Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Say Goodbye to Your Pre-baby Body

Putting pressure on yourself to get your body back to how it looked before you got pregnant is holding you back.

That's right. I said it.

We moms get so fixated on our bodies and what it isn't doing or what it isn't looking like. We stand for what surely amounts to hours, looking at ourselves in the mirror. We tug and pull at skin, find stretch marks we never saw before, question whether our boobs will forever be deflated after breastfeeding, have bellies that can't quite seem to get flat ... the list goes on.

And after these agonizing self-critiquing episodes, we usually walk away from the mirror, depressed, and throw on something that darn sure better not be form-fitting. "Flowy and loose," you tell yourself. A must. Heaven forbid we be reminded of our jiggles and fleshy parts as we navigate our days.

But what if we just forgot about what we used to look like?

What if we used this as an opportunity to be a new version of ourselves? Whatever that might be. Imagine how much better we would feel. Gone would be the pressure of looking the same way you did in those/that _____ (you fill in the blank). Right?

Because let's face it. Even if we do get back down to our pre-pregnancy weight, our bodies are not the same. For me, my stomach has loose skin. I have crazy veins in my legs that I didn't have before. My muscle tone darn sure isn't what it used to be -- to name a few.

After both of my pregnancies, I was so happy to finally hit that number. Geez, why do we put so much value on a stupid number? I did it. And I know better. But there's just something so satisfying about hitting that silly number. It's like a soap bubble that jumps into the air while you're doing dishes, and you catch it in your hand. Ha! Gotcha!

But oftentimes once we hit that number, we are immediately still dissatisfied because our bodies are different. Maybe it's the skin. Maybe it's the cellulite that wasn't there before. Maybe your posture sucks now. Or maybe your joints are all jacked up. Or maybe ... any of a number of things.

I'd like to suggest we look at pregnancy as an opportunity for us to become new versions of ourselves. And with each pregnancy, is another chance to be renewed.

I'm not suggesting you don't work hard to lose the baby weight. By all means work to do that, if that's what's important to you. But if it's not important to you, don't put pressure on yourself to force something you don't even want.

What's great is that we all have the freedom to decide what's best for us.

I'm just encouraging all of us moms to be kinder to ourselves. Don't stare at yourself in the mirror in shame or disappointment. Instead, embrace it. All of it. For you are an awesome woman who had a child and that-- all of that-- is beautiful.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Looking for a dessert that doesn't leave you feeling riddled with guilt? If you're new to this avocado spin on traditional mousse, the sound of avocado as the main ingredient may make you say, "euw." Don't worry, I understand. I was a little skeptical at first too.

But you're in for a major surprise -- it tastes nothing like avocado. If you're vegan or looking to reduce dairy from your diet, this is perfect. Swap out the dairy for heart-healthy avocado and enjoy this delicious treat!


1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
Optional toppings: assorted fruit, coconut flakes, whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream)

Directions: In a blender add the almond milk, avocado, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and salt. Blend for two minutes until smooth. Add to serving dishes and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes. Then add toppings of choice (or have it plain) before serving.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Quest Protein Chips Review

When it comes to new health food products, I'm a bit of a skeptic. I tend to raise my eyebrow, and wonder, "what's the catch?"

The possibilities of how I will have been duped take over my mind -- "It must taste awful." "OK, it's high in protein, but watch, it'll have loads of fat, carbs or whatever." "Oh wait, I know, it's full of sugar." "Yup, that's it. Gotcha!"

Enter Quest Protein Chips.

I first saw them on the Today Show with a bunch of other new fitness products on the market, about eight months ago. I made a mental note to try them -- but of course no rush, because you know, there's inevitably something going to be wrong with them.

Well, I finally got around to trying them this week. And only because they were right front of me on a display case situated next to the kids club at my gym. And because I drop my kids off there so I can go workout, I was going to bump right into them. (Good marketing there. Target those parents -- because what mom or dad doesn't want to reach for a bag of chips while dealing with the stresses of parenthood? Right?)

To my surprise, they weren't bad. I got the BBQ flavored, but there were also sour cream & onion, sea salt, cheddar & sour cream, and salt & vinegar. Each bag is 120 calories, has 5 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein. Can you believe that? Let me repeat. 5 grams of carbs, and 21 grams of protein.


I will say, they aren't delicious. But they aren't bad either. They're kind of tasty if you stop thinking about what real potato chips taste like. They are definitely a better alternative to a regular bag of chips that has zero protein and 20-30 grams of carbs.

The one downside is the cost. For a small bag, they were $2.99. That's not a price I will pay very often. But if I'm feeling a craving for salty chips that won't destroy my diet, I certainly will hand over three bucks.

Overall impression: thumbs up. Good job Quest. Good job.

If you'd like to check out my video version of this review, click below. Go ahead and be entertained by my not-so-good-but-who-cares dance moves.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Low Carb, Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Finally. It's here.

Guilt-free pizza.

That's right. No more avoiding pizza, or limiting yourself to that tiny sliver of a piece that's only a tease anyway -- just to leave you feeling as guilty afterwards as if you'd eaten a whole pie.

Say good-bye to those days.

You may be asking, "how is this even possible?"

Cauliflower. Yes, my friends, cauliflower. The pizza crust is made from a blend of cauliflower that's been thrown through a food processor, combined with eggs and seasoning -- and that's it. Mind blown yet?

Now, you might be a little hesitant. I get it. I was too -- that is until I ate a slice of that deliciousness and my life was changed forever. Yup. Changed. Forever.

Check it out!


2 cups cauliflower
2 eggs
1 tsp-1 tbsp olive oil
seasonings of choice (Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, etc.)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

(Use any you like, of course, but here are some of my favorites)
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
green peppers
kale or spinach
tomato slices

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

For crust, cut 1/2 a head of a small cauliflower into small pieces, then run through a food processor until it becomes the consistency of grits. To remove excess water, place cauliflower into a cheesecloth or a towel and ring out the water. Measure out two cups of cauliflower and add to a bowl. Add eggs, olive oil, seasonings and cheese. Mix with fork or hands until all ingredients are mixed well.

You'll have enough "dough" for one large pizza or two small individual pizzas. Form dough into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press the ball down until you form a circle. Continue pressing it out until you get your desired thinness of the crust.

Place in oven for 20 minutes.

Now, it's time to have fun. Add any and all toppings you like. Place back into the oven for about 10 minutes, long enough for the cheese to melt.


Check out my video tutorial below! Be sure to click that subscribe button on my YouTube channel for more!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 New Year's Challenge

It's that time of year again. Time to take control of our fitness plans and get back on track for 2015! Follow along with my 10-day challenge. With only five rules, you can do it! Watch the video and check out what the guidelines are. Are you game? I'll be doing the challenge too, so be sure to follow check in with me on Instagram and Twitter as I'll be posting what I'm eating and my workouts. Good luck and happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Morning Rut With the Kiddos

Sometimes we get into a rut and wonder why things are the way they are. And this could be about anything, not just fitness.

Case in point.

Every morning, my 4-year-old twins have their routine before school. And every morning, I find myself annoyed and irritated, hurrying them along to do every task so that we're not late. It takes them forever to do everything. I mean, everything -- from getting showered, to brushing teeth, to putting their clothes on. You name it, it's going to take an inordinate amount of time to accomplish any given task. They're so easily distracted and inevitably suddenly have million things they need to tell me before they can do anything.

My phrase of the morning: "what are you supposed to be doing?"

And don't get me started on the shoes. After we have finally gotten to the point that we can get into the car, here comes the dreaded shoe task.

You'd think they could just slip those bad boys on and we're off. Oh no, no, no. That would be far too easy. Give that at least 15 minutes. Because once again, distractions pop up. That dinosaur that they haven't thought about in weeks, suddenly becomes all they can focus on. Or, the one child always needs help (never mind the fact that he, for certain, can do it on his own -- I've seen him!). "I caaaaaaaaan't do it," he says. Oh, of course you can't.

There is never enough time and we're always on the verge of being late. Don't let there be an accident on the highway, that will guarantee us walking into a class already in progress. Once we finally get in the car, I'm so frazzled that  I need to take a moment to "woo sah" before we get moving.

Now, you'd think I'd figure this out, right? Apparently, I must enjoy this state utter internal chaos. Because anybody, and probably you reading this, would say "maybe you should just start getting them ready sooner?"

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

And can I tell you how many times, I've said I was going to do that?

Here's my problem: though I've recognized that the easiest solution would be to allow more time for the boys to get ready, I haven't made an actual plan to accomplish this. So right now, it's just a good idea that's floating around in my head.

In order to accomplish this simple-seeming adjustment, I'll need to completely restructure my morning. And let's be real here, this is not something that I really want to do. Why? Because it would require me getting up earlier. And my night owl self really doesn't want to hear about getting up early. I like staying up late and sleeping in a little.

OK, now we're getting somewhere.

The knowledge that I'll have to make some sacrifices that I'm not too eager to make (going to bed earlier and getting up earlier), is enough for me to not actually solve my problem.

What's a girl to do?

Well, I have to decide if this is important. Is allowing more time for my kids to get ready going to make our lives better? If so, then I need to make a real effort to make these changes. Thinking about it ain't gonna cut it.

Maybe you've found yourself in a similar rut? You want to do something differently, but just can't quite pull yourself out of the routine you've gotten comfortable in. What do you do? Well, I'd say you're going to have to have a good heart to heart with yourself. You need to figure out if this is something you really do want to change. If yes, then you'll have to identify what changes you need to make, devise a plan, then execute said plan.

You will likely have to make some sacrifices or do things that may make you uncomfortable, but in the end it'll pay off and you'll probably be happier.

As for me, my plan is to go to bed at least an hour earlier so I can get up an hour earlier and get those kiddos moving! They will have a whole two hours to get themselves together and out the door. I may have to sacrifice some end-of-the night YouTube video watching, but the fact that I won't be a frazzled mess in the morning and we will always be on time, will definitely be worth it.

And what's the lesson here? If you want a different outcome, you're going to have to make some changes. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to Make an Açaí Bowl

Looking for a breakfast swap, or a snack? Then you must try making an açaí bowl.

Now, let me rewind for a minute.

Maybe you've never heard of these bowls -- and if you don't live in California or on the west coast, you may not have.
Açaí, pronounced ah-sigh-ee, is a berry that has its origins in the Amazon of Brazil. These berries are highly nutritious. They're loaded with omega-3s, amino acids and antioxidants.
You can buy frozen packets of açaí at most natural grocery stores or Whole Foods. Be sure to get the unsweetened variety because you don't need extra sugar. If need be, you can add your own honey once you make the bowl if you need a little sweetness. Adding your own sweetener will allow you to control the level of processed sugar in it.

So, how do you make these bowls?


Here's what the packet of açaí looks like:

1 packet frozen açaí
1/4 cup of coconut water (less or more depending on how thick you want your base)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup granola (again depending on how much you want)
1 tsp chia seeds (optional -- I like to add them for extra nutrients sometimes)
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mixed berries
4-5 strawberries, sliced
1/2 banana, sliced
1/4 cup blueberries

Place coconut water in blender with açaí packet, all frozen fruit and chia seeds. Blend until desired consistency. If you like it a tad more thick, like I do, start with just a little splash of coconut water and add more as you see fit. Pour mixture into a bowl, and top with fresh fruit and granola. At this point, taste and see if you want to a add a drizzle of honey on top. 
This is the consistency I like.

If you make one, be sure to use the hashtag #trainertiff on Instagram or Twitter so I can see. Enjoy!

If you'd like to see this post in video format, check it out here! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tone Your Back Workout

The back is an area that is easily neglected while working out. Why is this? Well, unlike your abs, it's not one of those visual areas that most people want to fix. But let's be honest, when we see a sexy back, we like what we see. Am I right?

Now, figuring out which back exercises to do can be a little overwhelming. Don't fret. I've got you covered.

In this video, I share four back exercises with you that you don't even need to step inside a gym to perform. All you'll need is a resistance band and a dumbbell.

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Avoid the Freshman 15

For most freshman, college is that time to experience freedom for the first time. Don't let it go to your head, and subsequently to your waistline.

Beware of thoughts such as these:

"Pizza for breakfast? Heck yeah."

"Hit up the ice cream machine in the dining hall for lunch, first? Why not."

"Pick up that third or fourth giant-sized caramel frap on the way to class? You know it."

If you're heading off to college, don't get caught up. Skipping real meals, because, well ... you can -- or loading up on all the fast food your poor arteries can handle, will catch up with you.

It will.

And when it does, you'll regret all of those horrible dietary decisions you made. Don't let it get to that point. You don't want to come home after year one, to be met with raised eyebrows from family, or worse, direct in-your-face comments about how pudgy you've gotten.

Watch this video and follow my tips on how to get through a year at school without letting your diet get out of control.

Keep it tight my friends. Keep it tight.

Know a college-bound student, or current college student? Do them a favor, share this with them!