FUEL YOUR FITNESS

BY MONICA GUTIERREZ

Feed your body what it needs and it will respond in ways you never imagined. Whether you’re looking for a physical or mental change, or need deeper healing, learning to truly nourish your body with love and food is critical. I know first hand how food can positively affect you, and its fascinating. 

I have always tried to be mindful of what I eat, and whether or not it is “healthy”. With the exception of my lean-and-mean egg sandwich, I didn’t really know how to cook, so I tried to make good choices at restaurants. The thought of cooking intimidated me. I often felt overwhelmed by the number of ingredients, seemingly advanced cooking techniques, and felt it took forever to get the meal on the table. In the early days, as I was just getting started, it definitely took a bit longer to prepare a simple grilled chicken and often went for the prepared option from the store. As I learned later, cooking and meal preparation gets faster and faster the more you do it and the intimidation quickly vanishes. 

In 2011, when I met my husband Carlos, and moved to Indianapolis, I decided to go after a dream of becoming a professional cheerleader. Carlos encouraged me from the beginning to go for it. I prepared for months, and learned more about fitness and nutrition during the process. Carlos introduced me to eating clean, and cooking all of my food (which seemed completely crazy to me). I started to notice that I couldn’t get the results I wanted from crazy workouts alone. My physique really started to transform when I finally realized that my success relied on a balance of mental, nutritional and physical changes. I needed to eat whole, real ingredients, and prepare them myself so I could keep track of my progress. It was important to avoid hidden sugars and artificial ingredients that didn’t serve my body. I started with simple meals, and soon it became my lifestyle. I felt the best I ever had then. Increased energy and confidence were the only side effects. With Carlos’ help, guidance from a dear friend, and a lot of hard work, I was happy to make the team. I was able to give 100% of my energy to long practices and intense workouts because of the food choices I was making. 

After my season with the Colts, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina with a new appreciation and excitement for health and nutrition. I began teaching kardio dance at kādi, and continued my work as a registered nurse. My passion kept growing as I continued to read, and learn about nutrition and fitness on my own. I couldn’t keep all the amazing things I was learning to myself, so decided to get certified as a health coach.  I wanted to help open peoples’ eyes, the way my eyes were opened, to how the value good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle adds to their life. 

Now, I enjoy cooking and love the challenge of new recipes. No matter your health goals, cooking, whole foods, and a mindful approach to nutrition and fitness should be a part of your journey. 

Show your body love by what you put inside.

JOIN MONICA AND CARLOS THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, AT NOON, AS THEY SPEAK MORE IN DEPTH ABOUT "FUELING YOUR FITNESS." (Free for members, or $10 for non-members)

FEED YOUR BODY LOVE

For most of us, male or female, loving our body is a constant struggle. It's not until we start seeing results, that we begin to feel proud of it. And, even then, it's never perfect enough for us. We don't look in the mirror and see our attributes, all we can seem to focus on, are our flaws. We magnify them and carry them with us everywhere we go. The minute we see someone, we feel like they notice them: the few pounds we put on this week, the way our thighs touch, stomach hangs over our pants, or blemish that popped up on our face.
Food is a battle in itself, and a reflection of how we feel about our body. On "good days" we practice better portion control, or only eat what we consider "healthy" (which aren't always as healthy as we think). Some of us feel like we are in better control of our life, if we can control the amount of calories we consume each day. Or, maybe days we are less motivated, we sabotage ourselves, using food like drugs; out of boredom, or some sort of emotional fulfillment.
Everywhere we turn, we are lured by the next detox/quick fix/fat burner (what they can sell to make money off of you). They may work in the short-term, but what about the damage we are doing, and years taken off of our lives by these products and the man made chemicals put in them?
You've probably heard this before, but everything your body needs, was put on this earth for you to enjoy, and savor. By consuming WHOLE, REAL food, we are able to: heal, prevent sickness and disease, change our skin's complexion, and YES even, to change our entire physique (because we all want to LOOK as good as we feel)!
Knowledge is power. SO, if you know the vitamins and nutrients in your food, how it affects your body, what it can do for it, you have the power to transform from the inside out. If you know which foods:

-Give you lasting energy
-Keep you fuller longer
-Contain anti-aging power
-Restore muscle
-Keep your gut healthy
-Are ideal for pre/post workout
-Transform your physique

...you will make healthy decisions for your body, because you love your body! And, instead of abusing it with too little nutrition, or sabotaging it with fake, processed chemicals, that lead to sickness and disease, you are changing your body's actual physical makeup, with things found on this earth. Then, you will only LOVE it more and more!

In the month of February, we have LOVEly local experts stopping by to share some nutrition knowledge. Check out our events page, and mark your calendar!

 

I CAN & I WILL

 

My vision for 2016, (let's call it Everest), feels pretty much impossible sometimes. But, that's because it's not going to be achieved in one day. It will be achieved one task, one rep, one meal, one hour, one phone call, one day at a time. It's going to take COMMITMENT. There are going to be days I don't feel like waking up early, or evenings when I am exhausted. There will always be something else I could be doing. There will be people who say "let's skip the workout, and go have a drink." Or, times when cooking seems like a chore, and ordering pizza would be easy. 

The EASY route, never leads to success!

Typically, when we choose the easy route, it's because we have focused on the large mountain before us, and not the small steps that get us there. This is why I didn't succeed at some of my goals in 2015. 

EXAMPLE: 
You are in line at the coffee shop, preferably (cough cough) Summit. You have 2 choices: an egg frittata, or a chocolate muffin. You know which one is the healthier option. You either think "I have 15 pounds to lose, that will take FOREVER. I will go with the scone, and start eating better tomorrow..." Because, you're looking at the entire mountain in front of you. Or, you think "Today, I promised myself I would write down what I eat. I'll take the frittata." Because you've focused on the small goal for today. It is, simply, one step up the mountain. 

One rep, one class, one day at a time, ONE CHOICE at a time, stay strong and committed. Keep your eye on your Big Hairy-Ass Goals (BHAG) for 2016. And, by December, all of these things WILL happen. 

But, you have to BELIEVE that you CAN. 
My vision for 2016 was teetering back and forth between extraordinary, and comfortable. There's the crazy, bold version, that feels incredibly overwhelming and scary. I am even apprehensive to even speak it out loud. So, I was finding myself reverting to a more fathomable one.

However...

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and not achieving our mark." -Michaelangelo

My health vision feels like a mountain before me! It's going to take dedication, and commitment, so I am doing this kicking and screaming. I am sharing my BHAG with you. Eek! When I am ready to throw in the towel, and I want to die hanging from the pull-up bar, I am going to hate that I told you this. BUT, when I have successfully completed it, I am going to LOVE that I told you this. Now, you all have to hold me accountable, and do the same for yourself:
  • 30 perfect, full-form Pushups
  • More than 1 pull-up
  • 100 Double Unders
  • At least 1 adventurous activity per month (rock climbing, hiking, hot yoga, etc)
  • Take 4 classes that aren't my own each week
  • Participate in at least 1 race (swim, run, or obstacle course)
  • Lose 5 pounds (Or, for my clothes to fit looser, if I lose fat and tone muscle)
  • 80% clean eating, 20% indulgence 
Some of those goals were the same last year, which can be discouraging. But, what I also forget, is several things aren't on that list any more, because I DID achieve them, and am moving forward, (like taking 3 classes a week that aren't my own, I'm increasing to 4). Or I did them, and need to get back on track, (80% clean eating became more like 60% at the end of the year).

SHARE YOUR BIG HAIRY ASS GOALS WITH ME. (If you're nervous, that means they are PERFECT)!

Comment below with your BHAG, or post on facebook/twitter/instagram using the hashtag #icanandiwill2016. One lucky person, who uses the hashtag this month, will win the book "What to Do When It's Your Turn, and It's Always Your Turn," by Seth Godin (my fave author). 

I KNOW YOU'RE NERVOUS TO SHARE -Should I? Can I? ... YOU WILL. And, don't leave me hanging, literally)!

Keep the Passion, 
Katie