Monday, December 29, 2014

Saying Good-Bye to Amor Fitness & Nutrition

This week Amor Fitness & Nutrition has officially closed its doors. I have so many fond memories working with Adele and the entire Team Amor Family.

I began my journey with Adele about 4 years ago. I finally took the leap to compete in my 1st bodybuilding competition and Adele was taking the leap to competition prep coach. She was the 1st female bodybuilder I had met and she helped guide my nutrition and posing for my 1st competition. I placed 1st in my class and won best poser in my 1st show. It was so much fun and I totally had the competition bug! She helped me prep for my next 2 shows where I placed 2nd.

Through being part of Team Amor I met so many amazing people! I found a family among bikini, figure, physique, and bodybuilders.

I took a break from the stage and started training at the Garage. This gave me a chance to get to know all the members of our growing team and to work one-on-one with my fellow competitors. I had the opportunity to help our competitors and our clients meet their fitness goals. It was pretty amazing to be part of the process and watch these women and men meet their goals.

I loved working with a local small business. When you work at a local gym it is more like being part of a family than just an employee with an employer.

The business may have closed, but I take with me years of memories, great friendships, and great resources. I know the whole Amor Fitness Family will go on to do great things. I look forward to seeing what the New Year brings for all of us.

Health and Happiness,


Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Vacation with a Beach View

We treated ourselves to an early Christmas gift; A relaxing trip to beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Before we even left Atlanta I commited to a few fitness goals during our trip. 

I posted my goals to Instagram for accountability. It worked I stayed active 4 out of 4 days.

Our hotel gym was great! 3 different cardio options, dumbbells, selectorized equipment, adjustable pulley, and core conditioning area. A fitness geeks haven!

It wasn't easy. One day I was really short on steps, so I danced around our hotel room to meet my goal. I figured dancing would be more fun than jogging in place. One morning I woke up and did not want to get out of our big comfy king bed. But, once I got moving I felt good and I just took a nap later in the afternoon.

I took the time to relax and enjoy San Juan too. It wasn't all just workouts. We stayed at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino located off the beach and surrounded by restaurants and stores on Anderson Avenue.

We sampled food from various restaurants.

Including a local dish called Mofongo. Plantains and meats, very satisfying.

Our hotel hosted multiple trips throughout the week. We booked a trip to Old San Juan and the Bacardi factory.  We visited 2 forts and shopped the historical streets of Old San Juan. Old San Juan was really beautiful.

The Bacardi tour was fun. It included a tour of the grounds, a history of the Bacardi family, a bar tending demo, and samples of rum.

I loved the set up of the tasting room. Designed to be a replica of a Havana club in cuba. The room and the bartender seemed to be plucked right out of an old movie. Great presentation and the Reserve 8 they let us sample was smooth and sweet.

We had a great trip! Next time we absolutely have to make a trip out to the rain forest. Hiking and maybe zip-lining, if I can conquer that fear of heights.

I hope you have a great Christmas Vacation!
Any big trips planned? Comment below and let me know about your adventures.

Health and Happiness,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fall Semester Wrap Up

1 Year Anniversary, 2 New Classes, and the Return of Flirty Girl Fitness

Another semester at Georgia Tech has come to an end. I had some big successes and some classes did not go as well as I had hoped. For me it is all about expirementing and figuring out what works best for my community. I try, assess, and try again. Here are some of my reflections from the semester.

APPH 1050 Weight Training

We celebrated our 1 year anniversary of APPH this semester. I love teaching this class. It combines my love for exercise science and my abilities as a health educator and really allows me to make a huge impact on student fitness. Over the past 4 semesters I have helped over 100 students learn safe and effective weightlifting technique and customize their weight training programs. My students range from complete newbie to experienced Olympic and Power Lifters. They keep me on my toes and remind me to be flexible in my programming; they gave me some great ideas for next semesters class.  

Short Circuit 

This class was my baby and a new addition to the schedule.  I loved teaching this class. The turn out was not what I had anticipated, attendance was strong at the beginning of the semester but dwindled towards the end. The class really focused on incorporating strength training with cardio just to boost the heart rate. After talking with several participants I think they wanted more cardio based, high intensity, circuits. In the process I have created a full 12 week circuit program that I could implement anywhere. I will make a few tweaks and try again during summer semester.


Another newbie to the schedule. I really do think this program could work, but it was such a new idea that I would need to do a better job promoting it. My intention was for the class to be a way for the new exerciser to get in a workout through game play and for the experienced exerciser to put some fun into their workouts. I realized I had not properly promoted the class when one of my fellow instructors wanted to promote it but had no idea how to describe it to participants. That was my error in not marketing the class properly. Those who did attend really seemed to enjoy themselves. I do have a book full of game ideas now that I could incorporate in bootcamps or if I am asked to sub a class. Or if you are looking for fitness game ideas contact me. I have 12 weeks worth.

FlirtyGirl Fitness

An old favorite that I brought back to the schedule. Guess what? People still love dance fitness and I fell in love with FlirtyGirl all over again. Looking forward to new music and new dance moves in the new semester!

Did you try any new formats this semester? 
What worked? What didn't work?

Looking forward to a new semester and a new opportunity to improve the health of my community.

Health and Happiness,


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An SEC Girl in an ACC World

Friday we made the journey up to North Carolina for the ACC Championship. My husband is the GT fan/Alumnus, I am a UGA Alumna and a college football fan who is a fan of a Georgia team defeating FSU. So we were off to NC!

We arrived in town and it was freeeeezing! Luckily our hotel was perfectly positioned near a Ross and a TJ Maxx, tomorrow I would buy a proper jacket. My sis(Alicia) and I were debating squeezing in a workout, but Taco Mac won. I did squeeze in a quick plank set before the night ended.

Saturday before the game Alicia and I got in our workouts. We figured we would get plenty of walking while exploring the city and tailgating. Alicia completed a total body workout I completed a Biceps & Triceps bodybuilding workout. 

We headed into town to grab some lunch and warmth before we set up our tailgate. 
After lunch we spent the next 4-5 hours tailgating right outside the stadium.

Lots of food and I played my 1st hand of cards against humanity. Instafan!

We had amazing seats, thanks to our friends!

Wow what an exciting game!

The Jackets could not pull out the victory, but I did get in over 16K steps for the day!

It was a pretty amazing game watching experience and a road trip with some really great people. So glad we were able to go.

Were you watching the games on Saturday?
Who were you cheering for?
Show your school pride and comment below.

Until next time,

Health and Happiness,


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving, Sales, and Rivalry Week

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend, mine was packed!

Started the day staying true to family tradition and watching the Macy's Day Parade while I fixed breakfast and cleaned around the house. After breakfast the hubs wanted to see Dumb and Dumber, so we took advantage of holiday matinee prices before heading to Thanksgiving Dinner. We headed down to my husband's mom's house for Turkey and desserts. Mmm dessert is my weakness. My intention was to workout post feast, but yeeeeah, tummy so full must pass out.

Friday I did some shopping. I had my eye on an AirDyne AD2 at sports authority the past few months. I got an early look at the add and knew it would be over 50% off! I absolutely had to have it at that price!

No more excuses for cardio when it gets cold and the gym is closed!

I also stopped by Home Depot for a few gifts.

What a pleasant surprise to see coffee, donuts, and a free omlette bar! HD may be my favorite place to holiday shop. They have a really great prices on indoor/outdoor holiday decor.

Once the shopping was done it was time to get in that workout! I decided to go with a KB and Barbell workout. I wanted something that would be physically challenging and get my heart rate up.

It worked, I was sweaty and panting at the end of the workout.

Saturday was game day. The big instate throwdown between the University of Georgia Bulldawgs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (GNATS).

A little background, I am a UGA Alumnae but spent the past 9 years working for Georgia Tech, my husband is a GT Alumn, so we are truly a house divided.

The food and sangria were a huge success. I offered up some red potatoes, steamed kale, and slow cooker chicken along with the regular game day goodies. I actually had to make 2 batches of kale! I was happy to hear they appreciated the option. The food was a definite win! The game on the other hand. Ugh!

The game started off great for me! But then that filed goal! That stupid field goal to take us in to overtime, arrrrgh it still hurts. 364 days of bragging rights for my techie husband, I hope he enjoys it. We are headed to the ACC Championship this weekend, my only consolation will be hopefully watching FSU suffer its 1st defeat.

So we lost the game but, I did get some good news on Saturday. I passed my CHES exam! 

I am re-certified as a Certified Health Education Specialist. I'll talk more about the decision to recertify in a future post.

So how was your Thanksgiving Holiday? Did you fit in a workout? Did your team win during rivalry week?

Health and Happiness,


Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Answer to "What's That on Your Wrist?"

It took me nearly a year but I finally decided on a fitness tracker that fits my needs. The Polar Loop!

How I chose the Polar Loop
1. Observation and Word of Mouth
The 1st band style fitness tracker I saw in person was the Nike Fuelband. Our friend Andrew, who is not a huge fan of formal exercise, was using it and loved the way it motivated him to move more. I loved the idea of something that tracked your daily activity, not just your workouts.  I started my informal research by checking out the gear my #fitfam was using. The fitbit seemed to be the most popular online and in person. I saw some Nike fuelbands, Jawbones, and my fitness coordinator used the Shine.  There were so many options it was overwhelming!

2. Everymove FitTracker Selector
During my review of Everymove I discovered their free fitness tracker database. You can enter your fitness need, style of tracker, and even brand to narrow results.  My main needs were crosstrainng and a sleeptracker. Enter the Polar Loop! Until using the site I had never even heard of the loop.

3. Brand Loyalty
I was surprised that I had never heard of the Loop. It was a fairly new product from Polar to give their consumers a tracker to fit their needs. When I 1st started my search my 1st though was I wished Polar had a fit tracker band. I used the Polar FT2 when I first dove into fitness and learned the benefit of HR tracking. Then when I started training for the Peachtree and longer runs I upgraded to the FT7. Then I stopped running and started lifting and using my HR monitor less. So, I was already very familiar with the brand. Once I found the Loop it was an easy choice to make!

My Experience So Far
I love my loop! It tracks all of my daily activity.

My steps and my sleep,

As well as the quality of my sleep.

It alerts me of prolonged inactivity

It motivates me to meet my goals by alerting me of my progress so far and how much additional activity is needed.
The fireworks that go off when you meet your goal are pretty awesome too!

My only complaint so far was that my loop and mobile app don't always sync. During the 1st 30 days the bluetooth technology was not syncing with my phone app, even with manual attempts. I later saw this was a common issue for users. I wish it was more consistent.

I have been using my Loop since September and overall I love it. It serves all of the functions I need and I can check all of my primary activities at a touch of a button on my wrist. The syncing would be a bonus, but does not detract from my overall enjoyment of my Loop. If you are looking to purchase a band style fitness tracker I highly recommend you check out the Polar Loop.

What fit tech do you use? Leave a comment and shout out your favorite brand.

Health and Happiness,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What's on my plate? Cooking with Plated

I learned about Plated through my work with Everymove. One of the rewards I earned was a discount on a Plated membership. Then I saw an ad on Facebook offering 4 meals for $20.

I set up my account but never ordered. Then last week I got an email saying my plates were going to expire. It was now or never.

I decided to choose 2 recipes that looked tasty and used ingredients I had never cooked with before and that I probably would not try on my own. I few days later my package arrived! 

I love the packaging, 
"This is your moment of glory!" What a great greeting for my foodie adventure!

In my box were all the major ingredients: fresh spices, carbs, veggies, and protein. I just had to supply the oil, salt, pepper and cookware. Let the fun begin!

Meal 1 I prepped for date night with the husband: Quail with Quince

I have never cooked quail or quince before. With a little help from The queen of quince I figured out how to core and pit the fruit. 

Then I prepped the potatoes, seasoning, and quail.

The final product was quite fancy.

The final product was delicious. I loved the taste of the Dijon seasoning on the quail. The balsamic have the quince a nice balance of sweet and tart. The plated description was pretty accurate, Quince taste like a blend of an apple and a pear. We had some leftover cucumber tomato salad so we added that to our meal for some added color and vegetables.

Meal 2: Pork Chops with Cider Gravy 

This time, with a little help from Martha, I learned how to chop a fresh fennel bulb and mince shallots.

It took me about an hour to prep this meal, it took a lil while to find videos and mince and chop, but it was soooo worth it. This was soooo good. 

We ate every succulent bite! The sweet and savory of the roasted fennel and apple salad was a perfect compliment to the pork chops. The cider gravy was an amazing glaze for the pork chop. Absolutely delicious! My favorite recipe of the 2 of tried.

Plated made me feel like a gourmet chef! I absolutely loved it.  The meals I picked were full of healthy oils and fat, low carb, high protein, paleo friendly, and were between 630-500 calories. So it is easy to fit them into my healthy lifestyle.

From the packaging to the positive feedback on Twitter and Instagram I loved the experience.  I look forward to my next Plated adventure!

Have you tried plated? What new recipe did you try?

Health and Happiness