Thursday, August 26, 2010


 Hello lovely people! I've been thinking a lot about what my subject for this new blog post should be about and it's had me kinda' perplexed... should I focus on exercise? Nutrition? Should I do my first exercise dvd review? Usually I'll be talking to a friend, a subject will come up in conversation and I'll suddenly have an "Aha!" moment - I know that's what I should write about. But nothing like that happened this week. While exercise and nutrition posts are well and good (and don't worry, I'll definitely continue doing them), one thing that I always want this blog to be is a source of encouragement and motivation! I told you in my very first post that my mission is for us all to "Succeed in fitness together!" Total fitness is mind, body and spirit, and to really succeed you've got to work on yourself from the inside out. Who cares if you have a great body if you're a jerk? And are you really going to be happy at a size 4 if you're self esteem is low? I don't think so! Some of the most beautiful fit people in the world are the unhappiest so obviously looks aren't all it's about. Which brings me to the subject of this blog post, something that I had to tell myself some time ago as I began this weight loss journey and something that all people, whether struggling with their weight or not, need to hear: STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! NOBODY'S PERFECT.

What's "Perfect"?
airbrushed before and after
Let's start with the word "perfect", what does perfect really mean anyway? Your idea and my idea of perfection can be drastically different. Perfection, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, while most of the world loves the look of ripped 6 pack abs, I'm not the biggest fan of them on women, and if taken too far, on men as well. While I admire the dedication it takes to get 'em, they've never been something that I longed to have, a nice flat stomach will do me fine, no 6 pack needed. However, a lot of people think having a 6 pack is the look of total perfection on a stomach. You see what I mean? So question: who's right and who's wrong? The answer would be: NO ONE! It's all a matter of personal preference. Never look to other people or the world as a guide to "perfection". TV, magazines, posters, music videos are all horrible examples to look at when searching for a good body image to aspire towards, for one reason if no other: IT'S ALL FAKE! Those actors/actresses and models don't really look like that! There are some people who are naturally "beautiful" and "perfect" but you can bet that most are being made over with tons of makeup (on face and BODY - some of those "rips" you see on their stomachs are dark body makeup), airbrushed, fake chest, fake butt, fake lips... the list goes on and on! While I don't knock their hustle because it's all entertainment, please don't look at those images as a goal to reach. If you really want some images of realistic, achievable bodies, try a fitness magazine like Fitness: Mind, Body & Spirit or Women's Health (2 of my personal favs), not music videos or Sports Illustrated. They're all catering to the world's opinion of what's "perfect" and you'll kill you're self mentally when you start to realize that might not be achievable for you. Which brings me to my second point...

People come in all shapes and sizes, learn to appreciate yours!
Be The Best You For YOU!
Everyone's body is different. Some women are naturally curvy and can easily achieve that Beyonce body with proper diet and exercise, but some women have a more boyish figure and will never have that hourglass shape. You've got to accept you for you and just be the best you that you can be.  Stop comparing yourself to other people! I did this for years and all it did was hold me back from my full potential. I never thought I was good enough simply because I didn't look like the other girl who was thin, or once I did lose weight, the other girl who was thinner than me. You can't change genetics and at the end of the day, I don't care how much you work out or what you do, some things will never change. Now don't get me wrong, if it's reasonably achievable and you want to go for it, give it your best shot! With a great diet and an awesome workout routine big things are possible! I'm living proof! But understand that your body is only going to be the best that it can individually be. Be proud of what you got and even what you don't got! LOL! Being comfortable in the skin you're in is the most attractive trait that a person can have, I don't care if you're a size 0 or a size 20, there's something about inner confidence that makes everyone sit up and take notice.

So in conclusion, I just want to urge everyone reading this to give up seeking "perfection" and just concentrate on accepting and loving themselves for who and what they are. Sounds corny and easy enough to do, but for some of us it can be the hardest thing. If you're trying to lose weight, working hard at it through diet and exercise, YOU WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL! Whether it's tomorrow or a year from now, if you keep at and never give up, it's gonna' happen, that's a given! In the meanwhile, learn to love yourself no matter what the size, realizing that YOU'RE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My "Gotta' Have It" Food Staples

Hello all! Since I've now filled you guys in on some of my favorite exercise programs, I thought the next logical thing to do would be to let you know what some of my favorite healthy foods are, my food staples, healthy foods that I eat on a regular basis and would never want to live without. Let me start out by saying that I AM NO NUTRITIONIST. I don't claim to know everything about healthy eating and I would never want you to start eating the foods I suggest based on some knowledge that I have portrayed myself as having. I only know what works for me. Also, another fact to consider is I am no longer trying to lose weight, as of now I am maintaining so even though I would classify the foods I will mention as "healthy", if you are still on your journey of weight loss, you'll want to stick to the healthy eating plan that hopefully you're already on and make your own judgments on whether you'd like to add these foods to your diet. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with any of these foods, but everyone's body is different (a diet plan that works for you, may not work for me and vice versa) so please, choose wisely.

I'm a big believer of food not only being a source of fuel for your body but for enjoyment as well. I don't think just because something is healthy it has to taste bad. As you start on your weight loss journey, you may start eating fruits, vegetables and other new healthy foods that you aren't used to eating and for awhile they may not taste as good to you as the unhealthy foods you're used to eating, but eventually your tastes buds change and you realize that it's not that those healthy foods taste bad, they just were so different from what you were used to eating before that you couldn't really appreciate them. All the foods I'm going to list are not only good for you but taste great as well! So I think that even if you are just beginning to switch over to a healthier diet, you'll have no problems. So let's get to it!

My "Gotta' Have It" Food Staples:

Quaker Oatmeal To Go Breakfast Bars
A favorite breakfast item that I eat almost every morning are Quaker Oatmeal To Go Breakfast Bars. At 220 calories, they are a great source of fiber and equal 20% of your daily vitamins A and B6, as well as calcium and iron. And on top of all of that, they taste great, too!  There are several different flavors available and I've tried almost all of them, but my favorite would have to be the Apples with Cinnamon. And here's a tip, while they don't require any cooking at all, try putting the package in the microwave for around 10 or 15 seconds, they'll be warm and gooey and make a wonderfully warm breakfast treat!

Special K Original Cereal
My favorite cereal is an oldie but a goodie and that's Special K Original Cereal. No sugar or artificial sweetener needed, it's good all by itself. This is the one cereal that I always make sure I have in my cabinet. It's healthy and tasty and that's always a plus! I will give you a word of advice though, eating a healthy cereal is only beneficial when you follow the recommended serving size which is one cup. That's a mistake that most people always make and I was guilty of this for years. You think since you're only eating cereal, and especially if it's a healthy cereal, that you're free to have a huge bowl full, but those calories add up when you exceed the recommended serving amount. More cereal equals more milk which means even more calories! You've officially defeated the whole purpose! So keep that in mind.

Better' N Eggs
I'm not a huge egg eater but when I do eat eggs, I eat an egg substitute, and after trying a few, my preference is the Better' N Eggs brand. Better' N Eggs can be used anytime - for omelets, scrambled eggs, quiches, protein smoothies or any recipe that calls for eggs. I know some people prefer natural eggs but Better' N Eggs actually are natural, they are made from real eggs but are fat-free and cholesterol-free. Why an egg substitute? Egg yolks are high in fat, calories and cholesterol. Better' N Eggs is 98% real liquid egg whites with added nutrients. In addition to being fat-free, cholesterol-free and low calorie, Better' N Eggs is also high in vitamins A, B-12, D and E plus essential nutrients such as folic acid and riboflavin. They truly are better than eggs! You should give 'em a try!

Bumble Bee Chicken Salad w/ Crackers
Lunch time!!! So what are you gonna' eat? My favorite lunch meal that I eat almost everyday is Bumble Bee Chicken Salad w/ Crackers. I truly eat this almost every single day! I'll admit, they can be a little hard to find, but you can always buy them online which I think I'm actually going to start doing because I love it so much. I was a little skeptical at first because a lot of pre-made chicken salads do not taste good, but this one is really tasty! If you read my very first blog post you know that I used to be on NutriSystem and that's the diet I used to lose a majority of my weight. Well this meal is actually a NutriSystem equivalent! How cool is that?!? There's a site that I go on from time to time called "Recipe Xchange" that lists NutriSystem comparison meals as a way of doing NutriSystem on your own and this Bumble Bee Chicken Salad meal kit is listed there as a substitute for NS' chicken salad lunch meal. So whenever I eat this I know if I go wrong with any other meal of the day, at least I've had one meal that was on target! Gotta' love that!

Healthy Ones Lunch Meat
When I don't have my Bumble Bee Chicken Salad for lunch, I usually just make a sandwich and the lunch meat I choose is Healthy Ones. There are a number of different meats to choose from: lean ham, lean turkey breast, lean chicken breast and roast beef. No matter which one you choose, they are all 97% fat free. No by-products, no artificial flavors and no artificial sweeteners. The slices are pretty thin, but 4 slices equal one serving which is still only 60 calories, so I always feel pretty full.

Healthy Life Bread
So what about bread? With all the concern about carbs, do you eat bread? If so, which one? And how do you know if it's healthy or not? Well I do definitely eat bread and I have been fortunate enough to find a bread that is only 40 calories per slice, 7 Net Carbs, 98% fat free, no trans fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, a good source of fiber, sugar free, no high fructose corn syrup, and 21 grams of whole grain per serving. So what is the name of his miracle bread? Healthy Life Bread. There are several different kinds to choose from, Whole Wheat, Whole Wheat Whole Grain, Rye Bread, White Bread, Italian Bread and more. No matter what flavor you choose, it's all healthy! They also have a line of hamburger and hot dog buns which I eat as well. Healthy Life Bread can be found at most grocery stores but primarily only in the MidWest (unfortunately for you West, East and South coasters) but I'm pretty sure if you're really interested you probably could buy somewhere online.

Kraft Oven Fry
One thing that is constant in my diet is chicken. I LOVE CHICKEN! I literally could eat chicken morning, noon, and night. There are so many ways to eat it! You can bake it, broil it, boil it, fry it, roast it, and even bar-b-que it! But since I turned over a new leaf and have joined the healthy way of living, I no longer have frying as an option. But I have found a way to get the taste of fried chicken without the grease and the need for a frying pan and that's with Kraft Oven Fry! I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!! So much that it makes me want to stock up just in case they ever stop making it! It's basically like Shake and Bake but tastes a whole lot better! It truly is like eating fried chicken! One tip that I have for you  is to still season your meat with whatever seasonings you usually put on your chicken, then follow the steps on the back of the box, which are to coat with egg, and then coat with Kraft Oven Fry mix, put in pan and bake. It's that simple! If you like chicken, particularly fried chicken, you've got to give this a try! This makes not frying chicken ever again totally possible, giving you a new, healthier alternative! You can find it at any grocery store and lots of places online.

Morningstar Farms Veggie Burgers
I'm no vegetarian but there are lots of benefits to eating vegetarian food or just simply cutting out some of the meat in your diet. One way that I do that is by eating Morningstar Farms Veggie Burgers. Now I could lie and say that they taste like real burgers but I would be lying. They don't taste like the real thing, but they do taste really good and come pretty close. Especially once you top it with lettuce, tomato, and condiments of your choice. You can even add cheese for added protein! I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about veggie burgers but I've tried several different brands and these are the best. (A close second would be BOCA burgers, if Morningstar Farms doesn't work for you, you might want to check BOCA out - it's all a matter of personal taste.)

Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch
As you can probably tell by now, I try to live in a low fat/fat free world. So it should come as no surprise that I choose to eat fat free salad dressing. My favorite salad dressing of all time is Ranch and the best fat free Ranch dressing that I've found (and I've tried many!) is Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch. I use it for salads, as a dip, and even as a condiment for sandwiches! If you're looking for a great tasting fat free Ranch dressing, look no more, this is it! 
"Sugar free" are also two words I always look for in a product. I try to eliminate as much sugar out of my diet as I can. (I haven't drank soda going on 4 years, I try not to drink a lot of juice, and I don't even own a bag of sugar.) The best sugar substitute/artificial sweetener hands down is Splenda! It's the only one I use and I use it religiously! It's good anytime you need something to be a little sweeter, whether that be sliced fruit, cereal, milk, shakes, or smoothies. And how can you go wrong with 0 calories? That's my kind of product!
Sugar Free Drink Mix
While we're on the subject of sugar free, I mentioned above that I don't drink soda and try not to drink a lot of juice, so what does that leave? WATER! Water, water and more water! Water is great all by itself but you can only drink so much plain water before it gets old, and believe me, it gets old quick! So my answer to that would be sugar free drink mixes! I live on these! There's Crystal Light, of course, but there are also cheaper, just as good, alternatives, such as Target's Market Pantry Sugar Free Drink Mix, Wyler's Light Sugar Free Mix and Hawaiian Punch Sugar Free Mix (both of which can be found at grocery stores, Walgreen's, CVS', and dollar stores). No matter which brand you choose (I use all 4) there are lots of different flavors and I'm sure you'll find some that you like!

 Cool Whip Free
Another sugar free, healthy alternative is Cool Whip Free. I actually use this a lot, for smoothies, fruit, healthy sweet treats,... etc. Basically anytime you would want to use Cool Whip you can use Cool Whip Free instead. The taste is virtually the same.

A couple of healthy sweet treats that I put Cool Whip Free on are my Vitalicious VitaMuffins and VitaTops. If you've never heard of Vitalicious you have GOT to check them out! While I'm not a big fan of chocolate desserts or chocolate in general, I Iove Vitalicious' Deep Chocolate VitaTops! They're my favorite! The taste is so great, it's kind of shocking that they're healthy. Only 100 calories per serving, low-fat, contains 15 vitamins & minerals, soy and oat bran (hence the name "Vitalicious"), no artificial additives or preservatives, and high in fiber (5-6g per serving), leaving you feeling full because fiber-rich foods take longer to digest. They are plenty of flavors to choose from so go on over to and check 'em out! They are mostly an online company but you can find them at some local grocery and specialty stores.

Yoplait Light Yogurt
One snack/dessert that I constantly keep in my fridge is Yoplait Light Yogurt. Lots of flavors, great tasting, 99% fat free, only 100 calories. Another added benefit to yogurt (not just the Yoplait brand but yogurt in general) that a lot of people don't realize is that yogurt actually helps with bad breath! It's a proven fact that eating yogurt keeps your breath fresher. So keeping this as a staple has more benefits than originally thought!

Protein/Fiber Bars
Two snacks bars that I always make sure to stay stocked up on are South Beach Protein Bars and Fiber One Bars. My favorites are the South Beach Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bar and the Fiber One Oats & Chocolate Bar. Both brands have plenty of flavors to choose from and are great as a low cal snack. The South Beach Protein Bars are great for eating on days you work out - especially on those days when you are doing weight/strength training because adding more protein on those days helps the building of muscle. The Fiber One bars are full of fiber and are just great as a snack because you will feel full much longer because of the fiber.

Fruits and Vegetables
Last but not least are FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers. That's one thing I like about fruits and vegetables, YOU CAN NEVER EAT TOO MUCH! Some would argue that point, but in my opinion, fruits and vegetables are good calories and the amount of calories are fairly low, so pile up your plate! You have to watch it when you're eating fruits higher in sugar, such as bananas for example, but in general, you can't go wrong! Apples, Carrots, Broccoli, Bananas, Strawberries, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Salad, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Spinach... etc., there's so much to choose from! Try everything and find the fruits and vegetables that you like the most. There's always something new to try from season to season.

So that's it! The complete list of my "Gotta' Have It!" Food Staples. There are many more food suggestions that I will suggest in this blog but these are the ones that I wouldn't want to live without. Check 'em out and let me know what you think! See ya'!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Variety Is Key: A List Of Some Of My Favorite Exercise Programs

They say that variety is the spice of life and I would definitely have to agree, especially when it comes to your workouts! Being the self-professed exercise video queen that I am, I switch up my workouts often. And when I say often it's not unusual for me to do 3 or 4 different workout programs in a 5 or 6 day workout week. I truly believe that variety is the key to achieving the best results for your body.

So what are the benefits to varying your workout routine? People should consider varying their exercise routines for two fundamental reasons: (1) to prevent boredom associated with doing the same things, workout after workout and (2) to avoid or delay reaching a plateau.
I love exercising (once you really start exercising on a regular basis you realize that there are a number of benefits besides weight loss that can be achieved from it - energy, relaxation, and stress relief just to name a few), but if I didn't vary my exercise routines from time to time it would be kinda' hard for me to find the motivation for it. Let's face it, no matter how much you love a particular exercise after awhile it just can get boring. I think if anyone wants any chance of making exercise a part of their daily life you've gotta' switch it up from time to time, whether that be trying out a new workout dvd, a new piece of exercise equipment or a new group fitness class. Varying your exercise routine can also help you stay physically challenged. Most people's bodies adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks. If you don't modify your exercise routine, you may reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training and even though you are doing the same workout as when you first started, your body is now burning less calories. So for these two reasons alone I urge you, if you're not already, to put some variety in your exercise!

I try new workouts all the time. I love working my body in different ways which can equal new & different results! But I do have a few favs that I always try to incorporate in my routine and I get variety by mixing them up. So here are a list of some of my favorite exercise programs:

Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home

So let's start with the woman who started it all for me. It was with her help that I first began my love affair with exercise. She taught me that exercise doesn't have to be difficult to get great results and with her perky & bubbly personality exercise became a lot of fun, too! Something I actually looked forward to doing rather than dreading like I had with other exercise I tried. Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home program!

So What Is Walk At Home? 
Walk At Home is a system of walking based moves that allow you to choose a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or more miles of walking, and you don’t have to leave the area in front of your TV or computer! It’s convenient, because you can walk anytime of the day! Leslie's DVDs have been available since the 1980's and she is always coming out with new ones so there are a variety of workouts to choose from: Beginner gentle pace 1-2 mile workouts, Intermediate "power walk" 3-4 mile workouts or Advance 5 mile workouts that move you as fast as 6 miles per hour! In some workouts you can "walk" to speeds that are equivalent to a 10 minute mile! Now those workouts are some REAL calorie burners! I personally believe it's the best way to walk for weight loss because this is multi-muscle walking, not the type of walking that what you would do in a typical stroll around the block. You're moving the muscles in motion in many directions, the arms work the upper body, the core muscles fire to get the tummy area slim, and the legs move in new directions for maximum muscle activation!

It was with this program that I lost the majority of my weight and I highly recommend it! Especially if you're new to exercise! The Intermediate and Advanced workouts really can be challenging, though, so even if you're a long time, avid exerciser I think you will still be able to feel challenged. Check it out:


Now I love Leslie but after awhile, like I mentioned before, you get bored with doing the same thing over and over again, so eventually it was time for me to move on to something else and achieve some new results. I don't specifically remember how I heard of The FIRM (I think from an exercise forum I was reading at the time) but I went to their website, checked it out and decided to order the "TransFIRMation Kit", and I've been a FIRM believer ever since!

History of The FIRM
It all began in 1979 when The FIRM Studio opened in South Carolina. By combining cardio and weight training, The FIRM recognized that people could burn fat, build muscle and get the bodies they wanted safely, effectively and quickly. This revolutionary cardio-plus-body-sculpting fitness hybrid, called "Synergy Training" formed the basis for The FIRM method then and is still central to The FIRM philosophy today. When The FIRM decided to share their successful method with people who were unable to travel to the Studio, the at-home workout series was born.

The FIRM method is so effective for three reasons:

  • First, The FIRM workout varies in intensity level throughout. The peaks and valleys of effort are the basis of interval training.
  • Second, The FIRM uses a unique method of sequencing the exercises so that you alternate between upper and lower body moves. This gives you adequate energy to sculpt both for maximum effect and revs your heart rate for a higher calorie burn.
  • Third, The FIRM uses variable resistance so that you sculpt your muscles with just the right size weights. By incorporating weighted exercises you achieve greater body slimming and shaping benefits from just cardio alone. In fact, the combination of cardio and body sculpting burns 3 times the fat as cardio alone!

The FIRM guarantees visible results in 10 workouts and for me, The FIRM delivered! I lost 12 inches in the first 10 workouts!!! That's A LOT!!! Now I will admit, since you're using weights, you're building muscle which won't help with moving the scale in a negative direction, in fact you more than likely will see the scale go up 1 or 2 pounds, but don't worry, this is just temporary. After a couple of weeks on the program that scale will start moving in the right direction and you will not only have already seen inches lost but pounds as well! The FIRM actually started my love of pumping iron. Building muscle is essential to developing a well toned body and it should definitely be put into any workout routine! Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights does NOT make you big or bulky if you are a woman. Men have testosterone, a lot more than us women have, they're going to be the ones who build the bigger muscles, not us. For women, lifting weight is only going to make you smaller, tighter, and leaner and that's what The FIRM did for me! (Female body builders (as well as male body builders) only look the way they do because they are trying to achieve that look, it takes A LOT of hard work, A LOT of weight (pound wise) and A LOT of time! The average woman is never going to build muscle like that from lifting weights, so no worries there!)

As my love for The FIRM grew, I've bought more and more of their DVDs, old and new - and to be honest a lot of the older workouts from the '80s give you more of a challenge than the newer ones! I love it! Both old and new are available at their website. Check The FIRM out today!

TURBO Jam / Kick / Fire

Last but certainly not least are my Turbo workouts! Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick and Turbo Fire! When you try as many different workouts as I do, you're bound to eventually find your "soul mate workout" the workout program that you LOVE! In fact, you love it so much that it's not even considered "exercise" to you anymore, it's a hobby, a habit, your drug of choice - this is what my Turbo workouts have become for me! First let's talk about the Turbo program that I first started with and the woman who created it all: Turbo Jam and Chalene Johnson.

Turbo Jam

Turbo Jam is the workout that doesn't feel like work! Creator, Chalene Johnson packs each workout with calorie-blasting cardio, kickboxing, body-sculpting, and dance moves set to the hottest music ever! Popular Hip-hop and Pop tracks, old school and new, that you know and love! Music plays a BIG part in Turbo Jam (and all the Turbo programs, period), so I would advise you that if you're not one who likes Hip-Hop or Pop music or a big fan of dancing, this probably isn't the workout for you. Don't get me wrong, you don't have to be the best dancer to start Turbo Jam, it's not a "dance" workout, but the music is dancy and Chalene is always encouraging you to shake it! LOL! It's one of the things that truly makes this workout fun! That combined with Chalene's upbeat attitude which makes you feel like you can achieve the body you've been hoping for easily, just by doing a few easy kick boxing moves and jamming to the music! You're scorching fat and sizzling calories at a rate of up to 1,000 AN HOUR!!! It's fast! It's fun! It works! I lost my last 15 lbs with Turbo Jam and I recommend it to anyone who has ears! Check it out!

 So Who Is Chalene Johnson?

Chalene Johnson is an entrepreneur, Fit Life Expert,TV fitness personality, clothing designer, author, motivational speaker and choreographer. Creator of Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick, ChaLEAN Extreme, Turbo Fire, Hip Hop Hustle and PiYo (all of which I've tried and also love but I'll have to do a review on ChaLEAN Extreme, Hip Hop Hustle and Piyo another time). A diet and exercise professional who believes your relationships are more important than any number on a scale. Married and a mother of two, her personal interests are pushing people to be their best and living their life in balance according to their OWN priorities. I recently got the opportunity to meet her in person and she is just as nice in person as she appears on camera. She truly wants to help people "Do More" from the inside out. It's not all about achieving the "best body", she wants to help people reach their best potentials and I love that about her!

Turbo Kick

I discovered Turbo Kick through an exercise forum that I regularly go on and after trying it I have been an official Turbo lover ever since! While Turbo Jam was the first program that Chalene released nationally to the public through the Beachbody company, Turbo Kick was the group fitness class that Chalene first created that caught on like wildfire from gyms in Orange County, CA to all around the world!

A student at Michigan State University, Chalene studied Tae Kwon Do, dance and aerobics. After moving to California in the early 90’s she married these formats in a group exercise class that combined the sexiness of dance, the hip feel of funk with the power and strength of kickboxing. A self proclaimed closet DJ, she taught herself to digitally re-master and edit music to match the moves of every pre-choreographed routine, adding sound effects, highs and lows in an elaborately produced musical arrangement. Word spread about this unique version of kickboxing class and before long the demand for videos and trainings spread across the country. In 1997 Chalene began teaching other instructors how to deliver her unique brand of fitness. In 1998 Turbo Kick was born! Incorporated since 1995, in 1999 she formed a team of creative and talented professionals to develop reasonably priced, unique group exercise programming that would appeal to people motivated by the combination of movement to inspired music. Powder Blue Productions trained nearly 500 instructors to teach Turbo Kick in the first year. Less then 10 years later, that number had grown to a staggering 35,000 instructors world wide! Now the number of TK instructors is even higher, myself being one of them! Yes, I took the certification test this year and I am now an official Turbo Kick instructor! I'm not teaching, YET, but it's definitely a plan for the future!

Turbo Kick is basically the advanced version of Turbo Jam. You work a little harder and burn more calories. The Turbo Kick DVDs are mainly for instructors to learn the routines to teach to their classes but you don't have to be an instructor to own it at home, you can start with the Fan Volume DVDs, as I did, which are made for fans of Turbo Kick to workout at home. Also, Turbo Kick classes are offered at gyms all around the world! Check in your area to see where you can take a Turbo Kick class today! All this info. and more can be found at:

Turbo Fire

Now on to the latest program Chalene just created in the Turbo series: Turbo Fire!!! I just recently started doing Turbo Fire and it is the most intense Turbo yet! Chalene helps you get leaner with exercises that burn up to 9x more fat than regular cardio does. And with more than 20 smoking-hot music remixes, TurboFire will pick you up and push you past your limits! And just in case you've never done another version of Turbo before, Chalene's "New to Class" option also gives you the breakdown on how to do each move with the right form.

Burn Up To 9X More Fat!
Turbo Fire classes include Fire Drills, also know as "High Intensity Interval Training" (HIIT). These drills push you to your max for up to 1-minute bursts, with quick recovery periods. Studies show that HIIT ignites your metabolism, enabling your body to burn more calories for up to 48 hours after your workout. Not only that, with TurboFire, you'll work out less than half the time you normally would doing regular cardio—and burn up to 9x more fat.

Check out to get your Turbo Fire package today! 

So that's it! That concludes my favorites. People ask me all the time, "what do you do?" so I'm using this blog post as a broader way of answering. It's all about finding out what works for you. If you don't like something it's kinda' hard to get up everyday and do it so put some variety in your routine, try and try and try again until you find your favorites. And if you're lucky, you just might find that "soul mate workout"!