2pm Skinny Iced Coffee

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I’ll admit – I have a problem.

I really like coffee. If I don’t drink coffee in the morning I hate the world and then get a splitting headache. So yes, I am addicted but I don’t plan on dropping coffee anytime soon! I have gotten off the coffee train a couple times before which is actually not that hard, but seeing as my kids wake me up at ungodly hours in the morning with ungodly amounts of energy – trust me – I NEED that coffee. Every now and then, around 2 pm I feel like I really need an extra dose of caffeine to keep on an even playing field with my 3 and 4 year old heathens. Being on a tight budget sparked this recipe, which I found to be surprisingly just as good as the iced coffee at starbucks! (what does that say about starbucks??) This is no Pioneer Woman’s made from scratch iced coffee, laden with simple sugar and cream. This lighter, more health conscious version may not be as rich, but it satisfies that mid-day coffee craving with less than 100 calories and no saturated fat…plus it is perfect for summer!

Also, this recipe uses leftover coffee. Sound gross? Make a whole new pot of coffee – or single Keurig serving, but what you need is coffee that ISN’T hot. I almost always make too much coffee in the morning and leave extra in the pot. When I made this recipe I thought, what if I use that coffee?? Well guess what – it was SO good. If you have no qualms about drinking coffee from the morning and want to save a bit of extra money this is for you! You could also take your extra coffee from the morning and put it in the fridge for this later! Give it a try!!

Directions

  • Fill one highball glass halfway with ice
  • Pour halfway with room temperature/chilled coffee
  • Add 1 TBS of nonfat natural creamer (you can use whatever creamer your would like!)
  • Fill to the top with unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Stir. – Add a dash of cinnamon.

 

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Progress Timeline in Photos

For some reason most of my photos have had an error. Hopefully I can get them back up!

My mom asked me why I hadn’t tracked my progress in photos. That was a good question! I’ve always been a bit modest and I greatly value humility. It makes me uncomfortable to post photos of myself anywhere and idk – I just do not want to come across as self absorbed. Really, the reason I have this blog is two reasons – 1. I care about people and I enjoy sharing what I have learned, including tasty recipes. 2. I really enjoy writing. It is a stress reliever for me. So the reason I have included this progress timeline in photos is to show the changes I have gone through personally, not to glorify myself, but to hopefully inspire others and show that you can lose weight and get healthy and strong, gradually, for life! (And I will continue to post new photos on here) I truly care about YOU and your health goals. Feel free to comment below for any questions you may have or if you would just like to share any advice for anyone else. There is a possibility that I may start a forum to personally answer questions and allow for more communal dialog. Thank you for checking out my blog!

Me about 1 month after having Danny : January 2010

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5 months postpartum : May 2010

Started 1 mile runs. I can remember how difficult one mile felt. It was very frustrating!

6 months postpartum: first attempt at climbing again. I felt SO out of shape. For the first time, I went climbing and felt like I didn’t belong. For me that was a turn around point. I decided I would get in shape so that I could enjoy climbing again!

me

About 3 months later: September 2010 I had joined my local gym and was going regularly every monday and wednesday plus a run or climbing day on the weekends. So working out 3 days a week tops. I took pilates once a week, did my own weight training and a weekly run.

I lost about 10 pounds! I felt great!! (You do not have to work out ALL the time to lose weight. Train efficiently!)

progress 5

I stayed at this weight – about 112-115 for a LONG time. About a year. 2012

Climbing regularly in New York. Started going on outdoor trips with Alex. Climbed “High Exposure” at the Gunks and about shit my pants! This photo is from the Adirondacks.

progress 4

September 2013 – Moved to Washington State and climbing in Leavenworth. I still felt weak. Another turning point. What do I need to do to go from Average to Athlete?? I really wanted to know and this, and I think is what many people want to know because it seems like such a mystery. The truth is – it seems like a mystery because it takes some tough changes and is not easy and most will try anything including fad diets and pills to avoid the work it takes!

progress 3

January 2013 – Got my Body Composition done at the YMCA and GOT REAL.  This is what I tell people should always be your first step. The numbers will serve as a wake up call and you can easily track your progress. I found out that although I felt in shape I had a lot of room for improvment. I was NOT in an athletic category (can you believe that? true!)  I needed to lose body fat and gain more muscle mass. I did a ton of research, came up with my own plan of action (p90x, Michi’s Ladder – Check out My Meal Plan) and about 5 weeks later and 5 pounds lighter looked like THIS:

Before and After

This is me at 107-109 pounds and 18% body fat – Down from 24% 5 weeks before. (Sorry the before picture is not from 5 wks before which may be misleading!)

And one year later –

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Sorry about my creepy smile!! lol Increased Muscle Mass but BFP has remained the same. A couple months ago it went up but I got that in check!

I have now reached all of my fitness goals and am now making new ones! Always make new short term goals! I can now lead 5.10s in the gym and run a 25 minute 5K. My new goal is to start triathlons again! I’m signed up for a sprint tri in September!!

I know most people want to see fast transformations such “I lost 40 pounds in 1 month!!” but what about that person 1 year later – 2 years later – 5 years later?? I can not stress enough slow weight loss and adapting a healthier diet and activities for LIFE. Think about it this way… If you were to take all the money you make in a month and put it in savings how much would you have? In five years how much of that money would you still have? Now what if you saved 2 dollars a day for 20 years? You will have almost 15,000$. This is how you should think about getting in shape. It’s not about being really “good” for a month. Because you will only enjoy your work for a short time. Rather, make small changes that you can keep up forever and exponentially enjoy the rewards. And that IS what 90/10 Nutrition is all about and why I love it. Click HERE for more info!

– Kristi Nicole

(Check below for new updates!)

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7/2014

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9/01/2014

Well, now I know that you CAN get a flat stomach after having kids but it doesn’t come fast and easy for most people. This has taken me 3 years!! DONT GIVE UP!

September Update: I’ve been replacing one meal per day since August with Shakeology and have been doing 90/10 as well! I gained a little weight in June and July so I wanted to get back to where I was and this was just what I needed! I’m noticing increased muscle mass and a slightly lower BFP but not by much. Yet, my extreme carb cravings have subsided! I now weigh 107pounds.  

More info on 90/10 Nutrition {HERE}

My current weekly workouts (I’m putting an asterisk** next to workouts that I teach because those are not about me  getting a great workout, the focus is on my clients.)

  • Monday – 1hr (moderate running/climbing)
  • Tuesday – 30 min Muscle Tone + 1 hr bike
  • Wednesday – PiYO 1 hr
  • Thursday – 45 min Core*
  • Weekend – One climb day + One 3-6 mile run
  • That is it! Honest and upfront!

NEW ADDITION!

One thing people are surprise to hear is that I am in better shape that I ever was! My body is not prone to being thin. I have to WORK for this body! Here I am when I was 19 doing my first triathlon!

Me Progress 1

Getting in shape is tough!!!

Perfect Fish EVERYTIME!

Grilled-Halibut-With-Lemons-Capers

Photo – http://queenbeecoupons.com/grilled-halibut-with-lemon-and-capers-recipe/

Recipe is MINE

 

I am THE pickiest fish eater. Alex thinks I hate fish – but this is just not true. Have you ever listened to Jim Gaffigan’s jokes about fish? Yes that is me. If the fish smells bad (fishy) I won’t eat it – and yes I am absolutely amazed by people that do. If it has to be drenched in butter or other things to be edible – I still won’t eat it.

So, knowing this, that fact that I have a fish recipe is a BIG deal. And, even more, you can trust that this recipe is trusted and delicious.

What’s the trick? Foil.

Foil packets are great for cooking over a campfire, grill or baked in oven. So, yes – it’s not only delicious but versatile!!

Feel free to play around with this recipe!

 

Ingredients

White flaky fish such as – halibut or tilapia

Salt/pepper

Lemons – sliced into thin circles

olive oil drizzle

1 TBS capers

1 TBS minced garlic

 

DIRECTIONS 

Rinse fish filets and dry with paper towels.

Lay fish filets on a sheet of foil.

Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place lemon circles over fish. cover with garlic and capers and drizzle olive oil over top.

Cover with another piece of foil and crimp all the edges.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes OR Grill until done!

(This is also good with kalamata olives added!)

ENJOY!!

 

 

 

 

Anatomy: What IS Your CORE ?? and how to work it….

Show me where your core is…

If you just pointed to your belly button you need some edjucaytin!  (Yes, that is Kentuckiun for education.)

Your core wraps around your entire midsection. Think about a tree with a strong outer shell but a soft inside. IF that outer shell was gone what would happen? The tree would slump over. And that is one of the signs of a strong core – good posture. Having a strong core will not only look good, but it will feel good by lowering back pain and improving your breathing!

(https://bodybalance4you.wordpress.com/category/fitness/page/6/)

What are these muscles and why does it matter?

The more you understand about your core the more effectively you will be able to work it. You will understand how to get a complete core workout and understand why/what you are currently doing is not working – or even understand why you’ve hit a plateau in your current fitness classes!

Gluteus Maximus/Minimus – The strongest and biggest muscle of the body. The gluteus maximus also provides lower back stability through its connection with the erector spinae and thoraco-lumbar fascia. 

Obliques: These muscles rotate your torso and work with the transversus abdominis to support your center during movement.

Rectus Abdominis: This muscle is the fitness aesthetic: The contours of the contracted rectus abdominis form the almighty “six-pack.” While it helps stabilize your core, its main function is to flex or curl the trunk. Also aids in breathing.

Transversus Abdominis: This deepest of the abdominal muscles wraps laterally around your center, acting like an internal weight belt.

Psoas Major/Iliacus: Better known as the hip flexors, these muscles lift the thigh toward the abdomen and limit excess motion of the hip joint.

Erector Spinae: This collection of three muscles (not shown) straightens the back and, along with the multifidus, a short muscle, supports the spine. Strengthening this will GREATLY improve posture.

You can create your own amazing workout by doing Interval Sets of 30seconds for exercises that target these muscles – no gym or equipment needed.

I searched for a good video but didn’t find one that I felt worked the entire core effectively AND safely. I’m tempted to make my own video!!

If you are interested in creating your own HIIT workout CLICK HERE! 

 

The TRUTH about how to get lean abs for summer

male and female abs

Are you committed to the WORK needed to lose belly fat?

“Reducing belly fat takes a combination approach of a low-calorie diet that is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and sugar along with cardiovascular and weight training,” Dr. Kashyap says. “If you are willing to do the work, you can move past genetics and lose it.” (Health)

Many people might be tempted to stop reading now because if you are like most people, you avoid extra work or discomfort of any kind. Hey sounds nice right? Although many diet fads, pills and ads will try to tell you that you can get “easy” shredded abs – this is just a lie to get your money and/or attention. (I can already tell this post is going to be a real popular one. lol ::sarcasm::)

As I have mentioned in previous posts – carbs are NOT bad. But the western diet is hinged around eating way too many grains/breads which is natural when we were brought up being taught the food pyramid.

Remember this? –

This has now been phased out and replaced with “My Plate” (to put vegetables before carbs!)

That’s right.  6-8 servings of carbs a day! Does a normal day to you sound like this?

Breakfast – Cereal/Bagel/Oatmeal

Lunch – Sandwich/Chips/Cookies

Dinner – Meat/Veggie/Rice or Pasta

If this is you, you are on a typical American diet – yet you want the body of someone that eats completely different. But how to eat? Should I count calories? What IS a calorie? Do I go on a Raw Food Diet? (NO) Do I go gluten free? (NO) Do I stop eating desserts for two weeks? (NO) The problem is there are SO many questions that no one really knows where to start. So lets make this SIMPLE. I like simple. :)

Shredded Abs takes 2 things –

  1. A body fat percentage low enough to see them
  2. Adequate muscle for definition

So lets bust MYTH #1 – “You can “Blast” or “Target” belly fat by doing all core exercises or by eating certain foods. ” Wrong. When you start to see those abs for the first time it’s because you lost weight all over. 

So how lower my body fat % and what should be my goal?

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart 1

If you want to have LEAN abs you need to be in that “Athletes” category. The “fitness” category is very healthy as well, but we are talking rock hard abs here. Mike Matthews states that “In the end, completely getting rid of belly fat requires that you get very lean–6-7% for guys, and 16-17% for girls. There’s just no way around this fact.” – Muscle For Life

You will also need to change the way you eat. As the quote above mentions and COUNTLESS fitness professional try to beat into our heads (Michael Matthews, Tony Horton…etc) that if you want to look different you are going to have to eat smaller meals with more protein and less processed flour foods. You are going to have to change the way you eat FOR LIFE. It’s not a fad diet. This is what your food pyramid should look more like:

Yep that’s veggies at the bottom. (A glass of wine needs to be at the top lol)

You need a HIGH FIBER – LOW CARB diet to get lean.

Now there is a very important piece of information that I haven’t mentioned yet. One that confuses people all time and that is the use of the word – carbs. Most people have no clue what the true definition of a carbohydrate is. You might think bread or pasta… Carbohydrates are not a food group.  “The roles of carbohydrates in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as energy.” (ISU) Carbohydrates are present in MANY foods – dairy, grains, fruit, and even vegetables! So truly trying to limit your carb intake is not only difficult but unhealthy. What I am focusing on here is “processed carbohydrates”.Some call these “bad carbs”. That to me sounds too vague…and stupid. Mainly, if you have to use processed flour to make it, limit that to 1 SMALL serving a day. Think of all the foods that include processed flour. These need to ALL be on your radar for limited consumption. I personally, try to avoid these foods altogether if possible. 

  • Leavened Breads
  • Cereals
  • Baked Goods – Pastries, Brownies, Cookies
  • Pizza Dough
  • Rice

Here’s another EASY way to remember this everyday.

  • You get 1 serving of grain/breads (such as potatoes, tortillas, rice) per day. Once this is up, that’s all you get!
  • Also, you are going to build muscle so you need protein and veggie at every meal.

**IF you are overweight 1 serving of carbs/grains a day might be the ONLY guideline you need to reach a healthy weight!**

Why might you ask? Processed starches such as in the list above are VERY calorie dense. Only one serving  per day is going to force you to eat healthier AND reduce your calorie intake by eating more fiber rich foods.

Now, you are probably thinking – if carbs aren’t BAD for me why am I being restricted?

Because most of us overeat when we are eating these carbohydrate rich foods, and this includes beer. Here’s an interesting fact –

Many people (including ME) have signs of insulin resistance. The signs of this are -” bloat, gassiness, mental fogginess and inability to focus, sleepiness, and hunger soon after eating carbs.” Signs of a positive insulin response are  “pumped muscles that feel “full,” mental alertness, stable energy levels (no crash), and satiety”. And I’m not talking feeling full after downing a foot long sub – I’m talking healthy portions. (Mike Matthews)

If you have signs of insulin resistance, restricting your carbs is going to be a godsend. You will not have the same desire to overeat and after a few days you will stop craving all those foods that trigger overeating. For me, it is IMPOSSIBLE to lose any weight while being allowed carbs at every meal. Even if you eat “healthy” cookies – eating too many is still going to make you gain weight – or at least prevent you from losing any!

So basically, test things out and find what works best for you. If you think you might be a person with a positive insulin response, a higher carb – low fat diet will be better for you. You should focus more on consuming VERY low amounts of fat (try VB6 by Mark Bittman) – which I personally think is a harder thing to keep up for life. But for everyone – vegetables should be the foundation of every meal!!

 

STEP 1 – Get a Body Comp Done at your local gym and figure out your body fat percentage.

STEP 2 – Start losing weight GRADUALLY (about 1 pound per week) WHILE gaining muscle by:

  • Printing out my FREE chart to make it easy to calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and come up with your daily calorie allowance.
  • Coming up with a workout schedule including cardio AND weight training. Try HIIT workouts for 30 minute workouts you can do ANYWHERE! – Come up with your own HERE
  • Figure out what you are going to eat. Check out my Meal Plan HERE . Planning ahead will keep make it easy!!

STEP 3 – WORK YOUR ENTIRE CORE!

– What is your core? If you just pointed to your belly button you need some education! :) Your core wraps around your entire midsection. Think about a tree with a strong outer shell but a soft inside. IF that outer shell was gone what would happen? The tree would slump over. And that is one of the signs of a strong core – good posture. Having a strong core will not only look good, but it will feel good!

Want to know what muscles consist of your core and how to strengthen those to achieve a ripped physique? – CLICK HERE

AND because people do not seem to listen to someone who doesn’t practice what they preach….

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Yes – under my typical modest clothing I DO have abs. lol This is me at about 18-19% body fat.

Sources

Health Magazine. “11Reasons Why You are not Losing Belly Fat”. <http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20807507_12,00.html>

Michael Matthews. “Muscle For Life” <http://www.muscleforlife.com/&gt;

Iowa State University. “The Role of Carbohydrates.” Human Sciences. <http://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/content/carbohydrate&gt;

Florentine Egg-White Scramble

scrambled egg whites and vegetables

(My own photo coming soon!!)

I made this recipe the other day from what I had lying around in the fridge. This seems to be happening to me a lot lately and I get so excited about it! I’m finally reaching a point with cooking where I don’t need recipes anymore – all I need is a couple ingredients and a little creativity! Not saying I don’t follow recipes though, I still love searching for new recipes to try!

Anyway, this is a great breakfast that is inspired by the P90X nutrition plan. This doesn’t have to be just egg whites, but if you are trying to go through a cutting phase (reducing body fat percentage) this is perfect for that!

Now, I have to say THANK YOU Giada DeLaurentiis for showing me how to cook cherry tomatoes in a way that makes them taste AMAZING! Most people do not know this little trick, but once you do you will learn how to tap into their natural sugars and complex flavor.

Ingredients

Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray

Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 clove of fresh garlic, minced

1 large handful of spinach (it cooks WAY down!)

2 -3 egg whites

salt, pepper

feta cheese

Directions 

In a separate bowl whisk egg whites a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a little milk if desired.

Get the pan warmed up on medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the tomato halves FACE DOWN. Allow them to cook until they soften up. Once soft enough, take a fork and press down on each one. This will release the tomato juice and create a light sauce. Add the minced garlic and cook (make sure the heat is low enough or you will burn the garlic!) for a minute or two until it becomes aromatic. Add the spinach and cover for 1 minute. Pour egg whites over top and stir continuously until incorporated and fully cooked.

Serve it up hot and topped with a little feta cheese! Enjoy!

REACTION: SHAPE Magazine turns down woman’s ‘real’ weight-loss pic

If you haven’t seen this article yet you should.

(http://www.today.com/health/womans-real-post-weight-loss-bikini-pic-goes-viral-2D79630476)

Recently, a woman who submitted her “real” photo of her amazing 170 pound weightloss submitted this photo that has now gone viral.

Her personal story even said that Shape Magazine told her – “to cover up.” (http://brookenotonadiet.com/)  The fact that Shape is now trying to revoke their dismissal of this woman’s story is typical of publications that know they have done something to upset the public -the people that give them money.  Why do I not believe Shape’s excuse that, “This is a result of a misunderstanding”? – Because my mother was a long time subscriber to Shape growing up and in college, when I got my own subscription, I started throwing it in the trash week after week. Why? Because of the exact same reason that this woman ran into when she wanted her REAL story represented. Shape magazine does a very poor job showcasing real women of all types of bodies as well as the REAL exercise and nutritional dedication that makes these bodies. Every month I would get a magazine full of articles with boring workouts featuring picture perfect models doing them that read “Do this tri dip on a chair at home and you will look like me!!” No. Try growing 10 inches and not eating for week. Not to mention, the magazine was FULL of unhealthy weight loss pill advertisements. I’m sorry but that is disgusting, to even attempt to talk about a positive body image while flailing half naked super models and diet pills in your face. (Also, looking through their website….where is the ethnic diversity??)

The Top 10 Workout Songs to Motivate You All Month

– SHAPE Magazine

“Hey look at me! I’m perfect!”

I might sound like a hater but society’s ideals of perfection is part of a collective conscious which is formed from subliminal messaging we are exposed to from birth. We associate what is beautiful from the princesses in Disney movies to the women we see on TV that are deemed “attractive”.

Luckily, some companies are trying to promote more ethnically diverse as well as physically diverse positive body images. Such as DOVE, PRANA and titlenine.

Shop this LookShop Swim >

The Dove<sup>®</sup> Campaign for Real Beauty

DOVE Campaign for REAL Beauty

According to Dove’s 2011 study “The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited.” Only 4% of women around the WORLD view themselves as beautiful and 72% of 10-17 year old girls felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. 

Although some people are born with the physical traits that match society’s perception of beauty, the truth is, people come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. I hope that more magazines and television medias will do more to show that attractiveness isn’t one size fits all.

I also think we should be proud of the bodies we have and not let the desire for perfection consume us – which is not easy at times. The woman featured at the top is a fighter, and we should all stop being so hard on ourselves and be proud of what we were blessed with – imperfections and all!!

To wrap up, THANK YOU Brooke – for inspiring so MANY by your inner strength and fierceness. I am totally inspired by you as well! So here is a photo of one of my imperfections – my stretch marks from having 2 kids! I’m going to rock these stretch marks this summer – and I challenge you too, to stop focusing on little imperfections – if we do we will never be able to alter what society thinks is beautiful.