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S2 E16 Dutchfitgirl A Journey from Loaded Down to Starlet

My name is Daphne Bansberg and I was born in the Netherlands, lived in Switzerland, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and currently in sunny California. I got serious about weight training and living a healthier lifestyle in 2013 after the stillbirth of my son and later on spending 4 months of complete hospital bed rest pregnant with my daughter. I wanted to be happier and find a positive outlet to help cope with my emotions and to generally live a healthier life. I competed in my first NPC bikini Competition June 2014 and have done 2 more shows since then. I am also the proud business owner and designer of Starlet Suits Custom Competition Bikinis. Competing, training, inspiring others, and focusing on better health has truly been a blessing for me. 

NPC San Diego State Championships 2nd place Novice 4th place Open

NPC Grand Prix No placing

NPC Titan Grand Prix 5th place novice 5th place open

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S2 E15 Fitness Inspiration & Information

Monday, Session 2 Episode 15. On this episode of the Union of Muscle’s Podcast I will take a moment of a one-on-one with you. I will talk about personal identity and how that leads my desire to Inspire. I will talk about the difference between Inspiration and manipulation. I will give a few Fit Tips and I will address those who are identified as Millennials.

It’s Monday. The humanity is waking up, individuals are activating. And you’re listening to the Union of Muscle Podcast. Lift Strong and Prosper!


As babies research seems to indicate that we have not always self-identified. We did not always realize we are not all we see and hear. We did not always realize we weren’t a part of our parents. Further proof of this is our desire to assert our independence in our youth.

And maybe a part of me has not grown up or maybe I have just grown out. This is what makes it so hard for me not to help other improve on their fitness. Because I still feel as though the world is a part of me that humanity is an extension of myself. Not like I feel like a car is an extension but like my stomach.

My stomach sends signals to me about discomfort, pleasure, and I can affect the signals it sends back. And while my stomach is a part of me it is a bustling metropolis of microorganisms, enzymes and more. And while I do not have direct control over all that happens in my stomach I can affect and influence reactions.

You are like my stomach. You can send me signals and I can respond to that. It can affect me when you are upset but I do not always have to listen and I have control over what I do with you and to you but you also have the ability to react as you like. Although it seems like we have come so some agreement on what you like and what you do not like.

I would not do well without a stomach. And like wise I would not do well without a connection to humanity. But we all have the ability to choose how we connect.

This is why I feel that if you and humanity are doing well then it will help me do well. It is not directly determinative either way, but there still are correlations and sometimes causations.

Humanity is a part of me like my stomach is a part of me.Inspiration

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S2 E7 Mariana Belief Power and Beauty


Mariana Fernandes is a born and raised New Jersey girl, but this IFBB Pro athlete has tropical Brazilian blood running through her veins. Ever since Mariana was very young she has always been very active and attracted to this kind of lifestyle. At the age of 8, she became a part of a local dance company and pursued ballet, modern, jazz for the following 10 years of her life. However, when she got to Rutgers University she put her dancing aside and began focusing on her studies where she earned her degree in Psychology and a double minor in Public Health and Women & Gender Studies.

Nevertheless, in order to stay fit, she joined a local gym and began exploring different ways of staying in shape. At first, as any typical rookie to the gym, Mariana was completely intimated by the endless sea of equipment, which caused her to only stick to her comfort zone of treadmills and ellipticals. But with time she began exploring weight training and preparing for 5k races and obstacle challenges. When she began to realize how she was able to shape and mold her body to her liking she wanted to push herself even further. This was when she reached out to Bombshell Fitness and began preparing for her first NPC show. 

February 2014 marked that date she first began to seriously prepare for her first NPC Show. From the moment she stepped on stage she knew she had found her calling and completely fell in love with the sport. Mariana pushed herself not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well making her grow in ways she had never expected. Her first show was in April 2014 and by her 5th show on July 2014 she was on the NPC National stage and earned her IFBB Pro Card as well as taking the title of Overall Bikini Champion.

Mariana is determined to continuously push her limits to see how far she can go. Her heart is all about fitness, having fun, and being adventurous. She loves to be able to inspire others and the biggest compliment she can receive is when someone tells her that she was the one that caused them to change their lives for the better.


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S2 E5 Tania Clark Ageless on Fitness


Tania Clark
WBFF Pro Figure Diva/Athlete

Hello everyone, my name is Tania Clark. I am 48 years old and a pro figure competitor with the WBFF (World of Beauty and Fitness and Fashion). My decision to embrace health and fitness was about 3 years ago. Battling hypothyroidism, poor diet, extra weight around my middle, and basically just feeling lousy every day I knew something needed to change. 

As a previous weight lifter in my 20’s it was nice getting back in the swing of a lifting routine. After a few months of lifting, I also started cleaning up my diet and started noticing some positive changes in how I felt on the inside as well as the changes on the outside, which was muscle development and fat loss. 

It was the best I felt in many years and to see my changes was extremely exciting. To reach optimal health was my ultimate goal and competing was not even on the table at this point. I had started reading about figure competing and had my interest peaked and was secretly thinking to myself I wonder if this would be possible especially at my age. Needless to say I had no idea my coach, Greg Hasberry with Elite Figure and Fitness, best coach in the business, trains at my current gym and encouraged me to try competing, my journey started and I have never looked back. Being involved in figure competing takes dedication and at times challenging yourself beyond what you think you can endure. Many women are retiring at my age from competing and here I am just getting started, but that does not stop me at all. 

I believe timing is everything and with my kids grown has allowed me the time and resources to train and give it my best. I refuse to use my age as an excuse and promise myself each day I get out of that bed to push hard and give 100%. 

My coach has taught me to be patient, muscle does not grow overnight and it takes time to build and develop your physique to achieve your goals. Greg has also taught me that we compete with ourselves and not to compare ourselves against others. I always let that resonate in my head when I am on stage which allows me to shine bright and no matter the results I have given it my best. 

Each person possesses a unique quality and we should embrace those outstanding qualities and showcase them with confidence and pride. When you can understand that then you will be unstoppable to achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. After two years of hard core training, in May, 2014, Orlando Florida I was awarded my pro card, figure division, with the WBFF at the age of 47. I actually could not believe it!! I had to keep pinching myself. My dream just became a reality!! Wow!! How many times in your life can you actually say those words? Hard work and dedication pays off and when you reach that goal it is the best feeling you can ever imagine! Your passion will shine through you on how much you enjoy living a healthier lifestyle and to be an inspiration to others that are looking to make that change as well.

Since cleaning up my diet I really became interested in nutrition, especially the science aspect. Back when I started my clean eating over 3 years ago, a friend recommend the Paleo Diet. Never heard of it, but when I started seeing the results I was absolutely hooked. I was extremely curious so I started reading books, studying Paleo and working in my kitchen to eventually create my own recipes. I do not consider Paleo a diet, I consider it an eating lifestyle. 

I have been practicing Paleo for 3 years now and non-stop in my kitchen developing my personal Paleo favorite dishes and a meal plan and nutrition guide. My belief is nutrition starts in the kitchen. Its back to basics just like my grandma cooked when I was a child, nothing processed just good whole food cooking. The Paleo eating lifestyle, as I like to call it, consists of protein in each meal like organic eggs, grass fed beef, chicken, turkey or fish. Loads of veggies and fresh fruits like apples, pears, and berries. Also healthy animal fats like cooking with ghee (butter), lard, bacon grease, and coconut oil, I also consume nuts and seeds, like almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins just to name a few. 

I love making my own trail mix and power bars and use different nuts and dried fruits. Also I enjoy good carbohydrates sources like sweet potatoes, and will consume some grains like brown or white rice in moderation due to my activity level. I keep my cheat meals to once a week and I eat small meals 5 to 6 times a day. My cheats are some yummy sweets and I do enjoy an occasional red glass of wine. 

You need to enjoy your favorites and allow yourself that indulgence and not deprive yourself. Paleo keeps me satisfied due to the healthy fat and protein content. The key is allowing your insulin to stay at a healthy level and avoid cravings like sugar and grains will tend to cause that issue. The way I look at nutrition is fuel for your body. You want to nourish it with the best foods to give you maximum results. Remember nutrition is 80% and exercise 20%. The nutrition must change along with a workout program to get the results you desire. 

My future plans are to help others achieve their goals whether to lose weight or just reach optimal health simply by feeding your body with proper nutrition and supplementation. I hope to inspire, motivate and help others with what has helped me personally achieve my health and fitness goals. Our food today is not the same food we consumed as kids. It is full of chemicals, artificial ingredients and also over processed that just continue to negatively affect the health of our society. 

Education is key to help others understand how to shop and cook again. It starts in the kitchen and not at a fast food restaurant and not in a box or can. Need to get back to basics in eating and my goal is to spread that news by sharing my cooking recipes and nutrition tips with all my followers. Many people today are fighting obesity, heart disease and diabetes due to the modern conveniences of fast food, refined sugars, soda and over processed junk in our grocery stores. I am extremely passionate about helping others change their eating habits for a lifetime. 

I hope eventually one day we can convince food manufacturers that we do not want artificial ingredients, GMO’s (genetically modified foods) or over processed ingredients that leave no nutritional value. We have to continue to be a strong voice and not give up!! Our body is our biggest investment and need to fuel it with good whole foods to stay strong, healthy and to feel good each and every day. 

Also being a figure competitor and doing Paleo has some people scratching their head, since it is considered a “low-carb diet”. Paleo is naturally low in carbs, but can be modified to suit your nutritional needs depending on activity level. I add additional carbs when necessary to help me with my training and performance. 

Another reason Paleo works well is it allows me to gain a healthy weight off season and also make muscle gains while maintaining low body fat. I am 48 so doing extreme up and downs on weight is not healthy and do not want to take that risk. My coach and I both feel this program works extremely well for me and my gains are gradual and precise depending on what muscle groups we want to develop more to add symmetry and size. Also knowing that I feel
100% confident in my program translates onto the competition stage and as long as I am happy with me then I am already a winner!!

Also another key to a successful healthy lifestyle is planning your meals and snacks. I cook and prep my food weekly and it takes all the guess work out of what to eat each day. If you have it planned chances are you will follow it since you went to great lengths to cook it yourself and you know exactly what you are eating. I think
many people have a hard time with this step, but if you plan ahead and design some really simple recipes then you have just made a huge leap to a positive change in your health goals. That is what I hope my meal plans will bring to people is the ease of cooking while enjoying some really yummy foods.

I have developed a Paleo meal plan and currently working on my website WOW, had no idea of building a website is a big challenge, but it’s a dream and goal I intend to finish and so excited and worth every minute! Below are a couple of recipes I out of my meal plan I hope you will enjoy!

Paleo Immune Booster Power Bars
8 medjool dates, pits removed
¾ coconut flakes, shredded
½ cup of raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
¾ cup of nuts, (I used ½ walnuts and ½ pecans)
½ cup cacao nibs
½ cup dried goji berries
1 tsp raw unfiltered honey
½ tsp cinnamon

First take your coconut and place in food processor and pulse until coconut is shredded. Next add your medjool dates and pulse a few times to blend with coconut. Next add your seeds, nuts, cacao nibs, berries, honey and cinnamon. Blend until the mixture starts to stick together and starts forming into a big ball. I also will add a few drops of water to make sure the mixture will stick well. After that take out and work it with your hands into a rectangular shape on plastic wrap to desired thickness and wrap up tight and place in refrigerator for a few hours and then take out and slice. This will keep fine in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or you can freeze them and take out 30 minutes before eating.

Kickin Chicken Thighs

3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 jalapenos diced (I use the jar jalapenos and just chop them up)
2 garlic cloves minsed
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp raw unfiltered honey
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp fresh or dried Rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
1 lemon

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except lemon. Next pour in a gallon ziploc bag and then add your chicken thighs to the bag. Seal shut and then I take the bag and work the marinade around the chicken make sure it is good and coated. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Next day grill them on medium heat sealed up in aluminum foil for about 20-30 minutes. Next open the foil and squeeze lemon on thighs and seal back for a few minutes.

I feel so blessed to be at this point in my life and very thankful! My goals are to help and to inspire others, especially women my age. You are never too old to chase a dream whether to get on stage or just to improve your overall quality of life. I have a wonderful family, job and coach and wonderful teammates that are always

I want to thank the WBFF, Paul and Allison Dillett for allowing me to represent their organization. I never thought in a million years I would be writing this bio and how far I have come and still yet to go. I remember when Allison presented our pro certificates that night and remembered how deep my emotions ran and how I took that dream and made it a reality. 

She also gave us some excellent advice that we should take this accomplishment and further our careers in the health and fitness industry or wherever the road of success leads us. I could not agree more and appreciate that advice that you are always growing and learning in this industry and the sky’s the limit if you put in the hard work and dedication.

Also, a huge thanks to my coach, Greg Hasberry with Elite Fitness and Figure, for training me and believing in me.

He is passionate about health and wanting the best for all of his competitors. Greg is like family to me and I am so thankful he is in my life and is constantly guiding me and my other teammates the value of success. I have so many wonderful friends and teammates that are constantly supporting me as well as each other to reach their goals. 

You definitely need that support system in your life that will help you thru your fitness journey. Also I want to thank my wonderful husband Joe who supports me 100% and is always giving me encouragement and is extremely proud of me. Also my daughters Abby and Brooke that are equally proud of me and I hope that it gives them inspiration to chase their dreams, because they do come true!!

In conclusion, as individuals we all have dreams and to turn that dream into a reality is an absolute joy that cannot be duplicated. Wherever the road my lead you, I say go for it!!! You have nothing to lose other than not trying it at all. You just have to get up and get to that start line of that race and go!! Needless to say I have my challenges just like everyone else, but I get up each day full of new goals and hopes that are waiting for me to accomplish.

We are never promised a tomorrow, so embrace each day and live your life to the fullest!!

I invite you to my facebook fan page and other social media sites to get more great nutrition tips and recipes and my journey to the 2015 Worlds Figure Pro show August in Las Vegas!!


Instagram tclarkwbffproathlete
Twitter @tclarkwbffpro
Pintrest tclarkpaleofit

E46 Filled Up Feed Up

Do you have room to grow?

I would imagine that many of you have access to the internet if you are listening to this podcast, reading this blog, finding us on facebook, iTunes, Stitcher, or getting email notifications. All of these sources can be found on the internet.

However, not under any false impressions that I am the only voice of fitness. In fact I listen to many other podcasts and watch Youtube clips of others engaged in fitness. With all the voices out there it can be hard to know who to listen to, who as the best information. who it worth getting filled in by. Well who says you have to choose, just one. I say find those voices who add something to your life and don’t try to dominate your mind space. If you were to believe some of the loudest voices in fitness you would come to believe that every success in fitness comes from protein shakes, pre-workouts, steroids, and synthol. And if you listen to these voices too much it can distract you from filling your mind with things that can inspire you to lift strong and prosper. In fact by listening to these voices over and over you may even begin preparing yourself to use these very substances that are being sensationalized.

Those who are often Feed Up with one thing or another are often Filling you up with fear and follies. With diet and fitness advices always changing how can anyone genuinely say there is only one right path to fitness. Now I have my ideas of what has worked for me and others, but I do reserve the right to change my mind when new and hopefully reliable information is presented. And as many of you know who are subscribed and have listened to past episodes know that I try to be sceptical of health claims as far as it is healthy to do so. But beware of fitness fear monger who use fear to fill you up with things that in the end wont help you to lift strong and prosper.

Just a quick note on synthol and other injectables. Please see a doctor or even a plastic surgeon to review options before injecting yourself with stuff that could rot your body from inside out or cause muscle demolishing infections. Implants might be safer. And before for you spend stupid money on these fake fixes to fitness why not spend that money on a coach who can help you maximize your natural human potential first. Just to use fear to get you one of our trainers… you know they can be found at the

But remember the more we fill up on unproductive ideas the more likely we are to get feed up and frustrated with fitness.

Now it is time to shock your body into shape. I have been engaged in a bulking rounds of exercises with high weight and low repetitions over these past months, however the itch of lean, mean, and ripped is creeping into a frenzy of excitement. But my life is not quite ready of the extra gym time needed for high reps. So as I have begun increasing my rep range I have decided to jump ahead. And do something I normally work up to.

100 reps do in a for 5 sets for 20 reps. This way I can get in an intense shorter workout with high rep range. But having just started increasing my rep range my mind is still ready to lift heavier then had I worked my way up to that range making these rounds more intense, muscle building, fat losing, and enjoyably, laughably, painfully. yummy.

So I encourage all you fitness freaks, geeks, and athletes to shock your body, Take a quick step and do your next week or round of exercise sessions doing all your exercises with a 5×20’s for 100 reps. Even if you have to start heavy  and move down in weight during that set try to keep the weight at what you might do for a warm up set of 10. That 10 -15 range you might be able to do try this week to do those exercises for 20 reps per set and 5 sets. And know that as you do it this week myself and other fitness, freaks, geeks, and athletes will be laughing our way through the pain with you. And we will all lift strong and prosper together.

E44 Fitness Freak Geek and Athlete

Fitness Freaks –

  • Gym Addict 
  • Crossfit Cultist
  • Chronic Runner
  • Powder Junkie
  • Surf Monkey


Fitness Geek

  • Techie
  • Student
  • Professor

Fitness Athlete

  • Competitor
  • Model
  • Teammate
  • Olympian

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E37 Stress is Good, Stop Clowning Around

Stress is Good

On the early Episode 4, Katrina Starzhynskaya, commented that many of the things that ail you may by just in your head. So own it.

Where you contribute this to mind over matter or the placebo effect. What you believe can affect how you feel.

Tony Robbins once shared a story of a man in one of his conferences who stood up to announce that he was blacking out. Tony replied well, “white it out.” It caught the man off guard but it worked.

For many years now science and the media have been pushing the bad side effects of stress. I even review an article about stress last month.

However, the stress most often spoken of in health magazines is the stress brought on by your perception. It might also be that any situation that causes us to be active, take action, or change could cause stress. However, many believe that exercise, as it seems to be shown, can minimize the effects of this stress even thought you are putting your body under stress. And some still may view the act of exercise as stress situation too.

I have found that when we identify ourselves as feeling stresses when the proceed to tell ourselves that we are getting damaged which may further lead to more stress.

But if however, whether it is true or not, decide that stress may be good for you, would only possibly minimize any negative effects. In fact some adrenaline junkies enjoy stress and live possibly more rich if not exciting lives.

Obviously, I am not claiming that you can make the effects of stress good but I think you can make them worse.

Few of us can avoid stress without becoming complacent and uninspired dragging ourselves mundanely through the world. So what can be done.

Trick yourself, I’ve had to start doing it.

Whenever I have noticed that I am feeling stressed I tell myself: “Self Stress is Good.” Not only do I find the stress easier to handle but it also gives myself permission of find joy in the journey and to turn stress into an exciting motivator instead of a complacency driver.

Stress is Good. 

New Year’s Clowns

As we get closer to the new year the played out New Years Resolution begin to rear its little funny head.

Unfortunately, New Years Resolutions are dead. However, end of the year reviews are in.

Why are New Years Resolutions dead?

New Years Resolutions are dead because they are pointless. Few do them and those that do, do not care what day of the year they start a new goal.

However, whether or not you need a date set on the calendar where you and your community have agreed to set goals, the end of the year is still a good time to take stock of what you have done, what you would like to do, but most important who you want to be.

Who you want to be starts with habits not resolutions. Habits do not start to form on a date. Habits start to form right now. As soon as you can identify a new habit or how to change a current habit to create the character and life you want to live. Then that’s the time to do it. Or a least to engage in the steps necessary to “make action” and “take the habit.”

Habits do not come willing. They must be taken, they must serve you and not turn you into the servant. This is what has happened for many of you who engage in fitness. The goal/habit becomes the end and not the means.

Habit should serve the goal and the goal should serve you.

So habits are like clown shoes. They are big and attention seeking, they signal functionality but only serve as another layer of absurdity, distracting you from the goal.

How to discover if you are clowning around.

Take a look at the habit you have formed or action you are taking. Ask yourself, does it or has it helped in achieving the goal? Has it helped you?

Example. A person had decided to snack on popcorn instead of other things to help them lose weight. This person should ask themselves first if they have lost weight. Second if any weight lose can be contributed to the popcorn eating.

If not then stop eating popcorn. It is not working. Or at least stop lying to yourself that it is helping you. Stop placing clown shoes in the way of real change and real results.

The reason you do this is beyond this podcast. You might need help.

Example 2. Monday is Chest day.

Now this is a little different. But its effect is the same. Many who start New Years Resolutions or the like to get fit start by setting a goal to exercise. This goal is insufficient. Now some might say it is not specific enough. I say even if you set a goal to workout 3 times a week making Monday chest day. I still say your are less effective.

What happens when you can not work out on Monday? Now this throws your workout/goals all out of whack. This now my be the excuse to stop working out or to not workout for the rest of the week or to just skip chest day.

Stop clowning around.

You’ve almost set goals that maybe even subconsciously you knew you would brake, which then might give you the permission to through in the towel. And now you can say “Well, at least I tried.”


A better goal would be: to be in the best shape of my life.

This goal does not break if you can not work chest on Monday. Now if your goal is to be in, or get in the best shape of your life, then set up a daily or weekly review of that goal. Set habits now that will bring you closer to that goal. As you review you will find better ways to get there.

For those of you who care about fitness and have fitness goals. Get a trainer/ coach. I you can not afford one try a book, follow a podcast, or get advice how ever you can. Chest day should hot be on a day of the week. Chest day should be a part of your workout routine. I break it down like this.

 A round is the whole routine. Every exercise, every cardio-session, each muscle.

A session is the workout routine for a day/ gym session.

 Example: Chest workout

      Exercise One: Incline bench- (x) Sets of (x) Reps, 1:2:3 Tempo, 10-15 sec rest
      Exercise Two: Flat bench – …
      Exercise Three: Decline bench – …

Exercise –
  Whether it is an hour on a treadmill, stair stepper or squat.

Set –
 A group of repetitions. (This should not be under three most of the time). “Full Sets” are commonly known as 10 reps

Reps – 

 The movement of an exercise.

Tempo –
 The speed of the different parts of the rep

 The time in between sets

Intensity level
 How hard the exercise/rep is to perform.

E29: Free Comics for Fitness

ABOUT HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST—Halloween ComicFest is an annual event where participating comic book specialty shops across North America and beyond celebrate the Halloween season by giving away free comic books to anyone who comes into their shops. The event is held the Saturday before Halloween and is the perfect opportunity to introduce friends and family to the many reasons why comic shops are a great destination for Halloween themed comic books, products and merchandise. From zombies, vampires, monsters and aliens to costumes and more, comic shops have it all when it comes to Halloween fun! More information available at

Here are also the links to all the sites that I want to promote.


HCF Facebook

HCF Twitter

HCF Website

HCF Comics

HCF Store Locator