How about a food cleanse ?

Detoxing, cleansing, measuring and meal timing, Paleo, Keto, plant based ahhhhhhhh, so many choices, so many theories, so many bio individual needs that one size DOES NOT fit all.

So what about just a simple Food Cleanse and what does that mean exactly. To me and my clients, a food Cleanse is just a simple way to get back into clean eating habits without the stress of having to measure out every bite you eat or following some strict caloric and macros tracking plans which become really unrealistic in the long term. It's a way to remove all of the processed and harmful foods in your life, without over planning or over thinking. What else does this cleanse involve? Happy you asked. It also involves removing any other toxic habits and making time for self care. Habits such as lack of sleep, lack of or too much exercise (yes the is a such thing as too much exercise), high stress levels, too much screentime, harboring unhealthy relationships, over working etc. It is a full analysis of your day to day habits and how they are effecting your mood, your focus, your energy and possible weight gain. Below are my 7 steps to a successful food cleanse and how you can get started:

  1. Remove Processed sugar : this means your morning muffin or the extra teaspoon of sugar in your morning coffee. Sugar can “weigh you down” in more ways than one. It can cause brain fog and make you sluggish after the initial “sugar high” passes. Wondering why you might be falling asleep at your mid morning meeting ? Your sugar crash may be the culprit.

  2. Sleep more: Sleep is crucial in keeping your mind functioning at its optimal capacity . It also helps to balance your hormone levels so that your body knows when to eat and knows when it is full. Less than 5 hours of sleep per night disrupts the natural balance of the hormones ghrelin (hunger hormone) and Leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite), which can cause you to crave sugary and carb filled foods in abundance, causing weight gain (specifically around the abdomen)

  3. Remove Alcohol : by removing alcohol from your diet you are automatically reducing the amount of sugar and empty calories that you are in taking.

  4. Make time for Self Care: whether it be an extra long relaxing bath, 5 minutes of daily meditation, or taking that nice long walk during your lunch break, making time for self care is essential to your mental health and wellbeing. It's no mistake that you automatically feel relaxed and more focused after returning from vacation. So why is it that so many of us choose to skip this important step on a daily basis. Here's a quick tip: set aside 10 minutes a day for just you. Disconnect from social media, put your phone face down on your desk, and just take this time for you. I promise, after these 10 minutes of “you time”, your stress level will begin to drop and you will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

  5. Stress Less: I know life is stressful, I know we all have multiple responsibilities, our careers, our family, our finances etc… but stressing about these things will not make them go away and it certainly will not help resolve them. Find ways to reduce stress and in turn I promise that the weight will drop, and you will be more productive since you will have a clearer more focused mind. My tip : I do 15 minutes of yoga by myself daily. I can't always get to a class so I watch a video on Gaia.com. this has helped my stress level go down tremendously.

  6. Eat from Nature: the easiest way to ensure that you are eating foods that are good for you, all you have to do is eat from nature. Fresh vegetable, fresh seasonable fruit, lean protein sources, healthy grains. Remove anything packaged or processed or anything your ancestors from the 1800’s would not recognize as food.

  7. Move more : whether it be a gym workout, a pilates class or just a long walk mid day, just commiting to moving your body around more will make you feel more energized, help your brain function better, and you guessed it, promote heart health. And weight loss. Take care of your body and I promise that your body will take care of you.

Ready to tackle your first Food Cleanse ? These simple steps are just the tip of the iceberg. I promise that you will see changes if you commit to yourself and your well being. Want a little guidance and a more in depth customized approach, reach out to me and let's set up your complimentary 60 minute HealthHistory Consultation so that we can discuss your specific needs and goals. Click on the link below to schedule your time with me!!

https://calendly.com/crystalrf8

In Health and Wellness,

Crystal

Why the long break???

Hello everyone. I know I took a really long break from writing in my blog, but truthfully, I always want to make sure that my content is worth reading instead of rushing something out just for the sake of posting. So, here I am, and I am so thankful that you all have continued to follow me and engage with me on Social Media despite my little break. 

So where have I been??? So much has gone on in such a short period of time. One of those things was a change in my workplace. After 3 years at New York Sports club, I received an offer to join a brand new gym as a Personal trainer. By brand new gym, I mean we literally opened our doors on June 6th. This was the first time I have ever been part of something so new from day 1 and I have to say, it has been amazing. Scary to leave my well built business behind, but so exciting to become part of this new team of extremely talented and dedicated individuals, who have a true passion for this industry. So I am now at Chelsea Piers in BK , which is quite a luxurious facility and I couldn't be happier. Most of my summer, has been consumed by working hard at the new place, so a little social media silence was necessary for me. If I have learned one thing about myself this past year, its that I need to stop trying to multitask, and I need to focus on one thing at a time in order to provide the best version of myself where it is needed. So now that I am fully settled in, and my schedule has become busier than I expected, I can refocus on you all again, and bring you some new, quality, refocused content. 

I have some really cool things that I am working on, which I am anxious to share. I also have some updates on the current state of my fitness journey and how I have refocused my workouts to promote balance and function instead of going hard and intense all of the time. New Logo to be revealed soon, and working with someone on updating the website for you all. Good things to come!!!

As Always, In health and wellness..

Crystal

Copy of Spring Allergies and How to Combat them

I don’t know about you guys, but I suffer from seasonal allergies. Mine are both indoor and outdoor, so as much as I love the beautiful spring weather, I hate the allergies that come with it. If you are like me, and allergies ruin your time outside in the spring, I want you to think about what lifestyle triggers may be making your allergies worse.
Inflammation can worsen your allergy symptoms, so it is super important that you pay attention to the type of food that you are eating during allergy season. You want to be sure to stay away from any food groups that will cause inflammation in your gut such as sugar, dairy, gluten and as always anything processed and chemically altered(which you should avoid on a regular basis anyway)
One thing I love to do with my clients during this time of year In order to uncover any hidden allergy triggers, is put my clients on a very simple elimination diet. My husband and both did this last spring and we both learned so much about what was causing our allergies to worsen. For me, sugar was a major trigger as was dairy. By eliminating these 2 very simple things from my diet, I was able to eliminate my daily allergy pill during allergy season. This was huge for me. 
Another helpful habit that I recommend is supporting your gut health even further by adding a clean probiotic daily supplement to your regimen . I will include my favorite products below for you to check out. Exercise is also a great tool as it will help to strengthen your immune system , helping to create a stronger barrier against allergens.
Try these tips, and I promise you will have a much more pleasant allergy season this year. If you need some help getting started on an elimination diet, submit the form through my website and I can help you get started. Good luck and Happy Spring !!!


Recommended Probiotics:

https://www.bewell.com/probiotics.html

https://www.isotonix.com/product/isotonix-digestive-enzymes-with-probiotics/?id=5664714&idType=product

 

Spring Allergies and How to Combat them

I don’t know about you guys, but I suffer from seasonal allergies. Mine are both indoor and outdoor, so as much as I love the beautiful spring weather, I hate the allergies that come with it. If you are like me, and allergies ruin your time outside in the spring, I want you to think about what lifestyle triggers may be making your allergies worse.
Inflammation can worsen your allergy symptoms, so it is super important that you pay attention to the type of food that you are eating during allergy season. You want to be sure to stay away from any food groups that will cause inflammation in your gut such as sugar, dairy, gluten and as always anything processed and chemically altered(which you should avoid on a regular basis anyway)
One thing I love to do with my clients during this time of year In order to uncover any hidden allergy triggers, is put my clients on a very simple elimination diet. My husband and both did this last spring and we both learned so much about what was causing our allergies to worsen. For me, sugar was a major trigger as was dairy. By eliminating these 2 very simple things from my diet, I was able to eliminate my daily allergy pill during allergy season. This was huge for me. 
Another helpful habit that I recommend is supporting your gut health even further by adding a clean probiotic daily supplement to your regimen . I will include my favorite products below for you to check out. Exercise is also a great tool as it will help to strengthen your immune system , helping to create a stronger barrier against allergens.
Try these tips, and I promise you will have a much more pleasant allergy season this year. If you need some help getting started on an elimination diet, submit the form through my website and I can help you get started. Good luck and Happy Spring !!!
 

Why do a Sugar detox

Detoxing can be a scary concept. I know this word is floating around the fitness and health industry like crazy. When we think of the word detox, we often think of juicing and fasting, but a detox can be approached in a more sustainable way as well. 

Another word that is all over these days, is sugar. Yes, sugar. We drink it, we eat it, and just when we think we have cut sugar out of our diet, it creeps up on us in our protein powders, granola bars, etc....

So why do a sugar detox? For several reasons. One: Sugar is highly addictive. Research states that sugar is 8x as addictive as cocaine. Crazy right!!!! With the average american consuming about 152lbs of sugar per year, about 22 teaspoons per person, per day, I think it is safe to say we have a huge problem. Not only is sugar contributing to the rise in type 2 diabetes in adults and children as well as the rising obesity epidemic in both adults and children, it is also an underlying contributor of many other diseases and health conditions. 

I started a 7 day sugar detox along with a group of my friends and clients on FB today (with a 7 day reintroduction phase after the initial detox). I think the initial reaction I received when I sent out the protocol to my participants was, "wow that looks really strict". However, the goal, is to fuel my clients and friends with plenty of protein, fresh veggies and healthy fats in order to curb the need for sugar and carbohydrate(the bad carbs of course, not all carbs are created equal). So if you want in with us, if you are ready to reset your body and learn a little bit about the effects sugar has been having on your body, shoot me a message on my "About me" page, and I will add you to our exclusive Facebook group. 

Have a great week everyone! 

Goal setting and SMART goals

We all have goals. Whether it be fitness, health, weight loss, financial, career, or relationship goals, we all have something that we long to accomplish. Goals keep us driven, motivated and give us something to work towards. But how many times have you set a goal, started off strong and then slowly forgot about your goal or just stopped working towards it all together. The thing about goals, is that you cannot go in blindly. Just like with anything of importance in your life, it is crucial to go into it with a plan of action. 

So how do you ensure that the next time you set a goal you actually stick to it? One of the best ways to do this, is to set S.M.A.R.T goals. What does that mean ?? Let me break it down below

S - The S stands for specific. Don't be vague about your goals. If you are trying to grow your business, don't just set the goal "I want to grow my business". Instead, say something like, I would like to grow my business by 30% this year which means I need to gain 20 new clients in the next 6 months. See the difference? By being specific, you can now set a plan in action to figure out how to market yourself, in order to gain those 20 clients. Once you reach your specific #, you can move on from here.

M - Measurable - Another thing we often do when setting goals, is we are too vague with our timelines, When I was a bikini competitor, I was always on a specific timeline, I would pick a show so that I knew how many weeks I had to prepare. So for example, I would say, "ok I have 12 weeks to prepare for my show, and the final week of that is peak week which means all of the hard work needs to get done in the next 11 weeks.." This is a measurable goal. I had a timeline with which to stick to. I knew if I was going on stage in 12 weeks, I didn't have any time to mess around. Its the same thing with your goals. Say you went to the doctor and your cholesterol was a little high so the doctor mentioned that he would like you to lose 15lbs and eat more fruits and vegetables before he puts you on cholesterol medication. You have a follow  up in 6 months. So now you have a timeline 6 months. You can say "since I have 6 months to lose the weight, I will eat vegetables with every meal, 2 servings of fruit a day, and do cardio for 20 minutes 3x per week in order to try to lose 2.5lbs per month." This plan of action is clear and concise and now its easier to navigate your week, since you now know that you will plan to set aside 20 minutes 3x a week for your cardio, and now you will make sure to add vegetables to your grocery cart weekly. 

A - Attainable/ Achievable. Now this is a big one. Is the goal you set achievable in the time and context in which you set it? Or are you setting yourself up for disappointment because you are setting a very ambitious goal, but only giving yourself a short amount of time to accomplish it? Make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable in the time frame that you have set. Make sure you always set yourself up for success. Maybe you just need to split your goal into 2 parts. Do one portion in 6 months and once you have gotten that far, you move on to the next portion until the full goal is accomplished.

R - Relevant. How relevant is your goal to your long term future goals. If you are trying to pay off debt, but set a goal to save $10,000 that year towards a new car, wouldn't it make more sense, if you said " I plan to save $10,000 in the next 12 months in order to pay off my debt. After my debt is paid, I will save $1000 a month towards my new car since I won't have the burden of debt to worry about. Of course saving is important, but these 2 goals conflict each other, so its best to tackle them one at a time since one will not help the other if done simultaneously. 

T - Set a time limit. Write it on your calendar. I will save $2500 by March, 2, 2018 so that I can book that vacation to Aruba in May with my wife. Here you have set the exact date that you would like to have the money by, so that when the time comes, you can book the dream vacation without having to worry about missing a good flight deal, or without having to worry about dipping into your savings or cards in order to book the trip. 

Simple steps, but steps that we often forget about. I get it, setting goals is exciting and fun and sometimes we just jump right in. But just as easily, we often jump right out as fast as we started. So set yourself up for success. Go into your goals with a plan of action and with a positive mindset. With these tools, you will set yourself up for success.

As always, 

In Health and Wellness, 

Crystal :)

Found this photo on Pinterest so I am not taking any credit for the photo :)

Found this photo on Pinterest so I am not taking any credit for the photo :)

New Goals

The past few weeks have been a little insane, as I am doing my best to manage training clients full time, taking Health Coaching calls, teaching classes and of course, doing my best sharing the responsibility of training our pup(which has not been easy lol but we love him). So when I say that my workouts have been less than ideal, I mean it. I have been doing my best to squeeze in about 45 minutes, 3 days a week, and taking 1 class if i can. It has been mostly total body interval work(which I love anyway), and 1 running class a week at Mile High Run club. If any of you are runners, and want to check out a cool studio where you can run with others, its a great place, They have 3 different class structures, so there is something for everyone.

Why am I writing about this? Because I like to remind you guys that life happens, and sometimes, getting to the gym 6 days a week is just not an option. And that is 100% ok. So what have I been prioritizing? Eating well of course. So clean food, veggies and as much home cooked food as possible. I have been making fresh juices at home which is also a great way to stay on track. I will post the recipe of the week below( I can't take credit for this one, my husband came up with it!!). And my 2nd priority, has been to make sure that all of my workouts consist of a short interval run. Why you ask? Because after an extremely long break from racing (we are taking since 2014), I have decided, that I would like to get back into racing, yikes!!!! After the Brooklyn Half in 2014, I hurt my hamstring pretty badly, then I started competing in fitness competitions, and I stopped racing. But I miss it, and I miss how it made me feel to cross the finish line. So I am going to take you guys on this journey with me. I will be posting my weekly runs, post and pre-run nutrition, as well as what I am doing for my own personal strength training so you guys can get a glimpse of my week. And, as always, if you have any questions, just send me a message, or comment below.

So what about you guys? What are your goals right now? Any exciting events, competitions, races coming up? Or are you just enjoying your workouts and working hard towards doing your best daily? I love hearing about your journeys. Let's chat about it below!!

Until next time!! 

In Health and Wellness,

Crystal

Me at the Rock and Roll Half marathon in Washington DC, my first half marathon!!

Me at the Rock and Roll Half marathon in Washington DC, my first half marathon!!