Vikki Success Story

Vicki B’s Success Story

Vikki at Advantage Personal TrainingI came to APT in November 2016. I had been athletic throughout my life – played various sports, and had always been physically active. About 5 years ago, I began to have issues with my right shoulder and arm. Nothing too serious but I was in a lot of pain. I knew if I didn’t take care of it I‘d end up with permanent damage, and potentially have to get surgery. Working with health professionals I tried rehab. I would heal to a certain point but would eventually reinjure my shoulder/arm. I was also diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. My weight was increasing, while my physical and mental health were decreasing. I had tried other gyms, classes, and every fad diet out there. Nothing was working! I needed something to change, and it needed to happen immediately. After getting my shoulder to a good place again, last November I signed up for the 21 Day Challenge at APT Mystic.

I met with Keith Kessinger, Director of Programming, who assured me he & the trainers at APT could take on my case and we could work my body back to health. My goal was to be fit, lean, and healthy. I wanted to be working with experts in the field who would help me set reasonable & attainable goals but I was petrified I’d have another setback. In the 21 days, I lost pounds, inches, and body fat. Keith lived up to his word & so much more!

After the Challenge, I joined APT and have made great strides both physically & emotionally. The environment Greg, Calvin, and the rest of the staff have created is encouraging, supportive, and nurturing. Working with the Nutritionist, Bethany, I was finally able to begin replacing my old unhealthy habits with healthy habits, and my self-esteem and body image improved tremendously. Through APT I signed up for the Precision Nutrition online program. I receive daily emails which are teaching me about fitness & food, while Bethany acts as my Coach. The program has been an amazing learning experience.

After 9 months, I have a better insight into my fitness self, and feel more in control of my “Owners Manual”. I understand why I made decisions that ultimately formed unhealthy habits, and I now understand I have the power to change them. I’ve learned this is a LIFESTYLE change, not a fad diet. Not to mention it’s maintainable and enjoyable. In 9 short months, I’ve become stronger, leaner, and in better shape than I’ve ever been. I love the APT Community and can’t thank the staff and fellow gym members enough for helping me along my fitness journey!

nutrition and weight

Lose Belly Fat Faster Than Ever

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished that you could make your belly fat vanish before your eyes? Unattractive fat around the stomach is one of the most common body frustrations that my new clients complain about.

No one wants a squishy stomach! Frustrating as it is, losing body fat is a slow and steady process, rather than an instantaneous fix.

However, I do have an extremely effective method for losing belly fat faster than ever, and I’d like to share it with you today…

The Two-Pronged Approach to Rapid Fat Loss. This effective, fat-melting method attacks fat simultaneously on two separate fronts for maximum effectiveness: your sugar intake and your high-intensity workouts.

Prong #1: This part of the strategy requires zero extra effort on your part! In fact, all you have to do is STOP doing something that you’re already doing! You stop eating harmful, refined sugar, in all its forms. This means no sodas, no desserts, no packaged snacks, no candy, no mocha lattes, NO SUGAR AT ALL!

Stop and consider the food that you eat in an average day. Focus primarily on the items you habitually eat that contain sugar. It may be shocking to find out how much refined sugar you actually consume. Eating sugar is the fastest way to gain weight, so it makes sense that eliminating sugar is the smartest way to start your rapid fat loss.

Do not, however, starve yourself of healthy calories. Fill your diet with lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds as you cut out the refined sugar. Keep your metabolism high by fueling up on high protein, high fiber, low carb, and zero sugar foods whenever hunger strikes.

Prong #2: Here’s the part of the strategy that requires some effort, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. Crank up the intensity of your workouts to a whole new level.

Most people take exercise on with the slow and steady mentality – moving, pushing and pulling as little as possible while still “getting the job done”. I’ve got some news for you…if you still have belly fat to lose then the job wasn’t getting done.

If you can comfortably hold a conversation, hardly break a sweat or feel the same when it’s over as you did when it began, then you’re simply not pushing yourself hard enough while you exercise.

Increasing the intensity of your workouts requires focused intent. You must go into the session with the goal of pushing your body to the limit. Remember, it’s a contained timeframe that will be over shortly, so bear down and deal with the discomfort. With practice, you will learn to embrace the burn.

The safest and most effective way to crank up the intensity and effectiveness of your exercise time is to work with a qualified fitness professional, such as myself. I would love to hear from you!

Call or email me today and together we will get you started on your fastest fat loss ever!

Holiday Tips from APT

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season from Coach Greg Drab

The holidays are in full force and so far you’ve been lucky and the viruses circling the block and your house have missed you. What can you do to keep healthy and end the year on a high note?

Here are a few tips for you:

  • Wash your hands – this is a no-brainer! Keep those hands free of germs by washing whenever you come into contact with an infected person and especially before eating.
  • Stay in control of stress – I know the holidays can really bring a person to the brink, but take a few moments to yourself throughout the day to just … breathe. Stay calm, it’ll all be over soon!
  • Sleep! – You’d be surprised how much the amount and quality of sleep you get can affect your well-being.  Make sure you’re getting to bed at a decent time and getting solid sleep.
  • Keep your cooking surfaces clean – wipe down all prep areas with antibacterial products prior to and after use.
  • Do not drink and drive – if you will be imbibing, make sure you have a designated driver to get you both home safely.
  • Stay active – if you can’t make it into the gym, take a walk around the block with your pets, take your kids to the park, walk around the mall if you’re up for that sort of thing. Just keep your body moving – it’ll help with the stress as well.
  • Eat as healthy as you can – Eat those veggies and fruits and keep a pack of almonds in your pocket for the times you’re looking for a snack.

With these tips, you’re giving yourself the best advantage to stay healthy through the holidays.

Happy Turkey Day

Eat This, NOT That, Thanksgiving Edition

I don’t know about you, but I am transfixed by all of the books, articles, and advice available when it comes to healthy eating – especially the ones that give you healthier alternatives to your favorite foods. With America’s feasting holiday upon us (Thanksgiving), there is no better time than to put together a list of Eat This, Not That, the Thanksgiving Edition. We’ve compiled a short list of a few very tasty, yet more healthy, alternatives to the main dishes that will laden your table this Thanksgiving.

The Main Event: TURKEY TOM

Americans, as a whole, look to this tasty bird as the main dish every Thanksgiving Holiday. It takes a million hours to make, but it’s worth it because you end up with leftovers that feed lingering company for days. When it comes to your main dish, here are a few ideas to make it as healthy as possible.

Eat this:
Skinless turkey breast – removing the skin removes unwanted fat calories.
White meat – Eat white meat for an extra lean bonus.
2-3 portions max – our fist size is roughly 1 portion.

Not that:
Dark meat – Just a little-added fat content, but do you really need that?
Butter & Gravy – If you can avoid them, your meal will be a bit healthier.

The Topper: Gravy

We will give you this, eating the white meat of turkey without gravy is like trying to swallow chalk. It just doesn’t go down that easily. But, gravy is essentially made of the fat drippings and butter that didn’t sink into the bird. Still sound tasty? If so, give this a try…

Eat this:
If possible, eat gravy made with fatless turkey drippings
Let your gravy sit for a bit on the counter and then take off the top layer of fat.

Not that:
Canned gravy – Packed with sodium and other ingredients you likely cannot pronounce.

Dish Filler: Bread and Rolls

This is a tough one…just the smell of baking bread and stuffing alone makes many people salivate with anticipation. But, you’re on a mission for health, so do your best to avoid these tasty dish fillers. If your carb cravings are overwhelming, try to make a stuffing using whole grain bread and low butter content. Load it up with onions and celery for flavor so you can get a taste of the good stuff without going overboard on filling calories you just don’t need.

Eat this:
Stuffing – Try to make it with whole grain and low butter content.

Not that:
Refined, white bread rolls. Especially with butter. Darn!
Stuffing made with mostly bread and no added veggies or smothered in butter.

White Elephant in the room: Mashed Potatoes

Turkey and mashed potatoes are such an American classic for Thanksgiving, but they do not contain nearly the amount of nutrients of their healthier cousins, the sweet potato and yams. If you leave off the butter and sauces, these are a great alternative to white potatoes.

Eat this:
Sweet potatoes

Not that:
White potatoes
Scalloped potatoes
Sweet potato fries
Candied yams

On the Side: Cranberries

Cranberry sauce…yeah, a lot of people just skip right past it, especially when it comes out of a can (seriously, who eats that?!), but eating a spoonful or two of actual cranberries is not only a viable alternative, but it happens to be part of a superfood group that can help lower blood pressure, protect the urinary tract and stomach lining, lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and play a part in good heart health. Plus, they taste really good with turkey, so why not throw some on your plate?

Bon Apetit!

Perfect for snacking, Spiced Nuts

Perfect for snacking, Spiced Nuts

Makes 20, 1/4 Cup Servings

1 cup raw pecan halves
1 cup raw pepitas
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup raw almonds
3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil.
In a large bowl combine all of the nuts with the coconut oil. Toss to coat.
In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Mix well and then sprinkle over the nuts, mixing until fully combined.
Spread the nuts over the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden and toasty.

Birthday Cake Smoothie

Birthday Cake Smoothie

1 cup of frozen organic banana
¼-½ cup vanilla almond milk adjust amount depending on desired thickness
2 scoops of vanilla protein
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 few drops of almond extract
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon sprinkles optional- but always fun

BBQ Wings


All you need is:
18 Bone in Chicken Wings
1.5 Cups Barbecue Sauce (Annie’s is a good all natural choice)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then place a wire rack on top of it.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken wings and half of the bbq sauce. Gently toss to coat.

Transfer chicken wings to rack, and line them up in a single layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven, brush with the remaining half of the bbq sauce and put back in the oven on the top shelf for another 5 minutes.

Recipe inspiration from Gimmie Some Oven

Grainless Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Grainless Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Egg
(Egg substitute 1 tablespoons flax meal + 2.5 tablespoons water)
1 cup Quinoa (cooked)
Coconut or olive oil for cooking
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup Greens
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ cup oat flour (ground-up rolled oats)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chopped onion; let it cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the greens and stir immediately, letting it wilt slightly. Turn the heat off.
2. In a large bowl, add black beans; mash with a fork, leaving some texture. Add cooked quinoa and remaining ingredients.
3. Form patties in 1/2C portions. If mixture is still wet and sticky lightly sprinkle some more oat flour on top of the formed patties.
4. Heat coconut oil in a pan – cook patties ~1min/ side until lightly golden brown.
5. Preheat oven to 375. Place on baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes, flip, then bake for 25-30 more minutes, until browned and crispy.
6. Serve on a whole-wheat hamburger bun or Salad with guacamole, Mango salsa or corn salad.

Recipe courtesy of My Square Plate

Honey Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Tofu

Honey Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Tofu

brussels sprouts
olive oil
liquid aminos
arrowroot or cornstarch
organic honey
rice vinegar
sesame oil
chili garlic sauce

In your oven: move your racks so one is up high and the other is down low. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Instructions for Tofu:
slice your tofu into 1-2in thick slices
put tofu in between 2-3 layers of paper towels and put a heavy book on top to help squeeze some of the water out let sit for 15 minutes
transfer tofu and cut into smaller squares
whisk together 1 T olive oil and 1T liquid aminos and drizzle over tofu
sprinkle 1 T arrow/cornstarch over tofu and toss until evenly coated
place tofu on a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

Instructions for Brussels sprouts:
discard any “off” color leaves & cut lengthwise in half
toss them in 1.5 T olive oil
arrange on a baking sheet (flat side down)
sprinkle with pink himalayan salt

Put brussels sprouts on lower oven rack and tofu on the top rack. Bake for 10 mins and flip tofu and sprouts over then bake for another 10-15 mins.

Instructions for glaze:
In a small pan, whisk together 1/4c liquid aminos, 2T organic honey, 2T rice vinegar, 2t sesame oil and 1-3t chili garlic sauce.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often for about 8 mins. then remove from heat.

Place sprouts and tofu on plate and drizzle with sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Cookie & Kate

Breakfast Carrot Cake Muffins

Breakfast Carrot Cake Muffins

2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup unsalted butter (cubed and softened)
1 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup pitted, chopped soaked dates
2 medium carrots, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 325 degree.
2. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan.
3. Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl.
4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
5. Fold wet & dry ingredients together.
6. Bake for 40 minutes
7. Let cool for 5 minutes

Original Recipe from My Square Plate