Wednesday, February 4, 2009

4 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym

I’ll be 100 % Honest, the only MUST HAVE for a Home Gym is…You. All you TRULY need is your body and the motivation to work out.
However, these bits and pieces help out as well:

  1. Cardio Equipment – I’m almost hesitant to put this on the list since as long as you have two functioning legs you can go for a walk, jog or run outside with no equipment necessary, BUT, for those in cold climates or who prefer to workout in doors. Cardio equipment is necessary. I use a bike indoors and jog outdoors. You can purchase a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stepper or stationary bike.
  2. Exercise Mat – You will need this for doing floor exercises and most ab work. You can substitute two towels for a mat, but a proprietary workout mat, or nonstick yoga mat for hardwood or tile floors is a good and inexpensive investment.
  3. Dumbells – You can determine the weight you’ll need by your fitness level. But I’d suggest 3lb., 5lb., and 10lb. to start. Most strength training moves will require dumbbells, however, to start, using just your body weight is absolutely fine.
  4. Stability Ball – I am still unsure why they don’t call this an instability ball, but you’ll be able to use this for lots of core work, variations of various strength training moves and to do ab work on as well.

These items are the essentials of a functional home gym. What other items do you have in your home gym?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Want to Make Progress? Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." - Anthony Robbins

For years I did the same basic routine at the gym. Cardio & Weights, Cardio & Weights. From the weight room I could see all the step classes being taught, but wasn’t confident in my ability to catch on to it, so I wouldn’t take a class.

A coworker finally urged me to go with her, and I’m glad I did. Did I catch on right away? No. But I got a great new workout. I still bumble and stumble around in step classes, and still have no idea what the names of any of the moves are, but it’s a change of pace, and fun to do every once in a while.

What’s the point of being stagnant? Why march in place when you can run? Why do your same aerobics class when there’s kickboxing, pilates, bootcamps? Staying in your comfort zone equals staying right where you are and making no progress.
We’re human. We’re creatures of habit. We desire comfort and familiarity, and we fear change.
However, in order to progress in your weight loss, your level of fitness, and in your life, you must step out of your comfort zone.

Getting out of your comfort zone benefits you in a few ways:
1. allows you to make progress
2. increases your self esteem
3. encourages you to continue to step out of your comfort zone in the future

I urge you to try a new fitness class, try a new fruit or vegetable, pick up a new piece of workout equipment or make a new recipe today. Add something new to your routine. At first it will feel unfamiliar and you may want to go back to what’s comfortable for you, but you should at least try it.
Maybe aerobics is your thing, and bootcamps just don’t do it for you. You’ll never know until you try!

What small way can you step out of your comfort zone in order to make progress?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Coming Soon.....

Hi All,

Just a quick note to let you know that Zen Fit Chick is getting an overhaul and relaunching on February 1, 2009.

Come back to read new articles, get exercise routines, healthy recipes, and reviews on fitness products, workout videos and much more.

Remember, you can always email me your questions at and I will answer you privately and possibly post your question on the site as well.

See you on February 1!!!

Yours in health,

Danielle, Zen Fit Chick

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interview: Cassie Rose Carnahan

Name – Cassie Rose Carnahan

Company – Beauty First in the Brentwood Promenade, St. Louis, MO

Position - Personal Trainer / Cosmetologist

Link -

How long have you been in the wellness field?
I worked at my first gym in 1998

How did your experiences there impact you?
I knew I was hooked on weight training! I loved everything about the gym. It was my second home. I also started to teach aerobics classes and realized I'm a good at training the members on the equipment which lead to me becoming a personal trainer.
Physically I started to develope nice muscles within a few months of weight training and after my first year of weight training I had developed into a buff 15 year old! The rest is history. I've been hitting the gym since then. I worked at Fountains Gym all throught High School and became a Personal Trainer soon after I graduated from High School. I started working out of gyms and now am and Independant Contractor.

What are your wellness staples?
weight training, cardio, healthy diet. All 3 are equally important to me.

How to you keep fit? Any routine?
Weight Training, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Road Bike Cycling

Which is your favorite?
Weight training is my favorite. It always has been. I have a passion for Muay Thai and Cycling also. It's too hard to pick a favorite, but have love for each of them.

Any wellness goals?
To someday a bike race or another Physique Competition or both!

Sounds interesting, tell us about your physique competition.
I compete in Figure Competitions now. It's a form of Bodybuilding. I have photo's on my website Gallery.

What is your wellness motto?
Baby steps to fitness will lead to life long health and fitness

That's a good one. What was the first baby step you took?
The first babystep I took was walking around my highschool track and weight training at my highschool gym with the football players.

Who are your wellness inspirations?
Pretty much all of the Olympic Athletes, Figure and Fitness Competitors, and Bodybuilders

Piece of advice for those looking to get healthy/fit/well?
Start with small changes when you are replacing unhealthy habits with healthy habits. The all or nothing mentality will get lead to failure. When in doubt of yourself. Pray!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Trans Fat Truth

Hi Readers,
I just wanted to give a quick label-reading warning to all.

We've all heard about trans fats in the news recently. This is the unhealthy and dangerous fat that's found in many processed foods. Many products are now labeling their trans fat content on their packaging. This seems like a good idea, but is very misleading. These food manufacturers are tricksters.

PLEASE NOTE: The products you see that say 0 Trans fats may not actually be trans fat free!
When you look closely, the 0 Trans fats, actually says: 0g Trans fat. Meaning zero grams. However, there may be several miligrams of trans fats in the food.

To check if a food is truly trans fat free, look at the ingredient listing. If you see Partially Hydrogenated oils of any kind...STAY AWAY!

Check your cupboards when you can and let me know what products you find that say 0g trans fats, but contain partially hydrogenated oils. Leave me an email or a comment, I'd like to put together a list of those tricky products to help make more people aware.

(Thank you for your message Tanya)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Interview: Lindsey of YummyFitness

Name – Lindsey McGuire

Company – Yummy Fitness

Position – Co-Founder


How long have you been in the wellness field – Fitness and wellness have been part of my life from a very young age, but the bizarre part is that I didn't even know it at the time. In junior high and high school I was extremely active in wrestling and I was also a national level Judo competitor.

I had a ton of fun with those sports and never really thought about how they directly translate to fitness, wellness, weight loss, building muscle, etc. (I now realize and acknowledge the lessons I learned.)

Not realizing that my skills in wrestling and Judo also applied to fitness I began to gain weight after graduating school. My weight soon shot up in rapid fashion. I hated "working out" and diet foods and restrictions were no fun, so it seemed that I was in real big trouble.

Luckily my future husband Sean Bissell and I met. Sean also knew a great deal about nutrition and fitness. Sean's technical approach and my more intuitive knowledge melded together and we almost accidentally came up with a way that made fitness integrate into our lives seamlessly.

Now we try and make nutrition and fitness a part of our lives, instead of making our lives fit around our fitness and nutrition. We tried the other way around for awhile… and that didn't work to well to say the least.

What are your wellness staples – Honestly, having fun is my biggest staple. Having fun could mean running across town for the sake of getting breakfast, or taking a hike instead of a run, or even making sure to "cheat" in a way that works for you, it's all fair game.

How to you keep fit? Do you have a routine?– Routines are no fun, I think you should stay consistent, but routines for me can get very repetitive and boring. When something becomes boring, you lose motivation, and when you lose motivation, you stop… Or you just become miserable, and that defeats the purpose of fitness, which is to feel great in and about yourself.

Do you have any wellness goals? – To make it feel like I'm just living and not working.

What is your wellness motto? – Make your fitness work for you, don't work for your fitness.

Who are your wellness inspirations? – My inspirations are those people who are "naturally" healthy, and that don't need to obsess about their routines. People who have found a way to make fitness integrate into their lives in a way that truly makes them happy.

Piece of advice for those looking to get healthy/fit/well? – Small changes are the best, you don't need to do everything all at once, if you make one small change a day, or even a week then very soon you will be much further ahead than you would have ever thought possible. If you make huge changes all at once then it will be too difficult and feel out of place with your current life. When you change too much too quickly it is motivating for a little while, but when the motivation wears off and when you get tired it will be extremely easy and tempting to quit. And if you quit, you'll never truly get ahead. One of the big "secrets" is small consistent and steady changes is the key to long term, sustainable, and real success.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Omnivore’s Hundred

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I found this fun little item over on the AlmostFit site, and decided to play, just for kicks. You should do the same! Let me know your 'score'

"The site Very Good Taste posted a list of 100 things that they felt every good omnivore should try at least once in his or her life.”

So which foods have you, or would you, eat?


Bold all items you’ve eaten.

Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (i used italics instead)

Here’s my list:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart - Never Again lol
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream - allergic, otherwise I would
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float -

36. Cognac with a big fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly - now THIS sounds like a treat
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - I've actually never eaten a big mac (99 hamburgers are a diff story)
56. Spaetzle - don't know what this is, and not in the mood to google it
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian- I’m up for any fruit
66. Frogs’ legs - tastes like chicken
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - all yes, yes, too much, yes

68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain - staple in my youth
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill - c'mon
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - never appealed to me
78. Snail - i love these lil guys
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor

98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake -

I've tried a bit, have a lot left to experiment with. I eat fish but not meat/poultry so that knocks a bit off of my 'to try' list

Which foods are on, or off, your list?