5 Reasons Menopause Really Sucks

Have you just about thrown in the towel because of menopause?

Many of the women who reach out to me are convinced that menopause is keeping them from getting a competitive body.

Well, there’s no way around it…

Women go through menopause in their 40s or 50s. But that can vary widely. One study found that half of the women in the U.S. reach menopause before age 52. Menopause happens when you haven’t had a period for 12 straight months and you aren’t pregnant or sick.

Here are 5 reasons why menopause sucks…

#1 Hormones begin fluctuating and cause us to store more fat.

#2 Due to age and/or decrease in physical activity, we start losing muscle.

#3 It’s hard to get quality sleep and that’s linked to weight gain.

#4 Insulin resistance increases as we age and that makes losing weight even more difficult.

#5 Fat storage shifts from hips and thighs to the belly. The worse!

But if you are like me, (I’m 51) you are going through perimenopause. Perimenopause is the menopause transition and begins several months or years before menopause. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier.

If you are over 40, currently competing, or trying to hit the stage for the first time…

You need to understand how to deal with the affects that menopause could have on your training timelines.

After competing in my first pro show back in 2017 at the age of 47, I decided to take a year long break from the stage. But after a year, I couldn’t seem to get back into my normal prep groove.

This is when I started trying to understand more about perimenopause and menopause. I too was convinced this is what was keeping me from hitting the stage again.

Even though I had all the symptoms and it made perfect sense that losing weight and putting on muscle would be harder…

I had to be honest with myself.

I was not putting in the same amount of work in the gym.

I was loosey goosey with my diet.

I was not managing my schedule to get enough sleep.

I was making a ton of excuses for starting and stopping my prep.

And none of these things are medical…

This was me-a-pause!

I had taken a pause from everything after my first pro show. Even the basic fitness habits that keep me in pre-contest shape (140-145lbs).

So, I said, “that’s it!” I’m hitting the stage when I turn 50 years old!

I reached out to a coach like me for accountability. Someone who wouldn’t let me make excuses and miss my timeline!

For 16 weeks, I hit that gym like a BEAST and my diet was on point because I had to check-in and be accountable to my goals.

The photo on the left was taken the week I started my prep at 157 pounds and 17% body fat. The picture on the right was taken a few hours before stepping on stage. I weighed 127 pounds and my body fat was less than 6%!

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After making this comeback at 50 years old, I now know that peri/menopause doesn’t have to control my actions. It doesn’t have to keep us from achieving our biggest fitness goals and living our best life.

The key is to take action quickly. You have to say enough is enough. It’s time

to take control back and get serious about reaching your goal. Whether you want to compete or just get rid of excess fat to look and feel sexier, schedule a FREE Breakthrough Call with me. I’ve opened up a few appointments over the next 48 hours or so for you to get back on track.

There are some specific things you have do right now to avoid gaining more weight and losing muscle. During this FREE call, I’ll share them with you and help you create a blueprint for the stage…or not!

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Ab Workout and Cardio Circuit

Follow me on Instagram for daily/weekly workouts!

Part one: Warm-up exercise (see photo) x 4 sets

Dynamax side throws x 15 each side

 

 

The Ab Workout x 3 sets 

Ab crunch machine 1 superset with decline sit ups (15 each)

Ab crunch machine 2 superset with Roman chair leg lifts (15 each)

Hyper-extensions (low back) superset with leg lifts with hip ups (15 each)

The Core Cardio Circuit (see video) x 3 sets

Sled push – up and down turf x 2

Kettle squats w/cleans x 15 reps

Med ball slams x 15 reps

Follow me on Instagram for daily/weekly workouts!

New Workout: Back, Abs, Biceps

Back | Abs | Biceps

Warm-up: Lat pull down front & back combo 3×12 (light weight)

The Workout

Assisted pull ups superset with hanging leg lifts 3×15

DB bent over rows superset with lying crunch bench 3×20

Face-pulls superset with seated crunch machine 3×15

Low row machine superset with mountain limbers 3×20

DB pull overs with glute squeeze (see video below)
superset bench oblique knee-ins 3×12/20


Lying reverse crunch with hip lift (see video below) superset with reverse crunches 3×15


Hyperextensions with DB curls x 3×12 (see video below)

Incline bench DB curls x 3 sets

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Chest & Shoulder Conditioning Circuit

The Circuit: 4 sets

Push-ups to wall balls x 20 reps

Lateral band raises w/lunge/knee drive x 20 reps each 

Jumping jacks x 60 seconds

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Belly Blaster

Whether you want to rock a bikini on the beach this summer or step on stage…

Your abs better be tight! There are 3 essential components of core training to reveal six pack abs. First, you have to train them often. I’d recommend at least 3-5 times per week. Secondly, you have to train them deeply. Choose exercises that will require you to have mind body connection to perform properly. Like this exercise in my workout today, reach throughs. In order to do correctly, you want to try to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground as you reach through. As you will see in the video, it’s not easy!

The third thing you need is a nutritional program that burns fat to reveal your abs!

Keep reading after the video to get the full ab workout 🙂

Complete 3 sets of each exercise before doing the next.

1. V-Ups x 25 reps

2. Reach Throughs x  25

3. Single Leg Toe Touches x 25 each

4. Heel Touches x 30

5. Body Saw Plank x 30

Tired of trying to lose the same 10, 20, 30 or more pounds?

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Metabolic Shoulders

Arnold Press 4x12

DB Forward Raise + Lateral Raise 4x12

Shoulder Press Machine 4x12

Cable Straight Bar Upper Rows 4x12

Lateral Raise Machine 3x12

Metabolic Circuit (complete all 3 back to back, 3 sets)

Battle Ropes 30 seconds

Plank with Shoulder Taps x 30

Push-ups (hands close) x 10

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Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Nikki’s Coconut Butter Spread- Vanilla Cake Batter (melt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or enough for pancake batter consistency)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked, Gluten Free Oats (I used Trader Joes)
  • 1/3 medium banana
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

-In food processor, blend oats, baking soda

-Add all remaining ingredients into the processor

-Blend until pancake consistency

-Cook on griddle with non-stick

Blueberry Topping (opt)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 blueberries
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4c of water

-In pot, add all ingredient and cook on high until boiling.

-Cook until thickened.

-Pour over pancakes.

Macros (without topping)

Serving size: 2 pancakes

Can eat these for pre-workout or as a HIGH carb refeed meal.

Calories 384

Protein 14g

Carbs 45g

Fat 18g

Potassium 350g

Fiber 8g

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Egg white muffins

egg white omelets

 

 

 

 

These portable energy-revving muffins are great to make in advance and use throughout the week!

Ready in 40 minutes, Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

Oil spray

4 scallions, minced

2 carrots, shredded

1/2 red pepper, minced

1/2 zucchini, shredded

14 egg whites

4 whole eggs

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 tomato diced (optional)

Dash sea salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 12-muffin tin with a little oil to prevent sticking.

Combine vegetables in a big bowl. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with vegetables.

Whisk eggs and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.

Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop egg mixture and pour slowly into each muffin tin. Egg mixture should fill tin the rest of the way. Bake 30 minutes or until muffins have risen and are slightly browned.

Macros per serving:

Calories: 56

Protein: 7 g

Fats: 2 g,

Carbohydrates: 3 g,

STORAGE TIP: Muffins will keep up to one week in the refrigerator or can be frozen. If freezing, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

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Turkey Spinach Meatballs

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded (food processor) spinach

1 pound of ground turkey (93% lean)

1 egg

2 packets of Quaker oatmeal 

2 TBS of 4 C Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup onion and bellpepper diced

1 TSP of crushed garlic

2 TBS chopped cilantro

1/8 TSP sea salt

1/8 TSP black pepper

1 jar of 365 Organic Italian Herb pasta sauce (Wholefoods)

Makes 6 servings (2 meatballs in sauce over veggie noodles)

The Meatballs:

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-Line cookie sheet with foil, spray with non-stick

-Lightly saute garlic, onions, and bell peppers.

-Mix all ingredients in a bowl

-Take big spoonfuls and place on cookie sheet

-Cook for 20 minutes (it will finish cooking in the sauce)

The Sauce:

Pour jar of sauce in pot and add meatballs.

-Simmer for about 20-30 minutes

The Noodles:

-Boil package of spiraled sweet potato, butternut squash or I did both for this recipe.

-Serve sauce over noodles.

Enjoy!

Macros (for the meatballs, sauce, and spiraled sweet potato/butternut squash

Calories: 432

Protein: 33g

Carbs: (from veggies) 44g

Fat: 14g 

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Green Smoothie Of The Day: Mango, Strawberry, and Hemp

When I make green fruit smoothies, I like to add a healthy fat source.

Today, it was hemp hearts.

What so great about hemp?

Hemp seeds have high levels of vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene and are rich in protein, carbohydrates, minerals and fiber. It’s also a good source of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are delicious, easy to prepare, and can be added to many of your favorite foods.

To increase the protein of my smoothies, I add a scoop of vanilla Nuzest Protein Powder (vegan). Today’s smoothie is LOW in sugar (hard with fruit smoothies), high in protein, and low fat.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup frozen mangos

1/3 cup frozen strawberries

2 cups of spinach (or kale)

10 oz of water

Little ice

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

1-1/2 TBS hemp hearts

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together.

Macros:

Calories 212 Protein 17gCarbs 18gFat 7gSugar 8g

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