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Fitness Feels Better Than Food Tastes

fitness feels betterWhy are we so quick to forget how bad food makes us feel? We are so quick to remember how great it tastes for a short moment, and forget how yucky we feel for such a long time afterwards. We are fooling ourselves if we think for a minute that there are not repercussions to our poor choices – AND we need to be equally reminded of the positive rewards that follow our healthy choices.

Eating healthy and living healthy lasts longer than your best cheat meal. While you don’t have to give up cake, or never eat a potato chip again, we all need to keep a realistic perspective on our eating and how it affects us long term. We should treat a cheat meal like we treat any other splurge in our life. We enjoy the moment, but we don’t get lost in it. Eventually, we come back to a healthy reality that is balanced in moderation, self-control and discipline.

The same way we come back from a vacation, maybe it’s time to come back from your eating vacation – and get back to investing in a healthier future.

Let’s commit to no longer allow our tongue to rule us and guide our future. Let’s  make each word, each bite, each move we make count – doing what is right, healthy and good. And, if we mess up, let’s commit to making corrections. We can do this!

“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly…”Philippians 3:19

Healthy Changes for the Whole Family

A new school year is a perfect time to start some new healthy habits – not just for your child, but for the whole family!

Here are 9 healthy habits that can help you and your kids reach their top potential.

Healthy Diet changes

1. Heavy breakfast – your family doesn’t need any calories to watch TV at night or sleep, but they need tons of calories throughout the day to keep you alert and energized. Make bigger meals when your family needs it most, and keep evening meals small (like just a meat and a green).

2. Frequent meals – By eating 5-6 times a day, your family will have a TON more energy. Ask your child if they get hungry during the day. Send them to school with a bag of nuts or a protein bar to snack on between classes to help keep their metabolism revved all day. This is especially important if they attend after school activities.

packing lunch3. Don’t forget the protein – Many meals (especially for kids) are high in carbs. Kids tend to eat (or want to eat) a lot of foods like cereal, poptarts, chips, fruit rollups, candy, french fries, tater tots, pizza, etc., but most kids don’t eat a lot of meat or high-protein foods. Probably because they aren’t wrapped in a fun flashy cartoon wrapper. 🙂 As you are making meal, look at protein content and make sure they are getting protein with carbs and fat for more balanced meals. Greek yogurt, eggs, lunch meat, cottage cheese and protein enriched foods (like high-protein flat bread) are great foods to add to meals and snacks.

4. Hydration – Often times kids want a soda or snack, when they really need hydration the most. Teach your child to always drink a glass of water before they take their first bite of a snack. They will not only bet the hydration they need, but they will likely eat less.


caffeine drinks caffeinated-beverage5. Limit caffeine – Caffeine is a drug of sorts. It has a chemical effect on the body, so it is smart to limit those beverages. Cokes should be treats, not a daily staple – especially while they are growing. Low Fat milk, water and juice (in moderation) should be the main source of hydration and nutrients.

6. Avoid sugar & processed foods – Processed foods break down and turn to sugar very rapidly. This can send someone’s blood sugar for a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs (and more downs, than ups). By limited sugar, you’ll be able to maintain a more steady level of energy through out the day (and avoid weight gain associated with high-calorie processed foods).

7. Stress buster foods – Does your child even know what that is? To me, it means your child shouldn’t feel deprived, but there are also foods known to help relieve stress. They should have foods they can snack on and enjoy without negative side effects. For me, it’s 100 calorie popcorn. Your child may enjoy yogurt or fresh fruit. Either way, they should never feel that eating healthy is boring or restrictive. While it may take some adjusting at first, they should enjoy the foods they eat. CLICK HERE to get see a list of 10 foods that help relieve stress.

8. Boost Super foods – People talk about super foods all the time, but do you know what they are and what they do? There are actually foods that help us think and perform better. Some of those foods include berries, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado and beans. CLICK HERE to read more on foods that boost brain power from WebMD.

9. Avoid unknown foods – When you eat out, you really have no clue what’s in that food. Since most restaurants are all about the dollar bill, we should expect they will cut corners and add fillers, taste enhancers and who knows what to keep us coming back for seconds. My rule of thumb is this: “if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t eat it” – especially if it’s a big day (like test day). Not only is this a good way to avoid eating extra unknown calories to avoid weight gain, but it will also help you feel your best by eating your best. If you MUST eat out, stick to whole foods and avoid all the extra sauces, breads, toppings and junk.

Whether you are a parent or not, these are great healthy changes everyone should try to implement.  🙂


Stop the Fatcation: 6 Tips to Prevent Vaca Weight Gain

Fatcation/fatˈkāSHən/ (n) While on vacation, you do more getting fat than sightseeing.

I just got back from a fatcation, I mean vacation. 😉 Vacations can be scary for dieters, but just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a fitness vacation too. You can still have a ton of fun, try new foods and “cheat” while not completely losing your mind – and your progress.

Here are 6 tips to help control your vacation eating – and help you bounce back quickly once you get back home.

tasting1. Taste, don’t gorge. More is not always better, but when you are on vacation, it’s fun to taste foods you normally don’t eat. Key word: Taste! Grazing all day is actually better than pigging out a couple of times a day. When you are on vacation, share plates and appetizers so you can taste more, but eat less.  

2. Be picky. Just because something is sitting on a plate in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. I actually ordered 3 meals that were a disappointment to me. After I tasted it and discovered it wasn’t what I hoped, I just opted to skip it altogether because it wasn’t worth the calories to me. If you are trying to lose weight, it pays to be picky. If it’s not worth 1-2 hours in the gym to burn off, then it’s not worth eating.

 hotel gym3. Make room for more calories. When I say “make room”, I’m talking about making room for more calories. We typically consume a lot more calories on vacation than we do when we are back in our normal routine at home. However, many times people workout less. If you are watching your weight, account for the extra calories you are eating and try to stay active so you can “afford” the extra calories. Whether you hit the hotel gym, go for a jog, or you just try to walk everywhere instead of taking a cab, increasing your activity while on vacation will help you decrease your chances for vacation weight gain.  

4. What happens on vacation stays on vacation. What I mean is, the overeating, drinking, laziness, etc ends when your vacation ends. It’s very easy to let your vacation habits come home with you. Instead, make a mark in the sand and decide to jump right back to your normal routine as soon as you get back. So, as soon as you get home, hit the grocery store and start planning and cooking for the week so you are ready to eat clean again.

oops5. Forgive yourself. I’ll be honest, I feel fat as a cow right now. That’s how I FEEL. Is that reality? No. I know good and well there is no way I can erase months of training and hard work in just a few days. Can it set me back? Sure, but if I hit it hard (with both diet and training), I’ll be right back where I want to be in no time. That’s the reality. No matter how bad you feel, forgive yourself. Realize, it’s just a vacation. You deserved the break and, often times, you will even hit it HARDER when you get back. Ironically, it’s those kind of cheat days that can make you double your intensity and the drive you need to take your routine to a new level.  

fitness goals6. Set new goals and guidelines. In order to reach a goal, you need to have a goal to strive for. Once you’ve set a goal, you need to plan to get there and that requires setting some rules. Often times people set some pretty stiff rules but they have just as many exceptions as they do rules. For instance, they diet and train hard all the time except for special occasions or weekends. The problem is, many people have a lot of special occasions. Between dinner dates, birthdays, Holidays, events, etc – someone can easily have something that interrupts their routine every week if they are ont careful. My suggestion is to not allow for any cheating for 3-4 weeks so you get a really good powerful start. Then schedule one cheat day. Then go right back at it. Once you get closer to your goal, your cheat meals can be closer together. Setting rules like this keeps you accountable and on schedule to reach your goal.

121-Calorie Waldorf Chicken Salad

When I go to the trouble to cook and dice up all the chicken and ingredients that go into a chicken salad, I want it to last – so that means I make a LOT of it! Here is a MONSTER recipe to cook for the masses (or, in my case, to cook for Steve Pfiester).  🙂 ENJOY!

Low-Calorie Waldorf Chicken Salad

Low-Cal Waldorf Chicken Salad8 Chicken Breasts Diced in Cubes
2 Medium Apples
7 Celery Sticks Diced (one bunch)
1/2 Cup of Diced Onions
1/3 Cup Craisins
1/3 Cup Nuts
1/2 Cup Chobani Yogurt
1/2 Cup Hellman’s Mayo Low Fat
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 TBS Lemon Juice
1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TBS Stevia
Salt to taste

Dice your apples (the smaller the pieces the more apple you get in each bite!) and pour lemon juice over it. Combine the apple, chicken, Craisins, Onions and nuts together in one big bowl. In a separate bowl, blend Mayo, Yogurt, Orange Juice, Stevia, vinegar and salt. Slowly fold into the mix until the mixture is well coated. (NOTE: You don’t necessarily need to use ALL of the dressing if you want to save even more calories).

Low-Cal Waldorf Chicken SaladMakes 17 1-Cup servings:
121 calories (1 Cup)
13.5gm protein
3.5gm fat
7.5gm carbs

Today, I scooped 2 cups per tupperware so I could easily track calories throughout the day. That way, when I finish my container I know exactly how many servings I ate, instead of putting it all in one big container. Perfect for meals or snacks on the go!

OR put a cup on top of fresh greens and drizzle some straight balsamic vinegar over the top for a low-calorie salad. It only adds about 50 calories!

30 Days of Motivation: Eat Clean, Look Lean

closet eaterI don’t know who we think we are fooling when we think we can get away with eating crappy food, or eating too much food, just because no one sees us. The only person you are really fooling is yourself.

Quit “acting” healthy and BE healthy. If you really want to get results this year, it’s time to be honest with yourself and deal with your food demons. It’s time to clean up your act because your food should look as lean and healthy as you want to look.

Come out of the closet

There are 2 signs someone doesn’t have control of their diet:

1. They workout all the time. Do you know someone who is constantly at the gym, yet still struggling with their weight? Maybe YOU are that person. Does that make you a bad person? No, it just means you are super disciplined with exercise – but it can also mean that you are not disciplined enough with your diet. If you manage your diet better, you could relax a little and not have to workout so much. To get the best results, you should be as disciplined in the kitchen as you are in the gym.

2. They are gaining weight, or not losing weight. You can complain all day long, or tell me all the reasons you are not losing weight, but weight loss comes down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. And, 9 times out of 10, it’s not what you are doing but what you are eating. A simple fix is counting every calorie you eat for 7 days straight. If you lose weight, then you know you have been eating more than you thought.

This year, get control of your eating – so you can get control over your body.

2013 Eat Clean

Extreme Exercise Can’t Beat Extreme Eating

I see tons of people sweating it out at the gym  – sometimes twice a day, working so incredibly hard. Why? It’s not because they have some photo shoot or competition. It’s not to get shredded. No, they have this insane dedication to working out because they have no dedication to eating right.

Me? I’m too lazy for that non-sense.  I’d rather eat less than workout for 3 hours a day. As I always say, I don’t live to workout. It will always be a push for me to get my workout in. So, I choose to be careful with what I eat so I don’t have to do it any more than necessary.

However, there are many people who don’t mind working it off at all. I actually believe it’s therapy for them – and not really the good kind. Since many of them live at the gym, they know good and well they shouldn’t drink a twelve pack on the weekend and eat whatever the heck they want. So, come Monday it’s punishment time. It’s time to erase their sins.

They don’t get mad, because they know they don’t deserve to get mad. In their mind, they deserve as many brutal workouts as they can squeeze in. The sweatier, the better. The workouts help them to become proud of themselves again. When they know they aren’t proud of how they eat, the can at least be proud of what they do. And even if they hold 40 extra pounds, people around them would never call them lazy – because they work so hard.

Don’t get me wrong. If this is you, you are stronger. You are healthier. You are likely more tone. BUT, think of how amazing you would look and feel if you gave your plate the workout you gave your body.

This yo-yo lifestyle is not healthy. It’s not good for you emotionally and it’s not teaching you how to live healthy long-term. You can’t continue all your life beating your body up day after day because you can’t control your eating. Moderation is key to long-term success. Don’t punish your body for your mouth’s mistakes. The mouth is what needs taming so your body can begin enjoying the reward for once.

Even with extreme workouts, remember, extreme workouts can never erase extreme eating. Food always wins.

pFIT TIP: It takes approximately 10 miles to run off one average size restaurant dinner.

4 Questions to Keep Your Diet on Track

I’m in the fitness industry and it doesn’t take much to feel like Miss Piggy stuffed in tights.

The reality is, it doesn’t matter how you look to others, it matters how you feel. And often times we make decisions that make us feel even horrible – physically and mentally. Like Santa Claus, we “know when we’ve been bad or good” so why can’t we be good for goodness sake?! WE are the one who suffer when we make poor choices!! Our body suffers and our mind suffers as well.

We eat crappy for 30 minutes and we feel bad for 2 days afterwards. Even if we don’t physically put on a ton of weight, eating crappy can mess with your head. Is it really THAT worth it? Honestly? Is tasting something for a few minutes worth hours, and sometimes days, of misery?

We have to stop acting in the moment and look at reality. No matter how awesome it feels to walk out of our favorite store with bags of goods, we know whether we can afford it or not. Most of the time that knowledge will keep us from impulse buying. But why can’t we use those same principles with our body?

We may not bounce checks when we eat out, but there are other repercussions to overeating that will destroy our body like overspending will destroy your bank balance.

What can you do to remind yourself of these repercussions?
Ask yourself these questions. Post them on your refridgerator or pantry door. Make a bracelet, put a ribbon around your purse – do ANYthing to remind you to constantly think past the food.

1. How will this make me feel tomorrow?

2. I can either burn fat from previously stored calories or I can store more fat I’ll have to burn later.

3. How many miles will I have to walk or run to erase this? (it normally takes about 100 calories/per mile)

4. Am I willing to do the work to erase these calories?

DIET: Good Word or Bad Word?

If you want to start a debate or ruffle a girl’s feathers, just say the word DIET really loud and it will get as much attention as yelling out a cuss word. I don’t think of it as a bad word, but my experience with diet is a lot different than many others. 

Look at blue cheese dressing. Some people may LOVE blue cheese dressing but if I mention that word to my mom or dad, they don’t think “delicious”. They think of being hung over the toilet puking their guts out FOR 24 hours when it gave them food poisoning nearly 35 years ago. That bad experience left such a bad taste in their mouth, they never had the dressing again.

I think this is how prior dieters feel about going on a new “diet”. It’s like trying to date again after a really bad relationship. Do you really want to put yourself out there only to be hurt again? Before I met Steve, I was crazy about a guy that I wanted so badly to be “the one”. After a few months dating him, I began to realize he was not “the one” at all and I could wish it all day long but he was not the man God had intended for me. I broke up with him and cried for days. Although it was my decision, it hurt so badly.

Before that, I never really had a lot of dates and the guys I did date never liked me as much as I liked them. One disappointment after another takes a toll on you. Then I met Steve – just weeks after breaking up with that guy I was wanting to be “the one”. I always used to say, “if I think that guy is pretty awesome, but he’s not the guy for me, the guy God has planned for me must be REALLY AMAZING!” Thank the LORD I didn’t give up because Steve was amazing (and still is of course!). We were married 8 months later.

I say ALLLLL that to say THIS: Whether you are talking about a bad dining experience or a bad relationship, you could always just give up trying, but think of all the opportunities you would be missing. Sure, you may feel “safe”, but like my grandmother said “A ship in Harbor maybe safe but that’s not it was built for”. Someone also just tweeted “Every man dies. Not every man really lives. ~ William Wallace”. What we do with our life is totally up to us. We can continue to LIVE, and get hurt occasionally, or we can begin dying now. The choice is ours.

If chills go up and down your spine every time you hear the word “diet”. Maybe you just had a bad experience. It’s not fair to treat every diet the same – just like it’s not fair to treat your NEW man like your OLD one.

Your life is all about trial and error, and your diet is no different. Just as one relationship can make you miserable and another make you feel amazing, diets can do the same.

For me, diet means: feeling skinny, energetic, sexy, happy, healthy, confident, disciplined, in control, balanced and strong. It means eating the foods that I love and that LOVE ME BACK! It means fantastic flavors, whole foods, juicy fruits, savory vegetables, nuts, creative salads, delicious smoothies, homemade popcorn, refreshing water and feeling GOOD after you eat instead of feeling like a FAT piece of stuffed LARD full of regret.

When I think of dieting, I think of the times I looked the best, I think of people, like my friend Kristia Knowles (left) who looks amazing – and it’s not just because she works out, it’s because she eats right and feeds her body what she needs to look that good.

Diet DOES NOT mean celery sticks, chicken broth, diet pills, starvation, depriving myself, crappy pre-packaged foods I don’t like, food that tastes like cardboard or a 5-step plan with expensive supplements you “have” to buy to get skinny. Diet means eating clean, eating healthy, fueling my body by giving it what it NEEDS, not necessarily what my taste buds WANT, but SURELY what they enjoy.

DIET for me is forever if I want to live long, feel good and look my best.

Ironically, some of my old foods I used to eat a lot like french fries, nachos, hamburgers and pizza make me think bad words. When I think of those foods, I no longer think of how they TASTE but how they make me FEEL – sluggish, fat, gross, full of regret, disappointment, shame, disgusting, tired, stuffed, sick and lazy. They sure didn’t USED to make me feel that way, but once I started eating clean, I noticed a difference in the way the foods made me feel and I started associating the way I feel with the types of food I ate.

It’s truly much like relationships. My prior relationships did not give me the same feeling that my relationship with Steve gives me. I was left unfulfilled, disappointed, not valuable, disposable, never good enough, sad and alone. A failed diet can give you those same awful feelings but you can’t give up! Never, NEVER give up!

So, when I mention the word “DIET”, if your blood started boiling as if you just saw your old boyfriend who treated you like a piece of trash, believe me – they are not all created equally and it’s time to give DIET another chance.

When you find the “right one”, it will treat you right and you just may fall in LOVE!

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