I am constantly striving to learn more, do more with what I’ve learned and pay attention to whether it’s working or not. So as the calendar flips to a new year, I thought I would share with you a few things I learned or changes I made 2010. I look forward 2011 and changes it may bring. Happy New Year!
1. This year I switched from Whey Protein to Hemp and Rice Protein. Having my roots in bodybuilding I have long been a proponent of whey. Protein shakes are an easy way to get a quick nutritious meal while still controlling your calories and I believed that whey protein was the superior choice. I have re-thought that position and I feel for me personally, I am better
physically, emotionally and spiritually choosing a plant based option. I believe that hemp and rice protein supplements are superior to whey. Try it and let me know what you think.
2. I added short timed exercise challenges such as The Valslide Challenge. I love using my new Gymboss timer for these challenges. I have to keep pushing until I hear the beep. By recording my score I have something to beat the next time. I am competing with myself.
3. I also returned to longer, moderate intensity cardio. While I will continue to recommend intervals for faster fat loss, I see value in longer, moderate (does not mean easy) intensity cardio. There are days when the thought of doing intervals would make me want to skip the gym altogether but doing cardio makes me feel better. It puts me in a good mood and get my creative juices flowing. Hardcore intervals are great for fat loss or when I don’t want to think about anything else but a more moderate pace allows me to work through a problem or get ideas for a blog post. 30-40 minutes on the elliptical or bike does the trick.
4. Focused more on my *one thing*. People often get stuck on the minutiae of fitness when they really just need to move more and eat junk less. Yes, it’s important to have a goal and a plan but don’t fixate on what are the best supplements, should you eat breakfast before or after your workout, are you in your fat burning zone. Just get to work. You can refine as you go. In my *one thing* video, I asked people to tell me what they felt was the one thing they need to either start doing or stop doing that would make the biggest difference in their weight loss or fitness goals. Lots of people responded with very clear answers, which tells me, you know what to do, you just need to do it! When I keep the sugar out of my diet, everything goes better. If I focus just on this, all of my eating improves, my workouts are better, my sleep is better and my mood is better. I am focused on this one thing now.
5. I added many new vegetable recipes to my meal plans. Green smoothies are still one of my favorites, but so are sautéed kale, roasted broccoli or butternut squash, and any kind of grilled vegetable. For more inspiration, my friend Jason Ferruggia put together this awesome plant based recipe guide.
6. After a year of Action Hero Babe, I Want My Bikini Body or time in the lab creating new workouts or exercises, I have returned to my signature Red Carpet Ready® workouts – kicked up a notch! These feel the best and deliver the results that I’m looking for now – long, lean, sexy muscles – without bulk. I may revisit Action Hero Babe later this year, but for now, I am happy with my program.
7. I have embraced Facebook. I came late to this party but I really love the community and being able to stay connected to my friends and colleagues. Just last week I had over 200 birthday wishes! As a Christimas time baby, I am use to everyone being out of town on my birthday and it slipping by unnoticed. This year I felt the love and well wishes from so many. Facebook also gives me an opportunity to keep up with some of my favorite fitness professionals and Red Carpet Ready girls that I don’t get see or speak to often enough. I love that the world feels just a little smaller.
8. I realized I can’t be everywhere. I want to devote more time to my blog, Facebook and the girls in my Red Carpet Ready® Club, so I have pulled back on Twitter and endless checking of e-mails. I will still pop into Twitter from time to time but not as much as I use to. Fortunately, I have help with the emails so I can just respond to the ones the absolutely need me while still making sure that people feel taken care of.
9. This year I switched to Chia Seeds for supplemental fiber. As a member of the National Fiber Council for 4 years, and personal trainer and food coach for nearly 20, I am fully aware of the importance and the difficulty in getting enough fiber, especially when you also want to reduce your starchy carbs, like bread, rice and cereal. Adding Chia seeds (which are also loaded with Omega 3′s) to your morning smoothie or green drink is a great way to boost your daily fiber. You can also sprinkle them on your oatmeal, yogurt or salads. Try them for 30 days and you’ll be hooked!
10. I foam roll more. Okay Michael Boyle, I’m finally listening. I’ve been using the foam roller on and off for years, but I am much more consistent with it now. I still prefer to stretch or go to yoga, but I’m willing to concede that what I prefer to is is not always what’s best to do.
I love hearing from you, so please share something you learned or a change you made this year that really made a difference. We can all learn from each other. This is one of the wonderful things about this community!