Creating Mindset Shifts in a Mind-Upset World

by Gretchen Gegg, M.Ed.

“My phone pings, so I pick it up to see a new comment on my latest Instagram post. I respond and notice a new post that I really like and I share it to my story. Five minutes of “downtime” while my kids are eating, floor gets a quick vacuum. Okay, check the schedule – what’s next? Clothes on, eat breakfast, brush teeth, put on your shoes and off to….wait…there’s no school. I need an activity for my kids!!! I feel “snacky” and reach in the pantry for my favorite chips…The kids are napping – must get work done…emails, emails, emails…. Whew! That was a long day…I’m ready for a glass of wine.”

Does this sound familiar? So many people are feeling this sense of “GO, GO, GO!” lately, but not really getting anywhere. It’s like there is constant static in the brain. Nothing is clear and everything is urgent. We are seeking simple self-care strategies, like snacking, social media scrolling and drinking wine, in the midst of chaos and not feeling any better.

Here’s the deal, in 2020 our world underwent a massive “Mind-Upset.” Everything we thought we knew and could count on shifted. We lost strategies that we spent years building. Strategies for business, parenting, social interaction, coping and so much more! These strategies kept us together. They were the reason we saw success and growth. Without them we crave anything that will help us feel like we have control.

So, we look for the dopamine dump. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with our natural reward center – a “feel good” chemical released when we do things like respond to phone notifications, snack on hyper-palatable (salty, sweet, fatty) foods, drink alcohol, and even have sex! Aside from the obvious problems associated with unhealthy habits, there are negative repercussions from becoming a sensation seeker. For instance, we become reactionary to our circumstances instead of orchestrating our lives and feelings. Or perhaps we miss business opportunities because we are unable to focus on the menial tasks in our to do list. Is this you? Are you stuck seeking sensation? Do you hate it? Then change it!

3 Simple Ways to Shift Your Mindset

#1 – Implement Morning & Evening Routines

Give yourself a short list (less than 5) of easy wins to do every morning and evening. The goal is not to get as much done as possible, but to remind your brain that you are aware of what’s going on. When we “bookend” our day like this, we can take even the most awful day and still feel as if we have control.

SAMPLE AM ROUTINE:
Make Bed
Wash Face/Brush Teeth
Get Dressed for the Day
Drink Water
Pull a Mantra Card (like these)

SAMPLE PM ROUTINE:
Lay out Clothes for tomorrow
Check Calendar
Shower
Brush Teeth
Take Vitamins

#2 – Create a List of Affirmations

Affirmations are short sentences based on your vision for the future. These sentences are written in present tense and fueled with emotion, as if you have already achieved your dream! For instance, instead of saying “I am going to start a website with virtual fitness classes,” you would say “My website is perfectly set up with virtual fitness classes that fill up with eager participants.” Cheesy? Yes! Effective? YES!

Our brain only knows what we tell it and because of the Reticular Activating System (a subject for another day) it will always look for ways to make what we tell it come true. By saying these short statements to ourselves, out loud every day we are both motivating ourselves to stick to our goals and “tricking” our brain into helping us!

#3 – Get A Coach!

The most powerful step someone can take is admitting that they can’t do it alone. And, while this has always been true, there has never been a better time to seek out a certified life coach for yourself.

I’ll be totally honest and say that coaching was something that used to seem extremely made up to me. A life coach? For real? Like someone telling me how to live my life? Are they going to follow me around judging my every move? Are they going to show up and drag me out of bed in the morning?

I literally did NOT understand what the point of life coaching was. Then, I hired a life coach. (And yes, you can laugh!) It turns out I was confusing a life coach with a consultant. A consultant is a person who tells you EXACTLY what to do. Never heard of a life consultant? There is a reason why! Can you imagine the scenario I just laid out? That would be ridiculous!

When I decided to start my own business, while navigating work from home and raising my children during the midst of a global pandemic, I knew I needed some help with my inner self. (You know that part of the brain that will keeps you paralyzed wondering what to do and how to do it.) I needed someone to help me navigate my thoughts and continue to move forward in business, life and relationships.

So, how do you know if this third step is for you too?

Fill out this questionnaire, Is Coaching Right For You?.

Looking for a life coach that specializes in fitness professionals? Check out this The Body Positive Fitness Coach for more information. You might be surprised at the improvement and success in your daily tasks, business goals, family obligations and of course your mindset.

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About the Author, Gretchen Gegg, M.Ed.

Gretchen Gegg, M.Ed. is a highly experienced fitness instructor, educator and presenter. Her experience with various populations, and their need for more than just fitness, led her to create The MiMo Method™ . This virtual wellness platform supports clients as they learn to re-frame their thoughts around food, activity and body image. As 2020 brought along changes in the fitness industry, her business expanded to include a Virtual Yoga Studio and On-Demand fitness.

Adapting to Today’s Fitness Needs and Looking to Tomorrow

by Cheri Kulp

The old, familiar phrase “resting on one’s laurels”, originated in ancient Greece and referred to someone who received a laurel wreath for achieving victory while always striving for more. Over time it has come to represent one who is content with current successes and not interested in doing much to continue prospering. In other words, you’ve gotten lazy and complacent. SCW Fitness Education is over 38 years old and has NEVER “rested on one’s laurels.” For almost four decades, we have evolved into one of the most recognized continuing education fitness companies around the globe. Not only has our MANIA® Conventions progressed throughout the years, but so has our online offerings and live stream events. Among our educational contributions are 37 highly researched and recognized Certifications. They are accessible in-person, online and live streamed.

For many, this current pandemic has changed not only the way we work, but the way we workout as well. Online certifications, virtual workouts, and multipurpose home-based equipment have become the norm more than the exception. Face mask requirements and stringent safety and cleaning procedures have brought new challenges to fitness facility based workouts. Many clients and members no longer feel comfortable going to the gym and doing what they have done for years. Individuals with limitations or specific concerns that need to be addressed in one-on-one sessions are staying at home in a more sedentary environment.

With all these changes and adjustments, new and focused skills are needed for fitness leaders to connect and educate participants through a training or workout. We are excited to announce the first two newly revised SCW Certifications: Personal Training and Group Exercise.

“The focus of revising and updating our certifications reflects the changes required for living in today’s world .” Comments Sara Kooperman, CEO of SCW Fitness Education. “Instructors (both novice and experienced) need to know how to teach not only in person, but also virtually, both live stream and recorded.”

In an effort to fulfill this need while continuing this commitment of reliable education, we have begun the extensive work of updating many of our certification manuals, giving those passionate individuals all the tools needed to begin or grow their career in the professional world of fitness.

What exactly is new and improved about our certifications?

The manuals will include:

  • Even more comprehensive information, including diagrams, pictures, and tables on legal music, the latest trends, and tried and tested standards.
  • A reorganization of chapters and resource information for easier studying, comprehension, and application of skills.
  • A BRAND NEW virtual section with practical tips for livestreaming and recording sessions.
  • Input by a collaborative team of respected and recognized leaders, instructors, teachers, and fitness professional with hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise .
  • Instructional videos to companion each certification that instructors can use to practice skills, new movements, and gain ideas for their classes.

SCW Fitness Education has held onto their mission of providing high quality, affordable education and opportunities to group exercise instructors, personal trainers, coaches, managers and owners all around the world. Our reputation and products are accredited by many other fitness industry companies. Tens of thousands of fitness professionals have attended SCW MANIA® for years, returning again and again to learn and discuss the latest trends, upskill their knowledge, reacquaint with friends and peers, and in general, be reminded why we do what we love to do.

Despite knowing this is a work in progress, we feel very strongly in our goal of delivering the latest information to help make each and every one of our courses the best possible so that the future of the fitness industry will continue to thrive, creating a healthier tomorrow.

For more information on our multitude of certifications visit the SCW website. All SCW Online Certifications are specially priced at only $149 (regularly $259). Also take advantage of the upcoming Certification Smash, April 16-18, with live stream certifications as low as $79. Register now and choose from 16 certifications led by 10 Top Fitness Presenters and learn in the comfort of your own space via Zoom. The best education is right at your fingertips at a very affordable price. Now is the time to meet your desires for tomorrow’s requirements.

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About the Author, Cheri Kulp. Cheri Kulp has been a certified instructor for over 30 years. She holds a degree in special education and has previously taught for 18 years. Cheri has been a WATERinMOTION® champion for a decade and is the choreographer for the new aqua dumbbell program, WATERinMOTION® Strength. Her areas of expertise include presenting at SCW MANIA® conferences for 4 years, personal trainer, ARC lifeguard, swim instructor and Les Mills instructor. She has appeared in over 25 videos.

Resilience, Adaptability and Preparedness in Uncertain Times

by Ollie Bailey

If there is one certainty in 2021, it is to expect the unexpected. If you speak to three people in the street about the immediate future of your community you will get four opinions.

Here at Gymcatch, we don’t pretend to have a crystal ball. The world might be back to normal in six months’ time or it might have changed forever. Right now, we just don’t know. But what we do know is that for most of us, we have to find a way through. So, our mantra is resilience through adaptability and preparedness. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to keep delivering for clients during this disruption, face-to-face and virtually.

What works for you will depend on your client base, your discipline and a myriad of other factors. But right now, if you can do both, then do both. If one avenue is disrupted, you can fall back on the other. The ability to offer face-to-face and virtual give you the prospect of growing your business despite the uncertainty.

Virtual Delivery: Resilience Through Adaptability

Let’s tackle virtual delivery first. Gymcatch offers you two routes to deliver online. One is by selling livestream content to clients and the other is offering pre-recorded on-demand content. We see two main benefits of taking your business partially, or entirely online.

Adapting Out of Necessity

Having part of your business online means you have the ability to reorientate yourself virtually at a moment’s notice. You can cut costs, save time and keep working. This also means you can keep in contact with clients, continue to serve your community and survive the most extreme restrictions on your business.

The opportunity to sell content or live stream your classes provide great business continuity. The pandemic has demonstrated that people still want to keep up their fitness and wellness regimes and that they are willing to pay for it. If there’s disruption to in-person delivery, then live streaming and on-demand content is the best way to keep delivering to your client base and keeping revenues going.

Adapting for Growth and New Demand

Virtual fitness and wellness are a fast-growth part of the industry. COVID-19 has exposed online health and wellbeing to an even bigger audience. There’s no doubt that for some people it just isn’t for them. It might not be practical in their home; it could lack the vibe that they like or they may not feel comfortable without the instructor being in the room. There are lots of reasons why people will prefer in-person sessions.

But others love the convenience and they can do more virtually than they could otherwise commit to live. Time, travel and childcare all make getting to a physical location challenging.

For many of those clients, virtual classes aren’t a reason to stop going in person, it’s a means to come more often. And that’s a huge opportunity for growth. Getting clients to join an extra virtual session at home weekly, who already attend one physical session a week, is like gaining a new client.

Similarly, on-demand fitness and wellness enable you to sell the content that your clients want with even more flexibility. If it works for your business model you can even consider selling tailored on-demand content for clients with personalized content.

The online principle allows clients to do more, as well as you the fitness professional. Not having the need to hire a venue, travel etc. can reduce some of your costs, improve your efficiency and deliver more content to clients.

Face-to-Face Delivery: Resilience Through Preparedness

Where the resilience in switching to an online mode focuses on adaptability, the emphasis with in-person delivery is on preparedness. Inevitably there are going to be increased administrative, logistical, financial and emotional pressures when delivering your services as we slowly move out of the pandemic. Guidance is continually changing and will differ state-by-state and city-by-city so there is little value in being super-prescriptive here. It is possible for some issues to pop up time and time again.

Keeping your premises safe and more importantly making sure your clients feel safe, is of paramount importance and it is quite possible that capacity restrictions may remain in place for some time. You will probably become very familiar with the assistance pages of your local authorities.

Some businesses will be largely unaffected by capacity constraints and other regulations, but for those that are, fewer participants of course mean depressed revenues. You might need to mitigate and adapt.

It may be that you are a business that is now taking bookings for the first time. Many gyms are having to divide their opening times into reservable slots. Our booking system is custom built for fitness and wellness, super-easy to roll out to clients and of great value.

With capacity restrictions a possibility, you’ve got to be hard on cancellations. Make sure you have a firm withdrawal policy in place. Your clients will understand now more than ever, that cancellations are a killer.

Have an automated waitlist in play so you don’t have to turn away clients. This way cancellations are replaced immediately and you’re always at full capacity. Your income ceiling might have already fallen, so make sure you are constantly running at 100% capacity.

Just because you’ve got a physical capacity limit doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t teach a bigger class online. We know that in some disciplines this just isn’t possible. But if it is feasible, it couldn’t be easier to broadcast a virtual streaming of your classes to clients.

Additionally, or alternatively, you can record your session, upload it to a video service like YouTube or Vimeo and then sell it as an on-demand resource. With on-demand and virtual live streaming options, you can still maintain those client relationships, bring in additional income and provide extra flexibility to your clients.

COVID-19 is inevitably causing additional regulatory burdens on you. Reduced capacities mean you have to do more to maintain revenue levels. But make sure your systems are efficient for you and your clients so you don’t drown in paperwork. Contact tracing looks like it is set to stay in many jurisdictions. Collecting this information from your clients is actually very easy on Gymcatch. You can make contact tracing requests mandatory and convenient at booking without participation information required. Printed forms aren’t needed for in person with contact tracing already completed. It’s quicker, more convenient and safer for everyone.

Reducing physical contact is a key component of every business’s pandemic response. So, moving away from physical cash transactions are advisable. Giving clients the option to pay by card takes the cash handling element out of your business.

There is no escaping that we are experiencing tough times. By building up your businesses’ resilience through adaptability and preparedness you can make a difference to your bottom line and better serve your clients. From $10 a month Gymcatch has the tools to help you do more for less.

For more info about Gymcatch and the services they offer, visit www.gymcatch.com/business and see how they can help you grow and succeed in this new year.

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About the Author, Ollie Bailey

Ollie founded the industry’s leading booking and customer management software company Gymcatch in 2015 with the aim of making participation in fitness easier for all. As founder, Ollie has served as CEO since Gymcatch’s inception. Outside of the office, Ollie enjoys travelling, playing and watching cricket and spending time with his young family. He supports a number of charities focused on increasing physical participation.

The Secret Ingredient to Transform Fair-Weather Clients to Committed Fanatics

by Candace Taylor

Every January, gyms and wellness centers see droves of people looking to recommit themselves to personal fitness and health goals. They purchase memberships, subscribe to weight-loss and smarter-eating programs and stock up on “must-have” fitness and wellness products with urgency, as the new year reminds them of new possibilities. That rush is inevitably followed by a trickling stream of folks who started the year strong but lose steam towards their goals, as their time becomes filled with other interests, commitments and responsibilities. As focus dwindles, so do the numbers in our classes.

I took a look at how we, at 305 Fitness, have been able to turn those fair-weather fitness ‘fans’ into long-standing members of our community of on-fire Fivers. Our keys to success have featured one secret ingredient every 👏 single 👏 time 👏 : Accountability!

The Tool You Can’t Leave at Home!

Our Annual Sale is a one month membership at an unreal price that hooks clients up with unlimited classes and makes building habit and ritual really accessible. Our newsletters are filled with ‘hot gossip’, need to know news and funny trends from cyberspace that engage our clients beyond their fitness needs. Our seasonal bootcamps focus less on hardcore strength building and weight loss and more on celebrating clients for showing up for themselves at a high frequency. Our most successful client retention hack is engaging with our clients in a way that helps to hold them accountable!

Accountability, our sense of answerability, is a powerful tool for cultivating culture. In other words, the customs (aka habits) and achievements (aka highlights) of a community are all shapeable by intentional guiding leadership. We, the trainers and leaders of our communities, have to be mindful of how we are setting the culture of commitment AND how we are reinforcing it in our interactions with our clients. Accountability is a liability lever. When it’s pulled proactively and consistently, it makes us give a damn about the impact we have on the community we are a part of. It makes us realize how we show up matters!

Put That Sh*t On Everything: 5 Simple and Practical Ways to Integrate Accountability in Day-to-Day Biz Practices
  1. Build Accountability Checks into Your Offerings: Offer a premium membership option that includes a personalized reminder message with a note of encouragement before class. Ask clients for their intentions before class and reference them throughout as a motivational tool. Offer to stay around 5-10 minutes after class finishes to help clients book their spot in the next class. Reservations reinforce client responsibility to show up and for them this is a big game changer!
  2. Client Attendance Tracking & Communication: Send regular follow-up communications that acknowledge and celebrate a client when they show up. Reach out to make note that you noticed when they don’t. These communications can range from low touch options of email or general messages in a Facebook group to high touch methods such as direct message on IG or text message. People are more inclined to commit when they see that you care!
  3. Celebrate Your Clients’ Wins Publicly: Celebrating Sheila’s 25th class publicly not only makes Sheila feel special because you care about her milestones, but it also lets potential clients and observers get a sense of what your community is achieving and what they can expect if they decide to join your squad. Make it clear how much your community means to you.
  4. Be Consistent and Persistent: Show up unfailingly and stay true to your word when you commit to hosting classes. If you are holding monthly classes, try to designate the same date every month (i.e., classes on the 1st and 15th) to the same or similar classes. If you say you plan to teach weekly, show up every single week! Be persistent too. Life happens, so when challenges, mishaps or new responsibilities arise, work as hard as you can to stay committed to your classes or find a solution rather than cancelling. Suggestions might be to find a sub for your class that offers an experience that is of equal value, move class online instead of in-person or open your schedule for 1:1 or semi-private sessions during a week that you have to miss. If you show up consistently and persistently, your clients will be inspired to do so as well.
  5. Incentivize Your Clients With Rewards: Set monthly goals for class attendance and gift a free class to clients that hit that target goal. Feature a client of the month and hook them up with free merchandise swag for exemplifying behaviors that build up your desired ethos (i.e., inviting new clients to class or cheering others on and hyping up the energy in the room). Who doesn’t love brownie points?!
Why Does This Even Matter?

Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and non-fiction author, writes in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, “a cue [is] a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.” A cue is followed in a loop within our brains by routine “which can be physical or mental or emotional” and finally reward “which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.” When we build in answerability into the flow of our client engagement biz practices, we tap into this habit building loop for our clients. We lead them into and through habit building that is contextualized by our community and our offerings.

Duhigg also states, “Over time, this [habit] loop… becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges.” This fusion is our reward as fitness leaders. With our support, our clients build rituals that become integral to their sense of power, community, and personal fulfillment. The achievements in these areas start to feel congruous with a client’s connection to the community we cultivate. The spaces where people feel powerful, connected and fulfilled become the spaces they desire to inhabit most, so our integration of accountability becomes the tool that makes our community the space our clients crave.

305 Fitness is committed to helping people love themselves harder and express themselves louder. We host cardio dance parties all around the world from your living room to your local parks for socially distanced fun. Want to learn more about our #Fiver community, head to www.305fitness.com or @305fitness on all social media channels. We can’t wait to welcome you onto the dance floor to experience the magic of 305 Fitness.

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About the Author, Candace Taylor Candace has been a member of the 305 Fitness team for the past three years. She is a Master Instructor and the Manager of Instructor Success for 305’s Certification Program. Candace passionately coaches instructors to reveal their authentic leadership style to the world. She helps navigate the hills and valleys of entrepreneurship through business development, manifestation and accountability coaching. Candace is pumped to share some of her learnings with the SCW Fitness community and add a little sparkle to the day.

Hip Exercises You Never Knew You Were Doing Wrong: Dead Lifts

by Brook Benten, M.Ed.

Many of us have been exercising for as long as we can remember. But sometimes, seemingly obvious exercises need a tune up. Over several previous issues, we’ve been navigating through a series of moves you never knew you were doing wrong. Read on to discover how to improve Dead Lifts.

Before we dig in, let’s take a look at why dead lifts are commonly misunderstood. They appear as if a person is just taking a forward bow, but before bending over with a barbell, you need to know a few things. For starters, there are three members of the dead lift family: stiff-legged (legs stay completely straight), Romanian (knees barely bend at all) and sumo (knees bend considerably). How do they differ? But more importantly, what do they have in common?
The Hip Shift!

Drawing back the hips to support the lower back when the torso folds forward is the proper way to perform any dead lift. Many times, this nuance is often missed and we simple end up tipping forward at the hips without shifting the hips backward. As Fitness Professionals, we call this form flaw “unsupported forward flexion.” That means the upper half of the body is folding over without strong structures supporting the teeny tiny muscles of the lower back.

A hip shift recruits the biggest and strongest muscles to take the majority of the workload. The glutes, hamstrings, and lower back make up the “posterior chain” and you can think of this team like two linebackers and a punter. Together, they’re wickedly strong. (Punter, alone, small and weak). In order to recruit the posterior chain to initiate a dead lift, pull your hips back like a sling shot. Whether you’re performing a stiff-legged Romanian or sumo dead lift, kick things off with a hip shift backward!

Stiff-Legged Dead Lifts

Step 1: Stand up straight and tall, holding a barbell at your thighs.

Step 2: Draw your hips toward the back wall.

Step 3: Tip forward, grazing the thighs with the bar, keeping your knees straight. Stop when your back is parallel to the ground or when your lower back begins to round- which means your hamstrings lack the flexibility to enable you to safely flex any further forward at the hips.

Step 4: Squeeze your glutes and rise up to starting position.

Fit Tip: If done at all, this type of dead lift should be done with light weight.

Romanian Dead Lifts

Step 1: Stand up straight and tall, holding a barbell at your thighs.

Step 2: Draw your hips toward the back wall.

Step 3: Tip forward, grazing the thighs with the bar, with only a slight (5-10%) bend in the knees. Stop when your lower back begins to round- which means your hamstrings lack the flexibility to enable you to safely flex any further forward at the hips.

Step 4: Squeeze your glutes and rise up to starting position.

Fit Tip: With Romanian Dead Lifts, some people can tip all the way to the floor without rounding the back. The flexibility of the hamstrings is the limiting factor.

Sumo Dead Lifts

Step 1: Stand up straight and tall, holding a barbell at your thighs.

Step 2: Draw your hips toward the back wall.

Step 3: Tip forward, grazing the thighs with the bar. Bend the knees as much as needed to position your hips as far back as possible. Stop just before the lower back starts rounding, which means your hamstrings lack the flexibility to enable you to safely flex any further forward at the hips.

Step 4: Squeeze your glutes and rise up to starting position.

Fit Tip: Because of the aid of knee flexion here, most people (even those that do not consider themselves to be very flexible) can tip forward to at least the point of a parallel back to the ground. Also, because of the knee flexion, which lowers the center of gravity, the sumo dead lift is the type of dead lift where people can lift the greatest amount of weight!

To help understand how the exercise should be performed, take a quick peek at this video!

Now that you know the problem, you can start making strides to fix “Dead Lifts: The Hip-Dominant Move You Never Knew You Were Doing Wrong.” Join us for the next article in the series, “Crunches: The Abs Move You Never Knew You Were Doing Wrong.”

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About the Author, Brook Benten, M.Ed. Brook is a fitness personality in Austin, TX. Her first book, “Sweat Like a Mother,” will release later this year. She is an ACSM Exercise Physiologist and proud contributor to SCW Fitness Education.

Celebrating Food!

by Amanda Fearheiley, RDN, LD, CPT

Nutrition can be defined as the process of obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. It is the branch of science that deals with nutrients, particularly in humans. More compelling is the goal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stating, “It’s a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition.”

As a registered and licensed dietitian, my passion comes from helping others learn how to use food to better their health. This, in fact, is a transformative power. March is National Nutrition Month, so registered dietitians and other nutrition professionals are encouraging everyone to embrace their individuality: create healthy eating patterns with the food they love. This concept brings us full circle and is so powerful that it helps us realize food and nutrition are not a one size fits all approach.

Food should be both a source of nourishment and enjoyment. When approaching cuisine with openness and balance, you realize that all things edible can fit in and there is no need to ever compartmentalize “good” or “bad” foods. In short, some foods feed your soul while others provide needed components to keep your body healthy and active. This balanced approach is essential to the principle of mindful eating. Your body wants and deserves to be fueled with a variety of healthful and tasty choices.

Applying this to your life can be invigorating and challenging in the same breath, so let’s break it down. First off, make informed food decisions. The best foundation for this is based on the five major food groups (Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein and Dairy) and their subgroups based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Notice I didn’t reference you to the latest diet that a celebrity is posting on Instagram or the fad diet that your co-worker undertook but in turn, was miserable and ended gaining all of the weight back! The USDA guidelines are research-based and help people translate current science on diet and health into healthy food and beverage choices. This sound method provides your body with the nutrition it needs. Using Myplate.gov is a helpful resource to expand more on these concepts.

Another fantastic way to gain control of your eating choices is through meal prep. What tools do you have to put together a healthy meal: an instant-pot, a slow cooker, an air-fryer, or maybe just a microwave or oven? Do you want to batch cook over the weekend or learn some quick under 20 minutes meals to use on the weekdays? The point is you need to have tools for convenience and ease of use, as well as plan on how and when to put meal prep on your weekly calendar.

A no-fail way to get started is by preparing your food. Washing and chopping fresh veggies when you get home from the store is a sure fire way to get healthy, disease preventing colors on your plate. If they are in your fridge ready to go for meals and snacks, you are more apt to use them. Finally, learning to budget for convenience will contribute to successful eating habits. As an example, learning to make kale chips is inexpensive and fun, as well as a family friendly side dish.

Nourishing your body doesn’t have to empty the wallet. Look for sales, use coupons and buy what’s in season (tastier and less expensive.) You should be able to feed yourself and your family from your favorite grocery store, not multiple trips to three different markets. Consider scanning the freezer section as well. Fruits and vegetables are flash frozen meaning they are picked at the peak of ripeness and are full of nutrients and flavor. Typically, a large bag of frozen berries is less expensive per ounce then a tiny container of fresh.

In summary, making small, sustainable changes to your food choices can make transformative changes to your health. One of my favorite quotes is, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Ponder this for a moment and then commit to a change that will make you feel good about the food you are choosing and make your body and mind feel even better!

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About the Author, Amanda Fearheiley, RDN, LD, CPT

Amanda has been a registered and licensed dietitian for over 20 years and has been immersed in the fitness field for over 15 years. Her passion is helping others learn how to use food as fuel and food for improving health. She has worked with both day to day athletes as well as pro athletes. She currently resides in the Austin, TX, area with her husband and 3 children.

White Bean Guacamole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Makes 20 servings (serving size is 2 Tablespoons)

Ingredients

1 (15.5oz) can cannellini beans (drained, rinsed)
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place beans, avocados, the garlic (or powder) and lime (or lemon) juice in a large bowl. Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash until smooth. Spoon into medium bowl. Fold in all remaining ingredients. Season to taste.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with triangles of warm pita bread or your favorite chips, crackers, or raw veggies. Also works ask a great spread on a sandwich or toast.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories 45, Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 90mg, Carb 6g, Fiber 2g, Total Sugar 1g, Added Sugar 0g, Protein 2g, Vitamin D 0%, Calcium 2%, Iron 2%, Potassium 4%

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About the Author, Amanda Fearheiley, RDN, LD, CPT Amanda has been a registered and licensed dietitian for over 20 years and has been immersed in the fitness field for over 15 years. Her passion is helping others learn how to use food as fuel and food for improving health. She has worked with both day to day athletes as well as pro athletes. She currently resides in the Austin, TX, area with her husband and 3 children.

Live Stream MANIA® Winners!

Last month’s SCW Live Stream MANIA® was a huge success with over 700 attendees. Our generous Live Stream MANIA® sponsors provided several thousands of dollars in prizes for an online Enter-to-Win contest. Giveaways include equipment, memberships, trainings, certifications, gift cards and workout gear.

CONGRATULATIONS to the 26 lucky attendees from our recent Live Stream MANIA® Enter to Win contest!

June MartinWireless MicAVNow
Lisa Packheiser30-Day Membership to CEU PlatformBrookbush Institute
Tammy Gruber$75 off TrainingBarre Intensity
Vanessa ManLet’s FACE It Together CertificationContiFit
Marisa PashkinStrength Trainer Specialist by NautilusCore Health & Fitness
Mitzi CarringtonCardio Coach Certification by Star TracCore Health & Fitness
Connie KelleySchwinn Classic Indoor Cycling CertificationCore Health & Fitness
Jennifer FawziHIIT Certification by StairmasterCore Health & Fitness
Noreen McLaughlin2 Months of Personalized ProgrammingElectrum Performance
Maria Plotner$50 Gift CardGrab the Gold
Elizabeth Bryant6 Months Booking & CRM SoftwareGymcatch
Kristina CourageTraining ConsultationH4 Training
Joy MilesLife Coaching Strategies MasterclassMiMo Method
Erica MartinWorkout Tote Bag and HatPassionFit
Ying LuPound Pro TrainingPOUND
Sarah DillonCPR & AED Certification + First Aid KitResusciTech
Lauren RomeVariety 24-PackSlate Milk
Rahul Kumar1 Year TrainingTaijiFit
Kacee ZiemerBox of Beachbody Shakeology & MoreTeam Rockstar Fit
Terry TimmerNutritional Genetics Online CourseThe Health Sciences Academy
Donna SumnerVirtual Fitness Pro Online CourseThink Yourself Academy
Angelica RiedTRX Suspension Trainer & Virtual TrainingTRX
Annabelle LoredoWATERinMOTION® CertificationWATERinMOTION®
Madison HemannMay 2021 Live Stream MANIA® All AccessSCW Fitness Education
Denise WoodardSCW OnDemand 1-Year SubscriptionSCW Fitness Education
Kirsty BreenSCW Active Aging CertificationSCW Fitness Education

Thank you so much for joining us for our February Live Stream MANIA® convention. Congratulations again to all of our winners! We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you LIVE and IN-PERSON at Midwest MANIA® (Oct 1-3), Dallas MANIA® (Nov 5-7) and Boston MANIA® (Dec 10-12). Be sure to get ready for the “Next Normal” with our SCW Certification Smash happening April 16-18 with our lowest certification prices ever starting at $79.

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About the Author, Amanda Fearheiley, RDN, LD, CPT Amanda has been a registered and licensed dietitian for over 20 years and has been immersed in the fitness field for over 15 years. Her passion is helping others learn how to use food as fuel and food for improving health. She has worked with both day to day athletes as well as pro athletes. She currently resides in the Austin, TX, area with her husband and 3 children.
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