Getting through the weekend

Are you scared? Me too.

Fear: noun, a feeling of anxiety about a probable situation.

Part of me really wants to say, “Have no fear. Don’t be scared or nervous. It’s not as scary as you think.” I’m afraid if I said those things that it may diminish the fire burning inside that says, “I’m doing this.” On the flip side, I am afraid of saying, “It is scary. Be afraid. It’s worse than you think.” That sounds very encouraging and motivating…NOT!

So, here is the bottom line. Most goals, dreams, accomplishments, successes, and failures come with pitfalls. Confidence will not stop you from failing. It will certainly aid in your success, but fear is the powerful tool that will power you more than your confidence.

I would be willing to argue that fear creates courage and that is what it takes. Here’s my advice:

It’s okay to scared. As a matter of fact, it is fantastic. Be afraid.

Know your consequences, but trust your instincts.

Finally and most important, never stop trying no matter the adversity you face.

I applaud the brave who put their stories out there for the world to learn from, the weak who constantly get on their feet after a devastating fall, and the fearless who throw caution to the wind.

Be brave and think big!

Pita Pizza!!

Hi Everyone ~

I made this recipe for the first time tonight and it is so good.  I made my Pita Pizza with Canadian Bacon, but you could also use ground turkey, a chicken sausage, or chicken.  In addition, I used a Joseph’s Pita Pocket as my base, whick is only 60 calories for the whole pita!!  Check out Joseph’s Pita Pockets at

1   Joseph’s Pita Pocket
1/4 Cup Pizza Sauce
1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Peppers and/or mushrooms
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
4   Slices Canadian Bacon (or 1 chicken sausage diced)
1/4 Cup Shredded Reduced-Fat Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:  Lightly toast pita pocket either in the toaster or on a baking sheet in the oven.  In a separate pan saute peppers, onions, and mushroom with 3-4 tbsp. of water and spices.  Once tender, add Canadian bacon or diced chicken sausage.  Spread pizza sauce on toasted pita pocket, top with veggie & meat mixture, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes at 425.

Serves: 1

Total Calories: 264   Carb=26g Prot=27g Fat=8.2g

Tiffany’s Tip:  Make sure to measure out your ingredients so that you stay within your calories and do not add “extra” calories and fat by adding just another pinch!!!

Functional Shmunctional

Designed for Motion…

There is no question that our bodies are designed for motion.  A literal miracle of design, our bodies are capable of 1000’s of movements and when trained adapt to various stresses. No matter what our background or activities of choice, our bodies combine movement patterns of

Build Core Strength

joints, tissue and muscles to accommodate our needs.

This is not just evident in sports or fitness.  The very tasks of living on a daily basis involve mulit-joint, multi-planar motion of our amazing bodies.  Everyday tasks such as lifting groceries, gardening, walking, getting in and out of bed, getting up off the floor, catching our balance of we slip on the ice….all of these things require out bodies to work as the unit there were designed to be.  Our muscles and joints on a daily basis, hundreds or thousands of times each day work as a team – together – to get the job done.

Why the Isolation?

Why then, in our quest to be “fit” do we isolate, separate and force our muscles and joints to work alone and apart from their design in the name of “isolation”?  Is this really the best way to train the body?  Think about it…picture walking in to any large gym facility.  What do you see?  Probably rows and rows of machines, treadmills, bicycles “tools” for training our bodies.  Now ask yourself….how does this make my body better, more efficient, more fit for my daily living?  Shouldn’t your fitness routine incorporate exercises, or drills that train your body to more easily perform its natural movement patterns – its daily function?  Therein lays the principle of Functional Training.

Ace Fitness describes it this way.  Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform. (Source – click here)

How we’re designed to work…

Basically, functional training is exercise that trains the body to perform movement patterns that can correct or improve the performance of tasks specific to daily living, or specific to a particular sport.  Every wonder why fighters are so strong and agile?  Why dancers are so flexible and graceful yet incredibly strong?  Ever watch the Olympics and marvel at what the human body is capable of depending upon its training?  Just look at the body composition differences between a swimmer, a speed skater, a gymnast, a skier?  Each athlete is a master at their own sport because they train specifically for that sport.  They train their bodies functionally to create strong movement patterns and conditioning to support their specific discipline.  They train functionally.  Why then should we not train functionally?  Perhaps our training is less specialized but still relevant to our daily activity.  Relevant to REAL movement.

Build overall strength and balance

By training functionally, you will not only reap the benefits of a better tuned body.  One that works as the UNIT it is, you will also achieve better calories burn, better fat burn, and an all

Leg Extension...

around more efficient workout.  Think about it.  How many calories to you burn working biceps, isolated and alone? How many calories do you burn working biceps while also working the muscles in the glutes, hamstrings, core and low back?  In additional training functionally can also ward off dangerous muscle imbalances and in the process protect from injury both inside the gym and out.

Consider this example…

Check out the leg extension machine.  Most gyms have one.  This machine is designed to work the quadriceps, the muscle group at the top of the front of the leg.  To use the machine you must sit in a seat and extend your legs from the knees lifting the desired weight by extending your legs.  Think for a moment…have you ever in your entire life performed this task in your day to day activity.

The leg curl...

Really?  In addition, to keep muscle balance you must fine another machine to work your hamstrings.  This exercise is more difficult as it requires lying on your stomach and pulling a weight toward your glutes with your heels.  How often does that one show up in your busy day?  Skip the second exercise and you could create a dangerous muscle imbalance that can lead to problems such as low back pain and potential muscle tears as your body tries to compensate for the imbalance.

The squat...covering your bases...

How do we functionally train these same muscle groups (quadriceps and hamstrings) to create muscle balance and to aid our body in working as a unit with multiple muscle groups working together to perform a task?  Better yet, how do we do this with minimal equipment and space?  Consider a motion as basic as the standard squat.  Performed with proper form the squat recruits muscles throughout the body (even more if you add a press at the top) and balances the work between ALL the let muscles.  BONUS! Focus on impeccable form and you will also work the core and lower back! This total movement package strengthens the entire body as one

unit , improving balance and THAT translates to your day to day. (Not to mention, this type of work is more efficient in burning calories and can even provide a metabolic boost.)

Bottom line: Train your body to work as it was designed to work – as a unit.  In doing so you will create a stronger functioning body and a better life!

Oreo & Banana Split Dessert by Ellipse Fitness


Hi Everyone ~

Are you looking for a fun recipe to serve to your guests for dessert?  Look no further!  This recipe is low calorie and can be made ahead for easy preperation.  Your guests will think you slaved all day, but it is sooooo easy!  Choose a beautiful cup or bowl to serve this dessert in and you’re all set!

4  Individual Sugar Free Jell-O Pudding Snacks
2  Medium Banana
8  Tbsp. of Lite Cool Whip
1  100-Calorie pack of Oreo Thin Crisps

Spoon 1 Jell-O Pudding Snack into each cup.  Slice the bananas lengthwise and crosswise and instert 2 slices into each cup.  Top each with 2 tbsp. of Lite Cool Whip and 1/4 package of of the Oreo Crisps in a crumbled consistency.

Servings = 4

Total Calories: 181   Carb=37g Prot=3.4g Fat=5.4g

Tiffany’s Tip:  Choose colorful glasses or bowls to prepare this dessert individually!  The presentation is fabulous… Mother-in-Law told me that presentation is 75% of it…..and she’s so right!!

This is dedicated to the ones I love…

Today, my 6 and 7 year old headed off to 1st and 2nd grade.  I was ready for it.  They were ready too.  I gave them a kiss, and my husband drove them to school.  I’m not worried a bit.  I LOVE you Ethan and Cecelia.  You are so very fun!  I’m glad to share you with the world.

I, also, dropped my 9th grader off for his 2nd day of high school.  If you live in and around St. Louis, you know high school is a really big deal.  Bigger than perhaps any other city.  He was tired from the homework, football practice, and waking up early each day.  I was ready for this too!  I was surprised by how ready I was.  I LOVE you Jacob.  What a fine young man you are growing up to be.

My husband is taking his Lieutenant’s test as well.  Good luck baby!

As if that wasn’t enough, today is the last day of AMP’D in St. Louis!  I LOVE my AMP’D cadets.  I LOVE you guys.  You are amazing.  You really are.  It is my pleasure to work with you, know you, and watch you achieve your goals.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  TRUELY!

As school begins and Cadets graduate, I find myself uncharacteristically numb to the emotional opportunities all around me.  So, I decided it was the perfect day to watch “The Boys of Fall” video by Kenny Chesney.  Football moms have been telling me for weeks to watch it.  My son kept telling me to watch it.  His friends kept telling me to watch it.   Every conversation has gone like this, “You have got to watch it. You’ll cry.”

My response has been “why would I want to watch it then?”  I don’t like romantic movies.  I don’t like to cry. I don’t like to appear weak.  (Don’t even say it.  I know!)

Anyway feeling numb today, I thought I would watch this so-called tear jerk-er.  WOW!  You can better believe I will be giving a speech inspired by this one when AMP’D begins again on September 13!

When it comes to love….what’s enough?

Thanks everyone!  It has been a great summer and the future is so bright.

Watch the video yourself!

Asparagus Frittata by Ellipse Fitness

Wow!  This is such an easy way to make a beautiful egg dish for your family or when entertaining guests!  It is low calories, low fat, and delicious.  I served the Frittata with 2 of the Quick and Easy Breakfast Muffins, which is another recipe that you can find within our recipe collection, along with a side of fruit!  Remember, this doesn’t have to be a breakfast dish, you could also enjoy this as a dinner selection as well!  Enjoy, I know you will love it!

1 1/2 Cups Egg Beaters
1/2    Cup (2 oz.) Reduced Fat Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4    Cup Fat Free Milk
PAM cooking spray
10      Fresh Asparagus Spears, cut into 1″ lengths
1       Small Onion
1/4    Tsp. Salt
1/8    Tsp. Pepper
1       Medium Tomato, coarsely chopped

Directions:  Preheat Broiler.  Mix Egg Beaters, cheese, & milk in a medium bowl & set aside.

Spray a medium skillet with ovenproof handle with cooking spray, heat over Med heat.  Add asparagus, onions, salt & pepper; cook & stir for 3 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add tomatoes and cook 1 minute longer.  Add Egg Beater mixture, reduce heat to low, cover skillet with lid & cook for 12 minutes or until bottom of frittata is set but still slightly moist.  Remove lid from skillet.  Place skillet under broiler for 2 minutes or until top is set.  Cut into 4 wedges and serve!

Serves:  4
Total Calories: 103   Carb=7.8g Prot=14g Fat=1.7g

Tiffany’s Tip:  If you are not sure if your skillet handle is oven-proof, wrap it in tin foil!  This recipe is very filling and makes great left-overs, so don’t be afraid to make the entire recipe and keep some in handy containers for another meal!

Eat Before You Sweat!!!

Your body needs a healthy energy source!

How often do you head out for a workout without a pre-workout meal? Most people looking to get in better shape often think that they’ll lose more weight by not eating before a workout. This can actually have the opposite effect, along with gaining less muscle mass, a slower metabolism (more fat), & not to mention an athletic performance comparable to Betty White…

Even those of you that workout at 5 AM or 6 AM should consider eating a little something before heading out for your workout. Please read on to understand why!

Eat a combination of healthy carbs and protein!

A healthy pre-workout snack is a must...

First and foremost, a snickers bar is not what I am talking about. A candy bar is not the best source of energy needed for a good workout. What I’m talking about is a combination of healthy complex carbs and protein. This will be a longer lasting energy source to give you the boost needed for a good training session and help the body repair itself during recovery. Here are some good healthy options:

  • Bananas or other fruits
  • Oatmeal with Whey Protein Powder
  • Oh Yeah or Supreme Protein Bar
  • Cottage cheese and low-fat crackers

Does your car run without fuel?

Your car won’t drive without gas, right? The same is true about your body, which is a complex machine that needs energy to run as well. If you train on an empty stomach your body is going to search for the easiest energy source. It will typically start with any remaining sugars (glycogen) in your blood. When that’s expended, it will take protein from your muscles as well as fat and convert it to sugar. That’s one of the reasons your body temperature rises when you exercise. (source – click here).

While you want to burn fat, you also want to MAINTAIN and INCREASE muscle mass. If the body is getting energy from protein sources, your muscles are compromised as they’re being used for an energy source, thus your performance will suffer!

Be proactive and get results!

There’s an old saying, “It’s not what you do at the gym, it’s what you do when you’re not at the gym.” Think of the pre-workout meal as the start of your workout. For best results have a healthy snack about an hour before you train. This will give your body the energy it needs to train hard and more importantly maintain and build your muscle mass. The more muscle mass you carry, the more efficiently your body will burn calories and help you maintain your desired weight!

Drink plenty of water...

Think WATER doesn’t count? Think again!

Your body uses the water in your blood to carry nutrients such as sugar (glucose) to cells and to remove waste products from the cells. The presence of water in your body ensures that you can safely sustain physical activity. As you exercise, your body produces heat. This heat leaves your body as you perspire, taking with it electrolytes — elements such as potassium, calcium, sodium and chloride. If you don’t replace the fluid you lose during exercise, your heart rate increases and your temperature rises, putting you at risk of dehydration as well as compromising your workout.

To stay well hydrated during exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you:

  • Drink enough fluid to balance your daily fluid losses. You’ll likely need more on days when the temperature and humidity are high.
  • Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (0.5 to 0.8 liters) of water before your workout
  • Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (0.5 to 0.8 liters) of water after your workout for every pound (0.5 kilogram) of weight you lose during the workout.
  • Drink about 1 cup (0.25 liters) of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. You may need more the larger your body is or the warmer the weather is.

Lean what works for you…
Be aware that finding the right foods to eat may take some trial and error. Some people find certain foods and beverages eaten close to exercise can be troublesome. Experiment and find the right combination for you.

Sugar Free Pineapple Pie by Ellipse Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Here is an awesome recipe that I made for a get together at the lake last weekend!  PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PICTURE ABOVE IS A DOUBLE BATCH!  If you want to make a large pan as visualized above, simply double the ingredients in the recipe.

8-10 Graham Cracker Squares (or 2-3 sheets)
1    Cup (8 oz.) of Chobani Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
1    Small Package of Sugar-Free Instant Vanilla Pudding
1    (20 oz.) Can Crushed unsweetened Pineapple, drained
1-2  Packet(s) of Splenda Sweetner

Lay crackers in an 8 X 8 pan for crust.  Combine pudding mix, Greek yogurt; mix well.  Stir in pineapple and sweetner, then spread onto crust.  Chill for at least 3 hours.

Serves:  4

Total Calories: 146   Carb=28g Prot=7.1g Fat=0.64g

Tiffany’s Tip:  This light dessert is the perfect dish to serve with grilled chicken and marinated vegetables.  The sweet pineapple taste after dinner is perfect!

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