Shaq Attack Workout Playlist

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Still coming down from the endorphin rush of having Shaquille O’Neal in spin class. 

One of the first thoughts I had when he walked in the door was, ‘what music do you even play when Shaq comes to workout with you?’ He has four studio albums, 2 compilation albums, 2 soundtracks, one unreleased album, and 9 singles.  He even has a song with the Notorious BIG. I mean the man is talented beyond belief.

If you’ve ever taken my fitness classes you know: I go for music that moves you. I’m all about strong beats, high energy, and motivating tracks.

Caught on stage, one minute before class started, I had to make a play. My latest spotify mix was on point and in the last minute I added in a few of my favorite songs I thought perfect fit for a Shaq class. When he did head bumps and fist pumps throughout the ride I knew I had scored. Here’s the mix we were working to when Shaq ended up in spin class:

SHAQ Attack Workout Playlist

What songs would you play if Shaq walked in to workout with you one day? Leave me your playlist picks as a comment below.

Anything is possible. Keep dreaming big and going for your goals my friends.

Caroline

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves support in living a positive, powerful life. 

Interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together? Contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

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  • How I got my butt back. The surprising injury that taught me how to move again.

How SHAQ ended up in my spin class (and yes he fit on the bike).

How did SHAQ end up taking my spin class? Read on for a fun story on how this basketball legend came in for workout with me.

SHAQ in spin class

SHAQ in spin class

It was a normal Tuesday in San Francisco. As I walked into EQUINOX Pine street to teach my 12:30pm cycling class, I could feel an excited energy around the club. One of the personal trainers came up to me with big eyes and whispered, “SHAQ is working out here!”  It took me a second. Wait, what? Like SHAQ the REAL DEAL and living legend? She nodded her head, smiling ear to ear. “Yea! He’s over there on one of the exercise bikes!”

I looked over on the fitness floor and there he was: Shaquille O’Neal, dressed in a wife beater, basketball shorts, and huge headphones pedaling away on the exercise bicycle.

Standing 7 feet tall and weighing 315 pounds, Shaquille O’Neal is known as one of the most dominant players in the NBA. After his 2011 retirement, he became an on-screen league analyst, media personality, entrepreneur, actor, and musician. He has a PHD in Education, 6 rap albums, has been in several movies and tv shows (who didn’t love Kazaam?!), among many other impressive accomplishments. He is regarded as one of the most dominant athletes and arguably the most gregarious personality in sports history.

So yes, it would be an understatement to say: the entire club was amazed and trying not to stare as he did his workout. It was a situation where everyone wanted to jump in excitement, but no one wanted to be inappropriate or make him feel uncomfortable while trying to get his workout. I mean the man must have the hardest time in public trying to do anything, who wouldn’t want to meet and take a selfie with SHAQ!?!

I was getting ready to teach and just couldn’t let the opportunity to say hello to Shaquille O’Neal go. So I did what any fitness instructor would do: I decided to invite him to take Spin class with me. (After all, group classes are much more fun + motivating 😉 )

He was exercising with his two trainers: large, buff men who you definitely didn’t want to mess with. I calmly walked over, smiled and said, “Shaq, if you’d like to join me I teach a cycling class in twenty minutes. I may look little, but I am fierce. Promise you a great workout.” He laughed, smiled, and said, “Ok, Ill let you know”. His trainers nodded too, humored by this little instructor in purple striped pants who had the balls to walk up to 7′ Shaq and invite him to spin class.

Minutes before we started the spin class, I was helping set up students on bikes. Shaq was walking around outside the spin room. I had my micraphone on and decided to go for it one more time, “Shaq come join us! We’d love to have you!”. He smiled. And then, to my surprise, walked in the door. His two buff trainers followed in. The three of them started setting up their bikes.

I was awestruck. Shaq was in my spin class. 

And it was happening. Just like that. 

It was an electrifying class. On fire. Shaq and his trainers worked hard, had fun, and gave the room a good time. I wish I had a photo of the students during the ride. Everyone gave it their all with amazing energy. We were in the moment, astonished at the experience and inspired to sweat. And yes to answer your question: Shaq fit on the bicycle. He later told me the seat hurt his butt and I reassured him you get used to it 🙂

After class, there were fist pumps and sweaty hugs from the crew. One of Shaq’s trainers made me blush, “You’re a great coach. Full of energy and positivity. When do you teach next?” Wouldn’t mind having them back. Nope wouldn’t mind one bit.

The winning point of the day was after class when Shaq turned to me and asked, “Are you ready for a photo that will make EQUINOX history? Promise I wont drop you.” 

I nodded and before I knew it I was more than 7 feet above the fitness floor, smiling ear to ear. 

So that was that. Shaq took my spin class. And it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Shaq you are a living legend and inspiration. Thanks for reminding us all to have fun, play the game, and live a slam dunk life. You made my day by sharing your heart, hustle, and smile in spin. I hope you had a great workout and I hope to see you for another positive, power-packed class again soon.

It never hurts to be brave and ask, because you never know what might happen next. What about you? What cool chances or opportunities have brought you to surprising places? Leave me a story or two in the comments below. 

Heres to living a slam dunk life,

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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SHAQ in spin class

SHAQ in spin class

Healthy Travel Food. Stay Fit, Lose Weight, and Eat Right While Traveling with These Foods.

Healthy Travel Food! Here are the best foods to pack to help you stay fit, lose weight, and eat right on the road.

travel foods

Hungry to stay fit on the road? Pack some of these healthy travel foods in your carry on and fuel your travels with high quality nutrition. 

One of my most successful corporate wellness programs is my “Thrive: Wellbeing on the Road”. I get excited helping others find ways to maintain their energy and health while traveling. I believe that no matter where life takes you there is a way to feel good and be good to yourself.

The truth is, traveling can be exhausting and stressful, which can often challenge your best intentions to eat well. But traveling doesn’t have to be an obstacle if you have resources and healthy habits to support you. 

I thought it would be helpful to share some of my favorite healthy travel foods with you. Don’t get caught hungry with your travel pants down and stuck eating unhealthy airport food because it’s the only thing you have available to you. Plan ahead and prepare for success by packing any of the healthy options below with you.  

Note: A lot of the items below you can find at Safeway and/or Whole Foods. I’ve provided links to where you can find these items on the internet too, which is my preferred method to buy things so I am not always hunting around for the items I love at multiple stores. Amazon Prime, free two day shipping, is a godsend. Click, ship, and go travel fit. 

Best healthy travel foods to pack before you leave for the airport to fuel your jet-packed life:

  • Pack small bags of organic quick cooking rolled oats, cinnamon, and raisins. I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats (the best!). They have hot water pretty much anywhere and you can make an instant and satisfying meal anytime of day, not just for breakfast. You can even leave out the raisins and add walnuts, a cut up an apple, or mix in or anything you like.
  • Buy little packs of dried organic green powder – my choice is the ALOHA daily greens and Whole-Food Powder Blends. You can visit ALOHA to Learn More Here. This is nice when you don’t have access to a lot of green vegetables. Mix with water or a carton of coconut water for a quick hydrating treat. 
  • Chia seeds contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids, help keep your body stay hydrated, and contain a bunch of fiber. When they mix with water they expand like gel and make your drink thicker. Make little baggies of them and take them with you and put in your pocket or purse before you go out for the day. You can add seeds to yogurt, salads, or drinks. I use Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Chia Seeds.
  • Pack your favorite fresh fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, berries, etc) and pre-cut veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini, squash, peapods, etc.) These go a long way after a long flight. They have a quick boost of fiber and keep hunger at bay until you can find your first meal upon arrival.
  • I love the sweet crunch of Nature’s All freeze dried fruit. Easy to pack, no mess, and partners great with a bowl of quick oats.
  • Justin’s Organic Almond Butter in single serve packages is amazing for a travel treat. Just open and squeeze into your mouth or on a whole wheat cracker like Mary’s Gone Crackers, my travel cracker of choice. 
  • Single serving protein powder packs can save the day and curb the edge off hunger. Vega makes great single serving packets of all natural plant based protein that are perfect for travel. I love all the flavors, but the berry is my favorite. Check out Vega One (for super nutrition) or Vega Sport for extra protein. 
  • Take homemade trail mix and make little pre made baggies portioned out for something to snack on. Mix up your favorite raw almonds, walnuts, seeds, carob chips, dates, dried coconut, or raisins. If you don’t have time to make your own, pick up some of Eden Farms all natural trail mixes – they have great blends with yummy mixings. A trailmix can last forever in your suitcase and can be a real pick me up.  
  • Pack some Prunes, these little single serving packs are made for travel. They are chewy, sweet, fill you up and keep you regular on vacation (I know a lot of people who mention this problem all the time!)
  • Beef Jerky makes for a delicious snack with a powerful protein punch. Check out Krave jerky in fun flavors and pre-portioned bags. 
  • Craving cookies? Bring the healthier option with you and avoid the temptation of a less than satisfying 500 calorie cookie at the airport coffee shop. Try the Go Raw cookies in carrot cake, sweet crunch, or choco crunch. These crunchy cookies don’t crumble and contain no added or refined sugars.
  • If you are a chip person who is looking for a healthier option, Bare Snacks Apple chips are the BEST. Im totally addicted. Low in calories, fat free, and full of fiber.
  • Pack any of these all natural protein bars with you. All of these have at least 10 grams of muscle-building protein and no more than 15 grams of sugar. 
  • Air travel dehydrates you and it’s important to drink 8 ounces of water for every hour you are in the air. Make hydration taste good with ALOHA or Yogi Teas.  Keeping yourself well hydrated will also help curb cravings, manage hunger, and boost energy. 
  • Resist the snickers bar by having healthier all natural chocolate with you. Im in love with Alter Eco chocolate in mint flavor and of course the ALOHA chocolate which only has 4g of sugar for the entire bar! 

Your turn: What are your favorite healthy travel foods? Let me know in the comments below, I’m always looking for new healthy food ideas! If you know someone who is traveling soon or needs healthy travel food suggestions, please share this post with them.

No matter where you are headed, I am here to help you reach your destination feeling your best. The last thing you should worry about when you’re traveling is eating well. I hope the list above helped give you some ideas on how to fuel fit travel. Another way to ensure smooth travels is to book one of my Healthy Travel wellness workshops for your event, retreat, or offsite. I can help your team create energizing habits that make for a productive and powerful business trip. Contact me at : carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to learn more about my corporate wellness services. I am here to see you live well. 

Healthy Travels,

Caroline

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Lessons On Living A Positive Life I Learned From My Mom

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On Mother’s Day, you might give your mom a book or a thoughtful card. You might call to tell her you love her. You might take a moment to reminisce about your fondest memories together.

But one of the greatest gifts you can give your mother is recognition. Whether it takes a few words or a few hours, acknowledging your mother’s hard work is music to her ears.

Today I’d like to take the time to acknowledge my Mom for being a positive, powerful influence in my life. Here are a few of the valuable lessons she has taught me on living well and being a happy person inside and out:

Lessons On Living A Positive Life I learned from my Mom:

  • Move your body. My mom taught me that taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Sure exercise keeps your weight in check and you feeling confident in your favorite pair of jeans. But exercise actually has the power to make you a happier person. Moving your body creates chemical responses in the brain, which lead to both temporary and long term mental health benefits. It releases dopamine (“happy chemicals”) in your brain, eases stress, increases energy, combats insomnia, and does wonders for your confidence. Taking good care of your body can and will keep your heart happy, help you maintain a healthy weight, and bring you a positive outlook on life.
  • Eat An Inspiring Diet. To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art. My mom brought us up to eat a colorful diet filled with whole foods and variety. She would shop at the farmer’s market, garden, and cooks real, delicious food. There was always room for indulgences (she is famous for her chocolate chip cookies) and she was an excellent role model for an “eat to live not live to eat” mentality.  Growing up dinner time was a family event and we often cooked something with the fresh ingredients from our backyard fruit and vegetable garden.  Because we are what we eat, we can literally transform our minds into happier ones by eating an inspiring diet. She raised me to learn that when you eat good foods you feel good too, and happiness comes from being well- fueled.
  • Help Others. My mother worked full time as a pediatric nurse but even when she was off the clock she was always lending a hand to others. She taught me that happiness is attained by giving it away without expectation and those who help others are eventually helped.  As far as physical health benefits, performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a substance that has tremendous health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.  Selflessly helping someone is a powerful way to feel good inside. The happiest people you will ever meet will be those who lose themselves in the joy and challenge of helping others.
  • Learn to forgive. My mom’s typical response to a negative or upsetting event is forgiveness. She’ll would something like, “It’s ok. I’m going to let it go and move forward.”   This is an excellent way to handle conflict because harboring feelings of hatred or resentment is horrible for your well-being. That’s because your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system. You put yourself in a state of hate and it stays with you throughout your day. In contrast, showing forgiveness is a form of compassion and love, which is a much happier state of living your life. My mom showed me that forgiveness is a constant attitude of choosing happiness over hurt – acceptance over resistance. And that forgiveness creates a space to let go and love more.
  • Live in gratitude. When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  My mother lived in a state of gratitude and was constantly affirming the things she was grateful for. Studies have shown practicing gratitude can center you, help you live in the moment, enhance your relationships, help you overcome hurdles, improve your health, and motivate you to reach your goals. Feeling grateful for what you have can produce the good feelings that keep you moving towards the happy life you want. Click here to learn more on how to practice gratitude in your life.
  • Live by the Golden Rule. My mother raised us by this rule: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” or “treat others the way you want to be treated”. It’s known as the “Golden Rule”  or ethic of reciprocity. Mom was right again: the rule of treating others as you would want to be treated in their place will ultimately lead to your own happiness. Think about it: let’s say you apply the Golden Rule in all of your interactions with other people, and you help your neighbors, you treat your family with kindness, you go the extra mile for your co-workers, you help a stranger in need. Now, those actions will undoubtedly be good for the people you help and are kind to and people will treat you better. But, beyond that, you will find a growing satisfaction in yourself, a belief in yourself, a knowledge that you are a good person and a trust in yourself. Of course, there are exceptions and logic arguments with the Golden Rule and if taken to extremes it falls apart. I’m not concerned about that stuff. The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, living by the Golden Rule will make those around you happier, will make you a better person, and will make the community you live in a better place.
  • Savor life’s joys. My mom taught me that the best things in life are free. There is absolute joy and wonder to be had in the simplest of moments.  Watching the sunset over the horizon or spending time with a family member making jam in the summer (triple berry anyone?). Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them. Make it a point to regularly celebrate all of the little things in life and you will be a happier person inside and out.

My mom taught me that all of the lessons above are habits and thoughts we can choose to bring more happiness into our lives. That’s the thing about living a positive, happy life: it is a conscious choice. It’s not always an easy choice and creating healthy habits may challenge you at times. But doing so will allow you to break free from the mold and truly live more of  life – to experience it and enjoy it to the fullest, instead of settling for a mere existence.

To my mother who taught me how and showed me the way: Thank you. I love you. I will celebrate the momentous mother that you are today and always.

Happy Mother’s Day to you,

Caroline

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Easy Ways To Burn More Calories

Photo Credit Mark Kuroda

Photo Credit Mark Kuroda 

It’s an inevitable part of life: You get older and whelp, your metabolism gets slower. While you don’t have much control over the overall speed of your metabolism, you absolutely can control how many calories you burn through the frequency and intensity of your physical activity and making more intentional lifestyle choices.

Here are some of the best ways to boost your calorie burn and stay in good shape throughout your adult life:

Easy Ways to Burn More Calories:

  1. Regular Aerobic Exercise

Walking, hiking, bicycling, and swimming are some of the best ways to burn calories. As a general rule of thumb, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. If you can’t set aside time for a long workout, try 10-minute chunks of high-intensity activity throughout your day. Mini workouts and bouts of exercise mixed into your day will keep your metabolism running and give your body (and brain!) an energy boost.

  1. Lifestyle Activities

Look for ways to walk and move around a few minutes more each day than the day before. Taking the stairs more often and parking your car farther away from the store are simple tricks to burn more calories. Even activities such as walking your dog, gardening, washing your car, and intense housework add up and can contribute to weight loss, energy, and overall fitness. A wearable device like a pedomoter can help you keep track of how much you move. I love my Fitbit because it motivates me to take more steps and tells me how many hours throughout my day I’ve been active.

  1. Strength Training/Weight-Bearing Exercise

Did you know that your body constantly burns calories, even when you’re doing nothing? However, resting metabolic rate is significantly higher in people with more lean muscle mass. That’s because muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) controls how many calories your body burns while you rest. As you gain more muscle, you increase your BMR, along with how much you can eat and still stay lean. The more lean muscle on your body, the less body fat you will store, the more calories you will burn 24-7, and the harder it will be to gain weight.  This “afterburn” effect is the metabolism boost needed to maintain a healthy weight over time and maximize your calorie burn. Read more about why you want to start strength training for your weight and fitness goals here.

  1. Drinking Water

Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism can slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened, natural beverage (like organic tea) before every meal and snack.

Also, snack on organic, raw fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water, rather than salty, dry, or dehydrated snacks that rob moisture from your digestive tract during processing.

  1. Natural Energy Boosters

Green tea or oolong tea offer the combined benefits of natural caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up your metabolism for a couple of hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17 percent more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.

Also, superfoods such as maca powder, tribulus terrestris, and chia seeds have an innate capacity to increase energy and testosterone levels, thereby helping you work out and build muscle mass with more intensity and stamina.

  1. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. The effect is somewhat temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits can add up quickly. For a quick boost, spice up your pasta dishes, rice bowls, chili, and soups with crushed red pepper flakes, chipotle, or cayenne!

  1. Smaller Portions

The simple skill of knowing how much to eat is an important key to weight loss and weight maintenance. Studies have shown that eating light, smaller meals throughout the day has a positive effect on metabolism. Eating large portions of food per sitting can overtax your digestive system, thereby creating less efficiency for elimination and also depleting your energy stores.

Conversely, eating smaller portions more often can support consistent weight loss. Try having a healthy snack every three to four hours to keep your metabolism cranking. Click here to read my “Smart Size Portion Guide” for more suggestions on how to make your portions work for your weight goals.

  1. Protein-Rich Foods

Your body burns many more calories as it digests protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some of your carbohydrate intake with protein-rich foods can actually boost your metabolism at mealtime. The key is to select alkaline, plant-based proteins that are highly assimilable, which are much healthier for your body. When you consume highly acidic, animal-based proteins, they come complete with high levels of cholesterol, artery-clogging fats, and, over time, result in a net loss of alkaline minerals in your body, most notably calcium.

The reality is losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight takes constant awareness and effort. The most solid and reliable foundation for weight maintainance continues to be anchored in consistent physical activity, a positive, unstoppable mind-set, and a shift toward a healthy, clean, plant-based diet. You don’t have to be a slave to burning calories – you can choose to make staying in shape an intentional choice that  brings energy, power, and longevity to your life. 

Our knowledge is continually expanding about all of the mechanisms that impact human appetite, food selection, and how your body processes and burns food. The best way to find out what works for you is to engage in conscious experimentation with different foods, exercises, natural supplements, and mindfulness techniques until you crack the code on what works best for you.

And remember—what works for your individual body type, metabolism, and genetic structure is unique to you. It’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else or their progress. It’s about setting structured, achievable goals for yourself, experimenting with what works, asking for support from people you trust, and making a daily choice to be positively relentless in creating your ideal body and level of lifelong well-being.

This process is a marathon, not a sprint. Persistence and determination will get you results. Choose to focus on your daily progress, not perfection, and you’ll be on track for long-term success!

Simple and powerful, follow these basic tips and your weight will balance at a happy, healthy place for your body and your life. What is your #1 tip for boosting your calorie burn and maintaining a healthy weight? Leave your weight words of wisdom as a comment below, excited to hear how you stay balanced and well.

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves support in fueling their lives with health.

Till next time, keep moving my friends,

Caroline

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

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