Happy Summer BMI crew!
Tis’ the season of vacations and travels. If you feel like you need to clean up your diet before and/or after your vacay, read up on Amy C Rad’s article on her recent experience with the Clean Week Challenge. You just may want to jump onboard next time!
Our Good For You Recipe this month is a Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado. How good does that sound?
Let’s EAT CLEAN and TRAIN DIRTY this month!
BMI Fitness Team
Quote of the Month
Group Fit Memories
Jamtastic Wed night with our new U-JAM instructors Cammie & Lyn!
Congrats to Charlene and her mom Jenny Ma on her graduation from Saint Francis High! We are so proud of her academic and sports (water polo) accomplishments. She’s been a part of the BMI Family since she was like 11 yrs old and what a beautiful and strong young lady she’s grown up to be! After this summer, she will be attending Chapman University in SoCal. We love you Charlene! favorite
In an effort to keep the studio fresh, you may have noticed a pleasant aroma especially in our lobby area. That’s our diffuser Air/Aroma at work sending out a White Tea Thyme fragrance! Please note that these fragrances are blends of 100% pure essential oils derived from flowers, leaves, bark, wood, fruits, herbs, seeds, spices, roots, peel, and other plant elements, these organic plant extracts carry the natural properties of their botanical origin. We hope you enjoy and thanks to those of you who commented on how much you love the scent and that our studio does not smell like a gym! That is precisely what we are going for. ;)
For those of you who don’t care that our studio now smells like a spa, we got you a couple new toys as well. You may soon find yourself loving to hate our new Rogue Dog Sled and Rogue Echo Bikes. Your HIIT training is about to take on a new level!
BMI Crew Memories
A bunch of crazy and badass BMI & Community Trainers spent a Saturday afternoon with Lead GMB Trainer Rose Calucchia to work on animal movements to help improve physical autonomy, mobility and agility. Your trainers maybe helping you find your inner bear, frog, and monkey in your next training session!
Happy 29th Birthday (again) to our OG Trainer Vincent Kiss! Wishing this Beast Mode Trainer a kickbutt year and thanks for always bringing your Hungarian flair to the training floor!
What Can 7 Days of Clean Eating and Superfood Shakes Do For You?
By: Amy Chang Radosevich, MA, ACSM, ACE, AFAA
With summer right around the corner and having just come back from a week of drinking too many Lilikoi Mai Tai’s and eating one too many Coconut Shrimps in Hawaii, I needed some serious detox. After all, I’m leaving again in a few weeks for a 2-week culinary centric cruise to the Baltics with my parents who live to eat! I know the struggle is real right? So, coming from a completely benevolent, or more like mostly selfish reasons, I thought wouldn’t it be great if I initiate a Clean Week Challenge and invite all my “Beast Mode and Feast Mode” friends to join in the fun? By “Clean,” I’m not referring to showering daily or mopping your floors, I’m talking about eating clean all week supplemented by a daily superfood drink known as Shakeology.
I had no idea if anyone would be interested because I’ve never run an online fitness and nutrition challenge before. I set it up as a private Facebook event and sent out a bunch of invites to both my BMI fam and friends from all over the country. I was pleasantly surprised that about 30 people raised their hands and said let’s do this! The cool thing about doing this online is that we are no longer limited by geography and I get to feel more connected with people I don’t see on a regular basis and be part of their health and wellness journeys. Our group had participants from the Bay Area, Oregon, Florida and Hawaii!
Having been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for many years, I’ve come to realize in order to truly help my clients and students maximize their results, I need a more structured way of integrating the nutrition component into my coaching toolbox. As the saying goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Setting superficial goals aside, I have been increasingly more concerned with my clients who tend to fall sick easily or simply don’t feel as energetic as they would like to be. I have a strong personal belief that if we eat an overall healthy and balanced whole food diet along with proper hydration and sleep, we shouldn’t need to rely on supplements. Hence, I’ve never been a fan of shakes, bars, pills etc. I don’t even take a multivitamin! In the last couple years, I have come to trust in the power of probiotics in gut health and do take one daily in case I didn’t get enough of it from dietary sources. That said, running a nutrition challenge that promotes drinking shakes took some self-convincing on my end.
First, I was happy to hear that the Clean Week Challenge still involves eating real whole foods for all 3 meals and the shake is simply used as a between meal snack. I don’t believe in liquid only diets because it’s not sustainable in the long run and doesn’t help people build healthy eating habits. Then, I was also impressed with the ingredients listed in the shake. It appears to go far beyond a standard protein or meal replacement shake and contain lots of additional nutrients like fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, pre- and probiotics, adaptogens, vitamins, and minerals. This was enough for me to want to give it a try. Of course, I think the verdict is still out in terms of how our bodies absorb all these superfoods in powdered form. I was eager to get my challenge participants’ feedback on how they feel after drinking the shake for a week along with eating whole nutritious foods.
To kickoff the challenge, we all ordered the Clean Week Challenge Pack which includes 7 packets of Shakeology in a variety of flavors, a quick start guide, an information brochure explaining the ingredients and nutrition in Shakeology, and a menu guide with recipes to help us plan out our meal prep for the week. The challenge also includes an exercise component. Participants are expected to do 30-min of exercise each day and they even provide online classes where we can do it at home or at the gym. Since I know many of my participants are also fitness instructors or avid fitness class participants, I told the group that they can also do their own workouts and use the online classes as supplement if needed.
Next comes the planning and preparation! A few days before the start of the challenge, I encouraged the participants to look through the menu guide and pick the recipes they plan to make and create their grocery list so they can ideally hit the store just before the weekend. I bought most of my ingredients from Costco...so looks like I’ll be eating clean for way more than a week! Hey, that’s one way to trick yourself into eating clean longer than you originally committed to. Not a bad mind hack right? To make the preparation and shopping more manageable, I encouraged everyone to only pick 2 to 3 recipes per meal and rotate them throughout the week so there’s still variety but not overwhelming in terms of preparation. Most of the cooking happens in the oven so it’s actually quite relaxing to get everything done. I baked sweet potatoes, chicken breasts, made turkey burgers, cooked quinoa and oatmeal for the week. The rest of the work is mostly assembling the ingredients come mealtime or packing my lunch for the day.
Here’re some of the recipes my crew and I tried:
- chevron_rightVeggie Egg Scramble
- chevron_rightAlmond Butter Banana English Muffin
- chevron_rightYogurt Parfait
- chevron_rightQuinoa Breakfast Bowl
- chevron_rightOatmeal with Blueberries and Walnuts
- chevron_rightProtein Pancakes
- chevron_rightMediterranean Veggie Pita
- chevron_rightTuna Melt
- chevron_rightChicken with Quinoa, Olives, Black Beans and Broccoli
- chevron_rightTurkey Burger
- chevron_rightProtein-Packed Salad
- chevron_rightVeggie Burger
- chevron_rightShrimp and Veg Pesto Pasta
- chevron_rightPork and Beans
- chevron_rightCafe Latte
From my own experience and participants’ Facebook posts, most of the recipes were actually quite tasty. Some of the crowd favorites are the Veggie Egg Scramble, Veggie Pita, Tuna Melt, Shrimp and Veg Pesto Pasta and the Chicken with Quinoa. I think the portion sizes are reasonable and satisfying. Interestingly, some participants from the group commented on how there was too much food while others felt hungry especially in the first couple days of the challenge. Given that feedback, I did a video blog post in the group encouraging everyone to drink plenty of water as sometimes our bodies mistaken dehydration as hunger. The video even made me more conscious about my own hydration! I must say after a couple days of focusing on hydration, I felt a noticeable improvement in the complexion of my skin! So, fill up those water bottles my friends!
I also did a poll on favorite Shakeology flavor and so far Chocolate is winning. And I must share that my personal favorite shake recipe was Chocolate Shakeology with almond milk, banana, peanut butter and ice. It seriously tasted just like a chocolate peanut butter banana milkshake! Who knew superfoods can taste like a legit dessert? One of the participants told me her son kept fighting her for the shake everyday so for those of you who are trying to sneak superfoods into your kids daily diet, this maybe your golden ticket!
Anytime we try to make a positive lifestyle change, we are likely to experience a few setbacks. That’s why from the get go, I told everyone not to expect themselves to be perfect the whole week. Afterall, it was a week full of graduation parties, end of school year, house remodeling, work conferences etc.. Some of the challenges participants experienced included not having time to grocery shop or meal prep before the start of the week, eating out, not having a functioning kitchen, getting home late and some didn’t receive their Shakeology packets at the beginning of the challenge. Despite these challenges, all the participants rose to the occasion and did a seriously amazing job all week! People were not afraid to share if they had a little slip up and got right back on track. By Thursday (the 4th day of the challenge), several people told me they had lost a couple pounds, some told me they felt less bloated and had more energy than usual. Some also found recipes that even their whole family enjoyed.
Everything considered, I declare this challenge was a SUCCESS! I loved the support and interaction amongst the group members. While I sometimes loathe social media, I must admit that when you have a group of likeminded people all working towards a common goal and that the discussions all revolved around support and sharing of ideas, it could be a very powerful tool for inspiration, motivation, and accountability. I have also decided to continue this Clean Eating and Shakeology streak at least until my cruise and will probably need to jump back on it when I get back as well!
Okay, who wants in on the next challenge? Email me for more info regarding the Clean Week Challenge or Shakeology! Until then, remember to EAT CLEAN and TRAIN DIRTY!
Good for You Recipe
Chicken Salad stuffed in an Avocado? Need I say more! Try this delish creamy and protein packed recipe. If raw red onion is not your thing (yes that’s if you’re like Amy C), substitute with any other crunchy veggie (e.g. cucumber, carrots, bell peppers, etc.) for texture.