Monday, December 12, 2016

Seasonal Recipe | Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

-Olive oil cooking spray
-2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
-3/4 tsp sea salt
-Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
-1 cup jarred or vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Add Brussels sprouts, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, spread evenly on sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once.
Remove from oven, add chestnuts and toss to distribute evenly throughout. Return to oven and bake until Brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrients per 3/4-cup serving: Calories: 125, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 20 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 4 g, Sodium: 209 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Don’t take our word for it…

“The 12 changes lives. It's a cliché thing to say, but it's not cliché when it's true.
We live in an age of conflicting information, and when it comes to health and fitness you can find advice to support almost any diet or fitness theory. The 12 offers a solution to this barrage of over-information, and provides a clear, simple, and massively effective strategy to increase your total well-being. The facility and the trainers are world class individuals, who genuinely care about each and every person who walks in the door. I have never experienced such dedication, attention to detail, and support as I have at the 12. It's way more than just a gym, or a fad diet. It's a collaborative community of dedicated professionals striving to help others achieve the best version of themselves. For every individual that picture looks different, but regardless of age, size, gender, or any other defining attribute, The 12 welcomes everyone with open arms.

When I started working out at The 12 I had very little nutritional knowledge or discipline. I had no idea how to read a food label properly, or how to fuel my system for optimal performance. Over the course of the 12 Week Fitness Challenge I gained a perspective and understanding of nutrition from Josh and Nikki that is worth its weight in gold. I will never think of food in the same way for the rest of my life. I truly understand the saying "you are what you eat," and have an appreciation for how the simple recipe of diet, exercise, and rest is the foundation for good, healthy living. Over 12 weeks I lost 26 pounds of fat and gained 7 pounds of muscle. That feels incredible! I am in the best shape of my life and it's 100% thanks to The 12!”- Mason W.

Dessert Rehab | Protein Peppermint Bark


-Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
-Place a layer of plastic wrap over a plate.
-Pour the mixture onto the plastic wrap in an even later (it doesn't have to be perfect).
-Top with 1/4 of a smashed candy cane (use a hammer) and 1/8 tsp of red and green edible sprinkles.
-Place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes or until hard.
-Break bark into pieces and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the freezer.

New Year, New You! | 60 Day Transformation Challenge

Begins January 16th, 2017 | WIN Cash Prizes
Commit: New Year’s Resolution to get into the best shape of your life!
Register: December 1st- January 9th, $100 Registration Fee
Details: Challenger with the best transformation based on public vote will win.
Connect: Create your own online profile with progress pics, daily workouts, meal plans and engage your friends, family and community to follow & support you.
Engage: Gain votes by sharing your “Progress Story” to the public.

Grand Prize: WINS 70% of the total purse collected.
1st Runner-up: WINS 10% of the total purse collected.
2nd Runner-up: WINS 5% of the total purse collected.
***300 Entries = $30,000 Total Purse Collected
Grand Prize Winner = $21,000 | The more people that sign up, the more money you could win!

*The total purse collected will be the sum of all registration fees collected per participant. The winners will be determined based on the online voting rankings. Must be an active 12Member to participate in Challenge either through Club or Group Membership.
Looking to fast track your results and develop the RIGHT nutrition habits to FUEL YOUR BODY and work towards YOUR individual Goals?
Schedule YOUR Complimentary Afterburn Nutrition Consultation Today.

You Asked | How to Navigate the Holiday Festivities

The holidays can be a crazy time but they don’t have to totally take control over you!
Here a few quick tips that can help you stay on track these next few weeks:

1.Track your food. This is the BEST time to hold yourself accountable. Use a simple app like My Fitness Pal. Sometimes just the thought of having to track what you ate (or plan on eating) is enough to make you think twice about your choices.

2. Never arrive to a party hungry. Don’t “save your calories” for the big party. You will most likely just end up eating more. You can eat lighter but don’t starve yourself.

3.Clear your home of unhealthy snacks and fill them with healthy ones. You will be tempted enough with the holiday parties and festivities. Let’s not make your home a place of temptation too!

4. Stay hydrated! Many have heard this before. Most people mistake hunger for thirst.  Aim to get in at least 64 ounces of water a day. You will need more if you are active (a gallon is best).

5. Watch your sugar intake. This is where tracking comes in handy. Apps like My Fitness Pal can show you how sugar you are eating.  Aim to stay between 40 and 50g (for most people this should be just fine).

6. Keep a glass in your hand at holiday parties. That sounds odd huh? The truth is if we have a glass of something in our hands (alcoholic or not) it keeps our hands busy. It prevents you from mindlessly snacking on foods just because they are there.

7. Have a healthy box of snacks available in your car. This is a BIG one. Grab some healthy snacks and a Tupperware container and keep it in your car. When you are holiday shopping you can grab some of these healthier food choices and put them in your purse---or even go to the car for a break. Either way if you have healthy options available to you—that Godiva chocolate at the checkout counter won’t be calling your name as much.
Here are a few ideas:
a. Small apples
b. Almonds/nuts (Trader Joe’s has small packs available)
c. Healthy protein bars. I like “Go Macro” bars. They have enough carbs in them to digest slowly and keep you energized.
d. Raw veggies. YES they do need to be refrigerated but you can throw in baby carrots and hummus the day of and they will be just fine. You can also grab single serving hummus packs for dipping.

If you can keep these tips in mind for the remainder of the holiday season not only will you keep your waistline in check but you may find that your stress levels drop off a bit as well! Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2016

How to Prepare for Thanksgiving | …and still stay on track with your nutrition!

Here are some things you can do the week before Thanksgiving that will allow you to enjoy your holiday and still stay on track with your fitness goals.

1. Plan your schedule. Take a look at the calendar and make a mental note that you will need to adjust your diet just a bit exactly one week before Thanksgiving.

2. Make adjustments to your carbs:
a.We slowly want to decrease your carbs leading up to Thanksgiving but not so much that you feel lethargic.
b.7 days out from the big day eliminate the following carbs:
     i.      Crackers, cookies, candy, pastries, pretzels, chips, and any other boxed carb.
     ii.      Have no more than 2 servings of fruit a day
     iii.      Save your healthy starchy carbs and grains for earlier in the day (not at dinner). This includes potatoes, rice, quinoa, oatmeal to name a few.
c.The Tuesday before Thanksgiving only have ONE serving of starchy carbs or grains in your day. You can have unlimited vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc). If you workout use your single starch or grain for your pre-workout meal so you still have energy.
d.The day before Thanksgiving drop your fruit to just one serving. If you are working out keep your one starch or grain in your diet as a pre-workout. If you are not working out eliminate all starches and grains for this day. But all other veggies are great! You can eat them in unlimited amounts!

3. DO NOT eliminate your fat!
a.Because you are decreasing the heartier more filling carbs from your diet this week you want to make sure that you have a healthy fat at every meal. Nuts, avocado, olive oil, nut butters along with fatties protein sources like salmon are great.
b.Saturated fats like coconut oil and cultured butter are ok but avoid fatty cuts of red meat and other processed meats like sausage and salami.

4. Keep your Protein intake high
a.This one is easy! Have protein at every meal and stick to leaner sources like fish, turkey and chicken. Salmon although fattier is also ok.

5. Avoid alcohol the whole week leading up to Thanksgiving. 
a.Alcohol metabolizes like a fat. If you enjoy beverages such as wine or beer---you now have extra carbs that you are consuming too. The whole point of this week is to slowly reduce your carbs. When you drink your liver will first try to filter the alcohol out of your system before it breaks down anything else. This slows down your body’s ability to use the food you eat as energy. Instead you are likely to store what you ate as fat until your body can filter out the toxic alcohol. Save the drinks for the holiday!

a.Ideally you get up and have a great workout here at The 12 and go home to enjoy your family. Allow yourself to cheat on this day. You have used the whole week to prepare for this day so enjoy it.

7. Get up on Friday and workout! 
a.Take advantage of the extra carbs that you ate and use that energy in the gym. Explode is the PERFECT class to use those extra carbs!

Dessert Rehab | Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Bread

                    Two Double Chocolate Chunk or Chocolate Brownie Quest Bar
                    1 cup GF Oat Flour
                    1 cup GF Rolled Oats
                    1 cup Pumpkin
                    1.5 very ripe medium Bananas
                    ¼ cup Sugar Free Honey
                    ¼ cup baking stevia (or other desired sugar)
                    3 tablespoon Coconut Oil
                    2 eggs (or 1 cup egg white)
                    1 tablespoon Cinnamon
                    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
                    ½ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or cloves, ginger, and nutmeg)
                    ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
                    2 teaspoon Baking Powder
                    ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda

·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
·         Blend pumpkin and bananas together until smooth
·         Pour into bowl and add all other wet ingredients
·         In separate smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients
·         Pour dry into wet ingredients, and stir until thoroughly combined
·         Pour into small bread loaf pan and mini muffin trays (or make just 1 medium bread loaf)
·         Bake bread in oven first for about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
·         Bake mini muffins for about 10 minutes.

Macros per slice (makes 8):

Calories: 195. Protein: 12g. Net Carbs: 8g. Fat: 7g.

Don't Take Our Word For It...

“I have had the privilege of working with Nikki Boyd for the past three months. Nikki came highly recommended by a friend who had great success in achieving her fitness goals with Afterburn Nutrition at The 12. I am a clinical psychologist with years of training and experience in the area of eating and weight related disorders.  I have also personally had numerous counselors and trainers over the past 20 years since I had my own struggle with losing and maintaining weight. I have tried weight watchers, nutrisystem, Jenny Craig and Lindora for weight loss. Each program put me on a diet and I did lose weight only to gain it all back and then some.

Nikki's approach has been radically different. From day one she focused on nutrition and teaching me what my body needed and why it needed what it did.  She was not focused on the weight but on changing my body composition. Each week I looked forward to our meetings which were filled with excellent lessons in nutrition and food composition. She didn't tell me what to eat, instead she helped me figure out why certain food were better for me. She has helped me totally change my relationship with food because now I finally UNDERSTAND what I need to eat to achieve my goals. Nikki has changed my life dramatically!!!

My 10 year old twins have even benefitted from my work with Nikki because I'm happier and they are eating healthier than ever! Nikki is the perfect model and spokesperson for health and nutrition. She is credible because she physically and intellectually personifies what she teaches.” –Leslie R.

Turkey Time! | Crave-Worthy Turkey Burger Recipe

1 pound lean ground turkey breast
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
Cooking spray
4 low-carb English muffins
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced

-Using your hands, mix the turkey, garlic, parsley and rosemary until just combined. Do not over mix.
-Divide into four equal portions and flatten each into one-inch thick patties.
-Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray and place patties in pan, in an even layer. Cook for six minutes, flip and cook for another six minutes.
-Slice open English muffins and spread mustard on half. Serve cooked patties in English muffins and top with lettuce, tomatoes and avocado.

Serves 4
Marcos Per Burger:

409 cal | 15 g fat (3 g sat) | 38 g carbs | 292 mg sodium | 13 g fiber | 5 g sugar | 36 g protein

Monday, November 7, 2016

Don't Take Our Word For It...

“Growing up I always struggled with my weight. I had bad habits of over-eating and over-snacking, especially right before bed.  By my junior year of high school I had hit 240lbs and knew I had to make a change. I tried little things here and there that took a little bit of the weight off but nothing really worked. I could not wrap my head around the idea that getting fit meant having to completely change my lifestyle and the way that I think about food. It wasn't until January 2014 when I attended my first class at The 12 that I started to make a big change. I weighed in then at 205lbs, began attending classes every day, and taking in all the advice I could get on nutrition. Fast forward four months and I had dropped from 30% body fat to 13.5%.

I will always attribute my success in fitness to the community that surrounded me with nothing but positive reinforcement and encouragement. At The 12, I found working out had become fun for the first time ever. Community is everything, you have to surround yourself with people who have similar goals, and individuals who are going to help and encourage you along the way. This aspect was probably the biggest lifestyle change I made- I owe so much to my fitfam who stood by me when I needed it the most.

Since my initial drop I have not only used the momentum to continue training hard day in and day out, building muscle and developing the aesthetics I want, but also to help motivate and inspire others to do the same. Now, as an NASM- Certified Personal Trainer and a specialist in Fitness Nutrition though ISSA, I’m following my newly discovered purpose- helping my clients and The 12 community get healthy, the right way, while developing the body of their dreams.” -Chad Buettner, 12Nation Member and Personal Trainer at The 12

November is Earn Free Workouts Month!

-Must tag either The12-Costa Mesa or The12-Irvine + LIKE Page-
10 Workouts W/Pic or Video tagging either location = 1 Free Afterburn Session
15 Workouts W/Pic or Video tagging either location = 2 Free Afterburn Sessions
20 Workouts W/Pic or Video tagging either location = 3 Free Afterburn Sessions
*Extra Sessions will be added to your Sessions Package
** If you have an Unlimited Package, we will extend your expiration day of your current package by the amount of sessions you earned.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Get the Facts! Snickers vs. Chicken Lunch

Snickers Bar: 250 calories | 4g of protein | 33g of carbs | 12g of fat | 27g of sugar
4 oz. Chicken lunch: ½ cup brown rice, ¼ avocado:
289 calories | 28g of protein | 26g of carbs | 8g of fat | 0g of sugar

Take a look how similar the calories are.  Calories are determined by the amount of Protein; Carbohydrates & Fats are in a meal.  Most people JUST count calories and based on that method, the snickers bar would appear very similar to this meal!  Food is FUEL!  Say that again…. FOOD IS FUEL!

What we eat our body will use for FUEL, IF given the right fuel source our body will perform at its peak!  You either put high octane fuel in your body and you get maximum performance or you put CRAP in your tank and your sluggishly get through your days while storing massive amounts of body fat.

Yet with Halloween ending and the holiday seasoning coming, many of us will grab the snickers bar because it is easier. The snickers bar will be a quick fix and looks oh so tempting.  But we all know the sugar hangover and crappy feeling we endure for the next month.  Feeling as if we have to sit in confession saying “Forgive me father for I shoved 3 Snicker bars in my pie hole today!”.  Take 10 Straight Afterburn Classes and do 50 Burpees every day and you are forgiven!”

The chicken lunch will keep you full and energized for about 3 hours…. allowing you to be incredibly more efficient with your time while you are doing your holiday shopping. Did you know that something as simple as a balanced lunch can reduce your stress levels significantly throughout the day? What does that mean for YOU…less impulsive eating, better moods, better SLEEP, and better overall decision on EVERY front (especially food) as the holidays approach. This year take this time before the holidays start to learn about the foods that will not only help your waistline but your overall well-being as well. No—you don’t have to give everything up---after all it IS the holiday season. But you can learn BALANCE and how to avoid the stress eating that inevitably comes with this time of year.

Schedule your complimentary Afterburn Nutrition Consultation by emailing

Caffeine FIX | Vanilla Latte

1 1⁄2 cups cold water
1 packet (about 2g) instant dark-roast coffee
1⁄2 scoop plus 1⁄ 2 scoop Quest® Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder
1 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon zero calorie sweetener
3⁄4 cup coconut-almond milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together the cold water and coffee packet.
Add 1⁄2 scoop of the Quest® Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder and 1 teaspoon of the zero calorie sweetener, and whisk well.
Pour into a small pot over low-medium flame. Do not boil, simply heat while whisking.
Pour into a mug.
Take coconut-almond milk, vanilla extract, the remaining Quest® Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder, and the remaining zero calorie sweetener, and whisk to combine. Pour into the saucepan and heat on low-medium.
Pour 3⁄4(about 1⁄2 a cup) of the just-heated milk mixture over the coffee.
Froth the remaining milk mixture with a milk frother (or shake vigorously in a mason jar). Spoon on top of the latte, and serve.

150 Calories | 23g Protein | 1g Fat | 4g Net Carbs

Don't Take Our Word For It...

“Being fit has always been a part of my life, except it was never a consistent thing. I would do it for a while, see some results, but not enough to continue so I would give up. A year or two would go by and I would go at it again- this went on year after year. So I kinda gave up on being fit and was smoking and drinking a lot. Five months ago I weighed 208 with 22% body fat so I decided it was time to get serious about me - I wanted to make a change no matter what it took to be the best I could be.

So, I quit drinking and smoking, and I had a friend over that knew I wanted to get in shape but knew I wasn't sure where to go. She invited me to join her on a Saturday at The 12 so I did…that Saturday morning class changed my life forever…thank you Jamie Bates! I was hooked-going every day working out like a mad man on a mission, getting results but once again wasn’t where I wanted to be.

After about 3 months of eating what I thought was healthy, a friend of mine told me she was going to meet with Nikki for a complimentary Nutritional Coaching consultation. I really wanted to go as well, and Nikki allowed us to go at the same time. That was another turning point for me and one of the best decisions I had ever made. Nikki became my Nutritional Coach, and educated me on how to eat for my specific body type and goals. I can honestly say that was the missing link. No matter what I had tried before, I was never able to hit the fitness goals I had for myself.

Today, I weigh 190 with 9.9% body fat and I feel the best I have ever felt. Like one of my trainers said… being fit is idolized because it's something you can't buy and nobody can give it to you, you have to want it bad enough to work through the blood, sweat and tears!” –Jesse Meinke

Dessert Rehab | Pumpkin Chocolate Pie

Makes 2 Mini Pies (2 servings)
Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  12 mins
Total time:  17 mins

1 Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar
⅓ cup cooked pumpkin (82g)
3 tablespoons whey protein powder (17g)
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (1.2ml)
1 teaspoon melted raw chocolate to drizzle on top (optional, not included in macros).

Preheat oven to 325F.
Cut the Quest Bar in half, and place each piece in a large silicone muffin cup.
Bake for about 6 minutes, until they puff up.
Meanwhile, mix the pumpkin, whey, and spice to make the pumpkin filling.
Remove muffin cups from the oven, and let cool a minute.
Press the Quest pieces into the cups, letting the sides come up higher than the centers.
Bake for about 6 minutes more. They may puff up a bit; that’s ok. Just press them down again.
Let crusts cool a few minutes, then remove from silicone and fill with pumpkin filling.
Drizzle with raw chocolate, if desired.
Enjoy! And store in the refrigerator.

Macros Per Serving (makes two):
Calories: 164. Protein: 17g. Fat: 3g. Net Carbs: 8g. Fiber: 9g.

Beware of the Salty Six!

The primary source of sodium in someone’s diet is typically from processed foods and restaurant meals.

Dining out or grabbing something on the go? Beware of the salty six!
-Breads and rolls
-Cold cuts and cured meats

NOTE these HIDDEN SOURCES of Sodium:
-Cheeses and buttermilk
-Salted snacks, nuts, and seeds
-Frozen dinners and snack foods
-Condiments (mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise)
-Pickles and olives
-Seasoned salts like onion, garlic, and celery salts
-Sauces such as BBQ, soy, steak, and Worcestershire

A Few Examples of High Sodium Foods:
Cheesecake Factory Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad: 2150mg of sodium (1150 calories)
Subway Italian Sub Sandwich: 3200mg

Monday, October 17, 2016

Don't Take Our Word For It...

Team 12 is excited to announce 12Nation member Krista Jensen has joined our team of Member Services Coordinators! She has been a dedicated member of our community for quite some time and has worked hard towards her goals. Read her story…

“This past weekend was the end of my 12 Week Challenge, and the beginning of the rest of my lifelong journey. I truly am so unbelievably happy that I decided to embark on this journey, I have learned so much about health in general and about myself. I can honestly say it has changed my life in the very best way possible. I went into this at 33.2% BF and came out at 24.9%.... THAT’S A 25% LOSS... In 12 WEEKS! It amazes me what you can accomplish if you truly try and believe in yourself and your coaches!

I've been going to The 12 for over a year now and can't believe I waited this long to do this. I knew I needed help with my nutrition when I was working out 5-7 days a week and was not seeing results. So When I finally signed up for the Challenge I was nervous but knew it would be amazing, and coupling that with the Afterburn Nutrition Program has changed my life in so many ways!

Just like so many people I thought I knew the "healthy" way to eat, boy was I wrong!! My first meeting with Nikki Boyd, Director of the Afterburn Nutrition Program, was the true start to my new mindset on health and fitness. In that first meeting we got to talk about my nutrition goals that I was looking to meet during this journey together and not only was I taught what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat... But I was taught WHY!! That's huge! I think that's one of the reasons this is such an amazing and successful program. You don't just meet with your coach and blindly eat what your told...they help you understand what your body NEEDS in order to FUEL you!! You learn that "FOOD IS FUEL"!

I met with Nikki every other week and in each meeting we had the opportunity to not only go over my food and adjust what needed to be adjusted (depending on plateaus or the way my body was responding), but we also had the opportunity to delve into the importance of my nutrition piece by piece. Each meeting you had the chance to fill your mind with life changing knowledge about nutrition as a whole and YOUR body! You come out with a new understanding and a new appreciation for food and how your body works! Our last meeting was the most important of all, it was the meeting that we had the opportunity to discuss where I go from here, and how to maintain my new found healthy lifestyle. That was huge for me, I didn't feel like I was left out in the cold now that the program was over...I felt like I could not only do this on my own, but succeed at it thanks to this amazing program!

My journey may be over with Nikki but that doesn't by any means that I'm done. I have a specific goal that I am looking to meet and now thanks to the nutritional coaching, I have the means and knowledge to get there! So to say that The 12's Afterburn Nutritional Program is worth it is an understatement. THIS PROGRAM IS TRULY LIFE-CHANGING and I cannot wait for this next chapter in my life!” –Krista J.

#12HB #WeTakinOver

You May Have Heard…But It’s OFFICIAL!
The 12 will be opening its third location in Huntington Beach in January 2017.
Your results-driven success has allowed us to open another location to serve more members and help positively impact more lives!
THANK YOU 12Nation for your relentless commitment to yourself, your health and your future.
We are honored to serve you and excited to bring the heat to #12HB
Stay tuned for special offers and exciting events as we draw closer to the Grand Opening. 

***Bye Bye UFC, Hello The 12!

#12HB #WeTakinOver

You May Have Heard…But It’s OFFICIAL!
The 12 will be opening its third location in Huntington Beach in January 2017.
Your results-driven success has allowed us to open another location to serve more members and help positively impact more lives!
THANK YOU 12Nation for your relentless commitment to yourself, your health and your future.
We are honored to serve you and excited to bring the heat to #12HB
Stay tuned for special offers and exciting events as we draw closer to the Grand Opening. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Liven up your food prep | Try this fresh take on a Kale and Cabbage Salad...

2 cups kale
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
2 cups red cabbage, roughly chopped
1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup almonds
1 to 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
For the dressing:
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup lemon juice (or juice of two lemons)
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey (or maple syrup)
¼ tsp. sea salt

-Using a food processor, process all the veggies up to the parsley until finely chopped and mix together in a large bowl. This may take a few batches.
-Add almonds to the food processor and pulse, until roughly chopped, and mix in with the salad along with the sunflower seeds.
-In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over top of the salad OR place in a jar and use as needed. Enjoy!


Serving Size: 1½ cups • Calories: 175 • Fat: 11.8 g • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g • Carbs: 15.4 g • Fiber: 4.7 g • Protein: 5.3 g • Sugar: 5.6 g

Don’t take our word for it…

“I'll start with this, I thought I knew more than most about fitness/weight  training.  After all, I was a personal trainer for a few years and I've been in martial arts since I was a child (I still am a martial longer a child).  For many years (after age 40) I've walked around at about 200 pounds and 12.5% body fat which is pretty respectable, considering I'm 6' tall. I looked healthy but....for many years  (since 2005) I've had issues with my stomach. ALMOST every time I would eat I would get extremely bloated, my nose would run, my eyes would water and I would get so tired that I would struggle to stay awake.  It didn't matter if I ate one almond or an entire pizza, I felt horrible.  I went to many doctors and they did every kind of test there is...and I mean EVERY INVASIVE TEST POSSIBLE, only to find that there was nothing medically wrong.

Eventually, as a last resort, I did a food allergy test. The test results showed that I was "allergic" to soy, dairy, caffeine, wheat and chocolate. So, basically I could enjoy a diet of water and air if I didn't want to "feel bad".   I thought then, as I do now, that their diagnosis was just them (doctors) casting a wide net because they really had no idea what was wrong. After eliminating all the foods they told me to eliminate and STILL having the same result, I gave up. There were no more tests, no more options. This is how I would have to live, and so I did for the last eleven years UNTIL 10 weeks ago, when I met Nikki Boyd.

After our initial meeting she assured me that she could help. She told me all of my problems were food-based which she could fix.  For the next week she had me track all of the food that I ate and then we discussed my eating habits on our next visit. We discovered two things on that visit. First, I was eating completely wrong. Even though I thought I was eating healthy it was the wrong combination of foods but mostly the wrong foods. Second, I wasn't eating nearly enough.

The "you’re not eating enough" comment made me a very nervous considering all my problems with food intake...i.e. bloating after one almond.  Again, she assured me by eating the proper foods and more of them, I would feel better, have no more problems AND as a side result "you will get more shredded that you’ve ever been in my entire life".  Nikki also made it very clear that if I didn't follow her plan, EXACTLY follow her plan, that it would be a waste of my time and my money.

Fortunately, I'm very good at following directions. So....I started my 8 week journey. The initial goal was to take me from 12.5% body fat down to 9.75% body fat in an eight week stretch. Nikki also shared with me that based on my body type, my exercise level and what appeared to be my willingness to follow directions, I WOULD have better results than the 9.75% body fat. She couldn't have been more right.

By week four, I was already down to 7% body fat.  By week eight, I was (and still am) at 5.2% body fat.  Since I meet Nikki, put my trust in Nikki and followed her plan, I am more shredded then I've ever  been!  I've had no problems with my stomach, no watery eyes and I don't have to blow my nose every time I eat. I feel amazing! I have more energy that I've ever had. If anyone says "I can never look the way I did in high school or college", tell them you have three words of advice - IT'S CALLED EFFORT. Put it in and you get results.  If that's too many words, give them these two - NIKKI BOYD

Thank you Nikki!   You have truly changed my life and my attitude about fitness and health.

No-Fuss Dinner Recipe | Lemony Chicken Kebabs with Tomato-Parsley Salad

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1. Combine 2 tablespoons juice, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken, and stir; marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, covered.
2. Remove chicken from bowl; discard marinade. Thread chicken onto 4 (10-inch) skewers. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add skewers; cook 6 minutes or until done, turning often.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, stirring well with a whisk. Add parsley and tomatoes; toss to coat. Serve chicken on top of salad.

Hey There Sleepy Head!

Did you know? Up until the 1950’s people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our lives. We now know that sleep is an active period where important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs.

There are several telltale signs of sleep deprivation including:
1. You’re Always Hungry

If the brain is not getting enough energy from sleep it will try to obtain it through food…most notably carbs (quickest energy source). Too much ghrelin due to lack of sleep causes the body to crave fatty sugary foods.

2. You’ve Gained Weight

Because of the imbalance of hormones (ghrelin and leptin) that come with sleep deprivation, willpower decreased when it comes to proper food choices. The brain subconsciously looks for foods that will quickly raise blood sugar and increase energy. Simple carbs (sweets or refined grains for example).

Without proper rest the metabolism starts to slow down over time as well. A study in 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that just 4 hours of sleep a night for 4 days straight can reduce fat cells’ ability to respond to insulin by 30%.

Congratulations! You have 92 days until you get to set ANOTHER New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

Wait…WHAT???!!! Yes, we are already talking about the end of the year. And if you haven’t noticed--so is Costco and many other retailers as they start bringing out the holiday decorations. 

Constant reminders that the end of the year is almost here!

For some this may spark excitement. YAY!! You love the holidays! But for others (like me) I think of everything I still want/NEED to accomplish before the end of the year. Not to mention Santa Claus is a reminder to me that I still have goals I need to accomplish. Some of those goals are centered around my health---and I would bet money that some of yours are too. Did you make your health a priority like you said you would last January? Or did you let it slide to the back burner allowing “life” to just overthrow your efforts? Only you know. But now you are at a crossroads. You can be like everyone else and just say you will “hit it hard” after the holidays. Or—you can hold yourself to a higher standard and get it together NOW. Few people choose the latter option because it’s harder. Who wants to “eat clean” with the holidays coming up? Newsflash….you don’t have to be PERFECT to lose weight during the holidays. I can teach you how. So---the choice is yours. Be like everyone else---or be the dark horse that perseveres no matter what season it is.

Schedule your complimentary Afterburn Nutrition Consultation by emailing

Friday, September 16, 2016

Don't Take Our Word For It...

Testimonial | Chris and Katie Pond

We first discovered The 12 in November of 2015. It only took about a week before we were hooked. We quickly realized that if we wanted to truly change our bodies to the degree we wanted, it was going to require a commitment to what we all refer to as “12 Life.”

Katie: Weight lifting always intimidated me. I didn’t know what exercises to do, what proper form looked like, or how weight lifting could help me achieve my fitness goals in a way that cardio alone could not. I will never forget the night that I left class and turned to Chris and said, “If I believed in myself half as much as these people do, I think I could do anything.” The trainers at The 12 have done so much more than simply teach me exercises and help me transform my body: they’ve challenged me to take on things that I never would on my own. This has helped me become stronger both mentally and emotionally, which has in turn encouraged me to tackle more difficult things outside of the gym as well.

Chris: Throughout my 20’s I had little focus on my health. When I would try to get in shape, I would go to the gym and spend an hour on an elliptical machine or lift on weight machines and I hated every minute of it. When Katie started teaching Turbo Kickboxing, I first discovered group fitness and finally found the team environment that was right for me. I enjoyed the cardio-centered workouts in the group setting and even added daily spin classes to the routine with the (mis)understanding that eating healthy and doing lots of cardio would make me look like an action figure. After a year of not getting the results I wanted, I started exploring different workouts and that is when I found my home at The 12. I’ve enjoyed seeing the transformation that has resulted and the things I’ve been able to achieve by committing to these workouts. In July of this year, I successfully climbed Mt. Rainier. I was so glad that The 12 helped me build my body in a way that allowed me to be successful not only in the gym, but also in a way that helps me live my life to the fullest outside of the gym as well.

Together: We’ve been incredibly blessed by our time at The 12: we’ve achieved goals, made new friends, and strengthened our marriage. The ability to work out with a community of like-minded individuals who welcome one another with open arms is something that sets The 12 apart, and something that brings us back time after time. To look over at one another during a workout to get that extra push that we need, to give and receive sweaty hugs and hi-fives, to welcome new members and show them the ropes, to exchange healthy recipes and tips, to sit after class and talk about what truly matters: life outside of the gym – this is 12 Life and we are so incredibly grateful to be a part of it.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ice Cream Sounds SO GOOD...

BUT- did you know?
A half-cup of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream has 270 calories and 18 grams of fat. Once you get to more decadent flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough, the calorie count goes up to 310 with 20 grams of fat. Yikes!

Consider these:
-Protein Ice Cream: Combine your favorite protein powder of choice, 1/2 cup mixed berries,one banana and skim milk or water- blend and pop in the freezer!
-Cinnamon Apples: Peel, core and slice two apples, sprinkle the wedges with cinnamon and microwave for 10 minutes. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt!

These tasty alternatives will satisfy that craving AND taste delish!

Protein Bar Boredom Buster | No Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars

1 cup oats, ground into a flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional: 2-3 Tbsp. chocolate chips for melting

-Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Set aside.
-In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine oat flour, quick oats, protein powder, and crispy rice cereal. Mix until well combined and set aside.
-In a small pan over medium heat, add almond butter and honey, stirring until the almond butter is melted and fully combined with the honey. Stir in vanilla extract.
-Remove from heat and pour into the dry mixture. Stir until everything is fully combined.
-Pour into prepared loaf pan. Using a spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.*
-Optional: place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, mixing between each. When chocolate is fully melted, drizzle over the top of the packed mix using a spoon.

-Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for ~30 minutes before cutting into bars.

Don't Take Our Word For It...

“As a college athlete I already had base level knowledge of nutrition and fitness that has kept me in reasonable shape throughout my post college days.  However, I always knew my body was capable of more and that is what inspired me to reach out to Nikki for a nutrition consultation at The 12.  I have always been skeptical of paying for a nutritionist as most plans you see advertised tend not to be very individualized.  Within 10 minutes of meeting with Nikki my skepticism had turned to extreme optimism that she could lead me to achieving my goals.  I signed up that day.

I started the program at 15% body fat with a goal of reaching 10% over the next 8 weeks.  She took her time when preparing my meal plans to meet the needs of MY body and also explained everything about why and what we eat in a clear manner that didn’t seem overwhelming.  What I loved about the program was how much I was able to eat and still drop fat steadily.  I was never hungry and my energy was balanced throughout the day which made staying on plan much easier.  The nutrition plan is great but I also attribute a lot of my success to Nikki’s enthusiasm and genuine investment in my transformation.  With someone that cares so much for you, you never want to let them down.  

At the end of the 8 weeks I am happy to say I reached my goal of 10% and am planning to push further into single digits using the knowledge I have obtained.  I would highly recommend this program to anyone that is serious about seeing results.” –Scott F.

Grill Grub | BBQ Meatballs with Garlic and Lime Avocado Sauce

Meatball Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. onion powder
Sauce Ingredients:
2-3 limes, juiced
1 tbsp. honey
1 small avocado
1 sprig cilantro, stems removed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt to taste

-In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients, kneading with your hands.
-Then mold the meatballs to about the size of a golfball. Place the meatballs on a hot grill and cook until they reach at least 165 F. on a meat thermometer.

-While the meatballs cook, combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. When the meatballs are done, serve them with sauce drizzled over the top or in a side dish for dipping.


Are you aware of what you are eating? We aren't talking about just what type of food it is, but rather- what is its nutritional breakdown?

Knowing what your food is made of and using that information to eat better is a huge step towards achieving your health and fitness goals. One of the best ways to do that is to begin tracking the macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fats; as well as total calories—that make up what you already eat.

This simple step doesn't commit you to anything. It doesn't mean your life from here on out will be a never-ending diet, or that you'll have to buy separate food scales for the home, car, and office.

All it means is that whatever you choose to do next, you'll do it from a position of knowledge, and that is always a good thing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Video Testimonial | Derek Graham, Co-Founder of The 12

The 12 Co-Founder Derek Graham shares his journey into health and wellness by revealing his personal challenges and his rock bottom moment that finally allowed him to break the cycle
and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

“I’m so grateful to be a part of a Movement that is changing lives. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing others achieve optimum health and wellness. I’m inspired daily by our amazing members and their commitment to themselves and each other.” –Derek Graham, CSO and Co-Founder of The 12 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Video Testimonial | Group Trainer Sarah Gillette #ShareYourStory

In 2010, she was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, PCOS, and Mild Insulin Resistance. After experiencing kidney failure and nearly losing her life, as well as riding the wave through many attempts at sobriety, Sarah embarked on her journey to finally being healthy in February 2013. She began living a Gluten free, sober, and active lifestyle, where she discovered her passion for life for the very first time. She started Community Beach Boot Camps in Huntington Beach and continued to elevate her involvement in the fitness world, eventually becoming an Indoor Cycling Instructor. Having overcome her own unique challenges, Sarah realized the impact she could have on other people’s lives by helping guide them on their own journeys to health and wellness. She was then inspired to complete courses on Fitness and Nutrition at Stratford Career Institute, which she did with honors. Sarah never had felt better spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or physically. She had lost a total of 50 lbs, adding on 20 lbs of lean muscle mass and remains focused daily on achieving new levels of optimum health and fitness for herself.

Sarah discovered The 12 in early 2015 and immediately knew this was where she wanted and needed to be. She began training every day for months and continued to see her physical and mental transformation evolve. Stubborn body melted right off and she was inspired by the connection of The 12’s community.

“My personal goal and commitment to The 12 and its community is to dedicate my heart and soul to each and every single person who chooses to train in our Afterburn Classes. Our members are not a number on a roster, but integral men and women who I look forward to pushing, inspiring, and supporting along their journey towards becoming the best versions of themselves.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The 12 Video | #ShareYourStory Weight Loss Journey

Behind every success is a story, often not as beautiful as the outcome, but beautiful because of the trials and tribulations that shaped its journey. Capturing a dynamic view of the broken road, rock bottom realization and path to wellness, The 12 has launched its #ShareYourStory series.

 “People don’t attain life lessons from constantly winning. Life lessons are learned though pain, trials and tribulations", said Co-Founder Josh Boyd.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

You Asked...

“How can I eat smart while still enjoying a night out?”

 Here’s our top 5 tips to help you navigate ( and still enjoy) that night out on the town!

1. Keep it simple. Choose grilled chicken, steamed fish and vegetables. The simpler the food, the more unprocessed it is.

2. Order sauces/dressings on the side. When ordering salads, avoid creamy dressings such as ranch, Caesar, and bleu cheese. Also, be wary of “light” salad dressings—sodium or sugar is often increased to make up for lost fat and flavor. Instead, go for oil-based dressings, such as balsamic vinaigrette or even a simple combination of oil and vinegar. Also, be wary of soups, because most are high in sodium.

3. Going out for Mexican Food? When it comes to tacos, fajitas, or quesadillas, choose corn tortillas whenever possible. Flour tortillas, (even whole wheat varieties) are higher in calories, fat, and sodium. Be careful with cheese, as the shredded variety can contain preservatives and artificial ingredients. Instead of cheese, look for health-conscious ways to add flavor. Top your meal with a small dollop of guacamole or salsas such as pico de gallo, black beans and corn, or tomatillo. Just make sure to watch the sodium.

4. In the mood for a Burger? When ordering a burger, stick to the basics—bun, patty, lettuce, and tomato—and avoid fatty ingredients such as bacon. Condiments add flavor, but ketchup, barbecue sauce, and honey mustard are often loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Try a packet of yellow or Dijon mustard—they pack plenty of flavor! Consider skipping the bun, as many fast-food varieties tote lengthy ingredient lists full of preservatives, or ask if you can have your burger wrapped with lettuce leaves.

5. Craving Sushi? Sashimi, grilled or steamed fish and edamame are great choices. Feeling like a roll? Also, go without the heavy mayo-based sauces but try adding ginger, wasabi or low-sodium soy sauce to increase flavor.

Most importantly, sip, savor, and slow down to enjoy your meal!