Join me in my #yearofstrong

Exercise.  If you’re my patient you may have wondered why I haven’t emphasized this more.  Well the truth is, it’s because a long time ago I committed to never recommending to patients, something I wasn’t willing or doing myself. I vividly remember sitting across from a fat physician who was telling me about healthy dietary habits because my cholesterol was slightly elevated. Never mind his recommendation was to stop using olive oil and incorporate more canola oil into my diet, and the fact that my cholesterol was elevated because of a poorly managed thyroid problem.

Beside the point but I couldn’t resist. 

What I mean is, I’m not down to sit back and hand out advice like candy at a parade, for something I’m not committed to myself.

I used to work out 6 days a week. It changed my life. My mood, my energy, vitality, and the way I viewed life was on point, but during my second pregnancy everything changed. Despite having worked out full throttle my with my first pregnancy, the next one wouldn’t even allow me to stand on my feet in one position for 5 minutes. When I was 6 months pregnant and flew across the country with my toddler to meet my husband on tour (the music kind not the war kind, thankfully), I had to take a wheelchair through the Austin airport.  If you know how small the Austin airport is, you’ll know how bad off I was.  My body couldn’t even handle the metabolic requirements for daily living, much less exercise. And don’t even go there, this was not a will power thing, believe me.  So during the entirety of my pregnancy I deteriorated physically and since the birth of our Baby Rose, I haven’t tried to reset.  I could give a million excuses as to why, many are super legitimate but ultimately, I would try to regroup on an exercise program and would fail miserably. If I’m being super honest “failing” would mean I ended up rushing to the bathroom to vomit, followed by a solid 20 minutes of bathroom floor bonding while flat on my back with my feet comfortably resting on a seat- at times even a toilet seat. My body has a hard time figuring out what to do with exercise. It always has. So its difficult for me to determine how hard to push myself in a workout, and it honestly just became so discouraging.  But I knew I had come to a Y in the road: either I would continue down this path of health in so many aspects of my life, while still being unable to comfortably hike up a hill with my daughters, or I would need to find a program that would give me the tools to change my path.

I did.  I decided to join the “Transformation” program at a place called Body by Frame.  They have a long-standing reputation for success in changing people’s exercise game in Austin (and actually Dallas now as well).  The “Transformation Program” is the most intense that they offer and it lasts for three months. I mean, why not dive in fully, McCall?  I was scared out of my mind walking in on day one, three weeks ago, but I began feeling and seeing the effects within the first week.  Their method of support and accountability is a game changer.  I essentially have a personal trainer for each structured workout to assist, teach and modify each exercise according to my needs and abilities.  They have several there but I have the same one each day because I go at the same times. His name is Anthony. Seriously, he’s amazing.  He makes a person who is extremely uncomfortable in a gym type environment, feel completely at ease.  He is the perfect balance of 100% encouraging and also delicately nudges me to push myself.  I’m not sure what the other trainers are like, but if they are 1/8th as good as Anthony, Frame is better for it.  My diet is also closely monitored and accounted for so that I can get the best results possible. For those of you who know me personally or professionally, my diet knowledge is on point already, but this takes it to the next level to facilitate a balance of fat loss and muscle building.  The diet component is again, part of the Transformation Program and not a component of the general gym membership.  Thus far, I’m halfway to my goal and literally feel stronger almost by the day.  I’m also using some Xymogen supplement products that have helped increase my workout potential and muscle building but I will save that for another blog. If you’re anxious to get your hands on them, you can email and I’ll get you the deets.

So long story short, I encourage you to find your own system of successful exercise. I know for me, mine is working wonders and I can’t wait to see how strong I’ll be at the end of the program.  If you’d like to join me, or Body By Frame, they have so generously offered a discount to my readers and patients of 20% off of any form of membership for their Austin location. Simply give them the code #YEAROFSTRONG. Find out more at Join me on my #yearofstrong. I’d love to see you and see some familiar faces at Frame and my hilarious lack of coordination should be incentive enough to join in on the fun.   

Be well and be strong,


Juicing Basics

The first phase of the New Year-New You program, let's just call it NY2 for simplicity sake, consists of a 3 day juice fast.  I know, I know, you're afraid.  I am too-but we can do this.  Half the battle is the preparation and the foreknowledge of what we are getting in to.  I have done this juice fast in the past. It. Was. Hard.  Let me be upfront with you, the worst part of the fasting portion is the caffeine withdrawals.. Words simply cannot prepare you for this if you are a caffeine addict like myself (I know, shame on me).  But I will say, I did experience quite painful electric shock type pain that would fire off from my neck into my jaw for 2 days.  I swore I would never become addicted to caffeine again, and well, here I am, back at square one.  Was it worth it?  Of course, I'm back for another round.

So juicing basics.  To start, let's discuss what the needs will be.  

1. The Juicer:  To get the juice you either need to purchase a juicer or obtain the juice locally-likely almost daily-as it must be extremely fresh to carry the potency worth being hungry for 3 days straight.  To purchase there are two major options, centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers run around $100 and masticating a usually $250 and up.  The reason the latter is more costly and better is because it does not heat the juice while juicing, preserving more nutrients and allowing you to juice extra and store it for a day or two.  Centrifugal must be juiced fresh for each meal. Read up on the comparison if so desired.  Basically, if you want to make juicing a lasting part of your life and can afford it, the masticating juicer is worth the investment.  If you are planning to buy juices locally, research local places in advance and be sure they are "cold-pressed." 

2.  How to make it: There are some general guidelines for juicing and from there you just wing it.  Each juice must have the following:  -a base juice: something to give it the water content. For this I use cucumbers, celery, and romaine lettuce.  -dark green leafy vegetables: spinach (quite a lot of this can be used and still taste great), kale, Swiss chard, and really any other fresh green that is in season (these have more potent flavors, so use less).  -a dash of pleasant flavor: this is what will make actually (over time) enjoy your green juice.  My favorites for this are a 1/3-1/2 of a green apple or a half of a lemon (both per person), or even both together.  Really anything that will add a dash of sweetness but has low sugar content.  Green apples fit this description perfectly. 

3. Side notes: I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, you must buy organic for this portion.  At least for the majority of ingredients.  Part of the reason juice fasting is so beneficial is that the nutrients are so easily absorbed because there is no fiber or roughage blocking the absorption process.  Unfortunately, this also facilitates the unobstructed absorption of pesticides and chemicals from non-organic foods into our bodies.  This can, at times, make things a little tricky.  Cucumbers for example, can be more challenging to find organic yet at the same time are one of the most pesticide and toxin-heavy vegetables.  At times buying non-organic is inevitable.  In these cases, be sure to look into The Dirty Dozen and download there app for grocery store trips.  

I think that about covers the basics needed for planning. Check back for recipes and grocery store lists.  I am excited to share this journey with each of you.  Please feel free to post any questions below.