Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cardio Hip Hop Workshop

I'm getting excited! Starting July 14th I'm going to be teaching a Cardio Hip Hop Workshop at Three Rivers Athletic Club in Longview, Wa. This will be a fun four-week boogie session for dancers and cardio-lovers looking to vamp up their summer workout regimen.

Click here for more details

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Running For A Cause

Two months ago if someone asked me to go for a run I would have answered with, “I don’t run, unless it’s from something.” Reaching my fitness goals and staying in shape never required me to run, so I avoided it at all costs – It’s hard. However, I’ve always admired those who could run marathons, jog for hours and enjoy the lung and joint brutality; but every time I attempted a brisk jog, within the first two minutes I wanted to pass out.

Like most, I got bored with my workout routine and decided to tackle a new challenge… running. I have to laugh at myself because my first attempt, not to much surprise lasted for a miserable five minutes. I felt like my legs were going to fly off and I was going to slip and eat rubber. Not to mention my sweating problem reached an all-time gross factor. Thanks to a dear friend, runner extraordinaire, Misty teamed up with me at the perfect time and helped me build my stamina.

After a month of torturing myself on the treadmill Misty suggested we hit the pavement. I definitely under estimated the difference between the turning belt of terror to real gravel. My legs were heavy and once again I felt like a fish out of water, but I kept trotting along.

After another couple of weeks I decided I wanted to run a 5k. I noticed a flyer at the gym for Run the Path, a race for mental health and that weekend I convinced Misty and my little sis, Kate to join me. I may have also dragged them to my cardio class before the race too… oops! The cardio class pre-funk didn’t slow us down though and we all completed the race successfully. My final time was 33 minutes and it felt AWESOME!

On a side note, I have to share Kate's experience because she didn’t wear the best shoes. In fact, she sported a pair of Vans that gave her blisters the entire time. She even scored a band-aid pack to carry with her during the race from PeachHeath, an event sponsor. She has since invested in a new pair of Nike running shoes.

Proof of race completion

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Food Monster

Okay, I haven’t posted since the middle of February. I know it’s long over due, but I’ve been a busy girl. April’s wedding is creeping up and the “big day” preparations are in full swing – my personal fitness and nutrition included.

This weekend we have officially scheduled a girls-night-in event, E-vites were sent out and Joel’s house (April’s fiancĂ©) is being taken over by the bridal party. I’m in charge of the bride’s makeup and several bridesmaids’ hair. It’s my goal to map out each girl’s “look” so that my stress level stays to a minimum and the fun-factor is at its peak during the wedding weekend festivities.

Another preparation that’s been in full effect for the past two weeks is my personal fitness and nutrition regimen; I’ve got to look fabulous in a bridesmaid dress in T-minus seven weeks (deep breath). Having been a bit lax on my nutrition and gym-time, I’ve revamped and am back in step with my body.

When life gets stressful I’m always quick to grab my favorite snack. For some reason my body always says… “Feed me Tim’s Jalapeno chips!” It’s usually in a really deep creepy voice and I imagine it looks like the Weight Watchers Hungry Monster. I hate it.

I’m really glad to be back on track. My mood and energy levels are greatly improved by exercise and my conscious eating habits. I’ve realized it’s typically a domino affect for me: If I exercise regularly, my eating habits follow suit.

Fitness and nutrition take effort – and just like anything, if you think about it and focus, you’ll typically find improvement in those areas. This can be attributed to many things in life – health and fitness just sometimes get pushed to wayside.

Just remember: Moving more and eating right keep the scary bad-eating-choice voice away. Raaaaar!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Recently I was asked the question “How do you stay motivated?” Motivated? I thought to myself. I dunno. I just am, but it couldn’t be that easy, right?

Wikipedia says: Motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. I believe this, but I also think that you have to value something to be motivated.

After feeling deflated by not being able to answer this question with ease, I decided to dedicate some time to thinking about where my motivation comes from. I discovered that there are various things that have motivated me throughout my life, but I realized that I did have an “Ah, Ha!” moment that impacted me greatly.

I think most people can relate to the clichĂ© term “college 15.” Yes, it happened to me and I didn’t even realize it until my junior year of college – a reality check, for sure.

My life has always been busy (I prefer it that way, really), but in college it was always controlled chaos. Between working multiple jobs, teaching and taking dance classes, and studying for school I didn’t think about nutrition or the gym. It was not until I met Percy, my boyfriend, who works in health and fitness that I became interested in the industry.

In college I was dancing 15 hours a week, topped off with fast food three to four times a day. Yes, you read it correctly… a day. I know. I know. Disgusting, right? At that time I could tell you what every fast food chain’s menu offered in my area. It was clear my knowledge of exercise and nutrition was limited. So, I started asking questions.

With Percy’s help I started to educate myself on all-things health and fitness and it became a huge focus of mine. I started to learn about eating right and exercising outside of my usual dance routine. My lifestyle had always been active through dance, alternative ways of working out didn’t cross my mind. I also wasn’t putting quality food into my body and as a result, I constantly felt sluggish and had zero energy often. I knew what I needed to do. I needed to make a lifestyle change.

So I did!

The answer to the question, “How do you stay motivated?” is much more apparent to me now. I value my health! Having the energy to dance and excel in my career is important to me and leading a healthy lifestyle supports those goals. And these goals are the reason I now take daily steps to ensure I have optimal health – it gets me where I want to go.

Aside from health and fitness I've always been a driven and motivated individual -- intrinsic, as Wikipedia describes. However, the health aspect enhanced all of the things I value and made it easier to achieve my goals.

I think everyone should take and minute and answer this question. You may find there are many great answers to your motivated behavior, but when you pinpoint the source you are more likely to stay on course and take the steps needed to achieve your goals.

Now I’m asking you, “How do you stay motivated?”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cakelicious Treats

Baking sweets is one of my favorite types of “cooking” and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I was itching to concoct something delectable. I know it’s not exactly conducive to my healthy lifestyle, but those who know me know my baking usually involves substitutes like Diet 7-Up, Egg Beaters or Steevia. And if I don’t use any alternatives, I create a miniature version of the full sized treat to cut back on the calories.

My friends and family are very familiar with my mini cupcakes and the various flavors that I’ve brought to events and holiday gatherings -- always being conscious of the waistline.

This year cupid must have struck a baking cord because two days ago I went on a Google frenzy, searching for the next sweet treat to add to my baking repertoire. I was feeling like a one-trick pony with my mini cupcakes. So after some extensive searching, I found a brilliant site…! Here I learned the art of Cake Balls or Cake Bites, as I have newly named them.

All the ingredients you need for these Cake Bites are:

Boxed Cake Mix: I used dark chocolate by Pillsbury
Jar of Frosting: I made frosting from scratch
Chocolate or Vanilla Bark: I used both for fun

My tip for making these delights is to start with only half of your ingredients and do a test run for practice. The most difficult part is dipping the spongy cake and frosting mixture into a pot of molten chocolate. All while making them pretty. The cake can melt even after you have refrigerated them for several hours. I ended up leaving the entire batch in the fridge and only taking 2 bites out at a time to keep them nice and cool. But like I said, do a test run to perfect your process.

The Cake Bites are a bit time consuming, require plenty of patients and ingredients to get them perfect. Check out for the full scoop on how to make these delicious treats.

Here is a picture of my final product. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl 2010 Foods

Today I plan to partake in the American tradition, Super Bowl Sunday 2010. As CBS drones on about Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. I found a story on San Antonio's Ken 5 even more profound than football statics and game day predictions. Ken 5 aired a story called Super Bowl By the Numbers, and the station wasn't referring to game, but the amount of food consumed while watching the game at home -- check this out!

8 million: Total pounds of popcorn

28 million: Pounds of potato chips

53.5 million: Pounds of avocados

1 billion: Number of chicken wings

325.5 million: Gallons of beer

30.4 million: Pounds of snack food Americans consume on Super Bowl Sunday, twice the average daily amount.
— Snack Food Association (past figures)

Just reading those numbers makes me feel bloated. My recommendation for your game preparations, have a well-balanced breakfast and make a trip to the gym. The Super Bowl festivities don't really start until 4 p.m. EST. You can avoid over eating with a balanced meal and some unneeded calories by doing 30 minutes of cardio exercise before you sit down in from of the TV. These are just some easy tactics to maintaining a healthy lifestyle on a well-known glutenous day.

Enjoy the 44th Annual Super Bowl Sunday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

iPod Video: My Fitness Vice

Several recent studies have shown that children average 7.5 hours per day partaking in technology entertainment, ranging from TV to computer games. Not only are children being consumed by these distractions, adults have also started to resort to less physical activities. This issue sends up a huge red flag in my mind and it reminded me of how I keep up on television shows, and keep myself in the gym.

While 20-40 minutes of cardio time CAN cut into valuable TV episodes, consider this a solution for your TV withdrawals. Last year I started downloading TV shows straight to my ipod touch. It may not be a large HD screen, but I have found it to be a practical option for sustaining my figure and not missing my favorite programs.

iTunes offers most all of the TV shows/seasons available today (I'm still anxiously waiting True Blood season two). You should try downloading a few episodes to your ipod and taking them with you to the gym. I guarantee you’ll find yourself presently distracted from your cardio routine and quenched of your TV needs.

This is a little secret that I try to remember to pass on, but sometimes I forget to share. Thanks to CNN’s technology entertainment statistics, I was quickly reminded.

So...If you struggle with gym time cutting into your favorite shows try this technique and let me know what you think. You will have to pony up the dough for the download, but think of it as a small premium for getting your self into your favorite jeans.

Remember we can use technology to our advantage -- take the ipod to the gym and don’t just use it for music, tap into the video function and let it benefit you in a positive way.

ipods will answer your prayers!