The Reluctant Fitness Nerd

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I would be lying if I said I am nuts about daily exercising. Nothing is further from the truth than that, my husband can attest to this. After being together for nearly 30 years he has yet to get me enthusiastic about any form of exercise and I have tried it all (at least I think so).  Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy  winter skiing, running on the beach (when temperatures are below 75F with low humidity),  yoga and pilates. However, the only real reason I do these activities is to prevent any of my families heritage health dilemmas, ranging from various forms of terminal cancer to cardiovascular disease. I am adamant about not ever going down that path and aspire to die healthy of old age.

I do have to admit I have always taken my health and fitness a bit for granted. I eat delicious  healthy food daily, I work out as it suits my schedule and have never really struggled to stay fit, maintaining my weight and looks. But right around this time of the year, with our annual summer travel to Europe approaching I start to make my workout regime more of a priority, much to my husbands delight.  I also find as am getting older what has worked all these years to get me in shape fast is not doing it anymore and I got to step up my game plan.

For that I mean being consistent with a daily workout routine and finding joy in it. If it is not fun and exhilarating than why exercise? What was good enough until now, is not any longer. It is also not about how look on the outside, it goes deeper than that. Yes, I do want to look fabulous at whatever age I am at, but I also want to feel vibrant and energetic. The way I treat my body at 47 has tremendous impact on how I will look and feel at 67 and beyond. I know that.

So my quest for this month is to find a better way to incorporate fun and reinvent my approach to fitness and exercise. A way that has me  jump out of bed at 5am ready to get my yoga on, strength training to turn my wings and  thigh’s into toned extensions of myself and a mindset shift on exercise that stops the chatter telling me how I rather be doing something else.

I am starting May with a 30 day challenge planking my way to toned arms, belly and thigh’s. I have been considering this exercise for its simplicity and yet superior results. No need for fancy workout clothe or equipment. Just me and the floor, at home build into my daily yoga practice.

There is much more to planking than we think off.  According to the experts the simplest movements in exercise can sometimes lead to the greatest results and gains in fitness. When done right, planks are the best exercise for

  1. core conditioning
  2. work your glutes and hamstrings
  3. support your posture
  4. improve your balance
  5. reduce back pain
  6. improve your mood

How-to instruction to  basic planking:

  • position elbows directly under your shoulders and wrists in line with your elbows, stand on your toes or knees if necessary (body is in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to heels)
  • push your body into your upper back and hold chin close to your neck (imagine holding an egg with your chin)
  • once in position contract your abdominals pulling your belly button in, squeezing your tailbone and thigh muscles simultaneously
  • continue to breath normal as you hold each plank for 20 -30 sec. for starters, the goal is to hold it for 2min. eventually
  • rest for about 1min. and repeat 3-5 more time

If you feel strong enough you can go ahead and add Kegel exercises, side and reverse plank to challenge your self. Just be careful not to let your head, shoulders or hips to drop, holding your breath or trying to hold a position too long, Start slow and work your way up especially if you have back pain or injuries.

Let me know how it goes. I want to know how I can best support you on your fitness journey.

 

 

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Nutrition Smarts for the work-at-home CEO

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Maintaining my healthy eating habits and ideal weight has been tricky lately. As much as I love working from home being a girl boss in  yoga pants and not having to deal with rush hour traffic, living the entrepreneurial dream comes with its challenges. My biggest one –  having the kitchen right there, open 24/7 like an all night dinner is very tempting when I get stuck on writing copy or start procrastinating on a project. Getting ready for a girlfriends event a few weeks ago I was faced with a dilemma I had not experienced in a long time, what to wear, nothing in my closet fit right!

Changes had to happen and the had to happen fast. Since I live by my calendar (if its not on my schedule it just won’t happen), I started to also write in times for a snack break, lunch and afternoon tea out by the pool right away. After all I tell my clients to do so, yet I thought of myself as super woman that does not need to schedule eating breaks in her calendar because she got everything under control. Oh well, live and learn.

I am proud of myself as taking the time for a small break mid morning and another in the afternoon with a 30 minute lunch break has actually improved my work flow as much as it has helped my snack cravings and “let’s just check the fridge” moments. I am happy to be back on track with all  my projects and yes, my clothe fit much better again.

How I did it:

  1. Put it on the schedule, midmorning 15min. lunch 30-1hr(up to you) and mid afternoon 15min. Same time every day. This is based on my own 8-9hr work day.
  2. Add  fun to your break like going outside, playing with the dog or calling a friend. I love sitting out by the pool soaking up extra vitamin D to keep me going. Just set a timer to keep you on track.
  3. Make sure to eat mindfully, paying attention to you and your food. No over the kitchen sink eating here!
  4. Plan ahead and meal prep (make extra the night before for leftovers), keep fresh fruit & veggies, nutrient tense foods and delicious healthy snacks at hand.
  5. Stick to this like your life depends on it! Because honestly, it does. You will see.

Off you go. Let me see that calendar with your breaks written in and you following through over on social media or drop me a note.

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12 Herbs & Spices for Weight Loss

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With all the information available to us about losing weight from books and diet pills to surgery it can be overwhelming. So when I work with my clients one of the key components is looking at their current nutrition style. I always have them add new foods, herbs and spices that they would have never thought of on their own. Herbs and spices not only add flavor to your food, but can do wonders for your metabolism and overall health.

Spices to consider adding more off are

  1. Black Pepper (fresh ground) boosts fat metabolism, promotes absorption of key nutrients and improves digestion.
  2. Cayenne Pepper is known for it’s fat burning abilities due to it’s capsaicin content.
  3. Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar and promotes the processing of carbohydrates.
  4. Ginger is know for it’s diuretic abilities, improves gastric mobility and prevents cholesterol absorption.
  5. Ginseng combats fatigue and increases stamina so you can exercise. It also lowers blood sugar.
  6. Turmeric speeds up metabolism and also burns fat.

Herbs that host plenty of health benefits for weight loss are

  1. Basil is known to help lower blood pressure and relax the nervous system.
  2. Cilantro has antibacterial properties for gut health.
  3. Mint is fabulous for digestion, stimulates the nervous system and fights fatigue.
  4. Parsley is great for kidney function, bone health and your immune system due to it’s high amounts of vitamin C, B12, K & A.
  5. Oregano is loaded with antioxidants, manganese, iron and omega 3’s
  6. Green Tea is a fat burner  and a great source of  antioxidants improving brain function and lowering the risk of cancer.

I am sure some these you have already at home. Start adding them to your foods, soups, salads, smoothies and juices. Try new ones as you go along and experiment with the different flavors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Secrets to weight loss that industry insiders won’t tell you!

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With the weight loss industry ever increasing profit margin and the rise in obesity levels world wide (see last weeks post on the most current statistics) the trend of new ‘diet” pills, weight loss programs and books hitting stores and shelf’s nationwide is most likely not going to slow down anytime soon.

With all the products out there and new ones continuously being launched why is it that the waistline of people globally are getting bigger and bigger? Daily people younger and younger are dying of complications due to  diabetes, cancer and heart disease caused by obesity. How long are we going to stay on the sideline watching for a miracle pill to cure it all, when all we need to do is make the change within ourselves, our mindset and our nutrition styles. By starting with ourselves and our family we can create a ripple effect that will eventually rich far beyond our homes and towns. It does not take a degree of some sort to know and learn what is good for your body, mind and soul. All it really takes is making the decision to change your current nutrition and life style, staying with it and never ever letting anyone else tell you otherwise.

As Gandhi said ” Be the change you want to see in the world.”  

However many pounds you have to lose, chances are you did not just wake up one morning with an extra 10, 20, 30+pounds on you. So to achieve what you desire, your ideal healthy weight, you have to allow yourself time. To get you started her are my top tips, secrets that the weight loss industry wouldn’t share with you as it is much more profitable to get you purchasing products that only start your roller coaster of yo-yo dieting in my opinion.

Yes, you lose 5,10,15+ pounds fast, with some programs even more, as you restrict your calorie intake and mess around with your natural metabolism, count points, cut out foods,  weigh every bite and stick to a rigged diet plan . But what happens when after 7, 10 or 30 days you go back to your normal way of living and eating and before you know it those 5, 10, 15+ pounds you lost a month ago are back and brought company? Now you get to start all over trying to lose even more weight. Wouldn’t it be easier to just to learn what your unique nutrition style is, eat the right foods you want to eat which ultimately lead you to a whole new life and nutrition style and best of all do not require you to purchase pre packaged meals, shakes and pills, therefor really not adding to your expenses.

It is this simple. So here are a few of my all time favorite tips to help you get started.

  1. Eat the right fats such as avocado, olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds which have proven to cut belly fat.
  2. Eliminate processed foods completely ( packaged cookies, crackers, meats and such) .
  3. To cut out cravings throughout the day balance your meals with the right amount of protein, fiber & calcium.
  4. Drink plenty of fresh water all day. Even better start your day with a glass of lemon water to optimize your bodies ph level and speeding up your metabolism.
  5. Skip the sugar and use honey instead a nutritious fat releasing alternative.
  6. Sleep at least 8hrs a night. Sleep deprived people eat about 300 calories more a day.
  7. Swap your exercise routine for a HIT, high interval training and strength training turning fat into muscle, which is extremely important as we age)
  8. Exercise alone however is not an affective weight loss solution – it must be paired with the proper nutrition style!

Aligning your desire to losing weight and reaching your ideal healthy weight might seem an impossible at times, it might scare you, you don’t know where to start, your thoughts wander to all the past failures, you might wonder if you are ever going to see the that dip on the scale again, fit into your favorite jeans, that sexy dress and so much more. I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way at all. Just decide today is the day each day you get up, one foot in front of the other making small changes one at a time that will  last you a lifetime. That’s how I build sustainable life and nutrition style changes for myself and  my clients.

 

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USA leads the way in morbidly obese Adults

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Every wondered what’s boosting the weight loss industries growth and ever expanding success?

How about this:

640 million people currently are considered obese around the globe

266 million men and 375 million women

55 million of which are morbidly obese

Obese women make the up the biggest percentage worldwide

China, USA and England leading the way followed closely by Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

A study published last week in The Lancet, led by scientists from the Imperial College London and WHO( World Health Organization) concluded that the worlds population has become heavier by around 3.3lbs (1.5kg) each decade since 1975.

The trend is much more pronounced in western countries, were the global obesity level has more than tripled in men (11% currently) and more than doubled in women (15% currently) living in the world’s wealthiest nations. The 40 year study measured the weight and height of adults world wide and  found that overall the fattest men and women live in China and the  USA, with the highest number of severely obese men and women in the USA. Predictions are said to get worse with 1 out of 5 people falling into this category within a decade. In Europe Britain leads the way with 28.4% women and 26.2% men in the continent, predicting it to be the fattest nation in a decade with nearly 40% of adults obese.

If this global trend continues as is by 2025 1 out of 5 people will be considered obese placing them at a significant risk of developing diabetes, cancer and or heart disease.

Market trends like this are what stirs the drug & food industry as well as the weight loss industry. But I don’t think this epidemic can be tackled with medications, diet pills, shakes and counting calories. What has showed some success in Europe in countries such as France is making fruits & vegetable more accessible. Lowering the costs and at the same time increasing the quality of produce available to everyone. The UK is suggesting to increase tax rates on high sugar and processed foods. Other suggestions include smart food policies and improving health care training.

But we don’t have to wait until our politician’s, scientists and CEO’s of drug and food companies get their act together. We can start right now by making changes that do not require big leaps at the home front. Whether you have 10,20 or more pounds to lose you can achieve this with a few very simple adjustments to your nutrition and life style.

For today simply start with these 5  tips:

    1. Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to the bedroom mirror, fridge or the dashboard of your car.
    2. Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work? If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.
    3. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick to your plan.
    4. Share your goal with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you. Vow to eat cleaner and lighter, make it a family affair and include them in meal preps, shopping and cooking.
    5. Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose 1 pound per week, pamper yourself with a massage, manicure or anything that helps you celebrate you!
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5 ways to a healthier YOU!

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  1. Eat breakfast ~ it does not have to be breakfast food, whatever you eat will keep you from binging and throughout the day, speed up your metabolism and get your day off to the right start
  2. Stop counting calories ~ it’s hard not to when that’s all everyone else talks about, (sorry Oprah:). Your body needs food dense in nutrients, so stop playing that game, enjoy your food and change the way you think about it.
  3. Ditch the sugar ~ and with that all refined foods together. Consuming refined foods (pasta, breads, cookies and the like) not only aids to your waistline, but also causes inflammation in your body leading to premature aging and disease.
  4. Eat nutrients ~ antioxidants and nutrients found in a whole food diet will give the body what it needs to stay strong, healthy and young. Increase your intake on berries, dark green leafy veggies, nuts and seeds, avocados and omega 3’s.
  5. Get moving ~ exercise will increase your metabolism, detoxify your body, keep your joints flexible, lower your stress levels, help you sleep better and keep your mind clear.
  6. Look out for more simple and easy tips to come to rejuvenate your nutrition style and make changes that that will last you your life time!
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5 Reasons to start your day with Water

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Ever wondered that no matter how much you exercise and watch your nutrition style those last 5 pounds are just not coming off, your skin is not glowing and vibrant looking like some other people you know, you are half way through the day and you could just fall asleep on the spot or your afternoon right around 3 pm always turns into a sprint to the pantry or nearest vending machine?

Well, here is what you might be missing, something so simple yet just not paid attention too enough.

DRINK FRESH WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE!

Here are the 5 reasons why this small addition to your morning routine is to your health benefit.

  1. Weight loss ~ Drinking at least 16oz of fresh water will boost your metabolism by 24%!
  2. Glowing skin ~ Water purges toxins out of your blood which in turn will keep your skin glowing and healthy.
  3. Balance your lymph system & ph levels~ Glands that help you perform your daily functions, balance your body fluids and fight infections.
  4. Healthy Colon ~ Fresh water on an empty stomach purifies your colon and helps with the absorption of nutrients throughout the day.
  5. Increases the production of new blood and muscle cells.

I personally add the juice of one lemon to my daily 16oz glass of room temperature water. For all the goodness of lemons keep your eye out for my next blog.

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The Antioxidant Miracle

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From rejuvenating your heart, strengthening your immune system, maximizing your brain power to reversing your aging process antioxidants are true miracle workers. My first class in Alternative Med. School was called “The Antioxidant Miracle” according to Lester Packer, Ph.D. needless to say it was also one of my favorite classes.

Although there are hundreds of antioxidants produced in our body, found in our food supply, produce and today’s supplements there are only 5 key player antioxidants that we can not do without.  

These 5 key player antioxidants not only enhance each others powers, but also fight off disease and slow down the aging process. They are the shield that protects the body against the forces that age us before our time and take years from our lives.

You can not do without

  • Vitamin C & E ~ not produced by our body and need to be taken in through the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Glutathione, Lipoic Acid and CoQ10 are produced by our body, but unfortunately decline as we age.

Vitamin C is a potent free radical quencher and is essential for a strong immune system.

Vitamin E is the bodies primary fat soluble antioxidant. It travels through the body in the form of molecules called lipoprotein protecting the body against heart disease, reducing the risk of  prostate cancer and slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Glutathione is the most abundant antioxidant and produced by the body from 3 amino acids found in food. Glutathione is virtually found in every cell of the body, unfortunately it declines after the age of 40. Low levels of it have been linked to premature death and disease.

Lipoic Acid is the only antioxidant that significantly  boosts glutathione levels  and is instrumental in ridding the body of toxins. It has been shown to safely and effectively  treat complications from diabetes and protect against a stroke.

CoQ10 is a fat soluble molecule that works synergistically with Vitamin E to protect the fatty part of a cell. Studies show that it is an effective treatment for heart failure, angina, and high blood pressure.

I believe that a well balanced, healthy, nutrient tense nutrition style combined with a  complete high quality whole food supplement and regular physical activity sets you up on a successful  road map to health and happiness.

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8 Nutrition Tips to Glowing Skin

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The majority of people think that looking your best and having beautiful, flawless, radiant skin comes from what you put on skin. The more expensive a product or service is the better it must be. The amount of money spend on skin care products each year is astronomical and while I agree with using some products and services I also want to emphasize the importance of nourishing your skin from the inside out.

Here are my all time favorites:

  1. Flaxseed Oil: rich in essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6, it reduces roughness and redness of the skin.
  2. Green Tea: very high in antioxidants that help reduce free radicals that cause skin aging and damage. High in polyphenols help rejuvenate dying skin cells and Vitamin C reduces inflammation and protects cell membranes.
  3. Fatty fish: such as salmon, mackerel, herring and char are high in Omega 3 (EPA & DHA) lowering inflammation and protecting cell walls by letting healthy nutrients in and kicking waste products out.
  4. 4. Berries: highly potent in antioxidant levels protecting skin cells from free radical damage. A good source of silica is strawberries. This mineral is vital for healthy skin and connective tissue. Other good sources for silica are celery, mango, garbanzo beans, rhubarb cucumber, asparagus, green beans and leek.
  5. Cucumbers: these fight of wrinkles and sun damage due to their high antioxidant levels of caffeic acid (UV protector) and Vitamin C (collagen and elastin boosting). Cucumbers also help calm skin when sunburned or due to rosacea because of its anti-inflammatory quality.
  6. Carrots: high in beta-carotene (precursor to Vitamin A necessary for healthy skin cell growth) and Vitamin C.  Beta-carotene helps prevent wrinkles, free radical damage, resist infection and maintains skin youthful looking.
  7. Pumpkin seeds: these zinc containing seeds are a very important for their mineral content. Zinc helps acne prone skin, helps with the production of sebum in the skin and aids in regulating hormones in the skin.
  8. Water: remaining proper hydrated is key to it all – sugar drinks, soda, coffee and tea do not count. Water hydrates the skin cells, moving waste out and letting healthy nutrients in. Consider your skin your filtration system of your body.

Besides a nutrient rich diet and exercise I keep my skin looking healthy and youthful by adding a whole food supplement daily and  my favorite anti aging skin care products made of marigold, strawberry extract, soy, tea green, grapefruit extract, kelp, ginkgo biloba, pea extract, bamboo extract, and many other botanical ingredients.

This spring its time to reveal the rejuvenated you, lighten your meals, try a new smoothie and show off your fabulous glowing skin!

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