Have you watched any Netflix health docs lately?

What the Health?, Forks Over Knives, Fed Up (personal fave), Food Matters, Vegucated, are just a few of the Netflix documentaries you can find on food.  There are plenty more, but those are the ones I’ve seen recently.  I must admit I have a love-hate relationship with most of them leaning more towards the hate than the love.

Here’s what I do love:

  • I love how they are bringing awareness to fruits and vegetables and how we need to increase the amount we are eating.  The majority of us don’t even get half our recommended daily dosage.
  • I love how they shed light on the atrocities of the meat slaughtering industry, because regulations NEED to happen.  The real animals are us humans, who choose not to find more humane ways to put down the meat that we do eat.  Personally I am a vegetarian, I believe in doing my part, but I also do not believe everyone needs to go vegan.  I’m a realist who believes it should be a personal choice as to whether or not someone decides to consume meat, and because I am a realist I know not everyone will remove or decrease the amount of meat in their diet, which is why more humane treatment of animals needs to be put in place.
  • I love that they shed light on the amount of garbage they are adding to meat, poultry, and farm raised fish.
  • I love how are they are raising awareness to the amount of added sugar the majority of us eat without realizing it
  • I love that they bring awareness to how food can help prevent more health issues than the pharmaceutical companies want you to believe.  YOU NEED A BALANCE PEOPLE!

Here’s what I don’t like

  • How EXTREME and one-sided they are.  The ones pushing people towards veganism more so than the ones warning people to stay away from wheat and sugar.  At least the one’s I have seen about wheat frequently give the disclaimer that the negative effects of wheat more so impact the gluten intolerant.  The documentaries about sugar also frequently express the need more consuming added sugar in moderation.  However the ones that promote veganism, never once touch base on the idea of grass-fed or organic meat and poultry alternatives that are worth the investment due to significantly less pesticides, etc.
  • I do not like how they neglect to go over the differences between complete and incomplete proteins and how animal proteins are complete proteins where as plant based protein usually requires 2-3 different sources to reach the complete protein status.
  • I do not like how they neglect to mention that for athletes looking to get stronger, IGF1 only found in red meat is a legal and natural “steroid” in the sense that is helps our strength gains.  I’m not saying you won’t get stronger if you only eat vegetarian or vegan because that is not the case.  The gains can come faster though with the help of red meat, but I opt out of that natural boost.
  • I don’t like how they neglect to talk about the dirty dozen (aka the most contaminated fruits and vegetables) that everyone should prioritize as buying organic because of the amount of pesticides found in them.
    • Peaches, Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes
  • I don’t like how they do not touch on the subject of how easy it is to also be overweight and have health issues has a vegetarian or vegan.  I personally know way too many overweight, anemic, or overall unhealthy vegetarians and vegans

Overall for people who do not have extremist personalities and tendencies I would recommend educating themselves with these documentaries, however also keeping in mind that there are 2 sides to every story.  I wish they would make them with less of a bias.  I believe they’d have more success reaching larger audiences if they did.  I also believe they would make meat-eaters understand the POV of vegans and vice versa.  We all know that vegan or meat eater that tries to make the other side feel like terrible people for choosing to eat or not eat meat.  We need to educate people on both sides and THEN let people decide and respect their decisions!  The lesson continues to be that everything in MODERATION is key!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Day 12: How to fight Burnout

So this post is supposed to be advice on how to handle summer blogging burnout, but since I do not by any means consider myself a blogger, I’m going to write about summer fitness goal burnout.

Because this society views fitness in short term, versus long term, people spend the first 3-4 months of the year shedding their holiday wait and prepping for the summer only to slowly fall into a downward spiral to repeat the same toxic cycle over when the new year hits.

So, how do you break the cycle?  I get that summer is hard because you have more BBQs, More vacations, more time to go to the beach, go out, but what about the goals you’ve worked so hard to achieve?  How do you keep them in Check?  There’s no need to avoid going out in order to avoid gaining weight.

10 Tips to Making you Summer body, your winter Body:

  1. Keep Alcohol to 1-3 drinks a week
  2. Don’t drink your calories in juices, sodas, etc.
  3. Make healthy choices at restaurants!  Most places have a light and fit menu with more realistic portion sizes.
  4. Request cutting the salt a restaurant uses for the dish in half, or excluding it altogether because chances are they hide salt in the sauces without realizing it.
  5. Don’t skip your workouts!
  6. Replace a meal with a healthy shake!  I’ve been drinking the same meal replacement every day for 4 years now and love it! Definitely helps keep me in check when I’ve gone too far passed moderation!  Click here for more info!
  7. Don’t forget your water!  Avoid retaining water, skin break outs, and dehydration from the summer heat!
  8. Swap the fried for the grilled!
  9. Swap the processed sugars for REAL sugars found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.
  10. It’s ok to eat the pizza and have the slice of cake!  It’s just not ok to eat more of that than you do whole foods!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

My Challenges Help me more Than my Clients

I Run 3 challenges every year:

  1. A 90 Day New Year Kick Off Challenges with my Fitness Programs
  2. A 4 Week Gallon Challenge utilizing the Herbalife Nutrition Products
  3. a 6 Week Challenge Incorporating my Fitness Programs WITH the herbalife nutrition products

We are mid way through week 2 of 4, of my Gallon Challenge with my herbalife ladies and I am reminded daily about why these challenges benefit me more than everyone else.  I mean yes, I coach everyone personally and my accountability chat is a challenge favorite, but the one who truly sees motivation and gets inspired daily is me.

  • Seeing how everyone motivates each other is such a beautiful thing.  It really does show how people are inherently genuine and authentic.  Everyone wants everyone to do well and get used to this lifestyle change and establish a healthy balance.
  • I love getting recipe, snack, and meal ideas from all of the ladies
  • I stay in check with my own meal plan and exercise routine.  After all what kind of a coach and leader am I if I don’t get on my own goals.  For example I had been getting comfortable only making it to the gym 3 times, when I know I would personally benefit from 4-5 times per week on the program I’m on.  Seeing how one of my fit moms and a full time student who is also working full time (dejavu) made it to their 5 day goals the first week has pushed me to make sure I get my 5 days in as well!  Whenever I feel like overindulging, I think of all of my challengers learning how to establish their balance and learn to choose healthy 80% of the time, my desire to indulge dwindles.
  • Our weekly check ins add more fuel to my fire seeing how much progress everyone makes in just one week including my self is just a motivational bonus!
  • I am always grateful for those who choose me as their coach and allow me to guide them on their journey, but if only they knew they’re the ones that inspire me to keep going when I lose my own motivation.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Finding the Right Shoe

Have you ever gone to the gym and felt some sharp pains in your arches from doing different exercises?

If you don’t have an undiagnosed condition or have one that has already been diagnosed like plantar fasciitis or heel spurs (at that point a podiatrist will usually create your own pair of custom orthotics) chances are you’re wearing the wrong shoe!  In my almost 2 years of working at New Balance in South Miami I learned a lot about fitting people for the right shoes, and have recently noticed people wearing the wrong shoes at the gym, or even clients complaining about pains in their arches.  So it inspired me to right these simple tips.

  • Shoes for Weightlifting:  Weightlifting shoes typically are flat or on a flat, but have elevated heels.  This is because shoes with arch support typically cause instability during lifts, which causes an unnecessary strain on your ankles and knees & the ligaments.
  • Shoes for Flat Arches (aka flat feet):  People with flat arches, require shoes that have a lot of arch support in order to create a false arch.  This is especially important when going on a run
  • Shoes for High Arches:  People with High arches get lucky because they don’t really require shoes with technology.  people with high arches can use neutral shoes with padding for arches or cross training shoes for regular workouts
  • Shoes for Regular Arch: People who have a normal arch can use neutral shoes with cushion for running or shoes with a slight arch support

Remember this was a basic rundown on how to pick your shoes, if you feel you have high maintenance arches I recommend seeing a podiatrist for the best recommendations or a New Balance Fit Specialist.

Unfortunately sometimes these shoes are not attractive, but at the end of the day are you really going to choose vanity over practicality? It is crucial we invest in the right running shoes, after all our arches basically carry our entire body weight!

 

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Common Gym Mistake

One of the most common gym mistakes I see made is in the warm up.  So many people have been taught or assume stretching is all the same, right? Wrong.  There are actually 7 types of stretching methods:

  1. ballistic stretching: using your body’s momentum to attempt to move a limb passed normal range of motion
  2. active stretching: holding a stretching with no assistance from anything or anyone
  3. static stretching: stretching a muscle the farthest it goes and then holding that position
  4. passive stretching: also known as partner stretching, but it can also be stretching with the help of an apparatus
  5. isometric stretching: a type of static stretching that uses no motion
  6. dynamic stretching: consists of controlled lime swinging, not to be confused with ballistic stretching
  7. PNF stretching: (proprioreceptive neuromuscular facilitation) It is not so much a stretch as it is a combination of isometric and passive stretching with the goal of achieving max states flexibility.

For the purpose of the article I am going to be emphasizing static and dynamic stretching.

Static stretching is what most people do to warm up, but it is actually one of the worst things you can do as it leaves you more prone to injury.

  1. static stretching actually cools down your body temperature, yet the purpose of a warm up s to increase your body temperature and heat up your muscles in order to prevent injury.
  2. unlike dynamic stretching, static stretching very VERY simply put tells your brain that your muscles will no longer really be needed to contract turning off those specific signals wishing the body
  3. Given the above information, plus given the conclusions reached through scientific research, it is safe to say static stretching goes AFTER your workout or training as part of the cooling down process.

Before a workout you should be utilizing dynamic stretching in order to send the signal to your brain that the muscles will soon be needed to contract at a higher rate than normal and avoid potentially pulling a muscle or even worse.

If you’ve fallen victim to this common gym mistake, you aren’t the only one.  People just don’t know, because not everyone studies or understands basic human physiology.  Unfortunately, too many personal training certification courses do not even touch on this subject because they focus on more simple topics, so many trainers themselves don’t even know and I blame the curriculum and how easy it is to get your CPT.  But anyways, now you know!

Remember Dynamic Stretching for warm ups and Static Stretching for cool downs!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Cellulite: What is it?

Cellulite, many of us know about it, many of us see it on ourselves or other people, many of us try to get rid of while some succeed and some fail.  Cellulite does not discriminate, teens and adults alike are susceptible to having it.  Skinny individuals sometimes may even have more than what our horribly plastic society considers “fat” individuals.The bottom line…it’s NOT cute! so what exactly is it? Why does it form? How can we prevent it? Can we get rid of it?
cel·lu·lite
ˈselyəˌlīt/
noun
  1. persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin, especially on women’s hips and thighs. Not in technical use.

Medical Terminology: adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, and gynoid lipodystrophy

Street Terminology: cottage cheese skin and orange peel syndrome

Before I giving the down low on cellulite, I want to say something to the men: you TOO can fall victim to cellulite! It’s not just women (although we are more prone to getting it because put simply our bodies try to hold on to fat more than the male anatomy)!  Cellulite can also form anywhere! Even though it is found mostly on the thighs and hips, it can form in the arms, stomach, back.  Basically anywhere that can get “fat.”

Cellulite  can be caused by the following:

  1. Hormones
  2. Genetics: Before moving on to the next cause I wanted to state that genetics may predispose you to the tendency of developing cellulite, BUT it does NOT mean you WILL get and it’s not something that can be prevented or go away.
  3. Diet: over eating processed carbs, fats, salt, without enough fiber and water can cause a person to develop cellulite
  4. Lifestyle: Those who smoke, the sedentary, and those who sit in one place for a long time (desk jobs) may be more likely to develop cellulite
  5. Clothing: Wearing panties so tight that they restrict blood flow may actually contribute to cellulite development

Treatment:  There are probably a million and one cosmetic treatments on the market that cost a pretty penny.  So far from the case studies I have personally looked into, NONE of them have been scientifically proven to actually work.  There are also topical scrubs (i.e. sugar scrubs, coffee scrubs, rubbing amino acids, etc) and although those are much less expensive, once again from what I have looked into, they are not backed by science.  Anti cellulite creams? same thing! currently no medical research has been found to back up those claims.  Below is a small excerpt from Scientific American about what the aforementioned actually does:

“Most all creams will only address the fat. So the Nivea [Good-Bye Cellulite Gel-Cream] and others with L-Carnitine transports fats into the [cells’] mitochondria to be used as energy. Caffeine creams will help by blocking the making of fats by the alpha receptors. Some creams have aminophylline, (a compound in some respiratory drugs) which, like caffeine, works by blocking the alpha receptors. In most creams, you find some way of targeting only the fat cells [and not addressing the connective tissue or circulation aspects of cellulite]. ”

So what does work? Exercise, water, proper diet.  The goal is to decrease the size of your  own individual fat cells.

 

Fasted Cardio

Fasted cardio is any kind of cardiovascular exercise done in a fasted state (an empty stomach).  Fasted cardio has been around for an incredibly long time as a fat loss tool that has just recently started to get popular once again.  Athletes love adding fasted cardio to their workout regime whenever they are trying to cut fat and lean out because the right kind and right amount (i’ll get to specifics in bit) of fasted cardio help you not only lose body fat, but do so while also maintaining your current muscles.  Keep in mind that fasted cardio is an enhancer to an already clean diet and one should also not expect to make “gains” in the period of time that fasted cardio is being implemented to someones regimen.

A study published by the “British Journal of Nutrition” discovered that subjects who fasted during morning cardio burned up to 20% more fat throughout the day.  It is proved to be efficient because when you sleep, your body fasts over night and conserves the carbohydrate stores allowing for your body to convert fat to fuel while doing your fasted cardio workout.  At night your body also breaks down amino acids into glucose opening up a second type of fuel source.

Food as well all know gets broken down to usable molecules that get released into your blood stream.  Of those molecules, insulin, serves as the mover of other molecules into your cells.  Once insulin is absorbed because the digestion process has been completed, insulin levels drop and your body enters into the fasted state telling your body to use fat as fuel.  Insulin also prevents the breakdown of fatty acids.  So basically, the higher the insulin levels, the less usage of fat for energy.  In the image you can see the period where insulin either promotes or impairs fat loss.  As can be seen, the period in which we are sleeping is where the most fat loss occurs.  Imagine waking up an immediately doing 30 minute of cardio to enhance that period of fat loss?

Personally, whenever I do choose to do fasted cardio it is no more or no less than 30 minute of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  Why only 30 minutes?  Because your body is in a fasted state, more than 30 minutes usually leads to your body using your muscles as an alternative energy source.  Because I want to lose fat and maintain my muscle mass, I do 30 minutes.  Why do I choose HIIT?  HIIT workouts have been proven to set you up for more fat burn throughout the day.  Compared to slow and steady cardio like what gets done on the elliptical or treadmills, HIIT cardio burns double the amount of fat in the same amount of time.  In essence, you get more bang for your buck.  Next week I plan on going more in depth about HIIT workouts.

On another note, my Skull print Columbian workout shorts are on a flash 25% off sale until Saturday, May 9th, 11:59pm EST. Use code “SKULL25” at checkout!