Mapping Macros!

Nutrition goes beyond just a simple caloric intake each day. Maximizing your nutrition means getting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat (macronutrients) at the right times in the day to keep your metabolism ramped, feel sustained energy and make the most of your efforts in the gym. Each person’s optimal macronutrients are different based off their own unique body composition and activity level.

Let’s be clear here, body composition is NOT ONLY a single number dictated by a small electronic box that lives in the corner of your bathroom. And weight on the scale is NOT ONLY body fat that needs liberated from your thighs. So time to throw the scale and your old ways of thinking out the window.

Did you know that your weight can fluctuate daily by 8-12lbs?! Affected by stress, sleep, water intake, sodium intake, and hormonal changes… the list could go on and on. So do yourself a favor, stop the madness. Living and dying by that ONE number is only going to drive you cray cray!

You might be wondering “OK Amy what IS body composition then?”

Body composition is the internal make up of ALL that is inside your body: muscle, bones, organs, body fat, water, etc. And how do I figure out what my make up is? There are many places where you can do a full body composition scan whether that is a nutrition shop or doctor’s office near you. I highly suggest doing that at the start of any fitness journey, so you can see what is actually happening internally instead of focusing on the changes on the scale because like I said before that scale is a dirty liar!

img_2512Mapping out Kelsey’s optimal macros to drop off the last 12 lbs. of baby weight I had to take all of this into account. Using the magical HellaBella equations to determine her optional macros I landed at the following…

Calories 1908 

Protein 143 grams 

Carbohydrates 55 grams 

Fat 124 grams

Some things taken into account…

  • Kelsey is breast-feeding which means she is burning an additional 400 calories each day producing milk and feeding Max. In order to keep up her milk supply where it should be, we landed at 1908 calories each day. We will be monitoring this closely because YES of course we want her to reach those goals, but not at the expense of sharing that special bonding time with Max.
  • Looking at her protein intake, some of you may be thinking DAMN that is a lot of protein! For the average woman that is a lot because generally women do not getting enough in our diet. We are great at all things CARB related, but often fall short with protein. Ideally, your protein intake should be enough to support your current muscle or just above that to aid in building muscle. If that is your goal of course! Which I mean I hope it is at least little bit because check this! The more sexy lean muscle you have on your body the more you burn at rest. So for example if you are sitting on the couch writing a blog post about macros watching the winter Olympics eating Red Vines… (I may or may not be doing that right now.) The more your body burns at rest. Yup you heard me right, if you put on just a little more muscle on your body then you burn more while eating Red Vines… I mean while at rest. HA HA
  • I am shouting off my soapbox right now… FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT PEOPLE! NO you should not cut out fat to see better results, YES I really want Kelsey to get in 124 grams of fat EACH DAY. Fat regulates so many functions in the body to keep you healthy and without it over an extended period of time you are putting your body at risk of shutting down some of these systems. So eat the fat and be happy about it! You may notice that Kelsey has a significantly higher amount of fat than carbohydrates in her optimal macros, and that is for a few different reasons. One because following a primarily Paleo diet she will be implementing many foods that are higher in fat. Also over time both of us as trainers have experimented with many different macro ratios for ourselves and she has found that after her body LOVES a high fat diet. Finding what works best for you is key!

OK so I have mapped out the methodology,logic and macros behind Honestly Kelsey’s 8-week Post Baby Challenge nutrition plan. I will continue to evaluate and adjust these based off her progress and how she is feeling. So stay tuned this may change because as your body changes so do your macros!

Want to know where your Optimal Macros should be to hit your goals, based off your own individual body composition and activity levels? This is what we do!! Check it out here!

Want to empower yourself with knowledge and start to understand all things macro and nutrition related? CLICK HERE: Join in for on the first EVER HellaBella Nutrition 101: Mastering the Basics class starting on February 17th!

Stop working so hard without getting the results you deserve. You are missing one critical puzzle piece, and this is it! You’ll also receive a detailed Fuel Plan (meal plan) every single day with the details on when to eat, how much to eat and so on.

If you have questions, reach out to me! Here we gooooo!!



PALEOhhhh Baby! My Nutrition for Honestly Kelsey

Just in case you don’t know this about me all ready or haven’t gathered this information from reading previously, I am a personal trainer and health wellness coach. Was this groundbreaking information for you? I think not, but that is OK I am reiterating for the purpose of explaining where I am going with my thoughts. Not only am I a trainer and coach, but also business owner and other half of HellaBella Athletics, built and shared with my best friend Honestly Kelsey.

P.S. SIDENOTE you should “totes” check out her blog- (see what I did there… totes… yeah this is my sense of humor) if you haven’t because like me she gets on her soapbox with some pretty amazing information while keeping it real life and pretty damn funny.

At HellaBella Athletics we get to help some amazing peeps with nutrition, exercise and total body wellness to achieve their best bodies and life. As trainers we are also committed to our own fitness and wellness and obviously this is a huge priority in our lives. One fact about Kelsey is that she recently gave birth to a perfect tiny human! And by recently I mean RECENTLY… 14 days ago. If you know Kelsey you probably also know that at about day 5 of recovery… she was OVER IT! Wanting to get moving and ready to get her body back. Now most women at this point in recovery are just trying to stay above water with lack of sleep, navigating being a mom and recovering their body. Kelsey and I however amidst this chaos were talking about starting a Post Baby Body Challenge I mean why wait, right?! Now her doctor and many others might argue, but we are using our best judgment, conservative action and knowledge as trainers to start slow in an 8-week program and build upon that as her body progresses. Check out Kelsey’s Recovery Workout, Day 1 Back to the Gym here!

Starting this past Monday I have taken over her life with nutrition and exercise in an 8-week journey to drop off the last 12 pounds gained during pregnancy. We are pumped to be sharing it from both sides. I will be writing from the trainer brain, programming workouts and nutrition guidelines and of course writing about Kelsey as a client. She will be writing about how much of a pain in the ass I am and how much she is LOVING her program. (insert eye Kelsey eye roll here) HAHA!

If you are at a point in your fitness journey where you are ready to make a plan of your own, suffering from an exercise set back or needing some accountability then join in on the fun! Follow us both for the next 8 weeks! We are going to cover so many tools that wills help you be successful too!

OK moving on… One of the first strategy sessions we had getting ready to start this challenge was where to take Kelsey’s nutrition over the next 8 weeks. I am going to walk you through the thought process here.

Kelsey’s Post Baby Body: Nutrition Methodology 101

The are SO many different programs we could implement to get Kelsey to where she wants to be. We have all the tricks up our sleeve, so narrowing it down like we do with our clients was the first step.

Kelsey’s tiny human Max also has a tiny developing digestive system and anything that Mom puts into her body affects Max as well. Over the course of the first two weeks there have been many days where Max’s digestive system has said YEAH… NO to what Mom is eating. So when thinking about where I wanted to take her nutrition the first thing that came to mind was ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. Great for Mom, but also great for small baby tummies. Within this parameter there are many options and taking into account the foods also suggested to be avoided in general during nursing the most aligned methodologies would be either full-blown Whole 30 or Paleo. Presenting these two to Kels we opted for a less restrictive Paleo option.


Remember girlfriend is still sleep deprived and might need to have a square of dark chocolate every once in a while to get through and well… #ryangosling! Maybe you can relate? By the way I am not suggesting that in order to be successful you HAVE to follow a Paleo diet or even follow an anti-inflammatory diet, as I said above there are a million way to get to a goal, but for Kelsey (and for anyone on one of these) there are many benefits.

  • Prevents and relieves allergy symptoms (translating to baby Max as well)
  • Improves Brain Function (much needed when you are a sleep deprived Mom)
  • Supporting Digestive Health
  • Balances Hormones
  • Keeps you feeling full longer (If you have ever nursed, you know being hungry ALL DAY is a thing!, More healthy fat and protein keeps you satiated for longer than a diet high in refined carbs.)
  • Helps you sleep better (well this one might just have to be a thought for a year from now… sorry Kels)
  • The list seriously goes on forever here!

So it was a no brainer. Methodology DONE!

Some of you may not know what the Paleo diet is, so in a nutshell it takes nutrition to the most primitive times. Also known as the “caveman diet”, Paleo promotes the consumption of whole, natural foods that we as humans are biologically adapted to (aka nothing that man has “created”- sorry no everlasting Twinkies here) such as meats, fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and unrefined vegetable oils.

So simple… even a cave man can do it. HA I am cracking myself up over here with these dumb jokes today.

OK so there you have it, Paleo it is. You have the what and the why… stay tuned for more on macros and meals plans! Add this to your own 8-Week Challenge knowledge and let’s get after it!



Chasing the Six-Pack: The Truth About Your Core

Go all inLooking in the mirror to see a glimmer of the ever-elusive six-pack is the ultimate validation that our hard work in the gym is actually paying off. The commitment to 500 crunches at the end of EVERY workout is FINALLY doing it’s job right? Trust me, I get it! I spent over 10 years of my life competing in bodybuilding competitions and “mirror muscles” were my life. As a trainer, next to girls and their booty obsession, getting shredded abs are the next focus for almost every client I have ever had.

Don’t get me wrong, abs are great! I want a nice flat, tight tummy for summer too. No fault in that. But as I have gotten out of the bodybuilding arena in fitness my personal mindset has shifted from appearance to performance and “gym” strength to functional movement. Building a strong foundation to carry me through all of the things I love to do, like hiking, dragon boating (which is all core work by the way!) and adventuring has become my priority! Notice I used the word “core”.

Abs and core are words often interchangeably however they are very different.

If have ever listened to me coach or train, you have probably heard me say 1000 times a workout “Reengage your core”. I say it while you’re doing a squat, while you’re rowing and while you’re standing and doing a bicep curl. All exercises that most would think… well “I am not using my abs here.” I always wonder if people really know what I mean. So I am going to break this down for you!

Let’s start with the difference between the two.


Abs refers to a muscle group on your torso that makes up the “six-pack” which is the rectus abdominus and obliques.

Core on the other hand refers to much more than that. Our core is comprised of all the stabilizers for strength, balance and functional movement along your thoracic spine and lumbopelvic region. This includes the rectus abdominus, obliques AND the spinal erectors, rhomboids, trapezius, and gluteals. WAIT back up… so the core runs along the spine from the traps and rhomboids to the booty?? YES YES it does.

Training ABS VS. CORE

So when most people train what they think of as “core”, they do it with the goal of increasing aesthetics (again, no fault in that). This is often executed by isolating those specific six-pack and oblique muscles to create hypertrophy (a fancy word for muscle growth) in that particular area. Exercises such as weighted sit-ups, dumbbell side bends and crunches. So one of the biggest problems with these movements are that they do no mimic any movements we do in real life outside of the gym. The isolation of these muscles also leaves out many of the crucial muscles that are necessary to properly brace our bodies in the movements that we do actually complete outside of the gym. So without intending to without proper core strengthening you could be putting your body at a greater risk for injury.

Core training on the other hand help you to develop the strength that translates to movement outside of the gym and is FUNCTIONAL! In core training, an emphasis is put on ALL of the muscles surrounding the core like we talked about above so you can control and stabilize the movements of your entire body! BOOM! Strong and sexy for the long haul baby!

Six Pack Workout

  • Sit up 3×20
  • DB side bend 2×15 each side
  • Leg raise 3×15
  • Weighted Crunches 3×15

Notice that each of these exercises works primarily one of the core muscles at a time AND I am pretty sure most of these don’t look like anything you would do outside of the gym.

Functional Core Workout

  • Plank hold for 45-60 seconds
  • Side Plank hold for 45-60 seconds each side
  • Single leg deadlift 3×8 each
  • Single arm bench press 3×8 each
  • Hip bridge 3×15

I know what you are thinking right now? What the hell is Amy talking about…. single leg dead lift, single arm bench press…those are not core movements… OHHHH BUT THEY ARE! The single sided movements are challenging your core to stabilize hips, spine, shoulders and glutes at a much bigger degree! Thus creating more core strength overall.

So if you are still trying to get the satisfaction of the visual six-pack, then that’s cool, we can do that too, but there are other things to consider…

This week I challenge you move beyond the crunches and incorporate a new way of functional core movement into your regular workout routine. Comment below and let me know what you plan to implement or maybe what you are all ready doing! FOLLOW and SHARE for more tips on becoming a stronger, healthier and happier version of YOU!