Category Archives: Nutrition


Motivation – I’m BACK

imagesMotivation is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior.” Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! Many of us struggle on a daily basis for motivation when it comes to getting out of bed, going to the gym, eating healthy, or anything else that might be a challenge to you.

This is where I come in! When I first started my personal training business and was searching for a name it was really hard. Then I remembered what a friend I used to run with used to say to me. She told me I was so motivating! Every time she wanted to quit, not show up, slow down a bit, I helped her to find her motivation to keep going. I took great pride in that then and now.

To be successful in life and health we need the following:

Healthy Lifestyle Habits
I am so happy to get back to the basics and to what I love doing most, MOTIVATING others, help create healthy lifestyles, and inspire change. If you live in the Iowa City area you have heard the phrase Win The Day. I have been inspired to win each and every day and I am going to pay that forward by helping others. Motivation Personal Training is back in business!

New Easter Meal Tradition Begins…

Happy Easter to all! This year we started a new tradition at our home with the meal we cooked. With 4 kids I get requests for various items, and it seems that no one agrees. I am going to share what I cooked and offer 2 quick and easy recipes that are healthy choices!!

3 out of 4 of my kids are big meat lovers and I made them meatloaf (93% lean of course). My daughter Morgan wanted chicken and  a friend of mine gave me a good idea of how to make chicken a different way. I will call it my version of Chicken Parmesan:

1st – Pound out chicken breast (great stress reliever too). Next take some tomato paste and spread on top of chicken. Use either fresh basil and garlic if available or sprinkle italian seasoning and garlic powder if not. Sprinkle with either fresh parmesan or shredded parmesan. Roll up. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes and – BAM – fantastic! For a little extra seasoning, sprinkle the top of the breasts with Italian seasoning.

Veges – I took some new red potatoes, diced them up, put them in a pan with some olive oil, garlic pepper (a staple in my home) and seasoned salt (no msg of course). I baked them at 350 for one hour stirring them 30 minutes through. I also steamed some fresh green beans, used some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and garlic pepper.

Dessert – my favorite – I make a trifle. First I bake an angel food cake and let cool completely. I cut up some fresh strawberries. I prepare Low Fat Strawberry Mousse (sugar free also) the brand is Sans Sucre. When that is done I layer the angel food cake, then mousse, then sugar free cool whip and then fresh strawberries! It is fabulous, sweet and low fat!!

I love to try to make new, healthy food for my family and will continue to share some!!

M&M Theory (not the ones you eat!)

I often get asked what some key components to successful weight loss program. Obviously they are Diet and Exercise, but the secret lies in what we do with each. I don’t believe it has to be a difficult process if you follow the criteria below.

My M&M Theory:

  • Moderation – In terms of food, this seems to be the most difficult. I never like to tell anyone they need to do without most of their favorite foods (ok, there are some exceptions and you all know it). Rather, it is learning what a serving size is to look like. It is educating yourself on how to read food labels. It is doing homework before you go out to eat and looking online at the restaurant menu to pick the best choice.
  • Modification – I think this one is the most important of the two M’s. I don’t like to tell my clients that they need to do without their certain cravings (i.e. salt/sweet), rather Modify. For example, you are a salt junkie, choose a 100 calorie bag of microwave popcorn (you get an entire bag)! If you like to bake, like myself, try substituting applesauce for oil, 1/2 whole wheat flour vs all white flour, dark chocolate vs milk chocolate, or Splenda vs Sugar.

This is only half of the success factor, and I will continue more with exercise tips on my next blog.

Bottom Line – If you have a bad, that’s ok, as long as you have more good days practicing the M&M Theory, you will be successful whether your goal is to lose weight or to maintain a healthy lifestyle!

EAT THIS NOT THAT – Heather’s picks!

I was doing some research to show the differences between certain food choices that we make. I get asked a lot about what I eat and what healthier options that I choose. I don’t diet – I despise that word! I would rather choose lower calorie, less fat alternatives of things that I already like. Below is my version of EAT THIS NOT THAT, and also some other common snack choices I choose.

Salt Fix 100 calorie BAG of 94% fat free microwave popcorn – 2.5 g fat for a bag!! Movie Theater Microwave popcorn for same amount as other 157 calories and 11.2 g fat
Baked Lays – 11 chips for approx serving – 110 calories and 1.5 g fat Regular Lays – 11 chips, 150 calories and 10g fat
Sweet Fix 100 Calorie Milano Cookie pack – 4.5 g fat and a bag (I like quantity) Regular Milano Cookies – 3 cookies, 180 calories and 10 g fat
Apple – medium sized 95 calories .4 g fat McDonalds Apple Pie – 250 calories and 13 g fat

I think you get the picture. Below are a few of my favorites with the calorie amount also. My point of this is you don’t have to give up good taste and quantity if you learn the difference between the choices that you make. If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, you have to make modifications, NOT DO WITHOUT! So below are some of my favorites:

Chex Mix Bar – Turtle 130 calories 3.5 g fat – sweet and salty!
Banana 105 calories for medium size – potassium!
Almonds 104 calories for 15 – great source for Omega 3
Baby Carrots 35 calories for 10 – I like quantity remember
Special K Multi-Grain Crackers 120 calories for 24 crackers – 3 g fat
Chocolate Chip Granola Bar 90-100 calories depending on brand avg 3 g fat
Honey Wheat Braided Pretzels 110 calories for 8 pretzels and 1 g fat

I hope this has given you all some good insight and different ideas of foods you SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT  EAT!

Bottom line – USE COMMON SENSE!

Don’t forget to keep moving while you are doing this good eating!


Below is an outline that I just used for a talk – ENJOY!


X – exercise

  1. Importance of exercise
  2. Calorie burner
  3. More lean muscle=More calories burnt at rest
  4. Need to add more during holiday season to offset celebrations


M – Moderation

  1. Plan your day/week around holiday plans
  2. Understand what a portion is before you go out
  3. Bank some calories if needed
  4. Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day
  5. Water


A – Accountability

  1. Get a workout buddy
  2. Plan to lose a pound or 2
  3. Make a list of goals
  4. Log your food


S – Schedule

  2. Plan for the unexpected, i.e. overschedule exercise in case you have to cut back
  3. Know that you have a backup plan that you can do anywhere

                                                               i.      Demonstration of at home exercise

                                                             ii.      Importance of interval training and calorie burn

How to prepare for Thanksgiving.

With the holidays right around the corner, a common question that I get is “How do I get through the holidays without gaining weight? I would like to offer the following tips!

  1. Plan your week. I say plan your week, because you aren’t just planning for one day, i.e. Thanksgiving Day. Generally, there are many gatherings other than just the 1 meal or 1 party. You need to not only think about what you are eating at the gathering, but all day long.
  2. Plan your exercise! I know that when I go home for Thanksgiving, I plan my exercise. Every Thanksgiving morning, I go for a run, and take as many of my family members as I can get out. You can do this in the morning, and then another Post-turkey walk.
  3. Look at your plate! Just because all the food and temptations are there, doesn’t mean you have to overindulge. Everything in Moderation! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I try not to overdo it.
  4. Think about every meal. It’s not just that one meal or one party. If you know you are going to overindulge at one meal, eat less throughout the day.
  5. Enjoy every bite! Savor your food. Put your fork down in between bites. Drink plenty of water and know your portions.
  6. Set a weight loss goal for the holiday season. This may sound crazy to some of you, but with the average person gaining 5-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you must set a goal. Maintenance may not be enough!

Enjoy the holidays. Exercise plentiful and eat consciously!

Eat More and Lose Weight – Yep, that’s right!

foodI think one of the biggest misconceptions that people have when it comes to eating right is that eating less often is better. Not so much!!! People often look at me like I am crazy when I say you have to eat more to lose weight. When I say more, I am not talking quantity, rather more often (5-6 times throughout the day) and quality. I met with a gal today who said she generally only eats twice a day. When I met her, it was 2 in the afternoon and she hadn’t eaten at all!! Her stomach was growling and I told her she must be hungry, but she said she didn’t feel hungry. I told her the main reason she could use that last 10 pounds was not what she was eating, but what she was not eating!!

You see, your body needs food for fuel. We need to start the day with breakfast to kick start our metabolism. By eating 5-6 small meals a day, your metabolism will be revving. If you are going long periods of time without eating, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows, which in turn makes your calorie burning slow. Our bodies are very smart. They know when we are fueling them and they know when we aren’t. They know when we put good food in our bodies which increase our energy and bad foods which can make our body crash.

Bottom line – sometimes you have to eat more, often that is, to lose weight. But we make good choices and we know what the correct portions are and our metabolisms will love us and thank us 2 fold!