Thursday, August 31, 2017

Chronic inflammation

Although acute inflammation is important and vital for our healing process, chronic inflammation might lead to a number of illnesses. However,chronic inflammation might cause diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, food intolerances, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease and in some cases even cancer. It also accelerates the aging process.
Processed food, sugar, hydrogenated and trans fats, stress, malnutrition, obesity, pollution, heavy metals and excessive exercise cause this extra inflammation in your body. However, there are a number of things you can do for your body that will decrease the inflammation through your nutrition. I wanted to give you some foods to add into your diet that will help decrease the amount of inflammation in your body.
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), which have powerful antioxidant properties. This delicious tropical fruit also contains protein-digesting enzymes papain and chymopapain, which help reduce inflammation.
Blueberries are incredibly rich in various phytonutrients (such as flavanols, anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids) that function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body.
Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable that contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients such as sulforaphane and kaempferol, which help relieve inflammation and oxidative stress, battle allergies and get rid of potentially carcinogenic compounds. It's also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
Ginger contains pharmacological properties of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It also contains antioxidant properties, which help protect your cells from inflammation.
Avocado contains various anti-inflammatory nutrients: phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants (including lutein, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, etc.), vitamins C and E, minerals such as manganese, selenium and zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and many other beneficial compounds to decrease inflammation in your body.
Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, and it has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin may relieve arthritis pains even better than some pharmaceuticals like hydrocortisone and Motrin, but with few or no side effects.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds found in nature.
Celery is a good source of cell-protecting antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese. It also contains various phenolic antioxidants, which provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
Start adding in these foods into your daily meals that will help you fight acute or chronic inflammation in your body.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to make training more effective!

Variety is the spice of life. Why wouldn't your training be treated the same way. Look around the gym next time you are there at all the people you have seen for YEARS there that look the same. Maybe they are faithful to the treadmill or a spin class every day which is amazing however, body composition hasn't changed even with the workouts they are doing daily.
Many clients I work with come from this mindset of training, If I overeat, I can train the next day and hopefully "burn" it off. Here is the problem with training the same way every day, your body is going to get used to it and then stop working as hard because it doesn't need to!
I have gotten stuck in this paradox before. It always seemed like I would get great results in the beginning and then the plateau would hit. It's frustrating and discouraging but there are many ways to go about fixing this issue. So why do we continue to do the same exercise and even more when we are not getting any better results and we also feel like a slave to it?
The first reason is because we tend to choose the devil we know over the devil we don’t. The mind is funny thing, we prefer to continue to doing something in the face of it not working, but that we’re comfortable with, then try something new that’s a little uncertain. Isn't that the truth? How many of you will continue to do the SAME thing over and over again expecting something different to happen? This plays into nutrition too. You don't want to change what you are eating or doing for your diet but you are not seeing any changes or results. What is stopping you? Most likely it's fear of what "might" go wrong, instead of the endless possibilities of what can go amazingly right!
The second reason is the calorie model of training / nutrition is so integrated deep into our mindset. Sure you might be on the treadmill for an hour but what were you doing? Were you mindlessly walking? Reading a magazine? OR, were you pushing the limits of your threshold and training for maximal effort? Which in that case, 1 hour wouldn't last. Thinking that all exercise is created equal is the first mistake that people make.More is not better, better is better.
So here is how to make training more effective:
-Short duration with increased intensity. A 60 minute workout can sometimes be the last thing on your mind after a busy day at work. So instead, maximize your training by doing a short but physically taxing workout.
-Eat protein. If you want to build lean muscle mass, make sure you are eating adequate amounts of protein. This can come from a variety of sources so get creative!
-Rest/ recovery is just as important as training. You place a stress on the body when you train. It causes inflammation to build up and your body needs the time to rest and repair to make you stronger. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep and implementing other stress-reducing activities (massage, hot baths, meditation, journaling, orgasm, reading, etc.) is important. Not to mention taking days off!
-Intensity is the key to your training. Make sure that you are working out with purpose. If you don't have a plan, I can create one for you to follow that will give you guidance and direction in the gym. In general, you want to think about intensity in two ways: level of breathlessness and level of muscular demand/exertion. You can reach muscle failure without getting breathless, and you can get out of breath without feeling any muscle exertion.
-Nutrition, yes nutrition is important ! Your diet (not meal-plan diet, but literally the way you eat) needs to support your movement. More intense exercise will require diligent repletion. Protein is important for muscle maintenance, but a full range of healthy fats and starches are needed to refuel, keep the metabolism at full responsiveness, and help with vitamin and mineral absorption.
-Train with weights and don't fear getting too big, because you won't.It doesn't matter if you are 15 or 70, weight training is important. You want to have progressive overload on your muscle in order to grow and create change. Building a base of strength primes neuromuscular movement patterns, changes the shape of the body and allows for you to add weight safely over time.Your body responds when you challenge it 
Use these tips to really amp up your training sessions. I am here to help guide you so feel free to ask any questions that you need help with !

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What I "wish" I knew before I started weight training!

There are some things I really wish I knew BEFORE I started to weight train.

All the days spent worrying how I looked should have been focused on how I performed.

I wish I learned the important lesson that food is fuel for muscles and to get stronger you need to eat more real food.

Carbs are NOT the devil, they are fuel for performance. If training better is a goal, moving more, feeling better and enjoying life, eat carbs to support training but not in excess.

Your extra body fat is actually doing you some good. Those squats need bracing from your core, your arms lift barbells over your head and your legs move you from one place to another. How can you not learn to love and appreciate what they do for you right now?

I wish I knew that you can't out train a bad diet just as much as you can't out train poor recovery. All the years spent with a do or die mindset set me up for some moments of failure and injury.

Missing a work out doesn't mean you failed. Same thing goes if you didn't do as well this week as you did last week. Learn to listen to your body and the cues that it's giving you so that you are a smarter athlete.

I wish people would understand how amazing and empowering it feels to hold a barbell on your back and squat.

I wish more women would stop wanting to be skinny and frail but would embrace your body for what it can do and all the amazing things it already does.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Protect your gut health !

For thousands of years, there have been traditional foods like fermented vegetables and cultured dairy that have been touted for their health benefits. One of those in the main stream being Kombucha. But one common healing food that is now being recognized for its incredible health benefits is bone broth.
I have been digging into the health benefits of bone broth and started supplementing with it this month. Let me show you some of the research that I found which lead me to want to take try this supplement.
Bone Broth benefits:
-Treat leaky gut syndrome
-Overcome food intolerances and allergies
-Improve joint health
-Reduce cellulite
-Boost immune system
Bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and they boost healing. The healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health are found in bone broth. Bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. They contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds know to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
By regularly drinking bone broth or using it in recipes, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation. Here are the six major bone broth benefits.
1. Protects Joints
2. Good for the Gut
3. Maintains Healthy Skin
4. Supports Immune System Function
5. Boosts Detoxification
6. Aids the Metabolism and Promotes Anabolism
Bone broth could be called “nature’s multivitamin.” It’s packed with over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health.
Keep in mind that most store-bought “stock and “broth” today aren’t “REAL.” Instead, companies use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup and sauce mixes. Also, manufacturers began using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor but in reality is a neurotoxin.
If you want real bone broth and real bone broth benefits, you can make it yourself at home or you can buy a supplement in a pill or powder form. It is recommended to have 8 oz of bone broth a day.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Simple 1 dish meal !

Looking for a quick and easy meal prep idea? One pan is all you need, talk about easy clean up:)
Enjoy a home-cooked meal with big flavors and little effort. What’s better than that?
Ingredients (serves 2):
2 chicken breasts
30ml lemon juice (~ 2 lemons)
20ml honey
1 tsp salt-reduced soy sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ lemon, sliced
Vegetables:
3-4 baby potatoes, quartered
½ tbsp olive oil
½ garlic clove, crushed
8 cherry tomatoes
120g (~20) green beans, trimmed
How to:
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking pan with baking paper.
2. Lightly spray the lined tray with oil spray and arrange the chicken in the middle of the baking tray. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, garlic, half of the parsley, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour three quarters of the mixture over the chicken and arrange the sliced lemon over the top.
4. For the vegetables, whisk the oil and garlic together in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and tomatoes and toss gently to combine, ensuring that they are lightly coated in the oil and garlic.
5. Arrange the potato and tomatoes in a single layer around the chicken and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and, using tongs, turn the chicken and potatoes over. Add the beans and pour over the remaining lemon and honey mixture. Return the baking tray to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the vegetables are cooked.
6. To serve, sprinkle over the remaining parsley. Enjoy!
If you want to make substitutions, go for it. Make this meals something you LOVE. Don't like tomatoes, swap that out for something you enjoy! Have fun with your food !!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Find your vision!

Recently I have been trying to dig deeper into my own vision. One thing that has been helping me is using quotes or positive words of affirmation ( Thanks MOM for the daily texts) that guide my purpose. It's important to understand that your energy needs to be created. If you stress, stress will grow. If you are happy, excited and willing to be open minded, opportunities happen.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
Your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.
- This one is the first one that I have been working on diligently. Yes, this is also hard for me to put into practice because in our society we are so focused on impressing others. Being healthy is about FEELING good, not what the scale says or what you "think" you should look like! Our bodies are all different, and there is beauty in these differences! Don’t focus on what the scale says. Focus on feeling your absolute best. Move because you love it. Eat food to nourish your body not feed the palate.

Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.
-Motivation is great to get you started, at some point, it can fade. Building healthy habits means you have something to fall back on when your motivation disappears after a tough day. You put on your workout clothes and train because it’s habit! Create a daily schedule for yourself and make it part of your normal routine. You don't need a 2 hour workout every day to be successful. You just need to get in there daily and do something that puts habit into practice.

The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
-You should constantly be trying to get better daily for yourself. You do not need to impress anyone else, nor do you need to try to be "something" to fit in. Believe me when I say I did this and it was not a good plan. Find the passion within yourself to work hard at things you love for you. As long as you know you are giving your best effort that is what truly matters the most.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
-BUILD YOUR TRIBE. I can't say this enough. You need to build a group of people around you that support what you are doing. It's so important to surround yourself with those that build you up and do not drag you down. You should find people who know MORE than you and learn from them. We all have amazing things to offer in this world. Find those that mesh with your values and build something great together.

What are your favorite quotes and why do you love them?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Why do you need structure with how you eat?

Did you know that in a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that among 1,700 people in a weight-loss program, those who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.

Do you track your food intake?Journaling your foods can be beneficial for more than weight loss. It’s also a common tool used to identify food allergies and gastrointestinal problems, missing food groups and lack of nutrients. If you feel that you have some issues with certain foods. tracking how you feel and how your body responds to them can help you identify what is not working in your diet.

I know that I have found out a lot about myself when tracking food. Things like cabbage, carrots, and wheat are problems for my digestive system. I have also found out that certain brands of granola, dairy and yogurts are not ok while others are. This is because I am assessing how I feel, look and respond to eating them.

Here are some of my tips for food journaling:
1.) Download an app to track your food intake. I like using MyFitnessPal because its Free and you can easily track your food on there as well as have a coach be able to see what you are eating. For me as a macro coach, I do frequent checkins with my clients by looking at the food quality and I can help with minor hiccups along the way.
2.) Tracking your food brings out the honesty ( or not so honest) you. If you nibble you track it which might seem like a pain but in the long run you might have been "nibbling" your way to extra calories that you didn't even realize you were doing.
3.) Be consistent. You are only as good as the food you measure and track. If you are "eye balling" your food intake you are just guessing your results. Be strategic about what you are doing and it will have a precise outcome.
4.) add the extras. Noting your mood, time, location and who you’re eating with can help you discover triggers and influences, such as eating when you’re stressed or certain friends who tend to encourage unhealthful choices.
By using these tips and tricks you can have your sense of control over your food intake. The more you know about your body and yourself the better you can manipulate and change your behaviors to match your goals.

I am always available to all of you for macro coaching and training programming. All it takes is the simple decision to commit !

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Intermittent Fasting 101

Intermittent fasting has been a HOT topic recently and I have gotten a lot of questions about it. I wanted to try to help you understand what intermittent fasting ( IF) is and how it works. I always want you to be informed first to be able to make the best decision for yourself.

So let me start with these 2 questions:
What is Intermittent Fasting and Why Would You Do It?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it's a pattern of eating. It's a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat. The main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. I mean why else would you try a new "diet"?

How does it work? 

There are two states that your body goes into, fed and fasted. Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it's very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that time span, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.

Benefits of IF

-Makes your day more simple. You are not thinking about when your next meal is. You simply just wait until your window of fasting is up and you start eating. There is less planning, less stress and less cooking lol !
-Easier than traditional dieting. The reason is because you don't change what you are going to eat. So this means the diets that make you go low carb, low fat, or whatever restrictions that diet places on you are harder to stick with long term.

Different ways to fast
-16:8
This involves daily fasting for 16 hours. Sometimes this is also referred to as an 8-hour eating ‘window’. You eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Generally, this is done daily or almost daily.
-20:4
This involves a 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast. For example, you might eat between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm every day and fast for the other 20 hours. Generally, this would involve eating either one meal or two smaller meals within this period.
-5:2 fast
Dr. Michael Mosley popularized this variation in his book ‘The Fast Diet’. This involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. However, on these two fasting days, it is permitted to eat 500 calories on each day. These calories can be consumed at any time during the day – either spread throughout the day, or as a single meal.
Who should NOT fast?
You should not fast if you are:
Underweight (BMI < 18.5)
Pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your child.
Breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child.
A child under 18 – you need extra nutrients to grow.
Like always, this is just an information related post. Please always consult with a professional if you are seeking a new dietary habit. Make sure that you understand and that you are fully aware of what goes into fasting and this dieting protocol before you begin.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Make recovery a priority !

We all know diet and training are important, but did you know that recovery is just as if not MORE important?

Here are some simple tips/reminders to help ensure you're recovering properly from your training. If you train your butt off, be sure you're doing what it takes outside of the gym to match your hard work inside the gym.

Sleep enough
-Sleep is important for recovery in so many ways. When you sleep your body is recovering from your day, stress, and training. When sleep is not optimal, neither is your training or your daily energy. When you are tired, your body searches for energy and will crave food for fuel. Ever wonder why you are hungry for carbs when you are tired? Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.

Eat ENOUGH
-Did you know many people are under eating? Yes UNDER eating. It sounds funny when you think about it and when I talk to many women we look at your food journal. The biggest issue I see is a lack of calories in which your metabolism adapted to the low caloric intake and stops reducing fat loss. This is the opposite of what many people want to happen. If you are training make sure you are eating enough carbs to refuel your muscles.

Don't over train
-There is a thing called too much of a good thing. Anything that is in excess is not balanced. If you are over training you are not allowing your body to recover optimally. If you are seeing symptoms of over training such as lack of energy during daily activities, insomnia, depression, anxiety or lack of motivation to train, you might be under recovering. Try to scale back on training and increase your food intake !

Do things that you enjoy
-Get out of the gym and PLAY. I can't express this enough that getting out of the gym and playing is a great way to deload your body and mind !

Friday, August 18, 2017

What "diet" are you on?

What diet are you on? Seems like a legit question these days with so many people wanting to lose weight or change their body composition goals. Every day you hear of a new diet that just came out on your Facebook news feed. The truth is this, you need to choose a nutritional program that YOU can follow and remain consistent with.
Invest LESS in these:
-Fad Diet
-Quick fix
-Extreme methods
-Strict food selections
-Program hopping
Invest MORE in these:
-Consistency
-Health Habits
-Eating healthy /whole foods
-Managing stress
-Focusing on the process
-Exercise daily
However if you want some information about the different diets that are out there, I want to give you the most education for you to make a good decision for your own life!
Paleo
-The paleo diet is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by our ancestors. This would include primarily meat, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Dairy, grains and processed foods do not have a place in this dietary protocol.
-Paleo was a diet to help cure auto-immune diseases, regulate blood sugar, and reduce inflammatory markers in the body. In these arenas, it had, and continues to have great success.
-One issue with Paleo is that food quantity is not addressed. It is more about sticking within the food guidelines and not so much counting or measuring. This can get very difficult when trying to increase performance or change body composition!
Keto Diet
-A ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb diet that leaves your body in a state of ketosis where the liver produces ketone bodies to be used as energy.
-The very low carb nature of the diet has shown tremendous benefit in helping to create weight loss, fighting diabetes, and even promote longevity via decreased inflammation.
- An attempt at using a keto diet in exercise using the glycolytic pathway (CrossFit) will leave a client with suboptimal performance, and in the longer term can cause a host of hormonal and metabolic issues.
Macros/ Flexible Diet
-Flexible dieting is built on the principle that what you eat is not nearly as important as how much you eat.
-This method referred to as “if it fits your macros” or “the macros diet,” this method involves figuring out the optimal number of calories and subsequently the correct composition of those calories to provide the individual with the desired physical changes.
-One major flaw is the issue of using processed foods as a primarily source of fuel vs. eating healthy foods that are not processed in nature. The other downside is actually tracking your food intake daily which for some can develop obsessive thoughts.
IF you can see the trend, any diet protocol is about the same thing, calorie control. Whether you are actively counting your food intake or you are eliminating food groups, essentially you are controlling your intake. With that said, choosing your approach will come down to you and your goals. Depending on what you want to accomplish and what you can maintain in your lifestyle, should be the correct approach for you to take!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why you should think about tracking your food!

Even if you are eating healthy, you can still gain weight. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. It can be frustrating because you may feel like you’re doing everything right but not seeing the results you want and expect. I see this all the time when working with clients, They are eating all healthy foods like lean meats, whole foods, veggies, fruits and fats so what is going wrong?
There are so many "diet" ideas out there, I can't blame you for not knowing what to do. I even get confused and frustrated when I feel like I am doing everything right. Yet, there are some key little things that add up over time that are holding you back.
Do you know what the number one issue is? Not tracking calories or what you are eating. It’s easy to overeat indulgent foods and snack foods since they have an addictive quality; they’re comforting and taste so good that it’s difficult to limit yourself. These foods are calorie-dense, so you’d have to eat a lot before actually feeling full adding hundreds of calories to your day without realizing it. One of the biggest offenders, trail mix/ dried fruits and nuts.
When you start eating healthier, it’s common to replace junk foods with nuts, nut butters, granola, grain crackers, and healthier dessert options. Although these foods can still be healthy, they’re calorie dense and can sabotage your weight management efforts.
Along with this issue is the problem if not balancing out your protein, carbs and fats. Having too many fats even healthy ones at every single meal can slow your weight-loss progress. Why?
Fats have 9 calories per gram which is 5 more than eating proteins and carbs. The best thing you can do is learn what your body works well with. Some people can tolerate more fats than others while some people can eat A LOT of carbs and nothing happens. How do you find this out? Trial and error !
Volume eating is my trick! Shhhhh, yes it's the secret to feeling full even when in a deficit. The key is to add volume veggies like zucchini, cucumber, spinach and other water based veggies with half your plate. The fiber and water content will fill you up while other more satiating components like fat, carbohydrates, and protein will help you feel satisfied.
The last thing to consider is eliminating processed foods and eating more whole foods that are not processed. Common examples are protein bars, trail mix, granola, pre-made hummus, breads, and baked goods. It’s best to make your own whenever possible because that way, you can control not only the quality of ingredients but the proportions.
Eating healthy can help you lose weight, maintain your ideal weight, and improve your overall health and well-being. But to be successful with it long-term, balance is just as important. Balance is the trick to consistently eating healthy without depriving yourself of the foods you love.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cardio or weights? Which is better for the body you want!

Do you think cardio is the best way to lose weight and get the tight and toned body you are looking for ? You might want to rethink that for a second and read the rest of this. I too fell into the cardio harder trap. I thought if I just did hours of cardio ( talk about wasting a WHOLE lot of time) that my body would look the way I desired. Well it didn't and in fact it took me farther away from what i truly wanted!

Cardio is a great way to supplement your training but it shouldn't be the basis of your training program. Check out all the other cool things you can be doing instead of cardio that will get your workout in faster and will get you closer to the body you desire!

#1 Calories in vs. calories out is the key to weight loss. However, your diet is the foundation before any type of training is even factored in. If you are eating right for your body then adding in exercise, you will see results. You can't out train a bad diet!

#2 Muscle burns more calories at rest. Weight training or resistance training is important to your lean muscle gains. A 30-minute jog will net you about 200 calories burned. A workout of the same duration centered around resistance training, while burning fewer calories in the moment, will ultimately have more of an impact. Adding more muscle to your frame means increasing your caloric expenditure throughout the day, even at rest.

#3 Endless cardio makes you HANGRY ~ yes hungry and angry. If you are constantly burning your carbs you will be hungrier than usual and trying to fight that urge is hard. Especially when people have the mindset of "I earned it" after a hard workout. Don't forget that maintaining the same energy balance on the tough workout days and non workout days are equally important. You don't want to have a killer workout then take a nap midday because you are still negating those efforts.

#4 Physical activity is everywhere so take advantage of it. Park farther from your work place. Take a midday lunch walk. Even get up and deliver a message vs. email. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), are all the things we do daily that are movement but not classified as exercise.

if your goal is to lose some pounds, you might want to think twice before increasing your cardio. Instead, try adding some weight training to your fitness regime,clean up your diet and consider your all-day activity levels a very important part of the overall equation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Detoxes are NOT necessary, here's why!

What happens when your body is just not working as properly as it should? Maybe it's over a holiday weekend and you are bloated from all the foods that your not used to. Or maybe you are starting a new "nutrition" program and you want to start nice and fresh. With the popularity of juice cleanses on the market and the enticing idea of losing 10 pounds in 7 days who wouldn't jump on that opportunity?
Bottom Line: You shouldn’t detox and here is why !
Wondering why detoxes seem to work? Well, if it’s an empty bowel and weight loss you’re after a super low calorie diet mixed with laxatives will temporarily do the trick. You’ll never be able to sustain the “detox” diet long-term so once you go back to your regular routine, you gain the weight back and then feel blah all over again!
Instead, try this! Learn how to eat for your metabolism and take in just the right amount of calories for your body. Primarily choose high quality, nutrient rich foods. Consistently eat clean foods and you won’t have to even worry about “detoxing.” FYI: your liver really does take care of you. You’re best detox defense is a good offense. Don’t eat the garbage, chemicals, preservatives, sugar, and dyes to begin with.
Here are natural ways to cleanse your body.
Eat green leafy veggies often because they are your most natural multi-vitamin. Green veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals, specifically iron and folate, which help to build the immune system and are great body cleansers.
Increase your fiber intake daily. Most people are not eating enough fiber. You should be consuming around 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Having regular bowel movements is also important to consider. Part of the reason you are bloated may simply be because your body is not releasing the toxins that are built up.
Avoid any unnatural, processed sugars at all costs. For sweetness, stick to fruits, sweeter vegetables, and other natural sources like honey, agave nectar and coconut sugar. All that artificial stuff will just leave you feeling run-down, bloated and sluggish. Artificial sugars are hidden into things especially when it comes to "protein bars", zero calorie drinks and fake foods that have no nutritional value.
Movement is key !Sweating is the body’s way of removing toxins. Along with cooling the body down, the sweat we produce has lots of toxins and salts we don’t need to hold onto. Plus, movement helps improve your metabolism and can help you be regular in the bathroom !
Heed my advice and you will not have to buy into those fake cleanses that make you starve yourself for 4 days in order to feel "cleaned out". Instead, you should just eat right and exercise. Sounds like a lot of the same things I preach daily !

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fitness tips to jump start your week!

Did you know that 80% of Americans who HAVE a gym membership don't use it 


I have some fitness tips for you that you might not know or think of when you are starting your weight loss journey ! So let's get started :


-Muscle and fat weigh the same BUT they do not take up the same space in your body. Muscle is a lot more condense than fat. In my personal experience, if people are not losing weight on the scale but losing inches all over, that is the better path to be on than just weight loss.


-Eating more to lose more is one concept that I know many people struggle with. You may think eating a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels is a good idea but it’s more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial Always think quality first. Ask yourself if this food you are consuming is giving you nutrients vs. comfort.


-Drink water! A lot of water in fact, because it helps you to look smaller and will decrease bloating. So many clients I speak with limit water intake on days they want to look smaller but they could just be dehydrating themselves and appear puffy.


-You can't outsmart your body. Once you are getting comfortable with your training or nutrition your body adapts to that. What happens next is that you don't burn as many calories as before to do the same amount of workload. You need to always be changing things up from increasing intensity or making sure you are not sitting in a plateau for your nutrition.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Life Update- What is really going on?

Hello and thank you for reading my blog!

I am going to totally work on being more "lifestyle" and a healthy mix of education mixed in. A lot and I mean A LOT has been changing over the past few months. I want to always be super transparent with how things are really going because sometimes I do feel that being completely vulnerable is a great way for me to connect to many of you!


Let's talk struggle. Yes I struggle just like I know we ALL struggle with certain aspects in our life. For me, the place I struggle have been really apparent the past few months. I have been going through a lot of soul searching and re-prioritizing my life ( in a good way) of what I truly value. For the longest time, probably the past 8-10 years, I have been chasing this perfection in everything I do. Basically living in the EXTREME and it's time for a big change.

This is the question that I have been trying to ask myself this past month, who am I ? What impact and value do I want to share with the world to make a small difference in someone's life? I needed to step back and identify this and boy did I get a rude awakening when I did.

In the fitness industry, you are constantly trying to improve. Whether that is knowledge on nutrition which I've invested time and money into to learn to be a better coach for my clients. Obtaining more certifications to better educate any fitness related goal my clients have or simply just doing endless amounts of research on nutrition, fitness trends, and health related content that comes out. Truly this is my passion but to what extent is is "healthy"?

I took fitness to a new level when I competed in shows. Chasing this idea of perfection which had an underlying issue that I was constantly hiding which is my eating disorder. Doing shows was a way to be able to control my exercise (excessive that is) control my food ( limit intake) for a "purpose" that way people see it as a "goal" not a "problem".  Who was I kidding in that time that people saw it as dedication yet I saw it as validation of living life in an extreme for the sole purpose of dieting because I wanted to be skinny. Little did I know that post show life is way harder than doing a show and you can't stay stage lean for long. So I shifted gears to CrossFit to put on size, which gave me an excuse to feel validated for gaining some weight back ( weight that was necessary).


Moving into CrossFit, again the "extreme" mentality kicks in and I found myself training for hours on end. Let's face it, CrossFit has many holes in your training and a lot of things to get better at so I found it necessary to try to be the best. You see I have an issue with not being the best at something especially when I am a coach or trainer because you want to prove you are worthy of teaching others by being good at what you do. I wish I understood that this didn't matter yet, you live and learn.

Ok moving forward, when I figured out that being the best wasn't going to be an option and weight was creeping up, once again I turned to a show prep to try to give myself reason to diet but also an excuse to be "ok" at CF and not the best. You see the cycle happening again, yet this time my body was just in too much stress that dieting worked AGAINST me and it just didn't work. Why? Because when you are constantly living in an extreme your body revolts against you and nothing works.

Oh so when that didn't work, I moved onto Powerlifting. Yup, you see this change in gears to "gain weight" be strong with reason to be. So here we go again, trying to prove myself to others in gaining validation to fit in into something and BAM..... injury happens. This is the most injured that I have been in my whole fitness career and let me say it was a blessing. Herniated disc and partial tear in my pirifomis muscle ( glutes) has me not training legs AT ALL. Nope nothing.

So here is where I am at today. Looking back on my fitness career, unsatisfied because I was only trying to "fit in" instead of finding what really makes me happy. Helping people is a passion and I am lucky enough to be working with Jason Phillips Nutrition and all the coaches and mentors who are there for support along the way to make me better as a coach. But what really makes me happy? Did chasing perfection really make me happy? No, because I limited my life. Did living in an extreme make me happy ? No, I pushed away many opportunities to do dedicate to prepping for a show that I had blinders on. Now what?

TIME TO GET HEALTHY ! Yes, for as much as I preach health, I was not healthy. Was I taking care of my body? No. My mind? No. My passion? No. So what really makes me happy? Living a life of balance and free from extreme thinking. Being injured gave me time to think about what I value. I am no longer going to chase perfection. I want to live  a healthy and balanced life. I want to dig deeper into my craft for nutrition, education, and helping others live a healthy lifestyle in the process. I am allowed to be validated with the knowledge and credentials I have to provide value to others. Education and learning are two things that make me happy. So now I am dedicating myself to really doing research to help others.



Moving forward my goals are the following:

1.) Live a balanced life out of extreme thinking
2.) Eat healthy without restrictions
3.) Exercise to be healthy not punishment or to "be something"
4.) Challenge your mind to yoga once a week
5.) Continue to help others with training and nutrition to create healthy habits for others.




Friday, August 11, 2017

Is diet soda really bad for you ?

Is diet soda really bad for you?

MOST IMPORTANT -anyone who says diet soda is 100% safe OR 100% unsafe is full of marshmallows. Truth is, research is still preliminary & as of right now we don't know what the long-term effects will be. It could be 100% totally fine (which is what current research points to) but it could also not be. Be open minded to the various possibilities & let the best, science based data tell us what's actually going on.
Diet soda might have some positive things going on:

-There are currently ZERO human studies showing an increased risk of cancer.
-There is NO research that diet soda will make you gain weight or hold onto fat.
-Diet soda cannot trick your brain into thinking that it craves sugar.
-it may decrease your hunger but that's largely due to the fluid & carbonation, not because of anything special with diet soda.


On the negative side for diet soda:
-Research is fairly new so we don't know the long term effects of drinking diet soda.
-It can cause headaches
-It can stain your teeth
-Can cause you to feel hungrier than usual due to lack of nutrients.
With anything that doesn't have a lot of research, you should take that into your own research. No one can make the decisions for you when it comes to your health. Learn to take the time to research for your own knowledge.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to spot a weight loss "scam" !

How to spot a fat loss scam.Truth is, there's a whole lot of good in the fitness industry. A ton of amazing coaches and people who truly have your best interest at heart and want nothing more than to help you succeed. However on the flip side there are also a whole lot of people wanting to make a quick buck off of those who feel "desperate" to make a change in their lifestyle.
Here's what's important to remember - the "best" way to eat or exercise doesn't sound amazing or fantastical or sexy or unique or special. The "best" way to lose fat is simple, straightforward, basic, and practical.
**To lose weight: Eat REAL food, in the right quantities, mostly plant based. Add in physical activity on most days of the week for 30-60 min of moderate intensity.
^^^^^^^^ That is your secret ! ^^^^^^^^^
So why is it so hard ? It's not easy,fat loss is a challenging process but it is simple. And anyone who makes you think it's outrageously complex but their "amazing product" will make it fast and glamorous...is probably trying to wrap their fingers around your cash. I have seen this time and time again!
Your best bet? Trust your gut. If it sounds too good to be true it is. And when in doubt, get help from someone who proves they have your best interest at heart. Did they take the time to talk to you personally? Did they assess your current situation and what you are doing now? Are they making sure the program will fit your lifestyle? If not, they are handing you a cookie cutter plan that everyone will get in exchange for $$$.
Here are some catchphrases to keep an eye out for and then avoid :
-Fast, Easy, Effortless
-30 days or less
-New and Revolutionized Secret formula
-Trick your metabolism
-Eat whatever you want and lose weight
-Cutting out food groups
Don't be fooled by the above words. Losing weight takes time and effort. If you want to get more information on how you can lose weight the right way and keep it off, let's talk! Contact me today for nutrition/ training consults that will get you the body you want with hard work and effort put forth!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Is bloating normal?

Is bloating normal?
You can work extremely hard day after day towards getting a flat and defined stomach, yet that look can be completely erased when a small amount of bloating takes place. Learning what causes you to bloat and then taking steps to control this is one of the best ways to battle bloating.
First off ask yourself this, when did you have your last bowel movement? This is one of the major issues when bloating occurs. Your body needs to help release those toxins and have proper bowel movements. How can you increase this? Increase your fiber intake. If you are not eating enough fibrous veggies you might not be allowing your body to pass all the waste through.
You should be taking in about 25-30 grams of fiber intake a day from whole natural foods. The best foods are leafy greens,fruit and even some flax seed to your diet. If you are still having some issues add in a fiber supplement at night before you go to bed will help you with getting your body into a regular bowel routine.
Too much fiber is also a problem! Have you check the back of some of those pre-packeaged protein bars? Some of them have 13 grams of fiber in this little serving. Your body will not be able to break that down in the proper way which can cause bloating and gas.
Soda and artificial sweeteners are two bit culprits of gas and bloating. Diet soda is something that many people indulge in because it's sweet and virtually calorie free, right ? Well no, just because it contains no calories does not mean it will have no impact on how your body handles it. The carbonation in diet soda often causes bloating or what I call "bubble gut" when you drink it almost immediately. Remember to consider any products that may have additional added sweeteners as well such as chewing gum, hard candies, flavored water beverages, and any sweet tasting products that are referred to as being 'low carb'. The chances are high that they've had sweeteners added to them.
Finally, the last way to help beat the bloat is to add more activity to your day. Those who are exercising on a regular basis will help reduce the amount of water retention they experience and salt will be lost through the process of sweating.Bloating can be a very frustrating thing if you are experiencing it and don't know the cause. In a matter of an hour it can seem to undo all the hard work you've put in at the gym and soon your pants aren't even fitting right. Take some time and try to identify what causes issues with your own body. Know what works and doesn't work for your body!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Why should you incorporate strength training ?

Strength is the foundation that all other qualities of fitness are built on. It’s your most powerful tool. Far too often I hear women who don't want to strength train in fear they will become bulky and "look" like a bodybuilder. That is one very false misconception because the female body doesn't have enough testosterone to increase muscle mass like a male unless supplements are taken for the specific reason of gaining muscle.

With every client I meet, I do preach the benefits of strength training that go far beyond cosmetics. You should be performing some type of strength training routine at least 3 times a week for overall muscular development which will make your daily living easier.

Here’s why it’s so integral to every part of your performance, looks and well being.
-Strength training can help combat aging. A lack of strength and muscle mass has a direct correlation to early mortality. By becoming physically stronger you are increasing your metabolic rate and helps to prevent injury. It may even help to reverse conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Plus you will have the strength to do the things in life that for some is a huge struggle, like getting up from a chair or carrying in your groceries.
-As you age your posture and movement start to become stagnant. Do you notice how our jobs are from a chair that we barely move from, then get into a car to sit down again and home to eat/ watch TV, relax and go to bed? Not a whole lot is done standing or moving which leads to atrophy of those muscles. It's important to be strengthening your core and posterior chain to keep your body strong to be able to move efficiently.
-Notice that you are tripping over things more often? Getting older means you are not as agile as you once were. This means you need to work on your coordination just as much as getting stronger. With weight training you develop a cognitive awareness of things around you and how your body works as a whole. Strength training with compound movements improve coordination, stability, power, strength, and speed.

If you still need some convincing, strength training makes you more confident and helps give you shape that you are looking for !

Monday, August 7, 2017

Meatless sources of protein!

Sometimes your body might feel the need for a little less meat and more veggies. I have hit this stump in my nutrition that feels that way. I am a meat eater and recently have been doing a lot of research on digestion especially with having a gluten intolerance / sensitivity. With all these "diets" out there, it's hard to find one that suits your needs unless you try it. However, many diets are meat focused for protein sources.

Knowing that meat isn't a grain but the animal might have been consuming grains as part of their diet, I have been trying to add in more veggies that are higher in protein sources, wild caught fish, healthy fats from oils, seeds, and nuts plus adding in some greek yogurt.

There is not a one size fits all approach to your nutrition. You can and should experiment often with your diet to see what really fits your personal needs the best. I did some research on plant based foods to add in so I wanted to share!
-Chia seeds
They are packed with fiber, protein, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A, B, E and D, and minerals including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine. Just 2 tbsp of chia seeds packs 6g of protein, which you can mix into hot cereal or smoothies, stir into Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, add to baked goods, or sprinkle onto veggies or a salad for increased protein and omegas which are heart healthy.

-Ezekiel bread with sprout grains
This bread has 4-6g of protein per slice. Ezekiel bread contains no flour and is made up of a mixture of grains and legumes, namely: organic wheat, millet, barley, soybeans and lentils (all sprouted). The sprouting process enhances the nutrient value of the grains, making the vitamins and minerals more easily digestible. It's kept frozen and that is where you can find it in your grocery store.

-Chickpeas
They contain about 6g of protein per ½ cup serving. They’re also rich in dietary fiber and the mineral manganese, which helps with the development of bones and carries out chemical reactions important to your metabolism. They’re a great source of vegetarian protein and can help boost the overall protein content of most meals.

-Broccoli and asparagus
A single cup of asparagus contains 5g of protein and provides an excellent amount of potassium.Plus, it’s one of the top plant sources for vitamin K and is a natural diuretic. Broccoli has about 3g of protein per cup, which is not quite as much as asparagus, but it’s still a fibre-dense, micronutrient-rich veggie that has over 100% of your daily vitamin C and K needs.

If you are looking to sneak some of these into your meal plan, not only are you increasing your veggie consumption but you are also increasing your overall fiber intake that could be an issue in your digestion.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Take care of you mind and body!

If you eat right, workout out regularly and live a semi-healthy lifestyle there might be one thing missing in your life. What are you doing to protect your mind and soul from the outside life of disturbances? Meditation is one aspect that can be looked over quiet frequently because it doesn't seem necessary.
Your body is a temple and you treat it as such by fueling it with nutrition, keeping it strong and agile with exercise, and nurturing it with rest and serenity when it’s time to recharge. Many people think meditation is a practice used solely to still the mind.A better way to think of it is as exercise for the mind, body, emotions and nervous system. Not all meditation practices are equal. In fact, there are many types of meditation that offer different benefits. The key is to pick the form of meditation that creates the results you seek.
There are meditation practices that are great for moving from a fear-based emotional state to a love-based state like love, joy or compassion, anchoring love-based experiences so they are more prevalent in your day-to-day life. Some forms can significantly decrease stress and anxiety, while others help create emotional stability.Other meditation practices have been shown to have a physical, epigenetic benefit by turning on the genes for disease prevention and turning off the genes for disease causation. Some meditation practices have even been shown to reduce symptoms of breathing disorders such as asthma and shortness of breath.
Meditation can be categorized in five ways: mindfulness, mantra, breathing, awareness and moving meditation.
-Mindfulness meditation techniques are used to train the mind and emotion to work on your behalf.
-Mantra meditation — in which you recite a phrase over and over to help still and focus the mind — also can be effective in activating or inducing higher states of experience such as a deep sense of peace or relaxation.
-There are a family of breathing techniques that can produce shifts in the body, oxygenate the system, and diminish or eliminate disorders tied to stress and anxiety.
- Awareness meditation is a form of meditation in which a practitioner will engage in different mental focus techniques or other strategies designed to create greater personal awareness.
-Moving meditation techniques include practices such as qigong and tai chi in which you combine movement and breathing in a specific way to train the nervous system, relax the body and induce a state of well-being.
Think of a meditation practice as though you were going to start an eating plan or exercise regimen.Consistency is key, but if you miss a session, just pick it back up without being hard on yourself. If you do it at the same time and in the same place every day, the nervous system actually activates in anticipation and facilitates a deeper mediation. Similarly, if you go to the gym on a consistent basis, your body and mind prepares themselves in response to being in the gym.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

10 Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery Shopping Quick Tips !


If you are like me, grocery shopping is more stressful than ANYTHING in this world. Which is why I have my hubby do it and well it saves me my sanity 
A lot of you have questions and ask me about all the confusing labels on packaging like, “all natural,” “whole grain,” “low fat” and “organic.” Below I wrote some simple tips for you to follow when grocery shopping to make sure you stay on track with your goals!

#1- Create a grocery list BEFORE you go based on your meal plan for the week. If you are not already planning in advanced what you are going to eat, this is where you might be making that small mistake of buying whatever looks good. Be focused and go in for what you need.

#2 -Only allow yourself 15 minutes max to grocery shop! I know it sounds funny, but the quicker you shop, the less likely you are to browse and be tempted to just meander the isle and look at the foods that appear to be good vs. foods that you need for your meal prep.

#3- Read the food labels and pay attention to a few key things:
Avoid the following:
-high-fructose corn syrup
-"enriched" anything
-hydrogenated oils

#4- Pay attention to the ingredient list. Did you know they put them on there from the most used ingredient to the least used. So if one of the first ingredients is sugar, brown rice syrup, enriched flour, etc, it’s not the best option. I don’t care if the package says “All Natural,” “Organic” or “Low Fat”!

#5- Make sure you buy healthy fat options like coconut oil, almond or nut butter, and avocados.

#6- Stick to the perimeter of the store. All the good for you food is on the end where it is perishable and in coolers. Avoid the dessert, candy, alcohol and snack aisles if you can! Ice cream and cookies will NOT help you toward your goals. Get in and get out!

#7- If you can, stick to fresh, grass-fed, hormone-free, uncooked, organic meat over anything pre-packaged in order to avoid excess salt and fillers. When in doubt, check the ingredients!

#8- For carbs, stick to old-fashioned oats, not the pre-packaged kind with sugar. ** Pro tip- portion them out into individual bags if you like that convenience ! Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, cream of rice and bananas are also great! Don't forget that fruit and veggies are carbs too! Stock up on fresh fruit that is in season to snack on or carrots for that crunch!

#9- If you want to get organic fruits, be sure to check out the dirty dozen and clean 15 list. Some are not worth buying the organic version because you are peeling off the harsh layer.
https://draxe.com/dirty-dozen/ <--- see link

#10- take a photo of your cart and send it to your trainer ! LOL yup I have clients do this all the time. If you didn't want me to see it then it shouldn't be in there in the first place. Keep yourself accountable. Make sure you have a lot of fresh foods, a lot of colors and plenty of healthy options to eat for the week!