My Christmas Shopping Simplified! Affordable Gift-Giving Options For Fit People! (And Those Who Want to Be)

Wow!
It is upon us! I’m not really into the commercialism aspect of the holidays. Christmas is not something that Micah and I go into debt over. We’d rather focus on making memories. Oftentimes, we make homemade gifts, and those are some of the best gifts I’ve given through the years. We have lots of fit friends, and enjoy giving because it blesses others, not because we have to compete. I will be doing a local business post listing business run by people I know that really offer great products/services, that your friends and family will really enjoy, but today’s theme is frugal gift giving. Here’s a list of affordable and high-quality brands that  I highly recommend for your fitness friends!

Disclaimer: Some but not all products in this post do contain affiliate links, which compensate me a percentage of your purchase amount. However, I do really love these brands or I wouldn’t mention them in this post. Thanks for supporting Grace, Lace, and Iron!

 1 Beachbody’s Semi-Annual Sale: So, it starts today at 5 p.m. The entire P90X Series is drastically marked down as well as programs from Shaun-T and Chalene Johnson. The last sale they had sold out really quick, so I wouldn’t wait on this one. There’s also fitness apparel and equipment on sale!

 2. Natalie Jill Fitness: This lady has some awesome cookbooks, and workouts. She’s down-to-earth and friendly, and knows her stuff. You can read my review of her Rev-4 workout dvd on this blog. Her Stay Lean III Cookbook is awesome too! You could even have these downloads sent via email to someone. Or create a fitness binder for them from one of her e-books.

3. Oh-Sweet-Heavens: Jillian is NC-based and specializes in allergen-free desserts. They taste amazing too! She also ships, and her products hold up well over shipping. I love her brownie sampler. This is perfect for anyone on your list who you won’t get to see over the holidays!

4. Nak’d Raw Bars: $9.99 + shipping for a box of 13. They taste great too. I loved reviewing this product. They have so many flavors too!

5. Mash-Up Conditioning DVD – 7 –  15 min. workouts that use minimal equipment. You will sweat! You can read my review on this dvd Here.

6. Petal and Stem Wrist-Hugger or Hip-Hugger: This is a great gift for a group fitness instructor, or really anyone who travels, it’s a pouch that stores your your id, some, cash and car key. I have one and love it! I’ve reviewed this product as well!

7. Cross Rope. Girls Gone Sporty introduced me to these nifty ropes. That are customizeable, Choose the thickness of the rope, along with the weight of the handles, and you have a high quality jump rope you’ll be using for years. Use the code GGSCROSS for a discount.

8. Oh and just a side note, the products in my selz store will be 50% off until next monday, so this would be a great idea for those of you needing healthy recipe ideas to take to gatherings, or making fitness notebooks for your friends! julieauler.selz.com

Workout Wednesday and Weekend Recap

Last weekend was an awesome weekend! Micah and I got to meet up with some dear friends in Atlanta and make some new ones! The challenge group training was so inspiring…so many stories of families and lives being changed for the better! The most important lesson is to be you. You inspire others when they see you putting your stamp on a job. Do your best in whatever you commit to.
We also got to hangout with
Ruthie and
Ronnie, our team leaders, and
Simone
Mack, one of our teammates
!

We had lots of fun hanging out with Micah’s sister Sarah who lives in Atlanta,and of course the weekend would not have been complete without a mockumentary movie night! We watch Razzle Dazzle…hilarious!

Also, I think we planned really well to be healthy on this trip. Not one fast food stop…not one.

Staples for our trips included: gfree wraps, greek yogurt chicken salad, bananas, g-free bars, high fiber protein bars, large bottles of water, spicy brown mustard, and shakeology
!
Oh, and a printable, customizable workout from workoutlabs.com. this workout was bodyweight only and was great!
I highly recommend having a plan for activity when on he road, so you won’t dread getting back in your routine when you arrive back home.
The workout I printed out only took about 5 minutes to conplete 1 round, and
I felt great afterwards because I knew that
I’d gotten a workout in first thing.
I also added on 10 sets of alternating foward hinge reverse lunges; each set lasted 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between each set. I do a lot of low reps with heavy weights, so this challenged my endurance
!
I hope the ideas in this post will help you have an active and healthy summer!

Keep it healthy!
Julie

Friday 5, Giveaway Winner, and Strength move of the week!

Hi Everyone!
It’s been a fun week, and trust me, I’ve been enjoying the snow holidays for all their worth, because the last time I saw snow like this in the Carolinas was in 1992! Micah and I  and our adorable German Shepherd, Orion, played in the snow for quite awhile, and the best thing was watching Orion trying to “fetch” snowballs. HAHAHA My dog loves to entertain! I thought it would be appropriate to list 5 things I did in the snow, well, here they are. My brave husband has over a 30 minute drive, and he gave me a scare, when it took him 2 hours to get home driving through the snow, but when he got home, he had a red rose for me! What an awesome man I have!

For my Friday Five, I thought it would be appropriate to list 5 things I did in the snow, well, here they are.

1. Snowballs! Our dog thinks it’s fun to “fetch” back a piece, so, we’d toss them up in the air, and he’d go for it!
2. Fixed a really yummy Santa Fe soup recipe
3. Planned my first fit club for 21 Day Fix! (It’s going to be so much fun!)
4. Lots of workouts!
5. Clutter removing…I’m doing the 40 Days = 40 Bags of Clutter challenge

I’m changing subject rapidly, but I feel like I have a lot of ground to cover.  Last Friday, I hosted a giveaway for a Mash Up Conditioning Tempo Dvd….is (drumroll please) Courtney Fields! Congrats Courtney! Thanks for visiting the blog, and I hope that you’ll continue to do so in the future!

Now, onto the strength training move of the week: the squat. This is an essential move, and it’s super important that you start out with the correct form, because trust me, it’s tough to correct improper form on a squat, I’ve had to do this with many clients. The good news is, it’s doable. Today’s challenge is to do 1 minute of the squats described in this video. Pick a squat style, then go for it. Think quality, not quantity. Some extra pointers: 1. Keep your abs engaged throughout the entire movement, and exhale as you stand. 2. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and pause for 2 counts. This will help prevent squats from hurting your knees.
Squats are important for your metabolism in general, think large muscle groups burn more calories, and it’s a functional movement. SO without further ado, here it is. The squat!

This is my first video tutorial, and I’d love your feedback!

Have a wonderful Friday! Stay Warm!

-Julie

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Friday Five and MashUp Conditioning dvd giveaway!

Hi everyone well, today is Friday 5! This week, I’m sharing 5 new awesome opportunities, I’ve been provided with this week! Find 5 good things that have happened to you this week and comment below. There’s so many crazy things going on in the world that sometimes we need to detox our minds. Philippians 4:8 “If there is anything praiseworthy or of good report, think about such things.” So take a break from all the drama, and count your blessings!

1. I was chosen to take part in a study regarding audiobooks and exercise. πŸ™‚
2. I just found out Monday that Kidstunes (my real job) wants to begin working on community classes in order to bring movement and music to more children! πŸ™‚
3. I’m a Beachbody coach!
4. I’m going to be sharing my story on website, and will be guest posting on 2 blogs in the upcoming weeks!
5. My husband and I sing and play in a band that will be doing a canned good drive for CUOC (Christians United Outreach Center) in Asheboro in a couple of months! I love giving back and helping people

If you deal with a lot of stress or depression, as I have in the past. A great way to move past it is to give back to someone else!

Oh and here’s the giveaway you’ve all been waiting for! Girls Gone Sporty provided me with this opportunity to review a fitness dvd from Mash-Up Conditioning. I loved working out with the Tempo dvd! Each of the 7 workouts contains 5 minute of strength, 5 minutes HIIT, and 5 minutes of mind/body exercise…Micah and I were huffing and puffing after the 1st 5 minutes! I teach hour long tabata classes that are intense, but this was intense and showed modifications for all fitness levels. Stacey and Jamie have some pretty impressive credentials, and the workouts are fun easy to follow, and best of all, you’ll be breaking a sweat in no time! I love the exercises they used, there are fresh and challenging exercise combos, and for those of you plyo people, this is a great dvd for you! The more advanced modifications include plyo, but the beginner variations are suitable for healthy pregnant women! There’s something for everyone!

Here’s the giveaway information!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful Weekend!  

Workout Wednesday: Pilates Core Tightener

 Ok, so you’ve been hearing about this announcement that I’m making…Well, I’ve decided to become a beach body coach! This was a big decision for me, and it will allow me to maintain my clients from other facilities that I’ve worked for in the past. I’ve been really blessed with the opportunity to participate and lead a challenge group for 21 Day Fix, beachbody’s newest program, and I have to tell you that as a personal trainer, this is legit. It deals with portion control, and daily habits. I’m very excited and can’t wait to take part in this!!!! Beachbody also has an online meal planner that you can use with any program, not just their programs, with lots of healthy recipes. This will free me up to do more motivational things with clients and classes! But this blog is not going to turn into just a plug for Beachbody. It’s about my journey, and while I love following programs. I want to share my story. There will be a separate page on the blog for 21 Day Fix (Along with before and after pics of me!) But I will still post my own material and recipes and thoughts to share with you about fitness in general. The purpose of this blog is to educate and inspire you, whatever fitness path you choose! 

Oh, and there’s going to be a blog giveaway on Friday! It’s a fitness dvd by Mash-Up Conditioning. Girls Gone Sporty provided the opportunity for me to work with the owners of this brand! They’re super cool and sent me a dvd to review, and let me tell you, it’s good stuff! 15 minute workouts…I mean come on! who doesn’t have time for a 15 minute workout, with minimal equipment involved? The workouts are beastly to, but also shown with modifications for every fitness level! This will be happening on Friday so keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook page! 
Here’s a sneak peek! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2uuDyVKQxU

Today, I’d like to provide a relaxing, yet challenging pilates routine, that will improve your flexibility in your hips and core. The point of this workout is not to be sweaty…It is to reconnect your mind with your muscles and aquaint you with how your body works. Your mind is very important to your workouts, and a study from the University of South Carolina Upstate (in my hometown!) states that participants experienced up to 26 % more muscle growth when they thought about the muscle they were using in a given strength exercise. These are some of my favorite pilates exercises, and you will definitely feel this workout. Remember to exhale forcefully on the exhertion of each repetition!

Curl-Ups: Pull your navel to your spine as you lie faceup with feet flat on the floor. Slowly roll one vertebrae at a time until just your shoulders are lifted. Hands are behind head with tension between your hands and head to support your neck. Roll backward slowly. Repeat.

Bridges:Lie face up with feet on the floor, navel towards spine. Squeeze glutes and press into heels to lift hips off of the floor. Hold for 5 counts at the top then slowly lower. For Leg touch downs: Keep hips lifted extend leg and lift into the air with leg extended lower down towards floor and lift. Repeat. Do this exercise slowly, and avoid if you have a weak back. 

Tabletop: Sitting on the mat, place hands on the floor just behind you and feet on the floor just in front of you.
Press through hands and feet and lift hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds. 

Mod. Side Plank with leg lifts: Prop onto your elbow, or a Swiss ball for more challenge. Keep your knee below your bottom hip, like a camera tripod. Maintaining this position, lift and lower top leg slowly.

Swimming: Lie on your stomach, navel drawn in. Arms in front of you, legs behind you. Exhale, and lift arms and legs, then inhale as you slowly lower arms and legs. Look below, not in front.  To make it easier, only lift arms, and prop a pillow under your hips. DO not hyperextend.

I love workouts like this to give my muscles and my mind a break, so put on some relaxing music, and go for it! The graphic’s below! have a wonderful Wednesday! πŸ™‚

 

Motivational Monday: Jessica’s Transformation

 Good morning! I’m so excited about my week, and have a huge announcement for Friday! Yes, this is a big step for me. Oh, and my hubby has a full-time job now! PTL! Now we’re on the same schedule, and I’m so excited about the changes going on at our house!

This week’s inspirational story come’s from the heart of my good friend, Jessica. The transformation of this lady is especially dear to my heart. You see, we were good friends in college, and are still friends. She’s one of the most caring people I know! I remember when we would go to the gym and Jessica would laugh…the entire time…now I laugh thinking about that. hahaha. Her story is proof that all things are possible to them that believe!

 What was your fitness defining moment?The moment I was no longer terrified to run outside. I used to run in my townhome because I had such a fear of what people would think seeing a woman so obviously obese running. Now, I run with confidence! 
 Who impacted your journey into fitness and why? The two people who come to mind immediately are Kodi Reed & Jessica Dinka. Both are my coaches to fitness and help push me beyond the limits I attempt to set for myself. They both believe in me even more than I believe in myself at times. what are some ways that you sneak fitness into your day? My lovely 25 pound toddler is a simple way. Picking her up, dancing around the house to music, squats, and her favorite is downward dog. I catch myself accidentally exercising without even thinking with her around.
How do you go about planning healthier meal choices for your day?Currently, I am following a personalized meal plan from Beachbody. Typically, I would look online to find good recipes with ingredients I already had but needed to branch out some. I track all of my calories using the free application, MyFitnessPal–add me jessicagross94 
What scripture best describes your health journey? 
“I will praise you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of the marvelous things you have done.” Psalm 9:1 This Scripture reminds me always to go back and thank the Lord. Every step of my journey to health He was with me giving me the strength to push through a hard workout, stamina to run a half marathon, wisdom to plan out of meals, and even the finances to support a healthier lifestyle. God is the author of all good things, so all the praise in my journey to health ultimately goes to Him.
Here’s Jessica’s before and after pics! 
 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Overcoming-Obesity/178173405709290

Jessica’s results of clean eating, T25, and running!



I’m so proud of my friend, and her accomplishments! I can’t wait to see the next chapter of her story unfold! 
What was your health/fitness defining moment? Comment below! 

Get an extra 40% off all bargain books at Booksamillion.com. Hurry! Sale ends Wednesday.

Wonderful Wednesday: Inspiring Stories, Ruthie

 Good morning! The snow is falling and I’m preparing for a snow day tomorrow. But my guest today, lives in beautiful Florida, near the Emerald Coast area…so jealous. Her name is Ruthie, and I cannot tell you what an amazing lady she is! She’s stared obstacles straight in the face and is very inspirational to me as a person and fitness professional. One of my first memories of her was attending our first PiYo training together at the Dowd YMCA in Charlotte! What a fun trip and a tough, but totally worth-it workout! Both of us were experiencing major transitions in our lives, and I’m proud to say, she’s a great example of how important of having a strong faith and great support system are for even us fitness professionals. Here’s her fitness strory:

My journey from a group dance fitness instructor and Personal Trainer to (a stay at home) (home based) Health and Fitness Business owner.


My personal health and fitness journey started in 1999, I was a working mom with 3 kids. At the time I was working as a dental assistant, a very unhappy dental assistant.
You see I’m one of those people that need to see a greater purpose, just working a job to make money just doesn’t motivate me. I want to feel a part of something bigger, something with purpose. I was looking for something that excited and challenged me, made me look forward to getting up each day to meet the challenge. I wanted to be involved with people at a deeper level.
One day a couple of my fellow employees invited me to join them at the gym, after work.
This is where I found my passion, you see it was the first time I had participated in a group aerobics class! It didn’t feel like I was even working out! I loved the music, the energy, and the fun.
From that day forward I knew that I wanted to be teaching some type of group fitness activity.  I loved dance, so I soon found a local Jazzercise class to attend.  It became my happy place! I so looked forward to attending the class several nights a week after work.


Soon after I became a licensed Jazzercise instructor.
And for a couple of years, I taught a couple classes a week at a local studio. But I wanted to do more, so I opened up my own Jazzercise studio which I ran  for 5 years.
Wanting to go deeper into fitness, I soon received my AFAA group instructor certification. I continued my fitness education and I became a N.A.S.M. certified personal trainer, Sports Nutrition Specialist and a Zumba instructor. During this time I was teaching some group classes at area gyms and holding fitness Boot camps.
Several years ago I decided to get certified to teach a  format called PIYO Strength, the certification instructor introduced me to the Team Beachbody Coaching opportunity. (Virtual Fitness Coaching)
At first I wasn’t sure how I could incorporate this type of training into my fitness business, especially since it didn’t involve hands on training with a client or group as I had been accustom to.  So I continued to teach some classes and run a few boot camp fitness classes, while I also worked on growing my Team Beachbody business from home.


Fast forward a couple of years and I am now dedicating most of my time to developing my Team Beachbody business. With virtual coaching, I work with clients nationally, on their schedules, providing support, encouragement and accountability with superior nutritional products and workout programs. All keys in attaining and maintaining health and fitness.
For more information about Beachbody products, programs and accountability groups visit http://ruthiegage.com/beachbody  
or connect with Ruthie on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ruthie.gage

Jeremiah 29:11

11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Please check out Ruthie’s website and pages. She is a breath of fresh air with her positive attitude, and her love of helping people!