Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!!

I ususally reserve my blogging to health & fitness related topics, but I wanted to share 2 gospel songs/videos this Christmas Eve. May you be surrounded by family, friends, love, and find peace this holiday season.

Jessy Dixon: Sanctuary
First, I must post a video of a powerful song that reminds me of my purpose in this lifetime. The words make me thankful that Christ was born and died so that we all may have everlasting life. Merry Christmas to those who are Christ followers, and happy holidays to all. Live each day to the fullest and rejoice for a seat has been prepared for reservation required..but belief must be in your heart...Amen.

Go Tell it on the Mountain
Second, I heard "Go Tell it on the Mountain" in church this evening. It struck a cord so deep, as this was my Grandmother's favorite song. I remember that she gave me this record when I was a young girl (around age 10 or so), and I would listen to it in my room over and over again. Since her passing, I haven't been able to listen to it again, and tonight there it was loud and lovely in church. It reminded me that even though she's been gone 16 years now, she still watches over me and loves me. This is a perfect time since the song announces the birth of Christ - go tell it everywhere...He is born! The video was one that I found on youtube, and I thought it was just beautiful (and none other than the legendary Ms. Mahalia Jackson of course).

Merry Christmas everyone! With love, life, & purpose - Fitgirl-ATX

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Fitness DVD Library Additions

Of course now that I've returned to becoming active in various fitness community forums, I'm being introduced to new instructors/DVDs that I want to have in my library. I was doing pretty good with purchases until I became "enabled" again :-). Seriously, 2009 has been pretty tame. I've added the following thus far:

Strength Training Workouts
1) Cathe Friedrich: Shock Training System (STS). I completed STS Meso 1 (muscle endurance) in March and am finishing up Meso 2 (hypertrophy) now. I'll do Meso 3 later in 2010. As you know, Cathe is one of my absolute favorite instructors!!

Kettlebell & TRX Workouts:
I have a pretty extensive kettlebell DVD library, so I didn't really add much this year. TRX was new for me this year, so I stocked up on some of their DVDs, and they have all been gems!
1) Franz & Yoanna Sniedman: Revolution Solution: Combining Ropes & Kettlebells for Maximum Fitness & Fat Loss and Quick Results Kettlebell Workout. I was disappointed that these weren't work-along DVDs. As such, I felt they were overpriced (although they were decent workouts).
2) TRX: Ropes & Straps 1, Ropes & Straps 2, TRX Essentials: Strength, TRX Essentials: Flexibility, TRX Performance: Team Sports, TRX Performance: Train Like the Pros --> ALL of these DVDs were incredible! I did find Ropes & Straps 2 a bit too advanced for me. I'm still working up to it :-)

Boxing/Kickboxing Workouts
I re-discovered my love for boxing & kickboxing workouts. It also reminded me that I don't have alot in my DVD collection in those generes. So, I focused on adding more of those workouts to the library. Here's what I've added so far.
1) Michael Olajide: Aerobox, Savage & Serene -> Haven't tried these yet, but I know they'll be awesome. I love Michael Olajide's style and intensity.
2) Tracey Stahele: Cardio Kickbox Challenge (pre-order, will be my first workout of hers)
3) Billy Blanks: I am a huge TaeBo fan, and I always enjoy Billy's workouts. I am planning to add his TaeBo Amped series later this month.
4) Cardio Fight: New on my list is Wally Holms' Cardio Fight series, but I probably won't add it until next year.

High Intensity Workouts
1) Shaun T: Insanity & Insanity Deluxe (someone was selling on my local Craigslist, and I scored the set for $70!!). I also got the 3 deluxe Insanity DVD's. I plan on doing an Insanity rotation in February.
2) Cathe Friedrich: STS Shock Cardio - it just arrived today, and I plan on doing the circuits & boxing workouts through 1Q2010.

Low Intensity workouts
1) Leslie Sansone: Since I'm still forced to do some lower intensity workouts for a few weeks, I picked up a couple of Leslie Sansone DVD's to do in-home walking now that the weather has gotten colder

"Hated-it" Workouts
1) Jari Love: Get Extremely Ripped & Get Extremely Ripped 1000 (sold both..wasn't very enthused about them)

Merry Christmas/Happy birthday to me...from Cathe!

I am so excited!! My STS Shock Cardio is finally here!! I'd completely forgotten about the pre-order, and I happened to get back onto the fitness forums and remembered. That, of course, means I've been anxious about it's release.

I am actually just now finishing up Cathe's STS Meso 2 (hypertrophy). Instead of moving into Meso 3 (Strength), I was planning to focus on full-body circuits for the next 12-16 weeks. I wanted to pair those with higher intensity, shorter cardio workouts starting in mid-January. To that note, Shock Cardio is right on time!! I like the mixture of circuit style, HiiT, and pure cardio workouts in the series. YEAH - thanks, Cathe!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fitness Anywhere (TRX) Holiday Sale

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that the Fitness Anywhere (TRX) is having a holiday sale. Stock up for the holidays!! Click on the picture below to see the current sales.

Make sure to check out the new downloadable workouts! There is a new performance download featuring Drew Brees.

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy holidays everyone!!

Wow - time has just flown by!! There have been/continue to be so many changes on the horizon for my life that I haven't had time to post (obviously). The good news: well, it's all good news!! A few highlights though: I'm still working with my clients and they are getting GREAT results!! I'm so proud of their accomplishments each and every day. One client has lost over 20 pounds; another has lost pounds, inches, and has completely reshaped her body; all clients are making positive steps toward adopting healthier habits in their lives. I am supremely proud of it all!!!

My personal progress: Still having a ton of ups & downs...I'm STILL not where I want to be, but I had to really own up to the fact that I haven't been doing what I know will get results. I haven't been training consistently, I haven't been eating properly or drinking enough, how can I expect change to happen. My energy levels were shot..BUT, I did get a metabolic assessment test done, and, as I suspected, my body is grossly overtrained (and therefore holds on to any and everything that it can get). So, I've been taking it back to basics for the past 7 days, and I feel absolutely GREAT! I've done 3 days of strength training (in a periodized fashion) and done cardio everyday. Due to my exhausted state, cardio is best done low intensity, steady state (which is the biggest challenge for me). I feel great that I am finally down to the bottom of the root of my physical health problems. Over the past few months, my depression/anxiety are in check, stress levels are down, and I'm generally alot happier. I have some exciting career transitions in the works, and, even though it's a bit scary at times, I'm loving the journey.

I hope that you all are doing well and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. Almost another year has gone by for us...make the most of the last few weeks and enter 2010 with a positive, fresh perspective.

In health & peace!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My latest fitness quest...the Versaclimber

Oh my gosh, I MUST find a Versaclimber to add to the gym. I have been looking for a new conditioning machine, as my body is so used to spinning that I'm slowly reaching the point of dimishing returns. Spinning will always be one of my favorite, challenging cardio modes, but when your body gets so used to a movement, it stops responding as well. Anyway, when I saw the Versaclimber, I knew that I had to have one! I've been on a fierce mission to find one for about 3 weeks. I've come close a few times, but still no cigar. I had a good lead come in on Friday afternoon, and I'll know on Monday if it leads to something concrete. Keep your fingers crossed!! Can you imagine doing Tabata intervals on this puppy followed by Prowler sprints?! Or, doing rounds of Versaclimber, swings, & snatches! Talk about one heck of a workout; the combinations are endless! I've only seen this machine in one gym in my life. I am taking a huge risk buying a machine that I've never personally used, but I know that this is what I need to keep pushing my fitness level. I did find someone selling a home model on Craigslist, and I drove down to San Antonio to try it out. It was brutal, and I loved it! I do know that I want a commercial model, but the home version was enough to give me a little taste and confirm my instinct. The testimonials on the Versaclimber website are incredible.

For those of you who don't know, here it is in action. Wheewwww!

Afterburn 16-week program

As you all know, I'm a big believer in keeping onesself educated, so I am always looking for material from respected industry experts like Anthony Dilugio, Alwyn Cosgrove, Rachel Cosgrove, Chad Waterbury, Joe DeFranco, Zach Even-Esh, and Craig Ballentyne. I've been in the fitness industry for over a decade, and I still love learning new things and getting new ideas.

I forgot to mention that I'm currently working on Alwyn Cosgrove's 16-week Afterburn program, in conjuction with Isabel De Los Rios' nutrition program. I've had Afterburn for a while now, but I wasn't dedicated enough to commit to a 16-week program. However, in the spirit of my last post about goals for the end of the year, I figured that completing Afterburn could be a good project for the last 4 months of the year. This is my first week, and my goodness the workouts were TOUGH! I thought that I'd breeze right through them just by reading the descriptions, that is until I realized the high rep range with heavy weights. My glutes and hammies have been sore all week - LOL. At any rate, the program is fun so far, squeezes alot of work in a short period of time, and there is enough variety to prevent boredom. It's broken down into four 4-week phases, which keeps the body guessing. I also have Alwyn's Afterburn II (12 weeks) and Warp Speed Fat Loss (4-weeks). I've done WSFL twice with good results, so I felt that I was ready for Afterburn.

I decided to use Isabel de los Rios' nutrition program entitled "The Diet Solution Program." I found out about Isabel's work from Craig Ballentyne. I bought Ballentyne's Turbulence Training program earlier this year to research, and I do incorporate some variance of the training style into my own personal workouts. At any rate, he endorsed Isabel, and I am actually quite pleased with her program thus far. I like it because it endorses a way of life-long way of eating and not a short-term diet. Of course she talks about modifying it for a specific event or time period, but the aim is so that you can achieve your nutritional goals in a healthy manner. I have been quite impressed by the literature and the done-for-you meal plans that she offers as part of the deluxe package. I'll keep you posted on how it's working, but so far, so good! I'm rarely hungry, and I've gotten back to the disciplined journaling that I followed when I was getting ready for shows. The old will power is back, and I'm excited to see it in action.

Here's to health!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The end of the summer

Well, summer is coming to a close; 4 months left in this year! I'm actually looking forward to it! I have alot planned for the fall. I'm furthering my education, and my ultimate goal is to get myself back in shape to compete next April! I'm striving to go back to figure, which will be a major task. However, my system has been through so much over the past 2 years, I may not achieve that goal. But, I am feeling strong and mentally focused, so I will get darn close. My goal for the end of this year is to lean out and have incredible end of year holidays!

What are you working on in the last 4 months of the year? How will you challenge yourself? What new goal have you set? Whatever you choose, the important thing is to choose one and work toward it every day until you get there. Don't give up! There will be days when you want to, but you just have to keep going. If you mess up, acknowledge it and keep going.

I was reflecting today on when I dropped 30 pounds for my figure competitions back in 2004. As much as I enjoy looking at the pictures of that particular goal, I really think back on the dedication and focus that it took to get there. For me, that was the most admirable part. It took over a year of strict dieting and hard training to make it to that stage,and it was a goal that I never thought I could attain. The ironic thing is that when I competed in figure, I placed horribly. However, placing wasn't the important thing to me. My focus was to get in the best shape of my life and enjoy showing it off on stage! That mission was definitely accomplished. Contrast that to when I competed in bodybuilding 2 years later. I placed first, but I felt like the challenge wasn't nearly as tough as getting ready for figure. I am so proud of my 1st place trophy, but I wanted that feeling of attaing a goal that was such a high bar to reach. My body has been through alot over the past 2 years, and I don't know if I'll ever get there again...but I'm finally ready to commit and say that I'm damn sure going to try!

Have a great rest of 2009!! I'll check-in periodically. I'm working with more clients, and simultaneously updating my ATX Fitness Underground blog, so I don't always have time to update my personal blog. I look forward to seeing what y'all are up to as well.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Flywheel Fitness

Austin has a new indoor rowing facility called Flywheel Fitness. I love to support other local fitness businesses. This facility is located in South Austin and is about 1000 sqft. I wanted to attend the "novice" class to make sure that I had proper rowing form, as I've never been taught professionally. Let me just say that I had a wonderful 45-minute workout.

I took the novice class with Sara (the owner). I had a wonderful time! Sara is an incredibly personable and knowledgeable instructor. She was very attentive and encouraging. She gave me several useful pointers on improving technique without being overwhelming. I highly recommend taking a class at Flywheel Fit. The facility is very clean and inviting, and the rowers are the absolute best (Concept 2). If you are in the Austin area, please suport this wonderful facility! I live in the Northwest part of the city and made the effort to go down south to welcome them into Austin. They just had their grand opening party this past Friday to celebrate one-month of being in business. Thank you, Sara! I had a great time!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Keith Weber's Extreme KB Cardio

After I finished up with clients this evening, I decided to break out Keith Weber's Extreme KB Cardio DVD. I've only used this DVD once or twice since I bought it last year. I actually did the "ManMaker" and the first couple exercises of the "upper body blast" workout with the 16kg, forcing myself to continue to develop proficiency with all drills using that weight. I was proud of myself for being able to move through such an intense circuit with the 16kg. I was especially proud that the snatches no longer intimidated me. I was pretty amped to get to that part of the workout. Surprisingly, the presses gave me some grief today, and the thrusters wiped me out in the beginning.

I do enjoy this DVD by Keith. From an endurance perspective, it reminds me of AoS Newport. My only issue is that the workout moves very quickly; I'm rarely able to keep up with the instructor. It would also have been nice to have the workout componets displayed either at the start of each workout, as each move was in progress, or both. I did write down the workout, and posted it in my gym so that I can do it at my own pace. Keith is very motivating, though, and is excellent shape. If you're looking for a new DVD to add to your library, I do recommend this one. Personally, I can't (and don't) do the workout in its entirety. I just pick 1 or 2 of the 7 or so programs and work on those.

This DVD contains 7 workouts that can be performed individually or combined into a series of your choosing. The 7 workouts are as follows: the manmaker, the upper body blast, the leg burner, the swing workout, the slingshot, the turkish getup, and a core/cooldown segment. It's good stuff...check it out!

Click here for more information about Keith Weber's Extreme Kettlebell Cardio DVD.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

It's been a while...

Wow - I've been so busy this summer that I've barely had time to update my personal blog. My personal training business is going really well. Of course I'm devoting alot of time to my clients. I'm also focusing more energy on my own training as well. I have a really nice rhythm going with my program design, and everyone (including me) gets challenged.

We've been having a fun summer. I will try to update my blog more often. I am doing double duty with my personal blog as well as the ATX Underground Fitness blog. I'm hoping to do Vintage Providence today.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vintage Providence is HERE!!!

I posted about 2 weeks ago raving about having the opportunity to try the Vintage Providence workout when I attended the AoS certification training weekend. Well, the wait is's finally here! Head on over to the AoS store to get a copy! The Vintage Providence workout was nothing short of amazing! The Vintage twist really put a new spin on an old favorite (i.e. Providence). It was absolutely incredible.

If you love the original Providence, the Vintage version will continue to challenge you and make you fall in love with the workout all over again. It's an entirely new workout with a few familiar elements. The workout uses kettlebells, vintage dumbbells, and vintage barbells. You must experience it for yourself! Even if you don't have the vintage dumbbells & barbells, I am going to give it a shot with regular dumbbells, bodybars, and possibly a lighter women's oly bar. Vintage Providence is being released as a downloadable 60-minute work-along workout. It will come with downloads for your computer, iPhone, iPod, and Blackberry.

Keep training hard! Head on over to the AoS store to get a copy! I will definitely be adding this to my own personal workout library.

Here is the trailer:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

AoS Providence: Rounds 1-7

I got in a short workout this evening at the track. It was still rather warm (about 97-degrees), but I wanted to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. however, the heat made me tired quickly ;-) At any rate, my plan was to complete the first 7 rounds of Providence with the 16kg bell; tomorrow I will do rounds 8-14. I was able to use the 16kg for everything except the chest presses. i also fatigued during the clean & press ladders, and had to scale back around the 3rd rung. All-in-all, I had an efficient, quick workout.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Deck of Cards + Tabata

Tonight we took some of our clients through the infamous deck of cards workout. One class is in their final week of a 6-week conditioning program, and we wanted to bump up the intensity for the final 2 workouts. Tonight was deck of cards + tabata; let's see what Friday will bring :-).

Here was today's workout in case anybody wants to give it a shot. If you've never done a deck of cards session, it's a dynamic, fun workout. Here's how to get the job done:

Exercise Assignment: Assign 1 exercise per suit OR 2 exercises per color. We like choosing 1 exercise per suit (for 4 exercises total).
Getting it Done: Deal the deck one card at a time, doing the number on the card for reps of the given exercise.
o Face cards (Jack, Queen, King): 10 reps
o Aces: 11 reps
o Jokers: 1:00 Rest (more advanced exercisers can take shorter rest)
Try to get thru the entire deck ASAP,with good quality & form.





Our client tonight finished the entire deck in 30:06 - an excellent time!
We finished it off with 1 tabata round (20s work:10s active recovery) intervals.
  • Four Rounds of Plank
  • Four Rounds H2H Swings

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Did the AoS Test!

Today was my first real workout day since I returned from the AoS course in Providence this past weekend. I've had a few clients throughout the week, but mostly coached and didn't exert myself too much. At any rate, tonight I felt incredibly strong!!! I ate well today, carb loaded, and I think that's where all of my extra energy came from. I taught an extended interval-based spinning class (a little over an hour), and then I came home and was still full of energy. So, I decided to try the AoS Essentials Test. I didn't test at the seminar b/c when we tested on Sunday as I group, I was pretty tired & sore so I decided to sit it out. This was the first time I've ever done the test, and tonight I just thought, what the heck, I'm going to go for it.

I did the test with the 12kg, and it wasn't bad at all! I made it through every round pretty smoothly (with the exception of my first high pull/snatch). I wish that I would've video taped it. I realized that for me the test so far has been a mental challenge. I knew that I was so familiar with all of the moves and have done them time and time again over the past 3 years. I kept psyching myself out with having to do the entire test with the 16kg. I was smiling and talking, not really breathing that hard or panting with the 12kg. Don't get me wrong, it was physically taxing since it was all done on one side, but it wasn't any harder than the other kettlebell stuff I've done. When I felt like I was getting to the point where I needed to put the bell down, there were only about 5 seconds in each round. For me, it was easier (and shorter) than Newport...but Newport kicks my a** every single time without fail :-) I am not saying that the test was easy by any means, but it was not impossible. I'll probably be singing a different tune when I test to pass. Anyway, I think I'll try again soon with the 16kg and see how I do. The 16kg bell is my required test kettlebell size. I'm confident that with practice, I'll be able to pass the test with the 20kg.

I feel like I've accomplished two major milestones in the past 2 weeks - attending the AoS course and finally trying the test (even if it wasn't with my required weight). As I've shared with some of you, the past 2 years have been really tough for my body physically, even though I've avidly trained with kettlebells since late 2005. In 2008 my system completely crashed, and I wasn't able to do much at all. I'm still healing in many ways, so just completing the course this weekend was a major accomplishment. Kettlebell training is my passion, and I wasn't sure if my body would ever rebound and allow me to experience that training intensity again. Well, today is a new day, and I feel like I am back with a vengence.

Anyway, sorry for being long winded. It won't be long now before I pass the test with the required weight!

Highly Recommend AoS Vintage Providence..when it's released

For all of you Art of Strength fans, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the upcoming AoS Vintage Providence release. As I previously posted, I had the esteemed pleasure & honor of attending the AoS Essentials weekend course at Punch Rumford this past weekend. We had an opportunity to do the Vintage Providence workout on our last day, and it was nothing short of amazing! (you can see a few pictures of me doing the workout from yesterday's post). The Vintage twist really put a new spin on an old favorite. It was absolutely incredible. If you love the original Providence, the Vintage version will continue to challenge you and make you fall in love with the workout all over again.

Vintage Providence will be released as a downloadable work-along DVD in the next few weeks. Personally, I am dying to get a copy :-). Look out for this DVD, y'all! You must experience it for yourself! Even if you don't have the vintage dumbbells & barbells, I am going to give it a shot with regular dumbbells and bodybars (maybe a lighter women's oly bar). I'll post a notice when it becomes available for sale.

Keep training hard!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Art of Strength (AoS) Continuing Education Weekend

We just returned from a trip to Providence, RI for the long awaited AoS training & certification weekend. I still have to complete my test for official certification with the required 16kg kettlebell weight, but the weekend was incredible! Despite my injured elbow, I was still able to work hard. I also derived a great deal of coaching techniques to bring back home for our ATXU clients! It was an excellent compliment to the kettlebell workshop that we hosted at our facility last week. I learned some exciting new ideas that I will use to incrementally progress our clients through the challenging circuit training sessions that we design. I have alot of goodies up my sleeve :-)

We received education in the following areas: ropes gone wild, bandit loops (similar to TRX), kettlebells (of course), vintage strength training, & tabata implementations.

Here are a few photos of the weekend (and of me getting the job done - don't let the pink fool ya! those shot-loaded suckers were heavy!):

Saturday, May 30, 2009

WSSC 2009 - Awesome!!

I just got back from the 10th annual World Spinning & Sports Conference. It was such an amazing experience (as per usual). Even though I wasn't able to attend the entire conference, I was grateful for the 1.5 days that I had to spend there. This was an opportunity to focus on myself and my own endurance, while still picking up tips & tricks for more efficient coaching of my clients.

After a super long day of travel, I had about 2 hours to unwind before the Intense White ride (2 hours). It was the most exhilirating experience for me! I didn't think that I'd be able to ride with such intensity, energy, and strength for so long. Josh Taylor was amazing. Last year, I didn't get to participate in his pre-conference ride or the ride with team spinning, so it was my priority to get one of those in during this trip. I am so glad I chose Josh's ride. The music was great, energy was off the chain...couldn't have asked for a better "welcome to WSSC" experience. I didn't get a ticket for the Ride with Team Spinning on Friday night. I think it was for the best, because I was already exhausted from a full day of activity. I rode twice on Friday - one endurance & one strength - each about 1.25 hours. So, in 2 days, I had about 4.5 hours logged on the bike. It was simply awesome.

I'm tired, but ready to head home now. Mission accomplished :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chicken, Potato, & Kale Soup

Chicken, Potato, & Kale Soup

This is my best masterpiece yet. I modified this recipe from the VitaMix blender cookbook. I've made this soup about 4 times, and I finally perfected it. It usually takes me about 15-20 minutes start-to-finish, and the Vitamix does most of the work. Here's the scoop:
3 small yukon potatoes, boiled with skin on (can also use red potatoes)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 sweet yellow onion
3-4 green onions
1/2-1 tsp basil
1/2-1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp dried dill
sea salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash to taste
4-5 Fresh, Organic Kale Stalks (about 1/2 of a bunch)
4-5 Fresh Mushrooms (I prefer cremini)
4 pieces grilled chicken breast, chopped
Uncle Ben's Brown Ready Rice (optional)
1 ounce hard organic mild cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Season chicken breast to taste. Grill chicken breast in George Foreman Grill. Set aside.
2. Spray large skillet with Pam and add approx 1T olive oil. Saute 1/4 yellow onion, 1-2 chopped green onion, mushrooms, & garlic in pan for 1-2 minutes. Add green, leafy portion of kale stalks and lightly season with Mrs. Dash. Continue to saute until kale is soft. Set aside.
3. Prepare Uncle Ben's Brown Ready Rice in microwave (optional). Make sure to get the plain brown rice, as other versions of Ready Rice contain a significant amount of sodium. You can also use boil-in-bag brown rice or your other favorite rice.
4. Place remainder of yellow onion, remainder of chopped green onion, 2 boiled potatoes, chicken broth, & skim milk in VitaMix container. Secure lid. Make sure the variable speed is set to #1.
5. Turn on Vitamix and quickly increase the variable speed to #10; then to HIGH. Run for 5 minutes or until the mixture is steaming hot.
6. Season broth to taste with basil, Italian seasoning, dill, salt, & pepper. Use Vitmix on variable setting #1 to incorporate seasonings into the mixture. I usually eyeball amounts and taste along the way :-)
7. Disperse 1/2 of kale mixture and chopped chicken breast into 3-4 soup bowls. Gently toss together.
8. Turn blender speed up to #3. Remove the lid plug and add kale mixture and potato. Run blender about 5-10 seconds.
9. Pour soup base into prepared soup bowls and integrate. Add 2-3T of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice to each bowl. Top each bowl with chopped hard cheese. You might also want to add fresh chopped green onion to each bowl as well.
This recipe should yield 3-4 servings. You can add more or less chicken, kale, rice, etc to get the desired consistency. I love this soup! It's healthy and delicious. You get a flavorful, relatively creamy soup without using fattening milk or cream like you'd find in a restaurant. ENJOY!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Out of this world raw soup!!

I usually don't post recipes, but for those of you integrating more raw foods into your diet, I highly recommend the soup recipe below. It's great as a first post-fasting meal as well. This recipe comes from The Complete Book of Raw Food, 2nd edition, and was contributed by Abeba Wright & Anna fisk. The Contributor's Note for this recipe reads as follows: "This recipe was created at a 2002 Raw Chef's Training Retreat conducted by Victoria Boutenko. This soup was a hit - the students were scraping the bowl and begging for the recipe." All I can say is that I absolutely concur! Every time I make this soup, I'm literally scaping my bowl. I've usually tweak it a bit, adding more raisins and sundried tomatos for sweetness. At any rate, here it is. It usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to prepare this soup and then I simply sit down to ENJOY!!!

Ingredients (modified slightly from the text):
Soup "Broth"
4-5 fresh tomatos, chopped
Chopped, minced garlic ~ 1-2 teaspoons to taste (Note: I've used garlic cloves in the past, as the original recipe calls for them. however, I found the garlic cloves to be a bit too strong for my tastes. I like the chopped & minced garlic that can be found in the grocery store)
Basil (dried or fresh), to taste
Dill (dried or fresh), to taste
1/2 sweet yellow onion
1/2 red bell pepper (or use a whole one if you like it hotter)
2T lemon juice
sea salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes

Soup "Meat"
2 roma tomatoes, chopped & deseeded - used for the soup "meat"
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 - whole avocado, cubed (i prefer less, simply because I don't like to eat alot of avocado)
1/2 sweet yellow pepper
1 ear of sweet yellow corn, cut from the cob

In order to prepare the soup broth, place all listed ingredients into a VitaMix blender (except for the sun-dried tomatoes). Blend thoroughly with 1/2 cup of water (note: I usually have to play around with the water to get the consistency that I want). Add the sun-dried tomatoes, a little at a time, into the VitaMix.

In a large soup bowl, combine the avocado, sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, corn, and sweet yellow pepper. Mix the chopped veggies by hand. Pour the soup broth over the chopped vegetables, stir well, and ENJOY!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Gosh, I was so tired & sore today, that I simply slept, treated myself to a sports massage, and put together my office furniture. I should've probably soaked in a hot tub or sat in the sauna poor, achey muscles...who know that bodyweight training could produce such DOMS everywhere?!!!?? It feels great, though, and I can't wait to get back to training this upcoming week. I did cringe a bit, though, when I thought about running the stairs at Mt. Bonnell at some point this week. I'm scheduled to do it tomorrow, but we shall see what tomorrow will bring.

make it a great one, people!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

TRX - All Core, All the Time

I attended the TRX Suspension Training Course today, and it was simply awesome! I am convinced that suspension training, coupled with kettlebells, sandbags, tires, etc, will vastly enhance one's overall level of functional fitness. Everyday movements will become easier; your body will work more synergistically to accomplish basic tasks.

I won't post my disseration here, or go on a long rant, but I did want to take a moment to quickly shout out the Fitness Anywhere team on a job well done. I highly encourage anyone who might even be remotely interested in suspension training and/or the TRX to give it a try. The experience is phenomenal. Do the research, buy the equipment, & get won't look back :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Interval Cardio

I did a quick 35-minute interval cardio session tonight...used the elliptical & recumbant bike. It felt great, and I definitely sweated (is that a word???) alot! Kept it short & simple in preparation for the TRX workshop on Saturday since it's a full 8 hours of lecture, hands-on, and working out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stairs & Spinning

Wow! I was so excited for this morning to get here that I actually had a hard time sleeping. I was really excited about the challenge of doing something new today, and that's exactly what I did! This morning I got up and headed to Mt. Bonnell to run the stairs. My plan was to get in 20 minutes, but I actually did 30, and made 6 laps up & down the 102-stair path (one-way). Two of the laps I ran the perimeter of the mountain (i.e. up the stairs, across the scenic path, down the trail, and back to the beginning). I was very proud of myself. I had my heart rate monitor on, because I was really curious as to how intense this would be. Turns out it was the perfect interval workout. Running up the stairs, my heart rate got into the anerobic zones; in the recovery periods of the workout, my heart rate naturally dropped. I'm looking forward to trying this out again. thank goodness for my water backpack and an overcast morning :-)

later this evening, I coached spin class, and was able to ride. We did an interval, all-terrain, loop style ride. I was holding back a little bit because I was sweating profusely and I kept losing my voice, but I think that everyone had a challening workout and a good time. I love teaching at the Riata...everyone is so friendly and they all seem to enjoy a good challenge. They bring out the best in me!

Tomorrow I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I think that I want to get on my rower & elliptical in the morning for about 30 minutes total. I have a long "to-do" list, so we'll see what happens....I did really well with my nutritional compliance today as well, so I'm pretty proud of myself. i was starving after spin class, though, so I at a bit more than I should have especially since I didn't get my pre-workout meal in. I figure that it all balances out, though.

Anyway, until then, have a lovely evening!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day...Rest Day

Well, I took the day off today from working out. I just got busy doing other things, and decided to rest my system, especially with the workshop coming up this weekend.

I'm looking forward to what tomorrow will bring. I think I'm going to try to run the stairs at Mt. Bonnell....key word being T-R-Y....but I love doing something different and new!

I'm really excited for the weekend. I think that I'm going to treat myself to a massage and a soak in the hot tub & sauna on Sunday afternoon. I love to spend Sunday afternoon relaxing after church. My muscles are feeling tight, so it's time for a good, indulging rest....I can't wait!!! :-) I'm also finishing up some projects around the house, and I am elated to get my home back into it's pristine, organized condition. We needed some more storage for all of my books (I have such a love for reading)..we're almost there :-) Maybe 1 more bookcase should do it!

Hope yall didn't stress too much about getting your taxes filed on time today.... :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just Spin again...

I was feeling a little weak in the morning and early afternoon today, mostly because I wasn't eating on schedule. Anyhoo, I was feeling pretty good by the time class rolled around in the evening and had fueled myself up pretty well. I led the class through an endurance workout tonight, and boy did it feel AWESOME! Had a chance to focus on pedal stroke & mind/body connection...endurance is actually my favorite spinning energy zone, and tonight's workout was an excellent reminder of why.

I'd love to do another endurance workout this Thursday, but I have a feeling my class would yell at me :-) Endurance is an acquired taste..some love it, some hate it, and some are learning to tolerate it....i've been at all 3 points in my cycling training, and it's all a part of the process.....keep turning the pedals :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Walk in the Park - Not Really...

Okay, so the weather was pretty nice today, and I wanted to soak up some of the sun. Sooo, I decided to go for a walk after my last client. I was only supposed to do 30 minutes, but wound up doing 60..not by choice..but yes, I got LOST walking in the neighborhoods surrounding mine. I usually ride my bike over these routes, so I figured it would be okay. Well, on foot, I totally lost my sense of direction. My feet were hurting after 30 minutes. I just had to stop and laugh at myself. Not only did I get lost, but by the time I got turned around in the right direction, I remembered that my phone (which I had on me) had GPS. Too funny!!! Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself in least I had a good workout and a good smile!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Given that today was Easter, I definitely took the day off from working out. The day started out soo blah...full of heavy rains..but the afternoon uncovered some gorgeous, sunny, warm, spring weather.

For those who believe, Happy Easter!

Will hit it again tomorrow..back on track, being strong...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Home Gym Items for Sale

We have a few items that are available for sale. All of these items were for personal use only and not used within the gym setting. Please let us know if you're interested. For the most part, we're looking for local sales only. The bandit loops could be shipped.
1) Art of Strength 1.5" Diameter Bandit Loops - $140.I've only used these once in a year, and I'd rather sell them now to add a few other items to my gym. I also have an extra pair of straps, which means this puppy should last you forever, even if you are a trainer using this with clients. These retail for $179.95 plus shipping at and $209 plus shipping at They are essentially in brand new condition. These loops are really high quality and would be a nice addition to the home gym designed for functional fitness, crossfit gyms, garage gyms, etc. Check out videos of bandit loops in action at:
2) Women's Oxide Elite Size 9 Roller Blades - $25 (lightly used)
3) Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack - $100 (like new condition, only used twice)
4) Troy Mega Lightweight Strength Training System - 65 lbs of rubber enclosed weights & barbell - $65. This is the same barbell set used in many of Cathe Friedrich's DVD series. Since we've upgraded to mostly Olympic weights, we don't use this much any more. Great price, great product.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rest Day

As much as I wanted to workout today, I was still feeling pretty beat down and tired. Soooo, today was a rest day. Five straight days of workouts, and it's definitely time for a rest day. My endurance is coming back....but I still have to listen to my system...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Just Spin....

Tonight was another strong Spin workout! We had a relatively small class, so we took advantage of the personalization and worked out hard! I rode most of the class, coaching some portions off the bike as needed to correct form, motivate, etc.

I think that my body is crying "enough", though. After class, I came home, took a shower, and crashed. I mean, fully crashed, knocked out, sleep until morning. My tummy was also a bit irritated, so I just listened and got some rest.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Late Night Workout

I was feeling pretty good on energy today. Before I knew it, the day had gotten away from me, and it was 9:15PM before I started my workout. However, I really wanted to get it in today. Not only did I get in a workout, I did a KILLER intensity session today. I did the TRX Cardio Circuit #1, which was a combination of jump rope intervals and TRX. I loved how the intensity of this workout progressively increased. It's been a LONG TIME since I've done jump rope intervals, and I was surprised that I handled them so well. I think that I'd psyched myself out of this workout, but I just jumped in and got it done (no pun intended). I can't wait to get the TRX Bootcamp: Ropes & Straps DVD. I also realize that I need a better jump rope. My $4.99 academy sports special was not working so well for me. I did okay, but I could've done better.

I'm looking forward to tackling this workout again later in the week.

Oh, I also finalized the details for the TRX continuing education workshop in Houston next Saturday. WHOOHOOOO!!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Today I tried to get in a lunch time rowing workout, but it didn't happen. I got about 5 mins in and decided to stop. I was feeling pretty tired, and I had to conserve some energy for spin class. It's a good thing that I did because I rode the entire class tonight and burned about 500 calories in the process. I'm using my HRM alot more to track my progress and training.

Monday, April 06, 2009

All Strength

Today I did the TRX Strength workout. I learned some new exercises with this DVD. It will primarily serve as a reference in my exercise library. I doubt that I'll do this workout often, but the information was valuable, especially since I'm still improving my learning curve with this piece of equipment.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Palm Sunday & TRX

Today was a lovely (albeit windy & chilly) day. After church, I came home and did the TRX Flexibility Workout (~45 mins), followed by the TRX All Body Express Workout. I'm feeling pretty good! The stretches on the TRX were great, and I did get a good cardio workout via the express.

I'm looking forward to what tomorrow will bring. I was going to do a rowing workout tonight, but we are working on making a few modifications to our gym. We are moving the pull-up bar and replacing the lag screws with longer ones. We are also adding a set of hooks for our rings & the TRX.

Rock on, people!

TRX Flexibility & All Body Circuit

Today was a nice workout! I did about 90 minutes. The first 45 were doing the TRX Flexibility workout. I did only 1 round of some of the exercises, but I really enjoy the assisted stretching that the TRX provides. Some of them reminded me of assisted Bikram Yoga poses. With the help of the TRX, I got closer to the standing head-to-knee pose; no way I can do that unassisted! Oh, and the stretch was fantastic!

After the flexiblity workout, I did the all body circuit. I didn't do the entire thing, but I did about 15 mins to get my heart rate up a bit. I intentionally did this workout after the stretching, as I wanted to get a thorough stretch session in due to the previous workouts during the week; I was feeling a tad bit tight.

All-in-all, really fun workout!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Beautiful Saturday

Well, today started off really cold, but the afternoon is turning out to be quite gorgeous! I went to the farmer's market to pick up some beautiful, locally grown kale & swiss chard for my green smoothies. I wanted to get some organic ground bison, but they were all out....I'll have to go to Whole Foods to get some later. Downtown was just lovely. I'd wished that I had my bike in the car to do some cycling.

As for today's workout, I'm not quite sure. I know I want to do something. I might take my bike down to the Veloway and then do some TRX work...I haven't decided yet. Right now, I'm a little tired and a nap is sounding really good :-) I'll update later with what I finally decided to do.
**edited to say:** well, my nap lasted longer than I'd anticipated, and I wound up not doing a workout today. My plan will be to do some TRX & rowing after church on Sunday morning.**

Friday's workout

It was finally nice outside (but just a bit windy), so I took a short bike ride around the surrounding neighborhoods, about 20 mins in the early evening. Then, I came home and put the new console on my rower; it took me all of 5 mins to get that puppy attached securely and running. I'm glad that I purchased it, as it will make rowing more informative at least. I tested my rower out for about 5 mins, and then I tested my TRX system for about 5-10 mins. Later that night, I needed to work off some stress, so I did the TRX All Body Express workout literally around 11:45PM. I LOVED it!!! I'm looking forward to improving my overall efficiency with the system. It's pretty straight forward, and an excellent body-weight based workout. Using it, I am able to do exercises like single leg squats that I'm not able to do without the additional support. I actually have some DOMS in my core and upper back even on Sunday morning; what a great feeling! :-) I'm looking forward to more of TRX. I can already tell that it will be a valuable part of my training library, and that it will become another healthy addiction.

Friday, April 03, 2009

TRX Suspension Training

I've been doing alot of research on suspension training, and more specificially on the TRX suspension training system. TRX was voted one of the top fitness products of 2009 by Men's Health magazine, along with AoS Ropes Gone Wild. TRX was recently used on the Biggest Loser as well. I am currently trying the system out and will be taking a formal course later this month.

For more on suspension training & TRX, check out these videos:

Fitness Anywhere Video

Raw Foods Detox

So, I've been detoxing and cleansing my body for 1 week. I've been starting each day with a green smoothie or green lemonade, and I've been keeping my diet "raw til dinner". I wanted to revisit some of the techniques that I learned at OHI, while still incorporating some cooked food into my diet. I recently finished reading Natalia Rose's "The Raw Food Detox Diet," which was great, as it advocates detoxification without being a 100% raw foodist.

I totally forgot I was detoxing, and noticed myself being really tired this week, sleeping even more than usual, getting hot flashes, and feeling pretty weak during my workouts. Then it dawned on are DETOXING! LOL!! Suffice it to say, my workouts this week have been pretty short (about 25-30 mins), and I've taken a few days off. My body is feeling pretty good, and (strange as it may sound) I am enjoying the detox process.

I've been working on my rowing machine this week, and I finally ordered a new console for it. When I bought it off of Craigslist last year, the original owner mentioned that the console had been destroyed by battery acid. I was able to get a refurbished console for $80 from Concept 2 (they have some of the best customer service I've ever experienced). My new console will arrive today.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Efficient Cardio Circuit

Tonight I made up a pretty decent cardio circuit that got my heart pumpin' and the sweat pourin' - LOL. I was pretty peeved in general, which really fueled my workout.

The time went by pretty quickly, and the constant variation with cardio equipment broke the mononity. I enjoyed it! I'm having some problems with my right elbow and left knee. I'm not sure what's wrong with them exactly, but hopefully they'll heal with stretching, acupuncture, and gentle strength work.

Here's what I did, for 2 rounds:
  • 10 mins elliptical
  • 5 mins rower
  • 10 mins kettlebells (snatches, swings, cleans, etc. The 2nd time through the circuit, I did a pure swing ladder with 24kg, 20kg, 16kg, 12kg which I went through twice.)
  • 2 mins Broomstick twists
  • 10 mins bike

    Cool-Down: stability ball ab work & stretching
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Say Hello to My Little Friend...

    Since the weather is getting nice, I decided to take my beautiful Black Magic off of the wall in the garage and get her tuned up at the bike shop. She came back to me smooth as silk, so I just had to take her out on the road yesterday. Boy, it felt great! I was a little nervous at first, since I haven't been on my road bike since last September/October. I didn't dare try to use my cycling shoes! However, I took a 30 minute ride around the neighborhood and managed not to fall, got my heart rate going pretty good, and overall felt pretty comfortable on my bike again after I got used to switching gears again. I then came home and did a short STS weight workout. I was pretty tired, but I've been falling behind on my strength training routines. I've just been exhausted lately. However, yesterday I felt pretty good, and I was carrying around alot of stress, so getting outside and soaking up the sun was a welcome stress reliever.

    I'm looking forward to warm days here and to riding Black Magic more often. I love that bike. It was a worthwhile investment last year! (BTW - am also LOVING the Vitamix :-) ).

    Let's see what the rest of this week brings. I plan to get a few more KB workouts in, as I've been doing a little bit every other day, depending on my energy levels.

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009


    Gosh, my shoulders, obliques, and hammies are a tad bit sore today. It makes sense, though. On Saturday, I did several swing rounds with my clients with the 16kg. Then, on Sunday for the KB workshop, I was demonstrating several exercises. I got a nice workout (unintentionally) and used a variety of 12kg-24kg for all of the fundamental exercises. On Monday, I was working with my client, and demo'd several movements for her. I also did a clean ladder, press ladder, and windmills using the 12kg and shoulders were sore on tuesday. I tried to do the first 8 rounds of Providence before teaching spin class yesterday. I was felt myself getting really fatigued after 3 rounds, and decided to call it quits since I had to reserve some energy for spin class. Since it was St.Patrick's day yesterday, I figured I wouldn't have a full class and I'd have to spin some. That was a good call on my part, but class was actually full, but I didn't have to give up my bike.

    I'm not sure what I'll do today. I want to do "The Pit" workout, but my body is feeling pretty tired. I'll probably see how I feel this afternoon and just do some simple cardio and maybe some swings & snatches.

    Have a great Wednesday!!!

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    VitaMix is on the way...

    I am so excited that my Vitamix is on the way (okay - this is a blender that I'm getting amped about). I have gone through 5 blenders in the past 3 years - burning motors, completely destroying parts, etc. In the amount that I've spent on cheap blenders, I decided to suck it up and finally get a Vitamix. I'm so excited about it!!!

    I went to a health institute in late December, where I was introduced to the concept of eating a diet more rich in raw foods. I absolutely loved the results - increased energy, better body function, etc. I was able to maintain this new way of eating for about 1.5 months. February introduced its own set of personal challenges, and my diet was the least of my worries. Well, now I'm ready to get back on the regimen of incorporating more raw foods into my daily eating lifestyle. I don't think that I want to become a 100% raw foodist, but I do want raw food to ultimately make up 60-75% of my diet. I found a lovely raw foods restaurant here in Austin that I frequent often. I feel so much better when I'm eating raw, getting in my wheatgrass shots, etc. When I eat processed foods or fall into the convenience trap, I feel my entire body just become sluggish and shut down.

    Okay, I'm off my soap box now, but suffice it to say that I can't wait for Thursday to get here! Green smoothies here I come!

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Weekend fun...

    This past weekend was alot of fun! We had our usual conditioning circuit class on Saturday. It was a cold, dreary day, but inside the Underground, it was full of energy! We had the music pumpin and our clients were sweating up a storm (I think that I was too - LOL)! Time just flew by, energy levels were high, and we wound up workingout for about an hour and a half. Melissa brought her boyfriend along, and he joined us for the festivities :-)

    On Sunday we held a Level 1 Kettlebell workshop. In 2 hours we covered deadlift variations, swing variations, cleans, presses/push presses, squat variations (wave squat, single KB squat, front squat), windmills, and the Turkish Getup. We will have a Level 2 workshop with the same group in 2 weeks. We want to give our clients some time to practice what they've learned in their individual sessions. It was alot of fun, and I felt so great to have taught those who were completely unfamiliar with kettlebell training and given them a solid foundation in a short period of time.

    After our workshop, we proceeded to pretty up our kettlebell collection. We repainted all of them, and they look like shiny, pretty colors of the rainbow. I'll be applying the final coat of gloss today and then they will be ready for their photo shoot :-).

    It was a great weekend, and today the sun is brightly shining and the weather is warming up! Spring here we come!!! :-)

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Back & Triceps (STS #2)

    Well, the DOMS were really kicking in from my STS #1 workout on Monday. I am really feeling it in my shoulders today. I'm so glad that I took the time to do the 1RM tests, as that is the key to continuously challenging my body on these lifts. it's been such a long time since I've done any 1RM testing, on the order of years - LOL. At any rate, this afternoon I completed the 2nd workout in the series - Back & Triceps. I also added in abdominal work immediately following, and did 20 mins on the elliptical after a 30 minute break between lifting & cardio.

    I'm going to have to really kick up my water and food intake. I haven't been eating or drinking enough, and I feel myself getting really tired as a result. This week and last week, I didn't have energy to workout until the middle to late afternoon. We'll see how the rest of this week goes with more focus on cleaning those 2 aspects up.

    STS is great, and I'm feeling strong!

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    200 Swing Challenge

    This afternoon, I completed an Ab Routine from STS and then proceeded with the following KB workout:

    Warm-Up Set
    5 Snatches/side@ 12kg
    10 cleans/side @ 12kg
    15 swings @ 16kg
    5 Snatches/side @ 16kg - I just wanted to see if I could still do it :-) Gotta love the muscle memory that's preserved with KB training! WOW! They weren't the prettiest snatches in the world, but I got over the mental obstacle.

    Work Set:
    100 swings @ 16kg (finished in 3 mins, 10 seconds)
    100 swings @ 20kg (took about 5 mins; wasn't as diligent about timing this one) - I actually think that I can move up to the 24kg for swings...but I'll continue to log some hours with the 16kg and 20kg for the next 2 months until my AoS cert in May.

    I'm trying to get in 100-200 swings/day for cardio & conditioning and increase my snatch endurance. I'm doing a little bit each day to get myself back in KB shape as my body continues to heal; I definitely don't want to overdue it at this point.

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    Chest, Shoulders, Biceps (STS #1)

    I recently performed some 1RM tests for numerous exercises, and have decided to try a rotation that focuses on varying lifting different percentages of my 1RM for 3 months using Cathe Friedrich's new STS program. I'll combine this with KB training and other cardio/conditioning work.

    Tonight, I performed the first workout in the STS series - an endurance workout focusing on chest, shoulders, and biceps using 60% of my 1RM for most exercises. This workout included LOTS of push-ups and some very creative exercises mixing up the stability ball, bands, tempo changes, and of course challenging weight variations. I greatly enjoyed the workout.

    Going to try this on Saturday

    Man, I totally respect this workout performed by Crossfit Alexandria this past Saturday. I'm going to try it this upcoming weekend, on either Saturday or Sunday. Check it out, and let me know if you decide to give it a whirl....I'll probably change the Olympic Bar Power Cleans to KB Power Cleans. I'll also probably try with double 12kg...kind of reminds me a little bit of Smokin' Ladders :-) Rock on, people

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Been Around the World...literally

    Man, the past few weeks have been full of travel, love, scare, and interesting mix, huh? :-) We went to DC for the Inauguration, and wow was it amazing to be a part of history!! I also had a chance to see my family and some of my close friends back home. It was a short, but necessary trip. Then, my Mom unfortunately had a mild stroke, which had me back at home about a week after the inauguration. Fortunately, she is doing much better now, has her regular speech pattern back, and is walking without any problems. Amazing that this condition was brought about due to a doctor prescribing her medicine that was too strong for her, given her small frame and weight; she suffers from migrains and was relieved when a headache specialist gave her comfort in the form of a pill....but, it was this pill that injured her. I'm super pissed at the doctor for not following some standard procedures, and am heavily considering taking legal action against such a "specialist." Anyway, after we got Mom taken care of, we took a much needed vacation..and went to the 50th state for the Pro Bowl this past weekend. Gosh, was it refreshing! I'm so in love with Hawaii -- Aloha! We stayed right on Waikiki Beach and did alot of sight seeing. I haven't been on a real vacation since 2005, so it was long overdue. In addition, my body is HEALING! I'm about 10 pounds away from my normal weight - FINALLY!!! My energy, strength, endurance, and stamina are ALL returning. This rest period has done me good, as they say...and I'm still contemplating what's to come....Punch is definitinely in the near has to's my calling...

    My underground training practice is also picking up...clients are enjoying their workouts, and I'm enjoying being their coach..I'm really good at this, and it's my passion. Pushing myself and others to reaching their personally defined points of excellence is what I live for..working out for me is a healthy's definitely the definition of passion for me...time to live the dream :-)

    Oh, over the course of the past 4 weeks, we also completely re-designed our garage gym (gosh how I love Craigslist!!!). It's a monster loaded with equipment, yet plenty of room to throw around the bells, ropes, sandbags, and other stuff that make it affectionately known as "the underground". We will eventually swap out some of our equipment for better stuff, but what we have now definitely works, and our clients are enjoying getting their tushes it's worth it :-)

    Rock on, peeps. I'll post some pictures of Hawaii and the Inauguration soon....

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    The Power of Positive Thinking

    I'm generally an incredibly positive, optimistic, good natured person. Since my health has been on a downward spiral the past 18 months, I've noticed that so did my positivity. I didn't like that at all, and I knew that negative thinking wasn't/isn't me. I went through periods of saying positive things, but not believing them. I also went through periods of depression and that was no good. Well, I've seen the dawn of a new day, and that feels wonderful. I do not enjoy being a "negative nancy" at all, and I've ceased those unhealthy practices. Instead, I have resumed keeping a gratitude diary and instead of beating myself up about one thing or another, I practice believing (not just saying) positive affirmations every day. My spirits are good, and I FINALLY feel like my body is healing. Even though my progress is slow (and my doctor agrees), at least things are moving in the right direction. I needed to heal spiritually, mentally, and physically. Until I get all 3 in balance, I will never really complete my healing journey. Now I'm on the right road. My holistic system is regaining balance. I am feeling like I am getting back to a place that feels normal and happy for me...and no person or situation can take that away from me ... ;-) I find things to smile about every day. I am a very blessed person, with a very healthy, happy family surrounding me. I find joy in the little things, like taking a walk or looking up in the sky and seeing the sun shine. Best of all, I love going to the gym and teaching class. I enjoy being a positive role model for those around me. I feel incredibly fortunate to have that passion...and now is the time to use that passion to continue focusing on "me". I've realized that sometimes it's okay not to give it all keep a little for myself...and continue to be the best "me" that I can be...Be encouraged today!!

    Saturday, January 03, 2009

    Beautiful day, hard workout

    Well, this afternoon was a lovely 80+ degrees in Austin, so I decided to take full advantage. I felt like my strength was relatively good today, so I went out to the track with my kettlebells and my MP3 player. I did AoS Providence (excluding the Sicilian Crush and Flip/Squat Rounds), including the 3 minute snatch test at the end. I did the workout with my 12kg bell, but dropped down for some of the clean/press cycles to the 9kg bell. I also added a round of snatch/TGU (3 per side) and concluded my workout by trying my hand at the RKC grad workout. I did the grad workout the width of the football field, instead of the length :-) It was pretty brutal, and I only used double 9kg!! I don't think that I fully mastered the walking see saw press. My goal is to do the grad workout the width of the football field every weekend and the length of the football field once a month.

    I feel like my strength is slowly returning, along with my determination and endurance. My body has been screwed up for a long time, and this healing process has been equally long. However, I know that 2009 will be the return of me -- finally! I'll continue to go slowly and at my own pace, but I, for certain, will never give up.

    Here's to 2009!!! :-) Depending on the weather, I might do Newport, Firepower, or one of the Goddess workouts tomorrow. I'm not supposed to do really strenuous workouts now, so I just take things slowly and do what I can.

    Optimum Health Institute

    Just before Christmas, I went on a 1-week excursion at the Optimum Health Institute and ventured into the world of raw foods. There are only 2 OHI's in the country, and one just happens to be right in my back yard! I've been taking some raw foods classes and doing more juicing since my return from the institute. I don't think that I'll ever move to a 100% raw diet, but would like to get to about 50/50.

    It was a life enriching experience. I met new people whom I am now very honored to call new friends. I also had a chance to give my mind, body, and spirit a much needed rest, and used the opportunity to cleanse and detox as well. The program is a 3-week experience, that can be completed 1 week at a time. I am looking forward to returning in 2009 for my remaining 2 weeks of the program.

    Secrets of Strength Development Workshop

    I forgot to mention that in our on-going commitment to continuing education, we attended the "Secrets of Strength Development" workshop in Wycoff, NJ in December 2008. The event was hosted by none other than world famous strength coaches Joe DeFranco & Zach Even-Esh. We had a great time and picked up alot of new techniques to bring back to our clients. We plan to continue our training with both Joe and Zach in 2009. This workshop was an excellent practical learning opportunity, as it reinforced several of the Russian training methods that we have been studying and self-implementing. Now, we can share the pain with all of you :-) Head over to the ATX Underground blog if you are a female fitness enthusiast interested in enrolling in my 8-week strength & conditioning group; young athletes should check out J&N Personal Training's upcoming 8-week program.

    Here's a picture of me & the legendary Joe DeFranco; I was so star struck LOL!!