5 Tips to Avoid Muscle Soreness

Nothing derails your fitness goals like feeling sore. Yet getting sore is almost unavoidable—it’s a rite of passage, if you will. But it doesn’t have to wipe you out. Follow these tips and, if you’re lucky, you’ll avoid the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) monster altogether.

How to Avoid Muscle Soreness

1. Start SLOooW

It’s very tempting to begin an exercise program with a lot of enthusiasm, but try your best to go at a reasonable pace. If you’ve never exercised, or it’s been a long time since you have, go much easier than you feel you are capable of on Day 1 and ramp things up at a pace that is based on how you feel. If you’re not sore, go a little harder the next day. If you’re a little sore, take it down a notch. If you’re very sore, scroll down to the next section of this article to mitigate the soreness.

If you’ve been exercising, but it’s been more than a week since you last worked out, follow the same pattern but go harder, based—again—on how fit you are. A good example to use here would be to start with about half of the workout scheduled—something like the warm-up, cooldown, and one round of exercises. Because you have a better fitness base, you can advance a little bit further each day than if you were out of shape. In general, take about a week to get back to full-bore 100% effort. This is also the example you want to use if you’ve been training and taken some time off.

If you’ve been exercising, but are starting a new program, base how hard you push yourself on how much advancement there is in your program. Whenever your program makes a big jump, in time, intensity, or style of training (from all cardio to weight training, for instance), you’ll always want to hold a bit back in the beginning.

The reason is that your body has two types of muscle fibers: fast and slow (there are actually increments of these but this is enough for our scope). Fast-twitch fibers are very strong but break down easily and take a long time to repair. This translates into soreness. By easing into a program, you rely on your slow-twitch fibers which aren’t as strong but recovery very quickly. Going full bore on Day 1 activates your fast-twitch fibers, and leads to extensive breakdown and soreness. The harder you go, the sorer you are likely to get because there is something called emergency fibers, the fastest of the fast, which can take two weeks to repair.

2. Minimize Eccentric Motion

Concentric contraction is the shortening of the muscle, while eccentric contraction is the lengthening part of the movement. DOMS is almost entirely related to the eccentric part of the movement. You might be asking yourself, can I do one without the other? Good question.

If you’re doing a biceps curl, the concentric part of the movement is when you move the weight up, while the eccentric part is the way down. In order to avoid the eccentric part, you need to drop your weight. This won’t make you very popular in a gym and might ruin your floor at home, so probably not a very helpful suggestion.

In other cases, avoiding eccentric motion can be impossible. Jumping, for instance, uses concentric force to get you elevated, at which point you need to land, which is eccentric. The only way to do concentric-only jumps is to jump onto a platform and then lightly step down. Again, not too practical.

You can, however, limit the amount of time you’re lengthening your muscles. Slowing down your concentric motions and returning to the start position very quickly, or eliminating the airborne portion of jump training, are good ways to mostly avoid eccentric motion with only slight modifications.

You may have noticed that a lot of very popular exercise programs actually target jumping and eccentric movements. That’s because training them is highly effective, just not until your body is in shape to handle it. Which it never will be unless you proceed slowly and carefully.

3. Hydrate

Dehydration can also make you sore. In fact, once you’re used to your workout program, nearly all excessive soreness is due to dehydration or nutritional deficiencies.

Most people are chronically dehydrated. In fact, you can actually get sore by simply being dehydrated, even without the exercise. Adding exercise increases your water needs. A lot. Hydration is your body’s first defense against, not only soreness, but also most illnesses and other maladies.

How much water you need varies depending on your activity level, lifestyle, where you live, etc., but an easy gauge to use is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. That’s before you account for exercise. For each hour you work out, you should add another 32 ounces (on average). This, too, varies based on the individual, heat, humidity, exercise intensity, and so forth, but you probably get the idea. You need a lot of water for optimal performance.

Water isn’t the only factor in hydration. Electrolytes, or body salts, are also sweated out when you exercise and must be replaced. If you’re training an hour per day or less, you probably don’t need to worry about them unless your diet is very low in sodium.

It’s also possible to drink too much water, a condition called hyponatremia. While this is a deadly condition, it’s irrelevant for most of the population for most conditions. Hyponatremia is an imbalance of water and electrolytes. However, it’s very hard for normal humans to get hyponatremia in everyday circumstances because you have to drink a lot of water, have very little salt, and sweat profusely for a long time. So while it’s a very real danger for those doing Ironman triathlons or people stranded in deserts, it’s not a relevant concern for most of us. If you’ve been eating regularly, your foods contain some salt (most do), and you’re not exercising over an hour or two per day, it’s not something to worry about unless you’re drinking multiple gallons of water a day.

4. Get Postworkout Fuel

The hour after you finish exercising is your nutrition sweet spot. The quicker your muscles recover, the less sore you get, so you never want to skip your postworkout snack unless you’ve reached a point when you know you’re not going to get sore.

What this snack should consist of has been debated for ages but countless modern studies show that glycogen depletion (replenished quickest with simple carbohydrates), should be your primary concern. Glycogen is a fuel that your muscles store in limited amounts. When you run out of it during exercise, your workout goes south very quickly. When it’s gone, muscle damage increases until it’s been restored.

Protein, which repairs muscle tissue but is very slow to digest, replenishing body salts, and targeted micronutrients (aka vitamins), all come next.

Left out of this puzzle is fat, but not in all forms. Some studies show promise using medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) postexercise, though it’s probably too techie to bother with in this article because most consumable fat slows digestion of all nutrients, which should also be your first priority when excessive muscle tissue damage has been done.

What is debated, however, is what that ideal carb to protein ratio should be. It basically comes down to how depleted your glycogen stores are. The more depleted, the more important carbohydrates become in your replenishment strategy.

While you will learn to tell when your glycogen is gone (or low) through experience, keep this in mind for now: the body can store enough glycogen for about an hour of hard training. If your workouts are 30 minutes or less, you may not need any carbohydrates. Approach an hour and you probably need at least some.

It also matters what you’ve eaten during the day, prior to the workout. If you’re hungry at the start, it could be an indication that your glycogen is low. If you start low, you may run out quickly.

Glycogen depletion is characterized by feeling empty. If you hit a point in your workout where you feel like you can’t go on, or you’re performing worse than you had been, you’re likely out of glycogen. Known as bonking in sports circles, when this happens you’ll want to shut down a workout and fuel up ASAP.

When you’re out of glycogen, it’s most effectively replaced by a targeted recovery supplement, like Results and Recovery Formula. These are formulated using every nutrient your body can use for recovery. In lieu of that, almost anything carb heavy can be effective. Something like a small bowl of cereal, perhaps with a banana, is a decent substitute. Aim to consume between 100 and 250 calories, depending on your size and how difficult your workout was. More than that probably can’t be digested within an hour.

If your workout was short or didn’t seem to tax you too much, opting for a protein-based snack is a better choice. Whey protein, due to the quickness your body absorbs it, is the best option here, and it’s also where you might consider MCTs if you’re intrigued by them.

To read about what’s the best preworkout meal, check out my What Should You Eat Before Your Workout article.

5. Pick the Correct Workout Program

It’s worth noting that the more you stretch yourself with your choice of workout, program, or even each individual workout, the more you increase your chances of getting sore. The right program—or a trainer/coach—should ease you into exercise at a pace your body can handle, which is always the better choice. But, you know, whatever works for your psyche is probably what you’re going to choose. And that’s okay. Just be honest with yourself, and follow the rules above if you know you’re biting off a little more than you can chew.

What Happens If You Do Get Sore?

No matter how diligent we are, we all seem to mess this up, somehow, sometimes. Depending upon how much you skewed it, you can be back at full strength within a few days.

Occasionally—at least if you’re like me—you’ll go way beyond what you should have done. In such cases, you can be out up to a couple of weeks. Either way, these tips will help you get back on the fast track.

1. Move

The last thing you want to do, when everything hurts is to move. But that’s exactly what you need to do. While you won’t want to continue with your gung ho workouts, you’ll still want to exercise daily. How much you do depends upon how sore you are.

If you really overcooked it, and things like walking down stairs feel like a torture test (I’ve been there), you won’t want to do much beyond moving as much as you can. All movement promotes blood circulation, and the more blood you circulate around your body, the quicker you’ll heal.

If you have a more sensible soreness, you can do your workout at a modified pace or, better yet, choose a recovery workout. If you’re using a Beachbody program, it probably came with a recovery workout or two. These workouts are designed to help your body work out kinks and soreness better than doing nothing could ever hope to. They can be used anytime you need them, can’t be done too often, and always leave you feeling much better than before you started.

2. Use Circulation Techniques

You can also induce circulation with some other techniques, all of which will help. In extreme cases, physical therapists are loaded with various devices to aid recovery, but here are three you can do at home. While none of these will rid you of soreness alone, each one you can put into practice improves your chances of relief.

Ice and heat – Though ice slows circulation over time, it’s a fantastic circulation tool when used strategically. Your body is almost a hundred degrees. Rubbing ice on (or submerging for short periods of time) affected areas causes blood to rush from that area. Applying a little heat brings it back. It’s a bit like moving, without the movement.

Hot/cold showers – On the same theme, alternately turning your shower on hot, then cold, and pointing it at sore muscles causes a similar effect. The greater contrast between hot and cold you can stand, the greater the recovery effect.

Restoration poses – Also known as taking a load off, yoga restoration poses are a bit more targeted than just kicking it on the couch with your feet up, though some of the poses are very similar. These are movement-free poses designed to circulate blood in and out of targeted areas.

Nutrition – The better you eat, the better your body works, period. When you have excessive breakdown, which you do when you’re sore, every nutrient helps. It’s a common tendency to drown injuries (and soreness is a small injury) with alcohol and desserts. And while that may help your mental state, it will slow down your recovery.

What Not To Do If You’re Sore: Take NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

In the “what doesn’t work” section, see vitamin I (street name for ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin). While they are a common tool for recovery and pain relief, especially for recreational athletes, studies have repeatedly shown that they don’t aid in muscle recovery and, in fact, may exacerbate muscle breakdown. Plus, they come with a slew of other side effects.

Therefore, they should be avoided as much as possible. Understandably, you may want to use them to mask the pain in the most acute stages. Just know that it’s masking, and not solving, the recovery process. There’s too much on this topic to go into here, so I’ve provided some studies (below) for the curious.

More Resources:

  • Donnelly AE, Maughan RJ, Whiting PH. Effects of ibuprofen on exercise-induced muscle soreness and indices of muscle damage.
  • Gorsline RT1, Kaeding CC. The use of NSAIDs and nutritional supplements in athletes with osteoarthritis: prevalence, benefits, and consequences.Clin Sports Med. 2005 Jan;24(1):71-82.
  • Rahnama N, Rahmani-Nia F, Ebrahim K. The isolated and combined effects of selected physical activity and ibuprofen on delayed-onset muscle soreness. Journal of Sports Science. 2005 Aug; 23(8): 843-50.
  • Trelle S1, Reichenbach S, Wandel S, Hildebrand P, Tschannen B, Villiger PM, Egger M, Jüni P. Cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: network meta-analysis.BMJ. 2011 Jan 11;342:c7086. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c7086.
  • Warden SJ. Prophylactic use of NSAIDs by athletes: a risk/benefit assessment. Phys Sportsmed. 2010 Apr;38(1):132-8. doi: 10.3810/psm.2010.04.1770.
  • Wharam PC, Speedy DB, Noakes TD, Thompson JM, Reid SA, Holtzhausen LM. NSAID use increases the risk of developing hyponatremia during an Ironman triathlon. Medicine and Science Sports and Exercise. 2006 Apr; 38(4): 618-22.

5 Reasons You Keep Getting Injured

When you drop a kettlebell on your foot or karate kick the coffee table, there’s no mystery as to why you’re injured. It’s when there isn’t an obvious cause and you find yourself limping to the sideline that leaves you scratching your head (and rubbing your achy muscles or tendons) in search of clues as to what went wrong. These five reasons could very well be the culprits that are keeping you from injury-free exercise.

5 Reasons You Keep Getting Injured

1. You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration can lead to loss of focus and coordination. The less focus you have, the more prone you are to making avoidable mistakes putting yourself at a greater risk of injury because in most cases… the muscle doesn’t have the capacity to do its full range of motion.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how much water you should consume on a daily basis. The “drink eight glasses per day” advice you were taught in phys ed has largely been dismissed. So instead of going by thirst, check your urine. If it’s dark in color, like iced tea, chug a glass of water. If it’s pale yellow to nearly clear, you’re in the clear. And if it’s sparkling neon green, you’re undoubtedly a space mutant.

Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, fatigue, and light-headedness. What’s more, according to a small study published in the Journal of Nutrition, even moderate dips in hydration levels can turn someone into a grouch.

2. You’re Unsure About Being Sore

Do you know the difference between good sore and bad sore? It’s important info to possess for a couple of reasons — 1) it’s the type of question that might pop up in the Cash Cab; 2) knowing can enable you to detect an injury, or prevent one from worsening. Bad soreness typically has a radiating sensation. Or it’s a localized, continual disruption or irritation. Good soreness isn’t sharp, shooting, stinging, or radiating. It just feels like it’s within the movement pattern or general muscle tissue.

Where the soreness occurs can also tip you off. Good sores do not exist in the joints. Joint pain can typically be a result of some type of injury, or a lack of hydration, recovery, or lubrication. If that’s the case, drinking more water may be able to help you hydrate. Whether you feel a radiating sensation or discomfort in the joints, a wise idea would be to reassess your approach to training and recovery, and revisit your body alignment during exercises that utilize those body parts. You should also ice down the injury to reduce inflammation.

3. Your Warm-Up Was Lukewarm

A proper warm-up does more than prime the body for a workout; it helps improve your performance. While trainers like Shaun T and Tony Horton remind you how important warm-ups are before each Beachbody workout, you also need a warm-up game plan if you’re working out solo.

A general warm-up elevates the heart rate, while a specific warm-up uses similar biomechanics and movements that target muscles that will be used in forthcoming exercises. So which of those is right for you? There’s really no right or wrong way to warm up, so an improper warm-up is subjective. It depends on each person. That means it’s on you to decide when your body feels it’s ready to rumble. But if you dodge your warm-up or fail to loosen up the right muscles (and those supporting ones, too) that oversight can come back to bite you in the back or shoulders, ankles, knees…

4. Your Ego Is Bigger Than Your Muscles

You probably feel like a chump doing so, but sitting out a set when you’re too sore (the bad type of sore) to continue or subbing in an easier exercise for one that’s too advanced is sometimes necessary to prevent injury. Your ego may get bruised in the process, but that’ll heal much quicker than a muscle tear.

When you’re on the fence about pushing further or participating in a progressive movement, slow things down. Double-check your technique and body alignment during the movement to reassure yourself that what you’re doing isn’t demanding too much of your body. Going slow and steady enables enough time to recruit other muscle fibers to help support and handle the workload.

5. You’re Not Stretching Enough

Optimally, you should be stretching multiple times per day. No, you don’t have to drop into a downward-facing dog in the middle of a meeting with your boss, but, specifically, you want to at least stretch before and after workouts. A preworkout stretch can identify which muscles have tension within them – and gives you more information to protect your muscles, having been aware of which seem tight, than if you go into a movement pattern having not stretched. Add extra warm-up time if you detect muscles that aren’t ready.

Stretching increases flexibility and encourages your joints to move through their full range of motion. However, before you train, opt for dynamic/ballistic stretching. Studies show static stretches during preworkout can actually inhibit the ability for muscles to fire, and performance output can decrease. Keep static stretches for your cool down instead. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds, and take it out as far as two minutes.

Mini Workouts, Major Results

When it comes to sustainable weight loss, you basically have two options: Eat less and exercise less, or eat more and exercise more. Odds are you’ll fall into the second category (me included!).

I know, I know… you’re barely able to carve out 40 or 60 minutes a day to work out as is. But what I’m talking about is doing two 10-minute sweat sessions instead of a single, longer one, so you’ll actually spend less time exercising. And for each of the below sessions, all you need is your bodyweight, so you can do them anytime, anywhere.

Not only are there scheduling advantages of splitting one long workout into smaller, more manageable chunks, but each time you exercise you initiate a series of metabolic events that help your body burn fat and build muscle. If you work out once per day, you’ll trigger those events once. But if you work out two or three times, well, you get the idea — you compound the effect, and ultimately reach your goals faster.

If you’re not sure where to start, try the mini-workouts below. Perform two of the workouts each day — one in the morning, and one in the afternoon or evening — and warm up with two minutes of jumping rope or jumping jacks before you begin. If you find any move too difficult, do the “modifier” exercise instead. Keep boredom at bay by mixing up the routines you do each day!

Mini Workouts - Major Results


Perform the exercises as a superset (one superset equals one set of each move back-to-back). Do as many supersets as you can in 5 minutes without rest. Start with 20 reps of the wideout drop and 10 reps of the judo push-up. In each successive superset, do two fewer reps of the wideout drop, and one fewer rep of the judo push-up. So in your second superset, you’ll do 18 wideout drops and nine judo push-ups. In your third set you’ll do 16 wideout drops and eight judo push-ups. You get the idea. Try to go all the way to zero reps of both exercises before your five minutes are up. If you do, begin working your way back up the sequence.

Purpose: Building explosive power in the legs and strength in the chest, shoulders, and triceps

Wideout Drop
Stand with your legs together, elbows by your sides, and hands together in front of your chest. Jump your feet out to your sides and drop into a wide squat, extending your arms straight out in front of your chest. Spring back up to the starting position, and then begin your next rep without pausing.

Modifier: Bodyweight squat (perform each rep quickly, exploding up from the bottom position, but don’t jump).

Judo Push-Up
Begin in a push-up position but move your feet hip-width apart, and raise your hips so your body forms an upside-down V. Lower the front of your body with your arms until your chin nears the floor, and then swoop your head and shoulders upward while lowering your hips until they almost touch the floor (you should end in an “upward dog” position). Reverse the move to return to the starting position.

Modifier: Standard push-up.


Perform the exercises as a superset (one superset equals one set of each move back-to-back). Do as many supersets as you can in 5 minutes without rest. Start with 20 reps of the split jump and 10 reps of the explosive push-up. In each successive superset, do 2 fewer reps of the split jump, and one fewer rep of the push-up. Try to get all the way to zero reps of both exercises before your time is up. If you do, begin working your way back up the sequence.

Purpose: Building explosive power in both the upper and lower body.

Split Jump
Assume a staggered stance with your left foot forward. Lower your body into a lunge, and then jump with enough force to propel both feet off the floor. Land with your right leg forward. That’s one rep. Alternate legs each rep.

Modifier: Split squat (perform each rep quickly, exploding up from the bottom position, but don’t jump).

Explosive Push-Up
Assume a push-up position with your arms straight, body rigid, and hands slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your chest until it’s a few inches from the floor. Push up with enough force for your hands to leave the ground. Land softly and repeat. Extra points if you add a clap.

Modifier: Standard push-up (push off the floor forcefully, but don’t let your hands leave it).


Perform as many reps as you can of the superman walkout push-up in two and a half minutes. Repeat with the reverse lunge. Don’t rest between exercises. Each time you do this workout, try to perform more reps of each exercise in the allotted time.

Purpose: Building strength and boosting muscular endurance in the chest, shoulders, lats, triceps, and legs.

Superman Walkout Push-Up
Get down on all fours and raise your hips so that your body forms an inverted V. Walk your hands forward until you’re in a push-up position, and do a push-up. Continue to walk your hands forward until your arms are stretched above your head (like you’re Superman), and hold for one to two seconds (you’ll feel an intense contraction in your lats and abs). Walk your hands back to a push-up position, do a push-up, and then return to the inverted V position. That entire sequence is one rep.

Modifier: Walkout push-up (follow the directions above, but don’t go past the push-up position).

Reverse Lunge
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your fingers interlocked behind your head. Keeping your torso upright, step backward with your left foot and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees and your rear knee almost touches the ground. Pause, and then push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat, this time stepping back with your right leg. Alternate legs each rep.

Modifier: Forward lunge.

Workout D

Perform the following exercises as a superset (one superset equals one set of each move back-to-back). Begin by holding the indicated position of each exercise for five seconds, and then doing five full reps. In each successive superset, hold for one less second, and do one fewer rep of each exercise. Continue counting down until you reach zero seconds and zero reps of both moves. Each week, add one second and one rep to each exercise in the first superset.

Note: There are no modifiers for the exercises in this workout. If you’re not fit enough to perform the moves as described, wait to do this workout until your fitness level increases.

Purpose: Boosting muscle growth and amplifying strength throughout the body.

Split Squat
Assume a staggered stance with your hands on your hips (or fingers interlocked behind your head) and your left foot forward. Lower your body into a lunge until your rear knee is a few inches from the floor and your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Hold for the allotted time, and then begin your full range of motion reps.

Assume a push-up position with your hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders. Brace your abs (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut), tense your arms, and press them into the floor and toward each other (imagine you’re trying to push the floor together between them, but don’t actually move them). Hold for the allotted time, and then begin your full range of motion reps.

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Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Last night I felt like I creating something more glamorous than my usual, but delicious, chicken and veggie stir-fry. So I got a little creative and decided to take my Mexican stir fry recipe and through it into halved bell peppers! We all LOVED IT!!! Thought I’d share this fun healthy recipe with you so you can try it at home this week! Let me know what you think!

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers Healthy Recipe

Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Let’s get cooking!

1. Cut Bell Peppers in half (one per person), and roast them for 15-20 minutes in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and pepper or seasonings of choice.

2. Create the stir Fry- I mix and grill up the veggies in a wok first (onions, mushrooms, corn, black beans, leeks, zucchini, spinach, and garlic) with a spoonful of Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce!

3. Then add quinoa or brown Rice or and chicken chunks or ground turkey to the wok and mix it all together.

4. Spoon stir fry into 1/2 roster bell pepper, sprinkle with a little cheese, toss back into the oven for 15-20 mins at 350 degrees and BOOM, you are ready to ENJOY!

5. You can add a slice of avocado or salsa on top when plated, just as a little extra bonus!

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Meal Prepping – Quick, Easy, and Virtually Foolproof

Every Sunday after run practice and church, it’s grocery shopping & meal prep time to get ready for a great week ahead. The biggest complaint I hear from my clients when I talk to them about meal prep and getting everything laid out ahead of time is “I don’t even know where to begin.”  So that sparked my idea for creating a simple, easy to follow guide for picking out what items to get at the grocery store and which foods to prepare on Sunday so you are set for the week and less likely to fall off track with your nutrition and possibly your weight loss goals.

As with most healthy eating meal plans, preparation is ESSENTIAL! If you don’t prep in advance you are waaay more likely to just wing it and end up eating fast food and unhealthy options that are quick and cheap. (and my favorite motto is this “You ARE what you eat, so don’t be fast, easy, or cheap”)

Healthy Meal Prep

So here’s the quick breakdown for a perfect week of clean eating with a target calorie range of 1200-1500 calories each day.

Note: You will see “color-coded container counts” referenced in the meal plan. These are for portion control and make it easy to know how much to eat throughout the day! Many of my clients have had amazing success with portioning their food this way… gone are the days of counting calories, weighing your food, etc… just whip out your containers and it’s as easy as Red, Blue, Yellow! To get a set of these containers or learn more, check them out here.

Week Overview

Now that you have a overview of your week’s plan. Let’s move on to your grocery shopping list! Grab these items over the weekend, so they are ready to go on Sunday. You can jump right into the prep, whip it out, and move onto family time (which is what Sundays are really all about)!

Grocery List

 Breakfast Items:

Container Counts (1 yellow, 1 red & 1 purple each morning!)

  • 2 cups Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • 5 cups Blueberries
  • One Dozen Organic Free Range eggs

Lunch Items:

Container Counts: (1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 3 tsp each day)

  • 5 scoops or packets of Shakeology
  • 5 cups spinach
  • Raw unsalted and unsweetened Almond Butter
  • 40oz Unsweetened Coconut or Almond Milk

Dinner Items:

Container Counts: (1.5 red, 2 greens each night)

  • Big bag of Frozen or Fresh Stir Fry Veggies – I get my big bag at Costco! (look for bags with red peppers, carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, jicama, snow peas, squash, zucchini, onions, broccoli)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pre-Cooked Shrimp 12-16 ounces total (if you don’t like shrimp, chicken works great too!)
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 2 heads of Broccoli
  • 2 x 6oz Organic Grass Fed strip steak

Once you are finished grocery shopping, it is time to prep!

Directions for Meal Prepping Breakfast

Step 1: Hard Boil 10 of your Eggs (2 for each morning!)


  1. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with at least an inch or two of cold water.
  2. Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil.
  3. Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Strain the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further.
  5. Store in the fridge and take 2 for breakfast each morning

Step 2: While the Eggs are cooking, prep your Steel Cut Oatmeal:

Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe


  1. Bring the water to a boil: Use 6 cups of water for firmer, more intact oat grains or 8 cups of water for creamier oatmeal. Stir in 2 cups of steel cut oats.
  2. Return to a boil: Let the water come back up to a rolling boil — this should only take a few seconds.
  3. Reduce heat to low
  4. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes: Let the oats simmer for anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook until the oats are very tender and the oatmeal is as creamy as you like it — longer cooking will make thicker oatmeal.
  5. Divide the oats into ½ cup servings and top with 1 cup blueberries and store in the fridge. (and I sprinkle in some cinnamon, vanilla, and honey, just for a little added flavor!)

Directions for Meal Prepping Lunches

No need to meal prep your Shakeology — just whip up the milkshake-style deliciousness each morning before you head out the door! Make sure to refrigerate while you’re at work. (I store mine in my Hydro Flask to keep it cold.) Or if you’re lucky, you have a blender at work and can make them up right there on the spot!

Shakeology Recipe

Recipe: Shakeology with 1 cup spinach, 1 tbsp almond butter, 8 ounces unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk, 1 tbsp MCT oil, ice. Blend and Enjoy!

My go-to lunch is ALWAYS Shakeology. I take a packet with me everywhere I go, so I can sip on it while working with clients, running errands, or typing up blog posts! I could give you a whole host of scientific reasons why I choose Shakeology every day for lunch, but let me just say (in hopes you’ll do your own research) our “health food” isn’t even close to what it used to be. Our soils are severely nutrient depleted and most of our greenhouse produce is genetically modified! Over 2/3rds of Americans need to lose weight and that means there needs to be some calorie restriction… period. We have to be smart about where the carbohydrates we choose to consume come from. You cannot find more nutrition in only 150 calories (and only 15 grams of carbs) anywhere else except Shakeology. Personally, it gives me a huge variety of the foods I need and I couldn’t possibly consume everyday without overeating or spending hundreds of dollars. I largely attribute my great skin, healthy nails, great digestion, thick healthy hair and athletic physique to it. It’s an absolute staple for me (and great for traveling too).

I’ll say it again, I’m out to make you healthy… not skinny!


Directions for Meal Prepping Dinner

Cast Iron Stir Fry Recipe

This will serve as your Dinner for Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday night!

Super healthy, low carb and quick!

Shrimp and Veggie Skillet Recipe

  1. Boatload of veggies 5-6 cups: celery, red peppers, carrots, mushroom, asparagus, jicama, snow peas, squash, zucchini, onions, broccoli, shrimp and minced garlic
  2. Line pan with coconut or olive oil and throw in all the ingredients (my shrimp was precooked)
  3. Cook on medium high and stir every minute or so
  4. Takes about 15 minutes– With so many vegetables, there’s no need for a starch, but you can add Bragg’s Amino Acids for a little more flavor if you’d like but the garlic (and a touch of Himalayan salt and pepper) was enough for me!


Strip Steak with Veggies

This will serve as your Dinner for Thursday and Friday night! (Don’t need to meal prep this until Wednesday night!)

I was “raised” a meat and veggie kinda girl.. now I only buy responsibly “raised” meat!**

  1. Season Strip Steak with your favorite seasonings and place on medium high cast iron skillet
  2. I like my steaks medium so I cooked them for 5-6 minutes each side. Place on outside of skillet to keep warm
  3. Add broccoli and pour a couple tbsp’s of water in the center and cover for 3 minutes
  4. Remove lid and stir fry for 3 more minutes
  5. Remove steaks and broccoli and then roast red peppers for about 2 minutes each side. With so many vegetables, there’s no need for a starch. Add Bragg’s Amino to season.

**By buying organic AND grass fed, you’re supporting farmers who choose to raise their animals humanely, but it all comes down to: “you are what you eat.” Think about it, if a cow eats grains, and then you eat that cow, you’re ingesting the grains it ate, along with the toxins and hormones that the animal had pumped into them.

You may be opposed to spending the extra $2 on a humanely raised package of bacon than what you could get at Wal-Mart, but you can afford this small change and it’ll do additional wonders for your body… more than what dieting and exercising alone can do. Whole Foods, Sprouts, and your local Co-Op are all great grocery stores that offer a wide variety of these options.**

And that’s it! Congratulations on a week of meal planning & prep! As always, I’m here to help. Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message if you have any questions!


My specific product recommendations mentioned in this article (if interested, click on the links to find out more):

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6 Reasons to Cross Train

If your results have hit a brick wall even though you’ve been following your fitness routine faithfully, maybe it’s time to try cross training. What’s that, you say? It’s when you change your regular workout and add in other types of exercise.

6 Reasons to Cross Train

Here are 6 of the best reasons to cross train:

1. Prevent injury.

Doing the same workout over and over again stresses joints, muscles, and ligaments without giving them full recovery. Overuse is one of the primary reasons for injury. Working the same muscles in a different way, or completely different muscle groups, can give your muscles the rest they need to help prevent problems that keep you from training!

2. Balance your muscles.

By working different muscle groups, you will maintain muscular symmetry. If you’ve been doing mostly squats and lunges, focusing on your lower body, your upper body may lack the definition that your legs and buns have. Add in an upper-body workout, one that includes resistance training to help you achieve total-body balance. Plus, you’ll get the extra benefit of looking toned all over!

3. Gain strength.

With cross training you can increase the overall strength of your muscles. For example, if you run, or do mostly cardio-based workouts, add a sculpting routine. Resistance training dumbbells or bands) can translate into faster running times, and better endurance, not to mention a speedier metabolism.

4. Prevent boredom.

Doing the same old thing gets old. Spice up your workout by trying something—or someone—new! If you’ve been following a particular trainer’s programs, try someone else’s. Each trainer has a different style and will challenge—and even entertain you—in different ways. If you’ve done ’em all, maybe you just need to get outside for a bit. Consider a sport that’s always interested you.

5. Keep making progress with your muscles.

Progress with a training routine plateaus somewhere between 4 and 12 weeks. By changing your workout, you make more consistent progress!

6. Rest tired muscles.

OK, so you don’t want to give up your workouts, but you feel like your performance is going downhill? Maybe you just need to rest the groups of muscles you’ve been working relentlessly for months on end. Give em’ a break by doing something different. Go for a hike, a bike ride, or a swim.

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Creamy Zucchini Soup

So, eating healthy means giving up the rich, creamy, and flavor-filled soups, right?? Not with this recipe! You get the creamy deliciousness of a hearty soup but with no guilt! Plus, the pistachios and chickpeas give it incredible substance so you are actually FULL after eating it!

Creamy Zucchini Soup Healthy Recipe

Creamy Zucchini Soup

1 cup chickpeas
1 medium onion
1 handful parsley
2 zucchinis
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup pistachios
2 cups plain greek yogurt
3 cups hot water

Chop and puree the zucchinis, chickpeas, & pistachios. I only chopped the onions, but you can puree them, too. Add the rest of the ingredients and warm on stove top or in crockpot. This makes about 6 servings to enjoy with the family this week!

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Why Should I Squat?

Earning the title “King of All Exercises,” the squat is a staple for everyone. No other move works more muscles below your waist, and no other move will help you look sexier in a pair of jeans. 😉

Why Should I Squat - Benefits of Squatting

Okay, But Why Should I Squat?

Here’s a breakdown of the 5 biggest benefits of proper squatting:

1) Gain strength & build muscle

We all know squats are a killer leg exercise – working more muscles below your waist than any other exercise (quads, hamstrings, adductors, glues, and calves included). But squats are more than just a leg exercise; your abs and lower back muscles stabilize your torso and your arms support themselves or weights. Surprise! Squats work your whole body from head to toe.

2) Burn fat!

The more energy you burn, the more fat you burn. Squats burn more energy than any other exercise by working more muscles than any other exercise. As an added benefit, the more muscles you gain, the more energy (and fat) your body uses doing everyday things or even while resting.

3) Strengthen bones & joints

Studies show squats can improve bone density – making bones stronger and less likely to break. Squats also strengthen the muscles, tendons, and connective tissues around your knees, hip, and ankle joints – protecting them against injuries. The key is to squat with proper form so you strengthen your joints instead of stressing them.

4) Increase flexibility

It’s a common misbelief that squatting will make you bulky and stiff. When in reality, many people discover how inflexible they truly are while trying squats for the first time. Squats can’t make you inflexible because you must be flexible to squat! Practicing each week, pushing deeper into the exercise, and  moving your legs through a full range of motion will quickly improve your flexibility!

5) Improve functionality

Squats are one of the most foundational functional movements in our lives. Anything from getting out of a chair to squatting down to pick something off the floor requires squat strength. We’ve been squatting since we were babies; as we get older and sit in unnatural positions all day, our squat form goes from perfect to us not having a clue.

Squat 101 Series

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3rd Annual Bikini Bootcamp Challenge

Bikini Body Bootcamp (250x250).png

3rd Annual Bikini Bootcamp Challenge

Give me 6 weeks to coach you, and we will get you feeling AMAZING about the upcoming bathing suit season and spring break!!! I have a Punta Cana vacation coming up, too, so I’m going to be right there with you… hittin’ every rep and clean meal alongside you. Failure is not an option.

I tried out the full plan and used myself as the test subject for the workouts and the meal plans, and I really think you’re going to LOVE it!!!

Even if you’re on spring break during part of it, no worries! We got you covered with:

  • Tips for eating healthy while traveling
  • Workouts you can do while traveling‍
  • Tips for revving up your metabolism
  • Tons of support & motivation!!
  • Plus, everyone will be replacing one meal a day with Shakeology
  • And prizes at the end!!

Applications Closed

How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym in 3 Easy Steps

One of the biggest benefits of working out at home is it allows you to ditch your membership and, with it, its monthly fees, gross showers, and the time it takes to travel there. That said, shoving your coffee table off to the side and dealing with your teenager because your plyometric workout caused her to miss her favorite TV show can get a little old quickly. By creating a personal workout space in your house, you not only sidestep these issues, but you’ll be more motivated to do your daily workout. And that consistency—in both your diet and your fitness—will get you the results that you desire.

This guide will walk you through how to build a home gym to fit your needs. Of course, you don’t need all this gear for every workout you do, but with a fully stocked gym, you’ll be ready to push play with any workout that catches your fancy.

How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Pick a room.

Ideally, you should set up your workout space in an area of your home that isn’t high-traffic. This eliminates excuses. For instance, if you set up your home gym in the den, your workout time may conflict with when others want to watch TV—a battle you’re likely to lose. While you can try to encourage them to join you, make it easier on everyone by finding a space where you can do your workout when it’s most convenient for you. That said, we understand that’s not always possible, so you may need to schedule your workouts when you’re least likely to be interrupted.

Here’s what to look for when selecting your workout room:

  1. Do you have enough space to move around? If you’re doing video workout programs, you won’t be using a treadmill or stationary bike. You’ll be moving around. Ideally, your workout area should be 15′ by 15′ so you can leap, jump, and lunge without running into the furniture. Most workout videos usually follow a “two steps in either direction” rule.. However, since those “steps” are often more like “leaps,” more room to move will likely net greater results and less bruises.
  2. How high are the ceilings? Are they high enough so you can jump without hitting your head? When doing jumping jacks or plyometric workouts, you want to get results, not a hole in your ceiling and/or a trip to the emergency room.
  3. How sturdy are the objects in the room? When you jump, are you likely to knock anything over? This includes lamps, fragile knickknacks, vases…let’s not go on. Planning ahead will not only save your stuff but help your workout because you won’t be worried about what you might hit.
  4. Where can you put your equipment? Ideally, you want to pick somewhere where you can leave your equipment—weights, yoga mat, agility ladder, push-up bars, foam rollers, etc.—out so it’s easy to access. Alternatively, pick a room where you can store your equipment easily either against the wall or in a large trunk or chest.
  5. What’s underneath the room? If you live alone in a freestanding dwelling or you want to work out in the basement, don’t worry about this. Otherwise, be mindful of your downstairs neighbors or the others who live in your home and pick a room that isn’t located above their bedroom. Here’s a tip: if you let your downstairs neighbors know your intentions and work with them to set an ideal workout time, you’ll save yourself an angry call from your landlord.
  6. Is it well-ventilated? When you’re working out, you want to be able to stay hydrated. You can accomplish this partially by drinking water during your workout, but also by making sure your workout space is well-ventilated. Open the windows and get a big box fan to keep you cool while you’re sweating up a storm.

Step 2: Get good flooring.

Having the proper flooring in your workout space can make the difference between sore knees and a happy, healthy you. If you’re going to be jumping or doing exercises that may cause you to slip, put down a few locking mats with rug runners beneath them so that they don’t slide. The padding will make the surface softer to land on and you shouldn’t go flying. If you are looking for a little extra padding for a jumping-intensive program, consider a plyometric mat. It’s thicker and denser than a yoga mat and will help save your joints. If you plan to mostly be stretching and doing less-intense activities, you should be OK with just using a yoga mat for padding.

If you can, stay away from working out on top of plush carpet. Even if you lay a mat on top of it, the surface isn’t stable and you can sink…which might lead to a sprained ankle or tweaked wrist.

Step 3: Invest in the right equipment.

The equipment you need is entirely dependent on what kind of workout you’re doing. While it might be tempting to go absolutely gear crazy, you don’t need to break the bank to start a solid home gym. Begin with a few, necessary basics and build your collection as you go. In addition to the aforementioned flooring, here are a few vital pieces of equipment.

Inspiring tunes and images. To stay pumped through your entire workout, set up an iPod player in your workout space so you can listen to your favorite tunes. And, if you can transform one space in your home into a permanent home gym, consider hanging some inspiring photos—perhaps of the body you’re trying to achieve, places you want to travel to when you’re fit, or quotes that motivate you—on the walls.

Free weights or bands. When you’re working out, you’ll find that eating right and doing cardio workouts will help burn off the extra fat you’re carrying. But to create the muscle definition you desire, you’ll need strength training. Some strength training exercises—including push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches—use just your body weight, and those will help tone your muscles. But to see serious results, you’ll need to use weights or bands for resistance. Especially if space is an issue, I recommend investing in a set of stackable resistance bands or a set of adjustable weights such as Bowflex SelectTech. Both are compact options and will allow you to increase the resistance as you get stronger. And if you’re traveling, bands are easy to throw in your bag so you can keep working out while on the road.

Pull-up/chin-up solutions. Want sexy biceps, shoulders, and back? Pull-ups and chin-ups will definitely help you get there. You can install a pull-up bar in any wall with the help of a stud finder, but if you’re looking for a less permanent solution, try a bar that can be easily mounted onto a door frame and removed when you’re not working out. The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar designed in such a way so you can do pull-ups, chin-ups, wide pull-ups, corn cobs, and can support up to 300 pounds.

Of course, you don’t need to limit your collection to just this gear. Here’s just a small sampling of other fitness accessories for you to grow into:

Push-Up Stands can take the pressure off your wrists, prevent you from sliding during your push-ups, and will help improve your form so you can get better results without hurting your joints.

Barbells are an alternative to dumbbells that work well for heavy weights and compound lifts.

Medicine Balls and Stability Balls. For strength and stability training, as well as aerobic work, there’s nothing like a good set of balls.

A workout bench. This one takes a lot of space, but it’s a great tool for getting the most out of a weight lifting program.

By investing in the right equipment, selecting the best room, and paying attention to the surface you’re working out on, you can create the ultimate workout space that makes working out a pleasure, not a chore!


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Note: This article contains affiliate links – which means I will receive a small percentage of any items purchased through my links- at no extra cost to you. I highly recommend & have researched all products linked – and do not take product recommendations lightly. I appreciate your using the links if an item suits your need! Fit By Whit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.