Happy New Year!!!

Last day of 2012 and what have you got to show for it?



As I reflect on this past year and welcome in a new year; filled with new goals and excitement; I’m eager to share some of my recent successes!

Firstly,  I ran my furthest distance of my LIFE this past weekend; a whopping 20 miles!!  Woo Hoo!! Nothing to snort at for a “41” year old 🙂

I had anticipated a long and grueling, cold run that morning but was met with a sunnier start than I expected.  I laid out all of my “goodies” the evening before; my new water belt and water with electrolytes, 3 packs of Gu for fuel, my iPhone and belt, and my earphones.

In order to make the run more bearable; I knew I’d have to run with at least one or more other runners for support and motivation.  It was a good thing that the “Snail’s Pace” running group had their longer run at Huntington Beach that day too.  I planned to start with them; but had to run 6 miles longer than they were running.  No worries; since I already knew that I had completed my 18 mile run a few weeks prior by MYSELF and lived to talk about it!! Ha!!

In any case, the run seemed to go much faster and better than I expected and I know it’s because I was more prepared than in the past.  I hydrated every few miles and refueled with the Gu at miles 4, 10 and 15.  My endurance was amazing and I think had my legs not felt like they were ready to collapse; I’d have been able to finish those last 6 miles of my marathon and I still have 5 weeks to train!  That was an exciting revelation.

Good thing that the long run days are followed by a rest and recovery day.  Sunday was that.  Nothing in terms of exercise for me that day; although I used my foam roller more than once this weekend and I’m much happier for it!

Aside from my training summary; I wanted to take some time to share my “short” 7-mile run from today…the last day of 2012.  Yes, 7  miles may not sound short but after you run 10,18, and 20 miles; it’s a pleasure!!!

While I ran today; a song came up on my Pandora station that I’d never heard before.  It was a rap song and at first; I wasn’t very impressed with the lyrics, as it was complaining about the illegal status of marijuana (I guess that just depends on where you live these days)…that’s not my point of this share so I am moving along…





The song is by “Lazyboy” and called “Underwear Goes Inside the Pants”…

The name is actually in honor of one of his rants regarding helping the homeless and I won’t spoil that part of the song in this blog.  I will, however, spoil some other portions of the song that made me LAUGH out loud!!! Seriously, I was running and these funny points made an impact due to how much truth was spoken.  (now, there are parts to the song I don’t condone for young kids due to the graphic nature so please don’t write back to me, yelling that you had your kids listen in to this RAP song!)

Anyway, one of the thought provoking points that “Lazyboy” made (and not so sure if that’s his true name; but I’m guessing not) was, how many ads about diseases and illnesses are on tv these days.  Here is an excerpt from his song;

“I can’t watch tv without thinking I have 5 serious diseases.  Like, “do you ever wake up tired in the morning?”  OMG!!! I have this…write this down!  Whatever it is; I have it!  Half the time, you don’t even know what the commercial is; there’s people running through fields, or flying kites, or swimming in the ocean.  That is the GREATEST disease ever?  How do you get that?  That disease comes with a hot chick and a puppy!” ~Lazyboy

Seriously?  Isn’t that the truth?? At this point; my running brain was truly listening and agreeing with all these amazing points he was singing (or talking) about!

The next portion spoke huge volumes to me.  It’s about our culture and the very large (pun intended) issues of obesity.  Again; here’s another few lines taken from his song:

“Americans, let’s face it, we’ve been a spoiled country for a long time.  Do you know what the number ONE health risk is in America?  OBESITY.  OBESITY!!!!  They say we’re in the middle of an obesity epidemic.  An EPIDEMIC!!!  Like it’s polio.  Like we’ll be telling our grandkids about it one day…

‘How’d you get through it, grandpa?’  ‘It was horrible, Johnny, there was cheesecake and pork chops everywhere!’  Nobody knows why we’re getting fatter?  Look at our lifestyle.  We all sit in line at a drive thru, behind 15 other cars, instead of getting up and making the 8 foot walk to the totally empty counter.  Everything is mega meals, supersize and ‘only 3 cents more’ to do so!”  ~ Lazyboy

I actually got chills from that.  What he said couldn’t have been more to the point and made it sound completely ridiculous!!! Really??? An eating too much epidemic?  How lazy and spoiled have we become to NOT take action?

If you are busy writing up some silly New Year’s Resolutions list; please just stop and throw that nonsense away!!  You know that they are meaningless and simply a “wish” list that will never amount to much after the first few weeks of the year pass.  Instead, I challenge you to lead by example on an important issue in your life or community.  The more we hold ourself and others accountable to specific and realistic goals; the more we can grow in changing the nation.  Even if you aren’t affiliated with a fitness solution; you can still help others by starting yourself today!!!!



There Goes My Training….

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Today; I hit the wall.


Seriously, you’d think after “just” running an easy 6 miles yesterday (and then proceeding to teach Body Combat and PiYo classes; and later a P90x class); I’d have enough energy to sustain my interval run today.


Here’s my training details for today’s run;

2 miles slow to warm up

3 miles FAST (and my iPhone app trainer says the word “fast” in a menacing way)

3:00 slow

3 miles FAST (a bit more menace, to it)

3:00 slow

3 miles FAST and then 1 mile slow

ummmmm….that doesn’t sound like the description of today.  The title was “3 X 3” workout.  Doesn’t the name make it sound like we’ll do 3 minutes at a time?  Imagine my fright when I realized I was meant to run over 12 miles on an interval day.

In any case; I could always complain about what scares me but I always just suck it up and go anyway.  Seriously; who cares, right?

Out I went to get this run completed; I gave myself a two hour window to complete.

About 30 minutes into this workout; I started to fail miserably.  My legs were leaded; my breathing felt more labored than usual and my mental state was a wreck.

This is the time I usually scan through my day and see how my foods and rest might be causing the negative effects but I had taken measures to eat right and have been sleeping quite well…thank you very much!

I realized that my body has been fighting off some recent illnesses that have been going around (and my body is kicking some booty!) and there has been all the holiday dramas; more people; more energy spent; etc…

Baby crying


And my #1 reason for feeling like I felt today was that I MISS GRACE!!!  My running partner is out of town for the holidays and I didn’t figure it would feel so EXTREME!!!  Here I was; someone who never really “needed” to work out with others but enjoyed it, nonetheless.  Well, now I NEED!!!  The good news is that for my first 20-mile run (coming up on Saturday); I will be running with a running group at the beach so I think I will survive! 🙂

So, in conclusion of my day’s run; I ended up finishing the 2-3 milers and headed home.  Hey, 8 miles out of 12 isn’t all that bad but it was the first workout on my training schedule that wasn’t completed as it was written.  I guess I’ll be okay…

Hey, I finished my 18 miles by myself and still felt like a champion so let’s see how this 20 mile stint goes on Saturday!! Ha!!!

Tomorrow, is rest day from running…

but teaching Body Pump, Yoga and Sr. Fitness….

There goes the rest day…

Mind Over Matter




My body is tired.

My legs are heavy.

Sometimes, I wonder why I am doing this.

For those of you who know nothing about my recent challenge; I’m about 6 weeks out from running my very first, full marathon.

I’m scared, excited, anticipant, and a bit crazed to think about what I’m about to put my body through.  But even though I fight with these roller coaster emotions and feelings; I’m over the top ecstatic to prove to myself that I can indeed accomplish this task.

I have learned so many things throughout this training journey about myself, my friends, fellow runners, my family, my nutrition; and so many more wonderful topics that this reason alone; is reason to continue.

I wake up some mornings; doing all that I can to mentally “talk” myself out of running that day.  The excuses never end.  I’m tired.  My legs hurt.  I have too many other things to do. The runs are getting longer and too much time is being spent on this training.  I don’t want to.  I’m cold.

The list goes on.

When I focus on the true reason for my excuses and lack of ambition to run; I realize that deep-down; I’m just frightened.  What if I don’t finish well?  What if my training is all in vain?  What if I let down my running partners, family members; or worst of all; myself?

What do I do?  I just go anyway.  The excuses and the fatigue are all part of the journey.  I can either give in to them and give up on my dream and feel completely miserable about myself.  OR…I can just go anyway and deal with the negative issues at hand but I’m always surprised (and really, I don’t know why I’m seriously “always” surprised; cuz it happens so often!!!) after about the 3rd mile or so; I feel completely and utterly in bliss.  How fortunate am I to be able to run like this?  How can my body continue on past miles; 12, 13, 14, 15, and recently 18 miles???  How awesome that I pushed through my limiting thoughts!

It’s only taken me 41 years to realize that my negative thoughts are just that.  NEGATIVE THOUGHTS!!  That’s it!!  Nothing more; nothing powerful or life threatening in any way.  Just simply a negative thought.

Make them seem insignificant and there will be no stopping what you can accomplish this next year!

What will it be….

Success Story: Daniella Zepeda Gallegos

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    Here’s a success story that shows the impact we can have on our bodies and our health!  Daniella did not allow anyone’s opinion stop her from succeeding.  When I first met her; I remember the strong determination she had; despite some naysayers.  Her story proves that we have ability to do whatever it is we desire; if that desire is strong enough.  Is your desire this strong?


    “I have always had a love of sports, working out and dance which always kept me in decent shape. I was your average, workout to eat type of a girl, but never quite got the hang of a consistent diet. I thought I ate well by avoiding carbs and eating a high protein diet.

    When I got pregnant I gained 45lbs, I figured the weight would come off once I had the baby and went back to my exercise routine. I lost some of the weight, but I still felt awful: I was always getting sick, tired, sluggish and cranky.

    In January 2012, I went for my annual physical, I weighed in at 159lbs and blood work showed I was pre-diabetic and had high cholesterol. It was not the life I wanted to live so I got serious and joined Weight Watchers and started going to the gym 3x/week. I lost about 8lbs, but hit a major plateau in May and for 8 weeks, the weight went nowhere. I got very discouraged and thought I’d be fat forever.

    I started working with an AMAZING trainer, ahem, Kathy! I learned about nutrition, caloric intake and the importance of clean eating. Each session, I pushed a little bit harder and by the time our sessions were done I weighed in at 143lbs. Once we were done, I decided to take on the Insanity Challenge and start drinking Shakeology. I did Insanity up until Day 42 due to a surgery I needed to have. My results were amazing. I had surgery on 11/14/2012 and I weighed in at 136lbs!

    I am no longer pre-diabetic or have high cholesterol. In fact, my numbers are better than they have ever been. I’m extremely happy where I am at right now. This time last year, I was in a bad place and I never would have thought I’d be where I am at today. I have definitely made a lifestyle change. It takes work, but it’s work and extra effort I’m willing to put in to be healthy.” ~ Daniella Zepeda Gallegos

Recipe: Baja Black Beans and Rice (from Team Beachbody)

Recipe: Baja Black Beans and Rice

(Makes 1 serving)

Baja Black Beans and Rice

Some of you may know the combination of beans and rice as a crucial part of dozens of indigenous cuisines. Others may know it as the cheap, filling way you managed not to starve to death in college. Regardless, when done right, it’s a healthy vegan source of complete protein guaranteed to break through hunger without breaking the bank.

  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice (or quinoa if you’re feeling fancy)
  • 3/4 cup cooked black beans (you can also use canned rinsed black beans)
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. crumbled fresh cheese (queso fresco)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  1. Combine rice, black beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin in medium saucepan; mix well.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Serve hot, sprinkled with cheese and cilantro (if desired).

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbs Fiber Sugar Protein
387 4g 1 g 5 mg 338 mg 70 g 16 g 4 g 18 g

Body Beast and P90X®/P90X2® Portion Information

Body Beast Nutritional Information

Legume Starch
1 1

P90X/P90X2 Nutritional Information:

Carbs (P90X) Legume (P90X2) Grain (P90X2)
2 1 1





Marathon training is HARD!!!

I’m serious (not that I imagine you thought otherwise), these training days are seriously testing my body’s and mind’s capabilities.  I know it will make me better when the big day finally arrives but, seriously????

I ran 10 miles today; only to ready myself for EIGHTEEN  miles tomorrow!!!  EIGHTEEN!!!    (Do you like the written form in order to stress the number?)  I have never run 18 miles.  Ever….(getting back together)…sorry!

Anyway, as far as the longest I’ve ever run; I’d have to say LAST SATURDAY, with SIXTEEN MILES!!!!  It’s amazing how our bodies can adapt.  I’ve been training for a few months already and have been feeling better adapting to the increase in mileage; but my hubby literally freaked out when he found out I was going to run SIXTEEN MILES by myself last week!  (my running partner and I had busy schedules that weekend)

Not that I blame him, in the least.  Is it crazy?  You bet!!  Am I a bit crazy?  Well, I can’t single myself out since MILLIONS of peeps run marathons every year.  (and I didn’t even look up that number but I’m sure that it’s close enough).  Although, aside from this training; yes, I might just be a little bit cray!!!

At least I can eat more CARBS!!!!!!  🙂

Ask the Expert: When Should I Stop Eating at Night?

Ask the Expert: When Should I Stop Eating at Night?

By Denis Faye

Recently, the media branded the “Don’t Eat Before Bedtime” rule as a myth. As usual, they’ve taken a complex topic, distilled it down to a catchy headline, and gotten it completely wrong. The correct answer is much more nuanced. The short answer is that sometimes it’s okay to eat before bed, but mostly, it’s probably a bad idea.
Woman in front of refrigerator, woman eating chocolate and woman eating late at night
The old thinking was that when you ate before bed, your body would be more prone to store food as adipose tissue—in other words, as fat. This might be an oversimplification, but current research indicates there’s truth to this supposed myth. A 2009 Northwestern University study separated mice into two groups and fed them both high-fat diets. They allowed half the mice to eat at night, which happens to be the normal feeding time for the nocturnal rodents. The other group ate during the day, when they’d normally be sleeping. By the end of the study, the night eaters had a 20% weight increase and the day eaters weight went up 48%.(1)

The researchers credited the weight gain to a domino effect that began with the disruption of circadian rhythms (the biological clock that indicates what your body needs and when it needs it every 24 hours). Knocking these rhythms out of whack caused an imbalance of leptin—a satiety-regulating hormone that’s heavily influenced by the amount you sleep.

In 2011, Northwestern published another study that further supported the results of the first. This one tracked 52 human subjects over a week. The results indicated that “caloric intake after 8:00 PM may increase the risk of obesity, independent of sleep timing and duration.”(2) While neither of these studies is conclusive (one wasn’t on human subjects, and the other worked with a limited sample size), they’re both compelling.

Man in front of refrigeratorThat said, there are a couple times when eating before bed is okay. If you’re trying to build muscle, casein protein (found in dairy but available in pure, powdered form) before bed might be worth trying. According to a study in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, men who strength-trained for an hour, consumed 40 grams of casein, and then hit the sack experienced a 22% rise in amino acid circulation for the full 7.5 hours of sleep. In other words, the protocol gave their muscles better access to the building blocks they need to recover and grow.(3)

Also, consider those hectic days when you just haven’t had time to eat during the day. (Not ideal, but we don’t live in an ideal world.) Add to this the hard workout you did. In these situations, your priority should probably be to replenish lost nutrients such as electrolytes and make sure your body has all the protein (among other things) it needs for recovery. You don’t need a four-course dinner, but a light, balanced meal would be to your benefit.

Finally, there’s the psychological factor to consider. Last night, my 8-year-old said she couldn’t sleep because she was hungry. I chopped her up an apple. We chatted as she ate half of it. Then, she shuffled off to bed and slept just fine, circadian rhythms be darned. We all have an inner 8-year-old, so sometimes, you’re going to find it easier to sleep with a little somethin’-somethin’ in your tummy. I wouldn’t suggest institutionalizing the nighttime snack, but if you need the occasional piece of fruit or air-popped popcorn to detangle your nerves and send you off to dreamland, it’s not the end of the world.

In general, though, here’s what I recommend: If you’re trying to lose weight, stack the deck in your favor and go to bed on a relatively empty stomach. You can follow the 8 PM rule of the second study or, if that’s just not going to work with your schedule, then avoid eating within 3 hours of going to bed. Or, if you’re trying to build mass, supplement with casein before bedtime.

The “Ask the Expert” Mailbag

Thanks for all your letters regarding our Ask the Expert debut. As it turns out, we left out one small detail regarding how to eat pre-workout, so we asked Steve Edwards to follow up. Take it away, Steve!

“What should I eat if I work out first thing in the morning? I eat several small meals throughout the day, but when I work out first thing in the AM, it has been hours since my last meal.” —David Akers

You’re not alone. I got a lot of similar questions. I can’t believe I forgot to cover it. Morning eating is tricky because your body can store glycogen overnight so you may not need to eat anything at all—just drink water. However, when your diet is lean and you’re training hard (a very common scenario for Beachbody-ers) you can use up all of your glycogen for the previous day’s recovery, leaving your tank empty when you wake up. Here is our standard recommendation for this situation.

Woman drinking shakeTry eating a banana (or half, depending on your size) or a half serving of Results and Recovery Formula® in the morning just before your workout. If you feel better during your workout, especially near the end, you’ve figured out that you’re running out of glycogen. If this is the case you can do one of two things: keep eating the banana or something similar (about 100 calories of mostly carbs) or add a serving of carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, etc.) to your evening meal. Both should accomplish the same thing.

When your workout is over, you’ve burned through your glycogen and want to replenish it, which means either Results and Recovery Formula for breakfast or a meal that’s mainly carbs with a little protein, like fruit with yogurt or cereal with milk.