Sunday, January 1, 2017


Excited. Hopeful. Ready.

These 3 words sum up my feelings on the first day of 2017. In southern California, last of day 2016 looked like so many of us were feeling during the final months of last year- gloomy, stormy, dark, with tiny specks of sunlight doing their best to break through the rain. But, in the morning, on this first day of a brand new year, the sun couldn’t be brighter with blue skies for miles.

Something about the sunshine and the new beginning bring out a special energy in me. I feel supercharged, like I could take off if someone gave me wings. I started laughing at the thought of me feeling like I could fly and begging for someone to just give me a set of wings so I could get off the ground. Isn’t that familiar? So many of us are looking to another person for that thing to get us to the next level, next position, next, well, you fill in the blank. We have the desire, discipline and drive but we are looking to the wrong source to move us forward.

2017 will be a year of using this supercharged energy to praise God, seek Him, listen to Him and follow His lead. The best lesson I learned over the past year of life is that when I make my relationship with God my first priority, He moves me forward. I’m expecting the best for me and my family this year despite the uncertainty surrounding me. Instead of looking to another person to help get me off the ground, I’m choosing to know Him more. Am I saying that I expect a year of perfection, without challenge, where I get everything I want? Of course not!! But, I am eagerly expecting a year of surprises, passion, love, promotion and opportunity because of a deeper relationship with God, a desire to walk out His purpose for me and willingness to wait on His perfect timing.

Excited. Hopeful. Ready….Thankful. Thankful that God is in control. Thankful that He can see it all, from beginning to end. Thankful that He sees me, knows me and loves me. And you. Let’s know Him better and let Him walk us through this amazing new year.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Need a little R.E.S.T!!!

I hate being injured.

I literally can’t stand it. So much that sometimes, ok maybe almost all the time, I will push myself to do something that I know isn't a good idea and I end up prolonging the injury.

This past week, I have had to rest due to a lower back injury. I taught my cardio kickboxing class Monday night, but since then, I have not lifted or done any cardio. I knew I needed a minimum of 5 full rest days. This time, instead of pushing myself too hard or going crazy because I was limited as far as my physical activity, I decided to look at rest in a new way. This acronym really helped me this week and hopefully, it will help you when you find yourself having to REST!

R- Relax!
We live in a world where our norm is to wake up, go and never stop until you have to sleep again. During your forced rest period, set aside time to pause from the crazy norm and appreciate all you have! IF you are like me, all of a sudden you have an extra 60 minutes in your day that you would have spent at the gym. Take at least 30 minutes of that hour to chill out, read a book, call a friend, listen to new music or just sit and be thankful. Its amazing how taking 30 minutes to unwind can take you from feeling tense and uptight to loose and appreciative!

E- Eat well
Many times, when people take time off the gym, they find themselves taking a pause on healthy eating choices too! Don’t fall victim to the extra pounds that creep on when your eating habits fall apart. Instead of thinking, “I can’t workout so why do anything else?” you should be telling yourself this- “I may not be able to do my workouts but I’m going to do everything else that I can do to the best of my ability.” Staying consistent with your good eating habits will not only have you feeling great during your activity break, it will also keep you looking great until you are able to go back to regular workout schedule.

With rest periods due to injury lasting for a week or more, you may have some days when you feel like you will never be back to normal again!! This is when you have to tell yourself (with a smile on your face) that this is temporary, and if you rest (and follow Dr.’s orders if you have any) you will heal and be better than before. Half of the injury is dealing with your thoughts. When your thoughts head towards the negative side, remind yourself that this to will pass and that your amazing body will be back to normal with time.

T- Test
When your prescribed rest is complete, get back in the gym for a “test” day. Usually, I like to do some type of full body circuit training workout with lighter weight. This allows me to get a great workout in while checking to make sure that I can complete a variety of movements without pain. If your test day doesn’t go so well and you feel like you need more rest, that’s OK! Just be sure to plan a date for your next test day and go for it again.
Following this new way of looking at rest should help you to stay on track, stay positive and continue to be the best you ever!!!

Until next time…

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chicken and Corn Salad with Curry Dressing

I have been making this salad pretty much every day or every other day for a couple weeks now, so it’s definitely tried, tested and in my opinion, pretty darn good. The ingredients are simple, healthy, colorful and easy to get year round. Here is my version of Chicken and Corn Salad with Curry dressing-

4 oz cooked, chopped chicken breast
1-2 tsp of raisins
1 to 1 ½ cups of arugula
¼ cup shredded carrots
Chopped red onion to taste
1/4 cup corn (cut from the cob is best, but canned and rinsed is ok)
For dressing:
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp honey

What you DO:
Put all salad ingredients (chicken, down to corn) in a large bowl. Set aside. Get a small mason jar or little Tupperware with a lid to mix dressing ingredients. Put all dressing ingredients in container. Shake it really good!!!! Pour on salad. ENJOY!

This salad is wonderful for lunch or dinner on the go! If you want to, enjoy with a slice of toast (in my case gluten-free) or throw it in a pita pocket for a tasty sandwich!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

You Got This!!

I taught PE for many years at a middle school. One of the other teachers at my school had a phrase that she used frequently in her classroom to encourage the kids, letting them know that she believed in their abilities and they should too! If they struggled with an assignment, she would say “You got this!” and then give them some extra help time. If they shared a personal struggle, she would say “You got this!” and let them know she was there if they needed to talk or needed additional support. It was awesome because near the middle of that first year that she began to use this phrase, you would hear our students using the phrase to encourage each other. “You got this” became a way that everyone shared encouragement, support and motivation. Three simple words and an example from one person spread through a campus and changed the way students handled challenging moments.

Have you been hitting a few challenging moments in your fitness journey? Maybe it’s a lack of drive and determination, maybe the busyness of life is making it hard to be consistent with your workouts, maybe you don’t think you can come back because you just haven’t done anything fitness related in SO long…Well, let me tell you today YOU GOT THIS!!

Every day is a new one, matter of fact EACH moment is NEW and an opportunity for you to make changes in your fitness journey. Just like the awesome teacher from my story, I will not just TELL you that you got this and clap for you and then leave. I want to encourage you to take steps to make the change that you want to see. It doesn’t matter how far you are from your goal, or what decisions you used to make! You can begin to change for the better NOW, today. I believe in you! I believe in your abilities! I believe that step by step, you can become the best version of you that you have ever seen and felt! Remember, there are MANY ways to get to a healthy result. Choose something that you love, or at least like, when choosing a fitness activity. Don’t listen to anyone who insists that their way is the only way. While there are common principles like making beneficial food choices, being active and incorporating strength training, there are ENDLESS programs that bring these principles together in fun and creative ways.

Once you get back in your groove, don’t stop with just feeling good by yourself. Go out and encourage others! Share your story, encourage friends and family with your words and your example. Remember, it’s not about being perfect…THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! So take the pressure off and don’t hold yourself to an unattainable standard. Do your best with what you can. Share smiles and encouragement. Be real and honest in your journey. Remember that the most powerful examples often come from the most vulnerable moments.

Get up, get back on track, because you are worth it and…YOU GOT THIS!

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New YOU (really)

I love that so many people see New Year’s as an opportunity to hit the restart button on their fitness goals. What's sad is that so many start strong, but may not have the tools to actually make the positive changes stick. Here are 3 things you can do to really make a new you this new year.

1. Make CONSISTENCY your main goal
It’s awesome to have a weight goal, an inches goal or a strength goal but realistically, you will never reach those goals unless you are daily working towards them. When you look at it like this, the MOST important part of any goal is consistency. Instead of making the main thing a change in your appearance, set your main goal to daily follow your plan or program. If you do this, your body will change, good habits will be formed AND your measurement of success is based on whether or not you did your best that day! I have found that there is a beautiful freedom in basing your goal outside a number on the scale. When I have practiced this in my own life, I see results faster and I feel great about myself in the process.

2. The BEST workout is the one that you’ll actually do
I get questions all the time about new workout or eating trends. The most common question is, “Jada, does it really work?” My answer is always YES! Every plan or program on the market can benefit your body. The only time plans don’t work is when they are not followed. There is always going to be some new best ever workout trend, but don't feel like you have to jump on it! Choose a program that contains something you actually like to do, doesn't matter if it’s the new thing or the old thing! What matters is that your program contains these 3 elements: strength training, cardiovascular training and eating guidance of some kind. If you find something that you like to do with those 3 elements, your success rate will be sky high. Not every plan will align with how you may want your body to look, your likes or your personal healthy food preferences. Check out the details of a few different programs to find something with components that fit your style. Keep in mind that every program will have its challenging moments and that you might not LOVE everything about it. Your aim should be to have something in your plan that you can look forward to doing. Consider activities that you like (dancing, running, swimming, etc) and environments you like (being by yourself, outdoors, indoors, in groups, with a trainer, etc). Set yourself up to enjoy your workouts, not dread them.

3. Make it your job to INSPIRE others
Every time you go into a class, the gym or wherever you work out, decide that you will set the tone for everyone else. Decide that you will be the hardest working, happiest, most dedicated person there. This is not a competition, but an opportunity to encourage and inspire. Everyone pauses for a moment and looks around, searching for someone working hard enough to inspire them to finish the workout they’ve started. I’ve had those moments and I’m sure you have as well. Make it your business to be the person someone sees and because of you, they are motivated to not just finish, but finish well.

Let’s start this year strong together! Remember these tips and make New Year, New You happen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Doing the MOST...

My husband used to write these top 5 style posts on twitter that he called #DTM. DTM stood for “doing the most” with each post highlighting a certain scenario or situation and ridiculous actions surrounding it. For example #DTM at the gym talked about the people that we ALL see at the gym…the guy grunting louder than a gorilla, the girl sitting at each strength training machine talking on her cell phone, the chic taking WAY too many bathroom selfies (totally making fun of myself), that silent but deadly farter on the leg press! All of the examples were given in fun, but it was clear the YOU never wanted to be caught #DTM!!

In a lot of cases, doing the most is NOT something positive but there are ALWAYS exceptions to every rule.

I was having a few thoughts today about where I am in life. It’s easy to get stuck in your thoughts, especially if you are thinking about things you thought you would have already done by now, or why you think you should have been farther along in certain areas. Many times, these types of moments can deflate us and cause us to use precious time and energy focusing on things that we should’ve, could’ve, would’ve done but in reality cannot change. When you find yourself lost in these thoughts you NEED a little #DTM…Let me explain.

The best way to get your mind off of what could have done is to get your mind ON doing the MOST with what you have! Literally ask yourself (and answer HONESTLY) if you are doing the most with your job, with the opportunities you have, with your relationship…basically plug in any area of life and then CHECK yourself to see if you are making the most of it! Instead of focusing on where you WANT or THOUGHT you would be, try these 3 things and actually take steps towards your goals!

1. Do the MOST to prepare- Try looking at your life from a training and preparation viewpoint. What do you have that you can use as preparation for your next step? For example, one of my goals is to do more public speaking surrounding health, nutrition and fitness. I have been invited to a handful of speaking opportunities over the past few years, but not nearly as many as I thought I would have. I can do the most by using every talking opportunity I have with anyone as practice for what I believe is coming.

2. Do the MOST and speak up- Get over your fear and put your goal out there! Not that you need to brag or be obnoxious about what you are working towards but you DO need to let select people know what you desire to accomplish. If I never make it known that public speaking is a goal, then I will never have the opportunity to be invited to speak somewhere. If you never talk about your goal, no one will ever know how they can help you get there.

3. Do the MOST and say YES- If you are given an opportunity do to something that lines up with your goal, TAKE IT! Many of us wait for what seems like the perfect opportunity, passing up the less glamorous or less notable opportunities we are given. Funny thing is, the most successful people will tell you that there was NEVER just one defining moment or opportunity. It’s always a series of small “yes” moments that lead to what seems like an overnight explosion of recognition and opportunity. My point is, appreciate every opportunity given to you and use it! You never know who is listening or watching.

So, maybe it’s ok to do the MOST. Well, only as long as you are relating the #DTM to your goals and not farting on the leg press.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

3 Ways to get a BETTER Workout!

So you set aside time to workout. You showed up. You got through it. But it wasn’t GREAT. Matter of fact, you just went through the motions and you’re not even sure if your time was spent well…and that SUCKS. Here are 3 things you can do to make sure you get the MOST out of your workout EVERY time!

1. Get RID of your biggest distractions!
Phone doesn’t stop? TURN IT OFF (it’s only for 30-60 minutes). Can’t get the laundry or dirty dishes off your mind? GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Kids are jumping on you during your abs set? GET TO A GYM WITH A KIDS CLUB. We all are juggling a lot but in order to make this workout time count, you must be able to focus your energy on workout! Do what you need to clear your mind and silence your biggest distractions. You will thank yourself for it later.

2. Get around people working HARDER than you!
If you do your workouts outside your house, make sure you are surrounding yourself with other people who are giving their all! Find the FRONT of the group exercise class. Find the popular workout places in your neighborhood…a known set of stairs, open track, park or beachfront. If you are working out at home, choose a youtube, DVD, or streaming class where you can SEE other people working hard, sweating and loving it! Make sure there is something that challenges you to be your best.

3. Always add in SOMETHING YOU LOVE!
You don’t have to always love your workouts. You DO need to always add in some component that you LOVE OR something that INSPIRES you to keep going. Make sure you have 3-4 of your ultimate, favorite songs sprinkled into your playlist. Go to that class you love because the teacher is awesome. Make Saturday mornings your “track workout” day because you LOVE the crisp morning air and the sun peaking out onto the grass, track and stairs (that’s what I do LOL). There MUST be something that makes you smile, take a moment to be thankful and then go back to kicking butt.

These 3 small changes will help you to focus, bring out your best and continue towards your goals. We only have one body. Be good to it!!!