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I am a momma-to-be, a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Women, Weights, and Protein!

Pin It A little girl power to start off your Wednesday:
-Women are equal to men.
-Women are sexy able to vote.
-Women are strong.

The last one I continually need to prove, almost on a daily basis. I often get the feeling that people assume women fall under one of two categories: weak, dainty little flowers with no voice; or feminist bitches who don't shut up (guess which one people assume I fit into?... actually, don't answer that.). Inevitably, when I teach my students about weight lifting or any sort of resistance training, nearly every single girl has "that" look on their face when looking back at me. It's as if I can read their minds.

"Miss, why are you wearing a bikini to school?"
Okay, that's not the question they're asking. So, I quickly cover up with a shawl, and read their minds: "But I don't want to look like a man."

Honey, you won't. (Unless you want to get "big" muscles- there are other means that you can- but not by simply lifting weights).

We are women. Strong, powerful, amazing women. We have these beautiful hormones called estrogen and progesterone in much higher quantities than we do testosterone (yes, women have this too!). We simply do not have the capacity to increase our muscle size by a ridiculous amount- what we do have is the ability to decrease body fat and increase LEAN muscle mass. Women get cray cray and only hear the word "mass", so freak out and run for the elliptical machine. You have the ability to increase your lean muscle mass and look toned, fit, and gorgeous- and you can do this through body weight training, interval training, going to your Pump class, lifting weights, plyometrics, pilates, even yoga.

A recent study from the Journal of Nutrition showed that- specifically women- who drank whey protein drinks (over a period of 23 weeks) had less body fat and a smaller waist than those who consumed soy protein or a carbohydrate supplement. In addition- strangely- those who included whey protein drinks in their eating plan DOUBLED their fat loss compared with those who ate the same amount of calories but didn't drink any shakes. Crazy, right?

Here's my bottom line: drinking protein shakes will NOT make you look like a man. Just as lifting heavy weights will NOT turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger. While you are decreasing your overall body fat percentage through resistance training, you can complement your training by drinking a scoop of whey protein isolate mixed with water (my recommendation- has a higher yield of pure protein and a high concentration of Branch Chain Amino Acids- used to fuel working muscles and stimulate protein synthesis). It can decrease your recovery time in addition to providing a complete protein for your muscles, and can actually decrease your appetite. Don't we all want to look longer and leaner?

I've changed up a few things in my diet recently (about 3-4 weeks ago) that include incorporating a protein shake every day (mixed with water), either first thing in the morning with a piece of fruit, or directly after a workout. I began using GNC's Pro Performance Protein Whey Iso Burst- about 90% protein by weight-, and it actually mixes well and tastes good. This was shocking to me as it is low in fat, sugar, and lactose. It took some convincing from my husband to give it a try with just water and not a bunch of added stuff (like a pint of ice cream... shhhh). I don't know if it's psychological, but I have noticed that my super hard workouts have been easier to recover from- I went to a crazy hard workout this past Saturday and followed the workout with a shake, and I didn't experience the crazy delayed onset muscle soreness!
"Chocolate Royale" flavour- yes, please.
 I've also used Whey Iso Burst in my Steel Cut Oats- to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal!


I also dyed my hair and took this photo.

Alright fine. That's not me. I know it took you less than a millisecond to realize that. But I have noticed changes- some good changes- and when I feel comfortable, I will take a photo of myself without a shirt on. You will never return to my blog, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

I suggest trying Pro Performance! I was very happy with it- the taste and the results- as I ventured out of using Vega protein (both are available at GNC Canada). I suggest adding a protein shake after your workout and as a snack replacement- even late at night when you get the sweet tooth craving.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to freak out my husband and make him take inappropriate photos of me flexing. Live Well Now, peeps!

What is your favourite source of protein? 

What supplements do you include in your diet?

Monday, 26 March 2012

New 20-Minute Tabata Workout: Fitness Idol!

Pin It Happy Monday! It's time to hit the gym... or hit your living room! This Tabata Workout can be done at the gym or at home- all you need is yourself and a timer!

Call 1-800-FITHEEL to vote for Katy!
I am a big advocate of Tabata training, or High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.). It is an extremely effective style of resistance AND cardiovascular training, providing improved athletic capacity and killer fat burning that lasts long after the workout is complete.

Tabata training is H.I.I.T. specifically in high intensity, hard-and-fast-as-you-can work intervals of 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is continuously repeated throughout the workout.

Fitness Idol is meant to challenge you to the max- so that you can become your very own fitness idol!  Remember to always give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself often when it comes to fitness- buy a new fitness magazine, try a new clean recipe, maybe save up for some kick ass workout clothes!

You will complete the following exercises 4 times in a row, Tabata-style (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest).

1. Hop-to One-Legged Squats
You'll need a but of space to your right and left- begin moving to your left. Hop to your left foot, then your right, and then land in a one-legged squat on your left foot. Then move to the right- hopping right, left, and then landing in a one-legged squat on the right foot. Repeat.

2. Push Up Lawnmowers
Begin in a plank position, keeping your core tight and body straight the entire time. Complete one push up, and bring one hand off the ground, squeezing your shoulderblade on the same side. Move back to centre and complete a push up, repeat other side. Your option is to complete this on your knees!

3. Double Froggers
Killer full-body move! Begin in a plank position with your feet together, and jump your feet to the outsides of your hands, then back to plank. Then, bring your hands from shoulder width apart to wider, either by "jumping" the hands out or by walking them. Both options are shown in the video.

4. Wall Walks
Begin with your knees bent and your heels on the wall. Your hips should be approximately a foot's length away from the wall (this should not hurt your neck- if it does, move back away from the wall). Lift your hips off the ground and walk your feet up the wall and back down to starting position.

5. Single Leg Lunge Pops- L
Complete three lunge pulses on the left side. On the fourth pulse, jump directly in the air and land in the same lunge position and continue.

6. Single Leg Lunge Pops- R
Same as above, on the other side.

7. One Arm Mountain Climbers
I got this last and final move from Jillian Michaels- it is KILLER!!! Begin with your left leg bent and your left arm on the ground, right arm back. Switch your feet and pretend you are running! A full-body exercise to finish off this workout. Be patient- you'll get it! :)

Good luck!!! Take this workout to the gym by right-clicking the photo above or click "print" at the bottom of this post. It will print the workout descriptions for you!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The 15-Minute "We put the HOT in HOTel" Workout!


I'm TOTALLY INSANELY EXCITED coolly honoured that my little blog has been (most likely by my Mom) nominated for a Fitterati Award from Fitness Magazine!!! The Fitterati Blogger Awards have nominations by category (Best Healthy Living Blog, Best Running Blog, etc.) and I've been nominated for Best Personal Trainer Blog!!! The winners will get a chance to contribute to FitnessMagazine.com, which would be an absolute dream come true! All I need is for you to vote for me by clicking on the link below and finding my blog. I'm apparently way behind in the game, but I would so appreciate your vote! If you like my workouts or my ability to consume mass amounts of chocolate at once, please vote for me and I will repay you... with more ass-kicking workouts.

Bahhh! I am so freaking excited, I think I will go home and pour myself a huge glass of wine. By myself.

Enjoy another original workout from yours truly!

This "HOT"el Workout is just what you need when travelling! You can do it first thing in the morning, late at night, or when you've slipped out of your meeting to "look over some numbers."

Disclaimer: I will not be held accountable if you are fired from your job.
In all seriousness, travelling with work can often be stressful and exhausting- eating out a lot, being out of your regular routine, long, drawn out conferences, even jet lag can making exercising the last thing on your mind. That's why this workout is only 15 minutes in total and is a full-body workout. If you are in a hotel with a gym available to you, I suggest trying to get in 20-30 minutes of cardio (running, swimming, cycling, etc.) every day if possible in addition to this workout. You will feel better and be more clear-headed!

You will complete these 6 exercises using the furniture and wall space in your hotel room. You will complete each exercises for 30 seconds each, and repeat the circuit 3 times. Give yourself 15 seconds in between each exercise.

Begin: 100 Jumping Jacks

1. High Knee Plank
Using the bed, place your forearms flat on the very edge of the bed. You have two options- alternating knees to chest, mimicking a walk, or picking up your feet and switching faster. Both options are shown in the video. 

2. Three Pulse Squat Jumps
Move into a squat position- leaning back on the heels, chest lifted, back strong, knees not reaching beyond the toes- and complete three pulses in the lower half of the squat position. After the third pulse, jump straight up in the air, landing back in your deep squat. Repeat. 

3. Coffee Table Tricep Dips
You can use a couch, chair, or anything with a solid base when completing your tricep dips (it is harder on your wrists to complete on a soft surface like the bed). Make sure your shoulders stay away from your ears and your bottom stays as close to the table/chair/couch as possible. Your knees are bent at 90 degrees (for a greater challenge, straighten your legs), and you want to bend your elbows so that the eye of the elbow points behind you, as close to 90 degrees as possible. 

4. Bridges
Using the couch (or coffee table- the higher the prop, the harder this exercise is), place your heels up with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Your bottom is as close to the couch as possible. Lift your hips up and lower so that you ALMOST touch the ground, then bring your hips back up. Repeat. 

5. Elevated Push Ups
Use the lowest piece of furniture possible for this exercise- this is a challenging push up that absolutely shreds your core, too! With toes up on the furniture, complete regular push ups for the entire 30 second interval. Killer!

6. Assisted Handstand
This is the perfect time to try the assisted handstand- it's not your house! :) It's important for this exercise that you do not arch your lower back- your core should be strong and tight throughout the interval. Always ensure your hands are directly below your shoulders. Moving into a plank position against the door, slowly move your feet up the door bit by bit. Make sure you BREATHE and try to hold this position! 

Repeat this three times- 30 seconds each- 15 second rest! 

NO excuses- you can do this!

Please VOTE for Fit In Heels to win a Fitterati Award from Fitness Magazine here! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Stratusphere Yoga DVD + Stratusphere Living Fit Gloves Giveaway!

Pin It Some of you may remember that I met Trish Stratus a few weeks ago while attending the Power of Movement- Toronto. You may remember her from her days as a fitness model, WWE Wrestler, advocate, or actor- but the day I met her, she was Trish Stratus, the yogi. When Trish retired from WWE, she turned her passion of fitness into an extremely successful yoga venture- opening her own studio in Vaughan, Ontario- just north of Toronto. Since its inception, Stratusphere Yoga has become a household name, especially because of Trish's very successful Stratusphere Living- yoga mats, Fit Gloves, yoga blocks, and Trish's Stratusphere Yoga DVD.

A few things you should know about me and Trish Stratus:

1. We both love yoga.
Holy God.

This was three seconds before plummeting to the ground.

2. We both can Mermaid.

Add caption

There's a reason I'm not smiling.

3. We are both Wrestling Champions.

She wrestled another woman for this belt.

I, too wrestled a woman for this.

4. We both have amazing facial expressions.

Also, our cleavage is pretty much identical.

5. We transition easily between blonde and brunette.

Some better than others. 
Alright. So now that we've determined that we are basically twins, I have a seriously SA-WEET giveaway for you! A Stratusphere Yoga DVD- PLUS a set of Stratusphere Living's Fit Gloves!

The workout DVD totally fits in line with what I'm all about- quick, effective workouts that target strength and endurance! The DVD includes a Group Workout with extra instruction, and a Solo Workout without the extra instruction. The Fit Gloves make the workout extra effective, and the workout couples yoga plus resistance training for maximum fat and calorie burn. My favourite kind of yoga is Vinyasa or Power Yoga- which this DVD is! It's great for all levels- beginners to advanced- and I promise, you will SWEAT!

The Fit Gloves weigh only a pound each, but may as well be a gazillion (actual unit of pounds). I have used them in my yoga practice for the last 2 weeks and they seriously ROCK my world. They give extra endurance and strength training and burn the arms/shoulders/core so good! Within the first two minutes, my heart rate was significantly increased, and the standing and balancing postures were kicked up a notch. What I'm trying to say, is that I basically have Trish's exact physique now that it's been two full weeks using them.

She won't admit it, but this was right after she asked for my autograph.
I have TWO sets of Stratusphere Yoga DVDs + Stratusphere Living Fit Gloves to give away (a $44.95 value!)! Here's how to enter:

+1 "Like" Stratusphere Yoga on Facebook!
+1 "Like" Fit In Heels (otherwise known as Trish's twin! ...stop laughing) on Facebook!
+1 each Share this giveaway using Facebook, Twitter (@trishstratuscom & @fit_in_heels), or Pinterest!

For each entry, please leave a comment! Good luck- contest will end Sunday, March 25th!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

10- Minute Irish Dance Workout with the Jump Rope!

Pin It Top O' the Morning to ya! (I had to think about whether this was Irish for about five minutes). Ever wonder why Irish/Highland dancers have such FAB legs? Well, I'll tell you. I tried Highland dancing (slightly different than Irish dancing because of the use of the arms) last year as one of my colleagues used to be a Highland dance champion, and I wanted to die.

Did I mention it was 1 minute into the workout?

I'm smiling because I'm thinking of the green beer.
You must keep your legs flexed, and something I didn't know- you must be on your toes the ENTIRE TIME!!! Holy God, my calves were screaming. Then, I kept looking at the teacher's ridiculous legs, and I kept going.

Holy God.
In honour of St. Patty's Day and the lovely legs o' the Brits, I've created an Irish Dance-Inspired Workout using the Jump Rope- and the first workout video in which I actually speak. To warn you, I sound like a cross between a man and a mouse, so please feel free to mute me. I'm used to it.

As always, if you do not want to use the rope, don't! Complete 4 rounds of 1 minute 30 seconds of jump rope with 1 minute of plank in between for an all-over 10-Minute cardio workout! 

To finish this workout, it is required that you drink one pint of green beer. Yes, required.

You're welcome.

Please, no comments on how you expected me to sound more like a woman rather than a man. 

Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Fitness NATION!

Pin It Have you ever had a workout so tailored to you that you thought it must have been created with you in mind?

Enter: Fitness NATION and Marc Lebert's Saturday morning EPIC Boxing class.

Some of my FAVOURITE equipment- Equalizer Bars, the BOSU, and the Battling Rope! 
Carter and I went to check this place out- as we've been using Lebert's systems in our schools/fitness classes for years! Both the Equalizers (some of my students call these "Torture Sticks"- fitting) and the Buddy System are versatile and extremely effective tools to use in any fitness program.

David Kittner, Roger Maklouf, and Marc Lebert- all awesome Fitness NATION peeps. And not that anyone's comparing, but I'm sure my abs are better than Roger's. 

The NATION comes fully equipped- TONS of space for some killer interval, Tabata, boxing, and sport-specific training! This was the point where I got really, really jealous that I didn't have a studio apartment overhead.

Spin bikes- in the signature black and yellow

A ton of gorgeous floor space, and most importantly: a door. That we'll need in the summer. For our makeshift patio.

The class was totally up my alley- starting off with a warm-up circuit of jogging, hurdles, battling ropes, push ups, and kicks:

There were tons of people there, but my kick was so fierce, they had to get out of the way.
We then moved to a strength phase of mountain climbers, hamstring curls, push ups, pull ups, lunges and tricep extensions:

Not pictured: the actual pull up. You're welcome.

Contrary to what you're probably thinking, this IS the proper exercise, and not a forehead rest.
We then moved into some shadow boxing, and focus pad work!

Jab, Cross, Uppercut Intervals!

Marc was working really hard- I could barely get a photo, these guys were so good!

Then, there was this guy.

Note my fierce uppercut skills- my entire left hand disappears. I only pull that s%$! out in the ring. And, at home.
We finished with another set of laps, and everyone's favourite- burpees- before doing a quick ab circuit:

While we worked our asses off, Marc sang Katy Perry's greatest hits.

"I Kissed a Girl, And I Liked Itttttt"

Alright, fine. Carter is a fitness god. But if I could only get him to wear shorts. 
Um... yeah.
Thankfully, this photo is blurry enough that you can't see how long it's been since I've shaved. 

At the end of the class, I badgered politely asked the other participants to take a photo! 

Actual caption: "Who is this damn blogger and where is my drink?"
Calm down, people.
What I LOVED about this class- the interval style training. It is reminiscent of my days playing hockey and lacrosse, and lots of time put in training. It was also accessible to ANY level and ability- Marc gave some excellent modifications for those with injury, or those with differing fitness levels. He explained the proper way to jab, cross, and uppercut; and he made everyone feel STRONG and capable. As a fitness instructor myself, I really see the value in this. You simply have to make the experience enjoyable, or people will find any excuse not to return. Marc is a fitness pro- and this was very evident in his teaching style, use of equipment, and versatility.

One of the questions I get asked the most is "How do you stay motivated to exercise?" My answer has three parts: 1. Find something you LIKE and that WORKS FOR YOU. I know people who love to run but hate to swim, who love yoga but aren't fans of pilates. Do yourself a favour and TRY! 2. Give it at least three separate tries. Personally, if I gave up on yoga or Zumba after the first, second, or even third try, I'd never have gone back. You need to try different styles and even different instructors. 3. Mix it up. Try not to only run or only weight lift or only cycle. Mix it up and you're more likely to stick to it.

I would be at this class every week if it were closer, and I have made a promise to myself to go as often as I can, as the class is different every week- totally up my alley. Another reason I'll be back:

I've found peeps who love fitness and booze as much as I do. Heaven.
A huge thank you to Marc Lebert for having Carter and I at Fitness Nation- and for being the coolest, most down-to-earth person ever- rare to find in the fitness industry.

I'll be doing a post on Equalizer Bars and the exercises you can do yourself in my next Create Your Own Home Gym instalment. For now- check out these killer moves and stay tuned to save $10.00 off your own set!

Have you tried the Equalizers before?

What is your PERFECT class?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Create Your Own Home Gym: The Yoga Block (+Giveaway!)

Pin It The yoga block is hardcore! Yes, it is used for beginners for work on their flexibility. It helps people get into poses they otherwise wouldn't be able to do. But this small block can also push your fitness to a new height- quite literally! Our bodies are not all created equal- this little block allows all bodies and abilities to explore yoga to its fullest.
Block it to me.
Fitness Town sent me a Yoga Block and this amazing A-Line mat from Yogaforce- and as a Yoga Teacher, it is hands down my favourite mat. It is shaped for all things yoga, has excellent grip, and I really love the lines not only down the centre but also horizontally, too. It keeps me in line- literally- and I've found that it has definitely enhanced my practice and decreased my risk of injury.

Once you have your mat, you can begin to utilize your block in many ways. I've created a 5-minute Intermediate Yoga Flow with the block- many of these moves can be done individually as well.

There are three levels to the block:

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

I've created an Intermediate Yoga Flow with the Block that is approximately 5 minutes in length- make sure to check with your doctor first before attempting a new form of exercise! Also, I've shown one side of the flow, but make sure you complete both sides.

My FAVE exercise to do with the block is the plank! Put the block at level 1 and grasp the block with 2 hands underneath your shoulders. (it is at 3:00 in the video). For an ADVANCED option, do the same thing but at level 2!!

Cost: Between $5.99 and $19.99 depending on quality, material, and craftsmanship (I suggest a foam block)

Benefits: Puts your yoga practice at the next level, increases balance, challenges your core, allows for a a "fuller" aspect of your yoga poses 

You can WIN your own Yoga Block! Just Like Fitness Town on Facebook (you can click on the logo below!) and let them know I sent you. Your post on their wall is your entry, or you can comment below!

Enter by Wednesday, March 14th to get your own block!