2022 blog

How to Take Your Measurements for Weight Loss and Strength Training Programs

tfc Guide on What to Measure, When to Measure, and How to Measure and Get the Best Before & After Photos

Do you ever feel like your scale must be lying to you? You have been working so hard at your new exercise routine and were excited at the progress you were seeing at first, but now the scale has suddenly stopped decreasing – or even begun to increase again!

Don’t worry! We’re not calling the bathroom scale a liar, but it definitely is not the smartest or best tool for tracking your progress when it comes to fat loss and muscle gains. The standard bathroom or kitchen scale is built only to read your overall weight and wouldn’t be able to tell you apart from a sack of potatoes or a bucket of water. This does not allow you to see how much of your weight is made up from fat stores, muscle stores, or water stores within the body and could paint an inaccurate picture of your health based solely on the overall weight.

The best way to combat this is by relying on other types of anthropomorphic – or body-based – measurements to analyze your health. One way to do so is to participate in a body composition assessment; a test that uses technologies such as bioelectrical currents, X-ray technology, water displacement, or other methods to determine how much of your overall weight is comprised of fat tissue, muscle tissue, organs and cells, bones, and skin. However, many of these types of assessment machines can be difficult to obtain due to their price, technology requirements, or status as certified medical devices.

Outside of having a body composition assessment performed, there is another fast, easy, and realistically cheap option for manually assessing your overall body status without relying on your weight at all; using girth measurements of specific body-landmarks. A girth measurement is simply the circumference of specific locations on your body and its limbs. Below is a list of the best landmarks to measure to track progress in both fat-loss and muscle-building exercise programs, along with the best ways and times to measure!

what to measure & why

measure…good for…
weighttracking overall progress
neckgood if goal is to lose over 25lbs fat or make bulk-muscle gains
chestgood if goal is to lose fat
waistgood if goal is to lose fat
hipsgood if goal is to lose fat or make bulk muscle-gains
thighsgood if goal is to lose fat or make bulk muscle-gains
calvesgood if goal is to lose over 25lbs fat or make bulk-muscle gains
bicepsgood if goal is to lose over 25lbs fat or make bulk-muscle gains
forearmsgood if goal is to lose over 25lbs fat or make bulk-muscle gains

Be careful not to make the mistake of measuring and/or weighing yourself too often; weight and body composition can easily fluctuate even throughout a single day based on what you ate and when, how you slept the night before, and what types of workouts were done within the last couple days. We recommend not weighing yourself more than 1-2 times per week and only conducting measurements once a week at the most so that you don’t end up with an overwhelming amount of data to track.

when to measure

  • at the beginning of your program
  • every 4 weeks if program is over 6-weeks or is not time-bound
  • every 2 weeks if program is under 6-weeks
  • halfway through the program
  • at the end of the program

Lastly, it is important to stay consistent in where and how you are measuring your body landmarks so that you can accurately compare measurements to one another to track your progress.

how to measure

  • measure in the morning, prior to food/drink, barefoot
  • use flexible tape measure; for all measurements, adjust the tape to appropriate spot and lay flat, take a deep breath and slowly exhale and relax
    • neck
      • place tape measure at midline between the base of the neck (where it connects to the shoulders) and the jawline
    • chest
      • place tape measure under arms and around back to meet in the front of the chest and measure in a straight line at the widest area (usually around nipple-level)
    • waist
      • place tape measure around the back to meet in the front of the torso and measure in a straight line at the narrowest area (usually around or just above belly-button level)
    • hips
      • place tape measure around booty to meet in the front of the pelvis and measure in a straight line at the widest area (usually around or just below hip-bone level)
    • thighs
      • place the foot of the same leg being measured on a step or seat so that it creates a 90 degree bend in the knee; shift your weight to bear on the leg that is not being measured
      • place the tape measure under the thigh to meet in front and measure in a straight line near the midline of the thigh (roughly equal distance from the knee and the hips)
    • calves
      • place the foot of the same leg being measured on a step or seat so that it creates a 90 degree bend in the knee; shift your weight to bear on the leg that is not being measured
    • place tape measure around leg to meet in the front of the shin and measure in a straight line at the widest area (usually closer to the knee)
    • biceps
      • extend the arm of the same bicep being measured and hold the elbow at a 90 degree angle at shoulder height, with the hand raised above it
      • place the tape measure under the arm to meet at at the top of the bicep and flex the bicep (squeeze the hand into a fist and twist the palm of the hand towards your head)
      • measure in a straight line at the widest area (usually roughly halfway between the elbow and shoulder joints)
    • forearms
      • extend the arm of the same forearm being measured and hold the elbow at a 90 degree angle at the waistline with palm facing up
      • place the tape measure under the arm to meet at at the top of the forearm and flex the forearm (squeeze the hand into a fist)
      • measure in a straight line at the widest area (usually closer to the elbow)

When it comes to tracking changes in your body composition, a picture really is worth a thousand words! Pictures help to provide context to the numbers that you are seeing to give more meaning to the data. It is also important to stay consistent in where and how the photos are captured so that they can be fairly compared to one another.

taking your photo

  • good lighting
  • simple background without a lot of visual distractions
  • same environment for Before & After
  • same clothing or type of clothing for Before & After
    • bathing suit
    • sports bra and shorts or underwear
      • recommended: no high-waisted or compression bottoms
    • shorts and no shirt
      • recommended: short and fitted shorts; no compression bottoms
  • good posture
    • but not “sucking in”
  • front view
    • arms out “T”
    • optional flex – encouraged for After!
  • side view
    • arms out in front at shoulder height
  • back view
    • arms out “T”
    • optional flex – encouraged for After!

check out some of our awesome client Before & After photos here!

We recommend keeping a simple journal to track long-term progress, where you can record all of your anthropomorphic measurement data, store your photos, and make short notes indicating the harder-to-measure benefits of regular exercise; such as energy level and mood, appetite, and quality of sleep. You can also use this space to track the details of your exercise program and nutrition habits to create a robust image and log of your overall health!

Here are our tfc tried & true logs for recording measurements, exercise, and food intake – download for free and let us know your thoughts!

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2022 blog

should I work out if I’m sick?

With the school year back in full swing, fall weather beginning to take over, and flu season approaching – and fast! – you may have started to feel that tell-tale tickle in your throat creeping up.

Nobody likes to be sick and left feeling miserable; whether it be a common cold, seasonal flu, viral infection, or the latest strain of COVID-19. But when feeling sick completely upends your life and all the healthy routines you’ve worked so hard to cultivate, it can add a whole new level of frustration, and there may be a temptation to fight through and try to stick to your exercise program amidst the sniffles.

In fact, evidence shows that a consistent moderate-physical activity exercise program can effectively strengthen your immune system, which reduces the chances of getting sick and the severity of the symptoms when you do get sick, as well as making recovery much faster. Additionally, exercise releases hormones in your body that are designed to fight stressors on the body, which can aid in fighting off viral infections quickly and effectively.

So does working out when feeling terrible show dedication that would surely brand you as a certified fitness icon, or is it actually worse for your body to try to push through instead of taking that extra nap?

There is no black and white answer; as experts agree that the best approach is to listen to your body and give it what it needs – whether it be an added rest day or two, or a gentle workout to stick to your exercise routine. Your body will let you know exactly what it needs – just be sure to listen!

the best approach is to listen to your body and give it what it needs – whether it be an added rest day or two, or a gentle workout to stick to your exercise routine.

Still on the fence about that workout sesh? Review our list of DO’s & DON’Ts Exercise Guidelines to help you determine the best next steps:

DO’s & DON’Ts of Exercising While Sick

  • DON’T workout if you are:
    -coughing persistently or with -phlegm
    -experiencing shortness of breath
    -experiencing chest pain
  • DON’T workout if you have a fever or body aches
  • DON’T workout if you have nausea or diarrhea
  • DON’T workout if you are experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness
  • DON’T go to public workout spaces if you are contagious
  • DO workout if your symptoms are mild:
    -runny or sniffly nose
    -stuffy nose
    -mild sore throat
    -ear infection
  • DO take it easy
  • DO listen to your body
  • DO make sure to get extra rest – even if it means skipping the workout
  • DO replenish with extra fluids and nutrient-dense foods

Above the Neck Symptom Check

When in doubt, use the “above the neck” symptom check. If your symptoms are all “above the neck,” such as runny or sniffly nose, sneezing, teary eyes, headache, etc.; a light to moderate exercise bout may do you good! Exercise can help to open the nasal passages, clearing congestion or tension headaches to help with symptom control.

If your symptoms are mainly “below the neck,” as with a cough you feel in your chest or a phlegm-producing cough, or a stomach bug, it’s recommended to skip the workout and get some extra rest instead!

Whether you skip the workout while you recover or you decide you are well enough to work through it, make sure to take your time easing back into your pre-sickness routine. Spend a couple days working out at a lighter pace or load than usual; this means if you would typically run a couple miles, go for a nice jog or brisk walk instead. Take the time to take it easy until your body has fully recover to avoid the risk of getting sick again!

tfc Approved Sick Day Workouts

  • Go for a walk
  • Meditate
    • bonus: hang in the sauna!
  • Foam Roll
  • Stretch
  • Gentle yoga / restorative yoga
  • Swimming
  • Light jogging
  • Leisure-to-moderate pace bicycling

Need more workout ideas? Check out our Instagram, join a group class, or contact us to get started!


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2022 blog

how often should you be working out your abs; and other core ponderings

Ah yes, the dreaded ab-day. We all love to hate working our abs, but still want that six-pack! But the question remains: how much ab-work do we really have to do?

How often should I work my abs?

Most strength training days should include your abs!

We love to sneak core-strengthening exercises into all of our workouts! Be sure to propery engage your core during all movements – especially those involving heavy weights – to protect your spine.

You can use core work as a quick warm-up before beginning your workout, such as starting with a bird-dog or dynamic pike to plank series.

By bracing your core when performing any workout, you activate and engage the muscles of the entire core to strengthen them.

Now, if you are looking to really shred your six-pack, you will need to turn up the notch on your ab workouts and focus on core-specific exercises and moves.

For this type of ab work, we recommend a frequency of roughly 3-4 times a week; depending on your goals and the level of intensity of your workout sessions.

how many crunches do i really have to do?

None, if you don’t want to!

The best way to strengthen – and define – your abs is with a variety of different exercises moves to isolate and engage your core.

Your core includes your abdomen, the oblique abdomen (the “side,” or waistline), your upper and lower abdomen, your lower back, and even your hip flexors! Being intentional in working out your entire core in varying ways is the best path to rock-hard abs.

There are SO many ways to work your abs & core outside of traditional crunches. In addition to the many, many variations on the traditional crunch, there are countless other ways to engage and isolate your most important core muscles:

  • planks
    • high plank
    • forearm plank
    • side plank
    • pike plank
  • crunch variations
    • mermaid crunch
    • froggy crunch
    • oblique crunch
      • bicycles
    • standing oblique crunch
  • other core exercises
    • swimmers
    • scissor kicks
    • roll-ups
    • tornados
  • balancing acts
    • single-leg movements
    • BOSU ball workouts
    • yoga
  • jump around
    • jump rope
    • box jumps
    • single-leg jumping
  • core cardio
    • kickboxing
    • Pilates
  • other core exercises
    • Russian twists
    • sit ups
    • hip dips
    • V-ups

and so many more not listed here! If you are looking for more ways to work your abs, reach out to us or join our next group class to get sweatin’!

is it safe to work out my abs everday?

Yes and no.

Your ab muscles – like all other muscles in your body – do need time to recover between sessions to actually see growth or an increase in strength. Allow roughly 24 hours between intense ab blasts and take 1-2 days a week off from abs!

lastly – abs are cut from the kitchen!

With any weight loss goals, we expect our dietary habits to need a refresh at the very least. But with goals specific to shredding your abs, the important of nutrition cannot be overstated!

Pair your tfc core-strengthening workouts with eating lean, clean, and green protein and carbs to reveal the awesome ab display you have chiseled out for yourself!

Did you know – we also offer Nutrition Services! Check out our services – including meal prep and planning, grocery store tours, cooking demonstrations, and nutrition label counseling – to help take your abs to the next level!

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2022 blog

how to stop getting shin splints from running

So you’ve decided to get back into exercising and set out on a run. Halfway in, you are met with an excruciating pain in your lower legs that lingers for days.

You might have shin splints.

What are shin splints?

Shin splints are a sharp, painful sensation in your lower leg that is usually brought on by a sudden onset or increase in physical activity (typically walking/jogging/running).

So how do I stop it?
  1. Pick a good running shoe!
    • A good running shoe will be supportive, provide the right amount of arch support for your foot, and have plenty of cushion for shock absorption
    • A good running shoe should have a perfect fit for your foot’s length, width, and arches and provide stability for your foot and ankle
    • I love Brook’s running shoes!
  2. Strengthen your legs – especially your calves
    • Having strong muscles in your legs – particularly your calves – helps reduce the shock of impact on your bones
    • Doing calf raises is a great way to strengthen your calves!
  3. Cool down and stretch post-workout
    • Spend time stretching, gently massaging, or foam rolling tense muscles or pain points
    • If you are having a rough time with stretching, remember to take it slow – I love to use stretching straps to help me get further into the tough stretches
    • This is the foam roller that I like to use to relax and massage sore muscles – especially in my calves and glutes!
  4. Work with a trainer to assess and perfect your running form

What other pain points do you experience in your workouts? Comment below and make sure to subscribe for updates to see if your concern is addressed in a future blog post!

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2022 blog

Sticking to Routine During Changing Times

Picture it: you have finally settled into the perfect routine – you’re eating healthy, hitting the gym, and getting enough sleep, and it feels great.

Then, the big change hits. You’re moving, or starting a new job, or your hours are changing. Maybe the change is even super exciting; your family is welcoming a new addition or you’re taking a well-deserved vacation! And yet, part of you starts to fill with dread, knowing your routine will surely be shattered and all your hard work lost.

But what if there was a better way?

Trust me, I know that sticking to a routine when everything is going right is hard enough; and staying in that routine when things start to change or get shaken up feels damn near impossible. Here are some tried and true tips that will help empower you to stick to your routine (or make an even better one!) in the face of change!

1. organize your week

To really start your week off on the right foot, plan on spending an hour or two preparing for the upcoming week. My weeks start on Sunday afternoons, so that means I carve out a couple hours Saturday evening or Sunday morning to set myself up for success for the upcoming week.

I take this time to make a meal plan and grocery shop; prep fruits, veggies, and daily snacks; do laundry and light cleaning around the house; plan my workouts for the week, and review my upcoming events, clients, appointments, or other items to make sure I have everything I need and won’t be caught off guard.

This is especially important to do when you’re dealing with changes, because that is when it is easiest for mundane chores and errands to slip through the cracks, or special dates to sneak up on you.

For example; if you review your calendar and see your kid has a birthday party to go to that weekend, you can plan on getting a gift while you’re out doing your normal errands and shopping rather than having to stop and grab something on the way and risk being late or having your day’s plans derailed!

Knowing what is coming – and planning for it – allows you to stay in the driver’s seat instead of feeling like you are running to put one fire out after another.

2. plan for obstacles

Hope for the best but expect the worst” is not necessarily a bad way to plan when it comes to changes and routines!

When you are taking the time to organize your week, be aware of what potential obstacles may arise and have a back-up plan to face them head-on.

If your weekly staff meeting ran late the last two Thursdays and you didn’t have time to make dinner, plan to have leftovers or a freezer-meal this Thursday instead of expecting yourself to cook when you get home.

Identifying things that have the potential to get you off track and building a solution into your week will make your week feel smoother and less chaotic!

3. be realistic

You can’t do everything for everyone! AND – you shouldn’t have to.

I’ll say it again (to myself in the mirror!): you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t expect yourself to!

The intent behind planning and scheduling your week is not to cram it full of one million things to keep yourself busy! Planning your week ahead of time gives you the opportunity to control how your week will go and allow yourself to prioritize what really needs to be done and what doesn’t.

Changing times means that there may be more on your plate than usual as you begin to readjust. Understand the limitations that this may create for your schedule and honor that.

4. give yourself a break

Part of being realistic is scheduling downtime for yourself. Just like your body needs time to repair your muscles after a difficult workout, your body – and mind! – need time to recharge and rest.

Rest is important and necessary for your health and your productivity! Especially when you are dealing with changing or uncertain times, taking time to stop for a moment helps to keep you from feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.

Scheduling time for yourself every day – even just 10-15 minutes – to do something for yourself or do something that you enjoy, makes a huge impact on your day and actually helps you to be more productive. Make a point to take just a few minutes each day to allow yourself to rest. This could look like: taking an extra long shower or bath; taking a walk or doing a workout; reading or journaling; meditating or just sitting outside and enjoying nature; or anything that you enjoy that brings you peace!

5. keep a daily and weekly list – and calendar

An important part of planning your time is finding a way to (relatively) stick to your plan. I love a good to-do list moment – especially if I am able to plan ahead!

You can take your daily to-do lists to the next level by adding a calendar aspect to the list. When you are able to plan your daily and weekly to-do lists in advance, you can prioritize what can get done when, and organize your tasks, errands, and chores in an order that makes the most sense and makes your life easier.

Having a physical list – whether you are a pen & paper person or all digital – helps you to best plan your days and also make sure you don’t miss anything along the way!

6. ask for support

We’ve saved the best for last: ask for support!

When you are dealing with changing times, the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success amidst the changes is to have a support system in place. This means: letting the people who rely on you know that you are dealing with changing times and may not be as available; telling those you rely on that you are dealing with changing times and may require more of them; reaching out to people you trust and asking for help and/or support.

It is always helpful to alert the important groups of people in your life to any planned major changes beforehand. This sets proper expectations of what you will be capable of during the tranisitionary periods as well as allowing the opportunity for those around you to extend any additional relief or assistance, which may help greatly in the long run.

All in all; everyone experiences changes throughout their lifetime. Remember to show yourself patience and kindness as you face changes and any accompanying challenges, and be sure to follow these steps to help yourself stay organized and ready for anything!

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2022 blog

Is This Good Yet? tfc Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Produce

Picking the right produce can be daunting! Nobody wants to drop a pretty penny on produce, only to take it home and realize it’s not ripe when it’s needed or that it rots far too quickly.

So how do you know you’re picking the best produce? We’ve compiled all the research & facts in one place so you don’t have to!

As a bonus, we’ve included a table at the end on where you should store your perfect produce picks once you get them back home to maximize their freshness and keep them from spoiling too soon!

Be sure to save this so you can come back to it time and again to keep your fruits & veggies fresh, and check out our nutrition services if you are looking to level up your grocery shopping game!

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

September – May

firm with no soft spots

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – July

golden yellow, plump, and firm; not yellow or green, not very hard or soft, not wilted

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

firm with no bruises

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – August

firm, plump, and brightly colored

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

May – August

slightly golden with light fragrant smell

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

May – June

fresh appearing, firm

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

September – March

good weight for size with inside milk still fluid

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

March – July, September – December

firm, plump, and brightly colored

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

October – June

firm, well rounded, and heavy for size, avoid puffy/rough skinned

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

May – September

firm, plump, and has well colored clusters

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

February – October

creamy yellow rounds and pleasant aroma

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – August


best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

November – May

firm, heavy for size, and has brightly colored skin

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – September

soft to touch with fragrant smell

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

August – May

yields gently to pressure at stem end

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

February – August

slightly soft; ripe when leaves are easily removed with small tug

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – September

plump, yield to slight pressure

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

September – November

thin-skinned and bright purple-red

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

April – July

dry, firm, and bright red in color

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

March – May

plump and compact with green, fresh-looking scales

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

March – June

straight, tender, deep green stalks with tightly closed buds

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

firm but yields to gentle pressure

bell pepper
best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

firm skin and no wrinkles

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

October – May

dark green bunches

brussels sprouts
best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

October – November

tight outer leaves, bright green color, and firm body

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

deep orange and not cracked or wilted

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

September – November

bright green leaves enclosing firm and closely packed white curd

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

fresh, crisp branches with light green to green color

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

May – August

green, tight, and fresh-looking husk; ears with tightly packed rows of plump kernels

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

May – July

firm with rich green color and no soft spots

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – September

firm, heavy, smooth, and uniformly dark purple

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

fresh, crisp leaves without wilting

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – April

firm, moist, and blemish-free

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

dry and solid with no soft spots or sprouts

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

April – June

bright green and full

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

January – December

firm with thick flesh and glossy skin

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

March – May

large, bright leaves; avoid coarse stems

summer squash
best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

June – August

firm with bright and glossy skin

sweet potato
best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

September – December

firm, dark, and smooth

best season:
how to tell when it’s ripe

May – August

plump with smooth skin and no blemishes

store in fridge
  • apples (if storing 7+ days)
  • apricots
  • cantaloupe
  • figs
  • honeydew
  • artichokes
  • beets
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • cherries
  • corn
  • grapes
  • green beans
  • green onions
  • herbs (except basil)
  • lima beans
  • leafy veggies
  • leeks
Fridge, con’t
  • lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • okra
  • peas
  • plums
  • radishes
  • raspberries
  • spinach
  • sprouts
  • strawberries
  • summer squash
  • yellow squash
  • zucchini
ripen on counter, then store in fridge
  • avocados
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • pears
  • plums
  • kiwis
store on counter
  • apples (if storing less than a week)
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • limes
  • mangoes
  • oranges
  • papayas
  • peppers
  • pineapple
  • plantains
  • pomegranates
  • watermelon
store in pantry
  • acorn squash
  • butternut squash
  • onions (keep away from potatoes)
  • potatoes (keep away from onions)
  • pumpkins
  • spaghetti squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash

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2022 blog

3 Tips to Get You Back on Track

been slacking on your fitness routine lately? no worries, we got you!! 💪🏼 
we all fall off the wagon, so first off - don’t beat yourself up!! fitness is about making healthful lifestyle choices, which means honoring yourself with balance, rest, and times of celebration! ✨ 
3 simple ways to get yourself back on track: 
1️⃣ write out a meal plan! 
you’re less likely to opt for junky snacks or fast food meals when you have a plan written down & in place. Plus, planning your meals saves you time and money in the grocery store! 
check out our website for more on meal planning, or contact us for options on purchasing ready to cook meal plans! 
2️⃣ schedule time for your workouts and have a plan in place! 
be intentional about the time you set aside for yourself to do your workout - write it on your calendar and make sure to not double book yourself or overcommit! 
it also helps set you up for successful workouts if you know what your workout plan is beforehand. Having a program to follow keeps you on track and ensures all muscles are targeted, cardio needs are met, and the body has plenty of recovery time between workouts! 
if you’re looking for a great workout program to follow, visit our website for program design options! 
3️⃣ have a workout buddy or group for accountability and encouragement! 
working out with a friend is part of what makes fitness fun! If you’re not able to make it to in-person workouts with your buddy, you can always follow along the same program together and encourage each other over text!
we also LOVE a good group class moment 🤍 working out with friends at a group class has the BEST energy! be sure to check out all our monthly group class options on our website 💁🏻‍♀️ 
if you’re looking for an accountability group, we’d love to have you as part of our community of amazing fitness friends! drop a 💪🏼 in the comments or reach out to us on our website 🤍
we hope this helped to inspire you to get back to your regularly scheduled sweat sesh! 🤓 
remember to check us out online & subscribe for weekly updates! 

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2022 blog

the calendar that changed my life

I don’t know how, but for some reason I am caught off-guard EVERY SINGLE NIGHT about what to make for dinner. It’s as if, EVERY DAY, I forget that I need to eat, and by the time I get home from work I am already starving and have no idea what to make for dinner and no idea what groceries I have on-hand.

Until I started meal planning.

I won’t lie, at first it took me like an hour every time, to make a meal plan for one week – weekends excluded! And I would run into total chef-writer’s block, where I all of a sudden could not remember one single enjoyable meal I had ever had. I would end up making the same meals over and over again. That is totally one way to do, and nothing wrong with that if you don’t bore easily! Unfortunately, I do bore easily, and I was still having a really tough time breaking out of my dinner/lunch rut.

Finally, one day I was feeling motivated and decided to take advantage of that and just really go wild with meal planning. I sat down and planned out my Monday – Friday lunch/dinner combo’s for an entire month! I felt SO FREE. I am now in the habit of making meal plans in 6 week blocks (weekdays only, as I usually spend weekends eating leftovers or with my family). I use a simple blank calendar template from Microsoft Excel and I spend about 20-30 minutes tops filling it in when I’m about 4-5 weeks into my current plan.

Total Honesty: the first one did take me longer to do. But, now that I have found what works for me, it is ridiculously easy to maintain and it takes so much stress off of me! Another plus is it makes grocery shopping a breeze and I have found I save a ton of money when I can shop with the next month’s worth of food in mind.

So, how do I get started?

Here is what my meal plan calendar looks like, finished, but I would encourage you to change anything that doesn’t vibe with you. Remember, this is supposed to be something that makes your life EASIER, not something that makes you feel like you have to follow like a cult or something 😉

I’ve gotten into the habit of having a bit of a theme for each day of the week to keep my weekly dishes diversified (remember, a diversified diet is a nutrient-dense diet!):

  • Mondays – Meatless Mondays or Red Meat Mondays
    • I usually do 2-4 meatless meals, 1-2 red meat meals, and 1-2 red meat substitute meals to keep red meat consumption to about 1-2 times a month
  • Tuesdays – Taco(ish) Tuesdays
  • Wednesdays – Noodle dishes
  • Thursdays – soup or grain base with an emphasis on veggies
  • Fridays – handhelds or rice based

I try to plan each week so that I can use the same groceries for multiple meals – it’s usually cheaper to buy in bulk so I try to do so where I can!

For example: for the first week, I am making chili (using ground turkey) on Monday and then burritos (with ground turkey) on Tuesday. Instead of purchasing 1lb of 93% lean ground turkey for $6.49/lb that week, I can buy 3lb of 93% lean ground turkey for $4.97/lb!!

I also try to make things easier on myself by lumping my meal prepping tasks together as well. On week 5, I am making steak & veggies on Monday, then a chicken & veggie soup on Thursday. On Sunday, when I prep Monday’s steak dinner, I will double the amount of potatoes and carrots I wash and chop and set them aside in the fridge for Thursday’s soup. Anything I can do to save myself 15 minutes, I’m in!

We eat a lot of produce in our home, so we grocery shop every week to keep our fruits and veggies fresh. I make a weekly grocery list based off the meal plan for the upcoming week, then go through and cross out anything I might happen to have on hand already.

This helps keep me organized and prevents me from accidentally buying stuff we might already have. PLUS it gives me the chance to buy hot-commodities (like uncooked white rice) in bulk and store it on-hand instead of buying a 3lb bag every other week.

When I am ready to start my next 6-week plan, the first thing I do is clear out my calendar and fill in the new dates. While I try to mix up my meal plan each block, I cannot commit to making 30 new meals every 6 weeks. So, I leave in my go-to meals and my “greatest hits” and take this opportunity to clear out things that I don’t want to make again in the upcoming block. I start by pulling ALL of my last 30 meals to the side so I can kick out the ones that we weren’t fans of (or just took me WAY too much time to make!!) and go from there.

Then I add in some new recipes I have found, or bring back old faves from past meal plans. Once I have 30 new meals listed, I just start copy/pasting them one by one into the day/week I want to make that. This is when I try to be smart about how the meal plan affects grocery shopping and my ability to get multiple uses out of one grocery item purchase.

Let know what you thought and how you personalized this to work better for your own meal planning!

2022 blog

Changing the Way You Goal-Set through SMART Goals

Have you ever been really excited about a goal or the idea of achieving something, but then eventually the excitement wears off or life gets chaotic and you have to push that dream to the back-burner? Or maybe you’re tired of feeling like you have the same New Year’s Resolutions year after year, but never get to where you’d like to be. It may even be starting to feel like you’ll never reach your goal.

Don’t worry – same here!

The good news? The issue may be in how the goal is set rather than what the goal is. Setting big or vague goals is often the downfall of many well-intentioned goals. We’re here to help you revamp the way you approach goal-setting to help set you up for success, every time!

There are 5 key components to setting a goal that will make it more effective and clear, and they are represented in the acronym SMART.

SMART Goals are:


The first component of setting a SMART goal is to get specific. Think about what would define the success of achieving this goal; what will it look like when you’ve accomplished it?

For example; instead of I want to lose weight, a more specific goal could sound like I will lose 8 lbs. Rather than, I want to be a better runner; try I will go for a run 3 times a week.

Making your goal as specific as possible sets you up for success by identifying what it is you are striving for. In other words, it is hard to hit a target that you can’t see, and getting specific helps eliminate any vagueness or guesswork for you!


The next key part of a SMART goal is to make it measurable. Making it measurable digs deeper into the specificity of your goal. Assigning a number, value, or other form of measure to your goal allows you to track your progress as well as having a clearly defined target.

Using the example above, I will lose 8 lbs, assigning the value 8 lbs makes your goal something you can measure. You can determine when you are halfway there, or when you have reached it!

Making your goal related to something you can measure helps to make it feel less conceptual and can even provide a roadmap for how to achieve your goals. In the above example, I will go for a run 3 times a week, not only is the success of the goal clearly defined, but how to get there is spelled out for you! This step can be a great time to start thinking about your goal in terms of real-time and effort.


As you start thinking about how to measure your goal, the important concept of attainability will come into play. Lofty goals may sound impressive or inspiring, but can quickly become unrealistic and may have the opposite effect.

One of the great things about SMART goal setting is the option to break your goal up into achievable chunks. For example, if your goal is to lose 25 lbs, starting with losing the first 5 lbs in a month or establishing an exercise routine by completing 4 workouts per week may feel more realistic and less daunting.

The point of goal setting is to challenge yourself, but certainly not to set yourself up for failure! It’s far better to set a goal that feels possible and continuously progress yourself to keep achieving more, than to set an impossibly high goal that is never attained.


Why is this your goal? Is this in-line with what you want, and what you are working to achieve? Use this component to make sure that your SMART goal is still relevant to your conceptual goal – even at its first step or stage!

This is where it is so helpful to have a trainer or coach helping you identify your goal! Conceptually, the goal of becoming more active or getting more fit can lead to very different SMART goals for different people. Fitness goals are not one-size-fits-all; not everybody’s fitness journey will include weight loss, and not all goals will require the same types of workouts to achieve.

If you’d like some guidance identifying the right SMART goal for you, send us a message!


Lastly, SMART goals are time-bound; meaning, they have an end date. If your goal is to lose 8lbs, when should this happen by? A month? A year? 10 years?

Adding a time-bound component to your goal helps to keep you disciplined and on-track. You’ll know what you are working to achieve, how to get started, and when you’ll be done!

Let’s put each component into action and see what that looks like!

Conceptual goal: I want to lose weight.

SMART Goal: I will increase my calories burned each day to lose 8lbs in 6 weeks.

Conceptual goal: I want to be more flexible.

SMART Goal: I will complete one yoga and two stretching sessions a week for the next month to become more flexible.

now what?

Now that you know how to transform your goals into SMART goals, you are well on your way to achieving them! Download our free SMART Goal worksheet below to help you plan your goals, or contact us for specialized help from a Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist!

let’s set your goals!

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