Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Don't Need to be Fit to Get Fit!

As most of you have come to know, I'm a group fitness instructor, certified to teach BodyPump and on my way to teach other class formats, including kickboxing, total body conditioning, etc. I don't consider teaching a "job" because its become my passion and something I enjoy doing whether its 5:45 a.m. on a Monday morning or 7:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I do it for my members, for that individual who is a bit initimidated to come to class because it may look too extreme or too difficult, but once they step inside, they'll not only be suprised at how much fun they can have but how much they could keep up with everyone else.

So it really troubles me when I ask a friend, colleague, family member, or a gym member curious about what I do by nights and weekends---they sometimes say to me "I need to get into shape before I take your class". Wait, isn't that a bit backwards? Isn't my class supposed to get you fit so you can increase your fitness level, stamina, endurance, strength, and improve your health?

Ladies--perhaps you see these fitness models in the magazines or in the ads for TV (Bally's Total Fitness definitely likes to use their fitness models), but in reality, most members are just like you. They come in all shapes and sizes, all different fitness levels. When you go to a class, and you're new, your instructor should show you modified/easy options to start you off with and then overtime you can gradually increase your workout level.

I know its easier said than done, but don't be intimidated. I've recently practiced what I preach by taking a Step class and a Zumba class, two classes that I've said I can't do because the steps are too complicated. The first time I did it, I looked like a fool, But after the third and fourth time, I was working it like its never been worked! No, I'm not going to teach those classes in this lifetime, but it goes to show that you don't have to be perfect to have fun or appreciate a workout.

If you're looking to try a new class but afraid you won't keep up--this week I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. Try a new class for at least 1/2 of the class time, and next week try doing 2/3, and then work up to the full class time.

You got this!


Soul Food Sunday & Healthy Eating Tips

Celebrate Valentine's Day by preparing a special meal for your loved ones. Cook and Lifestyle Maven, B. Smith, shares a Valentine's Day meal plan. You can save calories and money by preparing a meal for that special someone at home. Use the recipe below to create a wonderful evening and control the high fat, salt, and sugar that restaurants add to your food. To make your recipe even healthier use these 5 tips from the Mayo Clinic to makeover your recipe.

Chef Rock's Valentine's Day Meal

Spicy Pickled Vegetables
1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 carrot, peeled and cut at an angle into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 habenero pepper seeded finely shredded
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and shredded
4 baby patty pan squash cut in half
2 ounces purple wax beans
2 ounces yellow wax beans
2 ounces French green beans

In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, sugar, salt, and water until sugar and salt dissolve and mixture is heated through. Place vegetables in a medium bowl, and pour hot pickling mixture over vegetables. Let vegetables sit for 1 hour at room temperature or 4 hours, covered, in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Sweet Sautéed Lobster 2 lobster claws or tails cooked and taken out of the shell

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup of moscato wine (or another sweet wine you enjoy)
1 lemon juiced
1⁄2 cup cream

Heat a medium size sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter and sugar. Cook until the utter has completely melted and add the lobster. Sauté for one minute. Deglaze with the wine. Add the lemon juice. Simmer this mixture for a minute or two until a smooth texture has been reached, about two minutes. Then add cream and reduce until the sauce is the texture of a smooth caramel. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with spicy pickled vegetables, mashed potatoes and the Moscato.

Mashed Potatoes
4 pounds russet, Yukon gold, or long white potatoes
2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste 1 1/2 cups milk or cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Peel potatoes, and cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt. Place pan over high heat, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain potatoes in a colander. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and keep warm. Place a heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Using a potato ricer, press hot, drained potatoes into bowl. Stir potatoes with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in butter until completely melted and well incorporated. While stirring continuously, slowly pour in hot milk. Stir in pepper, and salt, to taste. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Look Who's Joining the Journey...

As many of you know, I've started a new "blog diary" of sorts for my own personal weightloss. I'll be checking in with my updated stats (pounds lost, fat percentage, tips and tricks, etc.) But I won't be alone...please welcome Michèle Dakar, Sénégal (West Africa) and Slyvia from Atlanta, GA. Check them out below. Thanks for joining me on this journey ladies...we'll be fit goddesses in NO time :)


Current Stats:
Height- 5'0
Body Fat- 39.00
Weight Loss Method- Eating right, Meal replacement shakes, exercise 3 times a week
Goal weight- 130
Pros- I enjoy eating healthy food and I have trained my body to eat right
Cons- I have a hard time with consistency but this time I WILL BE CONSISTENT


Weight: 82,8 kilos = 183 pounds
Height: 1,70 m = 5'6
Body fat %: 36,1%
Current Weight Loss method: intuitive eating
Ultimate Goal Weight: 68 kilos = 150 pounds (actually, between 72-68 kilos = 158-150 pounds)
My Pros: I've got a membership to a gym lol
My cons: I’m a sugar addict and I hate cooking

a brief intro about my weight loss journey: I've been on diet since I was 9-10years old. I've tried every diet on earth: from WW to Atkins, including Slim fast and other protein shakes. I've been definitely a yoyo dieter. My lowest weight: 64 kilos (dec 2008) my highest weight: 87 kilos (2010)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fitness Inspiration: A Black Woman's Success Story

We can all use a little inspiration now and then. It is good to know that all those mornings (or nights) in the gym will pay off one day. I promise you ladies just keep eating healthy and working out and you will get the Healthy and Fabulous body you are working for.
Fellow Blogger Dominique Carter from Lipstick Manual has shared her story with us. Enjoy!

Fly Fashionable Fit by Lipstick

My journey all started with a glimpse of myself in this picture after going for a hike with my Yorkie, Rambo.

I couldn’t believe how bloated and fat I looked and like they say a picture is worth a 1000 words. All I could see is a FAT GIRL. smh I decided right then and there to do something about it and I did. This was back in spring of 2010. I began working out by hiking every weekend at Kennesaw Mountain in Kennesaw, GA. The first 10 lbs just melted away with ease. I was loving it! Don’t get me wrong, hiking is super hard especially when you are not in shape but it was totally worth the pain. I also changed up my diet and started eating more veggies and fruits and less bread and sugars. I cut out whites all together and replaced them with brown for sugar and rice. I even felt better too! Then in the midst of the summer my weight went from 155 to about 140 and hit a plateau. I was bummed and couldn’t figure out what to do different. I guess my body got used to my usual routine. I was told by my workout buddy that she started incorporating green tea in the morning and before bed to break her leveling out so I did the same and it worked! I drank Tazo Green tea tips every day and more water to get my lil engine going. I also dabbled in a detox by Clean Start before my vacation and took this picture below on the beach in Mexico (no Photoshop needed) ;0)

Now I weigh 135lbs and subtracting. I still have about two handfuls of fluff to get rid of. lol Yes fluff that’s what I call the fat in my tummy lol So there you have it. Since I’m in transition anyway I didn’t have the woes of most women when it comes to exercise and their hair. I either wear mine flat ironed or in bantu knot outs for the most part. These two styles seem to work fine for me. Another great addition into my routine has been circuit training. I first started to mimic Zuzana from Body Rock TV after my weights in the gym. She rocks and I love her moves. Now my workout partner and I have adopted the Shape Training methods to go from an H shape to an X shape or more commonly known as an Hourglass figure. You can purchase the book online at Now that the spring is near I will be exercising outdoors more often including the track, hiking and swimming. My diet consists of grass fed beef (steak), all sorts of veggies, legumes, and fish. I do indulge in treats like Italian ice cream by Talenti. I also do a lot of research by way of documentaries and books on foods. I decided to visit local farms in my area this Spring to purchase fresh and organic fruits and veggies free of pesticides. Check out to do the same in your area. I’m so excited to be on my path to great physical fitness and overall health. The most important lesson I’ve learned on this journey is that the battle of being fit is 90% diet and 10% exercise. If you cut out all the unhealthy bingeing and chemicals in foods you will be on your way to looking and feeling great! I know I do ;0)
Check out my blog at