9 Healthy Recipes in 12 Minutes or Less!


Hey Ladies!

Here are some recipes to try at home. Sometimes we forget that losing weight and getting healthy is a two-fold endeavor. On the one hand, we need to exercise and move our bodies on a regular and consistent basis, but we need to couple that with eating well. Health practitioners, like medical doctors and nutritionists, recommend that we eat 5-6 small meals every few hours. Why? So that our metabolism stays running all day long. If you go long periods without eating, your metabolism will slow down, which for some body types can result in weight gain.

It’s not enough to just eat a few small meals/snacks a day, it’s also about what you’re eating that’s important. Snacking on potato chips every few hours is not the same as snacking on a handful of raw almonds or a small baggie of carrots. Studies have shown that people who make their own meals at home (from scratch and not out of a LeanCuisine box) are healthier than those who eat processed foods in every meal. Cooking your own food is a great way to cut down on your sodium, preservatives, and nitrate intake. By cooking fresh, healthy meals, you become aware of exactly what you are putting into your body.

Use these recipes as a guide for what to eat for main meals. When grocery shopping – try to buy as fresh, organic (and if possible as local) of ingredients as you can.

As for the snack options for in between: raw nuts, raw veggies (carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, etc), or slices of fresh fruit are great choices. (Again, try to buy as fresh, organic, and local as possible)

Happy Noshing!


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Breaking Bad Habits


Humans by nature are creatures of habit. Every time I go to yoga class, I always put my mat in the same place without fail – at the front and center of the room. I even show up early to ensure that my spot won’t be taken! While it’s true that some habits start out seemingly innocent, it’s important to check and see how your habits may be affecting your life.

Rod Stryker, a yoga and meditation guru, published an article in The Huffington Post about the importance of quitting bad habits. I thought it was fitting to share because we all have bad habits that prevent us from fully living our lives and achieving our goals. Rod says, “Your past exerts itself on your present. If you don’t consciously choose the direction of your life, like it or not, your past will choose it for you.” What he’s getting at by saying this is that if we are to achieve our goals, if we are to better ourselves, we must avoid unconscious action. We have to stop doing things simply because they are familiar and comfortable to us.

Rod continues the article by suggesting that there’s power in shedding a habit, regardless of how bad it is or how inconsequential it may seem. The energy that’s freed up when you stop staying up until 4 in the morning watching TV, can now be directed towards an important goal you want to achieve. He lays out 6 steps to breaking a habit. The habit doesn’t necessarily have to be detrimental, it can be anything that causes you to be counterproductive.

The first step is to, “...refrain from doing a “less-than-constructive habit.” He calls this the Departure Point. In other words, if you find yourself creeping on your ex’s Facebook profile, you should take a moment to pause when you feel the urge to type their name into the search box. Rod explains that the Departure Point as, “...the very action of ceasing to engage in a particular habit…allowing you to depart from the momentum that has shaped your life until now.

Step 2 is what he calls “Seeding the Gap”. It is the process of “planting” an intention that you make into the mental and physical “space” that’s opened every time you consciously stop giving into the habit you’ve chosen to quit. Rod explains further that when we, “…break free of old patterns enough times and you will create a new and different future.

Once you’ve paused and refrained from engaging your habit, step 3 is to turn your attention and energy towards imagining something greater than yourself, or the goal that you have been trying to achieve, or God, or nature, anyone or anything that brings you peace or inspiration.

Step 4 is to then, “rest” in that experience, taking a few breaths to enjoy or ponder that which makes you peaceful.

Step 5 is to, with your goal or hopes in mind, envision your future in the way that you hope it to be. So if your goal is to run a marathon in the spring, envision yourself running across the finish line.

The 6th and final step is to be thankful. Be thankful to yourself for having the strength to not give into your habit, to redirect that focus and energy towards bettering your yourself and your life.


This entire process should only take less than a minute and you can do it as much as you need to, any time of day, any place. Watch to see how you react to “quitting” your habit. If you find that you’re feeling resistant towards quitting, Rod notes that is is a sign that this is a, “…signal that there is untold power in sacrificing your habit for the sake of something better, something you really want.” Rod’s process of breaking habits is a great exercise that will help you to increase your ability to achieve whatever you set your mind to and to break free from the negative pull of your past. The use of imagination and visualization are great tools to use to achieve a goal, to become a better martial artist, to become a better “fill in the blank”. Why? Because it trains the mind in a way that leads to mental fortitude.

If you repeatedly stop yourself from getting out of bed to go to the fridge in the middle of the night to eat ice cream, then eventually you’ll get to the point when you won’t even toss and turn. You will just be able to let the thought of eating in the middle of the night pass, just like a dream. Then eventually the thoughts, the cravings, will just stop. Having mental fortitude allows you to better control your actions. It allows you to make a choice to do something, and then do it because you are not phased by other mental distractions like, “I’m too lazy to go to class today. I’m too weak to run a marathon.” Blah blah blah. Allowing bad habits to control your actions, means that you’re allowing them to control the direction of your life. Is that what you want?

So what are you doing in your life that isn’t benefiting you? What are some habits that you can kick in order to fill that time with things that are more important, more beneficial, more life-giving? Stop making excuses as to why you can’t do the things you want to do, go the places you want to do, live the life you’ve always wanted. OPERA NON VERBA. Deeds not words. So this month, challenge yourself to act instead of talk about how you’re going to change.


Stay tuned!

– Coach Colleen

*If you are interested in reading more about Rod and his teachings/philosophy, check out his book, The Four Desires, or visit his website at: www.parayoga.com

Coach’s Corner: 5 Beliefs That Will Make You More Resilient


Today’s Coach’s Corner comes to you today from Inc.com magazine’s article on 8 Beliefs That Make You More Resilient. We’ve only picked 5 that we think are pertinent to our students. We’ve also added our own personal caveats to make them relevant to you and your training.

1. “Today’s success can breed tomorrow’s failure if I let success make me complacent about staying motivated and moving forward.” 

When you have a great class, or when you see that you’ve lost a 1/2 inch in one month from your training – definitely pat yourself on your back and give yourself the credit you deserve, but DO NOT let it lead to you missing your next class because you worked super hard the day before. Before you know it you’ll be back on the couch eating Cheetos! We have a saying here at The Academy, “GOOD, BETTER, BEST – NEVER LET IT REST.” This is a mantra that has allowed so many of our fighters to become champions and so many of our students to lose weight and get into the best shape of their life.

2. “I learn more from failure than from success. Failure renews my humility, sharpens my objectivity, and makes me more resilient.” 

Success is great, but failures are what help us learn and make us better. When you have a class or a training session where you feel awkward, or you’re just not getting the technique down right, or you don’t feel strong – don’t give up. If you can’t do 30 flutter kicks this month, don’t feel embarrassed, work on them each time you come to the gym. Try to do one more than you did the day before. Let it be the fuel you use to do 40 next month!

3. “Goals that contain, “I’ll try…” are self-defeating. If I want goals that truly motivate, I use phrases like “I will” and “I must”.”

Having goals that start out with “I’ll try” assumes that you’re giving yourself room for failure! Instead, make goals that sounds like, “By next month I WILL lose 5 pounds.” Then make your action plan around that. Don’t give your mind the slightest notion that you might slip up. When it comes to health goals, like losing weight and eating healthier – adopting a do or die mentality may seem dramatic, but in truth, your health and longevity is on the line. Training and maintaining a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is the key to great health.

4. “What holds most people back is fear of failure, but if I don’t take action, I’ll fail by default, so what have I got to lose?”

Fear will define the limits of your life, guaranteed. Don’t let it hold you back from doing the things you want to do and accomplish. If you’re thinking about running your first marathon, but have never ran a race before – don’t psyche yourself out! You have to crawl before you walk, then walk before you run. Start with a 5K and then work your way up. Come to us for support – we are here to help you push through that fear and achieve!

5. “What I say reinforces what I think, so if something is about to come out of my mouth that doesn’t serve my purpose, I should simply keep my mouth shut.”

It does you no good to put yourself down or to compare yourself to others when you don’t feel like you’re doing well. When you feel frustrated with yourself, pause  for a moment and remember that there’s no such thing as perfection – but there is progress. Progress is the most important. Remind yourself that you are better than you were a month ago and you will be better a month from now. But the interim is a time of inevitable frustration, don’t let that get to you. Instead of telling yourself that you’re weak and you’ll never reach your goal, tell yourself that you are stronger than you ever have been and you are going to crush this goal into oblivion! Another mantra that we like to use here at The Academy is “I CAN, I WILL.” Say this to yourself before  and after every workout – you’d be surprised at the power of a positive mental attitude.


That’s all for now team. Stay tuned for more posts about training, nutrition, recipes, and student spotlights.


Keep on keepin’ strong,

Coach Colleen

Coach’s Corner: Accountability

SitUpsHey Team! How is your goal setting coming along? Have you achieved your daily, weekly and/or monthly goals? If you’re having a hard time following through, here are some helpful tips to stay accountable.

Find a training partner. Having a
training partner is a critical component to achieving your goals. It’s best if your training partner is someone in your class, someone who has been training about the same time as you, and has similar goals. Exchange numbers so that you can talk to each other throughout the week about coming to class and to schedule times to train in the fitness center together. If you’re really serious, you could organize a “meet up group” of team mates from your class to get together on weekends to go running or biking.

2. Keep a training journal. If you read last months issue you’ll remember that it’s important to write down your goals. Starting a training journal is a great place to not only write down goals, but to keep track of your progress. Make a habit of writing in your training journal after every class you take or every workout you do. Write about what you learned, what you did, where you see progress, what you would like to improve, and what you are going to do to make those improvements.
3. Share and your fitness and nutrition goals with your spouse, best friend, and/or significant other. Share your goals with the people who you spend the most time with you. Talk with them about ways that they can motivate and encourage you during your training. This can be as simple as not buying certain foods while grocery shopping, or encouraging you to go to class when you‘d rather sit on the couch. The more people you share your goals with, the more accountable you’ll feel. 

4. Share your goals with your coach. It is very important to us that you achieve the goals you set while training at The Academy. As coaches, we are here to give you the best training experience as possible on and off the mat. If you have a goal in mind but don’t know what action steps to take, come talk to us, or if you’re currently working on a goal let us know- we’re here to help you!
Give yourself an incentive. If you
achieve your goal in the time that you said you would, treat yourself to something special such as a new pair of running shoes or a set of nice sparring gloves. Sometimes the benefits of being healthier and more fit is just not enough to get us off the couch when we should be going to class or working out.

These are just suggestions. Some of these may work better than others. Experiment to find out what works best for you. Remember, when in doubt, talk to your coach – we’re here to help you succeed!


Coach’s Corner: GOAL SETTING

Summer is finally here and it’s time to start setting your summer training goals! Goal setting is a critical component to training well and requires careful thought and organization. Below is a formula you can use to start setting your goals TODAY:womens_kickboxing_MN


  1. Clearly define your goal. If it involves losing weight, give an amount you want to lose. If it involves promotion, give the belt color you want to get. “I want to lose 20 pounds.”OR “I want to get promoted to my next rank which is Green belt.”
  2. Set a definite date by when you will achieve your goal.
    1. Today is (date) and in 3 months, on (mm/dd/yyyy) I will have…. (lost 20 lbs, been promoted to my next rank, etc.)
  3. Explain how you plan on achieve your goal. This is your ACTION PLAN. The more specific you are the better!
    1. “I will get promoted to my next rank by attending each of my scheduled classes every week and by attending open mat twice of month to practice my shadow boxing.”
    2. “I will lose 20 pounds by attending each of my scheduled classes every week and by using the fitness center twice a week.” Be sure to include important dietary changes you will implement to accompany your workouts (not eating fast food, cutting back on soft drinks, eating more salad and veggies, less processed foods, etc).  
  4. Write or type out your goals and place them where you will see them regularly. Good places are on your bathroom mirror, next to your bed, on the dashboard in your car, at your desk, on your computer monitor, etc. Seeing your goal daily and repetitively will help you stay focused on what you have promised yourself you would do, how you plan to do, and by when you will do it by.
  5. Recite your goal out loud every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep. Turn your goal into a healthy obsession. By always keeping your goal on your mind you are less likely to get distracted and more likely to follow through on your plan.
  6. Keep a journal of your progress. Every time you come to class – note improvements that you’ve made, or areas you want to improve. This is where you can keep track of mini goals: “Today in class I did 15 pushups, by next week this time I want to do 20 pushups. I will prepare for this by doing pushups at night before I go to bed starting with 10 pushups on the first night. Each night after that I will add one more pushup until I get to 20 pushups.”


This is just one of many ways to set a goal. If you have any questions about goal setting, talk to your coaches! We are here to help you become better and we want you to succeed.