No shortcuts


We’ve been drinking lots of fresh juices.

Juice  1 of 1 8

We went to the zoo -it had rained and was gloriously cool outside!

Zoo w cousins

(My heart melts to see Livi having a blast with her cousins)


(That peacock was AFTER ME)

I enjoyed an amazing yoga class with friends

(not a single Warrior 2, which was gloriously refreshing)

Nails  1 of 1

and this past weekend, I finally got the shellac off my nails.

A few people asked me for a full review after I tried them, and I really wasn’t a fan. I was excited by the thought of not having to paint my nails for two weeks, but mine only looked really good for about 5 days. The tops started to peel and crack, and there was obvious new nail growth since my nails grow quickly. I was worried that the shellac damaged my nails -I heard horror stories- but after getting them taken off at work, the nail tech put some strengthening coat on my nails. They look exactly like they did before. No harm done, and I guess like anything else, there really are no shortcuts 😉 She said she wanted me to try them again for free and be her guinea pig to see if they last longer, but I can tell they won’t be a regular thing.

I’ve finally started the last haul to my NASM test. With the projects I’ve been working on, by nighttime, I don’t have enough energy to study and learn anything. I just want to read fiction for 30 minutes and fall asleep, which is what I’ve been doing. But, just like the nails, no shortcuts. I’ve read the text, made notecards, passed the practice tests, and for the next two weeks I’ll be putting my study face on.

Study time  1 of 1

With my current fitness certifications and experience, I went into studying with a solid knowledge base. At the same time, I also learned a LOT. I’ve used some of the tips/strategies and techniques in my classes and training clients, and in my life as well. A huge portion of the text is movement assessment, and knowing which muscles are overactive and underactive for certain compensations (like knees turning in during a squat). I quickly understood that my shoulders round forward because my chest and levator muscles are too tight. While it makes sense, it’s something I wouldn’t have considered before. Pretty interesting stuff!

Has anyone taken the NASM personal training test?

What’s something that you’ve had to study, work, or train hard for over time?

Remember, there are no shortcuts. Be consistent by doing a little every day, and over time you’ll make it happen 🙂

Now with those words of motivation, this slacker is off to pack. Any awesome restaurants or shops in downtown LA I need to check out??




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  1. Caroline on August 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I became certified through NASM about 3 years ago. I spent a good six months prepping for the test. Not being a exercise science major, I was nervous I wouldn’t know enough about kinesiology. As long as you’ve studied and used the online tools you’ll be fine. I would definitely make sure you are comfortable with all of the muscle imbalance charts. If something is weak, what is tight/what needs to be strengthened, etc.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Elisse on August 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    In downtown LA – check out Far Bar, The Pie Hole (for an iced horchata latte with almond milk!), Poketo is a cute store by the Pie Hole, Umamicatessan, Buzz Beer and Wine Shop for a tasting, and Eat Drink Americano. Have so much fun!!

  3. Lestraundra on August 7, 2013 at 12:23 am

    I recently took (and passed!) the NASM exam. Although taking the test was a little nerve wracking, I learned so much and felt so accomplished when I was done. Best of luck!

  4. Isela on August 7, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Rosa Mexicano at LA Live is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants! Their table side guacamole is excellent!

  5. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on August 7, 2013 at 2:38 am

    That juice looks dee-lish! Beets and carrots?

  6. Ellie on August 7, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Hi Gina,

    It’s in Santa Monica rather than downtown, but if you have the chance check out Rawvolution, an awesome Raw Food Cafe, smoothies to die for!


    • Shaina Anderson on August 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      I second that if you head out that way!

  7. Sara on August 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Hi Gina!

    I passed the NASM CPT test after studying for about 3 weeks. I just used the text book and a muscle/bone coloring book. It was a pretty straight forward test, if you know the exercises for each stage and have an understanding of your muscular anatomy then you will be fine!

    I’m a certified Pilates teacher but I train a fusion style work out and the NASM stuff is very helpful….especially for assessment!

    Thank you for the healthy recipes on your blog. I am a vegan but my husband enjoys your non-vegan reicpes too!


  8. Erin H on August 7, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Urth Cafe & 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. West Hollywood is super fun too.

  9. Kayla on August 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I took the NASM test in December. My biggest advice is to obviously know the overhead assessment model backwards and forwards, and also continue to reread the textbook and find things that you are confused about. I took the practice tests a bunch of times and while the real thing is a bit different (and the wording is a bit trickier) it’s still helpful to take a bunch of practice tests since the questions change. Good luck!!!!

  10. Shaina Anderson on August 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I took the NASM test two years ago and it definitely lived up to its reputation, but I passed on the first try. I read the book, took notes, highlighted things I knew I needed some repetition on, did flash cards and took practice tests until I had literally seen every question multiple times. The real deal was very similar to the practice tests. You’ll do great!

    Downtown: for REALLY yummy Mexican (that even my Mexican MIL loves) check out Olvera Street. Tons of options. If you go to West Hollywood, go to Urth Cafe on Melrose. Their food is SO good and I’m addicted to the honey vanilla lattes (complete with foam art and its almost a no-brainer for celeb spotting).

  11. Reenie on August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I’ve been doing my own shellac nails for over a year now. An easy way to take them off (the salon I used to get them done at, does it this way). Soak a cotton ball with polish remover, put it on your nail, and wrap the end of your nail with a lil piece of foil. Wait about 3 minutes ~ and it will scrape right off with an orange stick. 🙂

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