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.

Weekend Wellness - Legs & Abs By Liv

What an amazing season it has been here in sunny Palm Beach! Great weather, tons of fun events, and LOTS of fitness. In addition to my year-round clients, I had the pleasure of working with people who were here for a few months and some for just a weekend. But the highlight of this season was definitely my monthly workouts at The Royal Poinciana Plaza. One Saturday each month I held a workout that was focused on legs and core – Legs & Abs By Liv. It’s an hour long workout (all levels welcomed) designed to safely tone the legs, glutes, and core using stretch bands and body weight movements. From beginners and new moms to advanced individuals - this workout with leave you feeling energized and motivated. Legs & Abs is my signature group leg workout where I teach all of my favorite moves that will have you sore the next day. Participants were encouraged to bring a mat, towel, and water. Not only is the Royal Poinciana Plaza a gorgeous place to sweat and spend the morning, the workout was complementary!  

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Fitness can be such a great community activity for men and women of all ages and a fun way to meet new people. The Royal Poinciana Plaza did such a great job promoting these weekly workouts and each month I had more new people attend. I loved seeing so many people show up, work hard, and have a blast. And to top it off, all participants of the workout were given discounts at Celis Produce and Sant Ambreous for a post workout bite. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning!


Looking forward to being back out on the courtyard for a fun and sweaty workout. Stay tuned for the summer schedule and be sure to follow me and The Royal Poinciana Plaza on Instagram for future updates.

<3

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

Amy's Three Years

January marks THREE years that I’ve been training Amy. (If you are new to my blog, click here to read her transformation story I wrote a year and a half ago.) Amy is the girl in my Instagram stories who works out with me five days per week in her awesome garage gym. She does a mixture of strength training exercises using weights, a leg press, TRX, and bands, plus some toning/barre exercises. You can often find her in my weekly barre classes, my monthly Legs & Abs class at the Royal Poinciana Plaza, and at the beach for a Sunday morning workout. YES, she is that dedicated. Training her always reminds me that I have a dream job. Her attitude is always positive and her commitment to health and wellness makes me so proud. I’m mostly proud because like many people she’s had to overcome struggles in the past. But no matter what’s going on, she makes time for her workouts and makes clean eating a priority. While feeling good naked is a plus, fitness is so much more than aesthetics. It’s about building a better mind-body connection, improving self-esteem, finding balance, and learning discipline. Fitness means making daily positive changes (big and small) which impact so many other areas of life (in a GREAT way). I help people like Amy create healthy habits that can be life-changing. But being fit requires lots of effort, and Amy is definitely seeing the fruits of her labor. Instead of going on and on about how much I adore Amy and how much fun we have in the gym, I figured I’d do a little Q and A with her to share her perspective!

Q: What do you love most about working out with a trainer?

A:  I love having someone to hold me accountable and encourage me. Life can get so hectic, if I didn’t have someone I was scheduled to meet, I’d be more likely to miss workouts. It’s also nice to have someone push you to work harder and when your trainer looks amazing, it really inspires you to stick with it! 

Q: What are your thoughts on weight training for women?

 A: It’s so important! Before I worked out with Liv, I didn’t understand that. I just ran 5 miles every day and I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Now that I’m weight training, I feel so strong and healthy! Even my clothes fit so much better. I weigh more, but I’m actually so much leaner. Now I definitely understand why it’s so important to add weight training to your routine. 

Q: How much does diet effect your workouts and overall mood?

A: A LOT! Working out and seeing results inspired me to really improve my diet. When I’m eating healthy, I just feel better mentally and physically. My body feels nourished and strong. I don’t count calories or follow any particular diet. I just try to avoid any added sugar, highly processed foods and limit alcohol. 

Q: What motivates you everyday to be healthy and fit?

A: The results I’ve seen really motivate me a lot. I just want to keep improving, but I’m careful to still appreciate where I currently am. There’s no better confidence booster than feeling healthy. When I look back at how exhausted I used to feel mentally and physically, it’s crazy. Now I just feel so strong and healthy. 

 Q: Describe that feeling when you start seeing your hard work pay off:

 A: Omg it’s AMAZING! I remember going through a period where I didn’t feel like anything was happening. One day it was just like oh wow, I’m started to see some definition... and it just got better and better from there! Now 3 years later I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I feel so proud of what I’ve accomplished and feel so much better about myself. I’m truly so thankful for my workout sessions and the positive impact they have on my life. 

 Q: What is your biggest tip for someone who is trying to live a healthier lifestyle?

A: I would say set reasonable goals for yourself so you don’t get discouraged. If you’re super busy, commit to working out certain days/times. If you don’t have it scheduled in, it’s easier for it to get away from you. I’d also say focus on easy dietary changes. If you’re going to choose one thing to try to stay away from, try to avoid added sugar. Do easy recipes and plan ahead. Foods like frozen broccoli, crockpot chicken and a microwaved sweet potato are so healthy and easy!! 

 

 Be sure to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog for updates!

♡ Liv

 

What I'm Loving Lately

If you follow me on the Gram, you know that I’m always posting about my current favorites. Sneakers, food, leggings, workouts, my golf highlights…the usual. But I feel like every so often there’s some items I’m loving that need to be shared with you all on my blog because they are just that amazing. There are quite a few things I’ll GLADLY leave behind in 2018, but here’s a list of some items I’m loving lately that will be coming with me into the New Year!

 

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Now, I know you may think that dropping a few hundred on a hair dryer seems silly. But let me tell you, this thing is amazing. What excited me the most was how much less damaging it is on your hair. Being in the gym daily and constantly having to tie my hair up has really taken a toll on my locks. Compared to my old dryer, the Dyson leaves my hair much smoother and isn’t harsh on my ends. Aside from that, it makes styling so much easier and my blowouts have never looked better.

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WorkParty by Jaclyn Johnson

Just the other day I discovered this book on Instagram and read wonderful reviews. I’m half way through the book but I can tell you it’s a great read. Jaclyn, now CEO and founder of a successful online platform, shares about her struggles as a young entrepreneur who was hungry for success. Even after many setbacks she was determined to build something amazing. I find that it’s super relatable and very inspiring for me as a woman and business owner in today’s world.

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Nike Women’s Free RN Flyknit

Technically I’ve been loving this shoe for all of 2018, but I just got my 3rd color and I have no plans of stopping in 2019. It’s my favorite shoe for indoor weight training, hands down! They’re light weight, flexible, and super flattering on the foot. I can comfortably wear them to train clients all day long. They are an important part of my Nike collection!

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Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones

My boyfriend got me these headphones before we left for South Africa during Thanksgiving week and they’ve been SO great. I had really been wanting an over the ear pair of headphones because I’ve always found the smaller in-ear sets annoying and uncomfortable. These Beats aren’t bulky and the battery life is amazing. They are great for workouts, travel and FaceTime. They fold up to a compact size and can easily be stored in a purse or carry on.

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The New Primal Marinade

If you’ve known me or have been following me for a while, you know that Crockpot Chicken Breast is a MAJOR staple in my diet. But recently I’ve been using The New Primal Marinade (classic and citrus herb) and I cannot get enough. It caught my eye at Whole Foods one day because of its low sugar content (only 3g) and the ingredients are all simple and clean. Not to mention the taste, OMG! The chicken turns out so tender and delicious and goes perfectly in my kale salads. Obsessed!

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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.

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

Fall fitness in Colorado

Earlier this month I took my first trip to Colorado and boy was it beautiful! My client was getting married in Aspen so I decided to head up a few days early to do some exploring (and also escape hurricane Matthew) in the Rocky Mountains. One word: breathtaking. Not only was I literally out of breath due to the altitude, I was blown away by the beautiful scenery. Driving from Denver to Aspen was one of the most beautiful car rides I’ve ever experienced, along with the many hikes between Denver and Aspen. It was super exciting for me to finally see snow (crazy, I know) and enjoy some cool fall weather in the cozy towns of Colorado. During my stay in the mountains I was able to be just as active as I am at home - major plus! I loved how the Colorado community as a whole, especially Aspen, was very fitness friendly. But getting ready for a workout in the cold is no joke and takes a little extra motivation. I nearly froze one morning walking twenty minutes across town to take a yoga class. Aside from all the fun exploring and other perks of being in Colorado, I was beyond thrilled to be in Aspen for the first time for such a special occasion. The bride and I even got to sneak in a training session at the St. Regis gym the day before the wedding. It's amazing to see another one of my fit brides walk down the aisle looking confident, happy and absolutely stunning. Months of hard work and clean eating (even before the engagement) are continuously paying off. I’m so proud of her and how far she has come! As I said before, a fit and healthy lifestyle is a never ending journey, but a wedding can definitely act as a great motivator.     

 

 

Dumbbells before wedding bells

With wedding season in full swing, it’s no surprise that there’s been lots of wedding buzz going on during my work days. Whether it’s your own wedding, walking in a bridal party or even just attending as a guest – weddings can be a big deal. It’s one of the biggest and most memorable days of a bride’s life and everyone wants to feel their absolute BEST on their big day. One of my best friends recently tied the knot in June and three of my current clients are preparing for their weddings in the fall. As I always tell my clients, being fit is a lifestyle that requires consistency over time. However, I’m all for setting goals and CRUSHING them so a wedding can be the perfect motivator!

On New Years Eve 2015, my client/friend Kathleen married the man of her dreams. Not only was I there to witness their union, I had the honor of walking as a bridesmaid. She came to me with a goal four months prior to her big day and was ready to rock. Coming from an athletic background, she had great strength and working out was something she enjoyed. But it was time to kick things into high gear – challenging workouts, meal preparation and tons of motivation. She trained with me five days per week in the gym and would sometimes throw in a barre class on the weekend. Aside from the physical benefits of training, working out helps to minimize any wedding planning jitters (it’s a real thing!). We also spent lots of time in the kitchen together cooking delicious and healthy meals to ensure consistent clean eating. With all the hard work and dedication, Kathleen’s results were showing…and fast. So fast, that with each visit to the dress designer the dress had to be taken in. (Although she was looking fab, I don’t think he was too happy with me.) Her wedding turned out to be beyond perfect. She was glowing, healthy and stronger than ever. Looking stunning in her wedding dress was also a plus!

As for my current brides-to-be, they are on the same path and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’re staying focused with awesome workouts, daily motivation, lots of clean eating and having so much fun along the way. Truth is, even with a wedding planner the preparation seems endless. Not to mention juggling work schedules and other things that life throws at you. (Major props to Kandace for working crazy hours per week at the hospital but still managing to make time to stay wedding-ready!) Just remember that it’s all worth it and hard work always pays off.

Cheers to FIT brides!