Eat Pretty: A Book Review

I just got done reading this book by Jolene Hart, entitled Eat Pretty.  I definitely give this one an A in the category of educating those who have no formal education in nutrition.

We are always taught that choosing healthy foods leads to weight loss and overall a more “attractive” physique.  Some people are lucky enough to get taught that good nutrition helps prevent or control diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc.  Very few people are actually taught how the foods we eat affect our complexion.

This book does an excellent job at classifying the foods that give acne, skin rashes, and more as beauty betrayers, while those those that promote a healthy complexion are deemed beauty foods.  The other great job the other did was classifying the foods by season, because as most of us know, not all foods are available year round.

The other also dedicated a section to non-nutritional factors that may affect our weight and complexion like stress, sleep, water, and hormone function.  Factors many people tend to look.

My favorite part about this book is how the author goes into how she perceives balance, which to me is the most important.  So many books stress restriction and don’t that they miss the overall point of a balanced lifestyle.

If you are interested in learning what foods and how they contribute to our radiant skin, I definitely recommend you Buy the book here, you won’t regret it!

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.

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4 Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated To Workout

Working out is hard!  Feeling sore, sweaty, and smelly is not in the least bit glamorous.  At the end of the day a workout is typically 60 minutes or less out of your 24 hour day, so there’s really no reason you can’t set aside 3-5x a week where you make yourself and your goals a priority.  Here are 4 ways that I stay motivated, ways that work for ME and hopefully can work for YOU!

  1. I do what I like.  For example I HATE running, I HATE low intensity steady state cardio, I am not a major fan of yoga for myself.  Keep in mind I am not saying none of those have their benefits, because they do.  I just hate doing them for myself so instead I stick to what I love, weight training, interval training, and circuits.  You are more inclined to make what you enjoy a priority.
  2. This next method is a little vane, but it works in the short term. I buy an article of clothing that wearing it would require me to stay consistent in order to make the clothes/outfit look better.  It’s a great tactic to get me through those short term bouts of feeling lazy.  But you do need to hang it somewhere you will be constantly reminded.
  3. I don’t just set weight goals.  Sometimes the scale is not an accurate results provider, so instead I’ll make a goal like “I want to get my waist down to 27in” or “I want to gain 2in on my glutes” or less vane goals like “I want to get my squat back up to double body weight” “I want to be able to hit _____ rounds in this circuit”  This way we aren’t just fixated on the number
  4. Lastly, I am very much motivated by the fact that I am one of the first in my family to really make health and fitness a consistent part of their lifestyle.  I want to continue to do so because many before me let themselves go for a bit and are now scrambling to get it together.  I want to physically set the example for what a consistent health and fitness lifestyle during your 20s, 30s, 40s, and so on will do for you as you age.

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.

5 Simple Ways To Cut Out Junk Food

Like I’ve said in so many of my previous posts, I never like to take extreme sides as I’m an advocate for balance.  Junk food is something we need to cut down on, but don’t need to completely cut out.  Here are 5 simple way to cut out junk food that work for me and many of my clients.

  1. Do not buy junk foods at the grocery store.  Keep good food in the fridge and you only eat good food.
  2. Do not buy sodas, juices, etc.  at the grocery store.  We do not want to drink our calories while we are at home.  Replace those beverages with water!
  3. When you are eating out, choose between eating your calories or drinking your calories, but not both.  Doing this helps you to cut back on total empty calories consumes.
  4. Limit how many times you purchase a meal on the road or at a restaurant to 2x a week max
  5. MEAL PREP:  It doesn’t have to be complicated!  Most o my meal prepping for the week takes 60 minutes to do on a Sunday.  Not only does it save you money, but you are controlling what goes into your food.

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.

6 Amazing Weekend Activities That Will Help You Get Healthy

The weekend doesn’t have to be a time to be a complete glutton.  You can go out be active and it can be fun!  Here are 6 activities you can do that are fun, healthy, and active.

  1. Paddle boarding:  If you live somewhere tropic, look up some info for paddle boarding lessons!
  2. Hiking:  Hiking is great because not only are you getting a killer lower body workout in, but you don’t feel it as much because you’re focused on the breath taking views.
  3. Walk by the pier:  In Miami we have South Pointe Park, but in your area there may be another pier/beach to take a long walk on
  4. Dog Park:  Get active with your dog!  Most people spend all week working and away from their dogs.  Why not make it up to them with play time at the local dog park?
  5. Kayaking:  Take a drive down to key west or drive up to west palm for some killer kayaking views and lessons.
  6. Bike Ride:  Invest in a bike and enjoy some city views.

The weekend doesn’t have to be about getting hammered or eating anything and everything you can get your hands on.  Stay ACTIVE!

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.

Leafy Greens: My love hate relationship

Leafy greens and I have a love hate relationship.  I am probably the only vegetarian in the world that abhors veggies (except broccoli), but I eat them anyways because they are an integral part of a balances diet.  Vegetables in general are incredibly nutrient dense with very little calories.  Green veggies in general tend to be the most nutrient packed containing Vitamins A, C, K, B, and E along with minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium just to name a few.  Green vegetables are also extra high in protein and fiber.  Now before I continue I want to warn you guys that this is going to be a long, but info-packed post.  Because it is very long and I still have a workout to test, youtube videos to record, and chemistry to study I will not be doing extensive proof reading, only skimming.

Now that I have given that disclaimer I can move on.  So, our bodies have a something called t-bet genes.  They help with the production of immune cells and feed off the foods we eat, more specifically our consumption of green vegetables.  The t-bet gene also allows our body to produce innate lymphoid cells that line our digestive systems and act as a barrier against bad bacterias and allergies.  Without proper consumption of green vegetables you are depriving this gene in being able to carry out its daily activities inside our body.  Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and disease fighting compounds such as photo-chemicals.  Phyto-chemicals help reduce inflammation, regulate cell production and elimination, and they get rid of carcinogens (cancer causing agents often hidden in the processed garbage we eat).

How many servings should we aim for?  According to one of my nutrition textbooks the average American eating 3 servings a week! unfortunately, that’s no where NEAR enough.  The goal should be 4-6 servings of greens a day!  My advice, find a way to make them yummy, but be advised the more you take veggies out of their raw form, the more you strip them of their vitamins in minerals.

Although their are more green vegetables than the ones I am about to list, I chose the following 7 because they are either under-recognized or under-appreciated.

1.  Sprouts:  (Under-recognized) help our bodies to extract the necessary vitamins, minerals, healthy essential fats, and amino acids from the food we consume.

2. Spinach: (Under-appreciated) Contain vitamins A, C, K, and B-vitamins along with minerals such as calcium, iron, fiber, selenium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and copper.  They also provide us with folic acid, omega-3s (hint hint to all of my vegetarian/vegan friends, omega 3s are not just found in fish and iron is not only found in red meat, you just need to eat 10x the amount if your source is coming from plant), and lutein for eye health.  Spinach aids in overall heart health and is an anti-inflammatory veggie.

3. Kale: (WAYYYYYYY Under-appreciated) is one of the MOST NUTRIENT DENSE foods in the world!  It contains Vitamin A, K, C, B vitamins, and minerals such as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium,  and magnesium.  You can also find antioxidants and phytochemicals (quercitin and kempferl) that help protect the heart, regulate blood pressure, fights cancer causing agents, lowers cholesterol (which lowers risk of CHD), and also contains lutein and zeaxanmin to help keep your eyes healthy.  Because kale is low in calorie and high in nutrition it is an excellent veggie to stuff yourself with (especially when losing weight).

4.Swiss Chard: (Under-recognized) contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, and natural sodium.  Swiss chard helps maintain an overall healthy skeletal system, lungs, heart, and immune system.

5.Collard greens: (under-recognized) contain vitamins A, C, K, are a great source of fiber, and phytochemicals diindolylenethane and sulforaphane that contain cancer fighting agents.

6. Dandelion Greens: (under-recognized) are like root rooter for your system.  Need a fast acting cleanse? Eat tons of dandelion greens!  They also are an excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins A, C, and B.

7.Broccoli: (under-appreciated) are high in fiber, antioxidants, photo-nutrients beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and sea-xanthin.  Also have copious amounts of floats, B vitamins, vitamin A and K, and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and phosphorous.  Contribute towards a healthy colon, urinary tract, and pancreas.

Not sure what all of the aforementioned vitamins and minerals do for us? scroll down to my micronutrient post!

Kick your Sweet Cravings to the Curb

First, I would like to apologize for being MIA this past week between presentations, papers, client appointments and birthday madness I neglected to post last week.

This week however, I would like to start off with a blog about curbing your sweet tooth.  Why do we crave sugar in the first place? There are 2 main reasons.  First, sugars are carbohydrates.  Carbs trigger the release of our brains happy chemical, serotonin.  Second, because the taste of sugar actually gives your body a natural high by releasing endorphins.

Now, I have 5 Basic Tricks for curbing that sweet tooth.

1.  Usually, when we are craving sugar, or anything for that matter, it is because there is an imbalance in our diet.  To make things simple, I have attached a cravings chart that tells you you’re craving, what you’re missing, and what you should eat.

2. Instead of going for that chocolate bar or gummy worms, go for fruit.  Yes, fruits have sugars, but they are natural sugars that our bodies are able to better process.

3. Live a little, but not a lot.  Everything in moderation is ok.  If you have a good week, 2 weeks or even a month 1 bad day won’t kill you. When you do give in, try to combine the unhealthy sweet with a healthy one.  For example, a fruit with some nutella.

4.  Have a support system.  Making a LIFESTYLE change (healthy is not a diet, diets are temporary) can be difficult.  It gets a lot easier when you have an accountability partner or group.

5. Don’t skip breakfast.  When you skip breakfast you allow your body to drop in blood sugar levels that make you crave something sweet later on in the day.cravings chart