Wednesday

Worth Checking Out

I want to make an announcement about our friend John Brookfield who will be setting a World Record. Those who don't know who he is, he is an extraordinarily strong guy, who is the founder of the battlingropes system. Check out his website for more info at Powerropes.com If you aren't training with ropes you should start! It's awesome.

On Saturday November 1st in Fairmont North Carolina at 2:00 in the afternoon John Brookfield and Jon Bruney are going to set a World Record by pulling a semi-truck a distance of one mile plus using only their physical strength and mental discipline. John Brookfield and Jon Bruney have done this record on several occasions, however, this time they will be upping the weight load to over thirty thousand pounds and pushing themselves to the limit to pull the mile distance as fast as possible. Many are saying that this feat of strength and endurance may be the greatest physical accomplishment ever. Come out and witness this event and walk along with them as they push themselves to keep the truck moving through the streets of Fairmont. For more specific information about the location and the record please contact John Brookfield by email at john@powerropes.com.

Next I want to share Lisa Shaffer's segment on the news. She appeared on the news talking about kettlebells. Awesome exposure LIsa. Great instructor and friend! Here is the link to her segment.

Lisa's kettlebell tv segment

And lastly I was interviewed by Super-Trainer website. I guess I am considered a Super Trainer. 8-)
Here it is Personal Trainer Lauren Brooks Miller talks about balancing training and life...

Tuesday

Some Pics from The Kettlebell Workshop and feedback

Hi Lauren,
I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the KB workshop led by you & Lisa. It was an awesome, motivating experience because it was really informative and fun. I really felt that you & Lisa were very professional and encouraging (I was amazed at both of your physical strength/power in your super lean bodies) by taking the time to address questions and concerns regarding correct form, KB info., etc. I left the workshop feeling great; I could now do KB exercises at home w/ proper form and know the modifications or alternative moves to bump up the intensity. I liked that you both generously shared your knowledge w/out criticizing other methods of exercising, and you didn't mind demonstrating moves/explaining technique repeatedly. Thank you for a truly awesome experience, it was worth every penny, and I have been telling everyone I know about it. :) I have been using your video, alternating the short and longer segments throughout the week, I love it!

Rachel, San Diego

Click on the photo to see full size









Sunday

Kettlebell Workshop was a Success!




Lisa and I had a wonderful time working with this group of lovely ladies. Everyone did so well and actually seemed to have fun at the same time. I look forward to doing more workshops in the future. Lots more photos to come.

Workshop was 5 hours! The fact that I was 5 months pregnant didn't slow me down a bit. The energy from all the attendants and excitement kept me going. I could have kept going!

I want to thank Calvin Sun, an amazing Crossfit trainer and athlete for being their to help and take awesome pictures.
Thanks everyone and Lisa for a great weekend!

Thursday

We had the BIG ultrasound. The sex of our baby is...

First let me start off saying my last pregnancy we did not find out the sex of the baby. It was a huge surprise when our baby girl was born, because everyone thought I was having a boy. The reason we decided to find out this time is for practical purposes. Such as, do we keep Lyla's clothes or give them away? What kind of room should we get ready for this baby? The free time I use to have just doesn't exist, more time is essential to get ready for this next one.

Yesterday was Ben's birthday (my husband) and we went in for a morning ultrasound appointment. I am measuring exactly at 20 weeks and the baby is 11 ounces. I kindly asked the ultrasound technician not tell us the sex of the baby and please write it down for us. She said she wrote it down on back of the photo in the envelope. She told us, it's never 100% accurate. I wanted to find out later that evening for his birthday dinner. Just to make it that much more special.

So to finally get to the point. We went to his favorite restaurant, Nobu sushi in Solana Beach. We sat at the sushi bar and waited to open up the envelope until we ordered our first round of food. We then open up the envelope and look on the back for the writing and there was no writing! We both looked at each other so shocked. Then we turned it around and in little tiny typing we see the word GIRL!!!!!!!!!

Lyla is going to have a baby sister. We are very happy!

Wednesday

Top Breakfast Choices and Why you shouldn't eat Cereal

People commonly ask me what I eat. How do you stay so lean? Well it all starts with a good breakfast in my opinion. Unfortunately our society has made us think that cereals found in a box are healthy for you. Then someone will say "But I eat shredded wheat and it's fortified with all of these vitamins and minerals." The truth about dry breakfast cereals is they are ALL overly processed. No matter if you get them in a health food store or at your local market, I would never recommend anyone dry breakfast cereal. Read the article below to see exactly why. There was also an interesting experiment done with rats that should be read as well.

Here is a link to the article by Sally Fallon called "Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry." Everyone should give this a read.

Now what do I recommend for breakfast?

Here are my top favorite suggestions for breakfast. My first one is my Power Smoothie that is filled with high quality protein (very minimally processed), the most natural vitamins, minerals, and good healthy fats. This is a staple for me for most days of the week.

POWER SMOOTHIE

1 Scoop Fit 365 (Grass Fed Whey)
1 Tbs Quantum Whey (pesticide free)
1 tsp Quantum Greens Powder (all my vitamins from the most natural sources including wheat grass, noni, oat grass, etc..)
1 Tbs  Flaxseed Oil
1 cup Frozen Berries
1/2 banana (When Pregnant or have a hard workout ahead of me)
6-8oz Cold Filtered Water

Blend Together with a hand blender or regular blender. It's such an awesome breakfast that has everything you need. In addition i always add and recommend to everyone 1/2 teaspoon of Max Stress B Vitamins separately in a 1/4 cup of water. This should also be taken one time at lunch.

ORGANIC ROLLED OATS with ground nuts (if you have more time)

1/3 cup of Rolled Oats cooked over the stove on medium with 2/3 cup of water (try and get certified Gluten Free Oats if gluten intolerant)
10 Walnuts ground in a food processor sprinkled in the cooked Oats
Splash of Almond Milk
Dash of Stevia

My other favorite breakfast is a Veggie Omelette, which is more for the weekends.

3 Organic Free Range Eggs
Grilled Mushrooms, Onions, Tomatoes, and Asparagus.

Sometimes I add 1 or 2 corn tortillas and a small side of black beans if I'm really hungry. Other times I'll have 1 slice of Low Sodium Ezekiel Bread with a light spread of Earth Balance butter.

For the 2 breakfasts mentioned above I'll take 1 tsp of Cod Liver Oil and Max Stress B Vitamins that give you the natural energy your body needs. No need for coffee when taking this form of B. Since i need my Greens at some point I'll take them in capsule form since I don't have a shake to blend it in. I'll usually take about 3 or 4 Quantum Greens Mix capsules for breakfast.

I used to be the typical American that lived off cereals. I thought I was really healthy because I would eat grape nuts or shredded wheat. Which are the healthier ones out of the bunch. In any case, as soon as I took the processed cereals out of my diet I noticed changes in my health immediately. My allergies were gone! I wasn't bloated anymore after breakfast and my body started to get leaner. I had some of my clients take cereals out of the diet and in just weeks they were getting leaner and had more energy.

Tuesday

Short Pregnancy Workout with Kettlebells and Body Weight

Under 20 minutes and felt perfect! 4 months pregnant and feeling good after this workout.

Joint Mobility Warm Up

Body Weight Back Lunges to a Kick. 15 reps per leg

2 Handed Kettlebell Swings 12kg's 20 reps

One Arm Rows 12kg 10 reps per arm

Kettlebell Push Ups 10 reps

Light Ab work on Bosu 20 reps

Repeated 3 times (took rests as needed)

FInished up

20 Snatches 12kg's 2 sets

Felt like just the right amount. Now I will have the added energy to get through my busy day. And even try and squeeze in a great walk later. Short workouts are ideal for pregnant women. Not too taxing but you can really push yourself enough for this short amount of time. Multiple workouts throughout the day are showing more increased energy rather than 1 long workout a day.

Monday

16 1/2 Weeks Pregnant and Growing

The lovely pregnancy side effects of constant peeing has hit me. Unfortunately this time I was not able to go back to sleep. It is now 3 a.m. I decided to get out of bed rather than laying there hoping to fall back asleep.

Life is on fast forward at this time. So I am actually enjoying sitting here peacefully with everyone asleep. The days just seem to fly by. With a full load of work, being a mom, a wife, staying active, and keeping up with friends socially, doesn't leave much down time. I can't complain because I am having a rather easy pregnancy right now. With staying as busy as I am, I hardly notice it except for my belly. I'm just so amazed how fast my belly popped out this time. My body knew exactly what to do as soon as it realized I was pregnant. Last pregnancy my stomach was not this big. Jeans are definitely getting tighter, but I guess that's what happens when you have a baby in your tummy!

Here is a bit of a recap from the last several weeks.

Went to a really good friends wedding in Reno the last weekend of July. It was a beautiful wedding. Lyla looked so cute in her little dress.






Bachelorette girl's weekend in Big Bear. I'm excited to be a bridesmaid in my good friend Rebecca's wedding. She chose to do a nice quiet relaxing weekend in Big Bear, California. We rented a cabin by the lake and it was an awesome time. Of course I couldn't go up to the cabin without a couple kettlebells. Some of us had a fun kettlebell morning workout. I had 2 Kettlebells for 3 of us so we did some circuits. You can see my belly!





Getting ready for a night in the town of Big Bear. Everyone drinking except me of course. 8-)




My Birthday Dinner. 29 years old. Once again, everyone drinking except for me. 8-(



How the overly proud parent in me comes gushing out. I just can't help myself but include all of these pictures of Lyla here. She is impressing me every day. She will now kiss me if I ask her for a kiss. It's the cutest thing in the world and I just melt. No words can explain this feeling. She is 19 months now!





Saturday

Do You Have the Right Combination for Fat Burning?

To check out this short article click on Kettlebell Inc Magazine. There are some great articles in this online magazine. Such as one from Mike Mahler discussing Kettlebells for MMA fighters and Coach Paule Steel talking about Kettlebells and Tennis. Just goes to show you that kettlebell training carries over in almost EVERY activity. No reason not to do it!


Wednesday

Review from Liftkettlebells.com

Here is a brand new Review from Liftkettlebells.com about " The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD."

Jeff really breaks down this review nicely in to several sections. The review discusses the details of the DVD, what was liked about the DVD, and what could have been better. A very honest review from a person who has seen and produced many Kettlebell DVD's.

Check out the review right here at liftkettlebells.com . For those who have seen the DVD leaving comments at the end of the review page right at this site would be most appreciated. Thank you everyone!

I am excited to make more in the future!

Monday

Kettlebells Live on NBC this morning

Hi everyone.

I know most of you were unable to see this since you are not in San Diego. Here is the link if you would like to see my 2 minutes of fame on TV. 8-)


Lauren Brooks demonstrating kettlebells on NBC television 3 months pregnant.

Thursday

Vegan Nutrition Program and 12 week pregnancy workout

As many of you know I design nutrition programs for people all over the country. I rarely get the privilege to design Vegan programs. My client Sandra, who lives in Wisconsin, is a dedicated vegan and very motivated to have a clean vegan program planned out for her. I did quite a bit of research and even had several vegan meals myself this week to see how it feels. I have to give people who are vegan tons of credit. It's hard enough to eat extremely healthy when you can eat animal products. But to take out eggs, chicken, fish, and dairy is much more of a challenge. Eggs, chicken and organic grass fed whey protein are huge staples of mine. But I will be thinking twice after testing the waters on the vegan side this week.

Unfortunately many vegan eaters live off of soy and wheat products such as processed fake meats made of tofu, soy, wheat, gluten, and lots of sodium. So to have a healthy program as a vegan you can be quite limited to your food choices.
My view of a healthy diet is Soy Free, Gluten Free, and very little dairy, since dairy is so processed and highly heated.

My Vegan Breakfast
1/3 cup of Quinoa Flakes made with water
Splash of Vanilla Almond Milk
Handful of ground Organic Walnuts (put in cereal)
1/2 Tbs of flaxseed oil in cereal

Max Stress B Vitamin in 1/4 cup water

(With the Quinoa and Walnuts combined you are getting a complete protein)

I had a great Vegan lunch today as well that was very satisfying and tasty, even for the pregnant woman who is having tons of cravings.
-Medium Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Organic Tomatoes, Handful of Walnuts, sliced cucumbers, topped with delicious Balsamic Vinegarette dressing
- 2 Veggie Home Made Tacos - Inside the Corn Tortilla was Black Beans, Mashed Avocado, Chopped tomatoes, Jalapenos, and a touch of hot sauce.
It was a complete meal with Protein, Fat, and Carbs.

I know being pregnant is not the best time to test out Veganism. But I really think I could give it a try for a bit. In order to survive and continue to stay lean it's almost required to drink Vegan Rice Protein Powders. I have researched that many vegans do not get enough fats, so it's important that they include lots of organic raw nuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and even Coconut Milk from time to time. I would love to do an experiment to see how my body responds on 2 months of being a gluten free, soy free, Vegan. But I will have to wait until after this baby and probably after breast feeding to give it a fair shot.

Here is my 12 week pregnancy workout I did today! There was 30 second rests in between and I repeated it 3 times.

Single Leg Deadlifts (trying to keep my butt from shrinking) so this does the trick 12kg's (60second per leg)
Overhead Swings 12 kg 30 seconds
Snatches 12kg 30 seconds per arm
Pull ups 2-3x
Clean and Squat 30 seconds per side
Push up to Double Suitcase Deadlifts 16kg's 30 seconds

Hopefully I will have a picture of my new belly tomorrow. I am already showing!! My belly did not look like this my last pregnancy until I was 18 weeks. It's amazing how your body just knows the second time around. I'm not thrilled about showing so soon but there is really nothing I can do about it. So it's time to start writing about embracing the changes that are happening to my body. You can actually see a video clip of me 3 months pregnant right here

Wednesday

My Little Lyla is 18 months today! Pregnancy update.


Lyla has developed so many amazing milestones in the last 3-5 months. She went from crawling to walking, she is now saying so many words and repeating us, and is just the cutest most affectionate little girl. It's so weird when I actually sit down and think about her how emotional I get. She means the absolute world to me and it's so hard for me to imagine that I can ever love any child as much as her. I almost feel bad for the baby inside me because I am so in love with Lyla. I have talked to several moms and I guess this is a common feeling. But once the next baby comes you fall in love all over again. Which is so hard to imagine for me because my heart is filled with my Lyla.

11 Weeks Pregnant and my Kettlebell Workout (will provide a picture soon)

So all the morning sickness talk was not even morning sickness. It turns out I had Salmonella poisoning. The baby and I are fine but it was not a fun week. I lost over 8 pounds that week and was so depleted. I have now gained it all back but it hasn't been easy. I am just now starting to be able to work out again. That little set back put me behind and it really did a number on my emotions. When you are pregnant you NEED to do some type of workout for your mental well being and I was unable to do that. Therefore my body and mind were depressed and tired. I had to change my eating habits because I couldn't even stomach anything "healthy". I ended up eating pizza twice for the first time in over a year along with other not so healthy foods. Wow it tasted good but my stomach sure didn't like it. So I have managed to get myself back on track now that I am feeling better. WOO HOOO!

Here is a workout I did with my class today. It felt really good and balanced.

Double Suitcase Deadlifts 16kg's 12 reps x 3
Kettlebell Push Ups 5 reps x 3
Swings 16kg 20 reps x 3

Pullovers 12kg 12 reps x 3
Clean and; Press 12kg 6 rep per side x 3
High Pull, Squats 12kg 10 reps x 3

Renegade Rows 12kg's 5 per side x 3
Snatches 16kg 8 per side x 3
Janda Sit Ups 6 x 3

If you are looking for a follow along workout kettlebell DVD designed for pregnant woman check out this DVD here

Thursday

Inspiring Moms to workout with Kettlebells

Workoutmommy.com did an interview with me regarding kettlebells, fitness, nutrition, while being a mom. This is a wonderful site dedicated to inspiring moms to be fit and healthy. Just up my alley. If you are a mom or a husband, son, or daughter trying to encourage the woman you love to get moving check out this site.

Click on this link to see it. One fit mommy and her kettlebell: Lauren Brooks

It's Finally Ready!

video

I'm excited to announce that my kettlebell/ exercise DVD is finally available.  This is the project I have been working on for so long.  Above is a video clip of the highlights.  

This DVD Features

  • 15 basic Kettlebell and Body Weight exercises deomonstrated step by step even for the complete beginner.
  • Follow along Fat Blast Workout - Low to Medium Intensity. 12-14 minutes long and can be repeated twice if you are ready. 
  • Follow along Sculpt and Conditioning Workout - Medium to High Intensity. 40 minutes of intensity
  • Joint Mobility section for warm up and cool down.
  • Designed to get you in tip top shape no matter what your fitness background is.
  • Especially great for moms trying to shed that baby weight and get in better shape than before their pregnancy.
  • DVD is over 80 minutes long of step by step instruction.
  • Motivating music in the Follow Along workout sections and Joint Mobility section
For more information you can go to my website at www.ontheedgefitness.com.
I want to thank my clients for being so patient and waiting for this to come out. It's finally here so enjoy this kettlebell DVD. 





Kettlebell Workshop! Go home with Lauren and Lisa's DVD.



You wont want to miss this workshop. Lisa and Lauren have teamed up to design a special total body sculpting workshop just for women. Space is limited and this workshop may never be done again. 

Spend just 5 hours with us and we will give you the tools and techniques you need to sculpt and tone your body in record time. This is a very unique workshop designed just for women by women. This workshop has never been done before and it may never be done again. To find out more details and what we will cover follow this link here. Reserve your spot right now at http://www.ontheedgefitness.com/ 

In addition you will receive Lisa and Lauren's DVD at the workshop. For more info about Lisa's DVD you can check it out here More info about Lauren's DVD click here.

Tuesday

Some Big News and A Very Scary Day

(This was written last Thursday)

I have not been able to get yesterday’s occurrence out of my mind. Writing my thoughts and feelings down is such therapy for me. Whether I will post this or not at least I will get it on paper. At this moment in time I am sitting on a plane, on my way to the Level 2 RKC in Minnesota, without my daughter for the first time ever.

Yesterday started off as a normal wonderful day. Ben and I have been waiting anxiously for our doctor's appointment that will allow us to see the first glimpse of the baby inside me. That’s right everybody I am pregnant again. Almost 7 weeks. I am normally one to wait and share the news until after the first trimester, but this story would not be the same if I left that part out.

Anyone who has had kids will know that the first appointment is the most extensive. They do a full physical, then you have an ultrasound that can be a bit uncomfortable, and then you get lots of blood drawn for various tests. I had been through all of this with the last pregnancy so I knew what to expect.

After the exciting ultrasound and seeing the little flutter of the heartbeat we were thrilled. I had been feeling so wonderful and energetic I even doubted that I was pregnant. How can someone that is pregnant feel this strong and have little to no fatigue? So seeing the heartbeat assured me that there is life inside me. The second time around doesn’t make it any less exciting. I was then told by the nurse practitioner to get my blood work done. Lyla had already been pretty fussy from being cooped up in a doctor's office for an hour, so Ben decided to take her to the car and wait for me.

Does anyone really enjoy getting their blood drawn? I know I’ve never been a big fan of it, but have always managed to do just fine. As I was sitting in the chair having this woman take several vials of blood from me, the room started to get crowded. When she was done I had mentioned to her that I was feeling a little lightheaded. I don’t think she heard me, because she asked the next person to have a seat, forcing me to get up right away. I took a deep breath and left the room. As I was walking down the hall towards the lobby I started feeling extremely nauseous and my whole body was starting to sweat. The one time I needed my cell phone I did not have it. I wanted to call Ben so badly to tell him to come up and give me a hand. Instead I sat down in a nice chair in the lobby trying to take very deep breaths to get myself together.

I decided to get up and get to the elevator because I no longer wanted to keep them waiting in the car. I caught the elevator with a man and woman. As soon as the doors shut I started feeling so dizzy and faint I knew I was going to lose it. My instinct allowed me to look at the lady and say, “ I think I’m going to pass out” . The next thing I know I’m floating and dreaming of life. I wish I could recall the actual dreams but I know there were some fear involved with the dreams. I felt like I was in the deepest sleep. Then I heard, “Are you okay?” I woke up completely shocked that I am lying on an elevator floor and was extremely disoriented. I felt like I had been gone for hours. The man in the elevator told me he had already called the paramedics. The nice woman, who caught my fall, borrowed someone’s watch to get my pulse. It was under 50bpm and she was still holding my wrist looking at a watch that she borrowed from the man. A couple questions came to mind when I started to understand what was happening. How am I going to get a hold of my husband, am I still pregnant, and who is going to cancel my clients this afternoon?

All I wanted to do was get up and walk outside to be with Ben and Lyla and go home. The people who were helping me advised me to stay where I was. They were able to call Ben and let him know what was happening. The ambulance rushed in and immediately took my blood pressure and pulse. My systolic blood pressure was at 70, which is dangerously low, and heart rate had not risen past 50 yet. My normal resting heart rate is actually high for my activity level and is around 70. As soon as I felt that I was ready to go home again I felt myself going out again. They put oxygen up my nose and jammed an IV into my arm, letting me know I needed fluids right away. Shortly after that I passed out in the chair. Ben and Lyla rushed in to the lobby and witnessed me fainting. I then regained consciousness and started to worry. At this time I didn’t understand why my body wouldn’t allow me to just get up and go. I’m usually such a resilient person. What was happening to me? Horrible thoughts were going through my head. Am I going to die? Is my blood pressure going to keep dropping? I see worry in every ones eyes. Something must be really wrong. I can’t die. I have tears in my eyes writing about this. Its amazing how your thoughts can be when in a state of panic. When I looked over at Ben holding Lyla, with fear in his eyes, I kept my cool. Trying to be as calm as possible I asked him to get a hold of my clients and let them know I wouldn't be able to train them today. I hate canceling on people so I was upset that I had to do this.

The paramedics then put me in the ambulance. As they were wheeling me in my IV and oxygen tubes got caught on the wheel almost choking me. They had to take me out 2 different times to get the tubes out from under the gurney. They wanted to take me to the nearest emergency room but the closest one was full. So they had to take me up to Encinitas, which was at least closer to my house. During the ride I think I passed out once. It was such a bumpy ride I don’t know how anyone doesn’t yak all over the place. I made it in one piece and was luckily seen immediately by a doctor.

I am not one for long stories so I will try and wrap it up right now and leave out minor details. I spent several hours in the ER having an EKG done, getting more intravenous fluids and blood pressure checks. I was so weak I didn’t know when my energy was going to come back. Eventually they discharged me and until now we are still not 100% sure what caused this episode. My thinking is it could be a combination of going through a complete physical, then getting a little too much blood taken, and I may have been on the dehydrated side by that time. Normally I am guzzling water, but I was so excited about the ultrasound I didn’t remind myself to drink very much. I have also been preoccupied about my trip. I signed up to go to the Level 2 RKC over 6 months ago and was awaiting the day. Been very nervous because the thought of leaving my daughter for the first time was going to be difficult. Another challenge I am facing is now being pregnant for the course. Our plan was to get pregnant shortly after the certification, for obvious reasons, Those of you who have attended the RKC know that it is a very vigorous and physical 3 day weekend. People who do not know me and my capabilities will probably judge me negatively for going and I’m willing to risk that. Those who do know me, know that I have been training moderately for months and am well prepared for the required tests, Pull ups, Pistols, Windmills, Bent Press, Clean and Jerks, and let’s not forget the Snatch Test. Before I knew I was pregnant I did 7 pull ups, with probably a couple reps left in me . The requirement is 1 pull up. That is scaling down to about 14% of my maximum if 7 are my real maximum. A good scale to go by when you are pregnant is to do 40-50% of your maximum, but most of all listen to your body. I have corresponded with Pavel, and he assured me that I would be allowed to take extra precautions if needed. I spoke to my doctor and she is very confident that I am the best judge of my own body. Unfortunately and fortunately, I am hypersensitive to my body so I know what I can or cannot tolerate. I would NEVER do anything to jeapardize the health of my baby or myself. I know my capabilities and I will not be going for any personal records this weekend. As much as we like to lift heavy with our peers I will be on the safe side and scale down where it is necessary. So no showing off. ;-(

I have allowed this entry to go on long enough. I am just thankful that I am sitting on this airplane in good health. Yesterday has passed but I will never forget. St. Paul is supposed to be in the high 80’s this weekend. Water, Coconut water, and trail mix will be my saviors this trip. I just cross my fingers that my mind and body gives me the strength to allow me to enjoy this weekend of physical and mental challenges. I look forward to being submerged with my passions of kettlebell training. learning new techniques, and meeting some wonderful people from all over the world. I am so grateful to have a body healthy enough to be able to be apart of this experience. I will try and take lots of pictures and keep everyone updated on the weekend. Wish me luck!

I’m reminding myself of one of those people who say goodbye and hang around for another hour. But I wanted to finish off by saying a couple things. “Enjoy each precious moment you have in life. Have no regrets and listen to your heart. Tell the people you love that you love them, even if you are upset with them. Don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams even if they may seem hard to reach. Life is too precious so don’t sweat the small stuff.”

RKC Level 2 Weekend

First I want to thank everyone for such a great weekend. I had an awesome time meeting so many wonderful people. It's just so nice to get together with a group of people that love kettlebells as much as you do. I wish I took more pictures but unfortunately I was pretty sick for the most of the workshop. I some how managed to pull through and pass, but my face was a little green.

More details of why I was vomiting and sick to my stomach for most of the trip to follow.





Fawn was so nice to have a bbq at her house on Friday night. I got a chance to hang out with Tracy and RIf (such a great couple), Fawn and Aaron, Kettlebell Kate, Christine (my new friend from New Jersey), Taikei who came all the way from Japan, and some of Fawn's friends. Thanks again everyone for a great evening.




Seeing Lyla after not seeing her for 4 days was the best feeling in the world. It's definitely nice to be back. But unfortunately I am still pretty sick and have been in bed most of the time. I managed to teach a couple clients yesterday and a class, but tonight I had Robert Bud Level 2 RKC come in and teach for me. It worked out great. I normally try and do everything myself but I haven't been able to hold much food down so my body is telling me to rest.

On a happier note there is hopefully good to come out of all of this.

Monday

Why Kettlebells are Perfect for Mommies (Especially the New Ones)

I would like to share this with all the new and old mom's out there. Here is an article I wrote for www.liftkettlebells.com.

Click this link to read it. Kettlebells for women with children

Hope you all enjoy it!

Saturday

Our Snowboarding trip to Mammoth



Last week we went to Mammoth. Since it was late in the season we were able to get a fantastic deal on an amazing ski in ski out condo on the mountain side. This is the nicest accomodations I have ever had in Mammoth. We shared a 2 bed/2 bath condo with good friends of ours and their little 11 month old. This worked out so nicely because we took turns snowboarding and watching each other's kids.



When we arrived I could not believe the beauty of this place. I have been to Mammoth about 10 times in my life and I never get tired of the surroundings. Anyone who has kids knows how stressful packing is. You have 5 times more stuff than you ever did in your life. Extra toys, bottles, portable crib, stroller, humidifier, diapers, etc.... Our 3 day trip looked like we were going away for a month. We packed the car up to it's maximum capacity. Good thing we drove because there was no way we could bring all of this stuff and fly somewhere. Anyway, I left in a frantic, because I had been stressing all week about different projects I have underway. I was anxious all week with the amount of work I had on my shoulders. But when I arrived in Mammoth all that stress, tension, and anxiety just drifted away. I can not describe what serenity and peace this place brought to me. Just breathing the fresh air, looking at the gorgeous mountain views, being with my little family and great friends was all I needed to relax. Oh and I can't forget the snowboarding that was right at my finger tips. 8-) My favorite activity!


I have decided that it's imperative that I do a trip like this at least once a year. Lyla seemed to have a great time in her cute little snow outfit checking out the snow for the first time. I can't wait to get her started on a mini snowboard. Her and Gianna were sooo adorable playing together. Just watching them together really makes me think I should give her a sister or brother in the near future. 8-)





Now to discuss kettlebells. I had about 2 hour windows of snowboarding both days. And each day I boarded as much as I could for those several hours. I am proud to say not once did my legs get tired or sore. I hardly even snowboard anymore because it just does not fit in my lifestyle at this time. My form and speed remained about the same. I have to give the credit to my body weight exercises and kettlebell training. Before I started training with bells, no questions asked, I would be very sore and shaky the next day after not boarding for awhile. I'm telling you that training the right way ABSOLUTELY helps your snowboarding skills. You can go down longer runs without feeling the burn and really do nice carves in the snow with lots of power. It was amazing!! I was worried that my snowboarding skills would go down the toilet since I have not been consistent for the past 4 years. I am happy to say they have maintained nicely. I have gotten a little more timid over the years because I have more at stake now. If I launch off a jump and severely injure myself I won't be able to work or be their for my family. I decided to throw in the towel and bust out my helmet this year. I never wanted to do it, but if some crazy person knocks me out while I'm speeding down a mountain I might as well protect the noggin.



New priorities! Make at least 2-3 days for yourself to do something that takes your stress away and gives you absolute joy! Keep your kettlebell training up so that you can enjoy your other activities with a powerful start!

Monday

Organic Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice

So that last 2 days I have been making the most delicious fresh juice I have ever had. You would never believe that there is no added sugar. I was feeling really sluggish this past week, due to hormones, and all that fun women stuff. I wanted to start the day off with something a little different. My body doesn't always do well on caffeine, especially when I feel it needs it the most. I crash hard and I am left feeling worse.

Here is the Carrot and Ginger Juice Recipe

6-7 Organic Carrots
2 Oranges (right from my back yard)
1 inch of Ginger ( I love ginger so I put in a little more)

I peeled the oranges so the white part was still on. I also peeled the ginger as well.

I also tried it without the oranges if you are worried about sugar content. It still tasted awesome!!

And Voila! A beautiful looking juice that taste extraordinary. You can tell I'm excited. I don't get excited by too many things, but I felt great after drinking this first thing in the morning.

I've stayed away from fruit juices because of the sugar. But I feel strongly that one glass of FRESH fruit and/or vegetable juice can only have wonderful health benefits.

Does anyone else enjoy making fresh juices? If so, I'd love to hear about other healthy and tasty combinations.

Sunday

The past 2 months



I know I haven't been blogging lately. Time just has not been on my side. With my projects I have underway, training clients, spending precious moments with my growing daughter, and keeping my husband out of the hospital I would say I have my hands full. So sitting down here at the computer is a luxury.



I will try and recap as much as possible in the most condensed way.

February started out very rocky. Ben had to be rushed to the hospital for his attack on his stomach. This was one of the worst episodes. He had to be wheeled in because he couldn't walk and was almost passing out from pain. The ER was very slow about everything as always and told him they would see him as soon as they could. 2 and half hours later, you would think he was almost dead, they finally got him the medication to give him relief. Then they sent him home several hours later because there is nothing more they can do. I also had to take care of Lyla in the ER while watching this nightmare happen. I think she might be starting to understand because she freaked out when they put the IV in his arm.

To make a long story short, the next day I had to call the paramedics. I had just finished teaching one of my classes when I thought I would check on him to make sure he is drinking enough water. He was barely conscious. That's when I calmly called the ambulance. It turned out the doctors gave him too many drugs in the ER that somehow interacted with his other daily medicaiton. If I didn't check on him he would have died! So rushing him in saved his life! That put a scare on all of us.
I need to take deep breaths when I talk about this.

Moving on, things have been better since then. Lyla is still being very cautious walking on her own. She will push her toys around while walking and walk while holding someone's hand. But at the moment she has no desire to let go. She is growing right before my eyes. She's not a baby anymore. It's just so hard to believe. 8-(





My training has been very simple. I have just been training to maintain so it hasn't been very exciting. Now that the RKC 2 is starting to get closer I will have to work more on my Clean and Jerks the RKC way. Something I have never had real instruction on. I have seen and tried other ways, so hopefully I'll get that part down before the Cert. By the way, if anyone in San Diego is going to Level 2 in June please email me. Maybe we can exchange some ideas as well as coordinate traveling, since Minnesota is not around the corner.

Once I have finished my project I will be excited to let everyone know about it. Until it's done I have no right to be discussing details. Life is definitely excited and I'm grateful for everything I have!

Saturday's Practice and Food

Here is yesterdays workout which I think of more of a practice.

Warmed up with Joint Mobility 5 minutes and 2 minutes of Swings 12kg

Did the following exercises 3 times.

Pull Ups 3 , 4 , 3
Pistols 2 , 3, 1 per side
Bent Press 12kg 3, 3 , 3 per side
C & J 12kg 8, 8 , 6 per side

Then I finished off with

Snatches for 3 minutes with the 12kg total of 73 snatches.

I don't usually train high reps so I was surprised how nice those 3 minutes felt. I paced myself at around 24 snatches a minute. I'm not training for any thing but I wanted to see how I would feel with that length of time. Maybe I'll try 4 minutes today.

Morning weight is 108. Been eating 5-6 times a day. Here is what I ate yesterday. Not typical since it's a Saturday and I had time to have some lunch by the beach. Couple of people ask me from time to time if I am eating. I think I eat a good amount of food. I have just been more cautious of what I put in my body because most of the food out there isn't really food. And I don't have time to cook extravagant meals. These days with my limited time fast healthy fresh is what I can do.

Breakfast Quinoa Flakes 1/3 cup
2 Organic Omega Eggs
Max Stress B (most natural source of B on the planet)

Snack 1/3 of a Fresh Pineapple
2 handfuls of Raw Almonds

Snack 2 Lean Body Whey Protein Shake (pesticide free whey)
1 tsp of Cod Liver Oil

Lunch (went out to lunch with friends so this is not typical
One Carne Asada Taco, Refried Beans, and Cabbage Salad
And I had Chips, Salsa, and Gaucamole. yummy!

Snack Hummus
Cucumber Slices
Seed/ Flax Crackers (gluten free) Mary's Gone Crackers is the brand

Dinner Organic Free Range Chicken 6 oz
Small Yam
2 cups of Mixed Greens with Balsamic Dressing

Dessert 3 big Squares of 71% Dark Chocolate from Trader Joes. Less than 2 grams of sugar per square.

Friday

Does the FDA give a crap about our health??



The answer is no! Money is really what drives the decisions of the FDA. It's such a shame because who do we trust if we can't trust the FDA? If you have not heard, the FDA feels that meat and milk are safe from CLONED animals. I am not a vegetarian by any means, but if this is hidden from the population, I will be forced to be a vegan. This problem could hurt our kids more than anything. Since this is the cheaper way, restaurants probably wont need to put this on the menu either. Another reason why you need to be even more careful with going out to eat. America is making it harder and harder for the population to eat clean, pure and healthy foods.

If you click below you can sign a very fast petition to allow the consumers to know if the meat is cloned or not. This will effect everyone. Thank you in advanced for supporting the health of ourselves and children.


Does anyone else feel as strongly about this as I do?  Or could I be over reacting?

Wednesday

Please vote for Exercise TV's top trainer

Top Trainer Nominated: Best Personal Trainer in Nation's Best Fitness Professionals

I don't really know much about Exercise TV but some how I was nominated to be in the running for Top Trainer.  Believe it or not I am in 2nd place as of now.  It would be great to see a kettlebell trainer to be in first place.  I have never competed in anything before so just thought I would put it out there and ask you all who have benefited from my services or advice to take a minute and vote.  I thank you in advance for supporting your fellow kettlebell instructor.  Just click the picture above to vote!

Thanks to all who have already voted!!!



Tuesday

Happy First Birthday Lyla




I can't believe my baby is 1. This year flew by and I survived. For some reason I'm very emotional right now, which doesn't happen to me very often. As a nursing mom I have never spent one day away from her. I didn't think I would be this attached. I have watched her grow from this little infant to a baby that interacts with me and says things like "wow" and "hi". Watching her every move just amazes me. From seeing her feed herself the little pieces of food I put on her tray, to pulling herself up on anything she can find, and talking to her stuffed animals in the morning. It all melts my heart. I fell in love the second I met her.

These pictures are really for me to look back on. Starting from the first day she was born.

He's absolutely head over heels in love! Just born. I am in awe here. She's not even 2 hours old.






1 month old






More pictures to come when I have more time. Of course Lyla is eating a Gluten free sugar free banana muffin I made her.

One more important thing to add to post below

This article came out this past June.  Not to scare any of you parents but it is good to be aware how much narcotics can influence breast milk.  This is a rare case, but a full term healthy baby actually died from the high concentrations of narcotics in the mothers breast milk.  She was just taking the prescribed dose of what the doctors gave her.  She ended up taking half of the dose 2 days later due to constipation.  Here is the article you can read for yourself.

CODEINE LINKED TO BREASTFEEDING DANGER from National Review of Medicine


Just wanted everyone to be aware!

On a happier note my baby is turning 1 tomorrow! This year has been incredible.

My workout yesterday

Push Ups 30 seconds
Body Weight Squats 30 seconds
Swings 12kg 30 seconds

Pull Ups 4
Pistol 1 / 1

Repeat 3 times

Snatches 12 kg 2 min

Friday

What Doctor's don't tell you after a C-section

 Just as an update, I have been through 2 C-sections now.  Recovered beautifully with the appropriate progressions.


Many people have asked, here is my experience.  I don't claim to be an expert since I have only been through one C-section, hopefully that will be the last. I do know that I have had to do lots of outside research to help my muscles around my incision as well as my Transverse Abdominis (TVA)

These are some of the things that the doctors DO tell you after a Cesarean:
1. Do not go up and down the stairs for 2 weeks (which I did as soon as I got home)
2. Do not lift anything heavier than the baby for 6 weeks 
3. Take your painkillers (ex. Percocet)
4. After 6-8 weeks you can start exercising again
Good luck!


Here is what they don't tell you after a Cesarean or most abdominal surgeries. I have added my opinions to this:


If you take your painkillers that are encouraged, it WILL slow your bowels down. Not to mention they are already very slow after this major surgery. It can give you a false sense of feeling better and you might REALLY over do it.  If you're breast feeding there are many pediatricians that think it can be harmful to the baby when taking strong painkillers such as Percocet. I feel it can really cause your baby to be sedated and constantly fall asleep during feedings. Let's not forget the highly addictive qualities these narcotics have. The last thing a new mother needs to be dealing with is withdrawal symptoms from this drug.  

You may have pulling pains near the incision even 30 years later.  I have several clients who are in their 50's and had C-sections. To this day they still have mild cramping and pains near the incision every once in awhile.  Now why does this happen?


 Down to the important stuff.  After your abdominal wall is cut open and your muscles are separated to get a large baby out of your stomach, you are sewn up with several layers of stitches.  What they don't tell you is after this surgery your brain loses proper connection with these muscles.  Many women experience numbness and/or a pooch belly because they are never properly taught how to re-establish the communication between the brain and these stomach muscles.  Therefore it's important to do specific exercises to activate these muscles again.  
When you are starting to feel better from the surgery or /and you have been given the clearance to exercise, start with these TVA exercises. Since everyone heals at different speeds you may feel ready to do this as early as 3 weeks. Doing the typical crunches and sit ups will only target your Rectus Abdominis, which will not help at this time.  Some simple exercises to start are:


PLANK on your knees for 30 seconds.  Getting on your elbows and knees. Really tucking your pelvis under.  Make sure to squeeze your gluteus and tighten your quads. Even if you can go on your toes for the plank it's better to start small, so that the right muscles are being used and nothing else is taking over. Here is a video clip for this exercise in 3 parts. Plank Exercise video clip  and here is an additional video clip that will really help that is current from Sept 2011.  http://kbellqueen.blogspot.com/2011/09/mini-plank-for-optimal-core-activation.html


PELVIC TILTS - lying on your back (you can even do this in bed) tilt your pelvis under while pressing your lower back flat against the ground. Do a little squeeze and hold.  Also take your fingers and press in to your pelvis area where you should be feeling it. This will also help tell the brain to start turning these muscles on.  Do 15-20 reps of these and repeat 2-3 times when your body feels ready.


4 POINT TUMMY VACCUM (read this in Paul Cheks' book, How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy)  Getting on your hands and knees inhale and let your stomach hang to the floor. Then exhale and bring your belly button in to your spine. Hold and repeat 15-20 times.  

KETTLEBELL SWING - this is an excellent exercise to get the TVA activated.  

I could go on and on with diet and more exercises. But to keep this relatively short these are some rehab exercises that doctors do not tell you to focus on after a Cesarean.  Why they don't tell you, I don't know.  We just get sewn up and are expected to deal with muscles that don't properly work and are left with a dysfunctional "pooch" belly.  For those who want their stomach to feel and look the same or even better, these are some ways to regain this.  Hope this has answered some of your questions.  There could be a book written about this!  In fact maybe I will have to write one myself. 


But let's not forget the real reason why we go through this.  It's worth every bit of this and more! Here is me all sedated since they pumped me with Morphine, without my knowledge, holding my baby.  Couldn't have been happier in this picture.  Below is first baby.  If you want to see about my second experience visit here






To learn more about the workouts that got me back in the best shape of my life after 2 huge babies and C-sections check out our Kettlebell Instructional Videos and Lauren's Playground On Demand workouts. These workouts also have helped thousands of women and men get in the best shape of their lives! See the testimonials for yourself.



Review by Yours Lindsey
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Value
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Hi Lauren I bought your dvd a month back and love it!. It has certainly started to shift the last few pounds post baby.Its very quick to come off now! ITs making me lose my love of running because the dvd is more interesting! I've just bought the pregnancy baby bells one to have for when i have my second. Is another dvd due out soon too?
-Yours Lindsey
Hadfield, Great Britain  (
Review by Sue W
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Lauren,
I became interested in Kettlebells this past fall and with the help of the internet I found your site. I hired a RKC trainer (Yes, there is one in my remote Midwest area!) for a few sessions to familiarize myself with Kettlebell moves and ordered your DVD's Volume 1, 2 and the Workshop DVD. I now workout with you several times per week and love it! The workouts on the DVD's are fun but tough and the instruction on all of them is the best! Thanks so much for putting out a great product! I'm really looking forward to Volume 3!
-Sue W  

Review by Lindsey D
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"Hi Lauren, I wanted to add my name to the huge list of your devoted followers!! I purchased your Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells Volume 1 DVD about 4 weeks ago and I am IN LOVE with this workout! I am 26 years old and have 2 children (2 1/2 years and 1 year) and have been religiously exercising since my youngest's birth. I quickly shed the "baby weight" but was not getting the tone I wanted.... until I discovered kettlebells. I ordered this DVD following the recommendation of another mom on the CafeMom website and I honestly can't even put into words how much I love it. I truly feel it has changed my life even in the short time I've been doing it. I am excited to workout every day. I've never been "athletic" in my life. Always been "thin" but not strong. With this DVD I can feel myself getting toned. I mainly do the 40 minute workout, and on days that i'm feeling particularly energized, I will also do the 12 minute fat blast in addition. An issue I had before was finding the time to exercise considering I'm a stay at home mom with 2 little ones. However, my kids LOVE to watch me do this workout, lol. My older child tries to mirror my moves, and it is so adorable. Anyway, I'm not sure what I can really say that you haven't heard a million times before, considering your huge fan base. But I just wanted to add my two cents ;) This is a great workout, the DVD is put together beautifully, and you and your partner (Robin Duncan) are very inspirational. I have to be honest and say that the fact that you two are mothers yourself has inspired me SO MUCH. That fact alone is part of the reason I love this DVD. I hope to purchase Volume 2 in the coming months. Thank you for changing my life and body and inspiring me to better myself. I wish I lived in California so I could get a proper workout in person!! You have a loyal fan in me. I've been spreading the word to everyone I know about how much I love this DVD. Thank you so much :) "
-Lindsey D  
Review by Pavel Tsatsouline
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auren Brooks' fat burning workout is effective and interesting. Comrades ladies, enjoy Southern California style training!
-Pavel Tsatsouline, the author of Enter the Kettlebell!
CA