Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Haute Power Couple

Move over Brad & Angie, you don't hold a candle to Jesse and Shane Vizenor!

Jess became an HP girl in the summer of 2010 when she was prepping for her first bikini competition. That fall she went on to take 2nd place in bikini short during the FAP Midwest show in Chicago.  After her first appearance and success on stage, she had the bug! We then trained her for the NPC Upper Midwest, where this beauty took 3rd out of ten girls who posed very stiff competition (I'd never seen so much talent at a local show and there was Jess, catching the judges' eye and being rewarded with a trophy!). There's no stopping this girl--she is currently training for a national Fitness America show to be held in Las Vegas, NV this November. This is the big leagues, folks, and she's ready for it! She will also be joining forces with nationally recognized fitness coaches at Cathy Savage Fitness to help enhance her competition prep. This show will be available via live webcast at  on November 18th and 19th. Keep an eye on this woman, it won't be long before we'll be saying we knew her when...
Jesse's husband Shane is no slacker either! He was up for the HP challenge as well and has been right there supporting Jess through her journey to the stage both times (really, we even had him running for tanning supplies!). Beyond Shane's commitment to helping Jess succeed and leading his own fit lifestyle, he also has a pretty cool "hobby" of his own. He was selected to compete in Smokin' Wheels Competition in Guam this past April where he took first place. This trip was not only eventful because of Shane's very respectable placing, but also because this is where the couple celebrated their nuptuals before returning home!
You'd think they might be ready for some down time after so many exciting events, but they turned around and headed right to California where Shane and his buggy "Lil Nasty" showed 'em how it was done again in The Top Truck Challenge 2011 where he took home Judge’s Choice Award & People’s Choice Award! The whole event will air on the Outdoor Channel in November and it will also be in the December Issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.

Check out the following links to read about this cool sport and all of Shane's success:
 link to a paper article in Guam:

Link to pictures from Top Truck Challenge in California:

These two are such a great example of what can be achieved when one surround themself with positive and supportive people. Here's wishing them the best of luck for their remaining 2011 goals and all that the future holds for them!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meet Our New Strength Coach

Welcome Coach Carmen! She's no newbie around HP---you're all familiar with her leading those crazy Wednesday Workouts in my absence as well as bronzing up your killer bods with a great spray tan! She's now taking on a new role and new challenge as strength coach for Haute Physique. She will be helping to write monthly workouts for our clients and contributing to this very blog with new exercise and health tips--all while maintaining her other HP duties! This girl loves to be busy!

Carmen is a 2010 graduate from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and Wellness, and minor in Health Education. She currently works as events coordinator for our own UND Sioux men's hockey team. She is an avid runner, weight lifter, and golfer and was a star athlete in golf as well as soccer and hockey at Crookston High School. She has been the assistant coach for the Red River Girl's Soccer team for the last three years. This past March, she got on stage at the NPC Upper Midwest and rocked her first ever bikini competition! She continues to seek new challenges and recently set a new personal best at the Fargo half marathon in May. At the end of this month she will be competing in an inline marathon right here in Grand Forks and also participating on a kickball team (while recovering from a elbow fracture nonetheless!). Gotta love the energy of a true HP girl!

Get ready for her to rock your body this fall with some kickin' workouts that all of you Haute Physique folks know and love!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cleaning it Up & Dumbing it Down...Couscous Salad

After explaining to my husband what I was doing with this recipe yesterday, I've decided that will be the name of the cookbook that I never intend to write:) I found this recipe on the back of my couscous box and after grocery shopping specifically for the ingredients (and then still forgetting some of them), I had to make substitutions that I am so well known for......this one actually turned out to be edible (and actually good in the opinion of my palate), so I thought I would share.

If I had realized that the dressing I was making was basically a vinegarette, I probably would've cheated there too and just bought one, so that's an option to make this even easier. I would also cut the dressing recipe in half as the salad got a bit too oily for my taste. Otherwise, this was a really refreshing summer pasta salad that I was able to pull out of the fridge and serve to our weekend company (who enjoyed it too).

Garden Couscous Salad (Makes 4 servings)

1 3/4 cup. whole wheat israeli couscous (I found this in the ethic food aisle @ Target)

2/3 cup orange juice (I forgot to buy this, so squeezed an orange for 1/3 cup, then used POM juice for 1/3 cup)

2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

2 tsp. brown mustard (I just used a cheap-y dijon that we had in our fridge)

3/4 tsp. sugar (I used 1 TBSP Agave nectar)

1/2 cup olive oil (again, I would cut this and the whole drsg recipe in half or even 3/4)

3 scallion, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, shredded (forget it, buy the pre-shredded)

2 cucumbers, finely diced (1 seemed to be more than enough here)

Boil 2 1/4 cups water with a pinch of salt and then remove from heat. Add couscous and cover for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork and transfer to large bowl to cool (it might just be me, but this NEVER works when I make couscous....or maybe I am over-cooking it, but I leave it in the boiling water until soft).

For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together OJ, vingar, mustard and sugar/sweetner. Then whisk in olive oil & salt. Pour dressing over couscous. Add scallions/onions, carrots, cucumbers and toss.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Exercise = Brain Power (E=bp)

While most of us hit the weights hoping to increase muscle power, it turns out we're exercising our brains too! Did you know that Albert Einstein thought up the theory of relativity while riding his bike? Even Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates found benefit in doing their thinking while walking (1).

Coincidentally, the part of the brain that allows our body to perform exercise (the motor cortex) is located only a few millimeters from the portion that is responsible for thought and reason (the prefrontal cortex) (1). Studies monitoring the brain during moderate-exertion cycling showed increased activation of impulses in both areas, with the most cognitive benefits coming in the recovery period (2). There is also speculation that regular exercise has a cumulative effect on improved cognition (3).

So, the next time you are in need of a brain-power boost or really contemplating something important, hit the gym and sweat on it!

I now have to jump on the elliptical to try to recall what the theory of relativity actually is:)


1. Nieman, D. (2011). You asked for it: Question authority. ACSM's Healthy & Fitness Journal, 15 (1), 5-6.

2. Lambourne, K., Tomporowski, P. (2010). The effect of exercise-induced arousal on cognitive task performance: a meta-regression analysis. Brain Res, 1341, 12-24.

3. Yanagisawa, H., Dan, I., Tsuzuki, D. (2010). Acute moderate exercise elicits increased dorsolateral prefrontal activation and improves cognitive performance with Stroop test. Neuroimage, 50, 1702-1710.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Travel Workout with Resistance Bands by Carmen

Thanks to Haute Girl & guest-blogger, Carmen P., for sharing this on-the-go workout:
We're all busy women - sometimes work, sometimes family, and hopefully vacations take us away from our routine of hitting the gym or getting our workout in at home . This is a quick workout for when you're in these situations and stuck in a hotel room. It's easy to pack a resistance band to get in a great full-body workout---they even fit in your carry-on!
To warm-up:
Jog in place for 30 seconds
5 Push-ups
High Knees for 30 seconds
5 Jumps Squats
Quick steps 30 seconds - fast as you can move your feet while staying in one place.
Repeat x 2
Full - Body Exercises:

  • 12 Bicep Curls - Stand with hip-width stance on top of RB. Holding bands or handles, staring with arms down and palms facing forward, keep arms close to the sides of your body, curling band up to shoulders, then lowering back to the starting point. This is one repetition.

  • 12 Lateral Raise - In the same stance used for bicep curls, hold ends of the RB, arms relaxed and with palms facing toward your body. Raise the RB as high as shoulder level keeping good form - arms straight, back straight, chest up and out and neck tall - slowly and controlled lower arms back down.

  • 12 Front Raise - Keeping the same stance as used before - hold the ends of the RB in front of you resting on your thighs, palms facing toward the body. Raise bands to shoulder level, then slowly lower to starting position. Remember to keep good form!

  • 12 Chest Flye - Wrap the ends of your RB around your hands a couple times so that when you stretch the band out it becomes tight - hold arms straight out in front of you, palms facing downward. Push hands outward in a flye motion, keeping arms at shoulder level throughout movement. Return hand to the center in front of you, this is one rep.

  • 12 Triceps Extension - Step on one end of the RB with your right foot and hold the other with your right hand behind your head, arm up and elbow bent. The resistance band should be behind you. Wrap any excess of the band around your hand. You want the band to be tight from the start of the exercise. With upper arm staying in one place, bend at the elbow so that your palm stays facing inward and lower arm is extended straight up. Slowly lower back down, as this is one rep. When finished with set, switch sides.

  • 12 Squats with RB winged - row - Take a wider than hip- width stance, feet on top of RB. Hold ends of RB at your sides with palms facing back. Squat down so that knees stay behind your toes and your rear looks as though you're sitting on a chair. Knees should be bent at 90°, and back should be straight with chest up and out. While in the squat, bring hand up so that they reach the arm pits, lower arms back to starting position and stand up straight. This is one rep.

  • 12 Leg abductions with RB - Stand on RB with feet close together. Hang on to each end of the RB with arms at your sides, palms facing back. Find balance so that you are able to stand on only the left foot. Flex your foot so that your toes points a little bit upward, contracting for strong muscles in your right left. Push right leg straight out to the side, and slowly bring back to the center without letting the foot touch the ground. Repeat for duration of reps, and switch to other foot.

  • 30 sec. Scissors - While laying on your back, put handles of RB around the feet. Hold the slack of the RB tight, against your chest. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground, and flex your feet so that your toes are pointed towards you. Alternately, but with a quick pace, move your feet up and down - keeping your feet flexed and abs tight the entire time.

  • Repeat 3 times!
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Meet Haute Woman Karen M.

From Amy...
I have known Karen almost my entire life. When she and I started working together on her nutrition and training, I really thought we had a tough road ahead. Karen had been naturally thin for most of her life and was admittedly not an exerciser. These two factors made for what most people would find a very intimidating learning curve toward health and fitness. I feared that we had many speed bumps ahead.
Well, Karen proved me wrong almost immediately. She dove right in head first and didn't look back. She willingly did everything that I asked of her both with her diet and with her training (not to say that I didn't get the occasional skeptical look when I asked her to climb on a few machines at the gym or jump like a frog across the studio floor). She asked questions with the intent to learn, but never challenged or questioned her plan. She had faith in the process and ultimately changed her body, her lifestyle, and her self-confidence!
My proudest moment came not when she reached her initial goal of 20-pound weight loss (nor when she decided to go for more and got even closer to 30-pound loss), but it was a day that we'd spend weeks in the gym working toward--the day she cranked out 3 sets of 10 regular pushups! I know women 1/3 her age (which is 61 years young, by the way) that can't come close to that. I couldn't believe how far she'd progressed in such a short time, all because of dedication, hard work, and perserverance. 
Karen (before)

I am happy to introduce you to Karen and to let you read what she has to say:
1.) What events in your life lead you to seek out personal training with Amy?

I was putting on more and more weight and I didn’t feel healthy nor did I have a lot of energy. As I am getting older and having watched my mother put on a lot of weight as she got older I knew I had to do something but I wasn’t sure how to go about it and be successful. I heard from Amy’s mother that she was doing nutrition and weight training and I knew that was a sign-CALL AMY. I have known Amy since she was a “youngster” and I felt if anyone could get me going she could.

2.) What were your biggest fears when you got started with your training and nutrition?

The biggest fear I had when I started my new “lifestyle” was of course failure. At my age (61) I had never been one that watched what I ate nor was I an exercise person so I was afraid I just couldn’t do it! What if I didn’t like the food?!!!!! What if I couldn’t change?!!!!! But I was determined not to disappoint not only myself but Amy knowing she wanted me to succeed and she was willing to work with me from my concerns and sharing my joyful successes!

3.) What were the biggest challenges that you overcame in the process of meeting your goals?

The biggest challenges that I overcame was going out with friends and still staying true to my nutrition goals. For me I knew that if I didn’t give it my all I would probably fail. It had to be all or nothing for me and so I went for it all. I still went out but made choices that fit my program. I bought all the food (no matter the cost) that I needed and stuck to it. My best friend is so awesome that when we go out she will share a lunch/dinner with me so it is no big deal to go out! I did drink a lot of coke-regular before but since I started drinking water I really miss the water if I am not drinking enough. As I said for me it had to be all or nothing so I don’t drink any kind of soft drink just waters. It has been almost six months and I took a sip of a coke and it was DISGUSTING so I think I can say I cured the desire for coke!!!!


4.) How has proper nutrition and exercise changed your life (please include the goals you achieved in this paragraph)?
                                                                                                                            (And after....)
I no longer have times when I am STARVING just by following my nutrition program. At first it seemed like all I did was eat and when you have people in and out of your office it can sometimes be tricky but I quickly fell into the routine and if anyone made a joke about me eating I just told them I am in the process of making a new lifestyle change. People really laughed when they would come into my office and see a gallon jug of water on my desk and found out I drank right from the gallon jug!! As I was not a water drinker I needed to know if I was drinking enough and until I got used to that much water it was the easiest way for me to monitor it. Now of course I usually bring a couple of bottles and then fill them up; your body tells you if you are short on fluids! The exercise portion was a little difficult at first because the only exercise I had done was walking about half an hour every couple of months or may years!!! I am still working on my exercises; Amy always if very encouraging and keeps me motivated. She is ALWAYS telling me I can do one more or two more just push push push and I have to say she is right!!                        

5.) Was there anything that you achieved or gained along the way that you didn't expect?

I believe that by setting my mind and LISTENING to Amy with total belief that I have been successful at the weight loss and the strength that I have gained. I was looking for an angel to help me and I found one in Amy!!!!

7.) What is the best compliment you've received since you've started training?

How great I look and much YOUNGER I look since I have lost the weight and toned up and at my age I soak it all up!!!!

8.) What is your plan to maintain your results?

My plan is that I will continue to follow my new lifestyle eating program from now on. My husband decided that after watching me this would be a good time for him to change too. He has a lot of physical issues going on but he is changing his eating lifestyle too and so together we are on our way to a healthier way of life. Of course I know that no matter what Amy is always there for me to offer help and support and that means the world to me knowing that she really cares and wants me to continue to be successful!

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