tangible thing unless it is written down. Write down detailed
goals and put them in a place where you will see them often. I love sticky notes
and I put them everywhere! Write down your goals and stick them to your bathroom
mirror, your desk at work, your refrigerator. Seeing your goals is a great way to
regularly be reminded of what they are and why they are important to you.
3. Why do you want this?
I can’t stress enough how important these next two questions are!
You need to find the REAL reason you want to achieve a goal. Often times I will ask a client, “What is your goal” and I will hear something like, “I want to lose 10lbs.” Naturally, my first question is why? Without hesitation they usually respond,
“Because I want to be healthy.” I follow up with, “Why is it important to you to be healthy?” They respond, “Because if I was more healthy I could fit into my favorite
pair of skinny jeans.” “Why is it important to fit into your skinny jeans?” “Because that was the last time my husband said I looked hot.” Now my gut instinct is to ask if she can trade in her husband, but a lot of times it is these emotional reasons that are
what really drive us to reach our goals. To find your emotional reason, just keep asking yourself "why!"
4. Do you believe you can achieve this goal?
This is what separates the people who achieve their goals and those who do not. Do you believe 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, even when times get tough and your goal seems out of reach that no matter what may get in your way that you will achieve your goals? Phew! That was a mouthful! You must believe in your goals, but most importantly you must believe in yourself!
5. Do you have a plan?
Just writing down your goals isn’t enough. How are you going to get there? What steps do you need to take along the way? More often than not people have great intentions to reach their goals, but no plan in place to do so. What results is a person
wandering from machine to machine, exercise to exercise, hoping to reach their goal. No one plans to fail, but they fail to plan.
6. How is this plan different?
Have you tried to achieve this goal before? Are you using the same plan that didn’t give you the results you were looking for the last time? Wandering outside our comfort zone can be a scary thing, but doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is just going to leave you feeling like a frustrated hamster spinning a wheel! In the beginning, you may notice the pounds falling off or the muscle being packed on, and you’re psyched that your hard work is paying off. Fast forward a few months, and your body has adapted to the routine and is now using less energy even though you’re putting in the same amount of effort. Have you been spinning for months? Try out a boot camp! I hear Sweat& Flow has some pretty rad ones! ;)
Have you been lifting, but feel kinda lost or just not motivated? Hire a personal trainer! I hear Sweat & Flow has some pretty awesome trainers as well! ;)
7. What is your deadline?
Deadlines create a sense of urgency. What is yours?
8. What are the obstacles I will face along the way?
By identifying the obstacles that you may face along the way, you will be better equipped to take them in stride. Prepare for the worse, but hope for the best!
9. Do you have everything you need to reach your goals?
Do you want to compete in a figure competition, but have never done so? Hiring a coach to get you ready may be necessary. Do you want to eat healthier, but don’t know where to begin? Maybe it’s time to consult a nutritionist. Have you been trying to lose weight for years, but just can’t get there? Maybe it’s time for a personal trainer. Sometimes we all need a little help. I’ve been a trainer for over 8 years and I still call up my personal trainer from back in the day when I need some advice or a word of encouragement. (Coach Ro you're the best!) Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
10. Never EVER give up!
You must erase the word, thought and idea of quitting from your mind. What is the price you are willing to pay to reach your goals? You have to be willing to pay that price and be determined and persistent enough to reach the finish line. Have faith in yourself... And in the end you will emerge a stronger, healthier and more resilient person!