Fit People Win

This post is one in an ongoing series entitled “Fit People,” a sequence of values, thought processes, and actions designed to be used as guidelines for creating a healthy and fit lifestyle from the inside out. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. My wish is for you as you read each piece is that you reflect on how it applies to your life and how you can incorporate more of this advice as you move forward in your fitness journey <3

Fit People Win

As people embarking upon a journey to create a healthy and fit lifestyle, we are constantly confronted with the self-defeating habits that keep us locked in a loop of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Dreams of feeling good, of being comfortable in our own skin, of having the energy to put into our work, spending time with our families, and attempting to hit the biggest items on our bucket list. And we ask ourselves “Why?” Why do I keep sabotaging myself? Why can’t I stick to my healthy diet or get myself to drive to the gym on a regular basis? Why do I keep falling back into those bad habits?

It is very easy to focus on the failures. But you see, even in failure there are lessons. Obstacles, struggles, and setbacks are GIFTS, set in front of you to be unwrapped, analyzed from every single angle, and appreciated for the role they have played in your life up until now. When you learn to see your failures like this, you discover ways to change your attitudes and behaviors about health and fitness. And this is how you WIN. Because even if you don’t get it right every single time, you gain new knowledge about yourself. That is something you will never lose. And thus,

Learning = WIN

Those who are successful at creating healthy and fit lifestyles focus on the wins. There is always a win in learning something new about yourself, and that learning MUST take place before you can take proper and consistent action. Become the type of person who always wins and you will be well on your way to becoming healthy and fit.

Good luck <3




Tips For Losing Weight: Eat Slowly

Are you the type of person who’s ravenous hunger has you practically inhaling food as soon as it is set in front of you??

If you’re like me and had a large family growing up, you might have developed the habit of finishing your plate fast in order to grab seconds before they’re gone. Perhaps you were just a tad bit spoiled and given your food as soon as you demanded it, always ate quickly so you could finish as soon as possible and get back to what you were doing (playing, working, etc.), or you had very little at one point in your life so you had to take as much as you could when you could. Whatever your circumstance, eating your food too quickly can create problems that stifle your efforts to become healthy and fit, which may include:

  • The Inability To Properly Digest Food. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux, indigestion, that create bloating in your stomach and inflammation throughout your entire body.
  • A Tendency To Overeat. It can take your body around 20 minutes to give your brain the signal that you’ve had enough. If you fill yourself with food too fast, by the time you realize you’re full, you will already have had too much!
  • Feeling Less Satisfied. When you eat too quickly, you don’t give your senses the opportunity to properly enjoy your meal. The smell, the flavor, the texture are all lost when you don’t take the proper time to relish them. That will only leave you wanting more and craving something else that will satisfy you.

The Fix: Eat Slowly.

The seeming need to eat quickly and on-demand, in many cases, is more of a mental obstacle than a necessity. With the right effort and a little time, you can train your mind to become less needy and more conscious and change the habit. Here’s a 3 step process you can use:

  1. Calm Your Mind

If you’re really hungry or experiencing a strong craving, your thoughts are probably racing and you can practically hear your meal whispering “What are you waiting for!? Dig in, now!!!” Before you attack your dish, take a few deep breaths. Try to relax your body and clear your mind of any anxiety provoking thoughts. Then think positive and satisfying thoughts like “This looks delicious. I’m really going to enjoy this [insert your favorite food here].” Wait 1-2 minutes before you reach for your utensils. This will train you to be patient and learn that it won’t kill you to wait just a little longer.

2. Take One Bite At A Time

Bring your fork/the food item to your mouth mindfully. Take one bite, then place it back on your plate. That way, you won’t be tempted to take another bite before you’ve finished processing the last one. When you take multiple bites, it pushes the food to the back of your throat, leaving you no choice but to swallow unchewed portions of your meal. If you slip up, don’t sweat it. As soon as you remember, place your fork on the table and take another deep breath. Focus on the conversation, if you’ve got company.

3. Chew About 5-15 Times

There’s no hard and fast number for how many munches are appropriate. It really depends on what you’re eating. Just know that you should chew the food until it is properly mashed by your teeth and saliva and super easy to swallow. Focus on the texture and the seasoning. Try to savor the experience of chewing. I know it’s hard at first, but eventually you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself!

So next time you sit down to eat, notice if you have the tendency to eat too quickly. Then, try out these tips to see if it changes anything for you.

Good luck!


Nadia 🙂

The Truth About Cardio To Burn Fat

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately regarding the most efficient type of workout for weight and body fat loss. So I’m writing this post to set the story straight and tell you the truth about doing cardio to burn fat.

Let me just say that when clients and community members are just getting started with a new fitness program, I ALWAYS err on the side of recommending strength training FIRST. It sets a strong base of support for joint safety and proper movement patterns for all types of exercise. And it gives men and women alike the look of being toned that most are aiming for. But the reality is that many of us have time constraints and are looking for ways to get more out of each training session. However reluctant I am to share the answer to the question: “How can I burn more fat when I work out?” I can’t deny the reality that cardiovascular exercise, like jogging, biking, swimming, stair climbing, high impact aerobics, and other types of cardio training burn more calories during each workout. Depending on the intensity, a 45 minute cardio session can burn anywhere from 150-400+ calories MORE than a strength session of the same length.

Let’s be honest, we’re number people. When it comes to calorie burn, we like to see ourselves hit the high marks. Just know this: those numbers aren’t the whole story.

The Truth About Cardio & Fat Burn

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. In my opinion, when you rely on cardio training as your main method of burning fat and losing weight, you are setting yourself up for failure. Here’s why: Cardio burns fat in the moment. So, as long as you continue to do that cardio on a regular basis, you can maintain any weight you lose. What eventually happens for most of us is that we hit a plateau where we cannot possibly exercise MORE, because of time or energy levels or onset of pain/inflammation from the impact. Because of that, we stop losing weight. To top it off, once you STOP doing cardio (or as most like to say, “fall off the wagon”), without any other maintenance methods in place, you WILL gain the weight back. Then you’re left feeling frustrated and defeated, like you made so much progress only to see it fade away in an instant! Can you relate??

I’m not trying to burst your bubble. I just want to keep you informed. You all know that, as a personal trainer, exercise is what I do and LOVE. We all need to move in order to stay healthy, stay mobile, and stay strong. I am so passionate about fitness that I want EVERYONE to enjoy working out as much as I do. But I also want to be real with you about how you can succeed. If you’re down with that, trust me when I tell you that instead of making yourself crazy over burning calories by sweating, flip the script and:

  1. Focus On Changing Your Diet FIRST. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the one thing most who are adopting a healthy lifestyle hate to hear! But I guarantee, this is the number one most sustainable way to ensure that you are not only losing body fat, but also that you keep it off in the long run. Notice how I chose the words “change your diet” instead of simply “DIET.” No starvation or avoiding of entire food groups required. Shift the way you eat by feeding yourself with nutritious foods; plenty of veggies and fruit with balanced portions of grains, proteins, and fats. And don’t forget to track what you eat! If you do that, your body will learn how to burn it’s own fat stores, regardless of the types of workouts you do!
  2. Keep Your Workouts Consistent, Rather Than Difficult. The easiest way to create burnout is to aim to kick your butt every single workout (and every single day), ESPECIALLY if you’re just getting back into a routine. Focus on maintaining a regular workout routine, like hitting the gym or going for a walk 3-4 days a week, preferably at the same time each day. This will have you feeling healthier and more energized without the burnout. AND it will be easier to maintain.
  3. Don’t Rush It. Believe me. I understand how anxious you are to achieve your health and fitness goals. I gained 5% body fat this summer indulging in the delicious meals my boyfriend and his mom cooked for me each day. The idea of jumping into a 2 week, all-out shred was sooooo tempting! But I try to practice what I preach. I know for sure that if weight loss isn’t embarked upon mindfully, there will be a yo-yo effect, and all my efforts will be lost. Those who take it slow are able to reflect on their habits and not only change those habits, but also the way they think about them.

I hope that clarifies why I think that, when it comes to burning fat, focusing mainly on cardio is not the way to go. There is a place for cardio in your routine (and strength training as well!), so I encourage you to keep it in there! Among other benefits, it releases endorphins that make you feel happy and calm after a good sweat session. But if you want to burn fat, lose weight, and keep it off, learn to master your diet!

Good luck 😉



Nadia <3

Fit People Let Go

This post is one in an ongoing series entitled “Fit People,” a sequence of values, thought processes, and actions designed to be used as guidelines for creating a healthy and fit lifestyle from the inside out. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. My wish is for you as you read each piece is that you reflect on how it applies to your life and how you can incorporate more of this advice as you move forward in your fitness journey <3

Fit People Let Go

There are so many people out there who have fitness goals for themselves that they have so far been unable to achieve. It is my belief that one of the reasons is that we are living amidst a culture that supports and encourages being sedentary and indulging in food that opens the taste buds, but does little to actually nourish our bodies. We tend to have this idea that truly living means allowing ourselves these TREATS. And that being active involves undesirable, even painful hard work.

Becoming a fit person means letting go these dysfunctional ideas that hold us back from our health potential. It means undestanding that there are so many ways to treat ourselves that do not involve food, believing that exercising can be both enjoyable and rewarding, and actively searching for ways to incorporate those beliefs into your daily life.

And once you start taking action, you can slowly become the type of person who lives a healthy and fit lifestyle. You don’t have to spend every waking moment obsessing about calories or macros or put 4 hours a day into the gym, wear Lulemon to work, and do isometric exercises when you’re at work or running errands. I’m completely against creating the types of obsessions that keep us hyper-focused on the tiny deposits of fat that we have underneath our arms and between our thighs or criticizing ourselves for eating a slice of pizza or slice of cake at a friend’s birthday party. But I am all for the type of obsession that creates excitement and curiosity on how to better ourselves and change in ways that allow us to become someone who not only LOOKS healthy and fit, but is physically, mentally, and emotionally well.

Exercise: What beliefs do you need to let go of in order to live a healthy and fit lifestyle?

Set aside some time today or this weekend to reflect on this question. Write down everything that comes to mind. Then ask yourself:

What do I need to DO in order to let go of these beliefs?

Remember that you are perfectly capable of achieving your health and fitness goals. In fact, you deserve to achieve them. Don’t let any more time go by without giving yourself that gift.

Good luck <3



Speed Up Weight Loss By Making Friends

It may not make a lot of sense at first glance, but one of the best ways to speed up your weight loss efforts and make progress toward your health and fitness goals is to partner up with someone! Most people know that having a workout pal can help to motivate you and keep you accountable, but did you know that by working out with a buddy, you are more likely to work out longer, challenge yourself, and stick with the program you’re following (37% more likely!). It’s a wonder why we don’t ALL have workout buddies, right?

Unfortunately, finding a consistent gym companion is not always as easy as it seems. The mistake most of us make is relying on close friends or family members, often those who (like us) are just getting back into or just beginning to work on their healthy and fit lifestyle. I’m not saying that you SHOULDN’T recruit people you know. Actually, I highly encourage you to bring as many people into the fit lifestyle as possible! However, it is too often the case that when one workout buddy starts to become a little lax (skipping workouts, “treating” themselves a little too frequently, etc.), the other one follows. We also need to connect with people who will help boost our potential for success. To quote Tony Robbins, one the most popular speakers on self development of our time,

“Who you spend time with is who you become.”

In your fitness life, that means that if you want to reach your goals, you must search for people who have already fully committed to their own health and fitness resolutions and are putting in the effort they need to achieve them. To make it super simple, keep an eye out for individuals who:

  1. Have a membership at the gym or activity group you belong to. This is not only practical, but convenient for both of you. You are linked by the fact that you are already members of the same community. Plus, you have access to the same resources and workouts, so figuring out what exercises to complete will be a cinch!
  2. Goes regularly. Someone who has stuck to a routine of attending or completing 2-3x workouts a week will be more reliable than someone who exercises off-and-on.
  3. Attends at the same time you do. Probably the most frustrating and common breaking point with a workout buddy is syncing up schedules. Finding a time that works shouldn’t have to be a chore. Whether it’s a class or your personal routine, someone who goes to the same workout each week (or several days a week) as you do or appears at the gym around the same time is a golden goose! He or she is also already a familiar face. So all you need to do is make a connection.

I know this process can be intimidating for some (I’m an introvert myself, so I get having difficulty making friends; I did for a long time!), but it is well worth your time and effort. Next week, I’ll give you my simple formula for finding that person and friending them 😉

But feel free to start looking. Good luck!




Nadia 😉

PS – Speaking of finding friends, have you joined the community yet? Head on over to That Fit Life on Facebook an start connecting today!

What Is A Mind Body Practice?

What Is Mind-Body Practice? 



A mind-body practice is a ritual or exercise that helps you become more aware of and gain control over the connection between the processes of your mind and the processes of your body. They include things like yoga, meditation, tai chi, praise singing or prayer, self reflection, affirmations, visualization, breathing techniques, even walking, among others. Engaging in these types of practices can help to expand self awareness, reduce stress, create better sleep patterns, improve muscular/joint flexibility and mobility, increase attention, make you feel more peaceful and happy, and all sorts of other benefits. The cool thing about mind body practices is that once you start reaping the benefits, other people in your life start to notice and the good vibes can actually rub off on them!

Mind-body practices can vastly improve the way you feel about yourself and interact with others, which is why I highly recommend finding one that speaks to your personality and needs. You may need to try a few before you find the right fit. And as you settle into one, deepening your practice, others will seem more attractive. So go ahead and try one out and let me know how it goes.

Good luck <3



Nadia 🙂

Fit People Plan

This post is the first in an ongoing series entitled “Fit People,” a sequence of values, thought processes, and actions designed to be used as guidelines for creating a healthy and fit lifestyle from the inside out. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. My wish is for you as you read each piece is that you reflect on how it applies to your life and how you can incorporate more of this advice as you move forward in your fitness journey <3

Fit People Plan

There is a widely used saying that goes like this:

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

So many people jump into their fitness goals and resolutions with an idea of what they want. To lose weight, slim down, tone up, bulk up, feel good, stop feeling bad, etc. They start going to the gym whenever they have free time and throw out all of their junk food and start eating salads and/or smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While these efforts are valient, many people lose steam after only 2-4 weeks, then go right back to their regular habits.

Being a Fit Person means staying consistent. And the only way we can create that consistency in our already busy lives is to Plan Ahead. I’m not just talking about prepping your meals on Sunday. I mean really COMMITTING to your health and fitness. This means: MAKE A PLAN.

  1. For working out: Set aside some time to look at your schedule each week (or even each month), highlight the BEST times for you to work out, and RESERVE those times on your schedule as “busy” so that your co-workers, boss, assistants, family members, and friends know you’re not free.
  2. For healthy eating: Take note of which meals are the hardest for you to eat healthy and prep those ahead of time. That way, you can’t lean on the excuse that you’re too tired to make dinner or snack on the donuts in the break room for lunch because you didn’t bring anything. The other option: Eat the same thing at that meal every day to take the guess work out of portions.
  3. Put it all together. Create a “List of wins.” It can be as simple as

[    ] Completed a workout today!

[    ] Stuck to my healthy meal plan!

[    ] Learned one new thing about becoming healthy and fit!

You can go ahead and check that last box now 😉


Good luck!

Nadia <3

My Number 1 Tip To Lower Body Fat

When it comes to health and fitness, one of the biggest goals that individuals set for themselves is to slim down. Being a personal trainer, I know that, beyond just becoming slimmer versions of ourselves, most of us have our hopes on more specific targets:

  • A trim and shapely waistline
  • Visible abdominals
  • A round yet firm behind
  • Large, enviable biceps and lats.
  • ___insert desired body part__ 😉

I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t think looks should be anyone’s top priority. It is too easy to become obsessed by the idea of landing the perfect body, which is not only unhealthy, but also counter-productive to the REAL end-goal; to feel healthy, confident, and fulfilled. That being said, I don’t think there is anything wrong with targeted fitness resolutions like these, as long as your efforts are sustainable (you’re not killing yourself at the gym with 2-3hrs workouts 7 days a week!).

While some are able to create the tone they need to achieve their goals, many struggle to see the detailed results they crave. This is usually because they tend to focus solely on exercise when the key component of body fat loss is actually diet. More specifically, portions, the amount of food we put in our bodies. Hence, My Number One Tip To Lower Body Fat is:

Track Your Food Intake

This is the number one piece of advice I give my clients and community members. It doesn’t matter how many hours you put in at the gym or how many fad diets you try, if you want long-lasting and sustainable results, you MUST dedicate some time to tracking what you consume.

There are multiple ways to do this:

  1. Use A Calorie Tracking App. Apps make it really easy to calculate how many calories you need in a day to reach your weight loss goals. My favorite is My Fitness Pal, but there are a many out there that are equally as effective, like My Plate by Livestrong or Lose It! I talk a little bit more about My Fitness Pal in my YouTube video “Lose BodyFat Quickly & Effectively.”
  2. Calculate Daily Recommended Macros. This method is popular among body builders, but in my opinion, it is a hugely underutilized tool for anyone hoping to slim and tone their bodies. Instead of focusing on calories, your attention shifts to tracking the TYPES of nutrients you are putting in your body; namely proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. has a simple and quick macro calculator. Check it out here. If It Fits Your Macros’ calculator is a little more advanced. You have to upgrade to the paid membership to specify for body fat loss, but the weight loss option is free and completely worth. They provide key success tips and motivation via email, which can be a game changer for maintaining your healthy diet. Check out the IIFYM calculator here.
  3. Enroll In A Whole Lifestyle Eating Program. I firmly believe that local support is  by far the best way to stay committed to your health and fitness goals. I’m not saying this just because I’m a fitness professional. I’ve seen it time and time again with clients who work out, but won’t commit to nutrition consulting. Can you do it on your own? Sure. But having someone to check in with and keep you accountable on a regular basis will help keep your mind in the fitness game and contribute to leaps and bounds in your health and fitness journey. Check with your gym to see if they offer nutrition consulting or search for local programs via Google and Yelp.

I know that the advice I’ve given in this article isn’t what most people want to hear. Diet is THE MOST DIFFICULT component of weight loss efforts for most gym-goers. Unfortunately, most of us were not taught what proper nutrition looks like. But the reality is that tracking your intake is ESSENTIAL if you’re looking to achieve any progress on your fitness goals. So take heed of this advice and put it to work for you.

Good luck! 😉



Nadia <3

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Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes: My Top 3 Brands

Strawberry Protein Smoothies: A Sweet But Nutritious Treat 😉

I’m going to go ahead and admit off-the-bat that I’m a meat eater. My reason for choosing vegan protein shakes are two-fold: 1. They tend to be more nutrition, often containing probiotics and powdered greens (a daily serving of fruits and vegetables in powdered form). 2) More vegan brands are conscious of other allergies and food sensitivities.

As someone who is somewhat sensitive to dairy, which is a base for most traditional meal replacement shakes out there, highly sensitive to gluten, and allergic to soy, vegan shakes are the safest option. In comparison to whey-based protein and meal replacement shakes, vegan options tend to be grainier in texture and less flavorful. Part of this is because the protein comes from plants, which are fiber-dense. The other reason is that many of these vegan options are either sweetened with stevia or naturally sweetened (read: no sugar added). I’ve tasted quite a few vegan brands, some that taste great and others that are not so great, which is why I’m sharing with you my top 3 brands of vegan meal replacements, to help you in your decision making process.

Number 3: Shakeology

While Shakeology isn’t technically a vegan brand, they do have 3 vegan options: Greenberry, Chocolate, and Tropical Strawberry (my favorite!). Each scoop packs a pretty nutritious punch, with around 15 grams of protein and 20 grams depending on the flavor. It adds to about 160-170 calories. The fruit flavors are great with water, but all can be mixed almond milk (or any other alternative) and/or other ingredients to make creamy and delicious smoothie.

This is by far one of the tastiest vegan options out there. However, those with Celiac’s should tread carefully, since this one is not certified gluten free.

Number 2: Amazing Meal

I was torn on this one because it is so low on calories (just above 100) that it is almost difficult to assume that it can replace a meal. Protein and Carb levels run around 10-13 grams each. I love this one because it is made from all organic ingredients and is also unsweetened. The brand boasts of alkalizing properties (i.e., balancing the body’s acid levels), which is important for detoxifying the body.

Combined with the right protein or complete meal replacement bar, Amazing Meal can be a great snack in the morning or between meals. It also has the smoothest texture of the 3 brands mentioned in this article.
Number 1: VegaSport Post Workout

I had mixed feelings about Vega’s powdered shakes when I first started trying them. I found their VegaOne line of meal replacements to be super grainy. So thick, in fact, that if I let the shake sit for more than a minute or two, I’d be drinking what tasted like a mouthful of flavored sand (if you thought “Yuck!” Yuck is right!). I stuck with it because it was the most nutritious shake I had found on the market thus far. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, chock full of probiotics, and it was very filling for the same 170 calories that Shakeology offered (at a lower price). Eventually, my taste buds got the better of me and I switched to Amazing Meal.

I just recently stumbled upon VegaSport Protein at Whole Foods. I was (understandably) wary, but decided to try anyway. To be safe, I bought Vanilla. I’m so glad I did! It was delicious! Thicker than the average post workout shake, but smooth like butter in comparison to VegaOne and a great taste too! With the same benefits as the former, plus amino acids and L-glutamine for muscle recovery and growth. I’m in LOVE (my Instagram followers have probably had enough, haha)!

Was this blog helpful to you? Leave a comment below!

PS – If you think meal replacements shouldn’t be part of a healthy diet. Don’t rule them out yet!

Plan Your Meals To Lose Weight and Body Fat: My Top 3 Tips!

Food Journal
For Weight Loss Success, Plan Your Meals!

I recently polled my friends and followers on Facebook asking what your greatest struggles are when it comes to your health and fitness. I thought the answer would be related to what types of foods to eat or what workouts to do. I was
wrong. The overwhelming majority of you admit that, you know exactly WHAT you should be eating. The challenge is preparation. So, I wanted to offer my number one tip, when it comes to preparing for your week of eating: You can lose weight and body fat if you plan your meals ahead of time. 

Don’t know where to start? Here are a few rules of thumb I use when helping my clients plan their meals and while planning my own (check out my YouTube video where I share my average day of eating here).

1. Plan Your Entire Week

Most people who attempt to adopt a new diet plan a handful of meals. They will find one or two new healthy recipes to try or perhaps replace one of their regular meals each day with a shake, smoothie, or bar. This is a great start! The only problem is that it leaves a lot of wiggle room for cravings, low energy levels, and the general business of daily life to get in the way you making the right choice.

Instead, write down every single meal for the week – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and 1-2 snacks for Monday through Friday. This way, you know what you’re eating in advance, no questions asked. It also gives you the opportunity to prepare and pack your food ahead of time, so you can grab and go when the time comes.

2. Be Painfully Specific

Include the exact portions of every item that you use in your meal. The exception is if you are baking something. For example, if you were having pancakes for breakfast, you wouldn’t write 1 egg, 1 Cup Gluten Free Flour, 1/4 Cup Almond Milk, etc. Instead, you might write one 4″ pancake, 1/4 cup strawberries, 1Tbsp maple syrup.

Knowing your portions is KEY to maintaining a healthy diet, especially if you are keeping a food journal on MyFitnessPal or any other calorie counting app (which I highly recommend!).

This is somewhat time consuming, especially if you’re big into variety. But if you’re like me and generally eat the same foods, with the exception of a meal or two here and there, you’ll be running on autopilot after the first two or three weeks!

3. Stick To The Plan!

If you’re craving a burger and fries but you look at your list and see a Kale and Craisin salad is in the cards, it will be very tempting to deviate from your plan. Don’t do it! Your mind will try to convince you that you’re somehow denying yourself one of life’s greatest pleasures. You may even reason: “You only live once!”

The truth is, by giving in to this mentality, you’re allowing your behavior to be dictated by your emotions, which are looking for a temporary, feel good fix. There is a time and place for treats (a topic for another blog), but they should not be swapped in for the healthy eats you’ve already committed to. Trust me! More often than not, once you have eaten your planned meal, the craving will go away.

Of course, there are always exceptions. Did you plan to eat chicken and rice but only have fish at home? Eat the fish!

Was this blog helpful to you? Have any questions about creating your meal plan? Leave a comment below below!