Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

How To Stay In Shape When Life Gets Crazy

Today’s post comes from Precision Nutrition as they have put this information together perfectly.

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re sticking to your exercise routine, feeling good about your
progress, and then BAM!

All of a sudden, something changes in your schedule — a work
trip, or a holiday, or your family comes into town. Before you
know it, you’ve missed three workouts in a row.

Now you’ve got that dreaded “off-track” feeling.

I know I’ve been there. We all have.

It’s one of the most common patterns I see as a fitness coach: People trying to get (and stay) in shape work out diligently for months — then get derailed by life.

Many then “fall off the wagon” for the rest of the year.

It’s a seesaw that plays out physiologically too. Exercise regularly and you get a training effect — stop exercising and your body starts adapting to that — doing nothing — so you start to lose all these benefits you worked so hard for.

You see, consistency is key when it comes to working out.

Skip too many days, and your progress stalls, or even starts to
reverse. Plus, it’s harder to get back in the groove once you’ve
been away from regular exercise for a bit.

Well, you don’t have to stress about that anymore. You can do
these 6 simple exercises anywhere, in just a few minutes, without
having to think about them.

These are “compound exercises” — they’re designed to work out big
muscles, with big range of motion — giving you the most benefit
from each rep.

The important thing is to get some full-body movement each day

precision workout.






Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

I love cabbage rolls and I am sure they are not that hard to make, but if I can take something I love to eat and make it easier to make then I am all over it!

Now I will fully admit that I don’t make everything that I post because like you I have a busy life with work, kids and house.  I have made the chickpea blondies 2x with the 2nd batch made with Sunflower butter to make them nut free for my youngest.

But it is one of my goals to make the recipe I post each week – I am asking you to help keep me accountable to that goal!

Ok, back to the unstuffed cabbage casserole which is exactly that!

Click on the picture to get the full recipe



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Farmers Carry

For the month of August I have been playing around with tempo in my strength training.  Using counts of 2,3 and 6 in the lowering or eccentric phase of the moment.  Basically I am slowing down the moment as I bring the weight back down towards the floor!

Why would anyone want to do such a thing??

Well, doing tempo work forces you to focus more on the movement and muscles, it helps strengthen muscles in the most difficult range of motion making you stronger overall in time and variety – you cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and expect to get different results – that’s insane!

Today we are NOT doing tempo work, we are doing an interval workout and I am going to introduce you to the farmer’s walk.  Now you can do a farmers walk with 1 really heavy DB or KB if you don’t have either, then grab a bucket or pail and fill it up with stuff from your pantry to make it heavy ok.

Ok here we go…

Set your interval timer for 40secs of work : 10secs of rest for 8 rounds

  1. farmers walk (do LT side for round 1 and RT side for round 2 – the goal is to walk around your room as straight as possible, don’t let the weight pull you over, focusing on stepping heel to toe) If you want more of a challenge then carry a weight in both hands.
  2. farmers carry
  3. burpee
  4. push-up
  5. DB or KB swings
Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Avoid This 1 Mistake!

One of the MOST common mistakes people make when doing a diet program is …

Eating too LITTLE!

See, what a lot of people do is cut their calories DRASTICALLY when starting a new diet program.

And while this DOES work in the short term, there is no doubt about that …

In the long run, it actually damages your metabolism.

And, it’s REALLY hard to stick with … because even if you’re losing weight rapidly, if you’re starving all the time, eventually you have to go back to “normal” … and that’s when you end up gaining all the weight back 🙁

So what’s the fix?

Follow a plan like my 30 day Metabolic Reset!

It focuses on:

– lean protein
– veggies
– some fruit
– nuts and seeds
– healthy fats

And focuses on ELIMINATING:

– refined carbs
– processed foods
– refined sugars
– liquid calories

When you eat this way, you end up being able to eat a lot MORE in food volume that you probably think you can … being pretty much full all the time … and still getting awesome, LONG term weight loss results!

Bottom line, eating too little is an often overlooked, but CRITICAL, dieting mistake that you must avoid.

Eating in the style described above will go a long way towards making sure you can eat basically as much as you like, and still be able to lose weight.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Cookies!

For some reason my sweet tooth has been coming out lately – I am sure it is stress even though I don’t feel stressed my body has ways of telling me other wise!

If I don’t have to bake or cook much then I am ALL IN!  We are all rushed for time to cook and plan meals and with school just around the corner we all know it is another schedule change, back to making lunches if you have younger kids, after school activities etc etc etc.

I am a big fan of coconut and its health benefits so here is another way to get healthy coconut products into your diet!  These cookies are dense, dark and chewy, they’re packed with coconut oil and shredded coconut so they make a healthy and delicious addition to any meal or snack.

This recipe is super simple to whip up, so you can be munching on these in no time!

(I am not sure if kids can take coconut to school or not, if so then what an awesome sweet little surprise for them at lunch!)

Just click on the picture to see the full recipe!



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Got 7 Minutes??

Yep that’s all I need from you this week is 7 minutes to work your body from top to bottom.

If you don’t have a kettlebell, then you can use a dumbbell in its place.  Just be aware that you may not be able to swing as heavy a dumbbell as you would a kettlebell due to grip.

Ok, here is your 7 minute body blaster workout.

Set a time for 7 minutes, you goal is to do as many rounds as possible in the 7 minutes.

  1. 7 KB/DB goblet squats
  2. 14 KB/DB swings
  3. 7 burpees
  4. 14 push ups (modified or regular)

There you have, simple yet very effective

have a great workout!

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Do You Drink This?

Many conventional sports drinks are loaded with sugar, food dyes, and artificial flavors.

As a result, many health-conscious people have been turning to “plant waters” as a substitute for those other sports drinks.  Now I personally feel that electrolyte replacement drinks are good when needed such as during a sporting event or if you are working outside in high heat, but they are not the end all and be all.

Coconut water was one of the first and most successful of these new, natural sports drinks. In fact, the various brands of coconut waters topped $400 million in sales in 2013!

As a result, it’s no wonder the beverage companies are scrambling to introduce additional plant waters to quench the thirst of this very profitable market.




Trying to cater to consumers that are increasingly attuned to health and anything “natural,” beverage companies now offer:

♦ Aloe water

♦ Almond water

♦ Artichoke water

♦ Birch water

♦ Cactus water

♦ Maple water

♦ Olive water

♦ Watermelon water

♦ Waters containing various combinations of the above

The manufacturers of these waters make special health claims that some dietitians believe are often exaggerated. You should  be aware that we can obtain the same benefits or more by simply eating whole foods.

In particular, those who enjoy regular exercise or who work outside during the summer months are looking for alternative ways to replenish electrolytes. Some of these important electrolytes include: sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.




When electrolytes are depleted through sweating and exertion, cramping, low energy, irregular heart rhythm, and even more serious symptoms can result.

Replacing electrolytes is especially vital for extreme athletes and those exercising in hot and dry or extreme cold conditions.

A problem with electrolyte depletion is that its symptoms mimic those of simple dehydration.

If you’re experiencing low electrolytes, but try to remedy that by drinking normal water, the water can further dilute the minerals in your body and worsen your condition.


Can plant waters replace electrolytes?


While many of the plant waters are high in one or more minerals, they may be lacking in others. They also typically fall short in the area of carbs and protein.

Also, remember that just because something is natural does not mean that you can drink it safely to your heart’s content.

Aloe vera juice, for example, carries some serious warnings: it’s a laxative, can deplete potassium levels, cause uterine contractions in pregnant women and contains latex!


♦ Plant waters all contain natural sugars that add to our already sugar-overloaded diets

♦ Plant waters offer poor alternative to their solid-food counterparts

♦ Plant waters are expensive, costing on average $3 per 8 oz.

Instead of plant waters, consider replenishing electrolytes with whole foods:

♦ Potassium – bananas, avocados and dates

♦ Magnesium – cashews, fish, beef, artichokes, bananas, avocados, dates, peanuts

♦ Calcium – kale, almonds, cheese, yogurt, whole, raw milk

♦ Sodium – broccoli, celery, kale, cheese, lacto-fermented vegetables




Now, having said that, drinking all natural plant waters from time to time is fine. Just don’t over do it. And don’t forget that you’re going to get the most nutrition and energy replacing goodness from whole foods.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Cauliflower tater tots!

So I thought this was a brilliant way to get kids of all ages to eat a cruciferous veggie – Cauliflower!

Only five ingredients are needed to make the tots, and, after they’re baked, you’ll get to enjoy their crispy, cheesy perfection.

Just click on the picture to see the full recipe + video on how to make them!

cauliflower tater tots


Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Found Some New Muscles!

So I am gearing up for the fall not only for my own training, but getting clients that fell off the wagon for summer back on and re-focused on their wellness goals.

I will be getting back to spin classes 1x/week, adding in a body by lagree class 1x/week (did one on Sunday and I am aware of my adductors and lats!), strength training 3x/week and interval training 2x/week and yes I realize that is something 7 days per week but I love it and it makes me happy!

If anyone ever wants to join me for a spin or body by lagree class let me know – everything is more fun in a group 🙂

Ok here is your weekly workout…

set your interval timer for 30:30×12 – 2, 30sec work periods followed by 1, 30sec rest period – make sense??

Circuit 1

30sec of push-ups

30secs of jump lunges or reverse lunges

30sec of ab jack-knife

30sec of rest


Circuit 2

30 sec of pike push-ups

30secs of alt lateral lunges

30secs of ab. leg raises (single leg or double leg)

30 secs of rest


CIrcuit 3

30secs of tricep push-ups

30secs of jump squats

30secs of ab. heel lifts

30 secs of rest




Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Relief is HERE!

#FACT- The number one deadliest killer in the world is STRESS.
I have been a victim to this deadly killer many times and I am someone that’s willing
to take on more and more until finally my body starts to remind
me that enough is enough. (does this sound familiar?)
So how do we reduce your stress?
Usually when we discuss ways that we can reduce stress in
our lives, we talk about physical aspects like intense exercise,
scheduling regular massages, yoga or meditation, taking a hot bath, or even acupuncture.
Even though I believe in these methods to help reduce stress in our lives,
many times, it’s the emotional stress that’s the root cause. (kids, family, pets, co-workers, bosses)
Here are 3 VERY different ways to banish
emotional (and physical) stress in our lives.
Stress Banisher #1: Forgiveness
People who forgive, are happier and healthier
than those who hold onto resentment and anger – it’s exhausting to be mad and angry all the time.
STUDY #1: Showed that forgiveness improves cardiovascular
and nervous system function.
(“Campaign for Forgiveness Research” 2006)
STUDY #2: Showed forgiving people suffer from LESS illness
and people who hold onto resentment have more health problems.
(University of Wisconsin)
STUDY #3: Showed people who are taught how to forgive
become LESS angry, feel LESS hurt, are MORE optimistic.
Additionally, people who become more forgiving are more
Compassionate, self-confident, and they also experience—
you guessed it—LESS stress.
(Stanford University)
Want LESS stress in your life?
FORGIVE those who have wronged you and reconcile with
those you have wronged.
Stress Banisher #2: Gratitude
STUDY #4:  Keeping a daily gratitude
journal leads to an increased sense of well-being, better sleep,
more willingness to accept change…
And even helped lower symptoms of pain(1).
STUDY #5: A 2008 study on subjects who were grateful found
they were influencing their hypothalamus, which can have improve
sleep, reduce cravings, control appetite, and even banish stress(2).

The act of being grateful has also been shown to make your

brain release more of the neurotransmitter – dopamine…
The “happy hormone” that is also responsible for the creation
of new learning pathways.
That’s right.
Studies show that gratitude could just be the equivalent to the
ultimate magic pill for ‘happiness’ and stress reduction.
And ALWAYS remember to treat others with respect, gratitude and
forgiveness… we’re all in this together.
It’s the ONLY way to live unselfishly.
(1) Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life, Emons and McCullough (2003)
(2) The Neural Basis of Human Social Values: Evidence from Functional MRI, Zahn et al (2008)