Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress Breakdown

Thrive Stress 101

Bad Stress creates a physiological response in our bodies that makes us tired, irritable, fat, and weak. More than half of the stress we experience is bad stress. When you say that your stress is killing you, you are right. It is weakening your nervous system, organs, mind, and bones. It’s terrible, and we have to find ways to cope with daily stress accordingly.

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Many people choose to eat, drink, smoke, or exercise it away. You can guess which one of those methods is the healthiest.

We know about bad stress. We wish we didn’t, but we do.  If you’re like me and want to know all the science behind it click here: Scientific Slide Show. Let me know if you have any questions!

Good stress is the small amount of pressure that makes you get up off your ass in the morning and be productive. It is the mediocre amount of stress you put on yourself that makes you actually do something with your day. It is the tiny shot of cortisol that allows your body to wake up and start functioning.

A common type of good stress is the kind you put on your body during a workout. You end up stronger, faster, and thinner afterward. It’s a great type of stress! Another type is studying or learning. You are stressing your mind, but only for it to grow and become smarter.

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When I’m Stressed I tend to do one of two things: sleep or workout. I run until I can run no more. Or, I sit on the couch, lethargic, and waste away. Sometimes I combine the two. I try to run it out, physically and mentally. If you think about it, this makes the most sense: our bodies are in fight or flight mode. So the best tactic is to punch a bag or run! I admit, it’s a temporary fix. When I’m running, sprinting, or hiking up that 15.0 incline, I feel great. But when I put my coat on and drive home, I’m back in my head, stressing out about whatever the current life issue is.

So you may ask,”Did it really make you feel better?” Yes. It did. And it made my body feel better because it used up the cortisol and adrenaline that was being pumped out before I got to the gym. It’s worth it.

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Cravings can be your health’s worst enemy when stressed. I crave carbs like sourdough bread, cake, and sugar. Our bodies naturally crave carbohydrates when stressed because they boost our serotonin, which calms us down. The bad part is that our body is already full of released sugar because it’s in fight or flight mode. So we eat a cake donut, and add more sugar to our bloodstream. If we don’t use it up by exercising or playing, it turns into fat.

Healthy Foods help our bodies find homeostasis more quickly. They get us back to feeling energized, happy, and relaxed. They fight adrenal fatigue. (Your adrenals release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.) When we have exhausted our bodies, eating foods that de-stress us is vital. The Thrive program has these three great videos and handouts to make it easy to deal with stress in a healthy way.

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My favorite healthy de-stressing snacks are VegaOne Smoothies, Chia Seed Pudding, and apples or bananas and almond butter. They all tastes like dessert, but they’re healthy. Yay for healthy carbs!

How do you deal with stress? What are your negative and positive reactions to it? What do you crave when your stressed? 

VitaminShoppe Gift Card Giveaway! 2 Winners!

I’ve got good news! I’m officially partnering up with:

Vitamin Shoppe! 

VitaminShoppe is an amazing company in USA and Canada that helps people achieve their ultimate needs for health and wellness. With over 500 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, they can fulfill anyone’s possible demand. I started shopping at VitaminShoppe when I needed extra greens in my diet. Hello Wheat Grass! Have you ever been to one? What’d you go in for? 

 Since we are now officially connected, I will be hosting product reviews, giveaways, and posts regarding their holistic, sports nutrition, and organic products. I’m plant-based so I won’t host any animal products, so keep a lookout for ultimately healthy products! I will provide you with full-fledge honest opinions and results of whatever I encounter. So get ready for some fun reviews. I won’t let you down! I’m not getting paid per post, but am happy to try out products, give reviews, and promote a great company. Experience and knowledge are key in any industry, so I thank VitaminShoppe for giving me this opportunity to promote and educate the masses on health and health products. Cheers!

The Giveaway

The Prizes: Two $25 Gift Cards



How To Enter:

  1. Like My Facebook Business Page
  2. Follow Me On Twitter
  3. Follow VitaminShoppe on Twitter
  4. Follow this Blog
  5. Comment below telling me one way how you are bettering yourself through mind, body, or soul.
  6. Be sure to include in your comment that you did the first 4 steps! I will be checking each one!
  7. Enter with a super easy form by clicking here! 



Perk Up: Chest + Back Routine

Don't be Intimidated By These Machines.
Don’t be Intimidated By These Machines

Smith Bench

  1. Chest Press, Flat
    1. Reps 8, Sets 5 
  2. Chest Press, Incline
    1. Reps 8, Sets 5 

Move bench to front of system. Grab 20lb weight, or heavy as you can curl.
Remove weights. Place smith bar as low as you can do push-ups. For Pull-ups, place bar about belly button height. Get underneath bar. Do a reverse plank, holding abs up tight, and pull yourself up.

Perform all exercises back to back, quickly as possible.

  • Sets: 5
  • Push-ups, Wide
    • 12
  • Pull-ups, Wide
    • 12 
  • One-Arm DB Chest Press
    • 8, ES
  • Goblet Squats
    • 12
  • Bench or Bar Triceps Dips
    • 8

Cable Machine

  • Sets 3
  • Squat + Neutral Grip Row
    • 12
  • Lat Pull Down
    • 12 
  • Triceps Pull Down
    • 12 
  • Sets 5
  • Lunge + Row, right
  • Lunge + Row, left
  • Lat Pull Down, + 5lbs
    • 8
  • Triceps Pull Down
  • Oblique Turns+HoldReps
    • 8 Each side, Hold last one straight out as long as possible

Fat Burning Finishers*

  • 1-2 Miles, sprints + jogs
  • Dead lift + Belly Button Row
    • 8 reps, 2 sets
  • Barbell Cleans 
  • Reverse Crunch + Hold (Standing Ab/Dips Tower)
  • Straight Leg Hold

*These are high intensity exercises to burn through that last bit of energy you have at the end of a planned workout. You have already emptied your glycogen (sugar) stores, and so these last bit of exercises are using pure fat for energy. They are important if you are looking to get cut, ripped, or lose that extra 5 lbs. And if you have more than 5lbs to lose, you sure will get that fat burning faster and more efficiently with these finishers. FINISH STRONG!  

Kettle Bell Cardio

I love getting new fitness toys. My most recent addition to my gym bag has been a 25lb Bob Harper Countoured Kettle Bell. I love it! It’s so much fun to use, gives an amazing strength-cardio workout, and can be shared with my boyfriend (who is like 10x stronger and still gets a good workout with this thing!).


I’ve been scouring the net for fun moves, watching the Bob Harper DVD that came with it, and doing my own combinations to get use out of this gorgeous piece of equipment. I’ve designed a simple workout for you that will blast calories, build muscle, and make you smile.

Here you go!

Warm Up
2 Minutes Dynamic Stretches:
Knee Pulls, Arm Circles Both Ways, Huggers, Reachers, Twists, Kicks. (Do your faves to warm your muscles.)

Work Out

20 Kettle Bell Swings
12 High Pulls
12 Decline Push-ups
12 Triceps Dips 

5 Halos Left
5 Halos Right 

20 Kettle Bell Swings 
15 Squat + High Pulls
10 Decline Push-Ups 
15 Front Squats (holding KB) 

Dead lifts
8 High Pulls 
8 Dead lift–>High Pulls

10 Oblique Reach Left Hand 
10 Oblique Reach Right Hand
10 Sumo Squats–>Calf Raise

Plank until you Fall
Side Plank until Failure, left
Side Plank until Failure, right

10 KettleBell Swings


Note: This workout took me 20 minutes to complete. If you still have energy, do a second round! 

Thrive Forward With Fitness: Total Body Workout


Free Workouts

At Home or At The Gym

Do you want to work out but don’t have a clue where to start? So many people want to be healthy but don’t know how. Here is a free hint.  I’ve made up a home workout session and gym session, to fit all levels and needs. If this is too boring, contact me and I’ll make up a personalized workout for you. What do you love to do? Try this beginners workout and let me know how it goes! It will challenge your balance, make your mind work, and keep you laughing as you crank out that sweat. Have fun!

Home (30 minutes)

Equipment: Jump Rope (optional)

Warm Up

1 Min Straight Kick + Reach w/Opposite Hand
3 Min Jump Rope or Jumping Jacks
1 Min Mountain Climbers

3 min Squats
3 min One-Leg Triceps-Dips
30 Sec One-Leg Jump Rope or Cross Jacks
Stacked-Feet Pushups

30 Sec Rest

12 Front Lunges, holding a weight on one side.
Do 6 on right leg, 6 on left leg.
1 Min Jump Rope or Cross Jacks
2 Min Cross Body Punches
Repeat 2x. 

x.X.x Bonus Round x.X.x

45 secs Disc Mountain Climbers, Wide
45 secs Disc In n Out’s
1 Minute 1-Leg Jump Rope
10 One-Leg Pushups
2 Minute Squat Jumps
30 Sec High Plank 2 Low Plank
Wall Sit until failure

Gym (30-45 minutes)

Equipment: Treadmill or Elliptical, Free Weights, Bench

Warm Up
2 Minutes: Jog: 4.0 speed, 3.0^ <–That symbol means incline!
5 Minutes: Jog Faster: 5.5 Speed, 5.0 ^
2 Minutes: Sprint as fast as possible, 5.5^
1 Minute: Walk, 8.0 Incline

If the treadmill is too hard or you are too heavy, do the same workout on the elliptical. Keep your hands OFF the treadmill, and ON the elliptical hand pulls!

12 Reps One-Leg Hammer Curl to Press
30 Sec Bench Triceps-Dips
12 Reps One-Leg Hammer Curl to Press

30 Sec Bench Triceps-Dips

8 Reps One-Side One-Leg Lateral Raise
30 Seconds Sumo Squats

8 Reps One-Side One-Leg Lateral Raise
30 Seconds Sumo Squats 

12 Reps One-Leg Upright Row
30 Sec Bench Push-ups, Wide Grip 

12 Reps One-Leg Upright Row

30 Sec Bench Push-ups 

x.X.x Bonus x.X.x
Hop Back on the Treadmill or Elliptical!
5 Minutes Jog
2 Minutes Run
5 Minutes Jog Uphill (5-8 incline)
2 Minutes Walk Uphill (8.0^)

When you’re doing one-side or one-leg, make sure you switch the next time you have to do it! Don’t only work one side of your body. X.x

If you have any questions about form or how to do something, feel free to comment or email me. You can always youtube a move, but there are thousands of variations of things, so I highly suggest just asking!

How often do you workout? At Home or At the Gym?

Why People Hire A Personal Trainer

Most people hire a personal trainer for weight loss. Of course I have special cases where some are looking to improve their athletic performance or train for a marathon, but most people (including those) want to lose weight.

The one thing I can’t control as a personal trainer is what my client eats. And what grinds my gears the most is this very concept. The number one myth about personal training and getting your butt kicked 3+ times per week is that you can eat what ever you want and not worry, because you worked it off with your trainer. WRONG.

Here is the secret to being healthy. It’s not a 6 minute shake weight video. It’s not a HCG pill. And it’s not even a cleanse. Spoiler Alert…

It’s DIET AND EXERCISE. You see that “and” there. You can’t have one without the other. If you want to be thin, fit, healthy, you need to combine a healthy diet with daily exercise.

A high 90% of weight loss is due to changing your diet. And when I say diet, I don’t mean a 14-day salad meal plan. I mean the diet you eat every day for the rest of your life. You must change this to lose weight. And you can’t ever “go back to normal” because your “normal” got you where you are now – fat and probably sick.

Being overweight is connected to a plethora of diseases, including the number one killer: Coronary Heart Disease. By sticking to the Standard American Diet (SAD) you are killing yourself by every morsel you put into your mouth. So stop it!

When you eat food you have two choices: to shorten your life or to extend your life. With my help, you can extend your life, lower (or obliterate) your risk of disease and illness, and feel amazing. You will gain energy, clear your cloudy thoughts, and heal faster. You will get sick less often, diminish headaches, and pretty much everything else that is bugging you. Constipation, indigestion, heart burn, frequent colds –  all of that can be cured by changing your diet.

Now I could be like one of those stupid commercials or video pop-ups you see everywhere on the internet that goes on and on about how they have the secret to help you lose weight but you have to buy their product first to see how.

Stop watching those videos, and listen right now. It is simple to lose weight. It is simple to get healthy. All you have to do is use your common sense. Eat food that your great grandmother would recognize as food.

No more genetically modified crap. No more factory-processed nonsense. Grow a garden to see where REAL food comes from. And start eating it.

Stop filling your body with pesticides, poisons, and medications that are only truly making you sicker. You think that high cholesterol med is helping you? Nope. It’s just putting a band-aid on something that is never going to heal unless you change today.

No more gimmicks. No more games. No more pills. Contact me today to change your life for the better. Stop dieting. Stop “trying everything out there” and not having it work. Stop it! And start email me.Right.Now. Check out my nutrition page and look at my services. Decide to become healthy today.

Do it for yourself. (You deserve it!)  Do it for your family. Be a role model for your kids (or future kids). And let Me help You.

Best Health,



Before Workout Fuel

Your body’s muscle glycogen stores are limited. Depending on intensity and length of your workout session, not feeding it carbs before hand can make you end up hitting a wall. Giving your body proper simple carbs before a workout will allow you to push harder and longer.

I normally suggest against simple carbs because they are instantly absorbed and used by your body, like white sugar, white rice, white flour, and so on. In this case, I am suggesting a healthy-instant fuel so you will get a little nutrition along with your simple carbs.

Of course you could just pop a handful of jelly beans, but lets see what else you can have before a workout.

20-30 Minutes Before

  • Bananas or Other Fruit– Includes some healthy fiber and nutrients
  • Low-Fat Yogurt – Provides a little protein to preserve muscle mass, as well as carbs to fuel you through the wall you won’t hit! Hint: Full fat yogurt does not do the same thing. The fat will slow you down and make you feel too full to workout. 
  • Low-salt pretzels – Instant fuel. Hint: High salt will hinder your workout performance so choose low-sodium! 
  • Small Smoothie 4-8oz – A shake made with soy milk and and a handful of frozen fruit will provide you a low-fat, simple carb fuel that will digest quickly and easily.
  • Half PB&J on Whole Grain– Yes, on whole grain. The complex carbs will digest through out your workout, and the jam will be the instant fuel. Use a low fat PB like PB2 powder+Water to avoid feeling too full.
  • Strawberry Yum Yum- 1 Scoop Low Cal Vanilla Protein Powder, 6 oz low-fat yogurt, 3 strawberries

2-3 Hours Before (to allow proper digestion)

  • 1 cup Pasta – Love pasta but trying to lose weight? Eat one cup of your favorite low-fat variety (no cheese/white sauce) before a scheduled exercise session.  Choose a healthy pasta made from quinoa or brown rice. Avoid high-fiber pastas because they may cause indigestion and not make you want to workout!
  • Pita + Hummus – Use 1 whole grain pita and 1/4 C non-spicy hummus. Spicy foods will cause indigestion! (Not that I know this from experience of anything…)
  • 1 Slice Whole Grain Veggie Pizza (no cheese)- Does this really need an explanation?
  • Whole Grain Sandwich + Low-Fat Protein (low sodium, no cheese, no mayo) 
  • Quinoa Pilaf – Protein, Whole Carbs, and Veggies
  • Protein Pancakes – Protein powder in pancakes? Double delish.
  • Whole Grain Waffle + Low-Fat topping 
  • Whole Grain Toast + 1 Egg White 
  • Oatmeal + Raisins/Fruit

Go Eat! 

Now that you understand what you need to fuel you through a workout, you have no excuse to not hit the gym hard today! Have fun!

Best Health,


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