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Success Story: Peace Gardiner

This woman is really cool. We started working together and I knew she'd be a success story. And I had a feeling she'd be a friend and an inspiration. I was right. 

Congratulations, Peace. Client of the Month at Northwest Women's Fitness Club and super star to me and your family and the WORLD!


"I have been coming to NW Women’s Fitness every Friday for nearly 3 years and it has made me strong and fit. My body is so completely unrecognizable now to me, and I still wonder at the physical tasks I can achieve. I did Warrior Dash a few years ago, swam in the Willamette as part of a triathlon relay team, and today I ran 16 miles. It seems like anything is possible! I’ve lost about 100 pounds, and really gained a whole new lifestyle where exercise is a hobby and a joy.

Remy’s encouragement has been so valuable to me. I worked with her a couple of years, and I got stronger and stronger. I finally came to a point where at 5-8 hours of exercise a week (which I really enjoyed!) I wasn’t that much thinner. I was really frustrated and complained to her, she said it had to be about food then. I did make a doctor appointment, but I also started using a calorie tracking app. Between Remy, the doctor, and the app, I finally began to really lose the weight.

Now that my weight is down, I can run faster and farther. I’m still using the app to track my food most days (really long training runs kind of mess up the math.) I still need to figure out what my weight goal really is, but Remy has been helping me with measurements to help guide me. I’m training for a marathon in June!"

Peace Gardiner 



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Guest Post: My First Half-Marathon by Rachel Rizzo


If someone told me 6 months ago that I’d be running a half-marathon, I would’ve told them they were crazy. But, run a half-marathon I did, and AWESOME it was!




Last fall, I found myself busy all of the time with work and with school, and it was very easy for me to put my fitness on the backburner. When my roommate told me she was signing up to run the Rock N’ Roll DC Half Marathon in March (this was in November…), I signed up before I had time to talk myself out of it.  Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for I’ve found a new love of running that I never thought I’d have.

I have always been an athlete, but running long distance was never really my thing, or so I thought. I started slowly, running 3 or 4 miles at a time, and that was enough. By the time I was finished, I’d be panting, struggling for breath, and thinking about how nice my couch sounded.

However, I finally got to the point where my lungs were conditioned, my legs were strong, and I didn’t have to worry about being worn out and tired at mile 4. I was able to go, go, and go, and although it took a couple of grueling months, finally getting to that point made all of the hard work worth it! 

The night before the race, my roommate Lindsey, my boyfriend Ben and his brother Ethan and I all cooked homemade pizzas to carb up and fuel the next morning’s race (at the suggestion of my athletically awesome-in-every-way cousin, Remy).


The next day, we got up early, hydrated, stretched, ate some energy bars and bagels, and out the door we went, on our way to meet 25,000 of our friends in downtown DC!

Prior to the half, I had only run 10.5 miles at once, so I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish. Miles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 went off without a hitch. Miles 6, 7 and 8 got a bit tougher. Finally, at mile 9, I hit the point where I wanted to stop. My legs were tired and getting sore, walking for a few minutes wouldn’t hurt right? But no, I got my head in the game, pushed, pushed and pushed myself, told myself I wasn’t a quitter, and finished my first half-marathon in 2 hours and 2 minutes. Not bad for a first-timer!

Overall, the experience of training and finishing was amazing and fulfilling, and I can’t wait to do another one…. who knows, maybe someday a full marathon will be in order?!



Kudos to my wickedly awesome cousin Rachel. You are a force and I love you zillions. 

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Thursday Thoughts Ed. 93 - Spring Wellness Challenge

Hello, spring! This is going to be GOOD!


Every year we set resolutions in January, we fight through the winter months to keep them (or even remember them) and we emerge in the spring shaking our heads ready to recommit, tackle fresh challenges and get our energy back. 

I love a good challenge. I also like working toward a goal, step by step, prize by prize!
 
This year the 6-week Makeover Challenge gets its own makeover! It's important to incorporate more than just weight loss into our health missions. And it's important to be able to share knowledge, success, and struggles with other challenge members along the way. So, this year, there are no individual teams; you will be working together toward a common goal with 3 different weekly challenges to motivate you.  The more you participate, the more prizes you will win and the more health and wellness you will achieve!

I am super excited to be a part of this fun and healthy mission. Check out the attached flyer for more information and sign up options. ******You do not have to be a member of the club to participate.******

And GUYS, you can play too! I mean really, don't you want to win the prize for doing the most push-ups in a week??? Yeah, I thought so. 

Setting the stage for changing habits, getting fitter, leaner, healthier, whatever goal you have must include taking a good look at what you are putting in your mouth. 

Nutrition Counseling sessions include, but are not limited to, assessment of your current diet, medical assessment, nutrient education, meal planning, personalized goal setting and success planning.

Write me with questions and let's get started! 

Come see me next week! I have open appointment times for personal training or nutritional counseling Tuesday afternoon 4-6pm and Thursday 9am-1pm

NUTRITION COUNSELING, by phone, Skype, email or in-person available, when you are. 

Can't wait to see you! 


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Recipe: Italian Style Turkey Burgers

These burgers can easily be meatballs. They are easy to make and you can play with the flavors with spices and different veggies or cheese to mix up the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 package of lean ground turkey
2 small shredded zucchini. Diced works ok too.
(Try mushrooms, peppers or onions for a change)
1 tsp garlic powder, or fresh chopped cloves
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
Sometimes I add a 1/4 cup of feta -- keeps it moist and super tasty

Directions:

You can broil on high for about 5 mins each side or cook in a skillet on the stove top on med high heat for about the same amount of time. Grilling works great too!

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and scoop out 4-6 oz portions.

Serve with all the fixings for burgers or on a bed of greens. If you made meatballs, stuff them in a pita, or toss with warm spaghetti squash. Delish!




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Recipe: Shredded Beef Tacos

Get out the crock pot! Sometimes nothing with do but red meat. I love, love just about any kind of shredded meat, beef, pork, chicken, yum. Here's a simple, prep and leave it recipe for Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos that works great for a busy week night meal. Set the beef to cook before heading out the door and come home to a tangy, savory make your own meal. And it's healthy too.

Ingredients:

2 lbs flank steak
1 chopped yellow onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 seeded and chopped jalapeno

For spicy rub--

2 tsp chili powder, I like the chipotle kind
1 tsp cumin, or more
1/2 twp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika (I like smoked)
salt and pepper

Serve with--

Corn tortillas
Avocado slices
Cilantro
Salsa
Lime

Directions --

Rub the steak with lots of the spicy mixture. You can let this sit for a while, over night in a sealed container, or just pop it in the bottom of your crock pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can add a little beef broth to keep meat moist if you like but you shouldn't need to. When meat is cooked use a fork to shred. Serve as is or keep in crock pot a little longer.

I think it's fun to put all the taco fillings in pretty bowls on the table and let every one make there own.

Enjoy!

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Recipe: Shrimp Scampi

Here's one for your Spring Cleaning menu. A super easy and crazy tasty Shrimp Scampi. Serve over your favorite whole grain or gluten free pasta.

-Olive oil
-Shrimp
-garlic
-lemon juice
-parsley
-pasta


-Heat about 1 TBSP of your favorite oil in a large skillet. I have been loving the kick the jalapeƱo olive oil gives dishes like this one.

Cook shrimp (for two people I use about 3/4 pound) until nearly done. The shrimp should be browning slightly on at least one side and turning a nice warm color.

Toss the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Leave all juices as your sauce.

Lots of garlic, 2-4 minced cloves
The juice of 2 lemons
A drizzle more olive oil
2 TBSP fresh parsley

That's it! Spoon the shrimp and sauce over a serving of pasta. Delightful!

We had a half of a red onion that needed eating so we diced that up and tossed it in too.

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Thursday Thoughts Ed. 92 - Spring Clean Your Diet

Yes, it’s time. Even thought in the NW our spring starts with 65 degree days followed by 45 degree days, the time has come to open the house and sweep out the crud. Winter weather ceases the weekend trips to the farmers market and increases the trips to your local Thai-take out joint. Our daily exercise activity often slows when it’s colder too. Hey, it’s ok, it’s the natural flow of things. But, as the sun stays up later in the sky it’s time to toss off the winter blankets and shake things up!

Here are 6 ways to freshen up with out freaking out. There’s no need to juice fast or mega-diet. Just get back to basics.

1. Add veggies. To everything. Decorate your plate with the colors of spring. Eating a rainbow of colors makes sure you are filling up on fiber, vitamins, minerals and other heath-giving nutrients. I like to add spinach and bright peppers to eggs in the morning, berries on salads and greens to dinner meals.

2. Drink up. In the winter drinking chilly water can be less appealing. Make a real effort to up your hydration as the weather warms. Sometimes when we think we are hungry we really just need to satisfy our thirst. Try to have one big glass in the morning before breakfast and another glass before and after every meal during the day.

3. Get back in the kitchen. I know I was way less enthusiastic about cooking on cold, yucky nights. Dining out can leave your wallet and diet lacking. Grab a copy of Cooking Light or Eating Well and pick our one or two new and easy, healthy meals to make this week. I’ve recently tried Shredded Beef Tacos, Lemon Chicken and Italian Turkey Burgers. Check out my blog for recipes!

4. Get organized. Think ahead. Make a meal plan. Take a look at your week and decide when you can whip up new meals and when you need to rely on left-overs. Browse the produce aisle for the freshest local veggies and fruits and try to add them to your meals.

5. Ditch the sugary stuff. It’s easy to get in the habit of drinking hot cups of cocoa, toasting muffins in the morning and creating comfort in the evening with baked cakes and cookies when the weather whips outside. Make your spring time comfort food healthy and fresh. Choose whole foods as often as possible and get in the habit of reading labels. Sugar is sneaky.

6. Get out there! With an hour extra light in the evening why not take a short stroll before or after dinner. Get back to your habit or walking or riding to work, meeting friends for jogs in the park. Take every opportunity to enjoy the Vitamin D and get that body out of hibernation.

Here’s to your health and happiness!

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