Fat Busting Recipes

Don't Believe These Three Supplement Myths

Don’t Believe These Three Supplement Myths

If you could live a longer, healthier life by taking a small pill each day, you’d do it wouldn’t you? You’d be crazy not to! So with this fact in mind, the incredible growth of dietary supplements makes sense. An estimate of one out of every three Americans currently takes some sort of nutritional supplement each day. According to government statistics, more than $11 billion is spent each year on vitamins and minerals in the U.S. alone!

health and nutritionThis extreme interest in health and nutrition is, unfortunately, fueled by false advertisement. The Internet, television, and product labels make claims not backed by science, fooling millions and reaping a sizable paycheck. Furthermore, in America, Food and Drug Administration regulates supplements the same way that foods are, not as if they are medications. Thus, supplement manufacturers aren’t required to back their claims by science.

In your quest for fitness, don’t be fooled by these three myths surrounding the use of nutritional supplements.

Myth #1: “More Is Better”

health and nutritionIf vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and herbs are good for you and available over the counter, they must be safe to take in high doses, right? Science has proven otherwise. You feel a cold coming on so you pop the vitamin C pills and lozenges to ward it off, but too much of certain vitamins and minerals can be dangerous. For example, when you overdose on vitamin C, your body loses its ability to absorb copper; too much phosphorous and your body can’t absorb enough calcium; vitamins A, D, and K can build up to toxic levels when large doses are taken; too much vitamin A will put you at risk for osteoporosis; vitamin E may increase your risk of stroke; and iron your risk of heart disease. And you thought those supplements came with no risks.

When choosing a multivitamin and other supplement, look for ones that contain no more than 100 percent of each ingredient and be careful of combining a multivitamin with another vitamin supplement.

Myth #2: “A Supplement Will Make Up for My Unhealthy Diet”

Hate vegetables? Drink too much caffeine? Like to skip breakfast? Well, be wary of relying solely on supplements to make up for your nutritional deficiencies. Your body is better able to absorb nutrients from real food. So supplements should only be taken as icing on your healthy cake. Besides, relying on supplements to fill in nutritional gaps can put you at risk for the overdosing dangers mentioned above.

With a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, you’ve got little room for the need of supplements. Eating a healthy well-rounded diet will also provide millions of phytonutrients unavailable in supplement form. It also helps your supplements be more effective when you do take them, as supplements are made less effective when taken on an empty stomach.

Myth #3: “I Can Trust the Claims of Supplement Labels”

Many supplement containers describe the health benefits their ingredients aim to provide. These range from increased vitality to improved disease immunity. Great as these claims may sound, there are no significant and proper research to back them up. They are, however, great marketing tools that will pull you in and trick you right out of your money.

It isn’t surprising that the claims of supplements aren’t proven by anything other than anecdotal evidence. Recently, independent research found that 30 percent of products labeled as multivitamins do not include the ingredients in the amounts listed on the labels and occasionally contain dangerous ingredients.

If you haven’t yet become one of my valued clients then now is the time! I’d like to show you how a consistent, challenging exercise program will dramatically transform your body – once and for all!

Call or email today to get started!

Reinvent Yourself
Recent advances in neuroimaging techniques have discredited the old saying, You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Scientists have discovered that the brain actually has dynamic properties throughout life. This means that your brain is always evolving. Through practice, you are able to change your habits and change yourself.

So go on, reinvent yourself!

Fast & Healthy Fish Tacos
Who said that fish tacos had to be fried? This refreshing recipe uses baked Cod and fresh coleslaw for that fish taco taste that is hard to beat. Need to fix dinner in a hurry? This recipe only takes 20 minutes.

Servings: 2

Here’s what you need…
health and nutrition1 pound Fresh Skinless Cod
1 Tablespoon Coconut oil
¼ teaspoon Cumin
⅛ teaspoon Garlic powder
½ cup Nonfat Plain Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Honey
3 cups Shredded Cabbage Mix
4 Whole Wheat Tortillas
Lime or Lemon to taste

Rinse fish and past dry with paper towels. Cut fish crosswise into ¾ inch slices. Place fish in single layer in greased shallow baking pan. Combine coconut oil, cumin, and garlic powder. Brush over fish. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 4 to 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Combine the yogurt, vinegar and honey. Place the cabbage in a medium sized bowl. Combine the yogurt mixture with the cabbage until well blended.

Spoon some of the coleslaw mixture into each tortilla; add fish slices. Squeeze fresh lime or lemon to taste. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 327 calories, 5g fat, 40g carbohydrate, and 26g protein.

Please decide

Please decide

If you’re like most people then reading this subject line was a little uncomfortable and you may have even experienced a bit of anxiety.

Make a decision? Do I have to?

We are forced to make decisions every day, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

When you stop to think about it, your life is the sum total of all the decisions that you’ve ever made up to this point. Your health, your mindset, your finances are all an outcome of your decisions.

Some decisions are so small that they seem insignificant…

…and other decisions weigh on you for days because you know that the outcome will change the course of your life.

You’ll wade through a myriad of trivial decisions today – ranging from the flavor of your coffee, to the gas you put into your car, to the food you put into your body. It’s easy to be fooled into believing that these have no real impact on the big picture – – but they do.

You’ll shift over to automatic while making your habitual decisions today – these ones no longer require a second thought since your preferences are defaulted.

The time you wake up each morning, the way you take your eggs, the frequency in which you exercise. Your habitual decisions play a huge part in determining major factors in your life, and these ones aren’t always easy to modify once the habit is in place.

We’re always making decisions…

Big ones like “should you marry him/her”, “should you have another child”, “Should you stick it out another year at that job”? Life changing decisions are certainly forks in the road that demand your full attention and analysis.

There’s a famous quote from General Norman Schwartzkopf: “A bad decision is better than no decision” which makes sense when you realize that indecision is a decision. It’s best to simply bite the bullet, choose a side, and stick with it (unless you realize you made the wrong decision lol).

You make a life changing decision when you chose to become fit.

So I want to help you with that…

I want to help you reach your goal in a big way.

And the fastest way I know for reaching a fitness goal is to begin a challenging and consistent exercise program, like the ones that I offer to my clients.

And that leads us to the decision that I want you to make today…

Will you reply to this email, call, or come in to sign up for my life-changing fitness program?

Spots are filling up quickly – decide now!

Only The Back Label Counts
Never, ever trust the claims on the front of a food package. Claims like: heart healthy, whole grains, or fiber-filled are often smoke and mirrors to prevent you from reading the actual ingredient list.

The real truth about a packaged food item is hidden in the ingredient list on the BACK label, not in the bold claims on the front.

Scan that ingredient list for high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils – if the food contains these items then put it back and choose something healthier.

Easy Turkey Kebabs
Fitness GoalHere’s a great recipe for a busy weeknight dinner. Ground turkey breast is mixed Mediterranean spices to create flavorful, protein-packed kebabs. Serve with salad and vegetables and a side of plain Greek yogurt.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey breast, de-boned, trimmed of skin and cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  1. In a food processor, blend the turkey strips until ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended.
  2. Pre-heat your grill or grill pan.
  3. Lightly grease your hands, then press the meat into the wooden skewers until it covers about 3-4 inches in an elongated meatball shape. If the meat is not sticking then add some more almond meal.
  4. Grill for about 8 minutes per side.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 254 calories, 8g fat, 156mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 47g protein

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Punch Something Hard

Punch Something Hard

You’ve probably heard of someone having one of those days where they want to go home and kick the dog and have understood exactly what they were talking about? You can workout at the gym to get some relief from the stress but when punch something hard, particularly if you put a mental image of that stress inducing person’s face on that surface, you’ll even feel better. It can help eliminate pent up feelings and anger that prevent you from being your best. While it’s an active option, it’s not a violent one, but you release all your violent feelings when you do.

Throw a punch at a bag not a person.

You’ll be amazed at just how good you feel putting all your power into a punch you throw at the bag. Pretending it’s a person that’s the center of your anger, your present situation or just hitting it to feel better. It’s anger management and anger release both at the same time. Your dog will feel safe when you get home. Your family will gladly welcome the happier, more relaxed person you’ve become.

Get fitter as you release that anger.

Learning to box away anger and throw a good punch has more benefits than just stress relief. It also helps you burn fat and strengthens your muscles. You’ll be amazed at how much confidence you gain if you’ve always been the smaller person others picked on or teased. Women, in particular, benefit from this type of exercise that gives them a feeling of empowerment.

Have more fun with your workout punching a bag hard.

If you’ve worked out for years and are tired of the same old calisthenics and body weight exercises, you’ll appreciate the change up that working out punching a bag can achieve. You’ll have more fun when you workout and that can be a super way to boost your motivation. Having more fun at a workout doesn’t have to be a motivation boost, it can be just what it is—more fun!

Build coordination by punching away at the bag. You’ll be amazed at how it improves your coordination. It’s like dancing, but with a great deal of vigor.

Heighten fat burning while you learn to throw a punch. This type of workout helps you burn more fat and that spells achieving goals faster.

You don’t have to be male or young to benefit from this type of exercise. Even if you’re an 80 year old woman, you’ll see fitness results you’ll appreciate while also building your feeling of confidence.

See the results you want from your fitness program without the boring repetitive types of workouts. You’ll have more fun and that means more motivation.

3 Healthy Summer Smoothies | Easy Recipes

3 Healthy Summer Smoothies | Easy Recipes

3 Healthy Summer Smoothies | Easy Recipes


It’s time to turn your healthy smoothie game up to 11. These fruit smoothie recipes will certainly tickle your taste buds and keep you cool this summer. In addition, making your own smoothie at home brings a certain satisfaction. When done right, they’re way healthier than ice cream, and when you take the first sip of divine nectar that you’ve concocted, you won’t be able to help but do a celebratory shoulder shake.


So, you’re going to need a blender. If you only have a food processor then that works too. Any time a smoothie recipe calls for bananas, using frozen ones you’ve stored into a sealed bag in the freezer will really add an element of cold, icy, deliciousness that unripe room temperature bananas CAN’T TOUCH. So yes, the next time you have a bunch of bananas that are brown and soft and frankly kind of ugly looking, peel those suckers and throw them in a bag in the freezer for your next smoothie. You’re welcome.


A note about sweetness: A lot of smoothie recipes call for adding brown sugar or another sweetener. News flash: FRUIT IS FULL OF NATURAL SUGARS and the USDA notes that bananas can contain anywhere from 9.91g to 18.59g of sugar. Remember the recommended amounts of sugar per day? [link to simple sugars article] The sugars in these smoothies count toward that number, so enjoy, but don’t go buck wild, sweets are treats, not staples.


So here are three solid smoothie recipes worth incorporating into your smoothie game:


Blueberry, green tea, banana


Serves: 1



  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 3/4 cup milk (almond, soy, rice—whatever you like)




  1. MICROWAVE water on high until steaming hot in a small bowl then add tea bag and allow to brew 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and stir honey into tea until it dissolves.
    2. COMBINE milk, banana, then berries in a blender.
    3. ADD tea then blend ingredients on highest setting until smooth. Stop then add some more milk or water. Stir with spoon and start again for a more liquified smoothie. Pour into glass and serve.

This recipe adapted from:




Banana ginger


Serves: 1



  • 1 cup milk (almond, soy, rice, coconut—whatever you prefer)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated




  1. COMBINE all the ingredients in a blender, blend on high until smooth.
  2. ENJOY and shoulder shake until your heart’s content.


This recipe adapted from:



Pineapple and banana with kale


Serves 1:



  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup stemmed and chopped kale




  1. COMBINE all the ingredients in a blender then puree until smooth and add small amounts of water if it’s too thick for your liking. Continue to blend until the consistency looks right for you.


This recipe adapted from:


So now you’re ready to throw down like a healthy smoothie BOSS. After all, you might as well spread the love, school your friends and family on how to make a healthy smoothie so they don’t have to settle for subpar fruit mush.



Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

3 Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Keep Your Body Going Throughout the Week

Portrait Of Happy Young Man Having Healthy BreakfastThere’s no escaping this simple truth: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breaking the fast after you sleep is an actual thing that you need to do. The Harvard School of Public Health did a study that showed when men skip breakfast over an extended period of time, their risk of coronary heart disease increases by 27%. So there’s that. And ladies, you’re not off the hook. We’re all human and the biological effects of running on empty are the same for you. When bodies are deprived of energy (nutritious and delicious food), they tend to react. Hence, may result in spikes in blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, and diabetes.

Feeling lost and without any ideas? Don’t fret. We’ve gotch you. Here are three solid breakfast ideas to carry you through your week.

Quinoa Oatmeal

Check out a recipe and excellent argument for starting your day off right, compliments of Thug Kitchen.


There’s numerous benefits of eating yogurt, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, and weight loss for women. Of course, we’re talking about simple, healthy yogurt (milk and two live bacterial cultures–Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus), which can be distinguished from the hundreds of junk food yogurts on the market by the fact that its ingredient list is free from added sugars, extra toppings, and artificial sweeteners.  Here’s one recipe for a walnut yogurt parfait. The key with parfaits is to use fruits and nuts that you like, and go easy on the store bought granola—there’s excessive amounts of sugar in that stuff. Make a batch of homemade granola on Sunday evening and use it all week. You have permission to get creatively healthy when using any of these recipes; reduce the amount of brown sugar by half; use slivered almonds if cashews are your thing.

Breakfast Sandwich

Woman With Tasty Fast FoodIf you’re an egg lover, check out these eight breakfast sandwich recipes. And like we said earlier, don’t be a zombie when it comes to using recipes. Use breads you know aren’t loaded with sugar, weird preservatives, and unpronounceable ingredients. Adapt recipes to your preferences (less salt, more herbs, etc.) and be mindful not to overdo it, especially if you have trouble controlling your total LDL cholesterol. Stick to using the white of the egg if that’s the case. Research suggests that eating up to one egg a day does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals.

We hope you feel like we’ve pointed you in the right direction for some healthy breakfast options so your body doesn’t end up running on fumes!

For more recipes and the health benefits of eggs according to science go here: https://www.jenreviews.com/eggs/

The Fat You Want And The Fat You Don’t

The Fat You Want And The Fat You Don’t

fatAll fats are not created equal, which is why we hate to see them all swept into the corner, labeled “bad” and dismissed faster than it took Game of Thrones’ Catelyn Stark to shun her husband’s bastard son, Jon Snow. Let’s play nice and take a closer look.

Unsaturated fats—the watcher on the walls

Like the Knight’s watch, these fats are looking out for you. They serve you by helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. In addition, they provide essential fatty acids, and fend off heart attacks and strokes by reducing bad cholesterol levels.       

Examples of Unsaturated fat

Monounsaturated fats

  • There’s less hype surrounding these unsaturated fats than their more complex counterpart (polyunsaturated fats), but they’re still important. Monounsaturated fats provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E (functions as an antioxidant and promotes cell signaling). Find monounsaturated fats in olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

Polyunsaturated fats

  • These fats provide nutrients that help develop and maintain the cells in your body. They have fats essential to you that your body can’t produce itself, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Your heart loves this type of polyunsaturated fat with all its … heart. Omega-3s are key in the production of hormones that relax artery walls and regulate inflammation and blood clotting. Omega-3s also help lower levels of lipoprotein (LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol). LDL likes to join with fats and other substances to clog up arteries, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Omega 3s are not down with that, and act accordingly, on behalf of your heart. Find omega-3s in bison and wild game that are range free and grass fed, salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, walnuts, butternuts and sunflower seeds.

  Omega-6 fatty acids

  • Found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, these fats help with brain function (who needs coffee when you have Omega-6?) and cell growth. The American Heart Association recommends people eat 5-10% of their daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids. Find omega-6 in sunflower oil, soybean oil, avocado oil, walnuts, safflower seeds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds and peanuts.

The University of Illinois Extension recommends an intake ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats of 2:1 to 4:1. Still, it’s important to know how much of each type of fat to eat daily. The Mayo Clinic provides this information in a user-friendly table.

Saturated fat and trans fat—White Walkers and wildlings that will mess you up

fatCommonly referred to as solid fats because they’re solid at room temperature, these frightening fats can wage war on your heart by infiltrating your bloodstream and clogging up your arteries.

  • Saturated fats

Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels in your body, specifically LDL, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Harvard Medical School notes, “A handful of recent reports have muddied the link between saturated fat and heart disease.

More analysis on Saturated fats

One meta-analysis of 21 studies said that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease”. Additionally they mention, “Two other major studies narrowed the prescription slightly, concluding that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils or high-fiber carbohydrates is the best bet for reducing the risk of heart disease, but replacing saturated fat with highly processed carbohydrates could do the opposite.” Beware, however, of processed vegetable oils and to not exceed the recommended ratios and daily intake of different types of fat.

More information to this regard are found in the sections that follow.

Saturated fats are in cows and poultry, full-fat dairy products, and many commercially prepared baked goods.

  • Trans fats
          Most of the trans fats we consume are a result of the food processing method called hydrogenation. All foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oils contain manufactured transaturated fats. According to the

Mayo Clinic

        , partially hydrogenated trans fats can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol).

Buyer beware:

In the United States food labels can state a food has 0 grams of trans fat if there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat in a serving. So, take a quick look at the ingredients; and if “partially hydrogenated” is anywhere to be seen, put the bag down and slowly back away. Those trace amounts of artificial trans fats add up fast.

Naturally-occurring trans fats (produced in the gut of some animals and found in foods made from said animals) show up in small amounts in milk and meat products. According to the American Heart Association, “There have not been sufficient studies to determine whether these naturally occurring trans fats have the same bad effects on cholesterol levels as trans fats that have been industrially manufactured.” Proceed with caution when it comes to trans fats. They’re dangerous and there’s still much more to learn.

Manufactured trans fats can be found in packaged foods with “partially hydrogenated” on the nutrition label (chips, cookies, frozen dinners, packaged pudding, nondairy creamers, etc.).They also may be found in anything fried (french fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, fried chicken, donuts, etc.), margarine, shortening, ice cream, microwave popcorn, and processed meat sticks (beef jerky), to name a few food sources.

How our bodies create and burn fat—the struggle is real in Westeros

You know the story. Winter is coming. Your body wants to keep warm and insulated. Depending on what and how much you’re eating, your body may produce and store fat. If how stuff works interest you, read this very detailed description of how the human body breaks down foods and stores fat. On the other hand, if your brain doesn’t feel like burning all those calories to read an entire article, just know that eating things the body has trouble breaking down (unnatural or highly processed items that somehow pass as “food”) and eating more than needed to keep your body functioning are two powerful opponents when it comes to maintaining a healthy body fat percentage.

Over winter and ready to shed an extra layer of fat? Burning fat requires not only keeping an eye on what you’re eating. But also making sure you’re exercising so your body uses up the energy stored in that unwanted fat. Again, for you information hungry hounds, here is a complete explanation of how we burn fat.

Tips to win the battle and achieve a healthy balance

fatAccording to Sports Nutrition, Second Edition, the recommendation for females is to maintain 16-30% body fat and males maintain 11-20%. And if you’re an athlete, depending on your sport of choice, recommended body fat percentages range from 5-20% for males and 10-28% for females. Take a look at this chart to see percentages broken down by sport.

Since fat plays a key role in keeping you energized and insulated (without it you’d have no core body temperature and your vital organs would be vulnerable to outside impact), it’s important to maintain enough of it to stay healthy. Dropping below the recommended range is dangerous for these reasons, as is exceeding the high end of the scale. If you’re hauling around too much body fat, your risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and certain cancers increases.

To keep your body balanced with the ideal amount of fat, take Michael Pollan’s advice:

  • Eat food.
  • Not too
  • Mostly plants.

We’d add…and exercise regularly. Especially if you have some extra fat that you’d like to say goodbye to. Go ahead, send it north of the Wall!

Tracking Your Health and Fitness with Game-Changing Gadgets

Tracking Your Health and Fitness with Game-Changing Gadgets

Health and FitnessSo think about this: For many years, the only way to track your workout performance and food intake was to manually look up information such as how many calories there are in a medium-size pomegranate and how many calories you burned chasing your freakishly quick Lhasa Apso down the street. Then you had to write everything in a log. The process was time-consuming and tedious, to say the least. But, there were always the strong at heart that would try diligently; until, of course, their mind would inevitably numb before their second set of squats and the logging would end.

Today, things are different, even game-changing. Now, there are various gadgets for tracking our workouts, calorie intake, calorie expenditure, heart rate and so much more. These tools are simple to use and engaging. In fact, currently, one of the tougher parts of logging is deciding which gadget to use and for what purpose. Below are some insights and links that will make this easier for you.

Purpose of Tracking Your Food Intake and Fitness
The short end of it is this: When you track your exercise and food intake, then you’re better able to achieve your health and fitness goals. When you don’t do the tracking, well, you’re less likely to get the results you want.

Health and FitnessBodybuilding states that keeping a training journal is the boost elite athletes have over Mr. Wannabe in the gym. Think about how elite athletes have to train to perform better than their competition. Their tracking of what they do is no less intentional and rigorous.

Lucky for you, you can do similar tracking ultra-simply and with “gamification” perks that can keep you entertained. Many of the latest gadgets now let you add friends and family and create groups. You can then compete with whom you choose to see who gets the most exercise done in a given period or stays true to a particular diet. It may not be the same thrill an Olympian gets from winning the Olympics, but it probably beats the usual humdrum competitions of trying to bump someone out of line for a buffet or stealthily dashing to the favored La-Z-Boy before a family member does. These gadget “gamification” components are not only an incredible way to keep your mind from going numb, but also to keep you in the game of fitness!

But we digress …

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)writing down every single bite that goes into your mouth and in your body gives you lots to consider. Below are some of the benefits of logging your food intake whether you use a journal, digital wristband, techie headgear, food-monitoring fork or Techno sport bottle.

Logging your food intake…
• helps you establish an ongoing log of your eating habits; thus it helps you reflect on what you have eaten, as well as when and where. Over a course of a week or a month, you can begin tracking habits and rituals hidden in your eating behaviors;
• reveals your emotions or thoughts during eating — albeit, you may be startled by what these actually look like when you are killing a large Chicago pizza or list end indulging in a triple-chocolate, dulce de leche cheesecake — yes, the whole thing, not slices;
• provides you an awareness of food transgressions, as if you weren’t somewhat aware of them already. These are harder to ignore, however, when you take the time to acknowledge them.

The benefits of an exercise log are similar. Every time you log your exercise progress, such as the number of miles jogged in a day, minutes spent spinning in class, or set and reps completed in a strength training session, you make your exercise routine official.

Here are some specifics to record with your daily fitness log:
• Exercises performed
• Sets, repetitions and weights used
• Length of the workout including your intensity
• Personal comments regarding the success of the workout (e.g., mood or muscle soreness)
• Where you worked out
• What time you worked out (i.e., Was this your normal time?)

Health and FitnessSpending thousands of dollars on a health gadget that simulates your blood pressure and heart rate on different planets with a gravity adjustment setting may seem perfectly reasonable to you. Make sure, though, you plant your feet on the ground first and remind yourself of what you are trying to accomplish. Technology is just a tool.

Choosing the right tool can
• make your tracking more engaging, thereby increasing your use of it;
• help you more accurately track what you are doing with your health and fitness;
• facilitate your communication with those who are supporting your fitness goals such as your doctors and trainers; and
• assist you in making better decisions on how to reach your personal health and fitness goals by providing you useful information and actionable insights.

Gadgets to Track Your Food Intake and Fitness

Gadgets to track your food intake
Using gadgets to track your food intake makes the process of documenting your food intake so fast and easy that you have zero excuses for not keeping a daily food log. In your quest to monitor your eating habits consider
• investing in the HAPIfork, a $70 investment that monitors every morsel that you eat;
•for the gym, purchasing a new beverage bottle called the Umoro One, which lets you shake things up without needing to carry your water or protein powder separately; or
• utilizing daily food logs, such as this one from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that can be printed or used digitally.

There are also apps such as MyFitnessPal, Lose it! or Fitness Buddy that you may like. These apps can help you record
• foods you eat including meals, snacks and beverages;
• times you eat, especially those times that are out of sync with meal times;
• calorie and fat counts for the foods you consume;
• your vitamin and mineral intakes; and
• more.

Seriously, how can you not be amped by how easy technology makes all this?

Gadgets to track your fitness
The following fitness gadgets will help you in your personal battle of the bulge; or if you have won that battle and you are looking to conquer new territories, these gadgets can assist you in reaching your ideal body composition:
• Fitbit
• Amiigo Fitness Bracelet
• Jawbone Up
• Spree Headband
• Nike+ Runner
• Apple Watch

If you want to go old school to record the food you’ve eaten and the calories you’ve burned because pushing a pencil is part of your workout
to burn calories, you might prefer this printable workout log.

Whatever method you choose, logging and reviewing your health and fitness routines will allow you to be more purposeful and effective in reaching your health and fitness goals; and it will empower you to live a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Time for the Skinny on Weight-Loss Programs

Time for the Skinny on Weight-Loss Programs

Slap on a patch, take a pill or go under the knife. These days, people want an easy, instant fix to their weight gain. While gaining weight creates all sorts of health problems, what the snake oil people are willing to take to make the weight go away is outrageous. Along those lines are the bevy of weight loss programs being touted by everyone from self-professed weight loss gurus, such as Robert Atkins or Elizabeth Gibaud, to celebrities like Beyonce and the Master Cleanse and Madonna with the infamous “air diet,” reported by US News and World Report. But could it be possible that uber popular weight loss programs, like Jenny Craig or SlimFast, could actually work? Turns out, maybe. Then again, you could just eat clean and exercise for better results.

Study of the Efficacy of Commercial Weight-Loss Programs

According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the John Hopkins University of School of Medicine was host to a study by Dr. Kimberly A. Gudzune that found the answer to this age-old question. Of more than 10 programs scrutinized in this study, only two showed scientific evidence that they do the trick. For those dieters prescribed to Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, you stand the greatest chance of actually losing and maintaining long-term weight loss in comparison to other weight loss programs. Here’s the kicker, though. These results are only slightly better than what you would do if you were to follow your own diet.

Another concern of high-intensity weight loss programs including Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and NutriSystem is the work involved in maintaining the program. You are set up with a consultant who works with you one-on-one, for a fee, to set ongoing goals. You have to monitor your food and nutritional intake, such as through the insane Weight Watchers’ point system. With Weight Watchers you have to go into a public place and weigh yourself periodically. While Jenny Craig requires you to eat packaged, processed meals that, you guessed it, cost a pretty penny. There has to be a better weigh, ahem, way to deal with excessive weight.

Managing Weight Loss Effectively

If you are one of the millions of Americans who want to lose weight, feel better, look sexier and get healthier, there is a long-term solution. No, you won’t have to take a pill or stick on a weight loss patch. According to the Mayo Clinic the formula for weight loss is simple: eat fewer calories than you burn. It must be noted that there is, in fact, a Mayo Clinic Diet, which is an online diet subscription program that follows the high-intensity weight loss formulas of Jenny Craig and the other diet programs out there.

Weight LossThe problem is that this formula is much, much, much easier to read than implement. Thanks to food cravings, as noted by Active, you might be suffering from a magnesium deficiency, which makes you ready to kill for a nibble of chocolate, or an iron deficiency causing you to have red meat cravings of a lion. If you are a female, then you understand the monthly fluctuations of hormones including estrogen and serotonin that leave you lagging and with a lowered metabolism during your evolution phase. So what is the deal? How can you manage healthy weight loss?

Clean Eating Solution

One of the most effective methods for maintaining health while losing excess weight is via the clean eating method. As reported by Time Health, clean eating involves a set of principles:

  • Only eat whole foods. No more processed, packaged junk. This means no processed sugar cane turned into white powder; processed wheat transformed into sandwich slices; fruits squished until nothing remains but the liquid; and semolina pressed into tubular noodles. These foods are already broken down before you even chew them, creating an influx of simple carbs that cause your blood sugar to spike. Whole foods equal real foods in their natural form. These force your body to do the work of digestion, which keeps your system in check. Eat a balance of whole foods in every color of the rainbow to get a variety of minerals and vitamins.
  • Ingredients that don’t come directly from the ground or the earth’s waterways should be avoided like the plague. That means nothing scientifically concocted, no chemicals, no additives, no fillers, and certainly nothing artificial. If you can’t pronounce it, then you shouldn’t eat it. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
  • Going organic whenever possible to ensure the quality of whole foods is prescribed by clean foodies. However, those on a budget should worry more about the types of foods they are putting in their grocery cart and less about the organic sticker. Don’t let not being able to afford all things organic to dissuade you from eating conventional whole foods. Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to help you make cost effective, whole food decisions.
  • Do it yourself. That means making your own meals at home. Not only are you controlling the ingredients in your meals, but you are becoming more conscious of how you are treating your body.
  • You can’t eat every single food you see just because it’s clean. If you eat more calories than you use in a day, then you are going to gain flubber, plain and simple. You still need to maintain a balance of fewer calories in and more calories spent.

Healthy eating has a three-fold effect. When you eat healthy foods, you feel better on the inside, your skin glows on the outside, and your mood is boost causing your personality to sparkle. If you want to make the most of your health, skip the costly consequences of depending on pop culture weight loss programs. Fad diets fade. Stick with something that will keep you healthy, happy and in peak performance. By choosing the clean eating method you are eating real foods, not worrying about counting calories, and fueling your body with what you should eat.

Exercising for a Cleaner You

In addition to eating clean, take on a regular exercise routine. You will boost your happy hormones, aka endorphins, while reducing cortisol, that hormone causing your midsection’s spare tire. Exercise will also help you lose weight naturally by amping up the amount of energy you are spending each day. With a well regimented exercise plan combined with clean eating you can withstand long-term weight loss without having to depend on someone named Jenny C. or counting points on packaged foods.

What You Need to Know About Low Testosterone

What You Need to Know About Low Testosterone

Here’s the truth about testosterone: low testosterone (low-T) is a very real issue and common complaint of men. You may have heard this is something that happens to every man as he ages. But your lifestyle plays a role in the decline of testosterone. This puts some of the power of preventing low-T in your ball field. You have the power to change your lifestyle, which gives you some control over your naturally decreasing T-levels. Make a change in your life with these guidelines for asking the right questions about the diagnosis of low testosterone and for recognizing some of the major risks involved in prescribed testosterone therapy.

What Is Low Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone in males and females, but most associated with masculinity. It is the hormone that causes excessive body and facial hair, muscle development and the sex drive of men. The decrease in testosterone creates havoc for males and their masculinity. However, this is a natural part of life! According to the Mayo Clinic, testosterone levels begin to decline at a rate of 1% per year after age 30. This means you are going to have a more difficult time building and sustaining muscle mass. You may experience hair loss, and your sex drive is likely to decrease. The remedy for many males like yourself is to prescribe to testosterone therapy, but there are other remedies that you can take on yourself.

What to Think About Before Choosing Prescribed Testosterone Therapy?

low testosteroneThe quickest solution to the low-T debacle is the use of testosterone therapy. Doctors are readily prescribing meds containing synthetic testosterone as a way to boost the amount of testosterone in patients. However, the worry is that doctors are prescribing this therapy too easily and without asking the right questions. Before going to the doctor to inquire about low testosterone levels, you may want to ask yourself the following questions related to symptoms and causes of low-T:

How am I sleeping at night? Any unusual sleep patterns due to excessive fatigue or tiredness, which is a symptom of low testosterone? Low levels of testosterone can affect your sleep patterns, such as insomnia or sleep disturbances as noted by the Mayo Clinic.

Am I taking alternative medicines supposed to boost testosterone, but that may be stunting natural T production? For example, over-the-counter remedies supposed to boost your T-levels might be the cause of your low-T nightmare.

Am I experiencing a great deal of stress in my life? If your stress is manageable or a once-in-a-lifetime deal, such as due to the death of a loved one or retirement from your career, then once resolved your testosterone levels may return to normal.

How much do I exercise and at what level of activity each week? Low testosterone is related to loss of muscle mass and an increase in fatigue. So sudden drops in energy might be related to a decrease in testosterone.

What Are the Risks of Prescribed Testosterone Therapy?

Before you hop on board the testosterone treatment train, consider the risks to your overall health and well-being. If your testosterone levels are in a natural decline with no hope for rebounding, then sure, testosterone therapy could be a sound alternative. Otherwise, if your body is able to produce testosterone, but is currently in decline due to environment, stress or other repairable issues, you may want to avoid testosterone therapy. When your body receives synthetic testosterone supplements, always prepare for some risks, as noted by the National Institute of Health:
• Breast enlargement
• Water retention
• Decrease in good cholesterol (HDL)
• Increased red blood cell count, which can lead to blood clotting and/or stroke
• Sleep apnea issues
• Growth of the prostate gland

What Can You Do to Increase Testosterone Naturally?

Not sure if man boobs, high cholesterol or a swollen prostate is worth the risk as a result of testosterone therapy? Take proactive steps to get some of your testosterone back even if you are losing testosterone due to aging. Rather than getting a pill, cream or injection of this hormone, make long-term physical, environmental and emotional changes.
• In addition to using more natural products, make a note of chemicals reported to decrease testosterone, such as parabens or alternative medicines, and avoid these at all cost.
• Increase exercise levels to reduce fatigue and to build muscle tone in order to stimulate the natural production of testosterone.
• Consider a change of environment if you are working or living in a stressful situation. As stress is directly related to a decrease in testosterone production.

Finally, if you are considering testosterone therapy, first ask your doctor about what you can do on your own to improve your testosterone levels before getting on board with the use of synthetic testosterone.

Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet

Have a Paleo Dinner!In today’s post I am going to share with you the ins and outs of the Paleo diet. Then you can decide if it is for you.

Okay to start off with there is a lot to be said about the Paleo diet. Truth is, the lives of our caveman and cavewoman ancestors were much simpler. There is still much we can learn from the way they lived. Just look at the way they ate.  Truly it was a much healthier way of eating than the diet of most Westerners today. The Paleo diet is a simple diet that provides benefits for those that adhere to it. Let’s check out what it’s all about:

The Paleo diet is not overly complex because it comes from a time when food had pretty simple ingredients. Foods on the Paleo diet do not contain starches, or wheat products, or any man-made additives. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be able to pronounce any of them. The diet may be most known for its stance against processed foods, sugars, and food with gluten. This means no bread, or cake, or tortilla chips, or any products containing sugar or gluten found at grocery store.  Yep, and the difficulty is found in how good these foods taste. Many people love sandwiches with wheat bread and a side of tortilla chips, right?

Well, when it comes to having healthy digestion and overall physical performance and appearance, eliminating processed foods and gluten is the optimal way to eat. We will get into the specific health benefits shortly, as well as some gluten free alternatives you can enjoy.

The Paleo Diet card with beautiful dayDespite some no-nos, foods that can be eaten on the Paleo diet are voluminous and quite good in taste. Specifically, meat and seafood are staples of the paleo diet. From beef and chicken to salmon and crab, protein is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy body and those of the Paleolithic era knew this. Which is why they made these foods such an integral part of their diet. After all, they weren’t call hunter gatherers for nothing.

The Paleo Diet card with beautiful dayAnother staple in the paleo diet is healthy fats. Sources of these foods include some types of meat and seafood. But also nuts like almonds or cashews and other sources like coconut oil or avocado. These fats are crucial for sustainable energy for the body to use throughout the day. We will also get into that in more detail shortly.

And we couldn’t forget the nutrient super foods like vegetables and fruit. They are also vital parts of the paleo diet. To tie all of the various parts of the diet together let’s take a look at some of the health benefits.

Yes there are many health benefits to be had from eating food consistent with the paleo diet. And despite what some people say there is plenty of research to back up the claims.

For instance, one study published in Diabetologia in 2007, showed that people adhering to a paleo diet had better glucose tolerance than people eating a more Mediterranean type diet. Specifically, those on the diet had their blood glucose drop by 36% opposed to the other group who only saw a 7% reduction. Cool, eh?  Yep, but the health benefits didn’t stop there.

The study also found that the paleo participants also had substantial weight loss benefits from adhering to the diet. People on the paleo diet on average lost 11 pounds over the 12 week study. In addition, they saw an average of 2 inches in waist circumference reduction.

In another study from 2009 published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants using a hunter gatherer type diet saw even more improvements in their health. Specifically, they saw a 16 percent drop in total cholesterol and their diastolic blood pressure was reduced by 3.4 mmHg.

Meat And Vegetables On PlateAs seen in these studies, eating a paleo diet has a number of health benefits usually pertaining to blood pressure, blood sugar, weight loss, and cholesterol. But it is important to keep in mind that there are still more studies to be performed in order to examine and be conclusive about all of the health benefits of the paleo diet. For instance, one health benefit not specifically mentioned in the aforementioned studies is athletic performance.

Beyond the health benefits for the average non-exerciser, there are many health benefits for athletes and exercisers eating a paleo diet. Fact is, there are a growing number of these individuals who are experiencing increases in their athletic performance because of the way they eat. A number of athletes find that eliminating gluten from their diet allows their body to recover faster and perform better. This is likely because when gluten is digested it tends to set off an immune response within the body that can cause inflammation in muscles and joints that are used heavily in exercise and sports.

In this way some athletes and exercisers find that their body feels and performs better during physical activity. When it is given a paleo diet without gluten or other inflammation causing foods such as sugars and corn-based products.

Oh yeah sticking to the paleo diet is not for everyone. Some people prefer to have bread and other gluten containing products as a consistent part of their diet simply because they enjoy the taste. However, for those on the paleo diet that miss these types of foods; there are many alternatives such as gluten free bread, and even rice pasta. Many of these alternatives substitute foods like coconut flour and rice flour can be used in place of wheat flour. But even as is, there are a large number of people that the paleo diet works for. These people find that there are not only added health benefits from it. But they tend to also find that it allows their body to perform better during physical activity and feel better while doing so.

Before signing off, it is good to note that just because you decide to get on or stay on the paleo diet does not mean you have to use every ounce of your will power to do so. There are many paleo alternatives that can satisfy the same taste buds that a food not consistent with the diet normally would. And also, there is nothing wrong with “cheating” on the diet now and then. Just so long as you don’t go overboard and let it ruin the diet all together.  Yep like I tell all my Clients, “just get back up on the horse that brought you and ride again and you’ll be just fine.”

If you live or work in SW Houston then give me a call. I’ll hook you up with 4 free sessions to get you started on the path to longer healthier life: 832.500.5459.