Friday, June 17, 2016

Client Inquiries

Happy Friday everyone!

Just wanted to do a quick update but I finally have my new email up and running to take on new clients! I also set up my inquiry forms so if you'd be interested in working together, shoot me an email, I'll send ya the form to fill out and we can take it from there :)

To give you an idea of what's coming here are the services I plan to provide:
custom training plans (week-by-week coaching): $20/week
custom macro plans (week-by-week coaching): $10/week
both training & macros: $25/week

For those not interested in direct coaching, I will also be doing one-time calculations of macros for $20 (any further tweaks/changes will be $10 each), and one-time custom training plans but that price range will be determined based on the number of weeks and workouts, etc.

So if you're interested in any of the above, my new email address is

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Recap Post: injury update, lots of ice cream, and my NASM exam

Alright y'all so I feel like lately I have been keeping tons of stuff on the down low, and not giving a lot of details into my life. Even though I share a lot on here and enjoy connecting with you guys, I do have a right to my privacy and like to keep certain aspects of my life quiet but I have some exciting news to share with you guys: I passed my personal training exam with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) on Friday! I could not be more equal parts thrilled and relieved because I have been working so hard on this! 

Not entirely sure why I wanted to keep this a secret but it was something I was working on myself, and I didn't feel like sharing much about it. It was stressful enough figuring stuff out in my life that I didn't really want to broadcast all about it on my blog. It was something I was figuring out with God so I had my reasons to keep it private. I still don't have a clear picture of what the future holds so I'm not going to go into much detail but there are going to be TONS of changes coming hopefully very soon! Once I get everything set up and going as I like, I do plan on taking on some online clients. I will say that what you can expect are custom-made plans and one-on-one coaching because really and truly, I'm not much about cookie-cutter programs. Not saying that there is anything wrong with those but I thoroughly enjoy creating custom plans and tailoring to each individual. Plus, I never do the same workout because it keeps things interesting and my muscles guessing! So once I get that up and going, I will let you guys know when/how you can make inquiries if you wish :) 

Spoiler alert: this blog will not be the place! I do plan on getting another website up and running as well as another email to keep everything organized. Stay tuned for details! 

So back to the recap: let's take it back to Tuesday of last week. I've been able to do some light running and swimming without aggravating my injury so on Tuesday morning Layla went for our typical run together, and got some easy miles in before I had to head off to work. I was able to go to physical therapy this past Saturday and Monday and it's great to be getting some answers finally! The other good news is that my physical therapist doesn't think it should take too long before I'm better so yayyyy!

For those of you curious, basically what happened is my SI joint got stuck/out of alignment and wreaked havoc on the muscles in my right hip. My piriformis (towards the back of your hip near your gluteus maximus) in particular got irritated and inflamed so it was affecting my sciatic nerve. Hence, why it appeared as though my main symptom was sciatica and my doctor kept examining my back because it seemed like a spinal injury at first. It wasn't until I went back for the second time to my chiropractor that it became clear it was not in fact a spinal injury but a hip problem. It was a frustrating month or so because everything we were doing wasn't helping it but that's because SI joint problems are actually very tricky to diagnose correctly as they often mimic other things (as I have learned haha!).

BUT when I went to physical therapy it was good that the joint has stayed in alignment so that finally got solved and now our main goal is to just sort out the muscles. There are a lot of imbalances around the joint right now that are causing chain reactions around my hip by throwing the force-couple relationships out of whack (one muscle is tighter than it should be and forcing compensations on its antagonist counterpart) and decreasing the neural drive to some of my muscles (creating weakness). One thing that has been throwing my hip off is my right psoa (part of your hip flexor complex) is too tight from my joint malfunctioning so it's decreasing the neural drive to my right gluteus maximus and causing the glute to be too weak. Your hip flexors and glutes are antagonistic to each other which means they perform the opposite job of each other, and if one gets too tight then it will inhibit the ability of the other muscle to work properly. It's important to get my hip sorted out because if I don't increase my glute strength then I'm at risk for a hamstring strain as it will then try to take over for the glute being too weak (your hamstrings are synergistic to your glutes which means they assist them).

Can you tell I'm applying my PT knowledge ;)

She did not like our post-run selfie shoot haha! But if I try to film a video that I don't want her in go figure she photobombs it..

Wednesday morning, Amanda and I headed over to the gym to get a swim session in. We belong to a YMCA in the area but we also found that another one has a pool so we've been going to that one to swim. It's farther but it's nice that we have the option to switch back and forth between them so on days that I want to swim I'll go to the farther one. 

I forgot what a killer workout swimming can be! Amanda and I grew up doing the swim team at our family's country club but I haven't swum competitively since I was about 16 years old, and after swimming this past week it's no wonder I was in such good shape growing up haha! 

I studied like crazy all day Wednesday and Thursday, and basically didn't want anyone to talk to me ha. Layla was my little study buddy slash therapy dog. 

I also plan on doing a whole post about the exam, tips for studying for the exam, and my experience with it all. Just to give a taste here were all my materials for the course. My studyguide alone was 40 pages ha! Not to mention the flashcards stacked over 3 inches high and all my summaries/outlines of the 20 chapters in the textbook and my handmade charts and stuff. NASM has a reputation for being a well-respected certification but it also has a reputation for being a tough one with lots and lots of information to study. Honestly, it's overwhelming at first just how much information you are given and expected to know but I'm not complaining because I have learned so much! 

And with all this information to know this basically described me last week:

(hopefully those of you have watched Princess Diaries can relate!)

But really you know the stress is real when you lose your appetite for all food, including peanut butter. By Wednesday afternoon, I was turning down most foods and hardly eating that much. I'm the type of person that when I get stressed, I don't want to eat at all. Not saying it's a good thing or something to go along with but honestly when it happens I don't bother forcing myself to eat when I don't want to. 

Friday morning was the day of my test so I arrived super early beforehand to get some studying in. My test wasn't until 10am but I got to Panera around 7:30am because a) I had horrible stress scenarios that somehow there would be inexplicable amounts of traffic for hours so that I would miss my test (I know, I'm ridiculous) and b) I emotionally could not handle just sitting around in my house waiting for the time to leave. 

So I got to Panera, ordered some breakfast, tried to eat but basically got through a few bites and knew it was no good to try forcing it down. 

But by 11:15 I had finished my exam and got the results that I passed! I honestly thought I was going to pass out waiting for the guy to tell me my results because I was so anxious and it seemed to be taking him forever. I also kept re-reading the paper and checked my results online because I kept getting more stress scenarios that maybe there had been an error with the computer and that I actually had not passed (again, I'm ridiculous. I'm fully aware of it.). 

For dinner that night my dad took me and Amanda to one of our favorite places: ribs! We were planning on doing dinner anyway on Friday but it worked out perfectly as a little celebration. Everyone kept asking me how it felt to have passed and truth be told, I was just exhausted. I had been studying non-stop for 2 weeks, hardly eating for about half of that, and even though I was getting lots of sleep it never seemed to be enough. Again, I don't mean this to sound like a complaint but it was just the reality of working hard for something. It's not all glamour but sometimes you have to struggle through things. By Friday night I was just so burnt out and I wasn't feeling much of anything but I knew the happiness and giddiness of achieving my goal would settle in eventually. 

After dinner, I headed to get ice cream with Amanda, our mom, and some family friends. I got a hot fudge sundae with cookies 'n cream as the base instead of vanilla (read: asking them if they could do that is the best idea I might have ever had). I managed to eat about 2/3 of it but then lost my appetite again. WHAT IS GOING ON IN MY LIFE?! 

Don't worry I got it back. For the most part. It took a couple days because let's be honest those cortisol levels were still sky high but I'm back to normal now. 

Saturday was my mom's birthday so we took her out for lunch and a movie, and of course had more ice cream to celebrate! I legit had ice cream four nights in a row but quite frankly I don't give a hoot haha! I even weighed myself on Monday morning out of curiosity to see how my body has been handling this latest reverse with minimal workouts and my weight was the same. So moral of the story: ice cream is fabulous and if you want to eat it then eat it. Our bodies are smart and can handle minor fluctuations in the amounts of food. 

Then on Sunday we spent the day at my dad's house just enjoying the nice weather and spending time with him. It was great to be stress-free and not have to worry about studying or what I had to do next. That night we watched the game and HEYO THE PENS WON THE STANLEY CUP!!! The celebration parade in Pittsburgh is today and I can't wait to watch it!!

So, that abruptly ends my random recap for the week, and I will definitely be working on all the new changes now that I have a lot more free time. As always you guys are wonderful and I am so thankful to have amazing readers that are ever so patient with me :) 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Donuts

Happy belated National Donut Day! 

I didn't get a chance to celebrate yesterday so I whipped up some donuts at home for me and Amanda to enjoy. I made sure to make them gluten-free for her but unfortunately lately I've found that I've had to reduce my gluten intake by a lot. Dairy, too, and some other foods as well. I can have gluten every so often but I found out Thursday night the hard way that cantaloupe is no longer my friend haha! I had the worst stomach ache all day Friday from it so I was nawwwt about to chance a run-in with gluten by having a donut, even if that donut was free because of the day. 

Heartbreaking but I like to think these kind of decisions are preparing me for adulthood. 

Anyway, I baked some earlier this afternoon and they turned out delicious! Obviously, nothing like a real donut but they were still tasty. Especially for being gluten-free because me and Amanda have learned that gluten-free baking and recipes can be a very drastic hit or miss. 

I found this recipe from Gluten-Free Palate while over on Pinterest while I was looking for some ideas. I wasn't planning on tweaking any recipes but I couldn't really find many that were macro-friendly. So I used the base from this recipe and swapped in a few things, basically just halving the fat content and some of the carbs. As always I love IIFYM but that doesn't mean my macros are unlimited! 

For the donuts: 
2 cups GF flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
4 packets stevia
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (any light oil, probably not coconut)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp butter extract 

For the glaze: 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
dash of vanilla extract 

This recipe will make 12 donuts so I halved it since I was just making them for myself, my sister, and mom. It was the perfect amount as it let us each have one today and then we have another left over for tomorrow! 

To make the donuts:

1. Preheat the oven to 425

2. Mix all the dry ingredients

3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients

4. Add the wet to the dry and mix until incorporated

5. Place in a greased donut pan

6. Bake for about 7-9 minutes until the donuts are set and the dough is springy 

Little tip: this is one of my magical ingredients to make any cake batter recipe taste, well, more like cake batter! You don't need much as a little goes a long way. 

7. To make the glaze just whisk the powdered sugar, almond milk, and vanilla together until it's smooth without any lumps. 

8. Once the donuts are done, let them cool on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes. 

9. Dip each donut into the glaze once and then do a second round after you've dipped each in once. Then, dip in the sprinkles of your choice! Of course, sprinkles are optional as is the glaze but neither are ever optional in my case haha. 

 And here are the macros for one donut! Enjoy and let me know if you try out the recipe what you think. I always welcome feedback :) 

Now I'm off to get back to studying for the night. My weekends the past several weeks have been extremely low key and boring because I've had tons of studying and work to do! Hopefully I'll have some updates for you guys in the coming week ;) 

P.s. my sheets are in the wash just so you don't think I'm a weirdo that doesn't sleep without sheets on their bed haha! One of the give and takes of sharing your bed with a mini polar bear every night is having to do your sheets every week but hey she's cute. Also, I'm pretty sure that Layla passing out on most of my notes is her new passive aggressive tactic to get me to pay more attention to her (like she doesn't already get enough) and/or get me to take her for a walk. 

Hope you're all having a good weekend!