We get it! “New year, new you!” is just another well-intentioned slogan to motivate you to make a big change this year. But, before we get into some of the depressing stats about New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to ask: Do you really need to create a new version of yourself, or just improve upon your already wonderful self?
According to Forbes.com “...Some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year's resolutions. But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals.” Despite your good intentions, failure rates suggest “About 22% of resolutions fail after about a week, 40% after a month…” and you don’t want to hear the rest, because I’m not here to bum you out.
At the beginning of 2018, I shared my view of putting a more positive spin on making “resolutions” by focusing on getting the wheels turning, get started moving, and find new ways to improve. There were examples of both qualitative and quantitative fitness goals to help give you a little direction. This year, I want to provide a few additional tips on how you can ensure you stick to your revolutions all year long!
Most people fail because they bite off more than they can handle. Setting too many goals or trying to make too many changes all at once can feel overwhelming and discouraging - to the point of giving up. To keep your goals simple, choose only one or two things to focus on at a time. You can’t change your life all at once, so don’t try too. Recognize that each day of success if a step towards accomplishing your overall goal.
For example: Instead of setting a goal of trying to lose 25 pounds this year, set your sights on trying to lose 1-2 pounds each week.
Having big goals is great, especially when you’re looking at the big picture of creating your legacy. However, large goals can be hard to sustain if they’re not specific enough. Being specific helps make the goal more concrete. Plus, you know exactly what you are going to do every day to help you achieve that lofty goal.
For example: Instead of resolving to “visit the gym 4 days each week,” refine it to setting goals of attending Bootcamp every Tuesday and Thursday, participating in one group fitness class, and going outside for a long walk or light run.
Awareness is one of the most critical components for success in any goal. Don’t assume you’re going to remember your revolution two months from now. Write it down on a sticky note for you to see every morning as you’re getting ready for the day. Put a note on your calendar to check-in with yourself once a week to review the goal and track progress. Maybe even share your goal with a like-minded friend who can help keep you engaged - especially when you’re ready to quit. Having awareness of your goal will help to keep motivating you to successfully achieve your resolution.
Did you meet last year’s goal… or did you forget about it by Spring?
You may remember I had created a fitness goal for myself to lift 5,000,000 total pounds by the end of the year. Which, I’m proud to say that I did accomplish! It seemed lofty to begin with, however, I broke it down into simple manageable goals and keep track of it every day, week, and month.
Here are my goals for 2019:
Fitness Goal: Lift 7,000,000 total pound by the end of 2019. I enjoyed the 5 million goal so much last year, that I choose to do it again. I’m upping the intensity of it this time and feel very confident that I will achieve it.
Personal goal: To continue the personal, daily hard work that it has taken me to get to a point of better happiness. Often times I reach a comfort level, in several areas of my life, and then I go on cruise control and don’t continue to do the daily work that got me to that point. I realize this causes me to relapse and thus go through the struggle all over again. Not this year. This is my year to thrive and push harder at creating the best life I can.
There you have it. My 2019 goals to continue growing and achieving bigger and better things. To help hold each other accountable, I want you to share what your goals, or New Year’s Revolutions, are going to be for 2019. And, how do you plan on achieving them? Give me a shout and let’s make 2019 our best year yet!
They’re coming: the holidays!
Touted to be the most wonderful time of the year, yet we often end up dreading the rush and stress it brings. Plus, with all the extra food-related celebrations we attend, it’s no wonder some of us gain an annoying 5-10 pounds by the time the clock strikes midnight on the New Year!
Instead of waiting for the major magazines to publish “5 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies” for you to read an hour before Thanksgiving dinner, shift your mindset to developing those healthy eating strategies now before the holidays hit!
Now, the go-to here would be eggs and bacon, but there are so many more options available! Try replacing your milky cereal or breakfast bar with veggies and protein, like pan-seared broccoli, spinach, eggs topped with nutritional yeast. Or, egg “muffins” filled with peppers, mushrooms and sprinkled with cheese.
This savory breakfast will likely keep your hunger at bay a little longer. Plus, this ensures you get at least two large servings of veggies - setting you up for success for the rest of the day.
Yes, this one gets repeated a lot, because most of us still don’t drink enough water throughout our day. Plus, cooler weather tricks us into thinking we aren’t thirsty and we end up drinking much less than we need. There are so many overlooked benefits of drinking water regularly we don’t think about. Plus with flu season on the way in, we could all use a boost to our immune systems!
In addition to improving your mood, your skin complexion, your energy levels… drinking more water will help flush out the built-up toxins in your body after events when you opt to drink a little more than you normally would.
It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking about weight loss instead of health gains when trying to improve nutrition and exercise. The number of the scale doesn’t provide the full context of how your body is feeling and operating on a daily basis. Keep moving and following your body’s natural queues of what makes you feel good, versus what slows you down or causes aches. While it’s easier said than done, try focusing on the way you’re feeling rather than your weight.
Focus on positive thoughts and enjoying the journey. Be kind to yourself and try not to beat yourself up. We all have bad days and setbacks but don’t let one bad day or even one overindulgence derail your whole mentality and game plan.
When it comes to the celebration itself, enjoy! Take a bite (or two, or five) of your grandmother’s apple pie because you know how hard she worked to make the crust from scratch. Eat your child’s homemade holiday cookies - baked with a lot of love of course - so you can witness the gigantic smile on their face guilt-free. It doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing affair; you can enjoy the foods you want to in celebration with your friends and family without overindulging.
Take it one step, one holiday at a time!
Labor Day recognizes “...the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” which many of us celebrate over a long weekend spent outside with friends, family and barbecue… which may or may not be accompanied by high-calorie foods and snacks you tend to gravitate towards.
Do not fret, friend! And definitely don’t turn down an invitation to an informal affair just because you’re concerned about sitting around high-calorie dishes and beverages which are perpetually tempting your taste buds. Remember those healthy burger and taco recipes I shared a while back? It’s completely possible to grill a delicious dinner your guests will devour while keeping your nutrition in check.
First, let’s start with the go-to grillables for your end of summer soiree:
Kabobs are a simple way to combine your favorite flavors together for a quick grill meal. One take on this could be Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs! Start with boneless skinless chicken breast, add green pepper to your skewer, then douse with a little salt, lime and paprika before searing.
Similar to a salad bar, each person can add the ingredients and dressings of their choosing to make it fit their own flavor profile. Or, you can prep a foil pack in advance if you’re traveling to another party (more on that below) so you can know exactly what you’ll be feasting on.
Downshiftology has a recipe too good not to share! Check out their gluten-free/paleo pulled pork street tacos for a different take on a classic bbq dish.
If you’ll be attending someone else’s party instead of hosting your own, here are a few healthy side dishes you could prep ahead of time and share with the group:
Similar to tacos, salsa is not inherently “unhealthy” either especially when you’re combining fresh ingredients. To make a cowboy salsa - which I guarantee will be just as filling as any pile of nachos - combine unsalted canned black beans, cherub tomatoes, grilled corn kernels, onion and fresh avocado.
Missouri tomatoes are ripe for the picking! Just chop a few heirlooms, slice some fresh mozzarella and basil, then top it all with balsamic vinegar.
While the easiest go-to might be a salad, you could also serve more traditional “fall” dishes - like green bean almondine - tailored for the summer heat. Instead of serving this warm or hot, you’ll end up blanching the green beans immediately after they’re removed from the stovetop, then moving them to the refrigerator to cool off before preparing them for your picnic.
And for all of us with a sweet tooth, here are two more recipes to give you your sugar fix without the sugar rush:
Watermelon, berries, banana, apples, pineapple… you name it, you can mix it together to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth!
Speaking of pineapple, Recipes to Nourish has a wonderful recipe combining it and coconut milk to create a cold-and-creamy treat.
Now if you’re looking for a more decadent Labor Day dessert, then I recommend the banana boat. (Think s’mores, only using a banana as your base instead!) Slice open the concave portion of your banana, making sure to split the peel without completely splitting the fruit. Fill the insides with the toppings of your choosing, such as Lily’s stevia-sweetened premium dark chocolate, strawberries, granola, and/or nut butter of your choice (like roasted almond butter). Then wrap the banana loosely in foil and toss on the grill for a very short time, mainly to be sure the chocolate melts!
Pick and choose, mix and match, or tweak to your own liking - the options are endless! Do you plan on recreating one of these recipes for Labor Day, or do you have another idea you can’t wait to cook-up? Share your favorite healthy Labor Day dishes with us and find out what others are cooking up this Labor Day Celebration!
The scale measures your relationship with gravity - and that’s all. It does not measure your strength. It does not measure your health. It does not represent your values. And most importantly: it does not determine your self-worth.
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to rely on the number on the scale as a go-to source to track your progress. But, this can change!
Setting your fitness goals is the best place to start when it comes to setting expectations. Then, you can use these tips to measure your progress along the way - none of which involve the scale!
Schedule a body composition scan. Some people opt for a full body composition scan at the beginning of their journey so they have more data to track their long-term progress. While weight is just one of the many values represented in the report, you can see more insightful information such as “lean body mass,” “muscle density” and “percent body fat.”
How much weight are you lifting? If part of your goals includes getting stronger, then the scale will not be your friend. (Have you heard people say, “Muscle weighs more than fat?” because it’s true!) Tracking how much weight you’re able to lift with good form is a much better measurement of strength progression.
How do your “regular” clothes fit? Try-on your favorite pair of jeans each week to see how they fit. If you feel like they’re more comfortable to wear, then you’re on the right track. (However, if you’re concerned they’re too tight in the hip area then you’re likely making great booty gains, which is equally awesome!)
Take progress pictures. While a photo of yourself may be the last thing you want to see, the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is true for a reason. Taking progress pictures is a great way to see the physical change over periods of time. It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re working hard and eating healthy, but don’t necessarily see your progress reflected in the mirror. Taking a weekly or monthly progress photo will help you understand how your body has changed, even when you're doubting yourself.
Take the stairs. Many in the early stages of their fitness journey find climbing several consecutive flights of stairs is difficult and leaves them breathless. Next time you’re in a tall building, opt to take the stairs up to your destination - instead of the elevator - and evaluate how you feel. The goal is to improve your cardiovascular health so stair steps feel more effortless.
Do some yoga. As your fitness progresses, you should notice other types of movement may feel easier than before as well. Yoga classes are a great way to feel your body get stronger as you’re able to hold postures for longer periods of time or get deeper into specific poses with increased flexibility.
Brush your hair. As you make small changes, you may notice your hair becomes stronger and more vibrant, especially if you’ve been incorporating more protein or omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
Get a manicure. Similar to your hair, nail strength is another indicator of whole body health. Brittle nails could mean you’re deficient in a key nutrient, like calcium or B-complex vitamins.
Do you have your own, unique “unit of measure” to help you track your health and fitness progress? If so, please share your tips and techniques to help others find a technique they can feel good about as well!
Even though you’ve used the hashtag #mealprepmonday in the past, meal planning doesn’t always happen every single week. You come home after a long day at work and realize you don’t have dinner planned. It’s too hot to heat up the kitchen, and you don’t want to dedicate the next hour to cooking over the stove anyway. You open the fridge because it’s cool, but also because you’re hoping to scrounge up enough leftovers to feed your family. Then you turn to that dated box of Tuna Helper in the pantry and…
... Toss it back in, because you have five go-to healthy dinners you can dish out in 30-minutes or less!
Included with each meal idea are a few options on how to replace ingredients to match your dietary goals - whether you’re low-carb, keto, low-sodium, or vegetarian!
What can you stuff inside a vegetable and then grill to perfection? Turns out, a lot!
Bell peppers, zucchini, acorn squash, butternut squash, mushrooms, russet and sweet potatoes can each act as an “edible bowl” to contain mixtures of protein and toppings to match various flavor profiles. Think southwest blends, Mediterranean spice, teriyaki or even Italian! The common ingredients between each will be similar, such as lean protein and an additional vegetable, but the variety will come from the fresh herbs and spices you add. Craving Chinese? Add a dash of liquid aminos, ginger, and turmeric. Want Mexican? Spice it up with cumin and cayenne. Mediterranean? Add more cumin but also add extra cinnamon.
Approximate prep/cooking time = 30 minutes
Yes, you read that correctly. Tacos are often considered to be a treat meal rather than a healthy go-to dinner, but it’s all in the ingredients you choose! (Filling six shells with high-fat ground beef and a cup of shredded cheese definitely does not count as the healthy option we’re suggesting here…)
Start with a minimally processed base, such as a simple corn tortilla shell which has not been fried with a bunch of additives. Then choose a lean protein such as 93/7 grass fed ground beef, boneless/skinless chicken breast, or white fish such as cod. Finally: top it with freshness. Local tomatoes, peppers, grilled corn, and cilantro will each add a lot of flavors, while avocado will help tone down the spice. If you really want to add cheese, then try a dash of nutritional yeast! “Nooch” offers a savory, cheddar taste with minimal macros.
Approximate prep/cooking time = 30 minutes
"Wait… first tacos, now burgers?"
Burgers also tend to get a bad rap because of the “stereotypical” burger most of us think of when it comes to summer barbeques. But again, they don’t have to be unhealthy! You can combine the right ingredients to make them both nutritious and delicious!
Again, start with a leaner protein option, such as 93/7 grass fed ground beef, ground chicken breast, or ground turkey as your base. Most of us savor the taste, so don’t forget to add the right spices to pair with your protein, such as paprika, cumin, sea salt, and pepper.
Now for the fries - just make your own! Cut a couple of russet potatoes long and spritz the batch with a teaspoon of avocado or coconut oil (as both cook well at high temperatures). Give them a 10-15 minute head start on the grill before you cook your burgers, depending on how thin you slice them.
Approximate prep/cooking time = 30 minutes
The local farmer’s markets feature a variety of fresh produce, especially on Saturday’s when the majority of local growers set up a booth at The Columbia Farmers Market in Parkade Plaza. The top in-season selection includes: herbs, tomatoes, corn, zucchini and beans.
Grab a recyclable bag and cash, and shop the aisles. Think of which flavor sounds good, then pick out one protein and two veggie options you can toss on the grill. Corn-on-the-cobb and green beans are both quick to grill alongside chicken breasts. Similarly, you can buy tomatoes and basil to make your go-to parmesan (using either chicken breast or eggplant - both of which are available at the market!)
Approximate prep/cooking time = 30 minutes
This version of “BYOB” is different than your collegiate definition. Often during hectic evenings when you’re running around shuttling kiddos from one activity to another, it feels easier to simply stop at a fast food joint than it does to “make” something at home. Instead of spending 10-minutes in the drive-through, spend those same 10-minutes running into a nearby grocery store with a salad bar. Each person can build their own bowl to meet their cravings while adding flavor, nutrition, as well as keeping the cost minimal.
Have you considered how you could build a salad bar “bowl,” take the ingredients home and toss them in a pan to heat up? This can provide a simple stir-fry or southwest option if you aren’t craving raw veggies - especially since the produce is pre-chopped and the meat has already been cooked!
Approximate prep/cooking time = 15 minutes
Next time your grill is hot-and-ready, try skewering strawberries, peaches, banana and/or watermelon on a kabob and grilling it for a few minutes! You’ll find the heat caramelizes the natural sugars and brings out a subtle flavor you may not have experienced before.
Approximate prep/cooking time = 10 minutes
We want to hear from you! Please share your experience Instagram-style with a photo of the recipes you tried, how fast it was to make, and anything you may have changed to make it match your family’s taste!
I started Legacy Boot Camp to create a space for individuals of any age, capability and fitness level to explore their fitness journey in an encouraging and supportive space - especially as we're all working to find a balance between improving our health and living a life we enjoy. By presenting them with obstacles, people find they can grow stronger both mentally and physically. So, my goal is for every person who comes to a class to feel empowered as soon as they leave, knowing they accomplished a little more than they thought they were capable of doing. I want them to know that by allocating this hour for their health, they are creating a better legacy for themselves and for the world they impact everyday.
Legacy Boot Camp has exceeded my expectations in how it's influencing this group of dedicated attendees, who have become their own fitness family as they motivate eachother and work together to accomplish feats they might not have attempted on their own.
I have done something I thought would be impossible - I’ve made a habit of working out. Legacy Fitness Boot Camp helped me achieve that goal. I have a group of people who are fitness-oriented who cheer me on while holding me accountable. If I miss a workout, people notice and reach out to me. It’s exactly what I need - friendly accountability. -Rachel H.
I've never done a boot camp before and this was an amazing experience. The classes are so fun and unique. -Jackie R.
I look so forward to boot camp. Bryce continually switches things up for us, and shows us how to adapt to our own specific needs. I am TOTALLY in to it! -Janet R.
I love coming to boot camp for the exercise and social! We have built a welcoming, caring workout family. -Jacquie W.
I'm 65 years old, and I can't believe I'm doing this. It's awesome! -Pat W.
Love me some Legacy Boot Camp! Always a great, challenging workout that is never the same so I don’t get bored and is always at my own pace. Love the fun and supportive atmosphere! -Trish W.
If you haven't experienced a boot camp-style class with our fitness family yet, we all invite you to join us sometime! Check our schedule of weekly sessions to see which time works best for you, then let me know you're interested in attending!
I started attending Legacy Bootcamp last month after over two years of not working out. Bryce and the group instantly made me feel welcome and at easy. The workouts are challenging enough that I often wake up sore the next day (especially the first week!), but Bryce's encouraging style and the fun group atmosphere makes it easy to get through. When an exercise was a little too difficult for me just getting back into things, Bryce would offer an alternative to help me out. Not only have I learned a lot about exercising (proper form, keep breathing, specific exercises, etc), but I have more energy than I've had in a long time and I've had fun all along the way! -Jessica L.
If Memorial Day’s hot temps were any indication, Summer is unofficially here and our routines are about to change pace, if they haven’t already. Some days may feel more relaxed than others, but for the most part schedules change and things tend to become hectic: kids are out of school, the days are longer, and the big family vacation is coming up quick. In the craziness of these upheavals to the Spring routine you just got used to, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your personal health and fitness goals. Of course it’s healthy for your body to take this opportunity to enjoy some much needed – and well deserved – downtime, however, it’s important to find new ways to adapt your healthy habits to this new routine so you don’t let the demands of summer keep you off track.
Be keenly aware of your thoughts and actions in order to remain focused on your long-term goals, as this is the most important habit you can continue doing daily to succeed. This level of focus shouldn’t only be reserved for special holidays when you’re trying not to overindulge, or in the middle of a mindfulness practice. It should be yet another component in your daily routine to help you think and plan ahead. To remain mindful and stay focused, try asking yourself key questions rather than defaulting to old habits which won’t serve your goals:
Throughout the summer families find they live by their child’s sports schedule, often not knowing exactly how late each practice, double-header or team competition will run. Or, there will be an upcoming vacation or family reunion where you know it will be difficult to find healthy options to keep you focused.
Both situations present the opportunity to plan your nutrition in advance so you don’t find yourself drowning in a sea of hot dogs, potato chips and ice cream. It might feel inconvenient at first to pack an extra cooler with healthy snacks for the family, or put together a macro-friendly dinner you can eat during your daughter’s game, but eventually this habit will become routine as well.
If you don’t have space for a cooler then think about foods which you could still bring but wouldn’t need to be refrigerated, like: raw nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc), fresh fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, berries, etc), minimally processed meat sticks (Nick’s Sticks or Garrett Valley), or even fruit bars (e.g. That’s It. fruit bars, Larabar, RXBAR). However, if you absolutely cannot bring food to an event, then try to understand what choices might be available and pre-plan appropriately so you aren’t mindlessly munching your way through the day.
This habit can be as simple as remembering some activity is always better than zero activity. Your big family vacation should of course be a break from your normal routine, but you can still find ways to get up and move. For example:
Incorporating some degree of movement will help you feel good about yourself while you’re still able to take a break from the everyday grind.
No surprise here, but drinking plenty of water will keep your body hydrated, help it stay cool, cycle nutrients throughout your tissue, and remove toxins from your body.
“But water is boring.”
Only if you let it be! Treat yourself to a fun, reusable water bottle you’ll want to carry with you as an accessory so you’re sure to sip whenever you feel thirsty. Or, add a natural flavor boost, like muddled mint or mashed berries, to help satiate that sweet tooth without giving into drinking a traditional soda.
Summer should allow you a guilt-free break from the daily grind; a chance to renew and refresh yourself. But breaking all of your healthy habits as a result of the seasonal shift will only feel like setback by the end of the Summer. Be kind to yourself and employ these simple habits while having fun in the sun. You’ll have no reason to start over if you’ve remained focused on progress, not perfection.