Caroline’s Fun and Fresh Spring Playlist

Spring is in the air!  Longer days and more sunshine make it the perfect time to get moving and enjoy extra endorphins. To keep you moving towards your spring fitness goals, I’ve created a fun and fresh workout playlist for you. These upbeat songs are the ideal inspiration for satisfying sweat sessions and they have also been shown to motivate spring cleaning 😉 Subscribe, press play, and enjoy!

What is one song you’ll be listening to this Spring? Leave your favorite fresh tune in the comment section below – Im always looking for more ideas for my spotify playlists!

Tune in next week for some of my tried and true techniques to tame stress. Wishing you a happy, healthy Spring, till next time…. keep shining 🙂

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

The Myths of Self Care. How to be nicer to yourself, starting now.

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“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small.  My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.” ~ Kim McMilllen

Self care seems like a simple of concept, yet it really isn’t is it? I find it to be challenging for us all, especially those in helping roles (parents, teachers, nurses, personal trainers, the list goes on). I used to be the worst at self care. For years I watched my clients on to see their goals and put myself on the bottom of the totem pole. By 2011 I was burnout, injured, and resentful.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job. I find great joy in connecting with others and seeing them on towards health. But thats almost the problem. I love helping others a little too much. Put yourself last enough and eventually you reach a breaking point. And thats what happened to me. I broke. And then I woke up.

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At the start of 2012 I declared it the year of “Self-Love”. I recruited a team of experts and friends to help support me to reach my personal and professional goals (much like my clients do with theirs).  At first, making myself a priority was incredibly scary; partly because it takes courage to be self-compassionate. It requires you to release control and acknowledge that you are imperfect, that you too need support in being the best version of you. Rather than struggling with the unreachable goal of perfection, self-compassion requires you to let go of your resistance to your own humanity and go with it instead. Working through my “Year of Self-Love” I discovered that in order to love yourself first you have to get rid of any limiting beliefs that may be holding you back. Here are some of the “Myths of Self-Love” that can prevent you from giving yourself the care you need and reaching your full potential:

Myth 1: Self-compassion is selfish.
In our culture, we are taught to care for everyone except ourselves. Self-compassion can thus be seen as selfish, that taking care of yourself means you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing: taking care of someone else.
Reality: Caring for others requires loving-kindness and authenticity. If you haven’t created those traits for yourself, how can you give them to others? I found that through caring for myself, I was a better coach, friend, daughter, sister, and person. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but you truly can give more to others when you are taken care of. “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” ~Parker Palmer

Myth 2: Self-compassion is indulgent.
You might be concerned that being nice to yourself just lets you off the hook and encourages you to be self-indulgent.
Reality: Self-compassion is about your health and well-being while self-indulgence is about getting anything you want when you want it without thoughts of well-being. Self-compassion is about noticing and being with your pain. Self-indulgence is about numbing and denying your pain. “Self-care is not about self-indulgence. It’s about self-preservation.” – Audrey Lorde

Myth 3:  Self-criticism is what motivates you.
Self-love is often devalued in our culture, instead we often use self-criticism to motivate us to reach our goals. Self-criticism works to motivate us to a certain extent, but it creates a lot of trouble in doing so: fear of failure, thoughts of not being good enough, and fear of humiliation, just to name a few. Self-criticism also provides you with the illusion of control. If you just worked harder, looked prettier, or acted nicer, you could achieve that perfection you’ve been seeking, right? You know the answer to that question, but the pursuit of perfection and the lure of control are hard to shake in our attempts to care for ourselves.
Reality: While it’s possible the inner critic developed to help you reach your goals, it’s not the only option. We have many ways to keep ourselves moving forward, we really don’t need a critical voice in our heads to do so. We don’t need to be internally nagged and disparaged to accomplish things. Being self-compassionate gives you the confidence you need to motivate yourself in a positive way.  “You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay

Myth 4: Self-compassion is wimpy.
In our individualistic society, you are supposed to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and tough things out. Be kind to yourself? Quit being such a wimp!
Reality: Actually, self-compassion serves to heal and strengthen you. It is, in fact, the strongest and most resilient among us who have the courage to be kind to ourselves.

These are just a few of the myths that can prevent you from praticing self-care. Can you pinpoint limiting ideas you have about yourself that keep you in a cycle of putting yourself last?

REALITY CHECK. How to start taking care of yourself:

1. Acknowledge your desires and needs.
You have likely been conditioned to ignore, deny, or suppress your personal wants or needs due to believing any or all of the myths above. Practice noticing your personal desires and gently give yourself validation that they are real and deserve compassion. Do you have the desire to spend more time with friends? Do you want to work with someone on improving your fitness or nutrition? Do you want to take up a hobby or spend more time relaxing? What is it that you want to be real for YOUR life (not your friend, client, or daughter’s life)? Is there something that you always wish you had the time to do? Make it happen now. And make it happen for YOU.

2. Treat yourself as you would a friend.
Think for a moment of how you think about and talk to yourself. Now think about how you talk to your friends. How do you treat them? It’s likely you treat yourself much worse than you would a friend. Speak gently to yourself. Be understanding. Don’t tolerate negative or critical self-talk. Talk to and treat yourself as you would your friend. Here are all of my tips on “taking out the trash” and learning to speak kindly to yourself, an extremely important element in self care.

3. Remember that you are human (a beautifully imperfect one)
Even if you are going through a challenge or you make mistakes, does that mean you shouldn’t be kind to yourself? No. It means you’re human. And all humans are flawed, make mistakes, and are deserving of compassion. Perfection doesn’t exist, let go and learn to love your beautifully imperfect self.  “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” ~ John Steinbeck

4. GET SUPPORT.  A good support system is a vital element to self-care. Yes you can accomplish things on your own, but you can reach your full potential when you have a team to support you. Who helps you take care of YOU? A gardening analogy is most appropriate for this question. Some flowers and plants thrive in temperate zones and others in different conditions. We, too, need to be in tune with our own nature and know under which conditions we do our best. In what life situations do you thrive personally? Who are the people who energize you? Do you actively put yourself in situations where you are building your skills and experiencing the growth you want? For example, a person who wants to become a writer should consider taking writing classes, go to readings, and be in places that stimulate that type of creativity in her. Get the social support you need to truly be cared for.
5. Practice Daily Acts of Self-Love: Every day actively do small acts to show yourself care. Here is a list of 100 ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.  This is not a checklist – only a list of suggestions. Feel free to take the ones that speak to you and ignore the rest. Make self-care a daily action item on your to-do list.

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My life truly blossomed once I took action and made self-care a priority. My “Year of Self-Love” allowed me to save myself from burnout, gain self-respect, and truly LOVE my life. However, it is an ongoing process that takes consistent dedication, commitment, faith, work, and sweat. You have to learn to value yourself, which means fight for your health and happiness. With so many limiting cultural beliefs working against us we all need support. Join me in working towards a world that encourages others to love themselves. The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others, the self-care revolution starts with YOU.

Bottom line? be yourself, love yourself, accept yourself, respect yourself. If you or someone you know needs some help getting to this place, please pass along this post and share the self-care encouragement.

Love to you all,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

Eat Your Greens. Simple ways to get more GREEN in your diet.

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The more we know about good nutrition and how important it is to eat fresh veggies, the more attention we give to leafy greens. In fact, you can’t find a list of the “most powerful foods” that doesn’t mention kale, spinach or collards. That’s because dark leafy greens contain such an abundant source of nutrients and powerful antioxidants, packing plenty of iron, calcium and fiber. They also contain chlorophyll, the pigment that turns the leaf green. Some people think of this as the plant’s blood and that makes sense when you also consider that leafy greens contain vitamin K, which helps our bodies with blood clotting abilities.

With all these nutrients to offer and for very few calories per serving, they also help to:

– detoxify the blood
– energize the body without weighing us down
– improve circulation
– keep our bodies at a slightly alkaline pH to inhibit disease
– reduce the risk of cancer
– strengthen our intestinal flora, digestion and immune system
– keep our liver, gall bladder and kidneys functioning well

If you are a greens lover like me, chances are you don’t need any encouragement to add these to your meal plan. For those who are a wee bit reluctant, I suggest you start out with some of the milder flavored greens and work your way up. A quick reference on some of the most popular greens…..

*** Arugula: peppery flavor – try raw in salads or sandwiches
*** Bok Choy: sweet, mild flavor – perfect for stir-fries or soups
*** Collards: mild, sweet flavor – steam, braise or sauté until tender
*** Escarole; mildly bitter – eat raw in salads and steam or braise
*** Kale: mildly peppery – boil, steam or sauté
*** Mizuna: tender and spicy – mix with other greens in salads
*** Spinach; soft, sweet flavor – multi-purpose! Raw or cooked in many dishes
*** Swiss Chard: tender, sweet – sauté, braise or add to soups and other dishes

Let Greens Be Thy Medicine. How to eat more dark green leafy vegetables:

Without question, leafy green veggies offer the most nutrients per calorie and are extremely versatile.Make an effort to include more GREEN into your meals. Feasting on something new, exciting, and gorgeously green will keep your health in great shape for years to come.

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Here are some of my favorite creative cooking ideas to get you started….

  • For just about any soup, greens are a perfect match. Just chop and stir in, letting cook until tender. Spinach and chard are super quick options.
  • Mix it up in your salad bowl by adding baby spinach, tender young spring greens and baby arugula.
  • Use a large collard green leaf or nori (seaweed) sheet to make a raw sushi roll or wrap.
  • Add chopped greens to a stir fry – try collards, bok choy and broccoli rabe.
  • Have them as chips! A now favourite snack of mine is Kale Chips.
  • Eat a huge salad every day. Combine an assortment of greens with your favorite colorful veggies, beans, blanched vegetables, cooked potatoes, corn, dried or fresh fruits, baked squash, seeds, and nuts
  • Make a simple side dish by sautéing onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil, add some greens, a little broth and steam until tender. Great with kale because it doesn’t cook down as much as other greens.
  • When making a sandwich or wrap, top it off with baby spinach, arugula or any baby field greens.
  • Want to experiment? In recipes that call for cooked spinach, substitute half the amount with cooked chard.
  • Add an eye-opening dose of the greens to your eggs! Simply add sauteed Swiss chard, spinach, kale, (in addition to those more commonly eaten tomatoes, onions and peppers) to your omelet or scrambled eggs.
  • Never have time for prep? Freeze greens for quick and easy use. Remove and discard the tough stem from mature leaves. Wash, dry and chop the leaves. Then freeze in serving-size freezer bags and add frozen leaves directly to soups, stews, pasta sauces, etc. You can purée them and add them to pasta sauce or add to a stir-fry.
  • Serve your favorite soup, beans or chili over a bowl of baby spinach. The heat from the broth will gently wilt the spinach and add great flavor to your meal.
  • Mix up in a juicer! Try my Lucky Green Juice recipe below

Caroline’s Lucky Green Juice

1 cucumber
4 stalks celery
1 cup spinach
1 cup parsley
1 lime
1 red or green apple
small handful of mint

Put all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy!

Do you have any creative ideas to eat more leafy greens? I’d love to hear your suggestions, please write me a comment below! Lately I have been obsessed with this Whole Foods Market Kale Salad – it is divine!

Wishing you a happy Saint Patricks Day, I know when your diet is filled with greens you wont need any leprechaun luck to keep you healthy!

May the road rise to meet you,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

Health is not a Number: Why The Scale Lies.

Worried about the number below your feet? Here’s why the Scale lies and what you need to know to measure your health.

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Our world is one that is obsessed with numbers. The dollar amount thats in the bank account, the number of followers you have on facebook, the amount of designer jeans in your closet, and especially the number you see on the bathroom Scale. But numbers are not a true indication of quality of life. And often, we need to remind ourselves of this.

One of my favorite articles is “Why the Scale Lies” by ACE certified personal trainer Renee Cloe. Often I will share this valuable read with my clients and friends in times when they become too attached to numbers. This one is a KEEPER. Bookmark it and revisit it often. The reality is we all get sucked into the number game. I hope this post helps remind you to focus on health and feeling good from the inside out!

“Why the Scale Lies”

“We’ve been told over and over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it’s readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body’s water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don’t understand what’s happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it’s water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it’s easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That’s why, when it comes to eating, it’s wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you’re prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it’s wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it’s not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it’s likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it’s only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it’s physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you’re really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale’s sneakiest attribute. It doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose “weight,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you’ve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of “Body Fueling,” compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between the two. It can’t tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It’s a matter of mind over scale.”

Was there something you learned from the article above? Leave your major takeaway from reading Renee’s article as a comment below.  I cant even begin to tell you how many people I speak to who complain that they’re not seeing the Scale move, even though they are losing inches and clothing sizes. Despite these obvious signs that they’re getting leaner, they still want to see the Scale change. But ultimately it is the health of your body, the amount of lean muscle vs. body fat, and your ability to meet your active lifestyle goals that shows you’re making progress. Moral of the story? Break up with the Scale already! That number won’t really tell you everything you need to know. And life is about a whole lot more than numbers.

Yours In health,

Caroline

My mission is to empower feel good fitness inside and out. I am here to be of service in your wellness and help you get your mind, body, and spirit in shape so you can love your life. Lets work together and live well. Contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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Spreading My Wings. Getting Over My Fears and FLYING.

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My career in the fitness industry began when I was 14 years old. My dream was to become a fitness superstar and by 26 I had a career that was blessed and full. But then things started to shift. Working exclusively in fitness didn’t seem to fit. I started to change and my business followed in my footsteps.

At the start of 2012, I made a Vision Board to set a clear intention for the changes I wanted in my life. The inspiring images served as a daily reminder to work diligently towards a life congruent with my desires. At the time, I was involved in a professional Master Mind group that challenged me to think outside the box. The mentors involved opened my mind and provided the extra push I needed to pursue my career dreams. I took a leap of faith and enrolled in Wellcoaches Health Coach Course, investing in education and expanding my horizons. Have you ever found yourself involved in something only to realize that its what you’ve been looking for the WHOLE time? Well that’s what happened when I started studying, I immediately felt the “where have you been all my life?!” sensation. Months of mastering positive psychology, behavior change, coaching, and wellness filled my life with a new sense of passion and purpose. People warned me that I was wasting my time, saying that a coaching certification was not a path to a sustainable or successful career venture. All I can say is that I am glad I listened to my intuition, to the voice telling me, “This Caroline is who you are. Keep Going.” 

And then all the hard work, faith, and trust paid off. My career took a turn from fitness focused to health and happiness lifestyle management. I completed my Health and Wellness Life coaching course. I began coaching, speaking, and presenting on wellbeing topics to others. I started collaborating with corporations as a creative consultant facilitating wellness programs. My business expanded. I discovered strengths, passions and a voice I never knew I had. It was quite the transformation and the journey continues to develop in a positive direction. I know there will be more surprises to come, because I believe that once you set a clear intention and trust yourself enough to make it happen, ANYTHING is possible.

To reflect these changes, I gave my business and brand a makeover. I am proud to announce my new website: carolinejordanfitness.com has been launched. I now feel that my online brand accurately reflects the work I do and the path I plan to pursue. I notice a big difference, but the real question is, do you? Visit the site and give me your feedback, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

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My favorite part of this whole process is the “Caroline Jordan Fitness” logo, which is the “blue bird of happiness”. This symbol means a lot to me personally and professionally. Years ago I earned the nickname “bird” for constantly “chirping” positive affirmations to my friends. And the North Carolina Tarheel blue has always been a favorite color of mine. Throughout history, birds have been celebrated as symbols of freedom, inspiration, strength, and unity. The bluebird specifically has long been said to represent confidence, happiness, plaintive song, and movement to a new level of being. Because of this meaning, I feel the blue bird of happiness serves as the perfect symbol to represent my brand. I could go into deep detail over “flying free from fear” and why I feel genuinely connected to this logo, but I will save that for another blog post 😉 You might notice the “blue bird” theme integrated throughout the website, I had a fun time with it. At the end of the day, I believe that I was given positive energy in order to use it to serve others through my work in the world. Through this strength, I am committed to helping others cultivate positive thoughts, conquer fears, lead unstoppable lives, and live in health from the inside out.

If what you are doing right now isn’t what you want to be doing, remember you have the power at anytime to change directions. After all of this, I only have one word: Gratitude.

Special thanks to:

my mentors: Shannon Fable, Erika Quest, Buddy MachuaMelissa Baumgartner

my brand manager: Vivian Doan  http://www.brelabranding.com/

my website designer: Melissa Kelly http://melissakellydesigns.com/

my photographer: Toni Alejandria http://tonialejandria.com/

my school: Wellcoaches

my san francisco family: lululemon athletica Grant Avenue

It’s a beautiful thing when career and passion come together. Thank you for being a part of my loving community of support. Together we can fly free and lead happy, healthy lives. Looking forward to sharing a bright future with you. Onward and Upward!

With love and gratitude,

Caroline

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