5 Ways To Destress

Destress? What's that? HA!

Stress:

  •  Stress causes adverse health effects in 43% of adults. 
  • 75+% of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death in adults. 
  • Stress is a major hazard of the workplace.
  • Stress has been linked to issues in the home.

So, what can we do to destress? 

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1. Exercise. I'm not just saying this because I work in the fitness industry, but fitness is a vital part to keeping your stress under control. Even a simple, 10 minute exercise break can drop your stress levels significantly. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, just anything to get your heart rate going. My company has shown a big rise in productivity with employees that exercise on their lunch break. They are happier, calmer and more productive. So, find an exercise program that you enjoy and destress. 

2. Meditate. Meditation is a wonderful way to center your mind and relax. True meditation allows you to release negative thoughts and energy and center your thoughts to a more positive focus. There are numerous apps that will assist you in mediation as well. A few of the ones leading the field are Headspace and Calm. Both are very user friendly and will guide you through different variations. Starting and ending your day is a start. Sit quietly when you wake and right before bed; close your eyes, breathe in and out for a 2 count and allow yourself to relax your muscles. With each breathe, relax a new muscle group. 

3. Breathe More. Sometimes all we need is to step away and take a few extra breathes. Closing your eyes and breathing in and out slowly will instantly calm you. So, during high stress times, stop and feel your breathes, listen as you breath in 2 and out 3. This almost acts as a reboot! 

4. Find Something Fun. My company has recognized that often fun can change the work environment and boost morale. They have implemented outside activities and events. Teams are going to ballgames together, racing go-carts, trying new restaurants, having meetings at my fitness facility, scheduling meetings outside during breaks and so on. Team members are loving the change and it has had a huge impact on their stress at work. I recently launched a corporate softball league and they have absolutely loved it! One senior manager sent me and the President an email stating how much that one activity has single handily changed her department. People are happier, interacting with each other and excited to come to work. The effect- less stress. Sign up for a Zumba class or an art class. Anything that you find fun and can look forward too. 

5. Seek Help. As always, if your stress is out of control and your health is beginning to decline, seek medical help. There are numerous ways that physicians can assist you with destressing. 

I know that stress is a touchy subject and we all have some level of stress in our lives. But finding the balance that works for you is key.  

Much Love, 

Molly 

 

5 Ways To Move More

Part 2 of my new series is here! Yay! Super simple today. Just move more. 

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I know it might not be that simple. I have trained numerous clients that were severely sick and all we could do was move a little more each day. Sometimes, walking to the bathroom a few more times each day was all they could manage, but it was something. So, I always made sure that they JUST moved more. Here's my tips for this post:

1. Find Something That You Enjoy. This is a big one. I would rather go to the dentist (no offense to my dentist friends) than to run on a treadmill so I avoid treadmills as much as I can. I need music too. So, I enjoy group classes the most. I love outside activities too so outside I go. If you prefer calmer things, go towards yoga or one on one personal training. If you need motivation, find a friend or trainer to keep you on track.

2. Be Realistic. This one is for my chronically ill friends. Be realistic with what you can do. I am in incredible shape (or I tell myself that at least) but I will never be able to complete a full marathon. I have excuses, like I messed my knee up at 13, surgery at 17 and I have never been able to run on it. I have accepted this. I would love to run, but it's okay that I don't. If you want to master a triathlon - no problem. But, don't plan on doing it next month. Work yourself into it because you don't want to fail or get a nasty injury. I truly believe that we can master whatever we want, but be realistic at first. 

3. Be Patient. Just like I said above, things don't happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. You aren't failing if you are moving forward. Make a plan and how you can get to it and start walking towards that plan. So many people aren't patient and give up a month in when they aren't finishing the marathon in first place. It takes time to master skills! Move more and you will get there!

4. Try New Things. OMG, try it already! I surround myself with adorable, go getter friends and we are always trying things. Why not? We've traveled across the country to a hip hop convention (we stood out like sore thumbs and were asked numerous times if we should be in the mothers tent) and had a blast. We've driven to Atlanta to dance. We had a German friend that had never water skied and all she wanted to do while in the states was to ski. Found us a boat and we skied all day. She had a blast. One of us wanted to try Aerial Yoga so off we went. (It's wonderful by the way.) There was also the time six of us decided to try a Horizontal Conditioning (it's a real thing!) class from the creator of the program. We walked in all confident and about 20 minutes in, we were being shown up by several 9 months pregnant women! We had a fantastic time but she kicked our asses! 

5. Consult a Physician. Always check with your doctor before starting something new! That's a must! And if it hurts, STOP!

So, stop what you are doing and write down a few things that you want to do. Then make a plan and start walking towards that plan! As always, if you need support or motivation, leave me comment and I'll help you reach your goals. 

Much love, 

Molly

 

5 Ways To Improve Your Health

Welcome to my new series! First up - 5 Ways To Improve Your Health. I know that is a broad statement but here are some simple suggestions to get you started in the right direction.  

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1. Cut out processed foods. Processed foods are so simple and quick and readily available but they are so unhealthy for you! They are generally full of "fake" things, unhealthy fats (trans fats), sugar and calories. Almost everything we eat is processed in some way - I have to pick my cucumbers from the garden, etc. But chemically processed foods are what I'm discussing. They are made from artificial substances and refined ingredients. They have added ingredients to make them last longer. They add color so it looks more appealing. Processed foods are the highest source of sugar in our western diet and the main cause of obesity. Why? Because they are good and addictive! Our brains want the feeling we get when we eat something familiar and "rewarding." We are literally having to have the "reward" constantly. BUT... you have to cut them out! I truly no longer eat processed foods and feel horrible when I do. They have no benefit or nutrients and are holding your nutrition back! Just try eating whole, fresh foods for a day and see how well you feel! 

2. Eat tons of plants. Growing up, my parents always fought with my brother - "You have to put something in your body green." That would start a huge argument but my parents never gave in. Now, Mr. Crossfitter eats 80% green. (Ok, maybe not that much.) Eating plants each day will ensure you are getting tons of nutrients! TONS. They are low fat, a good source of carbohydrates, full of fiber, lower your blood pressure, reduce your cancer risk, boost testosterone, reduce fat, lower cholesterol and any other thing you might want to add. They also fill you up. So, increase your plants! Add at least one serving at each meal. I mean, why not? 

3. Eat all your varieties. (Carbs, Protein, Fats and Veggies) Eating a well rounded diet is VITAL. Ours bodies are made to eat a variety. We need the nutrients from all sources! You can not safely remove all carbs from your diet. You will crash and burn. Fat is good for you. Fat plays an important role in the proper functioning of your body. Protein is our building blocks. Too much of anything is bad, but we need to maintain a good balance. There are good carbs, good fats, good protein sources and so on. Eat like your great grandparents did. Simple, fresh and full of variety. 

4. Eat more "good" fats. Good fats are my everything! I'm currently eliminating avocados and I've been in full withdrawal! I walked over to the avocado bin yesterday and just stood there looking at them. Seriously. Fat is a necessary component in our nutritional health. Fat provides much needed coating for our nerves. Certain fats are essential for regulating blood pressure, inflammation, and blood clotting. There are different types of fats and you should know what is needed and so on. 

  • Monounsaturated Fats are are found in many fruits, avocados, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and olive oil. They aid in lowering bad cholesterol and and raise good cholesterol. 
  • Polyunsaturated Fats also fight bad cholesterol. They are in salmon, fish oils, sunflower oils and seeds. They are fantastic sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Saturated Fats are very misunderstood but are essentially our "bad" fats. Diets high in saturated fat are linked to heart disease but they can be consumed in small amounts. However, avoid Trans Fats like the plaque. Trans Fats are generally man made (not all are though), think french fries, chips, etc.  They are great for sitting on shelves in a pre-packaged box. 

5. Limit alcohol. This is a no-brainer. Alcohol is loaded with calories. It also makes you snack and want more! Limiting alcohol can cut your weekly intake down significantly. 

I know this list is simple and I didn't go into great detail but it's a start for you. I hope you enjoy the up coming series on 5 Ways to Improve. 

Much Love, 

Molly

 

 

Tabata Abs

Tabata workouts are my favorite thing ever. Tabata training is a form of exercise with high intensity intervals (HIIT). It's short bursts of high intensity moves. It is not easy but so worth it. If you aren't out of breathe and swearing, then you are just working out, not doing a Tabata workout. It can be hard to train yourself to go as hard as you can, but it's such a fantastic skill to master. 

I've created a series to make things easy for you! Go kick some butt!

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Friday Faves 4

It's Friday again! I know I say this every Friday - but this is my favorite list. 

1. My 'I Eat Carbs" towel. I found this adorable towel in a small shop in North Carolina and had to have it. It's so me! I have the "carb talk" several times a week it seems. Good carbs should be your friend! They aren't mean. The mean girl just spread a rumor about them and now everyone believes it. Don't go along with the crowd, be your own person. A carb eating person. Then you'll be happy and have tons of energy. You'll lift harder and get some much needed fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals. If you are a fad diet follower, order this towel and use it everyday so you can be reminded to not always listen to the rumors. 

Cost: 7 hour car ride + $9.99

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2. Tarte Concealer. First off, I'm a Bobbi Brown makeup snob. I'll say that up front. I was out of concealer and happened to be in Ulta killing time when I asked the most adorable salesperson what type of makeup she had on. Next thing I know, I'm cheating on my Bobbi Brown consultant and driving home with a tiny bag of $188 worth of stuff. *See mascara below. Anyway, this stuff is phenomenal! Worth every penny and all the sudden I don't look like I've been up for four days straight. Even though, I have been up for four days straight. Or maybe, I'm just hoping I look better because, again $188 is missing. It is also a vegan product which I love and it does not need a finishing powder. (That saves me $9.99 right there.) Again, I'm loving this product. If you see me in person, please comment on how rested I look. I'll act like I'm actually rested. 

Cost: $27 

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3. Benefit BadGal Bang Mascara. Again, Olivia from the Hoover Ulta somehow managed to send me home with some awesome stuff! I have really long eye lashes so I go through a lot of mascara. I have tried them ALL. I usually use a cheap mascara from Target and I generally like it, but I go through tons. I've tried expensive stuff before and it was never worth the money. I really like this! It works with a few swipes and stays on all day. Even through multiple fitness classes. Try it!

Cost: $24

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4. Toufayan Gluten Free Scoopable Pita Chips. These were a BOGO item at Publix several weeks ago and I grabbed a bag. My oldest loves pita chips so I figured I would try them. They are really good! I'm not a huge eater, so I can eat a few chips and be satisfied. I was afraid that the flavor would be too strong but it's not. If you are someone that enjoys the crunch of a chip but are trying to break your addiction to the sogoodbutbadforyouchips, try these guys out.  

Cost: $2.50 ish on sale

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5. Green Valley Organics Yogurt. If you have been following me at all, you know that I'm trying a new eating plan and adding yogurt was on my list. I do try and stay lactose free because I have the weakest stomach on the planet so I grabbed this yumminess at Sprouts. I also try and stay with the plain (or Vanilla) variety to limit my sugar intake. I ate this for a snack at work with some fresh pineapple. It has quickly moved into my favorite brand. The yogurt market has blown up with a million brands and varieties. And they are not all created equal!! Most are full of sugar and calories so really check the ingredients! 

Cost: $1 ish

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Enjoy!

Love, Molly

What is your Fitness Statement?

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One of my favorite parts of my job is teaching people to find their fitness statement. They either give me this simple answer that they can accomplish before dinner, although they have no clue it's that simple or they give me something that is so huge that we will need several armies to assist. Either way, when we both put in the work, they always reach their goal.

So, let's find your Fitness Statement.

  • Who are you?
  • What's important to you?
  • What's a few things that really mean the world to you?
  • What's something that truly bothers you that you want to improve or grow at?

That sometimes takes a little searching for. Sit down and really reflect on what you want. I've heard some good ones!

"I want to be able to home school my children in the kitchen every day without constantly feeling like I need to reach for a snack."

"I want to be comfortable in tank tops again."

"I want to be able to get up and down on the floor with my daughter."

"I want to prove to my myself (and my husband) that I can complete a 5k race."

"I want to have fun with my family."

"I want to feel sexy again."

"I want the confidence that I had when I was in college."

"I use to be a power lifting competitor. I want to lift at least half of what I use too."

"I want to not worry about what I eat. I want to enjoy my food and not always count the calories."

"I want to enjoy dancing again."

"I want to get pregnant and have a successful pregnancy."

"I want to have confidence to not worry about things."

"I want to be a better person, physically and mentally. That way, my children can see a better example."

"I just want to look good naked."

Close your eyes for a second and think about yourself. Feel yourself breathing and notice what's going on with your body. Breath in and relax each time you breath out. Clear your mind of your family, your job, your issues, etc. Think about yourself only. What can you imagine will bring you a little more success or happiness? Write it down. Repeat this process until you feel you have the statement you can work with.

If it seems large and majorly scary, break it down into parts.

Awesome. I have my statement and I feel great about it, now what?

Super simple - start walking towards your statement. Post it somewhere that you see it regularly. Start taking small steps to your statement and never look back. Some small ideas that come to mind with starting an exercise plan: Add 10 minutes a day of activity. Add a new machine at the gym. Take the dog for an extra walk 2x a week. Take the kids outside and play. Park on the last row at the grocery store for an entire month. Add 2-3 extra pounds to your normal routine. 

Ideas for starting a new nutrition plan: Cut your alcohol intake in half. Begin a food journal. Cut one of your "worse" foods in half. (2 cookies instead of 4) Add an extra serving of fruit daily. Add an extra serving of vegetables. Visit a local farmers market once a week. Decrease your processed foods by a certain amount. 

You get the idea. It's super important that you write this all down as well. Remember, this about you - no one else. No one else can make you succeed. I can help and support you, but the journey is yours. 

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Next - complete the sentences above each week. Repeat the mantra 3x each morning when you get up. Next thing you know, you are rocking that Fitness Statement like a boss. You are checking off those goals and making new ones! 

I want to end with this... you really can accomplish anything that you want too. You are worth it. If you don't have the support that you desire at home, don't worry. Find the support you need. Ask a friend to help you, hire a trainer, hire a coach to guide you, etc. I have been hired to help people that I felt didn't need any help! So, I would just walk up and give them a little nudge and they were off and running on their own. 

You've got this friend. Find your statement!

Love,

Molly  

 

Friday Faves 3

1. Elli Quark German Yogurt. I'm not a huge yogurt fan, but I do like a good, all natural one every now and then. I found this awesome one at Target. They are all natural, high protein, very little sugar, 95% lactose free and gluten free. They also have probiotics in them. I've only tried a few flavors, but I loved this Vanilla Bean flavor. I stick with vanilla or no flavor yogurts typically. The Brownie Batter was good but I'm more of a plain girl. I mixed mine with a few blueberries and raspberries and made a healthy snack/breakfast. They are much thicker than traditional yogurt, more like a cheesecake consistency. So, if cheesecake is your weakness, here's a great solution! I have to admit that I really liked them! If your local Target doesn't carry them, I also found them at Sprouts. Worth a try, I promise! (Yes, I had been digging in the dirt. Clearly my nails reflect that!)

Cost: $1.19

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2. Duke's Smoked Sausages. I found these at my local grocery store and they are yummy! I was drawn to them for being gluten free and low in sugar. They come in a variety of flavors but I figured I wasn't brave enough to tackle the Hatch Green Chile just yet. I settled on the original and I really liked them. My stomach is the most sensitive thing on the planet and I was able to tolerate them well. It's a win win for me. Plus they have 9 grams of protein per serving and very little carbs. And they are yummy. Did I mention that? Click the name above and it will take you to their page and store locator. These would make the perfect snack for your gym bag! 

Cost: $1.29 

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3. Ripple Milk. It's not a secret - I hate milk. I gave it up years ago in hopes that my stomach would begin feeling better. But recently, I have tried to cut some other foods out of my system (AKA, massive amounts of orange juice) and needed something to replace it. So, my journey for a milk like product began. I can tolerate lactose-free milk well so I decided to try Ripple milk. It is stupid yummy! It was on sale, so I bought both the regular and chocolate milk. Both were fantastic. It is a pea, plant based milk and is full of Omega-3s and calcium. I did cook with it one night where milk was called for and it didn't cook as smoothly as regular milk. But, I'm fine with that, if it means that I can eat certain things again. If you have a milk allergy in your family, give this a try. It really is yummy. 

Cost: $4.50

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4. Fresh Carrots. Oh, am I the luckiest girl alive! I have parents that are phenomenal at gardening. I have mentioned numerous times that they have an organic garden. Their carrots are 100x better than the store bought ones. They visited this past weekend and thankfully delivered some yummies! I always ask for them to keep the tops on because of this. If you ever have the opportunity to purchase fresh carrots, do so. He had a variety last year that was very sweet. It was like eating candy. I'm dying to make a new gluten free carrot muffin this weekend, so perfect timing dad! They also brought Kale and Radishes. All my favorites!!

Cost: Free from Daddy

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5. Bare Apple Chips. I am notorious for pushing my meals WAY back during the day. I will eat my first meal around 1 and then a second around 6. Plus, I stay up really late each night. So, by 11 pm, I am hungry again. This is when I would grab a snack and not always the best ones. I found these apple chips at Publix. Ingredients: Apples. That's it. They are very good in my opinion. My little one who will eat anything didn't like them though. They do have a strong apple flavor of course, so that threw her off. She generally loves apples. Oh well. I like them though! If you are the type that needs a "crunch", try these out. They have several varieties, such as granny smith, coconut and banana chips. 

Cost: $2.99 ish 

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I hope you find something that you can't live without!

Enjoy!

Molly

Where's my beach body?

There's that one girl. You know the one. The one that wears cute, matching outfits to the gym. Her hair looks awesome. Her eyeliner is perfect every time. Everyone seems to love her. She is just plain adorable. And you want to be her SO bad.

Why do we compare ourselves to others? It's a normal reaction! I do it often!

In my business, I hear it regularly. "I want to look like this for my vacation." I have a client that has a pair of pants hanging up in her room and she tries them on every weekend to see how much further she needs to go.

We all want to be THAT GIRL. I have trained that girl. I have been that girl. I have several on my staff. They ALL want to be someone else. I promise. I try to encourage all my clients to be the best version of themselves. It's not always a bad thing to have something to aim for, it's when we obsess that things turn nasty very quickly.

So, are you ready for the beach this year? Here's a MASSIVE secret.. Even "that girl" thinks that she isn't ready. She doesn't exist really. Even the most beautiful model wakes up feeling bloated some days. She binge eats at night while watching This Is Us. And in all honesty - do we really want to be "that girl"? OH, THE WORK. I have had the privilege to work with some extremely fit people. It takes an astonishing amount of work. Like, pulling cold, bland chicken out of your pocket every hour. I had one that was so tired of lugging her gallon jug of water around that she painted and named the jug. She would proclaim, "Me and Betsy are here to work out." 

My clients have success because they don't go overboard. Now, if you hire me to train you for a Ms. Olympian fitness competition, then you better stock up on some chicken at Costco. But most of us are not training for a once in a lifetime event. We just want to look decent on the beach. So, how do you get to that spot?

You start improving something. Anything. That one thing that you feel you can control and succeed at. I walk in the gym constantly and think, "Why does everyone have their shit together but me?" I think at least once a day while training a client, "Yeah, I haven't worked this muscle group in like 5 years." It's ok though. No one has their shit together.

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Everyone has issues. I can't get enough sleep at night. My cat loves throwing up grass right at my bedroom door. I can not stop eating those new chocolate chip cookies I made. At least three times a week, I will inevitably leave my perfectly portioned macro lunch at home. I only ate a cup of green beans for dinner last night. I could go on and on here. 

No one can escape the reality of family and deadlines and the thermodynamic laws that govern metabolism.
— Krista Scott-Dixon

So, find something that you can be confident about and pack your bags. Great legs? Pack the shortest shorts you can wear. Not ready for a bikini? That's ok, pack a super cute one piece. Maybe you didn't make the cut for the Sports Illustrated models this season, but there's always next year. Again, pick something to do or focus on and start there. I've been dealing with some serious health issues and all I can seem to lift the past two weeks is my feet. So, I've been walking an extra 20 minutes each day. It's not in my plan but it will have to do. I'll start back weight training soon. 

Need help? (We all do at some point!) Then, give me a call. Or comment below. I just had a very successful personal trainer hire me because he couldn't get himself motivated and on the right track. Within two weeks, he was beyond happy with his progress. Just having someone to watch you and gently nudge you along can sometimes make a world of difference. I also run nutrition groups regularly that I would love for you to get in. They are full of information and a great success for many. Like I said above, sometimes you just need a gentle nudge in the right direction. One nudge leads to another nudge which leads to that call from Sports Illustrated. 

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No matter where you are - go and enjoy the summer. Enjoy your vacation! I mean, don't eat a dozen pastries each morning from that adorable shop around the corner. Let's aim for maybe 2 each morning. Happy Summer!

Love, 

Molly

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Friday Faves 2

I'm so excited that it is Friday again! Thanks for all the messages from my first Friday Fave post. Who knew that people like to see what I like? 

This week was an event that my team (and some other awesome people) had worked very hard on! I enjoyed being with them and bringing tons of awareness for Cancer. My team has several events coming up and we are running in all directions so we were excited for the first one of the season to go smoothly. 

Event season = Stress season & a lot of sleepless nights & a million miles on my car & many many cuss words. Luckily, I have trained my team to run as fast as I do. I'm also fairly consistent with my workouts and nutrition, so that keeps me going as strong as I can. 

Here's some of my favorite things this week:

1. Beau. It's kinda like, let's make Molly into a cat and then name her Beau. She is moody, has a bad attitude, is lazy, is full of energy and only likes eating off antiques. She's pretty much my twin. I truly never wanted an animal, but somehow Beau found us. She saved me during a horrible time in my life and has been a wonderful blessing to us all. Last Sunday, she was nasty because I wouldn't let her wonder outside. But, she has been sweet this week. She enjoys traveling between houses (I live at 2 places) and enjoys coming back to my town home because she knows that her sisters will be there. She gets so excited to see them! It usually doesn't last long but she puts on a good face for a few hours. And the birds are back in the backyard, so life has purpose again. And I moved a plant, so an assault has been going on. Either way, she has been one of my favorite things this week!

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2. Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend by Trader Joe's. I have several friends that carry this everywhere in their purse. I'm not joking. Stacey will pull it out in a heartbeat. I finally bought some my last trip to Trader Joe's. It's $1.99 and I needed to clean my purse out so I figured I could see if I needed to find a spot for it for those serious seasoning emergencies. I am a huge sea salt (sea :) below) and sesame seed fan so anything that combines the two and I'm over here stuffing it in my purse anytime I go out to eat. I add it to anything. Avocado, baked chicken, roasted vegetables, baked potatoes... It does not have ANY preservatives, sugar or other crap. It's wonderful for a different flavor on chicken. Clean your purse out now. 

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3. 30A Olive Oil. My sister-in-law, Stephanie works at 30 Avenue shops in Inlet Beach, Florida and for Christmas she gave a bottle of olive oil from the 30A Olive Oil Co. She is the ultimate gift giver and has given me some awesome things, but this has by far been my favorite. I sat in a conference a few years back with a group of corporate wellness directors and the main speaker was the owner of Simply Infused in Birmingham. It was a huge eye opener and I haven't bought cheap olive oil since. It truly makes a big difference in the quality and taste of olive oils. 30 Avenue is a gorgeous shopping and event center just minutes from Panama City, Florida. 30A Olive Oil Co. has a stunning store full of wonderful products. I've tried several of their olive oils, balsamic oils and seasonings and they are ALL fantastic. I guard my bottle like a hawk when it's out because I will beat you if you waste the excellent stuff. Good luck finding it when it's put away too. Honestly, you will lick the bowl. If you are ever in the Inlet Beach area, 30A Olive Oil Co. is a MUST. Or you can shop online and buy everything they have and they will ship directly to your house. 

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4. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. My parents always have pink Himalayan sea salt on hand and I began buying mine in bulk from the best place on earth, Sprouts. It's said to be the cleanest salt available and has numerous nutritional benefits, including over 75 minerals. Average table salt is actually very processed and I try to limit my sodium intake, so I prefer using Himalayan salt. The taste is stronger so I use much less and it brings the taste out of foods more. Like I said, I buy a scoop out of the bulk bin at Sprouts and put it in a container with a lid. It sits on my counter and I just grab a pinch when I need it. I googled benefits of Himalayan salt and here are the top ones: Improves respiratory problems, balances your pH levels, aides with digestion, air purifier and aides in sleep. Apparently, I need to eat gallons every day. I hope you give it a try!  

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5. My New Tabata Abs Workout. I've had some clients traveling a lot lately and I'm always trying to keep them active when they are gone. Tabata is high intensity, quick, interval workouts. I completed this workout several nights at home after dinner. It's easy enough to finish but hard enough that you feel like you did something. It can be done in a hotel room, your living room or anywhere that you can put a mat down. I have a full series coming up soon but for now- here's my ab workout. (I actually have tons of free workouts on my site if you haven't looked!)

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There's my favorites from this week! Let me know if you try something. I love hearing from you! Have a wonderful weekend! 

 

Love,

Molly

Friday Faves

Happy Friday!

I have wanted to start this feature and today is the day!

I get asked frequently about certain products and I would love to share my favorites with you. I try fitness and nutrition products often and I'm lucky that I get to see new things discussed as they come out. They aren't always "healthy" or easy to use. I'm here to break it down for you. Click the names and you are heading to yumminess. 

Remember this is my opinion only! 

1. Brownie Batter Hummus by Delighted by Hummus. So, my friend, Stephen introduced me to this product and now he is a loser because I will now consume mass quantities of it. Brownie Batter Hummus by the Delighted by Hummus company. Yep. It tastes like brownie batter. Yummy brownie batter that is actually good for you. I have deliberately not tried the other flavors but maybe I should... I did thoroughly review the ingredients and they are awesome. All natural and free of loads of sugar like most products. Oh, and it tastes like brownie batter. It is fantastic on strawberries, pineapple, pretzels, a spoon. The website has a store locator and I actually found it at the Publix a mile from my house. Try it out for an awesome, chocolate treat that won't kill your nutrition goals. 

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2. Ghee by The Thrive Market. I LOVE GHEE. I have tried several varieties and I always go back to The Thrive Markets. Ghee is a clarified butter that originated in South Asian cuisine. It has fantastic health benefits. Such as, it's lactose free, it doesn't spoil, it supposedly helps with flexibility and it's high heat tolerant. I need to write an entire post on Ghee! I replaced most of my butter with ghee. When cooking in my cast iron skillet, I may have to replace the butter four or five times. Adding tons of calories. With ghee, I can add one tablespoon and use it for the entire dish. It will rarely burn away. So, one tablespoon of ghee replaces maybe 4-5 tablespoons of butter. It's more expensive that butter, but it lasts forever! I need you to try it. Like, we might not be able to be friends anymore if you don't. You will never go back. Side note: I do not like the Trader Joe's version. It's not bad, I'm just spoiled with The Thrive Market version. Need a discount code? Of course you do.  Here is 25% off your first order. (Yes, I will get a small something from the company) http://thrv.me/cLsS1b

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3. Grab the Gold. I was at a conference years ago and the speaker was a nutritionist. She was full of nutrition information and began picking apart protein bars. She made a ton of sense and boom, my interest in nutrition was born. Most protein bars are full of sugar, calories and shit. Companies slap labels on their bars and somehow people believe them! Grab the Gold started when a teenage girl needed to create a snack for her home economics class. She turned that into a business and now she's making yummy, all natural snack bars and killing the protein bar world.  In my opinion, Grab the Gold bars are the best bar on the market, nutritionally and taste wise. They have lower calories, are gluten and dairy free, have zero trans fats and have a high fiber content. Add a good quality yogurt and a handful of walnuts and you've created a perfect breakfast. If you are near me or my facility, ask me and I might share a sample.. Or check their site for a local retailer. Or just trust me and order a box. They ship very FAST too. I usually order multiple boxes and they will arrive the next day. It's crazy! They have two flavors, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter & Jelly (recently released and my favorite)!

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4. Unique Splits Pretzels. I have been changing my nutrition up lately and I wanted a healthier snack option. I found these babies at my local Piggly Wiggly. They are VERY salty so proceed with caution but VERY good. I can eat one and be satisfied. They are cholesterol free, trans fat free, sugar free, preservative free and artificial color free. PLUS, each 1 ounce serving has very little fat (2 grams), low calories (110), fiber (1 gram) and protein (3 grams)! My favorite thing though is that they are made from only 5 ingredients. No shit hiding anywhere. They make several varieties, including a 100% whole grain sprouted flour one. If you are looking for a great product that is certified organic, kosher, vegan, and diabetic friendly- then you need to try these. I am currently out, it's midnight and I'm seriously considering a grocery store trip. 

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5. Bubly Sparkling Water.  I'm not a sparkling water fan. (Ask Liina about my dramatic episode when I accidentally bought one instead of regular water recently). I do not like La Croix. Pepsi recently came out with these babies and it took me some searching to find them locally. They have several flavors and ALL taste like cans of yumminess. They have zero calories and zero sweeteners. I encourage you to find some!

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There you go! My first Friday Fave list! I hope you try and enjoy them all!

Much Love,

Molly

Eating for Disease Prevention

Can we really eat to prevent the onset of diseases? Absolutely. Not some, but a lot! Yet, we still eat corn chips all the time. And drink sodas constantly. And we eat twice as much as we should. Why is that? Because we get uncomfortable and need to find things that help us cope. We live in a stressful world and need "things" to make us feel better. We also have very little time in our stressed worlds, so we go to the easiest options. I get it.

So, what do we do to stop this constant cycle? In my 24 years in this field, I have learned ONE important thing - you have to want it. I actually can see when that light comes on with clients. It may take a few minutes with me or weeks or years! But when it comes on, the real magic begins. 

If you want to change, then you have to find the strength from within your own self. Without that strength and determination, nothing will change.

Often the fear of a disease will kick start you to beginning a new, healthier lifestyle. I mean you feel decent, but you went to the doctor to discuss something and boom, you walk out with a new diagnosis. Like:

  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Autoimmune disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid issues
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis

Or what is more important - you already know of a disease that runs in your family and you haven't made the decision to protect yourself yet. We want to feel our best. We don't want to take medications daily. We want to be physically able to do whatever we want! We want control of our lives! So, what's the next step?

I'm going to pick a few diseases and discuss your options. Don't worry, we don't have to pick the elusive fruit from a mountain in the rainforest. That would be fun to be on an adventure to find some ancient remedy! As long as I had an air conditioning hotel room at night! 

CHOLESTEROL

We need cholesterol in our bodies and it actually has some vital roles. But if we have too much, it will get caught in our artery walls, causing clogs. High cholesterol can be genetic unfortunately. Other times, it's from eating too much saturated fats (from animal foods) and not enough plants. Cholesterol also rises with age, although it doesn't have too! 

Need more help reading your results or want to test your cholesterol levels? Check these two options out: https://labtestsonline.org/ or https://carehere.com/ (if you are with Mercedes Benz, CareHere is your go to!) 

I'm your fitness and nutrition blogger, so let's discuss those two things. Of course, I am NOT your physician, so please discuss with them first! Sometimes, a lifestyle change is all that is needed for you to improve your cholesterol numbers. If that's the case, DO IT FOR HEAVENS SAKE. 

Diet: The goal is to lose body fat. Losing body fat can lower cholesterol, especially triglycerides. 

  • Add plants and/or fruits to each meal. Examples: Dark leafy greens, carrots, blackberries, blueberries
  • Look for whole grain options. Adding quality whole grains can lower your risk for clogged arteries by almost 30 percent. Examples: Wild rice, steel cut oats, sprouted bread
  • Add legumes. They are high in fiber, which binds to cholesterol in the digestive track. Examples: Beans, lentils, chick peas
  • Add healthy fats. Healthy fats aide in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and aide in raising HDL (good cholesterol). Healthy fats have also been proven to improve body composition! 

Exercise: Exercising can help you lose body fat (and blood fat in the process), help change enzymes that decrease triglycerides; and aide in reducing stress. 

  • Aim for 20-30 minutes of exercise (cardio and strength training) each day. 
  • Begin a walking routine daily. 
  • Add weights to your routine. Any size weights are better than nothing! Start with a small number, such as 10 reps and move up from there. 
  • Add body weight training if weights aren't available. Or, add it anyway! Body weight training is an excellent way to build strength. Examples: Squats, lunges, planks, plank taps, side leg lifts, push ups
  • All activity will count! Play with your kids/grandkids outside. Walk your dog one extra time each week (your dog will be excited)! Park a little further away from the entrance. Turn on some music and dance while cleaning. Add a "commercial break" move (do one exercise for each commercial). 

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by obesity, cardio vascular disease, inflammation and muscle issues. Diabetes is a serious disease that must be managed properly. The good news? Diabetes (Type 2) can be prevented and managed! Diabetes is a major factor in heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure. Lifestyle changes are such a huge part of your treatment. 

Diet: Eating a diet of mainly fresh, whole foods is always my recommendation, especially with Diabetes. Having a healthy, less processed diet will typically allow you to lose weight, ultimately improving your blood sugar levels. 

*Discuss a full healthy diet with your doctor of course.*

  • Decrease carbs/starches. This will reduce blood sugars. (Notice I said decrease, not eliminate completely.)
  • Replace saturated fats. Replace saturated fats, such as butter and red meat with healthy fats. Examples: Fish/Algae oils, olive oil, sunflower oil, ghee
  • Add more plants. Adding more plant based foods will add much needed phytonutrients.  

Exercise: Exercising is so important in monitoring and controlling your diabetes. Benefits: Losing body fat, improving insulin sensitivity, improving blood sugars, reducing stress, and improvement in cardiovascular function. 

Diabetes affects the way your body metabolizes energy as well. That's why disease management is so important. Follow your doctors recommendation on exercising. Considerations when beginning your program are medications, blood sugar levels before exercising, how your blood sugar levels react during exercise, what you've eaten prior to beginning, and what type of exercising you are doing. 

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can put you at risk for numerous issues. Just like diabetes, you can improve high blood pressure with lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which can possibly cut your risk of future problems dramatically. 

Diet: Again, eating a diet of mainly fresh, whole foods is my recommendation. Maintaining a lower body fat percentage is the goal. 

  • Add more plants and/or fruits to each meal. Adding more plants will help lower sodium levels and will add much needed nutrients that are important to lower your blood pressure. 
  • Add healthy fats. (I feel like I say this ten times a day!) Healthy fats have been proven to lower blood pressure. They have also been linked to improving body composition and depression. Examples: Avocados, olive oils, mixed raw nuts, coconut oils, chia seeds, fish/krill/algae oil, olives
  • Reduce processed foods. Reducing processed foods will help you maintain a healthy weight and will reduce your sodium intake.  

Exercise: Maintaining a healthy weight is important and will likely keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. It will also keep your heart healthy! 

  • Begin a strength training program.
  • Add a low-intensity cardio routine as well. 
  • Add yoga or a meditation program to monitor your stress levels. Stress will raise your blood pressure.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are unfortunately on the rise. They can be hard to diagnose, cause countless health issues and are extremely painful to deal with. Most are hereditary, however studies have shown that environmental and dietary factors may play a huge role. Some diseases in this category: Lupus, various Arthritis conditions, Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Eczema, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, various Thyroid conditions

Diet: A healthy diet is vital with an autoimmune disease. Each disease may have its own diet, so please consult with your doctor first. Its also very important to do an elimination diet to find the foods that cause you more problems. 

I do understand the symptoms and issues associated with an autoimmune disease. So often your diet and exercise routine will suffer and need to change daily. That's the frustrating part but you can successfully manage your disease. Keep a symptom diary so you can adjust if need be. 

  • Research your disease and the elimination diet. Research foods that trigger you.
  • Eliminate processed foods completely if possible. 
  • Eat a diet of mainly fresh, whole foods. 
  • Try the Paleo diet. Studies are showing that autoimmune diseases react well to this diet. 

Exercise: This is a touchy subject! exercise is very important if you are suffering from an autoimmune disease. However, you must find the activity that you can tolerate and recover well from. Be careful and start slow.

  • Add small activities. Start with 20 minutes daily and add as you can tolerate. 
  • Be careful with your specific issues and always allow yourself ample recovery time. 
  • Try body weight exercises. Examples: Squats, Push-ups, Planks, Leg lifts
  • Add a core routine. Maintaining a healthy weight, especially in your mid-section is important. Begin with 10 minutes daily. 
  • Add a stretching and meditation routine. Be careful, as some autoimmune diseases make your muscles more elastic.

Need more info on autoimmune diseases specifically, try this blog post: HERE or a core workout HERE.

With each disease outlined here, the main takeaways are basically the same. Eat a healthy diet for you and do your best to maintain an exercise routine. I'm not saying that you have to eat only that elusive fruit or compete in a ultra marathon to be healthy. Be the best version of you. And do it for you, not your family or society - do it for you. 

Eat a healthy diet for you and do your best to maintain an exercise routine. Do it for you.
— Molly

I encourage you to always find what helps you feel better and what helps you cope with your disease. Having a disease is a horrible thing and why not prevent that if at all possible? If you have concerns or questions about your health, ALWAYS fight until you are satisfied with the answer. I know I only touched a tiny tip of the information that is out there about disease prevention but I hope this sparked something inside of you to begin your research. 

As always, if you need nutrition or exercise recommendations specifically to you, please reach out to me. Best of luck!

Much Love,

Molly

P.S.- Here's some extra info!

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Reference: Precision Nutrition textbook, blog, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superfoods. Really?

The word Superfood has been around awhile, but it has recently been plastered on every blog, book and child's toy for a thousand miles. I like being dramatic sometimes. 

Superfood Definition by Wikipedia: A marketing term for food with supposed health benefits.

The Macmillian Dictionary: A food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions.

The Oxford Dictionary: A nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.

As your friendly, low key fitness and nutrition blogger, I'm here to help. 

Are there really good foods and bad foods? I'm so tired of the mentality that "this" is the only way. I recently read an article that was perfect for my point by Precision Nutrition. It discussed that all foods can be good and bad. A high protein diet for a person with kidney disease is detrimental. Eggs are bad for individuals with high cholesterol and so on. 

Bread will kill you. Really? 

Soy is horrible. Really?

Eggs are bad. Your cholesterol will spike and you'll never recover. Really?

Chocolate will send you straight to Hell. Really?

Carbs should never be eaten. Ever. Really?

Fruit is bad for you. Really? 

I actually googled death by bread. No such results. Except the two guys that were baked alive in a bread factory in the U.K. If you have a severe gluten allergy, yes I know your view point. My point is, all things are bad to some. All things can be good for some. Excess of anything, even a "Superfood" can be bad.

So, why make the statements that you can't eat something to someone? I did have the client that said to me, "You should NEVER eat sugar. EVER. I'm smart enough to know that." Maybe that's why I'm having such horrible neck problems. I tried desperately to stop my head from spinning off its axis and clearly injured myself. I did get a nasty look when I commented on the sports drink she was holding and how she might need to restart her "never drinking sugar" thing, because she was holding a shit ton of it. 

OMG. I'm suppose to be discussing Superfoods, not my neck issues and the bad wrap sugar gets. 

THERE ARE FOODS THAT HAVE MORE NUTRIENTS AND SUPERIOR INGREDIENTS THAN OTHERS. THESE FOODS ARE FULL OF ANTI-OXIDANTS AND PACK A HUGE PUNCH FOR THEIR WEIGHT AS FAR AS NUTRITION GOES. ENTER THE WORD: SUPERFOOD. 

I don't typically use the word, Superfood, but in order to reach my clients and readers, I decided to write this piece. So, I spent nine years making awesome graphics for you. But for some reason, I decided to research some more facts and now I'm second guessing bringing you the information. Why? Because it's just all dependent on you and your body type, metabolism, cellular makeup, and a zillion other factors. 

AND truthfully...

I don't want to be apart of the hype. I'm weird like that. I want to be honest and for you to believe me. But instead, most believe the fad people who have themselves plastered everywhere.

Since, nine years of my life are in these awesome/beautiful/someone should buy them graphics, I'll forge on.  

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Protein sources

Stop with the grilled Chicken Breast already! Try some other options!

I would like to caution you with just any protein source. They are not created equal. Proteins are vital for our health in numerous ways. Amino Acids (AKA, our building blocks) that make up our proteins are responsible for our hormones (most of our non-steroidal ones), our enzymes, our immune chemicals (immunoglobulins and antibodies) and our transport proteins. Protein is THE key to muscle building. 

RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE: 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb)

*So, the more you weigh, the more you need. Example: A 200 lb (91 kg) person would need 91 x 0.8, or 73 grams of protein a day. That is a very general recommendation though. More is needed for weight training, certain illnesses, breastfeeding moms, etc. I generally recommend between 110-225 daily for my clients needs. 

Is it vital that you eat only animal sources? Heck no. I was a vegetarian for years while growing up. I have several vegan clients that are thriving marathoners. No steak has assisted their 26.2 miles! It's harder but very doable. My top protein sources are in the graphic above. 

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Veggies and Fruit

Eat your greens people!

I could eat only everything in this slide for the rest of my life and I would be fine. Okay, I would not be able to build muscle, but whatever. No seriously, eat those foods as much as possible. End of story. I do feel compelled to caution the acid sufferers here. If that's you, be careful with too much acid based foods of course. I had not tried beets until several months back and now my life is more complete. Crazy!

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Good Fats

AKA, the good stuff! Don't be scared! 

Good Fats are everywhere now and they are very misunderstood! I have this argument constantly. There are three main types of dietary fats: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. 

SATURATED: Animal Fats, Tropical Oils (Coconut, Palm, Cacao)

MONOUNSATURATED: Olive Oils, Avocado, Peanuts, Ground Nuts, Tree Nuts

POLYUNSATURATED: (Omega-3) Flax, Fish Oil (Omega-6) Most Seed Oils (Safflower, Canola, Sunflower)

Which are healthy? Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. We need healthy fats for various reasons. It supports our metabolism, cell signaling, supports healthy body tissues, immunity, hormone production, and aides in absorption of vitamins (especially A and D). It also keeps you full longer. Eating more good fats has also proven to improve body composition and helps with depression. And you will finally find true happiness in life. I added that for dramatic effect but a perfect avocado with Himalayan sea salt and cracked pepper is close to true happiness! 

The key is finding a good balance. So, play with it. Just don't be scared. See my client progress slide below!

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Extras

More awesome stuff that feels left out everywhere else. 

I swear I'm not sending you an invitation straight to Hell because I put dark chocolate on that slide. Dark chocolate has soluble fiber and tons of minerals. There are also studies proving that dark chocolate may lower blood pressure and your risk for cardiovascular disease. Be careful with the sugar though. Again, too much is too much! Wild rice is fantastic for disease prevention, digestive health, boosts the immune system and a zillion other benefits. Quinoa is a complete protein containing ALL nine essential amino acids. It is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat and is full of fiber.  Lentils are essential for diabetic improvement. Just like wild rice, lentils are great for disease prevention, digestive health and they also have been shown to fight cancer and anemia. Turmeric has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in treating cancer. I could say a ton about all those in that slide, but you get the picture! Just incorporate them into your diet as much as possible.   

Yes, there are foods that we should incorporate into our diet as much as possible. Some are better than others. Some aren't so bad, but can affect people differently. If you are a healthy individual that is eating a well balanced and mostly fresh, whole food diet and exercising regularly, then why restrict certain things? Eat basically a 80/20 rule diet. 80% fresh, whole foods. 20% not so much. Eating for you is so important. Remember this blog post: https://www.mollyblomeleyfitness.com/blogg/2018/3/1/eating-for-you I go into more detail about eating for your specific body type. If something bothers you, (keep a food diary!!) then its an irritant and you should not eat it. Duh! I talk about my love for corn chips in the post. I don't eat a lot, but still. They kill my stomach. They are also my weakness. I actually make my partner take them to bed when he goes to sleep. He sits them on his nightstand. I will not steal a bag of corn chips right beside his head. That's so true, one of my secrets! If you have an off workout with very little energy, start looking at what you ate 2-4 hours prior. And don't eat that before your next workout! 

Think I'm crazy? (My partner will agree.) Anyway, take a look at my numbers from my current clients. They are 6 weeks in and EVERY ONE of them feels better, has lost weight and has a new confidence! I'm one proud Trainer Mom!! 

10 Clients

6 weeks in - 52 pounds lost!!

An average of 5.2 pounds each or .87 pounds a week. Studies have proven that losing one pound a week dramatically increases your chance of keeping the weight off.

Think about it this way: If they keep up the exact same rate, in 6 months, they will be down 17.4 pounds. 17.4 pounds that has a huge chance of never coming back! That's a big deal! 

Guess what? I restricted nothing. I just taught them to eat the correct things, at the correct time.  They ate a TON of the SUPERFOODS on my lists. I encourage you to do your research and find the foods and plans that work best for you. And please for the love of spinach, don't listen to every person on the planet. Remember, all things in excess can be bad. 

Your plan: Start by adding a superfood to each meal. Good luck on your journey! As always, if you need me - find me!

Much love, 

Molly

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Eating for You

I know you've heard of a zillion different diets BUT have you thought about eating for you and your body type? I'm sure you haven't. 

I've been on a mission to find foods that my body reacts well too. I began with eliminating certain foods and journaling how my body reacted. Unfortunately, corn chips at night did not make the cut. I would have the worst stomach cramps the entire next morning. I cut them out and no more cramps. Interesting and sad. That's when I began exploring other foods and whether my food was helping or hurting me. Let's call it eating for you. 

Most people think that "body type" is just the way someone looks. "She has the apple look." Or the famous, "She has the hourglass figure." In fact, your body type also dictates how you respond to food intake, hormones, and various other areas of your body. Yes, your body type is genetic, so go ahead and thank your parents. They love you regardless! Once you have determined your body type, you can adjust your nutrient intake to maximize body composition and health related goals. 

The three main body types are: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. You can change your body some and fall within two types but we generally fall within one category. 

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Ectomorphs are thin individuals with a smaller bone structure. They are the ones eating corn chips at night with no weight gain. 'sigh' They love endurance sports, have a higher metabolism and a higher carbohydrate tolerance. They don't have any issues with eating carbohydrates at each meal, they enjoy moderate protein and lower fat intake. They do need more carbs to drive their energy and endurance. 

Endomorphs have a larger bone structure with higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass. Think football lineman and powerlifters. They are generally less active, thus meaning that their excess calories are more than likely stored as fat. They have a lower carbohydrate tolerance. They do better on a higher fat and protein diet with carbs being controlled and properly timed. 

Mesomorphs have a medium sized bone structure and athletic build. If they are active, they typically have a considerable amount of lean mass. Think wrestlers or gymnasts. They tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant, leading to a predisposition for muscle gain and lower body fat. They typically do better on a mixed and balanced diet. 

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Macro planning is an easy way to succeed in my eyes! It's the first step in making things less "OMG, I'm dying already." When you have the proper information, things just start working. It's wild! I have some clients that have seen remarkable success with my programs and I always start with body type. Every single time. If you want a more detailed plan, let me know. 

Hopefully this gives you some insight into thinking a little different about your nutrition. Mine has been off this week and it has been miserable. It's not hard to adjust your intake and get feeling better. I'm on vacation this week with my two best friends, both are fitness and nutrition bloggers too. We had a conversation today about getting started and how hard people think it is. They get this idea that things are horrible on the "other side" and they will live out their lives in misery. But at the same time, they want to change so badly. So, what's the one thing that makes you make that move? Go ahead and tell me, so I can help! Or maybe you don't know what it is yet. Either way, in order to succeed you have to find that desire, even if I give you all the tools - it's up to you. 

Start with finding your body type and eating on the above macro suggestions for a few weeks. See what happens. I know the answer.. Good luck and find me if I can help!

Love,

Molly

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Protein Balls

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I have been eyeing some different chocolate protein options for awhile. After running into a recipe from Living Well Mom, I decided to try my own this weekend. I'm very pleased with the result. 

I have also been discussing some chocolate options for a few clients that are struggling with afternoon sweet cravings. Found It!

I started with really good ingredients. I struggle with stomach issues regularly and I have been eliminating certain grains and flours from my diet. Which has helped tremendously, so I made sure to buy the gluten free option of steel cut oats. I also left my almond butter at work, so I used natural peanut butter instead. I was just experimenting, but I like it. It will naturally make it sweeter though, but the guys I was feeding, didn't mind. 

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Start with a food processor and add all the ingredients. It comes together very quickly and can be made in ten minutes! 

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten free steel cut oats

3/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of cacao powder

I am fortunate to have a client and good friend, Jim that raises bees and makes the best honey. I prefer fresh, natural honey over the store bought processed stuff. So, I used local honey. 

Back to the recipe. Mix everything in a food processor until fully combined. Roll into balls and put on wax paper and place in the fridge until cold. Eat immediately or store in an air tight container for a quick snack full of goodness. 

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Even Beau approved. No, she didn't eat any. 

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I would recommend eating 2-3 each afternoon when you are about to attack the candy machine. At least here, you know all the ingredients are good quality. Enjoy and leave me a message if you try them!

Enjoy!

Molly 

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Carrot Top Pesto

I have a new recipe to share!

I'm in love with it and I hope you do as well! It was freezing outside and I flat out refused to go to the grocery store. I have been researching Pesto lately and I had a ton of fresh carrots from my parents garden that I needed to cut in the fridge. So, Carrot Top Pesto it is!

My parents have a wonderful garden and I LOVE getting deliveries!!! I visited my parents several weeks ago, which meant I came home with organic, fresh vegetables. Their garden is pesticide free and organic. My dad grows carrots and I swear, they are like candy. If you eat fresh carrots, you will always like them more than the store bought kind. So, anytime they have carrots, I clean them out! 

I had a big pile of carrots that still needed to be cleaned and cut. I just hate throwing the tops away. We do have a horse farm near my house and I thought about taking the tops to them, but remember it was -10 degrees outside. In comes the Pesto. 

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I cut the tops from the carrots and actually soaked it all in warm water. I then, scrubbed the carrots for snacking and salads and allowed the tops to dry on a towel. 

Once the tops were dry, I trimmed them and made sure there were no sticks or leftover dirt hanging around. They literally went from the dirt, straight into the bag I brought them home in. You MUST try fresh carrots. If you are weird and scared, get over it. It's like carrot candy. 

Next step: Add walnuts or pecans. I decided to use pecans. (Also from my mom.) She is my mom and you may not borrow her.

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In a food processor- pulse 1 cup of walnuts and/or pecans just until they begin to form a paste. Add 2 garlic cloves and pulse until a paste forms. Add 2 cups of carrot tops. 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. A dash of Himalayan sea salt. Pulse this together for a few seconds and begin drizzling in a good quality olive oil. I used about 1/2 a cup. 

Taste and add more salt or olive oil for your taste. I made mine a little thicker than usual because I planned to spread it on bread for snacks. 

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Super simple and quick! Serve with thin, Italian bread slices or mix with zucchini noodles for a yummy side dish. You can also add to fettuccine with some baked chicken. Yummy! 

Several things:

1. Do not be scared of making your own pesto. It's simple and you can control the ingredients and calories!

2. You MUST try fresh carrots. 

3. ENJOY!

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Everything you need to know for your January health goals!

Happy January and all things health and fitness! The end of 2017 was literally a crazy pile of shit for me! It wasn't all bad but just full of stuff. I did end the year with my first four months as a big girl business owner. It's true, had the meeting with my accountant and everything. Big girl. It seriously went like this:

Him: Blah, blah, serious stuff, blah.
Me: Do you need me to sign something for you?
Him: I need you to spend $7000 by the end of the year.
Me: In 6 days? Can I borrow some money?
Him: *explains it 2x* Do you understand this fully? I wrote it all down for you.
Me: *glares for about two minutes*
Him: Do you need me to start over?
Me: Well, I had $200 in my checking account yesterday. And you just handed me a bill for $375.
Him: I’m starting over.
Me: It probably won’t work even if you do.
Him: We’ve got this Molly. I’ve written it all down, highlighted everything and even included addresses for everything.
Me: I’m going to need to see your license.
Him: Molly. I feel like you don’t understand.
Me: Uh huh.

It has been an awesome four months though and I owe a ton to my awesome Assistant Director, Anna Whitfield. She is mainly running the facility and is a little spit fire of energy to have around. I look forward to watching her continue to grow. 

BUT.. It's January!!

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Back to all things health and fitness! How can I help you in your goals to become healthier? I can toot my own horn here but I also want to include some other options too. 

Me first! Clearly, you know I have a website devoted to nutrition and fitness, since you are reading this! I hold over 10 fitness certificates, I am a licensed Strength and Conditioning Coach and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach. Surely, I can create a plan for you! OR we can create one together. OR I can mesh several together to create one with your own name to it.

Scared of me? I also LOVE Beachbody products and I am a coach with their organization, so we can find a program there too if you want. They have countless options for in home programs. I have tried them all (except Country Heat bc I would rather break my toe with a hammer) and can help you find one that will motivate you. I have several clients that have the On Demand option with Beachbody and they love it. It allows you to sign in and do any of their workouts any time that you want. I have met many through out Beachbody and they are a wonderful company. Yes, they sell products as well. Yes, there are bad coaches out there that will drive you crazy and demand that you join their challenge groups. But, there are also phenomenal and brilliant coaches too. I have tried all their products as well. I would never recommend anything that is full of sugars and fake crap, actually I rarely recommend any product unless I have used it at least three months personally.  I LOVE their Energize product. And my daughter has a Shakeology shake most mornings. I do not run challenge groups anymore, but I will mention one below that does. If you are interested in becoming a coach or trying any of their products, please let me know and I'll be happy to help! 

More interested in the nutrition side of things?  I.Am.Your.Girl.  I have a remarkable program with Precision Nutrition that is a habit based program that teaches you small, attainable goals to find the healthiest you possible. I have been blown away by my clients in this program. They love the smaller goals that are given each day and find it easier to remain successful this way. A new habit is given every two weeks that builds on the previous ones. Check out my Procoach tab at the top of the page. OR watch this awesome video. 

And I should mention that I'm only adding 5 spots with this program! I want to make sure that I can devote enough time to you! Please find me quick. (I have 3 meetings tomorrow to discuss it!) Look, I even have a graphic. I'm legit people. 

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Think you know the basics but just want some extra help with your nutrition? Or you prefer to start a tad smaller? I.Am.Your.Girl. I can design a nutrition plan just for you. I can not slap the food out of your hand though. I can teach you how to put macros together and to find foods that will make you feel a million times better. Check out my info over here:

https://www.mollyblomeleyfitness.com/nutrition/

Curious what my favorite protein bar is? I ONLY eat Grab the Gold bars. It's true. I am a protein bar snob. If I had to dissect all the different bars, I would always come back to Grab the Gold bars. They have a great balance. Most have too much sugar, too many carbs, some fake crap, and some other stuff that we can't pronounce. The bars are organic, gluten free and taste like a no bake cookie. They sent me their new flavor that launched yesterday and holy smokes, YUM! The original is peanut butter and chocolate. The new one is peanut butter and jelly. Here is their site if you're curious. I'm not getting a commission, just FYI. If you live near me, I can order for you. I will also be carrying them at my facility soon if you want to try them. 

Do you love TRX products? Me too! Check this link out if you have been thinking about ordering a TRX system. (affiliate link)

www.trxtraining.com

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Interested in the Whole 30 concept or a High Fat Lower Carb lifestyle? I have studied them both extensively but if you are interested in a challenge group with a coach that is freaking brilliant, especially with both of those - then over to my best friend you must go. Stacey Greenside runs an awesome site and has a group going almost continuously. She is very down to earth and will help you achieve your goals effortlessly. She has some fantastic resources and recipes. She is so good at it that she will fly across the entire United States, sit down to eat with you and still pull out a perfectly ripe avocado out of her purse. Perfectly ripe. 

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Here is her site:  staceygreenside.org

I could probably keep going here for hours. But, I'll stop! I encourage you to find what makes you happy. There are a ton of ideas flying out there and one is perfect for you! There are a zillion coaches as well and one will fit! I would love to help you find it. Good luck and Happy Januarying! 

Love, Molly

Yoga Challenge - Friday Routine

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this finds you all thankful and feeling good. I hope your day was spent enjoying your time and family. 

I had a small Thanksgiving at home. I am very thankful to have spent it with my sweet girls. I cooked all their favorites and we enjoyed the day at home. As I’ve grown older and things are smaller, I’ve begun to really miss my family and friends. I grew up with friends and family around during the holidays. Everyone was kind and loved each other’s company. So, I certainly miss those days. We did clean out some things and found some old pictures that my girls laughed and laughed over. I woke up this morning with my glamour shots from 7th grade on the refrigerator. Awesome. 

Today is also my birthday!  My girls wanted desperately to have me a party since they missed it last year because they were traveling. I have invited my girlfriends over for a dinner tomorrow night. I am extremely excited to see them all and to actually sit and talk. I have some awesome, clean recipes to make them so I will make sure to take lots of pictures. 

I am very thankful for you and for sticking it out during this yoga challenge. I will keep the posts up awhile so you can redo them if you like. Thanks to all our clients at the gym as well, you make me happy to do what I do. 

Here is your Friday routine. If you ate as much as most, maybe go back and do all the routines today! What’s the harm? Enjoy your weekend and I wish you a relaxing and happy one.  

Namaste,

Molly

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Yoga Challenge - Wednesday Routine

It's day three of our Yoga Challenge!! We hope that you are enjoying yourselves and finding some quiet time each day. 

It's the time of year where things are moving very fast and stressors start to creep in. We might not sleep as well, we certainly aren't eating that awesome (It's fudge season after all) and we are just plain tired! You also are too busy to workout. Oh, the shame! 

That's where we have to find a few things that can keep us grounded. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Use the 80/20 rule. Do not deviate. If you think you can fudge (pun intended) that number a few times, next thing you know - you're over here at 20/80. That just will not work and you will find yourself on the typical 7-8 pound gain train! Please do not ruin your progress for a month of fun or fudge. Statistics show that individuals who gain the typical 7-8 pounds during the holidays, rarely take it all off during the New Year. So, if you struggle with holiday eating - eat 80% compliant and 20% not compliant.

2. Do not over extend yourself! My mother raised me to understand that I will not die a miserable death if I do not attend every party I am invited too. I will still have friends and everyone will still love me, Damn it! Focus on the things that mean the most to you. 

3. Get plenty of rest and exercise. FYI, I did not use exclamation points there but I did holler it. Rest and exercise are WAY more important than the lady's church social that will take you hours to bake cookies for. 

4. Find a way to plan/prep ahead of time. Here's my mother again. She plans her yearly Banana Bread baking out to a tee! She bakes hundreds of Banana Bread loaves every year. As in people are calling her asking when they will receive theirs! She's famous for it! She pre-orders the bananas, she (ok, my dad) shells her own pecans weeks in advance, she buys all the ingredients at once and then she bakes all at once. She doesn't bake a batch and then clean up, etc. She bakes ALL weekend. Then she cleans up. Then she is done. No more worry for the rest of the season. Try to prep your meals on Sundays. Choose dishes to make for a party that you are comfortable with. Nothing is worse than spending hours googling a certain thing needed for a recipe. Or if you're me, the screaming obscenities all the way to the grocery store at 9:45 pm. (That happened two nights ago! I swear!!)

5. Spend 10 minutes each night before bed to relax and meditate. Center your mind. Prepare for the next day and then let it go for the night. Do some gentle yoga stretches and deep breathes. Then - go to bed! 

I hope your holiday season is wonderful! 

Good news! I am going to stop talking and let you have your newest Yoga routine! Here is your Wednesday routine and it is called "Stretching your Turkeystrings!" Enjoy!!  

Again, if you need us, leave us a message here.

Namaste,

Molly and Josh

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Yoga Challenge - Tuesday Routine

How did your Monday routine go? I did my routine with my awesome class at lunch! Josh is on a secret travel vacation and completed his as well! 

Let's discuss my awesome group down here. They have all been with me for years and I love them like stupid amounts. Honestly, they are great people. It's amazing how dedicated and just plain nice they are. Rita - Holy smokes. She is a gorgeous person! Margaret - I've blabbed about her before. She's my adorable spit fire. One of my all time favorites! Tom - He started coming years ago to help with some pain. He has come so far. He even rode his motorcycle all the way to Canada this summer. Callie - My ridiculously fast and sweet runner. So quiet, but she will pass you every time. Ana - My newest member. She is the cutest thing alive! I have loved getting to know her. Holly - She is one of my best friends! She has an adorable 6 month old son (and a 6 yr old and 15 yr old) and has lost ALL her pregnancy weight! She looks fantastic! Stephanie - Another quiet, gorgeous one. She is the sweetest hard worker we have. I don't think I have ever seen her give up. 

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Anyway - yay for everyone completing Monday! Here is your Tuesday routine. It is designed to start/aide your digestion system. Don't worry, we will repeat it Friday!! Stay long and lean and really hold the moves. Inhale and exhale with each move and keep your core engaged. This is a good time to mention your strength here. We have worked for MONTHS to get our clients to drop from a plank to the floor, so don't be discouraged if you can't complete it correctly. Drop to your knees and go from there. Notice where you are and keep practicing and you will eventually get there. It's one of our proudest accomplishments when our clients can lower correctly. You'll get there! Again, if you need us, leave us a message below. 

Namaste,

Molly and Josh

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