Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What Shakeology did for me!

When you quit ADHD stimulants cold turkey after 14 years, your body is destroyed. It took months before I could survive on only 2 cups of coffee, and even then I still felt BLAH.
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Nine months to the day I went off my daily dose of 25 mg Adderall XR 2x a day (which is a LOT if you aren't familiar with the dosages) I started drinking Shakeology, and believe me when I tell you that I wasn't expecting it to work. In fact, I had already spent over $200 trying other top of the line protein shakes because I was so sure of it. But slowly, my cravings disappeared. Gradually, I decreased my caffeine intake. A couple of weeks in, I started to feel more energized than I had in MONTHS.

This is just what Shakeology did for ME. Everyone's experience is different. If you are interested in trying it out, shoot me and email and I'll send you some free samples! leahnopants@gmail.com 

Who's with me???

Have you ever thought about being a fitness and health coach?

Last week I booked a ticket to see my cousins on Easter weekend and I’m SO excited. My mom, who is understandably sad about me leaving, told me she wasn’t going if I wasn’t going, because it was my last month in Boston before I fly south. I am thrilled to be moving to Florida, but leaving my family and friends is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Leaving my mother is the hardest. 

I've never been someone who travels a lot. I LOVE to, but because of heavy duty grad school loans and a penchant for fine dining and boots, I’ve always felt bad spending the money. I’ve done it, but only occasionally.

This Easter trip will be on the last weekend I’ll have in the northeast, and I’m so happy that I get to spend it with my family. And it occurs to me that I wouldn’t be able to do this if I didn’t have the extra money from being a health and fitness coach so I am SO thankful for this opportunity.

I never ever in a million years thought I could help people improve their health and fitness. I never thought I could help people with something I’ve struggled with my whole life: feeling comfortable in my own skin, and having a healthy relationship with exercise, food, and my body. I thought I needed to be this perfect example in order to help people, in order to be in this industry… But I was so wrong. I don’t need to have perfect nutrition, fitness and mindset -- or a perfect physique -- to help people.

If this is something you’re interested in, I would love to talk to you. You can dedicate as much time as you want to it. I started by giving it half an hour a day, but I gradually upped my time because it’s honestly SO fun and SO gratifying to be part of such a positive community. I love my team smile emoticon

If you have questions, get in touch! Comment, message, or send me an email. Ask me anything smile emoticon

28 Day Transformation

This is 4 weeks. 4 weeks of real food, 30-45 minute workouts, superfood shakes, plenty of cheat meals and bourbon, and the motivation and support of my amazing wellness community. This is the first time I’ve made progress without starving myself, throwing up on purpose, or eliminating entire food groups. This time I did it by slowly changing my habits and gradually improving my mindset. This time I did it the right way and it feels SO GOOD. I’ve never been happier. 

To be honest I’m nervous sharing these pictures (I took them 4 days ago and am just now feeling ready). I used to think you had to wait to share progress pics until you were done with your fitness journey and had this dramatic transformation. Now I realize that the journey I’m on is AWESOME and I’m going to share every step of it.

Plus, if I can help one person who looks at them and then gets in touch, then it’s worth it. Which I’ll remind myself as I’m sitting here sweating after I click post.

So get in touch! I’m always looking to pay it forward and help others start their health, fitness and mindset journey. Message, comment or email me (leahnopants@gmail.com)

Also don’t mind my face in the second one. Tony had just said something ridiculous.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

3 Day Refresh Day 1 Review

Full Disclosure: I am a Beachbody coach. If you read this, get in touch, join my team and buy the 3 Day Refresh, I will make a commission off of it. Then, I will use the money to continue to grow my business and support and inspire my team. However, I will give you my honest thoughts, good or bad. 

The 3 Day Refresh is a healthy way to detox. It's not a juice cleanse. And so far, I like it.

I'm done with Day 1, and I'm thinking... that was easy. I've been on way more restrictive eating plans. When you've been on keto and Medifast, very little intimidates you.


I'm definitely going to incorporate chugging ice cold filtered water first thing. I say chug because I woke up late and had about 8 minutes to get myself out the door so I chugged. I chugged in a way that was reminiscent of my freshman year at UMass, except then I was chugging beer. I FELT AWESOME. I am definitely doing this every day from now on. I felt energized, alert and refreshed. As I write this, I feel kind of strange knowing that I'm talking about water, but I'm telling you the truth. I swear. Ugh I'm so cheesy. I have friends who have been telling me to chug hot lemon water first thing for years... Is this how you guys feel when you do that? If so, I may need to reevaluate my morning routine.

I missed unsweetened almond milk in my shake (on the refresh, you mix your Shakeology with water). Raspberries helped.

I LOVED the fiber sweep. LOVED. Though I love fiber drinks. As a kid I was a super picky eater, which landed me in chronic constipationland, so I drank a LOT of Metamucil growing up. As a result, I am obsessed with it. I am not sure if I like Metamucil because it tastes like an orange popsicle, or if I like orange popsicles because they taste like Metamucil. Either way, I LOVED the fiber sweep. If organic Metamucil from Whole Foods and Fresca had a baby, that baby would be fiber sweep. You do have to drink it very quickly. I've read some reviews that claim the sweep caused bloat, which I know all about due to my Metamucil superfandom. If you don't drink enough water, this stuff will make you bloat. It needs water to work. I drank probably 6 liters today and I feel fine. My pants are actually loser.

The vanilla fresh protein drink was fine. I'm not a huge fan of vanilla, but I will say I liked this more than the vanilla Shakeology. You can taste the Stevia a bit, but I'd rather taste Stevia than put a more dangerous artificial sweetener in my body.

I love that during the refresh you can eat fresh veggies and hummus. If I could eat hummus and only hummus forever I would. I ate it twice today.

I also enjoyed the cucumber tomato salad. I'm going to add this to my regular rotation.

Prepping everything the night before made this so much easier. I'm huge into food prep, but I don't usually pre-portion chopped carrots into ziploc bags. This time I did, and it helped. Having everything measured already helped. I had a wild day today and I was able to reach into my lunchbox and grab food in about 3 seconds and I loved it. I may need to do this more.

There was a moment around lunchtime when I got hungry rather quickly. I didn't want to blow through all my food too early though, so I split lunch into two meals. First I ate the veggies and hummus, then an hour later I drank the shake. This saved my butt, because I was still recovering from a double workout yesterday.

My favorite part of this 3 Day Refresh so far is that there is a whole page of the booklet dedicated to gas. As you probably know, if it involves talking about bodily functions, I'm 100% on board.

As of right now, I feel good. I've been feeling sluggish over the last couple of weeks, so I'm hoping this will help kickstart my energy levels. I was never hungry. I definitely felt weird at times being on a different routine, and I wanted to eat Smartfood popcorn, but I didn't.

If you're interested in doing the 3 Day Refresh, shoot me an email! A bunch of people on my team are going to do it in the coming weeks so you'll have company. leahnopants@gmail.com

Stay tuned for day 2 :)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

21 Day Fix Advice

My journey to build healthy habits took me a long time. Before I found what worked for me, I bounced between various diets and exercise programs and struggled with disordered eating habits. By the time I found the program that would ultimately work best for me, I had such an unhealthy mindset that I almost couldn't do it. I could tell that this was a healthy way to live, but it was so difficult to deprogram myself! It was so frustrating because I had the tools and I felt too overwhelmed to use them. 

I've talked to many of you who have at some point felt the same way. So here is some advice that I wish someone had given me before I started my journey towards a healthier lifestyle. 

It doesn't matter what program you're using because this applies to all of them. I personally use with the portion control container system for nutrition, 30 minute at-home workouts, superfood shakes daily, and accountability groups for support and motivation, and I wrote this blog with this plan in mind, but if you're doing something different this advice will help you too, I promise. 

You don’t have to change everything at once. This plan, although it's simpler than any eating plan I’ve ever tried, has a learning curve. You don’t absorb all the information and apply it to your daily life immediately, as is true with most things.

I’m an English teacher, so I’m going to use the analogy of vocabulary instruction. If my goal were for my students to know and use 50 new vocabulary words – really understand them on a deep level, not just memorize them to regurgitate them on a test – I wouldn’t teach all 50 on Monday and expect a 100% success rate by Tuesday. I might give out the whole list on Monday, but I’d explicitly teach 10 words one week, and 10 words the next week. Then we’d review all the words taught so far, clear up any confusions, and so on.

The same is true for this nutrition and fitness plan. If you can adopt 100% of it immediately, then by all means go ahead, but that’s not where I was at when I started. Try your best of course, but if you don’t really get into the groove of meal planning until week 2, don’t worry about it! It’s a journey, and if you stress yourself out about not following everything perfectly every second, it won’t be a very fun one!

Be active in your challenge group. Challenge groups are what set this program apart from fad diets, so utilize them! Use them to hold yourself accountable! Post about working out, making a great meal, saying no to a donut, the moment you bite into a guilt-free treat, or the day you realize push-ups are getting easier.

Post about your struggles! My breakthrough was a moment in my second round when I ate a piece of pizza for lunch. I could feel the “Well, I ate one bad thing, the whole day is a failure, I might as well continue eating crap and start again tomorrow,” mindset washing over me. Then I went into my challenge group and posted about what happened, asking for support. No one judged me, and at least 6 people responded with helpful comments that enabled me to turn my day around.

So POST, comment on other people’s posts, and like things! It doesn’t have to be in real time, but set aside some time each day to login and be active! It will help you stay on track, it will help you build relationships with your team, and those relationships will, in turn, help keep you on track.

Listen to your body when you exercise. If it hurts in a way that feels bad, take a break. When in doubt, modify an exercise. I learned this the hard way when I was sidelined by a knee injury. You know what’s worse than missing a workout, or ending a workout early, or modifying it even more than the modifier person in the videos? Missing an entire week (or more!) because you injured yourself. Resist the urge to power through all pain all the time. Focus on your long term goals. One workout will not make or break your progress. It’s the consistency that counts.

Remember that consistency is key. One cheat meal won’t ruin your progress. The flip side of that, however, is that one healthy meal also won’t make you lose 10 pounds. Every day consists of hundreds of tiny decisions you make, and the ratio of healthy decisions to unhealthy ones over time drives your success.

This was my biggest hurdle at the beginning of my 21 Day Fix journey. It took months to deprogram the part of my brain that jumped to “Well, I messed up, there goes my whole day, bring on the Cheez-its.” MONTHS. Yesterday I forgot my food at home and ended up eating 2 pieces of gross pizza (fine, it was 3). I stopped there. I drank tons of water. I did not slide into a binge, AND IT FELT LIKE A MIRACLE. A miracle I worked really hard to accomplish. …so a goal.

I’ve found it helps to think of it as a ratio of healthy to unhealthy choices. I aim for 80/20 healthy/splurge. Some days it’s more like 70/30. Some days it’s closer to 30/70. Thinking about this mathematically helps me immensely, because if 300 tiny choices make up my day, then 1 or 2 unhealthy ones barely leave a footprint in an otherwise successful day. Returning to the numbers helps me remind myself that even if I eat 70% unhealthy food one day, that 30% counts for something! 

Plan your cheats. Not everyone has them, but if you do plan to splurge a bit here and there (and Autumn herself says she aims for 90% on plan, 10% splurge so don’t feel guilty if you do), plan it in advance. Look at your calendar. What events are coming up? If your friend is getting married, or it’s Thanksgiving, or your friends are in from out of town and want to cook you a traditional pasta dinner, maybe you want to splurge. Eliminate the impulsivity of the decision. I try to, without exception, only splurge when I plan it ahead of time. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it gets easier. If you know that you’re going to be eating a piece of cake from your favorite bakery after Shabbat dinner on Friday night, then you’re more likely to say no to the candy bowl at work.

FALL IN LOVE WITH DATA. Numbers matter, but you need to open your mind to numbers beyond the scale and the tape measure. Some weeks you won’t lose an ounce or an inch, and that’s extremely frustrating. It helps to broaden the numbers you’re measuring. During stretches when I’m not seeing the scale or tape measure numbers budge, I focus on other numbers. Last week, for instance, I noticed the following:

-I’m not asking, “Do I look OK in this?” nearly as much. It used to be constant, and multiple times a night. Now it’s once a day if that.
-I saved roughly $20 by making recipes that used at least 1 ingredient I already had, which means I can now spend that money on something else… like boots! Just kidding. I already spent it on jewelry.
-I worked out 1 more time than the week before.

-I’ve decreased the amount of time I spend thinking negative thoughts on a daily basis. I am also able to snap out of it when I do get super negative. I’ve still got a long way to go, but 10 minutes feeling uncomfortable in my own skin trumps 2 hours any day!

Force yourself to think about and celebrate those non-scale victories (NSVs as we tend to call them). This is about more than the number on the scale. That's an important part of it, but it's so much more, and when you fixate on one part of this journey, you are missing out on SO MUCH. Don't do that to yourself. And if you start to, reach out to your team! Tell them you're feeling frustrated. Remember that we're all in this together, and that's why we're going to succeed. 

PS: I run monthly accountability groups (aka challenge groups, they go by many names) to help people on their own health journeys! If you are interested, or want more information, get in touch! leahnopants@gmail.com 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Recipe: Crockpot Minestrone Soup

clean eating crockpot soup

This minestrone soup recipe comes from Sara, an amazing, inspirational member of my wellness accountability group! I highly recommend it. It's hearty, savory, and exactly what I need when it's snowing outside. The best part of this recipe is that it's 21 Day Fix approved, so you know it's clean, tasty, and satisfying. It also freezes well, but leave plenty of time to defrost it. I love that it's simple and that Sara writes it in a way that shows how she uses the portion control tools in our program.


1 15 oz can cannelini beans
1 28oz can diced tomato (with juices)
1 32oz container low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 medium zucchini diced
1 big handful of raw baby spinach
1 sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
small pasta of your choice (whole wheat)


  1. Turn crockpot on low. Rinse and drain white beans. Add to crockpot with diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Sautee carrots, onions and celery for about 8-10 minutes or until they soften. Add to crockpot. Add the bay leaves and rosemary. Cover and let cook for 6-8 hours on low, stirring every few hours.
  2. About 40 minutes before your soup is done, add in the diced zucchini and spinach. Cook pasta and portion out into a bowl (remember not to fill up the yellow container all the way because there are white beans in the soup).
  3. Remove bay leaves and rosemary. Use a green container and fill with veggies and top with broth. Parmesan cheese on top optional. 

EDIT: I could only find a huge can of cannelini beans, so I used that, and didn't add pasta at all. It worked wonderfully. I think you could change up more things, but try to keep the same proportions of veggies to starches (meaning beans and pasta). 

Serving: 1 green, 1 yellow, (1/2 red if you use chicken broth)
Makes about 8 servings total!

I run wellness groups every month with my team that focus on fitness, nutrition, mindset, and accountability. If you're interested, send me an email! leahnopants@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Be proud of where you're at RIGHT NOW.

This is not a before pic. This is not an after pick. This is a “I’m feeling strong, confident, and happy in my own skin so I’m going to show you what USED TO BE my least favorite part of my body because I’m a BADASS” pic.

Now, my stomach is my favorite part of my body, even though it’s still the least toned. You want to know why? Because my stomach shows that I’m still kicking. I’ve been through some terrible times personally and professionally. I’ve spent whole years starving myself and existing on diet pills and diet soda. I’ve binged, and purged, and compulsively exercised all because I didn’t feel good in my own body. And I’m still here. I’m still kicking. I’m still getting stronger, physically and emotionally, than I’ve ever been before, especially when I was 30 pounds lighter. My stretch marks, my cellulite, my lovehandles? They are battle scars from a time when I wasn’t taking care of my body, so my body took care of itself. I wear this body - every inch and pound of it - with pride.

Every time I start to hate on my body (and it happens, because this is a loooong-term process) I remind myself that I’m doing all the right things. I’m improving my balance, strength, flexibility, energy and mindset by eating right 80% of the time, exercising consistently, and surrounding myself with like-minded people who hold me accountable and help push me to be a better version of myself every day than I was the day before.

So while I’m sure in a few months I’ll post another pic, and I’m sure in it my body will be significantly more toned, I don’t think it’ll mean as much to me as this one.

So please please please please PLEASE be proud of your now. Appreciate where you are in this exact moment in time. I don’t care if you were thinner 2 years ago or you’re going to be 10 pounds lighter by May, BE PROUD OF YOUR NOW.

You know what? SHOW ME. Post a pic below. Show me your favorite part of your body, your least favorite part of your body, or anything else. Show me your muscles, or your scars, or your lovehandles, I don’t care show me something!

If you want to do it but aren’t sure where to start, show me calves because I am a total calf person and I LOVE looking at them and appreciating them.

If you want to post a pic but you don’t feel comfortable, get in touch. I can help you get there.

*Also, don’t mind the background of these pictures. I took them in my landlord’s place because our apartment is too teeny to fit a full-length mirror. To her credit, when I knocked and said, “Can I take a photo of my stomach in your mirror?” she asked no questions at all.