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    Mona-Jane Hannemann | Fit Mama | Nature Lover

    Mona-Jane Hannemann | Fit Mama | Nature Lover

    Hometown: Phoeniz, AZ

    Instagram: @rocamoon

    For those of us who use the "I've got kiddos" excuse to let our healthy habits fall by the wayside, meet Mona-Jane Hannemann. Mona has built a successful Instagram following by promoting a healthy balance between parental duties and her love for fitness. We caught up with her in Arizona to find out more about how she keeps in all straight. And you're going to love her holiday workout:)

    What motivates you to stay so active and fit?

    This has changed in small ways over the years. I always like a challenge and pushing my limits to see what I'm capable of. But at this stage of my life I ultimately do it for my family. I want to be able to keep up with the energetic little monkeys, I want to be able to play with them and be hands on, and experience life with them, next to them, instead of just watching them. It also simply makes me feel gooood! It gives me energy in many different aspects, and makes me a happier and more positive person to be around. My day feels incomplete if I haven't sweat or puffed!

    If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

    If you mean exercise activity it would be surfing, because there is nothing like the feeling of riding a wave. If you mean a specific exercise move it would probably be a burpee because its such a good full body exercise (lets be honest though its more of a love/hate relationship).

    What exercise do you just hate?

    Hate is a strong word haha, but i certainly never like doing bicep specific workouts. As much as people say lifting weights doesn’t make woman bulky. When I do something like a bicep curl i feel super bulky and manly haha. But thats just me.. some people love them. I like to do arm workouts that do use the bicep but don’t isolate it specifically. I find that way it still gets enough to tone but not to bulge too much. 

    When you hit the gym, what do you always have in your gym bag?

    That is a great question! I don’t really hit the gym, nor do I even own a gym bag haha. But if I did I would probably have my hydroflask with lemon water for a refresher after! Also my phone so that i can watch youtube videos or read random stuff while I’m on the treadmill or something so I don’t get bored ha.  

    Who are some of your heroes and why?

    This is a hard one, I feel like I’m inspired by a lot of people and not necessarily obsessed with any one person. But I would say my oldest brother (8 years older) has been someone Ive always looked up to for many reasons. Though he is a natural at many things, he has a lot of qualities and talents that I aspired to have since I was young. I was always trying to hangout with him and would tag along on runs and things he would go on haha. He has always been a hard worker and determined to do his best in whatever it was! I love that he is always down to try something new and makes the most of every opportunity or experience he comes across, including the people he meets along the way.  There is a lot I could say, but he is such a solid guy. Always been true to his values no matter what it was, even if it meant he missed out on something, only to be blessed even more. And I think that is something that a lot of people struggle to do especially with the pressures of others and just the world in general. He has been my number 1 adventure and workout buddy! whatever it was he is always keen. He has been an example Iv looked to many times, and am inspired by his mindset to have goals, do the hard yards, stick it to the gun, push through the struggles, keeping his word and keeping his mind set on the end goal but enjoying the journey at the same time. 

    One other I have been inspired by since I was a young girl, like 5 years old is my good friends mum, Aunty Sonia. For as long as Iv known her she has been active and fit and fun and able to do so many things as if she was still in her early 20s! She is another that Iv followed and seen her determination and self motivation to do things even if it was her alone. She didn’t bother to wait around for anyone or let them hold her back.  She was a great example of always challenging herself, but at the same time she was so fun and was always motivating people to get out and active, and never seemed restrictive in the things she did, always enjoying life. Though she was super active and worked out she was more than just a fitness junkie, she resembled a healthy balanced lifestyle. As in if she wanted ice-cream she had it. She worked a regular job, and always worked hard. She gardened, she served others, she served in the community. She was an awesome mother, provider, and wife. She always looks presentable and never did anything half pie. After many years of knowing her, just 2 years ago, i believe she was in her 50s? She competed an ironman! I don’t think I have even been more motivated or inspired to do one myself. And after talking to her about preparing for it I was even more moved. It is a hard thing not only to do period, but even just training for. Everyday, for a year, early hours of the morning before work. She told me you have to want it and be prepared to dedicate everything to it because you are the only one that is gonna make yourself do it. Her determination, self motivation, yet down to earth personality is always something in the back of my mind whenever I wanna just give-up, or be lazy. But it is so true, we are the captains of our own ship, and ultimately ourselves are what determine the outcome. When theres a will there is a way. 

    What's your most embarrassing experience in the gym or working out?

    Probably when I tripped over my feet and fell on the conveyor belt of the treadmill and then off the back haha. Like something you see on a youtube fail reel haha.

    Mona's Bonus Holiday Workout

    1 Minute of Each Exercise, 45 Second Rest in Between, Repeat 3 Times

    Full Pushup Burpee

    Crucifix Ab Twist 

    Mountain Climber Pushup (4 runs for every 1 pushup)

    Round the World Lunges

    Commandos

    Jump Lunges

     

    Jennifer Tavernier - The Mini (and ripped) Ninja Warrior

    Jennifer Tavernier - The Mini (and ripped) Ninja Warrior

    If you’re looking for a personal trainer who knows what it takes to win, Jennifer Tavernier is your girl. The mother of two is a Ninja Warrior Competitor as well as a nationally recognized personal trainer with a track record for getting results. She has over 100,000 followers on Instagram to prove it.

    Jennifer was kind enough to take a few minutes with our team and answer a few questions to give us some insight into a winning mentality.

    Instagram: @minneninja
    Website: www.jennifertavernier.com

    Jennifer-Tavernier-Ninja-Warrior

    What motivates you to stay so active and fit?

    I absolutely love how training makes me feel. It makes me mentally clearer and happier. I love how it shapes my body, and I love the rush of pushing my body further than I thought it could go or learning a new skill. I also know my two little girls are watching me, as well as my followers, many of which are young girls. I want to encourage them to chase their passions and do the things they love!

    If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

    Squats! They hit so many different muscles groups at once, and they just FEEL GOOD.

    What exercise do you just hate?

    I hate slider obstacles. They are high, intimidating, and freaking scary. I hate that I have to let go and fly through the air.

    Jennifer-Tavernier-Obstacle-Course-Racer

    When you hit the gym, what do you always have in your gym bag?

    A water bottle and Burt’s Bees pomegranate chapstick:D

    Who are some of your heroes and why?

    Christmas Abbott for being one of the first women I admired for embracing both her strength and beauty at the same time. Then Kacy Catanzaro for introducing me to American Ninja Warrior and being such a little badass - she broke all the records for women.

    Jennifer-Tavernier-Personal-Trainer

    What's your most embarrassing experience in the gym or working out?

    I traveled all the way across the country early in my training for a ninja competition. Lots of people were watching, expecting me to do well. I was the 75th and last person to run, and I slipped on the first obstacle. No do-overs. I was out. I walked out of the building and cried. I wish I could say this has only happened once, but actually, ninja competitions are full of mistakes and that is a common scenario - to not make it quite as far as I’d like. But among all the failures, there are great, amazing moments that make it all worth it!

    Jennifer's Vooray Bag of Choice: The Burner Sport, Rose Navy (we're starting to notice a trend with this bag)

    Burner Sport Rose Navy

     

    Kristine Strange - 16 Months, 100+ lbs, Just Getting Started

    Kristine Strange - 16 Months, 100+ lbs, Just Getting Started

    Hometown: Wabash, IN
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    In November of 2012, Kristine Strange weighed 231 lbs. Tired of being tired, she set out in that same month to change her mind, body and future forever. By February of 2014, Kristine had lost 100 lbs using Weight Watchers. Today, she inspires thousands of people around the country to take control of their lives using various incentivization tools to promote weight loss and healthy eating. She now touts an Instagram account with over 160,000 followers, and she's only just getting started. Here's what Kristine had to say in response to a few questions from the Vooray team.
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    Kristine-Strange
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    What motivates you to stay so active and fit? 

    I strive to remain healthy and active because I've worked so hard to get where I am now. I have been up and down with my weight my entire life, and at my heaviest I weighed 231 pounds. I put in a lot of work in 16 months to drop 100 pounds and it's still just as much work to keep the weight off. I've learned that setting fitness goals helps me remain consistent! Last year I set out to run my first half marathon, and I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for another in May! It's amazing to set goals and follow through, because crossing that finish line was such a rewarding moment! 
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    If you could do only one exercise for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    If I was left with only one exercise for the rest of my life it would be running. I started off on the treadmill by walking at the start of my journey of 231 pounds. Over time I worked my way up to jogging and eventually running. Running allows me to have alone time with my favorite music after a long day to relieve stress and hit the pavement. The running community is also incredibly supportive, uplifting and empowering! 
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    What exercise do you just hate?

    After giving it a few tries, I just cannot fall in love with spinning or cycling (indoors/outdoors, etc). Call me high maintenance, but nothing about that seat is comfortable! I don't care how much cushioning you shove in there, youch! :) I work a desk job, and I really don't want to be sitting any more than I already have been for the day. I prefer a workout that requires full body movement.
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    When you hit the gym, what do you always have in your gym bag?

    For starters, I always have water - a big tumbler of it! I stress hydration, hydration, hydration! You won't find any pre or post workout supplements of any type, because during my weight loss of 100 pounds I didn't feel it was needed, and honestly, didn't have the extra cash at the time to be buying those types of things. I always have my ear buds (Sony, wrap around the ear - my all time favorite and less than $20!). I also always carry my QuadLock, which holds my phone on my arm when I am running (best arm band out there!). I also have several hair ties and headbands (owlbesweatin & fleurtybands are my favorite for staying in place), because those two things seem to magically disappear or walk off on their own. I always have chapstick. My lips always get dry, and I'll admit that I have a slight addiction to lip balm, so it's always great to have 1 or 2 on hand. Deodorant is also a must! Lastly, feminine products are always smart to have on hand just in case. :)
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    Who are your heroes and why?

    My biggest hero is my fiance. He has lost 300 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. He inspires thousands of people every single day to prove to themselves that what seemed impossible is, in fact, possible. He lost the weight and now helps others do the same. After reaching his goal weight, Josh got his personal training certification. He helps me realize my potential and pushes me to do things I never thought I could do. I am so happy to have found such a motivational, inspiring, driven person! 
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    What's your most embarrassing experience in the gym or working out?

    I really wish I had an awesome story to share because I love laughing at myself, but nothing comes to mind! Tomorrow I will probably fall off the end of the treadmill! 
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    Kristine's Gym Bag of Choice:
    Burner Gym, Rose Navy 

    Vegan Pad Thai by Candice Lynn

    Vegan Pad Thai by Candice Lynn

    Current Hometown: New York
    Instagram: @candicelynnfitvegan

    I grew up in the deep fried South and, though always active, never really gave a lot of attention to what I ate or my health in general.  It wasn't until the age of 24 that I started educating myself on nutrition and maintaining a regular program of exercise.  I gradually eliminated unhealthy foods from my diet and progressed to a mostly vegetarian then vegan lifestyle.  I also developed a love for exercise, especially HIIT, HIT, and rehabilitating workouts.  

    We can only control so much when it comes to our health due to many factors that are out of our hands (environmental, hereditary, etc).  I have decided to reasonably control what I can to remain as healthy, energetic, and youthful as possible.  I also find much happiness and satisfaction in knowing my choices are positive for the world around me.  My current lifestyle is a far cry from my upbringing, but my vegan diet coupled with a passion for fitness has led me to feel the best I've ever felt!  I hope to motivate others to take an interest in their health by adopting plant-based lifestyle and staying active physically by my example and social media platforms.

    Vegan Pad Thai 

    1 tsp coconut oil
    1-2 shallots, chopped finelytext
    2 large cloves garlic, crushed
    1/2 package of rice noodles
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup coconut sugar
    1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos
    1-2 tsp chili powder
    1 cup bean sprouts + more to garnish 
    1/4 cup chives or green part of scallions
    1 cup tofu, cut into cubes
    Crushed roasted peanuts
    Fresh lime juice
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    Directions:
    Soak noodles in warm water.  Heat oil in pan over medium heat.  Add shallot and garlic and stir fry until aromatic.  Add mushrooms and saute a few minutes more.  Combine sugar, soy sauce or alternative, and tamarind concentrate in small bowl.  Add to pan.  Rinse and add noodles.  Stir to coat with sauce and continue cooking until noodles are soft (careful not to overcook and dry out).  Add tofu, chili powder, bean sprouts, and chives to pan and combine.  Remove from pan when chives or scallions become vibrant green.  Garnish with roasted peanuts, more fresh bean sprouts, fresh lime juice, and chili powder.  Enjoy!

    Carmen Morgan - It's All About the Hip Thrusts, Baby!!!

    Carmen-Morgan-Profile-Shot

    Hometown: Houston, Texas
    Instagram: @mytrainercarmen
    Carmen-Morgan-1

    With over 500,000 followers on Instagram, Carmen Morgan is one of the most popular and effective HIIT trainers in the country. She's a certified Onnit Academy Durability Trainer as well as a kettlebell specialist. We love her approach to home workouts, and as you can see from her Instagram feed, the girl got style! 
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    We asked Carmen to share some insights with us about her lifestyle and what keeps her going day to day. Here's what she had to say:
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    What motivates you to stay so active and fit?

    "Longevity in what I love to do most. I stay active because I know it will allow me to keep doing the things I love - playing with my niece, riding my bike with my mom, throwing the football around, exploring a new city, and so much more. The more active and healthy I am, the less likely I am to run into the kinds of obstacles that would prevent me from living my life the way I want to. I also happen to really freakin' love working out!!!"

    Carmen-Morgan-2

    If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
    "Oh man. Oh man, that is a ridiculously hard choice. Phew! Oh man, ok, so if I’m being silly, I’d say a hip thrust, because I love doing hip thrusts and they are my number one booty builder. Now if I’m being more practical, I would have to say a squat press, because that could legitimately have a decent chance of keeping me in shape, even though it’s only one exercise."

    What exercise do you just hate?
    "Hmmm. I honestly don’t hate any exercise. I’m not a big fan of leg press, though, especially if you’re new to working out. Most people tend to bring their knees too close to their chest thinking they’re getting a deeper approach. What mostly happens is your back curves off the pad and you place a lot of pressure on your lower back which is not good."

    When you hit the gym, what do you always have in your gym bag?
    "I always have to have an iPhone/headphones for music, water, a towel, some resistance bands, an ankle attachment, and gloves."

    Who are some of your heroes and why?
    "I really admire my brother Henry. He is a math teacher, and he gives freaking everything to that job and the kids. I was also a teacher for 5 years, and he was the one that inspired me to do it. Henry genuinely cares and wants to help, even if it means little in return. I sort of took that approach to my fitness career by always sticking by my rules to be accessible, approachable, and affordable whether I have 10K followers or 1M. Prices in this industry can be astronomical, and I think it’s important to have legit, quality options out there that aren’t so expensive."

    What's your most embarrassing experience in the gym or working out?
    "I don’t get easily embarrassed at the gym, put me in a crowded room & I want to hide in a corner, but a gym, I feel very comfortable & just don’t give one care about how I look, I’m just there to work, no matter how ridiculous the “booty move” I’m doing might be. Hat on, head down."

    Carmen's Vooray bag of choice? The Burner Sport, Rose Navy.

    You can follow Carmen on Instagram by clicking here. Also, check out her blog, My Trainer Carmen, for more tips and routines to mix things up!