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5 Top Fat Burning Foods List

The key to eating a healthy diet is fueling your body properly. There is a lot of research going on into new fat burning ingredients that can help you quickly burn calories and manage your weight.  

There are many ingredients you can find with the right research and if you use them correctly, you can be sure to utilize all of their possible health benefits.

Fat Burning Ingredients

#1 Green Tea

green tea

A great example of this would be green tea. It has gone from being an exotic beverage to being as popular as your household orange pekoe tea. The extract of green tea provides you with EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), caffeine and antioxidants that all do wonders for your body when combined properly.

The caffeine combined with the EGCG helps to boost your metabolism and process carbs. At the same time antioxidants help to flush toxins out of your body and create a more efficient immune system.

#2 Coconut oil

coconut_oil

Another great fat burning ingredient is coconut oil. Unlike other fats which contain long chain triglycerides, coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which have powerful effects on your metabolism

Several studies show that just by adding 2 tbsp of coconut oil to your daily diet you will expend an extra 120 calories per day, reduce your appetite therefore eating fewer calories automatically. and burn more fat specifically in your abdominal area.

#3 White Kidney Beans

kidney beans

Strange but practical, white kidney beans are another viable fat burning option. A typical downfall of eating carbohydrates is that they can send your blood sugar soaring.

When you have an excess of blood sugar or glucose, your body will convert it into fat. To slow down the process there are carbohydrate inhibitors that work by stopping the release of alpha-amylase (the enzyme that converts carbs into glucose). White kidney beans supply you with exactly that inhibitor. All natural and stimulant free, a placebo-controlled study of 60 people showed that those who were taking the inhibitor lost an average of 6.45 pounds in 30 days compared to the 1 pound over 30 days in the placebo takers.

Whole Grains

whole grains

The body uses twice as many calories breaking down whole grain foods versus their processed white counterparts. These include, whole grain pasta, rice, breads and cereals.

All of these ingredients are all natural and healthy, however, it is the overall diet that matters. These stimulants and fat burning molecules all can only be successful with your careful attention.

A key component of this would be the management of sugars in your body if you are not careful, the ingestion of excess sugar can lead to the body producing more fatty tissue.

Bottom line: eating whole grains will help you to burn fat but they must be eaten in moderation

 

Hot Peppers

hot peppers

Capsaicin, is the compound in peppers that gives them their heat, and it also heats up the body increasing calories burned.

 

How To Use These Fat Burning Ingredients

Following are a few creative ideas that you can apply to using these 5 great natural products.

1. Green Tea Iced Tea

The same way that you would make your average iced tea, you can substitute green tea instead of your regular Earl Grey. By combining some fruits into the process of creating the tea, you can infuse a variety of great and tasty flavors. Try it with a little bit of blueberry or go tropical with a mango and pineapple infusion!

2. Coconut Oil

 coconut oil substitution

Coconut oil can be added into your diet easily. You can cook with coconut oil. It has a higher smoke temperature so it holds up well to high heats therefore you can use it whenever you’re pan searing your meats. You can substitute coconut oil for butter in several baking recipes. You can put in the refrigerator and eat a solid scoop. It takes like a less sweet version of a Mounds bar. Or my personal favorite I add a scoop to my coffee every morning. You can’t even taste it.

Warning: Your lips will be a little greasy though lol

3. White Kidney Beans

 white bean chili

Add them to chili is the first choice. The beauty of it is minimal attention with maximum flavor. Use turkey instead of ground beef to make the chili even healthier. Also, chili is great for someone managing their diet for its ability to keep, as you could store food in the fridge or the freezer and take individual meals accordingly each time you need to. By infusing other healthy ingredients, such as, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and even carrots, you can add even more benefit to this already hearty meal.

  1. Whole Grains

There are many ways to use whole grains in cooking. Swap for white pasta in all your dishes, use brown rice instead of white in stir fry, side dishes and salads. Swap all your white breads, bagels, muffins and tortillas for the healthier whole grain options.

  1. Hot Peppers

Peppers are available in raw, cooked, dried, and powdered forms (cayenne). They can be added to eggs, stews, salads, meats, fish, poultry, sauces, stews and soups.

Find more fat burning foods, recipes, and substitutions here: www.Fit-and-Flavorful.com this book will change will transform your kitchen, your attitude towards dieting and your body for GOOD!

Healthy White Flour Substitutes

alternative flours

These days everyone is looking for easy ways to change their diet. One way to improve your diet is by pinpointing appropriate substitutions to use in foods you love.

One of the biggest misconceptions in our society’s diet is based upon the nutrition values of white flour. It is used in all types of recipes, breads, baking and gravies.

For example; people tend to have this allure to places that provide “healthy” sandwiches rather than your typical slice of pizza. When in actuality, it’s the density of the bread that can prove to make your meal even worse for you than what you may think.

White flour is high in carbs, has less nutrition than whole grain products, very fattening and harder for the body to digest. By using healthier flour choices you can avoid this unnecessary mess you are inadvertently creating for your body to handle.

Following are a few substitutions to white flour you can consider next time you are baking or cooking!

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a healthier choice than white and can be used as a substitute in baking and cooking.

Almond Flour

This is a great option for people following a gluten-free diet. Its density and ability to rise can make it a perfect substitute for most baked goods. It also has a fraction of carbohydrates as compared to white flour.

Ideal for pancakes, muffins or cookies; this substitute could be what you have always been looking for in regards to a healthy alternative to white flour.

The natural almond flavor helps to add sweetness to your recipe. This is something unique to almond flour and a great tool to keep in your pantry. Furthermore, if used in large quantity the flour can act like a cake batter and create a light cakelike consistency for you to work with.

Barley Flour

This type of flour is an exceptional tool for use in baking breads and for dough’s. It compliments other flours well and works in a way that it helps to create a more whole-wheat feel to any recipe. Also, it is ideal for thickening gravies and sweetening sauces.

A little added trick is to lightly toast the flour before use to accentuate the hidden flavors that barley flour secretly has. Also, if used in the right way, it can add a little sweetness to your recipe as well.

Buckwheat Flour

Despite the name, buckwheat flour is gluten free and wheat free. This makes it a good option for whole wheat substitutes. The thing that you need to watch out for in this product is its dense qualities and strong flavor.

This means it is great for use in products, such as, pancakes or pastas but you cannot use it as a thickener for a sauce because it will be too rich. Its earthy flavor can be good at times, but, can also overpower any good recipe, so try combining buckwheat with white flour in recipes.

Chickpea (Garbanzo) Flour

When it comes to gluten free substitutes, this is a common go to for vegans and those with Celiac disease.

This flour is high in protein and calcium which allows you to balance out your diet. Its uses are abundant, including, for crepes, flatbread or hummus.

coconut flour

Coconut Flour

I use coconut flour regularly in my cooking. It is low starch, gluten free, high fiber, and it is lighter than almond flour which makes it perfect for baking.

I must warn you that coconut flour can be a little on the dry side compared to other flours so you’re substituting it, you’ll need to make some adjustments.

When substituting coconut flour for all purpose or whole wheat flour, use the same amount of flour but add 1 extra egg (on top of what’s called for in the recipe) for every ounce of coconut flour. On average, 1/4 cup of coconut flour is equal to 1 ounce. It may seem like a lot but trust me the flour is very absorbent.

 

Oat Flour

This is probably your classic and most dependable option when it comes to healthy flour substitutes. Oat flour is all natural and helps to create a whole wheat product.

Depending on which company processes it, this product can be gluten-free or low-gluten. It is optimal for use in cookie and other baked goods recipes.

 

In summary, these are all great options for you to use as a substitute to white flour but it is important to remember that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

Unless you have Celiac disease, your body can naturally handle a bit of gluten on a regular basis, but, you should focus on the nutritional aspects of your diet if you are going to begin substituting for white flour. Remember, the key to being healthy is balance.

 

For more healthy meal substitutions make sure you check out my new book “The Fit and Flavorful Kitchen” at www.FitandFlavorful.gr8.com and download your FREE Beginners Guide to Clean Eating.

4 Common Mistakes with Back Exercises & How to Fix Them

bad form3

When it comes to back training you should know one thing, proper form is a MUST!

Too keep your back healthy and to get rid of the back fat you have to make sure that you always train with proper form.

 

If not, you will not work the intended muscles efficiently therefore you won’t build your back muscles.

In order to shed more light in this subject I’ve developed a list with the most common mistakes that many trainees do when they are executing back exercises.

Common Mistakes with Back Exercises & How to Fix Them

Rounding the back

bad form2

When it comes to back training, rounding of the spine is a mistake that you will see at many beginners from the gyms, mostly because they don’t know and understand the proper form of the exercise that they are doing.

Common exercises in which people round their back are: bent over rows, cable rows, wide arm rows, lat pull downs, deadlifts, back extensions and others.

In order to not round your back, keep your core contracted and the spine in a neutral position, also use a weight that will allow you to maintain this safe position while exercising.

Over extending the lower back

bad form 4

Over extending the lower back is another big mistake which people do often in a back training. This mistake is commonly done because people believe that by keeping the back in an over-extended position will help them to protect their spine, belief that is false!

In order for the spine to be safe, keep your torso in a neutral position and don’t flex or extend the spine while executing the exercise.

Using too heavy weights

Using too heavy weights will trigger many problems in a back training, for example it can make you round your back, over extend your lower back, involve too much the secondary muscles and many others.

Don’t be an ego lifter, use weights that you can control safely and with proper form. If you will follow this recommendation you will be free of any types of back injuries and you will also develop your back muscles optimally.

Overusing secondary muscles

Overusing the secondary muscles is another big mistake done by people when they are training their back muscles.

There are two main reasons because of which this happens:

  • People use weights which they can’t move only with their back muscles, because of this they involve muscles like biceps or rear deltoids to help them move the weight.
  • People are bouncing in the movements, mainly because they don’t know the proper form of the exercise and also because they don’t know which back muscles that exercise targets.

Keep in mind that in order to have a healthy back, you should never move the spine from the neutral position, because by moving it you will put it in an exposed position.

BACK FAT3

If you want to fix your form and get that sexy back in time for summer than join our Bye Bye Back Boobs Workout Challenge & Webinar. Click here for details

Top 5 Detox Waters

We all know that drinking water is good for us in fact it is recommended that we drink ATLEAST 64 oz of water per day. Some even recommend that you drink half of your body weight daily. Either way that’s A LOT of water especially if you prefer a little more flavor in your drinks.

Good news! Now you can give your water a flavor boost AND transform your water into a liver cleansing, tummy slimming detox! Adding certain ingredients to your water can give you an easy daily detox.

Check out this list of my Top 5 Detox Water Recipes:

#1 LEMON MINT CUCUMBER GINGER WATER

lemon cucumber water
This is my favorite of the detox waters. I drink this quite often and its probably the most popular I often see women in the gym with their water bottles filled with lemons & cucumbers. It has also been called “Skinny” water or “Flat Tummy” water because it naturally slims your physique by reducing bloat & removing toxins from your colon.

Lemons help to cleanse your blood, liver, alkalize your body and acts as a diuretic. Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar to your water, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion as well. Cucumbers are refreshing, they rehydrate and contain anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger helps cleanse out your system, aids in digestion, and settles your stomach.

Makes 1 gallon
• 3 quarts of water
• 2 to 3 lemons, thinly sliced
• 1 medium cucumber, preferably organic, thinly sliced
• 10 to 15 mint leaves. preferably organic
• Grate 1-2 tablespoons of ginger (more if you prefer the taste)

Rinse lemons and cucumbers before slicing; slice thinly. Add lemons, cucumber, and mint to pitcher. Cover with water and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight

#2 APPLE CINNAMON DETOX WATER

apple cinnamon detox water

Makes 1 pitcher
• 1 Fuji Apple
• 1 Cinnamon Stick, preferred (or tsp of ground cinnamon)
• Water
• Squeeze of lemon (to keep apples fresher)

Slice a fuji apple and toss the slices into the pitcher with the cinnamon stick. Cover with ice, then fill the pitcher with water and allow it to set in the fridge for 15 minutes before drinking.

Note: You can leave the same apple and cinnamon stick in the pitcher for up to three days while refilling the water.

#3 THE MASTER CLEANSE RECIPE

master cleanse

First let me say that I am not a fan of the “Master Cleanse” diet. Drinking a lemon water concoction only for days is FAR from healthy! You need a lot more nutrients than this water can supply BUT it is an excellent detox recipe and drinking a glass or two in addition to your normal diet is recommended.

The cayenne pepper not only gives the water a bit of a punch it also gives your metabolism a little boost. The pepper breaks up mucus and increases healthy blood flow. It also is a good source of B and C vitamins, commonly referred to as Super Vitamins due to their many benefits for the body.

Makes 1 serving:

• 2 Tablespoons of organic lemon Juice (about 1/2 a Lemon)
• 2 Tablespoons of Organic grade B maple syrup (not the commercial maple flavored syrup you use on pancakes)
• 1/10 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper powder
• Ten ounces of filtered water

Mixing teas and natural laxatives with the recipe can help flush your body of toxins as well. Just make sure It’s decaffeinated tea because caffeine can restrict blood vessels and we want to keep your body passages as open as possible.

#4 GRAPEFRUIT PEPPERMINT DETOX WATER

grapefruit water

If your goal is to shed a few pounds this may become your go to water! Due to grapefruits low calories, high nutrients, it has become a staple in so many diets. It has even been referred to as a “negative calorie” food which means it burns more calories than it actually contains.

Unfortunately I’m not a fan of the taste of grapefruit but adding the cucumbers and peppermint in this drink has made it one of my favs!

The Citrus fruit (Lemons, grapefruit and limes) helps detoxify the kidneys, and the lemon has antioxidant compounds called limonoids that activate detoxifying enzymes. Ginger not only aids in digestion (mentioned above) but it also improves circulation. Peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant and antimicrobial that eliminates germs in food and makes you feel fuller. So drinking this detox water about 10-20minutes before you eat will help reduce how much you eat!

Ingredients
• ½ gallon purified water
• ½ lemon, sliced
• ½ lime, sliced
• ½ grapefruit, sliced
• 1 cup cucumber, sliced
• 1 tsp ginger, sliced (add more if you like)
• A small handful of peppermint leaves

Instructions
1. In a large pitcher add all of your ingredients and give it a mix. Add some ice cubes if you like. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before drinking. Discard the water after 24 hours if you don’t drink it all.

Notes
Please be sure not to drink it after 24 hours, as the fruit tend to get soggy, strong tasting from the citrus.

Recipe from Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

#5 WATERMELON & MINT DETOX WATER

watermelon mint water

“Watermelon helps the body flush out toxins because it contains the organic compound citrulline, which is an amino acid that has been shown to help the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Ammonia comes in external forms, but is also a by-product of the proteins our bodies are burning up constantly for energy, and it’s quite damaging to our cells.” –Dawn @ BeautyFrosting

Makes 1 pitcher
• 1 ½ cups Watermelon Chunks
• ½ cup of Mint sprigs
• Water
Cut up fresh watermelon into chunks. Add mint sprigs. Fill up your pitcher or punchbowl with enough water to cover. Let set for at least an hour. Serve chilled

Also, don’t forget to get your copy of my Free E Book: A Beginners Guide to Clean Eating!—–>

P.S. We will be starting our 21 Day Detox Challenge next week! Check it out! Drop 10-21lbs in just 21 Days!

 

How to Detox

Most of us are hardly aware of the fact that we are breathing in toxins at every moment. Air and water pollution, nuclear power and radiation, pesticides etc regularly enter our bodies.  Hence the chronic diseases related to toxins like cardiac arrests, obesity, allergies, asthma, etc are on the rise. It has become very important for every individual to detox their entire bodies by maintaining a good lifestyle and choosing the healthier foods as much as possible. Although we cannot control our environment, we CAN control what foods we eat, our habits and our home environment.

 

Since Spring is approaching it is even more important to detox to help reduce the MISERABLE effects of Allergy season. Its also a great idea to detox NOW so that you drop a few pounds and you’re ready for the spaghetti straps and beach wear!!! No more hiding that jiggle with sweaters ;-)

spring allergies

To help you take the necessary steps to detox your body I’m going to be doing a “Detox Week” on both my Youtube page & here on my Blog! So look forward to several posts & videos regarding the Top 5 Detox Foods, Detox Wraps, Detox Foot Baths,  and much more!

 

Here is just a little tidbit of the information I plan to share:

 

Top 5 detox foods:

  1. Almonds—are high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove impurities from the bowels.
  2. Kale—contains powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that help cleanse the body of harmful substances. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal tract. Like cabbage, kale helps neutralize compounds found in cigarette smoke and contains a substance that jump-starts the liver’s production of cleansing enzymes.
  3. Lemons— are superb liver detoxifiers. In addition, they contain high amounts of vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make a substance called glutathione. Glutathione helps ensure that phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase 1, thereby reducing the likelihood of negative effects from environmental chemicals. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to ward off cancer, fight the effects of pollution and cell damage. Fresh lemon juice contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH levels.
  4. Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites, and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.
  5. Flaxseed One of my favorite “superfoods,” flaxseeds serve many purposes. When detoxifying your body, it’s essential to ensure toxins are eliminated properly. Ground flaxseeds provide a wonderful source of fiber that helps to bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They’re also a great source of health promoting omega 3 oils. Try consuming two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in lemon water every morning.

 

Detox Foot Bath

 

There are various ways to detox the body nowadays and besides cleansing the entire body inside out, Detoxing through your feet can be an effective and easy way to help cleanse your body of toxins that build up over time. Foot detoxification is considered by many to be one of the safest forms of detoxification. There are many types of foot detox procedures, including foot detox pads and detox foot spas, both homemade and electric; taking advantage of either of these methods can lead to a healthier life and a natural body cleanse.

detox foot bath

This week I’ll show you a home detox bath remedy!

 

Detox for Acne

 homemade detox facemask

The skin is the largest organ of the body and so detoxifying the skin is special ways to keep it healthy and acne free is a must especially for those who have acne-prone skin type. To reduce the appearances of acne always remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water but not the sodas or the fizz. Try to keep the colon and the liver free from impurities and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Use organic and natural products for nourishment and as healing masks.

 

This week will be making our own detox mask!

 

Detox off Sugar

Sugar is the new fat and is even more harmful than cocaine. Hence reduce the intake of sugary products especially the liquid calories and power up every meal with proteins that help to balance blood sugar and insulin. The best proteins are nuts, fish, chicken, grass-fed meat and also non-starchy vegetables like greens, kale, asparagus, mushrooms, green beans and include the healthy fats like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, omega 3, etc.

By following the few initial steps of detoxification, you can get a healthy body and glowing skin that will stay forever.

 

Be sure to subscribe now!

 

Also, don’t forget to get your copy of my Free E Book: A Beginners Guide to Clean Eating!

 

P.S. We will be starting our 21 Day Detox Challenge next week! Check it out!JENNY

5 Natural Metabolism Boosters

Don’t you just hate those people who seem like they can eat ANY & EVERYTHING and never gain a pound. Some people are just lucky that way good genes= high metabolism. Does this mean that people with slow metabolisms are doomed?

Absolutely Not just means it will take a little more effort. There are several factors that affect our metabolism: age (as we age our metabolism naturally slows down), hormones, size, medications, sex (due to higher muscle mass men naturally have higher metabolism than women)

So what is the metabolism definition anyway? Simply put it’s the amount of energy (calories) our body needs to function daily. 70% of those calories are your Resting Metabolic Rate that’s the calories you burn during basic functions such as breathing. 20% of your daily calories burned is a combination of your physical activity (exercising, sports, walking, even maintaining your posture) & the last 10% goes to your digestive system it’s the amount of calories used to digest your foods. As long as your calories burned equals more than what you consume (eat) then you’ll lose weight.

HERE ARE 5 NATURAL METABOLISM BOOSTERS TO ELP YOU BURN MORE THAN YOU CONSUME…

1. EAT. Food is fuel! We need food for energy & the mere act of digestion burns calories. You should eat small meals throughout the day at least 6 times a day. 3 larger meals no more than 400 calories each and several small snacks averaging 250 calories or less each. Skipping meals is the #1 worst thing you can do. When you skip meals your body goes into defense mode and begins to store fat in order to conserve energy for later.

It’s True!!! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The hormone cortisol is at its highest in the mornings. When cortisol levels are too high for too long it can cause brain cell damage, oxidative stress, and the dreaded abdominal fat. By eating about an hour after waking you will decrease your cortisol levels & give your body a metabolism kickstart.

It is also best to choose metabolism boosting foods that digest slowly such as lean proteins & high fiber foods which are great for sustained energy. Snack on healthy proteins such as low fat yogurt (preferably organic & greek), eat a handful of nuts daily when mixed with dried cranberries makes the perfect after workout snack.

Kickstart your weight loss efforts with our 21 Day Detox. You can even have us do all of the meal prep!

2. Get some rest. Sleep directly effects the balance between the metabolism hormone –leptin- which tells the body its full and –ghrelin-which signals hunger. When you are sleep deprived leptin levels are reduced and ghrelin levels increase therefore increasing your appetite.

An American Journal of Epidemiology study of over 68,000 women found that women who slept for less than 5 hours a night were 32% more likely to gain a significant amount of weight. The lowest risk factor was the group who slept 7-8hours per night.

You can also burn more calories at rest by doing some light –medium activity such as going for a walk or an hour of yoga before bed. Just make sure you do this at least 2-3hrs before bed so you don’t interrupt your rest.

3. Every little step counts. Move more=burn more. Burn more calories at your desk by sitting on a stability ball while at work, get up and stretch, walk around when on the phone, take the stairs, park further away so you have to walk further to get to work, and walk to your coworkers cubicle instead of calling.

4. Muscle the “Metabolism Miracle”. 1lb of Muscle can burn up to 9times as many calories as 1lb of fat. Muscle is the hard worker and fat is the lazy cousin. So increase your muscle mass and boost your metabolism.

Limit your cardio session to 30-45minutes. Doing long cardio routines will begin to use muscle as its main source of energy. You will burn more calories by doing short intervals such as varying hills & speed throughout the workout. You will burn more calories by splitting your routine into 2 20-30minute sessions which increases your EPOC (Excess-Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption) which is basically the calories you burn immediately following exercise. Your body must work hard to bring you back to homeostasis. The average person needs about 2-3hrs per week of strength training & 2-3 hrs of cardio.

GIVE YOUR METABOLISM A BOOST IN JUST 30 MINUTES!!! Try our Flat Belly Express Boot Camp for FREE! Promo Code: FREE

5.

Check your meds. Several medications such as birth control & anti-depressants can cause you to have a slow metabolism and if that’s not enough they increase your appetite. So if you think your medication may be the cause of your scale tipping ask your doctor about alternative treatments.

How to Get a Good Home Workout!

Running a business is like having 5 jobs in 1. I market, I sale, I instruct, I manage, I do it ALL! Then I had to the nerve to bring a baby into the mix lol. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my daughter and I love being a mom but let me tell you its not as easy to get in my workout as it used to be. When I was  instructing 2-3 fitness classes daily I couldn’t understand how my clients could say that they couldn’t make time for a 1hour routine but now I GET IT!!!! As someone who actually enjoys exercise I couldn’t understand how my clients could claim that they couldn’t motivate enough to get to the gym but now I GET IT!!!

Its much easier for me to workout at home I simply pop in a videos or I’m instructing one of my Live Webcam Class!

Its easy to get distracted, the kids interfere, you’re short on time, there isn’t enough space, etc. none of that is problem for me anymore. I’ve made it my mission to make fitness CONVENIENT! Here are few tips that I’ve come up with on my own journey to get the baby weight off at HOME:

1. Make Your Health a Priority: It is easy to think about ALL that you have to do with the kids, your spouse, the house, business and the first thing to get lost in the shuffle is your health. Think about it this way if you keep focusing on everything else but your body your body will take matters into its own hands. Now how are you going to take the kids to soccer practice if you can’t get out the bed.? Treat your body like the temple it is and you’ll be able to get A LOT more done.

2. Accountability: It’s easier to stay focused when you have someone to answer too. So grab a family member, neighbor, or friend to partner up with. Even if you guys can’t work out at the same times call each other regularly to check on each other’s progress, tell your social networks of your goals so they can check up on your progress, join Flat Belly Express I’ll personally evaluate your efforts. Even if you can’t make the live classes you’ll have access to videos and I check in regularly to make sure you’re doing them!

3. Timing: Working out first thing in the morning is always best if you can. Not only do you burn more fat first thing in the morning but you are more energized & it sets the tone for your day. Studies show that people who exercise in the morning tend to make healthier dietary choices throughout the day. It may be difficult to start because it is difficult to get out of the bed BUT once it becomes a habit you’ll be fine. Another benefit is that if you have a family a lot of times if you exercise early the rest of the family is sleep.

4. Plan for distractions: First things first don’t let the distractions frustrate you. Many of us will quit after they get interrupted or if the kids are in the way but all you have to do is plan. I know my godson & my dog are going to want to run the stairs with me so I put my dog in the crate until I finish my run then let him out. I play games with him so he doesn’t run the stairs but when I get to the top I have to catch him before he gets to the room. It encourages me to sprint, keeps him entertained & I’m still working out. Instead of shutting the kids out of your workout it’s a great idea to make it a family effort. Try using the Wii or Xbox, going for family bike rides, and walks. Check out this workout I do with the kids.

5. Limited Time: If you don’t have a full hour to workout don’t worry… something is better than nothing. DO WHAT YOU CAN!!! If all you have is 15 minutes then squeeze in 15 minutes. If you have limited time try to choose a workout using High Intensity Interval Training which means immediately following a strength exercise such as push ups do mountain climbers or plank jacks. The goal here is to keep your heart rate up throughout the entire workout so that you gain strength & cardiovascular benefits. You’ll burn more in limited time.

If you find time later to squeeze in another 15 minute GREAT! When you break your routine into increments multiple times a day you burn more EPOC. EPOC is Excess post exercise oxygen consumption which means you burn more calories after your routine. Have you ever noticed after your workout your heart rate increases and you have to catch your breath? That’s EPOC your body works hard after your workout to get you back to normal. Find a phenomenal 15minute workout here

6. Limited Space: Who says you need a lot of equipment to workout? How much space do you really need if all you use is your body? You can get an EXCELLENT home workout without equipment. Some of the most efficient exercises use your own body weight. Push Ups, Bicycle Crunches, Squats, Pilates, Yoga, Burpees, Jumping Jacks, etc all use your body weight as resistance. Check out our 15 Minute Fat Blaster Workout uses NO equipment. We also have Slide N Glide Workouts using things you have laying around the house like paper plates, towels, &/or furniture movers.

7. Stay Focused: The most important aspect of working out at home is staying FOCUSED!!!! You have to be Determined. You have to Self-Motivate! Find a picture of you in your skinny jeans and put it on the wall or the fitness model that you see in the magazine, place motivational quotes all over the house to help keep you encouraged. If you need to scare yourself straight then put your doctors notes up or someone close to you that is suffering due to unhealthy behaviors. If you fall off one day don’t worry about it just hop back on the horse DON’T QUIT!!!

NO ONE SAID IT WILL BE EASY BUT IT CAN BE DONE!!!!

HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGET

DON’T LET TIME OR MONEY GET IN YOUR WAY OF HEALTHY LIVING

healthy-eating-on-a-budget

Most Americans live very hectic lives that can make it pretty hard to eat healthily. Working long hours, picking the kids up from school, taking them to practice, church meetings, family plans, etc. We live life in the fast lane, on the go so that’s how we eat “fast”. Why do you think fast food is so popular?

Now, as if it wasn’t difficult enough to make time to eat healthy now in this economy we have to worry about finances. Dollar Menus and $5 Value Meals sound like good deals but are they really??? I too fell victim to the dollar menu hype but then I realized I wasn’t really saving any money I was just gaining weight. Now with a little planning I’m actually eating right and saving money. Here are a few tips to help guide you:

  1. Contrary to popular belief buying Organic is not super expensive. You can find organic products in your local health food stores. Safeway has an Organic Brand named O that cost about the same and in some cases are even less expensive than name brands and Giants has Nature’s Promise which is almost ALWAYS on sale.
  2. Choose whole grains, beans, legumes and other fibrous food. When you eat foods high in fiber you’ll fill up faster and eat less therefore your meals will last longer. Saving you $$$ If you eat a bunch of junk food you end up hungry and have to buy more food.
  3. Shop wisely. Stock up on sale items & buy your most eaten items in bulk. Buying store brand is also a good way to save a few dollars.bad mcdonalds
  4. Believe it or not a home cooked meal is actually cheaper than fast food even the infamous “dollar menu”. A quick meal such as Spaghetti can be made in 20 minutes for less than $13.00. 1 box Safeway Organics whole grain pasta $1.89, 1.3lbs of Shadybrook Farms Ground Turkey 93% Lean is $4.49, Organic Spaghetti Sauce is $3.50, and a bag of Organic Frozen Veggies $3.00. Total Meal cost $12.88 for 8 or more plates. You can feed the family and still have leftovers for the week.  If you were to take that $12.88 to McDonalds you could opt for 2 value meals or 4 meals if you chose dollar menu items only. That’s less than half of the servings you would have if you cooked. Not to mention less nutrients and way more calories, sodium, and cholesterol.
  5. Timing is everything! If you don’t have a lot of time to cook whenever you have some downtime cooks multiple meals at once so you have leftovers through the week.
  6. Another problem my clients have is eating throughout the day. You have to constantly feed your body for energy and nutrients. When you skip meals your body goes into starvation mode and holds on to as many calories as it can to reserve for energy later. Also, when you skip meals you are more likely to overeat once you do eat. This soar in blood sugar can cause diabetes and weight gain. Pack your lunch including snacks: your lunch can be that left over spaghetti. Your snack can be fruit, Stoneyfield Organic Yogurt ($1.00 each), or even Nature’s Valley Bars $2.99 a box (it’s cheaper to buy the box than the individual bars)
  7. Frozen Dinners are cheap & quick. Make sure that whatever frozen dinners you choose the daily value is less than 20% in sodium, cholesterol & fat. Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Organics by Safeway, Morning Star and Kashi are good choices. If they are not filling enough add nuts, an additional vegetable or beans as a side. frozen foods
  8. Plan your meals around foods that you already have. For example, if you have a can of beans at home don’t go out and buy ground turkey for the night. Cook a quick beans & rice dish. You always want to make sure you use what you have before they expire. Throwing away food is like throwing away money.
  9. If fresh veggies and fruits cost too much frozen is the next best option. It is cheap and doesn’t lose as much of its nutritional value or add as much sodium as canned veggies & fruit.
  10. Prepare for the grocery store: First make sure that you eat before you go to the store. When you go to the grocery store hungry “everything looks good”. You’re more likely to buy foods on impulse. You also need to make sure you have a list ready. Check out the weekly specials and plan accordingly.

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10 REASONS YOU’RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT

Do you work out regularly and eat pretty healthy yet you can’t seem to lose any weight? Or maybe you lose weight but not body fat. Well believe it or not there is more to managing weight than calories in vs. calories out. Here are some helpful tips to help you shed that extra weight.

  1. Do Cardio on an Empty Stomach: Most people do cardio at the beginning of their workout in order to warm up. Although you can definitely use cardio as a warm up you should do your full cardiovascular workout either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or after your strength training workout. The reason: Your body will burn fat deposits for energy since there is no carbs (glycogen) stored yet. Just make sure the workout isn’t more than 20-30 minutes so you don’t lose any muscle mass.cardio-exercise
  2. Strength Training & Sleep are a Must! Although cardio does help and is needed to lose fat strength training is equally important. I know a lot of folks especially women who do cardio everyday: spin class, cardio sculpt, run on treadmills & ellipticals yet still don’t lose any weight. You need strength training in order to shape, tone & build the muscles that increase your metabolism. “You don’t grow in the gym, you grow out of the gym.” Sleep also plays a huge role in weight loss. It’s not just recovery but it’s when your muscles repair themselves. This will in turn increase your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn throughout the day & in your sleep.
  3. Don’t overstress the body! When you overdue the gym (ex. cardio for bouts of 50 minutes or more) you will begin to lose muscle instead of fat. Muscles increases your metabolism and is needed in order to burn fat so if you lose muscle you won’t burn fat. Secondly, continued stress leads to excess cortisol production. Cortisol is a hormone involved in the body’s response to stress. It increases blood sugar levels, increases blood pressure, and suppresses the immune system. The excess of blood sugar (glucose) is typically converted into fat and ends up stored as fat in the body.
  4. Say No to Diet Products:  this includes diet sodas, gum, and more. Diet products usually contain aspartame which is an artificial sweetener (ex. “Nutrasweet) it is over 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is a deadly poison that actually contributes to weight gain by causing carbohydrate cravings and the body to hold on to fat.diet products
  5. Food Allergies: Food Allergies cause digestive problems, health problems & contribute to weight gain. It causes water retention and water weight gain because the body attempts to dilute the poison entering the system while the fat cells expand to offer protection from foreign invaders. People with allergies lug around toxins, water and fat cell buffers.
  6. Contaminated Meat: You really are what you eat! The chemicals that are given to animals that we eat; we also consume the chemicals.  The growth hormones used to fatten cows up & produce more milk are making us larger as well. Some cows are even given cement dust just to make weight before being sold. Go Organic!!!!
  7. Food Chemical and Processed:  Chemicals found in processed food and commercially grown fruits, vegetables, and meat could also interfere with weight loss and contribute to obesity. The fact is, our bodies cannot utilize, digest or properly eliminate such toxic chemical compounds.  Chemicals get absorbed for an indefinite period of time, impending digestion and adding extra pounds to our weight.Poison-Food
  8. Candida: (aka yeast) can have an unpredictable effect on our metabolism. When the metabolism is unstable, people unfortunately tend to gain weight rather than lose it. Candida can also cause tremendous cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates- that’s what it feeds on.
  9. Toxic and Impacted Colon: The average healthy colon weighs about 5lbs. but most of us carry around 10-25 pounds of fecal matter. When we don’t eliminate as much as we take in then it creates a hard shell, which gets thicker and thicker throughout the years.
  10. Medications: Certain medications can contribute to weight gain and put a damper of weight loss attempts. Some of the worst offenders are: birth control pills, anti-depressents, tranquilizers, hormones such as estrogen & steroids and ant- arthritic medications.

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Can’t Out Exercise a Bad Diet

A phrase commonly heard in relation to weight loss is “Calories in vs. Calories Out”. It was once thought that as long as you burn more calories than you consume that you will lose weight. Once upon a time that may have been true but thanks to the processing of foods, food chemicals, skipping meals and larger portion sizes this isn’t always the case. What you put into your body and when you put it into your body is just as important as how much you put into your body! 

You can't out-exercise a bad diet

Over the past 8 years I have assisted over 1000 clients with their weight management efforts. I have worked with middle schoolers all the way to senior citizens, multiple different nationalities, genders & body types. Weight loss for EVERYONE is different! I have had women participate in my classes who worked out twice as hard, made more dietary changes, were the same age, nationality & body type as another participant who barely broke a sweat, ate what they wanted and still lost more weight! It is unfair but its life!

So, if the theory that calories in vs. calories out was true than those clients who worked harder should have had the better results! Right?

Truth is all of our bodies are different and all of our bodily needs are different so now the question is how do we know what we need???

It’s simple really? LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!!!

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Think of your body as if it were a car. When all of your fluid levels are filled, you’re feeding your car premium gas, and its getting regular maintenance it runs smooth! When your fluid levels get low, or you leave it sitting too long, put in cheap watered down gas then it doesn’t run as smooth. As the driver you can feel the difference right? Then what comes next: the lights come on: check engine, oil light, gas light, etc. these are the warning signs right before the car breaks down! The same thing goes for your body: as long as you are feeding it throughout the day (5-6 small meals) then you are full, feed your body organic nutrient dense whole foods (premium gas) and exercise (regular maintenance) then your body will be in optimum condition.

When you don’t do these things than the lights come on: obesity, diabetes, stomach aches, joint problems, etc. before you shut down!

Your body knows exactly what it needs so that you don’t even have to count calories. Counting calories can be exhausting! Your body has a set point weight which is best for you. Everyone doesn’t have to be a size 2 to be healthy. If you feed your body enough nutrients than it will naturally return to its set point. My set point weight is between 125-130lbs. When I eat a well balanced diet I maintain between 125-130lbs. When I cut up like I have this summer: drinking multiple times a week and eating out multiple times a week I have maintained 138lbs. Even though my exercise regimen actually increased from instructing 4 classes a week to instructing 7 classes a week. I still gained weight!

So if we’re not county calories how will we know when we are feeding our body enough? Once again, listen to your body! Hunger is a sign your body is not getting enough nutrients if you are eating nutrient dense meals multiple times a day you won’t ever get hungry! On the flip side if you are feeding your body sugar laden, chemically processed, man- made foods than your body is not going to get the nutrients that it needs. One of the main reasons we overeat is because we’re not getting enough nutrients from our foods.

Focus on these few factors and you WILL lose weight, body fat, feel more energized, and most importantly be HEALTHY!

  1. . Feed Your Body: Food is energy! Taste is just a bonus! The purpose of food is to give us the energy we need to maintain & the nutrients we need to survive. If you do not adequately feed the body (for example, skipping meals or consume very low calorie diets of 1200 calories or less daily) than instead of burning calories throughout the day your body will hold on to most of the calories storing them as fat for energy. You should consume 4-6 small meals a day. This will boost your metabolism, burn more fat throughout the day, and give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off illness.

2. Alkalize Your Body: Alkalize your body refers to shifting the pH of your body. When you eat a lot of processed foods, sugars, meat, and other acid forming foods you must balance them out with more alkaline forming foods such as green vegetables & fruit.

The body has a hard time handling high levels of acid. It may store acid in fat cells making a person over-weight, it may line the walls of your arteries with cholesterol which leads to heart problems, or it may leach calcium out of your bones to neutralize the acid. Since, body fat is there to protect your organs from toxicity.  Some people will find that they will lose weight on a more Alkaline Diet mainly due to the system being flushed out better from drinking lemon water and alkaline foods as we rid our bodies of excess acids.

Poison-Food

  1. Avoid Chemicals in Food: Chemicals in foods such as Aspartame (artificial sweetener), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Food Dyes, Preservatives, Additives, Olestra (a fake fat commonly found in fat free products), Nitrites & Nitrates, Trans fats, etc. all have ill effects on the body. First, many of these chemicals cannot be properly digested in the body so they stick around in our colon and create several problems. They cause hormonal imbalances which lead to weight gain, they are cancerous, create blood sugar issues which also cause us to overeat, and so much more. It is best to go Organic as much as possible. I have had clients not make any changes to their exercise program but simply switched to an organic diet and the weight fell off!!!!

 

  1. Serving Sizes: The body can only properly digest about 400-600calories per meal. When we consume these large meals containing 1000+ calories the body has no choice but to store it as fat. Some of the undigested food will linger in your stomach causing stomach pains, due to the lack of fiber & water in some meals some of the food will stay in the colon for days, weeks or longer creating what I like to call “swollen colon syndrome” or a “pot belly”. Instead split that meal in two so your body can take the nutrients that it needs from it and eliminate the rest!

small meals

  1. Supplements: The same way “Calories In vs. Calories Out” was based on the old days so is the common misconception that you can get all the nutrients you need from your diet. This may have been true in the 50’s but in 2012 its better safe than sorry. Even when you go Organic, choose only the “Healthy” brands, eat fruits & veggies unless you’re farming everything yourself you can never be 100% sure what is going into your foods. There was a rumor (or maybe the truth) a few months ago that Kashi (one of my favorite brands) was genetically modifying the soy in its products. Truth is you don’t know who to trust! So I like to think of my Multivitamin as my insurance policy. If I’m not getting all of the nutrients I need from my diet hopefully I’m making it up with my multivitamins.

health-supplement

  • Warning: Dietary supplements are not a very well regulated industry so for the best on the market visit VitaBarOnline.com (All supplements from the site are All Natural, Mostly Organic & Approved by me!)

This all can be a lot to take in! I KNOW!

You probably heard of some terms & chemicals in your food that you never heard of or thought to look for, right?

The Food Industry counts on you not knowing about these dangers and they hop on the new “health kick” by plastering things such as “Fat Free”, “0 Trans Fat”, “Whole Wheat”, “High Fiber”, “Low Sodium” and “Sugar Free” all over the boxes but unless you know how to read your nutrition labels for yourself you could be eating all of the dangerous & fattening chemicals listed above.