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!!

An Exercise in being grateful

Have you ever woken up after a long stretch of stressful days and just realized how lucky you are to be where you are ? I know a lot of you are like ,”ok enough with all of this positivity”, but I’m serious here. For those of you that know me well, know that I am a worrier and I tend to overwhelm myself with work and personal tasks. My schedule is always full and I go through phases where I get so caught up in my day to day that I forget to make time for family and friends and I instead keep working or I go home and rest (which is important too), but as part of this balanced life I am trying to lead, I sometimes need to just sit and remind myself to slow down, and not forget to live. So I’m making it a priority to do the things I love, and slow down a bit. For any of you that follow me an Facebook or IG, you know that Frank and I have a new member in our family, Elmer, our beautiful 9 week old Alaskan Malamute. He has brought so much joy and so many laughs to our home already, and he is forcing me to slow down and prioritize my schedule in order to spend time with him in between my crazy client load. I couldn’t be happier that I have him here and that I can come home to this loving little guy.
Aside from that, I am grateful to have spent some time this weekend reconnecting with a good friend who I haven’t seen in a very long time, to celebrate her bridal shower. I’m lucky to have friends who understand me and my craziness , and who are here to reconnect, even if it isn’t as often as we would like. 
So the point if this short blog today , is to get you guys thinking about the things you are grateful for today. I know we can all sit here and vent our woes and complain on social media about the things that aren’t going right in our lives, but how often do we sit down and say “I am lucky to be here” or “I am grateful for..”. I challenge you all to take a second, and think about what makes you happy, who and what are you grateful for, and how can you make some more time for these things ? Take some time, write it down for yourself, and leave some comments below for me if you would like.  As always, I look forward to connecting with you all.

In Health and Wellness, 
Crystal
 

 

Food Relationships

In my industry, the word diet is used on a daily basis more than several times a day. On a personal level, diet had always been a tricky subject for me to talk about. When I first started getting serious about my workouts, I thought that the only way to be successful in losing weight was by counting calories, calories in versus calories out. I was a believer in low fat food and diet food products. Sugar free products enabled me to still indulge in sweets and have something to pour over my pancakes without guilt(or so I thought). I didn't realize how many unnatural ingredients and sugar alcohols were in these products. I just thought, hey its a fiber one bar so it must be healthy. I didn't know any better and I honestly didn't understand the association between processed food and how the unnatural ingredients in them effect not just our weight, but our hormones, and our mood. I didn't understand why I could snack on these things that were healthy and diet friendly, but my body was not able to get lean. I worked out so much and I ate as healthy as I thought I could, but I just wasn't seeing the results I wanted in my body. On top of the fact, that my sugar cravings were at an all time high and I was always hungry. I thought the hunger was just from my workouts, but now I know they were from eating so many empty calories which weren't satiating me, and from boredom(which is something we will talk about in another blog post). In addition, I was depending on Protein powder and protein bars to get me through my workouts or to fuel me after a hard workout when I didn't have the time to sit down and eat a proper lunch. Some of my protein powders has ingredient lists that were so long they took up the whole back of the tub. Just FYI, every single one of those protein powders are no longer in my pantry and I only eat RX Bars or Larabars want something quick, since these bars have so few ingredients all of which are natural and unprocessed.

I didn't grow up eating healthy food. As a kid, my diet consisted of a lot of carbs, sugary drinks, cereals, sweets, soda, pizza, and on occassion fast food. My mom had a pretty busy schedule being a single mom with 3 daughters who were all in different schools in different parts of Long Island. We all had after school activities like band practice, twirling lessons and acting classes. Quick meals, snacks like chips and candy bars became the norm as we constantly needed to be somewhere on a schedule. On addition to that, my mom was a pretty picky eater, so there were certain things she just didn't cook, because she didn't enjoy them. And as we all know, kids learn their eating habits from their parents. We only eat what we are exposed to, so it is normal for us to develop palettes that are similar to our parents. 

I had a massive sweet tooth most of my life. Never really with candy but chocolate and ice cream, snack cakes and juice were my addictions. I didn't think there was anything wrong with these things because juice was healthy right? And sugary cereals are what all kids ate for breakfast. I mean, what kid didn't love a bowl of lucky charms with a glass of orange juice in the morning. I was super tiny and thin when I was young and I was that way up until high school, so again, I never thought much about my eating habits and how bad they were. In high school, as my body started to change, I became a little self conscious in my skin, and of course I decided to be more cautious with what I was eating. So when I bought snapple iced tea, I went for the diet version and I went for the Sun Chips instead of Doritos, because somehow they seemed to be the healthier choice. Guys, I'm not saying that my mom was at fault for my eating because honestly, nutrition is all about education. And if you don't know what is harmful, you won't know what to avoid. And I know many of my peers had similar eating habits growing up and maybe some have even continued those habits. But that is why I beleive I have made this leap of faith in my career. My mission, is to educate people about what they are putting into their body. So many of our bad eating habits stem from our childhood, and it's hard to break habits when this is all we know. Education is key when it comes to nutrition. The more you understand how food effects your body and your mood, the more prone you will be to make better food choices. 

As a 34 year old woman, who has spent most of her life having a very odd relationship with food, I think it is so important to really understand what we are putting into our bodies. Whole food, real food and food grown in nature is what we were meant to eat. If you can't recognize an ingredient in your food, you probably shouldn't be eating it. I know that this is still a very difficult thing for most of us to adjust to. Throwing out the food scale and not logging in our calories or points can seem really scary right? I mean, numbers comfort people or freak them out. And for all the people who count 

calories and macros, it can be a scary to give that up. Trust me, it took me a long time to get over that fear. It made me uncomfortable to eat blindly when it came to numbers. But once I started seeing my body change just eating real food, I felt so free. Finally, food didn't control my day. I controlled what I ate. And I was eating things that I loved to eat, without feeling guilty. I felt a comfort in my skin that I never felt in the past. And the way I eat now, is a lifestyle not a diet. I encourage my clients to view healthy eating as a lifestyle not just a quick diet. I find that this mindset shift, has left them feeling free and empowered with their food which leads to success in the long run. 

I will be posting more about this topic with some articles very soon. If you want to stay the most up to date on my posts and articles, sign up for my newsletter and you will receive the most update information on nutrition, whole foods and of course fitness. 
I would love to hear about you all and your food journeys. Feel free to leave your comments below. If any of you are seeking guidance with your nutrition and getting on the right path to wellness, please feel free to shoot me and email and I can guide you through the programs that I offer in this area.

Thanks for reading guys!!
In health and wellness,
❤Crystal❤ 

 

 

Fresh Veggies at Union Market. Such a Beautiful place to shop!!

Fresh Veggies at Union Market. Such a Beautiful place to shop!!

Finding your why

Hi Everyone and welcome to my page. I am so excited to have you here and I look forward to sharing many workout and nutrition tips with you all. I wanted to talk a little bit about your reasons for embarking on a path to fitness and wellness. I will share my personal story on my next blog post, but today, I want to hear about you all. What is your Why? Is your journey a personal one of self love and self discovery. Are you preparing for a special event? Are you trying to get healthy for your family? Are you looking to get fit after having a baby? Or are you looking for an outlet to release stress and find your happy place? We all start for different reasons, but one thing brings us together. That one thing is this amazing Fitness community that we belong to. That you now belong to.

Fitness and wellness brings people together. On my page, in one on one training sessions, and in my Bootcamps, we all support each other to work hard and push past our comfort zones. It's an amazing community of positive energy and a journey we all are taking for our own reasons.

So, my request today for all of you, is to take a minute, take a breath, and define your why. I would love to hear from all of you so please feel free to leave comments below. Thanks everyone and I look forward to sharing my story with you all on my next post.

In Health and Wellness
❤Crystal❤

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