Yoga: A Journey of Self Discovery

Each month I honor one of our fit fam members. Our fit fam includes weight lifters, runners, ab challengers,  social media followers, and what I like to call our “yoga hotties!” Yep, these peeps know how to rock their yoga with consistent practice, leaving them feeling HOT!

This month, my client spotlight is Courtney. She is a yoga hottie. 


From Courtney:


I knew her and her daughter Belle. I have been doing yoga for 6 years with Kathy.

Before starting this journey I was in an unhealthy marriage that I refused to acknowledge to myself or anyone else. I gave up numerous opportunities from the time I was 17 to be with this man and I believed I could make it work and make it better. I had two young children that needed their world to be ok. And then I started getting sick, serious kind of sick, requiring surgeries and major medical intervention. Once, so driven and goal-oriented, I had somehow lost my way and lost connection to my self.

And then Kathy said those words I will always remember, “yoga is a journey of self-discovery” and I have never looked back. Health is dynamic and requires commitment and dedication. Health requires active participation in life-affirming actions, like yoga.

My goal is to continue on the health and fitness journey with Kathy.

Kathy is an exceptional trainer and yoga instructor.

The goals that she has helped me achieve are self care, discipline, increased mobility and flexibility. As a nurse, I know that our health is our greatest wealth.

Preserving my health through yoga has been an amazing journey that has been supported every step of the way by Kathy’s commitment and dedication to our yoga class.

I have gained inner strength as well as physical strength. I have often told Kathy that attending her yoga class these past 6 years has been a life-line for me during an extremely challenging time in my life. It gave me a framework to learn and understand the importance of grace under pressure. It gave me a connection when I had no other connection in my life. It gave me hope by keeping me moving, and as long as I was moving, I was moving forward in life.

Health is your greatest wealth and time is your greatest asset. Kathy Dolan respects and honors each of our abilities to foster healthy habits in our lives by providing a myriad of fitness classes and time-honored approaches to healthy living. I will always be a part of Kathy’s fitness world.

Fun Facts

My favorite saying used by Kathy is: “Yoga is a journey of self-discovery.”

The best part of the training: “Doing what you think you cannot do.”

Favorite “cheat food: “Sour gummy bears”

Where do you see yourself a year from now: “Doing yoga 4-5 days a week every week”

Any other comments: “Would you consider doing a yoga retreat, where we get to join you for a weekend, where we get to do yoga 2 times a day?”

Who would you like to thank?

“Kathy and Belle, because as a family you both make this fitness world possible for all of us.”


Trainer Comments:

Our daughters are the same age and we started seeing more and more of each other as our girls grew closer through playdates and activities. One day I invited Courtney to one of my yoga classes, and after a while, she took me up on my offer. I’m pretty sure this was her first class and I wanted to give her lots of encouragement as I know what it feels like to be the new one to yoga class. One class led to another and Courtney became a regular!  As we went along, I sensed some stress and knew she was going through a hard time in her personal life. 

Many times during savasana, emotions will rise to the surface and can sometimes be so overwhelming. I see it often as a yoga leader. It is a healthy form of release.


Leading yoga classes for almost 20 years now, I see this sort of release and transformation all the time. Yoga really is “a journey of self-discovery” and honestly some people bail quickly if it gets uncomfortable. Courtney stuck with it. Being alone inside one’s own head can get scary.


I am a single mom of three. I remember going through a divorce and feeling like I was going to die. Overwhelmed is an understatement. Through all the hard times, my faith in something much greater than myself, my kids, and exercising kept me alive. I never stopped teaching during these hard days and would somehow pull myself together each and every time to go lead my followers, teach my classes, and train clients through some of their very difficult days. At times I would lay my head on my mat feeling emotional pain so strong it was paralyzing. At times exercise was my saving grace. I remember, as I lie there cueing the leg lifts and the ab crunches, I felt once again like I was part of something healthy and good and that we all have emotional pain to go through.  I knew that to sweat and take my mind off my troubles would rid my body of the stress and I would be okay.

I always managed to get through for my students and clients. If I cried during a class, no one knew because it looked like I was SWEATING! I have always been athletic without being overweight. In high school, I remember coming home and at the family dinner table, my brother told me I looked so skinny as I walked across my high school quad! I cried.  The only time I really felt overweight was when I was on birth control pills. I share all of this because all transformations don’t revolve around how much weight was lost.  My story is not the classic before and after with photos of a huge weight loss like the kind that consumes social media. Life-changing, the kind that comes with a stronger body and mind transformation. Change your mind, change your body. Unless you change the mindset, you will most likely go around the same mountain many times until you make real change. Change can be scary. Transforming takes energy. 


When I feel someone going through the pain of any sort of emotional devastation, I find myself giving advice and comfort, all while pushing exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, and health. I believe in the power of doing the work not only with the body but with the mind because I have lived it. 


Courtney’s story is a story of a mind and body transformation, much more than just the body. When you feel weak, thin, and low, some people have zero appetites and exercise takes a tremendous amount of mental strength. 

I am beyond proud to be a part of this beautiful transformation. You are not only a client but a dear friend and I am grateful our paths connected. Congratulations Courtney! You are a YOGA HOTTIE!

Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. Kathy Dolan is a master trainer with years of experience with the secrets to real results! You will find her teaching and training clients at a gym in the San Diego area or on the Class It Up Virtual Studio, and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 

Fall Fitness Tips: If You Fall Get Back Up 💛

Fall is here! Sweatshirt weather. When mother nature changes her wardrobe, extends the dark, and puts a warm glow of sunlight into the air, a season of balancing light and dark begins, a time of transition and transforming.
Our bodies like change or cycles. Getting into the fall season with a fitness routine in place will have you feeling rooted and grounded in good health. Fall and winter bring on colds and flu and your immune system needs a big boost before winter arrives. 

FYI: Holiday Bodies are made in the fall. What you do today will be your tomorrow. Today is a result of your yesterdays. Getting into a routine is easier than your mind is telling you. 

Fall Fitness Tips by Kathy Dolan:

💛 Sign up for a Bootcamp or Training with Friends. When you sign up with friends, the days and times you will be working out are all set. You will have the accountability of not only your Coach but your friends too. Real friends push each other! And it’s more fun to suffer and complain alongside your peeps. Even more, going out for coffee or salads afterward is such a reward!

💛 Watch TV……Yes! Turn on your favorite evening show AND do a 30-minute run on the treadmill, a circuit, or a bodybuilding workout. When you have a home gym set up, weight training is so much better than working out at the gym. No sweat to wipe off the bench but your own. Once you do it a few times it will become a healthy habit! I love me some Shark Tank or Bravo Housewives and why not workout while you catch up? It really does make the time fly and you can turn the TV up as loud as you like.

💛 Do 10 Minute Abs Before You Shower Each Morning. Click the link and sign up for my email newsletter and immediately receive a FREE Ab Workout! Waking up 10 minutes earlier and rolling on to your mat is so doable. Get it done early and you will feel so much better you did something. And when you fully wake up, it’s over!


💛Celebrate & Acknowledge Past Goals & Achievements If you’re already into a workout routine, high five! You have most likely accomplished some goals and healthy changes in your life. Take some time to acknowledge and value them! The fact that you were dedicated enough to achieve them gives confidence and assurance that you can continue hitting seasonal goals! Close your eyes and be reminded of how good it feels to keep going!

💛Build Up The Positive Thoughts, Mantras, and Motivation! Self-talk can make or break your goals. You have a choice as to what thoughts you will allow each day. There’s a reason you started working out, so use that as a focal point on those days when you feel like your motivation tank is on low. Behave your way out of it. If we only worked out when we felt like it, how often would you work out? Is your goal to lose weight? To start feeling more energetic? Whatever the end goal, use it to build up some positivity and willpower. Visualize reaching your goal and how amazing it will feel. The only way to get there is to stay focused and strong in your mind and actions. A workout at 40% Perceived Exertion is better than one at 0%. The one that didn’t happen.

💛Write Down Your Planned Activity Goals. Fall is a great time to organize and write down your seasonal goals. When your notebook is organized, you will feel inspired.  Write down and achieve small goals on a daily basis. To see it checked or marked with an “X” as done will motivate you when the going gets tough. It can be as simple as scheduling a 10-minute ab workout or a 10-minute walk at lunch. Make it a goal to park at the farthest parking space at work, the grocery store, or when you make a “Target Run” and done!  

💛 Keep an At-A-Glance Calendar for the Next 30 days. Schedule-in your entire workout in 10-minute increments if you need to. I have done this!! A written reminder is a great way to give yourself accountability and encouragement.

💛Update Your Vitamins, Supplements, and doterra oils! Be prepared and stock up on vitamin D and B12, those will help to give you more energy, a better winter metabolism, and improved memory. Try a new protein powder! Not sure what you are lacking? Testing is so accessible these days, get a test!

💛Change of Scenery! Get outdoors for as many workouts as you can fit it! A change of scenery is good for the soul. Walk, run, hike, bike, stack firewood, rack leaves, rollerblade, rock-climb, do yoga, or bodyweight HIIT. Try a few new workouts like TRX, Barre, Tai chi, cardio, and yoga.

💛 Plan to Try One New Recipe, Food /Food Product, or Drink. When you hit the grocery store or farmer’s market, stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fall harvest is beautiful and should be consumed with spice!

💛Refresh Your Workout Attire, Equipment, Shoes, or Yoga Mat! Feeling fabulous in your workout attire makes the workouts enjoyable! I have done my own unscientific study and find this to be absolutely true! If you’re one of those people who get the best of everything including your Trainer (insert wink and smile here), why not get the best gear for the job? Splurge! Being active always feels better when you’re using, working with, or wearing the best and most comfortable fit. 

💛Reward Yourselves! Get that massage, new purse, haircut, botox, brows, facial, tickets to an NFL game, or binge your favorite TV series. Reward yourself for how far you have come and for implementing a FALL FITNESS PLAN!

💛If You Fall, Get Back Up. The journey to weight loss, getting stronger, rehabbing an injury, or surgery, is not easy – it will be a struggle with highs and lows. What’s important is to just keep showing up. Consistency over perfection. No matter what, keep going. No matter how hard the situation gets, dig in, crawl, but don’t quit.  When you fall, get right back up and keep walking. Start again but don’t quit. The strength of a winner lies in not giving up and your health depends on it.

Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. Kathy Dolan is a master trainer with years of experience with the secrets to real results! You will find her teaching and training clients at a gym in the San Diego area or on the Class It Up Virtual Studio, and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 


Recovering from your workout

The 4 things you should be doing!

How you end a workout will determine how you start the next.

Recovery is a vital step to any workout regime. Let’s not confuse a de-load or taper down week with recovery. Not everyone needs a de-load or taper down week, but everyone needs the proper recovery steps to maximize their workouts.


How you treat your post-workout recovery will determine your energy, motivation, and performance for your next workout.


1) Hydrate!

Drink. Drink. Drink. Eat your water with cucumbers, grapes, and oranges.


How much water you need depends on how much you lost during the workout. This depends on conditions like temperature, humidity, indoors or outdoors, and starting the workout dehydrated. I love the drench of a hot yoga session or a HIIT workout because the sweat feels so gratifying. Just remember sweat is not always a good indication of a fluid loss. You lose hydration with just breathing out. Drink before, during, and after for best results. Your next workout depends on it. Dehydration can affect performance, motivation, and energy.

2) A recovery shake will do a body good!

A balanced meal of 2:1 carbs protein ratio works for many. Replenish to increase protein synthesis and restore glycogen stores. Your workout is not complete until you have consumed your recovery calories.

3)Get plenty of sleep!

Get forty winks mid-afternoon if you can squeeze it into your schedule. Call it a nap, siesta or a riposo. “A small study conducted by the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory followed a group of athletes over a three-week period. They did nothing different but increase their sleep and saw marked improvements in performance, including faster sprint times, longer endurance, lower heart rate, and an overall better workout” (Mahr, “How Sleep Affects Your Workout”). What if you can’t sleep? See tip #4.

4) Meditate daily with yoga.

Incorporating some yoga and mind bodywork is complementary to any regimented workout routine. It is good for the natural flexibility of the mind and body.


“Tight muscles that keep joints out of their natural and functional positions create accelerated wear and tear by inducing faulty movement patterns and joint motion” (Barlow et al., 2002; Borstad, 2006; Clark et al., 2008; Gross et al., 1993).


The right kind of yoga is perfect to help release all the fight or flight hormones racing around in your body, and quiet your monkey mind. Try our yoga class for sleep here.

Watch for this blog next month: Who needs recovery or a taper down week from training?

Healthy Pho Recipe

This is a favorite at our house! Immune-building broth with yummy noodles. Get creative and add avocado, peppers, sprouts, boiled eggs, and/or green onions to the final product and enjoy. This is as good as many of the pho shops in San Diego, I have to say!

Ingredients

Bouillon Powder
1/2 cup (40 g) nutritional yeast flakes*

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons onion flakes (can substitute 1 tablespoon onion powder)

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder (if you can’t find it, leave it out)*

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (can substitute regular granulated sugar)

We like to make large batches and store it in mason jars or Ziploc bags.

Instant Soup
4 “nests” gluten free ramen or rice noodles*

2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

3/4 cup shredded carrots (from about 2 medium carrots)

1 cup cubed extra-firm tofu or diced cooked chicken

2 tablespoons miso paste*

4 teaspoons soy sauce*

1/4 cup Bouillon Powder

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped fresh scallion greens*

New Year, New Recipes!

Let’s make it gluten free while we spill the tea! 🍵

Doesn’t this Gluten Free Blueberry Cake look delish?! With the dark days of January, why not whip this cake up and share with friends and family, guilt-free. Don’t forget your tea 😉

As a health coach, I often recommend that my clients try one new recipe per week. If one new recipe per week seems daunting, at least try one new recipe per month. Food should be healthy, interesting, enjoyable, and fun.

However, gluten-free is not for everyone. Celiac disease and non-celiac sensitivity in people require a gluten-free diet. Always eat a healthy, balanced diet based on your invidual dietary needs. Trade the coconut flour for whole wheat/oat flour if you prefer!

Here is the recipe from the Today Show.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (packed) almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preparation

To bake in the oven:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally coat a 6-cup bundt or tube pan with coconut oil spray.

2. Add in all the ingredients except the blueberries to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth. Gently stir in the blueberries by hand.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a cake stand. After the cake cools completely, you can then cut it into slices. 

To bake in a pressure cooker:

1. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover with foil. Pour about 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker. Put the cake pan on the trivet and gently lower it into the cooker.

2. Place the lid on the cooker and set the vent valve to the SEALING position. Using the display panel, select the MANUAL, PRESSURE COOK function, high pressure and use the +/- buttons until the display reads 30 minutes.

3. When the cooking time is up, perform a quick release by moving the pressure knob from the SEALING to the VENTING position. Using caution, open the cooker and lift the cake pan out. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes and remove the foil before turning it out onto a cake stand.

Reprinted with permission from “Instant Loss” by Brittany Williams.


Celebrate a Healthy NEW YEAR!

It’s almost time to start and celebrate the new year! It’s about transitioning to another day, week, and year of living your best life.


Invest in your future and customize your goals and workouts to match. Do it with little lifestyle changes or life hacks!


As we transition into a NEW YEAR follow your intuition and make healthy choices for yourself. As we put away the thoughtful and lovely Christmas gifts received from others, let’s not forget the real gifts in life cost nothing. 


Take time to celebrate good health, family, and friendships. Celebrate that you have free will, resources, and time to work out. When you hit the workouts, celebrate! As you toast the new year, take a minute and turn your attention inwards to observe and acknowledge the facts of your life which you are grateful for.


I unwrapped a few goodies that would be the perfect addition to your gym bag, home gym, or kitchen.


I found a kitchen essential if you use cooking oils! Macros are a fact of life and when you can get them right, you will live the dream. Dropping weight is something that takes lots of little lifestyle changes over time. Skip the starvation-cleanse-with-hours-of-cardio this year. 

It looks just like any spray bottle right? Well, the spray pattern is what makes this a macro counters dream. It controls the number of calories you are using with your favorite oils. Click here. Having a hard time getting your diet macros right and in line with your health and fitness goals? Hire a pro and get a customized plan in place.


As some of you know, I have been working through a shoulder injury and this vibrating foam roller arrived at just the right time. I already notice a difference in the inflammation and mobility. I spend 10 minutes each night rolling out the thoracic spine, and shoulders. Not sure how to use a foam roller? Sign up for a session or two here.


Celebrate your body and your ability to move! Happy 2019! 


Yours In Health and Fitness,

Kathy Dolan

Unsupportive Family & Friends: How to Deal

When a client comes to me, ready to make big changes in their life, so many times they are met with a complete lack of support from friends and sadly, even their very own family members. This can be heartbreaking and hurtful. Live your truth and stay on the path. Put your energy into the positive things. Take care of yourself. This can be one of the hardest things for some to deal with. Don’t back down, as your health, fitness and well-being matters. Living your best life with passion, goals, and dreams can spark jealousy, criticism, and fear in others. This is your life, your journey. You are not alone. Sometimes the ones closet to your heart can be really unkind. Get the support you deserve. Surround yourself with the people who support your growth and freely give you love and positivity.
My Experience:
I am one of seven children. I live furthest from the home base. Living in sunny California, I sometimes feel isolated from the everyday connections out in the Midwest with the family. I share the entrepreneurial drive with many of my siblings, yet I am the only one that is in the fitness and coaching field. Being a mom to three kids, you are constantly fighting with following your passion and being the best mom for your family. I have had resistance, negativity, “blocks,” and “unfollows,” even sabotages from exes. I’ve learned to grow from it and use the negativity to drive me in the direction of my goals. My philosophy is that if you can’t be supportive, please kindly leave the party.
How to Deal:
Keep your chin up, buttercup. When things get rough, grab that bar and start pulling for your life, your dreams, your goals. Pull really hard with all you’ve got. There have been times in my career where I am leading an exercise class and my body hurts, my heart hurts. But in the back of my mind, I am saying, “Thank God I am alive, thank God I am healthy.” Exercise has been my saving grace more times than I can count, and it has become an automated response to stress. When you’re starting to feel outward attacks from friends and family stacking up, and you can’t stop thinking about it, that’s a sign to go workout. In fact, exercise has been scientifically proven to boost the stress relief hormones, “If you exercise-especially right when the stress response is triggered-you burn off stress hormones just as nature intended, instead of letting them pile up” (Harvard Health Publishing. “Exercise Is an Effective Stress-Buster – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health Blog, www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-effective-stress-buster). I even apply this method with my kids. They know me well enough that when I say, “We’ll talk about this after I workout,” to let me. It’s always a better outcome when you hit the pause button. This can be applied to all areas in life whether it’s your marriage, workplace, kids, or any relationship for that matter. As your body moves, whether it’s dancing, yoga, running, walking, weights, kickboxing, or swimming, it will allow you to clear space in your mind to pray and meditate.
Drop to your knees, pray, and call one of your SUPPORTIVE friends or family members, There are plenty of people out there that support you, so draw towards them in a time of need. They know you best and can give you good advice and perspective. These people in life are your squad, the bond is authentic. You can’t do this alone.
You’ve exercised, you’ve prayed, you’ve called your best friend, and yet when you lay your head on that pillow, your mind is still racing a mile a minute. When things get this overwhelming, go write everything in a journal. Get the pen to the paper and write down every thought, every emotion, good, bad or ugly. Think of it as detoxing on paper. Sometimes the answers may come, sometimes they won’t, but make an action plan. Ask for God’s help, and get some rest, sleeping beauty. You got some ass-kicking to do tomorrow.
-Kathy Dolan
Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. You will find her teaching and training on the Class It Up Virtual Studio and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 
 
© Copyright Kathy Dolan Fitness, 2018

Struggling to keep your workouts going? Top 3 Tips to Keep Health a Priority

#maketime #invest #health
My 3 Top Tips To Keep Health
a Top Priority:

1.) Join a Group for accountability and #motivation!

2.) Schedule your workout time like you would a lunch date! Like a boss and don’t skip or cancel!

3.) When you are feeling low on energy, do a 10 minute walk outside and watch your motivation come back! Building your will-power muscle will give you repeated impressions in your brain, that will make you feel better to build-in the ability to resist your resistance to moving. That happens only when you make yourself do it, behave your way out of it!

Kathy Dolan, ACE Health Coach Personal Trainer, YogaFit Fit at Any Age, Natural Bodybuilder. Making a difference with Classitup Fitness Studio Virtual Online Coaching. https://www.classitupfitness.com

Summer Recipe

Fresh corn season YUM! I will turn on the BBQ just to grill the corn! A great LITE summer MEAL! #mealprep

Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
5 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with sharp knife
2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1 Small red onion, finely diced
¾ C. Feta, crumbled
1 ½ C. English cucumber, skin on and chopped small dice
Add to a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cilantro Vinaigrette
6 T. Olive oil2 T. Sherry vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
10 Grinds of fresh ground pepper

Add all of the above ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid. Shake really well. Taste and adjust seasoning and ratios of oil and vinegar as you desire.