Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Warm Workout

Winter Warm Workout

Winter Warm Workout by choicescoach featuring a bomber jacket

Don't let the cold put you in hibernation mode.  During cold weather it seems harder to get up in the morning and even harder to make it to the gym.  Make sure you have the right gear in your wardrobe to make it a little easier to get out in the cold.  

Dress for the weather.  If you normally wear your workout clothes straight to the gym, then layer up and change your shoes when you arrive.  Running shoes are made for ventilation which is great while you are running, because it helps keep your feet cool and dry.  However, running shoes are not made to keep your feet warm or to keep moisture from coming in. Wear your warm snow boots or hikers to the gym, and change into your athletic shoes when you are ready to warm up. There are tons of cute snow boots this season with fleece or faux fur lining to keep your feet warm and dry. If you don't have a good pair, then shop the sales. Can't find snow boots you like?  I might be able to help you with that. Here are my picks:

Aside from keeping the feet warm, you can trap in more body heat by layering up. Start with your dry-fit garments. Then layer on a sweatshirt, fleece pants, a down bomber jacket, and gloves. (Athleta is promoting a big sale right now, up to 60% off, so stock up!). As your body warms up at the gym you can peel off the excess layers until your down to the layer that keeps you cool and dry.

Cold muscles don't want to move. They simply aren't ready for it until you warm up. The warm up does a few things that are not to be bypassed.  A good warm up lasts 8-10 minutes and includes any easy cardio of your choice (walking, jogging, elliptical, etc.).  It gets the heart pumping and the lungs breathing heavier in preparation for a tougher workout. The blood pumping faster heats up the muscles and joints, making them more elastic and ready for exercise without injury. Also, the lungs breathing heavier means more oxygen, and more oxygen always means burning more calories. We definitely want that!

After the body is warmed up it is time for the workout! I have designed the following workout to hit all the major muscle groups. It is a hybrid workout drawing on basic strength training, circuit training, body weight training, Pilates, and barre techniques. The goal of the workout is to burn calories, strengthen the core, and tone the arms, legs, and glutes. The workout will probably take you about 30-45 minutes. All you need is one set of dumbbells, an exercise mat, and a chair or bench.  You can easily complete this workout at home since it doesn't require much space or equipment. I'm including a written format and video demonstrations for your convenience. As a reminder, always warm up first. 

Note: Always check with your doctor before embarking on an exercise program. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Choosing The Right Yoga Pants

Yoga Pants To Flatter Every Body

Yoga Pants To Flatter Every Body by choicescoach

Choosing the right pair of yoga pants is like choosing the right pair of jeans. The wrong pair will highlight everything you would rather hide.  However, the perfect fit will accentuate your assets and minimize your insecurities.

The first step is choosing high-quality, athletic fabrics that add compression. Compression will hide a world of sins. This doesn't mean buying cheap pants that are too tight and looking like a stuffed sausage. Compression has to do with the quality of the fabric and the placement of the seams so that you get that sucked-in effect.  The second step is making sure the pants pass the butt test. That means that when you bend over in your downward dog you aren't mooning the entire class or showing off your new lacy thong.  It doesn't matter what size you are.  The wrong fabric can become sheer when stretched in downward dog.  If it doesn't pass the butt test, then it shouldn't be worn to the gym. There are lots of brands to choose from, but my go to pick is Athleta.  Their pants have great quality fabrics, excellent compression, and they always pass the butt test.

The final step is choosing the right pants to flatter your body.

Straight pants

Straight pants are the most universally flattering for most body types.  They add length to short legs and minimize hips creating a long straight line.

Revelation Pant |

Flared leg pants are best for long legs.  They create curves and shape for bird legs and boyish figures too.  Stay away from this style if you have large hips.  It will only make them look bigger.

In Fusion Pant |

To minimize the appearance of large thighs choose a straight cut with a loose fit.  This will create a nice long line from the hip to the ankle without accentuating the thighs.  Stay away from large prints.  Choosing details like pockets or prints at the waistline will draw the eye up away from the thighs.

Zebra Chaturanga™ Tight |

To add shape to bird legs you can play with horizontally striped prints on the lower half.  Horizontal stripes make everything look bigger, so women with larger thighs beware.

Flare Chaturanga Tight |

Camouflage the appearance of cellulite by choosing dense, small prints in medium to darker colors. Stay away from lighter colors on bottom, because the light will pick up each dimple like a spotlight.

I hope that simplifies choosing the right yoga pants to flatter your shape.  Questions and comments from readers are always welcome.  I would love to know what your favorite brands are in active wear!

Fit > skinny,


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Introducing Fitness and Fashion

Looking Fabulous for Brunch!  In the West Bottoms of Kansas City

Low Calorie Eating is officially changing over to Choices Coach. When I explain the changes that I'm making it will all make sense.  I am so excited to tell you that I am going to start blogging more about fitness and fashion. I've devoted many a blog to the subject of low-calorie eating, and I'm almost finished with my book (Coming Soon!). I will continue to write about food, but I am going to add on more information about my other great loves. It just makes sense to write about fitness, since I'm a personal trainer. Duh! I've been a little slow on this one.  Fashion, on the other hand, has been a great love in my life since I was a little girl.  It just makes sense to incorporate this part of me into my blog. More on that in a minute.

I'm a personal trainer, so why haven't I posted much about my workouts?

Like I told you in a previous post, I have lost 30 lbs. over the past year.  I didn't really blog that much, because I was too busy doing. Working out like a beast takes a lot of time and devotion. Now that I'm much closer to my goal weight I can make time to share some of my workouts with you.  I write workouts all the time for clients and for the classes that I teach at The Yards Athletic Club.  I can't wait to start sharing them with you, so we can start achieving results together.

Why fashion.....?

My love of fashion is nothing new.  It's just new to this blog.  All through high school I spent countless hours sketching fashion designs.  I constantly said I was going to be a fashion designer. Fast forward a bit. Later I studied fashion design classes at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, MO while I was working on my masters. Once I finished school I started an online clothing boutique called Everything Chic. Several years later I became a buyer for Payless Shoe Source.  I love shoes, but I wasn't really cutout for the corporate world.  After quitting Payless, I worked for a boutique and a gym until I could figure things out (Ginger & Maryann and Body Boutique, respectively).  Thus, a trainer I became.  That's the short version.

.....Why now?

Now that I have lost so much weight I realize how much an influence fashion has on feeling good. A workout can change your mood, and so can your outfit.  Your clothing can also tell a lot about how you feel about yourself and your body.  No matter where you are towards reaching your goals you can dress in clothes that flatter and fit your body.

Choices Coach will be about all three of my passions: fashion, fitness, and food.  My goal is to coach better choices in all three areas to complete the overall picture of looking and feeling your best. Subscribe by e-mail, and never miss a post.

Fit > skinny,


P.S. Check back Tuesday! The post will be about choosing the right yoga pants to flatter your shape.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Under 200 Calories

One of my favorite things about the holidays is pumpkin desserts.  I indulged in my mom's delicious, homemade, gluten-free pumpkin cake roll over Thanksgiving.  I have no idea how many calories that was, but it was worth working out a little harder from now until Christmas.  Since I can't eat that everyday, I became inspired to turn my morning oatmeal into a pumpkin pie spiced, low-cal confection.  It's no pumpkin cake roll, but it's still pretty darn good.


1 Plain Instant Oatmeal Packet
1 Tbsp. Country Pumpkin Butter (I used Dickinson's brand.)
1 tsp. White Chocolate Morsels
1/4 cup water, boiling
Pumpkin Pie Spice, season to taste ( I used 2 dashes.)
2 Tbsp. Whipped Topping (optional)


Mix the pumpkin pie spice and oats.  Then add the pumpkin butter and white chocolate morsels.  Add most of the boiling water and mix.  The boiling water will melt the white chocolate.  Mix until it's creamy.  I like my oatmeal to be the consistency of cookie batter.  If you don't like it that way, then add more boiling water.  If you accidentally add too much water you can cook it for 20-30 seconds in the microwave, and it will thicken up.  Let the mixture sit for a minute so that the oats have time to absorb the water.  Top with the whipped topping, and enjoy!

Total Calories 195

  • Fat 6g
  • Carbs 32.5g
  • Fiber 3g
  • Sugar 12g
  • Protein 5g

about Sara

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On-site Personal Training & Nutrition Coaching in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I offer personal training at your home or work site. I also offer personalized online nutrition plans and corporate wellness programs. Contact me at with any questions.