Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weight loss ~ the delicate balance

It is seems pretty obvious - reduce calories, lose weight... But it isn't always that easy... Yes, I think everyone can agree the best way to lose weight to have a negative caloric balance... But what is that for you?

The food you eat contains energy, measured in calories, as well as mass, chemicals and compounds used to build and maintain the cells and tissues of your body. Just as a car requires fuel to run, your body uses energy to fuel its daily operations. Many of your calories are spent on operating your skeletal muscles for motor movement, but a great many are also expended on other daily functions such as breathing, respiration, operating your cardiovascular system and cell repair. About 20 percent of your caloric intake is spent running your brain, and about 10 percent spent chewing, swallowing, digesting and eliminating the food you eat. You get the calories needed to fuel all these bodily operations by eating. When you consume more calories than required for your immediate needs, your body stores the excess calories for future energy use. If you eat fewer calories than you need for daily operations, then you tap energy stores to get fuel. Energy balance refers to the number of calories you consume relative to the number you burn. A negative balance means you burn more than you consume.

The energy in food takes the form of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Your muscles, organs, tissues and cells throughout your body obtain much of their fuel from blood glucose, but your body can only use and tolerate so much glucose. Your body transforms the additional excess glucose into triglycerides and stores it in fat cells that are distributed throughout your body under your skin and in a fatty sheath of tissue that hangs off your stomach. Your genes determine the location of your fat cells, and the number is set by adolescence. Your diet determines how full those fat cells are.... So when you gain weight you aren't getting more fat cells... The fat cells themselves are just getting bigger - this gives you cellulite!!!!!!!!

To lose weight, you must create a negative energy balance. You must eat fewer calories or burn more calories through greater activity. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, swimming and jogging, uses your biggest muscles and so burns more calories than other forms of exercise. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the greater the calorie burn. Resistance exercise burns carbohydrates and fat and builds lean muscle, which requires more calories to operate and maintain, even when you’re at rest. Muscle mass burns 4 times more energy at rest than fat mass at rest!!! Regular aerobic and resistance exercises enhance your fitness, so you burn calories more efficiently. By combining a calorie-reduced diet with moderately intense exercise, you force your body to exhaust temporary carbohydrate stores and tap fat stores. AND TA-DAH WEIGHT LOSS WILL OCCUR!

What works for me, and what I recommend if you have plateaued is to have a CHEAT MEAL... What?! Yes, keep your metabolism guessing... I switch up my calorie count, the times I eat, everything! Why do you think Beachbody programs don't have you do the same DVD every day, because you have to keep your body guessing... One day I will eat 1200 calories, next day 1400, then 1200 for a few days, then a 1600 calorie day, then a day with no carbs... This way my body won't go into starvation mode... So zig-zag what you do... This is why other programs don't work, because you plateau, because you didn't out smart your metabolism....

PS - you should never consume less than 1200 calories/day!! Eating too few calories can put your body into a starvation mode and will cause your body to hold onto the calories you eat!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tomato Basil Pasta

My FAVORITE summer recipe! Great as a side and main dish :) We grow Roma tomatoes in our garden just for this dish!

You need:
7 Roma Tomatoes
2 cloves of Garlic
Whole Wheat Pasta cooked
Olive Oil

First you want to blanch your tomatoes (this takes the skin off of them).
Don't know how to blanch? No problem!

Score the tomatoes on the top and bottom.

Put them in a pot of water with just enough to cover the tomatoes.

Once the edges lift, use a slotted spoon to lift tomatoes and put them in an ice water bath.

Cut up basil, most effective way is to put the leaves together, roll them and cut.

Mince garlic

Cut tomatoes once they cool.

Drizzle olive oil in a large frying pan. High-medium heat. Add garlic and sauté. After 2 minutes add tomatoes and basil. Heat through.

 Add cooked noodles and sauté.

Top with fresh Parmesan cheese.

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Enjoy :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fats - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

I get so crazy when I see someone grab a diet soda, or eat a fat-free yogurt. Because, yes you are only giving your body 80 calories but you are fueling your body with 80 calories of chemicals. To replace the fat, calories, sugar in low fat or low calorie food/drinks, it is replaced by chemicals to make it taste like the full fat, full calorie version. That is so gross to me.. Not only that, but you may have tricked your taste buds, but you didn't trick your body... Your body doesn't know what to do with those chemicals and is more likely to store them as fat than if you wouldn't just eaten the original version... Plus your body needs fat for hormone balance :)


Despite what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the bad guy in the waistline wars. Bad fats, such as trans fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, ect... But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.
The answer isn’t cutting out the fat—it’s learning to make healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones that promote health and well-being.

To understand good and bad fats, you need to know the names of the players and some information about them. There are four major types of fats:
  • monounsaturated fats (good fats)
  • polyunsaturated fats (good fats)
  • trans fats (bad fats)
  • saturated fats (questionable fats)
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.

Monounsaturated fatPolyunsaturated fat
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu
Trans fat
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

General guidelines for choosing healthy fats

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing trans fats and some saturated fats with good fats. This might mean replacing fried chicken with fresh fish, swapping some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.
  • Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoiding commercially-baked goods goes a long way. Also limit fast food.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.
  • Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.

How much fat is too much?

How much fat is too much depends on your lifestyle, your weight, your age, and most importantly the state of your health. The USDA recommends that the average individual:
  • Keep total fat intake to 20-35% of calories
  • Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet)
  • Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet)

Trans fat: eliminate this bad fat from your diet

When focusing on healthy fats, a good place to start is eliminating your consumption of trans fats. A trans fat is a normal fat molecule that has been twisted and deformed during a process called hydrogenation. During this process, liquid vegetable oil is heated and combined with hydrogen gas. Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to spoil, which is very good for food manufacturers—and very bad for you.
No amount of trans fats is healthy. Trans fats contribute to major health problems, from heart disease to cancer.

Sources of trans fats

Many people think of margarine when they picture trans fats, and it’s true that some margarines are loaded with them. However, the primary source of trans fats in the Western diet comes from commercially prepared baked goods and snack foods:
  • Baked goods – cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, and some breads like hamburger buns
  • Fried foods – doughnuts, French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and hard taco shells
  • Snack foods – potato, corn, and tortilla chips; candy; packaged or microwave popcorn
  • Solid fats – stick margarine and semi-solid vegetable shortening
  • Pre-mixed products – cake mix, pancake mix, and chocolate drink mix

Saturated fats: Limit or reduce this fat

Many of us can benefit from replacing some of the saturated fats in our diet with healthy fats. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as red meat and whole milk dairy products. Poultry and fish also contain saturated fat, but less than red meat.

Simple ways to reduce saturated fat

  • Eat less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and more fish and chicken
  • Go for lean cuts of meat, and stick to white meat, which has less saturated fat.
  • Bake, broil, or grill instead of frying.
  • Remove the skin from chicken and trim as much fat off of meat as possible before cooking.
  • Avoid breaded meats and vegetables and deep-fried foods.
  • Choose low-fat milk and lower-fat cheeses like mozzarella whenever possible; enjoy full-fat dairy in moderation.
  • Use liquid vegetable oils such as olive oil or canola oil instead of lard, shortening, or butter.
  • Avoid cream and cheese sauces, or have them served on the side.
Sources of Saturated Fats Healthier Options
ButterOlive oil
Red meatWhite meat chicken or turkey
CreamLow-fat milk
EggsEgg whites, or tofu
Ice creamFrozen yogurt
Whole milkSkim or 1% milk
Sour creamPlain, greek yogurt

Getting more good fats in your diet

Okay, so you realize you need to reduce saturated fat and avoid trans fat… but how do you get the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats everyone keeps talking about?
The best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.
  • Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil for stovetop cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard.
  • Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads or make guacamole. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.
  • Reach for the nuts. You can also add nuts to vegetable dishes or use them instead of breadcrumbs on chicken or fish.
  • Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil. You can make a great ranch with skim milk and plain greek yogurt!
healthy fats, grocery list, fat, weight loss, transformation


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wait a minute.. baking and burpees do NOT go together!

You are right!! They don't! What you may not know is that Beachbody is not my first business venture... I ran my own cupcake bakery out of my home, my so called 'bakery' was named "A Smidge & a Pinch".. I would spend my nights and evenings creating custom made-to-order cupcakes and cake pops... It was a fun and quite successful business but it was not rewarding.. Yeah, I helped people in that moment, in giving them the perfect dessert for the occasion... But I didn't change anyone's life, I probably just changed their waist line (sorry)...
change, motivation, cupcake

Baking took up so much time, every evening when my daughter went to bed I would bake, and then clean up over and over... It was taxing on my body, my marriage and my weight.. I just so desperately wanted to work less hours as a nurse...


I am working on building my team, Inspiring Change and if you have a passion for helping people then I want you to help you build your business! I named my team Inspiring Change, because it is my goal, right there in you face.... As a busy mom, I never thought this transformation would be possible for me, inside and out I have become a new, fresh, thinner version of the person I always wanted to be. And I want to inspire other people, particularly women that they can have this too! I basically get paid to inspire people and to keep up with my own health and fitness goals - amazing, right!?

change, motivation, fitmom, beachbody, weight loss, transformation, exercise, coach, beachbody, erin traill

Benefits of being a Beachbody Coach:
Changing lives!
Being a coach, I work with these people for long term and help them in so many ways: exercise, nutrition, confidence, and we create a special bond.  Before my own eyes, they are changing their lifestyles and transforming into people they never thought they could be.  But because of my guidance, they reach their goals.  This is the most rewarding job I have ever had, and so thankful for having this opportunity. 

Be your own boss
I am responsible for my success... There are no set hours, I can work at my blog, social media and answering emails for hours one day and then 10 minutes the next day... I can talk to a potential customer or follow up with customers every where and any where... Most of the time, I work on my business 30 minutes in the morning, here and there throughout the day and I make sure I devote an hour in the evening. Somedays more, somdays less...

 Financial Freedom
As a coach, your income potential is unlimited.... UNLIMITED! I just recently was able to change my nursing hours and be home more with my family, all thanks to Beachbody!! I wanted it, I went for it, and now I have it... My next goal is to pay cash for my vacation to Disney is September... And then for Christmas... And the girls college funds...

Opportunity to Travel
I am a new coach, so I have not personally experienced the benefits of this perk... but I WILL! Beachbody is amazing at praising you for your hard work, you earn point through sales and it turns into cash for a vacation! Yes, many coaches get to go on vacation completely paid for! They get to meet their favorite trainers, hang with other coaches, and bring a guest!

Personal Accountability
I love eating well and exercising but some days, I just don't feel like it. Being a coach, reminds me that I need to practice what I preach and push play every day (plus I am always glad when I do) I love giving tips and tricks on how to make living this 'healthstyle' easier and the only way I can do that is to continue learning myself and to keep pushing myself. Not only does coaching keep my body healthy, but it has been great for my emotional well-being. I have suffered from anxiety and depression off and on through the course of my life, between the satisfaction I get from my own workouts, the satisfaction I get from helping others and the personal development I have read and studied since becoming a coach I feel better than ever!
It's not all about the money - but in this topic it is --- DISCOUNT
So not only are you making money, but you are also getting a discount on the products! You get 25% discount on ALL Beachbody products! STOP THE MADNESS!!!
Still not sure if this is right for you? Fill out this application for coaching and I will invite you to free 5 day "What is a Beachbody Coach?" informational coaching group. No cost, no obligations, just information for you... 5 of the top coaches in the team will be posting their experiences... I am super excited for the group! It is a closed facebook group, full of information that will give you a better understanding of the business! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE :)


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Simply Healthy, Simply Made Potatoes

I am really working on trying new clean eating recipes to share. It's hard because if you know me, you know I eat the same things over and over.... Especially when I am counting calories, I know the calorie value of a meal, I know how filling it is and it is easy (or lazy lol)... So you will find my recipes super simple.. These are easy, cheap and family friendly :)

Simply Made Potatoes

I went into my garden and picked some basil, rosemary and thyme (if you don't have an herb garden, I highly recommend you start one, the flavor is amazing and it is a cheaper alternative to buying dried spiced) and chop!

rosemary, basil, thyme, clean eating, potato, diet, fit mom, erin traill, beachbody

Yellow potatoes, washed and thinly sliced

Olive Oil

Garlic Powder


Oven to 350 degrees

Place thinly sliced potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil (lightly drizzle, it just helps the potatoes not to stick to the baking sheet and to add crispiness but you don't want them to be oily).

Add fresh or dried spices. Gently stir until potatoes are evenly covered.

Place on baking sheet.

Lightly sprinkle with garlic powder.

Bake until desired crispiness


Monday, May 5, 2014

The Power of a Challenge Group

I can make this a real quick post... ready?! A Beachbody Challenge Group is a super awesome support group... haha seems simple, right?! I seem to get asked a lot of questions about the challenge groups, so let's talk Challenge Group! When I started with Beachbody, I started as a challenger in a challenge group... I needed the support and motivation because I had no idea what I was doing... I needed help refining my diet, I never did an in-home workout program, and I needed the support to help keep me motivated... I thought I would enjoy the challenge group, but I had no idea what an asset it would become to my transformation...

What is a Challenge Group? A Challenge Group is a closed Facebook group that is 30/60/90 days long. No 'outsiders' can see in :) Coaches, like me post daily motivation, tips, answer questions, post recipes and do whatever we can to help the challengers stay motivated, healthy and cheer on their progress... Challengers in the group can be at all levels of fitness, some might start how I did with no knowledge of Beachbody, overweight and hadn't worked out in years and some might be on their 5th challenge group and have a six pack... and that is the beauty, not only do you have the knowledge and experience of the coaches, but you also have your peers... Maybe you keep having knee pain, maybe you need a workout shoe recommendation, we are there for you every step :)

In order to participate in a challenge group, you will need a few things...

- A Beachbody fitness program - don't know which one would be best for you? Just ask, I can help you sort through all the options!

- Shakeology - Ahhh... my favorite... Nothing better than Beachbody's meal replacement shake, Shakeology after a hard work out! Shakeology is a dense super food protein shake that is gluten free, GMO free, with over 70 natural ingredients and is certified low on the glycemic index. This dense nutrition is power packed full with anti-oxidants, digestive enzymes (digestive regularity here you come!), pre- and pro-biotics, amino acids, and 23 vitamins and minerals. I promise you, coming from a cereal and ice cream addict this will reduce your cravings. Coming from a mom with an infant, it will increase your energy level. And it is so quick and easy... I look forward to my shake daily, it is my after workout reward!

And I need you to be committed... Ask yourself is what I am doing right now working for me? For me, I don't have the time and money to go to a gym everyday... I have the freedom to workout whenever I can, and the workouts are mine forever afterward... If you are committed and follow the workouts, clean eating, and drink Shakeology there is no way you won't be successful!

Let me help you make this next step in your health, I want nothing more than to help you reach your goals :)

Apply here to join my next challenge group!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

It is NOT a DIET

As I celebrate 20lbs down in less than 6 weeks, I get a lot of 'what diet are you doing?' and 'are you starving yourself?' The answer is, this is not a diet and no I am not starving at all... For me, this is a lifestyle change.... In order to look better and feel better I 110% believe you have to fuel yourself with wholesome foods...

team beachbody, fit mom, clean eating, erin traill, weight loss, transformation, diet, beach body coach, fitness motivation,

I will admit that I haven't always had the best track record with healthy dieting, which is why my mom rightfully so asks "are you hungry?" (love her ;))... but I am not... Let me introduce you to clean eating... Clean eating is not a new concept, and for the most part it is common sense... It is committing to eliminate all processed foods and additives from your diet..

The basics of eating clean include - eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  These are straight from nature - the idea is to stay away from anything that may have been altered in any way.

Include meats, however; "whole" meats that you have chosen straight from the butcher or prepared yourself.  You would be very surprised to find out what is actually in ground turkey.

Enjoy whole grains - these are grains that are still complete and haven't been broken down in any form.  Examples include: brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains. 

Eat fewer ingredients - try not to purchase items with more than 4-6 ingredients in the ingredient list.  Also, be sure you recognize every ingredient.  If you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't put it in your body.

Simple Guidelines for Success:
  1. Eating small frequent meals 5-6 times per day to level blood sugar and prevent hunger
  2. Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates and heart healthy fats in each meal choice
  3. Avoid ALL processed and/or refined foods (sugar, baked goods, candies, white flour, white rice, etc) - this is especially hard for me, I used to have a cupcake business for goodness sakes!
  4. Avoid saturated and trans fats
  5. Avoid sodas, high calorie juices and other drinks that give your body no nutritional value and lots of unnecessary (unwanted) calories
  6. Avoid high calorie, non nutritious foods (i.e. junk food)
  7. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day
Clean eating takes a lot more time in the kitchen as opposed to the way I used to eat, but I have a meal prep day every week to help me be more successful... On the day before meal prep day I will write a list and think of meals (I basically have the palate of a 2 year old so I pretty much eat the same things, but I am trying to expand my diet as you will see my recipes are all very simple because I don't like to cook and I don't like a lot of foods). On meal prep day, I will grill a bunch of chicken, cut veggies, portion out snacks (hummus, peanut butter, rice cakes), and I will make a big pot of brown rice and measure and portion it out into servings... This prep eliminates my "I don't have time excuse" I frequently eat just chicken, brown rice and veggies when I don't have time to do anything else or I will stir fry and get more creative with what I have when I do have the time... Either way I have no excuse to not stay on track.. Also I keep emergency snacks in my car, work bag and diaper bag because it is very hard to be hungry when there are a million fast food restuartants every where you look...

I hope this helps, I know it wasn't a 'fun' post but I hope you can apply it to your life because the health benefits of clean eating aren't just linked to weight loss; it will also improve your energy level, help you obtain clearer skin and shinier hair, and also helps promote healthier sleep patterns and increased mental well-being... Please remember NOT ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUALLY!! 1200 calories of junk looks and feels a lot differently than 1200 calories of clean foods to your body... Eat well my friends :)