September 26, 2019

Fall Fitness Game On!

Posted in health and wellness tagged , , , , , , , at 1:17 pm by Broken & Brave

Head into fall with your mind right! 21 exercise benefits as well as a few of my favorite supplements to give you the performance edge on your wellness goals!

Head into fall GAME STRONG!

I know you can do this! ~Nicole

http://eepurl.com/gED4AD

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September 20, 2019

Sculpted

Posted in health and wellness, Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:29 am by Broken & Brave

Never get so caught up in who you think you aren’t that you forget who you are.

You are significant and can do all etched within your heart to do.♥️

Click the link for a short blog post on the Constance of care extended toward you every day.

Be encouraged!

http://brokenandbrave.com/mind/sculpted-2/

August 28, 2019

Health & Wellness

Posted in health and wellness tagged , , , , at 9:34 pm by Broken & Brave

Benefits of Supplementing with BCAA’s

Supplementing with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) has shown 5 strong benefits.

1. Increases testosterone and reduces cortisol. This creates a quality hormonal environment.

2. Inhibitor of Catabolism. Catabolism is “breaking down”, in this case, prevents the breaking down of muscle. Research shows we cannibalize a certain amount of muscle tissue during exercise. BCAA’s work like shrink wrap on your muscle inhibiting this process and telling the body to utilize body fat for energy.

3. Reduces fat and stimulates muscle growth. BCAA’s basically take energy from fat instead of muscles (mentioned in 2).

4. BCAA’s decrease muscle damage or Inflammation caused by high intensity training.

5. BCAA’s are beneficial for the enhancement and growth of muscle.

You may not be looking to build lots of muscle, but even ladies need muscle tone. Quality muscle tone will burn more calories (which also means you can consume more calories without a calorie surplus), and it will give you a lean and sculpted look. 

Ive been using the ID Life Lean, BCAA’s and it has enhanced my fat burning! I am loving it!

Supplements are not a substitute for quality calories/nutrition. However, they can give a critical edge to reaching your health, wellness and fitness goals. Eat well, live strong. ~Nicole

https://nextlevelteam.idlife.com/shop/products/lean-jar?taxon_id=67

(Should you order any Lean I will be compensated a commission.)

July 23, 2019

Fueled

Posted in health and wellness tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:27 am by Broken & Brave

What will you eat today?

Food is fuel, well it’s actually so much more, but here’s what I know. How you fuel decides how you feel. Make good decisions today. Mind, Body, Soul…it’s all connected. Balance living makes you whole!

When you realize Heaven is decided upon you, you understand that others are captivated by you, too, and want you around for a long time. Read my short blog piece for better health and living. ~Nicole

http://brokenandbrave.com/mind/fueled-whats-in-your-tank/

May 29, 2019

Overcoming Obstacles To Wellness

Posted in health and wellness tagged , , , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Broken & Brave

The Dirty Dozen

You’ve been working hard. You’ve be faithful to exercise. You’ve been watching what you eat and your portions…but the weight just isn’t coming off like you would like to see. “What’s wrong? Is it just me?” You may be thinking. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not the exception. Here are a few things to consider if this scenario describes you:

1. You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Period. Results are the product of 70-80% nutrition and 20-30% exercise.

2. You are still drinking soda, even diet,   especially diet soda!

3. You are eating too much processed foods. The more natural the foods state the more your body will have to work to digest it. This in itself burns calories and is a workout from the inside!

4. You’ve been dooped by fake health food. You are unknowingly eating snacks you think are healthy little treats or cheats but are really junk food in disguise. This one is huge! Be a label reader. Look for the sugar content.

5. You eat too much sugar even if your calories are low. This includes fruit. Treat fruit like a dessert.

6. You don’t eat enough.

You need quality, frequency and believe it or not, quantity. Too little nutrition and your metabolism will shut down and save every calorie you ingest.

7. You are eating too many calories in the last part of your day.

We call this the sumo wrestler diet. Want to look like a sumo wrestler eat all your calories at night.

8. You aren’t eating enough protein.

Protein is the power house of the cell. All health starts at the cellular level. Feed them what they need!

9. You aren’t drinking enough water.

•how much is enough?

your body weight divided by 2 equals number of ounces you should have each day.

10. You are “rewarding” your hard work with desserts or treats. Scenario: You did fabulous all week with nutrition, portion control and exercise. You indulge in the weekend or special occasion because well, you earned it. Refer back to number 1. You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Don’t self sabotage!

11. You aren’t getting enough rest. The number of hours of sleep/rest you get before midnight is a good indicator of the quality of your overall rest. There is something to be said for early to bed and early to rise. You also need to listen to your body with training. Your body will tell you if you are over training and need a day off. Listen to it.

12. You are a nibbler. You eat a little taste here and there that seem insignificant, but by the end of the day you have several hundred unaccounted for calories going into your body. Illuminate nibbling and you just may find yourself dropping some inches or pounds and gaining ground.

 

Be a Champion! Honor yourself. Design your success and embrace your beauty. It won’t be reflected in a certain number on the scale, dress size or popping muscle. It will be found in a healthy fit you who feels good and as a result looks good. True health starts within. You can do it! ~Nicole

Overcoming Obstacles in wellness and weight loss may be as simple as incorporating a quality supplement.

AdvoCare Slim may be the correct fit to close nutritional holes that are contributing to your shortfalls.

Slim contains a proprietary Swedish patented blend of herbals and caffeine that combine together to achieve some extraordinary things.

1. Increased energy which will lead to overall feeling good and that will make you want to move! Movement always leads to burning more overall calories. Because the goal of weight loss is creating a calorie deficit–

Goal just may be achieved!

2. Svetol contains ingredients that promote stasis (homeostasis) and balance in blood sugars. The result is less cravings for fats and sweets and general food cravings. Eating less and better choices will yield a greater likelihood of accomplishing a calorie deficit. Calorie deficit is the goal for weight loss. Your goal may just become a reality!

I am a competitor in masters figure class of bodybuilding. I have incorporated Slim into my nutrition protocol when leaning out every season for the past 6 seasons. A viable option for anyone trying to lose a few pounds.

Slim comes in a variety of flavors:

•peach

•apple pear

•berry

•lemonade

https://www.advocare.com/9507230/store/product/t1066-advocare-slim

This is my personal lifestyle blog and the contents are my opinion and experience. I do not make medical claims. Consult a health care professional if you have concerns before trying any nutritional supplements. If you order any AdvoCare from the link provided I will be compensated.

Thank you! Your health and wellness are worth the effort to put some time, attention and care into your self care. You matter!

Blessings in Strength,

Nicole

(Next Level Sports Performance and Fitness)

Find us on Facebook!

Let’s Eat!

Chicken Fajitas

2 TBSP fat free chicken broth

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips.

1 c sliced onion

1 c thinly sliced red, yellow and or green peppers.

1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp lime juice

1/3 c fresh salsa

4 corn tortillas (warmed)

1/2 medium avocado, sliced

1/4 c cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, medium heat, add chicken broth, onion, peppers, stir fry about 6 minutes (until chicken is cooked). Add soy sauce, lime juice, and salsa; cover and simmer for 5 minutes for favors to blend. Serve with tortillas, avocado, grated cheese and add additional salsa if desired) *this is to share or divide up for multiple meals. Only 1 tortillas a serving and only 3-4 oz chicken. 1 oz serving cheese.

Serves: 4; calories/serving 262, carbs: 20g; protein: 30g; fat: 7g, cholesterol 67mg; sodium: 369mg; dietary fiber: 4g.

May 16, 2019

Glow With it! Guiding Principles to Love Your Skin

Posted in health and wellness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:07 pm by Broken & Brave

Faith and Fitness.

So much to do and so many to care for! That’s life in America. We go, go, go and we rarely stop, stop, STOP! But what if we found a place of balance somewhere in between?

I think it’s possible.

It won’t happen by chance.

You will have to be decided.

Intentional will have to be your mantra.

Drive of heart, mind, body and spirit.

You have a big heart and big spirit! How do I know? You wouldn’t be spending time reading my blog if you weren’t looking to feed your mind, heart or soul. You’re here! And I am so glad you came.

When there are a million other places you could be, I value your time and attention. Nothing in life will be of greatest value than your time. You didn’t allow distraction to subtract or the television to suck your brain of its ability to think for itself. You’ve been proactive. Maybe you’re researching or have stumbled upon my blog with a helpful hashtag? Perhaps you’ve been glazing over Pinterest looking for articles or inspiration to begin with health and fitness? If you are new, Welcome! But if you’ve read my writing for any length of time, you know there are two very powerful passions and influences in my life. My faith and fitness. Let’s chat about fitness today!

Guiding Principles to Love Your Skin:

Today I want to talk you about nutrition for your skin, hair and nails. Your skin (dermis), is the largest organ of your body. With an estimated 35 trillion cells, your skin needs a lot of love.

There are so SO many skincare products on the market. Where is one to begin? I do believe, by what I’ve researched and experienced, skincare really does pay more to pay more. Not every expensive skincare protocol is effective, but it is in my opinion a scarcity to find something of pristine quality on the bargain racks. Skincare of a topical nature absorbs via the epidermis (top layer of skin) down into the sublayers. The higher the nutrition content and delivery system, the better it will penetrate without entering the bloodstream. Some products just rub on the surface and don’t penetrate (and usually feel greasy), and some go so deep they pass right through the skin to blood which won’t benefit you either. So where am I going with this? Believe it or not, I’m not planning to pitch a topical I love, but I will share something I’ve been using and am happy with. I do not receive compensation for this shout out! I just believe in Rebecca and her products.

I’ve been using oils and extracts created by Rebecca Nowak and her company, Crunchy Mama Bear. Her products are all organic. She is a small business owner and you can find her on Etsy. My son is a waterpolo player and in the California sun year round. Her none toxic sun balm is the bomb! Sun Butter for the win!

Ultimately, the health of your skin is best enhanced and improved by what you do internally. So–here’s those gauges to watch:

•How much quality sleep/rest you get

•Exercise/activity levels (exercise forces blood to circulate to surface this enhancing blood flow and reducing visible signs of wrinkles)

•What you eat

•What alcohol you drink and how much water you drink

•Nutrition rich in fiber and complex vitamins and minerals (antioxidant Power nutrients)

•Sun exposure (don’t forget the sun butter!)

•Collagen Support

Let’s focus right now on collagen.

What is collagen and how can we support it?

Your entire body has not only a bone skeleton, but it also has a collagen skeleton. The entire heart has a small matrix of collagen for support. I find this amazing! Collagen supports joints making our ligaments and tendons stronger than strong yet extremely flexible. As we age the collagen loses moisture breaks down and becomes more brittle. By our mid thirties we have begun losing 1% per year of our skin plumping and firming collagen! Collagen helps keeps those wrinkles away!

I’m going to share some ideas in hopes you’ll pay attention to this super important nutrient in our bodies.

Recap: What does collagen do?

✔️promotes skin elasticity

✔️holds together your bones and muscles

✔️protects your organs

✔️provides structure to joints and tendons

Use foods to boost collagen. Some examples could be eggs ~have to eat the yolks!, wild caught salmon, citrus fruits, garlic, avocados, tomatoes, berries, leafy greans, bone broth to name a few choices.

Here’s a bundle of AdvoCare products to add for simplicity of collagen building ability.

Each one of these products can be purchased stand alone.

I’ve been using them and truly notice a profound difference in the integrity of my hair, in particular.

https://www.advocare.com/store/product/99084-complete-advocare-glow-system

Another collagen product AdvoCare creates support joint collagen Is called Flex. I have many customers raving about how much their joints feel better with this one. Whether your just aging, have old sports injuries or are a weekend warrior, Flex Works!

https://www.advocare.com/9507230/store/search/advocare%20flex

I do receive commissions if you chose to order AdvoCare from my website. I appreciate your business and trust me, I don’t recommend anything I don’t use and truly believe in. I’m a tough sell and I’m sure you are too. No hype, just results. Feel free to browse my site while there and explore all of the product line for better health and wellness.

Wellness is ultimately about quality of life and disease prevention. We learn, and more importantly we put into practice what we learn, and we can enjoy a healthy whole life where we can expect to feel good everyday. Here’s to your health!

In Health,

Nicole

March 28, 2019

Fit Life For Life!

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , at 6:42 am by Broken & Brave

I remember when my daughter was maybe 10, maybe a little younger…I had to explain to her why exercise was important to do even when you didn’t feel like doing it. Because she saw me consistent with it she assumed I always wanted to do it. I told her I didn’t always feel like working out. She seemed surprised. Then I walked her through a talk about our family health history.

When you know your history, you know what needs to happen to change the future so history doesn’t repeat.

Keep guiding your kids.

My kids eat a thousand times healthier by choice than I did at their age.

Raise them to be over-comers.

It may feel hard at times because let’s face it—they’re going to do what you do not what you suggest. So you’ve got to lead by example.

I’m once again reminded of the fruit of dedication and intention as my daughter is a young working adult and rises up and gets to the gym at 5am!

Fitness is a Way of life that is for the purpose of a long and healthy life. Anything aesthetic is just the added bonus. Lift heavy and love strong! ~Nicole

#liftheavylovestrong

It’s not just about exercise! Nutrition is the foundation any health protocol is built upon!

A few staples for nutrition we utilize (I am a distributor of these products and if you order through my link I will receive compensation. I try not to be commercially on this page, but am a true believer, have seen the profound difference a quality product can make and grateful for your business!)

🍎Omega Fatty Acids shown to increase brain function and maximize IQ potential during gestation and early years. Certified mercury free.

https://www.advocare.com/9507230/store/product/w2002-omegaplex

🍊CorePlex multi vitamin pharmaceutical grade

https://www.advocare.com/9507230/store/product/w6031-coreplex

🍇Fast Melt Probiotics. An easy and tasty way to get healthy micro flora into children.

https://www.advocare.com/9507230/store/product/w5812-probiotic-fastmelt

🍊I am an absolute Advocate for taking in extra C! But not all C’s are created equally! This isn’t just ascorbic acid, but a complex of high grade C. Read on!

https://www.advocare.com/9507230/store/product/w3151-c-grams

February 24, 2019

Long Deep Breath

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , at 8:52 am by Broken & Brave

This is the air I breathe…

These are the words that sing to my internal mind and sweep through my soul as I open my eyelids this morning.

This is the air I breathe..

The breath of Heaven is a glorious thing. If I could somehow communicate how intoxicating it is to breathe Him in deeply.

People all over looking for something. But what? Most probably don’t even know what it is they are searching for. I suppose they feel they will know when they find it?

It’s a bit like falling in love. Well, I guess it’s exactly like falling in love because He is the greatest Lover of our soul. He loves the rest of you as well! Falling in love abandons common sense. It sweeps in like a rush. The heart swells and the breath is caught. If the love is pure and true respiration is complete within it. This is how it can be with your Spirit—God to man. So let me continually try to convey to you what His breath can do in you and for you. And then, of course, through you.

I recently went to a continued education conference for fitness trainers of every field (CPT, Yoga, Pilates, Coaches, Power Lifters, etc.) There were three speakers who also had a hands on component to their talks. What was the theme of the day? Breathing. So many positive mechanical differences can be made in the human body simply by breathing properly.

Here are just a few benefits of taking a deep breath:

💨Taking 6-10 long deep breaths will aid in stress or anxiety reduction.

💨Deep breathing can make a difference in core (abs) strength and stability.

💨Deep breathing can increase muscle mobility and range of motion flexibility.

Because breathing is an involuntary muscle contraction (we don’t have to think about it to do it), we often times don’t think about our breathing. The exact same it true with God. We can easily get caught up in life and simply forget to take a few moment to breathe him in.

Take a few moments now.

Clear your mind.

Drink deep of the moment.

Take a deep breath.

Invite him in.

Engage him with your company.

Entice him to your heart.

This is the air I breathe…

Your Spirit is moving.

The air is swirling, turning our hearts to you.

Your Holy Wind blowing.

Soon our hearts will knowing how captivating friendship with you can be. Breathe…

Inhale some love today💕

You are greater still.

~Nicole

“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”

(Isaiah 37:5)

February 15, 2019

This Is Going To Be Dope!

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:03 am by Broken & Brave

Why Can’t I Get Motivated?

This may be a question you’re asking yourself right now?

You have dreams, things you want to do, experiences rich inside the heart and mind, but something comes up lacking when it’s actually time to take the required action steps to move upon your goals. Why?

You maybe be experiencing a vicious cycle of deleterious effects because of a “start-stop syndrome”. You’ve got the best intentions, you may even begin that daunting task, that exercise program or clean eating menu—but something inside just isn’t clicking and the motivation is mentally mustered up for a brief season, but then somehow fades away.

If what I am suggesting describes you, there may be a nutritional root to what you are facing. Instead of beating yourself up, let’s take a closer look inside.

Our bodies are amazing. I am forever fascinated by their beauty, capability and complexity. We are like a walking talking scientific experiment that knows what to do and how to do it every day. But sometimes little hiccups in the body cause things to bump out of alignment and our homeostasis is disrupted. One of the key roles of nutrition— providing energy, is to function to feed cells and maintain stasis. Stasis is merely balance.

Too extreme of anything isn’t good for us. So let’s take a small moment to talk about an important chemical used by the brain called dopamine.

“The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. The anticipation of most types of rewards increases the level of dopamine in the brain”

So if we believe there will be a reward for our efforts or we are excited by the reward we will become motivated to do the work or take the actions required. We get energized–literally!

In Psychology we can study about the research done called “Classical Conditioning”. This study used dogs and salivation. A dog was stimulated and conditioned for a desired response using positive reinforcement. For the dog the reward was food.

https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html

We operate the same way. When something positive happens or the anticipation and expectation of something happening occurs we release dopamine in the brain and this neurotransmitter releases and stimulates the pleasure center of the mind. Certain foods are shown to stimulate our bodies ability to produce dopamine. So basically—when we are adequately motivated toward a goal and the belief deepens that we will be rewarded or blessed for our efforts—we excel. Dopamine can help us do that!

Your dreams and aspirations may only be one thought away. Set your mind right. Activate within your heart, mind and soul all the capacity Heaven loaded deep within. You’ve got what it takes to succeed and as you begin you just may find the momentum like wind in your sails taking you higher than you’ve ever been.

Sometimes to achieve we merely need to believe in ourself. We need others wrapped around us who deeply believe in us as well.

We need encouragement—but we also need excitement.

God gave a pleasure center in our mind for a purpose. Let’s put it to good use!

You’re only one breathe away from an exciting day! You may be only one dopamine infused thought away from break through!

Let’s get fit and go for it!

~Nicole

Nutrition Tips

I’ve found a great little article that includes suggestions for health rich foods that may naturally increase dopamine production in your mind.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-increase-dopamine

February 11, 2019

Just Be

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:24 am by Broken & Brave

Never chase a goal so hard you forget to have fun with it.♥️

I’ve been going through some old photos—compiling them from all the various shows I’ve done over the years. I have a specific purpose for this complication for myself and my training. It’s interesting and useful to see how I’ve changed my physique over the years. Change happens small and over time. Pictures help with perspective.

As I go through them, I am reminded there’s been quite a few and I’ve now been doing this more than just a year or two.

Guess what? Looking back I think, “hey, I was more prepared than I thought I was.” But maybe I was placing too much priority on what the judges thought? I’ve been blessed with open doors for a quality education in the fields of human developmental and nutrition. I’ve planned, prepped and been focused and dedicated. I have the gift of discipline. And I found the nutritional edge my biochemistry needed to shred down lean.

I highly recommend AdvoCare if you are looking for a rock solid supplement that has safety and efficacy. I’m including a picture of me on the left, 6 weeks after birthing my fourth child. Contrast that to picture on the right, on stage in my second season. I believe my FIFTH child was two years old when the picture on the right was taken. I don’t have the exact dates of the photos so you have to take my word and visit the website:

NextLevelcoach.com

Aside from all of this—you never feel ready, at least I don’t. You can feel you put in the work and the time, but not ready. I feel this way with every show. So as I look at these pictures I am once again reminded of all the memories that have been made. All the friendship and community that has been built.

How about you?

Have you ever had something you worked hard at and sometimes you forget that you do your part and trust God to bless your efforts?

I think back to when I was in school. I never felt ready in college. Always did the work, but was it enough? Never felt prepared enough. But I graduated and I guarantee I remembered to have fun!

How about parenting?

If you’re a parent for sure you’ve had times you got so caught up in the job of parenting that you forgot to just cut loose and have fun with them?

I’ve always found humor in the parent who was desperate to potty train their child by the age of two. I just smile, good for you (knowing that most likely they know when to run the kid to the bathroom. Most one year olds don’t have enough muscle and mind to muscle control for that—but some do).

But to the mom who feels less than prepared because her four year old still soils their pants I always share—“they’ll be fine. They aren’t going to graduate high school in a diaper.”

Puts it in perspective, right?

I love to laugh with my kids. They crack me up. But I’ve had a lot of them so each kid progressively benefited from the more laid back me. The oldest always gets to be the pioneer for younger siblings. Isn’t that true! I know my oldest agrees with this (I’m an oldest sibling, too)!

I’ve got some homework for you this week.

📌Spend some time enjoying yourself.

📌Indulge in some simple pleasure.

📌Smile often.

📌 Be friendly.

📌Show others kindness.

There’s so much more to life than work and purpose and direction and intention.

Just Be.

You plus God is greater still.

When you simply do what needs to be done, you can trust in a God who says, “it’s enough”. Forget the judges—you’ve got the win. And as for your kids, they’re going to turn out just fine. Keep loving and leading and every little voice that says it’s not enough, you’re not enough or things are pretty rough—ignore it!

These are just a few examples. You already know what it is that presses you, and maybe you need to just enjoy it a bit more because you’ve been thinking of it the entire time you’ve been reading this. So, you know what to do…

Enjoy♥️

<Nicole

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