Category Archives: Uncategorized

Energy Bus

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“The energy you fuel the ride of your life with is entirely up to you. And as the driver, you are the one who must also choose your vision of where you want to go. You have the best seat and the best view of your life so it’s up to you. You gotta have vision. So let me ask you, where do you want to go?”

I ran into this quote while doing some quick breakfast reading this morning and it really spoke to me. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, is just another one of his great books for leaders about inspiration and motivation. Whether you consider yourself a “leader” or not this quote should make you think.
Read it again…

Let me know what you think!

Happy Monday 🙂

Lauren

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Side Solution: Teriyaki Lentils

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Side Solution: Teriyaki Lentils

I have been experimenting with side dishes lately… or to be honest, just something low-carb to go with my protein and veggies. Since I have omitted grains from my diet,  I have learned a million ways to make sweet potatoes. And as much as I love sweet potatoes, (I even eat them as for breakfast, see photo below)  last week I just couldn’t force myself to eat a single one.

Perfect Breakfast View :)

Perfect Breakfast View 🙂

I started asking around and decided to try Lentils for my new side-of -choice. The thing I love about sweet potatoes is the blend of salty and sweet plus they are SO easy, and in my experience (which was limited) Lentils didn’t seem to fall into either of those categories. I solved this problem! One day at Trader Joe’ s I stumbled upon PRE-COOKED, Ready-to-eat Lentils! 

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GENIUS!! (Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 120 | Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 240mg | Carbohydrate: 20g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Protein: 9g)

Genius! And then I had the brilliant idea of mixing them with a teriyaki sauce and some other goodies and sure enough, my “side” problem was solved! The recipe I’m posting is the most basic version. Since making this dish the first night I have  played around by adding in more veggies (mushrooms, spinach, red peppers, asparagus…etc). This is basically a GREAT substitute for rice in a stir-fry or really as a base for any protein and could be put on top of a nice cold bed of greens to bulk up a salad. Lots of ways to play this one up. Hope you enjoy it!

 Teriyaki Lentils

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils (or roughly 2 Cups other cooked lentils)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, Chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 Soyaki Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 TBsp Coconut Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Directions:

  • Put oil in pan and heat, saute garlic and onions until a nice brown. 
  • Add in carrots, lentils and Sauce.

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  • Stir to break up and mix Lentils.
  • Let simmer, for 5 minutes stirring as needed.

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Taste and ENJOY!

-Lauren

Killer Chocolate Protein Balls

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Alright, so I’ve been on a rampage and loving it. I started kicking up my diet about a week ago and the cravings have already set in. So… I went on a mission to find clean and tasty sweet alternatives. The Sweet Potato Brownies were the first experiment but then I decided I wanted something I could take with me as a protein-rich, bite-sized snack. Thus came these Killer Chocolate Protein Balls! I found the original recipe on paleomg.com but in an attempt to cut back on a few calories and tone down the sweetness (only a little, I promise) I made some tweaks and made it my own. These are also Dairy, Sugar, and Gluten-free plus super delicious. Whip up a batch of these bad boys, keep them in the fridge and grab a few for everyday fuel!

Enjoy!!

Killer Chocolate Protein Balls

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Ingredients
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  • 1 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 8-10 dried Medjool Dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 scoops Raw Protein (I use Vanilla) or protein powder of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor 
  2. Turn food processor on.
  3. Let ingredients mix until Dates are completely broken down and incorporated.
  4. Shape mixture into tablespoon/ bite size balls.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to help harden.
  6. Consume.
  7. Keep leftovers in the fridge!

Lauren

Sweet Potato Brownie…YUP!!!

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So I am famous (with my friends anyways) for my Black Bean Brownies. I am known for bringing them to gatherings and not telling anyone what they are until the pan has been licked clean. I love surprising people by telling them how healthy the sinful snacks actually are! I’m a dork…I know.

ANYWAYS, I have finally I decided to give a new alternative brownie a go. These delectable treats come from paleomg.com. MAKE THEM. They will kill ALL sweet/chocolate cravings. I cut mine up into 12 slices and did the math…they are 121 calories per slice (a good size slice too!) with NO sugar, NO gluten and NO dairy and they’re SO choclate-y!  You’re going to love/hate me even more after you make these!

Here you go!

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Sweet Potato Brownies

Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Time to bake that sweet potato. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, use a fork to puncture holes all around it, then throw in the oven for 25-30 minutes. OR you can puncture it and place in Microwave for 8 mins!
  2. Once your sweet potato is soft and cooked through, peel off the skin and mash it up in a bowl. And turn your oven down to 350 degrees.
  3. Now add your wet ingredients: coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and whisked eggs to the bowl and mix together.
  4. Then add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips.
  5. Mix well to incorporate all that goodness.
  6. Pour into an 8×8 glass baking dish
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let rest to cool a bit.

Lauren

One leg? no problem… Help me help the Challenged Athletes Foundation

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One leg? no problem… Help me help the Challenged Athletes Foundation

Hi all!

Since moving back to San Diego I have had the opportunity to get involved in some pretty amazing things. What I am about to share is by far the greatest group I have come into contact with.

Please Help with WHATEVER you can (even a single dollar will make a difference). Keep reading and you will see exactly why you should…

Many of you know how important sports and fitness are to me. Living a healthy, active lifestyle is something that is easily taken for granted.  a healthy, active lifestyle is something that is easily taken for granted. I have taken on the challenge of training for Tour de Cove: a 4 1/2 hour Spin-a-thon adventure on October 21, 2012.
To make this challenge more meaningful, I am raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) – an inspiring 501c3 non-profit foundation that gives hope to thousands of individuals with physical disabilities around the world by showing them what is possible. By providing support, mentoring, and grants for adaptive sports equipment, competition and training expenses, physically challenged athletes are able to become whole through sports.

Please partner with my teammates and I by making a donation through my web site link below. Join me in making dreams come true for challenged athletes. Give the gift of sports and help get challenged athletes off the sidelines – and into the game.
Like I said, Every little bit helps! It says on my website that I am attempting $300 in donations, I would personally like to raise at least $1500. Thank you all for your support!!!
Lauren xo

How did you start YOUR day?

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Here’s how I started mine today… (Leaving out the boring stuff, of course)

1. On my trusty Yoga mat (which has finally found a home in the house ) I went through a few minutes of nice, relaxing, total-body static stretches.

First comes Hips, then Quads, the Glutes of course and Hamstrings (always my worst). I always spend a few moments stretching out my lower back then move on to my Chest, Lats and whatever else I feel needs a little stretch.

2. After setting my body straight for the day, and since I felt like sleeping in a bit this morning, I did a few body-weighted exercises to get the blood pumping. It always takes some effort to get myself to do a workout in the house (Especially if I decide that I’m not getting in my early gym workout.) but today I did. Here’s how it went…

            1. 300 Body Weight Squats

            2. 100 Alternating Reverse Lunges

            3. 50 Push-ups

            4. 50 Reverse Crunches (aka leg lifts)

            5. 60 second plank x 2                 

yes.

3. Finally, my favorite part of the morning!!! BREAKFAST!!!

First I made my morning smoothie… I have officially taken the Green MONSTER and injected it with some CRAZY powers (and extra powders). It looks scary and smells of grass, but trust me, your body will LOVE you!!! Here is everything you need:

 Everything you need is in this photo:

1tablespoon Chia Seeds, 1tablespoon Maca Powder, 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein, 3-5 handfuls Baby Spinach, 1/3 C frozen Berries, 1 heaping tablespoon Vitaminerals Green Powder and some water!

Yum Yum YUMMMM!!!

Along with my smoothie (which  I drink on my way to work AND because I LOVE to eat), I also have a slice of gluten-free toast with sunflower seed butter on it. My body tends to go through carbs incredibly quick in the morning so in order to have enough energy for my morning clients I always make sure to have some slower-digesting carbs to help out. This bread (or bread substitute, since I have recently removed gluten from my diet) is delicious and does the trick . The healthy fats in the sunflower seed butter are masked by the unreal taste…just make sure to not get carried away. One tablespoon is ALL you need 🙂

And off to work I go! Enjoy and If you have any questions about the stretches or exercises let me know!!!

Lauren

H.I.I.T Class Workout

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For the Past 5 months I have been teaching a class called H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training). The class is heavily influenced by Tabata training. The main portion of class consists of about 6- 8 exercises which you do each exercise, one at a time for 20 sec, then rest for 40 sec, immediately followed by 40sec on and 20 sec rest, immediately followed by 60 sec on and then a minute of rest to transition to the next exercise. To ramp up the cardio I added in 1-2 minutes of weighted jump-roping (hold light weights unless you own a weighted rope) after every two exercises. Because of the quick and intense bursts of energy, this workout creates the optimal calorie burn. Unless of course you aren’t giving it your all (or at least 80% of your all 🙂 ).

Here is the workout I used for the month of June, make sure to add in a light warm-up and follow it up with some abs and a nice stretch. Have fun!!

1. Dumbbell (or Kettle Bell) Swings

This photo is great! keep your back flat, chest out and squeeze your glutes and abs as you stand to make sure you protect your lower back. You should feel this in your shoulders, upper back, booty, quads and abs!

2. Dumbbell Plank Row

This is another fantastic total body/ core based exercise. Make sure to keep a flat back and tuck those hips under you to ensure your abs are tight and your butt stays down. You should feel this in your upper back, shoulders, abs and legs.

JUMP ROPE (WEIGHTED) FOR 1-2 MINUTES

1. Pike Jump-ins

This is much different from a traditional pike jump. You are going to start in a high push-up position (arms straight, back flat , legs straight and tight). Then you want to drop your head down and jump your legs in towards your chest while keeping your legs straight. Then jump your legs back. At the peak of the exercise, your body should look like and up-side down V. ** My favorite thing to yell during this exercise in my class is, “butt goes up, head goes down!!!”

2. Floor Dips

Feel the triceps BURN!!!

Make sure to keep hips elevated. Also, the more straight your legs are, the harder it will be! PUSH YOURSELF 🙂

JUMP ROPE (WEIGHTED) FOR 1-2 MINUTES

1. Lunge, Lunge, squat

This is exactly like the name says. Do a reverse lunge with your right leg, then a reverse lunge with your left leg- bring them together (hip-shoulder width apart) and do one squat. Repeat and love it.

2. In and Out Push-Ups

This one is also exactly as the name says. First do one traditional push-up with your hands wide

Then follow it up by moving your hands in and doing a triceps push-up.

JUMP ROPE (WEIGHTED) FOR 3 MINUTES

Try this one out and let me know how it goes!!!

Lauren

New Beginings

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WORD.

It’s been a while, but I’m back! Over the last year I have been bounced around  to two new gyms in the denver area at which I have met so many AMAZING new clients, taught packed boot camps and even instructed a kindergarten class on how to live a healthy life. Lots of personal and professional changes. In the next week I will be making the biggest change so far, and will be moving back home to San Diego! I am transferring to a new 24 Hour Fitness location in La Jolla at which I will be training a few clients and starting up another awesome boot camp! So for all of my readers, friends, clients (old and new) I want to stay in touch and continue to provide you with recipes, exercises and workouts. Make sure to subscribe so that you can get my updates each week as I try to continue to inspire and motivate you!

Lauren

I’m Tired of this Question… Here’s a Solution

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“When will all of these New Year’s Resolutioners just give up and leave our gym already?”

Wow. After working in a large, corporate gym setting for the past four January’s I have heard this question (or some variation of it) more times than I could ever count. The past three years when asked this question I would always smile, giggle and tell the person asking me to just simply wait it out. “Don’t worry, by the first week of March, they’ll all be gone”. I feel bad admitting it but honestly, I just wanted to train my clients without having to fight with people over equipment.

I’m a horrible person. Correction. I WAS a horrible person. I’m not sure what changed in my brain but this year I get a little bit mad when I hear this question.

Why should we want people to give up after two months? Shouldn’t we get excited because of all the newly motivated people surrounding us? This year I am SO proud of everyone who bombardes my small training area and congests the Cardio room. In fact, these “new year’s resolutioners” have inspired me. Thank you to all of the newly motivated people, I hope you can find happiness in living a healthy lifestyle and choose to stick with the daily dose of physical activity.

IF you are one of my fellow gym junkies who hates this time of year, try and see the positive. Congratulate the newbies for actually joining and taking the first step to committing to a life of good health.

NOW… IF you just can’t stand it, here is another great at home workout!

ALL LEGS Pyramid

Go through this whole pyramid once. THEN repeat two more time….Oh yeah! your legs are going to hurt…Make sure to rest in between pyramids and drink a nice big glass of water.

50 Squats

30 lunges

10 toe touches (lay on your back with legs straight up and reach hand up towards toes)

30 second wall sit (arms up!)

100 Jumping Jacks

30 second wall sit (arms up!)

10 toe touches

30 lunges

50 squats

Now ask yourself again why you didn’t want to go to the gym?? haha enjoy this, your booty will thank you later 🙂

Make Cardio Fun- Plyometrics!

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There are times when I know I have to do cardio and all I want to do is cry. However, Plyometrics are an amazing way to burn calories, get your heart rate up and act as a substitute once a week for those painful 30 minutes on the stair mill. Mixing it up not only helps with you desire to get back in the gym the next day, but it also forces your body to have to keep up and change with you. So try these out and you may find the fun in cardio again!

Take these 4 exercises, do each for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds in between each and go through all four 3 times.

1. Butt Kicks

Target Muscles: hamstrings, glutes, calves

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides and elbows bent. Jump and bend one leg behind you to draw your heel toward your glutes; on your next jump, switch legs. Continue, alternating quickly, for your entire set.

2. High Knees

Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, calves

How to do it: Begin in the same starting position as the butt kicks. As you jump, raise your knee in front of your body, alternating legs with each jump. Land lightly on the ball of your foot, and aim to get your knees as high as possible. Repeat for your set.

3. Jumping Jacks

Target Muscles: leg adductors and abductors, calves, deltoids

How to do it: Stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Jump your legs out to the sides while raising your arms above your head; your body should form an X[A]. Immediately jump back into the starting position[B], and continue quickly alternating with each jump.

 

4. Squat Jumps

Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend your legs to sink into a squat; at the bottom, explode upward into the air, raising your arms overhead to help you gain height. Land with soft knees and immediately sink back into your squat. Repeat for your entire set.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Super Delicious Protein Bowl (Meat-free)

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THIS is AMAZING! While I was exploring my vegan side, almost a year ago now, I made up this bowl one night. At first glance its going to seem bland and boring. But let me tell you, this bowl is packed with deliciousness. Each bowl contains a full serving of whole grains, vegetables, healthy fats and protein. Give it a try and add in anything you want…If you like what end result let me know what you’ve added!

Super Delicious Protein Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa + 4 cups water 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chickpeas, canned
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted if preferred
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds per bowl
  • 1/4 cup Better Than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette, to taste
  • Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

Directions: Cook 2 cups quinoa in 4 cups of water in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. While this is cooking you can sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat. After a few minutes, add the chopped asparagus to the onion mixture and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until lightly browned. Fluff cooked quinoa and pour on some Better Than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette use as much or as little as you want. I probably used about 1/4 cup to lightly toss the quinoa and then I used a bit more of the dressing to pour over top of the bowl when I was ready to eat. Scoop quinoa as the base for the bowl and then start adding your toppings in each section- asparagus, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, and onions. Serve and enjoy the leftovers for days to come!

Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 tablespoons balsamic, white, or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or regular mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 minced clove of garlic (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Toss all ingredients into a bowl and whisk! Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.

 

Enjoy!

Killer legs- Master this single leg move

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The Single leg Squat and Dead-lifts are two of the most challenging, but beneficial leg exercises. These exercises forces the stabilizers of the lower leg to work in ways they are not used to thus allowing them to strengthen and better protect you.  This move takes both exercises, and puts them together. Give it a try, master it and your legs will not only look amazing, but they will feel SO strong.

Watch this video then start by trying the move with no weight. Do three sets of 12. As your form improves and you feel more stable throughout, then add weight. Make sure to sit back and keep your knee behind your front toe.

Get it!

Lauren

Turn up the heat, 5 Tips for a Guilt Free BBQ

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1. The Low-Cal Burger
Swap out your burger bun for a portabello mushroom. Simply remove the “gills” from the mushroom, brush it lightly with canola oil, toss them on the grill to cook them down a bit and in about three minutes, remove them and use the mushrooms as your bun! Loaded with nutrition, yet light on calories.

2. Switch It Up
Instead of traditional hot dogs, high fat hamburgers and sausages, choose leaner cuts of beef, fish, poultry or game meats. Salmon, for example, is packed with protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids. And experiment with your condiments as well — rather than traditional BBQ sauce or mayo, try some salsa. It’s delicious, it’s fresh and it has even topped ketchup in some sales reports as America’s most popular condiment.

3. Better Meat
Use leaner cuts of beef when making a hamburger. A four ounce patty of 80/20 “chuck” will pack in around 280 calories and 18 grams of fat, whereas a 95/5 ground meat slashes almost 100 calories and cuts that fat down to about eight. Just be careful when cooking. Leaner cut cook more quickly. For added flavor, toss on some spices, like a pinch of chili powder, crack blacked pepper and a pinch of salt to add more flavor since a lot of the fat is gone.

4. Go Green
Slice a variety of veggies, like squash, bell peppers, onions and any others you like — toss them with some vinaigrette and throw them on the grill. Just a few minutes each side and you’ll have a side that will surely be a crowd pleaser!

5. Healthy Slaw
Coleslaw is a BBQ staple, but it’s usually loaded with fat and calories. Rather than adding mayo, swap it out and go for a fresher recipe. Here’s a simple recipe to try:

Shred about 4 cups of red and green cabbage (total)
Shred 1 cup carrots
Add 1-2 tsps of fresh ginger
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
2-3 TBS rice vinegar
Season with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper and a dash of red pepper and voila! Sweet and spicy slaw without the heavy fat and calories.

Enjoy!

Lauren

Summer Abs…

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Yes, the time is here. It is the time of year when all we want is to look smoking hot for our bathing suit debuts. 5 out of my 6 clients today made some form of a comment about getting their bodies ready for an event involving small amounts of clothing this summer. Soooo with that being said,  I am going to start a “getting ready for summer” series.

My first focus will be core/abs.

oh yes.

This is not only the most talked about section of the body when it comes to that summer convo but it is also (in my opinion) the best to focus on. When we are concerned about having “killer abs” we have to follow not only a great workout routine but we must also have an impeccable diet and cardio plan in order to get there. So PLEASE, by all means, lets focus on abs 😉

Before we get to the exercises lets get the cardio and diet plan out of the way. When it comes to cardio do 30 mins 5 days a week with two of those days being more intense. Try my Summer Interval Plan for those two days a week when you need to ramp it up! for the other days stick to steady state and if the weather is nice, take it outside for a run, bike ride, hike just make sure you get that heart rate up! Any questions? let me know.

Next, Diet…dun dun dun… everyones favorite discussion (not). Its easy people, challenge yourself to cut out the bad things in your diet. No refined sugars, limit the dairy and watch the fat and carbohydrate intake. Moderation is key and MAKE sure to intake lots and lots of lean protein. Try to include some form of fish, Chicken breast, turkey, protein powder or eggs in each meal. Watch the carbs at night (fruit included) and eat lots of brightly colored veggies! try a spinach shake – check out my Green Machine Smoothie! oh its so so SO yummy. hmm if I think of anything else, I will add it below.

Ok on to the fun stuff! Here is the workout plan for your abs- REMEMBER, treat your abs like every other muscle group and only train them 2- 3 times each week. They need time to repair themselves just as your biceps do. Don’t over-do it. Complete three sets of this workout 2-3 times each week along with the rest of your normal workouts, cardio and awesome diet and you will be blowing people away with your killer mid-section.

1) Weighted Ball Crunch

Set Up: Lie on stability ball holding a medicine ball or dumbbell with your arms above your head and close to your ears.

Action: Contract your abs and exhale while moving into a sit-up position, keeping the weight above your head. Inhale while returning to the start position and repeat.

No ball or weights? no problem try this modification:

Set Up: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and extend your arms above your head (with or without a weight).

Action: Exhale while slowly lifting your shoulders off the floor. Inhale while returning to the start position and repeat.

Do 15 reps.

2. Reverse Crunches

Set-up: Lie down on the floor with your legs fully extended and arms to the side of your torso with the palms on the floor. Your arms should be stationary for the entire exercise. Move your legs up so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and feet are together and parallel to the floor. This is the starting position.

Action: While inhaling, move your legs towards the torso as you roll your pelvis backwards and you raise your hips off the floor. At the end of this movement your knees will be touching your chest. Hold the contraction for a second and move your legs back to the starting position while exhaling

Do 15 reps.

3. Russian Twist


Set-up: Grab a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate and sit on the floor with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Hold the weight straight out in front of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the floor).

Action: Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left , and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right.

Do 20 reps

Remember…3 times through, 2-3 times each week. As they become easier, USE MORE WEIGHT. Our bodies react to change, mix it up and you WILL see results 🙂

Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions/feedback!

Enjoy!

Lauren

One Dumbbell Only?? No Problem.

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Found yourself with only one dumbbell? Maybe you just want to use one, it doesn’t matter- Here is a great single-dumbbell, Total Body workout.

Do 15 reps of each move, then rest before starting from the top. Complete 3 full times.

All exercises are done holding a single dumbbell with BOTH hands unless otherwise stated (trust me) 🙂

1) Dumbbell Wood Chop (low to high)

Don't forget... start Low and twist High

 

2) Squat (dumbell held at chest height)

3) Biceps Curl (One arm at a time)

 

4) Tricep Overhead Extension

 

5) Chest Press (one arm at a time)

 

6) Crunch (weight held at chest)

7) Shoulder Press (one arm at a time)



 

Enjoy!

Lauren

Kill that Craving… Pizza. Portabello Pizzas

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Oh wow. These are fantastico!


Pizza is one of my favorite cheat foods.

I try not to keep myself from eating things that i love but I found a recipe and decided to make a few adjustments and create a super healthy  version of my favorite food.

Not only is there zero dough (wheat, yeast, flour…etc) there is NO DAIRY. I know how amazing and delicious dairy is. Dont get me wrong, I love my greek yogurt, but dairy just doesn’t make me feel great.  So, I cut it out. This recipe is fantastic and SO easy.

And side note, that is not my photo. Cant get my own photos up here tonight but this one is ALRIGHT compared to mine 😉 this is from the original recipe.

Enjoy!

Portabello Pizzas

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10-12 minutes.
Ingredients:
• 8 Portabella mushrooms
• 2 cups pizza sauce
• Vegan Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce (see recipe below)
• 1/3 cup of each: red, green, orange pepper, diced
• 1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
• 2-3 large basil leaves, finely diced
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Directions: Preheat oven by setting the broiler on low. Take a baking sheet and cover with a silicone non-stick baking mat or parchment paper for easy clean up. Make your Vegan Cashew Basil cheese sauce by using the recipe below. Set aside. Remove stems of Portabellas and gently rub Portabellas with a wet cloth to clean. Place Portabellas ‘belly’ side up on the baking sheet. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce into each Portabella. Now spoon about 2 teaspoons of Vegan Cashew basil Cheese Sauce on top of the pizza sauce (see recipe below). Grab a cutting board and knife and chop the onion and pepper and then sprinkle onto Portabellas. Finally, shake on some red pepper flakes and sprinkle finely diced basil on top. Broil in the oven on the lowest temperature setting on the middle rack for about 10-12 minutes, watching closely as broiler temperatures vary. Serve immediately and enjoy! Serves 3-4.
Vegan Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce
Ingredients:
• 1 cup raw cashews
• 1/3-1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 fresh basil leaf
• 1 small clove garlic
• 1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Directions: Place 1 cup of raw cashews in a bowl of water, cover, and soak overnight in the fridge. When cashews are ready, drain and place all ingredients (cashews, Himalayan sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice) into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape sides of processor as necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Place any leftover cheese in a container in the fridge and enjoy with chopped vegetables, crackers, bread, and chips!

 

Lauren

Chilly weather=warm cooking

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What do I do on a Sunday afternoon when the view from my kitchen looks like this…

 

SNOW!

Three things…

first…

Make a giant pot of :

 

Chicken CHILI!!

but dont worry, I didn’t eat out here:

brrrr

brrrrr

 

Second…

Whip up a tasty batch of:

 

fuel-packed Grano-love (made with LOTS of love)

annnnnd lastly…

do an indoor…

 

WORKOUT on my TRX!

I know, I am a huge dork but i promise the food is delicious and so fantastically healthy. Here are the recipes, and as always, Enjoy!

Light and Tasty Cha-Cha-Chili

Ingredients:

1lb ground chicken (or ground turkey)

1 large can diced tomatoes (no salt added)

1 small can tomato paste

1 can pinto beans (no salt added)

1 can kidney beans (no salt added)

1 can white navy beans (no salt added)

1 green pepper, chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

1 large white onion, chopped

1tsp black pepper

2tsp garlic powder

2tsp cumin

2tsp chili powder

1tsp cayenne powder

(add more seasonings to taste)

Directions:

1. place meat in large pot and stir occasionally until browned.

2. add in vegetables, and stir of med. heat for 5 mins

3. add in rest of ingredients and bring to a boil

4. turn down heat, cover, and let simmer for 45 minutes

Homemade Grano-love

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds

1/2-3/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1/4 cup flax seed

1 tbsp chia seed

1/4 cup sesame seed

1/4 cup sunflower seed

1/4 cup pumpkin seed

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 & 1/4 cups oats

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1/2 cup maple agave

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except the dried cranberries, apricots, maple syrup, and coconut oil. In a medium sized bowl mix the maple syrup and coconut oil. Dump wet mixture onto dry and stir well. Scoop onto baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir oat mixture all around. Bake for another 10 minutes watching carefully during the last 5 minutes. When you remove from oven, carefully stir in the dried fruit. Makes 5 cups.

Enjoy!

Lauren



Holiday Workout part 2

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So the holidays are officially behind us…Welcome 2011! Part 2 of the holiday series (and final part) is going to be a cardio set. Lets burn off all of the junk we have put into us over the past 3 weeks… Beware, this is a TOUGH and long set so feel free to break it down however you feel comfortable. But heck, its a new year! CHALLENGE yourself. I dare you to do the entire workout.

High Intensity Aerobic Intervals (HIIT)This long and challenging interval workout is a type high intensity interval training (HIIT) that helps build endurance, increase your anaerobic threshold and burn more calories and fat both during and after your workout.  For the workout, you’ll have 10, 4-minute high intensity intervals in which you work at a Level 8-9 on this perceived exertion scale.  You should be working hard, but be able to sustain this level for the full 4 minutes. In between these intervals, you’ll get a 2-minute rest where you’ll do very light movement to recover. As you get tired, you may need to slow down or lower your incline/resistance to maintain Level 8-9.  Don’t be a slave to your settings, but change them to stay within the suggested levels. 

This is a very challenging workout, so modify the sprint intervals as needed to fit your fitness level and goals.  You can do this workout on any cardio machine (set to manual mode) or with any outdoor activity such as walking, running or cycling. This workout is best for intermediate or advanced exercisers.

Time Intensity/Speed Perceived Exertion
5 min. Warm up at an easy-moderate pace 4-5
4 min. Gradually increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace.  You should be out of your comfort zone and breathing hard, but able to sustain this level for the full 4 minutes. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
2 min. Reduce speed to a very light pace to fully recover 3-4
4 min. Increase your speed, incline and/or resistance until you’re working at an intense pace. 8-9
5 min. Cool down at a very easy pace. 3-4
Total: 64 Minutes
Let me know how it goes! Happy New Year!
as always, Enjoy
Lauren

Holiday Workout Part-1

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With Holiday season in full swing, I am going to start a 3-part series. I will be focusing each time on getting our HR up quickly and maintaing it while doing a circuit workout with a specific focus on different parts of the body.

Here is part 1- we will focus on shoulders. With toned shoulders, comes toned arms. Here is a quick breakdown on the muscles that make up our shoulder complex.

The three main muscles that make up the shoulder complex are the Front, Middle, and Rear Deltiods. In this workout we will do specidic exercises to target and work each specific muscle to build optimal strength and tone for the entire shoulder complex.

Here is a perfect, yet extremely silly photo to demonstrate the Shoulder Complex:

haha Muscle Man!!!

Okay, on to the workout!

1. Tuck Jumps

Start with feet hip width apart, do two small jumps then do one explosive jump bringing your knees up toward your chest. allow for two small jumps in between each tuck jump, try not to exceed two. Keep going for one minute.

2. Overhead shoulder press

Sitting is optional, however it is the easiest way to make sure you are not arching your back. Engage your core and stay as strong as solid as you can. Start arms at 90 degrees, press over head and return to 90 degrees.

3. Lateral shoulder raise

Same thing here, keep that core engaged and try not to swing your body at all.

4. Front shoulder raise

5. Rear Deltoid fly

Check out Gabby’s perfect form!

Again, Keep your core engaged, strong stance, chin down and dont swing!

6. Side Plank

7. Burpees

Complete 3 sets of 12 reps for each workout. For the side plank, burpees and tuck jumps go for one minute straight, three times through (side plank, dont forget to do both sides!).

I would love feed back! Let me know how it goes and In the next week expect part 2!

Enjoy!

Lauren

My Thanksgiving Day contributions…

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This Thanksgiving, the “big kids” got to contribute to the big day meal. I will even go as far as to say that we killed it! The “big kids” definitely had the best dishes (Matt’s cheesy bacon mashed potatoes…mmm!)! Way to go team Big Kids!  A few people have asked for the recipe for my mashed sweet potatoes and my pumpkin brownie pie dessert, I figured posted them on here for all to enjoy would be the easiest way to do it! enjoy!

Super Yummy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup white or spelt flour
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans (I didn’t have- optional)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish with canola oil. I wipe a bit on with a paper towel. Peel and then boil sweet potatoes until tender.  Mash the sweet potatoes with the margarine until smooth. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, sea salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour into casserole dish. Next, mix the topping ingredients together until well-combined. Sprinkle topping mixture over the casserole and bake for approx. 50 minutes, checking it every so often.

Makes 10 servings at approximately 215 calories per serving (without pecans)


Pumpkin Brownie Pie

Ingredients

Pumpkin Brownie Layer:

• 1 cup canned pumpkin

• 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar

• 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened

• 3/4 cup white kamut flour (or white)

• 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract

• 1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)

• 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder

• 1/2 tsp sea salt

• 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pumpkin Pie Layer:

• 1 cup canned pumpkin

• 2 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)

• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 3 tbsp almond milk

• 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)

• Shaved chocolate, for garnish

Pecan Topping:

• 1/4 cup margarine

• 1/2 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)

• 1/3 cup spelt flour

• 3/4 cups chopped pecans (I didn`t have- optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a pie pan.

2. For brownie layer: In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar until blended well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking, soda, sea salt and mix until incorporated. Take the entire mixture and place in pie pan. Wet spatula and spread around evenly so it is smooth.

3. For pumpkin layer: In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until all clumps are gone. Now add on top of brownie mixture. Garnish with grated chocolate (I used a lemon zester to grate the chocolate).

4. For Pecan topping: Mix all ingredients until well combined and sprinkle on top of the pie.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes and then move to the fridge to chill for 1.5 hours.

6. Serves approx 8-12 slices.

Both dishes were soo yummy and fantastic. the sweet potatoes taste like pumpkin pie and could easily kill a sweet tooth craving. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and was able to spend the time with Family and Friends.

Fuel the Machine…

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I treat my body like a machine, and who doesn’t want to keep their machine perfectly maintained and running smoothly?! Best way to start the day? My favorite smoothie ever! Try one of my Green Machine smoothies and GUARANTEED you’ll feel amazing! Don’t judge it based on the color- I promise it’s deeeelicious! yumm

Green Machine Smoothie


Yum Yum Yum

Ingredients:

all ingredients plus protein powder

1 cup Frozen Strawberries or ½-frozen banana

3 cups organic spinach

1 scoop Amazing Greens, green powder

1 tbsp flax oil

2tbsp chia seeds

1 scoop vanilla (or plain) protein powder (I use IsoPure)

8oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

 

Directions:

Lots of YUMMY Spinach!

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!!!

 

officially back into action…

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Its fall! not only does this mean changing leaves (sorry San Diego readers… you’ll have to come visit to experience this), pumpkins and Candy Corn buuuuut it also means cooler weather and more clothes. I have noticed that at this time of year my clients ( and yes, I am guilty of this too) tend to find more excuses to not make into the gym or to their workouts. It is easy this time of year to just cover ourselves up since tank tops and bikinis are no longer an option (unless youre one of my San Diego readers…grr). Either way- why not use this time of year and change in temperature to channel spare time to warming ourselves up with a workout so we can look super hot in our new jeans with killer boots?! In honor of this change of season ( my favorite of the year) here is a fantastic (and easy) butt, and hips and leg workout that can be done anywhere! Enjoy!

Fall “Lower half” Workout

This workout is designed in two circuits go through circuit one three times through then move on and do the same with circuit 2.

Circuit 1

**I LOVE doing this circuit with a 25lb plate or a set of dumbbells. I use the same plate or set of dumbbells for each exercise- makes it easy and quick- fuss free!**

1) Walking Lunge

hehe

This is more like it

 

You can either walk the length of 24 lunges or, if you are limited on space, do 24 total alternating each leg. Don’t let your front knee go over your front toes, keep your shoulders back and never let that back knee touch the floor (it take much more muscle control to keep it from dropping all the way down). If using weight, either hold in front of chest or at sides. For an extra challenge hold the weight with straight arms over your head!

2) Dead-Lift

Dont forget- the KEY to a proper romanian dead-lift (remember- we are targeting the hamstrings an glutes) is to feel the stretch in the back of your legs. REMEMBER- flat back, chest out, butt out, slight bend in the knees…keep that in mind and your form will be perfect every time.

20 repetitions

3) Wall Sit

That’s right- think back to middle school basketball practice. 90 degrees angle bend in the knees, back flat and LIFT YOUR TOES… ahhh feel the burn! For a challenge- place that weight on your lap.

Hold for 60-90 seconds… breathe.

Circuit 2:

Floor Bridge

These old school bad boys really get the glutes and hamstrings firing- Keep feet and knees hip-width apart (don’t let them collapse in). Lower hips without touching the floor and lift, do 20 repetitions.

What to do with your hands? You can either place them out to your sides or stretched out over your head, for a nice latissimus dorsi stretch.


Step-ups

Step-Ups are amazing! Start on one leg, come up into a balance and bing foot back to the floor. For a challenge don’t remove the leg you stepped up with from the box, bench, kitchen chair (whatever you have). Don’t forget to keep your glutes and core activated! Also, try doing this while holding some weight, you can go as heavy or as light as your body will allow.

Do 12 repetitions on each leg.

Squat Jumps

Simple enough…muahaha. Squat down, with feet hip-width apart. Descend into a parallel position and then drive up as high as possible, making sure to consciously push as hard as you can through your ankles, knees, and hips. Upon landing, attempt to absorb the load of the jump by landing on the front half of your feet and then sinking back onto your heels as the hips descend into the next squat.

Do 20 repetitions and rest!

Enjoy and let me know how it goes!!!

 

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren


 

This summer- I fell in love.

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Although I have lived in Colorado for the past 5 years (wow, time flies) My time spent in the mountains has been limited to snowboarding trips and the many drives back and forth from San Diego. This summer however, after some life changes, and being chastised one too many times for not doing enough “Colorado” things- I decided to change that. In between working two jobs, attempting to start a blog, hanging out with my 16year old mentee and a littttle bit of travel I also found my true love- The mountains. 4  14,000 ft. peaks, multiple trips up in Chautauqua park in Boulder, kayaking near Copper, and trail running all over has shown me places and sights I would have never thought existed. Being at the top of a 14,000 ft. peak with no one else around will truly take your breath away. I used to think these stereotypical Coloradans were nuts, however…I think I’m quickly turning into one. I now own a Camelback backpack and have set one goal for myself- I will climb AT LEAST 4 more 14,000 ft. peaks by the end of the season. I will keep you posted… time to get hiking!

Here are a few photos from my adventures

Try this Yummy, Clean, Snack! Sweet Potato Chips with Greek Yogurt Ginger Dip

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Ready in 20 mins. Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated

Chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice potatoes into very thin slices.
  3. Sprinkle with slat and pepper.
  4. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

Dip:

  1. In a bowl, Whisk together yogurt, honey, and ginger.
  2. serve with chips

Lauren

One Minute all you have?? Do this for your Abs…

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By now we all know that I am slightly biased when it comes to abdominal workouts and Plank being the Numero Uno BEST exercise. However, for that quick burn we all love (or maybe thats just me) , that won’t leave you with an aching lower back work in one minute of Bicycle Crunches!

What exactly are you working when you’re “bicycling”? Yes, your abs of course but here are the specifics:

internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and your hip flexors!

How to:

1.Lie face up on the floor and lift your legs over your hips with your knees bent 90 degrees. PLace your fingertips lightly behind your ears and have your elbows out. Lift your chin to maintain a neutral spine.

2. Contract your abdominals as you exhale and lift your right shoulder toward your left knee. At the same time, pull your left knee to your right elbow and extend the opposite leg. Repeat on the other side.

Continue back and forth for the length of one whole minute! If one minute non-stop is too long break it up and rest in between two 30 second intervals. play with the speed, the faster your move your legs, the easier it will be. And of course the slower you move your legs and the lower you keep your feet to the floor (not touching) the harder it will be.

Make sure you keep your hips in contact with the floor the entire minute.

Have fun!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Arm Tone and Sculpt- perfect summer travel workout!

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Its been a little while, and for that ,I apologize. I have spent the last week or so making some metaphorical “life lemonade”… lots of lemons lately. But from that I bring you a great, body weight only, arm-sculpting workout- I don’t know how that all actually ties in but we’ll go with it. This workout can be taken with you on vacation, done in your family room while the kids play legos and barbies, or in the gym when you just don’t feel like touching those yucky weights (I love weights but sometimes its nice to take a little break). Follow it in order or mix and match, whatever you do, push yourself. Just because it is bodyweight only doesn’t mean its easy- in fact put it into perspective and think about that weight (in comparison to those 12.5lb dumbbells). You get yourself off of the floor when theres no room on the couch, so why can’t you do an up-up-down-down (don’t worry-  you’ll know this one in no time)?  Here it is, enjoy!

1. Crab dip to push-up

  • Sit on floor and place hands on either side of hips, fingers pointing towards heels. Position feel hip-width apart in front of you, knees bent 90degrees , feet flexed, heels on the floor.
  • Press through palms to lift hips about 4 inches off floor balancing body between heels and hands.
  • Bend elbows and lower hips toward floor until butt barely touches, then straighten arms and return to start.
  • Complete 5
  • Then walk body over legs to a push-up positions (or modified push-up on your knees)
  • complete 5 push-ups.
  • repeat through 3 times so that 15 reps have been completed of each exercise

2. Up-up-down-down

  • start in basic plank position

  • From plank press body up with right arm, followed by the left to come up into a high plank position
  • Once in high plank position, lower body back to the low plank leading with the right arm, followed by the left.
  • Complete 10 full up-up-down-downs leading with the right arm, then 10 with the left.

3. Down dog to up dog

  • Start in yoga pose, Downward facing dog

  • Lower chest to floor and through hands into upward facing dog pose
  • Push body back up into downward facing dog
  • Continue through entire cycle 15 times

4. Shoulder circles

  • Stand tall with arms straight out at shoulder height
  • make small forward circles while keeping arms strong  for 30 seconds
  • reverse direction of circles and continue for 30 seconds

Finish circuit and repeat through 3 times. Allow yourself 30 seconds rest in between each exercise and one minute in between each full cycle.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Total Body Burner- a Personal Favorite!

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Happy Monday!

First I have to say that while I was out and around town this weekend I ran into two old friends, and within the first minute of conversing they mentioned that they have been reading up on here! They weren’t the first but it is still crazy to hear that people are actually reading! I can’t even describe how awesome that feels!!

Thank you SO much for reading and in return, here is one of my all-time favorite workouts!

This workout can be done by just about anyone and can be modified many different ways. Feel free to play around with it and let me know if you come up with anything unique!

We’ve got 6 exercises here and you can either break it up into two groups of three going through each set of three, three times. Or my personal favorite (it’s killer!) is to do all 6 back to back 3x through for time. Push yourself and see what you can do!

Last time I pushed through all 6 exercises back to back x3 I did it in 10:22– Let me know how you do!

1. Body Pull-Ups

Reps: 15

For this one, the lower the bar is, the harder it will be. Best place for this one is either a squat rack or smith machine.

2. Squat to Overhead Press

Reps: 20


Take your pick with this one- barbell or dumbbells will work just great

4. Push-ups
Reps: 10-20 (depending on your experience level) Push yourself!

5. Dumbbell Swings

Reps: 15


6. Jump Lunges

Reps: 20

If Jumping is too much for now, do a basic lunge, in place- 10 on each leg


Don’t forget– Your goal is to do it all three time through! Keep your core activated all throughout and time yourself and let me know how it goes!

Have a great week! Enjoy one of my favorites!!!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Summer is here! Interval cardio set- to burn fat fast!

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There is a great discussion in the fitness and health world about whether or not interval training is TRULY the most effective. Personally, I have found it to bring great results and something about it always makes me feel better and more accomplished than spending 45mins on an elliptical or treadmill. Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic about interval training and then try this cardio set! This format can also be used on any piece of cardio equipment- simply modify the speeds/resistances and inclines for the desired effect.

Feel free to adjust here and there to push yourself harder! Let me know what you think!!!


Have a GREAT week and happy summer!


Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Workout of the Week- 6.6.10- A quick, anytime, anyplace pick-me-up workout

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From here out, My intention is to supply you all with one solid total body workout every sunday that you can try throughout the week and keep in your “tool belt” for those days you just don’t know what to do, but want to workout. Please try them and give me feedback- I want to know what you think and how you feel! Throughout the course of the week I will supply recipes, stretches, testimonials and any other fun tidbits of info I might come across and feel like sharing!

So subscribe and check back in, often!

Here it goes:

Workout of the Week- 6.6.10

This workout is a great one that is great, tough and can be done by all skill levels. Fantastic times and places for this workout are:

  • In the morning before leaving the house to spike your metabolism and set a healthy tone for the day- trust me- you’ll feel awesome and more energized!
  • While traveling- whether you do it in a hotel room, fitness center, on the beach, a rooftop deck, or even the middle of a tropical jungle you  don’t need ANY equipment for this workout and all you need is basically an arms width distance around you.
  • In the park, or back home after your run/walk- since your heart rate will already be up, why not add this to the end and finish strong!

Complete all 4 exercises back to back resting at the end for 30 sec. and then starting back from the beginning. repeat 4 times through.

1. 20 Body Weight Squats

2. 30 Jumping Jacks

3. 10 push-ups (however you can do them, knees, toes, feet on ground hands on counter or other raised surface)

4. 20 crunches

Remember: try to do them all back to back without stopping in between and then resting once you complete all four. Then continue on to the next round.

Have a wonderful week!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Marathon Race Day Tips

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Race season officially upon us and I have several clients and friends ( shout out to scott, patrice, carissa, katie, marie, patty and kristi) preparing for big races coming up! Here are some wonderful race day tips (specifically for marathons) that I have found and compiled! Good luck- for most of us this could big the biggest challenge you have yet to face- take it on and take it down! Just signing up says a lot, finishing will be an incredibly gratifying experience. Congratulations in advance!

Helpful Tips During the Hours Immediately Before the Marathon

Wake up early enough to take care of everything you must do (eat and drink, visit the bathroom, dress, etc.).

If you haven’t already done so, plan to meet your family members or friends at a designated time and place after the race.

Check the weather forecast for updated information about general conditions, temperature range, and wind. Being aware of the expected weather conditions helps in deciding what you may choose to wear for the majority of the marathon. Above all, don’t overdress.

Depart for the race site with plenty of time to spare, arriving early enough to check you bag (if applicable) and take care of any last minute details.

Stay off your feet as much as possible prior to the race.

Continue to drink fluids up to 15 minutes before the start of the race.

Eat your final snack no more than 30 minutes before the start of the race.

Issues to Consider During Your Marathon

The Start

Line up according to your expected pace (faster runners to the front). While runners are generally very honest people, this oftentimes does not hold true when they are asked to position themselves for the start of the race! Unfortunately, too many slower runners line up in front of the faster runners. In addition to this not being fair, in a large race, the slower runners can actually create a dangerous situation (as people tend to be pushed down or slip and fall). Please be courteous!

Don’t get too caught up in the hoopla by being overly exuberant by yelling and cheering as the gun is about to go off. Save that energy later when you’ll need it. Instead, focus on positive thinking. Visualize all of your friends who will be pulling for you and all the hard training that went into the preparation for this big race. Take a deep breathe and KNOW that you are going to not only finish the race but achieve your goal(s).

Pacing

Running the correct pace for your ability level is crucial in the marathon, especially for the first time marathoner. It’s so easy to start the race by running at too fast pace for which you are prepared. Your pace during the first mile oftentimes feels effortless due to the adrenaline rush and excitement of the event. If you run early miles at too fast a pace for which you’ve trained, you’ll pay dearly for the mistake in the later miles. A much better plan is to start out slower than what you hope to average and then run the middle miles at your chosen (hopefully realistic) pace. It’s a better strategy to pick up the pace during the final miles when you know you can finish rather than starting aggressively. In the world of marathoning, there’s no such theory as “putting the fast miles in the bank early in the race” and then holding on in the end. If you go that route, you will most assuredly visit the dreaded “wall” (the point in time when glycogen stores within the muscles have been depleted and as a result, the runner’s pace slows considerably, oftentimes to a walk). During the marathon, constantly monitor how you are feeling, and adjust your pace accordingly based on your perceived energy level. Your past long training runs will enable you to do this.

Runner’s Web has a wonderful tool, a marathon splits calculator, that enables you to key in a goal marathon time and view split times for shorter distances displayed in both miles and kilometers. Some texts have “race predictor charts” which will provide you with the opportunity to extrapolate from your shorter race times (e.g., 10K, half-marathon, etc.) a projected marathon times. Check out this great web site, MarathonGuide.com, for their “Race Time Predictor Chart”. Use charts such as these as a guide in determining what pace you should theoretically be able to maintain for your marathon. The information derived from these charts are less-reliable if you haven’t completed some training runs of 20 miles or longer. Also take into consideration the weather conditions and course difficulty when predicting your possible marathon times. Strong winds, high temperatures, hills, among other factors, can add several minutes to your finish time.

Aid Stations

Do not pass up any fluid stations on the marathon racecourse. While it’s acceptable to drink just water in the early miles, runners MUST consume sports beverages no later than 60 minutes of running (and earlier if possible). Find out what works best for you in long practice runs. At a fluid station, water is usually offered at the first tables with sports beverages served near the end of the station. If you’re not sure what’s in the cup (water or sports drink), politely ask. Squeeze the top of the cup into a “v” shape to create a smooth delivery of fluid directly into your mouth if you choose to run and drink as you pass through. If necessary, walk through the aid stations to be sure that you are able to consume the entire contents of the cup. If you choose to stop and drink, please stay out of path of approaching runners.

Supplementing

Many runners take advantage of gel energy supplement products (e.g., Cliff Shots, Gu, Power Gel, etc.) as these will provide a fairly quick source of carbohydrates. Be sure to chase these down with water to avoid stomach cramps and to insure absorption. Some runners will stop and eat a power bar, orange slices, jelly beans, etc. to also provide needed energy. These products are seldom offered at “official” marathon aid stations. Ask a family member or friend to position themselves at points along the course if you wish to consume any special fluids or foods during the even. A final thought… Please dispose of food items properly by throwing them away in trash receptacles, handing them to volunteers working at fluid stations, or placing them in your fanny pack. Let’s all work together to keep the race-course and environment clean!

Stay Loose and Relaxed

Be sure to shake out your arms and shoulders throughout the race to avoid upper body muscle tightness.

To Socialize or Not?

Oftentimes during the marathon, you will encounter other runners who will be running your pace and may wish to engage you in conversation. It’s a personal decision as to if you wish to stick with them and chat along the way. The positive aspect of socializing is that many great friendships have been started this way, and that talking to others is a great way to take your mind off the physical discomfort you may face later in the marathon. On occasion, runners who are experiencing great difficulty in the later stages of the event make pacts with one another as a motivational strategy as a means of finishing the race.

The other view pertaining to socializing is that talking may rob you of valuable energy you may need later. The last miles of the marathon can be quite draining mentally. For that reason itself, you may choose to run the last miles without much conversation. Also, running with someone may slow you down. You’ll undoubtedly finish the marathon, but sticking with someone slower may compromise your chances of achieving a personal goal.

Psychological Issues

If you’ve trained properly and barring any unforeseen problems, nothing should stop you from achieving your goal of finishing the marathon. Nothing, that is, except a lack of confidence and/or a negative attitude at the starting line or during the race. As mentioned previously, finishing a marathon is seldom easy (for most participants). Keep in mind the thought that if marathon training were easy, then there would be nothing special about running the 26.2-mile distance. However, a positive mental attitude will go a long way in helping you finish. Other helpful mental tips include:

Take time to enjoy the spectators, participants, and the scenery of the course.

Stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks and change them to positive affirmations.

Think about how proud family members and friends will be of you and your accomplishment.

If you encounter a difficult hill in the race, look at it in a positive light. See the hill as an opportunity to exercise different muscles, giving tired ones a breather.

These and other types of positive mental experiences will include concepts such as imagery, mental rehearsal/visualization, and self-talk.

Injury

If you feel an increase in pain as you continue to run, seriously consider dropping out of the marathon. No race is worth the risk of hurting yourself by continuing to run and causing a minor injury to turn into a major setback.

Issues to Consider Immediately Following Your Marathon

While completing a marathon is indeed a great personal accomplishment, it is essential to take care of a few basic tasks prior to relaxing and celebrating immediately after the race. Recovery from the physical demands of the marathon begins right after you cross the finish line. If you choose not to take time to incorporate these simple procedures, you will no doubt be reminded in the days following the marathon of what you put your body through with the feelings of excessive soreness, fatigue, and pain. The good news is that you don’t have to experience these discomforts, that is, if you follow the suggestions listed below!

Determine if you have a need to visit the medical tent. No problem should be considered too small. Allow the medical personnel on hand at the race check out any muscles and joint pain that you are experiencing. Immediately after the race, take care of blisters or other medical needs so that they can be treated properly.

Soon after crossing the line, grab something to drink (water, sports drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, etc.). Suppress the urge to consume alcoholic beverages until later in the evening after you’ve had a nutritious meal.

Within a few minutes of finishing the race, stop by the refreshment area and pick up something to eat.

Stretch thoroughly within 20 minutes of completing the event.

Do not even consider the thought of lying down… keep moving!

Sign up for a post-race massage (if available).

Soak your legs in some cool water within an hour or two of finishing.

Later in the day (three or four hours after the race), spend a few minutes in a warm whirlpool.

After you return home or to the hotel, have a nutritious lunch. This should be a well-balanced meal that includes the majority of its total calories in carbohydrates. Don’t overlook consuming at least 20 percent of the meal’s calories from protein sources.

Do not take a nap or lay down for long periods of time later in the day (that is unless you wish to be very sore or nauseous!); Instead, stay on your feet by taking a walk or perhaps cycling for a few easy miles. Above all, keep moving to minimize leg muscle soreness.

Later that afternoon or evening, go out and celebrate. If you trained properly and followed all of the pre-race and marathon strategy suggestions, you should be able to do just about anything you wish (including dancing)! Above all, have a great time!

YOU ROCK!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

This move takes the cake

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One of the greatest functional exercises out is the Turkish Get-up. I personally have a love/hate relationship with these and once you give them a try (if you haven’t already), I’m sure you will know exactly what I mean.

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side, doing 10 on one side, and then the other.

Here’s how it goes:


Preparation

Lie supine (flat on your back) on floor. Position dumbbell straight above shoulder with arm straight and vertical. Lie other arm out to side.

Execution

Slowly stand up while keeping arm with dumbbell straight and vertical. Assist by using free arm, pushing off into floor.

Return

Slowly reverse movement by lying down on floor.

The goal is to get up and down seamlessly, without jerky transitions. A Kettlebell may be used instead of dumbbell. If kettlebell is used, place it to side so it can be picked up while lying down with both hands and pressed up with one arm. The kettlebell may also be returned to floor with both hands at finish of exercise to protect joints.

This video clip might help

How is this considered functional, you might ask. Simple tasks such as having to get up off of the floor with nothing around but your own body to help you are things we tend to take for granted. This is considered a total body move and trust me, you will feel your ENTIRE body working- why not practice things we have to use every day?! Tighten your core and GET-UP!

enjoy!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Frozen Granola Delicious-ness

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Now that its warming up out, here is my FAVORITE summertime healthy treat. Have then for breakfast, as a pre/post-workout snack or for that late-night sweet fix. These guilt-free snacks will save you when that sweet tooth is knocking hard. make a batch, serve them up and let me know what you think.

Frozen Berry-Granola Squares
Serves 8

Ingredients:
-1 cup whole-grain granola (or any kind you like)
-2 cups fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or any combination you’d like)
-3 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
-1/3 cup agave nectar
-1 tsp real vanilla extract

Instructions:
1) Line 9×13” baking pan with foil.
2) Sprinkle granola evenly on bottom of pan and set aside.
3) In a blender, whirl together berries, yogurt, agave nectar and vanilla until blended. Pour berry mixture over granola, smoothing mixture to the edges if the pan. Cover with foil and freeze until firm.

** It makes life MUCH easier if you cut the bars before they freeze completely solid. Or you will just have to allow it to thaw before you can slice it.

Happy no-bake baking!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Finding my feet…through willPower & Grace

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This past weekend I went through a training course, at which I became a member of the willPower & Grace team! This has been an amazing journey so far and I am more than excited to share this incredible workout with others. The power packed into this program is unstoppable and life-changing. Here, straight from the willPower Production website is a description…

“willPower & grace™ is a sweaty, dynamic fusion of the fitness industry’s most popular (and most effective) group exercise programs. This workout is the ideal cardiovascular solution for mind-body practitioners. It’s equipment-free; barefoot, and infused with positive, strengthening philosophy. willPower & grace™ is not just a class, it is a discipline; an easy-to-follow, linear, strong and focused program for students of all levels.  We set goals and attain them, to ensure progression.  Furthermore, through cardiovascular barefoot training we develop ankle, knee and hip stabilization to facilitate good movement and prevent injury. Over time willPower & grace™ will help us stand taller, walk with greater confidence, and function with agility”.

Training barefoot has been such a freeing experience. with 58 muscles in our feet alone, and by exercising without shoes we are able to grip better and hang on longer ( a nice life metaphor, thank you 😉 ).

This class continually has me sore the next day and dripping with sweat throughout the hour. I leave each session more and more inspired. I highly encourage everyone to find a class nearby and give it a whirl, I promise- you will never regret it.

As I practice and start scheduling classes to teach I will keep you informed so you can try MY class!

Namaste

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Adventures in training- week of 5.10.10- Part one Tabata Training

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This has been a fun, experimental week with most of my training clients. Today I ran Uber-tough chicks, Alex and Samantha through Tabata training workouts. Both clients walked away, happy, slightly pooped but high on endorphins and ready to bring on the day ahead of them! I am going to share the Tabata based workout below. Read through, and give it a try!

Tabata Training– Example workout (as done by Alex F. and Samantha F. 5/13/10)

“Tabata interval training is the single most effective type of high intensity interval training, its also the most intense by far, and surprisingly its the shortest in duration, it only last for four minutes… but those four minutes produce remarkable effects.” Getting your heart rate up and holding it there for the length of four minutes allows for optimal calorie burn.

Tabata intervals follow this structure:

  • Push hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this eight times.

The goal is to go ALL OUT for the 20 seconds, getting in as many reps as you can the recovering for the next 10 seconds.

Round 1

Plyo squat (aka. Squat jumps)

here is a video clip for a little more clarification

Round 2

Push-ups

Round 3

Weighted corkscrew

stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell or a weighted plate with both hands. Squat down and twist to your right, attempting to touch the weight to the floor behind your right heel. Your left heel should come off the floor as you lower the weight to the floor. Then, as fast as you can, drive the weight back upwards and across, finishing with the weight about and behind your left shoulder. Perform 4 sprints on one side and then start on the other. (The movement should resemble a corkscrew moving down into the ground and then moving back up)

Round 4

Cable Squat and Row


Round 5

Cable woodchop

Here’s a video clip to help clarify a little more (ignore the goofy golf instructor in the video- simply pay attention to the movement )

Round 6

Burpies

MY FAVORITE 🙂

video clip– The push-up is optional

I want feedback! Let me know what you think after you sweat it out!!!

Happy training!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Don’t Forget to Stretch Your Abs When You’re Prepping For Summer 6-Packs!

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Try this awesome stretch at the end of your ab/core workouts:

Your best abs stretch . . . ever

Try this abs stretch over a stability ball. “We’re super short on the front of our bodies because we spend so much time hunched forward. This stretch, which opens up the front of the body, is a great counter-pose to life,” says certified Pilates instructor Wendy Puckett of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, who has her students stay in the stretch for one to two minutes.

Note:
This pose – when done to the full extent – is an inversion. Avoid extending back over the ball if you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure.

How to get into this stretch:
Start by sitting on the floor, your knees bent in front of you, feet flat and your back resting against the side of the ball. Leaving your hands at your sides for balance, slowly push back onto the ball as you straighten your legs.

How to come out of this stretch:
Bring your hands to the sides of the ball; holding on lightly, bend your knees up and roll forward until you’re sitting on the floor again, with your back pushed into the ball.

Form Tips:
• Your arms should be relaxed, whether open at your sides or overhead.
• Keep your neck relaxed.
• Keep feet hip-width apart. If you feel wobbly and unbalanced, bring them further apart.
• Make sure feet are flat on the floor.
• If you straighten your legs too quickly, your lower back can tighten up. Move very slowly.
• If your muscles start to feel tense and resistant halfway through the stretch, slowly come out, take a breath and try again.

Work this in as often as you want! Stay tuned… my 7 FAVORITE Ab Exercises are coming soon!

Happy stretching!!!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Lauren’s Delicious Energy bars- a quick, diet-friendly and easy pick me up!

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These yummy yummy bars have quickly become a staple of mine, especially when I am trying to stick to a low- calorie diet packed with enough energy to keep me going through my workouts. Who wants those nasty sinking spells, not me! These help to keep your body satisfied throughout the day! Great pre or post-workout they provide the perfect blend of carbohydrates and proteins, plus they’re packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants!

Try them out and let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

“Lauren (not Lara) Bars” aka. Energy Bars (original)

Ingredients:

–       1 cup natural Peanut Butter

–       1 cup honey

–       1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

–       1 cup chopped dried apricots

–       ½ cup raw walnuts, chopped

–       ½ cup raw almonds, chopped

Instructions:

1)  Combine peanut butter and honey in a larger non-stick pot and heat on low until runny. Mix in the oatmeal, apricots, and nuts, stirring all until all ingredients are well coated.

2)  Line a 9×9” pan with waxed paper. Press the mixture into the pan. Let cool, then cut into bars.  (should make at least 16)

Happy cooking!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Reverse-Grip-Bent-Over Barbell Row

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This awesome move will tone up your back quick and help with that posture- you’ll be standing strong and tall in no time!

target muscles: lower lats

Set Up: Grasp a bar with a reverse grip (palms up), hands spaced slightly narrower than shoulder width. Bend at your waist until your torso and lower body form a 45-degree angle. Keep a natural arch in your lower back. The bar should hang down naturally.

Action: Retract your shoulder blades and pull the bar toward your waist stopping just short of your navel. Squeeze your upper back briefly, then control the bar back to the arms-extended position. Repeat.

Tips: As you begin to fatigue do not use upper-body momentum to lift the bar toward your navel. To engage the greatest number of muscle fibers possible, make sure that your elbows track rearward as you pull the bar up. Don’t flare them out to the sides.

3 sets 15 reps

Take it for a ride and let me know how it feels!

Happy fitness!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Push yourself “up” to a stronger, more confident self! Fancy Push-up Challenge

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Who knew one simple exercise could make you feel SO awesome! Most people know, that push-ups are my FAVORITE exercise. This is most likely because of how tough, pumped-up and purely AWESOME I feel afterwards- especially fancy ones. Today I tried a new “fancy” push-up. I challenge you to give it a try!

Single- leg decline push-up on Bosu Balance Trainer

1) Begin by placing Bosu Balance Trainer solid-side-up about 3/4 of a body length away from a bar/railing/table at least 3 feet tall.

2) Place hands on the outside rim of Bosu and lift legs onto bar.

3) Lift right foot off of bar and complete 5 push-ups, switch legs, repeat.

start with 3 sets of 5 on each leg, gradually doing more and more and it becomes less of a challenge.

Not quite ready for one leg? THAT’S OK!! Try both feet on the bar or simply start with knees on the floor, building your strength up to master this move!

Enjoy!

Train hard. Eat clean. Live happy.

Lauren

Functionally Fit Today for a better, stronger, sexier you!

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Functional Training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.

As a certified personal trainer working for 24 hour fitness my goal is to help my clients become a stronger, more healthy, and confident version of themselves. Through resistance training (or weight training), balance training, core training, cardiovascular training, and nutritional education I help them achieve their goals! Functional training makes us feel better on a daily basis, have the strength to preform any task we may be presented with, and look good doing it- now who doesn’t want that!

LCFitness.com is going to become a haven for training tips, recipes, helpful articles and eventually training videos. Stay tuned, and spread the word- there is MUCH more to come!

– Lauren