Keep it Fresh, Make it FUN!

Change it UP!!! If you have recently implemented an exercise routine into your lifestyle OR if you have been exercising for years…this post is for you!

DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR ROUTINE! Make it exciting and change it up often, now I don’t mean you have to every day or even every other session. But at least do a different exercise routine every week. You will see better results and you will feel it too!

SO…What if you runout of ideas? Be creative! Did you play sports as a kid or in high school? Do you have any hobbies? Download some new soundtracks for your workout. Use a different type of equipment (use a kettlebell or medicine ball in your next routine).

If you change it up, you won’t get used to your routine, and you won’t know what to expect or when to expect it. I know people all too well, and I do this myself as well if I do the same routine over and over…do you ever hold back because you want to leave some steam for what’s to come later on in your workout?! If you change it up, you won’t know what’s about to hit you later on in the workout and you will give each and every part of the workout your all, or at least I hope you will!!!

So in honor of today’s blog post I brought back some sport specific training into my workout. I used to play soccer a lot as a kid and absolutely loved it. So I took my soccer ball up to my local high school field and did a little training. I used some bodyweight techniques and meshed them together with soccer specific conditioning skills. It was a blast! I felt like a kid again and kicked my own butt while workin’ up a mean sweat. My favorite exercises of the day were soccer dribble sprints and soccer ball burpees!

Post your creative exercise routines here, I’d love to hear them!

Health & Happiness,
Nat

Quality Yet Economical Active Gear, Must Have’s!

Just as you would pick out an outfit for work or going out on the town, you should do the same when throwing on workout clothing and gear! First of all, it should be comfortable and specific to what you will be doing. Going for a run? Make sure you have pants/capris/shorts that are light, yet somewhat form-fitting and made for cardio exercise, it will make your run so much more enjoyable. Pick colors and text that inspire you to do your best and give your workout your all! You should feel beautiful and sexy in that workout clothing, not blah!
Performance tank tops are my favorite and I have a wide variety to choose from. Good shoes that are ‘sport specific’ are a MUST! Get a pair of running shoes at your local running store to avoid injury to your joints and make your runs more efficient. Also, getting some ‘trainers’ for when you hit the gym for strength training or cardio kickboxing or ZUMBA;) are good to have on hand so you don’t wear out your pricier running sneakers.

Arm bands to hold your ipod or music device are key to an enjoyable workout as well, music really helps push you through the burn! Also, a good water bottle (B.P.A. free!) that has a built-in filter is great so when you run out of water you can fill up from the sink and know that your water bottle is filtering out all the ‘nasty’ stuff! I got my Brita water bottle for just under $10.

Material quality is important BUT it does bring up the price a bit. If your watching your budget just get the moderately nice quality gear and you’ll be good to go! I absolutely love Under Armor & Lulu Lemon and have a good amount of their active apparel and gear in my wardrobe; however, I understand that all of my workout attire can’t be this expensive because I’m not a millionaire. So, I’ve found that Gap, Adidas, Reebok are brands that are good quality yet moderately priced. Also, believe it or not, Ross & TJ Maxx and also Marshalls & Kmart have decent workout apparel at very good prices.

I just got my ‘Ripped Ass Women/RawFitnessTV.com’ tank top today. I was a little apprehensive because I had no idea what the material would be like and how it would fit. Well, I was pleasantly surprised because it was really nice quality and fit perfectly! I ordered it a size larger than what I usually order (I got a medium, I usually get a small) and I definitely suggest ordering 1 size larger so it’s not skin tight. Click Here to view the tanks and t-shirts with RawFitnessTV.com motivational graphics!

The next time you go shopping for clothes, pick up a hot workout outfit to pump up those guns in style and feel beautiful while burnin’ those calories chicas;)!

Negative Health Effects of Artificial Sweeteners!

I want to challenge you! To those who avoid artificial sweeteners already, I applaud you! Send this post on to friends and family so they know why they need to avoid it! For my friends and readers out there who still eat/drink products w/artificial sweeteners AND to those who add sugar to your food/drinks or eat/drink food w/added sugar, here is the challenge!
Stop adding sugar to foods/drinks and avoid foods/beverages with added sugar….this goes for artificial sweeteners as well!!!! Several readers asked me if they could substitute regular or natural sweeteners (real sugar/honey) with an artificial sweetener! NOOOO, please do not do this. I want you to ween yourself off of this desire for sweet and super-sweet foods. For example…a strawberry-banana smoothie is sweet and refreshing and just as wonderful as is, adding spoonfulls of sugar will only negate the healthy aspect of your smoothie!

Okay so there are so many reasons why artificial sweeteners are absolutely horrible for you. In fact, I am going to dedicate my whole post to this topic!

But, in the meantime I must post an article that I read about artificial sweeteners and…weight gain? Yes, weight gain!! Which isn’t news to me…but I’m sure is news to many of you! Here is the link:http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4271246&page=1

OVERVIEW: I’m going to make this short and sweet… avoid artificial sweeteners!

Read the below facts that I have gathered from several different resources over the years! These are merely suggestions. There is an endless amount of information I have about this topic, I will try to fit in the most important facts below. Email me if you have questions.

Let me just start by saying, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. What I write in my posts is simply information that I have gathered over the years from reading and researching several health related topics from credible resources as well as personal experiences. I urge you to consult with a physician before changing your diet, beginning the use of supplements, or starting a new exercise routine. The purpose of my posts is to share my experiences and fitness knowledge with everyone I possibly can to help others in their journey to improve their state of well-being.

You may think, “I can drink that diet soda because it is calorie free, right?”

Wrong! Artificial sweeteners are your roadblock to optimal health and I can’t stress this enough! Below I will go over the well-known artificial sweeteners and the harmful side effects they have on our bodies. I tried to be as brief as possible, but it was not easy because I wanted to make sure I got the point across. Please read this NOW!

Warning Sign #1: In the United States, sweeteners fall under the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list or as food additives under the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. I’m sorry, but “generally recognized as safe”? Come on…I’m not okay eating something that the government says is only “generally safe”. Come on government… “generally safe” always means that you won’t and can’t say you’re 100% sure that it is okay for us to ingest.

The five FDA-approved nonnutritive sweeteners are saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and neotame.

Warning Sign #2: “The use of nonnutritive sweeteners began with the need for cost reduction and continued on with the need for calorie reduction.” Of course it is always about the money. Cost reduction should not have priority over our health, right?!

Saccharin: Sweet & Low, Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, Necta Sweet – 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar. Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is 5mg/kg of body weight, for example if you are 140 pounds (140/2.2=63, 63X5=315mg) your ADI is 315mg of saccharin.

  • Warning Sign #3:  “There was a great deal of controversy surrounding the safety of saccharin back in the ’70s. In 1977, research showed bladder tumors in male rats with the ingestion of saccharin. The FDA proposed a ban on saccharin based on the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, enacted in 1958. This clause prohibits the addition to the human food supply of any chemical that had caused cancer in humans or animals. Congress intervened after public opposition to the ban and allowed saccharin to remain in the food supply as long as the label carried this warning: “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” Further research was required to confirm the tumor findings.”…. I don’t know about you but I’m not ingesting something that has the possibility of causing cancer…
  • Okay, so saccharin was taken off the list as a potential carcinogen… “According to a report written by the Center for the Science in Public Interest (CSPI) in response to the National Toxicology Program (NTP) removing saccharin from the list of potential carcinogens: “It would be highly imprudent for the NTP to delist saccharin. Doing so would give the public a false sense of security, remove any incentive for further testing, and result in greater exposure to this probable carcinogen in tens of millions of people, including children (indeed, fetuses). If saccharin is even a weak carcinogen, this unnecessary additive would pose an intolerable risk to the public. Thus, we urge the NTP on the basis of currently available data to conclude that saccharin is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” because there is “sufficient” evidence of carcinogenicity in animals (multiple sites in rats and mice) and “limited” or “sufficient” evidence of carcinogenicity in humans (bladder cancer) and not to delist saccharin, at least until a great deal of further research is conducted.” Bet you weren’t expecting to read that….
  • Warning Sign #4: Allergic reactions also occur – headaches, breathing difficulties, skin eruptions, and diarrhea. Guess what?! Saccharin can be found in some infant formulas, because it is not banned by the FDA…

artificial sweeteners neverAspartame: Nutrasweet, Equal and Sugar Twin. The ADI for aspartame is higher, 50 mg/kg of body weight. So for a 140 pound woman, her ADI is about 3181 mg of aspartame. Aspartame is found in about 6,000 foods. Common foods such as diet soda, gelatin, yogurt, powder drinks, and cereals…

  • Warning…“Conflicts of interest in the studies performed on aspartame and the way in which its approval was obtained is an ongoing controversy. Dr. Robert Walton surveyed the studies of aspartame in the peer-reviewed medical literature. He states that “of the 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had Nutrasweet industry related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the industry-funded research attested to aspartame’s safety, whereas 92% of the independently funded research identified a problem.”” Obviously, they’re trying to hide something!
  • Warning…Here is a list of some complaints to the FDA about aspartame… “headache, dizziness, change in mood, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps, change in vision, diarrhea, seizures/convulsions, memory loss, and fatigue. Also, links to aspartame are made for fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, tinnitus, joint pain, inexplicable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, and various cancers…” Studies have been conducted to confirm some of the above complaints associated with ingestion of aspartame, such as headache, depression, cancer…

Sucralose: Splenda, ADI is 5mg/kg of body weight or about 315 mg if you are 140 pounds.

  • Big Warning: Splenda was discovered while trying to create a new insecticide! The claim that it is made from sugar is a misconception about the final product… “sucralose is made when sugar is treated with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride, and methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethlyammonium chloride, and sodium methoxide, making it unlike anything found in nature”. The Splenda site even states that it is not natural. It does actually have calories but because it is 600 times sweeter than sugar, not much is needed. One cup of Splenda has 96 calories and 32 gram of carbs.
  • “The name sucralose is another misleading factor. The suffix –ose is used to name sugars, not additives. Sucralose sounds very close to sucrose, table sugar, and can be confusing for consumers. A more accurate name for the structure of sucralose was purposed. The name would have been trichlorogalactosucrose, but the FDA did not believe that it was necessary to use this so sucralose was allowed.”
  • “The presence of chlorine is thought to be the most dangerous component of sucralose. Chlorine is considered a carcinogen and has been used in poisonous gas, disinfectants, pesticides, and plastics. The digestion and absorption of sucralose is not clear due to a lack of long-term studies on humans. The majority of studies were done on animals for short lengths of time. The alleged symptoms associated with sucralose are gastrointestinal problems (bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea), skin irritations (rash, hives, redness, itching, swelling), wheezing, cough, runny nose, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, depression, and itchy eyes.” Also…i’ve heard of instances where people were getting symptoms of lupus….yikes!
  • Last two are Acesulfame K & Neotame: Many people are unaware that these sweeteners are used in their foods. They are on food labels under the following: acesulfame K, acesulfame potassium, Ace-K, and sunett. Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride and has shown several negative side effects including cancer. Neotame is new on the market, it has a potency of 7,000 – 13,000 times that of table sugar…give it time and I’m sure studies will start showing that there is something terribly wrong with this artificial sweetener…studies that have been done do not address the long-term health effects of Neotame. I’m not willing to be the test study, are you?

Need I Say More…?

P.S.> Had to post the pic to left, although it has the m.f. bomb, it was perfect.

Health & Happiness, Nat!

At-Home Work Out Equipment and Home Workout Video!

I love using my TRX® to get a quick workout in. You can do some intense versions of push ups, plank/crunch/pike, back rows, 1-leg squats and lunges…and this is just the start of it. The bundle I bought, which I think was the ‘pro’ bundle, came with a dvd to start me off which helped a lot. From there, I just used my creativity and YouTube to find out about more exercises. I posted a exercise video on this blog a while back, CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. I jibber jabber in the beginning of the video for a while, but eventually get to the point lol!
Next, my Ultimate Dip Station. You can do way more than dips on this piece! I do hanging leg raises and oblique knee tucks, inverted rows, push ups, dips, use your imagination and have fun with it!

I have plenty of body weight and kettlebell videos on this blog for you to check out to get some good ideas for exercise routines, so make sure to watch some of those videos when you get a chance. BUT, I went ahead and made a NEW VIDEO for you all that includes some body weight exercises as well as exercises using my Dip Station, Sand Bag, Stability Ball, and Resistance Bands. The NEW VIDEO is at the end of this post:).

If you are aiming to get your heart rate up there in the ‘cardio’ zone and increase your metabolism and fat burning capability of your workout, then choose exercises that target large muscle groups and are compound exercises(squats, rows) that hit many muscle groups, those that involve 2 or more joints and large groups of muscle working together in a coordinated movement. Only do 2-3 compound exercises per workout, because they take a lot of energy and tire you out, also do them at the beginning of your workout. End with isolation exercises (involve the movement of a single joint), such as the bicep curl.

Also, you may count reps and sets or do the exercises in an interval format. For example, if you are doing squats, push ups, dips, and rows; you could do 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise (enough resistance for each movement that you’re almost at point of total fatigue by 10-15th rep). Or, you could time yourself while you perform each movement, and try to get in as many reps as possible (with good form) of each exercise during your ‘effort interval’ and have a short period of rest in between, before moving onto the next exercise. You can do the exercises in a circuit format (in which you move from one exercise to the next) and perform a given number of rounds of the circuit. For example, perform each exercise for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest & move to next exercise, do all exercises in circuit for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest, back-to-back until finished 1 circuit. Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end of each circuit and perform as many circuits as desired for your goals. I usually pick 10 exercises and do 2-3 circuits.

For my routines, I do reps and sets when I’ll be doing a lower number of reps/exercise because I’m lifting heavier weight that day. On the days in which I’m aiming to get more of a ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ effect, I do timed intervals and use lighter weight in order to get a higher number of reps and obtain a ‘cardio aspect’ to my strength training routine. It is great to change up the format of your routines day-to-day and week-to-week, not only to accomplish muscle confusion, but also to avoid boredom!

Exercise video is below!

Multi-Taskin’…Healthy Diet & Exercise No Matter How Busy Your Day Is!

A day in the life of Natalie!

Don’t fret, I don’t really think that you care what my day is like, I’m not that vain! I wanted to give you an example of how I fit in healthy eating habits and consistent exercise into a very busy schedule.

I usually wake up at 5am and don’t finish work until 7:30pm. So as you can see, I have LONG days…don’t be misinformed though, I LOVE what I do for a living and I DO get breaks here and there throughout the day. I use those breaks to eat healthy and exercise and it makes getting through my day all the better and easier! Exercise gives me stress relief and stamina, healthy eating gives me a clear mind and energy!

I wake up early enough so that I have at least 1 hour to get ready and eat breakfast before I need to hit the road to train my first client. Right out of bed I down 1 scoop of fiber dissolved in a 16oz. glass of water. Then, I usually eat oatmeal & Shakeology (for protein/vitamins/energy/health). I have a cup of coffee with a splash of unflavored almond milk. I head out to train my clients usually until noon or 1pm. Then I have my afternoon ‘break’. I eat lunch, which is either a salad with chicken or a ‘green smoothie’ (pics below) and get to work in my ‘office’. This is when the multi-tasking comes into play!

In my ‘office’ (which I’ve moved outdoors since the weather is beautiful right now in MD) I do admin, marketing, blog, emails, and anything else it takes to make my personal training business run! During this ‘office work’ I fit in intermittent workouts. I use my body weight, dip station, TRX, stability ball, kettlebells, resistance bands and sandbag. I will do a post tomorrow on exercises I do using these different pieces of equipment.

I also have a gym membership. I go there daily as time permits and do cardio on the arc trainer, step mill, treadmill, and spin classes. I also use the bench, barbells, smith machine, cable machine, kick boxing bags, dumbbells, and other equipment that I do not have at home. While I’m working in my ‘office’, I do exercises for the muscle group I’m focusing on that day that I can do using my home workout equipment so when I hit the gym, I can get in and out of there faster. For example, I do push ups/chin ups/dips/core work at home while working on my upper body days so that when I hit the gym I only have to do the remaining exercises on the equipment that I don’t have at my house, such as bench presses and cable rows and the step mill!

When I need a power packed lunch but will be working out within an hour or so and don’t want to feel ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ from undigested food, I eat a green smoothie! I throw 8 oz of water, a few dashes of cinnamon, a handful of spinach salad leaves, a scoop of my chocolate Whey protein supplement and 1/2 scoop of my Shakeology, a couple frozen organic strawberries, ice cubes in my Bullet Blender cup and blend. I LOVE the ‘Bullet’ because it has single portion cups that you throw all your ingredients into and blend and drink out of the same cup, then throw the cup in the dishwasher and go!

Finally, after my last personal training client, I come home to eat a light dinner. I won’t be doing anything quite physical after dinner so there is no need for a huge dinner, you just don’t need the fuel because you’ll be sleeping soon! Today, I trained a client outside at a park that overlooks downtown Baltimore City…it was BEAUTIFUL today! I came home and threw a salmon filet in my skillet and cooked it in 8 minutes on my stove top, I also threw together a quick side salad.

So that’s my day! Jam packed yet I get in my workout and healthy nutritious meals to fuel my body and help me achieve my goals!

If you find that your schedule is busy and it is hard to get a workout in or eat healthy food while on the go, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAN AHEAD. I prep meals the day in advance if I know the following day will not allow me time to cook or I won’t be home for lunch. I ‘schedule’ my workouts in my calendar so I know exactly when I am scheduled for my daily workout and don’t end up at the end of the day, out of time and no energy to exercise.

Hope this helps! Health & Happiness,

Nat

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Tricks of the Trade…or shall I say TREATS!!!

Hi All,
If you are human, then there is no stopping those cravings for sweets! Don’t deprive yourself of what the good lord gave us, alter the ingredients a bit so that your treats have more nutritional benefits

As a lady, I of course love chocolate and crave some from time to time (every day, LOL!). So I make sure to include it in some of my meals. But, it must be high quality and “healthy” chocolate. RAW CACAO powder is absolutely fabulous to add to my protein shakes or fruit smoothies that I make daily. I get my chocolate fix without feeling guilty and my body reaps the benefits of this wonderful ingredient. Click Here to learn benefits of Raw Cacao Powder. I also drink Shakeology (Chocolate) for post workout or as a meal replacement when I’m in a rush, you can also blend it with frozen strawberries and ice and make a strawberry chocolate ice cream healthy treat! Check out Shakeology by clicking here! 

Coconut Oil or flour is an amazing ingredient to add to your daily consumption. It does have saturated fat but is a medium chain fatty acid and is metabolized by your liver differently, so it ends up being good for you (similar to how Olive Oil is good for you). You can use coconut for cooking, take a tablespoon for energy, great for your hair and skin, aids in weight loss, etc. Click here for the benefits of Coconut.

My favorite herbs, spices & natural flavors to jazz things up in the kitchen are:

  • Cinnamon – in smoothies, cook in steamed veggies and chicken, in oatmeal/couscous/quinoa, dash on salad
  • Basil & Scallions – chop fresh and sprinkle atop salads, veggies, omelettes
  • Cilantro – great blended in green smoothies and added to chicken
  • Rosemary & Thyme – cook with chicken and salmon
  • Cayenne pepper – use just a dash or two in veggies or scrambled eggs
  • Mint – blend in smoothies
  • Balsamic vinegar – dash on top of salad with spices for home-made dressing
  • Lime & Lemon – squeeze fresh juice on top salads, on cooked chicken and veggies, in water
  • Orange – Fresh squeezed juice and zest on top chicken while grilling/cooking it for a zing

Now for a great recipe I got from the World Wide Web…. Here is a great way to have your cake and eat it too! Pancakes that is!

Protein Pancakes

Ingredients (makes 5 pancakes)

9 medium egg whites
1 tub of natural fat free cottage cheese (8-9 oz.)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey (or unrefined sugar, only if you must)
1 cup of oats

Cooking spray


Instructions

1) Combine egg whites, cottage cheese, sugar/honey, cinnamon and oats in a bowl and blend until smooth.

2) Now use a small omelet pan and spray with a cooking spray. On a medium heat pour in mixture until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.

Wait until small bubbles appear on top and then flip the pancake over and cook for another 2 minutes. Place cooked pancakes on a plate and cover w/another plate to keep heat in and keep cooked cakes warm while you finish cooking all pancakes.

Once you have all the pancakes cooked, you can top with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a side serving of your favorite fruit, apple/banana goes really well.

Women eat 2 of these pancakes as a meal. Men eat 3 as a meal.

Enjoy!
Nat

Cheers to Big Thighs, Butts & Bellies…or the opposite!

Hi Gang!
St.Patty’s day is this weekend and I know that some of you will be engaging in ‘drink fests’, so in hopes of ruining your fun 🙂 I thought I’d post about calories in alcoholic beverages! And for those of us who drink alcoholic beverages, our intake of alcohol usually increases during the holidays! There are more holiday parties and family gatherings and opportunities for drinking when there usually wouldn’t be. Guess what, a few extra drinks here and there adds up! Top o’ da mornin’ to ya!

Just how much extra am I depositing into my caloric bank, Natalie? I hate to tell you but some drinks may pack on an extra 1000 (that’s right, one thousand) calories with as little as 3 drinks….

Now, for my RawFitnessTV readers who are working hard to lose weight, these extra calories can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts. So I wanted to educate you all about the caloric content in popular alcoholic drinks so that you can make the right choices! Below are a few misconceptions people have when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages.

“Vodka, Rum, Gin (Liquor) drinks are low calorie”. WRONG! Did you know that one measly shot of vodka is on average 85-95 calories, and the flavored vodkas are 100-160 calories per shot! Well, even if you get a diet whatever and vodka…it is probably going to cost you about 170-320 calories…and if you do a cranberry and vodka, add on the caloric content of the cranberry juice, you get the point. Here is a link for caloric content of some popular alcohols: Calories in Alcohols/Liquors

“I’m okay because I’m drinking red wine…it’s healthy for you…only 60 calories or something…” WRONG!
Yes, red wine has good properties, but in MODERATION. Opt for Dry Red or White Wine to hit 75-85 calories per approximately 3.8 ounces (not your average pour, more calories when you have a full glass of wine). The average pour is about 130-150 calories per drink…
Here is a link for caloric content of wines: Calories in Wines

“Margaritas, Martinis, Oh My”
…need I say more. Lots of sugar = lots of calories…your average Margarita costs you about 450 calories….oh so tasty martinis are around 175-200+…not good!

“Beer is no good”…Wrong and Right. Look, I’m not going to tell you that drinking beer is all fine and dandy but when it comes down to it, you can get a light beer for low cal, like 80 calories. This adds up of course, but the good thing about beer is that it comes in a bottle or a can and you can measure exactly how much you have been consuming. When you get a mixed drink or wine, the size/ounces/amount of your drink vary and you never are quite sure the caloric content of your drink. At least with beer you can be, this is the only reason why I give beer some props…so grab a Heineken Light and throw on your beer goggles!

Overall, just watch the number of alcoholic drinks you have. Drink a glass of water in between drinks. Avoid high sugar drinks with lots of different ingredients. Realize that even if you have diet soda (which I never suggest anyone drink) the liquor in your drink adds a hefty number of calories.

Don’t take part in the ‘Irish Yoga’ and work on melting away those excess fat pounds by doing a little Irish Jig and watching what your caloric and sugar content is in your drinks at St.Patty’s day celebrations;).

To Your Health and Happiness!!
St. Patty’s Day Party Pooper Nat 😉

Keep Your Ass on Track w/Weight Loss…The Most Important Question

The Most Important Question….

What is keeping me from achieving my weight loss goal?

CONSISTENCY!

If you aren’t consistent with your diet and exercise routines, you will have a hard time reaching your fitness goals. What do I mean by consistent? Exercising 4-5 times every week using a structured exercise program designed for your goals and needs. Eating healthy on a consistent basis, following healthy eating habits 99% of the time, eating to live instead of living to eat.

Why is this so important? Because, you need to live a healthy and active lifestyle in order to look healthy, remember the saying “You are what you eat”. Eating unhealthy meals and snacks here and there add up over the weeks, months and year. It adds up to a couple extra or several extra added pounds of fat, and fat is not what we want to add to our body…we want muscle! You must follow a healthy diet ALWAYS! No twinkies, snickers bars, bacon-wrapped filet mignon here and there!

If you are trying to shed the pounds you have got to be CONSISTENT! Fight your cravings for the nutrient deficient snacks by creating healthier snacks and meals for yourself. For example, if ice cream is your choice learn how to make natural strawberry sorbet at home, which is fat free and much healthier for you. And most importantly come to the realization that food is just simply food! Don’t let it run your life or it will ruin your life. EAT TO LIVE, DON’T LIVE TO EAT!

Exercising regularly is key too. Keep that blood pumpin’, burn calories, and build muscle. Increasing your muscle mass will increase the number of calories your body burns daily as well as increase metabolism. You will have more energy, feel happier, be less likely to succumb to cravings, and exercise will aid in weight loss and fat loss. When you workout, you are more likely to eat healthy that day because you don’t want to reverse all the hard work you just put in lifting weights or doing cardio.

HOW CAN I STAY CONSISTENT? IT IS HARD TO, I KNOW!

Just like anyone else, I get cravings and maybe get a little lazy here and there…so what is the number one thing that keeps me on the right track? GOALS!!!!!

I don’t just workout everyday and eat healthy everyday for the hell of it, I have goals that keep me motivated and push me through every workout. YOU MUST HAVE GOALS, long term and short term goals, TO STAY CONSISTENT! Goals should always be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

Short Term: Daily, Weekly & 30 Day Goals. Everyday you should challenge yourself to eat healthy and workout. Take it one day at a time. Each week you should plan to complete a certain number of workouts and eat healthy 99% of the time. Your 30 Day goal can be a 5 pound weight loss goal, decreasing your body fat by 3%, adding 1 mile to your longest running distance, etc. Your short term goals should help you get a step closer to some of your long term goals.

Long Term: 1 Month, 3 Month, 6 Month, 1 Year, etc. 1 month is in between a short term and long term goal. In 1 month you could train to run a 5K. In 3 months you could lose as much as 12- 24 pounds if you work really hard. Have you ever wanted to bike in a cycling event and maybe raise money for a charity? Than sign up for a 20, 40, 63 or even 100 mile cycling event that is 6 months – 1 year out. Knowing that you have to be in shape for this event, getting people to sponsor you, and the desire to finish the race well will keep you motivated to stay consistent with your diet and exercise routines!!

So…SIT DOWN NOW AND WRITE DOWN YOUR SHORT & LONG TERM GOALS, STAY CONSISTENT, STAY HEALTHY!!

Yours Truly,
Nat

Key Diet Tip to Drop the Excess Fat & Maintain Weight Loss!

YOU MUST FOLLOW A HEALTHY AND CONSISTENT DIET IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE WEIGHT LOSS!
No matter how much you workout, if you eat junk food, processed food, fast food, etc. overall foods that are nutritionally deficient…you will have trouble meeting your fitness goals!!!!

I tell my clients over and over again in order to keep it embedded in their brain and always on their mind.
    “Watch what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat!!”

What You Eat: Each food/drink of every meal should be packed with nutrition! Many clients say they have a hard time meeting their daily caloric goal (ex. 1500 calories). The main reason is that they aren’t eating nutritious foods! Ensure that your meals are nutritious by following these easy steps.
1. Make each meal yourself! Don’t go to a fast food joint, deli, restaurant, carryout! Make your meals, bring them with you to work, bring them in a cooler if need be. You have no idea the ingredients that fast food and carry out restaurants put in their meals, and sometimes the workers at these joints don’t even know what is in the food themselves because it is highly processed! Processed food = nutritionally deficient food in almost all cases so PLEASE avoid it ALWAYS!
2. Each ingredient of your meal should be natural and unprocessed! When you are putting a meal together make sure each ingredient is beneficial to and needed by your body. 98% – 100% of the ingredients should be found in nature (fruits and veggies) and able to eat right from nature without processing. Think simple ingredients. If you can pick it from a tree or a crop than it is good. When we eat nutrient dense meals we feel more satisfied, our bodies function properly, and get our essential vitamins and minerals!
3. Correct Ratio of Macronutrients! 1-2 Part Fat, 2 -3 Part Protein, 2-3 Parts Carb. Watch your fat intake. No trans fats and avoid unhealthy saturated fats at all costs. Mono- and Poly-unsaturated fats are good. Your total calorie intake should be about 15-25% Fat daily. Lean Proteins like chicken breast, turkey and fish are great. Try and have a little protein in every meal if you are participating in heavy training, for moderate exercisers eat protein sources for key meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your total calorie intake should be about 30%-40% Protein depending on your training capacity. Now carbohydrate intake is important to make sure you have energy! BUT, you must eat the right carbs! Fruits and veggies should be your main source of carbs! Eat a few servings of grains per week (if lifting weights, you’ll need complex carbs to fuel your workouts, ex. oats or quinoa) to get carbs, such as brown rice or oatmeal (no processed carbs please!).
When You Eat: Eat 5 small meals daily. Eat about every 3 hours. Eat for what your activity level will be over the next 3 hours. Eat breakfast!!!! Eat no later than 7:30PM! Eat your heaviest and higher carb meal no less than 2-3 hours before a workout and make sure it is a LOW Glycemic Index meal. If you need energy before a workout eat something very small, low in protein and fat, and no less than 30 minutes pre-workout. Afte
r your workout try and eat a high protein, higher Glycemic index carb, low-no fat meal within 30-45 minutes. Eating every 3 hours will keep your insulin levels balanced and your body happy!
How Much You Eat: 5 SMALL meals. Make sure your meals are small! If you are trying to eat 1500 cals/day then divide that by 5 and you get 300. So each meal should be about 300 calories. You can increase or decrease your caloric intake at each meal depending on your activity level for the next 3 hours. Practice portion control, use smaller plates, make your meals before you are starving for food to avoid making too much and the “Eyes are bigger than your Stomach” syndrome.

Last, BUT NOT LEAST! YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR DIET!

When on a diet, most people have their “Off Day” in which they allow themselves to cheat a little…this is counterproductive if you binge on junk food or processed food. Your body will crave it the next day believe it or not, somewhat of a withdrawl effect. And once you dibble dabble and endulge in something unhealthy you will think, “Oh just one more piece of chocolate won’t hurt…”. Well, guess what, it will because you are enabling these bad habits again that you worked so hard to eliminate from your life. Don’t go all David Hasselhoff on your ‘Off Day’. Instead, have an “Off Day” but make that “Off Day” a day which you allow yourself to endulge in something healthy. Splurge and buy a lean cut of steak to cook for dinner, make yourself some homemade strawberry sorbet for a dessert, be creative but just remember to make sure whatever you endulge in is beneficial to and needed by your body!

Health & Wellness!
Nat

Soy & Estrogen & Weight Gain…Part 2

Please Read These Articles!

Take a few moments of your day to quickly read these short articles. I have been doing some research about estrogen levels and health problems including weight loss and thyroid problems and came across this very important information…it could save your life!

“Environmental Estrogens”:
http://www.energeticnutrition.com/vitalzym/xeno_phyto_estrogens.html

“PhytoEstrogen and Its Food Sources”:
www.dietaryfiberfood.com/phytoestrogen.php
“Estrogen Foods”:
http://www.endo-resolved.com/diet_phytoestrogens.html

Health & Happiness, Nat