|Posted by fawnheart on December 20, 2016 at 6:55 AM||comments (1)|
5 Easy Tips for Staying Healthy During Holiday Gatherings
1. Portions Matter, But Not How You Think
Photo Credit: Zoryana Ivchenko
A lot of fun, holiday foods are laden with sugar and carbs which is what makes them so enjoyable. But, it also is what makes the body crave more which can leave you feeling sluggish when you’ve eaten more than you planned. Begin by filling up on foods that are high in protein. If appetizers are circulating, look for the dishes that offer up a clean (but tasty) source of protein before delving into deep fried or sweeter options.
High Protein Appetizer Options: shrimp cocktail, oysters, & chicken satay.
2. Pair Your Foods Well
Photo Credit: Zoryana Ivchenko
My rule of thumb for any meal is to pair protein and carbs equally. When this is done, the body is less likely to create cravings to fill in gaps where certain nutrients are missing. To do this, I make a fist on each hand to measure out portions. One fist represents the size of my protein source, approximately 4 oz. (chicken, fish, etc) The other fist represents a clean carb, usually a fruit or vegetable but if at a party, could be a small portion of bread, pasta or sweet.
Pairing Food Options: Appetizers:
•Cheese with Grapes or Fresh Vegetables (Instead of Crackers)
•Crostini with Fresh Seafood (Instead of cheese)
•Deviled Eggs Entrees:
•Chicken, Ham, Steak with vegetables (replace rice and starches with veggies)
•Tofu, Tempeh or Light Cheese (Vegetarian Protein Option) with vegetables
3. What About Alcohol?
Holidays usually call for festive adult beverages to ring in the spirit. Alcohol also is laden with empty calories and can increase cravings for foods that are higher in fat. Does this mean that you can’t enjoy a glass of bubbly? Not at all. You can. My strategy is to revisit tip #2. In this case, consider the alcohol a carb. Yes, spirits are carb free, but alcohol taxes the digestive system well enough on its own. So for myself, I choose a protein to pair with a drink to keep things light, fight off cravings and allow for my body to recover better. Remember...protein is filling! And as always, use the 2 to 1 rule. For every glass of alcohol, drink two glasses of water.
Food Pairing with Alcohol:
• Cheese with Wine (no crackers)
• Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka or Gin Tonic
• Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Wine
• Any entree from Tip #2 with one alcoholic drink
• WATER WITH ALL
4. How to Treat Your Body Before Bed
Photo credit: Baker’s Corner
With celebration often comes excess, which also often results in the dreaded hangover the morning after. This hangover isn’t just from alcohol, but from the effects of dehydration and excess of salt and sugar. During the holidays, this is why it’s so important to hydrate over the course of an evening and before bed, make sure your body has what it nutritionally needs in order to recover. For myself, this is actually a very comforting thing as it carries on the warm and nurturing feel the holidays serve up. I love making homemade golden milk before bed to help wind down. Golden milk is made with ingredients that are naturally cleansing and when mixed together, are also delicious.
Here's the recipe:
- 1-2 cups hot water
- tea of choice (preferably chamomile)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- a splash of coconut milk (almond can be used)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp raw honey
Mix all ingredients together in hot water and let seep for a minute before drinking. Keep the bag in or take it out based on your preference in taste. Enjoy a cup (or two!) of this before bed, taking your time to let it nourish your body and soothe the stomach. Turmeric is cleansing for the liver, so if you have in fact enjoyed a couple of adult beverages, this will help soothe the liver and rehydrate the body.
5. Above All Else, Exercise
When it comes to times of celebration, most of us want (and need) the downtime to relax and unwind. But this doesn’t mean you should keep from exercising. Fall time is a great time to get outside and enjoy the crisp air, play in the leaves with family, or even get in a nice cool run. My favorite thing to do is to take a walk with my kids after a meal so that we have a chance to get out of the house and allow our bodies to get some fresh air. Exercise has been proven to lift moods, increase circulation and digestion, and bring people together. Cooler temperatures shouldn’t deter you from going outside! Bundle up and go out for a snowball fight if you’re enjoying the holidays with family. Ice skate, ski, or take your dog for a walk. Your body will feel better for it, and if you need incentive, know that a warm cup of golden milk or tea could be waiting for you when you return.
|Posted by fawnheart on November 10, 2016 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
Returning to competing and starting in a new federation were two huge accomplishments for me this year. 4 years ago was the last time that I had competed as a bikini competitor. In that last competition, I placed 4th in each category in the OCB Federation. Prior to that, I competed in Muscle Mania for a few years as well, also placing in the top 5. I began competing as a way to motivate myself to workout to lose baby weight after the birth of my first child, so when I decided to train for this return, I didn't expect it would be any different. But, I was wrong.
This time around, EVERYTHING was different. First, I hadn't competed in 4 years and had decided to enter a competition with NPC. Secondly, I have 3 children (ages 8,3, & 2) whom I care and provide for as a full time business owner and mother. Lastly, having two more children DID make a difference -- Physically, mentally and emotionally. Training for this competition alone was a full time job, so juggling everything took incredible planning, almost right down to the minute, to make everything work. I had to make sure I was in bed by 9:30, up by 5:25, in the studio by 5:30 for morning cardio/training/posing practice, and food prepped each day before my children woke (around 6:30/7:00). At that time, the normal day would begin which, as you can imagine with 3 kids and a full time work schedule, was organized chaos. I wrote down every single meal, lifting session, and cardio training in my calendar and crossed them out one by one. I even wrote down BED TIME. This time around was different because I had never worked so hard in my entire life. I was driven, focused, and exhausted all at the same time.
BUT...I did it. I didn't place...but I DID IT.
When I arrived at the venue for the show, I was overwhelmed by the environment. Unlike the shows I had done in the past, this venue was large, beautiful, and it was full of people just like me...and also with people who I wanted to emulate. They were wheeling around their coolers full of food, carrying jugs of water, and each bringing their best physiques to the table. I also brought my best, as did my friend, Jessie, who competed in her first competition with me. (She did an amazing job!) I feel so grateful to have had her there with me as she made the entire experience fun, enjoyable and hilarious all at once.
Jessie and I backstage getting ready to compete
I had practiced posing for months, but wasn't prepared to go on stage and over do my posing. In bikini, overall physique is important, but so is femininity. No hard lines, overly striated muscles, or immense muscle size will help you in bikini. I was ready for this show, but when I went on that stage, I flexed as hard as I possibly could. I have no idea why other than I was so pumped to be up there again that I couldn't help myself. It was out of sheer excitement. Another difference from past shows to this was that I had more loose skin to work with. As a mother of three, I have plenty of stretch marks which can make the process of leaning out (without loose stuff hanging) challenging. But, I didn't care. There were other mothers there too who placed very well and were proudly speaking about their children backstage along with the rest of us. I felt proud to be there with them and left inspired and wanting to do another show in the next year.
Another thing I looked forward to was meeting 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler. When he showed up in the dressing rooms, I was happily listening to music with my earbuds in and not paying attention. I looked up and saw him and audibly gasped, causing the other women in the room to all turn and look. Not one for embarrassment, I walked right up to him and asked for a photo. I think Jessie and I may laugh at this moment for a while, but one goal was accomplished.
One thing people have asked is "what will you eat after the show?" At the time, all I wanted was a steak. But what really happened? I was sleepy and needed to get home to my babies. So, I went home and found that their nanny had baked fresh biscuits and wrapped them up on the counter for me. I downed 3 of those and had 3 slices of leftover pizza. It was glorious. But I can tell you...after months of not having white flour foods, I had the worst headache alive the next morning. And... I still haven't had a good steak. Ah well! There's plenty of opportunity for that before my next show!
Backstage, waiting for Finals
Speaking of which, I've already begun training again for my next show. However, this time around, I'm going to try and compete in Figure Bodybuilding. It is ALOT of work especially since I am a hard gainer (meaning I have a hard time gaining muscle mass). Training is heavier, and the cardio is practically gone from my prep. The good news? I GET TO EAT LIKE A MONSTER.
Photo: Left - the night before the show, dehydrated and having cut for a week. Right - two weeks later, after eating 2900 cals/day + 1 gallon of water
Currently, I've upped my calories tremendously and have changed my macros completely for optimal muscle gain. Sleep is extremely important as well, so I am striving for 8 full hours of rest every night. I've 24 weeks until my next show and am working to keep the momentum I've gained in the last year to continue building muscle and prepare as well as I can for the spring. I feel like such a spring chicken even after years of competing, but I'm up for the challenge. If flexing on stage is what comes naturally to me, then I'm going to roll with it. I look forward to sharing my new journey with you and competing again next April!
|Posted by fawnheart on November 3, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
There's a new offering for small group training coming to my studio starting next Monday...CARDIO BARRE! As a ballet dancer and now, fitness professional, I've designed a hybrid training that combines ballet, resistance training, and cardio all into one workout. In a small group training setting, this class is energizing, motivating and challenging as you sweat listening to ANYTHING but ballet music.
Cardio Barre Format
Each session begins much like a ballet class begins -- with plies, tendus, degages, etc. Together, we will slowly warm up the body, stretching it through traditional, but easy to learn, ballet movements that open and energize the body. Flexibility is a key component of this class and will be integrated in between exercises throughout the workout. From here, we will move into stability and strength, challenging the body with body weight exercises, the use of resistance bands and a solid core workout. The class ends with a calming group stretch with concentrated breathing to relax the body and mind.
And there is a twist: Light mini bands are an added component to the workout. Worn around the ankles, these light mini bands target many of the areas that are difficult to sculpt such as the glutes, thighs and hips. With the added resistance, ballet movements such as plies and degages (seen in video) become more challenging and far more effective.
The Cardio Aspect
During Cardio Barre Training, you will always be moving. The movements are fluid and continuous, as they challenge not only the strength of your muscles, but your heart as well. Higher impact movements are interspersed throughout the workout to spike your heartrate (with recovery exercises in between) to help you burn fat during times where you would normally rest. For those who cannot jump due to injury or discomfort, low impact modifications are offered while still creating the cardio effect.
Reservations and Pricing
*****SESSIONS BEGIN MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH!*****
5 spots per session are available.
Cardio Barre Times
All Cardio Barre is first come first serve as it is a small group training offering. I can accept up to 5 people per class so move fast!
4 Sessions: $60 ($15 per training)
8 Sessions: $100 ($12.50 per training)
|Posted by fawnheart on October 30, 2016 at 6:45 AM||comments (0)|
Whole Wheat PB and Honey Roll Ups
��Whole Wheat Handmade Tortillas
��Raw Organic Honey
��Golden Roasted Flax Seeds
��Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds
Spread the honey and peanut butter as you wish and top with the seeds. Roll up and enjoy with a hot cup of tea.
|Posted by fawnheart on October 16, 2016 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
During the fall months, I love nothing more than a hot bowl of soup paired with a good sandwich. One of my favorite sandwiches to make is a classic chicken salad sandwich. What I don't enjoy however, is the amount if mayo that is traditionally used in making chicken salad. So, I found a solution! By replacing the mayo with Greek yogurt, I was not only able to cut the fat down in my chicken salad, but also add more protein! What results is a tasty, wholesome sandwich that perfectly complements the perfect bowl of soup when it gets chilly outside.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
-2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
- 1 small container plain FAGE Greek Yogurt
- fresh ground garlic salt to taste (I use Trader Joe's)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup sliced celery - fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- whole wheat bread or flax tortillas by Joseph's
1. Mix diced chicken and FAGE yogurt until fully combined.
2. Grind the garlic salt into the mixture to the taste that you prefer.
3. Add in cranberries and celery to the chicken salad and mix until evenly dispersed.
4. Finish by topping with freshly cracked black pepper and serving on fresh whole wheat bread or a high protein wrap (my preference).
5. Serve alone or with your favorite hot soup!
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
|Posted by fawnheart on December 15, 2012 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
As I sit here in Starbucks relaxing before my next appointment, I am reflecting on the past year and all that has transpired.
Last year at this time I was sitting at a desk in between training clientele and staff crunching numbers for the monthly budget, strategizing how to make those numbers grow without sacrificing the integrity of the service being offered in the gym and wondering what it would feel like to have a moment to actually enjoy what I was doing. I knew that I enjoyed training people and that I love leading a team of fitness professionals however, there was always a feeling of emptiness when I made my way home each day.
I had a steady management position that afforded me to live comfortably in a normal everyday way of life. It was predictable and safe. Most people would give an arm for this kind of security so I’ve no intention of seeming ungrateful. However, i began to realize that it was only when I was training my clients and listening to the aspirations of my team that I felt alive. I realized a few months later after sitting at that very desk that I wasn’t born to sit still and push papers and crunch numbers during my off time. So, in May 2012, i decided there was more to life than what I was living and decided to follow my heart instead of my head.
Shortly after, the fog began to clear and opportunities arose that would allow me to realize my dreams of doing what I love - helping people lead healthier lives all the time. I began to practice what I preached during every waking moment whether I was in the gym or not. And believe it or not, I loved every moment of it.
FOX 25 News Appearance Good Morning America for "Hunger Games Fever"
With my new focus along with the support of my family and friends, I was able to compete and place well for the first time in both the Fitness New England and OCB Yankee Classic Competitions. The amount of strength and gratitude that came from that alone made me feel invincible. I thought, “If I can do this, then i can probably do more. Why not try?”.
In October 2012, I would find that in fact YES, MORE WAS POSSIBLE. Believing that more was possible lead me to do the footwork to follow a dream that I thought I’d only realize in my later years—to travel to Africa. It would just so happen that on October 10, 2012, I would be on a flight out of Boston with the purpose of traveling to Kenya to share my knowledge of health and fitness.
There were many outside voices that told me that it would not be possible or a good idea but it was the one voice that made all the difference. My own. Had I not listened to that voice, then I would probably still be in a state of wonder about what could have been for 2012 while sitting at a desk strategizing about short term budgeting.
This being said, I feel the most confident that I’ve ever felt at the close of a year and look forward to beginning 2013 the same way that I ended 2012. By following my heart.
|Posted by fawnheart on December 15, 2012 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
I was introduced to the idea of an alkaline diet about 4 years back after the birth of my oldest child, Logan. to learn more, i decided to study the Raw Food Detox by Natalia Rose and came to love her recipe for Green Lemonade.
Drinking this freshly squeezed juice first thing in the morning made me feel not only refreshed, but sated as I receive an influx of nutrients first thing in the morning. I found my energy levels rise and my ability to think clearly in the morning increase when I made a habit of giving my body what it needs after a full night of fasting during sleep.
If you are looking to clean up your diet or are looking for a way to add more nutrition to a well balanced diet, I highly recommend that you give this recipe a try!
Natalia’s Classic “Green Lemonade”
• 1 head romaine lettuce or celery
• 5 or 6 stalks kale
• 1 Fuji Apple
• 1 whole organic lemon (with peel)
• 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger (optional)
For more info about Natalia Rose, visit her website :
For more about Fawn Heart Cronin, visit:
|Posted by fawnheart on June 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
What is Personal Training?
by FawnHeart Cronin. NASM CPT
Personal Training is one of the best ways to get started in the gym. Setting the appointment, sharing yourgoals and working together with a fitness professional not only holds you accountable to your goals, but can help you learn more about your body and how to train it in the safest and most effective way.
What are the Qualities of a Great Personal Trainer?
When you meet with a personal trainer, you are meeting with fitness professional who is an expert in the field of exercise. They have a solid knowledge base of the body and are there to teach your body the exercises it needs to build flexibility, stability and strength.
When you meet with a trainer, look for a fitness professional who:
Spending time with a trainer will help you maximize your time in the gym because you receive personal attention by someone who is not only passionate about exercise, but also abou tyour goals.
Each client of mine has had the added benefit of spending one hour ofcomplimentary time with me to go over any questions, concerns and goals he/she may have had prior to beginning a training program.
I help you personally with this process by asking a few simple questions:
1. What are some fitness goals that you would like to achieve?
2. Do youhave a preference in the type of trainer that you would like to meet? (Specialist?)
3. What is the best day and time for you to meet with your trainer?
Want to set up an appointment? Email me: [email protected]
I’ve also worked with a personal trainer in the past to help me reach a goal of postpartum weight loss. Although I am a personal trainer myself, there was nothing quite like waking up knowing that I was heading to the gym to meet with my trainer to work toward meeting my goal. There were many days following the birth of my son where I was tired, unmotivated and unwilling to schlep my way to the gym to do a workout by myself. But, making the appointment with someone else not only got my butt in the gym, it made me do the work I needed to keep me on track.
If you haven’t tried personal training yet, definitely take the time to meet with a trainer for a introductory session. Use this time to ask a trainer any questions you might have about your current exercise routine, ways you can change up this routine, or learn a few new exercises. Even if personal training isn’t in the budget, the knowledge you can gather from meeting with atrainer can set you on the right foot to fitness success.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions!
You can reach me at [email protected]
[Fawn is a NASM Certified Master Trainer of Boston Sports Clubs, a fitness facility located in Davis Square, Somerville, MA. Reach her at any time via email – [email protected] – or via Twitter @fawnheartcronin.]
|Posted by fawnheart on||comments (0)|
The holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and friends. It is also a time of indulgence where we enjoy many foods we don't usually enjoy and to a point where we may not want to move afterward. This is where these easy at-home exercises come in.
Here is the workout:
Push-Up to Single Knee Under
Try each exercise for the recommended reps and sets in the video either before or after you have your Thanksgiving Dinner!