Author Archives: Stephanie

Simplifying Nutrition: Nutrition Labels

 

We all know that nutrition is the most impactful component to weight loss and optimal body performance. So, why is it still so challenging to lose weight and make healthy choices? In a fitness based culture that thrives on fad diets and quick fixes, no wonder why we are all at a loss as to what to do. I’m here to help bring more simplicity to your nutrition game. I’m going to share with you one tip that has helped me sustain clean eating without having to think so much. First, let’s look at a couple different nutrition labels….

Figure 1: Dave’s Killer Bread

Figure 2: Oroweat’s Health Multi-Grain Bread

Okay, so now that you’ve scanned them over, what were the first few things that caught your attention? Was is the caloric value? Was it the amount of fats? Sugars? Protein? Carbs?

Now, be honest, did you scan over the ingredients list at all? We get so caught up in the numbers and these diets that tell us fats and carbs are bad, protein is good, and gluten is the enemy that we neglect to ask one very important question: Where are these calories coming from?

So, let’s break this down shall we? Look at Oroweat’s bread and you see it contains 50 less calories and half as much fat and carbs than Dave’s. Then, look at the ingredients list and you notice that you aren’t eating as many calories, but you are eating a whole list of miscellaneous items, such as; calcium propionate, sorbic acid, Datem, Monoglycerides, calcium sulfate, reb a, soy lecithin *WHAT IN THE…

If you can’t read the word or recognize the ingredient easily, then why put these things in your body? These are chemically manufactured ingredients and preservatives to help food stay on shelves longer. If this food is made to stay preserved on a shelf, do you think your body is going to have a fun time digesting it? I’m not surprised that our society if flooded with digestive issues and intolerances.

I will never, ever ever restrict my clients from eating anything! I just want to empower you to make better, healthy choices by going back to the basics. So, here’s the big tip you’ve been waiting for: read the ingredients list! If there are more than TWO things on that list that make you say “hmm, I wonder what that is?” PUT IT BACK and move onto something that will actually mold because that’s what real food does and human bodies are designed to digest food, not chemicals.

Happy eating!!

Yoga, Tea and Terrariums

 

A wellness day is coming at you on April 29th! Rock Hard Training is hosting our first ever Tea & Terrariums Workshop at 10:30am following our 9am Yoga Flow class. Please join us for a morning full of mindfulness and serenity.


Tea & Terrariums Workshop




Experience the art and zen of creating your own terrarium. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and good company while you get creative during this 90 minute workshop. Supplies included: glass bowl, 2 plants, soil, rocks, carbon, decorations, tea and happiness.


Tea & Terrariums Workshop




Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe for Summer

During the summer time it’s easy to forget about our diets. Cook outs, beach days, and just being out and about so much makes it easy to grab unhealthy on-the-go food. Here is one of my favorite healthy recipes for the summer. It’s quick and easy to make, and you probably have most of the ingredients in the kitchen already! Healthy quinoa salad is the perfect summer treat as a main dish or a side!

Prepare 1 cup quinoa (1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water, bring to boil and simmer until Quinoa is cooked.)

Allow to cool in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.quinoa salad1

Add as much or as little of the following:

  • Tomato or cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber (I pickled my cucumbers in apple cider vinegar before adding them)
  • Scallions
  • Red Onion (just a small amount since scallions are in this also)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

That’s all there is to it…Enjoy!quinoa salad2

4 Ways to Improve Your Posture to Make You Feel Better

Do you have back pain or poor posture? So many people stand with their shoulders hunched and in a slouching position which is very bad for your spine and body overall. The worst part is, people don’t even realize they have poor posture. As a yoga instructor, I hone in on lengthening and straightening the spine in all of my classes to improve posture and I take my yoga practice into everything I do as a personal trainer as well.posture1
 From what I’ve experienced and researched, proper posture is important for several reasons:
  1. It allows muscles to be used efficiently and effectively which decreases unnecessary stress on the body.
  2. It help to prevent backaches.
  3. It decreases abnormal wearing of joints that could cause arthritis.
  4. It helps open the airways to enhance breathing which enhances oxygen flow to the rest of the body.
  5. It can improve first impressions, exude confidence and improve self-confidence.
 How, you may ask, do we improve our posture? That may sound easier than it sounds but it takes continuous, constant practice. Here are some ways you can improve your posture daily:
  1. Work with your trainer to build stronger upper back muscles. Your traps, rear delts, and  rhomboids must strengthen to improve your posture.posture2
  2. During your own workout routine at home or in the gym, focus on standing straight with your shoulders up and slightly back. Make sure your neck and back are always aligned.
  3. Daily reinforcement is also important. Something as simple as adjusting the seat in your car, so you are sitting up straight and close enough to avoid unintentional hunching of your shoulders is great practice for good posture.
  4. If you sit at a desk all day, it is crucial to be aware of your posture.  Make sure you are sitting up straight in your chair at all times. You can set reminders on your phone every hour, so you remember to check and adjust your posture. You could also try and see if a standing desk is an option in your workplace.posture3
Remember, posture is so important for your whole body, and it can help heal back and neck aches you may be experiencing. Sit up tall, puff your chest up, bring your shoulder blades together and take a deep breath. You might feel like you look a little funny, but trust me, you won’t! Think about your overall health and freeing yourself of any aches and pains you have. Keeping all this in mind and focusing on that proper posture your mom always told you to have will bring better health and awareness to your body in no time!posture4
 If you’re having trouble with your posture and need a little extra help and strengthening exercises to help you achieve your goals, we are here to help! We love focuses on great posture and back strength and alignment. Contact us today for the workout motivation you’re looking for!posture5

How to Build a Lifted Booty

This one is for all the ladies of Rock Hard!  We all want that tight, lifted booty, right? Well, what’s the most effective way to develop and grow your glutes? Everyone has their own techniques, but I’m going to speak here from my own experience. The two most important things are eating clean and lifting weights. You must EAT, eat clean, and eat a lot! Like many of you who train with us know, you need to constantly be nourishing your body to maintain a high metabolism and to see muscular gains. You also need to lift weights, heavy weights, to achieve your goals.
lifted booty- feature

fitness, sport, training, people and lifestyle concept – group of women making squats in gym

Ladies, do not be afraid of getting “bulky” or “looking too masculine.” I promise you that lifting weights will not do this in itself. You would have to be on a very strict lifting and diet program to achieve muscular bulk. So, unless that is a specific goal of yours, I would never worry about getting too bulky. Developing more muscle will actually help you burn fat throughout the day when you aren’t working out. That means you can constantly be working at achieving that lifted booty you want! How great does that sound?

 

Now that we have that out of the way…. 🙂 Let’s talk anatomy. The glutes are built from three muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Working your glutes in different planes and in different angles is what will contribute to the most effective growth of that lifted booty. I’ve found that working in different movement planes and pushing yourself to failure is what contributes most to muscle hypertrophy (growth). Also, don’t forget that everything in the body is connected. With that being said, I’ve found that the other muscle group that contributes to that “booty lift” are the hamstrings. 
lifted booty1
 There are many different exercises you can work on that build these muscle groups specifically, but I’ll touch on a few techniques that apply no matter what exercise you are doing. For one, glute activation requires a lot of mind/body connection. This means you really have to THINK about muscle activation throughout the rep to achieve full effectiveness. Next, really focus on squeezing your glutes hard when you get to the top of your rep, sending your hips forward while doing so. Pause at the bottom of your squat and slow down your reps. You can also use bands and the hip abductor machine to change things up, that way you won’t get bored.

 

Work your hamstrings with Romanian Deadlifts (straight leg deadlifts) and the leg curl machine. Switch things up on the hamstring machine by doing one leg at a time, doing pyramid sets or pausing for a few seconds at the bottom of your rep. Because the hamstrings are right below the glutes, it’s important to build these muscles to help lift the glutes. 

 

Thanks! – Stephanie