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TrainerTiff: December 2013 >

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fit in 5: New Year Challenge

You know the drill. The New Year is finally here, and that means it's time to focus on improving yourself. Maybe you want to read more. Procrastinate less. Get fit. Whatever.

It's a time to do you.

This is a fantastic tradition that I believe in totally. We can all be better versions of ourselves, and that's what I'm all about: Empowerment through improvement.

Now when it comes to fitness, it can get tricky. Everybody has questions. "What should my diet look like?" "How often should I work out?"  ... "What exercises should I do?" ... "When should I do them?"

All these questions, normal as they are, can lead to that feeling of being overwhelmed, which can make the most well-intentioned people do absolutely nothing. Nada. And that's not empowering at all.

Let me offer some assistance. I've designed a five-day program to jump start your fitness routine.

It's complete with a sample daily meal plan and exercise program that covers everything. All you have to do is the work.

The nutrition plan consists of several meals each day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) to provide you with good sources of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats that really boost your metabolism.

The workout plan consists of daily cardio plus a muscle group specific exercise routine for each day (Monday for shaping legs. Tuesday for toning arms and abs, etc.). The routines include set and rep suggestions and links to exercise demos.

This program will help you maximize your gym membership. You can choose to do this program for the five days, or repeat the program each week up to 4 weeks. Ready to go? It's only $9. But it's only available for a limited time -- just like your chance to use the New Year to help create a New You.

Click here to get started.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Banana Nut Protein Muffins with Coffee

Let me be frank. A lot of delicious foods made into protein versions are just plain gross.


Yup, I said it. This is why I set out to make some muffins that actually taste good and aren't hard little rocks being passed off as edible objects that you have to choke down while wondering, why the heck am I eating this?

The muffins I created are not only yummy, but they're a quick grab-n-go option. If you have a hard time eating breakfast or frequently miss your post-workout shake or meal, then this is great for you -- and for everyone else.

Check it out!

3/4 cup protein (I used Isopure with coffee which adds a nice kick.)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
dash sea salt
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus (or use regular milk and add 1/4 tsp vinegar, let sit for 5 min)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 ripe banana, mashed
1-2 cups nuts of choice (I used pecans)

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the protein, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt together well with a spoon. In a small bow, beat one egg with a fork. Then to the dry ingredients add the egg, oil, milk, vanilla and banana. With a spatula, incorporate all the ingredients until moist. Depending on how much moisture the banana added, you may need to add a little more milk. You want the consistency to look like the picture below. Spray paper muffin cups with a nonstick spray and fill cups halfway. Add crumpled pieces of nuts of choice on top. Bake for 12-14 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Once cooled, store in an airtight container. Or you can freeze extras for a later date. Makes 12-14 muffins.


  • Mix by hand. Don't use an electric mixer. Too much mixing will make the muffins dry.
  • I use ripe bananas that have been frozen. When they thaw, there tends to be a lot of water which adds a little extra liquid to the batter which helps it look like the picture above. 
  • The buttermilk or milk with vinegar helps make the muffins moist. If you use regular milk or a non-dairy milk substitute, I can't guarantee tastiness. 
  • Don't skip spraying the muffin cups with a nonstick spray. It also helps keep the muffins moist.  
  • You don't have to use the coffee protein powder, but again, I can't guarantee tastiness. 
  • This mix can be used in a loaf pan. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to Get a Perfect Body

Photo via

It seems like if we all had the answer to the question, how do we get a perfect body?, suddenly our lives would improve immeasurably, birds would sing and we'd be happy for eternity.


Think of all of the companies out there trying to sell you this product and that product, with the promise of (fill in the blank) to help you get that body and happiness that you somehow just can't obtain on your own. Sadly, it's in our culture to pursue the ever elusive ideal of perfection.

Well, I have a little bit of insight on this topic. In fact, I have the answer for you.

Ready? Wait for it. Wait for it.

There is no perfect. It's all relative.

This is something I think we all know intuitively, but lose sight of it when we're constantly bombarded with images of what thin is -- or what sexy is -- or what fit is.

The truth of the matter is that we're all different. That's worth repeating. We're. All. Different. What is perfect for one person, isn't necessarily perfect for the next person. And let's not forget that some ideals may not even be genetically possible for some people.

Yes, genetics play a huge role in what we look like. No matter how hard I try, I'll never look like Serena Williams. Granted, I can put on muscle, sure. But how I put on muscle won't look like how she puts on muscle because we're different people, with different genetics.

Let's use sports to makes sense of this on a very basic level. Well, because we all love using sports to simplify matters in life, right?

In football, quarterbacks and linemen have two completely different body types -- and yet, both are professional athletes operating at peak performance. Chances are, a QB will never look like a lineman and vice versa. And in boxing, a heavyweight (think Mike Tyson) would never look like a welterweight (think Manny Pacquiao), and vice versa.

Of course these are very broad generalizations that I'm using to make a point. There are exceptions in everything, but generally speaking, this is the case.

Now that said, we can all work hard to achieve the body we want that's within our capabilities. How is this done? With focus, dedication and consistency. This is where we start.

If you're not putting in the work, you can't sit around complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Hard work does pay off. Exercise often, eat clean often and you'll get where you want to be.

Keep in mind that it takes time. Two weeks of exercising and eating clean isn't going to reverse years of avoiding exercise and poor eating. Put in the work and make yourself a priority.

Set goals. Make a plan. Follow the plan through. Tweak plan if necessary. Achieve goals.

And in the process, don't get all caught up in some ideal of what you're supposed to look like. You decide what you should look like, don't let anyone else decide that for you.