Inside Demi’s Gym Bag

Inside Demi's Gym Bag

As a Personal Trainer, especially in the hot and humid climate of Charleston, South Carolina…there is definitely a bag that I bring with me every day to the gym that help me tremendously.

Besides what I’m wearing to the gym, I always bring extra supplies just in case something gets too sweaty or dirty, and of course when I get hungry…which happens often!  The gym I train out of, Exemplar Fitness, has bathrooms with every personal cleaning amenity that you can imagine…so I don’t pack soap, shampoo, body wash or any of that (thank God!).

I always wear my favorite crosstrainers by Brooks…the women’s PureFlow 6 shoes, they are currently my absolute fave for everyday training, not only other people but for myself as well. On days when I want to get my cardio in on the spin bike-I always carry my Bontrager Cycling clip in shoes to help me sweat and be super comfy at the same time.

Of course water and snacks are important! I ALWAYS bring a Lenny & Larry’s cookie with me (Peanut butter is A MUST!), sweet and packed with protein…it makes for a great snack! Also I prefer to drink alkaline water-our neighborhood Earthfare…great store with tons of healthy choices, including some good quality H2O.

When I need a SERIOUS pick me up, I love to make a protein shake combining Dr. Schulze’s Super Food Plus (blasts your bloodstream with a rich supply of vitamins and nutrients that increase energy, vitality and strength) with some Bone Broth with Collagen powder (I love the chocolate flavor, great for overall gut health, muscle recovery, and skin!). Throw in some water or almond milk, ice, and some stevia…delicious and SO good for you!

As far clothing-I always bring an extra sports bra, and I love Fabletics!  They have great leggings and sports bras that are super flattering. I’m a BIG fan of ANYTHING by Under Armour, NIKE of course, and Champion Apparel is just awesome.

All in all-I always bring a long sleeve top in case the AC is blasting in the gym on any given day, extra leggings, sports bra, extra socks, cycling shoes, snacks, water, lip gloss, and protein shake ingredients that I can mix at the gym in between clients.

It’s all about being prepared! Looking and feeling good about yourself are crucial in all areas of life. As my drill instructor from Marine Corps bootcamp always said, “If you look good, you’ll feel good, and then you will perform your best.”

As always feel free to ask me anything!

In Health-Demi

Hawaii, Fitness, Fun

I had the ultimate pleasure in accompanying my significant other (DJ REHAB of Rehab Events) to Hawaii this last week, as he was hired to DJ a wedding on Maui! I was honored to be invited and we definitely made the most of our trip! (and work!) 🙂

Hawaii, Fitness, Fun
At the top of Mt. Haleakala!
Hawaii, Fitness, Fun
My BF doing what he loves and is so amazing at in the beautiful facility on Maui known as the Hui House!

I have to be completely honest…I did not workout not ONE time while having the time of our lives! I mean-there was just too much fun to be had, and the food was shockingly healthy, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. The reason why I didn’t feel bad about it is because I KNEW going in that I had been absolutely consistent with my training and nutrition leading up to the trip…I have to lead by example of course! Here’s the thing-when you have actual healthy muscle mass on your body that you have worked very hard for…events like this that happen every now and than can happen and barely have a negative effect on you.

Hawaii, Fitness, Fun
The BEST sushi we have ever ate at the best place on Maui known as NUKA.
Hawaii, Fitness, Fun
We loved Big Beach! (Aka Makena Beach) 

Did you know that one pound of muscle will burn 50 calories a day just sitting doing nothing?  If you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you would therefore gain an additional 500 calories per day metabolic boost just sitting around.

!!!

I hydrated as much as I could, I DEFINITELY indulged, and I RESTED. When fitness is apart of your lifestyle and you LIVE it day in and day out-your body can handle rest periods like this! It’s a wonderful thing, and in the end if you are super active, your body will appreciate the break and come back stronger. It’s all about BALANCE!

If you are not super active-how much of an incentive is this?! Lift those heavy weights, hire a trainer, change your mind set into that of I CAN DO THIS, and you can absolutely make this your lifestyle, AND HAVE SO MUCH DAMN FUN!

Work hard…play harder. 😀

MAHALO! (Thank you in Hawaii speak) 😉

Hawaii, Fitness, Fun
Where we snorkeled-number 1 dive spot in the world! Also the top of a volcano: Molokini Crater.
Hawaii, Fitness, Fun
We definitely enjoyed our time working and playing, and you can too! Hire a trainer, learn and you can quite literally change your life for the better.

As Always, I’m here for all of your health and fitness needs. Shoot me a message!

In Health, Demi

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Ask yourself:

What are my specific goals?

What am I doing to attain these goals?

Am I just doing cardio “to feel good?” i.e. ‘endorphins’

There are a TON more questions you should be asking yourself-but one thing I do talk a lot to my clients about is NOT overdoing your cardio. It truly does not matter how much weight you want to lose. Anything over 60 minutes a day is counter productive and will lead to overuse injuries, making you more susceptible to colds and upper respiratory infections because your immune system will be compromised from high levels of cortisol. If that sounded foreign to you: just think that when you do too much cardio your body gets stressed out (cortisol is released) and can make you weak in many ways. The repetitive nature of running, elliptical, etc can put pressure on your joints and ultimately cause an injury over time. You may get into the symptoms of over training, which is a legit illness that can last 3 months and it’s only cure is rest.

When you look at your body-think of it like a sculpture. Draw an outline of your body on a piece of paper if you must. Get out a pen and actually draw where you’d like to see improvements that make sense. I.E. narrower waist, rounder glutes, more defined shoulders, etc and add a weight loss goal if needed.

*Fun Fact:  I used to be a cardio addict. It also was the time when my body fat was very high and I had NO muscle definition.  Cardio truly can be an addiction: because we all know that runners “high” is legit. Fear not-you can break that addiction. Remind yourself that weight training does NOT make you bulky (unless you are male and train a certain way).  On the contrary-it shapes your body. Training with resistance makes you strong and injury proof.*

I will use one muscle group as an example here or else this will turn into a book. 🙂 Let’s say one of your goals is to have bigger and rounder glutes. Your plan of attack should include hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, kickbacks, step ups, lunges, sprints….and about a dozen different varieties of all of these movements. (No matter what the goal-remember not to neglect other areas of your body of course in your training, just train your specific area of interest differently to attain your goal. This is why having a personal trainer is a bonus). Notice ‘sprints’ in bold. If you want bigger and rounder glutes, SPRINTING is your cardio. Along with sprinting on an incline, among MANY other variables. If you do too much steady state long cardio and your goal is bigger and stronger glutes, that cardio will eat that muscle that you are trying so hard to build for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you will see minimum results.

 All this being said, EVERYONE is different, everyone has different goals, and everyone has different abilities.  Personal trainers that are capable streamline plans for each individual that they are training to make your goals a reality. Also-when you are trying to build any muscle, REST is critical for muscle recovery. If you are hitting that muscle every damn day with some sort of cardio-it will never get a chance to recover and get stronger (GROW), plus you MUST EAT EAT EAT the RIGHT way (usually more FOOD if you make the right choices: again this is why a personal trainer is a fantastic investment) if you want any muscle group to get strong and have some growth.

Now speaking of weight loss-this cardio principle still rings true! If you train INTENSE, add in some HIIT (high intensity interval training), and lift with absolute FERVOR, then your training session is pretty much all you need! In 30 minutes I can train a client and leave them dripping with sweat, which means their heart rate went up, which means THERE WAS A CARDIO ELEMENT to it, therefore they burned calories and will be burning calories long after the session is over (after burn effect) SO IN TURN …. they lose weight over time while getting strong. 🙂

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS…actually THINK about your goals. Get specific! Do NOT chase skinny! Chase HEALTHY. Chase STRENGTH. Chase FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. You train hard in the gym so you can live with vitality outside of the gym and not injure yourself! Once you get in this MINDSET everything else “magically” falls into place. 😉

More questions? Feel free to contact me for anything. If you live in the Charleston area, I offer my first session at Exemplar Fitness for free. There are always corporate specials, hospital employee discounts, as well as veteran discounts to train with me personally.

I also offer a “Sweating for the Wedding” training package for Brides and/or their bridal party: 3 month and 6 month packages available.

In Health-Demi

Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

 Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

This is..without a doubt…the toughest ordeal one has to master in their health and fitness journey. If you are reading this, then I promise you it doesn’t have to be so hard. You got this! 😉 Lets get right to it.

I know you’ve heard it before-but you have to start with sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store. The reason being is that obviously that is where your perishable (i.e. FRESHEST) foods are. Start there. Obviously you do need to go in the middle for certain things such as coffee, oatmeal, tea, etc but start on the outside of the grocery store FIRST.

I told you I was going to make this simple, and I am!

Before you go to the grocery store, think of all your favorite proteins, vegatables, fruits, nuts, carbs, etc. Keep that in mind and write that all down if needed.

We are going to break this down into groups.

  1. PROTEINS
  2. COMPLEX CARBS
  3. HEALTHY FATS
  4. FRUITS
  5. VEGETABLES

Acceptable and preferable PROTEINS are the following:

  • 1. Greek Yogurt
  • 2. Cottage Cheese
  • 3. Swiss Cheese
  • 4. Eggs
  • 5. Milk, 2% (I’m not a huge fan of drinking straight up milk, I prefer Almond milk for a variety of reasons, but that’s for another blog post. 🙂
  • 6. Whey Protein
  • 7. Steak (Top Or Bottom Round)
  • 8. Ground Beef (95% Lean)
  • 9. Pork Chops (Boneless)
  • 10. Chicken Breast (Boneless And Skinless)
  • 11. Turkey Breast
  • 12. Yellowfin Tuna
  • 13. Halibut
  • 14. Octopus
  • 15. Sockeye Salmon
  • 16. Tilapia
  • 17. Anchovies
  • 18. Corned Beef
  • 19. Tuna
  • 20. Chicken
  • 21. Sardines
  • 22. Navy Beans
  • 23. Dried Lentils
  • 24. Roast Beef
  • 25. Canadian Bacon
  • 26. Chorizo
  • 27. Pepperoni
  • 28. Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 29. Jerky
  • 30. Peanut Butter
  • 31. Mixed Nuts
  • 32. Bean Chips
  • 34. Tofu
  • 35. Edamame
  • 36. Green Peas
  • 38. Wheat Germ
  • 39. Soba Noodles
  • 40. Quinoa

COMPLEX CARBS

  1. Oatmeal (old fashioned or Steel Cut)
  2. Yams (almost same as sweet potatoes)
  3. Brown rice (love basmati, a long grain rice)
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye, and a few others)
  6. White potatoes with skin (glycemic index be damned!)
  7. 100% whole wheat bread
  8. 100% whole wheat pasta
  9. Beans and lentils (great for healthy chili recipes)
  10. Cream of rice hot cereal
  11. Quinoa
  12. Couscous
  13. Pumpkin
  14. Butternut squash
  15. Fresh beets

**I’m well aware of the gluten free and lactose free needs of certain individuals-if this applies to you, make those selections of the same food, or choose another food altogether.**

HEALTHY FATS

  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Super dark chocolate
  • Whole eggs
  • Fatty fish
  • Raw nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Full fat yogurt

FRUITS

  • Short list: every variation of a fruit is allowed. 🙂

VEGETABLES

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Okra
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Radishes
  • Onions

THAT’S A LOT OF FOOD!

Alright, so as you go through this list-pick your favorites before you go food shopping and think about the meals you want to create. There are tons of meals you can put together with what is above. You do NOT have to purchase all of that food for one week! But these are your preferred options to eat healthfully.

To create a PERFECT meal, this is what you need (as stated above)…

Protein, Healthy fat, Complex Carb, Vegetable, and an optional fruit. 

As far as how to meal prep and put it all together, that is for another blog post. But start here! Now you have the tools to get a feel for what top athletes eat. Remember: you are fueling a Ferrari, not a Pinto. 😉

Also, SHAKEOLOGY is a great way to add in a high protein superfood shake that can be used as a meal replacement and/or snack. Check it out! Vegan options are available.

EAT TO PERFORM!

In Health-Demi

Best Of Charleston Reflection/Results

Best Of Charleston Reflection/Results

The Best Of Charleston has come and gone for 2017-and I am happy to tell you I came in as the 1st Runner up for Best Trainer in Charleston!

Of course I would have loved to win, but I am exceptionally pleased with where I placed! The competition was strong and fearless, and I was among some of the best trainers that Charleston has to offer.

As an added bonus I was invited to the official “Best of Party” held by the City Paper at the BEAUTIFUL Gaillard Center and it definitely did not disappoint! My boyfriend Chris AKA DJ Rehab provided amazing music as always, and multiple vendors provided delicious drinks and fantastic food. The theme was “Fairytales” as you can see in the picture. 🙂 As a sweet bonus; Chris also took home 1st Runner up for Best Club DJ.

I was also able to network with other incredible business owners in Charleston and it truly inspired me to just keep doing my best in everything I do.

My passion is truly helping others live healthier lives and just to show anyone that YES, you can be the best version of yourself in every way possible. I feel extremely honored and humbled that the Charleston community saw that and supported me in this journey!

From the bottom of my heart-THANK YOU.

Demi

Supplement or nah?

Supplement or nah?

Definition of supplement

  1. 1a:something that completes or makes an addition

    Some Synonyms: additive, addendum, addition, appendix, compliment, extra, option

Now that the definition is out of the way, I think you have a pretty good idea what a SUPPLEMENT IS. In what I’m specifically talking about today is naturally; dietary supplements to enhance your performance and/or natural well being and overall  health.

These include but are not limited to:

Protein bars, shakes, etc

Fish oil

Amino Acids

BCAAS

Pre-workout

Fat burners

The list goes on and on…

There is a REASON why I prefaced all of this with the definition of what a SUPPLEMENT is, which is what all of the above fall under. This is why:

TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR LIFESTYLE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE VERY SPECIFIC GOALS AND YOU HAVE A PLAN. TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR PLAN MEANS THAT YOU ARE ALREADY ON A HEALTH AND FITNESS PLAN AND LIVE THIS LIFESTYLE OR YOU ARE BUILDING NEW HABITS, AND AGAIN YOU HAVE A PLAN.

If it sounds like I’m yelling, I am.

Supplements are NOT for anyone who thinks they can take a pill, patch, shake etc *NO MATTER WHAT IS PROMISED TO YOU THROUGH FAKE MARKETING* and just continue on with your sedentary lifestyle eating whatever and thinking you will have any positive results!!!

If any supplements tells you, “All you have to do is drink this every day and you will lose weight without changing your lifestyle! or All you do is take this pill in the morning, and wear this patch and BAM a bikini ready bod is on the way!”

RUN FAR FAR AWAY WHEN YOU HEAR OR SEE THESE CLAIMS! Because that is all complete BS and they are just stealing your money. #FACTS

Now! On the flipside: there are some GREAT supplements out there, and I recommend certain ones to my clients all the time. There is even a shake I recommend to my clients and it’s the ONLY one I endorse because it helped me feel super healthy and supplemented my own weight loss journey where I  lost 60 lbs 3 times in my life.  Again: this shake didn’t make me lose the weight. It HELPED me and made me feel good in my fitness journey. Check it out here or not; it’s all good. Remember; supplements are to ADD and enhance your healthy lifestyle. Think of them like the cherry on top of your icecream (probably not the best analogy for a health and fitness blog but you get my point), supplements just make everything a little bit better and more enjoyable for you when used the right way.

I do recommend Shakeology to everyone if they are looking for a protein and super food drink to SUPPLEMENT their healthy lifestyle. Depending on the client in front of me, I will also recommend other products depending on their specific goals. It’s all very subjective and all of this is another reason why having a  personal trainer is so important.  It’s not just about your workout, but everything else you consume during the day that can make or break your results. All of this being said-there are a ton of clients who choose no supplements whatsoever-and that is completely ok as well.

**Remember-supplements are to ENHANCE your journey to a healthier and fitter you…they are NOT a quick fix, they are NOT just a pill you can pop and magically lose weight.  No weight loss patch will curb your appetite and therefore help you lose weight. It’s NOT going to happen. If there was a quick fix that worked-wouldn’t everyone on planet earth be fit and healthy?**

Truth is: you gotta work. You have to put in the TIME, blood, sweat, and tears. You have to be PATIENT, you have to be CONSISTENT. There will be ups and downs. You have to roll with it. That’s why it is called a JOURNEY. You will have set backs. You will mess up. It’s in these moments that define your character and how bad you want to live a healthier lifestyle. You simply just have to keep going. There is no magic ANYTHING…stay hungry, stay focused, do the work and you will see the results that you’ve always wanted.

As always, I am always here for your questions or concerns-if you’d like to meet up for a free consult in the Charleston area-just send me a msg via my contact tab.

In  Health-Demi

Details can make or break your sweat session…

Details can make or break your sweat session...

Sometimes, a singular success really does lie in the small details.

And the small but MIGHTY detail I’m talking about today is MUSIC.

I attached this photo collage above taken by the fabulous Abigail Marie photography because I wanted to illustrate this very point. In this photo shoot the memory still rings clear. The music was THUMPING, and I was simply dancing…it got me to loosen up and we captured some pretty rad images.

Yes-this is still a fitness blog. Bear with me. 🙂

“Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their “bodily awareness” (read: discomfort). And a recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one’s pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout.”

This is straight up science.

Many of you reading already know this-you cannot bear to go on a run or to the gym without your favorite tunes in tow, and I am the same way! When you have your music lined up all ready to go, you’re workout is different. You feel motivated, stronger, and it can push you when you feel like you want to stop. Music is such a powerful tool!

One of the best things ever to happen to me besides this man being my boyfriend, was when he came out with his own music app. 🙂 Chris A.K.A DJ Rehab knows exactly what kind of music I like and he created me some amazing workout mixes under their very own section labeled “Workout Mixes” on his free music app that you can find in the app store under his DJ name.

The biggest thing with making new and healthier habits is building a positive mindset that aligns with your goals. If you can find ANYTHING that helps you on your fitness journey-USE IT. For me if I don’t have my music, I’m not going to the gym. It’s apart of my routine and gives me a positive mindset and motivation to get the job done. Sometimes having that “certain song” at just the right time in your workout when you are feeling like you want to give up is all you need to keep going and finish strong. It works for me. Anything that works for me, you better believe I’m going to share with you!

As always feel free to ask me anything. Wedding season is in full swing-so if you need some help getting ready for your big day; I’m here.

In Health-Demi

Variety inspires consistency

Variety inspires consistency

Variety=RESULTS!

You need it. Everyone does. Why?

It is the only way you will stay committed for the long haul in your fitness journey. No one wants to be going to the gym everyday and doing the same routine, week after week. That is a sure fire way to get in a mental rut that can possibly halt your motivation altogether.

One thing that I have really embraced over the years is that I will never know it all, and neither will you. I strive to keep learning from everyone around me and I use all of it somehow. There’s a saying that goes; “If you’re not learning, you’re dying” and I truly believe that. Stay humble-learn and grow.

As a fitness professional I encounter a lot of the same split routines with gym members. Usually it goes something like this: Chest, Back, Shoulders/Arms, Legs. Or a combination of some of those spread out over the week. While this is very effective and DOES have it’s place in our fitness regimens-I do encourage variety with myself and my clients for many reasons.

Main one is that you can get mentally bored. Another reason is if you really do the same thing week after week…month after month..you’re body will start to adapt and you may encounter that dreaded “plateau” where you will stop seeing results and/or improvement.

Start to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help or research different workout ideas on your own. Think of stability AND resistance training at the same time. Sports specific drills such as football and soccer drills can be very effective for speed training, burning calories while being seriously fun! Take a group fitness class here and there to shake it up a bit and to inspire ideas for yourself in your training. While it can be a bit scary to step outside your workout “box” and take out your ear buds…I promise you will gain some benefit from it.

As  always feel free to ask my anything-I’m here for you.

In Health-Demi

Comparing

Comparing

You do it.

I do it.

We gotta stop doing it.

From all the social media platforms and the images that tend to be “big hits” always plastered in front of us…it’s no wonder we can be insecure at times. We always run around trying to be this IDEA of the perfect image we want to put out into the world. We obsess. We are never happy, never satisfied. When is enough…enough?

Positive Self Image is something I work on with myself daily. I struggle with it…because as much as anyone will appreciate the way I look, there have been many “unsavory” things written and said about me. I know that I’ll never be good enough for everyone…and that is okay. Because that is impossible.

I don’t have the big boobs, the big @ss that is so on trend right now, and I don’t have that hourglass figure.

AND THAT’S OK.

Here are the things that I am: I am strong. I can lift heavy weights, safely. I am functionally fit. I work hard in the gym so I can play outside with vigor. I can go on hikes where I can see the most beautiful places in the world. I can jump off of waterfalls. I have a strong core that protects my back so I am better protected against injuries. I CAN HAVE MORE FUN. I get bruises, scrapes and bumps along the way, and that is fine with me. As long as I am having fun with the ones I care for, well that is what makes me happy.

*I suggest you write a paragraph about yourself like the above so you can see all of the things you ARE.*

This is what is important. Pay no attention to those who glorify the things that you or I will never be. Because who we are right now is just fine. Being TRULY healthy and fit-no matter what society pegs you as-is what truly matters.

Ask yourself:

Are you healthy?

Are you strong?

Do you feel good?

Are you fit? Are you working your way towards being fit and healthy?

If you said yes=you are beautiful.

(P.S. if you’re thinking of becoming healthy and fit, you’re totally kickass too. Now is the time to get started on your journey).

 You are beautifully and wonderfully made.  Period, end of story-bottom line.

I know it can take time to accept that about yourself. Its really hard sometimes to see what the masses are drooling over, and realizing that you are the complete opposite of the “ideal state of beauty.” But we are unique as hell and that’s what makes us beautiful. You don’t want to strive to be a barbie.

Be the anti barbie who kicks ass and takes names.

In Health-Demi

Integrity

Integrity

This word carry’s A LOT of weight, and applies to everything in our life; personal life, relationships, business, all of it.

It’s hard to do the right thing when no one is watching sometimes. There are just moments when we must be our own personal COACHES, and have discipline with not just our bodies, but our minds as well.

Because I am a personal trainer, and this is a fitness related blog-I am going to stick to the health related side of this word.

Do you think on the weekends that calories don’t count?

Are you still consuming those empty calories, i.e. soda, juice, etc?

Do you think you are hydrated enough, but deep down you know you only had probably a glass of water today?

This is where we need to keep our focus. When we are out and about, do we cave in to the social norm of eating and drinking in America? We need to get real with ourselves and take control.

80% of America is obese or heading in that direction. If we want to change our lives not just for ourselves but for generations to come, we have to have integrity with what we eat and drink every single day, and what our lifestyle portrays. We still must workout of course, but as everyone will say, that tends to be the easier part. After all, a workout is only 2-4% of your day. The rest of your day is what is going to make or break the results that you want so bad.

Let’s start the week off with integrity in everything we do. When no one is watching, let’s try to make the right decisions. In the end, that’s when the real pay off will come.

P.S. Have you voted for me in the Best of Competition yet? No matter where you may live, I could really use your vote for Best Personal Trainer. Currently I’m in the top 5, and I just need all of your wonderful support to seal the victory. I truly am so grateful! Go Ahead and vote HERE! (Once you click there, scroll all the way down to “Best Personal Trainer”…then click on “VOTE” next to “Demi Eliese Fitness” and you are good to go after verifying your email address so they don’t think you are a robot. 🙂 

In Health-Demi