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Personal Trainer and Blogger Courtney Horan From Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your blog, "Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life"?

I'm 28 years old and I currently live in Upstate, NY with my husband, Jay, and my cat, Cody. I recently left my career as an elementary school teacher and decided to pursue my passion for fitness with personal training. In December, I received my CPT through NASM and in January, began working at a local gym as a personal trainer. When I’m not working at the gym, I’m most likely either working on my blog, baking in the kitchen, spending time with friends and family, or relaxing on the couch in my cozies catching up on my DVR. My blog is basically more of a “lifecasting” blog, and I really just enjoy sharing my everyday musings with readers. I do have a focus on healthy eating, fitness, a little fashion, and of course, some fun baking too. The name actually came as a last minute decision when I first began blogging. I was ready to get the blog up and going, but I realized I needed a name, and this was the first thing that came to mind. I have a sweet tooth, and I have a pretty sweet life, if I do say so myself!

Do you have a health philosophy of any kind?

Basically, a healthy, balanced lifestyle can be attainable for anyone who sets their mind to it. It’s all about balance. I never deprive myself of my favorite indulgences, but try to keep an “everything in moderation” mentality. Sure, sometimes that’s easier said than done, but I’m constantly striving to maintain an overall healthy attitude about food, fitness, and  life in general.

What are some of your favorite healthy indulgences? 

Oh gosh, I love to try and “healthify” plenty of different treats that could otherwise be considered indulgent and full of fat, but some of my most popular are probably breads and muffins. Here are a couple favorites:

“Wouldn’t Know They’re Healthy” Blueberry Muffins: http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2011/07/25/wouldnt-know-theyre-healthy-blueberry-muffins/

Pumpkin Banana Bread: http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2011/11/16/pumpkin-banana-bread/

Double Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins: http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2012/03/20/healthy-double-strawberry-cream-cheese-filled-muffins/

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/recipes/2010/08/03/not-onetwo-new-recipes-for-ya/

Low-Fat Chocolate Strawberry Trifle: http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2011/02/22/you-have-got-to-try-these-recipes/

What is your all time favorite splurge?

Ice cream, hands down. Especially once the weather starts to warm up and all of my favorite soft serve stands open back up for the season. There’s not much better than an orange and vanilla twist in a cone with rainbow sprinkles.

Along the same lines, what are some healthy ingredients our readers can use to sweeten up some of their meals, without over indulging in sugar? What are some of your favorites?

Ingredients such as honey, flavored yogurts, liquid stevia, brown rice syrup, and agave nectar are all great substitutes for sugar in recipes. I’ve found them to be great in breads, muffins, cakes, and cookies. I also really like adding flavored liquid stevia to my coffee every morning instead of loading up on flavored coffee creamers. You still get the same taste, without all the extra calories!

What is your workout schedule like and what are some of your favorite ways to work out?

Right now, my workout schedule is ALL over the place because my regular work schedule is all over the place! Working as a personal trainer, my hours are constantly changing, so I’m always trying to figure out the best possible times to squeeze in my own workouts. When I’m short on time, a couple of my go-to favorites would be circuit workouts and HIIT routines on the treadmill. They’re both quick but super effective, and circuit workouts can end up working out your entire body in a big way. Here are a couple of my favorites that I have on my Workout Page:

Create Your Own Full Body Circuit Workout

3-2-1 Sweaty Circuit

25 Minute Full Body Blast (No Weights!) 

“Feel The Burn” Circuit Workout

Full Body Superset Workout

As a personal trainer, what do you consider the top five things to keep in mind in creating a workout plan that you can stick with and see results?

First and foremost, you’ve got to actually ENJOY what you’re doing. If you’re beginning something and you already aren’t into it, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

Set specific goals and write them down. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve your cardiovascular capacity, know what it is that you want. Once you have your specific goals set, you’ll be able to break them down into smaller, more attainable steps.

Get to know where you work out best. Some people get motivated by being around others who are working up a sweat, such as being in a gym setting. Some people, however, may find that a gym membership is not ideal (i.e., too intimidating, budget restrictions) so try setting up a home gym. Some fitness equipment, such as treadmills and elliptical machines, can be an expensive investment but if you’re just starting out, try sticking with a couple pairs of dumbbells, a stability ball, an exercise mat, and maybe a few of your favorite workout DVD’s.

Eat right and drink plenty of water.

Get quality sleep. Try your best to stick to a sleep schedule that has you going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Six to eight hours of sleep a night is ideal, and will help give you the energy to work through your fitness goals!

Where does your motivation come from to stay fit and healthy?

When I first began my journey to becoming a healthier, happier me, I will admit that a big chunk of it was for vanity reasons. In fact, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of it that still is – I’m human, what can I say? But one of my biggest motivators is knowing that I have an audience of followers out there in “blog world” who often look to me for advice and tips on how to stay fit and healthy. That alone motivates me to lead by example and continue with my own personal health and wellness. Nobody wants to read a blog about “healthy living” when the author is parking it on the couch every night with a bag of potato chips and a pint of ice cream (not that that hasn’t happened, but you know…).

What does “healthy” mean to you?

You know, I honestly think a big part of being healthy is also being unhealthy, which ties into what I mentioned before about maintaining a balance, in all aspects of your life. It’s important to take care of your body and strive to live a healthy life, but it’s also just as important, if not more so, to just live your life. Have fun, indulge a little, spend time with friends and family.

To keep up with Courtney's sweet life filled with healthy food, fitness, and fashion, and to pick up tons of recipes for healthy indulgences, visit Courtney's blog, Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life!

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