Categories
Lifestyle Me Self Impovement

Five Quick Tips to get Over Fear of the Gym

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So this morning as I’m working out in the gym – in fact showcasing moves and creating videos for my instagram story – I had to laugh. There were like five people nearby who I’m sure knew that I was making a video. And I do believe the 4/5 of them were guys. Years ago you would not catch me DEAD doing this. How embarrassing right? So how have I gotten over it? How did I even know where to START in the weight room? How have I figured out how to get in an efficient and most importantly SAFE workout?

Five Quick Tips to get Over Fear of the Gym

Let’s be honest. I’m a runner at heart. Jumping on the treadmill and just GOING is “easy.” Ok…so it’s not always easy…but you know what I mean! So looking back how did I figure out how to add strength training to my routine? Strength training is soooo important to help prevent injury..and I was ALWAYS injured when I first started running! Stress fracture..after stress fracture. And FINALLY after like my UMTEENTH stress fracture…something had to change!
1. Get help. You don’t have to know it all! You aren’t expected to! Find someone to help you with form. Find someone to show you the basics of lifting. Help you find your baseline. Someone that can set up a plan for you to follow. This could be a trainer at your gym, following an online workout with a trainer that does an excellent explanation or hey shoot me an email and I would LOVE to help you! Don’t try to go for it and just get help! When I was injured I really wanted a change. I sought out a trainer who helped me START.  The hardest part..is just starting. There is NOTHING wrong with asking for help.
2, Find somewhere you feel comfortable. Its going to feel somewhat uncomfortable at first… ANY change does. But find somewhere you feel safe  and comfortable overall. This could be a gym, this could be a space at home or a gym where a friend goes so you can see a familiar face
3. Find a community to support you and/or a workout partner/buddy! Whether it’s someone that texts you or calls you for a wake up call in the morning, a virtual workout partner through a supportive community or someone that physically MEETS UP WITH YOU for a workout! Or it could be a mix of all of them. Find what works for you. Support is everything.
 4. Remember that seriously no one is paying attention to you but you. Seriously stop being so self conscious. No one cares what you look like and I promise no one is watching you. JUST you!
5. Be consistent and STICK WITH IT. Changes and confidence don’t grow overnight. But putting in the time and effort day after day WILL pay off. I promise! It doesn’t get easier…you just get stronger!
Do you work out at home or at the gym?
How did you get used to it?
​What are your tips to share?
Categories
Food Lifestyle Self Impovement

Struggling with eating…this could help you

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In our society I swear everyone is on a diet, in the pursuit of balance, trying out a new lifestyle such as whole 30, paleo, keto, sugar free – or something else! I do solemnly believe you have to find what is right for you – and it may take some “dating around” to find a lifestyle that works for you. and it has to be something that you can LIVE with for life. SURE you may have to clean up your eating for a bit and have some discipline…but long term…deprivation only leads to yo-yo dieting – and those ups and downs have ONE thing in common … emotional relationship with food.

Struggling with eating…this could help you.

Here is a bit of my story… maybe you can relate. maybe you can’t. But it’s time that I own my story.

When I got to college everyone said i would gain the freshman 15. I was determined to prove them all wrong. And although I ate relatively ok most of the time I eventually did get to a spot where I was so damn uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m so sad to say that. My clothes did not fit the way they used to and things jiggled going up and down the dorm stairs that hadn’t in the past.

My friends and I did go to the college wellness center, but I’m sure we did more socializing then working out. (hey! thats ok too!!!) The end of my freshman year though I had had enough. I hated the way I felt. I saw the number on the scale hit a number I NEVER thought it would and MORE than a number I hated that I had no energy. I hated that I wasn’t active and this was NOT the way my future nurse self wanted to live her life.

So I started running and became totally addicted. (at first in a good way!) My sister and her husband had become owners in a local running store! She was training for a 5k and invited me to join them for runs at the store and we ran in intervals of walking and running – eventually increasing the time running and decreasing the time walking. I was hooked because I loved the feeling of accomplishing something hard. And I loved being able to help others at the store and run along side them! I eventually even became a store employee and grew so much in my shoe, apparel and training knowledge – I helped with group runs and that is where it all began!

Unfortunately I was PLAGUED with injury after injury. Mostly in the form of stress fractures. I would start getting pain in my hip, my leg, my foot, etc – my hip got so bad I was limping ALL the time. Every time I would go in it was the same story:  “YOU NEED TO SIT OUT of running for six weeks. No pounding allowed on that foot/leg/hip etc ”

While I had been becoming more active and putting on more miles I had adapted what I thought were healthier eating habits too. I would have a salad most days for lunch – and cut down on portion sizes throughout the day in other meals and snacks. I have always had a sweet tooth – so if I wanted to have a cookie or if I knew we were going out that night and I was going to have some drinks I would skip dinner to compromise.

No WONDER I was being injured all the time….

During my sophomore year of college I began training for a full marathon. I was having some pain in my right calf during my long runs, but it would feel better if I would just stretch. At this point I was putting on significant long runs of 16 miles and had built up my endurance pretty good in order to prepare for the 26.2 mile run coming up.

But I COULDN’T take the calf tightness and pain anymore and after a TON of testing I found out I needed surgery to relieve the muscle swelling that was going on in my calf. It was either do the surgery or just “take it easy” the rest of my life…which I couldn’t imagine having those limitations at the age of 20.

The periods of being injured was so hard on me. Running had become my stress relief and nursing school is STRESSFUL. I felt like I couldn’t do the one thing that helped me feel like my slate was clean. I felt trapped. Down. Depressed. I do remember that I gave up caring what I eat. Eating cereal out of the box, 2 or three protein bars at a time, mountains of candy wrappers –

and then the guilt. Only this time…I couldn’t “run it off” –

I can’t help that I’m a perfectionist, but it is still something I’m working on every day. Better done than perfect is what I tell myself! I am learning I don’t NEED to eat perfectly “clean.” It’s ok to have treats. I dont’ want to ever live in that mindset of restriction any more. I don’t want to find myself eating bowl after bowl of cereal just for the fact of doing it to find some sort of peace. I am over feeling “guilty” about eating something because I want it.

It is RIDICULOUS.

But sometimes that is easier said than done!

So what has helped me? I got help. I went to a nutritionist. I picked up books about seeing food as fuel. I nerd out about the science behind it. I got a personal trainer to show me things I COULD do while I was injured. I learned how that if I took pride in what I was putting in my body AND adding specific supplements I could avoid injury and stress fractures in the future. I learned and still am learning the value of listening to your body. When you need to rest and when you need to move. Your workouts, body weight, clothing size does NOT define you. Your actions do. Being who you ARE. You don’t have to be the same person you were yesterday…and you can take months off of running..eat  cookies and not die.

Disclaimer – I do promote beachbody products and am a coach with their company. I LOVE that they truly work hard on providing TOP OF THE LINE products and workouts – but something has been missing… the mindset piece.

Yesterday they released something called 2B Mindset – and I think it is going to help a TON of people find peace with food- help them realize that they don’t HAVE to feel guilty about having some treats if they want to. It’s going to help people get out of the diet mentality and STILL lose weight without the workout aspect. Learning how to fuel your workouts is SO KEY TOO and I wish I would have had access to this when I was going through all that I was going through!

I truly don’t feel that their is a certain way of eating that works for everyone…but I do believe that you need to keep trying things if you are struggling with these anxieties or if you seriously don’t even know where to start! And educating yourself gives you a whole new type of strong.

If you would like to learn more about this and see if it is for you – simple fill out THIS FORM HERE.

I am not here to spam you – I simply don’t want you to go through what I have in the past .. and those tendencies STILL come back and haunt me.

What about you?
What is YOUR story?
Have you struggled with any of this in the past?
How did you overcome or is it something you are still working on?

Categories
Food Health Lifestyle Me

I Didn’t Start Eating Cheerios

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When I was 21 I was applying for a certain type of insurance…which required some lab tests – one of those including a lipid panel…ALSO known as testing your cholesterol. Heart disease and high cholesterol run in my family. My grandpa passed away due to heart disease complications, my dad has had open heart surgery, my sister and niece have both had procedures to correct a heart arrhythmia and I myself was born with a heart defect called a Ventricular Septal Defect. Both of my parents have been on cholesterol medication as long as I can recall. I shouldn’t have been surprised that when I got my blood test results that I had high cholesterol too.

But I was TWENTY ONE. I was training for a marathon, my diet consisted of plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and everything else that qualifies as a “heart healthy diet” as promoted by the American Heart Association. I wasn’t by any means overweight either. It just goes to show that family history has a LOT to do with it!

So what did my primary care doctor say when she saw the results? “We will keep our eye on it and recheck yearly. Please ensure you are eating a heart healthy diet and exercise also.” Hmm….well I THINK marathon training counts as exercise…and like I said my eating was in check too…

I Didn’t Start Eating Cheerios

As a nurse I know the dangers of having high cholesterol. Having excess cholesterol build up can lead to waxy deposits in your arteries – narrowing the vessels – and can eventually lead to a hardening of the vessels. The narrowing of the vessels makes it harder for blood to flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. Also – a piece of the plaque could dislodge and cause a clot in your brain (a stroke) or to your heart (heart attack) Your body NEEDS cholesterol to some extent and it is produced by your body on it’s own. Cholesterol gets around within your body with certain types of proteins: Low Density Lipoproteins (known as LDLs) and High Density Lipoproteins (known as HDLs) The Cleveland Clinic website has a good way to remember which one is good and which one is bad:

Think of HDLs as the “garbage trucks” that haul away excess cholesterol to the liver. The LDLs are the “delivery trucks” that pick up the cholesterol from the liver and bring it to the cells.

So why do we need it? Cholesterol helps your body produce hormones, vitamin D and helps you digest food too! (so really..it’s not completely evil!)

You might find this infographic helpful – resource found HERE

So what is recommended for lowering cholesterol?

1. Adding heart healthy foods to your diet:
​ex: healthy omega-3 fats, whole grains, avoid trans-fats, increasing fiber intake, lean meats
2. quit smoking
3. increase physical activity
4. be at a “healthy” weight
5. alcohol in moderation

hmmm…well I already do all these things and was doing them at age 21 also…so what has changed?

First lets look at my results! (C’mon Marti, get to the juicy stuff!)

So as you can see
my total cholesterol is 211 – borderline high –

HDL (the good cholesterol) is 103 – this is high but that is OK – this means it is COMPENSATING and picking up the extra junk (remember the garbage trucks)

Triglycerides are within normal range

LDL (the BAD cholesterol is also at a good level!
so you might be thinking..ok what is the big deal? Let’s compare to results in the past!

Here are the numbers over the past four years of being checked! I started at 242…This year I’m at 211! And holy cow..look at the improvement in the LDLs too! (142 vs 97??) If I total everything up from the panel I have made a dramatic change of 99 point difference in my overall panel – and MORE if you count the improvement in the HDLs too!
So what is different THEN vs. NOW?

1. I’m not training for a marathon – so maybe some decreased stress on my body? Yes I work out most days and I also have an active job as a nurse. I strive for a balance of workout types: strength training and weight lifting, running, MMA style workouts, HIIT style training and I utilize working out at home AND at the gym. Oh and I’m taking days off too! (usually about two days a week)

2. I use Shakeology every day. Most of the time at work just in a shaker cup with water and ice! Otherwise I blend up a delish smoothie for dessert OR make an awesome pancake in 10 minutes. Shakeology is not just a protein shake. Yes it has protein. BUT it’s focus is on SUPERFOODS (70 of them in fact) Phytonutrients like MORINGA, kale, spiniach, spirulina that prolong life and preserve the good cells. Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion and healing your gut. ANTIOXIDANTS like Goji berry, green tea, camu-camu, blueberries, aceola that FIGHT DISEASE AND INFLAMMATION. Adaptogens (aka STRESS FIGHTERS) as in ashwaganda, maca, reishi mushrooms, chaga mushrooms. Digestive enzymes to help us break down our nutrition properly so that it actually gets utilized. It also has VITAMINS, MINERALS and many of those that are difficult to get in with just eating clean foods. (Sadly so much of what we think we are eating…we actually aren’t)

3. I still eat a “heart healthy diet” – oh – and treats too of course!

4. I follow up yearly with my primary physician and also keep an eye on my vital signs – such as my blood pressure (which is always LOW)

5. I have maintained my weight (of course it does fluctuate..but that is just a fact of life I’m learning!)

So the advice I give you is this.

Focus on the risk factors you CAN control! Like your nutrition, exercise, blood pressure, stress levels and worry less about the things you can’t – like your race and family history. Make small changes EVERY day because they will add up to big ones in the long run!

And FIND OUT YOUR RISK. Ask your family about their levels, find out about any relatives with heart disease and get yourself checked out! Get your lipid panel drawn, get your blood pressure checked, get your blood glucose level checked too. Find out where you are at so that you can IMPROVE.

Invest in yourself. Paying $4 a day for Shakeology is much better than already having to pay for CHOLESTEROL MEDICATIONS FOR LIFE.

1. Does heart disease and high cholesterol run in your family?

2. Do you know your numbers?

3. What changes are you making to improve?

4. To join me in the fight against cholesterol and find out more about Shakeology – email me HERE subject title FIGHTER

Categories
Lifestyle Self Impovement

5 Tips to happier

Winter blues got you down? I find myself in a funk sometimes too ESPECIALLY when its 40 below in North Dakota. I have a magnet on my fridge that says “40 Below in ND keeps the Rifraf out” – unfortunately this does not mean those downer feelings…

So how can you feel happier when the negative vibes are lingering?

5 Tips to Happier

I would consider myself in most aspects a pretty positive person but that doesn’t mean I don’t have those in a funk days (sometimes weeks) or get angry, negative and just an all around debbie downer. But there are some things I have learned ESPECIALLY what my coaching community has taught me and what I would like to share with you too –
1. Take some time to reflect. Take out a pen and paper and do a brain dump and reflect on yourself right now. What are you feeling? Why do you THINK you are feeling that way? What is getting in the way of your happiness? You  might be surprised at what you find.

2. Take time for personal development. IT is NOT selfish to take time for you. Pick up a book, an audio, a podcast or even a devotional and just start with 10 minutes a day on a topic you want to learn more about or something you want to build upon. Some examples might be: confidence, spirituality, mindset, nutrition, leadership….What do YOU want to focus on? What do YOU want to get better at?

3. Take time to unplug and do the things that bring you joy. Go get a good coffee. Go get a new book. Call a friend. Get a manicure or a massage. Self care is not selfish. If you aren’t doing something for your – you can’t do anything for anyone else!

4. GET MOVING. EXERCISE = ENDORPHINS and ENDORPHINS = HAPPINESS! Go for a walk. Go to a class. Grab a friend and do a workout at home. DO SOMETHING. Also – remember that what you eat has a HUGE impact on your entire life! INCLUDING your mindset! Are you eating all processed? A diet high in sugar? Are you binging on CRAP? Prepare to feel like crap.

5. What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? Your environment can either be an energy suck or energy boost! You are most like the five people you are around the most. What kind of people make up your tribe? Energizing and positive people that are REAL and there for you? If that isn’t true you better reassess that situation.

6. BONUS: Write down 3 things daily for a week that you are grateful for. Its impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time.

What do you do to get yourself out of a funk? What helps you be happier? Any personal development suggestions to share?
Categories
Lifestyle Me

Punta Cana 2017

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blog recap of our Punta Cana trip! It’s nice to be home, but also I miss it at the same time! If that even makes sense? I feel so blessed to be able to have gone – it is through the company beachbody that I earned this trip for free just for helping people and also while working on my own goals too! B came with me on the trip and I couldn’t be MORE GRATEFUL that he was my adventure and traveling partner –

Punta Cana 2017

We drove down to B’s parents house the night before our flight left – unfortunately the closest airport that I could find a flight for was four hours away (I try to fly local whenever possible!) We got to their house late, took a nap and we were up and on the road again by 3 am to get to to the airport. We made it to our gate with about an hour to spare! We met up with my coach Jana and her bf since they were on the same flight as us and actually were sitting right in front of us. SO OBVIOUSLY we had to take an airplane selfie! (B refused to be in the picture)

It was a long day of traveling which is always the worst part! We flew MSP to Charlotte and then Charlotte to Punta Cana. We arrived around 3:30 pm their time and it was sunny and 80 degree. Palm trees, sunny skies, happy people…how can you go wrong? OH and did I mention that it was LITERALLY SNOWING when we left MN??? They had to de-ice the plane before we flew out!

We met another couple on the flight to Punta Cana – Eric and Emily – I seriously feel like Emily and I are so much alike and it was fun to meet someone new and we hung out during our stay in Punta Cana too!

When we arrived at the Hard Rock we were greeted with live music, a dude on rollerblades that lit up like rainbows, batman driving a batmobile and were handed fruity delicious cocktails as we came into the lobby. I’m dead serious about all of that.

Once we checked in we made our way to our room! We stayed right on the beach which was PRETTY FAR from the main lobby…oh well – I guess we got our steps in! AND we were close to the ocean!

How crazy huge is this resort? and this is just the MAIN lobby area! While we stayed our full three days I know we didn’t even see half of the property. INSANE.

After getting settled in our room we got ready and ventured out to explore a bit, say hi to the ocean and get some FOOD. SERIOUSLY traveling makes a person so hungry! We ended up eating at a cafe because it was just right there – but the food wasn’t the greatest! (oh well) – at least the drinks were good! We also checked out the huge welcome ceremony and grabbed dessert there! There were soooo many people! We were in bed so early this night … we had been up since about 3 am with little sleep the night before!

I have a serious obsession with the bathroom they had there…WALK IN SHOWER with double heads, HUUGGGEE getting ready area oh and there was a JACUZZI in our room too! I also didn’t hate that they provided me with a comfy robe and slippers….
On Friday, us coaches met up at the live workout at 7:30! NO you DON’T have to workout, but we were PUMPED to be able to do workouts LIVE with the actual trainers, in a room full of energy with a BLASTING DJ! The energy is UNREAL. We did Core de Force and also got to workout with a new Beachbody Trainer Chris Downing – his new workout called Shift Shop comes out in July! See a preview HERE
Core de Force is one of my FAVORITE workouts and it was a blast to be able to workout with Joel and Jericho live. ALSO I wasn’t sure what I would think of the new Shift Shop workout – but I honestly think CHRIS is what makes the workout awesome. The moves remind me a lot of athletic training and everyday felt like leg day! (good thing leg day is my favorite! ha!)

Check out his motivation and drive HERE – this is actually a video someone took from the event and he actually took someone on stage with him!

It was an afternoon pool and ocean day! Laying on a beach chair, cold drink, the boys in the pool hanging out. The sun was out, but not TOO intense and it was JUST warm enough. Jana, Alicia and I visited and the boys were playing around in the pool and busy trying out all the drinks. I looked over at B and said “this is pretty terrible isn’t it…” and he had to agree… (I hope you caught the tremendous sarcasm…)
As you can see I’m DEFINITELY NOT hating life right here…

Eventually we ventured up to the ocean area! The others wanted to play sand volleyball so we went up there to make a team and find someone to play! (I was content watching!)

but before we left we of course had to get a picture with our favorite bartender! “Fetty Wap” – All of the workers at the resort had nicknames on their badges – their real name and then a name of a singer/rapper/rocker.

At the beach we grabbed a snack too! There is ALWAYS food around. Absolutely no excuse to go hungry! Even at the ocean then had grills going with kabobs, fish, burgers, hotdogs, nachos, pizza (their pizza doesn’t have sauce and had corn on it! interesting right?) There was even ICE CREAM! I’m sure there were other things too!

We even ran into our president of Global Sales…Jeff Hill! (so of course the picture!) It was awesome to be able to visit with someone from corporate.. He expressed how grateful he is for us COACHES! We are what change lives he said – He felt so blessed to be in Punta Cana with us!

After a beachy afternoon we went back to our room to clean up and meet up at the steakhouse. I was HUNNGGRRYY. The food was much better here! I went with fresh salmon and steamed veggies!

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Jana and I had to snap one more picture before I headed off to bed! B ventured up with the rest of the crew to check out the casino/bars for a bit – I am a grandma and went to bed. He eventually found his way home….
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Back at it again the next morning! We did double workouts again! Alicia and I were SO SPENT by the end but it was too fun to leave! My phone did a cool trick this day…did a HARD RESTART. I’m still working on recovering things…but for the most part I lost all of my pictures…

OH WELL! We will just call it part of spring cleaning!! – We did another LIVE Core de Force this day and a Shift Shop workout! Cardio and strength training both workouts. They had Shakeology available between workouts and after and you BET I sucked that thing down SOOOO FAST!

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When afternoon hit we all met up at the same pool again and then ventured down to the ocean! Jana’s bf and mine rented boogie boards so we watched them get attacked by waves! haha They were having a blast! While they did that we had our own ocean photo shoot…
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so much fun! and major KUDOS to Jana for doing amazing handstands…I think that will be my next fitness goal (since mine didn’t go so well….)
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That night for dinner we hit up the steakhouse again – it was super conveniently located right next to our room! This time I ordered a filet minot and steamed veggies and RED WINE. The server brought me the whole bottle! I definitely did NOT finish it! haha My food was again super good!
We met up with Chris and Jana and then also another friend and coach Kalai – her mom cam e with her on the trip too! Her mom I have to thank for taking a ton of pictures and videos of us throughout the trip. I loved hearing about how adventurous these two have been during the trip to Punta Cana. They hardly sat still, did a TON of excursions and had a blast!
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Later I had a craving for something sweet! (weird I know..haha) so HELLO ROOM SERVICE that brought me this oreo cheesecake. I had a hard time picking between that an a brownie with ice cream…

SERIOUSLY – there is anything here! We also had a mini bar in our room with anything you could ever dream of wanting…I wish I had this service at home!

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 The LAST full day started the same as the last two! To be honest I wasn’t sure how many of the live workouts I would do on this trip…but Alicia and I decided we might as well do doubles on the 3rd day too. I’m not going to lie. It was HARD. We did the first workout Shift shop and at the end we held a TWO MINUTE bear crawl plank. I swear everything was shaking. Then we decided to stick it out and do Core de Force – and they announced they were going to give us the full live experience and do TWELVE ROUNDS! Please note that the other days we did 6… It’s definitely more of a challenge to work out in the humidity! And I’m sure I was dehydrated and not to mention being out of a “normal” eating routine, sleep routine and extra cocktails too! (sorrynotsorry!) The hanger started to get real during the last couple rounds…and I don’t think I’ve EVER sucked down Shakeology so fast! But seriously – we rocked it! Eric and Emily came too!
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Sadly it was POURING RAIN for our last day! But hey…what do you do? We were lazy around our room and ordered room service breakfast and just tried to RELAX on our last day! I would much rather be in the Dominican where it’s rainy… versus being back home in the cold and snow! I was going absolutely STIR CRAZY so we found a break in the rain and ventured up to the main lobby! We browsed the shops for a souvenir and ran across this virtual golf! NO ONE ELSE seemed to know about it! B played a round and then we caught up with Alicia and Scott!
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We grabbed some pina coladas while the boys golfed together! I think they were on that thing for a few hours! Then we wandered the stores, grabbed some snacks, checked out the ice cream shop, got our pictures taken with a spider monkey and some parrots (no big deal) and just kinda bummed around. Lots of laughs for sure!
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Pina Coladas for the win! I want one of those slushy machines for the lake…and don’t forget the rum!

On the last night at the resort they had a big farewell party for us coaches! Unfortunately due to the weather it was moved from the beach to the indoor huge ballroom. But the show must go on! We went back to the room and got ready for our final night!

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He’s pretty handsome…I think I’ll keep him 😉
Had to snap some more pictures of course! Seriously had such a blast with all of these people..lots of laughs, sunshine, brainstorm sessions, sharing and just LIVING.

Let’s just say morning came soooooo fast. We headed back to our room about 10 pm and our alarms set for 3 am! We had to check out the hotel and be on our shuttle to the airport at 4 am (keep in mind this is like 3 am back home!) –

We made it to the airport and stood in the longest line EVER to check a bag. SERIOUSLY that was the longest part of the whole airport experience and I was super nervous we weren’t going to make it to our gate in time..but long story short…we did!

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We even had time to grab some food and water for the plane! Who remembers these suckers? The sucker stick is a whistle! I SO remember these from elementary! Unfortunately I didn’t buy one of these big ones, but I did snag a few to try: apple, strawberry and watermelon!

Despite the rain our flight was on time! Yay! We were even on the same plane as all of the super trainers: Joel, Jericho and her family and Chris Downing was actually sitting right behind us on the plane. I was pumped about it, but B told me to quit being such a stalker…

Not going to lie…that layover of 4 hours in Miami sucked! We were exhausted and just ready to be home! But our flight was on time again…yay! We landed in Minneapolis at about 4:30 pm so even a little ahead of schedule. My luggage made it too which is always a win…but my luggage bag is pretty destroyed. Anyone ever seen how they handle luggage? No wonder it had a HUGE RIP in it… BUT if that is the worst thing we are good shape! We found the car and hit the road for our four hour drive home…but hey. We were closer!

We were absolutely STARVING!!! I wanted something FRESH (B inserts eye roll here) He dropped me off at Subway while he grabbed a burger down the street. I seriously had the guy put everything on it – INCLUDING two chicken breasts and scarfed. plus two cookies. and a diet coke (random craving)

We made it home by 9 pm. Exhausted. I crashed for sure! But at the same time my head was spinning. How in the WORLD did we just go on that trip. I get to do what I love every day – I mean I enjoy helping people in their health goals, I love working on myself…and I get to travel to awesome places too. Seriously what would you have to lose from doing it too!

​Apply here to find out more…

Until next year – Riviera Maya here we come April 2018! Will you be joining us?

Have you ever been to Punta Cana or anywhere in the Dominican Republic?

What is your favorite place you have ever traveled?

Categories
Lifestyle Me

Thinking Out Loud – where did this week go?

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This week was INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE – as they like to say… whoever they are. –

Working in the #nurselife this week was busier than we have been for a long time. More surgical patients then we have had in months and let’s just say that many of our patients were “trying” on me… I poured my heart and soul into every shift and it left me feeling very empty and drained by the end of each day. Our patients deserve to have the BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE and I’m proud of what we do on our unit – But still by Friday I was SO READY to just rest and fill my cup. I often feel guilty for not doing it all. I want to be the best nurse, the best girlfriend, the best daughter, the best health and fitness coach, the best business owner – – – I am what I like to refer to as a “recovering perfectionist.” –

It’s totally my personality to go go go 24/7 and wanting to be “successful” at everything in my life. But what does that even mean anyway? Success has to be defined by ME and not the world around me. I’m currently reading the book Present Over Perfect – and it’s so good and the perfect message I need in my life right now.

A good friend texted me Friday night and said “You can’t help anyone else if your tank is empty” – So that is EXACTLY what I’m doing this weekend. Focusing on what matters – sticking to a simple list of my priorities and getting just those done. I’m not going to worry about checking it all off either. I’m taking time to do the things that bring me joy and that are what I choose to make a priority this weekend.

T.O.L. – where did this week go?

sweets. I love em. I randomly bought a bought of Lucky Charms – just because they looked awesome. Are you a cereal fan? What is your favorite kind? I used some to top some vanilla shakeology “nice cream” and I must say it was an amazing idea and I would highly encourage you to do it too. The marshmallows are still my favorite!
Last thursday night a vendor from B’s work was in town and took us out for the annual “christmas party” – just a couple months late – We went to a place that was new to us and a bit more fancy than our typical bar and grill dinners – but it was delish! Who can say no to trying new food, drinking expensive and smooth red wine and top shelf moscow mules. I tried the roasted chicken that was served over rustic frites with a cranberry glaze and candied bacon! Can’t wait to go back to eat on the “tavern” side – the pizza there looked AMAZING!

Me and B headed home to see my family on Sunday – my mom’s 70’s birthday is this coming Friday so we had cake at church and then went to my parents place to have lunch together with all of the family. I can’t get over that there are now FIFTEEN of us! With my nieces’ boyfriends it sure adds up fast and leaves me feeling as old as ever…

My got so many cards from people at church and enjoyed opening every single one! Every year is a blessing.

I kind of rediscovered the wonderfulness of what is my griddler! Have you seen these? I got it a few Christmases ago from my sista – Its a grill, griddle and I even have plates for waffles. You can switch out the plates as you wish and things can be cooked either with it open OR with it shut. I have been using it the most for making my Shakeology waffles, but recently decided to reorient myself with the grill aspect so that I could cook up some chicken that needed to be used! I used the grill plates and preheated it to high – threw the chicken on and closed it and they were absolutely perfectly done in like 7-8 minutes! Then all you have to do is let it cool down and then I take out the plates and put them right in the dishwasher once they are cooled. Easy clean up!
An easy meal! Butter leaf lettuce from Costco and topped with onions, kalamata olives, grilled chicken, daiya cheese, cholulah, a drizzle of bolthouse ranch and a side of spicy nacho doritos for crunch (and balance ha!) – SO GOOD.
I braved the mall last Saturday (on a Saturday..I know right?) and was on a mission to find a couple dressier outfits. My go to store is usually Express – but for some reason I had no luck this time. I must have been feeling extra brave, because I ended up in Forever 21. That store is seriously OVERSTIM. (agreed?) But I was able to find this shirtdress? (is that a word) and paired it with my black Express jeggings and black wedges – I also found a turquoise maxi dress!

Alright YOUR turn!

What are your favorite things this week?
Favorite breakfast cereal as a kid (or now..)
Thoughts on Forever 21? or what is your GO TO store?
Do you have a griddler? What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

Categories
Lifestyle

Three Tips to get you Closer to your Goal

New years resolutions are a hot topic these days…and I have a few tips to help get you going so that you can see it through and make changes in 2018.

Three Tips to get you Closer to your Goal

I’m going to be very transparent: I’m not one to set New Years resolutions… wait.. WHAT? Yup. You heard right. What DO I do then? Pick a few things to focus on each week and work on them. Simple as that! Not overthinking it because thinking about an ENTIRE YEAR overwhelms me!

However you choose to set a goal – here are three tips to help get you closer to reaching it.

1. Write it down. There is something about writing down your focus that causes your brain to TURN ON and get to work making it a reality. There is a hand to paper to brain connection. Seriously there is science behind it…google it.

2. JUST DO ONE THING TODAY that helps you get closer to it. Want to lose some baby weight? Order water instead of soda. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Choose to do a short workout vs laying around all day. It ALL counts and adds up. Taking action is the only way to get it done.

3. Don’t overthink it, but keep it simple…ONE CHOICE at a time. Ask yourself – will this choice get me CLOSER to my goal? Or will it pull me farther away from it? Your choice!

How do you set goals?
Are you into resolutions?
What are you currently working on?

Categories
Lifestyle

Working Out is Not Hard and Hanging out in the Woods?

Shared some thoughts on my fitness page…you can find my page HERE

Had some thinking today during my workout… dude i was sweating my lady balls off (ha!), my heart rate was in the 160s and man was it challenging but it really wasn’t hard. Hear me out.

Working Out is Not Hard and Hanging out in the Woods?

This might be my favorite picture ever. Ok well one of them.

It’s almost BOW HUNTING OPENER Y’ALL! Ok. So I have a bow…but I don’t hunt that much..but B and I went out to the hunting land and practiced shooting our targets. And NON SCALE VICTORY for me was that I think I shot about 50 arrows before my arms gave out. DUDE. It’s hard. My bow is only set to about 35 pounds of pull? (somewhere in there – I know it’s just at legal setting) but still. I did it. 50 times. I remember last year getting tired about 20-30 shots in. So that is proof that my workouts are making me STRONGER!

Then me and B went into the woods and hung out watching for deer. Just a couple does and holy coyotes were calling. Seriously though those things are CREEPY. They were going NUTS! If you follow me on instagram you can hear them going nuts in my insta story!

The peace sign because why not… ha. ok I had to remind myself that I had two rounds down and just had one to go!

If you haven’t already you can read HERE about the workout I have been doing and the changes (for the better) I’m seeing.. not what you think)

Working out is not hard.
Brave statement right? – hear me out.

YES. your heart is most likely pounding out of your chest. You are out of breath. You are sweating. Your legs feel like jello. Your arms are shaking.

It’s challenging. You are tired. but it’s not hard.

Having someone close to you pass away…that shit is hard.
Dealing with heart disease, brain disease, cancer – you or someone else…that is hard.
Having your spouse deploy overseas…that is hard.
Losing a limb in an accident….that is hard.
Dealing with depression and anxiety. That is hard.

But getting out and challenging yourself and moving your body? That is not hard.

so get out there and do it girl. You are stronger than you think.

Wanna work on it with me? Fill out the form here and let’s get working on YOUR BEST YOU.
Strong AF.

Categories
Lifestyle

Girl Talk – hormones, birth control, seed cycling and other girl talk

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I’ve been seeing these topics floating around online – various blogs, articles and podcasts. And after listening to the JJ Virgin podcast this morning I wanted to share and get YOUR thoughts too! A lot of these things are “hush hush” like HELLO don’t TALK about your lady friend right? that’s so personal! – Well hello…I’m a nurse and poop and stuff is usually just lunch talk.. ha! ANYWAY! on to the good stuff.

Girl Talk – hormones, birth control, seed cycling and other girl talk

Your period. Fact of girl life right? But its so different for everyone! It can be irregular, on time and consistent or even sometimes it can go MIA – All depends on US – our hormones. And it turns out that these sucks are soooo heavily influenced by stress, nutrition, lifestyle habits, medications and others stuff. This article did a GREAT job explaining some things – so shout out to the Real Life RD – Read it HERE

She does a great job breaking down the signs and symptoms of low estrogen progesterone, and thyroid dysfunction also.

This morning I was listening to the JJ Virgin Podcast – seriously you guys FOLLOW her if you don’t already (awesome stuff about brain health, gut health, nutrition and everything is super interesting!) – She had a guest speaker on talking about the after effects of being on birth control pills – AND what happens AFTER you go off them and the effects they still have on you. It was amazing to hear what the percentages are of people that are currently on a hormone pills OR have been on one in the past! And most of the reasons that women are on them aren’t for pregnancy prevention but for things like clearing up your skin, regularity with menstrual cycles, side effects of menopause and much more. And sadly many times the pills are MASKING the symptoms and not providing a solution –

You can check out her podcast HERE and be sure to follow the JJ Virgin show on itunes or podcast addict is the app I use.

Seed cycling…Ever heard of it? I hadn’t either until recently! But basically it is adding specific amounts of certain seeds into your nutrition – you follow the plan according to what your cycle SHOULD be – super super interesting and you can read more about it HERE
Did you know there is something going on FREQUENTLY that people in the fitness world are silent about? Amenorrhea.  or the LOSS of your period. This can happen to people who are over stressing their bodies with workouts…not enough nutrition…too much OTHER stress.

Guess what. This HAPPENED to me. When I got more into running during college it went MIA for SIX MONTHS. You guys…this is a problem if it goes on for too long and DOESN’T get attention (no worries I’m all good now) – women are having issues with infertility, bone density loss and OTHER complications that come with amenorrhea.

Alright ladies … YOUR turn!

Have you heard of any of these things?
What did you find the most interesting?
Have you struggled with this in the past or struggle with it now at all?

Categories
Lifestyle

When you aren’t Sure Where to Start, Deep Thoughts and Thinking out Loud

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Hey all. To be honest I have been putting off this post…because I wasn’t sure what to write about. Gut Check. Plead me guilty for worrying about waiting for a “perfect idea” before sitting down to blog. You and I both know that perfection doesn’t exist – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle with it. I’m still a recovering perfectionist. I feel like I’ve had a LOT of thoughts lately…so maybe what I’ll do is break it down by topic so you don’t end up with one big ramble.

When you aren’t Sure Where to Start, Deep Thoughts and Thinking out Loud

On the Home Front
1. Getting the plants in! I’ve always wanted to be a gardener – I think there is something super rewarding about being able to grow your own produce. For some reason though I struggle! Last year I didn’t have much that grew, but I tell myself that every year is a new start and every year I’ll learn more by trying. You might laugh, but for some reason planting scares me. I always feel like I’m going to mess it up! Yes I know it’s just dirt and just plants and it’s not a big deal (like B tells me) but still… He got me TEN strawberry plants for my birthday! We put them behind the house and are hoping to get at least a FEW berries. In my raised bed I planted carrots, peas, onions and lettuce. On the side in planters I have some peppers, tomatoes and herbs. So cross your fingers!
2. Been totally feeling a new house project. I seriously CAN be creative I swear, but I need an idea to get me started! Got any ideas for me anyone? I LOVE pinterest, but talk about TOO MANY ideas…
3. Rabbit Control. Brendan has been on the hunt for rabbits…literally. Those little buggers TRY to eat my plants! We have put some “pest guard” on the plants, but if anyone has any other suggestions I’m all ears. (no pun intended)
Friends and Events
1. Last week some good friends of ours had us and another couple over for a bbq! Matt grilled up his “duck poppers” and we all brought a side to share. I whipped up some buffalo ranch deviled eggs! Have you had them? I definitely liked them better than the regular ones! It was fun to hang out and see their little baby too. Can never go wrong with baby snuggles.
2. Lake season is upon us! We are lucky enough that both Brendan and my family have places to go to the lake. This Friday is Memorial Day weekend and I’m planning to head to my cabin to CLEAN and B is headed to his – I’ll be joining him this weekend eventually and praying for SUNSHINE! We have been lacking that lately around here!
3. Wedding season! Kicked off the season last weekend by going to a wedding reception for a coworker. It was ABSOLUTELY stunning! I think we only have a FEW this summer and to be honest the next wedding I really want to go to is my own…I’ve been to so many!
Fitness and Exercise
1. Last weekend was the Fargo Marathon! Kudos to all the runners! I know how much time, dedication, discipline and hard work it takes to train and just SHOW UP to the starting line. But there is NOTHING like the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. So many people asked me “Why aren’t you running this year?” Well -I haven’t ran any events since 2011 when I ran the full there! Crazy right? This sounds totally dumb, but I’ve never had a great race here in Fargo and it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe next year I’ll see out to change that? Maybe…maybe not. Right now I’m enjoying just doing what I feel like for workouts and enjoying the feeling of not “having” to do a certain type of training.
2. Last week in workouts:
Monday: quick 3 mile run to warm up and then a leg lifting circuit
Wednesday: run 3.2 miles and half of total body chisel
Friday: run 2.52 miles and some Core de Force abs on on demand
Monday: run 5.12 miles – maybe the runners inspired me? I haven’t ran that far in probably six months, but it felt great.
3. I’m still loving a combination of going to the gym and running and lifting and mixing it some workouts from my beachbody on demand. Following the trainers on there has taught me SO MUCH about form and what moves to target certain parts of the body. If you want to learn more about beachbody on demand, I made a video about it giving you a tour HERE
Food
1. In this world of everyone striving to lose weight and eat less I’ve been focusing on eating bigger meals. Being a health coach does not mean that I have it all figured out. So often I’m focused on the habits that have helped me get to a more fit state: food substitution, cutting out junk, etc – that by looking at myself OBJECTIVELY that I don’t often indulge in the real thing. Do I eat ice cream, cocktails and cookies? Absolutely. But most of my meals if not all have been super clean. Is that normally a good thing? YES! Lean proteins, veggies, good fats are the things that I enjoy most! Carbs I struggle with – unless its in the form of sweets. I don’t fear eating “regular” foods for the same reasons most people do – for the fear of “gaining weight” or the fear of “getting fat.” My stomach is SUPER SENSITIVE and I tend to stick to foods that I know won’t upset it. BUT also on the other hand it’s important to get a variety of foods in your diet, I need more carbohydrates to fuel workouts and I don’t want my metabolism to get STUCK on a conservation mode – it needs fuel to generate the energy of my motor. I’ll go into more details of this more in another post if you are more curious how I’ve been doing this and more to my why.
2. Favorites: OBSESSED with Joseph’s Pitas and stuffing them with EVERYTHING that I have in the fridge. Oh. and you should ALWAYS put some chips on your sandwich! (I highly recommend spicy doritos), Fresh blueberries! They are so good right now and you can’t go wrong with them ANY time of day. Oatmeal is having a moment also. Add some eggs to it to help it keep you full for longer. Also don’t forget to add all the peanut butter and chocolate is amazing too.
3. Made this cookie dough balls this weekend. I have made them before but it’s been a “coon’s age” (what does that mean anyway?” ha! Find the recipe HERE
Coach Moments
A client of mine is blowing me away – She has lost 11 lbs since starting her journey to better health. What has she been doing?
1. Daily Shakeology added to her day for nutrition
2. Being ACTIVE by using her recumbant bike most nights while watching TV and exploring the workouts on Beachbody on Demand
3. Cooking meals – NOTHING crazy – just simply making cleaner choices, using portion control and checking it with me with her progress.
Want to join me? Even if your reason is weight gain, increased strength, cross training with your running or gaining energy – would love to help you! Reach out here: marti.hoekstra@gmail.com – your reason does NOT have to be weight loss!

ps. check out my girl Vicki who is in the test group for a new workout coming out? Results after ONE week? OMG.

Personal Development and Deeper Thoughts
Don’t punch me…But have you ever thought about your purpose? Why you are here..what is your calling? What brings you joy and leaves you fulfilled.

This is something I’ve been thinking a LOT about. I think that to an extent your purpose DOES tie into your career, but I do think that there are OTHER ways to live your purpose that does not relate at all. “Finding your purpose” sounds stressful…doesn’t it? It feels like you have to have just one. But here is what I’m figuring out.

Your purpose and thoughts about it are going to change as your live your life.
You don’t have to have just one.
:”You were not just put on this earth to die” – heard this quote on a podcast this morning

So start thinking about what your purpose means to you. and Start LIVING. Don’t keep your life on pause. I’m so guilty of doing the same. Waiting for the perfect time to try something. But I’m sick of living that way….who’s with me?