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McKinney Fitness Blog

Scrumptious Slab o’ Salmon

1 large salmon filet

1 lemon

Morton’s Nature Season

Herbes de Provence

Olive Oil in a Mister

Place fish on a foil lined and sprayed rimmed baking sheet.  Squeeze the entire lemon over the fish.  Sprinkle with Morton’s Nature Season.  Sprinkle with Herbes de Provence.  Spray the top of the fish with the olive oil and then bake at 400 for roughly 20 minutes or until browned along the edges of the fish.

Functional Training

Functional training is no longer considered a fad – it is now a leading modality in the fitness industry. Its success is proven by the way that health clubs are quickly updating their facilities to accommodate functional training. Does your health club offer functional training classes or personal training sessions?  In today’s fast-paced society, you are probably looking for a quick and effective workout that won’t put a strain on your wallet. People are working longer hours than ever before, while in a sitting position or sedentary state.  Functional training group sessions provide a fun workout with a group of people who are all there for the same reason…to become more fit.  Functional exercises are very efficient at strengthening all of the muscles that will prevent injury during day-to-day activities. This modality of training also gives the you a welcome change from repetitive equipment like treadmills and “sit-down” weight equipment.  The human body was designed to work or move as an integrated unit performing multi-directional movements such as pushing, pulling, locomotion, level changes, rotation or a combination thereof. You will elicit higher levels of work capacity and performance if such movements are performed at high intensity and on your feet!  Contact your gym today to find out if they offer functional training.  Be certain that when you begin this type of exercise you are learning from a professional with experience!  Happy New Year and Happy Functional Training to you all!!!  Contact me any time with questions about your own functional training goals!  kristy@mckinneyfitness.com

Holiday Grocery Shopping 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide

This holiday, lets talk “Holiday Grocery Shopping Guide”.  If I were to walk up to you as you are easing your buggy into the checkout lane at the grocery store, would you be ashamed of what was in it?  I am not talking about your occasional pint of Hagan Daas…I mean your staple foods.  The everyday foods on your shopping list should include whole foods with nutritional value.  Your bread should NOT be white bread, it should be whole wheat bread with no high fructose corn syrup or even better, Ezekial Bread.  Your basket should be full of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and low fat meats and dairy.

That evil time period is approaching…October 31st through January 1st.  It starts with the Halloween Candy!  And then comes Thanksgiving.  Next is Christmas party after Christmas party followed by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  And the grand finale to the eating madness is New Year’s Eve and New Years Day!  Don’t fall into the trap!  You can easily go to the same party and use good judgement…or you can take your sweet children Trick-or-Treating without devouring half of their goody bag!

It all comes down to good judgement and creative cooking.  We all have that devil on one shoulder while the angel sits on the other.  I consider myself a healthy person.  I exercise, eat right and try to get enough sleep.  But still that devil is chiming in my ear at every holiday party to eat all the yummy foods “because they only come around once a year”!  Don’t fall victim to unhealthy choices because you are hungry.  There is a simple solution…eat a healthy, clean meal before you go to the event.

Remember, you can celebrate the holidays without adding inches to your waistline.  I have a ton of holiday recipes that are low fat, low calorie, nutrient dense and super tasty on my website.  Please visit mckinneyfitness.com and try a healthy version of your favorite holiday food today!  Don’t see it???  Email me today and I will send you a healthy version of your favorite dish!


New Trends In Business

New Trends In Business

Businesses are finally catching on to the FACT that exercise during the workday improves job performance.  In fact, studies have proven that after exercising, participants returned to work more productive and in a much better mood.  Their work performance was consistently higher, as shown by better time management and improved mental sharpness.

Workplace exercise programs benefit more than just the workers.  They give companies more efficient employees who work better together.  Health care costs can be expected to go down for employees who exercise regularly, resulting in fewer sick days, better attendance and more cooperation between co-workers.

Do you know whether your employer offers any type of reimbursement for your health club membership?  This new trend in business is happening all over America.  In fact, many local businesses will pay for your gym membership up front, so you have no expense whatsoever.  Some local businesses require a certain number of visits to the gym per month and if you meet that number, they will reimburse you for half of your dues.  Other businesses even develop a “Biggest Loser” type of challenge amongst the staff and pay for a trainer to take them through a group training session several times a week and provide nutrition counseling and weigh ins.

Check with your employer and see if they are willing to help out with your gym dues.  And if they will, make it worth their while and actually USE the gym!  After all, your increase in exercise could easily convert to a pay raise if it increases your job performance!

Contact me anytime for help getting your corporate memberships or goals started!

Kristy McKinney



Nutrition for Swim Competition

So…it is the week of competition.  Athletes have prepared for this meet for weeks, months, years.  You have done all of the things necessary to prep yourself for competition.  You have given your best without missing any practices.  You get plenty of sleep at night.  Now it will all come down to one thing…NUTRITION!

Hopefully you have been eating plenty of protein throughout the training season.  Protein is necessary for building muscle.  Added muscle equals added strength and speed.  Typically during the training season, a swimmer should take in just under 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh per day.  Good lean protein sources include fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, low-fat milk, yogurt, egg whites, Whey Isolate Protein Powder and soy.  Whey Isolate is perfect during competition time because it processes quickly without weighing you down.  Drop your protein down to around .75 grams per pound you weigh per day during the week of competition when your carb intake will increase.  Remember, your protein drops a little at meet time, but it is very important that you still take in that .75 grams per pound you weigh, even on meet days.

It seems that everyone is afraid to eat fat.  However, your body needs fat.  Swimmers should take in .45 grams of fat per pound you weigh.  Make sure you are making heart-healthy fat choices.  Some good options are nuts, olive oil and avocado.

Now for the carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates should make up the majority of a swimmers diet.  During training and competition, swimmers should consume around 3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day.  Carbohydrates are your nutrients that give you fast energy.  You need that energy to perform!  Without enough carbohydrates, you will feel sluggish and tired.  This is not a good combination for performing well at a meet.  Your body needs plenty of complex carbohydrates the night prior to and the morning of a meet.  Swimmers fall into the mindset that you have to live on pasta the night before a meet.  This is just not true.  Other sources include sweet potatoes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, brown rice, Ezekial breads or Ezekial cereals. These offer the same carbohydrate benefits as pasta and most offer way more vitamins and antioxidants than pasta.  Your body also needs fast carbs such as fruit, carbohydrate sport drinks, honey or Gu type supplements immediately before your event.  Between events, don’t overeat, but make sure you are snacking on additional healthy snacks.

Let’s talk about hydrating for competition.  Your body cannot excel if it is dehydrated.  It is critical that you consume plenty of fluids before during and after swimming.

A great snack to take to the pool with you would be

Peanut Butter Oat Protein Bars

1 cup oats

1 cup Natural peanut butter

1 cup Whey Isolate Protein Powder (vanilla, chocolate, cappuccino, or your fave)

8 Tbsp Agave Nectar

½ cup applesauce

Mix the peanut butter and agave in a large bowl.  Mix the remaining ingredients in adding a few drops of water if necessary for the right consistency.  Smash down into a sprayed baking dish.  Keep tightly sealed in the fridge until cold.  Cut into 2” x 3” bars.

So…the next time you head off to the pool, make sure you have a small cooler packed with the essential foods your body will need throughout the day.  Just like you would never arrive at a meet or practice without your goggles and cap, you should never go swim without your pre-planned foods and drinks.






hydrate |ˈhīˌdrāt|

verb [ trans. ]

cause to absorb water.

ORIGIN early 19th cent.: coined in French from Greek hudōr ‘

electrolyte |iˈlektrəˌlīt|


a liquid or gel that contains ions and can be decomposed by electrolysis.

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from electro- + Greek lutos ‘released’ (from luein ‘loosen’ ).

Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated?  Do you want to know why?  Because our bodies are already low on water before the thirst sensor in our brains alerts us.  Actually, most of us even mistake that thirst alert for hunger. So, try drinking a glass of water before your meal.  Dehydration also slows your metabolism, which in turn makes you burn fewer calories.

Swimmers should be aware and hydrate early and throughout each practice.  Often the brain is tricked into thinking a swimmer is hydrated because they are surrounded by water, don’t appear to be sweating and even get water into their mouths.  Do you want to know for sure if you are hydrated?  Weigh yourself before and after practice.  Every pound lost equals a loss of 16 oz of water.  Use your weight loss to calculate your water loss and be sure to consume that much more water at every practice.  Don’t wait until you feel thirsty…drink before, during and after swimming.

Our bodies can sweat off 6-8 oz of fluid every 15 minutes!  At a minimum, during swimming, you should consume a few gulps of fluid once every 15 minutes.  This will help your performance, as dehydration strips your endurance, which slows you down.

Now…what is the best drink to hydrate a swimmer?  If your practice lasts an hour or less, water is best!  Also, give Coconut Water a try.  It is a delicious way to stay hydrated.  Any practice lasting longer than an hour will require a drink with electrolytes.  Gatorade or Powerade are fine.  If you would prefer a homemade drink with electrolytes, try the following recipe…

1 Kool-Aid packet (flavor is your choice)

1/4 tsp Morton Lite salt (for the potassium)

1/4 tsp sea salt (for the sodium)

1/2 cup organic cane sugar or Agave nectar

2 quarts water

Stir it all together. Store in a pitcher in the fridge.


My new favorite way to stay hydrated is to take a pitcher, place a handful of freshly cut mint into it.  Add 2 sliced tangerines and then fill to the top with water.  Store in the fridge and replenish with new water each time you pour.  The fruit should last in there about 5 days before needing replaced.  If you want a little sweetness, add a couple splenda packets or a squirt of Agave nectar to your glass before pouring in the water.  Deeeelish!!!


Excursions & Adventures 2011

Excursions & Adventures 2011

As I sit and write this, I am right in the middle of a HUGE Excursion & Adventure in Panama City Beach…Panama City Swim Team’s 5th Annual Long Course Paradise Invitational!  The meet consists of 3 days of local and traveling swimmers competing against one another at our beautiful Frank Brown Park Aquatic Center.  It is so inspiring to watch swimmers from ages 5 to 40 moving through the water with passion as they race to the finish while performing the Freestyle, Breast Stroke, Butterfly or Back Stroke.  The pool volume escalates during the Relay Events as a team of 4 works together, each swimming a lap and cheering on the other members of their relay team!

There were over 500 swimmers in this year’s event, from 17 teams.  This is the largest spring meet PCST has ever hosted!  They even had to turn away 2 teams and over 50 swimmers due to the meet being full.  PCST had 111 kids in the meet.  This is a team record number!  And PCST finished second in the meet behind ATAC, Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club.  They have estimated between 1500 – 2000 people were in town for the weekend for the event!  Thank you to all travelers for coming to Panama City Beach to be a part of this awesome competition!!!

The Panama City Swim Team is a year-round competitive swimming program sanctioned through United States Swimming (USS), the national governing body for competitive swimming. The program has been in existence since 1954, first as the Panama City Swim Club, and later as the Panama City Swim Team (PCST).


PCST offers competitive swimming to anyone at least 4 years old who is able to swim 25 yards in any stroke without holding on to the wall. PCST is a not for profit, parent run organization, that was founded with the mission of building and promoting youth swimming in Bay County, FL. Although the ultimate goal is to offer a comprehensive training environment for competitive swimming, they emphasize that there are different age & performance groups for kids and young adults. From a developmental point of view they say that the sooner the swimmers start enjoying the fun in the water and learning the right movements the more they can benefit from the ongoing – year round training & activities the team offers. Feel free to come visit PCST for a practice session and discover for yourself what it is to be a Tsunami!


In the event you do decide to CATCH THE WAVE by joining the team, PCST hopes you and your swimmer will have as many successful experiences as possible and that competitive swimming becomes a source of fond memories for your child.  It sure has been for my children.  And growing up on this beach with the ocean and swimming pools, it is always a good idea to make sure our children can have a confident understanding of the water and learn to swim with skill and ease.

I encourage everyone to visit the PCST website at panamacityswimteam.com.  If you are interested in joining the team, enrolling in the Summer Splashers program, or being a Sponsor, you can do so on the website.  Donations are always appreciated!  Please mail them to 89 Park Place  Panama City Beach, FL 32413

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions at mckinneyfitness.com.


Food is Fuel

food |foōd|


any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth

fuel |ˈfyoōəl|


material such as coal, gas, or oil that is burned to produce heat or power.

• food, drink, or drugs as a source of energy : any protein intake can also be used as fuel.

Athletes, young and old, must always view food as fuel.  Food helps your body grow…Fuel produces POWER and fuels your mind to perform!  So, tell me, what are you feeding your body each day before swim practice?  And what are you feeding your body on the day of a swim meet?  Are you giving your temple the adequate nutrients to rise above and do your very best?  Whether you are competing for a Southeastern qualifying time or competing against yourself to improve your personal best time, there are nutritional guidelines that you must follow.

-E.F.A.s (Omega’s) are a critical supplement that should be taken daily for mind development.

-A multi-vitamin and mineral should be taken every morning.

-1 teaspoon of Glutamine should be taken immediately after practice for recovery.

-Vitamin C should be taken twice every day.

-Vitamin B12 should be taken every morning.

-A minimum of ONE GALLON of water daily.

-Everyone should eat 1 yogurt every day for the dose of  probiotics it gives.

-Eliminate all empty calories.  This includes sugar drinks such as coke, juice and candy.


A Perfect Day of Eating in the Life of a 10-13 year old Swimmer (adjust serving sizes up or down depending on age/size)

Wake up – Drink 16 oz water and take 1 Multi Vitamin & Mineral and eat 1 GNC Omega Chew

Meal 1 – 2 egg whites plus 1 whole egg and ½ cup oats cooked in water with splenda, ½ tsp cinnamon and 10 blueberries (at minimum of 1 hour before swim)

SWIM (assuming it’s summer practice)

Snack – Immediately after you get done swimming eat ½ grapefruit and take 1 tsp glutamine and 250 mgs of Vitamin C

Meal 2 – 3 oz tuna or grilled chicken, ½ cup steamed green beans or 1 large green salad with spray dressing, ½ cup brown rice or sweet potato

Snack – 1 Dannon Active yogurt or Fat Free Greek yogurt and 1 apple (1 hour before swim)


Meal 3 – Sandwich made on 2 slices Ezekial bread toasted with 2 Tbsp hummus spread on bread and 4 oz grilled chicken or flank steak, fresh spinach leaves, tomato slices & pickle.  1 cup raw broccoli dipped in fat free ranch or balsamic vinegar.

Bedtime Snack – 1 packet CNP Pro Dessert Vanilla Protein Pudding OR Protein Shake made from 1 ½ scoops Dymatize ISO-100 Chocolate Whey Isolate

Feel free to contact me any time with any nutrition questions…

Kristy McKinney at goldsgymgirl@comcast.net or mckinneyfitness.com



Dining out in Panama City Beach, 2011

I am sure by now most everyone has heard of the book “Eat This Not That”.  In the book, David Zinczenko gives alternatives to unhealthy popular food items.  So, I am going to do something similar, but include a recipe from my website, mckinneyfitness.com

Captain Anderson’s has a “Famous” appetizer dish, Grilled Bay Shrimp.  They are fabulous and are worth the calories occasionally.  But if you want to make a healthy version…

1 ½ lbs large shrimp, heads off  shells on

1 Tbsp olive oil & 1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp Cavender’s seasoning

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oils and allow to get hot, but not smoking.  Add shrimp and stir for 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice, garlic and Cavender’s.  Stir constantly for an additional 3 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.  Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.

Andy’s Flour Power has a delicious French Toast on their menu.  For a healthy Scrambled French Toast you can make at home…

4 egg whites plus 1 yolk

1 tsp vanilla

6 splenda

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp fat free milk

2 slices Ezekial bread, cubed

Whisk together the egg, vanilla, splenda, cinnamon and milk.  Add the bread and let soak for 10 minutes-1 hour (the longer the better).  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then spray with cooking spray.  Pour in the French Toast mixture and cook stirring frequently until cooked through and browned.  Eat plain or with a little fresh fruit on top.

Firefly has the best sushi in town!  I am not one to attempt to make sushi…so save that for the professionals at Firefly.  The Heisman is my favorite!  They also have a delicious Herbed Salmon.  Here is my version…

1 large salmon filet

1 lemon

2 Tbsp Morton’s Nature’s Season

2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence

Olive oil from a Mister

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Spray the foil with the mister.  Lay the rinsed and dried salmon onto the foil.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the fish.  Sprinkle with both seasonings.  Spray the top generously with the olive oil mister.  Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes.  I like it a bit browned around the edges.

And at Saltwater Grill, I always get the Black & White Tuna with a Greek Salad and Green Beans.  Let me share my recipe for the VERY BEST and easiest Green Beans on the planet!

Roasted Green Beans & Shallots

1 lb green beans, trimmed

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Toss the green beans in a large baking dish with the shallots and oil.  Season with salt & pepper.  Roast until just cooked through and the beans on top have just started to get brown and crisp, about 15-18 minutes.

It’s nice to go out and splurge sometimes on a delicious dinner out.  But remember, when you eat out you get way more calories than if you cook a lower calorie version at home.  On the days you know you will be eating out, try to sneak in some exercise.  You will feel better and have far less guilt about what you eat.

Also, as important as it is to your health to eat right and exercise, it is equally important to your relationships to spend quality time together.  Sit down with your family at meal time and talk about each other’s day.  Include your kids when you go out to eat at a restaurant…often parents quit going out to eat when they have kids, but I recommend including them.  Teach them how to order their own food and behave with good manners over a nice dinner out.

Feel free to contact me any time at goldsgymgirl@comcast.net

And please visit my website for numerous recipes and workout videos.  mckinneyfitness.com

New Beginnings for a New Year

New Beginnings for a New Year

It’s hard to believe that it is a new year already!  It’s probably even harder for many of us to believe that we survived the past year. Our community was faced with an enormous amount of heartache during 2010.  We were all facing a down economy which wasn’t playing favorites on whom it effected. Sadly, we lost two local banks who had always played a huge part in giving back to our community.  Then, of course, came the announcement of the BP oil spill. And what a fabulous job the media did announcing it. Unfortunately, although the oil never coated our beaches, the media led people to believe it would. This led to a drastic decline in our much needed tourism. As a long time resident of Panama City Beach, it saddened me to no end to look around and see my neighbors, family and friends hurting and struggling over the past year.

This is why it is so important for each of us to see this New Year as a New Beginning!  We must not dwell on the stresses we have encountered. This is not good for our minds or our bodies. This new year let’s skip our usual fitness resolution…”I resolve to eat less, exercise more”. How many times have we all said that in January?  And how many have followed through for the entire year?  This year, let’s resolve to BE CONSISTENT with our fitness! Consistent exercise keeps our minds clearer, which allows us to tackle daily obstacles with clarity. Consistent nutrition keeps our energy levels higher throughout the entire day. It eliminates the roller coaster effect we get from eating processed foods and not eating frequently enough.  This year, rather than saying “I am going to workout every day until I reach my goal weight”, which is an impossible resolution to keep, let’s vow to keep a food journal daily and take 3 group fitness classes a week, or to hire a personal trainer to train you and your spouse together a couple times a week.  Guys…let’s vow to add cardio into our workout plans so that your heart stays healthy. And let’s vow to bring a buddy to the gym with us. It is much easier to stay consistent when someone is counting on you to be there. This is often why many people hire a personal trainer. And who knows…that buddy you bring may be what keeps you training consistently all year long.  Hug your neighbors, friends and family. Let them know that even through a tough year, we had each other’s back and made it through it all. That is what this community is all about!  That is why I am proud to call Panama City Beach my home.  Happy New Year and Happy Healthy New Beginnings to each and every one of you.

Please feel free to contact me for any help you may need to stay consistent with your fitness goals!  goldsgymgirl@Comcast.net or mckinneyfitness.com

Holiday Shopping Guide

Holiday Shopping???  Already???  Where did the year go?

I love holiday shopping.  In fact, I am a really good gift giver, if I do say so myself.  I think it is important to give a gift that the receiver will really like…a heartfelt gift.  I really take the time to think of the person that the gift is for and come up with something that is fitting for them.  This year, I will have my work cut out for me at Christmas, as I am the mother of a teenager!  And we all know that teenagers and mothers never have the same idea for the gift.  Sometimes, though, my teenager has to eat crow and admit that I was right.  For instance, while we were school shopping this year, I tried to get her a pair of Tom’s shoes.  She adamantly refused, stating that they were “NOT COOL”.  Funny how when she got to school and saw a lot of kids wearing them, she instantly thought they were “COOL” and asked me to buy her a pair.

The same theory goes for suggesting to someone that they finally get healthy.  People reject the idea.  They think that exercise and healthy eating just isn’t for them.  If you were to buy someone a gym membership during your holiday shopping, you would be giving this special someone the gift of health!  What a fabulous idea.  This would mean that you love this person enough that you care about their well-being.  This could essentially add years to their life and quality to their years.  WOW!  Seems like a no brainer.  But that person may see the gift entirely different.  They may reject the idea at first.  But with some persuasion and reassurance, you can get them to the gym.  And you can get them to make baby step adjustments to their diet.  Before long, they will realize that exercise and healthy eating are “COOL”!  When they wake up in the morning, they will feel energized and ready for the day ahead.  When they eat their meals, they will feel refueled, rather than ready for a nap.  And in just a few weeks, if they stick to the program consistently, they will reap the benefits!  Their health will improve, they will get more restful sleep, and the bonus…they will look amazing!

This holiday, when you are shopping for your loved ones, give the gift of health!  If they already belong to a gym, try giving them a personalized nutrition plan or a month’s worth of personalized workouts from mckinneyfitness.com!  Or for only $10, you can give them a subscription to mckinneyfitness.com, which allows them access to workout videos and a ton of my healthy recipes!

Oh, and by the way, don’t skip your workouts this holiday season.  Remember, checks and balances!  You know you will be going to parties, having drinks and eating foods that aren’t on your usual eating regimen.  Do the damage control and workout extra so those holiday pounds don’t get a hold of you.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns at goldsgymgirl@comcast.net

Health & Wellness

WOW!  The first sentence on the CDC website on Childhood Obesity reads…”Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.”  I, myself, am over 30 years old, so in just my lifetime this unfathomable rise has happened.  In fact, the CDC states, “In a population based sample of 5-17 year olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”  And as this rise has occurred, our public school systems, nationwide, have reduced the amount of physical education that is required.

My husband and I spend our lives helping people become healthy and fit.  We not only teach it, we live it.  We have also always taught our children to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  So you can imagine the shock we had last year when my daughter enrolled in her first year of middle school and was told that physical education was optional!  Those teachers no sooner got that out of their mouths, and she responded by saying “Physical Education is NEVER an option!”

We have got to turn this statistic around!  And time is of the essence!  It is the responsibility of the parents, teachers, after school programs, babysitters, grandparents, church leaders, and anyone else that the children of today look up to.  It is going to take an entire team of support in these kid’s lives.  These kids have been sedentary and fed junk food for so long that it won’t be easy to change these behaviors.  The bright side is…with support, they can be healthy and fit in just a matter of weeks!

A few of the guidelines that we raise our children by…

  1. 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise EVERY day!  This includes swimming, soccer, tennis, basketball, or even a walk as a family after dinner.  This keeps their heart healthy and is a habit they will never regret.
  2. Children’s doses of Multi-Vitamins and Omega3 DHA/EPA every day.  These are necessary for human health, but our bodies can’t make them.  They play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  3. 6 small, healthy meals a day including lean meat, whole grains and fresh green vegetables, and a lot of water.  This is another area that our schools need to improve.  Our kids arrive at school at around 8am, have lunch around 11 and get home around 3, and most schools don’t allow snacking throughout the day.  Heck, the middle school wouldn’t even allow them to bring bottled water!  Our bodies need fuel!  Especially in a learning environment.  We need to speak up and demand that the schools allow our children small healthy snacks and water!

My children make healthy choices even when we aren’t with them, but this took time.  It is important to teach our kids WHY we eat healthy, WHY we drink water rather than sugar-laden drinks like juice or soda, and WHY we exercise.  Have your kids keep a journal and log their food and exercise in it for one week.  At the end of that week, make an appointment with me, or email the journal pages to me and I will review it and make suggestions.

It was a proud moment when my daughter came to me and asked if she could teach a kid’s class at our Gold’s Gym on Panama City Beach.  She takes pride in guiding others to be healthy and fit.  The class has been well received!  The kids learn new exercises that can be done at home.  They think it’s cool to learn from someone young like them.  They are given different healthy snack ideas as well.  The kids leave there with a smile on their faces and are proud to share their healthy lifestyle choices the next week.  Please bring your kids by to try out a class, on me!  And as always, send any questions or comments to me at mckinneyfitness.com.

Dining out in Panama City Beach

“Dining out in Panama City Beach”.  What a delightful topic to write about!  In my line of work, I promote “Eating IN”!  The number of calories and preservatives that are consumed in a meal eaten out rather than a meal eaten in would shock you!  That being said…I have a few local suggestions for eating out.  Rather than the perfect dinner, in my opinion, of grilled chicken and a salad, head to our local Smitty’s BBQ and have the dieters special.  You get a grilled chicken breast and a fresh salad bar with a variety of fresh vegetables.  If you are like me, and you aren’t willing to risk the dressing, bring one of the supermarket spray dressings or a bottle of good quality balsamic vinegar and use your own. Firefly is THE RESTAURANT that I trust to cook my food when I compete.  They will cook it exactly the way you ask.  Feel free to order your food “Gold’s Gym Style” when you eat there. If you are in the mood for a romantic sushi dinner, head over to the Firefly and order off of their FABULOUS sushi menu.  They have just updated their sushi menu and my FAVE is the Firefly Spicy Tuna Roll.  Speaking of tuna…have you tried the Black and White Tuna at Saltwater Grill???  OMG!  Need dinner in a hurry?  Call the Butler’s Pantry!  They will cook a healthy meal that you can pick up on your way home and feed your family the instant you walk in the door.  The Treasure Ship has two restaurants that overlook the Grand Lagoon.  You can go there and get a meal that includes our local seafood in a healthy way.  Right next door, you can go to Dock Hoppers!  They have a fabulous gift shop, stocked by a local fashionista!  I love to have lunch there with friends while our kids swim in their swimming pool!  For lunch, for dinner, or even a late night meal TGIFridays is the place for you!  Have you seen their light menu?  TGIFridays has a fun atmosphere, several light menu options, including my husband’s FAVE the Dragonfire Chicken, and it is the one place in town that you can go to at midnight and get great healthy food, see lots of people you know, and have a great time!  Want to feel like a vacationer for a moment?  Head over to Sharky’s and order a grilled fish sandwich that you can enjoy while watching the sunset.  For those of you who want a truly organic, whole food lunch menu, you have to try the Zen Garden!  It is on Richard Jackson Blvd (Formerly Beckrich Rd).  They have phenomenal menu options, and many of their vegetables are gardened on site.  If you want a local spot to sit and watch the game while having a local meal, try Calypso’s.  If you want to listen to an entertaining local band while having a local style meal with a Key West flair, head to the Boatyard.  Triple J’s is the place to go for a lean steak dinner that is sure to please!  Last weekend, we ventured out (WE ARE GYM PEOPLE…WE DON’T EAT OUT OFTEN) and tried Jasmine.  It was wonderful!  I love spicy food, and would have desired the HOT that I ordered to have actually been HOT, but the meal was fresh, lowfat and tasty!  And, when does Angelo’s open for the season?  Did you know that you can order a Greek salad and a HALF chicken white???  Lordy…that gives you enough food for lunch tomorrow!  Just be sure to say a few extra words to the server when you order…dressing on the side, hashbrowns steamed rather than doused with oil, fish grilled rather than fried, broccoli prepared with no butter, hold the béarnaise sauce, don’t even deliver the bread so I won’t be tempted.

Which…leads me to the way I believe we should all eat!  I once asked Jay Cutler…I am not suggesting that any of you want to look like or eat like Jay Cutler…how he can travel across the country so close to a competition.  When you are traveling, you are forced to eat out, which isn’t quite on the bodybuilder’s diet.  He told me that when you eat out, you have no control over how much fat the chef uses to cook your food.  Therefore, when he eats out, he does not eat carbs.  He is getting way more calories than if he prepared them himself, therefore he opts to skip the additional calories that are in the carbs.  I call it “DAMAGE CONTROL”!  If you know that you have a social function on Saturday, dang-it…eat clean Monday through Friday!  If you are having Bunco with the girls on Thursday, do an extra class at Gold’s Gym that day, then go and enjoy yourself that night.  We all have to live!  I DO promote a healthy lifestyle, but a balanced lifestyle.  I workout hard, my husband works out hard, we eat healthy for the most part, we make our children do 30 minutes of cardio EVERY DAY.  But we have balance!  You just might see me, my husband, my 12 year old Kylie and my 7 year old Kathryn-Annette running down the bike path on North Lagoon Drive, but you may also bump into us at Roy’s Burgers or ButterFace Pizza!  Our family loves to participate in a local 5K, and often we leave there and head to the BEST DONUTS IN THE WORLD…Thomas Donuts at the west end of Panama City Beach.  Remember…we work hard, and occasionally it is okay to indulge!  In the meantime, feel free to contact me for a nutrition plan that works for you!  Or, send me your favorite meal at a local restaurant, such as the Fish Tacos at Los Antojito’s or the Ribs at Pineapple Willy’s, and I will send you a healthier way to make that exact dish!  Contact me anytime at mckinneyfitness.com or goldsgymgirl@comcast.net.

Resort Life

Aaaaahhhhhhh!  Resort Life!  Take a few seconds and envision…Resort Life.  What comes to your mind when you envision Resort Life?  I picture a fabulous resort…on a pristine beach…with a first class pool area.  I smell coconut suntan oil.  I feel the hot sun, which is cooled ever-so-slightly with strategically placed misters.  I taste pin`a coladas.  As I look around the pool deck, I see glamorous vacationers who most definitely checked their appearance before heading to the pool.  They are wearing designer bathing suits and the most fashionable sunglasses.  They have glistening suntans, professionally styled hair, and perfect make up.  They are freshly botoxed, lasered, restylaned, microdermabrasioned, nipped, tucked and lifted.  They look like they truly care about the way they look, but they don’t look like they reach their goal in a healthy way.

There is a simple way to change your appearance.  Hard work and discipline!

Look around the resort in your head.  How many of the people are eating a burger and fries while poolside?  How many kids are having a hotdog and ice cream cone?  This type of eating is the quickest way to an unpleasant figure followed by a lifetime of health issues.

The next time you head to a resort, make a pact with yourself to commit to a healthy getaway.  Any restaurant you might go to during your stay should have healthy options, even if they aren’t on their actual menu.  Since nutrition plays a HUGE role in the way you look and feel, learn how to order when you are forced to eat a meal out.  A breakfast of an egg WHITE omelet with as many veggies as you want folded in and a small bowl of oatmeal will start your day right.  At lunch, order a plain piece of grilled fish or chicken and a small salad with a good quality balsamic vinegar.  For dinner, a small lean cut of steak is ideal with a side of asparagus.  Of course, you always need a snack between breakfast and lunch and again between lunch and dinner.  A fat free greek yogurt or whey protein shake would be the best options.

And check out the resort gym!  Most people skip the gym “because they are on vacation”.  Rather use that chance to check out the gym and even hire a local personal trainer.  You will have the chance to pick their brain about local healthy restaurant options, favorite recipes, styles of training, new exercises and how they feel the best way to reach your goal would be achieved.  I am a trainer myself, yet I always hire a trainer when it is time for me to compete.  And I learn new things from trainers in my business every day.

I am fortunate to live in a town full of resorts.  I wake up every day, less than a mile away from the Worlds Most Beautiful Beaches.  I wouldn’t have to go far for a pin`a colada or Botox.  But, the long-term satisfaction that comes from sticking to a healthy lifestyle and enforcing the same for my children outweighs the short-term pleasure of anything I could put in my mouth.  To know that I am making a difference in the lives of others, including my children is what I live for.  To hear someone who would have once ordered pizza choose a grilled chicken salad and a side of fruit and watch them enjoy it is why I do what I do.  If you have any questions on how to reach your goals, contact me at mckinneyfitness.com!

Excursions & Adventures

“Excursions and Adventures” are typically things we do on vacation.  We once went on a cruise with friends and the excursion we chose in Grand Cayman was to swim with Stingrays!!!  For some, that was great fun!  For others, there was a massive amount of fear leading up to the actual swim.  For me (the non-swimming, critter-fearing, un-adventurous person that I am) I was quite glad that I was “forced” to stay in the room with my youngest daughter who was sick.

One of the perks of living at the beach is all of the Excursions and Adventures that are right at our fingertips!  As you decide on what to do, my suggestion is any activity that requires movement!  Most people are inside and very sedentary throughout the work week.  Use your off time to challenge yourself, physically!  And include the entire family!  Go for a ride on a Jet Ski…you won’t believe how sore you are the next day!  Go for a jog on our Beautiful Beach!  And for an extra challenge, end that jog with sprints in the soft sand.  Enter a local 5k and have your children run it with you!  My children have both run in local 5k’s since they were 5 years old.  Frank Brown Park provides a nice walk, jog, run trail and a bike path, too.  Our local State Park has beautiful nature paths to walk along.  It also provides a nice Jetty that is ideal for fishing.  Surfing in our area is very popular, as well!  Try planting a garden as a family!  Your kids will love eating vegetables that they actually grew themselves!  Whatever it is that you and your family decide for the day, have fun with it!

Another Excursion and Adventure that is at the top of my list is to Join Gold’s Gym!!!  Join as a family!  I know…to many people this sounds as scary as swimming with stingrays was to me.  But, take that step!  Make the commitment as a family “team”.  You will have fun together, while improving your overall health.  Take a group fitness class together!  Hire a trainer to take the entire family through a group training session!  And when you leave the gym, head home and prepare a healthy meal and sit down and eat together.

In this day and age, there is a huge amount of stress on many of us.  This can often lead to stress eating, alcohol consumption and a grumpy attitude.  Instead of giving in to those things, head to the gym and burn off the stress through exercise.  And doing it together is a wonderful way for quality time with the family.  Cooking healthy food together is so much fun!  Give each family member their day of the week when they plan the menu.  Require a few things for the menu…green veggies are a must, lean protein is a must, whole grains are a must, and high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils are banned.  For tasty, healthy recipes, contact me at mckinneyfitness.com!  You name your all time favorite dish, and I will send you a healthy and tasty way to prepare it!

Contact me at mckinneyfitness.com for any and all fitness and nutrition needs!

Kristy McKinney

Why Do I Compete?

I am a wife, a mother, a business owner, a personal trainer, a volunteer in our community and a fabulous cook.  So, I am constantly asked how I have the time or desire to compete.  I started competing in 2001.  Since then I have competed in 10 competitions.  I have placed in the top 5 at the National level, 3 times.  I was 2nd place at the USAs in 2008, which put me one placing shy of the most desired PRO CARD.  I came in 1st place in my class at the 2008 Amateur Arnold Classic Figure International. (more…)

Greenify Your Body

We all have joined together to take a “Greener” approach to our everyday living. Whether you have purchased a fuel efficient automobile, an energy star washing machine, switched to all natural cleaning products, or drink your daily water out of a reusable plastic bottle, we all, in some way, have made a minor change that over time will make a major difference! But, what about our bodies? Do we give our bodies the proper tools that it needs to run efficiently each day?

Let’s start with water. Water makes up 60% of your body weight. Therefore, it is responsible for every system in the body functioning properly. How much water do you consume each day? If your answer was less than 1 gallon, you are doing your body a disservice. Try buying a pretty acrylic water bottle and filling it with ice cold water and a few cucumber slices or citrus wedges. Keep it with you and refill throughout the day!

Are you getting your RDA of Vitamins and Minerals? Most people do not. Quite frankly, most don’t even supplement with a Multi Vitamin & Mineral. Do your body a favor…visit the website fitday.com and plug in a journal of the foods and drinks you take in daily. It will quickly tell you the percentage of vitamins and minerals you have consumed each day. You will see what specific nutrients you are lacking and work to improve those. For instance, if it says you are deficient in Calcium and Vitamin C, you can go to dietandfitnesstoday.com and search for foods that are high in Calcium and Vitamin C.

Now…are you exercising regularly? I cannot tell you how many excuses I have heard for why many people are not. 1. “I don’t have the time”. 2. “I am too tired”. 3. “I am gone from my kids all day while working and want to hang out with them rather than go to the gym”. 1. I promise you…you have time for the things that are a priority in your life. Make your health a priority. 2. You are too tired because of your lack of exercise. The endorphins that are released while exercising boost your mood and energy level. 3. In order to be able to run and play with your kids without getting worn out, you must exercise. You are doing your kids a favor by keeping yourself healthy and active. And, at the same time, you are teaching them the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. This, when learned at a young age, will stay with them throughout their life.

Lastly, are you a label reader? Do you prepare your meals at home or eat out most of the time? Do you drink sugar-laden sodas that are full of empty calories? The cold hard facts are that you get out of your body what you put into it. Your daily calories should come from clean, healthy, natural sources. The foods that you put into your body should be eaten the way God made them. Not what man turned those ingredients into. Steer clear of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Eat things with a small ingredient list, full of ingredients you can pronounce. Switch to Ezekial bread (found in the freezer section). Switch to Greek yogurt. Switch to Fat Free milk. Use olive oil rather than butter or margarine. Eat very little animal fat, which is mostly saturated. Eat whole grains rather than white starchy carbs.

These changes will have your body running much more efficiently. You will sleep better. You will feel better. You will be hungry more frequently, because you are eating clean foods and your metabolism will be functioning at a higher rate. You will eat more frequently, ideally 6 times a day, and your body fat will go down as your lean muscle tissue increases. You will stay hydrated. And your body won’t be full of the crud that is in processed foods that makes us sluggish. You will come out of the gym ready to go outside and really PLAY with your kids. Your hair, skin and nails will look better than ever, because they are full of nutrients. You have now, officially, GREENIFIED your body! Please feel free to contact me at mckinneyfitness.com with any further questions on making your body run more efficiently.