Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sculpt those arms, baby!

I picked up a pair of 5lb weights last night to do some of my favorite Fit Girl moves at home.

Sidenote: Since I have stitches in my foot and leg from a little procedure that I had on Monday, I have been out of the studio all week. I can't do spin for 2-3 weeks and can't put too much pressure on my foot. I've been so bummed but keeping my arms and abs toned will certainly help in the process. Here are my Fit Girl inspired arm sculpting moves.

Arm pulses-10 reps with palms up and 10 reps with palms facing down.

Full-range bicep curls. 15 reps
fly - 10 reps
triceps- 10 reps
-I do this set 2-3 times. Names of excerises are not my forte as strength training isn't my speciaity. But, I always try to find pictures to help others. What's your favorite toning exercise for your arms?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Move it in March- I DARE YOU!

MARCH is upon us!
Can you believe it?!
That means...
  • warmer weather
  • spring break
  • shorter shorts 
  • and less clothes 
(okay, maybe not EXACTLY those things here in Chicago- but we can hope..)!

During the month of March, I DARE YOU to MOVE IT! Keep yourself accountable and make it a point to get moving for at LEAST 45 minutes a day! Don't worry about vacations, busy schedules or committments- that's starting things off on the wrong foot! We are ALL busy! I know that I'm traveling twice in March but I KNOW that keeping active is important! Schedule times to workout (morning is the best because you can't hide from it. There aren't usually any excuses except, "I'm tired!" that would get in the way) and stick to it! If you're on the go make sure to bring workout clothes and running shoes. Anything active for 45 minutes counts!

Current Fit Girl offers:
$20 for 1 week unlimited classes (for new clients)
$150 Unlimited AutoPay 
$120 Student/Teacher rate

Who's in?! Who is going to MOVE IT IN MARCH with me?

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook page in order to share your Move it in March journey with us!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Do all things with passion or not at all

I was reminded of this quote today during barre class. Andi was teaching this morning and when she teaches, she simply exudes passion and enthusiasm. Andi smiles during the entire class and shows that she truly loves teaching the barre method to others. You can hear the excitement in her voice. It makes me push harder and want to be as positive as her.

But, the thing is-- all of the instructors at Fit Girl Studio are this way! The Fit Girl Studio instructors are all passionate about what they teach. They head to class with original playlists, choreography and other additions that make class more fun and exciting. From new ways to use the sway bikes or green balls to dance moves on the bike and team "races" during a spin class.

I've come to LOVE Fit Girl Studio as a second home and this is exactly why. I couldn't IMAGINE working out anywhere else at this point. Why would you choose to head to a big gym with instructors that simply head in to give you a quick workout and don't even know your name?! At Fit Girl, the ladies take the time to learn your name and instead of feeling like they're there to just do a "job" (and give you a quick workout) it feels like they're there with you to get a great/fun workout on!

Thanks Fit Girl for giving me the remind today to... Do everything with passion or not at all. I'm ready for another awesome workout in the morning!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Fit Girls (in progress) and Fit Guys (in progress)...I'm here to remind you that...


Over the past few weeks, I've been fighting some kind of cold or bug or something. Being a teacher, of the little little ones, it seems like this cold-thing is never ending. It seems like I just won't ever get rid of it. With that said, I decided that I couldn't possibly give-up on my workouts until I'm 100% better but rather take a class that I felt I could go more at my own pace: spin. I have a confession: Over the past 3 weeks...I've basically taken ONLY spin classes... GASPPPPPPPPPPPPP. I know!! I know!!! What was I think?!?! I wasn't!!

I decided to get my butt back into other classes today and went straight to Fit Girl Studio and took the creme-de-la-creme of other classes (non-spin): Ballet Body Bootcamp.

I was instantly reminded of how much I've let my muscle tone, flexibility and strength go over the past few weeks. Sure, I have endurance. In fact, during mountain climbers I felt like I could continue all night. But, I could barely squat and certainly couldn't hold a releve on the barre with weights. Basically, it felt like it was my very first BBBC EVER! It wasn't a good feeling.

I felt frustrated with my body in the mirror (my muscles have certainly changed and I felt a little "fluffy"). I felt annoyed that I couldn't do things that I ROCKED at just a month ago. Finally, I felt embarrassed. I wasn't embarrassed that others would think things about me- I was embarrassed for myself. I have worked so hard to get where I am and now I slid back a few notches.

::::taking a deep breath (in through my nose. out through my mouth):::::

I WILL get back at it. Actually, I'm already back at it. I WILL get back to where I was and then even further. I just need to stay consistent.

My suggestions to you if you're struggling with your routine is to make sure to stick with it. I don't care what IT it is - just stick with it! Make sure that you're not blocking yourself into a corner by only doing cardio or strength. I know from LOTS of personal experience that you NEED both to get to YOUR optimal position.

So, after reading this, I need you to promise me one thing (well, it's kind of two things).
I need you to say this with me: 

I KNOW that you can do it! I KNOW that I can do it! And, I believe in us both! Believe in yourself, too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

meatloaf cupcakes

I bought some grass-fed organic beef on Sunday and I had it sitting in the fridge. I needed to find motivation to make dinner with it. I made meatballs last week and didn't feel like having them again. I remembered that I had seen these "meatloaf muffins" before and tried to find a recipe. I couldn't find anything that seemed like it would really work. So, I did what I do naturally...threw something together! And...I created... MEATLOAF CUPCAKES (meatloaf topped with mashed cauliflower).

Meatloaf Cupcakes:
(Recipe for Mashed Cauliflower can be found here)
Meatloaf muffins:
  • 1 lb of grass-fed organic beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour (I'm sure you could use another kind)
  • 1/4 cup of diced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of dished tri-colored peppers
  • 1/4 cup of carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of diced onions or shallots
  • Italian seasoning (I use Penzey's Spices)
  • Himalayan Salt (pink salt)
  • Pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl
  3. Grease muffin tins
  4. fill each tin with mixture (yields about 12 "cupcakes")
  5.  Bake for 30-35 minutes
  6. Remove and top with Mashed Cauliflower
  7. Enjoy!

Mashed Cauliflower

This is a staple in my house! Even my picky husband LOVES it (most days...).


  1. Steam cauliflower for 15 minutes (or until tender to the fork)
  2. Strain
  3. Then...there are two options. a.-You can mash with your fork to a mashed potato consistency or b.- you can use a hand mixer or bullet blender to smooth out
  4. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste

Chicago Color Run with Team Fit Girls in Progress !

I'm excited to announce that Team Fit Girls in Progress will be running THE Chicago Color Run on June 16th, 2013 in Grant Park!

General Registration opens on Friday, February 15th! If you sign up for the VIP email list they should send you a discount code and a link to sign up NOW!

If you'd like to be part of the Color Run mania with Team Fit Girls in Progress please email me at !

Keeping health and fitness FUN!

Paleo Chocolate Banana Bread!

A few weeks ago, while scrolling down my timeline on Twitter, I saw someone mention that they had made Paleo french toast. My first thought, "You did WHAT?!?!" I messaged her and she said that she made Paleo banana bread from Civilized Caveman. I went to the site but at the time I didn't have all of the ingredients. Today, however, I had 3 massive (overly-ripe) bananas sitting on my counter and had the day off. Cue: smells of freshly baked banana bread!

I worked with the original recipe from Civilized Caveman but added a few of my own things.

Paleo Chocolate Banana Bread 

  • 3 Large bananas or 4 regular sized bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or any nut butter, i.e. macadamia, pecan, etc) note: I used homemade cocoa almond butter (I heated mine up to melt it just a bit)
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil, melted (I used coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (I'm always a bit leery on using coconut oil due to past experience. I used just under a 1/2 a cup)
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa nibs (optional. I cut up 4 squares of a Lindt 80% dark cocoa bar)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I eyeballed it)
  • pinch of sea salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degree 
  2. Combine ALL ingredients and mix well with a handheld mixer.
  3. Grease a metal loaf pan with grass fed butter or coconut oil.
  4. Pour in your batter and spread it evenly throughout
  5. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes. Check with a knife or toothpick to make sure that the center is still moist.
  6. Remove from oven and flip your bread out onto a cooling rack
  7. Enjoy!

Notes: I have a BRAND new oven. With that said, you may want to alter your timing accordingly (older ovens you might want to bake a bit longer).
Muffin timing: I made a few muffins (regular sized) and they were ready in about 25 minutes.
Bread timing in a metal loaf pan: Check on it at 35 minutes as the original posting suggested- it was certainly not ready. It was ready in about 50-55 minutes.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

...I get it from my mama!

This weekend my mom was in Chicago visiting me (and early birthday celebration). My mom is in shape and works out every morning while at home. She walks on the treadmill and lifts weights. In the past few years she ran her first 5k, tried her first Bikram class, did a bootcamp and ....tried SPIN with me at Fit Girl!

I was SO excited when my mom said, "YES!" trying a spin class with me at my beloved FG! I figured spin would be the best class to test out. It's easy to go at your own pace and you don't feel like everyone is staring at you if you can't do exactly what the instructor is asking.

We went to Sarah's spin class on Saturday and got there a bit early. Sarah helped my mom set her bike up and I grabbed our waters. I also noticed that a fellow Fit Girl, Melissa, had brought her mom to spin as well! I said to the girls, "It must be: Bring Yo Mama to Spin Day!" Sarah replied, "Yeah- if you give me any trouble, I'm turnin' you over to your mother!"

My mom worked SO hard in class. She did nearly every move (even jumps!). I think I spent the whole class looking at my mom and smiling with pride. I love seeing my family work towards keeping up a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks for a great class, Sarah! And, Michelle- mama is pretty adorable! ;) Love you, mom!

If your mom is looking for a way to get into fitness and is at a bit of a loss...head to Fit Girl Studio and try out Spin!

Energy Bits- Product Review


A few years ago, a friend of mine began working for a start up company that sold "bits" made out of alge and vitamins geared towards weightloss, fitness, energy and vitality. Fast forward to 2013 and I saw someone tweet about loving their "Energy Bits!" I had to reach out to the company and see if I could get a sample to blog about! I really wanted to try their products but hadn't ever purchased any. At any rate, I received a sample and was so excited to try them...then I got sick. I kept putting it off and putting it off and I finally tried them this week! I LOVE them.

The first time I used the "bits" (you take about 30 algae&spirulina tabs at a time-they're tasteless) I was heading to a cardio barre class. I had zero-energy. I felt like I was about to get sick and didn't even want to go to class. I figured it was a PERFECT time to try out this product! It was indeed! I felt more awake and full of energy. It was a 6:00 a.m. class and really seemed to help me make it through the day. They really saved me that day. The second time I took them, I just needed a pick-me-up before heading off to work. I felt great during the day. I was more alert and able to tackle the job of being an early-childhood teacher on a snowy Monday morning.

I'm really inerested in trying more of their products and purchacing the Energy Bits!

A few quick facts about these little bits:
  • Algae is 60% protein- the highest concentration on the planet.
  • Algae quickly converts to glucose because it's already in amino acid form, which builds muscles. Glucose is one major source of energy in the body.
  • Algae tabs are 100% spirulina, which release nitric oxide into your body naturally. Our bodies and muscles need to use nitric oxide to open blood vessels and deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
  • Olympic athletes, NASA astronauts and millions more world wide have been utilizing algae for the last 50 years. I had no idea! total shocker to me.

If you're looking for a product that will give you natural energy, without the chemicals and additives, and zero-crash...give Energy Bits a try!

From website:
"Want more energy, more mental vitality, or a healthy high protein snack you can grab on the go? How about a quick way to boost your athletic performance, supercharge your run or crank up your endurance while working or working out? If so, ENERGYbits® are for you. Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab. Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.

Best used for:

  • Increasing Energy 
  • Increasing Endurance
  • Increasing Mental Vitality
  • High Protein Snack
  • Curbing Hunger 
  • Meal Replacement
  • Balancing Blood Sugar
  • Lowering Blood Pressure
  • Reducing Fatigue

How to take them:
For best results, swallow at least 30 ENERGYbits® (or more) before any workout, run, game or intense physical or mental activity. They will improve your energy and endurance. Also take whenever you are tired, hungry or don't have time to eat or cook. They are a terrific high protein, low calorie snack or meal on the go.  A favorite of Olympic athletes.Swallow with beverage (or chew them as you would a handful of nuts). Remember, they're "bits" of food (not pills)."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Top 10 reasons why my "gym" is better than yours!

I'm reminded each time I head to Fit Girl Studio how LUCKY I am to have found such an awesome place! Here are just a few reasons why my "gym" is better than yous... (side-note: I use the word gym in quotations because FG is SO much more than just a gym or studio!)

Top 10 reasons why my "Gym" is better than yours:

10.    No intimidating gym equipment to guide yourself through.
9.     Clean locker-room, showers and free lockers. No need to bring your middle-school master-lock.
8.      The studio doubles as cute boutique with items from GiGi Botega (dangerous!) for your shopping pleasure.
7.     The most comfortable spin bikes that I've ever been on! Do your spin bikes sway? Can you dance on them and do push-ups? Yeah, mine can!
6.     You can bring out your inner-ballerina in a judgement-free zone!
5.     1 free class a week (or so) so that you can bring your friends and show them how awesome Fit Girl Studio is! Free? Yeah, I'm serious- Free!
4.     Great workshops on shaping the whole Fit Girl- fitness AND nutrition workshops.
3.      Motivating instructors who know their stuff!
2.      "...Where everybody knows your name." The instructors and staff (and clients for that matter) make it  a point to learn your name! They greet you with smiles and really CARE about the clients!
1.     Classes are FUN! The slogan at Fit Girl is "Love your workout- love your body!" I LOVE working out and never want to take a rest-day. That in itself says something!

If you haven't taken at class at Fit Girl Studio yet- what are you waiting for?!

Chocolate and Coconut "Candies"

My dietician, Kelly (and Cassie from Fit Girl Studio), introduced me to Artisan's Cacao Bliss. I didn't want to shell out the $20 for a 10 pack but I did try one at our last session. OMG! Heavenly! So, when Kelly posted her version of the recipe, I had to try it!! I altered it just a bit by adding coconut to it and making them in candy molds. They came out beautifully and were so easy to make. They're certainly dangerous, for me, to have in the house. I might not be making them too often!
 Chocolate and Coconut "Candies"
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Salt
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Crumbles coconut chips or shreds 
--Yields 24 "candies"

  •  Melt the coconut oil and honey together in a saucepan
  • Add cacao powder, salt and honey.
  • Add coconut shred in at the last minute (they can burn if they're in too long)
  • Pour mixture in trays and let cool.
--For me, 3 candies was equal (nutritionally) to about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

Meal preppin' for the week!

I LOVE this quote! It's SO true! I notice that on the days or weeks that I do not prepare my foods ahead of time and plan things out...I "fail" big time! Now, I still struggle with going through phases of giving into other treats (grabbing an extra apple or banana, a handful of almonds, a scoops of almond butter or picking up dark chocolate). However, it's a lot easier to stick to your plan if you prepare.

On Sunday, I did a huge meal prep for my week. I made a few main dishes, lunch items and most importantly for me:snacks! Next week, I'll be sure to make some breakfasts on Sunday.

Spices for Paleo meatballs- shallots, Italian blend, paprika, garlic, basil and pepper.

mix all ingredients together with 1 egg then combine 1 lb of grass-fed organic beef.

Bake meatballs in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes on each side. Store in an air-tight container and use during the week!
Detox Salad (similar to Whole Foods)

juice from one lemon, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup of carrots, sunflower seeds to your liking, half a bag of cauliflower, half a bag of raw broccoli, power greens (spinach and kale) and olive oil.

Chop all dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients! Use for a base for a quick lunch! Add shrimp or chicken to get protein in and your power greens!

Snack Prep:

Side dishes:
Mashed cauliflower: 1 bag of cauliflower, 1 tbsp of Kerrygold grass-fed butter, salt and pepper. Steam cauliflower, mash together with butter, salt and pepper.
Black rice: Black rice has more antioxidants per tablespoon than blueberries! It's the un-spoken super-food! Get on it! Make a batch for the week and enjoy.  

Take some of these ideas with you into your next week and set yourself up for success! 

Do you have any tips on meal-preps? Let us know!