Ditch The Excuses

Ok guys, it’s time for some REAL talk. About you, your goals, and what’s getting between the two. I keep hearing these conversations lately and TBH I’m over it. It’s time to stop blaming other people and things for those extra pounds on the scale and skipped workouts. Truth is, keeping a fit and healthy routine takes some effort. On top of that, EVERYONE has obstacles and life gets hectic. Demanding jobs, small children, pregnancy, family issues, divorce, caring for someone sick…I’ve seen it all. But let’s face it people, what’s getting in the way of you living your healthiest life are the excuses you give yourself. You are responsible for what you do (and don’t do) each day. Quit blaming your long hours at the office for your lack of workouts. Quit blaming your partner and your menstrual cycle for your lack of motivation. Your injury and your children are NOT reasons to eat unhealthy food. The bottom line is that there are so many ways to work around the “stuff” in our lives. Below are a few examples of what people have said to me recently along with my tips for making better choices:

“One bad day leads to a whole bad month”

Everyone has those not-so-motivated days, we are HUMAN! But the goal is to avoid letting it become a habit. Forgive yourself, move on, and get a kick-ass workout in the next day. Just because you indulged yesterday, today is a new day to do things differently and get back on track. Even if an entire week passes with zero exercise and lots of bad food, you can take small steps to start over. Whether it’s packing daily lunches, a 30 minute workout, or eliminating alcohol during the week, you have to start again somewhere. You can make it happen.

“I have no time to cook.”

There are so many ways to prepare nutritious foods that can last you a few days. My best advice is using a Crock Pot. I make simple chicken breast which covers my lunches for three days. That way I can just throw together a quick salad when I’m home for lunch or I can pack it to go in the morning. Another HUGE tip I give my clients is to cook a LOT for dinner that way you have left over food. Also, cooking doesn’t have to be fancy or take tons of time. Simple dishes like eggs, vegetables baked with olive oil, grilled chicken, baked sweet potato, and oatmeal can be quick and easy. If you still feel like cooking is impossible for your lifestyle, there’s so many meal delivery services these days that can fit your needs. Resorting to daily take-out (or even worse, FAST FOOD!) can be extremely high in calories and can also take a toll on your wallet.

“My husband eats bad food around me late at night.”

This one gets me every time. Look, I’m not exactly saying to dump your significant other, but just because they don’t want to be healthy or look good naked doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! But if you struggle with self control, my biggest tip for this is to find some healthier options for the house. If your spouse has a sweet tooth, there’s so many non-dairy dessert bars with much better ingredients and lower sugar. My favorite chocolate bar is by Hu (can also be purchased at Whole Foods) and has no dairy or refined sugar. SO good. Eventually, you’ll be surprised how much your food choices can influence your partner and maybe they’ll be open to trying new things in the kitchen 😉.

“I’m so stressed out from work.”

Another V common one I hear, especially from my fellow twenty-somethings. Listen up! Nothing should come before your health. Period. I’m ALL about the hustle and have been working hard for many years. But working out is a major stress reliever so making time for it only makes perfect sense. FYI: stress is directly linked to a long list of health issues including heart disease and accelerated aging. So instead of skipping your workout and turning to wine and food after work to deal with stress, get moving! Turn on your favorite playlist and head to the gym or sign up for your favorite workout class that you’ll enjoy. Not only will it make you feel better, but your performance at work will most definitely improve.

“Workout classes and a personal trainers are expensive.”

True story, a good personal trainer IS expensive. Some classes can be pricey. But so are shoes and handbags (and obesity). I have trained many people who have minimized their spending in other areas (like shopping and eating out) so they can make their workouts a priority. At the end of the day, fitness is an investment you make for your health. And if you have Instagram, Facebook, or just access to the internet, there are so many free workouts you can find with a variety of levels that you can even do in your own home.

You owe yourself an hour out of your day to move and sweat. Make the time to grocery shop or meal prep because it’s good for you. Give yourself the love and attention you deserve. You’ll feel so damn good when you do.

What I Eat In A Day

The most common questions I get from clients and followers are about my diet so I figured I’d share what a typical day looks like for me. I’m obsessed with clean eating and I’m always trying to figure out ways to incorporate more nutrients into my daily diet. I love food and I’m constantly experimenting and learning what works best for my body. I focus on eating mostly vegetables (as much as possible), complex carbs, and lean meats like chicken and fish. I buy mostly organic, fresh, and local when possible. I stay far away from dairy, and because my guy has celiac disease, I rarely eat gluten. I’m not into diet trends or fads, just intuitive clean eating. I also believe in having sweet treats and a tequila on occasion without letting it ruin your life (it’s called balance but I’ll save that for another post). I stress the importance of nutrition with every one of my clients and I’m very honest about one thing: you cannot out exercise a bad diet. PERIOD. Even though most of my Instagram stories are of what’s on my plate, I’m going to give you a breakdown of a what I eat on an average day.

 

Early AM routine:

I always start my day with either warm lemon water or a shot of apple cider vinegar, and I make sure to drink plenty of room temp water over the first two to three hours of my morning. Because I’m up very early, I feel my best when I spend the first few hours of my day hydrating before I eat anything or have any caffeine. Six months ago I decided to stop drinking coffee all together as an experiment to alleviate stomach issues. I noticed such a big difference that I completely quit coffee and haven’t had it since. I enjoy black tea, green tea, and matcha once or twice per day.

Breakfast

True story: I wake up hungry every day. I’m a breakfast lover! If you’ve been following me for a while on the gram you know how much I love my morning oat bowls. Usually enjoyed on the go, this bowl of perfection is filled with 1/2 cup of gluten free oats, a scrambled egg, peanut butter powder, almond milk, berries, and some coconut or bee pollen sprinkled on top. My breakfast must be filling and tasty, and this bowl is my go-to!

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Lunch

I’m a salad fanatic. I eat a big salad for lunch almost every day. My green of choice is either romaine, baby kale, curly kale, shredded brussels sprouts, or a mixture of two. For protein I use chicken (usually pre-made in the Crock Pot) and sometimes a hard boiled egg white. Cucumber and avocado (either 1/4 or 1/2) are a must. Other items that get thrown in if available are chopped green apple, butternut squash, bell pepper, orange, walnuts, onion, and chickpeas. For dressing I mix together EVOO, white wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

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Snack Time:

A snack between lunch and dinner is a must for me. It usually happens between clients, after my workout, or anytime between 2 and 4. I am a huge fan of bars like FROPRO Bars (specifically the almond butter). Other snacks include nuts, hard boiled eggs, protein shakes, low sugar green juice, and a red apple with almond butter. Depending on my workout and how many hours I’m working, certain days I’ll feel the need for a snack between breakfast and lunch. I try my best to listen to my body when it comes to eating between meals. If I feel extra hungry one day I won’t ever deprive myself of a healthy snack.

Dinner

My boyfriend and I usually take turns with dinner. Luckily, he’s an amazing cook and we eat all the same foods. I try to have somewhat of an idea of meals I’d like to make ahead of time so I can buy ingredients in advance. We love to grill chicken, shrimp, and the occasional burger. Steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and baked salmon are weekly staples. I try to keep my dinner portions under control, eating mostly vegetables and protein. A perfect weeknight dinner would be a turkey burger, steamed broccoli, and cilantro cauliflower rice. Simple, tasty, and far from boring. I try my best to eat before 7:30pm allowing time to digest before bed. This way I wake up feeling energized and rested. A HUGE tip I would give to anyone would be to find things you like to eat for dinner that are also great for lunch the next day.

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Questions about healthy eating or need some diet guidance? Contact me for more information about personal training and diet coaching! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for daily meal ideas, motivation, and tips!

XO

Liv

Overcoming Injuries

If there is one thing in life I have learned the hard way, it’s overcoming unexpected injuries. Growing up a dancer and VERY active, injuries were no more than pulled muscles, minor irritations, and some foot blisters. In the past, I’ve always been healthy and able to bounce back from things with ease. But after a bad ski fall in March of 2017, I thought tearing my ACL would ruin my body forever. The thought of having an ugly knee scar and being limited to activity was absolutely terrifying. With many months of discomfort, therapy, and lots of work in the gym, my right leg was about 90% in May of 2018 (one year after surgery). Just as I was starting to gain back my confidence and strength, I had another unlucky day which lead me to the ER one morning in July. It was really hard to believe (and kind of embarrassing) that I crashed my bike into a tree and shattered my wrist. I spent that entire day beating myself up. But the truth is that you can never be prepared for an injury. There will always be pain, missed days of work, and medical expenses. It’s an overall inconvenience. I was beyond grateful for my boyfriend for taking such amazing care of me and going to every single appointment with me. My mom, once again, took me to surgery and cared for me after (she’s getting really good at this). Luckily I only had to miss a couple days of work and recovery was a piece of cake compared to knee surgery.

 

But the hardest part of overcoming an injury is keeping confidence, hope, and a positive attitude during the following months. I struggled the most with staying positive during the recovery process because my workouts were limited. Even though I was eating super clean, I watched my body change a lot. Not only did I experience muscle atrophy in my arm but in other body parts as well. I got really discouraged a few times but eventually realized I couldn’t keep feeling bad for myself. I tried to motivate myself the way I motivate my clients during their struggles. I had to stay focused and mindful without comparing myself to anyone. I changed the way I trained my upper body and made sure I kept my legs and core strong. Getting in great workouts while injured IS possible and can be safe and effective. Life will always throw things at you, but it’s all about how you deal with adversity. Many injuries (like my own) are temporary and it’s important to keep working through them without giving up.




Amy's Transformation

The main reason why I love what I do is because I get to connect with people on a personal level. I coach them through workouts, provide nutrition guidance, and teach them to love the journey to fitness. It's called Personal Training because every client is unique; what works for one may not work for another. Regardless of who I'm training my goal is to teach them that fitness is a lifestyle that requires healthy habits and lots of effort. There is no easy way to reach fitness goals, but a lifestyle change is possible for everyone and totally worth it. I’m on a mission to help my clients look and feel their absolute best while loving the body they are in.

Last month marked a year and a half working with my client, Amy. In this amount of time she has made a huge body and mind transformation. After moving to Palm Beach from out of state she felt it was time to take control of her health. Like so many women all over the world she once struggled with negative body image issues. Her previous workouts were sporadic, consisting of mostly cardio and rarely any weights. She came to me for help and was open minded from the very first day. We started with a 3 day per week in-home training program introducing weights, core work, and focusing on proper form. After quickly getting the hang of things she started to notice a gain in energy and a huge increase in motivation. She was determined to get the fit body she deserved. Now, a year and a half later, she trains with me 5 days per week where I incorporate weight training, TRX, HIIT, battle ropes, cardio, and lots of core work. I give her challenging and effective workouts that burn fat and build a strong toned body. We discuss healthy recipes and diet tips daily that nourish and fuel the body. She’s become extremely fit (I mean, look at that bod!) and the increase in confidence I’ve seen has been incredible. While juggling wife duties and being a business owner, she demonstrates that self-improvement is possible (and necessary). Day in and day out she stays committed to her wellness and I could not be more proud. 

 Overcoming negative body image issues, eliminating an unhealthy relationship with food, and finding a strong workout routine is what I like to call positive behavior change. Understanding that NOTHING happens over night is the first step to getting fit. Hard work and consistency over time is what leads to success and lasting results. My goal is to empower and inspire others to take control of their bodies by sharing Amy's success story. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my passion with others every day while building relationships with wonderful people along the way.

Before i after

Before i after

July 2017

July 2017

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Always remember: the most important investment you can make is in yourself.

Remembering CAF

September is a time of the year that forces me to pause and reflect more than usual. Today would be my brothers' 29th birthday. The ninth birthday I’ve spent without him. Truth is, no matter how much time passes I still miss him today just as much as I did in 2007. He was kindhearted, bright, compassionate and absolutely gorgeous. To know him was to love him. He had this special way about him that would light up a room and had an energy that was simply contagious. He made a positive impact on anyone lucky enough to have known him. Although our time together was cut way too short, we shared a special bond and I miss it every single day. Losing a loved one at a young age is hard, but I believe it has truly molded me into the person I am today. It’s something that you never imagine could or would happen to you. It’s hard think that in an instant your life could change forever. But because I had to learn this earlier on in life, I just feel things differently. It’s easier for me to clearly see what’s truly important and I’ve learned to never take things, my health or people for granted. After the accident, I became much more passionate about certain things in my life that mattered most. I’ll never forget stepping back into the dance studio just a few days after he died and the amount of joy that movement brought me even after my life had just fallen apart. It’s the moments like that that keep me going. Life is simply too short to not do what you love. The way I love fitness and wellness is how he loved sports, music and surfing. The relationships I have built in my personal and professional life have all been influenced by him in some way, even years after his death. Improving myself physically and mentally, letting go of grudges, going back to finish my education and crushing other personal goals have all been decisions in my life that were inspired by him. I can still hear his words of encouragement and I keep all of our memories close to my heart. His amazing spirit will live on forever.  

 

In loving memory of my sweet brother, Cesar A. Figueroa.