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Sure, you consider yourself to be a healthy person, but do you really have healthy food in your kitchen? You’d be surprised how many fattening foods you’re still buying and eating. Keep reading to learn the 7 Worst Items inside your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator.

1. Breakfast Cereal

It’s delicious, it’s easy to prepare, and sometimes it even gives you enough energy to get to lunchtime. Unfortunately, breakfast cereal is often jam-packed with extra sugars that will do more to drag you down than build you up for your day. Prefer the flavorless kinds? Then be ready to be hungry soon, as they often don’t provide enough good calories to fill you up for long. Still hungry for a bowl of cereal? Consider this: they’re one of the most processed foods on the market.

2. Flavored Yogurt

Yes, flavored yogurt tastes much better than its plain peers, but going with a pre-flavored yogurt will instantly double the amount of sugar you consume. Fortunately, overcoming the flavorless thing can be done healthily. All you have to do is add chopped, fresh fruit of your choice and enjoy!

3. Frozen Entrees

It’s hard to believe how many people rely on frozen TV dinners on a regular basis. If you’re a frozen believer, it’s time to put your health before convenience. On top of frequently lacking all the vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health, frozen dinners often ooze with trans-fats and sodium. This means that while your palate may be pleased, your waist, arteries, and heart will not.

4. Diet Soda

One of the most dangerous items to ever be invented was the diet soda. By trimming certain things from the ingredients list, soda manufacturers guaranteed a giant market share, consisting largely of people who are attempting to be health conscious. Unfortunately, diet soda messes with your body’s ability to recognize and manage sugar properly. And while diet drinks may be calorie-free, those who drink them are at a much greater risk for weight gain than those who do not.

5. Popcorn

No, all popcorn is not to be avoided at all costs. But more than likely, a lot of the unpopped kernels in your kitchen should be ditched. Here’s a good way to determine if your popcorn is at war with your good health. Is it in a prepackaged bag that simply has to be tossed in the microwave to be cooked? Then stay away! Those prepackaged popcorn packages, whether lightly buttered, drowning in butter, or candied, offer no benefit. If you’re going to do popcorn, you’ll need to pop it the old-fashioned way, preferably via air popping.

6. “Skinny” Desserts

The word “skinny” is alluring. It’s what you want to achieve. And marketers know that. Unfortunately, marketers are not tied to some code of ethics that prevents them from using words that are not factual. What they are tied to is doing whatever it takes to sell more of their product. A great way to do that is to toss the word “skinny” on your favorite dessert item. You’ll buy it, thinking you’ve saved yourself valuable calories, but all you’ve probably done is buy a smaller portion of the same stuff, only there isn’t any natural sugar and flavor. It’s all artificial.

7. Granola Bars

Enjoyed by healthy hikers around the world, granola bars are the final unexpected bad choice in your kitchen. This one may have you scratching your head when you consider that your favorite kind is crammed with every fruit and nut you can imagine. But read the ingredient label and you’ll soon see that there is probably more sugar—make that high-fructose corn syrup—than goodness your body can use. Are you ready to ditch the unhealthy items from your kitchen in order to take your fitness to the next level? Would you like to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are going to lose weight in the coming months?

It’s my goal to see you achieve greatness. I believe that you’ve got what it takes.

It’s so simple. Call or email today to get started on a program that will improve your health and well being, and will get you amazing results.

28Mar

5 Meals Ready in 5 Minutes

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Most of us want to eat healthy – we really do – but a single detrimental factor gets in our way…we simply don’t have the time.

I get it, we all lead busy lives that leave very little extra time for healthy meal prep, but the alternative of fast food meals, frozen dinners and restaurant fare is making us lose in the battle of the bulge.

All too often I see people exercise hard everyday, and then flush their results away with irresponsible eating. Don’t let this be you!

To get you on the fast track to quick, healthy eating here are 5 healthy meals that take only 5 minutes to prepare:

Fast Meal #1: Traditional pancakes are filled with carbs, grains and a plethora of simple sugars – not something you’d consider healthy. In fact, eat pancakes regularly and you’ll find your fitness results quickly disappear. However, this simple, wholesome, 3-ingredient pancake recipe is the exception. It’s a pancake that you’re able to enjoy without guilt.

3-Ingredient Pancakes
Here’s what you need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons almond butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ground cinnamon *optional
  1. Mash the bananas in a bowl (or blend in a food processor). Add the eggs, almond butter and flavor additions. Mix until smooth.
  2. Preheat a griddle or skillet. Lightly grease with coconut oil. Pour the batter in ¼ cup scoops.
  3. Once you see bubbles form, flip and cook the other side until golden.
  4. Serve with fresh fruit.

Fast Meal #2: Tuna is a wonderful fish that’s packed with muscle-building protein. However, most tuna salad recipes drowned out the benefits with a boatload of calorie-packed mayonnaise. Here’s a refreshing tuna salad recipe that, in addition to being quick to prepare, avoids the trap of high-calorie dressing.

Quick Tuna Salad
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • 2 green onions, tops only, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cans albacore tuna, in drained
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup red grapes, halved
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. I like to serve this salad in large butter lettuce leaves, or scooped onto avocado halves.

Fast Meal #3: Yogurt has often been advertized as a healthy, guilt-free snack or meal replacement. This always bothers me because I know just how many simple carbs and sugars most flavored yogurts contain. Many people are deceived into thinking that the creamy, fruit flavored snack will help them lose fat, while it does just the opposite. Here’s a recipe for a creamy, fruit flavored snack that is actually packed with protein and free of fattening sugars.

Creamy Protein Mousse
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup chopped fruit
  • 1 (13.5oz) can coconut milk, full fat (chilled in the fridge overnight)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 frozen bananas, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup stevia-sweetened vanilla protein powder

1) Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Do NOT shake the can up at all! Carefully turn the can over and open from the bottom. Drain out the liquid and scoop the white cream into a food processor. Discard the liquid.

2) Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend on high until creamy. Enjoy chilled.

Fast Meal #4: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and not only because it’s the meal that breaks your overnight fast. What you decide to eat for breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your food decisions for the day. A donut or breakfast sandwich grabbed from a drive thru will set you up to eat junk for the rest of the day. On the other hand, a wholesome, nutritious breakfast will get you geared up to eat good-for-you foods all day long. This quick breakfast recipe is packed with amazing, natural flavor as well as protein-filled eggs to power your day.

Zucchini Egg Scramble
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 organic eggs
  1. In a small skillet place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini, green onion, chives and rosemary. Cook until the zucchini is lightly browned on both sides.
  2. Crack the eggs into the skillet and continue to cook, mixing, until the eggs are set. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately.

Fast Meal #5: I’ve saved the best for last, in this list of 5 Fast Meals. There was a time when most people would turn their nose up at the idea of a salad being a meal, but times are changing, and we are now more aware than ever how traditional meals are too heavy and lead to obesity. I’d like you to consider a ‘Everything Salad’ to be the perfect, quick and guilt-free meal. Sure, there are plenty of ways to take a salad and make it fattening, but that’s not what we want to do. By taking a big bowl of fresh greens and topping it with lean protein, colorful veggies and a light, homemade dressing – you’ve got yourself the perfect meal!

Everything Salad
Here’s what you need:

  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale)
  • Lean protein (chicken, turkey, lamb, hard boiled egg)
  • Colorful veggies, chopped (bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini)
  • Fresh Herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, mint)
  • Homemade dressing (see recipe below)
  1. Raid your fridge for fresh, organic produce and lean, cooked protein. Add in some fresh veggies and chopped herbs and mix together with a simple, homemade dressing. There you have it, the perfect meal!

While eating healthy, nutritious meals is awesome, don’t forget that exercise is half of the battle when it comes to getting and staying fit. Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

18Feb

5 Lifestyle Changes for Healthy Weight Loss

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Have you ever wondered…
Why do so many diets end in failure?
Why is it so easy to gain lost weight back?
And why can’t you maintain your ideal weight at all times?

If you’ve tried every quick-fix fad diet under the sun, you realize they can help you lose weight instantly. Unfortunately, keeping the pounds off usually doesn’t happen with these diets.

Real weight loss comes with lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.

So stop starving yourself, counting calories, or eliminating your favorite food group.

Simply make the following lifestyle changes.

1. TV Time: Many people are in the habit of sitting in front of the TV for hours on end after a stressful day at work. Yes, you may be worn out and need a break, but sitting on the couch, zoned out, watching TV is not the way to lose weight.

If you must watch the evening news or see your favorite show, use the time to burn a few calories. Keep some hand weights next to the couch and work your biceps and triceps. Stand up and do some squats or lunges to work your legs and buttocks. Get on the floor and do some sit-ups to tone your abs or push-ups to tone your arms. Make a change!

2. Sleep: Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night. Is that a lot more than what you’re currently getting? Then you may be interested to know that if you’re not getting adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight.

How does this work? Something like this.

If you’re tired, you won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This very same lack of energy will also likely cause you to skip the gym. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, and if you’ve not heard, that is not something you want when trying to shed a few pounds.

3. Drink Choices: Lasting weight loss is about changes. Unfortunately, some of the changes one must make are difficult. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soda, alcohol, or other sweetened beverages, your weight goals may remain out of reach until you replace these drinks with water. You should also know that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger.

So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.

4. Breakfast: Want to know a secret to successful weight loss? Eat breakfast! Try cutting calories by skipping breakfast, and you’ll be excessively hungry by mid-morning. As a result, the healthy calories you would have eaten at breakfast are replaced with calorie-filled snacks and an over-sized lunch.

Once again, fitting breakfast into your busy schedule may mean dramatic lifestyle changes. But research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping pounds off. Get to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast

5. Physical Activity: Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume. Therefore, it should make sense to you that dieting and exercise must go hand in hand. If you want to speed up weight loss and keep the weight away, add or increase the amount and intensity of physical activity in your daily life.

For many people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are well work it. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of intense exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, it’s more likely to stick, and your body will become slimmer and more toned.

The quickest and most permanent weight loss comes as a result of a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will get you on the fast track to your best body ever.

18Feb

5 Exercise Myths That Keep You Fat

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There are plenty of exercise misconceptions out in the world, some of which may be holding you back from your best body.

Do the following 5 exercise myths sound familiar? This may be exactly what you need to hear.

1) Exercise on an empty stomach burns more fat.

This theory says that if there’s no fuel in your body to burn then you’ll end up burning fat, but research has proven otherwise. Instead of pulling the energy from stored fat, there’s a better chance that your body will look to energy in your bloodstream and muscle stores. Further drawbacks to exercising on an empty stomach include shortened workouts due to lack of stamina, and dizziness or nausea from low blood sugar.

Instead of going hungry, enjoy a small, nutritious snack about 90 minutes before you exercise.

2) Cardio is more effective for weight loss than weights.

For some reason women seem to love the idea that they will burn more fat by running on a treadmill than by lifting dumbbells. Sorry ladies, but cardio alone is never as effective as a routine that also includes resistance training. Strength training is essential for building lean tissue, which increases your metabolism and decreases your body fat.

If your goal is weight loss, then make friends with some dumbbells.

3) If you exercise enough, then you can eat anything you want.

This myth makes me cringe, as I’ve seen so many people throw away their hard-earned fitness results by overeating. Even if you exercise daily at an intense rate, your diet still matters. To top it off, most people overestimate how many calories they burn as well as underestimating how many calories they are eating. This can be a fattening combo.

For best results, maintain a calorie-controlled diet filled with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

4) For optimal fat burn, exercise longer at a low intensity.

Wouldn’t it be nice if this one were true? Then instead of pushing it hard in the gym we could all simply go for a nice, long stroll to burn fat. Umm, usually if something sounds too good to be true that’s because it is too good to be true.

Intensity matters when it comes to getting great results, so challenge yourself.

5) Unless you exercise often, exercise is a waste of time.

I hear this myth in the form of an excuse from people who haven’t started an exercise program due to the idea that they won’t be able to exercise enough to make it count. Research continues to prove that any exercise is better than zero exercise. So you can only exercise once a week? Do it.

Any exercise is better than zero exercise. Contact me today and we will get you set up with an exercise program tailored to your lifestyle.

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