Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fight The Afternoon Munchies

Do you tend to get a snack attack every afternoon? Need some willpower to fend off the attack? Add This to Lunch to Beat Afternoon Munchies: chickpeas.

Hummus on your sandwich or garbanzo beans on your salad. It's your choice of how you add about half a cup of filling fiber chickpeas to your daily diet to cut cravings for salty, sugary, and fatty snacks.
AND eating chickpeas improves your bathroom habits -- more frequent and easier bowel movements. If you decide to add more chickpeas to your diet, do so gradually to help reduce the chance of any gastrointestinal discomfort from a sudden increase in fiber.

Oh, and chickpeas may help with the following:

A. Step over La Mer. Minerals found in chickpeas may help keep skin smooth.

B. They can help you manage your memory. You'll be less likely to "forget" things.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


"Eat more protein if you want to shed lbs."‪ What exactly does that mean? What is the right amount and the right kind of protein to get the health benefits?

A great way to get your heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids is through fish such as salmon. I didn't think I liked Salmon until I was "forced" to eat it. Meaning that's the only thing to eat for dinner. I had the choice to eat it or starve, so I ate the salmon. Turns out it is awesome! You learn something new everyday!

White-Meat Poultry
If seafood is not your thing stick to the white meat of poultry for excellent, lean protein. Dark meat is a little higher in fat.

Looking for something cheap and easily accessible? Try Eggs. Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. According to the American Heart Association most normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day.

Pork Tenderloin
Times have changed. Thank Goodness! This white meat is 31% leaner than 20 years ago.

Lean Beef

If you like red meat you are gonna love this: Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast.

Protein on the Go
Grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar. By now I'm sure you know I dig Luna bars. Whatever you choose to eat be sure to check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein and is low in sugar and fat.

Protein at Breakfast
A source of protein like an egg or Greek yogurt(my fav is Chobani in either blueberry, strawberry or strawberry and banana mix) at breakfast along with a high fiber grain like whole wheat toast can help you feel full longer and eat less throughout the day! Awesome!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Task Master

Wanna know a secret? Everyone feels challenged about getting and staying fit. For most people, it's hard just to get up off the couch. So what should you do to make exercise a way of life?

1. Be Consistent
You don't have to be fast or strong, but be consistent. This is key because consistency is the best tip for maintaining a successful fitness regimen.
The difference between success and others who have struggled is working out 4-5 times a week every week. No exercise program in the world works if you don't do it consistently.

2. Follow an Effective Exercise Routine

The top two suggestions:

A.Strength training. Even 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the entire body.
B.Interval training. It is an extremely time-efficient and productive way to exercise. In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout

3. Goal Set
Don't strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can't be met. In other words, don't worry if you can't run a 5K just yet. Make it a habit to walk 15 minutes a day, and add time, distance, and intensity from there.

4. Get and Be happy
Be sure to pick an activity you actually enjoy doing. Love to dance? Take a Zumba class. You can lose weight and get in shape with any type of training or activity.

And choose something that is convenient. Something you can do easily a few times a week.

5. They are called PROS for a reason
Most personal trainers can help you determine what types of exercise you need most by giving you a fitness assessment. A trainer can help you focus on your weakest parts and help you to improve your overall fitness.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Fruit Fun

Ahhhh, time to kick back and unwind. It's the weekend and it's Summertime! One of the best things about summer for me is the bounty of fresh fruits available to me, but most people (including myself) have no idea how to choose the best fruit. It can be frustrating and rather annoying to bite into a piece of lackluster fruit. After doing some searching and asking people about fruit I've compiled some tips to help you get the pick of the crop every time.

When buying fresh blueberries look for firm, dry fruit that is smooth and relatively free of stems and leaves.
While size is not an indicator of maturity, color is. Berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black in color.
Reddish berries aren't ripe, although they may be used in cooking.
Avoid containers of berries with juice stains, which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy.
Soft, watery fruit means that berries are overripe, while wrinkled fruit means they have been stored too long.
This tip is important: Fresh berries should be stored covered, in the refrigerator.
Wash just before using and use within 6 days of purchase.

Ripe fruit can range from green or green with red and/or orange in color.
Ripe mango's will yield to gentle pressure but should not be overly mushy.
Look for smooth unblemished skin.
Fruit that feels heavy for its size will be most juicy.
Mango's continue to ripen after picking. Store at room temperature for 2-5 days to ripen.

Look for fruit that feels heavy for its size, a sign of juiciness.
Look for smooth unblemished skin.
Fruit will continue to ripen after it's picked. Speed along the ripening process by storing at room temperature in a brown paper bag for a day or two.
Ripe fruit should be soft enough to yield to the touch, but not overly mushy.
Ripe fruit will give off a delicate sweet aroma.

The most important indicator of a ripe pineapple is scent. Pick up a pineapple, turn it over and smell the bottom - if it has a mild, sweet aroma of pineapple, you have a ripe fruit. The less scent, the less ripe the pineapple. If the scent is overpowering, the fruit may even be too ripe and won't keep long.
Pineapples do not ripen after they are picked, so it's important to choose a good one, because your stuck with it in that stage of ripeness, which will affect the intensity and sweetness of the fruit.  *important*: Pineapples will soften and lighten in color after picking, but not ripen.
Dark spots on the bottom of the pineapple are an indication of an overly ripe fruit that's starting to go bad.
Keep in mind that a lot of the fruit is wasted in the pineapple because of the peeling process. The larger the pineapple, the larger the portion of edible fruit.

Avoid containers of berries with juice stains, which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy.
Soft, watery fruit means that berries are overripe, while wrinkled fruit means they have been stored too long.
*important*: Fresh berries should be stored covered, in the refrigerator.
Wash just before using and use within 1-3 days of purchase.

When buying, look for plump, bright red, fully ripe berries.
The top leaves should be attached, green and fresh looking.
The size of the strawberry is not important. All strawberries, large and small, have the potential to be equally sweet and juicy.
Sort and remove any bruised or damaged berries as soon as possible, being in contact with spoiled fruit can cause good fruit to go bad quicker.
Place the berries in cool, well ventilated containers (32 to 40°F / 0 to 5°C). The moisture content of fresh strawberries is high, so store uncovered or loosely covered.
Hull strawberries and rinse gently right before serving. Careful storing and handling will help the berries maintain maximum flavor, color and texture.
To keep strawberries from absorbing large quantities of water, hull after washing. A salad spinner works well for removing excess water from berries.

Watermelon will not ripen after it's cut, so it's important to choose carefully.
Look for firm watermelons with a dull outer skin.
The bottom of the melon should be pale green to pale yellow or even beginning to turn white.
When you thump the watermelon, it should give a hollow sign. This favorite testing method isn't always completely accurate however, as sometimes an overly ripe melon will also sound hollow.
If you're buying sliced watermelon, look for a bright, deeply colored pink to red flesh..

Sunday, June 16, 2013

When The Scale Isn't Your BFF

‪​As a woman I understand the struggle to lose weight. Yes, even fitness instructors face challenges too! Being so in tune with my body is a blessing and curse. I notice when I'm retaining water, I notice when my body is out of alignment, and I notice when I've gained 2 lbs. The great thing about this is I can do something about it before it turns into a problem. When your job is to be in shape all of the time it's hard not to become obsessed.
Women face some unique challenges in getting the bathroom scale to budge.  It’s important to understand your weight loss challenges.

‬‪Question: Are you getting enough sleep?

‬‪​This one is super important. Fewer than 7 hours per night puts you at risk for daytime sleepiness.
‬This can add up to stubborn pounds, because a lack of sleep throws appetite hormones off and stimulates overeating.

Guess what the solution to this problem is? Channel your inner 16 year old and sleep in. Go to bed early. Makeover your bedroom until it resembles a veritable sleep-fantasy suite. Do whatever you need to do to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night. Especially if you're trying to lose weight.‬

‪​Question: How much muscle do you have?

It's a fact of life. Women have more fat and less muscle. And that means we have a lower resting metabolic rates compared with men. Women burn fewer calories on a baseline level. Whether you want them or not our bodies are built to produce and nourish healthy babies. That means we hold onto fat stores much easier.

What can you do to help your body?  Stay away from super-low-calorie diets! Doing so will only put you into starvation mode and make it harder for your body to burn calories and lose weight. I eat 5x throughout the day to keep my metabolism fired up. I also focus on strength training --I do cardio a few times a week for my heart but mainly I strength train. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn. Don't kill yourself with cardio.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sassy Girl Sips

Everyday you should drink these 3 items to keep unwanted lbs from making an appearance on your awesome bod: skim milk, H2O, and olive oil.

Skim milk: Wanna eat less at lunch? Drink milk at breakfast. The proteins in skim milk -- whey and casein -- may help make skim milk quite the filler-upper.

Olive oil: This amazing monounsaturated fat is loaded with a hunger-curbing compound called oleic acid. The acid stimulates the small intestine to make another fat like substance that sends "full" signals from the stomach to the brain. Not a fan of Olive Oil? Try sunflower seeds, canola oil, safflower oil, almonds, and avocados.  They are all high in oleic acid.

Water: This one should not some as a surprise to anyone. Drink H2O to feel fuller and eat far fewer calories throughout the day! Water drinkers are also less likely to indulge in sweetened drinks like soda, calorie-laden coffee drinks, and sugary sports drinks. Try drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal. You might lose more weight -- and lose it faster -- than if you didn't.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bone Health And Exercise

Working out if you have low bone density and are at risk of developing osteoporosis may not be want you think you should do, but that is exactly what you should do. Here is the truth: regular exercise can increase your muscle strength, and improve your balance.
It’s ok if you haven’t worked out in years. It’s never too late to start. If you do have osteoporosis, ask your doctor if you should avoid any type of exercise, such as running, jumping, or moves  that require you to twist or bend at the waist. Remember that quality over quantity always wins! You don’t just have to run a 10K your first day out. Start by adding some extra walking into your day. Park your car further away from the store, take your dog for a longer walk. Work up to a 30 minute walk, five times a week.
Here are four types of exercise you can do if you have osteoporosis or want to prevent:
  • Strength-training: Build muscle using free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands.
  • Weight-bearing (low impact): Walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing, and gardening all encourage your bone tissue to rebuild and remodel itself.
  • Flexibility: Stretches, which you should do only after your muscles are warmed up, are a great way to improve your range of motion.
  • Balance: Movements that build your stability skills help your muscles work together to improve your coordination and reduce your chances of a fall. Examples include standing on one leg or practicing tai chi.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Conditioning Catalyst

Working out shouldn’t be dreaded. It should be a habit. Something you just do. Here are 5 tips on making fitness apart of your life.

1. Schedule it. Write it down and think of working out as a “must do” and you are more likely to do it. Soon it’ll become second nature. Like brushing your teeth. Before long, it'll be a rock-solid habit.
2. Partner up. Being held accountable is an awesome way to keep motivated. Whether it’s a human friend or a furry one doesn’t matter. Someone is counting on you each day. Your walking partner doesn't even have to be somebody you see. It can be a pal with whom you check in every day, by phone or online.
3. FUN. Addicted to the game Words With Friends on your phone? Head outdoors or hop on the treadmill, and think up words while you walk. Maybe the TV show Mad Men is more your style? Watch only when you are at the gym on the cardio equipment. Basically whatever makes working out more fun for you, do it!
4. Write it down. A workout journal helps you stick to your plan because you can see your progress before your eyes. You can watch yourself get closer and closer to your goal.
5. Pat yourself on the back. Um yeah this one is a no brainer. Bribe yourself. If you workout 3-4 times this week for 20-60 minutes per workout, treat yourself to a massage or awesome movie or a new MP3 player for your workout songs.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Proof Isn't Always In The Perspiration

How much you sweat during your workout doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting the best results. Your form is most important. You can get an awesome workout if you follow the following tips. You’ll be less likely to strain or sprain your body.

Keep your face relaxed and tension-free. Scrunching up your face is not going to make the exercise easier.
Keep your gaze at eye level to prevent neck strain
Relax your hunched shoulders.
Lengthen your spine. Imagine a string pulling the top of your head up to the ceiling to improve your posture.
Tighten your abs. Strong abs help support your lower back.
Don't lock your knees. Keep knees slightly bent. Also, keep your toes lined up to prevent overstressing your knees.
Breathe. Count reps out loud to avoid holding your breath. As you inhale, relax your lower abs and fill your chest. As you exhale, suck in your abs to force air out.

This tip is for those of you that workout often and are stronger. Don’t plateau. With cardio, go a little longer. With weights, add more reps or use slightly heavier weights in your weight training routine. Again, slightly. Use proper form to stay injury-free.