SmartyPants Vitamins Review & Giveaway!

I’ve never been good at taking my vitamins. Until…..SmartyPants vitamins.

But, not because I don’t remember.  Since a child, I’ve had trouble swallowing pills…they get stuck, I gag, I get anxious.  It is just a bad scene. But with my insane schedule, all the intense training plus general busy-ness, I HAVE to take vitamins to make up for any nutritional gaps that are just not met with my healthy BUT rushed diet.

When I got pregnant, taking my prenatals was an absolute NIGHTMARE for me.  Even though I didn’t have morning sickness, prenatals would make me sick if I took them on an empty stomach.  After some quick “mom board” research, I discovered various gummy prenatals and they saved me for the rest of my pregnancy (and two more!).

Flash forward to the present and I’ve realized gummies are not just for kids and pregnant women!!!


Since getting these vitamins, I haven’t missed a day – they taste SO good, its almost like a treat and I confess that I have actually saved them for LATER in the day, when I knew I would be craving something sweet.

They also have a men’s and children’s version as well, plus an adult version with fiber!!  My kids never turn down anything gummy and I know my husband doesn’t remember to take his so we will be filling the cabinet with ones for everyone in the house.  (How about a pet version??)

For me, no puking, gagging or weird aftertaste? SIGN ME UP.

Want to win some SmartyPants Vitamins to try for yourself?  Head over to my Instagram and follow the directions!

Tweet the love and get your friends and followers in on the giveaway!

SmartyPants Vitamin Review & Giveaway!! #thegoodgummy #sweatpink Click To Tweet

**Disclaimer: I received this product to review.**

Workout Playlist on Spotify!

There is nothing more frustrating than not having the RIGHT workout playlist right at your fingertips, ready to go!

Every week, I create playlists for my group fit classes at Life Time Athletic and GUESS WHAT??

Since I use Spotify, you can go follow me there!

Not on Spotify? Check out my Valentine’s Day playlist!


And if you are stuck for a workout, check back tomorrow for a 55 minute workout to go along with this playlist!

Like this playlist? Give it a tweet!

Need a fresh playlist for your workout? Check this out! #spotify #playlist Click To Tweet

Related: Fitness & Workout Music Apps

Total Body Workout in 30 Minutes for Fitness Friday!

In honor of the impending blizzard, I wanted to share a total body workout I created for my group fitness classes!

Back in December, when it was mild, sunny and snow was no where in sight, we played the Snowman Challenge in my Strictly Strength class at Life Time Fitness.


After each set of exercises, we earned a body part to our snowman.  In 30 minutes, we were able to go through four sets and complete four snowmen!!  It was a killer workout, hitting every major muscle group and it was FUN!


I wrote out a plan that you can do at home with minimal equipment – in 30 minutes!  Even better, you can break it down into sets, so if time is crunched, you can work through what you can and still get a burn.


Here are some tips to maximize this total body workout!

  • Add as much or little weight to make the moves challenging.  For example, you can hold one weight “goblet” style for your sumo or you can load up two dumbbells at your shoulders.
  • You can do a forearm plank, high plank, add thigh taps to your plank, etc., to make it more interesting! Just keep your awesome plank form – squeeze your glutes, inner thighs, pull your belly up and keep a nice straight line (drop the butts! drop the butts!)
  • Add weight to your glute bridges by holding a dumbbell on your hips.  Raise those hips to ceiling and squeeze your glutes at the top!
  • Try varying your bicep curls by only coming halfway up, halfway down (to 90 degrees), doing wide curls or hammer curls.  Keep it consistent for set of 10 but have fun with each round.

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Total Body Workout in 30 Minutes? Yes, please! #fitnessfriday #flexfriday #sweatpink Click To Tweet

Questions on the moves? Need help with form or modifications?  Let’s talk!  Leave a comment or email me at

Supermom: The Secret on How to Do It All

“How do you do it?”

A sentence that makes most moms – moms of many, working moms, pretty much all moms – cringe.

Cringe…because I’d have to reveal my “great” secret.

*chuckle* “Caffeine and alcohol, haha……but really though….I don’t know….I just do it.”

Yesterday I posted on my personal Facebook page about a particularly kickass morning I had – me.

Personally.  Selfishly.


I’m not a Supermom…or a super anything really.  I had a really great morning for ME yesterday. One snapshot in the collage of our typical week.

But, yesterday, the dishes were piled in the sink.  And the laundry was mountains high, clean but unfolded and on a chair in the family room. Another snapshot in the collage.

Today, I’m not going to have the same kick ass “YAY, ME” morning.  I’m going to yoga to get my brief zen on and then I’m going to come home, tackle those dishes, fold that laundry and take care of the two pee-soaked piles of bedding from not one, but two kids who uncharacteristically wet their beds last night.  More snapshots in the collage.

Much less badass.  Much more “boring mom stuff”.

But if it were ALL boring mom stuff or ALL badassery, there would be no balance.  No moments of self-congratulation for an awesome workout in spite of being tired all the time (but NO ONE knows that, its our secret, k?) to juxtapose with the less glamorous moments cleaning up a poop accident from a stubborn mostly-potty-trained 2.5 year old and the proud moments of cheer competitions and hockey games.

All moments captured in the collage.


That’s the real life, the behind-the-scenes of every perceived “Supermom” out there.  For the things we are succeeding in, kicking ass and taking names in one day, there are at least 3 or 4 things at any given moment that are messy and imperfect. I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary but simply trying to maintain a balance that creates *our* own ordinary, our collage, our picture-imperfectly-perfect life.

So, how DO I do it all?

I don’t.  Just one thing, one breath, one moment at a time, that results in one beautiful collage with highs, lows, messy and immaculate, happy and not-so-happy moments of my very ordinary and special life.

No super powers necessary.

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How to Be a Supermom? My HUGE secret revealed 😉 Click To Tweet


Goal Setting & Goal Getting

I posted this on my personal Facebook page yesterday and decided to share it here.  At the end of the day, you need to be a goal getter.  Now is YOUR time!  Enjoy!

Confession (and long post alert)…I can be a little impulsive. An impulsive spender, quick to make decisions about things that most people would take weeks or months to decide. Conversely, going to a restaurant with a big menu is my personal nightmare. But the big stuff, I’m good.

Unsolicited advice coming…if there is SOME DREAM, any GOAL you have, and the opportunity presents itself, TAKE IT. Don’t think, blink or pause. Take it. Say yes. Act first when your gut is like, SCREAMING, “OMFG, I HAVE TO DO THAT” and hash out the details later. You’ll figure it out.

10 years ago (when I was….15. Right. Ha.), I had the opportunity to do a Yoga Teacher Training. And I wanted to SO BADLY but had reasons (excuses?) why I couldn’t. And I wanted to go back to school for exercise science, SO BADLY. But things happened. But, but, but.


Last month, Alexander Schimmel posted that he would be leading a local LifePower Yoga Teacher Training. I’m pretty sure I messaged him within minutes, mind already made up.

Without knowing price. Or times. Just that I HAD to do it. Mind. Made. Up.

Is this the right time? Nope. Is it “perfect timing”? Sure is. I have way way more on my plate right now than I did when I was 15 (not letting that joke go. lol.) and this may literally require hiring a part time nanny for a brief period.


But I’m not letting anymore opportunities go by, things that I want to do, things that will make be a better person, wife, mom and friend.

So, whether its a New Year’s resolution, if that’s what makes you tick, or just a goal you have, go after it, without thinking, because the time will never necessarily be right or perfect.

*mic drop*

(Pic is not a perfect pose, or perfectly executed. But it felt good, so that’s what I did. See? If it feels good, or its going to feel good, JUST DOOOOOOO IT.)

If you have a fitness or health goal you want to talk about or want to know more about flexible dieting, use this form to contact me.  I’ll respond within 24 hours and I will get to know you, your goals, your intentions and we can create a plan that works for you.

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Activity Tracker Reviews!


Over the past 2 years, I’ve tried a lot of different technology, a lot of different fitness and activity trackers.  In this post, I’ll go over what I’ve tried in order to help you find the best tracker for your needs!

While this is not an exhaustive review of all the activity trackers on the market, it is a jumping off point if you are overwhelmed by the options!


So, this isn’t so much HOW to choose a tracker, but rather look over the features and my pros and cons of each device.  Depending on your fitness level, how much data you need want, whether or not the app is a “one stop” shop, will determine which option is best for you!

And we’re off….

Polar FT4 (or any base model Polar HRM)

(Note: The Polar webstore does not appear to carry or promote the base model HRMs anymore, however they are still available on Amazon.)

Ah, the old Polar heart rate monitor (or HRM, for short).  A tried and true staple for any cardio junkie, casual runner and group fit participant.

Who is it for?

Anyone needing bare bones data points.  No frills.

How does it work?

Calculates heart rate via chest strap sensor (included) paired with a sporty watch (included).

The Polar base models typically give you “just the facts, ma’am” in terms on data but if you are looking for heart rate and calories burned, this cost effective option is well worth it.

What apps do I need?

None to use it strictly as an HRM.


  • Simplicity.  Put the chest strap on, pair it to the watch and workout.  That’s it.
  • Accurate numbers regarding calorie burn since the technology is based on the chest strap sensor, the old school but most typically reliable method.


  • Doesn’t count steps or track daily activity (leaving the strap on all day doesn’t accurately track activity).
  • Not a lot of numbers for the data junkies.

Price: From $45 & up from Amazon

Polar Loop

(I owned the original Polar Loop.  Since then, they have released the Loop 2, which includes more non-fitness features, like smartphone notifications. Further, they’ve released the A300 which is a full activity tracker, at a higher price point.)

The Polar Loop was my very first activity tracker.  I have a history of being a notorious early adopter and pre-ordered it when it first came out.

Who is it for?

Polar HRM users, fitness “newbies” and enthusiasts alike.

How does it work?

By monitoring the intensity of your movements, the Loop “knows” what you’ve been doing…and not doing, for that matter.  You can track workouts right on the Loop but for more accurate heart rate info, you can  pair it to a Polar Bluetooth chest strap (sold separately).

What apps do I need?

It syncs your daily data with the Polar Flow app/site.


  • For the die hard HRM users, the ability to pair with a chest strap is a giant bonus.
  • Standard activity monitor features (sleep tracking, step counting, etc.) plus message and call alerts.
  • Several colors available in Loop 2 release plus a more streamlined design compared to original Loop.
  • More data than a standard HRM.


  • Hardware has a not-so-contemporary LED display.
  • Activity tracking technology did not accurately track pushing a shopping cart or stroller.
  • Pairing to the HRM occasionally required several tries.

Price: $100 on Amazon

Jawbone Up3

Another pre-order early adoption, the Jawbone Up3 delivered with one of the best sleep trackers of all the wearables I’ve tried!

Who is it for?

People of all fitness levels who like having the simplicity of ONE app to log workouts, food, daily activity and sleep.

How does it work?

By combining motion analysis with an accelerometer (similar technology behind the Polar Loop) and a skin sensor that detects temperature, to calculate your Resting Heart Rate – which in turn is used in its proprietary algorithms to come up with all your data points – calories burned, steps, daily activity and sleep analysis.

What apps do I need?

The Jawbone Up app is a one stop place for tracking everything, however, it will sync with other apps, like My Fitness Pal.


  • Sleek and the least “watch” looking of the wearables I tried. More like a bracelet in feel and style.
  • One app for all the data.
  • Awesome sleep analysis.


  • At time of testing, the step count was under reporting my stroller pushing/grocery cart pushing steps. My step counts were significantly lower than my husband’s, in spite of being on my feet nearly all day long.
  • If you like wearing a watch, you’ll need to wear an actual watch since the Up has no LED display or otherwise.

Price: $118-145 on Amazon

Fitbit Surge

The big name in activity trackers, the Surge didn’t disappoint! Bells and whistles galore (like message and call notifications), heart rate monitoring and GPS plus the reliability of the Fitbit app.

Who is it for?

Any level of fitness enthusiast! Casual runners will also like this for its built in GPS.

How does it work?

Using accelerometer (motion sensing) technology plus a heart rate sensor in the watch (detected on your wrist), the Surge gives you steps, activity, calories burned, stairs climbed – all the data you need to assess your activity.

What apps do I need?

The Fitbit app is a one stop shop that includes food tracking as well but the device will sync to My Fitness Pal too.


  • Reliability of the Fitbit name.
  • Frequent updates (e.g. step sensitivity was updated just after I purchased mine and stroller/grocery cart pushing was much more accurate) to the firmware.
  • Tracking workouts and runs right on the device was a push of a button.
  • Bells and whistles like message notifications and GPS, plus the fun friend challenges in the Fitbit app.


  • Not the prettiest wearable.  Somewhat industrial looking, with a thick black band and large face.
  • Heart rate tracking was not consistent.  Steady state cardio was tracked accurately but high intensity intervals were often missed, due to the wrist placement of the heart rate sensor.  Calories burned numbers were usually off for HIIT and other interval group fit classes, compared to the Polar HRM comparison when I wore both.

Price: $199-$249 on Amazon

Apple Watch

My current wearable, and probably the most widely debated – is it a smart watch? Is it an activity tracker?  I’ve been wearing it for 2 months and yes, it is both!  That said, in order to maximize your activity tracking and workouts, you will need to use some apps to get the best data.  This device needs it own blog post due to the nuances of different apps and features but I’ll break down the basics as best I can!

Who is it for?

“Apple people.”

How does it work?

Well, its Apple, so…magic! Kidding.  It uses a several technologies, from motion sensing to heart rate monitoring.  The data is synced from the watch to your iPhone and that’s it.

What apps do I need?

Apple Watch includes the Activity app – which also syncs with that mysterious “Health” app (which in my opinion, is cumbersome and it is not a go-to app for me). That said, there’s an entire Apple Watch store within iTunes, to pair with your watch, fitness and non-fitness related.  Depending on what you are using it for, there’s probably an app for it.


  • Modern looking and more like a watch, than a sports watch or activity tracker.
  • Ability to pair with a heart rate strap (but you’ll need to find the app best for you – I use MotiFit and a Scosche RHYTHM forearm HRM).
  • Apple lovers will geek over the features.


  • Not for the non-Apple user.
  • You may find yourself looking for other apps, besides the built in Workout function.
  • If you want to go for a run and track pace and distance, you’ll *likely* need to bring your phone with you.  There are a few running apps that will sync but you’ll need to read the FAQs to make sure that the app and watch will do what you want it to do.

Price: From $297 on Amazon; limited to size and color option avaialbility


I was a very early adopter of this technology, from when I saw the announcement on IndieGogo.  I waited a long time while production kinks were sorted out and software updates were released.

Who its for: People who have patience with new technology and products and see potential!

How it works:

Between its wristband and optional footpod, the Amiigo uses technology that recognizes motion as well as tracking steps to assess activity level.

What apps do I need:

At time of review, there was an Amiigo app that tracked activity, workouts and sleep.


  • Small company with big ideas and desire to improve the landscape of activity trackers.
  • Footpod option was great for tracking steps when my “hands were full” or pushing strollers and carts.
  • Ability to “program” your own workouts, even weight lifting, by manually adding your moves and calibrating them with the tracker so they are automatically detected.


  • New tech and small company = more kinks and bugs. I personally lacked patience to wait for the updates and moved on from this device.
  • Calibrating my own workouts was time consuming.

Price: Currently not available for purchase.

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Fitness & Activity Tracker Comparison! #fitness #technology Click To Tweet

So there you have it – a quick and dirty overview of a few of the activity trackers out there. Check back for a comparison chart for a snapshot of features!

Free Template: The Best Meal Planner!

My philosophy for most everything….?


I’ve searched far and wide, on Pinterest and Google, for a meal planner that I like.  Something clean, no crazy fonts, easy on the eyes.  When you don’t find what you want?  Create!  So I did.

Anytime we overcomplicate our nutrition, training plans, life plans….it gets overwhelming. Hard to succeed when we’ve completely complicated JUST the planning part.



In this free meal planner template, I also include a space for your workout!  When we plan, we are more likely to stick to in and succeed!  Doesn’t it feel good to check things off??

Free printable meal planner! #free #printables #planner #2016 Click To Tweet

Want the planner?  Drop your info and get it right to your mailbox!
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Fitness & Workout Music Apps

As a group fit instructor, I am always looking for great music to use in my classes as well as my own workouts but creating playlists can be tedious and time consuming!!

If you have a fitness fanatic or a group fit instructor in your life, consider a subscription to one of my three favorite services!

1. Spotify

I’ve been using this service for years!  The premium subscription is ad-free and allows you to play your tracks and playlists offline – big bonus for the group fit instructors and for people who like to turn off notifications during a workout or long run!

Features like cross-fading tracks are also a nice touch!  The app and web interfaces are both easy to use and you can follow your favorite artists and users (like, ahem, yours truly!)

2. FIT Radio

This subscription DJ mix service takes the guesswork out of your playlists, whether in the studio or just working out!

Big bonuses for instructors is the ability to find specific BPMs and there are also a few 32 count mixes in there.  Favorite a mix and you are able to stream in airplane mode.

Categories for different genres and workouts are also helpful so you find the right mood and tempo for your workout or class – and exclude explicit lyrics, if you need a cleaner playlist.  The premium subscription service options are monthly, yearly and LIFETIME!!

(pssst, a little birdie told me there was a Groupon for this one…)

3. Rock My Run

I was an earlier adopter of the Rockstar premium service last year and the app has come leaps and bounds since I originally joined.

Designed for runners, the Rock Star service (which has since been update from a credit system to a membership system) allows you to adjust your tempo manually or set it to automatically adjust your tempo to your pace.

A new Group Fitness category has been added as well as a Cool Down mix category.  Once you find a mix for a class or workout, use the Download feature (only downloads within the app) and the mixes will stream in airplane mode!

Need more ideas for your favorite fitness pro or just a workout warrior?  Head over to my girl Amanda’s page, Be Phoenix Fit for a great post filled with gift ideas!

**Disclaimer: I was not compensated nor did I receive an incentive to post the above opinions.

New Year’s Goals

This year was CRAZY.

Prepped for my first bikini competition, expanded my group fitness classes, shot a P90X Live workout video, bought a house, sold a house, started teaching group fit at the brand new Life Time in our area….SO MUCH change!

Starting in December, I’ll be re-designing this blog, look, feel – everything!  I’ll also be documenting my SECOND journey to the stage.  My first experience was just getting my feet wet and learning the most basic elements of competition prep. Now I’m ready to blog and share my experience through the second, more intense, prep. I’m pursuing a specialty certification with ACE and also enrolling in the LifePower Yoga 200 Hour teaching training.

I’ll also have some announcements for new challenge groups, new one-on-one coaching services and more and more ways to help you reach your goals, on your terms.

Change can be scary.

Change can be stressful.

Change can lead to growth and excitement and opportunity.

And that’s why I’m excited for what’s in store.

Want to get the announcements as soon as they go live?  Email me to be put on the mailing list and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Home Workout Program or Gym?

To go to the gym and take classes or to workout at home….

THAT is the question.

I know I’ve been posting more about my group exercise classes on Facebook lately but I’m also still very much a Beachbody coach.

Here’s the thing…I don’t believe that a gym membership is a magic pill.  And I also don’t believe that Beachbody programs are the secret sauce to wellness and weight loss (if that’s your goal) either.

Here’s where you say “WHAT??! BUT YOU ARE STILL A COACH….?”…right right. Wait for it.

Gym to street style!

If you haven’t been successful reaching your goals, its time to look at your plan again. The moving parts of weight loss and fitness aren’t THAT complex (cals in, cals out, move around….essentially) but you need to get your nutrition in check AND have a fitness program that has enough variety to keep your body in a state where it is continually challenged and build your strength, your endurance, your fat loss zone, etc.

The bottom line is whether you prefer a gym and/or group exercise but aren’t seeing results, here are some tips!

  • Have a plan; don’t be a fitness floor wanderer.  Turn off notifications on your phone and WORK.
  • Take your favorite group fit classes but Zumba 5 nights a week isn’t going to challenge your muscles.  Add strength class in there and challenge yourself! Conversely, a barbell or strength class needs to be complemented with some cardio during the week.
No gym? No problem!

If the gym isn’t an option and you need a home workout program or something to complement your running or gym workouts, a Beachbody program IS just as effective.  Tips to make it work?

  • Have a plan.  Turn off notifications or hide your phone.  (Sounds a lot like the above, right??)
  • Make sure your home options have enough variety.  Body weight strength AND cardio.  Weights or bands. Easy!

The moral of the story is….have a plan.

Find something you like to do and you’ll be able to stick to it!

The secret sauce isn’t the program, it is the consistency and the effort you put into it.

Need support?  Hit me up – let’s chat.