Summer Survival Guide – Part 2

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Hey there!

As promised, I’m back with part 2 of my LEAN Life Summer Survival Guide! Like I said in Part 1, “survival” might be a bit dramatic, but it does make for a good post title, no?

As you know, LEAN stands for Lifestyle of Efficient Exercise and Automated Nutrition, and in this post I want to share with you a couple of my favorite summer recipes and vacation workouts.

Let’s go with food first. I’m a creature of habit. I’m not a fan of elaborate recipes or making things with a ton of ingredients. In fact a lot of my diet is automated (hence the “A-N” in LEAN) – meaning that I take the guesswork out of decision making by keeping my choices pretty simple and consistent. I have no problem eating the exact same thing for breakfast day in and day out and rotating through a few options for lunch and dinner. However, when the weather warms up, we do tend to grill a bit more and change up the sides.

One of our go-to’s is this turkey burger recipe.

goat cheese tb

They are seriously SO delicious. My husband always doctors them up with different spices or adds something else like sun dried tomatoes, but they are just as good as is and are also great as leftovers – and I am NOT a fan of most leftovers.

Here’s another scrumptious recipe, and although it may not be a “summer” recipe, it was too good not to share. My  long time client and friend, Daniella (who is a vegetarian) shared this recipe on our coaching page. I added ground chicken and cheese and it was a huge hit!


In the mix:

1 bag of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Rice

1 can of black beans

1 jar of salsa

Diced Chilis


Enjoy 🙂


Ok, let’s move on to workouts.

Let me just start by saying that in years past I used to completely stress myself out about getting my workouts in on vacation. I would force myself to wake up around 5:30 or 6 to go for a long run or bike ride, not because I wanted to, but because I thought I had to or else I would gain weight. Plus, I thought I should try to “work off” all the food and booze I was consuming.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that those long distance, stress inducing workouts were most likely doing me more harm than good because I was not only losing sleep, I was doing things that would increase my hunger and cravings for the rest of the day. For someone who was trying to count every calorie, this became very challenging. Exercise more, increased cravings, eat more, feel guilty for eating more, want to exercise EVEN more…etc. etc..

My mindset towards diet and exercise has completely shifted over the past 5.5 years or so. I no longer look at exercise as a way to “work off” what I eat, as something I have to do to maintain my current weight, or even as a tool for weight loss. I exercise because I feel better when I do so, both physically and mentally.

Exercising EFFICIENTLY (the “E” in LEAN) is super important to me now more than ever. I don’t have the same amount of time I used to have to spend training, hell, I don’t even belong to a gym because I don’t want to waste the time driving there! But honestly, even if I did have the time, I wouldn’t want to spend it training. I’m ALL about the minimum effective dose when it comes to finding what works, and for me that has been shorter, but more intense workouts.

I don’t particularly love working out, but I do love the way it makes me feel and for that reason I make it a point to do SOMETHING while on vacation, even if it’s just going for a few long walks or playing things like frisbee, soccer, or basketball with the boys.

In addition to running around like a lunatic with the boys and my husband, I’ll usually either bring dumbbells or kettlebells or do a quick, but intense body weight circuit or some sprints. Here’s an example:

Squat Jumps x 10

Hand release pushups x 10

Hip Lifts x10 (If I can’t find something to put my feet up on, I’ll switch to single leg)

Mountain Climbers x 30

Burpees x 10

Superman x 10

Shoulder Taps x 10ea

Sprint (20 yards or so) down back down back x 4

Repeat 4x resting as needed

I try to balance out the pushes to pulls and knee dominant, hip dominant moves as best I can, but really it’s all about moving. You can do it with a friend in an “I go, you go” format or put your timer on for :30 and see who can get the most reps in. Have fun with it!

Lastly, the word “summer’ elicits feelings of rest and relaxation.  Laying by the pool, napping during the day, barbecues and beers, bonfires and burgers.  And while these things are important, using them as an excuse to eat like crap and be idle all day are not.  Have you said any of these before?

“The kids are out of school and it’s so much harder for me to get my workouts in”

“I always struggle in the summer”

“I’m on vacation” “It’s summer” “It’s nice out” “It’s Friday” “I deserve it”

I’ve said them all. I can rationalize just about anything 🙂 but what I’ve found is that when I do have specific goals in mind – all of these things kept me from reaching those goals.  And try this quote next time your in a battle with summertime and your well-being…


Continually telling myself over and over again that “I struggle in the summer” is probably not going to help me to NOT struggle in the summer….I can choose to struggle like I have in the past, or eliminate the excuses and find success no matter what the season.

It’s summer, yes. It’s a great season, but there will always be something. It’s summer, then it’s fall – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Holidays etc…it’s a trap.

You don’t have to be perfect to get results – with ANY goal, you just have to work on doing your best and being consistent.

Last tip:


Don’t use the sunscreen left in your beach bag from last summer. Seriously.

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