Take That Leap of Faith

Take that leap of faith.

And take it with your whole heart.

Lately, I’ve been places, in social situations, hanging with friends, etc. where I have
stopped and looked around and literally thought “man I love it here”.
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But it hasn’t always been that way.

17 months ago, almost exactly, we moved from Iowa to North Carolina.

That’s over 1,000 miles between where we’ve always been to where we were heading.

I grew up in the MidWest. It was all I knew.

But then the time came where we knew we wanted to venture out, we felt stuck. And so we began acting on that. Alex starting applying for jobs around the country. Yes, most were in the Midwest, but in places that we loved- such as Madison, WI and Kansas City, KS. But then there was one in Greensboro, NC with Volvo.

We acted on our feelings of wanting to be elsewhere, but did I ever think it would happen? Nope, not really to be honest.

And then it did. Volvo called Alex. They did a phone interview, and then flew him to Greensboro for an interview. 3 weeks later he got the call that he got the job.

I remember that night. He had a call set up about the interview, he knew it would go one of 2 ways. The phone rang, he stepped into our bedroom for 5 minutes, and then he slowly came out. He was quiet, he walked slow, and then a smile crept across his face as he said “I got the job”. We cried. We cried out of happiness, but then literally 60 seconds into that cry I started to sob.

And that wasn’t happiness. 

I was hit with a wave of realization that I was going to have to leave my family and the place of the nation where I always called home, the Midwest.

I grew up in Illinois. Every Sunday when we were young we would go to my dad’s parents house for Taco Sunday. My dad was one of six children, so the family was large. My cousin on my dad’s side was my best friend growing up and still is to this day. We’d always go to my dad’s side for Christmas Eve or Christmas day, and go to my mom’s side for the other. Every year. My mom was one of five children, so that family was big as well. I would go to my mom’s sisters house and hang out with my other best friend cousin. We would put on my aunts shoes and play dress up. As we got older we would party in their pool and eventually we started a “Black Wednesday” tradition of getting a party  bus for the family the night before Thanksgiving. Growing up we never missed holidays with the family, even Easter where we began doing “Adult Easter egg hunts”. We would go to every birthday party that we could. We were involved, and family time was never something I hated.

Alex and I had lived in Iowa for 4.5 years at this point. It was where we went to college and met. It was where we met the people that are standing beside us in our wedding in 4 weeks. It was home away from home, with a family there too. Sure, a slightly more inebriated, crazy, stay up late and eat bread sticks kind of family, but a family nonetheless.
Alex & Carly-11
So there I was, sobbing. It was scary. How was I going to move away and miss all of that? How was I going to be ONLY one on both extended sides of the family to make a permanent move farther than 3 hours away from home?

I was 23 years old and terrified. The dreams of leaving that we had hoped and prayed for had come true and I was terrified.

I remember the night before we left, our friends came over to say goodbye and the conversation kept going, as if to put off the actual good bye.

And I said goodbye to my best friend. My literal twin in a shorter versioned body of myself. Someone I never would have met if it weren’t for Iowa. And when she left I went into our empty bedroom and cried. And Alex came in and said “We don’t have to do this. We don’t have to leave. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to, but I need you to tell me now” And I contemplated saying “yes let’s stay here, I can’t leave”.

But I didn’t. And the next morning we packed up the uhaul and began our 15 hour trek, divided into 2 days, across country.

 

And then, 3 days later when I dropped my dad and brother off at the airport after they had helped us move. Even after getting into a screaming argument with my very hungover brother on the car ride there. I sobbed again. Alone in my car. I put my sunglasses on so no one could see. I cried because this was it, we were on our own.

Now so far, I probably seem like some wildly emotional person, and I kind of am. But 90% of my cries are dog related. But in this period of my life I was crying for other reasons.

I was crying because I went from a town of less than 10,000 growing up, to a town of 41,000 for college, to a town of 287,000. And now we were on our own, with 287,000 strangers surrounding us.

My mom worried, because I didn’t know anyone out here. She knew the kind of social butterfly I was and how important it is to me to have social events to go to and friends to hang with. It’s true, I am an extrovert like that.

But to no one’s surprise, I dove in, I got a job at Orangetheory Fitness and within the first 2 weeks I met one of my bridesmaids. The first 4 months flew by and I was making friends, I had stopped using my GPS as much (but definitely still needed it!), we had found places that we liked to revisit, such as 913 whiskey bar.

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But truth be told I still would drive to and from work and miss home so agonizingly bad that I would either crank up some upbeat tunes for jamming to get my mind off of it, or I would play songs that reminded me of home.

On this exact weekend last year we went back to my hometown in Byron, IL for the annual summer festival. We were supposed to fly in on Thursday night, but our flight got cancelled and I cried. I cried because that was 13 hours less of family time that I would have, even though we would see them bright and early the next morning.

That trip home reminded me of why i loved the Midwest. And when people asked why I was so excited to be going home, I would simply say “you don’t understand the Midwest unless you’ve lived there”.

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And we returned from that trip and I still didn’t feel like I was home, I feel like I just left it, because i did. Yes, I was making friends. We were fitting in. We were engaged and moving into a new home, but I still missed some things.

But then we went back to Iowa in September and this wave of “ahh things DO happen for a reason” came over me. Maybe I didn’t need to miss the Midwest so agonizingly bad afterall. I realized that the college town needed to stay that, the college town. That it’s better to look back at places with good memories than to be stuck there wishing you were out.

And as time flew by I made more friends either through Orangetheory, or my new job, or Alex’s job. And things have changed.

I took me 9 months to say for the first time “I like it here”

It took me about 14 months to say for the first time “I love it here”

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I now view this place with the same loving heart that I viewed my Midwest home’s with. Except I also realize the potential within the city that was not possible in Illinois or Iowa. I don’t want to leave.

You see, Greensboro has introduced me to a wide variety of friendships.
We got engaged here (okay well Myrtle Beach but you get the point), we bought a house.
I’ve walked in a few fashion shows.
I’ve done a photo shoot.
I’ve started an online business.
I’ve started volunteering with animal rescues which has put animal rescue into the very center of my heart.
I’ve seen the craziest sunset and some pretty sweet fireworks from the top of a parking deck.
I’ve dipped my toes in the sand more times in these past 17 months than I had my entire life prior.
I’ve also seen the prettiest view from high up in the mountains,
I’ve made friends with owners of restaurants and bars.
I’ve been a boat for the first time in years.
I’ve tried wake surfing.
I’ve had a birthday bar crawl that I have to say, was beyond epic.
I’ve gone to my first NFL game.
Greensboro has given me opportunity after opportunity.
I get to coach people at OTF weekly who are my friends, who are grateful for the experience.
I have friends who refer friends to me and my business, in which I’ve gotten to change people’s lives.
We have friend groups that are so separate that can also intertwine and mingle as if they’ve know each other for ages.
We’ve made friends that would fly across the country to go to Vegas with us, or to Kansas City.
We’ve made friends that are fellow dog parents and therefore, have had many doggy play dates!
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So when I take a step back and look at the people I’ve met and the experiences I have had SO far. I am happy. I am blessed.

I freaking love this city. I still miss the Midwest. But I consider myself lucky. Because not everyone gets excited about vacationing to the MidWest. Hell, some people will NEVER travel there. But I get to go there, and go to all of our favorite places and it is a darn good vacation when we doo!

Greensboro, you and your community of nice, yet wild people have stolen my heart.

I fell in love with this city and the experience.

I did it because of a leap of faith.

You can too.

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Enjoying Your Vacation

Like really enjoy it. Enjoy the shit out of it. Check your worries and to-do lists at your front door when you leave. In fact, lock them in the house, leave them there for when you return.

Get rid of your mentality that vacation will always leave you feeling a little guilty. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t fear the vacation.

Your vacation is meant to be enjoyed. It isn’t meant to be about counting every calorie to ‘stay on track’. It’s not about feeling bad for having that local burger, or that craft beer, or for not getting one single workout in the whole time.

Yes, I write a blog about health and fitness. I have an Instagram dedicated to that. I run a business on it.

But I also understand the glory of flexible dieting and flexible mindsets. I believe that if you plan vacations and fear them for the potential to throw you off track then you will never enjoy another vacation in your life. But it’s good that I believe in the 80/20 rule, in flexible dieting, in giving yourself a break.

BUT there are ways to enjoy your vacation AND feel darn proud for the decisions you make while there. I’m not saying your vacation is either a total fail (health & fitness wise) nor is it a seamless & perfect trip of nothing but salads and water.

There are ways to enjoy your vacation and not drive yourself crazy while doing it.

Here’s how:

Last weekend I went to Myrtle Beach with some family and friends. We’re all adults with full time jobs, bills to pay, and too little hours in the day. So a vacation was so needed. And you know what? We didn’t hold back. We had pizza, and fried food, and beer, and rum, and tequila, we stayed up late, and were outside ALL. FREAKING. DAY. (My body is still burnt). It was great.

And you know what? We may have gotten to the end of our vacation thinking “holy shit I didn’t do one healthy thing that whole time”. But we did, we just had to take a step back to see it.

We got our exercise in unusual ways. We played a friendly game of sand football, we went for a 2 mile walk just to wake up one morning, we walked more steps than my FitBit could even count for. We drank some water in between the booze, we had some fruit, we made homemade guac, and we got some pretty decent sleep.

The reason we were able to do those healthy things is because it was part of our routine. For months and years now most of us have lived in the healthy lifestyle. We workout consistently and cook healthy meals for ourselves. It has become routine- and a good routine at that.

So when it comes time to vacation we aren’t the ones crash dieting for the beach, no we go about our normal lives. And because of that we are able to spill over some of those naturally healthy choices in between all the fun of vacationing.

I believe that crash diets set you up for failure in more ways than one. You gain more weight back than what you lost (but that’s a story for a different time) and you lose all control when it comes to events that are outside of your routine. Because of the crash diet, your mind breaks down and you don’t even know which way is up, let alone choosing a healthy option.

So when it comes to enjoying your vacation, my number 1 tip?

Don’t treat it as a one time ordeal. Lead up to it with good intentions, get in a good routine. And you won’t even feel like you are failing yourself by choosing that burger for dinner because guess what? Been there done that. It’s called the 80/20 lifestyle that you live.

 

Beyond that, I asked my friend Kristen (co-founder of The WHEYSTED Girls Project) to help me make a list of how to enjoy your vacation.

  1. Treat it as just another one of your “cheat meals”. You’ve worked hard for this, why not enjoy it?

  2. Pack water. If you pack it, you will drink it

  3. Pack fruits and veggies. Again, if you pack it you will eat it.

  4. Choose one meal for the day that will be your “go out” meal. For us? It’s usually dinner. This helps save you calorie wise and saves your wallet. For the other meals, pack your own food. We packed oatmeal, toast and peanut butter, eggs, deli sandwiches, chips and salsa and guac, and fruit- all for us to eat at home (or on the beach!)

  5. Go for walks. Not only does it get you moving, but if you’re in the business of drinking all weekend it will give you a little break in between the alcohol consumption- and that break can save you from a super nasty hangover the next day. OR if you wake up with a hangover – go for a walk! The fresh air will do you good.

  6. If you want to eat healthy- then do it!! Just make sure you want to

  7. Piggy-backing off of that, if you choose a salad at dinner at the people you are with make fun of you for it- F*ck em, don’t listen to them. You do you boo boo.

  8. There ARE *healthier* beverage choices—Michelob Ultra’s/Corona Premier, Truly’s (or other spiked waters). If you want to avoid beer altogether, opt for a frozen concoction using REAL fruit, low calorie/no sugar mixers, and do some research about lower calorie liquors (shout out Blue Chair Rum!!!)

  9. Replenish your electrolytes. Sitting in the sun and having some drinks dehydrates you quickly. Grab some Powerade/Gatorade—Kristen’s go to is Rehydrate from AdvoCare.

  10. Avoid the vacation hangover—get back to your normal routine as soon as you get home. Yes, you had a blast and ate/drank more than normal; but, once you get back from vacation start fueling your body with the right stuff again.

  11. Be active—sitting in my beach chair, staring at the waves and zoning out is my favorite. I not a napper, but have been known to doze off on the beach every once now and then. Get up and move every 30 mins—play in the sand…there are sooo many beach games out there (heck, we even made some up), take a dip in the water, toss a football.

  12. Enjoy yourself, damnit. Vacation is YOUR time. You work hard every single day to earn vacation. Give your mind and body some time to relax and slow down for a few days.

  13. Wear sunscreen  🙂

Healthier drink options:

Corona Premier: 90 calories / 2.6g carb

Michelob Ultra: 95 calories / 2.6g carb

Blue Chair Bay Rum: Ranges from 75-96 calories

*Banana Rum Cream: 75 calories / 8g carb. White Rum: 95 calories/ 0g carb*

Mix with low calorie mixers like 5 calorie Ocean Spray juice mixes, Diet Soda, Club Soda, Seltzer water

Homemade margarita: 102 calories / 7g carb

*2 oz Sauza Gold Tequila + 2 ounces Trop 50 Orange Juice + 2 ounces Roses Lime Juice*

The bottom line? You’ve only got one life to live, and this life is YOURS to live. Tackle your vacation HOW you want and WHEN you want. And be nice to yourself in the process ❤

HIIT IT- Memorial Day Style

Who’s got big Memorial Day Weekend plans? Many of you I’m sure. Who wants to get their sweat on before or after (or both) they attend all their parties, etc?!

No fear, I’ve got your back.

Test this MDW (Memorial Day Weekend) workout on for size:

-8 exercises X 8 reps each (AND EACH SIDE) X 8 rounds and DONE!

All you need is ONE weight

Exercises:

Snatch burpee

Side lunge high pull

Double jack

Ground to ceiling squat press

Lunge to curl

Around the world

Plank drag rows

Alternating v-ups

 

You are racing against the clock – let me know how you do! Or stop by BodyByBuehler on Instagram and comment there!

Less Is More

How many of you have wanted quick progress in the gym or push past a plateau? How many of you adopted the mentality that in order to do that, then more was MORE? In other words, the more I workout, the quicker I will get to my goals, because afterall a calorie deficit is what I’m aiming for right? You’ve worked yourself day in and day out, not missing a workout, restricting your calories, and so on. And you get to a point where you are now just so fatigued all the time that you don’t even want to work out, but you do it anyway because that is what is pushing you towards your goals? Maybe you’re not even sure if you’re exercising right – you’re working the same muscle groups each day, you’re always sore, but you don’t know if its right or wrong, but it doesn’t matter because your FitBit tells you that you just burned 800 calories in 2 hours – SCORE! So you develop this relationship with the gym that is nothing short of an obsession.

I’m sure some of you have been there, I have.

But what if I told you that less is more? That you don’t have to workout 7 days a week, sometimes 2 times a day, and restrict your calories and feel so fatigued you could fall of the treadmill? Maybe you’re not quite that obsessed with the gym, but you still can’t go a day without skipping the gym without feeling guilty. But what if LESS was MORE?

Let’s start here. Do you know what happens to your body, specifically your muscles when you workout? Let me tell you what most people say to this answer – my body is getting stronger! I’m building my muscles! WRONG. When you exercise you are literally tearing your muscle fibers apart. The growth happens in the rest period. So no, you aren’t getting stronger when you are working out, when you’re curling 50’s and squatting 200’s. No, you are setting your muscles up to get stronger while you are resting. The workout is like the pre-game. The fun stuff, the magic happens AFTER you leave the gym.

When it comes to muscle fiber repair, one of two things can happen leading up to this.

A) You aren’t overloading your muscles enough to break down the muscle fibers enough to a point where they have to be repaired during the rest before. Thus starting a repeating cycle of working your muscles to an almost pointless effort. If you’re not setting them up to repair and get stronger, you are essential wasting your time (Cue encouraging words to start lifting HEAVIER! You will NOT get bulky)

B) You overload too much to a point where your muscles can’t sufficiently repair themselves in the rest period. This can happen from lifting too much weight, but it likely going to be cause from lifting too much weight too frequently (Cue talk on overtraining).

The phenomenon of OverTraining. 

Overtraining occurs when you push your body too hard and pass the point that your body is able to recover from. To improve you must overload the muscles and then allow adequate time for recovery and growth by resting. Overtraining occurs when either the overload is too high, or the rest period (recovery time) is too low.

Overtraining in the form of too much intensity on a constant basis, in the form of working out for hours on end, in the form of not challenging your muscles enough but still working them too much, in the form of over exercising and under eating will all hinder your results.

Let me show you a real life example.

At the beginning of my fitness journey I would work out for HOURS upon HOURS and be so freaking happy that I burned 700 calories on a total of 3 different cardio machines combined. I didn’t bother to try to educate myself on proper nutrition, I didn’t really care, because I was working out. I mean at this point, I was an 18 year old who just graduated high school – I was naive. BUT this exercise obsession continued into college, trying to beat the Freshman 15. And here, in college, I discovered that 2-a-days were a thing. UM HELL YEAH sign me up?! More exercise, yes please!

So I exercised, and exercised, and exercised. I was doing too much. I thought I was working at high intensities, but now seeing what I CAN do, I realize that it was definitely only moderate intensities – I couldn’t muster up energy for more!

I became “skinny fat”. Where I would hold on to extra body fat, primarily around my stomach, because my body was screaminggggg for proper nutrition and less exericse, but I didn’t know. My arms and legs looked relatively skinny, but my mid section didn’t exactly match up. My body fat was at a solid 23%, which was in normal range so I was happy with it. And so I kept going- working out 7 days a week for probably, oh 10 hours in total or more.

BUT what happened was I started to get educated. I mean I was now in school for Exercise Science & Health Promotion. And I learned the right way to do things, I actually began to love researching articles on those topics in my free time. I was like WOAH.

(Over-exercising -left VS. Getting it right -right)

So now? Now I exercise 5 days a week and eat more than what I used to – but my body needs it! I’ve figured out how to truly work at my highest intensities. BUT THATS OKAY! Because now I take 2 rest days and I kid you not, I only exercise for a total of 5 hours a week – MAX. Most of my workouts are now between 45 – 55 minutes and IT. IS. GLORIOUS.

And what has happened to my body composition? 8% lower body fat, more muscle, and more personal records. My body is thriving. And it’s because I stopped digging it into a hole I couldn’t get it out of.

(Too much cardio, not enough strength VS. getting it right)

My point is not to brag about what I’ve done, but rather show you that LESS IS MORE when it comes to your exercise, and WHY that is true.

Is it tempting to want to exercise more, to hit the gym after a night of rough eating, even though it isn’t supposed to be on the schedule? Absolutely. Do I sometimes do extra? Sometimes, yes. But I make sure that if I’m doing an extra workout it’s because I want to not because I’m trying to punish myself.

Working out less and eating more [of the right things and right proportions] are the hardest thing to wrap my clients minds around. But it WORKS. Results will 110% not come over night. Hell, you won’t have your “dream body” (whatever the hell that means) in one month. Nope, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And the patience needed for that is something that is LONG GONE in this day in age where we all have access to instant gratification.

But do yourself a favor. Love yourself enough to do things the right way. Eat right, exercise right, and give yourself a solid 6 MONTHS to start seeing the progress you want. Hell, it has taken me FIVE YEARS.

Let that sink in.

Cross-Fit Inspired Weights Workout

I bet you can’t get through this without breaking a sweat.

Why would you want to leave the gym fresh anyway?

Set 1: 7 sets

  • Deadlifts X6,4,3,3,3,4,6 reps
    • Increasing weight with decreasing reps. Try to match the same weight you did the first time when you get back to the reps of 4 & 6
    • Last 3 sets: compound with pull ups to failure

Set 2: 3 sets

  • Dumbbell stiff leg deadlift X10
  • Single arm dumbbell alternating snatch X10 total
  • Bodyweight squats X15

Set 3: 3 sets

  • Single arm dumbbell thrusters X8 each
  • Dumbbell or kettlebell swings X8

Set 4: 2 set burnout

  • Heavy med ball over the shoulder tosses to failure
  • TRX pistol squats X8 each

Try it out and throw your results in the comments!

For more workouts follow me on instagram @bodybybuehler

Dynamic Vs. Static Stretching

When it comes to exercise, you’re supposed to stretch right? Did you know that there are proper forms of stretching and right times to do them?

Dynamic Vs. Static Stretching – or Warm up Vs. Cool down

Dynamic:

adj. (of a process or system) characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.

Static: 

adj. lacking in movement, action, or change

Think of dynamic as constantly moving and static as not moving at all. Perform a dynamic warm up, like the one seen in the video below is beneficial to warm up your muscles while also lengthening them. Performing static stretches before exercise puts your muscles at risk for injury. It is a lot harder, and a lot less safe to stretch a cool muscle. Muscles stretch best when they are warm, allowing them to lengthen to their maximum ability, and also allow them to recover after the stretch.

For your next workout, try these basic dynamic (warm up) and static (cool down) stretches!

 

Six Months Southern

It has officially been 6 months since Alex and I packed up our lives & moved across country with 3 animals in tow, 1,007 miles to be exact. To say that it hasn’t been an absolute whirlwind of emotions and events would be a drastic understatement.

But first, why move? Why pick up and leave everything and everyone we knew for the previous 4.5 years behind? Why move far enough away that the only realistic trip back to the parents house goes from being a car ride to expensive flights that may or may not get you there on time? We were comfortable, and we also felt stuck. We both had this urge to do something more, expand in our careers, to see new places. So when it came time to job hunt, we decided that it was more reasonable for Alex to be the one to hunt for jobs to move us. Being in the fitness industry, it is a lot easier to just “find a job”, Alex’s field however- not so much. Do I think that had I been the other one to look for the job to uproot us that we would have ended up in Greensboro, NC? No, definitely not, but I don’t think that was the way all of this was supposed to roll out.

So what has Six Months Southern been like?

Well it’s warmer, that’s for sure. And the rain and the sun are like jealous twin siblings that are fighting for the spotlight. Within a one mile stretch of driving I could drive 30 seconds in downpour, the next 30 seconds in brilliant sunshine, and then the next mile could see just a brief shower that is pretty much guranteed not to last long. No, we do not see any vicious thunderstorms with threatening tornados like we did in Iowa – and because of that it is infrequent to find houses with basements (a real bummer if you ask me).

The people? They’re the same. Iowans are definitely friendly and we were happy to find that Greensboro-ians are equally as friendly. No steps backwards there (insert thumbs up here)

Let’s talk about the size of this city. Now I am reminded by those who are from here, or from much bigger cities that Greensboro is not that big and rush hour is not that bad. Put it up against Cedar Falls, IA and it is! Holy moly planning time to hang out with friends is like a full detailed process. “Hey you wanna come over?” turns into well, you live 30 minutes away, so after my 30 minute commute home I’d already be home this late and factoring in the 60 minute round trip to hang would give us approx. 5 minutes of chill time. It’s crazy.

But what has life being Six Months Southern and six months away from family and friends been like?

Well if I said that I don’t think about and miss the midwest every single day, I’d be lying. Because I do. But stepping outside of comfort zones sometimes has a pretty hefty adjustment period attached to it. And the adjustment period is hard at times. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted being able to hop in the car to drive home for the weekend because I was just in need of a little home time. Or how much I would miss calling up Lauren to come over some night, only to drink too much wine and have her stay over, but hey that’s okay because she would keep the dogs company while we went to work early. Or how awesome our friends truly were. Not only do I miss the 4-some friendship we had with Chelsea and Clint, I am 110% sure that our dogs miss the friendship they had with Melvin and Wilson (their fur-babies).

However, I’m not sure if I miss Iowa and the Midwest or if I miss the relationships and memories we had there. Cedar Falls gave me the best 4.5 years of my life, but I feel that many people get that nostalgic feeling when they think about their college town. And when we sit down and think about it, did we want to live in our college town forever?

As we grow older, Sharky’s and Social House have turned into causal Friday wine nights. And those causal Friday wine nights will someday turn into chaotic Friday nights chasing kids around only to sneak out a bottle of wine when they’ve been put to sleep. We are aging, and I don’t think our college town is where we were supposed to age at. I’d much rather look back on it and always have that nostalgic feeling of the town that gave me the most memorable, crazy, spontaneous years of my life. Plus, it will always be the town where I can tell our future kids “this is where I met your dad at” and that would be a cool visit to have.

Maybe the hardest thing is realizing that adulthood has hit us full speed ahead, it crept up slowly but I chose to ignore it before now.

But hey, on the flip side I like looking at all of the GREAT things that the East Coast has given us. I mean pretty much the biggest milestones of our lives beside graduating college have happened out here.

In February Alex started an awesome, long-term full time job with Volvo.

In April we got engaged (eek!)

In May we went under contract for a house

In June we closed on that house

In July we moved into that house

And in August I started my first, legit full-time job with all the works.

Responsibility is here but I am actually really enjoying it now.

We have a house we are making a home. Our dogs have a fence that allows them 1000X more play time than they used to have. We both have secure jobs that will long-term give us financial freedom for numerous beach trips and more. And we are slowly making friends.

I have to remind myself that I miss Iowa because I miss all of the good memories about it. But those memories were 4.5 years in the making, I can’t expect to have those kind of memories in the first 6 months here. Although we have a pretty good start. Who knows what the future holds, who knows what tomorrow holds, but I’ve convinced myself to enjoy the ride. This state, this weather, this home is too beautiful to not enjoy every moment of it.

Iowa, I miss you. Illinois, I miss you. Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin, I miss you too even. But hey, North Carolina is holding it’s ground to you guys. So friends and family, come visit, we have 2 spare rooms and plenty of beer to share 😉

Do More With Less. 6 Complex Exercise Workout to Give You More Bang For Your Buck

….Because who doesn’t love saving time while doing more.

Your workouts don’t have to include the fanciest, newest, or an extreme amount of exercises. If you focus on complex and compound movements you will be working more muscles in one movement than you could in a few simple movements.

What is a compound movement? An exercise that uses more than one muscle group and also moves more than one joint 

For example: A squat to press works your shoulders, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core while working with the shoulder, hip, elbow, and knee joints. W0ah that’s a lot of action in one movement!

If you want to dig deeper than that we can look into the different planes of movements to add a whole new level of intensity!

Sagittal plane: divides the body into left and right halves.

  • Movements done in this plane is the squat because it does not break the plane by moving side to side. Another, more simple exercise in this plane is a bicep curl, again because it does not break the center plane and only moves up and down rather than side to side

Frontal plane: divides the body into front and back halves

  • Movements done in this plane are shoulder presses because the work up and down but not forward and back (unlike the bicep curl) therefore they do not break the plane

Transverse plane: divides the body into top and bottom halves

  • Movement done in this plane is a horizontal woodchop because the movement works across the body and up (breaking both the frontal and sagittal planes) but does not work below the waist therefore not breaking the up and down plane.

All talk of planes can be kind of confusing, but don’t worry I have you covered! The following exercises work in multiple joints, multiple planes and with multiple muscle groups – talk about a full body workout!

So how about you take these 6 exercises for a spin. Attach 8-10 reps per exercise and put a time limit on (15,20,30 minutes) and go to work! The goal is to work efficiently, work hard on the exercise you are working on, take minimal breaks between exercises and save your rest periods for in between rounds and see how many rounds you can do! (Otherwise known as ARMAP).

Video exercises (in order)

Burpee pull up

  • Muscles: chest, triceps, core, lats, traps, shoulders, biceps
  • Joints: shoulder, hips, knees, elbow
  • Planes: transverse, sagittal, frontal

Squat to press:

  • Muscles: shoulders, glutes, quads, hamstrings, core
  • Joint: shoulder, elbow, hip, knee
  • Planes: sagittal and frontal

Chest fly to skullcrusher:

  • Muscles: chest, triceps, shoulders
  • Joints: shoulder, elbow
  • Planes: frontal, sagittal

Double bent over row to deadlift

  • Muscles: traps, lats, biceps, shoulders, low back, glutes, quads, hamstrings
  • Joints: shoulder, elbow, hip, knee
  • Planes: sagittal, frontal, transverse (a mixture really)

TRX lunge to chest fly

  • Muscles: chest, tricep, shoulder, core, quads, glutes
  • Joints: shoulder, hip, knee
  • Planes: transverse, sagittal, frontal

GHD sit up

  • Muscles: core, quads
  • Joints, hip, knee
  • Planes: sagittal, transverse

My Go-To Breakfast For Sustained Energy and Well Rounded Macros

I used to be one to eat something different for breakfast everyday because, why not switch it up? But then I concocted my protein peanut butter oatmeal mix and I have generally been having that every day for like 6 months. It is just TOO good.

Not only does it have a good mix of proteins, fats, and carbs, it keeps me going! And that is important on days when I am busy coaching so many classes in the morning that I really can’t eat in my every 3-4 hour window, and it turns into about 4-5 hours.

So what’s in it? For the overnight oats option I use the following ingredients:

For regular, warm cooked oatmeal in the morning I do not add the yogurt or the milk.

But basically it’s 1 serving of oats + 1/2 cup of greek yogurt + half scoop of Quest Nutrition Salted Caramel protein powder + 1 spoonful (about 1.5-2TBSP) of Natural Peanut Butter + Almond milk to desired consistency

What about the macros?

400 cals / 32g protein / 43g carb / 10g fiber / 13g fat

PS. If you’re on a ‘diet’ where you are cutting carbs, fat, etc. Alter the serving size of the oats or peanut butter you use! I suggest reducing the amount of peanut butter before reducing the amount of oats, since oats are the base in this recipe 

Give er a try for your next breakfast. Not to mention making the overnight version is a morning time saver, which we all need!

Avocado Egg Toast & How to Pick the Perfect Avocado

When choosing a snack, I try (and suggest you do the same) to pick something that is well rounded with all of the macronutrients – carbs + protein + fat. This avocado egg toast comes in at:

211 cals / 13g protein / 23g carbs / 8g fat

IMG_1383

It’s simple! Add some pepper to your liking and you’re ready to roll

Okay, so how to find the perfect avocado and when do you cut that bastard open?

The first thing I do when choosing an avocado isn’t the ‘softness’ test, I pluck off the little seed at the top of the avocado to reveal the color underneath of it. If it is the bright yellow/green color then it’s usually at the good stage of ripeness. If it’s dark green or brown, it is either not ripe yet or way past ripe.

After that I DO do the softness test. For avocados I know I will be using within a few days I find the softer ones, but not like “a baby could squeeze these and they would disintegrate soft” just a soft to the touch. For avocados that will sit in my pantry for a few days longer, I find ones that aren’t quite soft yet. Regardless, I don’t get an avocado that is hard because they are still ripening and at that point if I think “oh it’ll ripen in my pantry” it usually goes unforgotten and then I have missed my window.

Trial and error you avocado lovers, trial and error. You also will find certain grocery stores that tend to have better avocados than others