How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is racing towards us.

And so are the parties, the treats, the crazy-busy days, the overwhelm and the stuffing of one's face.

Somewhere around Thanksgiving we throw our health + fitness routine right out the window and decide with serious determination that we'll get back on that horse come January 1st.

For reals.

This year, let's do things differently.

Let's try this:

  • LIVE IN THE MOMENT.  For a lot of us, eating is a way of coping with stress.  Usually stress comes from either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.  If we live in the present moment, we can experience a sense of calm.
  • INDULGE A LITTLE WITHOUT GOING OFF THE DEEP END.  Sometimes you just gotta have a holiday cookie or some of your Aunt Debbie's famous pumpkin pie.  It's okay!  But here's the trick-- chew your bites really well and quit eating when it stops tasting so ah-mazing.  You'll notice after a couple of bites the gloriousness of bites one and two start to wear off.  Stop.  You can always have more later.
  • MOVE YOUR BODY WHENEVER YOU CAN.  I know it can be difficult to get to your workouts during the holiday season.  Here's something that works like gang-busters:  just move your body in some way every day.  A quick walk, taking the stairs, some gentle stretches mid-day...get it in any way and as often as you can.  I swear it works.
  • IT'S ALL ABOUT YOUR CHOICES. From moment to moment each choice you make will add up to the results you are getting.  A bite here, a nibble there..who cares?  Keep in mind that all those tiny choices will add up to the body and health you create for yourself.  It all matters.

To help you keep your health + fitness in the forefront of your mind grab a copy of the Stress Monkee Calendar for November.

Simple Recipes. Mini Workouts. Daily Tips.

Grab it HERE

If you'd like to save on ink you can download a version with no pic HERE

Do you have a trick to stay on track throughout the holidays? I'd love to hear it...leave a comment below.

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A Super Awesome Exercise for a Super Awesome Booty

I have always carried "junk in the trunk"... 

Everyone has their trouble area- that's mine.  My derriere.  My hiny.  My arse.

So , I love me a good glute exercise.

I  mean, who doesn't want to look good from behind?

But (pun intended) there are other reasons why it's really important to train your booty.

Your glutes are part of your core.  That's right.  Your glutes support your lower back and help you to have correct posture.

Also, if you have weak knees then you definitely want to train your glutes.  Strong glutes can do wonders for helping with knee issues.

Okay- ready to go kick some ass? Literally.

I filmed a video with a super effective exercise for strengthening that booty.

It's a good one!


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Stop Wasting Time with the "Plank"

In the name of getting a flat stomach people everywhere are "planking".

Unfortunately, the basic plank will only get you results for a short while.

In other words, you'll outgrow it very quickly.

And the way most people are getting their "plank on" is not going to do much in the way of giving them rocking abs.

I want to share with you a way to get waaaaaaay better results from a plank. 

Click below and take your core training to a whole new level

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The Health Drama I'm Finally Talking About

I was driving a rental car in the pouring rain in the middle of the woods in Georgia with my then 5 year old son, Rocco in the back seat.

We were on our way to the Atlanta Airport to fly home to Los Angeles after visiting family for a few days.

I was already really nervous about driving in this crazy downpour-- being a So Cal native I'm not used to driving in those kind of conditions-- but then things got much, much worse.

WARNING: If you're a guy reading this, you might want to stop here because I'm going to be talking about "girlie" things and I know some of you fellas can get a bit squeamish about that stuff.

Back to my story...

We're literally driving in the middle of the woods and all of a sudden I can feel my pants getting wet. 

I was so confused.  uh- there it goes again.

I reach down and when I pull my hand back up it's covered in blood.

Let me make this clear, it wasn't like, "oh shoot I just started my period." It was like the downpour of rain outside.

Just at that moment there was a clearing in the thick trees and I see a huge, brand new gas station on the corner.

I quickly pulled in and parked off to the side so I could try and make sense of what was going on and to hopefully avoid anyone seeing my blood-soaked pants and shoes.

As I got out of the car my son saw the seat I had been sitting in and yelled out, "Mom! You're hurt, what's wrong?!"

Let me tell you, I wanted to panic and start crying so bad. But having my son there I somehow managed to hold it together during this entire fiasco.

"It's fine baby.  Don't worry. Mommy's fine.  I just need to go inside and change my pants."

I went into the trunk to get some clothes out of my suitcase.  The pouring rain was rinsing off the pants and shoes I was wearing.  

We went into the mini-market of the gas station and headed straight to the bathroom.  My poor son had to be in the bathroom with me and as I'm sure you can guess, he was a bit traumatized.

Without going into the details of the bathroom scene, I'll just say, I couldn't get the bleeding to stop.  

When it finally slowed down we made our way out into the mini-market and Rocco saw some Spiderman swim goggles. "Oh man! Look at those cool glasses mom!"

I grabbed them and some "lady supplies" and we headed back to the car.

I was a little worried because now we were running a bit behind for our flight and all I could think about was I've got to get this kid home safely.

During the drive to the airport I had to pull over on the side of the road 3 times to deal with the bleeding.

The airport was quite the adventure.

After returning the rental car and taking the tram to the airport I had to immediately run to the restroom.

Rocco was such a trooper.  He was carrying stuff for me and kept asking if I needed anything. Love that little guy.

Once we got to our gate I made one last trip to the restroom.  In the stall I was praying..."Please, please let this stop for the flight. Please let me just get home."

I mean, what if this didn't stop for the flight?

I couldn't just sit in the bathroom on the plane for 4 hours.  I couldn't leave Rocco alone in his seat for the duration of the flight.

Just before boarding the plane I called my husband to tell him about what was going on. 

I had waited to call him because I knew once I started talking to him I'd get emotional and I really had to hold it together for Rocco's sake. 

Thankfully Rocco was preoccupied gobbling down the ginormous muffin I had bought him moments before, so he didn't notice my tears (I had my back to him just in case) as I told my husband the story.

At first there was pure silence on the other end.  Then my husband starts talking and making me feel better.  I told him I'd see him in LA.

As soon as I possibly could I ordered a glass of wine.  I then asked, "could I actually order two?"

The flight attendant says, "It's actually a better deal if you order two."

Bring it on sister.

Here's the coolest thing.  The bleeding stopped.

For the whole flight, I was totally fine.

Rocco and I had a calm flight, the wine didn't hurt, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was paranoid the entire flight.  I think I went to the restroom like 6 times.

We landed safely in LA and got home where it started up again, but not as bad and so what, I was home.

This all happened 11 months ago. November of 2016.

I went to the doctor and found out I had a fibroid in my uterine lining.  I wouldn't find out until about 5 months later after an MRI just how huge that puppy was.

The bleeding stopped for months.  My doctor was hopeful that it was just a fluke thing.

And then in March (about 5 months later) it came back with a vengeance.

I went through days and days of what I described at the beginning of this story.

So many humiliating and stressful events during this time...we'd be here all day if I was to tell you them all. 

Like when I was on the side of the road with my dog standing in a puddle of blood crying, waiting for my husband to come get me because it started up while I was out for a walk. Two elderly ladies stopped and were trying to call 911.

"I'm fine!" I said between sobs. "I have a uterine fibroid!"

Can't make this stuff up folks.

Or the time I had to cancel a catered speaking engagement 30 minutes before I was supposed to start my presentation.  Calling the event coordinators and telling them I literally couldn't leave my bathroom was super fun.

After several tests, doctors appointments and trying different methods to stop this damn thing I finally decided that I needed to have surgery.  I wanted my life back.  I was tired of being scared to even go to the grocery store.

Apparently the big issue is not the size of it (a large grapefruit), but more of where it's located.  Where it's situated is known for causing these types of "episodes".

Unfortunately, thanks to all of the massive blood loss, I was severely anemic.  My doctor told me she's actually never seen someone with such a low iron level.

My doctor put me on iron supplements and a heavy dose of hormones.  Great times.

The hormones have really been a roller coaster.  They made the bleeding subside, but they also made me gain weight, look like I have a beer belly, make my hair fall out in clumps and the worst part, they make my blood sugar out of control...if you didn't know, I have Type 1 Diabetes, so that's no bueno.

My surgery was scheduled for September, so I'd have time to get my iron up and I did.

When September rolled around my mom flew out to stay with us and help with Rocco for a couple of weeks while I was recovering.

The day of the surgery I was really scared.  I don't like the idea of being put under.

Plus, getting my blood sugar at just the right number was pretty difficult since you have to fast for 12 hours before surgery.

My husband was with me while they were prepping me and I kept welling up with tears.  He would then talk to me and make me feel better. This cycle happened like 4 times.

The anesthesiologist let me know that he'd check my blood sugar after 2 hours of surgery.  It was at 112 before going in and it seemed like a good number. 

I was taken to the Operating Room and goodnight Shirley, I was out.

All of a sudden I'm waking up being rolled down the hall in my hospital bed.  I look up at my doctor, "Is it over?"

"Nope, couldn't do the surgery.  Your heart rate went way up right before we were going to start. We think you're allergic to the anesthesia."


And then it gets even better...they then tell me that I have to go to see a cardiologist and get cleared, just in case there's something wrong with my heart.

I'm laying there, still feeling "druggy" and thinking, do I have a heart problem now too?? 

Spoiler alert- I'm still in the middle of testing (have to wear a heart rate monitor for a week) but the cardiologist is sure my ticker is in great shape:) Looks like I'm just allergic to that particular anesthesia. 

I have to tell you one more detail because it's kind of...I don't know, maybe this was divine intervention....

When they brought me to recovery, the first thing the nurse did was check my blood sugar.  It was 56.

That's scary. They wouldn't have checked my blood sugar for another 2 hours and if it had continued to freaks me out to think of what could've happened.  Low numbers could mean coma.

So, that brings you up to date.

I'm waiting for a new surgery date and to get cleared by the cardiologist. 

It's looking like the surgery is going to be next month, in November. Bringing it full circle I guess.

Okay, so what's the point of this very lengthy blog post?

I want other women that might be experiencing something similar to what I went through know that they're not alone.

I had never heard of this type of thing happening before and I felt like I was a freak or something, but since I started opening up about what is going on, SEVERAL women have told me stories of similar things that they went through.

If you're reading this and have had something like this happen, get checked for fibroids (little rascals).  Hopefully it'll save you months of trying to figure out what is going on.

I'll let you know once my surgery is done.  Thank you for listening.

Before I go, huge shout out to my husband Joe for all of his support, concern and understanding.  I love you man.

Here's to staying present, being strong and having faith.




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Time for a Change

For the last 10 months I have been dealing with a frustrating and at times humiliating health issue.

I'm finally ready to talk about it in the hopes that it will help someone else who is going through the same thing.  My plan is to blog about it next week.

At first when this all started I was totally overwhelmed...going to tons of doctor's appointments and trying to figure out exactly what was going on.

And then about 4 months ago I just kind of put my life on hold because of my health.

I stopped working out as much as I used to.

I quit working diligently to grow my Stress Monkee company.

I started drinking more wine than I should as a way to self-soothe the stress.

I kept saying, "once I get this health shit dealt with then I can (fill-in-the-blank)."

Last week I had an "aha" moment.

What in the f@$k am I doing?!

I have been living in total "reaction" mode.  Just reacting to life's curve balls by trying to bury my head in the sand until it all blew over.

Well I got news for ya sweet Alicia, it doesn't work that way.

I've made the decision to commit to growing from all of this.

To getting stronger + more resilient.

Out of pain comes growth. WORD.

I sat down and made a promise to myself to focus on only one or two things that will "move the needle" in my health, my business and my overall joy.

I know from years of working with clients (and my own experience), when we try to change too many habits at once we are just setting ourselves up for overwhelm and eventually failure.

The best results I've seen when it comes to change is picking one thing that you KNOW you can do.  

Make it so easy you can't say no.

Then become a promise keeper.  Make a promise to yourself that you WILL practice your new habit and only that one habit. After about 2 weeks, you add on another habit and so on.

This method is not slow, it's strategic. And it works.

Before you go be sure to grab this month's Stress Monkee Calendar HERE.

Daily tips + reminders to help you focus on your health every single day and get ridiculously fit, inside + out.

(If you want to save on ink, here's a version with no background pic)

Are you ready for a change? Is it time for you to grow?

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Thanks for being you.



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When Life Gets in the Way of Being in Shape

Do you ever feel like just when you start to get into a rhythm of healthy eating and exercising regularly life decides to get in your way?

You catch a cold or the flu...

You have a big project or event that you have to spend your time on...

You get totally derailed by your vacation...

At that point many of us throw our arms up and yell:

"You win life! Bring on the chocolate, wine + cheese...and lots of it!!"

There's a better way.

The first thing to do is take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is just a season of your life.

It's temporary.

Being fit is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, forgive yourself and remember that even doing seemingly little things will add up to BIG results.

If you'd like some inspiration + daily tips download (or print) this month's Stress Monkee healthy + fit calendar.

It's a fun and simple way to keep your health + fitness at the forefront every day.

Daily tips. Mini workouts. Simple recipes. Loads of motivation.

Just click here to grab your copy.

(If you want to save on ink, here's a version with no pic :)

Here's to baby steps.


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The Quickest Way to Get in Shape

Let me tell you the quickest way to lose weight + get in shape.

The quickest short cut to losing weight is knowing that there is no short cut.

Going on and off diets, over-training, following crash diets in the hopes of dropping pounds fast all lead to just one thing:

A damaged metabolism...which means you gain weight back and now your body has a hard time burning fat. lame.

Tough love time:

You MUST make habit changes that will last.  That is the ONLY way to be fit for life.

In my experience the people who make changes stick and get INCREDIBLE results are the ones who take baby steps.

Focus on ONE thing at a time that will get you results.  Stick to that for 2 weeks and then add on one more change and so on.

If you stay consistent with this method, I promise within a couple months you will be seeing REAL + LASTING results.


Here is where I would start--

Habit #1: Drink 80-100 oz of water per day (already do that? move on to #2)

Habit #2: Get at least 10,000 steps a day (already do that? move on to #3)

Habit #3: Eat a variety of vegetables with at LEAST 2 meals per day (preferably 3)

Okay- that should get you started!

Since today is the first day of August, I have for you the Stress Monkee Calendar

It's a fun and simple way to keep your health + fitness at the forefront every day.

Daily tips. Mini workouts. Simple recipes. Loads of motivation.

Just click here to grab your copy.

(If you want to save on ink, here's a version with no pic :)




A Workout to Burn Fat and Build Lean Muscle


If your goal is to lean down and build some lean muscle mass, boy oh boy do I have a workout for you.

This workout will get your results...quick.  BUT, you're gonna have to push yourself.

(I filmed myself doing this awesome workout this morning in the gym, so please forgive the dingy lighting.)

This workout is a type of metabolic conditioning workout.  It is a "hybrid" workout.

Here's how you do it:

Pick a set of dumbbells that are light enough that you can keep your form intact and be able to move a pretty good pace, but heavy enough that you can't really do more than 12 reps.  (I suggest you try in the 5-12 pound range to start).

Do 8-12 reps of each of the 4 exercises.

Set a timer for 15-25 minutes and go through the exercises as many rounds as possible (AMRAP).

Rest only when you absolutely need to.  Work until you have to stop, rest until you can get back to it.  You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone though.

The four exercises are:

  1. Squat Press
  2. Reverse Lunge + Curl
  3. Renegade Row (can add a push up)
  4. Bulgarian Split Squat with tricep kickbacks

Watch the video below to see me run through the circuit once (this was my 3rd time through so I'm kind of gassed in the video :)

Let me know how you do!

Here's to being lean + feeling amazing...


IMPORTANT NOTE: As with any fitness program you should always consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. Be sure you are in good health before trying this or any other high intensity workout.  Be safe!



Better Than Exercise for Weight Loss

We seem to be obsessed with finding the latest + greatest type of workout to help us get fit + lean.

When most people want to lose weight they usually talk about all the exercise they'll be doing, "I'm going to start running again, hit the gym and squeeze in that yoga where everyone sweats their ass off."

But here's the skinny:  there's something that has a bigger impact on your metabolism (our friend responsible for burning fat) than exercise.

Dun, dun, dun!!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I believe exercise has an important role and we should all fit it in, but when you are wanting to lose fat, the model we've been taught: Eat Less, Exercise More is actually responsible for damaging our metabolism.

The truth of the matter is, Eat Less, Exercise More does not work if you want long term results. It usually ends up over-stressing our body, which in turn makes us store fat instead of burning it.

So, you ready to hear about what impacts your metabolism more than exercise?

Watch this short video below and get ready to have your mind blown.

Until next time,


PS- I have a new program coming out very soon that I can't wait to share with you!  It's called the 30 Day Body Reset.

It's all about rebalancing your metabolism so that you can naturally + effortlessly burn fat.  It's going to be awesome! Stay tuned.



Why Diets Make You Fat

Do you feel like nothing you do seems to get you in the shape you want to be in?

And do you feel like you've tried just about every-damn-thing there is out there?

Here's the thing-- 

most of the time, the diets we follow in hopes to get a bangin' bod actually end up making us gain MORE fat.

I hear you, wtf?! 

Check out this stat:

90-95% of people who lose weight by dieting gain it all back.  Yep, 90-95%

And about 60-65% actually gain back MORE than when they started!

Why is this?

Diets make you fat.

In this video, I go over some of the reasons that diets slow down your metabolism and mess up your hormones (the driver of the metabolism).

This is Part ONE in a 2-part series (stay tuned for Part 2).

After you watch the video, be sure to grab the Handy-Dandy Cheat Sheet I created for you: DITCH THE DIET, 2 Shifts To Start Seeing Results

Grab your cheat sheet here

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.  Do you think you suffer from a less than stellar metabolism?

See you soon sweet thang,




The Truth About Weight Loss

Changing your health + body is all based on ONE thing...


This is the path to results that actually last.

Did you know that 95% of people who lose weight by dieting gain it back?

This is because most weight loss programs don't focus on changing habits.

They're nothing more than a short-term fix.

I've been working on a program that uses a habit-based approach.

The program focuses on rebalancing your metabolism...because if your metabolism is out of whack NOTHING you try will work in the long run.

I'm going to release it at the end of summer and I can't wait to tell you more!

Today though, I'd like to give you the Stress Monkee Calendar.

It's a fun and simple way to keep your health + fitness at the forefront every day.

Daily tips. Mini workouts. Simple recipes. Loads of motivation.

(If you'd like to save on ink, Click here for a no-pic version)

Baby Steps = BIG Results




A Trick to Get A Stronger Core, FASTER

"Core" has become quite the buzzword and for good reason.

Your core is your powerhouse, but there are other benefits of a strong core...

A well-trained core will help prevent injuries, protects your central nervous system, helps to alleviate lower back pain and damn, you just look really good with a nice, strong core.

Alright, you get it, we should all strive to train our core.  Which brings me to why I'm writing this post.

Most people do their core work at the END of their workout.

There's a better way.  

If our core is so important, then why wouldn't we train it at the START of our workout?  When we're fresh and loaded with energy.

If you do your core work at the beginning of your workout, you can give it the attention + effort it needs.

So, give this a try.  Do some dedicated core exercises at the beginning of your workout.

And I have a great series of core exercises for you today.  I call it...

The All-Out Ab Assault

Just do a clickity-click on the image below to check it out.

After you watch the video be sure to grab the Ab Assault Guide that goes with the video.