Tahoe Triple Crown

How do you you set out for new adventures or decide what your next challenge will be? For the last 5 years, I’ve been eyeing the distant view of 3 of the 4 highest peaks in the Lake Tahoe Basin and decided hiking these peaks would be my Summer of ‘17 challenge…

Known to locals as the Tahoe Triple Crown, Freel Peak (10,881 feet), Jobs Sister (10,821) and Jobs Peak (10, 633) are a one-day, a 12-mile loop that “bag” 3-of-4 highest peaks in Lake Tahoe. This summer, I set out to achieve this goal, not on my own, but with Pasquale (10) and Nico (8).

Tahoe Triple Crown-Freel, Job's Sister and Job's Peak

How did we accomplish this challenge? EAS – energy, attitude and spirit.

Energy: We prepared our packs with enough Cliff bars, clementines, peanut butter sandwiches and LOTS of water (almost 7 liters!). Attitude: We were able to find the right attitude through our conversations, music and laughter. Spirit: Before each trek to Freel, Job’s Sister or Job’s Peak, we said a prayer and asked for God to watch over our journey, help us embrace His majesty and protect our steps.

Cliff bar energy

How did we conquer our fear of the unknown?

Freel Peak from Armstrong Pass is well-marked and having climbed this route the last 2-years, we breezed through the 5.25 miles, 2700’ elevation gain in 3 hours and 30-minutes. The first of the Tahoe triple crown was “in-the-bag!”

Freel Peak

The first steps of the unknown and our journey to Job’s Sister (10,821) began down a sandy slope but a very well traveled 1.25 miles to the peak. The only way to reach Job’s Sister is through Freel Peak or Job’s Peak…there are no other options. This portion of our hike was the easiest and quickest, 41-minutes.

Trek to Job's Sister

The second of the Tahoe triple crown was “in-the-bag!”

Second peak "in the bag!"

Feeling great and excited to reach Job’s Peak, we started our climb down Job’s Sister…and all of a sudden, we looked over the edge. That is when fear, doubt and worry set in. There was NO TRAIL. There were NO HIKERS. There were 2 OPTIONS: turn back and retrace our steps, or pray for the confidence to take the first step toward Job’s Peak…we knew it was far away, but we didn’t know it would be 2 miles down Job’s Sister, across many snow banks and up a sandy slope to reach the triple crown peak.

Trek to Job's Peak from Job's Sister

At this point in our journey, we found the courage to take one step after another and before each switchback, agreed on the direction we would head. The trek from Job’s Sister to Job’s Peak was the most treacherous. The heat started to become a factor, there was no cloud coverage and minimal trees. Staying properly hydrated was really important and when we crossed a snow patch, the boys found reprieve in the snow, by cooling off their heads, making snow angels or having a snowball fight.

Snow angels to cool off!

With Job’s Peak in sight, our motto of, “So close, but still so far…” turned from motivation to reality once we reached Job’s Peak…after 6 hours and 30-minutes, the third peak was, “in-the-bag!”

Triple crown "in the bag!"
Job's Peak log book

After we signed the logbook and took a short rest break, we knew there was still a lot of terrain to cover…we had to get down Job’s Peak and a walk back to our car parked at the Freel Peak trailhead. After an additional 2-hours, 4 miles and slightly over 2000’ elevation descent, we finally reached our car! Wahoo!!

How was the drive home? Pasquale asked the question, “Mama, what’s our challenge for next year?” Not sure yet, just living the dream of Summer '17!

Triple crown "in-the-bag!"

From one mom to another…today is your day! Make it the best and become the strongest mom you can be.


Lose 7 Pounds and Fit Into Your Jeans

Moms, the countdown to 2017 has begun and it’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line!  The upcoming holiday rush will have most of us burning the candle at both ends.  My prayer for you during this season is that you will embrace the hustle and bustle, and have a healthy holiday season.

Is it really possible to have a healthy holiday season? Yes!  I believe that if you stay disciplined to exercise and make healthy nutritional choices, you will achieve!

How can you stay disciplined to exercise? 

Find an accountability group and show up (even when you don’t feel like it)!  Ask any of the 15 moms that just finished our 30-minute boot camp how they did it, and let them be your inspiration.  This journey started as a 28-day challenge, and because of their hard work, discipline and results, we extended the boot camp for an additional 4-weeks!  Why? Because when you are disciplined to exercise, it becomes habitual and you like how you feel and how you look. Surround yourself with people that can share testimonies like this with you:

GREAT workout this morning – thank you!! My muscles are tired, but not sore. These workouts are amazing – I can feel myself getting stronger.

I can’t believe it…weighed myself today and down 7 pounds since boot camp started…Ran 30 minutes at 6.2-6.5 on treadmill.

I just put on a pair of skinny jeans that I haven’t worn in years. YEARS. And they fit!! (I realize these are now far out of style but I don’t care! Wearing them anyway!)

How can you make healthy nutritional choices? 

Fuel your body with vitamins every morning!  Did you know that vitamins could reduce stress, boost metabolism and help balance your body (especially if you skip meals or don’t eat a well balanced diet)?  After 8-weeks of IDLife vitamins, I can honestly say that these vitamins have helped me sleep better; wake up with a clear mind, and fill the small nutrient gaps that I do not get from diet alone.  I can go on-and-on about other benefits from taking my vitamins, email me and I'll share my experience with you.

Is this something that you can really do?

I truly believe that any one, (especially you!) can have a healthy holiday season. Remind yourself that it starts with being disciplined to exercise and making healthy nutritional choices.  If you need motivation, reach out to me or mark your calendar for November 29th and join us at The Mom's Marketplace.  The Mom's Marketplace is a group of moms that will have health, fitness, beauty and relaxation gift ideas for everyone on your list, so that you can help them have a healthy holiday season.


Exercise and Proper Nutrition

Our "Team of 3" is on day-7 of our 28-day challenge.  Are you the slightest bit curious about how our transformation is going?  Over the last 7-days, we have lost 5.5 pounds, logged more than 15-hours of exercise, our clothes are fitting better, we have more energy and are following our IDLife 28-Day Challenge calendar.  Week-1 summary: regular exercies and small dietary changes can yield big results.

What are our 28-Day Challenge goals?

1.     Have fun exercising.  Exercise can be a woman’s worse enemy or best friend.  Whether exercise is your foe or friend will largely depend on if you are getting results both mentally and physically.  Exercise releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone.  When you feel good, you are happier!  Exercise also makes you feel strong from a muscular and skeletal perspective.  When you feel happier and your body feels stronger, you are more likely to stay committed to an exercise program.  Our Strongest Mom 30-minute workouts are hard (to help you get results) and fun (to help you start your day with a smile)!

2.     Fuel our bodies with IDLife vitamins, supplements and hydration.  Why is hydration so important?  Your calorie burning muscles slow down dramatically when your body does not have adequate amounts of water.  Over 70% of your muscle consists of water, so when they are not fully hydrated, their ability to generate energy is severely inhibited and you burn fewer calories.  When your body is properly hydrated and gets replenished pre/post workouts, you get better results!

How is this 28-Day Challenge going to help us reach our goals?

1.     Individualized workouts!  Each boot camp workout is individualized.  Moms trust me to put together a workout that will target a mom's "trouble areas" and will help them reach their goals.  Each workout is individually created and designed.  These workouts incorporate big muscle movements, compound exercises, and include cardio intervals to help burn more calories. 

2.     Personalized nutrition! IDLife is the world’s first ever fully customized vitamin program designed to provide you with the exact nutrients you need.  If you want to learn more about personalized nutrition, start by taking your free health assessment at or email Sarah @  Personalized nutrition is easy to incorporate into a the life of a busy mom and has definitely made a positive impact in helping us reach our goals.


We are super excited to continue on this journey for the next 3-weeks.  Stay tuned for more updates, or come and join us at Curtis Park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30-9 AM.



Do you want to lose fat?

Trying to lose fat can be a struggle, a beat down or down right deflating!  Most people have difficulty finding a fitness routine that keeps them motivated AND helps them lose fat.  Without results, people are more likely to quit.  Before you give up on your fitness routine, say these words out loud, “Commit, don’t quit!” and use these 4 steps to stay committed to fitness and lose fat along the way.

4 steps to lose fat and stay committed to fitness:

1. Be Realistic

The majority of people exercise to lose fat.  Do you know that in order to lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume?  Your metabolic rate is the rate in which your body burns calories.  Exercise helps increase your metabolic rate.  If you consume less, and exercise regularly, you should lose fat.  The American Council of Exercise recommends healthy weight loss at 1 to 2 pounds per week (or a deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 calories).  Ready to set a realistic fat loss goal?  Calculate your caloric input, output and metabolic rate, and then you can set a realistic goal!

What is my realistic goal?  I want to lose 3-pounds in 28-days.

How am I going to do it?  It begins with proper nutrition.  I am going to take my IDLife vitamins and do the 28-Day Challenge!  If you want to learn more about the challenge, start by taking your free health assessment at or email Sarah @  


2. Have A Specific Goal

When you have a specific goal, you have direction, are focused and more likely to succeed.  I recommend your goal should be directly related to 1.) A specific level of exercise intensity (75-85% maximum heart rate), 2.) Frequency of workouts (minimum 3x/week) or 3.) Achieving a fitness tracker goal (steps per day).  When you track your results, you will see progress, stay motivated to fitness, and lose fat.

What is my specific goal?  I want to reach 15,000+ steps/day at least 5 days/week.

How am I going to do it?  I need to get moving for at least 7 ½ miles every day!


3. Exercise For A Season

Pick a season and start exercising.  It is easier to stay on track when you know what you're training for, and you will be less likely to let excuses keep you from crossing the finish line.  Then, when that season is over, start a new season of training.  Soon, you will find yourself in a constant season of fitness while continuing to lose body fat.

What is my season?  Over the next 28-days, I want to complete 24-workouts.

How am I going to do it?  I am going to do 12-Strongest Mom Boot Camp workouts and 12-individual workouts.  Register today and join me on September 12th!


4. Be Active For A Lifetime

Is it possible to think about being active for a lifetime?  Yes!  When you take the IM off of ‘impossible’ and the UN off of ‘unable’, it yields ‘possible’ and ‘able’.  Isn’t that the mindset you want when it comes to being active for a lifetime?  I do!

How can I be active for a lifetime?  Remind myself that I want to be active so that I can be a role model for my children and be healthy for my family! 

How am I going to do it?  One step at a time…



When you are realistic, have a specific goal, exercise for a season and are active, you are more likely to lose fat and stay committed to fitness.  Together, let’s challenge one another to reach our goals, say goodbye to body fat and hello to healthy living!  


Are you up for a 28-day challenge? We are!

We hope you are doing amazingly well and are in full swing with school, activities and routine!  For most of us, the last couple of weeks have been consumed with juggling "back to school" schedules and stressing over carpools.  And like anything else, when something new starts up, we have a hard time keeping up with everything else…especially when it comes to health and fitness.

Why is it so hard to keep up with health and fitness?  Maybe you're plagued with aches and pains, have fatigue or find yourself in a constant battle with a slowing metabolism.  If you can relate to any or all of those reasons, join our "Team of 3" for a 28-day challenge to improve your overall health and fitness.

Starting Monday, September 12th, Sarah Camiolo and Laura Andrews from IDLife, and I, are teaming up for 28-days to help one another overcome our own personal health and fitness struggles, while encouraging one another to find success on this program.

Can you set aside 28-days and make a commitment to improve your overall health and fitness?  If so, take action today!  Let this simple equation be your daily reminder and motivation to join us!

IDLife nutrition + Strongest Mom fitness = Transformation


IDLife Nutrition:

Vitamins and supplements customized for you.  IDLife offers a free, science-based health assessment designed to determine what you need based on your individual information. Your assessment will give you a detailed picture of what supplements are best for you and why.  To get your FREE health assessment and nutritional recommendations, go to, click on the assessment tab and in as quick as 5-minutes, you will have the scientific facts.

Once you complete your assessment and order your customized IDNutrition (vitamins and supplements), you will receive a 30% off coupon to order these recommended products so that you can get the most out of the 28-day challenge:

ID Transformation Base Kit $132.99*

Includes Energy Jar, Protein Shake and Lean Bottle 

Performance Challenge $94.99*

Includes Pre Workout, Post Workout and Hydrate

*Price reflects a 30% savings when ordered with the IDNutrition (vitamins and supplements).  The average cost for IDNutrition is $50-$75/month.

IDLife questions contact Sarah @ 


Strongest Mom Fitness:

Starting September 12th, join us every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for a 30-minute workout on the Curtis Park playground from 8:30-9 AM.  These workouts are geared to help you burn tons of calories, improve your cardio vascular endurance, muscle and core strength, flexibility and agility.  Bring a mat and water.  Session ends Friday, October 7th. 

12 Sessions $200

Register today

Strongest Mom questions contact



Sarah, Laura and I truly believe that when you make health and fitness a priority, and couple it with an encouraging community of friends, you will find success!  We want you to be a part of this 28-day challenge, so that together, we can be transformed!

*IDLife Nutrition and Strongest Mom Boot Camp can be purchased separately.  


Niccole, Sarah and Laura

Look Your Best This Swimsuit Season

In the last 50-years, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition has earned more than $1 billion in revenue. A lot can be said about the models, swimwear designers and photographers that make this revenue-busting edition so successful. But the reality of knowing that swimsuit season is upon us, makes the majority of people uncomfortable and intimidated.

How can you look your best this swimsuit season? Be disciplined and obedient.

It’s About Progress, Not Perfection
None of us are SI swimsuit edition models. So why do you compare yourself to the images around you? Do a personal inventory, set a realistic goal and put a plan into action to achieve it. Losing 1-pound is awesome! Knowing that you can achieve something will motivate you to stay disciplined to your plan.

10-Minute Workout
If you want results, you need to be obedient. Simply stated, exercise even when you don’t feel like it. Your obedience to exercise will help you look your best this swimsuit season. If you need a boost in your current exercise routine, add this 10-minute workout to what you are currently doing. Try to perform these exercises three times with little rest in between sets. Remember, proper form will help you achieve the best results and minimize your risk of injury.

20-Crossbody Mountain Climbers 

Still need more guidance to look your best this swimsuit season? Incorporate these 6-steps into your daily routine and get excited for summer. 

6 Steps To Look Your Best This Swimsuit Season
1. Stress Less
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, a chemical in your brain that tells your body to crave foods high in fat and sugar. Cortisol also triggers your body to hold onto fatty tissue and enlarge the size of your fat cells. Stress can also lead to heart problems, insomnia, hair and memory loss as well as infertility.

2. Sweat More

For the next 6-weeks, try and challenge yourself to sweat more during your workout. Start by increasing the intensity of your workout. During your cardio workout, increase your cadence, which will increase your heart rate and help you burn more calories. When you do your strength-training workout, get it done in 30-minutes or less. If you really want to look great this swimsuit season, add an extra workout whenever possible.

3. 20-Minute Rule
It takes 20-minutes for the brain to feel full or satisfied after you eat. So the next time you eat, set a timer, wait 20-minutes and see if you are still hungry. By using this method, you will most likely eat less, consume fewer calories and lose weight. If you want to speed up the brain recognition process, drink water 10-minutes before you eat and give yourself a head start on feeling satiated! 

4. Stay Hydrated
When you stay hydrated, you are less likely to overeat because what you think is a “hunger” signal, is actually a signal for thirst. Before you dig into the pantry, drink a glass of water, wait 20-minutes and see if you are still hungry. A good rule of thumb to see if you are properly hydrated is to check the color of your urine. If it is a light yellow, you’re drinking enough. If it’s not, grab a glass of H2O and guzzle it down. 

5. Skip The Salt
Adding salt to your food will make you bloated and can last for days. Before you put on your swimsuit, reduce the amount of salt you consume and avoid processed foods (they contain high levels of sodium). If you find yourself craving salt, it’s usually do to an emotional reason, versus a biological one. The average person should consume between 1600-2400 mg of sodium (that’s about one teaspoon).

6. Stop Snacking
In the past 30-years, Americans have increased their snacking habits by 29%. Do you snack throughout the day, at the checkout counter, or get the late night munchies? If you snack frequently, change your behavior. Many people are mindless when it comes to snacking, so pay attention to when you snack. Before your errands, eat a handful of nuts, vegetables or fruit and go to bed feeling hungry.

You can achieve your swimsuit shape by being disciplined and obedient. Use this image and put it on your refrigerator, dashboard, mirror, pantry, smartphone or computer as a reminder of why you are on this journey.

Swimsuit Season

Dallas Moms, if you are free on Thursday, April 21st from 11:30 am-12:30 pm, please join me at MIS as I talk about "Energizing Your Family!" Have a great week and know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to!


Do You Want To Run A Half Marathon?

Tuesday morning, I dropped our kids off at school and before my 8-year old crossed the street, I opened the window and asked him, “Hey Pasquale, do you want to run a half marathon with me on Sunday?” He thought for a moment, smiled and said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” So Pasquale and I made up our mind to run the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon together on March 20th.

You might be thinking I am crazy to throw out an idea like that, or you might be thinking, you go mama! Yes, it was a bit of a crazy idea, but he is certainly capable of finishing a half marathon. Part of parenting is about challenging our children, and building their confidence when they aren’t sure they can do it.

Challenging Your Child
As challenging as running is physically, I would argue that long distance running is even more mentally taxing. Take whatever challenge your child is facing and make and effort to overcome it. Encouraging and coaching your child through their challenges will build inner strength and self-value. Inner strength will help your child push through trials and tribulations. In Romans 5:3-4 we are reminded that, “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.” Isn’t it time we start challenging our children?

Building Your Child’s Confidence
From the moment your child takes his or her first steps or walks across the stage and receives a diploma, our job is to build their confidence, not make them believe they are better than someone else. There is a distinct difference between a child’s confidence and arrogance. A philosophy in our home is, “Don’t ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.” As parents, we lead by example and grow in our abilities so that our children become capable of growing in their abilities. As an individual’s abilities grow, so does their confidence.

Pasquale hasn’t “trained” specifically to run 13.1 miles. But over the course of the last 10-weeks, he has racked up: 35-hours on a wrestling mat, 25-miles of biking, 20-hours of swimming, 12-miles of running, 15-hours of Tae Kwon Do training, 10-hours of football and sleeps 10-hours/night. No doubt he will be challenged to finish a half marathon, but when he crosses the finish line, he will be confident in his abilities.

Make today great! Get out and challenge your child, build their confidence and build a strong family.


The Importance Of Cross Training

30-minute boot camp is back! Are you ready to change up your workout routine and break through fitness plateaus? I am! I've missed the camaraderie and workouts with our moms and dads and can't wait to start training again. The class is a cross training workout with an emphasis on proper form, having fun and working up a great sweat. No experience is necessary, so register now and join me on Mondays and Wednesdays, April 4th-27th at 8:30 am on the Curtis Park Playground. 

Why should you cross train? Cross training is an important component of exercise. Cross training uses several different exercise disciplines like plyometric exercises, interval training and strength training. Experts, athletes and fitness enthusiasts will tell you that cross training routines have benefits that go beyond physical conditioning. Like most things, if you do not challenge yourself (in this case with your exercise routine), it will be difficult to change the way you look and feel.

Cross training boosts your metabolism
Getting your body out of it’s normal routine will instruct your muscles that they need to work differently and work harder. As a result, you stimulate muscle growth. A muscle cell burns more calories than fat cells and increases your metabolic rate, even when you are sleeping and can help you achieve a chiseled physique.

Cross training trains your brain
When you walk or run, do you think about it? When you get into a downward dog pose, do you perform without instruction? When you do a pushup, lunge, squat and burpee, do you think about how to perform those exercises? Probably. Cross training engages brain function that improves brain activity and thinking skills.

Cross training minimizes overuse injury
Do you know a runner with knee problems? Or a yogini with shoulder injuries? How about a tennis player with an injured Achilles? When you are specific to one form of exercise, you are more likely to suffer an injury. Cross training encompasses flexibility, cardio vascular and strength training, agility and over all body conditioning, which can reduce the risk of injury.

By combining cross training and good nutrition, you can achieve your goals, physically and mentally. 

If you aren't able to join us for our 30-minute boot camp, give this cross training workout a try and get your adrenaline pumping. Perform these exercises three times with little rest in between sets.

30 Jumping Jacks
15 Push-ups
60-Seconds of Wall Squat
10 Pull-ups
45-Seconds of Step-ups
20 Plank with High Side Knee
30-Seconds of Fast Running

Need more of a challenge? Order our 30-minute fitness videos and become the strongest version of you!

You are an amazing mom and I want to hep you succeed in reaching your fitness goals. Start today and see your life change!


Building Life Skills

Our 7-year old and 8-year old boys posted top-6 finishes in the Texas USA Wrestling State Rookie Tournament on Feb. 26. This tournament was the culmination to 4-months of training with the Highland Park Scots Wrestling Club. Our boys are learning how to wrestle, but more importantly, building life skills. The benefits to wrestling are endless, and here are my top five reasons how wrestling builds skills not only for a reason or a season, but also for a lifetime. 

1. Wrestling improves your ability to focus

Wrestling is a sport that demands focus from the moment you step on the mat until the final whistle blows. If you lose focus for a split second, you will get pinned. Your opponent is trained to attack and show no mercy. Ending up on your back with someone on top of you isn’t fun, in fact, it can be demoralizing. But when you stay focused, you wrestle well, and win or lose, there is no greater adrenaline rush!

2. Wrestling builds resiliency (toughness)

No matter how you sugar coat it, losing stinks. If you wrestle, you will probably lose at some point of your career. When you lose, you have to have a short-term memory, forget about the past and be prepared for what lies ahead. You cannot teach someone how to be resilient or have toughness; people have to experience it for themselves. Wrestling puts you in a position that if you win, it’s because of you and if you lose, there is no one to blame.

3. Wresting brings out your competitiveness

Competitiveness can be a learned behavior, but more often than not, a person’s competitive drive is an innate trait. Don’t know if your child has a competitive spirit? Put him (or her…yes, girls wrestle too) on the mat, toe to toe, watch his or her instincts kick into overdrive and witness firsthand their individual will to compete. Need convincing? Watch the video of our boys’ tournament and see first hand the will to succeed and ability to overcome failure.

4. Wrestling develops mental and physical conditioning

What might appear as two athletes lunging, thrusting and throwing one another around is one of the most mentally and physically grueling sports. Wrestling is an all out battle, which requires muscle strength, power, speed, agility, cardiovascular endurance and natural instincts. 

5. Wrestling teaches hard work, discipline and camaraderie

Children grow up entitled. Wrestling doesn’t tolerate entitlement. Wrestlers earn their spot on the mat and their success comes from hard work. As for discipline, before each tournament, wrestlers have to weigh in and make weight. This teaches responsible eating and proper nutrition. Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing my children encourage and support one another through their wins...and losses.

Maybe wresting isn’t your child’s sport, but maybe your child can find an activity that encourages life skills like wrestling: focus, resiliency, competitiveness, conditioning, hard work, discipline and camaraderie. As a mom, I am proud of my boys’ effort and willingness to work hard and never quit.


If you are curious and want to learn more about their effort, check out this Texas State Wrestling Tournament video.

Together, let’s encourage one another and our children to become the strongest they can be!



Childhood Obesity And Weight Loss

Are children really at risk for becoming overweight and obese? The Centers For Disease Control and Protection (CDC) have some eye opening facts. According to the CDC:

•       Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

•       The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.

•       In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

Recently, our family had a conversation about weight loss. Our 7-year old is conditioning for the Texas USA Wrestling State Tournament on Feb. 27-28. At his last tournament, he weighed 57.5 pounds and competed in the 61-pound weight class. He was at a huge disadvantage and asked the question, “Mama, what do I need to do if I want to compete in the 56-pound weight class?”

So I asked him a lot of questions about why he wants to compete at that weight class and helped him think through an exercise and nutrition plan to help him achieve his goal. This conversation is not only an individual goal, it is a family affair and as a family, we will support Nico to reach his goal.

What is Nico’s purpose? Nico wants to wrestle kids who are closer to his actual weight.

What is Nico’s plan? Here are three pillars to help Nico achieve his weight goal.

1. Exercise More.
In addition to his after school activities, Nico and I run 1-mile before school three days/week. This early morning routine kick starts his metabolism and helps him go to school focused and prepared for the day.

2. Eating Parameters.
Nico will reduce his treats after dinner to every other night. With the exception of two evenings, he will finish eating by 7pm, have reduced portions of simple carbohydrates like pasta and potatoes and will eat well-balanced meals. Eating well-balanced meals will lead to less snacking throughout the day. Snacks will be measured out for portion control and responsible eating.

3. Reduce Sugar.
When the kids looked in the refrigerator, they noticed a new brand of yogurt and they asked, “Mama, why did you switch brands?” I explained to them that after comparing the two yogurts, this brand has 4-5 grams of less sugar. The majority of kids (and adults!) consume too much added sugar. This means sugar found in fruit juices, sodas, and processed foods, not natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.

This plan isn’t just about a State Wrestling Tournament, it is teaching our children life lessons. If we, as parents, aren’t around to have these conversations with our children, whom will they turn to and how will they learn the right way to approach weight loss? Make exercise and nutrition a family affair and together, let's build a strong family.


Getting The Most Out Of Your Workout

Most people know what you need to do when it comes to exercising. But after reading this, maybe you can implement some simple steps and tools to help you get the most out of your next workout.

Your workout should have a purpose and a plan.

You need a purpose so that workouts are individualized to your personal needs. Identifying your needs will help you be consistent and stay motivated to exercise. Here are some needs that maybe you can identify with the next time you workout: 

  • I feel strong.           
  • I think clearly.           
  • I have more energy.

The benefit to having a workout plan is to achieve results specific to you. By identifying your personal goals, you will be more likely to stay motivated to exercise and get the most out of your workout. Do any of these goals resonate with you?

  • Lose 3 pounds.
  • Touch my toes.
  • Tone my muscles.

Variety is the key to success.

People are creatures of habit. You find something you like, it becomes habitual, and you stay the course. Even though exercising is really, really good for you, you might be limiting your potential to get the most out of your workout by doing the same workout. Do you get on the treadmill and run at the same speed, take the same spin class and go to the same Pilates or yoga instructor? If so, change your routine. You should not repeat the same workout. Variety reduces boredom, challenges your brain, builds new muscles, reduces injuries, and can help you break through weight loss (or gain) plateaus.  

Practical tips.

Elevate your heart rate. If you are not elevating your heart rate at least 4 times a week, you are missing an opportunity to get the most out of your workout. When you elevate your heart rate, your heart pumps more blood and works harder. Over time, your heart will become more efficient and will not have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood. Your heart is like any other muscle in your body. It needs to be taxed, given an opportunity to rest and recover so that it can grow stronger.

Have sensible eating habits. The best way to get the most out of your workouts is to eat well. In my opinion, I believe the diet/workout relationship is 70% diet and 30% exercise. Your diet is significantly more important than your workout. If you make the time to workout, make the time to eat right. Every time you eat or drink something, think about writing it on a post-it note and attaching it to your sleeve. Walk around bragging about what you consume versus hiding the truth about your diet. 

Feel the muscle burn. If you do not have a strength training workout routine, get one. If you are not feeling the burn when you do weight bearing exercises, increase your weight, check your form or do more repetitions. When you feel the burn, your muscle is working to it’s potential. Muscles will get stronger in the rest and recovery period and help you achieve a sculpted physique. 

Get it done! Every week, look at your calendar and schedule your workout. Life will get in the way and keep you from reaching your potential if you do not make an appointment to workout.

Getting the most out of your workout begins with you. Identify your purpose and plan, change up your workout routine and use these practical tips to help you become the strongest you can be, mentally and physically.

Get Motivated to Exercise

Happy New Year!! Hopefully 2016 is off to a terrific start. Maybe the last couple of weeks have been filled with family visits, traveling or overindulgence. Maybe you are doing everything you can to keep your head above water. Regardless of how 2016 has started, get motivated to exercise and make this year your best yet!

Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated. Over the last three weeks, I have been completely unmotivated to exercise. Prior to Thursday, I didn’t workout in 22 days. Why? Maybe my body needed a break; maybe my mind needed a break. Regardless of the reason, it happened and I don’t feel guilty. But this week I decided it’s time to get back on track. I’ve picked my peak and started my trek. Have you?

What motivates someone to do something?

I believe the following motivates you:

1. Pleasure. Things that make you feel good will motivate you. Exercise makes you feel good about yourself and how you perceive yourself. So get out and exercise. You deserve to experience pleasure in your world.

2. Pain. Some are driven by pain. If something hurts, you want it to stop. To make the pain go away, you need to do choose a different course. Garner Ted Armstrong once said, “The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.” Your rewards are waiting for you. Are you for the pain go away?

How can you get motivated to exercise?

Use these simple tools to get you motivated:

1. Start small. Lose 1-2 pounds this week. Get your heart rate up for 30-45 minutes 2-3 times this week. Eat well one meal at a time. Once your small trek becomes habitual, make your trek more challenging and set your sights on your next peak. 

2. Pay for it. When you use your hard earned money and pay for a service, you are more likely to keep a commitment. Whether it’s a gym membership, personal trainer or fitness package, use it to motivate you. 

3. Important events. Do you have a family wedding, want to get pregnant, are currently pregnant, or have an upcoming class reunion that means a lot to you? Put the event on your calendar, start the countdown and get motivated to look and feel your best.

Your trek can begin today. Pick you peak, start your trek and reach your summit. Enjoy the pleasure (and muscle pain) that you experience so that you can proclaim victory at the top.

Still need motivation to exercise? Use coupon code TREK16 and save 25% on the purchase of our 30-minute fitness videos. 


First Workout of 2016

Today was my first workout in 22 days. Quite honestly, I haven't been motivated. With the best intentions to wake up at 5am to do my workout, I slept in, woke up late and rushed to get a family of 6 out the door in 20 minutes. After drop off, the amount of work that I was behind on began to overwhelm me and then when Vito went for his workout, he motivated me to do my workout. So I did. I ran my 5 miles, MUCH slower than usual, but with my music and cool temperatures, I did it. Yes, even after stretching, I'm quite sore already, but the energy and alertness I feel outweighs the muscle pain. Today begins my trek. I’ve picked my peak and am on my way to reach the top. Are you ready to start your trek? If so, I’d love to hear from you and your trek. Together, let’s motivate one another and make 2016 the best trek yet!


Proper Form in Exercising and Parenting

As parents, the majority of our responsibility is to teach our children. Manners are expected, but can be inconsistent. Fostering independence requires patience, and matures over time. Healthy living is a lifestyle, not a magical transformation. Despite frustration or setbacks, you try and demonstrate doing life well as consistently as possible. Since you want your children to learn well as they go through life, why do you not do the same for yourself, especially when it comes to exercising?

As a former certified personal trainer, teaching clients the right way to exercise was a priority. Many people do not use proper form and form really matters! Use proper form and see the transformation take place.

What is proper form?
Proper form is performing an exercise correctly. It is positioning your body properly, using a range of motion specific to the exercise, and having the correct amount of resistance to create tension for the muscle(s) being exercised.

Why is proper form important?
Proper form helps you establish a fitness foundation. Proper form is an instrumental component to the overall success of any workout program.

Great form gives you great results. When an exercise is performed with proper form, you can actually feel the muscle at work, increased blood flow delivers more oxygen­‐rich blood to the muscle(s) at work, and you build muscle. That muscle then goes to work to burn body fat, even when you are resting.

Proper form minimizes injuries. When exercises are performed with proper form, you condition/train muscles that act as secondary joint stabilizers. And proper form can help reduce your risk of overuse injuries. Of course, you should always check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Remember to listen to your body. If you feel any discomfort, or unnecessary pain specific to the exercise movement, stop immediately, check your form, and make any necessary adjustments, including reducing the weight or modifying the movement to make it easier for you.

How do I perform exercises with proper form?
Find a good instructor or instructional video so you understand the proper mechanics and get the greatest benefit from the time and money you invest.

Focus on the specific muscle the exercise targets. If you are unsure, research what muscle should be engaged while performing the exercise. Then, as you perform the exercise, think about that muscle, and feel the muscle engage without unnatural stress/tension/pain.

Proper form is about quality, not quantity. Quality training will positively influence your progress. Your goal is to perform as many repetitions as possible with good form, and the last 2­‐3 repetitions should be challenging, but not impossible. Your repetitions should not cause you to break proper form.

Maybe after reading this, you cut and paste proper form when exercising to parenting. These tips can be used not only in the gym, but everyday in life, to help you become the strongest mom.


Burn More Calories

Exercise has many benefits. Along with improving your overall health, exercise increases bone density, boosts your mood, memory and your learning. But for some, that’s not enough. You want results and you want them fast.  So, if you’re not getting the best results from your workout, start incorporating some (or all) of these tips into your workout routine and get the results you want!

1.     Incorporate muscle-building exercises. Muscle cells works harder than fat cells and burn more calories. Muscle cells are dense (compact), and take up less space than fat cells, which can shave off inches from your waistline, hips and other areas. Did you know that regular weight training could boost your metabolism by 15%? That means that your body will burn more calories, even when you are at rest. What types of weight bearing exercises should you do? Think about traditional calisthenics like squats, lunges, burpees and pushups. Remember, too much cardio vascular exercises can actually shrink the size of your muscles.

2.     Exercise in your target heart rate zone. Most people do not exercise at the right intensity level. The greater the exertion, the greater amount of calories you burn. Use this formula to calculate your target heart rate zones. 1.) Find your resting heart rate (RHR). 2.) Take 220 (maximum heart rate) – your age – RHR. 3.) Multiply by the % of intensity you want: fat burning zone is 60-75% and aerobic/cardio zone is 75-85%. 4.) Add back in your RHR and you have your zone. If you're not breathing hard, you're not working out hard enough. If you can read a magazine, newspaper or check email during your workout, you are not burning the calories that you could be.

3.     Keep your workouts less than 60 minutes. After 60-minutes of exercise, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that prevents tissue growth and decreases muscle mass. An increase in cortisol can also lead to an increase in abdominal fat. Train your body to work smarter, not longer. Have a workout routine that incorporates strength training, cardio vascular training, balance, flexibility and core conditioning. The next time you go to the gym, be efficient, stop the chitchat and get on with your busy day.

To burn more calories during your workout, incorporate muscle-building exercises, increase your intensity and keep your workouts to less than 60-minutes.


Avoid Weight Gain This Thanksgiving

The majority of Americans will be sitting around watching football and feasting on turkey, gravy, stuffing, sides, pecan and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. So how can you avoid gaining weight this Thanksgiving?

1.     Fill up on fibrous vegetables and lean protein first. Foods high in fiber tend to fill you up, so you’re less likely to overeat and stay satisfied longer. High-fiber vegetables like peas, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, yams and green beans are high fiber vegetables. When it comes to dark or white meat, which will you choose? Both dark and white meat have about the same caloric and fat content, with dark meat having more vitamins. Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with either one.

2.     Substitute and reduce when you can. Many Thanksgiving recipes call for excessive amounts of heavy cream, sugar and butter. This year, try and substitute coconut milk for heavy cream and apple juice for sugar. Think about reducing the amount of butter you put into your sides. Did you know that sugar releases dopamine in your brain, making it highly addictive, and one tablespoon of butter has 102 calories and 12 grams of fat?

3.     Don’t show up to the dinner table on an empty stomach. The aromas in a kitchen on Thanksgiving are heavenly. This once-a-year meal makes it so inviting to come to the dinner table on an empty stomach so that you can get the most out of the meal. But, remember the hungrier you are, the more likely you will overeat when you sit down. Blood sugar levels drop significantly when your stomach is empty, and might tempt you to grab less healthy foods. Fuel up throughout the day and portion control when you eat your Thanksgiving dinner.

4.     Exercise before tryptophan sets in. Thanksgiving is a gluttonous holiday. As busy as you are, try and schedule time to exercise. When the bird is in the oven, get out and exercise. On Thanksgiving morning, our family, along with 40,000 of our closest friends, will be running 8-miles in the Dallas Turkey Trot. If that’s not your style, create your own version of the Turkey Trot or get a Turkey Bowl game going. Burn some calories before you consume them later on.

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for our health, bounty and blessings from the preceding year. Wouldn’t it be great to include weight management on this list to be thankful for? Eat your fiber and protein, substitute and reduce when you can, fuel your body throughout the day and get in your exercise. A brisk one-hour walk for a 150-pound person can burn 340 calories. 

Strongest Mom


High Performance Kids Are Accountable

High Performance Kids Are Accountable

Raising kids is hard work! Helping our kids be high performing in anything they do takes effort and begins with teaching them to be accountable. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.”