5 Ways to Tell if You Are a Diva Instructor/Trainer

Are you a diva instructor?
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Are you a diva instructor?

(Double Click!) Are you a diva instructor?

Urban Dictionary
Diva-:
A bitchy (person) that must have their way exactly, or no way at all. often rude and belittles people, believes that everyone is beneath them and thinks that they are so much more loved than what they really are. selfish, spoiled, and overly dramatic.
OR
Merriam-Webster
A usually glamorous and successful (fe)male performer or personality
As a fitness veteran, like many of you, I have witnessed all kinds of interesting behavior from everyone in our industry: members/clients, employers and colleagues. The former never surprises me as it isn’t uncommon for people who pay for a service and/or sign pay-checks to have entitlement issues.   But a Diva Trainer/Instructor? That one always confuses me because it defeats the purposes of being in the health services, a help based industry. Before you jump to conclusions about finger pointing, anyone reading this post should know that we have all been there with the absolutely ridiculous behavior faced from some member/clients and the gyms who have a double case of the Diva themselves. A little divatude of your own doesn’t hurt when you feel pushed around.  However, how much is too much and just when do you crossover from the glamorous successful Diva instructor worthy of flexible rules  to unprofessional, dramatic and ineffective Dva who wears on everyones nerves? Here are some tell-tale signs that you might have let our popularity go to your head.
  1. You chastise people (members, management) publicly and often: Wrong happens all day and is committed by everyone including you. Yes, in our industry, we swallow a fair amount of humble  pie and show me one person who doesn’t want to tell off the people who annoy them and I’ll show you someone who lies to themselves. If YOU are the one constantly taking people to task then you might be a diva. Divadom is every bit about the same entitlement to behavior it professes to butt heads with. So imagine if EVERYONE  gave into their inner diva at a whim. Nothing would get done! What, then, makes it okay for one person to succumb to anger when the rest have to hold it together? Nothing. A professional speaks to those who disturb them privately. A diva needs an audience.
  2. You’re routinely rude to the front-desk staff: In my opinion, this is on par with being rude to waiters, custodians or doormen and speaks of a weak ego. Everybody is just trying to earn a living and most people aren’t better than anyone else. Divas do think that, though. Check the definition.
  3. You talk about the negative inner workings of your employer with your classes and clients: Close personal relationships with people we see regularly is unavoidable. However, if ALL of your clients and classes know about internal arguments with management ( especially more than management even knows) then you might be a Diva, baby. Again, Divas need an audience.
  4. You show favoritism to clients/members and exclude the rest: In this age of brand-building, cultivating a following is at the top of the list and this Guru-wannabe gets that. Still, everyone who shows up to work with you is worthy of the money they paid and time they took. Professionals can split their attention and never involve their clients in their business. Divas NEED constant adoration and attention and will cultivate it anywhere they can find it
  5. You consider yourself above and/or beyond the fray: This one is easy for instructors to do and easiest for those of us who teach in multiple locations. We’re in, we’re out, no fussing about, done.  That’s not the issue really. The issue is not taking any ownership of the surroundings you work in. Picking up a towel? nope, beneath the diva. Putting away equipment? don’t they pay people for that? If any of these sound familiar, you could be a Diva.

Why does any of this matter and don’t we all have our moments ( I know I sure do)? It matters because this industry is where people come to release energy and want to leave feeling better. We all get into it for different reasons but working around negative energy is a “Soul Suck” for everyone around it. It might be time to take a breather, a vacation or reconsider if you no longer get pleasure from your profession. If the ONLY pleasure you get from the job is being a diva, then

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

Grain-Free Apple Pie Pancakes Review (from Primally Inspired)

Paleo grain-free pancakes
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ImageOk, forget cool FALL air, it is COLD like Winter in the BK now. Make that, it is colder in my apartment than it is outside because my windows are poorly sealed and my landlord is loathe to turn on the heat for more than 4-5 hours at a time (9pm-2am usually). Cold weather makes the Afro want nothing but chai lattes and chewy carbs so since I’m a low-carber (diabetes occurs in my Jamaican family history) I had to think fast.  The fact is that if I want to stay lean over the Winter, I have to fight this urge to nest and stuff my face full of pancakes, oatmeal and all flour based everything. Enter this grain-free apple pie pancake option by the awesome Kelly at the blog Primally Inspired.  Kelly actually makes things that taste as good as they look! Her recipe caught my eye the very day I brought home that bagful of apples  from Warwick, NY and luckily enough I still had a few left to make this stack of goodness. 

Review: 5 Forks up! I made 5 of these and got through almost 3. They are very filling and protein rich so no need for anything else. The sauce really adds something special. 

Pros: Fragrant, nice mouth feel, very low carb and nutrient dense.

Cons: High in fat because coconut powder soaks up A LOT of liquid so I kept having to re-grease my skillet. Longer time to cook, be patient. 

The sexiest apple butter you’ve probably ever seen

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
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Image….thought that would get your attention! 🙂  Can you believe 2.5 jars is all I got out of 3+ pounds of apples?? Backstory: So you might have heard that I went pumpkin and apple picking last weekend. Our trip to Warwick, NY was perfect upstate time with hayrides, tree climbing and rolling (carefully) down hills. Fast forward to me bringing back 15 pounds of apples and trying to figure out what to do with them. The first thing that came to mind was apple pie but I decided to start with something simpler instead and for me, simple means : crock-pot. I found this recipe from Cooks.com and tested it in my mini sauce crock-pot. I figured the fact that I couldn’t stop spooning it into my face meant it was a go for the grown-up crock. So what IS apple butter, anyway? Well, apple butter is basically slow cooked apple-sauce that becomes really concentrated by that process.

Since it was me and I’m more of a mad scientist than a cook, a few things went awry with this plan. Nothing major other than the fact that I didn’t have cloves so I didn’t use any and what should have been a 9 hour cooking job became 12 hours since I was stuck in a meeting. I almost expected  the apples to be burnt to a paste in the crock! Instead what I came home to was the warm (somewhat vinegary) smell of apple cider and cinnamon. When it’s cold because the sun has disappeared and you’ve worked a 12 hour day, coming home to that scent is enough reason to make this, trust me!

Review: 4 Spoons Up. Despite it being overcooked, there was still a lot of fluid in the pot so I just used my nut bag ( I do love typing that!) to strain the mixture. That left the buttery goodness  to put in my airtight jars.

A hearty cup of Make Stuff Happen!

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Homemade Coffee DrinkIt’s Monday and it was a fun but active weekend. What does that spell? Coffeeeeee! Now before the nutrition police go haywire with “she drinks caffeine?” judgments please note that… Yes, yes I do. I am a big time tea drinker and in the cold months I am also a big fan of a tiny bit off coffee swimming in a sea of warm almond milk. Caffeine in moderation is very good for you, especially if you exercise as much as I do! This particular concoction saves me oh I dunno, 300+ calories at the fancy coffee shop? As the title of the post indicates, it will start your day off on a peppy but not high calorie foot AND it has ingredients that are good for you! It’s:
8oz unsweetened almond milk, warmed
1 tbsp honey
1tsp pumpkin pie spice ( cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon, cloves, all spice)
1tsp instant coffee.
Pour the warm almond milk into a mug filled with the other ingredients and stir. Voila, you just made 50 calories of awesomeness. Now go Make Stuff Happen!

Homemade Coffee Drink

Low calorie coffee drink

A review: Paleo Pumpkin Bars (Clean Eats the Zoo)

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Paleo Pumpkin Bars Review

Paleo Pumpkin Bars Review

Happy Fall, ya’ll! The weather has cooled considerably here even in just the last two days which for me means I can really get into the swing of my favorite season. For me that means trips to pumpkin patches with my dog-child and Friends With Kids, apple picking in beautiful upstate NY, scarves, jeans, sweater coats, reds and gold touches in my decor and pumpkins everywhere and in EVERYTHING. So now that I’ve decorated and my house smells downright yummy, it was the perfect time to add some pumpkin action and I chose to do it with these Pumpkin Bars from the family at CleanEatstheZoo.com.  Seriously, this family is an inspiration in a lot of ways which you can read about here.

Now full disclosure: I don’t claim to subscribe to any particular “diet”. Instead, I eat to prevent spikes in my blood sugar and blood pressure since type 2 diabetes and hypertension runs in my family. My nutrition goal is also to preserve my hard earned muscle mass, keep excess fat at bay and maintain my energy levels for this crazy schedule I have. Sometimes this leads to Paleo friendly diet  because nothing saps my energy more than grain based carbohydrates but I also try to limit my intake of animal fat and have been know to love my fat-free Greek yogurt which Paleo is not a fan of. If anything, I believe in clean, wholesome eating using foods found in nature and not labs. But enough about me, let’s chat about these pumpkin bars!

I was tempted to improvise a few times but baking is a science and well, I’m not a good enough cook or baker to get cocky. You have to spend the dough to make the (non) dough for these bars but you can find some savings here.

Review: 5 Forks Up! So delicious and filling.

The crust was the most troubling part for worry worts like me because it doesn’t cling together the way grain based doughs do. Remember that almond meal or flour is nothing more than very finely ground almonds. When I tried to press mine together before baking it seemed crumbly at first but all I did was add another couple TBSP of coconut oil and it was fine. A long setting time is true for all grain-free flours, by the way so don’t skip that part ( this recipe called for leaving it to cool for quite some time after baking) and don’t fret.

5 Ways to have more fun NOW

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ImageSo here you are: overloaded with information on how to do this and that  when all you want to do is just get better at this a thing called life! But what IS better? why isn’t the life you live already enough? Hey, it just might be but let’s face it. If you’re not out there (or in your house) making memories and really enjoying this ride, how MUCH are you really living?? Here are some small trade-offs you can make to live more deeply. 

You like to go out to dinner with friends:  Try hosting a dinner/potluck dinner party. Create a theme, set a date and invite a few of your best friends and a few people you would like to know over. Include a game of some sort and let the festivities ensue! 

You like to go out to dinner with your partner: Try new restaurants at least once a month. Sure, you might have to travel outside of your town but that can be fun in itself ! This will only work if both of you are willing to try something new so don’t be a stick in the mud.

You want a vacation but can’t afford it: Plan a stay-cation. Vacations allow us to disengage from stressful surroundings and circumstances but what’s the point of that if you’re still tied to the leash of technology and the people, places and things that irritate you? A stay-cation can be as simple as letting your family know that you’re “off the grid” for a few days, resolving to stay in and do nothing but lounge for the weekend or taking a day trip to a relatively close place that rejuvenates you. Which ever you choose, make sure it is the OPPOSITE of work and your normal routine or you won’t feel rested. 

You want more friends and connections: Listen to the people in your environment like co-workers, classmates and neighbors for similar interests. Invite someone that intrigues you for lunch or tea and again, be a good listener. 

You want to “have more fun” in general.  Join a group of people who are doing things you enjoy or that you want to learn to do. Like to run? why not join a running group or find a running buddy and/or train for a race together? There are tons of races all around the WORLD that are suitable for beginners through the true athlete. This is true for almost any activity you might like such as wine tasting, knitting, dancing, EVERYTHING! Meetup.com is a great resource for finding likeminded people. Tip: sign up for 1-3 and see how you like them before signing up for more.