From time to time we will be including articles on fitness and nutrition from the fabulous Nikki, a top personal trainer in the tri-state and regular visitor to Glamour Boutique NJ. Most of us have at least one thing in our physical makeup we wish to change, whether it be a thinner waistline to help achieve a more natural hourglass figure or even a more pert booty. Whilst body shaping garments of course help, you will always see faster and longer-lasting results when combining also sensible diet and regular exercise.
We feel very honored to have contributions from a top fitness professional who happens to be a T-girl and so knows what our readers specifically need when it comes to body shape and toning. Nikki herself is in fabulous shape and so we know what she says works since we have seen the results.
Nikki’s fitness and diet tips
“Hello out there in Cyberland! My name is Nicole and aside from being a TG TV girl, I am an accomplished athletic and personal trainer and group fitness instructor who knows the battle you ladies fight to be more feminine every day!
I am here to help. From time to time we will tackle the subjects of health, fitness or should we say body-shaping training and nutrition.
For most, summer is a great season after the long hard winter but to some of you, it’s not so great because it means a lot fewer clothes and more exposed skin. I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be a stress for you because in just a few short weeks if you follow my routines and stay committed you could lose as much as 20 lbs in just 8 short weeks. Interested now?
Let’s get started with our no 1 problem area, the stomach.
First, you need to understand that whether you wear a girdle, a cincher, or the steel-boned corset for occasional-wear or long-term waist training, you will always see better long-term results when combined with the correct diet and regular exercise.
The top 5 ways to reduce your stomach and waist
- First don’t eat fried food at all your BBQ’s and avoid fattening hot dogs. Choose salads as your sides and watch portion sizes as it’s easy to overdo it at a BBQ.
- Do not do weighted abs work of any kind as it will increase the size of your waist by building bigger muscles under your layer of fat and push your stomach out further.
- If you’re a regular fancy coffee drinker, try cutting out 1 Starbucks or Dunkin Iced Latte a Day and you could lose as much as 10 pounds in a month by making a small change. Always select low-fat milk and add your own sugar to coffee; a Dunkin regular is 3-4 heaping spoons in a medium cup!
- Download a Walking or Step app like MyFitnessPal or Walking Mate and Get Stepping! Doing your 10,000 steps a day leads to pounds lost per week and keeps you on track with your eating too 🙂
- Finally, one of the most important ways to help slim your waist is… exercise. Yes, exercise, or more specifically cardio. Incorporate 30 min a day of cardio into your daily routine – this could be walking, running, the elliptical, housework, gardening, whatever gets your heart rate going. Aim for a minimum of 4 days a week.
Healthy Snack Recipe – Peanut Butter Balls
These are a great power ball snack and will keep you going for hours when you feel the nibbles coming on. These power balls are amazing to have for breakfast or as a snack especially if you are in a hurry, and need just something you can grab and go. I also found out that you can use them as a gift (if you give them a nice wrap) or even a bribe.
You will need:
- 1 cup of oats,
- Ground the oats into an oatmeal/oatflower,
- Mix the oatmeal with 2 cups of almond meal.
- Add 3 full teaspoons of baking powder.
- Mix it well and add about 4 tblsp of honey.
- Add 4 table spoons of coconut oil – you can melt it in a pot before you pour it into the bowl so that it’s easier to mix it in.
- Cook 1 cup of carrots until they turn soft and mash them just like you would mash potatoes. You can also use a food processor.
- Add the mashed carrots into the mixture in the bowl and mix it all well together to create a dough for the balls. The dough should be moist and little bit sticky – if you find it too soft you can always add little more almond meal. The amount of dough you need for one ball depends on how big you want them to be. I made about 28 balls.
- You can use crushed almonds or finely crushed pecans (both are delicious)
- Roll the ball in crushed nuts to cover the entire surface.
- Just place the balls in a non stick baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes on 350F.
P.S. The balls will be very tender when you take them out of the oven so don’t touch them. Let them cool down for 10 – 15 minutes and then put the entire sheet with all of your balls into the fridge. They will then become more solid and won’t fall apart when you bite them. Enjoy, let me know what you think and send me your favorite healthy snacks too.
Exercise Idea #1 – Lunges
I have chosen a great exercise to start off our new series together – it is for the most valuable assets we have – our booty or better known as our butt. The exercise is the lunge, and the reason I have chosen it is it’s great for shaping and toning all the angles of our butt, especially in the C curve which gives it the round shape.
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step forward longer than a walking stride so one leg is ahead of your torso and the other is behind. Your foot should land flat and remain flat while it’s on the ground. Your rear heel will rise off of the ground.
- Bend your knees to approximately 90 degrees as you lower yourself. Remember to keep your trunk upright and core engaged.
- Then, forcefully push off from your front leg to return to the starting position. For more in-depth information on the benefits of lunges, visit healthline.com
Exercise Idea #2 – Thigh and Butt Toner
Tone and trim the back of the thighs and your butt with this easy exercise that you can do lying on your back – no I’m not joking!
Remember to warm up and gently stretch for at least 15 minutes before you attempt any of these exercises. Now you are stretched we’re ready to go:
- Lie on the floor with your left leg straight but the right leg bent with the knee facing upwards but both legs being parallel
- Slowly raise the straight left leg and at the same time raise your butt off the floor so that the left knee is eventually parallel to the right knee with the lower left leg continuing in a straight line towards the ceiling
- Now gently lower the left leg and butt – do not let it touch the floor
- To begin with repeat this movement 10 times working up to 20 reps a side
- Change sides so that the right leg is now straight and the left leg is now bent with the knee facing upwards
- Repeat for this side again for 10 reps working up to 20 over time
Remember again after you have exercised to stretch and warm down for at least 15 minutes more at the end of your exercise session – this is particularly important if you are coming back to exercise after a lay-off.
Healthy Treat Recipe – Pumpkin Pie
Nikki doesn’t believe in starving yourself to death as part of your overall health plan. A sensible diet combined with regular fun exercise will bring lasting results and not extreme dieting and hardcore muscle building. Nikki even allows us to indulge the time of the year with her healthy pumpkin pie recipe which is actually chock-full of good nutritional foods that also taste delicious.
Serves 8 – 10
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cup graham flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 75g crushed pecans
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp liquid honey
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp allspice
For the filling
- 3 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup 1% fat cottage cheese
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup egg whites (or 4 egg whites)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp each: allspice, ginger, freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the crumble (do NOT leave that out… it just adds so much to the pie)
- 30g crushed pecans
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp raisins, chopped
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
How To Make My Healthy Pumpkin Pie
For the crust
Preheat the oven to 375F. Add all the ingredients to the food processor and process until well combined. Transfer to a removable bottom deep pie dish and press to the bottom and sides of the pan to form a crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside. Lower oven temperature to 350F.
For the filling
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Transfer to the reserved pie crust. Bake in 350F oven for 50-55 minutes, until filling is set. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Allow pie to cool for a couple of hours, then take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before transferring to the refrigerator, where you will leave it to cool for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
For the crumble
Preheat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the oats, pecans, salt, and cinnamon and toast until fragrant and the oats start to turn brown. Add raisins and maple syrup. Stir until well combined. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Remember I am here to answer any and all of your questions concerning health, nutrition, and fitness day and night. Just shoot me an email to [email protected] and type in the Subject Line “For Nikki” and I will respond as soon as possible.
Until next time ladies, ‘Live with Passion and Health’, kisses, Nikki”