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Are You Making ‘Healthy’ Menu Choices?


Photo by ulmer.frank

If you’re trying to lose weight I’ll bet you are good all during the week until the weekend comes when friends or family want to go out and eat. At the restaurant you either lose all self-control and have a pig-out fest or you order what you believe to be the healthiest option on the menu.

Either way you could be throwing a wrench in your weight loss progress. Obviously if you have a pig-out of massive proportions you’ll derail all of your hard work from earlier in the week. Even the foods that seem to be “healthy” might be anything but.

Last week I ate at Applebee’s with my husband and mother-in-law (MIL). MIL ordered a trio platter, Trey ordered a rack of ribs and I ordered an under 550 calorie chicken entree. MIL thought some of her food, like the spinach dip, was “healthy,” while Trey thought he ordered the lowest calorie option that wasn’t on the low-calorie menu.

So when I got home I looked up the nutrition facts and was flabbergasted by what I found.


MIL had eaten around 1,600 calories (more than her daily needs) and Trey had consumed between 1,600 and 1,820 calories. While my choice was the lowest calorie, you wouldn’t believe the sodium count – somewhere north of 1,000 mg. Further investigation revealed that the highest calorie salads on the menu were between 900 and 1,310 calories in total. Shocking, right?

Interestingly, aside from the low-calorie menu, the kids plates had by far the lowest calorie options. Go figure. The portion sizes are smaller, after all.

Now I’m not trying to pick on Applebee’s. You’ll find the same shocking nutrition facts at any restaurant these days.

So, here’s the lesson for those of you trying to lose weight:

  1. When eating out, chose foods on the low-calorie, “guiltless” menu, or order kids plates.
  2. But most importantly, before you go to a restaurant, get online and look up their menu nutrition information. All of the chain restaurants have them now. You’ll have no excuse to order something that you’ll regret later.

Now go and make wise food choices this week. You’ll be glad you did.



Ways to Avoid Weight Gain on Vacation


For me and Trey, one of the perks of vacation is trying new foods.
(Photo taken by me.)


A couple of weekends ago Trey and I went to Austin, Texas. That week we had begun an intensive exercise regimen, and we were careful about what and how much we ate. But the weekend was another story entirely. It’s so easy to gain weight when you’re on vacation, because for many of us, much of the fun of traveling involves eating. Well, it’s no different for me – a personal trainer – and my husband who is on my heels in entering the fitness industry.

During the weekend in Austin, we ate cake on a stick, chocolate covered bacon (yes, that’s right) and the most awesome tacos and hot dogs from food carts. We drank cocktails at night and indulged in the hotel’s continental breakfast that included sugary, fluffy, yummy waffles. Over the course of a few days we had taken in a considerable amount of calories. So it was especially important to fit exercise into our schedule, most importantly on the days we traveled.

Here’s a pic of me at an Austin park and Trey enjoying a
Mexican soda with his Torchy’s taco.


a few ways to avoid weight gain during vacation:


If you are driving, go to a rest stop every few hours to walk around. Stretch, do walking lunges and push ups and tricep dips on the back bumper of your vehicle.

When dining, forgo eating the free rolls/ chips (if applicable) by asking the waiter to not bring any.

Share your dessert with others, or get only samples of dessert items.

Take advantage of your hotel gym, focusing on strength moves by using weights if at all possible.

Or workout in your room, using your own body weight. Keep it simple by doing sit-ups, plank/side plank, push-ups, lunges, squats and tricep dips. Do two to three sets of 12-20 reps of each move in front of a mirror to watch for proper form.

Then take your cardio outdoors to the hotel pool by swimming laps or playing active games. You could also do a walking tour of your vacation area.

Seek out nearby parks, and take a hike, jog or ride a rented bike.

Find physically active entertainment activities. Go dancing, climb a rock wall, rent a canoe or take a trapeze class.



Walking to Lose Weight



Hello, ladies! For those of you who want to slim down, walking to lose weight is a great option. You want to eat a clean diet, of course, and walk anywhere from three to seven days a week for 30 minutes up to an hour. (To learn what to eat for weight loss, check out any of the posts in the “Weight Loss” category.) If you walk seven days a week, take a leisurely stroll at least two of those days to avoid overdoing it.

Walking to Lose Weight: ADDENDUM!

I left one thing out of the video. Following your intervals, you want to wind your walk down with a five minute cool down stroll. This will help you take your heart rate down, keeping you from feeling woozy once you’re done.

Beginners: If you’re severely out of shape, walk for 10 minutes, working your way up to 20 and 30 minutes, and as you progress, begin to follow the advice in the video.



How to Look Thinner Instantly



I wish I had figured out how to look thinner with this one tip sooner. All you have to do is straighten your posture. But many of us hunch over slightly because we’re always sitting at desks and at our computers. Watch the video for a simple way to adjust your posture so you can look thinner without even trying.

Do the exercise with or without weights, and do it frequently (several days a week) to counteract the time you spend sitting at a desk. It does wonders.



Three Easy Steps to Weight Loss



Most people lack the time to workout much less prepare food. That’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to lose weight and/or exercise in the first place. But a few tweaks to your daily schedule will help you to reach your fitness and weight loss goals.

1. Pack healthy snacks. If you are going to work, shopping or just generally out and about, pack a healthy snack for those inevitable hunger pangs. This will keep you from getting junk food from the vending machine or eating fast foods. To keep your metabolism going strong, eat every two to four hours. That’s between four and five times a day. My routine goes like this: breakfast upon waking; small snack (handful nuts); lunch; snack (fruit); dinner. Good snack options are raw veggies, nuts, fruit (avoid high-sugar dried fruit) and string cheese.

2. Join a gym near to where you work. If it’s five or 10 minutes down the road, you’re more likely to go. I used to workout at a gym that was directly in front of my job. Seeing it was a daily reminder of my goals.

3. Get into a routine. If you don’t want to join a gym, consider scheduling workouts during the week your friend(s), boyfriend or husband. The more you do it, the more it will become part of your life, and believe it or not you’ll actually miss it when you skip a day. My routine until recently went like this: Come home and make dinner with husband. Wait about 45 minutes and take a walk together. Come back and do strength exercises. If you only have 20 minutes to workout, go for a five minute walk, do 10 minutes of strength workouts and do another five minute walk. Easy peasy but effective.

Change can be hard to make, but these three tips are easy ways to make a change that will help you to look and feel awesome in no time.



How Skinny People Eat



Image by Dootsiez.

I’m back, ladies. I had the best intentions to post for Self Love Friday Forum, but Friday was moving day. I thought Trey and I would finish in enough time for me to post, but that didn’t pan out. We worked for 12 hours that day, and for another couple when we arrived at our new digs. Finally, after three days of packing, hauling and cleaning we have finished.

Due to the move I didn’t exercise for two days straight, which is completely out of the ordinary. On top of that, I ate all the wrong things for days. And that leads me to the topic of this post.

Have you ever made up your mind to change your lifestyle and eat right, and then in a moment of weakness grabbed for your guilty pleasure food? After you ate it you felt defeated, like a failure, which only made things worse, and maybe you really stuffed your face then. You might have given up the idea of changing your eating habits altogether.


Well you can forgive yourself for all of those times when you meant to eat right and then “fell off the wagon.” The problem is likely not your willpower but probably has something to do with unrealistic expectations. It’s unreasonable to think that you can eat perfectly all of the time. Trying to eat perfectly will usually lead to binge eating.

Eating Clean

Instead of being super restrictive, aim to eat fresh, natural, unprocessed foods 85 to 95 percent of the time. If you want lasting change, this is the way to go. Eating this way, you can indulge in the foods you enjoy and never feel deprived.

I typically aim to eat “clean” foods 95 percent of the time. Meaning, I eat natural and unprocessed foods six days a week and dig into an indulgence once a week. As this week has shown I can’t always do this. But when I eat badly I’m always ready to resume my healthy habits.

Go easy on yourself, and get back to healthy eating.



The One Thing You Must Do for Weight Loss Results



HELLO DOLLS! I have a free gift and a surprise for you. I’m writing an amazing e-book — “Beach Babe: Cultivating Your Inner Bad-Ass, Getting Hot & Fit, & Losing Weight.” It includes tips on harnessing your inner strength, developing a bad-ass, healthy persona and loving yourself and your body. It also contains diet and weight loss info, as well as a couple of fat-blasting workouts for one helluva a beach body. To learn about your free gift, read on.


But first, let’s talk about the one thing you must do to see weight loss results. Let’s skip the obvious answer — working out — and talk about the not so obvious key to progress.

Metrics — simply tracking your efforts will make a HUGE difference in the physical changes you will make. The things to track are your measurements, what you do during your workouts and the days of the week you workout. Also, track what you eat daily by snapping a photo or writing it in a special food journal. In “Beach Babe,” I go into detail about how to measure yourself, how to track your workouts and fill out your forms for optimum results.


Seeing how much effort you put in on a weekly basis, and the payoff in inches lost, will bolster your determination to keep you going strong. That’s why I’m giving you the metrics forms I designed just for the “Beach Babe” e-book. When you sign up for my newsletter, “The Monthly Rag,” you’ll get the forms and a discount off the price on the soon-to-be-released e-book. Once you confirm your subscription to my newsletter, you’ll get an instant follow-up e-mail with a link to your free pdf’s. You can save them to your desktop or print them out and use them to help you along your way to an ultimate beach bod.

Happy tracking, beach babes!



How to Stress Less and Burn More Fat



It may not be a cure all, but this “chill pill” sure does help.



Bye Bye Belly



Find out one of the main reasons you are gaining weight. There is a super simple fix for this!



When Will I See Results From My Workouts?


Image by loop_oh


When people start exercising, one of the first things they want to know is how long they have to workout before they see results. I could start to lecture at this point about how exercise  is about health for life, but I’m not so naive as to think most gals don’t give a damn about that when they start. Hell no! They want to look hot in a swimsuit or on their wedding day. Who doesn’t?

With this “singular-goal” mindset, one of two things can result: a lifelong workout commitment or a failed enterprise. My guess is the latter prevails in a majority of cases. If everyone persevered, one third of the American population wouldn’t be overweight. The problem is that many people expect fast results for little effort, but it doesn’t work that way, honeys. You’ve got to sweat, and you’ve got to put in the time.


So the question remains: How long until I see results from my workouts?

The answer is not so easy to pinpoint, as everyone’s situation is different. Factors like present weight, level of fitness, workout intensity, modality, duration and frequency must all be taken into account. But, generally, a person can expect to see results within three months.

Personally, I saw results (eight inches lost) within the first six weeks of my fitness lifestyle. However, darlings, my progress might pale in comparison to yours or vice versa. So, if possible, don’t get hung up on a time frame. Just make health and progressing strength and stamina your goals, and you’ll eventually reap the payoff.

But if you are doggedly set on a goal-weight deadline, it’s in your best interest to hire a personal trainer (PT). A PT can design a program tailored for your current fitness and goals and keep you pushing and on track for that deadline. A PT can also give you general meal guidelines, or you might seek the advice of a nutritionist.

A word of caution …

Remember that once you do reach your goal weight or size, you have to keep working out. You can’t just stop putting the work in, eat whatever you want and stay in shape. So put the cookie down and drop and give me 20! It may take a while to see a change, but eventually, if you return to a life of sloth, you’ll gain weight and lose muscle tone. It’s a snowballing slope after that. Say bye-bye to your babe-a-rella beach body.

So, to recap, getting a hot body takes time and lots of effort. If you’re not willing to work hard, be patient and forever persistent, give up any dreams you have of being one fit BITCH. May the gods of hot swimsuit bodies be with you all.