Interviews, Fitness Articles, Recipes - All for You, Bitches

How to Flip the Bird to the Halloween Candy Binge! (and other events that test your resolve)

We’re nearing the end of my first 5-Week ‘Change You’ Challenge (it’s going fantastic! Squee!) and at the end of last week’s meet-up, as we were talking about the importance of staying the path before next week’s fit test and measurements, someone gasped, “Oh no! Halloween is this week! I always binge on my kids’ candy!” Then another person chimed in, “And I’ll be drinking! So my guard will be down!” Halloween isn’t the only challenge we’ll face. We will be faced with opportunities that challenge our resolve often. So how do we handle them? Do we stand our ground and resist all temptation? (And say no to every party invitation until the end of time.) Or do we chalk it up as “it’s just one night” and binge away? Here are several tips for dealing with Halloween and other such temptations (including some no-nonsense, tough love advice for those who respond best to a verbal smackdown): 1. Get Full If you’re worried you won’t be able to stop grazing the buffet table once you arrive at a party, eat before you go. Eat a LOT. A lot of high-fiber, nutritious foods. Think protein + veggies + healthy fats. That will ensure you don’t hit the buffet table first thing upon arrival, cutting down on the sheer number of hours you’ll want to stuff your face, and arriving full makes it easier to make sane choices. When you’re starving, everything sounds good. When you’re full, you might still want some of your favorite foods but you’re more able to skip over other options. Get full before you Trick or...

Kushyfoot Product Review

The Details Kushyfoot bills their product as “the first brand in women’s hosiery to incorporate the ancient healing art of Reflexology.” To do that, they add a 3-dimensional padding – or what they call “massaging sole” – to their hosiery which cushions the feet. The Kushyfoot® sole helps relieve tension and discomfort in achy feet, thereby helping to relieve stress and fatigue throughout the entire body. Their sport socks also come with arch support in the form of a band that is a bit tighter. Reflexology is based on the ancient healing principle that everything is connected. By creating socks, hose and sandals that integrate a massaging cushion designed by Reflexology experts, Kushyfoot claims their hosiery will relieve tension and discomfort in achy feet—and even stress and fatigue throughout the entire body! On their site, there is a section where you can click on the diagram of a foot and it will tell you the reflexology relation of that spot to your foot and how Kushysocks will help. They offer a wide variety of hosiery, from foot covers to be worn with stylish shoes, knee highs, tights, and many sock options including athletic, casual, and even yoga! They also carry toe pads for a minimal coverage while still getting support, and Flats To Go®, which are lightweight and convenient for on-the-go wear, while still being supportive. Their 2014 Fall collection has fun new styles and trendy colors, with more than 20 foot and toe cover looks. I received Kushyfoot’s Lace Foot Covers, Yoga Socks, Sport Foot Covers, and Athletic Socks to try for this review.   The Experience I...

Unilateral Training – Why You Should Get Yourself Some

I played 2 on 2 volleyball with my sister and niece and nephew on Saturday night, using a clothesline as an improvised net! My niece Madelina was my teammate. Madelina: Aunt Laura! I thought you were good! Me: That was 25 years ago! Don’t worry, I got my groove back after a couple of plays! What ‘groove’ I have left, that is. I left most of it back in the 80s. Did you know that if you play sports, you should do a lot of exercises that utilize unilateral movements? This is where you say, “No, Laura, I didn’t know that. Tell me more!” My pleasure.     What Are Unilateral Exercises? Unilateral exercises are movements that work one side of the body at a time, or movements that work the sides in significantly different ways. An example would be the single-leg squat. You might have both feet on the ground, yet in a single-leg squat you will place the majority of your weight, and hence the workload, on only one leg and use the other to assist only as needed for balance. We use unilateral movement constantly in our daily life and especially in sports. Working my legs in this way allowed me to move laterally to get behind the volleyball last night. You should’ve seen me. I was amazing. (I was so-so.) What are the Benefits? Balance, Joint Support & Core Work Unilateral exercises work the small stabilizer muscles that are forced to activate when the body is off balance. This is great news for building core strength that’s needed to work under movement and also resist...

Exercise Trends – Yea or Nay?

Someone posted an article the other day that took a disparaging view of all the new “fitness trends” – soul-cycling, hooping, belly-dancing, aerial yoga, and so on. You can read it HERE. The author claims these new fitness classes are simply a sneaky way to get money out of people desperate to lose weight. “Like the diet industry, the fitness industry’s revenues rely on teasing new interest from us every few years with miracle cures and novelty classes, the latest of which is a contact version of musical chairs.” I really don’t see those new exercise trends as a way to get people to part with their money. I see them, usually, as people trying to make a living doing something they love. If you love something, and you feel better doing it, and you decide to share it with others and yes – *GASP* – get paid to do so, what’s wrong with that? Guess what else these “whimsical fads” (her words, not mine) do? They bring people together. They help us connect with other people who enjoy the same things, which is motivating and fun. They help us move our bodies in the ways we did as kids, making these forms of exercise more fun than “work.” What’s wrong with that? I don’t know about you, but now that I’m an adult, I rarely (if ever) make time for play. I pursue hobbies, but I see that as “things I enjoy” rather than a focus on play. But because staying fit feels more and more important as I age, trying exercise programs that feel like play are...

We Rocked the ROC Race!

Last Saturday, I ran my first ever obstacle race! The ROC Race in Chicago, billed as “the craziest 5k of your life!” is the original game show-inspired obstacle run! It’s a 3-mile fun run filled with larger than life obstacle challenges! I hosted a giveaway for two free entries on my website, and fun surprise, one of the winners was my client Toni! So she and I, along with my 17 year old son and Toni’s best friend Chris, met up and ROC’d the ROC Race! The race was just as fun as I hoped it would be! The obstacles varied in difficulty, which made it fun for everyone. Some were easy and just for fun – like giant inflatable slides and a giant bounce house! Others challenged your strength – like the Get It Up (and Over) climbing wall, and the Gorilla bars. Guys. GUYS. Guess what? I did all the Gorilla Bars! I couldn’t do hand over hand, but I didn’t drop – I completed the entire sequence! And then get this – dropped backwards into the pit anyhow. OMG. How annoying! I lost my balance on my dismount. But there was a guy who was coaching me the whole time and that was super cool – “You’ve got great concentration! Keep going! You’re almost there. Steady pace, don’t lose momentum…” That REALLY helped because my grip was giving out but because of his encouragement, I kept at it! When I fell back into the pit, he yelled, “Great job! It counts!” WOO! Then there were obstacles that required balance, agility and coordination – like the Tight...

Salsa, Reinvented

A twist on a favorite…. When you’re training, it’s wise to change things up to keep your muscles challenged. If you always do standard bicep curls, with the same weight, for the same number of sets and reps, your biceps will get used to it and eventually those bicep curls won’t be as effective. All you need to do is tweak the move just a bit – turn the dumbbells upright for hammer curls, turn the arms outward and curl, do half-curls, do pulses, change the resistance – to break or prevent a plateau. Just like with training, you can tweak any recipe to keep things interesting! A common worry is that eating healthy isn’t interesting. That healthy foods are lacking in variety and flavor. But with a bit of creativity, we can find all kinds of ways to “spice up” some of our usual foods. Here’s an example of a new twist on a common snack. Salsa made from scratch is chock full of nutrients, but odds are you’ve been eating or making the same salsa over and over. Tweaking the ingredients means you’ll not only add a different nutrient profile to your diet, you’ll turn something normal and uninteresting into a new and exciting dish! This fruity salsa variation is tasty and full of Vitamin C and antioxidants. I’ve served this many times and it’s always a hit! Don’t knock it ’til you try it. Bitches, this salsa is YUMMY – and gorgeous, too! Blueberry Salsa 2 oranges (or 1 grapefruit), sectioned and chopped 1.5 pints blueberries – lightly smash some, keep some whole 2 TBS red...

This is Fit – Jump Rope Queen Bernadette Robinson

Here at This is Fit, my tagline is “Be Your Own Kind of Fit.” Even though I mostly promote HiiT workouts in my videos, I believe that all exercise is good exercise, and that there is no one right way to exercise or get fit. To that end, I love hearing about what people do to stay fit and active! And today, I share with you Bernadette Robinson’s story. I met Bernadette on Google+ after someone shared a video of her jumping rope. I was hooked immediately!     Bernadette, welcome! Now tell me….  How have my workouts exponentially increased your rope jumping abilities? Bernadette: Well, uh…. I will say that core strength is really important in jump rope. A strong core helps with coordination, agility, and stability. And your workouts develop core strength. Me: So you owe all your jump rope success to me, then, right?  Bernadette: I can’t go with all.  Me: Well, ok.  Fine. Moving on. How did you get your start with jump rope? Bernadette: It began during recess when I was a little girl. All the black girls were doing jump rope every day and I loved it. You know, double-dutch, games…. At the age of 11 or 12 I started working on double-unders, and I just continued jumping. Fast forward to 1999. I joined Equinox and began taking classes like Aero Box and Aero Jump, and there I met two former boxers. I began training with them and really improved my raw skills. I took about 5 years off to have babies, but in 2013 I saw the Bartendaz™ perform and learned about their work with...

Let’s just say that bench and I have an intimate relationship and I’m pretty sure it had a smoke after I left.

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5 Reasons to Rock Some Bodyweight Workouts

If you’re looking for a way to keep your training varied and productive, incorporate bodyweight workouts into your program and achieve these benefits! Bodyweight Exercises Can Be Done Anytime, Anywhere I do some of my favorite workouts when I travel. That’s because the only equipment I need to bring are my Gymboss Interval Timer and athletic shoes. I survey my surroundings for a tentative route and identify obstacles to be used as “equipment” and off I go. The first day of my vacations I will jog more than usual as I scout the area for playgrounds, hills, and long staircases, then the following days it’s go-time. I use retaining walls for box jumps, monkey bars for (assisted) pull-ups, bodyweight rows, and dips, hills for sprints, staircases for step-ups and climb sprints, and I can do allllll kinds of things with a park bench. Ahem. In fact, in LA last month, I jogged 12 minutes, finishing at a park bench that had end table-like extensions, then did 20 intervals of 50/10 timing utilizing the bench for all kinds of awesomeness.   Bodyweight Workouts Promote Functional Fitness Bodyweight exercises tend to be dynamic, compound movements, and you can do elaborate combination moves that might be less safe with weights. Take the burpee for example. This exercise provides cardio and strength work, while also challenging your flexibility and stability. To get similar benefits with weight training, you’d need to do several separate exercises – squats, jumps, planks, and push-ups for sure. Will bodyweight squats help you squat with 300lbs on your back? No, they won’t. But they  will help you develop strength, stability, and improved range...

Nitroshaker Review & Post-Workout Protein

I have used many, many blender bottles over the years. Every single one ended up in the recycle bin or donated to Goodwill. Until now. I received a Nitroshaker from ShakerFactory and I Love This Bottle. The blending apparatus has a nifty handle that makes it really easy to remove, and my protein shake never has lumps. For that reason alone I’m in love and use it daily. But it also comes with an insert to store your vitamin supplements, AND an additional add-on compartment so you can keep extra protein powder on hand. That means I don’t have to mix my shake until I want to drink it. No mixing ahead and letting it get funky and separated. The size is ideal with liquid measurements imprinted on the side, and the flip top locks open, which is great because normally those tops get in the way while you’re trying to drink. Right now, ShakerFactory is selling in bulk quantities and companies can have their logos imprinted on shakers they can then use in marketing. These would make great gifts from gym trainers to clients, or great incentive items for corporate wellness programs!Visit www.shakerfactory.com for more information! I highly recommend this shaker blender! It’s hands-down the best I’ve ever used, and this is saying something because I’m…  fussy! If you’d like to read more on post-workout protein, we have that! Here and...

Do You Even Lift? Build Muscle – Be Awesome!

My favorite story about “big muscles” is this one: My nephew, about 4 at the time, was sitting on his grandma’s lap, snuggling. It was sweet and cozy, and then he sat up, poked his grandma’s boob, and said, “Wow, Grandma – you have really big muscles!” Actually, I think he said “muskles.” OMG THE CUTENESS. We’ve been laughing about that for years. By now, you’ve added resistance training to your exercise program, right? Right?! Because in addition to getting poked in the boob and complimented by innocent toddlers, the benefits of resistance training are significant. increased functional ability, motor performance, and cardiorespiratory fitness increased bone density (bugger off, osteoporosis!) increased strength in connective tissues which provide joint support and stability improved glucose tolerance (bugger off, diabetes!), improved resting blood pressure, and improved quality of life decreased risk of injury decreased body fat mass improved overall bad-assness <— the most important one! Because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. That’s good news! And because weight-bearing exercise builds strong bones, lifting weights helps you ward off osteopenia and osteoporosis. And it’s difficult to “bulk up” so do not be afraid to add resistance training to your programming. Unless you’re training for a specific sport or level of performance, there is no one right way to lift weights. What you choose should be appropriate, and desirable, for you and your goals and your current fitness level. You can use dumbbells and barbells, or you can do body weight exercises. Most people do a combination of the two. But really, the best workout is...

Got Balance?

Balance is defined as the ability to control the body’s position, or distribute your weight to stay upright and steady. Balance is important for fall-prevention, but it’s also important to be in tune with your body so that rather than leaving balance to chance, you’ll know how to activate the right muscles while completing exercises or daily tasks requiring balance. People often say, “I don’t have good balance,” as if balance cannot be improved. It can! Balance is about equilibrium, but it’s also about utilizing, and strengthening, the muscles used for stabilizing and joint support. Balance exercises are especially important for seniors, but why wait? Why not meet that challenge early on and head-on, by incorporating balance exercises into your training? Here are exercise ideas to develop your balance, from easiest to more difficult: ~ Balance on one leg. ~ Balance on one leg while moving the opposite leg in various ways. ~ Balance on one leg while circling the arms, throwing and catching a ball, or passing a weight from hand to hand. ~ Walk heel to toe, forward and backward. ~ Sit on a stability ball and lift and hold one leg. ~ Practice balance exercises while barefoot. ~ Balance on one leg and close your eyes. ~ Balance on one leg on a pillow, BOSU, wobble board or other unstable surface. ~ Perform upper body exercises while standing on one foot or with feet staggered in “tightrope” position. ~ Hop in place and land on one foot. ~ Hop forward and back or side to side, landing on one foot. ~ Balance on one leg and reach...

“Wouldn’t it be boring
if the journey threw no curves?”

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An Old Hippie Woman Saved My Marriage (Our Love Story)

It’s our 22nd anniversary this weekend. 22 YEARS. What – the – HELL. I don’t even know how I can be that old, much less married that long. I remember as a teen wondering if I’d even know true love if it slapped me upside the head… I just assumed I’d “get it” one day (hahaha, I said “get it”) (sorry, can’t help it)… I just assumed that whatever happens to people who are in love would maybe, perhaps “happen” to me. I had the same thinking about “being an adult” and “having wisdom” and “being responsible.” I know now that, more often than not, adults are faking it ‘til they make it. There’s no magic moment of clarity, but rather fits and starts, gradual evolution, a series of learning from mistakes, and learning what makes things better and what makes things worse. Those of you who’ve known me a long time know I don’t stick with many things for long (sorry). It’s not you, it’s me. I have a short attention span combined with a desire to do wayyyy more things than this short life will allow. I’m a ‘get in, ALL in, get sated, get out’ kinda girl. I used to see it as a fault. Now I just see it as “what is.” If I DO stick with something for longer than a span of a few years, you better damn well believe it is for all the right reasons. That it feeds me in a way that I cannot be without. Rob is one of those things. And frankly, that surprises the shit out of...

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