Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dani Johnson First Steps to Success

HOLY MOLY, I haven't posted in forever, I apologize!

My life has been so busy! Let me catch you up!

UPDATE: If you are a Vanguard employee, it's come to my attention that is against their policy for me to endorse any products- so if you have any questions about Shakeology please e-mail me on my personal account: april.pinkney@gmail.com I really would love to keep my job so we can not discuss it at ShipShape. I would be more than willing to meet you for coffee outside of work to discuss Shakeology and your health and fitness goals ANYTIME too, so just e-mail me! :)

Ok, So anyways... I've been doing my body combat regularly- I'm loving it!
First of all- if anyone has any of these programs above (P90X, Insanity, etc) and wants to stay accountable- I have a group that will keep you motivated and ACCOUNTABLE! Add me to facebook: http://www.facebook.com/april.pinkney.5 and I will add you! It's awesome, we all post workouts and meals and encourage each other! It's full of super awesome people!

This is my 6 month old niece, Clover! I got to see her this weekend! HOW DOES A CHILD GET THIS CUTE?! AHH LOVE BEING AN AUNT!

I went home this weekend for Dani Johnson's First Steps To Success Seminar- it was LIFE CHANGING! It was an amazing personal development seminar for life, business, and just EVERYTHING. Check out her website http://www.danijohnson.com You can sign up for free daily e-mails and she has a live radio show multiple times a week that is just AMAZING. I'm telling you, EVERYONE can benefit from her! Here she is below in mid-sentence, lol. She is a millionaire that came from nothing. She was mentally, physically, emotionally, and sexually abused growing up, pregnant at 17, and homeless at 22. She became a millionaire from a home business from the trunk of her car and a phone booth and she gives you AMAZING tips to be sucessful in all aspects of your life! I'm blown away by how amazing it was! All of her proceeds from these events go 100% to feeding orphans, widows, elderly, and helping to save children/teens from the sex trade. Is that not motivation enough to go? It's an investment in yourself!

Below is a picture of Kelly and I from the Seminar. She is a beautiful person inside and out! Follow her on facebook Kelly Hanner and instagram: @KellyHanner she is so smart and fun and motivational, I am so lucky to have met her through INSTAGRAM and found out about being an Online Health & Fitness Coach for BeachBody. So blessed. Any questions? E-mail me at april.pinkney@gmail.com

There are 125 people on this stage. After all of their testimonials were averaged.. 125 people paid off $6.5 MILLION dollars in debt!! AMAZING! On average that was $88,000 per person in 14 months!! I WILL be one of these people! Watch me WORKKKK! I have $62,000 in student and car loans whoaaaa boy. I'm giving myself a 3 year goal.. it will be gone thanks to Dani Johnson's WAR ON DEBT program I bought!

NOW if this doesn't make you laugh, you're just not fun. I love this!  Be bold, be kind, be strong, be loyal, be compassionate, be passionate, be proud, believe in yourself, be confident, be yOu! Love yourself and your relationships and life will reap the benegits. What are you waiting for? Do big things today! :)

So, I was enjoying my spinach and tomato egg white omelete at Denny's with my grandma when I noticed this placemat above.... WTF? I HAVE NO IDEA HOW AMERICA IS SO FAT?!?! MMMMM SATURATED FAT ON SATURATED FAT! STACKS ON STACKS ON STACKS! SIGN ME UP! This is just gross! Does this even sound good to anyone!??!

I had Shakeology for breakfast today and loved every last drop! Yum!! Want to know how I lost 2 inches form my waist and now have NO stomach issues while not changing a darn thing about my exercise routine? Ask me how to get your shakeology! Here is my dinner from today. I posted the recipe last week! Sweet potato mash, green beans, and grilled chicken YUM!

Here is my cheat meal from the week above. It is a Morning Star brand Spicy Black Bean Burger. I used to think this was a really healthy meal up until a few months ago. But is it clean? NO! There are so many preservatives, so ALWAYS make your own black bean burgers when possible! I will post my recipe this week for homemade black bean burgers! I'm trying to be more gluten free when possible, so I used red cabbage and hot sauce instead of a bun! I also made baked sweet potato fries to go with it! YUM!

I'll leave you with this gem- my lil 3 year old peanut, Lily, was sleeping over my parents house when I went home this weekend. My pregnant sister, Lily, and I all shared a bed Saturday night and had a "pajama party". She is the cutest thing ever, literally couldn't be more wrapped around her finger. She was not interested in getting up at 6am with me, so I snuck a pic, lol. Creepy Aunt Apple! It's the little things in life. I'm thankful for my family today, because I would not be the person I am today without their love & support. Have a great day, and please feel free to leave comments about any recipes/workouts you would like to see on the blog!

Xo- April

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How does Shakeology Compare to Other Shakes?

Here are the facts, it is clear that Shakeology is the best choice for your macro and micronutrients.

Let the numbers speak for themselves:

Just click on the picture to make it larger. Isn't that awesome when you break it down? Shakeology has 6g Fiber while GNC Total Lean has 8g Fiber (with a lot less of the nutrients), fiber is going to keep you fuller longer, that's one of my favorite things is the fact that I'm not hungry an hour or 2 later!

Yum...! I only wish I didn't have it for lunch so I could have it for dinner too, lol. I'm telling you, I'm obsessed! E-mail me with any questions april.pinkney@gmail.com And Add me to facebook! http://www.facebook.com/april.pinkney.5

Meal Prep Ideas!

Happy Hump Day! 

How has your day shaped up so far? I got to sleep in for the first time in 10 days and it was amazing. Sadly, 8:30AM is my "sleeping in" but regardless I got to bed at 11pm and I feel so ready for the day. I had breakfast, I did my BODY COMBAT and made my shakeology and I'm buzzing around with all the energy in the world, which is amazing because I could have fallen asleep standing up yesterday! I haven't drank coffee in like 3 weeks except for maybe 3 cups. I've been making Green Tea Lattes and my Shakeology has given me such an energy boost! AMAZING!

So this past weekend, my boyfriend, Matty, & I went to visit his family in Fayetteville, NC. We went to a family friend's 2nd birthday party at an arcade and that was the most tiring two hours ever, lol. I'm pretty sure I feel less tired after I have been running for two hours than chasing around kids and playing games. Here, Matty (right) and Brian are racing like two little kids. I like the look of excitement on his face, lol. He's such a little kid at heart, I love it.

Sunday was my usual food prep day, but I don't usually eat the food prep for dinner that day, just because I'd rather have another meal I don't have to prepare for work lunches. I sauteed spinach and had 2 over medium eggs with sirracha for dinner. It was amazing!

Sauteed spinach is so easy and so high in calcium and SO low in calories! Side note:
Cooking your vegetables can actually boost their antioxidant content. Heating vegetables releases antioxidants by breaking down cell walls. Studies have found that eating cooked spinach and carrots - versus raw - results in much higher blood levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant thought to guard against heart disease and lung cancer. Source: The Globe & Mail. The calcium is absorbed easier after cooking as well. This is not the same for boiling veggies, just grilled or sauteed. I cook mine with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, a dash of fresh ground pepper, and fresh ground sea salt. It is flippin' amazing! I cooked the whole bag and ate that with my eggies & lovedddd every minute of it. So basically for the spinach (whole bag) it was 100 calories then you add in calories for whatever you add to it- but heck, that's nothing! The nutrition facts are below.

Ok, so here is my meal prep from Sunday. I went grocery shopping and was done cooking all in 2.5 hours. Not bad at all! I made sweet potato mash, grilled chicken breast, and green beans. See below.


NOTE: I prepped the food, put it in the oven, went for a run, and came back and it was ready- Isn't that amazing?

Sweet Potato Mash:
I made 9 meals total.
Wash & clean 6 sweet potatoes (SP)
Microwave 3 SP at a time for 3 minutes, then microwave remaining 3 for 3 min
Cut in 1/2 and add cinnamon
Place in baking pan with green beans (recipe below)
Cook for 40 minutes at 375 degrees
When they are finished, I used a potato masher and mashed it with skin on, I added more cinnamon, and a  little nutmeg & a few drops liquid stevia.(optional)
Portion it out into 9 servings- it is very filling- a little goes a long way!

Green Beans
Clean and cut ends off fresh grean beans - you will need a lot for 9 servings, don't be stingy with the GREENS!
Spray with coconut oil or EVOO
Add your favorite seasonings
I used Mrs. Dash no salt added Garlic & herb
Put in pan with sweet potatoes and cook the same amount of time- BOOM!

Seasoned Grilled Chicken
I bought 6 large fresh chicken breast filets, but frozen chicken breasts thawed out will work too
Season with favorite seasonings
I used Mrs. Dash no salt added Chipotle seasoning
Put in pan and cook for ~40-50 minutes depending on how thick your chicken breast is- Mine were thick so it took 50 minutes, but I cut them up for portion sizes anyways, so in hindsight, I would cut them in 1/2 before baking to save time.

Portion them out so that your serving of chicken is about the size of a deck of cards and just eyeball the portions out so that they are even. I put 3 in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. I make overnight oats or Shakeology for breakfast and then just pop these in my lunchbox everyday for lunch along with 2 healthy snacks. EATING CLEAN IS EASY!

Here's my "Sunday Funday" summary - I use the hashtags on instagram and then just upload the pics from there, so that's why there's always "#' and '@' signs on my pictures. My instagram is aprilpinkney if that's your thing, follow me! I meal prepped, had some chai green tea, got a super cute bracelet in the mail from Etsy, snuggled with my kitty on the couch, and prepped a Shakeology shake so that I could eat it for breakfast on Monday morning. I save enough time to brush my hair and teeth, get dressed, and put contacts in in the morning lol. I love my sleep. I pack EVERYTHING the night before.

So, now you saw how easy meal prep can be, what's your excuse? Your choices decide everything about your life. YOUR food choices today determine your body in 6 months. Make everyday count, and remember you said "I'll do _____ tomorrow" yesterday. GET MOVING!

XO- April

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quick Meal Ideas

Story of our lives: "I don't have time for...." Fill in the blank.

When it comes to eating right and exercise- TIME is one of our biggest obstacles. Do you have timeeee to increase your quality of life AND the amount of time you will spend on earth with your family and friends? Put the big picture into perspective this is your LIFE we are talking about!

So here are my quick tips for Quick Meals:

Breakfast Meals (that you can eat allll day)
Omelete: coat pan with coconut oil or olive oil, cook 3 egg whites, + 1 egg over medium-low heat until bubbly, throw veggies of choice: spinach, tomato, onions, mushrooms, peppers, you name it, try for no cheese or a small portion of reduced fat cheese. Cook for another minute or 2 and flip half way over. Cook 1-2 more minutes until done. BOOM I pour hot sauce over that and ENJOY!

Egg Sandwich: Spray microwave safe bowl with coconut/olive oil or PAM. Add one egg to bowl & whisk - cook 1 -1.5 minutes- Pop out onto Whole grain toast or english muffin, add spinach, tomato, reduced fat cheese & deli turkey breast. BOOM 1.5 minutes PROTEIN packed breakfast.

Overnight oats: Do this the night before. 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice), 1 TBS PB2, pinch cinnamon, throw in some craisins & slivered almonds. Put in fridge with a GOOD tupperware container that will click so milk will not be everywhere. Eat hot or cold in the AM.

Lunch/Dinner Meals:
Turkey sandwich: Use mustard (0 calories & low sodium) Pile this sandwich high with all the veggies you can to keep you fuller longer, tomato, onion, pickles, peppers, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli slaw, you name it, I've put it on my sandwich, I like a CHAMPION sandwich. I also ALWAYS pair this with a fruit so I can have a sweet bite at the end- apples & turkey sandwiches are my go-to, but use whatever YOU like.

To make a healthy honey mustard: mustard, apple cider vinegar, & liquid stevia- mix a little bit of everything together until desired flavor =  0 calories!!

Grilled chicken, sweet potato (or quinoa) and vegetable. GET CREATIVE- Look back in my posts- MAKE MEAL PREP happen this week then you just pop it in the lunchbox & you're out the door!

Salad: GET CREATIVE, again.
My favorite salads usually look like this: spinach, tomato, onion, avocado, bell peppers, hemp seeds, almonds, apple slivers, & a light dressing. Add a light poppyseed dressing and add strawberries for a sweet taste. Roast asparagus, corn, green beans, broccoli, squash, etc and store in tupperware container so you can just grab handfuls out and throw in salads/meals throughout the week.

My new favorite meal of the day. Sometimes I have it for dinner, sometimes I have it for breakfast, sometimes I have it for lunch. But I ALWAYS have it one meal a day! It's a meal replacement shake that tastes like a milkshake (chocolate is my favorite flavor). It keeps you full and has helped 1,000s of people lose weight and enjoy doing it. It comes out to $4/shake which means you're only spending $4 on that meal- essentially saving you money. When have you ever gone out and only spent $4 on lunch or dinner? And if you're shopping at the McD' dollar menu, don't even get me started with that response! If you're interested in more info about the product click here:

You will NOT regret it. If you would like to know how to save 25% on shakeology, e-mail me at april.pinkney@gmail.com

Tortilla Pizza (recipe is in previous posts, this is my favorite!)

Shrimp or chicken StirFry:
cook shrimp or chicken almost through, add snap peas, peppers, onions, broccoli, carrots, and baby corn (or buy frozen stir fry veggies) add in to pan with reduced sodium soy sauce and a bit of water. Cook on med-low heat until chicken/shrimp is cooked and veggies have reached desired consistency. Try to find a stirfry dry spice blend to add as well! YUM.

Tuna/Salmon Salad Panini:
I add light italian dressing, redhot, celery, & a bit of relish to my tuna (or canned salmon) and put on a whole wheat tortilla with onions, tomato and spinach and fold in half. Cook on George Foreman grill like panini (or use skillet)

Just a few ideas for you today! I forgot to post earlier, I wrote it and did not publish it, sorry about that! I will write more tomorrow!

Would you like to join my active facebook challenge group and be motivated by others while being accountable for your own nutrition and workouts? Add me to facebook: http://www.facebook.com/april.pinkney.5 and let me know you are interested and I will add you!

  ARE YOU BEING THE BEST YOU YET? Are you better today than you were yesterday?

Take care - APRIL

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weekend Bootcamp Workout

Happy Weekend!!

I have so many things I'm looking forward to, it's making my mood so much better  just knowing fun things are ahead!
We are in Fayetteville, NC this weekend visiting my boyfriend's amazing family and some friends of ours, yay! I'm so blessed to have them so close, they really have become my second family. :)
Next weekend, I'm heading home to Pittsburgh for Dani Johnsons's "First Steps to Success" Seminar, which I am extremely excited about! I will also get to see my family & friends!
In 3 weeks, we are going to the beach with a group of friends and bringing the dogs, which will be a blast! I'm counting down the days!

I'm going to be brief today, because I need to get up & run & do BodyCombat before the day gets started- you better believe I brought my LesMills dvds and shakeology! It's so simple, you bring a dvd & a laptop & you can workout anywhere you go!! Plus, I crave Shakeology way too bad to leave it at home, lol. I wanted to post a bootcamp workout for you all to try out this weekend! I will be getting together some girls on Sunday for a bootcamp session, you should try to do the same- grab your friends together & pop in a workout DVD or do this bootcamp!  I love getting to kick my friends butts, haha! I hope to get more interest from people in Charlotte by hosting a free workout session on the weekends at a church or somewhere where we can all get together, workout & motivate each other to stay active & keep on the right eating plan!

Booooty Bootcamp
Warm up: 10 toe touches where you tap the ground 3 times tapping farther back each time, come up straight, lean back slightly and stretch lower back with hands overhead. 15 air squats (just squat with no weight). 25 jumping jacks.

10 Burpees
20 tuck jumps
15 push-ups
25 Snake sit-ups 
30 deep squats
40 mountain climbers/leg
20 side lunges/leg
100 quick punches
Do 3 ROUNDS of these last 4 exercises.
50 Jumping Jacks
45 sec plank
20 high knees/leg
REPEAT these 3 exercise 3 TIMES!

Cool down: March in place, roll shoulders, stretch all major muscle groups. YOU DID IT!

Exercise descriptions: (if you don't understand something, YouTube the exercise to understand what I'm describing, but know anyone can post on YouTube so form may not be accurate)
Burpees: start standing, come down into plank, lower body to floor, then push up, come back to standing, and jump at top, repeat.
Tuck jumps: jump up and tuck legs into body
Snake sit-ups: come up as a sit-up, but come down with hands together twisting to right and left like a snake as many times each side as you lower back to ground slowly 
Deep squats: go low, all the weight in heels, push booty back like you're sitting in a chair
Mountain climbers: get in push-up position & bring right knee to chest, alternate legs as fast as you can and don't pike butt- keep a flat back
Side lunges: bring right leg out to side, push booty back as you lower it, use right leg and really PUSH back to center, repeat 20 times and switch to left leg
Quick punches: wide stance, get low, punch as fast as you can without twisting your hips- only your belly button up should be twisting, keep a tight core, punch like you mean it, 100 altogether which means 50 per side
You should know the rest of the exercises, if you don't email me at April.pinkney@gmail.com I'm happy to help :)

Comment if you will be trying this! If you have any questions about health,  fitness, or nutrition just shoot me an e-mail! If you would be interested in joining my active challenge group on Facebook, add me: www.facebook.com/April.pinkney.5 and tell me you're interested and I will add you to the group. Basically, we all post our workouts, meals, and even obstacles we're facing and everyone is so supportive and motivating! It really is a great support system.  I love it! 

Have a great day all!

Xo- April

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Little Steps can make Big Changes

I have been so inspired lately, I wake up happy, I set goals for the day and I meet them. I'm motivated, I'm determined, I will be the best ME yet.

I've been throwing myself into my new online health coaching business. It's the first time in my life I'm doing something I LOVE. I am responding to e-mails, facebook messages, texts, instagram posts any chance I get. I love that people feel comfortable coming to me asking for questions- it makes me feel good knowing that people trust my opinion. The thing is, I don't make money for giving out advice, I do it because I loveee doing it, I THRIVE off motivating others. That truly is my passion. I get paid if someone becomes a customer and orders BeachBody products- but that's not the part that excites me. Having the chance to hear people's stories and obstacles and to be able to help them find solutions is what makes me feel so alive.
I haven't made a single sale yet and I'm not one bit stressed, I am LOVING it. That's not why I decided to do this, I am not a salesman, I believe in the products and if someone asks I'll tell them why/what I love about them. If they buy it great, if they don't, who cares- I just want to help them in whatever way I can. If I just keep being me and networking myself, the sales will come, and I know I am going to be successful at this business, but every day I feel like my life has purpose. I haven't felt like that in a long time. I get to directly impact someone's day or someone's mood, and for that- I know I've made the right decision in starting this business.

Enjoy your life, no matter what. Don't wait, don't overreact, JUST ACT.

I posted about Boston the other day and how much it affected me. I saw this clip from the Boston Bruins game where EVERYONE sang the National Anthem together- I can't even imagine how moving that must be to have been there. Watch the short clip HERE.

One other thing I would like to share with you is an article I read this morning. It's written by Dani Johnson, she has had the hardest life and has become a millionare. She is so inspiring and motivational. I am actually going to one of her seminars in Pittsburgh next weekend and I am so excited! Have you ever read something that just felt like it was written for you to read? This spoke to me this morning, open this link, if you're busy- just read 1 of her laws at a time when you get time today. If it takes you an hour to read the whole article bit by bit- it's worth it. Morning Motivation right here! http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/07/23/dani-johnson-offers-her-12-laws-for-creating-wealth-and-keepi/

Have a great day everyone- I work until 1:45, am going running, heading to the library for some personal development reading, teach bootcamp at 6:30, home to take BODY COMBAT and make my Shakeology for dinner! Is it weird that I'm looking forward to it SO much!? It's my favorite meal of the day, LOVE IT! I had chocolate Banana yesterday! SO GOOD!

xo- ApRiL

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Lentil Soup & Shakeology!

Happy Hump Day!

Ok, so I have an awesome recipe to share with you, I made homemade lentil soup for the first time EVER this week! My mom used to always make it but I've never made it myself- it's delicious and so healthy!

Also, I have been sucking with my music selection in bootcamp. Dang, music can be so motivating or so NOT motivating. So I have been trying to get feedback about what music PUMPS YOU UP! Please leave a quick comment at the bottom of this post telling me a favorite song you have that pumps you up when it comes on! COME ON YOU WILL HELP ME OUT! Thanks!
That's my Mama and I at the Pittsburgh Marathon last May. She's my biggest fan & I love her to the moon & back. Thanks for being awesome, Mama! xo!

-Put 1bag of ~16oz lentils in collander & rinse THOROUGHLY
-Add to pan with 7 cups cold water
-Bring to boil
-Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat and cover for 1-2 hours
(I was impatient and only did for 65 minutes)
-While this is setting, Chop up any veggies you have in the fridge
I used 1 head broccoli, 1/3 head red cabbage, 1 large onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 bag baby spinach (I did not chop spinach), and 1/2 cup of that Sunny Creek Farm crunchy mix I posted about earlier- It is lentils, peas, and adzuki.
-Drain Lentils then add 4-5 cups fresh water- veggies/lentils should be almost covered in water. Don't let water boil down- feel free to add more if it gets low.
-Add ginger, chili pepper, garlic, & black pepper- bring back to boil- continue to stir.
-Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes at the end of process - drain excess tomatoe juice if you still have extra water in your pot, it should be a stew like consistency and it will thicken up after cooking.
-Cook everything for about 10-15 minutes and only add salt to taste as you're eating it. Do not add salt until lentils are fully cooked.
I will add mushrooms, carrots, as well next time, but they were not in my fridge.
Feel free to add meat to this dish as well- it was so good! It made a ton of food so I portioned it out for the week and froze the rest!

What is all the buzz about Lentils?
Lentils, a member of the legume family, are an awesome source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they also manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up—not out.

They also have been proven to help prevent heart disease!
Researchers followed more than 16,000 middle-aged men in the U.S., Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan for 25 years. When researchers analyzed this data in relation to the risk of death from heart disease, they found that legumes were associated with a HUGE 82% reduction in risk! CRAZY Right? Source: World's Healthiest Foods

I got the best package EVERRRR YESTERDAY!

So excited!! I got my LesMills COMBAT Fitness DVD with a ton of tracking material that makes you ACCOUNTABLE + measuring tape & meal plan. I also got my order of CHOCOLATE SHAKEOLOGY. Hands down, the best meal replacement shake I've EVER, EVER had. It's not a fad diet, you just replace 1 meal/day everyday and it comes with recipes on how to put a spin on their shakes to make them taste different! I had it at 7:45pm yesterday and was full up until I went to bed at 11pm! CRAZY! It's full of protein, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, AND DIGESTIVE ENZYMES. This is not a protein shake, it's a MEAL REPLACEMENT. The digestive enzymes are key to allowing your body absorb the nutrients. I mixed my 1 scoop chocolate with ice and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It was delicious! I have cut up frozen bananas in my freezer that I am going to use in place of my ice-cubes tonight for a chocolate banana shake (IT ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE A MILKSHAKE!) This was not meant to be a protein shake, so do not put it in a shaker with water- it WILL taste yucky- make it like an actual milkshake! YUM!

I also want to try this recipe for my shake:
Nutty Banana Chocolate Shake
1 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/2 cup water
3-5 ice cubes
1/2 medium banana (peeled and frozen) or 1/2 cup fruit
1-2 TBS Nut Butter (natural PB or PB2)
1 scoop Shakeology
BLEND & ENJOY- Add more ice for thicker, if you like it thinner, use no ice!

I DEF gave myself a brain freeze last night SLURPING IT UP SO FAST! YUM!

I'm also SUPER stoked to do my LesMills COMBAT fitness program. It mixes martial arts, kickboxing, and bootcamp style moves. I'm PUMPED! I will be taking before/after pics to show you the results! WOOHOO!

If you'd like to join my active challenge on facebook to keep yourself accountable and talk to others trying to lose weight about your workouts, recipes, and weight loss progress -- Just add me to facebook. Http://www.facebook.com/april.pinkney.5 and let me know you would like to be added to the challenge group. DO YOU HAVE P90x, Insanity, or Turbo Jam in your closet and you'd like to dust it off? Tell us about it- it will make you WANT to stick to the program and see results FAST! ESPECIALLY, if you pair it with Shakeology- but don't take my word for it- ask the people in the challenge group that are using the products everyday to reach their goals.

OH- and when you say "I don't have timeeeee"
BOOM! You can't give yourself & your health & future 4%? This puts it in perspective YOUR HEALTH is the most important thing to you. Do something for YOU! DON'T MAKE EXCUSES, STOP HATING THE WAY YOU LOOK, START getting people asking "HOW DID YOU DO IT?"! I believe in you, you can do it! It starts with TODAY!

I'll leave you with this, because it made me smile enough to add my own editing. My dog is obsessed with sticks and this just cracks me up, 1. because I'm a nerd, 2. because I'm obsessed with German Shepherds and any furry creature with 4 legs or less. :) ANYTHING WITH MORE THAN 4 LEGS CAN GET LOST- ESPECIALLY THOSE CREEPY GREEN WORMS THAT HANG FROM TREES IN SPIDER WEB LIKE STRINGS! I got like 8 of them on me on my run yesterday and almost had a panic attack. I get the chills thinking about them- EWWW. Whyyyyyy did you think they were important to the Earth, God? I just have to ask ya what you were thinking when you created those suckers, lol.

Have a great day and do not EVER hesitate to ask me ANY questions you may have! I'm here to help!
I ALSO HAVE TWITTER NOW! --> Follow me @aprilpinkney
Instagram --> @aprilpinkney


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Prayers for Boston

My Heart is Heavy Today...

In our lifetime, we have seen so many horrific acts of violence, but yesterday hit me the hardest. I literally cried when I was watching the news unfold about the bombings because as a marathon runner, it just hit too close to home. It is every runner's dream to qualify for Boston, and these people have worked so hard to get there, and the unfair price they had to pay is just so, so sad. Imagine never being able to use your legs again or having a life-changing injury because you were at MARATHON MONDAY. One of the happiest places to be, runners making friends with strangers everywhere. There are so many feelings I have.. I'm mad, I'm sad, I'm shocked, I'm hurt... I'm just speechless.

Be thankful you have your loved ones and hold them tight. I challenge you to run/walk/lift/exercise today for those suffering in Boston. Use your legs because you can. Strap on your shoes and get out the door for those who may never be able to again.

I have never cried before over an event like this, until now. I think because I've run marathons and it is such an amazing feeling but how could some awful human being do something like this to innocent people? I cried because I also think about my life without running, running is one of the most important things in my life, it keeps me sane, it lifts me up, it fills my soul. Running is ME, I wouldn't be ME without it. Also, my family is always there to support me at my races. Can you imagine losing a loved one because they had travelled to come WATCH YOU race because they LOVED YOU? How awful would you feel if you were in that runners shoes? It's obviously not their fault, but I know I would have so much added pain in my heart from knowing that they were there for me. I can't even write about it without getting upset again, I don't know what this world is coming to. I know there is more good in this world than bad, but events like this make me so scared to raise children one day. What kind of terrible things are to come?

I want to stay positive today and uplift thoughts and prayers to those affected. The power of prayer is so great, if you have a moment- just a quick silent prayer to heal the physical and emotional pain for all those affected would be greatly appreciated.

Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you today and hold them tight, because the gift of life is so fragile.

If you or anyone you know are trying to get in touch with anyone that was in the area, you can do so at the American Red Cross Website, click HERE.

Count your blessings today.

Monday, April 15, 2013

15 Running Tips - From ME to YOU!

How has this not happened already? I have learned a lot about running through my experience! Here's my running background:

  • I HATED running in high school, I only did it to stay in shape for softball and soccer.
  • I picked it up in college because I was no longer playing any sport.
  • I started running a "quick 2 miles" everyday.
  • I decided I wanted to start doing long distances and worked my way up to running 8 miles.
  • I then decided I wanted to train for a marathon.
  • I ran my 1st marathon in May 2008 in Cleveland, OH with a time of 3:56:51, this was a 9:02 minute/mile pace.
  • I ran my 2nd marathon, the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December 2008, in 3:57:58, 9:05 min/mile pace. This race was tough because for about 10 miles around a lake I had to fight against really strong winds!
  • I ran my 3rd marathon December 2010, the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon which was quite hilly. I ran this is 4:01:16. So, you're probably thinking, why did your time get worse each time? Well, I was not incorporating speedwork into my training and I also was not FUELING my body correctly and would completely be hitting a wall at the end of the race. The Charlotte Marathon, I was so dead I had 4 miles left so I tried to figure out the pace I could run to still finish under 4 hours and was running 10 minute miles at the end, SHOCKER I did my math wrong and ended up with over 4 hours because I was relying on my Garmin GPS watch which is not exactly accurate with mileage and I forgot to keep that in mind.
  • I'm excited to run another one to see my new time, my goal is to Qualify for the Boston Marathon within 1-2 years!
  • Some of my 1/2 Marathon results, I can't find the results for a few of them:
  • I ran my first half marathon in 1:50:08 (8:24 min/mile pace)
  • Then 1:50:54 (8:28 min/mile pace)
  • 1:46:02 (8:06 min/mile pace)
  • 1:47:53 (8:15 min/mile pace)
  • 1:46:37 (8:09 min/mile pace)
  • Most recently 3/24/13: 1:44:17 is my PR (7:58 min/mile pace)
Okay, so there's some of my pre-race times, but what have I learned from my training and racing? I have put together some of my most valuable running tips that have helped me become a stronger runner.

My Best Running Advice

  1. REHYDRATE! NEVER do a long training run without bringing water and some type of energy and electrolyte replacement (I use GU Energy Gels, click HERE to learn more.) There are energy jelly beans, energy blocks, etc. There are so many brands and types of products, find one that works for you.
  2. USE ENERGY REPLACEMENT! I use my GU Energy Gel EVERY 30 minutes on my long runs and I take it with water. I used to take it when I felt like I was dying, and it was too late. THIS IS LIKE CRACK. It has made SUCH a difference for my long runs.What's in the GU?Carbohydrates - GU provides athletes with a dose of 100 calories in the form of 70-80% maltodextrin and 30-20% fructose (The ratio depends upon the flavor.). Why the mix? It’s a complex carbohydrate, and studies have shown that some complex carbs are actually digested faster than simple sugars like table sugar and honey.
    Amino Acid Blend - GU features a unique blend of amino acids to combat muscle fatigue, accelerate the conversion of carbohydrates into usable energy, and maintain mental focus.Electrolytes - Sodium and potassium to replenish what is lost during strenuous activity.Caffeine - Some GU flavors are caffeinated while others are not. We add caffeine for two reasons: It acts as a stimulant and it lowers the perceived effort.
  3. Update your playlist often! I notice my runs drag when my playlist is outdated, I always train with music, but don't usually race with it. Make sure you have upbeat music to push you, slower songs sometimes allow you to slow down.
  4. Find new routes! Running the same trail/neighborhood everyday can be boring and monotonous and take the joy out of running. Use www.mapmyrun.com to find new routes and know the exact distance you will be running!
  5. INCLUDE SPEEDWORK! If you don't push yourself, you will never get better! Get on a track and run a few 400, 800, or 1200 meters. 1 lap = 400 meters, 4 laps = 1 mile. TIME YOURSELF!
  6. GPS WATCH! If you are serious about figuring out your pace, invest in a GPS watch. I personally use the Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS watch, found for about $200-$230 on amazon. Here is a link to look at what the watch does. http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Forerunner-GPS-Enabled-Sports-Monitor/dp/B0046BTK14/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1366037768&sr=1-1&keywords=garmin+forerunner It calculates distance, pace, heartrate (if you're wearing the heart rate monitor) and calories. It also comes with software so you can upload all your runs to your computer to keep track of your training progress. It's a lot of money, but it is one of the BEST investments I have made for my running career.
  7. "FEEL THE PACE" DITCH the watch every once in a while though so you are NOT solely relying on GPS to tell you your pace, you should still "feel" the pace and be able to gauge about how fast you are running.
  8. FIND A RUNNING BUDDY! Man, I wish I still had running buddies here in Charlotte that were my pace because we really pushed each other and runs were always so much more fun! Try contacting Charlotte Running Company- they have multiple locations and actually have running groups for people of all fitness levels to run together. Not from Charlotte? Google running groups from your area and show up to run with them! You can meet new people and enjoy a new route!
  9. CROSS TRAIN! I used to run 6 days/week with only one day off. I felt so burnt out all the time, NOW I run 3 days a week and cross train 3 days a week. I either bike, swim, row, hike, or take a fitness class on my cross training days. This has helped me not feel run down and my legs feel fresh!
  10. Find a training program and write it down in your schedule so you know you're running X miles each day at X intensity/pace/speed. I used Hal Higdon's 1/2 and Full Marathon training forever. www.halhigdon.com and it is great for beginning runners first starting out with longer distances. He offers beginner/intermediate/novice/advanced. I am most recently using the FIRST Training Program see details HERE. I bought the book used for like $7 on amazon. Here is the link for a used copy. http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1609618025/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1366038393&sr=8-1&keywords=first+running&condition=used
  11. SHOES. OH EM GEE. This is huge it took YEARS for me to finally find the right shoe. I have a short wide foot and I supinate when I run, which means I run on the outside of my feet. I even walk this way, I'm a weirdo. BROOKS has been the best brand of running shoe for me and is my saving grace! I can't wear Asics, even the "wide" brand because it still felt like the bones in my feet were being crushed. I either wear the Brooks Ghost or Defyance because these are neutral shoes which help with my supination. Most people pronate when running, which means their foot tends to land rolled inward which is opposite of me, therefore most running shoes have extra padding on the inside of the shoe to prevent this. I DIE when I wear these types of shoes because it pushes me out even MORE causing pain. I suggest you go to a running specialty store where the knowledgeable staff will access your gait/run and pair you with a shoe that fits best. It feels like I'm running on marshmallows, I LOVE IT! Also, get good quality moisture wicking socks and clothing- it makes a difference!  MEN- it is common for men to get bloody nipples from chafing on long runs- wear dry-fit clothing and you can also put bandaids on your nipples- I'm not kidding, you'll be sorry if it hurts to wear a shirt the next day because you didn't use precaution.
  12. BODY GLIDE = HEAVEN! Watch this 1 minute YouTube Clip to see why BodyGlide is so important. Click HERE. You can find it at Walmart, Dicks, or any specialty running store. I call it "chub rub" when your thighs rub together and cause little painful bumps, haha. If I forgot my BodyGlide and I'm in a pinch- I use deodorant on my inner thighs and where my shirt would rub under my armpits. Men- also put this on your chest to avoid the bloody nipples I described above. I'm telling it to you straight people!
  13. MENTAL TALK- Don't go out thinking this is gonna suck, or I hope I don't die before your runs. TELL YOURSELF YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU ARE STRONG, YOU ARE BETTER THAN YOU WERE YESTERDAY. Mental negativity has put a damper on SO many of my runs/races. I am focusing on being positive and ONLY lifting myself up and running has become so much more enjoyable.
  14. Find a reason why you need to keep going! At the end of long training runs, half marathons or marathons, you sometimes need motivation to keep pushing! I was watching an IRONMAN documentary and this one Firefighter would name a reason he was running for every lightpost he passed. I do the same thing at any tree, post, sign, etc. At the end of my last race it was every 15 seconds I told myself why I was pushing hard and why I would be better because of it. I found people in my life that inspire/motivate me as well as loved ones that I was running for the love & support they have given me throughout life. This is a GREAT way to stay positive and tell yourself how loved & lucky you are and to KEEP GOING!
  15. DIET/CARB LOADING! Eating clean has helped my running SO MUCH! I feel so much stronger! I make sure to eat a high carb meal such as spagghetti and meatballs the night before a race/long run to fuel my body. I always make sure to eat enough carbs about 1.5-2 hours before I run too. I have oatmeal, a banana and lots of water. You can also drink Gatorade if your stomach tolerates it. NO MATTER WHAT- do not try new foods/drinks/energy replacements the day of the race. Do it in training to find out if you have any issues! I have found research that says eat only 15% of your calories from Carbs for 3 days then eat 75% of your total calories from Carbs for 3 days leading up to the race. This means 6 days away from your race you start eating LESS carbs then 3 days away you LOAD ON the carbs. You deplete your carb stores first then REPLENISH THEM IN FULL. I do this every race, and personally this works great for me. MAKE sure you find pre-race foods that work for you and stick to them- no need to ruin a race due to GI issues. I also eliminate caffeine for 2-3 weeks before my race so that when I take my GU gels that contain caffeine I notice it more. I have 1/2 cup black coffee the day of the race with my water as well.

THOSE ARE MY TIPS! Let me know if you have any qustions. E-mail me at april.pinkney@gmail.com anytime! I am HERE to help you! If you would like me to be your FREE Health Coach- just ask what I can do for you!


    Weekend Eats!

    My brain is about to EXPLODE with all the food and thoughts I want to share with you this morning. I tend to not blog on weekends because I'm so busy, but then I end up with 483249 thoughts in my head for the Monday blog, lol!

    Friday night, I worked until 8pm and then headed home and went to the gym to lift. My pre-workout snack was interesting, you may think this is weird, but don't knock it until you try it, because I LOVED IT!
    Peanut Butter Wrap
    Whole wheat wrap
    2 TBS Natural Peanut Butter
    1 TBS ground flax seed
    1 small sliced banana
    1/2 TBS Goji Berries
    1/2 TBS Hemp Seeds
    Wrap it all up and enjoy! I paired mine with a glass of vanilla almond milk and it was delicious! I personally think the vanilla almond milk is too sweet so will go with the plain almond milk again next time! I love drinking almond milk, it's delicious!

    I ate this before my 12 mile run yesterday - it was delicious!
    Peanut Butter Banana Panini
    1 Whole Wheat Wrap
    1TBS Natural Peanut Butter
    1 small banana sliced
    2 TBS ground flax seed
    Press it together on george foreman or grill- it was amazing! The warm banana was like a dessert!  ~310 calories depending on the peanut butter and wrap that you use!

    Funny thing about my run, I sat on my butt for too long before I went to run at the Greenway, which is open until 8pm. I did my math wrong for how long I could run before I had to turn around (shocker, I suck at math). So I had to SPRINT the last 3 miles back because I was worried my car and I would be trapped inside the greenway with a locked gate. My last 3 miles were at a 7:45 pace which means I need to step my game up for my next half marathon if I could run that pace at the end of 12 miles. I also need to have an adrenaline rush like that during a race, lol. THAT WAS INTENSE!
     This was my friend, Jackie, and I on Saturday morning. We attended a BeachBody SuperSaturday where we got together with other BeachBody Health Coaches for a great time! We did a sneak peak BeachBody workout from Shaun T's T25 Workout. It was fun & challenging and the best part? You get a great workout for only 25 minutes a day for 5 days/week. Does this sound like something you are interested in? Shaun T realized that everyone might not have the hour for Insanity, but EVERYONE has 25 minutes a day. Contact me if you think you would be interested in this program, I am a FREE BeachBody Health Coach and would love to help find the best workout program for you. If you have ANY questions- e-mail me at april.pinkney@gmail.com I am ALWAYS here to answer your health & fitness questions/concerns for FREE!

    Here is my Saturday pre-workout breakfast! It was so so so good!

    Spinach & Onion Omelette:
    1 whole egg + 3 TBS egg whites
    Handful of spinach
    Fresh ground black pepper
    1 TBS chopped onion
    Cook like an omelette and top with FRANKS REDHOT! Yum!
    I also took a piece of whole wheat toast, added 1 TBS Natural Peanut Butter, 1 TBS ground flax seed, and 1 small banana. (I ate the rest that wouldn't fit on the toast hahaha). I like to have my last bite be sweet so 2 strawberries were my "dessert bite" at the end.

    Here I am taking pics of my overnight oats that I prepared last night. My overnight oats today are on point!
    Chocolatey Strawberry Oats
    1/2 cup quick oats
    1/2 cup almond milk
    1 TBS hemp seeds
    1 TBS Chocolate PB2
    1 TBS ground flax seed
    Mix all together and store in fridge overnight and BAM eat it hot or cold the next day!

    I love the texture change with hemp seeds! Delicious and full of nutrients! Hemp seeds are high in Omega 3 & omega 6 essential fatty acids. These are nutrients our bodies need bc they cannot be produced or stored in our bodies. They are also an excellent source of protein! Ground flaxseed contains Omega 3s and 2g dietary fiber/1TBS. Nutritionists often recommend ground flaxseed over whole bc it is easily digested where the whole flaxseed may pass through body undigested.  
    I love this motivational quote from Bonnie Pfiester - follow her on instagram @BonniePFIESTER.
    Also, my Instagram name is: @aprilpinkney
    ❤ Happy Monday! ❤

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    I love Smiling, Smiling's my favorite!

    It's amazing how inspired I feel today because I have been making some decisions to step out of my comfort zone and try to find new ways to inspire and motivate others.

    I'll fill you in soon with what big things are coming, I'm super excited!

    Sooo, yesterday I worked 12-8pm and completely forgot that I used the last of the dog food that morning. By the time I realized it, it was 9pm and PetSmart was closed. CRAP! German Shepherds have sensitive stomachs and Mac gets the runs if he eats ANYTHING out of the ordinary. TMI!? Oh well, get over it. We went through about 3 different natural dog food brands in the last 2 years before we found ROYAL CANINE brand that makes their food specific for each breed. So, I refuse to rush out to Wal-mart and get the crap dog food that's filled with fillers and non-natural crap. If I don't want to eat that junk, I certainly don't want my boy eating it eaither. So, I made him some brown rice and I cooked plain chicken in Coconut Oil, because we already add Coconut Oil to his food to help with his skin, coat, and to fight fungus and bacteria! It's awesome, I cook with it as well! Anyways, the poor babe looked so confused because this dog doesn't get ANY table scraps or ANY other food other then his dog food, for the aforementioned reason lol. He looked guilty as he gobbled it up, I had to assure him he was supposed to eat it, haha. I posted a pic to instagram laughing that my dog was "eating clean" right with me.

    I had the tortilla veggie pizza again- obsessed with it! Recipe is posted in a previous post!

    I made sauteed spinach last night to go with the leftover rice for lunch for me today. I heated EVOO & added minced garlic, 2 cups spinach, and the CRUNCH MIX I discussed this week containing Lentils, Peas, and adzuki. Let it cook down, add to the rice, and add some hot sauce! AMAZING!

    I'm pretty happy with the way I look right now, but there is always room for improvement. My new goal is to focus on muscle definition. No, I'm not trying to be a muscle woman, but yes, I'd like to look at my arms and see nice lean muscles! I have decent muscle tone in my legs thanks to running, so I want to see overall muscle definition. I will be starting to incorporate LES MILLS COMBAT fitness workout into my routine as soon as it comes in the mail! Woo, excited to compare before/after pics!

    Little Flex_Friday action going on through instagram. C'mon baby muscles, GROW!
    It is absolutely dead in the gym I work at today because it's so beautiful out and I'm stuck here until 8PM. BOOO!! So you know what I'll be doing? RESEARCH! How can I make myself a better runner? What new clean recipes can I adapt and make my own? I will also be reading my PLANT BASED NUTRITION Book  by Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. I won from @Powercakes and @Heatherwaxman and their awesome plant based challenge they had! Love filling my brain, I actually miss graduate school, which I NEVER thought I would say. Research is such a powerful tool, don't just believe anything you read. Do your own research, and make sure it is a reliable source! Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is reliable.

    Speaking of research, I updated my PROTEIN post from a few days ago. Some of my numbers were a bit off, because it did not take into consideration individual body weight. Pop over there to check it out again! Also, Julieanna Hever's book provided some great information about excellent plant based protein sources, see below.

    One other cool fact about plant based vs. animal based protein is that only plant protein has phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While animal flesh, eggs, and dairy product proteins contain saturated fat and cholesterol, which are absolutely NOT found in plant based protein sources. COOL stuff, right? EAT THOSE VEGGIES!

    I love this Runners Prayer. Running is a gift, just as life is. Cherish everyday and be thankful for the gifts God has blessed you with.