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Hate Cardio? No Problem


Hate Cardio?

NO PROBLEM – There are ways around it.

Do you hate cardio? You’re in luck! Resistance Training might do more for you!

It’s that time of year again – bikini season.  You might be wondering what in the world you can do to squeeze into last year’s wardrobe again.  Or better yet, you want to know how you can fit into a smaller size.  The easy answer would be to eat healthy and work out!  But you hate cardio!! And it’s more complicated than that.

You don’t have to run 5 miles a day to get fit.  In fact, you don’t have to run at all!  You can maximize your results by doing resistance training and as little as 10 minutes of low intensity cardio per day.  This could mean brisk walking or light pedaling on the stationary bike.  Why 10 minutes?   Well 5-minutes of cardio to warm-up for your workout and 5 more minutes to cool-down.  Phew!  For those who hate cardio, this is a relief, huh!

The fact is, cardiorespiratory exercise burns a lot of calories during your workout, but it does not boost your metabolism post-workout.  Upon completing a cardio workout, your heart rate can drop back to its resting state within minutes to make up for your oxygen deficit.  If you are lacking lean muscle mass, forget about relying on your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) for shedding fat.

With resistance training, not only do you build lean muscle mass to increase your RMR but there is a higher EPOC or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” which will increase your metabolism for the next 36-48 hours while your muscle tissues are recovering.  During EPOC, your body is metabolizing additional nutrients, replenishing glycogen stores, and reloading depleted oxygen stores.  The higher the workout intensity, the longer your EPOC lasts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Get away with doing only 10 minutes low intensity cardio
  • Do strength training as your primary workout
  • Increase your Resting Metabolic Rate


So, get out your resistance bands, your dumbbells or medicine balls and start a strength training program.  If you are unsure where to begin, hire a Personal Trainer to take out the guess work.  Your summer beach body will appreciate the hard work!

If you hate cardio, but are looking for a Personal Trainer that can make cardio more fun (or totally exclude cardio altogether), contact me.

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Taking It Easy on Exercise?


Taking It Easy on Exercise?

Many of you have been hitting the gym day in and day out for the past few months, and you still are not happy with the way you look.  And the rest of you might say you are eating healthy, but you don’t have time to work out.  The result? Your jeans are getting snug.

To put it in perspective, one’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for 70% of your total energy expenditure (TEE) for the day.  The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy used to process & digest food, and accounts for 6-10% of your TEE.  The other 20% of your TEE depends on your physical activity level.  So, 20% of your weight is dependent on the exercise you put in, and the other 70-80% is dependent mostly on your diet, and somewhat on genetics, medication, age, and/or other factors.


Before you find yourself in the fitting room trying on a bigger pant size, make a new commitment.  Work on BOTH your nutrition and exercise.  Even a little bit of gradual change per week can make huge changes in your body fat composition. You could be exercising to your best ability, but eating back your calories.  Or you could be eating a totally healthy diet, but your metabolism isn’t working hard enough to burn fat because you are sedentary.

Losing weight is NOT easy.  Staying fit is NOT easy.  But taking it easy on exercise is not easy either.  You’ll constantly be disappointed in your health if you don’t act now. It is important for my Personal Training clients to eat properly during an exercise program. And I stress to my Nutrition clients that they need to stay on top of their workouts.   It is a two-way street and you can’t accomplish much unless you focus on both.

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Three Slimming Vegan Recipes


Check out our top 3 Slimming Vegan Recipes:

Raw Broccoli Soup


  • 3-4 large broccoli florets
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of almonds
  • 1/8-1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: In a vitamix or food processor, add the almonds with 1/8 cup water to make a “milk”. Then add the garlic cloves and blend til completely smooth. Chop broccoli into smaller chunks so they will blend well in the vitamix. Add broccoli to almond milk mixture. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Add water as needed to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!


  1. Mean Green Juice

Mean Green Juice by Kelly Gibson

  • 3 leaves organic swiss chard
  • 1 cucumber or green apple
  • 1/2 lemon (if using cucumber)

Instructions: Make sure you have a juice extractor! Step 1: Slice the cucumber in half so that it fits nicely into the juicer 🙂 You can fit the swiss chard in the juicer without slicing it at all, but you may want to break the leaves into smaller pieces first. Step 2: Place the swiss chard leaf in the juicer, with the red stem first. Then, juice the cucumber. If you are not a fan of cucumbers, try juicing a green apple instead! There’s nothing like the fresh taste of green apple juice 😉 If this doesn’t look beautiful and green, I don’t know what does!   Step 3: Now squeeze 1/2 a lemon right into the foam atop the juice for a tart added flavor. (Skip the lemon if you are making apple juice).


  1. Three-ingredient cocoa balls


Next time you think about reaching for a chocolate bar, stop!  Make this simple protein and magnesium-rich snack instead!

  • 2T cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried pitted dates

Instructions: Use a food processor to mix all of the ingredients together, then shape into cookie balls. No baking required.

For more slimming vegan recipes, please visit my blog where you’ll find nutrition and fitness tips. If you’re thinking about trying my slimming vegan recipes plans, request more information here:

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What is the Best Protein Source


Protein.  Everyone praises and worships it like every day is Sunday. It’s like we forget there is more to good nutrition than one nutrient. But how bad do we really need protein?

For survival, we don’t need as much as you think! Kids are taught that they need to drink whole milk for strong bones, partly due to the protein content (as well as calcium and fat). The protein content in whole milk is 21%.  I can think of a million other food sources that can provide this much protein, or more.  As long as kids are eating a variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes… they will have no problem achieving this protein content. And there’s plenty of non-dairy milks containing nuts or seeds.

As adults, we are still stuck on this notion that protein is almighty and without it we will become scrawny and weak. We are always searching for the perfect protein. Meat is assumed to be the ultimate protein source, because it has the highest amount of protein, so it is assumed that it must be good. Even as adults, we still don’t need upwards of 40-60% protein. If we only select a food based on its protein content, and disregard all the health effects of consuming that food, we are setting ourselves up for failure. But carbs make us fat, right? Let’s just say if that were true, all the vegetarians and vegans would be dead or morbidly obese by now.

Honestly, there are vegetarians and meat-eaters of all sizes, so extreme dieting that avoids any single nutrient entirely won’t solve the world’s obesity crisis. The truth is, the older we get, the less active most of us become, and without exercise, we cannot build muscle.

Sign up for my fitness challenge to learn more about protein!  In our protein lesson, I will go into more detail dispelling myths about protein needs for babies, kids, and adults alike. We will explore what protein intake is optimal for runners, strength athletes, and the average joe. Then, I’ll even shed some light on what type of protein is best for you!  Join today and we’ll start tomorrow!

>> Take the Fitness Challenge Now <<

Try Nutrition Coaching for More on Protein

Written by Kelly Gibson | Kelly Athletics LLC | 480-270-4968 |



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Unexpected Ways Diet Affects Your Life


Unexpected Ways Diet Affects Your Life

Written by Paige Johnson from ; Edited by Kelly Gibson.

Ways diet affects your life. Image via Pixabay


You’re probably already aware that the food you eat affects your weight. Healthy, low-calorie foods may help you lose excess pounds or maintain a fit figure, while processed foods high in sodium and sugar might make you pack on the pounds. It’s wise to enjoy unhealthy food and beverages in moderation, but not just because they impact your weight. Here are four surprising areas of your life that can benefit or suffer from your dietary choices.



Mental illness is common in the United States. Approximately 44 million adults have a mental health condition, and many children also battle at least one form of mental illness. Some mental health conditions are triggered by genetic or environmental factors, but did you know that food also affects your mood? Even if you don’t have an existing mental health condition, your dietary habits may make you cranky, depressed, or anxious.

So what’s safe, and what should you avoid? It’s generally best for people to consume fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as whole, sprouted grains, legumes, natural oils, and nutrient-dense seeds. Grains and high-glycemic fruits should be balanced with protein-packed foods (think nuts, nut butters, beans, hemp seeds)  to avoid a blood sugar crash from excess carbohydrate consumption.

Here are some foods to limit or avoid completely if you want to protect your emotional health:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • High-sodium foods

Some people may also need to avoid common foods associated with internal inflammation, such as gluten. Your doctor or a licensed nutritionist can review your current diet and let you know if it’s a good idea to change anything.


Mental Clarity

Do you ever find it difficult to focus on work, school, or household chores? Your diet might be the culprit. One recent study found that poor dietary habits may impact cognitive health. Some researchers believe that eating fried food can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

On a positive note, it may be possible to prevent or even reverse the effects of a bad diet. Here are some brain-friendly foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Chocolate (look for vegan options)
  • Acai berries
  • Coconut oil

Pay attention to how your body feels after you consume different foods. You may notice other foods help or hurt your memory.


Sleep Schedule

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or perhaps you have no trouble falling asleep, but you find it difficult to wake up, even after a full night of rest? These are common complaints from people who do not consume nutritious foods on a regular basis. That’s because there is a potential link between sleep issues and poor dietary habits.

Even if you eat well, you may notice you feel more tired than usual after you consume certain foods. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that raises serotonin levels in your brain. When this occurs, you feel sleepy or relaxed, which can disrupt your sleep cycle. Here are some foods that contain this amino acid:

  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Animal based foods like turkey, cheese, red meat, and chicken also lack glucose which is the primary energy source for the brain – I recommend avoiding these foods. You may also experience fatigue if you eat too much of a specific food, even if it’s a healthy plant-based food like tofu, nuts and seeds. This is because your body has to work hard to digest the food and distribute the nutrients throughout your body. Limit these.


Social Functions

The foods you eat or avoid can have a major impact on your social life. Depending on your lifestyle, this can be a positive or negative experience. For example, if you avoid foods with refined sugar and wheat, you may find it difficult to dine out with friends. If you live a vegan lifestyle, you may notice friends no longer extend invitations to barbecues or birthday parties.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution for this issue. If you don’t want to change your diet, just make sure you arrive prepared for social functions. Let friends know that you don’t mind bringing a gluten-free dessert or vegan appetizer to their party. You can also host potluck parties at your home so that everyone can eat something they enjoy.

Your dietary choices can tilt the scale in either direction, but they also impact other areas of your life. Think carefully about the foods you consume so that you can protect your mind and body.


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Four Fun Fitness Ideas


Get Fit and Have Fun with these Four Fitness Ideas

Written by Paige Johnson from on how to have fun with fitness

Fun Fitness Ideas. Photo Credit: stefanrodgall, Pixabay

If you really want to get fit, but the thought of going to a gym doesn’t exactly motivate you, then you need to modify your definition of what constitutes a workout. All you need to do is find an activity that pushes your body outside its comfort zone. That means walking your dog counts as exercise! Here are a few fun fitness ideas:

  1. Jump Rope

Kids aren’t the only ones who can jump rope. Not only is jumping rope fun, but it also provides an intense, full-body workout. Jump ropes are also inexpensive and easy to take with you wherever you go. Vacation is no longer an excuse for skipping your workout.

According to Shape, “Jumping rope burns more than 10 calories a minute while strengthening your legs, butt, shoulders, and arms.” Their 20-minute routine will burn more than 200 calories. You can repeat it two or three times (or switch it up each repetition) to burn more calories. You can also add jump rope before or after more fun fitness ideas: dog walking.

  1. Dog Walking

If you own a dog, you know how much dogs love to go for walks and how exercise is important for your dog. But did you ever consider that exercising your dog also means you get exercise? Not only do you get in a workout, you’re more likely to put in the extra mile with your four-legged friend. A study showed participants who started consistently walking their dogs walked more often and for longer distances than those without dogs. If you do not own a dog, you can still benefit from dog walking. For example, you could work weekends as a dog walker or volunteer to walk the dogs at a local animal shelter. If you don’t live near a shelter, consider volunteering to walk your neighbor’s dog or going on a walk with a friend who owns a dog.

  1. Racquetball

Looking for an intense cardio workout besides running? Try your hand at racquetball. One hour of play is equivalent to running two miles, according to Health Fitness Revolution (HFR). In just 20 short minutes, you will run roughly 3,650 feet, and after one hour of play, you will burn up to 800 calories. Racquetball requires you to use every muscle group. Running works your lower body, balancing as you swing works your core, and hitting the ball works your upper body. In addition, it improves flexibility, balance, and coordination. As your game improves, you will become better at making quick and strategic decisions, thus working your brain as well.

HFR adds, “It helps with neural adaptation by stimulating a faster connection between brain and muscle movements, which improves a player’s reflexes even off the racquetball court.”

  1. Drumming

Have you ever been to a concert and noticed how sweaty drummers get? Drumming is an intense cardio workout. Researchers found that during a 90-minute concert, the drummer from the band Blondie was working as hard a 10K runner or professional soccer player, according to the Chicago Tribune. He was burning 600 calories during the concerts. Through drumming the sticks, you work your shoulders, arms, and core. You work your lower body when you play the bass drum. Drumming requires strength and endurance as well. If you don’t know how to play drums, and you don’t feel up to learning, you can always try an exercise program modeled after drumming, such as POUND. POUND uses lightly weighted drumsticks and provides a “full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and pilates-inspired movements.”

Just rethink what exercise means to you, and it is easy to enjoy your workout. You are more likely to make exercise a part of your weekly routine if you are enjoying yourself. Whether it is jumping rope or taking your dog for a walk, just remember to have fun! Fun fitness ideas.

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How to Stay Motivated


How to Stay Motivated: Do it Your Way

Article by Olivier Poirier-Leroy of YourWorkoutBook on How to Stay Motivated

Social media can be a real son of a bee sting. Sure, it helps us stay in touch with friends and family, but it also shows us the endless trove of workout pictures from our gym addict friends, which tend to make us feel even worse about ourselves. And so we try to do what they do.

First mistake, bucko. Odds are you already know what works best for you.

“I think the most important part about motivating clients is to let them lead the conversation,” says Kelly Gibson, CPT, of Kelly Athletics on how to stay motivated.

“They know what works best for them, they just need someone to hear that they understand and support their beliefs. Once there is a mutual understanding, it is a good time to introduce clients to ideas of what foods and exercises might help them on their path.”

Remember: we all respond differently according to interests, exercise history, and everything else that goes into making us a special little snowflake. Embrace your individuality and stick with what you know that works instead of trying to emulate what someone else is doing.

If you like my motivation style so far, try a FREE consultation to see if my Nutrition Coaching services would be a good fit for you! I’d love to hear from you and help you find your motive.

Check out 14 more tips on how to stay motivated here.

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How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau


How To Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau
Are you constantly exercising, dieting, and still can’t get past your weight loss plateau?!


Here are some tips on how to manage this:

1. Weight gain does not mean fat gain.  Assess the food you are eating because calories are not always the cause of weight gain. Sometimes bloating can come from too much sodium, or being a bit constipated or backed up. If you eat more whole foods and less processed foods, you can reduce your sodium intake and increase fiber intake to flush out the added weight rather quickly.

2. Nutrients you are getting – are you missing something from your diet? take multivitamin or supplement if you are lacking.

3. How much water do you drink?  If you are dehydrated you can easily overeat or your body will hold more sodium, again creating a bloated unhappy feeling with potential weight gain. Cleansing can help get rid of toxins, so drink your water at every meal and consider a 3-day Shakeology Cleanse or Thisilyn Cleanse. (I have had positive results with both of these, but no I do not sell them).

4. Take multiple measurements – body fat %, circumference measurements, and the scale. Don’t always rely on one number because you could making improvements in one place and not another!  The scale is sometimes a false reading of your true progress and can make you think you are getting fat when you are actually losing fat, holding water and/or building muscle.

5. How hard are you working? Increase the intensity of your workouts to burn fat faster, such as high intensity interval training or HIIT workouts.  Lifting heavier weights can also increase your metabolism for up to 36 hours.  Walking or jogging for an hour can be a waste of time if you aren’t burning fat. If you want to know why click here.

Written by Kelly Gibson on November 30, 2012

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Comment with how you plan to fight through your next weight loss plateau!

Kelly Athletics LLC: NASM Certified Personal Trainer | Tempe Arizona | Mesa Personal Training | Tempe Boot Camps | Boot Camp Classes in Arizona | AZ Fitness Trainer | Exercises for Women | Workouts for Fat Loss | How to Burn Fat | Easy Exercises for Weight Loss | Vegan Diets and Plant Based Dieting | Vegan Nutrition | Am I Lacking Nutrients on a vegan diet | Overcome Weight Loss Plateau | Cleanse and Detox | Former Team Beachbody Coach 2012 | Need more help with your diet? Try Nutrition Coaching today!


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Why French Pressed Coffee is the Best!


Why French Pressed Coffee is the Best

Are you a coffee drinker? Do you love the smell of coffee in the morning? Are you totally hooked on caffeine but have a weak stomach?  French Pressed Coffee is the best option for you!! You don’t need to quit to be healthier.

1. Cheaper than a keurig or regular coffee machine.


2. Faster and Easier than brewing coffee.


3. If you’re in a hurry, don’t wait! Just pour your hot coffee right away for some caffeine 😉  Optimal wait time is 4 minutes to use all the grounds, but you know how hard it is to wait to turn on your brains in the morning!


4. Cold-pressed coffee is 67% less acidic! Many of us can’t stomach brewed coffee.

Just pour in your grounds, add cold water, and let it soak overnight in the fridge before you press.


5. You no longer have to worry about replacing filters or k-cups, or tearing apart your machine to clean it.  

The 2-Piece French Press is so easy to clean!


Summary: Why French Pressed coffee is the best

1. cheaper than other coffee
2. faster and easier to make
3. less waiting time
4. 67% less acidic
5. easy as 1-2-3 to clean

Written by Kelly Gibson June 10 2015

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Nutrition Coach | French Pressed Coffee | Coffee Drinker | Caffeine | Healthy Coffee | Is Coffee Healthy | Coffee is Vegan

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America is Going Vegan, Exponentially


America is Going Vegan, Exponentially

Vegetarian diets have been considered healthy in the past few decades, but studies in recent years have questioned the validity of dairy & egg products being healthy as well. With a constant influx of undercover investigations appearing on facebook, youtube, and Netflix documentaries, more and more Americans are becoming aware of what really goes on in factory farms and food processing plants (and eventually into their food.) With heart disease & cancer being the leading causes of death in the United States, and continuing research by Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (1) and (2), people are making the connection between diet and health.

Poor health is not just an adult problem. What children are fed at a young age will determine their health & eating habits as they grow up. Childhood Type II Diabetes has been on the rise, affecting 208,000 U.S. citizens under age 20 and continues to grow (3). 16 million Americans have gone vegan or vegetarian as of 2009 (8), and 100 million have mentioned they started making healthier choices like switching from cow’s milk to dairy-free products or cutting red meat from their diet. The demand for vegan products is higher than ever in 2014, that even schools & daycares are creating plant-based menus for kids! Oh, and did I mention McDonald’s sales dropped 3.8% this month (9)? Yes, America is Going Vegan!

America is Going Vegan, Really! The nation’s first vegetarian public elementary school was announced in May 2014 at Public School 244 in Queens, NY (4). Today, MUSE School CA near Los Angeles has been announced that they will be the first official VEGAN school in the country in 2015 (5). The 2014 Golden Carrot Award winners via PCRM for the most healthy school menus were MUSE School CA, Lincoln Public School District in Lincoln NE, and Desert Garden Montessori School in Phoenix! Yes, we officially have at least FIVE healthy plant-based schools in the U.S. now. And TWO are local!

In addition to Desert Garden Montessori, you can check out the Little Learner’s Group Daycare in Mesa for a fully plant-based menu. The owner, Clarissa, is a former client of mine who has gone vegan through my Nutrition Coaching services, and she now raises her son vegan and wants to ensure good health of the children in her daycare as well. She put together a fully plant-based menu on her own and after extensive efforts, has gotten it approved! Yes, America is Going Vegan! (Golden Carrot Award was given for the Top Vegan School Lunch program.) America is going vegan one school at a time.

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Personal Trainer in Tempe AZ | Plant-Based Nutrition Coach