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.