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How should a woman train?


How should a woman train? by Sylvia Narvaez

Hi everybody, I recently received a lot of questions from woman all around asking for advice on training. Questions I have been getting are the likes of:

- Should I lift heavy?
- Will I end up looking like Arnold?
- How often should I train a week?
- How long should a session last in the gym?

It is difficult to answer those questions without knowing the background of the individual. Questions like, do you have any background in sports? For how long have you been training? Do you work in a stressful environment? Must be answered before giving advice on the above.
I will try to answer these questions for the majority of us girls out there and feel free to contact me if you need more specific answers.

Strength training with heavy weights

Women have traditionally emphasized their workouts more on aerobic exercises such as running and cycling. I however feel that if your goal is to get a flat stomach or a nice butt you should put your emphasize on Strength training. Now don´t get me wrong I am not telling you to go and do Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting as these sports consist of complex movements and need to be done under the supervision of a couch. When I say “Strength training” I refer to a systematic program of exercises designed to increase an individual’s ability to exert or resist force.

Enough of the talking let me give you a 3-day a week example

The Workout

Only rest 45 seconds between exercises
Superset Dumbbell Chest Flys with Dumbbell Chest Press 1×10
Squat in a Smith Machine 1×15
Superset Lateral Raises with Dumbbell Press 1×10
Crunches with plate behind the head 1×20
Superset Dumbbell rows with Pull Downs 1×10
Skull crushers 1×12
EZ bar curls 1×12
hyperextensions 1×12
Glute-Ham raises 1×10
Rest 2 minutes then repeat two more times.

Only rest 45 seconds between exercises
Superset Incline Dumbell Chest Flys with Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 1×10
Bulgarian Split-Squat in a Smith Machine 1×15 each leg
Superset Upright rows with Dumbbell Press 1×10
Straight leg raises on bench 1×20
Superset Barbell rows with Pull Downs 1×10
Triceps kickbacks 1×12 each hand
EZ bar curls 1×12
Stiff legged deadlift 1×10 (straight back, Controlled decline)
Rest 2 minutes then repeat two more times.

Only rest 45 seconds between exercises
Superset Dumbbell Chest Fly’s with Dumbbell Chest Press 1×10
Squat in a Smith Machine 1×15
Superset Lateral Raises with Dumbbell Press 1×10
Crunches with plate behind the head 1×20
Superset Dumbbell rows with Pull Downs 1×10
Skull crushers 1×12
EZ bar curls 1×12
hyperextensions 1×12
Glute-Ham raises 1×10
Rest 2 minutes then repeat two more times.

You guys can see it’s a whole body workout 3x a week. I think this approach is best suited for the majority of working girls and woman out there with small to little experience with weights.

If you want to make it more fun and get into even better shape, take a stopwatch with you and write down the time it takes you to complete the whole workout. Next time when you do the workout again use the same weights but this time try to finish it faster. This will give you a little competition with yourself and make you work even harder. Later as you progress and get stronger you could add more weight and record your time again and try to complete the workout with higher weighs but in shorter time.

Make it fun and change it up when it gets boring and remember to change it up before you get bored.

Feel free to comment and let me know of your progress and have a look at the weight loss products available.

Sylvia Narvaez

Junk Food-FAIL

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Junk Food: The shocking truth


We live in a junk food world, where unhealthy food is the easiest option for us all. But in reality this type of food is causing too many problems including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Junk food facts

Here are the facts about junk food and the effects they can have to your health. Processed foods contain far too much salt, sugar and fats! For example the ‘average’ burger contains 29g of total fat, 75mg of cholesterol, 1,000mg of sodium, 46g of carbohydrate, only 3g of dietary fiber, 9g of sugar and 25g of protein.

The health issue

Junk food simply does not contain the nutrients to keep you healthy. The high levels of sugar puts your body under stress and causing your pancreas to produce more insulin in order to attempt to control your blood sugar level and you may feel fatigued and lacking in the energy you need for the day.

The protein and carbohydrates in junk food are poor and inadequate causing your blood sugar level to suddenly drop after eating; making you crave more sugar, making you grumpy and fatigued. There is soooo much fat in junk food! This gets stored in the body; making you gain weight with the heightened possibility of  becoming obese. You will also experience a negative effect on your cognitive performance because your body might not be getting enough oxygen. The larger you become the more at risk you are for many problems including a heart attack. The massive overload of sodium also has a negative effect on your body; causing high blood pressure which can lead to kidney failure.


Clean Eating

Emily Reynolds is a Professional Fitness Athlete, Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Clean Eating Coach and Online Certified Personal Trainer. She promotes ‘clean eating’ by following a few simple eating habits that can have a huge effect on your overall health. Read her very simple set by step plan to better health.

Eat Clean To Stay Lean ProgramClick Here

Giving in to temptation

So you ate some chips and dip, and had a couple drinks at happy hour. You hit that snooze button on your alarm, rather than going to the gym in the morning. These are temptations we sometimes give into, and they come at us every single day.

But if you are on your path to being your best you, then you have to learn to fight temptation. Your journey to better health. Whether it’s weight loss, a competition, or simply cleaning up your diet — will be filled with temptation. Do not let those temptations take control and become roadblocks for you.

Remember that successful people do what others are unwilling to do. I chose success when it came to my health, and here are some things I do to help fight off temptation along the way:


5 easy steps to better health

  1. Prep all of your food for the day the night before. This way you have no other options but healthy food.
  2. Pack a toothbrush. Brushing your teeth and having a clean mouth will help keep you from eating between meals.
  3. Drink lots of water. A gallon a day (yes, I said a gallon!) will help keep you full and satisfied.
  4. Always grab for extra veggies when you have a craving. My favorite veggie snack is sliced cucumbers with cinnamon and stevia sprinkled on top.
  5. Create an image board of your ideal lifestyle. Put pictures of people you look up to, bodies you like, words that motivate you, and stories that inspire you. Have this image board somewhere where you’ll see it a lot. When you feel weak, look at the image board and know that you have goals and dreams that you ARE going to obtain. It is 100 percent up to you to make them happen. That image board will serve as your inspiration for when temptation hits.

This article on ‘How to fight Temptation‘ was written by Emily Reynolds, she is an online personal trainer at

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Best foods for flat abs and a slim Waist

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Best foods for flat abs and a slim Waist – Sylvia Narvaez

A lot of you ask me about the best foods for flat abs and a slim Waist and how I keep slim. I admit, I am chocolate addict! Three things I will never give up are chocolate, ice cream and peanut butter.

Besides training you need a balanced diet, in order to keep a slim waist. If you are looking for that magic pill to get rid of your extra weight, then please stop searching, because there is none.

I have been there too, with all the advertise now a days on the internet you get lost and don’t know what works. In order to get those flat abs your diet needs to be on track,along with exercises and/or cardio

Top foods for slim waist and flat abs:
Green veggies mostly spinach, avocado, almonds, green tea and soy protein.
If you add these to your diet I promise you will notice a difference specially on that stubborn belly fat .

Key Benefits of Herbal Green Tea Concentrate
Includes the health benefits of green tea and select herbs.
A choice of four refreshing flavors: Original, Lemon, Peach and Raspberry.
Enjoy hot or cold throughout the day.
Lemon Peel Extract aids in digestion and tastes great.
Blended from 5 fast acting botanicals.
Ideal as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon treat for a natural energy boost.
Inside Herbal Concentrate

Herbal Concentrate tea is a mixture of green tea, black tea and herbs to enhance it’s potency. Green tea by itself is a powerful antioxidant and energy booster. With the addition of enhancing herbs the mix has greater effectiveness.

Metabolic Boost – Green Tea has a natural thermogenic and energy boosting effect. The unique, clinically tested tea mix contains powerful EGCG catechins, which have been shown inhibit the body’s fat storage process.

Heart Health – The cholesterol lowering effects of green tea have been proven in countless studies. Researchers at the University of Kansas found that EGCG catechins are twice as powerful as Resveratrol in lowering cholesterol.

Fat Burning – Scientists have found that the thermogenic properties of green tea promote fat oxidation far beyond that of it’s caffeine content alone. A study led by Dr. Dulloo at the University of Geneva concluded that men drinking green tea had a significant increase in energy expenditure, and a decreased respiration quotient over a 24 hour period.

Antioxidant boost: Catechin flavonoids in Herbal Concentrate helps fight damage from free radicals and support metabolism.

Hibiscus Flower Powder – an anti-inflammatory that has been shown to fight heart disease, lower cholesterol and is useful in treating fevers.

Lemon Peel extract – aids in digestion and may help reduce fat.

Orange Pekoe (Black Tea) – natural energy booster. Orange is a descriptive word referring to the size of the leaf.

Did You Know – Green tea has so many health benefits it has been nick-named the miracle leaf. Studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea promotes good overall health and wellness.
Suggested Usage:Add 1/2 teaspoon to 8oz. hot or cold water, stir and enjoy. Enjoy 2 or 3 cups a day to keep your metabolism revved up.

Leafy Greens
They are low calorie and rich in calcium which is an essential ingredient for muscle contraction and healthy bone structure in young adults.

Seafood and specially fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids


The gold from Inkas. This whole grain contains 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per 1/2 cup besides that it is full of amino acids that our body needs.

They are full of antioxidant which helps improve blood flow besides  they are loaded with fiber.

I love almonds, they are my favorite snack. They contain protein fiber and fat. They also regulate your body´s blood sugar level.


Egg whites are loaded with amino acids and is one of the best protein we can get.

Soy Beans and Soy Lean Protein
I love anything antioxidant. Soy beans are a great source of antioxidants, they also have fiber, and protein.

I love the dry- roasted soy beans for snack. You can also add them into your smoothie or into your soup.


Besides my experience I have read many studies and one of them a study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition where they found that overweight subjects who drank a soy milk-based meal replacement lost more weight than those who consumed a traditional dairy-based diet drink.

Green tea  loaded with antioxidants and can help burn off stubborn belly fat,  it also improves your health.

Sylvia Narvaez


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4 Ways To Get Your Mojo Back


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losing your mojo

4 Ways To Get Your Mojo Back

“Emily, are you always 100 percent motivated? You must have to eat clean all the time and spend hours every day in the gym to keep maintain your physique.”

I lose my mojo sometimes, too, and no, I do not only eat fish and vegetables and spend hours in the gym. I am just like you – I am human, too.
I have been training very hard and competing in shows for over three years now. I love the lifestyle and I am very driven to succeed and extremely self-motivated. The key to keeping my fire going has always been staying positive.

You bring about what you think about. So being positive is a no-fail way to bring success into your life. Does it mean that I feel that way every single day? No. Does it mean that I spring out of bed at 4 a.m. excited to train? Not at all. Does it mean that I never grab something to eat that is faster rather than smarter?  Nope.
I have times that are more difficult than others. I get off track, too. But getting right back on is what counts. The key to getting my mojo and keeping it? Seeing, hearing, writing, speaking.

1. Seeing
I have found that having an image board helps to keep me on track and my mojo. Having a visual reminder of what you want will help lift your spirits on those down days. Cut out pictures of people that you look up to, workouts that you aspire to accomplish with ease, and quotes that inspire you. Place these on a fun and colorful board that you jazz up with your style so it has your own personal flair. Post this board somewhere you will see it often. That may be your bathroom mirror, so you start your day off right; your work station where you spend most of your time; on your fridge to help ward off temptation; or even in your gym bag to push you to get in your daily workouts.

2. Hearing
Listen to your coach; but first, you must make sure you find a good coach, and “good” will be different for everyone. You need to make sure you get a trainer or coach that understands you, your body and your goals. Once you have found this, you need to listen to what they tell you – but really hear what they say. You two are working together to devise a plan that will help you succeed. Ultimately, it’s in your hands to do the work. Knowledge is power, so use the knowledge your coach gives you in order to makes things happen in your life.

getting your mojo back

3. Writing
Journaling is not just for 7th grade girls. When you log your food, you are 100 percent aware of what you are ACTUALLY eating. When you write down your workouts, you are less likely to skip one. When you start a chart to log your weight and measurements, you can expect to watch the inches come off. Take some responsibility for your life and start to hold yourself accountable!

4. Speaking
Tell three people that are closest to you what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them. You want these people to be fans of yours; people that want you to succeed and people that will help hold you accountable. Here are a few recommendations on who those people could be: best friend, significant other, parent, coworker or even Facebook friends! (Don’t laugh!) Facebook is the way we often communicate these days, so by posting on Facebook, you are telling everyone that you are going to do it! You can post your workouts, meals and progress to share with others. You may even inspire someone to follow in your healthy footsteps.
So when you lose your mojo from time to time or if you feel “stuck,” don’t panic, just revert back to the steps above, and get right back on that horse and ride!

Remember…Be your best you
Emily Reynolds

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If You Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail


If You Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

If You Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

Emily Reynolds is a World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (WBFF) pro Diva Bikini athlete, an International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) pro bikini athlete, O’Neill 365 Icon, figure champion, competition coach, personal trainer, nutritional and wellness consultant, fitness personality and model.


Preparation and consistency are the keys to success when it comes to your clean eating lifestyle. You know this if you’ve put in the time to prepare clean and nutritious meals at home. But what about when you’re not home? Running errands, driving the kids to one of their many activities, or unexpected traffic delays – these are all things that can get in the way of your important healthy meals, remember if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Well I have the solution!

I personally carry a small cooler that I keep in my car with me at all times. You can do the same! Pack it with a set of plastic ware, napkins, a fresh ice pack each day and a few of these SUPER easy-to-grab snacks.

Set yourself up for success!

It takes only a few minutes, and makes a world of difference on your path to being your best you!

15 raw almonds.
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter and an apple.
One sliced cucumber sprinkled with stevia and cinnamon.
Two hard-boiled eggs (only one yolk) and a piece of fruit.
3 oz. of nitrate-free sliced turkey breast and red pepper.
One serving of gluten-free chips, 2 oz. of turkey breast and half-cup of snap peas.
1 cup So Delicious coconut milk yogurt, stevia and cinnamon.
3 oz. lean ground turkey with sliced tomatoes.
Dale’s Raw Protein Bar and/or Raw Protein Powder.
Isagenix IsaLean Bar and/or IsaLean Shake.

For more tips on a healthy lifestyle, check out my ebook on eating clean to stay lean!

Remember…Be your best you
Emily Reynolds

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Top Health Tips – Emily Reynolds


Emily Reynolds is a World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (WBFF) pro Diva Bikini athlete, an International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) pro bikini athlete, O’Neill 365 Icon, figure champion, competition coach, personal trainer, nutritional and wellness consultant, fitness personality and model.

Top Health Tips

I always like to offer tips that will help you live healthy and more balanced lives. Here are a few things I like to do in order to help me stay on my clean eating Meal Plan.

Measuring Tips
I recommend getting a scale to weigh your food. This will help a lot in the beginning & after a while you will learn how to eye ball it. Scales can be bought at Wal-Mart, Vitamin Shoppe, I even got mine at The Dollar Store. No need to go fancy. When weighing your meat always weigh after it is cooked. Fish especially shrinks up a lot & you want to make sure you are getting the correct oz. weight to get all that healthy protein. When weighing your veggies always weigh them prior to steaming. If you weight after you will be weighing a lot of water. Always lightly steam when you can so can that you keep in as many vitamins as possible.

Extra Vitamins & Minerals
If you are really hardcore you can let the water you steam your veggies in cool off & drink it with your meal. This way you are not wasting any vitamins or minerals :)

Green Tea
It is a great antioxidant that will keep you vibrant & young while ramping up your metabolism. Just remember that the more tea that you drink the more water you need to drink.

Gluten Free
Do you ever get uncomfortable stomach bloat? Try replacing your pastas, breads, and cereals with Gluten Free versions. Gluten Free diets have become so popular you can find gluten free option in nearly every grocery store now! You do not have to have Celiac disease to benefit from a Gluten free diet. Gluten is one of the most common allergies. More often than not this healthy alternative tastes the same but you will feel way better without that swollen Gluten belly!

Alcohol & Dairy
Two BIG time culprits when it comes to stubborn belly fat. If you can eliminate them you will see tremendous results. If you can minimize your intake you will see some results. Remember you get back the same as you put in!

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Natural Metabolism boosters
I recommend you adding to any of your meals: Cinnamon, fresh salsa, mustard, hot sauce, chili.

Be Realistic
Giving up a habit cold turkey can create unrealistic expectations & result in failure. So what I want you to try to do is to start slow. Maybe replace your milk chocolate with Dark 70% cacao or higher. Instead of Rocky Road buy a small size (quart) of Non Fat Frozen Yogurt. Make your own popcorn & dust it with Himalayan Rock Salt rather than store bought butter popcorn.

Less Boob Tube
TV watching is a huge culprit when it comes to over eating!! One thing I recommend is limiting your TV time just as your Mom & Dad did for you when you were a kid. Pick one favorite program per evening & do some at home body weight exercises – pushups, sit ups, even just bicep curls with 2 cans of soup! Stay moving at least during the commercials rather than plopping down with snacks.

It is a myth that chewing gum will suppress your appetite. It has been proven to do the exact opposite. What happens is a signal is sent from your brain to your stomach that food is on its way, and you begin to produce gastrointestinal juices. Then the food never comes, leaving you feeling hungry – because you told your brain that food was on the way. What I recommend is keeping a tooth brush with you. In between your meals grab for the toothbrush & a clean fresh mouth will delay your desire to eat & keep you from forming those gastrointestinal juices that will make you hungry.

Did you know this zero calorie thirst quencher speeds up your metabolism? Make sure to get in as much as possible. Not everyone can drink 1 full gallon but I bet if you carry a full gallon around all day you will surprise yourself! I like to add fresh lemons, cucumbers and even some stevia to make my water into a sweet refreshing treat.

Eating every 2.5 to 3 hours
This is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in weight loss & healthy weight maintenance. Reason being – if you eat too soon after a balance meal – let’s say you snack on something at the office an hour after your lunch. What happens is that your blood sugar spikes and those extra calories that your body doesn’t really need are going to get stored & eventually turn into fat. Now let’s look at the opposite scenario. If you wait too long to eat – say you have a busy day & go 5 hours in between meals. What happens here is your body goes into starvation mode. Your body is a machine & frankly it doesn’t care or understand that you have one unexpected errand to run & that you are going to feed it when your home.

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All if knows is that it must survive. In order to survive your body will begin to store more fat so that next time to decide to skip a meal it has those stores to take from for its energy. I won’t even get into how unhealthy & detrimental to your health this is! So please know that a consistent & balance eating schedule is crucial to obtaining your fitness & health goals. Feed your body regularly & feed it the cleanest food you can. Change up your workout routine every month or so & always keep your workouts challenging. With the combo of these two things you WILL reach your goals!

Remember…Be your best you
Emily Reynolds

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Are your adrenal glands stressed out?


Miss Nutritionist was founded by Rosie Millen who trained at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition. Graduating with a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy she is a fully qualified nutritionist therapist.

Are your adrenal glands stressed out?

There are two adrenal glands which are our stress glands situated on top of the kidneys. They are chiefly responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of numerous hormones. Healthy adrenal glands secrete a number of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These allow our bodies to deal with physical and emotional stress.

Every time we experience stress the adrenal glands release cortisol into the blood stream so that we can deal with the fight or flight response. However if we are exposed to significant amounts of stress over a long period of time then these delicate glands can become exhausted and not work as efficiently.

The Stress Response:
When we experience physical or mental stress the adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream to prepare us for the stress. The heart beats faster, pupils dilate and sugar is sent to the muscles to deal with the stress. There are three stages of stress:
1) The alarm stage
This is the initial stage of stress. This stage experiences an over acting of the sympathetic nervous system where adrenaline and cortisol increase and blood flows away from the brain to the muscles.
2) The resistance stage
Overtime, if you are under constant stress your adrenal glands continually release adrenaline and cortisol to deal with it. They are going to full efforts to cope with the situation and often you can start to feel irritated and pressured.
3) The exhaustion stage
This is where the adrenal glands have been so over worked that they no longer function efficiently and optimally. They are exhausted which means the body can’t cope with anymore stress. As a result the person can feel exhausted, weak, burnt out and depressed.

Symptoms of Adrenal Dysfunction
Difficulty falling asleep
Dizziness when standing up suddenly (especially in the morning out of bed)
Fatigue, apathy
Slow starter in morning
Clenching or grinding teeth
Poor appetite (no breakfast)
Digestive issues (low HCl, IBS…)
Salt craving
PMS, menstrual problems
Low libido
Muscle aches/cramps
Poor memory and concentration
Insomnia, poor sleep
Inability to deal with stress
Weight gain (around the middle)
Poor exercise tolerance and exhaustion afterwards
Autoimmune disorders
Lower back pain

If you suspect you have adrenal fatigue or would like to test your adrenal glands and stress levels then there is an easy saliva test you can do for £70.
Please get in touch at or call 0207 3719 032 and we can send you a test kit.

How to Support Your Adrenals!
Diet – Blood Sugar Balancing (cornerstone of adrenal support)
- Eat little and often – about every 3-4 hours
- 3 main meals with snacks in between
- Avoid refined carbohydrates
- Increase whole grains
- Good quality protein at each meal and snack
- Increase high fibre foods (water soluble especially as slows digestion, absorption of carbohydrates, increase cell sensitivity to insulin)
- Increase essential fats such as oily fish, avocados nuts and seeds.
- Drink enough water/fluids
- Avoid stimulants –alcohol, tea, coffee, cola drinks, chocolate, cigarettes

Foods to Avoid
Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause irritability and lead to over stimulation of the adrenal glands so the body is less able to cope with stress. It can prevent the absorption of some essential nutrients – zinc and iron.
Alcohol – Excessive intake depletes many vitamins and minerals which can impair the detoxification process of the liver and cause adrenal stimulation.
Sugar in excess impairs the function of the adrenal glands and has been linked with suppressing the immune system.


B vitamins
When under stress your body requires more B vitamins which are involved in protecting the nervous system. As they are not stored in the body they must be taken in sufficient amounts at all times. Supplementation of a B complex is important for energy production. Good food sources of the B vitamins are yeast extract, green leafy vegetables, eggs, salmon and whole grains.

Vitamin C – 2-3g per day
Vitamin C is vital to help the body cope with stress. Large amounts of vitamin C are stored in the adrenal glands and levels are significantly reduced when one is under stress. Good sources are from fresh fruit and vegetables. A daily supplementation of at least 1000mg of vitamin C per day should be recommended too.

Zinc – 15mg per day
Zinc is necessary for the production of the adrenal hormones and it is therefore extremely important to ensure optimum levels of zinc are maintained in the body. Zinc is often lacking in today’s diets and therefore a zinc supplement could well prove extremely beneficial.

Magnesium – 300 mg per day
Magnesium helps to reduce the risk of adrenal exhaustion from chronic stress. It is essential for production of enzymes and energy needed in adrenal cascade. It is key in blood sugar control. It also helps to relax the nerves which can be very helpful in maintaining nervous health.

Herbs to Help Stress
Siberian Ginseng maintains adrenal function by supporting and rejuvenating adrenal function. It is an adaptagen meaning it either helps to increase or decrease cortisol and DHEA. It has calming effects.

Liquorice Root can help anxiety disorders and encourage restful sleep. It increases energy and can raise cortisol levels. It also helps decrease symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Adrenal cell extracts from bovine or porcine can help to restore adrenal function which is useful in adrenal fatigue/exhaustion. It encourages the secretion of a variety of adrenal hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenalin.

Digestive Enzymes
Stress can play havoc with the digestive system by inhibiting digestive enzymes. This can lead to indigestion, bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation or diarrhoea. Supplementing digestive enzymes prior to, or during a meal, can help to eradicate some of the problematic symptoms.
Lifestyle recommendations

  • Stress Management – meditation, prayer, deep breathing
  • Time management –learn to say “no”
  • “Me time” – pamper yourself, massage, relaxation, hobbies
  • Enhance and cherish important relationships – family, friends, better communication
  • Identify “energy robbers” in your life – person, place, environment, work
  • Appropriate exercise – regular but not excessive – tai chi, yoga, pilates, walking, swimming.

Rosie Millen

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Reach your Fitness Goals – Erica Holiday


Reach your Fitness Goals

Reaching Your Fitness Goals

Erica first entered her first competition in 2010 and did well, so she found a coach and continued down the bodybuilding path. After entering her first WBFF competition, she knew she’d found the federation for her and decided to go after her Pro Card, which she received in August 2012 in both Fitness model and Bikini divisions!
Her goals for the future include training clients to help them reach their full potential, competing in her debut Pro Show in 2013 and a few other fitness related projects. Of course, she would also love to grace the cover of a major fitness magazine one day, as every bodybuilder dreams!

The Pre-Transformation Checklist: “Reach your Fitness Goals”

It’s a New Year with new dreams to chase and fitness goals to reach!

For many the excitement and resolution to follow through on these fitness goals begins to wane by mid-February. You can see that in the gym alone. The first week of January you are lucky to find a parking spot, but by the second week of February, it’s “Hey! Where’d everyone go?” No one aims to fail…but life gets busy, obstacles cross our paths, and soon we lose sight of why we started, become de-motivated and just give up. That’s why I put together a list of questions to help you really think through these goals. This isn’t some revolutionary process…just a simple investment of genuine thought: written down, reviewed often, with follow through.

I believe with some thought and planning you’ll stay motivated and your fitness goals will be attainable. So, go grab a pencil and notepad now because you’ll need to invest a little mind work. This is mainly meant to be a guide – because only you can answer the questions and apply them – but I will offer tips and advice along the way to help you generate your own ideas and create steps to success to reach your fitness goals!

The first question on the Pre-Transformation Checklist is “WHY?”

WHY do you want to transform yourself and have fitness goals? Is there a certain toned look or harder body ideal you are after? Is there an outfit you want to fit into finally? Do you have a special event this year – like a reunion or anniversary that is motivating you to do a body makeover? Or perhaps entering a bodybuilding competition is on your bucket list? Maybe it’s something even bigger like health issues, or desiring to set a good example for family? Think about your reasons then write them down. Identifying “Why” is important because it is the foundation of your change. Think of it as your body’s Mission Statement. The best answers to “Why” are going to be sustainable of course, unlike a one-time event, but don’t worry about that yet. As you progress in your transformation to your fitness goals, you’ll probably find you don’t want to return to a lesser state of health and fitness and your “Why” may change.

The “Why” leads directly into Question number two, which is:
“WHO?” WHO are you doing this for?

In my opinion there should only be ONE answer to this question. Whatever your reasons for embarking on a journey to a greater level of strength and well-being, you must resolve to do this primarily for You. (You are the “Who”, let others be the “What”, if you choose….more on this later) And, hopefully, the outcome will be that family and friends will watch and learn from you and decide to do the same for themselves and reach their own fitness goals. Striving for fitness-related goals is no easy commitment! It’ll take a lot of your time, your energy, and your dedication – do this for You. Your resolve and success in transforming will positively impact everyone in your life as a result. It’s a win-win! This is a good tip for us moms, as well. Sometimes we need to find something that is ours’ alone and work at it. Kids learn Mom is not just a mom, but an individual – a strong, healthy, and confident woman. Kids will learn much from a healthy lifestyle that leads to a healthy self-image.

Once you have your foundation of Why and Who.

Consider Question number three: WHAT motivates you?

What flames the passion inside you? Is it reading quotes or browsing fitness magazines or listening to music? Is it planning a reward? Maybe you are motivated by supportive friends and family – or just the looks on their faces as you slowly and progressively transform your body? Here are a few things that personally keep me going: For starters, I love motivational quotes – especially when a photograph or stimulating image is attached to it, to helpme reach my fitness goals. In fact, my planner and Facebook pages are full of these. Often the quotes I post are words I needed to hear or images I needed to see that day…or because I know someone else who does.

Sometimes I find an uplifting message that helped me through a particularly hard time and I post it hoping to encourage others who may be struggling. It truly inspires and motivates me to inspire and motivate others! People are my main “What”. Another thing that pushes me towards my goals is collecting pictures of fitness models who I admire. It may be that I’m working on obtaining “her” abs or “her” delts this season. Seeing the images of those strong women helps me to focus and visualize what my efforts will achieve! But a word of caution: No Comparing! We may never have those exact glutes, for example, but we can work hard and love our progress from season to season. Comparison is an ugly game to play in your head and I believe what is inside eventually radiates outward. It can also lead to low self-esteem and is a huge DE-motivator! So, be positive and focus on your personal best! One quick thing to add: if rewards are your motivation, try to stay on track by choosing healthy ones. Don’t feed a bad habit by rewarding yourself with a big cake, for example. Instead, buy yourself a new workout outfit or training shoes – it’ll motivate you right back into the gym and that’s a step in the right direction!

The number four question is: WHAT hinders you?

Do you have friends or family who make negative comments? Do you tend to cheat on your nutrition? Are you having difficulty finding a place to work out? Do you tend to give up when you don’t see results fast enough? Do the same obstacles always stop you in your tracks from year to year? Identify these now. I think I most often hear from people that their significant other or family just doesn’t “get” why they want to invest the necessary time and energy into reaching a new fitness level. They’re surrounded by constant negativity in their efforts to change and it truly makes progress difficult. Trust me, I understand this. It took a lot of time for those closest to me to make sense of what I was doing.

My advice? You can’t get rid of family and shouldn’t ditch your true friends, but do widen your circle to incorporate like-minded, upbeat people who will inspire, encourage, and support you. You’ll find that you’re able to ignore the negative folks’ commentary if you invite more positive friends into your life. If your main hindrance is nutrition-related, don’t keep junk food in your house…Period. However, do realize that you will mess up on your diet one day, because we are human. Stop and pick right back up where you left off next meal! Don’t wait until “tomorrow” or “Monday” and put yourself back further. Just keep going forward from here on and each time you slip. Social events can be a nutrition nightmare. Learn to choose wisely off of a menu or bring your own food, if acceptable for the occasion.

Try to plan get-togethers that revolve around activity rather than eating whenever possible. If your place to work out is an issue – whether you don’t know where to start, don’t believe you can afford a gym or just need a change of pace – there is something out there for everyone these days! Gyms, with fees as low as $10/month, are popping up all over the place. Or switch to a studio that offers a variety of classes to keep you interested. Or try at-home, minimal equipment or body-weight-only workouts, depending on your final objectives. There are some great free videos that show you how to perform any exercise you can think of – at home or in a gym. I’ve used some of these and they can be very helpful when I’m in a rut. And, of course, you can always find books and magazine articles to get you started as well. Working out at home may also solve a time issue you are having. And let me remind you that one hour spent working out is only 4% of your entire day! With lasting, lifelong benefits! Don’t let time be an excuse.

Lastly, I just have to address the “not-seeing-results-fast-enough” obstacle with a bit of motivation from a quote I love, because we have all been there: “Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress….is progress.” –Rosley. ‘Nuff said!

The last Question to answer as part of your checklist is the “How” and it’s the most important of them.

HOW are you going to make these goals a reality?

This part is also the hardest. We can dream all day long of doing, but the part that connects the vision to the end result is the most important – it’s the PLAN. It comes even before one step of exertion. You’ve labeled your goals and obstacles, now you need a roadmap – the only way goals can be achieved. To get this you need to answer “How”? I’m a big fan of the old-fashioned “write it down” because it organizes your thoughts and it’s a simple visual reminder. Be sure to BE SPECIFIC and make your “How’s” tangible. Plot it out and include the “What’s” – how will you use your motivators and handle your obstacles? It might look something like this:

Plan of Action:

  1. I will MAKE the necessary time to reach my fitness goals. I will commit to approximately 45minutes to 1 hour, 3 to 4 days/week in the gym which will include weights and cardio. (As my fitness level increases, I will adjust the amount of time)
  2. I will use a holistic approach to meet my goals, to transform my mind and body together. I will start by signing up for a Saturday morning Yoga class to refresh and increase my flexibility.
  3. I will expand my circle of friends and mentors to assist in reaching my goals. I commit to meeting at least two new friends this month who share my positivity and love of fitness.
  4.  I will follow my dietary plan that will get me to that greater level of fitness. To aid in my compliance, I will throw out all the foods in my house not serving my nutritional goals.

Next, write down at least one step that you will take TODAY. Just one step in the right direction will lead to more. It can be simple.

For example:

  1. Today, I will make a collection of music on my ipod that motivates me during my workouts.
  2. or Today, I will start a folder of inspirational quotes, pictures, articles, recipes, and workouts.

Finally, don’t forget your long-term fitness goals and plans. For example, future implementations might include:

  1. To help me reach my fitness goals efficiently and safely I will hire a personal trainer and/or nutritionist by ______.
  2. I will register for a Bodybuilding/Fitness competition by _____, to add a level of accountability to my plan. (of course, I highly recommend

If you’ve considered all of these questions completely and written down your answers, along with a plan and fitness goals, then your checklist is complete!

One final thought: one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your health and fitness goals is to hire a personal trainer and nutritionist. They can offer a higher level of accountability and will truly push you and guide you safely to that next level of your fitness goals. I’ve been working with my trainer/nutritionist out of Oregon for three years and have made great strides in my physique that would have been impossible on my own. A dedicated athlete and an experienced trainer can make a killer team! If you decide a P.T. is right for you, share your checklist with them and collaborate on a plan that makes sense for what you want to accomplish in your fitness goals.

Now, that you’ve gone through the Pre-Transformation Checklist, you’re ready to begin a journey you’ll never regret to your fitness goals. So get out there and DO it! You know your Why, Who, Whats, and How….so go to Work and Win! Being healthy and fit equals strength equals beauty equals empowerment.

Good luck and remember:
“Dream, Believe, Exert, and Achieve!”

Erica Holiday WBFF Pro

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Smart Goals – Lisa Humble

Lisa has been competing in the bikini division with the NPC organization since July 2011 and fell in love with it. Competing keeps her body in the best condition it can possibly be in and keeps her laser focused on eating 6 healthy meals a day. She has 2 children that are competitive athletes, so it is important to teach them how to take care of their body for maximum performance. She works a full time job as a pharmaceutical representative. Excuses are not apart of her lifestyle. She is striving to be a professional athlete in the IFBB league and to be an internationally published fitness model.

How do you know where you will end up if you don’t know how to get there?

July 2006 I decided I wanted to compete in my first figure competition. I went to see someone that was recommended to me to coach me and train me through this whole new journey. Much to my surprise this person told me I would never be able to compete in the fitness industry I just didn’t have the shape and muscle. I drove home very disappointed and sat down in my big oversized chair and read my Oxygen magazine. I thought to myself “I know I can do this, I need a plan and someone who believes in me.” Then I began writing down exactly what I wanted to accomplish and I put a time on each goal. Here is what I set July 2006:

  • Compete in NPC org Figure division place in top 5 by July 2008 – date accomplished July 2007 4th place
  •  Secure a position in the pharmaceutical industry by January 2011 – date accomplished January 4th 2010
  • Have 1 print ad published in a magazine during my fitness career – date accomplished December 2012 – 4000 GNC stores, Shape December 2012, Oxygen January 2013, Muscle and Fitness Hers January 2013

I know you are thinking, “So what does this have to do with where you will end up?” If you don’t have a plan you will drive yourself mad starting over and over. My point is when you write your goals down and devise a plan you are far more likely to succeed.
Goal setting is not the glamorous side of a healthy fit life. It’s kind of like one of those things that you really just don’t take seriously. When you decide you are ready to make a change for the better you are all ready to hit the pavement and “get ur done”, as we say in the south. So many people have called or messaged me and said “This year I am going to get in shape!!! ” I immediately say “What was your goal or resolution last year?” So many times it is the same resolution year after year. Whether it is get out of debt,  get in shape, get a new job, or whatever you are wanting to improve on, you have to have a plan and discipline yourself enough to stick to it!
So we all agree that it is important to write your goals down but …….exactly how are you going to accomplish the goals you have set?  That is where SMART goals need to be executed.

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time focused.

A lot of you may have heard of SMART goals before especially if you have a corporate career like myself.  A SMART goal has a greater chance of being accomplished than a general one. Typically a SMART goal includes who, what, when, where, and how.   ie. My general goal – I am going to get in the best shape of my life.  My SMART goal – I am getting in the best shape of my life by joining a gym working out 4 days a week and marking off on a calendar every time I workout each week.  See the difference?  You will feel on top of the world when you look back at all the progress you have made.  It’s the beginning of a new year and no better time  to decide what great things you want to accomplish in 2013!

As always let me know your thoughts!
Happy New Year!!!!!
xoxo Lisa

Lisa McLean Humble

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Fit After Pregnancy – Allyson Genovese

Fit After Pregnancy


Allyson started out as a certified boot camp instructor and since then has become a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. She competed in her first WBFF Fitness Atlantic competition taking second place in her category and was awarded her pro card in her second show. She has appeared in World Physique Magazine, has been a model of fitness wear in the Caribbean Islands  is a frequent special guest on FTNS radio and has appeared in the movie “The Heat” and a hip hop music video.

Fit After Pregnancy

Having a baby is the most joyous time of any woman’s life, but after 9 months of weight gain and watching your body get larger and larger, a woman may start to wonder if she will be able to lose the weight, as quickly as she gained it.  I have always been a thin woman but I would not say I was “fit”.  During my pregnancy I was taunted by women who would make comments that I should not expect to ever be thin again; or that pregnancy will ruin my body.  I began to believe what these women would say. I was bothered by their comments and feared that I would never lose the weight. I wanted to prove them wrong and prove to myself that losing the weight was achievable. I was motivated but wasn’t sure where to start.  I had joined gyms in the past and used personal trainers, but I never saw the results I was looking for.


We always hear about “Diet and Exercise” but what does it actually mean? I had to learn about CLEAN eating.  I had to take my workouts to a level I never thought possible. I think the biggest misconception about losing weight is, people often confuse eating clean as a diet. A diet to me restricts what you can and cannot eat. I have always been a good eater; I cook fresh home cooked meals and do not rely on the closest fast food restaurant. I didn’t have to change much, but I needed to realize when I had a craving for something sweet I could still have it on my cheat day and not at that point in time of my craving. I had to look temptation right in the eye and beat it!

I fed my body every 2-3 hours, sounds easy right? Not so much when you are taking care of an infant. My worst enemy was that I did not eat breakfast. I would not eat my first meal until lunch. Once I was able to train my body, it became very natural to eat small meals every 2-3 hours. The second misconception I had was eating that many meals would make me gain weight. I learned you need to eat the right foods and have the proper exercise program to give your body the fuel it needs.

I am often asked where I find the time to juggle my family and workouts. It is very simple; you find and make the time for yourself. For me, it is very easy. I want my daughter to grow up proud of her mother. I want to teach her to live a healthy life style. With the epidemic of child obesity and obesity in general, it is up to me to teach my family the importance of living a happy and healthy life.

I have become so motivated and so dedicated to living a healthy style, that I have reached my ultimate goals of inner belief, self-confidence and an amazing body! I am now a Fitness Model, a certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and most importantly a mom! I competed in the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Competition taking second place in the Diva Model Division and Fourth place in the Diva Bikini Division in my first show and ultimately being awarded my Pro Card at my second show.  I have been featured in magazines, commercials, a Sandra Bullock movie, a music video and am a frequent special guest on a fitness radio show.

So many women have told me how inspired they are from hearing my story. I hope to continue to inspire other mother’s and women around the world, that they too have it within them to reach their goals, especially after having a baby!!

Allyson Genovese

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