6 Reasons Whole Wheat Makes it Hard for You to Lose Weight!

Ever wondered WHY it is SO hard to lose those last 10 or 20 pounds? No matter what you do, you exercise 4-5 days per week, you eat healthfully consistently, you drink 8 glasses of water per day, you avoid alcohol, you make sure you are burning more calories than you’re consuming, you are on top of things….but you just can’t seem to drop that last little bit of excess weight!

It’s frustrating, I know from experience. Luckily, through all of my trials and tribulations, I’ve figured out some of the main reasons why you can’t seem to break that threshold for weight loss. One reason of which, is “whole grains”.

What?! I know what you’re thinking…”Aren’t whole grains are on the U.S. food pyramid as one of our daily diet recommendations?”….let me clear things up for you.

1. Whole wheat bread is not a whole grain. It is a processed carbohydrate baked good. Does actual bread rise up and grow up out of the earth? No! If it’s a baked good, I don’t care WHAT label they put on it, “Whole Wheat Bread”, “Organic Whole Wheat Bread”, it doesn’t matter…humans weren’t made to eat this processed stuff. So get it out of your cupboard & move on.

2. Whole wheat….this is an extensive topic in and of itself. I’ll make it short and simple for you, the “whole wheat” of 2014 is not the same as 1930’s whole wheat is not the same as 100 B.C.’s whole wheat. It’s called genetic modification, and WAY WAY back in the days of Jesus, whole wheat was grown in its purest form, called einkorn. Through genetic modification, whole wheat has been morphed into emmer wheat and then high-yield/higher-gluten dwarf wheat. The difference? And why?

“Humans have gradually changed the genetics of wheat by selecting those seeds at harvest time that suited the goal of higher yields and more gluten which worked well for larger farms and larger scale agriculture, production, and distribution of wheat products.”

3. The ancient grain, Einkorn wheat had only 2 chromosomes. It’s later form, Emmer wheat, has 4 chromosomes, & spelt has 6 chromosomes! Almost all wheat today is high-yield dwarf wheat, developed by cross-breeding and genetic manipulation…6+ chromosomes…Hence the reason for the spike in gluten & wheat allergies.

What does all of this have to do with weight loss? Your body can’t digest it properly, and you also may be having an allergic reaction to it. Empty calories, leaves your body weak. Nutrient dense foods fuel your body for optimal performance.

4. Beware of refined grains. “Refining separates the nutritious component of the grain away from the endosperm, where most of the starchy carbs are contained. This leads to a reduction in nutrient density and increases ability of wheat to spike blood sugar really fast.”

5. We prepare our grains differently nowadays. Flour is bleached and bread is baked with quick rise yeast. Back in the day, we sprouted, soaked, fermented & baked bread with slow rise yeast, “Sprouting and fermenting grains increases the amino acid lysine, reduces anti-nutrients (like phytic acid and lectins), disables enzyme inhibitors and makes nutrients more accessible”.

 Sprouting is easy. Fill half a jar with quinoa, then fill the jar up with water to the top, place fine mesh strainer over jar and secure with rubber band, let quinoa (or any grain) soak for about 8 hours (leave jar out on your countertop to soak), after 6-8 hours pour out the water thru the mesh strainer (leaving quinoa in the jar), fill the jar once more to rinse the quinoa, & drain the jar thru the mesh strainer once more. Let the jar sit upside down in a bowl (like pic above) for a few hours. It's ready to cook. Place in refrigerator to store.
Sprouting is easy. Fill half a jar with quinoa, then fill the jar up with water to the top, place fine mesh strainer over jar and secure with rubber band, let quinoa (or any grain) soak for about 8 hours (leave jar out on your countertop to soak), after 6-8 hours pour out the water thru the mesh strainer (leaving quinoa in the jar), fill the jar once more to rinse the quinoa, & drain the jar thru the mesh strainer once more. Let the jar sit upside down in a bowl (like pic above) for a few hours. It’s ready to cook. Place in refrigerator to store.

6. Most “whole grain” products (like bread and the oh-so-“healthy”-wraps) have sugar, salt and other additives….they spike our blood sugar, affect our energy & metabolism, & therefore make the ability to burn fat difficult….

Which whole grains CAN I eat?

Unrefined, unprocessed, organic, wheat & gluten free grains are your safest bet. Soak & sprout your grains (very easy process, you just soak them in water overnight), & cook them in large quantities (prep several meal’s worth of food ahead of time to save on future cooking time). You can make your own flour from blending the grains in your high-powered blender. Use almond flour & coconut flour too! Eating grains in moderation is key.

Some whole grains I keep in my kitchen are:

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat Groats
  • Brown Rice
  • Millet
  • Cornmeal whole grain (not corn starch!)
  • Amaranth

Quinoa is a favorite with my friends, fans & family. It’s easy to cook, versatile and inexpensive & easy to find in your local grocery store. Check out my recipes to get some yummy quinoa meal ideas!

Don’t forget to get your free copy of the Seven Day Detox plan to really rev up your weight loss, improve your energy levels and immune system and  more!

3 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Spring Cleaning

macgyver-1It’s officially Spring here so it is time for Spring Cleaning! Have an open mind and let’s apply this yearly tradition not only to your home, but your body & mind as well! Become an expert and a MacGyver on Spring Cleaning!

Your Spring Cleaning Goals:

#1 = HOME: Clean out, declutter & focus on one room in your house that has been bothering you all winter!

#2 = MIND: Close your eyes, and think about one thing that you’ve been meaning to do, that has been on your mind all winter (or for the past year!). Write it down. Now write down the roadblocks associated with this goal or obstacle. Now get strategic and write down the steps to tackle each roadblock. This week start working toward overcoming your obstacle and achieving your goal ONE STEP-AT-A-TIME!

#3 = BODY: This week it’s all about simplifying everything! Simplify your diet. AND simplify your exercise routine (if you don’t have an exercise routine, than start with the one spelled out below!)

BODY: EAT CLEAN

  • spinach-frittata-goat-cheeseDrink eight, 8 ounce glasses of water per day
  • Whole foods, nothing processed.
  • No baked goods, breads, added sauces, condiments, sugar or artificial ingredients or artificial sugars.
  • Eat lots of green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli & spinach.
  • Add some colorful veggies to the mix like bell peppers, tomatoes & carrots.
  • Eat clean & lean animal and plant proteins like organic, free-range & grass-fed turkey, bison, & eggs, as well as raw almonds, cashews, & sunflower seeds!
  • Get some healthy fats in your diet from ground flax seed meal, avocados, coconut oil, & the nuts & seeds listed above.
  • Lastly, include some unrefined, unprocessed, wheat-free organic whole grains like quinoa & buckwheat!
  • Keep it simple. Each meal should only have 3-4 ingredients (for example: a kale salad with tomatoes, bell peppers & 2 eggs scrambled is a yummy breakfast, lunch or dinner option you can cook up in one pan on your stove top).
  • Use lemons and fresh herbs & spices to flavor your meals and snacks.

BODY: SIMPLIFY YOUR WORKOUTS

This week focus on one muscle group per day and do at least 5 workouts. Choose one of the exercise routines below. Do the given number of reps/sets/time and then perform the cardio option for given duration. Go at your own pace and for your own skill level & have fun with it!
backflyrowROUTINE #1:
Muscle Group – Chest/Arms. Do 5-10 sets of 10 push ups.
Cardio – Run for 25 minutes at moderately fast pace.
*Do push ups against wall, or on your knees, or on your toes depending on your skill level
ROUTINE #2:
Muscle Group – Glutes/Hams. Do 5-10 sets of 10 prisoner jump squats.
Cardio – Run for 25 minutes at moderately fast pace.
*Just do squat portion (minus the jump), if you don’t feel comfortable doing jump squats
ROUTINE #3:
Muscle Group – Triceps. Do 5-10 sets of 10 tricep dips.
Cardio – Run for 35 minutes at moderate pace.
*Do dips from a chair, a bench or a dip bar
ROUTINE #4:
Muscle Group – Quads/Abs. Do 5-10 sets of 10 step ups/leg.
Cardio – Run for 20 minutes at max pace.
*Do step ups from floor or onto a chair or step bench
ROUTINE #5:
Muscle Group – Back/Abs. Do 5-10 sets of 10 Back Fly/Back Row combo (image on right).
Cardio – Run for 45 minutes at a steady-moderately challenging pace.
*Use dumbbells or if you are a beginner you can even just use two water bottles!

maxflowgreyHVNERTH

It’s good to change up your workout routine every 4-6 weeks to trick your muscles & body (& mind)! I wanted to share with you one of my favorite workout shirts that gets me pumped up (on the right).

What’s your favorite inspirational & motivational workout gear?

Shhh…Just Between Me & You…20 Secrets to Get You Ready for Bikini Season

TOP 20 SECRETS TO GET YOU READY FOR BIKINI BODY SEASON

First of all…Bikini Bodies are COMPLETELY OVERRATED…it’s all about getting fit & strong ladies!

gplus-block-50-post-1915-image-gpimg9Here are 20 unconventional ways to get & keep a fit & strong body while still having a life!

Incorporate these rules below into your daily lifestyle to not only improve your health & well-being but to help you fast track your progress toward achieving your fitness goals! For more on the details & science behind these guidelines, check out other related posts here on www.BraveAngel.com. Otherwise, follow these rules and you’ll start shedding the excess weight you’ve been trying to get rid of!

1. Avoid alcohol

2. Write down three habits that will bring about change in your potential to stick to your goals. Ex: I will drink one bottle of water every two hours while at my 9-5 job.

3. Eat 4-5 small meals/snacks per day that are 300-500 calories max

4. Eat on smaller plates that are no larger than 6” diameter

5. Take Probiotics, like Jarrow Formulas – Jarro-Dophilus EPS

6. Workout at least 5 days per week

7. Strength train at least 4 days per week

8. Don’t do too much cardio! Three, 25-30 minute sessions/week + 1 longer 45 minute max session/week is a good standard to go by…

9. Eat whole foods. Unrefined. Nothing processed. From the earth, to the plate & to my belly!

10. Oil pulling

11. Drink Bentonite Clay (this will be one of my next posts!)

12. Take a Magnesium Supplement

13. Drink at least 80 ounces of water/day

14. Avoid High Glycemic Foods (& Sugar)

15. Eat Fat! (Healthy fats that is, like coconut oil, olive oil, & flax oil)

16. Keep a daily log of what & how much I consumer

17. Keep a daily log of type & duration of my workouts or activity

18. Eat organic. Food without use of antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides, or fertilizers, & that is grass-fed & free-range.

19. Take an Omega-3 Supplement (I use Deva Organic Vitamins Flax Seed Oil, Omega-3’s instead of Fish Oil)

20. Eat for what your activity level will be for the next three hours. “Eat for what you are about to do”. Remember, food is your fuel so you can get out there and seize the day!

P.S. – If you are sick of always trying to get in shape by summer…but by the time bikini season arrives you haven’t reached your fitness & physique goals….then you may want to join us Brave Angels in the 28 Day Fit & Toned “Bikini” Body Challenge. I will be posting it here on the blog in the next day or so! It includes a total of FIVE workouts for you (with modifications for all skill levels), a 28 day countdown calendar, and the tools you will need to get you where you want to go by the 2014 Bikini Body Season! Oh, and these FIVE workouts, you can do at home or at the gym and they will be downloadable to your smartphone & you can print them out! You can’t go wrong with this one! I slaved away to make sure I covered all the bases for you!!her-calves-muscle-woman-female-strong-huge-big-muscular-massive-ripped-nice-hot-girl-legs-calf-high-heels-sexy-fitness-bodybuilding-nylon-athletic-shapely-raise-18

Follow this blog and check back here tomorrow to get your 28 Day Fit & Toned “Bikini” Body Challenge!

Or Follow Us on Facebook & Twitter & to get your 28 Day Fit & Toned “Bikini” Body Challenge directly via our Facebook & Twitter feeds!

Yours Truly,

Brave Angel

Why Magnesium Will Change Your Life! Eleven Common Symptoms Related to a Magnesium Deficiency…

031914_0225_WhyMagnesiu1.jpg

I never thought that I’d need to take a Magnesium supplement, but it turned out that my deficiency in Magnesium was actually the cause of many negative health symptoms, aches & pains. Since I have started taking Magnesium, many of these ailments (if that’s what you want to call them…) have disappeared! I couldn’t keep this bit of knowledge a secret from you all because it could be so helpful to so many people out there who suffer from the following adverse side effects of a magnesium deficiency and have no idea that it is possibly from a deficiency in magnesium.
So if you experience any of the symptoms listed below, try taking a Magnesium supplement. Give it a shot! You can only gain something good from it!

Symptoms Alleviated by Adequate Levels of Magnesium:

  • PMS
  • Bad menstrual cramps
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Weak bones
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Depression, stress, anxiety, panic attacks (magnesium can help reduce these symptoms)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain

Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body requires to stay healthy. Some elemental bodily functions that magnesium plays a role in are body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, & formation of healthy bones and teeth. Zinc, calcium & magnesium go hand-in-hand, meaning that they each play a part in helping the other get adequately absorbed into the body. Magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium and zinc aids in immune system support. Additional health benefits of healthy levels of magnesium include muscle function improvement, prevention of osteoporosis, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, aids in treatment of diabetes, and can even minimize risk of premature labor.

How should I achieve adequate levels of magnesium?

Good sources of magnesium are found in nuts (especially almonds), whole grains, fish, & green leafy vegetables. Most of the time, the daily needs of magnesium are not met with food intake so a supplement is almost always necessary. I take Natural Calm by Natural Vitality, 2 teaspoons/day in 8 ounces of water, I Love This Stuff! – Natural Calm Natural Vitality

Food for Thought….

John Lennon

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou

Brighten Someone Else’s Day – Don’t Take Everything So Seriously

In one of the most uncommon places to laugh, the workplace, make someone else laugh wholeheartedly. And guess what, you’ll laugh just as hard as them. Change your perspective on working. The more positive associations that you have with your workplace, the less stress and anxiety you will feel while working or thinking about work. And we all know that we can all use a little more laughter and happiness and a lot less stress and anxiety in our lives!
A wholehearted, full belly, long laugh. I try to make it a daily habit. At least once a day. Have you ever laughed so hard that your eyes shed tears? That’s what I’m talking about. Why? Well, why not?

We wake up in the morning to doomsday news, get to work and have to be serious all day, or “professional”, or “grown-ups”. We think about our finances, our futures and what they could hold or not hold for us, media infiltrates every part of our day with messages about not having enough or being enough….so, THAT is why we need to laugh.

I find that laughing helps give us a reality check, it resets us and realigns us with what really matters. It helps clear our minds of all the negative messages that we receive throughout the day and fills our souls with positivity. Chemically, laughter causes the release of Serotonin, a mood boosting hormone, and hey, it even burns some calories!

If you can’t find something funny to laugh about, create it. This morning, I was feeling a bit anxious because I just returned from a long weekend vacation and wasn’t ready for the daily grind. When I arrived at work, the perfect equation presented itself to me, and I took it!

Unicorn Head Mask

Yes, that is me. And no, that isn’t a unicorn head photo-shopped on my body. I’m wearing a unicorn head mask. I ordered the mask on amazon for two reasons…to wear in a race that I’m in this Sunday and also because my sister and I have an inside joke about unicorns and I thought she’d love to see a pic of me wearing it. Well, now it was going to get an additional use because no one at work knew about this Unicorn Head Mask being delivered to me at work. So I took it out of the box, put it on, and I snuck down the hallway and slowly peaked my head around the corner at a co-worker sitting at her desk…and we both had an amazing laugh. It was the perfect start to our days. We proceeded to take some action shots of me, and I shared them via text with my sister, who also had a great laugh.

That fantastic laugh stayed with me all day and totally changed my day around for the better. Yes, at work you do need to be serious and professional, but have a little fun with your co-workers when the situation presents itself to you and is appropriate. It won’t only brighten your day, but it will brighten the day of someone else too, and who knows…that someone else may just pay-it-forward and brighten the day of another person too!

Go-ahead, laugh a little!