What’s Lights Your Flame?

Why? Its the question you’ve been asking since you could talk. 

Its what allows us to push through mental and physical barriers.

Its what motivates us to go when everything around us is saying stop.

So why do we choose to be disciplined with eating & training? 

Is it about trying to live up to instagram expectations...

Is it because we hate or because we love ourselves... 


Our reason behind doing what we do isn’t about meeting unrealistic expectations or

restricting your body until you “love” it.   


Our “Why” is about educating you about how your body works and how to give it the love that it needs in the three essential areas for health & performance. 


Your mental, emotional and physical state are not independent of each other.

They all pour into each other providing energy or taking it away. 

At the end of the day the reason why we do what we do is not about physique or praise from our instagram fans, but about developing habits of discipline that improve all other areas of life. 


What’s your why?  



5 Easy Meal Prep Hacks For Busy Humans

Meal prep doesn’t have to be sexy. 

You don’t need a 3 hour kitchen cook off with matching tupperware to meal prep effectively. Not that I’m against that, I’ve done it years…but everything ain’t for everybody! 

Someone who has a busy schedule, doesn’t like to track their macros or weigh their food could be considered a messy situation, not anymore! For everyone who “doesn't have time to meal prep” I’m legit giving you a solution, keep reading!

5 Easy Meal Prep Hacks For Busy Humans:

#1: Get a meal prep service for LUNCH. Order 5 meals a week & have them delivered to your job. Usually meal prep services cost (per meal/serving) between $6-12 a meal. 

Not bad, that’s a weekly investment of $30-60, are you worth that?  

#2: Buy precooked meats & veggies at your local health store.  Sprouts & Frasier Farms, Whole Foods are my top choices for healthy, prepped foods. You don’t even have to weigh or measure. Everything is priced by the ounce, guess work eliminated. *Be sure to check the ingredients for oils that may be used on the non-grilled items.

Here is a list of food options you can find in any local health store:


Shredded chicken, Shredded beef, Turkey Breast, Grilled Chicken Breast, Grilled Salmon, Meat Balls , Meat Loaf , Turkey Carnitas, Baked BBQ Chicken , Baked Wings 


Baked Potato, Alfredo Pasta, Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes , Rice (jasmine, wild, brown) 


Vegetable Medley, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Grilled Squash, Grilled Brussels, Salad Bar (all the leafy options) 

Have 3 base BREAKFAST choices. Rotate each meal throughout the week, spice it up on the weekends! 

My go-to Breakfast Options:

3 Whole Eggs + Lean Beef + 2 Pieces of Toast

1 Cup Egg Whites + 2 Slices Bacon + 1/2 Cup Quick Oats 

25g Whey + Quick Oats + PB 

#4: Try & COOK at least 1 meal a day. There is something so rewarding about making a meal for yourself. I try & make a fresh dinner as often as possible. 

Don’t sleep on your SNACK game. Always prioritize protein, then check your macros to see what other areas you need to fill (eg. fats & carbs). 

My go-to Snack Choices:
Beef/Turkey Jerky

Light String Cheese 

Greek Yogurt (single serve cup) 

Protein Bars 

Kodiak Cakes Instant Protein Muffin 

SIDE BAR: I always carry 2 types of bars for 2 different purposes:  High PROTEIN bars (balanced snack option, focus on protein). High CARBOHYDRATE (help fuel⛽️ my workouts, prioritize high GI carbs)

My go-to Bar Options:

Cliff Bar + Lenny & Larry’s Protein Cookies (High Carb) 

Think Thin & Rx Bars  (High Protein)

These are some easy ways to get out of prepping every meal! I know that life isn’t for everyone so make it easier for yourself! Focus on balanced meals with protein being the main course, work in veggies, and dense carbohydrates as sides. Hope you guys enjoyed these tips! 

Written by: Alexis Manning, MA.

AFPA Certified Master Nutritionist & Holistic Practitioner

Signs of Hormonal Imbalance...Your body is trying to tell you something, are you listening?

If someone would’ve told me hormonal imbalances show up in the form of painful periods & insomnia I wouldn’t have waited 27 years to write this blog…

Before I rant about all the indicators of hormonal imbalance let’s do a quick hormone health check

1️⃣ Do you miss periods regularly? 

2️⃣ Do you suffer from heavy, painful periods & cramping? 

3️⃣ Do you have oily/acne prone skin? 

4️⃣ Do you have low/no sex drive? 

5️⃣ Do you experience heavy bloating and extreme weight fluctuations around menstruation? 

6️⃣ Have you loss muscle mass? 

7️⃣ Do you have trouble losing weight, or maintain weight around legs, butt, & lower tummy? 

8️⃣ Do you feel fatigued most of the time? 

9️⃣ Do you have trouble sleeping? 

🔟 Are you experiencing hair loss? 

Did you answer yes to any of these? These symptoms are all indicators of a possible hormone imbalance. 

I wanted to briefly touch on Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This syndrome is not like other hormone imbalances it is directly linked to insulin sensitivity.

Did you know PCOS is the most common hormone disorder among women in their reproductive years? But this condition goes beyond unhappy ☹️ hormones. 

Insulin resistance + inflammation are actually the root cause PCOS symptoms. Resistance to insulin creates weight gain &  overproduction of testosterone in the ovaries. 

Outside of PCOS hormonal imbalances can be spotted by these symptoms. 

*Common symptoms of hormone imbalance include but are not limited to the following. 

Too Much Estrogen: 

⚡️Heavy Periods 

⚡️Severe Cramping 


⚡️Mood Swings/Irritability

⚡️Brest Tenderness 


⚡️Chronic Inflammation

Too Little Estrogen:

⚡️Hot Flashes 




⚡️Painful sex 

⚡️Creaky Joints 

Too Little Progesterone:

⚡️Spotting Between Cycles 

⚡️Menstrual Cramps 



Too Much Progesterone:

⚡️Breast Tenderness 


⚡️Feeling groggy in the am 

⚡️Increase in yeast infections 

Too Much Testosterone :

⚡️ Sleep Disturbances 


⚡️Acne & Oily Skin 


Too Little Testosterone:

⚡️No Sex Drive 

⚡️Painful Joints 

⚡️Missing Periods 

⚡️Loss of Muscle 



Before you consider dieting get your hormones checked by a doctor (saliva panel is best for female reproductive hormone testing) or take an at home test. 

Click here for at home testing kit from DUTCH Test. 

Natural ways to balance hormones:

Seed cycling is a great way to regulate hormones. There are 4 power house seeds that promote sex hormones. Depending on the time of month we can boost particular hormones to help us ovulate or to get out the extra estrogen. You can find more information on seed cycling here (click me). 

The female body is AMAZING. If you are NOT familiar with tracking your cycle I suggest you start. I use the app Flo to track my menstrual cycle & symptoms. If you are looking for more hands on tracking I suggest Daysy Fertility Tracker, Daysy calculates your fertile window through your basal body temperature (*a great device for anyone who is trying to get pregnant or not trying to).

“Ovulatory cycles are both an indicator and a creator of health.”

-Jerilyn Prior 

Your menstrual cycle is your bodies report card for your general health. PLEASE TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! It is our duty to understand every aspect about our bodies operations & be in sync with its every move.

Written by: Alexis Manning, MA.

AFPA Certified Master Nutritionist & Holistic Practitioner

Avoiding Post Diet Weight Gain

“The effect of this for fat loss is very straight forward; the more weight you lose, the more the body tries to pull you back up to that old weight” 

(From Renaissance Periodization Female Dieting) 

Okay so you’ve done the diet thing, you lost the weight and you're feeling great…annnnnnnnnnd the weight came back faster than it was lost.


First, please note that you can NOT significantly reduce calories for long periods of time then reintroduce them all at once… you will gain the weight back!

We need to take into account what our body is doing and how it has changed.

What we know is that we’ve lost weight and we have extreme hunger and cravings that seem impossible to control. This is not your fault, our bodies have physiological mechanism (we can not control) making us gain the weight back, especially after a significant loss. 

Post diet our metabolism is temporarily slowed, making our bodies burn nutrients at slower rates. Your hunger and cravings are uncontrollable because your body is not use to this new weight and is kind of freaking out. Our body loves stability, and will do whatever it takes to stay the same. 

When we lose/gain weight our body proceeds to make adjustments to re-establish what it previous knew (former body weight). This is why we see so many people regain their weight after hard dieting.

This is called Set-Point Theory.

Basically your body wants you to stay the same because it is comfortable at a certain weight. Your body will make physiological changes in order to bring you back to this previous weight.

This is seen not only through slowed metabolism, but elevation in hunger, decreased motivation, and increased fatigue… remember losing fat is tiring! 

So what can I do about it? 

  1. Have a maintenance phase post diet. This is where you slowly reintroduce calories over a period of time in order for the metabolism to increase, allowing you to later have more food without gaining weight. You must reestablish your bodies set point. 

  2. Stay the same weight for several months/ years. This will allow your body to adjust to the weight loss and you will be less likely to return to your previous weight. Do NOT try to do back to back cuts!

  3. Do not diet in durations longer than 12-16 weeks, this is not only physically detrimental but psychologically as well. 

  4. Stay conscious of what your body needs from you.  

    Our bodies don’t love change and losing weight is not what we were made for.

    Bodies are made to sustain life, to be strong, and to survive. We live in a modern society where food is easily accessible, allowing excess weight to be packed on (thank you survival instincts). We are far from hunters and gatherers these days, so now we have things like barbells to keep us strong and moving. Be patient and make sure to maintenance longer than you cut.

Written by: Alexis Manning, MA.

AFPA Certified Master Nutritionist & Holistic Practitioner

Why You Should Kick Dieting To The Curb...For Life!

The only people who need to solely focus on number driven results are athletes competing in weight class sports, and physique competitors needing to hit certain body fat % for stage.

I’m going to tell you why…but first let’s look at some research. A recent study reveled women diet 130 times in their lifetime (averaging two diets a year).  Wait what? Yup, read it again if you need to.

When you think of the word diet what is the first thing that comes to mind?

I’m sure it’s not sustainability and/or flexibility. Although it should be, sustainability needs to be the first thing we consider when thinking about long term health goals.

Diet by definition:

  1. Food and drink regularly provided or consumed

  2. Habitual nourishment 

  3. The kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason

  4. A regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight

    Did you notice restriction is the last definition of diet? Yeah because it is NOT the main goal of a “diet”. A diet is simply the food we eat regularly.

We are what we HABITUALLY nourish ourselves with. 

Eat healthy MOST of the time (that’s the habitual part) and leave room for the things we crave and enjoy. This looks something like 80% healthy 20% fun, or 90/10, to each their own. 

There is a particular freedom in knowing we have the flexibility to indulge in an ice cream cone or a couple beers at a birthday party without completely screwing our diet up. We’ve missed the mark if we only focus on a weight/number goals versus lifestyle change for long term success. 

I’d rather take a year to hammer in healthy, sustainable eating patterns that will last for life, versus 3 months of quick fixes to end up dieting 130 more times.

SUSTAINABILITY will forever be the name of the game. 

Let me ask you, what determines a a good diet?

Take time to reach beyond compliance and discipline and look at the contents of the diet itself. This can be things such as food choice and quality, diet enjoyment, healthy eating relationships, flexibility, and overall health.  

So what should a diet should look like and most importantly how do we never diet again?

Here are my top 4 approaches for maintainable success: 

1. Eat with the goal to maintain or recomp (gain muscle, lose fat). 

2. Use body fat percentage as the determining factor of how much fuel your body needs vs. weight loss goals. 

3. Find a diet that support muscle growth, which will increase resting metabolic rate (i.e. Eating high quality protein, min. of lean body mass). 

4. Spend more time in maintenance than a deficit in order to avoid body fat overshoot (post diet body fat gain). 

Goals are reached by staying within the limits of our daily macronutrient goals. We are long past the IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS (thank God) but macros are important for reaching your desired body composition. We know that eating nutrient dense foods is the best way to reach our aesthetic goals. 

The main goal for every diet should be sustainability throughout the lifetime. 

-Alexis Manning, MA.

Holistic Sports Nutritionist

Holiday Guide: How to Party With Your Goals in Mind

Holiday season is right around the corner, so we want to prepare you to tackle eating at parties without feeling left out. Most people say “everything in moderation” but that’s a little to general. What we know about goal reaching is that we have to PLAN.

Today thats exactly what we’re going to do, give you plan so you can stick to your meal plan and continue to make progress.

10 Quick Tips & Tricks

  1. 🍲BUDGET wisely: Don’t be too hasty to fill your plate. Choose wisely, overview all the food options and then chose things that are yummy but packed with protein. Categorize your options into protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
  2. 🍗2/3 RULE: Fill two-thirds of your plate with lean protein sources and veggies, then leave 1/3 for fun stuff like mashed potatoes or mac n cheese.
  3. 👀SMALL plate portion control: At a buffet style dinner we tend to want to fill our entire plate. If you’re having a hard time controlling your portion sizes use a side plate! Its much smaller and you are guaranteed to stay within your allotted macronutrients.
  4. 🚫Take a BREAK:Give yourself 15-25 minutes before going back for seconds. The food will be there so don’t fret!
  5. 🚦DISTANCE is key: You finished your meal, but find yourself snacking. Distance yourself from the food table, take your party elsewhere and hit the dance floor to burn a few extra calories.
  6. 🥂Feeling TIPSY: Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases appetite and lowers your ability to control your impulses. Grab veggies and seltzer water sip and eat a little in the middle of alcoholic beverages. SET A DRINK LIMIT! 2-3 drinks can range from100-200 cals per drink, keep this in mind!
  7. 🍽Bring a DISH: Everyone loves a gracious host. Bring a side specifically geared towards your goals. You don’t always know what will be at the party so bring a dish you can load up on that is also tasty!
  8. 💧Stay HYDRATED: If you plan on drinking at the party make sure you stay hydrated all day leading up to the party. Set a goal of 60-120 oz for the day. This is a great way to avoid hangovers as well!
  9. 🎯Remind yourself of your GOALS: Don’t be afraid to speak your goals out loud, you might challenge others around you to reach their goals too!
  10. 💃🕺Pay attention to what really MATTERS: Focus on family, friends, and the moment you get to share with people you love and care for. Balance and moderation also includes being in the moment.

It’s Possible To Hit Your Goals & Still Party Hardy! Give Yourself A Plan Of Attack & Get After It 😉 

Shut Up & Get To Work.

We’ve all done it...

Start. Stop & Start Again.  🚦

It’s like life life gives us endless interruptions, giving us every reason to put things on hold. 

Whether its sports, school or work getting in the zone takes time & requires avoiding interruptions.

Achieving REM sleep is a lot like accomplishing goals. We don’t just close our eyes and end up in that deep, sound, straight comatose type rest. No that’d just be too easy...  

First we lay there... then roll...and turn.

Then we finally get that pillow positioned between the legs just perfect. 🙌

Then the phone rings. 📱 The dog barks 🐶 or the baby starts crying.  🍼 

Just like getting into that deep, deep sleep we all love, any interruption towards our goals forces us to press the reset button. But once we’re... The magic happens. 

Most of us are most productive early in the mornings or late at night. Why is that?

Because we’re alone. 🙏  

Dedicate training to early mornings or late nights and stick to the plan.  

Grocery shop & meal prep on sundays so you can say “No” 🚫  to the office take-out. 

Set specific alone time each day and let go of communication intoxication  & get outside.

Remember if you don’t make time for your goals, no one else will. 🎯

The Summer Slim Down: 3 Simple Jump Start Fat Loss

Whether you’ve been stuck on a diet, exercise plan, or even if this is your first attempt at weight loss, these steps can bring success to your ultimate goal.

Try these 3 recommended tips to jump start into you weight loss!

  • No. 1 Get more sleep.

Sleep may directly influence weight and eating patterns by causing an increase in cravings while reducing the ability to feel full. For optimal results in your weight loss program, we recommend an average of 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

  • No. 2 Eat more vegetables.

Certain vegetables like kale, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts are high in fiber and can lead to a feeling of fullness. The tip here is to fill half of your plate with vegetables and eat more snacks that include this food group.

  • No. 3 Exercise.

Preform both strength and anaerobic training at least 3 times a week. Having a complex workout routine may help get past fitness plateaus and increase weight loss efficiency. Remember that achievements in your plan will not come over night but will require consistency and an overall lifestyle change!

Written by Bernardino Paz. May 8, 2018

Eating For Performance by Alexis Manning

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in athlete performance and development.

Nutrient density is a crucial component in increasing an athletes ability to work harder and longer.

Without proper fuel the body will not perform at its highest capability or recover properly.

The use of macronutrient timing, caloric balance, and supplementation will increase the athletes ability to handle strenuous training, while allowing them to develop a stronger and healthier body composition.

We believe in making our athletes better not just on the field but in the kitchen!




3 Simple Ways To Increase Speed

1. Standing Arm Drives 4 Rounds
3-4 Rounds x 10s On 10s Off

This is one of the best ways to improve arm swing to create “spillover” speed to to the legs.

  • Start in athletic position with feet just outside hip width apart. Bend at the hips and the knees finding pressure in the heel, big toe, pinky toe (Think Tri-Pod)  
  • Shoulders should be hanging equal to or slightly over toes with the core tight & back tight. (Shoulders Squeezed, Tuck Tail)
  • Split hands with intent: Long, Strong Backswing, Tight Upswing (Stable Upper Body)
  • Switch hands on command, 1s & 2s then progress into a “Sprint”  for 5-10s “Jogging” pace for 10s

2. Single Leg Hops
2-4 Sets x 20-30yds

This is a good way to start incorporating a faster arm swing for faster feet!

  • Start with the “R” knee up, lean forward and begin to hop on 1 leg.
  • Focus on quickly exchanging hands and punching through the ground with the “L” foot
  • Drive the “R” knee up and toes towards the noes, quickly cycling through each hop.

3. Wall Posting
2-4 Sets x 5-8 per leg

Use this technique for a stronger arm drive and body position!

  • Start in a 2-Point Stance, feet 1 shoe length apart and the dominant leg back; Plant the ball of the back foot and front half of the front foot firmly in the ground.
  • Bend the knees and drop the shoulders equal to or just over the toes, maintain tight core & tight back. (Think Table Top)
  • Punch through the ground off the front foot by extending the leg straight; Drive the knee from the back leg towards the wall, pointing toes to noes. (Squeeze Butt, Tight Core)
  • Launch into the wall with intent! Strong leg drive, strong knee drive.


4. Go Sprint
2-4 Sets x 20-40yd 

Put Your New Technique To Use!