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TrainerTiff: 2014 >

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!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summertime Frozen Fruit Bars

Summer is here and so are cravings for refreshing treats. Instead of opting for ice cream or making a trip to your local froyo spot, make some healthy treats with real fruit. Check out my video on how I make these fruit bars with only two ingredients.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

No Added Sugar Challenge

Photo by Mykl Roventine on Flickr
It's that time again ... challenge time. I want to test your ability to go without added sugar for ten days. Are you up for this? Do you think you can handle it? Sounds fairly easy, right?

Not so fast.

The Katie Couric movie Fed Up, highlights how prevalent sugar is in our food system. It's added everywhere. When you hear "no added sugar," you may immediately think, "oh, that's fine, I just won't add sugar to my coffee or my cereal." Well yes, but it goes much deeper than that. It's obvious that sugar is in desserts like cookies and ice-cream, but it's also found in harmless seeming foods like bread, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, ketchup, crackers, and a whole lot of other foods.

Check out Katie Couric talking about the challenge below. #FedUpChallenge 

Read the ingredients list. Sugar goes by many different names, so be sure to avoid the following:

For ten days, challenge yourself to give up sugar completely. I'm starting today, Wednesday, May 28. Afterwards, I'll put up a post on how my ten days went. I'll be using the hashtag #tiffs10day on Instagram so you can see what I'm eating. You should also use this hashtag so I can see what you're eating. 

Let's do this together -- as a team. We can do this! 

Even if you find this post after I've started the challenge, start your challenge at any point. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Got a sweet tooth? No problem. These bars are perfect for satisfying your candy craving while filling your body with healthy ingredients like flaxseed and protein at the same time.

Win. Win.

Check it out! At the end of this post is my YouTube tutorial of this recipe for your viewing pleasure.


1 cup ground oatmeal (put in food processor or blender)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
5 tbsp almond butter
4 tbsp honey
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients: oatmeal, flaxseed and protein powder. Mix well with a whisk.

Then add the almond butter and honey. Mix well with a fork and then use your hands to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Once all of the dry and wet ingredients are mixed well, add in the chocolate chips and mix those in with your hands until they're evenly distributed.

Next, take the mixture which should be formed into a ball. If you have a hard time creating a ball and getting all of your ingredients to stay formed without falling apart, add in a little more almond butter or honey starting with one tablespoon -- that way you don't add too much.

Then place the mixture in a parchment paper lined 8x8 pan. Press dough into the pan until flat. This recipe can also be used to make balls. Instead of putting mixture into the parchment lined pan, roll out nine balls in your hands instead. 

Put the pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour so that the mixture can harden. This makes it easier to cut into bars.

Remove from the refrigerator and take paper out of the pan. Place on counter or cutting board. Cut your bars however you like. I made nine bars. Store either form (bars or balls) in the refrigerator.


Here's my YouTube tutorial of this recipe. If you haven't subscribed to my channel yet, what are you waiting for?! There's a new video every Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Medicine Ball Ab Exercises

Even those areas of the country that had the coldest winter ever, are starting to see the sun and feel warmer weather. 

You know what that means -- summer is right around the corner. 

And if you happen to be a living, breathing, upright walking human being -- then images of making an appearance at a pool or beach are probably starting to pop into mind. 

Wait, wait ... don't get all depressed. I know, I know ... that six-pack that you were planning on hasn't quite come together yet. 

Have no fear. I've got some ab exercises to help make that dream a reality. Check out this video of my favorite ab exercises to do with a medicine ball. 

If you start today, and make sure you stick to a clean diet (did I mention, stick to a clean diet?), then you just might be in time to reveal those rock hard abs this summer after all. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Meet Tamara Aragon, Soon-to-be Marathoner

Imagine putting one foot in front of the other, then again until you're running. Then see yourself continuing to run for a total of 26.2 miles. Intimidating to think about, right?

Well, running those miles to complete a full marathon for Tamara Aragon is something she's about to make happen. And at one point, she says, it seemed daunting for her, too.

Aragon, a medical aesthetic technician from Phoenix, has prepared to run her first marathon on April 6. Over the last 2 1/2 years, she's been dedicated to running. In her quest to be healthier, she found that she really enjoyed the activity, and it was something she could do long-term.

She began with 5ks then moved her way up to doing half marathons.To date she has completed three half marathons.

As for her decision to run the marathon, she said it came up sort of spur of the moment. The fact that it's being held in beautiful Hawaii was one of the reasons she decided to do it. "I'm not sure if I'll do another marathon," she said. "And if I'm going to do it, I want to enjoy the scenery."

The fourth annual North Shore Marathon with sponsors such as Pepsi and Gatorade is being held in Haleiwa, on the island of Oahu. The community is known for surfing and being a popular tourist area. The race route starts in Haleiwa, then goes to Mokuleia where runners will see views of the beach and then back to Haleiwa.

When asked about feeling nervous, Aragon said, "I'm just ready to get it over with!"

By deciding to do the race at the spur of the moment, she's had a shorter than ideal training schedule of about two months. Even though she would've liked to have longer to train, she feels ready.

Her training schedule consisted of running three times per week and gradually increasing each run over the weeks up to 12 miles. The Saturday before the marathon was her last run, which turned out to be a half marathon.

Aragon's diet has been healthy during her training, though she's not following any particular meal plan. She makes sure she has a mix 80 to 100 ounces of water and electrolyte water daily. She has a specific carb-loading plan that she follows in the days leading up to the race, and for her last meal before the race, "I'm going to keep it light," she said.

Overall, she says she's ready. She wants to complete the run and is looking forward to relaxing in scenic Hawaii once it's over.

After the race, she and her boyfriend (who will be running with her), plan to celebrate their accomplishment by doing something that might seem as intimidating as the thought of completing a marathon -- they're going sky diving.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Training Day: Squat Demo

It's Wednesday, time for a new video. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to Start Lifting Weights

If you're just starting to lift weights or are thinking about beginning a strength program, and you're not quite sure what to do, watch this. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for a new video every Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Cayenne Kale Chips

I've been in the kitchen experimenting again, and surprise surprise, I've got another winner. In the past I've made kale chips with lacinato kale or dinosuar kale as it's sometimes referred to. The flatness of this type of kale doesn't allow for chunky nut mixtures to stick to it very well -- which is what I was going for with this recipe.

Lately, I've been buying the curly kale chips. And trying out all the different flavors has been fun and delicious. However, I don't like that they're so darn expensive. Shelling out $7 or $8 for a tiny package just won't be happening on a regular basis for me. So, what's a gal to do? That's right ... make her own. And I've done just that.

Check it out.


5 stalks curly kale
25 raw almonds
1/2 lemon
roasted garlic seasoning
cayenne pepper
coconut oil (or olive oil)

Directions: Preheat oven to 150 degrees F. Place parchment paper on baking sheet, set aside. In a food processor, pulse almonds until they reach a course meal consistency. If you don't have a food processor, try a blender (though you may need to use more to get it to blend). You can also place almonds in a sealed plastic baggie and beat with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer to get a similar consistency. Whatever you do, don't skip this ingredient. It gives the chips a great heartiness and helps make them a filling snack.

Wash kale and trim from stalks. Cut kale into chip-sized pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Add oil, almonds and seasoning. Take the lemons and squeeze all the juice onto the kale. Mix thoroughly. Place kale on baking sheet with the parchment paper. Place in oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Now for a little secret! At this time, turn off oven and leave kale inside until oven cools. This helps make them extra crispy without overcooking them.


Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos. I'll be posting a new video every Wednesday!