My top 10 fitness questions answered


Last week I put a post on my Instagram stories (Instagram) asking followers to inbox me with any fitness or nutrition questions they had. Some questions were easy to answer and then the questions started getting complicated. It’s hard to answer questions about health and fitness sometimes because these are not one size fits all categories. What works for some may not work for others and that is especially the case when it comes to nutrition.

I did not want to leave the questions unanswered or give a vague response so I decided I would put together the top 10 most asked questions (some were asked on this poll and others come from clients often) and I hope this helps!

If you messaged me and your answer isn’t here or I did not write you back, please email or DM me again, that was not intentional.

QUESTION 1: What is your favorite part about being a trainer?

I absolutely was surprised at how many people asked this from the poll and those who were just curious how, when, and where I started. I have been a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist for over 5 years. I began a love for health and fitness when I was recovering from a back injury in 2009 and really needed to learn about my muscles, recovery, and getting my gut in check. I had also suffered from severe IBS for many years and had been seeing a gastroenterologist for too long!! I absolutely fell in love with the industry through my research, took classes, and then decided to take it all the way and become certified. Through this I learned that my favorite part of being a trainer was seeing the success of others who were feeling like me—discouraged, frustrated, annoyed, still, routine, stressed, in pain, etc. With each new client, each new plan, and each new goal met my little heart soars. I am grateful for my clients because they help me live out my dream (and theirs) each day. Cheers to many more years!

QUESTION 2: How can I see results if I do not have equipment or go to the gym?

This question gets asked often and a few people mentioned my videos that I do at home with my son…with no equipment. My answer is this…your body can be changed constantly. Whatever you do to spark your muscles, tweak your routines, gain strength, and push your limits will show on your body and mind. You can be successful with body weights or dumbbells depending on your challenge for yourself. If you are a typical adult that is wanting to grow stronger and tone, you can 100% find this success in the comfort of your home with little to zero equipment. For those training for a competition or wanting to seriously bulk up, I always suggest gym workouts where the equipment is unlimited.

At home workout suggestions—Bodyweight exercises, Core exercises, and HIIT work.

If you are wanting to gain strength and muscle mass you WILL need to increase the amount you are lifting (not just body weight), here is where some people get stuck and end up needing the gym (or maybe just investing in a little equipment at home).

A gym membership offers lots of free weights, standing weight equipment, group fitness classes, sauna and swimming pool. Most of these are not available for you at home or can be incredibly costly.

Bottom line: If you can meet your goals, go for it at home. If you are finding yourself at a plateau or your home equipment is not proving challenging enough, a gym might be some place to explore!

**When I create plans for clients we always go over where and what equipment they will use, the plans are then created specifically for what they want or access they have.

QUESTION 3: How can I tone my body? 

I love this question and the answer can work for both women and men. High repetitions and less sets. This will allow your muscles not only to strengthen but to lengthen (hey, word up on the rhyming). You will start to see more definition, which we refer to as toning but will not see yourself bulking or getting stalky. Don’t forget about your diet, too!

Question 4: How much should I be eating every day?

Well there is no easy answer to this question (like most) but I will give you 3 general rules of thumb and ideas.

You can eat IIFYM style. This is if it fits your macros. Basically you are flexible dieting and counting your macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fat). As long as your numbers fit you are pretty much able to eat what you would like. I have tried this before with success and have many fellow trainers who live by this method.

Hire a professional to go over your goals and current weight, body fat %, BMI and current eating plan. You can also research these calculators on your own and create yourself some plans from there. Good rule to live by is to incorporate carbohydrates, good fats and oils, protein, vegetables, some fruit, and WATER into your meals.

Eat clean with the 80/20 rule. This method is generally for those wanting a permanent life change and struggle with food. This allows you a 20% break for unhealthy and processed foods and then 80% of your meals would be fresh, pure, and unprocessed.

Regardless of the method, I believe the way to be successful with nutrition is a specific and realistic plan that is designed with your lifestyle and goals in mind. Everyone needs different nutrients, some of restricted diets, not every one can eat the same things. Even in my own family, my husband and I eat differently but we have found a way to make it work and function on a well balanced eating routine.

Question 5: Can I exercise while pregnant?

Well the answer is easy. #1 CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR. Make sure your doctor runs blood tests and a physical for you to assess what they think you can and cannot do. If you were active before you became pregnant your doctor will generally clear you to workout through all trimesters. It is important to make sure you consult your physician first. If you have been cleared, check out some of my pre and post parts workout in my Belly Journey eBook

Question 6: Can I workout while breastfeeding?

Another question I get asked all the time and again, #1 rule is to consult your physician. If you have done that I would look into making sure you are getting enough nutrition for you and your baby/babies as well as starting out with walking, yoga, pilates, swimming, and Kegel exercises. I would also make sure and talk to your doctor about any signs of Diastasis Recti and exercises to avoid making that worse.

Question 7: What do you eat? 

Right now I am fasting  (see more here) so my diet looks a little different than usual. I am usually a caffeine queen, Prosecco loving, cake on the side mama bear…but i digress.

Usually this is what a day looks like:

Breakfast: Oats with fruit or a fruit smoothie with peanut or almond butter

Snack: Nuts and a boiled egg

Lunch: 4-6 ounces of chicken or ground turkey with brown rice and vegetables

Snack: fruit smoothie, grapes with cheese, crackers and an apple. Something light but filling.

Dinner: Salad with some form of protein and grilled vegetables

Obviously I switch it up but in general this is what it looks like. I eat close to 1500 calories per day with about 65-90 carbs depending on the day and workouts.

Question 8: I don’t have time to workout, how do you do it?

I MAKE the time. I know you have heard it before but its true and it works. I have to adjust my schedule constantly to make time for exercising. Some days its ugly, some days I am working out at home instead of the gym, some days I have a toddler on my leg, some days it’s cutting out a couple exercises. I do what I can to make everyday count and hold myself accountable to get in the workouts! It isn’t meant to be easy but it sure is worth it.

Question 9: What is the best workout for toned legs and glutes?

Clearly y’all are trying to get nice booties because this question was asked so much! (all women, but go for it men!)

Here are my 10 favorite exercises for toned legs and glutes

  1. Deadlifts (can use dumbbells or bar)
  2. Lunges (can use dumbbells or bar)
  3. Squats (can use dumbbells or bar)
  4. Hip raises (no equipment needed)
  5. Hip adductor/abductor (can do with machine or with bands)
  6. Donkey kicks (no equipment needed but can use bands)
  7. Side leg raises (can use bands)
  8. Ice skaters (no equipment needed)
  9. Supermans (no equipment needed)
  10. Pulsing squats (can use dumbbells)

Question 10: Whats the hardest part about the business? 

I loved this question and I saved it for last on purpose. The hardest part for me is remaining positive through it all. Anyone with a business can attest to good and bad times. This time of year is so busy for me as people are really trying to push for goals in the new year, workout more, eat healthier, its a great season for my business. But then in the summer its really slow, there isn’t much to do and lots of people become bored or uninterested.

It’s hard to pour your heart and soul into a business that sometimes gets overlooked, its hard to spend 20 hours on a plan and the customer changes their minds, its hard to see someone so excited and start to see results and then just give up, its hard.

I love to see others succeed and in this business it can sure fluctuate, thats just rough. But its also so rewarding, so to answer the question…people, my clients, that is the hardest and best part of it all.

Hope you all loved this Q & A and I look forward to working with lots more of you guys this 2018 season!!


For eBooks: click here

To try the fast I am doing: click here

For information about all the programs I offer: click here

For more information about me: click here

Help! The best four letter word for my family

Hi friends! Today I’m addressing some of the questions I receive most about having help as a mom. I know this isn’t for everyone but I wanted to share my top 3 things that “help” me stay happy, sane, and in a good mood. Maybe they will help you too!

1.) 24 hours. This is the magic number folks. I’ve shared this before with some serious backlash (welcome to internet troll world–insert eye roll) and I am happy to share this again. My husband and I decided before my son was born that I would have 24 hours a month to myself. Yep, one full day of time alone. I can use this time to do whatever I choose, I can use 10 hours, 12, 15, or the full 24 hours. Most months, I’ll admit, I never use the whole time, I miss my tribe and come back home early. Self care is so important and this 24 hours every 30 days allows me to take care of myself mentally and enjoy some time away from responsibilities as a mom, a wife, and my work as a personal trainer.

So how does this work? My husband and I look at the calendar each month and see what’s best for his work/travel schedule, my schedule, and my sons school schedule. My husband takes the lead on this one, he stays with our son the full 24 hours and if that’s not possible my son will stay with the babysitter for a few hours. This usually is on the weekend, we’ve learned over the past few months that Friday afternoon-Saturday afternoon works really well for us.

What do I do? Anything I want! (C’mon people I’m married, a mom and I’m 30, let’s not get nuts here). Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to do!

-girls night! Head to a friends for a slumber party, dinner, wine night, and lots of laughs!

-spa time. Spend the afternoon/evening at the spa for a massage and facial, room service and a hotel stay.

-stay at home. I love this because you can’t use finances as an excuse, y’all. My husband can take my son to play, eat pizza or watch a movie. I can stay home alone and do the same! When they get back my husband can bathe and put my son to bed and I can still relax. In the morning I can head to breakfast or brunch alone and hubby can have morning kid duties!

I encourage everyone to do this! Even if you can’t do it each month, do it often. Your sanity is so worth it!

If your husbands schedule is too crazy, get a fellow mom friend and trade. She can go for her time and you can keep her child/ren and then you can switch and go.

Find a family member, babysitter, or girlfriend and make this happen.

2.) Allow myself grace. I forgot his sweater, I forgot to wash my husbands practice uniform, the sink is full. These are several (of the many) things I forget, fail at, mess up, and miss each and every day. But I have learned to give myself grace and to get help. Sometimes I tell my husband that he’s got to wash the dishes because I just need a 30 minute nap. Sometimes I need my husband to pick up my son even though the OCD in me just cringes because I know that he’ll forget the lunchbox, the hat, and my son’s scarf at school. Sometimes I’ve got to get the babysitter to come for no other reason than for me to go in my room and sleep! (Yep, I said it, judge your mother).

Get help and give yourself some grace. We aren’t perfect, we aren’t supposed to be.

3.) Hire help. Now I know this isn’t for everyone but it’s been an incredible help for my family as each year we seem to get busier and busier. We have help for our son and have help to clean our home. Is it an extra expense? Yes. Can I spend less somewhere else in order to cover this extra? Absolutely. Having a nanny/babysitter has been the best thing we have done for our family and our marriage. When my son was first born we had A LOT of help. My mom was with us for one month while we were in Germany and then we hired literally the sweetest human on the planet to nanny our son. Since our marriage comes first (more eye rolls, I know), we needed time away, I needed to support my husband on the basketball court–his job, and I wanted time for self care and to get back working with clients and personal training. I never thought I would find another sweet gal to help us when we left Germany (we even tried to bring her home-hehe) but we DID find help and as our son has gotten older, we don’t need full time help and our current babysitter just comes several times a month. Not only do I need help, but our marriage does too. We need and want date nights, time away, and self care time too.

I also want extra time with my son. So if having a housekeeper gives me 2-3 extra hours a week to spend with my son instead of cleaning, I’ll take it!

I know these 3 don’t work for everyone, I know we all lead different lives, but I also know this works for us. I know that I am a little more relaxed, a little less stressed, a better mom and wife (my husband tells me so), when I have these 3 things consistently.

Thanks for reading friends & have a wonderful week!


((my favorite photo of us, circa 2011))

Raising a bi-racial child

((Art by Grieta Butjankova))

Hello friends & happy Wednesday to you all! This week I wanted to talk about a topic close to my heart & important to my family as we raise our son….”raising a bi-racial child”


1. Of, for, or consisting of members of two races.

2. Having parents of two different races.

Multi-racial: composed of, involving, or representing various races

According to Census data, the population of multiracial children in the United States has grown from approximately 500,000 in 1970 to more than 6.8 million in 2000. The number of people of all ages who identified themselves as both white and black has soared by 134 percent since 2000 to 1.8 million people.

Among opposite-sex married couples, one in 10 (5.4 million couples) are interracial, a 28% jump since 2000. In 2010, 18% of heterosexual unmarried couples were of different races (1.2 million couples).

I could go on for days with statistics & data but I would rather just tell you my thoughts.

Growing up in the 80’s & 90’s & attending a private school in Texas meant that I was one of the only “brown kids” in the school. Me & Jemeh Kalawa (R.I.P). He was one of my best friends in elementary & high school.

Back then, I knew I looked different, but I was never made to feel that way. Race didn’t come up in our school, I wasn’t singled out, made fun of, or taught to feel different because of my skin color. We were taught about Jesus, the Bible, being kind, & enjoying recess!

The first time I actually felt different or out of place because of my skin color was when someone made a comment to my mother (Caucasian) about adopting me. Someone had assumed that because of my color difference, I was adopted. It didn’t just happen once. If you took away our skin color difference & made us the same skin tone, my mother & I share a very strong resemblance. But for many, skin is the first thing that they see.

In high school, I had no problems fitting in & being around multi-racial, bi-racial & students of many colors & cultures. I was grateful for this. I never felt out of place or different….but by this age, I knew I was. I was referred to as “light skinned”, “mixed chick”, “white girl”, “curly sue” & many others.

I was fortunate enough throughout my life to not suffer any hate, anger, or resentment for my skin color. No one threatened my life, said evil things to me, or tried to hurt me. Ignorance? Yes! But not hate. Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent days many others have experienced hate. Many other kids have been targeted for their race, gender, sexuality, & it’s getting worse.

This is the world my son will grow up in.

It scares the hell out of me!

Even though my son is only 3 years old I worry all the time that his skin color will make him a target. That he will be judged, made fun of, or singled out for being mixed. That we might send him to a school where he won’t be “white enough” to fit in, or he will be told that he “talks white” like I was told.

In a world that has come so far & is so diverse, it is still a long way from accepting, loving, & embracing differences. Because of this, my husband & I have vowed to make our home a safe, fun, loving, uplifting & comfortable place for our son to grow up in. We will do our best to raise him with a sense of acceptance & pride for who he will be inside & out.

There are 5 specific things we have vowed to do in our home….

1. Tell him about his roots: It will be so important as my son gets older to show him pictures of his family on all sides & let him spend time with them as well. We want him to love & be proud that his grandma, his aunt, his uncle & cousins are still his family even though they are not the same color as he is. My son has Caucasian grandmothers, African American grandfathers, blonde haired, blue eyed aunts & uncles, & bi-racial aunts too!

Logan will probably not even be the same color as us, his parents. Right now he is a color blend of both my husband & I but a different color from the both of us. It’s important that he know WHY we are all different colors & to be taught how awesome that is!

2. Tell him not everyone will be nice & accepting…and that’s ok. There will come a time where someone will ask my son “what are you?” They will not realize that this is an ignorant statement & that their question sounds like he is a pet. Someone might call him a name because he is brown or has different hair & skin than they do. I want to teach my son that some people just don’t know & that it’s okay. In life we cannot avoid certain situations or encounters. Just like when someone asked my mom if she adopted me, someone might look at Logan as weird or different & that’s okay. We forgive them for not knowing & remain happy with who we are.

3. Give him diversity when we can (pick schools, neighborhoods, play centers, etc) that are diverse & accepting of all. We have a choice in where we live, work, play & socialize. We want to make the best choices we can to ensure our son is not in a hostile or stressful environment for his development.

4. Love him when he’s down-if one day Logan feels he doesn’t fit in, feels different, feels hurt, or weird; it’s our job as his parents to love him, listen to him, comfort him, & encourage him. May we never stop doing this for our baby boy.

5. Don’t make him choose–it’s important that we allow our son to create his own identity to where he feels most comfortable in. We do not need to make him choose what race he will identify with. Whether he wants to be called mixed or black. To us, he will always just be Logan & whenever he makes the decision to identify himself, we will accept his choice.

On a side note, I am already reading books about being mixed & bi-racial to my son. Although he cannot fully understand what I am saying, he will one day. Although he cannot tell who is who in the books, he can see the diversity & will one day ask questions. I will continue to read these type of books (along with all our other simple favorites) to him. Below are a few of my favorites.

1. Mixed Blessing by Marsha Cosman  ((my favorite))

2. I am mixed by Garcelle Beauvais

3. Mixed like me by Gina Golliday-Cabell

4. Black is brown is tan by Arbold Adoff

Though my little prince is so young, innocent, & oblivious to the world around him; my husband & I are not. We discuss his skin color & talk about what we think he will look like when he is older or who he will look like (which is ridiculous because he is my husbands twin). It might sound silly to read him these books at such a young age, or it might sound silly that we discuss how we will talk to him about race, but it isn’t. The world isn’t a nice place these days, kids are cruel, families are jealous, people are hateful. It’s our job as parents to love ourselves, our skin & to embrace our sons as well. It’s important to be proud that we are husband, wife, & son…even though we are all 3 different colors.

I have so many bi racial friends that have embraced their differences as a family & it makes my heart happy. It’s not just about black & white. There are differences in race through adoption as well. Maybe a Caucasian family has adopted an African or Asian child. Maybe a Hispanic family has adopted a Caucasian child. Maybe, a family is made up of parents from different countries or continents, maybe a family has some children with darker skin tones than the other children.

No matter the race or the diversity it is important that in our society we embrace our children for who they are, that we teach them when they are young that it’s okay to be different & that we always let them know how proud of them we are & how much we love them.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!!! (I would love to hear your thoughts as always, my email doors are open!)