Programming FAQs

Hi! Happy Almost Summer :) Today, I wanted to lay out some of the differences between two of my fitness programs, so that you can determine which of these aligns the most closely with your goals.

4-Week Slim Down

Let's start with the program that is based off of the formula that changed my life in terms of health and wellness: the 4-Week Slim Down. This program teaches the 80/20 rule to eating, which means that we strive to eat clean and healthy 80% of the time and relax 20% of the time. We carefully plan our treats so that we can enjoy them guilt free. This type of eating is sustainable FOREVER and is a great place to start when beginning, or getting back into, your fitness journey. 

In the 4WSD, I will also be giving you daily workouts that are a mix of strength training and cardio, as well as some mind and body workouts for rest days. You will be given my cookbook, which contains recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. We will work on creating a meal plan that works for you and your family. 

In addition to the workouts, the recipes, and the strategy, I will be available each day to keep you accountable to your goals via a private Facebook group. This accountability is KEY to achieving your goals. 

I think the 4WSD is a great program for anyone who wants some extra support and accountability with their health and fitness, but I think it's PERFECT for those people who don't know where to start. It will create a solid foundation that you can build on as you reach your goals.

The next round of the 4-Week Slim Down starts on Monday, May 22nd and it is on Summer Sale for $99. That price includes everything listed above.    

Click here to get registered :) 


Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting 101

The second program that I offer on a regular basis is called Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting 101. It is a 3-week program that teaches you how to use carbs for GAINS, including improved muscle tone, fat loss, and increased energy. We alternate between days of high fats/low carbs and higher carbs lower fats to keep our metabolisms operating at a high fat-burning level. 

We also add intermittent fasting into week 2 for an amazing combination full of many health benefits, including better sleep, healing of the gut, regulation of hormones and mood improvement. The ladies in my current carb cycling/intermittent fasting group are LOVING how their clothes fit and how they feel, and we are only two weeks in!

This program is also for everyone, but clients who will be most successful at it already have a good fitness routine going. They have a baseline of fitness and want to tighten up some areas in their routine. 

Included in this program is the  manual, meal ideas and suggestions, two live trainings, and daily accountability and support. The next round of this program will begin on June 19th.

Click here to get registered :)


I also offer 1-on-1 coaching if you are looking for more of a personalized approach to your fitness goals. Click here to register for that service.

 

I want to help YOU reach your health and fitness goals so that you feel more confident in your skin! If you have questions for me regarding your goals and how we can best reach them, please email me at katie@harlancoaching.com.

Go to bed hungry, and other tips for optimal health

Hey Guys! I have a bunch of different advice floating around in my big brain today, so instead of sorting through it, I'm going to blog a sort of stream of consciousness with advice. I'd love your feedback if this is too hard to read or if you enjoy the randomness, ha!

Here are some tips for feeling and looking your best. These are things that I not only do, but advise my clients to do, as well:

  • Go to bed hungry

When you stop eating after dinner and don't eat again until the next morning (or lunch if you're fasting), you allow your body's digestion system to rest. And rest is good for our bodies. This rest tells your body to tap into its fat stores. Now, you shouldn't be so hungry that you wake in the middle of the night, that's no fun. But being a bit hungry at bedtime is a good thing. And guys, you're going to sleep SO soundly! Try it!

  • Drink your ACV

Apple cider vinegar is an amazing addition to your health routine. Make sure you buy the "Braggs Brand" because it contains The Mother, which is a community of digestive enzymes that helps improve your gut health, in addition to about a million other benefits. I drink it more frequently when I think I might be getting sick and it helps me kick it faster. It aids in weight loss, it's an appetite suppressant, it improves skin, and the list goes on and on. Here is a video I recorded about it about 6 months ago with my favorite "recipe."

  • Be observant

You are the only expert on your body. Doctors, trainers, coaches, etc. don't know more about YOUR body than you do. Take careful and observant inventory on how you feel when you eat certain foods, calorie levels, during and post workouts, when you wake up, when you go to bed. Be a scientist when it comes to learning about your body and then you can take what you know and use it to make you better. 

  • Fuel your workouts

When you exercise, you should be eating to fuel them so that you 1) feel your best, and 2) get the most benefit from them. I like to eat carbs directly after my more intense workouts because my body will burn them faster. I also like to have a clean source of protein following my workouts to help repair my muscles. Working out fasted is another strategy that I frequently use because I love the energy I have, and doing this allows my body to burn body fat faster because it's not busy burning the food I just ate. 

  • Rest days are important

Overtraining is a real, actual problem. You must have a rest day or two or three each week to allow your body to repair. It's actually during the REST that our muscles grow, not during the workouts. Listen to your body and schedule rest days as needed, or schedule them in advance. I like to schedule them, and then adjust as necessary if I need to make changes.

  • Sleep plentifully 

Just like our bodies need rest days, we also need plenty of sleep to repair those muscles. Think of your body like a machine. It can't work as well if it never gets turned off, right? When you're eating right and getting the proper amount of exercise, sleep will be good! So treat your sleep like a workout: schedule your bedtime and wakeup time and stick to them!

  • Try intermittent fasting

IF is such a great strategy that will improve all areas of your health and fitness, and it's a pretty easy strategy to implement. Not only will it help you burn more fat, but it will allow your body to reset and rest during your fasting window. Intermittent fasting is not calorie restriction; instead, it just reduces your window of eating so that you are only eating for an 8 hour (or less) window of time. Honestly, it simplifies the day! You'll sleep better, have more energy, and burn more fat without changing your diet. Here is a video I recorded about IF.

  • Plan ahead

No matter where I'm at in my fitness journey, one thing is always true: planning ahead makes everything easier. Being good at making a plan, and adding that to your weekly agenda, gets easier with time and practice. But it's always something that you have to make time for. Even 4 years in to this lifestyle I still make time to write out our meals, create our grocery list, and plan my workouts. If you want to improve your health and fitness, you've got to give it your attention.

  • Enjoy your treats

Life is too short not to enjoy treats occasionally! I've spent a lot of time studying treats and how best to enjoy them, and what I've found is that they taste better when they are limited, but not obsolete. Planning regular treats is good for your sanity and your mental resolve with your fitness goals. And planning ahead helps to prevent from binging and ruining progress. Plan your treats, enjoy them, and then move on.

The FREEDOM to Design a Program for YOU

Lately I have been spending a lot of time researching different health habits not only for fat loss, but for improved longevity and quality of life. And the more I learn, the more I am convinced that WHAT we put in our bodies is WAY more important than genetics. It's truly fascinating how much the foods we eat can make us feel. Depending on what you're eating, you can actually improve or ruin your mood! Isn't that wild??!

When I created the Carb Cycling 101 program it was because I wanted to delve even deeper into this strategy of eating and share the benefits of it with my clients. Carb cycling is strategically placing your carbohydrates to get the most out of your workouts. It allows you to still have carbs (hooray!) but still benefit from having days of lower carb content. I wanted to keep carbs in my life for a balanced diet and also because I love to workout hard. I loved the control that eating this way gave me, so I knew my clients would like it too! And they did! My clients had great results by cleaning up the foods they were eating and being more aware of what types of foods they were consuming. But something else cool happened, too.

Throughout the program my clients got to know their bodies REALLY well. And I believe this is due to two main factors:

  1. We cleaned up our diets for 6 days a week (the 7th is a Flex day where you can eat what you like) so that we were eating very unprocessed, clean food. Even the carbs are clean. No pasta or bread, instead, we focused on rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, oats, fruits, and beans. And you'd better believe that oatmeal with fruit and honey tasted like the most decadent dessert on high carb day! This super clean diet allowed participants to get really in-tune to their bodies, what foods and "days" their bodies responded to best, how their foods affected workouts, and even how high and low fat and carb content improved their monthly cycles!
  2. We spent a lot of time during the three weeks discussing how we FELT. I think this is so important when making changes to your health--really checking in with yourself to take inventory of what effect those changes are having on you. 

By the end of the program, my participants knew how their bodies responded to each type of day. They knew which types of exercise worked best on each day. And they could predict what kind of energy they would have. They used this information and cross-referenced it with their results and their original goals to determine next steps. Perhaps they would add intermittent fasting into their plan (this will be part of the next round!). Or maybe they would change the schedule so they were getting 2 low or high carb days in a row. Or if they didn't like the Flex day, they might choose to put their treats on high carb days.

Those are just some examples of how clients can personalize the plan to match their goals. I recommend that all participants to try the program as it is written for the three weeks so they can get an accurate read on how their bodies respond. And then they can adjust and make changes as necessary.

I am IN LOVE with this part of the program! I give participants a lot of freedom to choose what and when they eat, rather than putting stringent restrictions on them. To be honest, this does frustrate some of my clients, especially the ones who love rules. But that is a dieters' mentality. And we aren't dieting. We should really strive to be experts on our own bodies by experimenting with different foods and approaches and taking careful inventory of those choices.

If you are at a weight loss plateau, or are just ready for a new approach, I encourage you to give carb cycling a try. We begin the three week journey on May 8th. Click here to join!

 

What I'm eating for the SUPERBOWL!

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I freaking LOVE the Superbowl! And it has nothing to do with football! Winters in the Midwest can be LONG and having something to look forward to is important for helping me get through those long, cold, dark months with a positive attitude. I've literally been cold since November! But that's another story! So I love the Superbowl for the opportunity to gather with friends and family and eat and be cozy together. LOVE. Note: I don't use the Superbowl as an opportunity to eat all day long. Here's how I'm planning to build my day:

  • Continue intermittent fasting from the night before (usually breaking my fast around 10:00 am).
  • Start the day with a tough lower body workout-this will burn the most calories ALL day long!
  • Eat like I normally do until game time.
  • Once the party starts, enjoy treats that I normally don't eat, and stop eating at a reasonable time, so I can begin fasting for the next day. I'm thinking that 7 or 8 pm might work well.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

That's my plan, and I think it's SUPER important to go in with a solid plan! Notice I did not say, "only eat salad while my family eats nachos." That's not reasonable for me and not fun, either :)

Now, let's talk about my menu!!  Everyone is bringing an appetizer, but since I am hosting, I get to control a lot of the food that will be there, making it easier to choose wisely. Although I DID ask my Aunt to bring her famous brownies. Ooops.

I'm making a big pot of chili for the main course, with a ton of fun toppings for my family to choose from. We'll have two dips, and my favorite deviled eggs. And then whatever our family shows up with! But these recipes are easy, delicious, and pretty darn good choices for your clean eating at an otherwise pretty unhealthy get-together :)

Chili

Makes 4-5 servings
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb. ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • Diced onion
  • Diced green pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 cans hot chili beans
  • Large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
  • 2-3 TBS chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Sauté onion and pepper until soft, add garlic and ground turkey or beef.  Use a wooden spoon to mash the meat. Cook until no longer pink and drain.  Add the chili powder and let mix with the veggies and meat for a minute before adding beans (undrained) and tomatoes.  Add cinnamon and salt to taste.  

Let simmer all afternoon for THE BOMB chili! Serve with Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, green onions, avocado chunks, and blue tortilla chips.

Fiesta Dip

  • 16 oz Greek yogurt
  • packet of Fiesta ranch seasoning
  • small can diced black olives
  • small can diced chiles
  • 1/2 cup colby jack shredded cheese

Mix together and serve with blue tortilla chips and veggies.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 2 cans chunk chicken, or 2 diced chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet
  • 4 oz. Greek yogurt cream cheese
  • 8 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup colby jack cheese

Over medium heat, combine chicken and hot sauce until cooked through and broken apart. Add cream cheese, Greek yogurt and ranch and stir until combined thoroughly. Add cheese and remove from heat. Serve warm with blue corn tortilla chips and celery.

Deviled Eggs

  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil mayo or Greek yogurt
  • TBS mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Stevia or honey
  • tsp apple cider vinegar

Smash yolks with a fork. Add yogurt or mayo, mustard, Stevia/honey, and vinegar. Adjust the amounts to taste. Fill whites with the yolk mixture. You can sprinkle dill or paprika on top for some extra zing and color if you want :)  Using a plastic bag to pipe the filling makes them a little prettier, but I am usually too excited to eat them for that!

If you make these recipes at your Superbowl gathering, shoot me a message or comment below and let me know your thoughts!! I hope you have a great time rooting for your favorite team (or just eating the good food, like I plan to!).

XO,

Katie

Navigating Gatherings without Undoing Progress

Gatherings with friends and family are some of life's greatest blessings! They are a time to enjoy great company, great conversation, and most of the time, great food. But can we still enjoy parties and

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get-togethers and STILL stay on track with our health and fitness goals?

Yes, absolutely we can, and we MUST

. Because life is just too short to spend much time worrying about getting off-track while you're with friends and family at special events. I have some ways to set yourself up for success when going to a socialevent, while still staying on par with your fitness and health goals. Let's dive in!

  1. When you have an event planned (a birthday party, the Superbowl, a day of shopping and wine drinking with friends, etc.), be SURE to get your workout in ahead of time. Many events serve alcohol and if you have a drink, you will find exercising later nearly impossible! It's just too hard to get motivated after being super relaxed. So plan for success and get that workout done BEFORE your event. This goes for vacations, too. Get your workout in early so that you don't have to think about it for the rest of the day! That calorie burn will work for you all day long, even when you're having a cocktail by the pool, or a cupcake at a birthday party.
  2. If you're going to a gathering where everyone is asked to bring food, this is your chance to bring a healthy dish to share!  I think of this as my time to shine and show my friends and family that healthy can be delicious 😃 I make sure to bring a tried and true favorite clean recipe, like my Shakeology cookies, clean Buffalo Chicken Dip, or my Fiesta Dip. Not only does this encourage my loved ones to eat a bit healthier, but it helps ME because I know that there is going to be at least one dish that I can enjoy guilt-free at the party.

Fiesta Dip:

16 oz Greek yogurt

packet of Fiesta ranch seasoning

small can diced black olives

small can diced chiles

1/2 cup colby jack shredded cheese

Mix together and serve with blue tortilla chips and veggies

  1. Bring your own water and drink up before the event. I find that if I don't bring my own water to events, I sometimes find myself not being able to easily get water and then I end up drinking something I wouldn't normally choose. When I come with a water bottle in hand then I know I have a great option throughout the event. And don't forget to stay hydrated leading up to your gathering. Being hydrated helps keep you feeling full so you won't overeat, AND if you end up having a few drinks, it can help you avoid a nasty hangover later. Plus, I always find that if I'm holding a water, I have fewer hands to hold a huge plate of food!
  2. Your mental game is super important for navigating social events when it comes to food. Think of the event/gathering/party as one spot in your day. When it's over, it's over. There is no need to get off track BEFORE the event, and there is no need to go crazy AFTER the event. It's one part of your day. You might have some treats while you're there, but it does not needto leak into the rest of your day. The same goes for vacation. Pick a meal when you will allow yourself some fun treats, but then isolate them to that meal. One treat meal won't cause you to lose progress with your goals, but a whole week of treats will!
  3. Know your triggers and avoid them like the plague! Ha! For example, if I have a pop at a party I crave fast food. And the sugar in pop makes me crave more sugar. And before you know it, that stupid pop just cost me 800 calories in foods that provide no nutritional value. Oops! My husband's trigger is ice cream. Once he starts eating it, it's hard for him to stop. So he avoids ice cream as much as possible. Being aware of your triggers gives you the power to avoid them and make better choices.

Guys, I want you to enjoy family gatherings without stressing over the choices you'll need to make. With a little preparation and practice, you will be able to find that social events don't have to ruin your progress, and can actually fit into your healthy lifestyle easily 😃

Find your BALANCE

Create a LIFESTYLE full of health, fitness, and BALANCE

During my four years as an online health and fitness coach I've tried a lot of different approaches to healthy living. Through trial and error, I've discovered what my favorite strategies are and these are the ones I share with my clients. My approach is one of balance and simplicity so that we can sustain this lifestyle longterm. It has worked for me, and it has worked for 100's of my clients, as well.

When I work with clients, I teach how to eat clean and exercise in a way that will get them results. If you follow my lead, there is NO WAY you won't achieve results! But the thing I am most proud of when it comes to coaching clients is how I weave my love for treat meals and rest days into my program so that we can find that balance between being on point with our nutrition, while also being about to relax the reins a bit and enjoy wine, chocolate, and the occasional donut!

Another way I have created balance in my health and fitness is by bringing my family with me. I see so many people trying to get healthy on their own and it breaks my heart. Not only does having a partner or a coach help immensely in achieving your goals, but so does getting your family on board. And I have strategies for doing this, as well.

Registration is NOW OPEN for my 4-Week Slim Down Program, where I will help you lose weight and inches, create a balanced approach to nutrition and fitness, and bring your family along, too! I'm only taking 25 clients for this program!

Feeling and looking your best doesn't mean you have to give up every food you love and exercise for 2 hours a day. I promise. Take my hand and let me lead you to a healthy lifestyle you can be proud of AND enjoy!

XO,

Katie

P.S. If you bring a friend with you, ask me how you can save 50% off of your registration fee!

Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Foods

My kids only eat 100% clean and healthy foods, always get 8 servings of veggies, 5 servings of fruits, and have very limited sweets. Just kidding!!  Did I get your attention? Guys, I want you to know and understand that my kids are very healthy little beings, but they have far from perfect nutrition!  They eat McD's like many children, they are obsessed with candy, and they would exist on "kid food" if I let them. But there are a few things I do to ensure that they are getting some of the nutrients they need.

Kids Eat Healthier Foods

Here are a few tips:

  1. Have a kid-accessible snack basket. We definitely still have "snack times", as they are little and if their snacking isn't regulated they would never be hungry for a meal. But this basket contains Mom approved snacks for them. I love Z bars, Fiber bars are a favorite for my little one's constipation, goldfish, etc.
  2. Keep healthy choices visible. Fruits are readily accessible, as are veggies (cut up and washed, with dip), and yogurts (bottom shelf of the fridge).
  3. Keep junk food out of the house. I don't buy junk food for the most part. Only for special occasions like birthdays or parties. This includes pop (they love Sprite!), chips, candy bars. If that is in the house, we will all eat it!!
  4. Create a mealtime plan. If I make a meal that is "unfamiliar" or more geared towards adults one night, then the next evening I will make sure to make something I know they will eat. I require the kids to try the meal I made, if they hate it, then they can eat their veggies of choice, fruit, and a yogurt. Sometimes I will make them a sandwich if I think the meal is way out of their comfort zone. But I don't make a habit of this.
  5. Cook with your kids. I cook with my kids daily so they take ownership of the kitchen and what we make. Some ideas for cooking with your kids are sorting veggie trays, mixing dips, cookies, muffins, sauces, casseroles, etc. Basically, any recipe where your kids can help stir and assemble.
  6. Hide those veggies! Muffins are an EASY way to get good things into your kids!  Example: Pumpkin muffins with chia seeds, pumpkin, coconut oil, honey, oats, grass fed butter for more healthy fats. Shakeology chocolate bites: coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, Shakeology. Freeze in fun trays and eat like candy.
  7. Talk to your kids regularly about why healthy choices are better for them. Put an emphasis on how those foods make you and them FEEL vs unhealthy choices and junk foods.

If you are looking on more ways to create healthier habits for your family, Click this link for more information about my Family Wellness Program, where I teach you how to get fit and how to bring your family along. I am also offering private coaching, as well. To discuss private coaching, email me  so we can set some goals for you!

XO,

Katie