Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gym & I's Dating Phase

Thinking about beginning a relationship with the gym was terrifying to me.  It took me a solid week just to build the confidence to drive there and learn about the membership.  It seems silly to me now, but I just was so uneasy about the whole "change" from moving my workouts from the comfort of my home to an environment in which a potential audience would be involved.  Joining a gym reminded me of all the times that I joined and never actually showed up. That's a lot of extra weight to carry around -- feeling like a failure all the time for paying for a membership that you weren't actually using. 

Here, I had finally harnessed my mind around getting myself to workout consistently --- from my home --- and I feared (big time) that any change I threw in the mix could set me up for failure.

Because of these past on-going breakups with the gym, I knew that the only way I would survive would be to hire a personal trainer to coach me through my workouts, which were given to me by Dr. Kik.  Dr. Kik isn't a "personal trainer" - he's a chiropractor and a fitness coach. Being with him for more than year and having him consistently conduct bio-impendece analysis on me during that time, as well as enduring the 28-day detox under his supervision, I knew that this man knew my body inside and out.  His portfolio of creating change in people's lives also spoke volumes of his vast experience and knowledge for helping people -  like me - build lean muscle mass and ultimately lose fat.

But the fact of the matter was that no matter how much I wanted him to, he wasn't going to walk me through the workouts in the actual gym setting. He gave me the plan, walked me through it in his office, and expected me to go get it done.  To him, it was as easy as that.  To me however, it was a big "GULP" of change to swallow.  It just all seemed so foreign to me -- I needed more help!

So, I set off to find a personal trainer to be my form and motivation coach.  I knew this was an odd request, asking someone for their expertise in form and equipment use, but not on nutrition or the actual regimen. 
Finally, I built up enough confidence and made an appointment with Karen Buckwald, Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Science Trainer, of Life Design Network.  She is one of two trainers at the Snap Fitness, which is my local gym - only 3 miles from my home. 

When I first told Karen what I was looking for her to help me with she said that she would have to think about it, and I could tell she was preparing me for a big NO.  Crap! I was devastated.  There was no way that this gym relationship was going to work if Iacked confidence in my form and in the use of the necessary equipment that my new workout called for.  So, like any girl would do, I begged!  Ha!  I really did. 

My pitch was that this would be a learning opportunity for us both -- as my workout seemed rather foreign to her in terms of its intensity and the crazy high reps.  I also told her that I would be different than any other client: Fun, Full of Energy, Easy to Be With, Willing to Work Hard (I had no idea if this was any different from her other clients but I was willing to say anything to change her mind)!  And.... I finally ended my begging tantrum with three pleading words...

"I need you..."

....And....find out what Karen says tomorrow. 

I ran out of blogging time! :)

Keep it Clean my Friends!
Mrs. Skinny Fat

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Just a Little Stretching....

Stretching. I've always thought of that word in its literal term; such as stretching your muscles post workout. 

Stretching is just one of those things that you have to do, right? It sometimes feels good, and other times it just increases the burn that much more.  Among many other benefits, stretching is part of the building muscle process (growth!).  But the consequences of not taking that 5 to 10 minutes to stretch are rather serious:  You are going to not only going to wake up feeling all sorts of aches and pains, but you are also going to be 10x more prone to an injury. 

So you can imagine my confusion, while out walking one blistery January day, disclosing (well, more realistically -- pouring my heart out) to my life coach about my "workout dilemma" when she turned to me and said with much certainty, "You're stretching". 

My immediate thought was "No....I'm....walking?" - AND THEN it occurred to me she meant I was in a stretching period of my life. I was at fork in the road; one direction kept me comfortable where I was and the other required me to face change -- big change -- as it related to my workout regimen.  I didn't know if wanted change. Was I ready for it?  I was quite happy with where I was, but...definitely intrigued by other opportunity.

Hmm stretching, indeed. 

So, tonight, I was hoping to update all of you on my "gym affair", but before doing so it sounds like I need to address a topic of seemingly interest .  Since my post yesterday, I have received several emails in regards to two things in particular:  1.  Inquiries as to why I am no longer training with my previous personal trainer; and 2.  What is my current workout routine?

Cari & I goofin' around at a fall Fitness shoot.

I am so glad you asked.

I'll save the workout routine for tomorrow, and tonight, focus on my "stretching period" with the change in my personal trainer at the center. 

Cari Draft,
also know as Fit Girl Cari, Personal Fitness Trainer, & Owner of EcoTrek Fitness (outdoor group workouts) as well as creator of the highly sought after EcoTrek Whole Food Bars, and I worked together for seven months - starting in June 2011. 

It was the first time in my life that I had proven to myself that I could indeed commit to workout regimen. I overcame my on-again/off-again relationship, and instead, found myself continually hungry for more!  I've said it before, and I will say it again:  Calling Cari was
easily the best decision I could of made for myself at that time.  Read more about my workout regimen with Cari here

Fast forward.  Over the holiday break (end of December 2011), my brother, Travis, and sister-in-law,  Jenny Hansen, National NPC competitor (who by the the way just placed 2nd at Nationals), came home and I had the opportunity to train with them at my oldest brother's home gym. I left my "Cari" workout at home, and completely submitted myself to whatever routine they wanted to throw at me. I wanted to get an idea of what a "Day in the Life of Weight Training" was all about it.  Honestly, I had no idea how much I would love it.  I left that day wanting more.  Later that night, dressed up for our Christmas gathering, my brother (pictured below) says to me that I should consider a bikini day.  "Who me?" 

The seed was planted....

Day in the Life of Training with Travis & Jenny Hansen

Loved pushing myself to new limits!
Fast forward again.  First of January 2012, I go in to see Dr. Kik, chiropractor/fitness coach, and he approached me with a Phase 1 weight training regimen - ultimate goal to build lean muscle mass / lose fat.  The program breaks down various muscle groups and calls for high (and I mean crazy high) reps.   I was intrigued, but at the same time scared to death.  I had previously been training in the comfort of my home.  I loved my trainer.  Was I really considering this?  The workout training he was proposing required joining a gym.  To me - gym = failure.  Every time I had tried the gym in the past, I failed.  Was this time going to be any different?

Fast forward just one more time back to that blistery day the end of January.  I realized at this moment that this was my opportunity to stretch. To try something new - a whole lot of new - and see what happens. 
While yes, the very thought of switching personal trainers felt like I was cheating, however, I knew ultimately I had to do what was best for me .  I had complete confidence that my relationship with Cari would be unscathed.  She ultimately wants me to achieve my goals; I had no doubts that my motivations would be supported.

So, naturally, I stretched and joined a gym.  Just like the "real" stretching, it burned just a little...and then became second nature. I have since pushed more weight than I ever thought possible.  And know what? I am JUST getting started.

Sometimes stretching is really uncomfortable.  But, you gotta do it to grow.

Keep it Clean & Don't be Afraid to Stretch a Little!

Mrs. Skinny Fat

Monday, March 12, 2012

Better Me Day: Seeking Balance


A simple word, very simple in fact, yet a word that holds so much meaning to me at this hour of my life.

Let me digress.

I have conquered my relationship with food, and when in weakness I have learned to seek  understanding into the meaning of the craving/desire.  I have maintain a high-level of commitment to my workouts for the past nine months - it's without a doubt habitual now.  I have figured out the secret (for me) to sustain a high-level of energy the majority of the time - without coffee or sugar.

However, even with all these feel-good, pat-on-the-back accomplishments, I seem to have thrown a wrench, a good wrench, but a wrench indeed, in my previous balance - state of harmony - successes.

Life since my last post has been rather eventful.  I am fully engaged in a new workout regimen - one that takes twice the commitment - with a new trainer - two actually.  I am immersed in the world of Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) - and naturally, lovin' every second!  I'm living a social life - defined by me of course - and am maintaining my core relationships (not sure what I would do without my husband, family, and girlfriends) - while also extending myself to an entire new group of friends all over the world through IIN.  I'm running on all cylinders in my marketing/pr profession -- feeling a force of renewed energy and creativity.  I also treat myself to playing the part of a Silpada Designs Representative and gather with old and new friends to gawk over pretty jewels every month or so...I sure do love my sterling silver bling!  And finally, I, along with my life coach / business partner, am working on launching a weight-loss product - a safe, holistic approach (no "magic" pills, supplement/drink system, or crazy diet) - yep, and it's one that actually works!  (Trust me, you'll be among the first to know once we get closer to the formal launch.) 

So with the new additions in my life, I have struggled to find balance. So much NEW & GOOD going on, yet I often go to bed feeling somewhat unaccomplished.  How is that possible?  Well, first, I owe many people emails.  Owing someone an email is something that truly weighs a bit heavy on my heart.  So, if you are one of those people - know that you are on my mind and I have every intention of reaching out to you with a thoughtful response.  Secondly, I really miss spending time blogging and experiencing with new clean recipes.  While I write a lot at work, it's the same as pouring out my passion right here with all of you. 

Every day, it's like I am in a race against the clock. Do you ever feel that way?  The only time that the clock seems to get stuck is when I am in side planks, ha!  I honestly wish that the happier, more stimulated you were the slower time would go, instead of it being the opposite.  Why is that when you are at your worst (feeling miserable, depressed, lonely) time has to tick by so slow?  Question for another day. :)

Now don't get me wrong, while seldom, I have had times where I have extra hours at night or on the weekends, but when this happens all I have wanted to do is get lost in a conversation (one of my friends is better than a book on tape - I just love hearing her stories!), good book, magazine, or movie.  In other words, just relax - which I think is perfectly healthy, just doesn't always leave me feeling like I used my time "wisely" -- only because there's so much left to be done!  

I'm beyond motivated to figure out my time management.  I really do believe I can do it all - just maybe not all at once.  Mondays have historically been my  "Better Me Days" - meaning, I put forth just a little effort to get better at one thing in my life.  It could be something small, like clean up the kitchen before bed, or put my makeup away in the morning -- OR it might just be something a bit more significant such as begin taking those necessary steps to find Balance.  Yep, with a big capital B.

So here I am. Writing. And you know what, I feel much better already.


Simple in sound.  Difficult in theory.  I am quite determined to figure you out. 

Share with Me: Do you have time management tricks?  How do you fit it ALL in?  - OR - If not balance, what's on your "Better Me Day" checklist?

Until then ---

Keep it Clean My Friends.
Mrs. Skinny Fat

P.S. Tomorrow's post is all about my love affair with the gym.  See, I told you a lot has changed!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pretty on the Plate in a Matter of Minutes

Delicata Squash
Remember the other day when I confessed I absolutely zero idea what I was going to prepare for dinner? Shame, shame on the planning ahead, right? 

Well, sometimes the unplanned turns out rather fantastic.

So as I stood in my kitchen - surrounded by an abundance of whole foods - I seemingly found myself not in the mood for anything.  As I was about to tell Mr. he was on his own for dinner - and I would simply make a green smoothie, I noted a lonely squash that had been sitting on my counter for a few weeks. I was admittedly avoiding it as I had not a clue what to do with the darn thing. In fact, I almost gave it to the birds just to get it out of my way.
  I purchased the squash from a farmer who told me it would taste like a sweet potato - so not surprisingly the nickname for the squash is sweet potato squash and the formal name - which I learned while searching for recipes - is delicata squash. Yeah, as I said, I hadn't heard of it either.

So, because I wasn't really in the mood for anything particular, I decided I would experiment with this squash. What did I have to lose? The sad thing was that while in the midst of prepping, I was still well prepared for it to still end up as bird feed...Ha! 

Boy, was I ever surprised at the end result.  BEST. Squash. EVER. 

And, best of all, Mr., who does not really care for sweet potatoes and/or squash, LOVED it.  There wasn't an ounce of leftovers!

Oh, it was so good.  Perfect in taste and texture and OH so Pretty on the Plate! Now, I just need to find more of 'em!

I ended up using  Roasted Delicata Squash recipe
, found on Super Tomato, just to figure out where to start (best way to cut it, cook it, etc).  I only had one squash so I just used a little sunflower oil, some sea salt, and roasted accordingly (425 degrees, flipping every 7 minutes for 20 to 30 minutes). 

With the delicata squash, I served grilled wild-caught salmon - only seasoned with fresh squeezed lemon and sea salt, ground pepper, and a side of lightly sauteed spinach - only seasoned with fresh garlic.  I then sprinkled over the plate a handful of toasted raw pumpkin seeds and pecans (I had just thrown a handful on the pan with the squash for the last few minutes it roasted). 

From start to finish, I had everything prepared and on the table in 30 minutes.  Such a fantastic - clean - wholesome combination!

Have you ever experimented with delicata "sweet potato" squash?  Did you find it as tasty as I did?

Keep it Clean,

Mrs. Skinny Fat

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Snackin' on Some Edamame

There are nights - like tonight - when I look up at the clock and realize it's already time to start making dinner and I haven't a clue where to begin!  I'm hungry, Mr.'s hungry, and while I want to put something in our bellies, I also don't want to spoil our appetite for dinner.  In times like these, I often turn to the organic edamame (ed-ah-MAH-may) for a pre-dinner crunch.  It takes me about five minutes to put a plate of hot edamame in front of us and buys me some time for my dinner exploration and ultimately the preparation that follows.

Edamame is young soybeans, available both in the pod and shelled. Because the beans are young and green when they are picked, edamame soybeans are soft and edible, not hard and dry like the mature soybeans which are used to make soy milk and tofu. Edamame is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids.  It's a good source of fiber, essential fatty acids, and isoflavones (found only in soy). I like to buy frozen organic edamame in the pod - so it's ready to go whenever I am!

To cook edamame, boil the pods in water for four to five minutes, then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. While you can eat edamame hot or cold,  I like to serve immediately, enjoy, then then push the leftover beans out of the pod to use in my salads later in the week - delish!

Cooked and served within 5 minutes. 
Sprinkled with a teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt.
To eat edamame, place the pod at your mouth, then squeeze or
bite the beans into your mouth. You don't eat the pod, just the
edamame beans inside, which easily pop out.
See my "discard bowl" pictured above with some empty pods.
Leftover edamame?  Simply push the beans out
of the pod
(as shown above) to compliment
your salads later in week! - Delish!

Are you an edamame fan? What's your favorite way to enjoy?  

Keep it Clean!
Mrs. Skinny Fat

Monday, January 30, 2012

Reader Tip & High Protein Breakfast

I had a reader write me the other day and express - among other really great tips (thank you!) that she really loves my blog but wished that I would be more regular with my posts (me too, sista!).  She also mentioned that her favorite posts are when she gets a "taste" of what I eat on a regular basis.  I was humored by this as I take pictures of essentially every meal, snack, etc. that I make and/or order, but then decide it's not really "blog worthy" because it's so simple!  Hmm... maybe this is just the inspiration I need to help me keep posts up more regularly by focusing on just sharing vs. being critical of myself for not taking time to truly formulate thoughts, recipes, etc. 

So, here's to giving it a whirl!

High Protein Breakfast

I try to get anywhere from 80 to 100 grams of protein a day.  I have learned that my body does really good with larger amounts protein in my diet (each of us is different - it's important to determine what works for you).

So, this morning I made an egg whites (6 for a total of 24 grams of protein), loaded with veggies slightly sauteed (organic spinach, red onions, mushrooms, and red / yellow peppers), and topped with some avocado slices.  I've never combined avocado with my eggs before, but it was so good!  Gave it a little something special! 

Feels like I should keep writing... ha!

Keeping it Clean & Simple Tonight,

Mrs. Skinny Fat

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Easy Dinner Idea

Seafood is a staple in our house.  We make some variation of fish - salmon, mahi mahi, tuna steak, sword fish, etc - at least once a week.  Wild caught mahi mahi is one of our favorites because it's so mild in taste and easy to prepare.  This meal took little effort and was 10 times -- okay 100 times (ha!) better than the so called upscale restaurant we visited over the weekend. 

Main Ingredients

  • Organic Carrots, slice, steam, and season with paprika and ground pepper. 
  • Organic Spinach, raw
  • Organic Mushrooms, whole, drizzle with sunflower oil, and season with organic red pepper flakes, garlic, sea salt, and ground pepper. Grill.
  • Mahi Mahi - Wild Caught Fillets Thawed (I really like Full Circle brand), start by squeezing fresh lemon over it, then drizzle with sunflower oil, and season with organic garlic, onion, ground pepper, paprika, thyme, and a touch of rosemary (use whatever you like!) - Grill
Serving Suggestion:  Place cooked mahi mahi and
mushrooms on top of raw spinach.  Excellent!

Just another picture. Delicious and Balanced!
Made with Love,
Mrs. Skinny Fat