A Day in the Life

A loyal reader asked me to break down a day in the life of a personal trainer – when I wake up, what I do all day, and how I stay fit.

Those of you who are also independent consultants like me know this: there is no typical day.  Each one is different, and plan as we may, days tend to take very different courses depending on cancellations, traffic, and a host of other “unpredictables” as the hours roll by.

That said, because my days are so varied and (perhaps) somewhat interesting, I figured I’d combine that reader request with today’s Blogging 201 assignment, which is thus:

B201 – Day 6 – Make the Most of Events

Create a recurring blogging event on your site, and/or make plans to attend a blogging conference.

Besides looking up blogging conferences in my area (not too difficult seeing as I’m in Los Angeles), I am hoping to draw some inspiration from my daily life to create a recurring but meaningful blog event (think World Fitness Day, or American Clean Eating Month [don’t take my idea – this may happen!], or something we can all participate in for the greater food).

Until I figure that all out, here’s a breakdown of what my #dayinthelife looks like this lovely Tuesday:

5:00am– alarm goes off; I groggily walk to the coffee pot and brew up some DD

5:15am – take my temperature (for fertility tracking), take my Biotin (for hair growth), and get ready (using my fave sweatproof products by it Cosmetics)

5:30am – coffee in hand, drive out to my first (outdoor) client while listening to Kevin & Bean, my absolute favorite morning radio show

7:00am – first client done, drive back to Fox Studios to teach CycleSculpt class

8:30am – class over, client at Fox

9:30-11:00am – bathe and prep for wellness presentation; breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, leftover arugula salad, and 1/2 whole wheat pita

11:30-2:00pm – give back-to-back wellness presentations at Fox (title: Exercise Intensity – The What, The Why, and the How-To)

2:30-4:00pm – work with online clients (all 89 of them!) over on FitOrbit.com; nosh on leftover Winter Day chili and pumpkin cornbread from last night

4:00-8:00pm – train more clients (both at Fox and outdoors)

8:30pm – receive Amazon Fresh and Blue Apron deliveries, prepare delicious meal (tonight: caramelized pork and congee); watch Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Tosh.0, and/or House Hunters International with the fiance

10:30pm – after a couple chapters of Lena Dunham’s new book, hit the sack

What does your #dayinthelife look like?  If you blog, what’s your favorite blogging event and/or conference?

Break, Fast.

I get it.  Eating in the mornings is hard.  You have about a million things to do before you head out the door, you’re exhausted from never getting enough sleep, and to top it all off, you’re not even that hungry (that last problem can be addressed with one of my other posts on eating patterns, but I digress).

But all the research shows breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  It’s also the one where you can eat the most fun/carby/not-super-clean stuff.  So why are so many people skipping it altogether?

I have a theory.  People are bored.  Add to that the fact that they are confused, because we all grew up eating boxed cereal (well I did, anyway, I don’t know about the rest of you hippies) and unless you live under a rock, you know that boxed cereal has about the nutritional equivalent of the box itself (actually, worse, because at least the box might be sugar-free).

So again – what to do?

You know TFB has your back on this – I’m an avid breakfast eater, and one of those weirdos who, whenever their mom would ask what I wanted for dinner, would say “Breakfast!” and dive joyously into pancakes, eggs and bacon at 6pm.  Breakfast foods are delicious, but beyond that they are easy to sneak produce servings into (eggs florentine?  fruit salad?  quiche?) and still maintain the general semblance of good health.

What do I eat for breakfast?  Truth be told, I rotate between three general breakfasts.  The first is egg whites with spinach over a whole-wheat pita, topped liberally with Sriracha.  My little trick is that I make the egg whites in the microwave – simply pour them into a microwave-safe bowl, top with spinach, slide a plate over that bad boy to prevent splatter, and heat for 3.5 minutes.  When it’s done, you just invert the bowl onto the plate and BOOM – a nice little egg white bundle to sit atop your pita and be delicious.  You’re welcome.

My second go-to is prot-meal, which is my dorky name for oatmeal with protein powder mixed in.  I use 1/2 cup organic old-fashioned rolled oats (although you can definitely use steel-cut if you prefer), add in one scoop of IsoPure Zero Carb Cookies & Cream protein powder, throw in a good 3/4 cup of frozen blueberries, sprinkle with chopped walnuts, and toss on some cinnamon.  After I add about a cup of water, I microwave the whole thing for 2.5 minutes (so the blueberries can heat up) and have a thick, satisfying morning bowl of oats that tastes and feels like a cookie – and keeps me full for hours.

Not a big fan of the microwave?  Not to worry, my third reliable breakfast is a quick green shake with a banana and natural chunky peanut butter on the side.  I mix up spinach, 1/2 apple, 1 Persian cucumber, 1/3 zucchini, and a big handful of mint along with a spritz of lemon (and a shave of ginger if I feel a cold coming on), water and ice – blend in the Vitamix until smooth and chug down with the banana and PB on the side for a bit of good carbs and fat.

And don’t worry – if none of my breakfast meals sound appetizing to you, I won’t be offended.  You can always check out this amazing list of 31 low-carb breakfast meals and get inspired – the pictures alone will make you ravenous!

What are your favorite healthy breakfasts?  Are you a breakfast eater – or a breakfast skipper?

Power-Packed Paleo Macaroons

**full credit for this recipe, both its creation and concept, go to Paleo Expert Nell Stephanson at The Paleoista blog**

So my girl over at The Paleoista was looking for recipe testers for a few new endurance-athlete approved fixins, and I wanted to give one of them a whirl – and in true blogger fashion, I actually took pictures and did it (score one for the newcookie1bie).

The ingredients could not have been simpler – 4 eggs, separated (I put the yolks inone bowl and whites in another), 2 cups of grated carrot, 1 cup of shredded coconut, and 2 TB coconut oil.

If you want to count the “dusting” of nutmeg as an ingredient, knock yourself out, but know that you can eat these perfectly well without it (or go nuts and add something savory, like cayenne, or supersweet, like cocoa, to punch these little guys up a notch).

All you need to do is mix the carrot and coconut together in a medium-sized bowl and fold in the yolks and coconut oil (room temp, so it’s mostly liquidy).  Beat the egg whites for about a minute and add them immediately to the mix, then scoop ’em in rounded tablespoons (my recipe made 16, you could probably push to 20 if they were “true” tablespoons) on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, sprinkle with your spice of choice, and voila – your totally Paleo, totally veggie-packed, and totally tasty macaroons are ready to eat!

cookie2If you ask me, this would be the perfect thing to make as a Halloween “cookie” substitute – they’re bright orange, super healthy, and pack a nutrient punch to boot (did you know carrots are packed with Vitamin A and beta-carotene?).

Hand ’em out as gifts if you don’t want to be stuck with all 16 (believe me…you can’t eat just one!) and you’ll be the most popular Paleo proponent in your proximity (ok, I’m done).

What’s your favorite low-carb or  Paleo recipe?  How do you like to “hide” veggies in your snacks/desserts?

Pumpkin Power

Call me a bandwagoner, but I love pumpkin.  Like, love it.  My fiance and I keep a pumpkin pie in our fridge and freezer all year long – one ready, one on deck.  It’s a very serious relationship.

But come this time of year, everyone starts kicking into high-cal pumpkin mode – those insanely chemical-ridden pumpkin spice lattes, the Pinterest-worthy pumpkin baked goods, and even the occasional pumpkin-shaped cheese ball (say what?).  Sure, I’d love all of these treats, too.  Thing is, my waistline wouldn’t.  And so each fall I seek ways to get my pumpkin fix without completely losing the calorie battle (especially before the holiday season even kicks in!).

First of is my daily treat – the pumpkin pie oatmeal.  True story: if you put pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in just about anything, you can convince yourself you’re having a treat.  And guys – canned pumpkin is super healthy!  The plain stuff (not the canned pie filling – steer clear!) is only 50 calories a half cup and packed with fiber.  Pumpkin IS a veggie, after all.

Need a snack?  Pumpkin mixes gloriously well with Greek yogurt for a kind of faux-cheesecake effect, which you can savor anytime of day (just watch the added sugar – you rarely need as much as the recipes suggest, and you can always sub Stevia or even raw maple syrup for a healthier, lighter sweetness).

While you have your Greek yogurt out, might as well throw it in some batter for these amazing protein-packed pancakes – seriously guys, it’s like a little piece of heaven on a Sunday morning, and combined with a healthy syrup option, you can pretend you’re having a crazy indulgent meal but staying completely on track.

And finally – I get it.  You need the whole pumpkin spice latte thing to make it through the season – I’m not gonna hate.  This one – which, yes, takes a bit of commitment but for a huge payoff – is worth your time.  You can make a batch and heat ’em up all week!

Do you have any go-to pumpkin recipes for the fall season?  How do you enjoy your pumpkin in a healthier way?

Weekend Roundup

Happy Saturday!  Time for the weekend roundup, where I let you guys in on a little bit of what I’ve been jiving on lately.

It is my life dream to have my “gym ponytail” look anything like this.

Want to impress your friends with an appetizer that’s as easy to make as hummus but WAY fancier?  It’s time to make muhammara.

Still debating how to place the rose petals for my wedding aisle; this design is definitely a top contender.

A weekend roundup post of another blogger’s weekend roundup.  Whoa, meta.

Am I too old to wear a Barbie-insignia leotard?  Nah.

If you aren’t eating avocados for dessert, you are truly missing out on one of life’s great (healthy) pleasures.

I plan on having kids one day.  I will never, ever bestow upon them this horrible and idiotic fate.

What have you been checking out online lately?  Any great reads or tips?

Greek Food & Tight Hips

greekI cooked tonight; this is always a small feat for me.  As a trainer I work three basic shifts – the (early) morning, the midday, and the evenings.  These shifts correspond to when people want to work out, of course – before and after work, and on their lunch breaks.  Seems simple enough, right?

But think of when you do things in your normal day – things like getting your workout in, or making dinner, or taking a shower.  Typically you are doing these things during the time that I am working – which means that I must fit in my seemingly “normal” tasks around a seemingly impossible schedule.

Sob stories aside, I feel great when I cook – I love doing it, my fiance loves me doing it, and it puts me at ease to know that I have full control over what I’m putting into my body, and that I can make the healthy choices I prefer.

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a recipe I had for a homemade hummus with spiced beef.  I added bulgur, cucumber salad, roasted pine nuts, and feta to the mix and made a legit meal out of it with a side arugula salad.  It was such a big hit that the fiance even wanted some for lunch the next day (a big victory for me since he hates leftovers).

In other news, I added a ton of cumin to the beef for its anti-inflammatory properties – mainly because my left hip is on FIRE.  The pain is deep, one-sided, and it’s spreading – I woke up this morning with the entire left side of my back feeling like it’s thrown out (a sure sign I am compensating for the hip pain with an odd gait change – never a good thing).

Sigh.  Such is life when you don’t get a single day’s break from SOME sort of exercise.  That said, tomorrow is a yoga day.  Yoga and 6.5 miles running.  But definitely yoga.

Do you guys like to cook?  And do you have any tips for tight hips?!?