This is Who I am

At one time in my life or another I have yearned to attain ‘the perfect body’ I grew up reading Oxygen Magazine and Fitness RX Magazines. I was in awe of these women. To me-obtaining this physique was the end all and be all of my exsistance. Sure, it was about ‘having fun’ while working out, but I always yearned for that asthetics piece of fitness. I wasn’t so concerned with the journey of getting there.

With the boast of social media taking our our every move, its hard not to glaze over my instagram, snap chat or Facebook newsfeed and see literally butts in my face. Selfies of women who eat, breathe and sleep their physique. And while I think that they work very hard to get there and should not be looked down upon, it cant help but make me feel (as I am sure it makes others feel) insecure about my own body. I am a fitness professional. I have been a personal trainer for 7 years, competed in 5 bikini shows, am a coach for Cathy Savage Fitness and have my own social media following. I had moment most recently where I freaked out that I wouldn’t be trusted or ‘let my clients down’ if I didn’t maintain that perfectly structured body that is so scrutinized by the public eye.

I get it. If I am taking advice from a fitness professional or listening to them tell me what others should eat; they should be walking the walk and talking the talk.

To make an analogy, if one were to walk into Sephora to have her makeup done by a make up artist, he or she may not be so drawn to an artist who has blue eyelashes, matching lipstick, blush and eyeshadow. They may respect their style and I am sure she or he would be amazing at their job, but by looks alone walking into a make up store, that person would probably be more inclined to get my face done up by a more make up toned down employee at first glance.

I have my own personal Journey with my body transformation that started back in 2010 on the road to my first fitness competition. When I began transforming my body and sharing each step of the way, my personal buissness took off at the same exact time. I was getting flooded with emails, posts, comments, client requests for what I did to get to where I was. I was just as knowledgable before I started my journey but not that I was making a huge physical transformation, 1FitFoodie skyrocketed like never before. I loved every minute.

I was featured on Muscle & Strength as a female transformation of the week, I was also featured in a couple smaller fitness magazines. I was doing photo shoots, personal training and running my blog. I was loving life. As amazing as I looked from the outside, there was a feeling of insecurity and low self esteem despite being in what looked like ‘great physical shape’ I began seeing my body as a way to define who I was and what I did for a living. I worked HARD to maintain this on stage body which is not only extremely unhealthy but really unattainable. I always thought to myself, if I gain 5lbs or lose this stage body, I will lose my business. I equated the two together and never saw myself as a strong, amazingly talented, smart, creative trainer. I saw my body as my building block.

Theres this overarching assumption that we as fitness professionals MUST always look better than our clients. I can’t help but to have felt this pressure far too often in my life.

I have asked my clients why they like training with me.

“You’re no bullshit”

“You know how to read me and what works for my body”

“You’re real and you get it”

“You work hard, care about your clients”

“You’re funny, keep the workouts exciting and creative and make the hour fly by”

Its hard for me to see what they see in me on those days that I am not even motivated myself. I’m human. I don’t workout 7 days a week and never have. 

There are some weeks that I work out 3 days. I get that that is more than many people, but I don’t go publicizing that I only workout 3 days a week. In my world, that’s the bare minimum. It is damn hard to admit that there are days that I don’t even want to step foot in a gym for my own workout. I am a fitness professional who is supposed to be obsessed with working out and honestly? There are some days that I want to do anything but talk about exercise and the food I’m eating.

 I have other hobbies and I know some people can’t believe that fitness professionals have other interests besides exercise and health. I love comedy. I took improv classes last summer for 12 weeks! I loved it. I also love art-doing it and seeing it in museums. 

Some days I will run errands after work and wear my work shirt that says ‘train’ on it. I can just tell the eyes looking at me thinking 

“what does she do for her workout?” 

“What’s in her cart? Is she judging me for whats in mine?” 

“She must be so full of herself”

I can feel them judging what groceries are in my cart, what drink I’m sipping on from Starbucks. It’s as if I feel constantly scrutinized for being a Personal trainer. At the gym, eyes peeking “what workout is she doing? Are those weights even heavy?”

There are days I feel like a fraud. I’m not doing enough. I’m not working out today because I’m tired. But if I skip my workout, I won’t be holding up to everyone’s outlook on me. Its as if I NEED to uphold this gold standard for myself and if I slip I fail.

OR

I am working out today, but I am not not breathing heavy and sweating and taking pictures of the weights I’m lifting. 

Deep down, I workout and eat well because of the same reasons most people do. I want to feel good, look good and enjoy myself. I have experienced dark days of exercise where it ruled my life. I was doing two-a-days, skipped out on social events, measured every morsel of food that was put into my body. The only thing I thought about everyday was keeping my body in peak shape from the outside-It didn’t matter how I got there.

I was miserable. I got sick. I ended up in the hospital.

Years later, after learning to respect my body and listen to it, I have come to a happy place with how I feel and have accepted that I will not always look like I am ready to get on stage in a week. I am GOOD with that.

I am so much more than a fitness professional. When I was competing there were times that I never told people about it because of the negative attention I would get, especially from men. They’re minds immediately went to “fitness model, sex, easy, done” I am PROUD of everything I have accomplished and never would think about lying about my profession or past Competition History. It made me who I am and has taught me more about myself than anything else, but it took me years to gain the confidence in my own skin to be so proud.

People sometime ask me when I will do another show or what I am training for. I heard this quote once that said

I am training for life”

Its corny but it’s true. Every single day, I am training to feel good. Move well and eat nutritiously for MY body. Will I do another show? Maybe. But that’s not on my radar right now.

There are days that I can’t help but feel insecure about everything, even though I look and act secure from the outside. I get that from the oustide looking in, we are selling health and fitness and we better be practicing what we preach, but due to the constant influx of social media, half naked, flexed pictures of bodies exercising, 56 meals prepped for the week and die hard fitness quotes, this industry can often seem more like a competition than a fun, enjoyable and meaningful journey of ones health, nutrition and fitness.

When I exercise, I do it for the same reasons that most of my clients do; to feel better, move better, maintain my level of health and also challenge myself. I have struggled with injuries, sickness, imbalances and overtraining and at the end of the day, I want to live a strong, healthy and LONG life.

I love coaching my clients, building and fostering these relationships that I have worked so hard to maintain and keep. Personal Training is so much more than putting someone through a workout. It is listening, guiding, coaching, mentoring and knowing what our clients want and need. It is the ability to find that beautiful balance between leaving ones comfort zone but maintaining trust while getting there.

I have evolved ten fold at a trainer from when I started in 2011. I have experienced ups and downs. Moments that validated my decision to do what I do to moments where I thought “what am I DOING?” In the end, I am a human, just like everyone else.

I like to drink wine

I like to bread

I like to exercise moderately

I enjoy life to the extreme.

Yes, I am a personal trainer and Health Coach but this will never define who I am as a person.

I may not have a 6 pack or stick my butt out on Instagram, but I know I am a good at what I do. I would never sacrifice putting on a facade of what others want to see because that is just not who I am or what I believe in

It took me 30 years to realize this.

 

LOVE YOU ALL!

 

xo

Naomi

Paleo PB Coconut Protein Bites & 3 FREEworkouts!

Paleo PB Coconut Protein Bites & 3 FREEworkouts!

Soooo Ozzie got neutered the other day and he’s doing way better but I must blast his face the internet.

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He’s doing so well and such a little trooper. I can’t even imagine what I will be like when I have kids. I just kept asking the vet if he’s OKAY in that cone. Can he breathe? Can he walk? Will he make it? I think they’re used to crazy questions, but I just needed to get my basis covered with this cone head.

So anyway…I made these bars.  YOU GUYS. They’re freakin’ amazing. I threw some ingredients in a bowl and kind of just played around with it until the batter tasted awesome. I have so much protein powder in my cabinet because I don’t really use protein powder that much anymore. I am trying to stay away from so much processed foods as I have so many food intolerances and my body works best with the real thing. So I have this protein powder by SLAP Nutrition  in vanilla flavor that is pretty clean by nature. It’s easy on my stomach and find no bloating or other symptoms, I just haven’t gotten around to using it–until now!

I also have a whole container of Nuts N More salted caramel peanut butter  I have been on an almond butter kick lately (the Maranatha no stir almond butter, crunchy is my all time favorite right now! OR the fresh grind from Whole Foods) Either one, give me a spoon and I’ll be content. 

So I used the peanut butter and whey protein powder in this recipe because I figured they needed some loving. 

protein bars

 

Paleo Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bites
Yields 14
These bars are a fast and delicious way to cure that sweet tooth in between meals, pre or post workout OR as a dessert after lunch or dinner. You can customize them by playing around with different nut butter and if you want to make these strictly Paleo, sub the PB for another nut butter. I topped these with shredded coconut, but you could top them with crushed walnuts, dark chocolate chips or nothing at all! I made them into bite size bars but again, feel free to make them bigger!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 scoops vanilla whey protein powder (I used SLAP nutrition brand)
  2. 4T coconut flour (I used "Let's do Organic brand)
  3. 4T Nuts N More Salted Caramel Peanut butter (sub another nut butter of your choice if you would like!)
  4. ~2T unsweetened almond milk (to make into dough)
  5. 1/4tsp cinnamon
  6. 2T unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients besides the almond milk in a medium mixing bowl
  2. Mix well
  3. Add in the almond milk a tiny bit at a time, mixing after each addition (amount may vary!)
  4. Place the dough on a piece of wax paper (I sprayed mine with olive oil spray so as not to stick)
  5. Lay it out and spread it thin using the back of a spoon
  6. Sprinkle the coconut evenly on to of the bars
  7. Close up the wax paper on the bars like you are wrapping a present
  8. Place in the freezer for 2 hours up to overnight
  9. Take out of the freezer and cut the bars into equal sized mini bars
  10. ENJOY!
1 Fit Foodie http://1fitfoodie.com/
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Nutrition Breakdown (for ENTIRE recipe):

  • Calories: 676
  • Carbs: 36
  • Fat: 30g
  • Protein: 68g
  • Sugar: 4g

Nutrition Breakdown for 14 evenly sized bars

  • Calories: 48
  • Carbs: 2.5g
  • Fat: 2.1g
  • Protein: 4.8g
  • Sugar: .3g

So in addition, I also promised some new workouts for you which I have posted on social media. Either way, here they are. I love having workouts like these for my arsenal when I want something quick, effective and perfect for minimal equipment. I think we, as fitness professionals are sometimes scared to say that we actually aren’t following a specific workout plan. The rest of the world see’s us as these organized, on point people who are even more organized when it comes to our own workouts and sometimes, this IS the case. For me right now? This isn’t the case. Phew I said it. I am not following any sort of ‘plan’ right now. 

I love so many things right now when it comes to fitness and also not training for any sort of event; just LIFE!  While I think it is SO important to have goals and something to strive for, I also think there is something to be said for simply moving in a way that feels good, promotes what you are looking for and being open to *shreek* NOT necessarily having a goal. 

When we live our lives constantly thinking about the next goal, we often overlook the fact that we are doing our best everyday. Sure, I set SMALL goals or things I want to achieve, but I have ceased to think about it in terms of body image. I am now setting goals like: making sure I am taking yoga 1-2x a week because that helps my both mentally and physically. Sometimes the problem with constant goal setting is that we think that what we are currently doing isn’t good enough. 

We overlook the process and simply focus on the outcome. 

Another problem with constantly setting goals is that we try to predict the future. We try to predict how quickly we will get to where we want to be and have not even taken into account something that may come along on the way that would change the outcome. 

When I was 26, I was training for a fitness competition and I got sick. very sick. I was hospitalized and had life threatening surgery. The second that I was in the hospital bed about to be operated on, I remember looking at my brother and saying that I was worried about my clients for the next day and the show that I was prepping for. THATS CRAZY! I was lying there, and thats what came to mind. My body was in its most unpredictable state and I didn’t even think about that. The thoughts rushing through my mind were regarding my show. I am not at all saying again, that goals aren’t beneficial, I think quite the opposite, but I am just stressing the importance and also allowance to the fact that its OKAY to not always have something on the horizon and sometimes our best selves come out when we aren’t planning for something. 

I wanted to share some great workouts that you can put in your arsenal to try out! They are all meant to be short and intense-stressing intensity over duration. Work hard until you need a rest, take the rest and come right back in the game. 

The first workout is a STRENGTH and TREADMILL circuit. The first part involves dumbbells (I wrote 10-20lb but adjust for your fitness level) The second part involves a treadmill. I have done this workout when I have had minimal equipment. I love the combination of both strength and cardio and keeping times ensures that I am always pushing as much as I can until I need a rest. 

The second workout is mainly upper body focused and involves the rower. If you don’t have access to a rowing machine or don’t want to use it, feel free to sub the big stairs or treadmill sprints for about 1 min 30 seconds where it says “200M row”

The third workout is a combination of everything! First section is an AMRAP for 15 minutes and the second one involves you counting reps 15-10-5-10-15. 

Pick your poison and ENJOY!

 

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And post workout? I have been obsessed with this combination

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4oz salmon, 1 chopped and roasted zucchini, 115g (about ~25g carb) of roasted hannah sweet potato (AMAZING) Mustard for dipping

I also always enjoy a quick smoothie made from

  • 1 banana
  • 1C kefir
  • 2T PB 2 (for flavor!)
  • Shakes of cinnamon
  • 1/4C almond milk
  • 5 ice cubes
  • handful spinach

HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!

XO

Naomi

7 Tips to Be Your Happiest Self

7 Tips to Be Your Happiest Self

If you’ve ever run into anyone and they just don’t seem to be excited about anything, Its a really simple thing to say”Just smile and be happy” Sure, you can smile and pretend that you’re happy on the outside, but what does happiness really mean and how do you ensure that you are truly, 100% content with your life. 

Is this the right job for me? 

Do I want to rent this apartment? 

Is he the right guy for me? 

There are situations that occur daily that test our happiness. Its hard to decipher if happiness is coming from within or if that situation is just making you happy. I have struggled with trying to figure out what it means for me to be utterly happy. Does buying these new sneakers make me happy? Does being in a relationship make me happy? Sure these things can add value to my life, but I have realized that if I am not deep down content with myself, it will be harder for these amazing things happening in my life to make me happy.  I get it. 

“Follow your heart” The problem with this is that half of the time we don’t even know what the heart wants. We are told from an early age by all sorts of external factors who to hang out with, who to date, how to dress, what job to get, what to study, where to travel, how to look, what car to buy. There is so much pressure in our daily lives that the idea of following your heart becomes really cloudy. Even when we do all of these things that we think we should be doing, there is still something missing; something that keeps us from getting everything we truly want and experiencing full on happiness.

I used to think that having a certain body would make me happy. Listening to a certain type of music, dressing a certain way and most importantly, changing who I was for someone else would bring me happiness. 

“Its okay” I would think. 

“I’m in a relationship so I can pretty much stop ‘doing things’ I have someone and I am allll good and happy” but was I? Nope. In fact, I was being torn apart inside. 

For years on and off, I found myself either in a long term relationship or short lasting ones (that still just lasted too long knowing it wasn’t anything ‘real’) I was not only unhappy, but more importantly, I was never, truly myself. I stayed because I was terrified of the alternative. Being alone. The thought alone just sounds sad. I couldn’t bear the thought of not having someone. I put my happiness in the hands of others thinking as long as I was in a relationship, all is well in my little life.

Someone good enough rolled around and I was on board. Was I happy? Eh, not really, but I was complacent. After years of not being treated with respect its easy to jump on the first guy or girl that makes you feel good. In fact, that scenario can be pretty scary because maybe for the first time, you could actually picture your life with this person. When this relationship rolls around, its easy to throw everything else to the wayside; friends, family, interests, hobbies, activities that were a huge part of your life and even your career.

THEN one day, it all ends. You are again left alone and empty and get all of those negative feelings back. Was I not pretty enough? Smart enough? Skinny enough? We immediately blame ourselves which I think, is a pretty natural reaction. Why, just for one second did I not think about what I want? We get so caught up in that feeling of being rejected that we don’t even for a second take ownership for the fact that maybe this relationship wasn’t so great in the first place. I hadn’t seen my friends, I put my career on the back burner and I hadn’t taken those boxing classes that I was thinking about doing as a way to meet people and get a new challenge in. Whoa. 

When we were never truly happy with ourselves, why do we put our own happiness in someone elses pocket? I have been in this situation before a few times and every time I come out of it blaming myself. 

“He made me happy, therefore I was happy”

I associated my own happiness with the feeling of being with another person, when I never took ownership for the fact that I am in control of my own feelings.

I thought about how much power I was giving this other person. This person controlled my feelings? That is crazy! With or without a relationship, I should be feeling the same way about life and about myself. This person should simply enhance these feelings. In the end, if you put your self worth in the hands of your boyfriend or girlfriend, not only does that rob you of your authority, it will damage the relationship in the long run 

The idea of happiness is a tricky one and can be construed in many ways because we often put our happiness in the hands of other people.

 I wanted to share today some ways I finally realized what happiness is and some ways to finally find it within yourself. 

Its amazing when life doesn’t go just as you had planned, but in return something even better comes around. Every single day something can happen that can bring you closer to what you are looking for.; it may take some bad decisions and mistakes but everything that happens up until a certain point is just practice.

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Happiness Is a Mindset: 

The key with the word happiness is to know that happiness is not something ‘you have or don’t have’ I got a promotion at work so thats fair game to be happy. I ran into my ex so thats fair game to be unhappy. Happiness isn’t based on circumstances. The more I read and study self development regarding personalities, workplace and relationships, the more I realize that happiness is a mindset. It isn’t based on the delicious meal you ate or the fact that your boyfriend dumped you. With a constant mindset of happiness, these situations will simply add value or experiences to your already amazing life. 

Practice Gratitude Daily

Everyday I greet my clients the same way “They! How are you??” I say with a huge smile on my face. Usually they respond with however they’re doing whether that be great or good or tired or stressed. Then they proceed to ask me how I am “How are you, Naomi?” “I’m great, thanks!” I say cheery eyed. My job is to be ON all the time. It doesn’t really matter if I am going through some personal baggage. My job is not to bring that on the floor with my clients. There was one specific day that I could not focus at all. The wrong word, wrong thought or wrong movement would have thrown me over the edge to lose it right there on the gym floor. It was in that moment that I made a pledge to myself to think about the amazing things I have in my life. My puppy, my amazing and supportive family, my friends, a job that I love with co workers that have become my family, a beautiful apartment in one of the most desired location in Boston, and most importantly after some crazy ups and down over several years,  my health. 

When I get in a funk, instead of thinking of the things I don’t have, I think about the things I do have in my life that bring me so much joy. “Practicing gratitude” sounds like a silly concept but the thing about it, is there is no right way to do it. You can sit for 5 minutes and jot down 3 things that make you happy daily.  I tend to think about what has brought me to the place I am in right this very moment. Every relationship, career move, decision, friendship and experience has made me the person I am. I don’t regret a thing that happened in my past and in fact, I embrace the mistakes, the bad relationships and decisions because I have learned from every one of them what I want and don’t want. The happiest people may not have everything in the world, but they are grateful for all that they do have. 

Find people who bring out the best in you.

If I were to give advice to anyone in961aa4b1-20b1-4b88-8a37-1b63e4ca63d2 my life going through a rough patch it would be this: Get rid of toxic people. Who are these people? They don’t support your goals, they are judgmental, they ran you of your energy and encourage bad habits, they make you feel bad about yourself or bad for others, they don’t make you smile. Ditch the people who drain your energy or encourage your bad habits. Be proactive about connecting with people who bring out the best in you. 

 

Stop Forcing It. 

Bottom line: if you have to force something, its probably not meant to be. I remember the time in my life that I would have my whole day planned out from start to finish. I didn’t even know what the day would bring but it didn’t really matter. I woke up, ate this, did that, went here then, came back at that time, ate at that time and went to bed by this time. It was all laid out. 

Then I realized something as I got older. I was missing out on a lot of stuff. Meaningful stuff like friendships, relationships, family time, career aspirations. I was so focused on making it through my perfectly planned day that I had no concept of what else was happening around me. You know what is both the best and scariest feeling  in the world? The unknown. Some of my most memorable days spent are the ones where I had no agenda. It may not have been how I planned it, but that was essentially the best part about it. 

Change The Strategy

When I was in college in sometime after I suffered from anxiety. I had no idea where it stemmed from but in certain circumstances, I was anxious. My heart raced, I was hot, irritable, and felt generally out of control. I thought I was going crazy, but soon learned that these feelings of anxiety were common amongst my peers. I developed strategies to manage my anxiety such as breathing techniques, writing in a journal, and practicing gratitude. My mom always used the analogy,

 ‘Imagine you are in a big room with 20 doors open, I want you to go into one room, do what you need to do in there and then move into the next room. Whatever you do, try not to leave all the doors open at once’ 

This always to this day resonated with me because it was the act of having too many unfinished things on my plate.  I can be the queen of this action which in turn, creates anxiety. I knew that I had to focus on small, attainable goals that I have control over in order to manage the bigger picture. 

Life throws curve balls every single day; maybe its not exactly how you planned. Maybe it will throw off your whole day. Life is generally one big test and one of the most important things I have learned is that it is so important to be able to adapt.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done to just ‘attack something small first’ when some of the issues that we deal with are pretty serious. However, if you start to see the small circumstances this way, you can most certainly begin to see the larger issues this way. Its a simple strategy and mindset shift to do something different. Once your plan of attack changes, you will realize that in reality, life is pretty amazing and there aren’t too many things that will weight you down.

HAPPY

Moments Don’t Define Your Happiness

Its such an amazing feeling to get that promotion at work, place 1st in your fitness competition or race, get engaged or pass your hardest class. These are such pivotal moments in life that should 100% be celebrated. The feeling of reaching these goals is amazing and certainly can promote the feeling of happiness but this happiness may not be long lasting and in fact, coming off these great life achievements can actually propel you to go the other direction. Now what? Keep in mind that happiness is a mindset. It is how you are and deal with every situation whether you get a promotion at work or lose your job. If you are truly happy with your life, you will see the promotion as something that enhances your already amazing life and your loss of a job will only propel you to work toward something bigger and better.  

Practice Work/Life Balance

I have a pet peeve. It’s being ‘too busy’ Nothing bothers me more than when people are too busy to enjoy their lives. They always seem stressed, they always seem unhappy and unfulfilled. Life is happening and I make it a priority to make time for others that I care about and also experience activities, events and social gatherings around work. Overworking and feeling rushed is just an easy way to gather stress and anxiety. Balancing free time and work time is integral in finding a happy balance in life. I have practiced the idea of saying ‘no’ to certain situations-it is not an easy thing to do since I like to make people happy, but in the long run, I know I am doing myself a favor by doing so.  On this same note, I have definitely expanded both my social and experimental horizons and have been way more open to trying new things. I recently started volunteering once a week for a couple hours and every single time I walk away from working 1-1 with these students who I help tutor, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I also enrolled in improv classes (I did this a few months ago) By throwing myself into situations and places that are a bit out of my comfort zone makes me elated. Yes, nervous at first for whatever reason but overall, I feel way more comfortable doing things, talking to people, and way more open. 

—–

Happiness has to be found within yourself, however I also think there are huge benefits of observing happiness of others. At the end of the day, you want to look back at your life and remember yourself smiling. Spend time with quality people. Eat good food. Don’t restrict yourself too much. Practice moderation. Give yourself self love. Meditate. Reflect. Hug those you love. Do things that make you feel good. There are no rules to happiness, but there are certainly things you can start doing today to turn that frown upside down

 

MUCH LOVE,

Naomi xo

 

 

 

No Nonsense, Clean Eating Tips

No Nonsense, Clean Eating Tips

I was beyond thrilled to be a special guest on FabFitTV a couple weeks ago.  My mentor, Savage Coach, and dear friend, Kim runs a fabulous website/business “FabFitSquad” She, like me has a passion for helping others lead a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and work together to find choices that best support you to make gradual, lifelong changes to reach your current and future health goals.

Kim hosts a funny, informative and lighthearted television show, FabFitTV and I was her special guest this week talking all about how clean eating doesn’t have to suck! We share tips and tricks that have helped us along the way to create a healthy lifestyle without staring at boring, bland chicken breast every day. My #1 tip for sustainable fat/weight loss is to eat things you enjoy. 

You can check out the link above for the 27 minute TV episode! I hope you all learn a few things after watching! I wanted to share below some tips and tricks that I myself have used over the years for ‘clean’ eating’ Before I get into it,

I wanted to clear up some confusion on the term ‘clean eating’  and why this is a little cloudy for me.

When you think of the opposite of ‘clean’ what comes to mind (for me at least) is ‘dirty’ This means that if I eat a piece of cake or donut,  I am eating ‘dirty’ food because I don’t know exactly how its made.  The simple connotation of a ‘clean’ diet can often feel snobby and superior–and thus it can make us feel bad about ourselves when we reach for something that isn’t 100% ‘clean’  

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in ‘cheating’ or ‘bad food’ I ALWAYS encourage my clients and friends who ask me, to think about HOW the food they’re eating makes them feel. Food journal, take note on your body and your energy levels after eating a meal. No two bodies are built the same!

The second that we tie food to judgement such as ‘guilt’ or ‘sadness’ this is when disordered eating can take place. When we start thinking “I was so bad because I ate that” or “I was so good because I ate that” If you don’t eat something that is not on your plan, how will this make you feel? It seems to just be a downward spiral. 

The bottomline, I think that every person can have a different definition for ‘clean’ eating’ and there is no wrong way to think of it! For me, clean eating means that I am eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies, meats, eggs,  fish, whole grains, starches, healthy fats and lots of water. Does this mean these are the ONLY foods I eat? HECK NO! over the past 5 years, I have come up with a way of eating that works for me and my body incorporating those foods above, with some other stuff too!

I will always think that is is OK to eat what you want in moderation. Food isn’t labeled good/bad. With all of this said, my diet is 80% unprocessed and I have LOVED coming up with some amazing ways to make healthy, clean food taste amazing. 

Utilize One Pan with Multiple Flavors
One trick I have been trying out is taking a cookie sheet and seperating it in half with aluminum foil. On one side I have chicken marinaded with balsamic, basil, maple syrup and dijon and on the other side I have chicken that is dusted with cumin, curry, salt and pepper. I have two totally different flavored proteins but cooking them in one pan. The same can go for sweet potatoes! I will have half diced with cinnamon, coconut oil and sea salt and the other side will be dusted with herbs de provence. Two flavors-one pan! 

 

Prep meal components, not full meals
I used to prep full meals and put the same exact thing in tupperwares. Quinoa, chicken, greens beans. Quinoa, chicken, green beans. Omgeeee-this was beyond boring and actually made me crazy to open my fridge and see the same exact meals for 5/6 meals. I have found that I am actually way more efficient and look forward to eating my food WAY more when I simply have components prepared in my fridge rather than full meals. Some people would argue the complete opposite, however I like variety all day, everyday. If I cook up chicken breast, I don’t necessarily want to eat it with sweet potato and peppers everyday.

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potatoes

Roasted sweet/white potatoes 400 degrees for about 30 minutes!

Avoid Calorie Counting
If I had a dime for every email I got asking how many calories I eat a day, I would have a nice chunk of change in my pocket. I have never and will never be a ‘calorie counter’ This is not to say it won’t work for you, but my advice would be to stay away from it and more so-be in tune with your body. Take note on how you feel after you are done eating a meal. If you are counting calories, and used up your ‘calories’ for that meal but are still ravishingly hungry… that’s a sign you need to be eating more. Our bodies will hold onto fat if you deprive yourself. By staying in tune with your body and staying consistent, this in turn will result in eating fewer calories without having to ‘work’ at it.
Counting calories also does not bode well for the long term. Are you going to be 70 years old and calorie counting? Of course not, and you probably are missing out on enjoying life! Intuitive eating is such a beautiful way to go about feeling more in tune with our bodies. Our bodies can tell us when we’re hungry and when we are full and rather than counting every single thing that goes into our mouths, we can get a sense of how we should be feeling. Counting calories is also time consuming! Frankly? I have way better things to do than counting every morsel that goes into my mouth

Make A List

Be sure to make a list before entering a grocery store! This has been a lifesaver tip for me. I have given a screenshot of what a typical ‘healthy shopping list’ can look like. Obviously, there is not EVERYTHING on there but rather, its a guideline for clients, friends and family to help them make solid choices while still using the most amazing tip of all…VARIETY. Every time I look at this list, I forget about something that I wrote! I just was glancing at it and noticed ‘farro’ which is an amazing, versatile grain that is available at every grocery store, yet I always forget about using it in recipes! 

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Plan to Create Meals With Just a Few Items

Try mixing and matching from the lists above. Clean eating does NOT have to be complicated. I am not saying to restrict yourself to only a few ingredients per recipe, but just knowing that it doesn’t take a lot for something to taste amazing is super important! 

For example, a simple Marinade

  • 1/2 T ginger juice
  • 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C brown rice vinegar
  • 1/4 C sesame oil
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Mix all ingredients well and use for a simple marinade over chicken, beef, fish or tofu. You can use this recipe above for so many things! Also, you can sub out the cilantro for basil to change the flavor slightly but still utilize the same ingredients!

Another example,  boil quinoa and then toss it with roasted asparagus, butternut squash, a sliced hard-boiled egg and 1/2 sliced avocado. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce and sprinkle with almonds or sunflower seeds and a pinch of cayenne. Fresh, clean, fast and delish!

Approach Your Eating Habits as a LIFESTYLE, not a ‘diet’

Think about what you want, first and foremost.  Adopting healthy eating habits should be something that is sustainable, day in and day out. The last thing I want to do to walk away thinking is that you need to throw everything out of the kitchen, start fresh and stress over it all. Take control of what you want and your life. You have absolute control of what you put in your body. 

Don’t Punish Yourself

Food is pretty incredible. It tastes good, it fills our bodies and souls with goodness, it gives us energy, brings people together, and options are endless. People tend to have a connotation with nutrition strategies that no matter what they’re doing, they are going to have to just suffer through the process. Learning how to implement clean eating strategies is quite the opposite, and not only that, but anything that makes you frown or makes you dread the thought of it simply shouldn’t be on your plate or in your mind.  The word “diet” alone brings negative thoughts to mind. I don’t know if I have ever heard someone scream and shout from sheer excitement about their new DIET! Nutritional strategies should be far from painful. It should be a fun process; one filled with experimentation, recipes, delicious foods and new ideas. 

Picture this: You are told that you have to eat 6 meals a day of chicken breast, broccoli and brown rice. For every. single. meal. This is certainly not sustainable. In fact, you may get to the point where you can’t even fathom looking at another tupperware of this food again. This is the worse approach to clean eating. 

I would advise to think of all the amazing fruits and vegetables that you can get at the store and cook up. Pick a few proteins each week that are different from the week before; 

Here are some proteins to give you an idea of how much variety there is!

  • Bison/Buffalo/Steak
  • Eggs/Greek Yogurt/Cottage cheese
  • Lean ground chicken/turkey/beef
  • Tuna/salmon/cod/shrimp/scallops
  • Chicken on the bone/chicken thighs/roasted chicken

Beyond just the protein, there are hundreds of spices and herbs that you can use to spice things up! Try getting fresh herbs like rosemary, cilantro, mint or lemongrass to use in a recipe. You can find organic seasonings that are bottled and turn your turkey meatballs from Italian style to Mexican style with a few shakes! 

The goal is never to look at a plate and think

 “wow, I can’t believe I have to eat this” 

but rather look at that plate and think 

“wow I GET to eat this!”

When choosing your foods, you also want to think about how they will make you feel physically. Think about your activity level and what you do for your workouts. You want your meals to compliment your hard work! If you feel lethargic after eating certain foods, don’t buy them and try something else! If certain foods leave you digestively upset, don’t eat them. I know that I can’t eat very cruciferous veggies and many fruits. As I have mentioned before, I follow a lose FODMAPS style diet which excludes garlic, onions and vegetables like brussels sprouts, raw kale, raw broccoli, cabbage, apples, pears, melon and beans. 

You may look at those foods and think “whoa, Naomi…these foods are all so healthy” Yes, they are, but they make me feel awful, so I just stick to others such as bananas, berries, peppers, zucchini, bok choy, eggplant, collard greens and spinach. 

I also want you to think about your satiety levels. If you eat some shrimp and asparagus and feel hungry right after, think about what you can add to this meal to bump up its nutritional value and leave you feeling satisfied. I would suggest adding some good fat like sesame or coconut oil or 1/2 avocado which will stabilize your blood sugar levels, help you feel satisfied and leave you without any cravings for more. Not to mention it will enhance the flavor!

Eating clean is NOT a miserable experience; it is FAR from that. It is one of creativity that will enhance your health, mind, body and spirit. I love cooking for others and find that most of my recipes that I think of come when I am least expecting! Take a chance and play around in the kitchen!

Some More delicious CLEAN recipes!

Get Your Mind IN LINE

The nutrition portion of fat loss/weight loss or whatever your aesthetic goal may be is 80-90% of your success. Whoa. Thats by FAR the majority. Most of my clients work out and LOVE to exercise and what gets them in a rut is nutrition. 

BUT, Seriously, it’s that important.

We cannot outtrain a bad diet but it seems that time after time, the common phrase I hear is  “I should start eating better” while polishing off that plate of chips/french fries/chicken fingers

You will #Fail.

“I should (eat better)(eat less)(clean up my diet)” is a useless phrase that will result in no positive action. So stop saying SHOULD.

Instead, put systems and practices in place that remove any thought or action from your decision-process until you’ve heard “hey, have you lost weight?” and “you look great.” Once momentum is on your side, nothing can stop you.

For all those who after they eat not much a nutrition meal think “okay, diet starts tomorrow” you need to get out of that mindset. Immediately. 

Not tomorrow. Not tonight. it just happens now. RIGHT NOW.

Some more awesome posts to check out!

 

AND FINALLY! THE RECIPES!!

 ROSEMARY TURKEY MEATBALLS

Rosemary Turkey Meatballs
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb turkey breast (I used 93/7)
  2. 1T olive oil
  3. 1T fresh rosemary-finely minced
  4. 1tsp dried thyme
  5. Sea salt and pepper to taste
  6. 2T Worcestire sauce
  7. 1 whole egg
  8. 1/4C panic bread crumbs
  9. 2T ketchup
  10. 2T dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine ground turkey with rosemary, thyme, Worcestershire, egg, panko bread crumbs and salt and pepper
  3. Once combined, add half of the ketchup and mustard (1 tbs each) and save the rest for the topping.
  4. Form into 1 inch size balls and place on greased baking sheet
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes depending on your oven
  6. ENJOY!
1 Fit Foodie http://1fitfoodie.com/
 

PUMPKIN OAT BARS

Pumpkin Oat Energy Bars With Dried Cranberries
Yields 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Delicious, clean and healthy bars that are a perfect start to your day or sweet treat before bed! With homemade energy bars, you don’t have to worry about franken ingredients like refined oils and sugar, which you would normally find in store-bought bars. These are so simple and take about 30 minutes from start to finish!
  2. 1C canned pure pumpkin
  3. 1/4C melted coconut oil
  4. 1 1/4C rolled oats
  5. 1/2C dried cranberries
  6. 1/4C pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  7. 1/2TBSP nutmeg
  8. 1TBSP cinnamon
  9. 2TBSP maple syrup or honey
  10. 1/3C dark chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin puree, followed by the spices, sweetner, melted coconut oil and mix well
  3. Add the oats, cranberries, seeds and chocolate chips and continue to stir until all of the ingredients are well combined
  4. Transfer the dough to a gently greased rectangular baking dish. Press the mixture with your hands so that it is flat and evenly distributed
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and then leave it to cool
  6. Once it reaches room temperature, and is chilled, cut it into bars of equal size
  7. ENJOY!
1 Fit Foodie http://1fitfoodie.com/
Screw New Years Resolutions. Why They Can Tear You Away From Your Goals and What To Do About It.

Screw New Years Resolutions. Why They Can Tear You Away From Your Goals and What To Do About It.

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I just googled “New Years Resolutions” on the internet. Hundreds of sites came up with all sorts of topics such as

‘The most common New Years resolutions”

“How to stick to your New Years resolutions this year”

“Why you should make resolutions in 2016”

“5 New Years Resolutions that will change your life”

The titles go on and on. Every year, we sit and like clock work-we make a list of resolutions that will set apart 2016 from any other year

‘This year, I will lose 10 lbs”

‘This year, I will quit smoking”

“This year ,I will travel to a new place”

“This year, I will be less stressed and find ways to handle it”

“This year, I will volunteer”

‘This year, I will meet the man of my dreams”

“This year, I will make $10,000 more dollars at my job”

“This year, I will fit into those skinny jeans by June”

We think, we make lists, we stick it on our fridge and we are committed. For likeeeee 1 month. Then life happens and our resolutions that we so committed ourselves to take a backseat.

In theory, the idea of ‘resolutions are very sound. We think of a goal. We see how we will get there. We wake up on January 1st ready to tackle it and then 3 weeks go by and you can’t even remember what your ‘resolution’ was.

Why does this happen? We beat ourselves up because we vowed to be different. This year was going to be different than last year. I had GOALS!?!?! Oh well…maybe I will get to it next year…

This is a very common way of thinking for most Americans who set themselves to such high standards with their New Years Resolutions, yet just like clock work, we do this every. Damn. Year. Guys…theres no magic formula in the fact that you should be setting these goals to yourself for January 1st, yet like clockwork, we always set out to ‘do better’ this year and start with a clean slate.

There are some reasons why I believe that resolutions can often fail and how to set better goals!

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They Aren’t Meaningful

The idea to stop smoking, exercise more, limit to 1 alcoholic drink a week, get 1 manicure a month instead of 4. These ideas are great but the problem is that they are based on what you think you should be doing, not actually what you want to do. Just the other day, I was reading an article on a blog and one of the authors goals for 2015 was to read 1 new book every month.

I thought to myself:

“NICE! This is an awesome goal, I have always wanted to commit myself to reading more. I think I want this goal for 2016.”

Then, I realized something. Why didn’t I think of this goal myself? I had to read an article to get an ‘idea’ for a silly resolution to read a book? Chances are, if this wasn’t in the forefront of my mind, it probably wasn’t that meaningful to me. The idea of reading a book is an awesome goal, society says that reading makes us more smart and this goal, I realized was all of the sudden decided by peoples expectations or by reading an article that states someone elses’ goal. We have to remember to forget what other people think of us, dig deep and find something meaningful to YOU, screw what society says. It can be hard, I know.

Maybe you find yourself overtraining and a goal would be to take 2 rest days a week. Think about how that sounds when you tell someone:

Oh yeah, new 2016 resoluton is to workout LESS” ……..WHAT!?

They will look at you like you like you just turned into Kim Kardashian. This is ludacris?! But you know what? This is YOUR goal, you have to put what society thinks and sees to the wayside.

We are constantly judging ourselves based on how others see us. Screw them. Focus on what you want. No one realllllllly cares about your goals, so make it your priority to care about yours.

Timing Isn’t On Your Side

January 1st hits. Its time to get that resolution in place. This makes no effing sense! Why wait until January 1st to set an intention or goal? What if the timing isn’t right in your life for this goal to happen? Or what if you want to start NOW but its November 13th? Why do we base our lives around certain times. Life is every evolving and you need to jump at every oppourtunity. It is physically impossible to time your life and to be honest? I think this is actually pretty awesome. Sometimes the timing is off in many aspects of your life, yet we find ourselves trying to force it. I remember earlier this year, I was planning on training for another fitness competition  I wrote a whole post about it. My heart was not fully in it. The timing was not right for me. I was going through a lot of other personal things, including working on myself in other aspects of my life besides getting on stage for a 6th time, so I knew that the timing was right for me. I forced it for a while and just kept saying 

“I’ll get there. Next week will be better.” 

When my coach asked if I had a suit picked out

“Oh yeah… I have the swatches, but haven’t picked out the exact one”

You guys…my LIFE was competing for 3 years. I would eat, sleep and breathe training for my next competition. I purposely took time off to focus on my health, personal life and career. It was very important to me to have a balance between everything so when I began training for this show, I had so many thoughts running through my head. 

I wanted to travel.

I wanted to drink a glass of wine with my friends.

I wanted to go on dates and not ask the waiter to bring me a plain piece of chicken breast. (Now, I have a boyfriend who is in FULL support of anything I want to do, shows included!) But to be honest, meeting someone was HIGH in my priority list. This to me, was more important than training for that show back in the spring. 

The timing NEEDS to be there for you to commit to something; to anything! 

I do believe that if the time is right in your life and January 1st is the time to commit yourself to do something, by all means–DO IT! Sometimes we need big timed markers to take advantage of this fresh opportunity to start new ( like New Years or your birthday or the start of a new job) These important and pivotal days and times in our lives can be the fuel we need to start the fire for us to start TODAY.  Just to be clear, I am not suggesting NOT to start your goal or resolution on January 1st, 2016, but I am suggesting to just take out a piece of paper and think about what you will need to get to your goal and what are the priorities you need to have clear in your life to get there. If the time is right…GET IT!

Theres No True Motivation Or Level of commitment

I remember one year, I had a New Years resolution to go to 1 yoga class a week. This ‘goal’ was back in 2010 and it was during a time that I loathed yoga. I almost never went to a class and the mere throught of it made me bored. I was drowning myself in the ‘cardio queen’ phase of my workout journey and so the thought of standing in a room and moving slow, breathing, working on my flexibility and mental clarity was merely a laughable twinkle in my eye.

Its funny because now? I can’t live without yoga. Not a week goes by that I don’t make it a priority in my weekly regimen. It is a part of my life and I am 100% commited to it. Yoga forces my mind to slow down, it forces me to challenge myself mentally and brings a whole new level of athleticism to my body. The issue was when I tried to ‘force’ myself to attend a yoga class was that

I was not committed.

Goals need commitment because without it, this goal isn’t all that meaningful to you and therefore you are way more likely to throw it to the wayside. When you commit yourself to something, it will hold a huge relevance for you in your life. There is always going to be that initial thought o :h YEAHHH I am going to DO this this time around” But sooner or later, you may end up discouraged and ungratified because you couldn’t follow through on something you thought you could but in reality, the timing and relevance to this goal wasn’t there in the first place.

There Always Has to Be A Balance

The problem with attaching yourself to one main outcome or goal is that when you pour everything into it and it doesn’t workout the way it was ‘supposed’ to, you have failed. How many times have you ‘tried’ to do something or commit yourself to something and then said 

“That was NOT what was supposed to happen” or “Screw it. I failed. I suck. The end”

We either succeed or we fail. Theres really no in between and in my eyes? This is not only fair to yourself, but its not  way to live your life. When we put our lives in the hands of  our goals, don’t reach it, get frustrated and then spiral downward, it can be a vicious cycle that for some reason we all get so attached to. 

“This time, it’ll happen” “This time, I’ll do better” 

You were doing great all along! There doesn’t always have to be  a ‘better’ 

During this time of growth, there is a chance you may  have missed something pretty spectacular that was right in front of you, yet you missed it because you were so focused on that very specific outcome. 

Lets take a new job for example. You had an amazing year in your sales career and you want to increase that by 15%.  This (from the surface) Sounds great! You will be focused on getting new customers and maybe stay an extra hour after work, be present at all of those meetings you missed last year and focus all on your career. 

Your boyfriend wants you to go on a trip with him and his family to Brazil in March- your busy season. You pass it up to stay focused on work. You start getting home late. You missed your anniversary. You are missing out on the balance that you once had in your relationship which was always something that you told yourself you would make a priority. 

I am in no way saying that you shouldn’t set career goals, I think this is such an amazing thing to do, but what I am saying is to look at the BIG PICTURE of your life before setting a goal that will  effect other areas of your life negatively. 

So, when you set your goals, make sure that you strike the right balance between different areas of your life. And remember that “balance” is different for everyone. 

The List Of What You Can Do:

  1. YOUR Goal should fit YOUR life. This is the #1 point you should think about before jumping right in to something you don’t know HOW could possibly fit into your life.
  2. Ask yourself several questions before committing yourself to a goal. 
  3. If theres an area of your life that you want to work on or improve, talk to someone you know who’s been there and done that. Think of someone you work with or maybe a friend or family member to ask for advice on where to start. Its OKAY to ask for help and guidance. 
  4. Write out a plan of action as to how you can make your goal a reality. Right now, it may just be a far fetched thought in your mind. Make it happen and give yourself a deadline to write out that action plan
  5. Start whenever is the right time to start. You don’t have to wait until New Years. 
  6. Instead of writing out resolutions for the year ahead, I take this time to reflect on the year behind me. What did I accomplish? Where could I have improved? What didn’t I do that I wish I did? What did I do that I didn’t think I could? Its a great time to check in with yourself to see where you’re at in your life and you may get a little idea of where you’ll go in 2016!
  7. Resolve to work on a few small things that can greatly improve your life rather than take a HUGE goal right away. For instance. I had a goal to volunteer this past year. I told myself (in my head) that I would volunteer at least 5 hours a week every week. This in hindsight didn’t seem like a huge deal at all. I could totally do this. I wanted to as well! Work gets crazy, life gets crazy and I soon realized that 2 hours a week was doable some weeks but not others. I got upset with myself because I couldn’t commit as much time as I originally set out. What I should’ve done was commit myself to the initial volunteer meeting and then schedule at least 2x a month to attend an event. By setting myself up for smaller more attainable goals rather than one BIG one, I would have succeeded and given myself the confidence I needed to shoot bigger next time!
  8. Set “TO DO” goals other than OUTCOME goals, so instead of “lose 10lbs” You could say “Workout 3x a week for 30 minutes and eat protein in at least 3 of my meals a day”

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Hopefully now, you feel a little more at ease with why you don’t HAVE to come up with resolutions for January 1st. If you have them already then great! Keep that going but if you don’t know or don’t have one right now…thats OKAY! Your goal should be first and foremost to think about yourself and what you want. Then you can set a date and an outline on how you can get there

 

I love you all and thank you for always checking in, commenting, reading along and being the most awesome readers out there!!

 

XO

NAOMI

Coconut Curry Chicken Over Ginger and Coconut Brown Rice

Coconut Curry Chicken Over Ginger and Coconut Brown Rice

I’ve had my hands tied with my new little nugget lately. 

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I am more in love than you can imagine. I’m Up at 3am to take him out. I catch him chewing on every single cord in my apartment. His favorite food is beef and chicken and its an issue when he prefers it over his puppy food. The lack of sleep, the spoiled palate. The teething. Its all worth it. 

I’ve learned a whole new sense of patience since owning my dog. I realize that training doesn’t happen overnight and neither does house training.  He’s my best bud, my cozy cuddle buddy and one of the best decisions I have made in my life.  He’s pooped on my floor, he’s peed on my bed, he’s woken up me up in the middle of the night and he absolutely loves my shoes. What makes up for it? his little face and all 2.8lbs of cuteness. 

The great thing about Ozzies high class appetite is that he always keeps me company in the kitchen when I’m making a new recipe. He’s my taste tester  

Ginger. Coconut. Rice. Chicken. Curry. YES. 

I really don’t like Indian food; I never have. On my list of ethnic cuisines, Indian would probably rank very close to last place. I think the reason I began disliking it from a young age was because I really like to see what I’m eating. I hate foods that are doused or covered in sauces and foods that are chopped or mashed so much I can’t tell what I’m eating (especially out at a restaurant) Indian food always fell into those categories for me. I never knew what I was eating and everything had way too many complex flavors and spices for me to handle. So…therefore I attached Indian food with a ‘dislike’ button. 

When I first was playing around with this recipe, I didn’t think I would really like it. Everyone in my life is so surprised that I am just not the biggest fan of curry. I think people associate curry with vegetables and I love vegetables so obviously I must love curry. Meh, not so much. Its never the spice that I grab like I do with oregano or basil. With that said, I was talking with a friend and she was saying how she made a coconut curry crockpot chicken and at first, my initial reaction was “ewwww curry” Then I starting thinking about how satisfying and different that recipe sounded. It had been a while since I have made a chicken recipe from scratch using flavors that I don’t normally cook with but I was up for the challenge. 

When I make a recipe, I usually glance at a few existing ones to get an idea of flavor combinations. I don’t want to completely waste the food but then again I want to have my own spin on it, so looking never hurts, right? 

So Coconut Curry Chicken With Fresh Lime came about. This recipe sounds and may even look like a lot of work, but trust me its not. I began by starting the rice on the stove, and as that sat and started to soak up the coconut milk and ginger flavors, I marinated the chicken. The marinated chicken was placed in the fridge and left there for 4 hours (I went back to work in the interim) I half cooked the rice and left it covered when I left. By the time I got home, the rice had absorbed all of the delicious coconut milk and ginger flavors and was perfectly fluffy! 

Next up was the chicken.  I always get weary about cooking chicken on the stove top thinking I will overcook it and it will be dried out. They key to keeping this chicken  tender and perfectly cooked is the flavor bursting  marinade. This is the easiest way to bring a simple chicken breast from boring to bodacious, upping game from 0-100.  Another fabulous thing about this marinade? You are in charge of the ingredients, no preservatives, no additives, lower in sodium than store bought and double the flavor.

You can use a tupperware or glass bowl to let the chicken marinate in, but I always cooked with my mom when I was younger, and her trick for making the meat as juicy as possible was that Ziplock bags seal in the flavors and you can go in and swish it around. The sealable bags allow you to coat food with smaller amounts of marinade. Just be sure to Fold the bag down and press out as much air as possible before sealing!  The bags also take up little fridge space 

So, however you want to throw the chicken marinade ingredients together, thats up to you! Just make this recipe…its so freakin good, K?

I have posted the recipe below and I REALLLLLLLLYYYYY think you should give it a try…after you can’t look at another piece of Turkey Of course! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

xoxox

NAOMI

COCONUT GINGER BROWN RICE
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1C brown rice
  2. 1 Inch Fresh chopped ginger
  3. 1C lite coconut milk from a can
  4. ½tsp sea salt
  5. 1C water
Instructions
  1. Pour rice, coconut milk, salt and water into a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the ginger to the saucepan and stir everything well to combine. Make sure that the ginger is submerged in the rice mixture.
  3. With a cover on the saucepan, bring the rice to a boil (stirring occasionally to ensure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan) You may need more water depending on the starch content of the rice.
  4. After the rice is brought to a boil. Let it boil for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Let it sit until the rice has fully absorbed the liquid. Again, you may need to add water to the pan throughout. When finished fluff with a fork and enjoy!
1 Fit Foodie http://1fitfoodie.com/
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COCONUT CURRY LIME CHICKEN
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5lbs chicken breast, cubed
  2. 2T coconut oil
  3. 1tsp cumin
  4. 1tsp curry
  5. 1/2C lite coconut milk from a can
  6. 1-2T soy sauce or tamari
  7. 1T honey
  8. 2T fresh, chopped cilantro
  9. 1 zest of fresh lime
  10. 1tsp Kosher salt
  11. 3 slices of fresh lime for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the cubed chicken in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Place all of the spices, coconut milk, sweetener, soy sauce, lime juice. You can save half of the lime juice for adding after the chicken is cooked!
  3. Let the chicken marinate in the ziplock bag for 1hr-overnight. (The longer the better!)
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat and once warm (about a min or so) add in the coconut oil to the pan. Let it melt and once the pan is sizzling (test by dropping a bit of water to seeing if the pan sizzles) add the chicken to the pan
  5. Cover for the first 5 minutes to keep the flavors sealed into the chicken. After about 5 minutes when the marinade begins to bubble take the cover off and mix the chicken around so its cooking evenly.
  6. Once the chicken is fully cooked and fork tender, turn off the heat and let it sit until ready to serve over the coconut ginger rice! Garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh lime wedges
1 Fit Foodie http://1fitfoodie.com/
Stress, Recovery/Sleep, Happiness, Nutrition= Key to Fat Loss and Health

Stress, Recovery/Sleep, Happiness, Nutrition= Key to Fat Loss and Health

  • 6am Cardio
  • Work and eat
  • 5pm Lift
  • 6pm Teach Spin Class
  • Eat
  • Bed

This was my life for a few years. Most of my time was spent in the kitchen. My other time was spent in the gym and at work (which was at a gym) There wasn’t much wiggle room with this routine, as it was pretty habitual to the point that something would get in the way and my anxiety would kick in. I scheduled doctors and dentist appointments around my workouts and even passed up events and activities due to my schedule.

I felt pretty awful inside. I was hungry, tired, agitated, fatigued and I wasn’t making any strides with my body or my strength because I was depleted and stressed from the inside out. I was doing cardio almost everyday for at least 30 minutes. My body was sticking in a place that was not budging, no matter how much I was working out. 

The more is better approach is not only something that is so detrimental to ones body, but it simply won’t get you where you maybe want to be.  

This high amount of stress in my body was slowly killing me.  I got myself extremely sick and was hospitalized  which was an eye opening experience that to this day, I am grateful for because it forced me to realize that all out, all the time just doesn’t cut it. The second I laid off the workouts and took into account other areas of my health:

  • stress/recover
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep 
  • Happiness/Balance 

When I began paying way more attention to these areas of my life, changes in my physique began taking place when I wasn’t even trying. I want to go through the importance of these areas when it comes to overall health and fat loss. Without them-you may be putting your body at risk for danger! 

STRESS

My health scare forced me to make a lot of changes for the better. I have a history of anxiety. I know this about myself. I can cause myself to stress very easily. When I was in college, I dealt with anxiety attacks and getting more in tune with my body. You could say there was a time in my life that I would always be on edge. The littlest events or things could trigger my responses and it took me a while to figure out the perfect way for ME to deal with stress. Anxiety aside, I will say that any diet changes or excessive exercise is stress to the body. Anytime you are restricting yourself with food, overdoing it with workouts, you are creating an unhealthy environment in your body.

Too much stress and anxiety about food; how much, what portions, what brand, when we eat it, how we eat can take a very unhealthy and dangerous turn for those who are trying to lose bodyfat AND also still want to enjoy life! 

My life was at a time -Food and workouts- Thats it.  I never allowed myself anything that I truly wanted. I ate the typical ‘clean eats’ such as oatmeal, fruit, veggies, complex carbs, nut butters and that’s about it. I avoided social events so I could stick to the foods that I was familiar with, I avoided alcohol even though I was pining for 1 glass of wine, I never had a sweet and god forbid I even touch bread! The crackers and cheese that I was obsessed with or a good ole turkey sandwich was certainly not on my list of options! 

Besides just the food restrictions rules I set for myself, I was doing endless amounts of cardio-45-60 minutes a day. As I mentioned, I wasn’t losing fat, I was somewhat uncomfortable in my own skin, I wasn’t happy and I was also tired. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing TOO MUCH and EATING TOO LITTLE. The fact that I was stressing over everything and having constant food anxiety about little things was slowly killing me

How Do I decrease Stress?

  • I incorporate at least 1-60 minute vinyasa yoga class every week without fail (not the HOT, crazy yoga, but the relaxing, light, restorative yoga)
  • I spend 10 minutes in the morning thinking about the day ahead and 1 thing I am grateful for
  • I surround myself with people who add to my life, no toxic energy
  • If I feel anxiety harboring in my body, I close my eyes and take 1o DEEP breaths and ask myself “what is the worst thing that could happen?” This reminds me of how grateful I am for everything I have. 
  •  I focus on quality, not quantity of my workouts
  • No food is off limits. Food used to be a place of stress for me, but when I came to a place that I realized a cupcake will not change who I am or what will happen to me, if its something I want-I eat it with no regrets. 
  • I spend time with my new puppy!

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NUTRITION

 

Eat for Variety! The problem with certain ‘diets’ is that they can cut out entire food groups all together! The body just like exercise, gets used to what you put in your body and at some point needs a change. It is so important to vary the foods you eat within each food group. I know it can be a bit of ‘work’ rather than prepping meals to eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, but keep in mind that every single food has different nutrient properties; all of which the body needs to keep working as an efficient machine. Not every food you eat has to be perfect, and so what if you go overboard on a certain food group one day. No big deal, just make up for it the next, or just move on…there is always tomorrow. 

For me, counting calories doesn’t work. There will be some of you reading this post that SWEAR by counting macros and it works for you! Thats great if you find that it does, I’ve tried it for shows, for fun, and I am miserable and crazy when I do this. I am not into opening up my phone to input my sushi dinner in MyFitnessPal when I am out to dinner with others. If I want something, I eat it and do everything with moderation. I always think about satisfaction and what my body is craving rather than torturing myself to eat cold chicken and broccoli. Those days are long gone. 

My tip with nutrition would be to always take note on how you feel after you are done eating a meal. If you are counting calories, and used up your ‘calories’ for that meal but are still ravishingly hungry… that’s a sign you need to be eating more. Our bodies will hold onto fat if you deprive yourself. By staying in tune with your body and staying consistent, this in turn will result in eating fewer calories without having to ‘work’ at it.

Food should be something we enjoy and brings smiles to our faces. Food brings us together. Think about a fun meal you had with your boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, friends or colleagues. It is always memorable. The dishes, the flavors, the laughs. There is a reason that certain religions and many families are so focused on meals. They make us happy. 

Try to avoid labeling Foods are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Do not feel guilty for including in something that you truly enjoy once in a while. The goal is to eat these foods in moderation and move on! Simply balance your indulgences with other foods that provide balance and nutrition that is vital for your health and well being. 

I also want to stress the importance of the “no big deal” this is how I approach situations where I feel that I may have indulged a bit too much. Maybe I was hormonal or cravings were through the roof that day. Whatever the reason may be, we have ALL been there. Those situations where we wake up the next morning and think “well, that evening just threw off everything I’ve worked so hard for. This is crap” This negative attitude when it comes to food will not help you grow and learn how to overcome these situations that will come up more often than not! 

My tips here would to just be aware during these situations in which you are

 ALWAYS IN CONTROL. 

 You will be out to eat and take a bite of warm bread dipped in olive oil and maybe be tempted to eat the whole thing. Take a moment to think about how this will make you feel and if its worth it. 

Every single thing you choose to do, choose to put in your mouth, choose to feel is entirely in your control. Your mind and your body are connected and it is up to you to feel amazing throughout this whole process of growth. 

 

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SLEEP/RECOVERY

Good, Quality Sleep; So often, we underestimate the power of sleep when it comes to our health. If you know me well, you know that nothing comes between me and my sleep. I am not high maintenance in the least, but when it comes to my sleep, I will admit that I am a bit of a ‘princess’ I need my 7-8 hours (8 being preferable) Anything less than 7 and I have a hard time fully functioning. I don’t understand why people would skimp on sleep-I mean is there anything better than a good nights sleep? You wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day. I guarantee you will feel less stress and more productive in every aspect of your life if you have a good nights sleep!

 Happiness/Balance.

 I have never run more than 5 miles in my life. 

Some people would read that statement and think this is INSANE. 

“Ummm, you’re crazy, Naomi…clearly you haven’t hit that runners high”

No, guys, I promise you, I genuinely do not like to run long distances. I find it boring, I’m unable to connect, concentrate and brings me nothing but the constant thought of “when is this over” 

Do you hate me? Hopefully not. Taking a liking to different modes of physical activity is what makes the world go round. So you can laugh at the newest fitness craze, those trampoline classes or acro yoga? Maybe these aren’t for you, but they do exist for a reason. Some people LOVE them. Who are we to shun them for enjoying something that gets them moving and puts a smile on their face. 

I used to be judgmental when it came to exercise and it took me a LONG time to come to a balanced place with my exercise routine How could you not like lifting weights?! I had no idea how to grasp this concept that people did other modes of exercise. Then I began trying new modes myself especially after my surgery. I needed to exercise to keep me sane, yet I was not cleared to weight lift. I fell in love with yoga and pilates and was actually amazed at how good they made me feel. They balanced me out and helped me to decrease stress.

The thing with exercise and physical activity in general is it should make you happy. Thats it. 

You should choose a mode that makes you feel energized, not fatigued, excited not dreadful and confident, not insecure. 

In regards to rest days, I take them when I need them. I used to have ‘planned rest days’ and thinking back now, that is CRAZY to me! I can’t believe I would only rest on certain days that were written down on a sheet of paper. If I was tired or fatigued or knew my body needed a rest, but it wasn’t planned, I would push through-not the best idea. On the other end of the spectrum, what if I felt amazing on a rest day? Why  should I be ‘resting’ if I felt like I could have an amazing workout? Workout and then rest the next day. Its that simple. 

It is so easy for us to get into a habit. Monday is chest and back, Tuesday is Spin, Wednesday is kettle bell workout. 

Yadda yadda. 

I am all for routine and think that we should be following a plan, but I look at this plan as I do with nutrition. 80/20. 80% on and 20% wiggle room. This way, I leave room for all sorts of things like maybe trying a new class or working out with a friend. Its okay to veer off. 

We need stimulation that draws us into new experiences and challenges both our bodies and minds. We need balance and moderation when it comes to physical activity–it is such an integral part of growth and change.

 

 

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  • Exercise: whatever form that makes you happy
  • Express yourself: If you are in an argument with someone, express how you feel and do not let it stay bottled up. This will create stress in itself
    Practice relaxation: yoga, meditation, reading, podcasts. Anything that relaxes your body will teach it to create an overall sense of ‘calm’
  • Be Positive: Smile more and try to look at situations with more of an optimistic view
    Stop Striving for Perfection: Be realistic-you are human! Stop trying to go above and beyond on every little thing in your life. Work at it, do your best and reward yourself. 
  • SLEEP! Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night. Get into a routine and stick with it! You will feel refreshed and energized. 
  • Get Rid of Toxic People: A few years ago I made a pledge to myself to get rid of all negativity in my life. If there is someone who always seems to bring you down, they are not worth having around. You deserve to smile. All of the time.
  • Be Happy: Make it a point to smile. Everyday. Appreciate your life and be grateful for all that you have. 
  • Be Honest: With yourself, your job, in your relationships and with communication. The more honest you are, the less stress you will harbor. 

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Healthy Tips & Food Ideas When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking!

Healthy Tips & Food Ideas When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking!

I was staring at my defrosted bone-in chicken breast when I thought of writing this post.  I had just gotten home at the end of a long day and was hungry. I wanted a nice, cooked meal but I also wanted to plop down on my couch and just. chill.  During the day, I was thinking of all of the fancy ways that I could cook up the chicken that I took out of the freezer. I could marinate it in fresh basil, sear it and then cook it in the oven. I could cook it first and then tear it apart and make it into a chicken stirfry. I could cook it, then mix it with greek yogurt, chopped almonds and dried cranberries and make a ‘chicken salad’ or even melt some cheese on it and make a lightened chicken parm. After all of these delicious thoughts, however, I just didn’t have it in me to spend lots of time in the kitchen. 

I LOVE cooking. It is therapeutic. I look forward to it and I love cooking for others. 

I also am human. I get tired. I get stressed. I eat take out. I eat prepared food. Its about what makes most sense and what will satisfy me. I don’t make myself crazy cooking when I just don’t feel like it. 

I want to share some food, recipes and snacks that I choose when I just don’t feel like cooking but still eat food that fits my lifestyle, keeps energy levels high, ensures my satisfaction and will nourish me from within.

The bottom line that I will ALWAYS stay true to is that I eat foods that satisfy me, taste good and will compliment my lifestyle which includes working out 4-5 days a week, running around on my feet all day long and also the need for indulgences because chocolate and wine are two things I will never stop enjoying! 

SNACKS

I will be the first to admit that throughout the day, I get most of my calories through real food. Fruits, veggies, proteins, fats, starches. For me, eating these foods satisfy me, keep me well balanced, enable me to work on my feet all day and fuel my workouts. I also have some food intolerances to fake sugars and prefer to eat real food first. I always encourage my clients and people I work with to start with real food first. 

BUT, with all of that said, there needs to be convenient options for me and for all of us who are on our feet all day and don’t have time to whip up a meal. I will always believe that everything I eat has to taste good. I hate wasting time and energy eating something (healthy or not) that tastes like crap. There are FAST options out there for bars that won’t throw off your goal game.  

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Some of my favorites pictured here are 

  • EPIC (turkey and lamb are my favorites)
  • GO MACRO (peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate chip and cashew butter are my favorite)
  • THINK THIN (honey peanut drizzle and salted caramel are my favorites)

I also have Lara Bars (cashew cookie and peanut butter cookie are my favorite) But usually save these post workout due to the higher sugar content. I also really like PowerCrunch Bars (cookies N Cream are my favorite)

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Quick Supermarket finds like Greek Yogurt, Grapefruit and snow peas! 

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This looks complicated, but as long as you have the ingredients, it takes about 5 minutes. 1T chia seeds, 1T hemp seeds and about 1/4C almond milk. Thats it. Let it sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and enjoy! Protein packed, good fats, delicious!

Other snacks:

  • Beef/Turkey jerky (I love the ones from Trader Joes!)
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews are my favorite) Just watch portions! 
  • Avocado. I will just eat a half an avocado at a time with some veggies if I have some for a major satiety factor
  • Hard boiled eggs. I usually hardboiled a bunch in the beginning of the week so they’re always on hand. two at a time does the trick! (More info on eggs later in this post!)

TAKE OUT

I always try to be as transparent as possible when clients, colleagues and readers ask me what I eat on a daily basis. I would be lying if I said that I cook every night. As much as I do love whipping up new recipes, I also rely on some local favorites near me to provide me with delicious and nutritious meals!

Sushi

I would say i get some sort of sushi take out once a week. It varies on what I order depending on what I want! I usually get some sort of sashimi–salmon is my favorite then tuna and yellow tail. My ‘go-to’ order is a 6 piece salmon avocado roll with brown or white rice and an order of salmon sashimi. I’ll throw together some veggies at home if I am craving something extra!

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Another take out item that I get every other week or so is a rotisserie chicken! I love getting the organic chickens from Whole Foods. I take them apart as soon as I get home to discard the bones etc. The rest of the chicken meat goes in a tupperware in the fridge and ready for me to use in meals throughout the week! I use the chicken on salads, in soups with rice or sweet potato for a post workout meal or just out of the container when I’m hungry. Another great way to use the chicken is to mix it with a bit of Greek Yogurt, lemon juice, maple syrup and diced walnuts for a healthified chicken salad. 

Another famous way to whip up a delicious chicken salad is 

Avocado Chicken Salad

  • 1 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in the fridge!

Thai/Chinese: Any chicken or steak dish with brown rice and sauce on the side to add at my own pace. I have a garlic and onion allergy and most sauces are laden in those two ingredients which is why I always get it on the side!

Salads/Sandwiches/Bowls: Some favorites nearby include Bgood (I love the kale salad with a turkey burger or regular burger on top or the Kale Quinoa Bowls) And Sweetgreen ( usually make my own salad with lots of goodies!) 

SEMI HOMEMADE MEALS

Have you guys ever seen that show on Food Network “Semi Homemade” with Sandra Lee? Well I have to say that her recipes were not that appealing (to me!) but the concept behind her show is phenomenal. Half home cooked meals with the idea of saving money and still feeding the whole family or group of people. I guess my focus with my own semi homemade meals wasn’t to save money BUT you certainly could! These are dishes that I can throw together in under 8 minutes because all it takes are a few ingredients that I always generally have around.

Chicken or fish+ Marinades=quick dinners (and leftovers!)

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I always have some sort of pre bottled marinades or dressings in my fridge. I can’t eat many of them because I have an intolerance to garlic and onions BUT if I just use it as a marinade on fish or chicken and not a dip, then I don’t have a reaction! When I don’t feel like making my own marinade and have fish or chicken or turkey all ready to go, I simply throw some of it on the protein, maybe add some mustard and throw it in the oven for about 10 minutes. This to me isn’t really cooking and its super easy. I usually make some food for the next day, or get some work done or sit on the couch and just chill while this cooks away! 

Some of my favorite marinades:

Eggs

Another Quick meal option that is semi homemade and only uses 1 skillet is EGGS! Eggs are one of my ‘go-tos’ when I really don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I get my fat, protein and of course so many ways to make them that I haven’t once gotten sick of eggs yet! One of my favorite ways is over medium cooked in a bit of coconut oil with salt and pepper. Take that same pan and stir up whatever veggies are hanging around the fridge and BOOM. Dinner. Sometimes I top it with parm or goat cheese depending on how I’m feeling. 

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Another egg recipe that is one of my FAVORITES and super easy involves smoked salmon

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Smoked Salmon And Eggies

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 T olive oil or coconut oil (I love coconut oil for the flavor)
  • 1/3 C chopped frozen spinach (can use fresh, just double the amount)
  • 1/3 C chopped fresh green pepper (can use any color you like)
  • 2 oz smoked salmon
  • 3 button mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional add ins: Basil, oregano, dill or thyme

Directions

  • Crack 3 eggs in a bowl and whisk well with a fork. Set aside
  • Place a skillet over medium heat and toss in the spinach and peppers. Cook for about 7 minutes, tossing throughout or until golden brown. In the last minute, throw in the mushrooms
    In that same pan, add a bit more oil of choice and pour the egg mixture over the vegetables.
  • Cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until ready to flip
  • Flip over, let cook for 1 more minute and serve hot

Another method I love is eggs over Medium

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Over Easy: This method of cooking eggs comes in handy when I don’t have a whole lot of time in the morning but still want to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Over easy eggs do not take a lot of time and are pretty easy to get the hang of after practicing a few times. I take 3 eggs and slowly crack them into a greased skillet (with olive oil or coconut oil). Once the white starts bubbling a bit, I flip over the eggs and let them cook for a mere 20 seconds. Done!

Frittata: I have been making frittata’s because they are great to make in a BIG batch, cut in portions and keep in the fridge to grab and go. I have been taking 6 eggs and mixing them with any and all veggies and extra protein I have on hand. The other day I made a frittata with 6 whole eggs, chopped frozen spinach, red bell pepper and diced asparagus. I beat the eggs, added the veggies and poured the mixture into a greased (with coconut oil) loaf pan. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Once it was done, I cut it in half and there is breakfast for two days! (served with some fruit and avocado slices)

And of course there is always SMOOTHIES! Quick and easy and again, the variations on how you can make these are endless. Here is a recipe:

MY MORNING COCOA PROTEIN SHAKE

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Another favorite of mine is my sweet potato protein smoothie!

Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie

  • 6oz or 1 small container of plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Small sweet potato (cooked)
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg (or you could use pumpkin pie spice!)
  • Spinach (not pictured but recommended if you want to get your greens in!)
  • 1C almond milk
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy! This is one of the simplest, easiest, ‘cooking free’ recipes!

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Avocado Toast:

Its simple really. Toast some bread. Top with avocado. Sea salt, sesame seeds, pepper. Whatever you like! Done. I eat this a few times a week on the go!

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 A Giant salad

At least two nights a week, I make myself a BIG salad for dinner using ingredients I always have on hand in the fridge. 

I start by choosing a base of about 3 cups of greens:  

  • spinach
  • Mesclun
  • Arugula 

Then I add in about 3-4different veggies such as 

  • Peppers
  • cucumbers
  • Eggplant (roasted and chilled in the fridge)
  • Shredded carrots
  • Zucchini (roasted and chilled in the fridge)  
  • Roasted fennel (occasionally have in the fridge)
  • Beets 

Then the ‘Fun’ stuff

  • Avocado
  • Dried cranberries
  • Goat or parmesan cheese
  • Slivered almonds or walnuts
  • Add a simple whole-grain or serve it on the side
  • condiments like mustard or hot sauce, hummus, tzaziki, dipping sauce of choice

Then the Protein

  • Chicken 
  • Ground turkey meatballs
  • Grilled steak
  • Ground lean beef
  • Roasted salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna (from a can or packet) Great on the go!

Then the starch (if you choose!)

  • Butternut squash
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Farro
  • Roasted sweet potato

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A Loaded Potato

Spuds are one of the easiest and healthiest ways to eat a semi home cooked meal with lots of delicious topping ideas. Throw a potato in the microwave and top with ingredients like diced chicken and peppers and drizzle of pesto or almond butter, cinnamon and 1 whole egg. The combos sound weird but it is so easy to throw together when you don’t feel like cooking!

Overnight Oats

A classic recipe that requires you to open a jar and throw in ingredients. 

  • 1T chia seeds
  • 2T almond milk
  • 6oz plain Greek Yogurt or 3oz yogurt and more almond milk
  • 1/2 chopped banana
  • 1/4C oats
  • 1T unsweetened coconut
  • Top with  nuts or fruit or coconut oil!

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Cinnamon Chia Overnight Oats

 

  • 1/2C raw oats
  •  1C almond or coconut milk
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1/2C chopped banana or berries or mixture of both
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1T chia seeds.

In conclusion

 

you can see that there are SO many options to eat even when you don’t want to cook. Too often I hear clients  saying they can’t cook or don’t have time or simply don’t want to so that forces them to resort to more fast food options that may not be the best choice for their goals and their health. Just because dinner is called dinner doesn’t mean it has to be ‘traditional’ who says you can’t make a protein shake at dinner or eat overnight oats (prepared the day before?) On that same note, who says breakfast has to be eggs and/or oats? Why not have chicken and vegetables in the morning if thats what is convenient and what your body is asking for. The one takeaway here is that there is no gold standard. We are all different, built different, move different, have different needs and have to embrace that.  

Eating well doesn’t have to be brain surgery, in fact is is SO simple to do and you can start by adapting some of these ideas in your next meal plan. Stock your fridge and cupbords with options. 

 

XOXOXOX ENJOY!

NAOMI

 

8 Tips To Regain Your Lost Motivation And Love Your Workouts!

8 Tips To Regain Your Lost Motivation And Love Your Workouts!

Raise your hand if you get bored with your workouts every now and again. Yup. It happens. It may even be hard to come to terms with this fact because you LOVE working out. You LOVE going to the gym and sweating and working hard and lifting heavy, doing yoga or whatever it is that you do.

The truth is, we are human! There are going to be times in your life and times throughout the year where you just don’t have that desire or pull to do your workout. I am a true believer in doing things that excite and challenge you when it comes to your workouts. They should invigorate you, motivate you and keep you excited for the next session.

I’ll admit it. There are times I’m lacking something; maybe its inspiration or fun or challenge or something NEW. Its not necessarily that I want my body to change; its that I want to be PSYCHED to exercise and I just am not in the moment. The trick with loss of motivation and excitement with you workouts is that you have to realize that this is something that is easily fixable! I sometimes get that fear of ‘omg, I’m not inspired and I will never workout again ahhh” as if I would fall completely off the wagon. The thing with that thinking is that I know that will NEVER be me. My body is so happy when it moves. I just have to find out what will really spark my interest this time around. Here are some of my favorite tips for regaining that lost motivation. Take a look and try out 1,2 or all of them to see what new inspiration you uncover!

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Incorporate New Tools/Classes/Equipment into your workout

I have gone through such phases with my own workouts and I love to bring these to my clients because I never know what will really get them to say “I LOVED this, Naomi” There are some really fun and different tools that you can try if you have available to you like:

Simply incorporating new tools into your program may really spike your interest and get you to learn more about it. You never know what your body will respond to and how much your training can change by just trying something new.

Kettlebell Swings

 

Slider Lateral Lunges

Full Body Workout

Try POSITIVE Thinking

You may be rolling your eyes at this one, but changing your outlook can be as easy as flipping a switch. Its the difference between I HAVE to exercise and I GET to exercise. Realize that your abilities are a gift. You are able to push yourself. You are able to get out of bed and engage in something that makes your body feel amazing. There are so many people who don’t have this luxury for a number of different reasons and wish everyday that they could do something as simple as go for a jog. Your lost motivation may just be due to the fact that you are hard on yourself. You aren’t getting in enough milage, you aren’t lifting enough weight, you aren’t able to get through your whole workout. Once you stop beating yourself up and recognizing the amazing things that you are doing to reach your goals, your mind, outlook, energy and workouts will change as well.

Set a Goal.

I am a HUGE advocate of this. It may be a reason why I competed in 5 shows over the course of two and a half years. I LOVE having something to look forward to and to push myself toward. If you aren’t sure what goal you want to achieve, I encourage you to sit and make a list of everything that you enjoy when it comes to physical activity.

It doesn’t have to be complicated.

It doesn’t have to be expensive.

It doesn’t need to be fancy.

It doesn’t need to be far away.

It doesn’t even need to be competitive. It can be something for you.

Sign up for a race, fitness competition, enter a transformation challenge, take those jeans out that you want to fit into. Find SOMETHING that makes you so motivated to get out of your bed every morning.

Talk to Someone Who Did It.

Network. Life is so much about the interactions we make every single day. I love the days that I have a conversation with a new member at the gym or co-trainer that I normally don’t chat with to see what they’re all about. I tend to be a very open person because I love hearing other peoples stories. Most of the time there is some connection that brings us together and if not, it is so interesting to me to learn about something new. I get so inspired daily by the stories that I hear from clients.

I remember before I started competing, there was a girl at my gym who I KNEW was training for a show. She had her CSF bag and always came in, so regimented and focused. One day, I went up and struck up a conversation with her about what she was doing for her workouts. She began to tell me she was training for her first bikini competition and told me all about Cathy Savage Fitness. It was there that I was inspired like I never had been before to sign up. I literally went home that night and signed up for the program, knowing I would too be competing in my first bikini show in the near future.

All I can suggest is to not be afraid at all. Don’t hold back. Most people want to talk about what they do, especially if its something they are passionate about. They want others to love what they love.

Surround Yourself With Like Minded People

There was an indescribable feeling the very first time I walked into my first Exercise Physiology class in College. I was seated in a class, within a major that I CHOSE. Every student in that room had a purpose for being there. It wasn’t a general education class like art history or Anthropology that I was forced to take to fill requirements but rather a class that I wanted to take to further my studies in a field that I was so passionate about. I always felt a sense of calm when I was surrounded by my classmates knowing that they wanted to be there just as much as me. They asked questions, engaged, participated and worked together. It motivated, inspired and started a fire of passion within me.

I got that same feeling the second I walked into the CSF studios back in 2011. I was so nervous, I sat in my car for 10 minutes before getting out. When I walked into that studio and saw the amazingly fit, beautiful and powerful women, all whom had a passion for the competitive sport, leading a healthy lifestyle and fueling right, I knew I was at home. 

The motivation you may just be seeking could be as simple as surrounding yourself with more of those like minded people. If you are training for a race, sign up for free runs at your local gym or sports store. Talk to as many people as you can because you never know if they have that same passion you do! If you love yoga, you KNOW how good it feels to meet someone who also loves practicing. If you make a date with a friend to take a class or workout together, you KNOW you will always show up. 

If you’re looking where to find these ‘like minded people’ just take a look at your gym, your first 5K, the health foods store, the farmers market, free fitness events in your city, in Spinning class and just about any place where fit and healthy people tend to frequent to support their lifestyles-even healthy restaurants! 

Take a Break

Its hard to REST. I know. Mentally, this is the hardest thing for me to do. Tell me to NOT workout? Whhhattttt. But yes. It works and it is SO needed. When we workout, we are constantly putting our bodies in a stressed state. Some may be experiencing overtraining without even knowing. 

Extra fatigued? 

Unmotivated? 

Restless? 

Hard to focus? 

Step away from the gym to clear your mind. If doing that is truly not something that you can do, try taking walks outside or resorting to vinyasa yoga. Try something NEW besides exerting the body to its max. 

Another way that you can take a bit of a break without taking a FULL break is to just decrease the frequency of your sessions; workout less. If you are used to a 5 day body part split, try out a 2 day full body workout and during those two days that you are NOT lifting, go for a walk, work on some mobility or spend some time foam rolling.

Shorten Your Workouts but Increase the Intensity

There is no better feeling knowing I worked my butt off twice as much as someone in half the time. The higher intensity, shorter duration workouts have their time and place in any workout program. During exercise we burn both carbohydrates and fat but depending on the type, duration and intensity we burn different amounts of both. When workouts are short but intense, this creates more of a fat burning enviornment meaning its a win win for fat loss! Another benefit to shortening your workouts is that you will NOT be bored. 1 type of workout I personally love is creating a timed circuit. I dont have any time to look at my texts or check instagram. I set up my timer, leave it in front of me, throw my headphones in and work my butt off. I don’t touch my phone unless I need to take a breather or grab water. Other than that, there are no distractions, I am done in 20-30 minutes and I am off to the rest of my day.

Another benefit to more metabolic styles of training is that you will increase your cardio capacity and improved hormone profile. If you were to engage in more metabolic styles of training for a couple times a week, this will elecit a greater hormonal response and will promote a greater amount of lipolysis (fat loss hormone’)

****FULL BODY BLAST***

  • Set a timer for 50 sec work/10 seconds rest.
  • Repeat the following circuit 5x through
EXERCISE WEIGHTS
Thruster with two KB or DB 10-25 lbs
KB swings 12-20 kg
Burpee with shoulder tap at bottom NA
Renegade Row to double KB clean (or just Renegade row) 10kg-14kg KB or 10-20lb DB

****BODYWEIGHT BLAST****

Set a timer for 45 sec work/15 seconds rest.

Repeat the circuit of 10 exercises 2x or 3x through.

EXERCISE  
Burpee with push up at bottom Side plank dips (left)
Narrow and wide squats Side plank dips (right)
Suitcase sit ups High plank jacks
Reverse lunge with hop (left) 4 high knees/4 mountain climbers
Reverse lunge with hop (right) RKC plank hold

Be YOUR Best

Whatever it is that you are doing and that you enjoy doing, stop trying to be perfect and compare yourself to anyone else.  I always hated seeing women at the gym able to do things that I couldn’t do. They looked better, seemed happier, had a better workout, had their shit together more than me. Why did I ever think this way? I had no idea what was going on with them. I judged both them and myself. Then, after a while, I began to be more comfortable in my own skin than I ever had before. it took me years to be OK with skipping a workout or not necessarily having a plan or trying a new class that I would always sit and judge. Life is about trying everything that is thrown in front of you. I no longer wanted to live in a cookie cutter. I wanted to have new and crazy goals, workout with new friends, try new equipment and just be my best self. 

Stop looking at Instagram models and people you wish you were.

Stop thinking you wish you could have her abs. And her butt. And her arms. 

Stop the self hate and start the self love.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these tips. NOW….go kill it

 

xoxo

Naomi

 

Current Favorites September 2015 Edition

Current Favorites September 2015 Edition

Sometimes I get obsessed with certain things; a food, a workout, a piece of clothing, a show. There are so many things out there that turn on our attention and grab it so much that we want to share it with the world. Well, here is my list of things I am currently crushing on big time. Beware because it is quite random. It ranges from food stuff, to make up stuff to other stuff. ENJOY!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH LARA BARS

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I meannnn….how could these NOT be good. I am not here telling you that they are the most healthy thing in the world, but they are so fantastic (to me) They are sweet but not too sweet and perfect for a little treat to cure that sweet craving. I love Larabars because they contain ingredients I can pronounce with no fake crap. My body doesn’t do well with any article sweeteners so its hard for me to have the processed protein bars too often. This flavor along with the cashew cookie and coconut are my favorites right now!

PULL UPS:

After attending the elite coaching seminar  I have a whole new appreciation, brainful of knowledge and love for the pull up. This coaching seminar brought together some amazing coaches in the industry (personal training, physical therapy, strength and conditioning, business) with a hands on and lecture component to further our base of what we do; coach clients. 

 I have always been scared of it.; probably because I have never been good at it. What makes a good coach great is being able to teach someone how to do something they suck at. Its about providing the necessary tools to enable them to feel empowered and knowledgeable about trying something they probably have been shying away from because it doesn’t fit the realm of their comfort zone. Not only did I walk away with a motivation for myself to perfect the pull up, but I also made a promise to myself to share these tools with my clients (especially female)

I have been obsessed with everything pull up. The lats, the regressions, the core component, band assisted, you name it-I have been incorporating something pull up related almost every single day.  In order to get better at something you must practice all of the time. “I can’t do a pull up” is something I hear every single day from my female clients. I don’t like the word “can’t” it means that one will never be able to; and the pull up is certainly something that most people can do if trained properly. In order to do a pull up, you must train to do a pull up. 

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TROPICAL HOUSE PLAYLIST

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I am currently obsessed with this playlist on spotify. There are few playlists that I find that are transitional for me meaning; I can get pumped and workout to it, I can do with it on in the background and I can do really anything and I will enjoy pretty much every single song. I discovered this playlist from a client and I am always listening to it, or an identical playlist. Its chill yet upbeat, relaxed yet invigorating.  The difference between tropical house and deep house is that this music has way more uplifting beats and often more pleasant than the darkness of deep or underground house.  I realize that music is extremely personal and thats what makes the world go round! You may check out this playlist on spotify after you read this post and think I’m nuts. Im okay with that. Its my list 

SALMON SKILLET COOKED SKIN ON

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I absolutely love salmon! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I post recipes and my food and lots of it includes fish like salmon, tuna, shrimp. You name it. I get bored with salmon and was interested in trying to cook it in a ‘new to me’ way. I looked up this recipe for cooking it in the skillet, with the skin on and it was SO fantastic. I fancied it up to make it my own, but followed the guidelines as to how to cook it properly with the skin on. 

SKILLET SALMON WITH SKIN
A delicious, flavorful way to cook salmon and make the skin crispy, and delicious.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2lb salmon
  2. 1-2T high heat oil (I used hazelnut)
  3. 1/2T finely chopped ginger
  4. 1T himalayan sea salt or kosher salt
  5. pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Clean the fish very well and make sure it is VERY dry before any cooking. I used a paper towel and kitchen towel to ensure it was bone dry.
  2. Sprinkle the salmon skin with the salt and let it sit for about 5-6 minutes. This will pull the moisture out of the fish and you will notice some beads of water form.
  3. Pat the fish dry from the excess moisture
  4. Get a pan that is NOT nonstick and heat it on medium
  5. Pour your oil on the pan and wait a few minutes until the oil is hot (you can throw some water on it and it should sizzle)
  6. Place salmon SKIN SIDE DOWN once the pan is hot
  7. You can now add the ginger or any other seasonings you'd like
  8. Cook the fish for about 6 minutes with the skin side down or until your liking and then flip it for an addition minute or so. (I like mine undercooked)
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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 BECCA EYE BRIGHTENER

BECCA

I have a small obsession with eye brightener. If you look in my small makeup bag, I have about 4 different ones right now. This right now, is by far my favorite. It was ALWAYS out when I went to Sephora and then one day, it was stocked and I grabbed it because I heard amazing things about it. The BECCA Eye Brightener It has a bit of a shimmer to it and a light pink tint that really brightens up the under eye area. If you have bags; GONE! It is a creamy consistency and a little goes a long way! I have had mine for about 4 months and only about half way through it (And I apply it everyday) I also love it because it lasts ALL DAY. Literally, even through my workout when I’m covered in sweat. Its small and easy to throw in your make up bag and runs about $29 but totally worth it!

SHELLAC

My vice. I always have my nails done. its something I love and something I don’t think I will ever give up. No matter what time of year or whats going on, you will probably always see me with something on my nails. Recently, I have been into the shellac manicure because they last longer especially when I’m grappling weights and kettlebells all day. This color is one of my recent favorites; its called “Suzi shops and island hops” Its OPI and its a nice summery pink! Something to note if you do decide to get shellac and a little tip as to how my nails stay strong and healthy throughout is I never peel it off myself. I always let them take it off the proper way. 

nails

POTATOES

Especially eating them as my carb post workout. Tough workouts induce the breakdown of muscle tissue which is repaired through post workout nutrition. I make it a priority to put adequate and delicious food into my system after a tough workout and always choose some sort of starchy carb post strength workout (potatoes-white or sweet, squash, quinoa) and lately I have been all about cooking potatoes this way! I slice a whole white and whole sweet potato realllllly thin and then spread it out on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes (sprayed with olive oil and sea salt)

potatoes

MACA POWDER

I have been using 1 teaspoon of Maca powder in my morning smoothies every morning and just love it. Maca has been known to be somewhat of an aphrodisiac boosting sex drive and overall health. It is also great for boosting fertility in women, increased stamina, energy and daily functioning. Maca definitely provides a bit of an energy boost and that feeling of ‘IM UPPPPP’ which is just what I need in the morning most of the time. Another benefit of maca is its relatively high amount of absorbable plant-based nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium, among others. It is chalky and pretty terrible tasting on its own, but you can’t even taste it in a smoothie! I just use 1 teaspoon a day!

maca

DIGESTIVE ENZYME

I have some major (diagnosed) food intolerances that force me to stay away from certain foods/food groups. I can eat these foods that I know I shouldn’t, however I know that I won’t feel too hot afterwards. I was told about taking a digestive enzyme from a co worker of mine to alleviate any symptoms I may experience after eating a meal where some of the ingredients normally wouldn’t sit too well.  (namely; onion, garlic, leeks, apples, pears, snap peas, processed breads) When we eat food, our bodies absorb nutrients, not food and in order for our bodies to absorb these nutrients, the food we eat has to be broken down into proteins (amino acids) If we don’t have enough digestive enzymes in our bodies, they have a hard time breaking down food and thus absorbing it and/or digesting it. This brand of Digestive Enzyme has helped me tremendously when it comes to gas/bloating and overall digestion of food. I take it right before I eat, although you could take it around 30 minutes of eating before or after and should be good to go!

digest

PARKS AND RECREATION

You guys. My favorite TV show right now. I have taken improv classes and if you know me, you KNOW that this show is my kind of humor. I can watch this show and laugh out loud (alone) and there has only been one other show that has happened with; FRIENDS. I would be Amy Phoeler in a second life so if you want to laugh and watch some mindless Netflix, get on this train.

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SHRIMP CEVICHE

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I have posted about my shrimp ceviche before and ever since I made it that one time, I have craved it…soooo I made it again. and again. Just a couple more times 

Shrimp Ceviche
Serves 1
This is an amazing, refreshing, low calorie fish dish that takes about 10 minutes to prepare. It does require some marinating time, so if you want to eat it the day of, think about making it in the morning and then it will be ready for you in the evening!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 lb fresh shrimp, deveined and clean, cut into small bites.
  2. 1/4C fresh chopped cilantro (can use other herbs if you do not like cilantro)
  3. Juice of 5 fresh limes
  4. Juice of 1/2 fresh orange (can you grapefruit)
  5. 1/4C diced avocado
  6. 1/4tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Squeeze the juice of 5 limes into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add in clean, diced shrimp and mix well
  3. Add in peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, avocado, salt and pepper
  4. Mix well and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to overnight
  5. ENJOY!
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